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they were throughout consistent in their account of the alleged misfortune, and apparently showed much proper feeling for the fate that had befallen their companions.
Until the 19th we had light breezes; in the afternoon of this day we saw the appearance of a water-spout, forming about half a mile from the ship; the water was seen flying up, as if from a circle of fifty feet in diameter, throwing off jets from the circumference of the circle, not unlike a willow basket in shape, and having a circular motion from right to left; there was a heavy black cloud over it, but no descending tube; and it did not appear to have any progressive motion. Desirous of getting near, I kept the ship off for it, but we had little wind; the cloud dispersed, and the whole was dissipated before we got near to it. The electrometer showed no change.
The next day, the 20th of April, in latitude 24° 26' S., longitude 174° 47' 30" W., we took the trades from about east : passed over the position assigned to the island of Vasquez, but saw nothing of it. Some appearance of land existing to the eastward, the Porpoise was despatched to look for it.
On the 22d, we made the island of Ecoa, and that of Tongataboo. The wind the whole day was very variable, with squalls and heavy rain ; and it being too late to run through the long canal that leads to the harbour, I deemed it most prudent to haul off for the night. A southerly current drove us further off than I anticipated, and we did not succeed the next day in regaining our position; we experienced much lightning and rain, with the wind strong from the eastward. On the 24th, at 1 P. M., we rounded the eastern end of Tongataboo, and stood down through the Astrolabe canal. This is a dangerous passage, and ought not to be attempted when the wind is variable or light; it is nine miles in length, and passes between two coral reefs, where there is no anchorage; it was at the western end of it that the Astrolabe was near being wrecked in 1827. It is from half to one mile wide, gradually narrowing, until the small island of Mahoga appears to close the passage. When nearly up to this island, the passage takes a short and narrow turn to the northward; in turning round into this pass, I was aware of a coral patch, laid down by the Astrolabe, and hauled up to avoid it, by passing to the eastward; but the danger was nearer the reef than laid down, and the sun's glare being strong, we were unable to see it, and ran directly upon it. For a moment the ship's way was stopped, but the obstacle broke under her, and we proceeded on to the anchorage off Nukualofa, the residence of King Josiah, alias Tubou. In our survey of the above passage, no
shoal was found in the place where the ship had struck, and we had the satisfaction of knowing that we had destroyed it without injury to the vessel.
The tender had arrived before us, and I found also here the British vessel Currency Lass. This harbour, when it is reached, is a safe one, and is well protected by the reefs.
Nukualofa is a station of the Wesleyan Mission, the heads of which, Messrs. Tucker and Rabone, paid me a visit, and from them I learnt that the Christian and Devil's parties were on the point of hostilities; that Taufaahau or King George, of Vavao, had arrived with eight hundred warriors, for the purpose of carrying on the war, and putting an end to it.
The islands of Tongataboo and Eooa are the two southern islands of the Hapai Group (the Friendly Isles of Cook); the former is a low, level island, while that of Eooa is high. The highest part of Tongataboo is only sixty feet above the level of the sea, while that of Eooa rises about six hundred feet; the strait between them is eight miles wide. Tonga is extremely fruitful, and covered with foliage, and contains ten thousand inhabitants; while that of Eooa is rocky and barren, and contains only two hundred inhabitants.
Believing that I might exert an influence to reconcile the parties, and through my instrumentality restore the blessings of peace, I proffered my services to that effect, which were warmly accepted by the Reverend Mr. Tucker. I therefore sent a message to the chiefs of the Christian party, to meet me in fono in the morning, and late at night received a notice that they would be prepared to receive me. On the morning of the 24th, I landed, with all the officers that could be spared from other duties; we were received on the beach by Mr. Tucker, and were at once surrounded by a large number of natives. It was impossible not to be struck with the great difference between these people and those we had just left in New Zealand; nothing of the morose and savage appearance so remar le there, was seen; here all was cheerfulness and gaiety; all appeared well-fed and wellformed, with full faces and muscles. The number of children particularly attracted our notice, in striking contrast to the New Zealand groups, where few but men were seen. In a few minutes we heard the native drum, calling the warriors and people together; we went a short distance along the beach, passed into the fortification, and up a gentle acclivity, on the top of which is now the Mission church, and the house of King Tubou. On our way up we passed by the drum, or as it is here called, toki, which is a large hollow log, not unlike a pig. trough, made of hard, sonorous wood; it is struck with a mallet.
shaped somewhat like that used by stone-cutters; it gives a sound not unlike a distant gong, and it is said may be heard from seven to ten miles.
From the top of this hill (sixty feet high, and the most elevated point on the island) there is an extensive view, over the island on-one hand, and on the other over the encircling reefs and the deep blue sea. I felt familiar with the scenes around me, from the description I had often read in Mariner's Tonga Islands, and feel great pleasure in confirming the admirable and accurate description there given. The names we heard were familiar to us, and we found, through the natives and missionaries, that many of the descendants of the persons of whorn he speaks were present.
I was within the fortification of Nukualofa, the scene of many of the exploits which Mariner relates. I was now surrounded by large numbers of warriors, all grotesquely dressed and ready for the fight, with clubs, spears, and muskets. In addition to the usual tapa around their waist, they had yellow and straw-coloured ribands, made of the pandanus-leaves, tied around their arms above the elbows, on their legs above and below the knees, and on their bodies: some had them tied and gathered up in knots; others wore them as scarfs—some on the right shoulder, some on the left, and others on both shoulders. Some of these sashes were beautifully white, about three inches wide, and quite pliable. Many of them had fanciful head-dresses, some with natural and others with artificial flowers over their turbans (called sala); and nearly all had their faces painted in the most grotesque manner, with red, yellow, white, and black stripes, crossing the face in all directions. Some were seen with a jet black face and vermilion. nose; others with half the face painted white. When a body of some eight hundred of these dark-looking, well-formed warriors, all eager for the fight, and going to and fro to join their several companies, is seen, it is hardly possible to describe the effect. The scene was novel in the extreme, and entirely unexpected, for I considered that we were on a mission of peace. A few minutes' conversation with Mr. Tucker accounted for it all. The evening before, the “ Devil's” party, it appeared, had attacked their yam-grounds; some of the natives were wounded on both sides ; and great fear had been entertained that they would have followed up their attack even to the town of Nukualofa ; most of the warriors had, therefore, been under arms the whole night.
We were led through all this confusion to the small but of Tubou or King Josiah : here we were presented to his majesty, with whom I shook hands. He was sitting on a mat winding a ball of sennit, which he had been making, and at which occupation he continued for
the most part of the time. He has the appearance of being about sixty years old ; his figure is tall, though much bent with age; he has a fine dignified countenance, but is represented as a very imbecile old man, fit for any thing but to rule; as domestic and affectionate in bis family, caring little about the affairs of government, provided he can have his children and grandchildren around him to play with, in which amusement he passes the most of his time. Seats were provided for us from the missionaries' houses, and were placed in the hut, whose sides being open, gave us a full view of all that was passing without. King Josiah, with his nearest relatives and the highest chiefs, about ten in number, occupied the hut, together with the missionaries and ourselves. The warriors were grouped about in little squads, in their various grotesque accoutrements.
When all was apparently ready, we waited some few minutes for King George. When he made his appearance, I could not but admire him: he is upwards of six feet in height, extremely well proportioned, and athletic; his limbs are rounded and full; his features regular and manly, with a fine open countenance and sensible face; all which were seen to the greatest advantage. The only covering he wore was a large white tapa or gnato, girded in loose folds around his waist, and hanging to the ground, leaving his arms and chest quite bare. He at once attracted all eyes; for, on approaching, every movement showed he was in the habit of commanding those about him. With unassuming dignity, he quietly took his seat without the hut, and as if rather prepared to be a listener than one who was to meet us in council. This was afterwards explained to me by Mr. Tucker, who stated that King George is not yet considered a native chief of Tonga, and, notwithstanding his actual power here and at Vavao, is obliged to take his seat among the common people. On observing his situation, and knowing him to be the ruling chief de facto, I immediately requested that he might be admitted to the hut; and he was accordingly requested to enter, which he did, and seated himself at a respectful distance from the king, to whom he showed great and marked respect.
Mr. Rabone, the assistant missionary, was the interpreter, and the conversation or talk that passed between us was in an undertone. The peculiarity of figurative speech, common to all the islanders, was very marked in King George, affording a condensed, or rather concise mode of expression, that is indicative of sense and comprehension. They began by assuring me of the pleasure it gave them to see me, when they were just about going to war, and were in much trouble. I proposed myself as a mediator between the parties, and that each party
should appoint ten chiefs, to meet under my direction and protection, in order to arrange all the difficulties between them; that these should meet on neutral ground, on the island of Pangai-Moutu, about halfway between the heathen fortress of Moa and Nukualofa. I also offered to send officers or go myself to the heathen fortress, to make a similar request of them. With all this they appeared pleased, but in answer to it King George simply asked, “ Will they ever return ?" After a little conversation, they assented to my propositions. I then took the occasion to rebuke them mildly for allowing their followers to ássemble in their war-dresses, and with so many warlike preparations on such an occasion, telling them that I thought it indicated any thing but the peaceful disposition, in the belief of the existence of which I had called the meeting. The affair concluded by their leaving the whole matter to my discretion, and with an assurance that they would conform to my decision. During the half hour spent in this conference, the whole multitude outside seemed as though they were transfixed to the spot, awaiting in anxious expectation the result. As King Josiah (who it seems is exceedingly prone to somnolency) was now seen to be nodding, I judged it time to move an adjournment, and the council was broken up.
All now became bustle and apparent confusion; every one was in motion; the whole village, including the women and children, carry. ing baskets, hoes, sticks, &c., besides their arms and war instruments : all were going to the yam-grounds, expecting an engagement with the heathen. It had a fine effect to see them passing quickly through the beautiful cocoanut-groves, in companies of fifteen to twenty, in their martial costumes, painted, belted, and turbaned,--some of the finest specimens of the human race that can well be imagined, surpassing in symmetry and grace those of all the other groups we had visited. The fashion of their warlike dress is changed for every battle, in order to act as a disguise, and prevent them from being known to the enemy, put yet they are readily distinguished by their own party.
Anxious to know the actual cause of the war, I made every inquiry that was in my power, and satisfied myself that it was in a great measure a religious contest, growing out of the zeal the missionaries have to propagate the gospel, and convert the heathen. With this is combined the desire of King George, or Taufaahau, who is already master of Hapai and Vavao, to possess himself of all the islands of the group. About three years prior to our visit, a war had broken out in Tonga of a similar character, and the Christian party being hard pressed, sent to ask the aid of King George, who came, relieved them, and defeated their enemies. Mr. Rabone, the missionary above spoken