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or four persons who constantly attended them were all civility and good humour; among these was an individual of the name of Mádera, whose character is drawn with great ability, and excites a very considerable degree of interest.
'Two of the natives have been studying English with great assiduity, and with considerable success. One is called Mádera, the other Anya. They carry note books in imitation of Mr. Clifford, in which they record in their own characters every word they learn. They are both keen fellows, and are always amongst the strangers. From the respect occasionally paid to them, it is suspected that their rank is higher than they give out, and that their object in pretending to be people of ordinary rank is to obtain a more free intercourse with all classes on board the ships. Mádera, by his liveliness and propriety of manners, has made himself a great favourite; he adopts our customs with a sort of intuitive readiness, sits down to table, uses a knife and fork, converses, and walks with us; in short, does every thing that we do, quite as a matter of course, without any apparent effort or study. He is further recommended to us by the free way in which he communicates every thing relating to his country; so that as he advances in English, and we in Loo-choo, he may be the means of giving us much information. As an instance of his progress in English, it may be mentioned, that one day he came on board the Lyra, and said, "The Ta-yin speak me, 'you go ship, John come shore;" by which we understood that Captain Maxwell had sent him on board the brig for the interpreter. This was about three weeks after our arrival.'-pp. 132–133.
There is something so fascinating in the conduct of this extraordinary man, that we cannot resist the temptation of entering more largely into it.
Mádera has made great improvement in English, and his character is altogether more developed. He is quite at his ease in our company, and seems to take the most extraordinary. interest in every thing belonging to us; but his ardent desire to inform himself on all subjects sometimes distresses him a good deal; he observes the facility with which we do some things, and his enterprizing mind suggests to him the possibility of his imitating us; but when he is made sensible of the number of steps by which alone the knowledge he admires is to be attained, his despair is strongly marked. He sometimes asks us to read English aloud to him, to which he always listens with the deepest attention. One day, on shore, he saw me with a book in my hand: he begged me to sit down under a tree and read: Jeeroo was the only chief present, but there were several of the peasants in attendance upon him; they all lay down on the grass, and listened with an attention and interest which are natural enough: every one expressed himself pleased and satisfied except Mádera, whose anxiety was to read in the same manner himself. From the earnest way in which he inquired into every subject, we were sometimes inclined to think that he must have been directed by the government to inform himself on these topics; and certainly a fitter person could not have been selected; for he adapted
himself so readily to all ranks, that he became at once a favourite, and every person took pleasure in obliging him.
Jeeroo is esteemed in another way; he is uniformly good humoured and obliging, and not without curiosity; but he is not clever, and has none of the fire and enthusiasm of Mádera. We all think kindly of Jeeroo, and shake him cordially by the hand when we meet him; but Mádera is admired and respected, as well as esteemed, and his society is courted for his own sake.
Mádera is about twenty-eight years of age, of a slender figure, and very active; his upper teeth project in front over the lower ones, giving his face a remarkable, but not a disagreeable expression. He is always cheerful, and often lively and playful, but his good sense prevents his ever going beyond the line of strict propriety. When required by etiquette to be grave, no one is so immoveably serious as Mádera, and when mirth rules the hour, he is the gayest of the gay: such indeed is his taste on these occasions, that he not only catches the outward tone of his company, but really appears to think and feel as they do. His enterprizing spirit and versatility of talent have led him to engage in a number of pursuits; his success, however, is the most remarkable in his acquisition of English. About a month after our arrival, he was asked what had become of his companion Anya; he replied, " Anya, him mother sick, he go him mother house;" and when asked if he would return, he said, "Two, three day time, him mother no sick, he come ship." With all these endowments and attainments he is unaffectedly modest, and never seems aware of his being superior to the rest of his countrymen. We were a long time in doubt what was his real rank; for at first he kept himself back, so that he was well known to the midshipmen, before the officers were at all acquainted with him: he gradually came forward, and though he always wore the dress of the ordinary respectable natives, his manners evidently belonged to a higher rank, but he never associated with the chiefs, and disclaimed having any pretensions to an equality with them. Notwithstanding all this, there were occasional circumstances, which, by shewing his authority, almost betrayed his se cret. One morning a difficulty arose about some supplies which the chiefs had engaged to procure, but which they had neglected to send : as soon as Mádera was told of the circumstance, he went to Captain Maxwell, and undertook to arrange it to his satisfaction, at the same time begging that if any difficulty occurred in future, he might be applied to. Whatever may be Madera's rank in his own society, it is highly curious to discover in a country so circumstanced, the same politeness, self-denial, and gracefulness of behaviour which the experience of civilized nations has pointed out as constituting the most pleasing and advantageous form of intercourse.
The great interest which Mádera took in the English, and the cu riosity he always expressed about our customs at home, suggested the idea of taking him with us to England, where he would have been an interesting specimen of a people so little known; and he also might have carried back knowledge of the greatest use to his country. When it was proposed to him, he paused for some minutes, and then, shaking
his head, said, "I go Injeree,-father, mother, childs, wife, house, all cry! not go; no, no, all cry!"'-p. 156—159.
A few days before they sailed, the prince of Loo-choo, heir to the throne, paid a visit to the Alceste, and invited the officers to an entertainment on shore. He was about fifty years old, his beard full and white, and his figure well proportioned. He was a man of plain, unaffected manners, and though there was nothing striking about him, it was thought that in making inquiries into different things on board, he shewed more discrimination than most of those who had preceded him.
Nothing, however, that occurred to-day, attracted more notice than Mádera's assumption of his long concealed rank. He came for the first time dressed in the robes and hatchee-matchee of a chief, and not only took precedence of all our old friends, but during the discussion in the cabin with the Prince, maintained a decided superiority over them all. While all the rest were embarrassed in the Prince's presence, and crouching on their knees every time they spoke, Madera, though always respectful, was quite at his ease; and we could not help fancying that he addressed the Prince as if accustomed to his society. It was no less remarkable, that the Prince referred much oftener to him than to any of the rest, and listened to what he said with greater attention. Whether Mádera owed such distinction to his actual rank, which may have placed him about the court, or to the ascendancy of his talents, or to the accidental circumstance of his having had better opportunities of knowing us than any other of the natives, we could never discover. He admitted, when interrogated, that he had often seen the Prince before, while the other chiefs confessed their ignorance even of his person, before to-day.
'As soon as the Prince was placed in his chair and carried away, Mádera came on board, and entered with great good humour into all the jokes which were made upon his new character. He declined telling why he had kept his rank so long out of sight, but it was sufficiently obvious that his main object was to establish an intimacy with all the different classes on board the ships, and in this he completely succeeded; for he had gradually advanced in his acquaintance, first with the sailors, then the midshipmen, next with the officers, and last of all with the captains. By this means he gained the confidence and good will of each class as he went along; and by rising in consequence every day, instead of putting forward all his claims at once, acquired not only substantial importance with us, but gained a much more intimate knowledge of our character and customs than he could have hoped to do in any other way.'-p. 184, 185.
The time was now fast approaching for their departure; and never was regret more sincerely felt on both sides at taking leave of each other. The poor fellows who had been appointed to attend on the strangers, and who had taken so lively an interest in all that coucerned them, were overwhelmed with grief on perceiving the prepa
rations making for quitting the island; the wonted hilarity of the lower orders was quite gone,' and even children were affected. A little sextant had been given to the Prince, who put it into the hands of Madera that he might learn the use of it. "A more hopeless enterprize,' says Captain Hall, 'could not have been proposea to any man' but as Mádera was a man not to be thrown into de spair by difficulties, he persevered in making his observations, and in a few hours was perfectly master of the mere practical operation of taking angles and altitudes. This extraordinary character hurried on board the Alceste the day before their departure, when every thing had been embarked.
'While we were at dinner, Mádera came into the Alceste's cabin for the purpose of asking some questions about the sextant. He had not been aware of our being at dinner, and looked shocked at having intruded; and when invited to sit down, politely, but firmly declined. From the cabin he went to the gun room, to see his friend Mr. Hoppner, the junior lieutenant of the Alceste, with whom he had formed a great friendship. Mr. Hoppner gave him a picture of the Alceste, and some other presents; upon which Mádera, who was much affected, said, "To-morrow ship go sea; I go my father house, two day' distance: when I see my father, I show him your present, and I tell him, me, Henry Hoppner, all same (as) brother," and burst into tears.'-p. 199.
We scarcely remember a more affecting scene than that which took place on bidding a last farewell to this highly interesting and amiable people.
Sunday, 27th of October.-At day-break we unmoored, and the natives, on seeing us take up one of our anchors, thought we were going to get under weigh immediately, and give them the slip, which was not at all intended. This alarm, however, brought the chiefs off in a great hurry; not in a body in their usual formal way, but one by one, in separate canoes. Old Jeema called on board the Lyra on his way to the frigate; he was a good deal agitated, and the tears came into his when I put a ring on his finger. He gave me in return his knife.
'The other chiefs called alongside on their way to the frigate, but went on when I told them that I was just going to the Alceste myself. In the mean time Mádera came on board, with the sextant in his hand; he was in such distress that he scarcely knew what he was about. In this distracted state he sat down to breakfast with us, during which he continued lighting his pipe and smoking as fast as he could; drinking and eating whatever was placed before him. After he had a little recovered himself, he asked what books it would be necessary to read to enable him to make use of the sextant; I gave him a nautical almanack, and told him that he must understand that in the first instance: he opened it, and looking at the figures, held up his hands in despair, and was at last forced to confess that it was a hopeless business. He therefore put the sextant up and bade us farewell. Before he left the Lyra he gave Mr. Clifford his pipe, tobacco pouch, and a crystal orna
ment; saying, as he held out the last, "You go Ingeree, you give this to your childs."
Mr. Clifford gave him a few presents in return, and expressed his anxiety to be considered his friend. Mádera, with the tears streaming down his cheeks, placed his hand several times upon his heart, and cried, "Eedooshee, edooshee!" My friend, my friend!
To me he gave a fan and a picture of an old man looking up at the sun, drawn, he said, by himself: he probably meant in his picture some allusion to my usual occupation at the observatory. After he had put off in his boat, he called out, "Ingeree noo choo sibittee yootoosha," I shall ever remember the English people. When he went to the Alceste,' one of the chiefs remarked that he had neither his hatchee-matchee on nor his robes, and told him that it was not respectful to wait upon Captain Maxwell for the last time, in his ordinary dress; particularly as all the others were in full array. Mádera, who, poor fellow, had been too much concerned about other matters to think of dress, was shocked at this apparent want of politeness, and went immediately to apologize to Captain Maxwell, who took him by the hand, and gave him a present, telling him, at the same time, that he was always too happy to see him, to notice what dress he had on.
'On going into the cabin, I found the chiefs seated in a row, all very disconsolate, and apparently trying to conceal emotions different, in all probability, from any which they had ever before experienced. Captain Maxwell had made them his parting present, and I therefore gave to each chief some trifle, receiving from them in return, their knives, pipes, pouches, and fans. In the mean time the anchor was hove up, and every thing being ready for making sail, the chiefs rose to take leave. Ookooma wished to say something, but was too much affected to speak, and before they reached their boats they were all in tears.
Mádera cried bitterly as he shook hands with his numerous friends, who were loading him with presents.
'The chiefs, as well as the people in the numerous canoes which had assembled round the ships, stood up, and continued waving their fans and handkerchiefs till we were beyond the reefs, and could see them no longer.'-p. 200-203.
The narratives of Captain Hall and Mr. M'Leod are well calculated to make an impression highly favourable to the character and happy condition of the Loo-choos. Their conduct to Captain Broughton, when wrecked near Taypinsan, (one of the group of islands,) gave the same idea of the humane and friendly disposition of these islanders. The Chinese and the Japanese agree in speaking of them as a cheerful and happy people. Kæmpfer says, 'the inhabitants, which are for the most part either husbandmeu or fishermen, are a good natured merry sort of people, leading an agreeable contented life, diverting themselves, after their work is done, with a glass of rice beer, and playing upon their musical instruments, which they for this purpose carry out with them into the fields.' With all this it seems evident, that in their jealousy of strangers, they are perfect Chi