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Coasting-tour round Huahine Rocking-stone-Hurricane by Night-
Mahabu Harbour-Matara-Sea-side Meal-Native Sayings-Large Ma-

-Converted Priest of Oro, Picture of a Party asleep-Converted
Shark-worshipper-A Shark-marae— Accident-bird-Value of a Nail.



Dec. 26. ACCOMPANIED by Mr. Ellis and Mr. Barff, and their servants, together with the queen of Hautia, several of the royal family, and many people, we set off, about noon, to make a tour of this island. The day was favourable, and a gentle breeze wafted us out of the harbour. As we sailed along the coast, we admired the mountain precipices, starting upright from the beach, and the gradual slopes beyond towering into wooded knolls or piked pinnacles, that sharpened into vanishing points amidst the immensity of heaven above.' The nether rocks were generally darkcoloured; the strata diverse in dip and material ; in one instance the layer appeared slaty and horizontal. On the summit of a high cliff, to the south, stands a huge rockingstone, shaped like a bishop's mitre, which moves to and fro on the application of a very small force. Expanding from their serpentine recesses between the inland mountains to the shore, valley after valley saluted our view, and gladdened our hearts with the exuberance of their vegetable riches, promising-yea, producing, day by day, inexhaustible



provisions for all that live around their precincts. At three o'clock we reached the island of Papeorea, on the south-west extremity of Huahine. This little spot, which seems but a hillock amidst the sea, stands about sixty feet above high-water mark, and is exquisitely adorned with the trees common to the climate. The rock is of the same black stone as prevails throughout the adjacent islands, intersected with breccia; though in one part we discovered a hard blue vein, in a contrary direction to the other strata, and nearly vertical. This is divided into fragments of various shapes, but all approaching to rude regularity of figure-square, triangular, &c. In another place the formation is very singular, one portion being bent and pointed, like horns, and another rounded like cylinders; the exterior of this stone is yellow, the interior slate-blue; and all these rocks are much impregnated with ferruginous matter. We are not aware, however, that iron, or indeed any other metallic ore, has been traced in any of these islands.

Having perambulated the whole of this petty domain, won from the deep in some far distant age, we dined and supped in one meal, had family prayer in the Tahitian language, and made arrangements, at an early hour, to bivouac for the night. Our company, including the queen and her retinue (who met us here), consisted of a hundred persons.

Our four small beds were put up in a native house, open at one side. This we contrived to partition with sails and blankets, and deemed ourselves very sufficiently sequestered in our tent-like chambers. The people without found no difficulty, consistently with their simple habits and few wants, in accommodating themselves on the ground, partly under another shed, and partly in the open air around it. We had not long composed our little camp to rest when we were suddenly assailed by a violent shower

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of rain, accompanied with a tempestuous wind, which had nearly dislodged us all. The natives awoke immediately; those under the shed were driven out, by the crazy roof coming down in fragments, though with no very heavy ruin, upon them. The out-of-door sleepers, of course, were soon roused by the pelting of the storm, and ran in all directions to the trees and bushes for refuge. A strange scene of confusion followed; the hogs were screaming, the goats bleating, and forcing their way into our bed-room for shelter, from whence it was not easy to repulse them; men, women, and children were hurrying to and fro, and mingling their voices of surprise and consternation. But the uproar soon subsided; the people cowering under cover, wherever they could find it, presently resumed their characteristic good humour, and, after talking and laughing for several hours, while the turmoil of elements continued, they gradually sunk with the wind and the rain to rest.

Dec. 27. Though there were some showers this morning, we got under weigh at an early hour. East of the island on which we had lodged Huahine presents a spacious harbour, surrounded on the landward by hills and mountains, of indescribable beauty, and singularly contrasted, yet richly harmonized. The slopes are verdant to the water's edge; while above, height over height, clad in different coloured foliage, and ridge beyond ridge, grey, and black, and cragged, present successive scenes of landscape, which pen cannot trace, nor pencil follow, through their ever-varying, yet always pleasing, combinations, as the lights and shadows change upon their surface, or the beholder changes the place whence he contemplates them. We sailed nearly round this ample basin, which is about three miles across, and of which the shores, though irregularly winding, are as gracefully curved as the convolutions of a shell. Making our


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exit at the southern outlet, on our right lay Papeorea, which we had lately quitted ; and on the left Huahine-iti, or Huahine the less-a vision of enchantment to the eye. Nothing in nature can exceed in picturesque unity of subject (if the phrase may be allowed) the spectacle of one of these modern Hesperides, having its mountains, woods, and waters, all lovely and lighted with sunshine, reposing on the flood, and doubling its image beneath ; nor can any thing ideal exceed in romantic effect the bewildering illusion produced by looking upon it askance, with the head inclined downward, when the reality and the reflection are so identified as to make both appear one—an island, alone in the midst of a sea as deep as the firmament-or, as fancy might easily feign, an entire little world (a satellite to this) invisibly suspended “ 'twixt upper, nether, and surrounding." sky. This may

be deemed puerile by the very profound or the very superficial; but the true lover of nature must always have a boy's feelings of delight in contemplating her beauty; nor can hé forbear gazing at her occasionally, under her peculiar aspects, with a boy's eye-not, indeed, rolling in the fine frenzy of the poet's, but revelling in the deliciousness of pure admiration-and discovering, no matter whether actual or imaginary,

“ More things in heaven and earth, - Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Opposite Papeorea a vast rock rises out of the water with great majesty. This mass is generally composed of alternate strata of blue


and breccia. There is a remarkable vein, about two feet in thickness, which runs aslant, and in a contrary direction to all the rest. Strong marks of the action of fire are visible on the surfac and in one side we found a hole, which may have been a volcanic crater. Here



and there, also, there are strata of black stone, which, when broken, has a pitchy appearance.

We next reached the harbour of Mahabu, on the northwest side of Huahine-iti. There is no passage between the coral-reefs into this lagoon, which is of an oval shape, and of capacity to accommodate all the war-ships of Europe with safe anchorage. Like the former bays which we have visited, this is overlooked by craggy cliffs, between which and the water there is a breadth of fertile low-land. In the middle appears a single small coral-motu, with a tuft of cocoa-nut trees waving upon its circlet of rock. We landed at the head of the bay, where a place of worship has been erected. Near it stands an old native house, which had been cleaned and strewn with grass for our accommodation. Here we put up our beds, and after dining a raatira said he had a little speech to say to us, if we would accompany him. . We went, and lo! he presented each of us with a hog. Other presents of fruit were brought to us in the course of the day. In the evening divine service was held in the adjacent chapel, wherein about a hundred persons assembled. This is a very rich district, and the produce might well maintain ten thousand inhabitants round the margin of the lagoon. The late population have all removed to the Missionary settlement at Fare, and only visit their old neighbourhood occasionally, to gather the fruits which the bounty of Providence causes to grow here without their care or culture.

Dec. 28. We spent many hours in exploring the valleys, declivities, and remoter elevations, which every where presented similar objects for curiosity in the productions of the soil, and for admiration in the sections of sea and land scenery, on which the sight was never weary of dwelling, or rather roving from point to point; finding at once action and

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