« ForrigeFortsæt »
designs and insults from inferior chiefs, by thus counselling him to act with becoming dignity towards even the king himself, whose friendship and sentiments towards Mr Mariner she well knew. He therefore took her advice, and remained at the plantation ten days, notwithstanding repeated 'messages from Finow, and entreaties to return; and at last he so intimidated the messengers, by threatening to shoot them if they appeared again with that errand, that Finow resolved to fetch him himself. Accordingly one morning he entered his house, and having awakened him, saluted him in the kindest and most affectionate manner, begged pardon for his too hasty conduct, and wept abundantly. From this period they were inseparable friends.
During this reconciliation, Finow explained to Mr Mariner the cause of his unseasonable rage against him for sneezing. It was not that he had any superstitious idea of it as a bad omen, but that it might have this effect upon the minds of his men, and put off his intended ceremony.
In consequence of Tooitonga's death, the great obstacle to shutting up the communication with Hapai was, for a time at least, removed; but that it might be so more completely, the king came to a determination of having no more Tooitongas, and thus to put a stop for ever to the ceremony of inachi ; conceiving that there was very little public utility in what was supposed to be the divine authority of Tooitonga, but that it was, on the contrary, a great and useless expense to the people. This measure, as may be imagined, did not prove objectionable to the wishes of the multitude, as it relieved them from a very heavy tax, and, in times of scarcity, one extremely oppressive. In regard to the religious objections which one might suppose
would be started against this measure, it must be noticed that the island of Tonga had, for many years, been deprived of the power, presence, and influence of Tooitonga, owing to its political situation; and, notwithstanding, appeared no less favoured with the bounties of heaven and of nature than the other islands, excepting the mischief and destruction which arose from human passions. If Tonga therefore could exist without this divine chief, why not Vavaoo, or any other island ? This strong argument growing still stronger, upon a little reflection, brought the chiefs, matabooles, and older members of society, to the conclusion, that Tooitonga was of no use at all; and the people, ever willing to fall into measures that greatly promote their own interest, notwithstanding a few religious scruples, very soon came to be of the same opinion.
As soon as Finow had come to this determination, and to that of shutting up all communication with the Hapai people, it became necessary to acquaint Tongamana, on his next arrival, and to forbid him ever to return to Vavaoo. In the mean time, however, as Finow had promised Tooi Bolotoo that his daughter (Mr Mariner's adopted mother) should be allowed to proceed to him at the Hapais, she was ordered to get herself and attendants ready to accompany Tongamana on his way back. Now, it happened that this person had a great number of female attendants,
of whom were the handsomest women in Vavaoo ; and, as the leave granted her to depart was equally a license for the departure of her attendants, Finow became apprehensive that the expatriation of so many fine women would occasion considerable discontent among his young men,
perhaps tempt some of them to take the same step. He sent, therefore, for Máfi Hábe, and told her, that, with her leave, he would contrive some means to keep back her women : in which she perfectly coincided—two favourite attendants excepted. Matters being so far agreed on, Finow, to avoid the appearance of injustice on his part, gave Mr Mariner instructions how to act, as if it were a thought and impulse of his own. Accordingly, when Tongamana’s canoe was ready to depart, and every one in it, save Máfi Hábe and her attendants, she was carried on board, and her two favourites immediately foilowed. At this moment, when the rest of the women were about to proceed into the canoe, Mr Mariner, who had purposely stationed himself close at hand with his musket, seized hold of the foremost, and threw her into the water, and forbad the rest to follow, at the peril of their lives. He then called out to Finow's attendants, who were seated on the beach, to come to his assistance, pretending to express his wonder at their folly, in permitting those women to leave them, for whose protection they had often hazarded their lives in battle. Upon this (as previously concerted) they ran forward, and effectually prevented any of them from departing. While their lamentations yet rent the air, Finow came down to the beach, and inquiring the cause of this disturbance, they told him that Togi (Mr Mariner) had used violent measures to prevent their accompanying their beloved mistress, and that the young chiefs had cruelly assisted him. One of these chiefs (Talo) then addressed Finow
“ We have all agreed to lose our lives rather than suffer these women, for whom we have so often fought, to take leave of us for ever. It is probable that we shall soon be invaded by the
people of Hapai ; and are we to suffer some of the finest of our women to go over to the men who will shortly become our enemies'? Those women, the sight and recollection of whom have so often cheered our hearts in the time of danger, and enabled us to meet the bravest and fiercest enemies, and put them to the rout? If our women are to
be sent away, in the name of the gods, send away also the guns, the powder, and all our spears, our clubs, our bows and arrows, and every weapon of defence. With the departure of the women our wish to live departs also, for then we shall have nothing left worth protecting, and, having no momotive to defend ourselves, it matters little how we die.” Finow upon this was obliged to explain to Tongamana the necessity of yielding to the sentiments of these young chiefs, to prevent the discontent and disturbance which might otherwise take place. The canoe was now ordered to leave Vavaoo for the last time, and never more to return; for if she or any other canoe should again make her appearance from Hapai, her approach would be considered hostile, and proper measures adopted. The women on the beach then earnestly petitioned Finow to be allowed a last farewell of their dear and beloved mistress, which being agreed to, nearly two hours were taken up in this affecting scene.
From this time Finow devoted his attention to the cultivation of the island ; and the exertions of this truly patriotic chief were so far successful that the country soon began to assume a more beautiful and cultivated appearance.
Nor did he in the mean time neglect those things which were necessary for the better defence of the place: the fortress underwent frequent examination and improvements. In the midst of these occupations, however, a circumstance happened which might have been the cause of much civil disturbance. It is well worth relating, as it affords an admirable, character of one of the personages concerned, and shows a principle of generosity, which must afford