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CHAPTER IV. •
THE FOOTSTEPS OF BEAUTY TRACED BY A TRAVELLER IN
There's beauty all around our paths, if but our watchful eyes
A canoe takes us to Wailuku—Elements of the beautiful at home and abroad—Morning on the mountain—Effect of natural scenery upon childhood—Curious Hawaiian etymologies—A catalogue of queer appellatives—The peculiar genius and idioms of the Hawaiian tongue—Words to be domesticated into English—Conversational uses of the native—Commendable solicitude of Hawaiians for the purity of their language—Classical discussion at an assembly of teachers—Fear of barbarous innovations from abroad—A book of fables suggested—Their uses illustrated—Isaac Taylor on the employment of the Esopian vehicle of instruction—Notices of the Wailuku church and pastor—Resolutions fur the independent support of the ministry— Praiseworthy instance of Hawaiian gratitude—Mr. Green's experiment at Makawao —Beneficial results—Reasonings of natives—Union of faitlf and works—Affecting tests of Christianity—Resolves of pastors preparatory to independency—Initiatory steps—Remarkable consummation in the jubilee year of the nineteenth century.
Six hours' sail by canoe along the coast of Maui, and a walk of eight miles, have brought us to Wailuku, the windward station of this island, where constitu tions debilitated by the long-continued heat and confinement of a leeward residence, find repair and health from the bracing trades and exercise on GRAZENG-GROUNDS BETWEEN THE FOUNTAINS. 83
horseback, for which latter there are more facilities in roads and horses than at any station yet visited.
The mission-houses are situated on a gently sloping plain, about half a mile from the base of an abrupt mountainous ridge, that rises in some of its peaks to the height of six or seven thousand feet. The tract is watered by a side canal from a stream that is abundantly supplied by mountains,
On whose rugged breast
The laboring qlouds do often rest.
The plain looks towards the east, and slopes downward to the sea on both sides, at the north and south, being traversed by a range of sand-hills that separate East and West Maui. These were once two islands, and are now divided only by the sand and a low isthmus, daily enlarging, which, together with the tracts on each side, furnish pasturage for large herds of cattle, horses, and goats.
There is beauty here, material and moral, human and divine, on the blue sea always in sight, and on the green or sun-dried land. There is beauty within the mission-houses, and beauty abroad in the daily paths of usefulness trodden assiduously, by the laborious men and women to whom Providence has here assigned a sphere of duty, in which they cheerfully revolve. There are trials, and sorrows, and crosses, too, here, as always in the lot of man, which true piety, however, is converting daily into elements of beauty. Hence it is that we have taken the motto of this Chapter from that beautiful composition of England's Poetess, "Our Daily Paths," written in
The cheerful faith that all which we behold
I have said there is beauty abroad; for as you look off to the east, towering up to heaven in calm majesty, there is the beautiful long mountain of Hale-a-Ka-La, or The House of the Sun. From its top, ten thousand feet above the rest of the world, the bright eye of day opens every morning with a golden glory, and sends his level beams across to the opposite range on West Maui, and aslant down the mountain's fire-worn sides, showing the cones and chasms of old volcanoes. Sometimes a snow-drift lies on its summit in the morning. Always it is there, the same great object in its quiet beauty, which from morning to morning it does one good to behold.
To rise up a little before the sun, and look out upon the azure face of that calm mountain, beautiful in its distance and repose, and lofty and vast as the Almighty made it, can hardly fail of filling a heart with joy that is at peace with God.
By half past nine or ten, clouds have drifted on to its bosom, and there they are all day long, the blue crown of the mountain alone visible above them, until nightfall, when they generally vanish or sail away, and leave it open to the beams of the moon and stars.
POWER OF NATURAL SCENERY IN YOUTH. 85
The salutary moral influence of opening one's eyes every morning upon such a scene, though it may be imperceptible at the time, is very great. It is well for a family of children that they may drink it in and have joy in it, although they do not know why; and in beholding all the beautiful things of nature, which they never stop, in their innocent delight, to call beautiful, or once think what it is that is making them so happy.
Yet all the while, if their training within doors be only right, by such joyous intercourse with nature in a happy childhood, they are laying a broad foundation of permanent after peace. Even as we are instructed in the "Excursion,"
Thus deeply drinking in the soul of things,
We shall be wise perforce; and while inspired
By Truth, and conscious that the will is free,
Unswerving we shall move, as if impelled
By strict necessity along the path
Of order and of good. Whate'er we see,
Whate'er we feel, by agency direct
Or indirect, shall tend to feed and nurse
Our faculties, shall fix in calmer seats
Of moral strength, and raise to loftier heights
Of love divine, our intellectual soul.
There are in this region four streams in succession from the different gorges of the mountain, significantly named, it is thought, from the events of battles which have transpired upon them. Waikapu—The water where the conch was blown, and the engagement began. Waiehu—The water where the combatants smoked with dust and perspiration. Wailuku—The water of destruction, where the battle began to be fierce and fatal. Waihee—The water of total rout and defeat, where the army melted away.
The Hawaiians were particularly fond of annexing a wai, (water,) if possible, in the names of places. It is like the Eastern word wadi, (water,) that occurs so often in the names of places in Arabia, as Wadi Mousa, Wadi Seder, &c. Undoubtedly it is the same word, with the mere ellipsis, for euphony's sake, of the consonant d.
And it might be remarked, in passing, that not a few of such verbal analogies go far towards proving the original identity of the languages of Polynesia and the East. Almost all valleys in Hawaii-nei, and places that have the precious boon of water, are called wai with some descriptive epithet, as Waiohinu, sparkling water; Waialua, two waters, or double water; Kawaihae, broken waters, &c.
In giving names to each other, and to their children, Hawaiians were often not a little whimsical and droll. The most trifling circumstance or accident fixed their nomenclature; and names were as likely to be taken from things and qualities disgusting and vile, as from the opposite, and to be borne without any disgrace.
You might know that a people must have been vile from the vile names they assume and wear without shame—names that one would be unwilling to trans