THE HABIT of writing journals was not at once resumed by Bishop Patteson when his father was not there to read them; and the chance of seeing his sisters, no doubt, made him write less fully to them, since they might be on the voyage when the letters arrived in England. Thus the fullest record of the early part of the voyage is in a report which he drew up and printed in the form of a letter to the Rev. J. Keble:--
'We chartered the "Sea Breeze" schooner in June last for four months: she is a vessel of seventy tons register, a little larger than the old "Southern Cross," and as well suited for our purpose as a vessel can be which is built to carry passengers in the ordinary way. No voyage can of course equal in importance those early expeditions of the Primate, when he sailed in his little schooner among seas unknown, to islands never before visited, or visited only by the sandal-wood traders. But I never recollect myself so remarkable a voyage as this last. I do not mean that any new method was adopted in visiting islands, or communicating with the natives. God gave to the Bishop of New Zealand wisdom to see and carry out from the first the plan, which more and more approves itself as the best and only feasible plan, for our peculiar work. But all through this voyage, both in revisiting islands well known to us, and in recommencing the work in other islands, where, amidst the multitude of the Primate's engagements, it had been impossible to keep up our acquaintance with the people, and in opening the way in islands now visited for the first time, from the beginning to the end, it pleased God to prosper us beyond all our utmost hopes. I was not only able to land on many places where, as far as I know, no white man had set foot before, but to go inland, to inspect the houses, canoes, &c., in crowded villages (as at Santa Cruz), or to sit for two hours alone amidst a throng of people (as at Pentecost Island), or to walk two and a half miles inland (as at Tariko or Aspee). From no less than eight islands have we for the first time received, young people for our school here, and fifty-one Melanesian men, women, and young lads are now with us, gathered from twenty-four islands, exclusive of the islands so long-known to us of the Loyalty Group. When you remember that at Santa Cruz, e.g., we had never landed before, and that this voyage I was permitted to go ashore at seven different places in one day, during which I saw about 1,200 men: that in all these islands the inhabitants are, to look at, wild, naked, armed with spears and clubs, or bows and poisoned arrows; that every man's hand (as, alas! we find only too soon when we live among them) is against his neighbour, and scenes of violence and bloodshed amongst themselves of frequent occurrence; and that throughout this voyage (during which I landed between seventy and eighty times) not one hand was lifted up against me, not one sign of ill-will exhibited; you will see why I speak and think with real amazement and thankfulness of a voyage accompanied with results so wholly unexpected. I say results, for the effecting a safe landing on an island, and much more the receiving a native lad from it, is, in this sense, a result, that the great step has been made of commencing an acquaintance with the people. If I live to make another voyage, I shall no longer go ashore there as a stranger. I know the names .of some of the men; I can by signs remind them of some little present made, some little occurrence which took place; we have already something in common, and as far as they know me at all, they know me as a friend. Then some lad is given up to us, the language learned, and a real hold on the island obtained.
'The most distant point we reached was the large island Ysabel, in the Solomon Archipelago. From this island a lad has come away with us, and we have also a native boy from an island not many miles distant from Ysabel, called Anudha, but marked in the charts (though not correctly) as Florida.
'It would weary you if I wrote of all the numerous adventures and strange scenes which in such a voyage we of course experience. I will give you, if I can, an idea of what took place at some few islands, to illustrate the general character of the voyage.
'One of the New Hebrides Islands, near the middle of the group, was discovered by Cook, and by him called "Three Hills." The central part of it, where we have long-had an acquaintance with the natives, is called by them "Mai." Some six years ago we landed there, and two young men came away with us, and spent the summer in New Zealand. Their names were Petere and Laure; the former was a local chief of some consequence. We took a peculiar interest in this island, finding that a portion of the population consists of a tribe speaking a dialect of the great Polynesian language of which another dialect is spoken in New Zealand. Every year we have had scholars from Mai, several of whom can read and write. We have landed there times without number, slept ashore three or four times, and are well known of course to the inhabitants.
'The other day I landed as usual among a crowd of old acquaintances, painted and armed, but of that I thought nothing. Knowing them to be so friendly to us, instead of landing alone, I took two or three of our party to walk inland with me; and off we started, Mr. Dudley and Wadrokala being left sitting in the boat, which was, as usual, a short distance from the beach. We had walked about half a mile before I noticed something unusual in the manner of the people, and I overheard them talking in a way that made me suspect that something had happened which they did not want me to know. Petere had not made his appearance, though in general the first to greet us, and on my making enquiries for him, I was told that he was not well. Not long afterwards I overheard a man say that Petere was dead, and taking again some opportunity that offered itself for asking about him, was told that he was dead, that he had died of dysentery. I was grieved to hear this, because I liked him personally and had expected help from him when the time came for commencing a Mission station on the island. The distance from the beach to the village where Petere lived is about one and a half mile, and a large party had assembled before we reached it. There was a great lamentation and crying on our arrival, during which I sat down on a large log of a tree. Then came a pause, and I spoke to the people, telling them how sorry I was to hear of Petere's death. There was something strange still about their manner, which I could not quite make out; and one of our party, who was not used to the kind of thing, did not like the looks of the people and the clubs and spears. At last one of them, an old scholar of ours, came forward and said, "The men here do not wish to deceive you; they know that you loved Petere, and they will not hide the truth; Petere was killed by a man in a ship, a white man, who shot him in the forehead." Of course I made minute enquiries as to the ship, the number of masts, how many people they saw, whether there was anything remarkable about the appearance of any person on board, &c. The men standing round us were a good deal excited, but the same story was told by them all.
'After a while I walked back to the beach, no indication having been made of unfriendliness, but I had not gone more than a quarter of a mile when three men rushed past me from behind, and ran on to the beach. Meanwhile Mr. Dudley and Wadrokala in the boat were rather uneasy at the manner of the people standing near them on the reef; and they too suspected that something unusual had occurred. Presently they saw these three men rush out of the bush on to the beach and distribute "kava" (leaves of the pepper plant) among the people, who at once changed their manner, became quite friendly and soon dispersed. It was quite evident that a discussion had taken place on shore as to the treatment we were to receive; and these men on the beach were awaiting the result of the discussion, prepared to act accordingly. There was scarcely any danger in our case of their deciding to injure us, because they knew us well; but had we been strangers we should have been killed of course; their practice being, naturally enough, to revenge the death of a countryman on the arrival of the next man who comes from what they suppose to be their enemies' country.
'This story may show you that caution is necessary long after the time that a real friendship has commenced and been carried on. We never can tell what may have taken place during the intervals of our visits. I returned to the village, with Mr. Kerr and Mr. Dudley and slept ashore, thinking it right to restore mutual confidence at once; and there was not the slightest risk in doing so.
'Now let me tell you about an island called Ambrym, lying to the south of Aurora and Pentecost, the two northernmost islands of the New Hebrides group.
'Ambrym is a grand island, with a fine active volcano, so active on this last occasion of our visiting it, that we were covered and half-blinded by the ashes; the deck was thickly covered with them, and the sea for miles strewed with floating cinders. We have repeatedly landed in different parts of the island, but this time we visited an entirely new place. There was a considerable surf on the beach, and I did not like the boat to go near the shore, partly on that account, but chiefly because our rule is not to let the boat approach too near the beach lest it should be hauled up on shore by the people and our retreat to the schooner cut off. So I beckoned to some men in a canoe (for I could not speak a word of the language), who paddled up to us, and took me ashore.
'As I was wading to the beach, an elderly man came forward from the crowd to the water's edge, where he stood holding both his arms uplifted over his head. Directly that I reached him, he took my hand, and put it round his neck, and turned to walk up the beach. As I walked along with him through the throng of men, more than three hundred in number, my arm all the while round his neck, I overheard a few words which gave me some slight clue as to the character of their language, and a very few words go a long way on such occasions. We went inland some short distance, passing through part of a large village, till we came to a house with figures, idols or not, I hardly know, placed at some height above the door.
'They pointed to these figures and repeated a name frequently, not unlike the name of one of the gods of some of the islands further to the north; then they struck the hollow tree, which is their native drum, and thronged close round me, while I gave away a few fish-hooks, pieces of red braid, &c. I asked the names of some of the people, and of objects about me, trees, birds, &c. I was particularly struck with two boys who kept close to me. After some time I made signs that I would return to the beach, and we began to move away from the village; but I was soon stopped by some men, who brought me two small trees, making signs that I should plant them.
'When I returned to the beach, the two boys were still with me, and I took their hands and walked on amidst the crowd. I did not imagine that they would come away with me, and yet a faint hope of their doing so sprang up in my mind, as I still found them holding my hands, and even when I began to wade towards the boat still close by my side in the water. All this took place in the presence of several hundred natives, who allowed these boys to place themselves in the boat and be taken on board the schooner.
'I was somewhat anxious about revisiting an island called Tikopia. Once we were there, five or six years ago. The island is small, and the inhabitants probably not more than three hundred or four hundred. They are Polynesians, men of very large stature, rough in manner, and not very easily managed. I landed there and waded across the reef among forty or fifty men. On the beach a large party assembled. I told them in a sort of Polynesian patois, that I wished to take away two lads from their island, that I might learn their language, and come back and teach them many things for their good. This they did not agree to. They said that some of the full-grown men wished to go away with me; but to this I in my turn could not agree. These great giants would be wholly unmanageable in our school at present. I went back to the edge of the reef--about three hundred yards--and got into the boat with two men; we rowed off a little way, and I attempted, more quietly than the noisy crowd on shore would allow, to explain to them my object in coming to them. After a while we pulled back to the reef, and I waded ashore again; but I could not induce them to let me take any one away who was at all eligible for the school. Still I was very thankful to have been able twice to land and remain half an hour or more on shore among the people. Next year (D.V.) I may be able to see more of them, and perhaps may obtain a scholar, and so open the island. It is a place visited by whalers, but they never land here, and indeed the inhabitants are generally regarded as dangerous fellows to deal with, so I was all the more glad to have made a successful visit.
'Nothing could have been more delightful than the day I spent in making frequent landings on the north side of Santa Cruz. This island was visited by Spaniards, under the command of Mendana, nearly three hundred years ago. They attempted to found a colony there, but after a short time were compelled, by illness and the death of Mendana and his successor, to abandon their endeavour. It is apparently a very fertile island, certainly a very populous one. The inhabitants are very ingenious, wearing beautiful ornaments, making good bags woven of grass stained with, turmeric, and fine mats. Their arrows are elaborately carved, and not less elaborately poisoned: their canoes well made and kept in good order. We never before landed on this island; but the Primate, long before I was in this part of the world, and two or three times since, had sailed and rowed into the hay at the north-west end, called Graciosa Bay, the fine harbour in which the Spaniards anchored. I went ashore this last voyage in seven different places, large crowds of men thronging down to the water's edge as I waded to the beach. They were exceedingly friendly, allowed me to enter the houses, sit down and inspect their mode of building them. They brought me food to eat; and when I went out of the houses again, let me examine the large sea-going canoes drawn up in line on the beach. I wrote down very many names, and tried hard to induce some young people to come away with me, but after we had pulled off some way, their courage failed them, and they swam back to the shore.
'Two or three of the men took off little ornaments and gave them to me; one bright pretty boy especially I remember, who took off his shell necklace and put it round my neck, making me understand, partly by words, but more by signs, that he was afraid to come now, but would do so if I returned, as I said, in eight or ten moons.
'Large baskets of almonds were given me, and other food also thrown into the boat. I made a poor return by giving some fish-hooks and a tomahawk to the man whom. I took to be the person of most consequence. On shore the women came freely up to me among the crowd, but they were afraid to venture down to the beach. Now this is the island about which we have long felt a great difficulty as to the right way of obtaining any communication with the natives. This year, why and how I cannot tell, the way was opened beyond all expectation. I tried hard to get back from the Solomon Islands so as to revisit it again during the voyage, but we could not get to the eastward, as the trade-wind blew constantly from that quarter.
'At Leper's Island I had just such another day--or rather two days were spent in making an almost complete visitation of the northern part of the island--the people were everywhere most friendly, and I am hoping to see them all again join us.
soon, when some may be induced to
'It would be the work of days to tell you all our adventures. How at Malanta I picked two lads out of a party of thirty-six in a grand war canoe going on a fighting expedition--and very good fellows they are; how we filled up our water-casks at Aurora, standing up to our necks in the clear cool stream rushing down from a cataract above, with the natives assisting us in the most friendly manner; how at Santa Maria, which till this year we never visited without being shot at, I walked for four or five hours far inland wherever I pleased, meeting-great crowds of men all armed and suspicious of each other--indeed actually fighting with each other--but all friendly to me; how at Espiritu Santo, when I had just thrown off my coat and tightened my belt to swim ashore through something of a surf, a canoe was launched, and without more ado a nice lad got into our boat and came away with us, without giving me the trouble of taking a swim at all; how at Florida Island, never before reached by us, one out of some eighty men, young and old, standing all round me on the reef, to my astonishment returned with me to the boat, and without any opposition from the people quietly seated himself by my side and came away to the schooner; how at Pentecost Island, Taroniara (a lad whom the Primate in old days had picked up in his canoe paddling against a strong head wind, and kept him on board all night, and sent him home with presents in the morning) now came away with me, but not without his bow and poisoned arrows, of which I have taken safe possession; how Misial felt sea-sick and home-sick for a day or two, but upon being specially patronised by the cook, soon declared "that no place could compare with the galley of a Mission vessel, to the truth of which declaration the necessity of enlarging his scanty garments soon bore satisfactory testimony; how at Ysabel the young chief came on board with a white cockatoo instead of a hawk on his wrist, which he presented to me with all the grace in the world, and with an enquiry after his good friend Captain Hume, of H.M.S. "Cordelia," who had kindly taken me to this island in the winter of 1861.'
To this may be added some touches from the home letter of August 27, off Vanikoro:--
'I don't deny that I am thankful that the Tikopia visit is well over. The people are so very powerful and so independent and unmanageable, that I always have felt anxious about visiting them. Once we were there in 1856, and now again. I hope to keep on visiting them annually. Sydney traders have been there, but have never landed; they trade at arm's length from their boat and are well armed. It is a strange sensation, sitting alone (say) 300 yards from the boat, which of course can't be trusted in their hands, among 200 or more of people really gigantic. No men have I ever seen so large--huge Patagonian limbs, and great heavy hands clutching up my little weak arms and shoulders. Yet it is not a sensation of fear, but simply of powerlessness; and it makes one think, as I do when among them, of another Power present to protect and defend.
'They perfectly understood my wish to bring away lads. Full-grown Brobdignag men wished to come, and some got into the boat who were not easily got out of it again. Boys swam off, wishing to come, but the elder people prevented it, swimming after them and dragging them back. It was a very rough, blustering day; but even on such a day the lee side of the island is a beautiful sight, one mass of cocoa-nut trees, and the villages so snugly situated among the trees.
'Just been up the rigging to get a good look at this great encircling reef at Vanikoro. Green water as smooth as glass, inside the reef for a mile, and then pretty villages; but there is no passage through the reef, it is a continuous breakwater. We are working up towards a part of the reef where I think there may be a passage. Anyhow I am gaining a good local knowledge of this place, and that saves time another year.
'The ten lads on board talk six languages, not one of which do I know; but as I get words and sentences from them, I see how they will "work in" with the general character of the language of which I have several dialects. It is therefore not very difficult to get on some little way into all at once; but I must not be disappointed if I find that other occupations take me away too much for my own pleasure from this particular branch of my work.'
A long letter to Sir John T. Coleridge gives another aspect of the voyage:--
'"Sea Breeze" Schooner: off Rennell Island. 'Therm. 89i° in shade; lat. 11° 40', long. 160° 18' 5". 'September 7, 1862.
'My dear Uncle,--I can hardly keep awake for the unusually great heat. The wind is northerly, and it is very light, indeed we are almost becalmed, so you will have a sleepy letter, indeed over my book I was already nodding. I think it better to write to you (though on a Sunday) than to sleep. What a compliment! But I shall grow more wakeful as I write. Perhaps my real excuse for writing is that I feel to-day much oppressed with the thought of these great islands that I have been visiting, and I am sadly disappointed in some of my scholars from San Cristoval.
'Leaving New Zealand on June 20th, I sailed to Norfolk Island, where I held my first Confirmation. By desire of the Bishop of Tasmania, I act as Bishop for the Norfolk Islanders. This was, as you know, a very solemn time for me; sixteen dear children were confirmed. Since that time I have visited very many islands with almost unequalled success, as far as effecting landings, opening communication, and receiving native lads are concerned. I have on board natives from many places from which we have never received them before. Many I have left with Mr. Dudley and Mr. Pritt on Mota Island at school, but I have now twenty-one, speaking eleven languages. At many places where we had never landed, I was received well.
'The state of things, too, in the Banks Islands is very encouraging. What do you think of my having two married (after their fashion) couples on board from the Solomon Islands (San Cristoval and Contrariete)? This was effected with some difficulty. Both the men are old scholars, of course. I ought therefore to be most thankful; and yet my heart is sad because, after promises given by Grariri and his wife, Parenga and Kerearua (all old scholars, save Mrs. Garm), not one came away with me yesterday, and I feel grieved at the loss of my dear boys, who can read and write, and might be taught so much now! It is all very faithless; but I must tell it all to you, for indeed I do not feel as if I had any right to expect it otherwise, but in the moment of perceiving and confessing that it is very good for me, I find out for the first time how much my heart was set upon having them.
'And then San Cristoval, sixty miles long, with its villages and languages, and Malanta over eighty miles long, and Guadalcanar, seventy! It is a silly thought or a vain, human wish, but I feel as if I longed to be in fifty or a hundred places at once. But God will send qualified men in good time. In the meanwhile (for the work must be carried on mainly by native teachers gathered from each island), as some fall off I must seek to gain others. Even where lads are only two, or even one year with mer and then apparently fall back to what they were before, some good may be done, the old teaching may return upon them some day, and they may form a little nucleus for good, though not now.
'As for openings for men of the right sort, they abound. Really if I were free to locate myself on an island instead of going about to all, I hardly know to which of some four or five I ought to go. But it is of no use to have men who-are not precisely the kind of men wanted. Somehow one can't as yet learn to ask men to do things that one does oneself as a matter of course. It needs a course of training-to get rid of conventional notions. I think that Norfolk Island may supply a few, a very few fellows able to be of use, and perhaps New Zealand will do so, and I have the advantage of seeing and knowing them. I don't think that I must expect men from England, I can't pay them well; and it is so very difficult to give a man on paper any idea of what his life will be in Melanesia or Kohimarama. So very much that would be most hazardous to others has ceased to be so to me, because I catch up some scrap of the language talked on the beach, and habit has given an air of coolness and assurance. But this does not come all at once, and you cannot talk about all this to others. I feel ashamed as I write it even to you. They bother me to put anecdotes of adventures into our Report, but I cannot. You know no ose lands on these places but myself, and it would be no good to tell stories merely to catch somebody's ear. It was easier to do so when the Bishop and I went together, but I am not training up anyone to be the visitor, and so I don't wish anybody else to go with me. Besides Mr. Pritt and Mr. Dudley are bad swimmers, and Mr. Kerr not first-rate. My constant thought is "By what means will God provide for the introduction of Christianity into these islands," and my constant prayer that He will reveal such means to me, and give me grace to use them.
'What reality there is in such a work as this! What continual need of guidance and direction! I here see before me now an island stretching away twenty-five miles in length! Last night I left one sixty miles long. I know that hundreds are living there ignorant of God, wild men, cannibals, addicted to every vice. I know that Christ died for them, and that the message is for them, too. How am I to deliver it? How find an entrance among them? How, when I have learnt their language, speak to them of religion, so as not to introduce unnecessary obstacles to the reception of it, nor compromise any of its commands?
'Thank God I can fall back upon many solid points of comfort--chiefest of all, He sees and knows it all perfectly. He sees the islanders too, and loves them, how infinitely more than I can! He desires to save them. He is, I trust, sending me to them. He will bless honest endeavours to do His will among them. And then I think how it must all appear to angels and saints, how differently they see these things. Already, to their eyes, the light is breaking forth in Melanesia; and I take great comfort from this thought, and remember that it does not matter whether it is in my time, only I must work on. And then I think of the prayers of the Church, ascending continually for the conversion of the heathen; and I know that many of you are praying specially for the heathen of Melanesia. And so one's thoughts float out to India, and China, and Japan, and Africa, and the islands of the sea, and the very vastness of the work raises one's thoughts to God, as the only One by whom it must be done.
'Now, dear Uncle, I have written all this commonplace talk, not regarding its dulness in your eyes, but because I felt weary and also somewhat overwrought and sad; and it has done me much good, and given me a happy hour.
'We had our service on board this morning, and the Holy Eucharist afterwards; Mr. Kerr, two Norfolk Islanders, a Maori, and a Nengone man present. I ought not to be faint-hearted. My kind love to Aunt and Mary.
'Your affectionate and dutiful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
The climate of Mota had again disagreed with Mr. Dudley, who was laid up with chronic rheumatism nearly all the time he was there; and the Bishop returned from his voyage very unwell; but Mr. Pritt happily was strong and active, and the elder Banks Island scholars were very helpful, both in working and teaching, so that the schools went on prosperously, and the custom of carrying weapons in Mota was dropped.
On November 7 the 'Sea Breeze' was again in harbour; and on the 15th, after mature consideration, was written this self-sacrificing letter:--
'St. Andrew's: November 15, 18C2.
'My dearest Sisters,--I returned from a voyage unusually interesting and prosperous on the 7th of this month; absent just nineteen weeks. We were in all on board seventy-one.
'I found all your letters from April to August 25. How thankful I am to see and know what I never doubted, the loving manner in which my first and later letters about New Zealand were taken. How wise of you to perceive that in truth my judgment remained all through unaltered, though my feelings were strongly moved, indeed the good folk here begged me to reconsider my resolution, thinking no doubt kindly for me that it would be so great a joy to me to see you. Of course it would; were there no other considerations that we already know and agree upon, what joy so great on earth! But I feel sure that we are right. Thank God that we can so speak, think, and act with increasing affection and trust in each other!
'The more I think of it, the more I feel "No, it would not do! It would not be either what Joan expects or what Fan expects. They look at it in some ways alike --i.e., in the matter of seeing me, which both equally long to do. In some ways they regard it differently. But it would not to one or the other be the thing they hope and wish for. They would both feel (what yet they would not like to acknowledge) disappointment.' Though, therefore, I could not help feeling often during the voyage, "What if I hear that they may be with me by Christmas 1" yet it was not exactly unwelcome to hear that you do not come. I recognised at once your reading of my letters as the right one; and my feelings, strong as they are, give way to other considerations, especially when, from my many occupations, I have very little time to indulge them.
'But for the thought of coming, and your great love to me, I thank you, dear ones, with all my heart. May God bless you for it! ...
'Good-bye, my dear Sisters; we are together in heart at all events.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
The judgment had decided that the elder sister especially would suffer more from the rough life at Kohimarama than her brother could bear that she should undergo, when he could give her so little of his society as compensation, without compromising his own decided principle that all must yield to the work. Perhaps he hardly knew how much he betrayed of the longing, even while deciding against its gratification; but his sisters were wise enough to act on his judgment, and not on their own impulse; and the events of the next season proved that he had been right. To Sir John Coleridge he wrote:--
'Kohimarama: November 15, 18G2.
'My dear Uncle,--I should indeed, as you say, delight to have a ramble in the old scenes, and a good unburthening of thoughts conceived during the past seven or eight years.
'And yet you see I could not try the experiment of those dear good sisters of mine coming out. It would not have been what they expected and meant to come out to. I am little seen by any but Melanesians, and quite content that it should be so. I can't do what I want with them, nor a tenth part of it as it is. I cannot write to you of this last voyage--in many respects a most remarkable one--indicating, if I am not over hopeful, a new stage in our Mission work. Many islands yielding scholars for the first time; old scholars, with but few exceptions, steadfast and rapidly improving; no less than fifty-seven Melanesians here now from twenty-four islands, exclusive of the Loyalty Islands, and five bright Pitcairners, from twenty-four to sixteen, helpful, good, conscientious lads. There are eight languages that I do not know, besides all the rest; yet I can see that they are all links in the great chain of dialects of the great "Pacific language,"--yet dialects very far removed sometimes from one another.
'I find it not very easy to comply with reasonable demands from men in Europe, who want to know about these things. If I had time and ability, I think I should enjoy really going into philology. I get books sent me from people such as Max Miiller, Grabalentz, &c.; and if I write to them at all, it is useless to write anything but an attempt at classification of the dialects; and that is difficult, for there are so many, and it takes so long to explain to another the grounds upon which I feel justified in connecting dialects and calling them cognate. It becomes an instinct almost, I suppose, with people in the trade.
'But I hardly know how far I ought to spend any time in such things. Elementary grammars for our own missionaries and teachers are useful, and the time is well spent in writing them. Hence it is that I do not write longer letters. Oh! how I enjoy writing un-business letters; but I can't help it--it's part of my business now to write dull Reports--i.e., reports that I can't help making dull, and all the rest of it. ...
'I cannot write about Bishop Mackenzie. Mr. Pritt (at 9.30 P.M. the night we landed) put his head into my room and said, "Bishop Mackenzie is dead," and I sat and sat on and knelt and could not take it all in! I cannot understand what the papers say of his modus operandi, yet I know that it was an error of judgment, if an error at all, and there may be much which we do not know. So I suspend my opinion.'
In a letter to myself, written by the same mail, in reply to one in which I had begged him to consider what was the sight, to a Christian man, of slaves driven off with heavy yokes on their necks, and whether it did not justify armed interposition, he replies with arguments that it is needless now to repeat, but upholding the principle that the shepherd is shepherd to the cruel and erring as well as to the oppressed, and ought not to use force. The opinion is given most humbly and tenderly, for he had a great veneration for his brother Missionary Bishop. Commenting .on the fact that Bishop Selwyn's speech at Cambridge had made Charles Mackenzie a missionary, and that he would gladly have hailed an invitation to the Australasian field of labour, the letter proceeds:--
'How wonderful it is to reflect upon the events of the last few years! Had he come out when I did to New Zealand, I might be now his Missionary Chaplain; and yet it is well that there should be two missionary dioceses, and without the right man for the African Mission, there might have been a difficulty in carrying out the plan.
'The chapel is not built yet, for I have sixty mouths to feed, and other buildings must be thought of for health's sake. But I have settled all that in my will.'
'In a postscript is mentioned the arrival of some exquisite altar plate for the College chapel, which had been offered by a lady, who had also bountifully supplied with chronometers and nautical instruments the 'Southern Cross,' which was fast being built at Southampton.
The above letter was accompanied by one to Dr. Moberly:--
'St. Andrew's College, Kohimarama: Nov. 18, 1862.
'My dear Dr. Moberly,--Thank you heartily for writing to me. It is a real help to me and to others also, I think, of my party to be in communication with those whom we have long respected, and whose prayers we now more than ever earnestly ask. We returned on November 7 from a very remarkable voyage.
'I was nineteen weeks absent all but a day: sailed far beyond our most distant island in my previous voyage, landed nearly eighty times amidst (often) 300 and more natives, naked, armed, &c., and on no less than thirty or forty places never trodden before (as far as I know) by the foot of a white man. Not one arm was lifted up against me, not one bow drawn or spear shaken. I think of it all quietly now with a sort of wondering thankfulness.
'From not less than eight islands we have now for the first time received native lads; and not only are openings being thus made for us in many directions, but the permanent training of our old scholars is going on most favourably; so that by the blessing of God we hope, at all .·events in the Banks Islands, to carry on continuously the Mission Schools during the winter and summer also. We have spent the three last winters here, but it would not be wise to run the risk of the damp hot climate in the summer. Natives of the island must do this, and thank God there are natives being raised up now to do it. The enclosed translation of a note. It is but three or four years since the language was reduced to writing, and here is a young man writing down his thoughts to me after a long talk about the question of his being baptized.
'Four others there are soon, by God's blessing, to be baptized also--Sarawia from Vanua Lava, Tagalana from Aroa, Pasvorang from Eowa, Woleg from Mota, and others are pressing on; Taroniara from San Cristoval, Kanambat from New Caledonia, &c. I tell you their names, for you will I know, remember them in your prayers.
'Will you kindly let Mr. Keble see the enclosed note? It does not, of course, give much idea of the lad's state of mind; but he is thoroughly in earnest, and as for his knowledge of his duty there can be no question there. He really knows his Catechism. I have scarcely a minute to write by this mail. Soon you will have, I hope, a sketch of our last voyage. We remember you all, benefactors and benefactresses, daily. Thank you again for writing to me: it humbles me, as it ought to do, to receive such a letter from you.
'Very faithfully yours,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
These names deserve note: Sarawia the first to be ordained of the Melanesian Church; and Taroniara, who was to share his Bishop's death. B----, as will be seen, has had a far more chequered course. Tagalana is described in another letter as having the thoughtful-ness of one who knows that he has the seeds of early death in him; but he, the living lectern at the consecration, has lived to be the first deacon of his island of Aroa.
The ensuing is to the Rev. Derwent Coleridge, at that time Principal of St. Mark's Training College, Chelsea, upon the question whether that institution would aiford assistants:--
'Auckland, New Zealand: Nov. 15, 1862.
'My dear Cousin,--You will not be surprised, I hope, to hear from me; I only wish I had written to you long-ago. But until quite recently we could not speak with so much confidence concerning the Melanesian Mission, and it is of little use to write vaguely on matters which I am anxious now to make known to you.
'The general plan of the Mission you may get some notion of from the last year's Report (which I send), and possibly you may have heard or seen something about it in former years. This last voyage of nineteen weeks, just concluded, has determined me to write to you; for the time is come when we want helpers indeed, and I think that you will expect me naturally to turn to you.
'It is not only that very many islands throughout the South Pacific, from the Loyalty Islands on to the northwest as far as Ysabel Island in the Solomon group, are now yielding up scholars and affording openings for Mission stations, though this indeed is great matter for thankfulness; but there is, thank God, a really working staff gathered round us from the Banks Archipelago, which affords a definite field, already partially occupied with a regular system at work in it; and here young persons may receive the training most needed for them, actually on a heathen island, though soon not to be without some few Christians amongst its population. Now I can say to anyone willing and qualified to help me:--
'In the six summer months there is the central school work in "New Zealand, where now there are with me fifty-one Melanesians from twenty-four islands, speaking twenty-three languages; and in the six winter months there is a station regularly occupied on Mota Island, where all the necessary experience of life in the islands can be acquired.
'I am not in any hurry for men. Norfolk Island has given me five young fellows from twenty-one to sixteen years of age, who already are very useful. One has been with me a year, another four months. They are given unreservedly into my hands, and already are working well into our school, taking the superintendence of our cooking, e.gr., off our hands; with some help from us, they will be very useful at once as helpers on Mota, doing much in the way of gardening, putting up huts, &c., which will free us for more teaching work, &c., and they are being educated by us with an eye to their future employment (D.V.) as missionaries. I would not wish for better fellows; their moral and religious conduct is really singularly good --you know their circumstances and the character of the whole community. But I should be thankful by-and-by to have men equally willing to do anything, yet better educated in respect of book knowledge. No one is ever asked to do what we are not willing to do, and generally in the habit of doing ourselves--cooking, working, &c., &c. But the Melanesian lads really do all this kind of work now. I have sixty mouths to fill here now; and Melanesian boys, told out week by week, do the whole of the cooking (simple enough, of course) for us all with perfect punctuality. I don't think any particular taste for languages necessary at all. Anyone who will work hard at it can learn the language of the - particular class assigned to him. Earnest, bright, cheerful fellows, without that notion of "making sacrifices," &c., perpetually occurring to their minds, would be invaluable. You know the kind of men, who have got rid of the conventional notion that more self-denial is needed for a missionary than for a sailor or soldier, who are sent anywhere, and leave home and country for years, and think nothing of it, because they go "on duty." Alas! we don't so read our ordination vows. A fellow with a healthy, active tone of mind, plenty of enterprise and some enthusiasm, who makes the best of everything, and above all does not think himself better than other people because he is engaged in Mission work--that is. the fellow we want. I assume, of course, the existence of sound religious principle as the greatest qualification of all. Now, if there be any young persons whom you could wish to see engaged in this Mission now at St. Mark's, or if you know of any such and feel justified in speaking to them, you will be doing a great kindness to me, and, I believe, aiding materially in this work.
'I should not wish at all any young man to be pledged to anything; as on my part I will not pledge myself to accept, much less ordain, any man of whom I have no personal knowledge. But let anyone really in earnest, with a desire and intention (as far as he is concerned) to join the Mission, come to me about December or January in any year. Then he will live at the Mission College till the end of April, and can see for himself the mode of life at the Central Summer School in New Zealand. Then let him take a voyage with me, see Melanesians in their own homes, stop for a while at Mota--e.g., make trial of the climate, &c., &c., and then let me have my decisive talk with him.
'If he will not do for the work, I must try and find other employment for him in some New Zealand diocese, or help to pay his passage home. I don't think such a person as you would recommend would fail to make himself useful; but I must say plainly that I would rather not have a man from England at all, than be bound to accept a man who might not thoroughly and cordially work into the general system that we have adopted. We live together entirely, all meals in common, same cabin, same hut, and the general life and energy of us all would be damaged by the introduction of any one discordant element. You will probably say, "Men won't go out on these terms," and this is indeed probable, yet if they are the right fellows for this work--a work wholly anomalous, unlike all other work that they have thought of in many respects--they will think that what I say is reasonable, and like the prospect all the better (I think) because they see that it means downright work in a cheery, happy. hopeful, friendly spirit.
'A man who takes the sentimental view of coral islands and cocoa-nuts, of course, is worse than useless; a man possessed with the idea that lie is making a sacrifice will never do; and a man who thinks any kind of work "beneath a gentleman" will simply be in the way, and be rather uncomfortable at seeing the Bishop do what he thinks degrading to do himself. I write all this quite freely, wishing to convey, if possible, some idea to you of the kind of men we need. And if the right fellow is moved by God's grace to come out, what a welcome we will give him, and how happy he will soon be in a work the abundant blessings of which none can know as we know them. There are three clergymen with me. Mr. Pritt, who came out with the Bishop of Nelson as his chaplain, but who, I am thankful to say, is regularly part and parcel of the Mission staff; Mr. Dudley, ordained last year, who for six years has been in the Mission, and has had the special advantage of being trained under the Primate's eye; and Mr. Kerr. who was also ordained about ten months ago.
'I give 100 £ to a clergyman when ordained, increasing it 101. annually to a maximum of 150 £ But this depends upon subscriptions, &c. I could not pledge myself even to this, except in the case of a man very highly recommended. But of this I will write more.
'Again let me say that I do not want anyone yet, not this year. I shall be off again (D.V.) in the beginning of May 1863, for six months; and if then I find on my return (D.V.) in November, letters from you, either asking me to 'write with reference to any young man, or informing me that one is on the way out, that will be quite soon enough.
'I need not say I don't expect any such help so soon, if at all.
'Finally, pray don't think that I underrate the great advantage of having such persons as St. Mark's produces; but I write guardedly. My kind love to Mrs. Derwent. ' 'Affectionately yours,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
On the 29th of December, after two pages of affectionate remarks on various family incidents, the letter proceeds:--
'We are having an extra scrubbing in preparation for our visitors on Thursday, who may wish to be with us on the occasion of the baptism of our six Banks Islanders; and I am writing in the midst of it, preferring to sit in the schoolroom to my own room, which is very tiny and very hot.
'We have some eight only out of the fifty-one whom I am obliged to treat rather as an awkward squad, not that they are too stupid to learn, but that we cannot give them the individual attention that is necessary. They teach me their language; but I cannot put them into any class where they could be regularly taught--indeed, they are not young-fellows whom I should bring again. They do the work of introducing us to their islands, and of teaching us something of their language. So I continue to give them what little time I can--the real strength of our force being given to those whom we hope to have here again.
'We are all on the qui vive about our beautiful vessel, hoping to see it in about six or eight weeks. It will, please God, be for years the great means by which we may carry on the Mission if we live; and all the care that has been spent upon it has been well spent, you may be sure.
'I don't want to appear as if I expected this to be done in one sense, but it is only when I think of the personal interest shown in it that I suppose it right to thank people much. I don't want it to be thought of any more than you do as a gift to us particular missionaries. It is the Church carrying on its own work. Yet, as you truly say, private feelings and interests are not to be treated rudely; and I do think it a very remarkable thing that some £2,000 should be raised by subscriptions, especially when one knows that so very few people have an idea of the work that is being done.'
'What a blessed New Year's rejoicing in hope here follows:--
'Kohimarama: Jan. 1, 1863.
'My dearest Sisters,--The first letter of the year to you! Thank God for bringing us to see it! It is 1 P.M., and at 4.30 P.M. six dear children (from twenty-two to fourteen) are to be baptized. Everything in one sense is done; how very little in the other and higher sense! May Almighty God pour the fulness of His blessing upon them! I sit and look at them, and my heart is too full for words. They sit with me, and bring their little notes with questions that they scarcely dare trust themselves to speak about. You will thank God for giving me such comfort, such blessings, and such dear children. How great a mercy it is! How unexpected.! May God make me humble and patient through it all!
'What a sight it would be for you four hours hence! Our party of sixty-one, visitors from Auckland, the glorious day, and the holy service, for which all meet.
'I use Proper Psalms, 89, 96, 126, 145, and for lessons a few verses, 2 Kings v. 9-15, and Acts viii. 35-9. After the third Collect, the Primate may say a few words, or I may do so; and then I shall use our usual Melanesian Collect for many islands, very briefly named; and so conclude with the Blessing.
'What this is to me you must try and realise, that you may be partakers of my joy and thankfulness. To have Christians about me, to whom I can speak with a certainty of being understood, to feel that we are all bound together in the blessed Communion of the Body of Christ, to know that angels on high are rejoicing and evil spirits being chased away, that all the Banks Islands and all Melanesia are experiencing, as it were, the first shock of a mighty earthquake, that God who foresees the end may, in his merciful Providence, be calling even these very children to bear His message to thousands of heathens, is not it too much? One's heart is not large enough for it, and confession of one's own unworthiness breaks off involuntarily into praise and glory!
'I know, my dear Sisters, that this is most likely one of the great blessings that precede great trials. I can't expect or wish (perhaps) always to sail with a fair wind, yet I try to remember that trial must come, without on that account restraining myself from a deep taste of the present joy. I can't describe it!
'Then we have now much that we ever can talk about --deep talk about Mota and the other islands, and the special temptations to which they must be exposed; that now is the time when the devil will seek with all his might to "have" them, and so hinder God's work in the land; that they have been specially blest by God to be the first to desire to know His will, and that they have heavy responsibilities.
'"Yes," they say, "we see man does not know that his room is dirty and full of cobwebs while it is all dark; and another man, whose room is not half so dirty, because the sun shines into it and shows the dirt, thinks his room much worse than the other. That is like our hearts. It is worse now to be angry than it was to shoot a man a long time ago. But the more the sun shines in, the more we shall find cobwebs and dirt, long after we thought the room was clean. Yes, we know what that means. We asked you what would help us to go on straight in the path, now that we are entering at the gate. We said prayer, love, helping our countrymen. Now we see besides watchfulness, self-examination; and then you say we must at once look forward to being confirmed, as the people you confirmed at Norfolk Island. Then there is the very great thing, the holy and the great, the Supper of the Lord." So, evening by evening and day by day, we talk, this being of course not called school, being, indeed, my great relaxation, for this is the time when they are like children with a father.
'I know I feel it so. Don't take the above as a fair sample of our talk, for the more solemn words we say about God's Love, Christ's Intercession, and the Indwelling of the Spirit, I can hardly write down now.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.
'P.S.--Feast of the Epiphany. Those dear children were baptized on Thursday. A most solemn interesting-scene it was!'
Thoroughly happy indeed was the Bishop at this time. In a note of February 3 to the Bishop of Wellington, he speaks of the orderly state of the College:--
'Mr. Pritt has made a complete change in the Mela-nesian school, very properly through me; not putting himself forward, but talking with me, suggesting, accepting suggestions, giving the benefit of his great knowledge of boys and the ways to educate them. All the punctuality, order, method, &c., are owing to him; and he is so bright and hearty, thoroughly at ease with the boys, and they with him.'
The same note announces two more recruits--Mr. John Palmer, a theological student at St. John's, and Joseph Atkin, the only son of a settler in the neighbourhood, who had also held a scholarship there. He had gained it in 1860, after being educated at the Taranaki Scotch School and the Church of England Grammar School at Parnell, and his abilities were highly thought of. The Bishop says:--
'Joe Atkin, you will be glad to hear, has joined us on probation till next Christmas, but he is very unlikely to change his mind. He and his father have behaved in a very straightforward manner. I am not at all anxious to get fellows here in a hurry. The Norfolk Islanders, e.g., are in need of training much more than our best Melane-sians, less useful as teachers, cooks, even as examples. This will surprise you, but it is so.
'I have long suspected that Joe thought about joining us. He tells me, "You never would give me a chance to speak to you, Sir."
"Quite true, Joe; I wished the thought to work itself out in your own mind, and then I thought it right to speak first to your father."
'I told him that I could offer but "a small and that an uncertain salary" should he be ordained five years hence; and that he ought to think of that, that there was nothing worldly in his wishing to secure a maintenance by-and-by for wife and child, and that I much doubted my power to provide it. But this did not at all shake either his father or him. I have a great regard for the lad, and I know you have.'
From that time forward reading with and talking with 'Joe Atkin' was one of the chief solaces of the Bishop's life, though at present the young man was only on trial, and could not as yet fill the place of Mr. Benjamin Dudley, who, soon after the voyage, married, and returned to Canterbury settlement. The loss was felt, as appears in the following:--
'Kohimarama; Saturday, 1 P.M., Feb. 7, 1863.
'My dearest Sisters,--I have a heavy cold, so you must expect a stupid letter. I am off in an hour or two for a forty-mile ride, to take to-morrow's services (four) among soldiers and settlers. The worst of it is that I have no chance of sleep at the end, for the mosquitos near the river are intolerable. How jolly it would be, nevertheless, if you were here, and strong enough to make a sort of picnic ride of it. I do it this way: strap in front of the saddle a waterproof sheet, with my silk gown, Prayer-book, brush and comb, razor and soap, a clean tie, and a couple of sea biscuits. Then at about 3 P.M. off I go. About twenty miles or so bring me to Papakura, an ugly but good road most of the way. Here there is an inn. I stop for an hour and a half, give the horse a good feed, and have my tea. At about 7.30 or 8 I start again, and ride slowly along a good road this dry weather. The moon rises at 9.30, and by that time I shall be reaching the forest, through which a good military road runs. This is the part of the road I should like to show you. Such a night as this promises to be! It will be beautiful. About 111 reach a hut made of reeds on the very brink of the river, tether the horse, give him a feed, which I carry with me from Papakura, light a fire (taking matches) inside the hut, and try to smoke away mosquitos, lie down in your plaid, Joan--do you remember giving it to me?--and get what sleep I can. To-morrow I work my way home again, the fourth service being at Papakura at 4 P.M., so I ought to be at Kohimarama by 9 P.M., dead tired I expect. I think these long days tire me more than they did; and I really do see not a few white hairs, a dozen or so, this is quite right and respectable.
'I am writing now because I am tired with this cold, but chiefly because when I write only for the mail I send you such wretched scrawls, just business letters, or growls about something or other which I magnify into a grievance. But really, dear Joan and Fan, I do like much writing to you; only it is so very seldom I can do so, without leaving undone some regular part of the day's work. I am quite aware that you want to know more details about my daily life, and I really wish to supply them; but then I am so weary when I get a chance of writing, that I let my mind drift away with my pen, instead of making some effort to write thoughtfully. How many things I should like to talk about, and which I ought to write about: Bishops Mackenzie and Colenso, the true view of what heathenism is, Church government, the real way to hope to get at the mass of heathens at home, the need of a different education in some respects for the clergy, &c. But I have already by the time I begin to write taken too much out of myself in other ways to grapple with such subjects, and so I merely spin out a yarn about my own special difficulties and anxieties.
'Don't mind my grumbling. I think that it is very ungrateful of me to do so, when, this year especially, I am receiving such blessings; it is partly because I am very much occupied, working at high pressure, partly because I do not check my foolish notions, and let matters worry me. I don't justify it a bit; nor must you suppose that because I am very busy just now, I am really the worse for it. The change to sea life will set me all to rights again; and I feel that much work must be done in a little time, and a wise man would take much more pains than I do to keep himself in a state fit to do it.
'I have told you about our manner of life here. Up at 5, when I go round and pull the blankets, not without many a joke, off the sleeping boys, many of the party are already up and washing. Then, just before prayers, I go into the kitchen and see that all is ready for breakfast. Prayers at 5.45 in English, Mota, Baura, &c., beginning with a Mota Hymn, and ending with the Lord's Prayer in English. Breakfast immediately after: at our table Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, and young Atkin who has just joined us. At the teachers' table, five Norfolk Islanders, Edward (a Maori), five girls and two of their husbands, and the three girls being placed at this table because they are girls; Melanesians at the other three tables indiscriminately. There are four windows, one at the north, three at the east side. The school and chapel, in one long modern building, form the corresponding wing on the eastern side of my little room, and the boys* dormitories between.
'We are daily expecting the vessel, though it will be a quick passage for her if she comes in the next ten days, and then what a bustle!
'We send Dudley and his wife away to Canterbury for eight or nine months; he is so weak as to make the change, which I had urged him to try for some time past, quite necessary.
'Next Sunday a Confirmation at Orehunga, eight miles off; back to Auckland for catechising and Baptism at 3 r.M. and evening service at 6.30, and never a word of either sermon written, and all the school work! Never mind, a good growl to you is a fine restorative, and really I get on very well somehow.
'Well, good-bye, you dear Sisters,
'Your affectionate Brother,
'J. C. P.'
On the last day of February came the new 'Southern Cross,' and two delightful notes announced it to the Vicar of Hursley and to myself in one envelope.
'St. Andrew's: Feb. 28, 1863.
'My dear Cousin,--The "Southern Cross" arrived safely this morning. Thanks to God!
'What it is to us even you can hardly tell; I know not how to pour out my thankfulness. She seems admirably adapted for the work. Mr. Tilly's report of her performance is most satisfactory: safe, fast, steers well, and very manageable. Internal arrangements very good; after cabin too luxurious, but then that may be wanted for sick folk, and as it is luxurious, why I shall get a soft bed, and take to it very kindly.
'Pray let dear Mr. Keble and Dr. Moberly know at once how very happy and thankful I am for this blessing. I know all you good friends at home will try to picture to yourselves my delight as I jumped on board!
'The boys are, of course, wild with excitement. It is blowing very hard. Last night (when we were thinking of them) it was an anxious night for them close on the coast.
'I have no time to write more. I thought of Lady . . . as I looked at the chronometers and instruments, and of you all as I looked at the beautiful vessel slipping along through the water with scarce a stitch of canvas. I pray that she may be spared many years to the Mission, and that we may have grace to use her, as she ought to be used, to His glory.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.
'You know that you are daily remembered in our prayers. God bless you.'
'10.30 P.M., March 1, 1863.
'My dear Mr. Keble,--One line, though on Sunday night, to tell you of the safe arrival of the "Southern Cross." You have a large share in her, and she has a large share in your good wishes and prayers, I am sure.
'Solemn thoughts on this day, an Ordination Sunday, mingle with the joy at the coming of this messenger (I trust of mercy and peace). I need not ask you to pray continually for us, for I know you do so. But indeed, now is the time when we seem especially to need your prayers.
'The lads have no lack of intellectual capacity, they not unfrequently surprise me. Now is the time when they are in the receptive state, and now especially any error on our part may give a wrong direction to the early faith of thousands! What an awful thought! We are their only teachers, the only representatives of Christianity among them. How inexpressibly solemn and fearful! This is the thought so perpetually present to me. The training of the future missionaries of Melanesia is, by God's Providence, placed in our hands. No wonder that I feel sometimes overwhelmed at the thought!
'But I know that if God gives me grace to become more simple-minded and humble, He will order even this aright. You I know will pray more than ever for me. My kindest regards to Mrs. Keble; I hope she is better.
'Your affectionate and grateful young Friend,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
Before the first joy of the arrival was over, ere the ' Southern Cross' could make her first voyage among the multitude of isles, a great calamity had fallen upon St» Andrew's. Whether it was from the large numbers, or the effect of the colder climate, or from what cause could not be told, but a frightful attack of dysentery fell upon the Melanesians, and for several weeks suffering and death prevailed among them. How Bishop Patteson tended them during this time can be better guessed than described.
Archdeacon Lloyd, who came to assist in the cares of the small party of clergy, can find no words to express the devotion with which the Bishop nursed them, comforting and supporting them, never shrinking from the most repulsive offices, even bearing out the dead silently at night, lest the others should see and be alarmed.
Still no mail, except during the voyages, had ever left New Zealand without a despatch for home; and time was snatched in the midst of all this distress for a greeting, in the same beautiful, clear minute hand as usual:--
'Hospital, St. Andrew's: Saturday night, 9 P.M., March 22, 1863.
'My dearest Brother and Sister,--I write from the dining hall (now our hospital), with eleven Melanesians lying round me in extremity of peril. I buried two to-day in one grave, and I baptized another now dying by my side.
'God has been pleased in His wisdom and mercy to send upon us a terrible visitation, a most virulent form of dysentery. Since this day fortnight I have scarce slept night or day, but by snatching an hour here and there; others are working quite as hard, and all the good points of our Melanesian staff are brought out, as you may suppose.
'The best medical men cannot suggest any remedy. All remedies have been tried and failed. Every conceivable kind of treatment has been tried in vain. There are in the hall (the hospital now) at this moment eleven--eleven more in the little quadrangle, better, but in as anxious a state as can be; and two more not at all well.
'I have sent all the rest on board to be out of the way of contagion. How we go on I scarce know . . . My good friend, Mr. Lloyd, is here, giving great help; he is well acquainted with sickness and a capital nurse.
'I have felt all along that it would be good for us to be in trouble; we could not always sail with a fair wind, I have often said so, and God has sent the trial in the most merciful way. What is this to the falling away of our baptized scholars!
'But it is a pitiful sight! How wonderfully they bear the agony of it. No groaning.
'When I buried those two children to-day, my heart was full, I durst not think, but could only pray and believe and trust in Him. God bless you.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.
'O Lord, correct me, but with judgment!'
On the 25th, two more were dead, and buried without time to make coffins, for thirteen still hung between life and death, while fresh cases were sent from on board ship. Mr. Pritt and Mr. Palmer cooked nourishing food and prepared rice-water unceasingly; while the others tended the sick, and the Primate returned from a journey to give his effective aid. On the night of the 30th, a fifth died unexpectedly, having only been ill a week, the only scholar from Pentecost Island. One of these lads, when all hope was over, was wrapped in his white winding sheet, carried into the chapel, and there baptized by the Bishop, with choked voice and weeping eyes.
Over those who had not faith enough to justify him in baptizing them, he said the following prayers as he laid them in their graves:--
'Sentences. Psalms from the Burial Service.
'Forasmuch as it hath pleased Thee, O Almighty God, to take from amongst us the souls of these two children committed to our charge, we therefore commit their bodies to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; humbly commending to Thy Fatherly mercy these and all other Thy children who know not Thee, whom Thou knowest, who art the Father and Lord of all things in heaven and earth, to whom be all praise and glory, with Thy Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
'We humbly beseech Thee, most merciful God, to remember for good the inhabitants of the islands of Melanesia, and specially we pray God by the grave of these children, for the dwellers in Vanua Lava and Ambrym that Thou wouldest cause the light of the Gospel to shine m their hearts. Give unto Thy servants grace in their sight, that we may go forth in peace, and return if it be Thy will in safety, to the honour and glory of Thy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
'O Almighty God, Father of Mercy, we cry unto Thee in our sorrow and distress, most humbly confessing that we have most justly provoked Thy wrath and heavy indignation.
'We know, O Lord, that this is a dispensation of mercy, a gift from Thee, to be used, as all things may be used to Thy glory. Yet, O Lord, suffer not our un-worthiness to hinder Thy work of mercy!
'O Lord, look down from heaven, visit with Thy tender compassion Thy children lying under Thy hand in grievous sufferings of body. Restore them if it be Thy good pleasure to health and strength, or if it be Thy good will to take them out of this world, receive them to Thy tender mercies for His blessed sake who died for all men, Thy Son our Lord.
'Lord's Prayer. Grace.'
This was written down for use, in great haste, in the same spirit that breathes through the account of the next death: the entry dated on Coleridge Patteson's thirty-sixth birthday, April 1, 1863, which must be transcribed, though much of the detail of this time of trial has been omitted.
'Sosaman died at 9 A.M. this day--a dear lad, one of the Banks Islanders, about ten or twelve years old. As usual I was kneeling by him, closing his eyes in death. I can see his poor mother's face now! What will she say to me? she who knows not the Christian's life in death! Yet to him, the poor unbaptized child, what is it to him? What a revelation! Yes, the names he heard at our lips were names of real things and real persons! There is another world! There is a God, a Father, a Lord Jesus Christ, a Spirit of holiness, a Love and Glory. So let us leave him, O Father, in Thy hands, who knowest him who knew not Thee on earth. Thy mercies never fail. Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.
'I washed him, and laid him out as usual in a linen sheet. How white it looked! So much more simple and touching than the coffin--the form just discernible as it lay where five had lain before; and then I knelt down in our little chapel; and, I thank God, I could still bless and praise Him in my heart!
'How is it that I don't pray more? I pray in one sense less than usual--am not so long on my knees. I hope it is that I am so worn out, and so very, very much occupied in tending the sick and dying, but I am not sure.
'Anyhow I am sure that I am learning at terrible cost lessons which, it may be, God would have taught me more gently if I had ears to hear. I have not in all things depended upon Him, and perpetually sought help from Him.
'Oh that my unworthiness may not hinder His work of mercy!
'If I live, the retrospect of this most solemn time will, I hope, be very useful. I wonder if I ever went through such acute mental suffering, and yet, mind! I feel perfectly hardened at times--quite devoid of sensibility.'
He said in another letter that he felt that if he relaxed his self-command for one moment he should entirely break down. To him writing to his beloved home was what speaking, nay, almost thinking, would be in another man; it gave an outlet to his feeling, and security of sympathy. There was something in his spiritual nature that gave him the faculty of realising the Communion of Saints in its fullest sense, both with those on earth and in Paradise; and, above all, with his Heavenly Father, so that he seems as complete an example as ever lived of the reality of that privilege, in which too often we only express our belief.
Sosaman's was the last death. On a fragment of pink paper, bearing the date of the next day, it is declared that an alleviation in the worst symptoms had taken place, and that the faces and eyes were less haggard. ' Oh! if it be God's will to grant us now a great deliverance, all glory be to Him!'
The deliverance was granted. The next mail brought tidings of gladness:--
'St. Andrew's: April 17, 1863.
'My dearest Sisters,--You know the calm yet weary feeling^that succeeds to the period of intense anxiety and constant watchfulness. Six dear children are taken from us, as you know already. Some twenty-one others have beon very ill, nigh unto death. Two or three are still weak, but doing well.
'All the rest are convalescent. Oh! I look at them, to see the loving bright smile again on their poor wan faces. I don't mind breaking down now; yet I have experienced no decided reaction; only I am very indolent, like one who, for six weeks, has not had his usual allowance of sleep. What abundant cause we have for thankfulness! All the many hours that I spent in that atmosphere, and yet not a whit the worse for it. What a sight it was! What scenes of suffering! There seemed to be no end to it; and yet there was always strength for the immediate work in hand. Tending twenty-four sick, after hurrying back from burying two dear lads in one grave, or with a body lying in its white sheet in the chapel; and once, after a breathless watch of two hours, while they all slept the sleep of opium, for we dared almost anything to obtain some rest, stealing at dead of night across the room to the -figure wrapped so strangely in its blanket, and finding it cold and stiff, while one dying lay close by. It has been a solemn time indeed. And now the brightness seems to be coming back.
'I have not yet ceased to think of the probable consequences; but, speaking somewhat hastily, I do not think that this will much retard the work. I may have to use some extra caution in some places--e.g., one of the two first lads brought from Ambrym is dead: one lad, the only one ever brought from the middle of Whitsuntide Island, is dead; I must be careful there. The other four came from Mota, Matlavo, Vanua Lava (W. side), and Ghiadal-«anar; for the six who died came from six islands.
'One dear lad, Edmund Quintal, sixteen or seventeen years old, was for a while in a critical state. Fisher Young, a little older, was very unwell for three or four days. They came from Norfolk Island.
'The last six weeks have been very unhealthy. We had an unusually hot dry summer--quite a drought; the wells, for example, were never so tried. There was also an unusual continuance of north-east winds--our sultry close wind. And when the dry weather broke up, the rain and damp weather continued for many days. Great sickness prevailed in Auckland and the country generally.
'The Norfolk Islanders, now four in number--Edwin Nobbs, Gilbert Christian, Fisher Young, and Edmund Quintal--have behaved excellently. Oh, how different I was at their age! It is pleasant, indeed, to see them so very much improved; they are so industrious, so punctual, so conscientious. The fact seems to be that they wanted just what I do hope the routine of our life has supplied-- careful supervision, advice, and, when needed, reproof. They had never had any training at all.
'But there was something better--religious feeling -- to work on! and the life here has, by God's blessing, developed the good in them. I am very hopeful about then now. Not, mind! that any one of them has a notion of teaching, but they are acquiring habits which will enable them to be good examples in all points of moral conduct to those of the Melanesians who are not already like B------, &c. The head work will come by-and-by, I dare say.
'April 22.--The storm seems to have passed, though one or two are still very weak. But there are no active symptoms of disease. How mercifully God has dealt with us! I have been very seedy for a few days, and am so still. In spite of two. teeth taken out a fortnight ago, my whole jaw has been paining me much, heavy cold, and I can't get good sleep by reason of the pain, and I want sleep much. I think I must go to the dentist again. You see we hope to sail in ten days or so, and I want to be well.
'We have just washed and scrubbed the hall thoroughly, and once again it ceases to be our hospital. That looks bright, does not it? You must let all friends know about us, for I shall not be able to write to many, and perhaps I shall not have time to write at all. In the midst of all this, I have so much work about the management of the Mission farm and property, and the St. John's College estate, and educational prospects.'
The 'Southern Cross' was at sea again on May 2, and approved herself entirely to her owners' satisfaction.
Moreover, another clergyman had come on board for a trial trip, the Eev. Eobert Codrington, a Fellow of Wad-ham, Oxford, who brought the University culture which was no small personal pleasure to Bishop Patteson in the companion of his labours. So that the staff consisted of Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, Mr. Codrington, Mr. Palmer and Mr. Atkin, besides Mr. Tilly, whose management of the vessel left the Bishop free from cares whenever his knowledge of the coast was not needed. Some of the results of his leisure on the outward voyage here appear:-.--
'I am glad I have read the accounts which Bishop Mackenzie's sister sent me. I know more about it now. Work and anxiety and necessity for action all came upon them so rapidly, that there was but little time for forming deliberate plans. I can well realise the finding oneself surrounded with a hundred poor creatures, diseased and hungered, the multitude of questions how to feed, lodge, and clothe them. How far it is right to sanction their mode of life, &c. One thing I am glad to notice, that the Bishop abstained from all attempts to convey religious instruction, because he was not sufficiently acquainted with the language to know what ideas he might or might not be suggesting. That was wise, and yet how unlike many hot-headed men, who rush with unintentional irreverence into very dangerous experiments.
'I confess, as you know, that there seems to me far too cumbrous and expensive and talkative a method employed in England, for raising supplies for that Mission and Columbia, Honolulu, &c. I never think of all that fuss of the four Universities, and all the meetings and speeches, without some shame. But united action will come in the train of real synodical action; and if I understand aright, the last Convocation of Canterbury accepted all that we are trying for, taking the right view in the question of Provinces, Metropolitans, position of Colonial Churches, joint action of the Church at large, &c. Extension of Episcopate in England. Oh, thanks be to G-od for it all. What a work for this branch of the Catholic Church! How can people sit quiet, not give their all!
'I like very much Vaughan's work on the Epistle to the Romans. That is the book to teach young students how to read their Greek Testament. Accurate scholarship, no private notions imported into the Greek text. I should like to hear Mr. Keble speak about the law underlying the superstitions of heathenism, the way to deal with the perversions of truth, &c. Somehow I get to marvel at and love that first book of Hooker more and more. It is wonderful. It goes to the bottom of the matter; and then at times it gives one to see something of the Divine wisdom of the Bible as one never saw it before.
'But I fear that I seek too much after a knowledge and understanding of principles of action which are attainable by a scholar and man of real reasoning power, but which I am not able to make of practical use, having neither the brains nor the goodness. This is what I really mean.
'May 20th.--Any really good book on the New Testament, especially dealing critically with the Greek text, I certainly wish to have. I feel that the great neglect of us clergy is the neglect of the continual study most critically and closely of the grammatical meaning of the Hebrew and Greek texts. Oh! that in old days I had made myself a good scholar! Oh! that I did really know Hebrew and Greek well! What a blessing and delight it would be now! I fear that I shall never be a good Hebrew scholar, I can't make time for it; but a decent Greek scholar I hope to be. I work away, but alas I for want of time, only by fits and starts, at grammars, and such a book as Vaughan's "Epistle to the Romans," an excellent specimen of the way to give legitimate help to the student. Trench's books I delight in. The Revision by Five Clergymen is an assistance. There was a review in the Quarterly the other day on the Greek Testament, very nearly an excellent one. The ordinary use of folio commentaries I don't wish to depreciate, but I think it far less valuable than the diligent study for oneself with the best grammatical aids of the original text. I always assume an acquaintance with the true mind and spirit of the Church of England as a substratum of interpretation. I like Westcott's book on the "Introduction to the Study of the Gospels."
'Oh! why, when I sat evening after evening with our dear Father, did I not ask him on all these points much more than I did? He did talk of such things! But I suppose it is partly the impulse given to such studies by the tendency of present religious thought. Yet ought it not to have been always put forward at Eton and Oxford that the close study of the text of the Bible is the first duty of a Christian scholar. I never really thought of it till I came out here, and then other occupations crowded upon me, and so it was too late to make myself a scholar. Alas!
'Now I really think nothing is so great a relaxation tome as a good book by Trench, or Vaughan, or Ellicott, or Dr. Pusey, and I do enjoy it. Not that I can keep up my attention for very long so as to make it profitable, but even then it is delightful, only I must go over it again, and so it is perhaps time wasted.
'But I greatly miss the intimate friend with whom to* fix what I read by conversation and communication of mutual difficulties in understanding passages. I don't often forget points on which the Judge and I have had a talk, but what I read by myself I read too quickly, and forget. I want to fix it by subsequent discussion and enquiry with a competent friend. If I have intelligent young men to read with, that will almost do, it will easily help me to remember what I have read. It won't be suggestive, like the Judge's conversation; yet if one tries to teach conscientiously one does learn a great deal. I am puzzled as to books for my Norfolk Islanders. I should like much the "Conversations on the Catechism." Are they published separately? Shall I ask Miss Yonge to give me a copy? And the "Plain Commentary" would be useful too, if (which I doubt) it is plain enough.'
'"Southern Cross:" May 9, 1863.
'My dear Joan,--You ask me about qualifications which a man had better possess for this Mission, so perhaps -I had better ask you to enquire of cousin Derwent Coleridge and of Ernest Hawkins for letters written to them some six months ago in which (if I remember rightly) I succeeded as well as I am likely to do now in describing the class of men I should like some day to have. I dare say they have not kept the letters, I forgot that, because although they took me some little time to write, they may have chucked them away naturally enough. Still if they have them and can find them, it may be worth while for you to keep a copy by you to show to any person who wishes for information.
'It is not necessary at all that a man should have a taste for languages or a faculty of acquiring them. What I want now is not a linguist, but a well-trained school-master'f or black boys and men, who will also put his hand to any kind of work--a kindly, gentle, cheerful, earnest fellow, who will make light of all little inconveniences, such as necessarily attend sea life, &c., who is so much of a gentleman that he can afford to do any kind of work without being haunted by the silly thought that it "is beneath him," "not his business." That is the fellow for me. He would have to learn one language, the language of the particular class given over to him, and I think that a person of any moderate ability might soon do this with our teaching. If I could get him to take an interest in the general science of language and to go into philological points, of course his work would be lighter, and he would have soon the advantage of knowing dialects cognate to that which he must know. But that is not necessary.
'The real thing is to train a certain number of lads in habits of attention, punctuality, tidiness, &c., to teach them also upon a plan, which I should show him, to read and write. The religious instruction I should take, and the closer investigation of the language too, unless he showed a capacity for going into the nicer points of structure, &c.
'But somehow a cut and dried teaching machine of a man, however methodical, and good, and conscientious, won't do. There must be a vivacity, an activity of mind, a brightness about the man, so that a lesson shall never be mere drudgery; in short, there must be a real love in the heart for the scholars, that is the qualification.
'One man and one only I hope to have some day who ought to be able to learn scraps at least of many languages, but he will have a different work to do. No work can be considered to be satisfactorily carried on while it depends on the life of any one man. Someone to take my place will come, I hope, some day. He would have to go round the islands with me, and acquire a knowledge of the whole field of work--the wading and swimming, the mode of dealing with fellows on a first meeting, &c.; he will not only have one class to look after, but he must learn the same kind of lesson that I learnt under the Primate. Where to get such a man, I'm sure I don't know. He must be- of standing and ability to be acceptable to the ottiers should I die, &c., &c.
'So we need not speculate about him, and the truth is, I am not in any hurry to get men from home. We are educating ourselves lads here who will very likely learn to do this kind of work fairly well. Mr. Palmer will, I hope, be ordained at Christmas. Young Atkin will be useful some day. By-and-by if I can get one or two really first-rate men, it will indeed be a great thing. But who knows anything of me in England? I don't expect a really able man to come out to work with me. They will go to other parts of the world kept more before the notice of the public by committees and meetings and speeches, &c.; and indeed I am very thankful for it. I am not old nor wise enough to be at the head of a party of really able men. I must be more fit to lead before I can ask men to follow.
'Of course I know that the work, if I chose to speak out, is second to none in interest and importance, and that very little comparatively is known about it in England. But it is evidently far better that it should go quietly on without attracting much notice, and that we all should remain unknown at all events at present. Bv-and-by, when by God's blessing things are more ripe for definite departments of work, and men can have distinct duties at once assigned to them, and our mode of carrying on the Mission has been fairly tested, then it will be high time to think about first-rate men.
'And, presumptuous and strange as it may seem for me to say it, a man confessedly second-rate, unfit to hold a position with the best stamp of English clergymen, I had rather not have. I can get the material cheaper and made to my own hand out here.
'Some men are dull though good, others can't get away from their book life and the proprieties, others are donnish, others are fine gentlemen, others are weak in health, most have preconceived and, many, mistaken views about heathenism, and the way to deal with it; some would come out with the notion that England and English clergymen were born to set the colonies right.
'How few would say, "There's a young man for the Bishop, only a second-class man, no scholar, not remarkable in any way, but he has learnt his work in a good school, and will go out to him with the purpose of seeing how he carries on the work, and learning from him." I don't expect men worth anything to say this. Of course I don't; and yet you know, Joan, I can't take them on any other terms. No, I prefer taking promising lads here, and training them up, not with any pledge that I will employ them in the Mission, but with the promise of giving them every chance of becoming qualified for it.'
The voyage was much shorter than had been intended, and its history is best summed up here:--
'"Southern Cross," Kohimarama: Aug. 6, 1863.
'My dear Cousin,--This date, from this place, will surprise you. We returned yesterday, after a short voyage of only three months. I had arranged my plans for a long voyage, hoping to revisit all our known islands, and that more than once. We sailed to Norfolk Island, thence at once to Mota. I spent two days there, and left the Kev. L. Pritt in charge of the station; Mr. Palmer being with him and the four Norfolk Islanders, and several old scholars.
'I spent a fortnight in the Banks Archipelago, returning some scholars, and taking away others from divers islands; and then went back to Mota, bringing some sixteen or seventeen lads to the central school. I found them all pretty well; the whole island at peace, people moving about everywhere unarmed, and a large school being gathered together.
'I went off again to the south (the New Hebrides group), returning scholars who had been in New Zealand, purchasing yams for axes and iron, &c., to supply the large number of scholars at Mota. The season had been unfavourable, and the crop of yams in some islands had almost failed. However, in another fortnight I was again at Mota with some six or seven tons of yams. I found things lamentably changed. A great mortality was going on, dysentery and great prostration of strength from severe influenza.
'But of those not actually boarding at the station, the state was very sad indeed. About twenty-five adults were dead already, several of them regular attendants at school, of whom we were very hopeful.
'I spent two days and a half in going about the island, the wet incessant, the ground steaming and reeking with vegetable exhalations. During those days twenty-seven adults died, fifty-two in all, and many, many more were dying, emaciated, coughing, fainting; no constitutional vigour of body, nor any mutton broth, or beef tea, or jellies, or chickens, or wine, &c. Mr. Pritt did what he could, and more than I thought could have been done; but what c ould be done? How could nourishing food be supplied to dozens of invalids living miles off, refusing to obey directions in a country which supplies no food to rally the strength of persons in illness?
'I decided to remove the whole party at once, explaining to the people that we were not afraid to share with them the risk of dying, but that if Mr. Pritt and the others died, there were no teachers left. I felt that our Banks Island scholars must be removed, and that at once lest they should die. I could not send the vessel to the Solomon Islands without me, for Mr. Tilly was completely laid up and unable to move from rheumatic gout, and no one else on board knows those languages.
'I could not leave the party at Mota in the sickness, and I could not well send the vessel to Port Patteson for a time, for the danger was imminent. So I took them all away, in all thirty-nine.
'But now the vessel was full, more than sixty on board, and I had reckoned upon an empty vessel in the hot Santa Cruz and Solomon Island latitudes. Moreover, the weather was extraordinarily unfavourable--damp, foul winds, squalls, calms, unhealthy weather. Mr. Tilly was being greatly pulled down, and everything seemed to point out that the voyage ought not to be long. I made my mind up, took back the Solomon Island scholars; and, with heavy sea and baffling winds and one short gale, sailed back to New Zealand.
'How mysteriously our plans are overruled for good! I came back to hear of .the war; and to learn to be thankful for my small, very young and very manageable party. Thirty-three Banks Islanders, the baptized party and select lads from their islands, one New Caledonian, four Ysabel lads, constitute this summer's Melanesian school.
'Don't be disappointed; I was at first, but I had the comfort of having really no alternative. I had, indeed, a great desire to make a thorough visitation of Leper's Island, and Santa Cruz especially; but the wind, usually so fair, was dead against me, we had, so to speak, no trade winds, and I had to give it up. It was certainly my duty to get to the south with my invalids as soon as I could, and alter my plans, which, you know, always are made with a view to divers modifications being rendered necessary.
'Training the baptized scholars, and putting into shape such knowledge as I have of Melanesian tongues, that made a good summer programme, as I was obliged to content myself with a small party gathered from but few islands. Concentration v. diffusion I soon began to think a very good thing.
'Well, so it is, and now I see great reason to be thankful. Why do we not always give thanks whether we see the reason or not?
'The vessel behaves admirably. I have written to Jem at length, and he must be applied to for my account of her. Pray tell Mr. Keble all this. I have a most valuable letter from Dr. Moberly, a great delight and honour to me. It is very kind of him to write; and his view of Church matters is really invaluable, no papers can give that which his letter gives, and only he and a very few others could give an opinion which I so greatly value. He speaks hopefully of Church matters in general, and there are great reasons surely for thankfulness and hope.
'Yet men such as he see far and wide, and to their great hearts no very violent storms are caused by such things as sorely trouble others. He sees the presumption and weakness, the vain transitory character of that phase of modern thought which Bishop Colenso represents, and confidently expects its speedy disappearance. But it does try the earnest, while it makes shipwreck of the frivolous, and exercises the faith and humility of all. Even a very poor scholar can see that his reasoning is most inconclusive, and his reading superficial and inferences illogical.
'God bless you, my dear Cousin.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
Perhaps this is the fittest place to give Mr. Tilly's description of the Bishop in his voyages:--
'My acquaintance with the late Bishop Patteson began at Port Patteson, in the Banks Islands, in 1861. He went with us in H.M.S. "Cordelia" to the Solomon Islands, and after being together some two months we again left him at Port Patteson on our way back to Auckland. During the time he was on board the "Cordelia" it was arranged that I was to sail the new vessel (the present "Southern Cross"), then about to be built by the Messrs. Wigram, and the size, internal arrangements, &c. were told me by him. He did not trouble me with much detail, referring me almost altogether to Bishop Selwyn--and gave no written directions; the little he said I carefully noted, observing that he spoke as with a thorough knowledge of the subject (so far as I could be a judge) as to sea-going qualities, capacity, &c., and to the best of my recollection, I found that while the vessel was building these few directions were the main ones to be kept in view. We entered Auckland harbour (from England) early on the morning of February 28, 1863, and hove to off the North "Head, to wait for the Bishop coming off from Kohimarama before going up the harbour. It had been blowing hard outside the night before from the N.E., and there was still much wind, and some sea, even in the harbour. I was much struck by his appearance and manner. Having to launch his boat through a surf at Kohimarama beach, he had only on a shirt and trousers, and was of course drenched. He stepped on board more like a sailor than a clergyman, and almost immediately made one or two sailor-like remarks about the vessel, as if he understood her qualities as soon as he felt her in motion; and he was quite right in what he said.
'Before the building of the present vessel he had (I am told) navigated at different times to and from the islands; of his capacity in this respect, therefore, others who knew him there can speak. During the time I remained in the "Southern Cross," he never in any way, to the best of my recollection, interfered in the navigation or management of the vessel; but I came to know--almost at once--that his general planning of a voyage, knowledge of local courses and distances, the method by which it could be done most quickly and advantageously, and the time required to do it in, were thorough; and, in fact, I suppose, that almost without knowing it, in all this I was his pupil, and to the last felt the comfort of his advice or assistance, as, e.g., when looking out together from aloft he has seen shoal water more quickly than myself, or has decided whether certain doubtful appearances ahead were or were not sufficient to make us alter our course, &c.; and always speaking as no one who was what sailors call a landsman could have done. There was, of course, always a great deal of boat work, much of it to be done with a loaded boat in a seaway, requiring practical knowledge of such matters, and I do not remember any accidents, such as staving a boat on a reef, swamping, &c. in all those years; and he invariably brought the boat out when it was easy for the vessel to pick her up, a matter not sufficiently understood by many people. This was where Mr. Atkin's usefulness was conspicuous. Mr. Atkin was a fearless boatman, and the knowledge of boating he gained with us at sea was well supplemented when in Auckland, where he had a boat of his own, which he managed in the most thorough manner, Auckland being at times a rough place for boating. He (Mr. Atkin) pulled a good and strong oar, and understood well how to manage a boat under sail, much better in fact than many sailors (who are not always distinguished in that respect). His energy, and the amount of work he did himself were remarkable; his manner was quiet and undemonstrative. He took all charge--it may in a manner be said--of the boys on board the vessel, regulated everything concerning meals, sleeping arrangements, &c., how much food had to be bought for them at the different islands, what "trade" (i.e. hatchets, beads, &c.) it was necessary to get before starting on a voyage, calculated how long our supply of water would last, and in fact did so much on board as left the master of the vessel little to do but navigate. With regard to the loss the Mission has sustained in Mr. Atkin, speaking from my personal knowledge of his invaluable services on a voyage, I can safely say there is no one here now fitted to take his place. He had always capital health at sea, and was rarely sea-sick, almost the only one of the party who did not suffer in that way. And his loss will be the more felt now, as those who used to help in the boat are now otherwise employed as teachers, &c.; and as Norfolk Island is a bad place to learn boating, there is great need of some one to take his place, for a good boat's crew is a necessity in this work as may be readily understood when the boat is away sometimes for the greater part of the day, pulling and sailing from place to place. At those places where the Bishop landed alone, Mr. Atkin gradually acquired the experience which made him so fit to look after the safety of the boat and crew. In this manner he, next to the Bishop, became best known to the natives throughout the islands, and was always looked for; in fact, at many places they two were perhaps only recognised or remembered.
'Bishop Patteson was hardly what could be called a good sailor in one sense of the word; rough weather did not suit him, and although I believe seldom if ever actually sea-sick, he was now and then obliged to lie down the greater part of the day, or during bad weather. He used to read and write a great deal on board, and liked to take brisk walks up and down the deck, talking to whoever happened to be there. He was orderly and methodical on board, liked to see things in their places, and was most simple in all his habits. He always brought a good stock of books on board (which we all made use of), but very few clothes.
'The living on board was most simple, much the same as the crew, those in the cabin waiting on themselves (carrying no steward), until gradually boys used to volunteer to do the washing up, &c. School with all the boys was kept up when practicable; but the Bishop was always sitting about among them on the deck, talking to one and another, and having classes with him in the cabin. There were regular morning and evening native and English prayers. The sermons on Sundays were specially adapted for the sailors, and listened to with marked attention, as indeed they well might be, being so earnest, simple, and suitable.
'Speaking for myself, I used to look forward to the voyage as the time when I should have the privilege of being much with him for some months. While on shore at Kohimarama I saw but comparatively little of him, except at meals; but during the voyage I saw of course a great deal of him, and learned much from him--learned to admire his unselfishness and simplicity of mode of life, and to respect his earnestness and abilities. His conversation on any subject was free and full; and those on the few nights when quietly at anchor they could be enjoyed more, will be long remembered. Of his manner to Mela-nesians, others will, no doubt, say enough, but I may be excused for mentioning one scene that very much struck me, and of which I am now the only (white) one left who was present at it. We were paying a visit for the first time to an island, and--the vessel being safe in the offing --the Bishop asked me if I woiild go with them as he sometimes did on similar occasions. We pulled in to a small inner islet among a group, where a number of (say 200) natives were collected on the beach. Seeing they looked as if friendly, he waded on shore without hesitation and joined them; the reception was friendly, and after a time he walked with them along the beach, we in the boat keeping near. After a while we took him into the boat again, and lay off the beach a few yards to be clear of the throng, and be able to get at the things he*wanted to give them, they coming about the boat in canoes; and this is the fact I wished to notice--viz., the look on his face while the intercourse with them lasted. I was so struck with it, quite involuntarily, for I had no idea of watching for anything of the sort; but it was one of such extreme gentleness, and of yearning towards them. I never saw that look on his face again, I suppose because no similar scene ever occurred again when I happened to be with him. It was enough in itself to evoke sympathy; and as we pulled away, though the channel was narrow and winding, yet, as the water was deep, we discussed the possibility of the schooner being brought in there at some future time. I am quite aware of my inability to do justice to that side of the Bishop's character, of which, owing to the position in which I stood to him as master of the Mission vessel, I have been asked to say a few words. There are others who know far better than myself what his peculiar, qualifications were. His conduct to me throughout the time was marked by an unvarying confidence of manner and kindliness in our everyday intercourse, until, gradually, I came to think I understood the way in which he wished things done, and acted in his absence with an assurance of doing his wishes, so far as I could, which I never had attained to before with anyone else, and never shall again. And, speaking still of my own experience, I can safely say the love we grew to feel for him would draw such services from us (if such were needed) as no fear of anyone's reproof or displeasure ever could do. And perhaps this was the greatest privilege, or lesson, derived from our intercourse with him, that "Love casteth out fear!"
'Tiros. CAPEL TILLY.
'Auckland: October 28, 1872.'
This letter to Mr. Derwent Coleridge follows up the subject of the requisites for missionary work:--
'"Southern Cross," Kohimarama: August 8, 1863.
'My dear Cousin,--Thank you for a very kind letter which I found here on my return from a short three months' voyage in Melanesia. You will, I am sure, give me any help that you can, and a young man trained under your eye would be surely of great use in this work. I must confess that I distrust greatly the method adopted still in some places of sending out men as catechists and missionaries, simply because they appear to be zealous and anxious to engage in missionary work. A very few men, well educated, who will really try to understand what heathenism is, and will seek, by God's blessing, to work honestly without prejudice and without an indiscriminating admiration for all their own national tastes and modes of thought--a few such men, agreeing well together and co-operating heartily, will probably be enabled to lay foundations for an enduring work. I do not at all wish to apply hastily for men--for any kind of men--to fill up posts that I shall indeed be thankful to occupy with the right sort of men. I much prefer waiting till it may please God to put it into the head of some two or three more men to join the Mission--years hence it may be. We need only a few; I don't suppose that ten years hence I should (if alive) ever wish to have more than six or eight clergy; because their work will be the training of young natives to be themselves teachers, and, I pray God, missionaries in due time. I am so glad that you quite feel my wants, and sympathise with me. It is difficult to give reasons--intelligible to you all at a distance--for everything that I may say and do, because the circumstances of this Mission are so very peculiar. But you know that I have always the Primate to consult with as to principles; and I must, for want of a better course, judge for myself as to the mode of working them out in detail.
'Two plans are open for obtaining a supply of young men. First, I may receive some few ready-trained men, who nevertheless will have to learn the particular lessons that only can be taught here on the spot. Secondly, I may have youths of (say) sixteen to eighteen years of age, sent out from such a school as Stephen «Hawtrey's for example, who will come with a good general knowledge of ordinary things, and receive a special training from myself. I think, too, that New Zealand will now and then supply an earnest, active-minded young fellow--who will be na Greek or Latin scholar, yet may find a useful niche in which he may be placed. At present I have means only to maintain one or two such persons, and this because I am able to use the money my dear Father left me for this purpose. Indeed, I have no other use for it. The money received on public account would not keep the Mission in its present state, and the expenditure ought to be increased by maintaining more scholars and teachers. I don't forget what you say about the philological part of my business. My difficulty is this, mainly: that it is next to impossible to secure a few hours of continuous leisure. You can have no idea of the amount of detail that I must attend to: seeing everything almost, and having moreover not a few New Zealand matters to employ my time, besides my Melanesian work. I have, I suppose, a considerable amount of knowledge of Melanesian tongues, unknown by name to anyone else perhaps; I quite feel that this ought not to die with me, if anything should suddenly happen to me. I hoped this summer to put together something; but now there is this Maori war, and an utterly unsettled state of things. I may have to leave New Zealand with my Melanesians almost any day. But I will do what I can, and as soon as I can. Again: I find it so hard to put on paper what I know. I could talk to a philologist, and I fancy that I could tell him much that would interest him; but I never wrote anything beyond a report in my life, and it is labour and grief to me to write them--I can't get on as a scribe at all. Then, for two or three years I have not been able to visit some islands whose language I know just enough of to see that they supply a valuable link in the great Polynesian chain. One might almost get together all the disjecta membra and reconstruct the original Polynesian tongue. But chiefly, of course, my information about Melanesia may be interesting. I have begun by getting together numerals in forty quite unknown dialects. I will give, at all events, short skeleton grammars too of some. But we have no time. Why, I have from five hundred to two thousand or more carefully ascertained words in each of several dialects, and of course these ought to be in the hands of you all at home. I know that, and have known it for years; but how to do it, without neglecting the daily necessary work?
'Again: the real genius of the language, whatever it may be, is learned when I can write down what I overhear boys saying when they are talking with perfect freedom, and therefore idiomatically, about sharks, cocoa-nuts, yams, &c. All translations must fail to represent a language adequately, and most of all the translation into a heathen language of religious expressions. They have not the ideas, and the language cannot be fairly seen in the early attempts to make it do an unaccustomed work.
'I remember more of you and my Aunt than you suppose. Even without the photograph (which I am very glad to have--thank you for it), I could have found you and Aunt out in a crowd. I can't say that I remember my own generation so well.
'Thank you again for writing so kindly.
'Always, my dear Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
The next mail carried the reply to Johanna's sympathy with the troubles of the time of sickness in the early part of the year.
'August 28, 1863.
'My dear Joan,--Very full of comfort to have all your kind loving thoughts and words about our sickness. I know you thought and talked much about it, and indeed it was a very heavy visitation viewed in one way, though in another (and I really can't analyze the reason why) there was not only peace and calmness, but eyen happiness. I suppose one may be quite sure one is receiving mercies, and be thankful for them, although one is all the time like a man in a dream. I can hardly think of it all as real. But I am sure that God was very, very merciful to us. There was no difficulty anywhere about the making known the death of the lads to their relatives. I did not quite like the manner of the people at Gruadalcanar, from which island poor Porasi came; and I could not get at the exact place from'which Taman came, though I landed on the same island north and south of the beach from which I brought him.
'I do not at all think that any interruption of the work has been occasioned by it. It was very unfortunate that I could not, last voyage, make visits (and long ones too, as I had hoped) to many islands where in the voyage before I had met with such remarkable tokens of good-will, especially Leper's Island and Santa Cruz, but I think that if I can make a regular good round next time, it may be all as well. I imagine that in a great many islands it would now take a good deal to shake their confidence in us. At the same time it was and is a matter of great regret that I did not at once follow up the openings of the former year, and by returning again to the New Hebrides and Solomon Islands (as in the contemplated six months' voyage I intended to do), strengthen the good feeling now existing. Moreover, many scholars who were here last year would have come again had I revisited them and picked them up again. But the Mota sickness, the weather, and Mr. Tilly's illness made it more prudent to return by what is on the whole the shorter route, i.e., to the west of New Caledonia.
'You should have been with me when, as I jumped on shore at Mota, I took Paraskloi's father by the hand. That dear lad I baptized as he lay in his shroud in the chapel, when the whole weight of the trial seemed, as it were, by a sudden revelation to manifest itself, and thoroughly overwhelmed and unnerved me. I got through the service with the tears streaming down my cheeks, and my voice half choked. He was his father's pride, some seventeen years old. A girl ready chosen for him as his wife. "It is all well, Bishop, he died well. I know you did all you could, it is all well." He trembled all over, and his face was wet with tears; but he seemed strangely drawn to us, and if he survives this present epidemic, his son's death may be to him the means in God's hands of an eternal life. Most touching, is it not, this entire confidence?
'At Aruas, the small island close to Valua, from which dear Sosaman came, it was just the same; rather different at the west side of Vanua Lava, where they did not behave so well, and where (as I heard afterwards) there had been some talk of shooting me; but nothing occurred while I was on shore with them to alarm me.
'At Ambrym I landed with Talsil (Joval, from the same place, had died), a great crowd, all friendly, walked into the village and sat down, speechifying by the principal man, a presentation to me of a small pig; but such confidence that this man came back with me on board, where I gave him presents. I much wished to land at Taman's place, but could not do so, though I tried twice, without causing great delay.
'I could have brought away any number of scho1ars from almost any of these islands, probably from all. I have great reason to regret not having revisited Ambrym and other islands, but I think that a year hence, if alive, I may feel that it is better as it is.
'These Norfolk Islanders, four of them, I take as my children, for I can't fairly charge them (except Edwin Nobbs) to the Mission, and I wish to give Norfolk Island some help, as it is really, though not by letters patent, part of my charge. Edwin Nobbs is a thoroughly good fellow, and Fisher Young is coming on very well.
'Now, my dearest Joan, good-bye. My hats will come no doubt in good time, my present chapeau is very seedy, very limp and crooked and battered; as near green as black almost--a very good advertisement of the poverty of the Mission. But if I go about picking up gold in. Australia, I shall come out in silk cassock and all the paraphernalia--very episcopal indeed!
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Herewith was a letter for Dr. Moberly:--
'St. Andrew's College, Kohimarama: August 29, 1863. ' My dear Dr. Moberly,--Thank you for a very kind and most interesting letter written in May. I know that you can with difficulty find time to write at all, and thank you all the more. If you knew the real value to us of such letters as you have now sent, containing your impressions and opinions of things in general, men, books, &c., you would be well rewarded for your trouble, I assure you. To myself, I must say to you, such letters are invaluable; they are a real help to me, not only in that they supply information from a very good authority on many questions which I much desire to understand, but even more because I rise up or kneel down after reading them, and think to myself, "how little such men who so think of me really know me; how different I ought to be," and then it is another help to me to try and become by God's grace less unlike what you take me to be. Indeed, you must forgive me for writing thus freely. I live very , much alone as far as persons of the same language, modes ' of thought, &c., are concerned. I see but little (strange as it may seem to you) even of my dear Primate. We are by land four or five miles apart, and meet perhaps once or twice a month for a few minutes to transact some necessary business. His time is, of course, fully occupied; and I never leave this place, very seldom even this little quadrangle, and when other work does not need immediate attention (a state of things at which I have not arrived as yet), there are always a dozen new languages to be taken up, translations to be made, &c. So that when I read a letter which is full of just such matters as I think much of, I naturally long to talk on paper freely with the writer. Were I in England, I know scarcely any place to which I would go sooner than Winchester, Hursley, Otterbourne, and then I should doubtless talk as now I write freely. All that you write of the state of mind generally in England on religious questions is most deeply interesting. What a matter of thankfulness that you can say, "With all the sins and shortcomings that are amongst us, there is an unmistakeable spreading of devotion and the wish to serve God rightly on the part of very many."
'Then, the Church preferments have lately been good; Bishop Ellicott, one of your four coadjutors in the revision of the A. V., especially. I know some part of his Commentary, and am very glad to find that you speak so very highly of it. What a contrast to be sure between such work as his and Jowett's and Stanley's! Jowett actually avows a return to the old exploded theory of the inaccurate use of language in the Greek Testament. This must make men distrust him sooner or later as an interpreter of Scripture. I thank you heartily for your offer of sending me Bishop Ellicott's Commentary, but I hardly like you to send me so valuable a gift. What if you substitute for it a copy of what you have written yourself, not less valuable to me, and less expensive to you? I hardly like to write to ask favours of such people as Bishop Ellicott; I mean I have no right to do so; yet I almost thought of asking him to send a copy of his Commentaries to us for our library. I have ventured to write to Dean Trench: and I am pretty sure that Mr. Keble will send me his "Life of Bishop Wilson." But pray act as you wish. I am very grateful to you for thinking of it at all; and all such books whether yours or his will be used and valued, I can undertake to say. My good friend Kidding knows that I was, alas! no scholar at Eton or Oxford. I have sought to remedy this in some measure as far as the Greek Testament is concerned, and there are some excellent books which help one much; yet I can never make myself a good scholar, I fear; one among many penalties I pay for want of real industry in old days.
'Miss Yonge will hear from my sisters, and you from her, I have no doubt, my very scanty account of a very uninteresting voyage. I see everywhere signs of a change really extraordinary in the last few years. I can tell no stories of sudden conversions, striking effects,*&c. But I know that in twenty, thirty, perhaps forty places, where a year or two ago no white man could land without some little uncertainty as to his reception, I can feel confident now of meeting with friends; I can walk inland--a thing never dreamt of in old days, sleep ashore, put myself entirely into their hands, and meet with a return of the confidence on their part. We have, too, more dialects, talk or find interpreters in more places; our object in coming to them is more generally known--and in Mota, and two or three other small islands of the Banks group, there is almost a system of instruction at work. The last voyage was a failure in that I could not visit many islands, nor revisit some that I longed to land at for the second or third time. But I don't anticipate any difficulty in reestablishing (D. V.) all the old familiarity before long. No doubt it is all, humanly speaking, hazardous where so much seems to depend upon the personal acquaintance with the people.
'By-and-by I hope to have some young man of character and ability enough to allow of his being regarded as my probable successor, who may always go with me --not stop on any one island--but learn the kind of work I have to do; then, when I no longer can do the work, it will be taken up by a man already known to the various islanders.
'I have not touched on many points in your letter. Again, thank you for it: it is very kind of you to write. I must send a line to Dr. Eidding.
'I am, my dear Dr. Moberly,
'Yours very truly,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.'
The next of the closely written sheets that every mail carried was chiefly occupied with the Maori war and apostacy, on which this is not the place to enter, until the point where more personal reflections begin.
'How all this makes me ponder about my own special work I need not say. There is not the complication of an English colony, it is true; that makes a great difference.
'My own feeling is that one should teach positive truth, the plain message of Christianity, not attacking prejudices. Conviction as it finds its way into the heart by the truth recommending itself will do the work of casting out the old habits. I do not mean to say that the devil is not in a special way at work to deceive people to follow lying delusions. But all error is a perversion of truth; it has its existence negatively only, as being a negation of truth. But God is truth, and therefore Truth is ------. Now this is practically to be put, it seems to me, in this way. Error exists in the mind of man, whom God has created, as a perversion of truth; his faculties are constructed to apprehend and rest satisfied with truth. But his faculties are corrupted,, and the devil supplies a false caricature of truth, and deceives him to apprehend and rest satisfied with a lie. But inasmuch as his nature, though damaged, is not wholly ruined by the Fall, therefore it is still not only possible for him to recognise positive truth when presented to him, but he will never rest satisfied with anything else--he will be restless and uneasy till he has found it.
'It is because I feel that it is more natural to man to follow truth than error ("natural" being understood to mean correspondent to the true nature) that I believe the right thing is to address oneself to the principle in a man which can and will recognise truth. Truth when recognised expels error. But why attack error without positively inculcating truth? I hope it does not bore you for me to write all this. But I wish you to learn all that may explain my way of dealing with these questions.'
The next day, October 25, a headache gives the Bishop a reason for indulging himself, while waiting for his pupils, in calling up and setting down a realisation of his sisters' new home at St. Mary Church, where for the time he seems to go and live with them, so vividly does he represent the place to himself. His first return to his own affairs is a vision that once more shows his unappeased craving for all appliances ' for glory and for beauty' in the worship of God.
'I may some day have a connection with Mary Church marbles. Sometimes I have a vision--but I must live twenty years to see more than a vision--of a small but exceedingly beautiful Gothic chapel, rich tinside with marbles and stained glass and carved stalls and encaustic tiles and brass screen work. I have a feeling that a certain use of really good ornaments may be desirable, and being on a very small scale it might be possible to' make a very perfect thing some day. There is no notion of my indulging such a thought. It may come some day, and most probably long after I am dead and gone. It would be very foolish to spend money upon more necessary things than a beautiful chapel at present, when in fact I barely pay my way at all. And yet a really noble church is a wonderful instrument of education, if we think only of the lower way of regarding it. Well, you have a grand church, and it is pleasant to think of dear dear Father having laid the stone, and of Cousin George. What would he say now to Convocation and Synods, and the rapid progress of the organisation of the Church?
'I think that what you say, Fan, about my overvaluing the world's opinion is very true. Self-consciousness and a very foolish sinful vanity always have been and are great sources of trial to me. How often I have longed for that simplicity and truthfulness of character that we saw so beautifully exemplified in our dear Father! How often I think that it is very good for me that I am so wanting in all personal gifts! I should be intolerable! I tell you this, not to foster such feelings by talking of them, but 'because we wish to know and be known to each other as we are. It is a very easy thing to be a popular preacher here, perhaps anywhere. You know that I never write a really good sermon, but I carry off platitudes with a sort of earnest delivery, tolerably clear voice, and with all the prestige of being a" self-devoted Missionary Bishop. Bless their hearts! if they could see me sipping a delicious cup of coffee, with some delightful book by my side, and some of my lads sitting with me, all of them really loving one, and glad to do anything for one!
'A less self-conscious person could do what I can hardly do without danger. I see my name in a book or paper, and then comes at once a struggle against some craving after praise. I think I know the fault, but I don't say I struggle against it as I ought to do. It is very hard, therefore, for me to write naturally about work in which I am myself engaged. But I feel that a truthful account of what we see and hear ought to be given, and yet I never speak about the Mission without feeling that I have somehow conveyed a false impression.'
Again there was a time of sickness. The weather alternated between keen cutting winds and stifling heat; and there was much illness among the colonists, as well as a recurrence of the dreadful disease of the former year among the scholars of St. Andrew's, though less severe, and one boy died after fourteen days' sickness, while two pulled through with difficulty. In the midst came the Ember Week, when Mr. Palmer was ordained Deacon; and then the Bishop collapsed under ague, and spent the morning of Christmas Day in bed, but was able to get up and move into chapel for the celebration, and afterwards to go into hall and see the scholars eat their Christmas dinner.
In the letter he wrote in the latter part of the day, he confessed that l he felt older and less springy;' though, as he added, there was good reason for it in the heavy strain that there had been upon him throughout the year, though his native, scholars were all that he could desire.
A few days' holiday and change at the Primate's brought back spirits and strength; but the question whether under any circumstances New Zealand would be a safe residence for the great body of Melanesian scholars was becoming doubtful, and it seemed well to consider of some other locality. Besides, it was felt to be due to the supporters of the Mission in Australia to tell them personally how great had been the progress made since 1855; and, accordingly, on one of the first days of February, Bishop Patteson embarked in a mail steamer for Sydney, but he was obliged to leave six of his lads in a very anxious state with a recurrence of dysentery. However, the Governor, Sir George Grey, had lent his place on the island of Kawau, thirty miles north of Auckland, to the party, so that there was good hope that change would restore the sick.
'Fancy me,' says the Journal of February 6, 'on board a screw steamer, 252 feet long, with the best double cabin on board for my own single use, the manager of the company being anxious to show me every attention, eating away at all sorts of made dishes, puddings, &c.,' and lounging about just as I please on soft red velvet sofas and cushions.'
The rest and good living were the restorative he needed; and, in spite of anxiety about the patients at home, he enjoyed and profited by it.
On February 6, Sydney was reached, but the Bishop sailed on at once for his farthest point. At Melbourne, on the 11th, he quaintly declares, after describing his kind reception: ' I feel at present a stranger among strangers; no new thing to me, especially if they are black, and begin by offering me cocoa-nut instead of bread and butter. This place looks too large for comfort--like a section of London, busy, bustling, money-making. There are warm hearts somewhere amid the great stores and banks and shops, I dare say. But you know it feels a little strange, and especially as I think it not unlikely that a regular hearty Church feeling may not be the rule of the place. Still I am less shy than I was, and with real gentlemen feel no difficulty in discussing points on which we differ.
It is the vulgar uneducated fellow that beats me. The Melanesians, laugh as you may at it, are naturally gentlemanly and courteous and well-bred. I never saw a "gent" in Melanesia, though not a few downright savages. I vastly prefer the savage.'
Melbourne was, however, to be taken on the return; and he went on to Adelaide, where Bishop Short and the clergy met him at the port, and he was welcomed most heartily. The Diocesan Synod assembled to greet him, and presented an address; and there were daily services and meetings, when great interest was excited, and tangibly proved by the raising of about 2501. He was perfectly astonished at the beauty and fertility of the place, and the exceeding luxuriance of the fruit. One bunch of grapes had been known to weigh fourteen pounds. As to the style of living with all ordinary English comforts and attendance, he says:--'I feel almost like a fish out of water, and yet I can't help enjoying it. One very easily resumes old luxurious habits, and yet the thought of my dear boys, sick as I fear some must be, helps to keep me in a sober state of mind.'
On St. Matthew's Day he assisted at an Ordination: and on the 27th returned to Melbourne for three weeks, and thence to Sydney. His time was so taken up that his letters are far more scanty and hurried than usual.
'I have been running no little risk of being spoilt, and I don't say that I have come off uninjured. In Melbourne I was told by the Dean (the Bishop is in England) and by Judge Pohlman (an excellent good man) that they remembered no occasion during the twenty-two years of sojourn (before Melbourne was more than a village) when so much interest had been shown in Christian work, especially Mission work. This is a thing to be very thankful for. I felt it my duty to speak strongly to them on their own duties, first to Aborigines, secondly to Chinese (of whom some 40,000 live in Victoria), thirdly to Melanesians. I did not aim only at getting money for Melanesia; I took much higher ground than that. But the absence of the ordinary nonsense about startling conversions, rapid results, &c., and the matter-of-fact unsentimental way of stating the facts of heathenism, and the way to act upon it, did, no doubt, produce a very remarkable effect.
'I need not tell you that I did pray for strength to make good use of such unexpected and very unusual opportunities. Crowded meetings, nothing before like it in Melbourne or the provinces. I did not feel nervous, much to my surprise; I really wonder at it, I had dreaded it much.
'It was a sight to see St. George's Hall crowded, children sitting on the floor, platform, anywhere, and very many adults (about 500) besides. Now you know my old vanity. Thank God, I don't think it followed me very much here. There was a strong sense of a grand opportunity, and the need of grace to use it.'
The enthusiasm at Victoria resulted in 350£. and pledges of future assistance; and at Sydney there was the like grand meeting, the like address, and hearty response; and the Churches of Australia pledged themselves to bear the annual expenses of the voyages of the 'Southern Cross.' A number of young clerks and officials, too, united in an arrangement by which she could be insured, high as was the needful rate.
The preaching and speeches produced an immense feeling, and the after review of the expedition is thus recorded:--
'As for my sermons in Australia, I found to my surprise that every minute was so occupied that I could not make time to write; and as for doing so in New Zealand before I started, why, I systematized and put into the printer's hands, in about four months, grammars, &c., more or less complete, of seventeen languages, working up eight or ten more in MS.!
'I had to preach extempore for the most part: I did not at all like it, but what could I do? Sermons and speeches followed like hail--at least one, sometimes two on week-days, and three on Sundays. I preached on such points as I had often talked out with the Primate and Sir William, and illustrated principles by an occasional statement of facts drawn from missionary experience.
'Now, old Fan, as you know, the misery of self-consciousness and conceit clings to me. I can't, as dear old father could, tell you what actually occurred without doing myself harm in the telling of it.
'It pleased God to make me able to say all through what I think it was good for people to hear. All meetings and services (with a few, very few exceptions, from heavy rains, &c.) were crowded. I could not in a few minutes speak with any degree of completeness on subjects which for years had occupied my thoughts: I was generally about an hour and a half, occasionally longer--I tried to be shorter. But people were attentive and interested all through. At Melbourne, it was said that 1,500 children (at a meeting for them) were present, and 500 adults, including many of the most educated people. All, children included, were as still as mice for an hour and a half, except occasional cheers.
'But generally there was little excitement. I did not, as you can suppose, take the sensation line; spoke very rapidly, for I had no time to spare--but clearly and quietly, sometimes gravely, sometimes with exceeding earnestness, and exposed sophistries and fallacies and errors about the incapacity of the black races, &c. There were times when I lost all sense of nervousness and self, and only wished that 10,000 people had been present, for I felt that I was speaking out, face to face, plain simple words of truth.
'The effect at the time was no doubt very remarkable. The Dean of Melbourne, e.g., said publicly that no such earnestness in religious, matters had ever been exhibited there. The plan of Mission work was simple, practicable, commended itself to hard-headed men of business. Many came to hear who had been disgusted with the usual senti-mentalism and twaddle, the absence of knowledge of human nature, the amount of conventional prejudice, &c. They were induced to come by friends who represented that this was something quite different, and these men went away convinced in many cases, seconding resolutions and paying subscriptions.
'I said what was true, that I was the mouthpiece of the Bishop of New Zealand; that I could speak freely of the plan of the Mission, for it was not my plan, &c. How I was carried through it all, I can't say. I was unusually well, looked and felt bright, and really after a while enjoyed it, though I was always glad when my share in the speechifying was over. Yet I did feel it a blessing, and a privilege, to stand up there and speak out; and I did speak out, and told them their plain duties, not appealing to feelings, but aiming at convincing the judgment. I told 1,500 people in church at Sydney, "I speak as to wise men, judge ye what I say." Do you know, Fan, I almost feel that if I live a few years I ought to write a book, unless I can get the Primate to do it? So much that is self-evident to us, I now see to be quite unknown to many good educated men. I don't mean a silly book, but a very simple statement of general principles of Christian work, showing the mode that must be adopted in dealing with men as partakers of a common nature, coupled with the many modifications and adaptations to circumstances which equally require special gifts of discernment and wisdom from on high. Then occasional narratives, by way of illustration, to clench the statement of principles, might be introduced; but I can't write, what I might write if I chose, folios of mere events without deducing from them some maxims for Christian practice.'
The impression produced was deep and lasting at all the Australian capitals, including Brisbane.
A plan was even set on foot for transferring a part of the Melanesian school to a little island not far from the coast of Queensland, in a much warmer climate than Kohimarama, where it was thought Australian natives might be gathered in.
Here is the description of the place, written a day or two after the return to New Zealand:--
'St. Andrew's: April 27, 1864.
'My dear Cousin,--I returned on the 24th from Australia. I visited the dioceses of Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Everywhere I met with great encouragement; and indeed, I thank God that (as I had hoped) the special work of the Mission became the means of exciting unusual interest in the work of the Church generally. It was a great opportunity, a great privilege in the crowded meetings to tell people face to face their duties, to stand up as the apologist of the despised Australian black, and the Chinese gold-digger, and the Melanesian islander.
'All the Primate had taught me--what heathenism is, how to deal with it, the simple truisms about the "common sin, common redemption," the capacity latent in every man, because he is a man, and not a fallen angel nor a brute beast, the many conventional errors on Mission (rather) ministerial work--many, many things I spoke of very fully and frequently. I felt it was a great responsibility. How strange that I forgot all my nervous dread, and only wished there could be thousands more present, for I knew that I was speaking words of truth, of hope, and love; and God did mercifully bless much that He enabled, me to say, and men's hearts were struck within them, though, indeed, I made no effort to excite them.
'Much may result from it. We may have a branch school on the S.W. of Curtis Island, on the east coast of Queensland, healthy, watered, wooded, with anchorage, about 25° S. latitude, a fair wind to and from some of the islands; to which place I could rapidly carry away sick persons.
'There I could convey two hundred or more scholars, in the same time required to bring sixty to New Zealand; there yams can be grown; there it may be God's will that a work may be commenced at length among the remnant that is left of the Australian blacks. The latter consideration is very strongly urged upon me by the united voice of the Australian Churches, by none more strongly than by the Bishop of Sydney. I dare to hope that the communion of the Australian and New Zealand Churches will be much strengthened by the Mission as a link. What blessings, what mercies!
'This will not involve an abandonment of St Andrew's, but the work must expand. I think Australia will supply near 1,000 £. a year, perhaps more before long.
'To teach me that all is in His hands, we have again had a visitation from dysentery. It has been very prevalent everywhere, no medical men remember such a season. We have lost from consumption two, and from dysentery six this year; in fourteen months not less than fourteen: more than in all the other years put together. Marvellous to relate, all our old baptized and confirmed scholars are spared to us. Grood-bye, and God ever bless and keep you.
'Your affectionate cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.'
One of these deaths was that of Kareambat, the little New Caledonian confided to the Bishop of New Zealand by poor Basset. He had been christened on the previous Epiphany.
No doubt this grief on coming home increased the effect of this year of trial. Indeed even on the voyage there had been this admission, 'Somehow I don't feel right with all this holiday; I have worked really very hard, but "change of work is the best holiday." I don't feel springy. I am not so young as I was, that's the truth of it, and this life is not likely to be a long one. Yet when used up for this work, absence of continual anxiety and more opportunity of relaxation may carry a man on without his being wholly useless!'
The Maori war was a constant grief and anxiety to all the friends on shore, and there was thus evidently much less elasticity left to meet the great shock that was preparing for the voyagers in the expedition of 1864. Mr. Codrington was not of the party, having been obliged to go to England to decide whether it was possible to give himself wholly to the Mission; and the staff therefore consisted of Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, and Mr. Palmer, with Mr. Joseph Atkin, whose journal his family have kindly put at my disposal.
The endeavour was to start after the Ascension Day Communion, but things were not forward enough. May was not, however, very far advanced before the ' Southern Cross' was at sea.
On May 17, Norfolk Island was visited, and Edwin Nobbs and Fisher Young had what proved to be their last sight, of their home and friends. The plan was to go on to Nengone and Erromango, take up the stores sent to the latter place from Sydney, drop the two clergymen at Mota, and after a stay there, go to the New Hebrides, and then take up the party, and if possible leave them to make experiment of Curtis Island, while going to those Santa Cruz islands for which he always seems to have had such a yearning.
'I feel as usual,' he finishes the letter sent from Norfolk Island, 'that no one can tell what may be the issue of such voyages. I pray and trust that God will mercifully reveal to me "what I ought to do, and give me grace and power to fulfil the same."
'I have now been for some time out of the way of this kind of work, but I hope that all may be safely ordered for us. It is all in His hands; and you all feel, as I try to do, that there should be no cause for anxiety or trouble.
'Yet there are moments when one has such an overwhelming sense of one's sins and negligences provoking God to chastise one. I know that His merciful intention towards men must be accomplished, and on the whole I rest thankfully in that, and feel that He will not suffer my utter unworthiness to hinder His work of love and goodness.'
At Mota, Mr. Atkin's journal shows to what work a real helper needed to be trained:--
'The Mission-house had lost its roof in a gale of wind. The epidemic that was raging last year did not seem to have continued long after with such violence; some more of the people were dead, but not very many. We took off all the Mota boys, and things that were wanted in three boat-loads, the last time leaving the Bishop. There was, fortunately, very little surf, and we got nothing wet, but as the tide was high, we had to carry the things over the coral reefs with the water a little above our knees.
'About an hour later we dropped anchor at Vanua Lava. On Saturday morning I went ashore with the boat, and got water for washing and sand for scrubbing decks, and several tons of taro and yams discharged on board the vessel. Then made another trip, left all the boys on shore for a holiday, and took off twelve or fourteen cwt. of yams, taro, and cocoa-nuts. After dinner and washing up, went to fetch boys back. Where we bought the yams there was such a surf breaking that we could not haul the boat on the beach, and we had to wade and carry them out. After we got on board, we had a bathe. Two of the Solomon Islanders distinguished themselves by jumping off the fore-yard, and diving under the ship. Mr. Tilly and the mates had been stowing, and the rest of us had been getting yams all day, and if our friends could have seen us then, haggard-looking and dirty, singing choruses to nigger melodies, how shocked they would have been I
'Next Thursday went across to Mota, took the Bishop on board, and sailed south as fast as possible.
'Sunday morning we were at the entrance of the passage between Ambrym and Mallicolo, without a breath of wind. We had service at 10 A.M.; and in the afternoon, psalms and hymns and chants in the cabin, the Bishop doing most of the singing.
'June 6th.--On Monday morning we landed at the old place at Tariko. We began to buy some yams. The Bishop and William Pasvorang went ashore, and the rest of us stayed in the boat, keeping her afloat and off the reefs. Unfortunately the place where we landed was neutral ground between two tribes, who both brought yams to the place to sell. One party said another was getting too many hatchets, and two or three drew off and began shooting at the others. One man stood behind the Bishop, a few feet from him, and fired away in the crowd with a will. The consternation and alarm of both parties were very ludicrous. Some of each set were standing round the boat, armed with bows and arrows, but they were so frightened that they never seemed to think of using them, but ran off as hard as they could scamper to the shallow water, looking over their shoulders to see if the enemies' arrows were after them. One arrow was fired at the Bishop from the shore, and one hit the boat just as we pushed off.
'The Bishop himself says of this fray:--"I was in the middle, one man only remained by me, crouching under the lee of the branch of the tree, and shooting away from thence within a yard of me. I did not like to leave the steel-yard, and I had to detach it from the rope with which it was tied to the tree, and the basket too was half full of yams and heavy, so that it was some time before I got away, and walked down the beach, and waded to the boat, shooting going on all round at the time; no one shooting at me, yet as they shot on both sides of me at each other, I was thankful to get well out of it. I thought of him who preserves from "the arrow that flieth by day," as He has so mercifully preserved so many of us from "the sickness." Now don't go and let this little affair be printed.'
At Parama there was a friendly landing. At Sopevi Mr. Atkin says: 'We could not find the landing place where the Bishop two years ago found several people. We saw three or four on the shore. They were just the same colour as the dust from the volcano. What a wretched state they must be in! If they go to the neighbouring-isles they will be killed as enemies, and if they stay at home they are constantly suffocated by the ashes, which seemed to have fallen lately to the depth of more than afoot.'
At Mallicolo a landing place was found, and an acquaintance begun by means of gifts of calico. At Leper's Island St. Barnabas Day was celebrated by bringing off two boys, but here again was peril. The Bishop writes:--
'The people, though constantly fighting, and cannibals and the rest of it, are to me very attractive, light-coloured, and some very handsome. As I sat on the beach with a crowd about me, most of them suddenly jumped up and ran off. Turning my head I saw a man (from the boat they saw two men) a few yards from me, corning to me with club uplifted. I remained sitting, and held out a few fish-hooks to him, but one or two men jumped up and seizing him by the waist forced him off. After a few minutes (lest they should think I was suspicious of them), I went back to the boat. I found out from the two young-men who went away with me from another place, just what I expected to hear, viz. that a poor fellow called Moliteum was shot dead two months ago by a trader for stealing a bit of calico. The wonder was, not that they wanted to avenge the death of their kinsman, but that the others should have prevented it. How could they possibly know that I was not one of the wicked set? Yet they did discriminate; and here again, always by the merciful Providence of God, the plan of going among the people unarmed and unsuspiciously has been seen to disarm their mistrust and to make them regard me as a friend.'
Curtis Island was inspected, but there was no possibility of leaving a party to make experiment on it; and then the ' Southern Cross' sailed for the Santa Cruz cluster, that group whose Spanish name was so remarkable a foreboding of what they were destined to become to that small party of Christian explorers. Young Atkin made no entry in his diary of those days, and could never bear to speak of them; and yet, from that time forward, his mind was fully made up to cast in his lot with the Mission.
It was on August 15 that the first disaster at these islands took place. Not till the 27th could the Bishop-- on his sister Fanny's birthday--begin a letter to her, cheering himself most touchingly with the thought of the peace at home, and then he broke off half way, and could not continue for some days:--
'My dearest Fan,--You remember the old happy anniversaries of your birthday--the Feniton party--the assembly of relations--the regular year's festivity.
'No doubt this anniversary brings as much true happiness, the assurance of a more abiding joy, the consciousness of deeper and truer sympathy. You are, I hope, to pass the day cheerfully and brightly with perhaps . . . and . . . about you . . . Anyhow, I shall think of you as possibly all together, the remnant of the old family gathering, on a calm autumn day, with lovely South Devon scenery around you.
'The day comes to me in the midst of one of the deepest sorrows I have ever known--perhaps I have never felt such sorrow . . . perhaps I have never been so mercifully supported under it. It is a good and profitable sorrow I trust for me: it has made so much in me reveal itself as hollow, worldly, selfish, vainglorious. It has, I hope, helped to strip away the veil, and may be by God's blessing the beginning of more earnest life-long repentance and preparation for death.
'On August 15 I was at Santa Cruz. You know that I had a very remarkable day there three years ago. I felt very anxious to renew acquaintance with the people, who are very numerous and strong.
'I went off in the boat with Atkin (twenty), Pearce (twenty-three or twenty-four years old), Edwin Nobbs, Fisher Young, and Hunt Christian, the last three Norfolk Islanders. Atkin, Edwin and Fisher have been with me for two or three years--all young fellows of great promise, Fisher perhaps the dearest of all to me, about eighteen, and oh! so good, so thoroughly truthful, conscientious,, and unselfish!
'I landed at two places among many people, and after a while came back as usual to the boat. All seemed pleasant and hopeful. At the third place I landed amidst a great crowd, waded over the broad reef (partially uncovered at low water), went into a house, sat down for some time, then returned among a great crowd to the boat and got into it. I had some difficulty in detaching the hands of some men swimming in the water.
'Well, when the boat was about fifteen yards from the reef, on which crowds were standing, they began (why I know not) to shoot at us.--(Another letter adds) 300 or 400 people on the reef, and five or six canoes being round us, they began to shoot at us.--I had not shipped the rudder, so I held it up, hoping it might shield off any arrows that came straight, the boat being end on, and the stern, having been backed into the reef, was nearest to them.
'When I looked round after a minute, providentially indeed, for the boat was being pulled right into a small bay on the reef, and would have grounded, I saw Pearce lying between the thwarts, with the long shaft of an arrow in his chest, Edwin Nobbs with an arrow as it seemed in his left eye, many arrows flying close to us from many quarters. Suddenly Fisher Young, pulling the stroke oar, gave a faint scream; he was shot through the left wrist. Not a word was spoken, only my "Pull! port oars, pull on steadily." Once dear Edwin, with the fragment of the arrow sticking in his cheek, and the blood streaming down, called out, thinking even then more of me than of himself, "Look out, sir! close to you!" But indeed, on all sides they were close to us!
'How we any of us escaped I can't tell; Fisher and Edward pulled on, Atkin had taken Pearce's oar, Hunt pulled the fourth oar. By God's mercy no one else was hit, but the canoes chased us to the schooner. In about twenty minutes we were on board, the people in the canoes round the vessel seeing the wounded paddled off as hard as they could, expecting of course that we should take vengeance on them. But I don't at all think that they were cognisant of the attack on shore.'
Several letters were written about this adventure; but I have thought it better to put them together, every word being Bishop Patteson's own, because such a scene is better realised thus than by reading several descriptions for the most part identical. What a scene it is! The palm-clad island, the reef and sea full of the blacks, the storm of long arrows through the air, the four youths pulling bravely and steadily, and their Bishop standing over them, trying to ward off the blows with the rudder, and gazing with the deep eyes and steadfast smile that had caused many a weapon to fall harmless!
Pearce, it should be observed, was a volunteer for the Mission then on a trial-trip.
There was an even more trying time to come on board. The Bishop continues:--
'I drew out the arrow from Pearce's chest: a slanting wound not going in very deep, running under the skin, yet of apparently almost fatal character to an ignorant person like myself; 5f inches were actually inside him. The arrow struck him almost in the centre of the chest and in the direction of the right breast. There was no effusion of blood, he breathed with great difficulty, groaning and making a kind of hollow sound, was perfectly composed, gave me directions and messages in case of his death. I put on a poultice and bandage, and leaving him in charge of some one, went to Fisher. The wrist was shot through, but the upper part of the arrow broken off and deep down; bleeding profuse, of which I was glad; I cut deeply, though fearing much to cut an artery, but I could not extract the wooden arrow-head. At length getting a firm hold of the projecting point of the arrow on the lower side of his wrist, I pulled it through: it came out clean. The pain was very great, he trembled and shivered: we gave him brandy, and he recovered. I poulticed the wound and went to Edwin. Atkin had got out the splinter from his wound; the arrow went in near the eye and came out by the cheek-bone: it was well syringed, and the flow of blood had been copious from the first. The arrows were not bone-headed, and not poisoned, but I well knew that lock-jaw was to be dreaded. Edwin's was not much more than a flesh wound. Fisher's being in the wrist, frightened me more: their patience and quiet composure and calm resignation were indeed a strength and comfort to us all.
'This was on Monday, August 15. All seemed doing well for a day or two, I kept on poultices, gave light nourishing food, &c. But on Saturday morning Fisher said to me, "I can't make out what makes my jaws feel so stiff."
'Then my heart sank down within me, and I prayed earnestly, earnestly to God. I talked to the dear dear lad of his danger, night and day we prayed and read. A dear guileless spirit indeed. I never saw in so young a person such a thorough conscientiousness as for two years I witnessed in his daily life, and I had long not only loved but respected him.
'We had calm weather and could not get on. By Saturday the jaws were tight-locked. Then more intense grew the pain, the agony, the whole body rigid like a bar of iron! Oh! how I blessed God who carried me through that day and night. How good he was in his very agonies, in his fearful spasms, thanking God, praying, pressing my hand when I prayed and comforted him with holy words of Scripture. None but a well-disciplined, humble, simple Christian could so have borne his sufferings: the habit of obedience and faith and patience; the childlike unhesitating trust in God's love and fatherly care, supported him now. He never for a moment lost his hold upon God. What a lesson it was! it calmed us all. It almost awed me to see in so young a lad so great an instance of God's infinite power, so great a work of good perfected in one young enough to have been confirmed by me.
'At 1 A.M. (Monday) I moved from his side to my couch, only three yards off. Of course we were all (I need not say) in the after cabin. He said faintly, "Kiss me. I am very glad that I was doing my duty. Tell my father that I was in the path of duty, and he will be so glad. Poor Santa Cruz people! "Ah! my dear boy, you will do more for their conversion by your death than ever we shall by our lives. And as I lay down almost convulsed with sobs, though not audible, he said (so Mr. Tilly afterwards told me)," Poor Bishop!" How full his heart was of love and peace, and thoughts of heaven. "Oh! what love," he said. The last night when I left him for an hour or two at 1 A.M. only to lie down in my clothes by his side, he said faintly (his body being then rigid as a bar of iron), "Kiss me, Bishop." At 4 A.M. he started as if from a trance; he had been wandering a good deal, but all his words even then were of things pure and holy. His eyes met mine, and I saw the consciousness gradually coming back into them. "They never stop singing there, sir, do they? "-- for his thoughts were with the angels in heaven. Then, after a short time, the last terrible struggle, and then he fell asleep. And remember, all this in the midst of that most agonizing, it may be, of "all forms of death. At 4 A.M. he was hardly conscious, not fully conscious: there were gome fearful spasms: we fanned him and bathed his head and occasionally got a drop or two of weak brandy or wine and water down. Then came the last struggle. Oh! how I thanked God when his head at length fell back, or rather his whole body, for it was without joint, on my arm: long drawn sighs with still sadder contraction of feature succeeded, and while I said the Commendatory Prayer, he vpassed away.
'The same day we anchored in Port Patteson, and buried him in a quiet spot near the place where the Primate and I first landed years ago. It seems a consecration of the place that the body of that dear child should be resting there.
'Some six years ago, when Mrs. Selwyn stopped at Norfolk Island she singled him out as the boy of special promise. For two or three years he had been with me, and my affection flowed out naturally to him. God had tried him by the two sicknesses at Kohimarama and at Mota, and by his whole family returning to Pitcairn. I saw that he had left all for this work. He had become most useful, and oh! how we shall miss him!
'But about five days after this (August 22) Edwin's jaws began to stiffen. For nine or ten days there was suspense, so hard to bear. Some symptoms were not so bad, it did not assume so acute a form. I thought he ought to be carried through it. He was older, about twenty-one, six feet high, a strong handsome young man, the pride of Norfolk Island, the destined helper and successor (had God so willed) of his father, the present Clergyman. The same faith, the same patience, the same endurance of suffering.
'On Friday, September 2, I administered the Holy Communion to him and Pearce. He could scarce swallow the tiniest crumb. He was often delirious, yet not one word but spoke of things holy and pure, almost continually in prayer. He was in the place where Fisher had died, the best part of the cabin for an invalid. Sunday came: he could take no nourishment, stomach and back in much pain: a succession of violent spasms at about 10.30 A.M., but his body never became quite rigid. The death struggle at 1 A.M. September 5, was very terrible. Three of us could scarcely hold him. Then he sank back on my arm, and his spirit passed away as I commended his soul to God. Then all motionless. After some minutes, I said the first prayer in the Burial Service, then performed the last offices, then had a solemn talk with Pearce, and knelt down, I know not how long.
'We buried him at sea. All this time we were making very slow progress; indeed the voyage has been very remarkable in all respects. Pearce seems to be doing very well, so that I am very hopeful about him. The temperature now is only 72 degrees, and I imagine that his constitution is less liable to that particular disease. Yet punctured wounds are always dangerous on this account.
'Patience and trust in God, the same belief in His goodness and love, that He orders all things for our good, that this is but a proof of His merciful dealing with us: such comforts God has graciously not withheld. I never felt so utterly broken down, when I thought, and think, of the earthly side of it all; never perhaps so much realised the comfort and power of His Presence, when I have had grace to dwell upon the heavenly and abiding side of it. I do with my better part heartily and humbly thank Him, that He has so early taken these dear ones by a straight and short path to their everlasting home. I think of them with blessed saints, our own dear ones, in Paradise, and in the midst of my tears I bless and praise God.
'But, dear Fan, Fisher most of all supplied to me the absence of earthly relations and friends. He was my boy: I loved him as I think I never loved any one else. I don't mean more than you all, but in a different way: not as one loves another of equal age, but as a parent loves a child.
'I can hardly think of my little room at Kohimarama without him. I long for the sight of his dear face, the sound of his voice. It was my delight to teach him, and he was clever and so thoughtful and industrious. I know it is good that my affections should be weaned from all things earthly. I try to be thankful, I think I am thankful really; time too will do much, God's grace much more. I only wonder how I have borne it all. "In the multitude of the sorrows that I had in my heart, Thy comforts have refreshed my soul." Mr. Tilly has been and is full of sympathy, and is indeed a great aid. He too has a heavy loss in these two dear ones. And now I must land at Norfolk Island in the face of the population crowding the little pier. Mr. Nobbs will be there, and the brothers and sisters of Edwin, and the uncles and aunts of Fisher.
'Yet God will comfort them; they have been called to the high privilege of being counted worthy to suffer for their Saviour's sake. However much I may reproach myself with want of caution and of prayer for guidance (and this is a bitter thought), they were in the simple discharge of their duty. Their intention and wish were to aid in bringing to those poor people the Gospel of Christ. It has pleased God that in the execution of this great purpose they should have met with their deaths. Surely there is matter for comfort here!
'I can't write all this over again. . . I have written at some length to Jem also; put the two letters together, and you will be able to realise it somewhat.
'This is a joint letter to you and Joan. It was begun on your birthday, and it has been written with a heavy, dull weight of sorrow on my heart, yet not unrelieved by the blessed consciousness of being drawn, as I humbly trust, nearer to our most merciful Father in heaven, if only by the very impossibility of finding help elsewhere. It has not been a time without its own peculiar happiness. How much of the Bible seemed endued with new powers of comfort. . . How true it is, that they who seek, find. "I sought the Lord, and He heard me." The closing chapters of the Gospels, 2 Corinthians, and how many other parts of the New Testament were blessings indeed! Jeremy Taylor's "Life of Christ," and "Holy Living and Dying," Thomas a Kempis, most of all of course the Prayer-book, and such solemn holy memories of our dear parents and uncles, such blessed hopes of reunion, death brought so near, the longing (if only not unprepared) for the life to come: I could not be unhappy. Yet I could not sustain such a frame of mind long; and then when I sank to the level of earthly thoughts, then came the weary heartache, and the daily routine of work was so distasteful, and I felt sorely tempted to indulge the "luxury of grief." But, thanks be to God, it is not altogether an unhealthy sorrow, and I can rest in the full assurance that all this is working out God's purposes of love and mercy to us all--Melanesians, Pitcairners, and all; and that I needed the discipline I know full well. . .
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
It was not possible to touch at Norfolk Island, each attempt was baffled by the winds; and on September 16 the 'Southern Cross' anchored at Kohimarama, and a sad little note was sent up to the Primate with the announcement of the deaths and losses.
In spite of the comfort which, as this note said, Patteson felt 'in the innocency of their lives, and the constancy of their faith' unto the death, the fate of these two youths, coming at the close of a year of unusual trial, which, as he had already said, had diminished his elasticity, had a lasting effect. It seemed to take away his youthful buoyancy, and marked lines of care on his face that never were effaced. The first letter after his return begins by showing how full his heart was of these his children:--
'Kohimarama: Sunday, September 18, 1864.
'My dearest Fan,--I must try to write without again making my whole letter full of dear Edwin and Fisher. That my heart is full of them you can well believe.
'These last five weeks have taught me that my reading of the Bible was perhaps more intellectual and perhaps more theological than devotional, to a dangerous extent probably; anyhow I craved for it as a revelation not only of truth, but of comfort and support in heavy sorrow. It may be that when the sorrow does not press so heavily, the Bible cannot speak so wonderfully in that particular way of which I am writing, and it is right to read it theologically also.
'But yet it should always be read with a view to some practical result; and so often there is not a special, though many general points which may make our reading at once practical. Then comes the real trial, and then comes the wondrous power of God's Word to help and strengthen.
'Now it helps me to know where I am, to learn how others manage to see where they are.
'All that you say about self-consciousness, &c. can't I understand it! Ah! when I saw the guileless pure spirit of those two dear fellows ever brightening more and more for now two years. I had respected them as much as I loved them. I used to think, "Yes, we must become such as they; we too must seek and pray for the mind of a little child."
'And surely the contemplation of God is the best cure. How admirable Jeremy Taylor is on those points! Oh that he had not overlaid it all with such superabundant ornamentation of style and rhetoric. But it is the manner of the age. Many persons I suppose get over it, perhaps like it; but I long for the same thoughts, the same tenderness and truthfulness, and faithful searching words with a clear, simple, not unimaginative diction. Yet his book is a great heritage.
'Newman has a sermon on Contemplation or Meditation, I forget which; and my copy is on board. But I do hope that by praying for humility, with contemplation of God's majesty and love and our Saviour's humility and meekness, some improvement may be mercifully vouchsafed to me.
'To dwell on His humiliation, His patience, that He should seek for heavenly aids, accept the ministration of an angel strengthening Him, how full of mystery and awe! and yet written for us! And yet we are proud and self-justified and vainglorious!
'The Archbishop of York, in "Aids to Faith," on the Death of Christ, has some most solemn and deep remarks on the Lord's Agony. I don't know that it could ever be quite consistent with reverence to speak on what is there suggested. Yet if I could hear Mr. Keble and Dr. Pusey (say) prayerfully talking together on that great mystery, I should feel that it might be very profitable. But he must be a very humble man who should dare to speak on it. Yet read it, Fan, it cannot harm you; it is very awful, it is fully meant that He was sinless, without spot, undefiled through all. It makes the mystery of sin, and of what it cost to redeem our souls, more awful than ever.
'And then, surely to the contemplation of God and the necessary contrast of our own weakness and misery, we add the thought of our approaching death, we anticipate the hours, the days, it may be the weeks and months, even the years of weariness, pain, sleeplessness, thirst, distaste for food, murmuring thoughts, evil spirits haunting us, impatient longings after rest for which we are not yet prepared, the thousand trials, discomforts, sadnesses of sickness--yes, it must come in some shape; and is it to come as a friend or an enemy to snatch us from what we love and enjoy, or to open the gates of Paradise?
'I humbly thank God that, while I dare not be sure that I am not mistaken, and suppose that if ready to go I should be taken, the thought of death at a distance is the thought of rest and peace, of more blessed communrbn with God's saints, holy angels and the Lord. Yet I dare not feel that if death was close at hand, it might not be far otherwise. How often the "Christian Year," and all true divinity helps up here! Why indulge in such speculations? Seek to prepare for death by dying daily. Oh! that blessed text: Be not distracted, worry not yourselves about the morrow, for the morrow shall, &c. How it does carry one through the day! Bear everything as sent from God for your good, by way of chastisement or of proving you. Pusey's sermon on Patience, Newman's on a Particular Providence, guarding so wisely against abuse as against neglect of the doctrine. How much to comfort and guide one! and then, most of all, the continual use of the Prayer-book. Do you often use the Prayer at the end of the Evening Service for Charles the Martyr? Leave out from "great deep . .. . teach us to number"-- and substitute "pride" for "splendour." Leave out "according to ... blessed martyr." In the Primate's case, it is a prayer full of meaning, and it may have a meaning for us all.
'Once more, the love of approbation is right and good, but then it must be the love of the approbation of God and of good men. Here, as everywhere, we abuse His gift; and it is a false teaching which bids us suppress the human instinct which God implanted in us, but a true leading, which bids us direct and use it to its appointed and legitimate use. On this general subject, read if you have not read them, and you can't read them too often, Butler's Sermons; you know, the great Butler. I think you will easily get an analysis of them, such as Mill's "Analysis of Pearson on the Creed," which will help you, if you want it. Analyse them for yourself, if you like, and send me out your analysis to look at. There is any amount of fundamental teaching there and the imprimatur of thousands of good men to assure us of it.
'I think, as I have written to Joan, that if I were with you, after the first few days my chiefest delight would be in reading and talking over our reading of good books. Edwin and Fisher were beginning to understand thoughtful books; and how I did delight in reading with them, interspersing a little Pitcairn remark here and there! Ah! never more! never more! But they don't want books now. All is clear now: they live where there is no night, in the Glory of God and of the Lamb, resting in Paradise, anticipating the full consummation of the Life of the Resurrection. Thanks be to God, and it may not be long--but I must not indulge such thoughts.
'I feel better, but at times this sad affliction weighs me down much, and business of all kinds seems almost to multiply. Yet there are many many comforts, and kindest sympathy.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
Just at this time heavy sorrow fell upon Bishop Hobhouse of Nelson; and the little council of friends at Auckland decided that Bishop Patteson should go at once to do his best to assist and comfort him, and bring him back to Auckland. There was a quiet time of wholesome rest at Nelson; and the effects appeared in numerous letters, and in the thinking out of many matters on paper to his sisters.
'Oh! how I think with such ever-increasing love of dear Fisher and Edwin I How I praised God for them on All Saints' Day. But I don't expect to recover spring and elasticity yet awhile. I don't think I shall ever feel so young again. Really it is curious that the number of white hairs is notably increased in these few weeks (though it is silly to talk about it. Don't mention it!), and I feel very tired and indolent. No wonder I seem to "go softly." But I am unusually happy down in the depths, only the surface troubled. I hope that it is not fancy only that makes the shortness and uncertainty of this life a ground of comfort and joy. Perhaps it is, indeed I think it is, very much a mere cowardly indolent shirking of work.
'Did I say I thought I might some day write a book? It will be some day indeed. It seems funny enough to think of such a thing. The fact is, it is much easier i^o me to speak than to write. I think I could learn with a good deal of leisure and trouble to write intelligibly, but not without it. I am so diffusive and wanting in close condensed habits of thought. How often I go off in a multitude of words, and really say nothing worthy to be remembered.
'How I should enjoy, indeed, a day or two at Hursley with Mr. and Mrs. Keble. A line from him now and then, if he can find time, would be a great delight to me; but I know that he thinks and prays, and that is indeed a great happiness.
'Oh, the blessing of such thoughts as All Saints' Day brings!--and now more dear than ever, every day brings! --"Patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and every spirit made perfect in the faith of Christ," as an old Liturgy says. And the Collects in the Burial Service! How full, how simple and soothing, how full of calm, holy, tender, blessed hopes and anticipations!
'So you think the large Adelaide photograph very sad. I really don't remember it; I fancy I thought it a very fair likeness. But you know that I have a heavy lumpy dull look, except when talking--indeed, then too for aught I know--and this may be mistaken for a sad look when it is only a dull stupid one. You can't get a nice picture out of an ugly face, so it's no use trying, but you are not looking for that kind of thing. You want to see how far the face is any index of the character and life and work.
I don't think it odd that I should look careworn. I have enough to make me so! And yet if I were with you now, brightened up by being with you, you would say, "How well he looks!" And you would think I had any amount of work in me, as you saw me riding or walking or holding services. And then I had to a very considerable extent got over that silly shyness, which was a great trial and drawback to me of old, and sadly prevented me from enjoying the society of people (at Oxford especially) which would have done me much good. But without all these bodily defects, I should have been even more vain, and so I can see the blessing and mercy now, though how many times I have indulged murmuring rebellious thoughts!
'Perhaps I shall live ten or twenty years, and look back and say, "I recollect how in '64 I really almost thought I should not last long." But don't fancy that I am morbidly cherishing such fancies. Only I like you all to know me as I am changing in feeling from time to time. There is quite enough to account for it all.'
A few days later he returned to Auckland, and thence wrote to me a letter on the pros and cons of a move from New Zealand. The sight of ships and the town he had ceased to think of great importance, and older scholars had ceased to care for it, and there was much at that time to recommend Curtis Island to his mind. The want of bread-fruit was the chief disadvantage he then saw in it, but he still looked to keeping up Kohimarama for a good many years to come. I cannot describe how tender and considerate he was of feelings he thought I might possibly have of disappointment that St. Andrew's was not a successful experiment as far as health was concerned, evidently fearing that I had set my hopes on that individual venture, and that my feelings might be hurt if it had to be deserted.
The next letters are a. good deal occupied with the troubles incident to the judgment upon 'Essays and Reviews.' He took a view, as has been seen, such as might be expected of the delicate refining metaphysical mind, thinking out points for itself, and weighing the possible value of every word, and differed from those who were in the midst of the contest, and felt some form of resistance and protest needful. He was strongly averse to agitation on the subject, and at the same time grieved to find himself for the first time, to his own knowledge, not accepting the policy of those whom he so much respected; though the only difference in his mind from theirs was as to the manner of the maintenance of the truth, and the immediate danger of error going uncondemned--a point on which his remote life perhaps hardly enabled him to judge.
All these long letters and more, which were either in the same tone, or too domestic to be published, prove the leisure caused by having an unusually small collection of pupils, and happily all in fair health; but with Christmas came a new idea, or rather an old one renewed. Instead of only going to Norfolk Island, on sufferance from the Pitcairn Committee, and by commission from the Bishop of Tasmania, a regular request was made, by Sir John Young, the Governor of Australia, that the Pitcairners might be taken under his supervision, so that, as far as Government was concerned, the opposition was withdrawn which had hindered his original establishment there, though still Curtis Island remained in the ascendency in the schemes of this summer. The ensuing is a reply to Sir John Coleridge's letter, written after hearing of the attack at Santa Cruz:--
'Kohimarama: March 3, 1865.
'My dearest Uncle,--Many many thanks for your Letter, so full of comfort and advice. I need not tell you that the last budget of letters revived again most vividly not only the actual scene. at Santa Cruz, but all the searchings of heart that followed it. I believe that we are all agreed on the main point. Enough ground has been opened for the present. Codrington was right in saying that the object of late has been to fill up gaps. But some of the most hazardous places to visit lie nearest to the south, e.g. some of the New Hebrides, &c., south of the Banks Islands. My notion is, that I ought to be content even to pass by (alas!) some places where I had some hold when I had reason to feel great distrust of the generally kind intentions of the people (that is a dark sentence, but you know my meaning). In short, there are very few places where I can feel, humanly speaking, secure against this kind of thing. It is always in the power of even one mischievous fellow to do mischief. And if the feeling of the majority might be in my favour, yet there being no way of expressing public opinion, no one cares to take an active part in preventing mischief. It is not worth his while to get into a squabble and risk his own life.
'But I shall be (D.V.) very cautious. I dare say I was becoming presumptuous: one among the many faults that are so discernible. It is, dear Uncle, hard to see a wild heathen party on the beach, and not try to get at them. It seems so sad to leave them. But I know that I ought to be prudent, even for my own sake (for I quite suppose that, humanly speaking, my life is of consequence for a few years more), and I can hardly bear the thought of bringing the boat's crew, dear good volunteers, into danger. Young Atkin, the only son of my neighbour, behaved admirably at Santa Cruz, and is very staunch. But his parents have but him and one daughter, and I am bound to be careful indeed. But don't think me careless, if we get into another scrape. There is scarcely one island where I can fully depend upon immunity from all risk. There was no need to talk so much about it all before.
'As to Curtis Island, I need not say that I have no wish indeed to take Australian work in hand. I made it most clear, as I thought, that the object of a site on Curtis Island was the Melanesian and not the Australian Mission. I offered only to incorporate Australian blacks, if proper specimens could be obtained, into our school, regarding in fact East Australia as another Melanesian island. This would only have involved the learning a language or two, and might have been of some use. I did not make any pledge. But I confess that I think some such plan as this ohe only feasible one. I don't see that the attempts at mission work are made on the most hopeful plan. But I have written to the Brisbane authorities, urging them to appropriate large reserves for the natives. I tell them that it is useless for them to give me a few acres and think they are doing a mission work, if they civilize the native races off their own lands. In short, I almost despair of doing anything for blacks living on the same land with whites. Even here in New Zealand, the distrust now shown to us all, to our religion even, is the result in very great measure of the insolent, covetous behaviour exhibited by the great majority of the white people to the Maori. Who stops in Australia to think whether the land which he wants for his sheep is the hunting ground of native people or not?
'I confess that while I can't bear to despair and leave these poor souls uncared for, I can't propose any scheme but one, and who will work that? If, indeed, one or two men could be found to go and live with a tribe, moving as they move and really identifying himself with their interests! But where are such men, and where is a tribe not already exasperated by injurious treatment?
'It was the statement for our mode of action which commended itself so much to people in Australia, that they urged me to try and do something. But I answered as I have now written; and when at one meeting in Sydney I was asked whether I would take Australians into my school, I said, "Yes, if I can get the genuine wild man, uncontaminated by contact with the white man." I can't, in justice to our Melanesian scholars, take the poor wretched black whose intercourse with white men has rendered him a far more hopeless subject to deal with than the downright ferocious yet not ungenerous savage. "If," was the answer, "you can get them, I will pay for them."
'Indeed, dear Uncle, I don't want more but less work on my hands: yet as I look around, I see (as far as I can judge) so great a want of that prudence and knowledge and calm foresight that the Primate has shown so remarkably, that I declare I do think his plan is almost the only reasonable one for dealing with black races. Alas! you can't put hearty love for strangers into men's hearts by paying them salaries.
'I think that in two or three years I may, if I live, have some preparatory branch school at Curtis Island. If it should clearly succeed, then I think in time the migration from New Zealand might take place. I do not think two schools in two different countries would answer. We want the old scholars to help us in working the school; we can't do without them, and the old scholars can't be trained without the younger ones, the material on whom their teaching, and training faculties must be exercised.
'You all know how deeply I feel about dear Mr. Keble!
'Thank God, we have as yet no dysentery. I baptized last week a lad dying of consumption. There are many blessings, as all clergymen know, in having death scenes so constantly about one; and the having to do everything for these dear fellows makes one love them so. ...
'Your affectionate and dutiful Nephew,
'J. C. P.'
The above sentence refers to the paralytic attack Mr. Keble had on November 30, 1864. Nevertheless, almost at that very time, he was writing thus:--
'Penzance: March 7, 1865.
'My dear and more than dear Bishop,--It would be vain for me to write to you, if I pretended to do more than just express my heart's wish that I could say something of the doings and sufferings which now for years past we of course associate with your name, so as to encourage and support you in your present manifold distress. But (especially for reasons known only to myself) I must leave that altogether to Him who helps His own to do and suffer. One thing only I would say, that to us at our great distance it looks as if the sanguis martyrum were being to you as the semen Ecclesiae, and you know how such things were hailed in the time of St. Cyprian. May it please God before long to give you some visible earnest of this sure blessing! but I suppose that if it tarry, it may be the greater when it comes. Our troubles as a Church, though of a different kind, are not small. The great point with me is, lest, if in our anxiety to keep things together, we should be sinfully conniving at what is done against the faith, and so bringing a judgment upon ourselves. I do not for a moment think that by anything which has yet been done or permitted our being as a Church is compromised (though things look alarmingly as if it might be before long), but I fear that her well-being is more and more being damaged by our entire and conscious surrender of the disciplinary part of our trust, and^ that if we are apathetic in such things we may forfeit our charter. There is no doubt, I fear, that personal unbelief is spreading; but I trust that a deeper faith is spreading also; it is (at Oxford, e.g.) Pusey and Moberly, &c., against the Rationalists and other tempters. As to the question of the Bible being (not only containing) the Word, I had no scruples in signing that Declaration. One thought which helped me was, the use made in the New Testament of the Old, which is such as to show that we are not competent judges as to what passages convey deep moral or religious meanings or no. Another, that in every instance where one had the means of ascertaining, so far as I have known, the Bible difficulty has come right: therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that so it would be in all the rest, if we knew the right reading and the right interpretation of the words. And as to what are called the Divine and Human Elements, I have seemed to help myself with the thought that the Divine adoption (if so be) of the human words warrants their truthfulness, as a man's signature makes a letter his own; but whether this is relevant, I doubt. My wife and I are both on the sick list, and I must now only add that we never forget you.
Nothing has hitherto been said of this term at St. Andrew's: so here is an extract from a letter to one of the cousinhood, who had proposed a plan which has since been carried out extensively and with good effect:--
'The difficulty about scholars appropriated to certain places or parishes is this: I cannot be sure of the same persons remaining with me. Some sickness in an island, some panic, some death of a relative, some war, or some inability on my part from bad weather or accident to visit an island, may at any time lose me a scholar. Perhaps he may be the very one that has been appropriated to some one, and what am I to say then?
'This year we have but thirty-eight Melanesians, we ought to have sixty. But after dear Edwin and Fisher's wounds, I could not delay, but hurried southwards, passing by islands with old scholars ready to come away. This was sad work, but what could I do?
'I will gladly assign, to the best of my power, scholars whom I think likely to remain with me to various places or persons; but pray make them understand that their scholar may not always be forthcoming. Anyhow, their alms would go to the support of some Melanesian, who would be their scholar as it were for the time being.
'You would perhaps feel interested in knowing" that the Gospel of St. Luke has been printed in the Mota language, to a great extent by our scholars, and that George Sarawia is printing now the Acts, composing it, and doing press-work and all. Young Wogale (about thirteen) prints very fairly, and sent off 250 copies of a prayer, which the Bishop of Nelson wanted for distribution, of which everything was done by him entirely. They both began to learn about last November.
'When morning school is over at 10 A.M., all hands, "dons'' and all, are expected to give their time to the Mission till 12.45. Mr. Pritt is general overlooker (which does not mean doing nothing himself) of domestic work: kitchen, garden, farm, dairy, &c. You know that we have no servants. Mr. Palmer prints and teaches printing. Atkin works at whatever may be going on, and has a large share of work to get ready for me, and to read with me: Greek Testament, 12 to 12.45, Greek and Latin from 2 to 3. So all the lads are busy at out-door work from 10 to 12.45; and I assure you, under Mr. Pritt's management, we begin to achieve considerable results in our farm and garden work. We are already economising our expenditure greatly by keeping our own cows, for which we grow food (a good deal artificial), and baking our own bread. We sell some of our butter, and have a grand supply of milk for our scholars, perhaps the very best kind of food for them.
'If we can manage to carry on a winter's school here with some ten or twelve of the lads left under Mr. Pritt's charge, while I go off with the rest, I really think that the industrial department may become something considerable. It is an essential part of the system, for we must begin with teaching habits of order, punctuality, &c:, in respect of those things with which they have already some acquaintance. No Melanesian can understand why he is to sit spelling away at a black board; and he is not like a child of four or five years old, he must be taught through his power of reasoning, and perceiving the meaning of things. Secondly, we can gradually invest the more advanced scholars with responsible duties. There are the head cooks in the various weeks, the heads of departments in garden work, &c., &c. As these lads and men are being trained (we hope) to teach others, and as we want them to teach industry, decency, cleanliness, punctuality, to be, and to teach others to be honest, and careful, and thoughtful, so we find all these lessons are learnt more in the industrial work than in the mere book work, though that is not neglected. Indeed school, in the restricted sense of the word, is going on for four or four and a half hours a day.
'The main difficulty remains, of retaining our hold upon boys. Oh that I could live permanently in twenty islands at once! But I can't do so even in one; and all the letter-writing and accounts, and, worst of all, the necessity for being trustee for matters not a bit connected with Melanesia, because there is no one else, interferes sadly with my time. I think I could work away with the languages, &c., and really do something with these fellows, but I never get a chance. I never have two days together which I can spend exclusively at Melanesian work. And I ought to have nothing whatever to distract me. Twenty languages calling for arrangement and comparison causes confusion enough!'
These interruptions made the Kohimarama life trying. 'As for correspondence,' says the birthday despatch to Fanny, 'why this mail my letters to Victoria alone are twelve, let alone Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Tasmania, New Zealand, and England. Then three sermons a week, occasional services, reading up for a most difficult session of General Synod, with really innumerable interruptions from persons of all kinds. Sometimes I do feel tempted to long for Curtis Island merely to get away from New Zealand! I feel as if I should never do anything here. Everything is in arrears. I turn out of a morning and really don't know what to take up first. Then, just as I am in the middle of a letter (as yesterday) down comes some donkey to take up a quarter of an hour (lucky if not an hour) with idle nonsense; then in the afternoon an invasion of visitors, which is worst of all. That fatal invention of "calling"! However, I never call on anyone, and it is understood now, and people don't expect it. I have not even been to Government House for more than a year!
'There, a good explosion does one good! But why must idle people interfere with busy men? I used to make it up by sitting up and getting up very early indeed; but somehow I feel fit for nothing but sleeping and eating now.'
After an absence of three weeks at the General Synod at Christchurch, the Bishop took up such of his party as were to return, and sailed home, leaving those whom he thought able to brave the winter with Mr. and Mrs. Pritt, on one of the first days of June. The first visit was one to the bereaved family at Norfolk Island, whence a brief note to his brother on the 9th begins:--
'Nothing can be more comforting to me than the loving patient spirit of these dear people. Poor Mr. and Mrs. Nobbs and all the brothers and sisters so good and so full of kindness to me. It was very trying when I first met them yesterday. They came and kissed me, and then, poor things, fairly gave way, and then I began to talk quietly about Edwin and Fisher, and they became calm, and we knelt and prayed together.'
After landing the Bishop at Mota, the others crossed to Port Patteson where they found Fisher Young's grave carefully tended, kept clear of weeds, and with a fence round it. After establishing Mr. Palmer at the station at Mota, the Bishop re-embarked for Santa Maria, where, at the north-east--Cock Sparrow Point, as some one had appropriately called it--the boat was always shot at; but at a village called Lakona, the people were friendly, and five scholars had come from thence, so the Bishop ventured on landing for the night, and a very unpleasant night it, was--the barrack hut was thronged with natives, and when the heat was insufferable and he tried to leave it, two of his former scholars advised him strongly to remain within.
It was bad weather too, and there was some difficulty in fetching him off, and he was thankful that the wet had hindered more than 300 or 400 natives from collecting; there was no possibility of speaking to them quietly, for the sight of the boat suggested trading, and they flocked round as he was fetched off, half a dozen swimming out and begging to go to New Zealand. He took three old scholars and one new one, and sent the others off with fish-hooks, telling them that if they would not behave at Lakona as he liked, he would not do as they liked. However, no arrows were shot.
Then while the 'Southern Cross,' with Mr. Tilly and Mr. Atkin, went on to land the Solomon Island scholars, the work at Mota was resumed in full force. It seems well worth while to dwell on the successive steps in the conversion of this place, and the following letter shows the state of things in the season of 1865:--
'Mota: July 4, 1865.
'My dearest Sisters and Brother,--I must write a joint letter for all, with little notes if I have anything more special for anyone of you. I wish you could see this place. The old hut is queer enough certainly, quite open on one side, and nearly so on another, but it is weather-tight in the middle, with forms to sit on and a table or two like a kitchen table, on which I read and write by day, and sleep by night. Last night we killed five lizards; they get on the roof and drop down and bite pretty severely, so seeing these running all about, we made a raid upon them, poor things. The great banyan tree is as grand as ever, a magnificent tree, a forest in itself, and the view of the sea under its great branches, and of the islands of Matlavo and Valua, is beautiful.
'At daylight I turn off my table and dress, not elaborately--a flannel shirt, old trousers and shoes; then a yam or two is roasted on the embers, and the coffee made, and (fancy the luxury here in Mota!) delicious goat's milk with it. Then the morning passes in reading, writing, and somewhat desultory talking with people, but you can't expect punctuality and great attention. Then at one, a bit of biscuit and cheese (as long as the latter lasts). Mr. Palmer made some bread yesterday. Then generally a walk to meet people at different villages, and talk to them, trying to get them to ask me questions, and I try to question them. Then at 6 P.M., a tea-ation, viz., yam and coffee, and perhaps a crab or two, or a bit of bacon, or some good thing or other. But I forgot! this morning we ate a bit of our first full-grown and fully ripe Mota pine-apple (I brought some two years ago) as large and fine as any specimens I remember in hot-houses. If you mention all these luxuries, we shall have no more subscriptions, but you may add that there is as yet no other pine-apple, though our oranges, lemons, citrons, guavas, &c., are coming on. Anyone living here permanently might make a beautiful place indeed, but it becomes sadly overgrown in our absence, and many things we plant are destroyed by pigs, &c.
'Then after tea--a large party always witnessing that ceremony--there is an hour or so spent in speaking again to the people, and then I read a little with Wadrokala and Carry. Then Mr. Palmer and I read a chapter of Vaughan on the Revelation, then prayers, and so to bed. It seems as if little was done--certain talks with people, sometimes many, sometimes few; yet, on the whole, I hope an increased acquaintance with our teaching. You can well understand that the consciousness of sin and the need of a Redeemer may be talked about, but cannot be stated so as to make one feel that one has stated it in the most judicious and attractive manner. Of course it is the work of God's Spirit to work this conviction in the heart. But it is very hard so to speak of it as to give (if you can understand me) the heathen man a fair chance of accepting what you say. Forgetfulness of God; ingratitude to the Giver of life, health, food; ignorance of the Creator and the world to come, of the Resurrection and Life Everlasting, are all so many proofs to us of a fallen and depraved state. But the heathen man recognises some outward acts as more or less wrong; there he stops. "Yes, we don't fight now, nor quarrel, nor steal so much as we used to do. We are all right now."
'"Are you? I never taught you to think so. You tell me that you believe that the Son of God came down from heaven. What did He come for? What is the meaning of what you say that He died for us?"
'It is the continual prayer and effort of the Christian minister everywhere, that God would deepen in his own heart the sense of sin, and create it in the mind of the heathen. And then the imperfect medium of a language very far from thoroughly known! It is by continual prayer, the intercession of Christ, the power of the Spirit (we well know) that the work must be carried on. How one does understand it! The darkness seems so thick, the present visible world so wholly engrosses the thoughts, and yet, you see, there are many signs of progress even here, in changed habits to some extent, in the case of our scholars, real grounds of hope for the future. One seems to be doing nothing, yet surely if no change be wrought, what right have we to expect it. It is not that I looked for results, but that I seek to be taught how to teach better. The Collect for the first Sunday after Epiphany is wonderful.
'It requires a considerable effort to continually try to present to oneself the state of the heathen mind, to select illustrations, &c., suitable to his case. And then his language has never been used by him to set forth these new ideas; there are no words which convey the ideas of repentance, sin, heartfelt confession, faith, &c. How can there be, when these ideas don't exist? Yet somehow the language by degrees is made the exponent of such ideas, just as all religious ideas are expressed in English by words now used in their second intention, which once meant very different and less elevated ideas.
'I find everywhere the greatest willingness to listen. Everywhere I take my pick of boys, and now for any length of time. That is the result of eleven scholars remaining now in New Zealand. Everyone seems to wish to come. I think I shall take away five or six young girls to be taught at Kohimarama, to become by and by wives for scholars. Else the Christian lad will have to live with a heathen girl. But all this, if carried out properly, would need a large number of scholars from only one island. At Curtis Island, indeed (should it answer and supply plenty of food), we might hope to have a school some day of 300 or 400, and then thirty or forty from each island could be educated at once; but it can't be so in New Zealand. And a good school on an island before a certain number are trained to teach could not, I think, be managed successfully. I feel that I must concentrate more than hitherto. I must ascertain--I have to some extent ascertained--the central spots upon which I must chiefly work. This is not an easy thing, nevertheless, to find out, and it has taken years. Then using them as centres, I must also find out how far already the dialect of that spot may extend, how far the people of the place have connections, visiting acquaintances, &c. elsewhere, and to use the influence of that place to its fullest extent. Many islands would thus fall under one centre, and thus I think we may work. My mind is so continually, day and night, I may say, working on these points, that I dare say I fill up my letters with nooning else. But writing on these points helps me to see my way.'
On July 7, an expedition to Aroa seems to have overtired Bishop Patteson, and a slight attack of fever and ague came on. One of .his aunts had provided him with a cork bed, where, after he had exerted himself to talk to his many visitors, he lay ' not uncomfortably.' He was not equal to going to a feast where he hoped to have met a large concourse, and after a day of illness, was taken back to Mota in the bottom of the boat; but in another week more revived, and went on with his journal, moralising on the books he had been reading while laid up.
'I looked quite through Bishop Mackenzie's life. What a beautiful story it is! what a truthful, simple, earnest character, and that persuasiveness that only real humility and self-forgetfulness and thoughtfulness can give. Then his early desire to be useful, his Cambridge life, the clear way in which he was being led on all through. It is very beautiful as an illustration of the best kind of help that God bestows on His children. Here was one so evidently moulded and fashioned by Him, and that willingly, for so it must be, and his life was just as it should be, almost as perfect perhaps as a life can be. What if his work failed on the Shire? First, his work has not failed to begin with, for aught we know; and secondly his example is stimulating work everywhere. I shall indeed value his Thomas a Kempis. [A copy sent home from the Zambesi stained with the water of the Shire, and sent to the Bishop by Miss Mackenzie].
The ship returned with tidings that the more important scholars would be ready to come back after a short holiday with their friends, and the Bishop embarked again on the 29th. At Mai he landed, and slept ashore, when little Petere, the son of the young man whose death had so nearly been revenged on the Bishop, a boy of eight years old, did the honours as became a young chief, and announced, 'I am going to New Zealand with you.' No one made any attempt to prevent him; but the old scholars did not show themselves helpful, and only one of them, besides three more new ones, came away. The natives were personally friendly, but there was no sign of fighting being lessened among them.
At Whitsuntide there was a brisk trade in yams, but no scholars were brought away; the parents would not part with any young enough to be likely to be satisfactory pupils, nor would the one last year's scholar come. Here intelligence was received that a two-masted ship had been at Leper's Island, a quarrel had taken place and some natives had been shot. It was therefore decided that it would not be safe to land, but as the vessel sailed along the coast, numerous canoes came out, bringing boars' tusks for sale. Three boys who had been taken on a cruise of six weeks the year before, eagerly came on board, and thirty or forty more. All the parents were averse to letting them go, and only two ended by being brought away: Itole, a young gentleman of fourteen or so. slim and slight, with a waist like a wasp, owing to a cincture worn night and day, and his hair in ringlets, white with coral-lime; his friend a little older, a tall, neat-limbed fellow, not dark and with little of the negro in his features.
A letter to me was written during this cruise, from which I give an extract:--
'It was a great delight to me to receive a letter from Mr. Keble, by the February mail from England. How kind of him to write to me; and his words are such a help and encouragement.
'I dare say I shall see Merivale's Lectures soon. Nothing can well be so wonderful, as a proof of God's hand controlling and arranging all the course of history to those who need it, as a subject for adoration and praise, to those who need not such proof, than the vast preparation made for the coming of Christ and the spreading of the Gfospel. To popularise this the right way, and bring it home to the thought of many who have not time nor inclination for much reading, must be a good work. I suppose that all good Church histories deal with that part of the subject; it is natural for the mere philosopher to do so.
'And think how the early Alexandrian teachers used the religious yearnings of the East to draw men to the recognition of their wants, supplied and satisfied only in Christianity. Often it is the point d'appui that the Missionary must seek for. There is an element of faith in superstition; we must fasten on that, and not rudely destroy the superstition, lest with it we destroy the principle of faith in things and beings unseen. I often think, that to shake a man's faith in his old belief, however wrong it may be, before one can substitute something true and right, is, to say the least, a dangerous experiment. But positive truth wins its way without controversy, while error has no positive existence, and there is a craving for truth deep down in the heathen heart.
'Do you remember that grand passage of Hooker, where he says that he cannot stand to oppose all the sophisms of Romanism, only that he will place against it a structure of truth, before which, as Dagon before the Ark, error will be dashed in fragments?
'In our work (and so I suppose in a Sunday school) one must think out each step, anticipate each probable result, before one states anything. It is of course full of the highest interest. Can't you fancy a party of twenty or thirty dark naked fellows, when (having learnt to talk freely to them) I question them about their breakfast and cocoa-nut trees, their yams and taro and bananas, &c., "Who gave them to you? . Can you make them grow? Why, you like me and thank me because I give you a few hatchets, and you have never thought of thanking Him all these long years."
'"It is true, but we didn't think."
'"But will you think if I tell you about Him? "
'"He gave them rain from heaven and fruitful seasons."
'How it takes one back to the old thoughts, the true philosophy of religion. Sometimes I lie awake and think "if Jowett and others could see these things!"
'And yet, if it is not presumptuous in me to say so, I do think that this work needs men who can think out principle and supply any thoughtful scholar or enquirer with some good reason for urging this or that change in the manners and observances of the people. Often as I think of it, I feel how greatly the Church needs schools for missionaries, to be prepared not only in Greek and Latin and manual work, but in the mode of regarding heathenism. It is not a moment's work to habitually ask oneself, "Why feel indignant? How can he or she know better?" It is not always easy to be patient and to remember the position which the heathen man occupies and the point of view from which he must needs regard everything brought before him.
'Thank you for Maclear's book. It is a clear statement of the leading facts that one wishes to know, a valuable addition to our library. You know, no doubt, a book which I like much, Neander's "Light in Dark Places."
'I shall remember about Miss Mackenzie's memoir of that good Mrs. Robertson. I wonder that men are not found to help Mr. Robertson. Here, as you know, the climate (as in Central Africa) is our difficulty. I think sometimes I make too much of it, but really I don't see how a man is to stand many months of it. But I can't help thinking and hoping that if that difficulty did not exist I could see my way to saying, "Now, a missionary is wanted for these four or five or six islands, one for each, and a younger man as fellow-helper to that missionary," and they would be forthcoming.
'Yet doubtless I don't estimate fairly the difficulties and hardships as they appear to the man who has never left England, and is not used to knocking about. I should have felt the same years ago but for the thought of being with the Primate, at least I suppose so.
'Well, I have written a very dull letter, but the place from which it comes will give it some interest. I really think that not Mota only, but the Banks Islands are in a hopeful state.
'Next year (D.V.) Mr. Palmer will try the experiment of stopping here for eight or ten months. I almost dare to hope that a few years may make great changes. Yet it seems as if nothing were done in comparison with what remains to be done.
'Sarah, Sarawia's wife, pronounced that as she was always ill at home, she would risk the New Zealand winter; two more married pairs came, and four little maidens to be bred up under Mrs. Pritt, girls from twelve to eight years old, of whom Sarah was quite able to take charge.'
There was the usual proportion of lads from various islands; but the most troublesome member of the community seems to have been Wadrokala's three years old daughter. ' I have daily to get Wadrokala and Carry to prevent their child from being a nuisance to everybody.' But this might have been a difficulty had she been white.
This large party had to be taken to the Solomon Isles to complete the party, sailing in company with the 'Curacoa,' the Commodore's ship, when the local knowledge and accurate surveying done by Mr. Tilly and Mr. Kerr proved very valuable, and Sir William Wiseman gave most kind and willing assistance.
Since his short interview with the Bishop off Norfolk Island, he had been cruising in the New Hebrides. There some of the frequent outrages of the traders had made the people savage and suspicious, and one of the Missionaries of the London Missionary Society living at Tanna had been threatened, driven away across the island, and his property destroyed. He had appealed for protection as a British subject, and Sir William Wiseman had no choice but to comply; so after warning had been sent to the tribe chiefly concerned to quit their village, it was shelled and burnt. No one seems to have been hurt, and it was hoped that this would teach the natives to respect their minister--whether to love his instruction was another question.
This would not have been worth mentioning had not a letter from on board the 'Curacoa' spoken of chastising a village for attacking a Missionary. It went the round of the English papers, and some at once concluded that the Missionary could be no other than the Bishop. Articles were published with the usual disgusting allusions to the temptation presented by a plump missionary; and also observing with more justice that British subjects had no right to run into extraordinary peril and appeal to their flag for protection.
Every friend or relative of Bishop Patteson knew how preposterous the supposition was, and his brother took pains to contradict the rumour. As a matter of fact, as his letters soon proved, he was not only not in company with the ' Curacoa' at the time, but had no knowledge either of the outrage or the chastisement, till Sir William Wiseman mentioned it to him when they were together at Sydney.
At Ysahel or Mahya, the party was made up to sixty, seven married couples and seven unmarried girls among them. The female population was stowed away at night in the after cabins, with ' arrangements quite satisfactory to them, as they were quite consistent with propriety, but which would somewhat startle unaccustomed folk.'
The 'Curapoa' stood in the offing while Sta. Cruz was visited, or rather while the ' Southern Cross ' approached, for the Bishop thought it better not to risk landing; but numerous canoes came off, and all the curiosities were bought which were offered in hopes of re-establishing a friendly relation. There was reason to think the people of this group more than usually attached to the soil, and very shy and distrustful, owing perhaps to the memories left by the Spaniards.
Thence the 'Southern Cross' sailed across for an inspection of Curtis Island, and again with a favourable impression; but the Brisbane Parliament had just been prorogued, everyone was taking holiday, and the Bishop therefore gave up his visit to that place, and sent the vessel straight home to Auckland with her cargo of souls, while he returned to Sydney to carry on the same work as in the former year. Here one great delight and refreshment to him was a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Mort at their beautiful home at Greenoaks. What a delight it must have been to find himself in a church built by his host himself! 'one of the most beautiful things I have seen, holds about 500 people; stained glass, carved stalls, stone work, &c.,--perfect.' And the house, 'full of first-rate works of art, bronzes, carvings, &c.,' was pleasant to the eyes that had been so enthusiastic in Italy and Germany, and had so long fasted from all beauty but that of Nature, in one special type. The friends there were such as to give life and spirit to all these external charms, and this was a very pleasant resting place in his life. To Sir John Coleridge he writes:--
'I am having a real holiday. This place, Greenoaks, the really magnificent place of my good friends Mr. and Mrs. Mort, is lovely. The view of the harbour, with its land-locked bays, multitude of vessels, wooded heights, &c., is not to be surpassed; and somehow I don't disrelish handsome rooms and furniture and pictures and statues and endless real works of art in really good taste.
'One slips into these ways very readily. I must take care I am not spoilt. Everyone, from the governor downwards, lays himself out to make my visit pleasant. They work me hard on Sundays and week days, but it is a continual round of, I don't deny, to me, pleasurable occupation. Kindly people asked to meet me, and the conversation always turned to pleasant and useful subjects: Church government, principles of Mission work, &c. These colonies, unfortunate in many ways, are fortunate in having governors and others in high position who are good men, and the class of people among whom my time is spent might (me judice) hold its position among the best English society.
'I am very intimate with some few families, drop in and set the young ladies down to play Beethoven and Mendelssohn, and it is a nice change, and refreshes me.'
From Sydney the Bishop went to Adelaide and Melbourne, and these five weeks in Australia obtained about 800 £. for the Mission; the Bishop of Sydney had hoped to raise more, but there had been two years of terrible drought and destruction of cattle, and money was not abundant. The plan of sending Australian blacks to be educated with the Melanesians was still entertained; but he had not much hope of this being useful to the tribes, though it might be to the individuals, and none of them ever were sent to him.
But what had a more important effect on the Mission was a conference between Sir William Wiseman and Sir John Young, the Governor of New South Wales, resulting in an offer from the latter of a grant of land on Norfolk Island for the Mission, for the sake of the benefit to the Pitcairners; at the same time the Commodore offered him a passage in the 'Curacoa' back to Auckland, touching at Norfolk Island by the way. The plan was carried out, and brought him home in time for Christmas, to find all and prosperous under Mr. Pritt at St. Andrew's, His mind was nearly made up on the expedience of a change to a place which was likely to suit both English and tropical constitutions alike, and he hoped to make the experiment the ensuing winter with Mr. Palmer and a small body of scholars.