« ForrigeFortsæt »
in to low water mark. In the evening they set fire to her, in order to get more easily afterwards at the iron work. All the great guns on board were loaded, and as they began to be heated by the general conflagration they went off, one after another, producing a terrible panic among all the natives. Mr. Mariner was, at this time, asleep at a house near the shore : being soon, however, awakened by the noise of the guns, he saw several of the natives running into the house, in a great fright; they, no doubt, thought every thing was going to wreck and ruin : seeing their distress, he gave them to understand, by signs, that nothing was to be feared, and that they might go to sleep in safety. After the guns had ceased firing he went down to the beach, and found the ship burnt to the water's edge. He walked to the house again, filled with melancholy reflections, and retiring to his mat, sleep at length brought a temporary relief to his afflictions.
The next day, as soon as it was day-light, the natives flocked to the beach, and by the direction and assistance of Mr. Mariner and some of the crew, got five of the carronades on shore, by tying a rope round them, and dragging them with the main strength of two or three hundred men. A few days afterwards
three more carronades were brought on shore in like manner, and also four long guns, but which, on account of their weight, were never afterwards made use of.
About a week now elapsed, without any material circumstance occurring ; during which time Mr. Mariner kept, for the most part, within doors, by the advice of Finow, lest he should be injured by the wantonness or malice of the lower orders, who took every opportu-. nity of insulting him. On the 16th of December, Finow, having a mind to go to the island of Whiba, for the sake of the recreation of shooting rats, invited Mr. Mariner to accompany him. The inhabitants of this island made great rejoicings on account of Finow's arrival. Ile remained there three or four days, spending the time principally in shooting rats* and birds.
One morning during Finow's stay at this island, some of the natives brought to Mr. Mariner his watch, which they had procured from out of his chest, and with looks of curiosity inquired what it was. He took it from them, wound it up, put it to the ear of one of them, and returned it: every hand was now
* Rats are frequently used as an article of diet by the lower orders: the chiefs shoot theta merely for amusement,
outstretched with eagerness to take hold of it; it was applied in turns to their ears; they were astonished at the noise it made ; they listened again to it; turned it on every side, and exclaimed “mo-ooi” (it is alive !): they then pinched and hit it, as if expecting it would squeak out; they looked at each other with wonder, laughed aloud, snapped their fingers, and made a sort of clucking noise with the tongue (expressing amazement). One brought a sharp stone, for Mr. Mariner to force it open with ; he opened it in the proper way, and shewed them the works; several endeavoured to seize hold of it at once, and he who got it ran away with it, and all the rest after him. In about an hour they returned with the watch completely broken to pieces. One had the case, another the broken dial, and the wheels and works were distributed among them. They then gave him the fragments, and made signs to him to put it together, and make it do as it did before: upon which he gave them to understand that they had killed it, and that it was impossible to bring it to life again. The man who considered it his property exclaimed mow. mow (spoiled !), and made a hissing noise, expressive of disappointment: he accused the rest of using violence, and they in return accused
him and one another. Whilst they were thus in high dispute there came another native, who had seen and learned the use of a watch on board a French ship ; when he understood the cause of their dispute, he called them all cow valè (a pack of fools), and explained, in the following manner, the use of the watch: making a circle in the sand, with sundry marks about its circumference, and turning a stick about the centre of the circle, to represent an index, he informed them that the use of the watch was to tell where the sun was; that when the sun was in the east the watch would point to such a mark, and when the sun was highest it would point here, and when in the west it would point there; and this, he said, the watch would do, although it was in a house, and could not see the sun; and in the night-time, he added, it would tell what portion of a day's length it would be before the sun would rise again. It would be difficult to convey an adequate idea of their astonishment: one said it was an animal, another said it was a plant; and when this man told them it was manufactured, they all exclaimed Fonnooa boto! what an ingenious country! All this Mr. Mariner collected partly by their gestures, and afterwards more fully when he understood their language, and con
versed with this man, who always prided himself upon his knowledge of the use of a watch, calling himself Papalangi (an European).
About the 20th of December, Mr. Mariner returned to Lefooga along with Finow. His life was still not only uncomfortable, but often exposed to many dangers, or, at best, he suffered many insults from the wantonness and malevolence of the lower orders. Tooi Tooi was by no means his friend, but, on the contrary, endeavoured to persuade Finow to kill both him and the other Englishmen ; lest a ship should árrive, and learning from them the fate of the Port au Prince, take an ample revenge for the injury done their countrymen : but Finow, fortunately, was not of this opinion; he conceived that white people were of too generous and forgiving a temper to take revenge, and therefore declined doing them any farther mischief. He had probably acquired this favourable idea of us, from observing that Europeans were not accustomed to knock out the brains of those under their command for every trifling offence!
As Mr. Mariner had in his possession a few printed books and some writing paper, he was often found by Einow either writing or reading: one day the latter desired him to give up all his books and papers; which, when he had