CHAPTER II. Narrative of Captain Cook's first voyage round the world.
It being universally agreed, that the ship could not safely proceed to Europe without an examination of her bottom, our commander determined to apply for leave to heave her down at Batavia; and for this purpose he drew up a request in writing, which, after he had waited first upon the governor-general, and then upon the council, was readily complied with, and he was told, that he should have every thing he wanted.
In the evening of the 10th, there was a dreadful storm of thunder, lightning, and rain, during which the mainmast of one of the Dutch East Indiamen was split, and carried away by the deck; and the maintop-mast and topgallant-mast were shivered to pieces. The stroke was probably directed by an iron spindle, which was at the maintop gallantmast head. As this ship lay very near the Endeavour, she could scarcely have avoided sharing the same fate, had it not been for the conducting chain, which fortunately had been just gotten up, and which conveyed the lightning over the side of the vessel. But though she escaped the lightning, the explosion shook her like an earthquake; and the chain at the same time appeared like a line of fire. Mr. Cook has embraced this occasion of earnestly recommending similar chains to every ship; and hath expressed his hope that all who read his narrative will be warned against having an iron spindle at the mast-head.
The English gentlemen had taken up their lodging and boarding at an hotel, or kind of inn, kept by the order of government. Here they met with those impositions, in point of expense and treatment, which are too common to admit of much surprise. It was not long, however, that they submitted to ill usage. By a farther acquaintance with the manner of dealing with their host, and by spirited remonstrances, they procured a better furnished table. Mr. Banks, in a few days, hired a small house for himself and his party; and as soon as he was settled in his new habitation, sent for Tupia, who bad hitherto continued on board on account of sickness. When he quitted the ship, and after he came into the boat, he was exceedingly lifeless and dejected; but no sooner did he enter the town, than he appeared to be inspired with another soul. A scene so entirely new and extraordinary filled him with amazement. The houses, carriages, streets, people, and a multiplicity of other objects, rushing upon him at once, produced an effect similar to what is ascribed to enchantment. His boy, Tayeto, expressed his wonder and delight in a still more rapturous manner. He danced along the streets in a kind of extacy, examining every object with a restless and eager curiosity, which was excited and gratified every moment. Tupia's attention was particularly excited by the various dresses of the passing multitude; and when he was informed, that at Batavia every one wore the dress of his own country, he expressed his desire of appearing in the garb of Otabeite. Accordingly, South Sea cloth being sent for from the ship, he equipped himself with great expedition and dexterity.
Lieutenant Cook imagined that at Batavia he should find it easy to take up what money he might want for repairing and refitting, the Endeavour; but in this he was mistaken. No private person could be found who had ability and inclination to furnish the sum which was necessary. In this exigency, the lieutenant had recourse by a written request, to the governor, from whom he obtained an order for being supplied out of the Dutch company's treasury.
When our voyagers had been only nine days at Batavia, they began to feel the fatal effects of the climate and situation. Tupia, after his first flow of spirits had subsided, grew every day worse and worse; and Tayeto was seized with an inflamation upon his lungs. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander were attacked by fevers, and in a little time almost every person both on board and on shore, was sick. The distress of our people was indeed very great and the prospect before them discouraging in the highest degree. Tupia, being desirous of breathing a freer air than among the numerous houses that obstructed it ashore, had a tent erected for him on Cooper's island, to which he was accompanied by Mr. Banks, who attended this poor Indian with the greatest humanity, till he was rendered incapable of doing it, by the violent increase of his own disorder. On the 5th of November. Mr. Monkhouse, the surgeon of the ship, a sensible, skilful man, whose loss was not a little aggravated by the situation of the English, fell the first sacrifice to this fatal country. Tayeto died on the 9th, and Tupia, who loved him with the tenderness of a parent, sunk at once after the loss of the boy, and survived him only a few days. The disorders of Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander grew to such a height, that the physician declared they had no chance of preserving their lives but by removing into the country. Accordingly, a house was hired for them at the distance of about two miles from the town; where, in consequence of enjoying a purer air, and being better nursed by two Malayan women, whom they had bought, they recovered by slow degrees. At length, Lieutenant Cook was himself taken ill; and out of the whole ship's company, not more than ten were able to do duty.