A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 658 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.
to bring the party on board; taking with me a ram-goat and two ewes, a boar and sow-pig of the English breed, and the seeds of melons, pumpkins, and onions, being very desirous of benefiting these poor people, by furnishing them with some additional articles of food.  I landed with the greatest ease, under the west side of the point, and found my party already there, with some of the natives in company.  To one of them, whom Mr Gore had observed assuming some command over the rest, I gave the goats, pigs, and seeds.  I should have left these well-intended presents at Atooi, had we not been so unexpectedly driven from it.

While the people were engaged in filling four water-casks, from a small stream occasioned by the late rain, I walked a little way up the country, attended by the man above-mentioned, and followed by two others carrying the two pigs.  As soon as we got upon a rising ground, I stopped to look round me, and observed a woman, on the opposite side of the valley where I landed, calling to her countrymen who attended me.  Upon this, the chief began to mutter something which I supposed was a prayer; and the two men, who carried the pigs, continued to walk round me all the time, making, at least, a dozen circuits before the other had finished his oration.  This ceremony being performed; we proceeded, and presently met people coming from all parts, who, on being called to by my attendants, threw themselves prostrate on their faces, till I was out of sight.  The ground, through which I passed, was in a state of nature, very stony, and the soil seemed poor.  It was, however, covered with shrubs and plants, some of which perfumed the air, with a more delicious fragrancy than I had met with at any other of the islands visited by us in this ocean.  Our people, who had been obliged to remain so long on shore, gave me the same account of those parts of the island which they had traversed.  They met with several salt ponds, some of which had a little water remaining, but others had none; and the salt that was left in them was so thin, that no great quantity could have been procured.  There was no appearance of any running stream; and though they found some small wells, in which the fresh water was tolerably good, it seemed scarce.  The habitations of the natives were thinly scattered about; and it was supposed, that there could not be more than five hundred people upon the island, as the greatest part were seen at the marketing-place of our party, and few found about the houses by those who walked up the country.  They had an opportunity of observing the method of living amongst the natives, and it appeared to be decent and cleanly.  They did not, however, see any instance of the men and women eating together; and the latter seemed generally associated in companies by themselves.  It was found, that they burnt here the oily nuts of the dooe dooe for lights in the night, as at Otaheite; and that they baked their hogs in ovens, but, contrary to the practice of the

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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