A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 822 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14.

Before we got to an anchor, our decks were crowded with the natives; many of whom I knew, and almost all of them knew me.  A great crowd were gotten together upon the shore; amongst whom was Otoo their king.  I was just going to pay him a visit, when I was told he was mataow’d, and gone to Oparree.  I could not conceive the reason of his going off in a fright, as every one seemed pleased to see me.  A chief, whose name was Maritata, was at this time on board, and advised me to put off my visit till the next morning, when he would accompany me; which I accordingly did.

After having given directions to pitch tents for the reception of the sick, coopers, sail-makers, and the guard, I set out on the 26th for Oparree; accompanied by Captain Furneaux, Mr Forster, and others, Maritata and his wife.  As soon as we landed, we were conducted to Otoo, whom we found seated on the ground, under the shade of a tree, with an immense crowd around him.  After the first compliments were over, I presented him with such articles as I guessed were most valuable in his eyes; well knowing that it was my interest to gain the friendship of this man.  I also made presents to several of his attendants; and, in return, they offered me cloth, which I refused to accept; telling them that what I had given was for tiyo (friendship).  The king enquired for Tupia, and all the gentlemen that were with me in my former voyage, by name; although I do not remember that he was personally acquainted with any of us.  He promised that I should have some hogs the next day; but I had much ado to obtain a promise from him to visit me on board.  He said he was, mataou no to poupoue, that is, afraid of the guns.  Indeed all his actions shewed him to be a timorous prince.  He was about thirty years of age, six feet high, and a fine, personable, well-made man as one can see.  All his subjects appeared uncovered before him, his father not excepted.  What is meant by uncovering, is the making bare the head and shoulders, or wearing no sort of clothing above the breast.

When I returned from Oparree, I found the tents, and the astronomer’s observatories, set up on the same spot where we observed the transit of Venus in 1769.  In the afternoon, I had the sick landed; twenty from the Adventure, all ill of the scurvy; and one from the Resolution.  I also landed some marines for a guard, and left the command to Lieutenant Edgecumbe of the marines.

On the 27th, early in the morning, Otoo, attended by a numerous train, paid me a visit.  He first sent into the ship a large quantity of cloth, fruits, a hog, and two large fish; and, after some persuasion, came aboard himself, with his sister, a younger brother, and several more of his attendants.  To all of them I made presents; and, after breakfast, took the king, his sister, and as many more as I had room for, into my boat, and carried them home to Oparree.  I had no sooner landed than I was met by a venerable

Project Gutenberg
A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook