Page images

Eruptions of scoria, slag, cinders, and pumice, have evidently issued from both its sides, and flowed over in strata that are plainly marked where they are broken off, on the side next the sea. You descend into one of its craters by a winding way made by earthquake and art in its readily yielding, disintegrated sides; and there at the bottom is a fine covert basin of water for bathing, with a beach of volcanic sand, defended from the outrageous surf by a barrier of lava-rock, against which the sea is ever thundering, and tossing over its giant arms and briny spray.

The top of the cone, in olden time a fort, is now the dormitory of a large flock of sheep and goats, which you may see clambering up its sides every evening, and scampering down in the morning. Sometimes they get tumbled over the precipice into the crater, and are pau loa i Jea make, as the natives say, or quite used up; that is, taught in the same way that Cowper says he taught the viper in his Colubriad:

With outstretched hoe I slew him at the door,
And taught him never to come there no more.

In clear weather, a fine view is obtained from liana to the southeast, across the channel, of the broad-backed Island of Hawaii, distant about thirty miles. Its three great pyramids, or more properly domes, of Mauna Kea on the east, Mauna Loa on the south, and Mauna Hualalai on the west, loom up magnificently in the rising or setting sun.

We were intending to have gone across by canoe, PROJECTED ROUTE THBOUGH HALE-A-KA-LA. 151

to see again the mission family at Kohala, and thence over to Waimea by land, to embark in a schooner from Kawaihae either for Lahaina or Oahu. But the sea is not calm enough for natives to venture, and may not be for several weeks. We purpose, therefore, to return to Wailuku by a route yet unexplored by white men, through the colossal crater of Hale-a-ka-la, or the House of the Sun. The Palace of the Sun, therefore, we may next enter, in order to learn what rarities in furniture and equipage are to be found there,

"Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state;
Robed in flames, and amber bright,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight."



He that in venturous barks bath been

A wanderer on the deep,
Can tell of many an awful scene,

Where storms forever sweep.
0 God! thy name they well may praise

Who to the deep go down,
And trace the wonders of thy ways,

Where rocks and billows frown!

Mrs. Hemans.

Wo embark in the double canoe—Sudden catastrophe—Men swept overboard—A special providence—How we are saved—A traveller'^ hymn—Emotions of gratitude and impulses of obedience—Behavior of the natives—Effect of familiarity with danger—Remark of Butler—The psalm of life—The fatal sequel of another disaster—Conflict with the sharks—They win the day—The raft rises—Few escape—We gain the reef—Lagoons for fish—How to make abstract numbers concrete—Reefs described—Spiritual analogies and lessons derived—Rules for the navigator—The Divine Pilot—Ocean of futurity—Site of the Molokai Mission—Head-quarters of jEolus—A missionary's grapery—The two vineyards, natural and moral—Division of labor—Church and school—Industrial enterprise—The maids of Molokai—Native costume versus the foreign—Court tashion and rules of dress—The queen's way of conformity—Criticism on the fashionable habiliments of the sex—Honest remonstrance and satire by Dana.

A Change in my route little expected, finds me at another island, seventy miles by canoe from Hana, instead of ranging through the crater of Kale-a-ka-la. To Him, whose unseen mighty arm defends and upholds us, when we can take no care of ourselves, be all the praise that our grave has not been made upon the coral bottom of the deep, between Molokai and Maui.


We left Han a about half past seven in the 'morning, with nine men, in the large double-canoe belonging to the Molokai missionary station. The wind was very strong, nearly aft, and the canoes light, so that with main-sail, and a kind of fore-stay-sail, we shot around the windward side of East Maui with great swiftness, admiring the numerous cascades that leap into the ocean from those precipitous lava cliffs.

When, however, we had encompassed the island to the point of departure for Molokai, and were about one-third of the way across the channel, or six miles from land on either side, so tremendous a wave and gust of wind struck our canoes as nearly to capsize them, throwing the windward canoe almost out of water, and the leeward under, and instantly carrying three men overboard from my side.

Though the waves had been all along very high, and frequently breaking over the forward part of the canoes, so as to keep the men bailing, yet, from confidence in the skill of the natives, I did not apprehend much danger; and, having been very sea-sick, was dozing at the moment of the disaster, one hand being made fast to a rope and the frame-work of a mat-screen that was put up against the wind, the other arm around my life-preserver.

Alarmed by the shock and cry of the natives, and a dash of salt water, I opened my eyes upon the scene of disaster just as the men were rolling off before me into the billowy deep. I have seldom or never looked danger so full in the face—

Danger, whose limbs of giant mould
What mortal eye can fixed behold?

By instinctively catching with my loose hand to the plank that constitutes the raised platform between the canoes, the life-preserver slipped from me after the men, but I was enabled to hold on till the canoes nearly regained their equilibrium, in the trough of the towering wave. It was unaccountable, except on the ground of that Special Providence which Scripture and experience unite in proving, that we were not irrecoverably swamped and lost, and our canoes torn asunder. Our deliverance surely was not owing to the bubble that bore us, for its thin sides would have burst but for the bands of the Almighty, and left us helpless

To sink into the depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknelled, uneoffined, and unknown.

But, in God's goodness, something better was before us. Our men quickly rallied from the first stunning of surprise and terror; the wrinkled and bronzed old native, our captain, acquitted himself nobly after his first fearful Attwe, a howl of lamentation and terror peculiar to Hawaiians, which no one that has once heard ever forgets. Little as I could say to them in their own tongue, that little was cheering, and my hands I could use for bailing.

Sails and mast were soon taken down; the canoe, sunk nearly to the water's edge, was hove-to and light ened of its load of water, and two of the missing

« PreviousContinue »