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HORRIBLE INSTANCE OF CHILD-MURDER.

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time were falling around him. This fact is attested, whatever be the inference in favour of his skill in defence, or to the discredit of his assailants for aiming their shafts so unluckily. But his task was not all mere evasion. Whenever he could, he caught the spears in the air, and hurled them back, with deadly retaliation, upon his foes. If, in the combat, himself or one of these were slain, a battleroyal ensued between the two parties for the dead body, when, of necessity, several others were killed on both sides. On these occasions, the living seemed to fight more desperately for the possession or rescue of the fallen than for themselves; the bodies of their opponents which could be captured being always sacrificed to the idols, or devoured by the victors.

Till lately, multitudes of children were destroyed before or immediately after the birth, when the parents thought their families large enough. Even boys and girls, up to six and seven years of age, were inhumanly murdered, when their fathers and mothers were too idle to provide food and raiment for them any longer. They were the absolute property of those who gave them life, and who might with impunity, any day, give them death. A native and his wife had an only child, a boy about seven years old, of whom they were both passionately fond. On a particular occasion, the father, being about to go from home, wished to take his son with him; the mother objected. He insisted; high words and hard words ensued, till each was wrought up to a frenzy of obstinate rage. In his paroxysm the father suddenly snatched up the object of contention, and grasping the child's legs above the ancles within one hand, and its arms above the wrists within the other, he broke its back with one stroke across his knee, and then threw the expiring victim of his demoniac passion at the feet of his wife,

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FELLING OF TREES TO MAKE IDOLS.

scarcely less possessed by an evil spirit than himself. Even in this barbarous land such an atrocity shocked the bystanders, one of whom ran off and told the king, in great horror, that a man had killed a boy! 6 Whose boy was it?” enquired his majesty. “ His own,” replied the other. 56 Then that is nothing either to you or to me,” was the decision of the sovereign ; implying, that had it been a pig, or a dog, or a boy, belonging to somebody else, which had been killed, the offender must have answered and suffered for it, but that every body had a right to do what he pleased with his own.

When a new idol was to be manufactured, a royal and priestly procession went forth, with great ceremony, to the destined tree, where the king himself, with a stone axe, laid the first stroke to the root; and, after it had been felled, a man or a hog was butchered and buried on the spot where it had grown. The principal god of the late Tamehameha was named Turkudimaku, a huge, unsightly block (for there were no “cunning workmen" here to make “graven images"); yet so soon as this scaramouch, fantastically dressed with flowers and feathers, was heaved upon a man's shoulders to be carried to or from any particular marae, all the people in the way were obliged to uncover their persons and prostrate themselves on the ground. Karaipahoa, however, was the most formidable of their deities, and the fittest symbol of that malignant being, “the god of this world,” whom they all represented. This idol was more elaborately shapen and curiously adorned than most of its kindred. It was carved out of a tree that

in the island of Morokai, the wood of which was said to be so dreadfully deleterious that a little of it, scraped into a mess of food, would turn it into deadly poison. Even the chips of the raw material of this divinity, during the felling of

grew

WANT OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY.

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the tree, were so venomous that they killed several persons who happened to be hit by them as they flew off at the blows of the axe, so that the workmen were obliged to cover themselves from head to foot till they had brought this upas to the ground. Before the priests ventured to scrape a few particles from the idol, for their devilish purposes, they washed their hands in ava, which was said to be an antidote against the infection. It is probable, however, that the baneful qualities attributed to this sacred wood were as fabulous as all the other powers ascribed to “the image of the beast” which they sculptured out of it. The idol itself is supposed to be still in the possession of Rihoriho, but the Missionaries have never seen it.

It is a singular custom in these islands, that sons seldom care to work for their own maintenance during the lives of their fathers, the latter being compelled to support their wives and children as long as they are able. It is true that none need work very hard for a living in these prolific climes; but yet indolence is a national sin of the people; and hence it is the less wonderful that they should heretofore have murdered so many of their offspring when the latter became burthensome to them—not (as was the case in the Society Islands) that they might indulge in licentiousness, but in idleness. Those, however, whom they did spare, they utterly spoiled, by allowing them uncontrolled liberty to be as mischievous as they chose; never contradicting or correcting them, though the rebellious children often and unmercifully abused their parents.

The late king was exceedingly severe and arbitrary. If he were on board a ship in the cabin, and found that any of his own subjects had walked even inadvertently on that part of the deck which was over his head, it would have cost them their lives as soon as they reached shore. When the

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FOOLISH ETIQUETTE OF TAMEHAMEHA.

British government proposed to make him the present of a vessel, he desired that it might be so built as not to require, in the management, that the sailors should ever step upon the cabin-roof, as none of his people, by the law of his country, were allowed to be above him at any time. So stately, too, was the royal etiquette, during his reign, that whoever happened to meet the king's calabash of water, as it was brought from the spring to the house, was required to unrobe, and lie down upon the earth, till the bearer of the vessel had gone by.

About thirty years ago the King of Maui invaded and conquered this island. But, though conquered, the inhabitants were not subdued; and they conspired to destroy, by stratagem, the enemy whom they could not expel by force. A plot was laid to massacre, in one day, all the chiefs of the invaders. This being discovered, the conqueror determined to cut off every native man, woman, and child. For several months he was occupied in this work of extermination, pursuing and hunting out his victims among the woods and mountains. To what extent he was able to carry his vengeance we did not learn.

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CHAPTER XXI.

District of Waerua— Ava-plantations—Arbitrary Power of the Chiefs,

Tax-gatherer's Memorandum-cord—Singular Pile of Coral— Arrival at Waerua—Printing Flowers on native Cloth-Way-side Idols-Honoruru -Shampooing—Queen at her Lesson-A Salt-lake-Interview with Rihoriho_Mortality among Fishes—A clever Woman-Trade with the Sandwich Islanders — Evil Effects of ardent Spirits — Depravity of native Children-Pilfering—Two Men devoured by Sharks—Anniversary of American Independence-Royal Repast—Good News from Nuhiva Thomas Hopoo-Rumour of projected American Aggression—Flies an Abomination to the Natives—Dream of Keraimoku-Proposal that all the People should be taught to read and write.

May 15. We traversed a great part of the north-west coast to reach the district of Waerua, about twenty-eight miles from the place where we lodged last night. The road lies over an extensive plain, between two chains of mountains which run in parallel directions, and the flanks of which are deeply furrowed by vertical ravines, the channels of trickling streams, that often crossed our path. The plain is of red loam, with beds of pebbles and brown sand-rocks breaking through the surface. The hills are decidedly volcanic. On our right hand was pointed out a glen, formerly the haunt of cannibals, and known by an appellation signifying the same.

The wretches who lived in that hideous retirement not only devoured their prisoners taken in war,

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