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displayed by five brigs and eight schooners. The government had already received consuls from Great Britain and America, with both of which powers the regency had concluded treaties of alliance. Much benefit is expected from the appointment of the official residents deputed by the authorities of their respective countries; greater effect being produced on the simple mind by example than by the most luminous precept, more especially in matters of religion and domestic morals.
On no occasion did the improved habits of the people appear to greater advantage than at the funeral of their sovereigns. Every thing native and ancient seemed to have passed away; the dead chiefs lay in state invested in more splendid cerements than their ancestors could ever have pictured to their imaginations; no bloody sacrifice stained their obsequies, no indecent ceremony roused a sentiment of shame or reproof in the hearts of the European visiters; but instead, there was hope held out of a resurrection to happiness, and the sublime doctrine was promulgated, which, while it announces an atonement for sin, promises the highest blessing to the purest spirit. Where only the naked savage was lately seen, the clothing of a cultivated people was now generally adopted; and mingled with them on this solemn occasion were the warlike and the noble of a great country, on the opposite side of the globe, teaching by their sympathy the charities which at once soften and dignify human nature. The furious yells of brutal orgies were now silenced; and when the solemn sounds were heard for the first time, committing the bodies to the earth, in the sure and certain belief of the Redeemer's second advent, it was impossible not to be struck with the deepest awe at a change which, when contrasted with the rapidity of its occurrence, appeared almost miraculous.*
On the 6th day of June 1825, a solemn assembly was held for the purpose of confirming the nomination of the young king, brother to Rihoriho; for though the crown was in some respects hereditary, the consent of the chiefs
Byron's Sandwich Islands, p. 129.
seemed indispensable to the accession of a minor. The question, whether the boy Kiaukiauli should be invested with the sovereignty, was carried by a unanimous and decisive affirmative. Immediately after this resolution, it was enacted by these representatives of the higher class, that the reversion of land to the monarch on the death of the occupant should not be longer continued, but, on the contrary, that the son should succeed to the father, except in cases where the public law had been violated by treason or the refusal of taxes. Boki, who had been in England with the late prince, stated that, after the lamented death of his master he had made application to King George for the benefit of the country, on the ground of the compact between Captain Vancouver and Tamehameha the First ; eand that his British majesty consented to watch over the islands, promising, that if ships of war came hither to do mischief, he would drive them away. He added, that above all, he exhorted them to abstain from fighting and from vice. He remarked, that whilst he was in London, he had been edified by the attachment of the people to their king, and had learned to regard his own young prince the more by their example. He then paid a high compliment to the English, on account of the kind treatment he and his companions had received, and ended by assuring the council, that “if the bowels of all the chiefs yearned as his did towards the young king, all things would proceed happily.”
The opinion of Lord Byron being requested, he presented to Karaimoku, the regent, a paper containing a few hints respecting their affairs, which he wished them to look over at their leisure. If they approved, he begged they would adopt them as their own, not as the dictates of the British government, which, he assured them, had no wish whatever to interfere with the regulations of the chiefs, who, it was acknowledged, must be the best judges of what suited the people. A conversation then ensued on the subject of missionaries, and his lordship was asked whether King George had any objection to the settlement of the American teachers in the islands, and
to their instructing the natives. The commander of the Blonde replied, he had heard that these persons had an intention of drawing up a code of statutes, and to this he decidedly objected; but so long as they did not meddle with the laws or commerce of the country, he could not object to theirinstructions in reading, and in the principles of the christian religion. One of the missionaries who was present (and whose constant presence in all scenes of business had probably suggested his lordship's remarks) disclaimed all intention of interfering in political or commercial concerns, being prohibited from engaging in such pursuits as well by their commission as by the private directions of their patrons. *
An allusion has just been made to the intrusive disposition of the missionaries, especially one of their number; and the complaint is not confined to a single navigator. Perhaps, as this field of christian philanthropy had been selected by the American preachers, their breasts may have been accessible to a slight emotion of jealousy in regard to the Russians and English ; while, with respect to the enactment of laws, they might meditate nothing more than had been accomplished in the Society Isles, under the sanction of King Pomare. At all events, there is no doubt that Kotzebue, Byron, and Beechey, considered them more active than enough in matters not
The paper which Lord Byron handed to Karaimoku, as containing his views concerning the business on which the council had met, contained the following articles :
1. That the king be the head of the people. 2. That all the chiefs swear allegiance to the king. 3. That the lands which are now held by the chiefs shall not
be taken from them, but shall descend to their legitimate children, except in cases of rebellion, and then all their
property shall be forfeited to the king. 4. That a tax be regularly paid to the king, to keep up his
dignity and establishment. 5. That no man's life be taken away except by consent of the
king, or the regent for the time being, and of twelve chiefs. 6. That the king or regent can grant pardons at all times. 7. That all the people shall be free, and not bound to any one
chief. 8. That a port-duty be laid on all foreign vessels.
strictly comprehended in their professional undertaking, nor closely allied to their spiritual functions. “ We believe,” says one writer, “mistaken zeal to be the source of many of the errors we see; but we fear also, that in some the love of power has mingled with zeal, and that the government of the country, through the medium of the consciences of the chiefs, is a very great, if not the principal object, of at least one of the mission."
The charge here insinuated has been met by a flat denial on the part of the individuals chiefly implicated in it; and we are satisfied that, when thoroughly examined, the unfavourable appearances will be found not to have exceeded the cares which an anxious teacher might display towards catechumens whose principles were not firmly established. The love of learning at first manifested among the natives was neither steady nor enduring. Soon after Christianity was introduced into the islands, several of the chiefs who had been taught to read and write were so delighted with their acquisitions in these arts, that they considered no degree of labour too great to extend and perpetuate them. But this flame soon exhausted itself by its very intensity; and education, in other respects, has made much slower progress than every friend to improvement could desire.t
It is admitted by the author, whose sentiments are conveyed in these remarks, that the missionaries were extremely anxious to diffuse a due knowledge of the tenets of the gospel, and laboured much to accomplish their praiseworthy purpose ; but it is added, that those who have resided in the country know well the little effect their exertions have produced, probably on account of the tutors having mistaken the means of spreading education. “ In the Sandwich Islands, as in all other places, there is a mania for every thing new, and, with due reverence to the subject, this was very much the case with
Voyage to the Sandwich Islands, p. 145-147. + Beechey's Voyage to the Pacific and Behring's Straits, vol. ii. p. 100.
religion in Honoruru, where almost every person might be seen hastening to the school with a slate in his hand, in the hope of being able soon to transcribe some part of the Scriptures. This feeling, under judicious management, might have produced the greatest blessings Woahoo could have enjoyed; and the gentlemen of the mission might have congratulated themselves on having bestowed
upon the inhabitants the most important benefits. But they were misled by the eagerness of their hopes, and their zeal carried them beyond the limits calculated to prove beneficial to the temporal interests of a people still in the earliest stage of civilisation."
The apparent thirst after spiritual knowledge at Honoruru created a belief among the missionaries that this feeling was universal, and auxiliary schools were established in different parts of the island, at which, it was said, every adult was required to attend several times a-day. When this demand upon their time was confined within reasonable limits, the chiefs, generally, were glad to find their subjects listen to instruction ; but, when men were obliged to quit their work, and repair to the nearest school so frequently during the day, so much mischief was produced by loss of labour, that many of them became desirous of checking it. A powerful party, at the head of which were the king and the regent, exerted themselves to counteract the tendency of the new system. The Ten Commandments had been recommended as the sole law of the land, a proposition which was at first resolutely opposed by the government. A meeting was called by the missionaries to justify their conduct, at which they lost ground by a proposal that the younger part of the community only should be obliged to attend the schools, and that the men should be permitted to continue at their daily labour. The king, whose riding, bathing, and other exercises had been restricted, now threw off all restraint, and appeared in public wearing the sword and feather belonging to the
Beechey, vol. ii. p. 102.