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respecting it, because Voona was a very great chief, even greater than Finow himself, and such a reserve on such a public occasion, towards a superior, would have been an act offensive to the gods. It may appear strange that Voona was a greater chief than the son of the king, yet it is a frequent occurrence, that the king is chosen from a family not of the highest rank, on account of his superior wisdom or military skill, and this was the case with the present royal family; so that the king is often obliged to pay a certain ceremonious respect (hereafter to be noticed), towards many other chiefs (even little children), who are greater nobles than he.
The company were now all seated, habited in mats, 'waiting for the body of the deceased king to be brought forth. The mourners (who are always women), consisting of the female relations, widows, mistresses, and servants of the deceased, and such other females of some rank, who choose, out of respect, to officiate on such an occasion, were assembled in the house, and seated round the corpse, which still lay out on the bales of gnatoo. They were all habited in large, old, ragged mats, the more ragged, the more fit for the occasion, as being more emblematical of a spirit broken down, or,
as it were, torn to pieces by grief. Their appearance was calculated to excite pity and sorrow in the heart of any one, whether accustomed or not to such a scene : their eyes were -swollen with the last night's frequent flood of grief, and still weeping genuine tears of regret; the upper part of their cheeks perfectly black, and swollen so that they could hardly see, with the constant blows they had intlicted on themselves with their fists; and their breasts, also, were equally bruised with their own misplaced and untimely rage.
Among the chiefs and matabooles who were seated on the marly, all those who were particularly attached to the late king, or to his cause, evinced their sorrow by a conduct, usual, indeed, among these people at the death of a relation, or of a great chief (unless it be that of Tooitonga, or any of his family), but which, to us, may well appear barbarous in the extreme; that is to say, the custom of cutting and wounding themselves with clubs, stones, knives, or sharp shells ; one at a time, or two or three together, running into the middle of the circle, formed by the spectators, to give these proofs of their extreme sorrow for the death, and great respect for the memory of their departed friend.
The sentiments expressed by these victims of popular superstition were to the following purpose: “ Finow! I know well your mind;
you have departed to Bolotoo*, and left your people under suspicion that I, or some of those “about you, were unfaithful; but where is the
proof of infidelity? where is a single instance “ of disrespect?” Then, inflicting violent blows, and deep cuts in the head with a club, stone, or knife, would again exclaim, at intervals, “ Is this not a proof of my fidelity ? does this “ not evince loyalty and attachment to the me
mory of the departed warrior ?" Then, perhaps, two or three would run up, and endeavour to seize the same club, saying, with a furious tone of voice, “ Behold! the land is “ torn with strife! it is smitten to pieces ! it is
split by revolts! how my blood boils ! let us “ haste and die! I no longer wish to live! your “death, Finow, shall be mine! but why did I “ wish hitherto to live, it was for you alone! " it was in your service and defence, only, that “I wished to breathe! but now, alas, the
country is ruined! Peace and happiness " are at an end! your death has insured ours! “ henceforth war and destruction alone can
prosper.” These speeches were accompanied with a wild and frantic agitation of the body, whilst the parties cut and bruised their heads
every two or three words, with the knife or club they held in their hands.
Others, somewhat more calm and moderate in their grief, would parade up and down with rather a wild and agitated step, spinning and whirling the club about, striking themselves with the edge of it two or three times violently upon the top or back of the head, and then, suddenly stopping, and looking stedfastly at the instrument, spattered with blood, exclaim, “ Alas! my club, who could have said " that you would have done this kind oflice “ for me, and have enabled me thus to evince " a testimony of my respect for Finow! Never,
no, never, can you again tear open the brains “ of his enemies! Alas! what a great and mighty "warrior has fallen! Oh! Finow, cease to
suspect my loyalty! be convinced of my “ fidelity! But what absurdity am I talking ! “ if I had appeared treacherous in your sight, "I should have met the fate of those numerous “ warriors who have fallen victims to your just
revenge: but do not think, Finow, that I
• They understand tolerably well how to avoid the situation of the larger arteries.
“ reproach you ; no! I wish only to 'convince
you of my innocence, for who, that has “ thoughts of harming his chiefs, shall grow “ white-headed like me? (an expression made
use of by some of the old men). O cruel gods ! “ to deprive us of our father, of our only hope, “ for whom alone we wished to live! We “ have, indeed, other chiefs, but they are only “ chiefs in rank, and not like you, alas ! great “ and mighty in war!"
Such were their sentiments and conduct on this mournful occasion. Some, more violent than others, cut their heads to the skull with such strong and frequent blows, that they caused themselves to reel, producing afterwards a temporary loss of reason. It is difficult to say to what length this extravagance would have been carried, particularly by one old man, if the prince had not ordered. Mr. Mariner to go up and take away the club from him, as well as two others that were engaged at the same time. It is customary on such occasions, when a man takes a club from another, to use it himself in the same way about his own head; but Mr. Mariner, being a foreigner, was not expected to do this; he therefore went up, and, after some hesitation and struggle, secured the clubs, one after another, and returned with