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that another word should be his last, this spark of mutiny was suppressed, and the orator and his abettor being punished on the spot, good order was restored.
A whole day had been lost in this fruitless negotiation. About half an hour past ten o'clock at night, I was aroused from my sleep by the voice of the captain, who then held the watch, exclaiming, Turnbull, our ship is on shore, the ship is on shore. Jumping instantly out of bed, and running upon deck, in my shirt, I found there was no wind to affect the ship; and it being too dark to see the shore, I sounded, and found upwards of twelve fathoms of depth, and no sensible motion of the ship or water. I was persuaded, therefore, that the captain was in errour; that his anxiety had overpowered his vigilance, and given reality to the object of his imagination. Examining the cables, I found them both lying slack on the deck, which confirmed me still more in the idea that the captain was mistaken; but the seamen being commanded to haul the cables, the first pull brought the ends of both of them on board. It is impossible to describe the general sensation produced by this discovery, that our cables were cut, and we were drifting on shore. Another anchor, having an iron stock, was immediately ordered to be cleared away; but such was our alarm and confusion, that it was not till after repeated trials, that we effected the stocking of it. The old adage, the more haste the less speed, was never more truly verified. It happened very providentially, that there was not a breath of wind stirring, otherwise the ship must have gone to pieces very speedily, for she now lay with her broadside against a reef of coral rocks, the edges of which were as sharp as flints, having twelve fathoms of water on the outside. In addition to these circumstances, we had every thing to dread from the designs and practices of some of our crew, who were as little to be trusted as the savages on shore. It therefore demanded all our skill to keep their minds in proper order, and to maintain due authority in so critical a situation, and particularly into whose hands we trusted fire arms. It is but justice to say, that as far as we could judge from appearances, our representations and precautions on this trying occasion had the happiest effect.
It was fortunate for us also, in this distress, that for some slight offence given by individuals of the crew, the natives had threatened to murder them, whenever an opportunity should offer itself. The apprehensions of these men were now extreme, and by communicating their fears to the other seamen, and persuading them that one common lot awaited them without distinction, they united all hands in the common effort of endeavouring to rescue the vessel from her present very perilous situation. It is, indeed, a remark which even my own experience has suggested, that however discontented from other causes, there is a generous sentiment in an English seaman which, in cases of difficulty and danger, retains them to their duty and fidelity. Thus it has not unfrequently happened, that symptoms of a mutiny on board our vessels have been restrained by the appearance of an enemy, when all as unanimously united to defend their officers, as they had before conspired to resist their authority.
Having bent the remaining part of one of the cables, about thirty fathoms, to the anchor, it was carried out in the long boat to eighteen fathoms water, and the ship hauled seven or eight fathoms off from the reef. Whilst this was doing, we suddenly heard a loud and clamorous noise amongst the natives on shore, and seemingly close under the ship's stern; the wretches were rendered outrageous by the disappointment of their hopes, the ship being now visibly moved from the rocks. They had hitherto maintained a profound silence, in the expectation that her bulging would give the signal for the commencement of their plunder. They now began an assault with stones in such quantities, and with such force, that in the hopes of inti midating them, we were compelled to discharge some swivels and muskets over their heads. This however produced a volley of musketry from the natives stationed on different points of the shore. We now found it necessary to have recourse to our great guns, commencing a brisk fire; with what success we knew not, as they still kept up an irregular discharge of musketry in various directions, though we conti nued to play on those quarters whence the fire seemed to proceed. Their noise and clamour remained unabated, and we could discover, by the fury of their menaces, both their hopes of ultimate success, and the fate that awaited us in that event. Some of us were particularized as set aside to be roasted, while others were to be flayed alive to make tiaboolas, or jackets, of their skins, &c. with many similar expressions, which were not without a salutary effect in encouraging the resistance of our sailors, who, of all things seemed to entertain the greatest horrour of being roasted.
That we might, however, neglect no means of security which our circumstances allowed, we got another anchor from the hold, and stocked and bent to it the remainder of the other cable, still keeping up our fire of musketry, and occasionally dis charging a great gun. When this second anchor was run out to the last inch of cable, all on board felt as the condemned malefactor who receives a reprieve when on the eve of execution. The fury and menaces of the savages on shore seemed to increase, and they continued to assail us with stones and fire arms without ceasing, their numbers by this time being considerably augmented.
As daylight was now approaching, we hoped to be enabled to dislodge them from their shelter; and menaced in our turn an effectual revenge. Of this, however, confident in the safety of their posts, they appeared to entertain no apprehension. Our threatenings seemed only to call forth fresh attacks and new defiance of our power. We now learned the truth of what we had before often heard from others, that the fury of savages in battle is incredible, and bears no resemblance to that of a civilized being under the same circumstances. They forcibly recall to the mind the fables of heathen mythology. They appear possessed. A fury more than human seems to flare in their eyes, and convulse their souls. But I will not attempt to describe what no words can convey. I will only observe, that if their courage and talent of mischief were equal to their fury, they would be invincible.
The Uliteans, in great crowds, and the deserters, were constant and furious in their attacks. They had fourteen muskets; and with these and stones they greatly damaged the rigging, nettings, and boats. The shot from the ship did them little injury; because they were sufficiently acquainted with the use of guns to watch the motions of those on board; and when the latter were ready to fire, they suddenly skulked behind the rocks or trees, which were in great numbers along the shore. The crew repeatedly attempted to weigh the anchor, and carry the vessel further out to sea; but the men who went into the boat for this purpose were always compelled by the fire of the enemy to abandon it, and return to the ship for protection. When the light failed, they expected a general onset :
It was now four in the afternoon, and we were all fully employed in making every preparation to repel the grand attack expected in the night. Each man was furnished with twelve rounds of ball cartridge, and twenty four pistol bullets. Our muskets, being thirty in number, were well cleaned and fresh flinted; the great guns and swivels were double shotted and filled with old iron; and blunderbusses and cutlasses distributed on the deck, to be ready for service at a moment's notice. And, as much as possible to prevent the stones thrown by the natives from doing us injury, awnings were spread over the deck, and every other precaution taken to enable us to sell our lives at the dearest rate, and defend the ship to the last extremity. During all these operations, our worthy captain was suffering most severe pain, from firing off an overloaded blunderbuss in the beginning of the affair, when the swivels were dismounted.
About half past six in the evening, the wind, which had hitherto blown from the sea, shifted gently round to a land breeze, furnishing us with a most favourable opportunity for getting away unperceived in the night. That our operations might not be discovered, we muffled the pauls of the windlass, and began to heave away upon one anchor at a time. When this was done, we got the long boat ahead, hove short on the second anchor, and carried out the first to the last inch of cable. We then got up the second anchor, and carried it out to sea in the same manner; and in this way our hopes began to revive, having the prospect of getting well off the shore, or perhaps out to sea, before day light should discover our motions. So deeply were the minds of all on board impressed with a sense of our situation and danger, that in all this time not a whisper was heard in the ship. We were even in terrour lest the uncommon brilliancy of the stars should discover the passing and repassing of our boat, as it passed backwards and forwards in weighing and carrying out the anchors.
In all these transactions we received signal services from poor Pulpit, whom we had taken on board here; for he was an excellent marksman, and was well aware of what his fate would be, should he fall again into the hands of the Uliteans. He there. fore fought like a lion, resolved never to yield but with his last breath. His young Otaheitan wife likewise behaved like a heroine, carrying powder to the men, and exerting herself to the utmost in every way in which she could be useful; at the Hh
same time that she seemed to regret that so much ammunition should be expended, one half of which would have rendered her the wealthiest lady in all her native country.
Notwithstanding all our difficulties, by the blessing of Providence on our strenuous exertions, we succeeded in getting some sail set before our motions were discovered by the natives on shore. The wretches, seeing the ship under sail, hailed us with a most hideous and savage howling, mingled with mutual reproaches and upbraidings for not keeping a better look out, as the ship would now be for ever lost to them.
By this time, nearly two in the morning, we had moved off far enough to be out of their reach; but the weather becoming thick and dark, we came to with both anchors, and stood on our guard until day light. We now thought it might be pos. sible to recover the anchors we had lost; but the chief mate coming to the quarter deck, brought a message from the ship's company, requesting they might be allowed to weigh the anchors and get under sail, lest we should be caught by the wind from the sea, and again be thrown into the hands of this treacherous and savage people. This proposal was agreed to; as it must have been extremely difficult, however desirable, to recover our anchors. When we had now fairly escaped without the harbour, and were about hoisting in the boat, one of the men, in hauling her from under the counter, perceived a long thick rope towing astern, which was fastened to the rudder five or six feet under water, and was most probably the very rope by which the natives had drawn the ship on shore, after they had cut her cables.
Our navigators now passed the island Bollabolla, without seeking any intercourse with the natives; but they stopped a short time and procured some hogs at Maura, an island about fifteen miles in circuit. Then leaving, for the present, the Society isles, they shaped their course to the Sandwich islands.
It is in this part of the voyage, especially, that the philosophical mind will derive abundant food for reflection, and that the thoughts which suggest themselves are most pleasant. A new spectacle in these remote regions is presented to the eye; savage manners are rapidly fading away; and the arts of civilized life are gaining ground. In the Sandwich islands the land is beginning to be cultivated and enclosed; commerce not inconsiderable is carried on; general industry and activity prevail; and the people have profited by the repeated visits and intercourse of Europeans. This machine must have a moving power; these efforts must have a soul that inspires them; and this soul is chiefly Tamahama, the king of Whahoo and of some of the adjacent islands. Ambitious despots are occasionally of some benefit. Through them in ancient times men were assembled together; great empires were founded; and the useful and ornamental arts of life were cultivated. In modern days, and in a savage region, we find a Tamahama indulging extensive schemes, which he directs with a mind far above that of a savage.
Those who, in the accounts of former navigators, have observed the simple and almost patriarchal manner in which the kings of the islands in these seas lived with their subjects, will no doubt be surprised to hear that Tamahama has regular body guards clothed in uniform, who go on duty' and relieve each other, calling out at every half hour, "All is well;" that he has a palace built after the European style, of brick, and with glazed windows; that he has about him European and American artificers of almost every description, and that his own subjects have acquired a great knowledge of several of the mechanical arts; that he has a naval force of upwards of twenty vessels, from 25 to 50 tons burthen, some of them even copper bottomed; that he has a considerable trading connexion with the western parts of America, and that he is about to open a commerce with China; in short, that he unremittingly spreads all knowledge which is useful, and perseveringly sets himself against abuses among his subjects. It seems, indeed, that his mind is always brooding over new designs; his
soul burns with ambition and the love of conquest; he excites in the islands and the kings around him a continual alarm; and he is darkly sus picious of his chiefs. In these respects, do we not behold a Buonaparte of the south, constantly awake himself and keeping others awake, feeling terrour and incessantly infusing it?
It must be obvious that the inhabitants of the Sandwich islands have, in improvement, left the Otaheitans, in whose favour we are naturally prejudiced, far behind them.-Among these islands our navigators spent some time, collecting salt, yams, and hogs. They touched at Owyhee, where captain Cook was unfortunately killed: the natives of which frequently spoke of him, and constantly lamented his untimely fate, as if giving proof of their progress to a better life by their deep repentance. Their advancement, like that of the other inhabitants of the Sandwich islands, is become very considerable in many mechanical arts.
The voyagers now returned to Otaheite; and leaving there Mr. Turnbull and a few men, the captain went with the vessel to the windward islands in order to collect hogs. In this expedition the ship was unfortu nately cast away on a reef; which occasioned Mr. Turnbull's stay to be greatly lengthened among the Otaheitans, and gave him abundant opportunity for obtaining the information which he imparts to his readers concerning this singular people. In the second and third volumes, he minutely describes their usages and manners, and in many instances more satisfactorily than former narrators. Time, together with a better comprehension of the language, unfolded many particulars. He speaks of their supersti tions; their festivities; their general contempt of old age; their food and mode of cooking; the exclusion of the women from eating with the men; their courtesy to strangers, and generosity to one another; their indolence; their propensity to theft; their houses and furniture; their form of government; their wars; the influence of their priests; the situation of the Christian missionaries, &c.
One feature is very repulsive, and such as we should not expect to find in so mild a people, whatever influence we might suppose superstition to have among them; we mean the existence of human sacrifices. On this subject, Mr. Turnbull observes:
The human sacrifices are not put to death by their priests, as many have been led to imagine. The executioner is usually one of the miscreants about the person of the king, and generally adds treachery to the horrour of his murder. He calls upon the victim under the pretext of a visit of friendship, and seizing his opportunity when the poor fellow is off his guard, knocks him down and kills him on the spot. An instance of this treachery and murder occurred whilst I resided amongst them.
One of the confidants of Otoo, upon our return from the Sandwich islands, a fellow who visited us daily previous to our voyage thither, was advanced to the command of a district at some distance from Matavai. This man had been often impor tuned for a human victim, and as often excused himself by the difficulty of finding any suitable object within his district. This passed for a time; but the king, or rather Pomarrie, at length insisted on his compliance. The wretch, now put to his shifts, and apprehensive of losing the smiles of his benefactor, found he could defer it no longer. He therefore sent a message requesting the immediate visit of a near relation. The unsuspicious man obeyed, and was received with the greatest friend. ship and cordiality by the treacherous chief, so that he departed enraptured with his reception. But he had no sooner left the house than the villain gave orders that one of his trusty agents should follow him, and, watching his opportunity, should kill him when off his guard. This was accordingly done one day when the unsuspicious man was walking down the beach. The body was then laid out in a long basket made of cocoa nut leaves, and conveyed past our door. The natives in our yard be. held it with the most perfect apathy and indifference, and requested me to look at it as it passed; but I expressed my abhorrence at such an outrage to humanity, and re fused to go out of my doors till it had proceeded beyond my sight.
When the sacrifices arrive at the moreas, the eye is scooped out, and presented on a bread fruit leaf. The king holds his mouth open as if to receive it. They imagine that he thereby receives an addition to his strength and cunning.
Upon great solemnities the chiefs of every district bring one or more of these hu man sacrifices. It was supposed that not less than from twelve to fifteen would be offered at the inauguration of Otoo. The bodies, after the ceremony of the sacrifice, are removed to the moreas, and there interred.
When upbraided with this most horrible practice they never want an excuse. They allege that the victims were bad men, and men to whose crimes their lives were just forfeits. But in my opinion this is only one of those excuses which, on every occasion that requires an excuse, these people have ready made for the purpose.
Mr. Turnbull speaks with good sense of the small success which attended the very assiduous labours of the missionaries :
The Otaheitans consider the missionaries as very good men, and love and esteem them accordingly; but they do not comprehend, and therefore do not believe, the articles of their religion.
It is perhaps expecting too much of them in their present state, to expect any thing of Christian faith from a people so rude and barbarous. Perhaps the missionaries, according to a trite proverb, have begun at the wrong end, preaching the mysteries of their religion, before they have laid a foundation by instructing them in its simple elements. It is doubtless wrong to temporize or falsify, in any of the slightest of its points of faith, the religion of truth; but there is room, ample room, for the exercise of discretion, in adapting their lessons to the natural capacities of their pupils. It is not necessary to teach them all, in circumstances under which they cannot comprehend one half. The doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation are not for Otaheitan understandings.
He adds, "There are many mysteries in Christianity beneath which an Otaheitan understanding must sink confounded. It is not till the lapse of many years, that, in the true sense of the word at least, the Otaheitans can become Christians.-The first converts of the apostles were the citizens of the most learned and polite nations of the ancient world."
After a long stay, the unfortunate voyagers were conveyed to Port Jackson, New South Wales, by a British vessel which accidentally touched at Otaheite.
It is sometimes amusing to contemplate people when they first go from home. Three Otaheitan boys, eagerly desirous of seeing England, of which they had heard so much, had come off with the ship:
Upon touching at Norfolk island in our way to Port Jackson, these boys were very eager for permission to go on shore. They all entreated that they might be allowed to see the Englishmen's fenowa or land. This permission was granted to one of the most intelligent of them, in the expectation of deriving some amusement from his curious remarks. This expectation was not disappointed. Nothing, in fact, escaped his observation. The military guard being under arms at the time of his landing, he was transported with a kind of ecstacy of astonishment and admiration. Twice or thrice he exclaimed in his country language: Arahie my tye the tata poo pooey! Noble man, the man of the musket! He doubtless supposed from the appearance of the soldiers that they were superiour to the rest of mankind.
On making the land about Port Jackson, the Otaheitans were again in raptures, probably thinking this was England. But seeing the barrenness of the country as they entered the harbour, and the scragginess of the trees, their spirits evidently sunk. Here again they looked at the trees for food, and seeing none, exclaimed in their country language; Very bad land, very bad country!
On coming to an anchor in Sydney Cove, there was a coach and four horses standing almost opposite the ship. This astonished them beyond measure. Every one inquired of the other their opinion of this wonderful phenomenon. They concluded that it must be a travelling house; but they could find no names for the horses, having in their country no larger animals than hogs. Some of these indeed were uncommonly large. The Otaheitans therefore called them by the name of mighty hogs. A short time after this, the coach setting off at a good round trot, they exclaimed in ecstacy to each other, Oh! how they fly. It was impossible to recall their attention to any part of the ship's duty at this time. On the following morning, seeing the New South Wales corps under arms, they were in the most extravagant raptures