« ForrigeFortsæt »
circle, brandishing his club, and addressed the Vavaoo people to the following effect: “ If there
any among you harbouring secret thoughts “ of revenge, keep them no longer buried in
your bosom, meditating plans of future in“surrection, but come now forth and fight me
on the spot, for, by sacrificing me, you will
revenge his death: I am the man who acted “ a principal part in his death ; come on, then,
one and all, and wreak your vengeance on
my head!"--Nobody, however, accepted this challenge; not but there were many Vavaoo chiefs who would willingly have done it, had they not thought better to reserve themselves, to effect a future and more signal vengeance. The stone was now put over the grave, and the company dispersed.
During the whole of this time, in consequence of Finow's orders, every circumstance was attended to that might prevent an insurrection on the part of the Vavaoo warriors. The four carronades which Finow had brought with him were drawn up before the fencing in which he meant to reside during his stay: the Vavaoo people were forbidden to carry any offensive weapons, whilst those of Hapai were ordered to be under arms, and to keep themselves on the alert.
Two or three days after this funeral ceremony, the king summoned a private meeting in his presence of the chiefs of Hapai, and those of Vavaoo, when the latter swore allegiance to Finow with their hands placed upon a consecrated bowl*, whilst cava was being mixed in it, invoking the god, Tooi fooa Bolotoo, to whom the bowl was consecrated, and praying him to punish them with untimely death if they should afterwards break their vow, or harbour any thoughts to that intent. The cava was then shared out, and the king informed the Vavaoo chiefs, that thenceforth they were to consider Toe Oomoo, (his aunt), as their lawful chief, and to pay respect to her as such, at her cava ceremonies: they accordingly promised all due submission and obedience to their newly appointed chief; after which the assembly rose up, and dispersed to their respective houses.
The following day, Finow, and all that had
* The bowl is held consecrated because it is kept on pur. pose to make cava in, for the ceremonies of that god only (Tooi fooa Bolotoo), being used on no other, occasion. If a great chief takes an oath, he swears by the god, (laying his hand upon the consecrated bowl); if an inferior chief takes an oath, he swears by his superior relation, who, of course, is a greater chief, and lays his hand upon his fcet,
come to this island with him, went on board their canoes, and returned back to Lefooga, and, shortly after, all the Vavaoo people, except the greater part of the matabooles of the late Toobo Neuha, who were detained by Finow, pursued their course to Vavaoo.
About a fortnight after their sleparture, there arrived a canoe from Vavaoo with a mataboole, and thirty or forty men, who were well affected towards Finow. They brought the unexpected information, that the people of that island, at the instigation, and under the guidance of their chief, Toe Oomoo (Finow's aunt), had come to the resolution of freeing themselves from the dominion of the king, and of erecting themselves into a separate nation. Toe Oomoo, it seems, had made a speech to her chiefs, in which she declared, that she found it expedient to shake off the yoke of Finow; for, although she was his aunt, she could not but remember with gratitude the obligations she laid under to Toobo Neuha, and the respect that was due to his memory: Toobo Neuha, she said, had been her particular friend, and she was determined to act in a manner worthy the honour of so great a man's friendship. She then appealed to her chiefs and matabooles,
demanding of them their opinion, and whether they also did not think it expedient to free themselves from the tyranny of Finow. Here a consultation began, which was kept up a considerable time, without coming to any determination, some arguing rather in favour of Finow's conduct, others rather against it; till, at length, an old woman (sister to Toe Oomoo), rushed into the middle of the assembly, armed with a club and spear, and brandishing them in the air, demanded, with a loud voice, why they hesitated so long in an affair, in which honour clearly pointed out the only proper path to pursue ; " but,” she added, "At the
men are turned women, the women shall “ turn men, and revenge the death of their “ murdered chief; let, then, the men stand
idly looking on, and, when we women are “ sacrificed in the glorious cause, the example
may, perhaps, excite them to fight and die " in the same spirited endeavour to support * and defend their rights.” The warlike declaration of this heroine roused the chiefs into a state of activity, and they speedily came to a resolution to build a large and strong fortress, and to put themselves in a state of defence against any incursions that Finow might make
upon them, or, rather, which Toobo Toa might spur him on to make.
The proposed fortress was to be the largest that ever was known in the Tonga islands, to be, in short, a fortified town, capable of holding all the inhabitants of Vavaoo (about 8000 in number), with their houses and buryingplaces, to be built round the Moon *, and constructed, as usual, of reed fencings, much on the same plan as that of Nioocalofa, formerly described, but to be surrounded by a deep and firm-set bank of solid clay, about twelve feet high, with a ditch on the inner side of it, from which the clay would be furnished, and thus be proof against the guns : within this ditch, and next the fencing, was to be another bank of clay, smaller than the other. The whole of the materials of the fencing was to be proportionably strong and good.
Among a great deal of information which the old mataboole communicated, was that respecting the bravado of a Vavaoo warrior, who declared his utter contempt of the guns. It is customary for every professed warrior, before he goes to battle, or expects the coming
* The chiefs' houses are generally situated together, and this place is called the Mooa, the metropolis of the island.