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POST TENEBRAS, LUX | 91
attractive ; that they have taken on so much blunt civilisation, that they have lost whatever native grace they may have once possessed. Even the same garment—the flowing Sacque—is there worn so short and full that it is scarcely to be recognised, and instead of floating drapery it becomes a mere dress."
Well, I must now begin my packing. There will be time enough for writing before we reach Honolulu.
PAPEETE, Saturday Afternoon.
Jubilate 1 Jubilate | The Maramma is to start in an hour, but will leave me to revel in South Sea loveliness till her next trip. This morning, just as I was putting the finishing-touches to my packing —I must confess very much contre-capur, and quite in the vein of Eve's lamentation, “ Must I leave thee, Paradise?”—up drove pretty Queen Marau and her handsome sister Moetia, who carried the position by assault, vowed it was not too late to change a foolish plan; so, leaving Moetia with her cousin Moé, Marau made me jump into her ponyphaeton and drove me straight off to Fautawa, where her sister Titaua, Mrs Brander, was giving a great entertainment to all her employés, previous to her son's departure for Honolulu. Then and there she made me recant all my previous protestations and refusals of her most hospitable invitations, and in two seconds all was settled. I am to be her guest till the Maramma returns, and is again sent to Honolulu.
* All of which I found to be strictly true. Undoubtedly the ideal Pacific Isles lie south of the equator.
Now that it is all settled, I feel quite satisfied and reprieved; so instead of a long letter written on board ship, I must despatch this as it is. We are just hurrying to the wharf to say good-bye to our friends, and then I look forward to a grand night's rest, for I am thoroughly tired.
I have been hoping against hope that a letter might reach me here, vid New Zealand; but the schooner thence is about a month overdue, and it is feared she has gone on a reef. Good-bye.— Your loving sister.
WAIN REGRETS-SOME ACCOUNT OF THE MARQUESAS AND THE PAUMOTU GROUPS.
PAPEETE, November 11th.
I AM certainly very glad that my good friends here supplied the moral courage which I failed to find, and so enabled me to repent at the eleventh hour. I do rejoice in the sense of repose, knowing that for at least two months I may now explore the many scenes of enchantment which lie on every side, without a thought of hurry. Yet even this joy is not unmixed. I do find it very hard to be truly philosophical, and not to cry over spilt milk, when I think of the delightful cruise to the Marquesas and Paumotus, which would so admirably have filled up this first fortnight, had I only been able to decide three days earlier. But it was not till the hospitable ship had sailed, that I found leisure soberly to think the matter over, and to realise how very rare and precious a chance I had so idiotically thrown away. When your eyes are satiated with grand scenery, and each lovely group of isles seems only to differ from the last in its degree of special beauty, you are apt to think that really you have seen enough, and may as well pause and be satisfied with all the exquisite pictures which crowd before your memory. So, when these most kind friends urged me to accompany them on this expedition, I was so absorbed in working up some of the innumerable sketches made on the last trip, that I never took time to think out the subject in all its bearings, and to see how impossible it would be for me to reach Honolulu by sailing-ship, see all the wonders of the Sandwich Isles, and then return to New Zealand or Sydney before Christmas, as I had proposed doing. Neither did I at all realise how very few travellers have ever seen the Marquesas, and how very little is known about them by the general public, beyond the bare facts of their having been discovered by the Spaniards in 1595, and by them named after the Marquesas de Mendoza, the Viceroy of Peru. They then seem to have been forgotten till about the year 1777, when they were visited by Captain Cook, who has recorded his admiration of their loveliness, and declared that the inhabitants were the finest race he had seen, “in fine shape and
EARLY HISTORY. 95
regular features perhaps surpassing all other nations,” “as fair as some Europeans, and much tattooed.” He found fine harbours, from twenty to thirty fathoms deep, close inshore, with clear Sandy bottom ; good store of wood and water; and at first the natives seemed inclined to receive the strangers kindly, but became less cordial on further acquaintance. Soon afterwards the London Mission endeavoured to establish a station in the group, but found the people such savage cannibals, that the position was untenable, and they were forced to abandon it. From that time forward we have only an occasional record of some American man-of-war having touched there, invariably confirming Cook's account of the beauty of the people and of the isles. In 1837 the French sent out an exploring expedition commanded by D'Urville, whose somewhat remarkable official orders were, “ d'apprivoiser les hommes, et de rendre les femmes un pew plus sauvages 1’’ The result of his report was, that the French decided on establishing themselves in the Marquesas, the Society, and the Paumotu Isles. Accordingly, in 1842, an expedition sailed from Brest to effect this purpose, its destination being a secret known only to its commander. The Marquesas were selected as the best centre of operations. A