CAPTAIN COOK'S SECOND VOYAGE, I

Captain Furneaux had agreed to take a young man named Omai on board. His conduct and intelligence gave a favourable idea of the inhabitants of the Society Islands. Upon his arrival in England this Tahitian was presented to the king by Earl Sandwich, first lord of the Admiralty. At the same time he found protectors and friends in Banks and Solander. They arranged a friendly reception for him among the first families of Great Britain. He lived two years in this country, and upon Cook's third voyage he accompanied him, and returned to his native land.

The captain afterwards visited Ulietea, where the natives gave him the most appreciative welcome. They inquired with interest about Tupia and the English they had seen in the Endeavour. King Oreo hastened to renew his acquaintance with the captain, and gave him all the provisions his island produced. During their stay, Poreo, who had embarked in the Resolution, landed with a young Tahitan girl, who had enchanted him, and would not return on board. He was replaced by a young man of seventeen or eighteen years of age, a native of Bolabola, named OEdidi, who announced his wish to go to England. The grief evinced by this native on leaving his native land spoke well for his good heart.

The vessels, laden with more than four hundred pigs, and also with fowls, and fruit, left the Society Islands on the 17th of September, and steered for the west. Six days later, one of the Harvey Islands was sighted, and on the 1st of October anchor was cast off Eoa, called Middelbourg Island by Tasman and Cook.

The welcome by the natives was cordial. A chief named Tai-One came on board, touched the captain's nose with a pinch of pepper, and sat down without speaking. The alliance was concluded and ratified by the gift of a few trifles.

Tai-One guided the English into the interior. The new comers were surrounded by a dense crowd of natives, offering stuffs and mats in exchange for nails as long as the walk lasted. The natives often even carried their liberality so far as to decline any return for these presents. Tai-One conducted his new friends to his dwelling, agreeably situated in a beautiful valley, in the shade of some "sadhecks." He served them with a liquor extracted from the juice of the "eava," the use of which is common to the Polynesian islanders. It was prepared in the following manner:—Pieces of a root, a species of pepper, were first chewed, and then placed in a large wooden vase, over which water was poured. As soon as this liquor was drinkable, the natives poured it out into cups made of green leaves, shaped into form, and holding about half a pint. Cook was the only one who tasted it. The method of preparing the liquor had quenched the thirst of his companions, but the natives were not fastidious, and the vase was soon emptied.

The English afterwards visited several plantations or gardens, separated by intertwined hedges, which were connected by doors formed of planks and hung upon hinges. The perfection of culture, and the fully developed instinct of property, showed a degree of civilization superior to that of Tahiti.

In spite of the reception he met with, Cook, who could procure neither pigs nor fowls, left this island to reach that of Amsterdam, called Tonga Tabou by the natives. Here he hoped to find the provisions he needed. The vessels soon anchored in the roadstead of Van Dieman, in eighteen fathoms of water, a cable's length from the breakers which border the shore. The natives were friendly, and brought stuffs, mats, implements, arms, ornaments, and soon afterwards pigs and fowls. OEdidi bought some red feathers of them with much delight, declaring they would have a high value at Tahiti. Cook landed with a native named Attago, who had attached himself to him at once. During his excursion, he remarked a temple similar to a "morai," and which was called by the generic name of Faitoka. Raised upon an artificial butt, sixteen or eighteen feet from the ground, the temple was in an oblong form, and was reached by two stone staircases. Built like the homes of the natives, with posts and joists, it was covered with palm leaves. Two wooden images coarsely carved, two feet in length, occupied the corners.

"As I did not wish to offend either them or their gods," says the captain, "I dared not touch them, but I inquired of Attago if these were 'Eatuas,' or gods. I do not know if he understood me, but he instantly handled them, and turned them over as roughly as if he had merely touched a bit of wood, which convinced me that they did not represent a divine being."

A few thefts were perpetrated, but they did not interrupt cordiality, and a quantity of provisions were procured. Before leaving, the captain had an interview with a person who was treated with extraordinary respect, to whom all the natives accorded the rank of king. Cook says,—

"I found him seated, with a gravity of deportment so stupid and so dull, that in spite of all they had told me, I took him for an idiot, whom the people adored from superstitious motives. I saluted him, and talked to him, but he made no reply, and paid no attention to me. I was about to leave him, when a native made me understand that it was without doubt the king. I offered him a shirt, a hatchet, a piece of red stuff, a looking-glass, some nails, medals, and glass-ware. He received them, or rather allowed them to be placed upon his person or beside him, losing nothing of his gravity, and speaking no word, not even moving his head to the right or left."

However, next day, this chief sent baskets of bananas and a roast pig, saying that it was a present from the "ariki" of the island to the "ariki" of the ship.