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sequently, almost the last to greet us. He was unusually strong and active for his age, notwithstanding the inconvenience of considerable corpulency. He was dressed in a sailor's shirt and trowsers, and a lowcrowned hat, which he instinctively held in his hand until desired to put it on. He still retained his sailor's gait, doffing his hat, and smoothing down his bald forehead whenever he was addressed by the officers. It was the first time he had been on board a ship of war since the mutiny, and his mind naturally reverted to scenes which could not fail to produce a temporary embarrassment, heightened, perhaps, by the familiarity with which he found himself addressed by persons of a class with those he had been accustomed to obey. Apprehension for his safety formed no part of his thoughts: he had received too many demonstrations of the good feeling that existed toward him, both on the part of the British Government and of individuals, to entertain any alarm on that head; and as every person endea
voured to set his mind at rest, he very soon made himself at home.
“The young men, ten in number, were tall, robust, and healthy, with good-natured countenances, which would anywhere have procured them a friendly reception; and with a simplicity of manner and a fear of doing wrong, which at once prevented the possibility of giving offence. Unacquainted with the world, they asked a number of questions, which would have applied better to persons with whom they had been intimate, and who had left them but a short time before, than to perfect strangers; and inquired after ships and people we had never heard of. Their dress, made up of the presents which had been given them by the masters and seamen of merchant ships, was a perfect caricature. Some had on long black coats, without any other article of dress, except trowsers; some shirts without coats; and others waistcoats without either; none had shoes or stockings, and only two possessed hats, neither of which seemed likely to hang long together.”
The following picture of filial affection, drawn by a careful and intelligent observer, is well worthy of insertion. Anxious to visit the houses at Pitcairn, rather than pass another night at sea, Captain Beechey determined to put off with some of his men in boats, and to accompany Adams and the islanders on shore. He says
The difficulty of landing was more than repaid by the friendly reception we met with on the beach from Hannah Young, a very interesting young woman, the daughter of Adams. It appeared that John Buffett, who was a seafaring man, ascertained the ship was a man-of-war, and, not knowing exactly why, became so alarmed for the safety of Adams that he either could not, or would not, answer any of the interrogations which were put to him. This mysterious silence set all the party in tears, as they feared he had discovered something adverse to their patriarch. At length his obduracy yielded to their entreaties; but before he explained the cause of his conduct, the boats were seen to put off from the ship, and Hannah immedi
ately hurried to the beach to kiss the old man's cheek, which she did with a fervency demonstrative of the warmest affection.”
The whole group simultaneously expressed a wish that the visitors would stay with them several days; and on their signifying a desire to get to the village before dark, and to pitch the observatory, every article and instrument found a bearer, along a steep path which led to the village, concealed by groups of cocoa-nut trees; the females bearing their burdens over the most difficult parts without inconvenience. The village consisted of five houses, on a cleared piece of ground sloping toward the sea. While the men assisted in pitching the tent, the women employed themselves in preparing the supper. The mode of cooking was precisely that of Tahiti, by heated stones in a hole made in the ground. At young Christian's the table was spread with plates, knives, and forks. John Buffett said grace in an emphatic manner; and this is repeated every time a fresh guest sits down while the
meal is going on. So strict are they in this respect, that it is not deemed proper to touch a bit of bread without saying grace before and after it. “On one occasion,” says Captain Beechey, “I had engaged Adams in conversation, and he incautiously took the first mouthful without having said grace; but before he had swallowed it he recollected himself, and feeling as if he had committed a crime, immediately put away what he had in his mouth, and commenced his prayer.” Their rooms and table are lighted up by torches made of doodoe nuts strung upon the fibres of a palm-leaf, which form a good substitute for candles.
Although the female part of the society is highly respected, yet in one instance a distinction is kept up which in civilized countries would be deemed degrading. It is that of excluding all women from table when there is a deficiency of seats. “Far, however, from considering themselves neglected, they very good-naturedly chatted with us behind our seats,” says Captain Beechey.“and flapped away the flies, and