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THE SHARK'S TOOTH.

ava; but, on the contrary, this loathsome whiteness was considered an honour, because it was only the chiefs or their friends who could get ava enough to bring it on. Thus the foolish hearts of the people were darkened by sin, till they called evil good.

In the course of the journey the travellers met an old woman, who, when she came up to them, perceived that one of the young men who carried the linen was her son. She seemed much pleased, and began to strike her head with a sharp-pointed thing she held in her hand, till the blood flowed in streams over her neck. Her son looked on without appearing to care but William Wilson, seeing her still going on hurting herself, angrily obliged her to leave off. The son then told him that it was the custom for the women of Tahiti to keep a stick with a shark's tooth gummed on at the end, to strike themselves with when they were very happy or very unhappy. They procured it first when they married, and used it most when their friends died; but they often used it even when one of their children hurt itself by a fall. This foolish, cruel custom sometimes brought on fever, or madness, or even death. It is forbidden by God in Lev. xix. 28-" Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you."

One morning Peter told William Wilson

SKULLS OF THE DEAD.

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they had been sleeping that night in a house where there were the remains of the dead, and then showed him a woman's head, wrapped in cloth, hanging from the roof. In this house the dead woman's two little girls lived; for it was the custom to keep the skulls of dead relations in houses. Sometimes they were wrapped in cloth, as this was; sometimes they were placed near the door, and adorned with fresh flowers every day.

When the travellers had reached the isthmus which joins the two parts of Tahiti, they were met by one of Pomare's servants, who told them his master was preparing a great feast in another part of the island, and had sent for them. They had intended to go all round Tahiti, but were frightened by the accounts Peter gave them of the dangerous rocks that lay in the way, and of the manner in which even the nimble natives were sometimes dashed to pieces in attempting to pass them. They determined, therefore, to accept Pomare's invitation, and to follow the servant across the isthmus. The land was quite flat in this part, and thickly covered with trees. After they had crossed the isthmus, they went towards the place (marked in the map as Ma-ta-o-ai) where they heard Pomare was.

On the way they took shelter from the rain in the shed of a chief. It was built close to

E

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the sea, and was divided into two parts; in one the chief's canoe was placed; in the other the chief and his wife lived when they came that way. William sat down with his host in the shed, and began to exchange things with him : the chief gave William cloth, and William gave him scissors, looking-glasses, and such kind of things. While they were sitting together, William discovered that a boy was picking his pocket. The boy quickly dropped what he had stolen, and ran off. The chief was very angry, and sent men after him to catch him, that he might punish him.

THE PICKPOCKET.

Soon afterwards the travellers met Otu and his wife riding upon men's shoulders. Otu asked William to give him an axe and scissors; but William replied that he had none to spare, and that Otu had better go to the ship. Otu then asked Peter many questions about the islands to which he had gone in the ship with Captain Wilson. After this conversation, the king and queen went on towards Ma-ta-o-ai.

The travellers now arrived at a place on the sea-shore where several sheds were built. Many of them were for canoes. The best of these sheds belonged to Pomare, whom William had not seen since his own return from the distant islands.

Pomare, however, was not in his shed when William arrived: but he soon

came, and

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THE APPROACHING FEAST.

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seemed delighted to see his old friend, rubbing noses with him as usual. Pomare looked very anxious and busy: he said he was going to give a great feast in a few days to his chiefs, and that he was now preparing presents of cloth, and hogs, and canoes for them. He seemed afraid lest he should not be able to get enough to satisfy his covetous guests. Pomare, however, did not mention that he was not only going to distribute cloth among the chiefs, but also the limbs of men that would be slain at this feast.*

That night William Wilson was much disturbed by Peter and Pomare; for he had spread his cloth to sleep upon, in the same shed with them, and they talked together almost all night. Pomare asked Peter whether the same trees grew in the Friendly Islands as in Tahiti, and whether the land and the canoes were as good as in Tahiti. Peter told him they were much the same. Then Pomare lamented that he could not build ships that could go safely' to distant countries. William thought this a good opportunity to give some advice to Pomare, and he said to him, "The English once could not build ships; but men came with speaking paper, and taught them not only to build and to guide ships, and to make knives and axes, but also to know the true God. The people in The Tahitians did not eat human flesh.

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HOW CLOTH WAS MADE.

England have heard that the people in Tahiti know nothing of that God, nor understand speaking paper, nor many other things; and out of kindness they have sent good men to teach them; now, as you are the father of the king and a great chief, you should desire your children and people to attend to their instructions; or perhaps the missionaries may go away, and no more good men may come.'

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Pomare listened to this advice, and then said "Mai-tai," (good), and so went to sleep.

The next day was Sunday, and William intended to rest. It rained hard till nine: then Pomare and his servants went to a place at a little distance to make cloth. The cloth was made in a curious manner that I will now describe.

It was made, as you know, of strips of bark. The bark of the paper mulberry-tree was made into white cloth, and that of the bread-fruit tree was made into grey cloth; but it was often dyed black, red, and yellow with the juices of plants, and adorned with figures of flowers painted upon it. You must wonder how bark could be made into large rolls of cloth, sometimes two hundred yards long, and three or four broad. This was the way in which it was made: the bark was stretched on wooden frames and wetted, and then

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