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MAN PUNISHED FOR SWEARING.
behaviour to the Missionary that, though he held out some time, he could neither eat nor sleep till he had confessed his fault and obtained reconciliation.
In the afternoon it was announced to us, that the congregation of Christian natives had met in the school-room, and desired to see We found about five hundred present, whom we affectionately addressed on their privileges and duties. They then signified their wish to be permitted, individually, to shake hands with us, in token of their esteem, and we cheerfully consented; the women first, the men next, and the children last, coming forward in turn thus to congratulate us on our arrival among them. A hymn of praise was then sung, and Mr. Bourne concluded this meeting of warm hearts and happy countenances with prayer.
Not only the chapel, but the school-house in which we had just met, and the dwellings of the Missionaries, stand upon the ground of the demolished heathen temple already mentioned. It was of great extent, and was held in such veneration formerly that it was usual for the inhabitants of the adjacent valley, which winds into the interior of the island, to come every morning, and offer prayers on their knees, at this shrine of the prince of darkness.
Nov. 18. Being the Sabbath, public worship was devoutly attended by congregations of seven to eight hundred persons. An ignorant old man, who had made no decided profession of religion, was excluded from divine service, and required to stand on the outside of the chapel during its performance. He had been guilty of profane swearing, which in the eyes of these people is a heinous offence. In a fit of passion he had threatened one who had provoked him, in very peculiar phraseology, namely,
RETURN TO MATAVAI.
“ that he would kill, and deliver him to be eaten by his God.” This menace, in their idolatrous state, was regarded as the most dreadful that could be uttered; and the culprit, on the present occasion, was punished by the authority of the chiefs, who, though they mingle not only in the sanctuary but in general with the people, as their equals (all being under the government of the laws), yet when they please to command are still obeyed with implicit deference.
Nov. 19. As we returned to Matavai the day was exceedingly fine, but the heat of a vertical sun, to which we were exposed upon the water, without awning in our small boat, made the voyage irksome. The bottom of the sea, as we glided along, was brilliantly bestrewed with corals, in endless variety of form and exquisite tints of colouring. Among the myriads of beautiful fishes that sported in these submarine forests was one of very peculiar shape. It was about an inch long, crossed with three black belts in a parallel direction. The body, which is flat, terminates abruptly, as though it had been cut short behind, and from this squared end the tail projects.
In traversing the bay of Matavai we found a considerable swell breaking upon the beach, at the foot of OneTree Hill, from a cavern whence the foam came rolling and flashing with furious precipitation. On reaching Mr. Nott's house, we found there the King of Borabora, whose name is Mai. He had brought a letter from Mr. Orsmond, the Missionary on that station, expressing great joy at our arrival here, and affectionately inviting us to visit that island. On hearing that Mr. Jones had come out with us as a Missionary, the people of Borabora had held a public meeting, and resolved to request Mr. Jones to settle with them. So earnest were they to obtain their object that the king himself had been deputed as their ambassador,
EAGERNESS TO OBTAIN BOOKS.
and had come a hundred and thirty miles hither in an open boat. By the way he had been driven from island to island by contrary winds, and at length reached Tahiti with his life in his hand, preserved to him by a merciful Providence. Mai is thirty-five years of age, a tall and stately person, with pleasing manners and intelligent aspect. The case of Borabora is not singular; Missionaries are wanted on every hand; and from shore to shore, on the Pacific deep, voices are crying to sister Britain, “ Come over and help us !"
Before we left Bunaauia, this morning, we had an opportunity of witnessing how eager the natives are to obtain such books as are, from time to time, printed here. Mr. Bourne had just completed a compendious spelling-book, with a translation of Dr. Watts's small catechism. This book they call the Baba. It having been announced for publication to-day, before six o'clock in the morning about a hundred persons crowded the house, anxious to secure the precious volume; and, being fearful that there might not be copies to supply all, each urged his claim to priority of purchase. The price was a bamboo of cocoa-nut oil. “ See,” cried one, “how large a bamboo mine is !—let me have a book first.” “But mine is much larger than his," exclaimed another; 66 let me have one before him.” A
lest he should be too late, had applied on Saturday night, but could not get his Baba then. He, however, refused to take back his bamboo of oil, and lashed it to one of the posts of the house, to hang there in readiness against the Monday. All, at length, were gratified.
Nov. 20. We had invited Mai to breakfast with us at eight o'clock. He arrived before seven, having previously attended the adult-school in the chapel. He brought in his hand a copy of the three Gospels which have been printed in the Tahitian language. The word of God is made the
ANECDOTE OF POMARE.
travelling companion of these people, who go not from home a day without it. The king appeared to prize his treasure exceedingly. At breakfast he sat at table with us, and used his knife and fork with tolerable address, after the European fashion. He ate heartily, but not immoderately. The Tahitians often take a large quantity of food at once, but then they have but one principal daily meal, in the forenoon, and that consists chiefly of vegetable provision. Pomare once dining on board a ship, the captain asked him what part of the fowl he would please to have. of it,” replied the king, to the astonishment and amusement of the foreigners, who soon, however, perceived the purpose for which his majesty chose “ the lion's share;" — he had several attendants, to each of whom he sent a part. Mr. Orsmond and Mr. Jones wrote a letter of grateful acknowledgment to the people of Borabora, declining their invitation at present; after which Mai left Tahiti on a visit to Pomare, at Eimeo.
Nov. 22. Mr. Davies, the Missionary at Papara, arrived here, with intelligence that the king, with his chiefs, had landed at Atehura, from Eimeo, last evening. He gives an encouraging account of the progress of the gospel on his station.--In the afternoon a brig, direct from Port Jackson, anchored in Matavai Bay. It proved to be the Dragon, Captain Walker, who brought a letter for the Missionaries here, from the Rev. Mr. Marsden, informing them that in a late trial between a Mr. E. and himself, as the friend of King Pomare, damages to the amount of £1200 had been given in favour of the latter. Captain Walker said he had lately been in Bengal, and that at a place where he had given an account, in a public assembly, of the wonderful changes which the religion of Christ had effected in these islands, a young man, a
SIMPLE SUBSTITUTE FOR BELLOWS.
Brahmin, stepped forth, and, in a long and energetic address, declared his astonishment and delight at hearing such good news, and concluded by saying that thenceforth he himself would abandon idolatry, and embrace the faith which had wrought such marvels here.
Nov. 24. A message arrived from the king, who is at Bunaauia, expressing his earnest wish, that we would defer our voyage to the Leeward Islands, for certain rea
We deemed it expedient to comply, though our arrangements were otherwise nearly completed.--As we
urned home from Mr. Wilson's, where we had dined, we observed on an open, airy plot of ground, near the sea, a Tahitian apparatus to perform the work of a pair of bellows, in blowing a fire to heat iron. This contrivance was under a fara-tree. In order to concentrate the wind to a point, and bring the blast upon the flame, several mats, made of cocoa-leaves, were placed so as to form a sort of funnel, behind which the fire was kindled. Some of these mats were fixed upon their edges, forming an acute angle, at which two others were placed on their ends, about a foot from the ground. Thus all the wind falling within this opening was made to pass through the aperture at its contracted end, and thereby brought to bear upon the fire. Though there was only a gentle breeze abroad, yet the blast here was sufficient to produce the intensity of heat required.
Nov. 26. Accompanied by Messrs. Nott and Crook, we sailed to Bunaauia, in Captain Walker's boat, on a visit to Pomare. In approaching the royal presence we had to pass by a long line of soldiers, who had been stationed in advance to receive us. Several of them carried bells in their hands, which they tinkled from the time when we came in sight till we had passed them. These body-guards stood with their muskets shouldered, but did not fire them.