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This morning he officiated at High Mass; and all the men and officers of the Seignelay attended in full uniform. The service was choral, and of course the church was crowded. I passed it on my way to a very small Congregational chapel, where Dr Turner conducted an English service. We met numbers of people on their way to the Protestant native churches; and I was amused to observe how many carried their Bibles neatly folded up in a piece of white tappa; just as an old wife in Scotland would wrap hers in a white handkerchief!
In the afternoon my hostess accompanied me to the convent, where the children sang prettily while we sat in the pleasant garden. The sisters bade me good-bye quite sadly. "It has been des adieux all day," said one.
On Board Lb Seignelay,
M. de Gironde came at daybreak to escort me on board. All the Puletoa chiefs crowded round to
rounding districts. These were followed by the clergy, four of whom acted as pall-bearers, while four others carried the heart. Last of all came the Catholic chiefs, the catechists of Vaea College, and the natives residing at the mission-house at Apia.
On reaching the church, a sermon was preached by Bishop Lamaze, and the heart was then deposited in a niche in the wall, there to remain enshrined, as a perpetual memorial to the people of Samoa of the earnest and noble life that was spent in striving to exemplify the holiness he preached.
say good-bye—and I ran down the garden for a last word with their "orator," a fine young fellow, who was nursing his new-born baby in the large native house. His wife is such a nice pretty young woman. I felt quite sorry to leave them all, not knowing what may be the next tidings of woe. We know that war may be renewed at any moment.1
1 The following paragraph is from a recent Hawaiian Gazette, showing the course of events in Samoa :—
"We learn, through the courtesy of Lieutenant Abbot of the Lackawanna, some interesting particulars in relation to the political condition of the Samoan archipelago. The chief Malietoa, whose name is identified with the sovereignty of Samoa, is dead, and his nephew and namesake has succeeded to his political authority and state; but a rival chief, Kepua Tomisasu, has been contesting the succession, and previous to the arrival of the Lackawanna there had been a series of desultory semi-barbarous war campaigns—not resulting in any decisive action or notable slaughter of men, but causing widespread ruin, robbery, and unrest. The American commander Gillis now presented his good offices in the way of reconciliation, and to establish between rival chiefs and peoples of the same land a more harmonious and patriotic spirit. And we are happy to say that, after many baffling discussions, a political unity and harmony on Samoa have been effected—Malietoa II. being proclaimed King of Samoa, and his rival, Kepua, the Premier of Samoa, with an authority on public questions somewhat like our former Kuhina Nui.
"The Samoan warriors have all dispersed and returned to peaceful pursuits. The terms of peace were drawn up and signed on board the Lackawanna in the harbour of Apia, and a royal salute of 21 guns was fired from the vessel in honour of the event.
"We are glad to recognise that in this instance the commander of an American man-of-war intervenes solely as a peacemaker, and to promote the best welfare of a Polynesian people."
Saturday, 6th October 1877. (Totting a good deal).
With a dreary waste of grey waters on every side of us, and no trace of land save two inquisitive boobies, which have for some hours been flying round us, it is hard to realise that to-morrow we are to enter the far-famed harbour of Papeete, and that by this time to-morrow evening we shall be ashore, listening to the himSnes of the multitude assembled for the great feast which begins the next day—a great feast, by the way— held in honour of the anniversary of the Protectorate 1 I wonder how poor old Queen Pomare likes it!
We left Samoa on Monday, 1st October, and the next day was also called Monday, October 1st, to square the almanacs, so that we can say we had done the 1700 miles in just a week. The weather has been considerably against us, but extra steam was put on to insure catching this mail, as great stress is evidently laid on not losing a day in reporting the proceedings at Samoa to the Home Government. The amount of reports written since we started has been something prodigious 1 . . .
What with all this writing going on, and the extra motion of the vessel from travelling at such unwonted speed, life has not been so tranquilly UNDER EXTRA STEAM.
pleasant as in the previous weeks. I have had quite to give up my cosy studios on the big guncarriage, or my quiet corner of the bridge. Instead of these, I have found a place of refuge and a hearty welcome in le carre (the gun-room), which does not dance so actively as the captain's cabin, over the screw. In it at this moment a select set are either reading or writing their home letters, ready for the 'Frisco1 mail, which is supposed to sail from Tahiti on Monday morning. . . .
(At this point, a wave breaking over the ship, trickled down on my head through the skylight. Hence the smudge. I wonder how you would write with the table alternately knocking your nose and then rolling you over to the opposite side of the cabin !)
Every creature on board is rejoicing at the prospect of returning to the Tahitian Elysium. To me this has been a dream ever since my nursery days, when the big illustrated volumes of old voyages that lay in my father's dressing-room were the joy of many a happy hour, combined with such sticks of barley-sugar as I can never find at any confectioner's nowadays! There we first read the romantic story of how Captain Cook discovered those isles of beauty, and named them after the "Eoyal Society" which had sent him to explore these
1 Colonial abbreviation for San Francisco.
unknown seas. The Tahiti of to-day is doubtless a very different place from the Otaheite of 1774.
Of course, in a highly organised French colony much of the old romance must have passed away with its dangers. But the natural loveliness of the isle cannot have changed, and I look forward with great delight to seeing it all.
Every one speaks in the highest terms of Mr Miller, our long-established English consul, and his charming Peruvian wife (so Lord Pembroke describes her). Both are intimate friends of Captain Aube and the bishop, who will commit me to their care on arriving. I have also an excellent introduction to Mr Green, the head of the London Mission; and M. Vernier, of the French Protestant Mission, was once for some months at Inveraray. I hear golden opinions both of Mrs Green and Mme. Vernier, and of M. and Mme. Viennot, of the same mission. So amongst them all, I have no doubt that I shall be all right.
But I cannot quite forget what a hideous future lies beyond. The total distance I have travelled in this large comfortable steamer, from Fiji to Tahiti, including trips from isle to isle, has been 2985 miles. From Tahiti (after this good ship has sped on her way to Valparaiso) there remain two courses before me—either to go to New Zealand, 3000 miles, or to Honolulu, 3200 miles,—in either