A fresh visit to Tahiti and the Friendly Islands—Exploration of New Hebrides—Discovery of New Caledonia and Pine Island—Stay in Queen Charlotte'sSound—South Georgia—Accident to the Adventure.

After leaving these islands, on the 12th of April, and sailing for Tahiti, Cook fell in, five days later, with the Pomotou archipelago. He landed on the Tioukea Island of Byron. The inhabitants, who had cause to complain of earlier navigators, received the advances of the English coldly. The latter could only obtain about two dozen cocoa-nuts and five pigs, which appeared plentiful in this island. In another settlement a more friendly reception was met with. The natives embraced the new-comers, and rubbed their noses in the same fashion as the New Zealanders. OEdidi bought several dogs, the long and white hair of whose skins serves as an ornament for cuirasses in his native land.

Forster relates:—

"The natives told us that they broke up scurvy grass, mixed it with shell-fish, and threw it into the sea on the approach of a shoal of fish. This bait intoxicated the fish for a time, and when they came to the surface it was easy to take them. The captain afterwards saw several other islands of this immense archipelago, which were similar to those he had left, especially the Pernicious Islands, where Roggewein had lost his sloop, the African, and to which Cook gave the name of Palliser Islands."

He then steered for Tahiti, which the sailors, certain of the good-will of the natives, regarded as a home. The Resolution cast anchor in Matavai Bay on the 22nd of April, and their reception was as friendly as had been anticipated. A few days later, King O-Too and several other chiefs visited the English, and brought them a present of ten or a dozen large pigs and some fruit.

Cook's first idea was to remain in this spot only just long enough for Mr. Wales, the astronomer, to take observations, but the abundance of provisions induced him to prolong his stay.

On the morning of the 26th, the captain, who had been to Oparrée with some of his officers, to make a formal visit to the king, observed a fleet of more than 300 pirogues, drawn up in order on the shore. They were all completely equipped. At the same time a number of warriors assembled on the beach.

The officers' suspicions were excited by this formidable armament, collected in one night, but they were reassured by the welcome they received.

This fleet consisted of no less than sixty large double pirogues, decorated with flags and streamers, and 170 smaller ones, intended for the transport of provisions, and the flotilla was manned with no fewer than 7760 men, warriors or paddlers.

"The sight of this fleet," says Forster, "increased our ideas of the power and wealth of this island. The entire crew was astonished. When we reflect upon the implements possessed by this people, we can but admire the patience and toil necessary to cut down these enormous trees, separate and polish the branches, and then to carry the heavy constructions to such perfection. These works are produced by them by means of a stone hatchet and saw, a piece of coral, and the hide of whales. The chiefs, and all who occupied a prominent fighting rank, were dressed in military style—that is to say, in a quantity of stuffs, turbans, helmets, and breastplates. The height of some of the helmets was most embarrassing to the wearers. The entire equipment appeared more appropriate for scenic effect than suitable for a battlefield. But, in any case, it added to the grandeur of the display, and the warriors did not fail to show themselves with a view to the most striking effect.

"Upon reaching Matavai, Cook learned that this formidable armament was destined for an attack upon Eimio, whose chief had revolted against the Tahitan yoke, and become independent.

"During the following days the captain was visited by some of his old friends. All showed a desire to possess red feathers, which were of considerable value. One only attached more importance to a glass bead or a nail. The Tahitans were so impressed that they offered in exchange the strange mourning garments, which they had refused to sell during Cook's first voyage.

"These garments are made of the rarest productions of the islands and the surrounding sea, and are worked with care and great skill, and no doubt are of great value to themselves. We bought no less than ten, which we brought to England."

OEdidi, who had taken good care to procure some feathers for himself, could indulge in any caprice he liked. The natives looked upon him as a prodigy, and listened eagerly to his tales. The principal personages of the island, and even the king sought his society. He married a daughter of the chief of Matavai, and brought his wife on board. Every one was delighted to make him a present. Finally he decided to remain at Tahiti, where he had found his sister married to a powerful chief.

In spite of the thefts, which more than once caused unpleasantness, the English procured more provisions on their stay in this port than ever before. The aged Oberea, who was like a queen in the island during the stay made by the Dauphin in 1767, herself brought pigs and fruits, in the secret hope of obtaining red feathers, which had so great a success. Presents were liberally given, and the Indians were amused with fireworks and military manoeuvres.

Just before he left, the captain witnessed a curious naval review. O-Too ordered a sham fight, but it lasted so short a time that it was impossible to observe the movements. The fleet was to commence hostilities five days after Cook's departure, and he would much have liked to have waited for it; but, fearing the natives might suspect him of an attempt to overcome both conquered and victors, he determined to leave.

The Resolution had scarcely left the bay, when one of the gunners, seduced by the delights of Tahiti, and possibly by the promises of King O-Too, who, no doubt, thought a European might be of use to him, threw himself into the sea, but he was soon retaken by a boat launched by Cook in his pursuit.

Cook very much regretted the fact that discipline obliged him to act in this way. The man had no relations or friends in England, and, had he requested permission to remain in Tahiti, it would not have been refused.

On the 15th, the Resolution anchored in O Wharre harbour, in Huaheine Island. The old chief Orea was one of the first to congratulate the English upon their return, and to bring them presents. The captain presented him with red feathers, but the old chief appeared to prefer iron, hatchets, and nails. He seemed more indolent than upon the previous visit. His head was weaker, no doubt owing to his immoderate love for an intoxicating drink extracted from pepper by the natives. His authority was evidently despised, and Cook sent in pursuit of a band of robbers, who had not refrained from pillaging the old king himself, and who had taken refuge in the centre of the island.

Orea showed himself grateful for the consideration the English had always shown him. He was the last to leave the vessel before she sailed, on the 24th of April, and when Cook said that they should never meet again, he shed tears and replied,—

"Send your children here, we will treat them well."

On another occasion, Orea asked the captain where he should be buried. "At Stepney," said Cook. Orea begged him to repeat the word until he could pronounce it. Then a hundred voices cried at once, "Stepney morai no Toote," "Stepney the grave of Cook." In giving this reply the great navigator had no prevision of his fate, or of the difficulty his fellow-countrymen would have in finding his remains.

OEdidi, who at the last moment had accompanied the English to Huaheine, had not met with so cordial a welcome as at Tahiti. His riches had strangely diminished and his credit suffered in consequence. The narrative says,—

"He soon proved the truth of the proverb, that a man is never a prophet in his own country. He left us with regrets, which proved his esteem for us, and when the moment of separation arrived, he ran from cabin to cabin embracing every one. It is impossible to describe the mental anguish of the young man when he left. He gazed at the vessel, burst into tears, and crouched in despair in the bottom of his pirogue. We saw him again, stretching out his arms to us, as we left the reefs."

Cook reconnoitred Hove Island (so called by Wallis) on the 6th of June. It is named Mohipa by the natives. A few days later he found several uninhabited islets, surrounded by a chain of breakers, to which he gave the name of Palmerston, in honour of one of the Lords of the Admiralty.

Upon the 20th a steep and rocky island was discovered, crowned with large woods, and bushes; the beach was narrow and sandy, and several natives of very dark complexion were seen upon it.

They made menacing demonstrations, and were armed with lances and clubs. As soon as the English landed they retired. Champions, however, advanced, and endeavoured to provoke the strangers, assailing them with a storm of arrows and stones. Sparrman was wounded in the arm, and Cook just escaped being struck by a javelin. A general volley soon dispersed these inhospitable islanders, and the uncivil reception which was thus accorded well deserved the name bestowed upon their land of Savage Island.

Four days later Cook reached the Tonga archipelago once more. He stopped this time at Nomouka, called Rotterdam by Tasman.

He had scarcely cast anchor before the ship was surrounded by a crowd of pirogues, filled with bananas and every kind of fruit, which were exchanged for nails and old pieces of stuff. This friendly reception encouraged the naturalists to land and penetrate to the interior, in search of new plants and unknown productions. Upon their return they enlarged upon the beauty of this picturesque and romantic country, and upon the affability and cordiality of the natives.

In spite of it, however, various thefts continued to take place, until a more important larceny than usual obliged the captain to resort to severity.

A native, who opposed the seizure of two pirogues by the English, as hostages until the stolen arms were restored, was wounded severely by a gunshot. During this second visit Cook bestowed the name of Friendly Islands upon this group, no doubt with a sarcastic meaning. Now-a-days they are better known by the native name of Tonga.

The indefatigable navigator continued his route in a westward direction, passed in succession Lepreux, Aurora, Whitsunday and Mallicolo Islands, to which archipelago Bougainville had given the name of the Grandes Cyclades.

Cook gave his usual order, to enter into friendly and commercial relations with the inhabitants.

The first day passed quietly, and the natives celebrated the visit of the English by games and dancing, but on the morrow an incident occurred which led to a general collision.

A native, who was refused access to the ship, prepared to launch an arrow at one of the sailors. His fellow-countrymen at first prevented him. At the same moment Cook appeared on deck, his gun in his hand. His first step was to shout to the native, who again aimed at the sailor. Without replying, the native was about to let his arrow fly at him, when a shot anticipated and wounded him. This was the signal for a general discharge of arrows, which struck on the vessel and did but little damage. Cook then ordered a gun to be fired over the natives' heads with a view to dispersing them. A few hours later the natives again surrounded the ship, and returned to their barter as if nothing had happened.

Cook took advantage of these friendly indications to land an armed detachment for wood and water. Four or five natives were collected on the beach. A chief, leaving the group, advanced to the captain, holding in his hand, as Cook also did, a green bough. The two branches were exchanged, and peace thus concluded, a few slight presents helped to cement it. Cook then obtained permission to take wood, but not to go far from the shore, and the naturalists, who were anxious to prosecute their investigations in the interior, were brought back to the beach, in spite of their protestations.

Iron implements had no value for these people. This made it extremely difficult to obtain provisions. Only a few agreed to exchange arms for stuffs, and exhibited an honesty in their transactions to which the English were unaccustomed.

The exchanges continued after the Resolution had set sail, and the natives hurried in their pirogues to deliver the articles for which they had received the price. One of them, after vigorous efforts, succeeded in gaining the vessels, carrying his weapons to a sailor who had paid for them and forgotten it, it was so long ago. The native refused the recompense the sailor would have given, making him understand that he had been paid already. Cook gave the name of Port Sandwich to this harbour of refuge, which he left on the morning of the 23rd of July.

He was most favourably impressed by the moral qualities of the natives of Mallicolo, but by no means so in regard to their physical powers.

Small and badly proportioned, bronze in colour, with flat faces, they were hideous. Had Darwinian theories been in vogue in those days, no doubt Cook would have recognized in them that missing link between man and monkey, which is the despair of Darwin's followers.

Their coarse, crinkly black hair was short, and their bushy beards did not add to their beauty. But the one thing which made them most grotesque was their habit of tying a cord tightly across the stomach, which made them appear like great emmets. Tortoise-shell ear-rings, bracelets made of hogs'-teeth, large tortoise-shell rings, and a white flat stone which they passed through the cartilage of the nose, constituted their ornaments. Their weapons were bows and arrows, spears and clubs. The points of their arrows, which were occasionally two or three in number, were coated with a substance which the English thought was poisonous, from observing the care with which the natives drew them out of a kind of quiver.

The Resolution had only just left Port Sandwich when all the crew were seized with colic, vomiting, and violent pains in the head and back. Two large fish had been caught and eaten by them, possibly whilst they were under the influence of the narcotic mentioned above. In every case, ten days elapsed before entire recovery. A parrot and dog which had also eaten of the fish died next day. Quiros' companions had suffered in the same way, and since Cook's voyage similar symptoms of poisoning have been noticed in these latitudes.

After leaving Mallicolo, Cook steered for Ambrym Island, which appeared to contain a volcano, and shortly afterwards discovered a group of small islands, which he named Shepherd Islands, in honour of the Cambridge Professor of Astronomy.

He then visited the Islands of Two Hills, Montagu and Hinchinbrook Islands, and the largest of all, Sandwich Island, which must not be mistaken for the group of the same name. All the islands, lying among and protected by breakers, were covered with rich vegetation and were largely populated.

Typical natives of the Sandwich Islands
Typical natives of the Sandwich Islands.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

Two slight accidents interrupted the calm on board. A fire broke out, which was soon extinguished, and one of the sailors falling overboard, was at once rescued.

Koro Mango was discovered on the 3rd of August. Next day Cook reached its shore, hoping to find a watering-place, and facility for landing. The greater part of the sufferers from the poisonous fish had not yet recovered their health, and they looked forward to its speedy re-establishment on shore. But the reception accorded to them by the natives, who were armed with clubs, lances, and arrows, seemed wanting in sincerity.

Cook was on his guard. Finding that they could not lure the English into landing, the natives endeavoured to force them. A chief and several men tried to snatch the oars from the sailors. Cook wished to fire his musket, but the priming would not go off. The English were immediately overwhelmed with stones and arrows. The captain at once ordered a general volley; fortunately half of the shots missed, or the slaughter would have been terrific.

Forster says, "These natives appear to be of different race to those living in Mallicolo. They speak a different language. They are of medium height, but well-shaped, and their features are not disagreeable. They were bronze in complexion, and they paint their faces black or red; their hair is somewhat woolly and curly. The few women I saw appeared very ugly. I have seen no pirogues on any part of the coast. They live in houses covered with palm-leaves, and their plantations are in straight lines and are surrounded by a hedge of reeds."

It was useless to make a second attempt to land. Cook having bestowed the name of Cape Traitor upon the scene of the collision, reached an island, which he had seen the previous evening, and which the natives called Tanna.

"The highest hill of the same range is of conical shape," says Forster, "with a crater in the centre. It is reddish brown, and composed of a mass of burnt stones, perfectly sterile. From time to time it emitted a thick column of smoke like a great tree, increasing in width as it ascended."

The Resolution was at once surrounded by a score of pirogues, the largest of which contained twenty-five men. The latter sought to appropriate everything within their reach, buoys, flags, the hinges of the rudder, which they tried to knock off. They only returned to the shore after a four-pounder had been fired over their heads.

The vessel made for the shore, but all the trifles that were distributed could not induce the natives to relinquish their attitude of defiance and bravado. It was clear that the smallest misunderstanding would lead to bloodshed.

Cook imagined these people to be cannibals, although pigs, fowls, roots, and fruits abounded.

During the stay prudence prevented any one leaving the shore. Forster, however, ventured a little way and discovered a spring of water, so hot that he could not hold his finger in it longer than a second. In spite of all their wishes, the English found it impossible to reach the central volcano, which emitted torrents of fire and smoke as high as the clouds, and projected enormously large stones into the air. The number of extinct volcanoes in every direction was considerable, and the soil was decidedly subject to volcanic eruptions. By degrees, though without losing their reserve, the Tannians became more at home with the strangers, and intercourse was less difficult.

"These people," says Cook, "showed themselves hospitable, civil, and good-hearted, when we did not excite their jealousy. We cannot blame their conduct greatly, for after all, from what point of view can they have judged us? They could not possibly know our real intentions. We entered their country, as they dared not oppose us; we endeavoured to disembark as friends, but we landed and maintained our superiority by force of arms. Under such circumstances what opinion could the natives form of us? It doubtless appeared far more plausible that we came to invade their country, than that we visited them as friends. Time only, and intimate relations, could teach them our good intentions."

However that might be, the English were at a loss to guess why the natives prevented their penetrating to the interior of the country. Was it owing to a naturally shy nature? or possibly because they were threatened with constant inroads from their neighbours. Their address in the use of arms and their bearing supported this idea, but it was impossible to know with any certainty.

As the natives did not value anything the English offered, they did not bring any great quantity of the fruits and roots the latter longed for. They would not consent to part with their pigs even for hatchets, the utility of which they had proved.

The productions of the island included bread-fruits, cocoa-nuts, a fruit like a peach, called "parre," yams, potatoes, wild pigs, nutmegs, and many others of which Forster did not know the names.

On the 21st Cook left Tanna, discovered successively, Erromam and Annatom Islands, and coasted Sandwich Island. He passed Mallicolo and Quiros' Land of the Holy Spirit, where he easily recognized St. James and St. Philip Bays, and left this archipelago after having named it New Hebrides, by which appellation it is now known.

A new discovery was made on the 5th of September. No European foot had ever trodden the soil he now sighted. It was the northern extremity of New Caledonia. The first point recognized was called Cape Colnett, after one of the volunteers who saw it first. The coast was bordered by a chain of breakers, behind which two or three pirogues appeared to be paddling, so as to reconnoitre the new-comers. But at sunrise they brailed their sails and were seen no more.

Having cruised for two hours along the outer reefs, Cook perceived an opening which he thought would enable him to draw near. He steered for it and landed at Balade.

The country appeared sterile, and uniformly covered with a whitish grass. Some trees with white trunks, like the willow in shape, were seen here and there. They were "niaoulis." At the same time several houses like bee-hives were perceived.

No sooner was anchor cast than fifteen or more pirogues surrounded the vessel. The natives had sufficient confidence to approach and begin traffic. Some of them even entered the ship, and inspected all the various parts of it with extreme curiosity. They refused to touch the dishes offered them, stewed peas, beef, and salt pork, but they voluntarily tasted the yams. They were most surprised at the goats, pigs, dogs, and cats, which were so strange to them that they had no words to designate them. Nails, all iron implements, and red stuffs, appeared precious to them. Tall, strong, and well-proportioned, with curly hair and beard, and of dark chocolate colour, they spoke a language which bore no resemblance to any which the English had hitherto heard.

The natives had sufficient confidence
"The natives had sufficient confidence."

When the captain landed he was received with joyful demonstrations, and with the surprise natural to people who are brought face to face with objects of which they have had no previous idea. Some of the chiefs, enjoining silence, made short harangues, and Cook began the usual distribution of ironmongery and hardware. His officers mixed with the crowd to make observations.

Many of the natives appeared afflicted with a kind of leprosy, and their arms and legs were greatly swollen. They were all but naked, wearing merely a cord tightened to the figure, from which hung scraps of stuff made from the fig-tree. A few wore enormous cylindrical hats, open on two sides, like the hats of the Hungarian hussars. They hung tortoiseshell earrings or rolls of the leaves of the sugar-cane in their ears, which were pulled out and split.

The English soon perceived a little village above the mangroves which bordered the shore. It was surrounded by sugar-cane plantations, yams, and banana-trees, and watered by little canals, cleverly diverted from the large river.

Cook soon discovered that he need expect nothing of this race but permission to survey the country.

"These natives," he says, "taught us a few words of their language, which bore no resemblance to that of any other tribe. They were mild and peaceable in character, but extremely lazy. If we addressed them they replied, but if we continued our way seldom joined us in our excursions. If we passed their cabins without remark, they took no notice of us. The women were slightly more curious, and hid themselves in the bushes to look after us, but they would only approach in the company of the men. They appeared neither vexed nor alarmed when we shot birds. Indeed, if we were near their huts, the young people would point them out to us, for the pleasure of seeing us fire. They appeared to have very little to do at this time of year. Having tilled the ground, and sown roots and bananas, they awaited their crops next summer.

"Perhaps in this fact lay the explanation of their having no provisions to offer in traffic, for in other respects we found them fully alive to the hospitable instinct which more particularly commends the islanders of the southern seas to navigators."

Cook's assertion of the indolence of the New Caledonians is perfectly true. But his stay amongst them was too short to enable him to appreciate their character thoroughly; and he certainly never suspected that they indulged in the horrible practice of cannibalism. He noticed no birds living in a wild state there excepting quails, turtle-doves, pigeons, turkeys, ducks, teal, and a few smaller ones. He could not ascertain the presence of any quadrupeds, and he entirely failed in his endeavours to procure provisions.

At Balade the captain made several excursions into the interior, and climbed the mountains to gain a general view over the country. From the summit of a rock he clearly saw the two coasts and ascertained that New Caledonia in this part was only ten leagues in width.

In its general features the country resembled various portions of New Holland, which is in the same latitude. The productions of both appear to be the same, and there is an absence of brushwood in the forests of both.

Cook also observed the presence of minerals on the hills, and his discovery has been verified in late years by the proved existence of gold, iron, copper, coal, and nickel.

A few of the crew met with a similar adventure here to that which had been almost fatal to some of them in the neighbourhood of Mallicolo.

Cook relates it thus:—"My secretary bought a fish which had been harpooned by a native, and sent it to me on board. This fish was of an entirely new species, and resembled that known as sun-fish, it was of the order called 'tetrodon' by Linnæus. Its head was hideous, wide and long. Never suspecting that it might be poisonous, I ordered it to be served at table the same evening. Fortunately so much time was consumed in drawing and describing it that no time was left for the cooking, and only the liver was served.

"The two Forsters and myself partook of it, and towards three in the morning we experienced a sensation of weakness and want of power in our limbs. I all but lost the sense of touch, and could no longer distinguish light from heavy objects when I desired to move them. A pot full of water and a feather appeared to me equally heavy. We first resorted to emetics, and afterwards we succeeded in inducing perspiration, which relieved us greatly. In the morning, a pig which had eaten the entrails of the fish was found dead. When the natives came on board, and saw the fish hanging up, they made us understand that it was unwholesome. They showed their disgust of it, but neither in selling it, or even after having been paid for it, had they given the slightest hint of such aversion."

Cook next proceeded to the survey of the greater part of the eastern coast. During this excursion he met with a native as white as a European. His complexion was attributed to illness. This man was an Albino, like those already met with in Tahiti and the Society Islands.

The captain was anxious to acclimatize pigs in New Caledonia, but he had the greatest difficulty in inducing the natives to accept a hog and a sow. He was forced to insist upon their usefulness, the facility of breeding them, and to exaggerate their value before the natives would consent to their being landed.

Cook describes the New Caledonians as tall, robust, active, polite, and peaceable. He gives them the rare character of honesty. But his successors in this country, more especially D'Entrecasteaux, discovered to their detriment that they did not preserve this quality. Some of them had the thick lips, flat nose, and general appearance of the negro. Their naturally curly hair added to the resemblance.

"If I were to guess," says Cook, "at the origin of this people, I should take them to be an intermediate race between the people of Tanna and the Friendly Islands, or between those of Tanna and New Zealand, or possibly between all three, for their language is in some respects a sort of mixture of that of these different countries."

The frequency of war amongst them is indicated by the number of their offensive weapons, clubs, spears, lances, slings, javelins, &c. The stones used for their slings are smooth and oval. Their houses are built on a circular plan, most of them being like bee-hives, with the roof of considerable height, and terminating in a point. They always have one or two fires alight, but as there is only one outlet for the smoke, through the doorway, no European could live in them.

With the roof of considerable height
"With the roof of considerable height."

They subsisted entirely upon fish and roots, such as yams, and the bark of a tree, which was but little succulent. Bananas, sugar-canes, and bread-fruit were rare, and cocoa-nuts did not flourish so well as in the island previously visited by the English. The number of inhabitants appeared considerable. But Cook justly remarked that his arrival had brought about a general reunion of all the tribes, and Lieutenant Pickersgill decided during his hydrographical excursions that the country was sparsely populated.

The New Caledonians buried their dead. Many of the crew visited their cemeteries, and especially the tomb of a chief, which was a kind of mound, decorated with spears, javelins, arrows, and darts, which were stuck around it.

Cook left the harbour of Balade, and continued to coast New Caledonia, without finding fresh provisions. The aspect of the country was universally sterile. But quite to the south of this large land a smaller one was discovered, to which the name of Pine Island was given, on account of the number of pine trees upon it.

They were a species of Prussian pine, very appropriate for the spars needed for the Resolution. Cook accordingly sent a sloop and some men to choose and cut the trees he needed. Some of them were twenty inches in diameter, and seventy feet high, so that a mast could have been formed of one had it been needed. The discovery of this island had a certain value, as, with the exception of New Zealand, it was the only one in the entire Pacific Ocean which produced wood fit for masts and poles.

In steering southwards towards New Zealand, Cook sighted a small uninhabited island on the 10th of October, upon which the botanists reaped a plentiful harvest of unknown vegetables. It was Norfolk Island, so named in honour of the Howard family. It was afterwards colonized by a part of the mutineers of the Bounty.

The Resolution anchored again in Queen Charlotte's Sound. The gardens so anxiously planted by the English had been entirely neglected by the New Zealanders, but in spite of this several plants had grown marvellously.

The natives were very shy of appearing at first, and seemed to care little for any intercourse with the strangers; but when they recognized their old friends, they testified their delight most extravagantly. When asked why they had been so reserved at first, they evaded a reply, and there was no doubt that they were thinking of murder and combats.

This aroused Cook's apprehensions for the fate of the Adventure, of which he had heard nothing since his last stay in this port, but he could obtain no reply to the questions he put. He was only to learn what had occurred in his absence, when he reached the Cape of Good Hope, and found letters from Captain Furneaux.

After once more landing some pigs, with which he wished to endow New Zealand, the captain set sail for Cape Horn on the 10th of November. After a vain cruise, he at last sighted the eastern shore of Tierra del Fuego, near the entrance to the Straits of Magellan.

"The portion of America which now met our view," says Cook, "was dreary enough. It seemed to be cut up into small islands, which though by no means high, were very black, and almost entirely barren. In the background, we saw high ground covered with snow, almost to the water's edge. It is the wildest shore I have ever seen, and appears entirely composed of mountains and rocks, without a vestige of vegetation. The mountains overhang horrible precipices, the sharp peaks of which arise to great height. Probably there is nothing in nature which presents so wild an appearance. The interior mountains are covered with snow, but those bordering the sea are not. We imagined the former to belong to Tierra del Fuego, and the latter to be ranged over the small islands in such a way as to present the appearance of an uninterrupted coast."

The captain still thought it better to remain some time in this desolate region, to procure fresh victuals for his crew. He found safe anchorage in Christmas Sound, where as usual, he made a careful hydrographical survey.

View of Christmas Sound
View of Christmas Sound.

Several birds were shot, and Mr. Pickersgill brought three hundred sea-gull's eggs and fourteen geese on board.

"I was thus enabled," says Cook, "to distribute them to the entire crew, a fact which gave the greater satisfaction as it was near Christmas. Without this timely supply, they must have contented themselves with beef and salt pork."

Some of the natives, belonging to the nation called "Pecherais" by Bougainville, came on board without any pressing. Cook's description of these savages recalls that of the French explorer. They preferred the oily portions of the flesh of the seals upon which they lived—a taste which Cook attributed to the fact that the oil warmed their blood, and enabled them to resist the intense cold.

"If," he adds, "the superiority of a civilized to a savage life could ever be called in question, a single glance at one of these Indians would be sufficient to settle the question. Until it is proved that a man perpetually tortured by the rigour of a climate is happy, I shall never give in to the eloquent declamations of those philosophers who have never had the opportunity of observing human nature in all its phases, or who have not felt what they have seen."

The Resolution at once set sail and doubled Cape Horn. The Strait of Lemaire was then crossed, and Staten Island reconnoitred. Here a good anchorage was found. Quantities of whales abound in these latitudes. It was now their pairing season, and seals and sea-lions, penguins and garnets appeared in shoals.

"Dr. Sparman and myself," says Forster, "narrowly escaped being attacked by one of these sea-monsters, upon a rock where several of them were assembled, appearing to wait the upshot of the struggle. The doctor had fired at a bird, and stooped to pick it up, when the sea-lion growled, and showing his tusks, seemed disposed to attack my companion. From where I was posted I shot the animal stark dead, and at the report of my gun the herd, seeing their companion fall, fled along the coast. Several of them threw themselves into the sea with such haste, that they jumped ten or fifteen roods, straight upon the pointed rocks. But I do not think they hurt themselves much, for their skin is very hard and their fat is so elastic that it is easily compressed."

After leaving Staten Island, Cook set sail on the 3rd of January, for the south-east, to explore the only part of the ocean which had hitherto escaped him. He soon reached Southern Georgia, seen in 1675 by Laroche, and again by M. Guyot Duclos in 1756, when in command of the Spanish vessel the Leön. This discovery was made on the 14th of January, 1775. The captain landed in three places and took possession in the name of King George III. of England, bestowing his name upon the newly-found country. Possession Bay is bordered by pointed rocks of ice exactly similar to those which had been met with in the high southern latitudes.

"The interior of the country," says the narrative, "is no less savage and frightful. The summits of the rocks are lost in the clouds and the valleys are covered with perpetual snow. Not a tree or even the smallest shrub is to be seen."

After leaving Georgia, Cook penetrated further to the south-east, amidst floating ice. The continual dangers of the voyage overcame the crew. Southern Thule, Saunder's Island, and Chandeleur Islands, and finally Sandwich Land were discovered. These sterile and deserted archipelagoes have no value for the merchant or geographer. Once certain of their existence, it was unnecessary to remain, for to do so was to risk in exploring them the valuable records the Resolution was taking to England.

Cook was convinced by the discovery of these isolated islands "that near the pole there is a stretch of land, where the greater part of the floating ice spread over this vast southern ocean is formed." This ingenious theory has been confirmed in every particular by the explorers of the 19th century.

After another fruitless search for Cape Circumcision, mentioned by Bouvet, Cook decided to regain the Cape of Good Hope, and he arrived there on the 22nd of March, 1775.

The Adventure had put into this port, where Captain Furneaux had left a letter relating all that had happened in New Zealand. Captain Furneaux arrived in Queen Charlotte's Sound on the 13th of November, 1773, and took in wood and water. He then sent one of his boats under Lieutenant Rowe to gather edible plants. As the lieutenant did not return on board either in the evening or the next morning, Captain Furneaux, feeling sure that an accident had happened, sent in search of him. The following is a short account of what he learned.

After various useless searchings, the officer in command of the sloop came upon some traces, as he landed upon the shore, near Grass Creek. Portions of a boat and some shoes, one of which had belonged to an officer of the watch, were found. A sailor, at the same time, noticed a piece of fresh meat, which was taken to be the flesh of a dog, for it was not known then that the people of the place were cannibals. "We opened," says Furneaux, "about eight baskets which we found on the beach, tightly corded. Some were full of roast flesh, and others of roots used by the natives for bread. Continuing our search, we found more shoes, and a hand, which we recognized as that of Thomas Hill, because T. H. was tatooed upon it in the Tahitan fashion.

"At a short distance an officer perceived four pirogues and a number of natives, assembled round a large fire. The English landed and fired a regular volley, which put the Zealanders to flight, with the exception of two, who left with the greatest sang-froid. One of them was severely wounded, and the sailors advanced up the beach.

"A frightful scene was soon presented before our eyes. We saw the heads, hearts, and lungs of many of the crew upon the sands, and at a little distance dogs were devouring the entrails."

The officer had not a sufficient force with him, being backed by only ten men, to meet this fearful massacre with fitting vengeance. The weather, too, became bad, and the savages collected in large numbers. It was necessary to regain the Adventure.

"I do not believe," says Captain Furneaux, "that this butchery was premeditated on the part of the natives, for in the morning Mr. Rowe said that he observed two vessels pass us, and remain all the forenoon in sight of the ship. The bloodshed was most likely the result of a quarrel which was instantly fought out, or possibly as our men took no measures for their own safety, their want of caution tempted the Indians."

The natives having heard one discharge, were encouraged by observing that a gun was not an infallible instrument, that it sometimes missed fire, and that once fired it was necessary to reload before firing again.

In this fearful ambuscade the Adventure lost ten of her best sailors.

Furneaux left New Zealand on the 23rd of December, 1773, doubled Cape Horn, put into the Cape of Good Hope, and reached England on the 14th of July, 1774.

After Cook had taken in provisions and repaired his vessel, he left False Bay on the 27th of May, put into St. Helena, Ascension Island, and Fernando de Noronha, at Fayal, one of the Azores, and finally at Plymouth, on the 29th of July, 1775. During his voyage of three years and eighteen days, he had only lost four men, that is to say, without reckoning the ten sailors who were massacred at New Zealand.

No former expedition had reaped such a harvest of discoveries and hydrographical, physical, and ethnological observations. The learned and ingenious investigations pursued by Cook elucidated many of the difficulties of earlier navigators. He made various important discoveries, amongst others, that of New Caledonia and Easter Island. The non-existence of an antarctic continent was definitely ascertained. The great navigator received the fitting reward of his labours almost immediately. He was nominated ship's captain nine days after his landing, and was elected a member of the Royal Society of London on the 29th of February, 1776.