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from this quarter, induced him to attempt another region, and to invent means to lay on the table the fish that swam around him, as he amused him. self with imitating that watery race: hence originated both the fishing boat, the fishing hook and line, together with those lamps, and that oil which they burn during the time of their fishing in the night season. For these islanders have this cus-. tom in coinmon with the Neapolitans and Maltese; they fish in the night, and repose themselves in the day; and also, like them, burn torches of the cocoa-nut while engaged in it. The insulated si-> tuation : of this people would likewise at a very early period suggest the advantage of visiting the inhabitants of the neighbouring islands; and these visits would become more frequent as avarice and the love of power prompted to martial contendings. Hence originated the destructive art of war: nor is it difficult to conceive, that the more violent passions of the human mind, being once embroiled, would suddenly force into the field of battle all the former productions of honourable invention. The various disappointments in military enterprises would induce to strengthen, enlarge, and polish the canoe, and to sharpen the javelin and the arrow; repeated successes would lead to new attempts: the martial productions of enemies would also soon be employed against themselves by the opposite power.
By a similar process of the mind would the various mechanical arts either originate or advance in improvement; and their frequent intercourse with Europeans, as well as the use of their mechanical instruments," will greatly tend to accelerate the progress of these arts among them i
though at present they are all in a very rude state.
Nor are the other arts and sciences in great. perfection among these southern islanders. Dr. Solander and Sir Joseph Banks, who attended Captain Cook, were at a loss to find the existence of the science of arithmetic among them. They could not ascertain their method of dividing time. When they spoke of time they used the term malama, which signifies the moon; and they reckon thirteen of these moons, beginning again when they are expired. This fact, however, tends to prove, that they have some idea of the solar year; but these gentlemen could not discover how they computed their months, to make thirteen equal to the year,-as they said, that these months consisted of twenty-nine days, one day in which the moon was invisible being included. Experience, however, shows, that they had a knowledge of the prevailing weather which was to be expected, and also the fruits that would appear in : different seasons.
The siences which have for their more imme. diate object the cultivation of the human mind are rather in a ruder state.
Language is the medium of communicating the : thoughts of one mind unto another ; and is of two kinds,-natural and artificial : the natural language is composed of those signs by which one untaught savage communicates
les ideas to another, or that by which persons of different nations can make their wants, their sorrows, or their joys known to each other. Artificial language is composed of certain signs or words, which different nạtions have fixed upon to convey their ideas to
one another, upon all the various occurrences be: tween man and man.
The names of surrounding objects would first obtain, and next to these the more common necessaries of life and the more common topics of conversation. Correspondent to these remarks, the language of the Southern islanders is very contracted, and abounds chiefly in the names of persons and things.
The specimens of their language conveyed to us by those who have visited these islands show, that it is soft, abounding with vowels, and of easy pronunciation. The contracted use of language, or rather the scanty portion of ideas which are in circulation among them, has evinced the fact, that few of their nouns or verbs are declinable ; but future improvement will probably remove that defect. We are, however, informed, that Captain Cook and his companions as well as those who have visited them since their time, found means to make themselves mutually understood.
When the other sciences, the knowledge of which is conveyed by means of language, arrive at greater maturity in these islands, the language will undergo considerable improvements : nor is the period, we hope, far distant, when these shall flourish in those long-neglected regions, and the progress of knowledge unfold numerous facts in the human constitution hitherto undiscovered.
The science of medicine bears an exact proportion to the other sciences. Observations and numerous facts
prove, that the natural and rude state is the most favourable for health, and there are many parts of Europe where the physician and the surgeon are not found, nor their absence often deplored. A hardy race living on the scanty
produce of their niggard lands, and temperately enjoying the pleasures of social life, are the greatest strangers to those diseases which infest the more luxurious regions. More diseases, originate from an improper use of the bounties of Providence, than from a scanty portion of them.
The condition of the southern was similar to that of the northern inhabitants of the world, previously to the arrival of Europeans among them. A temperate climate, a regular mode of life, the , frequent use of vegetables, and the sparing use of animal food, tended to preserve health and invigorate the constitution. Their cleanliness and frequent bathing have also their effect,-although, perhaps, in some instances their bathing is carried beyond the bounds of prudence and the strength of the human frame,
But, alas! the case of these uncultivated islanders is sadly changed, and now destroying and depopulating diseases loudly call for medical aid." Intermitting fevers, coughs and colds prevail, occasioned partly by the change of wea-, ther, and partly by the pernicious mode of bathing when exceeding warm. When the sun is vertical, and their naked heads are exposed to its perpendicular beams, they sometimes undergo a temporary insanity. The periodical season of this disease is when the bread-fruit is ripe; and probably their excess in the use of that food may aid in bringing on this distemper. It is attended with boils on the skin, and continues longer with some than with others. Similar to the small- -pox and some other eruptive distempers in Europe, however, the person once recovered is affected
The direful ague also prevails, and is generally fatal, because here is no medicine for its effectual cure. In consequence of their exertions in wrestling, jumping, and lifting, they are subject to grievous ruptures. The glands behind the ears often swell and suppurate, leaving large scars similar to the king's evil. To these they apply no other cure but that of washing. Their active dispositions will not permit them to stay in the house, if they be able to stand upon their feet; nor can any admonition prevail upon them to apply a poultice of any kind, from the prevailing superstition, that none must pass the sacred ground with their heads covered, or any thing above their shoulders. Another circumstance operates to induce them to neglect all medical aid, which is their supposition that no disease attacks them by imprudence or intemperance, but is the just punishment of their divinity for some offence: the natural consequence is, that they trust more to the prayers of priests, than to the medicine of physicians. Their own vigorous constitutions and their natural operations, however, sometimes produce astonishing cures.
The writer of the voyage of the Duff narrates, that “ One man had received a musket ball, which passed through his breast and shoulderblade another had his arm broken by a ball; a third received it as he was stooping; it passed ihrough his thigh, entered his breast, and came out behind his collar-bone : several others were dreadfully smashed with stones; one had his upper jaw broken inward, with the loss of six or seven teeth, and a part of the bone-and yet all recovered surprisingly soon, without any appliCation. All bandages they abominate, and can