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death-The prince consults with his uncle on matters of political government relative to his succession
Self inflictions of the mourners_Funeral proces-
-Ceremonies after burial-Respect paid by persons in passing the grave. The prince's intimation to Voona that he should exile himself—The prince receives authority as How at a cava party-His noble speech on this occasion-Farther exhortations to his chiefs and matabooles respecting the cultivation of the country-Half mourning commences The ceremony of the twentieth day after burialThe dance called Mée too Buggi-Heroic behaviour of two boys at the grave-The late How's fishermen exhibit proofs of their affection for the deceased-Moral and political character of the late How- His personal character-A brief comparison between the characters of the late and present How
THE prese a lil Frervem inte citer tior wit. fave tain sha
The flattering reception with which the present work has already been honoured by à liberal public, and the appearance of a French translation of it at Paris, in November last, are convincing proofs of the interest, at least, which the subject has excited. Whilst preparing this second edition, it has been my good fortune to meet with an additional weight of testimony in favour of the facts related; and not to detain the reader with unnecessary matter, I shall at once lay open the source of this new proof of the strict fidelity of Mr Mariner's representations. Jeremiah Higgins, a young man belonging to the crew of the Port au Prince, * made his escape from the
* He served on board this vessel in the capacity of what is technically termed a landsman, and was then about fifteen or sixteen years of age. VOL. I.
Tonga Islands about thirteen months before Mr Mariner, that is to say, after a residence there of two years and eleven months. Being very young, he was one of the first who acquired a tolerable knowledge of the language. He practised their dances, and learned their songs ;-and although he had not the advantage of those better opportunities which fell in Mr Mariner's way, and consequently is not so intimately acquainted, in certain points of view, with the political sentiments, and moral notions and habits especially of the higher classes of the natives, which the superior education of the latter, as well as his relative condition among the Tonga chiefs, rendered him more apt to acquire ;-still, the information obtained from Higgins must undoubtedly be considered valuable, if only regarded as generally corroborative, and in a few instances somewhat corrective, of Mr Mariner's statements.
For three or four years (until December last) Jeremiah resided with his father, an old inhabitant of the town of Aylesbury, a man well known, and much respected, and in the employ of many farmers in the county as a hay-binder. Some time after the publication of the first edition of the present work, a copy was sent to Jeremiah, with a request that he would particularly remark and make a memorandum of whatever he conceived not to be correctly stated.
In the month of November last, Mr Higgins, the father, happening to be in town upon some business, called to inform me, that his son had been exceedingly pleased with the perusal of the work, particularly as it served to corroborate many things which he had previously related to his friends and neighbours, and to which he had reason to think they did not always give the credit that was due; insomuch, that he began to be heartily tired of answering their numerous inquiries. Among those to whom he had given the most information prior to the publication of the work, was Mr T. Woodman, a very respectable and intelligent farmer, residing at Stone, near Aylesbury. As this gentleman had also read the book, I wrote to him to request the favour of his sentiments, with regard to the two unconnected sources of information, which had fallen in his way. From the answer which he obligingly sent me, dated Stone, 4th December 1817, I beg leave to extract the following paragraph, as bearing immediately upon the subject.
“ I most certainly have many times, before your publication appeared in the world, asked Jeremiah Higgins many questions respecting the inhabitants of the Tonga Islands; but as he is a young man of a reserved disposition, the communications he made were always desultory, unconnected, and confined. Yet I cannot have the least
doubt, or the least hesitation in saying, that in the accounts he gave, he spoke of the very same people, and of the very same incidents, which are related by Mr Mariner, in the work you have recently published. He spoke to me of the capture of the vessel he sailed in; of the siege and reduction of the Tonga great fortress; of the effects of the great guns; of the panic and consternation thence produced; of their religious and political convocations, &c. &c., which are events so exactly detailed and portrayed in the work you have given, that I find not the least difference between the one and the other, save that the accounts given by Mr Mariner are more amplified, and better arranged, in bearing reference to the religious and political proceedings relating to their society.”
That no source of information or of satisfactory proof might be left untried, I engaged Jeremiah Higgins to come up to town; and now it was, for the first time, that he and Mr Mariner met, since their separation at the Tonga Islands. He remained with me till the latter end of December, and I had abundant reason to be satisfied with the accordance between his several statements, extracted from him by various questions, and those which I had formerly received from Mr Mariner. When they spoke the Tonga language together, I noticed the similarity of their pronuncian.