New Zealand - A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 14 - By Robert Kerr









































































 -  An old woman, in the
    province of Matogrosso, in Brazil, declared to the Portuguese
    governor, M. de Pinto, afterwards ambassador - Page 420
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An Old Woman, In The Province Of Matogrosso, In Brazil, Declared To The Portuguese Governor, M. De Pinto, Afterwards Ambassador

At the British court, that she had eaten human flesh several times, liked it very much, and should be very

Glad to feast upon it again, especially if it was part of a little boy. But it would be absurd to suppose from such circumstances, that killing men for the sake of feasting upon them, has ever been the spirit of a whole nation; because it is utterly incompatible with the existence of society. Slight causes have ever produced the most remarkable events among mankind, and the most trifling quarrels have fired their minds with incredible inveteracy against each other. Revenge has always been a strong passion among barbarians, who are less subject to the sway of reason, than civilized people, and has stimulated them to a degree of madness, which is capable of all kinds of excesses. The people who first consumed the body of their enemies, seem to have been bent upon exterminating their very inanimate remains, from an excess of passion; but, by degrees, finding the meat wholesome and palatable, it is not to be wondered at that they should make a practice of eating their enemies as often as they killed any, since the action of eating human flesh, whatever our education may teach us to the contrary, is certainly neither unnatural nor criminal in itself. It can only become dangerous as far as it steels the mind against that compassionate fellow-feeling, which is the great basis of society; and for this reason, we find it naturally banished from every people as soon as civilization has made any progress among them.

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