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A NEW GOVERNOR. 287
a speedy relapse from the high-pressure morality, and various reforms which, under the good admiral's régime, made Papeete so strictly respectable that its own inhabitants said the like had never been seen under any previous rule. But everything changes with the admiral and governor of the day, and every one here declares that the ships in harbour during the last few months have been of such exceptionally good type that the result has been a model era, probably too perfect to last.
To-morrow Le Seignelay is to sail for Valparaíso to restore M. D'Oncieue, M. Fayzeau, and the band, to La Magicienne. So to-day Mrs Brander gave a farewell breakfast at Fautawa to as many as could come, after which we all adjourned here, as being more convenient for a great reception at Government House to-night, when the good band will play for the last time. Henceforth Papeete must be content with the feebler efforts of a band recruited from her own citizens, but as yet not up to the mark.
Saturday, February 9th.
Le Seignelay sailed this morning, and with most true regret I bade adieu to the pleasant companions of the last five months. With unchanging kindness they again offered me the hospitality of the ship, and placed a cabin at my disposal in case I cared to visit Valparaiso; but I do not feel tempted by that unpicturesque coast, and its very gay and gorgeously apparelled Spanish-German society. In a very few days the Maramma must return from the Sandwich Isles with her cargo of cattle, and then I hope to start for the volcanoes.
HURRICANE AT THE PAUMOTUS—MAHENA PLANTATION-WATCHING FOR WESSELS-FAREWELL TO TAHITI.
FAUTAwa, Tuesday, 12th.
NEWS has just reached us of an awful hurricane and tidal wave which has swept the whole group of the Paumotus, and it is not known how far its influence has extended. Nothing of the sort has occurred in these seas in the present century. The French Resident and Mr Boosey, one of Mrs Brander's agents, have just arrived in the Elgin to ask for assistance, as the whole settlement of Anaa is a heap of hopeless ruin. It was a flourishing little town, about half the size of Levuka; it had about 150 houses, good stores, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Mormon churches, Resident's house, &c. The Seignelay touched there on that memorable cruise to the Marquesas, so I missed the chance of doing a historical, antediluvian sketch. Mrs Brander is most anxious about the fate of VOL. II. T
her other manager, Mr Macgee; indeed we all are so, for he is a very good fellow, and he has been staying with the family here for some time. He is supposed to have been out that night in a very small vessel, which is missing. The gale must have been appalling. It is calculated that on Anaa alone, 300,000 cocoa-palms must have fallen, and Mrs Brander's loss in produce, stores and buildings, boats, three small ships and their cargoes, is reckoned at 40,000 dollars, equal to about £10,000– a serious night's work. The Ségond is to be despatched to-morrow morning, loaded with provisions, timber, and all things likely to prove useful in this emergency. She is to go the round of every large isle in the group, and do what she can to help the wretched inhabitants. They say these tidal waves always accompany an eruption of some volcano. I hope I shall not find that I have just missed one at Hawaii!
MAHENA PLANTATION, PoinT VENUs, Thursday, Feb. 14th. This is another place belonging to Mrs Brander, who sent me here with her manager, Mr Lander, a German, that I might have a few quiet days for sketching in this neighbourhood. There is a large
house here, close to the sea, where the family occasionally come for a change. I was received by Toetoe, a handsome, stalwart lass, daughter of a chief of Tupuai, the romantic isle of which Byron sings in “The Island.” She introduced me to pets of all sorts—rabbits, cows, horses, cats and dogs, especially a wee brown dog “Moosie.” She gave me milk without limit—always a luxury—and in the evening we wandered by grassy paths beneath the cocoa-palms; and then in the clear moonlight started for a walk along the shore, which here is of a firm black sand, on which large waves break in as full force as on our own north coast. This is due to the fact that there is a passage through the coral-reef, just opposite the house; so the sea rolls in unchecked.
I have been rather worried for some days by prickly-heat, from which many persons suffer almost continually in all tropical countries. It is a general all-overish, tingling irritation of skin, very unpleasant to the sufferer, who, however, receives no compassion, as he is pleasantly informed that it is a symptom of excellent health, and a safeguard against possible fever 1 Sea-bathing is generally recommended as a cure, so that sunrise and moonlight alike find me in pickle in the briny waters,