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much as four hungry men, under other eireum. stances, could devour.
The fit being now gone off, he remains for some time calm, then takes up a club that is placed by him for the purpose, turns it over and regards it attentively; he then looks up earnestly, now to the right, now to the left, and so on, for several times. At length he suddenly raises the club, and, after a moment's pause, strikes the ground, or the adjacent part of the house, with considerable force. Immediately the god leaves him, and he rises up and retires to the back of the ring among the people. If the company now wish for any more cava, Finow, or the greatest chief present, goes and sits at the head of the ring
It might be supposed that this violent agitation on the part of the priest is merely an assumed appearance for the purpose of popular deception ; but Mr Mariner has no reason at all to think
There can be little doubt but that the priest, on such occasions, often summons into action the deepest feelings of devotion of which he is susceptible, and by a voluntary act disposes his mind, as much as possible, to be powerfully affected ; till at length, what began by volition proceeds by involuntary effort, and the whole mind and body become subjected to the overruling emotion. But there is nothing new in all this. Ancient times, as well as modern, afford numerous instances of this nature ; and savage nations, as well as civilized, display ample testimony that false religions, and false notions of religion, act upon some minds with such extraordinary impulses, that they are mistaken for divine inspirations.
it happens in the Tonga Íslands, that per
sons, who are not priests, are often visited by the gods, particularly females, but who are never affected in the manner above described.
They are generally low spirited and thoughtful, as if some heavy misfortune had befallen them. As the symptom increases, they generally shed a profusion of tears; and sometimes swoon away for a few minutes. The height of the paroxysm generally lasts from a quarter to half an hour. These are also called fits of inspiration, and are firmly believed to be visitations from some god who accuses the party of neglect of religious duty, not by an apparent audible warning, but by an inward compunction of conscience. But these things are also common enough in all parts of the world, at home as well as abroad. Some of the natives are such adepts at this sort of mysterious conversation with the divinities, that they can bring on a fit of inspiration whenever they feel their mind at all so disposed. Mr Mariner, indeed, did once witness a rare instance of a man who was disappointed in this particular. Finding himself, as he thought, about to be inspired, some cava was brought to him, (as is usual on such occasions), but, in a little while, he was obliged to acknowledge that the god would not visit ; at which all present were greatly surprised, and the cava was taken away again.
These imaginations, however, have sometimes produced very serious consequences. To give an instance. On one occasion a certain chief, a very handsome young man, became inspired, but did. not yet know by whom. On a sudden he felt himself exceedingly low-spirited, and shortly afterwards swooned away. When recovered from this,
still finding himself very ill, he was taken to the house of a priest, * who told the sick chief that it was a woman, mentioning her name, who had died two years before, and was now in Bolotoo, † that had inspired him ; that she was deeply in love with him, and wished him to die, (which event was to happen in a few days), that she might have him near her. The chief replied, that he had seen the figure of a female two or three successive nights in his sleep, and had begun to suspect he was inspired by her, though he could not tell who she was. He died two days afterwards. Mr Mariner visited him three or four times, at the house of the priest, and heard the latter foretel his death, and to what he ascribed it.
Now that we are upon this subject, it may not be amiss to mention Finow's son, who at this period of our history was at the Navigator’s islands, and used to be inspired by the spirit of Toogoo Ahoo, the late king of Tonga, who, it may
be collected, was assassinated by Finow and Toobó Nuha. When this young chief returned to Hapai, Mr Mariner, who was upon a footing of great friendship with him, one day asked him how he felt himself when the spirit of Toogoo Ahoo vi
* It is customary to take sick persons to the house of a priest, that the will of the gods may be known. The priest becomes immediately inspired, and remains almost constantly in that state while the sick person is with him. If he does not get better in two or three days, he is taken to another priest, &c.
† Bolotoo is the name they give to their paradise, and is supposed to be an island to the north westward. The souls of deceased nobles become gods of the second rank in Bolotoo.
sited him; he replied, that he could not well describe his feelings; but the best he could say of it was, that he felt himself all over in a glow of heat, and quite restless and uncomfortable, and did not feel his own personal identity as it were, but seemed to have a mind different from his own natural mind, his thoughts wandering upon strange and unusual subjects, although perfectly sensible of surrounding objects. He next asked him how he knew it was the spirit of Toogoo Ahoo ? his answer was,
“ There's a fool! how can I tell you how I knew it; I felt and knew it was so by a kind of consciousness ; my mind told me that it was Toogoo Ahoo.” Finow used occasionally to be inspired by the ghost of Moomooi, a former king of Tonga.
We must now return to Finow and his army, at the island of Pangaimotoo.
A sufficient quantity of reeds and stakes having cen procured, Finow and his army left Pangaimotoo and landed at Nioocalofa, for the purpose of rebuilding the colo (or fortress). was marked out somewhat different from the for, mer, and larger, as being judged more suitable to their views A vast number of bands were employed, and in two days the building was finished a few alterations and additions being afterwards made, as occasion and convenience required. During the time this was about, several of the men got dangerously wounded by falling into the lovosás and sokies, * of which there were several on
* Lovosás are pitfalls, dug five feet deep and four broad; several streaks of bamboo are driven into the bottom and sharpened. Sokies are smaller holes, with one stake in, and large enough to admit a man's leg. These
the land side of the colo. They were also much annoyed by the smell of the dead bodies that lay every where, but which they did not take the trouble to bury, as they were enemies. + The canoes were now hauled up on the beach, and a strong fencing of stakes driven round them. The four guns were drawn into the fortress, and one placed at each door.
A few days afterwards, a small party, who went up into the country, according to their daily custom, for the purpose of gathering cocoa nuts, were attacked by a larger party of the enemy, when one man was killed, and the rest driven back to the colo. Upon this, a body of two hundred set out (Mr Mariner among them) in pursuit of the enemy. They found them, and were kept at a running fight, till decoyed beyond where another party lay concealed, who immediately rose, attacked them in the rear, and killed about thirty. The Hapai people now began to run, and Mr Mariner, with four of the natives who were engaged with another party, found it necessary to decamp also. In crossing a field of high grass, Mr Mariner fell into a hole six feet deep. His four faithful friends were resolved to save him, and three defended the piace with their spears, while one helped him out. One of the three was killed on
lovosas and sokies are covered over with slender sticks concealed from sight by plantain leaves and earth.
+ The bodies that were found within the confines of the fortress they were of course obliged to remove; and these were thrown for the most part into the sea, which occasioned a greater number of sharks to frequent the place for a time.