'But when I attempt to systematise, I find endless ramifications of cognate dialects rushing through my brain, by their very multitude overwhelming me, and though I see the affinities and can make practical use of them, I don't know how to state them on paper, where to begin, how to put another person in my position.
'Again, for observation of the rapid changes in these dialects, I have not much opportunity. For no one in Melanesia can be my informant. It is not easy where so many dialects must be known for practical purposes, for the introductory part of Mission work, to talk to some wild naked old fellow, and to make him understand what I am anxious to ascertain. It is a matter that has no interest for him, he never thought of it, he doesn't know my meaning, what have we in common? How can I rouse him from his utter indifference, even if I know his language so well as to talk easily, not to a scholar of my own, but to an elderly man, with none but native ideas in his head?
'All that I can do is to learn many dialects of a given archipelago, present their existing varieties, and so work back to the original language. This, to some extent, has been done in the Banks group, and in the eastern part of the Solomon Isles. But directly I get so far as this, I am recalled to the practical necessity of using the knowledge of the several dialects rather to make known God's truth to the heathen than to inform literati of the process of dialectic variation. Don't mistake me, my dear friend, or suspect me of silly sentimentalism. But you can easily understand what it is to feel "God has given to me only of all Christian men the power of speaking to this or that nation, and, moreover, that is the work He has sent me to do." Often, I don't deny, I should like the other better. It is very pleasant to shirk my evening class, e.g. and spend the time with Sir William Martin, discussing some point of Melanesian philosophy. But then my dear lads have lost two hours of Christian instruction, and that won't do.
'I don't need to be urged to do more in working out their languages. I am quite aware of the duty of doing all that I can in that way, and I wish to do it; but there are only twenty-four hours in the day and night together! I feel that it is a part of my special work, for each grammar and dictionary that I can write opens out the language to some other than myself. But I am now apologising rather for my fragmentary way of writing what I do write by saying that what I find enough, with my help given in school to enable one of my party to learn a dialect, I am almost obliged to regard as a measure of the time that I ought to spend on it.
'Another thing, I have no outline provided for me, which I can fill up. My own clear impression is that to attempt to follow the analogy of our complicated Greek and Latin grammars would not only involve certain failure, but would mislead people altogether. I don't want to be hunting after a Melanesian paulo-post-futurum. I had rather say, "All men qua men think, and have a power of expressing their thoughts. They have wants and express them. They use many different forms of speech in making that statement, if we look superficially at the matter, not so if we look into it," and so on. Then, discarding the ordinary arrangement of grammars, explain the mode of thought, the peculiar method of thinking upon matters of common interest, in the mind of the Melanesian, as exhibited in his language. An Englishman says, "When I get there, it will be night." But a Pacific Islander says, "I am there, it is night." The one says, "Go on, it will soon be dark." The other, "Go on, it has become already night." Anyone sees that the one possesses the power of realising the future as present, or past; the other now whatever it may have been once, does not exercise such power. A companion calls me at 5.30 A.M., with the words, "Eke! me gong veto," (Hullo! it is night already). He means, "Why, we ought to be off, we shall never reach the end of our journey before dark." But how neatly and prettily he expresses his thought! I assure you, civilised languages, for common conversational purposes needed by travellers, &c., are clumsy contrivances! Of course you know all this a hundred times better than I do. I only illustrate my idea of a grammar as a means of teaching others the form of the mould in which the Melanesian's mind is cast. I think I ought to go farther, and seek for certain categories, under which thought may be classified (so to say), and beginning with the very simplest work on to the more complicated powers.
'But I haven't the head to do this; and suppose that I did make such a framework, how am I to fill it in so as to be intelligible to outsiders? For practical purposes, I give numerals, personal, possessive, and demonstrative pronouns, the mode of qualifying nouns, e.g., some languages interpose a monosyllable between the substantive and adjective, others do not. The words used (as it is called) as prepositions and adverbs, the mode of changing a neuter verb into a transitive or causative verb, usually by a word prefixed, which means do or make, e.g., die, do-die, do-to-the-death, him.
'Then I teach orally how the intonation, accentuation, pause in the utterance, gesticulation, supply the place of stops, marks of interrogation, &c.
'Then giving certain nouns, verbs, &c., make my English pupils construct sentences; then give them a vocabulary and genuine native stories, not translations at all, least of all of religious books, which contain very few native ideas, but stories of sharks, cocoa- nuts, canoes, fights, &c. This is the apparatus. This gives but little idea of a Melanesian dialect to you. I know it, and am anxious to do more.
'This last season I have had some three or four months, during which I determined that I must refuse to take so much English work, &c. I sat and growled in my den, and of course rather vexed people, and perhaps, for which I should be most heartily grieved, my dear friend and leader, the Bishop of New Zealand. But I stuck to my work. I wrote about a dozen papers of phrases in as many dialects, to show the mode of expressing in those dialects what we express by adverbs and prepositions, &c. This is, of course, the difficult part of a language for a stranger to find out. I also printed three, and have three more nearly finished in MS., vocabularies of about 600 words with a true native sehdia on each word. The mere writing (for much was written twice over) took a long time. And there is this gained by these vocabularies for practical purposes: these are (with more exceptions, it is true, than I intended) the words which crop up most readily in a Melanesian mind. Much time I have wasted, and would fain save others from wasting, in trying to form a Melanesian mind into a given direction into which it ought, as I supposed, to have travelled, but which nevertheless it refused to follow. Just ten years' experience has, of course, taught me a good deal of the minds of these races; and when I catch a new fellow, as wild as a hawk, and set to work at a new language, it is a great gain to have even partially worked out the problem, "What words shall I try to get from this fellow?" Now I go straight to my mark, or rather I am enabling, I hope, my young friends with me to do so, for of course, I have learnt to do so myself, more or less, for some time past. Many words may surprise you, and many alterations I should make in any revision. I know a vast number of words not used in these vocabularies, in some languages I daresay five times the number, but I had a special reason for writing only these. The rest must come, if I live, by-and-by.
'Of course these languages are very poor in respect of words belonging to civilised and literary and religious life, but exceedingly rich in all that pertains to the needs and habits of men circumstanced as they are. I draw naturally this inference, "Don't be in any hurry to translate, and don't attempt to use words as (assumed) equivalents of abstract ideas. Don't devise modes of expression unknown to the language as at present in use. They can't understand, and therefore don't use words to express definitions."
But, as everywhere, our Lord gives us the model. A certain lawyer asked Him for a definition of his neighbour, but He gave no definition, only He spoke a simple and touching parable. So teach, not a technical word, but an actual thing.
'Why do I write all this to you? It is wasting your time. But I prose on.—(A sheet follows on the structure of the languages.)
'Well, I have inflicted a volume on you. We are almost becalmed after a weary fortnight of heavy weather, in which we have been knocked about in every direction in our tight little 90-ton schooner. And my head is hardly steady yet, so excuse a long letter, or rather long chatty set of desultory remarks, from
'Your old affectionate Friend,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
A little scene from Mr. Atkin's journal shows how he had learnt to talk to natives. He went ashore with the Bishop and some others at Sesaki for yams:—
'It has been by far the pleasantest day of the kind that I have seen here. The people are beginning to understand that they can do no better than trade fairly with us, and to-day they on the whole behaved very well. A very big fellow had been ringing all the changes between commanding and entreating me to give him a hatchet (I was holding the trade bag). When he found it was no use, he said, "I was a bad man, and never gave anything." I said "Yes, I was." He said the Bishops were very good men, they gave liberally. He had better go and ask the Bishop for something, for he was a good man, though I was not.'
After landing Mr. Palmer at Mota, the vessel went onto the Solomon Isles, reaching Bauro on the 27th:—
'About 8.30 in the evening the boat was lowered, and the party pulled towards the village, which was the home of Taroniara, in a fine clear moonlit night, by the fires which people had lit for the people on shore, and directed by Taroniara himself to the opening in the reef. They landed in the midst of a group of dark figures, some standing in a brook, some by the side under a large spreading tree, round a fire fed by dry cocoa-nut leaves; and in the background were tall cocoa- nuts with their gracefully drooping plumes, and the moon behind shining through them made the shade seem darker and deeper as the flashing crests of the surf, breaking on the reef, made the heaving sea beyond look murkier. It was a sight worth going a long way to see,' so says Mr. Atkin's journal.
The next sight was, however, still more curious. The Bishop relented so far towards 'the Net,' as to write an account of it on purpose for it. Ysabel Island is, like almost all the rest, divided among many small communities of warlike habits. And some years previously the people of Mahaga, the place with which he was best acquainted, had laid an ambush for those of Hogirano, killed a good many, and, cutting off their heads, had placed them in a row upon stones, and danced round them in a victorious suit of white-coral lime. However, a more powerful tribe, not long after, came down upon Mahaga and fearfully avenged the massacre of Hogirano. All were slain who could not escape into the bush; and when the few survivors, after days and nights of hunger, ventured back, they found the dwellings burnt, the fruit trees cut down, the yam and taro grounds devastated, and more than a hundred headless bodies of their kindred lying scattered about.
This outrage had led to the erection of places of refuge in the tops of trees; and Bishop Patteson, who had three Mahagan scholars, went ashore, with the hope of passing the night in one of these wonderful places, where the people always slept, though by day they lived in the ordinary open bamboo huts.
After landing in a mangrove swamp, and wading through deep mud, he found that the Mahaga people had removed from their old site, and had built a strong fortification near the sea; and close above, so as to be reached by ladders resting on the wall, were six large tree- houses.
It had been raining heavily for a day or two, and the paths were so deep in mud that the bed of a water-course was found preferable to them. The bush had been cleared for some distance before the steep rocky mound where the village stood, surrounded by a high wall of stones, in which one narrow entrance was left, approached by a fallen trunk of a tree lying over a hollow. The huts were made of bamboo canes, and the floors, raised above the ground, were nearly covered with mats and a kind of basket work.
The tree-houses, six in number, were upon the tops of trees of great height, 50 feet round at the base, and all branches cleared off till near the summit, where two or three grew out at right angles, something after the manner of an Italian stone pine:—
'From the top of the wall the ladder that led to one of these houses was 60 feet long, but it was not quite upright, and the tree was growing at some little distance from the bottom of the rock, and the distance by a plumb line from the floor of the verandah to the ground on the lower side of the tree was 94 feet. The floor of the house, which is made first, was 23 feet long and about 11 broad; a narrow verandah is left at each end, and the inside length of the house is 18 feet, the breadth 10 feet, the height to the ridge pole 6 feet. The floor was of bamboo matted, the roof and sides of palm-leaf thatch. The ladders were remarkable contrivances: a pole in the centre, from 4 to 6 inches in diameter, to which were lashed by vines cross pieces of wood, about two feet long. To steady these and hold on by were double shrouds of supple-jacks. The rungs of the ladder were at unequal distances, 42 upon the 50 feet ladder.'
The Bishop and Pasvorang, who had gone ashore together, beheld men, women, and children running up and down these ladders, and walking about the bare branches, trusting entirely to their feet and not touching with their hands. The Bishop, in his wet slippery shoes, did not think it right to run the risk of an accident: and though Pasvorang, who was as much at home as a sailor among the ropes of the 'Southern Cross,' made the ascent, he came down saying, 'I was so afraid, my legs shook. Don't you go, going aloft is nothing to it;' but the people could not understand any dread; and when the Bishop said, 'I can't go up there. I am neither bird nor bat, and I have no wings if I fall,' they thought him joking. At the same time he saw a woman with a load on her back, quietly walking up a ladder to another tree, not indeed so lofty as that Pasvorang had tried, but as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and without attempting to catch hold with her hands.
'At night,' says the Bishop, 'as I lay ignominiously on the ground in a hut, I heard the songs of the women aloft as voices from the clouds, while the loud croaking of the frogs, the shrill noise of countless cicadas, the scream of cockatoos and parrots, the cries of birds of many kinds, and the not unreasonable fear of scorpions, all combined to keep me awake. Solemn thoughts pass through the mind at such times, and from time to time I spoke to the people who were sleeping in the hut with me. It rained heavily in the night, and I was not sorry to find myself at 7 A.M. on board the schooner.'
The next day was spent in doing the honours of the ship, a crowd on board all day; and on July 2 the Bishop landed again with Mr. Atkin, and mounted up to this wonderful nest, where all these measurements were made. It proved much more agreeable to look at from below than to inhabit 'the low steaming bamboo huts—the crowds, the dirt, the squalling of babies—you can't sit or stand, or touch anything that is not grimy and sooty and muddy. It is silly to let these things really affect one, only that it now seems rather to knock me up. After such a day and night I am very tired, come back to our little ship as to a palace, wash, and sit down on a clean, if not a soft stool, and am free for a little while from continual noise and the necessity of making talk in an imperfectly known language.
'It is really curious to see how in some way our civilised mode of life unfits one for living among these races. It is not to be denied that the want of such occupations as we are employed in is a large cause of their troubles. What are they to do during the long hours of night, and on wet, pouring days? They can't read, they can't see in their huts to do any work, making baskets, &c. They must lie about, talking scandal and acquiring listless indolent habits. Then comes a wild reaction. The younger people like excitement as much as our young men like hunting, fishing, shooting, &c. How can they get this? Why, they must quarrel and fight, and so they pass their time. It does seem almost impossible to do much for people so circumstanced; yet it was much the same in Mota and elsewhere, where things are altered for the better.'
It was bad and trying weather, and it was well to have only two old Banks Islanders on board, besides three Ysabel lads. The Bishop had plenty of time for writing; and for the first time in his life 'pronounced himself forward with that Report which was always on his mind.' He goes on: 'I read a good deal, but I don't say that my mind is very active all the time, and I have some schooling. Yet it is not easy to do very much mental work. I think that I feel the heat more than I used to do, but that may be only my fancy.
'You meantime are, I hope, enjoying fine summer weather. Certainly it must be a charming place that you have, close to that grand Church and grand scenery. I think my idea of a cosy home is rather that of a cottage in the Isle of Wight, or, better still, a house near such a Cathedral as Wells, in one of the cottages close to the clear streams that wind through and about the Cathedral precincts. But I can form no real notions about such things. Only I am pretty sure that there is little happiness without real hard work. I do long sometimes for a glorious Cathedral service, for the old chants, anthems, not for "functions" and "processions," &c. I have read Freeman's pamphlet on "Ritual " with interest; he really knows what he writes about, and has one great object and a worthy one, the restoration of the universal practice of weekly communion as the special Sunday service. That all our preachifying is a wide departure from the very idea of worship is self-evident, when it is made more than a necessary part of the religious observance of the Lord's Day, and catechising is worth far more than preaching (in the technical sense of the word).'
A first visit was paid to Savo; where numerous canoes came out to meet them, one a kind of state galley, with the stem and stern twelve feet high, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and ornamented with white shells (most likely the ovum or poached egg), and containing the chief men of the island. The people spoke the Ysabel language, and the place seemed promising.
Some little time was spent in beating up to Bauro; where the Bishop again landed at Taroniara's village, and slept in his hut, which was as disagreeable as all such places were:—'Such a night always disturbs me for a time, throws everything out of regular working order; but it always pays, the people like it, and it shows a confidence in them which helps us on.
'I was disappointed though in the morning, when Taroniara declined to come with me to this place.
'My people say, "Why do you go away?"—the old stupid way of getting out of an engagement.' However, two others came to 'this place,' which was a hut in the village of Wango, which the Bishop had hired for ten days for the rent of a hatchet.
'A very sufficient rent too, you would say, if you could see the place. I can only stand upright under the ridge pole, the whole of the oblong is made of bamboo, with a good roof that kept out a heavy shower last night. There is a fresh stream of water within fifteen yards, where I bathed at 9 P.M. yesterday; and as I managed to get rid of strangers by 8.30, it was not so difficult to manage a shift into a clean and dry sleeping shirt, and then, lying down on Aunt William's cork-bed (my old travelling companion), I slept very fairly.
'People about the hut at earliest dawn; and the day seems long, the sustained effort of talking, the heat, the crowd, and the many little things that should not but do operate as an annoyance, all tire one very much. But I hope that by degrees I may get opportunities of talking about the matter that I come to talk about. Just now the trading with the vessel, which is detained here by the weather, and surprise at my half-dozen books, &c., prevent any attention being paid to anything else.
'7 P.M.—The vessel went off at 10.30 A.M. I felt for a little while rather forlorn, and a little sinking at the heart. You see I confess it all, how silly! Can't I after so many years bear to be left in one sense alone? I read a little of you know what Book, and then found the feeling pass entirely away.
'But, more than that, the extreme friendliness of the people, the real kindness was pleasant to me. One man brought his child, "The child of us two, Bishop." Another man, "These cocoa-nut trees are the property of us two, remember." A third, "When you want yams, don't you buy them, tell me."
'But far better still. Many times already to-day have I spoken to the people; they have so far listened that they say, "Take this boy, and this boy, and this boy. We see now why you don't want big men, we see now that you can't stop here long, what for you wish for lads whom you may teach, we see that you want them for a long time. Keep these lads two years."
'"Yes, two or three or four. By-and-by you will understand more and more my reason."
'Then came the talks that you too may experience when dealing with some neglected child in London, or it may be in the country; but which, under the cocoa-nut tree, with dark naked men, have a special impressiveness. It was the old lesson, of the Eternal and Universal Father, who has not left Himself without witness in that He gives us all rain from Heaven, &c., and of our ingratitude, and His love; of His coming down to point out the way of life, and of His Death and Rising again; of another world, Resurrection, and Judgment. All interrupted, now and then, by exclamations of surprise, laughter, or by some one beginning to talk about something that jarred sadly on one's ear, and yet was but natural. But I do hope that a week may pass not unprofitably. In one sense, I shall no doubt be glad when it is over; but I think that it may, by God's great goodness, be a preparation for something more to come.
'Last night, my little hired hut being crowded as usual, they all cried out at once "Numu" (earthquake). I should not the least have known that anything had occurred. I said I thought it was a pig pushing against the bamboo wall of the hut. They say that they have no serious shocks, but very many slight ones. Crocodiles they have too, but, they say, none in this stream.
'July 22nd.—It is 9 P.M., the pleasantest time, in one sense, of my twenty-four hours, for there are only two people with me in the hut.
'My arrangements are somewhat simple; but I am very comfortable. Delicious bathes I have in the stream: yams and fish are no bad fare; and I have some biscuit and essence of coffee, and a few books, and am perfectly well. The mode of life has become almost natural to me. I am on capital terms with the people, and even the babies are no longer afraid of me. Old and young, men and women, boys and girls about me of course all day; and small presents of yams, fish, bananas, almonds, show the friendliness of the people when properly treated. But the bunches of skulls remain slung up in the large canoe houses, and they can be wild enough when they are excited.'
[The home diary continues, on the 26th]:—'I am expecting the schooner, and shall be glad to get off if it arrives to-day, for it is very fine. I don't think I could do any good by staying a few days more, so I might as well be on my way to Santa Cruz. If I were here for good, of course I should be busy about many things that it would be useless to attempt now, e.g., what good would it be to induce half-a-dozen boys to learn "a," when I should be gone before they could learn "b"? So I content myself with making friends with the people, observing their ways, and talking to them as I can. It is hot, now at 8.30 A.M. What will it be at 2 P.M.? But I may perhaps be able to say something to cheer me up. One of the trials of this kind of thing is that one seems to be doing nothing. Simply I am here! Hardly in one hour out of the twenty-four am I sure to be speaking of religion. Yet the being here is something, the gaining the confidence and goodwill of the people. Then comes the thought, who is to carry this on? And yet I dare not ask men to come, for I am certain they would after all my pains find something different from what they expect.
My death would very likely bring out some better men for the work, with energy and constructive power and executive genius, all of which, guided by Divine Wisdom, seem to be so much wanted! But just now, I don't see what would become of a large part of the work if I died. I am leaving books somewhat more in order; but it is one thing to have a book to help one in acquiring a language, quite another to speak it freely, and to be personally known to the people who speak it.
'11th Sunday after Trinity.—Off Anudha Island, 4 P.M. Thermometer 88 in the empty cabin, everyone being on deck. Well, dear old Joan and Fan, refreshed by—what do you think? O feast of Guildhall and Bristol mayors! Who would dream of turtle soup on board the "Southern Cross" in these unknown seas? Tell it not to Missionary Societies! Let no platform orator divulge the great secret of the luxurious self-indulgent life of the Missionary Bishop! What nuts for the "Pall Mall Gazette"! How would all subscriptions cease, and denunciations be launched upon my devoted head, because good Mr. Tilly bought, at San Cristoval, for the price of one tenpenny hatchet, a little turtle, a veritable turtle, with green fat and all the rest of it, upon which we have made to-day a most regal feast indeed.
'But seriously. There has been much to make me hopeful, and something to disappoint me, since I last wrote.'
The two days at Santa Cruz were hopeful—[Mr. Atkin says that the natives came on board with readiness and stole with equal readiness; but this was all in a friendly way]—and a small island, named Piteni, was visited, and judged likely to prove a means of reaching the larger isle.
The disappointment is not here mentioned, unless it was the missing some of the Ysabel scholars, and bringing away only three; but this mattered the less, as the Banks Island party, which, as forming a nucleus, was far more important, was now considerable. Sixty-two scholars were the present freight, including nine little girls, between eight and twelve, mostly betrothed to old pupils.
At Malanta, a new village called Saa was visited. The 'harbour' was a wall of coral, with the surf breaking upon it, but a large canoe showed the only accessible place, and this was exposed to the whole swell of the Pacific.
'The natives,' writes Mr. Atkin, 'held the boat in water up to their knees, but the seas that broke thirty yards outside washed over their shoulders and sometimes their heads. We might have taken away half the people of the village, and had no trouble in getting two nice- looking little boys. About 320 miles from Norfolk Island, one of these little boys, Wate, playing, fell overboard: we were going ten knots at the time, right before the wind; it was a quarter of an hour before we picked him up, as it took five minutes to stop the vessel and ten to get to him. Wate seemed all the better for his ducking.' This little Wate became Mr. Atkin's especial child, his godson and devoted follower.
On October 2, Norfolk Island was reached, and there, a wooden house having been conveyed thither by H.M.S. 'Falcon,' Mr. Palmer and fifteen scholars were placed to spend the winter. The Pitcairners welcomed the Mission, but were displeased at the Government assuming a right to dispose of the land which they had fancied entirely their own.
One of the letters written separate from the journal during this voyage gives a commission for photographs from the best devotional prints, for the benefit chiefly of his young colonial staff:—'I have not the heart to send for my Lionardo da Vinci,' (he says), that much valued engraving, purchased at Florence, and he wishes for no modern ones, save Ary Scheffer's 'Christis Consolator,' mentioning a few of his special favourites to be procured if possible. For the Melanesians, pictures of ships, fishes, and if possible tropical vegetation, was all the art yet needed, and beads, red and blue, but dull ones; none not exactly like the samples would be of any use. 'It is no good sending out any "fancy" articles such as you would give English children. "Toys for savages" are all the fancies of those who manufacture such toys for sale. Of course, any manufacturer who wishes to give presents of knives, tools, hatchets, &c., would do a great benefit, but then the knives must be really strong and sharp.'
I have concluded the letters of the island voyage, before giving those written on the homeward transit from Norfolk Island, whither the 'Falcon' had conveyed the letters telling of the departure of both Mr. and Mrs. Keble. The first written under this impulse was of course to Sir John Coleridge, the oldest friend:—
'At Sea, near Norfolk Island: October 3, 1866.
'My dear, dear Uncle,—How can I thank you enough for telling me so much of dear saintly Mr. Keble and his wife? He has been, for my dear father and mother's sakes, very loving to me, and actually wrote me two short letters, one after his seizure, which I treasure. How I had grown to reverence and love him more and more you can easily believe; and yesterday at Norfolk Island, whither some letters had been sent, I read with a very full heart of the peaceful close of such a holy life. And I do love to think too of you and him, if I may speak freely of such as you; and the weight attached to all you say and do (you two I mean) in your several occupations seems at all events one hopeful sign among not a few gloomy ones. I suppose you and Mr. Keble little estimated the influence which even a casual word or sentence of yours exercises upon a man of my age, predisposed (it is true) to hearken with attention and reverence....
'Is it possible that fifty years hence any similar event, should there be such, which should so "stir the heart of the country" (as you say about Mr. Keble's death), might stimulate people to raise large sums for the endowment of a Church about to be, or already separated from the State? I can't avoid feeling as if God may be permitting the extension of the Colonial Churches, partly and in a secondary sense that so the ground may be travelled over on a small scale before the Church at home may be thrown in like manner upon its own resources. The alliance is a very precarious one surely, and depends upon the solemn adherence to a fiction. It is extraordinary that some Colonial Bishops should seek to reproduce the state of things which is of course peculiar to England, the produce of certain historical events, and which can have no resemblance whatever to the circumstances of our Colonies.
'The mail closes just after our arrival; and I am very busy at first coming on shore with such a party. Goodbye for the present, my dear dear Uncle,
'Your loving and grateful Nephew, 'J. C. P.'
To me the condolence was:—
'October 6, 1866.
'And so, my dear Cousin, the blow has fallen upon you, and dear Mr. and Mrs. Keble have passed away to their eternal rest. I found letters at Norfolk Island on October 2, not my April letters, which will tell me most about him, but my May budget.
'How very touching the account is which my Uncle John sends me of dear Mrs. Keble, so thankful that he was taken first, so desirous to go, yet so content to stay! And how merciful it has all been. Such a calm holy close to the saintly life. May God bless and support all you who feel the bereavement! Even I feel that I would fain look for one more letter from him, but we have his "Christian Year," and other books. Is it not wonderful that all the wisdom and love and beauty of the "Christian Year," to say nothing of the exquisite and matured poetry, should have been given to him so early in life? Why, as I gather, the book was finished in the year 1825, though not published till 1827. He wrote it when he was only 33 years old, and for 45 years he lived after he was capable of such a work. Surely such a union of extreme learning, wisdom, and scholarship, with humility and purity of heart and life has very seldom been found. Everyone wishes to say something to everyone else of one so dear to all, and no one can say what each and all feel. We ought indeed to be thankful, who not only have in common with all men his books, but the memory of what he was personally to us.
'The change must needs be a great one to you. I do feel much for you indeed. But you will bear it bravely; and many duties and the will and power to discharge them occupy the mind, and the elasticity comes back again after a time. I know nothing of the Keble family, not even how they were related to him, so that my interest in Hursley is connected with him only. Yet it will always be a hallowed spot in the memory of English Churchmen. You will hear the various rumours as to who is to write his life, &c. Let me know what is worth knowing about it.
'Kohimarama. Anchored on October 8, after an absence of exactly six weeks; all well on board and ashore.
'Thanks be to God for so many mercies. The mail is gone, and alas! all my letters and newspapers were sent off a few days since in the "Brisk" to Norfolk Island. We passed each other. They did not expect me back so soon, so I have no late news, and have no time to read newspapers.
'May God bless you, my dear Cousin,
'Your affectionate Cousin, 'J. C. PATTESON.'
In spite of this deep veneration for Mr. Keble and for his teachings, Bishop Patteson did not embrace to the full the doctrine which had been maintained in 'Eucharistic Adoration,' and which he rightly perceived to lie at the root of the whole Ritualistic question. His conclusions had been formed upon the teachings of the elder Anglican divines, and his predilections for the externals of worship upon the most reverent and beautiful forms to which he had been accustomed before he left home.
After an All Saints' Communion, the following letter was written:—
'All Saints' Day, 1866.
'My dear Cousin,—You know why I write to you on this day. The Communion of Saints becomes ever a more and more real thing to us as holy and saintly servants of God pass beyond the veil, as also we learn to know and love more and more our dear fellow-labourers and fellow-pilgrims still among us in the flesh.
'Such a day as this brings, thanks be to God, many calm, peaceful memories with it. Of how many we may both think humbly and thankfully whose trials and sorrows are over for ever, whose earthly work is done, who dwell now in Paradise and see His Face, and calmly wait for the great consummation. To you the sense of personal loss must be now—it will always be—mixed up with the true spirit of thankfulness and joy; but remember that as they greatly helped you, so you in no slight measure have received from God power to help others, a trust which I verily believe you are faithfully discharging, and that the brightness of the Christian life must be not lost sight of in our dealings with others, would we really seek to set forth the attractiveness of religion.
'I don't mean that I miss this element in any of your writings; rather I am thankful to you because you teach so well how happiness and joy are the portion of the Christian in the midst of so much that the world counts sorrow and loss. But I think that depression of mind rapidly communicates itself, and you must be aware that you are through your books stamping your mind on many people.
'Do you mind my saying all this to you? only I would fain say anything that at such a time may, if only for a minute, help to keep the bright side before you. The spirit of patience did seem so to rest upon him and his dear saintly wife. The motto of the Christian Year seemed to be inwoven into his life and character. I suppose he so well knew the insignificance of what to us mortals in our own generation seems so great, that he had learned to view eternal truths in the light of Him who is eternal. He fought manfully for the true eternal issues, and everything else fell into its subordinate place. Is not one continually struck with his keen sense of the proportion of things? He wastes no time nor strength in the accidents of religion; much that he liked and valued he never taught as essential, or even mentioned, lest it might interfere with essentials.
'Oh! that his calm wise judgment, his spiritual discernment, may be poured out on many earnest men who I can't help thinking lack that instinct which divinely guided the early Church in the "selection of fundamentals." We must all grieve to see earnest, zealous men almost injuring the good cause, and placing its best and wisest champions in an unnecessarily difficult position, because they do not see what I suppose Mr. Keble did see so very clearly.
'I know that these questions present themselves somewhat differently to those situated severally as you and we are. But it is, I suppose, by freely interchanging amongst ourselves thoughts that the general balance is best preserved. Pray, when you have time, write freely to me on such matters if you think it may be of use to do so. The Church everywhere ought to guard, and teach, and practise what is essential. In non-essentials I suppose the rule is clear. I will eat no meat, &c.
'And now good-bye, my dear Cousin; and may God ever bless and comfort you.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Sir William and Lady Martin had just paid their last visit to Kohimarama, and here is the final record by Lady Martin's hand of the pleasant days there spent:—
'One more visit we paid to our dear friend in November 1866, a few months before he left Kohimarama for Norfolk Island. He invited my dear husband specially for the purpose of working together at Hebrew, with the aid of the lights they thought our languages throw on its grammatical structure.
'The Bishop was very happy and bright. He was in his new house, a great improvement upon the stuffy quarters in the quad. His sitting- room was large and lofty, and had French windows which opened on a little verandah facing the sea.
'The Mission party were most co-operative, and would not let the Bishop come into school during the three weeks of our stay, so he had a working holiday which he thoroughly enjoyed. The weather was lovely, the boys were all well, and there was no drawback to the happiness of that time. At seven the chapel bell rang and we walked across with him to the pretty little chapel. The prayers and hymn were in Mota, the latter a translation by the Bishop of the hymn "Now that the daylight fills the sky." The boys all responded heartily and were reverent in demeanour. After breakfast the two wise men worked steadily till nearly one. We were not allowed to dine in Hall as the weather was very warm, and we inveigled the Bishop to stay out and be our host.
'A quaint little procession of demure-looking little maidens brought our dinner over. They were grave and full of responsibility till some word from 'Bisop' would light up their faces with shy smiles.
'What pleasant walks we had together before evening chapel under the wooded cliffs or through the green fields. Mr. Pritt had by this time brought the Mission farm into excellent working order by the aid of the elder lads alone. Abundance of good milk and butter (the latter getting ready sale in town) and of vegetables. His gifts too in school-keeping were invaluable.
'I wish I could recall some of the conversations with our dear friend. A favourite topic was concerning the best modes of bringing the doctrines of the Christian religion clearly and fully within the comprehension of the converts. Some of their papers written after being taught by him showed that they did apprehend them in a thoughtful intelligent way.
'At half-past six we had a short service, again in Mota, in chapel, and then we rarely saw our dear friend till nine. He would not neglect any of his night classes. At half-past nine the English workers gathered together in the Bishop's room for prayers and for a little friendly chat. Curiously enough, the conversation I most distinctly remember was one with him as we rode up one Saturday from Kohimarama to St. John's College. I got him to describe the game of tennis, and he warmed up and told me of games he had played at.
'How that cheery talk came to mind as I drove down the same road last year just after fine weather had come! It was the same season, and the hedges on each side of the narrow lane were fragrant as then with may and sweet briar.'
ST. BARNABAS COLLEGE, NORFOLK ISLAND. 1867—1869.
A new phase of Coleridge Patteson's life was beginning with the year 1867, when he was in full preparation for the last of his many changes of home, namely, that to Norfolk Island, isolating him finally from those who had become almost as near kindred to him, and devoting him even more exclusively to his one great work. No doubt the separation from ordinary society was a relief, and the freedom from calls to irregular clerical duty at Auckland was an immense gain; but the lack of the close intercourse with the inner circle of his friends was often felt, and was enhanced by the lack of postal communication with Norfolk Island, so that, instead of security of home tidings by every mail, letters and parcels could only be transmitted by chance vessels touching at that inaccessible island, where there was no harbour for even the 'Southern Cross' to lie.
But the welfare of the Mission, and the possible benefit to the Pitcairners, outweighed everything. It is with some difficulty that the subject of this latter people is approached. They have long been the romance of all interested in Missionary effort, and precious has been the belief that so innocent and pious a community existed on the face of the earth. And it is quite true that when they are viewed as the offspring of English mutineers and heathen Tahitians, trained by a repentant old sailor, they are wonderful in many respects; and their attractive manners and manifest piety are sure to strike their occasional visitors, who have seldom stayed long enough to penetrate below the surface.
But it has been their great disadvantage never to have had a much higher standard of religion, morals, civilisation, or industry set before them, than they had been able to evolve for themselves; and it is a law of nature that what is not progressive must be retrograde. The gentle Tahitian nature has entirely mastered the English turbulence, so that there is genuine absence of violence, there is no dishonesty; and drunkenness was then impossible; there is also a general habit of religious observance, but not including self- restraint as a duty, while the reaction of all the enthusiastic admiration expressed for this interesting people has gendered a self- complacency that makes them the harder to deal with. Parental authority seems to be entirely wanting among them, the young people grow up unrestrained; and the standard of morality and purity seems to be pretty much what it is in a neglected English parish, but, as before said, without the drunkenness and lawlessness, and with a universal custom of church-going, and a great desire not to expose their fault to the eyes of strangers. The fertile soil, to people of so few wants, and with no trade, prevents the necessity of exertion, and the dolce far niente prevails universally. The Government buildings have fallen into entire ruin, and the breed of cattle has been allowed to become worthless for want of care. The dwellings are uncleanly, and the people so undisciplined that only their native gentleness would make their present self-government possible; and it is a great problem how to deal with them.
The English party who were to take up their abode on Norfolk Island consisted of the Bishop, the Rev. Mr. Palmer, who was there already, Mr. Atkin, and Mr. Brooke. The Rev. R. Codrington was on his way from England with Mr. Bice, a young student from St. Augustine's, Canterbury; but Mr. and Mrs. Pritt had received an appointment at the Waikato, and left the Mission. The next letter to myself tells something of the plans:—
'January 29, 1867.
'My dear Cousin,—I enclose a note to Miss Mackenzie, thanking her for her book about Mrs. Robertson. It does one good to read about such a couple. I almost feel as if I should like to write a line to the good man. There was the real genuine love for the people, the secret of course of all missionary success, the consideration for them, the power of sympathy, of seeing with the eyes of others, and putting oneself into their position. Many a time have I thought: "Yes, that's all right, that's the true spirit, that's the real thing."
'Oh that men could be trained to act in that way. It seems as if mere common sense would enable societies and men to see that it must be so. And yet how sadly we mismanage men, and misuse opportunities.
'Men should be made to understand that they cannot receive training for this special Mission work except on the spot; at the institution the aim should be to give them a thorough grounding in Greek and Latin, the elements of Divinity, leaving out all talk about experiences, and all that can minister to spiritual pride, and delude men into the idea that the desire (as they suppose) to be missionaries implies that they are one whit better than the baker and shoemaker next door.
'The German system is very different. The Moravians don't handle their young candidates after this fashion.
'Now Mr. Robertson and his good wife refresh one by the reality and simplicity of their life, the simple-mindedness, the absence of all cant and formalism. I mean the formal observance of a certain set of views about the Sabbath, about going to parties, about reading books, &c., the formal utterance of an accepted phraseology.
'Would that there were hundreds such! Would that his and her example might stir the hearts of many young people, women as well as men! Well, I like all that helps me to know him and her in the book, and am much obliged to Miss Mackenzie for it.
'We have had a trying month, unusually damp close weather, and influenza has been prevalent. Many boys had it, one little fellow died. He was very delirious at last, and as he lay day and night on my bed we had often to hold him. But one night he was calm and sensible, and with Henry Tagalana's help I obtained from him such a simple answer or two to our questions that I felt justified in baptizing him. He was about ten years old, I suppose one of our youngest.
'Last Saturday, at 12.45 A.M., he passed away into what light, and peace, and knowledge, and calm rest in his Saviour's bosom! we humbly trust. God be praised for all His mercies! It was touching, indeed, to hear Henry speaking to his little friend. He spoke so as to make me feel very hopeful about his work as a teacher being blessed, his whole heart on his lips and in his voice and manner and expression of face.
'But, my dear Cousin, often I think that I need more than ever your prayers that I may have the blessing for which we pray in our Collect for the First Sunday after Epiphany: grace to use the present opportunities aright. My time may be short; we are very few in number: now the young English and Melanesian teachers ought to be completely trained, that so, by God's blessing, the work may not come to nought. Codrington's coming ought to be a great gain in this way. A right-minded man of age and experience may well be regarded as invaluable indeed. I so often feel that I am distracted by multitudinous occupations, and can't think and act out my method of dealing with the elder ones, so as to use them aright. So many things distract—social, domestic, industrial matters and general superintendence, and my time is of course always given to anyone who wants it.
'The change to Norfolk Island, too, brings many anxious thoughts and cares, and the state of the people there will be an additional cause of anxiety. I think that we shall move en masse in April or May, making two or three trips in the schooner. Palmer has sixteen now with him there. I shall perhaps leave ten more for the winter school and then go on to the islands, and return (D.V.) in October, not to New Zealand, but to Norfolk Island; though, as it is the year of the meeting of the General Synod, i.e., February 1868, I shall have to be in New Zealand during that summer. You shall have full information of all my and our movements, as soon as I know myself precisely the plan.
'And now good-bye, my dear Cousin; and may God ever bless and keep you. I think much of you, and of how you must miss dear Mr. Keble.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. P.'
'Sunday, February 10, 1867.
'My dear old Fan,—No time to write at length. We are pretty well, but coughs and colds abound, and I am a little anxious about one nice lad, Lelenga, but he is not very seriously ill.
'I have of course occasional difficulties, as who has not? Irregularities, not (D.Gr.) of very serious nature, yet calling for reproof; a certain proportion of the boys, and a large proportion of the girls careless, and of course, like boys and girls such as you know of in Devonshire, not free from mischief.
'Indeed, it is a matter for great thankfulness that, as far as we know, no immorality has taken place with fifteen young girls in the school. We take of course all precautions, rooms are carefully locked at night. Still really evil-minded young persons could doubtless get into mischief, if they were determined to do so. Only to-day I spoke severely, not on this point, but on account of some proof of want of real modesty and purity of feeling. But how can I be surprised at that?
'All schoolmaster's work is anxious work. It is even more so than the ordinary clergyman's work, because you are parent and schoolmaster at once.
'You may suppose that as time approaches for Codrington and Bice to arrive, and for our move to Norfolk Island, I am somewhat anxious, and have very much to do. Indeed, the Norfolk Island people do sadly want help.
'Your affectionate Brother.
'J. C. P.
'P. S.—You may tell your boys at night school, if you think it well, that no Melanesian I ever had here would be so ungentlemanly as to throw stones or make a row when a lady was present.'
'St. Matthias Day, 1867.
'My dearest Joan and Fan,—The beginning of the seventh year of my Bishop's life! How quickly the time has gone, and a good deal seems to have taken place, and yet (though some experience has been gained) but little sense have I of real improvement in my own self, of "pressing onwards," and daily struggles against faults. But for some persons it is dangerous to talk of such things, and I am such a person. It would tend to make me unreal, and my words would be unreal, and soon my thoughts and life would become unreal too. I am conscious of very, very much that is very wrong, and would astonish many of even those who know me best, but I must use this consciousness, and not talk about it any more.
'I am in harness again for English work. How can I refuse? I am writing now between two English services.
'Indeed, no adequate provision is made here for married clergymen with families; 300 a year is starvation at present prices. Men can't live on it; and who can work vigorously with the thought ever present to him, "When I die, what of my wife and family?" What is to be done?
'I solve the difficulty in Melanesian work by saying, "Use Melanesians." I tell people plainly, "I don't want white men."
'I sum it all up thus: They cost about ten times as much as the Melanesian (literally), and but a very small proportion do the work as well.
'I was amused at some things in your December letters. How things do unintentionally get exaggerated! I went up into the tree-house by a very good ladder of bamboos and supple-jacks, quite as easily as one goes up the rigging of a ship, and my ten days at Bauro were spent among a people whose language I know, and where my life was as safe and everybody was as disposed to be friendly as if I had been in your house at Weston. But, of course, it is all "missionary hardships and trials." I don't mean that you talk in this way.
'Our first instalment of scholars with Messrs. Atkin and Brooke will go off (D.V.) about March 21. Then my house is taken down; the boys who now live in it having been sent off: and on the schooner's return about April 15, another set of things, books, houses, &c. Probably a third trip will be necessary, and then about May 5 or 6 I hope to go. It will be somewhat trying at the end. But I bargain for all this, which of course constitutes my hardest and most trying business. The special Mission work, as most people would regard it, is as nothing in comparison. Good-bye, and God bless you.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
On March 5 Mr. Codrington safely arrived, bringing with him Mr. Bice. The boon to the Bishop was immense, both in relief from care and in the companionship, for which he had henceforth to depend entirely on his own staff. The machinery of the routine had been so well set in order by Mr. Pritt that it could be continued without him; and though there was no English woman to superintend the girls, it was hoped that Sarah Sarawia had been prepared by Mrs. Pritt to be an efficient matron.
'Kohimarama: March 23, 1867.
'My dear Cousin,—Our last New Zealand season, for it may be our last, draws near its close. On Monday, only two days hence, the "Southern Cross" sails (weather permitting) with our first instalment. Mr. Palmer has got his house up, and they must stow themselves away in it, three whites and forty-five blacks, the best way they can. The vessel takes besides 14,000 feet of timber, 6,000 shingles for roofing, and boxes of books, &c., &c., without end.
'I hope she may be here again to take me and the remaining goods, live and inanimate, in about eighteen or twenty days. I can't tell whether I am more likely to spend my Easter in New Zealand or Norfolk Island.
'I see that in many ways the place is good for us. The first expense is heavy. I have spent about 1,000 already, sinking some of my private money in the fencing, building, &c., but very soon the cost of all the commissariat, exclusive of the stores for the voyage, and a little English food for the whites, will be provided. Palmer has abundance of sweet potatoes which have been planted in ground prepared by our lads since last October. The yam crop is coming on well: fish are always abundant.
'I think that in twelve months' time we ought to provide ourselves with almost everything in the island. The ship and the clergymen's stipends and certain extras will always need subscriptions, but we ought at once to feed ourselves, and soon to export wool, potatoes, corn (maize I mean), &c.
'I never forget about the idea of a chapel. At present the Norfolk Island Chapel will be only a wing of my house: which will consist of two rooms for myself, a spare room for a sick lad or two, and a large dormitory which, if need be, can be turned into a hospital, and the other end a wing in the chapel, 42 x 18 feet, quite large enough for eighty or more people. The entrance from without, and again a private door from my sitting room. All is very simple in the plan. It seem almost selfish having it thus as a part of my dwelling house; but it will be such a comfort, so convenient for Confirmation and Baptism and Holy Communion classes, and so nice for me. Some ladies in Melbourne give a velvet altar cloth, Lady S. in Sydney gives all the white linen: our Communion plate, you know, is very handsome. Some day Joan must send me a solid block of Devonshire serpentine for my Font, such a one as there is at Alfington, or Butterfield might now devise even a better.
'But I think, though I have not thought enough yet, that in the diocese of Norfolk Island, and in the islands, the running stream of living water and the Catechumens "going down" into it is the right mode of administering the holy sacrament. The Lectern and the small Prayer-desk are of sandal-wood from Erromango.
'It will be far more like a Church than anything the Pitcairners have ever seen. Perhaps next Christmas—but much may take place before then—I may ordain Palmer Priest, Atkin and Brooke Deacons, and there may be a goodly attendance of Melanesian communicants and candidates for baptism. If so, what a day of hope to look forward to! And then I think I see the day of dear George Sarawia's Ordination drawing nigh, if God grant him health and perseverance. He is, indeed, and so are others, younger than he, all that I could desire.
'So, my dear Cousin, see what blessings I have, how small our trials are. They may yet come, but it is now just twelve years, exactly twelve years on Monday, since I saw my Father's and Sisters' faces, and how little have those years been marked with sorrows. My lot is cast in a good land indeed. I read and hear of others, such as that noble Central African band, and I wonder how men can go through it all. It comes to me as from a distance, not as to one who has experienced such things. We know nothing of war, or famine, or deadly fever; and we seem now to have a settled plan of work, one of the greatest comforts of all; but while I write thus brightly I don't forget that a little thing (humanly speaking) may cause great reverses, delays, and failures.
'I am very glad you understand my unwillingness to write, and still more to print over much about our proceedings. I do speak pretty freely in New Zealand and Australia, from whence I profess and mean to draw our supplies.
'Accurate information is all very well, but to convey an idea of our life and work is quite beyond my powers. Still, everything that helps the ordinary men and women of England to look out into the world a bit, and see that the Gospel is a power of God, is good.
'And now, good-bye, my dear Cousin. May God bless and keep you.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
On Lady Day the Bishop wrote to his sisters:—
'This day, twelve years ago, I saw your faces for the last time; and so I told Mary Atkin, my good young friend's only sister, as we stood on the beach just now, watching the 'Southern Cross' carrying away her only brother and some forty other people to Norfolk Island.
The first detachment is therefore gone; I hope that we, the rest, will follow in about sixteen or eighteen days. I think back over these twelve years. On the whole, how smoothly and easily they have passed with me! Less of sorrow and anxiety than was crowded into one short year of Bishop Mackenzie's life. I have been reading Mr. Rowley's book on the University Mission to Central Africa, and am glad to have read it. They were indeed fine gallant fellows, full of faith and courage and endurance.
'As I write, some dozen boys are on the roof, knocking away the shingles, i.e., the wooden tiles of roofing, a carpenter is taking down all that needs some more skilled handiwork. In a week the house will all be tied up in bundles of boarding, battens, about 14,000 or 15,000 feet of timber in all. Yesterday I was with the Primate; I went up indeed on Monday afternoon, as the "Southern Cross" sailed with thirty-one Melanesians at 11 A.M., and I could get away. It was rather a sad day. I was resigning trusts, and it made the departure from New Zealand appear very real.
'April 1st.—My fortieth birthday. It brings solemn thoughts. Last night I had to take the service at St. Paul's, and as I came back I thought of many things, and principally of how very different I ought to be from what I am.
'All are well here at Kohimarama. My house knocked down and arrangements going on, the place leased to Mr. Atkin, Joe Atkin's father, my trusts resigned, accounts almost made up, many letters written, business matters arranged.'
In a few days more the last remnant of St. Andrew's was broken up; and the first letter to the Bishop of New Zealand was written from Norfolk Island before the close of the month:—
'St. Barnabas' Mission School: April 29, 1867.
My dear Primate,—We had a fair wind all the way, and having shortened sail during all Friday so as not to reach Norfolk Island in the night, made the lead at 5 A.M. on Saturday morning. But a sad casualty occurred; we lost a poor fellow overboard, one of the seamen. He ought not to have been lost, and I blame myself. He was under the davits of the boat doing something, and the rope by which he was holding parted; the life-buoy almost knocked him as he passed the quarter of the vessel, and I, instead of jumping overboard, and shouting to the Melanesians to do the same, rushed to the falls. The boat was on the spot where his cap was floating within two and a half minutes of the time he fell into the sea, but he was gone.
'Fisher in the hurry tore his nail by letting the falls run through his hand too fast. I was binding it up, the boat making for the poor fellow faster than any swimmer could have done. How it was that he did not lay hold of the buoy, or sank so soon, I can't say; the great mistake was not jumping overboard at once. This is a gloomy beginning, and made us all feel very sad. He was not married and was a well-behaved man.
'It was blowing fresh on Saturday, but we anchored under Nepean Island, and by hard work cleared the vessel by 5 P.M.; all worked hard, and all the things were landed safely. Palmer, with the cart and boys, was on the pier, and the things were carted and carried into the store as they arrived. I came on shore about 5, found all well and hearty, the people very friendly, nothing in their manner to indicate any change of feeling.
'I walked up to our place. It is, indeed, a beautiful spot. Palmer has worked with a will. I was surprised to see what was done. Some three and a half acres of fine kumaras, maize, yams, growing well; a yam of ten pounds weight, smooth and altogether Melanesian, just taken up, not quite ripe, so the boys say they will grow much bigger. Abundant supply of water, though the summer has been dry.
'Much of the timber has been carted up, more has been stacked at the top of the hill. This was carried by the boys, and will be carted along the pine avenue; a good deal is still near the pines, but properly stacked. I see nothing anywhere thrown about, even here not a chip to be seen, all buried or burnt, and the place quite neat though unfinished.
'1. House, on the plan of my old house just taken down by Gray, but much larger.
'2. Kitchen of good size.
'3. Two raupo outhouses.
'I find it quite assumed here that the question is settled about our property here; but I have not thought it desirable to talk expressly about it. They talk about school, doctor, and other public arrangements as usual.
'It seems that it was on St. Barnabas Day that, after Holy Communion, we walked up here last year and chose the site of the house. The people have of their own accord taken to call the place St. Barnabas; and as this suits the Eton feeling also, and you and others never liked St. Andrew's, don't you think we may adopt the new name? Miss Yonge won't mind, I am sure.
'I could not resist telling the people that you and Mrs. Selwyn might come for a short time in September next to see them, and they are really delighted; and so shall we be, I can tell you indeed....
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The time for the island voyage was fully come; and, after a very brief stay in the new abode, the Bishop sailed again for Mota, where the old house was found (May 8) in a very dilapidated condition; and vigorous mending with branches was needed before a corner could be patched up for him to sleep on his table during a pouring wet night, having first supped on a cup of tea and a hot yam, the latter brought from the club-house by one of his faithful adherents; after which an hour and a half's reading of Lightfoot on the Epistle to the Galatians made him forget every discomfort.
There had, however, been a renewal of fighting of late; and at a village called Tasmate, a man named Natungoe had ten days previously been shot in the breast with a poisoned arrow, and was beginning to show those first deadly symptoms of tetanus. He had been a well- conducted fellow, though he had hitherto shown indifference to the new teaching; and it had not been in a private quarrel that he was wounded, but in a sudden attack on his village by some enemies, when a feast was going on.
On that first evening when the Bishop went to see him it was plain that far more of the recent instruction had taken root in him than had been supposed. 'He showed himself thoroughly ready to listen, and manifested a good deal of simple faith. He said he had no resentment against the person who had shot him, and that he did wish to know and think about the world to come. He accepted at once the story of God's love, shown in sending Jesus to die for us, and he seemed to have some apprehension of what God must be, and of what we are—how unlike Him, how unable to make ourselves fit to be with Him. He certainly spoke of Jesus as of a living Person close by him, willing and able to help him. He of his own accord made a little prayer to Him, "Help me, wake me, make my heart light, take away the darkness. I wish for you, I want to go to you, I don't want to think about this world."'
Early the next morning the Bishop went again, taking George Sarawia with him. The man said, 'I have been thinking of what you said. I have been calling on the Saviour (i Vaesu) all night.' The Bishop spoke long to him, and left Sarawia with him, speaking and praying quietly and earnestly.
Meanwhile continues the diary:—
'I went to the men in the village, and spoke at length to them: "Yes, God will not cast out those who turn to Him when they are called, but you must not suppose that it is told us anywhere that He will save those who care nothing about Him through their years of health, and only think about Him and the world to come when this world is already passing away."
'How utterly unable one feels to say or do the right thing, and the words fall so flat and dull upon careless ears!'
Every day for ten days the poor sufferer Natungoe was visited, and he listened with evident faith and comprehension. On May 15 the entry is:—
'I was so satisfied with his expressions of faith in the Saviour, of his hope of living with Him; he spoke so clearly of his belief in Jesus having been sent from the Great Creator and Father of all to lead us back to Him, and to cleanse us from sin, which had kept us from our Father, by His Death for us; he was so evidently convinced of the truth of our Lord's Resurrection and of the resurrection of us all at the last day—that I felt that I ought to baptize him. I had already spoken to him of Baptism, and he seemed to understand that, first, he must believe that the water is the sign of an inward cleansing, and that it has no magical efficacy, but that all depended on his having faith in the promise and power of God; and second, that Jesus had commanded those who wished to believe and love Him to be baptized.
'The expression Nan ive Maroo i Vaesu, "I wish for the Saviour," had been frequently used by him; and I baptized him by the name of Maroovaesu, a name instantly substituted for his old name Natungoe by those present.
'I have seen him again to-day; he cannot recover, and at times the tetanus spasms are severe, but it is nothing like dear Fisher's case. He can still eat and speak; women sit around holding him, and a few people sit or lie about in the hut. It looks all misery and degradation of the lowest kind, but there is a blessed change, as I trust, for him.'
On Sunday the 19th the last agony had come. He lay on a mat on the ground, in the middle of the village, terribly racked by convulsions, but still able in the intervals to speak intelligibly, and to express his full hope that he was going to his Saviour, and that his pain would soon be over, and he would be at rest with Him, listening earnestly to the Bishop's prayers. He died that night.
In the meantime, the Bishop had not neglected the attacking party. Of them, one had been killed outright, and two more were recovering from their wounds, and it was necessary to act as pacificator.
'Meanwhile, I think how very little religion has to do directly with keeping things quiet; in England (for example) men would avenge themselves, and steal and kill, were it not for the law, which is, indeed, an indirect result of religion; but religion simply does not produce the effect, i.e. men are not generally religious in England or Mota. I have Maine's Book of "Ancient Law" among the half-dozen books I have brought on shore, and it is extremely interesting to read here.'
How he read, wrote, or did anything is the marvel, with the hut constantly crowded by men who had nothing to do but gather round, in suffocating numbers, to stare at his pen travelling over the paper. 'They have done so a hundred times before,' he writes, actually under the oppression, 'but anything to pass an hour lazily. It is useless to talk about it, and one must humour them, or they will think I am vexed with them.'
The scholars, neatly clothed, with orderly and industrious habits, were no small contrast: 'But I miss as yet the link between them and the resident heathen people. I trust and pray that George and others may, ere long, supply it.
'But it is very difficult to know how to help them to change their mode of life. Very much, even if they did accept Christianity, must go on as before. Their daily occupations include work in the small gardens, cooking, &c., and this need not be changed.
'Then as to clothing. I must be very careful lest they should think that wearing clothes is Christianity. Yet certain domestic changes are necessary, for a Christian life seems to need certain material arrangements for decency and propriety. There ought to be partition screens in the hut, for example, and some clothing is desirable no doubt. A resident missionary now could do a good deal towards showing the people why certain customs, &c., are incompatible with a Christian life. His daily teaching would show how Christ acted and taught, and how inconsistent such and such practices must be with the profession of faith in Him. But regulations imposed from without I rather dread, they produce so often an unreasoning obedience for a little while only.
The rules for the new life should be very few and very simple, and carefully explained. "Love to God and man," explained and illustrated as the consequence of some elementary knowledge of God's love to us, shown of course prominently in the giving His own Son to us. There is no lack of power to understand simple teaching, a fair proportion of adults take it in very fairly. I was rather surprised on Friday evening (some sixty or seventy being present) to find that a few men answered really rather well questions which brought out the meaning of some of our Saviour's names.
'"The saving His people."
'"Not all men? And why not all men? And from what poverty, sickness, &c., here below?"
'"From their sins."
'"What is sin?"
'"All that God has forbidden."
'"What has He forbidden? Why? Because He grudges us anything? Why do you forbid a child to taste vangarpal ('poison'), &c. &c.?"
'"The Way," "the Mediator," "the Redeemer," "the Resurrection," "the Atoner," "the Word." Some eight days' teaching had preceded this; but I dare say there are ten or fifteen people here now, not our scholars, who can really answer on these points so as to make it clear that they understand something about the teaching involved in these names. Of course, I had carefully worked out the best way to accept these names and ideas in Mota; and the illustrations, &c., from their customs made me think that to some extent they understood this teaching.
'Of course the personal feeling is as pleasant as can be, and I think there is something more: a real belief that our religion and our habits are good, and that some day they will be accepted here. A considerable number of people are leading very respectable lives on the whole. But I see that we must try to spend more time here. George Sarawia is being accepted to some extent as one whom they are to regard as a teacher. He has a fair amount of influence. But in this little spot, among about 1,500 people, local jealousies and old animosities are so rife, that the stranger unconnected with any one of them has so far a better chance of being accepted by all; but then comes, on the other hand, his perfect knowledge and our comparative ignorance of the language and customs of the people. We want to combine both for a while, till the native teacher and clergyman is fully established in his true position.
'It is a curious thing that the Solomon Islanders from the south-east part of that group should have dropped so much behind the Banks Islanders. I knew their language before I knew the language of Mota, they were (so to say) my favourites. But we can't as yet make any impression upon them. The Loyalty Islanders have been suffered to drop out; and so it is that all our leading scholars, all who set good examples, and are made responsible for various duties, are (with the sole exception of Soro, from Mai Island, New Hebrides) from the Banks group. Consequently, their language is the lingua franca of the school—not that we made it so, or wished it rather than any other to be so; indeed Bauro is easier, and so are some others: but so it is. It is an excellent thing, for any Melanesian soon acquires another Melanesian language, however different the vocabulary may be. Their ideas and thoughts and many of their customs are similar, the mode of life is similar, and their mode of expressing themselves similar. They think in the same way, and therefore speak in the same way. Their mode of life is natural; ours is highly artificial. We are the creatures of a troublesome civilisation to an extent that one realises here. When I go ashore for five weeks, though I could carry all my luggage, yet it must comprise a coffee-pot, sugar, biscuits, a cork bed, some tins of preserved meat, candles, books, and my hut has a table and a stool, and I have a cup, saucer, plate, knife, fork, and spoon. My good friend George, who I think is on the whole better dressed than I am, and who has adopted several of our signs of civilisation, finds the food, cooking, and many of the ways of the island natural and congenial, and would find them so throughout the Pacific.
'May 2lst.—The morning and evening school here is very nice. I doubt if I am simple enough in my teaching. I think I teach too much at a time; there is so much to be taught, and I am so impatient, I don't go slowly enough, though I do travel over the same ground very often. Some few certainly do take in a good deal.
'A very hot day, after much rain. This morning we took down our old wooden hut, that was put up here by us six years ago. Parts of it are useless, for in our absence the rain damaged it a good deal. I mean to take it across to Arau, Henry Tagalana's little island, for there, even in very wet weather, there is little fear of ague, the soil being light and sandy. It would be a great thing to escape from the rich soil and luxuriant vegetation in the wet months, if any one of us spent a long time here. It was hot work, but soon over. It only took about two and a half hours to take down, and stack all the planks, rafters, &c. Two fellows worked well, and some others looked on and helped now and then.
'I have had some pleasant occupation for an hour or so each day in clearing away the bush, which in one year grows up surprisingly here. Many lemon, citron, and orange trees that we planted some years ago. cocoa-nut trees also, were almost, some quite overgrown, quite hidden, and our place looked and was quite small and close; but one or two hours for a few days, spent in clearing, have made a great difference. I have planted out about twenty-five lemon suckers, and as many pine-apples, for our old ones were growing everywhere in thick clumps, and I have to thin them out.
'Yesterday was a great day; we cut down two large trees, round one of which I had carelessly planted orange, lemon, and cocoa-nut trees, so that we did not know how to fell it so as to avoid crushing some fine young trees; but the tree took the matter into its own hands, for it was hollow in the centre, and fell suddenly, so that the fellows holding the rope could not guide it, and it fell at right angles to the direction we had chosen, but right between all the trees, without seriously hurting one. It quite reminds me of old tree-cutting days at Feniton; only here I see no oaks, nor elms, nor beeches, nor firs, only bread-fruit trees and almond trees, and many fruit-bearing trees—oranges, &c., and guavas and custard-apples—growing up (all being introduced by us), and the two gigantic banyan trees, north and south of my little place. It is so very pretty!
'I don't trouble myself much about cooking. My little canteen is capital; and I can make myself all sorts of good things, if I choose to take the trouble, and some days I do so. I bake a little bread now and then, and natter myself it is uncommonly good; and one four- pound tin of Bloxland's preserved meat from Queensland has already lasted me twelve days, and there is about half of it remaining. He reckons each pound well soaked and cooked to be equal to three pounds, and I think he is right. A very little of this, with a bit of yam deliciously cooked, and brought to me each day as a present by some one from their cooking ovens, makes a capital dinner. Then I have some rice and sugar for breakfast, a biscuit and coffee, and a bit of bread-fruit perhaps; and all the little delicacies are here— salt, pepper, mustard, even to a bottle of pickles—so I am pretty well off, I think.
'I find that the white ant, or an insect like it, is here. The plates of our old hut are quite rotten, the outside still untouched, all within like tinder. They call the insect vanoa; it is not found in New Zealand, but it is a sad nuisance in Australia.
'I do not read much here this time, so much of every day is taken up with talking to the people about me. That is all right, and I generally can turn the talk to something that I wish them to hear, so it is all in the way of business here. And I am glad to say that my school, and conversations and lessons, need some careful preparation. I have spent some time in drawing up for myself a little scheme of teaching for people in the state of my friends here. I ought of course to have done it long ago, and it is a poor thing now. I cannot take a real pleasure in teaching, and so I do it badly. I am always, almost always, glad when school is over, though sometimes I get much interested myself, though not often able to interest others.
'I am reading some Hebrew nearly every day, and Lightfoot on the Galatians, Tyler's "Researches into the Early History of Mankind," Dollinger's "First Ages of the Church," and "Ecce Homo." I tried Maine's "Ancient Law," but it is too tough for the tropics, unless I chance to feel very fresh. I generally get an hour in the evening, if I am sleeping at home.
'May 23rd.—I suppose anyone who has lived in a dirty Irish village— pigs, fowls, and children equally noisy and filthy, and the parents wild, ignorant, and impulsive—may have some notion of this kind of thing. You never get a true account, much less a true illustration of the real thing. Did you happen to see a ridiculous engraving on one of the S. P. Gr. sheets some years ago, supposed to be me taking two Ambrym boys to the boat? (Footnote: No such engraving can be found by the S. P. Gr. It was probably put forth in some other publication.) Now it is much better not to draw at all than to draw something which can only mislead people. If Ambrym boys really looked like those two little fellows, and if the boat with bland- looking white men could quietly be pulled to the beach, and if I, in a respectable dress, could go to and from the boat and the shore, why the third stage of Mission work has been reached already! I don't suppose you can picture to yourselves the real state of things in this, and in many of these islands, and therefore the great difficulty there is in getting them out of their present social, or unsocial, state!
'To follow Christian teaching out in detail, to carry it out from the school into the hut, into the actual daily life of the dirty naked women, and still dirtier though not more naked children; to get the men really to abandon old ways from a sense of responsibility and duty and love to God, this of course comes very slowly. I am writing very lazily, being indeed tired with heat and mosquitos. The sun is very hot again to-day. I have no thermometer here, but it feels as if it ought to be 90 in the shade.
'May 25th.—George Sarawia spent yesterday here, and has just gone to his village. He and I had a good deal of conversation. I copied out for him the plan of teaching drawn up from books already printed in their language. He speaks encouragingly, and is certainly recognised as one who is intended to be the teacher here. No one is surprised that he should be treated by me in a very different way from anyone else, with a complete confidence and a mutual understanding of each other. He is a thoroughly good, simple-minded fellow, and I hope, by God's blessing, he may do much good. He told me that B—— wants to come with me again; but I cannot take him. As we have been living properly, and for the sake of the head school and our character in the eyes of the people here, I cannot take him until he shows proof of a real desire to do his duty. I am very sorry for it. I have all the old feeling about him; and he is so quick and intelligent, but he allows himself again and again to be overcome by temptation, hard I dare say to withstand; but this conduct does disqualify him for being chosen to go with us. I am leaving behind some good but dull boys, for I can't make room as yet for them, and I must not take an ill- conducted fellow because he is quick and clever. He has some sort of influence in the place from his quickness, and from his having acquired a good deal of riches while with us. He says nothing, according to Sarawia, for or against our teaching. Meanwhile, he lives much like a somewhat civilised native. Poor fellow! I sent a message to him by George that if he wished to see me, I should be very willing to have a talk with him.
'Yesterday we made some sago. A tree is cut down in its proper stage of growth, just when it begins to flower. The pith is pulled and torn into shreds and fibres, then the juice is squeezed out so as to allow it to run or drip into some vessel, while water is poured on the pith by some one assisting the performer. The grounds (as say of coffee) remain at the bottom when the water is poured off, and an hour of such a sun as we had yesterday dries and hardens the sago. It is then fit for use. I suppose that it took an hour and a half to prepare about a slop-basin full of the dried hard sago. I have not used it vet. We brought tapioca here some years ago, and they used it in the same way, and they had abundance of arrow-root. On Monday I will make some, if all is well. Any fellow is willing to help for a few beads or fish-hooks, and they do all the heavy work, the fetching water, &c.
'I never saw anything like the pigeons in the great banyan tree close by. They eat its berries, and I really think there are at times more than a hundred at once in it. Had I a gun here I think I might have brought down three or four at a shot yesterday, sitting shot of course, but then I should shoot "for the pot." Palmer had his gun here last year, and shot as many as he wanted at any time. The bats at night are innumerable; they too eat the banyan berries, but chiefly the ripening bread-fruit. The cats we brought here have nearly cleared the place of the small rats which used to abound here; but lizards abound in this hut, because it is not continually smoke- dried.
'Last night I think some of the people here heard some rather new notions, to them, about the true relation of man and woman, parent and child, &c. They said, as they do often say, "Every word is true! how foolish we are!" But how to get any of them to start on a new course is the question.
'Ascension Day, May 30th.—There is a good deal of discussion going on now among the people. I hear of it not only from our old scholars, but from some of the men. I have been speaking day by day more earnestly to the people; always reading here and there verses of the Gospels or the Acts, or paraphrasing some passage so that they may have the actual words in which the message is recorded. They say, "This is a heavy, a weighty word," and they are talking, as they say, night after night about it. Some few, and they elderly men, say, "Let us talk only about our customs here." Others say, "No, no; let us try to think out the meaning of what he said." A few come and ask me questions, only a few, not many are in earnest, and all are shy. Many every night meet in Robert Pantatun's house, twenty-five or thirty, and ask him all manner of questions, and he reads a little. They end with prayer.
'They have many strange customs and superstitious observances peculiar to this group. They have curious clubs, confraternities with secret rites of initiation. The candidate for admission pays pigs and native money, and after many days' seclusion in a secret place is, with great ceremony, recognised as a member. No woman and none of the uninitiated may know anything of these things.
'In every village there is a Sala Goro, a place for cooking, which only those who have "gazed at the sacred symbol" may frequent. Food cooked there may not be eaten by one uninitiated, or by women or children. The path to the Sala Goro is never trodden by any woman or matanomorous ("eye closed"). When any ceremony is going on the whole of the precincts of the Sala Goro are sacred. At no time dare any woman eat with any man, no husband with his wife, no father with his daughter as soon as she is no longer a child.
'Of course such a system can be used by us in two ways. I say, "You have your method of assembling together, and you observe certain customs in so doing; so do we, but yours is an exclusive and selfish system: your secret societies are like our clubs, with their entrance fees, &c. But Christ's society has its sacred rite of admission, and other mysteries too, and it is for all who wish to belong to it. He recognises no distinction of male or female, bond or free."
'Some of the elder men are becoming suspicious of me. I tell them plainly that whatever there may be in their customs incompatible with the great law of Love to God and man must come to nought. "You beat and terrify matanomorous in order to make them give, that you may get pigs and native money from them. Such conduct is all wrong, for if you beat or frighten a youth or man, you certainly can't love him."
'At the same time I can't tell how far this goes. If there were a real ceremony of an idol or prayer to it, of course it would be comparatively easy to act in the matter; but the ceremony consists in sticking a curious sort of mitre, pointed and worked with hair, on the head of the candidate, and covering his body with a sort of Jack- in-the green wicker work of leaves, &c., and they joke and laugh about it, and attach, apparently, no religious significance to it whatever.