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VALUE OF OLD TEETH.
and prepare it for the feast. They themselves were liable to be eaten if captured; and the youngest children of the tribe shared the horrid meal. On ordinary occasions the Loyalty Islanders had only one meal a-day. The luxury of kava was unknown to them, but they indulged in copious draughts of sea-water. They wore no apology for clothes. A chief might marry thirty wives, no matter how closely related to him by ties of blood. The Samoans, on the contrary, rigorously prohibited the marriage of any persons nearly related, declaring that such unions called down the wrath of the gods. The gods of the New Caledonians were the ancestral spirits, and their treasured relics were the finger and toe nails of their friends. In burying the dead the head was left above ground; and on the tenth day it was twisted off by the mourning relatives, who preserved the skull, extracting the teeth as separate treasures. The teeth of old women, scattered over a yam plantation, were supposed to secure a good crop; and for the same reason the skulls of all the old village crones were stuck on poles near the gardens.
I wonder if all these distinctions between the manners and customs of the various groups, convey to your untravelled mind one-thousandth part of the interest they possess to us, who have actually lived among so many different races. I fear it is impossible that they should. But you can well understand the thankfulness of such men as Dr Turner and his colleagues, in watching the gradual change from year to year, as the Gospel of mercy takes root in such unpromising soil; and they themselves find loving welcome from the very men who in past years thirsted for their blood, and shed that of so many fellow-workers.
Fain would we have lingered at peaceful Malua, and listened to stories of the South Seas from the lips of those who have themselves been actors in so many thrilling scenes, extending from the far west to this centre. But it was necessary to return to Apia this morning, so we regretfully bade farewell to these kind new friends, who loaded us with gifts of strange things, brought from many isles, and sped us on our way.
Here we found all quiet. The Seignelay has had a long day of entertaining. First the Sisters went on board, with their sixty children, who were duly impressed with the wonders of the great ship; afterwards all the young men from the Catholic College had their turn.
M. de Gironde has just been here, to tell me the vessel sails for Tahiti on Monday. He brings the kindest letters and messages from the captain and all the party, expressive of their true wish that I
should proceed with them on the "Tour de la Mission." Indeed the state of affairs here is not such as to invite a prolonged stay. And there might be a detention of months among these discordant elements, ere I found an opportunity to return to Fiji.
A SKETCH OF THE SAMOAN MISSION—THE REV. JOHN WILLIAMS
DETERMINES TO VISIT THE NAVIGATOR'S ISLES PRELIMINARY
WORK IN THE HERVEY GROUP—DISCOVERY OF RAROTONGA—
CONVERSION OF ITS PEOPLE THEY HELP WILLIAMS TO BUILD
A SHIP WHICH SHALL CONVEY HIM TO SAMOA—VISIT TONGA— PROCEED TO SAMOA—OVERTHROW OF IDOLATRY—REVERENCE FOR OLD MATS—WILLIAMS'S GRAVE AT APIA.
When I first landed in Fiji in 1875, nothing amazed me so much as the wonderful work which has there been done by the Wesleyan Mission—a work of which the outside world literally knew nothing. Now that my wanderings have led me further east, I see that different regiments of the great Christian army have each been doing their part in forwarding their Master's cause; and so strangely interesting are many details of their work, which I have now heard for the first time, that I think I cannot do better than note them down, feeling quite convinced that you will find them as new and as full of interest as I myself have done.
DIVISION OF LABOUR.
The extraordinary success of the South Sea missions is certainly to be attributed in a great measure to that triumph of common-sense which made the various societies agree, almost at the outset, in a great measure to divide the field of labour, and so endeavour to avoid distracting the minds of the simple islanders, by allowing them to perceive that their teachers could possibly disagree among themselves.
In the North Pacific some good working power has doubtless been lost by the establishment in the Sandwich Isles of both an English Episcopal Mission and American Congregationalists. The Dowager Queen Emma is a stanch adherent of the English Church, as was also her husband, who himself translated the prayer-book into the Hawaiian language. But the majority of the people there (as throughout Polynesia) find the less ceremonious forms of religious observance better adapted to their needs.
So the American Board of Foreign Missions, which commenced its work in 1820, met with such success, that within half a century the whole group had been evangelised, and a self-supporting native Church, with native pastors, established. It is now extending its operations among the islands in the north-western part of the Pacific, between the equator and Japan. These are collectively de