Mark Twain in the Sandwich Isles

Mark Twain was hired by a California Newspaper to visit the Sandwich Islands and report back on the people and sights of the Pacific.

Nearby is an interesting ruin–the meager remains of an ancient temple–a place where human sacrifices were offered up in those old bygone days…long, long before the missionaries braved a thousand privations to come and make [the natives] permanently miserable by telling them how beautiful and how blissful a place heaven is, and how nearly impossible it is to get there; and showed the poor native how dreary a place perdition is and what unnecessarily liberal facilities there are for going to it; showed him how, in his ignorance, he had gone and fooled away all his kinsfolk to no purpose; showed him what rapture it is to work all day long for fifty cents to buy food for next day with, as compared with fishing for a pastime and lolling in the shade through eternal summer, and eating of the bounty that nobody labored to provide but Nature. How sad it is to think of the multitudes who have gone to their gaves in this beautiful island and never knew there was a hell.


– Roughing It by: Mark Twain

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