The Cruise Of The Snark, By Jack London

 -   In all the islands of
the Marquesas the Typeans were named with dread.  Man could not
conquer them.  Even the - Page 160
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In All The Islands Of The Marquesas The Typeans Were Named With Dread.

Man could not conquer them.

Even the French fleet that took possession of the Marquesas left the Typeans alone. Captain Porter, of the frigate Essex, once invaded the valley. His sailors and marines were reinforced by two thousand warriors of Happar and Taiohae. They penetrated quite a distance into the valley, but met with so fierce a resistance that they were glad to retreat and get away in their flotilla of boats and war-canoes.

Of all inhabitants of the South Seas, the Marquesans were adjudged the strongest and the most beautiful. Melville said of them: "I was especially struck by the physical strength and beauty they displayed . . . In beauty of form they surpassed anything I had ever seen. Not a single instance of natural deformity was observable in all the throng attending the revels. Every individual appeared free from those blemishes which sometimes mar the effect of an otherwise perfect form. But their physical excellence did not merely consist in an exemption from these evils; nearly every individual of the number might have been taken for a sculptor's model." Mendana, the discoverer of the Marquesas, described the natives as wondrously beautiful to behold. Figueroa, the chronicler of his voyage, said of them: "In complexion they were nearly white; of good stature and finely formed." Captain Cook called the Marquesans the most splendid islanders in the South Seas. The men were described, as "in almost every instance of lofty stature, scarcely ever less than six feet in height."

And now all this strength and beauty has departed, and the valley of Typee is the abode of some dozen wretched creatures, afflicted by leprosy, elephantiasis, and tuberculosis.

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