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HOMAGE PAID TO CAPTAIN COOK. 23
during the fatal contest—blinded by some fatal cause, could not perceive it, or, too self-confident, would not regard it.
There is an historical work of much value written in the Hawaiian tongue, a few years ago, by some of the early adult pupils of the Seminary at Lahaina-luna, and called Ka Moolelo Hawaii. Its materials were derived from old men then living, and the accounts they gave were afterwards compared and corrected by their teacher, Rev. Sheldon Dibble, until a valuable authentic volume grew therefrom. The authors of this say, that owing to their conviction that Lono (Captain Cook) was a god, the people generally paid him divine honors. They offered him hogs, food, kapa, (native cloth,) and other articles, as they were accustomed to bestow them on their deities, not expecting any thing in exchange. The priests approached him with prostrations, and cast their red kapa over his shoulders; then receding a little, they presented hogs, and a variety of other offerings, with long addresses rapidly enunciated, which were a repetition of their prayers and religious homage.
"If on any occasion he went inland, the mass of the people fled through fear, while all who remained fell down and worshipped him. He was led into the houses and temples of the gods, and worshipped there also; and all this adoration was received without remonstrance, as in the case of Herod. Wherefore, some, perhaps, may think for this cause, and for another already mentioned, he was smitten of God, and died."
7 1 ,
These were the circumstances of that melancholy event, as gathered from the Moolelo Hawaii, and the' Life of Ledyard: In a contest that ensued after the demolition of the morai by Captain Cook, the stealing of one of the ship's boats, and the killing of a chief in a canoe, by a shot from one of the ships, the Captain imprudently struck a high chief with his sword. Upon this the chief, Kalaimano-Kahoowaha, seized him instinctively with his powerful grasp in order to hold him, but with no idea of taking his life, Lono being, in his view, a god that could not die. But when he struggled to free himself, and groaned as he was about to fall, the chief cried, "He groans, he is not a god," and instantly slew him.
The fight then became general, in which many of the natives were killed and some of the Captain's guard. In the end the savages were routed and fled inland, taking with them the bodies of the fallen Navigator, and four of his companions. The king there presented the body of the captain in sacrifice to the gods, and after that ceremony was performed, they proceeded to remove the flesh from the bones in order to preserve them. The flesh was consumed by fire; the heart was eaten by some children who had mistaken it for the heart of a dog. Their names were Kupa, Mohoole, and Kaiwikokoole, one of whom was living only a few years ago. Some of the bones of the dead were afterwards returned to the ship, and the rest preserved by the priests, and worshipped.
Ledyard's account of the same transactions is this:
THE NARRATTVE OF LEDYARD.
"Cook, perceiving the people determined to oppose his designs, and that he should not succeed without further bloodshed, ordered the lieutenant of marines, Mr. Phillips, to withdraw his men and get them into the boats, which were then lying ready to receive them. This was effected by the sergeant; but the instant they began to retreat Cook was hit with a stone, and perceiving the man who threw it, he shot him dead. This occasioned the guard to face about and fire, and then the attack became general. Cook and Mr. Phillips were together, a few paces in the rear of the guard, and perceiving a general fire without orders, quitted Teraiobu, and ran to the shore to put a stop to it; but not being able to make themselves heard, and being close pressed upon by the chiefs, they joined the guard, who fired as they retreated.
"Cook having at length reached the margin of the water, between the fire of the boats, waved with his hat for them to cease firing and come in; and while he was doing this, a chief from behind stabbed him with one of our iron daggers, just under the shoulder-blade, and it passed quite through his body. Cook fell with his face in the water, and immediately expired. Mr. Phillips not being able any longer to use his fusee, drew his sword, and engaging the chief whom he saw kill Cook, soon dispatched him.
"His guard, in the mean time, were all killed but two, and they had plunged into the water and were swimming to the boats. He stood thus for some time the butt of all their force, and being as complete in the use of his sword as he was accomplished, his noble achievements struck the barbarians with awe. But being wounded, and growing faint from loss of blood and excessive action, he plunged into the sea with his sword in hand and swam to the boats; where, however, he was scarcely taken on board, before somebody saw one of the marines that swam from the shore, lying flat upon the bottom. Phillips, hearing this, threw himself in after him, and brought him up with him to the surface of the water, and both were taken in.
"The boats had hitherto kept up a very hot fire, and lying off without the reach of any weapon but stones, had received no damage; and, being fully at leisure to keep up an unremitted and uniform action, made great havoc among the Indians, particidarly among the chiefs, who stood foremost in the-crowd and were most exposed. But, whether it was from their bravery, or ignorance of the real cause that deprived so many of them of life, that they made such a stand, may be questioned, since it is certain that they in general, if not universally, understood heretofore, that it was the fire only of our arms that destroyed them.
"This opinion seems to be strengthened by the circumstance of the large, thick mats they were observed to wear, which were also constantly kept wet; and, furthermore, the Indian that Cook fired at with a blank discovered no fear, when he found his mat unburnt, saying, in their language, when he showed it to the bystanders, that no fire had touched it. This may be supposed at least to have had some influence. It is, THE SPOT WHERE COOK FELL.
however, certain, whether from one or both these causes, that the numbers that fell made no apparent impression on those who survived; they were immediately taken off, and had their places supplied in a constant succession.
"Lieutenant Gore, who commanded as first lieutenant under Cook in the Resolution, which lay opposite the place.where this attack was made, perceiving, with his glass, that the guard on shore was cut off, and that Cook had fallen, immediately passed a spring upon' one of the cables, and, bringing the ship's starboard guns to bear, fired two round-shots over the boats into the middle of the crowd; and both the thunder of the
- cannon and the effects of the shot operated so powerfully, that it produced a most precipitate retreat from
• the shore to the town."
It will be seen thus that the two records, Hawaiian and English, of the melancholy transactions which give such unwonted interest to this spot, substantially agree. Hereafter pilgrim tourists in the Pacific visiting this place, will find it replete with historical associations mellowed by time; and glowing perhaps with enthusiasm, they will quote the oft-reiterated words of Johnson :—Far from me be such frigid philosophy as would conduct us indifferent or unmoved, over any ground dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue.-—But, although I have trodden the lava rock where the justly incensed barbarians slew the great navigator, calling aloud, " He groans,—he is not a god;" and have swum in the Bay's blue waters at that very point; and have read the cop