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NATURE OF HEATHEN FESTIVALS.

393

with the laws and Bible, were also placed in the king's pew. The royal family sat with the king in his pew.

When public worship was over, the procession went to the coronation dinner, which was plentiful, but where no excess was permitted.

Those who had been present at the heathen festivals in honour of kings, could alone tell how differently this coronation was conducted. When the late Pomare had become a man, he had been declared king according to the heathen fashion ; not by being crowned, but by being wrapped in a girdle covered with red feathers; and this ceremony had been attended by the slaughter

men, and had been followed by the worshipping of the king as a god, as he sat in the marae in Oro's wooden bed, between Oro himself and Hiro, the son of Oro, and god of thieves.

How happy was this little prince, whose coronation, instead of being stained with blood, was attended by the opening of prison doors, and the sacrifice of the sweet incense of prayer and praise to the living God!

CHAPTER XL.

1824 to 1838.

WHAT BEFEL TAHITI IN THE LATTER DAYS

OF THE FIRST MISSIONARIES.

We have observed God's wonderful dealings with the land of Tahiti for nearly thirty years. But the time is come when we must break off the history. Yet we will not do so without giving a short account of some of the principal events that happened after the coronation of young Pomare.

That very spring Mr. Tyerman and Mr. Bennet left the South Seas to visit other countries, and then to return to England; but, before they went, they made several excellent arrangements. One of these was, that some of the missionaries should every year visit the distant islands that had been converted to God by native teachers. This plan has since been followed. The missionaries have hired their passage in various ships, and have visited distant islands, and have observed how the native teachers behaved, and what they taught; and they have generally been much delighted with all they

SCHOOL FOR MISSIONARIES' CHILDREN.

395

on

have heard and seen. There is now no island in the South Seas, within two thousand miles of Tahiti, that has not been instructed in the Gospel.

The Marquesas were not forgotten. Native teachers were taken to them by Mr. Crook : but alas! these teachers were obliged soon to return account of the wars of the Marquesas. Other teachers were sent afterwards, and these also were unsuccessful. There are now several missionaries from England at the Marquesas. They have not yet prevailed on the people to abandon idols; but they are labouring in patience, waiting for the blessing of the Lord.

Another very good arrangement that Mr. Bennet and Mr. Tyerman made before they left Tahiti, was the establishment of a school for the children of the missionaries.

The missionaries and their wives were too much occupied to teach their children themselves, neither did they like to send them away to a great distance; therefore they were much pleased when a school was opened in Eimeo.

The spot fixed upon was Afareiatu, where Mr. Ellis had once printed the Gospel of St. Luke. A more beautiful spot could not have been found, than this sweet wooded vale, on the shores of a lovely bay. Here a large house

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DEATH OF LITTLE POMARE.

was built, with separate school-rooms for boys and girls, and about twenty children were received into it.*

Mr. and Mrs. Orsmond were appointed the teachers, and Mr. Blossom, the carpenter, undertook to manage the worldly concerns of the school, as well as to teach the natives around how to make furniture,

Among the scholars who entered this school when it was first opened was the little king himself. He made great progress in his learning, and showed such good dispositions, that the missionaries fondly hoped that he would become a blessing to his kingdom ; but God thought fit to disappoint their expectations. When six years and a half old, he was attacked by a complaint that prevailed in the islands at that time, and became dangerously ill; he was immediately conveyed to Papao in Tahiti, where his mother and aunt resided, and where he lingered for three weeks. His dying strug. gles were so painful to behold, that his relations threw a cloth over him as he lay in the arms of Mr. Orsmond, his affectionate teacher. In a few minutes they removed the cloth, and found that the spirit of the child had fed.

* The school was removed in 1831 to Papetoai, on the other side of Eimeo, where the principal harbour is. Mr. Orsmond, at the same time, gave up the charge of it to Mr. Simpson, as he himself wished to be employed only in teaching the natives.

AIMATA'S ACCESSION,

397

The young

Thus God cut off with a stroke the desire of many hearts, and the hope of the nation. All eyes were now directed towards Aimata, his elder sister, who became queen of Tahiti at the age of fifteen. She soon assumed the name of Pomare Vahine, (or the female Pomare;) and her aunt, who once had borne that name, was called by another name. queen continued to live at Papao, near her father's tomb. Her palace was a neat plastered house, situated beneath the shade of a lovely grove, and consisting of a hall, four rooms on the ground floor, and some above. Mr. Nott continued also to be the preacher at court, but he no longer could preach in the Royal Mission Chapel, as it fell into decay. The part that remained was made into a school, and a very neat oval chapel was built near it.

The queen, however, did not always reside at home; but was fond (as her father also had been) of making voyages from island to island, and, like her father, was accompanied by a train of the most disorderly persons to be found in the country. She could read and write well, and was a very clever girl; but in her youth she was not so serious, nor even steady, as to benefit her subjects by her example.

In outward things the people of Tahiti made great improvement. The road, that has been

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