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the spot. Having extricated him from his perilous situation, and finding a large body of the enemy close upon them, they resolved to sell their lives to the utmost advantage. At this moment, their own party looking round, and seeing these four bravely make a stand, came up with all speed to their assistance, and a general battle took place, which was obstinately fought for some time, but at length the enemy was completely put to the rout. Whilst this was going forward, a Hapai chief, at some distance from his friends, met a Tonga chief under the same circumstances. They immediately engaged with their clubs. One, however, being soon disarmed, and the other having broken his club, they fought with their fists; till, at last, so weak that they could not strike, they grappled with each other, and both fell to the ground.
The Tonga chief, incapable of injuring bis antagonist in any other way, got his fingers into his mouth, and gnawed them dreadfully; and after lying for a long time looking at each other, they gathered a little fresh strength, and by mutual agreement each crawled home to his respective fort.
The Hapai men, on their
back to Nioocalofa, found several of their friends in different parts of the road, who were unable to proceed on account of their wounds, but they were too weak themselves to carry them, and were obliged to leave them to the mercy of the enemy. They at length arrived at the colo, tired and fatigued beyond conception, with about fifteen prisoners.
The following day, some of the younger chiefs, who had contracted the Fiji habits, proposed to kill the prisoners, lest they should make their
escape, and then to roast and eat them. The proposal was readily agreed to, by some, because they liked this sort of diet, and by others because they wanted to try it, thinking it a manly and warlike habit. There was also another motive, viz. a great scarcity of provisions ; for some canoes which had been sent to the Hapai islands for a supply were unaccountably detained, and the garrison was already threatened with distress. Some of the prisoners were soon despatched; their flesh was cut up into small portions, washed with seawater, wrapped up in plantain leaves, and roasted under hot stones; two or three were embowelled, and baked whole the same as a pig.* A few days now elapsed without any signs of the canoes from Hapai, and the distress of those who did not choose to eat human flesh was very great. Mr Mariner had been two days and a half without eating any thing, when, passing by a house where they were cooking something, he walked in, with the pleasing hope of getting something that his stomach would bear, if it were only a piece of a rat. On.inquiry, he was told they had got some pork, and a man offered bim a piece of liver, which he eagerly accepted, and was raising to his mouth, when he saw, by the smile on the countenance of the man, that it was human liver. Overcome by disgust, he threw it in the mans's face, who only laughed, and asked him if it were not better to eat good meat than die of hunger.
When Captain Cook visited these islands, cannibalism was scarcely thought of amongst them; but the Fiji people soon taught them this, as well
* For their different methods of cooking, reference must be made to the second volume of the work.
as the art of war; and a famine, which happened some time afterwards, rendered the expedient for a time almost necessary. On this occasion they way-laid and murdered one another to supply themselves with food ; and they still tell an anecdote of four brothers, who, in this time of scarcity, invited their aunt to come and partake of a large yam, which they said they had secretly procured. The poor woman, glad of the idea of getting something to eat, and pleased with the kindness of her nephews, went to their house, where they soon despatched her, and she herself formed the materials of a repast. Since that period, there was a great scarcity at one of the fortresses on the island of Tonga, called Nookoo Nookoo. Two daughters of a chief of this place agreed to play at the game of lafo * against two young chiefs belonging to the same place, upon the following conditions :-If the girls lost the game, they were to divide a yam, which they had in their possession, and give half to the young chiefs; but if, on the contrary, these lost the game, they were still to have half the yam, but were to go out and kill a man, and give half his body to the girls. The result was, that the latter won the game, and, giving half their yam to the two chiefs, waited for the performance of their agreement. The two young men set out under cover of the darkness of the night, and concealed themselves near an enemy's fortress. Early in the morning, a man came out of the fencing to fetch some salt-water from the shore in cocoa-nut shells, which he carried with him for the purpose. When
* This game will be described in the second volume of the work.
he approached the place where the two lay concealed, they started out upon him, killed him with their clubs, and, at the risk of their lives, brought his body to Nookoo Nookoo, where they divided it, and faithfully performed their promise.
It was more than a fortnight before the canoes returned from the Hapai Islands with a supply of provisions, owing to the bad state of the weather ;
nd shortly after, the garrison of Nookoo Nookoo sent to request leave to bury the dead bodies of their relations who had fallen during the siege. This being granted, they came and singled out half a dozen from the 350 that lay about, whom they knew, from particular circumstances, to be their relations. These they took home to Nookoo Nookoo, leaving all the rest where they found them.
Every day a number of deserters from different garrisons came over to Finow. They all brought intelligence that Finow might shortly expect an attack from one or other of them ; but the fortress of Nioocalofa was now well prepared to receive them. In the meanwhile, the chief of a fortress. called Bea, about four miles to the eastward, entered into an alliance with Finow, or rather submitted to his dominion, acknowledging him king of Tonga. The name of this chief was Tarky'.
Having remained a fortnight or three weeks in daily expectation of an attack from an enemy, and seeing yet no signs of it, Finow became exceedingly impatient; for he was desirous of returning to the Hapai Islands, to perform an indispensable ceremony of a religious nature, which we shall now explain. At the death of Tooitonga (their great divine chief), there is such a constant feast,
ing for nearly a month, as to threaten a future scarcity of certain kinds of provisions. To prevent which evil, a prohibition, or táboo, is afterwards laid upon hogs, fowls, and cocoa-nuts, so that nobody but great chiefs may use them for food, under pain of death. This táboo lasts about eight months. When Mr Mariner first arrived at these islands, Tooitonga, the predecessor of the présent Tooitonga, had just died, and the ceremony of his burial was about to be performed, although he had not an opportunity of witnessing it. The feasting consequent upon this event being over, the táboo was imposed upon the articles above named; and now, after the lapse of eight months, the period to take it off had arrived, the accomplishment of which constitutes the ceremony in question. It must be mentioned, by the way, that two or three plantations are not subject to th táboo, to the end that hogs, fowls, and cocoa-nuts, may be furnished for occasional religious rites, and for the consumption of the higher orders. If the removal of the táboo were not performed in due time, it is supposed that the gods would become exceedingly angry, and revenge themselves by the death of some of their great chiefs.
Finow, as before stated, seeing no appearance of an enemy, and being anxious to return to Hapai for the performance of this ceremony, consulted the gods, and was admonished to proceed to the Hapai Islands as soon as possible. With this view, he at first intended to make some further arrangements with Tarky', and to leave a hundred of his men to garrison Nioocalofa till his