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times practise, are more or less connected with their religion, we shall say something of them before concluding the present subject.
There is a certain species of bird which they call chicotá, which is very apt to make a sudden descent and dart close by one, making a shrieking noise. This bird they suppose to be endowed with a knowledge of futurity, and they consider this action to be a warning of some evil that is about to happen.
As Mr. Mariner was once going out with the present king and a party of men upon some excursions against the enemy, one of these birds made a sudden descent, passed over their heads, settled on a tree, passed over their heads again, and again settled : upon which the majority, not excepting the king, were for returning immediately; but Mr. Mariner laughed at their superstition, and to prove that the bird had no great insight into matters of futurity, he shot it with his musket. But, however, this did not prevent them from going back to the garrison, and several had a full conviction that Mr. Ma. riner would soon be killed for his sacrilege.
When we come to reflect that they believe in no future place of punishment, but that all human evils are the consequence of crimes, and
that disrespect to one's superior relations is little short of sacrilege to the gods, these malevolent commands, however ridiculous some of them may appear to us, amount to the most horrible curses; for if such commands were fulfilled, nothing less than the most dreadful of human miseries would be expected to fall on the head of the sacrilegious perpetrator. But it is only when a number of curses are repeated in a string as it were, and pronounced firmly and with real malevolence, that they are supposed to have any effect : but not even then, if the party who curses is considerably lower in rank than the party cursed.
cursed. When a whole string is thus uttered, it is properly called vángi, and is often to the amount of thirty or forty in number. Mr. Mariner has heard one consisting of eighty maledictions, all disposed in rhyme : the rhyme, however, is not necessary. For a tolerable fair sample of this wonderful charm, the following may be taken. “ Dig up the bones of your father by moonlight, and make soup of his bones ; bake his skin to cracknel ; gnaw his bones ; devour your mother; dig up your aunt and cut her to pieces ; feed upon the earth of your grave; chew the heart of your grandfather; swallow the
eyes of your uncle ; strike your god; cut the gristly bones of dren ; suck out the brains of your grand
mother ; dress yourself up in the skin of your father, and tie it on with the entrails of
your mother,” &c. &c.
MEDICINE AND SURGERY.
The natives of the Sandwich Islands appear to have some knowledge of medicine; but whether from original discoveries of their own or from the information of Europeans, Mr. Ma. riner could not obtain any information from those natives who were with him at Vavaoo. One of these Sandwich Islanders (a petty chief) professed some knowledge of the healing art, and it so happened that Mr. Mariner was once the subject of his skill. Feeling himself much indisposed by a disordered state of the stomach and bowels, attended with head-ache and drowsiness, this Sandwich Islander proposed to give him some internal remedies ; whilst a native of Tonga, on the other hand, very much wanted him to lose some blood (by scarification with shells on the arms and legs). The remedies proposed by the former were an emetic and a cathartic. The cathartic consisted chiefly of the sweet potatoe grated, and the juice of the sugar-cane; to this, however, was added the juice of some other vegetable substance, with which Mr. Mariner was not acquainted. The emetic consisted of two infusions; one of cera
tain leaves, and the other of a particular root, both unknown to him. The Sandwich Islander informed him that the root was necessary to counteract the effect of the leaves, which was very powerful, and might in a large dose, and without such addition, kill him. Upon this discouraging information the native of Tonga with his scarifying shells, redoubled his persuasions, ridiculed the remedies of the other, and on understanding what effect they would have, laughed most heartily at the idea of curing a sick man by means which would make a healthy man sick. The remedies of the surgeon, however, were not more agreeable than those of the physician, and the patient was at a loss to know to whose care he should entrust his health, when the latter signified his intention of taking some of his own physic, which was the best proof he could possibly give of his confidence in it. Two equal doses were accordingly prepared; the patient took one, and the doctor the other. The cathartic was first given, and the emetic about an hour afterwards. The latter operated in about another hour, and the former, in conjunction with it, in about two hours and a half. They both evinced abundant evidence of their respective properties, and the following morning Mr. Mariner found himself perfectly well : which happy result the man who wanted
to bleed him could by no means attribute to the remedies he had taken. The Sandwich Islander, notwithstanding he was much laughed at, particularly about his cathartics, obtained at length a considerable share of credit for his skill.
No native of Tonga undertakes to practise surgery unless he has been at the Feejee Islands, where constant wars afford great opportunity of becoming skilful, and no native of Tonga would employ a surgeon who had not been thus schooled.
The three most important operations are cawso, or paracentesis thoracis; tocolósi, or an operation for the cure of tetanus, which consists in making a seton in the urethra ; and boca, or castration.
The one we are about to describe was performed upon a Feejee islander who had received a barbed arrow in the right side, between the fifth and sixth ribs, not in a line directly below the nipple, but about an inch backwards. The arrow had broken off about three inches from the point under the third row of barbs; and froin the rise and fall of the thorax in the act of respiration, the whole piece was perfectly concealed from any external view. The barbs and the point were of the same piece with the