« ForrigeFortsæt »
for sea; and all his fighting men to hold themselves in readiness to depart at a moment's notice. In consequence of this order, Lolo Hea suspected, and indeed it was universally be: lieved, that it was Toobo Toa's intention to Inake a descent upon the island of Vavaoo : hence he took the first opportunity to make his escape with his two brothers; for had he stayed to have come with the invading army, he could not in honour have deserted it, and would thus have been obliged to fight against his own countrymen*. Finow, on hearing this intelligence, was not backward in making the most judicious preparations to receive his enemy, and which he did, although he had no idea but that his intention was to land his men at Tonga, with a view to assist the garrison before spoken of; but still he held himself well prepared, according to the Tonga maxim, that is, never to suspect any thing without inoncáiately making preparations for the worst. To the rest of the preparations Mr. Mariner got ready a carronade, which had hitherto not been used, on account of its having been
* Such is the opinion of the Tonga islanders, that if a man
be at any foreign island which is about to wage war with his
own, he holds himself obliged to side with the people among
whom he is (see p. 188, note.) * . . *
spiked. Having nothing wherewith to drill the touch-hole, he collected together a vast quantity of wood, and made a large fire, in the midst of which was the gun, of which, when hot, he readily cleared the touch-hole: it was then mounted upon a carriage. Thus Finow had three guns, six barrels of powder, and plenty of shot, for almost all the shot which had been fired in the former attacks upon the garrison, were again found and collected. Finow also sent a canoe to the islands of Togoo, to the N.W. of Vavaoo, to collect a cargo of round black pebbles, which are found there in abundance, to serve as shot. With all this ammunition, Finow was far superior to Toobo Toa, who had only two guns, and was withal very short both of powder and shot. All these preparations, however, were never required, for, shortly after, Tonga Mana's canoe arrived, bringing intelligence that Toobo Toa had proceeded with his army to the assistance of the garrison before spoken of in the island of Tonga. About this time there happened a very heavy storm of thunder and lightning, which is always considered ominous by the natives, and esteemed the harbinger of some great event, such as invasion, death of a great chief, arrival of an European ship, &c. This event therefore produced, as it generally does, considerable anxiety in the minds of the people; and this anxiety was much increased by the dreams of several women. One dreamed that during the time of the inachi, Tooitonga, at the head of a number of hotooas, attacked them, and broke to pieces the consecrated yams; another, that she had been at Bolotoo, and heard a decree of Higooleo, (one of the principal hotooas,) that Vavaoo should shortly experience some great calamity, because the people had neglected some particular and important ceremonies. In this state of the public mind, parties were sent to the outer islands to keep a perpetual watch, and to bring immediate intelligence of any canoe that might appear. In the course of a little time it was remarked that Tooitonga decreased considerably in size, losing flesh every day, although otherwise in good health; it was not long, however, before he began to complain of weakness and loss of appetite. His illness beginning thus to be confirmed, occasioned his relations and at
tendants to have recourse to the usual ceremo
nies on such melancholy occasions. Accordingly every day one or other of his young relations had a little finger cut off, as a propitiatory offering to
the gods for the sins of the sick man *. These sacrifices, however, were found of no avail —greater, therefore, were soon had recourse to: and accordingly three or four children were strangled, at different times, in the manner which has already been related; and invocations were made to the deities at fytocas, consecrated houses, and in the persons of the priests, but still without effect, for the gods were deaf to their intreaties; and the illness of the sacred chief grew every day more alarming. As a last resource, therefore, to excite the compassion of the deities, they carried the counciated person of Tooitonga to the ‘place
* Nothing is more common in these islands than the sacrifice of a little finger on occasion of the illness of a superior relation: insomuch, that there is scarcely a grown-up person (unless a very great chief, who can have had few superior relations) but who has lost the little finger of both hands. Nor is there ever any dispute between two persons with a view to get exempt from this ceremony; on the contrary, Mr. Mariner has witnessed a violent contest between two children of five years of age, each claiming the favour of having the ceremony performed on him, so little do they fear the pain
of the operation: the pain indeed is but very trifling, from
the mode, probably, in which it is performed, which will be
sully described in another place. .
where his provisions: were accustomed to be cooked *;-in the same manner as Finow was carried :—but notwithstanding all this, death overtook him in the course of eight days, after six weeks illness. - a * *
About a month or six weeks after the funeral ceremonies were finished, (which will be described under the head of IReligious Ceremonies, in the second volume,) Finow, who had not broken his head (as they call it) at the grave of his father, because perhaps on a public occasion it would have looked in him like an ostentatious display of what might have been thought affected feeling, resolved to perform this ceremony in a more private manner, accompanied only by a few of his warriors, to whom he now signified his intention. Accordingly one morning he and his men began to prepare themselves for this affair, when unfortunately an accident happened, which to us Europeans (in the present times) would not have attracted the slightest attention; but, in the estimation of these people, was a matter pregnant with the most important and serious consequences:—for at this time Mr.
* It must be recollected that this is an act of great humility, that the high and sacred, chief of Tonga should resort to the place where his victuals are cooked. See the account of the death of Finow, p. 37s.