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Some of them have so much hair on their head, that you would take it for a pile of wigs. Almost all are covered with leprosy, or have been affected by it. Their gait is awkward, though they are tolerably active. Their language is noisy and inharmonious; their smile, almost laughable. They climb trees with surprising facility, and are very skilful fishers : standing on the bow of a canoe, rudely enough fashioned, and sometimes furnished with a sail of cocoa leaves, a man sees a fish at a distance, directs his proa towards it, and, though more than twenty paces distant, almost always strikes it with a long headed with a double-pointed iron.'
Fish is their chief food, but they have likewise a bread made of sago, and baked in moulds of clay, divided into two or three departments,
resembling the chafing dishes used by the peasants of France. Their only beverage is water, or the milk of the cocoa-nut. When offered wine or spirituous liquors, they would take only a few drops, which they seemed to drink with a degree of repugnance. In their houses, and near their tombs, our Author found some coarsely carved and hideous idols ; but he did not observe that the savages had the least veneration for these household gods.
Captain Freycinet remained for some time among the Marianne islands, and M. Arago does not fail with his sociable disposition to turn it to advantage. On landing at Guam, he was struck at the appearance of abject wretchedness displayed by the natives, who were for the most part covered with the black and livid marks of a virulent leprosy, living in the midst of a fertile soil from which nothing is obtained. Weeds were growing by thousands in smiling vales, among a few blades of rice and Indian corn, 'attesting equally the goodness of • the soil, the idleness of the inhabitants, and the inattention of • the governor! I should have guessed,' says our Frenchman, ' that the country belonged to the Spaniards, from the sacri• legious state of neglect in which it is left.' The inhabitants sleep two thirds of the day, and spend the remaining third in smoking and chewing tobacco : they seem, indeed, to live only on tobacco and areca nut mixed with lime, to which they sometimes add a few leaves of betel. Their conquerors have introduced what they are pleased to call Christianity, religion of processions and ceremonies, which has neither informed their understandings, nor imparted to them even a sense of shame. In the churches the sexes are separate, and there, says our Author, the people behave like Christians; in the • city and in the country, like savages.' There appears to be a regular compromise of all morality on the condition of innumerable genuflexions and processions.
• I have seen,' says M. Arago, the ceremonies of the Passion
week, and have now an idea of the splendour with which our religious mysteries are celebrated here. With superior pomp and greater impositions on the people, they are celebrated here as they are at Manilla, and at Manilla as they are in Spain. It was to our captain that the priest of Agagna delivered the keys of the Holy Sepulchre. He kept them two days hung round his neck, and returned them on Easter eve with exemplary devotion. It is truly painful to see & people who might so easily be guided aright, given up to the darkness in which they are enveloped, and adopting with blind confidence the absurd narratives of pretended daily miracles...... The priest of Agagna can scarcely instruct his flock in the simplest lessons of the Catechism, as he is himself ignorant of the fundamental principles of our religion.'
The natives are described as well-shaped, of a dark yellow complexion : though debased by massacres and persecutions, they retain marks of a higher civilization anterior to the Spanish conquest, which was a tissue of cruelties and horrors. They are stated to be remarkably fond of music, and to be continually singing. The primitive language is monotonous and extremely difficult of pronunciation. The Spanish language and costume have now been generally adopted by the inhabitants, together with the vices of their masters. The island of Rota is still more fertile and more neglected than Guam.
• The trees are magnificent, the fruit and vegetables delicious. The country rich in varied vegetation, is over-run by thousands of rats, which are yet unable to destroy its roots; you cannot ten steps without meeting hundreds : and it is really distressing that the inhabitants do not endeavour to destroy this devouring animal...... The hills and valleys are decked with cotton-trees, the bright tufts of which form a pleasing sight amid the verdure that surrounds them. The bread.fruit, the tacca, the water-melons, every thing is of a better quality here than at Guam ; and I am surprised that greater attention is not paid to a country which might become the granary and general store-house of the Marianne islands. They reckon nearly do houses in the town, and 400 persons in the whole island. There are five or six crucifixes in every street; and it is necessary that some outward sign should put them in mind of their religion, since there is no public worship. "There has been no priest here for more than twenty years. The houses are built on piles, as at Guam ; but they are in a state infinitely more ruinous. The men may be said to go naked, for they wear no trowsers except on Sundays. The women wear a handkerchief fastened by a string round the waist. Their shape is completely beautiful, their feet small, their hair of a fine black, Aowing down their shoulders.'
There is a church in this island, where five tapers are kept constantly burning before an image of the Virgin. There is
also a convent, peopled, happily, solely with rats, where our Author was shewn a violin and the remains of a harp and guitar which had belonged to the last priest of the settlement.
The island of Tinian is now the residence only of a few malefactors banished from Guam. Its present barren and depopulated state, our Author is inclined to attribute to one of those catastrophes that annihilate empires and generations.
- You cannot proceed a league without finding some gigantic remains of old monuments among the brambles; and the whole island seems to be but one ruin.' The trees are weak and scanty; but they have to make their way with difficulty through heaps of dry leaves and decayed trunks of trees. Here and there we find old, bare bread fruit-trees, the tops of which, exhibiting a few grayish branches, indicate to the traveller the catastrophe of which they have been the victims, without denoting its epoch. Buffaloes and wild hogs can now with difficulty escape the arrow of the hunter. The eye at one glance takes in an ample space; and, if I may venture to say so, almost every part of Tinian recalled to my gloomy imagination the wild and arid soil of the peninsula of Péron. A few low and feeble cocoa trees still raise their withered heads; you would say, they moaned the sadness of nature, and wished to die with her. Uniform plains of small elevation ; a monotonous coast ; a few reefs of rocks; trunks of trees parched by the sun; no road, no shelter ; is not this the abode of melancholy? A scorching wind destroys vegetation, and deprives the ground of the power of reproduction. Every thing is in decay: vegetables grow with difficulty; the potatoes, yams, and water-melons, are all inferior to those of Rota; and I tremble while I think that Anson probably said no more than the truth, when he painted this country as an Elysium, as an abode of enchantment. Is there no testimony remaining of this convulsion of nature which is yet so recent ?'
While at Guam, our Author had frequent opportunities of intercourse with the natives of the Caroline Islands, who carry on a trade in shells, cloth, wooden vessels, and cordage, with the Mariannes. He describes this race of amiable savages in the most glowing terms. They have, he says, no characteristic physiognomy, each individual differing from all the rest, but generally, their features express goodness, and inspire 'confidence. All have their ears pierced, and they enlarge the hole with a fish-bone: in some, the cartilage being, from infancy, drawn down by considerable weights, descends as low as the shoulder, and serves literally as a pocket to hold nails, fish-hooks, and other small articles. Their only dress, with a few exceptions, is a piece of cloth tied round their loins. Their hair is jet black, and acquires a gloss from being constantly rubbed with lemon juice; they bind it up sometimes with great taste; at other times, it is suffered to float over their shoulders à la Ninon. They are not ladrones, but frank arid honest in their dealings. Fighting or quarreling is said to be almost unknown among them: slings are their only weapons. Their religion . is confined to the recognition of a supernatural power which may lend a favourable ear to their prayers. They burn their dead ; and they believe that good men who have not beaten their wives, are carried above the clouds to be eternally happy : while those who have stolen iron, are changed into a dangerous fish, which they call Tibourion, and which is continually at war with other fishes. Among these people, war is the punishment of the wicked. What a lesson !
Their nautical skill and intrepidity are astonishing. In their frail proas, four feet wide and forty feet long, they make voyages of 600 leagues, guided only by the stars and the currents. The sea is their element, and they swim and dive like Nereids. Such is our Author's romantic account of this interesting people, which receives some confirmation from the character of Kadu, the intelligent Carolinian who attached himself to Lieut. Kotzebue at Radack, and who was deterred from proceeding to Europe, only by his affection for his child. The Governor-general of the Philippines is stated to have obtained permission of his sovereign to cede to those who would embrace Christianity, Seypan, one of the most fertile of the Marianne Islands; and the proposal has been gratefully accepted by many of the Carolinians." We regret to hear this. The worship of the virgin will be substituted for their vague belief in an over-ruling Providence, and they will be initiated into the vices, and inoculated with the diseases of Spanish colonists. It would be a happy circumstance that should render these islands accessible to a Protestant missionary.
A hundred pages are occupied with a description of the Sandwich Islands; but these were already sufficiently well known to the readers of Cook and Vancouver ; and the recent account given by Lieutenant Kotzebue,* renders it unnecessary to prolong this article by dwelling upon the statements of the present Author. The Uranie arrived at Owhyhee not long after the death of Tamaahmaah: he died in May 1819. The dog of all dogs,' called by M. Arago, Riouriou, had succeeded to the sovereignty, but his throne is a tottering one. One of the conspirators was already at the head of a powerful army. The memory of the late king is held in idolatrous veneration, and ! the first toast given at meals is always Tamaahmaah.' M. Arago seems to anticipate that the Islands will fall eventually
* See Eclectic Review. Vol. XVIII. p 29, &c.
under the dominion of the English; and though he adverts to this probability in a tone of jealous dissatisfaction, yet, he complains that we have not already interfered to liberate the people from the absurd superstitions and barbarous customs which still prevail, and to abolish the tyranny of the priests. His account of the natives substantially agrees with that given by Kotzebue : where they disagree, the discrepancy may be suspected to arise from our Frenchman's more accommodating habits. Thus, the former states, that the Owhyheans are very uncleanly, while the latter tells us, that the women are 'ex'tremely clean in their persons;' but he at the same time informs us, that` fathers, mothers, boys, girls, and sometimes even hogs and dogs, all sleep together pêle-mêle ;' moreover, that the air which is breathed within these infected sties, is enough 'to stifle a person not accustomed to it.' It is true, that they bathe frequently, and this passes with our Author for cleanliness. He admits that the women are shameless beyond all that is usually to be met with among the most degraded savages. He attempts to prove the affinity of the natives to those of the Caroline Islands, but he ends by drawing a contrast: the chief points of resemblance are, that they are of the same colour, and that he saw at Woahoo several slings twisted exactly like those of the Carolines.
M. Arago was sorely disappointed at not visiting Otaheite, which he had pictured to himself as a modern Paphos : he hints in no equivocal terms at the pleasures he there hoped to realize. How great would have been his disgust, to find that abandonment of manners which once disgraced the island, giving way before the light of education and the Bible! Happily for the poor Otaheitans, M. Freycinet determined to steer at once for Port Jackson. At Sydney, our Author found himself, however, quite at home : he was enchanted with the town; he could have fancied himself transported into one of the handsomest cities of France; and he was equally delighted with the hospitable reception the officers of the Uranie met with from the English. In return, he considerably over-praises the policy and management of our convict system. From New South Wales, they sailed for Cape Horn, but the Uranie was unfortunately shipwrecked on one of the Falkland islands, and our Author lost the greater part of his collection. After suffering considerable privations in this inhospitable and desolate region, they had the good fortune to hire an American vessel which had put back there to repair a leak, in which they proceeded to Monte Video. After a short stay, they sailed for Rio Janeiro, and thence for Cherbourg.
We have no room left to notice the scientific results of the