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









































































 -  - E.

    [7] There is something very peculiarly affecting in the following
    observations of Mr. G.F. - This being Christmas day - Page 460
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- E. [7] There Is Something Very Peculiarly Affecting In The Following Observations Of Mr. G.F. - "This Being Christmas Day, The Captain, According To Custom, Invited The Officers And Mates To Dinner, And One Of The Lieutenants Entertained The Petty Officers.

The sailors feasted on a double portion of pudding, regaling themselves with the brandy of their allowance, which they had saved for this occasion some months beforehand, being solicitous to get very drunk, though they are commonly solicitous about nothing else.

The sight of an immense number of icy masses, amongst which we drifted at the mercy of the current, every moment in danger of being dashed in pieces against them, could not deter the sailors from indulging in their favourite amusement. As long as they had brandy left, they would persist to keep Christmas "like Christians," though the elements had combined together for their destruction. Their long acquaintance with a sea-faring life had inured them to all kinds of perils, and their heavy labour, with the inclemencies of weather, and other hardships, making their muscles rigid and their nerves obtuse, had communicated insensibility to the mind. It will easily be conceived, that as they do not feel for themselves sufficiently to provide for their own safety, they must be incapable of feeling for others. Subjected to a very strict command, they also exercise a tyrannical sway over those whom fortune places in their power. Accustomed to face an enemy, they breathe nothing but war. By force of habit, even killing is become so much their passion, that we have seen many instances during our voyage, where they have expressed a horrid eagerness to fire upon the natives on the slightest pretences.

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