Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

frivolous pretensions of procuring food for their birds. The sufferer sometimes makes a complaint to the king, or whatever chief the keeper belongs to; and if the chief thinks the offence really outrageous, he orders the man a severe beating, which is usually done by inflicting heavy slaps with the open hand upon his bare back, or striking him about the head and face with the fist.

Filimóëátoo soon departed from Foa, on his way

to Hihifo, and arrived at this place without any accident. He was not, however, so successful in the object of his journey as he expected to be; for the chief of Hihifo was by no means willing to part with a bird, which, he said, had cost great hazard to himself, and the loss of many lives, to preserve ; for he had sustained wars with so many other chiefs, who had quarrelled with him on account of his refusing to give it them, that he felt, he said, more than ever resolved to keep it: but, however, as Finow had so strong a desire for an excellent and well trained bird of that kind, he would make him a present of a pair, which, although not quite so good as the one in question, yet would be found exceedingly valuable. Before parting, however, he qualified his refusal of the rare bird by saying, that if he

ever did give it away, it must be after very mature deliberation, for it had already cost him a vast deal, and was certainly the best bird that had ever been trained.

He was heartily glad to hear of the death of Toobo Neuha, and declared that no personal enmity existed on his part towards Finow; but, on the contrary, felt so great an attachment for him, that he would most willingly return with Filimóëátoo to Vavaoo to pay a visit to Finow, but that his matabooles would not allow him. Filimóëátoo having remained a day and a night with this chief, returned with the two birds to Finow, and gave him an account of his interview with the chief of Hihifo. Finow received the present, but was by no means well pleased with the refusal of the bird, on which he had so much set his heart. The following morning, however, he went out to try his success with these two, and which so far exceeded his expectations, that he wanted more than ever to have the excellent bird, and he immediately set about to obtain it by rich presents. He accordingly got ready sea-horses' teeth, beads, axes, a looking-glass, several iron bolts, and a grinding stone, all of which he had procured from European ships, and chiefly from the Port au Prince. Besides these things,

he ordered to be got ready several bales of Vavaoo gnatoo, fine Hamoa mats, and a large quantity of cava ; the whole of which he gave in charge to Filimóeátoo to take immediately to Hihifo, and present them to the chief, ex.cept some of the cava, which he was to distribute among the lower chiefs and matabooles, to engage them more readily in his interest. Finow himself accompanied Filimóëátoo as far as Haano, (one of the Hapai islands,) and took | many of his principal chiefs along with him, with a view of lessening the consumption of food at Vavaoo. On this expedition there were five canoes, all of which arrived safe at llaano; and from this island Filimóëátoo proceeded in one canoe with thirty men to Hihifo, where he also arrived safe, and distributed his presents.

The chief of Hihifo, on this second urgent application from Finow, after some consideration, answered, that as he could not make any use of the bird himself, his time being so much taken up in constant warfare with his neighbours, and as it would not be consistent with the character of a chief * to retain from another that which he could not use himself, he would,

* The chiefs, among themselves, use this sort of expres. sion, -as in civilized countries one would say, it is not acting like a gentleman,

at once, resign the bird to Finow, notwithstanding the high value he placed on it, and the immense care and trouble it had cost him. This famous bird was accordingly consigned to the charge of Filimóëátoo, who returned with all convenient speed to tell the king the success of his journey. Finow was still at the Hapai islands, when he received his long wished-for present; but he made no use of it till about three weeks afterwards, when he had returned to Vavaoo. In the mean time Maccapapa, Lolo hea Bibigi, and three others, all chiefs and warriors, secretly left Vavaoo, and sailed for Tonga, to join Taky', chief of the fortress of Bea (who formerly burnt Finow's fortress of Nioocalofa in so treacherous a manner). They took this step, being apprehensive that the king might hereafter wreak his vengeance on them for fighting against him : the sequel will show how far their apprehensions were well grounded.

Whilst Finow was yet at the Hapai islands, Mr. Mariner accompanied the prince to the island of Tofooa, to procure iron-wood, which is found there in great abundance. The prince first obtained leave from Tooitonga, (the divine chief,) for this island is his property, and therefore considered sacred; besides, it is sup

posed to be the residence of the sea gods, and on this account the people firmly believe that no sharks will hurt a man who is swimming near upon its coast, but, on the contrary, swim round him, and even pass so close as to touch him, without shewing the least hungry disposition. Mr. Mariner, however, never had an opportunity of witnessing the miraculous abstinence of this sort of fish.

On the island of Tofooa there is a small vol. cano, situated near the northern extremity, from which smoke almost constantly issues, and pumice-stones are very frequently. thrown out. An eruption of flame takes place, sometimes twice or thrice a week, and at other times scarcely once in two months, and generally lasts from one to two or three days. The way to the top is extremely difficult; but Mr. Mariner, taking one of the natives of the island for a guide, resolved to ascend it. They began the ascent early in the morning, and, although their progress was much impeded by the quantity of loose pumice-stone, and often rendered very dangerous, they reached the top in about four hours. There was at this time no eruption of flame, which had ceased a few hours before, after having lasted three days; smoke there was, however, in abundance, but which

« ForrigeFortsæt »