Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

that on the sabbath no gifts could be bestowed, he ceased asking, but groping up to the bed, (for he was almost blind,) measured the curtains, probably with the idea of making them into sails for his vessel : however, he said nothing, and went out, never more to enter that room.

Pomare, knowing the share that Mane-mane had had in the rebellion, had secretly sent word to Idia to have him killed. Fearing to do this without Otu's consent, she used many persuasions to gain it, and at length succeeded. Does it not appear strange, that Otu should be brought to consent to the murder of a man for whom he professed friendship? but he was always ready to act in any manner which appeared to be most for his interest, for he had sold himself (like Ahab of old) to do wicked

ness.

Idia arranged the plan of the murder. On the morning of the day appointed, she and one of her men-servants, breakfasted with Mr. and Mrs. Eyre, and they both appeared as cheerful as usual. They quitted the house after breakfast. It was then that the treacherous plan was executed. The man-servant, accompanied by one of the Sandwich Islanders, followed old Mane-mane down a hill, as he was on his way to Pare, overtook him, and after talking with him a short time, smote him on the head with a stone. Thus perished the wicked old priest,

124

PEACE RESTORED.

who had long deceived the people with the idea, that he had power to curse and bless whom he would, but who could not shield his own hoary head, from the curse of the living God.

A great tumult took place around the houses of the missionaries, when his death was discovered: many came running in to them for shelter, fearing probably that Otu would avenge the death of his friend. In a few minutes after the confusion began, Idia came to the door of the old house, with a triumphant look, and shaking hands with Peter, (who had been on Otu's side,) said, “ It is all over,” (meaning the war,) and then retired.

The missionaries, though alarmed at first, soon found that they had occasion to rejoice, as the death of the priest put an end to the war. They admired God's judgments, by which two such wicked men, as Temari and Manemane, had been suddenly swept away, and no longer permitted, to stir up the evil of Otu's heart by their counsels. Yet when they found that the king had consented to Mane-mane's death, they were amazed at the black treachery of the deed, and felt that it was wonderful they themselves were preserved, when such a monster reigned.

In less than three weeks after Mane-mane's death, the inhabitants of Matavai, who had fled to the mountains, went all together to the king,

THE MISSIONARIES' HOPES.

125

to present a young plantain-tree, and some small pigs, as peace-offerings. They were then permitted to return to their lands; though the houses of most were destroyed, having been pulled down for fire-wood. Their misfortunes had been caused by no fault of theirs, but were the result of the king's own wanton cruelty.

Thus peacefully closed this troublous year upon the missionaries, who, beholding the hand of God in their deliverance, hoped that they were one day to have the joy of saving souls from death. They cared not what afflictions they endured, what pangs unutterable, if they might at length enjoy this delight. Even the salvation of one soul, they felt, would more than repay them for all they had suffered.

CHAPTER XV.

1799.

A MYSTERIOUS EVENT.

The more the missionaries saw of Otu, the more wickedness they discovered in him. He felt no gratitude for all the favours they had shown him. I will give you some instances of his ingratitude in several trifling circumstances.

During the late war he sent his servants to

126

THE KING'S THEFTS.

carry off a sow and five young pigs, belonging to Mr. Bicknell, who made no resistance to the demand. The missionaries complained of this conduct to Idia, and were pleased to see the pigs running near their house next day, though Idia had said nothing to them on the subject.

One day the king came to Mr. Broomhall's apartment, and asked to see a large Bible with pictures, that he had heard of. While he was looking at it, he asked Mr. Broomhall to show him another book; and while it was being fetched, he slily cut out of the Bible, a picture of Adam and Eve in Paradise, and then returned the Bible, without mentioning what he had done.

Notwithstanding this conduct, the missionaries continued to behave generously to Otu.

On February 1st a ship touched at Tahiti. While the ship was at anchor, Otu came one day to Mr. Broomhall, and slipping three pearls into his hand, desired him to keep them for himself, and to procure a pistol for him from the ship. When the brethren heard of this circumstance, they wrote to the captain to ask, as a favour, to purchase a gun for Otu, as they feared he would be offended, if he did not obtain one. At the same time they resolved, if they succeeded in procuring the gun, to return the pearls to Otu, to show him that they did not act from motives of interest.

The captain very kindly presented the gun

HIS VIOLENT PASSIONS.

127

to the brethren, who gave it to Otu, and returned the pearls to him. They were pleased to see Otu present it to his mother Idia, and to hear him speak more graciously to her than usual ; but they observed no difference in his general conduct afterwards.

It was awful to see how completely Otu, though a king, was the slave of his own violent passions.

One day when he had drunk a great deal of ava, and was asleep in his dwelling, he heard a man hallooing outside. He immediately desired his servants to kill him. To what a pitch of wickedness will men get, who have nothing to restrain their passions! How many feel such anger as Otu did, who dare not give the same barbarous order! man who had hallooed, ran to Mr. Broomhall for protection. Otu, hearing where the man had taken refuge, thought it would be a good opportunity to get something out of Mr. Broomhall, and sent a message requesting to have three yards of printed cloth, instead of the two yards of white cloth, that had been promised him the day before. While Mr. Broomhall was getting them, Otu himself appeared before the door and demanded the gift. Mr. Broomhall gave him the cloth, and entreated him to spare the young man's life; Otu consented, but in a very sullen manner.

The young

« PreviousContinue »