months! It is most tempting, but I feel bound to go. At the band to-night, Mr Darsie, manager of the Maison Brandère, expressed his astonishment that I should lose such a chance of seeing the Marquesas and the Paumotus, adding that the manager of the business for those groups was going to take the trip, and would enable me to see everything to the greatest advantage, and the ship is to return here in a fortnight. Certainly it would be quite delightful, but what is the use of suggesting the impossible?
Early this morning we went on board the Maramma to see the cabin which Mrs Brander has kindly reserved for me—the best in the ship. It made me sad to look at it and to think that it is to carry me away for ever from this supremely lovely South Sea paradise. All to-day we have had a succession of visits from my kind friends of the Seignelay, to urge my giving up Honolulu in favour of Les Marquises, or, if that could not be, to faire les adieux. At the very last came M. de Gironde, who is always my good genius, to try and prove that it was not too late to change my mind, and that his cabin was at my disposal as before. Surely there never was a ship full of such kind people. Of course it would be quite delightful to go and see another lot of beautiful isles; but after all, I suppose they are very much like these, and my brain already feels overcrowded with pictures, each lovelier than the last. So, for every reason, it seems best to stand true to my tryst, and be content with a run to the volcanoes, and then drop down to the comparatively commonplace scenes of Australia or New Zealand.
This has been quite a sad day of farewells. We dined with the Verniers and afterwards went to the admiral's reception—a very pretty and animated dance.
At nine this morning the Seignelay steamed close past our windows, and great was the farewell waving of hats and handkerchiefs. I grieve to part from the many kind companions of so