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of toa trees: here the natives frequently resort to rinse themselves with the fresh water found in the hollows, between the junctions of the large branches or limbs that come off immediately from the trunk, after having bathed themselves in the sea: for the salt water, without using such rinsing afterwards, is apt to produce in hot climates a cutaneous eruption : besides which, the fresh water washing prevents that uneasy sensation of heat in the skin, upon a little exertion, attended with a clamminess; and sometimes, on the contrary, with a profuse perspiration. Here also they plait flowers which they have gathered at Matawto, (about a mile farther along the beach,) which the women put round their necks or take home to the mooa, and present to their lovers or their friends, or to superior chiefs. The following song is very often sung by them, or, to speak perhaps more correctly, is given in a sort of recitative by either sex; and in the Tonga language has neither rhymes nor regular measure, although some of their songs have both. It is perhaps a curious circumstance that love and war seldom form the subjects of
their songs, but mostly scenery and moral reflections.
Whilst we were talking of Vaváoo toóa Líco, the women said to us, let us repair to the back of the island to contem- plate the setting sun: there let us listen to the warbling of the birds and the cooing of the wood-pigeon. We will gather flowers from the burying-place at Matáwto, and partake of refreshments prepared for us at Líco Omē we will then bathe in the sea, and rinse ourselves in the Váoo A'ca; we will anoint our skins in the sun with sweet scented oil, and will plait in wreaths the flowers gathered at Matáwto. And now as we stand motionless on the eminence over A noo Mánoo, the whistling of the wind among the branches of the lofty toa shall fill us with a pleasing melancholy; or our minds shall be seized with astonishment as we behold the roaring surf below, endeavouring but in vain to tear away the firm rocks. Oh! how much happier shall we be thus employed, than when engaged in the troublesome and insipid affairs of life!
Now, as night comes on, we must return to the Moóa — but hark!—hear you not the sound of the mats?—they are practising a bo-oóla* to be performed to-night on the marly at Tanéa; let us also go there. How will that scene of rejoicing call to our minds the many festivals held there, before Vaváoo was torn to pieces by war. Alas! how destructive is war!—Behold! how it has rendered the land productive of weeds, and opened untimely graves for departed heroes! Our chiefs can now no longer enjoy the sweet pleasure of wandering alone by moonlight in search of their mistresses: but let us banish sorrow from our hearts: since we are at war, we must think and act like the natives of Fiji, who first taught us this destructive art. Let us therefore enjoy the present time, for to-morrow perhaps or the next day we may
* A kind of dance performed by torch-light.
die. We will dress ourselves with chi coola, and put bands
of white táppa round our waists; we will plait thick wreaths
of jiále for our heads, and prepare strings of hooni for our
necks, that their whiteness may shew off the colour of our skins. Mark how the uncultivated spectators are profuse of their applause !—But now the dance is over: let us remain
here to-night, and feast and be cheerful, and to-morrow
we will depart for the Mooa. How troublesome are the young men, begging for our wreaths of flowers, while they
say in their flattery, "See how charming these young girls
“look coming from Licoo !—how beautiful are their skins, “diffusing around a fragrance like the flowery precipice of “Mataloco:"—Let us also visit Licoo;—we will depart tomorrow.
The beautiful plantation, of which the above song is partly descriptive, is famed for the great fertility of its fields: the liberal hand of nature has there planted the bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees in abundance; the soil is also highly favourable for the cultivation of yams, which grow there larger than in most other places. The water which terminates it at one end is noted for the vast abundance of a peculiar fish which resort to the shores of Vavaoo about the month of July. This fish they call Ooloo Caoo, and is about the size of the common sprat, and of much the same shape and hue. The common people consider it a great delicacy, but there is considerable danger of being poisoned by eating them promiscuously, for here and there is found one which, on eating, produces the most alarming and sometimes the most fatal effects*; and as there is no mark by which these poisonous ones may be known, it is always dangerous to eat of them, unless they be procured in the rocky bay of this plantation, where, they say, they never found any poisonous, and therefore eat of these without any reserve: the chiefs however seldom touch them, unless perhaps there is a scarcity of other fish. The time when they are best and in the greatest plenty is in the latter end of the month of July, when the natives flock to this plantation for the purpose of catching them, where having procured a quantity, they take them home to their families in baskets made of plaited leaves of the cocoa-nut tree. Mahe Boogoo, the chief to whom this valuable piece of ground belonged, being about to go and reside at the Hapai islands, made a present of this delightful spot to the king. Mr. Mariner, having now nothing particular in which to employ himself, the war being at an end, begged of the king to give up this plantation to him, that he might amuse himself by seeing it properly cultivated: to this the king, after a little hesitation, consented ; when Mr. Mariner requested the farther favour that he might be exempt from all taxes, that no chief might despoil his plantation, under pretext of levying any species of contribution; and this exemption, he observed, would be no more than what was consistent with the Tonga custom, which exacts no contribution from foreigners, unless indeed it be upon some sacred occasion, as the ceremony of ináchi, &c. To this also the king gave his assent, upon mutual agreement, that the whole plantation was to be considered at Finow's service, as being the father and protector of Mr. Mariner, but that he would not take any thing nor trespass upon it in any way without Mr. Mariner's consent, who was to regulate every thing regarding it just as he pleased, and was henceforth to consider it as his property, together with all the persons who worked on it, consisting of thirteen men and eight women. To these the king gave orders they should pay the same attention and respect to Mr. Mariner as to himself or their former chief; he more
* The symptoms produced are headach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, with violent pains in the bowels, to which death generally succeeds in the course of four or five hours. The only remedy they use (which very seldom succeeds) is to cause the patient to drink abundantly of water, or, what is considered still better, the milk of young cocoa-nuts.