Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/325

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293
A HAPPY VALLEY.

which brought on a troublesome cough. His followers spoke of the po mare, and the sound of the words pleased the royal ear; and thenceforth the king adopted this euphonious but singular surname, which has since been borne by each crowned head.

This very odd custom of adopting a name to commemorate some simple event, was common to a good many of the isles. Mr Gill mentions such names as "Lost son," adopted by the king of Mangaia when his son had been stolen; a title retained long after the lad had been restored. Another man took the name of "Deal-coffin," because a relation had been buried in a sailor's chest. One chief desired to be always called "Press me," because those words had been uttered by a dying grandchild when in pain; and another was called "Dim-sight," because his grandfather suffered from weak eyes.

This pleasant country-home is about three miles from Papeete, and various carriages are ready after early breakfast to convey the gentlemen to town, whence some return to late breakfast, others not till dinner-time. But all day long, people come and go on divers errands of business or pleasure; and the drive is so pretty as to be in itself quite an enjoyment. In short, life here is altogether easy and luxurious, combined with most captivating simplicity.

The already large family party has been increased by the arrival of a third big brother, Ariipaea, who has been for some time living on another of the islands. Mrs Salmon and the pretty young sisters, and several friends, are also staying here, a most loving "family-pie." To Narii this happy valley has an additional charm, for it is also the home of a certain charming "Mademoiselle Cécile," whom he hopes ere long to include in the family circle.


Chez the Rev James Green, Papeete,
Friday Evening.

This morning early, Ariipaea drove me here, where it had been arranged that I should meet M. Brun, the pasteur of Moorea, and accompany him to his beautiful isle. We were to have taken passage in one of a small fleet of Mooroa boats, which arrived here some days ago in order to build a district house, which shall hence-