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RELICS OF CAPTAIN COOK WORSHIPPED.
nothing in the world," now worships "nothing in the world," not even an idol.
In the course of our ramble, our guide pointed out the hollow, in the volcanic mass, where the body of captain Cook was roasted, and, a little further on, the place where his arms and legs were submitted to the same process. This was, in fact, the highest honor that his murderers (with the inconsistency of savages) could show to his remains; the corpses of their kings and chiefs being prepared in a similar manner, that the flesh might be more easily separated from the bones, and the skeleton afterwards be put together and preserved, as an object not only of reverence, but even of religious homage. The relics of Cook were thus worshipped in a temple of Rono, one of the gods of Hawaii, of whom the people had a notion that the British navigator was the representative, if not an incarnation of him. The torrent of lava, now fixed as adamant, must have rolled in tremendous force and quantity from the far-distant and elevated crater to the coast, being at this place two miles in breadth, of great thickness, and presenting a surface of utter desolation. In a cavern which we passed, we found a quantity of unfinished cloth, and the wooden instruments with which it is beaten out of bark. Hard by was a little walled inclosure, where we were told that the body of an American was interred, who, for some offence given to the islanders, had been stoned to death. In a native burying-ground adjacent, over one grave a pole had been erected, on the top of which were suspended, according to the native usage, two bags of provisions for the deceased, which, however, he had left behind him on the long journey whither he had gone, and whence he could not return to take any thing out of his house.
We dined this day with all the American captains, on board the Planta, captain Coffin, and were treated with great hospitality. Besides the twelve ships now at anchor here, there are seven others visible in the offing, and endeavoring to get in. The commerce of these islands, through the American whalers, and certain other vessels which come hither principally to obtain sandal-wood for the China market, is very considerable.
In our excursion this day, we counted twenty-nine villalages, containing, as nearly as might be ascertained by cursory inspection, sixteen hundred and forty-four dwellings, which, computing five persons to a family, give a population of eight
MR. YOUNG, A SETTLER.
thousand two hundred and twenty, in a line of twelve miles along the shore.
Mr. Young, to whom we have been introduced to-day, and who has resided thirty-six years on this island, informs us that the whole circuit of coast is equally well-peopled, but that there are comparatively few inhabitants residing more inland, among the woods and mountains, where the climate is colder, and the soil less productive.
Mr. Young, above-named, whom we met at the governor's house, is now seventy-eight years of age. He was made prisoner here at first, but has voluntarily remained for nearly half of his long life; having found favor with kings, chiefs, and people, among whom in reality he soon became a great and influential character. He is yet warmly attached to England, as his native country, and has had it in his power, on many occasions, to render essential services to vessels touching on these shores. For nine years he was governor of Hawaii, during the absence of the king. He is married to a native woman, by whom he has had six children. Accompanied by him, we visited a neighboring marae, which, like other obsolete abominations of the kind, is now a ruin. A house has been built on that part where the corpse of the late king was laid, previous to the flesh being taken from the bones, the latter distributed among his principal chiefs, and the former committed to the flames, according to ancient usage. At this funeral pyre, five hundred dogs were sacrificed with the royal remains a holocaust of no mean value, when it is considered that such animals constitute the most precious article of food to the rich and luxurious in these islands.
From this marae we went to the house, where, in the year 1819, idolatry was abolished, by the present king Rihoriho, at a feast given by him in commemoration of his late father, Temehameha. In this large building, nearly a hundred feet long, by thirty broad, separate tables were set for the men and the women; the latter being held, if possible, in more contempt in the Sandwich than in the Society Islands. When all the guests (including many foreigners from ships or residing in the vicinity) were in their places, and ready to fall upon the abundant provisions spread before them, the king rose up, and said to Mr. Young,-"Cut up those fowls and that pig;" which being done, instead of partaking with the company of his own sex, he suddenly started off, and went to the women's table, where, seating
himself by his queens and their attendants, he began to eat with a fury of appetite that showed he was doing violence to himself, but determined, whatever might be the issue, to overcome both superstitious fear and habitual repugnance at doing what had heretofore been deemed unlawful, and not to be attempted but at the peril of life-sacrilege itself not being more abhorrent to the gods than the condescension of lordly man to eat of the same food, at the same table, as his bosom-slave, woman. The whole native assembly was struck with horror and consternation at the sight, but, no harm to the king ensuing, they at length cried out with one voice, "The tabu is broken! The eating-tabu is broken!" When the feast was ended, the king issued his commands, that all the maraes should be destroyed, the idols overthrown, and the priesthood abolished. Thus, in a day, a nation abjured its false gods; though, as yet, they know not the living and true God. Here, then, was a people without religion, but waiting till the only true one should be brought to them. It is remarkable that the American missionaries, bringing what they wanted, were on their voyage at that very time, and soon afterwards landed on a shore prepared to receive them. The priests, a reprobate gang of impostors banded together to deceive the multitude and rule even the princes, were enraged at this sudden revolution by which their craft was prohibited. Availing themselves of the influence which they possessed, they stirred up an insurrection so formidable that it required the utmost force of the king to encounter them in the field. A terrible battle was fought, in which the leader of the idolatrous party, a priest, named Trimaga, being slain, covered with wounds, and his wife also falling at his side, with arms in her hands, by a death as heroic as his own, the rebels fled, after a conflict of six and thirty hours. They afterwards submitted, favorable terms of peace being granted to them, and the king's authority has thenceforward been universally recognized.
THE EATING-TABU BROKEN.
The right of the soil here belongs solely to the king, and his subjects hold their portions on payment of certain taxes, or rents, of dogs, hogs, or canoes, according to special agreements. Mr. Young occupies so much land, that his contribution amounts to a hundred dogs per annum.
The government is purely despotic, the sovereign's will being the only law, beyond which every man lays one down for himself, and does, at his peril, whatsoever is right in his
own eyes, injuring his neighbor or taking vengeance, as opportunity or temptation may offer. Thus if a thief be detected in the act of stealing any thing, however small-for example, cutting down a sugar-cane-the owner may kill him upon the spot, and no account of his death will be required. The only check upon such sanguinary violence is the re-action of it; the friends of the deceased may retáliate, and destroy the destroyer, if they please.
From the highest to the lowest, the natives are addicted to intoxication with ardent spirits, when they can procure them from ships or of home manufacture. Smoking of tobacco is a common and very social practice-nor have we seen it indulged to excess. A company of eight or ten, men, women, and children, squat on the ground; a pipe is lighted; one takes three or four puffs, and passes it on; and so from hand to hand and lip to lip it goes till the last spark dies out, each retaining the precious fume as long as he can, and then breathing it gently forth from mouth and nostrils.
Spending the evening with governor Adams, Mr. Young, and several native chiefs, we proposed family worship, to which they courteously assented. In the course of conversation, afterwards, they expressed a desire to have English missionaries; saying that, since they regard their country as belonging to king George, any plan countenanced by him, and any persons acting as under him, would be well received. It was proposed by one of the company to tabu our missionary companion, Mr. Ellis, and thus prevent him from returning to the southern islands. We told them that if they did so they must also tabu Mr. Ellis's wife and children, from whom he would not choose to be separated, nor they like to lose him. "Oh!" said they, 66 we will send a ship to Huahine, and fetch them hither.'
April 4. Mr. Young informs us that eruptions of the volcanoes occasionally take place, and that earthquakes are not unfrequent during the longer intervals of these. We passed a valley of considerable depth, which was filled up by the lava about sixteen years ago. Observing certain lines like roads (one of them a mile in length) descending on the slopes of the mountains, we inquired for what purpose these had been formed, as they were evidently not adapted for the convenience of pedestrians. We were answered, that on great festivals a singular kind of amusement was practised here. A board is conveyed to the highest part of the hill, at which the road terminates. A man throws himself at full length
upon this, and, with daring and dexterous force, propels it forward, when the board carries him, with increasing veloci ty, straight down to the foot of the descent.
April 5. We had an opportunity of seeing how the natives collect salt, of which they furnish large quantities to ships, besides what they consume themselves. Small ringfences of masonry-work are formed near to the sea, within which are placed rude stones, of all shapes, having deep cavities, which may hold from one to two or three gallons of water. These being filled and evaporated from time to time, the salt is deposited, and ready for use without further trouble. In one of these basins we observed about half a gallon of fine salt.
Mr. Young informs us that though idolatry is abolished, yet the multitude of gods of wood and stone, formerly worshipped, have been rather hidden than extirpated, many of its inveterate abettors still hoping for a counter-revolution in their favor; a notion fostered by the priests, who have lost their occupation, but naturally exercise their subtle influence to recover it. Not a single image has been brought to us for sale, and the only one that we have obtained was a gift from the governor. But the change of system, from a religion of devils to no religion at all, it is acknowledged, has produced some beneficial effect on the morals of the people. They are certainly less dishonest than they were formerly, both amongst themselves and towards strangers. We have lost nothing either from the ship or on shore. The only theft of which we have heard, was one committed by a man who stole a hat when he was drunk, and brought it back when he became sober, with humble and penitent confession of his fault. A sailor belonging to an American vessel, lying here, intending to desert, offered one of the native pilots two dollars to smuggle him on shore. The Hawaiian promised to do so. When, however, he got the money, he refused to take the man on board his canoe, but went immediately to the captain, told him all the circumstance, and gave the two dollars which he had received to him;-apparently acting from a sense of justice in rather a difficult case. The traffic of prostitution carried on by the natives with foreigners, on ship-board, as well as on shore, is most public and shameless here. But this is a subject on which we must not, we dare not, record "what we have seen and do know." The utter abolition of this infamy in the Christianized islands of the southern Pacific is one of the most signal