Men, Especially All Navigators, Owe A Tribute Of Praise To His Memory.
How Could One Neglect To Pay It At The Moment Of Coming Upon The
Group Of Islands Where He Finished So Unfortunately His Career?"
We can well understand that a lad whose head was full of thoughts of
voyaging and adventure, was not, as a schoolboy, very tame and easy to
He is described as having been ardent, impetuous, and rather
stubborn. But there is more than one kind of stubbornness. There is the
stupid stubbornness of the mule, and the fixed, firm will of the
intelligent being. We can perceive quite well what is meant in this
case. On the other hand, he was affectionate, quick and clever. He
longed for the sea; and his father, observing his decided inclination,
allowed him to choose the profession he desired.
It may well have seemed to the parents of Laperouse at this time that
fine prospects lay before a gallant young gentleman who should enter
the Marine. There was for the moment peace between France and England.
A truce had been made by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. But
everybody knew that there would be war again soon. Both countries were
struggling for the mastery in India and in North America. The sense of
rivalry was strong. Jealousies were fierce on both sides. In India, the
French power was wielded, and ever more and more extended, by the
brilliant Governor Dupleix; whilst in the British possessions the
rising influence was that of the dashing, audacious Clive.
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Words from 1630 to 1891