Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

fytoca where lay the body of her deceased friend. For the space of six months this faithful mourner scarcely ever slept but on his grave, watering it with her tears, and disturbing the silence of the night with her sighs. One day she went, with the deepest affliction, to the house of Mo-oonga Toobo, the widow of the deceased chief, to communicate what had happened to her at the fytoca during several nights, and which caused her the greatest anxiety. She related that she had dreamed three or four nights running, that the late How appeared to her, and, with a countenance full of disappointment, asked, why there yet remained at Vavaoo so many evil-designing persons; for, he declared, that, since he had been at Bolotoo, his spirit had been disturbed by the evil machinations of wicked men conspiring against his son ; but he declared that “ the “ youth” should not be molested, nor his

power whaken by the spirit of rebellion; that therefore he came to her with a warning voice, to prevent such disastrous consequences. The apparition next desired her to place in order the pebble-stones upon his grave *, and pay every

* It must here be recollected, that mourners were accustomed to smooth the graves of their departed friends, and cover them with black and white pebbles.

attention to the fytoca ; he then disappeared. This troublesome dream she had had two or three nights running. Mo-oonga Toobó, upon hearing this account, thought it expedient to search the fytoca, to see if the charm of tattao* had not been practised in regard to the present Finow. They accordingly went together to the grave, and, after accurate examination, they discovered several bits of gnatoo, and a wreath of flowers curiously formed in a peculiar manner, invented by one of the wives of the king, and which they recollected to have seen him wear round his neck a few days before.

This circumstance being communicated to Finow, and, coming to the ears of his chiefs, and of the matabooles of the late How, produced considerable consternation among many of them. Finow, however, with that cool presence of mind which marked his character,

* The charm of tattao consists in hiding upon the grave, or in any part of the fytoca, some portion of the wearing apparel of an inferior relation of the deceased, in consequence of which that relation will sicken and die; or, it may be buried in the house consecrated to the tutelar god of the family. This charm is not supposed to have the desired effect when the grave of a deceased person is made use of, unless the deceased was of superior rank to the person on whom the charm is practised.

issued orders to his chiefs to keep' a vigilant look out, and, without discovering the least alarm, did every thing in the way of preparation against the worst that might happen. He kept Mr. Mariner constantly near him, that he might not be accidentally separated from him in case of any public disturbance. On all occasions he endeavoured to make the conspirators (if any such there were), believe that he was perfectly off his guard, and in conscious security, and, the better to convince them of this, he feigned to imagine that the bits of buried gnatoo, &c. must have been hidden there by some dogs in their play: by expressing himself in this way, he was in hopes of emboldening the conspirators to proceed with less caution in their plan, under the idea that he was off his guard. All this precaution, however, and studied policy, were unnecessary, as no signs of conspiracy became evident, and, perhaps, no conspiracy existed. In the mean time, the building and fortifying the garrison with extra ditches went on with dispatch, and, in a short time, was completed to the perfect satisfaction of Finow.

Shortly after the fortress was finished, a canoe arrived from the Hapai islands with Tonga-mana, a chief of the line of Topitonga,

who came from Toobo Toa, with a request to know how the inachï* was to be sent to Tooitonga,' seeing that Finow had declared that no communication whatever was to be kept up with Håpai. : As all on board were habited in mats, with leaves of the ifi tree round their necks,' as a token of submission, and that they came upon a religious duty, they were permitted to land... After having presented cava to several consecrated houses, they before Finow, and presented some to him, and then opened to him the subject of their mission, stating that they came with a request from Toobo Toa, that he would grant him permission to present himself at Vavaoo, to pay his last respects to the memory of the late king, by performing the usual ceremonies at his grave; hoping that, although Fino'w seemed determined to cut off all communication with the Hapai islands, that still he would not carry his decree to such an extent as to form an insuperable bar to the performance of a religious duty, for that he (Toobo Toa), wished to take his last farewell of a great chief, who, while living, he so highly esteemed, and whose

* The annual tribute of the first fruits of each island, to Tooitonga.

memory he had now. so much reason to respect. After Finow had heard the subject of the embassy, he said, in reply, that he should consult his chiefs and matabooles as to what measures hé ought to take, and would return a definitive answer as soon as possible. Tongamana and his party then rose up and went down to the beach, where their canoe was, and passed the night in the canoe-house.

Immediately after they had departed, Finow held a council with his chiefs and matabooles, the result of which was, that Toobo Toa should be allowed to send the inachi, provided Tonga. mana's canoe only was sent, and that this particular canoe should be allowed to come on any after occasion, upon condition that there were no more men on board than should be sufficient to constitute a crew; or, if he encroached upon this law, the canoe was never to be allowed to come again: but the question regarding Toobo Toa's coming was reserved for a future opportunity. This resolution was made, partly from religious motives, and partly to shew the Hapai people that they entertained no fears of them, but chiefly, perhaps, to demonstrate to Toobo Toa, how well provided and well armed they were against all attacks from a foreign enemy.

« ForrigeFortsæt »