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T. Davison, Lombard-stret,

Whitefriars, London.

TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

SIR JOSEPH BANKS, BART. K. B. &c. &c.

THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNT

OF TAE

PEOPLE OF THE TONGA ISLANDS,

WHOM HE FORMERLY VISITED,

IN COMPANY WITH THE MUCH LAMENTED CAPTAIN COOK,

IN WICH IT IS ATTEMPTED PARTICULARLY TO SET FORTH

THEIR MANNERS, CUSTOMS, RELIGION,

AND LANGUAGE,

FROM THE ORAL DESCRIPTIONS OF AN ENGLISHMAN

LONG RESIDENT TIIERE,

IS MOST WILLINGLY INSCRIBED

AS A SMALL, YET APPROPRIATE TRIBUTE

OF RESPECT,

BY

HIS VERY OBEDIENT AND

DEVOTED HUMBLE SERVANT,

JOHN MARTIN.

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INTRODUCTION.

,

The cluster of islands in the South Pa- . cific Ocean, the inhabitants of which constitute the subject of the present work, is that, to part of which Captain Couk

gave the epithet “ Friendly,” for his chart of the Friendly Islands does not include Vavaon*, which he did not visit; and as this island is the largest, and now comparatively the . most important of all those belonging to the same archipelago, which, in his time, were under the same government, and still speak precisely the same language, and follow the same customs, we have thought it expedient to denote them all by one common name, which the natives them

* Port Refuge, in this island, is stated to be in S. lat. 18. 50. and W. long. 174.

selves give them, viz. “ Tonga," or, the Tonga Islands *.

As I presume it would be unnecessary to offer any apologies for presenting to the public the following account of a people, of whose government, religion, customs, and language, so little has hitherto been publishedt, I shall proceed at once to give a simple statement of the circumstances which first gave

rise to it, and the authority under which it has been conducted.

In the year 1811 I accidentally heard that Mr. William Mariner, the bearer of a letter from the East Indies to one of my connections in London, had been a resident at the Friendly Islands during the

* These islands, therefore, consist of the island of Tonga, which gives name to the whole, the cluster called the Hapai islands, and the island of Vavaoo.

+ The accounts of circumnavigators are imperfect by reason of the shortness of their stay; of these, however, Captain Cook's is the most accurate. The missionaries might have furnished us with more intimate details, but their accounts relate rather to the history of their mission than that of the natives. One of them, an anonymous writer, in a small volume entitled, “ A Four Years Residence at Tongataboo,” gives a very imperfect account of the people, himself being the chief subject of his narrative.

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