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Tonga should be inhabited by intelligent beings, said to his two sons, “ Go, and take your two wives, and dwell in the world of Tonga :" that they went accordingly: that the youngest, who was industrious and wise, made axes and cloth: that the elder, who was indolent, and envied the works of his brother, at length 6 meeting his brother walking struck him till he was dead.' Tangaloa then spoke to the wicked one, saying, “ You [and your race] shall be black because your minds are evil !”
Mr. Mariner took particular pains to make enquiries respecting the above extraordinary story, with a view to discover whether it was only a corrupted relation of the Mosaic account; and he found that it was not universally known to the Tonga people. Most of the chiefs and matabooles were acquainted with it, but the bulk of the people seemed totally ignorant of it. This led him at first to suspect that the chiefs had obtained the leading facts from some of our modern missionaries, and had interwoven it with their own notions; but the oldest men affirmed their positive belief that it was an ancient traditionary record, and that it was founded in truth.'
The editor observes it is strange that they should credit an account which seems so much to degrade themselves : but this effect they by no means admit. They think that the gods of the white men are more powerful than the gods of Tonga; and they acknowlege that Europeans are more knowing, and have more disposition to do good, than themselves: but they do not allow that they lie under a malediction; on the contrary, they maintain that they are far superior to us in personal beauty, and though we have more instruments and riches, they think that they could make a better use of them if they only had them in their possession. Of the chiefs and matabooles who related the foregoing account, some believed it firmly, others left it as they found it, none positively disbelieved it.
This account of the peopling of Tonga has more the appearance of a received tradition, than of one which originated with themselves; and any communication from the missionaries must have been of too recent a date to have been considered as an antient tradition. It must therefore be supposed to have come to them from Asia, and is to be reckoned among, the marks that may be enumerated of manners and customs which the Tonga-people appear to have derived from the East Indies. The title of Daughter of the Sky may, it is true, be as properly attributed to human vanity generally: but the widow who would be strangled, the flowery style of their songs, and the similitude which has been observed in the A a 3
It is superfluous to say that the Tonga islanders have interested us; and that the copious account of them, which is afforded in these volumes, is highly creditable to the ability and observation of the young man who was thus singularly thrown among them, and preserved among them during such a considerable period. We behold in them the natives of a equntry placed under a vertical sun, endowed with natural advantages both mental and corporeal, and with a degree of hardihood to endure and valour to undertake, that are equal to whatsoever is known of the inhabitants of the most vigourgiving climates; and who, in their capabilities of attainment, are to be ranked with the highest classes of our species. At the same time, we see them in a state of society and of morals so barbarous that they must be regarded as savages. Their great virtue is that which the Romans esteemed pre-eminent, Fortitude; while their great vice is the one that is most common to barbarians, and of all evil qualities the most base,
Treachery. Yet, such as they are, the description given of them frequently reminds us of the heroes in the Iliad. In their wrestling matches, we fancy that we see the contest between Ulysses and Ajax Telamon; and the parallel is yet more striking in the interview held at the truce preceding a battle.
We recommend it to Dr. Martin to furnish a future edition of this book with a map of the Tonga islands, which might include the Fiji islands, and needs not be of greater extent. Such an illustration would afford satisfaction to the reader, while it increased the interest of the work; and the purchasers of the present edition might, at a small expence, be supplied with copies.
Art. II. The Second Part of Armata. 8vo. pp. 209. 86. 6d.
Boards. Murray. 1817. W HEN we reviewed the former part of this work, which
was called a Fragment, we compared it to some of those fine fragments of a sister art on which the world has long set a high value. Must we now talk of the ill success which has attended all attempts to restore to those noble relics the beauties of which the hands of time, and of other tasteless depredators, have deprived them ? Perhaps we may drop the comparison, and remind the noble author, and our readers, how very seldom Second Parts have been found to satisfy the expectations which their more fortunate precursors had excited. Nothing is more difficult than for, a writer to reA a 4
semble himself, and to transfer to one class of subjects the style of thought and of expression to which other and very different topics gave birth. The former volume, it will be recollected, (see our Number for March last,) comprised the author's account and opinions of the government of Armata, and her national politics, both foreign and domestic. In the present, are discussed the state of society, public and private, including the topics of dress, taste, and manners; the laws and religion of the country; and the police of the capital.
The subject of society occupies five out of the seven chapters of which the volume consists. The first point is to equip the aụthor in the habit of the country; which leads to some observations on an indiscriminating style of dress that has been introduced in modern times, and has confounded peers and barbers by assimilating their outward appearances. His friend is impatient to carry him to the capital, ludicrously called Swaloal, as we before remarked; and, to avoid delay in furnishing him with clothes, he suggests the expedient that the stranger should accept the suit of a friendly barber, never worn, which the owner had obligingly offered.
• When morning came, his impatient genius suggested to him a most rapid but seemingly indelicate escape from the further delay of my equipment, as he informed me, with the highest glee, that the barber, who had been setting his razors, overhearing our difficulties, had offered a suit of his own, never put on, and which, looking at our two persons, he said would fit me to a hair. - He now directed the young man in his own language to fetch them, saying to me in English, “ This I can assure you is a most fortunate incident, as I could not have supplied you MYSELF, having nothing here but this coarse wrapper, my only covering in the wilderness,” (for so I found afterwards he styled the whole country, or rather the whole universe, out of the sound of a celebrated bell in Swaloal, the name of which I have forgotten :) “ HERE,” he said, “ I follow the custom of nature, the beasts of the field know where they are, and have but one suit."
· I was too much disconcerted by this apparently strange behaviour to attempt any interruption of this mortifying dispatch, but when it was quite out of reach I could not help saying, that I hoped I should be pardoned for wishing, if the expense would not be an objection, that I might be furnished with what we called, in England, the dress of a gentleman, instead of this young barber's apparel, as I had no doubt there were different degrees in a country which his father had described to me as so highly civilized.
• “ Undoubtedly,” said Cathmor, (for this was the name of my, companion,) “ there are many degrees among us, more numerous, perhaps, than in any other nation, but there are no distinctions in our ordinary dresses; we have gentlemen, as you say you have in England, and, as you have just seen, we have barbers also ; but
which is the gentleman and which is the barber when you meet them in the streets, it has been long impossible for the nicest eye to discover, as our highest nobility and our lowest tradesmen dress exactly like one another : there is perhaps something now and then in air and manner, by which people fancy they may be distinguished, but in no other way whatsoever. I expressed great surprise at this, and said that in my country such a system would be most unpopular ; not from any pride in the higher orders, as the principles of equality, where they could practically or usefully exist, were liberally cherished in England, but because the lower classes, who might seem to be exalted, would, with one voice, exclaim against it, as injurious to trade, as destructive to manufactures, and a cruel oppression of the immense multitudes who only lived by hourly changing fashions, which circulate superfluities amongst the industrious poor; and though sumptuary laws were inconsistent with our free government, yet an English nobleman would be the subject of very unpleasant remarks, who did not maintain his pre-eminence even in his most ordinary appear. ance, for the circulation of wealth, and the encouragement of ingenious arts. “I could almost swear,” he replied, “ that you, were describing this very country even less than fifty years ago; as I have heard from my father that, even in his time, persons of rank were stupid enough to wear lace and embroidery, and other expensive fabrics, in their daily habits, but we have a damned deal more taste now, and they are never beheld except in the palaces of princes, and when you see them there hereafter, you will think that, notwithstanding their absurd unwieldiness, the whole court was engaged in some distant military expedition, as every one of them wears a sword, and carries a kind of knapsack upon his back. – I am happy, however, the subject has been started, as I should have been much distressed if you had been left for a moment to imagine I had not intended to give you the full benefit of every distinction which a stranger of rank and honour ought to command.”
. He then left me, but first taking me kindly by the hand, and saying he would return as soon as he had got rid of some vulgar people who were waiting to see him. - He had not been gone a moment when the barber re-appeared, but without the clothes : he walked about the room, without taking the smallest notice of me, until upon my friend's return, whom I had apprized of my disappointment, they came up to me together, laughing immoderately and most obviously at my expense, Čathmor holding his sides from the convulsion of his mirth, whilst he said, or rather attempted indistinctly to say to me, “ My good friend, this is not the barber, as you imagined, but one of the highest of our grandees, who is come down to visit a relation on board the feet." - What rendered this sufficiently absurd scene more completely ridiculous, was the return at the same moment of the actual barber himself; and when he had laid down his bundle, the nobleman and the shaver were like brothers; no more to be distinguished than twins are even by midwives at their births.