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.
from the esteem and society of the community in general.  On the whole, a stranger who visits England might, with equal justice, draw the characters of the women there, from those which he might meet with on board the ships in one of the naval ports, or in the purlieus of Covent-Garden and Drury-Lane.  I must however allow, that they are all completely versed in the art of coquetry, and that very few of them fix any bounds to their conversation.  It is therefore no wonder that they have obtained the character of libertines.

To what hath been said of the geography of these isles, in the narrative of my former voyage, I shall now only add, that we found the latitude of Oaiti-piha Bay, in Otaheite, to be 17 deg. 43’ 26” south, and the longitude 0 deg. 21’ 25” 1/2 east from Point Venus; or 149 deg. 13’ 24” west from Greenwich.  The difference both of latitude and longitude, between Point Venus and Oaiti-piha, is greater than I supposed it to be, when I made the circuit of the island in 1769, by two miles, and 4-3/4 miles respectively.  It is therefore highly probable, that the whole island is of a greater extent than I, at that time, estimated it to be.  The astronomers set up their observatory, and made their observations on Point Venus, the latitude of which they found to be 17 deg. 29’ 13” south.  This differs but two seconds from that which Mr Green and I found; and its longitude, viz. 149 deg. 34’ 49” 1/2 west, for any thing that is yet known to the contrary, is as exact.

Mr Kendal’s watch was found to be gaining on mean time 8” 863 per day, which is only 0” 142 less than at Queen Charlotte’s Sound, consequently its error in longitude was trifling.

[1] “We heard that about the time mentioned by the natives, Don Juan de Langara y Huarte, sent out from the port of Callao in Peru, had visited Otaheite, but what the particulars of that voyage are, has never transpired.”—­G.F.
[2] We anticipated such an opinion in a former volume, and cannot refrain quoting the following observations in support of it.—­“The question, which has been agitated between the French and English navigators, concerning the first introduction of this evil to Otaheite, might be decided very favourably for them both, by supposing the disease to have existed there previous to their arrival.  The argument, that some of Captain Wallis’s people received the infection, does not seem to controvert this supposition, but only proves, that the women, who prostrated themselves to his men, were free from it; which was, perhaps, owing to a precaution of the natives, who might be apprehensive of exposing themselves to the anger of the strangers, by conferring such a desperate gift upon them.  M. de Bougainville, with the politeness of a well-bred man, doubts whether the disease existed at Otaheite previous to his arrival or not; the English seaman asserts his opinion as facts in positive terms.  We heard, however, of another disease of a different
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