HotFreeBooks.com
Life of John Coleridge Patteson
by Charlotte M. Yonge
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

'Your last present to me was your volume of "Bampton Lectures," of which I need not say how both the subject and the mode of treating it make them especially valuable just now. And there is a strong personal feeling about the work and writings of one where the public man is also the private friend, which gives a special zest to the enjoyment of reading a work of this kind.

'Certainly it is one of the many blessings of my life that I should somehow have been allowed to grow into this degree of intimacy with you, whom I have always known by name, though I don't remember ever to have seen you. I think I first as a child became familiar with your name through good Miss Rennell, whom I dare say you remember: the old Dean's daughter. What a joy this would have been to dear Mr. and Mrs. Keble; what a joy it is to Charlotte Yonge; and there may be others close to Winchester whose lives have been closely bound tip with yours.

'But, humanly speaking, the thing is to have Bishops who can command the respect and love and dutiful obedience of their clergy and laity alike.

'One wants men who, by solid learning, and by acquaintance too with modern modes of criticism and speculation, by scholarship, force of character, largeness of mind, as well as by their goodness, can secure respect and exercise authority. It is the lawlessness of men that one deplores; the presumption of individual priests striking out for themselves unauthorised ways of managing their parishes and officiating in their churches. And, if I may dare to touch on such a subject, is there not a mode of speaking and writing on the Holy Eucharist prevalent among some men now, which has no parallel in the Church of England, except, it may be, in some of the non-jurors, and which does not express the Church of England's mind; which is not the language of Pearson, and Jackson, and Waterland, and Hooker, no, nor of Bull, and Andrewes, and Taylor, &c.? I know very little of such things—very little indeed. But it is oftentimes a sad grief to me that I cannot accept some of the reasonings and opinions of dear Mr. Keble in his book on "Eucharistic Adoration." I know that I have no right to expect to see things as such a man saw them: that most probably the instinctive power of discerning truth—the reward of a holy life from early childhood—guided him where men without such power feel all astray. But yet, there is something about the book which may be quite right and true, but does not to me quite savour of the healthy sound theology of the Church of England; the fragrance is rather that of an exotic plant; here and there I mean—though I feel angry with myself for daring to think this, and to say it to you, who can understand him.

'November 27th.—I leave this as I wrote it, though now I know from our mails, which have come to us, that you are Bishop of Salisbury, not of Winchester. I hardly stop to think whether it is Winchester or Salisbury, so great is my thankfulness and joy at the report being substantially true. Though it did seem that Winchester was a natural sphere for you, I can't help feeling that at Salisbury you can do (D.V.) what perhaps scarcely any one else could do. And now I rejoice that you have had the opportunity of speaking with no uncertain sound in your "Bampton Lectures." Anyone can tell what the Bishop of Salisbury holds on the great questions of Church Doctrine and Church Government. The diocese knows already its Bishop, not only by many former but by his latest book. Surely you will have the confidence of all Churchmen, and be blessed to do a great work for the glory of God and the edification of the Church.

'And now, my dear Bishop of Salisbury, you will excuse my writing on so freely, too freely I fear. I do like to think of you in that most perfect of Cathedrals. I hope and trust that you will have ere long, right good fellow-workers in Exeter, Winton, and Bath and Wells.

'But in the colonies you have a congeries of men from all countries, and with every variety of creed, jumbled up together, with nothing whatever to hold them together—no reverence—no thoughts of the old parish church, &c. They are restless, worldly people to a great extent, thinking of getting on, making money. To such men the very idea of the Church as a Divine Institution, the mystical Body of the Lord, on which all graces are bestowed, and through whose ministrations men are trained in holiness and truth, is wholly unknown. The personal religion of many a man is sincere; his position and duty as a Churchman he has never thought about. I wish the clergy would master that part, at all events, of your Lectures which deals with this great fundamental point, and then, as they have opportunity, teach it to their people. And by-and-by, through the collective life of the Church in its synods, &c., many will come to see it, we may hope.

'I think that I may give you a cheering account of ourselves. I was nineteen weeks in the islands—met with no adventures worth mentioning, only one little affair which was rather critical for a few minutes, but ended very well—and in some of the Solomon Islands made more way than heretofore with the people. We have 134 Melanesians here and a baby. George Sarawia and his wife and two children, and two other married couples—all Communicants—are at Mota, in a nice place, with some twenty-two lads "boarding" with them, and about thirty more coming to daily school.

'The vessel was much knocked about in a violent gale in June off Norfolk Island, and we had to handle her very carefully. The whole voyage was made with a mainmast badly sprung, and fore topmast very shaky. Mr. Tilly was very watchful over the spars, and though we had a large share of squally weather, and for some days, at different times, were becalmed in a heavy swell, the most trying of all situations to the gear of a vessel, yet, thank God, all went well, and I have heard of the schooner safe in Auckland harbour. About forty of our Melanesians here are Solomon Islanders, from seven different islands; a few came from the New Hebrides, the rest from the Banks Islands. We are already pretty well settled down to our work. Indeed, it took only a day or two to get to work; our old scholars are such great helpers to us. We number six clergymen here (G. Sarawia being at Mota). Ten or twelve of the sixth form are teachers. If you care to hear more; I must refer you to a letter just written to Miss Yonge. But it is not easy to write details about 134 young people. Their temptations are very great when they return to their islands; every inducement to profligacy, &c., is held out to them. One of our young baptized lads fell into sinful ways, and is not now with us. He was not one of whom we had great expectations, though we trusted that he would go on steadily. Many others, thank God, were kept pure and truthful in the midst of it all, refusing even to sleep one night away from our little hut, and in some cases refusing even to leave the schooner. "No, I will wait till I am married," said two lads to me, who were married here to Christian girls on November 24th, "and then go ashore for a time with my young wife. I don't think I should yield, but I don't want to put myself in the way of such temptations." And so, when I had naturally expected that they would take their six weeks' holiday on shore, while the "Southern Cross" went from Mota to Norfolk Island and back (during my stay at Mota), they remained on board, rejoining me, as they were two of my boating crew, for the New Hebrides trip! This was very comforting. And when I married three couples on November 24th, and knew that they were pure, youths and girls alike, from the great sin of heathenism, you can well think that my heart was very full of thankfulness and hope.

'I must end my long letter. How will you find time to read it? Send me some day a photograph of your beautiful Cathedral.

'Yours very faithfully,

'J. C. PATTESON.'

Before the letter to which Bishop Moberly is referred, Mr. Codring- ton's bit about the weddings seems appropriate:—

'These wedding days were great festivals, especially before many had been seen. The Chapel was dressed with flowers, the wedding party in as new and cheerful attire as could be procured, the English Marriage Service translated into Mota. We make rings out of sixpences or threepenny bits. The place before is full of the sound of the hammer tapping the silver on the marlingspike. The wedding ceremony is performed with as much solemnity as possible, all the school present in their new clothes and with flowers in their hair. There is even a kind of processional Psalm as the wedding party enters the Chapel. There is of course a holiday, and after the service they all go off, taking with them the pig that has been killed for the feast. An enormous quantity of plum pudding awaits them when, in the evening, they come back to prayers and supper. Rounds of hearty cheers, led off by the Bishop, used to complete the day. Weddings of this kind between old scholars, christened, confirmed, and trustworthy, represented much anxiety and much teaching and expense, but they promise so much, and that so near of what has been worked for, that they have brought with them extraordinary pleasure and satisfaction.'

'Norfolk Island: November 24, 1869.

'My dear Cousin,—To-day we married three young couples: the bridegrooms. Robert Pantatun, William Pasvorang, and Marsden Sawa, who have been many years with us, and are all Communicants; the brides, Emily Milerauwe, Lydia Lastitia, and Rhoda Titrakrauwe, who were baptized a year ago.

'The Chapel was very prettily dressed up with lilies and many other flowers. The bridegrooms wore white trousers, shirts, &c., the brides wore pretty simple dresses and flowers in their hair. We crowded as many persons as possible into our little Chapel. Mr. Nobbs and some ten or twelve of our Pitcairn friends were all the visitors that we could manage to make room for.

'Great festivities followed, a large pig was killed yesterday and eaten to-day, and Mr. Palmer had manufactured puddings without end, a new kind of food to many of the present set of scholars, but highly appreciated by most of them. Then followed in the evening native dances and songs, and a supper to end with, with cheers for the brides and bridegrooms.

'There are now six married couples here, three more at Mota, and one or two more weddings will take place soon. Very fortunately, a vessel came from Auckland only three or four days ago, the first since the "Southern Cross," in June, It brought not only five mails for us English folk, but endless packages and boxes for the Mission, ordered by us long ago, stores, clothing, &c. We had all ordered more or less in the way of presents for scholars, and though we keep most of these treasures for Christmas gifts, yet some are distributed now.

'These presents are for the most part really good things. It is quite useless for kind friends to send presents to Melanesians as they would do to an English lad or girl. To begin with, most of our scholars are grown up, and are more like English young people of twenty or eighteen years old than like boys and girls, and not a few are older still; and secondly, no Melanesian, old or young, cares a rush about a toy. They, boys and girls, men and women, take a practical view of a present, and are the very reverse of sentimental about it, though they really do like a photograph of a friend. But a mere Brummagem article that won't stand wear is quite valueless in their eyes.

'Whatever is given them, cheap or dear, is estimated according to its usefulness; and whatever is given, though it may cost but a shilling, must be good of its kind. For example, a rough-handled, single- bladed knife, bought for a shilling, they fully appreciate; but a knife with half-a-dozen blades, bought for eighteen-pence, they would almost throw away. And so about everything else. I mention this as a hint to kind friends. They do like to hear that people think of them and are kind to them, but they don't understand why useless things should be sent from the other end of the world when they could buy much better things with their own money out of the mission store here.

'They are very fond of anything in the way of notebooks, 8vo and 12mo sizes (good paper), writing-cases (which must be good if given at all), patent safety inkstands—these things are useful on board ship, and can be carried to the islands and brought back again safely. Work-baskets or boxes for the girls, with good serviceable needles, pins, thread, scissors, thimbles, tapes, &c. &c., not a plaything. Here we can buy for them, or keep in the store for them to buy, many things that are much too bulky to send from a distance, the freight would be ruinous. The "Southern Cross" brings them usually to us. Such things I mean as good carpet-bags, from 5s. to 10s., stout tin boxes with locks and keys, axes, tools, straw hats, saucepans, good strong stuff (tweed or moleskin) for trousers and shirts, which they cut out and make up for themselves, quite understanding the inferior character of "slop" work, good flannel for under-shirts, or for making up into Crimean shirts, Nottingham drill, good towelling, huckaback, &c., ought to be worth while to send out, and if bought in large quantities at the manufacturer's, it would pay us to get it in England, especially if the said manufacturer reduced the price a little in consequence of the use to be made of his goods.

'Dull small blue beads are always useful, ditto red. Bright glittering ones are no use, few Melanesians would take them as a gift. Some islanders like large beads, as big or bigger than boys' marbles. These are some hints to any kind people who may wish to contribute in kind rather than in money.

'Mr. Codrington has given these fellows a great taste for gardening. Much of their spare hours (which are not many) are spent in digging up, fencing in and preparing little pieces of land close about the station, two or three lads generally making up a party, and frequently the party consists of lads and young men from different islands. Then they have presents of seeds, cuttings, bulbs, &c., from Mr. Codrington chiefly, and Mrs. Palmer and others contribute. Some of these little gardens are really very nicely laid out in good taste and well looked after. They have an eye to the practically useful here too, as every garden has its stock of bananas, and here and there we see the sugar-cane too.

'From 3.30 P.M. to 6 P.M. is the play time, although they do not all have this time to themselves. For three lads must milk from 5 to 6, one or two must drive in the cows, seven or eight are in the kitchen, three or four must wash the horses, one must drive the sheep into the fold, all but the milkers have only their one week of these diverse occupations. There are about twelve head cooks, who choose their helpers (the whole school, minus the milkers and two or three overlookers, being included), and so the cooking work comes only once in twelve weeks. The cooks of the one week drive up the cows and water the horses the next week, and then there is no extra work, that is, nothing but the regular daily work from 9.30 A.M. after school to 1 P.M. Wednesday is a half-holiday, Saturday a whole holiday. There are six milkers, one of whom is responsible for the whole. One receives 2s. 0d. per week, his chief mate 1s. 6d., and the other four 1s. each. They take it in turns, three each week. This is the hardest work in one sense; it brings them in from their play and fishing, or gardening, &c., and so they are paid for it. We do not approve of the white man being paid for everything, and the Melanesian being expected to work habitually extra hours for nothing. There are many other little extra occupations for which we take care that those engaged in them shall have some reward, and as a matter of fact a good deal of money finds its way into the hands of the storekeeper, and a very fair amount of 3d., 4d. and 6d. pieces may be seen every Sunday in the offertory bason.

'Perhaps I should say that we have seldom seen here any indications of these Melanesians expecting money or presents; but we want to destroy the idea in their minds of their being fags by nature, and to help them to have some proper self-respect and independence of character. We see very little in them to make us apprehensive of their being covetous or stingy, and indisposed to give service freely.

'School hours 8-9.20, 2-3.30, singing 7-8 P.M., chapel 6.45 A.M., 6.30 P.M.

'Of the 134 Melanesians, besides the baby, ten are teachers, and with their help we get on very fairly. There are sixteen of us teachers in all, so that the classes are not too large.

'Mr. Codrington takes at present the elder Banks Islanders, Mr. Palmer the next class, and Mr. Bice the youngest set of boys from the same group.

'Mr. Atkin takes the Southern Solomon Islanders, and Mr. Brooke those from the northern parts of the same group. I have been taking some Leper's Islanders and Maiwo or Aurora Islanders as new comers, and other classes occasionally.

'Out of so many we shall weed out a good number no doubt. At present we don't condemn any as hopelessly dull, but it will not be worth while to spend much time upon lads who in five months must go home for good, and some such there must be; we cannot attempt to teach all, dull and clever alike. We must make selections, and in so doing often, I dare say, make mistakes. But what can we do?

'Our new hall is a great success. We had all the framework sawn out here; it is solid, almost massive work, very unlike the flimsy wooden buildings that are run up in a week or two in most colonial villages. It is so large that our party of 145, plus 9 English, sit in the aisles without occupying any part of the middle of the room. This gives us ample accommodation for the present. Indeed we might increase our numbers to 200 without any more buildings being necessary. The married people give the most trouble in this respect, as they have their separate rooms, and four or five married couples take up more room than three times the number of single folk. However we have here room for all, I am thankful to say, though we must build again if more of our young people take it into their heads to be married. They pass on quickly, however, when married, into the next stage, the life in their own islands, and so they leave their quarters here for some successors.

'I hope you can understand this attempt at a description, but I never could write properly about such things, and never shall do so, I suppose. I like the life, I know, a great deal better than I can write about it. Indeed, it is a quiet restful life here, comparatively. Some anxieties always, of course, but, as compared with the distractions of New Zealand life, it is pleasant indeed. We have very few interruptions here to the regular employment of our time, and need not waste any of it in visits or small talk, which seems to be a necessary, though most wearisome part of civilised life.

'Your namesake goes on well; not a clever girl, but very steady and good; her sister and brother are here; the sisters are much alike in character and ability, the brother is sharper. You will, I know, specially think of George Sarawia and his wife Sarah at Mota, with Charles and Ellen, Benjamin and Marion. They are all Communicants, but the temptations which surround them are very great, and early familiarity with heathen practices and modes of thought may yet deaden the conscience to the quick apprehension of the first approaches of sin. They do indeed need the earnest prayers of all.

'Your affectionate Cousin,

'J. C. PATTESON.'

How many sons who have lost a mother at fifteen or sixteen dwell on the thought like this affectionate spirit, twenty-seven years later?

'Advent Sunday, November 20, 1869.

'It is a solemn thing to begin a new year on the anniversary of our dear Mother's death. I often think whether she would approve of this or that opinion, action, &c. Wright's painting is pleasant to look upon. I stand in a corner of my room, at father's old mahogany desk. Her picture and his, the large framed photographs from Richmond's drawing, and a good photograph of the Bishop are just above. I wish you could see my room. I write now on December 3, a bright summer day, but my room with its deep verandah is cool and shady. It is true that I refuse carpet and curtains. They only hold dust and make the room fusty. But the whole room is filled with books, and those pictures, and the Lionardo da Vinci over the fireplace, and Mr. Boxall's photograph over it, and his drawing vis-a-vis to it at the other end of the room, and by my window a splendid gloxinia with fine full flowers out in a very pretty porcelain pot, both Mr. Codrington's gift. On another glass stand (also his present) a Mota flower imported here, a brilliant scarlet hibiscus, and blossoms of my creepers and bignonia, most beautiful. So fresh and pretty. The steps of the verandah are a mass of honeysuckle. The stephanotis, with the beautiful scented white flowers and glossy leaves, covers one of the posts. How pleasant it is. Everyone is kind, all are well, all are going on well just now. Such are missionary comforts. Where the hardships are I have not yet discovered. Your chain, dear Joan, is round my neck, and the locket (Mamma's) in which you, Fan, put the hair of you five, hangs on it.

'I am dipping my pen into the old silver inkstand which used to be in the front drawing-room. Every morning at about 5 A.M. I have a cup of tea or coffee, and use Grandmamma Coleridge's old-fashioned silver cream-jug, and the cup and saucer which Augusta sent out years ago, my old christening spoon, and the old silver tea-pot and salver. Very grand, but I like the old things.

'This day fortnight (D.V.) I ordain J. Atkin and C. H. Brooke Priests.

'I have no time to answer your April and September letters. I rejoice with all my heart to hear of Dr. Moberly's appointment. What a joyful event for Charlotte Yonge. That child Pena sent me Shairp's (dear old Shairp) book, which I wanted. I must write to Sophy as soon as I can. You will forgive if I have seemed to be, or really have been, unmindful of your sorrows and anxieties. Sometimes I think I am in too great a whirl to think long enough to realise and enter into all your doings.

'Your loving Brother,

'J. C. P.'

The intended letter to Mrs. Martyn was soon written. The death there referred to was that of Mrs. William Coleridge, widow of the Bishop of Barbadoes:-

'Norfolk Island: December 14, 1869.

'My dear Sophy,—I should be specially thinking of you as Christmas draws nigh with its blessed thoughts, and hopes, and the St. Stephen's memories in any case I should be thinking of you. But now I have lately received your long loving letter of last Eastertide, partly written in bed.

Then your dear child's illness makes me think greatly (and how lovingly!) of you three of the three generations. Lastly, I hear of dear Aunt William's death. You know that I had a very great affection for her, and I feel that this is a great blow probably to you all, though dear Aunty (as I have noticed in all old persons, especially when good as well as old) takes this quietly, I dare say. The feeling must be, "Well, I shall soon meet her again; a few short days only remain."

'I suppose that you, with your quarter of a century's widowhood, still feel as if the waiting time was all sanctified by the thought of the reunion. Oh! what a thought it is: too much almost to think that by His wonderful mercy, one may hope to be with them all, and for ever; to behold the faces of Apostles, and Apostolic men, and Prophets, and Saints, holy men and women; and, as if this were not enough, to see Him as He is, in His essential perfections, and to know Him. One can't sustain the effort of such a thought, which shows how great a change must pass on one before the great Consummation. Well, the more one can think of dear Father and Mother, and dear dear Uncle James and Uncle Frank, and Cousin George, and Uncle and Aunt William, others too, uncles and aunts, and your dear Fanny, and your husband, though it would be untrue to say I knew him, taken so early—the more one thinks of them all the better. And I have, Sophy, so many very different ones to think of Edwin and Fisher, and so many Melanesians taken away in the very first earnestness and simplicity of a new convert's faith. How many have died in my arms—God be thanked—in good hope!

'If by His great mercy there be a place for me there, I feel persuaded that I shall there find many of those dear lads, whom indeed I think of with a full heart, full of affection and thankfulness.

'I have been reading the "Memoir of Mr. Keble," of course with extreme interest. It is all about events and chiefly about persons that one has heard about or even known. I think we get a little autobiography of our dear Uncle John in it too, for which I don't like it the less.

There are passages, as against going to Borne, which I am glad to see in print; they are wanted now again, I fear. I am glad you like Moberly's "Bampton Lectures." His book on "The Great Forty Days," his best book (?) after all, has the germ of it all. I am so thankful for his appointment to Salisbury. I dare say you know that he is kind enough to write to me occasionally; and he sends me his books, one of the greatest of the indirect blessings of being known to Mr. Keble. I do very little in the way of reading, save that I get a quiet hour for Hebrew, 5-6 A.M., and I do read some theology. In one sense it is easier reading to me than other books, history, poetry, because, though I don't know much about it, I know nothing about them.

'My pleasure would be, if with you, in talking over such little insight as I may have received into the wondrous harmony and symmetry of the whole Bible, by tolerably close examination of the text of the Greek, and to some extent of the Hebrew. The way in which a peculiar word brings a whole passage or argument en rapport with a train of historical associations or previous statements is wonderful; e.g., the verb of which Moses is formed occurs only in Exodus ii. 10, 2 Samuel xxii. 17, Psalm xviii. 16. See how the magnificent description of the Passage of the Red Sea in Psalm xviii. is connected with Moses by this one word. These undesigned coincidences, and (surely) proofs of inspiration are innumerable.

'I do delight in it: only I want more help, far more. We have great advantages in this generation. Dear Uncle James had no Commentary, one might almost say, on Old Testament or New Testament. Ellicott, Wordsworth, and Alford on the New Testament were not in existence; and the Germans, used with discrimination, are great helps. An orthodox Lutheran, one Delitzsch (of whom Liddon wrote that Dr. Pusey thinks highly of his Hebrew scholarship), helps me much in Isaiah. He has sucked all the best part out of Vitringa's enormous book, and added much minute, and I am told correct criticism. And how grand it is! This morning—it is now 6.15 A.M.—I have been reading part of that wonderful chapter xxvi.

'It strikes me that the way to teach a class or a congregation is to bring out the doctrine from the very words of Scripture carefully, critically examined and explained. Only think, Sophy, of the vague desultory way in which we all, more or less, read; and we have accepted a phraseology without enquiring to a great extent, and use words to which we attach no definite meaning. Few in the congregation could draw out in clear words what they mean when they talk of faith, justification, regeneration, conversion, &c. &c. All language denoting ideas and thoughts is transferred to the region of the mind from denoting at first only external objects and sensations. This is in accordance with the mystery of all, the union of mind and matter—which no pagan philosopher could comprehend—the extreme difficulty of solving which caused Dualism and Asceticism on the one hand, and neglect of all bodily discipline on the other. Mind and matter must be antagonistic, the work of different beings: man must get rid of his material part to arrive at his true end and perfection.

'So some said, "Mortify, worry the body, which is essentially and inherently evil." "No," said others, "the sins of the body don't hurt the mind; the two things are distinct, don't react on one another." (St. Paul deals with all this in the Colossians.) The Incarnation is the solution or the culmination of the mystery.

'What a prose! but I meant, that people so often use words as if the use of a word was equivalent to the knowledge of the thought which, in the mind of an accurate thinker, accompanies the utterance of the word.

'I should think that three-fourths of what we clergymen say is unintelligible to the mass of the congregation. We assume an acquaintance with the Bible and Prayer-book, thought, and a knowledge of the meaning of words which few, alas! possess. We must begin, then, with the little ones; as far as I see, all children are apt to fail at the point when they ought to be passing from merely employing the memory (in learning by heart, e.g., the Catechism) by exercising the reasoning and thinking faculty.

'"Well now, you have said that very well, now let us think what it means."

'How well Dr. Pusey says, in his Sermons, "Not altogether intentional deliberate vice, but thoughtlessness is destroying souls."

'I run on at random, dear Sophy, hoping to give you one and a half hour's occupation on a sick bed or couch, and because, as you say, this is the only converse we are likely to have on earth.

'I think I am too exclusively fond of this reading, very little else interests me. I take up a theological book as a recreation, which is, perhaps, hardly reverent, and may narrow the mind; but even Church history is not very attractive to me. I like Jackson and Hooker, and some of the moderns, of whom I read a good many; and I lose a good deal of time in diving into things too deep by half for me, while I forget or don't learn simple things.

'All this modern rage for reviews, serials, magazines, I can't abide. My mind is far too much distracted already, and that fragmentary mode of reading is very bad for many people, I am sure.

'Naturally enough at forty-two years of age ninety-nine hundredths of the "lighter" books seem to me mere rubbish. They come to me occasionally. However, there are younger ones here, so it isn't sheer waste to receive such donations: they soon get out of my room. Not, mind you, that I think this the least evidence of my being wiser, or employing my time more carefully than other folk. Only I want you to know what I am, and what I think.

'Pena has sent me a nice book which I wanted: 1st. Because I have a great personal liking for Shairp, a simple-minded, affectionate man, with much poetical feeling and good taste-a kindly-natured man. 2nd. Because he writes in an appreciative kind of way, and is the very opposite of .... whom I can't stand with his insufferable self- sufficiency, and incapacity for appreciating the nobler, simpler, more generous natures who are unlike him. Well! that is fierce. But there is a school of men whom I can't stand. Their nature repels me, and I hardly wish to like them; which is an evil feeling.

'I shall add a line in a few days.

'My very dearest love to Aunty—dear Aunty; and if I can't write to Pena, give her my best love and thanks for her book.

'Dear Sophy, your loving Cousin,

'J. C. P.'

Two other letters, one to each of the sisters, were in progress at this time. To Joanna, who had been grieved for the poor girl whose transgression had occurred in the beginning of the year, he says:—

'About Semtingvat, you must be comforted about her. For a poor child who, two short years before, had assumed as a matter of course that a woman simply existed to be a man's slave in every kind of way, her fault could not, I think, be regarded as very great. Indeed, there was much comfort from the first; and since that time they not only have gone on well, but I do believe that their religious character has been much strengthened by the kind of revelation they then obtained of what Christianity really does mean. Anyhow, all notice the fact that U—— has improved very much, and they all sing Semtingvat's praises. I had no difficulty about marrying them after a little while. I spoke openly in chapel to everyone about it. Their wedding was not as other weddings—no festivity, no dressing of the chapel, no feast, no supper and fun and holiday. It was perfectly understood to be in all respects different from a bright, happy wedding. But it was quite as much for the sake of all, for the sake of enforcing the new teaching about the sanctity of marriage, that we made so very much of what (as men speak) was under the circumstances a comparatively light fault, less than an impure thought on the part of such as have been taught their duty from their childhood.

'I am almost confused with the accounts from England. All seems in a state of turmoil and confusion; all the old landmarks being swept away by a deluge of new opinions as to all matters civil and ecclesiastical. I don't think that we ought to refuse to see these signs of a change in men's mode of regarding great political and religious questions. A man left high and dry on the sand-bank of his antiquated notions will do little good to the poor folk struggling in the sea way, though he is safer as far as he is himself concerned by staying where he is than by plunging in to help them.

'It is a critical time in every sense. Men and women can hardly be indifferent; they must be at the pains of making up their minds. As for us clergy, everywhere but in Norfolk Island, we must know that people are thinking of matters which all were content a few years ago to keep back in silence, and that they expect us to speak about them. How thankful I am that we fortunate ones are exempt from this. Yet in my way I, too, try to think a bit about what is going on; and I don't want to be too gloomy, or to ignore some good in all this ferment in men's minds. It is better than stagnation and indolent respectability. There is everywhere a consciousness of a vast work to be done, and sincere efforts are made to do it. I suppose that is a fact; many, many poor souls are being taught and trained for heaven through all these various agencies which seem to a distant and idle critic to be so questionable in some ways.

'Of old one thought that the sober standard of Church of England divinity was the rule to which all speculations should be reduced; and one thought that Pearson, Hooker, Waterland, Jeremy Taylor also, and Andrewes, and Bull, and Jackson, and Barrow, &c., stood for the idea of English divinity. Now we are launched upon a wider sea. Catholic usage and doctrine take the place of Church of England teaching and practice; rightly, I dare say, only it may be well to remember that men who can perhaps understand a good deal of the English divines, can hardly be supposed to be equally capable of understanding the far wider and more difficult range of ecclesiastical literature of all ages and all writers.

'Everyone knows and is struck by the fact that passages of old writers are continually quoted by men of quite different schools of thought in favour of their own (different) views. Clearly they can't both understand the mind and spirit of these writers; and the truth is, isn't it, that only they who by very long study, and from a large share of the true historical imagination, sympathise with and really enter into the hearts and minds of these writers, are competent to deal with and decide upon such wide and weighty matters?

'It seems to me as if men who are in no sense divines, theologians, or well read, speak strongly and use expressions and teach doctrines which, indeed, only very few men should think of uttering or teaching.

'And yet, don't think I wish to be only an exclusive Anglican, without sympathy for East or West; still less that I wish to ignore the Catholic Church of the truly primitive times; but I take the real, so to say, representative teaching of the Church of England to be the divinity of the truly primitive Church, to which our formularies and reformers appeal. I know, moreover, that our dear Father accepted Jackson and Waterland; and I don't feel disposed to disparage them, as it is the fashion to do nowadays. Few men, in spite of occasional scholastic subtlety, go so deep in their search right down into principles as Jackson. Few men so analyse, dissect, search out the precise, exact meaning of words and phrases, so carry you away from vague generalities to accurate defined meanings and doctrines. He had an honest and clear brain of his own, though he was a tremendous book-worm; and I think he is a great authority, though I know about him and his antagonism to Rome. I don't fear to weary you by this kind of talk; but don't I wish I could hear three or four of our very best men discuss these points thoroughly. In all sincerity I believe that I should be continually convinced of error, shallow judgments, and ignorance. But then I should most likely get real light on some points where I would fain have it.'

To this unconscious token of humility, another must be added, from the same letter, speaking of two New Zealand friends:—'To me she has always been kindness itself, with her husband overrating me to such an amusing extent that I don't think it hurt even my vanity.'

Full preparation was going on for the ordination, of the two priests.

No special account of the actual service seems to have been written; and the first letter of January was nearly absorbed by the tidings of the three Episcopal appointments of the close of 1869, the Oxford choice coming near to Bishop Patteson by his family affections, and the appointment to Exeter as dealing with his beloved county at home.

And now, before turning the page, and leaving the period that had, on the whole, been full of brightness, will be the best time to give Mr. Codrington's account of the manner of life at St. Barnabas, while the Bishop was still in his strength:—

'Certainly one of the most striking points to a stranger would have been the familiar intercourse between the Bishop and his boys, not only the advanced scholars, but the last and newest comers. The kindly and friendly disposition of the Melanesians leads to a great deal of free and equal familiarity even where there are chiefs, and the obsequious familiarity of which one hears in India is here quite unknown. Nevertheless, I doubt very much whether other Melanesians live in the same familiarity with their missionaries—e.g., Carry, wife of Wadrokala, writes thus:—"I tremble very much to write to you, I am not fit to write to you, because, does an ant know how to speak to a cow? We at Nengone would not speak to a great man like you; no, our language is different to a chief and a missionary."

'Making every allowance, and, looking at the matter from within, that perfect freedom and affectionateness of intercourse that existed with him seems very remarkable.

'The secret of it is not far to seek. It did not lie in any singular attractiveness of his manner only, but in the experience that everyone attracted gained that he sought nothing for himself; he was entirely free from any desire to be admired, or love of being thought much of, as he was from love of commanding for the sake of being obeyed. The great temptations to missionaries among savage people, as it seems, are to self-esteem, from a comparison of themselves with their European advantages and the natives among whom they live; and to a domineering temper, because they find an obedience ready, and it is delightful to be obeyed. Bishop Patteson's natural disposition was averse to either, and the principles of missionary work which he took up suited at once his natural temper and his religious character. He was able naturally, without effort, to live as a brother among his black brothers, to be the servant of those he lived to teach. The natural consequence of this was, the unquestioned authority which he possessed over those with whom he lived on equal terms. No one could entertain the idea that anything was ordered from a selfish motive, for any advantage to himself, or that anything was forbidden without some very good reason. This familiarity with a superior, which is natural with Melanesians, is accompanied, especially in Banks Islanders, with a very great reserve about anything that touches the feelings or concerns character. Thus a boy, who would use the Bishop's room as if it were his own, coming in unasked, to read or write, or sit by the fire there, would with very great difficulty get over the physical trembling, which their language implies, that would come upon him, if he wished to speak about his own feelings on religious matters, or to tell him something which he well knew it was his duty to make known. When one knows how difficult it is to them to speak openly, their openness with the Bishop is more appreciated, though he indeed often enough complained of their closeness with him. The real affection between the boys and the Bishop required no acquaintance with the character of either to discern, and could surprise no one who knew anything of the history of their relation one to another. It is well known that he wished his elder boys to stand in the place of the sixth form of a public school; and to some extent they did so, but being mostly Banks Islanders, and Banks Islanders being peculiarly afraid of interfering with one another, his idea was never reached. Still no doubt a good deal is attained when they arrive rather at the position of pupil- teacher in a National School; and this at least they occupy very satisfactorily, as is shown by the success with which so large a school has been carried on since the Bishop's death. No doubt the Ordination of more from among their number would go far to raise them in their own estimation.

'In truth, the carrying out of the principle of the equality of black and white in a missionary work, which is the principle of this mission, is very difficult, and cannot be done in all particulars in practice by anyone, and by most people, unless brought up to it, probably not at all. Nevertheless, it is practicable, and, as we think, essential, and was in all main points carried out by Bishop Patteson. But the effect of this must not be exaggerated. It is true that we have no servants, yet a boy regularly brought water, &c., for the Bishop, and a woman regularly swept and cleaned his rooms, and received regular wages for it. The Bishop never cooked his dinner or did any such work except upon occasions on which a bachelor curate in England does much of the kind, as a matter of course. The extraordinary thing is that it is, as he at any rate supposed, the custom in other missions to make scholars and converts servants as a matter of course; and the difference lies not in the work which is done or not done by the one party or the other, but in the social relation of equality which subsists between them, and the spirit in which the work is asked for and rendered.

'The main thing to notice about the Bishop is that there was nothing forced or unnatural in his manner of taking a position of equality, and equality as real in any way as his superiority in another. Consequently, there was never the least loss of dignity or authority on his part.

'There never was visible the smallest diminution of freedom and affection in the intercourse that went on. It required some knowledge in one respect to appreciate the extraordinary facility with which he conversed with boys from various islands. A stranger would be struck with his bright smiles and sweet tones as he would address some little stranger who came into his room; but one who knew a little of the languages alone could know with what extraordinary quickness he passed from one language to another, talking to many boys in their own language, but accommodating his tongue with wonderful readiness to each in succession. It would be hard to say how many languages he could speak; those which he spoke quite freely, to my knowledge, were not so many: Mota, Bauro, Mahaga, and Nengone, certainly; some others no doubt quite readily when among the people who spoke them; and very many only with a small vocabulary which was every instant being enlarged. It does not appear to me that his scientific philological acquirements were extraordinary; but that his memory for words giving him such a command of vocabulary, and so wide a scope for comparison, and his accurate and delicate ear to catch the sounds, and power of reproducing them, were altogether wonderful and very rarely equalled. A man of his faculty of expression and powers of mind could not speak like a native; he spoke better than a native, than a native of Mota at least. That is that, although no doubt he never was quite master of the little delicate points of Mota scholarship, which no one not a native can keep quite right, and no native can account for, yet his vocabulary was so large and accurate, and his feeling of the native ways of looking at things and representing them in words so true, that he spoke to them more clearly and forcibly than even any native spoke, and with the power of an educated mind controlling while following the native taste. He was an enthusiast, no doubt, about these languages, and jealous of their claim to be considered true language, and not what people suppose them to be, the uncouth jargon of savages. I will only say that his translations of some of the Psalms into Mota are as lofty in their diction and as harmonious in their rhythm, in my estimation, as anything almost I read in any language. This no doubt sounds exaggerated, and must be taken only for what it is worth.

'It was probably in a great measure because his natural power of acquiring languages was so extraordinary, and needed so very little labour in him, that he did so very little to put on paper what he knew of all those many tongues. All there is in print I have put together. Besides this, he carried the same unfortunate way of leaving off what he had begun into these notes on language also. In the year '63-'64 he got printed a number of small grammatical papers in almost all the languages he knew, because he felt he ought not to subject them to the risk of being lost. Another reason why he did not go into any laborious manuscript or printing work with the various languages was, that he saw as time went on, first, that it was so very uncertain what language would come in practice into request; and, secondly, that one language would suffice for the use, in practice, of all natives of a neighbourhood. For example, the language of part of Mae (Three Hills), in the New Hebrides, was once studied and well known. Nothing whatever came of the intercourse with that island, once so constant, I don't know why, and now the people themselves are destroyed almost, and hopes of doing them good destroyed by the slave trade. And, secondly, the use of the Mota language in our ordinary intercourse here has very much diminished the need for any one's knowing a particular language beyond the missionary who has charge of the boys who speak it. Thus the Bishop rather handed over the language of Bauro to Mr. Atkin, of Florida to Mr. Brooke, of Leper's Island to Mr. Price; and as the common teaching of all boys who belonged to either of the principal groups into which the school fell went on in Mota, there was no practical use in the other tongues the Bishop knew, except in his voyages, and in giving him more effectual powers of influencing those to whom he could speak in their own tongue. Besides, he saw so clearly the great advantage, on the one hand, of throwing together in every possible way the boys from all the islands, which was much helped by the use of one language, and, on the other hand, the natural tendency in a group of boys from one island or neighbourhood to keep separate, and of the teacher of a particular set to keep them separate with himself, that, without saying much about it, he discouraged the printing of other languages besides Mota, and in other ways kept them rather in the background. How things would have arranged themselves if Mota had not by circumstances come into such prominence I cannot say, but the predominance of Mota came in with the internal organisation of the Mission by Mr. Pritt. It is impossible for one who knew Bishop Patteson intimately, and the later condition of the Mission intimately, to lose sight for long of Mr. Pritt's influence and his useful work.'

Perhaps this chapter can best be completed by the external testimony of a visitor to Norfolk Island, given in a letter to the Editor of the 'Australian Churchman':—

'Daily at 7 A.M. the bell rings for chapel about one minute, and all hands promptly repair thither. In spite of the vast varieties of language and dialect spoken by fifty or sixty human beings, collected from twenty or thirty islets of the Pacific main, no practical difficulty has been found in using the Mota as the general language in Chapel and school, so that in a short time a congregation of twenty languages are able to join in worship in the one Mota tongue, more or less akin to all the rest, and a class of, say, nine boys, speaking by nature five different languages, easily join in using the one Mota language, just as a Frenchman, a German, a Russian, a Pole, an Italian, and an Englishman, all meeting in the same cafe or railway carriage, on the same glacier or mountain top, might harmoniously agree to use the French language as their medium of communication. So the service is conducted in Mota with one exception only. The collect for the day is read in English, as a brief allowable concession to the ears and hearts of the English members of the Mission. The service consists of the greater part of the Church of England Service translated. Some modifications have been made to suit the course of religious instruction. The Psalms are chanted and hymns sung in parts, and always in admirable tune, by the congregation. Noteworthy are the perfect attention, the reverent attitude, the hearty swing and unison of the little congregation, a lesson, I felt with shame, to many of our white congregations.

'Immediately after service clinks out the breakfast bell, and, with marvellous promptitude and punctuality, whites and blacks, lay and clerical, are seen flocking to the mess-room. The whites sit at the upper end of the table, but beyond the special privilege of tea, all fare alike, chiefly on vegetables: yams or sweet potatoes, and carrots or vegetable marrows, as may suit the season, with plenty of biscuit for more ambitious teeth, and plenty of milk to wash it down. Soon afterwards comes school for an hour and a half. Then work for the boys and men, planting yams, reaping wheat, mowing oats, fencing, carting, building, as the call may be, only no caste distinction or ordering about; it is not go and do that, but come and do this, whether the leader be an ordained clergyman, a white farm bailiff, or a white carpenter. This is noteworthy, and your readers will gain no clear idea of the Mission if they do not seize this point, for it is no matter of mere detail, but one of principle. The system is not that of the ship or the regiment, of the farm or the manufactory of the old country, but essentially of the family. It is not the officer or master saying "Go" but the father or the brother saying "Come." And to this, I firmly believe, is the hearty cheerful following and merry work of the blacks chiefly due. At 1 P.M. is dinner, much the same as breakfast. Meat, though not unknown, is the weak point of the Mission dietary. In the afternoon, work. At 6, tea. In the evening, class again for an hour or two; this evening class being sometimes a singing lesson, heartily enjoyed by the teacher. I forget precisely when the boys have to prepare matter arising out of the lessons they have received viva voce.

'There are evening prayers, and bed-time is early. Noteworthy are the happy conjunctions of perfect discipline with perfect jollity, the marvellous attainment of a happy familiarity which does not "breed contempt."

'I presume I need scarcely say to your readers that besides education in reading, writing, and arithmetic, through the medium of the Mota language, instruction in the Holy Scriptures and the most careful explanations of their meaning and mutual relation, forms a main part of the teaching given. The men and boys of the senior classes take notes; notes not by order expressly to be inspected, but, so to say, private notes for the aid of their memories; and from the translation given to me by Bishop Patteson of some of these, I should say that few, if any, of the senior class of an English Sunday School could give anything like so close, and sometimes philosophical, an explanation of Scripture, and that sometimes in remarkably few words.

'There remains to be noticed one most effectual means of doing good. After evening school, the Bishop, his clergy, and his aides, retire mostly into their own rooms. Then, quietly and shyly, on this night or the other night, one or two, three or four of the more intelligent of the black boys steal silently up to the Bishop's side, and by fits and starts, slowly, often painfully, tell their feelings, state their difficulties, ask for help, and, I believe, with God's blessing, rarely fail to find it. They are not gushing as negroes, but shy as Englishmen; we Englishmen ought, indeed, to have a fellow-feeling for these poor black boys and help them with all our hearts.

'Such is the routine for five of the six work days. Saturday is whole holiday, and all hands go to fish if the sea permits; if not, to play rounders or what not. Merry lads they are, as ever gladdened an English playground.

'On Sunday, the early Chapel is omitted. The full Liturgy is divided into two services—I forget the laws—and a kind of sermon in Mota is given; and in the afternoon, the Bishop, or one of the ordained members of the Mission, usually goes down to the town to relieve Mr. Nobbs in his service for the Pitcairners.

'As regards the manual work of the station, this general principle is observed—women for washing and house-work; the men for planting and out-of-door work; but no one, white or black, is to be too grand to do his share. The Bishop's share, indeed, is to study and investigate and compare the languages and necessary translations, but no one is to be above manual labour. No one, because he is a white man, is to say, "Here, black fellow, come and clean my boots." "Here, black people, believe that I have come to give you a treasure of inestimable price. Meantime, work for me, am I not your superior? Can I not give you money, calico, what not?"

'This Christian democracy, if I may so call it, has worked well in the long run.'

This observer does seem to have entered well into the spirit of the place; and there can be no doubt that the plan and organisation of the Mission had by this time been well tested and both found practicable, and, as at present worked, more than ordinarily successful. The college was in full working order, with a staff of clergy, all save one formed under the Bishop, one native deacon and two teachers living with their wives in a population that was fast becoming moulded by the influence of Christianity, many more being trained up, and several more islands in course of gradual preparation by the same process as was further advanced in Mota.

Such were the achievements which could be thankfully recounted by the end of 1869.



CHAPTER XII.

THE LAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS. 1870-1871.



The prosperous days of every life pass away at last. Suffering and sorrow, failure and reverse are sure to await all who live out anything like their term of years, and the missionary is perhaps more liable than other men to meet with a great disappointment. 'Success but signifies vicissitude,' and looking at the history of the growth of the Church, it is impossible not to observe that almost in all cases, immediately upon any extensive progress, there has followed what seems like a strong effort of the Evil One at its frustration, either by external persecution, reaction of heathenism, or, most fatally and frequently during the last 300 years, from the reckless misdoings of unscrupulous sailors and colonists. The West Indies, Japan, America, all have the same shameful tale to tell—what wonder if the same shadow were to be cast over the Isles of the South?

It is one of the misfortunes, perhaps the temptations of this modern world, that two of its chief necessaries, sugar and cotton, require a climate too hot for the labour of men who have intelligence enough to grow and export them on a large scale, and who are therefore compelled, as they consider, to employ the forced toil of races able to endure heat. The Australian colony of Queensland is unfit to produce wheat, but well able to grow sugar, and the islands of Fiji, which the natives have implored England to annex, have become the resort of numerous planters and speculators. There were 300 white inhabitants in the latter at the time of the visit of the 'Curacoa' in 1865. In 1871 the numbers were from 5,000 to 6,000. Large sheep farms have been laid out, and sugar plantations established.

South Sea Islanders are found to have much of the negro toughness and docility, and, as has been seen, when away from their homes they are easily amenable, and generally pleasant in manner, and intelligent. Often too they have a spirit of enterprise, which makes them willing to leave home, or some feud with a neighbour renders it convenient. Thus the earlier planters did not find it difficult to procure willing labourers, chiefly from those southern New Hebrides, Anaiteum, Tanna, Erromango, &c., which were already accustomed to intercourse with sandal-wood traders, had resident Scottish or London missionaries, and might have a fair understanding of what they were undertaking.

The Fiji islanders themselves had been converted by Wesleyan Missionaries, and these, while the numbers of imported labourers were small, did not think ill of the system, since it provided the islanders with their great need, work, and might give them habits of industry. But in the years 1868 and 1869 the demand began, both in Queensland and Fiji, to increase beyond what could be supplied by willing labour, and the premium, 8 a head, on an able-bodied black, was sufficient to tempt the masters of small craft to obtain the desired article by all possible means. Neither in the colony nor in Fiji were the planters desirous of obtaining workers by foul means, but labour they must have, and they were willing to pay for it. Queensland, anxious to free herself from any imputation of slave- hunting, has drawn up a set of regulations, requiring a regular contract to be made with the natives before they are shipped, for so many years, engaging that they shall receive wages, and be sent home again at the end of the specified time. No one denies that when once the labourer has arrived, these rules are carried out; he is well fed, kindly treated, not over worked, and at the end of three or five years sent home again with the property he has earned.

A recent traveller has argued that this is all that can be desired, and that no true friend of the poor islander can object to his being taught industry and civilisation. Complaints are all 'missionary exaggeration,' that easy term for disposing of all defence of the dark races, and as to the difficulty of making a man, whose language is not understood, understand the terms of a contract—why, we continually sign legal documents we do not understand! Perhaps not, but we do understand enough not to find ourselves bound to five years' labour when we thought we were selling yams, or taking a pleasure trip. And we have some means of ascertaining the signification of such documents, and of obtaining redress if we have been deceived.

As to the boasted civilisation, a sugar plantation has not been found a very advanced school for the American or West Indian negro, and as a matter of fact, the islander who has fulfilled his term and comes home, bringing tobacco, clothes, and fire-arms, only becomes a more dangerous and licentious savage than he was in his simplicity. It is absolutely impossible, even if the planters wished it, to give any instruction to these poor fellows, so scattered are the settlements, so various the languages on each, and to send a man home with guns and gunpowder, and no touch of Christian teaching, is surely suicidal policy.

Yet, as long as the natives went in any degree willingly, though the Missionaries might deplore their so doing for the men's own sakes, and for that of their islands, it was only like a clergyman at home seeing his lads engage themselves to some occupation more undesirable than they knew. Therefore, the only thing that has been entreated for by all the missions of every denomination alike in the South Seas, has been such sufficient supervision of the labour traffic as may prevent deceit or violence from being used.

For, in the years 1869 and 1870, if not before, the captains of the labour ships, finding that a sufficient supply of willing natives could not be procured, had begun to cajole them on board. When they went to trade, they were thrust under hatches, and carried off, and if the Southern New Hebrides became exhausted, and the labour ships entered on those seas where the 'Southern Cross' was a welcome visitor, these captains sometimes told the men that 'the Bishop gave no pipes and tobacco, he was bad, they had better hold with them.' Or else 'the Bishop could not come himself, but had sent this vessel to fetch them.' Sometimes even a figure was placed on deck dressed in a black coat, with a book in his hand, according to the sailors' notion of a missionary, to induce the natives to come on deck, and there they were clapped under hatches and carried off.

In 1870, H.M.S. 'Rosario,' Captain Palmer, brought one of these vessels, the 'Daphne,' into Sydney, where the master was tried for acts of violence, but a conviction could not be procured, and, as will be seen in the correspondence, Bishop Patteson did not regret the failure, as he was anxious that ships of a fair size, with respectable owners, should not be deterred from the traffic, since the more it became a smuggling, unrecognised business, the worse and more unscrupulous men would be employed in it.

But decoying without violence began to fail; the natives were becoming too cautious, so the canoes were upset, and the men picked up while struggling in the water. If they tried to resist, they were shot at, and all endeavours at a rescue were met with the use of firearms.

They were thus swept off in such numbers, that small islands lost almost all their able-bodied inhabitants, and were in danger of famine for want of their workers. Also, the Fiji planters, thinking to make the men happier by bringing their wives, desired that this might be done, but it was not easy to make out the married couples, nor did the crews trouble themselves to do so, but took any woman they could lay hands on. Husbands pursued to save the wives, and were shot down, and a deadly spirit of hatred and terror against all that was white was aroused.

There is a still lower depth of atrocity, but as far as enquiry of the Government at Sydney can make out, unconnected with labour traffic, but with the tortoise-shell trade. Skulls, it will be remembered, were the ornament of old Iri's house at Bauro, and skulls are still the trophies in the more savage islands. It seems that some of the traders in tortoise-shell are in the habit of assisting their clients by conveying them in their vessels in pursuit of heads. There is no evidence that they actually do the work of slaughter themselves, though suspicion is strong, but these are the 'kill-kill' vessels in the patois of the Pacific, while the kidnappers are the 'snatch-snatch.' Both together, these causes were working up the islanders to a perilous pitch of suspicion and exasperation during the years 1870, 1871, and thus were destroying many of the best hopes of the fruit of the toils of all these years. But the full extent of the mischief was still unknown in Norfolk Island, when in the midst of the Bishop's plans for the expedition of 1870 came the illness from which he never wholly recovered.

Already he had often felt and spoken of himself as an elderly man. Most men of a year or two past forty are at the most vigorous period of their existence, generally indeed with the really individual and effective work of their lives before them, having hitherto been only serving their apprenticeship; but Coleridge Patteson had begun his task while in early youth, and had been obliged to bear at once responsibility and active toil in no ordinary degree. Few have had to be at once head of a college, sole tutor and steward, as well as primary schoolmaster all at once, or afterwards united these charges with those of Bishop, examining chaplain and theological professor, with the interludes of voyages which involved intense anxiety and watchfulness, as well as the hardships of those unrestful nights in native huts, and the exhaustion of the tropical climate. No wonder then that he was already as one whose work was well-nigh done, and to whom rest was near. And though the entrance into that rest was by a sudden stroke, it was one that mercifully spared the sufferings of a protracted illness, and even if his friends pause to claim for it the actual honours (on earth) of martyrdom, yet it was no doubt such a death as he was most willing to die, full in his Master's service— such a death as all can be thankful to think of. And for the like- minded young man who shared his death, only with more of the bitterness thereof, the spirit in which he went forth may best be seen in part of a letter written in the January of 1870, just after his Ordination:—

'The right way must be to have a general idea of what to aim at, and to make for the goal by what seem, as you go, the best ways, not to go on a course you fixed to yourself before starting without having seen it. It is so easy for people to hold theories, and excellent ones too, of the way to manage or deal with the native races, but the worst is that when you come to work the theory, the native race will never be found what it ought to be for properly carrying it out. I am quite sure that nothing is to be done in a hurry; a good and zealous man in ignorance and haste might do more harm in one year than could be remedied in ten. I would not root out a single superstition until I had something better to put in its place, lest if all the weeds were rooted up, what had before been fertile should become desert, barren, disbelieving in anything. Is not the right way to plant the true seed and nourish it that it may take root, and out-grow and choke the weeds? My objection to Mission reports has always been that the readers want to hear of "progress," and the writers are thus tempted to write of it, and may they not, without knowing it, be at times hasty that they may seem to be progressing? People expect too much. Those do so who see the results of Mission work, who are engaged in it; those do so who send them. We have the precious seed to sow, and must sow it when and where we can, but we must not always be looking out to reap what we have sown. We shall do that "in due time" if we "faint not." Because missionary work looks like a failure, it does not follow that it is.

'Our Saviour, the first of all Christian Missionaries, was thirty years of His life preparing and being prepared for His work. Three years He spake as never man spake, and did not His work at that time look a failure? He made no mistakes either in what He taught or the way of teaching it, and He succeeded, though not to the eyes of men. Should not we be contented with success like His? And with how much less ought we not to be contented! So! The wonder is that by our means any result is accomplished at all.'

These are remarkable words for a young man of twenty-seven, full of life, health, and vigour, and go far to prove the early ripening of a spirit chastened in hopes, even while all was bright.

In the latter part of February, Bishop Patteson, after about six days of warning, was prostrated by a very severe attack of internal inflammation, and for three days—from the 20th to the 22nd—was in considerable danger as well as suffering. Mr. Nobbs's medical knowledge seems, humanly speaking, to have brought him through, and on the 28th, when an opportunity occurred of sending letters, he was able to write a note to his brother and sisters—weak and shattered- looking writing indeed, but telling all that needed to be told, and finishing with 'in a few days (D.V.) I may be quite well;' then in a postscript: 'Our most merciful Father, Redeemer and Sanctifier is merciful indeed. There was a time when I felt drawing near the dark valley, and I thought of Father, Mother, of Uncle Frank, and our little ones, Frankie and Dolly,'—a brother and sister who had died in early infancy.

But it was not the Divine will that he should be well in a few days. Day after day he continued feeble; and suffering much, though not so acutely as in the first attack, Mr. Nobbs continued to attend him, and the treatment was approved afterwards by the physicians consulted. All the clergy took their part in nursing, and the Melanesian youths in turn watched him day and night. He did not leave his room till the beginning of April, and then was only equal to the exertion of preparing two lads for Baptism and a few more for Confirmation. On Easter Sunday he was able to baptize the first mentioned, and confirm the others; and, the 'Southern Cross' having by this time arrived for the regular voyage, he embarked in her to obtain further advice at Auckland.

Lady Martin, his kind and tender hostess and nurse, thus describes his arrival:—

'We had heard of his illness from himself and others, and of his being out of danger in the middle of March. We were therefore much surprised when the "Southern Cross," which had sailed a fortnight before for Norfolk Island, came into the harbour on the morning of the 25th of April, and anchored in our bay with the Bishop's flag flying. We went down to the beach with anxious hearts to receive the dear invalid, and were greatly shocked at his appearance. His beard, which he had allowed to grow since his illness, and his hair were streaked with grey; his complexion was very dark, and his frame was bowed like an old man's.

'The Captain and Mr. Bice almost carried him up the hill to our house. He was very thankful to be on shore, and spoke cheerfully about the improvement he had made on the voyage. It was not very apparent to us who had not seen him for two years. Even then he was looking worn and ill, but still was a young active man. He seemed now quite a wreck. For the first fortnight his faithful attendant Malagona slept in his room, and was ready at all hours to wait upon his beloved Bishop. Day by day he used to sit by the fire in an easy chair, too weak to move or to attend to reading. He got up very early, being tired of bed. His books and papers were all brought out, but he did little but doze.'

Yet, in his despatch of the 2nd of May, where the manuscript is as firm, clear, and beautiful as ever, only somewhat less minute, he says that he had improved wonderfully on the voyage, though he adds that the doctor told him, 'At an office, they would insure your life at fifty, instead of forty-three years of age.'

Dr. Goldsboro had, on examination, discovered a chronic ailment, not likely, with care and treatment, to be dangerous to life, but forbidding active exertion or horse exercise, and warning him that a sudden jar or slip or fall on rugged ground would probably bring on acute inflammation, which might prove fatal after hours of suffering.

After, in the above-mentioned letter, communicating his exact state, he adds:—'The pain has been at times very severe, and yet I can't tell you of the very great happiness and actual enjoyment of many of those sleepless nights; when, perhaps at 2 A.M., I felt the pain subsiding, and prayer for rest, if it were His will, was changed into thanksgiving for the relief; then, as the fire flickered, came restful, peaceful, happy thoughts, mingled with much, I trust, heart- felt sorrow and remorse. And Psalms seemed to have a new meaning, and prayers to be so real, and somehow there was a sense of a very near Presence, and I felt almost sorry when it was 5.30, and I got up, and my kind Melanesian nurse made me my morning cup of weak tea, so good to the dry, furred tongue.

'Well, that is all past and gone; and now the hope and prayer is, that when my time is really come, I may be better prepared to go.

'Sir William and Lady Martin are pretty well; and I am in clover here, getting real rest, and gaining ground pretty well. I have all confidence in the prudence of the other missionaries and leave the work thankfully in their hands, knowing well Whose work it is, and to Whose guidance and protection we all trust.'

On the 9th, in a letter sent by a different route, he adds:—

'So I think it will come to my doing my work on Norfolk Island just as usual, with only occasional inconvenience or discomfort. But I think I shall have to forego some of the more risky and adventurous part of the work in the islands. This is all right. It is a sign that the time is come for me to delegate it to others. I don't mean that I shall not take the voyages, and stop about on the islands (D.V.) as before. But I must do it all more carefully, and avoid much that of old I never thought about. Yet I think it will not, as a matter of fact, much interfere with my work.

'I have, you understand, no pain now, only some discomfort. The fact that I can't do things, move about, &c., like a sound healthy person is not a trial. The relief from pain, the resty feeling, is such a blessing and enjoyment that I don't seem, as yet at all events, to care about the other.'

So of that restful state Lady Martin says: 'Indeed it was a most happy time to us, and I think on the whole to him. It was a new state of things to keep him without any pricks of conscience or restlessness on his part. He liked to have a quiet half-hour by the fire at night; and before I left him I used to put his books near him: his Bible, his Hebrew Psalter, his father's copy of Bishop Andrewes. Sometimes I would linger for a few minutes to talk about his past illness. He used to dwell specially on his dear father's nearness to him at that time. He spoke once or twice with a reverent holy awe and joy of sleepless nights, when thoughts of God had filled his soul and sustained him.

'His face, always beautiful from the unworldly purity of its expression, was really as the face of an angel while he spoke of these things and of the love and kindness he had received. He seemed to have been standing on the very brink of the river, and it was yet doubtful whether he was to abide with us. Now, looking back, we can see how mercifully God was dealing with His servant. A time of quiet and of preparation for death given to him apart from the hurry of his daily life, then a few months of active service, and then the crown.

'At the end of a fortnight (?—you must please to rectify dates) the "Southern Cross" sailed again, with Mr. Bice and Malagona on board; when, just as we were expecting she would have reached Norfolk Island, she was driving back into the harbour.'

The following letter to the Bishop of Lichfield gives an account of her peril:—

'Taurarua: May 11, 1870.

'My dear Bishop,—I have to tell you of another great mercy. The "Southern Cross" left Auckland on May 3—fair wind and fine weather.

'On May 5 she was within 185 miles of Norfolk Island.

'Then came on a fearful gale from the east and northeast to north- west. They were hove-to for three days, everything battened down; port boat and davits carried away by a sea; after a while the starboard boat dashed to pieces.

'Malagona, my nurse at Norfolk Island, who was brought up for a treat, was thrown completely across the cabin by one lurch, when she seemed almost settling down. It was dark. The water in the cabin, which had come through the dead-light, showed a little phosphoric glimmer. "Brother," he said to Bice, "are we dying?" "I don't know; it seems like it. We are in God's hands." "Yes, I know."

'Mr. (Captain) Jacobs was calm and self-possessed. He even behaved excellently. Once, all on deck were washed into the lee scuppers, and one man washed overboard; but he held a rope, and with it and the recoil was borne in again upon the deck. Lowest barometer, 28 65'! We were startled yesterday at about 4 P.M. with the news of the reappearance of the vessel. I think that some 30 and the replacing the boats will pay damages, but one doesn't think of that.

'We hope to get, at all events, one ready-made boat, so as to cause no delay. The good people at Norfolk Island will be anxious if the vessel does not reappear soon.

'Auckland, June 6th—"Southern Cross" could not sail till May 23. If I am not found by them at Norfolk Island on their return, they are to come on for me. I hope to make a two months' cruise.

'General health quite well, no pain for weeks past. Dr. Goldsboro' says I shall be better in a hot climate; but he won't let me out of his hands yet.

'I really think I shall do very well by-and-by.

'Your very affectionate

'J. C. PATTESON.'

'The repairs took some time (continues Lady Martin). The delay must have been very trying to the Bishop in his weak state, as it threw out all the plans for the winter voyage; but he showed no signs of fretfulness or of a restless desire to go himself to see after matters. The winter was unusually cold after the vessel sailed again; and I used to wonder sometimes whether he lay awake listening to the wind that howled in gusts round the house; he may have, but certainly there was always a look of unruffled calm and peace on his face when we met in the morning.

'Tis enough that Thou shouldst care Why should I the burden bear?

'Our dear friend mended very slowly. It was more than a month before he could bear even to be driven up to Bishop's Court to receive the Holy Communion in the private Chapel, and some time longer before he could sit through the Sunday services. I cannot be sure whether he went first on Ascension Day. His own letters may inform you. I only remember how thankful and happy he was to be able to get there. He had felt the loss of the frequent Communions in which he could join all through his illness.'

He was making a real step towards recovery, and by the 10th of June he was able to go and stay at St. Sepulchre's parsonage with Mr. Dudley, and attend the gathering at the Bishop of Auckland's Chapel on St. Barnabas Day; but the calm enjoyment and soothing indifference which seems so often a privilege of the weakness of recovery was broken by fuller tidings respecting the labour traffic that imperilled his work. A schooner had come in from Fate with from fifteen to twenty natives from that and other islands to work in flax mills; and a little later a letter arrived from his correspondent in Fiji, showing to what an extent the immigration thither had come, and how large a proportion of the young men working in the sugar plantations had been decoyed from home on false pretences.

This was the point, as far as at the time appeared in New Zealand. If violence had then begun, no very flagrant instances were known; and the Bishop was not at all averse to the employment of natives, well knowing how great an agent in improvement is civilisation. But to have them carried off without understanding what they were about, and then set to hard labour, was quite a different thing.

'The difficulty is (he writes) to prove in a court of law what everyone acknowledges to be the case, viz., that the natives of the islands are inveigled on board these vessels by divers means, then put under the hatches and sold, ignorant of their destination or future employment, and without any promises of being returned home.

'It comes to this, though of course it is denied by the planters and the Queensland Government, which is concerned in keeping up the trade.

'There will always be some islanders who from a roving nature, or from a necessity of escaping retaliation for some injury done by them, or from mere curiosity, will paddle off to a ship and go on board. But they can't understand the white men: they are tempted below to look at some presents, or, if the vessel be at anchor, are allowed to sleep on board. Then, in the one case, the hatches are clapped on; in the other, sail is made in the night, and so they are taken off to a labour of which they know nothing, among people of whom they know nothing!

'It is the regulation rather than the suppression of the employment of native labourers that I advocate. There is no reason why some of these islanders should not go to a plantation under proper regulations. My notion is that—

'1. A few vessels should be licensed for the purpose of conveying these islanders backwards and forwards.

'2. That such vessels should be in charge of fit persons, heavily bound to observe certain rules, and punishable summarily for violating them.

'3. That the missionaries, wherever they be situated, should be informed of the names of the vessels thus licensed, of the sailing masters, &c.

'4. That all other vessels engaged in the trade should be treated as pirates, and confiscated summarily when caught.

'5. That a small man-of-war, commanded by a man fit for such work, should cruise among the islands from which islanders are being taken.

'6. That special legislative enactments should be passed enabling the Sydney Court to deal with the matter equitably.

'Something of this kind is the best plan I can suggest.

'It is right and good that the "Galatea" should undertake such work; and yet we want a little tender to the "Galatea" rather than the big vessel, as I think my experience of large vessels is that there is too much of routine; and great delay is occasioned by the difficulty of turning a great ship round, and you can't work near the shore, and even if chasing a little vessel which could be caught at once in the open sea, you may be dodged by her among islands. Yet the sense of the country is expressed very well by sending "Captain Edinburgh" himself to cruise between New Caledonia, Fiji, and the Kingsmill Islands, for the suppression of the illegal deportation of natives. So reads the despatch which the Governor showed me the other day. He asked me to give such information as might be useful to the "Galatea."'

With the Governor, Sir George Bowen, an old Oxford friend, Bishop Patteson spent several days, and submitted to him a memorial to Government, on the subject, both at home and in Queensland, stating the regulations, as above expressed.

The 'Rosario,' Captain Palmer, had actually captured the 'Daphne,' a vessel engaged in capturing natives, and brought her into Sydney, where the master was tried; but though there was no doubt of the outrage, it was not possible to obtain a conviction; and a Fiji planter whom the Bishop met in Auckland told him that the seizure of the 'Daphne' would merely lead to the exclusion of the better class of men from the trade, and that it would not stop the demand for native labourers. It would always pay to 'run' cargoes of natives into the many islets of Fiji; and they would be smuggled into the plantations. And there the government was almost necessarily by the whip. 'I can't talk to them,' said the planter; 'I can only point to what they are to do; and if they are lazy, I whip them.'

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18     Next Part
Home - Random Browse