'I need not enter into all this. It is my business, you know, to work at such things, and a word or two often tells me now a good deal of the secrets of a language—the prominent forms, affixes, &c., &c.; the way in which it is linked on to other dialects by peculiar terminations, the law by which the transposition of vowels and consonants is governed in general. All these things soon come out, so I am very sanguine about soon, if I live, seeing my way in preparing the way for future missionaries in the far West.
'But I must not forget that I have some islands to visit in the next month or two where the people are very wild, so that I of all people have least reason to speculate about what I may hope to do a year hence.
'The real anxiety is in the making up my own mind whether or not I ought to lower the boat in such a sea way; whether or not I ought to swim ashore among these fellows crowded there on the narrow beach, &c.
'When my mind is made up, it is not so difficult then. But, humanly speaking, there are but few islands now where I realise the fact of there being any risk; at very many I land with confidence. Yet I could enumerate, I dare say, five-and-twenty which we have not visited at all, or not regularly; and where I must be careful, as also in visiting different parts of islands already known to us in part. Poor poor people, who can see them and not desire to make known to them the words of life? I may never forget the Bishop's words in the Consecration Service:—"Your office is in the highest sense to preach the Gospel to the poor;" and then his eye glanced over the row of Melanesians sitting near me.
'How strange that I can write all this, when one heavy sense of trouble is hanging vaguely over me. And yet you will be thankful that I can think, as I trust, heartily of my work, and that my interest is in no way lessened. It ought to be increased. Yet I scarce realise the fact of being a Bishop, though again it does not seem unnatural. I can't explain what I mean. I suppose the fact that I knew for so long before that it must come some day if I lived, makes the difference now.
'I don't think, however, that your words will come true of my appearing in shovel hat, &c., at Heath's Court some fine day. It is very improbable that I shall ever see the northern hemisphere, unless I see it in the longitude of New Guinea.
'I must try to send a few island shells to M——, B——, and Co.; those little ones must not grow up, and I am sure that you all do not suffer them to grow up, without knowing something about "old cousin Coley" tumbling about in a little ship (albeit at present in a war steamer) at the other end of the world. Seriously, dear Uncle, as they grow older, it may be some help for them to hear of these poor Melanesians, and of our personal intercourse with them, so to speak.
'I have but little hope of hearing, if I return safe to New Zealand at the end of November, that this disastrous war is over. I fear that the original error has been overlaid by more recent events, forgotten amongst them. The Maori must suffer, the country must suffer. Confession of a fault in an individual is wrong in a State; indeed, the rights of the case are, and perhaps must be, unknown to people at a distance. We have no difficulty here in exposing the fallacies and duplicities of the authors of the war, but we can't expect (and I see that it must be so) people in England to understand the many details. To begin with, a man must know, and that well, Maori customs, their national feeling, &c. It is all known to One above, and that is our only hope now. May He grant us peace and wisdom for the time to come!
'I have been reading Helps again this voyage, a worthy book, and specially interesting to me. How much there is I shall be glad to read about. What an age it is! America, how is that to end? India, China, Japan, Africa! I have Jowett's books and "Essays and Reviews." How much I should like to talk with you and John, in an evening at Heath's Court, about all that such books reveal of Intellectualism at home. One does feel that there is conventionalism and unreality in the hereditary passive acceptance of much that people think they believe. But how on Jowett's system can we have positive teaching at all? Can the thing denoted by "entering into the mind of Christ or St. Paul" be substituted for teaching the Catechism?
'Not so, writes my dear Father in the depth of his humility and simplicity, writing to me what a father could scarcely say to a son! But our peculiar circumstances have brought this blessing to me, that I think he has often so "reamed out" his heart to me in the warmth of his love to a son he was never again to see in the body, that I know him better even than I should have done had I remained at home.
'So wonderful was my dearest Father's calmness when he wrote on the 24th of April, that if he was alive to write again in May, I think it not impossible that he may allude to these matters. If so, what golden words to be treasured up by me! I have all his letters. You will see, or have seen him laid by my dear Mother's side. They dwell together now with Him in Paradise.
'Good-bye, my dearest Uncle. Should God spare your life, my letters will be more frequent to you now.
'My kindest love to Aunt.
'Your affectionate and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
There is little more record of this voyage. There was less heart and spirit than usual for the regular journalizing letter; but the five weeks' voyage had been most beneficial in restoring health and energy, and it had one very important effect upon the Mission, for it was here that Lieutenant Capel Tilly, R.N., became so interested in the Mission and its head, as to undertake the charge of the future 'Southern Cross.' The 'Cordelia' was about to return to England, where, after she was paid off, Mr. Tilly would watch over the building of the new vessel on a slightly larger scale than the first, would bring her out to Kohimarama, and act as her captain.
So great a boon as his assistance did much to cheer and encourage the Bishop, who was quite well again when he landed at Mota on September 17, and found Mr. Pritt convalescent after a touch of ague, and Mr. Kerr so ill as to be glad to avail himself of Captain Hume's kind offer to take him back to Auckland in the 'Cordelia.'
Probably all were acclimatised by this time, for we hear of no more illness before the 'Sea Breeze,' with Mr. Dudley, came, on the 10th of October, to take the party off.
He says:—'The Bishop and Mr. Pritt both looked pale and worn. There were, however, signs in the island of a great advance in the state of things of the previous year. An admirable schoolroom had been built; and in the open space cleared in front of it, every evening some hundred people would gather, the older ones chatting, the younger ones being initiated in the mysteries of leap-frog, wrestling, and other English games, until prayer time, when all stood in a circle, singing a Mota hymn, and the Bishop prayed with and for them.
'That voyage was not a long one. We did not go to the Solomon Islands and the groups to the north, but we worked back through the New Hebrides, carefully visiting them.'
Mr. Dudley had brought letters that filled the Bishop's heart to overflowing, and still it was to his father that he wrote: 'It seems as if you had lived to see us all, as it were, fixed in our several positions, and could now "depart in peace, according to His word."'
The agony and bitterness seem to have been met and struggled through, as it were, in those first days on board the 'Cordelia.' In this second letter there is infinite peace and thankfulness; and so there still was, when, at Norfolk Island, the tidings of the good old man's death met him, as described in the ensuing letter:—
'"Sea Breeze," one hundred miles south-east of Norfolk Island: 8 A.M.
'My dearest Sisters,—Joy and grief were strangely mingled together while I was on shore in Norfolk Island, from 6 P.M. Saturday to 8 P.M. Sunday (yesterday).
'I was sitting with Mr. Nobbs (Benjamin Dudley the only other person present) when he said, "We have seen in our papers from Sydney the news of the death of your revered Father." He concluded that I must have known of it.
'How wonderful it seems to me that it did not come as a great shock. I showed by my face (naturally) that I had not known before that God had taken him unto Himself, but I could answer quite calmly, "I thank God. Do not be distressed at telling me suddenly, as you see you have done inadvertently. I knew he could not live long. We all knew that he was only waiting for Christ."
'And, dear dear John and Fan, how merciful God has been! The last part of his letter to me, of date June 25, only three days before his call came, so that I know (and praise God for it) that he was spared protracted suffering. Shall I desire or wish to be more sorry than I am? Shall I try to make myself grieve, and feel unhappy? Oh, no; it is of God's great mercy that I still feel happy and thankful, for I cannot doubt the depth of my love to him who has indeed been, and that more than ever of late, the one to whom I clung in the world.
'I could be quiet at night, sleeping in Mr. Nobbs's house, and yet I could not at once compose myself to think it all over, as I desired to do. And then I had much to do, and here was the joy mingling with the sorrow.
'For the Norfolk Island people have come to see how wise was the Primate's original plan, and now they much desire to connect themselves more closely with the Mission.
'Mr. and Mrs. Nobbs desire their son Edwin, who was two years at the Governor's at Sydney, and is now eighteen and a half years old, to be given wholly to us.... So said Simon Young of his boy Fisher, and so did three others. All spoke simply, and without excitement, but with deep feeling. I thought it right to say that they should remain at Norfolk Island at present, that we all might prove them whether they were indeed bent upon this work, that we might be able to trust that God had indeed called them. To the lads I said, "This is a disappointment, I know, but it is good for you to have to bear trials. You must take time to count the cost. It is no light thing to be called to the work of a teacher among the heathen. In giving up your present wish to go immediately, you are obeying your parents and others older than yourselves, and your cheerful obedience to them is the best evidence that you wish to act upon a sense of duty, and not only from impulse; but don't think I wish to discourage you. I thank Him who has put the good desire into your hearts. Prove yourselves now by special prayer and meditation."
'Then came the happy, blessed service, the whole population present, every confirmed person communicating, my voice trembling at the Fifth Commandment and the end of the Prayer for the Church Militant, my heart very full and thankful. I preached to them extempore, as one can preach to no other congregation, from the lesson, "JESUS gone to be the guest of a man that is a sinner," the consequences that would result in us from His vouchsafing to tabernacle among us, and, as displayed in the Parable of the Pounds, the use of God's gifts of health, influence, means; then, specifying the use of God's highest gifts of children to be trained to His glory, quoting 1 Samuel i. 27, 28, "lent to the Lord," I spoke with an earnestness that felt strange to me at the time.
'Simon Young said afterwards: "My wife could not consent months ago to Fisher's going away, but she has told me now that she consents. She can't withhold him with the thought of holy Hannah in her mind." And I felt as if I might apply (though not in the first sense) the prophecy "Instead of thy fathers, thou shalt have children."
'To add to all, Mr. Nobbs said: "I have quite altered my mind about the Melanesian school, I quite see that I was mistaken;" and the people are considering how to connect themselves closely with us.
'You may imagine, dear Joan, that joy and grief made a strange, yet not unhappy tumult in my mind. I came away at 3 P.M. (the wind being very fair) hoping to revisit them, and, by the Bishop of Tasmania's desire, hold a confirmation in six months' time. How I am longing to hear the last record of the three days intervening between June 25 and 28, you may well imagine.... Already, thank God, four months have passed, and you are recovering from the great shock. Yours is a far harder trial than mine. May God comfort and bless us all, and bring us to dwell with our dear parents in heaven, for our blessed Lord's sake.
'Your very loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
And this most touching account from within is supplemented by the following, by Mr. Dudley, from without:—
'He took it [the tidings of his father's death] quite calmly. Evidently it had been long expected and prepared for. He was even cheerful in his quiet grave way. In the evening there was singing got up for him by some of the Norfolk Islanders, in one of the large rooms of the old barracks. He enjoyed it; and after it had gone on some time, he thanked them in a few touching words that went home, I am sure, to the hearts of many of them, and then we all knelt down, and he prayed extempore. I wish I had kept the words of that prayer! Everyone was affected, knowing what was then occupying his mind, but we were still more so next morning, at the service in church. His voice had that peculiarly low and sweet tone which always came into it when he was in great anxiety or sorrow, but his appeal to the congregation was inspiring to the last degree. It was the Twenty- third Sunday after Trinity, and the subject he took was from the second lesson, the Parable of the Pounds, in St. Luke xix., and so pointed out the difficulties between the reception of a talent and the use of it. He showed that the fact of people's children growing up as wild and careless as heathen was no proof that no grace had been bestowed upon them; on the contrary, in the baptized it was there, but it had never been developed; and then came the emphatic assertion, "The best way of employing our gifts of whatever kind— children, means, position—is by lending them to the Lord for His service, and then a double blessing will be returned for that we give. Hannah giving her child to the Lord, did she repent of it afterwards, think you, when she saw him serving the Lord, the one upright man of the house of Israel?"'
No doubt these words were founded on those heartfelt assurances which stirred his very soul within him that his own father had never for a moment regretted or mourned over the gift unto the Lord, which had indeed been costly, but had been returned, 'good measure, pressed together, and flowing over,' in blessing! can I grieve and sorrow about my dear dear Father's blessed end?' are the words in a letter to myself written on the 19th. It further contained thanks for a photograph of Hursley Church spire and Vicarage, which had been taken one summer afternoon, at the desire of Dr. Moberly (the present Bishop of Salisbury), and of which I had begged a copy for him. 'I shall like the photograph of Hursley Vicarage and Church, the lawn and group upon it. But most shall I like to think that Mr. Keble, and I dare say Dr. Moberly too, pray for me and this Mission. I need the prayers of all good people indeed.' I quote this sentence because it led to a correspondence with both Mr. Keble and Dr. Moberly, which was equally prized by the holy and humble men of heart who wrote and received the letters:—
'St. Andrew's, Kohimarama: November 20, 1861.
'Thank you, my dearest Sophy, for your loving letters, and all your love and devotion to him.
'I fear I do not write to those two dear sisters of mine as they and you all expect and wish. I long to pour it all out; I get great relief in talking, as at Taurarua I can talk to the dear Judge and Lady Martin. She met me with a warm loving kiss that was intended to be as home-like as possible, and for a minute I could not speak, and then said falteringly, "It has been all one great mercy to the end. I have heard at Norfolk Island." But I feel it still pent up to a great extent, and yet I have a great sense of relief. I fancy I almost hear sometimes the laboured breathing, the sudden stop—the "thanks be to God, he has entered into his rest."
'What his letters are, I cannot even fully say to another, perhaps never fully realise myself.
'As I write, the tears come, for it needs but a little to bring them now, though I suppose the world without thinks that I "bear up," and go on bravely.
'But when any little word or thought touches the feelings, the sensitive rather than the intellectual part of me, then I break down.
'And yet it seems to bring thoughts and hopes into more definite shape. How I read that magnificent last chapter of Isaiah last Sunday. I seemed to feel my whole heart glowing with wonder, and exultation, and praise. The world invisible may well be a reality to us, whose dear ones there outnumber now those still in the flesh. Jem's most beautiful, most intensely affecting letter, with all his thoughtfulness about the grave, &c., fairly upset me. I let the Judge and Lady Martin read some parts of it, and they returned it, saying it had quite overcome them. Now all day I feel really as much as at those moments, only the special circumstances give more expression at one time than at another to the inward state of mind.
'How I treasure up many many of his words and actions!
'What a history in these words: "All times of the day are alike to me now; getting near, I trust, the time when it will be all day."
'Those are the things that break me down. I see his dear face, and hear him slowly and calmly saying such words of patient trust and faith, and it is too much. Oh! that I might live as the son of such parents ought to live!
'And then I turn to the practical duties again, and get lost in the unceasing languages and all the rest of it.
'Now enough—but I write what comes uppermost.
'Your loving Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Very soon after the return, on the 6th December, 1861, an Ordination was held at St. Paul's, Auckland, when the Primate ordained two Maori deacons, and Bishop Patteson, the Rev. Benjamin Dudley.
Sir William and Lady Martin spent part of this summer in the little cottage at Kohimarama where the sailing master of the late 'Southern Cross' had lived: and again we have to thank her for a picture of life at St. Andrew's. She says:—
'The new settlement was then thought to be healthy, and he and his boys alike rejoiced in the warmth of the sheltered bay, after the keenness of the air at St. John's on higher ground. The place looked very pretty. The green fields and hawthorn hedges and the sleek cattle reminded one of England. As a strong contrast, there was the white shelly beach and yellow sands. Here the boys sunned themselves in play hours, or fished on the rocks, or cooked their fish at drift-wood fires. On calm days one or two would skim across the blue water in their tiny canoes. One great charm of the place was the freedom and naturalness of the whole party. There was no attempt to force an overstrained piety on these wild fellows, who showed their sincerity by coming with the Bishop. By five in the morning all were astir, and jokes and laughter and shrill unaccountable cries would rouse us up, and go on all day, save when school and chapel came to sober them.
'The Bishop had not lost his Eton tastes, and only liked to see them play games, and the little fat merry-faced lads were always on the look-out for a bit of fun with him. One evening a tea-drinking was given in the hall in honour of us. The Mota boys sung in twilight the story of the first arrival of the Mission vessel and of their wonder at it. The air, with a monotonous, not unpleasing refrain, reminded us of some old French Canadian ditties. I remember well the excitement when the Bishop sent up a fire balloon. It sailed slowly towards the sea, and down rushed the whole Melanesian party, shrieking with delight after it. Our dear friend's own quarters were very tiny, and a great contrast to his large airy room at St. John's. He occupied a corner house in the quadrangle, to be close to the boys. Neither bedroom nor sitting-room was more than ten feet square. Everything was orderly, as was his wont. Photographs of the faces and places he loved best hung on the walls. Just by the door was his standing desk, with folios and lexicons. A table, covered with books and papers in divers languages, and a chair or two, completed his stock of furniture. The door stood open all day long in fine weather, and the Bishop was seldom alone. One or other of the boys would steal quietly in and sit down. They did not need to be amused, nor did they interrupt his work. They were quite content to be near him, and to get now and then a kind word or a pleasant smile. It was the habitual gentle sympathy and friendliness on his part that won the confidence of the wild timid people who had been brought up in an element of mistrust, and which enabled them after a while to come and open their hearts to him.
'How vividly the whole scene comes back to me as I write! The Bishop's calm thoughtful face, the dusky lads, the white-shelled square in front, relieved by a mass of bright geraniums or gay creepers, the little bed-room with its camp bed, and medicine bottles and good books, and, too often, in spite of our loving remonstrances, an invalid shivering with ague, or influenza, in possession. We knew that this involved broken nights for him, and a soft board and a rug for a couch. He was overtasking his powers during those years. He was at work generally from five A.M. to eleven P.M., and this in a close atmosphere; for both the schoolroom and his own house were ill- ventilated. He would not spare time enough either for regular exercise. He had a horse and enjoyed riding, but he grudged the time except when he had to come up to town on business or to take Sunday services for the English in the country. It was very natural, as he had all a student's taste for quiet study, yet could only indulge it by cutting off his own hours for relaxation. He was constantly called off during the day to attend to practical work, teaching in school, prescribing for and waiting on the sick, weighing out medicines, keeping the farm accounts, besides the night classes in several languages.
'He was really never so happy as among his boys or his books. He had no liking for general society, though his natural courteousness made him shrink from seeming ungracious. He did thoroughly enjoy a real talk with one or two friends at a time, but even this he denied himself.'
Fanny Patteson had spent several days at Hursley in the course of the winter, and the Vicar and Mrs. Keble had greatly delighted in hearing her brother's letters. The following letter from Mr. Keble was written, as will be perceived, immediately after hearing the account of the baptism of the dying child at Mota:—
'Hursley, February 19, 1862.
'My dear Bishop Patteson,—I seat myself down on a low chair between the pictures of your uncle and your Metropolitan, and that by command of your sister, who is on a footstool in the corner opposite, I to send two words, she 200, or, for aught I know, 2,000, to greet you on the other side of the world. We have the more right, as your kind sisters have kept us well up to your Missionary doings from time to time, and we seem to be very often with you on board or in your islands (I say we, for my dear wife is more than half of me, as you may well suppose, in such sympathies), and it seems to me that, perhaps, in the present state of your island or sea-work you may have more time than by-and-by for thinking of one and another; anyhow we trust that that may happen which we ask for every evening—that we may be vouchsafed a part in the holy prayers which have been that day offered to the Throne of Grace, in Melanesia or elsewhere. I don't know whether I am right, but I fancy you at times something between a Hermit and a Missionary. God grant you a double blessing! and as you are a Bishop besides, you will breathe us a blessing in return for this, such as it is. Fanny's visit has been, as you know it would be, most charming and genial to us old folks (not that my wife ought to be so spoken of), and I shall always think it so kind of her to have spared us the time when she had so much to do and so short a time to do it in; but she seems like one going about with a bag of what Bishop Selwyn calls "hope-seed," and sowing it in everyplace; yet when one comes to look close at it, it all consists of memories, chiefly you know of whom. I only wish I could rightly and truly treasure up all she has kindly told us of your dear Father; but it must be a special grace to remember and really understand such things. It will be a most peculiar satisfaction, now that we have had her with us in this way, to think of you all three together, should God's Providence allow the meeting of which we understand there is a hope. The last thing she has told us of is the baptism on St. Barnabas' Day—"the first fruits of Mota unto Christ." What a thought—what a subject for prayer and thanksgiving! God grant it may prove to you more than we can ask or think.
'Ever yours, my dear Bishop,
' J. K.
'Don't trouble yourself to write, but think of us.'
Of course there was no obeying this postscript, and the immediate reply was:—
'My dear dear Mr. Keble,—Few things have ever given me more real pleasure than the receipt of your letter by this mail. I never doubted your interest in New Zealand and Melanesia, and your affection for me for my dear Father's sake. I felt quite sure that prayers were being offered up for us in many places, and where more frequently than at Hursley? Even as on this day, five years ago, when I touched the reef at Guadalcanar, in the presence of three hundred armed and naked men, (I heard afterwards) prayers were being uttered in the dead of your night by my dear old governess, Miss Neill, that God would have me in His safe keeping. But it is most pleasant, most helpful to me, to read your letter, and to feel that I have a kind of right now to write to you, as I hope I may do while I live fully and freely.
'I do not say a word concerning the idea some of you in England seem to take of my life here. It is very humbling to me, as it ought to be, to read such a letter from you. How different it is really!
'If my dear sisters do come out to me for a while, which, after their letters by this February mail, seems less impossible than before, they will soon see what I mean: a missionary's life does not procure him any immunity from temptations, nor from falling into them; though, thanks be to God, it has indeed its rich and abundant blessings. It is a blessed thing to draw a little fellow, only six months ago a wild little savage, down upon one's knee, and hear his first confession of his past life, and his shy hesitating account of the words he uses when he prays to his newly-found God and Saviour. These are rare moments, but they do occur; and, if they don't, why the duty is to work all the same.
'The intelligence of some of these lads and young men really surprises me. Some with me now, last October were utterly wild, never had worn a stitch of clothing, were familiar with every kind of vice. They now write an account of a Scripture print, or answer my MS. questions without copy, of course, fairly and legibly in their books, and read their own language—only quite lately reduced to writing—with ease. What an encouragement! And this applies to, I think, the great majority of these islanders.
'One child, I suppose some thirteen or fourteen years of age, I baptized on Christmas Day. Three days afterwards I married her to a young man who had been for some years with us. They are both natives of Nengone, one of the Loyalty Isles. I administered the Holy Eucharist to her last Saturday, and she is dying peacefully of consumption. What a blessed thing! This little one, fresh from Baptism, with all Church ministrations round her, passing gently away to her eternal rest. She looks at me with her soft dark eyes, and fondles my hand, and says she is not unhappy. She has, I verily believe, the secret of real happiness in her heart.
'I must write more when at sea. I have very little time here.
'I hope by God's blessing to make a long round among my many islands this winter; some, I know, must be approached with great caution. Your prayers will be offered for me and those with me, I know, and am greatly comforted by the knowledge of it.
'Fanny tells me what you have said to her about supplying any deficit in the money required for our vessel. I feel as if this ought not in one sense to come upon you, but how can I venture to speak to you on such matters? You know all that I think and feel about it. Send me more your blessing. I feel cares and anxieties now. My kind love to Mrs. Keble.
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
Two more notes followed in quick succession to Hursley Vicarage, almost entirely upon the matter of the new 'Southern Cross,' which was being built under Mr. Tilly's eye. The two Bishops were scrupulous about letting Mr. Keble give more than a fair proportion towards the vessel, which was not to cost more than 3,000, though more roomy than her lamented predecessor. Meantime the 'Sea Breeze' was 'again to serve for the winter voyage:—
'St. Barnabas Day, Auckland: 1862.
'My dear Sisters,—Think of my being ashore, and in a Christian land on this day. So it is. We sail (D.V.) in six days, as it may be this day week. The Melanesians are very good and pretty well in health, but we are all anxious to be in warm climates. I think that most matters are settled. Primate and I have finished our accounts. Think of his wise stewardship! The endowment in land and money, and no debts contracted! I hope that I leave nothing behind me to cause difficulty, should anything happen. The Primate and Sir William Martin are my executors; Melanesia, as you would expect, my heir. I may have forgotten many items, personal reminiscences. Ask for anything, should anything happen. I see no reason to anticipate it, humanly speaking, but it is always well to think of such things. I am just going to the little Taurarua chapel to our Melanesian Commemoration service with Holy Communion.
'Oh! if it should please God to grant us a meeting here!
'Great blessings have been given me this summer in seeing the progress made by the scholars, so great as to make me feel sober- minded and almost fearful, but that is wrong and faithless perhaps, and yet surely the trials must come some day.
'God bless you all, and keep you all safe from all harm.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.'
'Friday, June 27th, 2 P.M.—How you are thinking of all that took place that last night on earth. He was taking his departure for a long voyage, rather he was entering into the haven where he would be! May God give us grace to follow his holy example, his patient endurance of his many trials, the greatest his constant trial of deafness.
'I think if the weather be fair, that we shall go off to-morrow. Oh! if we do meet, and spend, it may be, Christmas together.
28th, 3 P.M.—The first anniversary of our dear Father's death. How you are all recalling what took place then! How full of thankfulness for his gain, far outweighing the sorrow for our loss! And yet how you must feel it, more than I do, and yet I feel it deeply: but the little fond memories of the last months, and above all the looks and spoken words of love, I can't altogether enter into them. His letters are all that letters can be, more than any other letters can be, but they are not the same thing in all ways. The Primate has left us to hurry down the sailing master of the "Sea Breeze." It was a very rough morning, but is calm now, boats passing and repassing between the shore and the schooner at anchor off Kohimarama.'
The habit of writing journals was not at once resumed by Bishop Patteson when his father was not there to read them; and the chance of seeing his sisters, no doubt, made him write less fully to them, since they might be on the voyage when the letters arrived in England. Thus the fullest record of the early part of the voyage is in a report which he drew up and printed in the form of a letter to the Rev. J. Keble:—
'We chartered the "Sea Breeze" schooner in June last for four months: she is a vessel of seventy tons register, a little larger than the old "Southern Cross," and as well suited for our purpose as a vessel can be which is built to carry passengers in the ordinary way. No voyage can of course equal in importance those early expeditions of the Primate, when he sailed in his little schooner among seas unknown, to islands never before visited, or visited only by the sandal-wood traders. But I never recollect myself so remarkable a voyage as this last. I do not mean that any new method was adopted in visiting islands, or communicating with the natives. God gave to the Bishop of New Zealand wisdom to see and carry out from the first the plan, which more and more approves itself as the best and only feasible plan, for our peculiar work. But all through this voyage, both in revisiting islands well known to us, and in recommencing the work in other islands, where, amidst the multitude of the Primate's engagements, it had been impossible to keep up our acquaintance with the people, and in opening the way in islands now visited for the first time, from the beginning to the end, it pleased God to prosper us beyond all our utmost hopes. I was not only able to land on many places where, as far as I know, no white man had set foot before, but to go inland, to inspect the houses, canoes, &c., in crowded villages (as at Santa Cruz), or to sit for two hours alone amidst a throng of people (as at Pentecost Island), or to walk two and a half miles inland (as at Tariko or Aspee). From no less than eight islands have we for the first time received, young people for our school here, and fifty-one Melanesian men, women, and young lads are now with us, gathered from twenty-four islands, exclusive of the islands so long- known to us of the Loyalty Group. When you remember that at Santa Cruz, e.g., we had never landed before, and that this voyage I was permitted to go ashore at seven different places in one day, during which I saw about 1,200 men: that in all these islands the inhabitants are, to look at, wild, naked, armed with spears and clubs, or bows and poisoned arrows; that every man's hand (as, alas! we find only too soon when we live among them) is against his neighbour, and scenes of violence and bloodshed amongst themselves of frequent occurrence; and that throughout this voyage (during which I landed between seventy and eighty times) not one hand was lifted up against me, not one sign of ill-will exhibited; you will see why I speak and think with real amazement and thankfulness of a voyage accompanied with results so wholly unexpected. I say results, for the effecting a safe landing on an island, and much more the receiving a native lad from it, is, in this sense, a result, that the great step has been made of commencing an acquaintance with the people. If I live to make another voyage, I shall no longer go ashore there as a stranger. I know the names of some of the men; I can by signs remind them of some little present made, some little occurrence which took place; we have already something in common, and as far as they know me at all, they know me as a friend. Then some lad is given up to us, the language learned, and a real hold on the island obtained.
'The most distant point we reached was the large island Ysabel, in the Solomon Archipelago. From this island a lad has come away with us, and we have also a native boy from an island not many miles distant from Ysabel, called Anudha, but marked in the charts (though not correctly) as Florida.
'It would weary you if I wrote of all the numerous adventures and strange scenes which in such a voyage we of course experience. I will give you, if I can, an idea of what took place at some few islands, to illustrate the general character of the voyage.
'One of the New Hebrides Islands, near the middle of the group, was discovered by Cook, and by him called "Three Hills." The central part of it, where we have long-had an acquaintance with the natives, is called by them "Mai." Some six years ago we landed there, and two young men came away with us, and spent the summer in New Zealand. Their names were Petere and Laure; the former was a local chief of some consequence. We took a peculiar interest in this island, finding that a portion of the population consists of a tribe speaking a dialect of the great Polynesian language of which another dialect is spoken in New Zealand. Every year we have had scholars from Mai, several of whom can read and write. We have landed there times without number, slept ashore three or four times, and are well known of course to the inhabitants.
'The other day I landed as usual among a crowd of old acquaintances, painted and armed, but of that I thought nothing. Knowing them to be so friendly to us, instead of landing alone, I took two or three of our party to walk inland with me; and off we started, Mr. Dudley and Wadrokala being left sitting in the boat, which was, as usual, a short distance from the beach. We had walked about half a mile before I noticed something unusual in the manner of the people, and I overheard them talking in a way that made me suspect that something had happened which they did not want me to know. Petere had not made his appearance, though in general the first to greet us, and on my making enquiries for him, I was told that he was not well. Not long afterwards I overheard a man say that Petere was dead, and taking again some opportunity that offered itself for asking about him, was told that he was dead, that he had died of dysentery. I was grieved to hear this, because I liked him personally and had expected help from him when the time came for commencing a Mission station on the island. The distance from the beach to the village where Petere lived is about one and a half mile, and a large party had assembled before we reached it. There was a great lamentation and crying on our arrival, during which I sat down on a large log of a tree. Then came a pause, and I spoke to the people, telling them how sorry I was to hear of Petere's death. There was something strange still about their manner, which I could not quite make out; and one of our party, who was not used to the kind of thing, did not like the looks of the people and the clubs and spears. At last one of them, an old scholar of ours, came forward and said, "The men here do not wish to deceive you; they know that you loved Petere, and they will not hide the truth; Petere was killed by a man in a ship, a white man, who shot him in the forehead." Of course I made minute enquiries as to the ship, the number of masts, how many people they saw, whether there was anything remarkable about the appearance of any person on board, &c. The men standing round us were a good deal excited, but the same story was told by them all.
'After a while I walked back to the beach, no indication having been made of unfriendliness, but I had not gone more than a quarter of a mile when three men rushed past me from behind, and ran on to the beach. Meanwhile Mr. Dudley and Wadrokala in the boat were rather uneasy at the manner of the people standing near them on the reef; and they too suspected that something unusual had occurred. Presently they saw these three men rush out of the bush on to the beach and distribute "kava" (leaves of the pepper plant) among the people, who at once changed their manner, became quite friendly and soon dispersed. It was quite evident that a discussion had taken place on shore as to the treatment we were to receive; and these men on the beach were awaiting the result of the discussion, prepared to act accordingly. There was scarcely any danger in our case of their deciding to injure us, because they knew us well; but had we been strangers we should have been killed of course; their practice being, naturally enough, to revenge the death of a countryman on the arrival of the next man who comes from what they suppose to be their enemies' country.
'This story may show you that caution is necessary long after the time that a real friendship has commenced and been carried on. We never can tell what may have taken place during the intervals of our visits. I returned to the village, with Mr. Kerr and Mr. Dudley and slept ashore, thinking it right to restore mutual confidence at once; and there was not the slightest risk in doing so.
'Now let me tell you about an island called Ambrym, lying to the south of Aurora and Pentecost, the two northernmost islands of the New Hebrides group.
'Ambrym is a grand island, with a fine active volcano, so active on this last occasion of our visiting it, that we were covered and half- blinded by the ashes; the deck was thickly covered with them, and the sea for miles strewed with floating cinders. We have repeatedly landed in different parts of the island, but this time we visited an entirely new place. There was a considerable surf on the beach, and I did not like the boat to go near the shore, partly on that account, but chiefly because our rule is not to let the boat approach too near the beach lest it should be hauled up on shore by the people and our retreat to the schooner cut off. So I beckoned to some men in a canoe (for I could not speak a word of the language), who paddled up to us, and took me ashore.
'As I was wading to the beach, an elderly man came forward from the crowd to the water's edge, where he stood holding both his arms uplifted over his head. Directly that I reached him, he took my hand, and put it round his neck, and turned to walk up the beach. As I walked along with him through the throng of men, more than three hundred in number, my arm all the while round his neck, I overheard a few words which gave me some slight clue as to the character of their language, and a very few words go a long way on such occasions. We went inland some short distance, passing through part of a large village, till we came to a house with figures, idols or not, I hardly know, placed at some height above the door.
'They pointed to these figures and repeated a name frequently, not unlike the name of one of the gods of some of the islands further to the north; then they struck the hollow tree, which is their native drum, and thronged close round me, while I gave away a few fish- hooks, pieces of red braid, &c. I asked the names of some of the people, and of objects about me, trees, birds, &c. I was particularly struck with two boys who kept close to me. After some time I made signs that I would return to the beach, and we began to move away from the village; but I was soon stopped by some men, who brought me two small trees, making signs that I should plant them.
'When I returned to the beach, the two boys were still with me, and I took their hands and walked on amidst the crowd. I did not imagine that they would come away with me, and yet a faint hope of their doing so sprang up in my mind, as I still found them holding my hands, and even when I began to wade towards the boat still close by my side in the water. All this took place in the presence of several hundred natives, who allowed these boys to place themselves in the boat and be taken on board the schooner.
'I was somewhat anxious about revisiting an island called Tikopia. Once we were there, five or six years ago. The island is small, and the inhabitants probably not more than three hundred or four hundred. They are Polynesians, men of very large stature, rough in manner, and not very easily managed. I landed there and waded across the reef among forty or fifty men. On the beach a large party assembled. I told them in a sort of Polynesian patois, that I wished to take away two lads from their island, that I might learn their language, and come back and teach them many things for their good. This they did not agree to. They said that some of the full-grown men wished to go away with me; but to this I in my turn could not agree. These great giants would be wholly unmanageable in our school at present. I went back to the edge of the reef—about three hundred yards—and got into the boat with two men; we rowed off a little way, and I attempted, more quietly than the noisy crowd on shore would allow, to explain to them my object in coming to them. After a while we pulled back to the reef, and I waded ashore again; but I could not induce them to let me take any one away who was at all eligible for the school. Still I was very thankful to have been able twice to land and remain half an hour or more on shore among the people. Next year (D.V.) I may be able to see more of them, and perhaps may obtain a scholar, and so open the island. It is a place visited by whalers, but they never land here, and indeed the inhabitants are generally regarded as dangerous fellows to deal with, so I was all the more glad to have made a successful visit.
'Nothing could have been more delightful than the day I spent in making frequent landings on the north side of Santa Cruz. This island was visited by Spaniards, under the command of Mendana, nearly three hundred years ago. They attempted to found a colony there, but after a short time were compelled, by illness and the death of Mendana and his successor, to abandon their endeavour. It is apparently a very fertile island, certainly a very populous one. The inhabitants are very ingenious, wearing beautiful ornaments, making good bags woven of grass stained with turmeric, and fine mats. Their arrows are elaborately carved, and not less elaborately poisoned: their canoes well made and kept in good order. We never before landed on this island; but the Primate, long before I was in this part of the world, and two or three times since, had sailed and rowed into the bay at the north-west end, called Graciosa Bay, the fine harbour in which the Spaniards anchored. I went ashore this last voyage in seven different places, large crowds of men thronging down to the water's edge as I waded to the beach. They were exceedingly friendly, allowed me to enter the houses, sit down and inspect their mode of building them. They brought me food to eat; and when I went out of the houses again, let me examine the large sea-going canoes drawn up in line on the beach. I wrote down very many names, and tried hard to induce some young people to come away with me, but after we had pulled off some way, their courage failed them, and they swam back to the shore.
'Two or three of the men took off little ornaments and gave them to me; one bright pretty boy especially I remember, who took off his shell necklace and put it round my neck, making me understand, partly by words, but more by signs, that he was afraid to come now, but would do so if I returned, as I said, in eight or ten moons.
'Large baskets of almonds were given me, and other food also thrown into the boat. I made a poor return by giving some fish-hooks and a tomahawk to the man whom I took to be the person of most consequence. On shore the women came freely up to me among the crowd, but they were afraid to venture down to the beach. Now this is the island about which we have long felt a great difficulty as to the right way of obtaining any communication with the natives. This year, why and how I cannot tell, the way was opened beyond all expectation. I tried hard to get back from the Solomon Islands so as to revisit it again during the voyage, but we could not get to the eastward, as the trade-wind blew constantly from that quarter.
'At Leper's Island I had just such another day—or rather two days were spent in making an almost complete visitation of the northern part of the island—the people were everywhere most friendly, and I am hoping to see them all again join us soon, when some may be induced to.
'It would be the work of days to tell you all our adventures. How at Malanta I picked two lads out of a party of thirty-six in a grand war canoe going on a fighting expedition—and very good fellows they are; how we filled up our water-casks at Aurora, standing up to our necks in the clear cool stream rushing down from a cataract above, with the natives assisting us in the most friendly manner; how at Santa Maria, which till this year we never visited without being shot at, I walked for four or five hours far inland wherever I pleased, meeting great crowds of men all armed and suspicious of each other—indeed actually fighting with each other—but all friendly to me; how at Espiritu Santo, when I had just thrown off my coat and tightened my belt to swim ashore through something of a surf, a canoe was launched, and without more ado a nice lad got into our boat and came away with us, without giving me the trouble of taking a swim at all; how at Florida Island, never before reached by us, one out of some eighty men, young and old, standing all round me on the reef, to my astonishment returned with me to the boat, and without any opposition from the people quietly seated himself by my side and came away to the schooner; how at Pentecost Island, Taroniara (a lad whom the Primate in old days had picked up in his canoe paddling against a strong head wind, and kept him on board all night, and sent him home with presents in the morning) now came away with me, but not without his bow and poisoned arrows, of which I have taken safe possession; how Misial felt sea-sick and home-sick for a day or two, but upon being specially patronised by the cook, soon declared "that no place could compare with the galley of a Mission vessel, to the truth of which declaration the necessity of enlarging his scanty garments soon bore satisfactory testimony; how at Ysabel the young chief came on board with a white cockatoo instead of a hawk on his wrist, which he presented to me with all the grace in the world, and with an enquiry after his good friend Captain Hume, of H.M.S. "Cordelia," who had kindly taken me to this island in the winter of 1861.'
To this may be added some touches from the home letter of August 27, off Vanikoro:—
'I don't deny that I am thankful that the Tikopia visit is well over. The people are so very powerful and so independent and unmanageable, that I always have felt anxious about visiting them. Once we were there in 1856, and now again. I hope to keep on visiting them annually. Sydney traders have been there, but have never landed; they trade at arm's length from their boat and are well armed. It is a strange sensation, sitting alone (say) 300 yards from the boat, which of course can't be trusted in their hands, among 200 or more of people really gigantic. No men have I ever seen so large—huge Patagonian limbs, and great heavy hands clutching up my little weak arms and shoulders. Yet it is not a sensation of fear, but simply of powerlessness; and it makes one think, as I do when among them, of another Power present to protect and defend.
'They perfectly understood my wish to bring away lads. Full-grown Brobdignag men wished to come, and some got into the boat who were not easily got out of it again. Boys swam off, wishing to come, but the elder people prevented it, swimming after them and dragging them back. It was a very rough, blustering day; but even on such a day the lee side of the island is a beautiful sight, one mass of cocoa- nut trees, and the villages so snugly situated among the trees.
'Just been up the rigging to get a good look at this great encircling reef at Vanikoro. Green water as smooth as glass, inside the reef for a mile, and then pretty villages; but there is no passage through the reef, it is a continuous breakwater. We are working up towards a part of the reef where I think there may be a passage. Anyhow I am gaining a good local knowledge of this place, and that saves time another year.
'The ten lads on board talk six languages, not one of which do I know; but as I get words and sentences from them, I see how they will "work in" with the general character of the language of which I have several dialects. It is therefore not very difficult to get on some little way into all at once; but I must not be disappointed if I find that other occupations take me away too much for my own pleasure from this particular branch of my work.'
A long letter to Sir John T. Coleridge gives another aspect of the voyage:—
'"Sea Breeze" Schooner: off Rennell Island. 'Therm. 89 in shade; lat. 11 40', long. 160 18' 5". 'September 7, 1862.
'My dear Uncle,—I can hardly keep awake for the unusually great heat. The wind is northerly, and it is very light, indeed we are almost becalmed, so you will have a sleepy letter, indeed over my book I was already nodding. I think it better to write to you (though on a Sunday) than to sleep. What a compliment! But I shall grow more wakeful as I write. Perhaps my real excuse for writing is that I feel to-day much oppressed with the thought of these great islands that I have been visiting, and I am sadly disappointed in some of my scholars from San Cristoval.
'Leaving New Zealand on June 20th, I sailed to Norfolk Island, where I held my first Confirmation. By desire of the Bishop of Tasmania, I act as Bishop for the Norfolk Islanders. This was, as you know, a very solemn time for me; sixteen dear children were confirmed. Since that time I have visited very many islands with almost unequalled success, as far as effecting landings, opening communication, and receiving native lads are concerned. I have on board natives from many places from which we have never received them before. Many I have left with Mr. Dudley and Mr. Pritt on Mota Island at school, but I have now twenty-one, speaking eleven languages. At many places where we had never landed, I was received well.
'The state of things, too, in the Banks Islands is very encouraging. What do you think of my having two married (after their fashion) couples on board from the Solomon Islands (San Cristoval and Contrariete)? This was effected with some difficulty. Both the men are old scholars, of course. I ought therefore to be most thankful; and yet my heart is sad because, after promises given by Grariri and his wife, Parenga and Kerearua (all old scholars, save Mrs. Garm), not one came away with me yesterday, and I feel grieved at the loss of my dear boys, who can read and write, and might be taught so much now! It is all very faithless; but I must tell it all to you, for indeed I do not feel as if I had any right to expect it otherwise, but in the moment of perceiving and confessing that it is very good for me, I find out for the first time how much my heart was set upon having them.
'And then San Cristoval, sixty miles long, with its villages and languages, and Malanta over eighty miles long, and Guadalcanar, seventy! It is a silly thought or a vain, human wish, but I feel as if I longed to be in fifty or a hundred places at once. But God will send qualified men in good time. In the meanwhile (for the work must be carried on mainly by native teachers gathered from each island), as some fall off I must seek to gain others. Even where lads are only two, or even one year with mer and then apparently fall back to what they were before, some good may be done, the old teaching may return upon them some day, and they may form a little nucleus for good, though not now.
'As for openings for men of the right sort, they abound. Really if I were free to locate myself on an island instead of going about to all, I hardly know to which of some four or five I ought to go. But it is of no use to have men who are not precisely the kind of men wanted. Somehow one can't as yet learn to ask men to do things that one does oneself as a matter of course. It needs a course of training to get rid of conventional notions. I think that Norfolk Island may supply a few, a very few fellows able to be of use, and perhaps New Zealand will do so, and I have the advantage of seeing and knowing them. I don't think that I must expect men from England, I can't pay them well; and it is so very difficult to give a man on paper any idea of what his life will be in Melanesia or Kohimarama. So very much that would be most hazardous to others has ceased to be so to me, because I catch up some scrap of the language talked on the beach, and habit has given an air of coolness and assurance. But this does not come all at once, and you cannot talk about all this to others. I feel ashamed as I write it even to you. They bother me to put anecdotes of adventures into our Report, but I cannot. You know no one lands on these places but myself, and it would be no good to tell stories merely to catch somebody's ear. It was easier to do so when the Bishop and I went together, but I am not training up anyone to be the visitor, and so I don't wish anybody else to go with me. Besides Mr. Pritt and Mr. Dudley are bad swimmers, and Mr. Kerr not first-rate. My constant thought is "By what means will God provide for the introduction of Christianity into these islands," and my constant prayer that He will reveal such means to me, and give me grace to use them.
'What reality there is in such a work as this! What continual need of guidance and direction! I here see before me now an island stretching away twenty-five miles in length! Last night I left one sixty miles long. I know that hundreds are living there ignorant of God, wild men, cannibals, addicted to every vice. I know that Christ died for them, and that the message is for them, too. How am I to deliver it? How find an entrance among them? How, when I have learnt their language, speak to them of religion, so as not to introduce unnecessary obstacles to the reception of it, nor compromise any of its commands?
'Thank God I can fall back upon many solid points of comfort— chiefest of all, He sees and knows it all perfectly. He sees the islanders too, and loves them, how infinitely more than I can! He desires to save them. He is, I trust, sending me to them. He will bless honest endeavours to do His will among them. And then I think how it must all appear to angels and saints, how differently they see these things. Already, to their eyes, the light is breaking forth in Melanesia; and I take great comfort from this thought, and remember that it does not matter whether it is in my time, only I must work on. And then I think of the prayers of the Church, ascending continually for the conversion of the heathen; and I know that many of you are praying specially for the heathen of Melanesia. And so one's thoughts float out to India, and China, and Japan, and Africa, and the islands of the sea, and the very vastness of the work raises one's thoughts to God, as the only One by whom it must be done.
'Now, dear Uncle, I have written all this commonplace talk, not regarding its dulness in your eyes, but because I felt weary and also somewhat overwrought and sad; and it has done me much good, and given me a happy hour.
'We had our service on board this morning, and the Holy Eucharist afterwards; Mr. Kerr, two Norfolk Islanders, a Maori, and a Nengone man present. I ought not to be faint-hearted. My kind love to Aunt and Mary.
'Your affectionate and dutiful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
The climate of Mota had again disagreed with Mr. Dudley, who was laid up with chronic rheumatism nearly all the time he was there; and the Bishop returned from his voyage very unwell; but Mr. Pritt happily was strong and active, and the elder Banks Island scholars were very helpful, both in working and teaching, so that the schools went on prosperously, and the custom of carrying weapons in Mota was dropped.
On November 7 the 'Sea Breeze' was again in harbour; and on the 15th, after mature consideration, was written this self-sacrificing letter:—
'St. Andrew's: November 15, 1862.
'My dearest Sisters,—I returned from a voyage unusually interesting and prosperous on the 7th of this month; absent just nineteen weeks. We were in all on board seventy-one.
'I found all your letters from April to August 25. How thankful I am to see and know what I never doubted, the loving manner in which my first and later letters about New Zealand were taken. How wise of you to perceive that in truth my judgment remained all through unaltered, though my feelings were strongly moved, indeed the good folk here begged me to reconsider my resolution, thinking no doubt kindly for me that it would be so great a joy to me to see you. Of course it would; were there no other considerations that we already know and agree upon, what joy so great on earth! But I feel sure that we are right. Thank God that we can so speak, think, and act with increasing affection and trust in each other!
'The more I think of it, the more I feel "No, it would not do! It would not be either what Joan expects or what Fan expects. They look at it in some ways alike—i.e., in the matter of seeing me, which both equally long to do. In some ways they regard it differently. But it would not to one or the other be the thing they hope and wish for. They would both feel (what yet they would not like to acknowledge) disappointment.' Though, therefore, I could not help feeling often during the voyage, "What if I hear that they may be with me by Christmas!" yet it was not exactly unwelcome to hear that you do not come. I recognised at once your reading of my letters as the right one; and my feelings, strong as they are, give way to other considerations, especially when, from my many occupations, I have very little time to indulge them.
'But for the thought of coming, and your great love to me, I thank you, dear ones, with all my heart. May God bless you for it!...
'Good-bye, my dear Sisters; we are together in heart at all events.
'Your loving Brother, 'J. C. P.'
The judgment had decided that the elder sister especially would suffer more from the rough life at Kohimarama than her brother could bear that she should undergo, when he could give her so little of his society as compensation, without compromising his own decided principle that all must yield to the work. Perhaps he hardly knew how much he betrayed of the longing, even while deciding against its gratification; but his sisters were wise enough to act on his judgment, and not on their own impulse; and the events of the next season proved that he had been right. To Sir John Coleridge he wrote:—
'Kohimarama: November 15, 1862.
'My dear Uncle,—I should indeed, as you say, delight to have a ramble in the old scenes, and a good unburthening of thoughts conceived during the past seven or eight years.
'And yet you see I could not try the experiment of those dear good sisters of mine coming out. It would not have been what they expected and meant to come out to. I am little seen by any but Melanesians, and quite content that it should be so. I can't do what I want with them, nor a tenth part of it as it is. I cannot write to you of this last voyage—in many respects a most remarkable one— indicating, if I am not over hopeful, a new stage in our Mission work. Many islands yielding scholars for the first time; old scholars, with but few exceptions, steadfast and rapidly improving; no less than fifty-seven Melanesians here now from twenty-four islands, exclusive of the Loyalty Islands, and five bright Pitcairners, from twenty-four to sixteen, helpful, good, conscientious lads. There are eight languages that I do not know, besides all the rest; yet I can see that they are all links in the great chain of dialects of the great "Pacific language,"—yet dialects very far removed sometimes from one another.
'I find it not very easy to comply with reasonable demands from men in Europe, who want to know about these things. If I had time and ability, I think I should enjoy really going into philology. I get books sent me from people such as Max Muller, Grabalentz, &c.; and if I write to them at all, it is useless to write anything but an attempt at classification of the dialects; and that is difficult, for there are so many, and it takes so long to explain to another the grounds upon which I feel justified in connecting dialects and calling them cognate. It becomes an instinct almost, I suppose, with people in the trade.
'But I hardly know how far I ought to spend any time in such things. Elementary grammars for our own missionaries and teachers are useful, and the time is well spent in writing them. Hence it is that I do not write longer letters. Oh! how I enjoy writing un-business letters; but I can't help it—it's part of my business now to write dull Reports—i.e. reports that I can't help making dull, and all the rest of it....
'I cannot write about Bishop Mackenzie. Mr. Pritt (at 9.30 P.M. the night we landed) put his head into my room and said, "Bishop Mackenzie is dead," and I sat and sat on and knelt and could not take it all in! I cannot understand what the papers say of his modus operandi, yet I know that it was an error of judgment, if an error at all, and there may be much which we do not know. So I suspend my opinion.'
In a letter to myself, written by the same mail, in reply to one in which I had begged him to consider what was the sight, to a Christian man, of slaves driven off with heavy yokes on their necks, and whether it did not justify armed interposition, he replies with arguments that it is needless now to repeat, but upholding the principle that the shepherd is shepherd to the cruel and erring as well as to the oppressed, and ought not to use force. The opinion is given most humbly and tenderly, for he had a great veneration for his brother Missionary Bishop. Commenting on the fact that Bishop Selwyn's speech at Cambridge had made Charles Mackenzie a missionary, and that he would gladly have hailed an invitation to the Australasian field of labour, the letter proceeds:—
'How wonderful it is to reflect upon the events of the last few years! Had he come out when I did to New Zealand, I might be now his Missionary Chaplain; and yet it is well that there should be two missionary dioceses, and without the right man for the African Mission, there might have been a difficulty in carrying out the plan.
'The chapel is not built yet, for I have sixty mouths to feed, and other buildings must be thought of for health's sake. But I have settled all that in my will.'
'In a postscript is mentioned the arrival of some exquisite altar plate for the College chapel, which had been offered by a lady, who had also bountifully supplied with chronometers and nautical instruments the 'Southern Cross,' which was fast being built at Southampton.
The above letter was accompanied by one to Dr. Moberly:—
'St. Andrew's College, Kohimarama: Nov. 18, 1862.
'My dear Dr. Moberly,—Thank you heartily for writing to me. It is a real help to me and to others also, I think, of my party to be in communication with those whom we have long respected, and whose prayers we now more than ever earnestly ask. We returned on November 7 from a very remarkable voyage.
'I was nineteen weeks absent all but a day: sailed far beyond our most distant island in my previous voyage, landed nearly eighty times amidst (often) 300 and more natives, naked, armed, &c., and on no less than thirty or forty places never trodden before (as far as I know) by the foot of a white man. Not one arm was lifted up against me, not one bow drawn or spear shaken. I think of it all quietly now with a sort of wondering thankfulness.
'From not less than eight islands we have now for the first time received native lads; and not only are openings being thus made for us in many directions, but the permanent training of our old scholars is going on most favourably; so that by the blessing of God we hope, at all events in the Banks Islands, to carry on continuously the Mission Schools during the winter and summer also. We have spent the three last winters here, but it would not be wise to run the risk of the damp hot climate in the summer. Natives of the island must do this, and thank God there are natives being raised up now to do it. The enclosed translation of a note. It is but three or four years since the language was reduced to writing, and here is a young man writing down his thoughts to me after a long talk about the question of his being baptized.
'Four others there are soon, by God's blessing, to be baptized also— Sarawia from Vanua Lava, Tagalana from Aroa, Pasvorang from Eowa, Woleg from Mota, and others are pressing on; Taroniara from San Cristoval, Kanambat from New Caledonia, &c. I tell you their names, for you will I know, remember them in your prayers.
'Will you kindly let Mr. Keble see the enclosed note? It does not, of course, give much idea of the lad's state of mind; but he is thoroughly in earnest, and as for his knowledge of his duty there can be no question there. He really knows his Catechism. I have scarcely a minute to write by this mail. Soon you will have, I hope, a sketch of our last voyage. We remember you all, benefactors and benefactresses, daily. Thank you again for writing to me: it humbles me, as it ought to do, to receive such a letter from you.
'Very faithfully yours,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
These names deserve note: Sarawia the first to be ordained of the Melanesian Church; and Taroniara, who was to share his Bishop's death. B——, as will be seen, has had a far more chequered course. Tagalana is described in another letter as having the thoughtfulness of one who knows that he has the seeds of early death in him; but he, the living lectern at the consecration, has lived to be the first deacon of his island of Aroa.
The ensuing is to the Rev. Derwent Coleridge, at that time Principal of St. Mark's Training College, Chelsea, upon the question whether that institution would afford assistants:—
'Auckland, New Zealand: Nov. 15, 1862.
'My dear Cousin,—You will not be surprised, I hope, to hear from me; I only wish I had written to you long ago. But until quite recently we could not speak with so much confidence concerning the Melanesian Mission, and it is of little use to write vaguely on matters which I am anxious now to make known to you.
'The general plan of the Mission you may get some notion of from the last year's Report (which I send), and possibly you may have heard or seen something about it in former years. This last voyage of nineteen weeks, just concluded, has determined me to write to you; for the time is come when we want helpers indeed, and I think that you will expect me naturally to turn to you.
'It is not only that very many islands throughout the South Pacific, from the Loyalty Islands on to the northwest as far as Ysabel Island in the Solomon group, are now yielding up scholars and affording openings for Mission stations, though this indeed is great matter for thankfulness; but there is, thank God, a really working staff gathered round us from the Banks Archipelago, which affords a definite field, already partially occupied with a regular system at work in it; and here young persons may receive the training most needed for them, actually on a heathen island, though soon not to be without some few Christians amongst its population. Now I can say to anyone willing and qualified to help me:—
'In the six summer months there is the central school work in "New Zealand, where now there are with me fifty-one Melanesians from twenty-four islands, speaking twenty-three languages; and in the six winter months there is a station regularly occupied on Mota Island, where all the necessary experience of life in the islands can be acquired.
'I am not in any hurry for men. Norfolk Island has given me five young fellows from twenty-one to sixteen years of age, who already are very useful. One has been with me a year, another four months. They are given unreservedly into my hands, and already are working well into our school, taking the superintendence of our cooking, e.g., off our hands; with some help from us, they will be very useful at once as helpers on Mota, doing much in the way of gardening, putting up huts, &c., which will free us for more teaching work, &c., and they are being educated by us with an eye to their future employment (D.V.) as missionaries. I would not wish for better fellows; their moral and religious conduct is really singularly good- -you know their circumstances and the character of the whole community. But I should be thankful by-and-by to have men equally willing to do anything, yet better educated in respect of book knowledge. No one is ever asked to do what we are not willing to do, and generally in the habit of doing ourselves—cooking, working, &c., &c. But the Melanesian lads really do all this kind of work now. I have sixty mouths to fill here now; and Melanesian boys, told out week by week, do the whole of the cooking (simple enough, of course) for us all with perfect punctuality. I don't think any particular taste for languages necessary at all. Anyone who will work hard at it can learn the language of the particular class assigned to him. Earnest, bright, cheerful fellows, without that notion of "making sacrifices," &c., perpetually occurring to their minds, would be invaluable. You know the kind of men, who have got rid of the conventional notion that more self-denial is needed for a missionary than for a sailor or soldier, who are sent anywhere, and leave home and country for years, and think nothing of it, because they go "on duty." Alas! we don't so read our ordination vows. A fellow with a healthy, active tone of mind, plenty of enterprise and some enthusiasm, who makes the best of everything, and above all does not think himself better than other people because he is engaged in Mission work—that is the fellow we want. I assume, of course, the existence of sound religious principle as the greatest qualification of all. Now, if there be any young persons whom you could wish to see engaged in this Mission now at St. Mark's, or if you know of any such and feel justified in speaking to them, you will be doing a great kindness to me, and, I believe, aiding materially in this work.
'I should not wish at all any young man to be pledged to anything; as on my part I will not pledge myself to accept, much less ordain, any man of whom I have no personal knowledge. But let anyone really in earnest, with a desire and intention (as far as he is concerned) to join the Mission, come to me about December or January in any year. Then he will live at the Mission College till the end of April, and can see for himself the mode of life at the Central Summer School in New Zealand. Then let him take a voyage with me, see Melanesians in their own homes, stop for a while at Mota—e.g. make trial of the climate, &c., &c., and then let me have my decisive talk with him.
'If he will not do for the work, I must try and find other employment for him in some New Zealand diocese, or help to pay his passage home. I don't think such a person as you would recommend would fail to make himself useful; but I must say plainly that I would rather not have a man from England at all, than be bound to accept a man who might not thoroughly and cordially work into the general system that we have adopted. We live together entirely, all meals in common, same cabin, same hut, and the general life and energy of us all would be damaged by the introduction of any one discordant element. You will probably say, "Men won't go out on these terms," and this is indeed probable, yet if they are the right fellows for this work—a work wholly anomalous, unlike all other work that they have thought of in many respects—they will think that what I say is reasonable, and like the prospect all the better (I think) because they see that it means downright work in a cheery, happy, hopeful, friendly spirit.
'A man who takes the sentimental view of coral islands and cocoa- nuts, of course, is worse than useless; a man possessed with the idea that he is making a sacrifice will never do; and a man who thinks any kind of work "beneath a gentleman" will simply be in the way, and be rather uncomfortable at seeing the Bishop do what he thinks degrading to do himself. I write all this quite freely, wishing to convey, if possible, some idea to you of the kind of men we need. And if the right fellow is moved by God's grace to come out, what a welcome we will give him, and how happy he will soon be in a work the abundant blessings of which none can know as we know them. There are three clergymen with me. Mr. Pritt, who came out with the Bishop of Nelson as his chaplain, but who, I am thankful to say, is regularly part and parcel of the Mission staff; Mr. Dudley, ordained last year, who for six years has been in the Mission, and has had the special advantage of being trained under the Primate's eye; and Mr. Kerr who was also ordained about ten months ago.
'I give 100 pounds to a clergyman when ordained, increasing it 101 annually to a maximum of 150 pounds. But this depends upon subscriptions, &c. I could not pledge myself even to this, except in the case of a man very highly recommended. But of this I will write more.
'Again let me say that I do not want anyone yet, not this year. I shall be off again (D.V.) in the beginning of May 1863, for six months; and if then I find on my return (D.V.) in November, letters from you, either asking me to write with reference to any young man, or informing me that one is on the way out, that will be quite soon enough.
'I need not say I don't expect any such help so soon, if at all.
'Finally, pray don't think that I underrate the great advantage of having such persons as St. Mark's produces; but I write guardedly. My kind love to Mrs. Derwent.
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
On the 29th of December, after two pages of affectionate remarks on various family incidents, the letter proceeds:—
'We are having an extra scrubbing in preparation for our visitors on Thursday, who may wish to be with us on the occasion of the baptism of our six Banks Islanders; and I am writing in the midst of it, preferring to sit in the schoolroom to my own room, which is very tiny and very hot.
'We have some eight only out of the fifty-one whom I am obliged to treat rather as an awkward squad, not that they are too stupid to learn, but that we cannot give them the individual attention that is necessary. They teach me their language; but I cannot put them into any class where they could be regularly taught—indeed, they are not young fellows whom I should bring again. They do the work of introducing us to their islands, and of teaching us something of their language. So I continue to give them what little time I can— the real strength of our force being given to those whom we hope to have here again.
'We are all on the qui vive about our beautiful vessel, hoping to see it in about six or eight weeks. It will, please God, be for years the great means by which we may carry on the Mission if we live; and all the care that has been spent upon it has been well spent, you may be sure.
'I don't want to appear as if I expected this to be done in one sense, but it is only when I think of the personal interest shown in it that I suppose it right to thank people much. I don't want it to be thought of any more than you do as a gift to us particular missionaries. It is the Church carrying on its own work. Yet, as you truly say, private feelings and interests are not to be treated rudely; and I do think it a very remarkable thing that some 2,000 pounds should be raised by subscriptions, especially when one knows that so very few people have an idea of the work that is being done.'
'What a blessed New Year's rejoicing in hope here follows:—
'Kohimarama: Jan. 1, 1863.
'My dearest Sisters,—The first letter of the year to you! Thank God for bringing us to see it! It is 1 P.M., and at 4.30 P.M. six dear children (from twenty-two to fourteen) are to be baptized. Everything in one sense is done; how very little in the other and higher sense! May Almighty God pour the fulness of His blessing upon them! I sit and look at them, and my heart is too full for words. They sit with me, and bring their little notes with questions that they scarcely dare trust themselves to speak about. You will thank God for giving me such comfort, such blessings, and such dear children. How great a mercy it is! How unexpected! May God make me humble and patient through it all!
'What a sight it would be for you four hours hence! Our party of sixty-one, visitors from Auckland, the glorious day, and the holy service, for which all meet.
'I use Proper Psalms, 89, 96, 126, 145, and for lessons a few verses, 2 Kings v. 9-15, and Acts viii. 35-9. After the third Collect, the Primate may say a few words, or I may do so; and then I shall use our usual Melanesian Collect for many islands, very briefly named; and so conclude with the Blessing.
'What this is to me you must try and realise, that you may be partakers of my joy and thankfulness. To have Christians about me, to whom I can speak with a certainty of being understood, to feel that we are all bound together in the blessed Communion of the Body of Christ, to know that angels on high are rejoicing and evil spirits being chased away, that all the Banks Islands and all Melanesia are experiencing, as it were, the first shock of a mighty earthquake, that God who foresees the end may, in his merciful Providence, be calling even these very children to bear His message to thousands of heathens, is not it too much? One's heart is not large enough for it, and confession of one's own unworthiness breaks off involuntarily into praise and glory!
'I know, my dear Sisters, that this is most likely one of the great blessings that precede great trials. I can't expect or wish (perhaps) always to sail with a fair wind, yet I try to remember that trial must come, without on that account restraining myself from a deep taste of the present joy. I can't describe it!
'Then we have now much that we ever can talk about—deep talk about Mota and the other islands, and the special temptations to which they must be exposed; that now is the time when the devil will seek with all his might to "have" them, and so hinder God's work in the land; that they have been specially blest by God to be the first to desire to know His will, and that they have heavy responsibilities.
'"Yes," they say, "we see man does not know that his room is dirty and full of cobwebs while it is all dark; and another man, whose room is not half so dirty, because the sun shines into it and shows the dirt, thinks his room much worse than the other. That is like our hearts. It is worse now to be angry than it was to shoot a man a long time ago. But the more the sun shines in, the more we shall find cobwebs and dirt, long after we thought the room was clean. Yes, we know what that means. We asked you what would help us to go on straight in the path, now that we are entering at the gate. We said prayer, love, helping our countrymen. Now we see besides watchfulness, self-examination; and then you say we must at once look forward to being confirmed, as the people you confirmed at Norfolk Island. Then there is the very great thing, the holy and the great, the Supper of the Lord." So, evening by evening and day by day, we talk, this being of course not called school, being, indeed, my great relaxation, for this is the time when they are like children with a father.
'I know I feel it so. Don't take the above as a fair sample of our talk, for the more solemn words we say about God's Love, Christ's Intercession, and the Indwelling of the Spirit, I can hardly write down now.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.
'P.S.—Feast of the Epiphany. Those dear children were baptized on Thursday. A most solemn interesting scene it was!'
Thoroughly happy indeed was the Bishop at this time. In a note of February 3 to the Bishop of Wellington, he speaks of the orderly state of the College:—
'Mr. Pritt has made a complete change in the Melanesian school, very properly through me; not putting himself forward, but talking with me, suggesting, accepting suggestions, giving the benefit of his great knowledge of boys and the ways to educate them. All the punctuality, order, method, &c., are owing to him; and he is so bright and hearty, thoroughly at ease with the boys, and they with him.'
The same note announces two more recruits—Mr. John Palmer, a theological student at St. John's, and Joseph Atkin, the only son of a settler in the neighbourhood, who had also held a scholarship there. He had gained it in 1860, after being educated at the Taranaki Scotch School and the Church of England Grammar School at Parnell, and his abilities were highly thought of. The Bishop says:—
'Joe Atkin, you will be glad to hear, has joined us on probation till next Christmas, but he is very unlikely to change his mind. He and his father have behaved in a very straightforward manner. I am not at all anxious to get fellows here in a hurry. The Norfolk Islanders, e.g., are in need of training much more than our best Melanesians, less useful as teachers, cooks, even as examples. This will surprise you, but it is so.
'I have long suspected that Joe thought about joining us. He tells me, "You never would give me a chance to speak to you, Sir."
"Quite true, Joe; I wished the thought to work itself out in your own mind, and then I thought it right to speak first to your father."
'I told him that I could offer but "a small and that an uncertain salary" should he be ordained five years hence; and that he ought to think of that, that there was nothing worldly in his wishing to secure a maintenance by-and-by for wife and child, and that I much doubted my power to provide it. But this did not at all shake either his father or him. I have a great regard for the lad, and I know you have.'
From that time forward reading with and talking with 'Joe Atkin' was one of the chief solaces of the Bishop's life, though at present the young man was only on trial, and could not as yet fill the place of Mr. Benjamin Dudley, who, soon after the voyage, married, and returned to Canterbury settlement. The loss was felt, as appears in the following:—
'Kohimarama; Saturday, 1 P.M., Feb. 7, 1863.
'My dearest Sisters,—I have a heavy cold, so you must expect a stupid letter. I am off in an hour or two for a forty-mile ride, to take to-morrow's services (four) among soldiers and settlers. The worst of it is that I have no chance of sleep at the end, for the mosquitos near the river are intolerable. How jolly it would be, nevertheless, if you were here, and strong enough to make a sort of picnic ride of it. I do it this way: strap in front of the saddle a waterproof sheet, with my silk gown, Prayer-book, brush and comb, razor and soap, a clean tie, and a couple of sea biscuits. Then at about 3 P.M. off I go. About twenty miles or so bring me to Papakura, an ugly but good road most of the way. Here there is an inn. I stop for an hour and a half, give the horse a good feed, and have my tea. At about 7.30 or 8 I start again, and ride slowly along a good road this dry weather. The moon rises at 9.30, and by that time I shall be reaching the forest, through which a good military road runs. This is the part of the road I should like to show you. Such a night as this promises to be! It will be beautiful. About 11 I reach a hut made of reeds on the very brink of the river, tether the horse, give him a feed, which I carry with me from Papakura, light a fire (taking matches) inside the hut, and try to smoke away mosquitos, lie down in your plaid, Joan—do you remember giving it to me?—and get what sleep I can. To-morrow I work my way home again, the fourth service being at Papakura at 4 P.M., so I ought to be at Kohimarama by 9 P.M., dead tired I expect. I think these long days tire me more than they did; and I really do see not a few white hairs, a dozen or so, this is quite right and respectable.
'I am writing now because I am tired with this cold, but chiefly because when I write only for the mail I send you such wretched scrawls, just business letters, or growls about something or other which I magnify into a grievance. But really, dear Joan and Fan, I do like much writing to you; only it is so very seldom I can do so, without leaving undone some regular part of the day's work. I am quite aware that you want to know more details about my daily life, and I really wish to supply them; but then I am so weary when I get a chance of writing, that I let my mind drift away with my pen, instead of making some effort to write thoughtfully. How many things I should like to talk about, and which I ought to write about: Bishops Mackenzie and Colenso, the true view of what heathenism is, Church government, the real way to hope to get at the mass of heathens at home, the need of a different education in some respects for the clergy, &c. But I have already by the time I begin to write taken too much out of myself in other ways to grapple with such subjects, and so I merely spin out a yarn about my own special difficulties and anxieties.
'Don't mind my grumbling. I think that it is very ungrateful of me to do so, when, this year especially, I am receiving such blessings; it is partly because I am very much occupied, working at high pressure, partly because I do not check my foolish notions, and let matters worry me. I don't justify it a bit; nor must you suppose that because I am very busy just now, I am really the worse for it. The change to sea life will set me all to rights again; and I feel that much work must be done in a little time, and a wise man would take much more pains than I do to keep himself in a state fit to do it.
'I have told you about our manner of life here. Up at 5, when I go round and pull the blankets, not without many a joke, off the sleeping boys, many of the party are already up and washing. Then, just before prayers, I go into the kitchen and see that all is ready for breakfast. Prayers at 5.45 in English, Mota, Baura, &c., beginning with a Mota Hymn, and ending with the Lord's Prayer in English. Breakfast immediately after: at our table Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, and young Atkin who has just joined us. At the teachers' table, five Norfolk Islanders, Edward (a Maori), five girls and two of their husbands, and the three girls being placed at this table because they are girls; Melanesians at the other three tables indiscriminately. There are four windows, one at the north, three at the east side. The school and chapel, in one long modern building, form the corresponding wing on the eastern side of my little room, and the boys dormitories between.