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Title: Old New Zealand - A Tale of the Good Old Times; and A History of the War in - the North against the Chief Heke, in the Year 1845
Author: Maori, A Pakeha
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old New Zealand - A Tale of the Good Old Times; and A History of the War in - the North against the Chief Heke, in the Year 1845" ***

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              OLD NEW ZEALAND,





             HEKE, IN THE YEAR



             BY A PAKEHA MAORI.

            with an introduction


  Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty the Queen,

               CHANCERY LANE.



  Introduction                                                      ix

  Preface to the Original Edition                                xxiii


  Introductory -- First View of New Zealand -- First Sight of the
  Natives, and First Sensations experienced by a mere Pakeha -- A
  Maori Chief's notions of trading in the Old Times -- A
  dissertation on "Courage" -- A few words on Dress -- The Chief's
  Soliloquy -- The Maori Cry of Welcome                              1


  The Market Price of a Pakeha -- The value of a Pakeha "as such"
  -- Maori Hospitality in the Good Old Times -- A Respectable
  Friend -- Maori Mermaids -- My Notions of the value of Gold --
  How I got on Shore                                                14


  A Wrestling Match -- Beef against Melons -- The Victor gains a
  loss -- "Our Chief" -- His Speech -- His _status_ in the Tribe
  -- Death of "Melons" -- Rumours of Peace and War -- Getting the
  Pa in fighting order -- My Friend the "Relation Eater" --
  Expectation and Preparation -- Arrival of Doubtful Friends --
  Sham Fight -- The "Taki" -- The War Dance -- Another Example of
  Maori Hospitality -- Crocodile's Tears -- Loose Notions about
  Heads -- Tears of Blood -- Brotherly Love -- Capital Felony --
  Peace                                                             24


  A Little affair of "Flotsam and Jetsam" -- Rebellion Crushed in
  the Bud -- A Pakeha's House Sacked -- Maori Law -- A Maori
  Lawsuit -- Affairs thrown into Chancery                           52


  Every Englishman's House is his Castle -- My Estate and Castle
  -- How I purchased my Estate -- Native Titles to Land, of what
  Nature -- Value of Land in New Zealand -- Land Commissioners --
  The Triumphs of Eloquence -- Magna Charta                         60


  How I kept House -- Maori Freebooters -- An Ugly Customer -- The
  "Suaviter in Modo" -- A single Combat to amuse the Ladies -- The
  true Maori Gentleman -- Character of the Maori People             67


  Excitement caused by first Contact with Europeans -- The Two
  Great Institutions of Maori Land -- The Muru -- The Tapu --
  Instances of Legal Robbery -- Descriptions and Examples of the
  Muru -- Profit and Loss -- Explanation of some of the Workings
  of the Law of Muru                                                81


  The Muru falling into Disuse -- Why -- Examples of the Tapu --
  The Personal Tapu -- Evading the Tapu -- The Undertaker's Tapu
  -- How I got Tabooed -- Frightful Difficulties -- How I got out
  of them -- The War Tapu -- Maori War Customs                      92


  The Tapu Tohunga -- The Maori Oracle -- Responses of the Oracle
  -- Priestcraft                                                   116


  The Priest evokes a Spirit -- The Consequences -- A Maori
  Tragedy -- The "Tohunga" again                                   122


  The Local Tapu -- The Taniwha -- The Battle on Motiti -- Death
  of Tiki Whenua -- Reflections -- Brutus, Marcus Antonius, and
  Tiki Whenua -- Suicide                                           129


  The Tapa -- Instances of -- The Storming of Mokoia -- Pomare --
  Hongi Ika -- Tareha -- Honour amongst Thieves                    137


  "My Rangatira" -- The respective Duties of the Pakeha and his
  Rangatira -- Public Opinion -- A "Pakeha Kino" -- Description of
  my Rangatira -- His Exploits and Misadventures -- His Moral
  Principles -- Decline in the numbers of the Natives -- Proofs of
  former Large Population -- Ancient Forts -- Causes of Decrease   140


  Trading in the Old Times -- The Native Difficulty -- Virtue its
  own Reward -- Rule Britannia -- Death of my Chief -- His Dying
  Speech -- Rescue -- How the World goes Round                     165


  Mana -- Young New Zealand -- The Law of England -- "Pop goes the
  weasel" -- Right if we have Might -- God save the Queen -- Good
  Advice                                                           174

  HEKE                                                             181


In the good old times of Conquest and Colonization (I like to be
particular about my dates and places), the civilized nations of the
day followed a simple policy in regard to the savage races with whom
they came in contact, which may be roughly described as going their
own way, and punishing the natives if they didn't conform to it,
without troubling themselves much about what the aforesaid natives
thought or felt on the subject. If they understood the meaning of it
so much the better for them, if they did not it could not be helped.
Holding themselves to be morally and intellectually far superior to
the savages, they maintained that it was the savage's business to
understand and conform to their notions, and not their business to
regard the savage's. As for giving savages the rights of civilized men
it was seldom thought of; savages were to be treated as such.

I do not exactly know when this sort of native policy was first
practised, but I know that it has lasted, with modifications, even to
our day, and is to be seen in full working order in more than one part
of the globe.

And let me remark (pace the Philanthropists) that it is not always the
unwisest or cruellest policy that can be followed, for this reason,
that it is simple, consistent, and easily understood. The man or the
nation that consistently follows its own path, turning aside for no
consideration, soon becomes at least thoroughly known if not
intelligently understood. And misconceptions and misunderstandings are
the most fruitful of all causes of bloodshed between civilized and
savage races.

Let me confess, moreover, that there have been moments when I have
felt certain carnal hankerings after that same old native policy.
When, for instance, I had just left the French colony of New
Caledonia, where amicable relations with the natives were preserved,
and the country made as safe as Italy from end to end by the simple
expedient of regularly and invariably executing a certain number of
natives for every white man that they disposed of, without much
inquiry into the motives of the murderers; and had returned to New
Zealand to hear of a most lively massacre at Poverty Bay, perpetrated
by three hundred Maori gentlemen, very well up in their Old Testaments
and extremely practical in the use of the New,[1] who having satisfied
the more pressing demands of their appetite upon the field of their
exploit, had shown the sacred light of civilization that was burning
within them by _potting the remainder of the corpses in tins_ and
sending them as presents to their friends in the country, and had then
departed to the mountains, filled with the comfortable conviction that
nothing worse than imprisonment would follow the improbable event of
their capture, that after a year or two of most enjoyable skirmishing
the matter would be allowed to drop, and that they would most of them
go to their graves well-honoured and unhung.[2]

[Footnote 1: They made cartridges of them. These were the Hau Haus, a
sect of Maories who, when the prestige of Christianity first began to
wane in the native mind, abolished the New Testament, retained the
Old, which was more to their taste, and by mixing with it a large
quantity of their old heathenism, produced a religion entirely devoted
theoretically and practically to plunder and blood.]

[Footnote 2: I regret to say that the strict propriety (according to
the received code of that day) with which the Poverty-Bay massacre,
and the fighting which followed it, were prosecuted on both sides, was
marred by the scandalous behaviour of a settler whose name I forget;
this man's wife and child were mutilated, killed, &c., at the
massacre; it was done in a most correct way, but somehow made him most
unaccountably and unreasonably angry. He joined the expedition that
was sent in pursuit of the murderers, and in one of the first
engagements some dozen of them were made prisoners. At night he
approached them, and, taking treacherous advantage of their guileless
confidence, asked them if they had participated in the massacre,
feast, &c.; and they, never dreaming that they had anything to fear
from the admission, innocently answered in the affirmative, whereon
this monster, knowing well that the poor fellows would escape capital,
or even very serious, punishment, on the grounds that they were
prisoners of war, or had brown skins, or excellent motives, or a
deficient moral sense, or a defective education, deliberately shot the
whole lot with his revolver. I need hardly mention that had this act
been performed by a Maori upon white men by way of "utu" (revenge,
payment) for some of his tribe that had been killed, it would have
been quite "tiku" (correct, proper); but for a white man so to behave
was scandalous. I forget what punishment was awarded him: let us hope
he got what he deserved; and may this story be a warning to those who
let their angry passions rise.

The leader of the Hau Hau expedition was a ruffian called Te Kooti.
The chief of the native contingent that joined in their pursuit was a
Maori, of the old-fashioned sort, named Ropata. A friend of mine asked
him one day what he thought would be done with Te Kooti if he were
taken. "Oh, you'll make him a judge," answered Ropata, coolly. "What
do you mean?" asked my friend. "Well," said Ropata, "the last two
rebels you caught you made native assessors, and Te Kooti's a much
greater man than either of them; so I don't see how you can do less
than make him a judge. But you won't if _I_ catch him," he added, with
a grin.]

At moments like these I have had ideas on native policy that I dare
not utter in the latitude of Exeter Hall, and the era of the
nineteenth century.

But when New Zealand was colonized the feeling of the English public
was distinctly philanthropical towards native races (especially at a
distance), and the old policy was thoroughly discarded, for one, in
its general theory and intention at least, more enlightened and more
humane. Speaking broadly, I think one can see all through the
chequered course of our Maori policy an earnest desire to treat the
native as a man and a brother; to give him the status of a civilized
man whenever it was possible to do so; and when not possible to
consider and make due allowance for the fact of his being uncivilized,
and to guide and lead him towards civilization by just and generous
treatment, and appeals to his moral and intellectual faculties.

I do not wish to dwell upon the dangerous extravagances into which
such a policy might and did occasionally run--such as letting off one
native cut-throat by treating him as a civilized prisoner of war, and
reprieving the next on the ground that he was a poor untutored savage
who knew no better, to the utter destruction and confusion of all
sense of power, justice, and security--great as was the amount of
mischief that they did, but will confine myself to what I believe was
the main cause of the almost total failure of this noble and, in the
main, plausible policy.

It is quite evident that to give it a chance of success it must have
been founded on a thorough understanding of the native character. It
is no use making signs to a man who cannot understand them, it is no
use uttering the most lovely moral precepts in language that is sure
to mislead him. It was in this first necessary step that I hold that
we failed, with brilliant individual exceptions no doubt, who,
however, only served to make the confusion worse with their gleams of

Narrow-minded Enthusiasm, Ignorance, and Carelessness all contributed
their quota to the mischief, and their favourite blunder consisted in
jumping at conclusions concerning native character from certain
analogies with our own. It did not occur to many of us that actions
which marked the presence of certain qualities in the English
character, might mark the presence of very different ones in the
Maori, and _vice versâ_, or that qualities which marked the presence
of certain other qualities in the Englishman might be very differently
accompanied in the native; we did not realize the fact that the Maori
reflected, argued, and acted in a way that was often as
incomprehensible to us as our way was to him.

When we observed a band of native converts singing a hymn before
advancing to battle we were filled with admiration at their piety,
without perceiving that those deeper religious feelings which alone
could have produced such a manifestation amongst Englishmen were
entirely absent.[3] When Christianity spread through the tribes with
amazing rapidity, we rejoiced over their capability for accepting the
doctrines of high and pure religion, never perceiving that they
accepted it simply because they thought from our superiority in ships,
arms, tools, and material prosperity in general, that the "Mana"
(_i.e._, luck, power, prestige) of Christianity must be greater than
that of their old superstition, and would be quite ready to leave it
again when they found out this was a mistake, their minds being as
void of the higher religious elements as those of many savages far
below them in intellectual powers. When we heard of a native chief
supplying his enemy with food or ammunition to enable him to carry on
the war we were charmed with his generous chivalry, and immediately
endowed him with all the virtues that usually accompany such behaviour
in an Englishman, blind to the fact that the chief simply liked
fighting as we might like eating or sleeping, and furnished his enemy
with arms and ammunition just as we might furnish one's cook with
money to buy meat with.[4]

[Footnote 3: The Maori notion of prayer reaches no higher than the
thing we call an incantation. One day I was talking to the old Pakeha
Maori (_i.e._ a white man who lives amongst the Maories) on the
subject of missionary labour. At last he said, "I'll tell you a story
that will establish your name for ever at Exeter Hall, only you musn't
tell it quite the same way that I do. I was here at the time when both
the Protestant and Roman Catholic missionaries were first beginning to
make their way in the country; and the Maories of my tribe used to
come to me and ask me which had the greatest 'mana' (_i.e._ fortune,
prestige, power, strength)--the Protestant God or the Romanist one. I
was always a good Churchman, and used to tell them that the Protestant
God could lick the other into fits. There was an old Irish sailor
about five miles from me who used to back up the Roman Catholic God,
but I had a long start of him, and moreover _was the best fighting
man_ of the two, which went a long way. In a short time I had about
two hundred of the most muscular, blood-thirsty, hard-fighting
Protestants you could wish to see.

"Well; it so happened that one day we had a little difference with
some of our neighbours, and were drawn up on one side of a gully all
ready to charge. I liked the fun of fighting in those days, and was
rigged out in nothing but a cartridge-box and belt, with a plume of
feathers in my hair, and a young woman to carry my ammunition for me;
moreover, I had been put in command of the desperate young bloods of
the tribe, and burned to distinguish myself, feeling the commander of
the Old Guard at Waterloo quite an insignificant person in regard to
myself in point of responsibility and honour.

"Lying down in the fern, we waited impatiently for the signal to
charge; had not we, on the last occasion worth speaking of, outrun our
elders, and been nearly decimated in consequence? Shall it not be
different now? See! there is the great war-chief, the commander of the
'Taua,' coming this way (he was a real 'toa' of the old stamp, too
seldom found among the degenerate Maories of the present day). Little
cared he for the new faith that had sprung up in the last generation;
his skill with the spear, and the incantations of his 'Tohungas'
(_i.e._ priests or magicians), had kept him safe through many a bitter
tussle; his 'mana' was great. Straight to me he came and addressed me
thus:--'Look here, young fellow! I've done the incantations and made
it all square with my God; but you say that you've got a God stronger
than mine, and a lot of our young fellows go with you; there's nothing
like having two Gods on our side, so you fellows do the proper
business with him, and then we'll fight.' Could anything have been
more practical and business-like than this? But I was quite stuck up;
for though I could have repeated a prayer from the liturgy myself, my
worthy converts, who philosophically and rightly looked upon religion
merely as a means to an end (_i.e._ killing the greatest possible
quantity of enemies), were unable to produce a line of scripture
amongst them.

"There was an awkward pause; our commander was furious. Suddenly one
discovers that he has a hymn-book in his pocket. General exultation!
'Now!' cries the old chief, foaming at the mouth with excitement, 'go
down upon your knees (I know that's the custom with your God) and
repeat the charm after him. Mind you don't make a mistake, now, for if
one word is wrong, the whole thing will be turned topsy-turvy, and we
shall be thrashed.'

"And then, having repeated one hymn word for word on our knees, I and
my converts charged, and walked into the Amorites no end; but whether
it was the hymn or the fighting that did it is of course an open
question to this day."]

[Footnote 4: Of the Maori's passion for fighting for its own sake,
with the chivalrous appearance that it somewhat misleadingly bore, I
will give an instance. A certain chief had a missionary whom he
desired to get rid of. Whether he was tired of his sermons, disliked
his ritual, or what, I cannot say. However, he forwarded him on to
another chief, with his compliments, as a present. Chief number two
not being in need of a chaplain, having no living vacant, and having
perhaps, too, a suspicion that the missionary was unsound in some
respect from the careless way he was disposed of, declined him, and
returned him untried. Chief number one was insulted, and declared that
if chief number two had not known his superiority in arms and
ammunition, he would not have dared to behave in such manner. When
this came to the ears of number two, he divided his arms, &c., into
two halves, and sent one to the enemy, with an invitation to war.

A distinguished friend of mine in New Zealand once asked a Maori chief
who had fought against us on the Waikato, why, when he had command of
a certain road, he did not attack the ammunition and provision trains?
"Why, you fool!" answered the Maori, much astonished, "If we had
stolen their powder and food, how could they have fought?"

Sometimes two villages would get up a little war, and the inhabitants,
after potting at each other all day, would come out of their "pas" in
the evening and talk over their day's sport in the most friendly
manner. "I nearly bagged your brother to-day." "Ah, but you should
have seen how I made your old father-in-law skip!" and so on. After
one or two had been really killed, they would become more in earnest.

I have heard old Archdeacon ----, of Tauranga, relate how in one of
these petty wars he has known the defenders of a pa send out to their
adversaries to say they were short of provisions, who immediately sent
them a supply to go on with. Also how he has performed service on
Sunday between two belligerent pas, the inhabitants of which came out
to pray, and met with the most perfect amity, returning to their pas
when service was over, to recommence hostilities on Monday morning.
The fact is, that they were, as the Pakeha Maori says, a race so
demoralized by perpetual war that they had got to look instinctively
upon fighting as the chief object in life. How difficult it was for
the average Englishman to see this at first, and how misleading traits
such as I have mentioned might be to him, it is not hard to imagine.]

By radical misconceptions, such as these, we succeeded in creating in
our imaginations an ideal Maori about as true to the life as a
Fenimore Cooper Indian. And then we proceeded to impress the real
Maori with moral lessons that he could not understand, and with
practical examples that he interpreted all wrong, to appeal to
qualities and ideas that he did not possess, and ignore those that he
did possess, till in spite of our patience and goodwill we became
puzzled by and disgusted with him, and he contemptuous of and utterly
bewildered by us. I have heard several comments upon us and our policy
from intelligent natives, none of them very flattering to our sagacity
or consistency, but I will only give one which struck me as being a
most striking comment upon a policy that aimed at conciliation,
forbearance, and patient improvement of the Maori.

"You are a good people, but you have no fixed plan and no
understanding either in matters of peace or war. No man can tell when
you will fight or when you will give presents to buy peace, or at what
sudden moment you will stop doing one and begin the other. No man can
tell your reasons nor the meaning of what you do." This man had
evidently caught some vague glimmerings of the meaning of our policy
which only confused him the more. A little knowledge is a dangerous

From the faithful pictures of Maori character, ideas, and feelings
contained in these two little books, the observant reader will easily
perceive how mistakes and misconceptions as to what they were, and
might become, and as to how they should be treated, sprang up in the
English mind. It is true that the Maori question, with all its hopes
and fears, has practically come to an end. The bubble of Maori
civilization has burst, the idea, that seemed at one time not unlikely
to become an actual fact, of a native race becoming truly
Christianized and civilized, and prospering side by side with their
white brothers, has gone where many a noble and well-fought-for idea
has gone before. The true level of the Maori, intellectually and
morally, has become tolerably well known; moreover, his numbers are
diminishing year by year.

But the English nation is, and I hope always will be, in contact with
many nations of different blood and various forms and degrees of
civilization, and as long as this is the case it cannot be too much
impressed upon that extremely powerful and somewhat hasty and
headstrong body, the British public, that human nature is not the same
all over the world, that one man's meat is another man's poison, that
there is no code either of logic or of feeling or of morals
universally accepted by humanity, that every difference in custom
makes some difference in mind; so that (if that public wishes, as I
believe it does, to manage the races with whom England comes in
contact, not so much by force as by intelligent and beneficial moral
influence) the first thing to be done is to gain an unwarped,
accurate, and thorough knowledge of the customs, character, and
opinions of the races in question.

If these two little books should suggest to any careless Englishman
that foreigners of dark complexion are not all like either those white
men who seem to have got into brown or black skins by mistake, whom
one reads about in anti-slavery books and some missionary reports, or
those equally tiresome black dummies whom one reads about in another
sort of book who have no marked characteristic or intelligible custom
except shooting spears and arrows at people for no apparent reason, I
shall be glad to have introduced them to an English public; and let me
assure those who care more for amusement than instruction that they
will be amply repaid by their perusal.

I hope the Pakeha Maori will pardon my impertinence in giving a
personal sketch of him to his English readers on the plea that his
writing would not be complete without one.

He was, I believe, sixty years old when I first saw him, but, in spite
of his age, looked the finest man for strength, activity, and grace I
had ever seen. Six feet three in height and big in proportion, with a
symmetry of shape that almost disguised his immense size, I felt I
could well understand the stories I had heard of his popularity and
his feats amongst the Maories, especially when I watched the keen,
bright expression of his humorous Irish face.

In manner and conversation he was the very opposite of what one would
expect of a man who had lived since his boyhood among savages. With a
real love, and a considerable knowledge of literature, a keen
appreciation of all intellectual excellence, and a most delightful
humour, I think I never came across so charming a talker as the man
whom I may not inaptly christen the "Lever" of New Zealand.



To the English reader, and to most of those who have arrived in New
Zealand within the last thirty years, it may be necessary to state
that the descriptions of Maori life and manners of past times found in
these sketches owe nothing to fiction. The different scenes and
incidents are given exactly as they occurred, and all the persons
described are real persons.

Contact with the British settlers has of late years effected a marked
and rapid change in the manners and mode of life of the natives, and
the Maori of the present day are as unlike what they were when I first
saw them as they are still unlike a civilised people or British

The writer has therefore thought it might be worth while to place a
few sketches of old Maori life on record before the remembrance of
them has quite passed away; though in doing so he has by no means
exhausted an interesting subject, and a more full and particular
delineation of old Maori life, manners, and history has yet to be




  "Of Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
   Do grow BETWEEN their shoulders."


Chapter I.

     Introductory. -- First view of New Zealand. -- First sight of the
     natives, and first sensations experienced by a mere Pakeha. -- A
     Maori chief's notions of trading in the old times. -- A
     dissertation on "courage." -- A few words on dress. -- The
     chief's soliloquy. -- The Maori cry of welcome.

Ah! those good old times, when first I came to New Zealand, we shall
never see their like again. Since then the world seems to have gone
wrong somehow. A dull sort of world this now. The very sun does not
seem to me to shine as bright as it used. Pigs and potatoes have
degenerated; and everything seems "flat, stale, and unprofitable." But
those were the times!--the "good old times"--before Governors were
invented, and law, and justice, and all that. When every one did as he
liked,--except when his neighbours would not let him, (the more shame
for them,)--when there were no taxes, or duties, or public works, or
public to require them. Who cared then whether he owned a coat?--or
believed in shoes or stockings? The men were bigger and stouter in
those days; and the women,--ah! Money was useless and might go a
begging. A sovereign was of no use except to make a hole in and hang
it in a child's ear. The few I brought went that way, and I have seen
them swapped for shillings, which were thought more becoming. What
cared I? A fish-hook was worth a dozen of them, and I had lots of
fish-hooks. Little did I think in those days that I should ever see
here towns and villages, banks and insurance offices, prime ministers
and bishops; and hear sermons preached, and see men hung, and all the
other plagues of civilization. I am a melancholy man. I feel somehow
as if I had got older. I am no use in these dull times. I mope about
in solitary places, exclaiming often, "Oh! where are those good old
times?" and echo, or some young Maori whelp from the Three Kings,
answers from behind a bush,--No HEA.

I shall not state the year in which I first saw the mountains of New
Zealand appear above the sea; there is a false suspicion getting about
that I am growing old. This must be looked down, so I will at present
avoid dates. I always held a theory that time was of no account in New
Zealand, and I do believe I was right up to the time of the arrival of
the first Governor. The natives hold this opinion still, especially
those who are in debt: so I will just say it was in the good old
times, long ago, that, from the deck of a small trading schooner in
which I had taken my passage from somewhere, I first cast eyes on
Maori land. It _was_ Maori land then; but alas! what is it now?
Success to you, O King of Waikato. May your _mana_ never be
less!--long may you hold at bay the demon of civilization, though fall
at last I fear you must. Plutus with golden hoof is trampling on your
landmarks. He mocks the war-song; but should _I_ see your fall, at
least one Pakeha Maori shall raise the _tangi_; and with flint and
shell as of old shall the women lament you.

Let me, however, leave these melancholy thoughts for a time, forget
the present, take courage, and talk about the past. I have not got on
shore yet; a thing I must accomplish as a necessary preliminary to
looking about me, and telling what I saw. I do not understand the
pakeha way of beginning a story in the middle; so to start fair, I
must fairly get on shore, which, I am surprised to find, was easier to
_do_ than to describe.

The little schooner neared the land, and as we came closer and closer,
I began in a most unaccountable manner to remember all the tales I had
ever heard of people being baked in ovens, with cabbage and potato
"fixins." I had before this had some considerable experience of
"savages," but as they had no regular system of domestic cookery of
the nature I have hinted at, and being, as I was in those days, a mere
pakeha (a character I have since learned to despise), I felt, to say
the least, rather curious as to the then existing demand on shore for
butchers' meat.

The ship sailed on, and I went below and loaded my pistols; not that
I expected at all to conquer the country with them, but somehow
because I could not help it. We soon came to anchor in a fine harbour
before the house of the very first settler who had ever entered it,
and to this time he was the only one. He had, however, a few Europeans
in his employ; and there was at some forty miles distance a sort of
nest of English, Irish, Scotch, Dutch, French, and American runaways
from South Sea whalers, with whom were also congregated certain other
individuals of the pakeha race, whose manner of arrival in the country
was not clearly accounted for, and to enquire into which was, as I
found afterwards, considered extremely impolite, and a great breach of
_bienséance_. They lived in a half savage state, or to speak
correctly, in a savage and-a-half state, being greater savages by far
than the natives themselves.

I must, however, turn back a little, for I perceive I am not on shore

The anchoring of a vessel of any size, large or small, in a port of
New Zealand, in those days, was an event of no small importance; and,
accordingly, from the deck we could see the shore crowded by several
hundreds of natives, all in a great state of excitement, shouting and
running about, many with spears and clubs in their hands, and
altogether looking to the inexperienced new-comer very much as if they
were speculating on an immediate change of diet. I must say these at
least were my impressions on seeing the mass of shouting,
gesticulating, tattooed fellows, who were exhibiting before us, and
who all seemed to be mad with excitement of some sort or other.
Shortly after we came to anchor, a boat came off, in which was Mr.
----, the settler I have mentioned, and also the principal chief of
the tribe of natives inhabiting this part of the country. Mr. ---- gave
me a hearty welcome to New Zealand, and also an invitation to his
house, telling me I was welcome to make it my home for any unlimited
time, till I had one of my own. The chief also--having made some
enquiries first of the captain of the schooner, such as whether I was
a _rangatira_, if I had plenty of _taonga_ (goods) on board, and other
particulars; and having been answered by the captain in the most
satisfactory manner,--came up to me and gave me a most sincere
welcome. (I love sincerity.) He would have welcomed me, however, had I
been as poor as Job, for pakehas were, in those days, at an enormous
premium. Even Job, at the worst (a _pakeha_ Job), might be supposed to
have an old coat, or a spike nail, or a couple of iron hoops left on
hand, and these were "good trade" in the times I speak of; and under a
process well understood at the time by my friend the chief, were sure
to change hands soon after his becoming aware of their whereabouts.
His idea of trade was this:--He took them, and never paid for them
till he took something else of greater value, which, whatever it might
be, he never paid for till he made a third still heavier haul. He
always paid just what he thought fit to give, and when he chose to
withdraw his patronage from any pakeha who might be getting too
knowing for him, and extend it to some newer arrival, he never paid
for the last "lot of trade;" but, to give him his due, he allowed his
pakeha friends to make the best bargain they could with the rest of
the tribe, with the exception of a few of his nearest relations, over
whose interests he would watch. So, after all, the pakeha would make a
living; but I have never heard of one of the old traders who got rich
by trading with the natives: there were too many drawbacks of the
nature I have mentioned, as well as others unnecessary to mention just
yet, which prevented it.

I positively vow and protest to you, gentle and patient reader, that
if ever I get safe on shore, I will do my best to give you
satisfaction; let me get once on shore, and I am all right: but unless
I get my feet on _terrâ firmâ_, how can I ever begin my tale of the
good old times? As long as I am on board ship I am cramped and
crippled, and a mere slave to Greenwich time, and can't get on. Some
people, I am aware, would make a dash at it, and manage the thing
without the aid of boat, canoe, or life preserver; but such people
are, for the most part, dealers in fiction, which I am not: my story
is a true story, not "founded on fact," but fact itself, and so I
cannot manage to get on shore a moment sooner than circumstances will
permit. It may be that I ought to have landed before this; but I must
confess I don't know any more about the right way to tell a story,
than a native minister knows how to "come" a war dance. I declare the
mention of the war dance calls up a host of reminiscences,
pleasurable and painful, exhilarating and depressing, in such a way as
no one but a few, a very few, pakeha Maori, can understand.
Thunder!--but no; let me get ashore; how can I dance on the water, or
before I ever knew how? On shore I will get this time, I am
determined, in spite of fate--so now for it.

The boat of my friend Mr. ---- being about to return to the shore,
leaving the chief and Mr. ---- on board, and I seeing the thing had to
be done, plucked up courage, and having secretly felt the priming of
my pistols under my coat, got into the boat.

I must here correct myself. I have said, "plucked up courage," but
that is not exactly my meaning. The fact is, kind reader, if you have
followed me thus far, you are about to be rewarded for your
perseverance. I am determined to make you as wise as I am myself on at
least one important subject, and that is not saying a little, let me
inform you, as I can hardly suppose you have made the discovery for
yourself on so short an acquaintance. Falstaff, who was a very clever
fellow, and whose word cannot be doubted, says--"The better part of
valour is discretion." Now, that being the case, what in the name of
Achilles, Hector, and Colonel Gold (_he_, I mean _Achilles_, was a
rank coward, who went about knocking people on the head, being himself
next thing to invulnerable, and who could not be hurt till he turned
his back to the enemy. There is a deep moral in this same story about
Achilles which perhaps, by and bye, I may explain to you)--what, I
say again, in the name of everything valorous, can the worser part of
valour be, if "discretion" be the better? The fact is, my dear sir, I
don't believe in courage at all, nor ever did; but there is something
far better, which has carried me through many serious scrapes with
_éclât_ and safety; I mean the appearance of courage. If you have this
you may drive the world before you. As for real courage, I do not
believe there can be any such thing. A man who sees himself in danger
of being killed by his enemy and is not in a precious fright, is
simply not courageous but mad. The man who is not frightened because
he cannot see the danger, is a person of weak mind--a fool--who ought
to be locked up lest he walk into a well with eyes open; but the
appearance of courage, or rather, as I deny the existence of the thing
itself, that appearance which is thought to be courage, that is the
thing will carry you through!--get you made K.C.B., Victoria Cross,
and all that! Men by help of this quality do the most heroic actions,
being all the time ready to die of mere fright, but keeping up a good
countenance all the time. Here is the secret--pay attention, it is
worth much money--if ever you get into any desperate battle or
skirmish, and feel in such a state of mortal fear that you almost wish
to be shot to get rid of it, just say to yourself--"If I am so
preciously frightened, what must the other fellow be?" The thought
will refresh you; your own self-esteem will answer that of course the
enemy is more frightened than you are, consequently, the nearer you
feel to running away the more reason you have to stand. Look at the
last gazette of the last victory, where thousands of men at one
shilling _per diem_, minus certain very serious deductions, "covered
themselves with glory." The thing is clear: the other fellows ran
first, and that is all about it! My secret is a very good secret; but
one must of course do the thing properly; no matter of what kind the
danger is, you must look it boldly in the face and keep your wits
about you, and the more frightened you get the more determined you
must be--to keep up appearances--and half the danger is gone at once.
So now, having corrected myself, as well as given some valuable
advice, I shall start again for the shore by saying that I plucked up
a very good appearance of courage and got on board the boat.

For the honour and glory of the British nation, of which I considered
myself in some degree a representative on this momentous occasion, I
had dressed myself in one of my best suits. My frock coat was, I
fancy, "the thing;" my waistcoat was the result of much and deep
thought, in cut, colour, and material--I may venture to affirm that
the like had not been often seen in the southern hemisphere. My tailor
has, as I hear, long since realized a fortune and retired, in
consequence of the enlightenment he at different times received from
me on the great principles of, not clothing, but embellishing the
human subject. My hat looked down criticism, and my whole turn-out
such as I calculated would "astonish the natives," and cause awe and
respect for myself individually and the British nation in general, of
whom I thought fit to consider myself no bad sample. Here I will take
occasion to remark that some attention to ornament and elegance in the
matter of dress is not only allowable but commendable. Man is the only
beast to whom a discretionary power has been left in this respect: why
then should he not take a hint from nature, and endeavour to beautify
his person? Peacocks and birds of paradise could no doubt live and get
fat though all their feathers were the colour of a Quaker's leggings,
but see how they are ornamented! Nature has, one would say, exhausted
herself in beautifying them. Look at the tiger and leopard! Could not
they murder without their stripes and spots?--but see how their coats
are painted! Look at the flowers--at the whole universe--and you will
see everywhere the ornamental combined with the useful. Look, then, to
the cut and colour of your coat, and do not laugh at the Maori of past
times, who, not being "seized" of a coat because he has never been
able to seize one, carves and tattoos legs, arms, and face.

The boat is, however, darting towards the shore, rapidly propelled by
four stout natives. My friend ---- and the chief are on board. The
chief has got his eye on my double gun, which is hanging up in the
cabin. He takes it down and examines it closely. He is a good judge of
a gun. It is the best _tupara_ he has ever seen, and his speculations
run something very like this:--"A good gun, a first-rate gun; I must
have this; I must _tapu_ it before I leave the ship [here he pulls a
piece of the fringe from his cloak and ties it round the stock of the
gun, thereby rendering it impossible for me to sell, give away, or
dispose of it in any way to anyone but himself]; I wonder what the
pakeha will want for it! I will promise him as much flax or as many
pigs as ever he likes for it. True, I have no flax just now, and am
short of pigs, they were almost all killed at the last _hahunga_; but
if he is in a hurry he can buy the flax or pigs from the people, which
ought to satisfy him. Perhaps he would take a piece of land!--that
would be famous. I would give him a piece quite close to the _kainga_,
where I would always have him close to me; I hope he may take the
land; then I should have two pakehas, him and ----. All the inland
chiefs would envy me. This ---- is getting too knowing; he has taken
to hiding his best goods of late, and selling them before I knew he
had them. It's just the same as thieving, and I won't stand it. He
sold three muskets the other day to the Ngatiwaki, and I did not know
he had them, or I should have taken them. I could have paid for them
some time or another. It was wrong, wrong, very wrong, to let that
tribe have those muskets. He is not their pakeha; let them look for a
pakeha for themselves. Those Ngatiwaki are getting too many
muskets--those three make sixty-four they have got besides two
_tupara_. Certainly we have a great many more, and the Ngatiwaki are
our relations, but then there was Kohu, we killed, and Patu, we stole
his wife. There is no saying what these Ngatiwaki may do if they
should get plenty of muskets; they are game enough for anything. It
was wrong to give them those muskets; wrong, wrong, wrong!"
After-experience enabled me to tell just what the chief's soliloquy
was, as above.

But all this time the boat is darting to the shore, and as the
distance is only a couple of hundred yards, I can hardly understand
how it is that I have not yet landed. The crew are pulling like mad,
being impatient to show the tribe the prize they have made,--a regular
_pakeha rangatira_ as well as a _rangatira pakeha_ (two very different
things), who has lots of tomahawks, and fish-hooks, and blankets, and
a _tupara_, and is even suspected to be the owner of a great many
"pots" of gunpowder! "He is going to stop with the tribe, he is going
to trade, he is going to be a pakeha _for us_." These last conclusions
were, however, jumped at, the "pakeha" not having then any notions of
trade or commerce, and being only inclined to look about and amuse
himself. The boat nears the shore, and now arises from a hundred
voices the call of welcome,--"_Haere mai! haere mai! hoe mai! hoe mai!
haere mai, e-te-pa-ke-ha, haere mai!_" mats, hands, and certain ragged
petticoats put into requisition for that occasion, all at the same
time waving in the air in sign of welcome. Then a pause. Then, as the
boat came nearer, another burst of _haere mai!_ But unaccustomed as I
was then to the Maori salute, I disliked the sound. There was a
wailing melancholy cadence that did not strike me as being the
appropriate tone of welcome; and, as I was quite ignorant up to this
time of my own importance, wealth, and general value as a pakeha, I
began, as the boat closed in with the shore, to ask myself whether
possibly this same "_haere mai_" might not be the Maori for "dilly,
dilly, come and be killed." There was, however, no help for it now; we
were close to the shore, and so, putting on the most unconcerned
countenance possible, I prepared to make my _entrée_ into Maori land
in a proper and dignified manner.

Chapter II.

     The market price of a Pakeha. -- The value of a Pakeha "as such."
     -- Maori hospitality in the good old times. -- A respectable
     friend. -- Maori mermaids. -- My notions of the value of gold. --
     How I got on shore.

Here I must remark that in those days the value of a pakeha to a tribe
was enormous. For want of pakehas to trade with, and from whom to
procure gunpowder and muskets, many tribes or sections of tribes were
about this time exterminated or nearly so by their more fortunate
neighbours who got pakehas before them, and who consequently became
armed with muskets first. A pakeha trader was therefore of a value say
about twenty times his own weight in muskets. This, according to my
notes made at the time, I find to have represented a value in New
Zealand something about what we mean in England when we talk of the
sum total of the national debt. A book-keeper, or a second-rate
pakeha, not a trader, might be valued at say his weight in tomahawks;
an enormous sum also. The poorest labouring pakeha, though he might
have no property, would earn something--his value to the chief and
tribe with whom he lived might be estimated at say his weight in
fish-hooks, or about a hundred thousand pounds or so; value estimated
by eagerness to obtain the article.

The value of a musket was not to be estimated to a native by just what
he gave for it; he gave all he had, or could procure, and had he ten
times as much to give he would have given it, if necessary, or if not,
he would buy ten muskets instead of one. Muskets! muskets! muskets!
nothing but muskets, was the first demand of the Maori; muskets and
gunpowder at any cost.

I do not, however, mean to affirm that pakehas were at this time
valued "as such,"--like Mr. Pickwick's silk stockings, which were very
good and valuable stockings, "as stockings"--not at all. A loose,
straggling pakeha--a runaway from a ship for instance,--who had
nothing, and was never likely to have anything, a vagrant straggler
passing from place to place,--was not of much account even in those
times. Two men of this description (runaway sailors) were hospitably
entertained one night by a chief, a very particular friend of mine,
who, to pay himself for his trouble and outlay, eat one of them next
morning. Remember, my good reader, I don't deal in fiction; my friend
eat the pakeha sure enough, and killed him before he eat him, which
was civil, for it was not always done. But then, certainly, the pakeha
was a _tutua_, a nobody, a fellow not worth a spike nail; no one knew
him; he had no relations, no goods, no expectations, no anything:
what could be made of him? Of what use on earth was he except to eat?
And, indeed, not much good even for that--they say he was not good
meat. But good well-to-do pakehas, traders, ship captains, labourers,
or employers of labour, these were to be honoured, cherished,
caressed, protected, and plucked. Plucked judiciously, (the Maori is a
clever fellow in his way,) so that the feathers might grow again. But
as for poor, mean, mere, _Pakeha tutua,--e aha te pai?_

Before going any farther I beg to state that I hope the English reader
or the new-comer, who does not understand Maori morality--especially
of the glorious old time--will not form a bad opinion of my friend's
character, merely because he eat a good-for-nothing sort of pakeha,
who really was good for nothing else. People from the old countries I
have often observed to have a kind of over-delicacy about them, the
result of a too effeminate course of life and over-civilization, which
is the cause that, often starting from premises which are true enough,
they will, being carried away by their over-sensitive constitution or
sickly nervous system, jump at once, without any just process of
reasoning, to the most erroneous conclusions. I know as well as can be
that some of this description of my readers will at once, without
reflection, set my friend down as a very rude, ill-mannered sort of
person. Nothing of the kind, I assure you, Miss. You never made a
greater mistake in your life. My friend was a highly respectable
person in his way; he was a great friend and protector of rich,
well-to-do pakehas; he was, moreover, a great warrior, and had killed
the first man in several different battles. He always wore, hanging
round his neck, a handsome carved flute, (this at least showed a soft
and musical turn of mind,) which was made of the thigh-bone of one of
his enemies; and when Heke, the Ngapuhi, made war against us, my
friend came to the rescue, fought manfully for his pakeha friends, and
was desperately wounded in so doing. Now can any one imagine a more
respectable character?--a warrior, a musician, a friend in need, who
would stand by you while he had a leg to stand on, and would not eat a
_friend_ on any account whatever, except he should be very hungry.

The boat darts on; she touches the edge of a steep rock; the "_haere
mai_" has subsided; six or seven "personages"--the magnates of the
tribe--come gravely to the front to meet me as I land. There is about
six or seven yards of shallow water to be crossed between the boat and
where they stand. A stout fellow rushes to the boat's nose, and "shows
a back," as we used to say at leap-frog. He is a young fellow of
respectable standing in the tribe, a far-off cousin of the chief's, a
warrior, and as such has no back; that is to say, to carry loads of
fuel or potatoes. He is too good a man to be spoiled in that way; the
women must carry for him; the able-bodied men of the tribe must be
saved for its protection; but he is ready to carry the pakeha on
shore--the _rangatira pakeha_, who wears a real _koti roa_, (a long
coat,) and beaver hat! Carry! He would lie down and make a bridge of
his body, with pleasure, for him. Has he not half a shipful of

Well, having stepped in as dignified a manner as I knew how, from
thwart to thwart, till I came to the bow of the boat, and having
tightened on my hat and buttoned up my coat, I fairly mounted on the
broad shoulders of my aboriginal friend. I felt at the time that the
thing was a sort of failure--a come down; the position was not
graceful, or in any way likely to suggest ideas of respect or awe,
with my legs projecting a yard or so from under each arm of my bearer,
holding on to his shoulders in the most painful, cramped, and awkward
manner. To be sacked on shore thus, and delivered like a bag of goods
thus, into the hands of the assembled multitude, did not strike me as
a good first appearance on this stage. But little, indeed, can we tell
in this world what one second may produce. Gentle reader, fair reader,
patient reader! The fates have decreed it; the fiat has gone forth; on
that man's back I shall never land in New Zealand. Manifold are the
doubts and fears which have yet to shake and agitate the hearts and
minds of all my friends as to whether I shall ever land at all, or
ever again feel _terrâ firmâ_ touch my longing foot. My bearer made
one step; the rock is slippery; backwards he goes; back, back! The
steep is near--is passed! down, down, we go! backwards and headlong to
the depths below!

The ebb tide is running like a sluice; in an instant we are forty
yards off, and a fathom below the surface; ten more fathoms are
beneath us. The heels of my boots, my polished boots, point to the
upper air--ay, point; but when, oh, when again, shall I salute thee,
gentle air; when again, unchoked by the saline flood, cry _Veni aura_?
When, indeed! for now I am wrong end uppermost, drifting away with the
tide, and ballasted with heavy pistols, boots, tight clothes, and all
the straps and strings of civilization. Oh, heavens! and oh earth! and
oh ye little thieves of fishes who manage to live in the waters under
the earth (a miserable sort of life you must have of it!) oh Maori sea
nymphs! who, with yellow hair--yellow? egad--that's odd enough, to say
the least of it; however the Maori should come to give their sea
nymphs or spirits yellow hair is curious. The Maori know nothing about
yellow hair; their hair is black. About one in a hundred of them have
a sort of dirty-brown hair; but even if there should be now and then a
native with yellow hair, how is it that they have come to give this
colour to the sea-sprites in particular?--who also "dance on the
sands, and yet no footstep seen." Now I confess I am rather puzzled
and struck by the coincidence. I don't believe Shakespeare ever was in
New Zealand; Jason might, being a seafaring-man, and if he should have
called in for wood and water, and happened to have the golden fleece
by any accident on board, and by any chance put it on for a wig, why
the thing would be accounted for at once. The world is mad now-a-days
about gold, so no one cares a fig about what is called "golden hair;"
nuggets and dust have the preference; but this is a grand mistake.
Gold is no use, or very little, except in so far as this--that through
the foolishness of human beings, one can purchase the necessaries and
conveniences of life with it. Now, this being the case, if I have a
chest full of gold (which I have not), I am no richer for it in fact
until I have given it away in exchange for necessaries, comforts, and
luxuries, which are, properly speaking, riches or wealth; but it
follows from this, that he who has given me this same riches or wealth
for my gold, has become poor, and his only chance to set himself up
again is to get rid of the gold as fast as he can, in exchange for the
same sort and quantity of things, if he can get them, which is always
doubtful. But here lies the gist of the matter--how did I, in the
first instance, become possessed of my gold? If I bought it, and gave
real wealth for it, beef, mutton, silk, tea, sugar, tobacco, ostrich
feathers, leather breeches, and crinoline,--why, then, all I have done
in parting with my gold, is merely to get them back again, and I am,
consequently, no richer by the transaction; but if I steal my gold,
then I am a clear gainer of the whole lot of valuables above
mentioned. So, upon the whole, I don't see much use in getting gold
honestly, and one must not steal it: digging it certainly is almost as
good as stealing, if it is not too deep, which fully accounts for so
many employing themselves in this way; but then the same amount of
labour would raise no end of wheat and potatoes, beef and mutton: and
all farmers, mathematicians, and algebraists will agree with me in
this--that after any country is fully cultivated, all the gold in the
world won't force it to grow one extra turnip, and what more can any
one desire? So now Adam Smith, McCulloch, and all the rest of them may
go and be hanged. The whole upshot of this treatise on political
economy and golden hair, (which I humbly lay at the feet of the
Colonial Treasurer,) is this:--I would not give one of your golden
locks, my dear, for all the gold, silver, pearls, diamonds, _mere
ponamus_--stop, let me think,--a good _mere ponamu_ would be a
temptation. I had once a _mere_, a present from a Maori friend, the
most beautiful thing of the kind ever seen. It was nearly as
transparent as glass; in it there were beautiful marks like fern
leaves, trees, fishes, and--I would not give much for a person who
could not see almost _anything_ in it. Never shall I cease to regret
having parted with it. The Emperor of Brazil, I think, has it now; but
he does not know the proper use of it. It went to the Minister many
years ago. I did not sell it. I would have scorned to do that; but I
did expect to be made knight of the golden pig knife, or elephant and
watch box, or something of that nature: but here I am still, a mere
pakeha Maori, and, as I recollect, in desperate danger of being

Up we came at last, blowing and puffing like grampuses. With a glance
I "recognised the situation:"--we had drifted a long way from the
landing place. My hat was dashing away before the land breeze towards
the sea and had already made a good "offing." Three of the
boat's-crew had jumped over-board, had passed us a long distance, and
were seemingly bound after the hat; the fourth man was pulling madly
with one oar, and consequently making great progress in no very
particular direction. The whole tribe of natives had followed our
drift along the shore, shouting and gesticulating, and some were
launching a large canoe, evidently bent on saving the _hat_, on which
all eyes were turned. As for the pakeha, it appears they must have
thought it an insult to his understanding to suppose he could be
drowned anywhere in sight of land. "'Did he not come from the sea?'
Was he not a fish? Was not the sea solid land to him? Did not his fire
burn on the ocean? Had he not slept on the crests of the waves?" All
this I heard afterwards; but at the time had I not been as much at
home in the water as anything not amphibious could be, I should have
been very little better than a gone pakeha. Here was a pretty wind up!
I was going to "astonish the natives," was I?--with my black hat and
my _koti roa_? But the villain is within a yard of me--the rascally
cause of all my grief. The furies take possession of me! I dart upon
him like a hungry shark! I have him! I have him under! Down, villain!
down to the kraken and the whale, to the Taniwha cave!--down! down!
down! As we sank I heard one grand roar of wild laughter from the
shore--the word _utu_ I heard roared by many voices, but did not then
know its import. The pakeha was drowning the Maori for _utu_ for
himself, in _case_ he should be drowned. No matter, if the Maori can't
hold his own, it's fair play; and then, if the pakeha really does
drown the Maori, has he not lots of _taonga_ to be robbed of?--no, not
exactly to be robbed of, either; let us not use unnecessarily bad
language--we will say to be distrained upon. Crack! What do I hear?
Down in the deep I felt a shock, and actually heard a sudden noise. Is
it the "crack of doom?" No, it is my frock-coat gone at one split
"from clue to earing"--split down the back. Oh if my pistols would go
off, a fiery and watery death shouldst thou die, Caliban. Egad! they
have gone off--they are both gone to the bottom! My boots are getting
heavy! Humane Society, ahoy! where is your boat-hook?--where is your
bellows? Humane Society, ahoy! We are now drifting fast by a sandy
point, after which there will be no chance of landing--the tide will
take us right out to sea. My friend is very hard to drown--must finish
him some other time. We both swim for the point, and land; and this is
how I got ashore on Maori land.

Chapter III.

     A wrestling match. -- Beef against melons. -- The victor gains a
     loss. -- "Our chief." -- His speech. -- His _status_ in the
     tribe. -- Death of "Melons." -- Rumours of peace and war. --
     Getting the Pa in fighting order. -- My friend the "relation
     eater." -- Expectation and preparation. -- Arrival of doubtful
     friends. -- Sham fight. -- The "taki." -- The war dance. --
     Another example of Maori hospitality. -- Crocodile's tears. --
     Loose notions about heads. -- Tears of blood. -- Brotherly love.
     -- Capital felony. -- Peace.

Something between a cheer, a scream, and a roar, greet our arrival on
the sand. An English voice salutes me with "Well, you served that
fellow out." One half of my coat hangs from my right elbow, the other
from my left; a small shred of the collar is still around my neck. My
hat, alas! my hat is gone. I am surrounded by a dense mob of natives,
laughing, shouting, and gesticulating in the most grotesque manner.
Three Englishmen are also in the crowd--they seem greatly amused at
something, and offer repeated welcomes. At this moment up comes my
salt-water acquaintance, elbowing his way through the crowd; there is
a strange serio-comic expression of anger in his face; he stoops,
makes horrid grimaces, quivering at the same time his left hand and
arm about in a most extraordinary manner, and striking the thick part
of his left arm with the palm of his right hand. "_Hu!_" says he,
"_hu! hu!_" "What _can_ he mean?" said I. "He is challenging you to
wrestle," cried one of the Englishmen; "he wants _utu_." "What is
_utu_?" said I. "Payment." "I won't pay him." "Oh, that's not it, he
wants to take it out of you wrestling." "Oh, I see; here's at him;
pull off my coat and boots; I'll wrestle him; his foot is in his own
country, and his name is--what?" "Sir, his name in English means 'An
eater of melons;' he is a good wrestler; you must mind."
"_Water_-melons, I suppose; beef against melons for ever, hurrah!
here's at him." Here the natives began to run between us to separate
us, but seeing that I was in the humour to "have it out," and that
neither self or friend were actually out of temper, and no doubt
expecting to see the pakeha floored, they stood to one side and made a
ring. A wrestler soon recognises another, and my friend soon gave me
some hints that showed me I had some work before me. I was a youngster
in those days, all bone and sinew, full of animal spirits, and as
tough as leather. A couple of desperate main strength efforts soon
convinced us both that science or endurance must decide the contest.
My antagonist was a strapping fellow of about five-and-twenty,
tremendously strong, and much heavier than me. I, however, in those
days actually could not be fatigued; I did not know the sensation, and
could run from morning till night. I therefore trusted to wearing him
out, and avoiding his _ta_ and _wiri_. All this time the mob were
shouting encouragement to one or other of us. Such a row never was
seen. I soon perceived I had a "party." "Well done, pakeha!" "Now for
it, Melons!" "At him again!" "Take care, the pakeha is a _taniwha_;
the pakeha is a _tino tangata_!" "Hooray!" (from the British element).
"The Pakeha is down!" "No he isn't!" (from English side). Here I saw
my friend's knees beginning to tremble. I made a great effort,
administered my favourite remedy, and there lay the "Eater of melons"
prone upon the sand. I stood a victor; and like many other conquerors,
a very great loser. There I stood, _minus_ hat, coat, and pistols, wet
and mauled, and transformed very considerably for the worse since I
left the ship. When my antagonist fell, the natives gave a great shout
of triumph, and congratulated me in their own way with the greatest
goodwill. I could see I had got their good opinion, though I scarcely
could understand how. After sitting on the sand some time my friend
arose, and with a very graceful movement, and a smile of good nature
on his dusky countenance, he held out his hand and said in English,
"How do you do?"

I was much pleased at this; the natives had given me fair play, and my
antagonist, though defeated both by sea and land, offered me his hand,
and welcomed me to the shore with his whole stock of English--"How do
you do?"

But the row is not half over yet. Here comes the chief in the ship's
boat. The other is miles off with its one man crew still pulling no
one knows, or at all cares, where. Some one has been off in a canoe
and told the chief that "Melons" and the "New Pakeha" were fighting
like mad on the beach. Here he comes, flourishing his _mere ponamu_.
He is a tall, stout fellow, in the prime of life, black with
tattooing, and splendidly dressed, according to the splendour of those
days. He has on a very good blue jacket, no shirt or waistcoat, a pair
of duck trousers, and a red sash round his waist; no hat or shoes,
these being as yet things beyond a chief's ambition. The jacket was
the only one in the tribe; and amongst the surrounding company I saw
only one other pair of trousers, and it had a large hole at each knee,
but this was not considered to detract at all from its value. The
chief jumps ashore; he begins his oration, or rather to "blow up" all
and sundry the tribe in general, and poor "Melons" in particular. He
is really vexed, and wishes to appear to me more vexed than he really
is. He runs, gesticulating and flourishing his _mere_, about ten steps
in one direction, in the course of which ten steps he delivers a
sentence; he then turns and runs back the same distance, giving vent
to his wrath in another sentence, and so back and forward, forward and
back, till he has exhausted the subject and tired his legs. The
Englishmen were beside me and gave a running translation of what he
said. "Pretty work this," he began, "_good_ work; killing my pakeha;
look at him! (Here a flourish in my direction with the _mere_.) I
won't stand this; not at all! not at all! not at all! (The last
sentence took three jumps, a step, and a turn-round, to keep correct
time.) Who killed the pakeha? It was Melons. You are a nice man, are
you not? (This with a sneer.) Killing my pakeha! (In a voice like
thunder, and rushing savagely, _mere_ in hand, at poor Melons, but
turning exactly at the end of the ten steps and coming back again.) It
will be heard of all over the country; we shall be called the 'pakeha
killers;' I shall be sick with shame; the pakeha will run away, and
take all his _taonga_ along with him. What if you had killed him dead,
or broken his bones? his relations would be coming across the sea for
_utu_. (Great sensation, and I try to look as though I would say 'of
course they would.') What did I build this pa close to the sea
for?--was it not to trade with the pakehas?--and here you are killing
the second that has come to stop with me. (Here poor Melons burst out
crying like an infant.) Where is the hat?--where the _koti
roa_?--where the shoes?--(Boots were shoes in those days.) The pakeha
is robbed; he is murdered! (Here a howl from Melons, and I go over and
sit down by him, clap him on the bare back, and shake his hand.) Look
at that--the pakeha does not bear malice; I would kill you if he asked
me; you are a bad people, killers of pakehas; be off with you, the
whole of you, away!" This command was instantly obeyed by all the
women, boys, and slaves. Melons also, being in disgrace, disappeared;
but I observed that "the whole of you" did not seem to be understood
as including the stout, able-bodied, tattooed part of the population,
the strength of the tribe--the warriors, in fact, many of whom counted
themselves to be very much about as good as the chief. They were his
nearest relations, without whose support he could do nothing, and were
entirely beyond his control.

I found afterwards that it was only during actual war that this chief
was perfectly absolute, which arose from the confidence the tribe had
in him, both as a general and a fighting man, and the obvious
necessity that in war implicit obedience be given to one head. I have,
however, observed in other tribes, that in war they would elect a
chief for the occasion, a war chief, and have been surprised to see
the obedience they gave him, even when his conduct was very open to
criticism. I say with surprise, for the natives are so self-possessed,
opinionated, and republican, that the chiefs have at ordinary times
but little control over them, except in very rare cases, where the
chief happens to possess a singular vigour of character, or some other
unusual advantage, to enable him to keep them under.

I will mention here that my first antagonist, "The Eater of Melons,"
became a great friend of mine. He was my right-hand man and manager
when I set up house on my own account, and did me many friendly
services in the course of my acquaintance with him. He came to an
unfortunate end some years later. The tribe were getting ready for a
war expedition; poor Melons was filling cartridges from a fifty-pound
barrel of gunpowder, pouring the gunpowder into the cartridges with
his hand, and smoking his pipe at the time, as I have seen the natives
doing fifty times since. A spark fell into the cask, and it is
scarcely necessary to say that my poor friend was roasted alive in a
second. I have known three other accidents of the same kind, from
smoking whilst filling cartridges. In one of these accidents three
lives were lost, and many injured; and I really do believe that the
certainty of death will not prevent some of the natives from smoking
for more than a given time. I have often seen infants refuse the
mother's breast, and cry for the pipe till it was given them; and
dying natives often ask for a pipe, and die smoking. I can clearly
perceive that the young men of the present day are neither so tall, or
stout, or strong as men of the same age were when I first came to the
country; and I believe that this smoking from their infancy is one of
the chief causes of this decrease in strength and stature.

I am landed at last, certainly; but I am tattered and wet, and in a
most deplorable plight: so to make my story short, for I see, if I am
too particular, I shall never come to the end of it, I returned to the
ship, put myself to rights, and came on shore next day with all my
_taonga_, to the great delight of the chief and tribe. My hospitable
entertainer, Mr. ----, found room for my possessions in his store, and
a room for myself in his house; and so now I am fairly housed we shall
see what will come of it.

I have now all New Zealand before me to caper about in; so I shall do
as I like, and please myself. I shall keep to neither rule, rhyme, or
reason, but just write what comes uppermost to my recollection of the
good old days. Many matters which seemed odd enough to me at first,
have long appeared such mere matters of course, that I am likely to
pass them over without notice. I shall, however, give some of the more
striking features of those delectable days, now, alas! passed and
gone. Some short time after this, news came that a grand war
expedition, which had been absent nearly two years at the South, had
returned. This party were about a thousand strong, being composed of
two parties of about five hundred men each, from two different tribes,
who had joined their force for the purpose of the expedition. The
tribe with which Mr. ---- and myself were staying, had not sent any
men on this war party; but, I suppose to keep their hands in, had
attacked one of the two tribes who had, and who were, consequently,
much weakened by the absence of so many of their best men. It,
however, turned out that after a battle--the ferocity of which has
seldom been equalled in any country but this--our friends were
defeated with a dreadful loss, having inflicted almost as great on the
enemy. Peace, however, had afterwards been formally made; but,
nevertheless, the news of the return of this expedition was not heard
without causing a sensation almost amounting to consternation. The war
chief of the party who had been attacked by our friends during his
absence, was now, with all his men, within an easy day's march. His
road lay right through our village, and it was much to be doubted
that he would keep the peace, being one of the most noted war chiefs
of New Zealand, and he and his men returning from a successful
expedition. All now was uproar and confusion; messengers were running
like mad, in all directions, to call in stragglers; the women were
carrying fuel and provisions into the pa or fortress of the tribe.
This pa was a very well built and strong stockade, composed of three
lines of strong fence and ditch, very ingeniously and artificially
planned; and, indeed, as good a defence as well could be imagined
against an enemy armed only with musketry.

All the men were now working like furies, putting this fort to rights,
getting it into fighting order, mending the fences, clearing out the
ditches, knocking down houses inside the place, clearing away
brushwood and fern all around the outside within musket shot. I was in
the thick of it, and worked all day lashing the fence; the fence being
of course not nailed, but lashed with _toro-toro_, a kind of tough
creeping plant, like a small rope, which was very strong and well
adapted for the purpose. This lashing was about ten or twelve feet
from the ground, and a stage had to be erected for the men to stand
on. To accomplish this lashing or fastening of the fence well and with
expedition required two men, one inside the fence and another outside;
all the men therefore worked in pairs, passing the end of the
_toro-toro_ from one to the other through the fence of large upright
stakes and round a cross piece which went all along the fence, by
which means the whole was connected into one strong wall. I worked
away like fury, just as if I had been born and bred a member of the
community; and moreover, not being in those days very particularly
famous for what is called prudence, I intended also, circumstances
permitting, to fight like fury too, just for the fun of the thing.
About a hundred men were employed in this part of the work new lashing
the pa. My _vis-à-vis_ in the operation was a respectable old warrior
of great experience and approved valour, whose name being turned into
English meant "The eater of his own relations." (Be careful not to
read _rations_.) This was quite a different sort of diet from
"melons," and he did not bear his name for nothing, as I could tell
you if I had time, but I am half mad with haste lashing the pa. I will
only say that my comrade was a most bloodthirsty, ferocious, athletic
savage, and his character was depicted in every line of his tattooed
face. About twenty men had been sent out to watch the approach of the
dreaded visitors. The repairing of the stockade went on all one day
and all one night by torchlight and by the light of huge fires lit in
the inside. No one thought of sleep. Dogs barking, men shouting,
children crying, women screaming, pigs squealing, muskets firing (to
see if they were fit for active service and would go off), and above
all the doleful _tetere_ sounding. This was a huge wooden trumpet six
feet long, which gave forth a groaning moaning sound, like the voice
of a dying wild bull. Babel, with a dash of Pandemonium, will give a
faint idea of the uproar.

All preparations having been at last made, and no further tidings of
the enemy, as I may call them, I took a complete survey of the fort,
my friend the "Relation Eater" being my companion and explaining to me
the design of the whole. I learned something that day; and I, though
pretty well "up" in the noble science of fortification, ancient and
modern, was obliged to confess to myself that a savage who could
neither read or write--who had never heard of Cohorn or Vauban--and
who was moreover avowedly a gobbler up of his own relations, could
teach me certain practical "dodges" in the defensive art quite well
worth knowing.

A long shed of palm leaves had been also built at a safe and
convenient distance from the fort. This was for the accommodation of
the expected visitors, supposing they came in peaceful guise. A whole
herd of pigs were also collected and tied to stakes driven into the
ground in the rear of the fort. These were intended to feast the
coming guests, according to their behaviour.

Towards evening a messenger from a neighbouring friendly tribe arrived
to say that next day, about noon, the strangers might be expected; and
also that the peace which had been concluded with their tribe during
their absence, had been ratified and accepted by them. This was
satisfactory intelligence; but, nevertheless, no precaution must be
neglected. To be thrown off guard would invite an attack, and ensure
destruction; everything must be in order; gun cleaning, flint fixing,
cartridge making, was going on in all directions; and the outpost at
the edge of the forest was not called in. All was active preparation.

The path by which these doubtful friends were coming led through a
dense forest and came out on the clear plain about half-a-mile from
the pa, which plain continued and extended in every direction around
the fortress to about the same distance, so that none could approach
unperceived. The outpost of twenty men were stationed at about a
couple of hundred yards from the point where the path emerged from the
wood; and as the ground sloped considerably from the forest to the
fort, the whole intervening space was clearly visible.

Another night of alarm and sleepless expectation, the melancholy moan
of the _tetere_ still continuing to hint to any lurking enemy that we
were all wide awake; or rather, I should say, to assure him most
positively of it, for who could sleep with that diabolical din in his
ears? Morning came and an early breakfast was cooked and devoured
hurriedly. Then groups of the younger men might be seen here and there
fully armed, and "getting up steam" by dancing the war dance, in
anticipation of the grand dance of the whole warrior force of the
tribe, which, as a matter of course, must be performed in honour of
the visitors when they arrived. In honour, but quite as much in
intimidation, or an endeavour at it, though no one said so. Noon
arrived at last. Anxious glances are turning from all quarters
towards the wood, from which a path is plainly seen winding down the
sloping ground towards the pa. The outpost is on the alert. Straggling
scouts are out in every direction. All is expectation. Now there is a
movement at the outpost. They suddenly spread in an open line, ten
yards between each man. One man comes at full speed running towards
the pa, jumping and bounding over every impediment. Now something
moves in the border of the forest,--it is a mass of black heads. Now
the men are plainly visible. The whole _taua_ has emerged upon the
plain. "Here they come! here they come!" is heard in all directions.
The men of the outpost cross the line of march in pretended
resistance; they present their guns, make horrid grimaces, dance about
like mad baboons, and then fall back with headlong speed to the next
advantageous position for making a stand. The _taua_, however, comes
on steadily; they are formed in a solid oblong mass. The chief at the
left of the column leads them on. The men are all equipped for
immediate action, that is to say, quite naked except their arms and
cartridge boxes, which are a warrior's clothes. No one can possibly
tell what this peaceful meeting may end in, so all are ready for
action at a second's notice. The _taua_ still comes steadily on. As I
have said, the men are all stripped for action, but I also notice that
the appearance of nakedness is completely taken away by the tattooing,
the colour of the skin, and the arms and equipments. The men in fact
look much better than when dressed in their Maori clothing. Every
man, almost without exception, is covered with tattooing from the
knees to the waist; the face is also covered with dark spiral lines.
Each man has round his middle a belt, to which is fastened two
cartridge boxes, one behind and one before; another belt goes over the
right shoulder and under the left arm, and from it hangs, on the left
side and rather behind, another cartridge box, and under the
waist-belt is thrust, behind, at the small of the back, the
short-handled tomahawk for close fight and to finish the wounded. Each
cartridge box contains eighteen rounds, and every man has a musket.
Altogether this _taua_ is better and more uniformly armed and equipped
than ordinary; but they have been amongst the first who got pakehas to
trade with them, and are indeed in consequence the terror of New
Zealand. On they come, a set of tall, athletic, heavy-made men; they
would, I am sure, in the aggregate weigh some tons heavier than the
same number of men taken at random from the streets of one of our
manufacturing towns. They are now half way across the plain; they keep
their formation, a solid oblong, admirably as they advance, but they
do not keep step; this causes a very singular appearance at a
distance. Instead of the regular marching step of civilized soldiers,
which may be observed at any distance, this mass seems to progress
towards you with the creeping motion of some great reptile at a
distance, and when coming down a sloping ground this effect is quite

The mimic opposition is now discontinued; the outpost rushes in at
full speed, the men firing their guns in the air as they run. _Takini!
takini!_ is the cry, and out spring three young men, the best runners
of our tribe, to perform the ceremony of the _taki_. They hold in
their hands some reeds to represent darts or _kokiri_. At this moment
a tremendous fire of _ball_ cartridge opens from the fort; the balls
whistle in every direction, over and around the advancing party, who
steadily and gravely come on, not seeming to know that a gun has been
fired, though they perfectly well understand that this salute is also
a hint of full preparation for any unexpected turn things may take.
Now, from the whole female population arises the shrill "_haere mai!
haere mai!_" Mats are waving, guns firing, dogs barking; the chief
roaring to "fall in," and form for the war dance. He appears half mad
with excitement, anxiety, and something very like apprehension of a
sudden onslaught from his friends. In the midst of this horrible
uproar off dart three runners. They are not unexpected. Three young
men of the _taua_ are seen to tighten their waist-belts, and hand
their muskets to their comrades. On go the three young men from the
fort. They approach the front of the advancing column; they dance and
caper about like mad monkeys, twisting their faces about in the most
extraordinary manner, showing the whites of their eyes, and lolling
out their tongues. At last, after several feints, they boldly advance
within twenty yards of the supposed enemy, and send the reed darts
flying full in their faces: then they turn and fly as if for life.
Instantly, from the stranger ranks, three young men dart forth in
eager pursuit; and behind them comes the solid column, rushing on at
full speed. Run now, O "Sounding Sea," (_Tai Haruru_) for the "Black
Cloud," (_Kapua Mangu_) the swiftest of the Rarawa, is at your back;
run now, for the honour of your tribe and your own name, run! run! It
was an exciting scene. The two famous runners came on at a tremendous
pace, the dark mass of armed men following close behind at full speed,
keeping their formation admirably, the ground shaking under them as
they rushed on. On come the two runners (the others are left behind
and disregarded). The pursuer gains upon his man; but they are fast
nearing the goal, where, according to Maori custom, the chase must
end. Run, "Sounding Sea;" another effort! your tribe are near in full
array, and armed for the war dance; their friendly ranks are your
refuge; run! run! On came the headlong race. When within about thirty
yards of the place where our tribe was now formed in a solid oblong,
each man kneeling on one knee, with musket held in both hands, butt to
ground, and somewhat sloped to the front, the pursuing native caught
at the shoulder of our man, touched it, but could do no more. Here he
must stop; to go farther would not be "correct." He will, however,
boast everywhere that he has touched the shoulder of the famous
"Sounding Sea." Our man has not, however, been caught, which would
have been a bad omen. At this moment the charging column comes
thundering up to where their man is standing; instantly they all kneel
upon one knee, holding their guns sloped before their faces, in the
manner already described. The _élite_ of the two tribes are now
opposite to each other, all armed, all kneeling, and formed in two
solid oblong masses, the narrow end of the oblong to the front. Only
thirty yards divide them; the front ranks do not gaze on each other;
both parties turn their eyes towards the ground, and with heads bent
downwards, and a little to one side, appear to listen. All is silence;
you might have heard a pin drop. The uproar has turned to a calm; the
men are kneeling statues; the chiefs have disappeared; they are in the
centre of their tribes. The pakeha is beginning to wonder what will be
the end of all this; and also to speculate on the efficacy of the buck
shot with which his gun is loaded, and wishes it was ball. Two minutes
have elapsed in this solemn silence, the more remarkable as being the
first quiet two minutes for the last two days and nights. Suddenly
from the extreme rear of the strangers' column is heard a scream--a
horrid yell. A savage, of herculean stature, comes, _mere_ in hand,
and rushing madly to the front. He seems hunted by all the furies.
Bedlam never produced so horrid a visage. Thrice, as he advances, he
gives that horrid cry; and thrice the armed tribe give answer with a
long-drawn gasping sigh. He is at the front; he jumps into the air,
shaking his stone weapon; the whites only of his eyes are visible,
giving a most hideous appearance to his face; he shouts the first
words of the war song, and instantly his tribe spring from the ground.
It would be hard to describe the scene which followed. The roaring
chorus of the war song; the horrid grimaces; the eyes all white; the
tongues hanging out; the furious yet measured and uniform
gesticulation, jumping, and stamping. I felt the ground plainly
trembling. At last the war dance ended; and then my tribe, (I find I
am already beginning to get Maorified,) starting from the ground like
a single man, endeavoured to outdo even their amiable friends'
exhibition. They end; then the new-comers perform another demon dance;
then my tribe give another. Silence again prevails, and all sit down.
Immediately a man from the new arrivals comes to the front of his own
party; he runs to and fro; he speaks for his tribe; these are his
words:--"Peace is made! peace is made! peace is firm! peace is secure!
peace! peace! peace!" This man is not a person of any particular
consequence in his tribe, but his brother was killed by our people in
the battle I have mentioned, and this gives him the right to be the
first to proclaim peace. His speech is ended and he "falls in." Some
three or four others "follow on the same side." Their speeches are
short also, and nearly verbatim what the first was. Then who of all
the world starts forth from "ours," to speak on the side of "law and
order," but my diabolical old acquaintance the "Relation Eater." I had
by this time picked up a little Maori, and could partly understand his
speech. "Welcome! welcome! welcome! peace is made! not till now has
there been true peace! I have seen you, and peace is made!" Here he
broke out into a song, the chorus of which was taken up by hundreds of
voices, and when it ended he made a sudden and very expressive gesture
of scattering something with his hands, which was a signal to all
present that the ceremonial was at an end for the time. Our tribe at
once disappeared into the pa, and at the same instant the strangers
broke into a scattered mob, and made for the long shed which had been
prepared for their reception, which was quite large enough, and the
floor covered thickly with clean rushes to sleep on. About fifty or
sixty then started for the border of the forest to bring their clothes
and baggage, which had been left there as incumbrances to the
movements of the performers in the ceremonials I have described. Part,
however, of the "_impedimenta_" had already arrived on the backs of
about thirty boys, women, and old slaves; and I noticed amongst other
things some casks of cartridges, which were, as I thought, rather
ostentatiously exposed to view.

I soon found the reason my friend of saturnine propensities had closed
proceedings so abruptly was, that the tribe had many pressing duties
of hospitality to fulfil, and that the heavy talking was to commence
next day. I noticed also that to this time there had been no meeting
of the chiefs, and, moreover, that the two parties had kept strictly
separate--the nearest they had been to each other was thirty yards
when the war dancing was going on, and they seemed quite glad, when
the short speeches were over, to move off to a greater distance from
each other.

Soon after the dispersion of the two parties, a firing of muskets was
heard in and at the rear of the fort, accompanied by the squeaking,
squealing, and dying groans of a whole herd of pigs. Directly
afterwards a mob of fellows were seen staggering under the weight of
the dead pigs, and proceeding to the long shed already mentioned, in
front of which they were flung down, _sans-ceremonie_, and without a
word spoken. I counted sixty-nine large fat pigs flung in one heap,
one on the top of the other, before that part of the shed where the
principal chief was sitting; twelve were thrown before the interesting
savage who had "started" the war dance; and several single porkers
were thrown without any remark before certain others of the guests.
The parties, however, to whom this compliment was paid sat quietly
saying nothing, and hardly appearing to see what was done. Behind the
pigs was placed, by the active exertion of two or three hundred
people, a heap of potatoes and _kumera_, in quantity about ten tons,
so there was no want of the raw material for a feast. The pigs and
potatoes having been deposited, a train of women appeared--the whole,
indeed, of the young and middle-aged women of the tribe. They advanced
with a half-dancing half-hopping sort of step, to the time of a wild
but not unmusical chant, each woman holding high in both hands a
smoking dish of some kind or other of Maori delicacy, hot from the
oven. The groundwork of this feast appeared to be sweet potatoes and
_taro_, but on the top of each smoking mess was placed either dried
shark, eels, mullet, or pork, all "piping hot." This treat was
intended to stay our guests' stomachs till they could find time to
cook for themselves. The women having placed the dishes, or to speak
more correctly, baskets, on the ground before the shed, disappeared;
and in a miraculously short time the feast disappeared also, as was
proved by seeing the baskets flung in twos, threes, and tens, empty
out of the shed.

Next day, pretty early in the morning, I saw our chief (as I must call
him for distinction) with a few of the principal men of the tribe,
dressed in their best Maori costume, taking their way towards the shed
of the visitors. When they got pretty near, a cry of _haere mai!_
hailed them. They went on gravely, and observing where the principal
chief was seated, our chief advanced towards him, fell upon his neck
embracing him in the most affectionate manner, commenced a _tangi_, or
melancholy sort of ditty, which lasted a full half hour, and during
which, both parties, as in duty bound and in compliance with custom,
shed floods of tears. How they managed to do it is more than I can
tell to this day, except that I suppose you may train a man to do
anything. Right well do I know that either party would have almost
given his life for a chance to exterminate the other with all his
tribe; and twenty-seven years afterwards I saw the two tribes fighting
in the very quarrel which was pretended to have been made up that day.
Before this, however, both these chiefs were dead, and others reigned
in their stead. While the _tangi_ was going on between the two
principals, the companions of our chief each selected one of the
visitors, and rushing into his arms, went through a similar scene. Old
"Relation Eater" singled out the horrific savage who had began the war
dance, and these two tender-hearted individuals did, for a full half
hour, seated on the ground, hanging on each other's necks, give vent
to such a chorus of skilfully modulated howling as would have given
Momus the blue devils to listen to.

After the _tangi_ was ended, the two tribes seated themselves in a
large irregular circle on the plain, and into this circle strode an
orator, who, having said his say, was followed by another, and so the
greater part of the day was consumed. No arms were to be seen in the
hands of either party, except the greenstone _mere_ of the principal
chiefs; but I took notice that about thirty of our people never left
the nearest gate of the pa, and that their loaded muskets, although
out of sight, were close at hand, standing against the fence inside
the gate, and I also perceived that under their cloaks or mats they
wore their cartridge boxes and tomahawks. This caused me to observe
the other party more closely. They also, I perceived, had some forty
men sleeping in the shed; these fellows had not removed their
cartridge boxes either, and all their companions' arms were carefully
ranged behind them in a row, six or seven deep, against the back wall
of the shed.

The speeches of the orators were not very interesting, so I took a
stroll to a little rising ground at about a hundred yards distance,
where a company of natives, better dressed than common, were seated.
They had the best sort of ornamented cloaks, and had feathers in their
heads, which I already knew "commoners" could not afford to wear, as
they were only to be procured some hundreds of miles to the south. I
therefore concluded these were magnates or "personages" of some kind
or other, and determined to introduce myself. As I approached, one of
these splendid individuals nodded to me in a very familiar sort of
manner, and I, not to appear rude, returned the salute. I stepped into
the circle formed by my new friends, and had just commenced a _tena
koutou_, when a breeze of wind came sighing along the hill-top. My
friend nodded again,--his cloak blew to one side. What do I see?--or
rather what do I not see? _The head has no body under it!_ The heads
had all been stuck on slender rods, a cross stick tied on to represent
the shoulders, and the cloaks thrown over all in such a natural manner
as to deceive anyone at a short distance, but a green pakeha, who was
not expecting any such matter, to a certainty. I fell back a yard or
two, so as to take a full view of this silent circle. I began to feel
as if at last I had fallen into strange company. I began to look more
closely at my companions, and to try to fancy what their characters in
life had been. One had undoubtedly been a warrior; there was something
bold and defiant about the whole air of the head. Another was the head
of a very old man, grey, shrivelled, and wrinkled. I was going on
with my observations when I was saluted by a voice from behind with,
"Looking at the eds, sir?" It was one of the pakehas formerly
mentioned. "Yes," said I, turning round just the least possible thing
quicker than ordinary. "Eds has been a getting scarce," says he. "I
should think so," says I. "We an't ad a ed this long time," says he.
"The devil!" says I. "One o' them eds has been hurt bad," says he. "I
should think all were, rather so," says I, "Oh no, only one on 'em,"
says he, "the skull is split, and it won't fetch nothin," says he.
"Oh, murder! I see, now," says I. "Eds was _werry_ scarce," says he,
shaking his own "ed." "Ah!" said I. "They had to tattoo a slave a bit
ago," says he, "and the villain ran away, tattooin' and all!" says he.
"What?" said I. "Bolted afore he was fit to kill," says he. "Stole off
with his own head?" says I. "That's just it," says he. "_Capital_
felony!" says I. "You may say that, sir," says he. "Good morning,"
said I. I walked away pretty smartly. "Loose notions about heads in
this country," said I to myself; and involuntarily putting up my hand
to my own, I thought somehow the bump of combativeness felt smaller,
or indeed had vanished altogether. "It's all very funny," said I.

I walked down into the plain. I saw in one place a crowd of women,
boys, and others. There was a great noise of lamentation going on. I
went up to the crowd, and there beheld, lying on a clean mat, which
was spread on the ground, another head. A number of women were
standing in a row before it, screaming, wailing, and quivering their
hands about in a most extraordinary manner, and cutting themselves
dreadfully with sharp flints and shells. One old woman, in the centre
of the group, was one clot of blood from head to feet, and large clots
of coagulated blood lay on the ground where she stood. The sight was
absolutely horrible, I thought at the time. She was singing or howling
a dirge-like wail. In her right hand she held a piece of _tuhua_, or
volcanic glass, as sharp as a razor: this she placed deliberately to
her left wrist, drawing it slowly upwards to her left shoulder, the
spouting blood following as it went; then from the left shoulder
downwards, across the breast to the short ribs on the right side; then
the rude but keen knife was shifted from the right hand to the left,
placed to the right wrist, drawn upwards to the right shoulder, and so
down across the breast to the left side, thus making a bloody cross on
the breast; and so the operation went on all the time I was there, the
old creature all the time howling in time and measure, and keeping
time also with the knife, which at every cut was shifted from one hand
to the other, as I have described. She had scored her forehead and
cheeks before I came; her face and body was a mere clot of blood, and
a little stream was dropping from every finger--a more hideous object
could scarcely be conceived. I took notice that the younger women,
though they screamed as loud, did not cut near so deep as the old
woman, especially about the face.

This custom has been falling gradually out of use; and when practised
now, in these degenerate times, the cutting and maiming is mere form,
mere scratching to draw enough blood to swear by: but, in "the good
old times," the thing used to be done properly. I often, of late
years, have felt quite indignant to see some degenerate hussy making
believe with a piece of flint in her hand, but who had no notion of
cutting herself up properly as she ought to do. It shows a want of
natural affection in the present generation, I think; they refuse to
shed tears of blood for their friends as their mothers used to do.

This head, I found on enquiry, was not the head of an enemy. A small
party of our friends had been surprised; two brothers were flying for
their lives down a hill-side; a shot broke the leg of one of them and
he fell; the enemy were close at hand; already the exulting cry "_na!
na! mate rawa!_" was heard; the wounded man cried to the brother, "Do
not leave my head a plaything for the foe." There was no time for
deliberation. The brother _did not_ deliberate; a few slashes with the
tomahawk saved his brother's head, and he escaped with it in his hand,
dried it, and brought it home; and the old woman was the mother,--the
young ones were cousins. There was no sister, as I heard, when I
enquired. All the heads on the hill were heads of enemies, and several
of them are now in museums in Europe.

With reference to the knowing remarks of the pakeha who accosted me on
the hill on the state of the head market, I am bound to remark that
my friend Mr. ---- never speculated in this "article;" but the
skippers of many of the colonial trading schooners were always ready
to deal with a man who had "a real good head," and used to commission
such men as my companion of the morning to "pick up heads" for them.
It is a positive fact that some time after this the head of a live man
was sold and paid for beforehand, and afterwards honestly delivered
"as per agreement."

The scoundrel slave who had the conscience to run away with his own
head after the trouble and expense had been gone to to tattoo it to
make it more valuable, is no fiction either. Even in "the good old
times" people would sometimes be found to behave in the most dishonest
manner. But there are good and bad to be found in all times and

Now if there is one thing I hate more than another it is the
raw-head-and-bloody-bones style of writing, and in these random
reminiscences I shall avoid all particular mention of battles,
massacres, and onslaughts, except there be something particularly
characteristic of my friend the Maori in them. As for mere hacking and
hewing, there has been enough of that to be had in Europe, Asia, and
America of late, and very well described too, by numerous "our
correspondents." If I should have to fight a single combat or two,
just to please the ladies, I shall do my best not to get killed, and
hereby promise not to kill any one myself if I possibly can help it.
I, however, hope to be excused for the last two or three pages, as it
was necessary to point out that in the good old times, if one's own
head was not sufficient, it was quite practicable to get another.

I must, however, get rid of our visitors. Next day, at daylight, they
disappeared: canoes from their own tribe had come to meet them (the
old woman with the flint had arrived in these canoes), and they
departed _sans-ceremonie_, taking with them all that was left of the
pigs and potatoes which had been given them, and also the "fine lot of
eds." Their departure was felt as a great relief, and though it was
satisfactory to know peace was made, it was even more so to be well
rid of the peacemakers.

Hail, lovely peace, daughter of heaven! meek-eyed inventor of
Armstrong guns and Enfield rifles; you of the liquid fire-shell, hail!
Shooter at "bulls'-eyes," trainer of battalions, killer of wooden
Frenchmen, hail! (A bit of fine writing does one good.) Nestling under
thy wing, I will scrape sharp the point of my spear with a _pipi_
shell; I will carry fern-root into my pa; I will _cure_ those heads
which I have killed in war, or they will spoil and "won't fetch
nothin:" for these are thy arts, O peace!

Chapter IV.

     A little affair of "flotsam and jetsam." -- Rebellion crushed in
     the bud. -- A Pakeha's house sacked. -- Maori law. -- A Maori
     lawsuit. -- Affair thrown into Chancery.

Pakehas, though precious in the good old times, would sometimes get
into awkward scrapes. Accidents, I have observed, will happen at the
best of times. Some time after the matters I have been recounting
happened, two of the pakehas who were "knocking about" Mr. ----'s
premises, went fishing. One of them was a very respectable old
man-of-war's man; the other was the connoisseur of heads, who, I may
as well mention, was thought to be one of that class who never could
remember to a nicety how they had come into the country, or where they
came from. It so happened that on their return, the little boat, not
being well fastened, went adrift in the night, and was cast on shore
at about four miles distance, in the dominions of a petty chief who
was a sort of vassal or retainer of ours. He did not belong to the
tribe, and lived on the land by the permission of our chief as a sort
of tenant at will. Of late an ill-feeling had grown up between him and
the principal chief. The vassal had in fact begun to show some airs of
independence, and had collected more men about him than our chief
cared to see; but up to this time there had been no regular outbreak
between them, possibly because the vassal had not yet sufficient force
to declare independence formally. Our chief was however watching for
an excuse to fall out with him before he should grow too strong. As
soon as it was heard where the boat was, the two men went for it as a
matter of course, little thinking that this encroaching vassal would
have the insolence to claim the right of "flotsam and jetsam," which
belonged to the principal chief, and which was always waived in favour
of his pakehas. On arrival, however, at this rebellious chief's
dominions, they were informed that it was his intention to stick to
the boat until he was paid a "stocking of gunpowder"--meaning a
quantity as much as a stocking would hold, which was the regular
standard measure in those days in that locality. A stocking of
gunpowder! who ever heard of such an awful imposition? The demand was
enormous in value and rebellious in principle. The thing must be put
an end to at once. The principal chief did not hesitate: rebellion
must be crushed in the bud. He at once mustered his whole force (he
did not approve of "little wars,") and sent them off under the command
of the Relation Eater, who served an ejectment in regular Maori form,
by first plundering the village and then burning it to ashes; also
destroying the cultivation and provisions, and forcing the vassal to
decamp with all his people on pain of instant massacre--a thing they
did not lose a moment in doing, and I don't think they either eat or
slept till they had got fifty miles off, where a tribe related to them
received them and gave them a welcome.

Well, about three months after this, about daylight in the morning, I
was aroused by a great uproar of men shouting, doors smashing, and
women screaming. Up I jumped, and pulled on a few clothes in less
time, I am sure, than ever I had done before in my life; out I ran,
and at once perceived that Mr. ----'s premises were being sacked by
the rebellious vassal, who had returned with about fifty men, and was
taking this means of revenging himself for the rough handling he had
received from our chief. Men were rushing in mad haste through the
smashed windows and doors, loaded with anything and everything they
could lay hands on. The chief was stamping against the door of a room
in which he was aware the most valuable goods were kept, and shouting
for help to break it open. A large canoe was floating close to the
house, and was being rapidly filled with plunder. I saw a fat old
Maori woman, who was washerwoman to the establishment, being dragged
along the ground by a huge fellow, who was trying to tear from her
grasp one of my shirts, to which she clung with perfect desperation. I
perceived at a glance that the faithful old creature would probably
save a sleeve. A long line of similar articles, my property, which
had graced the _taiepa_ fence the night before, had disappeared. The
old man-of-war's man had placed his back exactly opposite to that part
of the said fence where hung a certain striped cotton shirt and well
scrubbed canvas trowsers, which _could_ belong to no one but himself.
He was "hitting out" lustily right and left. Mr. ---- had been absent
some days on a journey, and the head merchant, as we found after all
was over, was hiding under a bed. When the old sailor saw me, he "sang
out," in a voice clear as a bell, and calculated to be distinctly
heard above the din:--"Hit out, sir, if you please; let's make a fight
of it the best we can; our mob will be here in five minutes; Tahuna
has run to fetch them." While he thus gave both advice and
information, he also set a good example, having delivered just one
thump per word or thereabouts. The odds were terrible, but the time
was short that I was required to fight; so I at once floored a native
who was rushing by me. He fell like a man shot, and I then perceived
he was one of our own people who had been employed about the place;
so, to balance things, I knocked down another, and then felt myself
seized round the waist from behind, by a fellow who seemed to be about
as strong as a horse. At this moment I cast an anxious glance around
the field of battle. The old Maori woman had, as I expected, saved a
good half of my shirt; she had got on the top of an outhouse, and was
waving it in a "Sister Anne" sort of manner, and calling to an
imaginary friendly host, which she pretended to see advancing to the
rescue. The old sailor had fallen under, but not surrendered to,
superior force. Three natives had got him down; but it took all they
could do to _keep_ him down: he was evidently carrying out his
original idea of making a fight of it, and gaining time;--the striped
shirt and canvas trowsers still hung proudly on the fence. None of his
assailants could spare a second to pull them down. I was kicking and
flinging in the endeavour to extricate myself; or, at least to turn
round, so as to carry out a "face to face" policy, which it would be a
grand mistake to suppose was not understood long ago in the good old
times. I had nearly succeeded, and was thinking what particular form
of destruction I should shower on the foe, when a tremendous shout was
heard. It was "our mob" coming to the rescue; and, like heroes of old,
"sending their voice before them." In an instant both myself and the
gallant old tar were released; the enemy dashed on board their canoe,
and in another moment were off, darting away before a gale of wind and
a fair tide at a rate that put half a mile at least between them and
us before our protectors came up. "Load the gun!" cried the
sailor--(there was a nine-pound carronade on the cliff before the
house, overlooking the river). A cartridge was soon found, and a shot,
and the gun loaded. "Slue her a little," cried my now commander;
"fetch a fire stick." "Aye, aye, sir" (from self). "Wait a little;
that will do--Fire!"--(in a voice as if ordering the discharge of the
whole broadside of a three-decker). Bang! The elevation was perfectly
correct. The shot struck the water at exactly the right distance, and
only a few feet to one side. A very few feet more to the right and the
shot would have entered the stern of the canoe, and, as she was end on
to us, would have killed half the people in her. A miss, however, is
as good as a mile off. The canoe disappeared behind a point, and there
we were with an army of armed friends around us, who, by making great
expedition, had managed to come exactly in time to be too late.

This was a _taua muru_ (a robbing expedition) in revenge for the
leader having been cleaned out by our chief, which gave them the right
to rob any one connected with, related to, or under the protection of,
our chief aforesaid, provided always that they were able. We, on the
other hand, had the clear right to kill any of the robbers, which
would then have given them the right to kill us; but until we killed
some of them, it would not have been "correct" for them to have taken
life, so they managed the thing neatly, so that they should have no
occasion to do so. The whole proceeding was unobjectionable in every
respect, and _tika_ (correct). Had we put in our nine-pound shot at
the stern of their canoe, it would have been correct also, but as we
were not able, we had no right whatever to complain.

The above is good law, and here I may as well inform the New Zealand
public that I am going to write the whole law of this land in a book,
which I shall call "_Ko nga ture_;" and as I intend it for the good of
both races, I shall mix the two languages up in such a way that
neither can understand; but this does not matter, as I shall add a
"glossary," in Coptic, to make things clear.

Some time after this, a little incident happened at my friend Mr.
----'s place worth noting. Our chief had, for some time back, a sort
of dispute with another magnate, who lived about ten miles off. I
really cannot say who was in the right--the arguments on both sides
were so nearly balanced, that I should not like to commit myself to a
judgment in the case. The question was at last brought to a fair
hearing at my friend's house. The arguments on both sides were very
forcible, so much so that in the course of the arbitration our chief
and thirty of his principal witnesses were shot dead in a heap before
my friend's door, and sixty others badly wounded, and my friend's
house and store blown up and burnt to ashes. My friend was all but, or
indeed, quite ruined, but it would not have been "correct" for him to
complain--_his_ loss in goods being far overbalanced by the loss of
the tribe in men. He was, however, consoled by hundreds of friends who
came in large parties to condole and _tangi_ with him, and who, as was
quite correct in such cases, shot and eat all his stock, sheep, pigs,
goats, ducks, geese, fowls, &c., all in high compliment to himself, at
which he felt proud, as a well conducted and conditioned pakeha Maori
(as he was) should do. He did not, however, survive these honours
long, poor fellow. He died, and strange to say, no one knew exactly
what was the matter with him--some said it was the climate, they

After this the land about which this little misunderstanding had
arisen, was, so to speak, thrown into chancery, where it has now
remained about forty years; but I hear that proceedings are to
commence _de novo_ (no allusion to the "new system") next summer, or
at farthest the summer after; and as I witnessed the first
proceedings, when the case comes on again "may I be there to see."

Chapter V.

     Every Englishman's house is his castle. -- My estate and castle.
     -- How I purchased my estate. -- Native titles to land, of what
     nature. -- Value of land in New Zealand. -- Land commissioners.
     -- The triumphs of eloquence. -- Magna Charta.

"Every Englishman's house is his castle," "I scorn the foreign yoke,"
and glory in the name of Briton, and all that. The natural end,
however, of all castles is to be burnt or blown up. In England it is
true you can call the constable, and should any foreign power attack
you with grinding organ and white mice, you may hope for succours from
without, from which cause "castles" in England are more long lived. In
New Zealand, however, it is different, as, to the present day, the old
system prevails, and castles continue to be disposed of in the natural
way, as has been seen lately at Taranaki.

I now purchased a piece of land and built a "castle" for myself. I
really can't tell to the present day who I purchased the land from,
for there were about fifty different claimants, every one of whom
assured me that the other forty-nine were "humbugs," and had no right
whatever. The nature of the different titles of the different
claimants was various. One man said his ancestors had killed off the
first owners; another declared his ancestors had driven off the second
party; another man, who seemed to be listened to with more respect
than ordinary, declared that his ancestor had been the first possessor
of all, and had never been ousted, and that this ancestor was a huge
lizard that lived in a cave on the land many ages ago, and sure enough
there was the cave to prove it. Besides the principal claims, there
were an immense number of secondary ones--a sort of latent
equities--which had lain dormant until it was known the pakeha had his
eye on the land. Some of them seemed to me at the time odd enough. One
man required payment because his ancestors, as he affirmed, had
exercised the right of catching rats on it, but which he (the
claimant) had never done, for the best of reasons, _i.e._, there were
no rats to catch, except indeed pakeha rats, which were plenty enough,
but this variety of rodent was not counted as game. Another claimed
because his grandfather had been murdered on the land, and--as I am a
veracious pakeha--another claimed payment because _his_ grandfather
had committed the murder! Then half the country claimed payments of
various value, from one fig of tobacco to a musket, on account of a
certain _wahi tapu_, or ancient burying-ground, which was on the land,
and in which every one almost had had relations or rather ancestors
buried, as they could clearly make out, in old times, though no one
had been deposited in it for about two hundred years, and the bones
of the others had been (as they said) removed long ago to a _torere_
in the mountains. It seemed an awkward circumstance that there was
some difference of opinion as to where this same _wahi tapu_ was
situated, being, and lying, for in case of my buying the land it was
stipulated that I should fence it round and make no use of it,
although I had paid for it. (I, however, have put off fencing till the
exact boundaries have been made out; and indeed I don't think I shall
ever be called on to do so, the fencing proviso having been made, as I
now believe, to give a stronger look of reality to the existence of
the sacred spot, it having been observed that I had some doubts on the
subject. No mention was ever made of it after the payments had been
all made, and so I think I may venture to affirm that the existence of
the said _wahi tapu_ is of very doubtful authenticity, though it
certainly cost me a round "lot of trade.") There was one old man who
obstinately persisted in declaring that he, and he alone, was the sole
and rightful owner of the land; he seemed also to have a "fixed idea"
about certain barrels of gunpowder; but as he did not prove his claim
to my satisfaction, and as he had no one to back him, I of course gave
him nothing; he nevertheless demanded the gunpowder about once a month
for five-and-twenty years, till at last he died of old age, and I am
now a landed proprietor, clear of all claims and demands, and have an
undeniable right to hold my estate as long as ever I am able.

It took about three months' negotiation before the purchase of the
land could be made; and, indeed, I at one time gave up the idea, as I
found it quite impossible to decide who to pay. If I paid one party,
the others vowed I should never have possession, and to pay all seemed
impossible; so at last I let all parties know that I had made up my
mind not to have the land. This, however, turned out to be the first
step I had made in the right direction; for, thereupon, all the
different claimants agreed amongst themselves to demand a certain
quantity of goods, and divide them amongst themselves afterwards. I
was glad of this, for I wished to buy the land, as I thought, in case
I should ever take a trip to the "colonies," it would look well to be
able to talk of "my estate in New Zealand." The day being now come on
which I was to make the payment, and all parties present, I then and
there handed over to the assembled mob the price of the land,
consisting of a great lot of blankets, muskets, tomahawks, tobacco,
spades, axes, &c. &c.; and received in return a very dirty piece of
paper with all their marks on it, I having written the terms of
transfer on it in English to my own perfect satisfaction. The cost per
acre to me was, as near as can be, about five and a half times what
the same quantity of land would have cost me at the same time in
Tasmania; but this was not of much importance, as the value of land in
New Zealand then, and indeed now, being chiefly imaginary, one could
just as easily suppose it to be of a very great value as a very small
one; I therefore did not complain of the cost.

While I am on the subject of land and land titles, I may as well here
mention that many years after the purchase of my land I received
notice to appear before certain persons called "Land Commissioners,"
who were part and parcel of the new inventions which had come up soon
after the arrival of the first governor, and which are still a trouble
to the land. I was informed that I must appear and prove my title to
the land I have mentioned, on pain of forfeiture of the same. Now I
could not see what right any one could have to plague me in this way,
and if I had had no one but the commissioners and two or three hundred
men of their tribe to deal with, I should have put my pa in fighting
order, and told them to "come on;" for before this time I had had
occasion to build a pa, (a little misunderstanding,) and being a
regularly naturalized member of a strong tribe, could raise men to
defend it at the shortest notice. But somehow these people had
cunningly managed to mix up the name of Queen Victoria, God bless her!
(no disparagement to King Potatau) in the matter; and I, though a
pakeha Maori, am a loyal subject to her Majesty, and will stick up and
fight for her as long as ever I can muster a good imitation of courage
or a leg to stand upon. This being the case, I made a very unwilling
appearance at the court, and explained and defended my title to the
land in an oration of four hours and a half's duration; and which,
though I was much out of practice, I flatter myself was a good
specimen of English rhetoric, and which, for its own merits as well as
for another reason which I was not aware of at the time, was listened
to by the court with the greatest patience. When I had concluded, and
having been asked "if I had any more to say?" I saw the commissioner
beginning to count my words, which had been all written, I suppose, in
shorthand; and having ascertained how many thousand I had spoken, he
handed me a bill, in which I was charged by the word, for every word I
had spoken, at the rate of one farthing and one twentieth per word.
Oh, Cicero! Oh, Demosthenes! Oh, Pitt, Fox, Burke, Sheridan! Oh,
Daniel O'Connell! what would have become of you, if such a stopper had
been clapt on your jawing tackle? Fame would never have cracked her
trumpet, and "Dan" would never have raised the _rint_. For my part I
have never recovered the shock. I have since that time become
taciturn, and have adopted a Spartan brevity when forced to speak, and
I fear I shall never again have the full swing of my mother tongue.
Besides this, I was charged ten shillings each for a little army of
witnesses who I had brought by way of being on the sure side--five
shillings a head for calling them into court, and five more for
"examining" them; said examination consisting of one question each,
after which they were told to "be off." I do believe had I brought up
a whole tribe, as I had thoughts of doing, the commissioners would not
have minded examining them all. They were, I am bound to say, very
civil and polite; one of them told me I was "a damned, infernal,
clever fellow, and he should like to see a good many more like me." I
hope I am not getting tedious, but this business made such an
impression on me, that I can't help being too prolix, perhaps, when
describing it. I have, however, often since that time had my doubts
whether the Queen (God bless her!) got the money or knew half as much
of the affair as they wanted to make out. I _don't_ believe it. Our
noble Queen would be clean above such a proceeding; and I mean to say
it's against Magna Charta, it is! "Justice shall _not be sold_," saith
Magna Charta; and if it's not selling justice to make a loyal pakeha
Maori pay for every word he speaks when defending his rights in a
court of justice, I don't know what is.

Well, to make matters up, they after some time gave me a title for my
land (as if I had not one before); but then, after some years, they
made me give it back again, on purpose, as they said, that they might
give me a better! But since that time several more years have passed,
and I have not got it; so, as these things are now all the fashion, "I
wish I may get it."

Chapter VI.

     How I kept house. -- Maori freebooters. -- An ugly customer. --
     The "suaviter in modo." -- A single combat to amuse the ladies.
     -- The true Maori gentleman. -- Character of the Maori people.

I never yet could get the proper knack of telling a story. Here I am
now, a good forty years ahead of where I ought to be, talking of
"title deeds" and "land commissioners," things belonging to the new
and deplorable state of affairs which began when this country became
"a British colony and possession," and also "one of the brightest
jewels in the British crown." I must go back.

Having purchased my "estate," I set up housekeeping. My house was a
good commodious _raupo_ building; and as I had a princely income of a
few hundred a year "in trade," I kept house in a very magnificent and
hospitable style. I kept always eight stout paid Maori retainers, the
pay being one fig of tobacco per week, and their potatoes, which was
about as much more. Their duties were not heavy; being chiefly to
amuse themselves fishing, wrestling, shooting pigeons, or pig-hunting,
with an occasional pull in the boat when I went on a water excursion.
Besides these paid retainers, there was always about a dozen
hangers-on, who considered themselves a part of the establishment, and
who, no doubt, managed to live at my expense; but as that expense was
merely a few hundredweight of potatoes a week, and an odd pig now and
then, it was not perceptible in the good old times. Indeed these
hangers-on, as I call them, were necessary; for now and then, in those
brave old times, little experiments would be made by certain Maori
gentlemen of freebooting propensities, and who were in great want of
"British manufactures," to see what could be got by bullying "the
pakeha," and to whom a good display of physical force was the only
argument worth notice. These gentry generally came from a long
distance, made a sudden appearance, and, thanks to my faithful
retainers, who, as a matter of course, were all bound to fight for me,
though I should have found it hard to get much _work_ out of them,
made as sudden a retreat, though on one or two occasions, when my
standing army were accidentally absent, I had to do battle
single-handed. I think I have promised somewhere that I would perform
a single combat for the amusement of the ladies, and so I may as well
do it now as at any other time. I shall, therefore, recount a little
affair I had with one of these gentry, as it is indeed quite necessary
I should, if I am to give any true idea of "the good old times." I
must, however, protest against the misdeeds of a few ruffians--human
wolves--being charged against the whole of their countrymen. At the
time I am speaking of, the only restraint on such people was the fear
of retaliation, and the consequence was, that often a dare-devil
savage would run a long career of murder, robbery, and outrage before
meeting with a check, simply from the terror he inspired, and the
"luck" which often accompanies outrageous daring. At a time, however,
and in a country like New Zealand, where every man was a fighting man
or nothing, these desperadoes, sooner or later, came to grief, being
at last invariably shot, or run through the body, by some sturdy
freeholder, whose rights they had invaded. I had two friends staying
with me, young men who had come to see me from the neighbouring
colonies, and to take a summer tour in New Zealand; and it so happened
that no less than three times during my absence from home, and when I
had taken almost all my people along with me, my castle had been
invaded by one of the most notorious ruffians who had ever been an
impersonation of, or lived by, the law of force. This interesting
specimen of the _genus homo_ had, on the last of these visits,
demanded that my friends should hand over to him one pair of blankets;
but as the prospectus he produced, with respect to payment, was not at
all satisfactory, my friends declined to enter into the speculation,
the more particularly as the blankets were mine. Our freebooting
acquaintance then, to explain his views more clearly, knocked both my
friends down; threatened to kill them both with his tomahawk; then
rushed into the bed-room, dragged out all the bed-clothes, and burnt
them on the kitchen fire.

This last affair was rather displeasing to me. I held to the theory
that every Englishman's house was his castle, and was moreover rather
savage at my guests having been so roughly handled. I in fact began to
feel that though I had up to this time managed to hold my own pretty
well, I was at last in danger of falling under the imposition of
"black mail," and losing my _status_ as an independent potentate--a
_rangatira_ of the first water. I then and there declared loudly that
it was well for the offender that I had not been at home, and that if
ever he tried his tricks with _me_ he would find out his mistake.
These declarations of war, I perceived, were heard by my men in a sort
of incredulous silence, (silence in New Zealand gives _dis_-sent,) and
though the fellows were stout chaps, who would not mind a row with any
ordinary mortal, I verily believe they would have all ran at the first
appearance of this redoubted ruffian. Indeed his antecedents had been
such as might have almost been their excuse. He had killed several men
in fair fight, and had also--as was well known--committed two most
diabolical murders, one of which was on his own wife, a fine young
woman, whose brains he blew out at half a second's notice for no
further provocation than this:--He was sitting in the verandah of his
house, and told her to bring him a light for his pipe. She, being
occupied in domestic affairs, said, "Can't you fetch it yourself? I am
going for water." She had the calibash in her hand and their infant
child on her back. He snatched up his gun and instantly shot her dead
on the spot; and I had heard him afterwards describing quite coolly
the comical way in which her brains had been knocked out by the shot
with which the gun was loaded. He also had, for some trifling
provocation, lopped off the arm of his own brother or cousin, I forget
which, and was, altogether, from his tremendous bodily strength and
utter insensibility to danger, about as "ugly a customer" as one would
care to meet.

I am now describing a regular Maori ruffian of the good old times, the
natural growth of a state of society wherein might was to a very great
extent right, and where bodily strength and courage were almost the
sole qualities for which a man was respected or valued. He was a
bullet-headed, scowling, bow-legged, broad-shouldered, herculean
savage, and all these qualifications combined made him unquestionably
"a great _rangatira_," and, as he had never been defeated, his _mana_
was in full force.

A few weeks after the affair of the blankets, as I was sitting all
alone reading a Sydney newspaper, which, being only a year old, was
highly interesting, my friends and all my natives having gone on an
expedition to haul a large fishing net, who should I see enter the
room and squat down on the floor, as if taking permanent possession,
but the amiable and highly interesting individual I have taken so much
trouble to describe. He said nothing, but his posture and countenance
spoke whole volumes of defiance and murderous intent. He had heard of
the threats I had made against him, and there he was, let me turn him
out if I dare. That was his meaning--there was no mistaking it.

I have all my life been an admirer of the _suaviter in modo_, though
it is quite out of place in New Zealand. If you tell a man--a Maori I
mean--in a gentle tone of voice and with a quiet manner, that if he
continues a given line of conduct you will begin to commence to knock
him down, he simply disbelieves you, and thereby forces you to do that
which, if you could have persuaded yourself to have spoken very
uncivilly at first, there would have been no occasion for. I have seen
many proofs of this, and though I have done my best for many years to
improve the understanding of my Maori friends in this particular, I
find still there are but very few who can understand at all how it is
possible that the _suaviter in modo_ can be combined with the
_fortiter in re_. They in fact can't understand it for some reason
perfectly inexplicable to me. It was, however, quite a matter of
indifference, I could perceive, how I should open proceedings with my
friend, as he evidently meant mischief. "Habit is second nature," so I
instinctively took to the _suaviter_. "Friend," said I, in a very mild
tone and with as amiable a smile as I could get up, in spite of a
certain clenching of the teeth which somehow came on me at the moment,
"my advice to you is to be off." He seemed to nestle himself firmer in
his seat, and made no answer but a scowl of defiance. "I am thinking,
friend, that this is my house," said I, and springing upon him I
placed my foot to his shoulder, and gave a shove which would have sent
most people heels over head. Not so, however, with my friend. It shook
him, certainly, a little; but in an instant, as quick as lightning,
and as it appeared with a single motion, he bounded from the ground,
flung his mat away over his head, and struck a furious blow at my head
with his tomahawk. I escaped instant death by a quickness equal to or
greater than his own. My eye was quick, and so was my arm; life was at
stake. I caught the tomahawk in full descent; the edge grazed my hand;
but my arm, stiffened like a bar of iron, arrested the blow. He made
one furious, but ineffectual, effort to tear the tomahawk from my
grasp; and then we seized one another round the middle, and struggled
like maniacs in the endeavour to dash each other against the boarded
floor, I holding on for dear life to the tomahawk, and making
desperate efforts to get it from him, but without a chance of success,
as it was fastened to his wrist by a strong thong of leather. He was,
as I soon found, somewhat stronger than me, and heavier; but I was as
active as a cat, and as long-winded as an emu, and very far from weak.
At last he got a _wiri_ round my leg; and had it not been for the
table on which we both fell, and which, in smashing to pieces, broke
our fall, I might have been disabled, and in that case instantly
tomahawked. We now rolled over and over on the floor like two mad
bulldogs; he trying to bite, and I trying to stun him by dashing his
bullet head against the floor. Up again!--still both holding on to the
tomahawk. Another furious struggle, in the course of which both our
heads, and half our bodies, were dashed through the two glass windows
in the room, and every single article of furniture was reduced to
atoms. Down again, rolling like mad, and dancing about amongst the
rubbish--the wreck of the house. By this time we were both covered
with blood from various wounds, received I don't know how. I had been
all this time fighting under a great disadvantage, for my friend was
trying to kill me, and I was only trying to disarm and tie him up--a
much harder thing than to kill. My reason for going to this trouble
was, that as there were no witnesses to the row, if I killed him, I
might have had serious difficulties with his tribe. Up again; another
terrific tussle for the tomahawk; down again with a crash; and so this
life or death battle went on, down and up, up and down, for a full
hour. At last I perceived that my friend was getting weaker, and felt
that victory was only now a question of time. I, so far from being
fatigued, was even stronger. Another desperate wrestling match. I
lifted my friend high in my arms, and dashed him, panting, furious,
foaming at the mouth, but _beaten_, against the ground. There he lies;
the worshipper of force. His god has deserted him. But no, not yet. He
has one more chance, and a fatal one it nearly proved to me. I began
to unfasten the tomahawk from his wrist. An odd expression came over
his countenance. He spoke for the first time. "Enough, I am beaten;
let me rise." Now I had often witnessed the manly and becoming manner
in which some Maoris can take defeat, when they have been defeated in
what they consider fair play. I had also ceased to fear my friend, and
so incautiously let go his left arm. Like lightning he snatched at a
large carving fork which, unperceived by me, was lying on the floor
amongst the smashed furniture and _débris_ of my household effects;
his fingers touched the handle, and it rolled away out of his reach,
and my life was saved. He then struck me with all his remaining force
on the side of the head, causing the blood to flow out of my mouth.
One more short struggle, and he was conquered. But now I had at last
got angry. The drunkenness, the exhilaration of fight, which comes on
some constitutions, was fairly on me. I had also a consciousness that
now I must kill my man, or, sooner or later, he would kill me. I
thought of the place I would bury him; how I would stun him first with
the back of the tomahawk, to prevent too much blood being seen; how I
would then carry him off (I could carry two such men now, easy). I
would _murder_ him and cover him up. I unwound the tomahawk from his
wrist: he was passive and helpless now. I wished he was stronger, and
told him to get up and "die standing," as his countrymen say. I
clutched the tomahawk for the _coup-de-grâce_, (I can't help it, young
ladies, the devil is in me,)--at this instant a thundering sound of
feet is heard,--a whole tribe are coming! Now am I either lost or
saved!--saved from doing that which I should afterwards repent, though
constrained by necessity to do it. The rush of charging feet comes
closer. In an instant comes dashing and smashing through doors and
windows, in breathless haste and alarm, a whole tribe of friends.
Small ceremony now with my antagonist. He was dragged by the heels,
stamped on, kicked, and thrown half-dead, or nearly quite dead, into
his canoe. All the time we had been fighting a little slave imp of a
boy belonging to my antagonist had been loading the canoe with my
goods and chattels, and had managed to make a very fair plunder of it.
These were all now brought back by my friends, except one cloth
jacket, which happened to be concealed under the _whariki_, and which
I only mention because I remember that the attempt to recover it some
time afterwards cost one of my friends his life. The savage scoundrel
who had so nearly done for me, broke two of his ribs, and so otherwise
injured him that he never recovered, and died after lingering about a
year. My friends were going on a journey, and had called to see me as
they passed. They saw the slave boy employed as I have stated, and
knowing to whom he belonged had rushed at once to the rescue, little
expecting to find me alive. I may as well now dispose of this friend
of mine by giving his after history. He for a long time after our
fight went continually armed with a double gun, and said he would
shoot me wherever he met me; he however had had enough of attacking me
in my "castle," and so did not call there any more. I also went
continually armed, and took care also to have always some of my people
at hand. After this, this fellow committed two more murders, and also
killed in fair fight with his own hand the first man in a native
battle, in which the numbers on each side were about three hundred,
and which I witnessed. The man he killed was a remarkably fine young
fellow, a great favourite of mine. At last, having attacked and
attempted to murder another native, he was shot through the heart by
the person he attempted to murder, and fell dead on the spot, and so
there died "a great _rangatira_." His tribe quietly buried him and
said no more about it, which showed their sense of right. Had he been
killed in what they considered an unjust manner, they would have
revenged his death at any cost; but I have no doubt they themselves
were glad to get rid of him, for he was a terror to all about him. I
have been in many a scrape both by sea and land, but I must confess
that I never met a more able hand at an argument than this Maori

I have not mentioned my friend's name with whom I had this discussion
on the rights of Englishmen, because he has left a son, who is a great
_rangatira_, and who might feel displeased if I was too particular,
and I am not quite so able now to carry out a "face-to-face" policy as
I was a great many years ago; besides there is a sort of "honour
amongst thieves" feeling between myself and my Maori friends on
certain matters which we mutually understand are not for the ears of
the "new people."

Now, ladies, I call that a fairish good fight, considering no one is
killed on either side. I promise to be good in future and to keep the
peace, if people will let me; and indeed, I may as well mention, that
from that day to this I have never had occasion to explain again to a
Maori how it is that "every Englishman's house is his castle."

"Fair play is a jewel;" and I will here, as bound in honour to do,
declare that I have met amongst the natives with men who would be a
credit to any nation; men on whom nature had plainly stamped the mark
of "Noble," of the finest bodily form, quick and intelligent in mind,
polite and brave, and capable of the most self-sacrificing acts for
the good of others; patient, forbearing, and affectionate in their
families; in a word, gentlemen. These men were the more remarkable, as
they had grown up surrounded by a set of circumstances of the most
unfavourable kind for the development of the qualities of which they
were possessed; and I have often looked on with admiration, when I
have seen them protesting against, and endeavouring to restrain some
of, the dreadful barbarities of their countrymen.

As for the Maori people in general, they are neither so good or so bad
as their friends and enemies have painted them, and I suspect are
pretty much like what almost any other people would have become, if
subjected for ages to the same external circumstances. For ages they
have struggled against necessity in all its shapes. This has given to
them a remarkable greediness for gain in every visible and immediately
tangible form. It has even left its mark on their language. Without
the aid of iron the most trifling tool or utensil could only be
purchased by an enormously disproportionate outlay of labour in its
construction, and, in consequence, became precious to a degree
scarcely conceivable by people of civilised and wealthy countries.
This great value attached to personal property of all kinds,
increased proportionately the temptation to plunder; and where no law
existed, or could exist, of sufficient force to repress the
inclination, every man, as a natural consequence, became a soldier, if
it were only for the defence of his own property and that of those who
were banded with him--his tribe, or family. From this state of things
regular warfare arose, as a matter of course; the military art was
studied as a science, and brought to great perfection as applied to
the arms used; and a marked military character was given to the
people. The necessity of labour, the necessity of warfare, and a
temperate climate, gave them strength of body, accompanied by a
perseverance and energy of mind perfectly astonishing. With rude and
blunt stones they felled the giant kauri--toughest of pines; and from
it, in process of time, at an expense of labour, perseverance, and
ingenuity perfectly astounding to those who know what it really
was--produced, carved, painted, and inlaid, a masterpiece of art, and
an object of beauty--the war canoe, capable of carrying a hundred men
on a distant expedition, through the boisterous seas surrounding their

As a consequence of their warlike habits and character, they are
self-possessed and confident in themselves and their own powers, and
have much diplomatic finesse and casuistry at command. Their
intelligence causes them theoretically to acknowledge the benefits of
law, which they see established amongst us, but their hatred of
restraint causes them practically to abhor and resist its full
enforcement amongst themselves. Doubting our professions of
friendship, fearing our ultimate designs, led astray by false friends,
possessed of that "little learning" which is, in their case, most
emphatically "a dangerous thing," divided amongst themselves,--such
are the people with whom we are now in contact,--such the people to
whom, for our own safety and their preservation, we must give new laws
and institutions, new habits of life, new ideas, sentiments, and
information,--whom we must either civilise or by our mere contact
exterminate. How is this to be done?[5] Let me see. I think I shall
answer this question when I am prime minister.

[Footnote 5: PRINTER'S DEVIL:--How is _this_ to be done?--_which?_
_what?_--how?--_civilise_ or _exterminate_? PAKEHA MAORI:--_Eaha

Chapter VII.

     Excitement caused by first contact with Europeans. -- The two
     great institutions of Maori land. -- The Muru. -- The Tapu. --
     Instances of legal robbery. -- Descriptions and Examples of the
     Muru. -- Profit and loss. -- Explanation of some of the workings
     of the law of Muru.

The natives have been for fifty years or more in a continual state of
excitement on one subject or another, which has had a markedly bad
effect on their character and physical condition, as I shall by-and-by
take occasion to point out. When the first straggling ships came here
the smallest bit of iron was a prize so inestimable that I might be
thought to exaggerate were I to tell the bare truth on the subject.
The excitement and speculation caused by a ship being seen off the
coast was immense. Where would she anchor? What _iron_ could be got
from her? Would it be possible to seize her? The oracle was consulted,
preparations were made to follow her along the coast, even through an
enemy's country, at all risks; and when she disappeared she was not
forgotten, and would continue long to be the subject of anxious
expectation and speculation.

After this, regular trading began. The great madness then was for
muskets and gunpowder. A furious competition was kept up. Should any
tribe fail to procure a stock of these articles as soon as its
neighbours, extermination was its probable doom. We may then imagine
the excitement, the over-labour, the hardship, the starvation
(occasioned by crops neglected whilst labouring to produce flax or
other commodity demanded in payment)--I say imagine, but I have seen
at least part of it.

After the demand for arms was supplied, came a perfect furore for iron
tools, instruments of husbandry, clothing, and all kinds of pakeha
manufactures. These things having been quite beyond their means while
they were supplying themselves with arms, they were in the most
extreme want of them, particularly iron tools. A few years ago the
madness ran upon horses and cattle; and now young New Zealand believes
in nothing but money, and they are continually tormenting themselves
with plans to acquire it in large sums at once, without the trouble of
slow and saving industry, which, as applied to the accumulation of
money, they neither approve of nor understand; nor will they ever, as
a people, take this mode till convinced that money, like everything
else of value, can only be procured as a rule by giving full value for
it, either in labour or the produce of labour.

Here I am, I find, again before my story. Right down to the present
time talking of "young New Zealand," and within a hair's-breadth of
settling "the Maori difficulty" without having been paid for it,
which would have been a great oversight, and contrary to the customs
of New Zealand. I must go back.

There were in the old times two great institutions, which reigned with
iron rod in Maori land--the _Tapu_ and the _Muru_. Pakehas who knew no
better, called the _muru_ simply "robbery," because the word _muru_,
in its common signification, means to plunder. But I speak of the
regular legalized and established system of plundering as penalty for
offences, which in a rough way resembled our law by which a man is
obliged to pay "damages." Great abuses had, however, crept into this
system--so great, indeed, as to render the retention of any sort of
moveable property almost an impossibility, and to, in a great measure,
discourage the inclination to labour for its acquisition. These great
inconveniences were, however, met, or in some degree softened, by an
expedient of a peculiarly Maori nature, which I shall by-and-by
explain. The offences for which people were plundered were sometimes
of a nature which, to a _mere_ pakeha, would seem curious. A man's
child fell in the fire and was almost burnt to death. The father was
immediately plundered to an extent that almost left him without the
means of subsistence: fishing nets, canoes, pigs, provisions--all
went. His canoe upset, and he and all his family narrowly escaped
drowning--some were, perhaps, drowned. He was immediately robbed, and
well pummelled with a club into the bargain, if he was not good at the
science of self-defence--the club part of the ceremony being always
fairly administered one against one, and after fair warning given to
defend himself. He might be clearing some land for potatoes, burning
off the fern, and the fire spreads farther than he intended, and gets
into a _wahi tapu_ or burial-ground. No matter whether any one has
been buried in it or no for the last hundred years, he is tremendously
robbed. In fact, for ten thousand different causes a man might be
robbed; and I can really imagine a case in which a man for scratching
his own head might be legally robbed. Now, as the enforcers of this
law were also the parties who received the damages, as well as the
judges of the amount, which in many cases (such as that of the burnt
child) would be everything they could by any means lay hands on, it is
easy to perceive that under such a system personal property was an
evanescent sort of thing altogether. These executions or distraints
were never resisted; indeed, in many cases, as I shall explain
by-and-by, it would have been felt as a slight, and even an insult,
_not_ to be robbed; the sacking of a man's establishment being often
taken as a high compliment, especially if his head was broken into the
bargain; and to resist the execution would not only have been looked
upon as mean and disgraceful in the highest degree, _but it would have
debarred the contemptible individual from the privilege of robbing his
neighbours_, which was the compensating expedient I have alluded to.
All this may seem a waste of words to my pakeha Maori readers, to whom
these things have become such matters of course as to be no longer
remarkable; but I have remembered that there are so many new people in
the country who don't understand the beauty of being knocked down and
robbed, that I shall say a few more words on the subject.

The tract of country inhabited by a single tribe might be say from
forty to a hundred miles square, and the different villages of the
different sections of the tribe would be scattered over this area at
different distances from each other. We will, by way of illustrating
the working of the _muru_ system, take the case of the burnt child.
Soon after the accident it would be heard of in the neighbouring
villages; the family of the mother are probably the inhabitants of one
of them; they have, according to the law of _muru_, the first and
greatest right to clean out the afflicted father--a child being
considered to belong to the family of the mother more than to that of
the father--in fact it is their child, who the father has the rearing
of. The child was moreover a promising lump of a boy, the makings of a
future warrior, and consequently very valuable to the whole tribe in
general, but to the mother's family in particular. "A pretty thing to
let him get spoiled." Then he is a boy of good family, a _rangatira_
by birth, and it would never do to let the thing pass without making a
noise about it. That would be an insult to the dignity of the families
of both father and mother. Decidedly, besides being robbed, the father
must be assaulted with the spear. True, he is a famous spearman, and
for his own credit must "hurt" some one or another if attacked. But
this is of no consequence; a flesh wound more or less deep is to be
counted on; and then think of the plunder! It is against the law of
_muru_ that any one should be killed, and first blood ends the duel.
Then the natural affection of all the child's relations is great. They
are all in a great state of excitement, and trying to remember how
many canoes, and pigs, and other valuable articles, the father has
got: for this must be a clean sweep. A strong party is now mustered,
headed probably by the brother of the mother of the child. He is a
stout chap, and carries a long tough spear. A messenger is sent to the
father, to say that the _taua muru_ is coming, and may be expected
to-morrow, or the next day. He asks, "Is it a great _taua_?" "Yes; it
is a very great _taua_ indeed." The victim smiles, he feels highly
complimented, he _is_ then a man of consequence. His child is also of
great consideration; he is thought worthy of a large force being sent
to rob him! Now he sets all in motion to prepare a huge feast for the
friendly robbers his relations. He may as well be liberal, for his
provisions are sure to go, whether or no. Pigs are killed and baked
whole, potatoes are piled up in great heaps, all is made ready, he
looks out his best spear, and keeps it always ready in his hand. At
last the _taua_ appears on a hill half a mile off; then the whole
fighting men of the section of the tribe of which he is an important
member, collect at his back, all armed with spear and club, to show
that they could resist if they would--a thing, however, not to be
thought of under the circumstances. On comes the _taua_. The mother
begins to cry in proper form; the tribe shout the call of welcome to
the approaching robbers; and then with a grand rush, all armed, and
looking as if they intended to exterminate all before them, the _kai
muru_ appear on the scene. They dance the war dance, which the
villagers answer with another. Then the chief's brother-in-law
advances, spear in hand, with the most alarming gestures. "Stand
up!--stand up! I will kill you this day," is his cry. The defendant is
not slow to answer the challenge. A most exciting, and what to a new
pakeha would appear a most desperately dangerous, fencing bout with
spears instantly commences. The attack and defence are in the highest
degree scientific; the spear shafts keep up a continuous rattle; the
thrust, and parry, and stroke with the spear shaft follow each other
with almost incredible rapidity, and are too rapid to be followed by
an unpractised eye. At last the brother-in-law is slightly touched;
blood also drops from our chief's thigh. The fight instantly ceases;
leaning on their spears, probably a little badinage takes place
between them, and then the brother-in-law roars out "_murua! murua!
murua!_" Then the new arrivals commence a regular sack, and the two
principals sit down quietly with a few others for a friendly chat, in
which the child's name is never mentioned, or the inquiry as to
whether he is dead or alive even made. The case I have just described
would, however, be one of more than ordinary importance; slighter
"accidents and offences" would be atoned for by a milder form of
operation. But the general effect was to keep personal property
circulating from hand to hand pretty briskly, or indeed to convert it
into public property; for no man could say who would be the owner of
his canoe or blanket in a month's time. Indeed, in that space of time,
I once saw a nice coat, which a native had got from the captain of a
trading schooner, and which was an article much coveted in those days,
pass through the hands, and over the backs, of six different owners,
and return, considerably the worse for wear, to the original
purchaser; and all these transfers had been made by legal process of
_muru_. I have been often myself paid the compliment of being robbed
for little accidents occurring in my family, and have several times
also, from a feeling of politeness, robbed my Maori friends, though I
can't say I was a great gainer by these transactions. I think the
greatest haul I ever made was about half a bag of shot, which I
thought a famous joke, seeing that I had sold it the day before to the
owner for full value. A month after this I was disturbed early in the
morning by a voice shouting, "Get up!--get up! I will kill you this
day. You have roasted my grandfather. Get up!--_stand_ up!" I, of
course, guessed that I had committed some heinous though involuntary
offence, and the "stand up" hinted the immediate probable
consequences; so out I turned, spear in hand, and who should I see,
armed with a bayonet on the end of a long pole, but my friend the
umwhile owner of the bag of shot. He came at me with pretended fury,
made some smart bangs and thrusts, which I parried, and then
explained to me that I had "cooked his grandfather;" and that if I did
not come down handsome in the way of damages, deeply as he might
regret the necessity, his own credit, and the law of _muru_, compelled
him either to sack my house or die in the attempt. I was glad enough
to prevent either event, by paying him two whole bags of shot, two
blankets, divers fish-hooks, and certain figs of tobacco, which he
demanded. I found that I had really and truly committed a most horrid
crime. I had on a journey made my fire at the foot of a tree, in the
top of which the bones of my friend's grandfather had once been
deposited, but from which they had been removed ten years before; the
tree caught fire and had burnt down: and I, therefore, by a convenient
sort of figure of speech, had "roasted his grandfather," and had to
pay the penalty accordingly.

It did not require much financial ability on my part, after a few
experiences of this nature, to perceive that I had better avail myself
of my privileges as a pakeha, and have nothing further to do with the
law of _muru_--a determination I have kept to strictly. If ever I have
unwittingly injured any of my neighbours, I have always made what I
considered just compensation, and resisted the _muru_ altogether; and
I will say this for my friends, that when any of them have done an
accidental piece of mischief, they have, in most cases without being
asked, offered to pay for it.

The above slight sketch of the penal law of New Zealand I present and
dedicate to the Law Lords of England, as it might, perhaps, afford
some hints for a reform in our own. The only remark I shall have to
add is, that if a man killed another, "malice prepense aforethought,"
the act, in nineteen cases out of twenty, would be either a very
meritorious one, or of no consequence whatever; in either of which
cases the penal code had, of course, nothing to do in the matter. If,
however, a man killed another by _accident_, in the majority of cases
the consequences would be most serious; and not only the involuntary
homicide, but every one connected with him, would be plundered of
everything they possessed worth taking. This, however, to an English
lawyer, may require some explanation, which is as follows:--If a man
thought fit to kill his own slave, it was nobody's affair but his own;
the law had nothing to do with it. If he killed a man of another
tribe, he had nothing to do but declare it was in revenge or
retaliation for some aggression, either recent or traditional, by the
other tribe, of which examples were never scarce. In this case the
action became at once highly meritorious, and his whole tribe would
support and defend him to the last extremity. If he, however, killed a
man by accident, the slain man would be, as a matter of course, in
most instances, one of his ordinary companions--_i.e._, one of his own
tribe. The accidental discharge of a gun often caused death in this
way. Then, indeed, the law of _muru_ had full swing, and the wholesale
plunder of the criminal and family was the penalty. Murder, as the
natives understood it--that is to say, the malicious destruction of a
man of _the same tribe_--did not happen as frequently as might be
expected; and when it did, went in most cases unpunished; the murderer
in general managing to escape to some other section of the tribe where
he had relations, who, as he fled to them for protection, were bound
to give it, and always ready to do so; or otherwise he would stand his
ground and defy all comers, by means of the strength of his own family
or section, who all would defend him and protect him as a mere matter
of course; and as the law of _utu_ or _lex talionis_ was the only one
which applied in this case, and as, unlike the law of _muru_, nothing
was to be got by enforcing it but hard blows, murder in most cases
went unpunished.

[And so, in this day, when a Maori, for some real or fancied injury,
or as a means to elevate his name, kills some wretched white man, he
nearly always goes unpunished. The Government ask for him to be given
up, the tribe refuse, and there is an end of the matter.--Pembroke.]

Chapter VIII.

     The Muru falling into disuse. -- Why? -- Examples of the Tapu. --
     The personal Tapu. -- Evading the Tapu. -- The undertaker's Tapu.
     -- How I got tabooed. -- Frightful difficulties. -- How I got out
     of them. -- The war Tapu. -- Maori war customs.

The law of _muru_ is now but little used, and only on a small scale.
The degenerate men of the present day in general content themselves
with asking "payment," and after some cavilling as to the amount, it
is generally given; but if refused, the case is brought before a
native magistrate, and the pleadings on both sides are often such as
would astound our most famous barristers, and the decisions of a
nature to throw those famous ones by Sancho Panza and Walter the
Doubter for ever into the shade.

I think the reason that the _muru_ is so much less practised than
formerly is the fact that the natives are now far better supplied with
the necessaries and comforts of life than they were many years ago,
especially iron tools and utensils, and in consequence the temptation
to plunder is proportionately decreased. Money would still be a
temptation; but it is so easily concealed, and in general they have
so little of it, that other means are adopted for its acquisition.
When I first saw the natives, the chance of getting an axe or a spade
by the shorthand process of _muru_, or--at a still more remote
period--a few wooden implements, or a canoe, was so great that the
lucky possessor was continually watched by many eager and observant
eyes, in hopes to pick a hole in his coat, by which the _muru_ might
be legally brought to bear upon him. I say legally, for the natives
always tried to have a sufficient excuse; and I absolutely declare,
odd as it may seem, that actual, unauthorized, and inexcusable robbery
or theft was less frequent than in any country I ever have been in,
though the temptation to steal was a thousandfold greater. The natives
of the present day are, however, improving in this respect, and,
amongst other arts of civilization, are beginning to have very pretty
notions of housebreaking, and have even tried highway robbery, though
in a bungling way. The fact is they are just now between two tides.
The old institutions which, barbarous and rude as they were, were
respected and in some degree useful, are wearing out, and have lost
all beneficial effect, and at the same time the laws and usages of
civilization have not acquired any sufficient force. This state of
things is very unfavourable to the _morale_ of Young New Zealand; but
it is likely to change for the better, for it is a maxim of mine that
"laws, if not _made_, will _grow_."

I must now take some little notice of the other great institution, the
_tapu_. The limits of these flying sketches of the good old times
will not allow of more than a partial notice of the all-pervading
_tapu_. Earth, air, fire, water, goods and chattels, growing crops,
men, women, and children,--everything absolutely was subject to its
influence, and a more perplexing puzzle to new pakehas who were
continually from ignorance infringing some of its rules, could not be
well imagined. The natives, however, made considerable allowance for
this ignorance, as well they might, seeing that they themselves,
though from infancy to old age enveloped in a cloud of _tapu_, would
sometimes fall into similar scrapes.

The original object of the ordinary _tapu_ seems to have been the
preservation of property. Of this nature in a great degree was the
ordinary personal _tapu_. This form of the _tapu_ was permanent, and
consisted in a certain sacred character which attached to the person
of a chief and never left him. It was his birthright, a part in fact
of himself, of which he could not be divested, and which was well
understood and recognized at all times as a matter of course. The
fighting men and petty chiefs, and every one indeed who could by any
means claim the title of _rangatira_--which in the sense I now use it
means gentleman--were all in some degree more or less possessed of
this mysterious quality. It extended or was communicated to all their
moveable property, especially to their clothes, weapons, ornaments,
and tools, and to everything in fact which they touched. This
prevented their chattels from being stolen or mislaid, or spoiled by
children, or used or handled in any way by others. And as in the old
times, as I have before stated, every kind of property of this kind
was precious in consequence of the great labour and time necessarily,
for want of iron tools, expended in the manufacture, this form of the
_tapu_ was of great real service. An infringement of it subjected the
offender to various dreadful imaginary punishments, of which deadly
sickness was one, as well as to the operation of the law of _muru_
already mentioned. If the transgression was involuntary, the chief, or
a priest, or _tohunga_, could, by a certain mystical ceremony, prevent
or remit the doleful and mysterious part of the punishment if he
chose, but the civil action, or the robbery by law of _muru_, would
most likely have to take its course, though possibly in a mitigated
form, according to the circumstances.

I have stated that the worst part of the punishment of an offence
against this form of the _tapu_ was imaginary, but in truth, though
imaginary it was not the less a severe punishment. "Conscience makes
cowards of us all," and there was scarcely a man in a thousand, _if_
one, who had sufficient resolution to dare the shadowy terrors of the
_tapu_. I actually have seen an instance where the offender, though an
involuntary one, was killed stone dead in six hours, by what I
considered the effects of his own terrified imagination, but what all
the natives at the time believed to be the work of the terrible
avenger of the _tapu_. The case I may as well describe, as it was a
strong one, and shows how, when falsehoods are once believed, they
will meet with apparent proof from accidental circumstances. A chief
of very high rank, standing, and _mana_ was on a war expedition; with
him were about five hundred men. His own personal _tapu_ was increased
twofold, as was that of all the warriors who were with him, by the
_war tapu_. The _taua_ being on a very dangerous expedition, they were
over and above the ordinary personal _tapu_ made sacred in the highest
degree, and were obliged to observe strictly several mysterious and
sacred customs, some of which I may have to explain by-and-by. They
were, in fact, as irreverent pakehas used to say, "tabooed an inch
thick," and as for the head chief, he was perfectly unapproachable.
The expedition halted to dine. The portion of food set apart for the
chief, in a neat _paro_ or shallow basket of green flax leaves, was,
of course, enough for two or three men, and consequently the greater
part remained unconsumed. The party having dined, moved on, and soon
after a party of slaves and others, who had been some mile or two in
the rear, came up carrying ammunition and baggage. One of the slaves,
a stout, hungry fellow, seeing the chief's unfinished dinner, eat it
up before asking any questions, and had hardly finished when he was
informed by a horror-stricken individual--another slave who had
remained behind when the _taua_ had moved on--of the fatal act he had
committed. I knew the unfortunate delinquent well. He was remarkable
for courage, and had signalized himself in the wars of the tribe. (The
able-bodied slaves are always expected to fight in the quarrels of
their masters, to do which they are nothing loth.) No sooner did he
hear the fatal news than he was seized by the most extraordinary
convulsions and cramps in the stomach, which never ceased till he
died, about sundown the same day. He was a strong man, in the prime of
life, and if any pakeha free-thinker should have said he was not
killed by the _tapu_ of the chief, which had been communicated to the
food by contact, he would have been listened to with feelings of
contempt for his ignorance and inability to understand plain and
direct evidence.

It will be seen at once that this form of the _tapu_ was a great
preserver of property. The most valuable articles might, in ordinary
circumstances, be left to its protection, in the absence of the
owners, for any length of time. It also prevented borrowing and
lending in a very great degree; and though much laughed at and
grumbled at by unthinking pakehas, who would be always trying to get
the natives to give it up, without offering them anything equally
effective in its place, or, indeed, knowing its real object or uses,
it held its ground in full force for many years, and, in a certain but
not so very observable a form, exists still. This form of the _tapu_,
though latent in young folks of _rangatira_ rank, was not supposed to
develope itself fully till they had arrived at mature age, and set up
house on their own account. The lads and boys "knocked about" amongst
the slaves and lower orders, carried fuel or provisions on their
backs, and did all those duties which this personal _tapu_ prevented
the elders from doing, and which restraint was sometimes very
troublesome and inconvenient. A man of any standing could not carry
provisions of any kind on his back, or if he did they were rendered
_tapu_, and, in consequence, useless to any one but himself. If he
went into the shed used as a kitchen (a thing, however, he would never
think of doing except on some great emergency), all the pots, ovens,
food, &c. would be at once rendered useless--none of the cooks or
inferior people could make use of them, or partake of anything which
had been cooked in them. He might certainly light a little fire in his
own house, not for cooking, as that never by any chance could be done
in his house, but for warmth; but that, or any other fire, if he
should have blown upon it with his breath in lighting it, became at
once _tapu_, and could be used for no common or culinary purpose. Even
to light a pipe at it would subject any inferior person, or in many
instances an equal, to a terrible attack of the _tapu morbus_, besides
being a slight or affront to the dignity of the person himself. I have
seen two or three young men fairly wearing themselves out on a wet day
and with bad apparatus trying to make fire to cook with, by rubbing
two sticks together, when on a journey, and at the same time there was
a roaring fire close at hand at which several _rangatira_ and myself
were warming ourselves, but it was _tapu_, sacred fire--one of the
_rangatira_ had made it from his own tinder-box, and blown upon it in
lighting it, and as there was not another tinder-box amongst us, fast
we must, though hungry as sharks, till common culinary fire could be
obtained. A native whose personal _tapu_ was perhaps of the
strongest, might, when at the house of a pakeha, ask for a drink of
water; the pakeha, being green, would hand him some water in a glass,
or in those days, more probably in a tea-cup; the native would drink
the water, and then gravely and quietly break the cup to pieces, or
otherwise he would appropriate it by causing it to vanish under his
mat. The new pakeha would immediately fly into a passion, to the great
astonishment of the native, who considered, as a matter of course,
that the cup or glass was, in the estimation of the pakeha, a very
worthless article, or he would not have given it into his hand and
allowed him to put it to his head, the part most strongly infected by
the _tapu_. Both parties would be surprised and displeased; the native
wondering what could have put the pakeha into such a taking, and the
pakeha "wondering at the rascal's impudence, and what he meant by it?"
The proper line of conduct for the pakeha in the above case made and
provided, supposing him to be of a hospitable and obliging
disposition, would be to lay hold of some vessel containing about two
gallons of water (to allow for waste), hold it up before the native's
face, the native would then stoop down and put his hand, bent into the
shape of a funnel or conductor for the water, to his mouth; then, from
the height of a foot or so, the pakeha would send a cataract of water
into the said funnel, and continue the shower till the native gave a
slight upward nod of the head, which meant "enough," by which time,
from the awkwardness of the pakeha, the two gallons of water would be
about expended, half, at least, on the top of the native's head, who
would not, however, appear to notice the circumstance, and would
appreciate the civility of his pakeha friend. I have often drank in
this way in the old times; asking for a drink of water at a native
village, a native would gravely approach with a calabash, and hold it
up before me ready to pour forth its contents; I, of course, cocked my
hand and lip in the most knowing manner. If I had laid hold of the
calabash and drank in the ordinary way as practised by pakehas, I
would have at once fallen in the estimation of all bystanders, and
been set down as a _tutua_--a nobody, who had no _tapu_ or _mana_
about him; a mere scrub of a pakeha, whom any one might eat or drink
after without the slightest danger of being poisoned. These things are
all changed now, and though I have often in the good old times been
tabooed in the most diabolical and dignified manner, there are only a
few old men left now who, by little unmistakable signs, I perceive
consider it would be very uncivil to act in any way which would
suppose my _tapu_ to have disappeared before the influx of new-fangled
pakeha notions. Indeed I feel myself sometimes as if I was somehow
insensibly partially civilized. What it will all end in, I don't know.

This same personal _tapu_ would even hold its own in some cases
against the _muru_, though not in a sufficiently general manner to
seriously affect the operation of that well-enforced law. Its
inconveniences were, on the other hand, many, and the expedients
resorted to to avoid them were sometimes comical enough. I was once
going on an excursion with a number of natives; we had two canoes, and
one of them started a little before the other. I was with the canoe
which had been left behind, and just as we were setting off it was
discovered that amongst twenty stout fellows, my companions, there was
no one who had a back!--as they expressed it--and, consequently, no
one to carry our provisions into the canoe: all the lads, women, and
slaves had gone off in the other canoe--all those who had backs--and
so there we were left, a very disconsolate lot of _rangatira_, who
could not carry their own provisions into the canoe, and who at the
same time could not go without them. The provisions consisted of
several heavy baskets of potatoes, some dried sharks, and a large pig
baked whole. What was to be done? We were all brought to a full stop,
though in a great hurry to go on. We were beginning to think we must
give up the expedition altogether, and were very much disappointed
accordingly, when a clever fellow, who, had he been bred a lawyer,
would have made nothing of driving a mail coach through an act of
parliament, set us all to rights in a moment. "I'll tell you what we
must do," said he, "we will not carry (_pikau_) the provisions, we
will _hiki_ them." (_Hiki_ is the word in Maori which describes the
act of carrying an infant in the arms.) This was a great discovery! A
huge handsome fellow seized on the baked pig and dandled it, or
_hiki'd_ it, in his arms like an infant; another laid hold of a shark,
others took baskets of potatoes, and carrying them in this way
deposited them in the canoe. And so, having thus evaded the law, we
started on our expedition.

I remember another amusing instance in which the inconvenience arising
from the _tapu_ was evaded. I must, however, notice that these
instances were only evasions of the _tapu_ of the ordinary kind, what
I have called the personal _tapu_, not the more dangerous and dreadful
kind connected with the mystic doings of the _tohunga_, or that other
form of _tapu_ connected with the handling of the dead. Indeed, my
companions in the instance I have mentioned, though all _rangatira_,
were young men on whom the personal _tapu_ had not arrived at the
fullest perfection; it seemed, indeed, sometimes to sit very lightly
on them, and I doubt very much if the play upon the words _hiki_ and
_pikau_ would have reconciled any of the elders of the tribe to
carrying a roasted pig in their arms, or if they did do so, I feel
quite certain that no amount of argument would have persuaded the
younger men to eat it; as for slaves or women, to _look_ at it would
almost be dangerous to them.

The other instance of dodging the law was as follows:--I was the first
pakeha who had ever arrived at a certain populous inland village. The
whole of the inhabitants were in a great state of commotion and
curiosity, for many of them had never seen a pakeha before. As I
advanced, the whole juvenile population ran before me at a safe
distance of about a hundred yards, eyeing me, as I perceived, with
great terror and distrust. At last I suddenly made a charge at them,
rolling my eyes and showing my teeth, and to see the small savages
tumbling over one another, and running for their lives, was something
curious, and though my "demonstration" did not continue more than
twenty yards, I am sure some of the little villains ran a mile before
looking behind to see whether the ferocious monster called a pakeha
was gaining on them. They did run! I arrived at the centre of the
village, and was conducted to a large house or shed, which had been
constructed as a place of reception for visitors, and as a general
lounging place for all the inhabitants. It was a _whare noa_, a house
to which, from its general and temporary uses, the _tapu_ was not
supposed to attach, I mean, of course, the ordinary personal _tapu_ or
_tapu rangatira_. Any person, however, _infected_ with any of the more
serious or extraordinary forms of the _tapu_ entering it, would at
once render it uninhabitable. I took my seat. The house was full, and
nearly the whole of the rest of the population were blocking up the
open front of the large shed, all striving to see the pakeha, and
passing to the rear from man to man every word he happened to speak. I
could hear them say to the people behind, "The pakeha has stood up!"
"Now he has sat down again!" "He has said, how do you all do?" "He has
said, this is a nice place of yours!" etc., etc. Now there happened to
be at a distance an old gentleman engaged in clearing the weeds from a
_kumera_ or sweet potato field, and as the kumera in the old times was
the crop on which the natives depended chiefly for support, like all
valuable things it was _tapu_, and the parties who entered the field
to remove the weeds were _tapu_, _pro tem._, also. Now one of the
effects of this temporary extra _tapu_ was that the parties could not
enter any regular dwelling-house, or indeed any house used by others.
Now the breach of this rule would not be dangerous in a personal
sense, but the effect would be that the crop of sweet potatoes would
fail. The industrious individual I have alluded to, hearing the cry of
"A pakeha! a pakeha!" from many voices, and having never had an
opportunity to examine that variety of the species, or _genus homo_,
flung down his wooden _kaheru_ or weed exterminator and rushed towards
the town house before mentioned. What could he do? The _tapu_ forbade
his entrance, and the front was so completely blocked up by his
admiring neighbours that he could not get sight of the wonderful
guest. In these desperate circumstances a bright thought struck him;
he would, by a bold and ingenious device, give the _tapu_ the slip. He
ran to the back of the house, made with some difficulty a hole in the
padded _raupo_ wall, and squeezed his head through it. The elastic
wall of _raupo_ closed again around his neck; the _tapu_ was fairly
beaten! No one could say he was _in_ the house. He was certainly more
out than in, and there, seemingly hanging from or stuck against the
wall, remained for hours, with open mouth and wondering eyes, this
brazen head, till at last the shades of night obstructing its vision,
a rustling noise in the wall of flags and reeds announced the
departure of my bodyless admirer.

Some of the forms of the _tapu_ were not to be played with, and were
of a most virulent kind. Of this kind was the _tapu_ of those who
handled the dead, or conveyed the body to its last resting-place. This
_tapu_ was, in fact, the uncleanness of the old Jewish law, and lasted
about the same time, and was removed in almost the same way. It was a
most serious affair. The person who came under this form of the _tapu_
was cut off from all contact, and almost all communication with the
human race. He could not enter any house, or come in contact with any
person or thing, without utterly bedeviling them. He could not even
touch food with his hands, which had become so frightfully _tapu_ or
unclean as to be quite useless. Food would be placed for him on the
ground, and he would then sit or kneel down, and, with his hands
carefully held behind his back, would gnaw it in the best way he
could. In some cases he would be fed by another person, who, with
outstretched arm, would manage to do it without touching the _tapu'd_
individual; but this feeder was subjected to many and severe
restrictions, not much less onerous than those to which the other was
subject. In almost every populous native village there was a person
who, probably for the sake of immunity from labour, or from being good
for nothing else, took up the undertaking business as a regular
profession, and, in consequence, was never for a moment, for years
together, clear of the horrid inconveniences of the _tapu_, as well as
its dangers. One of these people might be easily recognized, after a
little experience, even by a pakeha. Old, withered, haggard, clothed
in the most miserable rags, daubed all over from head to foot with red
paint (the native funereal colour), made of stinking shark oil and
red ochre mixed, keeping always at a distance, silent and solitary,
often half insane, he might be seen sitting motionless all day at a
distance, forty or fifty yards from the common path or thoroughfare of
the village. There, under the "lee" of a bush, or tuft of flax, gazing
silently, and with "lack-lustre eye," on the busy doings of the Maori
world, of which he was hardly to be called a member. Twice a day some
food would be thrown on the ground before him, to gnaw as best he
might, without the use of hands; and at night, tightening his greasy
rags around him, he would crawl into some miserable lair of leaves and
rubbish, there, cold, half-starved, miserable, and dirty, to pass, in
fitful ghost-haunted slumbers, a wretched night, as prelude to another
wretched day. It requires, they say, all sorts of people to make a
world; and I have often thought, in observing one of these miserable
objects, that his or her's was the very lowest ebb to which a human
being's prospects in life could be brought by adverse fate. When I
met, or rather saw, a female practitioner, I fairly ran for it; and
so, believing my readers to be equally tender-hearted, I shall not
venture on any more description, but merely say that the man
undertaker, such as I have described him, would be taken for Apollo if
seen in one of these hag's company.

What will my kind reader say when I tell him that I myself once got
_tapu'd_ with this same horrible, horrible, most horrible style of
_tapu_? I hold it to be a fact that there is not one man in New
Zealand but myself who has a clear understanding of what the word
"excommunication" means, and I did not understand what it meant till I
got _tapu'd_. I was returning with about sixty men from a journey
along the west coast. I was a short distance in advance of the party,
when I came to where the side of a hill had fallen down on to the
beach, and exposed a number of human bones. There was a large skull
rolling about in the water. I took up this skull without
consideration, carried it to the side of the hill, scraped a hole, and
covered it up. Just as I had finished covering it up, up came my
friends, and I saw at once, by the astonishment and dismay depicted on
their countenances, that I had committed some most unfortunate act.
They soon let me know that the hill had been a burying-place of their
tribe, and jumped at once to the conclusion that the skull was the
skull of one of their most famous chiefs, whose name they told me,
informing me also that I was no longer fit company for human beings,
and begging me to fall to the rear and keep my distance. They told me
all this from a very respectful distance, and if I made a step towards
them, they all ran as if I had been infected by the plague. This was
an awkward state of things, but as it could not be helped, I voted
myself _tapu_, and kept clear of my friends till night. At night when
they camped I was obliged to take my solitary abode at a distance,
under shelter of a rock. When the evening meal was cooked, they
brought me a fair allowance, and set it down at a respectful distance
from where I sat, fully expecting, I suppose, that I should bob at it
as Maori _kai tango atua_ or undertakers are wont to do. I had,
however, no idea of any such proceeding; and pulling out my knife
proceeded to operate in the usual manner. I was checked by an
exclamation of horror and surprise from the whole band, "Oh, what are
you about, you are not going to touch food with your _hands_?"
"Indeed, but I am," said I, and stretched out my hand. Here another
scream--"You must not do that, it's the worst of all things; one of us
will feed you; it's wrong, wrong, very wrong!" "Oh, bother," said I,
and fell to at once. I declare positively I had no sooner done so than
I felt sorry. The expression of horror, contempt, and pity observable
in their faces, convinced me that I had not only offended and hurt
their feelings, but that I had lowered myself greatly in their
estimation. Certainly I was a pakeha, and pakehas will do most
unaccountable things, and may be, in ordinary cases, excused; but
this, I saw at once, was an act which, to my friends, seemed the _ne
plus ultra_ of abomination. I now can well understand that I must
have, sitting there eating my potatoes, appeared to them a ghoul, a
vampire--worse than even one of their own dreadful _atua_, who, at the
command of a witch, or to avenge some breach of the _tapu_, enters
into a man's body and slowly eats away his vitals. I can see it now,
and understand what a frightful object I must have appeared. My
friends broke up their camp at once, not feeling sure, after what I
had done, but I might walk in amongst them in the night, when they
were asleep, and bedevil them all. They marched all night, and in the
morning came to my house, where they spread consternation and dismay
amongst my household by telling them in what a condition I was coming
home. The whole of my establishment at this time being natives, they
ran at once; and when I got home next evening, hungry and vexed, there
was not a soul to be seen. The house and kitchen were shut up, fires
out, and, as I fancied, everything looked dreary and uncomfortable. If
only a dog had come and wagged his tail in welcome, it would have been
something; but even my dog was gone. Certainly there was an old tom
cat, but I hate cats, there is no sincerity in them, and so I had
kicked this old tom on principle whenever he came in my way, and now,
when he saw me, he ran for his life into the bush. The instinct of a
hungry man sent me into the kitchen; there was nothing eatable to be
seen but a raw leg of pork, and the fire was out. I now began to
suspect that this attempt of mine to look down the _tapu_ would fail,
and that I should remain excommunicated for some frightfully
indefinite period. I began to think of Robinson Crusoe, and to wonder
if I could hold out as well as he did. Then I looked hard at the leg
of pork. The idea that I must cook for myself brought home to me the
fact more forcibly than anything else how I had "fallen from my high
estate"--cooking being the very last thing a _rangatira_ can turn his
hand to. But why should I have anything more to do with cooking? Was I
not cast off and repudiated by the human race? (A horrible misanthropy
was fast taking hold of me.) Why should I not tear my leg of pork raw,
like a wolf? "I will run a muck!" suddenly said I. "I wonder how many
I can kill before they 'bag' me? I will kill, kill, kill! but--I must
have some supper."

I soon made a fire, and after a little rummaging found the _matériel_
for a good meal. My cooking was not so bad either, I thought; but
certainly hunger is not hard to please in this respect, and I had
eaten nothing since the diabolical meal of the preceding evening, and
had travelled more than twenty miles. I washed my hands six or seven
times, scrubbing away and muttering with an intonation that would have
been a fortune to a tragic actor. "Out, damned spot;" and so, after
having washed and dried my hands, looked at them, returned, and washed
again, again washed, and so on several times, I sat down and
demolished two days' allowance. After which, reclining before the fire
with my pipe and a blanket over my shoulders, a more kindly feeling
towards my fellow men stole gradually upon me. "I wonder," said I to
myself, "how long this devilish _tapu_ will last! I wonder if there is
to be any end at all to it! I won't run a muck for a week, at all
events, till I see what may turn up. Confounded plague though to have
to cook!" Having resolved as above, not to take any one's life for a
week, I felt more patient. Four days passed somehow or another, and on
the morning of the fifth, to my extreme delight, I saw a small canoe,
pulled by one man, landing on the beach before the house. He fastened
his canoe and advanced towards the kitchen, which was detached from
the house, and which, in the late deplorable state of affairs, had
become my regular residence. I sat in the doorway, and soon perceived
that my visitor was a famous _tohunga_, or priest, and who also had
the reputation of being a witch of no ordinary dimensions. He was an
old, grave, stolid-looking savage, with one eye, the other had been
knocked out long ago in a fight before he turned parson. On he came,
with a slow, measured step, slightly gesticulating with one hand, and
holding in the other a very small basket, not more than nine or ten
inches long. He came on, mumbling and grumbling a perfectly
unintelligible _karakia_ or incantation. I guessed at once he was
coming to disenchant me, and prepared my mind to submit to any
conditions or ceremonial he should think fit to impose. My old friend
came gravely up, and putting his hand into the little basket pulled
out a baked _kumera_, saying, "_He kai mau_." I of course accepted the
offered food, took a bite, and as I ate he mumbled his incantation
over me. I remember I felt a curious sensation at the time, like what
I fancied a man must feel who had just sold himself, body and bones,
to the devil. For a moment I asked myself the question whether I was
not actually being then and there handed over to the powers of
darkness. The thought startled me. There was I, an unworthy but
believing member of the Church of England as by Parliament
established, "knuckling down" abjectly to the ministration of a
ferocious old cannibal, wizard, sorcerer, high priest,--as it appeared
very probable,--to Satan himself. "Blacken his remaining eye! knock
him over and run the country!" whispered quite plainly in my ear my
guardian angel, or else a little impulsive sprite who often made
suggestions to me in those days. For a couple of seconds the
sorcerer's eye was in desperate danger; but just in those moments the
ceremony, or at least this most objectionable part of it, came to an
end. He stood back and said, "Have you been in the house?" Fortunately
I had presence of mind enough to _forget_ that I had, and said, "No."
"Throw out all those pots and kettles." I saw it was no use to
resist--so out they went. "Fling out those dishes" was the next
command. "The dishes?--they will break." "I am going to break them
all." Capital fun this--out go the dishes; "and may the ----." I fear
I was about to say something bad. "Fling out those knives, and those
things with sharp points"--(the old villain did not know what to call
the forks!)--"and those shells with handles to them"--(spoons!)--"out
with everything." The last sweeping order is obeyed and the kitchen is
fairly empty. The worst is over now at last, thank goodness, said I to
myself. "Strip off all your clothes." "What? strip naked! you
desperate old thief--mind your eye." Human patience could bear no
more. Out I jumped. I did "strip." Off came my jacket. "How would you
prefer being killed, old ruffian? can you do anything in this way?"
(Here a pugilistic demonstration.) "Strip! he doesn't mean to give me
five dozen, does he?" said I, rather bewildered, and looking sharp to
see if he had anything like an instrument of flagellation in his
possession. "Come on! what are you waiting for?" said I. In those
days, when labouring under what Dickens calls the "description of
temporary insanity which arises from a sense of injury," I always
involuntarily fell back upon my mother tongue, which in this case was
perhaps fortunate, as my necromantic old friend did not understand the
full force of my eloquence. He could not, however, mistake my warlike
and rebellious attitude, and could see clearly I was going into one of
those most unaccountable rages that pakehas were liable to fly into,
without any imaginable cause. "Boy," said he, gravely and quietly, and
without seeming to notice my very noticeable declaration of war and
independence, "don't act foolishly; don't go mad. No one will ever
come near you while you have those clothes. You will be miserable here
by yourself. And what is the use of being angry? what will _anger_ do
for you?" The perfect coolness of my old friend, the complete
disregard he paid to my explosion of wrath, as well as his reasoning,
began to make me feel a little disconcerted. He evidently had come
with the purpose and intention to get me out of a very awkward scrape.
I began also to feel that, looking at the affair from his point of
view, I was just possibly not making a very respectable figure; and
then, if I understood him rightly, there would be no _flogging_.
"Well," said I, at last, "Fate compels; to fate, and not old
Hurlothrumbo there, I yield--so here goes." Let me not dwell upon the
humiliating concession to the powers of _tapu_. Suffice it to say, I
disrobed, and received permission to enter my own house in search of
other garments. When I came out again, my old friend was sitting down
with a stone in his hand, battering the last pot to pieces, and
looking as if he was performing a very meritorious action. He carried
away all the smashed kitchen utensils and my clothes in baskets, and
deposited them in a thicket at a considerable distance from the house.
(I stole the knives, forks, and spoons back again some time after, as
he had not broken them.) He then bid me good-bye, and the same evening
all my household came flocking back; but years passed before any one
but myself would go into the kitchen, and I had to build another. And
for several years also I could observe, by the respectable distance
kept by young natives and servants, and the nervous manner with which
they avoided my pipe in particular, that they considered I had not
been as completely purified from the _tapu tango atua_ as I might have
been. I now am aware, that in consideration of my being a pakeha, and
also perhaps, lest driven to desperation, I should run away entirely,
which would have been looked upon as a great misfortune to the tribe,
I was let off very easy, and might therefore be supposed to retain
some tinge of the dreadful infection.

Besides these descriptions of _tapu_, there were many others. There
was the _war tapu_, which in itself included fifty different "sacred
customs," one of which was this--that often when the fighting men left
the pa or camp, they being themselves made _tapu_, or sacred, as in
this particular case the word means, all those who remained behind,
old men, women, slaves, and all non-combatants were obliged strictly
to fast while the warriors were fighting; and, indeed, from the time
they left the camp till their return, even to smoke a pipe would be a
breach of this rule. These war customs, as well as other forms of the
_tapu_, are evidently derived from a very ancient religion, and did
not take their rise in this country. I shall probably, some of these
days, treat of them at more length, and endeavour to trace them to
their source.

Sacrifices were often made to the war demon, and I know of one
instance in which, when a tribe were surrounded by an overwhelming
force of their enemies, and had nothing but extermination, immediate
and unrelenting, before them, the war chief cut out the heart of his
own son as an offering for victory, and then he and his tribe, with
the fury of despair and the courage of fanatics, rushed upon the foe,
defeated them with terrific slaughter, and the war demon had much
praise, and many men were eaten.

The warriors, when on a dangerous expedition, also observed strictly
the custom to which allusion is made. 1 Samuel, xxi. 4-5.

Chapter IX.

     The Tapu Tohunga. -- The Maori oracle. -- Responses of the
     oracle. -- Priestcraft.

Then came the _tapu tohunga_, or priest's _tapu_, a quite different
kind or form of _tapu_ from those which I have spoken of. These
_tohunga_ presided over all those ceremonies and customs which had
something approaching to a religious character. They also pretended to
the power, by means of certain familiar spirits, to foretell future
events, and even in some cases to control them. The belief in the
power of these _tohunga_ to foretell events was very strong, and the
incredulous pakeha who laughed at them was thought a person quite
incapable of understanding plain evidence. I must allow that some of
their predictions were of a most daring nature, and happening to turn
out perfectly successful, there may be some excuse for an ignorant
people believing in them. Most of these predictions were, however,
given, like the oracles of old, in terms which would admit a double
meaning, and secure the character of the soothsayer no matter how the
event turned out. It is also remarkable that these _tohunga_ did not
pretend to divine future events by any knowledge or power existing in
themselves; they pretended to be for the time inspired by the familiar
spirit, and passive in his hands. This spirit "entered into" them,
and, on being questioned, gave a response in a sort of half-whistling,
half-articulate voice, supposed to be the proper language of spirits;
and I have known a _tohunga_ who, having made a false prediction, laid
the blame on the "tricksey spirit," who he said had purposely spoken
false for certain good and sufficient spiritual reasons, which he then
explained. Amongst the fading customs and beliefs of the good old
times the _tohunga_ still holds his ground, and the oracle is as often
consulted, though not so openly, as it was a hundred years ago, and is
as firmly believed in, and this by natives who are professed
Christians; and the inquiries are often on subjects of the most vital
importance to the welfare of the colony. A certain _tohunga_ has even
quite lately, to my certain knowledge, been paid a large sum of money
to do a miracle! I saw the money paid, and I saw the miracle. And the
miracle was a good enough sort of miracle, as miracles go in these
times. The natives know we laugh at their belief in these things. They
would much rather we were angry, for then they would defy us; but as
we simply laugh at their credulity, they do all they can to conceal it
from us; but nevertheless the chiefs, on all matters of importance,
continue to consult the Maori oracle.

I shall give two instances of predictions which came under my own
observation, and which will show how much the same priestcraft has
been in all times.

A man--a petty chief--had a serious quarrel with his relations, left
his tribe, and went to a distant part of the country, saying that he
cast them off, and would never return. After a time the relations
became both uneasy at his absence and sorry for the disagreement. The
presence of the head of the family was also of consequence to them.
They therefore inquired of the oracle if he would return. At night the
_tohunga_ invoked the familiar spirit, he became inspired, and in a
sort of hollow whistle came the words of fate:--"He will return, but
yet not return." This response was given several times, and then the
spirit departed, leaving the priest or _tohunga_ to the guidance of
his own unaided wits. No one could understand the meaning of the
response. The priest himself said he could make nothing of it. The
spirit of course knew his own meaning; but all agreed that, whatever
that meaning was, it would turn out true. Now the conclusion of this
story is rather extraordinary. Some time after this several of the
chief's relations went to offer reconciliation and to endeavour to
persuade him to return home. Six months afterwards they returned,
bringing him along with them _a corpse_; they had found him dying, and
carried his body home. Now all knew the meaning of the words of the
oracle, "He will return, but yet not return."

Another instance, which I witnessed myself, was as follows:--A captain
of a large ship had run away with a Maori girl; or a Maori girl had
run away with a ship captain; I should not like to swear which is the
proper form of expression; and the relations, as in such cases happens
in most countries, thought it incumbent on them to get into a great
taking, and make as much noise as possible about the matter. Off they
set to the _tohunga_; I happened to be at his place at the time, and
saw and heard all I am about to recount. The relations of the girl did
not merely confine themselves to asking questions, they demanded
active assistance. The ship had gone to sea loaded for a long voyage.
The fugitives had fairly escaped; and what the relations wanted was
that the _atua_, or familiar spirit of the _tohunga_, should bring the
ship back into port, so that they might have an opportunity to recover
the lost ornament of the family. I heard the whole. The priest hummed
and hawed. "He did not know, could not say. We should hear what the
'boy' would say. He would do as he liked. Could not compel him;" and
so forth. At night all assembled in the house where the priest usually
performed. All was expectation. I saw I was _de trop_ in the opinion
of our soothsayer; in fact, I had got the name of an infidel (which I
have since taken care to get rid of), and the spirit was unwilling to
enter the company of unbelievers. My friend the priest hinted to me
politely that a nice bed had been made for me in the next house. I
thanked him in the most approved Maori fashion, but said I was "very
comfortable where I was;" and, suiting the action to the word, rolled
my cloak about me, and lay down on the rushes with which the floor
was covered. About midnight I heard the spirit saluting the guests,
and they saluting him; and I also noticed they hailed him as
"relation," and then gravely preferred the request that he would
"drive back the ship which had stolen his cousin." The response, after
a short time, came in the hollow, mysterious, whistling voice,--"The
ship's nose I will batter out on the great sea." This answer was
repeated several times, and then the spirit departed and would not be
recalled. The rest of the night was spent in conjecturing what could
be the meaning of these words. All agreed that there must be more in
them than met the ear; but no one could say it was a clear concession
of the request made. As for the priest, he said he could not
understand it, and that "the spirit was a great rogue"--a _koroke
hangareka_. He, however, kept throwing out hints now and then that
something more than common was meant, and talked generally in the "we
shall see" style. Now here comes the end of the affair. About ten days
after this in comes the ship. She had been "battered" with a
vengeance. She had been met by a terrible gale when a couple of
hundred miles off the land, and had sprung a leak in the bow. The bow
in Maori is called the "nose" (_ihu_). The vessel had been in great
danger, and had been actually forced to run for the nearest port,
which happened to be the one she had left. Now, after such a
coincidence as this, I can hardly blame the ignorant natives for
believing in the oracle, for I actually caught myself quoting, "Can
the devil speak truth?" Indeed I have in the good old times known
several pakehas who "thought there was something in it," and two who
formally and believingly consulted the oracle, and paid a high
_douceur_ to the priest.

I shall give one more instance of the response of the Maori oracle. A
certain northern tribe, noted for their valour, but not very numerous,
sent the whole of their best men on a war expedition to the south.
This happened about forty years ago. Before the _taua_ started the
oracle was consulted, and the answer to the question, "Shall this
expedition be successful?" came. "A desolate country!--a desolate
country!--a desolate country!" This the eager warriors accepted as a
most favourable response. They said the enemy's country would be
desolated. It, however, so turned out that they were all exterminated
to a man, and the miserable remnant of their tribe, weakened and
rendered helpless by their loss, became a prey to their more immediate
neighbours, lost their lands, and have ceased from that day to be
heard of as an independent tribe. So, in fact, it was the country of
the eager inquirers which was laid "desolate." Every one praised the
oracle, and its character was held higher than ever.

Chapter X.

     The priest evokes a spirit. -- The consequences. -- A Maori
     tragedy. -- The "Tohunga" again.

These priests or _tohunga_ would, and do to this hour, undertake to
call up the spirit of any dead person, if paid for the same. I have
seen many of these exhibitions, but one instance will suffice as an

 A young chief, who had been very popular and greatly respected in
 his tribe, had been killed in battle, and, at the request of
 several of his nearest friends, the _tohunga_ had promised on a
 certain night to call up his spirit to speak to them, and answer
 certain questions they wished to put. The priest was to come to the
 village of the relations, and the interview was to take place in a
 large house common to all the population. This young man had been a
 great friend of mine; and so, the day before the event, I was sent
 to by his relations, and told that an opportunity offered of
 conversing with my friend once more. I was not much inclined to
 bear a part in such outrageous mummery, but curiosity caused me to
 go. Now it is necessary to remark that this young chief was a man
 in advance of his times and people in many respects. He was the
 first of his tribe who could read and write; and, amongst other
 unusual things for a native to do, he kept a register of deaths and
 births, and a journal of any remarkable events which happened in
 the tribe. Now this book was lost. No one could find it, although
 his friends had searched unceasingly for it, as it contained many
 matters of interest, and also they wished to preserve it for his
 sake. I also wished to get it, and had often inquired if it had
 been found, but had always been answered in the negative. The
 appointed time came, and at night we all met the priest in the
 large house I have mentioned. Fires were lit, which gave an
 uncertain, flickering light. The priest retired to the darkest
 corner. All was expectation, and the silence was only broken by the
 sobbing of the sister and other female relations of the dead man.
 They seemed to be, and indeed were, in an agony of excitement,
 agitation, and grief. This state of things continued for a long
 time, and I began to feel in a way surprising to myself, as if
 there was something real in the matter. The heart-breaking sobs of
 the women, and the grave and solemn silence of the men, convinced
 me that, to them at least, this was a serious matter. I saw the
 brother of the dead man now and then wiping the tears in silence
 from his eyes. I wished I had not come, for I felt that any
 unintentional symptom of incredulity on my part would shock and
 hurt the feelings of my friends extremely; and yet, whilst feeling
 thus, I felt myself more and more near to believing in the
 deception about to be practised. The real grief, and also the
 general undoubting faith, in all around me, had this effect. We
 were all seated on the rush-strewn floor, about thirty persons. The
 door was shut; the fire had burnt down, leaving nothing but glowing
 charcoal. The room was oppressively hot. The light was little
 better than darkness, and the part of the room in which the
 _tohunga_ sat was now in perfect darkness. Suddenly, without the
 slightest warning, a voice came out of the darkness.
 "Salutation!--salutation to you all!--salutation!--salutation to
 you, my tribe!--family, I salute you!--friends, I salute
 you!--friend, my pakeha friend, I salute you!" The high-handed,
 daring imposture was successful; our feelings were taken by storm.
 A cry expressive of affection and despair, such as was not good to
 hear, came from the sister of the dead chief, a fine, stately, and
 really handsome woman of about five-and-twenty. She was rushing,
 with both arms extended, into the dark, in the direction from
 whence the voice came. She was instantly seized round the waist and
 restrained by her brother by main force, till moaning and fainting
 she lay still on the ground. At the same instant another female
 voice was heard from a young girl who was held by the wrists by two
 young men, her brothers. "Is it you?--is it you?--_truly_ is it
 you?--_aue! aue!_ they hold me, they restrain me; wonder not that I
 have not followed you; they restrain me, they watch me, but I go to
 you. The sun shall not rise, the sun shall not rise, _aue! aue!_"
 Here she fell insensible on the rush floor, and with the sister
 was carried out. The remaining women were all weeping and
 exclaiming, but were silenced by the men, who were themselves
 nearly as much excited, though not so clamorous. I, however, did
 notice two old men, who sat close to me, were not in the slightest
 degree moved in any way, though they did not seem at all
 incredulous, but quite the contrary. The spirit spoke again. "Speak
 to me, the tribe!--speak to me, the family!--speak to me, the
 pakeha!" The "pakeha," however, was not at the moment inclined for
 conversation. The deep distress of the two women, the evident
 belief of all around him of the presence of the spirit, the
 "darkness visible," the novelty of the scene, gave rise to a state
 of feeling not favourable to the conversational powers. Besides, I
 felt reluctant to give too much apparent credence to an imposture,
 which at the very same time, by some strange impulse, I felt half
 ready to give way to. At last the brother spoke. "How is it with
 you?--is it well with you in _that_ country?" The answer came--(the
 voice all through, it is to be remembered, was not the voice of the
 _tohunga_, but a strange melancholy sound, like the sound of the
 wind blowing into a hollow vessel),--"It is well with me; my place
 is a good place." The brother spoke again. "Have you seen ----, and
 ----, and ----?" (I forget the names mentioned.) "Yes, they are all
 with me." A woman's voice now from another part of the room
 anxiously cried out, "Have you seen my sister?" "Yes, I have seen
 her." "Tell her my love is great towards her and never will cease."
 "Yes, I will tell." Here the woman burst into tears, and the
 pakeha felt a strange swelling of the chest, which he could in no
 way account for. The spirit spoke again. "Give my large tame pig to
 the priest (the pakeha was disenchanted at once) and my
 double-gun." Here the brother interrupted, "Your gun is a
 _manatunga_, I shall keep it." He is also disenchanted, thought I,
 but I was mistaken. He believed, but wished to keep the gun his
 brother had carried so long. An idea now struck me that I could
 expose the imposture without showing palpable disbelief. "We cannot
 find your book," said I, "where have you concealed it?" The answer
 instantly came, "I concealed it between the _tahuhu_ of my house
 and the thatch, straight over you as you go in at the door." Here
 the brother rushed out; all was silence till his return. In five
 minutes he came back _with the book in his hand_. I was beaten, but
 made another effort. "What have you written in that book?" said I.
 "A great many things." "Tell me some of them." "Which of them?"
 "Any of them." "You are seeking for some information, what do you
 want to know? I will tell you." Then suddenly, "Farewell, O tribe!
 farewell, my family, I go!" Here a general and impressive cry of
 "farewell" arose from every one in the house. "Farewell," again
 cried the spirit, _from deep beneath the ground_! "Farewell," again
 from _high in air_! "Farewell," once more came moaning through the
 distant darkness of the night. "Farewell!" I was for a moment
 stunned. The deception was perfect. There was a dead silence--at
 last. "A ventriloquist," said I; "or--or--_perhaps_ the devil."

I was fagged and confused. It was past midnight; the company broke up,
and I went to a house where a bed had been prepared for me. I wished
to be quiet and alone; but it was fated there should be little quiet
that night. I was just falling asleep, after having thought for some
time on the extraordinary scenes I had witnessed, when I heard the
report of a musket at some little distance, followed by the shouting
of men and the screams of women. Out I rushed. I had a presentiment of
some horrible catastrophe. Men were running by, hastily armed. I could
get no information, so went with the stream. There was a bright flame
beginning to spring up at a short distance, and every one appeared
going in that direction. I was soon there. A house had been set on
fire to make a light. Before another house, close at hand, a dense
circle of human beings was formed. I pushed my way through, and then
saw, by the bright light of the flaming house, a scene which is still
fresh before me: there, in the verandah of the house, was an old
grey-bearded man; he knelt upon one knee, and on the other he
supported the dead body of the young girl who had said she would
follow the spirit to spirit land. The delicate-looking body from the
waist upwards was bare and bloody; the old man's right arm was under
the neck, the lower part of his long grey beard was dabbled with
blood, his left hand was twisting his matted hair; he did not weep, he
_howled_, and the sound was that of a heathen despair, knowing no
hope. The young girl had secretly procured a loaded musket, tied a
loop for her foot to the trigger, placed the muzzle to her tender
breast, and blown herself to shatters. And the old man was her father,
and a _tohunga_. A calm low voice now spoke close beside me, "She has
followed her _rangatira_," it said. I looked round, and saw the famous
_tohunga_ of the night.

Now, young ladies, I have promised not to frighten your little wits
out with raw-head-and-bloody-bones stories, a sort of thing I detest,
but which has been too much the fashion with folks who write of
matters Maori. I have vowed not to draw a drop of blood except in a
characteristic manner. But this story is tragedy, or I don't know what
tragedy is, and the more tragic because, in every particular,
literally true, and so if you cannot find some pity for the poor Maori
girl who "followed her lord to spirit land," I shall make it my
business not to fall in love with any of you any more for I won't say
how long.

Chapter XI.

     The local Tapu. -- The Taniwha. -- The battle on Motiti. -- The
     death of Tiki Whenua. -- Reflections. -- Brutus, Marcus Antonius,
     and Tiki Whenua. -- Suicide.

A story-teller, like a poet or a pugilist, must be _born_, and not
_made_, and I begin to fancy I have not been born under a
story-telling planet, for by no effort that I can make can I hold on
to the thread of my story, and I am conscious the whole affair is fast
becoming one great parenthesis. If I could only get clear of this
_tapu_ I would "try back." I believe I ought to be just now completing
the purchase of my estate. I am sure I have been keeping house a long
time before it is built, which is I believe clear against the rules,
so I must get rid of this talk about the _tapu_ the best way I can,
after which I will start fair and try not to get before my story.

Besides these different forms of the _tapu_ which I have mentioned,
there were endless others, but the temporary local _tapus_ were the
most tormenting to a pakeha, as well they might be, seeing that even a
native could not steer clear of them always. A place not _tapu_
yesterday might be most horribly _tapu_ to-day, and the consequences
of trespassing thereon proportionately troublesome. Thus, sailing
along a coast or a river bank, the most inviting landing-place would
be almost to a certainty the freehold property of the Taniwha, a
terrific sea-monster, who would to a certainty, if his landed property
was trespassed on, upset the canoe of the trespassers and devour them
all the very next time they put to sea. The place was _tapu_, and let
the weather be as bad as it might, it was better to keep to sea at all
risks than to land there. Even pakeha, though in some cases
invulnerable, could not escape the fangs of the terrible Taniwha. "Was
not little Jackey-_poto_, the sailor, drowned by the Taniwha? He
_would_ go on shore, in spite of every warning, to get some water to
mix with his _waipiro_, and was not his canoe found next day floating
about with his paddle and two empty case bottles in it?--a sure sign
that the Taniwha had lifted him out bodily. And was not the body of
the said Jackey found some days after with the Taniwha's mark on
it,--one eye taken out?"

These Taniwha would, however, sometimes attach themselves to a chief
or warrior, and in the shape of a huge sea monster, a bird, or a fish,
gambol round his canoe, and by their motions give presage of good or
evil fortune.

When the Ngati Kuri sailed on their last and fated expedition to the
south, a huge Taniwha, attached to the famous warrior, Tiki Whenua,
accompanied the expedition, playing about continually amongst the
canoes, often coming close to the canoe of Tiki Whenua, so that the
warrior could reach to pat him approvingly with his paddle, at which
he seemed much pleased; and when they came in sight of the island of
Tuhua, this Taniwha chief called up the legions of the deep! The sea
was blackened by an army of monsters, who, with uncouth and awful
floundering and wallowing, performed before the chief and his
companions a hideous _tu ngarahu_, and then disappeared. The Ngati
Kuri, elated, and accepting this as a presage of victory, landed on
Tuhua, stormed the pa, and massacred its defenders. But they had
mistaken the meaning of the monster review of the Taniwha. It was a
leave-taking of his favourite warrior, for the Ngati Kuri were fated
to die to a man on the next land they trod. A hundred and fifty men
were they--the pick and prime of their tribe. All _rangatira_, all
warriors of name, few in numbers, but desperately resolute, they
thought it little to defeat the thousands of the south, and take the
women and children as a prey! Having feasted and rejoiced at Tuhua,
they sail for Motiti. This world was too small for them. They were
impatient for battle. They thought to make the name of Kuri strike
against the skies; but in the morning the sea is covered with war
canoes. The thousands of the south are upon them! Ngati Awa, with many
an allied band, mad for revenge, come on. Fight now, oh Ngati
Kuri!--not for _victory_, no, nor for _life_. Think only now of
_utu_!--for your time is come. That which you have dealt to many, you
shall now receive. Fight!--fight! Your tribe shall be exterminated,
but you must leave a name! Now came the tug of war on "bare Motiti."
From early morning till the sun had well declined, that ruthless
battle raged. Twice their own number had the Ngati Kuri slain; and
then Tiki Whenua, still living, saw around him his dead and dying
tribe. A handful of bleeding warriors still resisted--a last and
momentary struggle. He thought of the _utu_; it was great. He thought
of the ruined remnant of the tribe at home, and then he
remembered--horrid thought!--that ere next day's setting sun, he and
all the warriors of his tribe would be baked and eaten. (Tiki, my
friend, thou art in trouble.) A cannon was close at hand--a nine-pound
carronade. They had brought it in the canoes. Hurriedly he filled it
half full of powder, seized a long firebrand, placed his breast to the
cannon's mouth, fired with his own hand. Tiki Whenua, Good night!

Now I wonder if Brutus had had such a thing as a nine-pounder about
him at Phillippi, whether he would have thought of using it in this
way. I really don't think he would. I have never looked upon Brutus as
anything of an original genius, but Tiki Whenua most certainly was. I
don't think there is another instance of a man blowing himself from a
gun--of course there are many examples of people blowing others from
cannon, but that is quite a different thing--any blockhead can do
that. But the _exit_ of Tiki Whenua has a smack of originality about
it which I like, and so I have mentioned it here.

But all this is digression on digression; however, I suppose the
reader is getting used to it, and I cannot help it; besides, I wanted
to show them how poor Tiki "took arms against a sea of troubles," and
for the want of a "bare bodkin" made shift with a carronade. I shall
never cease to lament those nice lads who met with that little
accident (poor fellows!) on Motiti. A fine, strapping, stalwart set of
fellows, who believed in force. We don't see many such men now-a-days;
the present generation of Maori are a stunted, tobacco-smoking,
grog-drinking, psalm-singing, special-pleading, shilling-hunting set
of wretches; not above one in a dozen of them would know how to cut up
a man _secundem artem_. Pshaw! I am ashamed of them.

I am getting tired of this _tapu_, so will give only one or two more
instances of the local temporary _tapu_. In the autumn, when the great
crop of _kumera_ was gathered, all the paths leading to the village
and cultivated lands were made _tapu_, and any one coming along them
would have notice of this by finding a rope stretched across the road
about breast-high; when he saw this, his business must be very urgent
indeed or he would go back, and it would have been taken as a very
serious affront indeed, even in a near relation, supposing his
ordinary residence was not in the village, to disregard the hint given
by the rope,--that for the present there was "no thoroughfare." Now,
the reason of this blockade of the roads was this. The report of an
unusually fine crop of _kumera_ had often cost its cultivators and the
whole tribe their lives. The news would spread about that Ngati
so-and-so, living at so-and-so, had housed so many thousands of
baskets of _kumera_. Exaggeration would multiply the truth by ten, the
fertile land would be coveted, and very probably its owners, or rather
its _holders_, would have to fight both for it and their lives before
the year was out. For this reason strangers were not welcome at the
Maori harvest home. The _kumera_ were dug hurriedly by the whole
strength of the working hands, thrown in scattered heaps, and
concealed from any casual observation by strangers by being covered
over with the leaves of the plants, and when all were dug then all
hands set to work, at night, to fill the baskets and carry off the
crop to the storehouse or _rua_, and every effort was made to get all
stored and out of sight before daylight, lest any one should be able
to form any idea of the extent of the crop. When the digging of one
field was completed another would be done in the same manner, and so
on till the whole crop was housed in this stealthy manner. I have been
at several of these midnight labours, and have admired the immense
amount of work one family would do in a single night, working as it
were for life and death. In consequence of this mode of proceeding,
even the families inhabiting the same village did not know what sort
of a crop their neighbours had, and if a question was asked (to do
which was thought impertinent and very improper), the invariable
answer was, "Nothing at all; barely got back the seed; hardly that; we
shall be starved; we shall have to eat fern root this year," &c. The
last time I observed this custom was about twenty-seven years ago, and
even then it was nearly discontinued and no longer general.

Talking of bygone habits and customs of the natives, I remember I have
mentioned two cases of suicide. I shall, therefore, now take occasion
to state that no more marked alteration in the habits of the natives
has taken place than in the great decrease of cases of suicide. In the
first years of my residence in the country, it was of almost daily
occurrence. When a man died, it was almost a matter of course that his
wife, or wives, hung themselves. When the wife died, the man very
commonly shot himself. I have known young men, often on the most
trifling affront or vexation, shoot themselves; and I was acquainted
with a man who, having been for two days plagued with the toothache,
cut his throat with a very blunt razor, without a handle, as a radical
cure, which it certainly was. I do not believe that one case of
suicide occurs now, for twenty when I first came into the country.
Indeed, the last case I have heard of in a populous district, occurred
several years ago. It was rather a remarkable one. A native owed
another a few shillings; the creditor kept continually asking for it;
but the debtor, somehow or other, never could raise the cash. At last,
being out of patience, and not knowing anything of the Insolvent
Court, he loaded his gun, went to the creditor's house, and called him
out. Out came the creditor and his wife. The debtor then placed the
gun to his own breast, and saying, "Here is your payment," pulled the
trigger with his foot, and fell dead before them. I think the reason
suicide has become so comparatively unfrequent is, that the minds of
the natives are now filled and agitated by a flood of new ideas, new
wants and ambitions, which they knew not formerly, and which prevents
them, from one single loss or disappointment, feeling as if there was
nothing more to live for.

Chapter XII.

     The Tapa. -- Instances of. -- The storming of Mokoia. -- Pomare.
     -- Hongi Ika. -- Tareha. -- Honour amongst thieves.

There was a kind of variation on the _tapu_, called _tapa_, of this
nature. For instance, if a chief said, "That axe is my head," the axe
became his to all intents and purposes, except, indeed, the owner of
the axe was able to break his "head," in which case, I have reason to
believe, the _tapa_ would fall to the ground. It was, however, in a
certain degree necessary to have some legal reason, or excuse, for
making the _tapa_; but to give some idea of what constituted the
circumstances under which a man could fairly _tapa_ anything, I must
needs quote a case in point.

When the Ngapuhi attacked the tribe of Ngati Wakawe, at Rotorua, the
Ngati Wakawe retired to the island of Mokoia in the lake of Rotorua,
which they fortified, thinking that, as the Ngapuhi canoes could not
come nearer than Kaituna on the east coast, about thirty miles
distant, they in their island position would be safe. But in this they
were fatally deceived, for the Ngapuhi dragged a whole fleet of war
canoes over land. When, however, the advanced division of the Ngapuhi
arrived at Rotorua, and encamped on the shore of the lake, Ngati
Wakawe were not aware that the canoes of the enemy were coming, so
every morning they manned their large canoes, and leaving the island
fort, would come dashing along the shore, deriding the Ngapuhi, and
crying, "_Ma wai koe e kawe mai ki Rangitiki?_"--"Who shall bring you,
or how shall you arrive, at Rangitiki?" Rangitiki was the name of one
of their hill forts. The canoes were fine large ornamented _totara_
canoes, very valuable, capable of carrying from fifty to seventy men
each, and much coveted by the Ngapuhi. The Ngapuhi, of course,
considered all these canoes as their own already, but the different
chiefs and leaders, anxious to secure one or more of these fine canoes
for themselves and people, and not knowing who might be the first to
lay hands on them in the confusion of the storming of Mokoia, which
would take place when their own canoes arrived, each _tapa'd_ one or
more for himself, or, as the native expression is, _to_ himself. Up
jumped Pomare, and standing on the lake shore, in front of the
encampment of the division of which he was leader, he shouts, pointing
at the same time to a particular canoe at the time carrying about
sixty men, "That canoe is my back-bone." Then Tareha, in bulk like a
sea-elephant, and sinking to the ankles in the shore of the lake, with
a hoarse, croaking voice roars out, "That canoe! my skull shall be the
baler to bale it out." This was a horribly strong _tapa_. Then the
soft voice of the famous Hongi Ika, surnamed "The eater of men," of
_Hongi kai tangata_, was heard, "Those two canoes are my two thighs."
And so the whole flotilla was appropriated by the different chiefs.
Now it followed from this that in the storming and plunder of Mokoia,
when a warrior clapped his hand on a canoe and shouted, "This canoe is
mine," the seizure would not stand good if it was one of the canoes
which were _tapa-tapa_, for it would be a frightful insult to Pomare
to claim to be the owner of his "back-bone," or to Tareha to go on
board a canoe which had been made sacred by the bare supposition that
his "skull" should be a vessel to bale it with. Of course the first
man laying his hand on any other canoe, and claiming it, secured it
for himself and tribe, always provided that the number of men there
present representing his tribe or _hapu_ were sufficient to back his
claim, and render it dangerous to dispossess him. I have seen men
shamefully robbed, for want of sufficient support, of their honest
lawful gains, after all the trouble and risk they had gone to in
killing the owners of their plunder. But dishonest people are to be
found almost everywhere, and I will say this, that my friends the
Maoris seldom act against law, and always try to be able to say what
they do is "correct" (_tika_).

This _tapu_ is a bore, even to write about, and I fear the reader is
beginning to think it a bore to read about. It began long before the
time of Moses, and I think that steam navigation will be the death of
it; but lest it should kill my reader, I will have done with it for
the present, and "try back," for I have left my story behind

Chapter XIII.

     "My Rangatira." -- The respective duties of the Pakeha and his
     Rangatira. -- Public opinion. -- A "Pakeha Kino." -- Description
     of my Rangatira. -- His exploits and misadventures. -- His moral
     principles. -- Decline in the numbers of the natives. -- Proofs
     of former large population. -- Ancient forts. -- Causes of

When I purchased my land the payment was made on the ground, and
immediately divided and subdivided amongst the different sellers. Some
of them, who, according to their own representations formerly made to
me, were the sole and only owners of the land, received for their
share about the value of one shilling, and moreover, as I also
observed, did not appear at all disappointed.

One old _rangatira_, before whom a considerable portion of the payment
had been laid as his share of the spoil, gave it a slight shove with
his foot, expressive of refusal, and said, "I will not accept any of
the payment, I will have the pakeha." I saw some of the magnates
present seemed greatly disappointed at this, for I dare say they had
expected to have the pakeha as well as the payment. But the old
gentleman had regularly checkmated them by refusing to accept any
payment, and being also a person of great respectability, _i.e._, a
good fighting man, with twenty more at his back, he was allowed to
have his way, and thereby, in the opinion of all the natives present,
making a far better thing of the land sale than any of them, though he
had received no part of the payment.

I consequently was therefore a part, and by no means an inconsiderable
one, of the payment for my own land; but though now part and parcel of
the property of the old _rangatira_ aforementioned, a good deal of
liberty was allowed me. The fact of my having become his pakeha made
our respective relations and duties to each other about as follows:--

Firstly.--At all times, places, and companies my owner had the right
to call me "his pakeha."

Secondly.--He had the general privilege of "pot-luck" whenever he
chose to honour my establishment with a visit; said pot-luck to be
tumbled out to him on the ground before the house, he being far too
great a man to eat out of plates or dishes, or any degenerate
invention of that nature; as, if he did, they would all become _tapu_,
and of no use to any one but himself, nor indeed to himself either, as
he did not see the use of them.

Thirdly.--It was well understood that to avoid the unpleasant
appearance of paying "black mail," and to keep up general kindly
relations, my owner should from time to time make me small presents,
and that in return I should make him presents of five or six times the
value: all this to be done as if arising from mutual love and
kindness, and not the slightest allusion to be ever made to the
relative value of the gifts on either side (an important article).

Fourthly.--It was to be a _sine quâ non_ that I must purchase
everything the chief or his family had to sell, whether I wanted them
or not, and give the highest market price, or rather more. (Another
very important article.)

Fifthly.--The chief's own particular pipe never to be allowed to
become extinguished for want of the needful supply of tobacco.

Sixthly.--All desirable jobs of work, and all advantages of all kinds,
to be offered first to the family of my _rangatira_ before letting any
one else have them; payment for same to be about 25 per cent. more
than to any one else, exclusive of a _douceur_ to the chief himself
because he did not work.

In return for these duties and customs, well and truly performed on my
part, the chief was understood to--

Firstly.--Stick up for me in a general way, and not let me be bullied
or imposed upon by any one but himself, as far as he was able to
prevent it.

Secondly.--In case of my being plundered or maltreated by any powerful
marauder, it was the duty of my chief to come in hot haste with all
his family, armed to the teeth, to my rescue, after all was over, and
when it was too late to be of any service. He was also bound on such
occasions to make a great noise, dance the war dance, and fire
muskets, (I finding the powder,) and to declare loudly what he would
have done had he only been in time. I, of course, on such occasions,
for my own dignity, and in consideration of the spirited conduct of my
friends, was bound to order two or three fat pigs to be killed, and
lots of potatoes to be served out to the "army," who were always
expected to be starving, as a general rule. A distribution of tobacco,
in the way of largess, was also a necessity of the case.

Thirdly.--In case of my losing anything of consequence by theft--a
thing which, as a veracious pakeha, I am bound to say, seldom
happened; the natives in those days being, as I have already
mentioned, a very law-observing people, (the law of muru,) had,
indeed, little occasion to steal, the above-named law answering their
purposes in a general way much better, and helping them pretty
certainly to any little matter they coveted; yet, as there are
exceptions to all rules, theft would sometimes be committed; and then,
as I was saying, it became the bounden duty of my _rangatira_ to get
the stolen article back if he was able, and keep it for himself for
his trouble, unless I gave him something of more value in lieu

Under the above regulations things went on pleasantly enough, the
chief being restrained, by public opinion and the danger of the pakeha
running away from pushing his prerogative to the utmost limit; and the
pakeha, on the other hand, making the commonalty pay for the indirect
taxation he was subjected to; so that in general, after ten or fifteen
years' residence, he would not be much poorer than when he arrived,
unless, indeed, some unlucky accident happened, such as pakehas were
liable to sometimes in the good old times.

Mentioning "public opinion" as a restraint on the chiefs'
acquisitiveness, I must explain that a chief possessing a pakeha was
much envied by his neighbours, who, in consequence, took every
opportunity of scandalizing him, and blaming him for any rough
plucking process he might submit the said pakeha to; and should he, by
any awkward handling of this sort, cause the pakeha at last to run for
it, the chief would never hear the end of it from his own family and
connections, pakehas being, in those glorious old times, considered to
be geese who laid golden eggs, and it would be held to be the very
extreme of foolishness and bad policy either to kill them, or, by too
rough handling, to cause them to fly away.

On the other hand, should the pakeha fail in a culpable manner in the
performance of his duties, though he would not, as a rule, be
subjected to any stated punishment, he would soon begin to find a most
unaccountable train of accidents and all sorts of unpleasant
occurrences happening, enough, in the aggregate, to drive Job himself
out of his wits; and, moreover, he would _get a bad name_, which,
though he removed, would follow him from one end of the island to the
other, and effectually prevent him having the slightest chance of
doing any good,--that is, holding his own in the country, as the
natives, wherever he went, would consider him a person out of whom the
most was to be made at once, as he was not to be depended on as a
source of permanent revenue. I have known several industrious, active,
and sober pakeha who never could do any good, and whose life, for a
long series of years, was a mere train of mishaps, till at last they
were reduced to extreme poverty, merely from having, in their first
dealings with the natives, got a bad name, in consequence of not
having been able to understand clearly the beauty of the set of
regulations I have just mentioned, and from an inability to make them
work smoothly. The bad name I have mentioned was short and expressive;
wherever they went, there would be sure to be some one who would
introduce them to their new acquaintances as "a pakeha _pakeke_"--a
hard pakeha; "a pakeha _taehae_"--a miser; or, to sum up all, "a
pakeha _kino_."

The chief who claimed me was a good specimen of the Maori _rangatira_.
He was a very old man, and had fought the French when Marion, the
French circumnavigator, was killed. He had killed a Frenchman himself,
and carried his thighs and legs many miles as a _bonne bouche_ for his
friends at home at the pa. This old gentleman was not head of his
tribe. He was a man of good family, related to several high chiefs. He
was head of a strong family, or _hapu_, which mustered a considerable
number of fighting men, all his near relations. He had been himself a
most celebrated fighting man, and a war chief; and was altogether a
highly respectable person, and of great weight in the councils of the
tribe. I may say I was fortunate in having been appropriated by this
old patrician. He gave me very little trouble; did not press his
rights and privileges too forcibly on my notice, and in fact behaved
in all respects towards me in so liberal and friendly a manner, that
before long I began to have a very sincere regard for him, and he to
take a sort of paternal interest in me, which was both gratifying to
observe, and also extremely comical sometimes, when he, out of real
anxiety to see me a perfectly accomplished _rangatira_, would lecture
on good manners, etiquette, and the use of the spear. He was, indeed,
a model of a _rangatira_, and well worth being described. He was a
little man, with a high massive head, and remarkably high square
forehead, on which the tattooer had exhausted his art. Though, as I
have said, of a great age, he was still nimble and active. He had
evidently been one of those tough, active men, who, though small in
stature, are a match for any one. There was in my old friend's eyes a
sort of dull fiery appearance, which, when anything excited him, or
when he recounted some of those numerous battles, onslaughts,
massacres, or stormings in which all the active part of his life had
been spent, actually seemed to blaze up and give forth real fire. His
breast was covered with spear-wounds, and he also had two very severe
spear-wounds on his head; but he boasted that no single man had ever
been able to touch him with the point of a spear. It was in grand
_mêlées_, where he would have sometimes six or eight antagonists, that
he had received these wounds. He was a great general, and I have
heard him criticize closely the order and conduct of every battle of
consequence which had been fought for fifty years before my arrival in
the country. On these occasions the old "martialist" would draw on the
sand the plan of the battle he was criticizing and describing; and in
the course of time I began to perceive that, before the introduction
of the musket, the art of war had been brought to great perfection by
the natives: and that, when large numbers were engaged in a pitched
battle, the order of battle resembled, in a most striking manner, some
of the most approved orders of battle of the ancients. Since the
introduction of firearms the natives have entirely altered their
tactics, and adopted a system better adapted to the new weapon and the
nature of the country.

My old friend had a great hatred for the musket. He said that in
battles fought with the musket there were never so many men killed as
when, in his young days, men fought hand to hand with the spear; when
a good warrior would kill six, eight, ten, or even twenty men in a
single fight; for when once the enemy broke and commenced to run, the
combatants being so close together, a fast runner would knock a dozen
on the head in a short time; and the great aim of these fast-running
warriors, of whom my old friend had been one, was to chase straight on
and never stop, only striking one blow at one man, so as to cripple
him, so that those behind should be sure to overtake and finish him.
It was not uncommon for one man, strong and swift of foot, when the
enemy were fairly routed, to stab with a light spear ten or a dozen
men in such a way as to ensure their being overtaken and killed. On
one occasion of this kind my old tutor had the misfortune to stab a
running man in the back. He did it, of course, scientifically, so as
to stop his running, and as he passed him by he perceived it was his
wife's brother. He was finished immediately by the men close behind. I
should have said the man was a brother of one of my friend's four
wives, which being the case, I dare say he had a sufficient number of
brothers-in-law to afford to kill one now and then. A worse mishap,
however, occurred to him on another occasion. He was returning from a
successful expedition from the south (in the course of which,
by-the-bye, he and his men killed and cooked several men of the enemy
in Shortland Crescent, and forced three others to jump over a cliff,
which is, I think, now called Soldier's Point), when off the Mahurangi
a smoke was seen rising from amongst the trees near the beach. They at
once concluded that it came from the fires of people belonging to that
part of the country, and who they considered as game. They therefore
waited till night, concealing their canoes behind some rocks, and when
it became dark landed; they then divided into two parties, took the
supposed enemy completely by surprise, attacked, rushing upon them
from two opposite directions at once. My _rangatira_, dashing
furiously among them, and, as I can well suppose, those eyes of his
flashing fire, had the happiness of once again killing the first man,
and being authorized to shout, "_Ki au te mataika!_" A few more blows,
the parties recognize each other: they are friends!--men of the same
tribe! Who is the last _mataika_ slain by this famous warrior? Quick,
bring a flaming brand; here he lies dead! Ha! It is his father!

Now an ancient knight of romance, under similar awkward circumstances,
would probably have retired from public life, sought out some forest
cave, where he would have hung up his armour, let his beard grow,
flogged himself twice a day "regular," and lived on "pulse," which, I
suppose, means pea-soup, for the rest of his life. But my old
_rangatira_ and his companions had not a morsel of that sort of
romance about them. The killing of my friend's father was looked upon
as a very clever exploit in itself, though a very unlucky one. So
after having scolded one another for some time, one party telling the
other they were served right for not keeping a better look out, and
the other answering that they should have been sure who they were
going to attack before making the onset, they all held a _tangi_ or
lamentation for the old warrior who had just received his _mittimus_;
and then killing a prisoner, who they had brought in the canoes for
fresh provisions, they had a good feast; after which they returned all
together to their own country, taking the body of their lamented
relative along with them. This happened many years before I came to
the country, and when my _rangatira_ was one of the most famous
fighting men in his tribe.

This Maori _rangatira_, who I am describing, had passed his whole
life, with but little intermission, in a scene of battle, murder, and
bloodthirsty atrocities of the most terrific description, mixed with
actions of the most heroic courage, self-sacrifice, and chivalric
daring, as leaves one perfectly astounded to find them the deeds of
one and the same people--one day doing acts which had they been
performed in ancient Greece would have immortalized the actors, and
the next committing barbarities too horrible for relation, and almost

The effect of a life of this kind was observable, plainly enough, in
my friend. He was utterly devoid of what weak mortals call
"compassion." He seemed to have no more feeling for the pain,
tortures, or death of others than a stone. Should one of his family be
dying or wounded, he merely felt it as the loss of one fighting man.
As for the death of a woman or any non-combatant, he did not feel it
at all, though the person might have suffered horrid tortures; indeed
I have seen him scolding severely a fine young man, his near relative,
when actually expiring, for being such a fool as to blow himself up by
accident, and deprive his family of a fighting man. The last words the
dying man heard were these:--"It serves you right. There you are,
looking very like a burnt stick! It serves you right--a burnt stick!
Serves you right!" It really _was_ vexatious. A fine stout young
fellow to be wasted in that way. As for fear, I saw one or two
instances to prove he knew very little about it; and, indeed, to be
killed in battle, seemed to him a natural death, and he was always
grumbling that the young men thought of nothing but trading: and
whenever he proposed to them to take him where he might have a final
battle (_he riri wakamutunga_), where he might escape dying of old
age, they always kept saying, "Wait till we get more muskets," or
"more gunpowder," or more something or another, "as if men could not
be killed without muskets!" He was not cruel either; he was only
unfeeling. He had been guilty, it is true, in his time, of what we
would call terrific atrocities to his prisoners, which he calmly and
calculatingly perpetrated as _utu_ or retaliation for similar
barbarities committed by them or their tribe. And here I must retract
the word guilty, which I see I have written inadvertently, for
according to the morals and principles of the people of whom he was
one, and of the time to which he belonged, and the training he had
received, so far from being guilty, he did a praiseworthy, glorious,
and public-spirited action when he opened the jugular vein of a bound
captive and sucked huge draughts of his blood. To say the truth he was
a very nice old man, and I liked him very much. It would not, however,
be advisable to put him in a passion; not much good would be likely to
arise from it, as indeed I could show by one or two very striking
instances which came under my notice, though to say the truth he was
not easily put out of temper. He had one great moral rule,--it was
indeed his rule of life,--he held that every man had a right to do
everything and anything he chose, provided he was able and willing to
stand the consequences, though he thought some men fools for trying
to do things which they could not carry out pleasantly, and which
ended in getting them baked. I once hinted to him that, should every
one reduce these principles to practice, he himself might find it
awkward, particularly as he had so many mortal enemies. To which he
replied, with a look which seemed to pity my ignorance, that every one
_did_ practise this rule to the best of their abilities, but that some
were not so able as others; and that as for his enemies, he should
take care they never surprised _him_; a surprise being, indeed, the
only thing he seemed to have any fear at all of. In truth he had
occasion to look out sharp; he never was known to sleep more than
three or four nights in the same place, and often, when there were ill
omens, he would not sleep in a house at all, or two nights following
in one place, for a month together, and I never saw him without both
spear and tomahawk, and ready to defend himself at a second's notice,
a state of preparation perfectly necessary, for though in his own
country and surrounded by his tribe, his death would have been such a
triumph for hundreds, not of distant enemies, but of people within a
day's journey, that none could tell at what moment some stout young
fellow in search of _utu_ and a "_ingoa toa_" (a warlike reputation)
might rush upon him, determined to have his head or leave his own. The
old buck himself had, indeed, performed several exploits of this
nature, the last of which occurred just at the time I came into the
country, but before I had the advantage of his acquaintance. His
tribe were at war with some people at the distance of about a day's
journey. One of their villages was on the border of a dense forest. My
_rangatira_, then a very old man, started off alone, and without
saying a word to any one, took his way through the forest which
extended the whole way between his village and the enemy, crept like a
lizard into the enemy's village, and then, shouting his war cry,
dashed amongst a number of people he saw sitting together on the
ground, and who little expected such a salute. In a minute he had run
three men and one woman through the body, received five dangerous
spear-wounds himself, and escaped to the forest, and finally got safe
home to his own country and people. Truly my old _rangatira_ was a man
of a thousand,--a model _rangatira_. This exploit, if possible, added
to his reputation, and every one said his _mana_ would never decline.
The enemy had been panic-stricken, thinking a whole tribe were upon
them, and fled like a flock of sheep, except the three men who were
killed. They all attacked my old chief at once, and were all disposed
of in less than a minute, after, as I have said, giving him five
desperate wounds. The woman was just "stuck," as a matter of course,
as she came in his way.

The natives are unanimous in affirming that they were much more
numerous in former times than they are now, and I am convinced that
such was the case, for the following reasons. The old hill forts are
many of them so large that an amount of labour must have been
expended in trenching, terracing, and fencing them, and all without
iron tools, which increased the difficulty a hundred-fold, which must
have required a vastly greater population to accomplish than can be
now found in the surrounding districts. These forts were also of such
an extent that, taking into consideration the system of attack and
defence used necessarily in those times, they would have been utterly
untenable unless held by at least ten times the number of men the
whole surrounding districts, for two or three days' journey, can
produce; and yet, when we remember that in those times of constant
war, being the two centuries preceding the arrival of the Europeans,
the natives always, as a rule, slept in these hill forts with closed
gates, bridges over trenches removed, and ladders of terraces drawn
up, we must come to the conclusion that the inhabitants of the fort,
though so numerous, were merely the population of the country in the
close vicinity. Now from the top of one of these pointed, trenched,
and terraced hills, I have counted twenty others, all of equally large
dimensions, and all within a distance, in every direction, of fifteen
to twenty miles; and native tradition affirms that each of these hills
was the stronghold of a separate _hapu_ or clan, bearing its
distinctive name. There is also the most unmistakeable evidence that
vast tracts of country, which have lain wild time out of mind, were
once fully cultivated. The ditches for draining the land are still
traceable, and large pits are to be seen in hundreds, on the tops of
the dry hills, all over the northern part of the North Island, in
which the _kumera_ were once stored; and these pits are, in the
greatest number, found in the centre of great open tracts of
uncultivated country, where a rat in the present day would hardly find
subsistence. The old drains, and the peculiar growth of the timber,
mark clearly the extent of these ancient cultivations. It is also very
observable that large tracts of very inferior land have been in
cultivation, which would lead to the inference that either the
population was pretty nearly proportioned to the extent of available
land, or that the tracts of inferior land were cultivated merely
because they were not too far removed from the fort; for the shape of
the hill, and its capability of defence and facility of fortification,
was of more consequence than the fertility of the surrounding country.
These _kumera_ pits, being dug generally in the stiff clay on the hill
tops, have, in most cases, retained their shape perfectly, and many
seem as fresh and new as if they had been dug but a few years. They
are oblong in shape, with the sides regularly sloped. Many collections
of these provision stores have outlived Maori tradition, and the
natives can only conjecture who they belonged to. Out of the centre of
one of them which I have seen, there is now growing a kauri tree one
hundred and twenty feet high, and out of another a large totara. The
outline of these pits is as perfect as the day they were dug, and the
sides have not fallen in in the slightest degree, from which perhaps
they have been preserved by the absence of frost, as well as by a
beautiful coating of moss, by which they are everywhere covered. The
pit in which the kauri grew, had been partially filled up by the
scaling off of the bark of the tree, which falling off in patches, as
it is constantly doing, had raised a mound of decaying bark round the
root of the tree.

Another evidence of a very large number of people having once
inhabited these hill forts is the number of houses they contained.
Every native house, it appears, in former times as in the present, had
a fire-place composed of four flat stones or flags sunk on their edges
into the ground, so as to form an oblong case or trunk, in which at
night a fire to heat the house was made. Now, in two of the largest
hill forts I have examined, though for ages no vestige of a house had
been seen, there remained the fire-places--the four stones projecting
like an oblong box slightly over the ground--and from their position
and number denoting clearly that, large as the circumference of the
huge volcanic hill was which formed the fortress, the number of
families inhabiting it necessitated the strictest economy of room. The
houses had been arranged in streets, or double rows, with a path
between them, except in places where there had been only room on a
terrace for a single row. The distances between the fire-places proved
that the houses in the rows must have been as close together as it was
possible to build them, and every spot, from the foot to the hill top,
not required and specially planned for defensive purposes, had been
built on in this regular manner. Even the small flat top, sixty yards
long by forty wide,--the citadel,--on which the greatest care and
labour had been bestowed to render it difficult of access, had been as
full of houses as it could hold, leaving a small space all round the
precipitous bank for the defenders to stand on.

These little fire-places, and the scarped and terraced conical hills,
are the only marks the Maori of ancient times have left of their
existence. And I have reasons for believing that this country has been
inhabited from a more remote period by far than is generally supposed.
These reasons I found upon the dialect of the Maori language spoken by
the Maori of New Zealand, as well as on many other circumstances.

We may easily imagine that a hill of this kind, covered from bottom to
top with houses thatched and built of reeds, rushes, and raupo, would
be a mere mass of combustible matter, and such indeed was the case.
When an enemy attacked one of these places a common practice was to
shower red-hot stones from slings into the place, which, sinking into
the dry thatch of the houses, would cause a general conflagration.
Should this once occur the place was sure to be taken, and this mode
of attack was much feared; all hands not engaged at the outer
defences, and all women and non-combatants, were employed guarding
against this danger, and pouring water out of calabashes on every
smoke that appeared. The natives also practised both mining and
escalade in attacking a hill fort.

The natives attribute their decrease in numbers, before the arrival
of the Europeans, to war and sickness, disease possibly arising from
the destruction of food and the forced neglect of cultivation caused
by the constant and furious wars which devastated the country for a
long period before the arrival of the Europeans, in such a manner that
the natives at last believed that a constant state of warfare was the
natural condition of life, and their sentiments, feelings, and maxims
became gradually formed on this belief. Nothing was so valuable or
respectable as strength and courage, and to acquire property by war
and plunder was more honourable and also more desirable than by
labour. Cannibalism was glorious. The island was a pandemonium.

  A rugged wight, the worst of brutes, was man;
    On his own wretched kind he ruthless prey'd.
  The strongest then the weakest overran,
    In every country mighty robbers sway'd,
  And guile and ruffian force was all their trade.

Since the arrival of the Europeans the decrease of the natives has
also been rapid. In that part of the country where I have had means of
accurate observation, they have decreased in number since my arrival
rather more than one-third. I have, however, observed that this
decrease has for the last ten years been very considerably checked,
though I do not believe this improvement is general through the
country, or even permanent where I have observed it.

The first grand cause of the decrease of the natives since the arrival
of the Europeans is the musket. The nature of the ancient Maori
weapons prompted them to seek out vantage ground, and to take up
positions on precipitous hill tops, and make those high, dry, airy
situations their regular fixed residences. Their ordinary course of
life, when not engaged in warfare, was regular, and not necessarily
unhealthy. Their labour, though constant in one shape or other, and
compelled by necessity, was not too heavy. In the morning, but not
early, they descended from the hill pa to the cultivations in the low
ground; they went in a body, armed like men going to battle, the spear
or club in one hand, and the agricultural instrument in the other. The
women followed. Long before night (it was counted unlucky to work till
dark) they returned to the hill with a reversed order, the women now,
and slaves, and lads, bearing fuel and water for the night, in front;
they also bore probably heavy loads of _kumera_ or other provisions.
In the time of year when the crops did not call for their attention,
when they were planted and growing, then the whole tribe would remove
to some fortified hill, at the side of some river, or on the coast,
where they would pass months fishing, making nets, clubs, spears, and
implements of various descriptions; the women, in all spare time,
making mats for clothing, or baskets to carry the crop of _kumera_ in,
when fit to dig. There was very little idleness; and to be called
"lazy" was a great reproach. It is to be observed that for several
months the crops could be left thus unguarded with perfect safety, for
the Maori, as a general rule, never destroyed growing crops or
attacked their owners in a regular manner until the crops were nearly
at full perfection, so that they might afford subsistence to the
invaders, and consequently the end of the summer all over the country
was a time of universal preparation for battle, either offensive or
defensive, the crops then being near maturity.

Now when the natives became generally armed with the musket they at
once abandoned the hills, and, to save themselves the great labour and
inconvenience occasioned by the necessity of continually carrying
provisions, fuel, and water to these precipitous hill-castles--which
would be also, as a matter of necessity, at some inconvenient distance
from at least some part of the extensive cultivations--descended to
the low lands, and there, in the centre of the cultivations, erected a
new kind of fortification adapted to the capabilities of the new
weapon. _This_ was their destruction. There in mere swamps they built
their oven-like houses, where the water even in summer sprung with the
pressure of the foot, and where in winter the houses were often
completely flooded. There, lying on the spongy soil, on beds of rushes
which rotted under them--in little, low dens of houses, or kennels,
heated like ovens at night and dripping with damp in the day--full of
noxious exhalations from the damp soil, and impossible to
ventilate--they were cut off by disease in a manner absolutely
frightful. No advice would they take; they could not _see_ the enemy
which killed them, and therefore could not believe the Europeans who
pointed out the cause of their destruction.

This change of residence was universal and everywhere followed by the
same consequences, more or less marked; the strongest men were cut off
and but few children were reared. And even now, after the dreadful
experience they have had, and all the continual remonstrances of their
pakeha friends, they take but very little more precaution in choosing
sites for their houses than at first; and when a native village or a
native house happens to be in a dry, healthy situation, it is often
more the effect of accident than design.

Twenty years ago a _hapu_, in number just forty persons, removed their
_kainga_ from a dry, healthy position, to the edge of a _raupo_ swamp.
I happened to be at the place a short time after the removal, and with
me there was a medical gentleman who was travelling through the
country. In creeping into one of the houses (the chief's) through the
low door, I was obliged to put both my hands to the ground; they both
sunk into the swampy soil, making holes which immediately filled with
water. The chief and his family were lying on the ground on rushes,
and a fire was burning, which made the little den, not in the highest
place more than five feet high, feel like an oven. I called the
attention of my friend to the state of this place called a "house." He
merely said, "_men_ cannot live here." Eight years from that day the
whole _hapu_ were extinct; but, as I remember, two persons were shot
for bewitching them and causing their deaths.

Many other causes combined at the same time to work the destruction
of the natives. Next to the change of residence from the high and
healthy hill forts to the low grounds, was the hardship, over-labour,
exposure, and half-starvation, to which they submitted
themselves--firstly, to procure these very muskets which enabled them
to make the fatal change of residence, and afterwards to procure the
highly and justly valued iron implements of the Europeans. When we
reflect that a ton of cleaned flax was the price paid for two muskets,
and at an earlier date for one musket, we can see at once the dreadful
exertion necessary to obtain it. But supposing a man to get a musket
for half a ton of flax, another half ton would be required for
ammunition; and in consequence, as every man in a native _hapu_, of
say a hundred men, was absolutely forced on pain of death to procure a
musket and ammunition at any cost, and at the earliest possible moment
(for if they did not procure them extermination was their doom by the
hands of those of their countrymen who had), the effect was that this
small _hapu_, or clan, had to manufacture, spurred by the penalty of
death, in the shortest possible time, one hundred tons of flax,
scraped by hand with a shell, bit by bit, morsel by morsel,
half-quarter of an ounce at a time. Now as the natives, when
undisturbed and labouring regularly at their cultivations, were never
far removed from necessity or scarcity of food, we may easily imagine
the distress and hardship caused by this enormous imposition of extra
labour. They were obliged to neglect their crops in a very serious
degree, and for many months in the year were in a half-starving
condition, working hard all the time in the flax swamps. The
insufficient food, over-exertion, and unwholesome locality, killed
them fast. As for the young children, they almost all died; and this
state of things continued for many years: for it was long after being
supplied with arms and ammunition before the natives could purchase,
by similar exertion, the various agricultural implements, and other
iron tools so necessary to them; and it must always be remembered, if
we wish to understand the difficulties and over-labour the natives
were subjected to, that while undergoing this immense extra toil, they
were at the same time obliged to maintain themselves by cultivating
the ground with sharpened sticks, not being able to afford to purchase
iron implements in any useful quantity, till first the great,
pressing, paramount want of muskets and gunpowder had been supplied.
Thus continual excitement, over-work, and insufficient food, exposure,
and unhealthy places of residence, together with a general breaking up
of old habits of life, thinned their numbers. European diseases also
assisted, but not to any very serious degree; till in the part of the
country in which, as I have before stated, I have had means to observe
with exactitude, the natives have decreased in numbers over one-third
since I first saw them. That this rapid decrease has been checked in
some districts, I am sure, and the cause is not a mystery. The influx
of Europeans has caused a competition in trading, which enables them
to get the highest value for the produce of their labour, and at the
same time opened to them a hundred new lines of industry, and also
afforded them other opportunities of becoming possessed of property.
They have not at all improved these advantages as they might have
done; but are, nevertheless, as it were in spite of themselves, on the
whole, richer--_i.e._, better clothed, fed, and in some degree lodged,
than in past years; and I see the plough now running where I once saw
the rude pointed stick poking the ground. I do not, however, believe
that this improvement exists in more than one or two districts in any
remarkable degree, nor do I think it will be permanent where it does
exist, insomuch as I have said that the improvement is not the result
of providence, economy, or industry, but of a train of temporary
circumstances favourable to the natives; but which, if unimproved, as
they most probably will be, will end in no permanent good result.

Chapter XIV.

     Trading in the old times. -- The native difficulty. -- Virtue its
     own reward. -- Rule Britannia. -- Death of my chief. -- His dying
     speech. -- Rescue. -- How the world goes round.

From the years 1822 to 1826, the vessels trading for flax had, when at
anchor, boarding nettings up to the tops. All the crew were armed,
and, as a standing rule, not more than five natives, on any pretence,
allowed on board at one time. Trading for flax in those days was to be
undertaken by a man who had his wits about him; and an old flax trader
of those days, with his 150 ton schooner "out of Sydney," cruising all
round the coast of New Zealand, picking up his five tons at one port,
ten at another, twenty at another, and so on, had questions,
commercial, diplomatic, and military, to solve every day, that would
drive all the "native department," with the minister at their head,
clean out of their senses. Talk to me of the "native
difficulty"--pooh! I think it was in 1822 that an old friend of mine
bought, at Kawhia, a woman who was just going to be baked. He gave a
cartridge-box full of cartridges for her, which was a great deal more
than she was really worth; but humanity does not stick at trifles. He
took her back to her friends at Taranaki, from whence she had been
taken, and her friends there gave him at once two tons of flax and
eighteen pigs, and asked him to remain a few days longer till they
should collect a still larger present in return for his kindness; but,
as he found out their intention was to take the schooner, and knock
himself and crew on the head, he made off in the night. But he
maintains to this day that "virtue is its own reward"--"at least 'tis
so at Taranaki." Virtue, however, must have been on a visit to some
other country, (she _does_ go out sometimes,) when I saw and heard a
British subject, a slave to some natives on the West Coast, begging
hard for somebody to buy him. The price asked was one musket, but the
only person on board the vessel possessing those articles preferred to
invest in a different commodity. The consequence was, that the
above-mentioned unit of the great British nation lived, and ("Rule
Britannia" to the contrary notwithstanding) died a slave; but whether
he was buried, deponent sayeth not.

My old _rangatira_ at last began to show signs that his time to leave
this world of care was approaching. He had arrived at a great age, and
a rapid and general breaking up of his strength became plainly
observable. He often grumbled that men should grow old, and oftener
that no great war broke out in which he might make a final display,
and die with _éclât_. The last two years of his life were spent
almost entirely at my house, which, however, he never entered. He
would sit whole days on a fallen puriri near the house, with his spear
sticking up beside him, and speaking to no one, but sometimes humming
in a low droning tone some old ditty which no one knew the meaning of
but himself, and at night he would disappear to some of the numerous
nests or little sheds he had around the place. In summer he would roll
himself in his blanket and sleep anywhere, but no one could tell
exactly where. In the hot days of summer, when his blood I suppose got
a little warm, he would sometimes become talkative, and recount the
exploits of his youth. As he warmed to the subject he would seize his
spear and go through all the incidents of some famous combat,
repeating every thrust, blow, and parry as they actually occurred, and
going through as much exertion as if he was really and truly fighting
for his life. He used to go through these pantomimic labours as a duty
whenever he had an assemblage of the young men of the tribe around
him, to whom, as well as to myself, he was most anxious to communicate
that which he considered the most valuable of all knowledge, a correct
idea of the uses of the spear, a weapon he really used in a most
graceful and scientific manner; but he would ignore the fact that
"Young New Zealand" had laid down the weapon for ever, and already
matured a new system of warfare adapted to their new weapons, and only
listened to his lectures out of respect to himself and not for his
science. At last this old lion was taken seriously ill and removed
permanently to the village, and one evening a smart handsome lad, of
about twelve years of age, came to tell me that his _tupuna_ was
dying, and had said he would "go" to-morrow, and had sent for me to
see him before he died. The boy also added that the tribe were _ka
poto_, or assembled, to the last man around the dying chief. I must
here mention that, though this old _rangatira_ was not the head of his
tribe, he had been for about half a century the recognized war chief
of almost all the sections or _hapu_ of a very numerous and warlike
_iwi_ or tribe, who had now assembled from all their distant villages
and pas to see him die. I could not, of course, neglect the
invitation, so at daylight next morning I started on foot for the
native village, which I, on my arrival about mid-day, found crowded by
a great assemblage of natives. I was saluted by the usual _haere mai!_
and a volley of musketry, and I at once perceived that, out of respect
to my old owner, the whole tribe from far and near, hundreds of whom I
had never seen, considered it necessary to make much of me,--at least
for that day,--and I found myself consequently at once in the position
of a "personage." "Here comes the pakeha!--_his_ pakeha!--make way for
the pakeha!--kill those dogs that are barking at the pakeha!" Bang!
bang! Here a double barrel nearly blew my cap off by way of salute. I
did for a moment think my head was off. I, however, being quite _au
fait_ in Maori etiquette by this time, thanks to the instructions and
example of my old friend, fixed my eyes with a vacant expression
looking only straight before me, recognized nobody, and took notice of
nothing, not even the muskets fired under my nose or close to my back
at every step, and each, from having four or five charges of powder,
making a report like a cannon. On I stalked, looking neither to the
right or the left, with my spear walking-staff in my hand, to where I
saw a great crowd, and where I of course knew the dying man was. I
walked straight on, not even pretending to see the crowd, as was
"correct" under the circumstances; I being supposed to be entranced by
the one absorbing thought of seeing "mataora," or once more in life my
_rangatira_. The crowd divided as I came up, and closed again behind
me as I stood in the front rank before the old chief, motionless, and,
as in duty bound, trying to look the image of mute despair, which I
flatter myself I did to the satisfaction of all parties. The old man I
saw at once was at his last hour. He had dwindled to a mere skeleton.
No food of any kind had been prepared for or offered to him for three
days; as he was dying it was of course considered unnecessary. At his
right side lay his spear, tomahawk, and musket. (I never saw him with
the musket in his hand all the time I knew him.) Over him was hanging
his greenstone _mere_, and at his left side, close, and touching him,
sat a stout, athletic savage, with a countenance disgustingly
expressive of cunning and ferocity, and who, as he stealthily marked
me from the corner of his eye, I recognized as one of those limbs of
Satan, a Maori _tohunga_. The old man was propped up in a reclining
position, his face towards the assembled tribe, who were all there
waiting to catch his last words. I stood before him, and I thought I
perceived he recognized me. Still all was silence, and for a full half
hour we all stood there, waiting patiently for the closing scene. Once
or twice the _tohunga_ said to him in a very loud voice, "The tribe
are assembled, you won't die silent?" At last, after about half an
hour, he became restless, his eyes rolled from side to side, and he
tried to speak, but failed. The circle of men closed nearer, and there
was evidence of anxiety and expectation amongst them, but a dead
silence was maintained. At last, suddenly, without any apparent
effort, and in a manner which startled me, the old man spoke clearly
out, in the ringing metallic tone of voice for which he had been
formerly so remarkable, particularly when excited. He spoke. "Hide my
bones quickly where the enemy may not find them: hide them at once."
He spoke again--"Oh my tribe, be brave! be brave that you may live.
Listen to the words of my pakeha; he will unfold the designs of his
tribe." This was in allusion to a very general belief amongst the
natives at the time, that the Europeans designed sooner or later to
exterminate them and take the country, a thing the old fellow had
cross-questioned me about a thousand times; and the only way I could
find to ease his mind was to tell him that if ever I heard any such
proposal I would let him know, protesting at the same time that no
such intention existed. This notion of the natives has since that
time done much harm, and will do more, for it is not yet quite given
up. He continued--"I give my _mere_ to my pakeha,"--"my two old wives
will hang themselves,"--(here a howl of assent from the two old women
in the rear rank)--"I am going; be brave, after I am gone." Here he
began to rave; he fancied himself in some desperate battle, for he
began to call to celebrated comrades who had been dead forty or fifty
years. I remember every word--"Charge!" shouted he--"Charge! _Wata_,
charge! _Tara_, charge! charge!" Then after a short pause--"Rescue!
rescue! to my rescue! _ahau! ahau! rescue!_" The last cry for "rescue"
was in such a piercing tone of anguish and utter desperation, that
involuntarily I advanced a foot and hand, as if starting to his
assistance; a movement, as I found afterwards, not unnoticed by the
superstitious tribe. At the same instant that he gave the last
despairing and most agonizing cry for "rescue," I saw his eyes
actually blaze, his square jaw locked, he set his teeth, and rose
nearly to a sitting position, and then fell back dying. He only
murmured--"How sweet is man's flesh," and then the gasping breath and
upturned eye announced the last moment. The _tohunga_ now bending
close to the dying man's ear, roared out "_Kai kotahi ki te ao! Kia
kotahi ki te ao! Kia kotahi ki te po!_" The poor savage was now, as I
believe, past hearing, and gasping his last. "_Kai kotahi ki te
ao!_"--shouted the devil priest again in his ear, and shaking his
shoulder roughly with his hand--"_Kia kotahi ki te ao!--Kai kotahi ki
te po!_" Then giving a significant look to the surrounding hundreds of
natives, a roar of musketry burst forth. _Kai kotahi ki te ao!_ Thus
in a din like pandemonium, guns firing, women screaming, and the
accursed _tohunga_ shouting in his ear, died "Lizard Skin," as good a
fighting man as ever worshipped force or trusted in the spear. His
death on the whole was thought happy, for his last words were full of
good omen:--"How sweet is man's flesh."

Next morning the body had disappeared. This was contrary to ordinary
custom, but in accordance with the request of the old warrior. No one,
even of his own tribe, knows where his body is concealed, but the two
men who carried it off in the night. All I know is that it lies in a
cave, with the spear and tomahawk beside it.

The two old wives were hanging by the neck from a scaffold at a short
distance, which had been made to place potatoes on out of the reach of
rats. The shrivelled old creatures were quite dead. I was for a moment
forgetful of the "correct" thing, and called to an old chief, who was
near, to cut them down. He said, in answer to my hurried call,
"by-and-bye; it is too soon yet; _they might recover_." "Oh," said I,
at once recalled to my sense of propriety, "I thought they had been
hanging all night," and thus escaped the great risk of being thought a
mere meddling pakeha. I now perceived the old chief was employed
making a stretcher, or _kauhoa_, to carry the bodies on. At a short
distance also were five old creatures of women, sitting in a row,
crying, with their eyes fixed on the hanging objects, and everything
was evidently going on _selon les règles_. I walked on. "_E tika
ana_," said I, to myself. "It's all right, I dare say."

The two young wives had also made a desperate attempt in the night to
hang themselves, but had been prevented by two young men, who, by some
unaccountable accident, had come upon them just as they were stringing
themselves up, and who, seeing that they were not actually "ordered
for execution," by great exertion, and with the assistance of several
female relations, who they called to their assistance, prevented them
from killing themselves out of respect for their old lord. Perhaps it
was to revenge themselves for this meddling interference that these
two young women married the two young men before the year was out, and
in consequence of which, and as a matter of course, they were robbed
by the tribe of everything they had in the world, (which was not
much,) except their arms. They also had to fight some half dozen duels
each with spears, in which, however, no one was killed, and no more
blood drawn than could be well spared. All this they went through with
commendable resignation; and so, due respect having been paid to the
memory of the old chief, and the appropriators of his widows duly
punished according to law, further proceedings were stayed, and
everything went on comfortably. And so the world goes round.

Chapter XV.

     Mana. -- Young New Zealand. -- The law of England. -- "Pop goes
     the weasel." -- Right if we have might. -- God save the Queen. --
     Good advice.

In the afternoon I went home musing on what I had heard and seen.
"Surely," thought I, "if one half of the world does not know how the
other half live, neither do they know how they die."

Some days after this a deputation arrived to deliver up my old
friend's _mere_. It was a weapon of great _mana_, and was delivered
with some little ceremony. I perceive now I have written this word
_mana_ several times, and think I may as well explain what it means. I
think this the more necessary as the word has been bandied about a
good deal of late years, and meanings often attached to it by
Europeans which are incorrect, but which the natives sometimes accept
because it suits their purpose. This same word _mana_ has several
different meanings, and the difference between these diverse meanings
is sometimes very great, and sometimes only a mere shade of meaning,
though one very necessary to observe; and it is, therefore, quite
impossible to find any one single word in English, or in any other
language that I have any acquaintance with, which will give the
meaning of _mana_. And, moreover, though I myself do know all the
meanings and different shades of meaning properly belonging to the
word, I find a great difficulty in explaining them; but as I have
begun, the thing must be done. It will also be a tough word disposed
of to my hand, when I come to write my Maori dictionary, in a hundred
volumes, which, if I begin soon, I hope to have finished before the
Maori is a dead language.

Now then for _mana_. _Virtus_, _prestige_, authority, good fortune,
influence, sanctity, luck, are all words which, under certain
conditions, give something near the meaning of _mana_, though not one
of them give it exactly; but before I am done, the reader shall have a
reasonable notion (for a pakeha) of what it is.

_Mana_ sometimes means a more than natural virtue or power attaching
to some person or thing, different from and independent of the
ordinary natural conditions of either, and capable of either increase
or diminution, both from known and unknown causes. The _mana_ of a
priest or _tohunga_ is proved by the truth of his predictions, as well
as the success of his incantations, _which same incantations,
performed by another person, of inferior mana, would have no effect_.
Consequently, this description of _mana_ is a virtue, or more than
natural or ordinary condition attaching to the priest himself, and
which he may become possessed of and also lose without any volition
of his own. When

            "Apollo from his shrine,
             No longer could divine,
  The hollow steep of Delphos sadly leaving,"--

_Then_ the oracle had lost its _mana_.

Then there is the doctor's _mana_. The Maori doctors in the old times
did not deal much in "simples," but they administered large doses of
_mana_. Now when most of a doctor's patients recovered, his _mana_ was
supposed to be in full feather; but if, as will happen sometimes to
the best practitioners, a number of patients should slip through his
fingers _seriatim_, then his _mana_ was suspected to be getting weak,
and he would not be liable to be "knocked up" as frequently as

_Mana_ in another sense is the accompaniment of power, but not the
power itself; nor is it even in this sense exactly "authority,"
according to the strict meaning of that word, though it comes very
near it. This is the chief's _mana_. Let him lose the power, and the
_mana_ is gone; but mind you do not translate _mana_ as power; that
won't do: they are two different things entirely. Of this nature also
is the _mana_ of a tribe; but this is not considered to be the
supernatural kind of _mana_.

Then comes the _mana_ of a warrior. Uninterrupted success in war
proves it. It has a _slight_ touch of the supernatural, but not much.
Good fortune comes near the meaning, but is just a little too weak.
The warrior's _mana_ is just a little something more than bare good
fortune; a severe defeat would shake it terribly; two or three in
succession would show that it was gone: but before leaving him, some
supernaturally ominous occurrence might be expected to take place,
such as are said to have happened before the deaths of Julius Cæsar,
Marcus Antonius, or Brutus. Let not any one smile at my, even in the
most distant way, comparing the old Maori warriors with these
illustrious Romans, for if they do, I shall answer that some of the
old Maori _Toa_, were thought as much of in _their_ world, as any
Greek or Roman of old was in his; and, moreover, that it is my private
opinion, that if the best of them could only have met my friend
"Lizard Skin," in his best days, and would take off his armour and
fight fair, that the aforesaid "Lizard Skin" would have tickled him to
his heart's content with the point of his spear.

A fortress often assailed but never taken has a _mana_, and one of a
high description too. The name of the fortress becomes a _pepeha_, a
war boast or motto, and a war cry of encouragement or defiance, like
the _slogan_ of the ancient Highlanders in Scotland.

A spear, a club, or a _mere_, may have a _mana_, which in most cases
means that it is a lucky weapon which good fortune attends, if the
bearer minds what he is about; but some weapons of the old times had a
stronger _mana_ than this, like the _mana_ of the enchanted weapons we
read of in old romances or fairy tales. Let any one who likes give an
English word for this kind of _mana_. I have done with it.

I had once a tame pig, which, before heavy rain, would always cut
extraordinary capers and squeak like mad. Every pakeha said he was
"weather-wise;" but all the Maori said it was a "_poaka whai mana_," a
pig possessed of _mana_; _it had more than natural powers_ and could
foretell rain.

If ever this talk about the good old times be printed and published,
and every one buy it, and read it, and quote it, and believe every
word in it, as they ought, seeing that every word is true, then it
will be a _puka puka whai mana_, a book of _mana_; and I shall have a
high opinion of the good sense and good taste of the New Zealand

When the law of England is the law of New Zealand, and the Queen's
writ will run, then both the Queen and the law will have great _mana_;
but I don't think either will ever happen, and so neither will have
any _mana_ of consequence.

If the reader has not some faint notion of _mana_ by this time, I
can't help it; I can't do any better for him. I must confess I have
not pleased myself. Any European language can be translated easily
enough into any other; but to translate Maori into English is much
harder to do than is supposed by those who do it every day with ease,
but who do not know their own language or any other but Maori

I am always blowing up "Young New Zealand," and calling them "reading,
riting, rethmatiking" vagabonds, who will never equal their fathers;
but I mean it all for their own good--(poor things!)--like a father
scolding his children. But one _does_ get vexed sometimes. Their
grandfathers, if they had no backs, had at least good legs, but the
grandsons can't walk a day's journey to save their lives; _they_ must
_ride_. The other day I saw a young chap on a good horse; he had a
black hat and polished Wellingtons; his hat was cocked knowingly to
one side; he was jogging along, with one hand jingling the money in
his pocket; and may I never see another war dance, if the hardened
villain was not whistling "Pop goes the weasel!" What will all this
end in?

My only hope is in a handy way (to give them their due) which they
have with a _tupara_; and this is why I don't think the law will have
much _mana_ here in my time,--I mean the _pakeha_ law; for to say the
worst of them, they are not yet so far demoralized as to stand any
nonsense of that kind, which is a comfort to think of. I am a loyal
subject to Queen Victoria, but I am also a member of a Maori tribe;
and I hope I may never see this country so enslaved and tamed that a
single rascally policeman, with nothing but a bit of paper in his
hand, can come and take a _rangatira_ away from the middle of his
_hapu_, and have him hanged for something of no consequence at all,
except that it is against the law. What would old "Lizard Skin" say to
it? His grandson certainly is now a magistrate, and if anything is
stolen from a pakeha, he will get it back, _if he can_, and won't
stick to it, because he gets a salary in lieu thereof; but he has told
me certain matters in confidence, and which I therefore cannot
disclose. I can only hint there was something said about the law, and
driving the pakeha into the sea.

I must not trust myself to write on these matters. I get so confused,
I feel just as if I was two different persons at the same time.
Sometimes I find myself thinking on the Maori side, and then just
afterwards wondering if "we" can lick the Maori, and set the law upon
its legs, which is the only way to do it. I therefore hope the reader
will make allowance for any little apparent inconsistency in my ideas,
as I really cannot help it.

I belong to both parties, and I don't care a straw which wins; but I
am sure we shall have fighting. Men _must_ fight; or else what are
they made for? Twenty years ago, when I heard military men talking of
"marching through New Zealand with fifty men," I was called a fool
because I said they could not do it with five hundred. Now I am also
thought foolish by civilians, because I say we can conquer New Zealand
with our present available means, if we set the right way about it
(which we won't). So hurrah again for the Maori! We shall drive the
pakeha into the sea, and send the law after them! If we can do it, we
are right; and if the pakeha beat us, _they_ will be right too. God
save the Queen!

So now, my Maori tribe, and also my pakeha countrymen, I shall
conclude this book with good advice; and be sure you take notice; it
is given to _both parties_. It is a sentence from the last speech of
old "Lizard Skin." It is to you both. "Be brave, that you may _live_."

                                                 VERBUM SAPIENTI.





This little tale is an endeavour to call back some shadows from the
past: a picture of things which have left no record but this imperfect
sketch. The old settlers of New Zealand--my fellow pioneers--will, I
hope, recognize the likeness. To those who have more recently sought
these shores, I hope it may be interesting. To all it is respectfully


Many years ago, Hongi Ika, the great warrior chief of New Zealand, was
dying.[6] His relations, friends, and tribe were collected around him,
and he then spoke to them in these words: "Children and friends, pay
attention to my last words. After I am gone, be kind to the
missionaries, be kind also to the other Europeans; welcome them to the
shore, trade with them, protect them, and live with them as one
people; but if ever there should land on this shore a people who wear
red garments, who do no work, who neither buy nor sell, and who always
have arms in their hands, then be aware that these are a people called
soldiers, a dangerous people, whose only occupation is war. When you
see them, make war against them. Then, O my children, be brave! then,
O friends, be strong! Be brave that you may not be enslaved, and that
your country may not become the possession of strangers." And having
said these words, he died.

[Footnote 6: Hongi was shot through the body at Mangamuka, in
Hokianga, of which wound he died, after lingering some years. The
speech here given was not spoken on the _day_ of his death, but some
time before, when he saw he could not recover.]

After this, years passed away, and the pakeha increased in numbers,
and were spread over the whole country, and traded with the Maori, and
lived with them, and the Maori were pleased with them, for they got
from them plenty of gunpowder, and tomahawks, and blankets, and all
the wealth of the pakeha became theirs, and there was no fighting
between them, but all lived together as friends.

More years passed away, and then came a chief of the pakeha who we
heard was called a Governor. We were very glad of his arrival, because
we heard he was a great chief, and we thought, he being a great chief,
would have more blankets and tobacco and muskets than any of the other
pakeha people, and that he would often give us plenty of these things
for nothing. The reason we thought so was because all the other pakeha
often made us presents of things of great value, besides what we got
from them by trading. Who would not have thought as we did?

The next thing we heard was, that the Governor was travelling all over
the country with a large piece of paper, asking all the chiefs to
write their names or make marks on it. We heard, also, that the
Ngapuhi chiefs, who had made marks or written on that paper, had been
given tobacco, and flour, and sugar, and many other things, for having
done so.

We all tried to find out the reason why the Governor was so anxious to
get us to make these marks. Some of us thought the Governor wanted to
bewitch all the chiefs,[7] but our pakeha friends laughed at this, and
told us that the people of Europe did not know how to bewitch people.
Some told us one thing, some another. Some said the Governor only
wanted our consent to remain, to be a chief over the pakeha people;
others said he wanted to be chief over both pakeha and Maori. We did
not know what to think, but were all anxious he might come to us soon;
for we were afraid that all his blankets, and tobacco, and other
things would be gone before he came to our part of the country, and
that he would have nothing left to pay us for making our marks on his

[Footnote 7: The Governor made some presents of no great value to some
of the natives who signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and a report in
consequence got about, as is related here, that he was paying a high
price for signatures. Many suppositions and guesses were made by the
ignorant natives of the part of the country alluded to in the story,
as to what could be the reason he was so desirous to get these names
written on his paper, and many suggested that he had some sinister
design, probably that of _bewitching_ them.]

Well, it was not long before the Governor came, and with him came
other pakeha chiefs, and also people who could speak Maori; so we all
gathered together, chiefs and slaves, women and children, and went to
meet him; and when we met the Governor, the speaker of Maori told us
that if we put our names, or even made any sort of a mark, on that
paper, the Governor would then protect us, and prevent us from being
robbed of our cultivated land, and our timber land, and everything
else which belonged to us. Some of the people were very much alarmed
when they heard this, for they thought that perhaps a great war
expedition was coming against us from some distant country, to destroy
us all; others said he was only trying to frighten us. The speaker of
Maori then went on to tell us certain things, but the meaning of what
he said was so closely concealed we never have found it out.[8] One
thing we understood well, however; for he told us plainly that if we
wrote on the Governor's paper, one of the consequences would be that
great numbers of pakeha would come to this country to trade with us,
that we should have abundance of valuable goods, and that before long
there would be great towns, as large as Kororareka, in every harbour
in the whole island. We were very glad to hear this; for we never
could up to this time get half muskets or gunpowder enough, or
blankets, or tobacco, or axes, or anything. We also believed what the
speaker of Maori told us, because we saw that our old pakeha friends
who came with us to see the Governor believed it.

[Footnote 8: When a native says anything for which he thinks he may at
some future time be called to account, he so wraps his ideas up in
figurative and ambiguous terms as to leave him perfectly free, should
he think fit, to give a directly contrary meaning to that which is
most obvious at the time he speaks. Some natives are very clever at
this, but it often happens that a fellow makes such a bungle of the
business as to leave no meaning at all of any sort. This is what the
narrator of the story means when he says, "the meaning of what the
speaker of Maori said was closely concealed," which is a polite Maori
way of saying that he was talking nonsense.]

After the speaker of Maori had ceased, then Te Tao Nui and some other
chiefs came forward and wrote on the Governor's paper; and Te Tao Nui
went up to the Governor, and took the Governor's hand in his and
licked it! We did not much like this; we all thought it so
undignified. We were very much surprised that a chief such as Te Tao
Nui should do so; but Te Tao Nui is a man who knows a great deal about
the customs of the pakeha; he has been to Port Jackson in a ship, and
he, seeing our surprise, told us that when the great pakeha chiefs go
to see the King or Queen of England they do the same, so we saw then
that it was a straight proceeding. But after Te Tao Nui and other
chiefs had made marks and written on the Governor's paper, the
Governor did not give them anything. We did not like this, so some
other chiefs went forward, and said to the Governor, "Pay us first,
and we will write afterwards." A chief from Omanaia said, "Put money
in my left hand, and I will write my name with my right," and so he
held out his hand to the Governor for the money; but the Governor
shook his head and seemed displeased, and said he would not pay them
for writing on the paper.

Now, when all the people saw this they were very much vexed, and began
to say one to another, "It is wasting our labour coming here to see
this Governor," and the chiefs began to get up and make speeches. One
said, "Come here, Governor; go back to England;" and another said, "I
am Governor in my own country, there shall be no other;" and Paapahia
said, "Remain here and be Governor of this island, and I will go to
England and be King of England, and if the people of England accept me
for their King it will be quite just; otherwise you do not remain
here." Then many other chiefs began to speak, and there was a great
noise and confusion, and the people began to go away, and the paper
was lying there, but there was no one to write on it. The Governor
looked vexed, and his face was very red. At this time some pakehas
went amongst the crowd, and said to them, "You are foolish; the
Governor intends to pay you when all the writing is done, but it is
not proper that he should promise to do so; it would be said you only
wrote your names for pay; this, according to our ideas, would be a
very wrong thing." When we heard this we all began to write as fast as
we could, for we were all very hungry with listening and talking so
long, and we wanted to go to get something to eat, and we were also in
a hurry to see what the Governor was going to give us; and all the
slaves wanted to write their names, so that the Governor might think
they were chiefs, and pay them; but the chiefs would not let them, for
they wanted all the payment for themselves. I and all my family made
our marks, and we then went to get something to eat; but we found our
food not half done, for the women and slaves who should have looked
after the cooking were all mad about the Governor, so when I saw that
the food was not sufficiently done, I was aware that something bad
would come of this business.[9]

[Footnote 9: This is a common native superstition. The natives believe
in omens of a thousand different kinds, and amongst others think it a
very bad omen if, on an occasion when any business of importance is on
hand, the food happens to be served underdone; or before a battle it
is a particularly bad omen.]

Next morning the things came with which the Governor intended to pay
us for writing our names, but there was not much tobacco, and only few
blankets;[10] and when they were divided some of the chiefs had
nothing, others got only a few figs of tobacco, some one blanket,
others two. I got for myself and all my sons, and my two brothers, and
my three wives, only two blankets. I thought it was too little, and
was going to return them, but my brother persuaded me to keep them; so
we got into our canoe to go home, and on the way home we began to say,
"Who shall have the blankets?" And so we began to quarrel about them.
One of my brothers then said, "Let us cut them in pieces, and give
every one a piece." I saw there was going to be a dispute about them,
and said, "Let us send them back." So we went ashore at the house of a
pakeha, and got a pen and some paper, and my son, who could write,
wrote a letter for us all to the Governor, telling him to take back
the blankets, and to cut our names out of the paper, and then my two
brothers and my sons went back and found the Governor in a boat about
to go away. He would not take back the blankets, but he took the
letter. I do not know to this day whether he took our names out of the
paper. It is, however, no matter; what is there in a few black marks?
Who cares anything about them?

[Footnote 10: These presents were given to the natives, and, in their
matter-of-fact manner, understood to be payment for signing the

Well, after this, the Governor died; he was bewitched, as I have
heard, by a _tohunga_ at the South, where he had gone to get names to
his paper; for this was his chief delight, to get plenty of names and
marks on his paper. He may not have been bewitched, as I have heard,
but he certainly died, and the paper with all the names was either
buried with him, or else his relations may have kept it to lament
over, and as a remembrance of him. I don't know. You, who are a
pakeha, know best what became of it; but if it is gone to England, it
will not be right to let it be kept in any place where food is cooked,
or where there are pots or kettles, because there are so many chiefs'
names in it; it is a very sacred piece of paper; it is very good if it
has been buried with the Governor.[11]

[Footnote 11: The Treaty of Waitangi.]

After the first Governor came the second Governor, but the towns and
numerous pakeha traders we expected did not come. We heard of a town
at Waitamata having been built,[12] and others farther South; but in
our part of the country there was no new towns, and the pakeha did
not increase in numbers, but, on the contrary, began to go away to the
town at Waitamata, to be near their chief the Governor, who lived
there, and many of us had no one left to sell anything to as formerly.
Tobacco began to be scarce and dear; the ships began to leave off
coming to Tokerau, Hokianga, and Mangonui. We inquired the reason of
this, but the few pakeha traders left amongst us told us different
stories. Some said that the reason tobacco was scarce and dear was,
because the Governor would not let it be brought on shore until he was
paid a large price for it, besides what was paid to the people of the
ship, who were the right owners of it. This we at first did not
believe, because you all said you were not slaves, not one of you, but
all free men. Others said that the reason ships did not come as
frequently as formerly, was because the Governor made them pay for
coming to anchor in the ports. Some said all the evil was by reason of
the flagstaff which the Governor had caused to be erected at Maiki,
above Kororareka, as a _rahui_, and that as long as it remained there
things would be no better; others again told us the flagstaff was put
there to show the ships the way into the harbour; others, that it was
intended to keep them out; and others said that it was put up as a
sign that this island had been taken by the Queen of England, and that
the nobility and independence of the Maori was no more. But this one
thing at least was true, we had less tobacco and fewer blankets and
other European goods than formerly, and we saw that the first Governor
had not spoken the truth, for he told us we should have a great deal
more. The hearts of the Maori were sad, and our old pakeha friends
looked melancholy, because so few ships came to bring them goods to
trade with. At last we began to think the flagstaff must have
something to do with it, and so Heke went and cut it down.

[Footnote 12: Auckland, the capital of New Zealand.]

When the flagstaff was cut down, there was a great deal of talk about
it, and we expected there would be fighting; but it all ended quietly.
The Governor, however, left off taking money from the people,[13] and
tobacco became cheap, and ships began to come as before, and all our
old pakeha friends were glad, because they had plenty of goods to sell
us, and so we all thought Heke was a man of great understanding. But
the Governor put up the flagstaff again, and when Heke heard this he
came and cut it down again; so this was twice that he cut it down.

[Footnote 13: After the flagstaff had been cut down, the
customs-duties were repealed, and, in consequence, tobacco and other
articles on which duties had been levied became cheaper. This fully
convinced the natives that there was some mysterious connection
between the dearness of different goods and the existence of the
flagstaff, which they now thought was the source of all evils, and
which will account for their determined persistence in cutting it down
so often, at all risks.]

Now, when the Governor heard that Heke had cut down the flagstaff a
second time, he became very angry, because he thought he could never
get any more money from the people, or the ships,[14] so he sent to
England, and to Port Jackson, and everywhere, for soldiers to come to
guard the flagstaff, and to fight with Heke.

[Footnote 14: This was really the belief of the natives at the time; I
have heard it said not once but fifty times. To tell the contrary was
perfectly useless; the flagstaff, and nothing but the flagstaff, was
"the cause of all the evil"--and there were not wanting ill-disposed
Europeans who encouraged this belief, as I think with the purpose to
bring on a war.]

It was not long before the soldiers came, and the flagstaff was put up
again; it was made larger and stronger than before, and pieces of iron
were fastened to it, to prevent its being cut down easily, and a house
was built under it for the soldiers, and the Governor told those
soldiers to remain there always to guard that flagstaff. There were
other soldiers at Kororareka and other places. I don't know how many,
but a great many. This was the first time that Heke began to think of
the last words of Hongi Ika, his relative, when he died at Mawhe. Heke
began to think much on these words, for Heke was now a chief amongst
the Ngapuhi, and he thought to stand in the place of Hongi, as,
indeed, he had a right to do.

Now, these soldiers had red garments; they did not work, or buy and
sell, like the other pakeha people; they practised every day with
their weapons, and some of them were constantly watching as if they
expected to be attacked every moment. They were a very suspicious
people, and they had stiff, hard things round their necks to keep
their heads up, lest they should forget, and look too much downwards,
and not keep their eyes continually rolling about in search of an

Great, indeed, was the fear of the Maori when they heard of these
soldiers, for all the pakeha agreed in saying that they would attack
any one their chief ordered them to attack, no matter whether there
was any just cause or not; that they would fight furiously till the
last man was killed, and that nothing could make them run away. Fear
came like a cold fog on all the Ngapuhi, and no chief but Heke had any
courage left. But Heke called together his people, and spoke to them
saying, "I will fight these soldiers, I will cut down the flagstaff, I
will fulfil the last words of Hongi Ika. Be not afraid of these
soldiers, 'all men are _men_.'[15] The soldiers are not gods; lead
will kill them; and if we are beaten at last, we shall be beaten by a
brave and noble people, and need not be ashamed."

[Footnote 15: This is a native saying or proverb, meaning that in fact
one man is as good as another, or that the best or bravest man is
_but_ a man, and therefore not to be too much feared. The speech is a
literal verbatim translation.]

So Heke sent runners to all the divisions of the Ngapuhi, saying,
"Come, stand at my back; the red garment is on the shore. Let us fight
for our country. Remember the last words of Hongi Ika--_Kei hea koutou
kia toa_."

But the chiefs of the Ngapuhi _hapu_ said amongst themselves, "How
long will the fire of the Maori burn before it is extinguished?"

So the Ngapuhi chiefs would not join Heke for fear of the soldiers,
but said, "We will wait till a battle has been fought, and if he is
successful, then we will join him." So Heke, therefore, went with his
own family and people, and those of his elder relation Kawiti, and the
Kapotae, and some others, altogether about 400 men. He went to fight
with the soldiers at Kororareka, and to cut down his old enemy the

Heke and Kawiti having arrived at Tokerau, and having fixed upon the
day of attack, they agreed that Kawiti should attack the town of
Kororareka, to draw off the attention of the soldiers who guarded the
flagstaff on the hill of Maiki, so that Heke should have an
opportunity to cut it down, for Heke had said that he would cut down
the flagstaff, and he was resolved to make his word true. When they
had formed this plan, and night was come, the priests of the war party
threw darts to divine the event.[16] They threw one for Heke, and one
for the soldiers, and one for the flagstaff: and the dart for Heke
went straight, and fair, and fortunate; but the dart for the soldiers
turned to one side, and fell with the wrong side up; so did that for
the flagstaff. When this was told the people they were very glad, and
had no longer any fear. Then Kawiti, who is himself a _tohunga_, threw
a _rakau_ for his own path--he threw one for himself and people, and
one for the soldiers, and one for the town. The dart for Kawiti went
straight and fair, but it turned wrong side up, which is the omen of
death; and so also did the dart for the soldiers go fair and straight,
but also turned wrong side up. And when Kawiti saw this, he said, "It
is good. Here have I two darts ominous of success, and bravery, and
death--our enemy will prove very strong and brave, they will suffer
much from us, and so will we from them. I am not displeased, for this
is war and not play." Then Heke and Kawiti stood up in the night, and
spoke long and with great spirit to their men, to give them courage;
and when they had done speaking, Kawiti remained where he was near the
sea, not far from the town; but Heke went inland, and before morning
he lay with his men in a hollow close to the flagstaff.

[Footnote 16: Before a war or any other important matter, the natives
used to have recourse to divination, by means of little miniature
darts made of rushes or reeds, or often of the leaf of the cooper's
flag (raupo). This was very much believed in, but of course the chiefs
and priests or _tohunga_ (such of them as did not deceive
_themselves_) could make the result favourable or otherwise as they
liked. There is an allusion to a custom of this kind (divining by
darts) in the Bible.]

Heke lay on the ground with his war party--close at hand were the
sleeping soldiers. Amongst those soldiers there was not one _tohunga_,
not a man at all experienced in omens, or they must have had some
warning that great danger and defeat was near; but there they lay
sleeping between the open jaws of war, and knew of no danger. This is
the only foolishness I see about the pakeha--they are quite ignorant
and inexperienced in omens, and, indeed, care nothing at all about

[Footnote 17: It astonished the natives greatly that the soldiers paid
no attention to omens, and also to see them every five minutes doing
something or another monstrously "unlucky."]

In the morning, before it was light, Kawiti rushed upon Kororareka.
The young men did not look for the light of this world; their only
thought was who should kill the first man, and elevate his name. But
the soldiers met them in the path, and the fight began. Pumuka then
gained a name; he killed the first man of the battle, but had not long
to rejoice, for he himself fell a _mataika_ for the pakeha.[18] Then
the Maori charged to revenge Pumuka; the soldiers met them; the
sailors charged sword in hand; a keen breeze of war was blowing then
on Kororareka! The best men of both sides were in front; the sword met
the tomahawk, and many fell; but of all the braves (_toa_) there, the
chief of the sailors was the bravest; no man could stand up before his
sword, and had he not been struck by a shot, the Maori would have been
defeated--four men like him would have killed Kawiti and all his war
party. This is what I have been told by Kawiti's people who were in
the fight. I did not see it myself, but was at every other fight in
the war.

[Footnote 18: The first man killed in a battle is called the
_mataika_. To kill the _mataika_ is thought a great distinction, and
young men will risk themselves to the utmost to obtain it. Many
quarrels arise sometimes after a fight, in consequence of different
individuals claiming the honour of having killed the first man. The
writer knows a man who in different battles has killed eleven

When Kawiti attacked Kororareka, the soldiers at the flagstaff on the
top of Maiki heard the firing, and left the flagstaff, and went
straggling about the hill-side, trying to see what was going on below.
They did not think of Heke or his words when he said he would cut down
the flagstaff, neither did they remember the orders of the Governor.
They were very foolish; for while they were trying to see the fight
between Kawiti and the soldiers and sailors, and thinking, perhaps,
that the Maori did not know how to conduct an ambush, Heke started
from the ground, and before they could turn round the flagstaff and
their fort was taken. Some of them were killed, others ran away, and
then the axes went to work, and the flagstaff was cut down. So this
was the third time it fell, and there it lies now.

During this time, the fighting was still going on at Kororareka; but
at last the Maori drew back, and the pakeha remained in the town. The
Maori were not beaten, neither were the soldiers. Pumuka had been
killed, and many others of Kawiti's people were killed and wounded;
several, also, of the pakeha had been killed, and their great _toa_,
the chief of the sailors, was almost dead. So the words of Kawiti
proved true: both he and his enemy had done bravely, and had equal
success, and both had suffered much.

In the afternoon the Maori began to perceive that the pakeha were
leaving the town, and going on board the ships, so they returned to
the town and began to plunder, and the people of the town plundered
also, so both parties quietly plundered the town of Kororareka, and
did not quarrel with one another. At last, all the town people and
soldiers went on board the ships, and then the ship of war fired at
the Maori people who were plundering in the town. The noise of the
firing of the ship guns was very great, and some of Kawiti's people
were near being hit by the lumps of iron. This was not right, for the
fight was over, and the people were only quietly plundering the town
which had been left for them, and which they had given fair payment
for; but, I suppose, the sailors thought their chief was dying, and
fired a volley (_waipu_) for his sake. So the sailors may have an
argument in their favour; but the Maori did not at the time think of
this, so in revenge they burnt Kororareka, and there was nothing left
but ashes; and this was the beginning of the war.

Well, you pakeha are a noble-minded people; it was very generous of
you to give up Kororareka to be plundered and burnt for _utu_ for the
Maori. If you had been beaten you could not have helped it; but as you
were not beaten, I say it was very noble of you to give up the town.
You are always giving us something, so you gave Kawiti and Heke a town
full of blankets, and tobacco, and money, and all sorts of property,
and rum! It was _very_ good of you. I wish I had been there.

When Kororareka was burnt, and all the Europeans had sailed to the
town at Waitamata, which we now began to hear was called Auckland,
then Heke went to stop at Ahuahu, and the news of the battle was heard
all over the country, and then many men came to join Heke, but no
whole _hapu_ came, for most of the Ngapuhi chiefs said, "Now tens of
thousands of soldiers will come to fight with Heke, and he will be
utterly destroyed." But when all Heke's people were together they were
about 700 men.

Now, when Thomas Walker Nene heard that the war had actually begun,
and that Kororareka had fallen, he called together his family and all
his friends, and said he would fight against Heke, and seek revenge
for his friends the pakeha people. Walker had been always a friend and
protector to the Europeans; and also Hongi Ika, Heke's relation, had
killed in former times Te Tihi, at Hokianga, and swallowed his eyes,
and Te Tihi was a _matua_ (elder relation) to Walker.

And Te Tao Nui came to join Walker, and brought with him all his
family and relations, many fighting men; only one man of his family
did not come--that man went to help Heke. Te Tao Nui had always, like
Walker, been a good friend to the Europeans, and he was also an
ancient enemy of Hongi Ika.

And the tribe of Ngati Pou came to help Walker. Formerly they had been
a great tribe, but Hongi Ika had driven them from their country and
slain most of their warriors; but they in return wounded Hongi, and he
died of that wound some years afterwards. They came to help Walker, in
search of revenge against Hongi Ika, for Heke and Hongi are the same.
This tribe of Ngati Pou brought forty men to help Walker, which was
all left alive by Hongi, but they fought well, for their hatred to
Hongi was great; they fought through the whole war, and never were
absent from any fight. The first man killed in the war between Walker
and Heke was killed by a Ngati Pou, and the first man who fell on our
side was a Ngati Pou, and the last man who fell in the war was also a
Ngati Pou; their chief, Hakaraia, was wounded, and several others of
the forty men were killed.

And all the young men of the Hikutu came to help Walker; they came to
practise war, and elevate their names; but their handsome and brave
young chief, Hauraki, fell at Waikare, for such is the appearance of
war; and many young men came from different tribes (_hapu_) to join
Walker, and to perfect themselves in the practice of war.

And I, your friend, went also with my two younger brothers, my four
sons, and my daughter's husband, and nine cousins (_teina keke_), and
three slaves--twenty men of us, all _tino tangata_, who had seen
war.[19] I went because when the ancestors of Heke fought against
mine, the ancestors of Walker came to help my forefathers, because
they were related to each other; so I and Walker are relations; but I
don't know exactly what the relationship is, for eleven generations
have passed since that ancient war; but Walker and I are aware that we
are related, and always come to each other's help in war.

[Footnote 19: This is a very good example of the manner in which a
native chief raises men for a war party; they are all his _relations_
with their different connections, and it is this which causes the
natives to be so careful to remember all who are, however remotely,
related to them. In a word, to be "a man of many cousins" is to be a
great chief.]

When Walker had got all his men together, they were in number about
500, and he went with them to Okaihau and built a pa, and Heke was at
Te Ahuahu with his men. Te Ahuahu is not far from Okaihau, and there
was fighting between them every day. Several of Walker's relations
were killed, and the brother of Te Tao Nui was also killed, and his
son badly wounded; but in every fight Heke lost most men, and had the
worst of the battle. So Heke sent a messenger to Walker, saying, "If
you go on this way, when the soldiers return there will be no one to
fight them. Who will there be to fight with you, and who to fight the
red garment?" But Walker said, in answer, "I will fight on till I
arrive at the end."

Then the messenger answered Walker, saying, "Behold the soothsayers
foretell your death."

Then arose quickly Karere Horo, our priest, who answered in a loud
voice, saying, "Your soothsayers speak falsely. What sin has Walker
committed that he should die in this war? I myself who now address you
shall die, and many others, but Walker shall live."

Then Heke's messenger, having saluted the people, took his gun and

Up to this time, no news had been heard from the Governor at
Auckland, and a pakeha came to the camp at Okaihau, and said to
Walker's people, "This is a bad thing you are doing, coming here to
fight with Heke. The Governor when he hears of it will be angry, and
so will the Queen. You are only wasting your powder, and getting
killed for nothing. The Governor will not give you any more gunpowder,
and you will get no pay. Moreover, you are not fighting at all for the
pakeha, or the Queen, you are fighting to revenge Te Tihi." Then
another pakeha who was in the camp, an old friend of Walker, arose and
spoke to the people, and said, "Pay no attention to what has been said
by this man. Both the Governor and the Queen will be well pleased to
hear of your opposing Heke, and so will all the pakeha people. You
will be ever after this looked on as true friends, and the Governor
will give you plenty of gunpowder to replace what you have expended.
Neither is this a war for Te Tihi, but for Kororareka; but if you
remember Te Tihi also, how can you help it?" When we heard this speech
we were encouraged, for we had begun to doubt whether we were doing
right when we heard the speech of the first pakeha.

On this same night the moon was eaten into by a star (eclipsed), and
the light of the moon was quite obscured, and we all thought this an
omen of great disaster to one party or the other in the battle to take
place next morning. The fight, however, in the morning was no great
matter; of Heke's people there were three killed and twenty wounded;
and eleven of our men were wounded, but none killed.

Walker's old pakeha friends gave him gunpowder, and rifles, and other
things, to enable him to fight Heke; and some of them came and stayed
at the camp, and fought amongst his men, to show him that he was right
in what he was doing, for Walker had not yet had any word from the
Governor, and was only fighting on his own thought.

Shortly after this, a letter came from the Governor, and with it the
Governor sent gunpowder, and lead, and blankets, and flour, and sugar,
and tobacco; so we saw then clearly that we were doing right. But
there was only one letter for both Walker and Te Tao Nui; so Te Tao
Nui was angry at this, for he thought there should have been a letter
entirely for himself, and he said he would leave the camp with all his
men. He had more men, at that time, than Walker; but, however, he
remained, and helped Walker to the last. After this, news came
frequently from Auckland, and before long we heard that the soldiers
were coming.

When Heke's people heard that the soldiers were coming, most of them
left him, and there remained but 200 men. Then Heke left Te Ahuahu,
and came and built a pa not far from Taumata Tutu, on the clear ground
by the lake; for he said he would fight the soldiers on the spot where
the last words of Hongi Ika had been spoken. The name of this pa of
Heke's was Te Kahika.

Now, when this new fort of Heke's was finished, the spirit of the
Ngakahi entered into the _atua wera_, who is the greatest _tohunga_ in
all the country of the Ngapuhi. So the Ngakahi spoke in the night to
Heke and his people, by the mouth of the _atua wera_, "Be brave, and
strong, and patient. Fear not the soldiers, they will not be able to
take this fort--neither be you afraid of all those different kinds of
big guns you have heard so much talk of. I will turn aside the shot,
and they shall do you no harm; but this pa and its defenders must be
made sacred (_tapu_). You must particularly observe all the sacred
rites and customs of your ancestors; if you neglect this in the
smallest particular, evil will befall you, and I also shall desert
you. You who pray to the God of the missionaries, continue to do so,
and in your praying see you make no mistakes. Fight and pray. Touch
not the spoils of the slain, abstain from human flesh, lest the
European God should be angry, and be careful not to offend the Maori
gods. It is good to have more than one God to trust to. This war party
must be strictly sacred. Be brave, be strong, be patient."[20]

[Footnote 20: This is word for word a literal translation of the
speech of the _atua wera_ to Heke's men. He was, however, supposed
only to speak the words of the _Ngakahi_ by whom he was at the moment

So Heke waited there at his fort at Mawhe, near Taumata Tutu, for the
coming of the soldiers; and before long they arrived at Walker's camp
at Okaihau, which was but a short distance from where Heke was. When
these soldiers arrived they were very much fatigued, and quite without
provisions, and not at all fit to go to fight. They had been two
nights on the road, one of which nights they lay out in the rain, and
they had but a small quantity of ammunition. They had come by a long,
bad road, up and down hill, though there was a good road open to them;
and they were quite worn out, and not fit to fight at all. What could
be the reason that the pakeha who knew the country did not tell the
soldiers to come up the Keri Keri in boats, and then along the cart
road to the turn-off to Okaihau? If they had done this, they could
have brought big guns in the boats, and provisions, and put them in
carts at the Keri Keri, and come along the cart road till they were
not far from Walker's camp. If they had done this, the big guns would
have knocked down the pa, for it was a very weak one, and it would
have been taken, and the war would have ended; for it was because this
very weak pa was not taken that the Maori kept on fighting, and caused
so many men afterwards to be killed on both sides. Heke certainly had
many friends amongst the Europeans, as why should he not?

But the soldiers had with them a light gun, called a rocket, and this
gun had a great name: it was said that it would go into the pa, and
twist and turn about in pursuit of the people until it had killed them
every one. When we heard this we were sorry for Heke and his people,
and were in great fear for ourselves lest it should turn round upon us

When the soldiers had rested one night at Okaihau, they prepared to
attack Heke's pa; but early in the morning, when they were getting
something to eat, we observed many of them eating standing up; this
gave us a good deal of uneasiness, for it has an unlucky look to see
warriors before going to battle eating their food standing. They
should sit down and eat quietly, as if nothing was going to happen out
of common; but, as I have said before, the soldiers are very
inexperienced in these matters. When they had done eating, they formed
to march to attack Heke. What a fine-looking people these soldiers
are! Fine, tall, handsome people; they all look like chiefs; and their
advance is like the advance of a flight of curlew in the air, so
orderly and straight. And along with the soldiers came the sailors;
they are of a different family, and not at all related to the
soldiers,[21] but they are a brave people, and they came to seek
revenge for the relations they had lost in the fight at Kororareka.
They had different clothes from the soldiers, and short guns, and long
heavy swords; they were a people who talked and laughed more than the
soldiers, and they flourished their guns about as they advanced, and
ate tobacco.

[Footnote 21: That the sailors were quite a different _hapu_, though
belonging to the _iwi_ of England, and in no way "related" to the
soldiers, I have heard often stated by the natives, as well as by the
narrator of this story. Neither will we wonder at their having jumped
at this conclusion, after having compared "Jack," let loose for a run
on shore, with the orderly soldiers. I will here take occasion to
state that I shall not hold myself accountable for the many mistakes
and misapprehensions of my old friend the Ngapuhi chief, when he
speaks of us, our manners, customs, and motives of action; when he
merely recounts the events and incidents of the war, he is to be fully
depended on, being both correct and minutely particular in his
relation, after the native manner of telling a story, to omit
_nothing_. I have had, indeed, to leave out a whole volume of minute
particulars, such as this for instance: where a _pakeha_ would simply
say, "we started in the morning after breakfast," &c., the native
would say, "in the morning the ovens were heated, and the food was put
in and covered up; when it was cooked it was taken out, and we eat it,
and finished eating, then we got up and started," &c. In the course of
the narration I have translated, I have had to listen to the above
_formula_ about fifty times; the lighting of a pipe and the smoking
it, or the seeing a wild pig (describing size and colour, &c.), is
never omitted, no matter if it is five seconds before commencing a
battle. This is the true native way of telling a story, and it is even
now a wonder to them to see how soon a European tells the story of a
journey, or voyage, or any event whatever. If a native goes on a
journey of three days' duration, during which nothing whatever of any
consequence may have occurred, it will take him at least one whole day
to tell _all_ about it, and he is greatly annoyed at the impatient
pakeha who wants to get the upshot of the whole story by impertinently
saying, "Did you get what you went for?" To tell _that_ too soon would
be out of all rule; every foot of the way must be gone over with every
incident, however trivial, before the end is arrived at. They are
beginning now to find that in talking to Europeans they must leave out
one half at least of a story to save time, but the old men _can't_
help making the most of a chance of talking. To cut a story short
seems to them a _waste of words_ by _not_ speaking them, while we
think it a decided waste of words _to_ speak them. In old times the
natives had so few subjects for conversation that they _made the most_
of what they had, which accounts for their verbosity in trifling

So the soldiers, sailors, and other Europeans advanced to the attack
of Heke's pa, and with them came also Walker and his men; but before
we had gone far, we observed the soldiers carrying on their shoulders
certain things made of cloth and wood; these things were rolled up,
and we did not know the use of them, so we asked what they were, and
were told they were _kauhoa_ on which to carry the dead or wounded!
This was the worst of all; there were those soldiers going to battle,
and actually carrying on their shoulders things to put themselves on
when they were dead! So we began to say one to another, "Those
soldiers walking there are all dead men. It only wants a few guns to
be fired, and they will be all killed." So some of the chiefs told
some of the chiefs of the soldiers what a dreadfully unlucky thing
they were doing, but they all laughed, and said that they came there
to fight, and that whenever people fought some one was sure to be
killed or wounded, and that it was right to have something to carry
them on. But our people said it was time enough to think of carrying a
man when he could not stand, and that by what they were doing they
were _calling_ for death and destruction; and they tried hard to get
the soldiers to throw away these things, but the soldiers would not
listen to them. So we all said, "This is not a war party here marching
on this plain, but a _mate_" (a funeral procession); so all the Maori
left the soldiers, and went and sat on the top of the hill called
Taumata Kakaramu, except about forty men, Walker's relations, who
would not leave him. We felt sorry for the soldiers; but we said, "Let
them fight their own battle to-day, and if they are successful we
will help them in every other fight." But no one could believe they
would be successful.

At last the soldiers and sailors got before Heke's pa; the main body
of the soldiers remained opposite to it, at the side next to Walker's
camp--the rest, about one hundred men, sailors and soldiers, went
round by the shore of the lake, which was on the right of the pa, and
so got behind it; and on that side there was but one slight fence, and
no _pekerangi_.[22] The soldiers had told us in the morning that they
would rush on both sides of the pa at once, and that it would be taken
in a moment, and that then they would come home to breakfast.

[Footnote 22: Heke's pa at the lake, the first we ever attacked, was
the weakest ever built by the natives in the war. Had it not been for
Kawiti's appearance just at the moment the storming party were about
to advance, and thus making a diversion, it would most certainly have
been taken, and as certain all its defenders killed or taken
prisoners; for if the soldiers had entered _then_, the friendly
natives, who were outside in great numbers, would have prevented any
escaping. As it turned out, however, the place was not taken, and this
gave the natives courage to continue the war, in the course of which
they acquired so much confidence, that now they think less of fighting
Europeans, and are less afraid of them, than of their own countrymen.]

So now the soldiers were in front of the pa, and also behind it; and
on the right was the lake, and on the left was Walker with about forty
men, and behind Walker there was a wood--he was between the wood and
the pa.

Then the soldiers who had the rocket gun went a little to the left
front of the pa, and set the gun upon its legs, and pointed it
straight at the pa. Then all the people on the top of Taumata Kakaramu
fixed their eyes on this gun. We watched it closely, and held our
breath, and had great fear for the people in the pa--for they were,
although against us, all Ngapuhi, the same _iwi_ as ourselves, and
many of them our near relations--and we never expected to see them
more by reason of this gun, we had heard so much of it. At last, a
great smoke was seen to issue from one end of the gun, and the rocket
came out of the other. At first it did not go very fast, but it had
not gone far before it began to flame, and roar, and dart straight
towards the pa. It had a supernatural appearance, and rushed upon the
pa like a falling star; but just as it was about to enter the pa it
swerved from its course, touched the ground outside, and then rose and
flew away over the pa, without doing any harm, and no one could tell
where that first rocket went to, for it was the _Ngakahi_, the
familiar spirit of the _atua wera_, who had blown upon it with his
breath and turned it away, according to his word when he spoke by the
mouth of the _tohunga_; for up to this time Heke and his people had
kept strictly all the sacred customs, and infringed none of them. So
the _Ngakahi_ remained guarding them from all danger.

When we saw that the first rocket had gone by the pa and done no harm,
we all gave a great sigh, and our minds were eased; a second rocket
was fired, and a third, and so till they were all gone, but not one
did any harm, for the _Ngakahi_ had turned them all away--not one
entered the pa.

Now, before the first rocket was fired, Heke came out of the front
gate of the pa to watch the effect of the rocket, and he stood outside
praying a Maori prayer, and holding with one hand to a post of the
fence. Then the first rocket was fired; it came very near him, and
passed away without doing any harm. Then another was fired, and missed
also; so when Heke saw this, he cried out in a loud voice, "What prize
can be won by such a gun?"[23] and this has become a saying amongst us
from that day; for whenever we hear a man boasting of what he can do,
we think of the rocket, and cry, "What prize can be won by such a

[Footnote 23: "_E aha te kai e pahure i aia._" My translation is not
very literal; a literal translation would not give the sense to the
reader not acquainted with the Maori language; my free translation
gives it exactly.]

When the first rocket was fired it frightened all the dogs in the pa,
and they ran barking away over the plain; and also one slave ran out
of the pa. He was very much frightened, and he ran away by a path
which went between the hundred soldiers and sailors who were behind
the pa, and Walker's people, who were at the left side of it; and this
slave never stopped running till he came to a place called Kai Namu,
where Kawiti, who had marched all night to relieve Heke, had just
arrived. And this slave ran up to Kawiti and his people, and began to
cry out, "Oh, the soldiers have a frightful gun; it comes roaring and
flaming." Here Kawiti stopped him, and said, "I know all about all
sorts of guns; all guns will kill, and all guns will also miss; this
is the nature (_ahua_) of guns; but if you say one word more, I will
split your head with my tomahawk." So the slave became more afraid of
Kawiti than he was of the rocket, and he ran away back to Heke, and
told him that Kawiti with help was close at hand.

When all the rockets had been fired, then the hundred men, soldiers
and sailors, who were at the back of the pa, arose out of an old Maori
_pare pare_, where they had been sheltered, and giving a great shout,
turned to rush against the pa. Then Heke shouted to his men, "Now let
every man defend the spot he stands on, and think of no other; and I,
on my side, will look to the great fish which lies extended on our
front."[24] And as Heke was saying this, the soldiers and sailors had
begun to move towards the pa, when suddenly Kawiti with one hundred
and forty men appeared close upon their right, and fired upon them.
Then the soldiers turned quickly to the right and attacked Kawiti;
they were close to each other, and some fought hand to hand. The
soldiers, then, were pressed back, and forced to give way before the
rush of Kawiti and his men; but soon they rallied to the call of their
chiefs, and charged with the bayonet, and then a close fight ensued,
in which twenty of Kawiti's men were slain, and many wounded. Several
of them were chiefs, and among them was one of Kawiti's sons, being
the second son he had lost in the war; the other fell at Kororareka.
Kawiti's men then retreated, and the soldiers chased them as far as
the path in the hollow, which leads to Ahuahu, and there the last
Maori was killed by the foremost soldier. There is a stone placed
there where that Maori fell, and close to that stone by the side of
the path the soldier is also buried, for a shot from the pa struck
him, and he fell there. He was a great _toa_, that soldier; in this
fight whenever he pointed his gun a man fell, and he ran so fast in
pursuit that there was no escape from him; but he fell there--for such
is the appearance of war. The musket is a bad weapon, the worst of all
weapons; for let a man be as brave as he may, he cannot stand up
before it long. Great chiefs are killed from a distance by no one
knows who, and the strength of a warrior is useless against it.

[Footnote 24: The natives often call a line or column of men a fish,
and this term is just as well understood as our "column," "company,"
"battalion," &c. I will here say that though the native language is,
as might be supposed, extremely deficient in terms of art or science
in general, yet it is quite copious in terms relating to the art of
war. There is a Maori word for almost every infantry movement and
formation. I have also been very much surprised to find that a native
can, in terms well understood, and without any hesitation, give a
description of a fortification of a very complicated and scientific
kind, having set technical terms for every part of the
whole--"curtain, bastion, trench, hollow way, traverse, outworks,
citadel," &c. &c., being all well-known Maori words, which every boy
knows the full meaning of.]

As the soldiers chased Kawiti, the pa fired on them from the left, so
that they had Kawiti in front and the pa on the left, both firing,
and therefore lost many men; but having beaten Kawiti off, they
returned and took shelter in the Maori breastwork, and began again to
fire at the pa. So they fired, and the pa returned the fire, and the
main body of the soldiers who were at the front of the pa fired. Lead
whistled through the air in all directions, the whole country seemed
on fire, and brave men worked their work. Then Tupori, a chief who was
in the pa with Heke, saw that Kawiti had elevated his name, for he had
fought the soldiers hand to hand twice--once at Kororareka, and once
on this day; and seeing this, Tupori wished also to do something to
make his name heard; he therefore cried out for only twenty men to
follow him, and he would charge the soldiers. Then twenty men rushed
out of the pa with Tupori; they ran straight up the hill to the
breastwork, the soldiers firing on them all the time, but without
hitting one man. So Tupori and his twenty men came quite up to the
breastwork, and stood upon the top of the bank, and fired their
double-barrel guns in the soldiers' faces, and drove them out of the
breastwork. The soldiers retreated a short distance, and Tupori and
his people began collecting the bundles of cartridges which the
soldiers had left behind; and while they were doing this, the soldiers
suddenly came rushing upon them. Their charge was very grand, and
terrible to look at. They came rushing on in great anger, shouting and
_cursing_ at the Maori. So Tupori and his men ran away to the pa, and
as they ran the soldiers fired at their backs, and killed two men,
and wounded Tupori in the leg. The rest got safe into the pa, and took
Tupori and the two dead men along with them. Great is the courage of
Tupori! he has made his name heard as that of a _toa_. But it was not
right for the soldiers to curse the Maori, for up to this time nothing
wrong had been done on either side, and so the Maori were much
surprised to hear the soldiers cursing and swearing at them.

After this the soldiers fired at the pa all day, but only killed three
men, besides the two men killed in the charge of Tupori; these five
men were all killed belonging to the pa that day. When it was near
night, the soldiers went back to Walker's camp at Okaihau, taking with
them their wounded, and also two or three dead; but about ten dead
were left behind at Taumata Tutu, where they fell in the fight with

So Heke remained in possession of the battle plain (_te papa_), and
his pa was not taken, and he buried the dead of the soldiers. But one
soldier who had been wounded, and left behind by the side of the lake,
was found next morning by two slaves, and they pretended they were
friends, and got his gun from him, and then they took him to the lake
and held his head under water till he was dead.

Next morning after the battle the soldiers returned to the Keri Keri,
and Walker went with his people to help them to carry the wounded. And
Hauraki, the young chief of the Hikutu, went also with thirteen of his
people to assist in carrying the wounded soldiers; but the rest of
his tribe, being one hundred men, remained behind at Okaihau, for it
was not expected there would be any more fighting for some days. But
when the soldiers and Walker's people came to the Keri Keri, the Maori
chiefs of Walker's party talked of attacking the Kapotai at Waikare,
in the Bay of Islands, because they were allies of Kawiti; so they
went and told their minds to the chiefs of the soldiers, who agreed to
do so, for they were angry at not having been able to take Heke's pa
at Taumata Tutu.

So when the soldiers and Walker's people came to the Bay of Islands,
they each separated a party to attack the Kapotai. They went up the
Waikare river in the night in canoes and boats, with great precaution,
hoping to surprise the Kapotai, and so to revenge their dead who had
fallen at Taumata Tutu; but before they got near to the pa, the wild
ducks in the river started up and flew over the pa, which alarmed the
Kapotai, and caused them to suspect that an enemy was coming up the
river, so they took arms and watched for the approach of the war
party. And soon the soldiers were near, but it was not yet daylight.
Then the men of the Kapotai called out, "If you are Maori warriors who
come in the night, come on, we will give you battle; but if you are
soldiers, here is our pa, we give it you." They soon discovered the
soldiers, and then they went out at the back of the pa, and left it
for the soldiers to plunder, as payment for Kororareka, which was very
right. So the soldiers and Walker's Maori plundered the pa of the
Kapotai, and killed all the pigs.

After the Kapotai pa had been plundered and burnt, Walker and his men
went in pursuit of the Kapotai, who had retreated into the forest, but
the soldiers remained behind on the clear ground near the pa. Walker,
Mohi, and Repa went into the woods with three hundred men, followed
the Kapotai, and overtook them. When the Kapotai perceived they were
followed, their anger was very great, so they turned, and fought with
great courage against Walker. Walker was not able to beat them, so
they remained a long time fighting in the forest. But Hauraki, the
young Hikutu chief, had, with his thirteen men, taken another path,
and he met the young chief of the Kopatai, who had with him sixty men,
and they were both young men and fighting for a name, so a desperate
fight commenced. Hauraki and his thirteen men thought not of the light
of the sun or the number of the enemy; their only thought was of war,
and to elevate their names. It was a close fight, and whenever the
rifle of Hauraki was heard a man fell, and soon he had killed or
wounded several of the Kapotai, who began to fall back. Then Hauraki
cried out to the retreating Kapotai, "Fly away on the wings of the
wood-pigeon, and feed on the berries of the wood, for I have taken
your land." Then a certain slave of the Kapotai said, "That is
Hauraki, a very noble born man. He is a chief of Te Hikutu, and of Te
Rarawa, and of Te Ngati Kuri." Now when Hari the young Kapotai chief
heard this, he cried aloud to Hauraki, saying, "Swim you away on the
backs of the fish of the sea,[25] there is no land for you here."
Then these two young warriors drew nearer to each other. Hauraki had
just loaded his rifle, but the caps which he had were too small, and
he was a long time trying to put on the cap. While he was doing this,
Hari fired at him, and the ball struck him on the breast and passed
out at his back; but so great was his strength and courage that he did
not fall, but took another cap and fixed it, and then fired at the
Kapotai chief, and the ball struck him on the side under the arm-pit,
and went out at the other arm-pit. So Hari staggered and fell dead.
When Hauraki saw this, he said, "I die not unrevenged," and then sank
gently to the ground. His people then seeing this, two of them led him
away towards the rear. The Kapotai also carried away their chief, and
then, enraged at his death, rushed upon the Hikutu, who were now only
eight in number, the rest having been killed or wounded. These eight
were _tino tangata_ (practised warriors), but were too few in number,
and had lost their chief; so when the Kapotai rushed upon them, they
lost heart and fled, and the Kapotai chased them, and soon the
foremost of the flying Hikutu overtook Hauraki and the two men who
were leading him off. Then Hauraki said, "Do not remain with me to
die, but hide me in the fern and escape yourselves, and go to my
relation Walker, and tell him to muster all his people, and come and
carry me off." So they all pressed their noses to the nose of
Hauraki, one after another. And tears fell fast, and the balls from
the guns of the Kapotai whistled round their heads, so while some
returned the fire of the enemy, others hid Hauraki in the long fern.
When this was done, they all fled, and escaped with great difficulty;
for while they were hiding Hauraki the Kapotai had surrounded them,
and they would never have escaped at all but for the great courage of
Kaipo and Te Pake, Hauraki's cousins, who broke through the Kapotai,
and opened a way for the rest.

[Footnote 25: In allusion to the fact of the war party having come by

Now, when Hauraki's eight men got on the clear ground, they found that
the soldiers were getting into the boats to go away, and Walker, Mohi,
and Repa had just come out of the forest from fighting with the
Kapotai, and Hauraki's cousins ran to Walker, and said "Our friend[26]
is left behind wounded in the forest, and likely to be taken by the
Kapotai." Then Walker was very much dismayed when he heard this, and
he and Mohi ran to the chiefs of the soldiers and desired them to
remain for a short time till he should rescue Hauraki, but the
soldiers could not understand what Walker meant, for the speaker of
Maori (the interpreter to the force) had already gone away in one of
the boats, and there was a great confusion, every one trying to get
away, and Walker's men were also getting into their canoes and going
away, and boats and canoes were running foul of each other, and the
creek was choked with them. Then came the Kapotai in great force with
their allies out of the forest, and commenced firing on the departing
_taua_ from a distance of about two hundred fathoms, so the soldiers
and Walker got away and returned to Kororareka, and left Hauraki lying
alone in the forest, for their bellies were full of fighting. So he
lay there till midnight, and the night was cold and wet, and he kept
continually thinking what a disgrace it would be to his family if he
should be taken alive.[27] And as he lay thus, he saw[28] the spirit
of the greatest warrior of all his ancestors, who said to him, "Arise!
Shall my descendant be taken alive?" Then Hauraki said, "I am a mere
man, not like unto my ancestors, half god and half man."[29] Then the
spirit said, "In the mind is the strength of the body. Arise!" So
Hauraki arose, and travelled a long way in the night till he found a
small canoe by the river side; then he pulled down the river towards
the Bay of Islands till the canoe upset; then he swam on shore, and
when he got to the shore he was almost dead; but near to where he
landed was the house of a pakeha, and the mother of this pakeha was
Hauraki's cousin, so that pakeha took him and concealed him in the
house, and took care of him, and before the middle of the day a party
of Walker's men arrived there in search of him. So they took him to
the Bay of Islands, and the doctors of the soldiers did what they
could to cure him, but without success. So his tribe, who had arrived
at Okaihau, carried him home to his own place at Hokianga, where he

[Footnote 26: The natives when speaking to each other seldom mention
their chief except as "our friend," or, if he be an old man, as "our
leader." Speaking to Europeans, however, they often say our
_rangatira_, that having become the only word in use among the
Europeans to signify the chief of a tribe, though it may also mean
many other ranks, according as it is applied.]

[Footnote 27: That weakness is crime with the natives is a fact, and
in consequence the disgrace of being taken prisoner of war degrades a
native as much as with us it would degrade a man to be convicted of
felony. I have heard two natives quarrelling when one called the other
"slave," because his great-grandfather had been once made prisoner of
war. The other could not deny the traditional fact, and looked
amazingly chop-fallen. He, however, tried to soften the blow by
stating that even if his ancestor _had_ been made prisoner, it was by
a section of _his own_ tribe, and consequently by his own _relations_
he was defeated. Thus endeavouring to make a "family affair" of it.]

[Footnote 28: Poor Hauraki was no doubt delirious from the effects of
his wound, and no doubt thought he saw the vision he recounted when
his people found him.]

[Footnote 29: One of the ancestors of Hauraki, according to a
tradition of the Rarawa, hearing, even in the _Reinga_ (the Maori
Hades), of the warlike renown of one of his sons, became jealous of
his fame, and returned to this world. Emerging from amongst the waves
at Ahipara, on the west coast, where his son lived, he challenged him
to single combat. At the first onset the son had the worst. Then the
father said, "Had you been equal to your ancestors I would have
remained here as your companion in arms; but you are degenerate and a
mere man. I return to the _Reinga_, to be with the heroes of the olden
time." He then disappeared in the waves.]

When Hauraki died, and his body lay at Wirinake to be seen for the
last time by his relations, there was a great gathering of the Rarawa
and Ngapuhi, to fulfil the last rights due to a chief. And when the
_pihe_ had been sung,[30] then the chiefs arose one after another to
speak in praise of the dead. This was the speech of Te Anu, he who is
known as having been in his youth the best spearman of all the Ngapuhi
tribes. Bounding to and fro before the corpse, with his famous spear
in hand, he spoke as follows: "Farewell, Hauraki! go, taking with you
your kindness and hospitality, your generosity and valour, and leave
none behind who can fill your place. Your death was noble; you
revenged yourself with your own hand; you saved yourself without the
help of any man. Your life was short; but so it is with heroes.
Farewell, O Hauraki, farewell." At this time it was night, and the
sister and also the young wife of Hauraki went in the dark and sat
beside the river. They sat weeping silently, and spinning a cord
wherewith to strangle themselves. The flax was wet with their tears.
And as they did this the moon arose. So when the sister of Hauraki saw
the rising moon, she broke silence, and lamented aloud, and this was
her lament--the part I remember of it:--

  It is well with thee, O moon! You return from death,
  Spreading your light on the little waves. Men say,
      "Behold the moon re-appears;"
  But the dead of this world return no more.
  Grief and pain spring up in my heart as from a fountain.
  I hasten to death for relief.
  Oh, that I might eat those numerous soothsayers
  Who could not foretell his death.
  Oh, that I might eat the Governor,
  For his was the war!

[Footnote 30: The _pihe_ is a funeral chant sung standing before the
dead. It is a very curious composition, and of great antiquity, having
been composed long before the natives came to this country. Part of
the language is obsolete. It has allusions which point in a remarkable
manner to the origin of the natives, and from whence they have come.
They do not themselves understand these allusions, but they are clear
enough to any person who has taken the trouble to trace the race from
which they are derived through the Pacific Islands, far into north
latitude, next into Asia, and to observe the gradual modifications of
language and tradition occasioned by time and change of abode.]

At this time men came who were in search of these women, and prevented
the sister of Hauraki from killing herself at that time. They watched
her for several days, but she died of grief. But the wife of Hauraki
consented to live that she might rear her son, so that he might fight
with the Kapotai on a future day. So she called his name Maiki, which
is the name of the hill on which stood the flagstaff, the cutting down
of which was the cause of the war. He was, therefore, called by this
name, that he might always be reminded of his father's death.

The lament of the sister of Hauraki was sung by all the divisions of
all the Ngapuhi, from the west coast to Tokerau. And when Walker heard
it he was displeased, and said, "It is wrong to sing about eating the
Governor, for soon people who do not know the song well will make
mistakes, and sing, 'Oh, that I might eat Heke,' which would be the
worst of all. As for the priests or soothsayers, it is no matter; they
are all a set of fools." So now when people sing that lament, they
only say, "Oh, that I might eat the numerous priests" (_tini

So Hauraki was taken to Te Ramaroa, a cave in the mountains, behind
Wirinake, where his ancestors are buried, and then three hundred men
of Te Hikutu, Natikuri, Te Rarawa, and Walker's people armed, and
entered the country of the Kapotai, to fire powder in remembrance of
Hauraki[31] (_paura mamae_.) They destroyed the cultivations, and got
much plunder; but the Kapotai retired to the forest, and would not
fight, for they knew this was a war party of the tribe of Hauraki, who
came bearing the weapons of grief (_patu mamae_), and, therefore, they
would not fight. So the _taua_ came to the spot where Hauraki had
fallen, and there fired many volleys of musketry in honour of the
dead, and then returned unmolested to their own country. The behaviour
of the Kapotai in this matter was correct. We all know that it was not
fear that prevented them from attacking us; they respected the grief
of the people and relations of Hauraki, and made way before them,
which was a noble thought (_whakaaro rangatira_).

[Footnote 31: It is a native custom, when any chief of importance has
been killed in fair fight, for his friends to form a party and enter
even the enemy's country, should he have fallen there, and fire some
volleys in his honour on the spot where he fell. This they call _paura
mamae_--powder of pain or grief. They, of course, do it at the risk of
being attacked, but the natives often allow the custom to be fulfilled
without molesting the party, although a party of this kind always
plunder and ravage all before them.]

When Heke heard of the death of Hauraki, he said, "Now, if I am slain
in this war, it matters not, for there is no greater Ngapuhi Chief
than Hauraki." What Heke said was true; but he said it to please Te
Hikutu, for Heke is a man of many thoughts.

At this same time, Te Tao Nui, who was at Okaihau, heard that most of
Heke's men had gone from Te Ahuahu to Ohaeawae to kill cattle for
food; for by this time Heke had abandoned his pa, near Taumata Tutu,
which the soldiers had attacked, and gone to another fort of his at Te
Ahuahu, to be near the cultivations. So Te Tao Nui took sixty men, and
went on a dark rainy night and took the pa at the Ahuahu by surprise,
and the people in it only fired two shots and fled. So Te Tao Nui
remained in possession of Heke's fort at the Ahuahu, and all Heke's
provision fell into his hands, and also the road to Ohaeawae was
opened, for this fort was on the path. Then Walker abandoned his camp
at Okaihau and joined Te Tao Nui in Heke's pa, and as they found there
plenty of provisions, they determined to remain there till the
soldiers should return again from Auckland.

But Heke was very much enraged to see his fort and provisions thus
snatched from him, and he determined to retake it before the soldiers
should return from Auckland to help Walker. So he sent messengers to
all parts of the country where he had friends, and to the old chiefs
who were still alive who had been companions of the great Hongi in the
old wars. And they came, and with them came Te Kahakaha, he who had
been Hongi's chosen friend. He had seen more battles than any man now
alive, and was a very brave and experienced leader. He came to assist
Heke, and to show him how his fathers had fought.

When Heke's war party had assembled, they were, in number, about eight
hundred men; and, after having rested a few days at Ohaeawae, they
marched before daylight to attack Walker and Te Tao Nui at Te Ahuahu,
and to retake Heke's pa. Walker, Tao Nui, Moses, and Wi Repa, with his
two brothers, were the principal chiefs of Walker's party at this
time, and they had with them only about three hundred men, for many of
Walker's friends had returned to Hokianga, to fetch pork and other
provisions, for they did not expect to be attacked so soon.

Now in the morning before daylight, an old slave woman went out from
the pa of Walker to pick up sticks for firewood. And there was a thick
fog lying close to the ground; and before the old woman had gone far
she saw a black line of something coming out of a cloud of fog, and as
she was wondering what this might be, she suddenly perceived that it
was a _taua_ of armed men, and they had got within fifty fathoms of
the pa,[32] so she cried aloud the cry of alarm--_Te Whakaariki e! Te
Whakaariki e!_--and instantly the people in the pa were alarmed,
started from sleep, and with their arms in their hands rushed
hurriedly to defend the gates. Then Walker called out to Te Tao Nui,
"Remain you here and defend our pa, and I will go out and fight." Then
Walker and his people rushed against the enemy. And when they were
doing this, another party of the enemy appeared at the opposite side
of the pa. Of this party the old chief Te Kahakaha was the leader.
Then, when Te Tao Nui saw this division and their numbers, which were
great, he said--"Now we have the enemy in full view; there are no more
of them in concealment." So he opened the gates on his side of the pa,
and rushed out with his people, and called out to charge. So Walker
charged at one side of the pa, and Tao Nui and his people on the
other. Walker being opposed to Heke, and Tao Nui to Te Kahakaha, the
fight began, and this was the greatest battle in the war. The best men
of both parties were there, and Heke was very desirous to destroy
Walker in one great fight before the soldiers should return; and
Walker, on his side, wished to show that he could fight Heke without
the aid of the soldiers. So now Walker charged Heke, and Heke fired
like thunder against Walker. I, your friend, was there! and as we
rushed on, Karere Horo was killed (he was our mad priest); and Taketu
was killed, and Te Turi, and Hangarau, and about nine others; and
Takare had both his eyes shot out, and Wi Repa and his brother, and
Hakaraia, the chief of the Ngati Pou, and a great many others, were
wounded. By the time all these people were killed or wounded, we were
close up to Heke's people, and began to fire. Heke's men being so
near, and standing too close together, we did not miss them; we had
revenge for our friends who had fallen. We pressed Heke hard. Not one
of us remembered the light of this world, nor thought of life. Then
the enemy began to fall back, and we followed them close till we came
to a hill side, where they turned and charged us. But we fell back a
little then, and got behind the stone wall of a kumera field, and
fired at them from behind the low wall, and drove them back, having
killed and wounded several. They then returned to the hill-side, and
began firing at us from about fifty fathoms' distance; but we were
sheltered by the low stone wall. Then we heard Heke shouting out to
charge us again, and so down they came upon us again. They greatly
outnumbered us, and the sound of their feet as they rushed on was like
the noise of a waterfall. We fully expected this time they would
finish us, but Walker cried out, "Stand firm! let them come close;
waste no powder." So we stood firm, and took aim over the stone fence,
and let them come so close that the smoke of our guns would pass by
their foremost men. Then we fired, and some of our _toa_, jumped over
the wall and ran at them with the tomahawk, upon which they fled away
to the hill-side again, leaving their dead and wounded in our hands.
Then some of our young men, being hot with the fight, cried out to eat
them raw at once; but this was a foolish proposal, for although we
were fighting against Heke, we were all Ngapuhi together, and more or
less related to each other. Had we been fighting Waikato or Ngatiawa
of the south, it would have been quite correct. So Walker and the
other chiefs would not allow it.

[Footnote 32: The natives estimate distances by fathoms and tens of
fathoms. A _kume_ is ten fathoms.]

While this was going on on Walker's side, Te Tao Nui and his family
were fighting against the division of Te Kahakaha and the Wharepapa at
the other side of the pa; but Te Kahakaha knew by the sound of the
firing that Heke had lost ground and was falling back, so he fell back
also slowly, intending to join the right of his division to Heke's
left, so as to fill up the opening which had been made by Heke falling
back, and then to renew the battle. But, in falling back, his men lost
heart, and Te Tao Nui pressed him hard; so, to encourage his men, he
advanced to the front, calling loudly, "_Whakahokai!_" and, as he ran
forward, his men followed. He was quite naked, and only armed with a
light spear. He came on lightly, like a young man, seeking a man for
his spear; and he rushed upon one of the warriors of the Ngati Pou,
but before he got close enough to strike, a shot struck him on the
breast, and came out at his back, which turned him quite round. Then
another shot struck him on the back, and went out at his breast. Then
he sank to the ground, saying--"Fight bravely, O my family and
friends! for this is my last battle." So he lay quiet there, but did
not immediately die, for he lingered to see once more the young man
Heke, who was the representative of Hongi, his old companion in many

When Te Kahakaha had fallen, the battle would have been quickly lost
but for the Wharepapa, the old chief of the Ihutai. He was a brave old
warrior, and had also fought in the wars of Hongi Ika. He came forward
laughing, and calling on his tribe to stand firm, for he wanted to
save the body of Te Kahakaha. So the Ihutai stood firm, and for a time
the fight became stationary in that place.

At this moment a boy came running to Heke, where he stood opposed to
Walker on the extreme right of the battle. The boy ran up to Heke and
cried, "The old man has fallen." Then Heke said, "What old man?" The
boy answered, "Te Kahakaha." Then Heke said, "Is he quite dead?" and
the boy answered again, and said, "He is quite dead, and the people
are falling back, and his body will be taken by the enemy." When Heke
heard this his heart rolled about in the hollow of his breast. He
threw away his cloak and gun, and ran naked and unarmed all along the
front of the battle until he came to the place where the old man was
lying. And here he met many men who were running away, and he quickly
drove them back to the fight, for they were terrified by his look--his
appearance was hardly that of a man. Then he came to where the old man
lay, and having knelt down, pressed his nose to the nose of the dying
man, and said, "Father, are you slain?" And the old man said, "Son, I
am slain; but in whose battle should I die if not in yours? It is good
that I should die thus." Then Heke ran amongst the people and called
out to charge; but many had fled. The tribe of Ihutai alone remained,
and some few others. They, however, charged desperately, and drove
back Te Tao Nui a short distance. Then Heke tore a cartridge-box from
the body of a dead man, and cried out to the Ihutai to hold back the
enemy a short time while he should get away the body of the old man.
Then he ran away to where he had seen Te Atua Wera standing on the
path trying to rally those who were flying, and to collect them on
that spot to fight again. This Atua Wera, you already have heard, is
the wisest priest and prophet of all the Ngapuhi, and he stood there
in the path stopping the flying people with his club. But who can bind
a flowing river? Tall men with long tattooed faces ran by like a
stream, and were deaf to his call, but he had about twenty men who
stood firm. Then Heke came running up and cried out, "Advance at once
and carry off the old man while it can be done." Then Te Atua Wera
said, "Give me a gun and some cartridges; I have only a club." Then
Heke held out the cartridge-box, and said, "Take a gun from one of the
people," and being mad with haste, and rage, and grief, he began to
buckle the cartridge-box round the waist of the priest. But Te Atua
Wera perceived that there was blood on the cartridge-box, so he
started back and said, "Where did you get this?" Then Heke cried out,
"Where should I get it? is not this war?" So then the priest saw that
Heke himself, the chief of the war, had been the first himself to
transgress the sacred rules, and had touched the bloody spoils of the
slain. So he said to Heke, "The Maori Atua are arrayed against us, the
spirits of the dead are now angry; we are lost; and you, Heke, are now
no longer invulnerable.[33] Go not to the front, or you will meet with
misfortune. Leave the old man where he is, it cannot now be helped;"
and having said this, Te Atua Wera took the cartridge-box on the end
of his club, and threw it away, club and all, into the high fern.[34]
Then Heke roared out, "What care I for either men or spirits? I fear
not. Let the fellow in heaven look to it. Have I not prayed to him for
years? It is for him to look to me this day.[35] I will carry off the
old man alone." And Heke's eyes rolled towards heaven, and he ground
his teeth. Then he ran forward to carry off Te Kahakaha, but ten of
the men who were with Te Atua Wera followed him, for they were ashamed
to see the chief go alone and unarmed to carry off his ancient friend,
but Te Atua Wera remained where he was.

[Footnote 33: The priest had promised Heke that he should be himself
personally invulnerable so long as the old superstitious war customs
were observed, but which Heke had in this instance broken.]

[Footnote 34: This whole scene between Heke and Te Atua Wera is
described exactly as it occurred. I have heard it described by several
eye-witnesses, one of whom was the Atua Wera himself, and they all
gave the same account. The native priests proscribe many rules and
observances to the people, and prophecy good fortune, _provided_ none
of these rules be broken, well knowing that some of them will to a
certainty be broken by the careless and incorrigible Maori. In case of
the failure of any of their predictions, they have the excuse that
some sacred rule had been broken. In this particular instance the Atua
Wera, seeing the battle going against Heke, took advantage of his
having handled the bloody cartridge-box; the people having been
forbidden to touch anything having the blood of the enemy on it, until
certain ceremonies of purification had been performed after the
battle, to render plunder or spoil lawfully tangible.]

[Footnote 35: Heke had been for years a Christian, according to the
Maori notion of Christianity, which was then, if not now, a mere
jumble of superstition and native barbarism. Here Heke says, that
because he _prayed_ to the "fellow in heaven"--by which he means that
at stated periods he had for some years made use of certain words
which were supposed to gain the favour of "the European God"--that in
consequence that God should favour him now if he was able. The word
_karakia_ which Heke made use of does not mean prayer as we understand
that word. _Karakia_ properly signifies a formula of words or
_incantation_, which words are supposed to contain a _power_, and to
have a positive effect on the spirit to whom they are addressed,
totally irrespective of the conduct or actions, good or bad, of the
person using them. The fact is that the Maori has, perhaps, the lowest
religious character of any human being; his mental formation seems to
have the _minimum_ of religious tendency. The idea of a supreme being
has never occurred to him, and the word which the missionaries use for
God (_Atua_) means indifferently, a dead body, a sickness, a ghost, or
a malevolent spirit. Maui, the Atua, who they say fished up the island
from the sea, is supposed to have _died_ long ago by some, and all
agree that he no longer exists.]

All this which I have told took but little time, for in battle when
men's eyes shine there is no listlessness. But by this time Heke's men
to the right were quite defeated by Walker, and running away; but
Walker pursued them, slowly and with caution, for the ground was
covered with brushwood, and rocks, and high fern, and the enemy though
defeated were still more numerous than we were, and we followed
slowly lest we might fall into an ambush.

So Te Atua Wera sat on a stone beside the path waiting for the return
of Heke, and soon he saw that the battle was lost, for people came
running past in great numbers, and among them came the men who had
gone with Heke, and they brought with them the body of the old man, Te
Kahakaha, which Heke had gone with them to bring away. The fire of Te
Tao Nui now began to come closer, and the bullets were cutting down
the fern all round them, and the Atua cried out to the bearers of the
body to inquire for Heke, and they said he was close behind them. So
Te Atua waited some time longer, but Heke did not come, and the enemy
were getting near, and his mind was disturbed, for he had a
presentiment of evil. At this moment Hoao, a very noted Ngapuhi
warrior, came jumping over the fern, and seeing the Atua Wera, he
shouted, "Turn--face the enemy, for Heke has fallen, and unless
quickly rescued will be taken." Te Atua said, "Where is he?" The man
said, "Here in the hollow, where I have hid him in the high fern, but
could not carry him off myself." Te Tao Nui had now got close, and
some of his men had actually passed where Heke lay, but had not
discovered him. So now Te Atua Wera saw it was his time to do his
part, so he called out "Come, follow me to die for _Pokaia_.[36]"
Three men started forward at this call; they ran to where Hekewas,
and bore him off. In doing so they were more than once surrounded by
the enemy, but the fern and brushwood were so thick that they got off
unperceived. The fern and brushwood would not, however, have saved
them had it not been for the Atua Wera, who, by his continual
_karakia_ (incantations) rendered the bearers of Heke invisible to the
enemy. The three men who carried off Heke were all from Hokianga; they
were all elderly men, and practised warriors. Their names were _Ta
Pura_, _Hoao_, and _Te Ngawe_.

[Footnote 36: In the agitation caused by hearing that Heke had fallen,
the Atua Wera called Heke by the name of _Pokaia_. This was the name
of Heke's father, a celebrated cannibal warrior and desperate savage.
His closing scene took place in the country of the Ngatiwhatua, where,
having gone in a war expedition, he and his 300 men were killed and
eaten, almost to a man, by the Ngatiwhatua, who in their turn were all
but exterminated by Hongi Ika in revenge for Pokaia.]

So Heke lost in this battle many of his best old war chiefs, he was
himself badly wounded and defeated, and escaped with difficulty to the
fort at Ohaeawae, to which place he was chased by Walker and Te Tao
Nui. These misfortunes would not have happened had not Heke been so
thoughtless as to handle the bloody spoils of the dead, before the
proper ceremonies had rendered them common. But there is nothing in
this world so deaf to reason or so disobedient as a warrior--when he
is enraged he only listens to his own courage, and, being led away by
it, dies.

After this battle Heke remained some time at Ohaeawae, and Walker
stayed at Te Ahuahu, the fort which Te Tao Nui had taken. Walker
buried Heke's dead which had been left on the field, and there was a
great lamentation at both forts, for the number of killed on both
sides was great.

Heke, and Kawiti, who had again joined him, now enlarged, and
strengthened, and completely finished the pa at Ohaeawae, where they
were stopping. It was originally but small, and belonged to Pene Taui,
but they now completely finished it, and made it a perfect Maori fort
in every respect. The inside fence was made of a very hard wood which
does not splinter much; the posts of this fence were about one fathom
in the ground, and the fence over ground was about four fathoms high.
The posts were stout, and some of them would require thirty men with
ropes to raise them. Inside this fence was the trench in which the men
stood to fire; their faces only reached the level of the ground
outside the fort. The loopholes, through which the men fired, were
also only level with the ground outside, so that in firing the men
were very slightly exposed. Outside of all was the _pekerangi_, which
is a lighter sort of fence put up to deaden the force of shot before
it strikes the inner one, and also intended to delay a storming party,
so that while they would be pulling it down, the men behind the inner
fence might have time to shoot them. This pekerangi was nearly as high
as the inner fence, and stood little more than half a fathom outside
of it; it was made of a strong framework, and was padded thickly with
green flax to deaden the force of shot. It was also elevated about a
foot from the ground, so that the men behind the inner fence,
standing in the ditch, could shoot through the loopholes in the inner
fence _under_ this outside fence; also at different distances along
the _kaue_ (curtain) there were _koki_ (flanking) angles, capable of
containing many men, so that a storming party would be exposed to a
fire both in front and flank, and in these angles were put large ship
guns. The men inside, in the inner trench, were also protected from a
flanking fire by _pakeaka_ (traverses), which crossed the trench at
intervals; also inside the place were many excavations under ground
covered over with large logs of timber, and over the timber earth. In
these pits the men could sleep safe from the shot of the big guns of
the soldiers. There were also high platforms at the corners of the
inner fence, from whence could be seen all that an enemy might be
doing outside.

When this fort was completely finished and provisioned, the priests
(_tohunga_) took, according to ancient custom, the chips of the posts,
and with them performed the usual ceremonies, and when they had done
so they declared that this would be a fortunate fortress; so it was
made sacred (_tapu_,) as were all the men who were to defend it.

This fortress being now quite finished and ready for war, the soldiers
came from Auckland to attack it, and also came the sailors and _Pakeha
Maori_ (Militia). They landed at the Bay of Islands, came up the Keri
Keri in boats, and from thence to the Waimate along the cart road.
They brought with them two very small brass guns, and two very short
iron ones (mortars). The short iron guns looked like potato pots, and
we laughed at them, and thought of Heke's saying of "What prize can be
won by such a gun?" We however, notwithstanding our laughing, thought
they must have some use, or the soldiers would not have brought them.

At last, after remaining several days at the Waimate, the _taua_
advanced against Ohaeawae. The soldiers, sailors, and other pakeha
might be in number about eight hundred, and we Maori were four
hundred. The enemy did not attempt to oppose our advance, which was
very good; for the soldiers were so heavy loaded with cloths, and tied
up with belts, and had such heavy cartridge-boxes and also little
water casks, hanging to their sides, and packs on their backs, besides
the musket and bayonet, that we all said that if we Maori were loaded
in that way, we should neither be able to fight nor to run away. Great
is the patience of the soldiers!

At this time Heke was very ill, and expected to die from his wound
which he had received at the great fight at Te Whatuteri. So his
people took him away to his own place at Tautora, and Te Atua Wera and
sixty men remained there with him. Many, also, of the men who had been
at the fight with Walker at Te Whatuteri had returned home, so there
remained at the pa at Ohaeawae only Kawiti, Pene Taui, and one hundred

So the soldiers encamped before the pa at the distance of about two
hundred fathoms. There was a little hill on their right, rather
advanced towards the pa. Walker took possession of this hill, and
encamped upon it with about sixty men. This hill overlooked both the
pa and the camp of the soldiers, and from it everything could be seen
that was going on. The rest of the Maori encamped at a short distance
behind the soldiers; and on the left of the soldiers, and a little
advanced, were placed the four little big guns, two of brass and two
of iron.

So now both parties being face to face and close to each other, they
were very watchful. Some of the soldiers stood all night watching
between the camp and the pa, and the people in the pa watched also,
and the watch-cry resounded among the hills. This was the cry of the
pa: "Come on, soldiers, for revenge; come on! Stiff your dead are
lying on Taumata tutu. Come on! Come on!"[37] Then in answer was heard
the watch-cry of Walker: "Come on, O Ngapuhi, for your revenge, come
on! We have slain you in heaps on the battle-field. Come on! Come on!"
So passed the first night before Ohaeawae.

[Footnote 37: "Whai mai e te hoia, ki tetahi utu maua akato wharoro
ana koe, kei Taumata tutu--whai mai! whai mai!"--The watch-cry.]

Next morning the four little big guns began to fire at the pa, but
they did no damage. Some of the shots stuck fast in the large posts,
but did not go through; others went between the posts, making a mark
on each side, but leaving the posts standing as strong as ever. As for
the men in the pa, they were all in the trenches, and the shots which
came through the fence went over their heads, and did them no harm.
After the guns had fired a few times, the people in the pa began
firing at them with muskets, and soon killed one sailor, and wounded
some others. So the men left the guns for the rest of that day, but in
the night they took them away, and placed two of them on the hill
where Walker had encamped, and the other two on the level ground
between that hill and the soldiers' camp. They also made banks of
earth to shelter them, so that the men who fired them were safer than
they had been the day before, when they had only a little green flax
to cover them, which was of no use.

Next day the guns began to fire again, and continued until night; and
also a great number of soldiers, sailors, and Maori scattered
themselves about the pa, and fired at it with muskets, but could do no
harm; and this went on for several days, but the fences of the pa
remained standing, and not much injured. I think, however, that
although the guns were smaller than they should have been, if they had
been continually fired at one place, an opening in the fence would
have been made at last; but instead of doing this, when they had been
fired for half a day at one part of the fence, then the soldiers would
begin firing at some other part of the pa, and then the people would
come out of the trenches and repair any damage which had been done at
the place at which the guns had been fired at first. We Maori did not
think the soldiers did wisely in this respect, but they may have had
some reason for it which we could not understand, for we don't know
much about big guns; as was also seen at Ohaeawae, for there were four
big guns in the pa, larger than those of the soldiers, and they were
fired at us very often, but they never hit any one. My idea is, that
big guns are no use to knock down a pa, unless they are very big
indeed. But the Maori say that in future wars they will build forts
where it will be hard, and take a long time, to bring big guns; and
when the soldiers after much pains get them there, they will leave the
pa at once, and go somewhere else where it will take a long time to
follow them, and so on till the soldiers are tired of dragging big
guns about the country, after which both parties will be armed with
muskets only, and the Maori can use these arms as well as the
soldiers. This is what I have heard say, and I think it a very correct

So the firing of big guns and muskets went on day after day, but no
opening was made in the face of the pa; but the chief of the
soldiers[38] did not care much for this, for he wanted every day to
send his men to rush up to the pa, to pull down the fence with their
hands, or pull it down with ropes, and so get in. But Walker and the
other chiefs always prevented this, as they knew that all the soldiers
would be killed before they could get in in this way. Every one of the
Maori were of this opinion, and also some of our old pakeha friends
who were with us, and who knew the appearance of the Maori in war.
Nevertheless, the chief of the soldiers wished every day to send his
men to rush up to the pa; and so, at last, we heard so much of this
that we began to be very melancholy, and Walker told me that he felt
sick in the stomach when the chief of the soldiers spoke to him about
it, it seemed so great a waste of men's lives. We all became, as I
have said, very melancholy, for we all began to see that it would be
done at last, and we grieved, therefore, for our friends the soldiers,
who we knew would be all killed. But what vexed us most was, that so
fine a war party as ours should be beaten by such a small number of
people as were in the pa, only because the chief of the soldiers was a
foolish, inexperienced person.[39]

[Footnote 38: Colonel Despard.]

[Footnote 39: The pa at Ohaeawae was attacked against the advice of
the friendly native chiefs, who well knew its strength, and the
certain repulse to be expected. They called Colonel Despard anything
but a soldier, and the term "foolish and inexperienced" is the
_mildest_ they applied to him.]

At last the chief of the soldiers thought of sending for a very large
gun from a ship of war at the Bay of Islands, which would be large
enough to break down the fence. If he had done this at first an
opening would soon have been made, and the fort taken without many men
being killed; but as it was, this gun when it came was of no use, for
the chief of the soldiers did not wait till it had broken down the
fence, but attempted to take the pa without this having been done.

This gun was placed at the foot of the hill where Walker had his
camp, and it was not fired many times before it became apparent that
should it keep on firing till next evening, a large opening would be
made in the fence; so we began to think that the chief of the soldiers
would have patience, and wait till this should be done.

Now on this same day, when this big gun began to fire, thirty men came
out of the pa unperceived, and coming through a wood in the rear of
Walker's camp, at a time when Walker and most of his men were absent,
they rushed in and plundered it, killing one soldier who was there,
and also one Maori, and wounded also a pakeha, the son of a
missionary. They pulled down Walker's flag and took it away, and
having fired a volley at the camp of the soldiers, ran off to their
pa, leaving one man killed, who was killed by Tara Patiki, and not by
the soldiers, as I have heard say. I am sure of this, for I saw Tara
Patiki shoot him. They were close upon us before we saw them, and we
had great difficulty to escape, but we both jumped into the fern, and
ran down the hill as hard as we could. I fired my gun right into the
middle of them, but as only one man was killed, I suppose my shot

When the soldiers saw that Walker's pa was taken, they came out of
their camp, and charged up the hill; but when they came to the top,
they found that the enemy were gone, and had taken away everything
valuable they could find; they found the soldier who had been killed.
He had been sent there by the chief of the soldiers to take care of
one of the little big guns which had been removed up to that place,
so he was killed there; but I have heard that the chief of the
soldiers when he wrote his letter to Auckland, to tell the Governor
about this matter, said that this soldier was killed in charging up
the hill; but this is not true, for I and many others got to the top
of the hill before the soldiers, and when we got there the enemy were
gone, and the dead soldier was lying there where he had been killed,
close to the small big gun.

This affair, however, made the chief of the soldiers quite mad, so
that same evening he ordered all his men to rush upon the pa and pull
it down with ropes, or climb over it with ladders, or any way they
could; he also sent to Walker to tell him what he was about to do.
Walker spoke against it, as he had done before, and advised to wait
one day more, till the big gun had made an opening for the soldiers to
rush through quickly; otherwise, he said they would be all killed, and
not get in at all. But the chief of the soldiers would not wait. So
when Walker saw the attack would be made he offered to attack also at
another face of the pa, and also twenty young men, cousins of Hauraki,
the young chief of Te Hikutu, who was killed at Waikare, came and
asked leave to go with the soldiers; but the chief of the soldiers
would not let them go; neither would he consent to Walker's making an
attack, lest meeting the soldiers in the pa, his men might be mistaken
for the enemy.

When we saw that the attack was determined upon, and just going to
take place, we were all in a great state of agitation, and knew not
what to think. Most said all the soldiers would be killed; but then we
thought, on the other hand, that perhaps these European warriors could
do things above the understanding of us Maori, and so perhaps they
might take the pa. But all thought the chief of the soldiers very
wrong to attempt the thing before an opening had been made for the
soldiers to enter by. Also, Toby (Lieutenant Philpots), who was chief
of the sailors, and a very brave gentleman, had walked close up to the
fence of the pa, and along it, and, after having examined it, he
returned, and told the chief of the soldiers that the place could not
be taken by storm, unless it was first breached. When Lieutenant
Philpots went up to the pa, the people were firing at every one who
showed himself, and at first they fired at him; but he walked straight
on, not caring about the shots which were fired at him. So, when the
people in the pa saw that it was Philpots who had done this, they
ceased firing at him, and told him to go back, as they did not wish to
hurt him. So having examined the fence closely, he returned, but the
soldier chief did not mind what he said, and was angry, and spoke
rudely to him for having given his opinion on the matter.

So now the chief of the soldiers mustered his men and divided them
into parties. One party he stationed on the hill which was Walker's
camp, and with all the rest he went to the attack. And first came a
small party with a young chief leading them; these were all _toa_ who
had consented to die, so that those who followed might succeed. After
them came a party of about eighty men, and after these came the main
body of the soldiers; and with them also advanced the sailors, and the
pakeha Maori, carrying ladders. The sailors advanced without their
chief, for as yet he (Philpots) remained to fire some last shots from
the big gun. But there was with them a young chief called Pena (Mr.
Spain). So the whole attack moved on. We soon saw with great surprise
that the soldiers were not going to attack that part of the pa which
for so many days had been battered by the big guns, and where there
might have been some small chance of their getting in, for in that
direction the fence had been damaged in some degree, particularly by
the large ship gun. The soldiers, however, advanced as they had been
ordered against that part of the pa which had been built stronger than
any other, and which had not been fired at at all by the big guns. The
reason why this part of the pa was the strongest was, because it was
the part which had been originally built by Pene Taui as a pa for
himself. He had begun it at the beginning of the war, and built it at
his leisure, and made it very strong. And also that part of the pa was
the nearest to the forest; so all the largest and heaviest timber,
which was difficult to move, was put there. But when Heke and Kawiti
fell back to Ohaeawae, this original pa was found too small to hold
their people; so they enlarged it very much; but, being in a great
hurry, expecting the soldiers back from Auckland, they could not take
time to make the new part so strong as that which had been first
built by Taui; but, nevertheless, by working hard day and night, they
made it very strong.

So the soldiers marched on silently and in good order, in full view of
the pa, till they came opposite to the part they were about to attack,
and then they halted in a little hollow to prepare for the great rush.
But all this was done quietly, and in an orderly manner. The chiefs
did not make speeches, or jump, or stamp about as we Maori do to
encourage the men, but all was quiet, and silent, and orderly, as if
nothing uncommon was about to take place. I took great notice of this,
and did not know what to think; for, when we Maori have determined to
do a desperate thing like this, we are all like mad men, and make a
great clamour, rushing towards the world of darkness (_te po_) with
great noise and fury.

While the soldiers were advancing, Walker and all the people went and
took up a position behind the pa, so that in case the soldiers got in,
the retreat of the enemy would be cut off, in case they attempted to
escape in that direction.

Now the defenders of the pa perceived that the time of battle was
come, and all went to their stations, and the chiefs stood up and made
speeches, each to his own family. This was the speech of
Haupokeha--"Have great patience this day, O children and friends; we
have said 'Let us fight the soldiers,' and behold the rage of the
soldier is at hand; be brave and enduring this day; be victorious; the
parent who maintains us is the land--die for the land!--die for the
land!" Other chiefs spoke to the people, and some of the young men
left the trenches, and called to the old men to lead them out to fight
the soldiers in the open plain before the pa; but Haupokeha, in great
anger, said, "No; this shall not be done: return to your stations, and
you shall see the enemy walk alive into the oven: they are coming only
to their own destruction." At this moment the bugle sounded, and the
soldiers came charging on, shouting after the manner of European
warriors, and those who were on Walker's hill shouted also; and we
Maori behind the pa shouted also; and the whole valley resounded with
the anger of the pakeha! Soon the soldiers were within twenty fathoms
of the fort; and then the fire darted from under the pekerangi; the
noise of guns was heard, and the foremost soldiers fell headlong to
the ground. But the soldiers are very brave: they charged right on,
and came up to the pekerangi, which is the outer fence, and began to
tear it to pieces with their hands. Then Philpots, when he saw the
sailors charge, left the big gun and ran across the plain, and joined
them; and he, being a _toa_, shouted to his men to be resolute, and
destroy the fence; and then, with one pull, the sailors brought down
about five fathoms of the pekerangi; and then they were before the
true fence, which being made of whole trees placed upright and fixed
deeply in the ground, could not be pulled down at all. All this time
the fire from inside through the loopholes continued unceasingly, at
the distance of one arm's length from where the soldiers were
standing, and also a heavy fire came from a flanking angle at a
distance of ten fathoms; and in this angle there was a big gun; it was
heavily loaded with powder, and for shot there was put into it a long
bullock chain, and this was fired into the midst of the soldiers,
doing great damage. So the soldiers fell there, one on the other, in
great numbers; but not one thought of running away. And Philpots did
all a man could do to break down the inside fence, but it could not be
done at all; so he ran along this fence till he saw a small opening
which had been made to fire a big gun through, and he tried to get
through this opening, at the same time calling to his men to follow.
Then the people in the pa saw him, and about ten men fired at him, but
all missed, and he almost got into the midst of the place, still
calling on his men to follow, when a young lad fired at him, and
killed him dead at once. So he lay there dead with his sword in his
hand, like a toa as he was; but the noise and smoke, shouting and
confusion, were so great as to prevent his men from perceiving that he
was killed, and bearing off his body, for such is the appearance of
war. Also, a chief of the soldiers was killed (Captain Grant), and
another died of his wounds, and there was a long line of dead and
wounded men lying along the outside of the fence, and soon all would
have been killed, but the chief of the soldiers, seeing this, sounded
a call on the tetere (bugle) for them to retreat. And then, but not
before, the soldiers began to run back, taking with them most of the
wounded; but about forty dead were left behind, under the wall of the
pa. This battle did not take up near so long a time as I am telling of
it, and in it about one hundred and ten Europeans were killed or

Great is the courage of the soldiers! They will walk quietly at the
command of their chiefs to certain death; there is no people to be
compared to them; but they were obliged to retreat. The number of men
in the fort was about one hundred and seventy, and the part attacked
was defended by the hapu of Pene Taui, in number just forty men. So
the war runners ran through all the north, saying--"One wing of
England is broken, and hangs dangling on the ground."

Before saying any more of this fight, I must tell you of two
slaves--one called Peter, who belonged to Kaetoke, and the other
called Tarata, who belongs to Ti Kahuka. Many years ago Tarata went to
England in a large ship, and having gone ashore to see what he could
see, he lost his way in the great town called London. So, in the
night, the police found him wandering about, and took him prisoner,
and put him in the whareherehere (watch-house), for they thought he
had stolen a bundle of clothes which he was carrying. In the morning
they brought him before the chief and accused him, but Tarata had not
been able to learn to speak English, so he could not defend himself,
or say from whence he came; so he thought he was going to be killed,
and began to cry. Just then a ship captain came into the house, and
seeing Tarata he knew he was a Maori, and spoke to him in Maori, and
told him not to be afraid, and then he turned to the chief of the
police and made a speech to him, and to all the people who were
assembled there to see Tarata killed, as he believed; but when the
ship captain had done speaking, the chief of the police was no longer
angry, and said, "Poor fellow, poor fellow;" and then all the people
present gave each a small piece of money to Tarata. Some gave
sixpence, some a shilling, and some a few coppers; the chief of the
police gave Tarata five shillings. When all the money was together
there was more than ever Tarata had seen before, so he was very glad
indeed; and a policeman went with him and showed him the way to his
ship, and took care of him, lest he should be robbed of his money.
After this Tarata returned to New Zealand, and many years after he
came with his chief to the war to help Walker. So at Ohaeawae, when he
saw the soldiers going to the attack, he thought of the goodness of
the people of England, and so he said, "I will go and die along with
these soldiers." Then, when Peter, the slave of Kaetoke, heard this,
he said, "I also am a pakeha; I have been reared since a child by the
Europeans; they have made me a man, and all the flesh on my bones
belongs to them." So these two slaves ran quickly and took their place
with the _wakaka_ (forlorn-hope, or leading party) of the soldiers,
but when the chief of that party saw them, he ordered them to return;
but they persisted in going on, so the soldier ran at them and cut at
them with his sword, and his soldiers were shouting and running on. So
the two slaves stood to one side, but would not return, and when the
soldiers had passed, they followed them up to the fence of the pa, and
stood there firing into it till the soldiers fell back, and
afterwards, when the soldiers retreated, they carried off one wounded
soldier who had been left behind.

After the fight, the chief of the soldiers sent some people with a
white flag to the pa, to ask permission to take away the dead soldiers
who lay beside the fence. They were told that they might come and take
them next day. Soon after the flag had returned it was night, and then
many near friends of Heke came from Kaikohe and entered the pa, for
they had heard that the soldiers had been beaten off, and this gave
them courage to come, which they had not before, and then late in the
night they joining with the men of the pa danced the war dance which
is appropriate to victory, and sang the song of triumph as they
danced, and the song sounded among the hills in the night like
thunder. This was the song--

  E tama te uaua,
  E taima te maroro,
  Ina hoki ra te tohu!
  O te uaua.
  Kei taku ringa, e mauana.
  Te upoko.
  O te Kawau Tatakiha!

  O youth, of sinewy force,
  O men of martial strength,
  Behold the sign of power!
  In my hand I hold the scalp,
  Of the Kawau Tatakiha.

And often in the night the watch-cry of the pa was heard, and this
was the cry of the pa--"Come on! come on! soldiers, for revenge, come
on! Stiff lie your dead by the fence of my pa--come on, come on!" And
also a great shouting and screaming was heard, which the soldiers
thought was the cry of one of their men being tortured; but the noise
was the voice of a priest who was then possessed of a spirit. But,
nevertheless, the body of one soldier was burned that night, for as
the people were mending the fence by torchlight there was a dead
soldier lying near, and they put a torch of kauri resin on the body to
light their work, which burnt the body very much, and caused the
report to be spread afterwards, when the body was found by the
soldiers, that the man had been tortured; but this was not true, for
the man was dead before the fire was thrown on the body.

During the night a report arose amongst the Maori of Walker's camp--I
don't know how or from what cause--that the soldiers were about to
decamp under cover of darkness, and that the chief of the soldiers had
proposed to shoot all his wounded men to prevent them falling alive
into the hands of the enemy. When we heard this we got into a state of
commotion and great alarm, and did not know what to do. I ran off to a
hut where an old pakeha friend of mine slept, and having aroused him,
I told him what I had heard, and asked him if such things ever had
been done by his countrymen, and also what he thought would be best
for us to do. My friend said nothing for some time, but lit his pipe
and smoked a little, and at last he said, "Such a thing has never yet
been done by English soldiers, and be assured will not be done
to-night; but, nevertheless, go you to all your relations and those
who will listen to your words, and make them watch with their arms in
their hands till daylight. I will do the same with my friends, for,
perhaps, the soldiers might go to-night to take away the wounded to
the Waimate and then return: who knows? And in the morning, perhaps,
the enemy may think they are gone away entirely, and may come out of
the pa; so, in that case, you and I will elevate our names by fighting
them ourselves, without the soldiers." So I and my pakeha friend
watched all night with the people, until the sun rose. But the
soldiers did not go away that night, so I suppose the report was
false, but it alarmed us much at the time, and some of us were very
near running away that night.[40]

[Footnote 40: This report actually was really spread in the camp the
night after the attack. It struck the natives with consternation, and
there are those who still believe that there was _some_ foundation for
it, and that a retreat had been talked of.]

When the morning came, a party went to bring away the bodies of the
dead. The people of the pa had drawn them to a distance from the
fence, and left them to be taken away, so they were taken and buried
near the camp; and when this was done, the soldiers began to fire on
the pa, and the war began again. But the body of the soldier chief who
had been killed was not given up, for much of the flesh had been cut
off. This was done by the advice of the tohunga, so that the soldiers
having been dried for food they might lose their _mana_ (_prestige_,
good fortune), and be in consequence less feared.

And the scalp had been taken from the head of Philpots to be used by
the tohunga in divination to discover the event of the war. This was
not done from revenge or ill-will to him, but because, as he was a
_toa_ and a chief, his scalp was more desirable for this purpose than
that of an ordinary person.

So the foliage of the battle-field was taken to the Atua Wera that he
might perform the usual ceremonies, and cause the people to be
fortunate in the war.[41]

[Footnote 41: Amongst other superstitious native customs, when a
battle has been fought, the victorious party send to their priest, no
matter how far he may be off, a collection of the herbage actually
growing on the field of battle; he takes it and performs with it
certain ceremonies, and sends back the messenger with his advice, &c.,
&c. This is called sending the _rahu rahu_ of the battle field. _Rahu
rahu_ is the name of the _fern_ which is the most common plant in the
North Island.]

When the people in the pa saw that, although the soldiers had lost so
many men, they were not dismayed, and seeing also that the inner fence
was beginning to give way before the fire of the big gun, they made up
their minds to leave the pa in the night, so that the soldiers should
not have an opportunity to revenge themselves. So in the night they
all left, and went to Kaikohe, without it having been perceived that
they were gone.

However, before they had been gone very long, Walker's people began to
suspect what had taken place, for the dogs in the deserted pa were
howling, and the watch-cry was no longer heard. So a man called
Tamahue entered it cautiously, and found it deserted. He crept on
softly, and in entering a house he put his hand on a woman who had
been left behind asleep, so he kept quiet to see if the sleeping
person would awake; and he began to believe that the people had not
left the pa, and was about to kill the sleeping person for _utu_ for
himself, for he did not expect to escape alive, there being so many
pits and trenches which he could not see in the dark. He, however,
thought it would be best first to examine the other houses. This he
did, and perceived that the place was deserted, for all the other
houses were empty. The only weapon Tamahue had was a tomahawk, for he
had lost his left arm at a great battle at Hokianga some years before,
and was therefore unable to use a gun. So he returned to the sleeping
person, and jumped upon her, and raised his hand to strike, for he did
not know it was a woman who was sleeping there, but thought it was a
warrior. But though he had but one arm he did not call to his brother,
who was close outside the pa, for he intended to strike the first blow
in the inside of this fortress himself. You must know that we Maori
think this a great thing, even though the blow be struck only against
a post or a stone. But Tamahue being naked, as all good warriors
should be when on a dangerous adventure, his bare knees pressed
against the breast of the sleeping person, and then he perceived it
was a woman, so he struck his tomahawk into the ground only, and
having taken her prisoner, he called his brother, and they returned
to the camp, and gave information that the pa was deserted.

Then all at once there arose a great confusion. All the Maori and most
of the soldiers ran off to the pa in the dark, and they tumbled by
tens into the pits and trenches, which were in the inside of the
place. The soldiers ran about searching for plunder, and quarrelling
with the Maori for ducks and geese. There was a great noise, every one
shouting at once, and as much uproar as if the place had been taken by
storm; and so this was how Ohaeawae was taken.

In the morning the soldiers dug up the dead of the enemy, nine in
number, being in search of the body of the soldier chief who had been
killed in the attack. They found the body and also that of the soldier
which had been burned; and besides the nine bodies of the enemy's men
which the soldiers dug up, there was also found the body of a woman
lying in the pa, which made ten the people of the pa had lost.

While the soldiers were doing this, all the Maori went in pursuit of
the enemy as far as Kaikohe; and when they got there a certain pakeha
met them, and spoke angrily to the chiefs for pursuing Heke's people,
and told us that our souls would be roasted in the other world for
making war on Sunday--for it was on Sunday this happened. So the
chiefs thought that perhaps it might be unlucky to fight on the
_ratapu_; they, therefore, only set fire to Heke's house at Kaikohe,
and returned to the camp at Ohaeawae. But before the war was over, we
all found that the soldiers did not mind Sunday at all when any harm
could be done on it; but when there was nothing else to do they always
went to prayers.

After this the soldiers burned the pa, and went back to the Waimate,
where they built a fort, and stayed some time, and there they buried
Philpots; and we Maori still remember Philpots, for he was a generous,
brave, and good-natured man. But now years have gone by, and his ship
has sailed away--no one knows where--and he is left by his people; but
sometimes a pakeha traveller may be seen standing by his grave. But
the Europeans do not lament so loudly as we do; they have perhaps the
same thought as some of us, who say that the best lamentation for a
_toa_ is a blow struck against the enemy.

While the soldiers were staying at Waimate, Kawiti left Kaikohe, and
went to his own place at the Ruapekapeka, and fortified it, making it
very strong; but Heke remained at Tautora, not yet cured of his wound.
There was a pa near Waimate, belonging to Te Aratua, and the soldiers
went to attack it; but when Te Aratua heard they were coming, he left
it, and so the soldiers took it, and burned it, without any

Some time after this the soldiers left Waimate, and went to the Bay of
Islands, where others joined them. The sailors came also in the ships
of war, and with them came also the pakeha Maori; and there was a
great gathering, for the soldiers had heard that the fort of Kawiti at
the Ruapekapeka was completely finished and ready for war, and
therefore they prepared to attack it. Walker also, and the other
chiefs with their people, joined the soldiers as before; and when we
were all together we formed a grand war party--the greatest that had
been seen during the war. The soldiers forgot nothing this time. They
brought with them all their arms of every kind. They brought long and
short big guns, and rockets, and guns the shot of which bursts with a
great noise. Nothing was left behind. We were glad of this, for we
wished to see the full strength of the soldiers put forth, that we
might see what the utmost of their power was.[42]

[Footnote 42: The friendly natives never lost sight of the possibility
that they themselves might some day have to fight us. They therefore
scrutinized closely all our military proceedings, and were anxious to
see us do our very best, or rather, our _worst_, so that they might
know what they would have to contend against.]

So this great war party left the Bay of Islands, and went up the river
to attack Kawiti at the Ruapekapeka. They went in boats and canoes,
and having arrived at the pa of Tamati Pukututu, they landed the guns,
and powder, and provisions, and began making a road to the
Ruapekapeka. And after many days, the road being completed, the _taua_
advanced, and encamped before the Ruapekapeka.

During the first two days there was not much done, but when all had
been got ready, the soldiers began to fire in earnest--rockets,
mortars, ship guns, long brass guns--all burst out firing at once. We
were almost deaf with the noise, and the air was full of cannon balls.
The fence of the pa began to disappear like a bank of fog before the
morning breeze. So now we saw that the soldiers had at last found out
how to knock down a pa. But before the fence was completely broken
down, the chief of the soldiers ordered his men to rush up to the pa
as they had done before at Ohaeawae. The soldiers were about to do so,
for they are a very obedient people, when Moses, with much difficulty,
persuaded the chief of the soldiers not to let them go, by telling him
that he was only going to waste all his men's lives, and advising him
to wait till the fence was entirely gone before he made the attack. We
all disliked this soldier very much, and saw that he was a very
foolish, inexperienced person, and also that he cared nothing for the
lives of his soldiers; but we thought it a great pity to waste such
fine well-grown men as the soldiers were, without any chance of

So the guns fired away, and after a few days the fence was completely
down in many places, for the shot came like a shower of hail; but not
many were killed in the pa, for they had plenty of houses under ground
which the shot could not reach; but they were out of all patience, by
reason of the pot guns (mortars). These guns had shot which were
hollow exactly like a calabash, and they were full of gunpowder, and
they came tumbling into the pa, one after another, and they would
hardly be on the ground before they would burst with a great noise;
and no sooner would one burst than another would burst; and so they
came one after another so fast that the people in the pa could get no
rest, and were getting quite deaf. These guns, however, never killed
any one. They are a very vexatious invention for making people deaf,
and preventing them from getting any sleep. One good thing about them
is, that, whenever one of the shots does not burst, a considerable
number of charges of powder for a musket can be got out of it; and
whenever one dropped close to any of the men in the pa, he would pull
out the _wicki_ (fuse), and then get out the powder. A good deal of
powder was procured in this way.

The pot guns are to make people deaf, and keep them from sleeping; the
rockets are to kill people and burn their houses. A rocket knocked off
the head of a woman in the pa, but did not hurt a child she had on her
back at the time. Another took off the head of a young man of the
Kapotai; another took out the stomach of a slave called Hi; he
belonged to the Wharepapa chief of the Ihutai. This slave lived till
night, crying for some one to shoot him, and then died. One man was
killed by a cannon ball which came through the fence and knocked his
leg off as easily as if it had been a boiled potato. The man was a
warrior of the Ngati Kahununu, from the south; when he saw his leg was
off above the knee, he cried out, "Look here, the iron has run away
with my leg; what playful creatures these cannon balls are!" When he
said this, he fell back and died, smiling, as brave warriors do.

There was not many killed in the pa, for the people kept under ground;
neither did the soldiers lose many men, for they kept at a distance,
and let the big guns and rockets do all the work. One evening a strong
party rushed out of the pa and attacked Walker's men, and a pretty
smart fight ensued. Now, this party were for the most part of the
Kapotai tribe, who had killed Hauraki at Waikare, and among Walker's
men were several young men, cousins of Hauraki, who had come to seek
revenge; and these young men fought with great spirit, and one of them
killed Ripiro, a Kapotai, and took his name.[43] Some others of the
Kapotai were killed, and others wounded, but none of Walker's men were
killed, and only a few wounded. Amongst the wounded, however, was that
brave warrior Wi Repa, who had three fingers of his left hand shot
off, being the second time he had been wounded during the war.

[Footnote 43: It is a common practice when a native has killed a man
of any note in battle, for the party who killed the other to
commemorate the exploit by taking the name of the dead man.]

By this time the fences of the pa were broken down very much, but the
people waited patiently, in expectation that the soldiers would come
on to the attack, for they thought that, though the soldiers would
take the place, they would be able to kill many of them, and then
escape into the forest behind the pa. But the guns and rockets kept
firing on, and the people began to be quite tired of hearing the
shells bursting all about them continually, when Heke, who had
recovered from his wound, arrived with seventy men. As soon as Heke
had observed the state of the pa, and how things were, he said, "You
are foolish to remain in this pa to be pounded by cannon balls. Let us
leave it. Let the soldiers have it, and we will retire into the forest
and draw them after us, where they cannot bring the big guns. The
soldiers cannot fight amongst the kareao; they will be as easily
killed amongst the canes as if they were wood-pigeons." So all the
people left the pa except Kawiti, who lingered behind with a few men,
being unwilling to leave his fort without fighting at least one battle
for it.

The next day after Heke's arrival was Sunday. Most of the soldiers had
gone to prayers; many of Heke's people were at prayers also, and no
one was in the pa but Kawiti, and a few men who were in the trenches
asleep, not expecting to be attacked that day. But William Walker
Turau (Walker's brother) thought he perceived that the pa was not well
manned, so he crept carefully up to the place and looked in, and saw
no one; but Kawiti with eleven men were sleeping in the trenches.
Turau then waved his hand to Walker, who was waiting for a signal, and
then stepped noiselessly into the fort. Then Walker and Tao Nui with
both their tribes came rushing on. The soldiers seeing this left
prayers, and with the sailors came rushing into the pa in a great
crowd--sailors, soldiers, and Maori all mixed up without any order
whatever. When the pa was entered the soldiers set up a great shout,
which awakening Kawiti, he started up with his eleven men, and saw
his pa was taken. How could it be helped? So he and his men fired a
volley, and then loaded again, and fired a second volley, which was as
much as he could do. Then they ran away and joined Heke at the rear of
the pa, where he called aloud to the Ngapuhi to fight, and not allow
his pa to be taken without a battle.[44]

[Footnote 44: Kawiti seeing that all the other forts had made so good
a defence wished not to abandon his without standing an assault. Heke,
however, who was the best general, saw the place would soon become
quite untenable from the fire of the artillery, and advised an
immediate retreat to the border of the forest; he, however, had great
difficulty to get Kawiti, who had a good deal of the bulldog in him,
to retreat. The old chief, however, _did_ fire a volley in the inside
of the place when the soldiers entered, which he considered saved his
honour, as it could not be said he left his fort without fighting.]

Then the Ngapuhi returned to attack their own pa, which was full of
soldiers, and creeping up behind rocks and trees they began to fire,
and called out in English, "Never mind the soldiers! Never mind the
soldiers!" They did this hoping to enrage the soldiers, and cause them
to leave the pa, and follow them into the forest; but most of the
soldiers remained in the pa firing through loopholes, for the back of
the pa which was now attacked by the Ngapuhi was yet entire, not
having been so much broken down by the big guns as the front side had
been. A few sailors and soldiers, however, went out at a little gate
at the back of the pa, but were no sooner out than they were shot by
the people behind the trees. At last some forty or fifty soldiers got
out, and a fight began outside. But Heke and the main body of his men
remained at a distance beside the thick forest, in hopes that the
party who were fighting the soldiers would soon fall back, and so lead
the soldiers to follow them into the forest, where Heke had his ambush
prepared for them. But these people did not retire as they should have
done, for a report was heard that Kawiti had been killed or taken, and
this enraged them so much that they would not retreat, and they
remained there trying to retake the pa. But they lost many men, for
hundreds were firing at them from loopholes in the pa, besides the
soldiers who were close to them outside. Many soldiers were killed or
wounded who might have escaped being hurt if they had got behind
trees; but these men did not care about covering themselves when they
might have done so. The Maori at one time charged, and there was among
them a young half-caste; he had in his hand a broad, sharp tomahawk
with a long handle, and he rushed upon a sailor, and using both hands
he struck him on the neck, and the head fell over the man's shoulders
nearly cut off. This was the only man killed by stroke of hand in this

At last Heke sent a man to tell the people to fall back; but they said
they would not do so, but would all die there, for Kawiti had been
taken. Then the messenger told them that Kawiti was safe and well with
Heke, and that he had just seen him; so when they heard this they fell
back at once, but the soldiers did not follow, being restrained by
their different chiefs. So the fight ended, and the Ruapekapeka was
taken, and this was the last fight of the war.

There were killed in this fight of Heke's people twenty-three men, and
Heke wrote their names in a book, and also the names of all others who
had fallen in the war.

How many men the soldiers had killed in the fight I do not know, but I
don't think they lost quite so many as the Maori, for most of them
were firing through the loopholes of the pa and out of the trenches,
and so were well sheltered. One soldier, as I have heard say, was shot
by another, because he was going to run away. I don't think it right
to do this. When a man feels afraid who is ordinarily of good courage,
it is a sign that he will be killed, and he ought to be allowed to go
away. It is bad to disregard omens. When a man feels courageous let
him fight, and he will be fortunate.

Next day, Heke, Kawiti, and all the people began to consult as to what
should be done; for the fort was taken, and they had no provisions,
and there was none at any of their other places--all having been
consumed or wasted during the war, and but little had been planted.
And the people told the chiefs that they could not live on fern root
and fight the soldiers at the same time. They began to say to the
chiefs, "Can shadows carry muskets?" They were much perplexed, and
some proposed to break up into small parties, and go and live with
different tribes who had not taken part in the war, but amongst whom
they had friends or distant relations. After talking over this plan
for some time it was found it would not do, for already some chiefs of
distant tribes had said they would give up any one who came to them to
the Governor, rather than bring a war against themselves. At last it
was proposed to write to the Governor to ask him to make peace. So the
letter was written and sent, but no one expected the Governor would
make peace so quickly. He, however, consented at once to make peace,
and so peace was made, and Heke's people were very glad indeed. But
the chiefs who had been on the side of the soldiers were very sorry,
for had the war been continued a little longer, Heke's people would
have been starved and scattered, and Walker's people could have taken
their land in various places; and, also, after they had been obliged
to scatter about the country to obtain subsistence, many would have
been taken prisoners, and they never would have had courage to fight

When Heke saw that peace was sure to be made, he went away to Tautoro,
and said he did not want peace to be made, but that if the Governor
came to him and asked for peace he would consent. Heke is a man of
many thoughts. So Heke kept at a distance at his own place, and never
made peace with the Governor or Walker, until Walker at last came to
him, and then Heke said that as Walker had come to him there should be
peace, but that until the Governor came also and asked for peace, he
would not consider it fully made.

Well, no one thought that the Governor would go to see Heke, for we
think that whoever goes first to the other, is the party who asks for
peace. But the Governor _did_ go to see Heke, and shook hands with
him, but Heke has never gone to see the Governor; and now the war is
over, and Heke is the greatest man in this Island, and will be KING
by-and-by. All the Europeans are afraid of him, and give him anything
he asks for, or if they refuse he takes it, and no one dare say
anything to him.

Great is the courage of the Maori people! You have now heard how they
made war against the noble people of England, and were not quite
exterminated, as many expected they would be. But Heke, their chief,
is a very knowing man; he is learned even in European knowledge. I
will tell you how he has become possessed of this knowledge, which
enabled him to make war successfully against the soldiers. He has a
European friend who has been a very great warrior--a very experienced
warrior indeed. It was he who overcame the great soldier of France,
Buonaparte, and afterwards in a great sea-fight he defeated and killed
the great war-chief of England, Wellington. Besides, he gained many
other battles by sea and land, and he wrote all his wars in two books.
Now, he lent Heke the first of these books to show him how to fight
with the soldiers, which is the reason he has been so successful, but
if he had had the second book he would have taken Auckland, and been
King of New Zealand long ago; but he will get it by-and-by. I never
saw this book, and Heke never shows it to any one, for he wants to
keep all the knowledge to himself. Now, what are you laughing at? It
is no use to tell me that Wellington is alive yet. Heke's pakeha
killed him long ago--before you were born, perhaps. You are only a
young man; what do you know about it? The Wellington you mean is some
other Wellington; but the great soldier Wellington, of England, was
killed long ago by Heke's pakeha. The Governor is not near so great a
man as this friend of Heke's, and is afraid of him.[45]

[Footnote 45: Hundreds of natives believed firmly in this absurd story
before and during the war. In the present day (1861), when these notes
are written, "Young New Zealand" would only laugh at it. But formerly
this and other equally ridiculous tales were not only believed but had
very serious effects. Heke was not the author of the story, but he
found it to his hand, added the "_books_" to it, and turned it to his
account. His "pakeha friend" is still extant, as well as the other
"pakeha" who endeavoured to prevent Walker's people from taking our
part in the war, but they are not by any means such "great men" as in
the days when it was believed that one of them was the conqueror of
both Wellington and Buonaparte!]

This has been a great talk. What payment are you going to give me?
Give me that bottle of rum. I am _so_ thirsty with talking. Don't
shake your head; I _must_ have it. Oh, how sweet rum is! There is
nothing in the whole world so good. I know a pakeha, who says, if I
will get him a big pot, and some old gun-barrels, he will show me how
to make rum out of corn. Don't take that bottle away. Come, give it
me. You are a chief. Give me the bottle. You are not afraid of the
law. I am a great chief; _I_ am not afraid of the law. I will make
plenty of rum, and sell it to the pakeha, and get all their money, and
I will have a house, and tables, and chairs, and all those sort of
things for people to look at; and when the Governor comes to see me, I
will scatter money all about the floor, so that when the Governor sees
how much more money I have than he has, he will be quite ashamed, and
think himself not near so great a chief as I am. I will have fifty
pakeha servants, and they shall all work for me one day, and I will
make them drunk the next for payment, and the next day they shall
work, and the next get drunk, and there shall not be a watch-house in
the whole land.[46]

[Footnote 46: This _convivial_ scene with my friend the chief is no
fiction, but a faithful relation, like everything else in this book,
of what actually was said and done. It certainly does not come into
the "History of the War," but is inserted just to give some idea of
the state of things in the country districts, and the terms on which
the country settlers manage to exist with their native "friends." The
chief's _speculation_ in the distilling line is faithfully given word
for word, as he explained it to me. But it has never come to anything,
for although he actually got the "pakeha" to come to his place for the
purpose of making "rum" out of corn, when he got him there he
_plucked_ him to such an extent, not leaving him even a blanket on his
bed, that he ran for it, and the distillery in consequence came to

The bottle is empty, get me another. Do now. You are my friend. Give
me the key! I will get it myself. You won't! I will break open the
door. I will tell the magistrate you have been giving me rum. You are
a slave. You are _all_ slaves. Your grandfathers have all been put in
the watch-house. You are afraid of the magistrate, the magistrate is
afraid of the Governor, and the Governor is afraid of Heke. You want
to rob us of our country, and to hang us up like dried sharks. You
_can't_. You are not able. You are cowards. _You_ are a coward! Kapai
Heke![47] (Here exit Ngapuhi chief head-foremost on to the grass-plat
before the door, and so ends the history of the war with Heke.)

[Footnote 47: Kapai Heke! tantamount to _Vive_ Heke! _In vino
veritas_--in his cups this stout defender of the pakeha lets out that
he in reality is an admirer of Heke, and in another war would probably
join him, being, as all the natives are, without any exception,
distrustful of the European, and suspecting we intend eventually to
rob them of their country. I think their chief reason for this belief
is that they themselves would treat us in that way were they able,
they being all plunderers and marauders, both by nature and practice,
and so "measure our corn in their own bushel."]


Next morning my friend the chief got up, and shook himself into shape,
and begged a shirt and a pound of tobacco, neither of which I dare
refuse him, and he then took himself off quietly. I have not seen him
since, but received a letter from him the other day, beginning with,
"Great is my love to you," and ordering me to send him by bearer one
red blanket, and one cloth cap with a _gold_ band, as he is going to
Auckland to see the Governor, who he hopes to "talk" a horse and
twenty pounds from, on the strength of his services during the war.
Perhaps when he comes back he may tell me all about his journey, and
what he said to the Governor, and what the Governor said to him, all
of which I will write down in English, as I have this "great talk,"
which is all I am ever likely to get for my cap and blanket. It is to
be hoped the story will be worth the cost.[48]

[Footnote 48: I am happy to be able to announce to the whole world
that my friend the Ngapuhi chief has been to Auckland and returned
safe back, having been extremely well received by the Governor. I have
also to inform my friends that the chief has told me the whole story
of his journey, leaving out _nothing_; he has told me every word he
said to the Governor, and every word the Governor said to him, all of
which I have written in a book for the instruction and improvement of
future ages, together with a plan of attack, whereby Auckland would,
as he thinks, be taken, sacked, and burned, which this friend of mine
made just to wile away the time when not engaged in paying his court
to the Governor. I shall, however, reserve this last history till I
see what fortune this my _wakaka_ may have.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Since the above was written, I am sorry to say that my old friend has
departed this life. He was, with his brother, shot dead some years ago
in a scuffle about a piece of land. In justice to the memory of my old
and respected friend I am bound to say, that, according to the very
best native authorities, his title to the land was perfectly clear
and good. A sense of impartiality, however, forces me also to declare
that the title of my _other_ friend who shot him, is also as clear as
the sun at noon; there can be no doubt of this. Both have clear
undoubted pedigrees, which prove them directly descended from the
"original proprietor." The only point of any consequence which made
against my friend's title, was the circumstance of his having been
shot dead. This has "made clear," as I am bound to confess, the title
of the other party, which now remains without a flaw. The only thing I
see against them is the fact that, during the last seven years, their
numbers have been much decreased by sickness, while it so happens that
the sons of my old friend, and also his brother's sons, have large
families of stout, healthy-looking boys. Good native casuists, on whom
I can place every reliance, tell me that possibly this may somehow or
other affect the title of the others. I don't know clearly how, for
though I have studied "native tenure" for thirty years, I find I have
even yet made but small progress. Indeed, I have lately begun to
suspect that the subject is altogether of too complicated a nature for
a European understanding. The only safe maxim I can give on native
tenure, after all my study, is as follows:--Every native who is in
actual possession of land, must be held to have a good title till some
one else shows a better, _by kicking him off the premises_.

                                                    PAKEHA MAORI.



_No hea_--Literally, from whence? Often used as a negative answer to
an inquiry, in which case the words mean that the thing inquired for
is not, or in fact is nowhere.


_Mana_--As the meaning of this word is explained in the course of the
narrative, it is only necessary to say that in the sense in which it
is used here, it means dominion or authority.

_Tangi_--A dirge, or song of lamentation for the dead. It was the
custom for the mourners, when singing the _tangi_, to cut themselves
severely on the face, breast, and arms, with sharp flints and shells,
in token of their grief. This custom is still practised, though in a
mitigated form. In past times, the mourners cut themselves dreadfully,
and covered themselves with blood from head to feet. See a description
of a _tangi_ further on.


_Pakeha_--An Englishman; a foreigner.

PAGE 10.

_Tupara_--A double gun; an article, in the old times, valued by the
natives above all other earthly riches.

PAGE 11.

_Hahunga_--A _hahunga_ was a funeral ceremony, at which the natives
usually assembled in great numbers, and during which "baked meats"
were disposed of with far less economy than Hamlet gives us to suppose
was observed "in Denmark."

_Kainga_--A native town, or village: their principal head-quarters.

PAGE 12.

_Haere mai!_ _&c._--Sufficiently explained as the native call of
welcome. It is literally an invitation to advance.

PAGE 15.

_Tutua_--A low, worthless, and, above all, a poor, fellow--a "nobody."

PAGE 16.

_A pakeha tutua_--A mean, _poor_ European.

_E aha te pai?_--What is the good (or use) of him? Said in contempt.

PAGE 17.

_Rangatira_--A chief, a gentleman, a warrior. _Rangatira pakeha_--A
foreigner who is a gentleman (not a _tutua_, or nobody, as described
above), a _rich_ foreigner.

PAGE 18.

_Taonga_--Goods; property.

PAGE 21.

_Mere ponamu_--A native weapon made of a rare green stone, and much
valued by the natives.

PAGE 22.

_Taniwha_--A sea monster; more fully described further on.

_Utu_--Revenge, or satisfaction; also payment.

PAGE 26.

_Tino tangata_--A "good man," in the language of the prize-ring; a
warrior; or literally, a very, or perfect man.

PAGE 36.

_Taua_--A war party; or war expedition.

PAGE 46.

_Tena koutou_; or, _Tenara ko koutou_--The Maori form of salutation,
equivalent to our "How do you do?"

PAGE 49.

_Na! Na! mate rawa!_--This is the battle cry by which a warrior
proclaims, exultingly and tauntingly, the death of one of the enemy.

PAGE 62.

_Torere._--An unfathomable cave, or pit, in the rocky mountains, where
the bones of the dead, after remaining a certain time in the first
burying place, are removed to and thrown in, and so finally disposed

PAGE 80.

_Eaha mau_--What's that to you?

PAGE 130.

_Jacky Poto._--Short Jack; or Stumpy Jack.

PAGE 131.

_Tu ngarahu._--This is a muster, or review, made to ascertain the
numbers and condition of a native force; generally made before the
starting of an expedition. It is, also, often held as a military
spectacle, or exhibition, of the force of a tribe when they happen to
be visited by strangers of importance: the war dance is gone through
on these occasions, and speeches declaratory of war, or welcome, as
the case may be, made to the visitors. The "review of the Taniwha,"
witnessed by the Ngati Kuri, was possibly a herd of sea lions, or sea
elephants; animals scarcely ever seen on the coast of that part of New
Zealand, and, therefore, from their strange and hideous appearance, at
once set down as an army of Taniwha. One man only was, at the defeat
of the Ngati Kuri, on Motiti, rescued to tell the tale.

PAGE 132.

_Bare Motiti_--The island of Motiti is often called "_Motiti wahie
kore,"_ as descriptive of the want of timber, or bareness of the
island. A more fiercely contested battle, perhaps, was never fought
than that on Motiti, in which the Ngati Kuri were destroyed.

PAGE 149.

_Ki au te mataika_--I have the _mataika_. The first man killed in a
battle was called the _mataika_. To kill the _mataika_, or first man,
was counted a very high honour, and the most extraordinary exertions
were made to obtain it. The writer once saw a young warrior, when
rushing with his tribe against the enemy, rendered almost frantic by
perceiving that another section of the tribe would, in spite of all
his efforts, be engaged first, and gain the honour of killing the
_mataika_. In this emergency he, as he rushed on, cut down with a
furious blow of his tomahawk, a sapling which stood in his way, and
gave the cry which claims the _mataika_. After the battle, the
circumstances of this question in Maori chivalry having been fully
considered by the elder warriors, it was decided that the sapling tree
should, in this case, be held to be the true _mataika_, and that the
young man who cut it down should always claim, without question, to
have killed, or as the natives say "caught," the _mataika_ of that

PAGE 152.

_Toa_--A warrior of preëminent courage; a hero.

PAGE 171.

_Kia Kotahi ki te ao! Kia kotahi ki te po!_--A close translation would
not give the meaning to the English reader. By these words the dying
person is conjured to cling to life, but as they are never spoken
until the person to whom they are addressed is actually expiring, they
seemed to me to contain a horrid mockery, though to the native they no
doubt appear the promptings of an affectionate and anxious solicitude.
They are also supposed to contain a certain mystical meaning.

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