Billeder på siden


Political intrigues of Toobo Toa against Toobo Neuba. Toobo Toa's vow-Finow's character contrasted with that of Toobo Neuha-Sentiments of Toobo Toa-Assassination of Toobo Neuha-Speech of Latoo La over the dead body-Specious conduct of Finow- The body laid in state-Dismal lamentations of Toobo Neuha's women-Some account of the nature of the taboo-Burial of Toobo Neuha-Heroic challenge of Chioolooa-Chiefdom of Vavaoo given to Finow's auntHer hostile intentions. The heroic speech of her sister to the women of Vavaoo_Tóë Oomoo Finow's (aunt)* builds a large and strong fortress at Vavaoo, Finow's determination to proceed immediately against it, notwithstanding the dissuasion of his priests—Sketch of his religious sentiments-Bravado of a Vavaoo warriorFinow's son arrives from the Navigator's islands-His ceremony of marriage-Arrival of a canoe from Vavaoo

--Finow embarks with 4000 men for Haano-By the advice of the gods he proceeds to Vavaoo with three canoes to offer peace Is met by Toe Tangata, who addresses him-Finow makes a speech to the Vavaoo people—Their rejection of his offers—Beautiful appearance of the great garrison of Vavaoo-Return of the expedition to Hapai.

We are now coming to a new æra in the history of the Tonga islands, occasioned by

the political intrigues of Toobo Toa, a natural son of Toogoo Ahoo, by one of that king's female attendants. Toobo Toa was the chief that formerly had the direction of the conspiracy against the Port au Prince: he was a man of not quite so brave and disinterested a spirit as Toobo Neuha; he partook rather of the character of Finow, with a little more ferocity, but not quite such depth of policy. It will be recollected that Toobo Neuha was the chief that assassinated Toogoo Ahoo ; ever since which period Toobo Toa's desire of revenge was most implacable; and he had made a vow never to drink the milk of the cocoa-nut out of the shell till he had fully accomplished it. He had indeed all along espoused the cause of Finow against the adherents of his father, which may seem strange, as Finow himself was a principal accomplice in that assassination, though his policy did not allow him to be the immediate perpetrator. But Toobo Toa knew well that he should have no chance of success against so strong a power as that of Finow; he therefore joined him, that he might have, some time or another, an opportunity, however dangerous the attempt, of wreaking a signal vengeance on Toobo Neuba. The crisis was now fast approaching, for he

had well prepared the way for it, by constantly whispering into the ear of Finow something disadvantageous to the character of Toobo Neuha. At one time he represented him to be the meditator of certain conspiracies'; at another as the enviable possessor of a happier island, (Vavavo,) much more productive of every article of convenience and luxury : sometimes he insinuated that Toobo Neuha did not pay sufficient annual tribute, considering the fertility of the island and the superior dignity of Finow; at other times he represented him as ambitious, that he sought to gain too much the love of the people, and by his success in this way became too powerful: he moreover never ceased to remind the king of the frequent opposition made by Toobo Neuha to his wise measures in regard to his warlike preparations against Tonga: at last he had the boldness to propose his assassination. Finów, who was not at all startled at proposals of this nature, but who never wished, if possible, to appear to the world as å party concerned, lent an attentive éar to Toobo Toa, and half promised his assistance, but advised that the execution of his project should be deferred till some future and more fit opportunity offered.

.. To enter properly into the merit of this account, Finow's character must all along be kept in view: he was a man of a deep and designing spirit, always willing to favour any: conspiracy that promised to advance his interests, but exceedingly cautious how he let any body know his intentions, even the party that proposed it. He always conducted himself with such admirable policy, that no one, not even his most intimate acquaintance, could dive thoroughly into his projects. Toobo Neuha, (his brother,) on the contrary, was a truly brave man, and, upon the whole, of an undesigning and exceedingly liberal mind; for though he had proposed and perpetrated the assassination of Toogoo Ahoo, it was believed to be not so much to avenge his own personal wrongs as those of his country: and often has he expressed to Mr. Mariner the extent and nature of his feelings on that occasion, how he regretted that so many beautiful and innocent women should be sacrificed at the same time (that they might not spread alarm ;) yet how strongly he felt that the liberty of his country was that moment in his power, whilst the desire of avenging its wrongs was like a raging thirst that overpowered every other sensation : no sooner was

the blow struck than he saved all that he could save, a little child of three years old, which he bore away in his arms from the scene of slaughter. The liberality of his mind will appear also from the answers he made to those who sometimes threw out hints to him that Finow was not his friend, and that it was therefore proper for him always to go armed :-“ Finow," he replied, “ is my brother-he is my superior chief “he is king of these islands, and I pay him • tribute as a servant; if he has any reason to “ be dissatisfied with my conduct, my life is “ at his disposal, and he is welcome to take it, 66 for it is better to die. than to live innocent " and yet be thought capable of treachery ;“ besides, I will not arm myself against a

power to which, as long as the country is “ well governed, it is my duty to submit.”

This brave chief was still at Lefooga with all his army, in daily expectation of receiving orders from the king for their return to Va

Toobo Toa thought the opportunity too advantageous to be lost: he did not approve of the advice of Finow, to wait yet a little longer. What opportunity, he thought, could be better than the present, while Toobo Neuba was still on the same island with him, and the king seemed disposed to favour his views? He had harboured sentiments of re

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »