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in settling and arranging sundry matters. During the night, which was exceedingly dark, a considerable degree of alarm was excited by two or three of the enemy, who approached, and threw a spear among a number of Finow's people, asleep near the house; it happened, however, to strike a bundle of spears that was placed upright against a tree, and, throwing it down, occasioned such a noise, that several of the men were awakened by it, who, thinking that the main body of the enemy was coming down upon them, began to run away; at this moment, one of them, more courageous than the rest, snatching up a piece of lighted wood, applied it to the touch-hole of one of the guns, which instantly went off, and produced such an effect on the enemy, that no more was heard of him that night. This certainly was a bold act for a man who had never before fired a gun
in his life, and might, in the worst case, have
been productive of the best effects, for, if the enemy had come in considerable numbers, as was at the moment falsely imagined, and this man had not had such presence of mind, all Finow's army might have been put completely
to the rout, their guns taken from them, and a
vast number of them slain: as it was, the report of the gun, awakening all who were yet asleep, induced such a degree of consternation as is scarcely to be conceived; they ran in all directions, but most of them to the canoes, and it was some time before their fears were sufficiently calmed for them to be induced to return. The man who performed this exploit received much praise and respect for his bravery; as to promotion, it is a thing not known among them, for no man can hold a rank in society which he is not born to (see second volume); and as to other modes of reward, the merit of a good or brave action is considered its best reward, together with the admiration and respect which it creates, unless the party makes a point to boast of it, and then his merit is set almost at nought. Early the following morning Finow divided his army into three grand divisions: the right wing was commanded by Toobo Toa, the left by Lioofau, chief of Haano, and the centre by Finow himself: the guns were allotted, two to the centre, and one to each flank, and were managed by seven Englishmen, besides Mr.
Mariner and a black native of South America,
taken by the Port au Prince in one of her prizes. Matters being thus arranged, and Finow having repeated the orders he had formerly issued, viz. that his men should keep themselves perfectly steady, and not attack the enemy till they were quite close to them:—the army began its march towards the garrison. After four or five hours interrupted progress, owing chiefly to the weight of the guns and the badness of the road, they arrived before the fortress, on the banks of which a vast number of the enemy were assembled. As they approached, a shower of arrows was discharged upon them; but Finow ordered a mataboole to advance forward and request an armistice, that each party might take leave of what friends and relations they might have among their opponents*; which being granted, a number came out of the garrison to take a farewell of their relatives, perhaps the last farewell of those who were about to fight against them. Here ensued a moving scene; many tears were shed on both sides, and many
* In a civil war at these islands, as well as at other places, it often happens that sons have to fight against their fathers, and brothers against their brothers; but what renders this circumstance still more common at Tonga, is the adherence to an old established custom, which binds every man in honour to join the cause of that chief on whose island he happens to be at the time the war is declared, unless some circumstance, as particular relationship between great men, engages the chief of the island, upon earnest request, to give him liberty to depart.
a last embrace exchanged. This affecting spectacle had lasted about two hours, when a circumstance accidentally occurred, unfortunate enough in its consequences, but which might have turned out still more so. One of the enemy, upon the outer bank of the fortress, wantonly shot an arrow at Mr. Mariner, but which fortunately missed him, and stuck in a tree close at his elbow; he immediately turned about, and discovering the man who discharged it, levelled his musket, on the impulse of the moment, and shot him dead upon the spot: instantly the enemy sounded the war-whoop, and all was uproar and confusion. The king, not understanding the cause, was in a most violent rage with Mr. Mariner, and would forthwith have dispatched him with his club, had he been near enough : his matabooles did all they could to calm his temper, but he was not easily pacified: he sent a man to Mr. Mariner to demand his musket, but the latter, feeling himself aggrieved, peremptorily refused: Finow, by this time, becoming somewhat more calm, and learning the true cause of the disaster, was speedily reconciled. In the mean time the enemy, conceiving this to be a piece of treachery, returned to his entrenchments, and assailed the besiegers with showers of arrows. The king now ordered the great guns to open a fire upon the fort, but they seemed to do little or no injury to the works, owing to the height of the place and the strength of the embankment; several, however, were killed who ventured outside of it. The firing had lasted, with occasional intermissions, during six or seven hours, when a considerable number of the enemy were perceived coming out of the fencing, and sheltering themselves behind the banks, with the evident intention of sallying forth. Upon this the king ordered all his men to sit down, and to remain perfectly quiet and steady, although the enemy should advance quite close to them, till they received his further orders to rise up and rush upon them. They accordingly sat down. A party of fifteen or sixteen now came down from the fort, and seven or eight of the Hapai people ran forward to skirmish with them. One of the advanced party of the enemy came up to within fifteen or sixteen yards of the carronade, of which Mr. Mariner had the charge, and there stood, brandishing his spear in a threatening attitude: Mr. Mariner immediately fired the gun at him, but the moment the match was applied the man fell flat on his face, and the shot missed him :