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but he had formed his judgment of the effect of the guns by their effect upon the fencing.
The king, having finished this affair, began to think of returning to Pangaimotoo: Mr. Mariner, indeed, endeavoured to persuade him to follow up the advantages of his victory by immediately laying siege to another fortress, which, no doubt, would soon have fallen into their hands; and the whole island, being struck with dismay, would readily have submitted to his government. But, it seems, Finow was not yet the complete warrior ; or he thought, perhaps, that, having such powerful weapons in his possession, he could reduce the island at any future time.
Pangaimotoo is not more than three quarters of a mile distant from Tonga, separated from it only by a long narrow reef. To this place Finow returned with all his men, intending to go back to Tonga another day. As soon as they landed, they sat down to eat, not having taken any refreshment since morning, with the exception of some of the men, whose stomachs not being the most delirate, had partaken of some yams and plantains that they found roasting along with the bodies of the dead in the general conflagration at Nioocalofa.
They remained several days at this island, during which time several canoes were sent to an uninhabited part of Tonga for the purpose of procuring reeds to rebuild the fortress of Nioocalofa. 1 his step was taken by the admonition of the gods, who were consulted on the occasion through the medium of the priests.
As the invocation of the gods, and inspiration of the priests, are circumstances that will often occur in the course of this work, it will be well to take the present opportunity of describing them.
The night previous to the consultation of the oracle, the chief orders his cooks to kill and
prepare a hog, and to procure a basketof yams, and two bụnches of ripe plantains. These things being got ready, the next morning they are carried to the place where the priest resides, or wherever he may be at that time: the priest is sometimes previously apprized of the circumstance, at other times not. The chiefs and matabooles clothe themselves in mats, and repair to the place where the priest is to be found: if it is at a house, the priest seats himself just within the eaves*; if at a distance, he seats
* Their houses are built somewhat in form of a shed, open all round, and the eaves coming within about four feet of the ground.
himself on any convenient spot of ground, and the matabooles seat themselves on either hand, so as would form a circle, or rather an ellipsis, if there was not a considerable vacant space left opposite the priest. In this space, at the bottom of the circle, sits the man who prepares the cava, the root being previously chewed by the cooks, attendants, and others, who sit behind him: behind these again sit the chiefs indiscriminately among the people. The chiefs take this retired and humble station on account of the sacredness of the occasion, conceiving that such modest demeanour must be acceptable to the gods.
As soon as they are all seated, the priest is considered as inspired, the god being supposed to exist within him from that moment. He sits for a considerable time in silence, with his hands clasped before him; his eyes are cast down, and he remains perfectly still. During the time that the victuals are being shared out, and the cava being prepared, the matabooles sometimes begin to consult him ; sometimes he answers them, at other times not; in either case he remains with his eyes cast down. Frequently he will not answer a word till the repast is finished, and the cava too. When he speaks, he generally begins in a low and very al
tered tone of voice, which gradually rises to nearly its natural pitch, though sometimes a little above it. All that he says is supposed to be the declaration of the god, and he accordingly speaks in the first person as if he were the god. All this is done generally without any apparent inward emotion or outward agitation; but sometimes his countenance becomes fierce, and, as it were, inflamed, and his whole frame agitated with inward feeling; he is seized with an universal trembling ; the perspiration breaks out on his forehead, and his lips, turning black, are convulsed; at length tears start in floods from his eyes, his breast heaves with great emotion, and his utterance is choked. These symptoms gradually subside. Before this paroxysm comes on, and after it is over, he often eats as much as four hungry men, under other circumstances, could devour. The fit being now gone off, he remains for some time calm, and then takes up a club that is placed by him for the purpose, turns it over and regards it attentively; he then looks up earnestly, now to the right, now to the left, and now again at the club; afterwards he looks up again, and about him in like manner, and then again fixes his eyes upon his club,
and so on, for several times : at length he suddenly raises the club, and, after a moment's pause, strikes the ground, or the adjacent part of the house, with considerable force: imme. diately the god leaves him, and he rises up and retires to the back of the ring among the people. If the company now wish for any more cava, Finow, or the greatest chief present, goes and sits at the head of the ring.
It might be supposed that this violent agitation on the part of the priest is merely an assumed appearance for the purpose of popular deception ; but Mr. Mariner has no reason at all to think so. There can be little doubt, however, but that the priest, on such occasions, eften summons into action the deepest feelings of devotion of which he is susceptible, and by a voluntary act disposes his mind, as much as possible, to be powerfully affected : till at length, what began by volition proceeds by involuntary effort, and the whole mind and body becomes subjected to the overruling emotion. But there is nothing new in all this : ancient times, as well as modern, afford numerous instances of this nature; and savage nations, as well as civilized, display ample tes.. timony that false religions, and false notions of