Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/332

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England. Their clothes were worn out, boots or shoes were wellnigh forgotten superfluities; tea and sugar were among the luxuries of the past. At last a small vessel arrived, specially chartered to bring the letters and supplies which had for so long been accumulating at Port Jackson. Imagine the rapture of seeing that little vessel arrive; and then the dismay of discovering that almost everything she had brought was either useless from having lain so long at Port Jackson, or saturated with salt water owing to the wretched condition of the ship. You who live in luxury at home, with everything of the best, and plenty of it, and with so many daily posts as to be a positive nuisance, cannot possibly realise the weariness of that long waiting, or the depth of that disappointment.

Nor was there anything cheering in daily life. The mission work seemed to make no progress at all; the people openly mocked the white men, and despised their teaching.

In 1808 war broke out again more savagely than before. The altars of Oro reeked with human blood; villages were burnt, plantations destroyed, and the whole country reduced to desolation and ruin. The mission settlement was ransacked, the houses burnt, the books distributed among the warriors to be used as cartridge-paper, the printing-types melted to make musket-balls, and every implement of iron found on the place was converted into a destructive weapon. The gardens were again demolished, and the students, finding the din of war more congenial than the arts of peace, joined their brethren in arms.

Finally, feeling that their lives were in imminent danger, and that there was apparently nothing to be gained by remaining, the mission party resolved to abandon Tahiti; and taking advantage of a vessel which happily arrived in harbour, they embarked for Port Jackson, two only, Mr Hayward and Mr Nott, resolving to remain at their several posts and face the worst—the former at Huahine, the latter at Eimeo, to which King Pomare had fled from his enemies. Various attempts were made on their lives, happily without fatal result; and they continued to work as best they could till the year 1812, when, at the invitation of King