Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/187

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161
THE ROYAL FAMILY.

mony of which I have just read full particulars in the 'Messager de Tahiti,' which, under the heading, "Le prince royal Ariiaue est salué roi des Iles de la Société et dépendances," gives a detailed account of the meeting of the Legislative Assembly of Tahiti, convened by "M. le Contre-Amiral Serre Commandant-en-chef, Commandant provisoire des Etablissements français de l'Océanie, pour reconnaître et acclamer le nouveau souverain de Tahiti."

The Legislative Assembly received with acclamation the decisions of the omnipotent admiral, who not only proclaimed Ariiaue king, but has further settled the succession for two generations to come. Queen Marau being half English, any child to which she may give birth is excluded from the throne in favour of the little Princess Teriivaetua, daughter of the king's brother Tamatoa, and the charming Moë, ex-King and Queen of Raiatea—thus securing the pure Tahitian blood-royal. Failing issue of the little Princess Vaetua, the succession is to pass to her cousin. Prince Terriihinoiatua, commonly called Hinoi—a very handsome boy, son of the third royal brother, now deceased, who was known as the Prince de Joinville.

These decisions are said to have given great satisfaction to the Tahitians, who, with very good reason, had feared that, on the death of the old queen, the French would take the nominal power as well as the real, which they have so long held.

Pomare's proud independent spirit must have chafed sorely under their tutelage; but she contrived to endure it for thirty-five years. She was just sixty-five when she died, having been born on the 28th February 1813.

She was the only daughter of King Pomare II., who was the very first friend of the missionaries when they attempted to get a footing in these isles, and proved their stanch supporter to the end of his days.[1] His daughter's name was Aimata. In the year 1822 she married the young chief of Tahaa, who had received the name of Pomare as a mark of special favour from the old king.

  1. King Pomare II. was the first person who was publicly baptised in Tahiti. The service took place on 16th July 1819.