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.
generous liquor, and joked with Towha upon its red colour, telling him it was blood.  The honest admiral having tasted our grog, which is a mixture of brandy and water, desired to taste of the brandy itself, which he called e vai no Bretannee, British water, and drank off a small glass full, without making a wry face.  Both he and his Otaheitean majesty were extremely cheerful and happy, and appeared to like our way of living, and our cookery of their own excellent provisions.”—­G.F.
[2] Of this day’s date we find an incident which very strikingly illustrates the consequences to the morals of the Otaheiteans, resulting from their acquaintance with strangers.  “That our red feathers had infused a general and irresistible longing into the minds of all the people, will appear from the following circumstance.  I have observed, in the former part of this narrative, that the women of the families of chiefs never admitted the visits of Europeans; and also that whatever liberties some unmarried girls might with impunity allow themselves, the married state had always been held sacred and unspotted at Otaheite.  But such was the force of the temptation, that a chief actually offered his wife to Captain Cook, and the lady, by her husband’s order, attempted to captivate him, by an artful display of her charms, seemingly in such a careless manner, as many a woman would be at a loss to imitate.  I was sorry, for the sake of human nature, that this proposal came from a man, whose general character was in other respects very fair.  It was Potatow who could descend to such meanness, from the high spirit of grandeur which he had formerly shewn.  We expressed great indignation at his conduct, and rebuked him for his frailty.”—­G.F.
From this specimen of frailty, may be readily inferred the dissoluteness of those females, who had neither rank nor marriage to render chastity a virtue.  But, alas! one need not visit the South Seas, to become acquainted with the possible extent of human infirmity.  A cynic might, without such travel, be tempted to parody the words of Sir Robert Walpole, and say, that every woman had her price.  The proposition is a harsh one, and the more so as obviously irrefutable.  It does, however, read this most important lesson, that there is much greater safety in avoiding temptation, than in trusting to any power of resistance.  They, it is to be feared, who are least sensible of this truth, and who feel most indignant at its being stated, stand most in need of its salutary influence.—­E.
[3] Forster the father met with a serious accident during this excursion.  In descending from the hills, rendered exceedingly slippery from the recent rains, he had the misfortune to fall, which both bruised his leg in a very severe manner, and also occasioned a rupture.—­E.
[4] “The number of common women on board our ships considerably increased, since
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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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