« ForrigeFortsæt »
“ bravest and fiercest enemies, and to 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 pro“ tecting, and, having no motive to defend our6. selves, 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 or. dered 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 would accordingly be adopted. At this moment, the women on the beach earnestly petitioned Finow to be allowed to take a last farewell of their dear and beloved mistress, which on 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 exer
tions of this truly patriotic chief were so far successful that the country soon began to pro. mise the appearance of a far more beautiful and cultivated state than ever: nor did he in the mean time neglect those things which were necessary for the better defence of the place, and accordingly 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 shews a principle of honour and generosity of mind, which must afford the bighest pleasure to those who love to hear of acts worthy the character of human nature. On one of the days of the ceremony known by the name of tow tow*, which is celebrated on the marly, with wrestling, boxing, &c., a young chief, of the name of Talo, entered into a wrestlingmatch with Hala Api Api (the young chief who, as may be recollected, was mentioned on the occasion of Toobo Neuha's assassination). It should however be noticed, that a few days
* An offering to the god of weather, beginning at the time when the yams are full grown, and is performed every tenth day for eighty days. ..
before, these two had held a debate upon some subject or another, in which neither could convince the other. It is usual on such an occasion, to prevent all future fruitless argument upon the subject, to settle the affair by wrestling not that this mode is considered in the light of a knock-down argument, perfectly convincing in its nature, but it is the custom for those who hold a fruitless contention in argument, to end the affair the next opportunity, by a contention in physical strength, after which the one who is beaten seldom presumes to intrude his opinion again on the other, at least not upon the same subject. . Hala Api Api therefore challenged Talo on the spot. For a long
time the contest was doubtful ; both well made, - both men of great strength : at length, how
ever, it was the fate of Talo to fall, and thus the contest ended. The fallen chief, chagrined at this event, could not allow, in his own mind, that his antagonist had overcome bimby superior strength, but rather owing to an accidental slip of his own foot; and consequently resolved to enter the lists with him again at some future and favourable opportunity. This occasion of the ceremony of tow tow presenting itself, Talo left his companions and seated himself immediately opposite Hala Api Api ;
a conduct which plainly indicated his wish that the latter in particular should engage with him: a conduct, too, which, though sometimes adopted, is generally considered indicative of a quarrelsome disposition, because the challenge ought not to be made to one in particular, but to any individual among those of a different place or party who chooses to accept it. As soon as Hala Api Api and his friends perceived this, it was agreed among them that be alone should oppose him. In a short time Talo arose and advanced ; Hala Api Api immediately closed with him and threw him, with a severe fall. At this moment the shouts of the people so exasperated Talo, (for he had made sure in his own mind of gaining a victory) that, on the impulse of passion, he struck his antagonist, whilst rising off him, a violent blow in the face; on which Hala Api Api threw himself in a posture of defence, and demanded if he wished to box with him: Talo, without returning an answer, snatched a tocco tocco*, and would evidently have run him through the body if he had not been withheld. Hala Api Api, with a nobleness of spirit worthy of admiration, seemed to take no notice of this, but smiling
* A spear about five feet long, used by them as a walkis: stick, bet seldom employed in battle.
returned to his seat amid the acclamations of the whole assembly. All applauded his great. ness of soul, as conspicuous now as on other occasions ; Finow in particular shewed signs of much satisfaction, and in the evening, when he was drinking cava with the matabooles, whilst this noble chief had the honour to wait on them, the king addressed himself to him, returning thanks for the presence of mind which he had proved, and his coolness of temper; which conduct had placed his superiority and bravery in a far more splendid light than if he had given way to resentment: and as to his retiring, without seeking farther to prolong the quarrel, he was convinced (he said) that he had in view nothing but the peace and happiness of the people, which would undoubtedly have been disturbed by an open rupture with a man who was at the head of so powerful a party. To this the young chief made only this reply:
“ Co ho möbni ;"'* and appeared overcome by , a noble modesty, at being so much praised
(contrary to custom) before so large an assembly.
In the mean while, Talo, conscious of his error, and ashamed to appear in public, retired
* Meaning literally, “it is your truth:"'--that is, what you say is true.