Some Among Them, However,
Submitted With Reluctance To This Vile Prostitution:
And but for the
authority and menaces of the men, would not have complied with the
desires of a set of people, who could, with unconcern, behold their
tears and hear their complaints.
Whether the members of a civilized
society, who could act such a brutal part, or the barbarians who could
force their own women to submit to such indignity, deserve the
greatest abhorrence, is a question not easily to be decided.
Encouraged by the lucrative nature of this infamous commerce, the New
Zealanders went through the whole vessel, offering their daughters and
sisters promiscuously to every person's embraces, in exchange for our
iron tools, which they knew could not be purchased at an easier rate.
It does not appear, that their married women were ever suffered to
have this kind of intercourse with our people. Their ideas of female
chastity are, in this respect, so different from ours, that a girl may
favour a number of lovers without any detriment to her character; but
if she marries, conjugal fidelity is exacted from her with the
greatest rigour. It may therefore be alleged, that as the New
Zealanders place no value on the continence of their unmarried women,
the arrival of Europeans among them does not injure their moral
characters in this respect; but we doubt whether they ever debased
themselves so much as to make a trade of their women, before we
created new wants by shewing these iron tools, for the possession of
which they do not hesitate to commit an action, that, in our eyes,
deprives them of the very shadow of sensibility.
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