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.
to one who sat near him.  The second was also brought to him, and this he kept.  The third was given to me, but their manner of brewing having quenched my thirst, it became Omai’s property.  The rest of the liquor was distributed to different people, by direction of the man who had the management of it.  One of the cups being carried to the king’s brother, he retired with this, and with his mess of victuals.  Some others also quitted the circle with their portions, and the reason was, they could neither eat nor drink in the royal presence; but there were others present, of a much inferior rank, of both sexes, who did both.  Soon after most of them withdrew, carrying with them what they had not eat of their share of the feast.

I observed that not a fourth part of the company had tasted either the victuals or the drink; those who partook of the former I supposed to be of the king’s household.  The servants who distributed the baked meat and the kava, always delivered it out of their hand sitting, not only to the king but to every other person.  It is worthy of remark, though this was the first time of our landing, and a great many people were present who had never seen us before, yet no one was troublesome, but the greatest good order was preserved throughout the whole assembly.

Before I returned on board, I went in search of a watering-place, and was conducted to some ponds, or rather holes, containing fresh water, as they were pleased to call it.  The contents of one of these indeed were tolerable, but it was at some distance inland, and the supply to be got from it was very inconsiderable.  Being informed that the little island of Pangimodoo, near which the ships lay, could better furnish this necessary article, I went over to it next morning, and was so fortunate as to find there a small pool that had rather fresher water than any we had met with amongst these islands.  The pool being very dirty, I ordered it to be cleaned; and here it was that we watered the ships.

As I intended to make some stay at Tongataboo, we pitched a tent in the forenoon, just by the house which Poulaho had assigned for our use.  The horses, cattle, and sheep, were afterward landed, and a party of marines, with their officer, stationed there as a guard.  The observatory was then set up, at a small distance from the other tent; and Mr King resided on shore, to attend the observations, and to superintend the several operations necessary to be conducted there.  For the sails were carried thither to be repaired; a party was employed in cutting wood for fuel, and plank for the use of the ships; and the gunners of both were ordered to remain on the spot, to conduct the traffic with the natives, who thronged from every part of the island with hogs, yams, cocoa-nuts, and other articles of their produce.  In a short time our land post was like a fair, and the ships were so crowded with visitors, that we had hardly room to stir upon the decks.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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