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.
or Oparre.  This called upon me to declare, in the most public manner, that I was determined to espouse the interest of my friend against any such combination; and that whoever presumed to attack him, should feel the weight of my heavy displeasure, when I returned again to their island.  My declaration, probably, had the desired effect; and, if Towha had any such hostile intention at first, we soon heard no more of the report.  Whappai, Otoo’s father, highly disapproved of the peace, and blamed Towha very much for concluding it.  This sensible old man wisely judged, that my going down with them to Eimeo must have been of singular service to their cause, though I should take no other part whatever in the quarrel.  And it was upon this that he built all his arguments, and maintained, that Otoo had acted properly by waiting for me; though this had prevented his giving assistance to Towha so soon as he expected.

Our debates at Oparre, on this subject, were hardly ended, before a messenger arrived from Towha, desiring Otoo’s attendance, the next day, at the morai in Attahooroo, to give thanks to the gods for the peace he had concluded; at least, such was Omai’s account to me of the object of this solemnity.  I was asked to go; but being much out of order, was obliged to decline it.  Desirous, however, of knowing what ceremonies might be observed on so memorable an occasion, I sent Mr King and Omai, and returned on board my ship, attended by Otoo’s mother, his three sisters, and eight more women.  At first, I thought that this numerous train of females came into my boat with no other view than to get a passage to Matavai.  But when we arrived at the ship, they told me, they intended passing the night on board, for the express purpose of undertaking the cure of the disorder I complained of; which was a pain of the rheumatic kind, extending from the hip to the foot.  I accepted the friendly offer, had a bed spread for them upon the cabin floor, and submitted myself to their directions.  I was desired to lay myself down amongst them.  Then, as many of them as could get round me, began to squeeze me with both hands, from head to foot, but more particularly on the parts where the pain was lodged, till they made my bones crack, and my flesh became a perfect mummy.  In short, after undergoing this discipline about a quarter of an hour, I was glad to get away from them.  However, the operation gave me immediate relief, which encouraged me to submit to another rubbing-down before I went to bed; and it was so effectual, that I found myself pretty easy all the night after.  My female physicians repeated their prescription the next morning, before they went ashore, and again, in the evening, when they returned on board; after which, I found the pains entirely removed; and the cure being perfected, they took their leave of me the following morning.  This they call romee; an operation which, in my opinion, far exceeds the flesh brush, or any thing of the kind that we make use of externally.  It is universally practised amongst these islanders; being sometimes performed by the men, but more generally by the women.  If, at any time, one appears languid and tired, and sits down by any of them, they immediately begin to practise the romee upon his legs; and I have always found it to have an exceedingly good effect.[1]

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