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after this, we were also favoured with a visit from Messrs. Darling and Bourne, who accompanied the captain of the Westmoreland from Tahiti, in the ship's long-boat. After meeting the Missionaries of the Leeward Islands at Raiatea, they passed some weeks with us in Huahine. Their visit was peculiarly gratifying, being the first we had received from any of the Missionaries in the Windward Islands, though we had been at Fare harbour upwards of three years. The season they spent with us was also distinguished by one or two important circumstances.
Paganism had been renounced in 1816, and a general profession of Christianity followed the commencement of the Mission here; there were, however, a number who felt the restraint Christianity imposed upon their evil propensities, to be exceedingly irksome. These were principally young persons; and though, from the influence of example, or the popularity of religion, they had attached themselves to the Christians, they were probably hoping that a change would take place in the sentiments of the nation more favourable to their wishes, and relax the restriction which the precepts of scripture had imposed. They did not, however, disturb the tranquillity of the community.
But when the chiefs intimated their intention of governing for the future according to the principles and maxims of the Bible, and that the new code of laws had received the sanction of Pomarevahine, as well as that of the ruling chiefs on the island, they began to be apprehensive that the existing state of things was likely to be permanent. They then first exhibited a disposition to oppose their application. Several who had transgressed had been by the chiefs admonished and dismissed;
the latter, at the same time, firmly declaring their determination to enforce the laws which they had promulgated.
Among other prohibitions, that of tatauing, or staining the body, was included. The simple act of marking the skin was not a breach of the peace, but it was intimately connected with their former idolatry, always attended with the practice of abominable vices, and was on this account prohibited. In the month of July, it was discovered that a number, about forty-six young persons, had been marking themselves. The principal chiefs said, that formerly the disobedience of so numerous a party to any order of the chiefs, would have been considered equivalent to a declaration of war, and they should have sent armed men after them at once, and either have slain or banished the delinquents; but now, as they had laws, they wished to know whether it would be right that they should all be tried, and, if found guilty, have the sentence annexed to the crime pronounced against them.
We told the chiefs it would not be wrong, and the next morning attended the trial. It was conducted with the greatest candour and forbearance on the part of the magistrates and accusers, and an equal degree of submission on the part of the offenders, though it appeared they had supposed that from their numbers, and the circumstance of one or two young chiefs of distinction being among them, the government would not have noticed their conduct. They were sentenced to build a certain quantity of stone-work on the margin of the sea.
In a day or two afterwards, it was discovered that Taaroarii, the king's son, a youth about
eighteen years of age, had also been tataued; and this being considered as an expression of his disapprobation of his father's proceedings, and of his determination as to the conduct he designed to pursue, produced a great sensation among the people. His venerable father was deeply affected, and the struggle between affection for his son, and his duty to the people, was evidently strong. The latter prevailed; he directed him to be tried, and attended him to the trial: here he affectionately admonished his son to profit by his experience, and warned the spectators, telling them not to be deceived, and suppose that the laws, by which they had mutually agreed to be governed, would be violated with impunity. Some of the latter observed, If the king's son does not escape, what will become of the common men?
Taaroarii, the chief of Sir Charles Sanders' Island, and the expected successor to his father in the sovereignty of Huahine, now assisted in building the portion of stone-work allotted to him. His friends and attendants performed the greater part of the labour-still, there was a feeling of pride, that would not allow him to stand altogether idle. I visited his house one evening, and entered freely into conversation with him on the subject. He observed, that he was sorry for what he had done, but appeared to indicate, that he did not wish it to be thought that the work assigned him was any punishment.
Several unsteady young men and women, who followed the example of the first party, were also tried, and sentenced to similar punishments; and afterwards two principal personages in the island, by having their bodies tataued, joined their party: these two were, the son of the king of Raiatea, whọ
was residing at Huahine-and his sister, who had been married to a member of Mahine's family. Their party was now strong, both in point of number and influence, and we expected that the simple circumstance of marking the person with tatau, was only one of the preliminaries of their design; and in this we were not mistaken.
In the month of August, we heard that Taaroarii, with a number of those whom the chiefs had sentenced to labour on the public works, had left their employment, and were gone to Parea, in the northern part of the island. They told the officers of the chief appointed to superintend them, that they intended in a few days to return. The people were greatly attached to the king's son, and the officers, willing to shew him every indulgence, did not oppose his removal; but reports were soon circulated, that he was employing emissaries to invite the disaffected to join him, with the assurance, that as soon as they were strong enough, he intended to assume the government of the island, and abolish the laws-that under his reign every one should follow his own inclinations, with regard to those customs which the laws prohibited. His father being absent at Raiatea, he had judged the present a favourable time for making a vigorous effort.
On the evening of the ninth of September, which was the Sabbath, a messenger came from the chiefs while we were engaged at family prayers, informing me that a large party of wild young men had gone to Parea, and that the son of the king of Raiatea was preparing to follow them. I went down to his dwelling; his wife and several of his principal men were persuading him to remain, and not unite himself with those whose designs were
evidently unfavourable to peace. I mingled my entreaties with theirs, but it was of no avail. own men, finding he could not be deterred unless by violence, desisted; while a number of young fellows, like-minded with himself, urging him to depart, he hastened after the party that had gone to Parea. As soon as Hautia, the deputy-governor of the island, heard it, he gave orders for the people to prepare to go, and fetch them back the next day.
On the following morning, accompanied by Messrs. Darling and Bourn, I went down to the settlement about sunrise, to witness the proceedings of an assembly convened to consider the events of the preceding day. It was one of the most interesting of the kind I ever attended. The public council was held in the open air, on the sea-beach, in the shade of several tamanu-trees, that grew in front of the governor's house. Hautia sat on a rustic native seat, near the trunk of the principal tree. The chiefs of the different districts, and the magistrates, were assembled near him, while most of the people of the settlement had gathered round, to witness their proceedings, full of anxiety for the result.
It appeared from the declarations of several, that the conduct of the young men, and especially the chiefs' sons, had not proceeded from any desire to ornament their persons with tatau, but from an impatience of the restraint the laws imposed; that they had merely selected that as a means of shewing their hostility to those laws, and their determination not to regard them; that if they might be allowed, without molestation, to follow their own inclinations, no disturbance of the present sort would be attempted; but that if