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A NOBLE THEE. X50
ing musician, and most graceful artist, and has promised to make
one storey high, with verandah, on to which all rooms alike open —by far the coolest and most suitable form of building for the tropics. But there are a number of two and three storeyed houses in the town, inhabited by French officials and foreign merchants— notably the French governor's house, and the unfinished “palace,” which has been in slow progress for many years. At the former, Admiral Serre now holds the reins. Stern though he be in public matters, he is wonderfully kind and pleasant socially, and seems to guide his iron hand with much wisdom in carrying out the course of action he has marked out for himself. As you know, he had scarcely determined on taking the government into his own hands when Queen Pomare died quite suddenly, to the exceeding grief of her people. Great was their anxiety as to what course the French would now adopt, the royal family being so much at sixes and sevens that there was very good reason to fear that even the semblance of the ancient rule would henceforth be dispensed with. Instead of this, the admiral devoted his whole energies to bringing together its various branches—healing their breaches, inculcating sobriety (with marvellous success so far), and generally getting them into a satisfactory condition. Queen Pomare's two eldest sons, Ariiaue and Tamatoa, have been very naughty boys, in most respects. The former has married a very handsome girl, aged seventeen—Marau Salmon; but hitherto the marriage has not proved happy. Tamatoa was for a while King of Raiatea; but was apt to carry on such dangerous games when he was drunk, that his subjects drove him out of the island. He is, however, very clever and amusing, and is blessed with an adoring wife—a very charming and excellent woman, as good as she is bonnie; Moč is her pretty name. Queen Pomare's third son, Joinville, died leaving a son. The fourth, Tevii Tapunui, is a very good fellow, but sadly lame. Well, by dint of coaxing and reasoning, and by turns assuming the part of father and “governor,” the admiral first of all persuaded Ariiaue and Marau to make up the peace, and then proclaimed them King and Queen as Pomare W. and Marau Pomare—a cere
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THE ROYAL FAMILY. 161
mony of which I have just read full particulars in the ‘Messager de Tahiti, which, under the heading, “Le prince royal Ariiaue est salué roi des Iles de la Société et dépendances,” gives a detailed account of the meeting of the Legislative Assembly of Tahiti, convened by “M. le Contre - Amiral Serre Commandant-enchef, Commandant provisoire des Etablissements français de l'Océanie, pour reconnaitre et acclamer le nouveau souverain de Tahiti.” The Legislative Assembly received with acclamation the decisions of the omnipotent admiral, who not only proclaimed Ariiaue king, but has further settled the succession for two generations to come. Queen Marau being half English, any child to which she may give birth is excluded from the throne in favour of the little Princess Teriivaetua, daughter of the king's brother Tamatoa, and the charming Moč, ex-King and Queen of Raiatea—thus securing the pure Tahitian blood-royal. Failing issue of the little Princess Waetua, the succession is to pass to her cousin, Prince Terriihinoiatua, commonly called Hinoi—a very handsome boy, son of the third royal brother, now deceased, who was known as the Prince de Joinville. These decisions are said to have given great satisfaction to the Tahitians, who, with very good reason, had feared that, on the death of the old queen, the French would take the nominal power as well as the real, which they have so long held. Pomare's proud independent spirit must have chafed sorely under their tutelage; but she contrived to endure it for thirty-five years. She was just sixty-five when she died, having been born on the 28th February 1813. She was the only daughter of King Pomare II., who was the very first friend of the missionaries when they attempted to get a footing in these isles, and proved their stanch supporter to the end of his days." His daughter's name was Aimata. In the year 1822 she married the young chief of Tahaa, who had received the
name of Pomare as a mark of special favour from the old king.
ow * King Pomare II. was the first person who was publicly baptised in Tahiti.
The service took place on 16th July 1819.
Thus Aimata became known as Pomare-Wahine;” the correct designation for a married woman being thus to append the term for wife to the name of the husband. In January 1827 she succeeded her brother, Pomare III., and reigned supreme till 1843, when the French assumed the Protectorate. Young Queen Marau Pomare is one of a large family of very handsome half-whites—children of a high chiefess of Tahiti, who married a much respected English Jew, Mr Salmon. She has three stalwart sons and five most comely daughters, whose rich olive complexion, black silken tresses, mellifluous voices, and foreign intonation in speaking English, are all suggestive of Italy. The eldest daughter, who owns the formidable title of Tetuanuireiaiteruiatea—though, happily, known to her personal friends by the more euphonious name of Titaua—is herself a very high chiefess both of Tahiti and Moorea, on each of which she owns several large estates. At the early age of fourteen she married a wealthy Scotch merchant—Mr Brander—who died a few months ago, leaving to his young widow a heavy weight of care, in that her two eldest daughters have married Germans, whose mercantile interests are diametrically opposed to those of the house of Brander; and who, having vainly striven to wrest the business from her, are now pressing for immediate division of property—a process which necessitates a most exasperating amount of legal discussion, in which questions of English law, native law, and, above all, the Code Napoléon, which is the law of the Protectorate, crop up by turns.” Moetia, the second daughter of Mrs Salmon, married the American Consul, Mr Attwater. Marau, as you already know, married her royal kinsman; while Lois (commonly called Prie, which is a contraction of Beretanie—a name adopted out of compliment to Britain) and Manihinihi, the two youngest sisters (who both fully sustain the beauty of their race), live with their mother
1 Vahine, a woman.
* And in this year of 1882 still continue to crop up, greatly to the benefit of the lawyers, who find in the affairs of the Estate Brander, a harvest far too remunerative to be lightly abandoned.
MATERNAL RANK. 163
—a very fine old lady, whose long native name I cannot tell you,