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or their relation to the governments of other islands, it has been considered necessary, as a matter of etiquette, or courtesy at least, to consult Teriitaria; and hence it was thought desirable to submit the laws to her inspec tion, and receive her sanction. Though affecting only the resident chiefs and people, and maintained entirely by the authority of the former, they were to be promulgated in her name, as well as that of Mahine, and the other chiefs of the island. The introduction of new laws being a matter of importance to the nation, it was deemed suitable that a deputation from the chiefs should proceed to Tahiti by the first favourable opportunity, for the purpose of receiving the queen's approval. It was also desirable that Mr. Barff, or myself, should accompany this embassage, that we might make inquiries of Mr. Nott, and others, relative to the adaptation of the laws in force there, to the circumstances of the people, and might alter, if necessary, those prepared for Huahine.
Pomare's proposed restrictions on barter, rejected by the chiefs of the Leeward Islands-Voyage to Eimeo-Departure for Tahiti-Danger during the night-Arrival at Burder's Point-State of the settlement Papeete Mount Hope-Interview with the king-Revision, of the laws-Approval of the queen-Arrival of the Hope from England-Influence of letters, &c.-Return to Eimeo-Embarkation for the Leeward Islands-A night at sea-Appearance of the heavens-Astronomy of the natives-Names of the stars-Divisions and computation of time, &c. -Tahitian numerals-Extended calculation-Arrival in Huahine.
EARLY in 1821, the brig which had been purchased in New South Wales for Pomare, arrived in Tahiti. Soon after this, the king sent a messenger to the Leeward Islands, with a bundle of niaus, or emblems of royal authority, and a proposal to the chiefs, that they should become joint proprietors of the vessel, and furnish a required quantity of native produce, viz. pigs, arrowroot, and cocoa-nut oil, towards the payment of the Macquarie. The herald left his message and bundle of niaus at Huahine, in the name of Teriitaria, and passed on to Raiatea. In a day or two afterwards
we learned that instructions had been sent down to the chiefs, not to dispose of any of the above-mentioned articles, nor to allow the people to barter them to any ship, or even to the Missionaries, but to reserve them all for the cargo of his vessel. We represented to the chiefs the injustice of not allowing every man, provided
he paid their just demands, to dispose of the fruits of his own industry, and they assured us that it should be so at Huahine, whatever restrictions might be imposed upon the people of Tahiti. The queen's sister, the nominal ruler of the island, residing at Tahiti, was influenced, they observed, by the advice and measures of Pomare, and often perplexed them by her directions.
On the fourteenth of April, 1821, Pomare's messenger returned from Raiatea. Tamatoa, the king of that island, and the chiefs of those adjacent, had refused to receive the niaus, or to join Pomare in his projected commercial speculations. They had at the same time agreed to unite, and procure a vessel for themselves, in which to trade from the islands to the colony of New South Wales, and had sent up a special messenger, with a letter to the chiefs of Huahine, requesting them to join their enterprise. A public meeting was convened, in which the propositions from Pomare on the one hand, and of Tamatoa on the other, were freely discussed. The result was, that although all were far more disposed to join the Raiatean than the Tahitian chiefs, they declined both for the present, and despatched the respective messengers to their superiors, with declarations to this effect.
The wind, which had set in from the westward on the fourteenth, continued during the whole of the fifteenth, and, as it seemed tolerably steady, it was proposed that our boat should be prepared for the voyage to Tahiti. It was also thought best that I should accompany Auna and Matapuupuu on their embassy to the queen's sister. During the evening I waited on the chiefs, and took my leave; the native chieftains did the same; and their final instructions were, to induce, if possible, Teriitaria to come and reside at Huahine; but that if she preferred
remaining at Tahiti, she should give up all interference with the government of the island, and delegate it to them, independently of all foreign control.
The wind continuing to blow from the westward through the night, our bark was launched early on the morning of the sixteenth, and we prepared for embarkation. The boat was rather rude in appearance, being one I had from necessity built, with the assistance of the natives, while visiting in the island of Raiatea, in the early part of 1820. It was about thirty-six feet in length, and capable of carrying forty persons. The breeze increased in strength as the morning began to dawn, and about day-break we sailed from Fare harbour. Auna, Matatore, and Matapuupuu were my companions, and our boat was manned by about ten strong and active natives. As we were bounding over the waves of the harbour, and entering upon the wide-spread bosom of the Pacific, we lost the sprit of one of our matting-sheets in the sea, and could only carry one sail. This circumstance, although it prevented our proceeding so rapidly as we should otherwise have done, contributed perhaps to our safety, for the wind was high and the sea rough. By noon we had entirely lost sight of Huahine, and about sunset we obtained our first distant glance of the lofty peaks of Eimeo. The wind now blew what the natives called a strong toerau, or westerly gale, and the agitation of the sea was proportionably increased. The inside of our open boat was, however, perfectly dry, and it appeared to shoot along, as the natives expressed it, upon the tops of the waves, until at length we heard, amid the stillness of the night, the welcome sound of the long heavy surf, rolling in solemn grandeur, and dashing in loud, though distant roar, upon the coral reefs.
This, though adapted to inspire apprehension and terror in the minds of those unaccustomed to navigate among the islands, was a gladdening sound to us, as it indicated an approach to our port of destination. We were several miles distant when we first heard the roaring of the surf upon the reef, but, proceeding rapidly along, we soon came in sight of it. Sailing along in a line parallel with it till we came to an opening, we entered Taloo or Opunohu harbour, and landed near the Missionary settlement shortly after midnight, having sailed a distance of about one hundred miles in the space of twenty hours.
The natives seldom evince much concern about their accommodations, when voyaging or travelling among the islands. Frequently, when landing for the night, they kindle a fire on the sea-beach, and having cooked their bread-fruit, or other provision, which they usually carry with them, they lie down, either in the boat, or on the sand by its side, and, spreading the sails as a tent, or wrapping themselves in them, substitute them for bed and bedding, and sleep comfortably till the morning. Most of those, however, who were my fellow-voyagers on this occasion, had formerly resided at this settlement, and had lived on terms of friendship with many of the inhabitants. To the dwellings of these they repaired, while I pursued my way up the valley to the residence of my friend Mr. Platt, whom I awoke from his midnight repose, and, after receiving from him a kind welcome and some refreshment, I retired to rest till sunrise.
During the forenoon of the 18th, our men went to the mountains, and cut down a new sprit for our sail, and prepared for the prosecution of the voyage. The favour