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of the island than the uniform good health of the children; the teething is easily got over, they have no bowel complaints, and are exempt from those contagious diseases which affect children in large communities. He offered to vaccinate the children as well as all the grown persons; but they deemed the risk of infection of small-pox to be too small to render that operation necessary.
As a proof how very much simple diet and constant exercise tend to the healthful state of the body, the skin of these people, though in such robust health, compared with that of the Europeans, always felt cold, and their pulses always considerably lower. The doctor examined several of them; in the forenoon he found George Young's only sixty; three others, in the afternoon, after dinner, were sixtyeight, seventy-two, and seventy-six, while those of the officers who stood the heat of the climate best were above eighty.
It is impossible not to feel a deep interest in the welfare of this little society, and at the same time an apprehension that something may happen to disturb that harmony and destroy that simplicity of manners which have hitherto characterized it. It is to be feared, indeed, that the seeds of discord are already sown. It appears from Captain Waldegrave's statement, that no less than three Englishmen have found their way into this happy society. One of them, John Buffet, mentioned by Beechey, is a harmless man, and, as it has been stated, of great use to the islanders in his capacity of clergyman and schoolmaster; he is also a clever and useful mechanic, as a shipwright and joiner, and is much beloved by the community. Two others have since been left on the island, one of them, by name John Evans, son of a coachmaker in the employ of Long of St. Martin's Lane, who has married a daughter of John Adams, through whom he possesses and cultivates a certain portion of land; the third is
George Hunn Nobbs, who calls himself registrar, schoolmaster, &c., thus infringing on the privileges of John Buffet; and being a person of superior talents, and of exceeding great impudence, has deprived Buffet of a great number of his scholars; and hence a sufficient cause exists of division and dissension among the members of the little society, which were never known before. Buffet and Evans support themselves by their industry, but this Nobbs not only claims exemption from labour in virtue of his office, but also as being entitled to a maintenance at the expense of the community. He has married a daughter of Charles, and granddaughter to the late Fletcher Christian, whose descendants, as captain of the gang, might be induced to claim superiority, and which, probably, might be allowed by general consent, had they but possessed a moderate share of talent; but it is stated that Thursday October and Charles Christian, the sons of the chief mutineer, are ignorant, uneducated men. The only chance for the continuance of peace is the general dislike in which this Nobbs is held, and the gradual intellectual improvement of the rising generation.
It seems that Adams on his death-bed called all the heads of families together, and urged them to appoint a chief;-this, however, they have not done, which makes it the more to be apprehended that Nobbs, by his superior talent or cunning, will force himself upon them into that situation. Captain Waldegrave thinks, however, that Edward Quintal, who possesses the best understanding of any on the island, will in time arrive at that honour; his only book is the Bible, but it is quite astonishing, he observes, what a fund of knowledge he has derived from it. His wife, too, is stated to be a woman of excellent understanding; and their eldest boy, William, has been so carefully educated, that he excels greatly all the others. The descendants of Young
are also said to be persons generally of promising abilities.
How the patriarch Adams contrived to instil into the minds of these people the true principles of religion and morality is quite surprising. He was able to read, but only learned to write in his latter days; and having accomplished this point, he made a scheme of laws by which he succeeded to govern his little community in the way we have seen. The celebration of marriage and baptism were strictly observed according to the rites of the Church of England, but he never ventured on confirmation and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. He taught the children the church catechism, the ten commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the creed, and he satisfied himself that in these were comprised all the Christian duties. By the instrumentality of these precepts, drawn from the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible,* he was enabled, after the slaughter of all his associates, to rear up all the children in the principles and precepts of Christianity, in purity of morals, and in a simplicity of manners that have surprised and delighted every stranger that has visited the island.
The whole island, it seems, was partitioned out by Adams among the families of the original settlers, so that a foreigner cannot obtain any, except by
* Well may Adams have sought for rules for his little society in a book which contains the foundation of the civil and religious policy of two-thirds of the human race,-in that wonderful book, into whose inspired pages the afflicted never seek for consolation in vain. Millions of examples attest this truth. "There is no incident in Robinson Crusoe," observes a writer in a critical journal, "told in language more natural and affecting than Robert Knox's accidental discovery of a Bible in the midst of the Candian dominions of Ceylon. His previous despondency from the death of his father, his only friend and companion, whose grave he had but just dug with his own hands, being now,' as he says, 'left desolate, sick, and in captivity,'-his agitation, joy, and even terror on meeting with a book he had for such a length of time not seen, nor hoped to see-his anxiety lest he should fail to procure it-and the comfort, when procured, which it afforded him in his affliction-all are told in such a strain of true piety and genuine simplicity as cannot fail to interest and affect every reader of sensibility."
purchase or marriage. Captain Waldegrave reckons, that eleven-twelfths are uncultivated, and that population is increasing so rapidly, that in the course of a century the island will be fully peopled, and that the limit may be taken at one thousand souls.
The rate at which population is likely to increase may, perhaps, be determined by political economists from the following data.
In 1790 the island was first settled by fifteen men and twelve women, making a total of twenty-seven. Of these were remaining in 1800 one man and five women with nineteen children, the eldest nine years of age, making in the whole twenty-five. In 1808 Mr. Folger makes the population amount to thirtyfive, being an increase of ten in eight years. In 1814, six years afterward, Sir Thomas Staines states the adult population at forty, which must be a mistake, as fourteen years before, nineteen of the twenty-five then existing were children. In 1825 Captain Beechey states the whole population at sixty-six; of whom thirty-six were males and thirty females. And in 1830 Captain Waldegrave makes it amount to seventy-nine; being an increase of thirteen in five years, or twenty per cent., which is a less rapid increase than might be expected; but there can be little doubt it will go on with an accelerated ratio, provided the means of subsistence should not fail them.
Captain Waldegrave's assumption that this island is sufficiently large for the maintenance of one thousand souls is grounded on incorrect data; it does not follow, that because one-twelfth of the island will maintain eighty persons, the whole must support nine hundred and sixty persons. The island is not more than four square miles, or two thousand five hundred and sixty acres; and as a ridge of rocky hills runs from north to south, having two peaks exceeding one thousand feet in height, it is more than
probable that not one-half of it is capable of cultivation. It would seem, indeed, from several ancient morais being discovered among these hills; some stone axes or hatchets of compact basaltic lava, very hard and capable of a fine polish; four stone images about six feet high placed on a platform not unlike those on Easter Island, one of which has been preserved, and is the rude representation of the human figure to the hips, hewn out of a piece of red lava-these remains would seem to indicate a former population, that had found it expedient to abandon the island from its insufficiency to support it. Captain Beechey observes, that "from these images, and the large piles of stones on heights to which they must have been dragged with great labour, it may be concluded that the island was inhabited for a considerable time; and from bones being found, always buried under these piles, and never upon the surface, we may presume that those who survived quitted the island in their canoes to seek an asylum elsewhere."
It appears from Beechey, that Adams had contemplated the prospect of an increasing population with the limited means of supporting it, and requested that he would communicate with the British government upon the subject, which he says he did; and that through the interference of the Admiralty and Colonial Office means have been taken for removing them to any place they may choose for themselves. It is to be hoped, however, that no such interference will take place; for half a century, at least, there is no danger of any want of food. The attempt, however, was made through the means of a gentleman of Otaheite, who, being on a visit to this country, was authorized on his return to make arrangements for their removal to Otaheite, if they wished it, and if Pomarré, the king of the island, should not object to receive them; and he carried a letter to this chief from Lord Bathurst, acquainting