« ПредишнаНапред »
passages as appear exceptionable in the cool moment of solitary study, would obtain the highest applause amidst the joyous animation of social triumphs.
Besides his odes, Pindar is said to have written tra. gedies, hymns, poems, dithyrambics, epics, and other poems, in all, seventeen distinct works.
FROM THE MISSIONARY VOYAGE.
THE OTAHEITANS.' THEIR life is without toil, and every man is at liber.
I 'ty to do, go, and act as he pleases, without the distress of care, or apprehension of want; and as their leisure is great, their sports and amusements are va
Of these, swimming in the surf appears to afford them fingular delight. At this sport both sexes are very dexterous; and the diversion is reckoned great in proportion as the surf runs highest, and breaks with the greatest violence : they will continue at it for hours to. gether, till they are tired. Some make use of a small board, two feet and a half, or more, formed with a sharp point, like the fore-part of a canoe ; but others ufe none, and depend wholly on their own dexterity. They swim out beyond where the swell of the surf begins, which they follow as it rises, throwing themselves on the top of the wave, and steering themselves with one leg, whilst the other is raised out of the water, their breast reposing on the plank, and one hand moving them forward, till the surf begins to gather way : as the rapidity of its motion increases, they are carried onward with the most amazing velocity, till the surf is ready to break on the thore, when, in a moment, they fteer themselves round with so quick a movement as to dart
head head foremost through the wave, and rising on the out. fide, swim back again to the place where the surf first begins to swell, diving all the way through the waves, which are running furiously on the shore.
In the course of this amusement they sometimes run foul of each other, when many are swimming together; those who are coming on not being able to stop their motion, and those who are moving the contrary way, unable to keep their sufficient distance, so that they are carried together by the ruthing wave, and hurled neck and heels on thore before they can disembarrass themselves, and get well bruised on their landing. The women are excellent at this sport; and Iddeah, the queen mother, is reckoned the most expert in the whole island. The children take the same diversion in a weaker surf, learning to swim as soon as they learn to walk, and selo dom meet with any accident, except being dalhed on the beach; but hardly ever a person is drowned. If a Thark comes in among them, they all surround him, and force him on shore, if they can but once get him inro the surf, though they use no instruments for the purpose; and should he escape, they continue their sport, unapprehensive of danger. This diversion is most common when the westerly winds prevail, as they are always attended with a heavy swell, which continues many days after the bad weather is abated.
Their amusements on shore are, throwing the spear or javelin, shooting with bows and arrows, wrestling, dancing, and several other games ; at all which the women have their turn as well as the men; but they always play separately from each o:her.
The javelins are from eight to fourteen feet long, and pointed with the fw harra, or palm-tree. These they hurl at a mark set up at the distance of thirty or forty yards, with great exactness. They hold the fpear in the right hand, and poise it over the fore-finger of the left. At this game one district often plays against another, but never for any wager, only the district in which they play provides an entertainment.
Their bows are made of porow, and their arrows of small bamboos, pointed with toa wood, which they fix on with bread-fruit gum. The bow-strings are made of the bark of the roava ; with these they shoot against each other, not at a mark, but for the greatest distance. They never use this instrument in war; and the clothes they wear on this occasion are sacred to the game, and never worn at any other time. Since they have learned the use of more destructive weapons, the guns, which they have procured from us, they are said to have become excellent marksmen.
They are dexterous wrestlers. When they challenge each other they ftrike the bend of the left arm with the right hand, and if left-handed, reverse it. The arın being bent, receives the hand on its cavity, and makes a loud report. The man who returns the clap, accepts the challenge, and throws both arms forward, as if to lay hold of his antagonist. . The ring is immediate. ly formed, and they close with each other. As soon as the struggle ends with the fall of either, he filently retires, nor incurs any disgrace, and the conqueror goes clapping round the ring. If they wrestle one district against another, the women always wrestle first, and the men succeed. At this, Iddeah, the queen-mother, excels; and when the party is won or lost, the women of the victorious district strike up a dance. Iddeah is usually mistress of the ceremonies, and appoints the number of falls which shall be made : the party which gains that number first is adjudged the victor; and the vanquished express not the least dissatisfaction. In general, the women bear their foils worse than the men, and betray moft signs of anger at being worsted.
They frequently exercise at quarter-staff; and are very expert at defending their head, and all other parts of their body : this they practise from their tenderest
age. The science of defence is a chief object ; for a wound in war confers no honour, but rather disgrace, therefore they always hide the scar, if possible.
They practise the sing for amusement, as well as em. ploy it in battle, and throw a stone with great force and tolerable exactness. Their flings are made from the plaited fibres of the cocoa-nut hukk, having a broader part to receive the ftone : at one end is a loop for the hand, in order to keep the fling fast when they dir. charge the stone. In charging the sling, they hold it sound their fhoulders, keeping the stone fast in it with their left thumb, and jumping, swing the sling three times round their heads, holding the left hand grasped on the wrist of the right, and thus discharge the stone with a force sufficient to enter the bark of a tree at two hundred yards distance, the stone Aying at an equal distance from the ground, like a bullet, all the way.
Their dances are various, The heiva is performed by men and women in separate parties. The women are most gracefully dressed, and keep exact time with the music during the performance, observing a regular movement both of hands and feet, though nothing refembling our dances. The heiva is usually performed by torch-light. The manner is exactly represented in Cook's Voyages. They generally dance under covers but, by day, before the houses, unless it rains, having large mats spread on the grass. The women's dress is a long white petticoat of fine cloth, with a red border, and a red stripe about ten inches from the bottom; a kind of veft, or corfler, made of white or coloured cloth, comes close up under the arms, and covers the breasts ; to this they attach two bunches of black feathers at the point of each breast; several taffels of the same hang round the waist, and fall as low as the knees. Two or three red or black feathers on each fore-finger supply the place of rings, On the back, from the thoulder to the hip, are fixed two large pieces of cloth neatly plait. ed, like a fan or furbelow, and edged with red. Their
heads are ornamented with the tamou, or vast braids of human hair wrapped round like a turban, and stuck full of fragrant and beautiful Aowers, intermixed with beads and sharks' teeth : our fine writing-paper was also sometiinęs applied in addition to these ornaments,
A master of ceremonies directs the movements of the dancers; and when the women retire, their places are fupplied by a chorus, who sing with the music, or by actors, who perform pantomimes, seizing the manners of their European visitors, which they imitate in great perfection : not sparing the conduct of their own chiefs, when objects of satire; which serves as a salutary check and admonition; for if they are faulty, they are sure to be publicly exposed.
The houses in which the heivas are performed are open at the ends and in front, the back being screened by matting of cocoa-nut leaves; round the ends and in front of the house there is a low railing of about a foot in height, within which the performers exhibic; and without, the audience fit or stand; the area before 'the house and the foor are all covered with matting, · Any number of women may perform at once; but as the dress is very expensive, feldom more than two or four dance; and when this is done before the chief, the drerfes are presented to him after the heiva is finished ; and these contain thirty or forty yards of cloth, from one to four yards wide.
The ponnara, or evening dance, is performed by any number of women, of any age or description, who chute to attend at the place appointed, which is usually the cool shade. They are dressed in their best apparel, and i have their heads decorated with wreaths of flowers. They divide into two equal parts, about twenty yards diftant, and placing themselves in rows opposite to each other, a small green bread.fruit is brought by way of foot-ball. The leading dancer of one party takes this in her hand, and, stepping out about midway, drops it before her, and sends it with her foot to the opposite