A Footnote to History

A Footnote to History
Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa

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A Footnote to History by Robert Louis Stevenson

Published:

1912

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A Footnote to History
Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa

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(0 Reviews)

Book Excerpt

of to relatives; to take from relatives without permission; to steal from relatives; to have plantations robbed by relatives. The ideal of conduct in the family, and some of its depravations, appear here very plainly. The man who (in a native word of praise) is mata-ainga, a race-regarder, has his hand always open to his kindred; the man who is not (in a native term of contempt) noa, knows always where to turn in any pinch of want or extremity of laziness. Beggary within the family--and by the less self-respecting, without it--has thus grown into a custom and a scourge, and the dictionary teems with evidence of its abuse. Special words signify the begging of food, of uncooked food, of fish, of pigs, of pigs for travellers, of pigs for stock, of taro, of taro-tops, of taro-tops for planting, of tools, of flyhooks, of implements for netting pigeons, and of mats. It is true the beggar was supposed in time to make a return, somewhat as by the Roman contract of mutuum. But the obligation was only moral; it could

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