The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17

The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17

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The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 by Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17

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A Footnote to History -- -- Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa -- -- Island Nights' Entertainments

Book Excerpt

ed for their reception; the virgins of the village attend to prepare the kava bowl and entertain them with the dance; time flies in the enjoyment of every pleasure which an islander conceives; and when the malanga sets forth, the same welcome and the same joys expect them beyond the next cape, where the nearest village nestles in its grove of palms. To the visitors it is all golden; for the hosts, it has another side. In one or two words of the language the fact peeps slyly out. The same word (afemoeina) expresses "a long call" and "to come as a calamity"; the same word (lesolosolou) signifies "to have no intermission of pain" and "to have no cessation, as in the arrival of visitors"; and soua, used of epidemics, bears the sense of being overcome as with "fire, flood, or visitors." But the gem of the dictionary is the verb alovao, which illustrates its pages like a humorous woodcut. It is used in the sense of "to avoid visitors," but it means literally "hide in the

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