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OPENING OF A NEW CHAPEL.

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were at times so violent as to threaten the overthrow of all before them; they came like mighty waves of the sea, breaking in succession over the mountains, and roaring through the valleys, as though the tides had found free

passage over the beach and were inundating the country. The thatch of our residence was raised from the roof and the walls were bent inward, but yet the wooden frame-work stood its ground till the fury of the storm was spent. Many limbs of large trees were scattered along the ground, and the tops of some of the finest cocoa-nut stems were prostrated. On the little motu, opposite this settlement, they stood thus headless, presenting a singularly forlorn rank and file of stumps, like ship-masts without rigging.

This day the new chapel was opened with suitable services. It was usual, in times past, for the king, at the consecration of maraes, to enter and walk over them before the feet of either chiefs or people were allowed to tread the idol's courts. In a few instances, after the gospel had been introduced, where Christian places of worship were opened, the native kings were permitted by the Missionaries (then unaware of the pagan practice,) to appear at the head of their subjects, and take their places within before the multitude were admitted. This was conceded in consideration of their rank, to which the natives, on all occasions, paid the highest deference, and which their Christian teachers never discountenanced when duly exercised. But, as soon as the Missionaries found that the precedence thus claimed was a relic of idolatry, they set their faces resolutely against it, and it was no longer allowed. On this occasion neither of the sovereigns of Borabora desired such a questionable distinction. Upwards of a thousand persons, old and young, crowded the chapel at the opening, and probably the whole population

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'BORABORA CARPENTRY.

of the island, except the few detained sickness or infirmity, visited it in the course of the day. All were attired in their best, and principally native, apparel, few opportunities occurring here to traffic for European articles of dress. This gave a peculiarly characteristic appearance to the scene -it was a perfect South-sea-island assembly, and as such beautifully picturesque. The public feast in the open

air, for which preparations had been made, was abandoned on account of the inclemency of the weather; but the congregation, dividing into several companies, adjourned to so many private dwellings, and celebrated the great event in social enjoyment after the solemnities of the sanctuary were

over.

This is the largest chapel which we have yet seen. It has been built under the superintendance of Mr. Orsmond; and all the people of the eight districts into which the island is divided contributed their share of materials and manual labour towards the erection. This occupied the builders twelve months; and workmen in Europe, furnished with requisite tools, as well as brought up to the trade, can form no idea of the amount of toil and pains expended by these unpractised hands, with no implements which they could use, except the rude ones of their forefathers, and a few of a better fashion, but so worn as to be nearly useless to men unskilled, at best, in the use of them. The bread-fruit-tree timber

was, for the most part, cut down in the mountains and dragged, by main force, to the place, where large boles were split in two pieces, each making a separate plank and no more. The rafters and flooring were formed in like manner. But, though often weary and sometimes discouraged by the length and difficulty of the task, the zealous converts from idolatry felt the

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BORABORA CARPENTRY.

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inspiring principles of the new religion which they had chosen sufficient to renew their strength, from time to time, and enable them to persevere till the last beam was laid, and a temple to God raised, by the first hands which had ever been lifted up to him in prayer within the borders of the island.

CHAPTER XV.

Areois, or Vagabonds--Custom of Dispatching Infirm Persons—Method

of Negociating respecting Peace or War–Fantastic Superstitions-Marriages of Chiefs in former times-Conversation-meeting—Messrs. Ellis and Tyerman return to Huahine- Candidates for Baptism–Native Numeration – Baptism administered – Indigenous Diseases - Animals, aboriginal and naturalized.

Feb. 2. We shall here put down a few circumstances which we have lately learned concerning the Areois, the legion-fiends of these voluptuous haunts of Belial. They were one confraternity throughout both the windward and the leeward group, though each island had its native band; but, being a vagabond race, they roved from one to another, at home every where, and every where welcomed on account of the merriment which they carried with them, or obsequiously reverenced for the terror which they inspired when they had occasion to extort property from those who durst not withhold it, whether they sued, or whether they threatened. They consisted generally of the cleverest and handsomest of the people of both sexes, though the proportion of men to women was as five to one. On their lewdness we shall not dwell; their habits of this kind have been made notorious (even beyond the truth) by former writers. When a company of these “ chartered libertines” landed, after one

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of their brief voyages, upon a shore where they meant to make some stay, their first business was to take a small sucking-pig and present it at the marae, as a thank-offering to the god for having brought them in safety to that place. This, we understand, was the only sacrifice ever offered in token of gratitude to their imaginary divinities by any of the South-sea islanders ; all other gifts which they brought to the altars were to turn away wrath, or bribe their malignant deities to be propitious to them in war, or on other important enterprises—not acknowledgments of mercies or favours bestowed. But the sacrifice of the sucking-pig by the Areois had a further meaning than to express gratitude, which they probably never felt; it signified to the people among whom they had come that they wanted food. This rite, therefore, was followed by a feeding (as it was called), when fifty or sixty hogs, perhaps, and fruit in proportion, were presented to them, together with rolls of cloth, and every necessary for their personal accommodation. This

feeding” was not all consumed at once, nor upon the spot, but portions of it were set apart, and sent to their brethren in other islands by early canoes. Thus when they alighted, like a swarm of locusts, in a rich district, they were not, like locusts, contented with what they could devour themselves, but swept away from the miserable inhabitants whatever they could obtain, for the support of those of their order who were wallowing at their ease on dunghills of sloth, while these were labouring abroad in their vocation. That vocation was principally the exhibition of licentious dances, and occasionally dramatic scenes, rudely constructed, or the recital of romantic and diverting tales concerning their ancestors and the gods. Many of these were very long, and regularly composed, so as to be repeated verbatim, or with such illustrations only as the wit or fancy of the

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