The reader will be abundantly
supplied with information respecting
the fact of human sacrifices being used at this island, when he comes
to the account of the third voyage performed by Cook.—E.
FROM OUR DEPARTURE FROM THE SOCIETY ISLES, TO OUR RETURN TO AND LEAVING THEM THE SECOND TIME.
Passage from Ulietea to the Friendly Islands, with an Account of the Discovery of Hervey’s Island, and the Incidents that happened at Middleburg.
After leaving Ulietea, as before mentioned, I steered to the west, inclining to the south, to get clear of the tracts of former navigators, and to get into the latitude of the islands of Middleburgh and Amsterdam; for I intended to run as far west as these islands, and to touch there if I found it convenient, before I hauled up for New Zealand. I generally lay-to every night, lest we might pass any land in the dark. Part of the 21st and 22d the wind blew from N.W., attended with thunder, lightning, and rain, having a large swell from S.S.E. and S., which kept up for several days,— an indication that no land was near us in that direction.
On the 23d, at ten o’clock in the morning, land was seen from the top-mast head, and at noon from the deck, extending from S. by W. to S.W. by S. We hauled up for it with the wind at S.E., and found it to consist of two or three small islets, connected together by breakers like most of the low isles in the sea, lying in a triangular form, and about six leagues in circuit. They were clothed with wood,