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The Hawaiian Archipelago
by Isabella L. Bird
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I think that the greater number of the converts of those four years must have died ere this. In 1867 the old church at Hilo was divided into seven congregations, six of them with native pastors. To meet the wants of the widely-scattered people, fifteen churches have been built, holding from 500 up to 1000. The present Hilo church, a very pretty wooden one, cost about $14,000. All these have been erected mainly by native money and labour. Probably the native Christians on Hawaii are not much better or worse than Christian communities elsewhere, but they do seem a singularly generous people. Besides liberally sustaining their own clergy, the Hilo Christians have contributed altogether $100,000 for religious purposes. Mr. Coan's native congregation, sorely dwindled as it is, raises over $1200 annually for foreign missions; and twelve of its members have gone as missionaries to the islands of Southern Polynesia.

Poor people! It would be unfair to judge of them as we may legitimately be judged of, who inherit the influences of ten centuries of Christianity. They have only just emerged from a bloody and sensual heathenism, and to the instincts and volatility of these dark Polynesian races, the restraining influences of the Gospel are far more severe than to our cold, unimpulsive northern natures. The greatest of their disadvantages has been that some of the vilest of the whites who roamed the Pacific had settled on the islands before the arrival of the Christian teachers, dragging the people down to even lower depths of depravity than those of heathenism, and that there are still resident foreigners who corrupt and destroy them.

I must tell you a story which the venerable Mrs. Lyman told me yesterday. In 1825, five years after the first missionaries landed, Kapiolani, a female alii of high rank, while living at Kaiwaaloa (where Captain Cook was murdered), became a Christian. Grieving for her people, most of whom still feared to anger Pele, she announced that it was her intention to visit Kilauea, and dare the fearful goddess to do her worst. Her husband and many others tried to dissuade her, but she was resolute, and taking with her a large retinue, she took a journey of one hundred miles, mostly on foot, over the rugged lava, till she arrived near the crater. There a priestess of Pele met her, threatened her with the displeasure of the goddess if she persisted in her hostile errand, and prophesied that she and her followers would perish miserably. Then, as now, ohelo berries grew profusely round the terminal wall of Kilauea, and there, as elsewhere, were sacred to Pele, no one daring to eat of them till he had first offered some of them to the divinity. It was usual on arriving at the crater to break a branch covered with berries, and turning the face to the pit of fire, to throw half the branch over the precipice, saying, "Pele, here are your ohelos. I offer some to you, some I also eat," after which the natives partook of them freely. Kapiolani gathered and eat them without this formula, after which she and her company of eighty persons descended to the black edge of Hale-mau-mau. There, in full view of the fiery pit, she thus addressed her followers:—"Jehovah is my God. He kindled these fires. I fear not Pele. If I perish by the anger of Pele, then you may fear the power of Pele; but if I trust in Jehovah, and he should save me from the wrath of Pele, when I break through her tabus, then you must fear and serve the Lord Jehovah. All the Gods of Hawaii are vain! Great is Jehovah's goodness in sending teachers to turn us from these vanities to the living God and the way of righteousness!" Then they sang a hymn. I can fancy the strange procession winding its backward way over the cracked, hot, lava sea, the robust belief of the princess hardly sustaining the limping faith of her followers, whose fears would not be laid to rest until they reached the crater's rim without any signs of the pursuit of an avenging deity. It was more sublime than Elijah's appeal on the soft, green slopes of Carmel, but the popular belief in the Goddess of the Volcano survived this flagrant instance of her incapacity, and only died out many years afterwards.

Besides these interesting reminiscences, I have been hearing most thrilling stories from Mrs. Lyman and Mr. Coan of volcanoes, earthquakes, and tidal waves. Told by eye-witnesses, and on the very spot where the incidents occurred, they make a profound, and, I fear, an incommunicable impression. I look on these venerable people as I should on people who had seen the Deluge, or the burial of Pompeii, and wonder that they eat and dress and live like other mortals! For they have felt the perpetual shudder of earthquakes, and their eyes, which look so calm and kind, have seen the inflowing of huge tidal waves, the dull red glow of lava streams, and the leaping of fire cataracts into deep-lying pools, burning them dry in a night time. There were years in which there was no day in which the smoke of underground furnaces was out of their sight, or night which was not lurid with flames. Once they traced a river of lava burrowing its way 1500 feet below the surface, and saw it emerge, break over a precipice, and fall hissing into the ocean. Once from their highest mountain a pillar of fire 200 feet in diameter lifted itself for three weeks 1000 feet into the air, making night day, for a hundred miles round, and leaving as its monument a cone a mile in circumference. We see a clothed and finished earth; they see the building of an island, layer on layer, hill on hill, the naked and deformed product of the melting, forging, and welding, which go on perpetually in the crater of Kilauea.

I could fill many sheets with what I have heard, but must content myself with telling you very little. In 1855 the fourth recorded eruption of Mauna Loa occurred. The lava flowed directly Hilo- wards, and for several months, spreading through the dense forests which belt the mountain, crept slowly shorewards, threatening this beautiful portion of Hawaii with the fate of the Cities of the Plain. Mr. C. made several visits to the eruption, and on each return the simple people asked him how much longer it would last. For five months they watched the inundation, which came a little nearer every day. "Should they fly or not? Would their beautiful homes become a waste of jagged lava and black sand, like the neighbouring district of Puna, once as fair as Hilo?" Such questions suggested themselves as they nightly watched the nearing glare, till the fiery waves met with obstacles which piled them up in hillocks, eight miles from Hilo, and the suspense was over. Only gigantic causes can account for the gigantic phenomena of this lava- flow. The eruption travelled forty miles in a straight line, or sixty, including sinuosities. It was from one to three miles broad, and from five to two hundred feet deep, according to the contours of the mountain slopes over which it flowed. It lasted for thirteen months, pouring out a torrent of lava which covered nearly 300 square miles of land, and whose volume was estimated at thirty-eight thousand millions of cubic feet! In 1859 lava fountains 400 feet in height, and with a nearly equal diameter, played on the summit of Mauna Loa. This eruption ran fifty miles to the sea in eight days, but the flow lasted much longer, and added a new promontory to Hawaii.

These magnificent overflows, however threatening, had done little damage to cultivated regions, and none to human life; and people began to think that the volcano was reformed. But in 1868 terrors occurred which are without precedent in island history. While Mrs. L. was giving me the narrative in her graphic but simple way, and the sweet wind rustled through the palms, and brought the rich scent of the ginger plant into the shaded room, she seemed to be telling me some weird tale of another world. On March 27, five years ago, a series of earthquakes began, and became more startling from day to day, until their succession became so rapid that "the island quivered like the lid of a boiling pot nearly all the time between the heavier shocks. The trembling was like that of a ship struck by a heavy wave." Then the terminal crater of Mauna Loa (Mokuaweoweo) sent up columns of smoke, steam, and red light, and it was shortly seen that the southern slope of its dome had been rent, and that four separate rivers of molten stone were pouring out of as many rents, and were flowing down the mountain sides in diverging lines. Suddenly the rivers were arrested, and the blue mountain dome appeared against the still blue sky without an indication of fire, steam, or smoke. Hilo was much agitated by the sudden lull. No one was deceived into security, for it was certain that the strangely pent-up fires must make themselves felt.

The earthquakes became nearly continuous; scarcely an appreciable interval occurred between them; "the throbbing, jerking, and quivering motions grew more positive, intense, and sharp; they were vertical, rotary, lateral, and undulating," producing nausea, vertigo, and vomiting. Late in the afternoon of a lovely day, April 2, the climax came. "The crust of the earth rose and sank like the sea in a storm." Rocks were rent, mountains fell, buildings and their contents were shattered, trees swayed like reeds, animals were scared, and ran about demented; men thought the judgment had come. The earth opened in thousands of places, the roads in Hilo cracked open, horses and their riders, and people afoot, were thrown violently to the ground; "it seemed as if the rocky ribs of the mountains, and the granite walls and pillars of the earth were breaking up." At Kilauea the shocks were as frequent as the ticking of a watch. In Kau, south of Hilo, they counted 300 shocks on this direful day; and Mrs. L.'s son, who was in that district at the time, says that the earth swayed to and fro, north and south, then east and west, then round and round, up and down, in every imaginable direction, everything crashing about them, "and the trees thrashing as if torn by a strong rushing wind." He and others sat on the ground bracing themselves with hands and feet to avoid being rolled over. They saw an avalanche of red earth, which they supposed to be lava, burst from the mountain side, throwing rocks high into the air, swallowing up houses, trees, men, and animals; and travelling three miles in as many minutes, burying a hamlet, with thirty-one inhabitants and 500 head of cattle. The people of the valleys fled to the mountains, which themselves were splitting in all directions, and collecting on an elevated spot, with the earth reeling under them, they spent the night of April 2 in prayer and singing. Looking towards the shore, they saw it sink, and at the same moment a wave, whose height was estimated at from forty to sixty feet, hurled itself upon the coast, and receded five times, destroying whole villages, and even strong stone houses, with a touch, and engulfing for ever forty-six people who had lingered too near the shore.

Still the earthquakes continued, and still the volcano gave no sign. The nerves of many people gave way in these fearful days. Some tried to get away to Honolulu, others kept horses saddled on which to fly, they knew not whither. The hourly question was, "What of the volcano?" People put their ears to the quivering ground, and heard, or thought they heard, the surgings of the imprisoned lava sea rending its way among the ribs of the earth.

Five days after the destructive earthquake of April 2, the ground south of Hilo burst open with a crash and roar which at once answered all questions concerning the volcano. The molten river, after travelling underground for twenty miles, emerged through a fissure two miles in length with a tremendous force and volume. It was in a pleasant pastoral region, supposed to be at rest for ever, at the top of a grass-covered plateau sprinkled with native and foreign houses, and rich in herds of cattle. Four huge fountains boiled up with terrific fury, throwing crimson lava, and rocks weighing many tons, to a height of from 500 to 1000 feet. Mr. Whitney, of Honolulu, who was near the spot, says:—"From these great fountains to the sea flowed a rapid stream of red lava, rolling, rushing, and tumbling, like a swollen river, bearing along in its current large rocks that made the lava foam as it dashed down the precipice and through the valley into the sea, surging and roaring throughout its length like a cataract, with a power and fury perfectly indescribable. It was nothing else than a RIVER OF FIRE from 200 to 800 feet wide and twenty deep, with a SPEED VARYING FROM TEN TO TWENTY-FIVE MILES AN HOUR!" This same intelligent observer noticed as a peculiarity of the spouting that the lava was ejected by a ROTARY MOTION, and in the air both lava and stones always rotated TOWARDS THE SOUTH. At Kilauea I noticed that the lava was ejected in a southerly direction. From the scene of these fire fountains, whose united length was about a mile, the river in its rush to the sea divided itself into four streams, between which it shut up men and beasts. One stream hurried to the sea in four hours, but the others took two days to travel ten miles. The aggregate width was a mile and a half. Where it entered the sea it extended the coast-line half a mile, but this worthless accession to Hawaiian acreage was dearly purchased by the loss, for ages at least, of 4000 acres of valuable pasture land, and a much larger quantity of magnificent forest. The whole south-east shore of Hawaii sank from four to six feet, which involved the destruction of several hamlets and the beautiful fringe of cocoa-nut trees. Though the region was very thinly peopled, 200 houses and 100 lives were sacrificed in this week of horrors, and from the reeling mountains, the uplifted ocean, and the fiery inundation, the terrified survivors fled into Hilo, each with a tale of woe and loss. The number of shocks of earthquake counted was 2000 in two weeks, an average of 140 a day; but on the other side of the island the number was incalculable. I.L.B.



LETTER XIII.

HILO. HAWAII. February.

The quiet, dreamy, afternoon existence of Hilo is disturbed. Two days ago an official intimation was received that the American Government had placed the U.S. ironclad "Benicia" at the disposal of King Lunalilo for a cruise round Hawaii, and that he would arrive here the following morning with Admiral Pennock and the U.S. generals Scholfield and Alexander.

Now this monarchy is no longer an old-time chieftaincy, made up of calabashes and poi, feather-cloaks, kahilis, and a little fuss, but has a civilized constitutional king, the equal of Queen Victoria, a civil list, etc., and though Lunalilo comes here trying to be a private individual and to rest from Hookupus, state entertainments, and privy councils, he brings with him a royal chamberlain and an adjutant-general in attendance. So the good people of Hilo have been decorating their houses anew with ferns and flowers, furbishing up their clothes, and holding mysterious consultations regarding etiquette and entertainments, just as if royalty were about to drop down in similar fashion on Bude or Tobermory. There were amusing attempts to bring about a practical reconciliation between the free- and-easiness of Republican notions and the respect due to a sovereign who reigns by "the will of the people" as well as by "the grace of God," but eventually the tact of the king made everything go smoothly.

At eight yesterday morning the "Benicia" anchored inside the reef, and Hilo blossomed into a most striking display of bunting; the Hawaiian colours, eight blue, red and white stripes, with the English union in the corner, and the flaunting flag of America being predominant. My heart warmed towards our own flag as the soft breeze lifted its rich folds among the glories of the tropical trees. Indeed, bunting to my mind never looked so well as when floating and fainting among cocoa-nut palms and all the shining greenery of Hilo, in the sunshine of a radiant morning. It was bright and warm, but the cool bulk of Mauna Kea, literally covered with snow, looked down as winter upon summer. Natives galloped in from all quarters, brightly dressed, wreathed, and garlanded, delighted in their hearts at the attention paid to their sovereign by a great foreign power, though they had been very averse to this journey, from a strange but prevalent idea that once on board a U.S. ship the king would be kidnapped and conveyed to America.

Lieut.-Governor Lyman and Mr. Severance, the sheriff, went out to the "Benicia," and the king landed at ten o'clock, being "graciously pleased" to accept the Governor's house as his residence during his visit. The American officers, naval and military, were received by the same loud, hospitable old whaling captain who entertained the Duke of Edinburgh some years ago here, and to judge from the hilarious sounds which came down the road from his house, they had what they would call "a good time." I had seen Lunalilo in state at Honolulu, but it was much more interesting to see him here, and this royalty is interesting in itself, as a thing on sufferance, standing between this helpless nationality and its absorption by America. The king is a very fine-looking man of thirty-eight, tall, well formed, broad-chested, with his head well set on his shoulders, and his feet and hands small. His appearance is decidedly commanding and aristocratic: he is certainly handsome even according to our notions. He has a fine open brow, significant at once of brains and straightforwardness, a straight proportionate nose, and a good mouth. The slight tendency to Polynesian overfulness about his lips is concealed by a well-shaped moustache. He wears whiskers cut in the English fashion. His eyes are large, dark-brown of course, and equally of course, he has a superb set of teeth. Owing to a slight fulness of the lower eyelid, which Queen Emma also has, his eyes have a singularly melancholy expression, very alien, I believe, to his character. He is remarkably gentlemanly looking, and has the grace of movement which seems usual with Hawaiians. When he landed he wore a dark morning suit and a black felt hat.

As soon as he stepped on shore, the natives, who were in crowds on the beach, cheered, yelled, and waved their hats and handkerchiefs, and then a procession was formed, or rather formed itself, to escort him to the governor's house. A rabble of children ran in front, then came the king, over whom the natives had thrown some beautiful garlands of ohia and maile (Alyxia olivaeformis), with the governor on one side and the sheriff on the other, the chamberlain and adjutant-general walking behind. Then a native staggering under the weight of an enormous Hawaiian flag, the Hilo band, with my friend Upa beating the big drum, and an irregular rabble (i.e. unorganised crowd) of men, women, and children, going at a trot to keep up with the king's rapid strides. The crowd was unwilling to disperse even when he entered the house, and he came out and made a short speech, the gist of which was that he was delighted to see his native subjects, and would hold a reception for them on the ensuing Monday, when we shall see a most interesting sight, a native crowd gathered from all Southern Hawaii for a hookupu, an old custom, signifying the bringing of gift-offerings to a king or chief.

In the afternoon Dr. Wetmore and I rode to the beautiful Puna woods on a botanising excursion. We were galloping down to the beach round a sharp corner, when we had to pull our horses almost on their haunches to avoid knocking over the king, the American admiral, the captain of the "Benicia," nine of their officers, and the two generals. When I saw the politely veiled stare of the white men it occurred to me that probably it was the first time that they had seen a white woman riding cavalier fashion! We had a delicious gallop over the sands to the Waiakea river, which we crossed, and came upon one of the vast lava-flows of ages since, over which we had to ride carefully, as the pahoehoe lies in rivers, coils, tortuosities, and holes partially concealed by a luxuriant growth of ferns and convolvuli. The country is thickly sprinkled with cocoa- nuts and bread-fruit trees, which merge into the dense, dark, glorious forest, which tenderly hides out of sight hideous broken lava, on which one cannot venture six feet from the track without the risk of breaking one's limbs. All these tropical forests are absolutely impenetrable, except to axe and billhook, and after a trail has been laboriously opened, it needs to be cut once or twice a year, so rapid is the growth of vegetation. This one, through the Puna woods, only admits of one person at a time. It was really rapturously lovely. Through the trees we saw the soft steel-blue of the summer sky: not a leaf stirred, not a bird sang, a hush had fallen on insect life, the quiet was perfect, even the ring of our horses' hoofs on the lava was a discord. There was a slight coolness in the air and a fresh mossy smell. It only required some suggestion of decay, and the rustle of a fallen leaf now and then, to make it an exact reproduction of a fine day in our English October. The forest was enlivened by many natives bound for Hilo, driving horses loaded with cocoa-nuts, bread-fruit, live fowls, poi and kalo, while others with difficulty urged garlanded pigs in the same direction, all as presents for the king. We brought back some very scarce parasitic ferns.



HILO, February 24.

I rode over by myself to Onomea on Saturday to get a little rest from the excitements of Hilo. A gentleman lent me a strong showy mare to go out on, telling me that she was frisky and must be held while I mounted; but before my feet were fairly in the stirrups, she shook herself from the Chinaman who held her, and danced away. I rode her five miles before she quieted down. She pranced, jumped, danced, and fretted on the edge of precipices, was furious at the scow and fords, and seemed demented with good spirits. Onomea looked glorious, and its serenity was most refreshing. I rode into Hilo the next day in time for morning service, and the mare, after a good gallop, subsided into a staidness of demeanour befitting the day. Just as I was leaving, they asked me to take the news to the sheriff that a man had been killed a few hours before. He was riding into Hilo with a child behind him, and they went over by no means one of the worst of the palis. The man and horse were killed, but the child was unhurt, and his wailing among the deep ferns attracted the attention of passers-by to the disaster. The natives ride over these dangerous palis so carelessly, and on such tired, starved horses, that accidents are not infrequent. Hilo had never looked so lovely to me as in the pure bright calm of this Sunday morning.

The verandahs of all the native houses were crowded with strangers, who had come in to share in the jubilations attending the king's visit. At the risk of emulating "Jenkins," or the "Court Newsman," I must tell you that Lunalilo, who is by no means an habitual churchgoer, attended Mr. Coan's native church in the morning, and the foreign church at night, when the choir sang a very fine anthem. I don't wish to write about his faults, which have doubtless been rumoured in the English papers. It is hoped that his new responsibilities will assist him to conquer them, else I fear he may go the way of several of the Hawaiian kings. He has begun his reign with marked good sense in selecting as his advisers confessedly the best men in his kingdom, and all his public actions since his election have shown both tact and good feeling. If sons, as is often asserted, take their intellects from their mothers, he should be decidedly superior, for his mother, Kekauluohi, a chieftainess of the highest rank, and one of the queens of Kamehameha II., who died in London, was in 1839 chosen for her abilities by Kamehameha III. as his kuhina nui, or premier, an officer recognised under the old system of Hawaiian government as second only in authority to the king, and without whose signature even his act was not legal. As Kaahumanu II. she continued to hold this important position until her death in 1845.

But the present king does not come of the direct line of the Hawaiian kings, but of a far older family. His father is a commoner, but Hawaiian rank is inherited through the mother. He received a good English education at the school which the missionaries established for the sons of chiefs, and was noted as a very bright scholar, with an early developed taste for literature and poetry. His disposition is said to be most amiable and genial, and his affability endeared him especially to his own countrymen, by whom he was called alii lokomaikai, "the kind chief." In spite of his high rank, which gave him precedence of all others on the islands, he was ignored by two previous governments, and often complained that he was never allowed any opportunity of becoming acquainted with public affairs, or of learning whether he possessed any capacity for business. Thus, without experience, but with noble and liberal instincts, and the highest and most patriotic aspirations for the welfare and improvement of his "weak little kingdom," he was unexpectedly called to the throne about three months ago, amidst such an enthusiasm as had never before been witnessed on Hawaii-nei, as the unanimous choice of the people. He called on Mr. Coan the day of his arrival; and when the flute band of Mr. Lyman's school serenaded him, he made the youths a kind address, in which he said he had been taught as they were, and hoped hereafter to profit by the instruction he had received.

This has been a great day in Hilo. The old native custom of hookupu was revived, and it has been a most interesting spectacle. I don't think I ever enjoyed sight-seeing so much. The weather has been splendid, which was most fortunate, for many of the natives came in from distances of from sixty to eighty miles. From early daylight they trooped in on their half broken steeds, and by ten o'clock there were fully a thousand horses tethered on the grass by the sea. Almost every house displayed flags, and the court-house, where the reception was to take place, was most tastefully decorated. It is a very pretty two-storied frame building, with deep double verandahs, and stands on a large lawn of fine manienie grass, {199} with roads on three sides. Long before ten, crowds had gathered outside the low walls of the lawn, natives and foreigners galloped in all directions, boats and canoes enlivened the bay, bands played, and the foreigners, on this occasion rather a disregarded minority, assembled in holiday dress in the upper verandah of the court-house. Hawaiian flags on tall bamboos decorated the little gateways which gave admission to the lawn, an enormous standard on the government flagstaff could be seen for miles, and the stars and stripes waved from the neighbouring plantations and from several houses in Hilo. At ten punctually, Lunalilo, Governor Lyman, the sheriff of Hawaii, the royal chamberlain, and the adjutant-general, walked up to the court-house, and the king took his place, standing in the lower verandah with his suite about him. All the foreigners were either on the upper balcony, or on the stairs leading to it, on which, to get the best possible view of the spectacle, I stood for three mortal hours. The attendant gentlemen were well dressed, but wore "shocking bad hats;" and the king wore a sort of shooting suit, a short brown cut-away coat, an ash-coloured waistcoat and ash- coloured trousers with a blue stripe. He stood bareheaded. He dressed in this style in order that the natives might attend the reception in every-day dress, and not run the risk of spoiling their best clothes by Hilo torrents. The dress of the king and his attendants was almost concealed by wreaths of ohia blossoms and festoons of maile, some of them two yards long, which had been thrown over them, and which bestowed a fantastic glamour on the otherwise prosaic inelegance of their European dress. But indeed the spectacle, as a whole, was altogether poetical, as it was an ebullition of natural, national, human feeling, in which the heart had the first place. I very soon ceased to notice the incongruous elements, which were supplied chiefly by the Americans present. There were Republicans by birth and nature, destitute of traditions of loyalty or reverence for aught on earth; who bore on their faces not only republicanism, but that quintessence of puritan republicanism which hails from New England; and these were subjects of a foreign king, nay, several of them office-holders who had taken the oath of allegiance, and from whose lips "His Majesty, Your Majesty," flowed far more copiously than from ours which are "to the manner born."

On the king's appearance, the cheering was tremendous,—regular British cheering, well led, succeeded by that which is not British, "three cheers and a tiger," but it was "Hi, hi, hi, hullah!" Every hat was off, every handkerchief in air, tears in many eyes, enthusiasm universal, for the people were come to welcome the king of their choice; the prospective restorer of the Constitution "trampled upon" by Kamehameha V., "the kind chief," who was making them welcome to his presence after the fashion of their old feudal lords. When the cheering had subsided, the eighty boys of Missionary Lyman's School, who, dressed in white linen with crimson leis, were grouped in a hollow square round the flagstaff, sang the Hawaiian national anthem, the music of which is the same as ours. More cheering and enthusiasm, and then the natives came through the gate across the lawn, and up to the verandah where the king stood, in one continuous procession, till 2400 Hawaiians had enjoyed one moment of infinite and ever to be remembered satisfaction in the royal presence. Every now and then the white, pale-eyed, unpicturesque face of a foreigner passed by, but these were few, and the foreign school children were received by themselves after Mr. Lyman's boys. The Americans have introduced the villanous custom of shaking hands at these receptions, borrowing it, I suppose, from a presidential reception at Washington; and after the king had gone through this ceremony with each native, the present was deposited in front of the verandah, and the gratified giver took his place on the grass. Not a man, woman, or child came empty handed. Every face beamed with pride, wonder, and complacency, for here was a sovereign for whom cannon roared, and yards were manned, of their own colour, who called them his brethren.

The variety of costume was infinite. All the women wore the native dress, the sack or holuku, many of which were black, blue, green, or bright rose colour, some were bright yellow, a few were pure white, and others were a mixture of orange and scarlet. Some wore very pretty hats made from cane-tops, and trimmed with hibiscus blossoms or passion-flowers; others wore bright-coloured handkerchiefs, knotted lightly round their flowing hair, or wreaths of the Microlepia tenuifolia. Many had tied bandanas in a graceful knot over the left shoulder. All wore two, three, four, or even six beautiful leis, besides long festoons of the fragrant maile. Leis of the crimson ohia blossoms were universal; but besides these there were leis of small red and white double roses, pohas, {203} yellow amaranth, sugar cane tassels like frosted silver, the orange pandanus, the delicious gardenia, and a very few of orange blossoms, and the great granadilla or passion-flower. Few if any of the women wore shoes, and none of the children had anything on their heads.

A string of 200 Chinamen passed by, "plantation hands," with boyish faces, and cunning, almond-shaped eyes. They were dressed in loose blue denim trousers with shirts of the same, fastening at the side over them, their front hair closely shaven, and the rest gathered into pigtails, which were wound several times round their heads. These all deposited money in the adjutant-general's hand. The dress of the Hawaiian men was more varied and singular than that of the women, every kind of dress and undress, with leis of ohia and garlands of maile covering all deficiencies. The poor things came up with pathetic innocence, many of them with nothing on but an old shirt, and cotton trousers rolled up to the knees. Some had red shirts and blue trousers, others considered that a shirt was an effective outer garment. Some wore highly ornamental, dandified shirts, and trousers tucked into high, rusty, mud-covered boots. A few young men were in white straw hats, white shirts, and white trousers, with crimson leis round their hats and throats. Some had diggers' scarves round their waists; but the most effective costume was sported by a few old men, who had tied crash towels over their shoulders.

It was often amusing and pathetic at once to see them come up. Obviously, when the critical moment arrived, they were as anxious to do the right thing as a debutante is to back her train successfully out of the royal presence at St. James's. Some were so agitated at last as to require much coaching from the governor as to how to present their gifts and shake hands. Some half dropped down on their knees, others passionately and with tears kissed the king's hand, or grasped it convulsively in both their own; while a few were so embarrassed by the presents they were carrying that they had no hands at all to shake, and the sovereign good-naturedly clapped them on the shoulders. Some of them, in shaking hands, adroitly slipped coins into the king's palm, so as to make sure that he received their loving tribute. There had been a hui, or native meeting, which had passed resolutions, afterwards presented to Lunalilo, setting forth that whereas he received a great deal of money in revenue from the haoles, they, his native people, would feel that he did not love them if he would not receive from their own hands contributions in silver for his support. So, in order not to wound their feelings, he accepted these rather troublesome cash donations.

One woman, sorely afflicted with quaking palsy, dragged herself slowly along. One hand hung by her side helpless, and the other grasped a live fowl so tightly that she could not loosen it to shake hands, whereupon the king raised the helpless arm, which called forth much cheering. There was one poor cripple who had only the use of his arms. His knees were doubled under him, and he trailed his body along the ground. He had dragged himself two miles "to lie for a moment at the king's feet," and even his poor arms carried a gift. He looked hardly like a human shape, as his desire was realised; and, I doubt not, would have been content then and there to die. There were ancient men, tattooed all over, who had passed their first youth when the idols were cast away, and who remembered the old days of tyranny when it was an offence, punishable with death, for a man to let his shadow fall on the king; and when none of "the swinish multitude" had any rights which they could sustain against their chiefs. These came up bewildered, trembling, almost falling on their knees, hardly daring to raise their eyes to the king's kind, encouraging face, and bathed his hand with tears while they kissed it. Numbers of little children were led up by their parents; there were babies in arms, and younglings carried on parents' backs, and the king stooped and shook hands with all, and even pulled out the babies' hands from under their mufflings, and the old people wept, and cheers rent the air.

Next in interest to this procession of beaming faces, and the blaze of colour, was the sight of the presents, and the ungrudging generosity with which they were brought. Many of the women presented live fowls tied by the legs, which were deposited, one upon another, till they formed a fainting, palpitating heap under the hot sun. Some of the men brought decorated hogs tied by one leg, which squealed so persistently in the presence of royalty, that they were removed to the rear. Hundreds carried nets of sweet potatoes, eggs, and kalo, artistically arranged. Men staggered along in couples with bamboos between them, supporting clusters of bananas weighing nearly a hundredweight. Others brought yams, cocoa-nuts, oranges, onions, pumpkins, early pineapples, and even the great delicious granadilla, the fruit of the large passion- flower. A few maidens presented the king with bouquets of choice flowers, and costly leis of the yellow feathers of the Melithreptes Pacifica. There were fully two tons of kalo and sweet potatoes in front of the court house, hundreds of fowls, and piles of bananas, eggs, and cocoa-nuts. The hookupu was a beautiful sight, all the more so that not one of that radiant, loving, gift-offering throng came in quest of office, or for any other thing that he could obtain. It was just the old-time spirit of reverence for the man who typifies rule, blended with the extreme of personal devotion to the prince whom a united people had placed upon the throne. The feeling was genuine and pathetic in its intensity. It is said that the natives like their king better, because he was truly, "above all," the last of a proud and imperious house, which, in virtue of a pedigree of centuries, looked down upon the nobility of the Kamehamehas.

When the last gift was deposited, the lawn in front of the court- house was one densely-packed, variegated mass of excited, buzzing Hawaiians. While the king was taking a short rest, two ancient and hideous females, who looked like heathen priestesses, chanted a monotonous and heathenish-sounding chant or mele, in eulogy of some ancient idolater. It just served to remind me that this attractive crowd was but one generation removed from slaughter-loving gods and human sacrifices.

The king and his suite re-appeared in the upper balcony, where all the foreigners were assembled, including the two venerable missionaries and a French priest of benign aspect, and his appearance was the signal for a fresh outburst of enthusiasm. Advancing to the front, he made an extemporaneous speech, of which the following is a literal translation:—

"To all present I tender my warmest aloha. This day, on which you are gathered to pay your respects to me, I will remember to the day of my death. (Cheers.) I am filled with love for you all, fellow- citizens (makaainana), who have come here on this occasion, and for all the people, because by your unanimous choice I have been made your King, a young sovereign, to reign over you, and to fill the very distinguished office which I now occupy. (Cheers.) You are parents to me, and I will be your Father. (Tremendous cheering.) Formerly, in the days of our departed ancestors, you were not permitted to approach them; they and you were kept apart; but now we meet and associate together. (Cheers.) I urge you all to persevere in the right, to forsake the ignorant ways of the olden time. There is but one God, whom it is our duty to obey. Let us forsake every kind of idolatry.

"In the year 1820 Rev. Messrs. Bingham, Thurston, and others came to these Islands and proclaimed the Word of God. It is their teachings which have enabled you to be what you are to-day. Now they have all gone to that spirit land, and only Mrs. Thurston remains. We are greatly indebted to them. (Cheers.) There are also among us here (alluding to Revs. Coan and Lyman) old and grey-haired fathers, whose examples we should endeavour to imitate, and obey their teachings.

"I am very glad to see the young men of the present time so well instructed in knowledge—perhaps some of them are your children. You must persevere in your search of wisdom and in habits of morality. Do not be indolent. (Cheers.) Those who have striven hard after knowledge and good character, are the ones who deserve and shall receive places of trust hereafter under the government.

"At the present time I have four foreigners as my ministerial advisers. But if, among these young men now standing before me, and under this flag, there are any who shall qualify themselves to fill these positions, then I will select them to fill their places. (Loud cheers.) Aloha to you all."

His manner as a speaker was extremely good, with sufficient gesticulation for the emphasis of particular points. The address was frequently interrupted by applause, and when at its conclusion he bowed gracefully to the crowd and said, "My aloha to you all," the cheering and enthusiasm were absolutely unbounded. And so the great hookupu ended, and the assemblage broke up into knots to discuss the royal speech and the day's doings. I.L.B.



LETTER XIV.

HILO. HAWAII.

The king "signified his intention to honour Mr. and Mrs. Severance with his company" on the evening of the day after the reception, and this involved a regular party and supper. You can hardly imagine the difficulties connected with "refreshments," where few, if any, of the materials which we consider necessary for dishes suitable for such occasions can be procured at the stores, and even milk and butter are scarce commodities. I had won a reputation as a cook by making a much appreciated Bengal curry, and an English "roly-poly" pudding, and when I offered my services, Mrs. S. kindly accepted them, and she and I, with the Chinese cook and a Chinese prisoner to assist us, have been cooking for a day and a half. I wanted to make a gigantic trifle, a dish not known here, and we hunted every store, hoping to find almonds and raspberry jam among the "assorted notions," but in vain; however, grated cocoa-nut supplied the place of the first, and a kind friend sent a pot of the last. The Chinamen were very diverting. The cook looked on, and laughed constantly, and perhaps was a little jealous: at all events when he thought we had spoilt some cakes in the oven, he capered into Mrs. S.'s room, gesticulating, and exclaiming satirically, "Lu, Lu! cakes so good, cakes so fine!" No intoxicants were to be used on the occasion, Hilo notions being rigid on this subject; but I hope it was not a crime that I clandestinely used two glasses of sherry, without which my trifle would have been a failure. We worked hard, and made trifle, sponge cake, pound cake, spiced cake, dozens of cocoa-nut cakes and drops; custards, and sandwiches of potted meat, and enjoyed our preparations so much that we found it hard to exchange kitchen for social duties, and go to "Father Lyman," who entertained the king and a number of Hilo folk in the evening.

Their rooms, not very large, were quite full. When the king entered, the company received him standing, and the flute band in the verandah played the national anthem, and afterwards at intervals during the evening sang some Hawaiian songs of the king's composition. I was presented to him, and as he is very courteous to strangers, he talked to me a good deal. He is a very gentlemanly, courteous, unassuming man, hardly assuming enough in fact, and apparently very intelligent and well read. I was exceedingly pleased with him. He spoke a good deal of Queen Emma's reception in England, and of her raptures with Venice, and some other cities of the continent. He said he had the greatest desire to visit some parts of Europe, Great Britain specially, because he thought that by coming in contact with some of our leading statesmen, he might gain a more accurate knowledge than he possessed of the principles of constitutional government. He said he hoped that in two years Hawaii-nei would be so settled as to allow of his travelling, and that in the meantime he was studying French with a view to enjoying the continent.

He asked a great many questions regarding things at home, especially concerning the limitation of the power of the Crown. He cannot reconcile the theoretical right of the sovereign to choose his advisers with his practically submitting to receive them from a Parliamentary majority. He seemed to find a difficulty in understanding that the sovereign's right to refuse his assent to a Bill which had passed both Houses was by no means the same thing in practice as the possession of a veto. He said that in his reading of our constitutional history, the power of the sovereign seemed almost absolute, while if he understood facts rightly, the throne was more of an "ornament," or "figure-head," than a power at all. He asked me if it was true that Republican feeling was spreading very much in England, and if I thought that the monarchy would survive the present sovereign, on whose prudence and exalted virtues he seemed to think it rested. He said he thought his little kingdom had aped the style of the great monarchies too much, and that he should like to abolish a good many high sounding titles, sinecure offices, the household troops, and some of the "imitation pomp" of his court. He said he had never enjoyed anything so much since his accession as the hookupu of the morning, and asked me what I thought of it. I was glad to be able to answer truthfully that I had never seen a state pageant or ceremonial that I had enjoyed half so much, or that had impressed me so favourably. He has a very musical voice, and a natural nobility and refinement of manner, with an obvious tact and good feeling, rather, I should think, the result of amiable and gentlemanly instincts than of training or consideration, all which combine to make him interesting, altogether apart from his position as a Polynesian sovereign.

Where there are no servants, a party involves the hosts and their friends in the bustle of personal preparation, but all worked with a will, and by sunset the decorations were completed. All the Chinese lamps in Hilo were hung in the front verandah, and seats were placed in the front and side verandahs, on which the drawing-room opens by four doors, so there was plenty of room, though there were thirty people. The side verandah was enclosed by a drapery of flags, and the whole was tastefully decorated with festoons and wreaths of ferns. The king arrived early with his attendants, and was received by the host and hostess, and like a perfectly civilized guest, he handed Mrs. S. into the room. The great wish of the genial entertainers was to prevent stiffness and give the king a really social evening, so the "chair game," magical music, and a refined kind of blind man's buff, better suited to the occasion, but less "jolly" than the old riotous game, were shortly introduced. Lunalilo only looked on at first, and then entered into the games with a heartiness and zest which showed that he at least enjoyed the evening. Supper was served at nine. Several nests of Japanese tables had been borrowed, and these, dispersed about the room and verandah, broke up the guests into little social knots. Three Hilo ladies and I were the waitresses, and I was pleased to see that the good things were thoroughly appreciated, and that the trifle was universally popular. After supper there was a little dancing, and as few of the Hilo people knew any dance correctly, it was very amusing for the onlookers. There was a great deal of promenading in the verandah, and a great deal of talking and merriment, which were enjoyed by a crowd of natives who stood the whole evening outside the garden fence. I don't think that any of the Hilo people are so unhappy as to possess an evening dress, and the pretty morning dresses of the ladies, and the thick boots, easy morning coats, and black ties of the gentlemen, gave a jolly "break-down" look to the affair, which would have been deemed inadmissible in less civilized society.

Some of my photographs of some of our eminent literary and scientific men were lying on the table, and the king in looking at them showed a surprising amount of knowledge of what they had written or done, quite entitling him to unite in Stanley's "Communion of Educated Men." I had previously asked him for his signature for my autograph collection, and he said he had composed a stanza for me which he thought I might like to have in addition. He called with it on the following afternoon, apologising for his dress, a short jacket and blue trowsers, stuffed into boots plastered with mud up to the knees. I was surprised when he asked me if the lines were correctly spelt, for he speaks English remarkably well. They are simply a kind wish, unaffectedly expressed.

HILO. HAWAII, Feb. 26.

"Wheresoe'er thou may'st roam, Wheresoe'er thou mak'st thy home, May God thy footsteps guide, Watch o'er thee and provide. This is my earnest prayer for thee, Welcome, stranger, from over the sea." LUNALILO R.

It startles one sometimes to hear American vulgarisms uttered in his harmonious tones. The American admiral and generals had just arrived from the volcano, stiff, sore, bruised, jaded, "done," and the king said, "I guess the Admiral's about used up." He is really remarkably attractive, but I am sorry to observe a look of irresolution about his mouth, indicative of a facility of disposition capable of being turned to the worst account. I think from what I have heard that the Hawaiian kings have fallen victims rather to unscrupulous foreigners, than to their own bad instincts.

My last day has been taken up with farewell visits, and I finish this on board the "Kilauea." Miss Karpe and I had to ride two miles, to a point at which it was possible to embark without risk, a heavy surf having for three weeks rendered it impossible for loaded boats to communicate with the shore at Hilo. My clothes were soaked when we reached the rocks, and Upa, very wet, carried us into a wet whale-boat, with water up to our ancles, which brought us over a heavy sickening swell into this steamer, which is dirty as well as wet. I told Upa to lead my mare, and ride his own horse, but the last I saw of him was on the mare's back, racing a troop of natives along the beach. {215} I.L.B.



LETTER XV.

WAIMEA. HAWAII.

There is no limit to the oddities of the steam-ship "Kilauea." She lay rolling on the Hilo swell for two hours, and two hours after we sailed her machinery broke down, and we lay-to for five hours, in what they here call a heavy gale and sea. It was a miserable night. No privacy: the saloon both hot and wet, almost every one sick. I lay in my berth in my soaked clothes watching the proceedings of a gigantic cockroach, and listening, not without amusement, to the awful groans of a Chinaman, and a "rough customer" from California, who occupied the next berths.

In the middle of the night the water came in great dashes through the skylight upon the table, and soon the saloon was afloat to the depth of from four to six inches. When the "Kilauea" rolled, and the water splashed in simultaneously, we were treated to vigorous "douches" in our berths, which soon saturated the pillows, mattresses, and our clothing. One sea put out the lamp, and a ship's lantern, making "darkness visible," was swung in its stead. In an English ship there would have been a great fuss and a great flying about of stewards, or pretence of mending matters, but when the passengers shouted for our good steward, the serene creature came in with a melancholy smile on his face, said nothing, but quietly sat down on the transom, with his bare feet in the water, contemplating it with a comic air of helplessness. Breakfast, of course, could not be served, but a plate was put at one end of the table for the silent old Scotch captain, who tucked up his feet and sat with his oilskins and sou'-wester on, while the charming steward, with trousers rolled up to his knees, waded about, pacifying us by bringing us excellent curry as we sat on the edges of our berths, and putting on a sweetly apologetic manner, as if penitent for the gross misbehaviour of the ship. Such a man would reconcile me to far greater discomfort than that of the "Kilauea." I wonder if he is ever unamiable, or tired, or perturbed?

The next day was fine, and we were all much on deck to dry our clothes in the sun. The southern and leeward coasts of Hawaii as far as Kawaaloa are not much more attractive than coal-fields. Contrasted with the shining shores of Hilo, they are as dust and ashes; long reaches of black lava and miles of clinkers marking the courses of lava-flows, whose black desolation and deformity nature, as yet, has done almost nothing to clothe. Cocoa-nut trees usually, however, fringe the shore, but were it not for the wonderful colour of the ocean, like liquid transparent turquoise, revealing the coral forests shelving down into purple depths, and the exciting proximity of sharks, it would have been wearisome. After leaving the bay where Captain Cook met his death, we passed through a fleet of twenty-seven canoes, each one hollowed out of the trunk of a single tree, from fifteen to twenty-five feet long, about twenty inches deep, hardly wide enough for a fat man, and high and pointed at both ends. On one side there is an outrigger formed of two long bent sticks, to the outer ends of which is bound a curved beam of light wood, which skims along the surface of the water, rendering the canoe secure from an upset on that side, while the weight of the outrigger makes an upset on the other very unlikely. In calms they are paddled, and shoot over the water with great rapidity, but whenever there is any breeze a small sprit-sail is used. They are said to be able to stand very rough water, but they are singularly precarious and irresponsible looking contrivances, and for these, as well as for all other seas, I should much prefer a staunch whale- boat. We sailed for some hours along a lava coast, streamless, rainless, verdureless, blazing under the fierce light of a tropical sun, and some time after noon anchored in the scorching bay of Kawaihae.

A foreign store, a number of native houses, a great heiau, or heathen temple on a height, a fringe of cocoa-nut palms, and a background of blazing hills, flaring with varieties of red, hardly toned down by any attempt at vegetation, a crystalline atmosphere palpitating with heat, deep, rippleless, clear water, with coral groves below, and a view of the three great Hawaiian mountains, are the salient features of this outlet of Hawaiian commerce. But ah! how soft and mild and blue the sky was, looking inland, where, for the first time, I saw far aloft, above solid masses of white cloud, sky hung, strangely uplifted, the great volcanic domes of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai, looking as if they had all passed into an endless repose.

This bay, which affords excellent holding ground, and is screened by highlands from the sudden and violent gusts of wind, called "mumuku," which sweep down between the mountains with almost irresistible fury, used to be a great place of call for whalers, who purchased large quantities of "recruits" here; yams in the earlier days, and more lately Irish potatoes, which flourish in the thirsty soil. But whaling in the North Pacific seems to be nearly "played out," and the arrival of a whaler is not a common occurrence.

Shortly before we arrived I found that the sailing of the San Francisco steamer is put off for a week, so I took advantage of a kind invitation I received some time ago to visit Waimea, and go from thence to Waimanu, a wonderful valley beyond Waipio, very little visited by foreigners. A gentleman and lady rode up here with me, and I got a horse on the beach with a native bullock saddle on him, an uncouth contrivance of wood not covered with hide, and a strong lassoing horn. The great wooden stirrups could not be shortened, but I soon found myself able, in true savage fashion, to gallop up and down hill without any.

The chief object of interest on this ride is the great heiau, which stands on a bare steep hill above the sea, not easy of access. It was the last heathen temple built on Hawaii. On entering the huge pile, which stood gaunt and desolate in the thin red air, the story of the old bloody heathenism of the islands flashed upon my memory. The entrance is by a narrow passage between two high walls, and it was by this that the sacrificing priests dragged the human victims into the presence of Tairi, a hideous wooden idol, crowned with a helmet, and covered with red feathers, the favourite war-god of Kamehameha the Great, by whom this temple was built, before he proceeded to the conquest of Oahu.

The shape is an irregular parallelogram, 224 feet long, and 100 wide. At each end, and on the mauka side, the walls, which are very solid and compact, though built of lava stones without mortar, are twenty feet high, and twelve feet wide at the bottom, but narrow gradually towards the top, where they are finished with a course of smooth stones six feet broad. On the sea side, the wall, which has been partly thrown down, was not more than six or seven feet high, and there were paved platforms for the accommodation of the alii, or chiefs, and the people in their orders. The upper terrace is spacious, and paved with flat smooth stones which were brought from a considerable distance, the greater part of the population of the island having been employed on the building. At the south end there was an inner court, where the principal idol stood, surrounded by a number of inferior deities, for the Hawaiians had "gods many, and lords many." Here also was the anu, a lofty frame of wickerwork, shaped like an obelisk, hollow, and five feet square at its base. Within this, the priest, who was the oracle of the god, stood, and of him the king used to inquire concerning war or peace, or any affair of national importance. It appears that the tones of the oracular voice were more distinct than the meaning of the utterances. However, the supposed answers were generally acted upon.

On the outside of this inner court was the lele, or altar, on which human and other sacrifices were offered. On the day of the dedication of the temple to Tairi, vast offerings of fruit, dogs, and hogs were presented, and eleven human beings were immolated on the altar. These victims were taken from among captives, or those who had broken Tabu, or had rendered themselves obnoxious to the chiefs, and were often blind, maimed, or crippled persons. Sometimes they were dispatched at a distance with a stone or club, and their bodies were dragged along the narrow passage up which I walked shuddering; but oftener they were bound and taken alive into the heiau to be slain in the outer court. The priests, in slaying these sacrifices, were careful to mangle the bodies as little as possible. From two to twenty were offered at once. They were laid in a row with their faces downwards on the altar before the idol, to whom they were presented in a kind of prayer by the priest, and, if offerings of hogs were presented at the same time, these were piled upon them, and the whole mass was left to putrify.

The only dwellings within the heiau were those of the priests, and the "sacred house" of the king, in which he resided during the seasons of strict Tabu. A doleful place this heiau is, haunted not only by the memories of almost unimaginable terrors, but by the sore thought that generations of Hawaiians lived and died in the unutterable darkness of this ignorant worship, passing in long procession from these grim rites into the presence of the Father whose infinite compassions they had never known.

Every hundred feet of ascent from the rainless, fervid beach of Kawaihae increased the freshness of the temperature, and rendered exercise more delightful. From the fringe of palms along the coast to the damp hills north of Waimea, a distance of ten miles, there is not a tree or stream, though the scorched earth is deeply scored by the rush of fierce temporary torrents. Hitherto, I have only travelled over the green coast which faces the trade winds, where clouds gather and shed their rains, and this desert, which occupies a great part of leeward Hawaii, displeases me. It lies burning in the fierce splendours of a zone, which, until now, I had forgotten was the torrid zone, unwatered and unfruitful, red and desolate under the sun. The island is here only twenty-two miles wide, and strong winds sweep across it, whirling up its surface in great brown clouds, so that the uplands in part appear a smoking plain, backed by naked volcanic cones. No water, no grass, no ferns. Some thornless thistles, a little brush of sapless-looking indigo, and some species of compositae struggle for a doleful existence. There is nothing tropical about it but the intense heat. The red soil becomes suffused with a green tinge ten miles from the beach, and at the summit of the ascent the desert blends with this beautiful Waimea plain, one of the most marked features of Hawaii. The air became damp and cool; miles of fine smooth green grass stretched out before us; high hills, broken, pinnacled, wooded, and cleft with deep ravines, rose on our left; we heard the clash and music of falling water: to the north it was like the Munster Thal, to the south altogether volcanic. The tropics had vanished. There were frame houses sheltered from the winds by artificial screens of mulberry trees, and from the incursions of cattle by rough walls of lava stones five feet high; a mission and court house, a native church, much too large for the shrunken population, and other indications of an inhabited region. Except for the woods which clothe the hills, the characteristic of the scenery is baldness.

On clambering over the wall which surrounds my host's kraal of dwellings, I heard in the dusk strange sweet voices crying rudely and emphatically, "Who are you? What do you want?" and was relieved to find that the somewhat inhospitable interrogation only proceeded from two Australian magpies. Mr. S—- is a Tasmanian, married to a young half-white lady: and her native mother and seven or eight dark girls are here, besides a number of natives and Chinese, and half Chinese, who are employed about the place. Sheep are the source of my host's wealth. He has 25,000 at three stations on Mauna Kea, and, at an altitude of 6000 feet they flourish, and are free from some of the maladies to which they are liable elsewhere. Though there are only three or four sheep owners on the islands, they exported 288,526 lbs. of wool last year. {223} Mr. S—- has also 1000 head of cattle and 50 horses.

The industry of Waimea is cattle raising, and some feeble attempts are being made to improve the degenerate island breed by the importation of a few short-horn cows from New Zealand. These plains afford magnificent pasturage as well as galloping ground. They are a very great thoroughfare. The island, which is an equilateral triangle, about 300 miles in "circuit," can only be crossed here. Elsewhere, an impenetrable forest belt, and an impassable volcanic wilderness, compel travellers to take the burning track of adamant which snakes round the southern coast, when they are minded to go from one side of Hawaii to the other. Waimea also has the singular distinction of a road from the beach, which is traversed on great occasions by two or three oxen and mule teams, and very rarely by a more ambitious conveyance. There are few hours of day or night in which the tremulous thud of shoeless horses galloping on grass is not heard in Waimea.

The altitude of this great table-land is 2500 feet, and the air is never too hot, the temperature averaging 64 degrees Fahrenheit. There is mist or rain on most days of the year for a short time, and the mornings and evenings are clear and cool. The long sweeping curves of the three great Hawaiian mountains spring from this level. The huge bulk of Mauna Kea without shoulders or spurs, rises directly from the Waimea level on the south to the altitude of 14,000 feet, and his base is thickly clustered with tufa-cones of a bright red colour, from 300 to 1000 feet in height. Considerably further back, indeed forty miles away, the smooth dome of Mauna Loa appears very serene now, but only thirteen years ago the light was so brilliant, from one of its tremendous eruptions, that here it was possible to read a newspaper by it, and during its height candles were unnecessary in the evenings! Nearer the coast, and about thirty miles from here, is the less conspicuous dome of the dead volcano of Hualalai. If all Hawaii, south of Waimea, were submerged to a depth of 8000 feet, three nearly equi-distant, dome-shaped volcanic islands would remain, the highest of which would have an altitude of 6000 feet. To the south of these plains violent volcanic action is everywhere apparent, not only in tufa cones, but in tracts of ashes, scoriae, and volcanic sand. Near the centre there are some very curious caves, possibly "lava bubbles," which were used by the natives as places of sepulture. The Kohala hills, picturesque, wooded, and abrupt, bound Waimea on the north, with their exquisite grassy slopes, and bring down an abundance of water to the plain, but owing to the lightness of the soil and the evaporation produced by the tremendous winds, the moisture disappears within two miles of the hills, and an area of rich soil, ten miles by twelve, which, if irrigated, would be invaluable, is nothing but a worthless dusty desert, perpetually encroaching on the grass. As soon as the plains slope towards the east, the vegetation of the tropics reappears, and the face of the country is densely covered with a swampy and impenetrable bush hardly at all explored, which shades the sources of the streams which fall into the Waipio and Waimanu Valleys, and is supposed to contain water enough to irrigate the Saharas of leeward Hawaii.

The climate of the plain is most invigorating. If there were waggon roads and obtainable comforts, Waimea, with its cool equable temperature, might become the great health resort of invalids from the Pacific coast. But Hawaii is not a place for the sick or old; for, if people cannot ride on horseback, they can have neither society nor change. Mr. Lyons, one of the most famous of the early missionaries, still clings to this place, where he has worked for forty years. He is an Hawaiian poet; and, besides translating some of our best hymns, has composed enough to make up the greater part of a bulky volume, which is said to be of great merit. He says that the language lends itself very readily to rhythmical expression. He was indefatigable in his youth, and was four times let down the pali by ropes to preach in the Waimanu Valley. Neither he nor his wife can mount a horse now, and it is very dreary for them, as the population has receded and dwindled from about them. Their house is made lively, however, by some bright little native girls, who board with them, and receive an English and industrial education.

The moral atmosphere of Waimea has never been a wholesome one. The region was very early settled by a class of what may be truly termed "mean whites," the "beach-combers" and riff-raff of the Pacific. They lived infamous lives, and added their own to the indigenous vices of the islands, turning the district into a perfect sink of iniquity, in which they were known by such befitting aliases as "Jake the Devil," etc. The coming of the missionaries, and the settlement of moral, orderly whites on Hawaii, have slowly created a public opinion averse to flagrant immorality, and the outrageous license of former years would now meet with legal penalties. Many of the old settlers are dead, and others have drifted to regions beyond restraining influences, but still "the Waimea crowd" is not considered up to the mark. Most of the present set of foreigners are Englishmen who have married native women. It was in such quarters as this that the great antagonistic influence to the complete Christianization of the natives was created, and it is from such suspicious sources that the aspersions on missionary work are usually derived.

Waimea has its own beauty—the grand breezy plain, the gigantic sweep of the mountain curves, the incessant changes of colour, and the morning view of Mauna Kea, with the pure snow on its ragged dome, rose-flushed in the early sunlight. I don't agree with Disraeli that "happiness is atmosphere;" yet constant sunshine, and a climate which never threatens one with discomfort or ills, certainly conduce to equable cheerfulness.

I am quite interested with a native lady here, the first I have met with who has been able to express her ideas in English. She is extremely shrewd and intelligent, very satirical, and a great mimic. She very cleverly burlesques the way in which white people express their admiration of scenery, and, in fact, ridicules admiration of scenery for itself. She evidently thinks us a sour, morose, worrying, forlorn race. "We," she said, "are always happy; we never grieve long about anything; when any one dies we break our hearts for some days, and then we are happy again. We are happy all day long, not like white people, happy one moment, gloomy another: we've no cares, the days are too short. What are haoles always unhappy about?" Perhaps she expresses the general feeling of her careless, pleasure-loving, mirth-loving people, who, whatever commands they disobey, fulfil the one, "Take no thought for the morrow." The fabrication of the beautiful quilts I before wrote of is a favourite occupation of native women, and they make all their own and their husbands' clothes; but making leis, going into the woods to collect materials for them, talking, riding, bathing, visiting, and otherwise amusing themselves, take up the greater part of their time. Perhaps if we white women always wore holukus of one shape, we should have fewer gloomy moments! I.L.B.



LETTER XVI.

WAIMANU VALLEY. HAWAII.

I am sitting at the door of a grass lodge, at the end of all things, for no one can pass further by land than this huge lonely cleft. About thirty natives are sitting about me, all staring, laughing, and chattering, and I am the only white person in the region. We have all had a meal, sitting round a large calabash of poi and a fowl, which was killed in my honour, and roasted in one of their stone ovens. I have forgotten my knife, and have had to help myself after the primitive fashion of aborigines, not without some fear, for some of them I am sure are in an advanced stage of leprosy. The brown tattooed limbs of one man are stretched across the mat, the others are sitting cross-legged, making lauhala leis. One man is making fishing-lines of a beautifully white and marvellously tenacious fibre, obtained from an Hawaiian "flax" plant (possibly Urtica argentea), very different from the New Zealand Phormium tenax. Nearly all the people of the valley are outside, having come to see the wahine haole: only one white woman, and she a resident of Hawaii, having been seen in Waimanu before. I am really alone, miles of mountain and gulch lie between me and the nearest whites. This is a wonderful place: a ravine about three miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide, without an obvious means of ingress, being walled in by precipices from 2000 to 4000 feet high. Five cascades dive from the palis at its head, and unite to form a placid river about up to a horse's body here, and deep enough for a horse to swim in a little below. Dense forests of various shades of green fill up the greater part of the valley, concealing the basins into which the cascades leap, and the grey basalt of the palis is mostly hidden by greenery. At the open end, two bald bluffs, one of them 2000 feet in height, confront the Pacific, and its loud booming surf comes up to within one hundred yards of the house where I am writing, but is banked off by a heaped-up barrier of colossal shingle.

Hot and silent, a sunset world of an endless afternoon, it seems a palpable and living dream. And a few of these people, I understand, have dreamed away their lives here, never having been beyond their valley, at least by land. But it is a dream of ceaseless speech and rippling laughter. They are the merriest people I have yet seen, and doubtless their isolated life is dear to them.

I wish I could sketch this most picturesque scene. In the verandah, which is formed of mats, two handsome youths, and five women in green, red, and orange chemises, all with leis of ferns round their hair, are reclining on the ground. Outside of this there is a pavement of large lava stones, and groups in all colours, wreathed and garlanded, including some much disfigured old people, crouching in red and yellow blankets, are sitting and lying there. Some are fondling small dogs; and a number of large ones, with a whole tribe of amicable cats, are picking bones. Surf-boards, paddles, saddles, lassos, spurs, gear, and bundles of ti leaves are lying about. Thirteen horses are tethered outside, some of which brought the riders who escorted me triumphantly from the head of the valley. The foreheads of the precipices opposite are reddening in the sunset, and between them and me horses and children are constantly swimming across the broad, still stream which divides the village into two parts; and now and then a man in a malo, and children who have come up the river swimming, with their clothes in one hand, increase the assemblage.

All are intently watching me, but are as kind and good-natured as possible; and my guide from Waipio is discoursing to them about me. He knows a little abrupt, disjointed, almost unintelligible English, and comes up every now and then with an interrogation in his manner, "Father? mother? married? watch? How came?" "You" appears beyond his efforts. "Kilauea? Lunalilo?" Then he goes back and orates rapidly, gesticulating emphatically. A very handsome, pleasant- looking man, with a red sash round his waist, who, I understand from signs, is the schoolmaster, emerged from the throng, and sat down beside me; but his English appears limited to these words, "How old?" When I told him by counting on my fingers he laughed heartily, and said "Too old," and he told the others, and they all laughed. I have photographs of Queen Victoria and Mr. Coan in my writing-book, and when I exhibited them they crowded round me clapping their hands, and screaming with delight when they recognized Mr. Coan. The king's handwriting was then handed round amidst reverent "ahs" and "ohs," or what sounded like them. This letter was also passed round and examined lengthwise, sidewise, and upside down. They shrieked with satirical laughter when I pressed some fragile ferns in my blotting-book. The natives think it quite idiotic in us to attach any value to withered leaves. My inkstand with its double-spring lids has been a great amusement. Each one opened both, and shut them again, and a chorus of "maikai, maikai," (good) ran round the circle. They seem so simple and good that at last I have trusted them with my watch, which excites unbounded admiration, probably because of its small size. It is now on its travels; but I am not the least anxious about it. A man pointed to a hut some distance on the other side of the river, and appeared interrogative, and on my replying affirmatively, he mounted a horse and carried off the watch in the direction indicated. Mr. Ellis came to this valley in a canoe, and he mentions that when he preached, the natives, who seemed to be very indifferent to the general truths of Christianity, became very deeply interested when they heard of Ora loa ia Jesu (endless life by Jesus). While I was up the valley the poor people made a wonderful bed of seven fine mats, one over the other, on one side of the house, and screened it off with a flaring muslin curtain; but on the other side there are ten pillows in a row, so that I wonder how many are to occupy the den during the night. I am now writing inside the house, with a hollowed stone, with some beef fat and a wick in it, for a light, and two youths seem delegated to attend upon me. One holds my ink, and if I look up, the other rushes for something that I am supposed to want. They insist on thinking that I am cold because my clothes are wet, and have thrown over me several folds of tapa, made from the inner bark of the wauti or cloth plant (Broussonetia papyrifera). They brought me a kalo leaf containing a number of living freshwater shrimps, and were quite surprised when I did not eat them.



WAIPIO, March 5th.

It seems fully a week since I left Waimea yesterday morning, so many new experiences have been crowded into the time. I will try to sketch my expedition while my old friend Halemanu is preparing dinner. The morning opened gloriously. The broad Waimea plains were flooded with red and gold, and the snowy crest of Mauna Kea was cloudless. We breakfasted by lamp light (the days of course are short in this latitude), and were away before six. My host kindly provided me with a very fine horse and some provisions in a leather wallet, and with another white man and a native accompanied me as far as this valley, where they had some business. The morning deepened into gorgeousness. A blue mist hung in heavy folds round the violet bases of the mountains, which rose white and sharp into the rose-flushed sky; the dew lay blue and sparkling on the short crisp grass; the air was absolutely pure, and with a suspicion of frost in it. It was all very fair, and the horses enjoyed the morning freshness, and danced and champed their bits as though they disliked being reined in. We rode over level grass-covered ground, till we reached the Hamakua bush, fringed with dead trees, and full of ohias and immense fern trees, some of them with a double tier of fronds, far larger and finer than any that I saw in New Zealand. There are herds of wild goats, cattle, and pigs on the island, and they roam throughout this region, trampling, grubbing, and rending, grinding the bark of the old trees and eating up the young ones. This ravaging is threatening at no distant date to destroy the beauty and alter the climate of the mountainous region of Hawaii. The cattle are a hideous breed—all bones, hide, and horns.

We were at the top of the Waipio pali at eight, and our barefooted horses, used to the soft pastures of Waimea, refused to carry us down its rocky steep, so we had to walk. I admired this lonely valley far more than before. It was full of infinite depths of blue—blue smoke in lazy spirals curled upwards; it was eloquent in a morning silence that I felt reluctant to break. Against its dewy greenness the beach shone like coarse gold, and its slow silver river lingered lovingly, as though loth to leave it, and be merged in the reckless loud-tongued Pacific. Across the valley, the track I was to take climbed up in thready zigzags, and disappeared round a bold headland. It was worth a second visit just to get a glimpse of such a vision of peace.

Halemanu, with hospitable alacrity, soon made breakfast ready, after which Mr. S., having arranged for my further journey, left me here, and for the first time I found myself alone among natives ignorant of English. For the Waimanu trip it is essential to have a horse bred in the Waimanu Valley and used to its dizzy palis, and such a horse was procured, and a handsome native, called Hananui, as guide. We were away by ten, and galloped across the valley till we came to the nearly perpendicular pali on the other side. The sight of this air-hung trail from Halemanu's house has turned back several travellers who were bent on the trip, but I had been told that it was quite safe on a Waimanu horse; and keeping under my fears as best I could, I let Hananui precede me, and began the ascent, which is visible from here for an hour. The pali is as nearly perpendicular as can be. Not a bush or fern, hardly a tuft of any green thing, clothes its bare, scathed sides. It terminates precipitously on the sea at a height of 2000 feet. Up this shelving wall, something like a sheep track, from thirty to forty-six inches broad, goes in great swinging zigzags, sometimes as broken steps of rock breast high, at others as a smooth ledge with hardly foothold, in three places carried away by heavy rains—altogether the most frightful track that imagination can conceive. {235} It was most unpleasant to see the guide's horse straining and scrambling, looking every now and then as if about to fall over backwards. My horse went up wisely and nobly, but slipping, jumping, scrambling, and sending stones over the ledge, now and then hanging for a second by his fore feet. The higher we went the narrower and worse it grew. The girth was loose, so as not to impede the horse's respiration, the broad cinch which usually passes under the body having been fastened round his chest, and yet it was once or twice necessary to run the risk of losing my balance by taking my left foot out of the stirrup to press it against the horse's neck to prevent it from being crushed, while my right hung over the precipice. We came to a place where the path had been carried away, leaving a declivity of loose sand and gravel. You can hardly realize how difficult it was to dismount, when there was no margin outside the horse. I somehow slid under him, being careful not to turn the saddle, and getting hold of his hind leg, screwed myself round carefully behind him. It was alarming to see these sure- footed creatures struggle and slide in the deep gravel as though they must go over, and not less so to find myself sliding, though I was grasping my horse's tail.

Between the summit and Waimanu, a distance of ten miles, there are nine gulches, two of them about 900 feet deep, all very beautiful, owing to the broken ground, the luxuriant vegetation, and the bright streams, but the kona, or south wind, was blowing, bringing up the hot breath of the equatorial belt, and the sun was perfectly unclouded, so that the heat of the gorges was intense. They succeed each other occasionally with very great rapidity. Between two of the deepest and steepest there is a ridge not more than fifty yards wide.

Soon after noon we simultaneously stopped our horses. The Waimanu Valley lay 2500 feet (it is said) below us, and the trail struck off into space. It was a scene of loneliness to which Waipio seems the world. In a second the eye took in the twenty grass lodges of its inhabitants, the five cascades which dive into the dense forests of its upper end, its river like a silver ribbon, and its meadows of living green. In ten seconds a bird could have spanned the ravine and feasted on its loveliness, but we could only tip over the dizzy ridge that overhangs the valley, and laboriously descend into its heat and silence. The track is as steep and broken as that which goes up from hence, but not nearly so narrow, and without its elements of terror, for kukuis, lauhalas, ohias, and ti trees, with a lavish growth of ferns and trailers, grow luxuriantly in every damp rift of rock, and screen from view the precipices of the pali. The valley looks as if it could only be reached in a long day's travel, so very far it is below, but the steepness of the track makes it accessible in an hour from the summit. As we descended, houses and a church which had looked like toys at first, dilated on our sight, the silver ribbon became a stream, the specks on the meadows turned into horses, the white wavy line on the Pacific beach turned into a curling wave, and lower still, I saw people, who had seen us coming down, hastily shuffling into clothes.

There were four houses huddled between the pali and the river, and six or eight, with a church and schoolhouse on the other side; and between these and the ocean a steep narrow beach, composed of large stones worn as round and smooth as cannon balls, on which the surf roars the whole year round. The pali which walls in the valley on the other side is inaccessible. The school children and a great part of the population had assembled in front of the house which I described before. There was a sort of dyke of rough lava stones round it, difficult to climb, but the natives, though they are very kind, did not, on this or any similar occasion, offer me any help, which neglect, I suppose, arises from the fact that the native women never need help, as they are as strong, fearless, and active as the men, and rival them in swimming and other athletic sports. An old man, clothed only with his dark skin, was pounding baked kalo for poi, in front of the house; a woman with flowers in her hair, but apparently not otherwise clothed, was wading up to her waist in the river, pushing before her a light trumpet-shaped basket used for catching shrimps, and the other women wore the usual bright-coloured chemises.

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