Imagens das páginas

and sugar might be successfully cultivated The indomitable spirit of the man is by the inhabitants, and prove lucrative ar- characteristically displayed in the followticles of commerce; and he accordingly ing passages from a letter to his father, and endeavored to acquire the arts of boiling another to his constituents, the Directors sugar and curing tobacco, that he might be of the Missionary Society able to instruct the natives. Some small be.

“I bless God that my heart is as much alive ginnings of a useful commerce were made; to missionary work as it was the first day I set and, when at Sydney, on the secular busi- my foot on these shores; and in this work of my ness of his mission, about four years after he Lord and Saviour I desire to live and to die. commenced his labors, we find him writing My highest ambition, dear father, is to be faithhome :

ful to my work, faithful to souls, and faithful to

Christ; in a word, to be abundantly and exten“I am taking with me to the islands, clothes sively useful. Our own station flourishes, and for the women, shoes, stockings, tea-kettles, tea- the people improve. I am fully occupied. I cups and saucers, and tea, of which the natives haye lately made several lathes and a loom; are very fond, and which, I hope, may prove an and am intending to try to weave cloth. I am additional stimulus to the cultivation of sugar. hoping we shall succeed, as the people have And, moreover, when they have tea, they will many grasses and barks of which they make want teacups, and a table to place them on, and cord, &c. My dear Mary is a good spinstress, seats to sit upon. Thus we hope, in a short and knows how to dress flax. But of course time, that European customs will be wholly our principal attention is devoted to their spiritestablished in the leeward islands."

ual improvement; although I have no great opinion of the missionary's labors who would

neglect those minor matters." In the same year he writes :

To the Directors he says: “ With respect to civilization, we feel a pleasure in saying that the natives are doing all we “It is our duty to visit the surrounding can reasonably expect, and every person is now islands. You have fourteen or fifteen missiondaily and busily employed from morning till aries in these islands, missionaries enough to night. At present, there is a range of three convert all the islands of the South Seas, and miles along the sea-beach studded with little every one of these within a thousand miles of plastered and whitewashed cottages, with their us ought now to be under instruction. Six own schooner lying at anchor near them. All this good active missionaries, united in heart, mind, forms such a contrast to the view we had here and plan, could effect more, if you would afford but three years ago, when, excepting three them the means, than you either think or expect. hovels, all was wilderness, that we cannot A missionary was never designed by Jesus but be thankful; and when we consider all Christ to gather a congregation of a hundred or things, exceedingly thankful for what God has two natives, and sit down at his ease, as conwrought.

tented as if every sinner was converted, while "In a temporal point of view, we have every thousands around him, and but a few miles off, thing we can possibly desire to make us happy. are eating each other's flesh, and drinking each We have a go house, plenty of ground, an other's blood, living and dying without the gosabundant supply of the productions of the pel. Upon this subject it is my full determinaisland, cows, ducks, geesē, turkeys, pigeons, tion to have some decided conversation with the fowls, &c., and a regular communication with deputation. For my own part, I cannot content the colony. But above all these things, we myself within the narrow limits of a single reef; have the hearts and affections of the people, and and, if means are not afforded, a continent would the prospect of great usefulness in our Saviour's to me be infinitely preferable; for there, if you cause."

cannot ride, you can walk; but to these isolated Under the date of November 13th, 1822, Mr. islands a ship must carry you.” Williams informs the Directors that “the Endeavor” was then nearly ready for sea with a

This sanguine and enthusiastic spirit cargo, the proceeds of which and of another car- precipitated the lamented fate of this admigo which the people were preparing, would, he rable and devoted man. On the death of believed, complete the purchase-money of the his mother, Mr. Williams received a conship. “Every thing," he adds," is succeeding siderable sum of money, which enabled beyond our most sanguine expectations. The him to prosecute, with greater effect, comnatives have prepared from i20 to 150 large plantations, and I am perfecting myself in the mercial objects for the advantage of the art of curing tobacco, and boiling sugar. The natives, though always in subservience to people have also learned to boil salt, three or his principal duty as a missionary. But four tons of which they have recently prepared. his hopes were destined to be harshly, You would be delighted to survey the scene of and, as we cannot help thinking, unwisely, industry which our island presents. Even the checked. women are employed in cultivating little patches of tobacco, in order to purchase European Through the intervention of some interested clothing, and we are most anxious to introduce merchants at Sydney, the governor had been these articles without expense to the Society.” I persuaded to impose a prohibitory duty upon South Sea tobacco, and to make other fiscal re-/ aid of the people whom it would be necessary gulations which materially reduced the value of to teach, before he could employ: Wha, then, all Polynesian produce. This severe and un- must have been the skill and self-reliance of the expected check to the newly-created industry man who, in these unfavorable circumstances, and enterprise of the leeward islands, burst like could form and execute the design which he has a tornado upon their inhabitants, and proved a thus described ?—“After some deliberation, I source of extreme embarrassment and distress determined to attempt to build a vessel ; and alto Mr. Williams. Not only did it contravene though I knew little of ship-building, had scarcehis benevolent plans for the social improvement ly any tools to work with, and the natives were of the natives, and deprive him of the means of wholly unacquainted with mechanical arts, I more extended usefulness, but it involved him in succeeded, in about three months, in completing serious pecuniary responsibility, from which he a vessel between seventy and eighty tons burcould not now expect to extricate himself with- den.” out loss. To complete the calamity, and con- or the various expedients by which Mr. Wilsummate his own disappointment, Mr. Williams liams supplied the deficiencies and surmounted at the same time received a letter from the the difficulties of his position, that which, perDirectors, in which the speculation was con- haps, has been regarded with the most lively demned, and his conduct censured. But his interest was his novel substitute for a pair of spirit, though bowed down, was not broken. I bellows. This contrivance was perfectly oriThus beset with difficulties, he summoned a ginal. It was not, however, a happy guess, but meeting of the chiess to whom the Enterprise the result of reasoning. “It struck me," he belonged ; and, after ingenuously explaining to observes, “that as a pump threw water, a them the exact position of affairs, it was resolved machine constructed upon the same principle to send her immediately to Sydney, laden with must, of necessity, throw wind.” Acting, therethe most marketable produce they could collect, fore, upon this suggestion, he constructed bis with an order to sell both ship and cargo. Great new "air-pump." But although to him this as was the trial of parting with a vessel in which contrivance was new, he subsequently ascerhe had already done much missionary work, tained that he was not its sole inventor ; for, and by which he expected to accomplish still during a missionary tour in our manufacturing more, and keenly as he felt the censure of the districts, he discovered with surprise and delight Directors, he was comforted and cheered by the a similar machine in use there, and learned that conduct of the chiefs and people, who clearly it was deemed superior to the bellows. understood the whole case, and neither attribut- But the exemplification of Mr. Williams's ed the failure to their missionary, nor evinced genius will be found, not so much in any single towards him the least diminution of confidence invention, as in the circumstance, that it proved and esteem.

equal to every exigency, and enabled him to To the Directors he wrote :

answer every demand. "None but a Williams,"

writes Mr. Pitman, “would have attempted such “ I am sorry that my conduct meets your dis- a thing as to commence building a vessel, not approbation, and acknowledge the justice of all having wherewith to build her. I have often you say respecting a missionary entangling been amazed to astonishment to see with what himself with the affairs of this life. But the coolness he met the difficulties as they succesbenefit of others, not my own, was the sole ob- sively arose in his undertaking.” The cordage, ject I had in view. Yet, should I get free from the sails, the substitutes for nails, oakum, pitch, this perplexity, I shall in future avoid any similar and paint, the anchors and the pintles of the entanglement. But although I have thus ex- rudder, made from a pick-axe, an adze and a pressed myself, do not conclude that there is hoe, are all striking illustrations of this remark. need of a vessel in the islands. Even as a means Nor should the fact be overlooked that, withis of preventing other vessels from trading with the same limited period, Mr. Williams construetthe people, it is invaluable ; for with few excep-ed the lathe which turned the sheaves of the tions, they are the very arks of Satan." blocks, the machinery which spun the ropes and

cordage, the forge and its furniture, as well as Some time subsequently, he formed the all the numerous smaller tools required by himbold idea of building a vessel himself, and self and his native assistants in this remarkable he accomplished his object by plans, and undertaking. processes, and pains, which, in the detail, In a letter to the Rev. Mr. Ellis, he says are as vividly interesting as the building of this nautical masterpiece,of Robinson Crusoe's famous boat. Of this vessel, named the “ Messenger of Peace," and seventy tons for missionary purposes. She

"I have built a little vessel of between sixty Mr. Williams's biographer fitly says, it was was not four months in hand, from the time we one of the most remarkable incidents in his cut the keel until she was in the water. I had life.

every thing to make, my bellows, forge, lache, When he formed this purpose, he did it with &c.; but I cannot enlarge on my numerous

and all the iron work, out of old axes, iron hoops, the full foreknowledge that, in order to its accomplishment, he would be compelled not only would be interesting to you no doubt. Suffice

maneuvres to overcome difficulties, though they to invent some things, but almost to create it to say she is finished !"} others, (for may not his new combinations truly bear this name?) and all this, moreover, by the This was the very man to be sent forth,


as missionary, among the uncivilized in the Navigators' Islands, where the proheathen. Few, if any, have been found at gress of civilization has since been little all points so qualified. To complete the less than miraculous. His labors in the picture of difficulties surmounted, it should Navigators' Islands, and the results, may, be mentioned, that the ship of which Williams indeed, be considered as the greatest of all was so justly proud, was built at Raroton-Williams's missionary enterprises. These ga-hen a quite new missionary station-fine and populous islands, which are only and under very severe privations. He inferior to the Sandwich Islands of any was at this remote place with a wise in archipelago in the whole South Seas, were very delicate health, and though not apt to ound, but a few years back, in as rude and complain, he is compelled to say, - barbarous a condition as any that had ever

“My dear Mary is near her confinement. She been visited by Europeans. The natives is very delicate, but I trust all will be well. The were described by so recent a visitor as Rarotonga people much wished her to be con- Kotzebue, in 1823, as among the most fierce fined there, that their land might be honored and treacherous cannibals in any of the with the birth of one of our children. We have, Polynesian Islands. When Williams vennotwithstanding the kindness of the natives, tured to approach them, he had along with often been in want while at Rarotonga; having him an intelligent man, a converted chief, had neither tea, sugar, flour, rice, or fowls, for some months, and being obliged to make our a native of one of the islands, and his wife, own salt and soap."

who proved most invaluable auxiliaries. Yet The passing allusion to their privations at it was not without considerable danger that Rarotonga, contained in the preceding letter, he approached some of these tribes. The will convey but a very inadequate idea of their native chief, Fauea, and his wife were left extent. They were much more severe, and in their injurious effect upon his delicate and self at Samoa, an important island of this denying partner, far more serious, than such group; and when Williams came back, in slight references would lead the reader to sup- about two years, on his second expedition, pose. Accustomed as they had been at Raiatea the people were found Christianized, or, at io European food, it was not without difficulty, least, nominal Christians. He had had a nor even without danger, that they conformed delightful run of 800 miles, from his station to the diet of the natives. But of this Mr. Wil at Rarotonga, to the Navigators’ Islands ; liams would never have complained, had he and when he touched at the first of the suffered alone. Of, personal privations he thought little, and said less. Although from his group, was delighted with the salutation of childhood he had been accustomed to domestic his visitors, who exclaimed—“We are sons comforts, and knew how to provide and enjoy of the Word.” This great change had been them, as was evident from the manner in which effected by Fauea, aided by the native he had stocked his garden and poultry-yard at teachers subsequently sent to different Raiatea, he could be content with the simplest stations. The narrative of the conversion provisions; and for a man so healthy and of these islanders is replete with interest. laborious, his temperance at the table was remarkable. Even when most actively engaged, Williams carried forward what he had been he frequently manifested his indifference to the instrument of so happily commencing. food, and often would have rather prosecuted He everywhere, acting on the maxim, work in which he was interested, than submit to “Kindness is the key to the human heart, the interruption of the customary meals. Thus, gained the confidence and love of the peowhen building his vessel, he could with difficulty ple, who, wherever he went, formed the be drawn from the scene of his delightful occupations; and, although he frequently continued warmest attachment to him. At the Navifrom dawn until dark toiling at the bench or the gators' Islands, songs were sung and solemn forge, even through the sultry hours of noon, dances performed by the women in his when the natives had slunk under the shadow honor; the former of a description which of the trees, he was well satisfied with the hum-forbids us to call the natives savages, horble fare of a single bread-fruit and a draught of rible as some of their late practices had water.

been. The following are specimens of the The possession of the vessel, built under native poetry of Samoa. Viriamu, it should such extraordinary circumstances, was of be premised, is the pronunciation of the vast consequence to the missionary cause in name of Williams, in the soft language of the islands of the Pacific. By means of it, these islanders. Mr. Williams and some of his brethren, accompanied by those most useful auxiliaries, "Let us talk of Viriamu. —the native teachers, whom they had trained Let cocoa-nuts grow for him in peace for months.

When strong

east wind blo our thought -were enabled, like Apostolic Bishops, to

forget him not. visit the different island groups; and thus Let us greatly love the Christian land of the great was the gospel first carried to, and planted white chief.

Vol. II. No. IV. 32

All malo* are we now, for we have all one God. neither so tall nor so muscular, and the females No food is sacred now. All kinds of fish we catch were not so beautiful, as the Tahitians and and eat: Even the sting-ray."

Friendly Islanders. But the inferiority of the

men in height and bulk was fully compensated “The birds are crying for Viriamu.

by their grace and agility. of all the PolyneHis ship has sailed another way. The birds are crying for Viriamu.

sians whom he had seen, Mr. Williams proLong time is he in coming.

nounced the Samoa the most symmetric in form, Will he ever come again?

and the most polished in manners. And of this Will he ever come again?

they were themselves aware ; and no means Tired are we of the taunts of the insolent Samoans. were neglected which could, in their estimation, Who knows,' say they,' that white chief's land ?" set off or enhance their personal attractions. Now our land is sacred made, and evil practices The toilet was a shrine before which the genuehave ceased.

men, no less than the ladies, daily offered inHow we feel for the lotu! Come! let us sleep and cense to their own vanity. A pair of portraits dream of Viriamu.

from the pencil of Mr. Williams, sketched from Pistaulaut has risen. Tauluat has also risen.

lise upon his journal, will enable the reader to But the war-star has ceased to rise. For Sulueleelet and the king have embraced the he had now arrived. “ Picture to yourself a fine

form his own idea of the people amongst whom sacred word.

well-grown Indian, with a dark, sparkling eye, a And war has become an evil thing."

smooth skin, glistening from the head to the Mr. Williams's first impressions, on see from the hips to the knees; with a bandage of

hips with sweet-scented oil, and tastefully tattooed ing these islanders, convey a favorable idea red leaves, oiled and shining also, a head-dress of their natural capacity, and a lively pic of the nautilus shell, and a string of small white ture of the best condition of the inhabitants shells around each arm, and you have a Samoan of the South Sea, when its tribes were first gentleman in full dress; and, thus dressed, he seen by Europeans. The natives and the thinks as much of himself

, and the ladies think principal chiefs were delighted at the pros. English beau fitted out in the highest style of

as much of him, as would be the case with an pect of receiving teachers from the mission, fashion. A Samoan lady, in full dress for a ball, aries, of whom Fauea and his wife had wears a beautifully white, silky-looking nai told them such wonders, and they were around her loins, with one corner tucked up, a prepared to give Mr. Williams the most wreath of sweet-smelling flowers around her enthusiastic reception. How much in such head, a row or two of large blue beads about cases is to be attributed to novelty, and how her neck; her skin shining with scented oil, and much to the vague hope of secular advan- the upper part of her person deeply linged with tage, it is not important to us to determine. ble time in preparing themselves for company, 23

turmeric rouge. The ladies spend a consideraAn opening was won; and the people, in much so, perhaps, as their more enlightened professing Christianity, often appeared in sisters in Christian and civilized lands, and two fluenced by the most reasonable motives. or three ‘lady's maids,' will be required to assist Fauea eloquently pointed out to them the in these decorations. They are not tattooed like great superiority of the white people; the men, but many of them are spotted all

over." whose religion, he said, had made them what they were. Mr. Williams, in part, of his subsequent visit, that on which attributed the remarkably rapid progress of the parting-song above cited was sung, he the missionaries among the Samoans “to relates,the absence of an interested, sanguinary, and powerful priesthood," and of temples ing at partiog; and, as I passed through their

“ The people manifested a great deal of feeland idols; a peculiar feature in their social ranks, they kissed my hands, and importunately condition, which, as compared with the entreated me to bring Mrs. Williams and my inhabitants of the other islands, in all of children, and to come and live with them, and which there were priestsand idols, was found teach them the word of salvation.” eminently favorable to missionary objects. We have given a specimen of the poetry of at next day, he relates,

At another point of the island, touched these islanders; and now select a few passages from a long and picturesque descrip

“ As soon as we had dropped anchor, we were tion of the first intercourse which Mr. Wil. surrounded by canoes, from which the natives liams had with them :

came up the sides of our little ship, unul she

was almost deluged with them. Silence was In language, and in their leading physical Riromaiava gave orders to his duulagfale, or

then commanded; and, when it was obtained, features, he at once perceived that they were Polynesian Asiatics; but in form, the men were orator, to tell the people who I was, whence !

came, and what I wanted. He then commanded Malo was a name given to those who were his spokesman to proclaim to the staring and victorious in war, and is the opposite of vaidai, the wondering crowd, that Malietoa (the principal conquered

chief], his father, had given me his name; and, + Names of stars. # The king's daughter. consequently, that all the respect due to him

must be shown to me. This was followed by a &c., &c., the plates of Foxes' Martyrology, strict charge to steal nothing whatever from the exhibiting the cruel sufferings of Protestant ship, but that all should immediatelybring off to martyrs from the Papists, were added to Having obtained wood and water, with a the list of pictures; a somewhat questiona .

The natives were delighted tolerable supply of provisions, I made presents ble addition. to the various chiefs, and bade them farewell

. with the magic-lantern, and particularly On landing at the district of Riromaiava, I found with the Scripture pieces. Mr. Williams that I had to walk two miles to his settlement. carried out better gifts, in numerous copies On reaching it, I was invited into the govern- of the New Testament, which had been ment house. Here I was requested to take my previously translated into the native tongue diately surrounded by all the chiefs. Soon after by himself

, and printed in England. He we had seated ourselves, a fine stately young bad scarcely visited and inspected his dif. woman entered the house, and was introduced ferent stations, when the long-formed deto me by the name of Maria, as Malietoa's eld- sign of extending his labors to islands yet est, handsomest, and favorite daughter. She unvisited by the Messengers of Peace, came expressed her sorrow at not having seen me be strongly upon him. His last fatal expedi. fore; and assigned as a reason, that, at the tion to the New Hebrides was accordingly time of my visit to Samoa, her husband was fighting against her father, and that she was undertaken, and was, at the outset, successwith him in the fort. But,' she added, "we ful. At the Island of Fatuna, and at Tanna, were conquered; and, since then, I have been the strange, white visitors were well reover to Sapapalii, and spent much time with the ceived ; and that strong natural anxiety, or, teachers, who have taught me the lotu, and I as it is here represented, the deep or superam learning it still.'"

natural presentiment of impending evil with

which the devoted man approached that The lotu appears to be the native name group of islands which he regarded as the for the Christians, the Gospel, and every key to the ultimate evangelization of New thing connected with the new religion. Caledonia, New Britain, New Guinea and

Shortly er this period, Mr. Williams the whole of Western Polynesia, seemed to and his wife visited England, from which be wearing off and confidence returning they had been absent nearly twenty years. when he landed on the fatal shore of ErroThe great popularity of the returned mis


The reception at Fatuna and sionary, on his progresses through the Tanna had dissipated his previous fears, principal towns of England and Scotland, and fulfilled his warmest desires. He now when, in his own manly and plain style, he appeared to feel a strong confidence of expatiated on the wonders he had seen, and success. The grand object for which this modestly alluded to what had been achiev. Columbus of Missions had planned, and ed in Polynesia, must still be fresh in the prayed, and pleaded, seemed almost within recollection of many of our readers. By his grasp, when the fated hour suddenly the liberality of those who listened to his drew near. On the horrible particulars, so appeals, Mr. Williams was enabled to well-known and recent, we need not dwell. purchase a vessel of a size that transcended The account of the murder of Williams and his most sanguine expectations. A large his companion, Mr. Harris, was transmitted sum of money was raised for this object; to this country by the captain of the misand many worthy people were as munificent sionary ship, from the deck of which his to him with gifts of ship stores, and other murder was witnessed; and probably no useful things, as ever he had found the event, involving merely the fate of a sin. South Sea Islanders with their pigs and gle individual, ever excited deeper symsweet potatoes, when to celebrate the pathy in the public mind. But the grief opening of a chapel, or any other great and sorrow felt at home could not have event, from 300 to 700 pigs were sometimes been deeper or more sincere than that exslaughtered at once. The Polynesian perienced by his native friends and disciChristians are certainly not ascetics. ples in the various places where he had af

Among the other articles which Williams fectionately labored with head, and hand, carried back with him was a magic-lantern and heart; and, indeed, over all the Chriswith slides representing Scripture scenes, tianized parts of the islands. “Lamentaobjects in natural history, and in the En- tion was universal.” Monuments to his glish annals; and, as the whole was with memory have been erected in different the view of counteracting the operations of islands. That in Samoa, where his family the Romish priests, who were even then were living at the time of his death, and to supposed to be on their way to the islands which he had first sent the glad tidings of with miracle-working electrifying machines, -salvation, bears this simple and touching

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