Art. XXIII.—Captain Dumont D'Urville's Visit to Tologa Bay in 1827.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, 18th November, 1908.]
In the Transactions for 1907 appeared an account of Captain D'Urville's visit to Tasman's Bay, ending up with the passage of the “Astrolabe” through the French Pass, on the 28th January, 1827. We will now follow the corvette on her passage through Cook Strait and up the east coast of the North Island, New Zealand, to Tologa Bay.
A few notes have been added in brackets  where necessary to identify places, names, &c. The voyage up the coast offers nothing remarkable, and therefore will be summarised in a few sentences.
After safely traversing the French Pass on the 28th January, D'Urville quickly passed through the narrow part of the Strait, with the intention of anchoring in Cloudy Bay, in order to decide whether a suspected passage did or did not exist between Cloudy Bay and Queen Charlotte Sound. But, the wind failing, the ship was brought up off Tory Channel, of which D'Urville says, “At its base [of a hill he describes] a little bay seemed to communicate by a narrow channel, obstructed by rocks, with the Bay of Queen Charlotte, of which the calm waters were perfectly distinguishable from the masthead. Some great fires were also seen on the left-hand point of the opening. Anxious to see us, it is probable the savages employed that means to attract our attention.” [These Natives were probably some of the original Rangitane Tribe, of those parts, for the occupation by Ngati-Toa and Te Ati-Awa Tribes had not as yet eventuated.]
From there D'Urville attempted in vain the following day to enter Cloudy Bay, but was driven by a strong wind on the 29th down to Cape Campbell, from whence he steered for the North Island, intending to explore the coast west of Cape Palliser. “To my great regret the wind did not permit us to gain a deep bay between Cape Poli-wero [the native name as given to D'Urville, but now called Sinclair Head, and situated a few miles west of the entrance to Port Nicholson] and Cape Toura-kira [Turaki-rae, six miles S.E. of Port Nicholson], where are found some isles near the shore, which should offer excellent anchorages.” [These isles are Barrett's Reef, at the entrance of Port Nicholson—Maori name, Te Ure-a-Kupe.] Had his efforts not been thus frustrated D'Urville would doubtless have been the first to discover and describe the harbour of the capital of New Zealand. The corvette continued her course, and entered and anchored on the west side of Palliser Bay, where some canoes came off to her, and two Maoris—one named Tehi-Noui [? Te Hi-nui], a chief, and his companion, Koki-Hore [? Kiore]—insisted on remaining on board, being eventually carried on to Tologa Bay. D'Urville saw Lake Wai-rarapa, which he conjectured to be an arm of the sea. The name (as he gives it, Wai - Te rapa) he applied to the range to the west—i.e., Tararua.
[Footnote] * Voyage de la corvette L'Astrolabe, exécuté par oidie du Roi, pendant les années 1826, 1827, 1828, 1829, sous le commandement de M. J. Dumont D'Urville (Paris, 1833). vol. ii, p. 68 et seq.
After attempting to land, but prevented by the surf, the corvette proceeded along the east coast past Cape Palliser, the name of which (Kawakawa) is correctly given as furnished by the two Maoris, and on the 1st February they were off Cape Topolopolo [Te Poroporo], the Cape Turnagain of Cook. “At 10h. 10m. on the 3rd February we rapidly passed at half a league's distance L'île Stérile of Cook [Bare Island], of which the true name is Motou-Okoura [Motu-o-Kura]. It is an escarped rock, naked, and a mile or more from the land. A pa (or fortress) of some size occupies the summit, and ought to be an impregnable-position. There were also to be seen several houses on the slopes of the isle, and by aid of the glass we easily distinguished the inhabitants moving about their fortress and occupied in regarding attentively our passing. As at other points of the coast, they had made some great fires to call our attention. A canoe, well armed, came from Motou-Okoura to meet us. It was reported to me that our two Natives had uttered cries of joy on seeing it, and, charmed to be able to offer them the means of escaping from their captivity, I laid to. Already the canoe was but a cable-length from the side, when I announced to them that they were at liberty to seize the occasion to go ashore. What was my surprise to see both, at that proposition, become desolate, cover their faces, and roll on the deck, with all the signs of despair, declaring with energy that they desired positively to remain on board. They then informed me that the people of Motou-Okoura were their enemies, and that if they fell into their power they would be put to death and devoured. They invited us in the most unequivocal manner to fire on and kill them. The late transports of joy of our guests were only proofs, as I soon learnt, of their persuasion that we should exterminate the new-comers, and of their hope of a repast, which, according to their ideas, would become the prize of victory.”
After passing Cape Mata-mawi [Matau-a-Maui—Cape Kidnappers of Cook] the corvette sailed some six or seven miles into Hawkes Bay. Referring to Scinde Island, on which is now built part of the town of Napier, and the adjacent country, D'Urville says, “We believed we saw an island of some extent situated close to the coast, which escaped the researches of Cook, but which may well be only a peninsula. There is reason to presume that between it and the mainland there may be good anchorages. In the south-west of Hawkes Bay we were able to see a pleasant landscape, dotted with clumps of trees, and on the edges some large basins of calm water, but which probably do not offer sufficient depth of water for anchorages. [These no doubt were parts of Te Whanga-nui-a-Rotu (Napier Harbour) and the lagoons near Clive.] From three or four plains disposed in amphitheatres the ground gradually rises up to the high mountains of the interior; and in all New Zealand that part is without doubt the richest and most attractive that has been offered to my gaze. This country seems well peopled, as denoted by the numerous columns of smoke arising from many points.” [This is the country about Hastings, Clive, Havelock, &c., one of the finest in the Dominion, then mhabited by the powerful Ngati-Kahu-ngungu Tribe.]
After passing Portland Island, off the Mahia Peninsula (which D'Urville calls Tera-Kako, after Cook, but the origin of which is not known), on the 4th February the corvette was off Poverty Bay. Here we shall follow the narrative of the voyage lit rally:—
[On the 4th February, 1827] we doubled at 2 p.m. the Cape Young Nicks, memorable for having been the first point of New Zealand seen by the
illustrious Cook; we passed quickly the opening of the Bay Taone-Roa [? Te One-roa—Poverty Bay], the lands at the bottom of which we could only distinguish indistinctly. At 4 p.m., in 35 fathoms, we made a stoppage at about 4 leagues from Cape Gable [Gable-end Foreland—Pari-nui-te-ra].
We know that this name was given by Cook because of its resemblance to the wall of a house comprised between the two roofs…. The coast, which had retained a wild aspect from the Isle Tea-Houra [Portland Island] up to the S.W. point of Taone-Roa [Poverty Bay], beyond that assumed a less severe appearance. The surroundings of Cape Gable are particularly agreeable, and there are sites where culture would make fertile fields. There the columns of smoke again showed in greater number than elsewhere, proof infallible of a more numerous population.
Towards 6 p.m. we approached the Tologa Bay. of Cook, and I counted on doubling it before night, when the breeze, which had already decreased, fell entirely, and the corvette remained immovable at three or four miles from the coast. At 7 p.m. we thought we saw a small schooner, which at first ran along the coast, and then all of a sudden put out to sea and disappeared—a manœuvre which I could only account for by supposing that the craft viewed our visit as not quite an agreeable one.
At 8 p.m. two canoes, which we had observed for some time paddling towards us, came alongside without any fear, and as though accustomed to see Europeans. They sold us some pigs, potatoes, and other objects of curiosity in exchange for hatchets, knives, and other trifles. Forty-five days had passed since our departure from New Holland, and all our fresh provisions had been exhausted long since. It may therefore be judged with what pleasure these articles were received, above all when they told us that pigs were plentiful at Tologa, and that they would sell them at the lowest price. Te Rangui-Wai-Hetouma, chief of the New-Zealanders who came to visit us, announced himself as one of the principal rangatiras of the district, and wished to send his canoes ashore to procure pigs and potatoes, and to pass the night with us. I was well satisfied with this proof of confidence in us, but, fearing for him the same troubles (sea-sickness) as those of Tera-Witi, I refused, and obliged him, much to his regret, to re-embark in his canoe. I promised, however, that he would find us in the same place in the morning.
Tehi-Noui and Koki-Hore appeared now to have regained their spirits, for a copious feed of dolphin-flesh, and the prospect of another next morning, had quite enchanted them, and in the evening a shark that had been caught completed their delight. Overcome by this abundance, they seemed little disposed to acquiesce in the desire I expressed to leave them here. Koki-Hore particularly did not relish that proposition.
All night there was only a feeble breeze from the west, with superb weather. At 10 p.m. we laid to in 53 fathoms, muddy sand.
5th February.—In the morning, the breeze having changed to the N.N.W., which did not permit us to continue along the coast, I decided to profit by it to make a stoppage at Tologa. At 7.30 a.m. we steered for the bay, and at 11 a.m. the “Astrolabe” dropped her anchor precisely on the same spot where the “Endeavour” had anchored fifty-five years before.
The Natives came out to us at an early hour, but I did not permit many on board. Arrived at the anchorage, we were soon surrounded by canoes full of islanders, who came to traffic with the crew. However turbulent and noisy in their bargaining, they showed much good faith, and we could only felicitate ourselves on the nature of our exchanges. The usual price for a fat pig was a large hatchet; a small one would purchase a young pig.
For indifferent knives, fish-hooks, or other trifles we obtained potatoes in profusion. It may be judged what an ample supply of fresh provisions we obtained for the crew and our tables.
I at once sent MM. Jacquinot and Lottin to the watering-place of Cook to observe the latitude and longitude. At 1 p.m. M. Paris departed to sound the channel. The naturalists and the artist also went ashore to follow their avocations. I remained on board with the other officers to watch the movements of the Natives—a precaution which I judged more necessary here than elsewhere, as much on account of their numbers as their physical force and turbulent disposition.
Already I had nearly drawn upon myself the animosity of one of these redoubtable savages—a thing I was anxious to avoid at any price, above all on account of those persons the nature of whose work obliged them to go ashore. Thus, as I have already said, whilst we were under sail I had kept off all the canoes which approached the ship, and only allowed Wai-Hetouma, who said he was chief rangatira of the place, to come on board with another Native whom he had represented as one of his near relatives. It is well to remark that this chief, who appeared to have received all his insignia, to judge by the complete tattooing of his face, was a peaceable man, easy and honest, and that he had applauded my resolution not to let any one on board beyond himself and companion. Most of those who presented themselves obeyed the prohibition against them, although with visible repugnance; but one amongst them would not obey the sentinel, and only left when trembling with rage at the peremptory order I gave him myself. It was plain to see that from his canoe he menaced me. By his stature and haughty mien, and the air of submission of those who surrounded him, it was obvious he was a chief. Moreover, a young woman in his canoe who spoke a mixture of English corrupted and New Zealand did not cease to repeat to me, with an extraordinary volubility, that Shaki,* her master, was a great chief and friend of the English, and that it was very bad of me not to receive him. Of course, I could afford to mock at these menaces against myself; but I have explained the motives which guided me in dealing with these savages, especially the chiefs. Therefore I called Wai-Hetouma, and asked him who was this new-comer, so urgent. He allowed that Shaki was a great chief, and soon I had reason to believe he was superior to Wai-Hetouma in rank, or at least in influence. I then made a sign to Shaki to come on board, and explained amicably to him that I was unaware he was a distinguished rangatira, and gave him a few presents, which soon effected a change in his demeanour. From that moment we became the best friends in the world, and he was one of the last to quit the corvette, from which he never budged an instant whilst we were there. This Native, who seemed hardly thirty years of age, was at least 5 ft. 9 in. high; his form was athletic, with a martial air. He told me he had seen many English, and had been the companion-in-arms of Pomare, of Mata-ouwi [Matauri—Bay of Islands], that celebrated conqueror of New Zealand. The name of Shongui-Ika [Hongi-hika] was also known to him, but he said he had never seen him. [Pomare, here referred to, was the celebrated Nga-Puhi chief of that name, who made several warlike expeditions down the East Coast, the principal one in 1823, when possibly Shaki joined him. Pomare was killed on the Waipa River in 1826.]
[Footnote] * We borrow from the English the form sh to represent here and in the course of this work a sound intermediate in some sort between that of j and ch in French.
In spite of my precautions, it was plain how very nearly I had made an implacable enemy of Shaki. On returning ashore he might perhaps have avenged on the officers or the naturalists of the “Astrolabe” what he considered an affront offered to his dignity. This is what often occurs to Europeans, especially among a people so irritable, so vindictive, as those of New Zealand, where the chiefs are all independent, and very jealous of one another. This latter sentiment, which renders the position of Europeans so very uncertain, is carried beyond bounds among the Natives; they all want to profit exclusively in the advantages due to the visits of strangers, and are jealous at seeing their neighbours participate in them. We had a very extraordinary proof during our stay at Houa-Houa [this is the nearest D'Urville gets to Uawa, the proper name of Tologa Bay].
Whenever fresh canoes arrived, the first-comers harassed me with requests to fire on them, and kill those on board; nevertheless, so soon as the latter came alongside, the first-comers immediately entered into conversation with them, and received them as persons well known to them.
…. could not refrain from laughing at this singular behaviour, when all of a sudden a general movement, a sort of confused murmur, arose amongst the Natives; they cast unquiet glances overboard, and soon I saw the trouble was occasioned by the arrival of a canoe manned by seven or eight men only, among whom two seemed of superior rank. This time our guests prayed and supplicated me earnestly to shoot the new-comers; they went so far as to demand muskets to shoot them themselves—in a word, they employed all possible means to excite my anger against these strangers. Far from acceding to these sanguinary wishes, I felt more inclined to receive amicably those who were in such repute, and to assure them that they would be well received. They appeared to hesitate for some time, and, together with the evident desire to come on board, a shade of inquietude and suspicion was apparent. In the meantime the conduct of the other islanders towards them totally changed. Convinced that I would not concede to their prayers, they assumed a very respectful manner towards the new-comers. Shaki himself, until now so bold and most urgent that I should fire on them, changed his tone suddenly; he became modest and silent, and so respectful to the two strangers that he offered them some large hatchets which he had only acquired with much trouble, and to which he seemed to attach as much value as to his life. This procedure was followed by all those who had not had time to hide what they had received from us.
The two chiefs finally decided to come on board. I examined attentively their completely tattooed faces and their warlike and fierce attitude. I have never observed these double qualities so pronounced in any New-Zealander before, not even in the terrible Hihi, of Waimate. [Hihi was a well-known Nga-Puhi warrior and a very fleet runner. Much is to be found about him in “Wars of the Northern against the Southern Tribes in the Nineteenth Century.”] I commenced to interrogate them, after having made friends with them by means of some presents, when all of a sudden they quitted me abruptly, entered their canoe, and pushed off. Having inquired the reason of this precipitate retreat, I found that the Natives already on board, Shaki at their head, had insinuated to the companions of these two chiefs that my intention was to kill them, and that their lives were not safe on board the ship, wishing at all costs to drive them away. These cunning savages could not imagine a better means than this fiction,
and it succeeded. Despite this treachery, and anxious as to the consequences it might have, I rebuked those who had invented the story, and hastened to disabuse the strangers, and asked them to come aboard again. They appeared to place faith in my protestations; but, seeing that they had been deceived, they were exceedingly furious with the Natives on board, and although the latter were three or four times as numerous they defied them by words and the most outrageous gestures, and I saw that they challenged them to go ashore and render account for this insult. Those on board, gloomy and confused, hardly offered any words in reply.
The strangers would not return on board, but demanded some hatchets of me in a tone of authority. I replied calmly that if they would bring some hogs on board they should not want what they desired. On that they moved off without further communication with us. I felt a sincere regret, for it would have been easy to have questioned them and learnt the reason of their superiority over our first guests.
My first thought was that they belonged to a tribe at enmity; but they had presented themselves in too few a number to have dared to defy the others on board as they had done. Beyond that, the latter constantly denied that the former were their enemies; they ended, indeed, by saying, on the contrary, that they were friends and relatives. I observed that my questions in regard to this matter did not please them—generally they eluded them—above all, Shaki, who did all he could to turn the conversation to another subject.
In consequence of what I then learned of the manners and political constitution of these people, the following appears to me the most probable theory: As in all other parts of New Zealand, the Natives of Houa-Houa [Uawa] live in small independent groups, under the direction—or, rather, under the protection—of their own particular chiefs. Without doubt those who first arrived belonged to some feeble tribe, whilst those of the later canoe belonged to one more powerful, commanded perhaps by some redoubtable ariki like Shougui [Hongi] at the Bay of Islands, and Poro on the north part of the Ika-na-Mawi [Te Ika-a-Maui]. The first-comers, fearing to see their neighbours take from them, in consequence of their credit and opulence, the treasures of Europe, and wishing to obviate loss, tried to avoid this by at first engaging us to fire on them, and afterwards by persuading them that my intention was to destroy them. Thus may be explained the arrogance of the strangers, as well as the surprising patience with which the others listened to their reproaches and provocations. Among this people, as everywhere, a too-powerful ally is often more feared than an enemy that one might oppose with equal arms.
The only prepared head (moko mokai) which we saw here was brought in that canoe, and purchased for a little silver, valued at about the price of a few beads of coloured glass. It had been well prepared and conserved, and had belonged to some distinguished person. It is a pity that it has not been taken to France, for it very well illustrated the fine type of the people, and the design of a complete tattoo.
Here we mad the acquaintance of the Pihe [D'Urville had learnt this well-known funeral dirge on his previous visit to the Bay—it is printed in Kendall's “Grammar”], though Shaki could only recite some portions, which he repeated uniformly, and often twenty or thirty times following. But Rau-Tangui [Rau-tangi], a very sprightly young woman of twelve or thirteen years, and who was singularly attached to me, recited it almost completely, as it is found in the grammar of the missionaries. Both
were agreed in confirming the fact that it is the prayer addressed to the grand atua of heaven when the sacred food is offered on the field of battle. [Rather is it a dirge sung over the great dead.]
Young Rau-Tangui appeared to be intimately connected with Shaki, but it was impossible for me to learn whether she was his slave or his sister. Their responses to my questions varied at each instant and left me in incertitude. With the system of adoption prevailing amongst them, it seems possible that both were correct, and that in fact the father of Shaki had espoused one of his prisoners, mother of Rau-Tangui. That little girl was extraordinarily lively; her body was in constant movement, and her imagination was equally active, for we saw her laugh, then cry, and often do both almost at the same moment. Many of her companions offered their favours indiscriminately to the officers and sailors for any kind of trifle; but it is well to be on one's guard, for these ladies, following their constant practice, not content with voluntary tributes given to them, added all they could steal. Thus one of our gallant chevaliers saw his watch disappear all at once, to his great consternation, and subsequently found it in the hands of the honest Shaki, for it is ordinarily to the supreme chief all these objects accrue.
Our two passengers from Tera-Witi [Palliser Bay] had made acquaintance with the inhabitants of Houa-Houa [Uawa], and Tehi-Noui had decided to remain with them. I confirmed him in that resolution, and gave him, at his request, a cartridge of powder, in order to satisfy the rangatira under whose protection he pretended to be, and who was to furnish him with a canoe to enable him to return home. As a fact, after muskets (pou) [pu], more precious than gold or diamonds amongst us, powder is the object most essential in their eyes.
Koki-Hore appeared little satisfied with this determination, preferring to remain on board, but honour prescribed that he should follow his chief.
All the morning it had been nearly calm, and I hoped to pass the night tranquilly at anchor, when at 6 p.m., with a light breeze from the W.N.W., we found that our anchor was dragging. Twenty fathoms of chain that were paid out instantly did not stop us. I concluded that our anchor was foul. We were rapidly approaching the breakers of Moui-Tera (Sporing Isle of Cook), and I could not hope to let go a second anchor, for fear of exposing our cable to become fouled with the chain at the turn of tide. I decided, therefore, to get under sail and out of the bay. At the same moment our two boats came off, and my decision was without doubt the safest.
There remained on board fifteen Natives, of whom five or six were females, who had allowed their canoe to depart, with the intention of passing the night with us. They were at first very much alarmed, and thought we were going to carry them off. I endeavoured to reassure them by explaining the reasons that forced me to quit the anchorage so hastily; then they resumed their confidence and gave us a representation of one of their dances and passed the night in gaiety.
Shaki, Rau-Tangui, and two other rangatiras gave me very minutely the names of the different parts of the coast from Cape Gable (Pa-noui-Tera) [Pari-nui-te-ra] up to the East Cape (Wai-Apou). [Wai-apu River is about eight miles south of the cape in reality.] Sporing Island is Moui-Tera, and White Island, on the right of the bay in entering, is Motou-Heka. It is worthy of remark that the names of Tologa and Tegadou are quite unknown to the Natives; but it has long since been averred that Cook, so full of sagacity otherwise, had little aptitude in acquiring the names of
the peoples he visited, and, above all, in representing them in writing.* The true name of the bay, Tologa, or, at least, of the district which surrounds it, is Houa-Houa [Uawa], and it is that which we have adopted. On the Isle Moui-Tera we were able to view at our ease those singular arches, formed by nature or the effect of the waves, which had already attracted the attention of Cook and his companions.
I sincerely regretted being constrained to quit this place so promptly, for I had promised myself much pleasure in making some excursions. To judge by the account of Cook and his companion Banks [Sir Joseph Banks, F.R.S.], the surrounding country is very picturesque; and, beyond, that, the Natives of the district, still practising their original customs, and barely as yet influenced by their intercourse with Europeans, would have been for me a subject of interesting study and observation.
It was here that I obtained the first positive information on the subject of the kiwi, through a mat ornamented with plumes of that bird, and which is one of the first objects of luxury of the Natives. According to them, the kiwi is a bird of the size of a small dindon, but, like the ostrich and the cassowary, deprived of all means of flight. These birds are common in the neighbourhood of Mount Ikou-Rangui [Hiku-rangi]. It is by night, with torches and dogs, they are caught. It is probable that these birds belong to a genera closely allied to the cassowary, and I believe it has already received the name of Apteryx by some authors. M. Quoy brought me a leaf of a species of palm which I had already observed in Tasman's Bay. Unluckily, it had neither fruit nor flowers, so I have not been able to recognise to what genus it belongs; all I can say is that I am inclined to believe it is allied to the Zamia or Seaforthia of Australia. It is the same vegetable without doubt that Cook designates “chou-palmiste” [? cabbage-palm], for there are no true “arequers” [? areca palms] in these parts.
The latitude which results from the observations of MM. Jacquinot and Lottin is found to be 33° 22′ 32″ S., which differs only 8″ from that found by Cook; and the longitude is 176° 5′ 35″ E. [east of Paris].
Although we did not remain long in this anchorage, I do not consider it other than as a good one, so long as there is no appearance of wind from the north to the east; only it is necessary to anchor at a cable's-length or two more to the west, towards the bottom of the bay. I was prevented from doing so by the double desire to make sail easily and to be nearer to succour our people at the observatory if that became necessary.†
6th February, 1827.—A light breeze from the N.W. prevailed all night, and we passed it peaceably, lying-to in 35 fathoms, sandy mud. At 4.5 a.m. I sent the two smaller boats, under the-orders of MM. Lottin and Dudemaine,‡ to measure a base in Houa-Houa Bay, the only element still wanted
[Footnote] * This is perfectly true; it is rare that Cook ever comes near the proper Native names of places, either in New Zealand or other parts inhabited by the Polynesian race; whilst D'Urville is more often right than wrong.
[Footnote] † M. Quoy (the celebrated naturalist) says, in regard to Cook's Cove, Tologa, “That little bay is too open to be much peopled. We were surrounded by a considerable number of canoes, among which were some very fine ones, containing thirty paddlers. Their manner of paddling is to sit, and this gives to these vessels as much elegance as majesty: they have no outriggers, and their bottoms are made of a single tree-trunk.”
[Footnote] ‡ M. Lottin describes his visit ashore to measure a base, as follows: “The calm which prevailed permitted the two boats to advance rapidly towards the bay. Our passengers attentively studied with curiosity each article in the whaleboat, and explained to each other its use, and their reflections thereon. Our long oars at first attracted their attention, and they followed with the head their regular movements, uttering cries to excite the ardour of the sailors, and presently themselves giving a hand with noisy gaiety. They pulled so hard that, fearing to see the oars broken, I requested them to remain as spectators of the operations. One of them, with an expressive pantomme, undertook to demonstrate to us the superiority of their paddles over our oars; these last seemed to them of an inconvenient length, and required several men to move a boat, whilst a single paddle would make a canoe fly, by using the paddle on alternate sides. Another Native observed that each sailor turned his back to the direction in which he was going, which made them all laugh heartily. Their attention was also drawn to other objects. The rudder struck them particularly, and they gravely considered its utility, with frequent marks of approbation. The tiller was confided for a moment to one of them, and the promptitude with which it changed the direction of the boat in its rapid pace ravished them with admiration. I steered for the north point of the bay, a route which made us pass along the reefs that separate Motou-Heka [Motu-heka] and extend a mile and a quarter to the N.E. They form a line of rocks near which are to be found 7 to 11 fathoms of water; we passed within a few feet. These reefs are covered with several species of limpets, and I regretted not having time to land. Not having more than a few moments, to pass ashore, I took from its case Rochon's micrometer. The brilliant colour of the brass suddenly attracted the attention of the Natives. I placed before the eye-piece a coloured glass, and, holding it to the eye of my neighbour, I succeeded with some trouble in making him see the disc of the sun. He explained at once to his companions that he saw the sun coloured red-without being dazzled. I then replaced it with a green glass—another surprise. Lastly, I moved the crystal prism, and the disc appearing double excited a cry of astonishment. Each one desired to have the eye-piece in his hands, but we approached the land and their curiosity was thus not satisfied. I wished to debark our passengers before a little village. Twenty houses and nine canoes hauled up on the beach denoted a village of about one hundred persons. They came running down to receive us without arms Some rocks bordering the coast prevented our coming close. They offered to haul the boat on to the shore, which usage is probably considered an honour in this country, for our guests received the proposition with cries of joy. But I had no desire to abandon myself to the discretion of fifty strong and jolly fellows, who were already in the water up to their waists. Seeing that they insisted, I made use of a ruse to get rid of them: I traversed rapidly an inlet somewhat deep, landed the Natives, took the micrometric distances which I wanted, and was in the boat again, to the great disappointment of the crowd, which had been forced to run round the inlet, arriving just in time to see us depart. Some young men defied us by chanting their war-song; but we were by that time at ease, and there was not a single stone on the rocks, which the waves clear off each tide. I fired a shot to inform the second boat that our operations were complete, and it rejoined me on the way to the corvette. M. Dudemaine, who commanded it, had been troubled by the Natives; they, fully armed, surrounded the boat with their canoes, endeavouring to take anything which fell into their hands, and refusing obstinately to sell any of their arms; the muskets, above all, excited their cupidity. The distance from the corvette rendered them daring, and no doubt if the boat had been alone they would have proceeded to some violence.”
by the first of those officers to complete his plan. At the same time I sent ashore twelve of the Natives with whom we were still charged. Amongst that number were Tehi-Noui and Koki-Hore, who here took leave of us, and to whom I gave a quantity of powder—double that which I had promised. In seeing them depart I had sincere wishes for their safe return. If they were destined to reach their own country, I felt sure they would soon forget their ennui on board, and that they would recall with pleasure the friendship and good treatment they had received.
There remained on board only Shaki, Rau-Tangui, and two other chiefs, whom I was glad to retain in my power until the return of the two boats. At this time there arrived alongside a great number of canoes laden with provisions, which the Natives disposed of peaceably and with great good faith. They had many pigs, potatoes, and much Phormum fibre, all of which we bought at reasonable prices. Towards 11 a.m. the boats returned on board, and I hastened to put to sea to get rid of the Natives, whose cries and babbling with the crew commenced to be excessive. We parted very
good friends, though they were much concerned to see that I would not return to Houa-Houa.
I observed that the term “New-Zealander” is already employed in this district; only, in lieu of “Noui-Tireni,” as the Natives of the Bay of Islands pronounce it, they say “Noui-Tirangui” [Nui Tirangi], which gives the word more of an indigenous sound. The word pakeha serves them to signify all whites, whom they also call “Iouropi” (European)., I did not observe that they had any special name for the English. They use ariki for a principal chief, and tohunga (prophet [sic]) appears unknown to them.
We had nothing but feeble breezes from the north to north-east, with calms, which did not allow us to make much way. At about 3 p.m. a large canoe, which had for a long time been approaching us, came alongside. The principal person came on board, and accosted me with an ease and grace which proved that he was accustomed to deal with Europeans. He told me his name was Oroua [Te Rere-horua, in reality], and that he was the principal chief of the pa at Toko-Malou [Toko-maru], probably the Tegadou of Cook. This chief conserved the knowledge by tradition of the visit of that navigator to Houa-Houa and Taone-Roa [Te One-roa—Poverty Bay].
I had Oroua to dinner with me, who appeared much flattered with that favour, and comported himself with perfect propriety. At my demand he recited very correctly the last part of the Pihe; we spoke much of the different chiefs of the Bay of Islands, and he appeared well acquainted with the wars that divided the northern people. After the repast he conjured me to anchor for at least twenty-four hours near his home. To induce me to do so he offered me gratuitously two fine pigs. I thanked him politely, and bought them for the ship. His canoe contained more than twenty of these ammals, but as we had bought at Houa-Houa all that we could accommodate no one wanted to buy there. Notwithstanding, the companions of Oroua were very desirous of selling, so as not to have to take them back, and therefore parted with them in exchange for knives….
[From Toko-maru the “Astrolabe” continued her voyage round the East Cape and to Whangarei without communicating with the shore. At the latter place we propose to take up D'Urville's narrative, and allow him to describe his visit to Wai-te-mata, the present site of Auckland. With regard to the two Natives, Te Hi-nui and Kiore, whom D'Urville landed at Tologa Bay, inquiries instituted in 1896 show that they finally made their way overland to their homes; but they must have run great risk, for at that time the devastating incursions of Waikato, Taupo, and Ngati-Rau-kawa had commenced and the Hawke's Bay country was not a safe one for strangers to travel in.]
Explanation of Plates XIII and XIV.
Fig. 1. Village in Astrolabe Bay, Tasman Bay.
Fig. 2. “L'Astrolabe” in the French Pass, 1827.
Fig. 3. Te Hinui (on the left), Kiore (on the right).