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- The Hawaiian Archipelago - 6/63 -

pointed out to me as Sister Bertha, who has been working here usefully for many years. The ritual is high. I am told that it is above the desires and the comprehension of most of the island episcopalians, but the zeal and disinterestedness of Bishop Willis will, in time, I doubt not, win upon those who prize such qualities. He called in the afternoon, and took me to his pretty, unpretending residence up the Nuuanu Valley. He has a training and boarding school there for native boys, some of whom were at church in the morning as a surpliced choir. The bishop, his sister, the schoolmaster, and fourteen boys take their meals together in a refectory, the boys acting as servitors by turns. There is service every morning at 6.30 in the private chapel attached to the house, and also in the cathedral a little later. Early risers, so near the equator, must get up by candlelight all the year round.

This morning we joined our kind friends from the Nevada for the last time at breakfast. I have noticed that there is often a centrifugal force which acts upon passengers who have been long at sea together, dispersing them on reaching port. Indeed, the temporary enforced cohesion is often succeeded by violent repulsion. But in this instance we deeply regret the dissolution of our pleasant fraternity; the less so, however, that this wonderful climate has produced a favourable change in Mr. D., who no longer requires the hourly attention they have hitherto shown him. The mornings here, dew-bathed and rose-flushed, are, if possible, more lovely than the nights, and people are astir early to enjoy them. The American consul and Mr. Damon called while we were sitting at our eight- o'clock breakfast, from which I gather that formalities are dispensed with. After spending the morning in hunting among the stores for things which were essential for the invalid, I lunched in the Nevada with Captain Blethen and our friends.

Next to the advent of "national ships" (a euphemism for men-of-war), the arrivals and departures of the New Zealand mail-steamers constitute the great excitement of Honolulu, and the failures, mishaps, and wonderful unpunctuality of this Webb line are highly stimulating in a region where "nothing happens." The loungers were saying that the Nevada's pumps were going for five days before we arrived, and pointed out the clearness of the water which was running from them at the wharf as an evidence that she was leaking badly. {40} The crowd of natives was enormous, and the foreigners were there in hundreds. She was loading with oranges and green bananas up to the last moment,--those tasteless bananas which, out of the tropics, misrepresent this most delicious and ambrosial fruit.

There was a far greater excitement for the natives, for King Lunalilo was about to pay a state visit to the American flag-ship California, and every available place along the wharves and roads was crowded with kanakas anxious to see him. I should tell you that the late king, being without heirs, ought to have nominated his successor; but it is said that a sorceress, under whose influence he was, persuaded him that his death would follow upon this act. When he died, two months ago, leaving the succession unprovided for, the duty of electing a sovereign, according to the constitution, devolved upon the people through their representatives, and they exercised it with a combination of order and enthusiasm which reflects great credit on their civilization. They chose the highest chief on the islands, Lunalilo (Above All), known among foreigners as "Prince Bill," and at this time letters of congratulation are pouring in upon him from his brethren, the sovereigns of Europe.

The spectacular effect of a pageant here is greatly heightened by the cloudless blue sky, and the wealth of light and colour. It was very hot, almost too hot for sight-seeing, on the Nevada's bow. Expectation among the lieges became tremendous and vociferous when Admiral Pennock's sixteen-oared barge, with a handsome awning, followed by two well-manned boats, swept across the strip of water which lies between the ships and the shore. Outrigger canoes, with garlanded men and women, were poised upon the motionless water or darted gracefully round the ironclads, as gracefully to come to rest. Then a stir and swaying of the crowd, and the American Admiral was seen standing at the steps of an English barouche and four, and an Hawaiian imitation of an English cheer rang out upon the air. More cheering, more excitement, and I saw nothing else till the Admiral's barge, containing the Admiral, and the king dressed in a plain morning suit with a single decoration, swept past the Nevada. The suite followed in the other boats,--brown men and white, governors, ministers, and court dignitaries, in Windsor uniforms, but with an added resplendency of plumes, epaulettes, and gold lace. As soon as Lunalilo reached the California, the yards of the three ships were manned, and amidst cheering which rent the air, and the deafening thunder of a royal salute from sixty-three guns of heavy calibre, the popular descendant of seventy generations of sceptred savages stepped on board the flag-ship's deck. No higher honours could have been paid to the Emperor "of all the Russias." I have seen few sights more curious than that of the representative of the American Republic standing bare-headed before a coloured man, and the two mightiest empires on earth paying royal honours to a Polynesian sovereign, whose little kingdom in the North Pacific is known to many of us at home only as "the group of islands where Captain Cook was killed." Ah! how lovely this Queen of Oceans is! Blue, bright, balm-breathing, gentle in its supreme strength, different both in motion and colour from the coarse "vexed Atlantic!"


I was turning homewards, enjoying the prospect of a quiet week in Honolulu, when Mr. and Mrs. Damon seized upon me, and told me that a lady friend of theirs, anxious for a companion, was going to the volcano on Hawaii, that she was a most expert and intelligent traveller, that the Kilauea would sail in two hours, that unless I went now I should have no future opportunity during my limited stay on the islands, that Mrs. Dexter was anxious for me to go, that they would more than fill my place in my absence, that this was a golden opportunity, that in short I MUST go, and they would drive me back to the hotel to pack! The volcano is still a myth to me, and I wanted to "read up" before going, and above all was grieved to leave my friend, but she had already made some needful preparations, her son with his feeble voice urged my going, the doctor said that there was now no danger to be apprehended, and the Damons' kind urgency left me so little choice, that by five I was with them on the wharf, being introduced to my travelling companion, and to many of my fellow-passengers. Such an unexpected move is very bewildering, and it is too experimental, and too much of a leap in the dark to be enjoyable at present.

The wharf was one dense, well-compacted mass of natives taking leave of their friends with much effusiveness, and the steamer's encumbered deck was crowded with them, till there was hardly room to move; men, women, children, dogs, cats, mats, calabashes of poi, cocoanuts, bananas, dried fish, and every dusky individual of the throng was wreathed and garlanded with odorous and brilliant flowers. All were talking and laughing, and an immense amount of gesticulation seems to emphasize and supplement speech. We steamed through the reef in the brief red twilight, over the golden tropic sea, keeping on the leeward side of the islands. Before it was quite dark the sleeping arrangements were made, and the deck and skylights were covered with mats and mattresses on which 170 natives sat, slept, or smoked,--a motley, parti-coloured mass of humanity, in the midst of which I recognized Bishop Willis in the usual episcopal dress, lying on a mattress among the others, a prey to discomfort and weariness! What would his episcopal brethren at home think of such a hardship?

There is a yellow-skinned, soft-voiced, fascinating Goa or Malay steward on board, who with infinite goodwill attends to the comfort of everybody. I was surprised when he asked me if I would like a mattress on the skylight, or a berth below, and in unhesitating ignorance replied severely, "Oh, below, of course, please," thinking of a ladies' cabin, but when I went down to supper, my eyes were enlightened.

The Kilauea is a screw boat of 400 tons, most unprepossessing in appearance, slow, but sure, and capable of bearing an infinite amount of battering. It is jokingly said that her keel has rasped off the branch coral round all the islands. Though there are many inter-island schooners, she is the only sure mode of reaching the windward islands in less than a week; and though at present I am disposed to think rather slightingly of her, and to class her with the New Zealand coasting craft, yet the residents are very proud of her, and speak lovingly of her, and regard her as a blessed deliverance from the horrors of beating to windward. She has a shabby, obsolete look about her, like a second-rate coasting collier, or an old American tow-boat. She looks ill-found, too; I saw two essential pieces of tackle give way as they were hoisting the main sail. {44} She has a small saloon with a double tier of berths, besides transoms, which give accommodation on the level of the lower berth. There is a stern cabin, which is a prolongation of the saloon, and not in any way separated from it. There is no ladies' cabin; but sex, race, and colour are included in a promiscuous arrangement.

Miss Karpe, my travelling companion, and two agreeable ladies, were already in their berths very sick, but I did not get into mine because a cockroach, looking as large as a mouse, occupied the pillow, and a companion not much smaller was roaming over the quilt without any definite purpose. I can't vouch for the accuracy of my observation, but it seemed to me that these tremendous creatures were dark red, with eyes like lobsters', and antennae two inches long. They looked capable of carrying out the most dangerous and inscrutable designs. I called the Malay steward; he smiled mournfully, but spoke reassuringly, and pledged his word for their innocuousness, but I never can believe that they are not the enemies of man; and I lay down on the transom, not to sleep, however, for it seemed essential to keep watch on the proceedings of these formidable vermin.

The grotesqueness of the arrangements of the berths and their occupants grew on me during the night, and the climax was put upon it when a gentleman coming down in the early morning asked me if I knew that I was using the Governor of Maui's head for a footstool, this portly native "Excellency" being in profound slumber on the forward part of the transom. This diagram represents one side of the saloon and the "happy family" of English, Chinamen, Hawaiians, and Americans:

Governor Lyman. Miss Karpe. Miss ---.

Afong. Vacant. Miss ---.

Governor Nahaolelua. Myself. An Hawaiian.

I noticed, too, that there were very few trunks and portmanteaus, but that the after end of the saloon was heaped with Mexican saddles and saddlebags, which I learned too late were the essential gear of every traveller on Hawaii.

At five this morning we were at anchor in the roads of Lahaina, the

The Hawaiian Archipelago - 6/63

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