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every where, and instructing all classes of the population that they should forsake dumb idols, and turn to the living God. This laborious and inconvenient system was continued till last year, when, at a public meeting expressly convened, it was proposed that the people should come to their teachers, and settle in their immediate neighbourhood, for the purpose of more frequently and fully hearing the words whereby they might be saved. A large majority of the inhabitants acceded to this proposition, and, flocking from all quarters, they soon began to erect their humble, but neat, dwellings, about this beautiful bay; the families of each of the eight districts, into which the island is divided, voluntarily choosing to associate, and build near to each other. Thus was the camp of this little Israel distinguished by its several tribes, occupying their adjacent tents. This plan was productive of immediate and permanent benefit. The former residents here were indolent and slovenly, careless of comfort, and equally unconcerned about spiritual improvement; in fact, there was not a decent dwelling in the whole place. Other portions of the island were much in the same situation; but, since the new settlement has been begun, the character and manners of the people have been rapidly and happily changed; they are becoming more and more industrious, orderly, and cleanly, as well as more intelligent and willing to be instructed in the things that pertain to godliness, finding it profitable to this life, in addition to the promise of the life to come. Many well-framed and plaistered houses have been built, and domestic accommodations unknown to their ancestors are found under every roof. The inhabitants still continue to keep and cultivate the lands from which they removed, in the distant mataimaas, or districts, where much timber is grown, suitable for all
IMPROVED CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PEOPLE..
general purposes. Thirteen or fourteen saw-pits are constantly occupied by workmen, who manage the pit-saw far better than might be expected; and now the same sized tree from which they could formerly (by splitting the bole, and hewing each part thin) produce only two planks, is handsomely cut into nine or ten good boards, at less expence of time and labour. Those who have plaistered their habitations are much delighted with the security which they afford them. They say, also, that they are cooler in warm, and warmer in cold, weather (being, indeed, less affected by atmospheric changes) than their old ones were, which they now consider as only fit for pig-styes and lumber-stores. One of the chiefs was observing, the other day, that he and his family could now sleep in comfort, in the night-time, when wind and rain are beating against the walls, or pouring down upon the roof; whereas, while he lived in his old wattled shed, on such occasions, he was disturbed by thinking—Is such a piece of cloth out of the way of the wet? Where are the books ?-won't they all be spoiled ? The provision, too, is it safe ?
While these village-erections are thus carrying forward, a new form of society is growing up with them. The advantages of neighbourly intercourse and religious instruction, tend to localize the settlers, and to wean them from their vagrant habits of strolling from place to place, and eating idle bread wherever they could get it. The gospel may be said to have first taught them the calm, enduring, and endearing sweets of home, which their vagabond forefathers, and many of themselves, hardly knew to exist, till the religion of Him who had not where to lay his head, taught them how good and how pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity, instead of roving like fishes, or littering like swine.
GRADATIONS OF RANK.
We also observe, with great satisfaction, that Christianity, so far from destroying those distinctions in social life, which a wise Providence has made so necessary to human happiness, that no barbarians are entirely without them, has both sanctioned and sanctified them here. The kings and chiefs were never held in higher esteem by their subjects and dependants than they are now; nor are the gradations of rank in any part of Europe more easily recognized than in these uttermost parts of the sea.
High birth is observable, not only in the countenances, speech, and personal carriage of the magnates, but even in the manner, or rather the order, in which they walk. Though a causeway has been made from the houses of the Missionaries to the chapel, protected by cocoa-nut trees, laid along the sides, the middle part being covered with pebbles, and wide enough for several persons to walk abreast; yet the people continue one to follow another in line, as formerly, in the narrow tracks. If both be of the same rank, the wife comes after the husband; but if the wife be a woman of rank, and the husband of an inferior class, she goes first, and he, without ever imagining himself degraded, treads in her steps. A curious instance of this kind occurred to-day. Mahine, the king of Maiaoiti, and Hautia, the regent of Huahine, had hitherto received us in their character as members only of the Christian church; but, though they had paid us the most grateful attention at the public Aroha, this was not enough for their dignity as royal personages. They, therefore, determined on giving us a token of their esteem, in their political capacity, as heads of the government.
To-day being appointed for our visit and audience, at the house of Hautia, we set off, in the afternoon, from the chapel, accompanied by Mr. Ellis and Mr. Barff. As
VISIT TO MAHINE AND HAUTIA.
we approached, we passed between two rows of soldiers, with their firelocks shouldered, and beyond these, drawn up in like manner, all the raatiras, or land-proprietors, with their war-spears grasped in their hands. On entering the house, we found there Mahine and Hautia, with their wives; who were presently joined by all the Hui Arii, or royal family of this island, -eleven persons, of princely rank, in the whole. The wife of one of these being an Arii by birth, and her husband of inferior blood, he would not enter the house until she had gone in before him, though all the others, as a matter of course, took precedence of their partners. As soon as we were all seated, -on a signal given—the soldiers fired their muskets, and then retired, along with the raatiras, to a shed which had been prepared for their reception.
Hautia and Mahine occupied a very large Arioi stool, at the upper end of the room. Mr. Tyerman first addressed them, expressing our high sense of gratitude for the honour which they had done us by this signal mark of their attention. He briefly stated the objects which the Deputation contemplated, and the Christian purposes of the London Society in sending us so far. Ours, he said, was a visit of love to the Missionaries, and of high respect to the kings and chiefs of the various islands. The Deputation rejoiced to see what God was doing here, both in advancing the cause of religion and of civilization. He added the heartfelt thanks of the Deputation to the sovereigns and their principal officers, for the great kindness which had heretofore been shewn to the Missionaries, and our hope that such protection would never be withdrawn.-Mr. Ellis interpreted. Hautia replied with much fervour; alluding to the former reprobate condition of the people with abhorrence, and then with delight acknowledging the blessedness
to which they had been called by the gospel, and led by the Missionaries. Mr. Bennet afterwards enforced similar sentiments; Mr. Barff interpreted, and Mahine returned a pious and animated answer. There was a natural air of dignity and grace, both in the speech and conduct of these two not less excellent than exalted men, on the occasion. Command and condescension alike became them.
Wine, pine-apples, bananas, and other fruit, were then placed upon the table, and we were invited to partake. Wine glasses being deficient, tea-cups and tumblers were put in requisition, and served very well, where all was done and taken in good part. All the ladies were dressed in the English costume, excepting shoes and stockings, which were worn by Hautia Vahine alone. The most unaffected and cordial friendship was displayed by our royal hosts towards us, and we returned their kindness with the gratitude of the heart; while, on both sides, the only language intelligible to all was that of the countenance lighted up with smiles and looks of reciprocal esteem. The heat of the weather, at this season (being near Christmas), reminded us of the reverse in our native climate; and this introduced an amusing conversation respecting snow, ice, &c., phenomena which they had never seen. observed,—“ Perhaps it is on account of there being so much snow in your country that your skins are so white."
After sitting some time, we walked out with some of the company up the side of the mountain, on the slope of which Hautia's house is built. It is very steep, rocky, and covered with fern, grass, &c. Having reached a considerable elevation, we enjoyed superb views of the harbour, the reefs, the adjacent islets, the sea in its boundless magnificence, on the one hand; and on the other, rich tropical prospects of hill, and dale, and woods of ample breadth,