Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

they ought to forego their reliance on the love and affection which he had hitherto so conspicuously shewn them? "But, as you seem “disposed," said he, "to live in idleness and “luxury, I will go and reside among a more “manly people, and prosecute war against the “island of Tonga." In reply to all this, they again assured him of their love and respect for him as an individual, but, as they were determined to live free, they would neither propose nor accept of any other terms. The king then ordered his matabooles to conduct him to his canoe, and, turning towards the Vavaoo people, said, "Live, then, among yourselves in “ idleness, and we will return to Hapai.” During the time that Finow was addressing the Vavaoo people, the matabooles and warriors that surrounded his canoe (among whom was Mr. Mariner), appeared much moved, and several shed tears, for his powers of persuasion were such, that, in defending his own cause, he seemed to be the most worthy, the most innocent, and the most unjustly used: on this account the greater chiefs and old matabooles of Vavaoo remained in the fortress, fearing to listen to his arguments, lest, being drawn aside by the power of his eloquence, they might mistake that for true which was not, and even lead the young and ardent warriors into an error, by persuading them that what he said was reasonable and just

The fortress, on the top of a steep rising ground, as seen from the canoes, presented a most formidable and warlike appearance: its extent seemed enormous, and the tops of the white reeds, which were seen at a distance above the banks of red clay, the whole being strongly illuminated by the sun, represented to the imagination of Mr. Mariner the spears and javelins of ancient heroes, drawn up in battle array. On the top of the banks a number of warriors, armed with clubs and spears, were running to and fro, with fine light streamers*, full thirteen feet long, attached to their heads and arms, which, floating in the wind, produced a most romantic effect. r

The king and his matabooles being now returned to their canoe, the expedition proceeded out of the inlet, and arrived shortly at a small island, on which they landed, and stripped it of almost all its cava root. It is here proper to mention, that all the islands adjacent to Vavaoo were deserted by order of Toe Oomoo, that all

* These streamers consist of the fine membrane stripped off from the under side of the cocoa-nut leaf, and are finer than gold-beaters’ skin.

the people might be more safely situated in or near the fortress, in case of an invasion. The three canoes afterwards proceeded a little farther onward, and put in for the night at a small island, called Hoonga, about two miles from Vavaoo. The next morning they resumed their voyage, and arrived at Haano, the nearest of the Hapai islands, in the afternoon.

CHAP. VI.

Finow embarks again with all his army for Vavaoo, and ar

rives at Neafoo—Alarm in the night—Presence of mind in one of Finow's men—Plan of attack—Siege commences—An armistice—Accident to Mr. Mariner, which causes the battle to be renewed—Audacity of a Vavaoo warrior—Finow forbids the guns to be used—Sortie of the enemy—Bravery of Chioolooa—Wonderful escape of Latoo Ila—Conduct of the Hapai women—Finow's army returns to Neafoo, and builds a fortress there— Alarm in the night—Revolt of a young chief to the enemy,

and the consequences—Slaughter of the enemy by an

ambuscade—Sixty bodies offered to the gods—Canni

balism—Supposed treachery of Lioofau—The king returns thanks to his tutelar god—Hints of his priest— Apprehension and punishment of Mappa Haano—Regulations respecting deserters—Cruelties exercised upon four of the enemy—Desertion of Toobo Boogoo from

the enemy—One of Finow's canoes surprised by an at

tack from Maccapapa at the island of Taoonga—Finow sends out an expedition against Maccapapa's canoes, and takes ten—Attack on the enemy's field of yams—Mr. Mariner wounded—An attempt to secure the enemy's hogs.

The day after the return of the expedition, the gods were invoked in the usual way, and the oracular answer was, to proceed immediately

|

to war against Vavaoo. All things being in
readiness, the following morning the king em-
barked with the whole of his forces, about
5000 men, besides 1000 women, in fifty large
canoes, with the four carronades, ammunition,
and every thing necessary for a vigorous attack
upon the strong fortress of Vavaoo. Towards
evening, the fleet arrived at Fonnooi-fooa (one
of the small islands in the neighbourhod of
Vavaoo), whence Finow dispatched four canoes,
manned with select warriors, up the inlet,
towards the fortress, with orders to kill whom-
soever they could. They succeeded in killing
three men, and severely wounding a fourth,
whom, with the three dead bodies, they brought
to Finow. Killing these three men, in the first
attempt upon the enemy, was by no means to
be considered a trifling advantage, for it was
supposed to augur the protection of the gods,
and great future successes.
Early in the morning, the Hapai fleet pro-
ceeded up the inlet to Neafoo (the consecrated
spot formerly mentioned), where they landed
safely, leaving the women in the canoes. The
four carronades were planted opposite the house
of a neighbouring marly', ready to be drawn
up the following morning to the fortress, which
was about three miles off. The day was spent

« ForrigeFortsæt »