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were waiting for his return the last time he left us, very impatient to be dismissed, as we were almost suffocated in the crowd, word was brought us, that he expected us elsewhere: we found him sitting under the awning of our own boat, and making signs that we should come to him: as many of us therefore went on board as the boat would hold, and he then ordered breadfruit and cocoa-nuts to be brought, of both which we tasted, rather to gratify him than because we had a desire to eat. A message was foon after brought him, upon which he went out of the boat, and we were in a short tiine defired to follow. We were conducted to a large area or court-yard, which was railed round with bamboos about three feet high, on one side of his house, where an entertainment was provided for us, entirely new: this was a wrestling match. At the upper end of the area fat the chief, and feveral of his principal men were ranged on each side of him, so as to form a semicircle; these were the judges, by whom the victor was to be applauded; fears were also left for us at each end of the line; but we chofe rather to be at liberty among the rest of the spectators.
When all was ready, ten or twelve persons, whom we understood to be the combatants, and who were naked, except a cloth that was fastened about the waist, entered the area, and walked Nowly round it, in a stooping posture, with their left hands on their right hreasts, and their right 1769.
May. hands open, with which they frequently struck the left fore-arm so as to produce a quick smart Friday 5: found : this was a general challenge to the combatants whom they were to engage, or any other person present: after these followed others in the same manner, and then a particular challenge was given, by which each man singled out his antagonist: this was done by joining the finger ends of both hands, and bringing them to the breast, at the same time moving the elbows up and down with a quick motion: if the person to whom this was addressed accepted the challenge, he repeated the signs, and immediately each put himself into an attitude to engage: the next roinute they closed; but, except in first seizing each other, it was a mere contest of strength: each endeavoured to lay hold of the other, first by the thigh, and if that failed by the hand, the hair, the cloth, or elsewhere as he could: when this was done they grappled, without the leaft dexterity or skill, till one of them, by having a more advantageous hold, or greater muscular force, threw the other on his back. When the .contest was over, the old men gave their plaudit to the victor in a few words, which they repeated together in a kind of tune : his conquest was allo generally celebrated by three huzzas. The entertainment was then suspended for a few minutes, after which another couple of wrestlers came forward and engaged in the B b 4
same manner: if it happened that neither was thrown, after the contest had continued about a minute, they parted, either by consent or the intervention of their friends, and in this case each Napped his arm, as a challenge to a new engagement, either with the same antagonist or some other. While the wrestlers were engaged, another party of men performed a dance which lasted also about a minute; but neither of these parties took the least notice of each other, their attention being wholly fixed on what they were doing. We observed with pleasure, that the conqueror never exulted over the vanquished, and that the vanquished never repined at the success of the conqueror; the whole contest was carried on with perfect good will and good-humour, though in the presence of at least five hundred spectators, of whom some were women. The number of women indeed was comparatively small, none but those of rank were present, and we had reason to believe that they would not have been spectators of this exercise but in compliment to us. .
This lafted about two hours; during all which time the man who had made way for us when we landed, kept the people at a proper distance, by striking those who pressed forward very feverely with his stick: upon inquiry we learnt, that he was an officer belonging to Tootahah, acting as a matter of the ceremonies.
It is scarcely possible for those who are ac. 1769. quainted with the athletic sports of very remote antiquity, not to remark a rude resemblance of Friday 5: them in this wrestling-match among the natives of a little island in the midst of the Pacific Ocean: and even our female readers may recol. lect the account given of them by Fenelon in his Telemachus, where, though the events are ficti. tious, the manners of the age are faithfully transcribed from authors by whom they are supposed to have been truly related.
When the wrestling was over, we were given to understand that two hogs, and a large quantity of bread-fruit, were preparing for our dinner, which, as our appetites were now keen, was very agreeable intelligence. Our host, however, seemed to repent of his liberality; for, instead of setting his two hogs before us, he ordered one of them to be carried into our boat; at first we were not sorry for this new disposition of matters, thinking that we should dine more comfortably in the boat than on shore, as the crowd would more easily be kept at a distance: but when we came on board, he ordered us to proceed with his hog to the ship : this was mortifying, as we were now to row four miles while our dinner was growing cold; however, we thought fit to comply, and were at last gratified with the cheer that he had provided, of which he and Tubourai Tamaide had a liberal share.
1769. Our reconciliation with this man operated upMay.
on the people like a charm; for he was no sooner Friday 5. known to be on board, than bread-fruit, cocoa
nuts, and other provisions were brought to the fort in great plenty.
Affairs now went on in the usual channel ; but pork being still a scarce commodity, our
master, Mr. Mollineux, and Mr. Green, went in Mondays. the pinnace to the eastward, on the 8th, early in
the morning, to see whether they could procure any hogs or poultry in that part of the country : they proceeded in that direction twenty miles; but though they saw many hogs, and one turtle, they could not purchase either at any price: the people every where told them, that they all belonged to Toorahah, and that they could fell none of them without his permiffion. We now began to think that this man was indeed a great prince; for an influence so extensive and abroJute could be acquired by no other. And we afterwards found that he administered the government of this part of the island, as sovereign, for a minor whom we never saw all the time that we were upon it. When Mr. Green returned from this expedition, he said he had seen a tree of a size which he was afraid to relate, it being no less than sixty yards in circumference; but Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander soon explained to him, that it was a species of the fig, the branches of which, bending down, take fresh root in the