Billeder på siden

behind him in waiting, and who was much respected by the late king and his family, on account of her having given him some information respecting a real or supposed conspiracy, on the part of the Vavaoo chiefs ; (Booboono, Cacahoo, and others, who were seized in consequence at Macave, and afterwards put to death: see p. 288). This woman remarked to the prince that his father, just before he was taken ill, had sent two men to her to procure a rope, (she having the care of a store-house,) with orders to bring it to him secretly. These two men, whose names were Toohengi and Boboto, (the former the son of Toobo Boogoo, a priest, the Jatter a cook,) happening now to be present, the prince turned to them, and asked if they knew the purpose for which his father wanted this rope ;-whom he meant to bind with it --Hearing this question, Mr. Mariner, who was sitting close to him, exclaimed “ What! did “ you not know that he intended to bind and "" afterwards to kill Toobo Tea, the priest of “ Toobo Totai, to be revenged on this god for “ not bringing about his daughter's recovery*?"

* This intention of the king had only been cautiously whispered about, among a few chiefs and matabooles, that were constantly with him; and his sudden sickness and speedy death, which prevented him putting his threats into execution, had so occupied every body's thoughts, that the circumstance for a time was forgotten.

This fact was afterwards confirmed by other persons, and particularly by certain warriors, who had actually received orders to seize Toobo Tea, and murder him. Thus was a plan of sacrilegious wickedness brought to light, which made all those who now beard it for the first time shudder at the mere thought: “ No wonder!” (for such was the general exclamation) “ no wonder that he died ! a chief * with such dreadful thoughts!” Mr. Mariner then stated, in addition, 66 that he had heard “ the king say more than once, (a few days “ before he died,) · How unmindful are the

gods of my welfare !—but no! it is not the “ * decree of the gods in general ;-it is to that "vexatious Toobo Totai, that I owe my mis56 • fortunes; he does not exert himself for my “ • good: but wait a little, I'll be revenged !66.his priest shall not live long*!'”

* Finow had often stated to Mr. Mariner his doubts that there were such beings as the gods :—he thought that men were fools to believe what the priests told them. Mr. Mariner expressed his wonder that he should doubt their existence, when he acknowledged that he had more than once felt himself inspired by the spirit of Moombe (a former How of Tonga): “ True !" replied the king," there may be gods; but what the priests tell us about their power over mankind, I believe to be all false,"

[ocr errors]

The prince and his uncle, Finow Fiji, next held a consultation together respecting their mode of conduct, particularly in regard to certain chiefs, who were suspected of not being well disposed towards their family. Finow Fiji, for his own part, said, that he had no other wish than to coincide in whatever should seem likely to establish the peace and welfare of Hafooloo How (the name given to Vavaoo and all its neighbouring small islands, taken collectively), and that the only method of doing this would be to send all those chiefs, who pretended to have a right to the sovereignty, or who were suspected of such pretensions, away to the Hapai islands. As to his nephew, he said, that there could not well arise any dispute to his right of succession (except on the part of ill disposed chiefs), in as much as he was the late king's heir, and was well beloved by the Vavaoo people, on account of his having been the adopted son of the late Toobo Neuha, and also because he was born at Vavaoo, and brought up there. The prince agreed with his uncle on the propriety of sending the pretenders to the Hapai islands, particularly Voona, who was of the line of those chiefs who governed Vavaoo before the revolt of Tonga; and also Voogi, who was at the head of a strong party


of men, and was known to be in the interest of Toobo Toa. The prince concluded by saying, “ But let us wait as quietly as possible, “ till the burial of my father, and then we shall 66 have a different scene in the affairs of Va

vaoo : when all promoters of civil discord “ are banished, the earth shall be cultivated, " and shall appear again flourishing; for we “ have had war enough!" To which every body présent replied, “ 'Tis all we wish for.”

From the above sentiments of the two chiefs, it will appear to be their intention to confine the new sovereignty to the island of Vavaoo, and its neighbouring isles, without receiving tribute (unless voluntarily paid, which was not at all likely to be the case), from the Hapai islands, now in possession of Toobo Toa, against whom the prince had no intention of waging a new war, and shedding more blood for the mere purpose of obliging him to continue that tribute as heretofore.

The conference being ended, the two chiefs turned their attention to the removal of the body of the late How to Félletoa to be buried, as there were no fytócas at Neafoo but such as belonged to the family of Tooitonga ; and it would have been contrary to custom to have buried an individual of the How's family in a grave belonging to that of Tooitonga.


Ceremony of Finow's burial-Grief of his widows-Self in

flictions of the mourners-Funeral procession to Felletoa- The policy of the prince--Description of the grave, and ceremony of interment-Ceremonies after burialRespect paid by persons passing the grave, The prince's intimation to Voona that he should exile himself—The prince receives authority as How at a cava party-His noble speech on this occasion-Farther exhortations to his chiefs and matabooles respecting the cultivation of the country-Half mourning commences—The cere-mony of the twentieth day after burial-Description of the dance called Méë tou Buggi-Heroic behaviour of two boys at the grave-The late How's fishermen exhibit proofs of their affection for the deceased-Moral and political character of the late How-His personal character-A brief comparison between the characters of the late and present How.

All the chiefs and matabooles were now assembled on the marly' at Neafoo. Among the rest was Voona, to whom the prince went up, and intimated the necessity of removing the body of his father to Félletóa.' It would have been thought very disrespectful if he had not mentioned this to Voona before he issued orders

« ForrigeFortsæt »