Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/202

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extremely orderly good behaviour is, however, undoubtedly an exceptional result of the admiral's iron rule and stringent measures for the general weal. Immediately on his arrival, he gave orders that every damsel whose morals were recognised as lax, should be at once deported from the gay capital. So, without further ado, all such were shipped off to the seclusion of their various country districts, or else to more rigid seclusion, in charge of the police,—only coming forth to sweep the roads, which, consequently, are in a state of exquisite cleanliness and neatness.

It is not to be supposed that the present condition of preternatural goodness will very long survive the departure of the admiral, as many of the governors of the Protectorate seem rather to encourage what the more staid residents deem unseemly frolic. Many of these governors are not Frenchmen,—merely Creoles, whom the Tahitians dislike exceedingly, and contemptuously describe as Paumuto-Frane (Paumuto-men being Queen Pomare's pig-feeders, and Frane being the equivalent of French). Many gross errors and maladministrations have crept in during their rule; and the admiral is now devoting his whole great energies to rectifying all manner of abuses, greatly to the satisfaction of the Tahitians, with whom he is apparently immensely popular. Moreover, he seems determined to deal even-handed justice between the Protestant and Catholic teachers, which the latter by no means appreciate, having so long been greatly favoured by the Creole authorities.

Socially, in his double capacity of admiral and governor, he does all in his power to make things pleasant for every one. For my own part, I am bound to say that, from the very first evening of our arrival, he has been unvaryingly courteous, and in every respect most thoughtful for me. We meet very often, as he and some of his suite invariably join Mrs Miller's party every evening at the band, after which they walk back with us along the beautiful shore to the British consulate, where we generally have a second concert, and much pleasant chat of the most polyglot order—English, French, and Spanish, in about equal parts—with iced lemonade and liqueurs to help the flow of words!