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The climate, too, must be delightful. It is soft and balmy, and the dense foliage affords such constant shade that even the rays of a tropical sun can only trickle through in bright gleams, while the cooling sea-breeze seems never to fail. Severe storms are rare, and hurricanes unknown in the group. In short, the climate is equable, mild, and wellnigh perfect.
The mission party sailed from one beautiful isle to another, to visit the teachers already established, and to bring them fresh helpers. They landed on Uahuna, which, like the other isles, is high, broken, and precipitous. Their arrival was an unexpected joy to the good Laioha and his wife Ewa, who had been settled here about a year previously, and already had made a considerable impression on the people. Laioha blew a loud blast on a horn; and its echoes, reaching the villages nestled among precipices far up the valley, soon brought together about fifty wild men and women—some of whom had already made considerable progress in reading and writing.
At Paumau about a hundred people assembled under the trees, on the beautiful shore. Many carried spears and war-clubs, whaling-spades or shark-spears. Some had the head shaven all over; some in zones and belts, vertical or horizontal; some on one side, some on the other; some with a
tuft of hair on the crown, some on the forehead, some on the occiput, and some hanging over the right or the left ear. And thus it was with the tattooing. The wildest taste and most fantastic and capricious figures were displayed upon the face, arms, legs, and over the whole body. Children are not tattooed ; females but little, consequently they look like another and a milder race of beings. To this strange crowd Mr Coan and his friends endeavoured to explain some of the simplest doctrines of Christianity. One old warrior, heavily tattooed, and with closely shaven head, who carried a large green leaf to shade his eyes, was witty and sceptical, and brought up many objections to the new creed. But presently he confessed that it was good, and bade Mr Coan speak also to his chief. The latter, on hearing of a heaven in which there was neither fighting nor hunger, remarked that “it would be a good place for cowards and lazy folk, who are afraid to fight, and too indolent to climb cocoa-palms or bread-fruit trees.” His repartees excited laughter in the crowd; but after a while, he, like the old warrior, declared that it was good, and that he would forsake heathenism, Pressing the hand of his new white friend, he said, “Kaoha oe,”—“Love to thee.” He became serious and earnest, and listened with fixed interest to all the words then spoken; and the meeting only
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dispersed when darkness overshadowed the land. A fine old lady of eighty, one of the early converts (who at her baptism had added the name of Eve to her own native name of Hipa-Hipa), was brought forward by her friends, and clasping Mr Coan's hands, placed them on her own silvery head, as she welcomed him for his work's sake. The mission-ship next proceeded to Hakahekau, on Isle Uapou, to carry needful supplies to the Rev. S. Kauwealoha, who has laboured for several years among its beautiful valleys and wild cannibal inhabitants. He is described as a man of great energy and activity, both physical and intellectual, with a large and generous heart, ever ready to put head, heart, and hand to any work which will help others, or advance the cause of Christ. His talents are versatile. He can work in wood, iron, stone, and mortar; can build a good house; construct, rig, row, and sail a boat; or act as pilot in all the harbours of the group. He will work bareheaded and barefooted, and can swim and dive in the surf like a porpoise. He is very intelligent, speaks and reads English tolerably, and, by getting hold of an occasional newspaper, he manages to keep up with the current news of the age. As a missionary he is earnest in prayer, energetic in preaching, and firm in principle, and foreigners and natives alike respect him. While the vessel was landing its stores, its passengers explored scenery of indescribable loveliness. Passing through a valley rich with luxuriant vegetation, they reached a point three miles in the interior, where they commanded a general view of the sublime landscape. “Within a vast amphitheatre of rugged hills, which send down their serrated spurs to the shore, buttressed by bold and lofty precipices, are eight remarkable cones, 200 to 300 feet high, and 50 to 100 feet in diameter, standing as everlasting columns against the sky, giving to the whole the character of a castellated fortress. The fantastic forms produced by the force of ancient volcanic fires, by the abrading action of winds, rain, and chemical agencies on these isles, are amazing.” Passing on to Isle Futuiva, the vessel anchored in Hanavave Bay, embowered in magnificent hills, with towering rocks like lofty minarets guarding its entrance. Mr Coan says the scene was so grand as to be almost overpowering. He rowed for some miles along the wonderful coast, which he believes to be almost without an equal in nature. Rocky cliffs, towering domes, and lofty precipices, rent, grooved, and fluted, everywhere charmed the eye; and from these bold heights, sometimes of 2000 feet, silvery cascades leaped to the sea. Here and there shaded dells opened along the rocky shore. Small valleys filled with fruit-bear
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appeared as if by enchantment. But all were desolate, for fierce bloody war had slain the inhabitants, or driven them from these Edens of beauty. For the tribes of Hanavave Bay have waged ceaseless war with those of Omoa, and the latter seem of late years to have had the best of it. At Omoa (which is separated from Hamavave by dividing ridges of inaccessible crags and precipices), the Hawaiian teachers assembled to meet Mr Coan and his friends. The party consisted of the Rev. S. Kauwealoha, the Rev. J. Kekela, the Rev. A. Kaukau, the Rev. T. W. Kaiwi, the Rev. Z. Hapuku, and Mr T. W. Laioha. The names are characteristic. So is the fact of the Rev. Z. Hapuku going out to meet the ship, by diving through raging surf in which no boat could live, that he might pilot the vessel to another bay, where the boats found a landing-place on a smooth sand-beach ; and the visitors were led to the mission-house by an avenue, cut like a long tunnel, through the hybiscus and cotton shrubs. At Omoa a large proportion of the native converts had assembled for church services. About seventy persons were present. In the morning a new pastor was ordained to the work of the ministry. In the afternoon seventeen adults and two children were baptised, and afterwards the Holy