« ForrigeFortsæt »
up to the grave in a fit of enthusiasm, and, dashing his club with all his force against the ground, exclaimed, “ Finow! why should I at"tempt thus to express my love and fidelity “ towards you? my wish is, that the gods of -“ Bolotoo permit me to live long enough to
prove my fidelity to your son :" he then again raised his club, and, running about, bruised and cut his little bead in so many places, that he was covered with streams of blood. This demonstration on the part of the young hero was thought very highly of by every one present, though, according to custom, nothing at that time was said in his praise; agreeably to their maxim, that praise raises a man's opinions of his own merit too high, and fills him with self conceit. The late How's fishermen now advanced forward, to shew their love for their deceased master in the usual way; though, instead of a club or axe, each bore the paddle of a canoe, with which he beat and bruised his head at intervals, making similar exclamations to those so often related. In one respect, however, they were somewhat singular; that is, in having three arrows stuck through
each cheek, in a slanting direction, so that, : while their points came quite through the !eheek into the mouth, the other ends went over
their shoulders, and were kept in that situation by another arrow, the point of which was tied to the ends of the arrows passing over one shoulder, and the other end to those of the arrows passing over the other shoulder, so as to form a triangle; and with this horrible equipment they walked round the grave, beating their faces and heads, as before stated, with the paddles, or pinching up the skin of the breast, and sticking a spear quite through; all this, to prove their love and affection for the deceased chief.
. After these exhibitions of cruelty were over, this day's ceremony (which altogether lasted about six hours) was finished by a grand wrestling-match, .which being ended, every one retired to his respective house or occupation; and thus terminated the ceremony of burying the king of the Tonga islands.
Finow's character, as a politician, at least in point of ambition and design, may vie with that of any member of more civilized society; he wanted only education and a larger field of action, to make himself a thousand times more powerful than he was. Gifted by nature with that amazing grasp of mind which seizes every thing within its reach, and then, dissatisfied with what it has obtained, is ever restless in
the endeavour to obtain more, how dull and irksome must have been to him the dominion of a few islands, which he did not dare to leave to conquer others, lest he should be dispossessed of them by the treachery of chiefs, and the fickleness of an undisciplined army. His ever restless and ambitious spirit would frequently vent itself in such expressions as the following: “ Oh, that the gods would make me king of
England! there is not an island in the whole “ world, however small, but what I would then
subject to my power: the king of England “ does not deserve the dominion he enjoys ; “ possessed of so many great ships, why does " he suffer such petty islands as those of Tonga “ continually to insult his people with acts of “ treachery? Where I he would I send tamely to “ ask for yams and pigs? No, I would come with “ the front of battle ;* and with the thunder of “ Bolotane + I would shew who ought to be chief. “ None but men of enterprising spirit should be “ in possession of guns ; let such rule the earth, 66 and be those their vassals who can bear to
• Mooa tow, which literally means the front or fore-part of battle, is a very usual expression among them.
+ The expression they use for the noise of guns; the word Britain they cannot pronounce in any other way than Bolotanë.
4 submit to such insults unrevenged !”. With such sentiments as these would he now and then break forth in presence of Mr. Mariner, after conversing on the power of the king of England. Hence his character, as to ambition, is drawn by himself with bold and decided lines. As to intrigue and design the reader may refer to the history of his conduct in the revolution of Tonga, (p. 77) where he suffered Toobo Neuha's revenge to be the tool of his ambition, pretending to have no strong wish for the death of Toogoo Ahoo ; hence Toobo Neuha took upon himself the charge of assassination, whilst Finow remained on the outside of the house with his men waiting the result: thus he did not draw upon himself the odium of any one, as an actual murderer of Toogoo Ahdo; all which fell upon the shoulders of Toobo Neuha, equally as great and brave, but a more honest and a worthier man. For a more striking instance, look to his deep design in the history of the assassination of Toobo Neuha, who had been his own ally, and was then his most faithful servant (see p. 144); here again he made use of another man's revenge to effect his purpose;
and mark the admirable caution with which he steps in this affair throughout. He acknowledges that he promised Toobo Toa
his assistance, but then states, as his reason, that he did it with the view of putting off Toobo Toa's intention for a time, under the false pretence, he says, that it was not yet a fit oppor-, tunity; but in reality, as he tells the Vavaoo people, that he might find an occasion to prevent the mischief altogether! But who can doubt, after having observed closely the features of that transaction, but that Finow meant to bring about the murder of Toobo Neuha that very night, clse why did he tell Mr. Mariner not to bring his whaling knife with him : was it not that he wished to be unarmed, that he might not have an opportunity of defending Toobo Neuha? Again, he did not, before he set out from his house, send for Toobo Neuha to accompany him, but when he had got half way on his road he stopped to bathe, and in the mean while, as if it were a second and a casual thought, he sent for his victim to accompany him to the old chief's house, where they remained above two hours. Toobo Toa was not present, and Toobo Toa's men were getting ready a canoe for him to escape, in case he were unsuccessful. When the first blow was given, Finow could not defend Toobo Neuha, because he was purposely unarmed, and because Toobo Toa's men held him, which they would