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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 škins. 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 Moon. 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 to
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.
* The symptoms produced are headach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, 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.
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 morc
over informed the matooa, or overseer, that he had invested Mr. Mariner with full power to dispatch any of them with the club that failed in their duty, or neglected in any respect to shew proper attention to their new master. To this, in the usual form, they all returned thanks to the king for the new chief he had been pleased to appoint over them, and expressed their hopes that they should never deserve punishment by any want of respect towards the “stranger chief.” As soon as Mr. Mariner entered upon his new possessions, he gave orders to get ready a large bale of gnatoo, which he sent to Finow as a present.
About a month after this a canoe came from one of the neighbouring small islands, bringing intelligence that a large dead spermaceti whale had drifted on a reef, off Vavaoo. Immediately all the chiefs ordered their canoes to be launched, that they might witness this unusual sight; and Mr. Mariner went along with them. They found the whale in a very bad state, half decayed, and sending forth po very agreeable odour: this however was a circumstance they did not much regard, their object being the teeth, of the substance of which they make a kind of necklace, by cutting it into smaller pieces, each preserving the shape of a whale's
tooth, from an inch to four inches long, having a hole in the broadest part, through which they are closely strung, and put round the neck ; the largest being in front, and the others decreasing in size on each side, up to the back of the neck ; so that, when drawn close, their pointed extremities spread out, and form a very agrecable ornament upon their brown skins, and is much prized by them, on account of its scarcity as well as beauty. This has given rise to the accounts which voyagers have given that they wear teeth round their necks, whereas they are only forms of teeth cut out of the tooth of the whale ; and it is astonishing with what neatness they do this, making as little waste as would be possible to do with much better instruments than what they possess; which is nothing, in general, but a common shaped European chisel, or a piece of a saw, or in defect of these, a flattened nail rendered sharp: before they procured iron from European ships, they made use of a sharp stone. This kind of ivory they also use to inlay their clubs with, as well as their wooden pillows (see p. 135 :) the high price set upon these ornaments will be exemplified in the following account, which Finow, on this occasion, gave to Mr. Mariner.
A short time after the revolt at Tonga, when