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PROPOSAL TO DEPART.
them back to the ship. Otu, no doubt, wished them to stay to help him in his intended wars. The sailors themselves were very anxious to remain, and one of them, named Michael Donald, said, “If they take me on board again, it shall be as a dead man.”
As the missionaries had now done all they could to restore the sailors to the ship, they wished to return home immediately. Pomare lent them a large canoe, that they might go by water, which was the shortest way. They called at the ship, and related their sad history to the captain. It was dark when they reached home. One of their own servants, who had accompanied the missionaries in the morning, had already informed the brethren who had remained at home, of the adventures of the day, and had caused them to prepare to defend themselves against an attack. It was a great joy to all, to see each other again in safety, before the day closed. A double watch was appointed that night; so that four, instead of two missionaries, guarded the house.
After prayers the next morning, the brethren consulted together, respecting what they had better do to preserve themselves from ill treatment in future.
A proposal was then made by some, which will perhaps surprise you. It was, that all the missionaries should leave the island. Most of
them approved of the plan, and Mr. Cover and Mr. William Puckey were sent immediately to the ship, to ask the advice of the captain.
Upon their return the brethren met together again, and heard that the captain advised them to go in his ship to Australia.
Australia is a very large island, much bigger than England, and so near Tahiti that it can be reached in less than two months. It is inhabited by savages, but along the coasts, the English have built many towns, in which people may safely reside.*
The captain proposed to take the missionaries to one of these towns, called Port Jackson, and which is very near Botany Bay.
The missionaries wished for a little time to consider the subject. At five o'clock the same day they met together, and each was asked separately, what was his determination. All those who had wives (except one) determined
besides several others who had not. Three more were not quite decided; but the next day one of these three, Mr. Broomhall, declared that he would remain in Tahiti, while the other two, Mr. Clode and Mr. Cock, resolved to go.
* Australia is now divided into three parts ; the western is called New South Wales, the eastern New Holland, and the Southern, South Australia. Australia and the neighbouring islands are called Australasia.
DIVISION OF THE MISSIONARIES.
This is the list of those who chose to depart.
Mr. Cover and his wife.
of whom, named Jonathan, was only six weeks old.
Mr. Cock. Mr. William Puckey.
Mr. Main, Mr. Smith.
The whole number of those who determined to leave the island was eleven men, four women, and four children.
The following seven missionaries, and one woman, chose to remain. Mr. Eyre and his wife. Mr. Lewis. Mr. Jefferson.
Mr. Nott. Mr. Bicknell.
Mr. Broomhall, Mr. Harris.
The missionaries who were going to leave the island began to pack up immediately. The report soon spread that they were going, and at first it was said that none would remain. Many of the natives expressed great sorrow at the news. Pomare sent a messenger next morning with a chicken and a plantain-leaf, as a peace-offering, to the four brethren who had been ill treated. They accepted them, which was a sign of their forgiveness of the injury. Pomare and Idia came themselves next day to see the missionaries. Pomare seemed
happy, and went from room to room, both in the house, and all over the ship, to look for the missionaries, and to entreat each to stay. He said to Mr. Nott in his own language, “Notty, don't go;" and he said the same to others. He was much rejoiced when he found that some would remain.
The two run-away sailors came to the missionaries' house, and expressed a desire to return to the ship, saying they had been robbed, and their lives threatened, by some of the natives, because they had refused to help the people who had stripped the four brethren. These sailors then went on board ; but upon one of the captains threatening to bring them before a magistrate at Port Jackson, for having stolen the boat, they were frightened, and returned on shore, and were kindly permitted by the missionaries to take shelter for a while in their house. On the next day, March 30th, the ship sailed-only four days after the ill treatment of the brethren.
Little had the brethren thought in the beginning of the month, how great a change would take place before the end of it! Little had any of them thought when they first saw the distant ship, that it was to remove them to another land! Who knows what a day shall bring forth.
A ROOT OF BITTERNESS.
The missionaries had determined to try no longer to defend themselves from the natives; for though, they were now so few in number that they could easily be overcome, they felt that God could preserve them from every danger. They had therefore sent away their fire-arms in the ship, excepting two guns, which they presented to Otu and Pomare, with some powder and ball.
Pomare was so angry with the men who had, by ill-treating the missionaries, caused so many to go away, that he killed two of them. The brethren were of course much grieved, when they heard of this cruel treatment, though it was inflicted in their defence. As the missionaries resolved to be satisfied with food and raiment, they delivered up the blacksmith's shop and the store-room, with all they contained, to Pomare, and even offered to give him their own private property, but he generously refused to accept it. It was now Pomare's