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.

After the hurry of this visit was over, the king and the whole royal family accompanied me on board, followed by several canoes, laden with all kinds of provisions, in quantity sufficient to have served the companies of both ships for a week.  Each of the family owned, or pretended to own, a part; so that I had a present from every one of them, and every one of them had a separate present in return from me, which was the great object in view.  Soon after, the king’s mother, who had not been present at the first interview, came on board, bringing with her a quantity of provisions and cloth, which she divided between me and Omai.  For, although he was but little noticed at first by his countrymen, they no sooner gained the knowledge of his riches, than they began to court his friendship.  I encouraged this as much as I could, for it was my wish to fix him with Otoo.  As I intended to leave all my European animals at this island, I thought he would be able to give some instruction about the management of them, and about their use.  Besides, I knew and saw, that the farther he was from his native island, he would be the better respected.  But, unfortunately, poor Omai rejected my advice, and conducted himself in so imprudent a manner, that he soon lost the friendship of Otoo, and of every other person of note in Otaheite.  He associated with none but vagabonds and strangers, whose sole views were to plunder him.  And, if I had not interfered, they would not have left him a single article worth the carrying from the island.  This necessarily drew upon him the ill-will of the principal chiefs, who found that they could not procure, from any one in the ships, such valuable presents as Omai bestowed on the lowest of the people, his companions.

As soon as we had dined, a party of us accompanied Otoo to Oparre, taking with us the poultry, with which we were to stock the island.  They consisted of a peacock and hen (which Lord Besborough was so kind as to send me for this purpose, a few days before I left London); a turkey-cock and hen; one gander, and three geese; a drake and four ducks.  All these I left at Oparre, in the possession of Otoo; and the geese and ducks began to breed before we sailed.  We found there a gander, which the natives told us, was the same that Captain Wallis had given to Oberea ten years before; several goats, and the Spanish bull, whom they kept tied to a tree near Otoo’s house.  I never saw a finer animal of his kind.  He was now the property of Etary, and had been brought from Oheitepeha to this place, in order to be shipped for Bolabola.  But it passes my comprehension, how they can contrive to carry him in one of their canoes.  If we had not arrived, it would have been of little consequence who had the property of him, as, without a cow, he could be of no use; and none had been left with him.  Though the natives told us, that there were cows on board the Spanish ships, and that they took them away with them, I cannot believe this, and should rather suppose, that they had died in the passage from Lima.  The next day, I sent the three cows, that I had on board, to this bull; and the bull, which I had brought, the horse and mare, and sheep, I put ashore at Matavai.

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