Page images

compensated in clothing, at fixed rates. Meals are at a common table.

The expense of food is about two cents a day for one person, or seven dollars and thirty cents per year. Clothing, including mats and sleeping kapas, amounts to nearly the same. Books, stationery, and other incidentals, make up the whole to about twenty dollars per year, for which sum, given by any Church or Sundayschool, constituting a scholarship, the faculty will educate a man for the ministry.

The faculty officiate by turns at morning and evening prayers. A church is constituted within the institution, of which Mr. Dibble, during his life, was pastor. Twenty-five of the students were members. They have frequent religious meetings by themselves, and worship in a body in the chapel on the Sabbath. The departments of instruction and executive administration are three.

Eev. Mr. Alexander had the department of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Astronomy, and the immediate oversight and discipline of the students. Eev. Mr. Dibble had the department of Mental and Moral Science, Theology, and History. Rev. Mr. Emerson that of Languages, Geography, Composition, and Oratory, and the management of the manual labor department. He was also pastor of a church at Kaanapali, twelve miles distant, numbering one hundred and thirty-one members. They have had to prepare their text-books in each department, a work which, from the outset, has been one of no small magnitude.


This institution has now been in existence twenty years. It was commenced in 1831, under the care of Rev. Lorrin Andrews, and had to wade along several years through a dismal swamp of embarrassments, accidents, and contracted means. The Ees angustse domi, so often the lot of literary Men, is generally, too, the portion of Literary Institutions, during the period of their infancy. This was eminently true of the early days of the High School, as it was then called.

But the sons it reared in those days, like the offspring of honest poverty, have turned out practical and robust men, the main stay of Common Schools, many of them apt to teach, industrious, and faithful. Of one hundred and fifty-eight graduates, living in 1842, eleven only were reported as not usefully employed, or immoral. Seventy-three were church members, and nine officers in the church.

Up to the year 1849, the Seminary, with all its permanent dwelling-houses and appurtenances, cost the American Board about seventy-seven thousand dollars, and it is now adopted by, and given over to, the Ha« waiian Government, and is to be sustained hereafter by Government funds alone, but on essentially the same plan as heretofore. Up to the present time of its being made over to the Government, it has sent forth two hundred and forty-one graduates, and it now has one hundred and fifty-six under-graduates, as shown by the last catalogue.

It is a good investment for the church, at compound interest; and the day, I trust, is not far distant when it will be rendering a dividend of well-educated assistant missionaries and medical practitioners for Hawaii-nei, and all the other islands of Polynesia, who will not need an annual shipment from foreign lands to supply their wants; who will be of common kith and kin, and habits with the people to be instructed, and by whom their languages may be easily acquired, being, like their own, dialects of the one great language that is spoken throughout Polynesia. But in order to this, it must be more liberally endowed and better furnished, and the range of study must be more extensive and thorough.

The plan of study, and the length of the course, have been somewhat modified in order to meet the increasing necessity for the acquisition of English. It has been determined that scholars of very little promise be dismissed from the Seminary at an early date; and that at the close of the first three years, all who do not give special promise of future usefulness be dismissed: That the English language be not taught in the Seminary till the close of the three first years of the course, when all the members of the class, who shall not be dismissed, are expected to enter upon the study of the English, as a prominent branch; and that the whole course, including the study of Theology, be extended from eight to twelve years: That to teach successfully the English language, is a work that will require the time and Btrength of one teacher.

We are well persuaded that this is not all that will be necessary in order to secure an available knowledge of English, which is becoming so much an object of ENGLISH AS A VEHICLE OF INSTRUCTION. 203

desire on the part of Hawaiians. Boys must be taught it at the preparatory station schools, and be drilled in it all through the course of their education, till the sciences can be learned in it, as in the Seminary at Batticotta, and its treasures of knowledge be made accessible to the Hawaiian teacher and preacher.

It will be a much cheaper and surer way of enlightening the Hawaiian mind, than to attempt to introduce any thing but the very elements of English science and literature in an Hawaiian dress. Natives, to be competent teachers, and preachers, and civilians, must know something more than these, and otherwise than through the medium of a translation.

Besides, it is only by a knowledge of English that Hawaiians can compete with foreigners, and fill their own offices of government. The kingdom is inevitably departed from them, and men of other blood rule over them, unless they learn to write and wrangle, and make treaties in English, and present qualifications to office, as clerks and scholars, equal to those of supplanting foreigners. The wise among them are beginning to see this, and to inquire, What are we coming, to? And they are urgent, above any thing else, for themselves and their sons to learn the English.

It is not the least of the advantages of the excellent school of young chiefs at Honolulu, that they are receiving their instructions, and learning to converse and transact business in the language which threatens to conquer theirs. The policy of it, to say no more, is as wise as that of certain States in a former age, that, in order to avoid subjugation to ancient Home, adopted, as far as possible, her customs and laws, and put themselves in safe allianoe with the mistress of the world.

It is easy to see that the mistress-tongue both of the Continental and Island-World of the Pacific, as well as Atlantic, is to be the accommodating and all-supplanting English. They who perceive it among the Hawaiians desire therefore to master it beforehand, as the best way to keep from being denationalized and mastered by it.

In the constitution and laws of the Mission Seminary at Lahainaluna, it is declared to be a definite object to train up and qualify school-teachers for their respective duties, to teach them, theoretically and practically, the best method of communicating instruction to others, together with a knowledge of the arts, usages, and habits of civilized life, with all their train of social blessings. It is, then, a thing to be wondered at, and for the Government to be ashamed of, that it has done no more than it has for a Seminary that has so noble an object, and that is itself doing so much for the well-being of the nation.

As an offset to the unnatural thing of charging the Mission duties on goods imported for their own family consumption, (which was once done, but now we believe is not,) Government ought at least to have endowed or supported an English Professorship long before this, and so to have been doing something in a line with Christian benevolence towards paying the nation's debt to the churches of America.

« PreviousContinue »