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Title: Brighter Britain! (Volume 2 of 2) - or Settler and Maori in Northern New Zealand
Author: Hay, William Delisle
Language: English
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                           BRIGHTER BRITAIN!
                           SETTLER AND MAORI
                                  IN
                        _NORTHERN NEW ZEALAND._


                                  BY
                         WILLIAM DELISLE HAY,

                               AUTHOR OF
    "THREE HUNDRED YEARS HENCE," "THE DOOM OF THE GREAT CITY," ETC.

       "Queen of the seas, enlarge thyself!
        Send thou thy swarms abroad!
        For in the years to come,—
        Where'er thy progeny,
        Thy language and thy spirit shall be found,—
        If—
        —in that Austral world long sought,
        The many-isled Pacific,—
        When islands shall have grown, and cities risen
        In cocoa-groves embower'd;
        Where'er thy language lives,
        By whatsoever name the land be call'd,
        That land is English still."
                                       SOUTHEY.


                       IN TWO VOLUMES.—VOL. II.

                                LONDON:
                       RICHARD BENTLEY AND SON,
                        NEW BURLINGTON STREET.

                                 1882.

                       _(All rights reserved.)_



   PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BECCLES.



CONTENTS OF VOL II.


CHAPTER                                   PAGE

I.    OUR SPECIAL PRODUCTS                  1

II.   OUR CLASSIC GROUND                   29

III.  MAORI MANNERS. I.                    71

IV.   MAORI MANNERS. II.                  100

V.    MAORI MANNERS. III.                 135

VI.   OUR NATURALIST'S NOTE-BOOK          184

VII.  THE DEMON DOG—A YARN               232

VIII. OUR LUCK                            272

      APPENDIX                            303



BRIGHTER BRITAIN!



CHAPTER I.

OUR SPECIAL PRODUCTS.


Northern New Zealand has two special products, which are peculiar
to the country, and found nowhere else. They are kauri timber and
kauri-gum. When speaking of Northern New Zealand in these sketches,
I do not thereby intend the whole of the North Island, as has been
previously explained; I mean that northern part of it which may be more
properly designated "The Land of the Kauri."

The kauri grows throughout all that part of the old province of
Auckland which lies to the north of S. lat. 37° 30' or 38°. It does
not grow naturally anywhere south of the thirty-eighth parallel
of latitude, nor, I believe, can it be induced to flourish under
cultivation south of its natural boundary line.

The kauri is indigenous to this comparatively small section of New
Zealand. It is one of the _Coniferæ_, or pines, and is named by
botanists _Dammara Australis_. The only tree of similar species that
affords a timber nearly resembling the kauri, though not of such good
quality, is one that is found in Fiji; the _Dammara Vitiensis_. It may
be as well to mention that kauri and Maori rhyme together, and are
pronounced "kowry" and "mowry."[1]

[1] See _Pronunciation of Maori Names_, in the Appendix.

The kauri was first brought into notice by Captain Cook, who, it will
be remembered, passed many months in New Zealand altogether, and the
greater part of the time in the north. He discovered that kauri was
superior to Norway pine, or indeed, to any other wood then known, for
spars and topmasts of vessels. Other explorers endorsed his opinion of
it, and in 1820 the British Government sent a ship, the _Dromedary_,
to New Zealand, for the purpose of obtaining kauri timber. It was then
classed high at Lloyd's.

Subsequently a demand for kauri timber arose in Sydney and elsewhere.
Some trade in it was established with the Maoris; and little
communities of English sawyers settled here and there along the coast
of New Zealand. This was one among other causes that led to the
colonization of the country in 1840. Thus the kauri holds a place in
history, having had its share in making this our Brighter Britain.

The value of the kauri to New Zealand at large, and to the North
in particular, can hardly be overrated. It is an important export,
being sent to other parts of the colony, to Australia, the South Sea
Islands, and elsewhere. In its own country it is used for every purpose
to which timber is applicable. The many other trees of the bush are
neglected for the sake of it; while it is more plentiful than any of
them. Settlers in other parts of the colony, beyond the limit of the
kauri's growth, make use of their native timbers, but lament that the
cost of transport prevents them from importing kauri, so much superior
is it. Wherever it is necessary to bring timber from a distance, as in
comparatively treeless Otago for example, kauri is preferred; though it
will have to be brought from further away than totara, miro, or matai,
which are cut in southern forests.

One may say that the kauri is to Northern New Zealand what the oak has
been to England, and even more. There, houses are built of it almost
exclusively; it is used in the construction of vessels, for fencing,
furniture, and all the more general purposes. And its valuable resin is
the kauri gum of commerce; but that I must speak of separately.

Not alone is the kauri monarch in the forests of New Zealand, but it
must rank among the royallest trees the earth produces. It grows, for
the most part, in forests sacred to itself, not mixing with the common
herd of trees. In this respect other kinds of pine are similar. Also,
each distinct tract of kauri bush, or forest, contains trees of a
certain uniformity of age, consequently of size. In the aggregate vast
tracts are covered with it. The largest forest of kauri is that between
the Hokianga and the Kaipara waters, which, I believe, is to be put
down at nearly a thousand square miles in extent, bush of a more varied
description intervening here and there among it. After it come the
kauri forests of Mongonui, Whangaroa, and Coromandel.

There are few experiences more impressive to the feelings than to stand
alone in the recesses of a kauri forest. Unlike the character of the
mixed bush—the forest where trees of many other kinds are found—the
kauri bush is weirdly depressing from its terrible monotony. It is
solemn, sombre, and gloomy to the last degree. Yet is there a profound
majesty about it that awes one in spite of oneself.

The trees stand closely together, not branching out much till near
the top. They cover range and gully, mountain and plain, in unbroken
succession. At the base they may girth as much as up to fifty feet.
Forty feet of girth is not uncommon, and thirty feet is often the
average. They soar up straight to a hundred, a hundred and fifty, even
to a hundred and eighty feet before branching, and then their leafy
crowns, interlaced together, form a canopy through which daylight
hardly penetrates.

The boles of these woodland giants are mostly black and smooth,
sometimes covered with twigs, though this chiefly in the smaller
trees. Supple-jack, bush-lawyer, mounga, various creeper-ferns with
magnificent fronds, and sometimes flowering clematis, swing from trunk
to trunk and knit the columns together. Below there is not the thick
undergrowth that prevails in the varied bush, but a lighter tangle
of shrubs. Ferns, among which several varieties like the maidenhair
predominate, grow waist-high in rank luxuriance.

The sublime grandeur of a kauri forest is hardly equalled by anything
else of the kind in nature. One seems to stand amid the aisles
of a mighty temple, shut out from the world and imprisoned amid
endless ranks of tremendous columns. Stillness and silence deepen
the profundity of gloom around one. The fiercest gale may be raging
overhead, and not a leaf is stirred within the dark coverts; only the
faint murmur of the foliage far above betrays what is passing. Of life
there is nothing visible. The little fantails, the traveller's friends
in the bush, hover around one, and they are all one sees, unless it
be, perchance, the rapid flash of a rat running up some trunk, or the
scuttling of a kiwi or weka amid the fern.

To get some real notion of what these forests are like let us compare
them with English woods. The latter bear the palm of beauty, but the
former that of grandeur from their very vastness. The largest wood in
England is but the size of one dingle in a kauri forest, and is flat
and tame contrasted with the hilly ruggedness of the land here. Again,
measure the girth of English beeches, oaks, elms, and ashes. The oldest
and best grown woods will not give you an average girth of ten feet.
Trees girthing fifteen to twenty feet are rare and singular. What is
this to the giant kauri?

If we look at height there is another difference. English trees are
remarkable for their limbs and branches. Take these away, and the stick
that remains seldom averages more than thirty or forty feet. If it
reaches to sixty the tree is regarded as something extraordinary. But
the splendid dome of foliage, the beautiful spread of boughs, which is
the glory of English oak or chestnut, is forbidden to the kauri. Its
magnificence resides solely in its stick, which is more like a factory
chimney than anything else. You get an impression of immensity, you
feel a veritable pigmy as you walk, mile after mile, among trees
whose girth is thirty feet, and whose branches only begin a hundred
and thirty feet from the ground; while, every now and then, you come
upon some patriarch of fifty feet girth and a hundred and eighty feet,
perhaps, of stick.

An assertion has been made, that if the present rate of consumption be
kept up, some eighty years will see the end of the kauri forests. This
may be true, but I do not think it is. I fancy that it is a calculation
made in ignorance of the real extent of the kauri bush. Also, that no
true idea was conceived of the enormous bulk of the trees, and the
countless number of them to be found far back from the rivers, in the
less accessible regions of the bush. I think I might say, with quite as
much show of reason, that if the present rate of consumption were even
doubled, as it doubtless will be, a century may elapse before economy
in cutting kauri need be studied.

When working with parties of the Government Land Survey, I had good
opportunities for getting some idea of the stupendous supplies of kauri
timber. I once counted forty trees on a measured acre. Of these the
smallest had a girth of twenty feet, with a stick of about eighty feet
in height; the largest might be about double that. We estimated that
these trees would yield a million feet of sawn timber. Of course that
is an exceptional instance, but it must be remembered that there are
hundreds of square miles of kauri bush in the aggregate.

The annual output of the saw-mills is reckoned to be sixty million
feet of sawn kauri timber, the value of which may be roughly put at
£300,000. Much of this is used up in the colony; but an increasing
export trade, amounting in value to £40,000 or £50,000 per annum, is
carried on with Australia, Fiji, and the South Sea Islands. There are
some twenty large saw-mills in various parts of the kauri forests, and
there are other small ones which supply local demands; together these
employ a large number of hands.

The largest mill is that at Te Kopura, on the Wairoa river, some
forty-five miles above its outfall into the Kaipara harbour. It can
turn out 120,000 feet per week. At Aratapu, higher up the same river,
there is another mill, turning out 80,000 feet per week. These mills
are working on the outskirts of the great Kaipara-Hokianga forest.
Vessels drawing seventeen feet of water can come up the Wairoa to
load at them. The mill at Whangaroa, on the east coast, ranks next in
point of size, turning out sawn timber to the average annual value
of £23,000. At Whangapoua, in Coromandel, are two mills, cutting
about 160,000 feet per week between them. The cost of their plant was
£25,000. The Whangapoua kauri bush extends over some 30,000 acres.

Sawn kauri is sold at the mills at 9_s._ 6_d._ to 11_s._ 6_d._ per
hundred feet. The high freights cause it to cost 15_s._ to 17_s._ in
the southern ports, and, I believe, it is sold at about the same in
Sydney or the Islands. It would not be easy to say what is the average
yield of a tree, the difference being very considerable. Some put it
down at 10,000 feet, but I am sure that is an under estimate.

A stick of fifty feet length, and thirty feet in circumference at the
base, might be reckoned to yield about 20,000 feet of sawn timber. The
value of this would be £100. Deducting £40 as the cost of felling,
transporting to the mill, and cutting up, a profit of £60 is left. This
is a fair example. When a stick of a hundred and fifty feet, with a
girth of forty or fifty feet, is in question, both work and profit are
larger, of course.

The stump of one of these titanic trees is no small affair. It is big
enough to build a small house upon, if sawn flat. I remember once
making one of a party of eight, and dancing a quadrille on the stump of
a kauri.

There is a variety of the tree known as the mottled kauri. The wood
of this is very curious and beautiful, and fetches a high price for
cabinet work. It is not very common, and when a big tree of this kind
is come upon, it is a source of great gratification to its owner, for
it may yield him £500 or £600 of absolute profit.

Felling big trees with the axe is tremendous labour. Till recently it
was the only means employed here. Perhaps you may have to cut five or
six feet deep into the tree, in order to reach the heart of it. To do
this an enormous gash must be made, so large in fact, that scaffoldings
have to be erected within it, to permit the workmen to reach their
mark. Only two men can cut at the same gash at a time; but frequent
shifts are resorted to, so as to "keep the pot boiling." Now, a saw
working between portable engines is more generally employed upon the
big trees.

When the great stick has been laid prostrate, with a crash that
resounds for miles, and a shock that makes the whole hillside quiver,
it is cut into lengths, and roughly squared with long-handled axes.
Then comes the process of getting it to the mill, which may possibly be
a considerable distance off.

The hilly and rugged character of the land nearly always prevents
anything like a tramway system being adopted; and, for a long time,
trees were only cut where they could be readily run down into the
water. But a system has been introduced, by an American bushman, I
believe, which is now generally used, and by means of which the largest
trees can be got out anywhere in this country of heights and hollows.

The logs are easily collected in the bottom of the nearest gully, as
they can be readily sent down the sides of the ranges by means of
screw-jacks, rollers and slides. When the sides of the gully have been
denuded of their timber, and a huge collection of logs lies piled in
the bottom, preparation is made to further their descent to the river.
A dam is built right across the ravine below the logs, constructed of
timber, earth, stones, and whatever material comes handiest.

When the winter rains commence, the first day or two of continued
downpour causes every little water-course to swell into a foaming
torrent. The stream in the gully pours down a great volume of water,
which, checked by the dam, spreads out behind it into a broad lake that
fills all the lower ground. In this flood the mighty logs are borne up,
and float upon its surface.

The sides of the dam, which is angularly shaped, are chiefly supported
by logs set up endways as buttresses upon the lower side. To these
supports ropes are attached, which are carried up the hillsides out
of reach of the water, above the level of the swollen flood pent in
by the dam. Then men and horses, or bullocks, haul with sudden and
united effort upon the ropes; the chief supports are torn away; the
dam breaks down in various places; the waters overflow and stream
through the breaches. Or, sometimes, the dam is flushed by breaching
it with gunpowder or dynamite. Soon the mass of water moves with
irresistible force, breaking down what is left of the dam and sweeping
everything before it. Then, in mighty volume, it rushes down the gully,
bearing onward with it the great collection of massive logs that it
has floated. Sometimes the first flush carries the timber down to the
open river. Sometimes the entire process has to be repeated more than
once or twice, if the distance be long, or the nature of the ground
necessitate it.

When they fall into the river, or inlet of the sea, as the case may
be, the logs are brought up by booms ready to receive them. They are
then chained together in rafts and floated down to the mill, which,
of course, gives upon the water-highway. Often such a flush will
constitute a whole year's work, or longer; and will provide a supply of
raw material for the saw-mill that will last it as long. But exactly
the same process may be practically and profitably carried out for only
a few logs, where the gully is not large, and not too far from the
river.

Our own special little community are pioneer farmers, of course, and we
do not employ ourselves in this way. Still, some of us have in former
years acted the part of lumberers, or bushmen proper, when we were
working at any jobs that turned up. The work we have is heavy enough in
all conscience, but it is light compared to the tremendous labour that
bushmen have to get through.

The lowest rate of wages for bushmen is 25_s._ per week, and all found.
But the rate varies, better men getting better wages, the paucity
of hands affecting the scale, and strikes for more pay occurring
sometimes. I have known the hands of a saw-mill to get as much as seven
or nine shillings per day.

Usually there are comfortable barracks for the men employed at a mill;
but, when working up in the bush, these are not always available, and
the workmen are lodged in huts, or shanties, upon the ground, being in
much the same case as we are in our shanty. Their employers supply them
with all necessaries, and have to be pretty careful in this respect, as
your bushman will not work unless he gets tucker according to a very
liberal scale. Beef, mutton and pork, bread, potatoes, kumera and tea
he gets in unlimited quantities, besides various other items that need
not be catalogued.

Most of our produce is taken by the saw-mills at the market-price. We
have even sent them our fat steers and wethers, instead of shipping
them to Auckland; and one year we made a good thing by growing cabbages
and fresh vegetables for the bushmen. Like English colliers, they look
to have the best food going; and, what is more, they get it. Yet it
must be remembered that the bushman's work is terribly hard. It needs
the employment of all the physical strength and vigour a man has to
bestow, and this must be used with a continued pertinacity that is
excessively trying.

Kauri-gum—or Kapia, as the Maoris call it—which has been just
alluded to, is another peculiar product of this northern extremity
of New Zealand. It is not of any practical service to the colonists,
as the timber of the tree which produces it is, but it is an export
of considerably greater value. It is the solidified sap, or resin of
the kauri, but not in a fresh form; it is that resin in a hardened
condition found buried in the ground.

There are tracts of country, known as gum-fields, in which the
kauri-gum is to be dug up most plentifully. These places are stretches
of bleak moorland for the most part, though not invariably. The soil
in them consists very much of a heavy yellow clay, loose and friable
near the surface. It is impregnated with fragments and particles of
gum, which may be found in numerous spots to occur in layers and
collections of larger pieces, varying in size up to blocks the size of
a man's body. It is not usual to collect pieces smaller than the closed
fist—minuter fragments not being considered remunerative to the digger.

The gum is found just below the surface of the ground, and sometimes
down to the depth of six or eight feet. The finding of it, collecting
and bringing to market, affords a sufficiently profitable occupation
to have constituted a distinct class of men, who go by the name of
gum-diggers.

Gum-fields are poor lands usually, though some are adapted for
settlement. The country lying between Riverhead, Helensville, and
Ararimu, which I described when relating our journey up-country, is
a fair example of a gum-field. But gum is also found in the kauri
forests, round the roots of the trees, especially of old, partly
decayed, or wholly dead specimens. It is also to be found pretty
generally throughout all the land of the kauri. Of course it cannot
be discovered everywhere, or in all soils, but traces of it will be
apparent somewhere in any single square mile; and in every sort of
land throughout the limit of the kauri's growth, gum will be found here
and there. Thus, on our farm and in the surrounding bush, although
these are distinctly not gum-lands, there are little patches of ground,
of a few acres in extent, whence we have got a ton or two of gum at
times.

It is worthy of remark that the fresh resin of the living trees is not
of any commercial value. Great masses of gum are often found in forks
and clefts of the trees, and about the roots; but of this, only a
little of the latter is generally worth anything, the rest being soft
and in a condition that renders it valueless. It seems that the gum
must be buried underground for a considerable time, an unknown term of
years, before it attains the degree of hardness and other qualities
that merchants require.

I have been told that the Maoris collect the soft, fresh gum and
bury it, so that they or their descendants may dig it up again after
sufficient time has elapsed for it to undergo the requisite changes.
Whether this is so or not I am unable to say of my personal knowledge.
I have never met with any instance of the kind, and have strong doubts
as to the forecasting care with which such a tale credits the Maoris.
They are certainly not given to providing for a distant future in a
general way.

It would seem that the deposits of gum in the soil are all that
remains of ancient kauri forests. These must once have covered the
open fern-lands, where no trace of them now remains, except rich
gum-holes here and there. It would seem that the kauri had, in the
course of ages, exhausted the soil on which they grew, of constituents
necessary to their growth, and had then naturally died out in such
localities. The existing forests are, of course, making new deposits,
which will some day be available. Felling the trees necessarily causes
a diminution of this, but possibly some means may yet be discovered of
rendering the fresh, soft gum equally useful with the semi-fossil kind.

Kauri-gum is very like amber in general appearance, and is similar to
it in chemical characteristics; but it is much more brittle, and hence
is not of such value for ornaments. Many colonists amuse themselves
with carving and polishing trinkets of gum, but they chip too readily
to permit of their ever being of value. Kauri-gum has sometimes been
fraudulently substituted for amber, but the better specimens of the
latter have a yellow tint which is seldom seen in the New Zealand
product. Our gum exists of various shades of brown and sherry-colour,
both clear and clouded. The most highly-prized variety is colourless
like glass, or nearly so, and some is found almost black, not unlike
jet. Flies, fragments of moss, and so on, are occasionally seen
embedded in it.

Kauri-gum was first brought into notice at the time of the first
colonization, in 1840 and 1841. It was then collected chiefly by
Maoris, and was sold by them to the store-keepers. Its value at that
time was only £5 or £6 per ton; and about a hundred tons was all the
annual export for some years.

Since then, however, an increasing demand for it arose in the
United States. New York and Boston now take two-thirds of all the
gum exported; and of what is sent home to England the greater part
is re-shipped thence to American ports. The number of gum-diggers
regularly employed is supposed to have exceeded four thousand at times;
now they average some two thousand altogether. The amount of the export
steadily increased from the first, until, in 1870-71-72, it reached
to some fifteen thousand tons for the three years, valued at half a
million sterling.

Subsequent to this there was very considerable falling off in the
export. The number of diggers decreased, fields were declared worked
out, and it was thought that the supplies were exhausted. But after a
year or two, it was discovered that gum existed in many places where
its presence had been hitherto unsuspected; and it was also made
clear that large deposits were often underlying the two or three feet
of surface-soil previously worked, on the fields it was thought were
exhausted.

A fresh impulse was given to gum-digging, and the amount of the export
rose again. In 1878, it stood at 3410 tons; in 1879, at 3247 tons;
in 1880, as much as 5500 tons was shipped, valued at £236,500. From
1853 to 1880 inclusive, about 70,000 tons were sent out, export value
£2,100,000. It would thus seem that kauri-gum is more plentiful now
than ever, while its average value has risen to £43 per ton.

Some American scientist has given it as his opinion that the kauri-gum
exported from 1840 to 1880 must have required a forest-growth of ten
thousand years to have produced it; but then we know that scientists
will go making these rash assertions on the very vaguest premises. How
long ago the kauri forests that covered the now open fern-lands died
out, it would be hard to say. And how long they had stood before that
is an equally difficult problem to solve. Of the trees in the forests
now standing we can easily calculate the age. Some of them were already
big trees at the period when Julius Cæsar was colonizing the other
Britain. Doubtless the forests here were pretty much what they are
to-day, when Norman and Saxon and Dane were fighting for the throne.

Gum-diggers receive an all-round price for the gum they bring down to
the stores, which fluctuates somewhat in amount. It usually averages
about £30 a ton. Before reaching its final market, the gum is cleaned,
picked, and carefully assorted and re-assorted into six or eight
different classes. The very best of these has been known to sell at
£144 per ton in New York; the others at varying prices down to £25 or
£20 for the lowest class. The average price is now £43 per ton.

The use to which kauri-gum is put is the manufacture of varnish. At
least this is the general theory. It is made into a varnish much
resembling that of copal; and gum copal, as the reader will remember,
is the product of the _Hymenea verrucosa_ of tropical Eastern Africa,
where it is dug from the ground much as kauri-gum is here.

Varnish-making is the assigned use of kauri-gum, but there is a dark
suspicion afloat in our Brighter Britain that this is not the only
nor the chief one. It is hinted that the Yankees use it to adulterate
something or other with, or to fix up some compound of a wholly
different kind. I will not say that O'Gaygun is solely responsible for
this insinuation, but he certainly fosters it in every way he can.

In the mind of our Milesian ally there exists a profound belief that
the principal object in life of an American is to invent new and
profitable ways of adulteration, or to discover means of perfecting
colossal shams, and thereby defrauding a guileless public, such as
ourselves.

For my own part, I disagree with O'Gaygun on this point. Experience
has led me to believe that the English manufacturer and trader
stand unrivalled in all the arts of adulteration. The Yankee is a
babe compared to them at this game. In fact, so far as exports are
concerned, it would seem as if the British merchant could not help a
greater or lesser measure of chicanery. What the Yankee sends to us is
generally good; this in other matters besides hardware.

But O'Gaygun's views are warped, and his conclusions are mainly drawn
from the remembrance of one incident, the tale of which he is never
weary of narrating.

It seems that, shortly before he came out to New Zealand, O'Gaygun was
concerned with others in the exportation from Ireland to America of a
certain mineral. It was a heavy, white, glistening earth, which I take
to have been witherite, or carbonate of baryta.

This stuff was sold ostensibly for paint-making, and certain Yankee
merchants bought up all they could of it. Shipload after shipload went
to America, and the Irish speculators were in high glee as the demand
for it increased; although such a quantity had been shipped as would
have sufficed to have whitewashed the entire two continents.

At last the real destination of the mineral came to light. It was
powdered and mixed with flour, which America was then exporting largely
to Europe. It made the finest flours heavier, and made seconds rank as
first-class. So, according to O'Gaygun, hundreds and thousands of tons
of this witherite were eaten by cheated Europe in the form of bread. A
whole mountain, so he says, was shipped to the land of the Stars and
Stripes; and as much as was sent came back to Europe as flour.

When the thing was blown upon, of course, the export gradually
ceased. And I believe that O'Gaygun and his associates were blamed
for participation in the fraud. Therefore he, poor, deluded Irishman,
has ever since held the Yankee to be of very nature iniquitous in all
his dealings. Well, let us hope that kauri-gum is, after all, only an
innocent varnish basis, as is generally stated, and that it is not
eaten as pork or beans or anything by a too-confiding British public.

The gum-diggers of Northern New Zealand are a peculiar body of
nomads. They are recruited from every nation, and from every rank of
society, and, like the communities gathered together on Australian or
Californian gold-fields, present a strange medley of opposites.

Among them one may come across men who are graduates of the
universities. One may find members of noble houses, representatives of
historic names; nay, twice I have met men born to titles gum-digging.
Then one may find diggers who should belong to professions they have
abandoned—civil, military, learned, artistic. Clerks, accountants,
secretaries, and shopmen swell the ranks of our Bohemian army. There
are guileless peasants, natives of Norfolk or Devon, France or Germany,
perhaps; and there are runaway sailors, ex-convicts, tinkers, tailors,
printers' devils, pirates, rowdies, negroes, Kanakas, Maoris, Chinamen;
a collection of gentlemen educated to every pursuit under the sun, in
fact.

Throughout all this heterogeneous assemblage there exists entire
equality, but little fraternization. Each man is as good as his fellow;
there is no recognized line of demarcation between man and man. Yet
gum-diggers are not gregarious as a rule; they are too jealous, each
of another's possible luck, to admit of general brotherhood. Generally
little gangs associate together and work in company; but it is rare
that they do so on communistic principles. More often, each member of
the gang works entirely for his own hand, though they may have food and
so on in common.

There is precious little feeling of _caste_, or prejudice on account of
different social ranks, remaining to us in this free land. What there
is, however, places gum-diggers, as a class, on the bottommost level
of society. Not that even that distinction conveys any slight upon
individual gum-diggers; it is more a sort of abstract principle, than
anything real or practical.

Still, they are sneered at occasionally by other colonists. It is a
favourite theory that, if you should see some particularly haughty
swell come out with all the pomp of a first-class passage, some
grandiose creature of the scapegrace-fine-gentleman sort, with such
airs and dignity as befit a man who feels that the colony was made
for him, and not he for the colony, you may chuckle over his probable
descent to gum-digging very soon. You have to get out of his lordly
path while the air of the quarter-deck is round him, feeling that
this humble country is only too much honoured by his mere presence in
it. But, in a few months' time, you come across him on the gum-field,
in ankle-jacks and ragged shirt, picking up a scanty living. He is
Captain Gorgeous Dashabout no longer.

There is a certain charm about gum-digging, particularly to people of
unsettled and gypsy-like disposition. You have no boss. You can do as
you like; work when you like, and how you like; and lie on your back
when it pleases you to do so, without fear of being rowed at by any
one. Moreover, with ordinary luck, you can make as good wages as by
working on a farm, and that with less actual toil, though possibly some
additional hardship.

Gum-diggers must be equipped as lightly as possible. It is commonly
said that a blanket, a spade, a gum-spear, a knife, a hatchet, a billy,
a pipe, some provisions and tobacco, together with the clothes he
stands in, constitute all that a gum-digger needs in the way of outfit.
He really cannot afford to possess much more, for he must hump all his
belongings on his own back, over mountain and dale, forest and morass.
This is one reason why small parties associate together, besides for
company. They can then manage to carry a better sufficiency of things
with them from camp to camp.

Where proximity to a settlement, a road, or a river permits of it, it
is possible for gum-diggers to make their camps pretty comfortable.
Often it is not necessary to move camp for months at a time, when
the surrounding field is pretty rich in gum-holes. But they are not a
provident class, seldom caring for anything beyond the present moment.

The occupation is simplicity itself. Once the prospecting has been
accomplished and the district determined on, the party move to it as
best they can. Nearly always there is a long tramp through the wilds,
with the necessaries on back and shoulders. Then a camp is formed in
some favourable spot near a stream; a rude hut is constructed of such
material as is at hand; and a store of firewood is cut.

For work, each man straggles about all day by himself, with his spear
and spade and sack. He tries every likely looking place with the spear,
which is simply an iron rod, sharp at one end, and with a wooden handle
at the other. When the end of the spear touches buried gum, there is a
peculiar clip or "feel," which the digger knows. Then he digs out the
gum, fills his sack, and carries it to camp, continuing to work the
same spot as long as it yields anything, when he goes on to look for
another. In the evenings he scrapes and cleans the day's take with his
knife.

Sometimes a digger will not get a shilling's worth of gum in a whole
week's work; sometimes he will find five or six pounds' worth in an
hour. Generally speaking, and taking one week with another, he may
earn £2 to £4 a week. When enough has been collected and scraped it
is carried down to the nearest bush-store or settlement, where it is
at once sold. Provisions are bought, and the surplus may be banked,
though, in nine cases out of ten, it goes in a "lush up." Some
gum-diggers save till they can get down to Auckland, and then they have
a high old time of it as long as the money lasts.

It will be seen how this kind of life appeals to the ne'er-do-well.
Luck and chance are elements in it; and it is a free, roving,
devil-may-care existence. Hence it is that scapegraces take to it so
kindly, and prefer its risks and manifest hardships to the steady work
of farm-labourers or bushmen.

Gum-diggers seldom make much money. They get a living, and that is
about all. Now and then they may do better, but it only results in a
"burst." Yet gum-digging has often been a great assistance to settlers.
We have taken to it at times, in order to raise a little ready money,
when the farm was not paying. Many a small, needy settler has found
it a resource to stave off ruin. To energetic and industrious men it
offers good wages on the whole, and, as a temporary thing, many such
have taken advantage of it.

There are even men among the regular gum-diggers who are superior to
their class. These may save all they make, till they have enough to
start a small pioneer-farm, or to set up in some handicraft. Thus, in
spite of the acknowledged evil repute of the gum-digger, there will be
and are, in our Brighter Britain, comfortable homes, whose proprietors
will tell you that they are founded and built upon kauri-gum, so to
speak.



CHAPTER II.

OUR CLASSIC GROUND.


When the history of New Zealand comes to be written, and when a new
generation finds time to look back upon the country's past, that also
having grown with the coming years, a new want will imperceptibly
arise. A desire will develop in people's minds for something to
reverence. Out of the crudest materials will be erected monuments to
the past, and the older these become the more they will be esteemed,
while the events they speak of will come to be regarded as of greater
and greater importance. So it has been with England; so it has been in
America; so it will be in Australia and New Zealand. Nay, already the
first symptoms of the feeling are beginning to appear among us.

America has gathered all the force of sacred memories round Plymouth
Rock and Bunker Hill, Manhattan and Yorktown, and other places
commemorative of the crises, or romantic episodes, of her history.
So, in like manner, shall our descendants find spots connected with
the long ago, whose tales shall serve to quicken the glow of patriotic
sentiment in their hearts.

Laugh, reader, if you like. The early events of our history seem so
trivial to you now. You cannot get up any enthusiasm about them,
anyhow. Yet future generations will have another and more generous
feeling. A time will come when crowds of tourists, guide-book in hand,
will rush from southern cities to "do" those quiet places that now
seem utterly forgotten. Take my word for it; that of a man who never
romanced!

Probably there will be spots of more or less renown scattered up and
down throughout all the country. But the region destined to be most
widely known and justly celebrated, held in high regard from its wealth
of associations with the earliest days of our history, and esteemed
not lightly either for its natural scenery, is that comprised within
the three counties of Bay of Islands, Mongonui, and Hokianga. Already,
even, this is worthy to be named the classic ground of New Zealand.

Some of our little community in the Kaipara go up into the Bay not
infrequently. We have good friends living up in that part, and we go on
pleasure as well as on business. Dandy Jack is up there oftenest of
any, for he does some trade in those districts in horses and cattle.
One or two of us go to help him, and we have, on certain occasions,
joined land-surveying expeditions, whose head-quarters were in the Bay.
So that, on the whole, we know the three counties tolerably well.

Our route from here lies through the Maungaturoto bush, and up to
Mangapai and Whangarei, a distance of forty-and-odd miles. Beyond that
is another stretch of about the same distance, before the Kawakawa is
reached. The greater part of the way lies through dense forest, but
there is a track along which it is possible to ride. This is called
a road in these parts, but as the most experienced bushman is apt to
lose it altogether on occasions, its actual character may be guessed.
I believe Dandy Jack did once accomplish the whole journey to the
Kawa-kawa in two days. As a rule, however, it takes us four. The
nature of the track is not adapted for quick riding, so that twenty or
twenty-five miles is about as much as we can make in the day.

We have to camp out at nights, of course, except the one night we put
up at Whangarei, but this is no uncommon experience for us. There are
some creeks to be crossed that are rather ugly when full of water; one
or two must be swum sometimes. It is a fearful and arduous job to bring
cattle along this road, as might be expected. Some are pretty sure
to be lost out of the drove, while some will get stuck in the mud of
marshes and crossings, and a rare job it is to extricate them.

Once we had a pack-horse with us, laden with stores and utensils for
a surveyor's camp. He was led with a rope as we rode. Just at one of
the worst parts he broke away and bolted, kicking and bucking as he
went, the result being that the baggage went flying in all directions.
It took us half a day or more to recapture the horse, and to pick up
his scattered load. This will serve to illustrate some of the pleasing
incidents of travel in the bush.

On one occasion Old Colonial, Dandy Jack, and I were camped somewhere
beyond Whangarei. We were making the journey up to fetch down some
cattle. We were in a little dingle beside a small stream. The huge
fire was blazing merrily in front, lighting up the tree-trunks with
weird effect, and making the shadows of the forest round us seem more
profound. Near by our horses were tethered, and we lay, now our supper
was done, rolled in our blankets, pipes in mouth, and heads pillowed on
our saddles.

We were talking of some improvements that had been recently effected
in the settlements, and from that we got to speculating on the future.
Dandy Jack was wearily sighing for the good time when there should be
a decent road constructed along this route.

"Wonder whether I shall live to see it;" he said.

"Of course you will," replied Old Colonial, who is nothing if not
optimistic in his views.

"I tell you what; we shall all live to see not only a good road through
this, but farms and settlements and hotels along it!"

"Bravo!" returned Dandy Jack. "Then I'll start a coach to run from
Kawa-kawa to Whangarei, and on to Mangawai, or across to Te Pahi,
perhaps. Might pick up some trade, don't you think?"

"I reckon your coach would be a failure, old man," continued Old
Colonial. "I expect to see a railway one of these days, connecting
Auckland with the Bay, and all the places between. Not much room for
your coach then!"

"Oh, they'll not make a railroad up here this century."

"I expect they will, though," said our chief, impressively.

"And, look here! I'll tell you what's going to help make business for
it. The Bay and Hokianga are our classic ground."

"Classic ground?"

"Certainly. Here are the places where Captain Cook came, and Tasman,
and all the early voyagers. Here's where the first missionaries
came; where colonization commenced; where British sovereignty was
established. Here's where the history of the early days has got to be
written. Here's where Hongi lived, and Hone Heke after him; where the
first Maori war was fought; where battles were won, and pas stormed,
and treaties signed. This is the most illustrious district in the whole
colony. Whatever memories we've got date from here. I tell you that
streams of tourists will want to come and see these places some day. We
ought to make more of them now than we do."

So rhapsodized Old Colonial, after a manner that occasionally affects
him, while the forest gleamed redly round us with the reflection of
our camp-fire, and a bittern boomed in mockery and remonstrance from a
neighbouring swamp. I heard Dandy Jack softly murmuring to the trees—

    "Meet nurse for a poetic child;
    Land of brown heath and shaggy wood!
    Land of the mountain and the flood!"

And when Old Colonial attempted to continue—

"If this isn't classic ground, what is, I should like to know?
Posterity will—--"

Dandy Jack cut him short with a loud declamation from "Locksley
Hall." But I remembered the allusion to classic ground, in spite of
our merriment at the time, and, accordingly, it finds effect in this
chapter.

The little settlement of Mangapai is much like those we are accustomed
to in the Kaipara. It is situated on a creek and inlet of the Whangarei
Harbour. But the township of Whangarei itself, some eight miles further
north, is in a considerably more advanced stage than anything we can
show.

The harbour is something like our Kaipara, only of less extent. It
is a considerable inlet of the sea, with Heads at the entrance, some
tidal rivers, and creeks navigable for a short distance. There is
direct communication by sea with Auckland, kept up by means of sundry
schooners and sailing-craft. The large steamer _Iona_, which plies
between Auckland, Bay of Islands, and Mongonui every week, calls at
Whangarei Heads on each trip for passengers. A small steamer plies
within the harbour itself.

Whangarei township is a remarkably favourable specimen of a bush
settlement. It stands on a river, and is about seventeen miles distant
from the Heads. The little town occupies a flat, rendered very
picturesque by the gardens about the houses, and by a surrounding
amphitheatre of bush-clothed heights. There is a church, hotels,
stores, schools, mills, streets and roads, even a local newspaper, to
bear evidence to the energy and prosperity of the settlers.

The district round about the Whangarei waters is rich soil for the most
part, mainly covered with bush in its natural condition. Settlement
took place here a good many years before it was begun in the Kaipara,
consequently more improvement has been effected. The pioneer farms and
homesteads show a surprising amount of comfort. They have lots of grass
for pasturage, and two or three thousand acres of plough-lands in the
aggregate as well.

Then there are two special industries in the place. One is
lime-burning, the product being sent to supply Auckland demands for
it. The other is coal-mining. A mine was opened here some years ago,
and was afterwards flooded and consequently closed, remaining unworked
for some time. It has now again been re-opened, and is in full swing
of work, though the operations are only carried out in a small way
comparatively.

One would think that the road, so called, connecting two settlements of
such relative importance as Whangarei and Kawa-kawa, would be a better
one than it is. The distance is between forty and fifty miles, and
there is no settlement between. The road is just a track, along which
it is possible to ride and drive cattle. A good part of the way lies
through heavy bush.

But there is really very little traffic between these places, and what
there is can be best transacted by sea. It is the general fashion in a
country like this. Each settlement requires water-communication with
Auckland, and cares little at present for anything else. A settler
makes a road down to the river, or to the settlement on the river,
sufficient for his own purposes, and as short as possible. That is all
he particularly wants. The necessity for roads between settlements, and
to open up the back-country, only grows gradually with time. Of course
in other parts of the colony, where there is not water everywhere as in
the North, the case is widely different. A good road or a railway is
the first and chief thing needed there.

At Kawa-kawa we are in the Bay of Islands, and consequently within
the classic ground. Indeed, south-east of Kawa-kawa is the site of
the famous pa of Ruapekapeka, which was a strong native fortress,
constructed with a degree of skill, and science almost, that astonished
military engineers.

The Kawa-kawa river gives its name to the district. There is a good
deal of settlement and pioneer-farming round here and in Pakaru
district, but the chief industry of the place is coal-mining. A
hundred to a hundred and fifty colliery hands are employed, forming,
with their families, a good nucleus of population. Manganese and cement
are also mined here.

The seam is twelve and a half feet thick; and the output about three
thousand tons a month. There are some half-dozen miles of railway,
connecting the mine with a suitable shipping-place, near where
the river joins the waters of the bay itself. A fleet of coasters
is constantly employed carrying coal to Grahamstown and Auckland.
Extensive coal-beds exist in many parts of the North, but Whangarei and
Kawa-kawa are the only workings at present. I have seen some carbonized
cocoa-nuts extracted from the Kawa-kawa mine, which prove that the
cocoa-nut palm must once have grown here, though it does not now.

There is nothing particularly classic about a colliery village,
however, although it may be situated in a primeval solitude, and amid
woodland scenery, where axe and spade are busy converting the wilds
into cultivated farms. The river winds down through grand mountainous
tracts, and then we find ourselves on the bosom of the gloriously
beautiful bay, the most picturesque and most romantic of all places in
the North—more, the home of the first chapters of our history.

I will not go so far as to say that the Bay of Islands is as lovely as
Sydney Harbour, nor can I allow that it throws certain choice bits of
scenery in the Kaipara and the Hokianga estuaries entirely into the
shade. But it certainly is a most picturesque place. The views are so
varied, so wholly unique; and the stories connected with every corner
of the bay throw such a romantic halo over the whole, that I feel quite
justified in endorsing the opinion that the Bay of Islands is, and
always must be, the most remarkable place in Northern New Zealand.

The entrance of the bay is guarded by two great rocky headlands, Cape
Wiwiki and Cape Brett. These stand some twelve miles apart, and the
distance from them to the back of the bay is about twenty miles. But
numerous inlets open up into the land, and four considerable creeks,
the Keri-keri, Waitangi, Kawa-kawa, and Waitari fall into the bay,
forming large estuaries at their junction with it. The promontories,
headlands, and indentations of the shores, together with the hundred
islands and islets that thickly stud the waters, diversify the scenery
very much, and cause you to think, as you sail or row between them,
that you are gliding from river into river and from channel into
channel, with broad lake-like reaches interspersed.

About fifteen miles from Cape Brett, and on the same side of the bay, a
promontory of considerable size juts out. Upon the inner side of this
stands Kororareka, capital of the Bay, and its port of entry.

Officialism has recently been trying very hard to alter the name of
this place into Russell, which action is much deprecated by settlers,
who insist upon retaining the old native name. The reason for the
proposed change is not very clear, and why this particular town should
have been so singled out is equally inexplicable to the unofficial
mind. It seems to be a great pity, in any case, to bestow such names
as Smithville, or Russell, or New London upon growing settlements,
the future cities of a future nation. It is a pity because they are
not distinctive, nor expressive of the country upon which they are
grafted. How much better to retain the old native names, which carry
with them sound and meaning both original and peculiar. Educated
Americans are beginning to find this out, and to regret the loss of an
indigenous character, which springs from the vulgarity and confusion
of their nomenclature. How much better are such names as Pensacola or
Tallahassee, than New Orleans or New York?

In New Zealand native names have been very largely retained, though
less so in the south than in the north. But jacks in office are for
ever trying to perpetuate their own names, or those of individuals whom
they toady, by making them do duty for towns or counties or rivers. It
is a "vulgarian atrocity," similar to that which moves a cockney soul
to scratch its ignoble appellative upon pyramid or monolith.

In this particular instance, it is a positive shame to hurl such an
insulting degradation into our classic ground. Kororareka, under
that name, is the oldest settlement in the colony. It is intimately
associated with early history. Kororareka—"The Beach of Shells"—was
once a native kainga. Then it became a whaling station, and earned
notoriety as a piratical stronghold, and the pandemonium of the
Pacific. From that it was erected into the first capital of the colony,
metropolis and seat of government for all New Zealand, under Mr. Busby,
the British resident, and, in 1840, Captain Hobson, the first governor.
It was plundered and burnt by Heke and Kawiti, and was a central point
of the first Maori war.

Kororareka is a quiet little village now, and is never likely to
grow into much more, unless it should become a manufacturing centre.
Other places must take the trade of the district eventually. Hence,
Kororareka will always rest its chief claim to note upon its past
history; so to call it Russell is to spoil its little romance. It is
an outrageous vandalism, a nonsensical piece of spite or idiotcy that,
in a philological and sentimental sense, is almost to be regarded as a
crime.

As you come into sight of Kororareka from the bay, you are favourably
impressed by its appearance. The town stands upon a wide flat, bordered
by a high beach of white shingle and shells, from the centre of which
a large wharf runs out for shipping to come alongside. A street of
houses, stores and hotels principally, faces the beach, and gives the
place all the airs of a miniature Brighton or Margate. Some other
straggling streets run back from this.

The background is a low grassy range, evidently farm-lands. This range
shuts out all view of the bay on the other side of the promontory.
To the right it merges into the mountain tract that sentinels the
Waitari and Kawa-kawa estuaries. On the left rises an abrupt and wooded
hill, fissured with many romantic little glens and hollows. From this
eminence, to which a road winds up from the town through the woods, a
most magnificent view is obtainable. A great part of the panorama of
this island-studded harbour lies stretched below one's feet; and on the
highest crest is a certain famous flagstaff.

Kororareka is not very large. The resident population is probably
not more than two or three hundred. Farming industry round it is
comparatively small. Its communication overland with other places is
not good, and the hilly character of the contiguous land presents great
difficulties in the way of the formation of roads. The place depends on
its harbour, which is much used by whalers, who come here to tranship
or sell oil, and to take in supplies. Quiet and dead-alive as it seems
in general, there are times when a number of vessels are assembled
here, and when bustle and business is consequently pretty brisk.

Before settled government and colonization overtook New Zealand,
this spot had achieved an unsavoury reputation. Originally a native
town, it had gradually become the resort of whaling-ships. Traders
established themselves here, and a rowdy population of runaway sailors,
ex-convicts, bad characters, and debauched Maoris filled the place.
Drunkenness and riot were the general order of things; and it was even
said that Kororareka was developing into a nest of pirates. There was
no sort of government to restrain the evil, and man's passions, as
usual, were transforming a natural Eden into a moral hell.

During these days of anarchy there is no doubt that Kororareka was a
sad thorn in the side to the missionaries, who were achieving wonderful
results among the native tribes. The wanton profligacy of whites in
Kororareka infected their converts, and interfered sadly with the
Christianizing of the Maoris. Moreover, other places of a like nature
began to spring up here and there on the coasts.

One would have thought that sober, God-fearing men would have hailed
the establishment of British government, and would have done much to
further colonization. Such, however, was far from being the idea or
action of the early missionaries. So far as the missionaries in New
Zealand were themselves concerned, they would seem to have turned a
very cold shoulder to such of their countrymen as adventured thither,
independently of the missions. So we are informed by one or two
travellers who visited the country between 1814 and 1840. Nor is this
feeling at all to be wondered at, considering the class of men who came
to Kororareka. The European adventurers who came to New Zealand then
were so generally of a loose and lawless order, that it is scarcely
matter for surprise that missionaries should have looked askance at
every white man they saw.

This feeling spread to the Societies at home in England, and was,
doubtless, much exaggerated among their more zealous, but less
large-minded supporters. It became mingled with a desire to preserve
New Zealand for its aboriginal race; to convert and civilize that
people; and to foster their self-government under the direct influence
of the missionaries. And it must be borne in mind that the missionaries
were really unacquainted with the extent of the country, and with the
actual number of its native inhabitants; while people in England had
very vague ideas regarding their antipodes.

A party was formed in England, which has been styled "the Exeter Hall
party." The persons adhering to its views did all in their power to
prevent English colonization, or English government being established
in New Zealand. The merits of the question as between them and their
opponents need not concern us now.

The existence of such a place as Kororareka was felt to be a curse to
the whole of the South Sea, and did not fail to affect even Sydney,
two thousand miles away. There were not wanting some to press upon
the Imperial Government the necessity of annexation and of active
steps being taken. The Exeter Hall party, however, frustrated their
endeavours, actuated thereto by motives that time has shown to have
been founded on miscomprehension and mistake.

Guided by the Exeter Hall influence, and by representations made by the
missionaries, the Imperial Government took a decided step in 1835. They
recognized New Zealand as independent, treated with a confederation
of Maori chiefs, and bestowed a national flag upon the country, thus
forfeiting the claim acquired from Captain Cook's original discovery.
Mr. Busby was appointed to be British resident at Kororareka; as,
however, he had no force to act with, he was unable to preserve order
in that place, and he had neither influence nor power wherewith to
uphold the dignity of his office and of the country he represented.

Persons in England who had been desirous of seeing New Zealand
converted into an appanage of the British crown, covered their
disappointment by forming an association, styled "The New Zealand
Company," much upon the basis of the old East Indian Company. They
proceeded to form settlements upon a system of their own; a pioneering
expedition being sent out in 1839, and the first body of emigrants
landing at Port Nicholson in 1840. Their action, together with the
outcry caused by the condition of things at Kororareka, caused the
Imperial Government to reverse its former policy.

Another circumstance operated to hasten the Government's decision.
French Roman Catholic missions had been established in New Zealand,
and were gaining many converts among the Maoris. In 1837 a French
nobleman, one Baron de Thierry, purchased a large area in Hokianga,
and sought to establish himself there as a sovereign prince. Then the
French Government prepared to annex the islands as a possession of
France.

In January, 1840, Captain Hobson arrived at Kororareka in command of
H.M.S _Rattlesnake_, instructed to hoist the British standard, which
he only succeeded in doing a few hours before a French ship arrived
for a similar purpose. Captain Hobson at once found a staunch ally in
the person of Tamati Waka, a powerful Ngapuhi chief. By this man's
influence the Christianized chiefs of the North were gathered together,
and induced to sign the famous Treaty of Waitangi, on March 5, 1840.
That instrument is the title-deed of the colony. It was the formal
cession of sovereignty to Queen Victoria, by the principal men of the
Maori nation.

The missionaries have been severely criticized for the policy and
line of action adopted by them, and by the Exeter Hall party at
home. Doubtless much might be said on either side, were it in any
way desirable to reopen a somewhat bitter controversy. One thing is
certain, that nowhere, and at no time, have missionaries of the Church
of England, and of the Wesleyan body, found their labours followed
by more signal success than in New Zealand; and the zeal, fortitude,
and high-souled devotion of the pioneers of the gospel in our Brighter
Britain, must surely win the admiration of even the enemies of
Christianity.

Not far from Cape Wiwiki, on the northern shore of the Bay of Islands,
and half a day's sail away from Kororareka, is a spot of great
interest. Sheltered within high craggy headlands, and shut out from the
open bay by a rocky and bush-clothed island, is a bright and peaceful
little cove. There are but few signs of life here; the place looks
almost deserted. A couple of houses are visible, divided by rising
ground; and a farm lies round them, bounded by hills wearing the
evergreen verdure of the forest.

Walking about this farm, you perceive that it is not of very great
extent—a hundred acres or so, probably. But you are at once struck
with something that is strange to you, after the pioneer homesteads of
the Kaipara. The turf is old and smooth, the fields are drained and
level, the ditches are embanked, the hedges full-grown and thick, the
imported trees are in maturity. Everything denotes that this is no new
clearing. Abundant evidence is all around to testify to the truth of
what the hospitable farmer will tell you, namely, that the cultivation
here is sixty years old.

This place is Te Puna, ever to be renowned as the site of the first
mission, established here by the Rev. Samuel Marsden, in 1814.

The incentives those early missionaries had to go to New Zealand were
certainly not of an engaging kind. They knew that the natives were
a fierce and bloodthirsty set of savages, that they were constantly
at war among themselves, and were addicted to cannibalism. Although
some few individuals had visited Sydney, and seemed tractable
enough, assuring Mr. Marsden of their good will and power to protect
missionaries, yet there was no sort of certainty. The Maoris were known
to be badly disposed to strangers, on the whole, and many stories of
their treachery were current. Since Marion du Fresne, with fifteen men,
was killed by Maoris in the Bay of Islands, there had been various
instances of a similar kind. Only a year or two before, the ship _Boyd_
had been seized in Whangaroa Harbour, and her company, numbering fifty
persons, had been butchered and eaten.

With these facts before their minds to encourage them, Marsden and his
brave companions went unhesitatingly into what must have seemed the
very jaws of death, resolved to sow the gospel seed in this virgin
wild. In December, 1814, the Revs. Marsden, Kendall, King, and Nicholas
landed here at Te Puna. Public worship was held here for the first time
on Christmas Day.

At that period there was a large population on the shores and islands
of the bay, which has since disappeared or moved elsewhere, for the
most part. There would seem to have been a considerable kainga either
at or near Te Puna. Here, therefore, land was bought, houses and a
church of some kind put up, and the mission duly inaugurated. One of
the missionaries was actually accompanied by his wife, and she gave
birth to a son shortly after they landed. He was the first white man
born in New Zealand, and he still resides near the bay, with other
families descended from the same parents. Some of us have often
partaken of their hospitality.

There is no mission at Te Puna now, and only the two households for
population, but the original mission continued there a good many
years. Soon after its origination, another station was opened on the
Keri-keri river, about twenty miles from Te Puna. Here there is a stone
block-house, which was erected for defence, if necessary. It is now
used as a store. There is besides a most comfortable homestead, the
residence of a family descended from one of the early missionaries.
It is a very pleasant spot, with all the air of an English country
grange, save and except that block-house, and other mementoes of the
past that our hospitable hosts have been pleased to show us.

Some miles along the shore of the bay, from the point where the
Keri-keri estuary opens from it, we come to Paihia, at the mouth of
the Waitangi. This is directly opposite to Kororareka, from which
it is five or six miles distant. Just down the shore is a villa
residence, and one or two other houses, indicating the farm of a
wealthy settler. A splendidly situated home that, with its glorious
view over the picturesque bay, its surrounding gardens and orchards,
and its background of woods and mountains. Here was where the first
printing-press in New Zealand was set up.

Near by, but opening upon the Waitangi rather than on the bay, is a
deep, dark glen. At the bottom of it, and filling the lower ground,
are the wharès and cultivations of a good-sized Maori kainga. There
are some frame-houses, too, which show how civilized our brown
fellow-subjects are becoming. And from here we can row up the winding
Waitangi river to another point of interest.

Some miles above, the influx of the tides is stopped by high falls,
just as it also is in the Keri-keri river, close to the old station.
Waitangi Falls is the port for all the inland country on this side.
There is a young settlement here, and the place is remarkable for being
the spot where the famous treaty was signed. Moreover, the falls are
well worth looking at.

One of the most interesting stories relating to the Bay of Islands is
that of the first Maori war, which was waged around it from 1845 to
1847. It has been related often enough, and I can only find room for
some very brief details. Such as they are, they are mostly gathered
from the oral narrations of eye-witnesses, both English and Maori,
whose testimony I feel more inclined to believe than that of some
printed accounts I have seen.

Hone Heke was the leader of one of the sections into which the great
Ngapuhi tribe had split after the death of the celebrated Hongi Hika,
who expired March 5, 1828. Captain Hobson's friend, Tamati Waka,
was chief of another section; while Kawiti, another chief, headed a
third. These persons were then paramount over pretty nearly the whole
region lying between Mongonui and the Kaipara. They had been among
the confederate chiefs whom the British Government recognized as
independent in 1835; and their signatures were, subsequently to that,
attached to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Shortly after the proclamation of New Zealand as a British possession,
Governor Hobson, seeing that Kororareka was unsuited for a metropolis,
removed the seat of government to the Waitemata, and there commenced a
settlement which is now the city of Auckland. Order had been restored
in the former place, but its importance and its trade now fell away.

The Ngapuhi had some grievances to put up with. The trade of the Bay
was much lessened; import duties raised the price of commodities; while
the growing importance of Auckland gave advantages to the neighbouring
tribes, the Ngatitai, Ngapaoa, Waikato, and Ngaterangi, which the
Ngapuhi of the Bay of Islands had formerly monopolized. It needed but
little to foment the discontent of a somewhat turbulent ruler such as
Hone Heke.

In the year 1844 this chief, visiting Kororareka, and probably venting
his dissatisfaction at the new regime pretty loudly, was incited by
certain of the bad characters, who had previously had it all their
own way in the place. They taunted him with having become the slave
of a woman, showing him the flag, and explaining that it meant his
slavery to Queen Victoria, together with all Maoris. In such a way they
proceeded to work up his feelings, probably without other intention
than to take a rise out of the Maori's misconception of the matter.

Hone Heke took the thing seriously. He said that he did not consider
himself subject to any one. He was an independent chief, merely in
alliance with the British, and had signed the Treaty of Waitangi in
expectation of receiving certain rewards thereby, which it appeared had
been changed into penalties. As for the flag, if that was an emblem of
slavery, a Pakeha fetish, or an insult to Maoridom, it was clear that
it ought to be removed, and he was the man to do it.

Accordingly, he and his followers then present, marched at once up the
hill above Kororareka, and cut down the flagstaff that had been set
up there. Then they withdrew quietly enough. The settlers were much
disconcerted, having no means of coercing Heke, and not knowing to what
this might lead. However, they set the flagstaff up again.

Hone Heke appeared once more with his band, this time in fierce anger.
They cut down the restored flagstaff, and either threw it into the
sea, or burnt it, or carried it off. Heke also threatened to destroy
Kororareka if any attempt was made to fly the British flag again.

H.M.S. _Hazard_ now came up from Auckland, where considerable
excitement agitated the young settlement. The flagstaff was again
restored, and, this time, a small block-house was built round it, which
was garrisoned by half a dozen soldiers.

Now, Hongi Hika, previous to his death, had enjoined a certain policy
upon his successors. He had told them never to make war upon such
Pakeha as came to preach, to farm, or to trade. These were not to be
plundered or maltreated in any way. They were friends whose presence
could only tend to the advantage of the Maori. But the English
sovereign kept certain people whose only business was to fight. They
might be known by the red coats they wore, and by having stiff necks
with a collar round them. "Kill these wherever you see them," said
Hongi; "or they will kill you."

So Hone Heke sent an ultimatum into Kororareka, to the effect that,
on a certain specified day, he should burn the town, cut down the
flagstaff, and kill the soldiers. The attack was fixed for night, and
it came with exact punctuality. Most of the inhabitants took refuge
on board the _Hazard_ and some other craft then lying in the harbour;
while these prepared to guard the beach from a canoe attack. Captain
Robertson of the _Hazard_, with some forty marines and blue-jackets,
aided also by a party of settlers, took up a position on the landward
side of the town.

Hone Heke's own mind seems to have principally been occupied with
the flagstaff. The main attack he left to Kawiti, who had joined
him, with five hundred men. Heke himself, with a chosen band, crept
round unperceived through the bush, and lay in wait near the top of
the flagstaff hill, in a little dingle, which is yet pointed out to
visitors. Here they lay for some hours, awaiting the signal of Kawiti's
attack upon the town below. While in this position, Heke kept his men
quiet by reading the Bible to them, expounding the Scriptures as he
read; for all these Ngapuhi, whether friends or foes, were professed
Christians at that period.

By-and-by, the sound of firing and shouting in the town, together with
the blazing of some of the houses, attracted the attention of the
soldiers in the little block-house round the flagstaff. Unsuspecting
any danger close at hand, they came out on to the hill, the better to
descry what was doing below. Then Heke's ambush sprang suddenly up,
and rushed between them and the open door of the block-house, thus
capturing it, and either killing or putting the startled soldiers to
flight instantaneously.

Meanwhile a furious battle was taking place in Kororareka. Captain
Robertson and his small force were outflanked and driven in upon the
town, fighting bravely and desperately. But the numbers of the Maoris
were too great for them to contend with, and Robertson, with half his
men, was killed, the rest escaping with difficulty to the ships. Then
the victorious assailants rushed upon the devoted settlement, speedily
joined by Heke's band on the opposite side. The stores and houses
were plundered and set on fire, and soon Kororareka was a charred and
smoking heap of ruins, only the two churches being left absolutely
untouched. This was the first engagement during the war, and was a
decided success for the rebels. The fall of Kororareka took place March
11, 1845; Heke having first cut down the flagstaff in July of the
previous year.

The news reached Auckland a day or two later, and something like a
panic occurred there. The settlers were armed and enrolled at once, and
the place prepared for defence; for it was said that Heke and Kawiti
had determined to destroy that settlement as well. Had they been able
to march upon it then, it is possible that their attack could not have
been successfully withstood, so limited were means of defence at that
time.

But Tamati Waka, the stout-hearted friend of the British, led out his
section of the Ngapuhi at once, and took up arms against their kinsmen
under Heke. He prevented the rebels from leaving their own districts,
and thus saved Auckland, allowing time for reinforcements to reach
New Zealand, and so for the war to be carried into Heke's own country.
All through the campaign he did efficient service on our behalf,
contributing much to the final establishment of peace.

Tamati Waka Nene, to give him his full name, had been a savage
cannibal warrior in the days of Hongi. On one occasion then he had
led a taua, or war-party, of the Ngapuhi far to the south of Hauraki
Gulf, destroying and literally "eating-up" a tribe in the Kati-kati
district. Subsequently, he embraced Christianity and civilization, but
it is evident that the old warrior spirit was strong in him to the
last. He was an extremely sagacious and intelligent politician, fully
comprehending the advantages that must accrue to his race from British
rule. He enjoyed a government pension for some years after the war,
and, when he died, a handsome monument was erected over his remains
in Kororareka churchyard. It stands not far from where bullet and
axe-marks in the old fence still show the spot where Robertson fell.

When Heke found himself pledged to war, he sent intimations to all the
settlers living about Waimate, Keri-keri, and the north of the bay,
mostly missionary families. He said he had no quarrel with them, and
would protect their persons and property if they would trust him. Some
remained, and some took refuge in Auckland. Those who stayed were never
in any way molested; Heke kept his word to them to the letter. But of
those who fled he allowed his men to pillage the farms and houses, by
way of utu for not believing him.

As soon as the authorities were in a position to do so, a strong
force was sent into the Bay district, to operate in conjunction with
Tamati Waka's men in putting down the insurrection. Three engagements
were fought, resulting in advantage to the British. The rebels were
then besieged in the fortified pa of Ohaeawae, some twenty-five miles
inland. No artillery had been brought up, and the consequence was that
our troops were repulsed from before this pa again and again, with
severe loss. But the victory was too much for the rebels, who suffered
considerably themselves, and ran short of ammunition. One night they
silently evacuated the place, which was entered next day by the
British, and afterwards destroyed. Very similar experiences followed
shortly after at the pa of Okaehau.

Finally, in 1847, the insurgents were beleaguered in the pa of
Ruapekapeka, situated near the Waitari river. This they considered
impregnable, and it was indeed magnificently defended with earthworks
and palisades, arranged in such a manner as to excite the wonder and
admiration of engineers. A model of it was subsequently made and sent
home.

Some artillery had now been got up, with immense labour and difficulty
owing to the rugged character of the ground. These guns were brought to
bear upon the pa. But the Maoris had hung quantities of loose flax over
the palisades, which fell into place again after the passage of a ball,
and hid the breach it had made. Thus the besiegers could not tell what
they had effected, while the defenders were enabled to repair the gaps
unseen.

The pa was taken in rather a curious way. It happened that no
engagement had been fought on a Sunday, and the rebels, being earnest
Christians, and having—as Maoris have to this day—a respect for the
Sabbath, more exaggerated than that of the Scots even, concluded that
an armistice was a matter of course. When Sunday morning came, they
went out of the pa at the back to hold worship after their manner.
Tamati Waka's men, perceiving this, conquered their own Sabbatical
leanings, and, finding an opening, rushed into the pa, followed by the
British troops. The disconcerted worshippers attempted to retake the
pa, but were speedily routed and scattered.

This event terminated the war. The insurgents were broken and
disheartened, their numbers reduced, their strongholds captured, and
their ammunition exhausted. They soon all laid down arms and sued for
pardon. Ever since, all the sections of the rebel tribe have been
perfectly peaceable, and take pride in the epithet earned by Tamati
Waka's force, "the loyal Ngapuhi," which is now to be applied to the
entire tribe.

This first Maori war presents some considerable contrasts to those
which had afterwards to be waged with other tribes, in Wellington,
Nelson, Taranaki, and Waikato. It was characterized by humanity on both
sides, and by an approach to the usages of conflict between civilized
peoples. The Ngapuhi had had the missionaries among them longer than
any other tribe, and had benefited greatly from their teaching. Some
barbarity they still showed, perhaps, but their general conduct was
widely different from what it would have been twenty or thirty years
before.

At the attack on Kororareka, a woman and several other fugitives were
made prisoners. They were treated kindly, and next day Hone Heke sent
them on board the ships in the harbour. A settler informed me that
he was once conveying wounded soldiers in a bullock-dray, from the
front at Ohaeawae down to the bay. On the road, a party of Heke's men
suddenly appeared out of the bush and surrounded them. They were quite
friendly, however, grounding their arms for a sociable smoke and chat.
They counted the wounded soldiers, giving them fruit, and assisting
at the passage of a dangerous creek. At parting, they merely reminded
the soldiers that if they came back they would be killed, as they, the
rebels, intended to kill or drive away all the red-coats.

Waimate is the most important centre to the north of the Bay of
Islands; it lies about ten miles inland from Waitangi Falls. The roads
from Waitangi to Waimate, to Ohaeawae and Okaehau, are really good. A
buggy might even be driven along them with perfect ease. Only, between
Waitangi and Waimate there is a formidable creek, the bridge over
which is continually being swept away by floods. Then one must cross
by a difficult and shifting ford, and, if the creek be full, it may be
necessary to swim one's horse over, as once happened to me, I remember.

On proceeding inland in this district, the ground loses its ruggedness.
It is not flat, exactly, but it is only gently undulating, and not
so violently broken as in most other parts of the north. The soil is
volcanic, the ground mostly open, and much of it splendidly fertile,
like that of the Bay of Naples. There are extinct craters and old lava
streams here and there; but there has been no evidence of activity in
them within the memory of man or of Maori tradition. The district of
active volcanoes, solfataras, hot-springs, geysers, and so on, lies
beyond the limits of the Land of the Kauri altogether.

Waimate was settled by the early missionaries. It includes lands
held by the representatives of three parent Societies. It is a large
village, composed of residences that may well be termed villas. Nearly
all the inhabitants belong to missionary families, and they form a sort
of little aristocracy here to themselves. There is a kind of old-world
air about the place: it seems to be standing still while the rest of
New Zealand is progressing fast and furiously around it. The people
are the soul of kindly hospitality, but they are a little exclusive
from the very fact of having lived here all their lives, and of having
seen but little of the outside world. For the same reason, and because
new settlers do not come up, owing to the land not being readily
obtainable, they are somewhat averse from movement, and inclined to jog
along in a settled groove.

I know of no place in the colony that presents such a striking
resemblance to a quiet, stick-in-the-mud, rural locality of the old
country. The Europeans are the gentry, and the Maoris round might pose
as the rest of the population.

There is a handsome church at Waimate, but there is no hotel, though
there are very good ones at Waitangi and Ohaeawae. There are yards and
pens to accommodate a horse, cattle, sheep, and pig-market, which is
held here at regular intervals. Waimate is a great farming centre, some
of the lands about it having been under the plough for fifty years;
still, it is a trifle backward in its modes, the farmers not striving
to make a pile, but being content to keep themselves in competence.
This may also be esteemed a central point of modern Maori civilization.

There are a number of young families growing up at Waimate, amid the
softening influences of its homely refinement. Among them are an
unusual number of young ladies. Whatever may be the faults of the
place, with regard to its lack of energy and backwardness in farming
industry, it redeems them all by the abundant crop of first-class
British rosebuds it is raising for the delectation of hungry bachelors.

Well do I remember, once, Dandy Jack rejoining a party of us, who were
up at Kawa-kawa on business. There was such a look of beatified content
upon his face, that we all exclaimed at it. He told us he had been
stopping at a house where there were ten lovely girls, between the ages
of fourteen and twenty-six. He had come to bring us an invitation to
go and visit there, too. Within half an hour every horse was saddled,
and every individual of us, having completed his most killing toilette,
was on the road to this bush-nursery of Beauty!

Six or eight miles from Waimate we come to Ohaeawae, a place of very
great interest. The most conspicuous object is the beautiful church,
whose tall spire mounts from a rising ground in the centre of the
settlement. That church occupies the very site of the old pa, and, what
is more, it was built entirely at the expense, and partly by the actual
labour, of the very Maoris who fought the British here in Heke's war.

With the exception of the principal store and hotel, and possibly of
one or two other houses near, Ohaeawae is a Maori town. A few miles
further along the road is yet another straggling settlement, whose name
I forget, and all is mainly Maori. These natives here are even further
ahead than we are in the Kaipara. They have good frame-houses in all
styles of carpentering; they have pastures fattening their flocks and
herds and droves; they have their ploughs and agricultural machinery;
and fields of wheat, potatoes, maize, and what not. They use the
telegraph and the post-office for business or pleasure; they have their
own schools, police, and handicrafts of various kinds. In short, as a
body, they seem quite as much civilized as if they were white instead
of brown. I suppose that, round Ohaeawae and Okaehau and Waimate, the
Maori may be seen in the highest state of advancement to which he has
anywhere attained. But more of him anon.

Between these settlements and the Hokianga waters, the roads become
more inchoate again, and one passes through wild land, which gets more
and more covered with bush as one proceeds. Hokianga, though it has
its history of the early days, in common with the Bay, is far behind
it in progress. In fact, Hokianga is a long way less forward than the
Kaipara, and there are very few settlers in it. Its principal features
are steep and lofty ranges, and a rich luxuriance of forest. The
scenery is magnificent.

Winding along down the Waima or Taheke rivers, no eye so dull but must
admire the glorious woodland beauties around. Soft green willows sweep
the waters, and hide the banks below their foliage like some natural
jalousie. Above is a bewildering thicket of beauty. Ferns, fern-trees,
fern-creepers, every variety of frond, mingled with hanging masses of
white star-flower, pohutukawa trees one blaze of crimson, trees and
shrubs of a hundred varieties. And above tower lofty ranges, covered
to the topmost summit with dense impenetrable woods, sparkling and
gleaming with a thousand tints in the brilliant sunshine and clear
atmosphere.

As the boat travels down the stream, teal and wild-duck splash and
glide and scuttle and fly before it. The wild birds of the bush, that
some will have it are becoming extinct, are here to be seen in greater
numbers than anywhere else I know of. Those rare green and scarlet
parrots tumble and shriek on the summits of the trees, while the large
purple sultana-ducks peep forth occasionally.

Here and there some vista opens, disclosing a little Maori kainga,
or the house and clearing of a settler, who thinks more, perhaps, of
living amidst such natural beauty than of making a prosaic pile in any
less attractive spot. I love the Kaipara, and I am in honour bound to
deem Te Puke Tapu on the Arapaoa the acme and perfection of woodland
glory—but, in the Hokianga, splendid and magnificent, one forgets
other places.

Take that gorge of the main estuary, for example, just above Wirineki,
where the Iwi Rua raises its wild peaks, and sends its tremendous
shoulders with their ridgy backs and dark ravines, all clothed in
overwhelming wealth of forest, rushing down to the blue water. What can
one say but that it is simply sublime! As Wales is to Scotland, so is
this to the Yosemite.

There is but little industry in Hokianga. There are some sawmills, but
they are comparatively small, and do not add very largely to our timber
trade. There are some farms, but they, too, are small and doing little.
There are schools, but their work is limited.

The principal settlement is Hurd's Point, to which place a steamer
comes from the Manukau once a fortnight. It is claimed here that
this is actually the oldest settlement in New Zealand, prior even
to Kororareka. A man named Hurd came here early in the century, and
established a store for trade with the Maoris; sailing vessels from
Sydney occasionally communicating with him.

The Point is about sixteen miles from the Heads. There are somewhere
about a dozen good houses, two hotels and stores. A gentleman who lives
here has even more manifold occupations than our Mayor of Te Pahi. But
the population of this, and of the district generally, is mainly Maori,
or Maori half-breed. One can trace in Hokianga some reminiscences of
the French invasion, of Baron Thierry, and of the Pikopo, as the Maoris
term the Roman Catholic mission.

While the civilization of the Maoris has advanced further here and at
Ohaeawae than it has almost anywhere else, it is curious that some very
primitive kaingas lie to the north of Hokianga. I suppose that nowhere
in the North could you find places where there is less of Pakeha
civilization and more of ancient Maori manners, than in one or two of
these. They are completely secluded, and have scarcely any intercourse
with strangers.

At these places I have been hospitably entertained, in true Maori
fashion, and have found a large amount of genial, kindly friendliness.
Some of the elders had not forgotten Heke's war, in which they had
taken part. It seemed to them to be an event of yesterday only. They
spoke of it as of something amusing, a good joke on the whole, and
without any apparent feeling that there had been anything serious in it.

Yet these people questioned me eagerly about Akarana (Auckland), and
things among the Pakeha. I rose into immense dignity among them because
I had seen and could describe Te Kwini (the Queen), Te Pirinti Weri
(the Prince of Wales), Te Pirintiti Weri (the Princess of Wales), and
Te Pikanini (the young princes and princesses). All the inhabitants
of the kainga, men, women, and children, gathered round the fire in
front of my wharè to hear what I had to tell them. There was no end to
their questions, and a sort of rapturous excitement spread among them
as I dilated on the subject of our royal family. I think it would be
no difficult thing to raise a Maori legion for foreign service. And I
am quite sure that nowhere, in all the realm upon which the sun never
sets, has Queen Victoria more devoted and enthusiastic subjects than
she has among her "loyal Ngapuhi."

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is a brief, a very brief account of our most interesting region,
crammed as it is with mementoes of the past, that will grow dearer
and more valued to this country as time recedes from them. I have but
glanced at some prominent features. It would take a volume or two to
contain all that might be written.

But when that railway which Old Colonial talks of is completed,
I intend to write a guide-book to the three counties, with full
historical details. It ought to be a good spec., you know, when crowds
of tourists are rushing to "do" our classic ground!



CHAPTER III.

MAORI MANNERS.

I.


Old Colonial says that no book about Northern New Zealand, past or
present, would be complete without some special reference to Maori
manners. So, with his larger experience to aid me, I am going to try
and depict them, in brief and to a limited extent. Perhaps the best way
to begin is by sketching the early history of the race, so far as it
is known. Also, we will be pedantic for the nonce, and such words of
the native tongue as are used shall be free from European corruptions.
Thus, to begin with, there being no "s" in the language, which only
consists of fourteen letters, and no plural termination, Maori (pr.
_mowry_) stands for either one or many, and Pakeha (white man,
stranger, pr. _Pah-kay-hah_) signifies either the singular or plural
number.[2]

[2] See _Pronunciation of Maori Names_, in the Appendix.

The Maori are a Turanian race, belonging to the Polynesian family of
the Malay branch. According to their own traditions, they came to New
Zealand from some island in the South Sea, known to them as Hawaiiki.
Probably they had migrated in the first instance from the Malay
Peninsula. A certain number of large canoes landed the pilgrim fathers
of the race on the shores of Ahinamaui,[3] the names of which are
remembered, each of the tribes tracing its ancestry to one. The date
of this incursion is reckoned to have been about A.D. 1400;
the calculation being arrived at by comparison of certain genealogical
tally-sticks kept among the tribes.

[3] The North Island.

The Maori would seem to have degenerated from some more civilized
condition, as is evidenced by the remains among them of astronomical
knowledge, and of a higher political constitution, the basis of which
is discoverable in their institution of the tapu. They brought with
them to New Zealand the kumera (sweet potato), the taro (bread-root),
the hue (gourd), the seeds of the koraka tree, the dog, the pukeko
(swamp-hen), and one or two of the parrot tribe. They found in New
Zealand an aboriginal race of men, inferior to themselves. They also
found several species of gigantic birds, called by them moa, and by
naturalists _Dinornis_, _Aptornis_, and _Palapteryx_.

The Maori, of course, made war upon both man and bird, the latter for
food from the first, and the former probably for the same purpose
eventually. They had succeeded in exterminating both before Europeans
had a chance of making acquaintance with them. Bones of the moa are
frequently found, and, till recently, it was believed that living
specimens existed in the recesses of forest and mountain. But of the
aboriginal race no trace remains, unless, as some have thought, there
be an admixture of their blood in the few Maori of Otago and Stewart
Island.

New Zealand was discovered by Abel Jan van Tasman, in 1642, to whom
it owes its name—a name, by the way, that may one day be changed to
Zealandia, perhaps, just as New Holland has become Australia, and Van
Diemen's Land, Tasmania. The natives received the Dutch navigator with
hostility, massacring a boat's crew. He, therefore, drew off and left,
merely coasting for a short distance. No one else visited the country
until 1769, when Cook arrived in it for the first time.

Captain Cook was likewise received with hostility by the Maori, on his
first landing in Poverty Bay. But afterwards, in the Bay of Plenty,
Mercury Bay, and the Bay of Islands, he met with better treatment,
and was able to establish friendly relations with certain tribes. He
spent altogether nearly a year in New Zealand, between 1769 and 1777,
in which last year he left for Hawaii, to meet his death there in
Kealakekua Bay. He circumnavigated the islands, which had previously
been supposed to form part of a great Antarctic continent. He also
bestowed upon the Maori the pig and the potato, and has left us some
still interesting accounts of what he observed in the country.

Subsequently to Cook's last visit, and in the intervals between his
voyages, other explorers touched here. De Lunéville, De Surville,
Crozet, D'Urville, and Du Fresne, the French navigators, followed in
the footsteps of Tasman and Cook. Then, too, whalers began to call
along the coasts; and, by-and-by, traders from Sydney adventured hither
for timber, and flax (_phormium_), and pigs, and smoked heads. But it
was a risky thing in those days to do business with the Maori. Any
fancied slight or injury was resented most terribly. Several ships were
lost altogether, their crews being butchered and eaten; while boats'
crews and individual mariners were lost by others.

In 1772, Du Fresne, with fifteen of his men, was killed in the Bay of
Islands. He had aroused the wrath of the natives by trespassing on tapu
ground; and they also avenged on him an action of De Lunéville's, who
had rashly put a chief in irons. In 1809, the ship _Boyd_ was taken in
Whangaroa Harbour, and all her company killed, because the captain had
flogged a Maori thief. Again, in 1816, we hear of the American brig
_Agnes_ meeting with a similar fate in Poverty Bay, or thereabouts.

From the end of last century down to 1840, a few individual white
men took up their residence among the Maori here and there. These
Pakeha-Maori, as they are called, were runaway sailors, or such as
had been shipwrecked or made prisoners, or were wild, adventurous
characters who preferred the savage life to the restraints of
civilization. They married Maori women, raised families, and conformed
to all the native customs, sometimes becoming chiefs and leaders in
war. When some fitful intercourse was established with Sydney, these
men were the medium of trade, and achieved immense importance in that
way. It soon became the fashion among the chiefs of tribes for each to
have his own special Pakeha-Maori. Force was sometimes resorted to to
obtain these men. They were captured and compelled to remain, while
wars between rival tribes were conducted for the possession of them.
Rutherford, a survivor of the _Agnes_, was one such. His experiences
of twelve years' residence among the Maori are recorded in Lord
Brougham's compilation. Judge Maning has related the tale of another,
at a somewhat later date.

In 1814, as has been elsewhere mentioned, the Rev. Samuel Marsden,
together with some other missionaries, landed in the Bay of Islands;
and from that event, New Zealand's real history may be said to commence.

The story of Marsden's interest in New Zealand is not without a certain
romantic element. He was chaplain to the Government of New South Wales.
At Sydney he had many opportunities of hearing of New Zealand, and of
the terrible race of fighting man-eaters who inhabited it. Traders
spoke freely of all they knew, and the barbarities, treacheries, and
fearful deeds of the Maori, much exaggerated, no doubt, were matters of
common report. Moreover, individual Maori sometimes shipped as sailors
on board the vessels that touched on their coasts; and so Marsden was
able to judge of the character of the race from the actual specimens he
saw. We may be sure that he was favourably impressed by their evident
superiority in every way to the black aborigines of Australia.

Marsden was in England in 1809, and there he vainly endeavoured to
awaken sympathy on behalf of the Maori, and to persuade the Christian
public to make effort for their help. On his return, he noticed, among
the sailors of his ship, a coloured man, very sick and dejected. Him
he made acquaintance with, finding him to be Ruatara, a Maori of the
chieftain rank, belonging to the Ngapuhi tribe.

Ruatara had had an eventful time of it. In 1805, when a mere lad of
eighteen, he had shipped on board a whaler, hoping thereby to see
something of the world. In her he was treated badly, being marooned on
a desert island for some months, and eventually brought back again to
New Zealand, without more experience than a whaling cruise in the South
Sea could give him.

But, nothing daunted by these vicissitudes, he again shipped on board
a whaler, and in her was carried to London. This was the acme of his
desires, for his great idea was to see King George. But, all the time
the ship lay in dock, Ruatara was scarcely allowed to go on shore,
even, and was not permitted to carry his wishes into execution. He
appears to have been brutally ill-treated, and was finally turned
over to a convict ship, the _Ann_, bound for Port Jackson. On board
of her Marsden sailed, and saw and took this forlorn wretch, ill and
disappointed, under his protection.

Arrived in Sydney, Marsden took Ruatara to his own house, and kept him
there as his guest for some months, doing his best, meanwhile, we may
be sure, to enlighten the mind of the barbarian whom Providence had
thrown in his way. Finally, he took means to send Ruatara home to his
own country.

The Church Missionary Society, stirred by Marsden's representations, at
last sent out a missionary party. But on their arrival in Sydney the
members of it hesitated about venturing to New Zealand—the affair of
the _Boyd_, and similar deeds, being just then fresh in the colonial
mind. Marsden, however, was not to be daunted.

In 1814 he sent a vessel to the Bay of Islands, loaded with useful
presents, and bearing an invitation to Ruatara to visit him once more.
It was readily accepted, not only by Ruatara, but also by several other
chiefs, including the subsequently famous Hongi Hika, who was uncle to
Ruatara. These persons were hospitably entertained by Marsden at his
residence at Paramatta. Towards the end of the year, they returned to
New Zealand, and with them went Marsden and his companions, landing at
Te Puna in December of that year, as has been elsewhere spoken of.

This is the first appearance of the redoubtable Hongi. Both he and
Ruatara took the missionaries under their protection, and firmly
maintained that attitude as long as they lived. Neither of them
embraced Christianity; but Hongi's care for the missionaries is shown
in the charge he gave to his successors on his death-bed concerning
them, which I have recorded in a previous chapter. Ruatara was a
man of much milder disposition than his uncle, though both appeared
well-mannered, courteous, amiable, and eminently sagacious when among
Europeans. Ruatara would probably have become a convert, had he not
died soon after the advent of Marsden.

During this period many of the Maori evinced great desire to travel,
and especially to see England and its king. They were ready to
undergo any amount of hardship and ill-treatment to accomplish this.
Numbers shipped as seamen on board such vessels as would receive
them. Sometimes they resorted to amusing tricks in order to get
carried to England. Tupei Kupa, for example, a powerful chief in the
neighbourhood of Cook Straits, came on board a ship passing along the
coast, and resisted all endeavours, even force, to make him return. He
was eventually made to serve as a sailor, and seems to have become a
general favourite. He resided some time in Liverpool, afterwards being
sent home by Government.

Hongi was affected by the same spirit. In 1820 he, accompanied by
another chief, Waikato, and under the charge of Rev. Mr. Kendall,
visited England. There he was presented to King George, and was made
much of. The two chiefs aided Mr. Kendall and Professor Lee in the
compilation of the first Maori vocabulary. They returned to Sydney
loaded with many and valuable presents.

But in Sydney the true character of Hongi came out. He realized all
his property, and converted it into muskets, powder, and ball. With
these he sailed joyfully back to his own country. Arrived there, he set
about arming his fighting men and instructing them in the use of the
new acquisitions. He also became very friendly to such trading vessels
as touched on his coasts, giving them cargoes of such produce as the
country afforded in return for more arms.

This chief's ambition was to constitute himself king of all New
Zealand, just as King George was sovereign over all Britain. His
theory of the way to bring this about seems to have been by killing
and eating all who opposed the project. There were some thirty tribes
of the Maori, and these were divided and subdivided into various
little sections. Sometimes a powerful chief was dominant over a large
confederation; and, again, each little kainga regarded itself as
independent.

Originally, Hongi was ariki (head chief or king) of the Ngapuhi, and
ruled over the inhabitants of the districts round the Bay of Islands,
and between that and the west coast. As soon as he had returned from
England, and had achieved the possession of fire-arms, he converted his
previously somewhat loose lordship into a real despotism. He organized
a taua (army, regiment, or war-party), and quickly reduced any unruly
sections to obedience. Then he attacked the Ngatipo of Whangaroa, the
Ngararawa of Whangape, and the Ngaopuri of the North Cape. These he
massacred, devoured, and dispersed, swelling the ranks of his army with
accessions from among the subdued tribes.

After this, various expeditions, under the command of Hongi, or his
sub-chiefs, marched southward to slay and eat all and sundry. The
Ngatewhatua, a populous tribe of the Kaipara districts, had to bear the
brunt of Hongi's advance, and were almost annihilated. He penetrated
a long way south, ever victorious over every one by reason of his
superior weapons. There is little doubt that he must have sometimes led
an army of as many as five thousand men, mostly armed with muskets.
This was a prodigious force for Maori war, irrespective of the enormous
advantage of powder and ball over the native merè (battle-axe) and patu
(a sort of halberd).

Such was the spirit of the Maori, and such their warlike ferocity, that
tribes never thought of submitting peaceably, or fled from superior
strength. They always fought first. It is difficult to realize,
nowadays, the awful carnage that Hongi instituted. Districts were
depopulated, tribes annihilated, men, women, and children, in scores
and hundreds, were butchered and eaten; pa and kainga were burnt and
destroyed.

Far to the south went the bloodthirsty conquerors, even into
what afterwards came to be the province of Wellington. Ngapaoa,
Ngatewaikato, Ngatimaniapoto, Ngatiawa, and many another tribe felt
the full force of Hongi's lust for conquest. Even to the East Cape his
terrible warriors came, decimating Ngateurewera and Ngatiporu. Of these
latter they once roasted and ate fifteen hundred, at a single one of
their cannibal orgies.

But Hongi did not become king of New Zealand after all. He received
a wound in battle, which brought him to his death in 1828. In spite
of his propensities for war and cannibalism, both of which, one may
say, were hereditary in the Maori blood at that time, Hongi would
seem to have possessed many good qualities. His intellect was quick
and vigorous, and would have distinguished him among any people. His
ingenuity was great, both in overcoming difficulties and in the
arts which the Maori used, or that had been taught him by Europeans.
His bravery was undoubted, and was mingled with much large-hearted
generosity. He had good impulses, and was singularly affectionate to
his own family. To him missionaries and white traders owed the first
footing they obtained in the country, and the ability to hold their own
there afterwards.

From the period of Marsden's first visit the labours of the
missionaries began to bear fruit, and Christianity spread, at first
slowly, but afterwards with marvellous rapidity and completeness. Soon
after Hongi's death a more peaceful era commenced: arms were less often
employed; cannibalism was given up among christianized tribes; and
peaceful arts were more attended to. In 1823, a Wesleyan mission was
established, first of all in Whangaroa; and, in 1837, a Roman Catholic
one was commenced in Hokianga. By 1840 the whole of the tribes of
the Maori were professedly Christian, and had relinquished their old
warlike customs.

In 1864 there arose a singular religious revival among the Maori, known
by the name of Hau-hau. This was just at the period when the Waikato
war was concluded, and when certain sections of various tribes in the
interior had declared themselves independent under a king of their own
election. Hau-hau was instituted by some of the old tohunga (priests,
prophets, and medicine-men), mainly from political motives. They said
that as there was an English Church, a Scottish Church, and a Roman
Church, that there ought also to be a distinctive Maori Church. They
accordingly set to work to form one.

Hau-hau consists of a frenzied form of Christianity, mingled with some
observances taken from the Mosaic Law, and comprehending old heathenish
usages grafted upon the new order of things. From the extraordinary
excitement its professors manifest, some people have thought that
mesmeric influence had a part in it.

Hau-hau became a political movement, being inseparably connected with
the "king" rebellion. The Kingite Maori have given a good deal of
trouble in former years, but have now been quiescent for long. Their
territory occupies Kawhia county on the West Coast, being bounded by
the Waikato, Waipa, and Mokau rivers, and the sea. Their numbers are
but few.

Till lately these rebels held themselves wholly aloof from intercourse
with the outside world, and threatened any one who should enter their
territory. At last they began to bring produce to the nearest Pakeha
market, and to buy stores, though still maintaining their reserve. In
1881 there arose some dispute about land that had been confiscated
after the war, but that had not been taken possession of. There was
talk of a furious row between the rebels and the settlers. This was
magnified by English newspapers into a "threatened Maori war," an
absurd piece of ignorance, truly!

The "war" was put an end to the other day, by a few policemen arresting
the "King," in the midst of his dominions and surrounded by his
subjects, and conveying him off to durance vile at Wellington. A
demonstration of Taranaki volunteers was enough. No blood was spilt; no
violence offered.

Maori wars are things of the past entirely. When are British
journalists going to awake to that fact? Now, settlers outnumber Maori
everywhere ten to one. There are roads and railways and steamers,
sufficient to convey constabulary to any riotous neighbourhood pretty
quickly. But the great point is that the Maori of the present day are
decent, quiet, and orderly folk. They are intelligent, and possess as
much civilization as would be found in many rural districts of England,
Scotland, and Wales—I will not add of Ireland, too, for fear I should
be Boycotted! Maori and settler are on perfectly equal terms, and the
former know it; moreover, they are not an homogeneous people, but
live scattered in small communities. The Kingites, who are the least
civilized, and who profess not to acknowledge our authority, showed
what they thought of the possibilities of war by their submission to
a party of constables the other day. There is no strength among them
to make a war if they wished it, which they are much too sagacious to
do. Riots, or brigandage, even, in isolated localities, are less to be
feared than similar outbreaks in Lancashire or Staffordshire.

To read, as we did a short while ago, in influential London newspapers,
that war with the Maori was again imminent, strikes us as excessively
ludicrous. "Our shanty" even regards it as a dire insult, and there was
some talk among us of going to war ourselves—with the fourth estate in
England. Anyhow, it shows how little our friends at home really know
about this land of the blest and the free. Have there not been books
enough written about it _yet_?

There are, it is true, a good many Maori who adhere to primitive
custom. Here and there you may find a kainga, containing from a score
to a hundred souls, where there is not much apparent advance from the
state of things fifty years back. But even here you will find that men
and women turn out in European clothes, on occasions of state; that
the children receive schooling of some sort; that there is a surprising
degree of intelligence and knowledge of the great world and its ways;
and that there is a fervent, and often dogmatic, Christianity among the
inhabitants.

On the other hand, there are Maori of a more cultivated condition,
and these have no small influence with their less sophisticated
compatriots. Maori members sit in both houses of the Legislature;
Maori have votes at elections; there are some comparatively wealthy
Maori; there are Maori farmers, store-keepers, hotel-keepers, artisans,
policemen, postmen, teachers, and clergymen. There are two or three
Maori newspapers, partly written by Maori, for Maori to buy and read.
They are no longer to be regarded as savages, or as a distinct race,
even. They are but one of the classes of our community.

The present total Maori population is no more than 42,819; and the
European population is 463,729. In 1874 the Maori numbered 46,016, so
they have decreased considerably since then. But it is probable that
the numbers six years ago were not taken with the same accuracy as at
the last census, so that it would, perhaps, be too hasty to say that
the race has decreased by 3000 during the last six years; yet this
estimate cannot be very far from the truth.

There is no doubt that the Maori race are dying out, and that with
great rapidity. At the beginning of this century—about 1820—the
missionaries estimated their numbers to be 100,000, a guess that most
likely fell far short of the truth. The frightful slaughtering that
followed the introduction of fire-arms had, no doubt, much to do with
the diminution of the population, but evidently that can have no effect
at the present day; nor have the wars we have fought with certain
tribes, subsequent to 1840, been of such a bloody nature as to be set
down among the immediate causes of decrease.

It has been too hastily assumed that the Maori were lessening before
the advent of Europeans. It has been erroneously supposed that they
were half-starved, and that they had no option but to resort to
cannibalism. Both conclusions are certainly mistaken ones, I feel
convinced.

In the first place, when the Maori came to New Zealand, four or five
centuries ago, only a very limited number could have arrived. A long
and hazardous voyage must have been undertaken in frail canoes,
and it is not to be supposed that an entire nation could have so
migrated. Moreover, it is probable that the immigrants were driven
here accidentally, by stress of weather, possibly. Otherwise, if they
were able to voyage about so successfully in the open ocean, at will,
surely they would have kept up communication with "Hawaiiki," or other
islands, which we know they did not.

It seems clear, therefore, that but a few people originated the Maori
inhabitants of New Zealand, and as these were certainly at one time
very numerous, it is apparent that after their coming they had gone on
increasing and multiplying. At what period, and for what reason, did
this process of increase become checked, and change to one of decrease?

When Europeans first became acquainted with the country, the Maori had
by no means occupied the whole of it, or even nearly so, nor had they
exhausted its resources for the support of life. They were cannibals;
but it has been abundantly proved that they were not so from necessity.
Cannibalism was a part of the ceremonial of war and victory—nothing
more. It was never looked upon as a mere means of livelihood.

It is true, that the Maori had no animals except dogs and rats, both of
which they ate; but flesh is not an absolute necessity of existence.
They had fish of many kinds in marvellous profusion; they cultivated
assiduously the kumera and taro, alone sufficient for the support of
life. Such crops as these hardly ever fail in this climate. Then there
was the fern-root everywhere, a regular article of diet with them,
and sundry other roots and herbs. Some writers have assumed that when
the moa had been hunted down and destroyed, there was no other food
available, and so the tribes turned on each other. This is monstrously
absurd. There is no evidence to show that moa were ever so plentiful as
to have been a principal part of the food-supply. There is plenty of
traditional evidence to prove that other and smaller birds were more
generally used as diet. There is no proof that the Maori were ever in
want of means of subsistence. As matter of fact they were not. They
never knew what famine was, in the sense in which it has at times been
understood in Western Ireland or the Hebrides.

Now war, at that prehistoric period, was a very different thing from
what it afterwards became, when fire-arms were introduced. From the
very earliest time, according to their legends, war was the main
employment of the Maori. But their wars were not of a kind to cause
large devastation. Usually they were Homeric combats, where one or two
persons were slain on either side. Vast preparations were made for an
event of this kind. Rival tribes mustered all their strength; and, with
much ceremony, the taua of each came together at some appointed place.
Then for days there was much talking and boasting, and various single
duels, resulting in little or nothing. Eventually a general engagement
would ensue. Hundreds might take part in it, but rarely were there a
dozen or a score of casualties. So we gather from such accounts as have
reached us. Incessant though the inter-tribal conflicts were, they
were not of such a murderous sort as to cause large general decrease.
Extreme old age was a very frequent thing, among even prominent
fighting-men, just as now there are numerous very aged Maori.

So, it would seem that neither war nor want were destroying the race
before the coming of the Pakeha; consequently it is not surprising to
find that the fact of their decreasing at all at that period is no
fact, and is but an opinion, a theory, an assumption that appears to be
devoid of any foundation whatsoever.

When fire-arms were introduced, general butcheries commenced. Hongi
initiated this era. But other tribes eventually obtained the coveted
weapon, and then there was a carnival of blood all through the land.
Here we find the first real cause for general decrease. These fearful
wars must have enormously diminished the numbers of the race.

But when Christianity laid hold of the Maori, and when colonization
came after it, there was no longer any reason left for a decrease
among the native population, at least, so one would have thought; yet
the numbers of the Maori have been growing less and less with startling
rapidity. The decrease that is going on now, and that has been going on
since 1840, is evidently not owing to war or to want. Other causes for
it must be sought for. The first Maori census was taken in 1874, and
now another enumeration has been made, showing a considerable falling
off since the other. Scarcely an old settler but will tell of districts
he knows, where years ago there was a much larger native population
than there is to-day. It is evident that, as civilization advances, and
as Pakeha grow more numerous in the country, the Maori are disappearing
faster and faster.

Many causes have been assigned for this. The anti-alcoholists—of whom
we have many eminent and enthusiastic professors in the colony—of
course, put drink down as the chief reason. I do not think it is,
myself. Some Maori may drink themselves to death, but, so far as my
experience goes, I have found them to be remarkably abstemious as a
rule. Many Maori will not touch liquor at all; many more will take a
little, but decline to drink excessively. As one such remarked to me
once—

"Little rum good. Makee jolly, dance, sing! Much rum bad. Makee
sleepy, makee head sore, belly sore, all sore!"

A drunken Maori is comparatively rare in the North, at least, as far
as my observation goes. I am rather inclined to take medical evidence
on the subject of Maori decrease. Certain diseases, introduced by
the Pakeha, have spread among them extensively, and work fatally to
their constitutions. The women are thereby rendered less capable of
maternity, and the children fewer and more sickly.

A good deal of sentiment has been unnecessarily wasted upon this
matter. We do not need to raise a cry of lamentation over the departing
Maori. Let him go; we shall get on well enough without him! When the
ordinary Englishman refers to the matter, he says—

"They're a splendid race, those _Maries_! and it's a thousand pities
they should be dying out so fast!"

With this commonly begins and ends the sum of his knowledge of the
matter. Now, the Maori is not altogether such an absolutely superior
person. Relatively to some other aboriginal races—the Australian
black, for instance, and perhaps most of the North American tribes—the
Maori may truly be described as a splendid race; but compared with
the Anglo-Saxon, the Maori is nowhere. He cannot match our physical
development nor our intellectual capacity, average compared with
average.

So, let the Maori go. We do not wish him to, particularly. We are
indifferent about the matter. We would not hurry him on any account.
Nay, we will even sympathize with him, and sorrow for him—a little. We
are content to know that he will make room for a superior race. It is
but the process of Nature's sovereign law. The weaker is giving way to
the stronger; the superior species is being developed at the expense of
the inferior.

In appearance, the Maori strike you favourably. Their features are
good, being quite in Caucasian mould, though inclining a little to
coarseness. Their heads are well shaped, their bodies and limbs well
developed and muscular. They are somewhat long in the back and short in
the leg, as compared with Europeans; and both men and women are able to
pikau (hump, or carry on the back and shoulders) great weights for long
distances.

The colour of the skin varies. In some it is almost a coppery brown, in
others a dusky olive. The hair is black or brown, occasionally reddish.
The faces are open and intelligent, capable of much expression, and
pleasing when in repose. The eyes are large and full, and the teeth
naturally of dazzling whiteness and regularity. Some of the young
girls are comely and pretty, but as they grow old they often get
repulsively ugly.

The average height is perhaps a little over that of Englishmen; but
the Maori are seldom over six feet, and not often below five feet six
inches. Deformed persons are to be seen in every kainga, where they are
looked upon as, to some extent, privileged by their misfortune.

The moku (tattooing) has gone out of fashion, and is seldom seen on
young men now, except among very conservative communities. Plenty of
the older men, however, show it, and are still proud of it. The women
were never marked much, a line or two about the mouth, and on the chin,
was all they were allowed.

The moku was not mere ornament or disfigurement. It had a distinct
heraldic meaning, and the practice had attained to quite high art. The
designs are most elaborate, and were traced with exceeding care. They
consist of concentric lines and geometric devices, each pattern having
its peculiar signification. The markings are of a blue colour; they are
principally displayed on the face and breast; and they are so deeply
set that the skin is ridged and furrowed, looking as if carved.

The lower classes had but little moku, the more intricate and elaborate
patterns being reserved for men of rank. The higher a chief was, the
more elaboration did his moku display. When a man rose in rank, he
received additional decoration; just as civilized governments confer
orders, crosses, and stars upon distinguished generals or statesmen.
Often the face was so covered that even the nostrils, eyelids, and
lobes of the ears were adorned with minute tracery.

The operator who was entrusted with the making of the moku, was a
man of great importance, though he might be of the lowest rank. The
possession of a skilled artist on skin was thought so much of in the
old days, that wars were sometimes waged to determine who should
benefit by his talent. He was a sort of R.A., and M.R.C.S., and
king-at-arms in combination.

This individual had his cases of instruments, little hoe-shaped chisels
and gouges and knives, made of sharks' teeth, flint, bone, and wood.
Very neat and beautifully finished weapons they were. The pigments
consisted of charcoal, a prepared red earth, and the juice of the hinau
tree.

The proud and happy patient was laid down on his back, and forcibly
held in position by assistants. Then the operator sketched out the
pattern on his face with charcoal. Each line or dot was chiselled in
with a suitable tool, a wooden hammer being used to send the blade
well into the flesh. The blood of course gushed freely forth, and was
scraped off with an implement made for the purpose. The pigments were
rubbed into the incisions as these were proceeded with. As may well
be supposed, the pain was simply excruciating, but it was considered
unmanly to flinch from it.

Subsequent inflammation was generally severe, and might last for weeks,
while the whole operation would have to be effected bit by bit, over
possibly a year or two. To add to the hero's misery, all this while he
was tapu, or unclean, and could not touch food with his hands, or live
in a wharè (house). Unless he was sedulously attended to by the ladies
of his family, as was the proper thing, he would undergo no trifling
amount of inconvenience.

The moku served a curious purpose at one time. Clumsy though Maori
fingers are, they seem to have a natural aptitude for sketching and
carving. So, when the earliest missionaries and others called upon
certain chiefs to sign the title-deeds of estates they had bought from
them, the Maori did so by drawing little sketches of the moku that
adorned their faces. Each said, "That is me, and no one else." These
curious autographs are still preserved by the Societies in London.

It was the practice in the old days to preserve the heads of
distinguished men who were slain in battle. This was done by smoking
and drying them in such a way as to keep the emblazoned skin intact. As
soon as traders began to come from Sydney, they were ready to barter
valuable commodities for these relics, which commanded high fancy
prices among the museums and curio-hunters of Europe.

Great inducements were, therefore, offered to trading Maori to bring
heads into market. The product seemed to be going to bring wealth into
the country, and industrial enterprise in this direction speedily
quickened. Trading tribes went to war on all sides, in order that the
supply of heads might be fully up to the demand for them.

When this resource failed, some ingenious and business-like potentate
hit upon a splendid device. Procuring the services of a first-class
artist, he caused him to adorn a number of slaves with the most
elaborate and high-art designs. Nothing was to be spared; they were to
be decorated in the grandest style.

When a ship came that way again, and inquiry was made by her captain
as to the ruling prices and possible supply of heads, among other
commodities, the new commercial scheme of these simple people was at
once propounded to him. The chief caused a row of emblazoned slaves
to be marshalled before the trader, and told that gentleman to pick
out those he admired. Further, he was assured that such as he deigned
to choose should be at once decapitated, their heads cured _secundem
artem_, and delivered on board his ship with promptitude and dispatch,
at the usual market rates.

The new plan was pronounced kapai (good), and gave universal
satisfaction. Not only did it encourage a noble and national art, but
the revenue of the kingdom was thereby largely increased. We can hardly
realize, perhaps, the intense chagrin of these merry folk when they
found that the missionaries discouraged their laudable efforts in this
direction, not to mention that those teachers also interdicted the
time-honoured custom of anthropophagy. I have often fancied I heard
some ancient Maori sighing and lamenting for the good old times, the
merry days when he was young!

But, possibly, it is as well that the moku and the head-curing process
should be now among the number of lost and vanished arts.



CHAPTER IV.

MAORI MANNERS.

II.


The Maori tongue is akin to several of the South Sea dialects. The
language of the distant Sandwich Islands corresponds most nearly to it.
A Maori and a Hawaiian can understand one another to a great extent.
It is strange that intervening groups should be inhabited by people of
wholly different races, who speak in altogether different tongues.

For ordinary colloquial purposes a sufficiency of Maori is readily
acquired, though those who study it deeply discover many difficulties.
The alphabet contains only fourteen letters, consequently the sound of
many words, expressing wholly distinct ideas, is frequently confusingly
similar. The grammar is not overcharged with those bugbears of
childhood—moods, tenses, and declensions. The tone and inflection of
the voice are used to convey a varied meaning to the same word, in
many instances. A sentence will have different significations according
to the inflection used in uttering it, and to the gestures that
accompany it. The idiom is singular, but rather graceful.

The written language has been constructed by the missionaries and
others, as has been done with various other tongues in Polynesia and
elsewhere. Bibles and sundry more books have been translated and
printed in Maori. In fact, there is beginning to be quite a Maori
literature, for, besides translations, there have been published
several volumes of Maori legends, proverbs, songs, etc., and there are
two or three journals regularly issued in the language.

Most of the rising generation are able to read and write in their own
tongue, if not in English also; for they all have been, or go, to
school. They cannot readily articulate all our sounds, but education
is doing much to remedy this; also, they are rather inclined to adhere
to their own idiom, which is, of course, to be expected. Very few of
the elder Maori have these Pakeha accomplishments, or care to exercise
them. A queer pride and prejudice keep them from attempting to learn or
speak English. But I have found that a good many of them know a great
deal more than they are disposed to allow.

The ancient Maori would seem to have had some notion of hieroglyphic
or picture-writing. The moku is one example of this, and others are
to be found in the symbolic carvings of door-lintels and of standard
posts, inscriptions on rocks and trees, and the sacred whalebone staves
of the tohunga, whereon were kept a genealogical record of the families
of high rank.

Oral tradition was well kept up among the Maori, and certain of them
may be termed deep scholars in it. They are a long-winded race, and
very great at a korero (talk or debate), without which nothing was or
can be done. They can reel off immeasurable quantities of legendary
history or romance, in prose and verse, having astounding memories
for this sort of thing. Oratory was cultivated as an art by them,
and many are remarkably eloquent; but the style of their orations
principally consists in the recitation of proverbs and traditions,
and the application of them to affairs of the moment. Sir George Grey
is, perhaps, more intimately acquainted with these things, and with
the Maori language, than any other Pakeha, and he has collected and
published some of their poems and sayings.

Decidedly the most noteworthy Maori institution was that of the tapu.
It exists in various forms throughout the South Sea. There is the tambu
of Fiji, and the tabu of other islands, essentially the same thing.
But it was among the Maori that it appears to have been brought to its
greatest perfection. We have drawn from it our word _taboo_, which we
use to express anything that is rigidly forbidden or disallowed. But
the Maori tapu went far deeper than that. To use the words of another
writer, "it comprised everything that we would call law, custom,
etiquette, prejudice, and superstition, and had therefore its good as
well as its bad effects."

Except in some of its superstitious aspects, the tapu is now a thing of
the past, and is spoken of here as such. I have not studied the subject
very deeply, but have picked up enough knowledge of it to enable me to
give a general idea of what it was.

Tapu appeared under many different phases, and was intimately connected
with all the concerns of life. A river was tapu at certain well-known
seasons, thus providing a close time for the fish. No person might
disturb it in any way; no one might fish or bathe in it; nor might a
canoe venture upon its surface until the tapu was removed.

A wood was tapu, in like manner, when birds were nesting, tawhera
fruit maturing, or rats multiplying. This was in effect a game-law.
Similarly, the fields and gardens, the cultivations of kumera and taro,
used not to be fenced until the introduction of pigs rendered that
necessary. Human trespassers were kept off by means of the inviolable
tapu. Burglars and thieves were prevented from entering empty houses,
or from appropriating property, by the same simple means.

The application of the tapu was exceedingly simple. A carved and
painted rod was stuck up; a bunch of flax was prominently displayed; a
rag from the person, a bone, a bunch of hair set in some conspicuous
situation, any of these were sufficient indications of the awful
mystery. But to remove the tapu was a wholly different matter. That
could not be done so easily. In all cases of importance a whole ritual
had to be gone through before the tapu could be lifted. Ceremonies
of high import were sometimes necessary, even a sort of propitiatory
sacrifice seems occasionally to have been made. The karakia, a kind of
invocation or prayer, had to be uttered with due solemnity, and this
necessitated the intervention of the tohunga.

Here let me explain who this personage was. Like poets, the tohunga
was born, not made. What gave him his particular sanctity or dignity,
how he was chosen, set apart, or elected to office, are things that no
Pakeha can understand. They are sublime and fearful mysteries, into
which not even the greatest friend of the Maori has ever been able to
penetrate. All we have ever learnt regarding the tohunga is simply
that there he _was_, the acknowledged priest, prophet, seer, sorcerer,
medical man, judge and jury, executioner, and general adviser of the
tribe, while also being the grand vizier of the chief, if indeed he was
not the chief himself. He might belong to any class. He might be an
ariki (sovereign), a tana (noble), a rangatira (gentleman), or one of
the commonalty. He might even be a kuki (slave), or, as has been known,
a wahine (woman). This, then, was the individual with whom rested the
imposition or lifting of the tapu, in all the more solemn cases, and he
was the arbiter and arranger of all its various and intricate modes of
application.

The penalties for infringement of tapu depended upon the particular
phase of it that was broken. Often instant death was dealt out to
offenders; it was inevitable in all important cases. But slighter
punishment was sufficient in instances of a less comprehensive kind.
Tapu was rarely broken except through accident or ignorance, for
dark and gloomy horrors of a spectral kind hovered round it in Maori
imagination. Yet if tapu was infringed, neither ignorance of it, nor
unavoidable accident was held to be the slightest excuse. Bloody
massacres have taken place, and furious wars been waged, simply to
avenge some unintentional breach of tapu.

No notion of chastity seems to have belonged to Maori women. They were
children of nature, and by no means prudish. Whilst young and free,
unengaged to any gentleman, a Maori girl was permitted to have as
many followers as she liked, and she was not exactly what we should
term virtuous. If pretty she was a general pet in the kainga, and a
merry time she had of it. One of the ordinary rules of hospitality
as practised in a Maori village, still not entirely obsolete in some
places, proves the engaging openness of manners and unrestricted
freedom which prevailed socially. The number of half-breed children
occasionally seen about a kainga, show the easy way in which certain
Pakeha have fallen in with Maori customs.

But tapu provided a marriage law of singular stringency. So soon as a
girl was married, nay, merely betrothed, no more license for her. She
was tapu to her husband, and if the terrors of the unseen world should
not be enough to keep her in the straight path, death was the penalty
for the slightest deviation therefrom. She was the slave as well as the
wife of her lord, and this continued until, and sometimes even after,
his death, unless he should permit a sort of formal divorce.

The person of an ariki was highly tapu. The sublime essence rested,
if anywhere, most particularly in his head. His hair might not be cut
or dressed without the observance of most formal etiquette. It was a
fearful breach of tapu to pass anything over or above his head. Any
man was tapu, or unclean, if he were wounded, sick, or undergoing the
moku. He might not enter a house, or eat food with his hands. But an
ariki in this condition was, of course, tapu in much higher degree.
One such dignitary, entering the canoe of another person, accidentally
scratched his toe with a splinter. Blood flowing from the wound made
the boat tapu, and it thereby became the property of the chief. The
owner surrendered at once, not even dreaming of complaint.

Burial places were naturally tapu. A Maori of the olden time would
rather die than break their sanctity; and his descendants of the
present day have hardly got over the feeling. They were called wahi
tapu, and no one dared to enter them. The tohunga and his assistants
passed within them to bury the dead, but only with much karakia and
ceremony. Spirits of some kind were supposed to keep watch and ward
over them, and to wreak terrible vengeance upon trespassers. Water
flowing from a wahi tapu was sacred, and whatever it touched became
tinctured with the same dread property. Rather a nuisance, sometimes,
one would think, such as when a storm of rain should send a new
watercourse from some wahi tapu on a hill-side down into the river, or
through the kainga. Either would thus be rendered tapu, and have to be
deserted at once.

Certain lands, at the present day, cannot be bought from their Maori
owners because of wahi tapu upon them. It will be remembered that our
show-place is in this category. There is a wahi tapu, a cavern in this
instance, near the Bay of Islands, that will yield treasure-trove to
curio-hunters some day. With the bodies of the dead were placed their
arms, valuables, and personals generally. There is said to be a great
store of such riches in this place. Of course, no Maori will go very
near it, and the few Pakeha of the district who know its whereabouts
would not break the tapu, having too much to lose, and not caring to
risk Maori wrath.

In the earliest days of intercourse with Europeans, the tapu was
sometimes made useful in business; useful, that is, to the Maori, but
certainly not to the trader. For instance, a Sydney vessel sails into
Hokianga, or some other river, and is boarded by the ariki of the
neighbourhood. This gentleman is perfectly satisfied with the trader's
goods, but cannot agree as to the price to be paid for them in pigs,
lumber, and flax. The Pakeha wants so much; the Maori offers so
little. Long chaffering results in no better understanding. At length
the chief departs indignantly, previously putting the tapu upon the
ship and her cargo. No other natives will now approach or do business;
even other tribes will not infringe the tapu. If the skipper wished to
sail off to some other part, he could not do so, except by risking a
battle, or spoiling his chances of future trade. Generally, he would
come to terms with the chief, after an exasperating delay.

The mana (power) of an ariki was very great; and, in a lesser degree
the next ranks, the tana and rangatira, possessed it also. As there was
little or nothing externally to distinguish the greatest of chiefs from
the meanest of his subjects, "the dignity that doth hedge a king" was
conferred and kept up by the mysterious agencies of the tapu. Possibly
this was a good reason for its universal supremacy.

The tapu descended into the commonest details of daily life, and it
reached to the most solemn and obscurest depths of the Maori mythology.
It was a law—a code of laws, based on superstition, elaborated with
diplomatic skill, enforced by human justice, universally and entirely
accepted, and in its most important aspects was invested with the
grimmest terrors of the unseen world.

A Maori would certainly rather die than enter the precincts of a wahi
tapu; his terrors would probably kill him if he were so much as touched
by a ngarara, or little green lizard. Incredible as it may seem, the
Maori were indeed sometimes killed by fear. Instances are on record of
individuals who have unknowingly violated the tapu, in some one of its
important phases. No one else might be aware of the crime, so that the
culprit would have nothing to dread from human justice. But he has been
so absolutely terror-stricken, that he has gone straight away into the
bush, laid down, and died there.

Everything about an ariki was invested with a sacred mystery. His
clothes, weapons, ornaments, or house could not even be touched by the
inferior. He must eat alone, could not carry food, could not blow the
fire, could not do many things, lest his tapu should unwittingly slay
some unfortunate person, or his mana become impaired.

The law of the tapu made government possible among the Maori, and bound
them together in their tribes; just as the law of Moses made government
possible among the Hebrews. Indeed, in many of its applications the
tapu is strangely similar to the Jewish code. Sometimes it may seem
ridiculous to us in certain of its forms, so do many of our customs
seem ridiculous to the Maori. The other day, one of the Maori members
of the House of Representatives rose in his place to oppose a motion
for an hour's adjournment of business. He said that the Pakeha system
of adjourning for refreshment every now and then was a ridiculous
one. Honourable members went and got more or less drunk—so the Maori
alleged—and then returned only to wrangle or go to sleep. It would
be better to conclude the business on hand, and do the drinking
afterwards, observed this sapient legislator. Some "teetotallers'"
organ, commenting on the incident, said "his remarks actually shamed
the House into decent behaviour for a day or two."

The early missionaries made a dead set against the tapu as a heathen
custom, and herein, I think, their policy was a mistaken one. But its
whole working was not known to them at that period, and, besides that,
it caused them no inconsiderable annoyance. The following story is
recorded—by a writer who was himself one of the missionaries—of the
first serious blow that heathenism received in New Zealand, and from
which originated the acceptance of Christianity by all the tribes of
the Maori.

An early party of missionaries had settled at Keri-keri, in the Bay of
Islands district, and were on friendly terms with the natives. But when
the customary tapu of the Keri-keri river was in force, it caused the
mission people great annoyance. The river was their only road, and they
could not now pass up or down it; their communications with Te Puna,
the principal mission centre in the bay itself, were thus stopped.
Stores were required, and at last, in defiance of the native tradition,
the mission boat was manned and rowed down the river, thus breaking
through the inviolable tapu.

The rage and terror of the Maori were excessive, as may be supposed,
and they looked to see the outraged atua (spirits) exterminate the rash
Pakeha. But nothing happened, so the Maori determined to avenge the
insult themselves, as their fathers had done on Du Fresne, for a very
similar violation of tapu. They seized the mission boat on its return,
and tied up its occupants preparatory to killing and eating them. Then
a whole tribe divided the boat's cargo among themselves.

Now, it so chanced that the bulk of the stores, which the boat was
bringing up from Te Puna to Keri-keri, consisted of two items: pots
and tins of preserves of different kinds, and a supply of medicines.
The Maori devoured the first greedily, and then, as they did not know
what else the drugs could be intended for, out of a mere sense of
consistency they swallowed salts, jalap, ipecacuanha, castor oil, and
so on, as greedily and copiously as they had the jams and pickles.

The result may readily be imagined. Dire prostration of that unhappy
tribe. Instant release of the captives, amid the grovellings and
supplications of the now anguished and disordered Maori. Triumphant and
unexpected victory of the missionary mana. That tribe became instant
converts, and were received into the fold of the Church. Had not the
missionaries broken through the dreaded tapu unharmed? And had not the
avengers of their insulted deities been visited with strange and awful
punishment for their presumption in daring to meddle with these Pakeha?
What further evidence was needed to demonstrate the superiority of the
missionaries over all the Maori gods and devils?

Most strange, too, is another circumstance that operated to the same
end. The Maori had oracles, or some kind of divination that was
practised by the tohunga. Again and again were these oracles consulted,
as to whether the Pakeha religion or the Maori mythology was best
worthy of belief. The answer was invariable—so the missionaries tell
us. It declared Jesus Christ to be the only true God. So the tapu Maori
was set aside; and, little by little, the tapu Pakeha, or Christianity,
replaced it.

At the present day all Maori are professed Christians, and, as a rule,
very earnest ones. Among the younger there is a state of mind more
approaching to our standards, but with the elders it is different.
They were born under a different _régime_. Their young minds were
filled with hereditary impressions that conversion has been naturally
powerless to shake off altogether. Their vague and foggy mythology
is still believed in, though they formulate their notion of it in
Scriptural words and phrases.

They have long laid aside the old habits of war and cannibalism, but
political necessity brought this about, quite as much as Christianity.
And the old warlike spirit is by no means dead, any more than the dark
and gloomy mysteries of the ancient belief. These crop out sometimes
from beneath the veneer of the newer mental garment.

It was believed that the spirits of the dead—of the good dead, the
brave warrior dead, apparently—had a long and toilsome journey before
them. They had to cross mountains and marshes, and to find their way
through forests and over rivers. Many terrible difficulties had to be
encountered, and all sorts of spirit foes were ready to contest the
narrow path. At last the end of the earth was reached, Cape Reinga,
in the extreme north. An awfully tapu place this to living Maori.
Here came the spirits of the dead at last, after accomplishing their
journey, beset as it had been with many perils. And from the top of
Cape Reinga, a mighty rock projecting into the sea, they took their
last look at earth and dived into the water. Then they had to swim out
beyond the Three Kings Islands, where the gate of Paradise was supposed
to be situated.

Many a tattooed Christian cannot give up his belief in this idea,
and he still retains it, reconciling it in some dim way with his new
theology.

There is a little emerald-green lizard in the bush, called by the Maori
ngarara. It is dreadfully tapu, and an old warrior would rather die
than touch it. It is believed to contain a spirit, some say an evil
demon, others the ghost of a wicked man. There is some uncertainty on
that point, even among the most learned tohunga. At any rate it is most
excessively tapu. It seems that to throw a ngarara at a Maori, or even
to bring it near him, or show it to him, is a crime of a very heinous
character. Wars were the consequence of such acts, once upon a time.
I did not know of this superstition regarding the ngarara, and nearly
lost my life in consequence. At least, I have been told the case was as
bad as that.

This was the way of it. Once, when engaged in land-surveying, I had a
gang of Maori workmen, to cut the lines through the bush and do the
general work of the party. Among these were two or three half-breeds,
youngish men, and a couple of old moku Maori, with others. The two
old fellows always struck me as being more like Irishmen of the
peasant class than anything else. They always had some whimsical
joke or another, there was a normally comic look in their faces, and
they possessed that quaint affectation of childishness, and love of
laughter, which are proverbially characteristic of the Irish peasant.

We had been some weeks out, and had got on very well together. Like all
the others, the two old boys were remarkably pious. They had a sort of
Bible-class and prayer-meeting every night and morning in the camp. I
used to call them "the two apostles," because their baptismal names
happened to be Pita (Peter) and Pora (Paul).

One day, when we were all at work on the line, I happened to pick up a
pretty little ngarara. Without thinking of what I was doing, I held it
out to Pita and Pora, who were nearest to me, asking them what it was,
and finally I threw it lightly towards them, saying, "Catch!"

The two apostles became suddenly transformed. They yelled, they
screeched, they leapt and danced, they chanted the terrific war-song
of their tribe. Never shall I forget the sudden and fierce convulsion
that completely changed every feature of their faces and bodies. I no
longer knew my two apostles, they had changed into demoniac savages in
a whirlwind of wrath.

I stood admiringly watching them, never supposing this exhibition was
real, but imagining it was simply a new joke got up for my behoof. The
two came gradually closer towards me, clashing their axes together,
and seeming like a pair of ferocious panthers. But I noticed that the
rest of the gang had stopped work and were looking on. They were not
laughing, but seemed excited and concerned. Then it occurred to me that
something was not right, and that it would be as well to withdraw.

Just as Pita and Pora were brandishing their axes within a few feet
of me, yelling and dancing, or rather bounding, towards me, the two
half-breeds rushed swiftly past them and threw themselves between us.
Without a word they seized me by the arms and dragged me into the
thicket. Then they explained, saying—

"Run for your life! They mean to kill you!"

When I rejoined the working-party an hour or two later, Pita and Pora
were calm again, and had resumed their work. They merely growled and
menaced me. Afterwards, when we were lying side by side in camp, Pita
reverted to the matter as a pleasant episode. He told me all about the
ngarara, how tapu it was, and what a dreadful insult I had unwittingly
put upon him and his mate. He said they would certainly have killed me
in their wild gust of passion, though they would have been sorry for it
afterwards. It was all over now, he added, because he and Pora had had
time to reflect, and remembered that I was a poor ignorant Pakeha who
knew no better. Besides, they were Christians, which they had forgotten
in their heat. Now, they were my two apostles once more. I understand
that Pora alluded feelingly to the matter during an exposition of the
Scriptures, with which he favoured the rest of the gang the following
Sunday.

At the present day, the rites and ceremonies of the tohunga have
entirely given place to Christian observances; and, as is the wont of
primitive intelligences, the Maori are most rigorous observers of all
outward forms, whatever degree of fervour they may have spiritually
attained. In the young days of Christianity here, the converts ascribed
to the missionaries a magical mana, such as they had formerly believed
to reside in the tohunga. This was the natural result of that terrible
day of wrath on the Keri-keri, when a "great awakening" was brought
about through the instrumentality and efficacy of Epsom salts, and
when the mana of the tapu Pakeha was thereby so fully demonstrated.
Consequently, the ceremonial prescribed and the doctrines inculcated by
the missionaries were most unquestioningly accepted.

The Maori adopted religion with a marvellous zeal, and, had it not been
for European colonization, sectarianism, and other reasons, they might
have become a startling example of fervid Christianity. The differences
between denominations, even in the early days, created much bitterness,
and, as we have seen, led to Hau-hau. It has needed, at times, all
the mana of the missionary, and more, to prevent actual hostilities
between communities professing the differing creeds of the Episcopal,
Wesleyan, or Roman Catholic bodies. One often meets with sad examples
of sectarian animosity manifested among these simple people.

In the early days the missionaries were a political power. Long before
the Treaty of Waitangi was signed they had attained a supreme and
widespread influence among the tribes. As has been already noticed, it
was their desire to have formed a Christian Maori nation, under their
own ægis; and, to effect this, they seem to have disregarded the wants
of their own countrymen. But all this is retrospective matter, with
which it is not now necessary to deal. Neither may I revert to the
action of missionaries in the young days of the colony, either with
regard to the general government, or to the land-sharking attributed
to certain of their number. Too much acrimony has been given rise to
already by the discussion of such topics.

The missionary influence has now less practical power, perhaps, than
clerical direction in England. Only among secluded hapu (communities)
is anything resembling the old force to be found, and there it is
necessarily limited and localized. It is felt more among the elders
than among the younger generations, who have learnt to read and write,
have mixed more with Pakeha, and whose minds are consequently more
open, and less inclined to accept spiritual authority as absolute.
Their conceptions are not the same as their fathers', to whose minds
Christianity came as a new form of tapu, and to whom the missionary
appeared as possessor of a more powerful mana than the tohunga.

Sunday is a kind of tapu day with the Maori. They are often more
Sabbatarian than Scotsmen, and more pharisaic than the Pharisees
themselves. To the letter of the law they pay the minutest attention,
whether they estimate its spirit rightly or not.

But there is great diversity of character in this as in other matters,
and what is recorded of one tribe or community will not always apply
to all. The perfect equality with the Pakeha that the Maori enjoy, and
the degree of education that has grown up among them, have produced
effects. Among others is a gradual change from fervour to hypocrisy,
and from an exaggerated piety to a lesser regard for the forms of
religion. Year by year fewer tales will be told of Maori affectations,
simple pieties, or childish formalism.

Religion is often the fashion in some of their communities, and is
entertained with the most rigid observance. Travellers coming to a
Maori kainga upon a Sunday, have been denied shelter and food until
sunrise on Monday; and, when Monday came, they have been cheated by the
same tattooed Pharisees, who were too sanctimonious to sell a potato
to a hungry traveller upon the Sabbath, or to help him build a hut as
shelter from the wind and rain.

Maori look upon a money collection in church as a part of the ceremony,
on no account to be omitted. The service, they think, is incomplete
without it. But they will not give more than one penny, on any account
whatever. The warden, who is taking round the plate, has to make change
for numerous sixpences, shillings, and even notes (£1) in the course
of his progress through the church, in order that the Maori may give
their pennies—no more and no less. If a man or woman cannot raise a
penny, he or she will usually stop away from church altogether, rather
than be remiss in the important ceremony of putting a copper in the
plate. In the rare case, when one is found in church without possessing
a copper to give, he will _make believe_ to put something in the plate
when it comes to him, and—by way, I suppose, of strengthening the
deception—will make a horrible grimace at the collector.

There are many very quaint scenes to be witnessed in connection
with a Maori church, which, until they were used to them, must
have sorely tried the gravity of the missionaries and the white
part of the congregation. The Maori behave with an exaggerated
decorum and seriousness of deportment that is in itself sufficiently
laughter-provoking, especially since their eyes are always roving
stealthily round to see who is observing them. They sing with such
earnestness that at times it almost amounts to fury; and they join in
the responses with loud and emphatic fervour. They will weep abundantly
and noisily when moved thereto by certain prayers, or by pathetic
incidents from Scripture history; or they will laugh uproariously at
passages that tickle their fancy.

Nothing whatever can keep these simple and excitable people from
showing their feelings, as aroused by Scripture reading or by the
sermon. They listen to the preacher precisely as they do to their own
traditions, when told by a native story-teller in the wharè. Their
ejaculations are frequent, and prove the intense and vivid interest
they take in the stories told them. I have seen a church-ful of Maori
grinding their teeth, stamping their feet, waving their arms, and
actually raging, when the treachery of Judas was being related to them.

On the other hand, I have seen the same people violently nodding their
heads, grinning with appreciation, exclaiming kapai! (good), and
showing thorough approbation, over the somewhat questionable business
transactions of the patriarch Jacob with Esau and Laban. The stories
of Daniel and the lions, and of the other young men who were thrown
into the fiery furnace, are high favourites with the Maori. The lions'
den finds a parallel in their own mythology, and is recognized by them
as being meant for the mysterious cave of the Taniwha, or gigantic
lizard-dragon, of which they possess legends.

Dress is a most important item of Sunday ceremony among the Maori,
and it is astonishing how well they will turn out. In the seclusion
of their own kainga they frequently lay aside civilized attire, and
are seen either quite naked, or only loosely enveloped in a dirty
blanket; but elsewhere they usually wear shirt and trousers, much the
same as settlers. To go to church, as also on high-days and holidays,
they appear in wonderfully correct costume; for most Maori have earned
money enough, at one time or another, with which to rig themselves
out at the stores. Coats of broadcloth, alpaca, or light silk; snowy
shirt-collars and cuffs; dangling watch-chains, with perhaps a bouquet
in the buttonhole, and a bright-coloured satin scarf; "billy-cock" or
"wide-awake" hats, white cork helmets, or possibly even a "chimney-pot"
hat; accurate trousers and unquestionable boots; in such guise does the
Maori rangatira of the present day saunter into church, side by side
with the far less well-got-up English-born New Zealand gentleman.

Only one item of the old barbaric splendour—besides the moku on the
face—is retained, and that is nearly always seen; namely, the earrings
and ornaments. These are prominent features, and their size causes them
to be well displayed. The ear ornaments are of considerable variety.
A polished slip of greenstone (jade), about six or eight inches in
length, is most highly thought of. Then there are dog's teeth, boar's
tusks, polished shells and pebbles, bunches of soft white feathers like
marabouts, fresh flowers, and yards upon yards of streaming ribbon.
But this ornamentation is not unsightly, though at first it may seem
somewhat incongruous with the rest of the costume. Some of us used to
discuss the advisability of decorating our own ears in the same way,
with a view, perhaps, of looking more attractive in the eyes of the
Maori maidens.

The Maori young ladies are not, perhaps, strikingly beautiful—our
Rakope always excepted—but they have good features, plump, graceful
figures, and an altogether comely and agreeable _tout ensemble_.
Their white teeth and juicy lips, sparkling eyes and dimpling cheeks,
ever-ready smiles and roguish glances, make them a very pleasant sight
to see. One loses all distaste for the brown complexion, and even for
the two or three lines of moku on the chin, though most of the present
generation are without those marks.

The dress of a Maori girl, under ordinary circumstances, is a print
frock and nothing else, unless it be a straw hat. But, like the
gentlemen, she can come out a grand swell sometimes. You may see all
the latest Auckland fashions in a Maori church. The general run of the
girls' costume is a dress of calico or some similar stuff, clean and
well put together, with a tartan shawl of the most vivid hues over
the shoulders, a jaunty hat decorated with flowers and feathers, and
a general profusion of natural flowers and fluttering ribbons in the
flowing hair. Boots and socks are worn on such occasions, much to the
wearers' discomfort, I believe.

But the rangatira girls have learnt from the Pakeha ladies to indulge
a passion for fine clothes, and it is seldom that they do not find
means to gratify their vanity. A Maori _young lady_—for the rangatira
hold themselves as of gentle blood at the very least—has several ways
open to her of acquiring sufficient pin-money to place her wardrobe on
a proper footing. The first and easiest method is evidently to worry
"papa" into selling some of his land; but the Maori paterfamilias is
not always pleased to allow his daughters to interfere with his own
peculiar line of business.

Of course miss declines to go out to service as a domestic in any
settler's family, even if she were fitted for such a post—that is
menial work, and suitable only for the inferior kuki girls. But she
does not always object to do open-air labour about a farm, dig potatoes
and kumera, reap and shell maize, assist among the flocks at shearing
time, and take a job of humping. Often she will go gum-digging or
flax-picking—one or other of these is her favourite means of raising
the wind, unless she can find a market for fish, fruit, or eggs. Any
way, get money she must, and will, and does, somehow or another, and
on Sundays and gala-days she will appear at church or at the settlement
arrayed in a style that would do credit to Regent Street.

At our bush-balls the Maori girls appear in muslins, ribbons, silks,
and laces—though these may not always be of the cleanest or newest.
And I have even seen silk stockings—white or pink, with "clocks" up
the sides—and sandal-shoes upon their feet.

Nor is our modern Maori belle merely a dressed-up savage. Educated at
the mission or government schools, she can always read and write in
Maori, and often in English better than she can speak it. She has some
idea of elementary arithmetic, geography, and history, and can use a
needle and thread, study the English fashion-books, and sometimes even
use her pencil and draw a little. Still, I am bound to say, all these
improvements are but superficial; the Maori blood is in the girl and is
bound to show itself, however far advanced may be her education.

Whilst young and unmarried, and even in the early days of matrimony,
the Maori girl's life is happy enough. She is petted and caressed by
everybody, particularly if more than ordinarily comely; but in the
after years she becomes a beast of burden, a hewer of wood and drawer
of water, an inferior being, who may be soundly thrashed when her lord
considers it good to do so. And the less said about the older women
the better; they rapidly pass through every degree of homeliness,
until they at last attain to a surpassing and appalling hideousness.
In the best and foremost of the Maori girls of the period there is
a constant struggle between the acquired Pakeha refinements and the
primitive habits of the kainga. This leads to many ludicrous scenes,
two instances of which I will describe.

One Sunday I saw the young and handsome daughter of a chief of some
rank stepping out of church, and got up to death in a costume that was
evidently the result of a recent visit to Auckland itself. For the
benefit of my lady readers I will try to describe her dress—so far as
an ex-bushman may essay such a task.

Her robe was of pale green silk, adorned with lace trimmings, darker
green fringes, and pale pink satin borderings. It had a panier and
train, and was shaped and fitted with great taste, and as a fashionable
milliner might turn it out. The lady wore cuffs and collar of white
lace, with pink satin bows, also a gorgeous cameo brooch, a gold
watch-chain, and lavender kid gloves. Her head was adorned with a
wide-brimmed white hat, high-crowned, and having one side looped up.
It was ornamented with dark green velvet, some gay artificial flowers,
a stuffed humming-bird, and a long drooping ostrich feather. Her hair
was elaborately dressed in the latest type of chignon; in one hand she
carried a gorgeous parasol, all ribbons and fringes and lace, and in
the other she had a large feathery fan; while from beneath the white
edge of her petticoat two pretty little boots peeped out.

Of course my lady was the cynosure of all eyes, and her delighted
vanity was boundless. She minced and rustled down the pathway like
a peacock, utterly disdaining all her kindred, male and female, and
immensely proud of her own "Englishness." She tossed her head and
twisted herself about as a child would do, and wore on her face
a chronic smile of supreme self-contentment, while her eyes were
wandering all about to note the effect her grandeur was producing.

As her ladyship would not condescend to let any one speak to her, so
grand and dignified did she feel, it happened that, when she got to
the outskirts of the settlement, she found herself alone, and then, I
suppose, her assumption of Englishness suddenly left her. One or two of
us had stolen after her, keeping hidden among the bushes at the side
of the road, and thence witnessing what followed.

Presently appeared on the scene two or three old Maori women, horrible,
repulsive-looking hags, scantily draped in the filthiest and most
ragged of blankets, their brows thatched with disgusting masses of
hair and dirt. These witches gathered round the young belle, loudly
expressing their admiration, and fingering over her Pakeha attire. Then
her ladyship experienced a sudden revulsion of feeling, and returned
all at once to the level of common humanity. Relinquishing all her
airs and graces, she whipped up her silken skirts, squatted down on
her hams, drew out a short black pipe, and, cheek-by-jowl with her
ancient compatriots, enjoyed a hearty smoke, while relating with great
animation the events of the morning.

On another occasion I was riding down to the Bay of Islands, when I
came up behind a couple who were riding leisurely along in the same
direction. Save and except their shaggy, ungroomed horses, they might
have just ridden out of Hyde Park into the middle of that wild country.
One was a lady, attired in an elegant, blue, velveteen riding-habit,
with hat and feather to match, and with silky brown hair falling over
her shoulders down to her horse's croup. Her cavalier, from the top
of his white helmet down to his spurred boot-heels, was got up with
considerably more regard to effect than is ordinarily seen in the bush.

And there was a good deal of spooning going on, apparently, though that
is not so uncommon when couples ride out together, even in the bush.
The gentleman was carrying the lady's parasol and other paraphernalia,
was leaning over, holding her hand, looking into her eyes, and all the
rest of it.

"Ho, ho!" I thought to myself, "that will be Miss Dash, I presume, whom
the Blanks expected to visit them. And who is the fellow, I wonder!"

So I rode quickly after them, coming up without attracting attention,
my horse's unshod hoofs making scarcely any noise on the soft road.
To my amazement, the amorous pair turned out to be Henere Tangiao, a
half-breed, who had been the foreman of a gang of native labourers
I had lately discharged; and his fair companion was his very recent
bride, formerly Miss Mata Akepiro.

They greeted me with great cordiality, only a little overcome by
self-consciousness of their "store-clothes," that had been donned to do
honour to some settlers they had been to visit. Said Mrs. Tangiao to
me, showing her pretty teeth, and with only a little more Maori accent
than I am able to reproduce—

"You come see our house, Mitta Hay; you come see old Maori kainga at
Matapa? You come plenty plenty soon, good!"

I accepted the invitation, and did go some days after that. The house
was a little wooden cottage, built outside the enclosed kainga of raupo
wharè, or reed-grass cabins, of the rest of the tribe. It was a wharè
Pakeha, built by Henere in right of the admixture of English blood in
his veins, and not, I truly believe, from any preference for that style
of building over the old Maori kind.

There was no one about when I arrived, so I walked through the two
rooms and out at the back. The rooms were furnished with a few tables
and chairs and other things, much after the style of married settlers
in a small way. Out behind the house was an open space, where a
fire was burning, with a billy boiling upon it. Close to the fire,
superintending the cooking, her hair hanging in elf-locks round her
head and over her face, squatting on the ground with her chin on her
knees, a pipe in her mouth, and a dirty blanket over her shoulders as
her only garment, was Mrs. Tangiao, the lady of the riding-habit.

Naturally, you would suppose that such an elegant and civilized young
bride would blush with shame and dismay at being discovered by me in
such utter _déshabillé_. Not a bit of it! Up she jumped, all smiles
and welcomes, her blanket falling off as she did so, and leaving her
as naked as a mahogany Venus. Even this did not discompose her in the
least, as she warmly shook hands with me, and with truly childlike
innocence offered her lips for a fraternal salute.

But the most comical part of the whole affair is yet to be told.
A hearty coo-ee or two brought up Henere, who was at work in his
cultivation at no great distance. After he had shaken me by the hand
and warmly welcomed me, he began to scold the unlucky Mata. Not on
the score of indelicacy or indecency, though; no such thought as that
crossed his brain, good easy man! He only reproved his wife for not
showing sufficient and proper honour to her "rangatira Pakeha" guest,
which could not be done, he considered, unless she were completely
attired in full Pakeha costume.

So, while I sat on the verandah and sipped some tea, Henere commenced
to dress up his bride before my very eyes. He put on and fastened every
article of her best clothes, combed and brushed out her redundant hair,
decked and ornamented her with all the ribbons and laces and so on of
which her wardrobe could boast. Meanwhile, the lady remained quite
passive under his hands, sitting or standing or turning about as
required, but all the while with serious unmoved expression of face,
and puckered-up lips. Her large wondering eyes she kept fixed intently
upon me, to note the effect the processes of her toilette were having
upon me. I was very nearly strangled with suppressed laughter, but it
would have mortally offended these simple, earnest people to have shown
the least sense of the ridiculous.

When all was finished, and Mrs. Tangiao was costumed in English
fashion, and very nicely, too, let me say, her husband made her enter
the sitting-room and sit down upon a chair. Then he turned to me,
unbounded satisfaction visible in his beaming face, inflated breast,
and gesturing hands.

"You come see common Maori, sah? You come find Pakeha gentleman, Pakeha
lady, Pakeha house! Good, good! Now you sit talk to my missee, I get
Pakeha dinner."

After the meal we took a stroll through the kainga, Mata trying to
attitudinize after the fashion of the white ladies she had seen in the
settlements; and Henere loftily informing his neighbours that "_We
three Pakeha_ come to see _your_ Maori town"—a piece of humour that
was thoroughly enjoyed by both men and women, who made great capital
for numberless jokes out of it.



CHAPTER V.

MAORI MANNERS.

III.


Half-breeds, or Anglo-Maori men and women, form no inconsiderable
section of the native community. Some have said of them, that
they inherit the vices of both their parents, and the virtues of
neither, but I cannot say that my own observation goes to support
such a sweeping allegation. I have had some good friends among the
Anglo-Maori, and never noticed any predominant vice in their character
at all.

In complexion and general appearance, the Anglo-Maori resemble
Spaniards or Italians, though they possess more or less marked traits
of either the English or the Maori blood that mixes in their veins.
Their physique is usually good, though they incline to slenderness
and delicacy. They are by no means to be stigmatized as idle, but
their capacity for work seems less than that of either parent. They
lack the shrewdness of the Maori, and have not the mental power of
the Anglo-Saxon. When a half-breed is bad, he seems to be wholly so,
without any redeeming good qualities.

The Anglo-Maori women are nearly all very graceful and good-looking.
There are some among them that are only to be described in the
strongest language, as exceedingly beautiful. I have met a voluptuous
beauty of this mixed race, an educated and fashionable lady, whose rare
and exquisite loveliness might have made her the cause and heroine of
another Trojan war. Once I knew one who possessed the most magnificent
hair I ever expect to see.

We were playing croquet, I remember, some half a dozen people. The
ladies had been bathing, I think; at any rate, they wore their hair
flowing loose. I never saw anything like it. She, my partner in the
game, had a complete mantle of dark-brown silky tresses. Her hair
fell in volumes round her, and actually trailed on the ground when
she stood upright. What an advertisement she would have been for a
"hair-restorer!"

You know that at croquet one sometimes kneels to place the balls at a
lady's feet, in order that she may have them in proper position for
striking. That envious wind! It would blow my partner's beautiful
long hair about. And, when performing that kneeling operation, the
hair _would_ come fluttering about one, and getting entangled round
one's neck somehow. And then, dark tender eyes would look down with a
sweep of velvety lashes, and gaze mockingly through the silky meshes of
unruly floating hair, and one would be asked in caressing tones—

"Oh, dear! I'm afraid I've caught you! Have I, really?"

That game was a dreadfully embarrassing one, yet quite too delicious
and delightfully utter.

Anglo-Maori may be said to be divided into two distinct classes—those
whose education has been chiefly or altogether English, and those who
have "tumbled up" in the kainga, in all respects like Maori. The first
are very much the fewest. A small number have been thoroughly well
educated, perhaps in Sydney or in England, and are in all respects
ladies and gentlemen of the English pattern. Some of these ladies
have married well, into the best Australian or English society. I am
told that two or three have even secured titles. Their beauty and
sprightliness would cause them to be an ornament to any society. But
the bulk of the Anglo-Maori are more like my friend Henere Tangiao,
not appreciably different from the pure Maori among whom their lot is
cast, save in a more Caucasian physique and a lighter complexion.

Intermarriage between the races is generally considered to be a very
good and desirable thing by the Maori. Not that they hold themselves
in any degree inferior to the Pakeha, or think a Maori girl elevated
by wedding one; but they are aware of their own coming extinction as a
race, and they think that intermarriage might serve to perpetuate Maori
blood. It will be remembered that our native neighbours in the Kaipara
are strongly inclined to this view.

Settlers look upon mixed marriages with different feelings. I think
that most of us are in favour of them theoretically, but perhaps a less
number care to regard them from a nearer point of view. There are some,
of course, who are violently opposed to them in any case. But there is
here none of that _caste_ feeling which prevails in India against the
Eurasians, or in America and the West Indies against negro admixture.

Nearly all such alliances have been between Pakeha men and Maori women.
There have been instances of Englishwomen marrying men of the other
race, but they have been very rare, nor do I recollect any such case
myself. An Englishwoman, even of the lowest class, would find it
difficult to reconcile herself to the life of the wharè and to the
abject servitude, which is the lot of even the helpmate of an ariki.
The condition in which they keep their wives is even yet little better
than it used to be in former days. Moreover, there would always be the
fear of polygamy.

Polygamy is not often met with now among the Maori, yet it is not
entirely extinct, though it has become somewhat unofficial in kind. The
missionaries set their faces against it from the very first, and made
the putting away of his superfluous wives the condition of a convert's
acceptance for baptism. They seem, indeed, to have carried their
opposition to polygamy to rather too great a length, forgetting that a
new phase of thought, when it operates practically, should be a gradual
growth, if its effect is to be deep and permanent.

Under the first strong influence of conversion the Maori readily gave
in to missionary insistence in this matter; but after awhile the old
habit reconquered them. Then came individual relapses into barbarism,
individual antagonism with the missionaries, and much division and
heart-burning. It would have been better, in my humble opinion, to
have ignored polygamy, or at least not to have pointed at it so
particularly. It would have been better to have allowed things to
remain as they were, in this respect, and to have relied on bringing
up the young generations to the Christian observance of matrimony.
Indeed, some few missionaries did adopt a line of action something like
this, and found it the wisest in the long run.

By-and-by, the Maori began to seriously argue the matter. They took
their Bibles, which they had been taught to regard as the standard of
right and wrong, and asked the missionaries to show them where polygamy
was forbidden. Nay, was it not divinely sanctioned in many parts of the
Old Testament?

The Maori is naturally an acute reasoner and casuist, and those
missionaries who stood out so emphatically against polygamy now
found themselves worsted on their own ground. The arguments that
have prevailed throughout Christendom in favour of monogamy were not
accepted by the Maori. They wanted direct Biblical ordinance, and as
that was not forthcoming they assumed that polygamy was lawful, or, at
least, some of them chose to do so. Then there was great joy. There
were marriages and giving in marriage, after the good old custom.
Probably, this controversy on the matrimonial question was one of the
causes that afterwards eventuated in Hau-hau.

In these days polygamy is very rare, chiefly because the men outnumber
the women, and because Maori find it expedient to conform to Pakeha
custom. I visited a hapu once, whose chief had three wives; but he was
an earnest Christian—_à la Maori_. He held prayers morning and evening
in front of his wharè, at which all the people of the kainga attended.
He conducted a long and lugubrious service every Sunday, expounding the
Scriptures and preaching like a Spurgeon. He kept the Sabbath rigidly
sacred, and interlarded his conversation with texts. Altogether he was
a model man, never getting drunk except when he visited the township,
never cheating anybody unless he was doing business with him.

_Bonâ-fide_ marriages between white men and Maori women are seldomer
contracted now than they used to be. I knew a man whose Maori bride
brought him ten thousand acres of rich land as a dowry. She was a
delicious little brown innocent, just such another as Mrs. Tangiao.
Another man I knew married a Maori girl out of gratitude, she having
saved his life from her own people in the early warlike days. She had
acted towards him in a similar way to that in which Rahab of Jericho
did to the Hebrew spies.

Alliances of a less enduring kind than these are matters of not
infrequent occurrence. I have hinted at the hospitable customs of the
primitive kainga, and the peculiar freedom, in certain respects, of
unmarried Maori girls. It is not necessary to say any more on that
head, I think. In justice to the race, it is only fair to say, that no
more faithful or virtuous _wife_ exists than a Maori one. Derelictions
of conjugal duty both were and are very rarely known, in spite of
somewhat arbitrary match-making. Such are a heinous crime in Maori eyes.

There are certain drawbacks that are apt to mar the conjugal felicity
of the Pakeha who weds a Maori. He is received as a member of the hapu
from which he has selected his bride, and is looked upon by all Maori
as being in a closer relationship to them than other Pakeha. This adds
other inconveniences to those arising from your wife's predilection for
squatting on the drawing-room floor and smoking her pipe; her careless
_negligé_ in dress, except on state occasions; and her many little
delightful and eccentric propensities. For, you have married not only
your wife, but also all her relations and kindred.

They will visit you, twenty or thirty at a time, and stop a week or
longer. They will slaughter your pigs and sheep, dig up your potatoes
and kumera, and feed freely upon them. Your grocery bill will attain
to frightful proportions; and the friendly mob will camp all over
the house, just how and where it pleases them. If you resent these
proceedings, your wife will cry and upbraid you, and might even desert
you altogether, while the hapu would look upon it as the deadliest
insult. As a _per contra_, your wife's tribe will stand by you in all
difficulties and dangers. They will fight for you with pleasure, will
die for you and with you if required; and a slight put upon you by
anybody whatsoever, is put upon the tribe in equal degree.

You may cajole these ladies and gentlemen into helping you with any
work that is going forward, but the perquisites they will take to
themselves will be safe to ruin you. You may return their visits,
as much as you like, but that will not reimburse you much. All that
remains to you to do is to sell your land, and to remove to some
distant part of the country, where there are no Maori. You must, in
such a case, carefully prepare some artful and specious tale to satisfy
your numerous relations-in-law, and mitigate their grief at losing you.
Lastly, you must not take your wife out of New Zealand, for she will
pine, and possibly die, if you do.

Although the old Maori are commonly spoken of as savages, they
certainly did possess a degree of civilization of their own. They had
a traditional history, a well-defined mythology, a code of laws based
on the tapu, a perfect tribal organization, industries and arts of no
mean kind. Among them were men, renowned long after their death in song
and story, as great statesmen, warriors, poets, artists, and so on.
Their dwellings are of simple construction, but they are superior to
Irish cabins by a long way. Many of them were extravagantly decorated
with carvings and ornaments. The fortified pa were planned with
surprising engineering skill, and could be defended against English
troops. Even where artillery was brought against the pa, the earthworks
made the siege no light work. Sometimes our troops were actually
repulsed from before these forts, as at Ohaeawae and Okaehau.

The Maori cultivations were often extensive, though, before the coming
of Captain Cook, the articles cultivated were not of great variety.
Taro, the farinaceous bulb of an arum; Kumera, the tuber of a species
of convolvulus; and Hue, the calabash or gourd, were the crops; to
which Cook and those who came after him added potatoes, maize, wheat,
oats and barley, turnips, cabbages, peas, beans, fruit-trees, and many
other things, which were sedulously grown and spread among their tribes
by the Maori.

In many ways the Maori proved their patient and careful industry.
They made for themselves tools of all kinds—axes, adzes, chisels,
knives—out of flint and jade, shells and shark's-teeth; and they
also contrived various formidable weapons. Many of these articles are
accurately curved and shaped, polished and carved. With tools of this
nature the Maori levelled the gigantic kauri pine, and cut from its
trunk the ponderous waka-taua, or war-canoe; cut and shaped with an
accuracy that would stand the test of nice geometrical instruments.

The war-canoes were fitted with richly carved prows, stern-posts, and
side-pieces, often inlaid with shells and greenstone. They were sixty
or seventy feet in length; and would hold over a hundred men. With
forty or fifty paddles on a side, one of these canoes could be driven
through the water with all the velocity of a steam-ram or racing skiff.

Not only canoes, but also the fronts of dwelling and council-houses
were adorned with elaborate workmanship. Then there was a kind of
wooden statuary, which was set up in kainga and wahi-tapu; and there
were picture-writings cut upon rocks and trees. Weapons, tools,
personal ornaments, tiki—or image-amulets—and so forth, showed
very great care and cleverness in design. The ornamentation was very
intricate, was finished off with surprising nicety, and was executed
in a style that cannot but excite our wonder. For, it is to be
recollected, that the Maori possessed no metal tools or instruments.

Grotesque and curious as is Maori sculpture, it yet clearly evidences
some artistic leanings. There was doubtless some sort of Society of
Arts among the tribes. For, certain men or women, peculiarly skillful
in some special particular, became persons of great renown throughout
the land, and their services were sought after by favour, force, and
fraud.

The highest branch of art, or, at least, what was esteemed to be such,
was the Maori heraldry, and its emblazonment upon the living skin.
Artists skilled in this making of the moku—tattooers, as we Pakeha
call them—were tremendous dignitaries. Their talents were a gift, were
held to be genius, and no means were hesitated at which could secure
one of these persons to a tribe. Battles were fought for them, and
poetical biographies of some of them are even yet current. Such was the
Art-cultus of the Maori.

In pursuing the subject of ancient Maori civilization, there are many
points worthy of note. Dress is one of these. Although the Maori were
accustomed to walk about completely naked—save and except the moku on
their face, chest, and thighs—yet they had garments that were always
donned on state occasions, at night, and when the weather was cold.

Of course they had no idea of indecency, and, indeed, have only a
forced and artificial sense of it now. Naked as they were in person,
they were still more natural in mind, and this quality is still
notably apparent. It is not possible for a Maori to talk for five
minutes without uttering words, metaphors, and allusions, that to us
convey the most revolting and shocking notions, though the speaker is
entirely unconscious of anything but the simplest matter of fact. The
language, as colloquially used, is full of stumbling blocks to English
refinement, and it is for this reason, doubtless, that few settlers'
wives and daughters learn it at all, even though they may be living in
the midst of Maori.

The garments of the Maori consisted of a breech-clout and a toga, made
principally from phormium fibre. I have called the chief universal
garment a _toga_, instead of giving it the ordinary designation of
"mat," or "blanket," because it was worn after the manner of the old
Roman toga; and, though a heavy, bundling kind of dress, it gave a
certain sort of dignity to the wearer. These two articles were all the
garments proper, but several ornaments were added to them. A kind of
helmet was occasionally worn; and sandals were used by persons with
delicate feet, when walking over rough ground.

The mats were made in considerable variety, of dog-skins, and of
flax-fibre. Some were very elaborate and adorned with fringes, tassels,
and embroidery, being dyed of various colours. Some, made from a
choice species of phormium, were soft and silky. Into the threads of
others were woven feathers of the kiwi and other birds. These two last
kinds were highly prized.

The whole process of making the simplest of these dresses shows a
degree of patient, industrial enterprise, highly creditable to the
operators. First of all, the flax (_Phormium tenax_) was gathered,
dried, macerated, beaten, and the fibre picked out with the fingers,
combed, bleached, and otherwise prepared. By these arduous and
laborious processes it was entirely freed from the gum which permeates
the leaf, and could be wound into thread of various degrees of
fineness. That accomplished, it was woven into cloth, upon a frame
of wooden pins stuck into the ground. Fringes and embroidery were
manufactured with the simplest possible appliances, and the juice of
sundry trees, plants, and berries, yielded good dyes of different hues.

The kaitaka, a toga with a silky gloss and texture, was very highly
esteemed; but a still rarer and most valuable garment was the Weweru
mo te huru kiwi, or toga of kiwi's feathers. This was an ample robe of
woven flax, upon the outside of which were the feathers. Now, as each
feather of the kiwi is about two or three inches long, and only a line
or so in breadth—more like a coarse hair than any other feather, in
fact—and as each feather was separately worked into the texture of
the flax, and as these feathers were so plentifully disposed upon the
mat as to give it the appearance of thick fur, some idea may be gained
of the prodigious labour involved in making such a toga, from first to
last.

The commonest and coarsest mat took a woman six months to make; the
kaitaka took much longer; while the feather robe occupied the exclusive
time of several women for a period of two or three years. But then, it
was a grand property, lasting not only a lifetime, but capable of being
handed down from generation to generation. It was quite impervious to
rain or wind, and though somewhat bulky, was of light weight. Besides
these, a chief prized his robe of long-haired white and yellow dogskins.

There was another kind of closely-woven dress, te pukaha, which
served as defensive armour against javelins and lances, before the
introduction of muskets. There were various differences of make,
indicating a species of sumptuary law; but all the dresses, of men and
women, of chiefs and slaves, had the same common characteristics.

The Maori neither are nor were at any time pinched for food. An
erroneous impression has gone abroad that their cannibalism was the
result of a lack of anything else to eat. This is a totally wrong
idea, as I had occasion to point out in a former chapter, when speaking
as to the causes which are bringing about the extinction of the race.
The act of cannibalism was a part of the system of warfare; it was the
last outrage upon an always detested foeman; the utmost indignity that
revenge could heap upon the enemy. Although, in the earlier part of
this century, no less than fifteen hundred prisoners of war were killed
and eaten at a single feast by Hongi and his army, and six hundred
on another occasion, yet the last authenticated act of cannibalism
took place in 1843; and, nowadays, Maori rather avoid allusion to the
subject. But it was only the prisoners of war who were eaten, and that
usually just after the battle, before the heat and intoxication of the
conquerors' spirits had evaporated. They never ate human flesh at other
times, and prisoners whose lives were spared became slaves—an easy
kind of slavery it was, too.

In the primitive times, should the crops of a hapu fail them, or become
too soon exhausted, there was always fish in the rivers and fern-root
in the valleys, so that, however "hard up" a man might be, he would
not need to starve very long. Though the moa was probably very scarce,
if not entirely extinct, towards the beginning of this century, yet
the bush abounded with birds that the Maori knew well how to catch.
Pigeons, nestors, parrots, rail, kiwi, swamp-fowl, water-fowl, owls,
parson-birds, all these and more were eaten; while the native dogs and
rats were held to be great dainties. The former were bred in numbers,
and were fattened up for food, and their skins were highly valued for
togas and mantles. An elaborate code of ceremonies, songs, and customs
are connected with rat-hunting, showing that rats were so numerous as
to be no inconsiderable part of the food supply.

Then there were certain grubs and insects that were held to be delicate
morsels. The loathsome larva of the weta, a large white grub, is
speared on a stick, toasted at the fire, and eaten with a silent
rapture that my pen could only feebly pourtray.

In the bays and tidal rivers are the mango or sharks—the most
highly-prized food-fish—the tamure or schnapper, the whapuka or
rock-cod, the kahawai or mackerel, the porahi or herring, the kanae
or mullet, the patiki or sole, and many others. On the shores are
oysters, mussels, cockles, mutton-fish, crabs, and other shell-fish in
profuse abundance. In the fresh-water creeks are eels (tuna), lampreys
(pipiharau), and whitebait (inanga).

Among indigenous vegetable productions came first the universal
fern-root (_Pteris esculenta_), which was cooked in various ways
and made into a kind of bread. Then there was the tap-root of the
cabbage-tree palm, yielding a highly farinaceous food when baked; the
pith or young shoot of the nikau; the root of the toi; the root of the
raupo, and the pollen of the same plant made into bread; the berries of
hinau, similarly treated; the flower and fruit of kiekie or tawhera;
a species of seaweed boiled with the juice of tupakihi berries, and
forming a nutritious jelly; some orchids, green spinach, cresses, and
fungi; the inner stems of mamaku or tree-fern; the berries of poroporo,
tawa-tawa, koraka, kahi katea, rimu, and other trees.

The expressed juice of the tupakihi berry is called by the Maori
tutu. It is a pleasantly insipid drink when fresh made, but appears
to undergo a slight fermentation when allowed to stand some time, and
when mixed with some other ingredient. The seeds are always carefully
eliminated from this preparation, as they contain a dangerous narcotic
principle. The old Maori say, that in ancient times, before going
into battle, they used to eat taro to make them strong and enduring,
shark-meat to make them ferocious, and used to drink tutu to make them
brave and unflinching.

The Maori cooking operations were, in former times, always performed by
women and slaves; now, though women are invariably the cooks in the
kainga, yet no man considers it beneath him to prepare his own food
when obliged to do so. Most of the old methods of cooking have fallen
very much into disuse, since the modern Maori possess kettles, iron
camp-ovens, billies, and other Pakeha appliances; but still, in remote
spots, one may come across a relic of the olden time.

The only method of boiling formerly employed was by dropping heated
stones into the water contained in a calabash or rind of the hue.
Expert as they were in this process, it was still a rather toilsome
and ineffective one, and in these days of kettles and pans it is never
returned to. Fish and meat were frequently roasted on the clear side
of the fire in the ordinary hunters' fashion, but the great national
culinary institution was the earth-oven, the kopa or hangi.

A pit was dug in the ground, one foot or more in depth, and suited in
size to the quantity of provisions to be cooked. In this hole a fire
was built, completely filling it, and in the fire a number of pebble
stones were heated. When the fire had reached a proper heat it was
entirely raked out of the pit. A layer of the red-hot stones was laid
along the bottom, by means of improvised tongs of green wood, and these
were carefully and quickly covered with certain green leaves. Then the
pork or fish or potatoes, previously washed, cleaned, and wrapped up in
green flax, were put into the hangi; a quantity of the red-hot stones
were put over and round it; water was poured over the whole; green
flax mats were hastily heaped on top and tucked in at the sides; and,
lastly, the pit was filled in with earth well stamped and beaten down.

In the course of an hour or more, according to the size of the joint,
the hangi was opened, the provisions lifted out, the wrappings
unfolded, and their contents placed in baskets of green flax, and thus
dinner was served. The steam, generated under pressure in the ovens,
was forced into every fibre of the articles cooking, so that these
were most thoroughly done. Whole pigs—and whole human bodies in the
cannibal times—are cooked in these hangi to perfection. I have eaten
meat and vegetables done in them, that could not have been better
cooked by a _chef de cuisine_ decorated with the red ribbon of _la
Légion d'honneur_.

It was one of the old customs never to eat in the living-houses.
Cooking was always performed in the open air, and usually is so still.
A rude shelter protected the fire in rainy weather; and at such times
the meal was eaten under the verandah of the wharè.

Burial customs among the old Maori were peculiar and complicated, and
differed much among various hapu. In the case of slaves and inferiors,
the bodies were thrown aside in some place where they could not be
offensive to the living, or they were hastily interred on the beach, or
somewhere in the forest.

The death of a chief, or rangatira of note, was an affair of great
importance. It was announced by loud wailing and crying—the Maori idea
of grief being a noisy and demonstrative one. The corpse was washed
and painted, dressed in the finest garments and ornaments possessed
by the defunct, and laid in state in the verandah of the wharè, with
a great display of weapons and trophies of various kinds around it.
All the near relations of the deceased assembled to cry over him, and
many—particularly of the ladies of his family—gashed their faces,
breasts, and arms, with shells and obsidian knives. It was thought to
be the most decorous and decent show of mourning to have the face and
breast completely covered with the dried and clotted blood resulting
from the numerous self-inflicted gashes.

After a day or two of these ceremonies, the body was taken by the
tohunga and his assistants within the sacred grove, or wahi tapu.
There, still wrapped in his most cherished robes, with all his
ornaments, weapons, and ensigns of dignity around him, with baskets of
food to support him on his journey to the other world—and, in olden
times, with a strangled wife and slave or two—the corpse was left,
either placed in the fork of a tree, on an ornamental platform or
stage, or buried in the ground.

Meanwhile, during the progress of these ceremonies, many karakia, or
prayers, were uttered; and the multitude of friends, relations, and
followers assembled outside the wahi tapu made the air resound with
their frantic shouts and yells, with the firing of guns, and every
possible kind of noise. When the body had been thus deposited and left,
a great feast took place, something after the manner of an Irish wake.

In the course of a couple of years or so after, when the tohunga deemed
that decomposition was complete, a second series of ceremonies took
place. This was called the hahunga, or scraping of the bones. Amid
renewed wailing and weeping from the assembled friends, the bones of
the dead were collected by the tohunga. They were scraped clean with
a good deal of ceremony and karakia, were painted, garnished with
feathers, wrapped up in rich mats, and abundantly wept over. Finally,
they were deposited high up in some sacred tree, or in a fissure of the
rock, or upon an elevated stage profusely ornamented, and then they
were done with.

Many burying-places still exist, filled with these weird mementoes of
the past. Of course no Maori, however Christianized or civilized he
may be, will knowingly trespass within their limits; but Pakeha do so
frequently. Collectors of "curios" have found in these places a rich
field for treasure-seeking; but, even at the present day, and among the
most law-abiding tribes, it is by no means safe to go curio-hunting in
the old and apparently forgotten wahi tapu. The Maori are intensely
averse from allowing any stranger to penetrate these places, and if
they caught any one despoiling their dead, it would rouse a flame among
them not easily to be appeased. Certain lands upon which are situated
such sacred spots are not to be bought for love or money from their
Maori owners. Still, as the rising generation steps into the shoes of
its fathers, prejudices of this kind give way before the influence of
Pakeha gold.

Some land, in a settled district that I know well, was much sought
after a year or two ago by persons settling in the neighbourhood, it
being of particularly choice quality; but the central part of this
block being a burial-place, the old chief, who was the principal
owner, refused large offers, and would not part with an acre of the
sacred soil for any inducement that could be held out to him. Lately,
however, he died, and his young heirs were persuaded—not without much
difficulty, though—to sell the block to an English settler.

Nowadays, the burial of a man of rank is conducted upon different
principles. I witnessed the interment of a lady of high rank among
the Ngapuhi, at Waimate, which may serve to illustrate modern customs
in this respect. The deceased, though externally differing but little
from the usual dirty, repulsive-looking, and hag-like appearance of
old Maori women, was yet a personage of great note and consequence.
She was the last lineal descendant of a great chief, and possessed all
the authority of a queen or princess-absolute herself. Consequently,
when she died, the hapu—or section of the tribe—of which she was
the undisputed head resolved to celebrate the occasion with the most
gorgeous obsequies it was in their power to get up.

The body was laid in state and wailed over, but there was not much
cutting of faces done, only a sort of compromise between the old custom
and the usages of a more enlightened age—a scratch or two here and
there, made by the most conservative among the mourners. A coffin was
made, or procured, and a rich pall of black velvet and white silk
covered it. The procession then set out for Waimate, distant some eight
or ten miles from the deceased's kainga.

The coffin was borne on a litter between two horses, and the procession
was formed by several hundred mounted Maori, of both sexes and all
ages, all dressed in their best attire, some with crape scarves, but
mostly without. They proceeded in a long straggling line, the coffin
being borne along in front, and in that manner wound over the ranges
and through the bush towards the settlement and mission-church of
Waimate.

At times there was much cheerful laughter and talking in the
procession, and parties would suddenly dash out of the ranks for a
furious gallop. Then there would be a mournful wave pass over the
cavalcade, and long-drawn wails and cries of sorrow would break forth
from all. This again would alternate with sudden gaiety; and so, in
such manner, the churchyard was reached. The horses were tethered all
round the churchyard fence, and their riders, augmented by a crowd of
others who had assembled on foot, and by the whole population of the
settlement, entered the church.

The service was conducted in the ordinary manner of the Church of
England. But when the coffin was lowered into the grave, the Maori who
crowded round it appeared heart-broken with grief. Tears streamed down
every face, eyes were turned up to heaven, while sobs and moans and
clamorous wailing broke out on all sides.

A few minutes after the service was completed the sorrowing crowd
dispersed, all hastening in the direction of the village where the
funeral feast was to be held. Many of the cavaliers started off with
loud whoops, upon an exciting race at the utmost speed of their horses,
while all banished, for the time being, every semblance of grief.

I went to the kainga in the evening, as unobtrusively as possible, to
see how the feasting was conducted. Men and women sat, stood, lay,
or lounged about, clustering round the fires and ovens every now and
then to do some feeding, or laughing, chatting, smoking, and generally
enjoying themselves. But, every now and then, some one would set up a
loudly-chanted lament, and instantly all would crouch upon the ground
in a sitting posture, and, while the tears fell in abundance from
their eyes, would wail and rock themselves about in the most terrible
anguish of grief, apparently. In a minute or two this would subside,
and all would return at once, and without an effort, to their former
cheerfulness.

O'Gaygun, who had accompanied me, said that if there had only been
a fiddler present, to play _The Coina_ or _Savournah Deelish_, the
resemblance to a wake in "ould Oireland" would have been complete; for
"lashins of whiskey was goin', annyhow!"

In this manner several days and nights were spent. I am afraid to
say how many sheep and pigs were killed, how many tons of potato and
kumera, and sacks of flour, were devoured; but the total, I know,
was something prodigious. The stores at Ohaeawae and Waitangi did a
roaring trade in supplying tea, sugar, tobacco, liquor, and the other
requirements of the feasters.

There was a very singular custom prevalent among the Maori called
the moru. If a misfortune of any kind happened to a man, all his
neighbours, headed by his nearest and dearest friends, instantly came
down upon him and pillaged him of everything he possessed.

In 1827, Mr. Earle, who resided some time in New Zealand, and
afterwards published a narrative of his experiences, relates that the
houses or huts belonging to himself and his companions on Kororareka
Beach accidentally caught fire. The fire took place at a rather
critical moment, just when a number of Maori had arrived to do battle
with the Kororareka natives, who were Earle's allies. Directly the
fire broke out, both parties suspended preparations for hostilities
and rushed upon the devoted little settlement, which they pillaged of
everything that could be carried off. Earle and his party could do
nothing to prevent them, and they were thus stripped of the greater
part of their possessions, according to the custom of the moru.

A peculiarity of the Maori race is the singular power that imagination
has over them. It seems, indeed, to take practical effect, and the
suddenness with which the will can operate is not less startling than
the action so induced.

A Maori can throw himself into a transport of rage, grief, joy, or
fear, at a moment's notice. This is not acting either, it is grim
reality, as many an instance proves. For example, there is Hau-hau.
The principal manifestation in that singular new religion is the
ecstasy and excitement into which whole congregations appear to throw
themselves. There is something akin to the mesmeric phenomena in the
extraordinary gusts of feeling that sweep over a Hau-hau conventicle.
The leader works himself up first, and then the rest follow. They
shout, they scream, they roll on the ground, they weep, they groan,
and, while in this state, appear insensible to every external influence
but the strange excitement that possesses them.

Any Maori can die when he likes. He wills it, and the fact is
accomplished. He says, perhaps, "I am going to die on Wednesday next!"
and when the day comes, he really goes into the bush, lays down and
expires.

Then they can weep at will. A tangi (weeping) can be performed by
any Maori at a moment's notice. Though they are a cheerful and
laughter-loving people, they make the tangi a frequent ceremony. A
Maori will be laughing and talking in the greatest glee and high
spirits, when he is suddenly accosted by a friend of his whom he may
not have seen for some time. Instantly the two will crouch upon the
ground with faces close together, and, rocking their bodies from side
to side, wailing and sobbing, the tears will drop from their eyes and
roll down their cheeks more abundantly than most Britons would think
possible; like a shower of summer rain, in fact.

This is the ordinary mode of recognition of friends, founded, no
doubt, upon the insecurity of life that formerly prevailed. Partings
are effected in the same way; and on all occasions where grief is
really felt, or where it is considered necessary or in accordance with
etiquette to put on the semblance of grief, a tangi takes place.

Modern usage, however, following even more closely in the European
style with every succeeding generation, has rather spoilt this among
other customs. That is to say, most young Maori of the period do not
tangi unless they are really affected with the emotion of grief,
although they do not seem to have lost the power of weeping at will.

One of our neighbours, who had formed a close intimacy with the Maori
of the district, went home on a visit to England. We heard that he
intended to return in the ill-fated ship _Cospatrick_, and when the
news arrived of the terrible disaster which overtook that vessel, we
mourned our friend as among the lost.

A party of his Maori friends arrived at his farm, and held there a sort
of combined tangi and prayer-meeting. When he finally turned up, having
luckily come out in another ship, the Maori assembled from all sides,
and so warmly did they congratulate him on his safety, that they were
obliged to hold another tangi to give proper effect to their feelings.
Though there may seem to be something childlike and pleasing about this
custom theoretically, I cannot say that it is particularly agreeable in
practice or to participate in.

The old Maori method of salutation was to press the noses together.
Like many more old customs, it is now nearly quite forgotten; the
Pakeha handshaking and the Pakeha kissing having altogether superseded
it. Only once was I subjected to the nose-pressing process, which was
done to me by a very old rangatira,—our very good friend the Rev.
Tama-te-Whiti, in fact—who took that means of showing a more than
ordinary esteem for me on a certain occasion elsewhere spoken of.

In these days the Maori no longer manufacture any of their old tools,
weapons, ornaments, clothes, etc. They now buy Pakeha goods at the
stores, and prefer them to their old appliances; in fact, the latter
are becoming very scarce, since the bulk of them are eagerly bought up
by collectors as "curios." Very few of the waka-taua, or war-canoes,
are now in native possession, though, until recently, there used to be
a race of them at the Auckland regatta on Anniversary Day (January 29).

The various sorts of ordinary canoes are still plentiful enough, though
they are probably destined to disappear before very long. The Maori
do not make them now, they build or purchase boats made after the
Pakeha fashion. The old canoe is an ungainly and uncomfortable vessel,
hollowed out of the trunk of a single tree. It rides flat on the water,
and is very seaworthy, being with difficulty upset, and going as well
when full of water as when dry. The canoes are driven by slender
spear-shaped paddles, that are dug into the water, as it were; with
them a great speed can be attained, nevertheless. The ordinary canoes
will carry from a dozen to a score of persons; but some are larger,
like the war-canoes, and would hold a hundred or more, pretty tightly
packed, though.

The race at the Auckland regatta used to be an exciting sight. The
canoes, with their high, carved prows and stern-posts, were richly
decorated with all sorts of barbaric ornaments. (It was only the
waka-taua that were so furnished, ordinary canoes not having prows,
stern-posts, or bulwarks attached to them.) They were crammed with
rowers, chosen from among the strongest men of the contesting hapu.
At the stern, upon a sort of deck, stood the chief, costumed in his
bravest robes and ornaments, and carrying a patu, truncheon, or long
wand in his hand.

The race would start with boat-chaunts among the paddlers, gradually
enlivened by jibing shouts at the rival canoes. Then, as the race
grew hotter, the foam would begin to fly as the paddles dashed up the
water; the chiefs would stamp and rage on their platforms, shouting
encouragement to their own men and yelling defiance to the others. When
the termination of the race drew near, the yells and screams would
be deafening, the energy of the paddlers exerted to the utmost, the
gesticulations and cries of the chiefs only to be compared to those
of frenzied madmen, and the excitement and fury of all concerned would
seem only to be ended in bloodshed.

But all this excitement would quiet down after the goal was won, and
no fighting or ill-feeling was the consequence. Nowadays, at the
various regattas held on the rivers at different times, craft of all
kinds, owned and manned by Maori, will amicably contest with those of
settlers; and, whether in the whaleboat or the skiff, the Maori are
formidable opponents to the Pakeha, who by no means invariably snatch
the prize.

In common with the disappearance of the canoe is that of many other
articles of native manufacture. Their old tools and weapons are
rarities even among themselves, having long ago been bartered away for
the more useful instruments of the Pakeha; and the art of making them
has been forgotten. Even the almost sacred merè ponamu is a thing of
the past. It was a large axe formed of "greenstone," or transparent
green jade, often exquisitely shaped and polished. It was sometimes
mounted on an elaborate handle, much carved and ornamented; or, in
most cases, it was shaped in the short club-like form of the favourite
weapon, all in one piece, and adapted for one hand.

The merè ponamu was the special weapon of the ariki, and was emblematic
of his dignity. A good deal of sanctity attached to it, and it was held
to be a tribal treasure. When defeated or threatened with its loss, the
ariki or tohunga would hide the merè; and often the hiding-place would
be unknown, since the chief might be killed before he could reveal
it to his successor. In such a case the most careful and painstaking
search would be afterwards entered upon by the tribe, who would even
continue it for years, until the treasure was discovered.

It will be remembered how Tuwharè hid the tiki of the Ngatewhatua,
after the capture of Marahemo by Hongi. A tiki is a grotesque image,
carved out of the same stone—ponamu—as the merè. Much the same degree
of sanctity attached to either. Merè made of wood, bone, or other kinds
of stone had, of course, no especial value. When a new ariki was called
to lead the tribe, he was invested with the merè ponamu with much
important ceremony, just as Turkish sultans are girded with the sword
of Othman, in token of their assumption of supreme power.

Not many years ago, it chanced that a gum-digger accidentally found a
merè ponamu in the bush. The first person he happened to meet was a
Maori, to whom he showed his "find." The Maori examined it carefully,
and questioned the digger as to the precise locality in which he had
found it. He then asked the digger to sell it to him, which, after
some demur, the latter eventually consented to do, the price he put on
the "curio" being three notes (£3). The Maori went off to fetch the
money; and by-and-by returned to the digger's camp with one or two of
his compatriots. The sale was then concluded, and after the Pakeha
had expressed himself as satisfied with the bargain, he was somewhat
chagrined at being told that the merè was the long-lost weapon of a
great chief, which had been unsuccessfully searched for during long
years, and that, had he demanded three hundred pounds instead of only
three, the tribe would have found means to raise it, so much did they
prize the relic.

It speaks highly for the sense of justice and peaceableness of the
modern Maori that no thought of forcibly taking possession of the merè
seems to have occurred to these men, although the digger was alone, and
they were numerous. How different might the climax have been had they
been Irish peasants instead of semi-civilized Maori!

The Maori have no sense of honour, but they have a keen love of
justice, which suffices to take its place. Manifestations of their
principles of equity are often very amusing to us; but they might
sometimes serve to improve the decisions of our law-courts, despite
their crudity. They are generally based on the idea of utu, or
compensation, and are deliciously simple. Thus, adultery is now
punished among the Maori themselves in the following fashion:—

The chiefs hold a korero, or palaver, over the offenders, and settle
the amount of utu to be paid. The man has to pay a fine to the husband,
father, or nearest relative of the woman; she, in like manner, is
sentenced to pay a similar sum to the wife, mother, or nearest relative
of the man. If a culprit has no property, he or she has to go to work
among the Pakeha, or dig gum, or raise it in some such fashion. There
never seems to be any attempt to evade a fine of this kind; it is
always faithfully paid to the last penny.

A Maori stole a bag of sugar from a store. He was pulled up before the
local magistrate, and sent for a month's imprisonment. When the term
expired and he returned to the tribe, the chiefs held a korero over
him as usual. To their ideas of equity, the imprisonment counted for
nothing, it was simply one of the stupid Pakeha customs, and had merely
delayed the course of real (Maori) justice. Accordingly, the thief was
sentenced to pay the value of the stolen sugar to the proprietor of
the store. Next, he had to pay utu to the same person; and, finally, he
had to pay utu to the chiefs as representing the tribe, to compensate
them for the loss of credit the community had sustained through his
offence.

The following incident occurred in a district not otherwise alluded to
in these sketches, and the locality of which is purposely concealed.
Should it meet the eye of any person concerned, I beg he will hold me
excused for recording it. It could only be identified by himself. I
insert it simply because it is the best instance within my knowledge of
Maori justice, and of modern Maori manners in this particular.

There were two brothers who had settled in a remote district. The
elder of the two had occasion to go over to Sydney on business for
some months, and left the younger to manage the farm in his absence.
The young fellow had only a hired lad to bear him company, besides
occasional visits from some of his chums among the neighbouring
settlers. By-and-by the lad left him, and he hired a couple of Maori
girls to do some of the necessary work.

I have described what Maori girls are like, and so, here, close
intercourse very soon had its natural result, and human nature
triumphed over Pakeha morality. The girls went back to their kainga
after a time, and, after the wont of their race, made no secret of
anything that had occurred.

Now the ariki of the little hapu had "got religion," as I have heard
it phrased, and tried his best to be sanctimonious and pharisaic. He
chose to affect violent rage on hearing of the young farmer's breach
of Pakeha moral law, and sent off a demand for a large sum of money as
utu, in default of payment of which he promised to come up and burn the
farmer's house and drive off his stock.

The settler resented and repudiated this claim for utu altogether, and,
hearing that the Maori were getting their guns ready for the raid, he
summoned all his neighbours to assist in his defence. A dozen or more
of them armed and came over to stop with him, and a very pretty little
disturbance seemed imminent.

However, there was a clergyman who had great influence with the
hapu. At first, he probably helped to kindle the chief's ire by
inveighing against the hideous guilt of the farmer, after the manner
of unworldly clerics; but, seeing subsequently the direction things
were about to take, he altered his tactics. Knowing the Maori character
thoroughly, he took what was certainly the best possible step under the
circumstances.

Instead of preaching against war and bloodshed, he stopped the
war-party, as it was setting off, by intimating that the house,
land, and bulk of the stock belonged to the absent brother, and that
it would, therefore, be wrong to touch it. Maori justice instantly
perceived the point, and a korero was immediately held to discuss it.
Then the chief and his advisers began to find themselves in a hopeless
muddle. They could not withdraw the claim for utu honourably—according
to their notions—and in default of it they must exact something. At
the same time, it was repugnant to their ideas of justice to meddle
with what belonged to an unoffending man, and he an absentee to boot.
So the korero lasted day after day, and the Maori could find no way out
of their dilemma.

Meanwhile, the father of the girl who had caused the mischief, and who
was a greedy old wretch, happily cut the Gordian knot. While things
were still unsettled, he sneaked off one day alone, and made his way to
the farm. There he intimated to the young settler that he was prepared
to take five notes for his daughter's wrong, and would consider all
claims liquidated by it. The young man's blood was up, however, and he
refused to pay the fraction of a penny as utu. But some of his friends
were cooler; and after a long palaver the young fellow consented to
purchase a horse from the Maori, at a price somewhat above its value.

Back went the outraged father to the hapu and told what he had done.
The ariki scolded him heartily for his baseness, that is to say, for
the small amount of utu he had exacted. But all were overjoyed at
the incident, which served to make a way out of the difficulty. An
ambassador was sent up to the farm with the following message from the
ariki, which I roughly translate—

"Oh, friend! There is now peace, and things are smooth between us. Pita
is a fool, he took what was too little. That is his affair, and I have
told him my mind. You have made utu to him and the wretch is satisfied.
That ends all. I have no more to say. We are friends as before."

And now arose a new phase of Maori character. They are always very
desirous to get up alliances between the races, and will do anything to
induce a Pakeha to marry a Maori girl. Even such informal engagements
as that just hinted at are so far from being repugnant to them,
that they generally show an increased regard for the Pakeha who is
indiscreetly amorous among their _unmarried_ women.

The chief in this case was governed, in the first instance, by an
artificial veneer of sentiment inculcated by the new religion. Now that
this was broken through, and the vexed question of utu disposed of,
the genuine Maori feeling rose to the surface, and a warm friendliness
arose for the Pakeha—the _rangatira_ Pakeha be it remembered—who had
shown that he "liked the Maori girls."

Accompanied by a score or so of the rangatira of his hapu, the
ariki rode over to the young settler's place. As proof of the
re-establishment of cordial relations, kitsful of peaches, melons,
kumera, taro, and other gifts were carried by the party. The young man
met them with all hospitality, killed a pig and feasted the party for a
couple of days, presented a dog to the ariki, and finally paid a return
visit to the kainga, where he was received with open arms by the entire
hapu. He has ever since remained a prime favourite with the Maori,
who, singularly enough, respected him for his line of action when the
difficulty arose, almost as much as they warmed to him for his amorous
predilection.

Little misunderstandings of this sort now and then arise between Pakeha
and Maori, but they are generally smoothed down in some such fashion as
the above. The worst difficulties are those where Maori of different
tribes come into collision with one another, when the ancient feuds
and hatreds spring up and cause much trouble. Especially is this the
case when Christian sectarianism is an added element of bitterness and
strife. I remember an instance of this that occurred in the north in
1875 or 1876.

There was a Land Court held in what was then quite a new district,
and at it the chiefs of a Ngapuhi hapu laid claim to a certain block,
which they had agreed to sell to a settler. But a Ngatewhatua, who was
present by the merest chance, disputed the claim on the ground that
the block formed a part of his tribal territory. The Ngapuhi ridiculed
him, and replied that their tribe under Hongi had, in former times,
conquered the Ngatewhatua and annexed their territory, leaving only a
corner for the remnant of the conquered to live on. This was according
to ancient Maori law.

But the Ngatewhatua declared that, also in accordance with Maori usage,
the conquerors having never taken possession of the district nor
resided on any part of the block, it reverted to its original owners,
the Ngatewhatua. Both sides had thus a fair show of right, and neither
having occupied the land within the memory of man, it was difficult to
decide which had the best claim.

The commissioner left the Maori to come to some agreement among
themselves, for he could not adjust their differences, while he was
bound to find a native owner for the block before the Crown grant
could be made out. Both sides now withdrew in great dudgeon, while the
few Pakeha in the neighbourhood began to feel somewhat nervous and
anxious as to what was to follow.

The Ngatewhatua returned to his hapu and related all that had occurred.
A korero was immediately held and rapidly concluded. It was agreed at
once that decisive action was necessary; so the ariki ordered his men
to take their guns and other arms, to launch their boats, and proceed
with him to the township where the Land Court was being held. All the
available men of the hapu, some forty or fifty in number, were ready at
the chief's command, and at once set off; while messages were sent to
warn other communities of the Ngatewhatua, and to invite them to take
part in the coming fray.

In due time, the ariki of the Ngatewhatua and his band arrived at the
scene of action. They rowed up the river to the township where the Land
Court was being held, and which was near the disputed block, with all
the pomp and circumstance of Maori war, so far as it was possible in
their modern civilized condition.

Near the little township, awaiting their arrival, was a still more
numerous body of armed Ngapuhi, who greeted them with yells of
defiance. The few officials and Pakeha at the place did their best to
allay the excitement of the natives, but without success. They were
not listened to, or were told to leave things alone. This was a purely
Maori question, with which Pakeha had nothing to do; _they_ were not in
any way threatened; let them keep out of it, then.

But the settlers knew that this faction fight, if it once took place
and resulted in bloodshed, might lead to a general conflagration among
the northern tribes. They were at their wit's end to know what to do.
It was no use sending to Auckland, for there were very few of the armed
constabulary there; and, had there been more, they could not have got
up to the scene of action within a week's time. The next best thing
that could be done had been done—messengers had been sent off post
haste to summon a certain Wesleyan missionary, who of all men had the
greatest influence with the Ngatewhatua, and would be patiently heard
by the Ngapuhi, although the hapu concerned were professedly converts
to Roman Catholicism.

This gentleman resided near the principal Ngatewhatua kainga, and was
unluckily absent from home when the news came from the Land Court. Had
he been there, the ariki would have probably consulted him, and the war
party would consequently not have started. But he was absent on a visit
to a distant river.

The reverend gentleman was not very popular among the scattered
settlers in the district, and had often made himself obnoxious to them,
as they considered. He had lived among the Maori many years; and, being
a somewhat narrow-minded man, seemed to look upon the settlers as
disturbers of that Christian peace which he believed had covered the
tribe among whom he ministered. However, when the emergency arose and
he received notice of the impending conflict between the rival tribes,
he proved himself equal to the occasion. Taking boat to a suitable
point, he there borrowed a horse from a farmer; and, riding at full
speed for some thirty miles across the ranges and through the bush,
arrived at the township just in the nick of time.

Meanwhile, the rival Maori had been occupied in the usual preliminaries
to a fight. The Ngatewhatua had disembarked; and on the following day
the two parties were drawn up, facing one another, at a short distance
apart. The korero then commenced, and was kept up hour after hour
by alternate orators on either side. These delivered themselves in
the verbose and florid style customary, running up and down between
the lines, and using very unparliamentary language, I have no doubt.
The men of the two factions were seated on the ground meanwhile,
occasionally grimacing or defying each other. The modern veneer of
civilization and Christianity seemed entirely to have disappeared,
and the ancient Maori manners to have superseded it. At length, such
a pitch of rage was reached that the war-dance appeared inevitable,
and after that nothing would stop the conflict. It was just at this
juncture that the missionary rode up. Dismounting, he at once strode
between the rival lines, being greeted with growls and opprobrious
epithets by the Ngapuhi, and with cries of "Go home! Go home!" from his
own flock.

I think I can see that scene now. In the foreground the broad surface
of the river, flowing between low banks covered with light scrub. To
the right the few houses of the little settlement, with a group of
pale-faced Pakeha, men, women, and children, anxiously awaiting the
upshot of the "muss." In front, a stretch of open land, partly grassed
and partly covered with fern, with stumps and logs here and there
visible. Behind it clumps of scrub, and, close to, the line of the
heavy bush, extending all round and covering the hill-ranges that rise
further back.

In the centre of this scene are the two bands of Maori; brown
tatterdemalions in ragged shirts and trousers, armed with guns, and
merè, and patu, and axes, some squatting on the ground, some standing
erect, all convulsed with anger and ungovernably excited. Before each
rank is the ariki, and one or two principal men on either side.

Between the two armies strides the tall, gaunt form of the missionary,
his arms raised and gesticulating, his grey hair and beard floating on
the wind. Heedless of his reception he begins to talk. He is a perfect
master of Maori oratory, with its long quotations from old tradition
and from the Bible, its short pithy sentences, its queer interjectional
effects. Gradually the tumult quiets down, the Maori begin to listen,
the Ngapuhi forget they are Catholics.

For two mortal hours he talks to them, preaches at them. What arguments
he uses I cannot say; they are effective ones evidently, for there is
a perfect hush among the combatants at last, and all eyes are turned
attentively upon the speaker. Finally, he proposes an equal sharing of
the sum to be obtained for the disputed land. There is hesitation—he
enforces the point, drives it home to the minds of his hearers. Then
comes an "Ai!" from the Ngatewhatua ariki, followed by a reluctant
"Kuia!" from the Ngapuhi chief. A chorus of "Ai! Ai! Kuia! Kuia!" "Yes!
agreed!" resounds on all sides; the dispute is at an end.

But all is not over, the happy moment must be seized by the minister
of the gospel. Standing on a little knoll between the lately hostile
taua, he slowly uncovers, raises one hand upwards, looks to heaven,
solemnly enunciates the Lord's Prayer. The effect is marvellous,
the Maori go down on their knees around him and fervently chorus
the words as he utters them, while tears stream from many eyes, and
groans of contrition break from many breasts. The prayer finished,
the missionary looks about him on the rival warriors, who now crouch
like chidden children before him. He commands them, in the Name they
have just invoked, to lay aside their weapons, and to be friends. With
unquestioning faith and simple alacrity they obey his summons, and
Ngapuhi and Ngatewhatua rush into each other's arms.

That night a grand feast is held to cement the new-made friendship;
and next day the two chiefs go arm-in-arm to the Land Court, there
to conclude the sale of the disputed land, while the bulk of their
followers, with much friendly leave-taking, depart on their several
ways.

So eventuated the worst difficulty of the kind that has arisen in the
North for many years. The affair made no stir beyond the district,
for "our special correspondent" was not present, while settlers and
officials had very good reasons for not giving publicity to the
matter. In view of emigration, and all the rest of it, government, and
colonists too, have a disposition to hush up any little perplexities of
such a sort; so only a short and garbled account of this narrow escape
from a battle reached the Auckland papers, which may be found in them
by those who like to look for it.

I think this anecdote may serve to conclude my sketches of Maori
manners. It shows the childlike temper of the Maori, their easily
excited passions, quick gusts of rage, and equally ready return to
docility and good-humour. It is an instance of how modern Maori
character is driven by two widely different forces, and of how it
oscillates between two systems—the tapu Maori and the tapu Pakeha. It
illustrates with strange force—more so than any other incident which
has happened in this generation, perhaps—that wonderful power, once
so extensive and real, but now almost obsolete except in such rare
instances as this—that influence which I have previously spoken of,
and have named "the Mana of the Missionary."



CHAPTER VI.

OUR NATURALIST'S NOTE-BOOK.


"It is impossible to imagine, in the wildest and most picturesque
walks of Nature, a sight more sublime and majestic, or which can
more forcibly challenge the admiration of the traveller, than a New
Zealand forest,"—writes an early voyager to this country. From the
first, those who visited these shores were struck with the extent and
beauty of our forests, the size of the trees, and the wealth of the
vegetation. And, at the present day, the emigrant from Scotland or
England, brought here into the depths of the bush, fails not to feel
his inmost nature responding to the glory and the grandeur of the
scenery.

The woodlands of Northern New Zealand may be divided into two general
classes, the heavy bush and the light bush. The first is the true
primeval forest, the growth, probably, of two or three thousand years.
This is by far the most abundant and extensive of the two. There is
nothing in Great Britain to afford comparison with it.

The light bush, on the other hand, is not dissimilar to a very wild
and luxuriant English wood, if one excepts the difference of the
vegetation. It fills up the gullies, and covers the hill-sides, where
Maori cultivation once occupied the ground. It is by no means so
extensive as the heavy bush, but may be said to fringe it here and
there, and to border once populous rivers. These copsewoods spring
up very rapidly. Light bush that is only forty years old will rival
English woods that have stood a century, in the relative size of the
trees. The jungle is so dense that it is often almost impervious to
passage altogether, until the axe has cleared a road. It has a rich
and fresh appearance when looked at as a whole, a verdancy and wealth
of varying tints, a general beauty that seems to make our name for it
appear an ill-chosen one; for we generally call the light bush "scrub."

The heavy bush, in these northern districts, is divisible into two
kinds. There is the kauri bush and the mixed bush. The first, as its
name implies, is forest where the kauri grows alone, or, at least,
preponderates. It has already been described. It is something solemn
and tremendous in the last degree, grand and gloomy, and even awful.
There are but few trees produced anywhere in the world that can
rival the mammoth kauri in bulk. When we consider the closeness with
which the trees stand, the uniform mightiness of their endless ranks,
stretching on over hill and dale for many a mile, it is not easy to say
where we may look to find anything to match or compare with kauri bush.

The mixed bush is very different. Here one is in an actual land of
enchantment. Uniformity is gone; unending variety is in place of it.
The eye is almost wearied with delight, wonder, and admiration at all
around, for there is ever something new, something to prevent the sense
of monotony growing up in the mind.

The trees are not of one size, any more than of one kind. Their
maximum girth and height fall considerably below that of the largest
kauri. Still, one may see kahikatea, kawaka, kotukutuku, matai, miro,
pukatea, puriri, rata, rimu, taraire, totara, and many another, whose
girth may be as much as thirty feet and more, perhaps; and that may
attain a hundred feet or more of height before "heading." Nor are these
trees but so many columns. There are trees that branch all round with
great domes of foliage. There are some that send several huge limbs
upshooting to the sky. There are crooked trees, gnarled trees, bare
trees and richly covered ones, leaning trees and fallen trees, a
confusion and profusion of arboreal forms.

There is exuberant vegetation above, around, below. Waist-deep in a
rich, rare fernery you stand, and, if you have an artistic soul, gaze
rapturously about you. From the heights you peer down into the gullies,
look abroad over distant sweeps of river, glance through vistas of
greenery, over panoramas of wild woodland beauty, carrying your sight
away to the far-off hills bathed in sunshine; and all is mantled with
the glorious woods.

The mighty trunks and monster limbs of the trees about you are
covered with huge masses of moss, shrouded in climbing ivy-ferns,
festooned with flowering creepers, and covered with natural hanging
gardens to their lofty summits. Around you are the varied forms and
colours of more than a hundred different shrubs and trees, evergreen,
and flower-bearing in their seasons. There is the cabbage-tree
palm, with bare shank and top-knot; the nikau palm, with weird and
wondrous frondage; the lancewood, upright and slender, with crest of
copper-tinted hair-like leaves; the fern-tree, a vast umbrella of
emerald green. There is the twisting squirming rata; the gaunt and
powerful kahikatea; the golden kowhai; the dark velvet-covered rimu;
the feathery red tawai; the perfumy mangiao; and more that it would
take days to particularize. Flowers of bright tint load the trees or
shrubs that bear them—scarlet, white, crimson, orange, yellow, blue;
and hanging creepers shower festooned cataracts of foliage and blossom
down from middle air. And everywhere are ferns, ferns, ferns! abundant,
luxuriant, and of endless variety.

You stroll in perfect safety through this gorgeous temple of nature.
There is nothing harmful, nothing to fear in all our paradisaic
wilderness. No snake, no scorpion, no panther; no danger from beast, or
bird, or reptile, or hostile man; nothing to cause the apprehension of
the timidest lady. Only a pig, maybe, rushing frantically off in terror
at your approach; only a mosquito, sometimes, to remind you you are
mortal.

Our Brighter Britain is the natural home of the poet and the artist.
Not the least doubt about that. We shall develop great ones some
day here. Even the Maori, originally a bloodthirsty and ferocious
savage, is deeply imbued with the poetry of the woods. His commonest
phraseology shows it. "The month when the pohutukawa flowers;" "the
season when the kowhai is in bloom;" so he punctuates time. And the
years that are gone he softly names "dead leaves!"

There are over a hundred distinct species of trees indigenous to this
country, and goodness knows how many shrubs and other plants. Sir
J. D. Hooker has classified our flora, though doubtless not without
omissions. We, the inhabitants of our shanty, are trying to study the
natural history of our adopted home. What we have learnt of it—not
much, perhaps, yet more than many settlers seem to care to know—we
place in our note-book, which I now set forth for all and sundry to
criticize.

The Kauri (_Dammara Australis_) is the king of the forest, and must
have foremost place. It has already been described fully, in the
chapter on our special products, in which I also spoke of kauri-gum,
the Kapia of the natives.

The Kahikatea, "white pine" (_Podocarpus dacrydioides_), comes next
in order. It attains a hundred and twenty feet or so of stick, and
may girth nearly forty feet. It has not much foliage, but rejoices in
great, gaunt limbs. Kahikatea bush often occupies marshy ground, and,
if unmixed, has a somewhat bare and spectral aspect. The timber is
good, but soft, and may be used for deals.

The Totara (_Podocarpus Totara_) attains as great a size. It yields
a timber highly prized where kauri cannot be got. The wood is
close-grained, and reckoned very valuable. Mottled totara is as much
esteemed for cabinet work as mottled kauri.

The Rimu (_Dacrydium cupressinum_) is a beautiful species of cypress;
"Black Pine," as bushmen call it. It yields a highly valued timber,
used for furniture and interior work. The tree is often as gigantic as
the kahikatea, but is stately and finely foliaged.

The Tawai (_Fagus Menziesii_), called "red birch" by settlers, is a
favourite for fencing when young. It attains a hundred feet; and yields
a good strong timber.

The Tawairaunui (_Fagus fusca_) is a species of the former, known as
"black birch." It is stronger and more durable, attains a greater size,
but is not so plentiful in the North. The juice is saccharine, like
that of the American maple.

The Puriri (_Vitex littoralis_) is sometimes called "teak," or
"ironwood." The tree is less than the last. The timber is hard, heavy,
very durable, very hard to work, and of a greenish colour. It is
commonly used for piles and posts, where the maximum of toughness and
durability is required.

The Kowhai (_Sophora tetraptera_) yields timber similar to that of the
puriri, but of somewhat inferior quality. It is a fine tree, branching
well, and bearing a gold-coloured blossom, whose honey attracts
multitudes of tui (parson-birds) in the season.

The Pohutukawa (_Metrosideros tomentosa_) is called "the Settlers'
Christmas Tree," as its scarlet flowers appear about that time. It does
not attain more than fifty or sixty feet of height, but is bulky, and
has a rich foliage. The wood is most important, being used for knees
and ribs in ship building. The bark is astringent, medicinal, and is
used in tanneries.

The Hinau (_Elaeocarpus dentatus_) produces a good bark for tanning and
dyeing. It is not among the largest trees. The Maori used its juice as
a dye, and in the process of moku.

The Tanekaha (_Phyllocladus trichomanoides_) is a larger tree again.
The timber is used for planks and spars. The bark gives a red-brown
dye, formerly used by the Maori, and is exceedingly rich in tannin.

The Kamahi (_Weinmannia racemosa_) is a small tree. It bears a pretty
flower, and is a great ornament. The bark is used in tanneries.

The Kohekohe (_Dysoxylum spectabile_) reaches sixty feet. It has
magnificent foliage, yields a good timber for fencing, makes first-rate
shingles, and contains a bitter principle of tonic quality, like
quassia.

The Kawa-kawa (_Piper excelsum_) is a large shrub of the pepper tribe,
allied to kava and cubebs. It is ornamental, and has an aromatic scent.

The Pukatea (_Atherosperma N.Z._) is a tree of the second largest
class. Its timber is soft but durable, and is much used for
boat-building. It is a remarkably handsome tree.

The Rata (_Metrosideros robusta_) is of the myrtle tribe. When young
it is a creeper and a parasite, called then Ratapiki. It gradually
strangles and absorbs the tree round which it climbs, becoming
eventually a forest giant, gnarled and twisted. In all its stages it
bears a gorgeous scarlet flower. The timber is used for rails, posts,
and shingles.

The Ti, or "cabbage-tree palm" (_Cordyline Australis_), grows as high
as fifty feet. It branches into various stems, each bearing a head of
leaves. The leaf yields a strong fibre. The plentiful seeds are full of
oil. The root is farinaceous, and was an item of Maori diet. It is very
abundant.

The Toi (_Cordyline indivisa_) is a more ornamental, rarer, and smaller
species of "cabbage-tree;" the leaf is larger, handsomer, and also
fibre-yielding. Its root is also esculent, like that of the Ti. The
name of Toi likewise belongs to a herb (_Barbarea vulgaris_), the
leaves of which are eaten like cabbage or spinach.

The Tingahere, or "lancewood" (_Cordyline stricta_), is another
species of the same family. It is of very singular appearance, its
head resembling a tuft of copper-coloured feathers or hair. There are
several more members of this tribe to be seen pretty frequently in the
mixed bush.

The Nikau (_Areca sapida_) attains forty or fifty feet. It is a
handsome palm, bearing enormous fronds, often fifteen feet or more
in length. They are used for thatching wharès in the forest. Within
the crown of the leaves is an edible pith, a stick of pinky-white
stuff, the size of a man's arm, eating like celery and cocoa-nut in
combination; it is refreshing and wholesome.

The Tawhera or Kie-kie (_Freycinetia Banksii_) appears to be sometimes
a parasite, sometimes a shrub, and sometimes a small tree. It is a
curious plant, with tufts of stringy leaves. It bears a fruit very much
esteemed by the Maori, which resembles a green pine-apple, small, and
eats like honey and cream.

The Koraka (_Corynocarpus levigata_) was brought to New Zealand by
the Maori. It is a small tree, with fine, dark, glossy foliage, which
cattle are very fond of. The fruit is edible; the kernel containing
"korakine," a narcotic poison. This property, however, appears to be
dissipated by heat, as I have known the kernels to be roasted, ground,
and made into coffee, without bad result.

The Maire (_Santalum Cunninghamii_) is not a large tree, but the wood
is extremely hard, heavy, and finely grained. It was used by the Maori
for war-clubs, and is now sawn and utilized for many purposes. Bushmen
call it "Black Maire," to distinguish it from the following:—

The Maire-tawhake (_Eugenia Maire_), or "White Maire."

The Maire-aunui (_Olea Cunninghamii_), which, together with the last,
is a much bigger tree than the maire, but does not yield such valuable
timber.

The Kotukutuku (_Fuchsia excorticata_) is akin to the fuchsia seen
in gardens at home. It is here a huge tree, standing eighty feet
in height, and with great girth. The flower is fine, and the fruit
agreeable eating.

The Kawaka (_Libocedrus Doniana_) is a grand tree of the largest class.
Its timber is dark and heavy, but is too brittle to work well. It
serves some purposes, however.

The Mangiao (_Tetranthera calicaris_) is a smaller tree, but one that
yields a timber exceptionally useful to carpenters and joiners. It
is also largely used in the ship-yards. The wood is fragrant with an
aromatic odour, as is also the leaf and blossom.

The Matai, or "Red Pine" (_Podocarpus spicata_), needs special mention.
Its wood is durable; soft when fresh, it has the property of hardening
with time.

The Miro, "Black Pine" (_Podocarpus ferruginea_), is, like the matai,
a large-sized tree. Its timber is close-grained and durable, but is
somewhat brittle.

The Ake-ake (_Dodonæa viscosa_) gives a handsome wood for cabinet work,
which is said to be imperishable.

The Horopito, or "Pepper-tree" (_Drimys axillaris_) yields also an
ornamental timber. Though the tree is of small size its wood is useful
for veneers. Its fruit, leaves, and bark contain medicinal properties.

The Ohoeka (_Panax crassifolium_) is a small shrub-like tree, whose
wood is noted for singular lightness, flexibility, and elasticity.

The Manuka or Manukau (_Leptospermum scoparium, et ericoides_), is the
"ti-tree" of settlers. In one condition it is low shrubbery, not unlike
heather, called then Rawiri by the Maori. "Second-growth ti-tree" is
like a plantation of cane, coming up very densely. This brushwood is
useful for small purposes about a house. It develops into wattles and
stakes after twenty years or so; these are of great value for fencing.
Finally, the plant becomes one of the largest forest-trees, yielding
a hard, close-grained timber. There are red and white varieties. The
Maori particularize it as Kahikatea, when in the tree condition. A
sort of manna, which exudes from the plant in all stages, is called by
them Piamanuka. Ti-tree springs upon any land that has been cleared
or burnt, and comes up densely and rapidly. It is the chief weed the
pioneer farmer has to contend with.

The Tawa (_Nesodaphne Tawa_) grows to nearly as great a size as the
kahikatea, though branching and spreading more. Its timber, however, is
soft and not of value.

The Taraire (_Nesodaphne Taraire_) is a huge and handsome tree of a
kindred species. Like the tawa, its wood is light and brittle. The
berries of both are eaten, usually after having been boiled.

The Whau (_Entelea arborescens_) is a small tree, noticeable for its
fine foliage. The wood is light, and the tree yields a fair substitute
for cork.

The Whau-whau-paku (_Panax arborea_) is similarly to be noticed for its
elegant glossy leaf.

The Patate (_Schefflera digitata_) is another small tree remarkable on
the same account.

The Piripiriwhata (_Carpodetus serratus_) grows to about thirty feet in
height. The timber is something like that of the ash, and is excellent
for axe-handles, cart-shafts, etc.

The Rama-rama (_Myrtus bullata_) has a good hard wood, but is small.
Its pink flower is a great ornament.

The Raukawa (_Panax Edgerleyi_) is a larger ornamental tree.

The Rewa-rewa (_Knightia excelsa_) approaches to the second class of
the great trees. It is often a hundred feet in height, but the trunk is
slender. Its wood has a splendidly showy grain for cabinet work.

The Tarata (_Pittosporum eugenioides_) is a small tree noted for its
purple blossom.

The Tawairauriki (_Fagus Solandri_) is the "White Birch" of settlers.
It reaches upwards of a hundred feet; but its timber is inferior and
less durable than that of either the red or black varieties.

The Titoki (_Alectryon excelsum_) is one of the larger trees. Its
timber is strong, tough, and durable. Its seed is full of a fine fixed
oil, which the Maori used to extract and employ as an unguent.

The Manawa, or "mangrove" (_Avicennia officinalis_), is very plentiful
in the north, along the shores of tidal waters. The wood is found
useful for some minor purposes, and might be used as a source of crude
soda, perhaps.

The Ngaio (_Myoporum laetum_) is a small bushy tree, capable of being
grown into hedges.

The Neinei (_Dracophyllum latifolium_) is but a small tree. The wood is
hard, and is valued for making mallets and the handles of implements.

The Mapau (_Myrsine Urvillei_) affords good material for fencing.

The Mapauriki (_Pittosporum tenuifolium_) has handsome foliage, and a
dark purple flower, and can be grown as a shelter tree.

The Kaiwhiria (_Hedycarya dentata_) is remarkable on the same account.

The Houhere (_Populnea Hoheria_) is a fine large tree of the linden
kind. Like that tree, its inner bark may be utilized for bass and
matting. The flower is snow-white, and very handsome.

The Kaikomako (_Pennantia corymbosa_) will be much cultivated as a
garden ornament. The flower is sweet-scented, and the fruit is edible.

This comprises the catalogue of native trees, so far as they are known
in our shanty; but, it is said that there are nearly as many more
varieties indigenous to the country, though considerably scarcer than
any of those mentioned.

There are some shrubs noticeable for one reason and another. We are in
the habit of collecting the seeds of such as have remarkably handsome
blooms or leafage, and sending them home for our friends to try and
raise in their conservatories. A few of our trees and shrubs will
bear the English climate, if properly attended to. I have seen fair
specimens in botanical gardens. Still, they will never attain their
full proportions there. Our favourite flowering or foliage shrubs are
these:—

The Akakura (_Metrosideros scandens_), a beautiful climber, which will
develop into a tree if allowed to grow. It bears flowers like tufts of
crimson silk.

The Akepiro (_Olearia furfuracea_), a shrub with velvety foliage.

The Angi-angi (_Geniostoma ligustrifolium_), a shrub with a white
flower.

The Kaikaiatua (_Rhabdothamnus Solandri_). The Maori evidently
appreciated some part of this plant, the name of it signifying "Food
of Gods," precisely the same title by which the old Greeks spoke of
certain dainty mushrooms. It has a fine orange and red-striped blossom.

The Kapuka (_Griselinia littoralis_), a small tree with a yellow-green
foliage.

The Karamu or Papaumu (_Coprosma_, _sp._), a family of pretty flowering
shrubs.

The Karetu (_Hierochloe redolens_), which is not a shrub exactly, but a
grass, renowned for its delicious scent.

The Kihi-kihi (_Pittosporum crassifolium_), a shrub with purple
flowers, akin to the mapauriki.

The Kohia (_Passiflora tetandra_), the seeds of which yield a bland
oil, that may probably be some day utilized.

The Korokio (_Corokia Buddleoides_), a fine erect tree, bearing a
conspicuous red berry.

The Koromiko (_Veronica_, _sp._), these pretty species are astringent,
and their shoots are a remedy for scouring in cattle.

The Kotukutuku (_Fuchsia excorticata_), when full-grown, it becomes one
of the largest trees.

The Kowhaingutukaka (_Clianthus puniceus_), bears especially fine red
and orange blossoms.

The Kumerahu (_Pomaderris elliptica_), is sweet-scented.

The Mairehau (_Phebalium nudum_), grows well.

The Oho (_Panax Lessonii_), is recommended, but we do not admire it.

The Pere (_Alseuosmia Banksii_), a straggling, spreading bush.

The Pikiarero (_Clematis indivisa_), is very plentiful in the forest.
It has fine white, sweet-scented flowers.

The Ratapiki (_Metrosideros Florida_), is a species much the same as
the akakura.

The Rohutu (_Myrtus pedunculata_), is pretty.

The Toro (_Persoonia Toro_), becomes a tree. It has rich foliage.

Besides these there are one or two climbers and shrubs that are
plentiful everywhere, and must be noticed for other peculiarities. They
are these:—

The Kareao (_Rhipogonum scandens_), well-known to settlers under the
detested name of "supple-jack." It grows in long, winding canes,
the thickness of one's finger, and so horny that they will turn an
axe-edge. It often binds acres of trees together in impenetrable
thickets, making the bushman's labour excessively difficult.
Walking-stick makers export selected canes, and they are split and used
as withes. The root is astringent, and is said to resemble sarsaparilla
in medicinal virtue.

The Tataramoa (_Rubus Australis_) is equally well-known under the
designation of "bush-lawyer." Its stems are flexile, and more like rope
than cane, but every part of the plant is fibrous and very strong. It
grows in much the same manner as supple-jack, but is luckily not quite
so plentiful. It rejoices in abundant foliage, and each leaf is armed
with hooked thorns, which lay hold of anything attempting to brush past
them. Hence the name; for it is needful to disengage each particular
thorn with care and circumspection. There is no pulling away from a
bush-lawyer, unless one is prepared to leave clothes and skin hanging
on the bush, so tenacious is its hold. The plant belongs to the bramble
tribe, and has a white flower and a red berry.

The Mounga-mounga (_Lygodium articulatum_) is the delight of persons
camping out. It has a stem like small twine, which depends from the
trees in immense bundles of spiral coils. Bunches of it make capital
bedding, being, in fact, a natural spring-mattress.

The Tupakihi (_Coriaria ruscifolia_) is a shrub growing chiefly on
poor open land. The whole plant is highly astringent, but is also said
to contain a narcotic principle. Cattle occasionally eat it, and get
poisoned. It bears bunches of juicy berries which are wholesome to
eat, but upon them is a seed that is dangerously full of the poisonous
principle. The beverage called tutu, which the old Maori esteemed, was
made from the berries of this plant. When it was boiled with a certain
seaweed (_Porphyra_) a nutritious jelly was formed. Tutu was probably
not universally known among the Maori, but only to certain tribes. It
appears to have been intoxicating, for warriors who required a "drop of
somethink short" were accustomed to imbibe it on the eve of battle.

New Zealand is well-known to be a great place for ferns. They exist in
incredible profusion everywhere. Botanists have enumerated a hundred
and thirty indigenous species, of which some forty are peculiar to the
country. We are always sending roots, seeds, and dried species home,
but I cannot attempt to catalogue them. Several kinds resembling that
beautifully delicate fern called the maidenhair are among our commonest
species. Their luxuriance is astonishing. They cover acres and acres of
ground in the bush, and come up to one's waist and armpits.

The Tuakura (_Dicksonia squarrosa_) and the Ponga (_Cyathea dealbata_)
are the two principal varieties of fern-tree. Groves of them,
overshadowing some lonely creek, at the bottom of a wild, wooded gully,
are indeed a sight to see. Growing to twenty, thirty, or forty feet in
height, the graceful drooping fronds that spread around a single tree
form a natural arbour, capable of sheltering a number of persons.

The Raurau (_Pteris aquilina_, _var. esculenta_) is a fern of the
nature of English bracken. It covers all the better-class open lands,
and occurs among the undergrowth of the bush. It sometimes grows very
large, the fronds overtopping one's head as one walks or rides through
it. The root is a Maori edible.

The ivy-ferns, climbing-ferns, or creeper-ferns (_Polypodia_, _sp._,
_Hymenophylla_, _sp._), are very beautiful. They are everywhere in the
bush, ascending to the tops of the tallest trees, twining on every
limb, and throwing out bunches of fronds to hide it. Some have broad,
glossy leaves as big as a table-top; others are digitate, pedatisect,
tripinnate, and all the rest of it, or assume strange new shapes, like
that of the kidney-fern (_Trichomanes reniforme_), for instance.

Like the ferns, the mosses of the country are legion in number, and
marvellously luxuriant in growth. They, too, are everywhere. Great
masses of moss form hanging-gardens on the trees; for, collecting a
quantity of detritus and moisture, a sort of soil is formed, in which
small ferns, tawhera, orchids, plants of various kinds, and fungi,
flourish. In and about these hanging-gardens, these ferneries high up
upon the great trees, are the homes and habitations of birds, rats,
bees, beetles, lizards, and butterflies.

The Harakeke or Korati (_Phormium tenax_) is the justly celebrated New
Zealand flax. It is plentiful everywhere, on bush-land and open-land,
rich soil and poor soil, hill and dale, from the Reinga to the Bluff.
Throughout the North you cannot go a hundred yards in any direction
without seeing a clump of it. In many districts of both islands it
covers hundreds of acres entirely.

Flax resembles the English flag, or iris, in appearance, but the
blades are thicker, heavier, and glossy. Usually, from four to six
feet long, in favourable situations they grow to ten or twelve feet.
The colour is a bright green, variegated in some of the species with
white, yellow, or red. The plant grows in dense clumps, or bushes, and
from the centre of each root rises a tall stem bearing flowers, white,
yellow, salmon, flesh-pink, red, in different varieties. The flowers
are peculiarly rich in honey; and Maori children are fond of sucking
them. The resulting seed is oily and resinous, the seed-stems being
commonly used for torches.

The leaves of the harakeke are composed of a strong fibre, which ranks
next to silk in degree of tenacity. The whole plant is impregnated with
gum, quantities of which are found about the base of the leaves. The
gum is astringent, and the root is rich in tannin. This fresh gum was
used by the Maori for every purpose of cement and glue. The root had
its place in their pharmacopeia.

From the earliest times that Europeans had any knowledge of New
Zealand, this flax-fibre has excited great attention. The quality of
the Maori manufactures from it was sufficient to arouse earnest inquiry
into the nature of the material. The robes and dresses they wove out of
phormium yarn were articles often of considerable beauty, finish, and
design. The kaitaka, for instance, made from a choice variety of flax,
has a gloss like silk or satin, and, though thick, is perfectly soft
and flexible. All these garments were so durable that they could be
handed down from generation to generation.

But the labour involved in making these articles was prodigious, and
would have rendered them above all price in a community where an
individual's time was commutable into cash. The fibre was separated by
hand, and freed from the all-permeating gum by toilsome manipulative
processes. This work of freeing the fibre from gum has always been the
great difficulty. Even yet success has not been wholly achieved. No
European machinery or process has yet been perfected that will turn out
an article like the Maori manufacture, and at a practicable cost. If it
could be done, the fabric would bring immense wealth to this country.

Very early in this century phormium fibre was brought to Sydney and to
England. The manufacture of cloth from it was essayed at Knaresborough,
in Yorkshire, but it was found that the fibre was destroyed by boiling
it with chemicals, which had been resorted to for removal of the gum.
However, it soon became known as of value for cordage, canvas, and
paper-making. Phormium rope, tested against the best Manilla rope, bulk
for bulk, has been over and over again proved the stronger and most
durable.

Many mills have been erected, and much capital sunk in the production
of the dressed fibre, and in experimenting to render it more workable
at commensurate cost. In the North less has been done in this way than
elsewhere. There are mills at Whangarei, at Aratapu, and at sundry
other places; but it is evident that further south must lie the chief
fields of flax industry. In Taranaki and in Westland, for example,
there are miles and miles of nothing but flax. The supply of leaf is
there simply inexhaustible.

In the commercial world New Zealand flax-fibre was highly esteemed at
one time, but has fallen out of favour. During 1873 the colony exported
dressed fibre to the value of £143,799, but in 1875 this export fell
to £11,742, and, though it has recovered slightly, it has not reached
the original standard. This has been owing to the action of English
rope-makers, who continue to prefer Manilla hemp, and to depreciate
the price of our product, in spite of its acknowledged superiority. A
short-sighted policy on their part, it promises to result well for the
colony. Unable to find a market for the raw material, New Zealanders
are beginning to manufacture rope, canvas, and paper themselves. There
is not a doubt that their products will take the foremost place, and
bring great wealth to the country.

Experimenting with flax has been a regular craze. Many a man has lost
all his capital in it. You have only to see what the Maori have done
with the fibre, and to recognize the enormous supply of the material,
to get bitten by this mania. It seems so manifestly certain that there
must be a way of working up the material by machinery at a reasonable
cost, and producing a fabric such as the Maori did, which could be sold
at a profit. Only find out the way to do it, and the fortunes that
could be made would be boundless in extent.

In the green state, the flax leaf is most useful to both settler and
Maori. Every purpose for which cordage of any kind is wanted, is easily
supplied by cutting some leaves from the nearest clump, splitting
and tying them together. They look unsightly, but they are just as
strong as need be. Whether it is a bridle, a halter, a boat-cable, or
a boot-lace that is required, green flax-leaf out of the nearest bush
supplies it. And the Maori plait kits and baskets for all purposes with
it.

Take it altogether, in the green state and in the manufactured
condition, in the present and prospectively, as what it has been and
what it will become, there is nothing in the country to equal the value
of the phormium. Few countries have a natural product so useful, and of
such vast importance to their future welfare.

The vegetable edibles of the bush have already been alluded to in the
description of Maori manners. There would be no need for any one to
starve, if he were lost in the forest for months, did he but know the
native esculents, even if he were unable to supplement them by catching
birds or fish. Almost every Maori—at any rate of the old school—is
a good practical botanist and naturalist. He knows the properties and
native name of every plant; and he knows the habits of each bird, or
fish, or insect, and how to catch it. When the Pakeha condescends to go
to the Maori for instruction in these particulars, he will be sure to
gain something by it.

The principal edible, because the most widespread, was the fern-root.
It was prepared in several ways. The most elaborate consisted in
macerating, steaming, and kneading the gummy fibrous stuff, and
keeping the resulting mess until a kind of fermentation began in it.
The readiest way was to simply roast the scraped root, then to beat
it into softness between two stones. When cold, this last became hard
like biscuit. It is tolerably nutritious, but not particularly nice,
according to Pakeha notions.

The root of the ti, and of the toi, too, I believe, is far better food,
but was neither so plentiful nor so easily grubbed up. Baked or boiled
it is not bad eating, being very farinaceous. The earliest missionary
settlers made beer from a wort of it. Whether this was known to the
Maori previous to the advent of the Pakeha, I have been unable to
discover.

The pith of the nikau is wholesome, nutritious, and palatable. The tree
is plentiful enough in the North. Unlike the root of the cabbage-tree
just mentioned, it is eaten raw. There is a bushy grass (_Gahnia_ and
_Cladium_), strong spiny stuff, in the forest, which also has an edible
pith.

The root of the raupo (_Typha angustifolia_), the swamp-grass of which
the Maori construct their wharè, is edible, similarly to that of the
cabbage-tree. Punga-punga, the pollen of the raupo, used to be made
into bread.

There are one or two other roots and piths also esculent, but neither
so good nor so plentiful as those just recorded. There are the fruits
of the hinau, rimu, matai, miro, kahikatea, koraka, tawa, kohekohe,
taraire, tawhera, and other trees and shrubs. And there is the interior
of the stem of one of the fern trees.

There are the native spinach or Renga-renga (_Tetragonia expansa_), the
Pana-pana, or cress (_Cardamine hirsuta_), and the Reti-reti, or sorrel
(_Oxalis magellanica_), which do for salad and green vegetables. As
they are plentiful, they might be more freely used by settlers and
bushmen than they are.

To them may be added the Toi (_Barbarea vulgaris_), a herb which served
the ancient Maori as cabbage. Then there is a native celery (_Apium
australe_), a nettle (_Urtica incisa_), and a dandelion (_Taraxacum
dens-leonis_), all of which might be eaten. The Maori also made use of
the root of an orchid (_Gastrodia Cunninghamii_), and the root of a
bindweed (_Convolvulus sepium_). They called the first Hirituriti, and
the latter Panake. These roots are farinaceous and nourishing, and were
baked and consumed in large quantities.

The three plants cultivated by the Maori—Kumera (_Ipomœa Batatas_),
Hue (_Cucurbita_, _sp._), and Taro (_Caladium esculentum_), are all to
be found growing wild. There are also now to be found wild many of our
garden vegetables, including the potato, tomato, capsicum, tobacco,
cabbage, cape gooseberry (_Physalis Peruviana_), watercress—called
Kowhiti by the natives—and many more.

Lastly, the Maori made use of several seaweeds and a number of fungi.
But, as Britons at home persist in despising all other fungi but the
field mushroom and the truffle, I suppose they will hardly take to
such food here, dainty though it is. One fungus (_Hirneola_, _sp._)
is gathered here to a small extent for export to China. It fetches
about 15_s._ to £1 per cwt., and about £1000 worth are annually
exported. It grows plentifully on certain trees. The field mushroom
(_Agaricus campestris_), well known in England, has appeared on our
paddocks, sometimes in enormous quantities. Together with its congener
the horse-mushroom (_A. arvensis_), this fungus is not indigenous,
according to Maori information on the subject. I have heard the species
called "Harori-kai-pakeha," which conveys the idea that the field
mushroom is an introduced species. But the Maori applied the name
of Harori to several species belonging to the families _Agaricus_,
_Amanita_, _Lepiota_, etc., which we call "toadstools." They were
accustomed to eat certain of these, and do so still, if they happen to
find them in the bush. All fungi growing on trees they call Hakeke, or
Popoiahakeke. Of these, they were accustomed to eat the three or four
species of _Hirneola_, which are indigenous, and one or two _Polypori_
besides. One of the latter tribe yielded them a surgical appliance.
A mushroom they name Putawa, is a _Boletus_. Probably more than one
species of this family was customarily eaten. The Maori also ate the
Pukurau (_Lycoperdon Fontainesii_), and possibly other species of
puff-balls besides. They knew the esculent value of the Pekepekekiore
(_Hydnum Clathroides_), but their chiefest dainty and most esteemed
treasure among fungi, is the Paruwhatitiri, or "thunder-dirt"
(_Ileodictyon cibarium_). The volva of this extraordinary fungus is
eaten, and is regarded as a great dainty. There are many species of
fleshy fungi in the bush, but little is known of them, either by Maori,
settlers, or scientists.

New Zealand did without quadrupeds in the old times, save and except
the kiore, or rat. This was a delicacy much esteemed by Maori
bon-vivants, and was regularly hunted by them with great ceremonial.
It is rapidly becoming extinct, only being found now in the remote
recesses of the forest. The Norwegian rat, which centuries ago
exterminated the aboriginal British rat, has somehow come over here
with the Pakeha, and is rapidly rendering the kiore a thing of the
past, while spreading through the land in its place.

There was some talk of the discovery of a kind of otter, but, I
believe, that has been proved a myth altogether. There were some bats,
and there was the dog, kararehe or peropero. The kararehe, however, was
never wild to any extent. It had been brought here by the Maori, and
was kept domesticated by them. They prized its flesh for food, and its
skin for robes.

Captain Cook's pigs are now numerous everywhere, as has been described
in another chapter. Besides them, cattle, goats, sheep, and cats are
now found wild in certain localities, and in considerable number.

We have, luckily, no snakes, and the only reptiles are pretty little
ngarara, or lizards (_Mocoa zelandica_, and _M. ornata_), together
with a few frogs in some districts. The Maori have legends respecting
enormous ngarara that they say once existed here. They have a tale of
these taniwha which is somewhat parallel to our nursery stories of
dragons.

Instead of animals New Zealand possessed an extraordinary class of
gigantic birds, the famous moa, in fact. The kiwi (_Apteryx_) remains
as an example of this family. The kiwi, of which there are four known
species, varies from the size of a common hen to that of a goose. It
has neither wings nor tail; and its dull brown feathers resemble coarse
hair. It has a long flexible bill, and thick powerful legs, which
divide into four strong claws.

The kiwi is a night-bird, lying hid by day. It is very shy,
disappearing from the neighbourhood of settlements and haunting
the recesses of the forest, where I have found it to be still very
plentiful. The kiwi lays a very large egg in proportion to its size.
A bird of four and a half pounds will lay an egg of fourteen ounces
weight. The Maori used to catch considerable numbers of them, and
do still in some parts, using their flesh for food, their skins for
leather, and their feathers for weaving into chiefs' robes. Having
eaten kiwi old and young, baked and boiled, roast and fried, I am able
to state that its meat is tougher and more tasteless than barbecued
boot-soles.

The Maori have two ways of catching kiwi. They hunt them with dogs
trained to the work; that is one method. The dog flushes the kiwi,
which runs swiftly and silently off among the undergrowth. The dog
follows by scent. At last the kiwi is driven into some swamp, where it
half buries itself in the mud, and stupidly stands till it is caught.

Another plan is to light a fire by night in some secluded and likely
thicket, the hunter lying concealed near. He imitates the cry of
the kiwi, and so lures it to the fire, where it stands dazzled and
stupefied till he seizes it. A party I was out with once caught a dozen
birds so one night.

The now extinct moa appear to have been very similar to kiwi, only
of gigantic size. Plenty of their skeletons are found, enabling
naturalists to tell us all about them, corroborated by the tradition of
the Maori. They seem to have been in existence up to the end of last
century, and, till lately, it was thought that individual specimens
might even yet be found in unexplored localities. This hope no longer
remains.

There were three families of moa (_Dinornis_, _Aptornis_,
_Palapteryx_), subdivided into several species. The smallest was five
feet, and the largest sixteen feet in height. They were of enormous
bulk, too; one species had legs thicker than a man's thigh. But huge as
they were, they were shy and stupid, and not formidable, so that the
Maori were able to run them down and club them to death.

If the moa's egg was as large in proportion to the bird as the kiwi's
is to it, it must have been a monster. And if, as naturalists lead us
to infer, the moa was but a magnified kiwi in all respects, it is to be
supposed that its flesh would be correspondingly tougher and coarser.
In that case, I do not see why the Maori should be blamed for turning
cannibal in preference to eating it.

The first voyagers to New Zealand speak with special unction of the
multitudes of birds, and especially of singing birds. They could
scarcely do so now. The native birds have noticeably diminished in
number, though they are yet to be found plentifully enough in the
remote bush. The Maori say in their picturesque manner—

"When the big Pakeha bird (ship) swam upon the sea to Ahinamaui, the
little Maori birds flew away."

Some have thought that the introduction of honey-bees has caused the
disappearance of honey-sucking birds. A more probable reason is that
advanced by Dr. Buller, namely, that the Norwegian rat is the real
cause. This little beast swarms throughout the forest country, and robs
nests of eggs and young.

But the Maori birds are by no means so few in number as some writers
would have us believe; and they are being rapidly augmented by numerous
species from other countries, imported and acclimatized, which are
thriving apace and multiplying prodigiously. I shall only have room to
mention a few of our native species, such as are peculiarly noticeable
or comparatively common.

The Tui (_Prosthemadera N.Z._) is commonly known as "parson-bird,"
from two white projecting feathers on the neck, which exactly parody
a clergyman's falling bands. It is somewhat larger than the English
starling, with plumage resembling it, but more metallic in colour and
glossier. It sucks honey from flowers, and eats berries. It has a
cheerful song, and can imitate like a mocking-bird. I have often seen
scores of tui at a time on blossoming kowhai trees. Tui give regular
concerts in the early morning, and the motions of the bird when singing
resemble those of a preacher, a curious addition to the likeness
conveyed by its "bands." Tui fatten so excessively on phormium seeds,
that the Maori have a fable that they peck a hole in their breasts,
to let the superfluous oil out. The bird is a favourite for caging,
both with Maori and settlers. It can be taught to whistle tunes and
articulate words. It is good eating.

The Kuku (_Carpophaga N.Z._) is a wood-pigeon, a good deal larger than
the English species. It has splendid plumage, of a dark, flashing,
metallic green, with touches of red, and a white breast. It appears to
be migratory, coming down in flocks every now and then, especially when
the cabbage trees are in seed. On these oily beans it gets absurdly
fat, like the tui, so much so, that when you shoot a bird and it falls
to the ground, you find the skin split, and the fat oozing forth.
The kuku appear in hundreds and thousands sometimes, and numbers may
easily be shot. The Maori snare them and spear them by scores. They are
capital eating.

The Weka (_Ocydromus Earli_) is found plentifully in the woods.
Settlers call it the "bush-hen." It has a pretty mottled plumage of
partridge tints, and its flesh eats like grouse. The weka is somewhat
larger than the English water-hen. It is getting less abundant every
year. There is a larger bird in the bush of kindred species, rarer, and
distinguished by more showy colours, which I have seen once or twice,
but could not identify. Probably it may have been a cross between the
weka and the common domestic fowl.

The Pukeko (_Porphyrio melanotus_) is a splendid water-bird, larger
than the biggest duck. It is known as the "swamp-hen." Its purple
colouring and crimson beak give it quite a royal and magnificent
appearance. This bird is getting rapidly more numerous instead of the
contrary. It has quite taken to Pakeha domination, apparently, and
could probably be domesticated. The pukeko was brought here by the
Maori. It is fine eating.

The Kaka (_Nestor meridionalis_) is a large bird of the parrot kind.
Its plumage is of a greenish brown, with scarlet under the wings.
It is common and good eating. There are several varieties of kaka,
some in which the colouring is dull, and others in which it is richly
variegated. It eats insects and berries, and sucks the honey from
flowers. Its note is harsh and clamorous.

The Kakariki (_Platycercus N.Z._) comprehend several species of small
parrot or parrakeet. They are distinguished by brilliant emerald-green
and scarlet feathers. Occasionally a good many may be seen. They are
noisy fellows—like all parrots.

The Kuimako or Kohorimako (_Anthornis melanura_) is a bird about the
size of a thrush. Its plumage is olive-green, with purple about the
head. It has a sweet note, that has been compared to the tinkling and
chiming of silver bells; hence its common name, "the bell-bird." It is
our nightingale. Once chorusing in flocks, singing at daybreak, it may
still be often heard, but, sad to say, is getting scarcer.

The Kahu (_Circus Gouldi_) is chief among several of the hawk tribe. It
looks almost eagle-like, as its broad wings skim across the sky. It is
a sad marauder among the settler's poultry. Sometimes two or three of
them will combine and attack a turkey or lamb. They do good by keeping
down rats on open ground.

The Ruru (_Spiloglaux N.Z._) is a small brown owl, heard everywhere
at night. It is called the "morepork," from its doleful iteration of
apparently that word. There is also a singular green owl-parrot, the
kakapo (_Strigops habroptilus_), which lives in holes in the ground.
It attacks sheep and tears their backs. It does not belong to our
catalogue, as it is not found in the Land of the Kauri, principally
inhabiting Canterbury and Otago. I believe there are one or two other
species of owls besides them.

The Kaiaia (_Hieracidea Brunnea_) is a sparrow-hawk, smaller than
the kahu. It will probably have its work cut out in keeping down the
English sparrows that have been introduced, and are likely to get too
numerous. By the same native name the "quail-hawk" (_Hieracidea N.Z._)
is also known. Both of these hawks are so exceedingly fierce that they
will attack anything, either singly or in concert. They have even been
known to fly at men, and to pounce at game in their hands.

The Patatai (_Rallus Philippensis_) is a small land-rail, plumaged much
like a partridge. It may not infrequently be seen; and makes a dainty
dish.

The Matuku (_Botaurus pœciloptilus_) is a bittern, long-legged and
billed. It is of dull hues, and its monotonous boom may be heard from
the swamps. The Maori are expert at catching them; but I cannot say
that bittern-meat is good. There is a smaller species of bittern, a
blue heron, and possibly others of the family, all known under the
common name of matuku.

The Kotare (_Halcyon vagans_) is a kingfisher, whose bright plumage
flits continually through the mangroves, where it principally makes
its home. It is larger than our English species, and of much the same
hues, sea-green and ultramarine, with orange-tawny under the wings.

The Kawau (_Phalacrocorax_, _sp._) is one of the commonest birds. There
are half a dozen distinct species, known to us by the general name of
shag or cormorant. They have a black back and a white breast. Some have
blue, green, and other tints of colouring. They build in trees, in
large "shaggeries," and haunt the seashore and the banks of the rivers.

The Kuaka (_Limosa Baueri_) is the bird spoken of as "curlew" and "grey
snipe" by colonists. Large flocks are to be seen on our rivers, feeding
on the mud-banks. When they are assembled in numbers, it is often
possible to creep cautiously within range, and take a pot-shot at the
crowd as it rises. A number may thus be bagged. The Maori used to net
them by night. They are fairly good eating.

The Titi or "mutton-bird" (_Puffinus brevicaudus_) is a species of
petrel common throughout the South Sea. They breed in burrows far
inland, consorting in immense flocks. An island in Bass' Straits is
resorted to by them annually, in such incredible numbers, that one
estimate, arrived at by calculating the cubic space they occupied,
gave a hundred and fifty millions as their probable numbers. On our
coasts they often come in legions. The Maori catch them by stretching
nets along the seashore at night. The birds, flying low, and returning
after dark to their inland roosting-places, are thus trapped in great
quantities. The Maori used to preserve them in calabashes, partly
cooked, and potted in the oily fat that had exuded from them. They were
thus made into a sort of "canned provisions," which might be stored up
against times of dearth, or made an article of trade with inland tribes.

The Koreke (_Coturnix N.Z._), the native quail, was once very
plentiful, though more so on the grassy downs of the south than here.
The natives used to net koreke in great quantities, much as they did
the titi and kuaka. Now, the bird is scarce in our part of the country.
Only rarely do we see a flock of half a dozen or so. But their place
is amply filled by various imported species of game-birds, now getting
very plentiful.

The Huia (_Heteralocha Gouldi_) must just be mentioned, as it is one
of the most striking of New Zealand species. It is only found in the
mountains of Wellington and Nelson provinces, consequently not in our
districts. The huia is a large bird, of a uniform glossy black colour,
shot with green. It has a long bent bill, and brilliant orange wattles.

The Koheperoa (_Eudynamis Taitensis_) is a long-tailed, brown-plumaged
cuckoo, which comes here from the South Sea Islands in the month of
October—our May. Its habits appear to be much the same as those of
the English cuckoo. I only once saw one closely, but have heard them
oftener.

The Popo or Popotea (_Orthonyx albicilla_) is a little brown bird with
a white head, which sings like a chaffinch, and principally lives about
rata trees. We see them not infrequently.

The Riroriro (_Gerygone flaviventris_) is a little warbler seen about
in company with the tauhau.

The Toutou (_Miro longipes_) is a small grey and white bird, which some
people have said is called the New Zealand robin. It is to be seen in
the bush now and then, and seems tame, but _we_ prefer to call another
species _our_ robin.

The Pihoi (_Anthus N.Z._) is the so-called native "lark." It is a
ground pipit, and may often be seen fluttering and chirping about a
bush road.

The Korohea (_Turnagra Hectori_) is the native thrush, and a poor
imitation it is of the English throstle. It is scarce. Sometimes its
song may be listened to with pleasure.

The Kokako (_Glaucopis Wilsoni_) is a crow, and is not uncommon in the
Kaipara. It has blue wattles on the beak. Its note is peculiar, being
sometimes a low, hollow boom, and at others a shrill and somewhat
bell-like tone.

The Putoto (_Ortygometra Tabuensis_) is a crake, often confounded by
settlers with the patatai. It is a smaller bird altogether, having
partridge tints on the back, and a grey breast. It chiefly inhabits
raupo swamps.

The Torea, or oyster-catcher (_Haematopus longirostris_) is one of the
sea-coast birds, and is often to be seen about our tidal rivers. It is
a black bird.

The Kotuku, or crane (_Ardea syrmatophora_), must just be mentioned,
though none of us ever saw one. But the Maori have a proverb—"as rare
as the kotuku."

There are various species of duck indigenous to the country, and
seen in great flocks on the rivers. Some of them have really fine
plumage, and others are dull in colour. We shoot and eat them all
indiscriminately, and consider them very good. The species we
have identified in the Kaipara and Hokianga are—the Putangi, or
"paradise-duck" (_Casarca variegata_); the grey duck, or Parera (_Anas
superciliosa_); the brown duck, an allied species or variety of the
last; the Papanga, or "teal," or "widgeon" (_Fuligula N.Z._), and
some other varieties that may be imported birds, or crosses, or other
native species. Besides these are numerous species of seabirds: gulls,
albatross, tern, skua, penguin, etc. We never eat them, of course,
though the Maori do, as they occasionally shoot some for the sake of
their feathers.

The Tauhau (_Zosterops lateralis_) is a beautiful little green bird,
much like a wren. It has a gold or silvery ring round the eye. It is
much seen about gardens and clearings, and settlers know it as the
"blight-bird." It frequents second-growth ti-tree, where its little
mossy nest and four or five pale blue eggs may often be found. This
bird is said to have only recently come to the country, from no one
knows where. It is quite at home now, and we see its nest oftener than
that of any other species.

The Waka-waka (_Rhipidura flabellifera_) is _the_ robin of our Brighter
Britain. It is a fantail, or flycatcher. It has dark brown tints pied
with white and black. When one is working or travelling in the bush, a
pair of these dear little birds will stay with one all day. They appear
beside you in the morning, and remain with you till night. They flutter
and flirt about you, sitting on twigs and regarding you with a bright
beady eye, whilst chirruping in a soft, unobtrusive undertone. We find
their nests sometimes, in bush-lawyer or supple-jack clumps, or in
birch-trees, They are curiously built with spiders' webs.

Many a rough, rude bushman has grown quite sentimental regarding these
little companions of man, and would visit with dire vengeance any
attempt to harm them. The Maori, as usual, have quaint superstitious
fancies about them. An old fellow, who in youth had been "out" with
Hone Heke, was once my companion on a journey through the forest. He
alluded feelingly to the waka-waka that, as usual, were fluttering
about us.

"Ah!" he said, "they are little spirits" (atua nuke-nuke). "They come
to see what men are doing in the bush by day, and go back to tell God
at night. To-night they will say, 'we saw the Maori and the Pakeha
together in the forest. They ate of the same, and drank of the same,
and slept together in one blanket, and were brothers.' And God will
say, 'It is good!'"

These are the birds known to the naturalists of our shanty, but
there are plenty more species, rarer, or whose habitat is limited to
districts south of this. And now, too, any ornithological catalogue of
the country must contain the names of numerous acclimatised species,
many of which are getting almost too abundant. We have many English
song-birds and insect-eaters; larks and linnets and thrushes, etc. And
we have game in any quantity in some districts, rapidly extending all
over the islands, of the following descriptions: The English pheasant
(_Phasianus colchicus_), the Chinese pheasant (_Phasianus torquatus_),
the partridge (_Perdix cinerea_), the Californian quail (_Ortyx
Californicus_), the Australian quail (_Coturnix pectoralis_), and some
others.

I have already said something about insects, when describing our home
life. I spoke of the mosquito (_Culex_), of the sandfly (_Simulium_),
and of the kauri-bug (_Polyzosteria N.Z._). I think I also mentioned a
certain not wholly unknown and _nimble_ creature, which the Maori are
accustomed to term Pakeha-nuke-nuke, or "little stranger."

Then there is the Cricket (_Cicada_), which swarms on the clearings,
eating down the grass, and doing damage in the gardens and fields. It
is the chief enemy of farmers. We have to keep large flocks of turkeys
on the clearings to keep down the crickets. They devour the insect
greedily, getting to a marvellous size on the food, and acquiring a
delicacy and flavour far beyond that of stubble-fed birds. A plague of
caterpillars also appears sometimes, which must be combated by similar
means.

We have flies in hosts, innumerable spiders, some of them as big
as walnuts, with hairy legs like a crab's claws, huge flying
locust-grasshoppers, goat-chafers, cock-chafers, dragon-flies, beetles,
and butterflies, the last not often remarkable for size or brilliance.
There are two unique creatures that must have special reference made to
them.

The Hotete is the so-called "vegetating caterpillar." It is a grub
two or three inches long, and out of its head there grows a parasitic
fungus (_Sphaeria Robertsii_), in the form of a long spire or blade,
six or seven inches in length, with a seed-spur on the top. The natives
eat the hotete. It is the larva of _Hepialus virescens_, a kind of
locust.

The Weta (_Deinacrida heteracantha_) is a creature of the locust form
living in dead-wood. Its body may reach to three inches in length,
and be about the thickness of one's thumb. It is covered with horny
scales, resembling those of a shrimp, but of a darker brown colour.
The head is perfectly black, and resembles a small lobster, with the
claws and mandibles projecting downwards. There are two large staring
eyes, and two immense antennæ. It has six legs, the latter pair being
very strong and large, while all are armed with serrated edges or
files, and with hooked claws. Behind, there is a horny, wedge-like
spine. From the hinder claws to the tip of the antennæ the weta may
measure sixteen inches, if a full-grown specimen. It bores its way
through dead-wood, in which it lives. Sometimes you get a weta on your
clothes, and feel horrified; but it is perfectly harmless, though you
will have to take it in pieces to get it off you. The larva of this
reptile, a huge sickly-white maggot, is a great prize to a Maori. He
fixes it on a stick, toasts it at the fire, and eats it with every sign
and expression of extravagant delight. I must say that the odour of the
toasted grub is very appetizing, still, I never could bring myself to
try one.

The poisonous spider of Taranaki—if, indeed, it really exists—is
unknown in our part of the country. We have numbers of bees. Nearly
every hollow tree contains comb. The shanty is seldom without a
bucketful of honey, for the consumption of those who like it. These
bees are a naturalized importation though; there were none indigenous,
I understand.

When touching on the Maori commissariat I alluded to our fish. We have,
indeed, a wealth of fish in all the tidal waters. Sharks, schnapper,
rock-cod, mackerel, mullet, herring, sole, halibut, albacore,
barracouta, king-fish, and others. All sorts of ways of fishing may be
practised successfully. One can always get fresh fish for supper, for
half an hour's trouble; and a day or night's netting or spearing will
provide ample store for smoking, drying, or salting. There are eight
kinds of whales, so bay-whaling is carried on round the coast. There
are also seals and dolphins.

The Maori think most of shark-meat, which they cure largely. It is
stinking stuff. We are always ready to lend a hand at a shark-hunt,
which is good sport, but we decline our share of the plunder. We prefer
the substantial schnapper, the goodly whapuka or kanae, or the luscious
porahi.

Cockles, mussels, clams, mutton-fish, oysters, and other molluscs
abound in the mud and on the rocks. In the freshwater streams are eels,
lampreys, and whitebait; and now salmon and trout have been introduced
into many of them, and are doing well. People who admire a fish diet
should come here. They could revel in profusion of it, as the Maori did
and do.

When the naturalist's note-book of our shanty shall have become
enlarged and more copious, I may possibly be able to add to this slight
sketch of the natural history of Northern New Zealand. But perhaps I
have already said more than enough to weary the hapless reader.



CHAPTER VII.

THE DEMON DOG—A YARN.


Old Colonial is good at spinning yarns, and there is one of his I
should like to put in here, because it is so thoroughly descriptive of
the very first essays at pioneer-farming in this district.

One night, when we were all comfortably settled to our pipes round the
fire in our shanty, by general request, Old Colonial began as follows—

"Ah! it's a good many years since I first came up into this district,
new as it is even yet. Near as Auckland is, comparatively, the people
there know no more about us than the folks at home. I've stuck close
to the district, as I like it, and think it's as good as any in the
colony. But, you see, other people don't. New-chums, if they hear of
the Kaipara at all, learn that it's very hilly, and all bush of one
kind or another, and that frightens them; so they go south to the open
districts. And then, Government is more interested in getting settlers
elsewhere than here. People are told that there are no roads up here,
and that the Maori hold the greater part of the land. That is enough
for them, of course, and they don't come up to see for themselves. As
there is no decent map of the colony available as yet, naturally they
cannot know that what with our tidal rivers and freshwater creeks,
intersecting the district in all directions as they do, we really want
no roads, as no one will settle in the back country until the water
frontage is filled up, which will not be for many years yet. Then, our
Maoris are the best neighbours any one could wish to live among, and
are only too well pleased to sell lands and welcome new settlers.

"After all, we are just a trifle out of the way, you must allow.
Although we've got Tom's little steamer now, running regularly on the
rivers, still, communication with the city means two transhipments and
a portage, with tremendously heavy freights, unless you can charter a
cutter yourself and go all round by the open sea. So that, though we
settlers may think the Kaipara in every way desirable, there's good
reason for those who have never been in it to give their preference to
the Waikato, or Wanganui, or Canterbury.

"However, I dare say you are beginning to wonder what all this has to
do with my tale of old times. Not being a professional story-teller,
I suppose I'm not over good at shaping a yarn, especially at the
beginning, but—there's some more rum in that bottle!—if you'll have
patience I shall get into the thick of it directly.

"Well, the district being what it is in this year of grace eighteen
hundred and seventy, you may easily suppose that, sixteen years ago, it
was quite like coming into an undiscovered world to come up here. At
that time I believe that Karl was really the only settler in the entire
tract of country; and as that comprises between two and three thousand
square miles, and as there were no more Maoris then than there are now,
probably not more than a total of a thousand altogether in all the
little kainga round, it could scarcely be called a populous part of New
Zealand.

"I don't know what had tempted Karl to select up this way. Probably
accident led him into the Kaipara, and when here he saw his way to
something. There is no doubt that if things had gone straight he might
now have been one of the richest men in the province. However, things
did not go straight, and why they didn't is the subject of my tale.

"I first happened upon Karl in Auckland, sixteen years ago it is now,
as I have just told you. He was a German by race, but English by
education, and seemed to have knocked about the world a good bit. He
was a tall, powerful man, quiet and composed in general demeanour,
rather pleasant to get on with, well-informed and gentlemanly, but with
a decidedly rough and wild side to his character, which only appeared
now and then. I agreed to hire with him for a spell, and accompanied
him on his return to this district.

"A year or so previously Karl had purchased Hapuakohe on the Arapaoa
river—that is the place we went to help with the cattle at the other
day, and the best farm in the district it is now. Karl had got about
six thousand acres dirt cheap, as land goes to-day, and had settled on
it at once. Being the first purchaser from the tribe, the Maoris of
the district held him in high esteem, and a lot of the young men gave
him their labour at the start, as part of the bargain. They helped
him to get timber and build a shanty and sheds, to enclose a bit of
ground for potatoes, and so on, and to put up a stockyard. Then Karl
chartered a small vessel from the Manukau, and brought up his various
necessaries—a few head of cattle, some pigs, fowls, a dog or two, and
so forth.

"Of course he was going to commence with running cattle in the bush, as
we do at present, but a happy chance saved him from the necessity of
this, and all its attendant hard work. Some part of his place had been
in Maori occupation comparatively recently, and was only covered with
fern and ti-tree bush. The season was a very dry one, unusually so, and
Karl was able to burn off all this stuff tolerably clean. He still had
some capital left, and with that was able to buy grass seed, though at
a ruinous price in those times, and sow down his burns. By this means
he got something like a thousand acres of pasture after the rains
came—a thundering good lift, you will say, for a settler in his second
year only.

"But Karl's grass was not to be compared with what we get on our
clearings. In the first place, the land was poor, and the seed did not
take so well; then, he had sown rather scantily, so that a good deal
of fern and flax and ti-tree came up with the young grass, and made it
patchy and poor. Still, it was a great thing for these parts, where
there is no native grass, for it enabled Karl to run sheep at once.

"Of course the grass was not all in one piece. It ran in and out among
the standing bush, occupying the lower levels of ranges and the rising
grounds at the bottom of gullies, spreading altogether over a good
stretch of country. Karl got up sheep to stock it, but his capital
was exhausted; and he ran into debt both for the sheep themselves, and
with the shipper who brought them up. Not that this seemed of much
consequence, for a year or two's increase of wool and lambs would pay
off the debt and leave something in hand. But the Maori help he had
didn't last very long; and as his creditors, being poor men, pressed
him a good deal, Karl had to come into Auckland and raise money on
mortgage.

"Land was low enough in value all over the colony, at that time, and
a block up this way was not thought much of, you may be sure, so that
Karl only got enough, by mortgaging his whole six thousand acres, to
pay off his two creditors and leave him a very small balance. Well, the
prospect was good enough, as any one but a new-chum can see, but all
hung upon the sheep. There did not seem a great risk, but still there
always is a certain amount of that with sheep. Disease did not trouble
Karl much; there need be no great fear on that account in this country,
if a little care be taken. Drought, too, was no matter for anxiety, as
the land was sufficiently well-watered. But it was out of the question
to fence in the grass, so we had to take what chance there was of the
sheep straying, or of the damage wild pigs might do to the young turf,
or of dingoes.

"Ah! you may laugh, but dingoes were what we feared most then. It has
been proved by this time that if ever dingoes or runaway curs did
exist, they are practically a myth, as far as this part of the island
is concerned. Still, that was not so sure in those days, and the
suspicion that they were in the bush was always a source of trouble
to sheep farmers. The pigs' ravages we could check by a thorough hunt
once or twice a year; and there was not much to fear from the sheep's
straying, as, except one or two particular breeds, they will not go
far into the bush or away from the grass. But the wild dogs were a
different matter, if they came, and no one could be quite sure that any
night might not find them among the flock.

"Such was the position of affairs when I came to live with Karl. Stop!
I am forgetting one circumstance, the most important, in fact; for,
if it had not been for her, I don't believe Karl would have cared so
much about his farm. He was just the sort of man who is perfectly
indifferent to ruin if it comes, so far as he himself is concerned; but
she made his views of the future entirely of another colour.

"When loitering about Auckland, while he was getting his mortgage
arranged, Karl got introduced to one or two families. He was not what
you would term a society man, but, for all that, he managed to make
up to a certain young lady he met. They fell in love with one another
and got engaged, with all the usual rapidity of such affairs out here.
There was even some talk of an immediate marriage, but the lady's
father would not hear of that when he came to know Karl's position.
He did not oppose the match in any way, but only stipulated for its
postponement until Karl should have paid off his mortgage, and built a
house more suitable for a family man than his then existing shanty. So
Karl, inflamed with as violent a passion as I ever saw in any man, had
to wait, three years as he calculated, until he was in a really proper
condition to marry. This was a tremendous incentive to him to go ahead
with vigour.

"When Karl returned to the bush I came with him, and took up my
residence as one of the party at Hapuakohe. Besides myself Karl had
one other chum, and there were two Maori boys who were generally on
the farm, and who gave a good deal of labour in exchange for somewhat
indefinite wages. They were yet unsophisticated in those days, and were
not so fully aware of the pecuniary value of their own labour and time
as they are now. Of course our work was hard and continuous. Looking
after the sheep, especially at lambing time, and shearing them when the
season came round, was the principal item. Then there was occasionally
some job or other with the little herd: half a dozen cows, a bull, and
a few young beasts, who roamed over bush and grass as they pleased,
and had to be got up sometimes, or some trifling dairy work done. Then
there were the usual garden crops, and the pigs to be seen to. Besides
this, one of us had to row and sail the whole fifty miles down to
Helensville every now and then, since there was no nearer place then
where we could have obtained our stores.

"Nearly six months of the year we were hard at work falling bush and
making new grassed clearings. We made no attempt at fencing, for
Karl considered that the acquisition of more grass for his rapidly
increasing flock was of paramount importance. Getting material, and
fencing the Hapuakohe grass in, would indeed have been a stupendous
task for our three pairs of hands to undertake, owing to the straggling
character of the cleared land, and the consequent extent of the lines
of fence required; moreover, there was no real necessity for it on a
mere sheep-walk. The sheep would not stray very much, and, as Karl
said, the only other reason was the dingoes, and no fence we could
construct would have kept them out. But Karl had made great inquiries
in Auckland, and from the natives, about these alleged wild dogs. He
had not only been unable to find any one who had ever seen one, but
even any one who knew any other person that had. So we almost succeeded
in banishing the thought of them from our minds.

"Thus a couple of years passed away, and Karl's wool sales enabled him
to bank a small instalment towards paying off his mortgage. However, it
was evident that more than another year must elapse before he was in a
position to marry, for the wages paid to the other man and I, together
with current expenses, cost of more grass seed, and so forth, ate into
the realized sum very deeply. On the other hand, the large annual
increase of the flock would make the returns of each succeeding year
very much greater. But I must tell you of our other chum, since it was
about this time that Karl killed him.

"Ah! I thought that would startle you and fix your attention. Yes,
there's a murder in my tale, coming presently. Listen!

"Brail, his name was; the only name I ever knew him by. He was a short,
thickset man, a beggar to work, no matter what he was at. He professed
to be English, but there was evidently some foreign blood in him, for
his skin was darker than ours. His black bristling beard came up nearly
to his eyes, and gave him a formidably ferocious look. He was reserved
and silent, though civil enough to me in a general way. I gathered
little by little, and at various times, that there was a bond of old
standing between Karl and this man. Though he was a paid labourer, just
as I was myself, yet it seemed that they had known one another for
years. It could hardly be friendship as that is ordinarily understood;
for Brail was a disagreeable companion at the best of times, and he and
Karl were for ever snapping and snarling at each other. I concluded
that the latent savagery which was in each, though differently
manifested, formed a sort of tie between them.

"This Brail had a sullen hang-dog expression, and, at times, a
fierce gleam in his scowling eyes that I did not like. Neither did
Tama-te-Whiti, the old Maori chief, who was my very good friend in
those days, as he has ever remained since. Tama used to visit Hapuakohe
sometimes, and I well recollect his aversion for Brail. After speaking
with him, Tama would often turn to me with an expression of profound
contempt, and hiss out, 'kakino tangata!' I never really knew anything
of the former relations of Karl and this man. I formed a theory from
various little things that reached me, which may be true or may not.
I imagine that Brail had been a convict, possibly a runaway and
bushranger in Australia; that Karl, induced by some old-time regard
for him, had aided him to escape to New Zealand, and had found him an
asylum with himself. Something like this seems probable.

"Brail possessed a dog, which I must specially mention. It was one of
those big yellow, shaggy-haired curs that are of the original Maori
breed. This beast was trained into a very fair sheep-dog, and did its
work along with the colleys belonging to the farm. It was the one thing
upon earth that Brail seemed really to love, but even in this he showed
his half-barbarous nature; for he would sometimes beat and kick the
poor cur in the most brutal way, and again would caress and fondle it
like a child. Whatever he did to it the dog never left him. It could
scarcely be called obedient, but night or day, waking or sleeping, it
never left its master. The animal was intelligent enough, and had that
curious likeness to Brail that one may notice a dog often gets for its
master. But he prided himself that the dog had some tincture of human
nature in it. He had bought it, when a year old, from a Maori woman,
at the price of two plugs of tobacco; and it seems that this woman had
suckled the whelp herself, in its early infancy, having lost a new-born
child of her own. You know that this peculiar custom of giving suck to
young puppies is not an uncommon thing among Maori women. Brail's dog,
as you will see by-and-by, had certainly acquired some super-canine
qualities, but whether from its human foster-mother or from the
teachings of its master, I cannot tell.

"Karl was indifferent to the beast. He was a hard man, and a rough
one with all animals. He had no love or tenderness for them; nor did
they show attachment to him. His own dogs obeyed him as their master,
but did not love him as their friend. He cherished his sheep, looking
on them as valuable property, without any feeling for them as living
things. It is a character common in the bush. And this made a frequent
cause for squabbles between him and Brail. Not that Brail cared for
animals a bit more than Karl did, in a general way; only for that
yellow dog of his. Though he often ill-treated it himself, it made him
savage to see any one else do so; and Karl rarely came near it without
a kick or a blow, more to tease Brail, I think, than for any other
reason.

"All this time Karl used to make excursions down to Auckland as often
as he could, to see his lady-love. He was getting more and more hopeful
about his prospects; and would frequently talk about them to me, and
about her also. But he never spoke on these topics before Brail; and I
could see that he began to have thoughts of getting rid of the coarse,
ill-mannered, foul-tongued ruffian, before he brought his bride up to
the place. As it was, Brail rarely left the run. When he did go down to
Helensville, or across to Whangarei, he invariably indulged in heavy
drinking at the stores. He would fight and brawl with any sawyers or
gum-diggers that might be hanging about; so that 'Karl's black devil
of a chum' was no welcome sight at either settlement. And Karl was
becoming more fastidious, as intercourse with his betrothed refined and
softened his character.

"One day Karl, in entering the shanty, stumbled over the great carcase
of the yellow dog, as it lay stretched out upon the floor. He kicked it
savagely, and the brute turned and snapped at his leg; though his tall
boots prevented the bite from doing him any harm. However, Karl, being
enraged, seized an axe or something that was standing near and made a
blow at the cur. But Brail rushed forward and seized his arm, and with
one of his usual oaths growled out—

"'Can't you leave that dog alone? I tell you there'll be a row one of
these times!'

"The two glared at one another silently for a moment, and then Karl,
still heated, threw down the axe and, laughing lightly, said—

"'Oh no, there won't; because I'm going to give up both you and the
cur!'

"'What?' cried Brail, and his teeth set, while an ashen pallor
overspread his face, and his eyes seemed drawn in under his heavy
lowering brows.

"Karl looked at him, and then seemed vexed, as though he had said
something more than he intended.

"'There,' he said hastily, 'don't put yourself out. I merely meant that
you'd better look for work somewhere else soon, as I intend altering
things a bit.'

"'Oh, that's all, is it?' returned Brail, looking relieved. 'It's
well it is all you meant, you know!' and with that he went out. Karl
followed him, and some more passed between them that I did not catch.
But there was a wicked look about Brail that I did not admire.

"Nothing further came of the incident; both men seemed to have
forgotten it when next they met. Only a day or two after, as we were
working together, Brail addressed a series of rather curious remarks
to me. It never struck me at the time, but afterwards I thought he
must have been trying to find out whether Karl had told me anything of
his—Brail's—past history. I did not know anything of it then, and so
Brail seemed satisfied.

"It was a custom of ours for one or two to camp out sometimes, when
working on a distant part of the farm, so as to save two or three
miles tramp backwards and forwards every morning and evening. So, after
this, Brail built himself a hut in a little gully some three miles
distant from the shanty. There were some lambing ewes lying on the
grass in that direction, and Brail had to watch these, while falling
bush on one side of the gully at the same time. So he moved up to his
hut, carrying his necessaries along with him, and accompanied by his
dog.

"Perhaps a fortnight after Brail had been camping up there, I was
milking some of the cows near the shanty towards evening. While so
occupied, I heard Karl's coo-ee from the direction of Brail's camp,
where I knew he had gone. I answered, and presently the signal—three
short quick coo-ees—informed me I had to go to him at once. I coo-ee'd
the answer that I was coming, finished my milking, took the cans into
the shanty, and set out. I ran up along the range, and had got more
than half-way towards Brail's clearing before I saw anything of Karl. I
was in an ill temper at having to go so far, being tired with the day's
work, and so it never struck me that anything might be wrong.

"Presently I saw Karl sitting on a log, and as I made towards him,
he rose and walked to me. I noticed there was blood on his shirt and
pants, but that simply made me conclude that he had killed a sheep,
and that I was summoned to help carry the mutton home before the flies
could get to it. I merely said crossly—

"'Well, where is it?'

"Karl pointed towards Brail's camp without speaking, and we both walked
on. Presently he spoke, in such hoarse, shaky tones, that I turned and
looked closely at him. There was trouble and distress in his face of an
unusual sort.

"'Old man,' he said, 'you'll stand by me, won't you?'

"'Of course,' I answered.

"'Are Wi and Tara back?' he asked then, meaning our two Maori boys, who
had been away at their own village for several days. I replied in the
negative, whereat he responded with a fervent 'Thank God!'

"'What's up?' I ejaculated in wonder.

"'I've killed Brail!' he whispered hoarsely.

"'Good God!' I cried. 'What do you mean, Karl?' and I sat down
involuntarily; for the announcement came almost like a blow. He stood
beside me, evidently deeply agitated.

"'Look here, old man! You're a true chum, I know. You'll keep this
matter dark, for my sake—for _her_ sake, rather. See here, I swear to
you it was justifiable—nay, it was accident!'

"I simply nodded. He went on—

"'I went down to where he was at work without a thought of this; that
I swear before Almighty God. Then that beast of his, that damned dog,
flew at me. I raised my axe to strike at it. He came forward with that
fierce rage on him that you may have noticed sometimes. I heard him
grind his teeth and hiss between them, "You will have it then; you! the
only man who knows my secret, b—— you!" And then he rushed at me with
his knife in hand. I hardly know how it happened. I struck at him with
the axe, meaning to knock the knife out of his hand. That was all I had
in my mind, I take God as my witness—it was all. But somehow, I know
not how, the axe caught him on the head. It was sharp, it was heavy; it
cut through the bone as through the rind of a gourd. He fell—dead!'

"Karl spoke in hoarse, hurried, spasmodic tones. He wrung my hand in
his, and looked beseechingly into my eyes.

"'Old man, you and I can share this—secret! You know me; you know I
would not lie to you, not even for my life. You can believe the truth
as I have told it you.'

"I waved his hand away, then took and wrung it hard. There was no need
for more. I knew the man, I knew what he wanted of me. I understood at
once. It was not fear for himself, it was for her, his wife that was
to be. He had little cause to fear, indeed, for, with such evidence as
I must perforce have given, no jury would have convicted him of more
than manslaughter. But, why make the matter public at all? No one knew
of it, except us two. No one need know of it. The shock of such a thing
would be terrible for the innocent girl he hoped to marry. It might,
probably would, break off the match.

"All this flashed across my mind. I had been in wild, lawless
countries; I had seen many a violent death; it was no new and terrible
thing to me. Boys! what would you have done? I liked Karl; I loved him,
I think. We were friends; and the dead man I had detested. I believed
every word he had said, as I believe it still. What need for more?
Should I be the one to destroy all his future hopes, just for the sake
of blurting about this miserable affair, to serve no particular end
that I could see? No!

"I put my hands on poor Karl's shoulders, and looked him steadily in
the face.

"'Come,' I said, 'let us put this thing out of sight, and—forget it.'

"He grasped my hands in his, while the tears that welled from his eyes
betrayed the depth and extent of his feelings. Then we went to where
the body lay. I fetched a spade from the hut, and, under the shadow of
some stretching fern-trees, in a secluded nook deep in the heart of a
bit of bush that neither axe nor fire was ever likely to touch, we dug
Brail's grave.

"We scarcely spoke at all. There was no need for words, for each
of us understood the other so well. When I stripped the body bare,
preparatory to laying it in its final resting-place, Karl simply
nodded. He knew, without my telling him, why I did so. He comprehended
that, in after time, if those bones were ever laid bare, there would
be no vestiges of clothes or tell-tale buttons to give a clue to the
remains. It might be supposed, in such a case, they were those of some
slain warrior of Ngatewhatua or Ngapuhi.

"And then we gathered together every fragment of the dead man's
property, and laid the things in his hut, and heaped up dead wood and
dry brush, and set fire to the pile, and watched the bonfire blaze to
ashes. And we scattered the ashes in a raupo swamp, and quietly went
home.

"Anxious we were for some time after, but there was little reason for
us to be so. The Maoris knew that Brail had intended leaving, and
were not surprised when we said he had gone. I myself had conveyed
a message from him to the storekeeper at Helensville, stating that
he was looking for another job. What easier than to tell them there
that he had swagged it through the bush to the east coast settlements?
What simpler than to answer inquiries for him in that direction, by
saying he had gone south? But no one ever cared to make close inquiry
after him. The few who knew him did not like him. Poor wretch! ruffian
as he was, I felt some pity for him; he, lying buried in the bush,
friendless, unloved except by a dog as unlovable as he had been himself.

"As regards that dog, Karl had told me he had killed it, though he
seemed somewhat confused about the matter when I thought of it and
questioned him. He said that, after he had struck down Brail, his mind
was so overwhelmed with the sudden horror of the affair, that he only
faintly recollected what followed immediately. He fancied the dog
attacked him; at any rate, he was sure he had chopped at it or stabbed
it with his knife, and he distinctly remembered throwing its dead
carcase to one side. So the matter was dismissed, it being merely a
passing matter of surprise to me that I had not noticed the dog's body
at the time. Yet I felt no call to go and look for it subsequently.

"Months flew by, and the thought of the unlucky affair was becoming
less and less burdensome to us. Shearing time had come and gone, and
the Maoris and one or two men from the settlements, who had come up to
help us with it, had departed. Karl went down to Auckland in the cutter
he had chartered to transfer the season's wool there. It would be the
first time he had seen his betrothed since Brail's death. Ever since
then he had been moody and depressed in spirits, melancholy and unlike
himself. But the soft feminine influence had a vast soothing power over
his mind, and he returned to Hapuakohe cheerful and happy. Care seemed
no longer to weigh him down.

"Indeed, the prospect was brightening considerably for him. Wool was up
in price; and Karl had not only paid the interest on his mortgage, but
had now a good sum in bank towards paying off the principal. There were
now between two and three thousand sheep on his clearings, and, barring
accidents, another year ought to see him a free man and able to marry.
I, too, participated in the good fortune that seemed to be with us, for
I each year took the bulk of my wages in sheep, continuing them on the
run with Karl's, on the usual system of half gains half risk.

"Karl was never weary of talking to me of his future wife; about his
love for her, and hers for him; and we even ventured on castle-building
by the fireside of nights. The new house was planned, its site fixed
on, and the cost of it reckoned up. All the free happy life that was to
be we talked over in pleasant anticipation. I was to get a place of my
own and marry, too. But there! You know the sort of talk when times are
good.

"One night we were sleeping as usual, in our bunks on opposite sides of
the shanty. The fire was out, but the moon shone brightly through many
a chink and crevice in the walls and roof. Suddenly I was awakened by a
terrific scream from my chum. Hastily throwing off my blanket, I leapt
out of the bunk and looked across at him. He was standing in the centre
of the floor, the sweat pouring from his face and chest, his hair wet
with it, his eyes starting, and his whole form shaking so that he could
hardly keep erect.

"'Karl!' I cried, 'for Heaven's sake, what is it?'

"My voice seemed to bring him to himself, and, after I had got him a
drink of cold tea, he became calmer, and was able to talk.

"'My God! I've had a fearful dream!' he said.

"'A nightmare, I suppose?' responded I.

"'I don't know,' he returned; 'it was something more frightful than I
ever experienced before. So horribly real, too.'

"After a while he continued—

"'I thought that Brail stood before me, just as he did that day when
I—when I—killed him. His face had a detestably evil look, and he
menaced me with his hands. I seemed to hear him say, "My vengeance
is to come!" Then his form gradually changed into that of his big
yellow dog, with fangs like a dragon's, and eyes that burnt horribly.
It seemed to take the shape of a devil's face, springing at me out
of hell, and I heard a confused sound of "Blood for blood!" Then the
horror of it forced me to scream and awake.'

"Of course I affected to laugh at Karl's dream; one always does
that with the victims of nightmare, I'm sure I don't know why, for
there's nothing laughable about such things when you come to think
of it. However, I discoursed in light fashion about the effects of
imagination, disordered stomachs, and heavy suppers, though I saw all
that I said had no particular effect on his mind. By-and-by we turned
in again, and I slept till morning without further disturbance.

"When morning came I found that the dream still weighed heavily on
Karl's spirits. He seemed to be possessed of the idea that it 'meant
something,' though precisely what he could not say. He was downhearted
and anxious, and his thoughts naturally turned to the sheep. They
meant so much to him, poor fellow! He proposed that we should both make
a thorough tour of the run, and asked me to catch a couple of horses
that we might the better do so. For we had a few 'scrubbers' about the
place, finding them necessary as economizing our time and strength in
getting about the extensive farm.

"We set off after breakfast, Karl riding along the top of the range and
I along the bottom, with the dogs following us as of course. The first
gully, the same in which the shanty stood, had nothing to show us. The
sheep on the clearings in it were feeding about as usual. But when we
crossed over the range, and came in view of the wide basin on the other
side, where was nearly five hundred acres of grass, we were surprised
to find no sheep at all visible. We traversed it in all directions,
sending the dogs round all the standing bush, and then we crossed the
further range into a gully where a narrow strip of pasture extended
for some two miles. As we came out of a piece of bush into this, we
perceived the sheep. They were not feeding about in scattered groups,
as was usual, but were collected in one flock, huddled up together.
Some were lying down, panting, and all looked distressed and scared. It
was easy to see they had been driven, and that quite recently.

"Karl galloped down the slope immediately, but I reined in for a
moment, looking to see if anything was visible to account for this.
Then a shout from Karl made me hasten to join him. He had dismounted,
and was kneeling beside a ewe that lay prostrate on the hill-side. As
I came up he looked at me with a terrible despair in his eyes, and,
pointing to the sheep, said quietly—

"'That is what my dream meant. Look!'

"I jumped down and examined the ewe. It was dead; and the mangled
throat and torn wool plainly told the cause.

"'Wild dogs!' I ejaculated with a bitter curse.

"We remounted and rode slowly about the clearings, narrowly observing
the condition of the flocks. We found seven-and-thirty sheep dead or
dying, the work of the dog or dogs on the previous night. A good many
more were apparently injured from the driving. We made every possible
search for the beasts that had done this, but not a trace of them was
discoverable.

"Karl seemed overwhelmed by the disaster. A dark superstition seemed
to have come over him, and to its influence he despairingly succumbed.
Notwithstanding that, however, the innate courage of the man impelled
him, now and to the end, to strive with every nerve against the evil
fate that was pursuing him. Though he despaired from the first,
unnecessarily, as I thought, he was not the sort of man to sit still
with his hands in his pockets. No, he would fight to the last. We
discussed what was possible to be done that day as we surveyed the
slaughtered sheep. Karl croaked gloomily—

"'There is little use doing anything, however. There is the hand of
God, or of the devil, I know not which, in this. It is a judgment on
me—come from Brail's grave. Through a dog I came to kill him, by a dog
his vengeance comes upon me!'

"'Bosh!' said I, 'you are letting that nightmare of yours ferment in
your mind. What we've got to do is not to go fancying a pack of nursery
tales, but to set about exterminating these brutes before they do more
damage.'

"And then a thought struck me. I continued—

"'By the way, you're quite sure you killed that yellow dog?'

"'Certain,' was his emphatic reply.

"I took occasion, as we were riding near the place, to go and make
a thorough search for the skeleton of the dog. I could not find it,
however, though the thick undergrowth about there might certainly
have hidden it all the while. But this satisfied me; I took up an
unreasoning notion that Brail's beast was the sheep-killer, though I
could not attempt to account for why it had never been seen by us, if
it were still living. I thought Karl might easily have been mistaken
in his agitation, in thinking he had killed it; though why it should
have disappeared for nearly a year, and then suddenly and mysteriously
started on a career of crime, was beyond me. Perhaps it had gone mad in
solitude; perhaps Brail's idea of its possessing half-human attributes
by right of its peculiar nurture, might have something in it. The dog
might have learnt a species of rascally cunning from its master. I did
not know; I do not now. Doubtless these thoughts did not all enter my
mind at that time, but have matured since. There is a weird and uncanny
feature in the whole thing that I cannot explain. I simply relate the
facts as I know them, without trying to explain the unexplainable."

       *       *       *       *       *

Here, Old Colonial paused, and lit his pipe meditatively. We, knowing
his hatred of interruptions, said nothing, and presently he took up the
thread of his yarn again.

       *       *       *       *       *

"So we drove the sheep that night upon the clearings in the home gully,
and kept watch over them. But we knew we could not keep them there
long, because of their number, and the scantiness of the feed at that
season. Next day, Karl proceeded to lay poisoned meat about the run;
while I rowed up the river to Tama-te-Whiti's kainga. I told the news
to the Maoris, and Tama, with a score of his men, accompanied me back
to Hapuakohe.

"We feasted the Maoris that night upon the slaughtered mutton, and held
a great talk upon what should be done. In the morning we sallied forth
to commence a systematic hunt through the surrounding bush, the natives
being delighted to engage in this, especially as there was a prospect,
unfortunately, of unlimited fresh mutton. To our horror, we found that
the enemy had been at work again on the preceding night, and many more
sheep were killed and crippled. This gave us a fresh impulse, and we
went at the hunt with a will. Separating into four parties, under the
respective leadership of Karl, Tama, myself, and another Maori, we
mapped out the country before us to be carefully traversed. Every piece
of bush, every swamp and possible shelter that lay in our way did we
thoroughly beat. The clearings were examined, the dead sheep looked
to, and every attempt was made to find traces of the dingoes; but when
night brought the day's work to a close, we had all been entirely
unsuccessful. Not the smallest trace of the wild dogs had been seen;
only some of the bush-pigs had been found and a few killed incidentally.

"It is needless for me to continue in detail. For nearly a fortnight
after, the same complete want of success persevered with us. In vain
we scoured the bush far and wide by day, in vain we lay out watching
all night, in vain we had recourse to every stratagem that our united
cunning could devise. The result was always the same. Nothing rewarded
our almost frantic efforts. And almost every night, under our very
noses so to speak, frightful ravages were committed among the flocks.

"There was something so strange and uncommon about these night attacks,
something so weird in our inability to obtain even a glimpse of the
perpetrators, that the superstitious fancies of the Maoris began to
come into play. I was getting nervous about Karl, for he was gloomy
and abstracted, as well he might be, poor man! I alone knew he was
imagining things and regarding himself as the victim of a dead man's
vengeance. I knew that each fresh loss among the sheep went to his
heart like a knife, for it seemed to divide him further from wedded
happiness. Despair appeared to weigh him down more and more heavily. I
began to fear for his reason.

"The intelligence of our misfortune was spreading through the country.
Our Maori friends had augmented in number, coming from Tanoa and
Matakohe and all round. The cordial kindness and brotherhood of the
bush rushed in sympathy towards us. From Helensville came a boat-load
of such necessaries as it was thought we should stand most in need
of, with word to say that men would follow. The rough bushmen on the
Wairoa sent to say they would come to our assistance if we needed them.
The generous settlers of Whangarei sent word that they were coming
in a body, to help us hunt down the dingoes, or to put up fences and
pens for us, that Karl might pay for when he could, or not, it did not
matter.

"All this simple self-sacrificing kindness touched us deeply, but it
failed to rouse my poor chum's spirits.

"'It is no use,' he murmured. 'I am doomed to ruin. A third of the
flock is gone already. The rest will follow. _She_ can never be mine
now.'

"'Stuff!' I replied to him. 'Rouse yourself, man. Do not despair yet.
Come, we have work to do. Let us first of all settle these damnation
curs!'

"'I am with you there! I am with you there!' he answered, his eyes
glittering fiercely, as he rose and grasped his gun.

"Then came a night I remember well. I lay with Tama and some five or
six Maoris in the bush on the top of a range, that overlooked a wide
stretch of grass in the gullies on either side below us. The night was
balmy and moonlit, for it was near Christmas time, and I was wearied,
so I slept. Around us in the distance sparkled the camp-fires of the
other watchers. Presently I was roused by Tama, who, in an excited
whisper, bade me listen. I peered forth from the edge of the jungle,
and could hear a low, dull, rushing sound. I knew what that meant.
It was a large flock of sheep, running hard. In a moment they came
into view out of the shadows, heading straight for where we crouched,
plainly visible in the flood of moonlight that streamed upon the open
side of the range. I could hear the quick breathing of the Maoris
beside me, as I leant forward keenly intent upon the flock, my gun
ready in my hands. I watched the flock as it streamed rapidly along the
hill-side, and saw that here and there, in its track behind, lay single
sheep, crippled by stumps or holes in the ground, or, as I knew by
experience, with mangled throats that spoke of the fangs of murderous
brutes. We waited and watched, the moonlight gleaming on the barrels of
our ready guns. The flock passed close below us, tearing along in the
utmost extremity of panic. And our levelled weapons were ready.

"As I am a sinful sinner, what I tell you is the plain unvarnished
truth. As the flock passed below our eyes, we saw no beast of any kind
but sheep. No dog was visible there, that I could swear to. And yet,
close before us, a fine fat wether suddenly leapt up and dropped, so
near that we could see the fresh blood spurting from a wound in its
throat. I rushed out upon the clearing and looked at it; I looked after
the vanishing flock and all around me, but no sign of the destroyer
could I see. A horrible thrill passed all through me, for this was
something mysterious, unnatural, and unnerving. I could not resist the
sudden shivery feeling that crept over me at this most unaccountable
occurrence.

"And then, from close beside me, rose Tama's shrill coo-ee. Louder and
louder it rang out into the still night, till answers came pealing
from the camps on the ranges around us. After a little we saw the
other watchers coming to us from their various posts on the run, until
presently all were collected together, a silent wondering group—a
hundred Maoris, and Karl and I. Then Tama spoke. What he said I do
not know. It was some vague relation of what we had seen, together
with frequent references to the 'tahipo'—devil—and some 'kararehe
tahipo'—demon dog. But the wild excitement of the chief, the deadly
terror that possessed him, soon infected all the others. They gathered
round him in an eager cluster, and the deep 'Ai,' and 'kuia' that broke
from one and another, testified their earnest attention and concurrence.

"Then they knelt down, there on the grass around the dead wether. It
was a curious group we made in the moonlight on the hill-side, just
beyond the shadows of the bush. And Tama lifted up his voice—literally
so—and prayed. He prayed through the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed,
and through half the questions and answers of the Catechism beside.
Being agitated, no doubt, he scarcely knew exactly what he was saying.
And then it seemed to me, as well as I could follow the Maori, that he
indulged in an extempore delivery, half prayer, half incantation, to
meet the special requirements of the case.

"When this performance, so grotesque yet so simply serious, was over,
these half-savage Christians rose and began to take leave of us. They
could not stay to fight devils, they said; God and his angels could
alone do that, and they had prayed that it might be so. Many blubbered
as they shook hands with us; they would have willingly fought for us
with anything of flesh and blood, but terror of the unseen had now
overmastered their sympathy. They hurried away over the range and down
to the beach where their canoes lay, and so, flying from haunted
Hapuakohe, they left us two alone.

"All this could not fail to have its effect on one's mind. I felt
very uncomfortable, but Karl seemed to take everything as though he
had expected it. When daylight came, and I was able to reason more
calmly about the mystery, I thought I saw a possible solution. It was
evident there could not be several dogs, or we must have seen them,
or traces of them. Probably there was only one, for, great as was the
havoc that had been wrought, I did not think it was impossible for a
single ferocious beast to have caused it. And then I reflected that a
dog might look so like a sheep in the moonlight, as not to be readily
detected among a flock. Why, I remembered that a shaggy, grayish-yellow
cur, such as Brail's dog had been, for instance, was positively
indistinguishable amid a flock of sheep at night, especially when the
moon was shining. But the extraordinary cunning and careful scheming
that seemed apparent in this case were, I confess, beyond my powers to
fathom; nor have I been able to account for them to this day.

"We did what we could, we two, while we waited for the promised help
from the settlements. You might think we could have shepherded the
flock near the shanty, and guarded them with our dogs; but that we
had found to be impossible. First, grass was scarce there, and we had,
of course, no other feed to give them. Then, they had got so wild with
the constant chasing, that we must have been continually worrying them
with our own dogs, which would only have made matters worse. There was
literally nothing to be done, but to watch for and kill the dingo.

"Oh! it was a piteous sight to see the dead sheep lying scattered
about the clearings. And among the survivors there were so many hurt
that must die, so many more that were injured so as to be practically
valueless; for the chasing on the rough, stump-covered hill-sides had
done more damage than the actual fangs of the wild dog. I was myself
a sufferer, but my loss was as nothing to poor Karl's. He, I saw, was
ruined, if not irretrievably, at least for some years to come. But this
made his marriage impossible now, unless the lady's parents took a very
different view of things. Surely, I thought, the news must by this time
have got to Auckland. Perhaps the father had already resolved to break
off the match in consequence. I was only a plain, simple bush-farmer,
and it seemed to me that if this girl were true in her love for Karl,
she would certainly leave her father and come to him in his trouble. I
thought I would myself write and tell her to do so, for, you see, I
feared that he would go melancholy mad for loss of her. But the end of
it was come."

       *       *       *       *       *

Again Old Colonial paused, and gazed intently into the fire, with a
sad, grave expression shadowing over his usually jolly, sunburnt face.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I left my camp one morning and strolled across the run to the place
where Karl had been watching. He had selected the top of a steep
bluff that jutted out into the river and that, on the landward side,
overlooked a great extent of the run. As I climbed up the range I
shouted to him repeatedly, but, as there was no answer, I concluded
he was sleeping, and so walked quietly on till I came out on the top.
There were the smouldering remains of his fire, the billy in which
he had boiled his tea, his blanket lying as he had left it, but Karl
himself was not there. I shouted again and looked about me, and then
something made me start.

"It was his gun lying on the ground. I picked it up, and saw that it
had been discharged. There was blood upon the stock, and stuck to
the hammer was a wisp of coarse yellow hair. Amazed, and filled with
a sudden cold sensation of fear, I examined the ground about me. I
saw grass and bushes trampled and broken as though there had been a
struggle on the spot. I saw splashes and blots of blood here, there,
and everywhere. And then something prompted me to look over the cliff.
What I saw nearly caused me to fall, so horribly did my heart leap in
my throat. Down below there, on the cruel rocks, head downwards on the
beach, lay his body. Dead he was, you could see that from the top. Poor
Karl!

"I rushed down through the gully on the left, and made my way to where
he lay. His head was broken by the fall, but there were horrible wounds
besides upon his throat and limbs, gaping, torn, and deep, too plainly
the marks of some fierce beast's teeth. And as I knelt beside the body,
weeping, stupified, agonized by the horror of the thing, a fancy crept
into my poor brains that I had been a witness of that scene upon the
bluff the night before; when nought but the moon was there to see, with
the creek singing through the bush in the gully, and the river-tide
sweeping along below.

"I fancied I saw him sitting moody and despairing by the fire. And up
through the thick jungle of the gully comes stealing the great yellow
body of that dreadful brute, that devilish cur that had first ruined
him and now meant to kill him. I saw it spring upon him as he sat, with
fangs gleaming and savage eyes of fire. I saw the flash of his gun,
the swinging blow, the curse of the man, and the growl of the dog. I
could fancy the ferocious joy upon the face of the half-maddened man as
he grappled with his foe. I saw the hard, fierce struggle—glistening
teeth opposed to flashing steel. And then I saw him conquer, but—only
to seize the ponderous brute, to hurl it from the cliff far into the
river, and, staggering, wounded to the death, overbalancing, to fall
headlong himself.

"I was roused from this dream by the trampling of horses' feet. It
was the men from Whangarei—kind, cheery, sympathetic souls. They had
ridden all the way—all the fifty miles along the Maori track through
the forest. Poor as they were, they had put aside their own concerns,
and had come over to help us in our trouble.

"But they were too late—too late! except to help me lay my poor dead
chum to rest.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Ah! you guess now who the lady is that was our hostess at Hapuakohe
the other day. Karl bequeathed to her, as a matter of course, all he
had to leave. But she knows only a small part of what I have been
telling you. There are portions of the tale that neither she nor her
husband know aught of. You can guess what they are. Never hint at
this story in their presence, or in that of their children. I know I
can rely on your silence. Moreover, there is nothing to give rise to
mention of it, for no sheep-worrying wild-dogs, or dingoes, have ever
been heard of in the Kaipara since the day that Karl died.

"When we were over there, I took the opportunity of visiting the place
where I laid him, long, long ago, as it seems to me now. A thicket of
ferns hides all traces of the grave, and the wooden cross that marked
it has fallen and decayed among them.

"What matter! He is at rest. And the kind trees that shadow round
him scatter the golden kowhai bells and crimson pohutukawa blossoms
upon his mossy coverlet. The tide flows at his feet, risping over the
oyster-beds, swirling among the mangroves, hurrying to the distant
sea; just as it did on that night so long ago, when it bore with it
away through the moonlit forest—away in secret and unfathomable
mystery—the accursed carcase of the Demon Dog."



CHAPTER VIII.

OUR LUCK.


The sun has just risen, and brilliant gleams of light are playing
upon the waters of the Firth of Thames. Above, in the air, rise the
rugged summits of the mountains, that golden range which stretches down
through Coromandel, from Cape Colville to Aroha, a hundred and twenty
miles of El Dorado. And just before us, occupying a flat at the base of
the hills, is the gold-field centre, Grahamstown.

The steamer which has brought us from Auckland, leaving late last
night, is just drawing alongside the little wharf at Shortland, having,
for some occult reason, passed by the long wooden pier that runs out
into the stream a little lower down, at Grahamstown proper. She is
loaded to the water's edge with a human cargo. There is hardly standing
room aboard of her, though she is a fair-sized craft. Men crowd every
available part of her. Men of all kinds—from the smooth-faced, sleek
young clerk, clean as to linen, gay as to dress, fresh from the
city atmosphere which has hitherto bounded his experience, up to the
hirsute, sun-browned, rough-looking bushman, in jumper, moleskins,
and ankle-jacks. There are men of various nationalities, and of
every class, all eager, expectant, and excited, huddled together
promiscuously, and all have talked through the whole weary night of but
one subject—gold.

There is a "rush"; that is the explanation of the crowded steamer, of
other crowded steamers and sailing-craft, that have come and will come,
of men on horseback and men on foot, who are converging through the
roadless country from all sides upon the valley of the Thames. A day or
two hence, a new extension of the gold-field is to be proclaimed and
opened. Rumour says the prospectors have struck a reef of unexampled
richness; and almost every one in Northern New Zealand is burning with
anxiety to be on the spot and take up a claim.

Our shanty has experienced the gold-fever, mainly through the influence
of O'Gaygun. Things had not been very brisk with us of late, and so
it was determined to take a temporary spell of gold-mining. All the
community are partners in the enterprize, but only four of us are
actually going on to the field. Old Colonial was not to be drawn away
from the Pahi, and he, with some of the others, remains to carry on the
farm. O'Gaygun, the Little'un, and the writer, are now landing from the
steamer, while Dandy Jack, who preceded us, is already in Grahamstown.

You see, even gold-seeking requires some little capital to start one
at it. Here, the mining is all in quartz, which necessitates it. There
is no alluvial washing to enable one to pan out one's dust, and pay
one's way with it from week to week. Now, it happened that we had
scarcely any ready money, so we had to raise it. About a fortnight ago
we chartered a schooner in the Kaipara, loaded her with fat steers, a
few horses, some sheep, barrels of pork, sacks of potatoes, and other
produce, and sent her off. She was to round the North Cape, and to run
for the Thames, and Dandy Jack went with her. In anticipation of the
coming rush, we reckoned that he would be able to sell all the cargo at
a good figure, and have a tolerable sum in hand to carry us on when we
took up our claim. Subsequently, we three others went down to Auckland,
and took the steamer thence.

The crowd, slowly disgorged on Shortland wharf, turns to walk towards
Grahamstown for the most part. The two places are one town now, being
connected by a street about a mile long. Less than ten years ago
Shortland was the original and only township, and then consisted of a
single store, kept by a half-breed. The land was all owned by natives,
and the stubborn old chief of the district, Te Moananui, could not be
prevailed on to part with territory to the Pakeha.

Then came the discovery of gold; and at last government got a strip of
land from the Maoris. It was opened as a gold-field on July 27, 1867.
Messrs. Hunt, Cobley, Clarkson, and White are closely connected with
the early history of the place. They were the original prospectors, and
struck it rich. Though having scarcely money enough to buy tools with
at the start, they made a princely fortune out of their claim.

Later, the Caledonian eclipsed even the enormous success of Hunt's
claim, yielding no less than ten tons of gold during the first year.
Some other claims have done well, and more, of course, have altogether
failed. But the most money has been made on the Stock Exchange. Each
claim is necessarily worked by a company, and some of its scrip is got
into the market. A share may one day not be worth a five pound note,
nay, has even been given for a day's board at an hotel; a month later a
quarter of that share may change hands at £10,000.

This young town looks a good deal more than its actual age. A good
street runs right from Shortland to Grahamstown, and though there are
gaps here and there, showing how close the untilled wilderness is to
the pavement, yet the shops, the public buildings, the vehicles and
foot-passengers, all evidence a settled town life. There are some short
side-streets, neat houses and trim gardens; there is quite a nucleus at
the Grahamstown end, where the principal batteries and crushing-mills
are situated. There are ten churches and five banks, besides other
public establishments in the place; for the borough has a resident
population of over five thousand, and about as many more in the suburbs
of Tararu and Parawai, and in the district of the gold-field generally.
Such a rush as is now taking place must also largely augment the
population.

We make straight for the Governor Bowen Hotel, for we are thoroughly
ready for breakfast. There we meet Dandy Jack, calm as ever amid the
stormy excitement that is raging all around, though a feverish glitter
in his eye shows that inwardly he is as other men. He tells us that
he has realized the cargo, but has not done so well with it as we had
sanguinely expected. The Thames was better supplied with provisions
than we supposed. Nevertheless, we have a fair sum in hand to make a
start with.

Dandy Jack has kept the horses; he says we shall need them. It appears
that the new field is twenty miles or so from here, in a district
called Ohinemuri. The Warden is camped there, and will proclaim the
gold-field two days from now. Not until that is done can any one take
out the necessary permit to dig for gold. And then there will be a
terrible race from the camp to the range where the prospectors' claim
is situated; for every one, of course, will wish to peg out his claim
as near as possible to that reserved for the original discoverers. It
seems that every one is buying or stealing horses for this exciting
event; and Dandy Jack has refused incredibly handsome offers, and kept
the animals he so luckily brought here in order that we may have a
chance of picking out a good claim.

It is settled among us that Dandy Jack and O'Gaygun shall at once start
for the Warden's Camp. They will go by the native track through the
bush, and will ride, of course. The other two horses they will lead,
loading them with our tools and swag. The Little'un and I remain at
Grahamstown, as we wish to see all we can of gold-mining there. We
shall reach the new field in time for the reading of the proclamation,
getting there by means of a steamer, that is already plying briskly up
and down the river Thames.

After seeing off the two cavaliers and their packhorses, the Little'un
and I begin roaming about the settlement. By certain friendly offices
we are enabled to visit various claims, among which are Hunt's, the
Kuranui, the Caledonian, and the Golden Crown, of course. We have here
opportunity for seeing all the methods employed for quarrying out the
auriferous rock, and we get much valuable information, and many useful
practical hints regarding geological strata, the lay of the quartz, the
character and variations of gold-reefs, etc.

Then we visit the great pump, the principal feature of interest in
Grahamstown, as it is, perhaps, the most stupendous enterprise in
the colony as yet. Water had proved a source of much trouble in the
Caledonian and other claims, which penetrated to some depth. An
association was therefore formed for the erection of a pump. £50,000
was the cost of its erection, and as much more is being spent in
sinking to lower levels.

The engine has a nominal force of 350 horse power. The cylinder is
eighty-two inches in diameter, and the length of stroke ten feet. The
pump pipes are twenty-five inches diameter; and the machine can raise
ten tons of water per minute. Its operation already extends to a depth
of four hundred feet below the sea-level. The output of the field,
from 1867 to 1875, has been roughly estimated to have been 1,080,202
ounces, valued at £3,465,093.

The next objects of interest to us are the quartz-crushing batteries.
Of these we are told there are thirty-six on the field. The smallest
has four stampers, and the largest sixty-two. Most of them have between
twenty and forty stampers.

We watch some of them at work; seeing the mighty pestles thundering
down upon the blocks and fragments of stone, grinding them slowly into
powder. We see tons and tons of hard shining quartz fed under the feet
of the rows of stampers. Then we see the sandy dust into which the
rock has been disintegrated, undergoing a washing to separate from it
the minute particles of gold. We see it puddled up with water in great
vats, and converted into a thin mud. We see this liquid sent over
"beds," and "floors," and "ladders," and "blanketings," and washed
again and again. Finally we see the gold that was in it collected as
sediment from the various washings. Yellow heaps of it are piled in
appointed places, waiting for removal. Then comes the final process,
the refining with mercury and fire, and the casting of the gold into
ingots.

Not all the batteries or claims are being worked, for many of their
crews are either gone or going to the new field. But this stoppage is
merely temporary. After the fresh excitement has subsided, the men will
come back to their work, finding that £2 10_s._ or £3 a week of wages
is better than making nothing out of a claim of one's own.

So we see as much of the place as we can, even climbing up the rugged
ranges, and from their wild summits looking down over the whole
panorama of the gold-field, with the waters of the firth beyond it,
and the bush-clothed heights upon the further shore. And then we
find a novel interest in the _table d'hôtes_ at the hotels, with the
singularly mingled company assembled at them. Everywhere is a feverish
excitement; everywhere every one can talk of nothing but the new Ophir
that is so soon to be opened.

We even indulge in a game or two of billiards, a rare novelty and
luxury to us bush-farmers of the Kaipara. And we gaze with admiration
and reverence upon the well-displayed charms and attractions of the
barmaids in the saloons.

One of these ladies, more affable and less assuming than her sisters,
who are haughtily inflated with the deep reverence and homage of
thirsty crowds of men, actually condescends to favour us with a few
words of conversation. We are gratified and honoured beyond measure.

This most gracious lady informs us that the proprietor of her bar is
about to erect an hotel on the new field, and that she is going up
to tend bar there. But it appears that the glorious profession of
which she is a member is not what it was. Certain regulations that
mine-owners have lately made, anent the taking of "specimens" from
the mines by the paid miners, have almost destroyed a poor girl's
chances. She relates a legend about "the first barmaid" who appeared
at Grahamstown, her predecessor at this very bar. That lady was the
cynosure and magnet for countless courtiers, of course, and she would
seem to have been a very practical and square-headed young woman. Her
many admirers found that to gain a word, a look, a smile, a ravishment
of whatever kind, it was needful to offer a frequent "specimen" for the
lady's acceptance.

"She was dashing, you know, but not a beauty by any means," says our
informant, with a toss of her be-chignoned head. After a few months,
she sent a boxful of "specimens," the cherished donations of her
hundred slaves, to be crushed at one of the batteries. They realized,
so rumour hath it, some ten or twelve thousand pounds. And the fair
one, satisfied with having blandished this pile out of the Thames, and
probably finding her opportunities at an end, winged her triumphant
flight back to England.

The gorgeous and bedizened beauty who treats us to this tale, hopes to
do likewise at Ohinemuri. Her attractions are greater than those of
the lucky princess she has been telling us about; or, no doubt, she
secretly considers that they are. She hopes to see us at her new bar,
and trusts we will remember to bring her a "specimen" now and then.
This with a flash of black eyes, that makes the giant Little'un shiver
with emotion in his number fourteen boots, and leaves us both helpless
victims of the siren.

The afternoon of the next day finds us on board the river steamer,
making our way to the spot where, as we fondly hope, fortune lies
waiting for us. The steamer is cram full, of course, but the voyage
is not to be a long one. Although the Thames river is navigable for
nearly fifty miles, up to the base of Aroha Mountain, we have not got
to go very far up it. Something under a score of miles separates the
new gold-field from Grahamstown. Perhaps a dozen miles from the mouth
of the river we enter its tributary, the Ohinemuri creek. The whole
district around is known as the Ohinemuri Plains, being a portion of
the lower valley of the Thames.

Our experience of the Grahamstown neighbourhood had led us to expect
anything but a picturesque country. We are agreeably disappointed. The
river winds through what are called plains here, but the term is only
relatively applied. The "plains" are broken with spurs and undulations
from the higher ranges that bound them, and the country is anything but
one uniform level.

On either hand rise heavy mountainous ranges, sometimes receding far
into the distance, sometimes approaching nearer to the river. Tracts
of splendid forest clothe the country, interspersed with bare rock,
open fern-land, low jungles of light scrub, marsh, and fen. Forest and
mountain form a background to the broad valley through which winds the
(really) silver Thames, abounding with fish, its low banks and firm
sandy shores rich with a luxuriant shrubbery. Further up, every mile
adds to the beauty of the scene around.

And all this great valley, containing a million acres doubtless, is as
Nature made it, unmarred by the hand of man, save some little spots
here and there, where Maori kaingas are situated, and that limited area
which the gold-seeker now calls his own. It is easy to see that this
must eventually become a magnificent expanse of farming tracts.

At present all this land is still owned by the natives, a morose
and sullen tribe. Great difficulty was experienced in getting the
Grahamstown field out of their hands, and still more trouble has
surrounded the acquisition by Government of the new extension. The
chief, Te Hira, has been overruled by his counsellors, and has
reluctantly consented to the sale of a portion of his territory.
Already is he disgusted with the advent of the Pakeha, and talks of
retiring with his chief adherents to some wilder solitude. But his
sister, Mere Kuru, who holds equal dignity with himself, seems disposed
to change her ancient habits. She is said to be even welcoming the new
order of things, and is qualifying herself to become a leader of modern
Maori fashionable society. She rules a large kainga, situated on the
Ohinemuri creek, about midway between Cashell's and Paeroa, the two new
landing-places for the gold-field.

At the latter place we disembark, and proceed at once to the Warden's
camp, which is not far off. It is a scene of glorious confusion. Round
about the tent of the official, with its flag, are grouped sundry other
tents, huts, wharès, breakwinds of every conceivable kind, and of every
possible material. It is dark now, as evening has descended, and the
numerous camp-fires make a lurid light to heighten the wildness of
the scene. Crowds of men are grouped about them, eating, drinking,
singing, shouting, or talking noisily of the everlasting subject—gold.

Through the camp we pick our way, stumbling over stumps and roots and
boulders, splashing into deep mud and mire, visiting every fire, and
asking for the whereabouts of our chums. We begin to think we shall
never find them amid the confusion of the wild, disorderly camp, and
have some thoughts of applying for hospitality at the next fire. At
length one man, whom we have asked, replies to our questions—

"Do you mean a pretty sort of chap, looking like a dancing-man or a
barber, and a big, red-headed Irisher with him for a mate? They're over
yonder, camped in Fern-tree Gully. Got some horses with 'em, yes!"

We thought this evidently must refer to Dandy Jack and O'Gaygun, so we
stumbled down the little dell, and found our surmise was right. We were
quickly welcomed, and supplied with supper.

Our friends had erected a rude breakwind of poles and fern-fronds,
sufficient to shelter our party from the rain while we slept, should
there be any. A huge fire blazed in front of it; while not far off,
and well in view, the horses were tethered. They were secured in far
more than ordinary fashion, with headstalls, and lariats, and hobbles.
Dandy Jack said there was momentary fear of their being stolen, by
miners anxious to use them on the momentous morrow, and it was even
thought necessary for one of us to keep watch over them all night,
which duty we performed by turns. There was little fear of anything
else being plundered; indeed, next day we left our swag exposed on
the ground without anything being taken. But horses meant odds in the
coming lottery, and the most honest men were willing, just at that
excited moment, to annex temporarily the first they came across.

At length morning comes, bringing with it the eventful day, the 3rd
of March, 1875, which is to see the opening of the new field. From
earliest dawn the camp is astir; and as the sun climbs the sky, so does
the intense hubbub increase. Oh, for an artist's brush to delineate
that scene! Pen and ink are far too feeble.

Men move about like swarming bees, eagerly talking and shouting with
all and sundry. Groups are gathered here and there, their eyes one
minute glancing anxiously towards the Warden's tent, the next moment
looking out across the wooded plain, as it swims in the morning
sunshine, towards the towering ranges in the distance, where an abrupt
alteration in their outline shows the situation of the Gorge, the spot
where the prospectors' claim is known to be, the goal of every hope
to-day.

No one dares to leave his horse now for an instant. Those that have
any, like ourselves, for the most part remain mounted, restlessly
circling about the camp. Every man that could beg, borrow, or steal
it, appears to have got a riding-beast of some sort. A few are even
bestriding bullocks, judging, probably, that in the general scrimmage
and stampede, even those ungainly steeds will distance men on foot.

We are all equipped with everything immediately necessary, and are
ready for the start. A tumultuous assemblage it is that is now moving
in a perfect frenzy of excitement about the Warden's tent. A concourse
of men—rough men and gentle men, blackguards and honest, young and
old, ragged and spruce, grave and gay, but all fevered to their heart's
core with the burning fury of the gold-digger.

Amid the throng there move a few Maoris from the neighbouring kainga.
Queer, old, tattooed worthies, half-dressed in European rags, half
draped in frowzy blankets. These are stolid, disdainful. They have come
to see the Pakeha in their mad state. And there are others, younger
men, smiling and chattering, evidently anxious to get excited, too,
could they only understand what all the fuss is about. There is a
contemptuous air about them, a kind of pity for the curious insanity
that is rife among the Pakeha about them.

And now the wished-for hour approaches. A rude table is rigged up in
front of the Warden's tent, at which clerks take their places. Two or
three of the armed constabulary are visible, ostensibly to keep order,
which it would take more than all the force to do. And a riotous throng
of horsemen and footmen wrestle and struggle for front places near the
table. Apparently, two or three thousand men are waiting eagerly for
the word to start.

Then the Warden steps forth, looking grave and dignified in his
official coat and cap. He is the only calm person present, and is
received with vociferous exclamation by the crowd. He holds in his
hand a roll of papers, which he proceeds at once to open, mounting a
convenient stump by way of a rostrum. Then he commences to read—the
Riot Act, one would say, looking at the seething, roaring mob around.
In fact, it is the proclamation of the Ohinemuri gold-field, under the
Mining Act of the colonial legislature. But no one can hear a word.

Presently the reading is done, the Warden lifts his cap with a smile,
announcing that the field is open. A tumult of cheering breaks forth,
and then every one rushes at the clerk's table, and, fighting and
struggling for precedence, dumps down his note (£1) for the "Miner's
Right," which is his license and authority to dig for gold within the
limits of the field.

I cannot describe that fierce conflict round the table and tent; it
is all confusion in my mind. It is a wild jumble of warring words,
and furiously struggling shoulders and elbows, arms and legs. Somehow
we get our licenses early, mainly owing, I think, to the stalwart
proportions and weighty muscles of the Little'un and O'Gaygun. Out
of the plunging crowd we fight and tear our way, duly armed with our
"authorities." As does every one so do we, namely, fling ourselves
on our horses' backs, and ride headlong across the country in the
direction of the Gorge.

What a race that is! No run with a pack of English foxhounds could
compare with it. Never a fox-hunter that dared have ridden as we rode
that day, across a country so rough and shaggy. But our incitement is
greater than ever fox-hunter had, for it is a frantic chase for wealth,
with all the madness of gambling thrown into it. It is a race whose
goal is gold!

There is no road, of course. Our way lies across a country jungled
with fern and scrub and bush. The ground is broken with abrupt descents
and short but rugged rises. There are streams and marshes to be plunged
through or jumped over. There are devious twists and turns to be made
to avoid insurmountable obstacles. Scarce is there a track to show
the way, merely the faintest indication of one cut through the wooded
tracts by the surveyor's gang. And we have six miles and more to make,
riding with frantic eagerness and reckless speed, conscious that two
thousand men have entered for the race, and that only a few can win.

Thoroughly well mounted, and accustomed from our cattle-driving
experiences to such rough riding as this, we four chums do justice to
the start we managed to get. Not more than a score or so are ahead of
us, and some of them we are overhauling.

There are dozens of casualties, of course. As we gallop along I see a
man and horse go down, on the steep side of a gully. They roll over
together, and together flounder to the bottom. The unlucky rider
screams with pain, for his legs and ribs are broken, and calls to us
to help him. We hesitate half a moment, but the gold-fever is on us,
and we hurry on. At such a time humanity is dead, even in the most
honourable breast. It is like a battle.

Again, Dandy Jack and O'Gaygun are in front of me. Before them rides a
regular Thames miner, bestriding a lean and weedy horse of very poor
description. It is easy to see, too, that he is not accustomed to the
saddle, though he is urging his beast to its utmost, and doing all
he knows to get on. We are coursing along the side of a slope, dense
ti-tree jungle above and below us, and only a rough narrow way through
it. The miner's horse ahead stumbles and trips, grows frightened, and
becomes unmanageable, turning broadside on in the narrow path and
blocking it.

I hear Dandy Jack and O'Gaygun shout in warning, but the miner has no
time to get out of their way. Riding abreast they charge down upon him,
utterly regardless of consequences. Over goes horse and man beneath the
shock of their rushing steeds, and, a moment later, my nag leaps over
the fallen and follows at their heels.

Oh, the rush and fury of that ride! My head still swims as I think
of it. All sense of care is gone; all thought of risk or accident
banished. A wild, mad excitement surges through every vein, and boils
up within my brain. I only know that hundreds are hurrying after me,
and before me there is a dazzle and glitter of gold. Who heeds the
fallen, the vanquished, the beaten in the race? Who cares for peril to
life or limb? There is but one idea the mind can hold—on! on!

By-and-by, and when our panting, foaming horses seem utterly giving
out, responding neither to voice nor spur, bit nor whip, we find
ourselves within the Gorge. A splendid mountain scene is that, had
we but time to look at it. We have not. Our worn-out steeds carry
us wearily up and along the steep hill-side, beneath and among the
trees that cast their umbrage all over the golden ground. Climbing,
struggling, pressing ever onward, we pass the grim defile, and, in the
wild and beautiful solitude of primeval nature, we find our goal.

Through the trees we spy a clearing, lying open and sunlit on the steep
mountain-side. A clearing, hardly to be so designated, for it is merely
a space of some few acres where fallen, half-burnt trees lie prostrate,
jumbled in inextricable confusion with boulders, rocks, jutting crags,
and broken mounds of fresh-turned soil and stone. A handkerchief upon
a post, some newly-split and whitened stakes set here and there around
the _débris_, the babble and vociferation of men, those who have got
before us, around and about, all sufficiently proclaims that our race
is at an end, and that this before us is the prospectors' claim.

There is no time to be lost, for many behind us are coming on, and
will be upon the ground a few minutes later. And more and more are
coming, pressing onward from the rear with feverish ardour. We spring
from our now useless steeds and hasten to select our ground. Above, and
on each side, nay, even immediately below the prospectors' claim, those
lucky first ones are already pegging out their lawful areas. Depending
on certain indications that a hasty glance reveals, and on advice that
Dandy Jack has previously received in mysterious confidence from one of
the prospectors, we pass below the ground already seized, and there,
a little to the right, we proceed to set up the stakes and clear the
ground that we claim as ours.

As we proceed to make the dispositions which secure to us that which
we have already named "O'Gaygun's Claim," the row and racket around
rings fiercer over the mountain side. Parties of men are arriving every
moment on the ground, and proceeding at once to map out rock and bush
into squares and parallelograms, and to peg out their several claims.
With the prospectors' claim for centre and nucleus, the area of the
occupied ground momentarily increases. Above, around, below, we are
hemmed in by earth-hungry gold-seekers, who each and all are greedy as
starved tigers for their prey.

Not without many disputes is the work accomplished. Oath and
remonstrance, angry quarrelling and bandying of words soon transform
that peaceful fastness of nature into a pandemonium of humanity; and
words give place to blows, as boundaries are fixed, and claims measured
off. Fierce fights are waged over many an inch and yard of ground. The
heated blood of the gold-seeker brooks little opposition, and I fear
that even revolvers and knives are shown, if not used, between rival
claimants.

Yet the hot fury of the rush subsides after a time, and each party
proceeds to investigate what authority allows it, and to reconcile
divisions with its neighbours. Fires are built and camps are formed,
for no one dare leave his claim unoccupied, and preparations are made
for a night more confused and uncomfortable than those previously spent
at the Warden's camp.

Next day the work commences. The Warden and his aids register the
claims and their respective owners. Parties are told off to cut and
construct a road. Miners begin to build up huts and habitations, and
to bring up from the river their swags, provisions, and tools. Trees
fall beneath the axe; rocks are shattered and the ground disturbed
with pick and spade; while pounding and panning, assaying and testing
goes on vigorously. For no one knows exactly how the reefs will run,
or where the richest stone will be found. Nor can that be more than
conjectured until tunnelling has been carried to some depth. Most of
the claims will prove abortive and valueless; only a few will yield
paying quantities of gold; only one or two, perhaps, will bring wealth
to their owners. We work and hope.

       *       *       *       *       *

Three months later, what have been the results, and what are the
prospects? I stand at the door of the rude hut we live in, and look
abroad over the gold-field, pondering. It is evening, a memorable
evening for us, as will presently appear. But we are depressed and
down-spirited, for luck has not been with us. "O'Gaygun's Claim"
is apparently one of the blankest of blanks in the lottery of the
gold-field.

What a difference is apparent in the scene around from that it
presented three months ago, when we rode here in wild excitement and
hot haste. The grand and lonely Gorge is now populous with life. Trees
have fallen beneath the axe, and even their stumps have altogether
disappeared over a great extent. The wide hill-side has been riven and
torn and excavated by pick and spade, and gaping tunnels yawn here and
there. Houses and huts and tents have risen all around, and a rough
young town now hangs upon the mountain's shoulder.

Newness and rawness and crudity are prevailing features of the place,
yet still it begins to look like the abode and workshop of civilized
men. Stores and hotels, primitive but encouraging, hang out their signs
to view; and a road, rough but practicable, winds down across the lower
ground to Paeroa, the river landing-place, where, too, another township
is being nursed into existence. Down below a couple of crushing-mills
are already set up and hard at work, belching forth volumes of smoke,
that almost hides from my view the turbid, muddy waters of the creek
in the gully, as it rolls furiously along. The thunder and thud of the
batteries, the jarring and whirring of machinery, the bustle and stir
of active and unceasing toil, reverberate with noisy clamour among
the rocks, and proclaim that this stronghold of wild nature has been
captured and occupied by man.

We four chums have not done well; indeed, we have done very badly. We
have prospected our claim in all directions, but without success, and
are now sinking a tunnel deep into the hill-side, in hopes of striking
the reef that ought, we think, to run in a certain direction from where
its upper levels are being successfully quarried in the prospectors'
claim above us. We have stuck to the claim so far, urged by some
fanciful belief not to give it up, and it bids fair to ruin us. Our
funds are quite exhausted, and in another week we shall be compelled to
give up the claim, to take work on wages here or at Grahamstown, and so
raise means to get ourselves back to the Kaipara.

For the expenses have been great. What with buying provisions at
frightful prices, buying implements and some bits of machinery, paying
for the crushing of quartz that never yielded more than delusive traces
of gold, and so on and so forth, our slender capital has melted away
into nothingness. True, we have formed ourselves into a company, and
have tried to sell some scrip. But the market is flooded with mining
shares just now, and ours are not worth a bottle of whisky apiece.
Moreover, "O'Gaygun's Claim" is fast becoming the laughing-stock of
the field. There are no believers in it except ourselves. Every other
claim that proved as valueless as ours has been long ago abandoned;
only we stick to our tunnel, driving at it with frantic energy. And
our life is harder here than in our shanty. We are ill-provided, and
have all the wet and mud and mire of the rainy season now to help make
things uncomfortable for us. Our food is coarse, and not too plentiful.
Damper, tea, salt-pork, potatoes, and not always all of those. Is it
any wonder we are despondent?

As I stand there that evening, cogitating over the gloomy outlook, two
of the others come out of the tunnel bearing a sackful of stone between
them. I see a new expression on their faces, and eagerly turn to them.

"Something fresh. Hush! Not a word. Come into the house, quick!"

So says Dandy Jack to me, hoarsely and hurriedly. Alas! poor man, he is
hardly a dandy at present, and even his complacent calm seems to have
forsaken him at last.

In the hut we anxiously crowd together, examining the specimens just
brought out of the mine. There are lumps of grey and dirty-white
quartz, flecked with little spots and speckles of metallic yellow. Is
it gold? That is the question.

"Ah! it's just the same ould story!" growls O'Gaygun. "Mica or pyrites,
that's about all we've the luck to find, bad cess to them! All's not
gould that glitters, boys; an' there's precious little av the thrue
stuff comin' our way."

"Shut up, you Irish croaker!" says Dandy Jack, without moving, as he
lies on his face near the fire, intently examining a piece of quartz,
licking it with his tongue, scratching it with his nails, and hefting
it in his palms. "There's many a rough dirty stone that hides good gold
within it. And," he adds, rising up, "we _have_ got it this time. Boys!
_we've struck the reef!_"

A few minutes later we were scouring down to the battery, bearing
samples of the precious stone; and before the camp had gone to rest
that night a hubbub and excitement had spread through it, for, it was
the common topic of talk that rich stone had been discovered upon
"O'Gaygun's Claim." Next day and next week we were besieged. Crowds
wanted to see the claim, numbers wanted to buy shares in it, and would
give hundreds and even thousands of pounds for them. We were elate,
excited, conceited, madder than ever with our luck, that at last had
come.

Well, eventually it proved that the find was but a "blind reef," a
"pocket," a mere isolated dribble from the main continuous vein we had
at first supposed we had struck. But it filled our pockets, giving us
more wealth than we had ever before possessed. Had we been wiser we
might have made more money by selling the claim directly after the
find; but we held on too long. However, we made a very pretty little
pile, not a fortune exactly, but the nucleus of one; and finally we
sold the claim for a good round sum to a joint stock company, cleared
out, and separated on the various ways we had chalked out for ourselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

I find I can write no more, for many things are happening. O'Gaygun has
set up as a stockbroker in Auckland, and will gamble away his share of
our luck in gold-mine scrip. Dandy Jack has bought a large improved
farm, and is collecting and importing a stud of brood mares. He is
going to develop the equine resources of the colony. The Little'un has
gone to Canterbury, intending to run sheep upon a large scale. And I am
going to Australia and Fiji, perhaps home to England—who knows!

At Te Pahi amazing progress is taking place. A wharf is being
constructed at the township, and a fine new steamer is being contracted
for. Some new settlers have been tempted to come up into the district,
and gangs of workmen are being hired from afar. A church has been
subscribed for, and will soon be built. The Saint is erecting an hotel;
and the Fiend is putting up a flour-mill. Old Colonial is going to get
married, and a grand mansion, in the style of the Member's residence,
is going up near the site of our shanty.

As I stand on the deck of the vessel that bears me away from New
Zealand, I am filled with profound regrets at leaving the life I have
grown to love so well. But it is not for long; only for a season have I
said farewell to the friends with whom I have toiled and struggled so
long. I shall return some day, soon, to make my home in the beautiful
land where the kauri grows. And the sun shines more brilliantly
than ever upon the shores receding from my gaze, fit emblem of the
prosperity of that glad new country, which we who love it like to call
our "Brighter Britain."



APPENDIX.

SOME BOOKS ON NEW ZEALAND.


George F. Angas. "The New Zealanders." Folio. London. 1847.

 _A large collection of handsomely coloured plates._

"Rambles at the Antipodes." 8vo. London. 1859. Illustrated.

 _Contains a slight account of New Zealand, in addition to matter
 relating to Australia._

"The Australian Hand-book." (Gordon and Gotch.) London, Sydney, etc.
1881, and annually.

 _Extensive and varied information. Copious details of much value
 relating to New Zealand._

Lady M. A. Barker. "Station Life in New Zealand." London. 1871.

 _Description of home-life and experiences in Canterbury Province._

Alexander Bathgate. "Colonial Experiences." Glasgow. 1874.

 _Chiefly relates to Otago, and mining matters._

Alexander Bathgate. "Waitaruna; a Tale of New Zealand Life." London.
1881.

John Bathgate. (Judge.) "New Zealand; its Resources and Prospects."
Edinburgh. 1880.

 _A useful summary of facts and figures._

C. D. Barraud. "New Zealand; Graphic and Descriptive." London. 1877.
Illustrations by C. D. B. Letter-press by W. L. Travers. Folio.

 _An elaborately got up and beautiful album of New Zealand scenery.
 Coloured plates._

Beaven's "Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand." London. 1842.

J. C. Bidwell. "Rambles in New Zealand." London. 1841.

 _One of the earliest recorded visits to the Lakes, the Hot-springs,
 and Tongariro._

S. C. Brees. "Pictorial Illustrations of New Zealand." London. 1846.

Walter Brodie. "Past and Present state of New Zealand." London. 1845.

W. Brown. "New Zealand and its Aborigines." London. 1845.

Brunner's "Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of the South
Island." In the Geographical Society's "Proceedings." 1846.

 _B. received the Society's gold medal for this exploit._

"The Laws of England, compiled and translated into Maori." By desire of
Governor Browne. Auckland. 1858.

Lord Brougham. "The New Zealanders." Published in Knight's Library of
Entertaining Knowledge. London. 1830.

 _Edited by Lord B. Compiled from all the data available at that time.
 Contains the narrative of Rutherford, a sailor who lived among the
 Maoris. Has very quaint woodcuts._

James Busby. "Our Colonial Empire, and the Case of New Zealand."
London. 1865.

 _The writer was British Resident for a short while before colonization
 in 1840. The book deals with governmental matters._

Rev. J. Berry. Narrative in "Constable's Miscellany." Vol. iv. London.
1820.

W. L. Buller, Sc.D. etc. "A History of the Birds of New Zealand."
London. 1873. Quarto. Coloured plates.

 _The best and most complete work on New Zealand ornithology.
 Handsomely illustrating 145 species._

W. L. Buller, Sc.D. etc. An Essay on the "Ornithology of New Zealand."
Published for the Commissioners of the New Zealand Exhibition. Dunedin.
1865.

Rev. Jas. Buller. "New Zealand, Past and Present." London. 1880.

 _A short historical sketch._

Chambers' "Emigrants' Manual." Edinburgh. 1849.

 _There have been more recent editions of this._

George T. Chapman. "Gazetteer of Auckland Province." Auckland. 1867.

G. T. Chapman. "The Traveller's Guide to New Zealand." Auckland. 1872.

G. T. Chapman. "The Circumnavigator. Cook Centenary." Auckland. 1870.

 _This volume is a creditable performance for the young publishing
 industries of the colony._

"A Chequered Career; or, Fifteen Years in Australia and New Zealand."
London. 1881.

 _Amusing light reading._

The Church Missionary Society's Proceedings, Reports, and Publications.
From 1814 and after. London.

"Captain Cook's Voyages."

A. Clayden. "The England of the Pacific." London. 1879.

 _Lectures, and letters furnished to the "Daily News." Illustrated._

An Old Colonist. "Colonial Experiences; or Incidents and Reminiscences
of Thirty-four Years in New Zealand." London. 1877.

 _Some interesting details of early days in Wellington and Nelson._

J. C. Crawford. "Travels in New Zealand and Australia." London. 1880.

 _Of slight interest._

Major Richard A. Cruise. "Ten Months' Residence in New Zealand."
London. 1823.

 _He commanded a detachment sent in charge of convicts to Tasmania,
 afterwards proceeding to New Zealand in the "Dromedary," which vessel
 had been despatched by the British Government to cut spars of kauri
 timber._

M. Crozet. "Nouveau Voyage à la Mer du Sud." Paris. 1805.

 _Contains an account of the massacre of Marion du Fresne and his
 people in 1772._

C. Darwin. "Voyage of a Naturalist." London. 1845.

E. Dieffenbach, M.D. "Travels in New Zealand." 2 vols. Illustrated.
London. 1843.

 _This was considered the standard descriptive work until Dr.
 Hochstetter's book appeared and superseded it._

Sir Charles W. Dilke. "Greater Britain. A Record of Travel in
English-speaking countries." London. 1868. 2 vols.

 _He visited New Zealand, among other places._

Dumont D'Urville. "Voyages dans l'Astrolabe." Paris. 1833.

 _Contains some excellent plates of New Zealand plants._

Augustus Earle. "Narrative of Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand" in
1827. London. 1832.

 _Readable. This author was inclined to be antagonistic to the early
 missionaries._

William Ellis. "Polynesian Researches." 5 vols. London. 1831.

Captain Fitzroy. "Voyages of the 'Adventure' and the 'Beagle.'" London.
1839.

 _Captain F. was subsequently Governor of New Zealand._

Sir William Fox. "The Six Colonies of New Zealand." London. 1851.

 _Sir William was at one time Premier of New Zealand and has recently
 received the honour of a baronetcy._

Sir William Fox. "The War in New Zealand." London. 1860 and 1866.

Captain F. Fuller. "Five Years' Residence in New Zealand." London. 1859.

 _The writer was a settler in Canterbury._

Sir George Grey. "Journal of Expedition overland from Auckland to
Taranaki, in 1849." Auckland. 1851.

Sir G. Grey. "Ko Nga Moteatea, etc.—Poems and Chaunts of the Maori."
Wellington. 1851.

Sir G. Grey. "Ko Nga Mahinga, etc.—Mythology and Traditions of the
Maori." London. 1854.

Sir G. Grey. "Ko Nga Whakapehapeha, etc.—Proverbs and Sayings of the
Maori." Capetown. 1857.

Sir G. Grey. "Maori Mementos." Auckland. 1855.

Sir G. Grey. "Polynesian Mythology, and Ancient Traditional History of
the Maori Race." London. 1855.

 _Sir George is, perhaps, the best living master of the Maori tongue._

J. E. Gorst. "The Maori King." London. 1864.

 _The history of the Waikato War, admirably related._

John Gould. "Birds of Australia." 8 vols. Large folio. London. 1849-68.

 _The supplement to the eighth volume contains some of the New Zealand
 birds. They are accurately drawn and coloured, life-size. The same
 author's "Handbook of Birds of Australia" contains scientific
 descriptions of some New Zealand species._

Dr. J. Hann. "Meteorological Report, and Essay on the Climate of New
Zealand." Colonial Meteorological Department. Wellington. 1874.

T. Heale. "New Zealand and the New Zealand Company." London. 1842.

Dr. J. Hector. "Reports." Geological Survey Department. Wellington.
1868, and since.

Dr. J. Hector, and E. von Martens. "Critical List of the Mollusca
of New Zealand." Colonial Museum and Geological Survey Department.
Wellington. 1873.

Dr. Ferdinand von Hochstetter. "New Zealand, its Physical Geography,
Geology, and Natural History." Translated into English by E. Sauter.
Stuttgart. 1867.

 _A valuable and standard work. Well illustrated in colours._

Sir Joseph D. Hooker. "The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M.
Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror. Part II. Flora Novæ Zelandiæ." 2
vols. Quarto. London. 1853.

 _A splendidly illustrated work._

Sir J. D. Hooker. "Handbook of the New Zealand Flora." London. 1864.

 _The standard botanical work._

W. Howitt. "The History of Discovery in Australia, Tasmania, and New
Zealand." London. 1865. 2 vols.

 _The second volume contains some account of exploring expeditions in
 New Zealand._

Charles Hursthouse. "Account of the New Plymouth Settlement." London.
1849.

Charles Hursthouse. "New Zealand or Zealandia, the Britain of the
South." London. 1857.

 _Copious information of a thoroughly reliable and practical sort.
 Racily written. The best book ever offered to possible emigrants._

F. W. Hutton. "The Tertiary Mollusca and Echinodermata of New Zealand."
Colonial Museum and Geological Survey Department. Wellington. 1873.

F. W. Hutton. "Catalogue of the Echinodermata of New Zealand." With
Diagnoses, etc. Colonial Museum and Geological Survey Department.
Wellington. 1872.

F. W. Hutton and G. Hector. "The Fishes of New Zealand." Illustrated.
Colonial Museum and Geological Survey Department. Wellington. 1872.

 _Good._

F. W. Hutton. "The Marine Mollusca of New Zealand." Colonial Museum and
Geological Survey Department. Wellington. 1873.

"Land Mollusca of New Zealand." Collected from various authors.
Colonial Museum and Geological Survey Department. Wellington. 1873.

J. Jameson. "New Zealand." London. 1842.

Lacy Kemp. "Pocket Vocabulary of Colloquial Maori and English."
Auckland. 1848.

Alex. Kennedy. "New Zealand." London. 1874.

 _A capital history in brief._

Professor Lee (Cambridge). "Grammar of the Language of New Zealand,"
compiled from data furnished by Mr. Kendall, Hongi and Waikato. London.
1820.

 _Known as "Kendall's Grammar."_

Judge Maning. "Old New Zealand; being Incidents of Native Customs and
Character in the Old Times." By a Pakeha-Maori. London. 1863.

 _A stirring narrative of "the old days" of war and cannibalism._

Judge Maning. "Old New Zealand; together with a History of the War in
the North against the Chief Heke, in 1845, as told by a Chief of the
Ngapuhi." Edited by the Earl of Pembroke. London. 1876.

 _The addition is striking and characteristic._

A. Marjoribanks. "Travels in New Zealand." London. 1846.

Rev. Samuel Marsden. "Journal of Visits to New Zealand." London. 1822,
etc.

 _Originally published in the C.M.S. "Proceedings." Mr. Marsden made
 five visits to New Zealand. He was the first to preach the gospel
 there._

Dr. S. M. D. Martin. "New Zealand, with Historical Remarks." London.
1845.

Rev. R. Maunsell. "Grammar of the New Zealand Language." Auckland.
1842. Revised edition, London. 1862.

Colonel Mundy. "Our Antipodes." 3 vols. London. 1852.

 _Vol. 3 contains an account of New Zealand._

D. L. Mundy. "The Southern Wonderland. Rotomahana, etc." A series of
Photographic Views. Folio. London. 1875.

 _Very fine. There are other photographs published in London, besides
 those contained in this volume._

"The Natural Wonders of New Zealand." London. 1881.

 _A revised edition of Chapman's Guide. An historical and descriptive
 account of the Hot Lakes._

"The New Zealand Company's Reports." London. 1840-1858.

 _These are very copious._

John L. Nicholas. "Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand." 2 vols.
London. 1817.

 _An interesting account of the Rev. S. Marsden's first landing
 in New Zealand in 1814. The author went with the pioneer band of
 missionaries._

Commander R. A. Oliver. "Lithographic Drawings from Sketches in New
Zealand." Folio. London. 1852.

 _Coloured pictures; fair, but not equal to Angas'._

"Outline of the Political and Physical Geography of Australia,
Tasmania, and New Zealand." Collin's Series of School-books. London and
Glasgow. 1876.

"Poenamo. Sketches of the early days of New Zealand." London. 1880.

 _Deals with Hauraki Gulf. Of very trifling interest._

J. S. Polack. "Travels in New Zealand." 2 vols. London. 1838.

J. S. Polack. "Manners and Customs of the New Zealanders." 2 vols.
London. 1840. Illustrated.

 _Both Mr. Polack's books are very quaint and amusing._

G. S. Baden-Powell. "New Homes for the Old Country." London. 1872.

 _Mostly deals with Australian life, but also contains some New Zealand
 information._

W. T. Power. "Sketches of New Zealand." London. 1849.

Abbé Rochon. "Voyages aux Indes Orientales." Tom. iii. Paris. 1802.

 _Contains accounts of the voyages of the French explorers, De
 Bougainville, De Surville, Marion du Fresne, Crozet, and others._

Richard Rose. "The New Zealand Guide." London. 1879.

 _A little manual for intending emigrants. Gives some useful
 information._

"Robinson Crusoe," translated into Maori. Wellington. 1851.

E. Shortland. "The Southern Districts in New Zealand." London. 1851.

E. Shortland. "Traditions and Superstitions of the New Zealanders."
London. 1854.

John Savage. "Some Account of New Zealand." London. 1807.

 _He visited the Bay of Islands, and brought home a Maori to England.
 Extremely interesting._

W. Swainson. "New Zealand and its Colonization." London. 1859.

W. Swainson. "New Zealand and the War." London. 1862.

 _Both books deal with details of law and government._

(S. W. Silver and Co.) "Handbook for Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji."
London, etc. 1874.

Rev. Richard Taylor, F.G.S. "A Leaf from the Natural History of New
Zealand." Auckland. 1848.

Rev. R. Taylor. "New Zealand and its Inhabitants." London. 1856.

Rev. R. Taylor. "The Past and Present of New Zealand." London. 1868.

Rev. R. Taylor. "Te Ika a Maui." London. 1870.

 _This is the best of Mr. Taylor's books, containing a very exhaustive
 and studious account of old Maori manners and customs. All his books
 are good; but missionary class prejudice is occasionally somewhat
 strong in the others._

Rev. R. Taylor. "Maori-English Dictionary." Auckland. 1870.

Charles Terry. "New Zealand, its Advantages and Prospects." London.
1842.

 _Refers to Auckland._

Arthur S. Thomson, M.D. "The Story of New Zealand, Past and Present,
Savage and Civilized." 2 vols. London. 1859. Illustrated.

 _A good and valuable work. A standard authority on the history of
 the wars between the first settlers and the Maoris. Appended is a
 Catalogue of New Zealand bibliography down to 1859, fairly full and
 accurate._

Mrs. C. Thomson. "Twelve Years in Canterbury, New Zealand; from a
Lady's Journal." London. 1867.

 _Small details of home life and personal matters._

Anthony Trollope. "New Zealand." London. 1874.

 _The result of a rapid tour through the Colony._

Miss Tucker. "The Southern Cross and the Southern Crown, or the Early
History of the Gospel in New Zealand." London. 1855.

 _A big title, but a little book._

Sir Julius Vogel. "Great Britain and her Colonies." London. 1865.

Sir Julius Vogel. "New Zealand and the South Sea Islands, and their
Relation to the Empire." London. 1878.

 _Deals with the author's great scheme of federation and colonization,
 enunciated by him when Premier of New Zealand._

Sir Julius Vogel. "The Official Handbook of New Zealand." Papers
by various hands, collected and edited by Sir Julius Vogel. With
illustrations and maps. London. 1875.

 _The best and latest compilation of the kind._

Sir Julius Vogel. "Land and Farming in New Zealand." Information
respecting the mode of acquiring land; with particulars as to farming,
wages, prices, etc. Also the Land Acts of 1877, and maps.

 _Contains very good maps. This, together with the Handbook, are
 published at the New Zealand Government offices in London, and are
 designed to furnish every information to all classes of inquirers._

E. Jerningham Wakefield. "Adventures in New Zealand." 2 vols. London.
1845.

 _Interesting. Together with it was published a volume of sketches and
 views._

E. Jerningham Wakefield. "Handbook of New Zealand." London. 1848.

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce. "Annual Reports." Wellington. 1864,
etc.

The Wesleyan Missionary "Reports." London. 1820, and since. Also,
from the same date, various publications of the Society for Promoting
Christian Knowledge; of the Aborigines' Protection Society; of the
London Missionary Society; and, the "Missionary Register."

Whateley's "Easy Letters on Money Matters," translated into Maori.
Wellington. 1851.

Rev. John Williams. "A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises." London.
1838.

Rev. W. Williams (Bishop of Waiapu). "A Dictionary and Grammar of the
New Zealand Language." Auckland. 1844.

 _Later and improved editions have been published in London, in 1852
 and 1871._

Ven. W. L. Williams. "First Lessons in Maori." London. 1872.

N.B. I cannot claim that the above list is a complete one. It is not.
It merely contains the books I have been able to come across. Dr.
Thomson compiled a careful list of all publications relating to New
Zealand down to the year 1859. Such a task would be very much more
arduous now, and the result would not repay the trouble bestowed on
it. There have been, both before and since 1859, shoals of pamphlets
bearing on matters connected with the colony. Since that year, too, the
periodical literature of Great Britain, Australia, the United States,
and other countries, has contained countless articles on New Zealand
subjects. Finally, "Brighter Britain" has now a literature of its
own. Its press and its publishers are busy. Yet, I think, that in the
foregoing catalogue will be found all, or nearly all, the substantial
volumes immediately relating to New Zealand that the general reader, or
particular inquirer, need care to become acquainted with.


THE NEW ZEALAND PRESS.

(Transcriber's Note: This table has been split into two sections)
  --------------+------------------+-------------------------+---------+
                |Population accord-|                         |         |
                |ing to Census and |                         |         |
                |estimates 1879-80.|                         |         |
  Name of Town. +--------+---------+ Title of Newspaper or   |  Issue. |
                |        | Popula- |     Journal.            |         |
                |Popula- | tion of |                         |         |
                |tion of |Town and |                         |         |
                | Town.  |District.|                         |         |
  --------------+--------+---------+-------------------------+---------+
  Auckland      | 13,758 |  31,401 | The Southern Cross      |  Daily  |
                |        |         | The New Zealand Herald  |    "    |
                |        |         | The Evening Star        |    "    |
                |        |         | The Weekly News         |  Weekly |
                |        |         | The Weekly Herald       |    "    |
                |        |         | The Saturday Night      |    "    |
                |        |         | The Presbyterian Church |         |
                |        |         |   News                  | Monthly |
                |        |         | The Church Gazette      |    "    |
                |        |         | The New Zealand Almanac | Annually|
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Coromandel    |  2,053 |         | The Coromandel Mail    |Tri-weekly|
                |        |         | The Coromandel News     |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Grahamstown,  |  5,424 |  10,423 | The Thames Advertiser   |  Daily  |
   _with        |        |         | The Thames Evening Star |    "    |
   Shortland_   |        |         | The Thames Exchange     |  Weekly |
                |        |         | Enoch                   |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Gisborne      |  1,204 |         | The Poverty Bay Standard|Bi-weekly|
                |        |         | The Poverty Bay Herald  |  Daily  |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Kororareka    |    329 |         | The Northern Luminary   |  Weekly |
  (_Russell_)   |        |         |                         |         |
  Whangarei     |  1,288 |   2,906 |The Whangarei Comet and  |         |
                |        |         |  Northern Advocate      |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Hamilton      |  1,243 |    --   |The Waikato Times       |Tri-weekly|
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Ngaruawahia   |    277 |    --   |The Waikato News         |    "    |
   (_Newcastle_)|        |         |                         |         |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Tauranga      |    793 |   2,770 |The Bay of Plenty Times  |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  New Plymouth  |  2,678 |    --   |The Taranaki Herald      |Bi-weekly|
                |        |         |The Taranaki News        |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The Evening Budget       |  Daily  |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Wairoa        |    120 |    --   |The Wairoa Free Press    |  Weekly |
   (_Clyde_)    |        |         |                         |         |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Napier        |  6,550 |    --   |The Hawke's Bay Herald   |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Hawke's Bay Telegraph|    "    |
                |        |         |The Hawke's Bay Times    |Bi-weekly|
                |        |         |The Hawke's Bay Weekly
                |        |         |   Courier               |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The Hawke's Bay Weekly   |         |
                |        |         Z   Telegraph             |    "    |
                |        |         |The Hawke's Bay Weekly   |         |
                |        |         |   Mercury               |    "    |
                |        |         |The Hawke's Bay Evening  |         |
                |        |         |   Star                  |  Daily  |
                |        |         |Te Wananga (_Maori_)     |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  WELLINGTON    | 18,953 |  21,005 |The New Zealand Times    |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Wellington Independent|    "   |
                |        |         |The Wellington Tribune   |    "    |
                |        |         |The Evening Post         |    "    |
                |        |         |The Evening Argus        |    "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Mail     |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The New Zealander        |    "    |
                |        |         |The Illustrated New      |         |
                |        |         |   Zealand News          |    "    |
                |        |         |Te Waka Maori (_Maori_)|Fortnightly|
                |        |         |The New Zealand Magazine | Monthly |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Bradshaw |    "    |
                |        |         |The Church Chronicle     |    "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Quarterly|         |
                |        |         |   Review                |Quarterly|
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Greytown      |  1,400 |    --   |The Wairarapa Standard   |Bi-weekly|
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Carterton     |    446 |    --   |The Wairarapa Guardian   |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Masterton     |  1,673 |    --   |The Wairarapa Daily      |  Daily  |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Palmerston    |    880 |    --   |The Manawatu Times       |  Weekly |
   (_North_)    |        |         |                         |         |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Foxton        |    563 |    --   |The Manawatu Herald      |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Wanganui      |  4,163 |   7,744 |The Wanganui Chronicle   |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Wanganui Evening Herald|  "    |
                |        |         |The Weekly Chronicle     |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The Weekly Herald        |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Carlyle       |    405 |    --   |The Patea Mail           |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Hawera        |    500 |    --   |The Hawera and Normanby Star| "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Marton        |    850 |    --   |The Rangitikei Advocate  |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Nelson        |  6,804 |   8,810 |The Nelson Times         |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Nelson Evening Mail  |    "    |
                |        |         |The Nelson Colonist     |Tri-weekly|
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Westport      |  1,166 |   1,800 |The Buller News          |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Westport Evening Star|  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Westport Times       |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Charleston    |    185 |    --   |The Charleston Herald    |Bi-weekly|
                |        |         |The Charleston News      |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Reefton       |  1,031 |   2,645 |The Inangahua Courier    |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Inangahua Herald    |Tri-weekly|
                |        |         |The Inangahua Times      |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Lyell         |    250 |    --   |The Lyell Argus          |Bi-weekly|
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Blenheim      |  1,701 |    --   |The Marlborough Express  |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Marlborough Times    |    "    |
                |        |         |The Weekly Express       |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The Weekly Times         |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Kaikoura      |    200 |     600 |The Kaikoura Herald      |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Picton        |    703 |   3,009 |The Marlborough Press    |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Hokitika      |  3,203 |    --   |The West Coast Times     |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Evening Star         |    "    |
                |        |         |The Westland Register    |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The Leader               |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Greymouth     |  2,921 |    --   |The Grey River Argus     |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Greymouth Star       |    "    |
                |        |         |The Weekly Argus         |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The Grey River Press     |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Ross          |  1,068 |    --   |The Ross Guardian       |Tri-weekly|
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Lyttelton     |  3,653 |    --   |The Lyttelton Times      |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Lyttelton Evening Star|   "    |
                |        |         |The Lyttelton Globe      |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The Canterbury Times     |    "    |
                |        |         |The Canterbury           |         |
                |        |         |   Illustrated Press     |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Christchurch  | 15,156 |  32,031 |The Canterbury Press     |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Evening Globe        |    "    |
                |        |         |The Weekly Press         |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Sun      |    "    |
                |        |         |The Illustrated News     |    "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Presbyterian| "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Church   |         |
                |        |         |   News                  | Monthly |
                |        |         |Te Mokomaka (_Maori_)    |    "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Wesleyan |    "    |
                |        |         |The Licensed Victuallers'|         |
                |        |         | Gazette                 |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Kaiapoi       |  1,083 |   6,284 |The North Canterbury News|  Daily  |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Rangiora      |   --   |   2,888 |The North Canterbury News|    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Akaroa        |    642 |   2,232 |The Akaroa Mail          |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Ashburton     |  1,200 |    --   |The Ashburton Mail       |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Evening Herald       |    "    |
                |        |         |The Ashburton Guardian   |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Te Muka       |    200 |    --   |Te Muka Herald           |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Timaru        |  3,791 |    --   |The Timaru Herald        |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The South Canterbury Times|   "    |
                |        |         |The Evening Telegraph    |    "    |
                |        |         |The Geraldine Chronicle  |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Waiemate      |   --   |   4,269 |The Waiemate Times       |Bi-weekly|
                |        |         |The Waietangi Tribune    |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Dunedin       | 23,959 |  34,674 |The Otago Times          |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Otago Morning Herald |    "    |
                |        |         |The Otago Guardian       |    "    |
                |        |         |The Otago Evening Tribune|    "    |
                |        |         |The Otago Evening Star   |    "    |
                |        |         |The Otago Witness        |  Weekly |
                |        |         |The Otago Southern Mercury|    "   |
                |        |         |The Christian Record     |    "    |
                |        |         |The Otago Penny Post     |    "    |
                |        |         |The Age                  |    "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Tablet (R.C.)| "   |
                |        |         |The Saturday Advertiser  |    "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand News     |    "    |
                |        |         |The Illustrated New      |         |
                |        |         |   Zealand Herad         | Monthly |
                |        |         |The New Zealand          |         |
                |        |         |   Temperance Herald     |    "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Churchman|    "    |
                |        |         |The New Zealand Presbyterian| "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Clyde         |    312 |    --   |The Dunstan Times        |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Cromwell      |    424 |    --   |The Cromwell Argus       |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Gore          |    300 |    --   |The Mataura Ensign       |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Invercargill  |  4,283 |   6,000 |The Southland Times      |  Daily  |
                |        |         |The Southland News       |    "    |
                |        |         | The Weekly Times        |  Weekly |
                |        |         | The Weekly News         |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Lawrence      |    855 |   5,400 | The Tuapeka Times       |Bi-weekly|
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Tapanui       |    335 |         | The Tapanui Courier     |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Tokomairiro   |  1,161 |         | The Bruce Herald        |Bi-weekly|
   (_Milton_)   |        |         | The Bruce Standard      |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Naseby        |    546 |         | The Mount Ida Chronicle |  Weekly |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Balclutha     |    900 |         | The Clutha Mail         |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Oamaru        |  5,098 |         | The North Otago Times   |  Daily  |
                |        |         | The Oamaru Evening Mail |    "    |
                |        |         | The North Otago Weekly  |         |
                |        |         |   Times                 |  Weekly |
                |        |         | The Oamaru Weekly Mail  |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Palmerston    |    825 |         | The Shag Valley Herald  |    "    |
                |        |         | The Waikouaiti Times    |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Arrowtown     |    363 |         | The Arrow Observer      |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Queenstown    |    574 |   2,266 | The Wakatipu Mail       |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |
  Riverton      |    867 |   4,194 | The Western Star        |    "    |
                |        |         |                         |         |

--------------+----------------+-----------
                |County in which |
  Name of Town. |  the Town is   |  Former
                |   situated.    | Province.
  --------------+----------------+-----------
  Auckland      |Eden            |Auckland
                |                |
  Coromandel    |Coromandel      |Auckland
                |                |
  Grahamstown,  |Thames          |Auckland
   _with        |                |
   Shortland_   |                |
                |                |
  Gisborne      |Cook            |Auckland
                |                |
  Kororareka    |Bay of Islands  |Auckland
  (_Russell_)   |                |
                |                |
  Whangarei     |Whangarei       |Auckland
                |                |
  Hamilton      |Waikato         |Auckland
                |                |
  Ngaruawahia   |Waipa           |Auckland
   (_Newcastle_)|                |
                |                |
  Tauranga      |Tauranga        |Auckland
                |                |
  New Plymouth  |Taranaki        |Taranaki
                |                |
  Wairoa        |Wairoa          |Hawke's Bay
   (_Clyde_)    |                |
                |                |
  Napier        |Hawke's Bay     |Hawke's Bay
                |                |
  WELLINGTON    |Hutt            |Wellington
                |                |
  Greytown      |Wairarapa West  |Wellington
                |                |
  Carterton     |Wairarapa West  |Wellington
                |                |
  Masterton      |Wairarapa West  |Wellington
                |                |
  Palmerston    |Manawatu        |Wellington
   (_North_)    |                |
                |                |
  Foxton        |Manawatu        |Wellington
                |                |
  Wanganui      |Wanganui        |Wellington
                |                |
  Carlyle       |Patea           |Taranaki
                |                |
  Hawera        |Patea           |Taranaki
                |                |
  Marton        |Rangitikei      |Wellington
                |                |
  Nelson        |Waimea          |Nelson
                |                |
  Westport      |Buller          |Nelson
                |                |
  Charleston    |Buller          |Nelson
                |                |
  Reefton       |Inangahua       |Nelson
                |                |
  Lyell         |Buller          |Nelson
                |                |
  Blenheim      |Marlborough     |Marlborough
                |                |
  Kaikoura      |Kaikoura        |Marlborough
                |                |
  Picton        |Sounds          |Marlborough
                |                |
  Hokitika      |Westland        |Westland
                |                |
  Greymouth     |Grey            |Westland
                |                |
  Ross          |Westland        |Westland
                |                |
  Lyttelton     |Selwyn          |Canterbury
                |                |
  Christchurch  |Selwyn          |Canterbury
                |                |
  Kaiapoi       |Ashley          |Canterbury
                |                |
  Rangiora      |Ashley          |Canterbury
                |                |
  Akaroa        |Akaroa          |Canterbury
                |                |
  Ashburton     |Ashburton       |Canterbury
                |                |
  Te Muka       |Geraldine       |Canterbury
                |                |
  Timaru        |Geraldine       |Canterbury
                |                |
  Waiemate      |Waiemate        |Canterbury
                |                |
  Dunedin       |Taieri          |Otago
                |                |
  Clyde         |Vincent         |Otago
                |                |
  Cromwell      |Vincent         |Otago
                |                |
  Gore          |Southland       |Otago
                |                |
  Invercargill  |Southland       |Otago
                |                |
  Lawrence      |Tuapeka         |Otago
                |                |
  Tapanui       |Tuapeka         |Otago
                |                |
  Tokomairiro   |Bruce           |Otago
   (_Milton_)   |                |
                |                |
  Naseby        |Maniatoto       |Otago
                |                |
  Balclutha     |Clutha          |Otago
                |                |
  Oamaru        |Waitaki         |Otago
                |                |
  Palmerston    |Waikouaiti      |Otago
                |                |
  Arrowtown     |Lake            |Otago
                |                |
  Queenstown    |Lake            |Otago
                |                |
  Riverton      |Wallace         |Otago


I must apologize for any omissions or inaccuracies that may be found
to appear in the above list. The materials were not collected without
considerable trouble, and every care has been taken to ensure fulness.
The figures are derived from returns published according to the census
and estimates of 1879 and 1880. Their incompleteness was unavoidable.


POPULATION OF NEW ZEALAND.

  _European._ In 1844 the total European population was 13,128
              "  1851        "        "        "        26,707
              "  1856        "        "        "        45,540
              "  1861        "        "        "        99,021
              "  1866        "        "        "       204,114
              "  1871        "        "        "       256,393
              "  1874        "        "        "       299,684
              "  1879-80     "        "        "       463,729
  _Maori._ In 1820 the total Maori population was 100,000 (supposed).
              "  1874          "        "       "     46,016
              "  1879-80       "        "       "     42,819

The present total population of all New Zealand, both of Europeans and
Maoris, may be set down at 506,548.


POLITICAL DIVISIONS.

In 1876, the old provincial divisions, with all their cumbrous local
governments and legislative machinery, were finally abolished.
Politically speaking, therefore, the provinces of Auckland, Taranaki,
Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago, and
Westland no longer exist. The names are still retained to some extent
in general use, but they will probably pass away as the new arrangement
takes deeper hold. The colony is now divided into sixty-three counties,
which are here enumerated, together with the three principal cities,
towns, villages, or settlements comprised within each. The arrangement
is from North to South.

  County.              Towns or Settlements.

  Mongonui          Mongonui, Whangaroa, Ahipara.
  Hokianga          Hokianga, Whangape, Kaikohe.
  Bay of Islands    Kororareka, Kawakawa, Waimate.
  Whangarei         Whangarei, Mangapai, Waipu.
  Hobson            Tokatoka, Aratapu, Pahi.
  Rodney            Mangawai, Omaha, Mahurangi.
  Waitemata         Helensville, Whangaparoa, Riverhead.
  Eden              AUCKLAND, Onehunga, Otahuhu.
  Manukau           Waiuku, Papakura, Pukekohe.
  Coromandel        Port Fitzroy, Kapanga, Tokatea.
  Thames            Grahamstown, Tairua, Ohinemuri.
  Waikato           Mercer, Hamilton, Cambridge.
  Waipa             Ngaruawahia, Te Awamutu, Alexandra.
  Raglan            Raglan, Port Waikato.
  Piako             Piako.
  Tauranga          Tauranga, Maketu, Ohinemutu.
  Kawhia            Kawhia, Aotea, Kuiti.
  West Taupo        Orakau, Tokano.
  East Taupo        Tapuaeharuru, Cox's.
  Whakatane         Opotiki, Whakatane, Matata.
  Cook              Gisborne, Ormond, Uawa.
  Wairoa            Mahia, Clyde, Mohaka.
  Hawke's Bay       NAPIER, Hastings, Havelock.
  Wanganui          Wanganui, Makirikiri, Kai Iwi.
  Taranaki          NEW PLYMOUTH, Oakura, Raleigh.
  Patea             Carlyle, Hawera, Normanby.
  Rangitikei        Bulls, Marton, Turakina.
  Manawatu          Foxton, Palmerston, Fielding.
  Waipawa           Waipawa, Waipukerau, Wallingford.
  Wairarapa East    Akiteo, Mataikuna, Whareama.
  Wairarapa West    Featherston, Greytown, Masterton.
  Hutt              WELLINGTON, Hutt, Karori.
  Collingwood       Collingwood, Clifton, Takaka.
  Waimea            NELSON, Wakefield, Foxhill.
  Sounds            Picton, Gore, Bulwer.
  Marlborough       BLENHEIM, Renwick, Tuamarina.
  Inangahua         Reefton, Howard, Hampden.
  Buller            Westport, Charleston, Lyell.
  Grey              Greymouth, Cobden, Ahaura.
  Amuri             Waiau, Hanmer Bridge, Tarndale.
  Kaikoura          Kaikoura, Hapuka, Clarence.
  Cheviot           Cheviot, Hawkswood.
  Ashley            Kaiapoi, Rangiora, West Oxford.
  Akaroa            Wairewa, Akaroa.
  Selwyn            CHRISTCHURCH, Lyttelton, Selwyn.
  Westland          HOKITIKA, Ross, Kumara.
  Ashburton         Ashburton, Rangitata, Rakaia.
  Geraldine         Timaru, Geraldine, Te Muka.
  Waiemate          Waiemate, Makikihi, Waihoa.
  Waitaki           Oamaru, Herbert, Moeraki.
  Waikouaiti        Palmerston, Waikouaiti, Port Chalmers.
  Peninsula         Calversham, Tairoa.
  Taieri            DUNEDIN, Outram, Berwick.
  Maniatoto         Naseby, St. Bathans, Hamilton.
  Vincent           Clyde, Cromwell, Gladstone.
  Lake              Queenstown, Arrowtown, Cardrona.
  Fiord             (No settlement).
  Wallace           Riverton, Wallace, Howells.
  Southland         Invercargill, Dacre, Athol.
  Tuapeka           Lawrence, Tapanui, Roxburgh.
  Bruce             Milton, Kaitangata, Waihora.
  Clutha            Balclutha, Clinton, Waipaheu.
  Stewart Island    Paterson.


PRONUNCIATION OF MAORI NAMES.

The letters of the Maori Alphabet are only fourteen in number. They
are—a, e, h, i, k, m, n, ng, o, p, r, t, u, w. The vowels have an
Italian sound.

  The Maori a is pronounced like aw and ah.
      "     e      "       "     a and eh.
      "     i      "       "     ee.
      "     o      "       "     o and oo (short).
      "     u      "       "     oo (long).

When two vowels come together in a syllable, both are pronounced in a
single breath. Thus:—

  The Maori au becomes ow, as in _cow_.
      "     ao the same.
      "     ae becomes i, as in _sigh_.
      "     ai the same.
      "     ei becomes ee, as in _keep_.

Ng always has a nasal sound, as in _ringing_. G is never hard.

In common use among colonists, many names are becoming corrupted,
principally by the shortening of vowel sounds. Thus, Wakatipu, the
proper pronunciation of which should be Waw-kah-tee´-poo, has become
Wacky-tip. The elision of a final vowel in certain instances, is common
among the Maori themselves.

The following examples, selected from names occurring in this book, may
be of use. Chief stress is to be laid upon the syllable indicated by an
accent mark.

  Arapaoa      Ah-rah-pow´-ah
  Ararimu      Ah-rah-ree´-moo
  Aratapu      Ah-rah-tah´-poo
  Ariki        Ah-ree´-kee
  Atua         Ah´-too-ah
  Hauraki      How´-rah-kee
  Hinau        Hee´-now
  Hokianga     Ho-kee-ang´-ah
  Hone Heke    Ho´-nay Hek´-ky
  Hongi Hika   Hong´-ee Hee´-kah
  Hoteo        Ho-tay´-o
  Hue          Hoo´-eh
  Kahikatea    Ki-kah-tay´-ah
  Kai          Ki
  Kainga       Ki´-ng-ah
  Kaipara      Ki´-pah-rah
  Kamahi       Kah-mi´
  Kapai        Kah´-pi
  Kapuka       Kah´-poo-kah
  Kararehe     Kah-rah´-ray
  Kareao       Kah-ray-ow´
  Kauri        Kow´-ree
  Kawa         Kaw´-ah
  Kawau        Kah-wow´
  Kawiti       Kaw´-ee-tee
  Keri-keri    Kirry-kirry
  Kiwi         Kee´-wee
  Kihi-kihi    Kēē-kēē
  Kiore        Kee-or´-eh
  Kopura       Ko´-poo-rah
  Koraka       Ko-rah´-kah
  Korero       Kor´-ră-ro
  Kororareka   Kor-or-ar´-ek-ah
  Kotuku       Ko-too´-koo
  Kowhai       Ko´-i
  Kumera       Koo´-meh-rah
  Mahurangi    Mow´-ă-rang´-ee
  Maire        Mi´-ray
  Manukau      Man´-oo-kow
  Mangapai     Mong´-ah-pi
  Mangawai     Mong-ah-wi´
  Mangiao      Mong-ee-ow´
  Maori        Mow´-ree
  Matakohe     Mah-tah-ko´-eh
  Marahemo     Mah-rah-hay´-mo
  Maungakahia  Mong-ah-ki´-ah
  Mihake       Mee´-hak-ă
  Mongonui     Mong-o-noo´-ee
  Ngapuhi      Ng-ah´-poo-ee
  Ngatewhatua  Ng-ah´-tay-whot´-oo-ah
  Ohaeawae     O-hi´-ah-wi
  Okaehau      O-ki´-how
  Onehunga     O-nay-hung´-ah
  Otamatea     O-tah-mah-tay´-ah
  Oruawharo    Or-oo-ah-whah´-ro
  Pahi         Pah´-hee
  Paparoa      Pah-pah-ro´-ah
  Pakeha       Pah´-kay-hah
  Pohutukawa   Paw´-tah-kow-ah
  Ponamu       Po-nam´-oo
  Puna         Poo´-nah
  Puriri       Poo-ry´-ry
  Rakope       Raw´-kop-ă
  Rangatira    Rang-ah-tee´-rah
  Rangitopuni  Rang-ee-to-poo´-nee
  Raupo        Row´-poo
  Reinga       Ray-eeng´-ah
  Rimu         Ree´-moo
  Taheke       Tah´-hak-ky
  Tamatewhiti  Tom'-ah-tay-whee'-tee
  Taupo        Tow'-poo
  Tawhera      Taff'-rah
  Taua         Tow'-ah
  Tapu         Tah'-poo
  Te           Tay
  Ti           Tee
  Wahine       Wah-hee'-nay
  Waimate      Wi'-matty
  Waitangi     Wi'-tang-ee
  Waitemata    Wi'-tay-mah'-tah
  Whangarei    Whong-ah-ree'
  Whare        Whah'-ray
  Whau         Whow
  Wairoa       Wi'-raw
  Wairau       Wi'-row

THE END.

PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BECCLES.
_S. & H._


       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Notes

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Other
variations in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation and accents remain
unchanged.

The extensive table of the New Zealand Press in the appendix has been
divided to facilitate display on narrow screens.

Italics are represented thus _italic_.





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