« ForrigeFortsæt »
so many fine women from the country would occasion considerable discontent among his young men, and would perhaps tempt some of them to take the same step. He sent, however, for Máfi Hábe, and told her, that, with her leave, he would contrive some means to keep back her women, whose departure might occasion so much disturbance: in this intention she perfectly coincided, as she should have little use for them hereafter, in the retired life she meant to lead with her father, two favourite attendants, however, excepted, whom she begged to take with her. Matters being so far agreed on, Finow, to avoid the appearance of injustice on his part, gave Mr. Mariner instructions how to act, with a view to bring about his object, as if it were a thought and impulse of his own. Accordingly, when Tonga-mana'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 favourite attendants immediately followed : at this moment, when the rest of the women were about to proceed into the eanoe, Mr. Mariner, who had purposely sta
tioned 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 being shot. He then called out to Fi. now's attendants, who were purposely 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 bazarded their lives in battle: upon this (as had been previously concerted) they ran forward, and effectually prevented any of them from departing. At this moment, while their lamentations rent the air, Finow came down to the beach ; and enquiring the cause of this disturbance, they told him that Toyi (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. 66 There is good reason to suppose that we “shall soon be invaded by the people of Hak pai: and are we to suffer some of the finest of 5 our women to go over to the men who will “ shortly become our enemies? Those wo“-men, 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 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 our"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 wbich 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 would accordingly bé 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, ñearly 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 promise 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 cha, racter of one of the personages concerned, and shews a principle of honour and generosity of mind, which must afford the highest 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 con. tention 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, however, 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 him by superior strength, but rather owing to an acci. dental 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 ;