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Polynesian Researches

XXVI. Concerning Revenue for the King and Governors

XXVI. Concerning Revenue for the King and Governors

Every land that has received the word of God, and those that have not, whose institutions are good, agree that it is right to furnish property for their own king, who holds the government, and for the governors of the districts. It is also a thing frequently exhibited in the word of God, and taught by Jesus, our Lord, when he said, “Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's?” Therefore it is right that we do the same. Let every individual contribute towards the revenue of the king. The man of great property must furnish more than the man of less property. Such as governors of districts, shall give two hogs yearly. If not hogs, arrow-root ten measures; if not this, cocoa-nut oil ten bamboss full; they must be goodsized bamboos.

The raatiras, farmers, or small-landed proprietors, shall each give one hog annually. If not a hog, arrow-root five measures; if not this, oil five bamboos. Those, also, who do not possess land, but belong to this country—or belonging to another land, but residing here—this shall be their contribution, one pig for one year, (smaller than that furnished by the farmers;) if not a pig, arrow-root three measures, or oil three bamboos.

This is another property that the farmers shall prepare for the king that holds the government: Each district shall prepare every year two mats, ten fathoms long, and two page 186 fathoms wide; if not large mats, fine hibiscus mats, one from each (family); if not this, three fathoms of native cloth, each.

This is the property for the governors, which the farmers of their own districts shall furnish for a year: One pig each; if not a pig, arrow-root five measures, or oil five bamboos, good bamboos. And as for the king, two mats shall the inhabitants of the district furnish for their own governor, (the mats) shall resemble, in length and breadth, those for the king. If not large mats, hibiscus mats one each, or cloth three fathoms each. This is the revenue which the districts shall furnish for their governors each year, the inhabitants of each district for their own governor; and this is the property which the governors and people shall provide for the king. The man who, on account of illness, is unable to furnish the property here specified in the year, shall meet with compassion from the king and governors. But if it be from indolence, or any other cause, that he does not, he shall be banished, he shall not be detained by any one. Let the farmers act generously towards their king and governors in furnishing provisions, it is right. Of such as breat-fruit, arum, plantains, yams, and such kinds of food, let a portion be taken to the king and governors; let it be taken undressed. Not like the great feedings, they shall be entirely abolished; —but observing the week or the month, it may be brought. There shall be no pigs, but fish, if desired. Thus shall we do well.