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by the young chiefs and their adherents, all would remain quiet till they returned. If they had to fight, they would send a man to fire a musket so near the valley that we might hear it. If the rival party was numerous, and there was danger, two would be fired.
We remained in a state of great suspense during the forenoon, and scarcely saw an individual in the settlement. About twelve o'clock we heard one musket fired, and very shortly afterwards another. This only increased our embarrassment, for although two had been fired, they had not been fired together, and, judging from the report, we inferred that one was much nearer than the other. We, therefore, determined to wait farther intimation, before we took any measures for personal security. In this state of uncertainty we continued, supposing a conflict had certainly commenced; and that the two shots we had heard, had, perhaps, occasioned an equal loss of lives.
At two o'clock in the afternoon, however, our anxiety was relieved by the arrival of Tauira, whom the chiefs had sent to inform us that all was peace; that Moeore, the son of the king of Raiatea, and his adherents, had surrendered on the arrival of Hautia, and that the parties were retiring to the settlement. The messenger was almost breathless with speed; and while resting, he united with us in rendering grateful acknowledgments for the agreeable tidings. In an hour or two, Taauroa, one of our people, arrived, and told us the reports we heard were only random shots, fired as expressions of joy, and that it had been done without the knowledge of the chiefs.
Towards sunset we walked to the adjoining district of Haapape, where we were delighted to meet
Hautia and his friends returning; the young chief, who was about six-and-twenty years of age, with his adherents, following in their train as captives. We mingled our congratulations for the issue of the events of the day. We were also thankful to learn, that although one individual had a very narrow escape, yet no life had been lost, and no person injured.
Two days afterwards we attended the trial of the rebels, at a special court, held in the open air. The conduct of each was candidly and impartially examined; and, as many, it was found, had gone merely to accompany the chief, or to procure food, without any intention of joining in the rebellion, they were liberated. The others, who had not only designed but commenced hostilities, by plundering the plantations, killing and eating the hogs of the party favourable to the laws, were sentenced to public labour, and were set to work in small parties, with police-officers to attend them. Although they were repeatedly interrogated as to the reasons for their conduct, they said but little in reply. In the evening of the same day, great numbers of the people attended our weekly service, when I endeavoured suitably to impress their minds in reference to the recent painful events, by directing them to the history of Absalom's rebellion.
There have been two or three slight insurrections in Tahiti since the promulgation of the laws, but they have affected only a small number. They have not been recent, and the laws seem firmly established; but there are many, in all the islands, who find them an irksome restraint, and would most willingly, if an opportunity offered, abrogate them. Such individuals desire
the return of the time when there was no law, and every one followed his own inclinations. In Huahine, though they have been frequently violated, I do not think any attempt has been made to disannul them, since the one above alluded to.
The South Sea Islanders are generally addicted to war. It occurred very frequently, prior to the introduction of Christianity. During the fifteen years Mr. Nott spent in the islands, while the people were pagans, the island of Tahiti was involved in actual war ten different times. The Missionaries were painfully familiar with it. It surrounded their dwellings; and the wounded in battle have often, with the wounds fresh and bleeding, repaired to their houses for relief. This, however, was the only time that I saw any thing like it, though we often heard its rumours.
ports of war have indeed been heard, especially at Tahiti—where, since the death of the late king, very powerful interests, and perhaps some latent feelings of ancient rivalship, have been brought into collision, and where the conduct of some, in the highest authority, has not been at all times the most honourable or conciliatory-but no actual hostility has yet existed. In the Leeward Islands, also, reports of war, and warlike preparations, have appeared-more particularly in reference to the bold and martial chieftain of Tahaa, and some of the restless spirits among the inhabitants of Borabora, once celebrated for their military prowess, and masters of most of the Leeward group-but it has been only rumour.
The transient affair at Huahine, in connexion with which these remarks have been introduced, and similar occurrences in Raiatea and Tahaa
between the chiefs, together with a great body of the people, on the one side; and those dissatisfied with the moral restraints to which under idolatry they had been unaccustomed, on the other-are the only public disturbances that have occurred. A few disaffected and lawless young fellows in Raiatea, supposing the Missionaries were chiefly instrumental in the adoption and maintenance of the laws, formed a plan for murdering them, and overturning the government. Mr. Williams, who was to have been the first object of their vengeance, averted the threatened danger by what appeared to him, at the time, a circumstance entirely accidental, but which afterwards proved a remarkable interposition of Providence for the preservation of his life. With these exceptions, the inhabitants have, since their adoption of Christianity, enjoyed uninterrupted peace during a longer period than was ever known before.
Noble instances of calm determination not to appeal to arms, have been given by Utami and other governors; the love and the culture of peace having indeed succeeded their delight in the practice of war, even in the most turbulent and fighting districts. It is well known, Mr. Darling observes, in reference to the district of Atehuru, that the inhabitants of this part of Tahiti were always the first for war. False reports having reached the ear of the king's party, that the people of Atehuru entertained evil designs against the royal family, rumours of war were spread by the adherents of the king, but, instead of rejoicing, as they would formerly have done, every one appeared to dread it as the greatest calamity. They gathered round the house of the Missionary, declaring that, if attacked, they would not fight, but would wil
lingly become prisoners or slaves, rather than go to war. The mischief was thus prevented-those with whom the reports had originated were sought out an appeal was made to the laws, instead of the spear. The punishment annexed to the circulation of false and injurious reports was inflicted on the offenders, and the parties united in amity and friendship.
As they feel the blessings of peace increase with its continuance, their desires to perpetuate it appear stronger. Its prevalence and extent are often surprising, even to themselves; and some of the most striking illustrations of the advantages of true religion, and appeals for its support and extension, are drawn from this fact, and expressed in terms like these: Let our hands forget how to hi te omore, or vero ti patia, lift the club, or throw the spear: Let our guns decay with rust, we want them not; for though we have been pierced with balls or spears, if we pierce each other now, let it be with the word of God: How happy are we now! we sleep not with our cartridges under our heads, our muskets by our side, and our hearts palpitating with alarm: We have the Bible, we know the Saviour; and if all knew him, if all obeyed him, there would be no more war.
It is not in public only that they manifest these sentiments; in ordinary life at home they act upon them. The most affectionate and friendly intercourse is cultivated between the parties who formerly cherished the most implacable hatred, and often vowed each other's extermination. Offices of kindness and affection are performed with promptitude and cheerfulness; and though by some their weapons are retained as relics of past days, or securities against invasion, by many they