A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15.
marks of considerable population, and of improved cultivation, were very conspicuous.  For we met here with very large plantations, inclosed in such a manner that the fences, running parallel to each other, form fine spacious public roads, that would appear ornamental in countries where rural conveniences have been carried to the greatest perfection.  We observed large spots covered with the paper mulberry-trees; and the plantations, in general, were well stocked with such roots and fruits as are the natural produce of the island.  To these I made some addition, by sowing the seeds of Indian corn, melons, pumpkins, and the like.  At one place was a house, four or five times as large as those of the common sort, with a large area of grass before it; and I take it for granted, the people resort thither on certain public occasions.  Near the landing-place we saw a mount, two or three feet high, covered with gravel; and on it stood four or five small huts, in which the natives told us the bodies of some of their principal people had been interred.

The island is not above seven miles long, and in some places not above two or three broad.  The east side of it, which is exposed to the trade-wind, has a reef running to a considerable breadth from it, on which the sea breaks with great violence.  It is a continuation of this reef that joins Lefooga to Foa, which is not above half a mile distant; and at low water the natives can walk upon this reef, which is then partly dry from the one island to the other.  The shore itself is either a coral rock, six or seven feet high, or a sandy beach, but higher than the west side, which in general is not more than three or four feet from the level of the sea, with a sandy beach its whole length.

When I returned from my excursion into the country, and went on board to dinner, I found a large sailing canoe fast to the ship’s stern.  In this canoe was Latooliboula, whom I had seen at Tongataboo during my last voyage, and who was then supposed by us to be the king of that island.  He sat in the canoe with all that gravity, by which, as I have mentioned in my journal,[162] he was so remarkably distinguished at that time; nor could I, by any entreaties, prevail upon him now to come into the ship.  Many of the islanders were present, and they all called him Areekee, which signifies king.  I had never heard any one of them give this title to Feenou, however extensive his authority over them, both here and at Annamooka, had appeared to be, which had all along inclined me to suspect that he was not the king, though his friend Taipa had taken pains to make me believe he was.  Latooliboula remained under the stern till the evening, when he retired in his canoe to one of the islands.  Feenou was on board my ship at the same time; but neither of these great men took the least notice of the other.

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