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the system of idolatry, the traditions, tating to an European constitution. manners, and customs of the inhabitants, The natives are in general rather - a detailed account of which is given in above the middle stature, well formthe following narrative." pp. 19, 20.
Mr. Ellis's Narrative opens with ed, with fine muscular limbs, open an attestation to the remarkable countenances, and features frecorrectness of the statements re- quently resembling those of Eurospecting the Sandwich Islands, in peans. Their gait is graceful, and the account of Captain Cooke's sometimes stately. Thechiefs, in parvoyages continued by Capt. King. ticular, are tall and stout. Compared A circumstance so surprising as the with the inhabitants of many other is, arrival of that expedition, so power- lands, they may be termed numerous. fully affected the minds of the na. They were estimated by their discotives that the ordinary business of verers at 400,000. At present their life was for the time suspended. number does not exceed 130,000 or The news of the event rapidly 150,000, of which 85,000 inhabit spread through the islands, and the island of Hawaii. The rapid multitudes flocked from every quar- depopulation which has most certer to see the return of Orono, ortainly taken place within the last the motus (islands), as they called fifty years, is attributed to frequent the ships. The whole island was and desolating wars, the ravages of laid under requisition, to supply a pestilence brought in the first inthe wants, or contribute to the satis- stance by foreign vessels, the awful faction of the strangers. The effect prevalence of infanticide, and the also produced on the minds of those melancholy increase and destructive early visitors, by what they saw consequences of depravity and vice. during their transient stay among The natural history of the islands, the islands, was heightened by all as it regards the animal kingdom, the attractions of novelty, and the is exceedingly circumscribed. The complacency which such discoveries only quadrupeds originally found naturally inspire. But far different, inhabiting them were a small species it is stated, are the impressions pro- of hogs, with long heads and small duced on the minds of the mission- erect ears; dogs, lizards, and an ani. aries who have resided for some years mal larger than a mouse, but smaller in the islands. Having acquired the than a rat. There are now large language of the people, observed herds of cattle in Hawaii, and some their domestic economy, and be- tame ones in most of the islands, come acquainted with the nature of together with flocks of goats, and a their government, the sanguinary few horses and sheep. The vegetable character of their frequent wars, productions are found in no small their absurd and oppressive system variety, and the most serviceable of idolatry, and the prevalence of are cultivated with facility. The human sacrifices, they are led, they natives subsist principally on the remark, from the facts which came roots of the arum esculentum, which under they notice, to more just and they call taro, on the convolvulus accurate conclusions ;-conclusions batatas, or sweet potato, called by in faithful accordance with the aw- them uära, and uhi, or yam.
The ful testimony of Divine revelation principal indigenous fruits are the respecting the natural condition of uru, or bread-fruit: the cocoa-nut; mankind.
the plantain; the ohia, a species of The Sandwich Islands are ten in eugenia; and the strawberry and number, situated between 18 deg. raspberry. Oranges, limes, citrons, 50 min. and 22 deg. 20 min. north grapes, pine-apples, papaw-apples, latitude, and 150 deg. 53 min. and cucumbers, and water melons, have 160 deg. 15 min.west longitude from been introduced, and, excepting Greenwich. The climate is not in the pine-apples, thrive well. Hence salubrious, though warm, and debili- the islands are frequently resorted to
navigating the northern objected to his going any further. His wife Pacific. The establishment of the also joined her entreaties that he would not independent States of South America go on board the ships. While he was has greatly increased their import- other side of the bay, entered the crowd
a man came running from the ance, as they lie in the track of almost breathless, and exclaimed, · It is vessels passing from thence to
war !—the foreigners have commenced China and India; and they are
hostilities, have fired on a canoe from one
of their boats, and killed a chief.' This also visited by persons who trade enraged some of our people, and alarmed for peltry with the natives of the the chiefs, as they feared Captain Cook north-west coast of America.
would kill the king. The people armed During the visit of Captain Van. themselves with stones, clubs, and spears.
Kanona entreated her husband not to go. couver in 1792, the king ceded the All the chiefs did the same. The king island of Hawaii to the British sat down. The captain seemed agitated, crown, and placed himself and his and was walking towards his boat, when dominions under British protection; he turned, and with his double barrelled
one of our men attacked him with a spear: an act which was repeated by his gun shot the man who struck him. Some son, the late king, on his accession of our people then threw stones at him, to the sovereignty of all the islands. which being seen by his men, they fired on Owhyhee, or as the missionaries spell stop his men from firing, but could
Captain Cook then endeavoured 10 it Hawaii, is the principal island
on account of the noise. He was turning of the group, and will long be re- again to speak to us, when he was stabbed markable for the death of the il- in the back with a pahoa ; a spear was at lustrious navigator above alluded
the same time driven through his body:
he fell into the water, and spoke no more. to. Some interesting particulars “ After he was dead, we all wailed. respecting that lamented event His bones were separated—the flesh was have been gleaned by the mis. scraped off and burnt, as was the practice sionaries. The following is the in regard to our own chiefs when they result of their inquiries.
died. We thought he was the god Rono,
worshipped him as such, and after his “ Mr. Thurston and I climbed the death reverenced his bones.” rocks, which rise in a north-east direction “ Not only were his bones so treated, from the village, and visited the cave in but almost every relic left with them. which the body of Captain Cook was de- Among other things, a sledge, which, posited, on being first taken from the from their description of it, must have beach. The cave is of volcanic formation, come from the north-west coast of Ameand appears to have been one of those rica, left at the islands, by Captain Cook, subterranean tunnels so numerous on the or some of his companions, was afterwards island, by which the volcanoes in the in- worshipped by the people. terior sometimes discharge their contents
Many of the chiefs frequently express upon the shore.
the sorrow they feel whenever they think “ There are a number of persons in the of the captain; and even the common islands, who either were present them- people usually speak of these facts with selves at the unhappy dispute which ter- apparent regret. More than once, when minated the valuable life of the celebrated conversing with us on the length of time Captain Cook, or who, from their con- the missionaries had been in the Society nexion with those who were on the spot,
Islands, they have said, Why did you not are well acquainted with the particulars come here sooner? Was it because we of that melancholy event. With many of killed Captain Cook? them we have frequently conversed; and
“ We have sometimes asked them what though their narratives differ in a few inducement they had to steal the boat, smaller points, they all agree in the main when they possessed so many canoes of facts, with the account published by Cap- their own. They have generally answered, taiu King, his successor.
that they did not take it to transport “ • The foreigner, they say,
themselves from one island to another; to blame; for, in the first instance, our
for their own canoes were more convepeople stole his boat, and he, in order to nient, and they knew better how to recover it, designed to take our king on manage them; but because they saw it board his ship, and detain him there till fastened with nails. These they wanted, it should be restored. Kapena Kuke'- therefore stole the boat, and broke it to (Captain Cook's name is thus pronounced pieces the next day, in order to obtain the by the natives)—and Taraiopu our king hails to make fish-hooks with. They were walking together towards the shore, prize nails very highly; and though we do when our people, conscious of what had not know that they ever went so far in been done, thronged round the king, and their endeavours to obtain a more abundCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 293.
ant supply, as the Society islanders did, in Hiro, we agreed to proceed along the who actually planted them in the ground, eastern shore, till an opportunity should hoping they would grow like potatoes, or offer for part of our number to cross over any other vegetable; yet such is the value the mountains of Kohala, while the rest they still set on them, that the fishermen should travel along the shore, round the would rather receive a wrought nail, to north point of the island, and meet their make of it a fish-hook according to their , companions at Towaihae.” pp. 71, 72. own taste, than the best English-made
We shall not undertake to follow fish-hook we could give them.
“It has been supposed that the circum- our party through this excursion; stance of Captain Cook's bones being se- but shall present to our readers a parated, and the flesh taken from them, few miscellaneous notices detailed was evidence of a savage and unrelenting in the course of their route. barbarity; but so far from this, it was the result of the highest respect they could
The plan of their tour being arshew him.” pp. 99—103.
ranged, they waited on the governor “The missionaries in the Society Islands of the island, to request his aid in had, by means of some Sandwich islanders, the execution of it, and received been long acquainted with the circumstance the best advice and assistance he of some of Captain Cook's bones being preserved in one of their temples, and could afford. They had the honour, receiving religious worship; and every en- twice in his society, of witnessing deavour has been made to learn, though a native dance performed on a fine without success, whether they were still in existence, and where they were kept. sandy beach in the front of one of The best conclusion we can form is, that his residences; but they did not part of Captain Cook's bones were pre- find the circumstances of this
august served by the priests, and were considered sacred by the people, probably till the ceremony very favourable for misabolition of idolatry in 1819: that, at that sionary proceedings. Their account period they were committed to the secret of one of these scenes is, however, care of some chief, or deposited by the worth extracting as a specimen of priests who had charge of them, in a cave, native manners. unknown to all besides themselves. The manner in which they were then disposed
“ About four o'clock in the afternoon, of will, it is presumed, remain a secret, till another party of musicians and dancers, the knowledge of it is entirely lost. The followed by multitudes of people, took priests and chiefs always appear unwilling their station nearly on the spot occupied to enter into conversation on the subject, yesterday by those from Kaü. The muand desirous to avoid the recollection of sicians, seven in number, seated themthe unhappy circumstance.” pp. 105, 106.
selves on the sand; a curiously carved
drum, made by hollowing out a solid piece The plan and objects of the mis- of wood, and covering the top with shark's sionaries' tour through Owhyhee are skin, was placed before each, which they described as follows:
beat with the palm or fingers of their right
hand. A neat little drum, made of the “July15th, 1823. Our whole number be- shell of a large cocoa-nut, was also fixed ing now together at the place where we had on the knee, by the side of the large drum, previously agreed to commence our tour, we and beat all the while with a small stick no longer delayed to decide on the route held in the left hand. When the muwe should take, and the manner in which sicians had arranged themselves in a line, we should endeavour to accomplish the ob- across the beach, and a bustling man, who jects of our visit. Anxious to gain a thorough appeared to be master of ceremonies, had, acquaintance with the circumstances of with a large branch of a cocoa-nut tree, the people, and their disposition relative to cleared a circle of considerable extent, missionary operations, we agreed to travel two interesting little children, (a boy and on foot from Kairua, through the villages a girl,) apparently about nine years of on the southern shore, to pass round the age, came forward, habited in the dancing south point, and continue along the south- costume of the country, with garlands of east shore, till we should arrive at the path flowers on their heads, wreaths round leading to the great volcano, situated at their necks, bracelets on their wrists, and the foot of Mouna Roa, about twenty-five buskins on their ancles. When they had miles distant from the sea, which we reached the centre of the ring, they comthought it improper to pass unnoticed. menced their dance to the music of the We proposed, after visiting the volcano, drums; cantilating all the while, altereither to descend to the shore and travel nately with the musicians, a song in hoalong the coast through the division of nour of some ancient chief of Hawaii. Puna, or across the interior to the division “ The governor of the island was preof Hiro, as circumstances might then sent, accompanied, as it is customary for render most expedient. From Waiakea every chieftain of distinction to be on
public occasions, by a retinue of favourite “ After supper and family worship at the chiefs and attendants. Having almost governor's, I spent the evening in converentirely laid aside the native costume, and sation with him, partly on traditions readopted that of the foreigners who visit specting some remarkable places in the the islands, he appeared on this occasion neighbourhood of Kairua, and partly on in a light European dress, and sat on a the subject of religion. I spoke of the Canton-made arm chair, opposite the desirableness of his building a place for dancers, during the whole exhibition. A the public worship of the true God, and servant with a light kihei of painted na- the advantages of keeping the Sabbath tive cloth thrown over his shoulder, stood us a day of holy rest, recommending him behind his chair, holding a highly polished to set the common people a good example, portable spittoon, made of the beautifully and use his influence to induce them to brown wood of the cordia in one hand, attend public service on the Lord's day. and in the other a handsome kahiri, an He said it was his intention to build a elastic rod, three or four feet long, having church by and by, when the maka-ainana the shining feathers of the tropic-bird should become interested in these things, tastefully fastened round the upper end, and when they should have a missionary with which he fanned away the flies from to reside permanently with them, but the person of his master.
that at present the people at Kairua were « The beach was crowded with spec- quite indifferent to all religion.” pp. 76, 77. tators, and the exhibition was kept up with great spirit, till the overspreading shades
The governor seems to have been of evening put an end to their mirth, and by no means deficient in shrewdwhose little limbs must have been very ness; and, among other remarks, much fatigued by two hours of constant urged an argument but too common exercise. We were anxious to address in the lips of heathen objectors, and the multitude on the subject of religion most distressing to the mind of every were they on their amusement, that they faithful missionary. could not have been diverted from it." pp. 74, 75.
“ He asked if all the people in our native
countries were acquainted with the Bible, The missionaries were more suc- I answered, that from the abundant means cessful at their next attempt, both of instruction enjoyed there, the greater in gaining the attention of the peo- book, or had in some other way become
of the people had either read the ple to their preaching, and interest- acquainted with its principal contents.ing the governor in their plans. Mr. He then said, How is it that such numbers Ellis writes ;
of them swear, get intoxicated, and do
so many things prohibited in that book ? " At four P. M. the musicians from He was told, that there was a vast differKaü again collected on the beach, and ence between knowing the word of God, the dancer commenced a hura, similar and obeying it; and that it was most to that exhibited on Monday evening. We likely, those persons knew their conduct had previously appointed a religious meet- was displeasing to the God that made ing for this evening; and about an hour them, yet persisted in it, because agreebefore sun-set, proposed to the governor, able to their corrupt inclinations. He to hold it on the beach, where the people asked, if God would not be angry with us were already assembled. He approved, and for troubling him so frequently with our followed us to the edge of the circle, where prayers. If he was like man, he said, we took our station, just opposite the mu- he was sure he would. I replied, that sicians. At the governor's request the God was always waiting to be gracious,' music ceased, and the dancer came and more ready to hear than we were to pray; sat down just in front of us.
We sang a
that indeed he was not like man, or his hymn: I then offered up a short prayer, patience would have been exhausted long and afterwards addressed the people from ago by the wickedness of men; but that Acts xiv. 15; “And preach unto you, that he continued exercising long-suffering and ye should turn from these vanities unto forbearance towards sinners, that they the living God, which made heaven might turn from their evil ways and live. and earth, and the sea, and all things We supped with the governor as usual, that are therein.' The multitude collect- conducted family worship with his houseed was from different and distant parts of hold, and afterwards prepared our baggage the island, and appeared to listen with for our journey." p. 83. attention to the word spoken.
To many; it was doubtless the first time they had It is a remarkable circumstance, heard of the name of Jehovah, or of Jesus that even previously to the arrival Christ his Son; and we afterwards heard them coversing among themselves about of the missionaries in the Sandwich the truths they had heard.
islands, the way had been prepared
for the national adoption of Christi- their knowledge to increase his own,anity by the public rejection of the and, during the latter years of his life, native idolatry. This violent disrup- declared his conviction of the truth of
was decidedly favourable to their object; tion of the ancient superstition was Christianity; attended public worship the act of the late king Rihoriho, himself on the Sabbath, and recommended well-known from his visit to this the same to his people.
“His moral character was not marked by country ; where himself and his that cruelty, rapacity, and insensibility to queen both died, after not only a
the sufferings of the people, which frehospitable, but even a polite and quently distinguish the arbitrary chiefs of ceremonious reception, not often
uncivilized nations.” pp. 425, 426. conferred by the higher order of terprise : the abolition of the national
“ He possessed both decision and encivilized courts and nations upon idolatry was a striking instance of the chieftain visitants from what they former'; and his voyage to England, of the are pleased, in their superiority, to
latter. The motives by which he was indenominate barbarian tribes. Mr.
duced to undertake that long and hazard
ous voyage were highly commendable, Ellis gives the following description They were,-a desire to see, for himself, of this remarkable man, and of his countries of which he had heard such vamotives for visiting England, which
rious and interesting accounts—a wish to we extract, as a prelude to the pas
have a personal interview with his majesty
the king of Great Britain, or the chief sage which describes bis somewhat members of the British government, for cavalier abolition of idolatry. the purpose of confirming the cession of
the Sandwich Islands, and placing himself “ The early habits of Riboriho did not and his dominions under British protecwarrant any great expectations. His na
tion. tural disposition was frank and humane.
* It was also his intention to make him. The natives always spoke of him as good self acquainted with the tenor and forms natured, except when he was under the of administering justice in the courts of influence of ardent spirits : his manners law--the principles of commerce-and were perfectly free, at the same time other subjects which seemed important to dignified, and always agreeable to those the welfare of the islands. who were about him. His mind was na
Although the melancholy death of the turally inquisitive. The questions he king and of his queen prevented the acusually presented to foreigners were by complishment of these objects so fully as no means trilling; and his memory was might have been wished, yet no unfriendly retentive. His general knowledge of the feeling is likely to be entertained by the world was much greater than could have people, as to the cause of it. been expected. I have heard him enter- count the survivors will convey to their taiu a party of chiefs for hours together, countrymen, of the generous reception with accounts of different parts of the they met--the hospitable manner in which earth, describing the extensive lukes, the they were entertained, while they lived mountains and mines of North and South
the high respect paid to their remains, and America; the elephants and inhabitants other tokens of friendship, will not only of India; the houses, manufactures, &c.
prevent suspicion, but combine to confirm of England, with no small accuracy, con- that attachment and confidence which they sidering he had never seen them. He have so long felt towards England. had a great thirst for knowledge, and was “ No disturbance the general trandiligent in his studies. I recollect his quillity, or change in the government, is remarking one day, when he opened his writing desk, that he expected more ad
to be apprehended from this event. Ri
horiho left a younger brother, Kauikeoule, vantage from that desk, than from a fine
about ten years of age, who will be his brig belonging to him, lying at anchor op
successor. A regency will govern during posite the house in which we were sitting his minority.” pp. 427, 428. Mr. Bingham and myself were his daily teachers, and have often been surprised at
Rihoriho's queen comes in for a his unwearied perseverance. I have sat large share of Mr. Ellis's eulogy, beside him at his desk sometimes from and she really appears to have denine or ten o'clock in the morning, till
served it. The various little traits nearly sun-set, during which his pen has not been out of his hand more than three of simplicity and affection detailed quarters of an hour, while he was at in our newspapers, at the time of the dinner.
visit and death of these strangers, “ We do not know that Christianity exerted any decisive influence on his heart.
would seem, from our author's deHe was willing to receive the missionaries scription of the parties, to have been on their first arrival availed himself of perfectly genuine.