Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/192

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nected with the Catholic mission number in all about forty persons. They have had large aid and encouragement from the French Government, who compelled the chiefs of Tahiti and Moorea to build a church for their use in each district. Nevertheless, out of the 8000 inhabitants, 300 nominal adherents is the maximum which the Catholics themselves have ever claimed, but fifty is said to be nearer the mark.

The French Protestant Mission, however, found it desirable to send French subjects to the support of the London Mission, of which Mr Green is now the only representative. His coadjutors are M. Viennot, M. Vernier, and M. Brun—all married men and pères de famille. The latter is pasteur of Moorea. M. Viennot has a large Protestant school both for boys and girls of pure French and pure Tahitian blood, and of all shades of mixed race. We went to see his charming house, which is the most romantic nest, for a school, that you can well imagine, with wide verandahs and a large pleasant garden. Several of the daughters of the early English missionaries assist in teaching; and everything about the establishment seems bright and healthy in tone.

The third French pasteur, M. Vernier, was a student friend of Lord Lorne's at Geneva (under Merle d'Aubigné), and returned with him to Inveraray for three months, ere resuming his own studies for a while in Edinburgh. Consequently he retains most loving recollections of everything linked with those very happy days; and it struck me pleasantly, in this far-away isle, to find in his little drawing-room many familiar photographs of Inveraray faces and places. Now his pretty wife is mother of half-a-dozen typical French little ones, the youngest of whom was the hero of a very pleasant dinner-party, given by his parents the night before last, in honour of his baptism. There were about a dozen persons present, including all the members of the Protestant Mission, Captain Guignon of the Bossuet (a most friendly trading-vessel belonging to the firm of Messrs Tandonnet of Bordeaux), and myself. All the time of dinner, the petit nouveau-baptisé was laid on the floor, where he rolled about laughing and crowing with delight, while the other children played quietly beside him. It was a scene of