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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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Character and Manners of the Natives at Otaheite


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Character and Manners of the Natives at Otaheite (continued)

countenance and gestures expressed a mixture of wonder and delight which no language can describe. When the glass was removed, I invited her, and several of the Chiefs that were with her, to go with me on board the ship, in which I had a view to the security of the party that I had sent out; for I thought that while the queen, and the principal people were known to be in my power, nothing would be attempted against any person belonging to the ship on shore. When we got on board, I ordered a good dinner for their entertainment, but the queen would neither eat nor drink; the people that were with her eat very heartily of whatever was set before them, but would drink only plain water.

In the evening our people returned from their excursion, and came down to the beach, upon which I put the queen and her attendants into the boats, and sent them on shore. As she was going over the ship’s side, she asked, by signs, whether I still persisted in my resolution of leaving the island at the time I had fixed; and when I made her understand that it was impossible I should stay longer, she expressed her regret by a flood of tears, which for a while took away her speech. As soon as her passion subsided, she told me that she would come on board again the next day; and thus we parted.

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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page 471, 2004
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