« EelmineJätka »
and lodged him safely on the top. The greater wonder is that she did not, under such provocation from a wretch utterly in her power, let him down by the shortest way. The fellow was an Englishman, a pilot of this harbour ; and it is difficult to say which exceeded—his brutishness, or her strength ; her forbearance, at any rate, equalled either.
April 29. There are no mosquitoes here; neither are there any bugs. When the latter are brought on shore, in bedding or packages, from ship-board, they presently die: the climate of the Society Islands is equally fatal to them. Flies are very numerous and annoying. Toads, frogs, and serpents, we believe, are not found on any of these shores. The variety of birds is small. The tropic bird, a grey owl, a kind of plover, and common poultry, may be added to the few that we have previously mentioned. Quadrupeds are nearly as little diversified, there being few besides dogs, hogs, rats, mice, and (latterly introduced) horses, cows, sheep, goats, and cats. Entering a cottage one day, where there was a very fine animal of the latter species, we asked the woman of the house whether the natives of Oahu ate cats; on which she pointed to a fowl, that was picking up its food at her feet, and said, “ The cat is as good to eat as the hen.” These people, though they feed greedily upon the flesh of dogs and cats when they can procure it, are singularly tender and kind to them. In travelling, they frequently take up their dogs, and carry them over dirty or rugged parts of the road, lest they should soil their skins or hurt their feet; and it is said a man would sooner resent an injury done to his dog than to his child.— The few spiders, moths, and dragon-flies, which we have seen much resemble those of the South Sea Islands.
Captain Kent presents the Schooner to Rihoriho, in the name of his
Britannic Majesty-Anecdotes of Cruelty—Mr. Ruggles, the American Missionary-Conversation with the King— Tabued Sugar-plantationRainbows-Anniversary of Rihoriho's Accession-Circumstances which tended to the spontaneous Overthrow of Idolatry, before Christian Missionaries had arrived in the Sandwich Islands—Royal Dinner-Native Houses—Proposition from the Chiefs to receive Missionaries from the London Society-Bravery of some of the old Chiefs-- Child-murderFelling of Trees to make Idols-Want of Parental Authority--Foolish Etiquette of the former King.
April 30. THE king and several of his wives came to the English service in the Missionary chapel this morning. All behaved as well as they could, but presently retired. Rihoriho threw himself at full length on a form, and while one attendant, squatting beside, fanned him with a long flyflap, another lay down on the ground, and covered himself with a piece of cloth, for the purpose of being his majesty's pillow, had he chosen to rest on the floor rather than on the bench. His ladies, who were not ungracefully attired in loose green dresses, sat and lolled in a group, just within the door, from time to time handing a pipe about among themselves.
May 1. At noon Captain Kent formally delivered up the schooner which he had brought from Port Jackson, as a present from his Britannic Majesty, to the King of the
SCHOONER PRESENTED TO RIHORIHO,
Sandwich Islands. The latter came on board to take possession. When Captain Kent proposed to take down the English colours, the king said—“ No, no; I shall always hoist the English flag.” In fact, he makes no secret of acknowledging his dependence—for friendly protection, at least, against all other nations—on our country and its illustrious sovereign, of whom he has conceived no insignificant idea. Royal salutes were fired from the ships and the batteries on shore. A substantial entertainment, in the English fashion, being prepared, meanwhile, in the king's house, at Captain Kent's expense, a company of twenty-five, consisting of Rihoriho, his principal chiefs, the officers of the two ships, several Americans, and ourselves, sat down to it in the afternoon. Before dinner, while we were conversing in the house with Taumuarii (lately king of Tauai), a man from that island—a minstrel-came, and, sitting down without ceremony, sang a long, dull, lay of a few low, slow, notes, unweariedly repeated, in which were celebrated the deeds and virtues of the monarch and his ancestors. Two elegantly carved paddles were then presented to him; and a large bundle of cloth was likewise brought to his queen, by a woman from the same island. The latter was dressed in the first style of native fashion, having ten folds of fine wrapping round her body, and a mantle thrown over her shoulders.
The dinner was served in large European dishes, on a handsome mahogany table, with a cloth spread over it. All the party sat on chairs, and were furnished with plates, knives, and forks, which the natives used very dexterously. Several appropriate toasts were drunk afterwards, but no excess was committed while we remained.—After dinner, at the house of Mr. Davies, we had much conversation with him and a person whom he employs, who has resided at this
ANECDOTES OF CRUELTY.
place many years, respecting former tyrannical and idolatrous practices of priests and princes here. Two circumstances, among others, were mentioned, horribly illustrative of these. A man being convicted of stealing some of the king's clothes, and condemned to death, a stone was fastened about his neck, and he was placed in a canoe, in charge of an executioner, with a bayonet in his hand, ready, as soon as they had been paddled out to a sufficient distance and depth of water, to stab the criminal, and then throw him overboard to perish among the waves. Captain Davies's ship happening at that time to be at anchor in the harbour, and he on deck, the suspicious circumstance was observed, and, the meaning of it being ascertained, a boat was instantly manned, which put off towards the canoe, attacked it, and rescued the unfortunate wretch before the punishment could be inflicted on him. Mr. G. (the person above mentioned) being present once at a marae, when certain execrable rites were to be performed, and a human sacrifice being wanted, one of the priests looked out for a subject, when, seeing a man sitting on the ground, near the entrance of this temple of Satan, he stole softly behind him, and with one stroke of a club broke his neck. Then, instantly scooping out one of the eyes
of the murdered victim, he coolly presented it on a plantain-leaf to the idol. These are traits of man in what is called his state of nature, which many, who ought to know better, imagine to be a state of innocence, and talk, very poetically no doubt, of the primitive simplicity of these happy islanders; at the same time lamenting that their peace in this world, and their prospects in the next, should be disturbed by Missionaries, who have nothing superior to the gospel to give them ! Such sentimentalists are as ignorant of the real condition of the heathen as they are of the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of the
MR. RUGGLES, THE AMERICAN MISSIONARY.
unregenerated human heart, whether actually pagan or nominally Christian. These islanders are, indeed, in a state of nature, but not of innocence; and the truth is that they are miserable, not happy, under it, for theirs is a state of nature fallen FROM innocence, without the possibility of recovery, except by the faith of Christ, and redemption through his blood.
May 3. Mr. Ruggles, one of the American Missionaries, gave us the following anecdote respecting his late father, who was a minister of the gospel. One day, while he was preaching, a party of Indians came suddenly upon the congregation, scattered them, and carried him away into the forest. At night he was left under the charge of two women, while the men went to rest; but his female keepers, as well as the faithful dogs, falling asleep also, he took the opportunity to make his escape. He had not fled far before he heard the alarm-cry, and the crashing of the bushes behind warned him that the enemy were already in close pursuit of him. In his distress he crept, with little hope of safety, into a hollow tree, at whose foot there happened to be an opening through which he could squeeze his body and stand upright within. The Indians soon rushed by in full chace, without stopping to search his retreat, and, what is more extraordinary, their dogs had previously smelt about the root of the tree, and run forward without barking, as though they had discovered nothing.–We were told also of another capture and escape, yet more singular. Two boys were seized by two Indians, the one of whom was armed with a musket and the other with a tomahawk. They marched their little prisoners before them as far as they could that day into the wilderness. At night, when all were well wearied, the men lay down and slept soundly; the boys lay down also, but resolutely kept themselves awake, meditating