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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 659 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 12.

Our residence on shore would by no means have been disagreeable if we had not been incessantly tormented by the flies, which, among other mischief, made it almost impossible for Mr Parkinson, Mr Banks’s natural history painter, to work; for they not only covered his subject so as that no part of its surface could be seen, but even eat the colour off the paper as fast as he could lay it on.[88] We had recourse to musquito-nets and fly-traps, which, though they made the inconvenience tolerable, were very far from removing it.

[Footnote 88:  Mr Sydney Parkinson, the person here mentioned, published a journal of this voyage at London, 1775, in 4to.  Another edition of it, with the remarks of John Fothergill, appeared in 1784; and a French translation of it, with additional matter, was printed at Paris in 1767.  “Il est recommandable surtout, (says the Bibl.  Univ. des voyages) par des details sur l’histoire naturelle, et par des vocabulaires plus etendus que ceux qui se trouvent dans le Premier Voyage de Cook.”  How far it is entitled to this, or to any praise, the editor is unable to say, having never been favoured with a sight of it.—­E.]

On the 22d, Tootahah gave us a specimen of the music of this country; four persons performed upon flutes, which had only two stops, and therefore could not sound more than four notes, by half tones:  They were sounded like our German flutes, except that the performer, instead of applying it to his mouth, blew into it with one nostril, while he stopped the other with his thumb:  To these instruments four other persons sung, and kept very good time; but only one tune was played during the whole concert.

Several of the natives brought us axes, which they had received from on board the Dolphin, to grind and repair; but among others there was one which became the subject of much speculation, as it appeared to be French:  After much enquiry, we learnt that a ship had been here between our arrival and the departure of the Dolphin, which we then conjectured to have been a Spaniard, but afterwards knew to have been the Boudeuse, commanded by M. Bougainville.

SECTION X.

An Excursion to the Eastward, an Account of several Incidents that happened both on board and on shore, and of the first Interview with Oberea, the Person who, when the Dolphin was here, was supposed to be Queen of the Island, with a Description of the Fort.

On the 24th, Mr Banks and Dr Solander examined the country for several miles along the shore to the eastward:  For about two miles it was flat and fertile; after that the hills stretched quite to the water’s edge, and a little farther ran out into the sea, so that they were obliged to climb over them.  These hills, which were barren, continued for about three miles more, and then terminated in a large plain, which was full of good houses, and people who appeared to live in great affluence.  In this place there

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