Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/57

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
33
THE BISHOP OF TIPARA.

a cheery little party in the ward-room, then went ashore to say-good-bye to our friends, and carry away last impressions of the fragrant orange-groves of Vavau. Then the bishop and the Fathers returned on board, and we sailed away from the Friendly Isles.




CHAPTER IV.

LIFE ON BOARD SHIP—THE WALLIS ISLES—FOTUNA—SUNDAY ISLE—CYCLOPEAN REMAINS ON EASTER ISLE—STONE ADZES—SAMOA—PANGO-PANGO HARBOUR.

From my Sofa in the Gun-carriage,
on Board the Seignelay
, Sunday, 16th.

My dear Nell,—I have asked Lady Gordon to send you a long letter to her, which I hope to post at Apia, so that I need not repeat what I have already written. We are having a most delightful cruise, with everything in our favour, and the kindness of every one on board is not to be told.

To begin with, Monseigneur Elloi, Evêque de Tipara, is a host in himself, so genial and pleasant, and so devoted to his brown flock. He is terribly unhappy about all the fighting in Samoa; and I think the incessant wear and tear of mind and body he has undergone, in going from isle to isle, perpetually striving for peace, has greatly tended to break down his own health, for he is now very far from well, and every day that we touch land, and he has to officiate at a long church service, he is utterly exhausted. It is high time he returned to France, as he hopes to do, at the end of this cruise.

His title puzzled us much when he arrived in Fiji, as we supposed him to be Bishop of Samoa. But it seems that a Roman Catholic bishop cannot bear the title of a country supposed to be semi-heathen, so they adopt that of one of the ancient African churches, which are now virtually extinct.

To-day, being Sunday, the bishop called together as many of the