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A DIFFICULT CAUSE TO DECIDE.
or found guilty. The sentence was then delivered by the president ; this was, that they should each build four fathoms of a wall, now erecting about a plot of taro ground, belonging to the king. In such cases, the condemned are allowed their own reasonable time to execute the task required, and it generally happens that their friends, by permission, lend them assistance. We have seen an aged father helping his son to perform hard labour of this kind, which must, nevertheless, be finished to the satisfaction of an authorized inspector. It is remarkable, in the administration of justice here, that, when the sentence is pronounced, the criminal is gravely asked whether he himself agrees to it, and he generally replies in the affirmative. There is something very primitive and patriarchal in this simple yet solemn form of conducting trials.
A second cause now came on. The plaintiff had engaged certain persons to plant a quantity of land with tobacco, at a stipulated price. While these were at work, two fellows, not employed by the plaintiff, volunteered their assistance to the hired labourers. When the tobacco was ripe, these two came and took away a quantity of the crop, as a compensation for their officious services. The action was, therefore, brought against them, to recover the tobacco, or damages to the value of it. When the case had been stated, much discussion arose; but, as it could not be found that the law had made express provision for such an anomalous offence, the consideration of the subject was deferred till another time.
Near this Missionary station, called Papetoai, the first destruction of idols took place. Mr. Henry, still resident there, was present. A chief named Pati, having fully made up his mind to the perilous experiment, which should prove whether the objects of his fathers' worship and his own
FIRST DESTRUCTION OF IDOLS.
were gods or not-—he publicly announced, before Pomare and a great number of the natives, that he would bring the images from the marae in the adjacent valley, and burn them, before the sun, next day. Some of the Missionaries, fearful of the consequences, advised him to consider well what he was about to do; but Mr. Henry, young, and zealous for the Lord of Hosts, clapped the heroic chief on the back, and encouraged him to lose no time in carrying his good purpose into execution. Accordingly, on the morrow, Papi brought his family idols, three in number, upon his back, to the place of execution. There, throwing the lumber down upon the ground, he took an axe, hewed away the wicker-work that encased them, and split the uncouth shapes, to see what might be within, when bones of fishes and men, that had been sacrificed, were found in the cavities. The dumb logs and stocks were then cast into the flames of a large fire, and presently consumed to ashes—the people gazing with horror and astonishment on the sacrilegious act, expecting that some signal vengeance would overtake the bold assailant of the gods. The latter, however, could not help themselves; and the spectators, witnessing such total impotence, felt their faith in the superstition of their ancestors not a little shaken. Their children will hardly know what that superstition was, so utterly, though gradually, have all traces of it been abolished since that memorable conflagration.
Departure for the Leeward Islands Huahine-Distinguished Natives—
Speeches—Death of Pomare-Grounds on which the Effects produced by Christian Missions in these Islands have been misrepresented— Last Injunctions and Dying Scene of Pomare.
Dec. 5. TAKING leave of our friends in Eimeo, we embarked on board the General Gates, and were soon under weigh on our voyage to the Leeward Islands. The breeze was slight, but towards evening we came to anchor off Tituroa, eight leagues distant from Tahiti, Captain Riggs having determined to land here, for the purpose of purchasing a further stock of provisions.
Dec. 6. Glad to escape from our confined births in the ship, we rose early. A large shark being on the scout near the vessel, a hook well baited was let down, and in a few minutes the voracious animal was floundering on the deck, where he was quickly dispatched, and the fins, or flippers, taken off, to be preserved for the China market, where such commodities fetch a good price. Mr. Tyerman accompanied Captain Riggs in the boat, intending to land, which, however, was a matter of no small difficulty, and some peril. Tituroa is, in fact, a group of coral islets, ten in number, comprehended within one general reef, and separated from each other by interjacent lagoons. On the reef the surf breaks perpetually, with great violence; here the boat narrowly escaped being wrecked in attempting to push into
LANDING AT TITUROA.
At length an entrance was found, where the captain got on shore, by sometimes wading up to the loins, and sometimes being carried on men's shoulders. To his great disappointment neither hogs nor fowls could be procured, and only a small quantity of fruit and fish. An effort to land on a second island proved ineffectual.
This group of motus (as they are called) is about twenty miles in circuit. They are low, flat spots, beautifully covered with cocoa-nut, vi-apple, and other trees; but the breadfruit is not found growing here, nor, indeed, on any of the coral islands to which the salt water has access. On the contrary the cocoa frequently stands within the margin of the sea, and shoots up in stately luxuriance, with its shadow perpetually floating upon the brine. There are no mountain-plantains nor bananas here. The inhabitants of these "comparative solitudes are few and poor; and, though they have acknowledged Christianity, are as yet less instructed in it than those of the more fertile and favoured adjacencies.
Dec. 7. Pursuing our course, about noon the island of Huahine hove in sight, at the distance of twenty-five miles over the lee-bow. At first the appearance was conical, blue, and dimly discernible; but, as we approached, the outline broke into distinct hills, and in the glow of sunset many sharp peaks were seen crowding through the evening sky.
Dec. 8. At day-break we neared Huahine. The island, which is irregularly oval, much resembles Eimeo in its aspect to the eye, though the eminences are neither so high nor so peaked as those of the latter, and are wooded even to the summits ; their flanks, in some places rocky and steep, are hollowed into narrow fissures or deep ravines. Numerous valleys, descending from the interior, open towards the beach. Many small islands studding the face of the sea, on all sides, add a variety of graceful objects, whether contem