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.
of an interview between the inhabitants; neither could we obtain any intelligence from those of Easter Island upon the subject.  This being premised, it is extraordinary that they should have different kinds of offensive weapons, and especially such as resemble those of the New Zealanders; and we must add this circumstance to several others which are inexplicable to us.  Upon the whole, supposing Easter Island to have undergone a late misfortune from volcanic fires, its inhabitants are more to be pitied than any less civilized society, being acquainted with a number of conveniences, comforts, and luxuries of life, which they formerly possessed, and of which the remembrance must embitter the loss.”—­G.P.
Forster the father is decided in opinion, as to the revolution that has undoubtedly occurred in this island, being occasioned by a volcano and earthquake, and gives a very curious account of a notion prevalent amongst the Society Isles, and forming indeed part of their mythological creed, which, if to be credited, affords support to it.  The subject altogether is of a most interesting and important nature, but cannot possibly be investigated or even specified in an adequate manner in this place.  We hope to do it justice hereafter.—­E.


The Passage from Easter Island to the Marquesas Islands.  Transactions and Incidents which happened while the Ship lay in Madre de Dios, or Resolution Bay, in the Island of St Christina.

After leaving Easter Island, I steered N.W. by N. and N.N.W., with a fine easterly gale, intending to touch at the Marquesas, if I met with nothing before I got there.  We had not been long at sea, before the bilious disorder made another attack upon me, but not so violent as the former.  I believe this second visit was owing to exposing and fatiguing myself too much at Easter Island.

On the 22d, being in the latitude of 19 deg. 20’ S., longitude 114 deg. 49’ W., steered N.W.  Since leaving Easter Island, the variation had not been more than 3 deg. 4’, nor less than 2 deg. 32’ E.; but on the 26th, at six a.m., in latitude 15 deg. 7’ S., longitude 119 deg. 45’ W., it was no more than 1 deg. 1’ E.; after which it began to increase.

On the 29th, being in the latitude of 10 deg. 20’, longitude 123 deg. 58’ W., altered the course to W.N.W., and the next day to west, being then in latitude 9 deg. 24’, which I judged to be the parallel of Marquesas; where, as I have before observed, I intended to touch, in order to settle their situation, which I find different in different charts.  Having now a steady settled trade-wind, and pleasant weather, I ordered the forge to be set up, to repair and make various necessary articles in the iron way; and the caulkers had already been some time at work caulking the decks, weather-works, &c.

As we advanced to the west, we found the variation to increase but slowly; for, on the 3d of April, it was only 4 deg. 40’ E., being then in the latitude of 9 deg. 32’, longitude 132 deg. 45’, by observation made at the same time.

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