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is still sitting, and I hear that after much talk the chiefs have written a letter to the chief of Pango-Pango, again inviting him to submit, and so avert war.

Just now I mentioned the bowls of kava with which ministering damsels refreshed the thirsty speakers. Perhaps I should explain that it is the identical drink which I so fully described, in writing to you from Fiji, where it was known as yangona —namely, a dry root masticated, till there remains only a fine white fibre, as free as possible from saliva. This is placed in a large wooden bowl, and water is poured over it. Jt is then strained through a fine piece of hybiscus fibre till all the particles of root have been removed, when there remains only a turbid yellow fluid, tasting like ginger and soap-suds, which is gently stimulating, like weak sal-volatile, and has the advantage of rarely resulting in intoxication, which, in any case, is a very different affair from that produced by drinking spirits. A man must drink a good deal of this nasty kava before he can get drunk; and when he does, his head remains quite clear,—he merely loses the use of his limbs, and has to appeal to the compassionate bystanders to lift him to a place of safety. If his companions were white men, they might obligingly empty his pockets while he looked on helplessly; but South Sea Islanders would scorn to

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take so base an advantage of a man in his cups. On the contrary, they will obligingly bring him some mountain bananas, nicely roasted in their skins, which are considered a corrective, and will then leave him to sleep himself sober.

Different groups have trifling differences in their method of preparing this national beverage, and the ceremonies to be observed. In Fiji it is considered very incorrect for a woman to touch the bowl,—chewing, straining, and handing it round in cocoa-nut shells, should all be done by young men, whose comrades sing wild melodies during the manufacture, and keep up a peculiar measured hand-clapping while the chiefs are drinking. Here, in Samoa, the girls are all Hebes. They do the brewing, and carry round the cups, but there are no songs {yangona-meM), and the only hand-clapping is done by the drinker himself as he hands back the cup. In Fiji, the correct thing is to send the empty cup skimming across the mat to the great central bowl.

This afternoon a corps of sixty warriors favoured us with a very odd sort of drill dance. Their dress consisted of kilts of black calico, trimmed with cutout white calico, to look like tappa; on their heads a turban of Turkey red; their mouth and chin hideously blackened, which on these very fair people produces a monstrously ugly effect. They all had muskets, and were called soldiers; but we thought their drill was more funny than warlike, and concluded that they would be quite as dangerous to their friends as their foes. They have a sort of American flag, invented by Colonel Steinberger.

The dance was a very miserable travesty of a true native meke, such as we have so often seen in the isles further west; but here the vulgarising influence of white men is painfully evident, and one of the prominent figures at the chief's council was a high chiefess in a huge crinoline, a gorgeous red dress, and a hideously unbecoming hat, trimmed with scarlet and green ribbon and feathers:

"Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as ithers see us!"

Could that proud woman but have known with what different eyes we, the great strangers representing all Europe, looked on her fine foreign clothes, and on the pretty becoming attire of her handmaidens, with their finely plaited and fringed mats, necklaces of scarlet berries on their clear olive skin, and bright blossoms in their hair I

Philosophers tell us there is always good in things evil; and so far as outward appearance goes, the tendency to war is in favour of artistic beauty, as these people (like the Samoans and Tongans) connect the idea of good behaviour with pretty closely cropped heads; but when the war-spirit revives they

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become defiant, and let their hair grow like a lion's mane, and adorn themselves with gay wreaths and garlands from the neck and waist. When a man has allowed his hair to grow long, he twists it up in a knot on the top of his head, but it would be considered gross disrespect to appear thus in presence of a superior or at a religious service. He must then untie the string and let his hair fall on his shoulders. Rather odd, is it not, that they should have exactly the same idea on this subject as a Chinaman, who dares not venture to appear in presence of a superior with his pigtail twisted round his head?

To-day the great chiefs half-caste secretary asked me most anxiously when "Arthur Gordon" was coming from Fiji, and whether it was really certain that he would endeavour to force the Samoans to reinstate King Malietoa. I ventured to answer for Sir Arthur having no such intention, which seemed to soothe the inquirer and all his anxious surroundings. You may remember that we have twice had Samoan chiefs in Fiji. Once when they were brought as hostages on board the Barracouta, and once as a deputation to the British Government, to claim a protectorate from England. In each case, though the protectorate was refused, they were most kindly received by Sir Arthur Gordon, and amongst other attentions, were invited to dine at Government House. So several of those here assembled now recognised me as an old acquaintance, and are very friendly in consequence.

It really is too sad to see those fine manly fellows, who, if they could but work in concert, might be such a powerful little community, now all torn by internal conflicts and jealousies, continually fanned by the unprincipled whites, who hope to reap their harvest in the troubles of their neighbours. I fear it would be difficult in a few words to explain the position of affairs, but I must give you a rough outline.

The old original Tui Samoai.e., kings—were of the dynasty of Tupua. Some generations back the Tongans came and invaded Samoa, whose people 'resisted bravely, and finally expelled the foe. The Wellington of that day was a brave chief, who was thenceforth known as Malietoa, the "Good Warrior," a title which from that day has been borne by the chief ruler of the isles, even if not in the direct lineal descent. The chiefs of Savaii, and of part of Upolu, with the lesser isles of Manono and Apolima, elected Malietoa their king. The isles of Auna and Atua remained loyal to the Tupua family. They were, however, conquered by a successor of Malietoa, who reigned as king of the whole group till 1840, since which period a ceaseless strife has been waged

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