« EelmineJätka »
TO THE AMERICAN BOARD OF MISSIONS.
this, we were convinced that he would render essential service to your Missionaries in this particular, and thus accelerate the period when they will be able to declare to these islanders, in their own tongue, the wonderful works of God --which is essential to their extensive usefulness. Our conjectures have been, in a measure, realized already, with regard to your Missionaries; while Mr. Ellis has so much overcome the points in which these languages differ from each other as to be able, in so short a time, to preach fuently and intelligibly in the Hawaiian tongue, which he has done for several weeks.
66 Another reason is—the wide field of usefulness which now presents itself in these islands, in connexion with the most pleasing aspect which the state of the minds of the people affords. These islands are indeed apparently waiting for the Saviour's law; these fields are white to the harvest, and the labourers are few. Justice and expediency seemed, therefore, to require that we should consent to take a Missionary from the South Sea Islands, which are, comparatively, so well supplied, and give him to these, where so many thousands are waiting to be taught, but, alas ! are perishing for lack of knowledge.
“ Again ; there appeared to us great suitableness in your Missionaries being joined by one who had resided almost six years in those islands where so glorious a work has been accomplished within that period, and in which he has taken an important share. His experience; his acquaintance with the most useful plans of operation; his knowledge of the Tahitian language, to which that of the Sandwich Islands bears a close analogy ;—these considerations could not but have a great influence upon our decisions.
. “ Some foreigners, anxious to seize upon any thing that might tend to prejudice the natives against your Missionaries,
LETTER FROM THE DEPUTATION, &c.
did not fail to suggest to them that, should they listen to their instructions, they would incur the displeasure of the English. By uniting an English Missionary with yours this objection will be removed ; and, indeed, already has our visit produced the best effect in this particular.
6 With the same design, these foreigners have spared no pains to misrepresent the work of religion in the South Sea Islands, and have propagated the most infamous falsehoods; but a Missionary who has been so long resident there, and who is well acquainted with all the circumstances of that great work, being upon the spot here, will prevent all future attempts of a similar kind. .
“ But, however weighty these considerations, they would not have induced us to consent to Mr. Ellis's leaving the useful, important, and comfortable situation which he occupies at Huahine, in union with Mr. Barff, and joining your Missionaries here, had not the finger of God most clearly indicated to us the path of duty ; and this is made so remarkably plain that not a shadow of a doubt can remain upon our minds that it is the will of God.
6. DANIEL TYERMAN, 66 GEORGE BENNET.”
Food of the Natives of the Sandwich Islands--Card-party-The five
Queens— M. Manine's Gardens Dram-shops A Sorcerer-Sandalwood— Candle-nut Strings-Conversations of Auna and his Wife with the Natives of Oahu— Taumuarii, King of Tauai-– Town of HonoruruMurderous Practices of the Shark-worshippers Yellow Fever--Cannibalism-A rich Negro Resident-Excursions among the Mountains Method of carrying Burthens-Volcanic Crater-Distillery- Traditions --Animals.
April 17. We waited upon the king, and found him surrounded by his usual attendants, loitering and looking about with vacant eyes, or humming a low, dull, monotonous air without melody, as though they knew not what to do with themselves. Two of his queens were rather more amusingly employed. Each had made a small pipe of the tii-leaf rolled up; holding up this in the hollow between her hands, globularly clasped, the lady blew into the little instrument, which, as she opened and closed her fingers upon it, produced a few squeaking notes, like those of a child's trumpet. With such music, however, the royal dames appeared surprisingly delighted. The king expressed his gratitude for the present of the schooner by giving our two captains quarters in his own residence, while on shore here, and engaging to furnish both ships' companies with provisions during their stay in the harbour.
Walking along the beach to-day we observed some persons gathering the slender green sea-weed from the rocks for food. In one of the houses which we entered a man was eating small crabs alive. In another place they had just killed a dog, and were dressing the carcase for the oven by singeing and scraping off the hair. These people in general are very gross feeders. When a hoy, which the king had sent on board, was slaughtered, on the entrails being thrown into the sea, some natives, from the shore, instantly plunged into the water, swam to the ship’s side, and had a stiff struggle in the water for the prize. Those who were fortunate enough to secure portions of it, after a hasty rinsing of the contents, greedily devoured the garbage. Fish in general, as well as crabs and shrimps, they seem to make no difficulty of eating raw, and frequently alive.
In the house of one of the queens, where our Tahitian friends are accommodated, we found three women and a man playing at cards (whist), for money, with all the cool, keen interest, and stern self-possession, of inveterate gamblers. One of the persons sitting by said that these games often ended in quarrels, when not hands only but clubs were furiously employed. He confessed that it was a bad custom, but that they knew no better, not having received “ the good word,” as the Tahitians had. One of the queens coming in threw herself upon the floor, yet with an air of no unconscious superiority, and professed a desire to learn the things which had been taught to the South Sea Islanders, observing, that if the king would give his consent they should all be willing to be taught. Two of these illustrious females were seen the other day riding in one large wheel-barrow. After being pushed along by main force, for a few paces at a time, by two stout men,
the latter were repeatedly obliged to rest and take breath, at which nobody would wonder who knew what a weight of royalty they had in charge. Their majesties vastly enjoyed the novelty, if not the pleasantness, of the motion; this being, probably, the only kind of carriage in which they had ever taken the air. Soon afterwards the same ladies were strenuously exercising themselves in fetching bundles of rushes, upon their naked backs, from the swamps, to strew the floors of their habitations, and felt themselves as unashamed of their honest labour, in this instance, as of degrading amusement in the other. This example of feminine industry was the more remarkable, because the chiefs here affect to be above all kinds of drudgery, and never suffer their children to do any thing like work.
In the afternoon we visited M. Maniné, a Spaniard, who has resided here thirty years. This person occupies three acres of ground, which he has, with great taste, laid out as a garden, vineyard, and orchard; and in which trees, plants, and fruit, of European growth, have been very successfully cultivated. The vines, in particular, trained after the Spanish fashion in bushes, flourish luxuriantly. The proprietor tells us that they would bear three crops in the year, though he prudently prevents the third, lest it should too much exhaust the stocks. Figs and roses, neither of which we had seen in the Society Islands, have been also introduced by him, and promise well. In the village, observing several houses over which small flags, raised on poles, were flying, it was natural to suppose that these buildings were tabued for some sacred purpose. On enquiry, however, it turned out that they were dram-shops, where spirits, distilled from the tii-root, were sold to sailors. It was not, however, denied that natives, as well as foreigners, might be accommodated with the luxury of this slow poison,