Life in Feejee, or, Five Years among the Cannibals
The angry chief—Popery in Feejee—Conspiracy—A Letter—Arrival at Bau—Dirge—Our Final Departure from Feejee—The Uncas—Arrival at Manilla — Departure — Suiall-pox on board — Deaths — St. Helena— Home.
Last evening one of our hostages, belonging to the tribe of Nasurawalla, came into the cabin in great agitation to ask liberty to go on shore. While he was speaking, a sailor came and said that he had just caught him stealing a fine new musket. He was just about to jump overboard with the musket, to swim to the shore, when he was observed, and his course arrested. He was exceedingly alarmed, but Mr. W. told him that he would receive no other punishment than that awarded by his chief. Nasurawalla came on board to-day and said that he was very angry with Ndausamu for stealing the musket, and he had come to take him into his canoe, where he should kill and then throw him into the sea. Mr. W. smiled, and informed him that the thief was not Ndausamu, but Nga. The chief was silent for a moment, and. then said, "I am greatly ashamed. I thought it was Ndausamu, who is a 'kaise;' I could punish him, but Nga is a chief, and my sister's child." No more was said about clubbing, casting into the sea, or punishment of any kind. He would not have punished the "kaise," as he said, but would pretend that such was his inten-page 391tention, that Mr. W. might present a whale's tooth to spare his life.
Namula. The second chief of this place, and ten of his people, have renounced heathenism, but there is no one to instruct them in the precepts of the true gospel; and without instruction they are little better than before.
We have been visited by some of the females of this place, none of whom can boast of more personal beauty than our Phebe. It is said that the females of this coast engage in more masculine employments than those of many other parts of the group,—that they assist in cultivating the lands, in building the houses, and sometimes follow the warriors to collect the slain of the enemy, and afterwards cook them. They wear grass "lekus," braid no cinnet, plat no mats, and manufacture no cloth, and, in short, appear far behind the other portions of Feejee that we have visited, in their arts and sciences.
Veudongo. We learn that the Tabusns are angry because Elijah has prevented the warriors of Bau from coming to fight or to assist them against their enemies. They have left fishing, and will sell no food to the Vewa man who has charge of the "beech de mer" house. The truth is, Elijah asked the chiefs of Bau to defer their assistance till Mr. W. had left this coast, as it would interrupt his fishing.
The Glide arrived yesterday from Mathuata, and brings word that such is the anger of its king towards Mr. W., that he will have nothing more to do with him. He is angry because he deems the present that was given to Natemba, of Tavea, more valuable than the one which he received. Some muskets, whale's teeth and gunpowder, will set all right again on our return. The Glide sails for the same place to-day.page 392
|13.||Nasurawalla declines fishing any more, as he is about to engage in a war with Nandy, on this coast. He states that his anger is great towards the people of that place; that at one time they made peace, and he gave them riches, and in three days afterwards they murdered four of his men, and now he accepts of no "soro," but will bum their towns and kill as many as possible.|
|18.||Ba. A Tonga teacher has been stationed at this place for a year past. He is my old friend Wesley. Learning that we are about leaving, he brought a pig and a pair of ducks to present to Mr. W., and some hen's eggs and a valuable shell, from his wife to me. I admire the manner in which a present is offered in Feejee. The simple words are uttered, "This is my love to you." Can civilization offer any thing prettier?|
|19.||Yanganga. We have again crossed the waters which divide the two large islands. As my health is improving, I have given up the idea of visiting Bua for the present.|
Raverave. The boat was sent ashore on our arrival with an invitation for the angry chief to visit us. He came, but said nothing for a long time. Mr. W. was full of love towards him, &c., and after awhile he softened him enough to say yes and no a few times. I presented him with a white muslin head-dress, and told him that I had commenced embroidering a girdle for him, but if his anger continued, I would finish it and present it to Thakombau.
When I first visited Mathuata, I presented Retova with an embroidered girdle, which pleased his fancy much. He took it with him to Bau, where it was begged from him. He had many times requested me to work him another; but I told him that he would not keep page 393it, and I could not present that kind of work where it was esteemed so lightly. He would say that none but the chiefs of Bau would beg such an article, and if I would give him another they should never see it. Accordingly, when I heard of his anger I thought I might contribute towards restoring his good humor, and commenced the ornament. He desired to see it at once, and, after placing it in every possible point of view, said it would be far more beautiful than the first, and that no chief of Bau must have it. It was evening when he came off, and he soon returned to the town, after saying he would come in the morning and receive his presents.
|21.||Retova came off in good humor, proposed that the bark should go to Namuka, where he would soon join it, and that "beech de mer" houses should be erected at Mali, Nduri, Ndrua-ndrua and Yanganga, and he would see that Mr. W. obtained two hundred bags of fish in two moons. He received his presents, and left while the anchor, which is not allowed to rest long in any one place, was raised, and we departed.|
Nduri. The Caroline arrived alongside from Vewa. By this conveyance we received letters from our friends, and learn that owing to the continued failure of Mrs. Watsford's health, they will probably leave their station and go to New Zealand the present year. If so, one of the other missionaries must take the place of Mr. Watsford, Lakemba being a most important station, rendered more so perhaps on account of two Jesuit priests, who came to Feejee several years since, and took up their residence near the Protestants.
It appears that the Jesuits have sadly degenerated in these latter days. They were formerly the pioneers, penetrating to the most distant parts of the globe, and page 394enduring almost every kind of misery, braving death in its most terrific forms, and many of them falling martyrs to their zeal. Now, however, they wait for the "Protestant heretics" to pave their way. Such has been the case at the Sandwich, Friendly, Society, and Feejeean groups of islands. There are thousands of islands in the Pacific where no missionary foot has ever been placed. Why do not the Catholics occupy some of those waste places? Perhaps it is not permitted by Divine Providence. Had these priests of Feejee settled on the Ba, or Mathuata coasts, where there are many who are strongly desirous that a missionary should live among them, and are all ready to renounce heathenism, no doubt they would have made many proselytes; whereas, by locating themselves in the immediate vicinity of the Protestants, who had gained a footing and the confidence of the chiefs of the land, they are most effectively hindered from propagating their pernicious tenets.
The following account of the introduction of Popery into Feejee was kindly furnished me by Dr. Lyth: "It was in the month of August, 1844, that the first attempt was made to establish a Roman Catholic mission in Feejee. A bishop, accompanied by two priests, landed in Lakemba. There were already Wesleyan missionaries residing on different islands of the group, and Lakemba was one of our oldest stations. So satisfied were the chiefs with their Protestant missionaries, that the priests received but a cold reception. The bishop first tried to prevail upon Fenau, the Tonguese chief, to embrace Popery, and receive the priests' offering as an inducement to make him king of Vavau, (one of the Friendly Islands,) in the place of king George. The chief absolutely refused. It would seem that their object was to page 395gain, through Fenau, a footing at Vavau, having failed with king George.
Not succeeding with the Tonguese residents, they next turned their attention to the Feejeeans, the proper inhabitants of the land. They applied to Tuinayau, the principal chief of Lakemba and the windward group. He said that he had already received his priests, (referring to us,) and wanted no others. They neglected no argument to prove that their religion was the only true one, and that we were false teachers, nay, missionaries of the devil. But all was of no avail. The chief plainly told them that they were not wanted in Lakemba, and positively objected to their remaining. The bishop then proposed that they should remain in Lakemba till an opportunity should offer for them to go to Somosomo, which is another of the Protestant stations. To this, neither Tuinayau nor Fenau would consent. Finding that neither threats nor promises would influence the chiefs in their favor, they fixed upon another expedient, by which they ultimately succeeded in palming the two priests on Lakemba. They left Lakemba, and on their way left the two priests on the island of Namuku. The bishop appears to have had as little regard to the feelings of the two 'Holy Fathers' as to the natives in this step. The elder of the two remonstrated with the bishop on thus throwing them on the mercy of the natives; but he only replied by asking if they intended to disobey orders, adding, that if they did, they must take off their gowns. They, therefore, submitted, and the bishop left them so scantily supplied that, from the first, they depended entirely on the natives for their food. Namuka being but a short distance from Lakemba, it was not long before the 'Holy Fathers' returned. Having two or three Tonga converts that came with them, and a French servant, they page 396took possession of the house of a Tonguese, and commenced their worship and teaching at once, in spite of alt that had been said against it by the chiefs. They declared, however, that as soon as a canoe should go to Somosomo they would proceed to their destination. The chief offered them a canoe at once, and told them to go. Finding that they could not cheat the chiefs with lying promises, they told them plainly that it was their intention to remain, that they might kill them if they chose, but that they would remain. The chief, finding his remonstrance vain, at last submitted to that obstinacy he could not remove. He was doubtless influenced, too, by the fear of French frigates, which the 'Holy Fathers' threatened should come and punish them if they opposed the true religion.
The priests commenced their instructions by saying, 'Where are these missionaries from?' Nobody knows them. England is a poor little place, whereas, France is a great country that supplies England with beef, &c.
They exhibited their well known picture representing their church as a large, flourishing tree, and the several Protestant churches as dried, withered branches, broken off, and dropping into the burning gulf beneath. The shrewd heathen said, 'If your country is so large and rich, how is it that you are forced upon us without food, or any riches to buy it? We do not know you. We know the English. They do not come among us like 'kaises,' but bring riches and pay for their food. Your picture is a false one.' The laugh became so strong against them, that it was withdrawn, and has not been publicly exhibited since.
During the five years that they have resided here, they have been joined by some few of the Tonguese and Feejeeans; but of late the priests are teaching them to page 397reverence the Sabbath. This causes dissatisfaction among their followers, who say that they might as well join the English 'lotu' if they are required to keep the Sabbath."
The bishop committed an oversight in leaving his priests so destitute. A Feejeean hates poverty, and charity is as cold here as in civilized lands. The 'Holy Fathers' were near starving in several instances. For months they could procure no food, except the mama apple. The missionaries, hearing of their destitution, sent them a basket of food, which they received with apparent thankfulness; but on the return of the servant who carried it, the basket was found with all its contents on the door steps. It was not long, however, before hunger compelled them to accept food from the 'English heretics.' They have been threatening for some time past to bury an image of the Virgin Mary upon the grounds of the missionaries, which they assert will drive them away. Of course, they will take all the merit of driving Mr. W. and family from the station.
Since the first year, a French vessel has visited Lakemba occasionally, and, learning their error respecting leaving their priests without means of subsistence, repaired it by seasonable supplies.
The priests have learned the fact, that Tuinayau is exceedingly fond of yanggona, (the native grog,) and they have sent to Tonga for a large supply, thus evincing their intention of making a spiritual convert of him, if possible. In my opinion, Tuinayau would have been a Christian years ago, could his appetite for yanggona have been subdued, and his supplies have been withheld. He is an old man, and his mind is kept in a continual stupor by this indulgence, and when he is not supplied, he is attacked with what strongly resembles the 'deli-page 398rium tremens,' I should judge, from a scene once witnessed by Mrs. Calvert, which she described to me.
Namuka. We have once more reached this faroff region, where all communication with the world is ended for the present, so I must give up the pleasure of receiving the kind and interesting epistles from Vewa and Bua. My books and newspapers must be re-perused. I expect to find nothing of interest to record in my journal; therefore, must make up my mind to enjoy a tame existence in this untamed country.
We do not go to Vesongo, as before, but have anchored off the little island of Namandrua.
The principal chief of Vesongo and his affectionate wife have departed this life since our last voyage to this place. Masella was sick for some little time, and then the strangling cord put an end to his existence at his own request. His wife, desiring to accompany him, was also strangled.
Otima gave me an account of the affair, as one would relate an amusing incident, although he always appeared very fond of his parents while living. A chief, called Ndovo appears to have assumed the authority of the deceased chief.
|Oct. 8.||Two men started, a few days since, to go a little distance up the coast and beg a canoe. On their return they were attacked by an enemy, and one was killed. One of the murderers was a brother of one of the two in the other canoe. As the club was raised to despatch him, the brother leaped upon the canoe, exclaiming, "He is my brother. You must not kill him." The other still held the club raised, and declared that he would strike. "Then kill me first," replied the affectionate brother, as he firmly clasped his new-found relative in his embrace. The man was saved, and returned page 399to Vesongo in the canoe which he had begged. When the affair was related to Ndovo, he said, "Why did you not bring the body of the slain, that I might eat him?"|
The political state of this part of Feejee is not, I think, to be understood by common minds. Ndovo is chief of Vesongo, and of a place called Raverave, between here and Naivu, up the coast. That people are at enmity with these natives of Vesongo, and yet both tribes are ruled by one chief. I have made many inquiries, but can learn nothing definite upon the subject.
The Raverave people committed the murder recorded above. We learn that Ndovo was angry with the murdered man, on account of his formerly running away and joining an enemy. The man had, however, returned to his lawful chief, "soroed," and been pardoned.
It is one year to-day since we sailed from our native land. How vividly are the scenes of that day brought back to my remembrance! We had been invited to attend the marriage ceremony of a dear friend, but instead of engaging in the festivities of so happy an event, it was our lot to part with our friends.
Retova has arrived with three canoes and men to fish "beech de mer." Several Geer canoes have arrived for the same purpose, and the prospect seems to be brightening.page 400
|16.||Retova has left for Mathuata, on account of the death of a child. An express came for him this morning. We inquired of what disease the child died, and were told that the god had killed it, being angry because the chief came to Namuka, The chief was on shore when the canoe arrived. On being sent for, he appeared very sad, and said that if he had remained at Raverave, the child would not have died.|
Retova returned, after having appeased the angry god with a feast and a whale's tooth. He remained on shore last night at Ndrua-ndrua, but when he came on board this morning, he said that fear had prevented him from sleeping.
Namuka is the name of a district of this region, comprising a considerable extent of land, with several towns and tribes. Muta is situated but a little distance to the right of Ndrua-ndrua, where the son of the late Tui Mathuata resides, while Korovaka-turaga resides at Naivu, a few miles on the left of the island. This knowledge of the proximity of Retova's enemies effectually prevented him from enjoying the rest he so much needed.
The natives who have assembled at Ndrua-ndrua are very much afraid that their enemies will burn the "beech de mer" house. Three Muta canoes passed this place for Naivu while Retova was absent. One came along side the bark, and its crew of four men came on board. Ndova was here at the time, and conversed with them in the most friendly manner. Several of the Vesongo canoes were on the reefs at the time, yet no collision took place between them.
The Vesongans, however, kept an extra watch for several nights on shore, till they supposed their enemies had returned to Muta.page 401
|28.||We were amused yesterday with a little instance of native cunning. Several came to the bark and said it was difficult for them to fish, as they had but little food. Mr. W., knowing this to be true, sent the jolly boat to the main, and procured a load of bread-fruit and bananas. When the boat returned, Mr. W. wrote a note to Derby, at the house on shore, directing him to select a part for his own use, and give the remainder to the chief Ndrui, to divide among the natives. The note was given to Ndrui, with verbal instructions to the same effect. Accordingly, he took charge of the food and note, and repaired to the shore, where he divided the whole of the food among the natives, who offered a part of it to Derby for sale. After he had bought and paid for it, the note was delivered, thus showing that they intended to make the most of their present.|
|29.||Retova is again summoned to Raverave, as visitors have arrived from the royal city who require his presence. It is said that Elijah is one of the visitors; if so, we shall probably see him here in a few days.|
In the morning, a messenger came off from Ndrua-ndrua to say that the brother of the chief Ndovo had been killed in battle, and all the chiefs had gone to Vesongo to bury him. As soon as the body was brought to the town, two of his wives were strangled with all possible speed, lest they should not be able to overtake the soul of their departed husband in time.
About noon the cry was raised on deck that the "beech de rner" house was on fire. In ten minutes it was destroyed, with five hundred dollars worth of "beech de mer" in it. Mr. Wallis had been fearing and expecting this disaster, and had the fish brought to the vessel to finish the drying, upon the decks as soon as was practicable, but twenty canoes had brought a large quantity, page 402and some of it was quite unfit to bring off. He had seen the carelessness of those who had charge of the house, and talked to them about it, but it was in vain.
While the house was burning the Caroline arrived from Male and Nduri, bringing eleven bags of fish, and reporting that the two houses they were tending were doing well. At eight o'clock, P. M., the Glide arrived from the houses at Naloa and Yanganga with seventeen bags of fish. Elijah came in the Glide, and brought letters from the Consul, our friends at Vewa and Bua, and one from Thakombau, or Tui Vete, king of Feejee, as he is now called. The purport of the king's letter is to inform Mr. W. that he had sent a special messenger, in company with Elijah from Bau to Retova, Natemba and Dumbui, to desire them to fish well for Mr. W., that his vessel might be filled. To this message from Bau, we are chiefly indebted for the fish received by the Glide, as these houses did but little before the visit of Elijah and the Bau chief. They brought two canoes as a present to Retova. Elijah says, that after they had delivered their message to Retova, he told them to go away as quickly as possible, as he wished to return and assist Mr. W. in collecting his cargo.
The English sloop of war Daphne has visited the group, but I do not learn that any notice is taken of the frequent massacres that have occurred among the islands. Mr. Calvert, Thakombau and Elijah went to Rewa in the vessel for the purpose of meeting Phillips and Garenggeo, but it appears that they were obliged to leave matters as they were. Thakombau desired Garenggo to go to Bau. This he refused to do, saying that he had nothing to do with Bau; that he was willing to make peace with his brother, who might go to Rewa and be its king. Thakombau said if he would not go to Bau, page 403no more could be done about it. Garenggo is well aware of the treachery of his countrymen, and fears to trust himself in Bau. He has not forgotten, probably, the fate of Nalela, the Lasakau chief, nor how, after Rewa was destroyed, his brother gave out word that all who had joined with Rewa during the war, should be pardoned, if they would "soro" to him, and that when hundreds came to "soro," he had them all murdered, and sent their bodies to Bau. It was said as many were killed in that way as when Rewa was burned. It is not surprising that, knowing all this, he has no confidence in their protestations, and prefers to remain in his mountain home.
Thakombau says, that sometimes he feels very good in his mind, and means to "lotu" at once; then his mind changes, and then he is "vaka develo" (like a devil) again. On his return from Rewa, he was informed that a conspiracy was afloat to kill him. It is a custom among the great ones of Feejee to send food to their relatives. In accordance with this usage, Bau was in the habit of sending food to Lasakau, as a compliment to the Marama of Bau, who was the wife of Navinde. While Thakombau was at Rewa, Navinde visited the island of Kandavu. During his absence, his wife went to her father, the old king, and desired him to send no more food to Lasakau, as her husband and several others were gutting up a "vari" to kill her brother. One of the principal conspirators is Navinde's half-brother. His page 404father was the rebel chief whose tongue was devoured by Tanoa, on his restoration to Bau, while his victim sat by and witnessed the horrible repast. Ratu-ndamu, the son, was a little boy when this occurred, but he has probably remembered the fact; nor will he forget it until he has had vengeance upon some of the family belonging to the king. Navinde has retired to the island of Ngau, and the other conspirators have fled to different places. Navinde has been rising (in his own estimation) since his marriage with the daughter of the king, and he has supposed, probably, that Thakombau is the only obstacle in the way of his becoming the greatest man in the kingdom.
Arrived and anchored at Nai Thoinbo-thombo on our way to Bua, Being about fourteen miles distant from Bua, I started in the jolly boat, about six o'clock in the evening, for that place. The crew consisted of four Vewa men to row the boat, and old Koru, of the same place, to act as guide and protector, I thought that we should have a bright moon to light us on our way, but in this I was disappointed, as she chose to wear a thick veil of grey, and thus deprive me of the pleasure of viewing the coast and river scenery by moonlight. After a dull passage of five hours, we arrived in safety at the mission station. Messrs. Williams and Hazlewood met me at the landing. I found Mrs. W. quite ill of influenza.
I learned that the heathen party at Bua had been very quiet since my former visit. The young chief is ill of consumption.
The yam season had commenced, and before taking their yams from the ground, it is usual to sacrifice a number of human beings. Five persons have been taken in this vicinity, and sent to as many different towns. As Mrs. Williams was standing on the piazza, a few days page 405since, she observed a party of the heathen on the opposite bank of the river cutting up a human body, and preparing it for the oven; the head and entrails were soon after seen floating down the river. Mr. Williams had them buried.
Mr. Hazlewood related the following horrible occurrence which took place at Nandy: "A native woman who had 'lotued' was one day returning to her dwelling from a class meeting which she had been attending, when her son met her, and at once cleft her skull. He was immediately surrounded by the Christians and beaten to within an inch of his life, and then suffered to crawl away as best he could. He was angry with his mother, because she was not strangled on the death of her husband, which had happened a short time before."
|20.||The Zotoff arrived at noon, and Mr. W. came ashore, when, after remaining a short time, we once more took leave of our kind friends, and departed, never expecting to see them again on the shores of time.|
We anchored at Motureke. On Monday, the 26th, there being no prospect of a breeze to waft our bark to Bau on that day, I took passage in one of the small boats for Vewa. The rowers were lazy, and our passage was rather long. Koru was my protector, as before. Two of the oarsmen were heathen, and were very earnest in coaxing the god of the wind to raise a breeze, promising to feed him with puddings and sugarcane if he would save them their labor at the oars. One hinted that if I would give each of them a piece of cloth, their god would be propitious. I told them that, as it was not fashionable for the Feejeean gods to wear cloth, I thought they would be quite satisfied with what had been promised.page 406
On our arrival at Vewa, I found the family of Mr. Calvert all in good health.
Several of the towns on the main land are engaged in hostilities. The war drum is beating, and we have seen the smoke of two burning towns. One or both belonged to Navinde, who is still at Ngau. No one appears to know whether he is guilty of laying a plan to kill Thakombau or not. It is reported that Navinde had engaged to kill Thakombau, and a chief called Vunivalu, with his son Karoe Sigalavu, was to kill Garenggeo; and another chief, called Tanoa, was to kill his father, the king of Naitaaere. The truth, however, has not been, ascertained, except in the case of Phillips. The conspirators against his life have tied to the mountains. Thakombau has sent for them to be killed where they are, or for them to be returned to Phillips; but the mountaineers refuse to do either.
There is a town situated not far from Bau called Buretu. It formerly belonged to Bau, but revolted and joined Garenggeo, the exiled chief. Bau has decreed its destruction, which makes the difference now between Bau and Garenggeo. When the two chiefs met on board the English man-of-war Daphne, for the purpose of settling their difficulties, Garenggeo stipulated that Buretu should be saved. Thakombau refused, and thus ended the affair for the present.
Mr. Williams, the American commercial agent for Feejee, has left the dominions of Phillips, and lives on the island of Motureke.
A letter, of which the following is a copy, was sent to Thakombau from Her Britannic Majesty's ship Daphne, addressed to Tui Vete, (Thakombau,) king of Feejee:page 407
In the afternoon Mrs. Calvert and the children and servants, with myself, embarked in a double canoe, intending to call at the bark and then proceed to Bau. On arriving at the bark, we found Tui Vete on board, and so many other Feejeean visitors that we concluded to keep on our way to the city. The king, page 409hearing of our intention, started at once and reached Bau before us. He passed our canoe in one of a smaller size, and was seated in a large arm chair, which had been lashed to the canoe. When we first arrived in Feejee, he would have ridiculed the idea of a Feejeean sitting in an arm chair on a canoe; but he is greatly changed since my first acquaintance with him. He appears fond of many of the comforts of civilized life.
Our stay at Bau was very short, as the clouds looked black and we feared a squall of wind before our return to Vewa.
The large house, formerly occupied by Thakombau, was blown down during one of the gales, and we found him living in a smaller one which had been erected on the same spot. Samonunu showed us the beginning of a stone house, but when it would be finished was more than she could tell.
We called on the old king, Tanoa, and found him surrounded by old men, who were drinking yanggona. I found the king much more feeble than when I last saw him. He still retains a fondness for ornamenting his head. He wore a white "sala," with several yards of pink ribbon wound about it. The ribbon bad been attached to the whales' teeth that were presented to him by the ladies, when they begged for the lives of the victims of the cannibal feast before recorded. He is very deaf, but his general health is good. He presented me a native mat, and we departed for Vewa.
|3.||Thakombau spent the day at Vewa. He appears very fond of Mr. Calvert and family, frequently coming to pass a day with them, and holding long and sensible conversations with Mr. Calvert.|
Samonunu, with several of her attendants, visited us. She brought some mats and presented them to me.page 410
Many of my Vewa friends have also presented breadfruit, mats, baskets and other articles.
As Mrs. Calvert and myself were standing on the piazza, a canoe, filled with natives, came in shore singing the following dirge, on the death of our much lamented Mr. Hunt.
The natives sing or chant the above, with many others of their composing, in which they relate his love to them, with his sayings and doings while among them.
I visited the grave of Mr. Hunt, as I expected to leave Vewa the next day, and set out an acacia tree at the head and at the foot of the grave, and then took my leave of the spot forever.
After this I visited the town belonging to Elijah, where, by the desire of Mary Wallis, I planted some tamarinds and transplanted some geraniums. The slips of rose bushes and geraniums, with many other plants page 412that I had taken from New Zealand, had grown most luxuriously. It is very easy to cultivate a garden of flowers in Feejee.
I took leave of my very kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Calvert, with their interesting little family of children, and once more joined the bark, which had carried me safely over eighty thousand miles.
Navinde, who had been collecting "beech de mer" for Mr. W., had come from Ngau, and was on board when I arrived at the bark. I asked him about the report that had been in circulation respecting him and Thakombau. He said it was false, and got up by a poor man, to injure him. "Why should I kill Thakombau? If I kill him, it would be my own death. We are friends; I feel no enmity to him," said Navinde. I asked him how many men he had killed while at Ngau. He replied that three men had been concerned in stealing one of his pigs., and he ordered them to be killed. "Do they not kill people in America for stealing?" he asked. I told him they did not. "Well," he said, "it is not many years since people in England were hung for stealing." I presume he learned it from some of the English sailors, of whom there are many about here.
We arrived at Motureke and anchored. A few hours after anchoring, we received letters and a basket of fine pine-apples from Lakemba, from Mrs. Lyth.
The king of Lakemba, with many of his principal chiefs, has at length embraced the Christian religion. It is now fourteen years since the Wesleyans first arrived at Lakemba, where, although the king has hitherto refrained from embracing Christianity himself, yet he has not opposed his subjects, and the gospel has advanced rapidly in that region. Cannibalism has been abolished from that isle ever since the missionaries arrived.page 413
|18.||Since my last date, we have passed down the coast of Vetelavu, and are now anchored at Nandy, (not where the mission is located; the place of this name before mentioned as being the scene of the hurricane, is situated on Vanualavu,) buying yams in great abundance. This is the birthplace of Phebe. We have given her liberty to go on shore, but no one as yet appears to notice her, although many natives are visiting the vessel. We have some Vewa men on board, who tell us not to let her go ashore alone.|
Yesterday Phebe's mother came to see her after I had recorded the above. She kissed (Feejee fashion) every part of her child's face, and shed some tears. Mr. W. gave her presents, and then she wished to return ashore. She told Phebe that she had better remain where she is, and did not invite her to visit her home. They parted without any emotion, and Phebe says, to-day, that she would like to go to America again.
The Glide, which has been presented to Elijah for his services during our voyage, has just left for Vewa. Eleven Vewa men, who have been in the employ of the bark, and two white men, have also left, and our company is quite reduced. We are now all ready for sea.
We have no favoring wind, as yet, to fill our sails and bear us hence. Yesterday the cutter belonging to the mission arrived on its way to Ndronga. Elijah came in it, and we had the pleasure of receiving letters from our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Calvert.
A Sydney cutter, commanded by Capt. Allen, visited us yesterday. He has lately been robbed of nearly all his stores and trade. As his vessel was very small, he bought a little island near the large one, called Vetelavu, where he deposited the most of his trade and stores, leaving two white men and a boy to take care of page 414the same. The chief who sold the land told the purchaser to shoot any natives who should come to molest them. The men, being ignorant of Feejeean courtesy, supposed that they had full liberty to shoot Feejeeans when they chose, than which nothing was farther from the mind of the chief when he told them to do it. A chief may club and kill his subjects at will, but he never wills that they should be killed by white men; even a blow from a white man is remembered, and no opportunity is lost of avenging it.
Some time after the white men had taken possession of the isle, a native came one day to get some cocoa-nuts, when one of them fired a musket, and the ball made a plain path over the top of the man's head, carrying away the hair and skin. Soon after this affair, several more came to gather cocoa-nuts, when the white men made them prisoners, took away their clubs, spears and canoes, and gave them to other natives. Such is a specimen of their conduct towards the natives. They did not try to conciliate them, nor seemed to remember that their own lives were at the mercy of the natives by whom they were surrounded. They had been told many times that they would be attacked and killed, but the warnings had no effect upon their conduct. At length, about the 6th of the present month, they were attacked by fifty of their enemies. The arm of one of the white men was broken, while the skulls of three others were fractured, and their bodies were beaten with clubs until they were completely black and blue. The natives then took what stores and goods would be valuable to them, and destroyed the rest. They had been induced to spare the lives of the white men, hoping to receive a ransom, and took them, with the spoil, to the mountains.
Capt. Allen arrived four days after the events record-page 415ed above, and with the aid of a chief of some note in the vicinity, succeeded in liberating the prisoners, who are likely to recover, and it is hoped that they may learn a lesson of prudence and forbearance, should they have dealings in future with this race of cannibals.
The two vessels have left this morning, and our bark is once more under way. There is no wind, and we are resting quietly upon the glassy bosom of the waters.
|26.||On the 22d a severe gale commenced, and lasted for three days, during which no injury was experienced except the loss of sails.|
|Jan. 15, 1850.||At sunrise we heard the welcome cry of Sail oh!" and about 10 o'clock, A. M., the Ameriican whale ship, Uncas, came within hailing distance, and the captain came on board and dined; after which Mr. W. and myself accompanied him on board the Uncas, where we were introduced to Mrs. Edwards, the captain's wife. We enjoyed a social chat, took tea, and returned to the bark at dusk. There is something novel as well as delightful in going out to tea on these lone waters, where we never before saw a sail except our own.|
|16.||Capt. Edwards and wife passed the day with us, and we found it quite too short; although but acquaintances of yesterday, our intimacy seems of years.|
|18.||The Uncas still remains in company.|
|19.||We have lost sight of our friends.|
|22.||The Uncas came in sight at daylight, and spoke us at nine o'clock. The captain said, "You are in my debt. I have come for my pay. I shall send my boat for you and Mrs. Wallis to come here and spend the day." Accordingly we went on board and passed a most delightful day. We have had calms and light airs for some time, and our progress is slow. We cannot page 416find the monsoon. It must have blown away during the gale that we had off Feejee.|
|23.||A fine breeze. The Uncas has outsailed us on her way to Guam. Capt. Edwards has been from New Bedford about six months, and has been quite successful in getting oil.|
|Feb. 7.||Our anchor was cast in Manilla Bay at about six o'clock, P. M. The captain and Mr. Saunders (a passenger from Feejee) went ashore to get our letters from home, to hear the news, &c. We had heard nothing from home since we left, and looked with anxiety and pleasure for our communications. At nine o'clock I heard the paddles of the returning banca, and soon after Mr. W. and Mr. S. came on board, each bearing a little bundle in his hand. I met them at the companion way, and held out my hand to receive the letters. "Here are some cakes that Mr. P. has sent you, with an invitation for you to reside at your old quarters at the bouse of Peel, Hubbell and Co., during our stay at Manilla," said Mr. W., as he put the bundle into my hand. "But where are the letters?" I asked. I was told that there were none for any of us. We passed into the cabin, ate some cakes, and in due time retired to rest, and to dream of home if we could.|
|8.||We left the bark, and were welcomed at the house of Peel, Hubbell, Co., by Messrs. Edwards and Pierce and Mr. Towne. We learned that some changes had taken place among the managers of the house. Mr. Edwards has received the appointment of American Consul, and Mr. Osborne has left the firm and returned to America. Mr. Pierce, of Salem, is his successor. After dinner we enjoyed a pleasant drive on the Calsada.|
My girl, Phebe, came on shore and the child of page 417Mr. Saunders, who, with her father, came as a passenger in our bark from Feejee.
|28.||The United States sloop of war, St. Mary, arrived. The Consul called on board and invited the Commodore, with his Secretary, to reside here during their stay at this place.|
Commodore Geisenger, with his Secretary, Mr. Sleigh, and several of the officers of the St. Mary, dined here yesterday.
In addition to our usual afternoon drive, the Commodore, Mr. Pierce, my husband and myself, enjoyed a delightful drive about the suburbs of Manilla by moonlight.
|2.||Our hosts gave a dinner party to the Commodore and his officers, and the house of Russell, Sturgiss & Co. It was a splendid affair. I received an invitation to spend a day with Mrs. Steele, of the ship Anstiss, of Boston, commanded by Capt. Steele, which arrived a few days since from Hongkong.|
|3.||I passed a pleasant day with Mrs. Sturgiss and Mrs. Steele. The house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Sturgiss is most delightfully situated at a little distance from the road leading to the balsa, surrounded by green fields and flower gardens, and is decidedly the most beautiful country seat to be seen about Manilla. The house of Russell, Sturgiss & Co., gave a dinner to the Commodore and his officers and the house of Peel, Hubbell & Co. About eight in the evening, Mr. Sturgiss, Capt. Steele and Capt. Wallis joined us. We then took tea and returned home.|
|5.||The Commodore and suite left the house, expect-page 418ing to sail in the evening. At 10 o'clock, A. M., the Commodore sent his boat, and an invitation for Mr. W. and myself, with several others, to visit the St. Mary. We were shown over the vessel, partook of an elegant collation, and then returned delighted with our visit.|
|10.||Whatever road we take during our afternoon drives, we meet the dead that are being borne to their graves. They are mostly children, who have died with the small-pox. The bodies are dressed in the most ludicrous manner, and carried through the streets on a tray, or bier, while their faces are horribly disfigured by the disease. Thus they are borne along, spreading infection through the streets and among the numerous inhabitants of the places where they pass.|
|14.||The American ship, Vernon, arrived from Hongkong. Capt. McKay is accompanied by his wife.|
|20.||All being in readiness, we took leave of our truly hospitable hosts, who had so kindly received and entertained us so many times, and rejoined our bark to wend our way homewards.|
The weather is delightful. A gentle breeze fills our sails and we are homeward bound.
Every precaution has been used to prevent the smallpox from spreading, but Mr. Saunders, one of the passengers, is now sick with it, and we fear he will not have it lightly.
|28.||The weather continues fine. Mr. S. has recovered, and was dismissed from the hospital this morning. It was purified as soon as he left, and a negro, named John Battis, has taken possession, being sick with the dysentery.|
We anchored off North Island at sunset. The British bark, Enmore, Capt. Dunsford, anchored near.page 419
She is in rather a leaky condition, her crew being obliged to work at the pumps half an hour once in two hours. Capt. D. spent the evening with us.
|14.||The poor negro died and was buried in the deep, and there was none to mourn or care for his loss. The flag was raised half mast, the funeral service was read, and although there was no exhibition of grief for the departed, yet all appeared, and no doubt felt, the solemnity of the scene.|
|May 27.||We had a severe gale of wind, which commenced on the 23d and lasted till the 26th. A part of the bulwarks, several of the ports and portions of the head-rail were stove; the vessel leaked some in her upper works, and we were all sufficiently uncomfortable while the gale lasted.|
|28.||An active, interesting Portuguese lad, whom Mr. Wallis shipped in Manilla, was taken sick, and was carried to the deck cabin that he might have proper attendance, and be made as comfortable as possible. His mind was somewhat wandering during the day, and at night became more so. He constantly imagined that every one wished to kill him. He came into the lower cabin, with tears streaming down his cheeks, and the perspiration standing in large drops on his forehead, his hair disordered, and his body convulsed with an agony of fear, asking, "What for you want to kill me, Capt. Wallis? I no hurt you. I want to go home and see my father." After a time he was prevailed upon to return to the cabin on deck, where he soon became so violent that his hands and feet were bound, and it was sometimes more than two men could do to manage him. His shouts and ravings during the night and the nest day were fearful and distressing to hear.page 420|
|30.||Antonio de Roce appears somewhat exhausted from continual and violent raving, but his fever is exceedingly high, and no hopes are entertained of his recovery.|
|June 2.||Antonio breathed bis last about six o'clock, P. M. His sufferings during bis sickness were truly severe, but his death was as gentle as the slumbers of an infant.|
Antonio was buried with the usual ceremonies. He was a native of Fayal, and of respectable parentage. He had been absent from home about sixteen months, and was very anxious to return. His promptness in duty, and the kindness of his disposition, had endeared him to his shipmates, and they sorrowed for his loss.
On the first day of the month we experienced another violent gale, although we had doubled the stormy Cape, and thought we were where gales were not prevalent, but we found, to our discomfort, that the winds in this region could raise heavy seas that caused our bark to groan, that washed in upon our decks, that could break in cabin doors, carry off a billet head, split a staysail, carry away halyards, and, in short, could cut up as many pranks as any Cape gale.
We anchored off the Island of St. Helena. Here we found the ship Anstiss, which we left at Manilla. She sailed eight days after us, and arrived a few hours before. As soon as the anchor was down, our friend, the American Consul, came on board, and we accompanied him to his residence, where we found Mrs. Carroll, Capt, and Mrs. Steele, of the Anstiss, and Capt. and Mrs. Plummer, of the ship St. Petersburg, of Boston.
The evening passed pleasantly at the Ex-Consul's, with page 421music and conversation. At one time during the evening we missed him from our company for a few moments. On his return, he handed a paper to one of his daughters, who took her seat at the piano, and played off-hand to the tune of "Yankee Doodle," a song in which the names of each gentleman were introduced, with an allusion to their business, and also something complimentary to their wives. I need not say that this extemporaneous production produced great applause.
At six o'clock, A. M., I took leave of our American friends, who were to sail for home at ten, and mounting a one horse carriage in company with Mrs. Carroll, we started for Longwood. We saw appearances of rain, but they did not deter us. We went on and soon the rain descended in torrents; hut being well sheltered beneath cloaks and umbrellas, we kept dry, and before we reached Longwood, had fine weather. So much has been said about the ride to Longwood and Longwood itself, that I will add nothing farther, except that we looked down horrible gullies and ravines, and found the house where Napoleon lived and died, a miserable looking place. I considered the view from Longwood rather pretty; the new house, too, is beautiful, and the flowers that surround it still more so.
We returned about twelve; after which we visited the grave of the excellent Mrs. Judson, about which so much has been said by those who have visited it, that I should fail in an attempt to present any thing new.
At three o'clock we went on board. The Anstiss and St. Petersburg sailed a few hours before. The vessel was soon under way, and we felt that we were bound home in earnest.
|25.||We have had favoring winds since leaving St.page 422Helena, and to-day have crossed the Equator. Ail hands are as busy as possible in fitting and cleaning for home.|
|July 10.||We encountered large quantities of the Gulf weed; this is a delightful sight to the homeward bound.|
|16.||Ran into a fog bank, which told us that we were near land.|
|18.||Our anchor was cast in Salem harbor,—we were at home.|