||Adams, Memoirs of Arii Taimai
Table of Contents
Chapter XIV (continued)
thus: ’Sir, he had passed his time while in England only in the best company, so that all that he had acquired of our manners was genteel’".
One would like to have Omai’s impression of Johnson’s manners, but Omai had no Boswell, and left no memoirs, although he left something as good, for his portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and, no doubt, is valued more highly now than ever Omai was in his native island, even when Cook brought him back there in 1777, loaded with gifts, which were probably soon appropriated by his chiefs or neighbors. A few years afterwards, in 1785, before Omai had wholly passed from memory, the poet Cowper devoted to him a page or two in the first book of "The Task", which bore the odd title of "The Sofa". Whether it was that Cowper’s melancholia caused him to see things as they are, or whether years had brought already a disillusionment that was to make rapid progress in European thought, certainly the lines in the "Sofa" contained more truth if not more poetry than anything which had been said till then on the subject of the South Seas:
© Derived from the revised Paris edition of 1901 page 135, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-jrnl-marua-135