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falling of the trees, and the rising of the sea over those entangled among their trunks, and the ruins. of their houses, had occasioned the loss of many lives. Besides the distress caused by the above afflictive visitation, he received the unpleasant tidings of the defection of two of the native teachers; but was gratified to learn, that Manao and Mareuu were stedfast, and that the inhabitants of ten other islands, among those so thickly spread over the ocean, between Tahiti and the Marquesas, had received native teachers. The influence of Christianity had been salutary, in softening the barbarous character of the natives of Anaa, yet their savage dispositions were occasionally manifested. Desirous to extend the knowledge of the new religion, they sent two native teachers to Amanu. The inhabitants of this island attacked the strangers, wounded one of the teachers, killed both their wives, and obliged the survivor and his friends to seek their safety in flight. The wife of one of the teachers was the daughter of the chief of Anaa. The report of her murder so enraged many of the inhabitants, that, forgetting the principles of forbearance inculcated by the gospel, and so nobly exhibited by their countrymen on another occasion, they fitted out a fleet, sailed to Amanu, and punished with death a number of the inhabitants.
Captain Beechey, who recently visited this archipelago, has furnished an interesting account of the appearance, extent, and structure of many of these islands, with an affecting description of the state of the inhabitants; and although he must have been misled in the report he received of the Chain Islanders being cannibals, notwithstanding their having embraced Christianity, his account of the native teachers, whom he met with, shews the
favourable impression their deportment left upon his mind. Speaking of his intercourse with the people on an island in 19. 40. S. lat. and 140. 29. W. long., which he has designated Byam Martin Island, he observes, "We soon discovered that our little colony were Christians: they took an early opportunity of convincing us of this, and that they had both Testaments and hymn-books printed in the Otaheitan language, &c. Some of the girls repeated hymns, and the greater part evinced a respect for the sacred books, which reflects much credit upon the Missionaries under whose care, we could no longer doubt, they had at one time been.”*
The frigate afterwards visited Bow Island; and having spoke of the state of the inhabitants, the tyranny and brutality of the men, and the debasement and misery of the females, Captain Beechey, mentioning the presence of the Dart, an English vessel, states, The supercargo of the Dart had hired a party of the natives of Chain Island to dive for shells among these was a native Missionary, a very well-behaved man, who used every effort to convert his new acquaintances to Christianity. He persevered amidst much silent ridicule, and at length succeeded in persuading the greater part of the islanders to conform to the ceremonies of Christian worship. It was interesting to contemplate a body of savages abandoning their superstitions, silently and reverently kneeling upon the sandy shore, and joining in the morning and evening prayers to the Almighty."+
* Beechey's Voyage, vol. i. p. 164. + Ibid. vol. i. p. 178.
The most easterly group of the high, fertile, and populous isles of Polynesia, are situated to the northward of the Labyrinth, or Dangerous Archipelago, and about seven or eight degrees distant from Anaa, or Chain Island. A range of mountainous islands appears to extend in an almost unbroken line across the Pacific, in an easterly direction from Borneo, Java, New Guinea, and the large Asiatic islands. Diverging from the Georgian and Society Islands,-Gambier's, Pitcairn's, and Easter Island appear to terminate its south-eastern course, while the Marquesas mark its north-eastern limit. The latter form two clusters, which were discovered at different periods, and are politically, as well as geographically, distinct. The south-eastern cluster, comprehending five islands, Tahuata or Santa Christina, Hivaoa or La Dominica, Mohotane or San Pedro, Fatuhiva or La Magdelena, and Fetuuku or Hood's Island-were, with the exception of the last, discovered in 1595 by Alvaro Mendano, a Spanish navigator, who was proceeding from Peru to form a settlement in the Solomon Islands. In honour of the Marques Mendoza, viceroy of Peru, and patron of the enterprise, Mendano designated the islands, the Marquesas. The next account that we have of these islands is their being visited in 1774, when they were examined by Captain Cook, who discovered the island called Hood's Island, to which he supposed the natives gave the name of Tebua. In 1789, they were visited by Marchand, a French navigator, who saw other lands to the northward; but it was not till the following year, when Lieutenant
Hergest, in the Dædalus, on his voyage from the .Falkland Islands to Hawaii, touched at the Marquesas, in March 1792, that the northern cluster was explored, or, so far as I have heard, any account of them published. This division consists also of five islands, Nuuhiva or Nukuhiva, the largest in the group, called, by Hergest, Sir H. Martin's Island, Uapou, Trevenian's Island, Huakuka or Riou's Island, Hergest Rocks, and Robert's Island. Although the latter cluster have been called Ingram's Islands, after an American trader, who saw them soon after the time of Marchand's visit,* Hergest's Island by Vancouver, and more recently Washington's Islands; they are usually, with the more southern islands, designated the MARQUESAS. They extend according to Malte Brun, from 7. 51. to 10. 25. S. latitude, and from 138. 48. to 140. 29. West long. The native names for
some of the above, I have received from the inhabitants, or the account of Mr. Stewart, who recently visited them; in one or two I have followed the voyagers by whom they have been visited, and some of them may be incorrect. It very frequently occurs, that transient visitors mistake the name of the bay in which their ships anchor, or the opposite district, for that of the whole island; hence Ohitahoo, which, according to the orthography now used by other tribes of the Pacific, would be Vaitahu, the name of one of the districts bordering on the bay in which most vessels anchor, has been the name generally given to the island, called by the natives Tahuata.
The geographical extent of the group is inferior to that of the Georgian and Society Islands. Nuuhiva, the largest, is much smaller than Tahiti, and
* Introduction to the Duff's Voyage, p. lxxxiii.
probably not more than fifty miles in circumference; the mountains are lofty, bold in outline, and either clothed with verdure, or adorned with plantations; cascades roll over the sides of the mountains, and streams flow through the valleys. The land capable of cultivation, however, is comparatively small, as the islands are not protected, like most others in the Pacific, by coral reefs. The sea extends to the base of the mountains, and thus prevents the formation and preservation of that low border of prolific alluvial soil, so valuable to the Society Islanders. The shores are rocky and precipitous, and a level beach, or a good landing-place is seldom met with. Deep, wide, and extensive valleys abound in the islands, and are the general places where the inhabitants abide. The vegetable productions correspond with those of the islands to the west, and are cultivated in the spacious valleys. The bread-fruit is the chief article of support to the inhabitants, it is cultivated and preserved with peculiar care, and probably is obtained in greater perfection among the Marquesas than in any other islands of the Pacific. So careful are the people when gathering it, that they frequently suspend a net under the tree, to prevent such as may drop from being bruised by falling on the ground. The sea and their coasts abound with fish, which contribute materially to their subsistence. They have also pigs, goats, and fowls, but not in abundance. Notwithstanding the fertility of their valleys, and the superiority of their bread-fruit, which grows spontaneously, seasons of famine are frequent and severe, and are occasioned by the indolence of the people, and their dependence on the bread-fruit crop; a failure in which, reduces