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.
was a river, much more considerable than that at our fort, which issued from a deep and beautiful valley, and, where our travellers crossed it, though at some distance from the sea, was near one hundred yards wide.  About a mile beyond this river the country became again barren, the rocks every where projecting into the sea, for which reason they resolved to return.  Just as they had formed this resolution, one of the natives offered them refreshment, which they accepted.  They found this man to be of a kind that has been described by various authors, as mixed with many nations, but distinct from them all.  His skin was of a dead white, without the least appearance of what is called complexion, though some parts of his body were in a small degree less white than others:  His hair, eye-brows, and beard, were as white as his skin; his eyes appeared as if they were bloodshot, and he seemed to be very short-sighted.[89]

[Footnote 89:  Several authors have collected facts, and reasoned on the subject of that remarkable race of beings, denominated, from their colour, Albinos.  Mention is made of some of them in the article Complexion, in the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, to which the reader is referred.  After all, however, it remains very doubtful whether the peculiarity of the beings in question is to be attributed to disease, or to some distinct constitution of animal economy, which may be considered as sufficient to characterize a species of our nature.  The writer of this note inclines to the former opinion.  This place, however, is improper for the discussion of arguments for or against that opinion.  It may be more satisfactory to the general reader to be informed, that individuals answering the usual description of the Albinos, have been found in all the quarters of the earth, and that some families are so peculiarly constituted as to produce them very frequently, so that the affection is, properly speaking, hereditary in them.  Few persons any way curiously disposed have not had it in their power to see specimens of Albinos, as exhibited for emolument in travelling shows.  But, notwithstanding, such opportunities have not been much improved by philosophical minds, so that the history of Albinos is still involved in considerable mystery.—­E.]

At their return they were met by Tubourai Tamaide, and his women, who, at seeing them, felt a joy which not being able to express, they burst into tears, and wept some time before their passion could be restrained.

This evening Dr Solander lent his knife to one of these women, who neglected to return it, and the next morning Mr Banks’s also was missing; upon this occasion I must bear my testimony, that the people of this country, of all ranks, men and women, are the arrantest thieves upon the face of the earth:  The very day after we arrived here, when they came on board us, the chiefs were employed in stealing what they could in the cabin, and their dependants were no less industrious in other parts of the ship; they

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