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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 14.
we had begun to deal in red feathers.  Their mirth was often extravagant and noisy; and sometimes their ideas were so original as to give great amusement.  We had a very weak scorbutic patient when we arrived at Otaheite; this man being somewhat recovered by means of fresh vegetable food, and animated by the example of the crew, wooed one of these girls; about dusk he led her to his birth, and lighted a candle.  She looked her lover in the face, and finding he had lost an eye, she took him by the hand, and conducted him upon deck again to a girl that was one-eyed likewise, giving him to understand, that that person was a fit partner for him, but that for her part she did not choose to put up with a blind lover.”—­G.F.
[5] When here before, Captain Cook could not obtain this very singular article; but, at this time, according to Mr G.F., not less than ten complete mourning-dresses were purchased by different persons, who brought them to England.  Captain Cook gave one to the British Museum, and Mr Forster another to the University of Oxford.  A sailor sold a third on his return home for twenty-five guineas, but to whom Mr G.F. does not mention.—­E.
[6] It is still more probable that both reasons concur.  The higher orders, besides, it is certain, were far enough from being disinclined to exhibit their ingenuity in pilfering.  We have seen instances of this sort before.  Mr G.F. relates one of some interest, as presented in the king’s own sister, a woman about twenty-seven years old, and who possessed great authority over her sex.  Her high rank did not elevate her above some very vulgar propensities, of which, covetousness, though abundantly conspicuous, was not the most considerable.  The only apology Mr G.F. makes for her, has little specific excellence to commend it.  “In a country,” says he, “where the impulses of nature are followed without restraint, it would be extraordinary if an exception should be made, and still more so, if it should be confined to those who are accustomed to have their will in most other respects.  The passions of mankind are similar every where; the same instincts are active in the slave and the prince; consequently the history of their effects must ever be the same in every country.”  It is both mortifying and consolatory to think, that the utmost height to which ambition may aspire, will not exempt one from the polluting agency of “mire and dirt.”  Death, we see, is not the only leveller in the world.—­E.

SECTION XIII.

Preparations to leave the Island.  Another Naval Review, and various other Incidents; with some Account of the Island, its Naval Force, and Number of Inhabitants.

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