Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/84

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Grave fears were entertained that the British and American consulates would be attacked; so they were put in a state of defence, which proved a sufficient precaution. Next day Mr Jonas Coe was tried by his consul and countrymen, and sentenced to be deported. So he enjoyed the privilege of joining his chief on board H.M.S. Barracouta, which soon afterwards sailed for New Zealand, calling at Fiji on the way (on which occasion I made friends with the three Samoan chiefs whom Captain Stevens had brought away as hostages for the good behaviour of their party).

Much oil having been poured on these troubled waters by the soothing intervention of both French and English missionaries, and especially by the personal influence of the bishop, a superficial peace was established, and Malietoa Laupepa once more reigned as king. How soon disturbances have broken out, we now see too plainly.[1]

After our evening meal at the Fathers' house, I took a turn in the moonlight with M. Pinart and M. de Kerraoul, hoping to see a Samoan dance, which was to come off soon after sunset. But the council having again met, the dance was deferred till so late that I thought it better to come back here, where I found all the pretty little school-girls adorned with garlands, singing and acting very pretty quaint songs and dances, illustrating their geography, arithmetic, &c. Then about twenty grown-up women, who had come in from the village, sprang to their feet, and volunteered to show me some of the real old Samoan night dances—Po ulu faka Samoa.

  1. The struggle lasted for some time. Finally, Malietoa again got the upper hand, and was acknowledged king by the foreign Powers, General Bartlett, U.S., being his prime minister. In August 1879, the Hon. Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon, Commissioner for the Western Pacific, arrived at Apia, and concluded a treaty with the king and Government of Samoa, declaring perpetual peace and friendship between the people of their respective isles. The Samoans ceded to Britain the right to establish a naval station and coaling depot, as had previously been granted by treaty both to Germany and America. On the 8th November 1880 King Malietoa died. He was barely forty years of age, and a man greatly loved by all his own people. Probably but for the disturbing presence of the meddling whites, he might still be reigning over a happy and prosperous people. As it is, the country is once more in a state of anarchy; and the good bishop, whose heart yearned for the peace and prosperity of the people, has himself passed away to the world where all is peace.