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literature, a work which, in this re- etymology, orthography, pronunciaspect, will meet the expectations of tion, &c. we believe it may be relied all who consult a dictionary, so en- on with equal confidence. As, howtirely as the one which has drawn ever, the public is the final arbiter forth these comments. In this feain this case, we will not assume to ture of the work, as we have seen, forestall its decision, though we it will bear the test of the severest doubt not what it will be, in regard scrutiny. In respect to the other to the entire character of this great uses of a dictionary, as a guide to work.

MISSIONARY OPERATIONS IN POLYNESIA.*

" It may be remarked here that travelers who visit missionary establishments sometimes contribute to existing errors. If they write in favor of them, they wish to do it to some purpose-they wish, of course, to be popular, in an age which asks for new and exciting matter from the press. Hence we have seen books professing to give the state of things at the Society, Sandwich, and even Marquesas Islands, writen in a style of extravagance, adapted rather to gratify than to inform the reader. There are other travelers who fall into the other extreme. It is a point with them to show that the missionary enterprise does no good; that it impoverishes and depopulates the Islands, and that the natives who survive its pestilential influence are made more idle, filthy and vicious. The reader needs not to be informed that it is an old usage among men to comfort one's conscience by an effort to lay its guilt on the back of another. Neither does the public, we presume, need to be informed that if any one goes down into Egypt after the corn of scandal—the sins of missionaries—he will find the stewards of the granaries on board his craft before he can anchor, and the sack filled, and the money also returned in the sack's mouth-at so cheap a rate do they supply the wants of their brethren.”Hawaiian Spectator, Vol. i, p. 99.

Ever since the day when Vasco these new members of the human Nugnez de Balboa, in 1513, ascend. family, another volume of that uned the mountain height from which written Providence which will yet he beheld the wide waste of waters bring all men into a common brothtill then unknown to Europeans, and erhood of interest and of destiny. the year 1520, when Magalhanes The progress of discovery was discovered the straits which bear his slow for many ages. Occasionally name, the Pacific has been a broad a navigator commissioned by the field for the enterprise and the sym- courts of Madrid or of Lisbon, venpathies of the civilized world. With-tured across the desert of waters, its waters laving the pole itself, and making known to the world a dim anon sweeping along the untrodden and uncertain narrative of adventure shores or the densely

peopled strands some where within a score of de. of two continents, now crystallizing grees near the scenes so vaguely deinto icy fields or melting beneath a scribed. Tasman, the Dutch navigatropical sun—and nestling in its bo- tor, discovered the Tonga or Friendsom ten thousand islands of every ly Islands in 1643, Alvaro Mendano size and form, bearing a numerous discovered the Marquesas in 1595, population of many climes, it has Pedro Fernandez de Quiros visited gradually become more and more an island supposed to be Tahiti, on known to the people of the old worlds, the 10th February, 1606. But comand they behold in the revelation of paratively few of the other islands

were known until toward the close Omoo; by Herman Melville. Lon

of the last century, when Wallis, on don: John Murray. New York: Har

the 19th June, 1767, anchored at per & Brothers.

Tahili, and gave an impetus to the VOL. VI.

6

maritime discovery so speedily and powers of description in representbrilliantly followed up by La Pe. ing the happiness of the Polynesians rouse, De Bougainville, Cook, Bligh, when first discovered by EuropeVancouver, and others. The nar- ans, and in some of the least fre. ratives of these explorers were filled quented isles at the present day; with astonishing and intensely inter- but these people were in fact the esting details concerning the islands, slaves of fear, the victims of debas. their climate, productions, natural ing superstitions, and of demoralizing history, and particularly their inbab- riles and customs which originated itants. They painted ihe islands in in their native Po.* such glowing colors as led the peo- Liberty is essential to the devel. ple of the civilized world to believe, opment of man's moral being, but that at last, in these far off isles, there can be no liberty where the man had been found surrounded with soul is debased with the bondage of all the necessary natural and phys. fear-where the foundation of the ical enjoyments and sources of hap- moral life rests upon terror inspired piness. The refined ideas of deli- by a belief in the power and govcacy and propriety entertained by ernment of Akuast to whom are all-lhe mildness of disposition, the ascribed the characters of the Poly. openness of character, ihe generos- nesian divinities. The barbarian ity and hospitality they manifested possesses a certain kind of personal to foreigners, their affectionate re. independence-but for this indegard for each other, their filial vir- pendence he surrenders liberty of tues, and a thousand other excellen- thought and freedom of the soul, ces, combined with the natural scene- which are laid down at the feet of ry, to make these isles the very gar- some monstrous divinity, and sacri. deos of terrestrial happiness. ficed on the altar of some dark and

These attractive descriptions of overwhelming superstition. The inPolynesian character and life, how- fluence of religious belief upon naever, are in a great measure quali- tional and individual life is too pow. fied by the existence of manners ersul not 10 be obeyed—and hence and customs which cast a shade up, it has come to be established as a on the fairer portions of the picture. true principle of philosophy, that a Invest, if you will, the character of nation will be as its religious belief. the child of nature with all that may History teaches it by example. The be found lovely and joyous in the refined pagans of Rome, and Greece, uncultivated soul-weave round him and Egypt, entered their temples garlands of Bowers culled from the and offered sacrifices to gods of war, fondest imaginings and most genial and blood, and lust, and wrongemotions of the refined beholder- and Roman characier is written, if enrobe him voluptuously in the fair. no where else, in the profane and est gossamer ever wrought into po. abominable paintings and statuary etry—yet, after all, the whole truch of a Herculaneum and a Pompeii. will not be told. He may be nurs- The Polynesian nations, removed to ed in a paradise of physical enjoy. the farther extreme, only equal in ment, he may possess the largest the vileness of their legends, the im. liberty, he may sport with the waves, purity of their lives, and the inhu. grapple with the monsters of the maniiy of their offerings on the misdeep, and become a fit subject for a shapen altar of a Tabitian heiau, the legend or a myth—but the super- splendor of the sacrifices in the costficial admiration of his visitor will ly and magnificent temples of Jupi. never exalt his condition s', as to ter and Minerva. hide the real deformily of his soul. Some travelers have exper led their

* Night † Gods.

There is no picture of human life While we are delighted with the so well calculated to deceive, as that lovely picture of the material world which clothes in beauty the life of around them, and the sources of "the child of nature.” Some of physical enjoyment, an overwhelmthe more recent travelers have been ing interest attaches to the questions singular enough even at this day to concerning their moral and intellecrenew the praises of uncivilized life tual character. The early mission—and with a superficiality of judg. aries who reached Tahiti in 1797, ment as marked as their limited ac. were very favorably impressed with quaintance with facts, have sought the people--but a residence of a to present it as more desirable than short time gave them a much better the condition of a civilized being. acquaintance with the dark reality, But when viewed in the light of than all the gentle and winning detruth, the simplicity, and innocence, scriptions of their predecessors. and purity, and gentleness of these Soon after the publication of the artless people, gives way to the stern narratives of Cook and others, the reality, that human nature unsancti. attention of British Christians was fied by the almighty power of renew. turned to the subject of enlightening grace, is the same whether in ing the heathen, and after the prethe palmy groves of the Orient, or liminaries necessary to such a step, fanned by the spring breezes of de. the London Missionary Society was licious climes,-rocked into shape organized, and sent to Tahiti, the and expression on the bosom of the Friendly Islands, and the MarquePacific, or cherished in the sumptu. sas, a band of missionaries. They ous courts of Paris or Pekin, polish reached Matavai Bay, March 6th, ed in the palace of the Cæsars, or 1797, and thus was commenced the rough-born on the shores of the Or. enterprise which has been producange river or Gaboon. The char- tive of such marked results in that acteristics of paganism are alike in portion of the globe. The nature all ages and in every place—mur of the work, the character of the ders, infanticide, lust, revenge, war, laborers, and the effects of their zeal oppression, and wrong-summed up and devotion, have been and ought in the close of the first chapter of to be the subject of frequent disPaul to the Romans. Having "chan. cussion. ged the truth of God into a lie,” In making an estimate of the ben. they were “filled with all upright- efits of civilization and Christianity eousness, fornication, wickedness, in the South Seas, we are not to look covetousness, maliciousness, full of at Polynesian society as it is. We envy, murder, debaie, deceii, ma- are not to take the ignorant, vicious, lignity, whisperers, backbiters, ha debased, and indolent tribes-whose ters of God, despiteful, proud, boast. fathers but yesterday were engaged ers, inventors of evil things, diso. in bloody contests, offering human bedient to parents; without under- sacrifices, murdering their children, standing, covenant breakers, without and submitting in horrible bondage natural affection, implacable, un. to the fear of senseless and monmerciful; who knowing the judg. strous divinities, and behold in the ment of God, (that they which com. first loosenings of these foundations mit such things are worthy of death,) of heathen life, a full exhibition of not only do the same, but have pleas. the power of the Christian religion. ure in them that do them.” This To expect general refinement in one is a faithful picture of the primi. age, to look for intelligence and putive condition of the people whose rity of sentiment and life in ihe history and destiny we are consid- course of a single generation, would ering

be to expect the subversion of the

laws of man's being, the perform- When men go abroad into the ance of a miracle, or the creation world they should be prepared to of a new moral constitution. observe, and when they return they

The latest writer on Polynesia, is should at least make themselves acthe author of the work named at the quainted with their subject before head of this article. This is the se. they attempt to inform their councond narrative from his pen, Omoo tryinen. “Rope.yarn” may do very having been preceded by “ Typee: well in the forecastle, or during the a Residence in the Marquesas.” hours of the night-watch, but when Of the author or his works we de. it is spun out in the pages of a book sign not now to inform our readers, with reiterated protestations of corfurther than they have reference to rectness, and “the author's peculiar the practical operations of the mis. opportunities for acquiring correct sionary enterprise in Polynesia. information,” it becomes quite an

We do not makean extended review other affair; and then the follies and of these publications because they inaccuracies of a mere romancer, are entitled to a serious confutation ; otherwise unworthy of notice, re--but regarding them as expressive quire the juxtaposition of truth. of the feelings and opinions of a There are two points in this brief large class of navigators, merchants, passage worthy of note. and others, and as affording a re- the missionaries brought the islands newed occasion for presenting facts under the Tahitian rule, and 2. not generally known, we have at. The absence of any statement showtempted an examination of their ing the beneficial effects of Christitruth concerning the past and pres. anity among them. ent efforts to civilize and christian. The Paumotu, Coral, or Pearl ize the Polynesians.

Islands, called also the Dangerous Without farther introduction, we Archipelago, stretches over several remark generally that the testimony degrees of latitude and longitude, of Mr. Melville, were his statements crosses the meridian of Tahiti, withconsistent with fact, is sufficient to in from five to ten degrees of longicondemn the missionary work in the tude of the latter island. They have South Seas. The ignorance, ineffi- for a long time maintained commerciency, and incompetency of the la. cial intercourse with the Society borers — their interference in political Islands, and in the reign of Pomare affairs,—their bigotry, intolerance I, Tomatiti of the Paumotu group, and inhospitality, all unite to furnish attempted to overrun Tahiti.* Poour author with matter for frequent mare sent him a written letter, which invective, or indignant appeal. led to a peace. At a period some

We shall present the first thing what later, after Pomare II. had emworthy of notice in which the mis. braced the Christian religion, and sionaries are introduced, and ac- reports of the change had reached company Mr. Melville on his adven- the Coral Islands, some of the natures as far as our space, or the pa. tives passed over to Tahiti to witness tience of our readers will permit. the wonderful revolution. When Mr.

On page 87, in speaking of the Ellis built his printing office at Afapeople of the Coral or Paumotu Isl. reaitu, Eimeo,t 1817, the body.guard ands, we are told that

of Pomare was composed of Pau. “Nominally, many of these people are

motuans, in preference to his own now Christians; and, through the political subjects. The instructors of the influence of their instructors, no doubt, a simple islanders have used as little short time since, came under the allegiance of Pomare, the Queen of Taliti, Wilkes, i, 343. with wbich island they always carried on + Ellis, Polynesian Researches, ii, 165; considerable intercourse."

iii, 192.

political influence in this case as in was peace. I was desirous of knowmany others in which they have ing to what he imputed the change, been compelled to play a conspicu- and he readily answered, “Mittionous part.

ari, mai-tai, mai-tai,' (missionary, Though Mr. Melville has much to good, good.)"+ say in many places respecting the At Anaa or Chain Island, the like character and labors of the mission. happy change was visible. The inaries, he omits here to notice the habitants, formerly cannibals, have changes in the social condition of become Christians, and within twen. the Paumotuans, effected by the in- ty-five years. troduction of Christianity. Capt. “ Since the residence of the mis. Wilkes, who will doubtless be re- sionaries they have imbibed better garded as an impartial witness, will tastes ; and the Christian influence give us a few brief facts in illustra. has made them more peaceful.” tion.

The invasion of Tahiti by the “Nothing could be more striking French, and the Roman Priests, is than the difference that prevailed made the subject of running combetween these natives and those of ment through several chapters. the Disappointment Islands, which The intrusion of Romanists into we had just left. The half-civiliza- the Hawaiian, Georgian, and Socie. tion of the natives of Raraka, was ty Islands, together with the “intolvery marked, and it appeared as erance," " proscription,” “ bigotry,” though we had issued out of dark- and “inhospitable treatment,” main. ness into light. They showed a tained towards them by the Protesmodest disposition and gave us a tant missionaries, are occasions of hearty welcome. We were not long frequent indignation and holy repuat a loss to what to ascribe it; the diation with the Belchert school, of missionary had been at work here, which we may find many disciples. and his exertions had been based The prominent principle which upon a firm foundation ; the savage led to the rejection of the Roman. had been changed to a reasonable ists is obvious to a thinking mind. creature. * * * If the missionaries The half-refined idolaters see in the had effected nothing else, (the secu- image of the Virgin, the crucifix, rity of seamen,] they would deserve the paintings, the wafer, and the the thanks of all those who roam beads, only the elements of a bap. over this wide ocean, and incur its tized idolatry. Much as we may many unknown and hidden dan. deplore their intellectual incapacity gers.

to discriminate here, it does not At Aurora Island, Capt. Wilkes modify or change the fact. That again saw printed copies of the they are not alone to be condemned Scriptures, and many of the people for this obliquity, is evident from the could “read and write well." history of the world.

“ No spears, clubs, or warlike in- A Hindoo Brahmin in giving his struments were to be seen, and when reasons for not embracing Roman. I asked for them as matters of curi- ism, makes the following compariosity, they said they had no arms except two muskets, which were pointed out to me, hanging up un

+ Wilkes, i, 340.

Captain Belcher, of H. B. M. S. Sul. der the eaves of the house. The pbur, who assaulted Rev. H. Bingham by native missionary, a man about fifty shaking his fist in his face, while the years of age, told me that in times English Consul did the same to Kirau, a past they had all war,' but now all female, second in rank to the king. The

sulphureous captain threatened to hang

Mr. Bingham at the yard arm. But of • Mikes, i, 326.

this in its own time.

sons:

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