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received a mat to lie down on, where, over
come by fatigue, both of mind and body, he
rocks and shoals, that, untried, it would have
been considered unnavigable. Through the medium of Tooi Tooi the king had been previously informed, that unless his men (which were about 400 in number) were to sit down,
and remain perfectly quiet, it would be impossible to work the ship, the Englishmen being only about fourteen in number. The moment Finow had given orders to his men, he was most implicitly obeyed; they sat down, and not a word was spoken, nor the least perceptible noise made by them during the whole time, no more than if none of them were on board. The ship was brought within half a cable's length of the shore, through the narrow passage just mentioned, and run aground according to Finow's orders.
The ship plundered by Finow's orders—Accidents on board —The ship burned—Guns hauled on shore—Visit to the Island of Whiha—Surprise of the natives at the sight of a watch—Mr. Mariner deprived of his books and papers, as being considered instruments of witchcraft—Anecdote of the missionaries—Remarks on the present state of the islands, compared with that when Captain Cook visited them—Political history of the islands during the foregoing twelve or fifteen years, viz. Expedition to the Fiji Islands—Insurrection at Tonga—Assassination of the King—Civil war—Return of the expedition to the Fiji Islands, which joins the insurgents—Finow conquers the Hapai Islands—His cruelty towards his prisoners—Annual invasion of the island of Tonga—Mr. Mariner and his companions receive orders to join an expedition against Tonga, and to employ the guns—Anecdote of an insane woman—Finow's fleet sails for Namooca—The fleet arrives off a consecrated place at Tonga—Description of a ceremony called Toogi—Preparations for battle —Description of the fortification of Nioocalofa.
After the ship was run aground, the following two or three days were employed in striking the masts, and conveying on shore two of the carronades and eight barrels of gunpowder; all that remained was too much damaged for use. Many of the natives, in the mean while, were busily engaged in stripping the upper works of their iron, and knocking the hoops off the casks in the hold; iron being a most valuable commodity to them. During these operations the ground tier of oil, the hoops being knocked off the casks, burst out, and suffocated eight of the natives. In consequence of this great discharge of oil, the water in the hold was covered with it, to the depth of two feet. Two men, who had struggled out of this body of water and oil, strongly expressed their amazement (as they afterwards explained themselves to Mr. Mariner, when he understood their language) at the difficulty they experienced in rising through the oil : they could swim in the water below easily enough, but as soon as they emerged from the water into the stratum of oil above, the less specific gravity of the latter rendered their ascent difficult. They comprehended the reason, however, very well, as soon as he had learned the language sufficiently to explain it to them. Three other men were at the same time severely wounded, by some butts bursting out on them while they were in the act of knocking off the hoops. Finow, observing one of the natives busily employed in cutting out the iron fid from the main top-gallant-mast, and as he was a low fellow, whom he did not choose should take such a liberty, he was resolved to put a stop to his work; so speaking to a Sandwich islander, who was amusing himself on deck by firing off his musket*, he bade him try to bring that man down from aloft: without the least hesitation he levelled his piece, and instantly brought him down dead: the shot entered his body, and the fall broke both thighs and fractured his skull; upon which Finow laughed heartily, and seemed mightily pleased at the facility with which it was done. When Mr. Mariner understood the language, he asked the king how he could be so seemingly cruel as to kill the poor man for so trifling a fault: his majesty replied that he was only a low, vulgar fellow (a cook); and that his life or death was of no consequence at all to society†. On Tuesday, the 9th of December, it being spring-tides, the ship floated, and was warped
* The Sandwich islanders are pretty well acquainted with the use of fire-arms : their chief had, at that time, 2000 stand of muskets, procured at different times from American ships.
f The lower orders are thought to have no souls, and a cook is considered the most vulgar profession among them; while a carpenter is esteemed the most respectable.