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shooting birds and rats. Mr. Mariner, as usual, formed one of the party. On this island there is a peculiar cavern, situated on the western coast, the entrance to which is at least a fathom beneath the surface of the sea at low water; and was first discovered by a young chief, whilst diving after a turtle. The nature of this cavern will be better understood if we imagine a hollow rock rising sixty feet or more above the surface of the water; into the cavity of which there is no known entrance but one, and that is on the side of the rock, as low down as six feet under the water, into which it flows; and consequently the base of the cavern may be said to be the sea itself. Finow and his friends, being on this part of the island, proposed one afternoon on a sudden thought, to go into this cavern, and drink cava. Mr. Mariner was not with them at the time this proposal was made ; but happening to come down a little while after to the shore, and seeing some of the young chiefs diving into the water, one after another, and not rise again, he was a little surprised, and enquired of the last, who was just preparing to take the same step, what they were about? “ Follow me," said he, “ and I will take you “ where you have never been before ; and “ where Finow, and his chiefs and matabooles,

are now assembled.” Mr. Mariner, supposing it to be the famous cavern of which he had heard some account, without any further hesitation, prepared * himself to follow his companion, who dived into the water, 'and he after him, and, guided by the light reflected from his heels, entered the opening in the rock, and rose into the cavern. He was no sooner above the surface of the water than, sure enough, he heard the voices of the king and his friends : being directed by his guide, he climbed upon a jutting portion of rock, and sat down. All the light that came into this place was reflected from the bottom, and was sufficient, after remaining about five minutes, to show objects with some little distinctness; at least he could discover, being directed by the voice, Finow and the rest of the company, seated like himself, round the cavern. Nevertheless, as it was desirable to have a stronger

* It is proper to mention that in presence of a superior chief, it is considered very disrespectful to be undrest: under such circumstances as the present, therefore, every one retires a little, and as soon as he has divested himself of his usual dress, slips on an apron made of the leaves of the chi tree, or of matting called gië: the same respect is shewn if it is necessary to undress near a chief's grave; because some Hotooa or god may be present,

illumination, Mr. Mariner dived out again, . and procuring his pistol, primed it well, tied plenty of gnatoo tight round it, and wrapped the whole up in a plantain leaf: le directed an attendant to bring a torch in the same way. Thus prepared, he re-entered the cavern as speedily as possible, unwrapped the gnatoo, a great portion of which was perfectly dry, fired it by the flash of the powder, and lighted the torch. The place was now illuminated tolerably well, for the first time, perhaps, since its existence. It appeared (by guess) to be about 40 feet wide in the main part, but which branched off, on one side, in two narrower portions. The medium height seemed also about 40 feet. The roof was hung with stalactites in a very curious way, resembling, upon a cursory view, the gothic arches and ornaments of an old church. After having examined the place, they drank cava, and passed away the time in conversation upon different subjects. Among other things, an old mataboole, after having mentioned how the cavern was discovered, viz. by a young

chief in the act of diving after a turtle, related an interesting account of the use which this chief made of his accidental discovery. The circumstances are as follow,

In former times there lived a tooi (governor)

of Vavaoo, who exercised a very tyrannical deportment towards his people; at length, when it was no longer to be borne, a certain chief meditated a plan of insurrection, and was resolved to free his countrymen from such odious slavery, or to be sacrificed himself in the attempt: being however treacherously deceived by one of his own party, the tyrant became acquainted with his plan, and immediately had him arrested. He was condemned to be taken out to sea and drowned, and all his family and relations were ordered to be massacred, that none of his race might remain. One of his daughters, a beautiful girl, young and interesting, had been reserved to be the wife of a chief of considerable rank, and she too would have sunk, the victim of the merciless destroyer, had it not been for the generous exertions of another young chief, who a short time before had discovered the cavern of Hoonga. This discovery he had kept within his breast a profound secret, reserving it as a place of retreat for himself, in case he should be unsuccessful in a plan of revolt which he also had in view. He had long been enamoured of this beautiful young maiden, but had never dared to make her acquainted with the soft emotions of his heart, knowing that she was betrothed to a

chief of higher rank and greater power. But now the dreadful moment arrived when she was about to be cruelly sacrificed to the rancour of a man, to whom he was a most deadly enemy. No time was to be lost; he flew to her abode, communicated in a few short words the decree of the tyrant, declared himself her deliverer if she would trust to his honour, and, with eyes speaking the most tender affections, he waited with breathless expectation for an answer. Soon her consenting hand was clasped in his : the shades of evening favoured their escape; whilst the wood, the covert, or the grove, afforded her concealment, till her lover had brought a small canoe to a lonely part of the beach. In this they speedily embarked, and as he paddled her across the smooth wave, he related his discovery of the cavern destined to be her asylum till an opportunity offered of conveying her to the Fiji islands. She, who had entrusted her personal safety entirely to his care, hesitated not to consent to whatever plan he might think promotive of their ultimate escape ; her heart being full of gratitude, love and confidence found an easy access. They soon arrived at the rock, he leaped into the water, and she, instructed by him, followed close after: they rose into the cavern, and rested from

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