Imágenes de páginas


front is paved with smooth stones; the The girls are seldom married before they back part is covered with mats, and is are eighteen or twenty years old, and occupied as a sleeping place for the they preserve their beauty to an advanced whole family-the trunk of the tree that age.” Notwithstanding their loose noforms the division serving as a foot-board, tions on the subject of marriage, they are and a similar one, at the back wall

, con- represented by both our travellers, as stituting a pillow. Their houses of being fond of their children, and manifcasting,” says Commodore Porter, are festing no inconsiderable degree of conraised, to the height of six or eight feet, jugal affection. Unlike those of most on a platform of large stones, neatly hewn savage races, the women here are not and itted together, and some of them are subjected to hard labour; their occupaone hundred yards in length, and forty in tions are wholly domestic, while ihe breadth, surrounded by a square of build- men cultivate the ground, catch fish, ings executed in a style of elegance which build canoes and houses, and protect their is calculated to inspire one with an ex- families; they are all their own artificers, alted opinion of the ingenuity, taste, and and their knowledge is sufficient to supperseverance of the people.” These ply their own wants. “Their furniture, places, the women are, on no occasion, (household,) consists of mats of a supeallowed to enter. Their only agricultu- rior workmanship, callabashes, baskets, ral implements are sharpened stakes, kava-cups, formed of the cocoa-nut, with which they loosen the earth; and cradles for their children, hollowed out their fishing apparatus consists of nets, of logs with great neatness, small chests harpoons made of bone and wood, rods with covers, wooden bowls, and stands and lines with fish-hooks ingeniously con- to hang different things upon, so con. structed of the mother-of-pearl. In their trived that the rats cannot mount them.” manufacture of cloth, which is performed Of quadrupeds, there are in Nooaheevah by the women, they use only a beater hogs, dogs, cats and rats. Commodore and smooth log; "the beater is about Porter saw no cats, but was told they eighteen inches long, one end is rounded run wild in the woods; of dogs he saw for a handle, the rest is squared, and only two, and they had been recently slightly grooved. The whole operation brought there; rats are numerous, and of making cloth consists in beating the hogs very abundant, constituting a prinbark out, on the log, to the size required, cipal article of food.

• Of birds," says keeping it wet and gently stretched with the Commodore, “the island affords' a one hand, while the other is employed variety, four only of which I had an opwith the beater.” This operation resem- portunity of examining. A dove, which bles the laying of wool or fur, in the is very abundant, with a beautiful green manufacture of hats. The cloth is very plumage; a blue kind of paroquet; a neat and even, and nearly as strong as bird resembling a lark, and a beautiful fine cotton; and it is mended, when torn, white bird, with black legs and bill, and by wetting the edges and gently beating web-footed: its body is not larger than the parts together. “ It has been repre- that of a snipe; its wings are long; its sented,” says the Commodore, " that the head is large; its eyes prominent and women of this great nation disseminated black, and nothing can ezceed the whiteamong the South-Sea Islands, are not ness and delicacy of its feathers.” There permitted to eat with the men, and that is also the common dungbill fowl. Of ihey are not allowed to eat pork on any fish there is not a great variety, nor are occasion ; but these people are an excep- they caught in much abundance. Among tion: men, women and children eat to thein, however, is one resembling a perch, gether, although they have their messes and a small red fish, rather longer and in separate dishes, and the women are thicker than the finger, remarkable for its not prohibited from eating pork, except delicacy. The vegetable produetions of only during the existence of taboos; but this island are various. The cocoa grows even then they will eat it, if the men are in the valleys in great abundance, and not present, or if they will have the com- serves a variety of purposes, besides that plaisance to turn away their faces and not of food. There are, also, as many as seem to notice them, which they gene- twenty kinds of banana; the tarra, a root rally do. When a marriage takes place resembling a yam, of a pungent taste, and they liave a feast, and this constitutes the excellent when bailed or roasted, and the whole ceremony; the union is not bind- sugar cane, which grows here to an uning, and the parties are at liberty to se- common size, it being no unusual thing paraie when they no longer like each to see the stalks fourteen feet long and other, provided they have no children, ten or twelve inches in circumference;

[ocr errors]

this they chetv and swallow the juice. and prosperity, as much as the olive of
There are, besides, the kava, a root which Spain and Attica, or the milk and honey
possesses an intoxicating quality, and of of Palestine. “Describe to a native of
which the natives are very fond; a fruit Madison Island,” says Commodore Por-
resembling a large bean, which has the ter,“ a country abounding in every thing
taste of a chestnut, both in the pod and that we consider desirable, and after you
when roasted, and which grows on trees have done he will ask you if it produces
of a moderate height, but is not abundant; bread-fruit. A country is nothing to
an apple, in appearance like the red pep- them without that, and the season for
per, juicy and cooling, but rather insipid; bread-fruit, is the season of joy and fes-
a fruit, not unlike the walnut, which con- tivity.” The natives are described in
tains a great quantity of oil, and is used the " Journal” as honest and friendly,
instead of candies; pine-apples, of an in- brave, generous, benevolent, acute, inge-
ferior quality for want of cultivation, and nious and intelligent. They are a hand-
the castor-oil bean, which grows in great some people; the men uncommonly tall,
abundance. But the vegetable most im- and well shaped, with regular fcatures
portant to the natives, and which they and an ingenuous expression of sace; and
cultivate with most care, is the bread- the women, though generally less beau-
tree. Of this tree it is stated in the Jour- tiful than the men, have fine eyes and
nal, that it grows with great luxuriance, teeth, are acute and vivacious, and parti-
in extensive groves, scattered through cularly distinguished for the beauiy of
every valley. It is of the height of fifty their hands. The dress of the women,
or sixty feet, branching out in a large and which is becoming and decent, consists
spreading top, beautiful in appearance, of three parts ; the head-dress, made of
and affording a fine shade; the trunk is a fine cloth of an open texture like gauze,
about six feet in circumference; the and put on so as to resemble a close cap;
lower branches are usually about twelve the robe, which is a long and flowing
feet from the ground; the bark is soft, piece of cloth, of a close and firm texture,
and on being wounded exudes a milky knotted on the shoulder and extending to
juice, not unpleasant to the taste, which the ankles ; and a garment like a petti-
exposed to the sun, forms an excellent coat, consisting of a piece of cloth which
bird-lime, and is used for catching both passes twice round the waist and hangs
birds and rats. The leaves are about down below the knee. For ornaments
sixteen inches wide, with deep clefts like they have round pieces of ivory, or whales'
the fig leaf. The fruit, when ripe, is teeth hung in their ears; they wcar beads
about the size of a child's head, green, and strings of red berries on their necks,
and the surface divided by slight traces and when they are not tahooed or inter-
into innumerable six-sided figures: it has dicted, they ornament their heads with
a thin, delicate skin; a large and tough plumage formed of the feather of the
core, with remarkably smalí seeds situa- cock, and anoint themselves with co-
ted in a spongy substance between the coa-nut oil mixed with a red paint made
core and the eatable part, which is next from turmeric root, which tends to remove
the rind. It is eaten baked, boiled or the yellowness of the skin. The men
roasted; whole, quartered, or cut into dress but little, tattooing serving for a sub-
slices; it resembles our soft bread in taste, stitute, and in this, much taste and varie-
but is sweeter, and is particularly palata- ty is exhibited. The men as well as the
ble when sliced and fried in butter or women are fond of ornaments, and whales'
lard. It keeps only three or four days, teeth are in more request than any thing
when gathered and hung up; but the else, some of the finest of them being con-
natives have a method of preserving it sidered as worth a fortune. The origin
for several years, by baking it, wrapping of the Washington Islands, as well as of
it in leaves and burying it in the earth: all the South Sea islands, is volcanic; their
in this state it becomes very sour, and is surface is irregular and broken, like that
more bighly esteemed by ihem than any of the Gallapagos, but from their greater
other foo This tree is every thing to age, a much deeper and more prolific soil
the natives: it supplies food for them and has been formed, and they have become
their hogs; with the leaves they cover abundantly furnished for the accommoda-
their houses; of the inner bark of the tion of man. With the following ab-
small branches they make cloth; of the stract, from commodore Porter's Journal
juice they make bird-lime ; of the trunk, of the manner in which they were first
they make their canoes, the frames of peopled, we shall close our account of
their houses, and out of it they carve these interesting islands and their inhabi-
their gods. It is their cmblem of plenty tants. “ According to tradition, Qataia

and Ovanova or Ananoona, his wife, We shall now visit Pitcairn's Island, and came froin an island called Vavao (some- take a brief survey of its interesting colony. where below Nooaheeran) and peopled In the year 1789 the British ship Bounthis island. It is said he brought with ty, William Bligh, master, was employed him a variety of plants, and that his forty to transport the bread-fruit-tree from children, with the exception of one, (Po, Otaheite to the West Indies. While on or night) were named after those plants. this service, off the island of Tofoa a part Now, among the group of Friendly of the crew, headed by Fletcher Christian, Islands, is a fine island called Varao, mutivied,-put the master and the rest which produces every ihing in common of the crew, consisting of eighteen pero with Tongataboo, and the other islands of sons, into an open boat, made an unsucthe group, the productions of which dif- cessful attempt to form a settlement, on fer little from those of Nooaheevab. The the island of Toobuai, with some mep Friendly Islands are about thirty-five de- and women from Otaheite,-returned grees to the westward of the Washington from Toobuai to Otaheite, from which Group, and this circumstance may by place, Christian, with nine of the mutisome he considered an insurmountable neers and a small number of the natives, obstacle to the navigation from the for- men and women, again took his deparmer to the latter group, on the supposi- ture, on the night of the 21st of Septemtion that the winds in this region always ber, 1789, and was heard of no more, unblow from the eastward. But this is not til the year 1808, when Mayhew Folger the case; the winds, sometimes for several of Nantucket, in Massachusetts, found days together, blow from the north-west, the only remaining mutineer, by the name as well as from the south-west, and re- of Alexander Smith, at Pitcairn's Island. move all difficulties as to the navigation of the fate of Christian and his companfrom the leeward to the windward islands; ions, together with the present state of and this I myself experienced on leaving the settlement made by them, we gather the islands, for in three days from the the following history from lieutenant Shile time of my departure, I made nine de- libeer. In her passage from Nooahepvaka grees of longitude easterly, the winds to Valparaiso, the Briton unexpectedly blowing chiefly from N. N. E. to N. W; came in sight of Pitcairn's Island, and therefore a continuation of winds equally upon seeing some canoes putting off from favourable would have enabled me in the shore, she hove to, and the islanders twelve days to have navigated from the came on board. This was in the mornFriendly to the Washington Islands : buting. The crew of the Briton were muck it is not likely that the N. W. or S. W. astonished at being hailed and conversed winds prevail for so long a period at any with in their own language, in this remote one time, nor was it necessary that Oataia and new-detected corner of the earth, but should have made so short a passage; he the wonder was soon cleared up. "After the had many places where he could stop friendly salutation of good-morrow, sir," and recrnit among the Society Islands and says the lieutenant, from the first man who the Archipelago situated to windward, as entered, Mackey, for that was his name, well as many other islands scattered 'do you know,' said he, .one William along his track. On his arrival at one Bligh, in England ? This question threw island they could inform him of the ex- a new light on the subject, and he was istence of another, further to windward; immediately asked if he knew one Chrisand his adventurous spirit led him on tian. The reply was given with so much from island to island, until he reached natural simplicity that I shall bere use his Nooaheevah. Captain Cook made seve- proper words. " O yes," said he,“ very ral experiments as to the sailing of the well, his son is in the boat there coming canoes of the Society Islands, and found, up, his name is Friday Fletcher October with the breezes which generally blow in Christian, his father is dead now-ho that sea, that they would sail close haul- was shot by a black fellow.”. The ined, on an average, seven or eight miles an formation given by Mackey and his comhour, which, it must be acknowledged, is panions was, that Christian was shot by very good sailing ; and if this was the a black fellow, i. e. an Otaheitan, in concase, of which we have no reason to sequence of a jealousy which existed bedoubt, all difficulties, as to the passage of tween the people of Otaheite and the Oataia, from Vavao to Nooahrevah seem English, on account of the women; that removed. Indeed, the inhabitants of all the Otaheitan was afterwards shot by an these islands speak nearly the same lan- Englishman; that the Otaheitans then rose, guage and are the sane people." shot two Englisbunen, and wounded John

[ocr errors]


Adams, the only remaining Englishman mantle thrown over the shoulders and on the island, who saved his life by es hanging down to the ankles: the latter, eaping to the woods; that the women, however, was occasionally laid aside, and enraged at the murder of the whites, to the whole bust exposed, which exhibited whoin they were more attached than to the finest proportion. The young men their countrymen, rose and put every Ota- are finely formed, of manly features, and heitan to death, and that Adams, now their height is about five feet and ten old, was enjoying good health. Christian inches. Their hair is black and long, and had with him nine white men, six Ota- generally braided. They wear a straw heitan men, and eleven women; there hat, similar to those worn by sailors, with

on the island, when the Briton a few feathers stuck into them by way touched, forty-eight in all. Christian was of ornament." Their dress consists of a shot about two years after his arrival at sort of cloak or mantle thrown over the the island. His son, Friday Fletcher shoulders and hanging down to the knee, October, was the first person born on and a girdle round the loins, both of the island, and was about twenty-two which garments are of cloth made of years old. They marry at about 19 or bark. The island is fertile and every 20 years of age, and are allowed only part capable of cultivation. The coast is one wife. Adams had taught them the rocky, and the inhabitants do not leave Christian religion as far as he was able, their boats on the beach, where the and upon being asked “in what do you surf would destroy them, but they take believe," Mackey replied, “I believe in them to the village, and being made of a God the Father Almighty," &c. going very light wood, this is easily done. Each through with the whole of the Belief. family has a separate allotment of land, Their manners were very gentle, their and they strive to outdo each other in the principles pure, their sentiments benevo- cultivation of the earth. The yam is the Icnt, and their whole conversation and de- principal object of cultivation, and they portment marked with the most interest- raise as fine ones here as any in the ing simplicity. They generally speak world. “ The bread-fruit and the cocoaEnglish, but they understand the Otahei- nut trees were brought with them in the tan. They were very inquisitive, and Bounty, and have been reared with great their questions evinced excellent natural success. Pigs, also, came by the same endowments. The young islanders were conveyance, as well as goats and poultry, much surprised and amused with the ap- The pigs have got into the woods and pearance of a dog and a cow on board, many are now wild. Fish of var:ous sorts which were the first they had ever seen. are taken here, and in great abundance; Their village, built with great regularity, the tackling is all of their own manufacis situated on a gentle eminence, and sur-turing, and the hooks, although beat out rounded by cocoa and bread-fruit trees. of old iron hoops, not only answer the The houses are small, but perfectly clean purpose, but are fairly made. Needles, and very convenient. Adams is repre- also, they make of the same materials.” sented as a fine looking old man, about The island is about six miles long and sixty years of age, very much beloved and three broad; the soil, as indicated by the revered by all his subjects, over whom growth of the trees, with which it is well be exercises a mild, parental government. stocked, is very fertile. The island lies “ The young women," says the Lieuten- in twenty-five degrees south latitude. The ant, “ have invariably beautiful teeth, fine whole community live in the utmost hareyes, an open expression of countenance, mony with each other, are strongly atand looks of such simple innocence and tached to their home: and if the officious, sweet sensibility, as to render their ap- meddlesome spirit of European enterprise pearance at once interesting and engag. does not interfere with their condition, ing, and it is pleasing to add, their minds thry will, doubtless, long continue to exand manners were as pure and innocent hibit an engaging and beautiful specimen as their appearance indicated. Their of unsophisticated nature. dress consisted of a full garment, reach- L. ing from the waist to the knees, and a

ART. France. By Lady Morgan. New-York. James Eastburn and Co. 12mo.

2 vol. pp. 727. IN announcing webie preblication openingum ladyshime flieedom has given a warrant generally of its merits. We are not in- Since Buonaparte's abdication of the clined to retract what we have there imperial throne, the English press has said, nor has the work grown so much teemed with the journals of impatient in our estimation, from a more attentive tourists who have visited France. In all perusal, as to make it necessary to add the tableaux thus exhibited of the condimuch to the commendation we have al- tion of that country and of the character ready bestowed upon it. As a literary of its inhabitants, the prejudices of the production it has no claim to praise. painter may be traced." The most amusThere is not a page in these volumes that ing sketches of the manners of the French does not offend by some violation of syn- people, that we have seen, are contained in tax; and the want of perspicuity, which Scott's · Visit to Paris,' and 'Paris Revismust inevitably result from ungrammati- ed,' and · Paul's letters to his Kinsfolk.' cal construction, is unfortunately increased These however are caricatures, though by a ridiculous affectation of turgid phra- they may preserve traits of close resemseology. Lady Morgan is ambitious of blance. But if some travellers have made possessing a style. She cannot consent themselves merry at the chapfaln faces to make the most trifling observation in of the loungers in the Louvre, others common language. The vernacular is al- have cordially entered into their chagrins, together too vulgar for her notions of and boldly stood forth in their cause. gentility, and her endeavours to avoid it From the discordant reports of observare for ever apparent. At least one half ers we draw, on the whole, an inference of every sentence consists of expletives,

favourable to France. The state of sointroduced for the sake of euphony. The ciety has meliorated by the revolution, equipoise of her periods reminds us of the though its benefits have been dearly puringenious practice of some people we chased. have read of, who balance a bag of corn Lady Morgan carried into France the in one pannier by putting stones in the feelings of a native of Ireland. Her other. Mannerism is a fault into which perience of legitimate government at many great writers have fallen,—though it home, led to no pleasing anticipation of is not on that account the less a fault, its effects abroad. All the happiness whilst it is the more to be regretted,—but which she discovered, she immediately the pretensions of common-place thinkers imputed to the benign influence of instito peculiarity serve only to render insi- tutions which had emanated from the popidity disgusting. The fate of the ape pular will, and all the misery that she saw who undertook to flourish his master's or apprehended, she was ready to ascribe razor should be a lesson to all imitators. to the policy of those who had been reLady Morgan is evidently striving to rise instated in power with the same disposi. to the level of those who are at least a head tions which had incurred its loss. If there taller than herself, and 'tries in vain to be a fallacy in her reasoning, the general make up for want of stature by stepping grounds of her argument are, nevertheless, on tiptoe. We are sorry to be obliged to correct. But we do not despair of the treat her ladyship so discourteously. We progress of liberal ideas in Europe, nor honour her sex, and had we discovered can we believe that their advancement more of its attributes in her present pro- is like to be retarded by the overthrow of duction, could easily have pardoned the the gigantic despotism of Napoleon. The vanity and ignorance which it betrays, comparative feebleness of existing dynasbut the flippancy with which she deals ties affords some security against ezout her political dogmas, and the eager- croachment on the rights of the people, ness with which she seizes every occasion even if there be no inclination to enlarge to sneer not only at superstition, but at them. It is foreign to our purpose, howchristianity,—to say nothing of grosser in- ever, to pursue this discussion. delicacies, of which she is frequently The actual state of the French peasanguilty,--are sufficiently unfeminine to ex- try is contrasted by lady Morgan with cuse us for sometimes forgetting that of the degrading servitude which they enwhich her ladyship is herself so wimindful. dured under the feudal system. Instead If we have been deficient in respect, her of being appurtenant to the soil and trans.


« AnteriorContinuar »