I love her. And I wish that she had gone ashore! Could I have had her into the very tempestuous season, I should have found in her great beauty, and her simple hospitality, a greater enjoyment than is to be found in the pleasures of cities and the various exhibitions of wealth and dress.
But 'tis all hopeless. A poor, disabled, battered-looking, old shipping is very useless. Her real mission is gone. She will never enter another port but this: and then she will never come out again: for you see her people are utterly dead, and have been so for some time; and their haunt, too, where one or two of them still linger, lies in the very jaws of the large shark which is wont to live up the rivers here. Letting the poor old ship alone is no reparation for the crime of landing on this island where all was so happy; yet there are some few spots, I declare, which could not be improved. That hill, there, with its shady groves and flowers, is quite a paradise. Alas! I forgot that even in paradise the snake walks. Besides, this is no spot for fowl, nor game, nor for bathing: it never rains here, and yet the sea is too rough for you to go far on the reef, nor too calm for you to bathe. It would be indeed a delightful place were dear old Sirius dead, and the Polynesian nation were left here in sober earnest: but who would bid me farewell, if I were to separate from so many, and this the most attractive of them all? We have been so happy, and our intercourse has been so daily: even to-day, but yesterday we were islanders, and new friends; and to-morrow we shall all be divided, and most affrighted and dismayed when the sun goes down.Alas! alas! indeed it is ended. d2c66b5586