Calabashes and Kings: An Introduction to Hawaii
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She tenderly expostulated with me; and as the children, moved by curiosity to meet the new-comer, crowded about me, I was soon attracted by their friendly faces, and was induced to go into the old courtyard with them. Then my fears began to vanish, and comforted and consoled, I soon found myself at home amongst my playmates.
Several of the pupils who were at the school with me have subsequently become known in Hawaiian history. There were four children of Kinau, daughter of Kamehameha I. Next came Lunalilo, who followed Kamehameha V.
Then came Bernice Pauahi, who married Hon. Our family was represented by Kaliokalani, Kalakaua, and myself, two of the three destined to ascend the throne. Queen Emma, I remember, did not come in until after I had been at school some years. We never failed to go to church in a procession every Sunday in charge of our teachers, Mr. Cooke, and occupied seats in the immediate vicinity of the pew where the king was seated. The custom was for a boy and girl to march side by side; the lead being taken by the eldest scholars.
With the Princess Victoria, who died on the 29th of May, , my younger life was connected in the following manner. When I was taken from my own parents and adopted by Paki and Konia, or about two months thereafter, a child was born to Kinau. That little babe was the Princess Victoria, two of whose brothers became sovereigns of the Hawaiian people. While the infant was at its mother's breast, Kinau always preferred to take me into her arms to nurse, and would hand her own child to the woman attendant who was there for that purpose.
So she frequently declared in the presence of my adopted mother, Konia, that a bond of the closest friendship must always exist between her own baby girl and myself as aikane or foster-children of the same mother, and that all she had would also appertain to me just as if I had been her own child; and that although in the future I might be her child's rival, yet whatever would belong to Victoria should be mine.
This insistence on the part of the mother was never forgotten; it remained in the history of Victoria's girlhood and mine until her death, although Kinau herself never lived to see her prophetic predictions fulfilled. Kinau died on the 4th of April, , not long after the birth of her youngest child, Victoria.
On any occasion where the Princess Victoria was expected to be present I was always included in the invitation, so that whenever Kekauluohi, the sister of Kinau, invited her niece to be with her, I was also summoned to her residence. This aunt lived in a large stone house called Pohukaina, which stood not more than two hundred feet from the Royal School; and for our enjoyment she used to prepare all sorts of sweetmeats and delicacies peculiar to the Hawaiians, such as to call them by our native names kulolo , paipaiee , and koele-palau , with which our childish tastes were delighted.
In Moses left school, and went to reside with his father. In Jane Loeau married a Mr. Abigail Maheha also left about the same time to reside with her aunt, the Princess Kekauonohi, and it was at this date that the epidemic of measles spread through the land; of those who fell victims to it were Moses Kekuaiwa, William Pitt Leleiohoku, who was a cousin of the Princess Kekauonohi and the first husband of the Princess Ruth when later my younger brother was born, and adopted by Ruth, he took the name of her deceased husband ; the third of these deaths in the families of the royal children was that of my little sister Kaiminaauao, who had been adopted by Kamehameha III.
This sad event made a great impression upon my younger days; for these relatives and companions of my youth died and were buried on the same day, the coffin of the last-named resting on that of the others. They were all buried in the royal mausoleum, which then was located where is now the yard of Iolani Palace. Since the erection of another building up the Nuuanu Valley, their remains have been removed with those of their ancestors.
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From the year the Royal School began to decline in influence; and within two or three years from that time it was discontinued, the Cooke family entering business with the Castles, forming a mercantile establishment still in existence. Cooke and Mr. This has now become a very wealthy concern; and although the senior partners are dead, it is still conducted under their name by their descendants or associates.
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The sons of Mr. Castle have also been actively interested in the present government of the Hawaiian Islands. From the school of Mr. Cooke I was sent to that of Rev. Beckwith, also one of the American missionaries. This was a day-school, and with it I was better satisfied than with a boarding-school. I WAS a studious girl; and the acquisition of knowledge has been a passion with me during my whole life, one which has not lost it charm to the present day.
In this respect I was quite different from my sister Bernice. She was one of the most beautiful girls I ever saw; the vision of her loveliness at that time can never be effaced from remembrance; like a striking picture once seen, it is stamped upon memory's page forever. She married in her eighteenth year. Bishop pressed his suit, my sister smiled on him, and they were married. It was a happy marriage. When Mr. Bishop were first married they established their modest home at the termination of the beautiful Nuuanu Valley, directly opposite the tombs of the Hawaiian monarchs.
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They then began housekeeping in a small house on Alakea Street, near the site of the present Masonic Temple. At this time I was still living with Paki and Konia, and the house now standing and known as the Arlington Hotel was being erected by the chief for his residence. It was completed in , and occupied by Paki until , when he died. Then my sister and her husband moved to that residence, which still remained my home. It was there that the years of my girlhood were passed, after school-days were over, and the pleasant company we often had in that house will never cease to give interest to the spot.
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Bishop was a popular and hospitable man, and his wife was as good as she was beautiful. The king, Kamehameha IV. It was now that the young man who subsequently became my husband first became specially interested in me, and I in him, although we had been very near neighbors during our school-days, and we had seen each other more than once. Johnston, a married couple of rather advanced age, established a day-school for children of both sexes in the house next to that of Mr. Cooke; their lot was separated from ours by a high fence of adobe, or sun-baked brick.
The boys used to climb the fence on their side for the purpose of looking at the royal children, and amongst these curious urchins was John O. His father was a sea-captain, who had originally come to Honolulu on Cape Horn voyages, and had been interested in trade both in China and in California.
The ancestors of Captain Dominis were from Italy; but Mrs. Dominis was an American, born at Boston, and was a descendant of one of the early English settlers. The house known as Washington Place was built by Captain Dominis for a family residence. As will appear shortly, Mr.
Dominis was not my first or only suitor. My social and political importance would, quite apart from any personal qualities, render my alliance a matter of much solicitude to many.
This is not, however, a subject on which I shall care to say more than is necessary. On June 13, , Paki, my adopted father, died. Soon after this the betrothal was announced of Alexander Liholiho and Emma Rooke. Some of those interested in the genealogies of the historic families of the Hawaiian chiefs, on hearing of this intended marriage, went to the king, and begged him to change his mind.
Emma was descended from a half-brother of Kalaniopuu, the latter being first cousin to Kamehameha the Great. The royal wedding took place on June 19, Honolulu was for the time the scene of great festivity. The ceremony filled the great Kawaiahao church; and thereafter there were picnics, parties, luaus , and balls without number. Each of the nations represented on the island, even to the Chinese, gave its own special ball in honor of the wedding.
The king was returning from Moanalua with a large escort, a cavalcade of perhaps two hundred riders of both sexes. Amongst these was General J. Dominis, then a young man on the staff of Prince Lot. He was riding by my side when an awkward horseman forced his horse between us, and in the confusion Mr. Dominis was thrown from his horse and his leg broken. He gained the saddle, however, and insisted on accompanying me to my home, where he dismounted, and helped me from my horse. He then rode home; but by the time he had reached his own home his leg had become so swollen and painful that he could not dismount without assistance, and for some time, until the bone had become united, was confined to his house.
In the following November I accompanied Konia, my mother, to Hawaii, where she went for her health. We visited Kona, Kaei, and Kaleakekua Bay, the latter celebrated as the scene of the death of Captain Cook, the discoverer. The Princess Miriam Likelike my own sister was there brought up, and was well contented; but to one accustomed as I was to the bustle of the city and the life of the court, it seemed to be an excessively quiet and dismal place. After some months spent on Hawaii we went to Lahaina; there I received a letter from my brother Kalakaua, telling me that he was engaged to the Princess Victoria, and asking me to come to Honolulu.