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BELIEF in the existence of a southern continent ("hemisphere," Cook calls it), which formed the subject of so much dispute, and which Cook on his first voyage hoped to determine, was so persistently discussed during his absence that the return of the great navigator served only to intensify public interest. Trade with the New World had proved immensely profitable, and the spirit of discovery possessed nearly every one who had been to sea, as well as greedy sovereigns anxious to increase their possessions. Learned men and maritime powers united their influences to increase popular belief in the existence of a southern continent, possibly as rich as America, lying somewhere south of eighty degrees; and to determine the question his Majesty, George II., ordered the Admiralty to provide two of the best ships obtainable, and to have them fitted as quickly as possible for a long voyage in quest of the problematic continent. Under this order the Resolution, of four hundred and sixty-two tons, and the Adventure, of three hundred and thirty-six tons, were purchased, and after the most ample equipments, including four watches, the first ever used on a sea voyage, and sufficient provisions to last the crews two and a half years, were put into commission. Capt. James Cook was appointed to the command of the expedition and of the ship Resolution, and Tobias Furneaux was appointed captain of the Adventure. The crew of the former comprised a hundred and twelve men, and the latter eighty-one, all expert seamen, a great part of whom had been on earlier voyages in the South Sea. In addition to the crews, there were several scientists and specialists who accompanied the expedition by invitation, among these being William Rogers, a landscape painter and probably a sketch artist, John Reinhold Foster and his son, naturalists, William Baily and William Wales, astronomers, and a historiographer.


The most complete provisions having been made the expedition set sail from Deptford April 7th, 1772; but it was not until July 13th that the shores of England faded from the voyagers' view. On the 29th of October Cape of Good Hope was reached, where a stop was made until the 22d following, when anchors were weighed, and the voyage in quest of a new world was properly begun. Directly after leaving the Cape a dreadful storm broke over the vessel, which caused them to lie to for two days, during which time
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they suffered considerably, and after proceeding southward for a while they were suddenly overtaken by such severe cold that a greater part of the live-stock on board, consisting of hogs, sheep and geese, perished. The loss of their provisions of fresh meat was made good, however, by the capture of a large number of albatrosses that followed the ship. Indeed, angling for these great sea birds afforded such delightful sport that all miseries, present and prospective, were ignored; for it is reckoned more exciting than the capture of any fishes of the deep.


By the middle of December the expedition had reached 50 S. latitude and Capt. Cook beheld a vast body of ice which in places rose to mountain height, and led the officers of both vessels to believe that they saw the rugged shores of a new continent, but upon a closer approach the delusion was dispelled by a realization that instead of a shore of safety, they were sailing among icebergs which
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might embrace the ships to their destruction. By good fortune and a brisk wind, the two vessels made their escape and beat about in search of land, which was thought to be near, until February 9th, 1773, when a heavy gale came on, which resulted in a separation of the vessels. Cook being unable, after long effort, to obtain sight of his consort continued on westward, seeing many ice islands and various species of water birds, but discovering no land until March 25th, when the coast of New Zealand was sighted and he put into Dusky Bay. In this neighborhood Capt. Cook remained for a period of fourteen weeks, and until the Adventure hove in sight, just as he was preparing to take his departure for Van Dieman's land. A greater part of this interval had been spent by Capt. Furneaux in making an exploration of Van Dieman's land, for which he steered directly after the separation of the ships. His examination of that land led to the discovery that it was an island, instead of forming a part of Australia, as had been previously supposed. The inhabitants were found to be of the lowest kind, who appeared to live off of grassroots, fish and such small game as they were able to kill with their indifferent wooden weapons. The had no canoes, nor weapons more effective than spears, and their huts, which were never larger than would accommodate more than three or four persons, were flimsily constructed and scarcely more protective than those of the Fuegans.


While Cook was lying in Dusky Bay he utilized his time by making friends with the natives and killing ducks and geese, immense quantities of which swarmed in the inlets and coves thereabouts. The natives were friendly and he saw only one instance of cannibalism, or rather a sign that the New Zealanders had not fully abandoned that horrible practice. Among the many canoes that visited the ship, the crew of one had with them the head of a man who had been recently killed, which they carried in a bag and tried hard to keep concealed from view, knowing with what repugnance their white visitors regarded cannibalism. When Cook tried to secure the head the natives leaped back into their canoes and paddled with all possible speed for the shore, as if afraid he would punish them for their atrocious practices. It was here that Cook witnessed a grand spectacle, which he describes at great length and with much particularity. The sight was that of no less
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than six gigantic water-spouts, one of which was scarcely sixty yards from the ship. He says the sea showed no agitation except around about the waterspouts, which apparently rose up out of the ocean instead of being sucked up by a whirling, dipping cloud, as is usually the case. There was a dead calm too, and no unusual influences were observed to attend the phenomenon.


The Adventure and Resolution having re-united after a long separation, the event was happily celebrated, after which the two sailed for Queen Charlotte's Sound, New Zealand, where they both came to anchor and were visited by several canoes filled with natives. Among these visitors was an old chief, accompanied by his son, some fifteen years of age, who besought Capt.Cook to give the lad
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a white shirt. The request was complied with and for an hour or more the ships' crew was amused by the extraordinary pride and pompousness exhibited by the boy, who paraded the deck with an air of pomposity which Beau Brummel himself never exceeded. It unfortunately happened that while strutting up and down before his delighted audience, the boy came within reach of a large billy goat, which was tied on deck and which taking the strutting attitude of the black boy as a defiance, launched forward with irresistible impulse, catching the lad fairly on the soft pad about the hips, and landing him upon a large coil of rope amid thunderous applause of the startled spectators. This inglorious termination of the boy's ostentatious display might have been more conclusive had the goat been given freedom to repeat the attack, but the shirt was spoiled, and to assuage the young man's grief Cook kindly supplied him with another, whereupon the proud lad made a quick retreat to the shore.

Having given directions to Capt. Furneaux, of the Adventure, where to rendezvous, in case of another separation of the ships, Capt. Cook left New Zealand on the 7th of June and sailed south-westwardly, to renew his quest for a southern continent. After a month of fruitless search and attaining 70 deg. S. latitude, he turned northward and on August 15th arrived again at Otaheite.

Upon reaching the place where he had remained some months in 1869, Cook was joyously welcomed and a reception was tendered him by the King at which some dances were performed and what appeared to be a drama enacted for his amusement, in which a procession of feather-bedecked flute players took a prominent part. Several of the Otaheitans enquired about Tupia, but expressed little feeling when told he had died a natural death at Batavia. After a short stay at Otaheite Cook departed on a visit for other islands of the Society Group, taking with him a native named Poreo, who was eager to accompany him as an interpreter, and whose services were found to be most valuable. Capt. Furneaux also took with him a young native, named Omai, who remained with him until his return to England and was there given the opportunity to acquire the arts of civilization, but at the expiration of two years he was glad to return to Otalieite with Cook on his third voyage, as will be hereafter described.

On September 14th Cook and the other officers of both ships dined with the Chief, by whom they were feasted in the most agreeable manner. In the absence of tables the ground was thickly covered with green leaves, around which the diners assembled, and immediately after two steaming roast pigs were thrown into the centre of the party, all of whom being prepared with knives fell to without ceremony to cutting portions from the pigs, which were of about sixty pounds weight each. Besides this meat, the leaf-covered floor was garnished with hot bread-fruit and plantains, and the milk of cocoa-nuts provided a delicious drink. After dining heartily the ships' officers retired, whereupon a wild scramble was begun by the natives, who had been onlookers at the feast, for such bits as had fallen among the leaves. This fact led Capt. Cook to believe that though pigs were fairly plentiful on the island the common people were by no means accustomed to eating them. Indeed they gladly assisted in the butchering of pigs, and thought their labors well rewarded by a gift of the entrails.


Though Cook had, by his two visits and considerable stay among the Otaheitans, made himself acquainted with most of their customs, it was not until now that he obtained proof of his suspicions that, on certain occasions, human sacrifices were made a part of their religious ceremonies:

Proceeding to the island of Matavia, one of the group, in company with some of his crew, he came upon a morai, or cemetery, in which he observed a corpse lying upon a low scaffold with a quantity of provisions about the body. Drawing the natives into conversation, he inquired if they did not sacrifice hogs, dogs and fowls to their god, Eotua, to which he received an affirmative reply; and gaining their confidence by assuming an indifferent air, Cook asked if humans were not also occasionally sacrificed, to which a chief responded that it was true they made offerings of humans at the death of important personages, but that those who were thus sacrificed were invariably men who had been condemned for crime, and who were unable to redeem themselves. Such persons forfeited their lives and were killed and made offerings to the god Eotua, who is the Otaheitan's supreme being. Of this custom Cook quotes from Mr. Williams, in his "Missionary Visits in the South-Sea Islands," the following: "The system of human sacrifices did not prevail at the Navigator Islands, but at the Hervey Group, and still more at the Tahitian and Society Islands, where it was carried to an extent truly appalling. There was one ceremony called Rauma-tavehi-raa, 'the feast of restoration,' at which no
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less than seven human beings were always required. This ceremony was always celebrated after an invading army had driven the inhabitants to the mountains, and desecrated the morai by cutting down the branches of the sacred trees, and cooking their food with them, and the wooden altars and decorations of the sacred place. As soon as the retirement of the invaders allowed the refugees to leave their hiding place, the first object was to celebrate this 'feast of restoration,' which was supposed to restore the morai to its previous sanctity, and to reinstate the god in his former glory. A few years ago (Mr. Williams wrote in 1837), I sent to England a very sacred relic called maro-ura, or the red sash. This was a piece of net-work about seven inches wide and six feet long, upon which the feathers of the paroquet were neatly fastened. It was used at the inauguration of their greatest kings, just as the crown is with us; and the most honorable appellation which a chief could receive was Arii-maro-ura, King of the red sash. A new piece, about eighteen inches in length, was attached at the inauguration of every sovereign, to accomplish which several victims were required. The first was for the mau-raa-titi, or the stretching it upon pegs in order to attach it to the new piece. Another was necessary for the fatu-raa, or attaching the new portion, or a third for the piu-raa, or twitching the sacred relic off the pegs. This not only invested the sash itself with a solemn importance, but also rendered the chief who wore it most noble in public estimation. On the eve of war also, human victims were invariably required.

"When the priest declared a sacrifice necessary, messengers were dispatched by the King to the various chiefs to collect the requisite number of victims. These emissaries would inquire, on entering the house, if the chief had a broken calabash, or a rotten cocoa-nut at hand (terms very well understood), on which the devoted objects, often long before fixed upon, were pointed out, and instantly knocked down with a small round stone concealed in the hollow of the hand by the messengers, when others rushed in and crushed the skull to pieces by beating it in with stones, after which the body was carried to the morai. If the victim took refuge in a house, he was speared to death from the outside.

"As soon as one of the family had been selected all of the male members were looked upon as devoted to the same horrid purpose. It would avail them nothing if they removed to another island, for the reason of their removal would soon be known there, and whenever a sacrifice was required, it would be sought amongst them."

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