« FöregåendeFortsätt »
with skill and intrepidity, Tamaahmaah has made himself master of the whole groure, excepting the Islands of Atooi and Oneehow, and of these be is supposed to meditate the conquest, This extraordinary man has neglected nothing that might tend to enlarge and consolidate his power. He holds out every inducement in his power to Europeans; he treats them with the utmost coufidence and kindness, and when they express any wish to quit his service, they are free to follow their inclinations. When Campbell asked his permission to return, he first inquired if he was dissatisfied with his treatment, and on rec viving for alswer, that there was no other motive than an anxiety to revise fornier scenes, and to renew old friendships, he
said, in Campbell's version of his idiom, "it his helly told him " to go, he would do it; avr that if mine told me so, I was at
He has workmen of various descriptions, both native and European; bis guards are armed with musquets, and go through a regular exercise ; his navy amounts to nearly sixty decked vessels, one of which carries sixteen guns, and even ainong bis own subjects, he can cominand the services of many expert seamen. From the advantageous situation of these islands, they are frequently visited by the ships which cross the Pacific Ocean They produce vegetables in abundance, and great attention is now paid to the breeding of live stock. The government is despotic, subject, however, to certain prescriptive restraints, which the most uncontrolled monarchs seldom find it safe to break through. The various departments of the administration were confided to different chiets, who were, themselves under the direction of an elderly chief, of the vame of • Naai. As this personage exercised the functions of prime minister, the Europeans had given him the nickname of Billy Pitt, and he had taken so great a fancy to the appellation, as to appear by no means pleased when addressed by any other pame.
• The principal duties of the executive were, however, entrusted to the priests; by them the revenues were collected, and the laws enforced. Superstition is the most powerful engine by which the latter purpose is eflected; actual punishment being rare. I knew only one instance of capital punishment; which was that of a man who had violated the sanctity of the Morai. Having got drunk, be quitted it during taboo time, and entered the house of a woman. He was immediately seized, and carried back to the Morai, where his eyes were put out. After remaining two days in this state, he was strangled, and his body exposed before the principal idol.
• The method of detecting theft or robbery, affords a singular instance of the power of superstition over their minds. The party who has suffered the loss, applies to one of the priests, to whom he presents a pig, and relates his story.
• The following ceremony is then performed: The priest begins by rubbing two pieces of green wood upon each other, till, by the friction, a kind of powder, like snuff, is produced, which is so hot, that, on being placed in dry grass, and blown upon, it takes fire; with this a large pile of wood is kiadled, and allowed to burn a certain time. He then takes three nuts, of an oily nature, called tootooee ; having broken the shells, one of the kernels is thrown into the fire, at which time he says an anana, or prayer; and while the nut is crackling in the fire, repeats the words, Muckeero:0 kanaka ai kodee, that is, Kill or shoot the fellow. The same ceremonies take place with each of the nuts, provided the thief does not appear before they are consumed.
· This, however, but seldom happens; the culprit generally makes his appearance with the stolen property, which is restored to the owner, and the offence punished by a fine of four pigs. He is then dismissed, with strict injunctions not to commit the like crime in future, under pain of a more severe penalty. The pigs are taken to the Morai, where they are offered up as sacrifices, and afterwards eaten by the priests.
• Should it happen that the unfortunate criminal does not make his appearance during the awful ceremony, his fate is inevitable; had he the whole island to bestow, not one word of the prayer could be recalled, nor the anger of the Etooah appeased." The circumstance is reported to the king, and proclamation made throughout the island, that a certain person has been robbed, and that those who are guilty have been prayed to death.
• So firm is their belief in the power of these prayers, that the culprit pines away, refusing to take any sustenance, and at last falls a sacrifice to his credulity.' pp. 170—3.
It should seem that notwithstanding the prevalence of this. superstitious feeling, men of stronger minds are exempt from its influence. While Campbell was on the island, a report was spread that soine person had prayed the king to death. To counteract the spell, the daughter of one of the chiefs took her station in front of the royal dwelling, and prostrating herself, prayed with great apparent fervency. We should not suppose that if Tamaahmaah had put much faith in the bape, he could have been greatly tranquillized by so simple a remedy. Campbell does not appear to have felt much curiosity respecting the religious opinions of the islanders. He states that they have one principal deity, Etooah, to whom they attribute the creation of the world; and seven or eight subordinate divinities, whose images are placed in the Merai, and to whom, as well as to the Etooah, offerings are made. Their religious seasons occur as often as four times in the month, continuing from sun-set to sun-rise. The rites consist of prayer, conversation, and sacrificing and eating pigs. It does not seem that the observance of these holydays, is by any means universal.
• During the period called Macaheite, which lasts a whole montb,
and takes place in November, the priests are employed in collecting the taxes, which are paid by the chiefs in preportion to the extent of their territories; they consist of mats, feathers, and the produce of the country. The people celebrate this festival by dancing, wrest. ling, and other amusements.
The king remains in the Morai for the whole period; before en. tering it, a singular ceremony takes place. He is obliged to stand till three spears are darted at him. He must catch the first with his hand, and with it ward off the other two. This is not a mere formality. The spear is thrown with the utmost torce ; and should the king lose his life, there is no help for it. pp. 178–9.
Campbell expresses a very natural astonishment that there should have been no missionaries resident on the island, and it does indeed appear that a fair opening presents itself for the labours of pious, wise, and prudent men. Tamaahmaah is not likely to permit rash and intrusive conduct, but we should hope that even his own powerful mind would not be reluctant to examine, nor obstinate to reject, the brighit evidences of Gospel truth. Of this great man, the following is Mr. Campbell's description.
• In 1809 the king seemed about fifty years of age ; he is a stout, well-made man, rather' darker in the complexion than the natives usually arc, and wants two of his front teeth. The expression of his countenance is agreeable, and he is mild and affable in his manners, and possesses great warmth of feeling, før I have seen him shed tears upon the departure of those to whom he was attached, and has the art of attaching others to himself. Although a conqueror, he is extremely popular among his subjects; and not without reason, for since he attained the supreme power, they have enjoyed repose and prosperity. He has amassed a considerable treasure in dollars, and possesses a large stock of European articles of every description, particularly arms and ammunition; these he has acquired by trading with the ships that call at the islands. He understands perfectly well how to make a bargain ; but is unjustly accused of wishing to over-reach in his dealings. I never knew of his taking any undue advantages : on the contrary, he is distinguished for upright and honourable conduct in all his transactions. War, not commerce, seems to be his principal motive in forming so extensiie a navy. Being at peace, bis fleet was laid up in ordinary during the whole time of my stay. When he chooses to fit it out, he will find no ditficulty in manning his vessels. Independently of the number of white people he has constantly about him, and who are almost all sailors, he will find, even among his own subjects, many good sea.'' men. He encourages them to make voyages in the ships that are constantly touching at the islands, and many of them have been as far as China, the north-west coast of America, and even the United States.' pp. 211–13.
. It is said that he was at one time strongly addicted to the use a ardent spirits ; but that, finding the evil consequences of the practice,
he had resolution enough to abandon it. I never saw him pass the bounds of the strictest temperance.' p. 215.
Early in March, 1810, Campbell left the Sandwich Islands, in the Portland, Captain Spence, and reached Rio Janeiro by the end of May. Here he was under the necessity of staying, as bis legs required surgical assistance, and Captain Spence and his crew, who had treated their; wretched passenger with the utmost kindness, subscribed fifty dollars for his support. He procured adınittance into the Portuguese hospital, and obtained great relief.
'I was now in a different situation from what I had been either at Kodiak or the Sandwich Islands : I was in a civilized country, in which I must earn my subsistence by my own industry; but here, as well as there, I was under the protection of Divine Providence, and in all my misfortunes I found Iriends who were disposed to assist me.' p. 219.
At first he sold spruce beer and other refreshments to the ships which lay in the harbour, and after having realized a small bum, opened a tavern and boarding-house for sailors. This speculation, however, proved unsuccessful, and he undertook to supply vessels with fresh meat. He was successful in the business, until bis · house was broken into and he was robbed of
every farthing, as well as of all his clothes,' At length, after various vicissitudes, he obtained a passage 'home in the brig Hazard, Captain Anderson, and arrived in the Clyde on the ( 21st of April, 1812, after an absence of nearly six years.'
A gentleman in Rio Janeiro, of the name of Lawrie, had fur, pished him with letters to his father in Edinburgh, by whose interest he obtained admission into the Infirmary in that city; but after remaining there nearly four months, he was dismissed as incurable.
• Mr. Lawrie, senior, presented him with a barrel organ; and he contrived to earn a miserable pittance, by crawling about the streets of Edinburgh and Leith, grinding music, and selling a metrical history of his adventures.
• Being ambitious, however, of performing on a more dignified instrument, he has since learned to play on the violin; and he finds employent on board the steam-boats that ply upon the river Clyde, by playing for the amusement of the steerage passengers.' Preface, pp. 8–9.
In this situation, he was found by Mr. Smith, who, with the benevolent design of alleviating the distresses of a helpless and meritorious individual, undertook to arrange and to make public Campbell's narrative: he has done bis part judiciously; he bas not overloaded the simple details of his protégé, by misplaced discussions, nor by unsuitable ornaments ; he has told a story of considerable importance and of uncommon interest, in
language simple, perspicuous, and flowing. The book is ten-
Sufferings of the Royal Family. Deduced principally from ac-
- redress of grievances obstinately refused while it might have been wisely yielded and gratefully received, and concessions profusely offered and scornfully rejected, when the possessor of power has been inade conscious of the weakness of the tenure by which he held it, and the claimants of privilege have been tauglit to combine for the inaintenance of their real or imaginary rights. The closest and least separable bond of union, is the feeling of a common suffering; and when, in the haughty tenaciousness of long or hereditary possession, a governor turns a deaf ear, and a stern countenance to the complaints of his subjects, he ventures on an experiment which, from the days of Rehoboam, has tended to produce the effect of throwing the people on their own resources, and of compelling them to learn, what they seldom seem to learn in
the tremendous secret of their united strength. Still more impolitic does it appear, when the awful crisis has been actually provoked, to seek to divert the storm by lying prostrate before its fury. The appeal once made to force, the passions of the multitude once excited, though resistance may be doubtful, a feeble and temporising policy is inevitable destruction. But a yet more injurious course than either of these, is that of intrigue and chicapery. As in private differences, this poisons the very sources of confidence between man and man, so, in political conflicts, it destroys every hope of reconciliation, and by taking away all reliance except on personal exertions, renders open hostility the only chance of safety, puts aside all disposition to moderate councils, and suspends every thing upon the arbitration of the sword.
Of every one of these political blunders has the French RevoJution been an illustration. Though the personal character of Louis XVI.' was pure and benevolent,' and though we give him perfect credit for sincerity in the following declaration,
• M. de Malesherbes thus speaks of the interview :-I was the first to announce to him the decree of death. He was seated with his back turned to a lamp placed upon the chimney. He leaned with his elbows
upon the table, his face covered with his hands. The noise I made in entering drew him from his meditation. He looked at me,