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beautiful morning of this rainbow-land. And that she, in her freshness and her joy made, with themselves, a part of the magnificent water view of coral reef and headland, of tree, and ship, and sea, and sun, and sky! A hundred years and more, perhaps, since some of them sprang into life. With perfect fruit and leaf, they have stood there on the shore, ever bending toward the sea they love so well, and seeming to beckon the ships on and into port. Now numbers of them, old and battered-looking - all comeliness and beauty gone, but still able to point, spire-like, to the sky, and outward to the rising sun! Aloha nui! thou perfect tree of the South Seas!
In the times of the chiefs, he who cut one down must plant four.
The cocoanut is very useful to the Hawaiians in their plaiting and weaving of mats, hats, fans, etc. Their work in this respect is often very fine, artistic and skillful, and can command a good price.
And the pretty cups one sees!
A chief would order a grass hut made by his dependents, and much weaving and other work would be exacted. When it was finished he would compel the poor maker to lie flat upon the top, and, going within, would throw his spear to the roof to prove that the work was weather-proof. Woe to the luckless builder if the spear did perforate the thatch! He was then a victim to loose and slipshod weaving and plaiting!
That is the legend, but I never met with a native who had an ancestor killed in that way. Probably I did not ask the right family.
Some few years ago a party was cast away on one of the smaller South Sea islands, and for months subsisted on cocoanuts alone. When found they were in good health. My liking is for the nut at that stage when it can be eaten with a spoon.
and puddings. And all agree who know aught of India curry that it is never a perfectly delicious curry lacking this most-to-be-desired ingredient. How life-giving and restorative, too, the milk is from a fresh nut those only can tell who live where they grow.
tropics came up-for nowhere else does she present so heavenly a face- and looking landward through a grove of these magnificent trees, of many heights and sizes, with their mammoth leaves and clusters of nuts, like green feathery stars against the violet-tinted sky set with her gems of stars and planets; looking first at them, then at the sea at my feet, rippling and shining in the light, was “fairy-land” indeed!
And now you know something of why I am in love with the cocoanut.
“ALOHA NUI, THOU PERFECT TREE OF THE SOUTH SEAS!”
“A traveler on a dusty road
Strewed acorns on the lea;
And grew into a tree.
To breathe its early vows;
To bask beneath its boughs.
The birds sweet music bore-
A blessing evermore.
Amid the grass and fern;
- Where weary men might turn.
A ladle on the brink;
But judged that Toil might drink,
By summer never dried,
And saved a life beside.
That thronged the daily mart,
Unstudied from the heart.
A transitory breath,
It saved a soul from death.
O thought at random cast!
But mighty at the last.”
“I have paused more than once in the wilderness of America, to contemplate the traces of some blast of wind, which seemed to have rushed down from the
clouds, and ripped its way through the bosom of the woodlands; rooting up, shivering, and splintering the stoutest trees, and leaving a long track of desolation.
“There is something awful in the vast havoc made among these gigantic plants; and in considering their magnificent remains, so rudely torn and mangled, hurled down to perish prematurely on their native soil, I was conscious of a strong movement of sympathy with the wood-nymphs, grieving to be dispossessed of their ancient habitations. I recollect also hearing a traveler of poetical temperament, expressing the kind of horror which he felt in beholding, on the banks of the Missouri, an oak of prodigious size, which had been in a manner overpowered by an enormous wild grape-vine. The vine had clasped its huge folds round the trunk, and from thence had wound about every branch and twig, until the mighty tree had withered in its embrace. It seemed like Laocoon struggling ineffectually in the hideous coils of the monster python. It was the lion of trees perishing in the embraces of a vegetable boa.
“I am fond of listening to the conversation of English gentlemen on rural concerns, and of noticing with what taste and discrimination, and what strong, unaffected interest, they will discuss topics, which, in other countries, are abandoned to mere woodmen or rustic cultivators. I have heard a noble earl descant on park and forest scenery, with the science and feeling of a painter. He dwelt on the shape and beauty of particular trees on his estate, with as much pride and
technical precision as though he had been discussing the merits of statues in his collection. I found that he had gone considerable distances to examine trees which were celebrated among rural amateurs; for it seems that trees, like horses, have their established points of excellence, and that there are some in England which enjoy very extensive celebrity from being perfect in their kind.
“There is something nobly simple and pure in such a taste. It argues, I think, a sweet and generous nature, to have this strong relish for the beauties of vegetation, and this friendship for the hardy and glorious sons of the forest. There is a grandeur of thought connected with this part of rural economy. It is, if I may be allowed the figure, the heroic line of husbandry. It is worthy of liberal, and freeborn, and aspiring men. He who plants an oak looks forward to future ages, and plants for posterity. Nothing can be less selfish than this. He cannot expect to sit in its shade nor enjoy its shelter; but he exults in the idea that the acorn which he has buried in the earth shall grow up into a lofty pile, and shall keep on flourishing, and increasing, and benefiting mankind, long after he shall have ceased to tread his paternal fields.
“Indeed, it is the nature of such occupations to lift the thought above mere worldliness. As the leaves of trees are said to absorb all noxious qualities of the air, and breathe forth a purer atmosphere, so it seems to me as if they drew from us all sordid and angry