« ForrigeFortsæt »
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
SIR JOSEPH BANKS, BART. K. B. &c. &c.
THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNT
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,
FROM THE ORAL DESCRIPTIONS OF AN ENGLISHMAN
LOVG RESIDENT TIERE,
IS MOST WILLINGLY INSCRIBED
AS A SMALL, YET APPROPRIATE TRIBUTE
HJS VERY OBEDIENT AND
DEVOTED HUMBLE SERVANT,
The cluster of islands in the South Pa-
* 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.