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.

After dinner, Mr Banks, being desirous to procure a drawing of the Morai belonging to Tootahah at Eparre, I attended him thither, accompanied by Dr Solander, in the pinnace.  As soon as we landed, many of our friends came to meet us; though some absented themselves in resentment of what had happened the day before.  We immediately proceeded to Toolahah’s house, where we were joined by Oberea, with several others who had not come out to meet us, and a perfect reconciliation was soon brought about; in consequence of which they promised to visit us early the next day, to take a last farewell of us, as we told them we should certainly set sail in the afternoon.  At this place also we found Tupia, who returned with us, and slept this night on board the ship for the first time.

On the next morning, Thursday the 13th of July, the ship was very early crowded with our friends, and surrounded by a multitude of canoes, which were filled with the natives of an inferior class.  Between eleven and twelve we weighed anchor, and as soon as the ship was under sail, the Indians on board took their leaves, and wept, with a decent and silent sorrow, in which there was something very striking and tender:  The people in the canoes, on the contrary, seemed to vie with each other in the loudness of their lamentations, which we considered rather as affectation than grief.  Tupia sustained himself in this scene with a firmness and resolution truly admirable:  He wept indeed, but the effort that he made to conceal his tears, concurred, with them, to do him honour.  He sent his last present, a shirt, by Otheothea, to Potomia, Tootahah’s favourite mistress, and then went with Mr Banks to the mast-head, waving to the canoes as long as they continued in sight.

Thus we took leave of Otaheite, and its inhabitants, after a stay of just three months; for much the greater part of the time we lived together in the most cordial friendship, and a perpetual reciprocation of good offices.  The accidental differences which now and then happened could not be more sincerely regretted on their part than they were on ours:  The principal causes were such as necessarily resulted from our situation and circumstances, in conjunction with the infirmities of human nature, from our not being able perfectly to understand each other, and from the disposition of the inhabitants to theft, which we could not at all times bear with or prevent.  They had not, however, except in one instance, been attended with any fatal consequence; and to that accident were owing the measures that I took to prevent others of the same kind.  I hoped indeed to have availed myself of the impression which had been made upon them by the lives that had been sacrificed in their contest with the Dolphin, so as that the intercourse between us should have been carried on wholly without bloodshed; and by this hope all my measures were directed during the whole of my continuance at the island, and I sincerely

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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