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(specially written for THE HERALD.)

No. lI.TONGA (Continued).

Returning to town about four in the afternoon, we met tho native children on thoir way home from "school, with their slates in their hands, and manifesting all tho

ebullient spirits and gay

Anglo-Saxon children nnder similar circumstances.

The Rev. Mr. Watkin was waiting to introduce mo to tho King, and 03 I saw him in tho distance, I could not help expressing surprise that under such a broiling sun ho should be wearing tho heavy sable habilimonts which proclaim tho sacerdotal profession. My companion explained that his father ordinarily wore lighter garments, but that tho King was punctilious in expecting clergymen to don their distinctive garb when seeking audicnco of him.

INTERVIEW WITH KING GEORGE. His Majesty was found seated cross-legged upon his balcony, closely poring without spectacles o\er a letter, as wo approached the regal precincts. The chaplain announced my arrival and rank as Special Correspondent of the Nkw Zealand Herald, whereupon the King rose, shook hands, and desired us to enter his reception room. He followed us thither by another way, and drew his chair protty close, as he is now hard of hearing. The room was neatly furnished in the European style, and hung round with portraits. But tho chief object of interest was tho King himself. Although upwards of 90 years of age, he is a splendid specimen of venorable manhood. As his only apparel was a light shirt open at the nock, and a roll of crimson cloth wound in native fashion round the loins and descending below the knees, I had a capital opportunity of noticing his physique. None of tho portraits I have seen do him justice. The following portrait by Mr. Davis, of Apia, is about the best, though taken some years ago :

He is of commanding figure still, fully six feet high, broad and athletic in proportion ; and his face, unseamed with lines, is grave yet amiable in expression, ami informed with intelligence. One recognises in him at a glance a born ruler of his people. There is about his manner and deportment an unostentatious dignity which suggests his high descent. The older chiefs of Tonga all share it to a greater or lesser extent, but the younger generation of chiefs suffer by comparison in this and other respects. In the course of a rather desultory conversation I expressed gratification at finding in Tonga a degree of civilisation and an appearance of abiding content and perfect order far exceeding my anticipations. The King replied that, of course, everything had to be done by degrees, and that even the Creator himself had not made the world all at once, but by successive stages. He was pleased to hear that the people of New Zealand in general and of Auckland in particular took a great interest in himself and his kingdom, but he made special enquiry as to the progress of events in Samoa. Some writers have not hesitated to express the opinion that the King was little better than an imbecile, but I perceived nothing whatever to warrant such an assumption. On the contrary, his bodily strength seemed to have its counterpart in mental vigour. Later in the afternoon, I had occasion to pass through the palace grounds, and as I did so I saw the old King on the rocks below, stripped for his evening bath in the open sea.

That evening I dinod with Mr. Campbell, and met at his hospitable board Mr. Lister, naturalise of 11.M.5. Egeriu, who had been sojourning at Tonga for several weeks in pursuit of his scientific researches, and intended to stay some time longer. He had made a satisfactory collection of ornithological and botanical specimens, and found ample occupation for all his spare time. THE GOVERNMENT BAND. After dinner we strolled out to the kiosk or pavilion, wherein the Government band was engaged in practice under the able conductorship of its bandmaster, Mr. A. C. Wilson, formerly of Christchurch. By the way, Tonga boasts of two brass bands, one known as the Catholic band, and the other the Government band, which owes its formation to the initiative of the late Crown Prince, Wellington, himself a clever amateur musician. The bandsmen were all stout - limbed, intolligrent-looking young men, dressed in approved native fashion, with shirt and loin cloth, and they kept most excellent time. A few native women and childron sat at the open doorway, and seemed greatly pleased with the music. THE TONGAN PEOPLE. And now it is high time that I said something deSnite about the people themselves —more especially as hitherto I have only made incidental reference to them. On such a theme there is no fear of one being censorious; the tendency is quite in the

other direction. I should rank the Tongans among the elite of the Malay races who people the South Pacific. Their features are regular in outline, distinctively amiable in expression, and intelligent withal; their figures are athletic, their persons clean, and their dress is both appropriate and becoming. All —men and women alike—wear the loin cloth swathed over hips and legs, bub the women differ from the men in wearing bodices instead of shirts. The unmarried women plait their hair, and all regularly apply limo to it for the purpose of destroying insect life — the effect of the lime being to impart to it a tawny colour. Both body and hair are anointed with cocoanut oil scented with sandal wood. Their erect carriage and independent gait—and especially the unconscious grace of the young women—remind one of Fenimore Cooper's Red Indian heroes and heroines.

The Tongans have always been a superior raco. When Captain Cook visitod them they had their roads and villages, abhorred cannibalism, were peaceful in disposition, polite in demeanour, clean in their habits, moral in their relations, and wero sticklers for etiquette in their ceremonies and for the preservation of caste distinctions. Mariner, who resided four years with them at the beginning of this century, gives them the same character. But contact with Europeans has nob improved their morality. It is now one of their amiable weaknesses. Let those who decry the present form of government, and ridicule or condemn the labours of Mr. Baker and his coadjutors reflect for a moment upon the probable consequences of its overthrow. Tonga would become the Alsatia of the Pacific. Look at its present condition. Squalor and drunkenness are non-existent, crime is rare and almost exclusively confined to potty lai conies and breaches of the moral code which elsewhere would go unpunished; ducabion

is so general that everyone can read and write, and the comforts and necessaries of life are so evenly distributed that no one lacks aught. Nearly every youth has his horse, few households 'are without a cart as well, and every woman seems to own a sewing-machine. Houses are easily constructed ; the material is abundant and costs nothing; land may be leased at a nominal rental, and the soil is so jonorons that it scarcely requires to be tickled with a hoe to laugh with a harvest. Not even the incorrigibly lazy can starve ; for the cocoanufc and other fruits may always be plucked at will, and every man's house is ever open to the visitor—European or native —who may enter unasked and share what is going. They cannot understand why Europeans are not similarly communistic, and attribute it to selfishness on thoir part. Of course, this state of things tends to encourage indolence, and it explains why the cotton industry fails in Tonga. Native labour costs too much to leave any margin of profit. In Nukualofa the bulk of the labour about the wharves and in European households is done by the prisoners. But they are the freest and jolliest and most inoffensive convicts in the world. They have no warders to stand sentry over them, and no prison walls to enclose them, but knock off work each evening to go home and return of their own accord the following morning. There is nothing to distinguish thorn from the ordinary population, nor even from the policemon who look after tho peace and security of the community. Within the last decade there have been but two murders in the kingdom of Tonga—one in 1879, when an irate husband'avenged tho dishonour of his wife upon the body of her paramour ; the other at tho end of last year, when a young man, in a fit of jealousy, murdered his mistress on tho night of her marriage with his rival. It appears that after the wedding guests had departed, the young bride camo out of tho house for some purpose, and tho jealous lover rising unseen from his ambush clove in her skull with a piece of Australian bluogum. He was hanged early this year, being pulled np with pulley and tackle to tho limb of a tree in the presence of several hundred people. His grave had been dug beforehand at tho place of execution, and the last request of the doomed man was characteristic. Ho desired it to bo lengthened a little, as he did nob think it was long enough to accommodate him. Tho penal code, however, is too stringent and inquisitorial ; and a good deal of tho legislation is in tho spirit of tho sumptuary laws of bygone times in England. The means adopted for checking immorality are calculated to have the very opposite effect. If an unmarried pair are caught in flagrante, delicto, or if the cares of maternity are assumed without the sanction of tho church, both parties are summoned before tho Police Court and amerced in substantial fines with the option of hard labour, which is almost invariably the alternative that is accepted. Of course this exposure and publication of the shame of tho man and tho woman tend to deprive them of any modesty they possessed, and to render them more careless of their conduct in future. It also familiarises the public with these moral lachci, and causes them to be regarded with an indulgent eye. The prisoners become eligible for hire at one shilling a-day until their term is worked out, and they make faithful servants, while the public revenue is augmented by thoir earnings. _ One woman in the Rev. Mr. Watkin's service is working out 21 years for arson, and Mr. Campbell has a servant worth his weight in gold, on whose behalf he successfully interceded with the King. MODE OF GOVERNMENT. The Government is nominally a limited monarchy, but it is practically a despotism of the most absolute kind, in whose administration the permanent Premier (Rev. Shirley W. Baker) exorcises tho real power. The statutes sot out with the formula, " Bo it enacted by the King, with the advice and consent of the Privy Council of Tonga, in the Council of the Kingdom assembled." Tho Cabinet consists of the Rev. S. W. Baker, who holds the portfolios of Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Lands, and Auditor-General; Mr. Satoki, Acting Premier during Mr. Baker's absence 7 Mr. Tnatoka, Minister of Police ; Mr. Lisiate, Minister of Education ; and Mr. Jtmai, Treasurer. In Mr. Baker's hands rests the appointment of mayors of villages throughout group, the regulation of quarantine, tho appointment of pilous and harbourmasters, and tho iippointmonb of returning officer, tax collectors, and other officials. Five Tongan youths, trained in Pitman's system of phonography, aro attached to the Ministers as private secretaries, and one of them darin" my visit was absent in Auckland with Mr. Baker. Tho Legislative Assembly is the Council of Nobles which meets triennially in November, and votes supplies. It consists, of the noblos (nominated by the King), an equal number of representatives chosen by ballot by tho people, together with the members of tho Cabinet (nominated by the King), and the four governors of districts (also nominated by the King, who in concert with his Cabinet likewise appoints the Supreme Court Judges). Tho Crown Prince is, by virtue of birth, Governor of Vavau, and the present Crown Princo is Nelson, grandson of tho King. Under the Governors are the chiefs, and beneath them again the mayors of towns and villages. Tho Tongans are fond of legislation, and at their present rate of law-making they promiso soon to have quite a bulky volume of statutes and ordinances. One of the most recent enactments is that which authorises the introduction and use among the Tongans of tho letter P ! There is a State system of education, freo and compulsory in its operation and sectarian in character, and there is also a National College, efficiently conducted by Mr. Roberts, where those who aro admitted may carry on their studies still furthor with the object of winning positions in tho Civil Service either as school toachors or Government clerks. DEFENCE. One of the last sights I saw nt Nukualofa, prior to leaving for Apia, was the morning parade of the battery of Artillery under the personal direction of the commandant, Mr. Campbell. This force, which consists of 30 rank and file, has only boon in existence four months, and it takes tho place of the King's Guards, now disbanded. It consists of youths of an oven atafcnro from the College, and the manner in which they went through their drill—comprising marching and wheeling to the beat of the kettle-drum, bayonet oxercise, skirmishing drill, and rallying squares—would nob have discredited tho "A" Battery itself. They aro armed with Snider carbines and bayonets obtained from Wellington, and their undress uniform consists of turbans of white cloth with red bands for the officors, white singlets and crimson loin-cloth with white waist belts, producing altogether a verypicturesque For full-dress they don scarlet coats in ado up in tho orthodox fashion by tho native girls. Mr. Campbell had arranged to hold an Easter encampment, putting his men under canvas about a milo from the town, from Thursday to Tuesday. I learnt on my return that ib had passed off vory successfully. The guns which the battery mans are only one and three-pounders of brass ; while, as for small arms the men have never yet had any ball cartridges served out to the-m, and consequently have done no shooting practice.

CRICKET. The only acclimatised Anglo-Saxon outdoor sport is cricket, in which the Tongan youth appear to be most proficient. Indeed, such rodoubtablo cricketers do they prove—such terrible sloggcrs as batsmen, so expert in fielding, and so accurate in bowling thab they defeated with ridiculous ease \ team from an English man-of-war— the Diamond, if I remember arightand then when a team from two or three English ; war-ships sought to wipe out the reverso put them through almost in a single innings. By the way, Mr. Baker contemplates sending a Tongan cricket toam to Now Zealand during two currency of the Dunedin Exhibition, and a wellknown knight of the willow in Auckland has been invited down to Nukualofa to conduct a course of preliminary training. TRADE AND COMMERCE. I have reserved to the last the important subject of trade and commerce, for whioh the statistics carefully compiled half-yearly by Mr. Campbell, and published by authority, afford abundant data. In placing some of these figures in juxtaposition, for the sake of comparison, with those for 1883 to be found in the admirable report written by Mr. J. L. Kelly (delegate of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce) in 18S5, a few words of

explanation are necessary to account for the serious decline of imports and exports that appears on the surface. In the first place, 18S3 was a year of phenomenal bounty for copra; in the second place, the price was then £12 per ton, whereas it is now only £7. Again, at the time that report was written there was no Customs Department in existence, and I am told that tho figures are misleading, for this reason : A vessel would clear out say from Nukualofa with 200 tons of copra; she would then probably enter at Haapai, and after taking on board 100 more tons there, would clear out with 300; finally, she would tako in 150 tons additional at Yavau, and clear oub tlienco with 450 tons. But when tho returns came to bo oompiled thoso clearances would be added together and an export would be arrived at of 950 tons, where in reality there had only been 450 sent away. All this has been altered under tho now regime. Taking, then, Mr. Kelly's figures, after omitting " coin," and contrasting them with tho official statistics for 1887 aud 1888, wo arrive at tho following results : — IMPORTS. From 1883 ISB7 ISBB England and Colonies £00,000 £24,700 £36,956 Germany 10,000 38 184 Anierioa 15,000 — 2,750 Other countries ... 5,000 25,177 10,264 Tho very largo increase between 1883 and 1887 in this last lino furnishes the key to the apparent decline to the vanishing point of imports from Germany ; for, of tho imports from other countries, Samoa heads tho list in 1887 with £24,505 worth (of whioh £16, represented produce for exportation), and in 1888, with £.8750 worth. Samoa is tho headquarters both of the German Trading and Planting Company, and of the lafco firm of Huge and Co., and their Tongan branches havo been supplied chiefly from Apia. A juster idea of the relative bulk and scope of the commercial operation of various nations in Tonga will be gained from tho following classification of the imports for 1887 and 1888 :— Nationality of importers. ISS7. 18SS. British ... £18,9811 ... £20,121 German '27,943 ... 17,313 Tongan ... ... ... '2,183 ... 5,819 French 373 ... 295 Russian nil ... 343 United States 72 ... 34 Chinese ... . 3 ... 1$ Other nationalities ... 340 ... 250

*£49.914 £50,1804 *The discrepancy between these totals and the actual addition is caused by the omission of shillings and pence. It is also worthy of note that the total for 18S7 includes £18,198 worth of produce imported for rc-oxportation, while that for 18SS snows only £1419 worth. In both the Friendly and Navigator Groups of Islands the German interests and operations have been largest, while British operations, represented principally by the firm of McArthur and Co., have coma next. Last year, however, in Tonga tho British imports, by a leap in advance, exceed tho German imports, which exhibit an almost exactly corresponding decline. At Tonga, too, thanks to tho enterprise of Messrs. Donald and Edenborough, Auckland is rapidly ousting Sydney from the import trade, and if Auckland manufacturers will only supply these islands with first-class articles they may easily monopolise tho trado. Unfortunately some of their goods are not first-class, thus begetting bho suspicion that there is an inclination to keep the. best for tho homo market and to ship away inferior stuff. If it be so, and the practico be not amended, Auckland will assuredly bo beaten in the race, despite her advantages of position. Five years ago, when Messrs. Donald and Edenborough placed a steamer on the Island trade almost everything was imported from Sydney, and tho Auckland imports wore exclusively confined to what Messrs. McArthur and Co. choso to bring thence in their sailing vessels for their own use. In tho supply of " general merchandise," the position of things for tho last two years has been as follows :—

From 1887. 18SS. Auckland £13, ... £22,445 'Samoa £7.538 ... £5,750 \Sydnoy £G,523 ... £8,379 •Fiji £1,700 ... £2,093 London £1.332 ... £3.087 Melbourne ... £205 ... £181 San Francisco ... nil. ... £2,7/50 Grey mouth ... nil. ... £51/7 Lytteltou £113 ... £80 Adelaide £138 ... £61 German/ £.'W, ... £134 Other places ... £069 ... £1,513 * In addition to merchandise, there was exported to Tonga in lfiS7 £18,937 worth of produce from Samoa for re-exportation, £510 worth from Fiji, anil £200 worth from Sydney. Thoro were none of these exports, however, last yea*. EXPORTS. Turning to exports wo recognise at a glance the magnitude of Gorman operations, but also j>ercoive with satisfaction tho far more rapid development of British trade. Wo append tho tabulated results for 18S7 and 1888 :— Nationality of Exporters. ISB7. ISSS. German £10,0(31 ... £35, 1 British £9350 ... £32.398 Tr-nqjan £520 ... £731 , United States ... £113 ... nil Chinese £0 ... £94 j Other nationalities £33 ... £47 I These exports comprehend manufactures of other countries, and produce imported from elsewhere in order to bo exported again. The bulk of tho exports go to Lisbon for 1 orders, and thence they radiate bo England, and other parts of tho continent. In 1837 £39,948 worth of goods were exported to Lisbon, and in 188S £17,115 worth, and Samoa was Lisbon's nearest rival, £2545 worth of goods baring been ssont there in ISB7 and £2810 worth in 18SS. Auckland was favoured to the extent of £1321 worth of exports in 1887 and £2098 worth in 1888. Sydney received £2121. worth in 1887 and £733 worth in 1838. Tlx; chief articles of export produced in Tonga itsolf are :— 1387. ' 1883. Quantity. Value. Quantity. Value. Copra .. 2M»i ton's £23,558 Cl3o} tons £01,580 Wool .. 50,000 lbs 700 23,220 lbs 1,000 fjrnm, ( " 95 CM 1 fl.SlScascS fr?,- -{ 8,101 bunch's V GSO-{ U.,Srtl buiic's V 1,200 i. 403,000 or' Res J 150,000 or'gos J Kara .. 39,140 030 3.5,253 lbs 1293 The total is £31,439 for 1857 and £66,473 for 1888, or an increase of more than 100 per' cent. SHIPPING STATISTICS. Turning next to the shipping statistics for tho ports of Nukualofa and Neiatu, we find the following results : — Nationality. No. Vessels. Tonnage. f 1883 23 3,312 British { 1887 37 8,194 I 1888 53 12,750 f 1883 17 4,161 German { 1887 31 19,463 I 1888 27 16,754 f 1883 ' — — Tongan -{ 1887 2 89 L 1888 — — f 1883 2 720 All others-! 1887 1 513 I 1888 8 3,900 ■During 1887, 8 steamers and 6 sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 4989 tons, entered from and cleared for Auckland", and in 1888 the numbers were 8 steamers and 8 sailing vessels of a total tonnage of 5183. FOREIGN POPULATION. Amongst tho foreign population of the Tongan Group the 'British preponderate largely, tho complete census returns being as follow :—• Nationality. Nukualofa. Haapal. Varan. Total British ... 68 30 35 139 German ... 24 20 21 0,5 French ... 13 — 3 10 United States... 8 1 5 14 Chinese ... 3 — — 3 Swedish ... — 1 — 1 Russian ... — — 1 1 Danish ... — — 1 1 Total 110 58 03 240 CURRENCY AND BANKING, ETC. The coinage of England, America, and Germany (tho three Treaty Powers) is now tho recognised cnrroncy of Tonga, bufc of course that of England very considerably predominates. There is still somo Chilian 001:1 in oiroulation, bub it is rapidly being driven out of the country—so rapidly, indeed, that by the end of tho year it is expected none will be left. It is chiefly exported to Sydney. At Tonga, English money oommands a premium of 33 per cent, over Chilian coin, at Samoa 30 per cent, and at Tahiti 18 per cent., so that the tourist will do well to lay in at Tonga a stock of Chilian, or rather South American, coin, for it embraces that of Peru, Bolivia,' and Guatemala, and get rid of it at Tahiti! The great drawback at Tonga, and also at Samoa, is the want of proper facilities for

banking, far when money has to be sent away one haw. either to forward the cash or procure a draft, which is not always obtainable. , J.M.G. [To bo continued.]

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Bibliographic details

"SUMMER ISLES OF EDEN", New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVI, Issue 9377, 29 May 1889

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"SUMMER ISLES OF EDEN" New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVI, Issue 9377, 29 May 1889

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