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had well prepared the way for it, by constantly whispering into the ear of Finow something disadvantageous to the character of Toobo Neuha. At one time he represented him to be the meditator of certain conspiracies; at another as the enviable possessor of a happier island, (Vavaoo,) much more productive of every article of convenience, and luxury : sometimes he insinuated that Toobo Neuha did not pay sufficient annual tribute, considering the fertility of the island and the superior dignity of Finow; at other times he represented him as ambitious, that he sought to gain too much the love of the people, and by his success in this way became too powerful: he moreover never ceased to remind the king of the frequent opposition made by Toobo Neuha to his wise measures in regard to his warlike preparations against Tonga : at last he had the boldness to propose his assassination. Finow, who was not at all startled at proposals of this nature, but who never wished, if possible, to appear to the world as a party concerned, lent an attentive ear to Toobo Toa, and half promised his assistance, but advised that the execution of his project should be deferred till some future and more fit opportunity offered.
To enter properly into the merit of this account, Finow's character must all along be kept in view : he was a man of a deep and designing spirit, always willing to favour any conspiracy that promised to advance his interests, but exceedingly cautious how he let any body know his intentions, even the party that proposed it. He always conducted himself with such admirable policy, that no one, not even his most intimate acquaintance, could dive thoroughly into his projects. Toobo Neuha, (his brother,) on the contrary, was a truly brave man, and, upon the whole, of an undesigning and exceedingly liberal mind; for though he had proposed and perpetrated the assassination of Toogoo Ahoo, it was believed to be not so much to avenge his own personal wrongs as those of his country: and often has he expressed to Mr. Mariner the extent and nature of his feelings on that occasion, how he regretted that so many beautiful and innocent women should be sacrificed at the same time (that they might not spread alarm ;) yet how strongly he felt that the liberty of his country was that moment in his power, whilst the desire of avenging its wrongs was like a raging thirst that overpowered every other sensation : no sooner was the blow struck than he saved all that he could save, a little child of three years old, which he bore away in his arms from the scene of slaughter. The liberality of his mind will appear also from the answers he made to those who sometimes threw out hints to him that Finow was not his friend, and that it was therefore proper for him always to go armed: "Finow," he replied, “ is my brother—he is my superior chief “ – he is king of these islands, and I pay
him “ tribute as a servant; if he has any reason to “ be dissatisfied with my conduct, my life is “at his disposal, and he is welcome to take it, “ for it is better to die than to live innocent “ and yet be thought capable of treachery ;
besides, I will not arm myself against a
power to which, as long as the country is “ well governed, it is my duty to submit."
This brave chief was still at Lefooga with all his army, in daily expectation of receiving orders from the king for their return to Vavaoo. Toobo Toa thought the opportunity too advantageous to be lost: he did not approve of the advice of Finow, to wait yet a little longer. What opportunity, he thought, could be better than the present, while Toobo Neuha was still on the same island with him, and the king seemed disposed to favour his views ? He had harboured sentiments of re
venge so long within his breast, and the fitness of the occasion so spurred his resolution, that every day's delay appeared in his imagination the loss of an age. Finow's feeling upon the subject was supposed not to be very far remote from that of Toobo Toa; but as he saw very clearly that this chief's determination was fully
and required no encouragement from him, he chose merely by an outward shew of moderation and wisdom to give a sort of passive consent, and to remain by this means the spectator rather than the actor in the scene, and so to avoid if possible the odium of being an accomplice in the murder of so brave and good a man.
A few days now elapsed, and Toobo Neuha was still among the number of the living. One evening, about an hour before sun-set, the king desired Mr. Mariner to accompany him and his daughter to Mahina Fekite, about three quarters of a mile off; he was going, he said, to consult an old chief, Toge he Mooana, who resided there, upon some political business. Finow usually carried out with him a large whaling knife, (the blade of which was 'two feet long and three inches wide ;) Mr. Ma-riner, observing on this occasion, that he did not take his knife, asked him if he should take it and carry it for him; he replied, No, I have no need of it: Mr. Mariner obeyed, and followed* him and his daughter, unarmed. In their way they came near to a pool, and Finow stepped aside to bathe, previously sending an attendant to Toobo Neuha, to desire him to come to him. By the time he had done bathing Toobo Neuha arrived, and all four pursued their walk to the old chief's house ; where, when they arrived, the two chiefs and Finow's daughter entered the inside fencing, while Mr. Mariner went into a house within the outside fencing, and remained in conversation with a female attendant of Finow's daughter. They had not been long here, before Toobo Toa came in and shortly after went out again. There entered soon after four men belonging to him, who immediately began to take down the sail, mast and sprits of a small canoe; stating as their motive, when questioned by the woman, Toobo Toa's orders to prepare a canoe†: having taken what they wanted, they went out. In about two
* When several persons walk together, it is customary for one to follow another in a row.
+ The orders they had received from Toobo Toa were, in fact, to get ready a canoe to make his escape in, if his intended project against the life of Toobo Neuba should fail. These four men were his confidents.