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ART. VI.—1. Life in Fejee, or Five Years among the Cannibals. By a Lady. 1851.

2. Journals of the Bishop of New Zealand's Visitation Tours. Printed for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 3. A Letter to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle on behalf of the Melanesian Mission of the Bishop of New Zealand. By Lewis M. Hogg, Rector of Cranford, Northamptonshire. London.

1853.

4. Remarkable Incidents in the Life of the Rev. Samuel Leigh, Missionary to the Settlers and Savages of Australia and New Zealand. By the Rev. Alexander Strachan. London. 1853. 5. Our Antipodes: or, Residence and Rambles in the Australasian Colonies. By Lieut. Col. Godfrey Charles Mundy. 3 vols. London. 1852.

6. Auckland, the Capital of New Zealand, and the Country adjacent'; including some Account of the Gold Discovery in New Zealand. London. 1853.

WE

E endeavoured in a late number to trace the recent history of the spread of Christianity in the multitudinous islands of the Eastern Pacific, inhabited by the Polynesian race. We observed on that occasion on the remarkable similarity of the type of features, stature, and language among tribes so widely dispersed over the surface of that great ocean, belonging to this common stock. It is necessary that we should recur for a moment to the subject, in order to render more intelligible the distinction taken by modern geographers between Polynesia and Melanesia.*

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It was long ago suggested that the root of the common Polynesian speech is to be found in the Kawi,' a branch of the Malay language; the researches of William Humboldt are said to have established the fact; and learned men have already affixed to those who speak it the name of Malayo-Polynesians.' We are in no degree qualified to dispute these conclusions. But

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The three volumes of the French popular publication L'Univers Pittoresque,' devoted to 'Océanie,' are compiled by M. Domeny de Rienzi, himself a voyager in the South Seas and the East. They contain a great deal of information, and, although published in 1836, remain the best Handbook' with which we are acquainted for vast tracts of the populous Pacific. This writer divides that ocean into four regions: Polynesia, comprising the groupes we have already described, and also the extensive archipelagos of the Caroline and Pellew Islands, north of the equator and west of 180; Melanesia, including (besides the groupes we have placed in it) Australia and New Guinea; Malaisia, or the Malay archipelago; and Micronesia, containing the many clusters of small islands in the Northern temperate Pacific.

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the fact of these islands having been actually colonized from the regions now inhabited by the Malay family, or, as some have supposed, by the Dyaks of Borneo, has always seemed to us of the most problematical character. Those who maintain it, including, we are bound to admit, not only theoretical geographers, but very close observers, such as John Williams, have to get over the difficulty of a series of migrations from West to East, that is, against the steady breeze of the unvarying Trades, and by the aid of those irregular westerly gales, the mad winds,' as some of the islanders call them, from their caprice and uncertainty, which prevail at most for only two months of the year. They have to controvert the equally unvarying current of Polynesian tradition, which (as Mr. Ellis points out) speaks of colonization as uniformly proceeding from the East; corroborated by the insulated cases of migration which have taken place since the Pacific was known to Europeans-all, we believe, in the same direction, when accomplished in native vessels. They have to answer the puzzling question, How is it, if the Eastern Polynesians came from Asia, that they inhabit the part of the ocean farthest from Asia-that a vast portion of the insular region, lying directly between the presumed colony and the presumed mother country, is occupied by a totally different race, the Melanesians, or Oceanian Negroes, whom no one, so far as we know, has connected with any Asiatic origin? Again, we know of no similarity, except that of language, which has been established between the Malays and Polynesians. The slender Malay

resembles neither in hue, nor face, nor figure, the tall and bigboned islander; nor has any really significant analogy of habits or religion been pointed out. And to what does a mere radical identity of language amount, as a proof of identity of race? Does any one doubt, for instance, that the mass of the French people are of Celtic, not of Roman, descent?-and yet has not the antiquary the greatest difficulty in detecting a single Celtic root in the common language of the country, which (with the exception of more recently-imported words) is wholly and exclusively Roman? The fact is, that some families of mankind have always shown a readiness to abandon their pristine tongue on occasions of conquest or migration, and acquire a new one, as remarkable as the obstinacy with which others adhere to it.

Supposing the colonization of the Eastern Pacific to have proceeded from its American shore-supposing it effected by one wave of that vast migration, of which another wave carried the Aztecs to the tropical plateau of Mexico-it will be not an unreasonable hypothesis, also, that the singular family of mankind

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to which recent geographers give the name of Melanesians, comprises the remnant of the original native races whom that colonization disturbed. The confused and fragmentary dispersion of these tribes, so far as we are acquainted with them, as well as their general inferiority, seems to countenance such an hypothesis. Even circumscribed within its narrowest limits-lying north of the parallel of New Zealand, west of the 180th meridian, east of Australia, and south of the equator-Melanesia seems to include rather a multitude of distinct nations than a single people. The inhabitants of these islands differ from the Polynesians proper in being much darker of colour-approaching to the real Asiatic negro of New Guinea, or 'Negrillo' of the Papuan race, with whom they have been sometimes allied by ethnographers. But, with this exception, they seem to possess no common and distinctive feature. They present, therefore, a remarkable contrast, and very unfavourable one for missionary purposes, to the singularly homogeneous character which, as we have seen, characterises the Eastern Polynesians. Some tribes, as those of Fiji, are remarkable for gigantic stature: others, the reverse. language of some seems a Polynesian dialect; other groupes have many languages of their own, said to be totally distinct both from the Polynesian and from each other. Some have estimated that in the New Hebrides there is on the average a different language, or dialect, for every 5000 souls. The whole archipelago presents, in short, to the ethnographer a kind of labyrinthine confusion, out of which the patient labours of the missionary and the philologist will no doubt ultimately educe some systematic arrangement.

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Within two days' westerly sail of the Society Islands lies the first Melanesian groupe, that of the FIJI or Feejee Islands (we adopt the continental orthography, to which English writers, not without a struggle, seem at last to have generally resigned themselves in foreign nomenclature), which, like the former, is a province of the Wesleyan missionaries. Of all the races of the Pacific hitherto known to Europeans the men of Fiji are the most sanguinary and ferocious in their practices; and at the same time nearly the highest in point of natural endowments. And, consequently, the beginning contest between light and darkness here assumes an intensity which marks it in no other quarter. It seems as if the very approach of dawn had added new horrors to the night: never were war and massacre, with their attendant atrocities, so rife among these savages as now. 'The progress of the battle' (says Mr. Lawry in one of the works cited in our former article) now going on in Feejee between the old murderer and his conqueror and lord is waxing hot, and

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hastening to its close.' The strangest features of the collision between civilised and savage life seems here brought prominently forward: in one little lotu' or 'converted' island, the missionary with his gentle and submissive flock on another, within sight, the smoke rising from the burning village, and the cannibal revelry of its conquerors: on a third, eager traffic driving between a chief and his people and an European or American cruiser. The missionaries here are in their true element.

They preach the Gospel to all who will hear it, morning, noon, and night. They administer medicine to the sick, and settle disputes for all parties. They are consulted about every important enterprise, and have their hand in everything that is going on. They are lawyers, physicians, privy councillors, builders, agriculturists.'

They are exposed, without arms and without protectors, to the evil passions of the most bloodthirsty of all known races of mankind. And great is their reward-the progress of their mission is eminently encouraging, not only as regards the extent, but the character of their conquests.

This great archipelago, as yet very imperfectly known, contains, it is thought, not less than 300,000 inhabitants. The two principal islands (of which Viti Leuvu is the largest) are represented as equal in size to ordinary English counties. They are intersected by lofty ridges of volcanic mountains. There are dwellers in the interior of Viti Leuvu who have never seen the sea-not, however, so much by reason of actual distance, as from the certainty to which the adventurous tourist would be exposed of being literally, not figuratively, eaten up before he could reach his object. The valleys are singularly fertile and well watered, and abound in the vegetable riches of the Eastern and Western Pacific, which seem to meet at this central point. Mr. Lawry says he has seen and handled 'the tea plant of China, carraway-seed, nutmeg, arrowroot, capsicum, and sarsaparilla.' The ethnography of this noble group is puzzling; and has much exercised the ingenuity of scholars in that science. The colour of the people is many shades darker than that of the more easterly islanders, and, together with other peculiarities, seems to betray a Melanesian origin: but many of their customs, as well as their stalwart proportions and lofty stature ( far above the height of any other nation which I have seen,' says Sir E. Belcher) resemble those of the Polynesians proper; while their language is said to be a polyglot, compounded of many elements. Their industry, energy, and personal activity contrast strongly with the indolent habits of most of their neighbours. Mr. Lawry expatiates on their very superior character as servants,

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to the Tongans, who, though they are more comely in our eyes, are not so sharp, nor so well-disciplined, as the Feejeeans :' an advantage, however, more than compensated by the inbred ferocity of the latter: witness the horrid story which he elsewhere tells of a young girl' daughter of the king of Opo,' who was taken as nursemaid into a missionary family, and set forthwith about murdering the infant. Her plan was to avail herself of those times when the child was cross, to hug it in her arms so strongly as to crush its frame together!' It died soon after the device was detected from the internal injuries inflicted through these vindictive embraces. 'In Tonga,' says the same writer, the children at school sit with all the gravity of judges on the bench: whereas the raw and lively children of Feejee, just wild from the sea-shore and the bush, are like so many merry-andrews.' Their taste for commerce and barter is well known to navigators in those seas. Captain Erskine notes that the position of their women is rather elevated, and

'the intercourse between the sexes, without pretending to any exalted feelings of modesty or principle, is conducted with great delicacy, excepting in cases where the bad example of dissolute white men has spread its contamination.'

And-to complete the catalogue of their better qualities—they seem to have a due appreciation of literary merit. A Feejeean poet, says Mr. Hale, will often get twenty tambuas (whale's teeth) for a song or dance-a rate of payment, proportionally speaking, which an European maestro might find it difficult to attain.

This fine people are bowed down by the most crushing and hideous superstitions known to exist in the world. In Captain Wilkes's volumes will be found long dissertations on their voluminous theology. They seem to have more definite notions of a First Cause than are common among the South Sea islanders: and a strong belief in the immortality of the souls of all animated things. Next to the Maker of all-who is acknowledged under various names-they worship the God Ndengei, said to be enshrined, in the form of a serpent, in the district of Nakauvandea in Viti Leuvu.* This deity slews or turns himself over

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* Whence arises the extraordinary universality of the popular belief in the existence of monsters of the serpent class? We have seen it attributed to a dim recollection of the great Saurian reptiles which once inhabited the earth; but the period of these creatures was a comparatively early geological age; and the huge extinct quadrupeds of much later times have left no such general tradition behind them. The symbolical Dragon of China seems to be the very same fabulous animal whose conquest has immortalised St. George and More of More Hall; the same whose ancient brood' is still believed by the matter-of-fact Swiss peasant to lurk in the caverns of the High Alps; whose portraiture is preserved, as seen by a burgomaster,

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