CHAPTER IV. Narrative of Captain Cook's second Voyage round the World.
During Captain Cook's stay in the sound, he had observed, that the second visit to this country had not mended the morals of the natives of either sex. He had always looked upon the females of New Zealand as more chaste than the generality of Indian women. Whatever favours a few of them might have granted to the people in the Endeavour, such intercourse usually took place in a private manner, and did not appear to be encouraged by the men. But now the captain was told, that the male Indians were the chief promoters of this shameful traffic, and that, for a spikenail, or any other thing they valued, they would oblige the women to prostitute themselves, whether it were agreeable or contrary to their inclinations. At the same time no regard was paid to the privacy which decency required. The account of this fact must be read with concern by every wellwisher to the good order and happiness of society, even without adverting to considerations of a higher nature.
On the 7th of June, Captain Cook put to sea from Queen Charlotte's Sound, with the Adventure in company. I shall omit the nautical part of the route from New Zealand to Otaheite, which continued till the 15th of August; and shall only select such circumstances as are more immediately suitable to the design of the present narrative. It was found, on the 29th of July, that the crew of the Adventure were in a sickly state. Her cook was dead, and about twenty of her best men were rendered incapable of duty by the scurvy and flux. At this time, no more than three men were on the sick list on board the Resolution; and only one of these was attacked with the scurvy. Some others, however, began to discover the symptoms of it; and, accordingly, recourse was had to wort, marmalade of carrots, and the rob of lemons and oranges, with the usual success.
Captain Cook could not account for the prevalence of the scurvy being so much greater in the Adventure than in the Resolution, unless it was owing to the crew of the former being more scorbutic when they arrived in New Zealand than the crew of the latter, and to their eating few or no vegetables while they lay in Queen Charlotte's Sound. This arose partly from their want of knowing the right sorts, and partly from the dislike which seamen have to the introduction of a new diet. Their aversion to any unusual change of food is so great, that it can only be overcome by the steady and persevering example and authority of a commander. Many of Captain Cook's people, officers as well as common sailors, disliked the boiling of celery, scurvy-grass, and other greens with pease and wheat; and by some the provision, thus prepared, was refused to be eaten. But, as this had no effect on the captain's conduct, their prejudice gradually subsided: they began to like their diet as much as the rest of their companions; and, at length, there was hardly a man in the ship who did not attribute the freedom of the crew from the scurvy, to the beer and vegetables which had been made use of at New Zealand. Henceforward, whenever the seamen came to a place where vegetables could be obtained, our commander seldom found it necessary to order them to be gathered; and, if they were scarce, happy was the person who could lay hold on them first.
On the 1st of August, when the ships were in the latitude of 25 1', and the longitude of 130 6' west, they were nearly in the same situation with that which is assigned by Captain Carteret for Pitcairn's Island, discovered by him in 1767. For this island, therefore, our voyagers diligently looked; but saw nothing. According to the longitude in which he had placed it, Captain Cook must have passed it fifteen leagues to the west. But as this was uncertain, he did not think it prudent to lose any time in searching for it, as the sickly state of the Adventure's people required as speedy an arrival as possible at a place of refreshment. A sight of it, however, would have been of use in verifying or correcting, not only the longitude of Pitcairn's Island, but of the others discovered by Captain Carteret in that neighbourhood. It is a diminution of the value of that gentleman's voyage, that his longitude was not confirmed by astronomical observations, and that hence it was liable to errors, the correction of which was out of his power.
As Captain Cook had now gotten to the northward of Captain Carteret's tracks, he no longer entertained any hopes of discovering a continent. Islands were all that he could expect to find, until he returned again to the south. In this and his former voyage, he had crossed the ocean in the latitude of 40 and upwards, without meeting any thing which could, in the least, induce him to believe that he should attain the great object of his pursuit. Every circumstance concurred to convince him, that, between the meridian of America and New Zealand, there is no southern continent; and that there is no continent farther to the south, unless in a very high latitude. This, however; was a point too important to be left to opinions and conjectures. It was to be determined by facts; and the ascertainment of it was appointed, by our commander, for the employment of the ensuing summer.