If you get into conversation with a stranger in Honolulu, and
experience that natural desire to know what sort of ground you
are treading on by finding out what manner of man your stranger
is, strike out boldly and address him as "Captain." Watch him
narrowly, and if you see by his countenance that you are on the
wrong track, ask him where he preaches. It is a safe bet that he
is either a missionary or captain of a whaler. I became
personally acquainted with seventy-two captains and ninety-six
missionaries. The captains and ministers form one half of the
population; the third fourth is composed of common Kanakas and
mercantile foreigners and their families; and the final fourth is
made up of high officers of the Hawaiian government. And there
are just about cats enough for three apiece all around.
A solemn stranger met me in the suburbs one day, and said:
"Good morning, your reverence. Preach in the stone church yonder,
"No, I don't. I'm not a preacher."
"Really, I beg your pardon, captain. I trust you had a good
season. How much oil"
"Oil! Why, what do you take me for? I'm not a whaler."
"Oh! I beg a thousand pardons, your Excellency. Major-General in
the household troops, no doubt? Minister of the Interior, likely?
Secretary of War? First Gentleman of the Bed-chamber?
Commissioner of the Royal"
"Stuff! man. I'm no official. I'm not connected in any way with
"Bless my life! Then who the mischief are you? what the mischief
are you ~ and how the mischief did you get here? and where in
thunder did you come from?"
"I'm only a private personage an unassuming stranger lately
arrived from America."
"No! Not a missionary! not a whaler! not a member of his
Majesty's government! not even Secretary of the Navy! Ah! heaven! it is too blissful to be true; alas! I do but dream. And yet that noble, honest countenance those oblique, ingenuous eyes that massive head, incapable of of any thing; your hand; give me your hand, bright waif. Excuse these tears. For sixteen weary years I have yearned for a moment like this, and"
Here his feelings were too much for him, and he swooned away. I
pitied this poor creature from the bottom of my heart. I was
deeply moved. I shed a few tears on him, and kissed him for his
mother. I then took what small change he had, and "shoved."