Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/132

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consciousness that the struggle was becoming vainer and more vain, till at length the angel of sleep triumphed, and held me captive, while M. Pinart put the students through a slight examination, simply as a matter of form.

Afterwards we wandered about the settlement, which is in every respect a model one, and then we enjoyed a pleasant evening at the calm peaceful mission-house, which stands on a grassy headland, palm-fringed, the sea washing three sides of the lawn. It is quite an idyllic home,—a true earthly paradise, where the useful and loving life glides on day by day, undisturbed by the wars and rumours of war on every side. But the peace and the home have alike been purchased by many a year of hard ungrudging toil in the heat and burden of the day.

For Dr Turner began his mission career in stormy times. Soon after the Rev. John Williams had been treacherously murdered at Eromanga in the New Hebrides, in November 1839, the London Mission Society determined to make a renewed effort for the conversion of its fierce inveterate cannibals. Mr and Mrs Turner were accordingly sent on this most dangerous mission. They were joined in Samoa by Mr and Mrs Nisbet, and together proceeded to the New Hebrides.

The day before Mr Williams's death, he had succeeded in landing three Samoan teachers as pioneers, on the isle of Tanna, twenty miles from Eromanga. To this isle the missionaries now sailed—not without grave doubts whether they should find the teachers alive. (It was now June 1842.) They found them safe, but their work had made small progress. The people were continually at war, and most unconscionable thieves. They had, however, two good points—infanticide was not common, and they were careful of their own sick, so far as they knew how. But wilder and more savage surroundings could scarcely be conceived than those in which the Turners and Nisbets found themselves left, when the little vessel which had brought them from Samoa had sailed away.

They soon discovered one serious difference between the New Hebrides and the isles of the Eastern Pacific. In the latter, one