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Hence there are no wells in Hawaii-nei, except on coral bottoms nearly at a level with the ocean, as at Honolulu, Lahaina, and the mission station on Molokai. The springs from which natives drink all along the sea, especially on the leeward side of the Islands, are so brackish that their water is hardly better than a dose of salts to a man unused to it. Up in the mountains, it is found in pools made by cavities in the rocks.
In returning from Makawao to Wailuku, a distance of twenty miles, you may take a romantic path down to the sea by the way of Haiku, through dells and groves of the silvery kukui, and the deep-green moonleaved koa, with its beautiful mimosa-like blossoms. Nearly on a level with the sea, you will cross several long, nicely smoothed artificial furrows, in which the natives used to play at vlu-maika, a kind of game of quoits; and you will ride over fine white sand-hills, as pure and crinkled as a drift of new-fallen snow, and as beautiful and barren, too, as any ever seen in Araby the Ble'st.
One sand-hill in that vicinity has been an old burying-ground or battle-place, now laid -bare by the winds. Skulls, having jaws in perfect preservation, with thirty-four teeth sound, (showing that the savage practice of knocking out teeth did not prevail when they were inhumed,) and all the bones of the human body, some of them of gigantic size, lie bleaching all around.
A TREASURY OF HUMAN BONES.
I collected a few for the benefit of comparative anatomy, and rode off with a skull dangling at my pommel, to give to some head-hunting phrenologist; not, however, without certain compunctions as to the propriety of transporting the dead, and separating these disjecta membra of our common humanity. Be it that they belong only to the ignobile valgus, or to forgotten savage chiefs, yet are they remnants of a mortal that is to put on immortality, of a corruption that is to inherit incorruption, alike with the guarded bones Of the world's proudest kings, whose mausoleum must be a pyramid or structure of marble.
Should a passion for bone-worship ever get in vogue here, as in the Old World, the wily priest' can metamorphose some of these into good Saint Anthony's, and save the trouble of importation from his tomb in
EgyptHamlet's reflections are so natural, though abrupt and moulded by his passion, that every one must have had .them in turning up an unknown skull, or observing for the first time the bleaching remains of the dead —"That had a tongue in it, and could sing once. This might be my lord such-a-one that praised my lord sucha-one's horse, when he meant to beg it. Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion in the earth i To what base uses may we return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bung-hole? As thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam: and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
Imperial Caesar dead, and turned to clay,
As you get into the valley and vega of Wailuku, you see numerous remains of old kihapais, or cultivated lots, and divisions of land now waste, showing how much more extensive formerly was the cultivation, and proportionally numerous the people, than now. It is so all through this foodful region. From accounts kept one year by Mr. Green, he estimated that the births were to the deaths as one to five; and he says the population has fallen off very greatly since the time he was first settled here.
In the year 1842, in the field of Rev. Lorenzo Lyons, on the Island of Hawaii, out of a population of five thousand six hundred, there were four hundred and thirty-four deaths, and ninety-eight births; or the births to the deaths as one to four and two-sevenths. In the year 1848, the year of devastation by measles, the excess of deaths over births in the whole kingdom was estimated at six thousand four hundred and sixtyfive, being an annual decrease of about eight per cent.
If foreigners ever supersede the native race here, they may cultivate rice in the present inundated kalopatches, and without any change. A family of Chinamen are raising it in this valley in considerable quanTHE GARDEN OF A MISSIONARY. 125
tity. Two crops of rice, it is said, can be realized while one of kalo is ripening alongside of it. Labor expended upon it would, undoubtedly, be better paid than upon the arum esculentum, which now constitutes the great staple of Hawaiians. But there must be machinery introduced to thresh and winnow it, and pots to boil it for eating, which few yet possess.
The Chinamen have an Oriental way of getting the grain out of the husk, which is highly characteristic, but hardly to be described. A bed of it, when young and growing, is of a fresh, bright green, that is exceedingly grateful to the eye.
The whole valley of Wailuku, cultivated terrace after terrace, gleaming with running waters and standing pools, is a spectacle of uncommon beauty to one that has a position a little above it. Mr. Bailey's garden, also, at the mission station, irrigated by a brook led out of this valley at a point some way up towards the mountain, is a place by no means devoid of taste and beauty. It is altogether the prettiest missionary's garden in the Islands, and has a considerable variety of plants, fruits, and flowers.
Among these are the passion-flower, the mysteriously shrinking little sensitive-plant, and the splendid nightblooming Cereus, more gorgeous and ample in its corolla than the Magnolia, but chastely beautiful in its color as the most highly prized water-lily. The girls of Mr. Bailey's school show no little taste in combining the flowers into divers wreaths and nosegays, for the adornment of their tables and persons.
"We arrived back from Makawao in time to be present at an entertainment which they gave in their dining-hall, under the 'direction of their manager, Miss Ogden, to the visitors at the station. The half hundred haumtma (pupils) occupied two tables, twenty feet long. The visitors and resident mission families (of whom not the least attractive portion was twelve happy children) had their places at a middle one. After the guests had all been seated, the ringing of a little table-bell brought in all the girls, neatly dressed and orderly, to their seats. Then they sang a verse of a hymn, followed by a blessing. Supper ensued with great cheerfulness, concluded with giving of thanks and another verse of an Hawaiian hymn.
Afterwards, out on the grassy play-ground, we had blind-man's-buff, and ball, and hide-and-go-seek, with the pretty circle of boys and girls, till we were much more tired, but not less pleased, than they. We should like to keep a child's heart, and spirits, and relish for innocent sports as long as we live. And when the humor suits we will indulge in them, and try to make ourselves and children happy, for all the world. Quod delectat juventutem jucundum est viro—That which delights the youth is pleasing to the man.