GREAT BRITAIN WINS

We are arrived at a pass when the good ship _Tory_ is hurrying
southwards, bearing to the goal of all their hopes the preliminary
expedition of the New Zealand Land Company. On the track of the _Tory_
follows in dignified pursuit Her Majesty’s ship _Druid_, proud of her
distinguished burden, the first Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony
that is soon to be. The air is filled with rumours of the impending
formation of a colony by France; and, indeed, a French ship presently
flies in the wake of the _Tory_ and the _Druid_, bound, they say, for
Akaroa in the Middle Island, where many thousands of goodly acres are
already in one Frenchman’s hands. New Zealand herself, precious object
of the desire of so many, sits upon her sea-girt throne and lifts
anxious eyes to the scales of Fate, watching the quivering balance. One
arm must soon descend, weighted with her destiny. Which?

Fortunately for New Zealand, Britain had a fair start of France in
the race for possession. Unfortunately for many colonists, then
and to be, the New Zealand Company ran well ahead of the British
Government in the race for the acquisition of land. Most fortunately
for all concerned, Her Majesty’s representatives were men not afraid
to undo the tangle caused by the early dealings in land. They were men
determined to adjust upon an equitable basis all land transactions
between the white population and the brown. They were men who insisted
that the Maori, ignorant at first of the value of that with which
they parted so lightly, should not be driven from their ancestral
possessions for the price of a few old muskets, a handful of red
sealing-wax, or even an orchestra of Jew’s-harps and tin bugles.

It would be improper to refer otherwise than delicately to a past so
recent. Something must be said, but not without consideration for the
feelings of others. Moreover, the subject of the proceedings of the New
Zealand Land Company is so difficult and involved, that, save in the
briefest manner, it does not fall to be dealt with in a history of this
nature.

While the _Tory_ was ploughing through girdling oceans north and south,
the Directors of the New Zealand Company were doing all they could to
attract a good class of emigrants. They described in glowing terms the
situation, scenery, and climate of the country, eulogised their system
of colonisation, and offered, by lottery, land at popular prices, which
included the passage out of the emigrant and his household.

Fifty thousand acres in the North Island were at first offered by the
Company for purchase, and over eleven hundred emigrants–purchasers,
labourers, and their families–sailed within six months for New
Zealand, full of hope in the future.

The startling feature of the story is that the Company had no title to
land in New Zealand, nor any right to sell it. The significant lines
did not occur to them, “The man that once did sell the lion’s skin
while the beast lived, was killed with hunting him.”

After a voyage of four months, the _Tory_ dropped anchor in Port
Nicholson on the 20th of September, 1839. The shores of Cook Strait
had been for many a year the scene of fighting among the Maori and, as
first one and then another tribe came uppermost in the struggle, the
question of the actual ownership of the land became decidedly matter
for argument. It will be remembered that, by Maori law, conquest of
land constituted ownership. True; but if the conquerors of to-day were
likely to be turned out to-morrow by the recently vanquished, or by
another set of combatants, it does not need much demonstration to show
that intending purchasers would require to be very careful as to the
soundness of their own right and title, or entirely careless of any law
but that of possession.

The Company’s agent stayed not to inquire as to Maori disputes
regarding land. He ascertained through an interpreter the names of
this cape, that river, those islands, and yonder mountain, and asked
the chiefs Epuni and Wharepori of the Ngati-Awa, who had come aboard,
whether they would sell the entire landscape.

“Yes,” answered the chiefs, who had little better title to the land
than had the Company who had sold it before buying it. And so, for
a collection of articles which included blankets, guns of various
sorts, axes, spades, and fish-hooks–not to speak of Jew’s-harps,
soap, trousers, pencils, sealing-wax and cartridge-paper, the Company
acquired (justly, perhaps, in their opinion) a territory about the size
of Ireland, embracing both the east and west coasts of New Zealand.

This astonishing bargain, begun on the deck of the _Tory_, took some
months to complete, and by that time the agent had taken formal
possession of the fine bay known as Port Nicholson–Poneki in the Maori
tongue–and planned out the settlement of Britannia at the entrance
to the charming valley of the Eritonga, better known now–if not so
musically named–as the Hutt river.

Fast in the wake of the _Tory_ followed the _Aurora_ with the first
instalment of immigrants, whose feelings may be imagined, when they
realised that nobody could give or sell to them the right and title
to the lands they desired to call their own. They learned this much
in March 1840 from the Maori themselves, when, owing to its faulty
position, the settlement on the Hutt was abandoned, and the town of
Wellington founded upon the flats of Thorndon and Te Aro, which lay in
a more sheltered bay of the great basin of Port Nicholson.

Other emigrants from England and elsewhere soon arrived; the first
steamer puffed and churned its way into the harbour; and the astounded
Maori demanded anxiously whether “all the tribes had left England and
come to settle among them?” They were not disinclined to welcome the
settlers; but Puakawa and other chiefs strongly objected to part with
their lands, which they averred had been sold by people who had no
right to dispose of them.

This was sad hearing; but, if a Company choose to “buy” twenty million
acres from some fifty people whose right to sell them is hotly
disputed, it is to be expected that the ten thousand or so who claim
ownership of those acres will have something to say on the subject.

Mercifully for the settlers, the Maori near Wellington had no objection
to their lands being occupied, but merely wished to make it clear that
they had not been sold outright. So the settlers became aware before
long that the Company’s purchases were not good, and that, if they, the
immigrants, bought land of the Company, their own title to it would
be equally not good, and would in the natural course of events become
liable to investigation.

But why this concern about right and title? On the one hand are white
men desirous of acquiring land, and, on the other, coloured men who
have felt the touch of civilisation without having been greatly
influenced thereby, and who, while undeniably owning the land, use
but little of it. Why bother about their rights? Why not oppose to
the protests of the brown man the impudence of the white man, whose
argument has too often been, “What I desire I take, and what I have I
hold”?




Because–and it is with keen pleasure that one can write this
truth–the story of colonisation in New Zealand is honourably
distinguished from that in some other portions of the globe, by the
righteous attitude of most of the early settlers towards the native
population in possession, and by the fact that the rights of the
original owners of the soil were clearly recognised, and forcibly
insisted upon by those in power. And the same principle is at work
to-day.

True, there were many who shamelessly swindled the Maori out of their
land; but with a number of these the Crown eventually dealt very
effectually. True, also, there were not wanting those who–as ever in
a new country–advocated lead and steel as the best means of combating
objections to land transfer, and, incidentally, of “civilising” the
Maori. But of such there were too few thoroughly to leaven the lump,
and the general attitude of the white men was one of honest desire to
deal justly with the brown. Serious differences arose, but the guiding
principle was there and, despite wars and contentions, there was never
abroad that spirit of hatred which has marked some contests between the
white and the coloured races. Pakeha and Maori as a rule fought out
their quarrel fairly, with the result that they now live at peace, the
white men respecting and caring for the needs of the brown, the brown
men content to recognise the superiority of the white, and taking an
intelligent share with them in the ruling of their ancient heritage.

The Maori have been represented for many years in the Parliament of
New Zealand by men of their own race; men, too, directly descended
from powerful chiefs who strenuously opposed the Pakeha’s rule. The
newspapers announced a few months ago[58] that a full-blooded Red
Indian had for the first time in the history of the United States taken
his seat in Congress. Comment is needless.

Whatever their title, the Company’s settlers remained where they were
for the present, and for the better ordering of matters in which all
were concerned, quickly formed a “Provisional Government,” with the
energetic and sunny-tempered Colonel Wakefield as its first president.

So, leaving the Company’s settlers in Wellington to argue questions of
title with their keen-witted opponents, let us follow the fortunes of
Lieutenant-Governor Hobson from the time of his arrival in Sydney.

Having paid his respects to his chief, Sir George Gipps, Governor of
New South Wales, Captain Hobson sailed for the Bay of Islands, where he
arrived on the 29th of January, 1840. He immediately exhibited three
documents, which gave the settlers plenty to think about.

The first was his commission as Lieutenant-Governor over _whatever
parts of New Zealand might be thereafter added to Queen Victoria’s
dominions_; the second asserted Her Majesty’s authority over all
her subjects then resident in New Zealand; the third–note it
well–proclaimed that the Queen would acknowledge no titles to land
other than those derived from Crown grants, that to purchase land from
the natives would after that date be illegal, and that a Commission
would investigate all land purchases already made.

While Lieutenant-Governor Hobson was familiarising the Kororarekans
with this last intimation, the agent of the New Zealand Company at
Wellington continued to acquire land from the Maori, irrespective of
native right and title; while immigrants as eagerly besieged genial
Colonel Wakefield for town lots and country lands, careless of _his_
right and title and, apparently, of their own insecure tenure.

So, with Captain Hobson proclaiming himself Governor over territory
yet to be acquired; with the Company selling, and the immigrants
buying, land to which neither had a proper title, the materials for the
production of a very difficult and unpleasant situation were apparent
even to inexperienced eyes.

They were so apparent to Captain Hobson, that he took with creditable
promptitude two decided steps. First, he convened at Waitangi–the
lovely “Weeping Water” in the Bay of Islands–a meeting of powerful
hereditary chiefs, to whom he proposed an agreement, historically known
as the Treaty of Waitangi.

The chiefs of the United Tribes of New Zealand by this treaty ceded
to Queen Victoria the sovereignty of their territories, and agreed
to sell lands to no other purchaser than the Crown. Queen Victoria,
in consideration of this cession of sovereignty, agreed to extend
her royal protection to the Maori, and to confer upon them all the
privileges of British subjects.

This important treaty was not carried through off-hand. Shrewd chiefs
opposed it, though the greater number present argued in its favour,
among them Hongi’s veteran lieutenant, Tomati Waka Nene (Thomas
Walker), afterwards our strong ally. No conclusion was come to until
next day, when forty-six prominent chiefs signed the treaty in presence
of a great following.

Forty-six being a small proportion of the number of chiefs of rank in
the North Island, Governor Hobson circulated the treaty by the hands of
trusted agents. The first signatures were appended early in February,
1840, and over five hundred chiefs had signed before the end of June,
very few of them accepting the presents offered by the agents, lest it
should be considered that they had been bribed into taking so important
a step.

Thus encouraged, the Governor executed the great measure which caution
had bidden him postpone, and on the 21st of May, 1840, proclaimed Queen
Victoria’s sovereignty over the Islands of New Zealand. To make matters
sure, sovereignty over the Middle Island was separately proclaimed on
the 17th of June.

Governor Hobson now took his second step. The proclamation of the
sole right of the Crown to purchase land from the natives plainly
gave him control of the acquisitions of the New Zealand Company; the
proclamation of the Queen’s sovereignty over the Islands justified him
in repudiating the Provisional Government formed at Wellington. Of the
latter he made short work, sending Mr. Shortland, R.N., the Colonial
Secretary, and a company of soldiers to haul down the Company’s flag
and replace it by the standard of Britain. The act was natural and
inevitable; but it made the Company and their representative very
bitter against Captain Hobson.

The declaration of sovereignty over the Middle Island came none too
soon; for the French emigrant ship _Comte de Paris_, convoyed by the
frigate _L’Aube_, arrived less than two months later at Akaroa, and
fifty-seven immigrants disembarked. The British flag had been hoisted
forty-eight hours earlier by Captain Stanley, R.N., and when, in face
of this, the French frigate landed six field-pieces, the captain
of H.M.S. _Britomart_ thought it time to protest. He protested so
effectually, that the French commander acknowledged his immigrants to
be settlers in a British Colony, reshipped his twenty-four pounders,
and the incident closed.

Thus New Zealand, after long delays, became a British Colony, with
her status established not only before her own motherland, but in
the eyes of Europe as well. It remained for her to shake off the
partial allegiance she owed to New South Wales, and then, with all the
confidence of youth and sturdy independence, go proudly down the path
of the future to the high destiny which awaited her.

Continue Reading

VARIOUS RULERS

These wars and rumours of wars had small effect in stopping
immigration. Most of the settlers were British; for, though no
systematic colonisation had as yet been attempted, the right of Great
Britain’s sovereignty over New Zealand had been recognised at the Peace
of 1814.

New South Wales being the nearest approach to a centre of civilisation,
the Government in Sydney watched the interests of the settlers on the
eastern edge of the Tasman Sea; but, because of the distance between
the two countries, the New Zealand settlers had really to protect
themselves from annoyance as best they could. The Maori, predominant in
power, found little difficulty in safeguarding their own interests.

Apart from the efforts of the missionaries, what did most to keep the
peace was the desire of commercial adventurers to tap the resources of
the country. On their side, the Maori were anxious to bargain with the
Pakeha for guns, and very soon learned that any serious breach with the
white men was followed by interruption of profitable intercourse.

The Pakeha at first took shameful advantage of the natives, purchasing
a shipload of flax for a few old muskets, while a fig of tobacco was
esteemed by the latter worth almost as much as a gun. But the Maori
were never fools, whatever else their failings, and they quickly
grew instructed in the commercial value of the articles they had for
disposal, for which they were prompt to demand a more adequate return.

The one point in which they seemed hopelessly to fail was in estimating
the value of land. This was because they and the white men approached
the subject from absolutely different standpoints, and what the Pakeha
concluded they had bought, the Maori imagined they had leased. For
the most sacred article in the creed of the Maori was, perhaps, that
precluding them from parting in perpetuity with the land which had
descended to them from their ancestors.

An abominable traffic in which the baser sort of white men engaged was
that in human heads. The marvellous preservation of the heads of dead
Maori had excited great interest among scientists, and European museums
clamoured for specimens. But the loss of the head of one of its male
members brought a peculiar grief and shame to a Maori family, for it
meant also the loss of _mana_, or reputation. Consequently, the demand
for heads greatly exceeded the supply.

But if there were base men among the Pakeha, so were there among the
Maori, and such fellows made nothing of filching the heads of other
persons’ ancestors or defunct relatives, and selling them to the
sailors frequenting the coast.

This was bad enough; but, since theft could not accomplish enough,
murder stalked upon its heels, and many a wretched slave was slain in
order that his head might grin from the shelf of a museum, or “grace”
the library of some curio-hunter.

Efforts were made to stop the disgusting traffic with its lurid
accompaniments; but the offenders were not easily reached and, had New
Zealand remained uncolonised, the Maori race might by this time have
become extirpated by a gradual process of decapitation. Fortunately, as
the white population grew more respectable and responsible, their own
sense of what was due to themselves choked off the practice.

Such a shocking story reached the ears of Governor Darling in Sydney,
that he issued a proclamation, threatening those engaged in the trade
with heavy fines and exposure in the public prints.

Theft and murder accounted for a certain number of heads; but the
conquerors in battle presently began to offer them in exchange for–as
always–guns and ammunition. In the year 1830 a tribe living on the
shores of the Bay of Plenty defeated certain Nga-Puhi, and sold
such heads as were in proper condition to the master of the next
vessel which touched at Tauranga. The brig proceeded to the Bay of
Islands–whence had come the original owners of the heads–and was
boarded by some of the natives there. The skipper, who seems to have
been drunk, appeared on deck, carrying a large sack, and the Maori
shrank back, growling and muttering, as the besotted Pakeha tumbled
out of the bag a dozen human heads. Worse was to come. Some of the
Maori present were related to those who had gone out to fight and
had never returned, and a cry of bitter lamentation arose as these
recognised the faces of their dead–one a father, another a brother, a
third a son. Others, too, knew their friends, and amid a scene of the
utmost horror, the outraged Maori, wailing, weeping, howling, rushed
over the side of the ship and paddled swiftly towards their bewildered
comrades who lined the shore, marvelling at the commotion. Drunk or
sober, the brutal shipmaster knew that he had gone too far, for he
slipped his cable and fled for his life.

When His Excellency heard this atrocious story, he insisted that all
who had bought heads from this savage trader should give them up
to him, in order that they might be returned to the tribes at the
Bay of Islands. How far he succeeded in his endeavour to soothe the
grief-stricken and offended Maori is uncertain.

About the time of Hongi’s visit to Europe a rage for land speculation
arose, and people of all sorts and conditions hastened to offer axes,
guns, and such merchandise as the Maori valued in exchange for broad
acres. How far this traffic went is shown by the official statement
that one million acres of land were “purchased” between 1825 and 1830
from the natives by Sydney speculators. Further, twenty-seven thousand
square miles in the most fertile part of the north were acquired
between 1830 and 1835 by missionaries.

[Illustration: A dreadful recognition]

News of these transactions excited in England a more active interest in
New Zealand, and in 1825 a Company was formed in London with the object
of colonising the latter country. Sixty people did actually emigrate,
and on arrival settled around the Hauraki Gulf; but no more followed;
the settlement melted away, and with it the aspirations of the Company.

“He who aims at the sun will shoot higher than he who aims at a
bush, though he hit never his mark,” quaintly says Bacon, and Baron
Charles Hyppolyte de Thierry perhaps had this apophthegm in mind when
he proclaimed himself “Sovereign Chief of New Zealand and King of
Nukahiva”–one of the Marquesas Islands.

Baron de Thierry–a naturalised Englishman–met the Rev. Mr. Kendall
and Hongi when the pair were in England, and entrusted the former with
merchandise to the value of one thousand pounds, wherewith to purchase
for him one of the most valuable areas in New Zealand–the Hokianga
district, in which flourishes the invaluable _kauri_-pine. The would-be
sovereign was greatly disappointed to learn that his agent had acquired
only forty thousand acres of this superb country, while he was at the
same time cheered to know that the immense tract had been “purchased”
at the not excessive price of thirty-six axes!

Is it any wonder that the Maori could not later realise that they had
parted for ever with their lands for such ridiculous–to use no harsher
word–equivalents? The land was in their own opinion leased, not sold,
and the leasing of land was a common enough practice among themselves,
each party to the transaction thoroughly understanding its nature.

Baron de Thierry neglected his purchase until 1835, when he drifted as
far as Tahiti. Thence he forwarded to Mr. Busby, the Resident, a copy
of his “proclamation,” along with the intimation that his “ship of war”
would presently convey him to his kingdom. The Bay of Islands dovecote
was considerably fluttered.

But Monsieur the “Sovereign Chief” did not arrive for three years, and
then he suddenly appeared in Hokianga with nearly a hundred followers.
Settlers and Maori beheld with apprehension this select company; but
when the invader claimed royal honours and nominated the master of
the vessel in which he had arrived his “Lord High Admiral,” everybody
laughed–except the “Sovereign Chief and King.”

The baron soon had reason to weep; for of a sudden came information
that Mr. Kendall’s thirty-six axes, paid for the forty thousand acres,
had been merely a deposit. One is relieved to learn this, but it
must have been very depressing news for the would-be proprietor. For
the Royal Exchequer was very low, and as the great officers of state
could get no pay for the arduous duties they performed, they promptly
resigned. So, too, did the “Sovereign Chief,” and vanished, to reappear
later, without the “purple,” in the guise of an ordinary and very
excellent citizen.

The settlement at Kororareka has already been referred to as a
place in which the orgies of white and brown justified the epithet
“scandalous.” It was not the only spot in this Eden over which lay the
trail of the serpent; so, for the sake of morality, as well as for
political reasons, the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke,
appealed to the British Government to appoint a Resident at the Bay of
Islands.

Many years had elapsed between the murder of Captain Marion du Fresne
and the visit of the next French ship. At rare intervals a vessel
dropped anchor in one of the bays; but there was little sustained
intercourse. Even as late as 1834, so bitter were their memories of
the “_Wi-Wi_” (_Oui-Oui_) that the Nga-Puhi chiefs took alarm at the
persistent rumour of a French occupation of New Zealand, and induced
the missionaries to draw up a petition to the “Gracious Chief of
England,” William the Fourth, to protect them from “the tribe of
Marion.”

The Maori had also begun to recognise that the British Pakeha were not
over clean-handed in their dealings with them; for, in addition to the
above, they prayed the “Gracious Chief” to prevent his own people from
depriving them of their lands.

The result of this unrest was the appointment of Mr. Busby as British
Resident. He arrived at the Bay of Islands in 1833, and led off in
great style by proposing that all New Zealand should be ruled by a
Parliament of Chiefs, and that the country should adopt a national flag
to signify its independence.

The idea caught the fancy of some; the flag arrived from Sydney in
H.M.S. _Alligator_, and was inaugurated with a salute of twenty-one
guns. The Parliament of Chiefs took shape a little later, when
thirty-five hereditary chiefs declared their independence, and received
the designation of the “United Tribes of New Zealand.”




Barely a year after Mr. Busby’s appointment, a “regrettable incident”
occurred, which compelled him to assume the character of “Vindex,” in
which neither he, nor those associated with him, showed to advantage.

The affair gave rise to the employment of British troops for the first
time in New Zealand, and arose out of the shipwreck of the _Harriet_ at
Cape Egmont, Taranaki. The sailormen lodged for a fortnight in a Maori
village, and then a quarrel arose. A fight followed, and twelve sailors
and twice as many Maori were killed.

Since the Maori loss was double that of the ship’s company, the account
could only be balanced by _utu_; so the surviving whites were held to
ransom, and Guard, the shipmaster, was sent to procure the same.

Five months later, the Government of New South Wales despatched H.M.S.
_Alligator_ with a company of soldiers on board to bring away the
prisoners. On her arrival off the scene of the disaster, Guard went
ashore, accompanied by the military, when the Maori at once gave up the
sailors. All was going well–for Guard was assured of the safety and
well-being of his wife and two little ones–when an officer, perhaps
deceived by gestures incomprehensible to him, hurled an unfortunate
chief into the boat and bayoneted him.

This wrong-headed act was not immediately followed by hostilities,
though it interrupted the progress of negotiations. Matters were at
last smoothed over, the wounded chief was sent ashore, and Mrs. Guard
and one of her children brought down to the boat. Then, as the ransom
was still unpaid, the second child was carried to the shore upon the
shoulder of the chief who had cared for it.

This chief not unreasonably requested permission to carry the child
aboard, and himself receive the stipulated payment; but, when curtly
informed that no ransom would be paid, he turned away, still carrying
the child. It is dreadful to be obliged to relate that the Maori was
shot in the back at close quarters, and fell dying to the ground with
the little child in his arms. As if this were not enough, his corpse
was insulted.

Following upon this tragedy, a shot was fired, by whom or from whence
no one could or would say. The _Alligator_ immediately began to shell
the Waimate _Pa_, and the troops played their part. When sufficient
punishment had been inflicted, the dogs of war were called off and the
ship sailed away.

Unpleasant as is the task, it is right that these dark pictures of
mistakes and injustice should now and then be shown, if only to
induce those whose duty brings them in contact with primitive races
to remember that the rights of man belong to the coloured as well as
to the white. It is not denied that the Maori treated their prisoners
with consideration, and it is pitiful to learn that Mrs. Guard
identified the chief who was the first to be slain as one who had
behaved with unvarying kindness to her and to her children. Nor is
there any doubt that the British disregarded every claim of justice
and humanity. Not even common honesty was exhibited; for, although the
prisoners were given up, the ransom agreed upon was refused.

The one bright spot in the whole affair was the decision of a committee
of the House of Commons, condemning the incident, and pointing out
that, while the Maori had fulfilled their contract, the British had
broken theirs. The committee might with propriety have said a good
deal more in the opinion of those whose view was not that of the chief
witness, Guard–shipmaster and ex-convict–that “a musket ball for
every Maori was the best method of civilising the country.”

These various happenings, good and bad alike, showed that the wind blew
towards Britain and British sovereignty. This was bound to come; and
come it did at last through the agency of Kororareka of all places in
the world!

Things had been going from bad to worse in the “Cyprus of the South
Sea,” and its orgies, brawls and revellings had become the scandal of
a community not easily scandalised. Law-breakers laughed at the law,
and Kororareka at last became too bad even for the Kororarekans. The
inhabitants of the better sort then drew up a set of rules and banded
themselves together under the title of the “Kororarekan Association.”
The Association approached the Resident, as in duty bound; but when
Mr. Busby would have none of them they resolved to act independently of
him.

The Association went trenchantly to work in quite an American
spirit–tarring and feathering, riding obnoxious individuals out of the
town on rails, and purging the place of its worst elements. The scared
Resident portrayed it in such vivid colours that the Home Government
took alarm, and came to the somewhat belated conclusion that it was
time for Britain to assert the rights she had possessed by discovery
since 1769, and by the recognition of Europe since the Peace of 1814.

Another factor had meanwhile arisen which still further demonstrated
the necessity for expedition on the part of the British Government.

The New Zealand Association had been formed in 1836, but had received
little support; for it was suspected that their motives were not so
pure as they declared them to be. The missionaries hailed invective
upon them, the Duke of Wellington asserted in his “iron” way that
“Britain had enough colonies already,” and so violent was the general
opposition that the Association was dissolved.

Another Company was formed with very little delay under the title
of the New Zealand Land Company, whose Directors determined to act
independently of the Crown, and to establish settlements wheresoever
they chose in the country which Britain seemed unable or disinclined to
appreciate at its proper worth. Their ship had actually sailed before
the astonished Government were informed by the London Directors of the
intentions of the Company.

There were some big names controlling this venture. At the head of the
list stood that of the Earl of Durham, Governor of the Company and,
until just before its formation, Governor-General of Canada. Colonel
Wakefield, one of an indefatigable family, was the Company’s agent;
and the long list of Directors included the names of Petre, Baring,
Boulcott, Hutt, Molesworth, and others destined to influence the future
of New Zealand.

The Government were at last roused to action. They informed the
Directors that it was for the Crown to make colonies, not for private
individuals, and without more ado sent Captain Hobson of the Royal
Navy to New Zealand as “Consul.” He was instructed to consider himself
subordinate to the Governor of New South Wales; and he carried with him
his commission as Lieutenant-Governor.

Thus, after many vicissitudes, New Zealand found herself, in the year
of grace 1839, within measurable distance of becoming a British Colony.
But she had still to run the gauntlet of one more danger, which, had
she not escaped it, must have changed the whole course of her history.

Continue Reading

THE WARS OF HONGI IKA

It was necessary to steal a march on time in order to give a connected,
though imperfect account of the foundation of Christianity in New
Zealand. Return we to Hongi Ika and his doings.

If Mr. Marsden hoped to turn the philosopher-warrior-cannibal from the
error of his ways, the good man must have been grievously disappointed.
Hongi remained a pagan; but he never broke his promise to the
missionary. He was a terrible fellow, but he was not a liar. His word
was sacred, and he regretted on his deathbed that the men of Whangaroa
had been too strong for him when they drove the Wesleyan missionaries
from their station.

Leaving Mr. Marsden and his colleagues at Rangihoua, Hongi returned to
his trade of war, and for five years or so enjoyed himself in his own
way. Then, tiring again of strife, his thoughts turned once more upon
foreign travel.

This time his ambition soared high, and with a fellow chief he sailed
for London under the wing of a missionary. He was exceedingly well
received, for the horror and fright with which the New Zealanders had
been regarded was greatly diminished in 1820, and Britons were again
looking longingly towards a country so rich in commercial possibilities.

So Hongi found himself a “lion,” and with the adaptability of his
race so comported himself, that it occurred to few to identify the
bright-eyed little fellow with the ample forehead and keen brain with
the lusty warrior and ferocious cannibal of whom startling tales had
been told.

Even His Majesty, George the Fourth, did not disdain to receive the
“Napoleon of New Zealand,” and being, perhaps, in a prophetic mood,
presented the great little man with a suit of armour.

Hongi would have preferred a present of the offensive kind in the shape
of guns and ammunition; for the Nga-Puhi had early gauged the value of
such weapons in settling tribal disputes, and had managed to acquire a
few, though not nearly enough to meet the views of Hongi Ika.

The king had set the fashion, and his subjects followed suit so
lavishly, that, if Hongi had chosen to lay aside his dignity and open a
curio shop, he could have done so. The little man was overjoyed. He was
rich now, and he gloated over his presents as a means to an end. What a
war he could wage, if he could only find a pretext. Pretexts did not,
as a rule, trouble Hongi; but the eyes of the great were upon him, and
it would be just as well to consider appearances. As he recrossed the
ocean his active brain was at work planning, planning. Ah, if he could
but find a pretext!

Hongi had been absent for two years, and with right good will the
tribes of the north-east wished that he might never return. However,
with the dominant personality of the little man lacking to the
all-conquering Nga-Puhi, there was no knowing what might happen; so
the tribes around about the Thames river, whose frith is that thing of
beauty, the Hauraki Gulf, took heart of grace, marched to the fight,
and slew, among other folk, no less a person than Hongi’s son-in-law.

Here was indeed a pretext. Hongi clung to it as a dog to his bone. In
Sydney he had melted down, so to speak, his great pile of presents
into three hundred stand of arms, which included a goodly share of the
coveted _tupara_, or double-barrelled guns. Ammunition was added, and
thus, with a very arsenal at his command, Hongi Ika came again to his
native land.

He came armed _cap-à-pie_; for he wore the armour which the king had
given him–and the good _mihonari_ stood aghast at sight of him. “Even
now the tribes are fighting,” they groaned. “When is this bitter strife
to cease?”

Pretext, indeed! To avenge his son-in-law was all very well. _Utu_
should be exacted to the full. But here was a pretext beyond all
others, and the wily Hongi instantly seized upon it.

“Fighting! Are they?” He grinned as only a Maori can grin. “I will stop
these dogs in their worrying. They shall have their fill of fighting.”
He grinned again. “That will be the surest way, my _mihonari_ friends.
I will keep them fighting until they have no more stomach for it, and
so shall there be an end.” He muttered under his breath, “because
their tribes shall be even as the _moa_.”[57] As the _moa_ was extinct,
the significance of the addition should be sufficiently clear.

Hongi kept his word–he always did that–and sailed for the front in
the proudest of his fleet of war-canoes, with a thousand warriors
behind him, armed with _mere_ and _patu_ and spear, while in his van
went a _garde de corps_ of three hundred picked men, fondling–so
pleased were they–the three hundred muskets and _tupara_ for which
their chief’s presents had been exchanged.

Southward, through the Hauraki Gulf, he sails into the estuary of
the Thames, into the Thames itself. One halt and the Totara _pa_ is
demolished, and with five hundred of its defenders dead in his rear
Hongi sweeps on, southward still, to Matakitaki. Four to one against
him! What care Hongi Ika and his three hundred musketeers? It is the
same story–fierce attack and sudden victory, ruthless slaughter of
twice a thousand foes, and Hongi, grinning in triumph, ever keeps his
face to the south and drives his enemies before him as far as the Lake
of Rotorua.

At Kawhia, on the west, there lived, when Hongi scourged the land,
the hereditary chief, Te Rauparaha, a notable fighter, but a better
diplomate. On Te Rauparaha men’s eyes were now turned. He will know how
to deal with the proud Nga-Puhi. Hongi’s triumphal progress is nearing
its end.

No. Hongi, at Mauinaina, is too close. Besides, he is a demon. He
carries a charm which renders him invulnerable. That shining headpiece,
that sparkling plate upon his chest–what are they, if not charms to
keep him whole and sound? At Totara did not some strong arm deal him a
buffet which would have scattered the brains of any mere man? Yet he
did but stagger, while all around heard the sullen clang which was the
howl of the evil spirit protecting his head. At Matakitaki was not a
spear driven against his breast which should have split his heart and
let out his villainous blood? Yet the point was blunted against the
chest charm, and the spearman, poor wretch, slain. These things being
so, who can stand against Hongi?

Not Te Rauparaha. The bold raider’s nerves give way, and with black
rage and hatred in his heart he gathers his followers together and
flees southward to Otaki, giving as he goes the measure he has
received, and leaving a trail of blood and fire behind him.

Hongi “has made a solitude and calls it–peace”; he is satisfied for
the time being with what he has done and won, and must go home with his
slaves and his heads and his loot, to enter his village in triumph like
a general of old Rome.

Te Rauparaha, fleeing south, takes vengeance for the wrongs done him by
Hongi upon all who come in his way. To be sure, it is not their affair;
but Te Rauparaha cares nothing for that. Vengeance he wants; so hews a
bloody path from north to south, till stayed by the rippling streak at
the end of the land. Beyond that lies Te Wai Pounamou, The Waters of
Greenstone, the Middle Island, washed by the Tasman Sea.

Te Rauparaha’s smouldering rage blazes up again. What! Shall that strip
of water stop him? Not while he has an arm to strike, and there is a
canoe to be had for the striking.

So again the fearful drama–murder and rapine. The canoes are seized,
the owners left stark upon the beach. Then across the strait, where a
wondering crowd await his coming, not without apprehension. They have
reason.

“Who is it that comes?” “It is Te Rauparaha!” In a moment the chief is
among them. Blood flows again. Te Rauparaha is once more the victor.
Will it never end?

Not yet. Hongi Ika comes not here to stop fighting by fighting, and Te
Rauparaha has learned the lesson of the _tupara_, for he now has guns.
Once more tearing a leaf from Hongi’s book, he springs at the cowering
population upon the great plain. Some he slaughters, some he enslaves;
some, frantic with terror, braving the heaving Pacific, speed eastwards
to Wari Kauri (Chatham Islands) six hundred miles away.

Again we have been obliged to fly ahead of time in order to give full
impression–not a complete picture–of these sinister happenings; for
the wars of Hongi in the north, and Te Rauparaha’s sanguinary progress
to the south were not over and done with in a month or a year. It was
in 1821 that Hongi started upon his self-imposed mission to cure like
with like, and for the next twenty years–long after the death of
Hongi–quarrel was piled upon quarrel, war led to war, till the whole
of the north was involved.

We left Hongi marching home in triumph, unconcerned that his hammering
of the north had turned loose in the south a devil in the shape of
Te Rauparaha. He had sustained no serious losses, and for some time
continued pre-eminent. But his many and powerful foes had by now
appreciated the reason of his success, and provided themselves with
firearms. From that time Hongi, though victorious, paid more dearly for
his victories.

Hongi, when in battle, as a rule shone resplendent in the armour which
George the Fourth had given him, and which was supposed to render him
invulnerable. The belief received justification from the issue of
Hongi’s last fight at Hokianga in 1827.

For some reason the great chief wore only his helmet upon that fatal
day.

Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu,
When on the field his targe he threw.

Ill fared it with Hongi when he rushed into the fight without his
shining breastplate; for hardly was the battle joined when a bullet
passed through his body, and the day of the great Hongi, the Lion of
the North, was done.




Fifteen months later, as he lay upon his death mats at Whangaroa,
feasting his glazing eyes upon the array of clubs, battleaxes, muskets,
and _tupara_ set around the bed, he called to him his relatives, his
dearest friends, and his fighting-chiefs, and spoke to them this
word:–

“Children, and you who have carried my arms to victory, this is my word
to you. I promised long ago to be kind to the _mihonari_, and I have
kept my promise. It is not my fault if they have not been well treated
by others. Do as I have done. Let them dwell in peace; for they do no
harm, and some good.

“Hear ye this word also. The ends of the world draw together, and men
of a strong race come ever over the sea to this our land. Let these
likewise dwell in peace. Trade with them. Give them your daughters in
marriage. Good shall come of it.

“But, if there come over the sea men in red coats, who neither sow nor
reap, but ever carry arms in their hands, beware of them. Their trade
is war and they are paid to kill. Make you war upon them and drive them
out. Otherwise evil will come of it.

“Children, and you, my old comrades, be brave and strong in your
country’s cause. Let not the land of your ancestors pass into the hands
of the Pakeha. Behold! I have spoken.”

With that the mighty chief Hongi drew the corner of his mat across his
face and passed through the gates to the waters of Reinga.

So died Hongi Ika, aged fifty-five, or thereabouts, who had made his
influence felt from his youth until his death, and whose words and acts
deeply swayed the fortunes of his country. Paradoxical as it may sound,
these combined with the spread of Christianity to render colonisation
possible, while they helped to foment the discontent with which
Hongi’s successors viewed the coming of armed forces, and the gradual
absorption of their land by the Pakeha.

In the first place, Hongi protected the missionaries. In the second
place, during his wars and the wars they induced, more than twenty
thousand Maori fell in the score of years occupied in civil strife.
Concerned with their own wars, and with numbers thinned, the Maori left
the white settlers time and opportunity to increase, whereby they grew
daily better able to resist the power of the brown men when this was at
last sternly directed against them. In the third place, Hongi’s dying
advice was without the shadow of a doubt the part cause of Honi Heke’s
outbreak at Kororareka fifteen years later, and of the strife which
immediately followed it.

After the death of Hongi the leading spirits among the warriors in
the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands were the chiefs Pomare and
Kawiti–the latter a thorn in the colonials’ flesh for many a long
year; while the Waikato tribe boasted a leader of no ordinary parts in
Te Wherowhero, whose descendant, the Honourable Mahuta Tawhiao Potatau
te Wherowhero, sits to-day in the Legislative Council of the Dominion
of New Zealand.

Te Wherowhero had himself captained the Waikato on that day when Hongi
decimated them and cooked two thousand of their slain to celebrate
his victory, and a memory so red would not, one would have said, be
likely soon to pale. Yet Te Wherowhero led his men not against his old
enemies, but against the men of Taranaki.

Both Waikato and Taranaki owed Nga-Puhi a grudge, and reasonable men
would have combined against a common foe. But the Maori were ever
unreasonable where war was concerned, holding tribal grudges more
important than unification of the nation; so, instead of combining
against Nga-Puhi, Waikato and Taranaki warred the one against the other.

This disunion among the tribes materially assisted the colonists in
their own long struggle for supremacy; for the “friendly” Maori often
helped their cause not so much from love of them, as from hate of some
tribe in opposition to British rule.

Even a particular tribe sometimes divided against itself. A civil
strife of this nature broke out in 1827 among the Bay of Islands folk.
It was a small affair, and is mentioned only to illustrate the chivalry
with which the Maori could behave on occasion.

A European settlement had been established at a charming spot, known as
Kororareka. There were decent people there, and a missionary station
stood hard by; but for the most part drunkenness and profligacy
prevailed, while Pomare, whose village lay close at hand, pandered to
the vices of the whites in return for the coveted _tupara_.

Bad as many of the settlers were, they were white men; so when news of
the war reached Sydney, Captain Hobson’s ship was ordered to Kororareka
to afford the residents what protection they might require.

But when H.M.S. _Rattlesnake_ entered the Bay, her decks cleared for
action, guns frowning through their ports, bare-armed, bare-footed tars
at quarters, lo! all was peace. Captain Hobson at once went ashore to
make inquiries, and was amazed at the information he received.

Not one white settler had been inconvenienced, much less injured. The
contending parties, fearing lest one side or the other might be forced
back upon the settlement, and so bring disaster upon its inhabitants,
had by mutual agreement transferred the theatre of war to a spot too
remote to allow of such a contingency.

After this, who shall say that the Maori were deficient in generosity,
destitute of chivalry?

NOTE.–Mr. Augustus Earle, Draughtsman to H.M. Surveying Ship
_Beagle_, in 1827, relates that the pagan Maori in the Bay of Islands
used to rise at daybreak on Sunday to finish their canoe-building
and other work before the whites were astir, thus showing their
respect for the reverence in which the Pakeha held the Day. Mr. Earle
adds: “It was more respect than we Europeans pay to any religious
ceremony we do not understand. Even their tabooed grounds would not
be so respected by us, if we were not quite certain they possessed
the power instantly to revenge any affront offered to their sacred
places.”

Continue Reading

RONGO PAI!

In spite of the tragedy of the _Boyd_, in spite of the war of
individuals which vexed the coast–though murder was added to murder,
revenge piled upon revenge,–more Pakeha filtered into New Zealand,
content to brave death for the chance of obtaining a home and wealth.

On their part, more Maori deserted their _hapu_ for the great world
outside their little islands and, needless to say, were gazed at with
shuddering curiosity. Such as these, taught by experience that there
existed a race superior to their own, convinced their countrymen of the
advantages to be gained by permanent friendship with the British Pakeha.

So these played their part in watering the tree of civilisation, whose
roots now began to take firm hold of the soil; while the white men,
ever improving in type and conduct, helped along the great work.

As yet there was no attempt at systematic colonisation. Scattered over
the Islands and wholly dependent upon the good will of their hosts,
the Pakeha kept as friendly with the natives as circumstances would
allow, while they saw to it that musket or rifle stood ever handy to
their grip.

The taste which the Maori had acquired for wandering outside their own
country at length brought about a remarkable conjunction, destined
to bear most importantly upon the future of New Zealand. It was
nothing else than the formation of a friendship between a Christian
Englishman of singular nobility of character and a Maori of sanguinary
disposition, a warrior notable among a race of warriors and, withal, a
cannibal of cannibals.

In the first decade of the years when George the Third was king there
was born in Yorkshire a boy who was brought up as a blacksmith. For
some time he followed his trade; but, having a strong inclination
towards a missionary life, he was ordained a clergyman of the Church of
England, and in due course found himself senior chaplain of the colony
of New South Wales.

This man, whose name must be ever honoured in the history of New
Zealand, was Samuel Marsden, who was the first to desire to bring, and
who did actually bring the tidings of the Gospel to the land of the
Maori.

There were missionaries at work in Tahiti, in the Marquesas and in
Tonga; but New Zealand, the land of the ferocious warrior and savage
cannibal, had been esteemed an impossible country, or, at all events,
as not yet prepared for the sowing. So it was left to itself.

Then came a day when Samuel Marsden, walking through the narrow streets
of Sydney, stopped to gaze at a novel sight. Not far from him stalked
proudly three splendid-looking men, types of a race with which he was
unfamiliar.

They were not Australian aboriginals. That was instantly evident. Their
faces were strangely scarred, their heads, held high, were plumed with
rare feathers, and the outer garment they wore, of some soft, buff
material, suggested the Roman toga. There was, indeed, something Roman
about their appearance, with their fine features, strong noses, and
sternly compressed lips.

Mr. Marsden was from the first strongly attracted to these men and,
being informed that they were New Zealand chiefs, come on a visit to
Sydney, the good man grew sad. That such noble-looking men should be
heathen and cannibals inexpressibly shocked him, and he determined then
and there that what one of God’s servants might do for the salvation of
that proud, intellectual race, that, by the grace of God, he would do.

A man so deeply religious as Samuel Marsden was not likely to waste
time over a matter in his judgment so supremely important. The chiefs
readily admitted the anarchy induced by the constant friction between
brown men and white, though it was not to be expected that they should
realise at once their own spiritual darkness. Mr. Marsden was not
discouraged, and set in train a scheme whereby a number of missionaries
were to be sent out immediately by the Church Missionary Society, to
attempt the conversion of the Maori to Christianity.

Twenty-five of these reached Sydney, where men’s ears were tingling
with the awful details of the massacre of the _Boyd_, and judged the
risk too great. So they stayed where they were, and the conversion of
New Zealand was delayed for a season.

The residence of meek and peaceable men among such intractable savages
was deemed to be outside the bounds of possibility; but Marsden
firmly believed that the way would be opened in God’s good time, and
waited and watched and prayed, possessing his soul in patience. The
opportunity which he so confidently expected arrived in 1814.




Some ten years after the birth of Samuel Marsden another boy was born
on the other side of the world. Hongi[56] Ika was his name, a chief and
a chief’s son of the great tribe of the Nga-Puhi in the north. Marsden
had swung his hammer over the glowing iron and beaten out horse-shoes
and ploughshares. Hongi, too, swung his hammer; but it was the Hammer
of Thor. And every time that Hongi’s hammer fell, it beat out brains
and broke men’s bones, until none could be found to stand against
him. Yet Hongi had a hard knock or two now and then and, being as yet
untravelled, gladly assented when his friend Ruatara–who had seen King
George of England–suggested a visit to Sydney.

Hongi found plenty to interest him, and also took a philosopher’s
delight in arguing the great questions of religion with Mr. Marsden,
in whose house he and Ruatara abode. Marsden knew the man for what he
was, a warrior and a cannibal; but so tactful and persuasive was he
that, before his visit ended, Hongi agreed to allow the establishment
of a missionary settlement at the Bay of Islands, and promised it his
protection.

So the first great step was taken, and Marsden planted his vineyard. He
was a wise man and, knowing by report the shortcomings of the land he
desired to Christianise, took with him a good supply of animal food,
and provision for future needs as well, in the shape of sheep and oxen.
With a view to the requirements of his lieutenants, he also introduced
a horse or two.

What impression the sight of a man on horseback made upon the
Maori may be gathered from the experience of Mr. Edward Wakefield
twenty-seven years later at Whanganui. In this district, which is on
the opposite side of the Island to that on which Mr. Marsden landed,
and considerably farther south, the natives had never seen a horse.
Result–“They fled,” writes Mr. Wakefield, “in all directions, and, as
I galloped past those who were running, they fairly lay down on their
faces and gave themselves up for lost. I dismounted, and they plucked
up courage to come and take a look at the _kuri nui_, or ‘large dog.’
‘Can he talk?’ said one. ‘Does he like boiled potatoes?’ said another.
And a third, ‘Mustn’t he have a blanket to lie down on at night?’ This
unbounded respect and adoration lasted all the time that I remained.
A dozen hands were always offering him Indian corn (maize) and grass,
and sowthistles, when they had learned what he really did eat; and a
wooden bowl of water was kept constantly replenished close to him; and
little knots of curious observers sat round the circle of his tether
rope, remarking and conjecturing and disputing about the meaning and
intention of every whisk of his tail or shake of his ears.”

It was for long all endeavour and little result. But other missionaries
arrived, new stations were erected in various parts of the north, and
the Wesleyans, seven years later, imitated the example of the Church
Missionary Society and sent their contingent to the front.

To the fighting line these went indeed; for they settled at Whangaroa,
where the sunken hull of the _Boyd_ recalled the horror of twelve years
before. Tarra himself was still there, the memory of his stripes as
green as though he had but yesterday endured the poignant suffering. He
rendered vain for five long years the efforts of the missionaries, and
from his very deathbed cursed them, urging his tribe to drive them out;
so that they fled, thankful to escape with their lives–for they saved
nought else.

The missionaries of the Church Missionary Society nine years later
endured a similar hard experience, and were forced to flee from their
stations at Tauranga and Rotorua. A bishop and a company of priests,
sent by Pope Gregory XVI., arrived at Hokianga in the year 1838, and
these, too, presently learned what it was to suffer for their faith.

But in spite of hardships–whether stripped of their possessions,
whether driven from their homes, whether death met them at every turn,
the missionaries, no matter what their creed, persevered. They looked
not back to the evil days which lay behind; but faint, yet pursuing,
pushed onward, until the North Island was sprinkled with the white
houses of their missions, over which floated the flag of the Prince of
Peace, emblazoned with His message, “_Rongo Pai!_”

Then came the crossing of Cook Strait, and the spiritual conquest
of the Middle Island. New missionaries constantly arrived, fresh
recruits ever enrolled under the banner of the Cross; until, a bare
two-and-twenty years from that Christmas Day when Samuel Marsden
preached his first sermon in a land where Christianity was not even a
name, four thousand Maori converts knelt in the House of God.

This was not accomplished without strenuous effort. The difficulties
and dangers which confronted the earliest _mihonari_ would have driven
back all but the most earnest and faithful men. The record of their
sufferings and struggles would of itself fill a volume. Indeed, only
the least suggestion has been made here of what they bore for Christ’s
sake. But their works do follow them, gone to their rest as all of them
are; and what prouder epitaph can be theirs than this: They came; they
saw; and they conquered at last!

Continue Reading

CLOUDS AT DAWN

As Captain Cook sailed from Doubtless Bay in the North Island to pursue
his survey of the coast, Admiral de Surville, of the French navy, cast
anchor therein. Unlike his great rival, De Surville remained only long
enough to quarrel with the natives and to kidnap the chief who had
hospitably entertained him.

Three years later, in 1772, Captain Marion du Fresne, with Captain
Crozet as his second in command, anchored in the Bay of Islands. Du
Fresne, or Marion, as he is usually styled, was received with great
friendliness, and for a month Maori and Pakeha excelled one another in
politeness and generosity. Then, quite unexpectedly occurred a shocking
tragedy.

Marion landed one morning with sixteen officers and men, intent upon
pleasure, and with no foreboding of evil. Night fell, morning broke
again, and found them still absent. Yet Crozet felt no suspicion,
for there had been no quarrel. But there had been a clear sign that
something was gravely wrong; only neither Marion nor Crozet was
familiar enough with the Maori mind to perceive it.

The light brightened and, ere the day was many hours old, twelve men
went ashore for wood and water. There was no appearance of unrest;
everything seemed at peace. So the day wore on.

Suddenly all was violently changed. The restful quiet vanished in a
whirl of wild commotion. What had happened? Who was the terrified
creature who, dripping wet, with torn clothes and blood-streaked face,
wearily dragged himself over the rail and dropped exhausted upon the
deck?

He was the sole survivor of the twelve who had gone so confidently
ashore; and he told a dreadful tale.

The natives on the beach, he said, received the boat’s crew with their
usual kindliness, chatting and laughing till the sailormen dispersed
and got to work. Then the blow fell. The wretched Frenchmen had scarce
time to become aware of their murderers ere club and spear had done
their work, and all but one lay dead.

This one hid himself, but could not hide from his sight the horrid
sequel; and he told with shaking voice how the Maori had dismembered
his unhappy comrades, taken each his load of human flesh and hurried
from the scene.

Incredible all this sounded in face of that pleasant month of
dalliance; yet the proof was there in that terrified wretch, and
incredulity gave way to wrath and sentiments of vengeance. The
prolonged absence of the commander now took on a sinister aspect, and
Crozet, too, with sixty men, was gone inland to procure a _kauri_-pine.
With such a force he could defy attack; but he must be advised of what
had happened.

A boat crowded with armed men was pulled ashore, and the march began to
the spot where Crozet was making a road for the hauling of the giant
pine. One can imagine his feelings when his comrades arrived with their
intelligence–the ghastly certainty, the terrible hypothesis.

Sorrowful, but grim, the company marched back to the boats, unmolested
by the mob of natives who shouted the dreadful news that Marion du
Fresne and his escort of sixteen had all been killed and eaten.

Not a word said Crozet until he reached the beach. Then, as the dusky
crowd surged forward, he drew a line upon the sand with the butt of a
musket. “Cross that and die!” he cried. No Maori dared to brave the
dreaded “fire-tubes,” and the Frenchmen embarked and pulled out from
the beach.

Then began Crozet’s revenge. Safe now from attack, he poured volley
after volley into the mob of Islanders, until the last of them had
fled, shrieking, beyond range. This was not enough. Day followed day
and Maori were shot and villages burned, until Crozet, his vengeance
only partially satisfied, turned in wrath and disgust from the land he
had begun to love.

It all sounds very dreadful. It seems an act of atrocious treachery on
the part of the Maori to have masked their hideous design under an
appearance of friendship; and this was Crozet’s view. But was it the
correct view?

The sign which he and his unfortunate commander had failed to read was
this: the Maori, after a month of uninterrupted intercourse, _suddenly
ceased to visit the ships_. It was equivalent to the withdrawal of an
ambassador before the declaration of war. Captain Cook, if he had not
understood, would at least have noticed the sign and been on his guard.

Crozet professed to know of no cause of quarrel, yet the Maori had
found one, though not until many years later did the truth come out.
The French, both officers and men, had carelessly–in some cases
wantonly–intruded upon sacred places, destroyed sacred objects,
treated with disrespect certain sacred persons. In other words, they
had violated _tapu_, and the Maori of that day viewed such behaviour
as unpardonable and only to be atoned for by death. Bad as the horrid
business was at the best, it is well to remember the old advice, “Hear
the other side.”

Crozet’s utterances against the Maori were charged with such bitter
execration, that for decades no French ship ventured near the island
homes of those fierce and terrible cannibals. More, the lurid story
spread across the Channel, effectually checking any desire on the part
of the British for closer acquaintance with the wild men of the south.
The reputation of the Maori still had power nearly ten years later to
scare off all but the boldest intruders. Even the worst of criminals
were held undeserving of so outrageous a fate as exposure to the chance
of being devoured by cannibals; and a motion to establish convict
settlements in New Zealand was strongly denounced in the House of
Commons and defeated.

So New Zealand, fortunately for herself, never knew the convict stain,
and rogues were packed off to Australia with leave to reform if they
could. Some, perhaps, did. Others, pestilential ruffians who could not
be tamed even by five hundred lashes on the bare back, were weeded out
and sent to Norfolk Island, another of Captain Cook’s discoveries,
lying some three days’ sail to the north of New Zealand.

This charming island ought also to have escaped the convict infamy,
for it was already occupied by honest settlers. Oddly enough, it was
this very occupation, associated with the needs of commerce, which
helped to overcome the shyness with which men regarded New Zealand,
and eventually induced them to people her beautiful bays and fertile
valleys.

The new product, the now famous _Phormium tenax_ or New Zealand flax,
samples of which had aroused the greatest enthusiasm in England, set
manufacturers longing for a substance which would lend itself to so
many useful purposes.




The manufacturers had to go longing for many years; for the prospect
of forming the _pièce de résistance_ at the dinner-table of a Maori
chief failed to attract traders, who left New Zealand severely alone.
Then came the settlement of Norfolk Island, and men of commerce were
immensely cheered; for the much-desired _Phormium tenax_ was found
growing there, wild and in profusion.

But the Norfolk Island people failed utterly to manipulate the fibre
as cleverly as the brown men to the south of them, and there was
little use in exporting the fibre in the rough. Besides, their failure
rendered them uncertain whether they had the right plant.

Twenty years after the death of Marion the effect of his tragic story
had not worn off; but instruction being absolutely necessary, and as
only Maori could give it, a couple of them were coolly kidnapped and
carried off to Norfolk Island.

But the biters were bit. One Maori is very like another in the eyes of
the Pakeha, and the kidnapper ignorantly carried off an _ariki_ and a
_rangatira_, men utterly unused to manual work. During the six months
they spent among their abductors not a word had these two to say upon
the all-important subject of cleansing flax-fibre.

“It is women’s work,” they declared with lofty contempt. “What should
_we_ know of it?”

Governor King had some compunction at the manner in which things had
been managed, and at last redressed the wrong. He had treated the chief
and the gentleman with scrupulous courtesy and unvarying kindness
during their enforced stay, and now, after heaping presents upon
them–not the least of which were a bag of seed corn and a drove of
pigs–he took them back with honour to the Bay of Islands.

Generous themselves, the Maori responded heartily to Captain King’s
advances, and their behaviour, together with his own perception of
their unusual intellectuality, induced the Governor to write home
glowing accounts of the New Zealanders, and warmly recommend the
establishment of friendly relations with them. For this good man was
far-seeing, and recognised the capacity for civilisation which lay
beneath the crust of savagery. Therefore, in agreement with Benjamin
Franklin’s previously expressed opinion, he strongly advised that
shiploads of useful iron articles be sent to induce the Maori to
barter, and not beads and such gewgaws, which they most surely despised.

So “out of evil came forth good” and, as the news of the better
disposition of Maori towards Pakeha spread, it was not long before it
began to take effect. And here also Commerce had her say.

Ever since the days of Cook a few bold fellows had ventured upon an
occasional visit to the Dangerous Land in search of whales; for the
regular fishery had not come so far south. Others now began to follow
these adventurers, feeling their way to the good graces of the coast
tribes. There were no more massacres, whales were found in plenty, and
word went forth presently that seals, too, abounded on the coast of
this new and wondrous land.

The news brought more hardy fellows in pursuit of fortune, until,
whereas in 1790 scarce a white man dared show his face off the coast,
the earliest years of the nineteenth century saw a regular trade
established between the whalers and the Maori. The whalers brought the
delighted Islanders iron nails, fish-hooks, knives, axes, bracelets of
metal and many other articles which pleased them well. The Maori in
return brought pigs, fresh vegetables, flax and tall, straight trees
for masts and spars.

Always brave and bold, delighting to ride the waves in their canoes,
and in some cases taking a positive delight in danger, the coast Maori
showed the keenest interest in whaling, regarding it as splendid sport,
to enjoy which they readily shipped as harpooners.

There is no doubt about their aptitude; none about their enjoyment in
the pursuit of the monstrous sea mammal. More than one tale is current
of impatient Maori, fearing to miss the whale even at close quarters,
hurling themselves astride the creature and driving the harpoon deep
into the yielding blubber as the animal dived in a frenzy of terror.
Then from the reddened foam that crested the tumbling waves the brown
men would emerge, clamber aboard the boat and sit dripping, but happy,
while the line ran out like lightning as the stricken whale raced to
its death.

So there were bold fellows on either side, each compelling the other’s
respect and admiration by acts of high courage. In this way confidence
grew and friendship followed; so that some of the whites took to
themselves Maori women, and dwelt with the tribes to which their wives
belonged.

Coarse though this particular variety often was, there is no doubt that
these adventurous Pakeha-Maori (or Strangers turned into Maori) sowed
the earliest seeds of civilisation among the Maori, though it was long
before the plant became acclimatised and brought forth good fruit.

It is often the fate of a new country to receive at first the very
worst elements, and this was the experience of New Zealand. As soon
as it became known that a man might enter her gates without thereby
qualifying for the cooking-pot, an eager crowd of depraved humanity
rushed jostling through. The sealers and whalers were rough, but not a
few were honest fellows, while, as a class, they were refined gentlemen
beside the mob of escaped murderers, thieves, and panderers to moral
filth, which overflowed from the convict-swamped shores of New South
Wales. Had not the Maori, despite their grave faults, been capable
of much better things, they could never have shaken free from the
garments of impurity in which some of the earliest settlers endeavoured
to clothe them. But there was good stuff in the Maori, and, though
they fell often, they continually rose again. One innate virtue they
possessed–that of sobriety. It was rarely that the Pakeha could induce
them to indulge in the “fire-water”–“stink-water” was their name for
it–which has been the ruin of more than one coloured race.

But many years were yet to elapse before the Maori threw off the worst
of their own bad manners, much less improved upon those of their
white instructors, and scenes of violence and bloodshed were to be
enacted before the sons of Maui should dwell together in peace among
themselves, or bend their stubborn necks beneath the yoke of the
Pakeha. From time to time there were terrible outbreaks, and one of the
worst of these was that which is evilly remembered as “The Massacre of
the _Boyd_.”

As early as 1805 an English gentleman had induced an adventurous Maori
to accompany him to London, and not a few chiefs had since then paid
visits to Sydney, while others of lower rank had embarked under the
masters of vessels which touched at the Islands. These last were, of
course, subject to the same discipline as the sailors; but, free and
independent as they had always been, this seems to have been a hard
lesson for them to learn. Hence arose misunderstandings, and from one
such was developed the tragedy of the _Boyd_.

On her voyage from Sydney to London in 1809 the ship was to call at
Whangaroa, near the Bay of Islands, to load wood for masts and spars.
Consequently, several Maori who were stranded in Sydney embraced the
opportunity to work their passage back to their own country.

Among these was Tarra, a chief’s son, and he, too proud or, as he
averred, too ill to work, refused to do his duty. Starvation was tried
as a means of cure; but this failing, young Tarra was twice tied up and
soundly flogged.

Boadicea, bleeding from the rods of the Romans, had not more
indignation than had Tarra when he showed his scars and called upon his
tribe to avenge him upon those who had inflicted them.

Ready enough was the response, for the law of the Maori required them
to take revenge for every injury. The lure was spread, the master of
the _Boyd_ went ashore at Whangaroa with part of his crew, and every
man of them was slain and eaten.

Even then Tarra’s vengeance was not glutted. With his tribe at his
back he boarded the _Boyd_ and killed every person on the ship with the
exception of four. A woman and two children hid themselves, and Tarra
spared the cabin-boy because of some kindness the youngster had once
done him.

Singular contrast! The savage, who could go to the most appalling
extremes to satisfy his hate, was, even at the very height of his
murderous wrath, capable of gratitude.

This awful massacre set back for years the clock which had seemed
about to strike the hour for beginning Maori civilisation, while the
resentment of the whites led to a slaughter as wholesale as that which
it was intended to revenge.

On hearing of the massacre of the _Boyd_ a chief named Te Pahi, whose
daughter was wedded to an English sailor, hurried to Whangaroa, and was
instrumental in saving the lives of the woman and two children. His
good deed done, Te Pahi returned to the Bay of Islands, where he lived.

Terrible danger menaced him. In some unexplained way he had got the
credit of having engineered the _Boyd_ affair, and the crews of
five whaling ships, accepting the rumour for truth, condemned the
unfortunate chief unheard, and took bitter vengeance upon him.

Their task was easy, for the village was unfortified and the Maori
wholly unsuspicious. Fully armed, the whalers fell upon the innocent
people, sorely wounded the chief, and slew some two-score persons
without regard to age or sex. Te Pahi himself escaped in the confusion,
only to be killed not long afterwards by some of his own race because
of the help he had given to the survivors of the _Boyd_. Doubly
unfortunate was poor Te Pahi.

Thus bad began and worse remained behind. During the next decade
numbers of tribesmen fell beneath the weapons of casual white visitors,
while the Maori, on their side, smote with club and spear, and gathered
as deadly a toll.

The country seemed drifting back into that state of savagery whence it
had promised a short time before to emerge. It might have done so, but
that at this juncture occurred an event which laid the true foundations
of civilisation, and heralded that peace which, though long in coming,
came at last.

Continue Reading

THE BRITON’S GAIN

In the year 1741 a lad was apprenticed to a haberdasher in a small town
near Whitby in Yorkshire. His name was James Cook, and he was from
the first an example of the square peg in the round hole. So loose
was the fit that the peg presently fell out and rolled away. In other
words, young Cook, not being cut out for a haberdasher, got himself
apprenticed aboard a collier. His ability to hand, reef and steer was
so much greater than his aptitude for wielding a yardstick that, as
soon as his time was out, he was raised to the position of mate.

In 1755, before he was twenty-seven, this remarkable youth joined the
King’s navy as an ordinary seaman. Observe what he accomplished before
ten years were out by his own industry.

Strictly attentive to duty, he rose rapidly, and thrice in succession
was master on a sloop of war, the last occasion being when Quebec was
wrested from the French. That done, he surveyed and charted the St.
Lawrence from Quebec to the sea, although “up to that time” he had
“scarcely ever used a pencil, and had no knowledge of drawing.” But
he had “read Euclid” ever since he joined the navy, and for recreation
enjoyed “the study of astronomy and kindred sciences.” Think of it–the
haberdasher’s boy, the collier’s mate!

The ten years are not yet past. Our hero helped in 1762 to recapture
Newfoundland from the French, and before 1763 was out he was back in
those cold seas, surveying the coasts. Another twelvemonth saw him
appointed Marine Surveyor of Newfoundland and Labrador, under the
orders of his old captain, Sir Hugh Palliser.

Mr. Cook’s astronomical studies now began to bear fruit, and he
received in 1768 his commission as lieutenant and the command of an
expedition to the South Seas to observe the transit of Venus. With
this and other ends in view, Cook, now forty-one, left England in the
_Endeavour_, accompanied by the great botanist, Joseph Banks, and other
men of science.

The narrative of the voyages of this famous circumnavigator is so
easily accessible to all who care to follow “our rough island story,”
that there is no need to epitomise it here. It is sufficient to say
that Cook disproved all which had been previously held proved with
regard to the “polar continent,” and in so doing came into direct and
notable relation with the country whose history we are tracing.

It was the 6th of October, 1769, when the lookout on the _Endeavour_
sighted the bluff of Kuri–North Island–now known as “Young Nick’s
Head.” Supposing the land to be part of that “Terra Australis
Incognita” which he had come to investigate, Cook cast anchor two days
later in the Bay of Turanga, or, as he saw fit to designate it owing to
the inhospitality of the natives, “Poverty Bay.”

At Otaheite, where he had observed the transit of Venus, Cook had
shipped a chief named Tupia, who on many occasions proved of the
greatest use. He had already voyaged hundreds of miles in the great
canoes of the Tahitians, and his father had been an even more intrepid
sailor. It was Tupia who pointed the way to this island and that,
and who, owing to the limitations of his own knowledge, related his
father’s experiences to Cook, assuring him that land lay still farther
to the south.

It was Tupia, too, who landed with his leader on the shore at Turanga,
and addressed the natives in Tahitian, a language which proved
sufficiently like their own to enable them to understand most of what
was said.

But though Cook offered presents, and though Tupia charmed never so
wisely with his Tahitian tongue, the Maori would have none of the
Pakeha. They no doubt feared these white visitors. Te Tanewha, a chief
who was a boy when Cook paid his first visit, described many years
later the astonishment of the Maori at the approach of what they
took to be “a whale with wings.” Then, as the _Endeavour’s_ boats
were pulled ashore, the bewilderment of the natives deepened; for it
appeared to them that the Pakeha had eyes in the back of their heads.
This, of course, was due to the position of the rowers, which was
exactly the reverse of that assumed by the Maori in propelling their
canoes.

The appearance of the natives became threatening, and some of them
tried to make off with one of the calves of the “whale with wings,”
that is, with the ship’s pinnace. Tupia warned them that they ran the
risk of being severely dealt with, but the words of a man of their own
colour moved them not at all. Their hostile demonstrations continued,
and Cook–who was determined to pursue his researches–very reluctantly
drove them back with violence.

Cook was so kindly, so humane, so unused to oppress another merely
because his skin was coloured, that his action caused comment even in
his own day. That the great navigator himself regretted the impulse
which had led him to depart from his usual magnanimous methods, is
evident from the excuses he afterwards put forward in explanation of
his conduct.

During the next six months Cook circumnavigated the islands,
discovering the strait which bears his name between the North and the
Middle Island. Stewart Island he presumed to be the southern extremity
of the Middle Island and, as regards the country, this was one of the
very few errors he made.

Fully alive to the warlike disposition of the Maori, Captain Cook yet
recognised their generosity, their agreeable behaviour to strangers who
did not presume too far, and the unusual gentleness of their attitude
towards their women. “The Englishman who marries a Maori,” he tells us,
“must first obtain the consent of her parents and, this done, … is
obliged to treat her with at least as much delicacy as in England.”
In many passages Cook shows how clearly he perceived the superiority
of these “Indians” over ordinary savages. Moreover, despite certain
pronounced faults, and the prevalence of one odious custom, he readily
admits their chivalrous nature.

Yet he occasionally fell into the common error of crediting the race
with the disposition of the individual, so that, if one lied or
thieved, the natives in that particular part are set down as “lying and
thievish.” But, though they opposed his efforts to explore the interior
of the country, and so disappointed him, Captain Cook’s experience
among the Maori left him little to complain of; while the failings they
displayed might well have been recognised as, first, the faults of
their age and race, and second, the faults common to all men, white,
brown, yellow, or black.

Still, for all his criticisms, Captain Cook was never personally harsh
in his dealings with the Maori, and it would have been well had his
subordinates imitated more exactly his fine magnanimity. The following
account of an Englishman’s hasty temper, and the cool judgment, not to
say generosity, of the Maori chiefs, is very instructive.

On one occasion, when a party of Maori visitors were leaving the
ship, Lieutenant Gore missed a piece of calico, which he was possibly
endeavouring to exchange for native articles. Confident that a certain
Maori had stolen the stuff, Gore deliberately fired at the man as he
sat in the canoe, and killed him. The lieutenant was right in his
belief, for, when the canoe reached the shore, the blood-stained
calico was found beneath the dead man; but his action was that of a
savage–worse, since he, no doubt, claimed a higher order of mind. The
only excuse that can be offered for Gore is that he lived at a time
when even children were hanged for stealing trifles, and he may have
believed himself entitled to mete out this rough-and-ready justice.




What followed? The Maori–admittedly savages–did not at once return
and clamour for revenge; though an eye for an eye and blood for blood
was one of the strongest articles in their creed. No; the chiefs took
the matter in hand, calmly and dispassionately judged the dead man and
found him guilty of theft. Therefore, they determined that _utu_ should
not be exacted on account of the killing of their tribesman. That
they were perfectly sincere, and did not seek to disguise sentiments
of hatred and desire for revenge under a mask of forgiveness, is
entirely proved by the fact that Captain Cook landed after this unhappy
occurrence and went about among them just as if nothing had happened.

It is right to say that Captain Cook was no party to his subordinate’s
impetuous action, for violence was foreign to his methods. Says one of
his biographers–“It was impossible for any one to excel Captain Cook
in kindness of disposition, as is evident from the whole tenor of his
behaviour, both to his own men and to the many savage tribes with whom
he had occasion to interfere.”

So convinced was Captain Cook of the advantage this beautiful country
must some day prove to Britain, that he took nominal possession of
the islands in the name of King George the Third. Yet it was not
until 1787, eight years after the death of Cook, that New Zealand
was included by royal commission within the British dominions, while
another quarter of a century elapsed before Europe, at the Peace of
1814, recognised Great Britain’s claim.

How good a use Captain Cook made of the six months he spent in New
Zealand before he sailed to gather fresh laurels in Australia, any one
may read for himself in the story of his voyages. On each occasion
he introduced useful plants and animals into the islands, and it was
due to him that the animal food which the Maori had always lacked,
became so readily procurable in the shape of pigs, which soon after
their introduction ran wild and multiplied. The sweet potato was there
already; but it is to Cook that New Zealand owes the ordinary potato,
the turnip, cabbage, and other vegetables and fruit.

Te Tanewha described Captain Cook as a reserved man who “constantly
walked apart, swinging his right arm from side to side.” This has been
held to mean that, whenever Captain Cook landed, he scattered the seeds
of useful plants, in the hope that they would grow and fructify.

There were further misunderstandings when Cook revisited the Islands
in 1779, the worst of them being wholly due to the wicked action of
an English sailor who first robbed and then shot a Maori. With the
slaughter of the natives which followed Cook had nothing to do; more,
the great navigator, who was as true and generous a gentleman as ever
stepped, completely absolved the Maori from blame.

This was happily the last difficulty; for Cook arrived at a better
understanding with the Maori and a clearer conception of the fine
character which underlay their faults. The natives, too, showed
an ever-increasing confidence in their famous visitor, whom they
affectionately styled “Cookie.” Notwithstanding their regard, they
never allowed him to penetrate far inland.

Had Cook not been the just and temperate man he was, he might have
pierced the interior with an armed force, composed of his own men and
aborigines, and depopulated the land.

During the period of Captain Cook’s visits the Maori were constantly at
war, and the unwillingness of the coast tribes to allow him to proceed
inland was probably due to their fear that he would aid the chiefs
there, return, and exterminate them. So they first obstructed the
progress of the explorer, and then made certain grim, but exceedingly
practical, proposals to him.

These in effect were that Captain Cook should join forces with this
tribe or that, proceed inland, and duly exterminate–everybody. This
excellent scheme, properly carried through, would have left certain of
the coast tribes supreme until civil strife began again to divide them.
But what if Cook had turned upon them in their turn?

Fortunately this was not Captain Cook’s way; but that he recognised
what was at the bottom of all these requests for help is clear from his
own words:–

“Had I acted as some members of almost every tribe with whom we had
dealings would have had me act, I might have extirpated the entire New
Zealand race.”

Could any words more distinctly show the good disposition of Captain
Cook, and at the same time prove how plagued the Maori were with
internecine wars?

The day came at length when this great and good man, who did so much
for Britain, must say a last farewell to the country towards which he
seemed so singularly drawn. For it was written that he should never
again see the Waters of Greenstone or the land of his birth, but should
fall a victim to his own humanity at the hands of savages whom he was
endeavouring to protect.

Such was the admiration which this great navigator and good man
inspired that, when war was declared between England and France in
1779, the French Minister of Marine issued orders to the navy that, if
encountered at sea, the ship of Captain Cook was to be treated with
courtesy. “For,” said he, “honour, reason, and even interest, dictate
this act of respect for humanity; nor should we treat as an enemy the
common benefactor of every European nation.” The Americans, then at
the height of their struggle for freedom, had already anticipated this
generous action by the mouth of their famous citizen, Benjamin Franklin.

Captain Cook was dead before knowledge of this splendid tribute to his
services and to his virtues could reach him; but, being dead, he was
not forgotten, for the whole world mourned his loss and honoured his
memory, as it has done ever since.

When Captain Cook died Britain was just awaking to a realisation of
the evils of slavery, and beginning to recognise and endeavour to
obviate the fact that, when and wherever the white man appeared among
the coloured races, the latter invariably suffered. How intensely
Captain Cook realised this, how earnestly he set himself to afford a
good example to those who should come after him, and how his countrymen
appreciated his aims and his success, these lines from Hannah More’s
poem on “Slavery” show:–

Had those advent’rous spirits who explore,
Thro’ ocean’s trackless wastes, the far-sought shore,
Whether of wealth insatiate, or of power,
Conquerors who waste, or ruffians who devour;
Had these possessed, O Cook, thy gentle mind,
Thy love of arts, thy love of human-kind;
Had these pursu’d thy mild and gentle plan,
DISCOVERERS had not been a curse to man!

Continue Reading

THE DUTCHMAN’S LOSS

I

It wanted a couple of hours to sunset. All the way from the rim of the
world the blue Pacific waves heaved slumberously towards the shore,
thundered against the iron rocks, and rolled lazily eastwards into the
gathering night. The long cloud-shadows chased one another across the
fern, the silver-winged gulls circled the blue bay, ready to chorus a
harsh “good-night,” and the sinking sun, flinging a challenge to the
coming darkness, set the sky ablaze.

Night, swift, inexorable, was not far away; there would be no moon,
and the _Patupaiarehe_, imps of evil, wander in the dark in search of
mischief. Luckless the Maori who walks through forest glade or over
fern-clad hill when they flit on their wicked way.

So, lest they should be caught by the tricksy sprites, the Maori, who
were chatting in the _marae_, rose to disperse. Suddenly, one who had
been looking carelessly about him, uttered a loud yell.

“_He! He!_” he cried. “_Titira! Titira!_” (Look! Look!).

The clamour which followed brought the chief–a splendid figure in his
_kaitaka_ and coronet of _huia_ plumes. Hurried question and excited
answer gave him the reason of the commotion, and he, too, looked out to
sea.

A cry escaped him. Amazement, incredulity, fear were in the tone. “A
whale with white wings![51] What can it mean? It is magic or—-”

He broke off, staring at his men. His lips were trembling, his eyes
round. Great chief though he was, fear wrapped him as a garment.

None answered. Some looked under their lids at the oncoming Thing; some
fastened their gaze upon the chief, and every man there muttered a
_karakia_, if so he might avert impending doom.

On came the marvel, growing ever more distinct, and upon the polished
decks the astounded Maori could see beings who looked like men, though
their outward seeming was strangely different from any men whom the
Sons of Maui had ever encountered.

Then a voice was heard, calling something in a strange, harsh tongue. A
whistle shrilled; a score or so of the odd forms raced from end to end
of what the bewildered Maori now decided must be a canoe of some sort,
and with magical swiftness the “white wings” collapsed and lay folded
upon the long spars. Another call, a loud, rattling noise, something
fell with a mighty splash into the sea, and the mysterious vessel came
to rest.

One minute of tense silence. Then a scream went up from the watching
Maori.

The strangely garbed forms were human. But their faces! _Their faces
were white!_

In the extremity of their terror the Maori fled into their _whare_ and
covered their heads. It was now only too plain that the _Patupaiarehe_
were abroad upon that awful night of nights.

Yet worse was to come upon the morrow.

II

On the 14th of August, 1642, the distinguished circumnavigator, Abel
Janssen Tasman, left Batavia in his yacht _Heemskirk_ with a fly-boat,
_Zeehaen_ (Sea-hen), dancing in his wake, to investigate the polar
continent which Schouten and Le Maire, his countrymen, claimed to
have found, and which they had named Staaten Land. It was on the 13th
of December in the same year that, after discovering Tasmania, the
commodore came one radiant evening within long sight of what he calls a
“high, mountainous country.”

This was the west coast of the Middle Island, then for the first time
seen by the eyes of white men, or so it is reasonable to believe; for
the claims made by France and Spain to priority of discovery are based
upon wholly insufficient grounds.

A few days later Tasman cast anchor in the bay to the west of that bay
which bears his name, and at whose south-eastern extremity the town of
Nelson now flourishes. Tasman himself gave a name to the bay in which
he anchored, but not until he was about to leave it. A glance at the
map will make it clear that both of these bays wash the northern shore
of the Middle Island, _Te Wai Pounamou_, “The Waters of Greenstone.”

III

The sun had not yet set when Tasman’s anchors splashed into the bay
and the sight of the strange white faces sent the Maori scurrying into
their _whare_. An hour must elapse before the long-lingering day faded
into night, and an hour is time and to spare for brave men to recover
their confidence, however badly their nerves have been shaken. So it
came about that, before nightfall, the chief and his warriors issued
from their _whare_, and low voices muttered questions which no one
could answer.

One thing, however, had become clear in that time of fear and
hesitancy. So at length:

“They are men like ourselves,” the chief said reassuringly. “There
is no doubt about it, for I have been watching them from my
_matapihi_.[52] Their faces are white and their canoes differ from
ours, but they have no desire to quarrel. On the other hand, they
continually signal, inviting us to visit them. I believe them to be
friendly. My children, let us take a nearer look at these Pakeha. Fear
nought. Atua fights for the Maori. Come!”

Accustomed to obey the word of their chief, the Maori manned a couple
of canoes and paddled out towards the ships.

But the chief was aware that, for all their calm exterior, fear–that
worst fear of all, fear of the unknown–tugged at his children’s
hearts, and he had no intention of trying them too far. So at his word
the huge _tetere_ brayed, “in sound,” says Tasman, “like a Moorish
trumpet,” the Maori shouted, splashing the water with their paddles,
but giving no hostile challenge, and the sailors crowded their
bulwarks, making signs of amity and displaying attractive articles to
the brown men.

But twilight was fading now, and the chief hastened ashore to see
his _hapu_ safely housed, and to set a guard, lest these queer white
fellows should land during the night. The _tetere_ brayed again an
unmusical “Lights out!” and with a great clamour of tongues the Maori
withdrew behind their stockade to discuss the most surprising event of
their lives.

Then the day died and the curtain of night came heavily down, to rise
upon the tragedy of the morning.

IV

The day was not far advanced when a single, small canoe rapidly
approached the ships, where officers and men ran eagerly to the rail to
observe the oncoming Maori.

But Abel Tasman knew nothing of the addiction of the Sons of
Maui to forms and ceremonies, nor did the latter allow for their
visitor’s ignorance. Consequently, there arose at the very outset a
misunderstanding, which was to bring about fatal consequences.

One of the thirteen occupants of the canoe must have been the
herald,[53] come to announce that his chief would immediately visit the
strangers. The rowers lay on their oars within easy distance of the
_Heemskirk_, while the envoy delivered his message.

Making no attempt to discover the Maori’s meaning, the Dutchmen rather
stupidly “kept up a great shouting throughout his oration,” while they
displayed food, drink and trinkets to the admiring eyes of the rowers,
who were sorely tempted to take risks and clamber aboard. But loyalty
to their chief restrained them, and with dignified gestures and in
musical speech they signified their regret at being obliged to decline
the Pakeha’s invitation. Then, conceiving their message understood,
they paddled back to the shore, much to the disappointment of the
Dutchmen.

No sooner did the solitary canoe swing away from the ship than seven
others put off from the shore. As they drew near, six of them slackened
speed, while one came on confidently to the _Heemskirk_.

After a momentary hesitation, half-a-dozen Maori clambered up the
side with, according to Tasman, “fear writ upon their faces.” This is
probable; for here was a clear case of _omne ignotum pro magnifico_;
but that these were brave men is proved by the fact that, “with fear
writ upon their faces,” they showed a bold front to the cause of that
fear, and boarded the _Heemskirk_.

Scarcely had the feet of the brown men touched the deck than Tasman
seems to have taken fright and, as far as one may judge, lost his head
and committed a deplorable error.





He was, he says, aboard the _Sea-hen_ when the Maori boarded the
_Heemskirk_ and, without awaiting developments, he manned a boat with
seven men, whom he sent off to the yacht with a warning to guard
against treachery.

Fatal mistake! The kettle of misunderstanding was full to the spout,
and it now boiled over. Tasman feared that the six attendant canoes
meant to attack; the Maori, observing the hurrying boat, instantly
imagined that their comrades were to be detained on board the yacht as
hostages.

Stirred to action by the cries of their alarmed friends, who had also
observed Tasman’s action with apprehension, those in the canoes dashed
to intercept the boat.

Whether by accident or design, the boat crashed into one of the canoes,
and the Maori, their worst fears confirmed, struck to kill, and did
kill outright three Dutchmen, mortally wounding a fourth. One poor
corpse they carried off, and the Maori on the ship leapt without delay
into their own canoe and raced for the shore.

“We shall get neither wood nor water from this accursed spot,” said
Tasman, “for the savages be too adventurous and bloody-minded.” So he
pricked off the place upon his chart, naming it “Murderers’ Bay,”[54]
weighed anchor, and made off in disgust.

While he was yet in the bay, a fleet of two-and-twenty canoes, crowded
with men, put out after him, with what intention is not known. Tasman
does not appear to have feared an attack, for he tells us that a man in
the leading canoe carried a flag of truce. The Maori really held in his
hand a spear with a pennon of bleached flax; but, if Tasman believed
this to be a flag of truce, his action was the more reprehensible.

For he stopped the pursuit, if pursuit it were, by delivering a
broadside which probably equalised the loss he had sustained. At all
events, the man with the flag went down, and the Maori, terrified by
the noise of the discharge and its deadly effect, turned and sped to
the shore.

So began and ended in bloodshed the first authentic meeting of Maori
and Pakeha. Had Tasman not been so quick to take alarm, had he allowed
his visitors time to realise his friendly intentions, it is highly
probable that New Zealand would to-day have been a Dutch colony instead
of a Dominion of the Empire.

Away went the Dutchman, nursing his wrath and jotting down in his
journal all sorts of uncomplimentary remarks about the “bloodthirsty
aborigines,” and in due course rounded the north of the North Island,
naming one of its prominent headlands “Cape Maria Van Diemen,” in
compliment to the daughter of his patron, Anthony Van Diemen, governor
of the Dutch East Indies.

A little farther north he made the islands which he charted under the
name of “The Three Kings,” since he discovered them upon the Epiphany,
and he again endeavoured to obtain “rest and refreshment.” But he was
disappointed once more, for the same cautiousness which had led him so
precipitately to launch the boat on that unhappy day in Massacre Bay,
now caused him to sheer off from The Three Kings. Small wonder, though,
that he did not stop there to investigate.

“For we did see,” he records in his journal, “thirty-five natives of
immense size, who advanced with prodigious long strides, bearing great
clubs in their hands.”

“Valentine,” “Jack,” or any other historic destroyer of the race of
giants might well have been excused for showing a clean pair of heels
in face of such odds. Thirty-five of them! It was too much for Tasman,
who, without more ado, bore away for Cocos, where he obtained the “rest
and refreshment” of which he stood so much in need.

So Abel Tasman never set foot in New Zealand. Having mistaken the
southern extremity of Tasmania for that of Australia, he now fell into
the error of believing the land at which he had touched to be part of
the polar continent, or Staaten Land. Months later, the mistake was
corrected, and Tasman’s newest discovery received the name by which it
has ever since been known–New Zealand.

In this manner came the first Pakeha to the country of the Maori,
and fled in fear, learning nought of the land or of its people. The
Children of Maui watched for the return of the men with the strange
white faces; but they came not, neither Tasman nor any other. So the
visit of the Pakeha became a memory ever growing fainter, until at
last it died, not even tradition keeping it alive.

Then, one hundred and twenty-seven years after Abel Tasman had found
and seen and gone away, there came a greater than he, one not so easily
turned back–the captain of the _Endeavour_, James Cook of undying
memory.

Continue Reading

THE LIFE OF EVERY DAY

The Maori of old had two habitations–the _kainga_, or village, wherein
they dwelt in “piping time of peace,” and the _pa_, or fortress,
in which they shut themselves up when harassed by war’s alarms.
Fire-eaters though they were, they had their moons of peace, during
which they accomplished some astonishing results, considering their
ignorance of iron, and that their tools were fashioned out of hard wood
and yet harder stone. With incredible patience they ground and rubbed
and sand-polished, until from lumps of greenstone, jasper, or granite
they produced bevelled edge and rounded back. The head was drilled
and fitted to a hardwood handle, and there was axe or adze. Imagine
the labour of it, you who put down a piece of money and receive the
perfected tool of iron!

Axe and adze were blunt enough; yet with them the Maori hewed through
the mighty bole of the _kauri_-pine; and it was with tools of stone
that they chopped and gouged and scooped, until there lay before them
the shell of a canoe, eighty feet in length, and capable of holding
close upon a hundred men.

To work again with knife and awl and chisel, each of stone, and
presently the stern-post, ornately carved, rises in an elegant curve to
a height of fifteen feet. The prow, too, rises in a curve, but not so
high, and is adorned by a huge, grinning head, correctly tattooed, with
goggle eyes and defiantly protruded tongue.

Paddles are shaped from the tough wood of the _ti_-tree, one for each
of the rowers, who kneel in equal numbers on each side, facing the
prow, while the steersman wields an oar nine feet in length.

The canoe is finished–begun, wrought at and completed with never an
iron tool, with not one iron bolt to stay or strengthen. Yet it is
beautiful and strong and serviceable, and will skim the stormiest sea
as safely as would a gull.

The _whare_ was often rendered attractive on the outside by elaborate
carving, and quaint by the grotesque figures surmounting the gables.
It was within only a wide, low room, with roof of _raupo_-thatch[45]
and eaves within three feet of the ground. A stone-lined hole served
as a fireplace, the floor was strewn with fern upon which were thrown
the sleeping-mats, and a sliding panel formed a door, which was blocked
when privacy or warmth was desired. Furniture there was none; but this
mattered little, since the house was rarely used save as a dormitory,
or a shelter during cold or wet weather.

Within the village a piece of ground was set apart for the _marae_,
or public square, whither folk repaired for gossip or recreation when
the work of the day was done. Without the enclosure were home fields of
_kumara_ and _taro_, where the women laboured as many women labour in
the potato and turnip-fields in Scotland.

The heavy tasks as a rule fell to the men, and were undertaken
cheerfully enough, though the Maori became less careful in this respect
after years of intercourse with the Pakeha. To the men also belonged
the duty of supplying the commissariat and, while some hunted or
fished, others cleared the forest trails, upon which the undergrowth
reproduced itself with extraordinary rapidity. The question of animal
food was always a vital one in the days before the _poaka_, or pig,
rioted through the bush, and there were many days on which the Maori
were forced to content themselves with fern-root and _kanini_ berries
for the two meals in which they daily indulged.

Though they had neither books nor writings upon parchment, stone or
papyrus, the Maori were not without a literature of their own. Great
deeds of heroic ancestors, notable events of the past were immortalised
in song and story, and handed down from generation to generation. On
summer nights an eager audience thronged the _marae_, listening, rapt,
to some “divine-voiced singer,” or to some other, who told with every
trick and charm of the finished orator the story of “the brave days of
old,” when Ngahue fought in far Hawaiki, or sailed the sea with Te Turi
to find the land of Maui.

Always decorous, the listeners applauded discreetly, and chewed
incessantly the hardened juice of the sow-thistle, the precious gum of
the _kauri_, or the _mimiha_, bitumen from the under-sea springs of the
west. None of these was harmful like the opium of the Chinaman or the
_kava_ of the Polynesian. The Maori chewed his gum much as the fair
American chews hers, or as the youthful Scot surreptitiously sucks his
peppermint during the Sunday sermon in the kirk.




As night fell quiet reigned for a time, for night is the council-time
of the Maori. Encircled by pineknot torches, chiefs and _rangatira_ sat
together, gravely discussing the common weal, or planning great schemes
of attack or defence. One after another, each stern-visaged councillor
arose, and with dignified gesture and speech rich in metaphor
expressed his views, his fellows hearkening with respectful attention,
expecting, and receiving, the same when their own turn came to speak.
So the discussion went on until the council broke up and the senators
dispersed, stalking through the double row of armed guards who,
themselves out of earshot, had stood like bronze statues throughout the
deliberations.

When the need for quiet had passed, the warriors gathered together and
fought their battles o’er again, while those more peacefully inclined
applauded the efforts of a flautist and a trumpeter, whose instruments
were limited to five and two notes respectively.

Careless youth sat here and there, asking and guessing riddles or
playing that most ancient game, familiar alike to the English child and
the aboriginal of Australia, “cat’s cradle.” Youngsters stalked upon
stilts, played at “knuckle-bones,” or gambled at “odd or even,” and, in
strong contrast, a group of philosophers discussed abstruse questions
with a keenness and cleverness which amply proved the capacity of the
Maori brain. Some, too, there were who wandered off, as young folks
will, youth and maid together, to whisper of matters unconcerned with
logic or philosophy.

The fires burnt low, the torches sputtered towards extinction, the
various groups dissolved and, as a last good-night, the warriors
raised their voices in a swelling chant, and from a thousand throats
the chorus of triumph or defiance rose and rolled from hill to distant
hill. A few short moments later the village was hushed and still, only
the vigilant sentries giving evidence of the life which slumbered
within its crowded _whare_.

So the Maori rose and toiled and played and fought, until at last came
the time, inevitable for all, when must “the silver cord be loosed and
the golden bowl be broken,” and potent chief, in common with meanest
slave, yield up his life to God who gave it.

No _tangi_ was raised for the slave; but how different when the chief
set his face to the north and walked with slow and solemn step towards
the gates of Reinga. Even as their muffled clang resounded and the
breath went out of the chieftain’s body, the crowd of mourners who had
till then been repeating with fervour the “last words” of the dying
man, burst into noisy lamentations, many of the women gashing their
arms and breasts. In some instances slaves were immediately slain, so
that the dead man might not plunge alone into the waters of Reinga, or
go unattended in the next world.

The dead body was exorcised by the priests, dressed in its best, and
allowed to sit in state. The dried heads and skulls of ancestors
grinned from their pedestals at the latest addition to their ranks,
who, with face painted, head befeathered, his costly ornaments upon
him, his clubs and spears set ready to his hand, stared back at them
with unseeing eyes, a lifelike figure enough among those musty relics
of the long-ago dead.

The _pihe_, or dirge, was sung, the choir standing before the body, and
days went by, during which the long procession of relatives, friends,
subjects and delegates from other tribes paid their respects to the
mighty dead, grasping his cold hand, talking to him as though he were
alive, speaking panegyrics and chanting laments, often of singular
beauty, in his honour.

Then followed the last act but one in the drama of death. “No useless
coffin enclosed the breast” of the dead man, whose body, wrapped in
flax mats, was either buried beneath the floor of his house, or hoisted
to a high stage in the vicinity of the village and allowed to remain
there for a twelvemonth.

The year of mourning over, the dead man’s effects, his valuable
greenstone clubs, other weapons and ornaments were distributed amongst
his heirs.[46] A great feast was also arranged and, while the
attention of all was occupied with eating and drinking, the priests
stole away, bearing the remains with them, to hide them for ever in
some solitary sepulchre within the scarred bosom of the hills, or deep
in the green twilight of the silent forests.

Continue Reading

THE GROWTH OF THE RACE

The various Maori tribes were not bound by any common tie save that
of race, nor did they own allegiance to a chief chosen by all to rule
over the whole nation. Their laws and customs were for the most part
similar; but cohesion between them gradually dissolved as each tribe
realised its ability to stand alone.

The tribes (_iwi_) took origin in the family,[42] and were subdivided
into sub-tribes (_hapu_), and, if the latter were large, into family
groups, also termed _hapu_. Every division had its acknowledged chief,
and the _ariki_, or chief of the highest class, who by right of birth
stood at the head of the whole, was styled the Paramount Chief.

Powerful though such a man was, his actions did not go unchecked; for
that ancient principle, _noblesse oblige_, was strongly implanted in
Maori of rank. For a chief to be convicted of lying, of cowardice, of
tyranny was black disgrace, and were these vices proved against a lord
paramount or the head of a sub-tribe or _hapu_, action was at once
taken. The offender was not deposed, but another man of rank quietly
took his place for all practical purposes, save one.

A second check upon the chiefs was that mighty power which has been
styled “the voice of God,” namely, the voice of the people. General
assemblies were from time to time convened, at which every man, and
woman too, had the right to express opinions.[43] So, if only to escape
the shame of exposure, the chiefs strove to conform to the established
code of honour; but it is fair to say that they seem to have been
animated by higher motives than concern for public opinion.

Each tribe was thus practically a republic, governed by a perpetual
President, whose dignity and office were hereditary, but who was obeyed
by the people only so long as he continued to deserve their allegiance.

The _ariki_ was hereditary chief priest as well as chief citizen, and
was a man apart. His back was not bent, nor his hands gnarled with
toil, his person was inviolable, his sanctity great, and he was all
in all to his people. He helped and consoled them in time of trouble,
read their fate in the stars, their future in a host of natural
objects, and interpreted their dreams. On one day he saw visions and
prophesied; on the next he was busy with the work of a Lord Lyon or
Garter King-of-Arms, instructing the Master of the _Moko_ on behalf of
some lusty warrior desirous of commemorating his own doughty deeds;[44]
while he selected on a third a name for an infant, or presided at the
obsequies of some notable chief or _rangatira_.

In Maori mythology _Rangi_, Heaven, and _Papa_, Earth, long ago
dwelt in happiness with their six children, but the brothers, with
the exception of the god of winds and storms, rebelled against their
parents, and cruelly dragged them apart.

Yet their love remains unshaken, and Earth’s sighs of longing, draped
in clinging mist, every day ascend to Heaven; while Heaven’s tears,
a rain of refreshing dew, fall all night long upon Earth’s sorrowful
breast.

Rangi and Papa were in part avenged. Their dutiful son, Tawhiri-ma-tea,
rushed against the rebels, thunder rolling, lightning flashing,
hailstones rattling and hurricanes raging in his van. Scared by this
stupendous manifestation of wrathful force, Tangaroa hurled himself
into the sea, Rongomatane and Haumiatikitiki buried themselves under
the earth they had insulted, and Tane Mahuta called upon his forests to
cover him. Only Tumatauenga, father of men and god of war, stood firm,
scowling defiance at his brother of the storm.

So has it been ever since, and Tawhiri-ma-tea, unable to overthrow
his brother, continues to take a bitter vengeance upon the war-god’s
children. Men, whom he pursues on sea and land with tempest and
tornado, ever seeking to slay and make an end.

Under the collective name of _Atua_, the above were the principal gods
of the Maori. Every tribe possessed an honoured _tohunga-whakairo_,
or woodcarver; but the quaint finial figures upon the gables of their
houses were not adored as gods, the Children of Maui never having been
idolaters.

The Maori looked forward to a future existence wherein their state and
condition would remain very much as they had been in this world. A
slave in life continued a slave after death, and, when a great chief
died, several of his slaves were slain, that he might not go unattended
among his fellow shades.

The abodes of the departed were Rangi, occupied on different planes by
gods and men of heroic type, and Reinga, under the sea at the extreme
north of the North Island, where dwelt only the spirits of men.

There was no question of reward or punishment. The dead simply
continued to exist in spirit form, occasionally revisiting the scenes
of their former life. These visitors preferably occupied the bodies
of lizards, which explains the abhorrence in which these reptiles
were held by the Maori, who, though they revered and prayed to their
ancestors, were terribly afraid of meeting their pale ghosts, or
transmigrated souls.

The _tohunga_, or sorcerers, exercised unbounded influence over the
minds of the Maori. Their duties on occasion coincided with those of
the _ariki_, and their position, too, was hereditary; but, while men
revered, and often loved their chief, their respect for the _tohunga_
was tinctured with fear and, not seldom, with hate. The chief could
lay _tapu_ upon a man, which was bad enough; but the _tohunga_ could
bewitch him outright, condemning the poor wretch to loss of worldly
gear, aches and pains, and even to death itself. The _ariki_ thought it
no shame to go in dread of the _tohunga_, while, let the _tutua_, or
common fellow, be once convinced that the malign eye of the wizard had
bewitched him, and he not infrequently laid him down and died.

There did not exist among the Maori a middle class as we understand
the term. Every Maori whose birth placed him in a position between the
aristocracy and the _tutua_ class was a warrior by choice. Among such
were men of property, poets, philosophers, literary men who did not
write, but told their stories to eager audiences–in a word, gentlemen
of leisure until the need for fighting arose. In the infrequent
intervals of peace these, if you will, represented the middle class;
but, once “let slip the dogs of war,” and they cried “havoc” with the
best of them. The Maori warrior, or _toa_, unlike the Japanese Samurai,
did not live for war alone, but was ever ready when it came.

When speaking of the conduct and character of the high chiefs, it
was mentioned that they were rarely deposed. The reason why, may be
expressed in one word–_land_. Bad or good, the chief had a fuller
knowledge with regard to land than any other person concerned.

It is necessary clearly to comprehend what follows; for the
misunderstandings which arose between the Maori and the colonists over
the tenure of land had much to do with the origin of the long strife
between them.

When the canoes from Hawaiki had discharged their passengers at the
various spots selected by the chiefs in command, each one of the latter
took possession of a district which became his property, and the
property of all his followers, every free male and female among them
being part proprietor. In other words, the land was common to the tribe.

In consequence of this community of ownership every additional person
born claimed ownership by right of descent. As time went on only the
few could have told exactly what their rights were; but every Maori was
assured that the land belonged to him and that it could not be disposed
of without his sanction.

The chiefs share was the largest, because of his direct descent from
the chief who originally took possession of the district; but even in
this distinguished instance the voice of the people made itself heard,
and the chief himself could not part absolutely with the land unless by
common consent. The land might be leased to strangers, but the only way
in which the owners could be dispossessed was by conquest.

As with chiefs, so with humbler folk. The land held by a family was
not theirs to dispose of without the consent of the tribe. A family of
one tribe might lease to a family of another tribe; or an entire tribe
might transfer its holding; but the land was not given away for ever,
and could be reclaimed at a future date.

The colonists could never understand this principle; nor could the
Maori comprehend that land, once exchanged for money or goods, had for
ever passed away from them. Endless difficulties arose with the Pakeha,
because every descendant of the original possessor of land claimed a
share of the property and of the price. It is indubitable that this
conflict of the laws of one race with the law of another caused much of
the bitter strife which arose later.

The position of the chief thus rendered him the person of most
importance with regard to land. In his family were kept records, such
as they were; in his memory were stored facts concerning the district,
which he had received from his father, who, in his day, had received
them from his father.

Who, then, so well fitted to decide an argument, adjust disputes,
settle the right and wrong of any questions concerning land? The
deposition of such a man might have been followed by his withdrawal
from the _hapu_, perhaps from the tribe itself, an irreparable loss
to those who relied upon him for correct information respecting their
landed property.

The origin of _tapu_, that tremendous engine of power, that law above
the law, is lost in obscurity, so very ancient is the custom, and all
that we know about its curious working is derived from observations
made in the South Sea Islands, where alone it is now found in anything
like its old power.

The law of _tapu_ served as a fairly efficient, if vexatious,
promoter of law and order. Broadly stated, _tapu_ stood for two
principles–protection and punishment, and the person or thing affected
by it was a person or thing apart, not even to be touched under pains
and penalties the most severe.

Chiefs were permanently _tapu_, as it was necessary that their exalted
state should be clearly recognisable; so they were placed upon a
pinnacle of isolation which extended to their property as well as to
themselves.

Food of many kinds was permanently _tapu_; for animal food was always
scarce, and choice vegetables could be cultivated only after a tough
struggle with the land. Therefore, since one tribe frequently infringed
the rights of another it became necessary to render the common stock of
provisions secure against depredators from within. Ordinary food which
happened to come in contact with anything _tapu_, was instantly thrown
away, lest by touching or eating it some innocent person should himself
become _tapu_.




Swift retribution fell on him who with greed in his heart stole, or
even touched with itching fingers, the succulent _kumara_, if the
mark of _tapu_ were upon them. Such a fellow was stripped of his
possessions, cast out, perhaps, of the tribe, or, for the worst offence
of all, had his brains deftly scattered by order of his chief.

The plight of the poor wretch who touched the dead, accidentally or
in the way of business, was dismal in the extreme. For the dead were
_tapu_ in an extraordinary degree, and who touched a corpse became as a
leper, shunned by all, lest they, too, should be tainted. Among other
disabilities, such an one must not touch food with his hands. Did he
so, the food became _tapu_, and was thrown away from the very jaws of
the hungry one, who was consequently obliged to put his mouth to the
platter and eat like a dog, or else submit to be fed with a very long
spoon by some friend more sympathetic, or less timid than the majority.

This principle of _noli me tangere_ was also applied temporarily.
Trees from which canoes could be made were _tapu_, while stretches
of coast abounding in shell-fish, the haunts of sea-birds and rich
fishing-grounds were preserved for the common good. Many customs,
related to _tapu_, were followed in time of war by the warriors,
while non-combatants by prayer, fasting, and the practice of severe
austerities, proved how closely the idea of _tapu_ was allied with that
of religion.

_Tapu_ was simply imposed, but its removal was a serious business.
Prayers were chanted, water freely sprinkled over the person or thing
to be released, and the ovens were busy cooking food during the whole
time of the proceedings. Here it seems possible to trace a connection
between _tapu_ and parts of the Jewish ceremonial law. As sacrifices
and burnt-offerings were required before an unclean Jew could be
pronounced clean, so among the Maori it was impossible to lift _tapu_
without the simultaneous cooking of food. How, if ever, the Jews
influenced the Malays, Polynesians, and Maori, antiquaries may be able
some day to determine.

When the Pakeha first came to New Zealand, they often ignorantly
violated _tapu_, and how much they suffered in consequence depended
upon the character and temper of the community. The Maori were not
ungenerous, and in cases of inadvertence frequently made allowances
and spared accordingly. On the other hand, two great navigators,
Captain Cook and Marion du Fresne, were slain because of their trespass
on ground which was _tapu_, and sacred in the eyes of the South Sea
Islanders.

_Tapa_–to command–was in effect the law of might against right, that

Good old rule, the simple plan,
That they should take who have the power,
And they should keep who can.

In practice it consisted in commanding, or, as we might say,
“commandeering” anything one fancied to one’s own use.

Indicating the desired object, the claimant would observe, “That
club”–or tree, or canoe, or whatever it happened to be, “is _tapa_
to me. It is my skull,” or “my eye,” or “my backbone. I command it to
myself.”

The article thus denominated was held to belong to the claimant, since
no one could justly urge that a man’s skull, eye or backbone was not
his own. Yet, if the practice were abused, an appeal could be made,
and a chief had power to undo the _tapa_ and order restitution of the
property claimed. After a battle, disputes frequently arose between
those who claimed priority in having applied the _tapa_ to articles in
possession of a foe whom they had then still to vanquish.

This was the law of _muru_, which the Maori accepted philosophically
enough, because, though vexatious, it fell with equal severity upon all.

If a man committed an offence against the community, he was punished by
the community, his fellow-tribesmen adjusting the fine and collecting
it with a generous appreciation of their individual requirements.

For example, if one accidentally killed another, he was punished for
depriving the community of a useful member. If a man carelessly damaged
public property, he was punished by the loss of his own. Even if the
damage done merely affected another private person, compensation was
assessed by means of _muru_, and, as no money circulated in those days,
the fine was exacted in goods.

The victim of his own indiscretion, sighing at the crookedness of fate,
always made provision against the day of reckoning and, having politely
inquired on what day _muru_ was to be enforced, issued instructions to
the ladies of his family to prepare the best feast possible in the time
at their command.

On the appointed day the avengers arrived, yelling “_Murua! Murua!_” An
idea of the justice of what followed may be gathered when it is stated
that _muru_ means “plunder.”

Each member of the party is armed, and so is the rueful sinner who
awaits developments with sensations much resembling those of the Jew in
presence of King John and his rough-and-ready dentists.

A lull occurs in the yelling, and the dolorous knight inquires
ingenuously, “What is this, O my friends? Why do you brandish spear and
club as though to point the road to Reinga?”

“You killed my brother!” a tall fellow shouts in return. “Now I am
going to kill you. Step forward at once to be killed!”

With horrid grimaces the bereaved gentleman capers before the doomed
one, who divests himself of his mat, flourishes his spear, and replies
with great fervour, “Since you so greatly desire to be made mince-meat
of, you shall not be disappointed. I am for you!”

With that the two fall upon one another with frightful ferocity–or so
it seems. Blows are dealt and thrusts exchanged amid the continuous
howling of the champion’s bodyguard, who, singularly enough, make no
offer to rush his antagonist.

Why not? Because it is point of honour that no great harm is to be
done. A gentleman is to receive punishment at the hands of his peers,
but life must be left him, though almost everything which makes it
worth the living is to be snatched from him. So, after a few bruises
and scratches have been given and taken, the mimic combat ceases.

There is a short pause while the champion recovers his breath. Then
he shouts at the top of his voice, “_Murua! Murua!_” which, freely
translated, means “Loot! Loot!”–advice which is promptly followed.

As the sack proceeds the principals chat cheerfully, the plundered
taking no notice whatever of the plunderers; for to betray the disgust
he feels would be the height of ill-breeding.

At last, when every article which their unwilling host has thought it
injudicious to conceal has been secured, the “collectors” reappear,
laughing and eagerly expectant of an invitation to dinner.

It comes. The stricken gentleman courteously expresses his delight at
this “unexpected” visit. Had he but known earlier he would have made
adequate preparation. As it is–he waves his hand in the direction of
the feast–there it is; and he bids his “dear friends” fall to.

Gorged and happy, the myrmidons of this queer law depart by and by,
having carried out the _muru_, and left behind them a sorrowful
gentleman, stripped of worldly gear. However, the unfortunate has
the consoling knowledge that he has comported himself under trying
circumstances as a man of breeding should, and also that, when
opportunity shall arise, he will be entitled to go and do unto others
as they have just done unto him.

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THE LAND TO WHICH THEY CAME

Where Nature is constantly in a tempestuous mood, where volcanoes spout
and earthquakes convulse, and where, on the other hand, “Man comes in
with his strife” against Nature herself, comparatively few years may
suffice to bring about great changes and to alter the face of a country
almost beyond recognition.

Thus, the New Zealand on whose shores the Maori landed differed
materially from the New Zealand of to-day. Not only has Nature cruelly
destroyed some of the most beautiful of the vestiges of creation,
but the white man has cleared off scrubs, eradicated forests, said
with effect to the sea, “thus far and no farther,” and, by radically
altering the original features of the country, has actually influenced
the climate.

New Zealand is a land in every way desirable. Save for a trick Nature
has of tumbling into convulsions now and then, it is hard to see how
any land could have been created more beautiful, more comfortable, more
blessed. Not large; indeed, a kind of “Pocket Venus” among countries;
for, though there have been smaller, there have been none more
beguiling to the senses, more charming to the eye, more responsive to
the attentions of its lords. Surely, from such a soil must spring a
worthy race.

Before colonisation, and for some time after, New Zealand included only
the North Island, the Middle Island,[26] and Stewart Island, and was
in area about one-seventh less than that of the United Kingdom. No;
not a large country; but packed to overflowing with good and desirable
things, and lacking much that is undesirable.

Early in the present century the Cook, or Hervey, Islands were included
in the colony; an interesting addition, because Rarotonga, the largest
of the group, is said to be the island where the emigrating Maori built
some of their canoes for the voyage to Te Ika A Maui, and where they
rested when Hawaiki lay far behind them. The new boundaries of the
Dominion of New Zealand embrace several other island groups.

Hawaiki lay within the tropics, while the northern extremity of New
Zealand is a clear eleven degrees south of Capricorn. As the country
tails southward, it falls more within the temperate zone, until, as
Stewart Island is reached, the latitude corresponds almost exactly with
that of Cornwall in England.

Coming thus from a hot climate to one warm indeed, but cooler than that
to which they had been accustomed, it behoved the Maori without delay
to make some alteration in their dress. At first they used coverings
made from the skins of their dogs; but this was expensive, so they
presently began to look elsewhere for what they wanted. Like most
peoples unvexed by over-education, they were keen observers, and it was
not long before they found the very thing they required.

One day, a certain Te Matanga,[27] The Knowing One, took matters in
hand. Winter was coming, and girdles of cocoa-nut fibre would scarcely
suffice to keep out the cold. For some time he discovered nothing
likely to be useful, and it was in a disconsolate mood that he stood at
the edge of an extensive swamp and wondered what was to become of his
friends and himself.

The swamp was covered with plants whose like Te Matanga had never seen.
Each grew in the fashion of a thick bush; but the leaves–there were
no branches–were flat and tapering, yet stiff and irrefragable, while
they towered, upstanding, half as high again as the height of a man.
Moreover, the leaves were so tough, that Te Matanga had some ado to
cut through one with his flint knife. Flowers upon long stalks were
in the bushes, and the plant with a red blossom was larger than that
which bore a yellow blossom, though both were stately. And, perceiving
that there were two varieties of the plant, Te Matanga named the finer
_Tihore_ and the larger _Harakeke_.[28]

When he had prodded here and sliced there, and observed the leaves to
be full of strong fibre, Te Matanga immediately perceived that he had
found that which he had set out to seek and, his anxiety upon the score
of clothing relieved, he began to feel hungry and thirsty. The swamp
water did not look inviting and, while he deliberated, he aimlessly
plucked a flower and regarded it.

What was this? At the bottom of the floral cup was a considerable
quantity of fluid, resembling limpid water.

Not without a qualm, the Knowing One tasted the liquid and found it
delicious, resembling water sweetened with honey, or the _eau sucrée_
beloved of Frenchmen. He hesitated no longer, drank off the delightful
draught, smacked his lips and drained another flower-cup of its nectar.

Having found so much, Te Matanga told himself that more should be got
from so accommodating a plant and, sure enough, he discovered an edible
gum in the roots and leaves. What wonder that, with a winter outfit
in view, his thirst quenched and his hunger stayed, clever Te Matanga
should assume a few excusable airs when telling his joyous news.

Thus, that Providence which they had not yet learned to know, gave
to the Maori food, drink and clothing, all within the compass of one
specimen of God’s marvellous handiwork.

The plant which Te Matanga found is not related to the true flax,
though it serves every purpose to which the other is put. The Pakeha
speedily recognised its virtues; in 1906 twenty-eight thousand tons of
the fibre were exported from New Zealand.

Great ingenuity was displayed by the Maori in the manipulation of the
fibre and its manufacture into many useful articles, from the little
baskets in which food was served, and which were never used twice, to
the magnificent robe, or “mat,” known as the _kaitaka_, which occupied
nearly a year in the making. This was peculiarly the costume of people
of consideration, and the gift of one was regarded as a mark of high
favour.

Among the many varieties of flax mats, the _pureki_ had an interest
all its own, for the makers managed to render it rain-proof, so that
it was in a sense the prototype of our mackintosh. One might also say
that it was the Maori substitute for _khaki_; for a native, wrapped
in his _pureki_ and squatting upon a barren hillside, was scarcely
distinguishable from the boulders surrounding him.

Te Matanga went to work again and experimented with the berries of the
_tutu_ or _Coronaria_, extracting thence a beverage as grateful as that
which he had quaffed from the chalice of the flax-flowers. Yet the
berries, eaten whole, are poisonous.

The beverages which Te Matanga gave to his countrymen were neither
noxious nor degrading. It was the civilised Christian who introduced
to the pagan savage that “enemy which steals away men’s brains.” Left
to themselves, the Maori showed no inclination towards intoxicating
liquors. Even in later days they proved remarkably temperate,
their barter with the Pakeha rarely including a supply of what they
characteristically designated “stink-water.” They did not even brew the
highly stimulating _yaqona_, so popular with the South Sea Islanders;
which is remarkable, since the plant (_Piper methysticum_) grows wild
in New Zealand.

Our wise man also taught his compatriots the value of the edible fern,
_Pteris esculenta_, whose bright-green fronds waved ten feet or more
above the ground. The underground stem was cut into plugs and matured,
and, this done, was eaten plain, or cakes were baked of the flour
beaten out of it.

It was not ordained that the Maori should subsist entirely upon a
vegetable diet. Te Matanga searched for something more stimulating and
readily found it. He showed his people fat eels in creek and river,
while from the sea they drew _Mango_, the shark, _Tawatawa_, the
mackerel, _Hapuku_, the cod (not that of northern waters) and a hundred
other varieties of fish, which they cooked or dried or smoked. It was
sometimes their good fortune to slay great _Ikamoana_, the whale, and
_Kekeno_, the seal, both of which they ate with relish; while for
sauce, _Tio_, the oyster, sat upon the rocks and gaped while they
scooped him from his shell.

The dwellers inland had eels and the delicious little green,
whitebait-like _Inanga_ of the lakes to eat with their fern-root
and _kumara_. And well for them it was so; for, with the exception
of _Pekapeka_, the bat, who swept by them in eerie flight when the
long-lingering day grew pale about them, not a mammal roamed the
plains or haunted the deep woods. _Kuri_, the dog, and _Maungarua_, the
rat, they also ate; for _Maungarua_[29] multiplied exceedingly, while
_Kuri_ took to the bush and ran wild.

_Ngara_,[30] the lizard, frisked in the sunshine; but no son of Maui
looked upon him if it could be avoided; for _Ngara_ were dread beasts,
in whose bodies the spirits of the dead found an abiding-place. Even
such stalwarts as Ngahue and Te Turi would blanch at sight of any of
that terrible race. Moreover, _Taniwha_,[31] the great, the horrible,
whom to mention was unsafe, and to set eyes upon was to perish, was
not he, too, a lizard? Nay; close the eyes and mutter a _karakia_[32]
should _Ngara_ cross your path.

How blessed the Maori were in the absence of other reptiles they did
not learn till much later. Australia abounds in snakes, from the huge
carpet-snake, cousin to the boa, to the “deaf-adder,” whose bite is
almost certainly fatal; but in New Zealand, as in Ireland, not even a
toad is to be found wherewith to point the sweetness of the “uses of
adversity.”

The clever men now sought food among the birds, and found on land
pigeons, plovers, rails, ducks, quails and parrots innumerable. Of
these last, one, the _kakapo_, was almost as big as a fowl, like which
it ran about the ground, feeding; for its wings were short and feeble,
and it rarely used them except to fly from a bough to the earth and up
again. Conscious of its weakness, it chose the late twilight or the
night for its rambles, hiding away during the day. Like so many of the
interesting birds of New Zealand, it is now nearly extinct.

Among sea-birds, many of which were eaten, particular choice was made
of _Titi_,[33] the Mutton-bird. These birds flew inland at night,
and the Maori, anticipating their coming, would choose a likely spot
upon the verge of a cliff and build a row of fires. Behind these they
lurked, armed with sticks and, as the birds, attracted by the light,
flew past, they were knocked over in immense numbers. As the flesh
was oily, they were preserved in their own fat, packed in baskets of
seaweed and stored until winter, when they formed a staple and highly
flavoured dish. The inland tribes made annual pilgrimages to the coast
for the purpose of procuring a supply of mutton-birds.

Of all the birds which the Maori found on their arrival the most
singular were those which are either extinct or fast becoming so.
These were the _Struthidae_, or wingless birds,–such as the ostrich,
the rhea, and the emu,–which were represented in New Zealand by the
gigantic _moa_[34] and the _kiwi_.[35]

The _moa_ was long ago exterminated by the Maori, who saw in its huge
bulk magnificent prospect of a feast of meat. All that is left of it
to-day are bones in various museums, one or two complete skeletons, and
a few immense eggs.

There were several species of this bird, the largest of them from
twelve to fourteen feet in height; but, huge as they were, they appear
to have possessed little power of self-defence, though a kick from one
of their enormous legs and long-clawed feet would have killed a man.
But, like all wingless birds, they were shy and timid, never coming to
a knowledge of their strength; so they fell before a weaker animal, but
one of infinitely greater ingenuity.

The bones of birds are filled with air, for the sake of warmth and
lightness; but the leg bones of the _moa_, like those of a beast, and
unlike those of any known bird, were filled with marrow.




Diminutive in size, and in appearance even more extraordinary than its
cousin, the _moa_, is the _kiwi_, as the Maori named the apteryx from
its peculiar cry. Several species were plentiful in the Islands, but
some of them have become extinct, and the rest are fast disappearing.
The Maori attract the bird by imitating its call and, as it is rather
stupid, it is easily caught and killed.

The _kiwi_ was served up at table, as were most things in New Zealand
which walked or swam or flew; but what gave it surpassing value in
Maori eyes was its plumage of short, silky feathers, whose beauty they
were quick to recognise, and which they employed in fashioning one of
the rarest and most ornamental of their mats (_kahu-kiwi_).

There was little difficulty about the erection of houses and forts, the
building of canoes, the shaping of spears and clubs. Given the ability
to construct, there was material in plenty. Throughout the land spread
magnificent forests, whose plumed tops waved above trunks uprearing one
hundred feet, or more, some of them of an age well-nigh incredible.
Few and short appeared the years of man beside the life of the giant
_kauri_[36] which for close upon four thousand years had towered there,
stately emperors in a company of kings.[37] How brief the age of
their forest court compared with their own–the _totara_[38] with its
eight hundred years of life, the _rimu_[39] with its six hundred, the
_matai_[40] with its four hundred. What are they beside the dominant
_kauri_? Mortals, looking up to an immortal.

Crowded in those forests primeval were trees bearing wood with capacity
for every class of work to which man could put his hand. Trees with
wood of iron hardness; trees with wood so soft that it fell away in
silky flakes at the touch of the knife; trees with wood of medium
consistence, durable as stone; trees whose wood under the hands of the
artist-polisher took on a beauty indescribable; trees whose bark was
rich in all that the tanner needs; trees which yielded invaluable resin
and turpentine; trees which gave up no less valuable tar and pitch;
trees which could be reduced to wood-pulp for the making of paper when
the time for that should come: all these there were, and more.

So the Maori set to work, building houses and forts, and hewing out
canoes. For the last, those who dwelt in the north chose the great
trunks of the _kauri_, often forty feet in circumference, and of such
diameter that a tall man with outspread arms could not stretch from
rim to rim of the cross section. In the south they used the _totara_,
likewise a pine, and great, but a pigmy beside the imperial _kauri_.

While the builders built, explorers traced the swiftly flowing rivers
from source to sea, or gazed with awe at the snow-capped peaks and
glimmering glaciers. Others moved northwards towards those giant
mountains from whose cones poured tall pillars of smoke, threatening
shadows of dire events to come, or stood upon the shore of a lake,
marvelling to find the water hot instead of cold.

Imagine one, agape with curiosity, holding in his hand a dead _kuri_,
designed for dinner. Suddenly, with hiss and roar, a column of water
shoots hundreds of feet into the air, almost at his elbow. With a cry
of terror he starts back, losing his grip of the dog, which drops into
an adjacent pool. Too much afraid to run, our Maori stands trembling,
and the spouting column presently falls back into the bowels of the
earth. Marvelling, he gropes in the pool for his dinner, and with
another yell withdraws his hand and arm, badly scalded. But he has got
his dog and, to his amazement, it is cooked to perfection.

Small wonder if the Maori muttered a _karakia_, deeming the miracle the
work of the demon of the lake. But their fear departed as time went
on, and the hot springs and lakes became health-resorts, where they
bathed and strove to be rid of the pains and aches their flesh was
heir to. Those who dwelt within reach of this marvellous region soon
became familiar with its phenomena, and made full use of the natural
sanatorium and kitchen.

Other immigrants gathered for ornament the precious greenstone from
the Middle Island, with blocks of jade and serpentine; the snow-white
breast of the albatross; the wings of birds; the tail plumes of the
infrequent _huia_;[41] the cruel teeth of the shark. They found
another use for the greenstone, fashioning it with infinite toil into
war-clubs, or _mere_, too valuable to be used in the shock of battle
without safeguard against possible loss. So a hole was drilled through
the handle, and a loop of flax passed through, by which the club was
secured to the wrist.

How in the world could they pierce that defiant mineral–they, who had
neither iron nor diamonds with which to drill a hole? Their method was
as ingenious as it was simple. They took a sharp-pointed stick of hard
wood and half-way up secured two stones, which acted after the manner
of a flywheel. Above the stones two pieces of string were attached, and
these, alternately pulled, imparted a rotatory movement to the stick,
whose sharpened point at length pierced the sullen stone.

Their travels over, the pioneers returned, to be welcomed with tears of
joy, while prayers were chanted and cherished ornaments offered to the
gods in thanksgiving for their safe home-coming. They neither embraced
nor kissed; nor did they shake hands after the European fashion. They
saluted one another in a manner all their own. Bending forward, they
_pressed_ their noses together, sniffing strongly the while; and this
act of friendly greeting they called the _hongi_–the verb _hongi_
signifying “to smell.”

One drawback to residence in these fortunate islands was the scarcity
of animal food–of red meat there was none, save when a dog was slain
for the pot. Still, there was food enough–vegetables and fruit, birds
and fish, so that starvation was not a common fate, except a man were
lost in the dense bush, where never sight or sound of life was seen or
heard.

A real evil was the tendency of the earth to tremble, shake and gape,
sometimes overthrowing the evidence of years of toil on the part of
man, and occasionally slapping Nature herself in the face. In other
words, a large part of New Zealand being within the “earthquake zone,”
the country is convulsed from time to time by shocks of greater or
less severity. Since the arrival of the Pakeha there have been severe
disturbances, and one or two heavy shocks have occurred, greatly
disfiguring the beautiful face of the land.

In the North Island are many dormant craters, which have on occasion
sprung into fierce activity, resulting in widespread devastation and
some loss of life. The early Maori were fortunate in escaping eruptions
of any magnitude, but the North Island, long before their arrival, must
have been in a state of intense unrest. The hot springs and lakes, the
geysers of Rotomahana and Rotorua, the more than boiling mud among the
smouldering hills, the fiercely smoking cones of giant Tongariro, are
so many evidences of that terrible time of earth-pang and convulsion,
of belching out of smoke and flame and rended rocks, with vomitings
of broad rivers of molten lava, which flowed over the land, effacing
everything in their course.

This was the land to which the Maori came; a land of “mountain, lake,
and stream,” which, could it have remained as the Children of Maui
found it, must have endured “a thing of beauty and a joy for ever.”
But the blind forces of Nature and the needs of the white population
have done much to alter the face of the country, and have shorn it of
some of that loveliness which once was almost universal, but of which
much–very much still remains.

If New Zealand is now so surpassingly beautiful, what must it not
have been before thousands of acres of noble forest fell before axe
and flame; before the mountain, clad from base to summit in primeval
growth, stood bare and grey and grim, pierced with a thousand unsightly
wounds, deep in which man bends his back and delves for mineral wealth;
before the valleys, radiant with the beauty of fern and flower, were
trodden into mud by the marching feet of the “army of occupation”;
before the rivers, racing towards the shining sea, tumbling merrily
among rapids, glissading recklessly over the falls, were chained to the
log of commerce, their banks shorn of the fringing green to make way
for the houses of the moderns, their pure and limpid waters polluted
by the refuse of factories and the filth of towns? If those who have
seen it now and love its loveliness could but have seen Maoriland as
it was then! There is no help for it. It is inevitable that, when Man
steps in, Nature must in large measure lose her sceptre and resign her
sway.

Such was the land to which the Maori came–a land with no extremes of
heat or cold, though it sometimes showed a little ill-humour and shook
down a house or two; a land which gave them most that they could desire
and all they really needed, if it denied them overmuch strong animal
food; a land in which, but for their turbulent passions and their lust
for war, they might have lived out their lives in peace and comfort and
almost unqualified happiness; a land of unsurpassed magnificence, of
radiant beauty, of unbounded fertility.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 26: Designated South Island in New Zealand Official Year-Book
for 1907.]

[Footnote 27: Te Matanga never had existence outside these pages.
He typifies those energetic men, found in every nation, who devote
themselves to the service of their fellows. The discoveries attributed
to Te Matanga were the outcome of the application of many minds to
various problems, as the Maori spread over the country and became
acquainted with its capacity and products.]

[Footnote 28: _Phormium tenax_, the so-called New Zealand flax,
flourishes in swampy ground. In appearance it is a collection of broad,
stiff, upstanding leaves, tough enough to stop a bullet, dense enough
to conceal a man. Many a fugitive has escaped by dodging from the heart
of one bush into that of another. Both of the varieties come to highest
perfection in the north.]

[Footnote 29: The grey rat, which accompanied the Pakeha, exterminated
the native rat, and was never eaten by the Maori. Curiously enough,
during the wars, the Maori were accustomed to speak of the “Pakeha
Rat” just as in the days of the first George, Englishmen spoke of the
“Hanoverian Rat,” and with the same significance.]

[Footnote 30: Not any particular species of lizard, but a generic term
for the whole family.]

[Footnote 31: A mythical monster, presumed to have had the shape of a
saurian, inhabited the sea and, according to some, the depths of vast
forests. The powers of this demon for ill were boundless, and it was
regarded with the deepest awe by every Maori.]

[Footnote 32: A charm.]

[Footnote 33: _Oestrelata neglecta_ (Schlegel’s Petrel).]

[Footnote 34: _Dinornis moa._]

[Footnote 35: _Apteryx._]

[Footnote 36: _Dammara australis_, the kauri pine.]

[Footnote 37: This is no exaggeration.]

[Footnote 38: A pine.]

[Footnote 39: Red pine.]

[Footnote 40: Black pine.]

[Footnote 41: _Heteralocha acutirostris._]

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