All voyagers agree that for varied beauty of form and colour the Society Islands are unsurpassed in the Pacific. Innumerable rills gather in lovely streams, and, after heavy rains, torrents precipitate themselves in grand cascades from the mountain cliffs - a feature so striking as to have attracted the attention of all voyagers, from Wallis downwards.
Our arctic voyagers - Sir E.
BIRDS OF PARADISE, a group of passerine birds inhabiting New Guinea and the adjacent islands, so named by the Dutch voyagers in allusion to the brilliancy of their plumage, and to the current belief that, possessing neither wings nor feet, they passed their lives in the air, sustained on their ample plumes, resting only at long intervals suspended from the branches of lofty trees by the wire-like feathers of the tail, and drawing their food "from the dews of heaven and the nectar of flowers."
A protector of voyagers, at Thasos and Smyrna.
These, however, like others of the period, did not greatly extend the knowledge of the Pacific islands, for the course between the Spanish American and Asiatic possessions did not lead voyagers among the more extensive archipelagoes.
In the ensuing account a constant repetition of the names of the main archipelagoes will be found; it may of course be assumed that each successive voyager added something to the knowledge of them, but on the other hand, as has been said, islands were often rediscovered and renamed in cases where later voyagers took no account of the work of their predecessors, or where the earlier voyagers were unable clearly to define the positions of their discoveries.
According to tradition the islands were first peopled by Arab voyagers driven thither by tempests.
Martaban is frequently mentioned by European voyagers of the 16th century; and it has given the name of "Martavans" to a class of large vessels of glazed pottery, also known in India as "Pegu jars."
Early voyagers to West Africa applied this term to the wooden figures, stones, &c., regarded as the temporary residence of gods or spirits, and to charms. There is no reason to suppose that the word feitico was applied either to an animal or to the local spirit of a river, hill or forest.
This part of the Guinea coast was made known by the Portuguese voyagers of the 15th century.
Confirmation of this is afforded by the occurrence in the mountains of Java of a pariah-like dog which has reverted to an almost completely wild condition; and likewise by the fact that the old voyagers met with dogs more or less similar to the dingo in New Guinea, New Zealand and the Solomon and certain other of the smaller Pacific islands.
The first Europeans to follow in the wake of the Portuguese voyagers were the English.
The loose idea thus derived from old voyagers became stereotyped in the archives of the East India Company.