Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/11

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INTRODUCTION.




When, in the spring of 1875, Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon was appointed first Governor of Fiji, I had the good fortune to be invited to form one of the party who accompanied Lady Gordon to that far country.

Two years slipped away, brimful of interest, and each month made me feel more 'At Home in Fiji,' more fascinated with its lovely scenery, more content to linger among its isles.

Then a counter-charm was brought to bear upon the spell which held me thus entranced. The chief magician appeared in the guise of a high ecclesiastic of the Roman Church, clothed in purple, and wearing the mystic ring and cross of amethyst; while his coadjutor, a French gentleman of the noble old school, was the commander of a large French man-of-war, which had been placed at the service of the Bishop of Samoa, to enable him to visit all the most remote portions of his diocese. Already this warlike mission-ship had peacefully touched at many points of exceeding beauty and interest, and our visitors had no sooner recognised my keen