A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

The African galley being the smallest ship, was sent in first to examine this new discovery, and reported that it seemed to be very fertile and well peopled, as abundance of smoke was to be seen in all parts of the island.  Next day, while looking out for a port, and when about two miles from the shore, an Indian came off to the ships in a canoe, who came readily on board and was well received.  Being naked, he was first presented with a piece of cloth to cover him, and they gave him afterwards pieces of coral, beads, and other toys, all of which he hung about his neck, together with a dried fish.  His body was painted all over with a variety of figures, through which the natural colour of his skin appeared to be dark brown.  His ears were excessively large and long, hanging down to his shoulders, occasioned doubtless by wearing large heavy ear-rings; a thing also practised by the natives of Malabar.  He was tall, well-made, robust and of a pleasing countenance, and brisk and active in his manners, appearing to be very merry by his gestures and way of speaking.  They gave him victuals, of which he eat heartily, but could not be prevailed on to use a knife and fork; and when offered a glass of wine threw it away to their great surprise, afraid of being poisoned, or offended by the smell of strong liquor, to which he was unaccustomed.  He was then dressed from head to foot, and had a hat put on his head, with which he did not seem at all pleased, but cut a very awkward figure, and seemed uneasy.  The music was then ordered to play, with which he seemed much pleased, and when taken by the hand would leap and dance.  Finding it impossible to bring the ships to anchor that day, they sent off the Indian, allowing him to keep all he had got in order to encourage the rest to come on board.  But, what was really surprising, he had no mind to go away, and looked at the Dutch with regret, held up his hands towards his native island, and cried in a loud voice several times Odorega! making appear by signs that he would much rather have staid, and they had much ado to get him into his canoe.  They afterwards imagined he called upon his gods, as they saw abundance of idols erected on the coast when they landed.[3]

[Footnote 3:  It will be afterwards seen in the modern circumnavigations, that there are several gigantic statues, having a distant resemblance to the human figure, on this island, which are perhaps alluded to in the text.—­E.]

Next morning at day-break, the ships entered a cove or bay on the S.E. side of the island, when many thousands[4] of the inhabitants came down to meet them, bringing with them vast quantities of fowls and roots; and many of them brought these provisions on board, while the rest ran backwards and forwards on the shore, like so many wild beasts.  As the ships drew near, the islanders crowded down to the shore to get a better view of them, and at the same time lighted fires, and made offerings to their idols,

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