A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 760 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12.
not proving effectual, but rather, indeed, as might have been expected, doing mischief, the juggler disappeared for a little, in order, as should seem, to procure a peculiar dress, in which he might practise his exorcism with greater confidence of success, and to bring a brother in the trade, similarly apparelled, to aid him in his labours.  But so much the worse for the wretched patient, who was now pummelled and squeezed all over, till his body was completely bruised.  Such treatment, it is almost unnecessary to say, aggravated his sufferings, but accomplished no cure.  The jugglers at last consented to allow the interference of the French surgeon, but appeared to be very jealous of his skill.  The child became somewhat easier towards night; however, from his continual sickness, there was much room to apprehend that be had swallowed some of the glass, and died in consequence; for “about two o’clock in the morning,” says Bougainville, “we on board heard repeated howls, and at break of day, though the weather was very dreadful, the savages went off.  They doubtless fled from a place defiled by death, and by unlucky strangers, who, they thought, were come merely to destroy them.”  It is very probable that the person whom Cook supposed a priest, practised the charms spoken of, in order to destroy any ill luck, and to prevent the occurrence of such like misfortunes in his intercourse with the wonderful strangers.  There is an allusion to this incident in a following section.—­E.]

They ate some bread and some beef, but not apparently with much pleasure, though such part of what was given them as they did not eat, they took away with them; but they would not swallow a drop either of wine or spirits:  They put the glass to their lips, but, having tasted the liquor, they returned it with strong expressions of disgust.  Curiosity seems to be one of the few passions which distinguish men from brutes; and of this our guests appeared to have very little.  They went from one part of the ship to another, and looked at the vast variety of new objects that every moment presented themselves, without any expression either of wonder or pleasure, for the vociferation of our exorcist seemed to be neither.

After having been on board about two hours, they expressed a desire to go ashore.  A boat was immediately ordered, and Mr Banks thought fit to accompany them:  He landed them in safety, and conducted them to their companions, among whom he remarked the same vacant indifference, as in those who had been on board; for as on one side there appeared no eagerness to relate, so on the other there seemed to be no curiosity to hear, how they had been received, or what they had seen.  In about half an hour Mr Banks returned to the ship, and the Indians retired from the shore.


An Account of what happened in ascending a Mountain to search for Plants.

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