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DEPORTMENT OF NATIVES MET ON THE WAY. 255
where a line for the teacher from Mr. Parker, procured me entertainment as readily as if I had been an envoy of the king. He at once unsaddled my horse, and put him to grass, broke me a stalk of sugar-cane, baked a fowl and potatoes, and entertained me an hour with a simple, easy hospitality, while I used up all the Hawaiian I ever learned, and maltreated a good deal more, in answering and asking questions.
On the way from his house, I fell in with companies of native men and women, some of whom mistaking the traveller for a sailor, by a pea-jacket spread upon my saddle, behaved themselves in a way which proved two things—both what sort of indecencies are agreeable to the foreigners with whom they generally have to do, and that they deport themselves very differently before a man whom they believe to be not a-missionary, nor a missionary's friend, and one who is.
I might probably have learned more had I stopped, and had I thought it quite right to play the part of the character they took me for. This I could not do for three reasons: First, the knowledge that a man's own feelings and state of mind are very likely to become, even against his will, those of the man whose actions and words he imitates. Second, real truth and virtue are unwilling to dissemble, and feel disgraced, like a chaste virgin, to be taken for what they are not. Third, because an honest man hates deception in any form, and feels conscience-struck and sorry ever to allow it, or not frankly to show what he is.
Knowledge of Hawaiians, or of any other persons, gained in such a way, would be too dear bought, and one had better remain in ignorance than get it at such a sacrifice. The lawfulness of deceit for a good purpose was held by some of the Fathers, and along with cunning priests to tend the loom, it may be said to have woven the pall of night that covered the Dark Ages. It is held by Romanists still. But an honest man and a Protestant possesses in his bosom a light of conscience, that puts to the blush such a maxim of timeserving expediency.
He knows, (says Coleridge with his usual earnestness,) that by sacrificing the law of his reason to the maxim of pretended prudence, he purchases the sword with the loss of the arm that is to wield it. The duties which we owe to our own moral being, are the ground and condition of all other duties; and to set our nature at strife with itself for a good purpose, implies the same sort of prudence as a priest of Diana would have manifested, who should have proposed to dig up the celebrated charcoal foundations of the mighty Temple of Ephesus, in order to furnish fuel for the burnt-offerings upon its altars.
You hear nothing oftener in the mouths of irreligious foreigners, than that missionaries don't know the natives, that they don't act out before them, and that they are great hypocrites. Now we think the missionaries might know it by this time, through being told of it so often, if not by their own observation. And the truth is, they do know it well, and mourn over it, and endeavor to keep on their guard against it.
FOREIGNERS AND NATIVES COMPARED. 257
But they are not so ignorant of history or other men, as to believe hypocrisy, and falsehood, and double-play peculiar to Hawaiians. Hypocrisy is not monopolized by Hawaiians, nor will it die out of the world with them. They cannot be called a community of hypocrites with any more propriety than a foreigner should call the people of the United States so, because in the first steamboat or railroad-car he might take passage in, he should see posted up in large letters, Look Out For
ROGUES AND PICKPOCKETS.
Other barbarians, both the instructed and uninstructed, evince as much deceit as these Hawaiians, and most of them more; and I have little doubt that the history of the intercourse of white men, of Anglo-Saxons, and Anglo-Americans with these islanders and those of the Pacific generally,* would reveal more falsehood, treachery, and double-dealing on their part, and lead an unprejudiced mind to the conclusion that there was at
* The author of the bold Polynesian romance entitled " Typee," very properly remarks that the enormities perpetrated in the South Seas upon some of the inoffensive islanders well-nigh pass belief. These things are seldom proclaimed at home; they happen at the very ends of the earth; they are done in a corner, and there are none to reveal them. But there is, nevertheless, many a petty trader that has navigated the Pacific, whose course from island to island might be traced by a series of cold-blooded robberies, kidnappings, and murders, the iniquity of which might be considered almost sufficient to sink her guilty timbers to the bottom of the sea. It may be asserted without fear of contradiction, that in all the cases of outrages committed by Polynesians, Europeans have been at some time or other the aggressors, and that the cruel and blood-thirsty disposition of some of the islanders is mainly to be ascribed to the influence of such examples.
least as large an infusion of these amiable qualities in their composition as in that of the red-skinned race.
Hypocrisy and deception do not belong pre-eminently even to savages, but to human nature. They are not the monopoly and trade of barbarians merely, but they are diffused as widely as the human race. Perhaps they stand out more glaringly on the page of history, than any other vices to which men are subject.
Especially has religious hypocrisy been exhibited wherever religion has been known, the former being, as it is often remarked, a homage paid to the latter, of which, indeed, it only proves the reality and excellence, just as counterfeit dollars and doubloons in circulation prove that there are real ones too, for no one would take the pains to counterfeit that which was not valuable and did not exist.
And if religion has in all times, especially in highly" civilized countries, been made the stalking-horse and shoeing-horn to selfishness, whereby unprincipled men have ridden into place and power, why should it be thought strange that many of the Hawaiians, among whom religion has become popular, and a passport to reputation and confidence—why is it strange that they should be found running after it, and assuming its semblance, in order to get its good?
If bad men in other lands have so often made it the cloak of sinister designs, why is it wonderful that in Hawaii-nei natives should now and then be found trying to wrap it round their rottenness, in order to hide the
gaping sores of their moral corruption, as well from their own eyes as from the sight of others!
I believe this latter use is less often made of religion here than elsewhere. When Hawaiians profess repentance and faith, and act the hypocrite, it is either as self-deceived, or that they may get the favor of their minister, and entrance into the Church as a means of grace and salvation—very seldom (if we are not mistaken) as self-known deceivers, wearing the characteristic mark of hypocrisy, and in order to cover up and carry on some ulterior design.
Often, as in all societies, after the committal they have made of themselves has led them to break off outward sins, and they are safely housed in the Church, and the novelty and excitement of their new estate and relations has worn off and become stale, then iniquities prevail against them, their corruptions return too strong to be resisted by unregenerate human nature, they yield and are disclosed to themselves and their brethren as having been "hypocrites," if that term be preferred to self-deceived and deceivers, which in this case it certainly means.
If there be not immediate repentance upon the disclosure of guilt, such persons are cut off. If there be, they are suspended for a time, tilt it is clear what they are, and then, if giving good evidence, they are restored; if not, excommunicated. Who will say that this is not right? or who can point out a better way?
It may be remarked here, that the usages and dis