THE EPISCOPATE AT KOHIMARAMA. 1866.
THE removal of his much-loved correspondent did not long withhold the outpouring of Bishop Patteson's heart to his family; while his work was going on at the College, according to his own definition of education which was given about this time in a speech at St. John's: 'Education consists in teaching people to bear responsibilities, and laying the responsibilities on them as they are able to bear them.'
Meanwhile, he wrote as follows to Miss Mackenzie, on receiving the book she had promised to send him as a relic of her brother:--
'January 1, 1866.
'My dear Miss Mackenzie,--I have this evening received your brother's Thomas a Kempis, and your letter. I valued the letter much, as a true faithful record of one whom may God grant that I may know hereafter, if, indeed, I may be enabled to follow him as he followed Christ. And as for the former, what can I say but I hope that the thought of your dear brother may help me to read that holy book in something of the spirit in which he read and meditated on it.
'It seems to bring me very near to him in thought. Send me one of his autographs to paste into it. I don't like to cut out the one I have in the long letter to the Scottish Episcopal Church, which you kindly sent me.
'I found, too, in one of Mr. Codrington's boxes, a small sextant for me, which, being packed with the Thomas a Kempis, I think may have been your brother's. Do you really mean this for me too? If so, I shall value it scarcely less than the book. Indeed, I think that, divided as I am from all relations and home influences and affections, I cling all the more to such means as I may still enjoy of keeping up associations. I like to have my father's watch-chain in use, and to write on his old desk. I remember my inkstand in our drawing-room in London. So I value much these memorials of the first Missionary Bishop of the Church of England, in modern days at all events, and night by night as I read a few lines in his book, and think of him, it brings me, I hope, nearer in spirit to him and to others, who, like him, have done their duty well and now rest in Christ.
'We are pretty well now (Jan. 20), but one very promising lad sank last week in low fever; a good truthful lad he was, and as I baptized him at midnight shortly before he died, I felt the great blessing of being able with a very clear conscience to minister to him that holy sacrament; and so he passed away, to dwell, I trust, with his Lord.
'What a revelation to that spirit in its escape from the body! But I must not write on. With many thanks once again for these highly-valued memorials of your brother,
'I remain, my dear Miss Mackenzie,
'Very truly yours,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The sandal-wood referred to in the following letter was the brother's gift to a church, All Saints, Babbicombe, in which his sisters were deeply interested, and of which their little nephew laid the first stone:--
'St. Matthias' Day.
'My dearest Sisters,--You are thinking of me to-day, I know, but you hardly know that in an hour or two I hope the Primate will ride down and baptize nine of our Melanesian scholars.
'The last few weeks have been a happy, though of course an anxious time, and now to-day the great event of their lives is to take place. May God grant that the rest of their lives may be like this beginning!
'We avoid all fuss. I don't like anyone being here but the Primate and Mrs. Selwyn, yet I think some dozen more rnay come, though I don't like it. I need not say that making a scene on such occasions is to my mind very objectionable. I could much prefer being quite alone. I have translated some appropriate Psalms, but the 2nd and 57th they hardly know as yet quite well; so our service will be Psalms 96, 97, 114; 1st lesson 2 Kings, v. 9--15, Magnificat; 2nd lesson Acts viii. 5-12, and the Baptismal Service. Henry Tagalana reads the first, and George Sarawia the second lesson. Then will come my quiet evening, as, I trust, a close of an eventful day. I have your English letters of December, with the news of Johnny laying the stone. I am thankful that that good work is begun. Sir John Young writes to me that I can have a gift of 100 acres at Norfolk Island, with permission to buy more. I think that, all being well, I shall certainly try it with a small party next summer, the main body of scholars being still brought to Kohimarama.
'The sandal-wood is not yet gone! But, my dear Joan, the altar of sandal-wood! If it is to be solid and not veneered, why, 501. would not buy it at Erromango. It sells in Sydney for about 70£. a ton, and it is very heavy wood. However, I will send some of the largest planks I ever saw of the wood, and it is now well seasoned. It cost me 14£. merely to work it into a very simple lectern, so hard is the grain.
'What has become of the old Eton stamp of men? Have you any in England? I must not run the risk of the Mission being swamped, by well-intentioned, but untaught men. We must have gentlemen of white colour, or else I must rely wholly, as I always meant to do chiefly, on my black gentlemen; and many of them are thorough gentlemen in feeling and conduct, albeit they don't wear shoes.
'It was a most impressive service. The dear Primate looking worn and somewhat aged, very full of feeling; the two most advanced, George and Henry, in their surplices, reading the Lessons; the nine candidates looking so reverent and grave, yet not without self-possession.
'As he signed each one with the sign of the Cross, his left hand resting on the head of each, the history of the Mission rushed into my mind, the fruit of the little seed be sowed when, eight years ago, he thought it wisest not to go ashore at Mota, and now more than twenty Christians of the Banks Islands serve God with prayers night and day.
'What would you have thought, if you could have been there? Our little chapel looked nice with the red hangings and sandal-wood lectern.
'Then we had a quiet cup of tea, and the old and new baptized party had a quiet talk with me till 8.30, when I sent them away.
'And then after an hour I was alone. That I should have been already five years a Bishop, and how much to think of and grieve over, something too to be thankful for. Perhaps after all, dear Edwin and Fisher stand out most clearly from all the many scenes and circumstances.
'And now what is to come? This move to Norfolk Island? Or what? " Something," you say; " perhaps in time showing the Governor that the Melanesians are not so very wild." But it is another Governor; and so far from the Melanesians being wild, it is expressly on the ground that the example of the school will be beneficial that I am asked to go!
'Tell all who may care to know it about our St. Matthias' Day, I must give myself the pleasure of writing one line to Mr. Keble. I won't write many lest I weary him, dear good man. I like to look at his picture, and have stuck the photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Keble which Charlotte Yonge sent me into the side of it. How I value his prayers and thoughts for us all!
'Your loving brother,
'J. C. P.
'P.S.--No terms of fall communion between the Home and the Colonial Church can be matter of Parliamentary legislation. It is the « One Faith, One Lord," that binds us together; and as for regulating the question of colonially ordained clergy ministering in English dioceses, you had better equalise your own Church law first for dealing with an Incumbent and a Curate.'
'Auckland: Tuesday in Holy Week.
'My dear Uncle,--I have long owed you a letter, but I have not written because I have had an unusual time of distraction. Now, all my things being on board the " Southern Cross," I am detained by a foul wind. We can do nothing till it changes; and I am not sorry to have a few quiet hours, though the thought of a more than usually serious separation from the dear Primate and Mrs. Selwyn, Sir William and Lady Martin, hangs over my head rather gloomily. Still I am convinced, as far as I can be of such matters, that this move to Norfolk Island is good for the Mission on the whole. It has its drawbacks, as all plans have, but the balance is decidedly in favour of Norfolk Island as against New Zealand. I have given reasons at length for this opinion in letters to Joan and Fan, and also, I think, to Charlotte Yonge, who certainly deserves to know all my thoughts about it.
'But I may shortly state some of them, in case you may not have heard them, because I should like this step to approve itself to your mind:--
'1. Norfolk Island is 600 miles hearer to Melanesian islands than Auckland, and not only nearer in actual distance, but the 600 miles from Norfolk Island to Auckland are the cold and boisterous miles that must be passed at the extremities of the voyages with no intervening lands to call at and obtain a change for our large party on board.
'2. The difficulty usually is to get westward when sailing from New Zealand, by the North Cape of New Zealand, because the prevalent winds are from the west. So that usually the passage to Norfolk Island is a long-one.
'3. New Zealand is much to the east of Norfolk Island, and to go from the Loyalty, New Hebrides, Banks, and Santa Cruz groups to New Zealand, it is necessary to make a long stretch out to the N.E. (the trades blowing-from about S.E. by E.), standing down to S. on the other tack. But Norfolk Island is almost due S. of other those groups.
'4. I cannot come back from the islands during my winter voyage to New Zealand, it is too distant; the coast is dangerous in the winter season and the cold too great for a party of scholars first coming from the tropics. But I can go backwards and forwards through the islands and Norfolk Island during the five winter months. It is not wise to sail about in the summer, hurricanes being prevalent then.
'5. As I can only make one return from the islands to New Zealand in the year, I can only have a school consisting of (say) sixty Melanesians brought in the very crowded vessel + (say) thirty left in New Zealand for the winter; and I dare not attempt to leave many, for so much care is needed in the cold season.
'But in Norfolk Island I can have a school of any number, because I can make separate voyages thither from the Banks and Solomon Islands, &c., each time bringing a party of sixty, if I think fit.
'6. The productions of Norfolk Island include the yam, taro (Caladium esculentum), sweet potato, sugar-cane, banana, almond, orange, pine-apple, coffee, maize. Only cocoa-nut and bread-fruit are wanting, that natives of Melanesia care much about.
'7. There is no necessity for so violent a contrast as there must be in New Zealand between the life with us and in their homes in respect of dress, food, and houses.
'Light clothing and an improved style of native house and more cleanly way of eating their food--not of cooking it, for they are cleanly already in that--may be adopted, and more easily perpetuated in their own homes than the heavy clothing necessary here, and the different style of houses and more English food.
'This is very important, because with any abrupt change of the outer man, there is sometimes a more, very more natural abandonment of the inner thoughts and disposition and character. Just as men so often lose self-respect when they take to the bush life; or children who pray by their own little bedside alone, leave off praying in "long chamber," the outward circumstances being altered.
'I have for years thought that we seek in our Missions a great deal too much to make English Christians of our converts. We consciously and unanimously assume English Christianity (as something distinct I mean from the doctrines of the Church of England), to be necessary; much as so many people assume the relation of Church and State in England to be the typical and normal condition of the Church, which should be everywhere reproduced. Evidently the heathen man is not treated fairly if we encumber our message with unnecessary requirements.
'The ancient Church had its "selection of fundamentals "--a kind of simple and limited expansion of the Apostles' Creed for doctrine and Apostolic practice for discipline.
'Notoriously the Eastern and Western mind misunderstood one another. The speculative East and the practical West could not be made to think after the same fashion. The Church of Christ has room for both.
'Now any one can see what mistakes we have made in India. Few men think themselves into the state of the Eastern mind, feel the difficulties of the Asiatic, and divine the way in which Christianity should be presented to him.
'We seek to denationalise these races, as far as I can see; whereas we ought surely to change as little as possible--only what is clearly incompatible with the simplest form of Christian teaching and practice.
'I don't mean that we are to compromise truth, but to study the native character, and not present the truth in an unnecessarily unattractive form.
'Don't we overlay it a good deal with human traditions, and still more often take it for granted that what suits us must be necessary for them, and vice versa.
'So many of our missionaries are not accustomed, not taught to think of these things. They grow up with certain modes of thought, hereditary notions, and they seek to reproduce these, no respect being had to the utterly dissimilar character and circumstances of the heathen.
'I think much about all this. Sir William Martin and I have much talk about it; and the strong practical mind of the Primate, I hope, would keep me straight if I was disposed to theorise, which I don't think is the case.
'But Christianity is the religion for humanity at large. It takes in all shades and diversities of character, race, &c.
'The substratum of it is, so to say, inordinate and coextensive with the substratum of humanity--all men must receive that. Each set of men must also receive many thing of secondary, yet of very great importance for them; but in this class there will be differences according to the characteristic differences of men throughout the world.
'I can't explain myself fully; but, dear Uncle, I think there is something in what I am trying to say.
'I want to see more discrimination, more sense of the due proportion, the relative importance of the various parts which make up the sum of extra teaching.
'There is so great want of order in the methods so often adopted, want of arrangement, and proper sequence, and subordination of one to another.
'The heathen man will assume some arbitrary dictate of a missionary to be of equal authority and importance with a moral command of (rod, unless you take care. Of course the missionary ought not to attempt to impose any arbitrary rule at all; but many missionaries do, and usually justify such conduct on the ground of their " exceptional position."
'But one must go much further. If I tell a man just beginning to listen, two or three points of Christian faith, or two or three rules of Christian life, without any orderly connection, I shall but puzzle him.
'Take, e.g., our English Sunday, I am far from wishing to change the greater part of the method of observing it in England.
'I hope the Melanesian Christians may learn to keep holy the Lord's Day. But am I to begin my teaching * of a wild Solomon Islander at that end; when he has not learned the evil of breaking habitually the sixth, seventh, and eighth Commandments?
'I notice continually the tendency of the teaching of the very men who denounce "forms" to produce formation.
'It is nearest to the native mind; it generates hypocrisy and mere outward observance of certain rules, which, during the few years that the people remain docile on their first acceptance of the new teaching, they are content to submit to.
'I see the great difficulty of making out all this. It necessitates the leaving so very much to the discretion of the pioneer. Ergo the missionary must not be the man who is not good enough for ordinary work in England, but the men whom England even does not produce in large numbers with some power of dealing with these questions.
'It is much better and safer to have a regular well-known rule to act by; but I don't see how you can give me, e.g.., precise directions. It seems to me that you must use great care in selecting your man, and then trust him fully.
'I hope it is not an excess of self-conceit and self-reliance which makes me pass by, rather lightly, I confess, some of the advice that very well-intentioned people occasionally volunteer to missionaries. I have had (D.Gr.) the Primate and Sir William Martin's men, who know what heathenism is, and the latter of whom has deeply studied the character of the various races of the world.
'I mean that when some one said, "Do you really mean to place those savage Melanesians among the immaculate Pitcairners?" the natural answer seemed to me to be, "I am not aware that you ever saw either a Pitcairner or a Melanesian." I thought it rather impertinent. The truth is, that the great proportion of our Melanesian scholars in our school, i.e., not standing alone, but helped by the discipline of the school, are quite competent to set an example to the average Pitcairners. But this I mark only as an illustration' of my meaning. Occasionally I hear of some book or sermon or speech in which sound views (as I venture to call them) are propounded on these points.
'Always your loving- and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The next letter was called forth by my sorrowful communication of the shattered state of both my dear friends; of whom, one, at the very time that my Cousin wrote, was already gone to his rest, having been mercifully spared the loneliness and grief we had feared for him.
'St. Andrew's: April 24, 1866.
'My dear Cousin,--I write a line at once in reply to a letter of January 29, for I see that a great sorrow is hanging over you, is perhaps already fallen on you, and I would fain say my word of sympathy, possibly of comfort.
'One, perhaps, of the great blessings that a person in my position enjoys is that he must perforce see through the present gloom occasioned by loss of present companionship on to the joy beyond. I hear of the death of dear Uncle, and friends, and even of that loving and holy Father of mine, and somehow it seems all peace, and calmness, and joy. It would not be so were I in England, to actually experience the sense of loss, to see the vacant seat, and miss the well-known voice; but it is (as I see) a great and most blessed alleviation to the loss of their society here below. You feel that when those loving hearts at Hursley can no longer be a stay and comfort to you here, you will have a sense almost of desolation pressing on you. You must, we all have, many trials and some sorrows, and I suppose Hursley has always been to you a city of refuge and house of rest.
'But I think the anticipation is harder than the reality. For him, but how can I speak of such as he is? Why should we feel anxiety? Surely he is just the man upon whom we should expect some special suffering, which is but some special mark of love and (may we not say in such a case?) of approbation. Some special aid to a very close conformity to the mind and character of Christ, to be sent in special love and mercy.
'I always seem to think that in the case of good men the suffering is the sure earnest of special nearness to God. It surely--if one may dare so to speak, and the case of Job warrants it, and the great passage "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you" (all)--is true that God is glorified in the endurance of sufferings which He lays upon the saints. And if dear Mr. Keble must suffer this last blow, as all through his life he has felt the care of the Churches pressing sorely on him, and has even had to comfort the weary, and guide the wayward, and to endure disappointment, and to restrain the over zealotis, and reprove the thoughtless, and bear in his bosom the infirmities of many people--why must we be unhappy about him, and why mourn for ourselves? God forbid! It is only one mark of the cross stamped upon him, only one more draught of the cup of the lacking measures of the afflictions of Christ. But you must, more than I, know and feel all this; and it is only in attempting to put before your eyes your own thoughts, that I have written this. For, indeed, I do sympathise with you, and I think how to me, who knew him so little yet yield to no one in deep reverence and love for him, his departure would be almost what the passing away of one of those who had seen the Lord must have been to those of old time; yet our time is not so very long now, and may be short, and we have had this blessed example for a long time, and there is on all accounts far more cause for joy than for sorrow.
'You must not think me unkind to Miss Mackenzie, because I have written to Fan to say that my letters and anecdotes are not to be fishes to swim in her "Net." It may be unwise in me to write all that kind of thing, but it does such an infinity of harm by its reflex action upon us who are engaged in this work. And I can write brotherly letters, if they are to be treated as public property. I could not trust my own brother to make extracts from my letters. No one in England can be a judge of the mischief that the letters occasion printed contrary to my wish by friends. We in the Mission think them so infinitely absurd, one-sided, exaggerated, &c., though we don't mean to make them so when we write them.
'We are all well, thank God, except a good fellow called Walter Hotaswol, from Matlavo (Saddle Island), who is in a decline. He has had two bad hemorrhages; but he is patient, simple-minded, quite content to die, and not doubting at all his Father's love, and his Saviour's merits, so I cannot grieve for him, though he was the one, humanly speaking, to have led the way in his home.
'You know that I sympathise with all your anxieties about Church matters. Parliamentary legislation would be the greatest evil of all. All your troubles only show that synodical action, and I believe with the laity in the Synod, is the only cure for these troubles.
'God bless you, my dear Cousin,
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.''
To the sisters he wrote at the same time:--
'I hear from Miss Yonge that Mrs. Keble is very ill-- dying. But, as I wrote to her, why should such things grieve us? He will soon rejoin her, and so it is all peace and comfort. He was seventy-five, I think, last St. Mark's Day, and I began a letter to him, but it was not fair to him to give him the trouble of reading it, and I tore it up. He knows without it how I do love and revere him, and I cannot pluck up courage to ask for some little book which he has used, that there may be a sort of odour of sanctity about it, just as Bishop Mackenzie's Thomas a Kempis, with him on the Zambesi, is on my table now.'
Before going forth with this ' lonely watcher ' upon his voyage, the description of this season's work with his scholars must be given from a Report which he brought himself to write for the Eton Association. After saying how his efforts were directed to the forming a number of native clergy in time to work among their own people, he continues:--' When uncivilised races come into contact with civilised men, they must either be condemned to a hopeless position of inferiority, or they must be raised out of their state of ignorance and vice by appealing to those powers within them which God intended them to use, and the use of which will place them by His blessing in the possession of whatever good things may be denoted by the words Religion and Civilisation.
'Either we may say to our Melanesian scholars, "You can't expect to be like us: you must not suppose that you can ever cease to be dependent on us, you must be content always to do as you are told by us, to be like children, as in malice so in knowledge; you can never be missionaries, you may become assistant teachers to English missionaries whom you must implicitly obey, you must do work which it would not be our place to do, you must occupy all the lower and meaner offices of our society;"--or, if we do not say this (and, indeed, no one would be likely to say it), yet we may show by our treatment of our scholars that we think and mean it.
'Or we may say what was, e.g., said to a class of nineteen scholars who were reading Acts ix.
'"Did our Lord tell Saul all that he was to do?"
'"What! not even when He appeared to him in that wonderful way from Heaven?"
'"What did the Lord say to him?"
'"That he was to go into Damascus, and there it would be told him what he was to do."
'"What means did the Lord use to tell Saul what he was to do? "
'"He sent a man to tell him."
'"Who was he?"
'"Do we know much about him? "
'" No, only that he was sent with a message to Saul to tell him the Lord's will concerning him and to baptize him."
' "What means did the Lord employ to make His will known to Saul?"
'"He sent a disciple to tell him."
'"Did He tell him Himself immediately? "
'"No, He sent a man to tell him."
'" Mention another instance of God's working in the same way, recorded in the Acts."
'"The case of Cornelius, who was told by the angel to send for Peter."
'"The angel then was not sent to tell Cornelius the way of salvation? "
'"No, God sent Peter to do that."
'"JESUS Christ began to do the same thing when He was on earth, did He not, even while He was Himself teaching and working miracles? "
'"Yes; He sent the twelve Apostles and the seventy disciples."
'"But what is the greatest instance of all, the greatest proof to us that God chooses to declare His will through man to man? "
'"God sent His own Son to become man."
'"Could He not have converted the whole world in a moment to the obedience of faith by some other way?"
'"But what did He in His wisdom choose to do?"
'"He sent His Son to be born of the Virgin Mary, to become man, and to walk on this earth as a real man, and to teach men, and to die for men."
'" What does JESUS Christ call us men? "
'"Who is our Mediator?"
'"The Man Christ JESUS."
'" What means does God employ to make His will known to us? "
'"He uses men to teach men.'
'"Can they do this by themselves? "
'"No, but God makes them able."
'"How have you heard the Gospel? "
'"Because God sent you to us."
'"And now, listen. How are all your people still in ignorance to hear it? What have I often told you about that?"
'Whereupon the scholars looked shy, and some said softly, "We must teach them."
'"Yes, indeed you must!"
'And so the lesson ended with questioning them on the great duty and privilege of prayer for God's Holy Spirit to give them both the will and the power to do the work to which God is calling them.
'So we constantly tell them " God has already been very merciful to you, in that He has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light. He has enabled you to receive the knowledge of His will, and to understand your relations to Him. He has taught you to believe in Him, to pray to Him, to hope for salvation through the merits of His Son's death and resurrection. He has made you feel something of the power of His love, and has taught you the duty of loving Him and serving your brother. He calls upon you now to rouse yourself to a sense of your true position, to use the gifts which He has given you to His glory and the good of your brethren. Don't suppose that you are unable to do this. You are unable to do it, as you were unable to believe and love Him by yourselves, but He gives you strength for this very purpose that you may be able to do it. You can do it through Christ, who strengtheneth you. Our fathers were not more able to teach their people once than you to teach your people now! "
'We make no distinction whatever between English and Melanesian members of the Mission as such. No Melanesian is excluded from any office of trust. No classification is made of higher and lower kinds of work, of work befitting a white man and work befitting a black man. English and Melanesian scholars or teachers work together in the school, printing-office, dairy, kitchen, farm The senior clergyman of the Mission labours most of all with his own hands at the work which is sometimes described as menial work; and it is contrary to the fundamental principle of the Mission that anyone should connect with the idea of white man the right to fag a black boy.
'Young men and lads come to us and say, " Let me do that. I can't write the languages, or do many things you or Mr. Pritt or Mr. Palmer do, so let me scrub your floor, or brush your shoes, or fetch some water." And of course we let them do so, for the doing it is accompanied by no feeling of degradation in their minds; they have seen us always doing these things, and not requiring them to do them as if it were the natural work for them, because they are black, and not proper for us, because we are white.
'Last night, a young man, sitting by the fire, said to the Bishop, "They want you to stop with them in my land."
'"I wish with all my heart I could."
'"Yes, I know, you must go to so many places."
'"But they are different in your land now."
'"Oh! yes, they don't fight now as they used to do; they don't go about armed now."
'"Well, that is a thing to be thankful for. What is the reason of it, do you think? "
"Why they know about you, and see you now and then, and Henry Tagalana talked to them, and I talked a little to them, and they asked me about our ways here, and they want to learn."
'"Well, there are now five of you from your island, and you must try hard to learn, that you may teach them, for remember you must do it, if God spares your life."'
'During the year 1865 a great advance was made in the industrial department of our work. About seventeen acres of land were taken in hand and worked by Mr. Pritt, with the Melanesian lads. We have our own dairy of thirteen cows, and, besides supplying the whole Mission party, numbering in all seventy-seven persons, with abundance of milk, we sell considerable quantities of butter. We grow, of course, our own potatoes and vegetables, and maize, &c., for our cows. The farm and dairy work affords another opportunity for teaching our young people to acquire habits of industry.'
Cooking, farm, gardening, dairy-work, setting out the table, &c., were all honourable occupations, and of great importance in teaching punctuality and regularity, and the various arts and decencies of life to the youths, who were in time to implant good habits in their native homes. Their natural docility made them peculiarly easy to manage and train while in hand; the real difficulty was that their life was so entirely different from their home, that there was no guessing how deep the training went, and, on every voyage, some fishes slipped through the meshes of the net, though some returned again, and others never dropped from their Bishop's hands. But he was becoming anxious to spare some of his scholars the trial of a return to native life; and, as the season had been healthy, he ventured on leaving twenty-seven pupils at St. Andrew's with Mr. and Mrs. Pritt, among them George and Sarah Sarawia.
After Trinity Sunday, May 27, the ' Southern Cross ' sailed, and the outward voyage gave leisure for the following letter to Prof. Max Miiller, explaining why he could not make his knowledge of languages of more benefit to philology while thus absorbed in practical work:--
'"Southern Cross," off Norfolk Ireland: June 6, 1866.
'My dear Friend,--I am about to tire your patience heavily. For I must find you some reasons for doing so little in making known these Melanesian dialects, and that will be wearisome for you to read; and, secondly, I cannot put down clearly and consecutively what I want to say. I have so very little time for thinking out, and working at any one subject continuously, that my whole habit of mind becomes, I fear, inaccurate and desultory. I have so very many and so very different occupations, and so much anxiety and so many interruptions, as the "friction" that attends the working, of a new and somewhat untried machine. '
'You know that we are few in number; indeed (Codrington being absent) I have but two clergymen with me, and two young men who may be ordained by-and-by. Besides, had I the twenty troublesome men, whom you wish to banish into these regions, what use would they or any men be until they had learnt their work? And it must fall to me to teach them, and that takes again much of my time; so that, as a matter of fact, there are many things that I must do, even when all is going on smoothly; and should sickness come, then, of course, my days and nights are spent in nursing poor lads, to whom no one else can talk, cheering up poor fellows seized with sudden nervous terror, giving food to those who will take it from no one else, &c.
'Then the whole management of the Mission must fall upon me; though I am most thankful to say that for some time Mr. Pritt has relieved me from the charge of all domestic and industrial works. He does everything of that kind, and does it admirably, so that our institution really is a well-ordered industrial school, in which kitchen work, dairy work, farm work, printing, clothes making and mending, &c., are all carried on, without the necessity of having any foreign importation of servants, who would be sure to do harm, both by their ideas as to perquisites (= stealing in the minds of our Melanesians), and by introducing the idea of paid labour; whereas now we all work together, and no one counts any work degrading, an:1, still less does any one qua white consider himself entitled to fag a Melanesian.
' Mr. Tilly, K.N., has also quite relieved me from my duties as skipper, and I have no trouble about marine stores, shipping seamen, navigating the vessel now. I cannot be too thankful for this; it, saves me time, anxiety, and worry; yet much remains that I must do, which is not connected with peculiar work directly.
'I can't refuse the Bishop of New Zealand when he presses me (for want of a better man) to be trustee of properties, and to engage in managing the few educational institutions we have. I can't refuse to take some share in English clerical work while on shore; indeed, in 1865, my good friend Archdeacon Lloyd being ill, I took his parish (one and a half hour distant from Kohimarama), the most important parish in Auckland, for some three months; not slacking my Melanesian work, though I could only avoid going back by hard application, and could make no progress. Then I must attend our General Synod; and all these questions concerning the colonial churches take some time to master, and yet I must know what is going on.
'Then I must carry on all the correspondence of the Mission. I am always writing letters. Every 5£. from any part of New Zealand or Australia I must acknowledge; and everyone wants information, anecdotes, &c.? which it vexes my soul to have to supply, but who else can do it? Then I keep all the accounts, very complicated, as you would say if you saw my big ledger. And I don't like to be altogether behindhand in the knowledge of theological questions, and people sometimes write to me, and their letters need to be answered carefully. Besides, take my actual time spent in teaching Shall I give you a day at Kohimarama?
'I get in the full summer months an hour for reading by being dressed at 5.30 A.M. At 5.30 I see the lads washing, &c., 7 A.M. breakfast all together, in hall, 7.30 chapel, 8-9.30 school, 9.30-12.30 industrial work. During this time I have generally half an hour with Mr. Pritt about business matters, and proof sheets are brought me, yet I get a little time for preparing lessons. 12.45 short service in chapel, 1 dinner, 2-3 Greek Testament with English young men, 3-4 classics with ditto, 5 tea, 6.30 evening chapel, 7-8.30 evening school with divers classes in rotation or with candidates for Baptism or Confirmation, 8.30-9 special instruction to more advanced scholars, only a few. 9-10 school with two other English lay assistants. Add to all this, visitors interrupting me from 4-5, correspondence, accounts, trustee business, sermons, nursing sick boys, and all the many daily unexpected little troubles that must be smoothed down, and questions inquired into, and boys' conduct investigated, and what becomes of linguistics? So much for my excuse for my small progress in languages! Don't think all this egotistical; it is necessary to make you understand my position.
'If I had spare time, leisure for working at any special work, perhaps eleven years of this kind of life have unfitted me for steady sustained thought. And you know well I bring but slender natural qualifications to the task. A tolerably truo ear and good memory for words, and now something of the instinctive insight into new tongues, but that is chiefly from continual practice.
'But when I attempt to systematise, I find endless ramifications of cognate dialects rushing through my brain, by their very multitude overwhelming me, and though / see the affinities and can make practical use of them, I don't know how to state them on paper, where to begin, how to put another person in iny position.
'Again, for observation of the rapid changes in these dialects, I have not much opportunity. For no one in Melanesia can be my informant. It is not easy where so many dialects must be known for practical purposes, for the introductory part of Mission work, to talk to some wild naked old fellow, and to make him understand what I am anxious to ascertain. It is a matter that has no interest for him, he never thought of it, he doesn't know my meaning, what have we in common? How can I rouse him from his utter indifference, even if I know his language so well as to talk easily, not to a scholar of my own, but to an elderly man, with none but native ideas in his head?
'All that I can do is to learn many dialects of a given archipelago, present their existing varieties, and so work back to the original language. This, to some extent, has been done in the Banks group, and in the eastern part of the Solomon Isles. But directly I get so far as this, I am recalled to the practical necessity of using the knowledge of the several dialects rather to make known God's truth to the heathen than to inform literati of the process of dialectic variation. Don't mistake me, my dear friend, or suspect me of silly sentimentalism. But you can easily understand what it is to feel " God has given to me only of all Christian men the power of speaking to this or that nation, and, moreover, that is the work He has sent me to do." Often, I don't deny, I should like the other better. It is very pleasant to shirk my evening class, e.g. and spend the time with Sir William Martin, discussing some point of Melanesian philosophy. But then my dear lads have lost two hours of Christian instruction, and that won't do.
'I don't need to be urged to do more in working out their languages. I am quite aware of the duty of doing all that I can in that way, and I wish to do it; but there are only twenty-four hours in the day and night together! I feel that it is a part of my special work, for each grammar and dictionary that I can write opens out the language to some other than myself. But I am now apologising rather for my fragmentary way of writing what I do write by saying that what I find enough, with my help given in school to enable one of my party to learn a dialect, I am almost obliged to regard as a measure of the time that I ought to spend on it.
'Another thing, I have no outline provided for me, which I can fill up. My own clear impression is that to attempt to follow the analogy of our complicated Greek and Latin grammars would not only involve certain failure, but would mislead people altogether. I don't want to be hunting after a Melanesian paulo-post-futurum. I had rather say, " All men qua men think, and have a power of expressing their thoughts. They have wants and express them. They use many different forms of speech in making that statement, if we look superficially at the matter, not so if we look into it," and so on. Then, discarding the ordinary arrangement of grammars, explain the mode of thought, the peculiar method of thinking upon matters of common interest, in the mind of the Melanesian, as exhibited in his language. An Englishman says, "When I get there, it will be night." But a Pacific Islander says, "I am there, it is night." The one says, "Go on, it will soon be dark." The other, "Go on, it has become already night." Anyone sees that the one possesses the power of realising the future as present, or past; the other now whatever it may have been once, does not exercise such power. A companion calls me at 5.30 A.M., with the words, "Eke! me gong veto," (Hullo! it is night already). He means, " Why, we ought to be off, we shall never reach the end of our journey before dark." But how neatly and prettily he expresses his thought! I assure you, civilised languages, for common conversational purposes needed by travellers, &c., are clumsy contrivances! Of course you know all this a hundred times better than I do. I only illustrate my idea of a grammar as a means of teaching others the form of the mould in which the Melanesian's mind is cast. I think I ought to go farther, and seek for certain categories, under which thought may be classified (so to say), and beginning with the very simplest work on to the more complicated powers.
'But I haven't the head to do this; and suppose that I did make such a framework, how am I to fill it in so as to be intelligible to outsiders? For practical purposes, I give numerals, personal, possessive, and demonstrative pronouns, the mode of qualifying nouns, e.g., some languages interpose a monosyllable between the substantive and adjective, others do not. The words used (as it is called) as prepositions and adverbs, the mode of changing a neuter verb into a transitive or causative verb, usually by a word prefixed, which means do or make, e.g., die, do-die, do-to-the-death, him.
'Then I teach orally how the intonation, accentuation, pause in the utterance, gesticulation, supply the place of stops, marks of interrogation, &c.
'Then giving certain nouns, verbs, &c., make my English pupils construct sentences; then give them a vocabulary and genuine native stories, not translations at all, least of all of religious books, which contain very few native ideas, but stories of sharks, cocoa-nuts, canoes, fights, &c. This is the apparatus. This gives but little idea of a Melanesian dialect to you. I know it, and am anxious to do more.
'This last season I have had some three or four months, during which I determined that I must refuse to take so much English work, &c. I sat and growled in my den, and of course rather vexed people, and perhaps, for which I should be most heartily grieved, my dear friend and leader, the Bishop of New Zealand. But I stuck to my work. I wrote about a dozen papers of phrases in as many dialects, to show the mode of expressing in those dialects what we express by adverbs and prepositions, &c. This is, of course, the difficult part of a language for a stranger to find out. I also printed three, and have three more nearly finished in MS., vocabularies of about 600 words with a true native sehdia on each word. The mere writing (for much was written twice over) took a longtime. And there is this gained by these vocabularies for practical purposes: these are (with more exceptions, it is true, than I intended) the words which crop up most readily in a Melanesian mind. Much time I have wasted, and would fain save others from wasting, in trying to form a Melanesian mind into a given direction into which it ought, as I supposed, to have travelled, but which nevertheless it refused to follow. JSTow ten years' experience has, of course, taught me a good deal of the minds of these races; and when I catch a new fellow, as wild as a hawk, and' set to work at a new language, it is a great gain to have even partially worked out the problem, " What words shall I try to get from this fellow?" Now I go straight to my mark, or rather I am enabling, I hope, my young friends with me to do so, for of course, I have learnt to do so myself, more or less, for some time past. Many words may surprise you, and many alterations I should make in any revision.' I know a vast number of words not used in these vocabularies, in some languages I daresay five times the number, but I had a special reason for writing only these. The rest must come, if I live, by-and-by.
'Of course these languages are very poor in respect of words belonging to civilised and literary and religious life, but exceedingly rich in all that pertains to the needs and habits of men circumstanced as they are. I draw naturally this inference, " Don't be in any hurry to translate, and don't attempt to use words as (assumed) equivalents of abstract ideas. Don't devise modes of expression unknown to the language as at present in use. They can't understand, and therefore don't use words to express definitions." But, as everywhere, our Lord gives us the model. A certain lawyer asked Him for a definition of his neighbour, but He gave no definition, only He spoke a simple and touching parable. So teach, not a technical word, but an actual thing.
'Why do I write all this to you? It is wasting your time. But I prose on.--(A sheet follows on the structure of the languages.)
'Well, I have inflicted a volume on you. We are almost becalmed after a weary fortnight of heavy weather, in which we have been knocked about in every direction in our tight little 90-ton schooner. And my head is hardly steady yet, so excuse a long letter, or rather long chatty set of desultory remarks, from
'Your old affectionate Friend,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
A little scene from Mr. Atkin's journal shows how he had learnt to talk to natives. He went ashore with the Bishop and some others at Sesaki for yams:--
'It has been by far the pleasantest day of the kind that I have seen here. The people are beginning to understand that they can do no better than trade fairly with us, and to-day they on the whole behaved very well. A very big fellow had been ringing all the changes between commanding and entreating me to give him a hatchet (I was holding the trade bag). When he found it was no use, he said, " I was a bad man, and never gave anything." I said "Yes, I was." He said the Bishops were very good men, they gave liberally. He had better go and ask the Bishop for something, for he was a good man, though I was not.'
After landing Mr. Palmer at Mota, the vessel went onto the Solomon Isles, reaching Bauro on the 27th:--
'About 8.30 in the evening the boat was lowered, and the party pulled towards the village, which was the home of Taroniara, in a fine clear moonlit night, by the fires which people had lit for the people on shore, and directed by Taroniara himself to the opening in the reef. They landed in the midst of a group of dark figures, some standing in a brook, some by the side under a large spreading tree, round a fire fed by dry cocoa-nut leaves; and in the background were tall cocoa-nuts with their gracefully drooping plumes, and the moon behind shining through them made the shade seem darker and deeper as the flashing crests of the surf, breaking on the reef, made the heaving sea beyond look murkier. It was a sight worth going a long way to see,' so says Mr. Atkin's journal.
The next sight was, however, still more curious. The Bishop relented so far towards 'the Net,' as to write an account of it on purpose for it. Ysabel Island is, like almost all the rest, divided among many small communities of warlike habits. And some years previously the people of Mahaga, the place with which he was best acquainted, had laid an ambush for those of Hogirano, killed a good many, and, cutting off their heads, had placed them in a row upon stones, and danced round them in a victorious suit of white-coral lime. However, a more powerful tribe, not long after, came down upon Mahaga and fearfully avenged the massacre of Hogirano. All were slain who could not escape into the bush; and when the few survivors, after days and nights of hunger, ventured back, they found the dwellings burnt, the fruit trees cut down, the yam and taro grounds devastated, and more than a hundred headless bodies of their kindred lying scattered about.
This outrage had led to the erection of places of refuge in the tops of trees; and Bishop Patteson, who had three Mahagan scholars, went ashore, with the hope of passing the night in one of these wonderful places, where the people always slept, though by day they lived in the ordinary open bamboo huts.
After landing in a mangrove swamp, and wading through deep mud, he found that the Mahaga people had removed from their old site, and had built a strong fortification near the sea; and close above, so as to be reached by ladders resting on the wall, were six large tree-houses.
It had been raining heavily for a day or two, and the paths were so deep in mud that the bed of a water-course was found preferable to them. The bush had been cleared for some distance before the steep rocky mound where the village stood, surrounded by a high wall of stones, in which one narrow entrance was left, approached by a fallen trunk of a tree lying over a hollow. The huts were made of bamboo canes, and the floors, raised above the ground, were nearly covered with mats and a kind of basket work.
The tree-houses, six in number, were upon the tops of trees of great height, 50 feet round at the base, and all branches cleared off till near the summit, where two or three grew out at right angles, something after the manner of an Italian stone pine:--
'From the top of the wall the ladder that led to one of these houses was 60 feet long, but it was not quite upright, and the tree was growing at some little distance from the bottom of the rock, and the distance by a plumb line from the floor of the verandah to the ground on the lower side of the tree was 94 feet. The floor of the house, which is made first, was 23 feet long and about 11 broad; a narrow verandah is left at each end, and the inside length of the house is 18 feet, the breadth 10 feet, the height to the ridge pole 6 feet. The floor was of bamboo matted, the roof and sides of palm-leaf thatch. The ladders were remarkable contrivances: a pole in the centre, from 4 to 6 inches in diameter, to which were lashed by vines cross pieces of wood, about two feet long. To steady these and hold on by were double shrouds of supple-jacks. The rungs of the ladder were at unequal distances, 42 upon the 50 feet ladder.'
The Bishop and Pasvorang, who had gone ashore together, beheld men, women, and children running up and down these ladders, and walking about the bare branches, trusting entirely to their feet and not touching with their hands. The Bishop, in his wet slippery shoes, did not think it right to run the risk of an accident: and though Pasvorang, who was as much at home as a sailor among the ropes of the ' Southern Cross,' made the ascent, he came down saying, l1 was so afraid, my legs shook. Don't you go, going aloft is nothing to it;' but the people could not understand any dread; and when the Bishop said, ' I can't go up there. I am neither bird nor bat, and I have no wings if I fall,' they thought him joking. At the same time he saw a woman with a load on her back, quietly walking up a ladder to another tree, not indeed so lofty as that Pasvorang had tried, but as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and without attempting to catch hold with her hands.
'At night,' says the Bishop, 'as I lay ignominiously on the ground in a hut, I heard the songs of the women aloft as voices from the clouds, while the loud croaking of the frogs, the shrill noise of countless cicadas, the scream of cockatoos and parrots, the cries of birds of many kinds, and the not unreasonable fear of scorpions, all combined to keep me awake. Solemn thoughts pass through the mind at such times, and from time to time I spoke to the people who were sleeping in the hut with me. It rained heavily in the night, and I was not sorry to find myself at 7 A.M. on board the schooner.'
The next day was spent in doing the honours of the ship, a crowd on board all day; and on July 2 the Bishop landed again with Mr. Atkin, and mounted up to this wonderful nest, where all these measurements were made. It proved much more agreeable to look at from below than to inhabit ' the low steaming bamboo huts--the crowds, the dirt, the squalling of babies--you can't sit or stand, or touch anything that is not grimy and sooty and muddy. It is silly to let these things really affect one, only that it now seems rather to knock me up. After such a day and night I am very tired, come back to our little ship as to a palace, wash, and sit down on a clean, if not a soft stool, and am free for a little while from continual noise and the necessity of making talk in an imperfectly known language.
'It is really curious to see how in some way our civilised mode of life unfits one for living among these races. It is not to be denied that the want of such occupations as we are employed in is a large cause of their troubles. What are they to do during the long hours of night, and on wet, pouring days? They can't read, they can't see in their huts to do any work, making baskets, &c. They must lie about, talking scandal and acquiring listless indolent habits. Then comes a wild reaction. The younger people like excitement as much as our young men like hunting, fishing, shooting, &c. How can they get this? Why, they must quarrel and fight, and so they pass their time. It does seem almost impossible to do much for people so circumstanced; yet it was much the same in Mota and elsewhere, where things are altered for the better.'
It was bad and trying weather, and it was well to have only two old Banks Islanders on board, besides three Ysabel lads. The Bishop had plenty of time for writing; and for the first time in his life 'pronounced himself forward with that Report which was always on his mind.' He goes on: 'I read a good deal, but I don't say that my mind is very active all the time, and I have some schooling. Yet it is not easy to do very much mental work. I think 'that I feel the heat more than I used to do, but that may be only my fancy.
'You meantime are, I hope, enjoying fine summer weather. Certainly it must be a charming place that you have, close to that grand Church and grand scenery. I think my idea of a cosy home is rather that of a cottage in the Isle of Wight, or, better still, a house near such a Cathedral as Wells, in one of the cottages close to the clear streams that wind through and about the Cathedral precincts. But I can form no real notions about such things. Only I am pretty sure that there is little happiness without real hard work. I do long sometimes for a glorious Cathedral service, for the old chants, anthems, not for "functions" and "processions," &c. I have read Freeman's pamphlet on "Ritual " with interest; he really knows what he writes about, and has one great object and a worthy one, the restoration of the universal practice of weekly communion as the special Sunday service. That all our preachifying is a wide departure from the very idea of worship is self-evident, when it is made more than a necessary part of the religious observance of the Lord's Day, and catechising is worth far more than preaching (in the technical sense of the word).'
A first visit was paid to Savo; where numerous canoes came out to meet them, one a kind of state galley, with the stem and stern twelve feet high, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and ornamented with white shells (most likely the ovum or poached egg), and containing the chief men of the island. The people spoke the Ysabel language, and the place seemed promising.
Some little time was spent in beating up to Bauro; where the Bishop again landed at Taroniara's village, and slept in his hut, which was as disagreeable as all such places were:--'Such a night always disturbs me for a time, throws everything out of regular working order; but it always pays, the people like it, and it shows a confidence in them which helps us on.
'I was disappointed though in the morning, when Taroniara declined to come with me to this place.
'My people say, " Why do you go away? "--the old stupid way of getting out of an engagement.' However, two others came to ' this place,' which was a hut in the village of Wango, which the Bishop had hired for ten days for the rent of a hatchet.
' A very sufficient rent too, you would say, if you could see the place. I can only stand upright under the ridge pole, the whole of the oblong is made of bamboo, with a good roof that kept out a heavy shower last night. There is a fresh stream of water within fifteen yards, where I bathed at 9 P.M. yesterday; and as I managed to get rid of strangers by 8.30, it was not so difficult to manage a shift into a clean and dry sleeping shirt, and then, lying down on Aunt William's cork-bed (my old travelling companion), I slept very fairly.
'People about the hut at earliest dawn; and the day seems long, the sustained effort of talking, the heat, the crowd, and the many little things that should not but do operate as an annoyance, all tire one very much. But I hope that by degrees I may get opportunities of talking about the matter that I come to talk about. Just now the trading with the vessel, which is detained here by the weather, and surprise at my half-dozen books, &c., prevent any attention being paid to anything else.
'7 P.M.--The vessel went off at 10.30 A.M. I felt for a little while rather forlorn, and a little sinking at the heart. You see I confess it all, how silly! Can't I after so many years bear to be left in one sense alone? I read a little of you know what Book, and then found the feeling pass entirely away.
'But, more than that, the extreme friendliness of the people, the real kindness was pleasant to me. One man brought his child," The child of us two, Bishop." Another man, "These cocoa-nut trees are the property of us two, remember." A third, " When you want yams, don't you buy them, tell me."
'But far better still. Many times already to-day have I spoken to the people; they have so far listened that they say, " Take this boy, and this boy, and this boy. We see now why you don't want big men, we see now that you can't stop here long, what for you wish for lads whom you may teach, we see that you want them for a long time. Keep these lads two years."
'"Yes, two or three or four. By-and-by you will understand more and more my reason."
'Then came the talks that you too may experience when dealing with some neglected child in London, or it may be in the country; but which, under the cocoa-nut tree, with dark naked men, have a special impressiveness. It was the old lesson, of the Eternal and Universal Father, who has not left Himself without witness in that He gives us all rain from Heaven, &c., and of our ingratitude, and His love; of His coming down to point out the way of life, and of His Death and Rising again; of another world, Resurrection, and Judgment. All interrupted, now and then, by exclamations of surprise, laughter, or by some one beginning to talk about something that jarred sadly on one's ear, and yet was but natural. But I do hope that a week may pass not unprofitably. In one sense, I shall no doubt be glad when it is over; but I think that it may, by God's great goodness, be a preparation for something more to come.
'Last night, my little hired hut being crowded as usual, they all cried out at once "Numu" (earthquake). I should not the least have known that anything had occurred. I said I thought it was a pig pushing against the bamboo wall of the hut. They say that they have no serious shocks, but very many slight ones. Crocodiles they have too, but, they say, none in this stream.
'July 22nd.--It is 9 P.M., the pleasantest time, in one sense, of my twenty-four hours, for there are only two people with me in the hut.
'My arrangements are somewhat simple; but I am very comfortable. Delicious bathes I have in the stream: yams and fish are no bad fare; and I have some biscuit and essence of coffee, and a few books, and am perfectly well. The mode of life has become almost natural to me. I am on capital terms with the people, and even the babies are no longer afraid of me. Old and young, men and women, boys and girls about me of course all day; and small presents of yams, fish, bananas, almonds, show the friendliness of the people when properly treated. But the bunches of skulls remain slung up in the large canoe houses, and they can be wild enough when they are excited.'
[The home diary continues, on the 26th]:--' I am expecting the schooner, and shall be glad to get off if it arrives to-day, for it is very fine. I don't think I could do any good by staying a few days more, so I might as well be on my way to Santa Cruz. If I were here for good, of course I should be busy about many things that it would be useless to attempt now, e.g., what good would it be to induce half-a-dozen boys to learn "a," when I should be gone before they could learn " b "? So I content myself with making friends with the people, observing their ways, and talking to them as I can. It is hot, now at 8.30 A.M. What will it be at 2 P.M.? But I may perhaps be able to say something to cheer me up. One of the trials of this kind of thing is that one seems to be doing nothing. Simply I am here! Hkrdly in one hour out of the twenty-four am I sure to be speaking of religion. Yet the being here is something, the gaining the confidence and goodwill of the people. Then comes the thought, who is to carry this on? And yet I dare not ask men to come, for I am certain they would after all my pains find something different from what they expect.
My death would very likely bring out some better men for the work, with energy and constructive power and executive genius, all of which, guided by Divine Wisdom, seem to be so much wanted! But just now, I don't see what would become of a large part of the work if I died. I am leaving books somewhat more in order; but it is one thing to have a book to help one in acquiring a language, quite another to speak it freely, and to be personally known to the people who speak it.
'11th Sunday after Trinity.--Off Anudha Island, 4 P.M. Thermometer 88° in the empty cabin, everyone being on deck. Well, dear old Joan and Fan, refreshed by--what do you think? O feast of Guildhall and Bristol mayors! Who would dream of turtle soup on board the "Southern Cross" in these unknown seas? Tell it not to Missionary Societies! Let no platform orator divulge the great secret of the luxurious self-indulgent life of the Missionary Bishop! What nuts for the "Pall Mall Gazette"! How would all subscriptions cease, and denunciations be launched upon my devoted head, because good Mr. Tilly bought, at San Cristoval, for the price of one tenpenny hatchet, a little turtle, a veritable turtle, with green fat and all the rest of it, upon which we have made to-day a most regal feast indeed.
'But seriously. There has been much to make me hopeful, and something to disappoint me, since I last wrote.'
The two days at Santa Cruz were hopeful--[Mr. Atkin says that the natives came on board with readiness and stole with equal readiness; but this was all in a friendly way]--and a small island, named Piteni, was visited, and judged likely to prove a means of reaching the larger isle.
The disappointment is not here mentioned, unless it was the missing some of the Ysabel scholars, and bringing away only three; but this mattered the less, as the Banks Island party, which, as forming a nucleus, was far more important, was now considerable. Sixty-two scholars were the present freight, including nine little girls, between eight and twelve, mostly betrothed to old pupils.
At Malanta, a new village called Saa was visited. The 'harbour' was a wall of coral, with the surf breaking upon it, but a large canoe showed the only accessible place, and this was exposed to the whole swell of the Pacific.
'The natives,' writes Mr. Atkin, 'held the boat in water up to their knees, but the seas that broke thirty yards outside washed over their shoulders and sometimes their heads. We might have taken away half the people of the village, and had no trouble in getting two nice-looking- little boys. About 320 miles from Norfolk Island, one of these little boys, Wate, playing, fell overboard: we were going ten knots at the time, right before the wind; it was a quarter of an hour before we picked him up, as it took five minutes to stop the vessel and ten to get to him. Wate seemed all the better for his ducking.'
This little Wate became Mr. Atkin's especial child, his godson and devoted follower.
On October 2, Norfolk Island was reached, and there, a wooden house having been conveyed thither by H.M.S. ' Falcon,' Mr. Palmer and fifteen scholars were placed to spend the winter. The Pitcairners welcomed the Mission, but were displeased at the Government assuming a right to dispose of the land which they had fancied entirely their own.
One of the letters written separate from the journal during this voyage gives a commission for photographs from the best devotional prints, for the benefit chiefly of his young colonial staff:--'I have not the heart to send for my Lionardo da Vinci,' (he says), that much valued engraving, purchased at Florence, and he wishes for no modern ones, save Ary Scheffer's 'Christis Consolator,' mentioning a few of his special favourites to be procured if possible. For the Melanesians, pictures of ships, fishes, and if possible tropical vegetation, was all the art yet needed, and beads, red and blue, but dull ones; none not exactly like the samples would be of any use. ' It is no good sending out any "fancy" articles such as you would give English children. "Toys for savages" are all the fancies of those who manufacture such toys for sale. Of course, any manufacturer who wishes to give presents of knives, tools, hatchets, &c., would do a great benefit, but then the knives must be really strong and sharp.'
I have concluded the letters of the island voyage, before giving those written on the homeward transit from Norfolk Island, whither the ' Falcon' had conveyed the letters telling of the departure of both Mr. and Mrs. Keble. The first written under this impulse was of course to Sir John Coleridge, the oldest friend:--
'At Sea, near Norfolk Island: October 3, 1866.
'My dear, dear Uncle,--How can I thank you enough for telling me so'much of dear saintly Mr. Keble and his wife? He has been, for my dear father and mother's sakes, very loving to me, and actually wrote me two short letters, one after his seizure, which I treasure. How I had grown to reverence and love him more and more you can easily believe; and yesterday at Norfolk Island, whither some letters had been sent, I read with a very full heart of the peaceful close of such a holy life. And I do love to think too of you and him, if I may speak freely of such as you; and the weight attached to all you say and do (you two I mean) in your several occupations seems at all events one hopeful sign among not a few gloomy ones. I suppose you and Mr. Keble little estimated the influence which even a casual word or sentence of yours exercises upon a man of my age, predisposed (it is true) to hearken with attention and reverence. . . .
'Is it possible that fifty years hence any similar event, should there be such, which should so "stir the heart of the country " (as you say about Mr. Keble's death), might stimulate people to raise large sums for the endowment of a Church about to be, or already separated from the State? I can't avoid feeling as if God may be permitting the extension of the Colonial Churches, partly and in a secondary sense that so the ground may be travelled over on a small scale before the Church at home maybe thrown in like manner upon its own resources. The alliance is a very precarious one surely, and depends upon the solemn adherence to a fiction. It is extraordinary that some Colonial Bishops should seek to reproduce the state of things which is of course peculiar to England, the produce of certain historical events, and which can have no resemblance whatever to the circumstances of our Colonies.
'The mail closes just after our arrival; and I am very busy at first coming on shore with such a party. Goodbye for the present, my dear dear Uncle,
'Your loving and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. P.'
To me the condolence was:--
'October 6, 1866.
'And so, my dear Cousin, the blow has fallen upon you, and dear Mr. and Mrs. Keble have passed away to their eternal rest. I found letters at Norfolk Island on October 2, not my April letters, which will tell me most about him, but my May budget.
'How very touching the account is which my Uncle John sends me of dear Mrs. Keble, so thankful that he was taken first, so desirous to go, yet so content to stay! And how merciful it has all been. Such a calm holy close to the saintly life. May God bless and support all you who feel the bereavement! Even I feel that I would fain look for one more letter from him, but we have his "Christian Year," and other books. Is it not wonderful that all the wisdom and love and beauty of the "Christian Year," to say nothing of the exquisite and matured poetry, should have been given to him so early in life? Why, as I gather, the book was finished in the year 1825, though not published till 1827. He wrote it when he was only 33 years old, and for 45 years he lived after he was capable of such a work. Surely such a union of extreme learning, wisdom, and scholarship, with humility and purity of heart and life has very seldom been found. Everyone wishes to say something to everyone else of one so dear to all, and no one can say what each and all feel. We ought indeed to be thankful, who not only have in common with all men his books, but the memory of what he was personally to us.
'The change must needs be a great one to you. I do feel much for you indeed. But you will bear it bravely; and many duties and the will and power to discharge them occupy the mind, and the elasticity comes back again after a time. I know nothing of the Keble family, not even how they were related to him, so that my interest in Hursley is connected with him only. Yet it will always be a hallowed spot in the memory of English Churchmen. You will hear the various rumours as to who is to write his life, &c. Let me know what is worth knowing about it.
'Kohimarama. Anchored on October 8, after an absence of exactly six weeks; all well on board and ashore.
'Thanks be to God for so many mercies. The mail is gone, and alas! all my letters and newspapers were sent off a few days since in the " Brisk" to Norfolk Island. We passed each other. They did not expect me back so soon, so I have no late news, and have no time to read newspapers.
'May God bless you, my dear Cousin,
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
In spite of this deep veneration for Mr. Keble and for his teachings, Bishop Patteson did not embrace to the full the doctrine which had been maintained in 'Eucharistic Adoration,' and which he rightly perceived to lie at the root of the whole Ritualistic question. His conclusions had been formed upon the teachings of the elder Anglican divines, and his predilections for the externals of worship upon the most reverent and beautiful forms to which he had been accustomed before he left home.
After an All Saints' Communion, the following letter was written:--
'All Saints' Day, 1866.
'My dear Cousin,--You know why I write to you on this day. The Communion of Saints becomes ever a more and more real thing to us as holy and saintly servants of God pass beyond the veil, as also we learn to know and love more and more our dear fellow-labourers and fellow-pilgrims still among us in the flesh.
'Such a day as this brings, thanks be to God, many calm, peaceful memories with it. Of how many we may both think humbly and thankfully whose trials and sorrows are over for ever, whose earthly work is done, who dwell now in Paradise and see His Face, and calmly wait for the great consummation. To you the sense of personal loss must be now--it will always be--mixed up with the true spirit of thankfulness and joy; but remember that as they greatly helped you, so you in no slight measure have received from God power to help others, a trust which I verily believe you are faithfully discharging, and that the brightness of the Christian life must be not lost sight of in our dealings with others, would we really seek to set forth the attractiveness of religion.
'I don't mean that I miss this element in any of your writings; rather I am thankful to you because you teach so well how happiness and joy are the portion of the Christian in the midst of so much that the world counts sorrow and loss. But I think that depression of mind rapidly communicates itself, and you must be aware that you are through your books stamping your mind on many people.
'Do you mind my saying all this to you? only I would fain say anything that at such a time may, if only for a minute, help to keep the bright side before you. The spirit of patience did seem so to rest upon him and his dear saintly wife. The motto of the Christian Year seemed to be inwoven into his life and character. I suppose he so well knew the insignificance of what to us mortals in our own generation seems so great, that he had learned to view eternal truths in the light of Him who is eternal. He fought manfully for the true eternal issues, and everything else fell into its subordinate place. Is not one continually struck with his keen sense of the proportion of things? He wastes no time nor strength in the accidents of religion; much that he liked and valued he never taught as essential, or even mentioned, lest it might interfere with essentials.
'Oh! that his calm wise judgment, his spiritual discernment, may be poured out on many earnest men who I can't help thinking lack that instinct which divinely guided the early Church in the "selection of fundamentals." We must all grieve to see earnest, zealous men almost injuring the good cause, and placing its best and wisest champions in an unnecessarily difficult position, because they do not see what I suppose Mr. Keble did see so very clearly.
'I know that these questions present themselves somewhat differently to those situated severally as you and we are. But it is, I suppose, by freely interchanging amongst ourselves thoughts that the general balance is best preserved. Pray, when you have time, write freely to me on such matters if you think it may be of use to do so. The Church everywhere ought to guard, and teach, and practise what is essential. In non-essentials I suppose the rule is clear. I will eat no meat, &c.
'And now good-bye, my dear Cousin; and may (rod ever bless and comfort you.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Sir William and Lady Martin had just paid their last visit to Kohimarama, and here is the final record by Lady Martin's hand of the pleasant days there spent:--
'One more visit we paid to our dear friend in November 1866, a few months before he left Kohimarama for Norfolk Island. He invited my dear husband specially for the purpose of working together at Hebrew, with the aid of the lights they thought our languages throw on its grammatical structure.
'The Bishop was very happy and bright. He was in his new house, a great improvement upon the stuffy quarters in the quad. His sitting-room was large and lofty, and had French windows which opened on a little verandah facing the sea.
'The Mission party were most co-operative, and would not let the Bishop come into school during the three weeks of our stay, so he had a working holiday which he thoroughly enjoyed. The weather was lovely, the boys were all well, and there was no drawback to the happiness of that time. At seven the chapel bell rang and we walked across with him to the pretty little chapel. The prayers and hymn were in Mota, the latter a translation by the Bishop of the hymn "Now that the daylight fills the sky." The boys all responded heartily and were reverent in demeanour. After breakfast the two wise men worked steadily till nearly one. We were not allowed to dine in Hall as the weather was very warm, and we inveigled the Bishop to stay out and be our host.
'A quaint little procession of demure-looking little maidens brought our dinner over. They were grave and full of responsibility till some word from 'Bisop' would light up their faces with shy smiles.
'What pleasant walks we had together before evening chapel under the wooded cliffs or through the green fields. Mr. Pritt had by this time brought the Mission farm into excellent working order by the aid of the elder lads alone. Abundance of good milk and butter (the latter getting ready sale in town) and of vegetables. His gifts too in school-keeping were invaluable.
'I wish I could recall some of the conversations with our dear friend. A favourite topic was concerning the best modes of bringing the doctrines of the Christian religion clearly and fully within the comprehension of the converts. Some of their papers written after being taught by him showed that they did apprehend them in a thoughtful intelligent way.
'At half-past six we had a short service, again in Mota, in chapel, and then we rarely saw our dear friend till nine. He would not neglect any of his night classes. At half-past nine the English workers gathered together in the Bishop's room for prayers and for a little friendly chat. Curiously enough, the conversation I most distinctly remember was one with him as we rode up one Saturday from Kohimarama to St. John's College. I got him to describe the game of tennis, and lie warmed up and told me of games he had played at.
'How that cheery talk came to mind as I drove down the same road last year just after fine weather had come! It was the same season, and the hedges on each side of the narrow lane were fragrant as then with may and sweet briar.'