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Samoa Under the Sailing Gods



Early on Monday morning a present of pigs, bread-fruit, and other food was brought to the visitors, and at ten o'clock a messenger came to request their attendance at a meeting convened in the large public building. On their arrival they found it completely filled within, and surrounded by a crowd who could not gain admission. A vacant space was preserved in the centre for Makea and Williams. Malietoa was seated opposite to them, at a distance of several yards. After exchanging salutations Williams told him that he had come according to promise, and was exceedingly delighted to find that Malietoa had fulfilled all his engagements, and had, with so many of his people, embraced Christianity. To this the old chieftain made a long and sensible reply, after which Makea "entertained and de-page 40lighted" the people with an account of the introduction and effects of Christianity at Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands.

Makea's address is said to have produced a most powerful impression. His appearance convinced everyone that he was a great chief; and his colour, that he was one of their own people; and, in their estimation, he was more splendidly attired than any European they had ever seen, since he wore his red surtout which Mrs. Buzacott had kindly made and presented to him, "which they attributed to his having become a worshipper of Jehovah." In reply, Malietoa stated his full conviction of the advantage which would grow out of the good word. "We," he said, "should never have known each other but for that word." He then declared his strong attachment to Christianity, and his determination to hold it with a firm grasp, as Makea had exhorted him.