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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 768 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.
and the third openly declaring themselves friends to Maheine and his cause.  Under these circumstances, of disunion distracting their councils, it was not likely that such a plan of military operations would be settled as could insure even a probability of success.  In conveying our sentiments to Towha, on the subject of the late sacrifice, Omai was made use of as our interpreter; and he entered into our arguments with so much spirit, that the chief seemed to be in great wrath; especially when he was told, that if he had put a man to death in England, as he had done here, his rank would not have protected him from being hanged for it.  Upon this, he exclaimed, maeno! maeno! [vile! vile!] and would not hear another word.  During this debate, many of the natives were present, chiefly the attendants and servants of Towha himself; and when Omai began to explain the punishment that would be inflicted in England, upon the greatest man, if he killed the meanest servant, they seemed to listen with great attention; and were probably of a different opinion from that of their master on this subject.

After leaving Towha, we proceeded to Oparre, where Otoo pressed us to spend the night.  We landed in the evening; and, on our road to his house, had an opportunity of observing in what manner these people amuse themselves in their private heevas.  About an hundred of them were found sitting in a house; and in the midst of them were two women, with an old man behind each of them beating very gently upon a drum; and the women at intervals singing in a softer manner than I ever heard at their other diversions.  The assembly listened with great attention; and were seemingly almost absorbed in the pleasure the music gave them; for few took any notice of us, and the performers never once stopped.  It was almost dark before we reached Otoo’s house, where we were entertained with one of their public heevas, or plays, in which his three sisters appeared as the principal characters.  This was what they call a heeva raae, which is of such a nature, that nobody is to enter the house or area where it is exhibited.  When the royal sisters are the performers, this is always the case.  Their dress, on this occasion, was truly picturesque and elegant; and they acquitted themselves, in their parts, in a very distinguished manner; though some comic interludes, performed by four men seemed to yield greater pleasure to the audience, which was numerous.  The next morning we proceeded to Matavai, leaving Otoo at Oparre; but his mother, sisters, and several other women attended me on board, and Otoo himself followed soon after.

While Otoo and I were absent from the ships, they had been but sparingly supplied with fruit, and had few visitors.  After our return, we again overflowed with provisions and with company.

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