Visit to the spot where Capt. Cook was killed—Hawaiian notions of a future state—Account of the battle at Mokuohai—Death of Kauikeouli—Former prevalence of war in the Sandwich Islands—Warriors—Warlike games—Methods of consulting the gods before determining on war—Human sacrifices—Councils of war—Levying armies—Encampments—Fortifications—Naval fights—Disposition of forces—Weapons—War dresses—Methods of attack—War-gods carried to battle—Single combats—Sacrificing the slain—Treatment of the vanquished—Manner of concluding peace.
In the morning of July the 21st, the party at Kamakau's walked through the village of Kaavaroa∗ to the sea-side. The water in some places is deep, and, along the whole extent of the northwest shore, a boat may pull in close to the rocks. The rocks which form the beach, on this and the opposite side of the bay, are not, as was supposed by those who first described them, of black coral, but composed entirely of lava, porous, hard, and of a very dark colour, occasionally tinged with a ferruginous brown, bearing marks of having been in a state of fusion. Part of it has probably flowed through the cavern in which Capt. Cook's body was deposited, as traces of a stream of lava from thence to the plain below are very distinct.
∗Kowrowa in Cook's Voyages.
The steep rocks at the head of the bay are of the same kind of substance, but apparently more ancient; and, judging from appearances, the lava of which they are composed had issued from its volcano before Kearake'kua existed—as part of the coast seems to have been rent from these rocks, and sunk below the level of the sea, which has filled up the indention thus made, and formed the present bay. There are still a number of caves in the face of these rocks, which are seldom resorted to for security in a time of danger, but used as places of sepulture. Several were barricadoed, to prevent any but the proprietors entering them, or depositing bodies there. The natives pointed out one in which the remains of Keoua, uncle of Tamehameha, were laid.
Having accomplished the object of their excursion, which was to procure some fragments of the rock on which Captain Cook had been killed, they prepared to return.
On their return, they exchanged a piece of blue cotton, about three yards in length, for four small idols. They were rudely-carved imitations of the human figure; one of them between three and four feet in length, the others not more than eighteen inches.
The house in which Mr. Bishop and myself had lodged, was early crowded with natives. Morning worship was held in the native language, and a short address given to the people. A very interesting conversation ensued, on the resurrection of the dead at the last day, which had been spoken of in the address. The people said they had heard of it by Kapihe, a native priest, who formerly resided in this village, and who, in the time of Tamehameha, told that prince, that at his death page 145 he would see his ancestors, and that hereafter all the kings, chiefs, and people of Hawaii would live again. I asked them how this would be effected, and with what circumstances it would be attended; whether they would live again on Hawaii, or in Miru, the Hades of the Sandwich Islands? They said there were two gods, who conducted the departed spirits of their chiefs to some place in the heavens, where it was supposed the spirits of kings and chiefs sometimes dwelt, and afterwards returned with them to the earth, where they accompanied the movements, and watched over the destinies, of their survivors. The name of one of these gods was Kaonohiokala, the eye-ball of the sun; and of the other, Kuahairo. Kapihe was priest to the latter, and, by pretended revelation, informed Tamehameha, that when he should die, Kuahairo would take his spirit to the sky, and accompany it to the earth again, when his body would be reanimated and youthful; that he would have his wives, and resume his government in Hawaii; and that, at the same time, the existing generation would see and know their parents and ancestors, and all the people who had died would be restored to life. These, they said, were all the particulars they knew; but added, that though at Kapihe's suggestion many valuable offerings were made to his god, he proved a false prophet, for Tamehameha died, and did not come to life again.
At breakfast, we were both too ill to partake of the bounty of our host, yet felt grateful for his attention. At nine a. m. we were joined by our companions from Kaavaroa, and shortly after set out on our tour. Mr. Bishop went in the canoe; the rest of us walked on towards Honaunau, a considerable village about five miles distant.page 146
Leaving Keei, we passed on to Mokuohai, a spot celebrated as the place where, in the year 1780 or 1781, the great battle was fought between Kauikeouli,∗ eldest son and successor of Taraiopu, and his cousin, Tamehameha, by which the latter, though before only possessed of two districts, became sovereign of the whole island. During seven successive days, a severe conflict was maintained, with doubtful success. On the morning of the eighth day, it was renewed on both sides, and continued until noon, when the death of Kauikeouli terminated the struggle in favour of his rival. The circumstances attending his death were singular.
∗Called also Kivaraao.
Keeaumoku, (the father of Kaahumanu, Piia, and Kuakini, present governor of Hawaii,) Tamehameha's principal general, with a few of his companions, had advanced a considerable distance beyond the main body of his warriors, and was completely surrounded by Kauikeouli's men. After defending themselves for some time against superior numbers, all the associates of Keeaumoku were slain, he himself was dangerously wounded by a number of stabs with the páhoa, † and fell in the midst of his foes. His enemies thought him mortally wounded, and were proceeding to despoil him of his ornaments, &c. Kauikeouli approached, and called out to them to take care of the paraoa, a finely polished ornament, made of a whale's tooth, highly valued by the natives, and worn on the breast, suspended by a necklace of curiously braided human hair, stooping down himself at the same time to untie it. Keeaumoku, page 147 recovering from a swoon, and seeing Kauikeouli bending over him, made a sudden spring, and grasped him round his neck, or (as some of the natives say) by his long flowing hair, and, being a man of uncommon stature and strength, held him down. Kauikeouli endeavoured, but in vain, to extricate himself from his grasp. At this instant, Tamehameha and his attendants, having heard that Keeaumoku had fallen, hastened to the spot, and one of them, Narimaerua, perceiving the situation of Kauikeouli, rushed forward, and ran a spear through his body; another stabbed him with a páhoa. He fell upon the body of Keeaumoku, and instantly expired. Keoua, his uncle, who fought near him, was about the same time wounded in the thigh by a spear, and obliged to quit the field.
†The páhou is a dagger, from eighteen inches to two feet long, made of wood or iron.
As soon as the death of Kauikeouli was known, a panic spread through his men, and they quickly fled. Many jumped into the sea, and swam to some canoes lying off the place, and the rest fled to the mountains or the adjoining puhonua (place of refuge) at Honaunau, about four miles distant. Among these was Karaiomoku, then a youth, now principal chief in the Sandwich Islands. Looking one day at the drawing I had made of the puhonua, he pointed with his finger to the place by which he entered when fleeing thither for protection. Tamehameha now remained master of the field, and before evening reached Honaunau, the former residence of the vanquished chiefs.
The scene of this sanguinary engagement was a large tract of rugged lava, the whole superficies of which had been broken up by an earthquake. Since leaving Keei, we had seen several heaps of stones raised over the bones of the slain, but they page 148 now became much more numerous. As we passed along, our guide pointed out the place where Tairi, Tamehameha's war-god, stood, surrounded by the priests, and, a little further on, he shewed us the place where Tamehameha himself, his sisters, and friends, fought during the early part of the eighth day. A few minutes after we had left it, we reached a large heap of stones overgrown with moss, which marks the spot where Kauikeouli was slain. The numerous piles of stones which we saw in every direction, convinced us that the number of those who fell on both sides must have been considerable.
The Sandwich Islands, like many other parts of the world, have frequently felt the cruel scourge of war. Their traditionary history, so far as we have been able to trace it, is distinguished by nothing so much as accounts of the murderous and plundering expeditions of one island against another, or the sanguinary battles between the inhabitants of different parts of the same island. The whole group have seldom, if ever, been united under one authority; but, in general, separate governments, and independent kings or chiefs, have existed in each of the large islands; and sometimes the six great divisions of Hawaii have been under as many distinct rulers or chieftains. Their inclinations or interests often interfered, and almost every dispute terminated in an appeal to arms. Indeed, a pretext for war was seldom wanting, when one party thought themselves sufficiently powerful to invade with success the territories of their neighbours, and plunder their property. Their modes of warfare must, therefore, necessarily exhibit much of their national character; and having in the course of the narrative page 149 already had occasion to describe two of their battles, some account of their system of war will probably be acceptable in this place.
Their armies were composed of individuals from every rank in society. There was no distinct class of men trained exclusively to the use of arms, and warriors by profession, yet there have always been men celebrated for their courage and martial achievements; and there are many now living, who distinguished themselves by deeds of valour and strength in the frequent wars which were carried on during the former part of the late Tamehameha's reign; men who left their peaceful home and employment, as agriculturists or fishermen, to follow his fortunes in the field, and resumed their former pursuits on the cessation of hostilities.
Before the introduction of fire-arms and gunpowder, almost all the men were taught to use the various weapons employed in battle, and frequently engaged in martial exercises or warlike games.
One of the exercises consisted in slinging stones at a mark. They threw their stones with great force and precision, and are supposed to have been able to strike a small stick at fifty yards' distance, four times out of five. They also practised throwing the javelin, and catching and returning those thrown at them, or warding them off, so as to avoid receiving any injury. In this latter exercise, they excelled to an astonishing degree. We know some men who have stood, and allowed six men to throw their javelins at them, which they would either catch, and return on their assailants, or so dexterously turn aside, that they fell harmless to the ground.page 150
Wrestling was also practised by the more athletic youth, as a preparation to the single combats usual in almost every battle.
Sometimes they had sham-fights, when large numbers engaged, and each party advanced and retreated, attacked and defended, and exercised all the manœuvres employed in actual engagement.
Admirably constituted by nature with finely formed bodies, supple joints, strong and active limbs, accustomed also to a light and cumberless dress, they took great delight in these gymnastic and warlike exercises, and in the practice of them spent no inconsiderable portion of their time.
Whenever war was in contemplation, the poe kiro (diviners and priests) were directed to slay the accustomed victims, and consult the gods. Animals only were used on these occasions, generally hogs and fowls. The priests offered their prayers, and the diviners sacrificed the victims, observed the manner in which they expired, the appearance of their entrails, and other signs. Sometimes, when the animal was slain, they embowelled it, took out the spleen, and, holding it in their hands, offered their prayers. If they did not receive an answer, war was deferred. They also slept in the temple where the gods were kept, and, after the war-god had revealed his will by a vision or dream, or some other supernatural means, they communicated it to the king and warriors, and war was either determined or relinquished accordingly.
If the expedition in contemplation was of any magnitude or importance, or the danger which threatened imminent, human sacrifices were offered to ensure the co-operation of the war-gods in page 151 the destruction of their enemies. They do not appear to have imagined these gods exerted any protecting influence over their devotees, but that their presence and their power destroyed the courage and strength of their enemies, and filled their hearts with terror and dismay. Sometimes the priests proposed that human victims should be slain; sometimes the gods themselves were said to require them, promising victory on condition of their being offered; and at other times they were slain after having consulted the gods as their oracle, and, not having received a favourable answer, they were desirous to consult them again before they abandoned the enterprise. If any of their enemies had been taken captive, the victims were selected from among their number; if not, individuals who had broken tabu, or rendered themselves obnoxious to the chiefs, were fixed upon. A message was sent to the chief under whose authority they were, and at the appointed time he sent his men, who generally despatched them with a stone or club, without any notice, and then carried them away to the temple; sometimes they were bound and taken alive to the heiau, and slain in the outer court, immediately before being placed on the altar. It does not appear that they were slain in the idol's presence, or within the temple, but either on the outside, or at the place where they were first taken; in both cases they appear to have endeavoured to preserve the body entire, or mangled as little as possible. The victims were generally despatched by a blow on the head with a club or stone; sometimes, however, they were stabbed. The number offered at a time varied according to circumstances, two, four, or seven, or ten, or even twenty, we have been page 152 informed, have been offered at once. When carried into the temple, every article of clothing they might have on was taken off, and they were laid in a row with their faces downwards, on the altar immediately before the idol. The priest then, in a kind of prayer, offered them to the gods; and if any offerings of hogs were presented at the same time, they were afterwards piled upon them, lying at right angles across the human bodies, where the whole were left to rot and putrefy together.
War was seldom declared without the approbation of the gods, obtained through the medium of the priests, though it is probable the answer of the diviners was given with due regard to the previously known views of the king and chiefs.
Sometimes the question of war or peace was deliberated in a public meeting of chiefs and warriors, and these popular assemblies furnished occasion for the most powerful displays of native eloquence, which, though never present at one of these councils, we should think, from the specimens we have heard repeated, was, like that of their neighbours of the southern isles, at once bold in sentiment, beautiful in imagery, and powerful in effect.
When war was declared, the king and warrior chiefs, together with the priests, fixed the time and place for commencing, and the manner of carrying it on. In the mean time, the Runapai (messengers of war) were sent to the districts and villages under their authority, to require the services of their tenants, in numbers proportionate to the magnitude of the expedition. These were ordered to come with their weapons, candle-nuts for torches, light calabashes for water, dried fish, or other portable provisions. The summons was page 153 in general obeyed with alacrity, and as their spears, clubs, javelins, and slings, were usually suspended in some convenient part of every house, they armed with these, and soon joined the forces at the appointed rendezvous.
When the people en masse were required, the Tuahāua was sent, whose office it was to bring every individual capable of bearing arms. Sometimes the Uruoki, another officer, was afterwards despatched; and if he found any lingering behind, who ought to have been with the army, he cut or slit one of their ears, tied a rope round their body, and in this manner led them to the camp. To remain at home, when summoned to the field, was considered so disgraceful, the circumstances attending detection so humiliating, and the mark of cowardice, with which it was punished, so indelible, that it was seldom necessary to send round the last-named officer.
These messengers of war were sometimes called Rere, a word which signifies to fly, probably from the rapidity with which they conveyed the orders of the chiefs. They generally travelled at a running pace, and, in cases of emergency, are reported to have gone round the island of Hawaii in eight or nine days; a distance which, including the circuitous route they would take, to call at different villages, exceeds three hundred miles.
When the different parties arrived at the place of rendezvous, the chief of the division or district, with some of inferior rank, waited on the king or commanding chief, and reported the number of warriors they had brought. They then selected a spot for their encampment, and erected their Harepai or Auoro, in which they abode till the army page 154 was collected. The former were small huts, built with cocoa-nut leaves, or boughs and green ti leaves, which each party or family erected for their own accommodation, around that of their chief; and thus formed a small encampment by themselves. The latter was a large open building, constructed with the same materials, in which the chief and his warriors all dwelt together.
Their camp. was near an open space, and they generally selected the most broken and uneven ground, frequently rugged tracts of lava, as their fields of battle. Sometimes they encamped on the banks of a river, or deep ravine, which, lying between them and their enemies, secured them from sudden attack. But they do not appear to have thrown up lines or other artificial barriers around their camp; they did not, however, neglect to station piquets at all the passes by which they were likely to be approached. Each party usually had a pari or pakaua, natural or artificial fortress, where they left their wives and children, and to which they fled if vanquished in the field. These fortresses were either eminences of difficult ascent, and, by walling up the avenues leading to them, sometimes rendered inaccessible; or they were extensive enclosures, including a cave, or spring, or other natural means of sustenance or security. The stone walls around the forts were composed of large blocks of lava, laid up solid, but without cement, sometimes eighteen feet high, and nearly twenty feet thick. On the tops of these walls the warriors fought with slings and stones, or with spears and clubs repelled their assailants. When their pari was an eminence, after they had closed the avenues, they collected large stones and fragments of rock on the edges of the precipices over-hanging page 155 the paths leading to the fortification, which they rolled down on the heads of their enemies.
Sometimes they engaged in fleets amounting to upwards of one hundred canoes on each side. The Sandwich Islands not being surrounded with coral reefs, there is but little smooth water; and the roughness of the sea, most likely, induced them generally to select terra firma for their theatre of war.
Whenever they expected an action, they proceeded to hoonoho ka kaua, (fix the war, or set their army in battle array,) for which they had a regular system, and adopted various methods for attack and defence, according to the nature of the ground, force of the enemy, &c.
When about to engage in an open plain, their army, drawn up for battle, consisted of a centre and wings, the latter considerably in advance, and the line curved in form of a crescent. The slingers, and those who threw the javelin, were in general distributed through the whole line. Every chief led his own men to battle, and took his position according to the orders of the commanding chieftain, whose station was always in the centre. The king generally commanded in person, or that authority was exercised by the highest chief among the warriors; occasionally, however, a chief, inferior in rank, but distinguished by courage or military talents, has been raised to the supreme command. When they fought in a defile, or narrow pass, in a single column, the first division, or advanced guard, was called the verau, or point, the name they also give to a bayonet. The other parts of the column were called by different names; the pohivi, or shoulder, was generally page 156 considered the strongest section. The chief who commanded was in the centre.
Their weapons consisted of the pololu, a spear made of hard wood, from sixteen to twenty feet long, and pointed at one end. The ihe, or javelin, about six feet in length, made of a species of hard red wood, resembling mahogany, called kauira, pointed and barbed. The raau parau, a weapon eight or nine feet long, between a club and spear, somewhat resembling a halbert, with which they were accustomed to thrust or strike, and the pahoa, or dagger, eighteen inches or two feet in length, made of hard wood, sometimes pointed at both ends, and having a string attached to the handle, which passed round the wrist, to prevent their losing it in action. Besides these, they employed the sling, and their stones were very destructive. The slings were made of human hair plaited, or the elastic fibres of the cocoa-nut husk; the stones they employed were about the size of a hen's egg, generally ponderous pieces of compact lava, from the bed of a stream or the sea-beach, where they had been worn smooth by the action of the water.
They had no shields or weapons of defence, except the javelin, which they used in warding off those that might be thrown at them; they were very expert in avoiding a stone, if they saw it thrown, and the spearmen excelled in parrying the thrusts of their enemies' spears. The warriors seldom went to battle with any other dress than a maro or narrow girdle round their loins. Some, however, wore a quantity of cloth bound round their, head, which was called ahupoonui, and the chiefs were frequently dressed in their war-cloaks and helmets. The cloaks, though they gave the page 157 wearers an imposing appearance, must have proved an encumbrance, without affording much protection. Some of the helmets were made of close wicker-work, exactly fitted the head, and were ornamented along the crown. But those worn by the high chiefs only, and called mahiori, though not more useful, were peculiarly beautiful. They were made in the form of the Grecian helmet, with towering crest, and were thickly covered with the glossy red and yellow feathers of a small paroquet found in the mountains, (with whose feathers the war-cloaks are also ornamented,) and though they did not appear adapted to defend the head, any more than the cloaks were to guard the body, they increased the effect of the towering height and martial air of the chiefs, whose stature was generally above that of the common people. The long cloaks reaching to the knees, or even to the ankles, were worn only by the king and principal chiefs. The royal colour was yellow, and no one besides the king was allowed to wear a cloak made entirely of yellow feathers. Those of the other chiefs were of red and yellow rhomboidal figures intermingled, or disposed in alternate lines, with sometimes a section of dark purple or glossy black. Tippets were manufactured of the same materials, and worn by the inferior chiefs, or some of the principal warriors, whose rank did not entitle them to wear the cloak.
In addition to the helmet and cloak, the high chiefs occasionally wore a paraoa, or other ornament, like a breastplate, suspended from the neck by finely braided strings of human hair.
The diviners were consulted immediately before they engaged; they slew their victims, noticed also the face of the heavens, the passage of clouds page 158 over the sun, the appearance of the rainbow; and, if they augured well, the principal war-god was brought out in the front of the whole army, and placed near the king. The priest then addressed a prayer to the gods, urged them to exercise their power, and prove themselves, in the ensuing engagement, mightier than the gods of their enemies, promising, at the same time, hecatombs of victims in the event of victory. The king, or commander-in-chief, now addressed the assembled warriors; and, if they were to attack, gave the signal for the hoouta, or onset, and they rushed to hui, or mix in fight.
The national war-god was elevated above the ranks, and carried by the priest near the person of the king, or commander-in-chief. Nor was this the only idol borne to the battle: other chiefs of rank had their war-gods carried near them by their priest; and, if the king or chief was killed or taken, the god himself was usually captured also. The presence of their deities inspired the warriors with courage, who supposed their influence essential to victory. A description of Tairi has already been given, and he may be taken as a sample; the image was four or five feet high, the upper part wicker-work, covered with red feathers, the face a hideous form, the mouth armed with triple rows of dog's or shark's teeth, the eyes of mother of pearl, the head crowned with a helmet, the crest sometimes formed of long tresses of human hair. We have often conversed with Hevaheva, the priest of Tamehameha's war-god, and though there is nothing naturally repulsive in his countenance, we have been told, that, in the battle, he often distorted his face into every frightful form, and uttered most terrific and appalling yells, which page 159 were supposed to proceed from the god he bore or attended.
At times the whole army, except the reserve, engaged at once, but their battles were most commonly a succession of skirmishes, or partial engagements. The hooparau, single combat, was not unusual. A haughty and boastful warrior would advance beyond the line of his companions, and toho or aa, (insult,) in opprobrious terms, his enemies. A warrior from their army would hasten to meet him, and the encounter was continued till one was disabled or slain. We do not know whether, like the Grecian heroes, these combatants addressed each other before engaging in the mortal strife, as did their neighbours in the southern seas.
Their battles were with confused noise, and boastful shouts. The first that either party slew, they called erehua; frequently the victor jumped upon the expiring body, or, spurning it contemptuously, dedicated its spirit to his gods. He then cut or tore off the hair from the top of the forehead, and, elevating it in the air, shouted aloud, He oho, a frontlet; and, if it was a chief or warrior of note he had slain, his name was added. He oho! He oho! was reiterated through the ranks of the victor, while he despoiled the fallen warrior of his ornaments, and then dragged the heana, slain body, to the king, or the priest, who, in a short address, offered the victim to his god. The first offering they called urukoko, increasing blood. The second slain was called maka-wai, face of water, and the third herua-oni, sand-dug. They were all likewise brought, and offered to the gods on the field.
On some occasions, both parties discontinued page 160 the contest, as if by mutual consent, from despair of victory, or an evil omen revealed by the diviners. Such a battle was called rukurua, both beaten. This, however, was a rare occurrence; they generally fought till one of the armies was vanquished. When routed in the field, some fled to the pahu tabu, sacred enclosure, called also puhonua, or place of refuge; others repaired to their pari or fortress; and when these were distant, or the way to them intercepted, they all fled to the mountains, whither they were pursued by the victors for weeks, and even months, afterwards. When discovered, they were cruelly massacred on the spot, or brought down to the king and chiefs. When led to the king's presence, they usually prostrated themselves before him, and exclaimed, “E make paha, e ora paha—i runa te aro? i raro te aro?” To die perhaps, to live perhaps—upwards the face? or downwards the face?—If the king did not speak, or said, “The face down,” it was sentence of death, and some one in attendance either despatched the poor captive in his presence, or led him away to be slaughtered. But if the king said, “Upward the face,” they were spared, though perhaps spared only to be slaves, or to be sacrificed when the priests should require human victims. The persons of the captives were the property of the victors, and their lives entirely at their disposal. A chief taken in the field, or during the retreat, was sometimes spared, and allowed to return to his home.
The victors usually buried their dead; but the bodies of the slain, belonging to the vanquished, were generally left unburied on the field, and were devoured by hogs and dogs, or suffered to rot. Small heaps of stones were afterwards piled over page 161 their bones, or on the spot where they had fallen, probably as trophies of victory.
When the king or any chief of high rank was known to be humane, or any of the vanquished had formerly been on terms of friendship with him, avoiding carefully the warriors, an individual, risking his life on the conqueror's clemency, would lie in wait for him in his walks, and, prostrating himself in his path, supplicate his compassion, or rush into his house, and throw himself on the ground before him. Though any one might have killed him while on his way thither, none dare touch him within the king's enclosure, without his orders. When the king did not speak, or directed the fugitive to be carried from his presence, which was very unusual, he was taken out and slain. Generally the prince spoke to the individual who had thus thrown himself into his power; and if he did but speak, or only recognize him, he was secure. He might either join the retinue of the sovereign, or return to his own house. No one would molest him, as he was under maru, shade, or screening protection, of the king.
When the vanquished were completely routed, or nearly cut off, their country was hoopahora, portioned out, by the conqueror, among the chiefs and warriors who had been his companions in the war, by whom it was settled. The wives and children of those whom they had defeated were frequently made slaves, and attached to the soil for its cultivation, and, together with the captives, treated with great cruelty. But when there had been a great loss on both sides, or one party wished for peace, an ambassador, with a young plantain tree, and a green branch of the ti plant, was sent page 162 with proposals for peace. When these were agreed to, they all repaired to the temple. There a pig was slain, its blood caught in a vessel, and afterwards poured on the ground, probably to signify that thus it should be done to those who broke the treaty. A wreath of mairi, a sweet-scented plant, was then woven by the leading chiefs of both parties, and deposited in the temple. Peace was ratified, feasting, dances, and public games followed. The warriors returned to their lands, and the king's heralds were sent round his districts, to announce ua pau ka kaua, ended is the war.
The introduction of fire-arms, which so soon followed the discovery of the Sandwich Islands, increased the passion for conquest and plunder in the minds of the proud and turbulent chiefs by whom they were governed; and although the recent introduction and partial reception of Christianity has not induced them to discontinue the practice of war, it has already altered its ferocious and exterminating character, and the principles of clemency inculcated in the gospel have been most strikingly exemplified in the humane conduct of the chiefs by whom it has been embraced.∗
∗After a late civil war in Tauai, when the captives were brought before Karaimoku, the chief against whom they had rebelled, he dismissed many of them with spelling-books, and directed them to go home, and dwell in peace, cultivate their lands, learn to read and write, and worship the true God.
There is every reason to hope that Christianity, when generally received, will subdue their restless and ambitious spirits; and under its influence, they may be expected to delight in the cultivation of the useful arts of peace.