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by a gentle tap, accidentally or playfully delivered, reminded us occasionally of the honour that was done us." The women, when the men had finished, sat down to what remained.
The beds were next prepared. A mattress composed of palm-leaves was covered with native cloth made of the paper-mulberry tree, in the same manner as in Tahiti; the sheets were of the same material, and it appeared from their crackling that they were quite new from the loom, or rather the beater. The whole arrangement is stated to have been comfortable, and inviting to repose; one interruption only disturbed their sleep; this was the melody of the evening hymn, which, after the lights were put out, was chanted by the whole family in the middle of the room. At early dawn they were also awaked by their morning hymn and the family devotion; after which the islanders all set out to their several occupations. Some of the women had taken the linen of their visitors to wash; others were preparing for the next meal; and others were employed in the manufacture of cloth.
The innocence and simplicity of these interesting persons are strongly exemplified in the following description :"By our bedside had already been placed some ripe fruits; and our hats were crowned with chaplets of the fresh blossom of the nono or flower-tree, which the women had gathered in the freshness of the morning dew.
Their cottages are spacious, and strongly built of wood, in an oblong form, and thatched with the leaves of the palm-tree bent round the stem of a branch from the same, and laced horizontally to rafters so placed as to give a proper pitch to the roof. An upper story is appropriated to sleeping, and has four beds, one in each angle of the room, and large enough for three or four persons to sleep on. The lower is the eating-room, having a broad table with several stools placed round it. The lower room communicates with the upper by a stout ladder in the centre.
Immediately round the village are small enclosures for fattening pigs, goats, and poultry; and beyond them are the cultivated grounds producing the banana, plantain, melon, yam, taro, sweet
potatoes, tee tree, cloth-plant, with other useful roots, fruits, and a variety of shrubs. Every cottage has its out-house for making cloth, its baking place, its pig-sty, and its poultry: house.
During the stay of the strangers on the island, they dined sometimes with one person and sometimes with another, their meals being always the same, and consisting of baked pig, yams, and taro, and sometimes sweet potatoes. Goats are numerous on the island, but neither their flesh nor their milk is relished by the natives. Yams constitute their principal food, either boiled, baked, or mixed with cocoa-nut made into cakes, and eaten with molasses extracted from the tee-root. Taro-root is no bad substitute for bread; and bananas, plantains, and appoi are wholesome and nutritive fruits. The common beverage is water, but they make tea from the teeplant, flavoured with ginger, and sweetened with the juice of the sugar-cane. They but seldom kill a pig, living mostly on fruit and vegetables. With this simple diet, early rising, and taking a great deal of exercise, they are subject to few diseases; and are certainly a finer and more athletic race than is usually found among the families of mankind.
Captain Beechey observes, that Adams on no occasion neglected his usual devotions. The old man, while on board the Blossom, slept in that officer's cabin, in a retired corner of which he fell on his knees each night, to say his prayers, and was always up first in the morning for the same purpose. Captain Beechey, who made many highly valuable notes respecting the character and customs of the people twenty-seven years since, gives the following remarkable account of them :
“During the whole time I was with them I never heard them indulge in a joke, or other levity; and the practice of it is
apt to give offence. They are so accustomed to take what is said in its literal meaning, that irony was always considered a falsehood in spite of explanation. They could not see the propriety of uttering what was not strictly true for any purpose whatever. The Sabbath day is devoted entirely to prayer, reading, and serious meditation. No boat is allowed to quit the shore, nor any work whatever to be done, cooking excepted, for which preparation is made the preceding evening. I attended their church on this day, and found the service well conducted. The prayers were read by Adams, and the lessons by Buffett; the service being preceded by hymns. The greatest devotion was apparent in every individual, and in the children there was a seriousness unknown in the younger part of our communities at home. Some family prayers, which were thought appropriate to their particular case, were added to the usual service. A sermon followed, which was very well delivered by Buffett; and lest any part of