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we shall find something greatly to admire and much to be approved of. While we accuse them of treachery and cruelty, they as loudly cry out that we are calumniators and detractors; for no bad moral habit appears to a native of Tonga more ridiculous, depraved, and unjust, than publishing the faults of one's acquaintances and friends; for while it answers no profitable purpose, it does a great deal of mischief to the party who suffers: and as to downright calumny or false accusation, it appears to them more horrible than deliberate murder does to us; for it is better, they think, to assassinate a man's person than to attack his reputation.
Considering the women generally, they are exceedingly humane and considerate; and though in their talkativeness, as in other parts of the world, they naturally speak of one another's faults, it is usually of such as are of a trifling nature, and without any malice, being inostly in the way of humour or joke. As to considerable faults, such as a woman's infidelity to her husband, it would remain as much a secret with any of their own sex (if they accidentally knew it) as it possibly could with herself. Quarrels among the women are very rare.
Chastity and Continence. - In the first place it is universally considered a positive duty in every married woman to remain true to her husband.
What we mean by a married woman is, one who cohabits with a man, and lives under his roof and protection, holding an establishment of him. A woman's marriage is frequently independent of her consent, she having been betrothed by her parents at an early age to some chief, mataboole, or mood. Perhaps about onethird of the married women have been thus betrothed: the remaining two-thirds have mar. ried with their free consent. Every married woman must remain with her husband, whether she choose it or not, until he please to divorce her. Mr. Mariner thinks that about two-thirds of the women are married; and of this number full half remain with their husbands till death separates them; that is to say, full one-third of the female population remained married till either themselves or their husbands die. The remaining two-thirds are married and are soon divorced, and are married again, perhaps three, four, or five times in their lives; with the exception of a few who, from whim or some accidental cause, are never married : so that about one-third of the whole female population, as before stated, are at any given point of time unmarried.
With such opportunities of knowing the habits of the natives relative to the subject in question, Mr. Mariner is decidedly of opinion that infide
lity among the married women is comparatively very rare.
He only recollects three successful instances of planned intrigue during the whole of his time : one at the Hapai Islands, on the part of Voogi, who was considered the handsomest man at the Tonga Islands; and two on the part of the present king, whose high rank and authority must, on the one hand, render his attentions flattering to the women, whilst on the other it may be supposed to excite a little apprehension of the consequences of a refusal.
From the above investigation, we think it would but be giving a fair specimen of the reputation of the married women to say, that they are not only circumspect in conduct, but chaste in principle.
If a man divorces his wife, which is attended with no other ceremony than just telling her that she may go, she becomes perfect mistress of her own conduct, and may marry again; which is often done a few days afterwards, without the least disparagement to her character; or, if she chooses, she may remain single ar admit a lover occasionally, or may cohabit with her lover for a time and remain at his house, without being considered his wife, having no particular charge of his domestic concerns, and may leave him when she pleases;
and this she may also do without the least reproach or the least secrecy.
As to those women who are not actually married, they may bestow those favours upon whomsoever they please without any opprobrium. It must not, however, be supposed that these women are always easily won; the greatest attentions and most fervent solicitations are some. times requisite, even though there be no other lover in the way. This happens sometimes from a spirit of coquetry, at other times from a dislike to the party, &c. It is thought shameful for a woman frequently to change her lover. Great presents are by no means certain methods of gaining her favours, and consequently they are more frequently made afterwards than before. Gross prostitution is not known among them.
In regard to the habits of the men in this respect, it must in the first place be observed, that no man is understood to be bound to conjugal fidelity. It is no reproach to him to intermix his amours; though if a married man does this to excess, it is thought inconsistent. Notwithstanding this liberty of conduct, however, most of the married men are tolerably true to their wives; and when they have any other amour, it is kept a secret from the wife, not out of
any fear or apprehension, but because it is
unnecessary to excite her jealousy, and make her perhaps unhappy.
When all things are taken into consideration regarding the connubial system of these people, their notions of chastity, and their habits in respect to it, we shall have no reason to say but what they keep tolerably well within those bounds which honour and decency dictate ; and if it be asked what effect this system has upon the welfare and happiness of society, it may be safely answered, that there is not the least appearance of any bad effect. . · The women are very tender, kind mothers, and the children are taken exceeding good care of; for even in case of a divorce, the children of any age (requiring parental care) go with the mother, it being considered her province to superintend their welfare till they grow up: and there is never any dispute upon this subject. Both sexes appear contented and happy in their relations to each other.
As attention to religious ceremonies forms an important feature in the character of the Tonga people, and as they consider any neglect in this respect would amount to a crime that the gods would punish with the most severe temporal inflictions, it becomes necessary to give a par