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.
that enthusiasm with respect to any one subject, which, in the present case, is to be regarded as the appearance or expression of inspiration, usually unfits a person for the requisite attention to any other.  The language of mankind accordingly quite falls in with this observation, and nothing is more general than to speak of a man being mad, who exhibits a more than ordinary ardour in the pursuit of some isolated object.  Still, however, there seems a tacit acknowledgement amongst mankind, that the human mind can profitably attend to only one thing at a time, and that all excellence in any pursuit is the result of restricted unintermitting application:  And hence it is, that enthusiasm, though perhaps admitted to be allied to one of the highest evils with which our nature can be visited, is nevertheless imagined to be an indication of superior strength of intellect.  The weakest minds, on the contrary, are the most apprehensive of ridicule, and in consequence are most cautious, by a seeming indifference as to objects, to avoid the dangerous imputation of a decided partiality.  Such persons, however, forming undoubtedly the greater portion of every society, console themselves and one another under the consciousness of debility, by the sense of their safety, and by the fashionable custom of dealing out wise reflections on those more enterprising minds, whose eccentricities or ardour, provoke their admiration.—­E.]

As soon as I got on board, a light breeze springing up at east, we got under sail, and steered for Matavai Bay, where the Resolution anchored the same evening.  But the Discovery did not get in till the next morning; so that half of the man’s prophecy was fulfilled.

SECTION II.

Interview with Otoo, King of the Island.—­Imprudent Conduct of Omai.—­Employments on Shore.—­European Animals landed.—­Particulars about a Native who had visited Lima.—­About Oedidee—­A Revolt in Eimeo.—­War with that Island determined upon, in a Council of Chiefs.—­A human Sacrifice on that Account.—­A particular Relation of the Ceremonies at the great Morai, where the Sacrifice was offered.—­Other barbarous Customs of this People.

About nine o’clock in the morning, Otoo, the king of the whole island, attended by a great number of canoes full of people, came from Oparre, his place of residence and having landed on Matavai Point, sent a message on board, expressing his desire to see me there.  Accordingly I landed, accompanied by Omai, and some of the officers.  We found a prodigious number of people assembled on this occasion, and in the midst of them was the king, attended by his father, his two brothers, and three sisters.  I went up first and saluted him, being followed by Omai, who kneeled and embraced his legs.  He had prepared himself for this ceremony, by dressing himself in his very best suit of clothes, and behaved with a great deal of respect and modesty.  Nevertheless, very little notice was taken of him.  Perhaps envy had some share in producing this cold reception.  He made the chief a present of a large piece of red feathers, and about two or three yards of gold cloth; and I gave him a suit of fine linen, a gold-laced hat, some tools, and, what was of more value than all the other articles, a quantity of red feathers, and one of the bonnets in use at the Friendly Islands.

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