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Some years ago very little was thought of those large islands in the South Pacific Ocean which we know by the name of New Zealand. After their first discovery, stories reached England which were very' horrible. Few travellers would be tempted to go to a country where it was said that men killed and ate one another, and would attack strangers without any cause, and fall on them with their heavy clubs, and kill and eat them. The dark colour of the New Zealanders was told of, and the
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lines on their savage faces, and the few clothes they wore, and their terrible yells, and' wild contortions of the face, and strange dances, and a speech that no one could understand.
Peaceable people shuddered at such fearful stories, while hearing or reading them in their own quiet homes in civilized life. It is easy to say, "How barbarous!" and to call men savages, and to be shocked almost at the mention of their names. And we find it easy to forget, amidst all the comforts God is bestowing on us, that there are many people in the world who grow very bad because they are left to themselves, and that once, long ago, the people of England were as savage-looking as these southern barbarians.
If people had been driven away from us, through fear, because they saw the
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THE ANCIENT BRITONS.
painted skins and fierce countenances of our forefathers, the ancient Britons, we should still have been a savage race, or perhaps (as there is continual lighting and bloodshed among barbarous people) we might have all died away, and England, instead of being a pleasant land, where there is peace and happiness for all who are living according to the will of God, would have been a desolate and uninhabited country.
But the love of Christ brought His ministers to the shores of England; and the savage ancient Britons were told of the pure and happy kingdom of Christ, and were invited to give up their bad ways, and come into it, and to follow the holy example of the Son of God, who had shed His blood on the cross for them. And so it was that they gradually listened
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to the good news brought to them from afar, and were baptized into the Church of Christ; and the children were better taught than their fathers had been; and all amongst them who faithfully followed the will of God were raised from ignorance and barbarism to be a wise and understanding people. England is now become the greatest nation of the world; and this never could have happened had not some of Christ's servants, in other parts of the world, been brave, and kind, and self-denying enough to give up their own homes, and live and die in a strange land.
The stories about the New Zealanders were, as I said, very frightful, yet when the truth about them was more known, it was found that these newly-discovered people were not wholly cruel, or wholly
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savage. They had, as all men on the face of the earth have been found to have, something of the law of God in their consciences, and something of family affection in their hearts, and in part followed that law, and lived in those affections, and, so far as they did so, were good and happy. New Zealand had been many years discovered before God's word was carried there. The first Englishman who found it out was Captain Cook. It had been discovered by a Dutchman before him, whose name was Tasman.
Captain Cook had a kind heart, and when, in his travels, he reached the shores of New Zealand, he would gladly have spoken to the natives. He would have said, "I am not come to do you any harm. I wish to see your country, and
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to tell my people, when I go back, that I have found out there is another land in the great ocean which they did not know of before; and I will see what plants grow in your islands, and whether you have the same animals which we have in England; and if not, I will bring some to you when next my ship sails this way."
This is what he would have said, and then they would have been pleased to let him come on shore; and as savages are generally found to be hospitable, would have given him the best they had to eat, and to refresh himself and his men.
But Captain Cook did not understand their language. He tried to show them by signs that he meant kindly, but they did not understand his signs. They ran away from the shore, very fast, into the thick woods, and presently he knew that
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they had gone to tell their friends of the strange ship; for a party of wild-looking men came fast down to the shore armed with lances and clubs. Then Captain Cook was obliged to frighten them, though he would much rather have been friendly, if he could only have made them understand his meaning. So he ordered his men to fire some guns, and when they heard the startling sound, and saw the smoke, they scampered away. Poor things! they were very much frightened. White faces looked to them so strange; and they could not understand how so large a building as the captain's ship, Endeavour, could be made by man; for they knew it took them many months of labour to form one of their own light canoes; and when they finished making one, they always thought
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it the best and greatest thing of the kind that could be. Think how sad it is that men are divided from one another, as they are, by speaking different languages. People all spoke one tongue at the beginning of the world. But soon God saw that they were banding together to do what was evil, and that they wished to become very strong, that they might disobey Him. While they were considering how they might strengthen themselves in wickedness, He confounded their tongues, so that they could not understand what one another said. There was nothing but confusion after this, until they separated into different parts of the world, and ever since it has not been possible for men to join together in doing what is good and right half so easily and pleasantly as they could have done if
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they had never brought this great punishment on themselves. Think how much easier it would be to spread the knowledge of God in the world, if all men spoke one tongue, and then you will see what an awful judgment this confusion of tongues was.
Captain Cook never frightened the New Zealanders, except when he was obliged to do so; but his men were not so forbearing. They were more easily provoked than their master, and did not govern their tempers so well; and then they made use of their fire-arms, and would determine among themselves to show the natives how strong they were from having such formidable weapons. When Captain Cook had fired, it was to preserve his own life from the men who were coming against him with clubs and
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lances. He was a most kind captain, and all his crew loved him; yet he had strict rules, which he expected to be obeyed by the rough sailors who manned the good ship Endeavour, and if they were disobedient, he punished them severely. He would always punish them if he found out that they had behaved ill to the natives of Kew Zealand; and it was well that he did so, else they might have had the same fate as a boat's crew which landed from a vessel called the Adventure. The Adventure had sailed from England with the Endeavour. Captain Furneaux, who commanded her, sent a boat's crew ashore, and they got into a fierce quarrel with these wild, ungoverned savages, and had no time to repent of their impatience, for they were all killed and eaten.
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CHARACTER OF THE PEOPLE.
We must not forget, when we read of these terrible doings, that, generally, civilized people have been the most to blame in them. They have been unjust in seizing on property which did not belong to them, and in disregarding the laws and customs of the new countries; they have discovered. They have sometimes tyrannized over savages because they had fire-arms, which made them more powerful than any man could be who is armed only with a club. The New Zealanders had been taught from their childhood to hate their enemies, and they thought that people who behaved unjustly to them, and tyrannized over them, were their enemies; but when they, were treated with generosity and kindness, they could show kindness in return for it. A French captain was once quite alone
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among a group of these islanders, whom he had never met with before. They gathered closely round him, and were full of talk and curiosity; but he could not make out what they said. Very likely they were expressing their wonder at his pale face and tight dress, so different from the loose mat they girded round their own bodies. He had with him a musket and a sword. They made signs that they would be glad to have the musket in their own hands, but he could not trust them with it. Still he meant to show that he felt confidence in them, and that he was sure they would not hurt him; so he drew his bright and glittering sword out of its sheath, and gave it into the hands of one of them, and there he stood all alone among them. Then they saw how brave he was, standing
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single among so many strangers, and they felt friendly to him, and loved him for his manly heart. They had been used to think that the white-faced Europeans looked more like women than men; but they could not say so now. They bandied his sword, gently and carefully, a little while, and then returned it to him.
There is a story told by the natives of New Zealand of the first origin of their islands, and how they came to be peopled. This kind of story we call a legend. Some legends are altogether false; some are partly true and partly false; some have begun in being true, and ended in being false. There never could have been any truth at all in the legend I am about to tell of. Some stories that are untrue are instructive; we may learn
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from this story to value the true history given us of the Creation in God's holy Word, by which we know that our heavenly Father made all things, and takes care of all that he has made. This legend, or story, of the origin of New Zealand, called "The Legend of Mawe," is not always told in exactly the same way; for, as it has never been written down, the story-teller has sometimes forgotten bits of it, and has then been obliged to invent as he went on. This is the story:--
"Mawe, the king of the starry world, took great delight in fishing. He sat on a cloud in the light blue sky, and threw his fish-hook into the great ocean waves, and many were the feasts of large fishes which he spread out before him after his morning's work was done.
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"One day, after throwing down his long line, and waiting for a bite, his great hook stuck deep into some hidden land.
"Mawe put forth all his strength to drag up what seemed to him a larger fish than he had ever caught, and after much pulling, he raised the highest mountain-peak of New Zealand above the waves; and now the waters, instead of rolling-on in long high-swelling billows, lashed their spray, in bright showers, round about a little island.
"When Mawe saw that his morning's fishing had brought up a piece of firm and, he let himself down from his seat on the clouds and stood upon it. His look was very much tangled among some plants which grew there. They were strong fibrous plants, very difficult to break. He twined some of them to-
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gether, and found that they would make a stout rope. He spent a long time in gathering the flax, and joined and twisted it till he had formed a great number of ropes, which he fastened together, and tying one end of it to the island, he took the other end in his hand, and mounted again to his place among the clouds, and then hauled in the rope with so much force, that very soon the whole of New Zealand was above water. Herbs and plants took root in its soil, and birds found a resting-place there. Mawe now threw aside the fish-hook which had done such wonders, and the fish-hook itself made a small island. You may find it in Hawk's Bay. It is called 'Matton no Mawe,' or the Fish-hook of Mawe. Some say that the fish-hook was his own ear-bone; some that it was the jaw-bone
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of one of his children; for this Mawe bore the character of being a cruel father, who ate his own children, and only saved the eyes of his eldest son. These he placed in the sky for stars. One of them was the bright pole-star, the other an evening star. Mawe, as he walked on the land, wondering at all he saw, by some means contrived to make a flame. How he did this we are not told; but he thought the tongue of fire a very beautiful sight. He knew very little of the things of earth, having lived so much among the stars, so he took the burning substance in his hands, that he might examine it a little closer. The sharp pain of burning made him start. He flung the flaming substance from him, with great violence, into the sea, and there it formed a little spouting and
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hissing volcanic island, which often threw out streams of red burning lava into the deep below. When Mawe had done all these wonders his right eye became the sun, and travelled, shining and burning, over the whole arch of the sky by day; and the right eye of Mawe's brother, Foaki, which was not quite so bright, became the moon, and mildly looked down on the calm or ruffled ocean, or rose broadly over it in the shade of night.
"Thus Mawe, though he never comes down to make flax ropes, or to see how the people behave in his own island, yet can watch them with his eye; and the New Zealanders think he has something to do in keeping the winds and waves in order, or in lashing them into a storm. As the eye of Mawe looked down on the island he had fished up, he saw the rivers and
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the forests, the hills and the valleys, of this new land; but he could see no human being there. The wind moaned in the forests, and the birds sang there, but there was no man to listen to them; no one to build a hut, or to float a canoe on the rivers, or to fish by the waters' side.
"One day a very large bird hovered over that part of the ocean bordering on the islands of New Zealand. Its shadow lay. like that of a large cloud on the waters below, as it floated heavily over them. At last it dropped a large egg, and then flapped its broad wings as it flew off, and was never seen again.
"The egg was tossed about for some time by the waves, --swung up to a great height, and then carried down, and thrown hither and thither, and turned over and over; and, as Mawe's eye
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looked upon it, he saw, after a time, a small crack at one end. The crack lengthened; and soon the head of an old man pushed through the opening in the shell. The old man worked his body through, and then cracked away more of the shell. Then he gave his hand to an old woman, who was sitting below in the egg, and they both pulled out a canoe which lay at the bottom of all. They had still more to draw up; for at one end sat a little girl, who had a dog in one hand and a pig in the other! and opposite her sat a little boy, and he, too, had charge of a dog and a pig. After a good deal of splashing, and rocking, and wetting, from the spray, all the party got safely into the canoe, and paddled away quickly to the nearest land. The broken egg-shell sunk to the bottom of the
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waters; and, on the back of a huge wave, through a high, frothing surf, the canoe was landed on the rough shores of New Zealand; and there these people, who lately had but the cramped-up dwelling of an egg, now had the whole arch of the heavens above them, and great plains, and hills, and valleys, and rivers, and the wide ocean around them; and there they lived, and had children's children, until the New Zealanders became many tribes."
This is the legend that the New Zealanders tell of their first parents. The, family that really first lived there were most likely driven out to sea by a stormy wind, as they were employed in fishing. As the strong wind blew them along, they must have had many fears that they should never see land more. They thought, perhaps, that, after a time, their
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little canoe would sink, and that they should all perish; and at last, when they were driven on the shores of New Zealand, they would be very thankful once more to set their foot on land, though far from their home and their friends. They would then set themselves busily to work to build some place of shelter, and to make the new land they had found look something like a home.
These stories that I have been telling you about Mawe and the wonderful egg, please the New Zealanders very much, and they have many more to tell and to hear which have no more truth in them than these. People who have no books delight in hearing stories, whether true or not; and the New Zealanders will gather together, under the shade of their noble trees, and listen to stories such as
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CONVERSION OF THE NATIVES.
these, or to the histories of the wars of their forefathers with their enemies.
In the course of this book I shall have to tell that there have been many ministers of Christ in New Zealand since Captain Cook first went there. They have told of Him who came to bring peace on earth, and good will to men; and who said, "Love your enemies."
They may still sit under the shade of their pine or palm trees, and listen to the stories of the past; hut they will not be content with hearing only fanciful stories, such as that of Mawe, when they can know the true history of the creation of the world, and can learn, from the beautiful Psalms of David, such verses as these: "Whatsoever the Lord pleased that did He in the heaven and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places." "Sing unto the Lord
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with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God. Who covereth the heaven with clouds; who prepareth rain for the earth; who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry."
The New Zealanders thought that a cruel spirit dwelt in the stormy sea when it dashed with a thundering growl against their rocky coasts. The "Atua" (or spirit), they said, "is angry with us." Now they are taught that God "holds the waters in the hollow of His hand, and that He says to the sea, Hitherto shalt thou come and no farther, and here shall the proud waves be stayed." They learn that God is a kind Father, and that if they love and obey Him He will not let any harm come to them; so that they need not
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PROVIDENCE OF GOD.
fear the seas when they are stormy, or the lightnings, or the thunders; for He takes care of His obedient children, just as a good father would.
When a little New Zealand child first comes into the world, if it is summer time, it is carried to the sea-shore, and bathed. There is much more joy and love shown on the birth of a boy than on that of a girl. The friends are called together, and he is shown and admired. If he is the son of a chief, the name chosen for him is sometimes that of the chief of some friendly tribe; and then the chief whose name he bears will send him many gifts in return for the compliment. But a, poor little girl would be despised, and is sometimes even put to death. Her mother might think, "If she grows up, she will be ill-used, and it is better for her to
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die now, while so young, than grow up to learn what it is to live among savage men." But this can only happen where the men are very fierce and tyrannical. There are many kind and gentle in their own families, and among such the little girls are allowed to live and grow up; but, even among these better sort of families there is more pride in the birth of a son, because his father looks forward to the time when he will go out with him to fight against his enemies; and fighting is one of the great employments of savage life. Shortly after the birth of a child its nose is flattened, and a hole is made in the tender lobe of its ear, with a sharp-pointed instrument, and then a piece of stick is put through the hole. Day by day the hole is widened, that, when the young child grows up, he may have a gap
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in his ear wide enough to fix such ornaments as it is customary to wear. I have seen the picture of a chief whose ear-hole was so large, that he could put the neck of a bird through it. He had caught
TATTOOED HEAD OF A CHIEF.
and killed the bird, and then thought that it would make a fine ornament, and
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so stuck it into his ear. Bits of green talc, cut into many fanciful shapes, are also used as ear-ornaments; and, if a man can but get the tooth of a ground shark, which is much more rare than the green talc, he has been known to give a dozen hogs for it, --a dozen useful hogs, which would have made many a dinner for himself and his young ones, for a piece of bone to stick in his ear! It must be painful to squeeze down the nose, and painful to make a wide hole in so tender a part of the ear.
But the New Zealander has something more painful still to bear. It is thought to beautify him more than the flat nose and misshapen ear. It is an operation begun in childhood, and carried on in after life. This is tattooing. The young New Zealanders are brought up to bear
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pain, and they are hardened in many ways. They run about naked, and so get used to heat and cold, that they may be ready for the kind of life they will have to lead as men: for fishing parties, where they may be long without shelter; for piercing into the depths of the thick forests, and being often all night in the open air, with only a rough shed put up for shelter. One would think it was enough to bear all the hardships they must submit to in getting their living and defending themselves from their enemies, without inventing painful ways of ornamenting their persons.
Tattooing is pricking patterns upon the skin with a sharp instrument. These patterns cannot be pricked in all at once, for the pain is very great. The child who has to be tattooed must lay his head
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down upon the lap of the man who is to do it for him. Beside him is a little vessel, containing water blackened with powdered charcoal, and with this the pattern is marked out. It is drawn very carefully and regularly on the face, that
the lines on one side may match the lines on the other side. The child must keep very still all the time that it takes to prick deeply into these lines with a sharp-
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FORTITUDE UNDER PAIN.
pointed instrument. The tattooer next wipes off the blood, and rubs powdered charcoal into the holes that he has made. This sinks deeply into them, and remains there, so that, when all is over, the face may be washed, and washed again; but the dark lines remain there still, and always remain to the end of life. The people try to bear the pain of tattooing bravely. It is right and noble to bear pain well, when the pain is for some good purpose. How it stirs up our hearts, and makes us glad, when we hear of those who have borne great pain out of love to others! We love to read of the martyrs who were slain for the love of Jesus; to think that they would bear to be burnt, or to be torn to pieces by wild beasts, rather than do what Jesus had forbidden; and that, when the Apostles were cruelly
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beaten, they were glad to be allowed to suffer for Christ's sake. All through the Bible, we read of good men suffering bravely for a right purpose. We read that Daniel would rather have been eaten by lions than have left off praying to God; that three Hebrew youths, who had been brought up to serve God, and were afterwards carried away into a heathen country, submitted to be thrown into a fiery furnace rather than fall down before an idol. So when pain is borne for a good purpose we are glad, and rejoice; but we cannot be glad to see people bear pain for such a foolish purpose as these poor savages. It is displeasing to God, that people should put themselves to bodily pain, if it is not necessary. We might be sure of this, if there were no direct command about it;
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but He has not left us in doubt of His will on this point. When God chose out the nation of the world to be His own people, He said, "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you" (Lev. xix. 28); for, besides these printed marks on the face and body, called tattooing, it has been the custom among heathen people to cut and injure their bodies when they are in sorrow. The New Zealanders do just as those riotous worshippers of the idol Baal did. When they are in grief, they dance, and cut themselves with sharp stones, at feasts, for the dead. The worshippers of Baal, of whom you have read in the Bible, hurt themselves in this way, thinking to please their god; and, for all the pain and anguish they went through, they could get no answer from him, for
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he was really only a dead block of wood or stone, and could not hear or see them; and so the great prophet, Elijah, knew. He knew that the only Lord God of heaven and earth was not to be pleased by frantic dances, and loud cries, and torn and bleeding flesh; so Elijah knelt down quietly and reverently, and spoke a few calm words to the only true God who had made that mountain on which he knelt, and the sky above his head, and whose eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. You can read the wonderful account of the answer of fire God sent from heaven in the Bible. It is written in 1 Kings xviii.
The women of New Zealand are not nearly so much marked by tattooing as the men. By the time the son of a chief is grown to manhood, his face is tattooed
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NEW ZEALAND WOMEN.
all over, and he learns to draw the pattern marked on his face. He practises this.
NEW ZEALAND WOMAN.
sort of drawing on wood, with a bit of charcoal; and, when he can do it perfectly, it is a convenient sign to him. In selling land to Europeans, it is sometimes necessary that he should sign his name; but
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this he cannot do, unless he has been taught.
Many of the New Zealanders, who will consent to buy and sell of the Europeans, will not consent to be taught by them; and, as they have no written language except that which the Europeans have made for them, those who will not learn it, sign their names by drawing the tattooed pattern of their face at the bottom of the written agreement.
FAC-SIMILE of TATTOOED FACE.
How different the education of a savage
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DISTASTE FOR LEARNING.
is to that of a civilized man! The savage has to be hardened in every way. If he is a sickly infant, he must die from the treatment he goes through, for his body must endure cold, and heat, and pain; and he must be early accustomed to long: and dangerous travels in search of food.
His war dances, and his various bodily
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exercises and games, take up his time; and he has little care for stillness and home, except while he eats or sleeps. If a weakly infant struggles through his feeble childhood, and grows up to be a sickly man, he is despised as useless by his hardy neighbours. He has no books, and almost all the quiet employments are left to women. If he has thoughts that are useful, wise, and good, he cannot write them down to guide and instruct others. The savage thinks that if a man has not strength of body, he is useless; but civilized men know that all the great things that have been done in the world have been done by the exercise of the mind. People sitting quite still in their rooms might, by their thoughts, alter the whole condition of the world. They might make some wonderful discovery, and make
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DISTASTE FOE LEARNING.
it known to others, as many have done in past times. There needed no bodily strength, and no practice of athletic exercises, to find out the art of printing, or to discover the wonderful power of steam. Yet how much more has been done by these discoveries than the ablest bodied men, or nation of men, could do without them! So civilized people guard the lives of their young children with tender care, and value the sickly as much as the robust; and, as they grow up, teach them to exercise their minds, by observation md reflection, and sometimes leave the body too much unexercised. It has been found, that the New Zealanders are intelligent, and very ready to learn. It is a difficult thing for grown-up people to begin to learn what you learn when very young, and go on with by slow
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degrees. A man, who has been all his life long employed in hardy exercises, never shutting himself up in a house, except he is quite obliged to do so -- fishing -- managing his canoe -- dealing hard blows to his enemies, working out of doors with his hands; and filling up his time between whiles with dances and games, finds it a wearying thing to sit down for hours, and learn the different forms of small crooked lines, that have no meaning in his eyes. If you are now old enough to read this book yourself, I dare say you have forgotten how troublesome it was to learn to read; but, if you will ask some one to show you a book, written, not in the English language, but in the Hebrew, or Greek, where the letters are differently formed from the English letters, you may judge, in part, how tedious it is
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to the New Zealanders to begin to learn to read. He soon gets weary of sitting still, and thinks learning a dry thing. It is far pleasanter to be taught to work with, his hands than with his head. He has strength to hammer, and to saw, and he likes to be allowed to help in ship-building, and to learn the best way of cultivating the ground; for he has learnt how much better all these things are done by those who have, from time to time, visited his country in ships from afar.
A very good and kind English clergyman, who lived in New South Wales, was the first who found out how willing the New Zealanders are to learn, and who thought of taking the trouble to have them instructed. This was in the year 1814, and the name of the clergyman was Marsden. He was a chaplain in
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New South Wales. Look on a map of the world, and you will see that this country is the nearest main-land to New Zealand. Vessels coming from Europe, after touching at New Zealand, often go on to New South Wales. So it happened, in the year 1814, some chiefs of New Zealand thought they should like to see some other land besides their own; and, though they had never sailed before out of sight of their own coasts, three of them took courage to go away with the white captain in his "big canoe."
They were fine intelligent men, full of curiosity to learn as much as they could in their travels. At Paramatta Mr. Marsden saw them. He had never seen New Zealanders; and perhaps he had thought they might be like the native race of black men in the country where
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NATIVES BROUGHT TO ENGLAND.
he was stationed, who are a very indolent, stupid, and degraded people, who have never wished to be instructed or made better. When he saw men who were eager to learn, and who wished to examine all that was new to them, and when he heard from the captain that their countrymen were like them, he at once felt how sad it was that such a race of men should be left without any instruction in the way to heaven. Since Captain Cook's first visit, many European vessels had visited their islands, and plants and animals which the New Zealanders had never seen had been introduced there; but the good word of God had never been taught them, --no ministers of Christ had been sent them from Christian countries.
Mr. Marsden determined that, while
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he lived, he would do all he could to make others feel the same compassion for these neglected people that he felt. He wrote letters to England about them, and persuaded the Church Missionary Society to send out fit men to instruct them; and he was listened to.
Several English clergymen set out to live among them, and spend their lives in teaching them the Christian faith, and tried to win them to love God and His word, by showing kindness to them. They would help them in their labours, and go with them to their fields, to show them the best way of sowing their wheat; and then they would tell them of the civilized world from which they had come, true stories that sounded more strange and wonderful to these heathens than any of their own wild tales. They could not
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PROGRESS OF THE GOSPEL.
make them understand anything at first, until they had, by taking a great deal of trouble, learnt these people's language; and then they wrote down all the words they understood, spelling them as nearly like the sound as they were able.
Mr. Marsden sometimes visited New Zealand, but he could not live there. He soon thought of a plan by which he could do them good without leaving New South Wales. He said that, whoever among the New Zealand chiefs, or their sons, or any of their people, were pleased to do so, might come over the sea to him in New South Wales. Very near his own home, he established a school, where they might be taught useful things. From time to time many went over to this school; and, while they were learning how to plant, and to build, and to practise such arts as
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would make them more comfortable in their own country when they went back, Mr. Marsden would take pains that they should learn to give up their foolish and sinful ways, and to turn to God, and love and obey Him, and to follow the example of their blessed Lord and Saviour. Some of the scholars at Paramatta died; perhaps their new employments did not suit them so well as their more free life at home.
After a time, several New Zealanders were brought to England, that they might see more than they could do in New South Wales of what can be done by man when he is peaceful and industrious.
I dare say you have heard of savage Indians who have been brought to our country lately. They came from the distant tribes of Western America, not that
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they might be instructed in what is right and good, but to be made a show of, and to gain money by exhibiting the foolish and wicked custom which they have of working themselves up to fury by passionate, screaming songs, and wild dances. The New Zealanders who came over were not used in this way: they were sent back wiser than they came. Stories are told of the wonder they felt at the many new and strange things they saw. When first they saw a watch they thought it was alive, and pinched and hit it to see if it would cry out. They pulled one that was given them to pieces, in their curiosity to see how it was made. One of them, whose name was Tooi, was taken into Shropshire, to see the iron-works there. He had never known that hard and solid lumps of iron could be melted by
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great heat; and, after he had seen the glowing stream of fluid metal, he said, "I saw with my own eye iron run like water: my countrymen no believe, suppose I tell them."
Since 1814, when the Church Missionary Society listened to Mr. Marsden, and sent out some of the clergy of England, thirty years have passed, and God has given to His servants good success; "the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and on those who sat in the shadow of death has the light shined." Several years ago, one of the chiefs called some of his people about him to make a speech to them. Many times, in his younger days, he had fiercely called on them to fight, and had loved to hear and tell of war and bloodshed; but now he wished to tell his thoughts about the
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missionaries and he said, "What are these missionaries come to dwell with us for? They are come to break our clubs, md to establish peace here. They are come to break in two our clubs--to blunt the points of our spears--to draw the bullets from our muskets, and to make this tribe and that tribe love one another, and sit as brothers and friends. Then let us give our hearts to listening, and we shall dwell in peace." Some of the people wrote letters to Mr. Yate, one of the missionaries. You will like to read one of these letters, and I will set it down for you here.
One of them wrote: --"We native men all knew, before you came to our land, that the spirit lives after the body is dead; but our thoughts and our words were not straight about it. I will say
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what my thoughts now are. If I believe on Jesus Christ, and lean on Him, and then do His bidding, my spirit will not be driven into darkness at last. But, if I believe jokingly, and my belief does not make me do the bidding of Jesus Christ, then, I think, I shall not see God. I shall be full of fear to look at Him, and no joy will ever come to my heart. This is my thought about the last."
This letter was written some years ago. The New Zealanders in their heathen state had many employments, though these were often sadly interrupted by the wars, which every child was prepared for, and taught to expect.
The families of New Zealand, instead of being united, and having one king to rule over all, are divided into tribes. Some tribes are very friendly towards one
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another; some are always ready to quarrel and fight. The chief of each tribe is, generally, the finest and strongest man among them. He is able to lead them out to battle, and, in time of peace, he cannot pass a life of indolence. He must be foremost in every work.
Some of the South Sea Islanders are indolent; but the climate of New Zealand is much like that of England in summer and exercise is agreeable, and comfortable clothing is wanted, and the people have found the pleasure of industry. They are not satisfied to live all their lives, without clothes, as some savages do, and they want houses to live in, and canoes to sail in, and nets to catch their fish; and many necessary contrivances for cooking and other uses. When men and women are industrious, they will work hard to
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make their useful things ornamental. They look round them, on God's works, and see how much He has done to please the eye, in the glorious colours of the light, in the tints of flowers, in the shape of leaves and blossoms, and in the numberless beauties of this earth; and in some poor way they try to imitate what they see. It is but very feebly that the hand of man can imitate the wonderful works of God.
If men in civilized life cannot do very great things in producing beauty, you may think that the half savage New Zealander's attempt at ornament would often fail. And so it is. Indeed, some of their work is very much like what we should call child's play. You see a little child tie all the gay shreds of silk, or ribbon, about its doll, and think it has made it very fine;
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and grown-up men and women in New Zealand think it pretty to adorn themselves in much the same way. They have found out how to make a few dyes, red, black, and yellow, and use them in staining the strong flax, of which their garments are almost all made. They stick feathers in their heads, and make fringes of the dyed flax, for the borders of their dress. The prettiest decoration that I have heard of among them, is the dressing up their canoes on gala days. They fasten the feathers of birds all along the sides, as well as at the stem and stern. As these light long vessels cut swiftly through the waves, while the sun is shining, and the wind blowing, the gaily coloured feathers on their sides might make one fancy that they had the plumage of a strong winged sea bird. The chiefs stand up in the
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canoes, shouting and waving to the rowers, to excite them to use their utmost exertion,
NEW ZEALAND CANOE.
or they sing one part of a song, and the rowers take up the chorus, keeping time to their voices, by the regular stroke of their paddles on the water. The feathers must soon spoil, when they have had the
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sea spray over them several times. They would have, to be torn off, and renewed every time it was necessary to make a gay show. They are not the only ornaments for canoes.
A more durable kind of decoration is carving patterns on the most conspicuous parts, and the best paddles are often richly carved. Carved work comes in also to ornament parts of the houses, the tops of the windows, and door frames. In times long past, before people from our parts of the world had found out New Zealand, the natives tell of vessels then in use of a very simple kind, which it required little labour and no instruments to make. A native man was standing oh the bank of a river one day, and wishing he could cross. He was a good swimmer, but he thought the river too wide to swim
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over. Some long rushes grew at its side, very near him; he sat down on the hank, and idly pulled some of them, and twisted them together; all at once the thought struck him, that if he were to tie a large bundle of them together, they would float on the water; and then he went on to consider: "If I were to sit across them I might work myself over, and see those wide plains and tall forest trees on the other side." He soon collected a large heap, and bound them together in a bundle, and, sitting on them, he pushed himself off from the bank where they grew. Then he paddled himself along with his hands, and, after a time, reached the other side. It was much less tiring to work over a stream in this way than to swim, and it soon became the custom to ride over the waters on a bundle of rushes.
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The same thought had struck people in quite another part of the world: we hear of the Egyptians crossing the water of their great river Nile in the same way! The New Zealanders soon improved on their first method. They thought of forming their rushes into a better shape than the first bundles, and leaving a space inside that would do to sit in, so as to make a kind of rush canoe. These little boats did very well for a short time; the shining surface of the rushes kept the water out for a while; but when once they were thoroughly soaked, they were good for nothing. I dare say the first wooden canoes were unshapely and awkward; but by much patient labour, they at last learnt to form them very beautifully, with sharp pointed ends, and the ornamental carving you have heard of.
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Among all the forest trees that grow round about the New Zealand villages, (or Pas, as they call them in their own language) these people found out the kind most suitable for making paddles. (A paddle is a kind of oar with which the canoes are worked along in the water.) The strongest wood, that was at the same time the most elastic or bendable, would be more suitable for this purpose than any other. If the wood was stiff and brittle, it would be soon broken by the strong power of the waves.
There is a tree in New Zealand something like an ash-tree, but far prettier; for it bears a pink and white flower with a most sweet scent. This is the tree the wood of which is best adapted for paddles. It could be cut quite thin, so as to be light, and not tiring to the arm, and it would
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bend with the action of the water, and then spring back as straight as before. The sails to these canoes were but poor contrivances, as you may think sails made of bulrushes tacked together would be. A better kind of sail was then made of plaited flax; but these were heavy when compared with such sails as you have seen in English ships or boats.
Before iron instruments were carried to New Zealand, it was a very tedious business to make a canoe. How could a tree be felled, and planks cut, without axes, and hatchets, and saws? Even with their sharpened edges it requires hard labour to make ready the wood necessary for shipbuilding. Can you think how it would be possible to fell a tree where there were none of these sharp-edged instruments to be had? The way they managed was, to
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burn the tree all round the bottom of the trunk. They set fire to some bushes round, and, while these were crackling and blazing, they collected sticks and such bushes as they could pull up, and they kept this fire burning all round the trunk of the tree until it had burnt deep into the middle of it, and you know that burnt wood is easily broken; so, when the fire had gone deep enough, they could break the tree down. The only cutting instruments were stone axes and adzes, and some smaller tools made either of stones
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or shells. Those that had the sharpest edges were chosen. Then, again, burning deep into the tree as it lay flat upon the ground, was the only way that could be thought of by which the inside of the canoe was scooped out.
The burnt wood was chopped away with the stone adzes, and when it had been formed into a pretty good shape, the fanciful devices were carved upon it. By the time the tree had been felled, the canoe scooped out, and carved and stained with red and yellow ochre, in patterns, along the sides, and furnished with paddles for common use, and with a pair of very richly carved ones for great days, and provided with ropes, and a baler to empty-out the water when it dashed over the sides, it had employed many men in carpentering, flax-dressing, painting or
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staining, sail-making, and carving. Women had helped in some of the work. This busy employment of the hands among a people so much given to fighting, keeps all out of mischief for a while. By teaching them to do many more things than they have yet learnt, they will become more peaceable; for after making pretty and useful things, they will take care not to have them destroyed. Those missionaries who are doing all they can to improve the New Zealanders, are glad to see them try to learn what are called the arts of peace, that is, the useful trades which fill up the time of civilized people. They know that, by the blessing of God, their habits of industry will gradually lead to better things; that they will be more ready to listen to the ministers of Him who is called the Prince of Peace, when
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they have learned to hate war, and to work with and for one another in friendliness. The commonest huts of the New Zealanders are so small and close, that we wonder how people, used all day to breathe so much of the free air, can consent to live in them. They are so low, often, that a tall man could not stand upright in them, and have a very small hole as an entrance, through which the people must creep in like snakes. In most of them there are neither windows nor chimneys, and the smoke from the fire which blazes inside, curls up in the one apartment of this large kennel. The black soot falls on the dark faces and limbs of these dusky men and women, and darkens them still more. It is a simple process to build a hut. There are no bricks to prepare--no mortar
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to make--no scaffold to put up--no planks to saw--no stone-cutting. All that is to be done, is to collect a large quantity of strong sticks, some of them very stout and thick, some thin and pliable; to fix the strongest stakes firmly into the ground, and to bend the thinner ones in the form of an arch; and when this framework of wood has been made, to thatch it thickly over with rushes, and with the long leaves of the spear grass; to see that this covering is made firm, and the rushes are laid thickly over one another, and no gaps left through which the rain might drip. One end of the floor is divided into compartments by sticking up the old boards of worn-out canoes, so as to divide off as many sleeping-places as the family need; and it often happens that the pigs
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are allowed to creep in at the narrow entrance, and take shelter with their masters in these wretched huts, which are, indeed, much better fitted for pigsties than human abodes. From early habit, the New Zealanders are contented with their dwellings, and they can live in the heat and thick smoke, and close smell. If you, who have been accustomed to a house so differently made, were to go into one of them for ten minutes, you would be glad to crawl out as quickly as possible, and would much rather spend the night in the kind of shed which native travellers often put up for shelter when they are far from home, and have not time to build a hut. In such a case, they find out which way the wind blows, and defend themselves from it by fastening a few bushes (torn up for
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the purpose) to the stumps of two or three trees growing near one another; or they make a tent-shaped shed with stakes and bushes; and, wrapping themselves in a thick mat, lie down to sleep.
NEW ZEALAND HUT.
It must be curious to see a whole village of New Zealand huts, looking much like haystacks; the people crawling
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out, one by one, in the morning, to go to their work. If it is the season for planting, they rise very early in the morning, before the sun is up, while the shadows of the twilight still darken the forests and plains, and go, in a cheerful company, to plant potatoes, and kumeras, and other good and wholesome vegetables.
You would see, also, in a New Zealand village other curious things. The huts do only to sleep and spend the evenings in, or to huddle together in on a rainy day. There is nothing attractive about them that should lead the people to wish to sit there if the weather was fine without; and then, having no windows, they are so dark, that, by the glimmering, or even blazing, fire-light, nothing could be well done. These are not their best buildings. There is one building in each village
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much larger and better than the huts. This best house in the village is one in which all can meet together to talk.
In building it a framework of sticks is set up with much more care than for the common huts. Then the leaves, and rushes, and reeds, are collected. Only such leaves are used as are tough when dry. You know that some leaves when they dry become very brittle, and soon crumble. If these were mixed in making a house, it would let in water; but, by choosing the most durable to fill up all the spaces between the framework, a thick defence is made against the weather.
Bulrushes and reeds grow very strong by the rivers' sides in New Zealand, and come to a much larger size than they would in a cold climate. There are many different shades of colour in the leaves,
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NEW ZEALAND VILLAGE.
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rushes, and reeds, with which the houses are built, and, in interlacing them between the wood-work of the building, some taste is exercised to arrange the colours so as to form pretty patterns, and the ends are fastened neatly in. The window and door-frames are ornamented with carved wood. Carving wood was a very tedious process in New Zealand. In our country a carver in wood is supplied with sharp and conveniently shaped tools, and, with all his advantages, the work is slow and difficult. Think what it must be when the tool is no better than a sharp shell or stone. We only wonder at the patience exercised in this ornamantal art, and can readily believe how gladly the New Zealanders beg or receive presents of sharp-edged steel instruments, for such work as this, or spades and hoes, and other
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useful iron implements, for labour in the fields.
All this trouble in carving is sometimes spent for very little purpose. Instead of taking some of the beautiful leaves or flowers of their country as patterns, and making ornamental borders by copying these, and wreathing them together, they cut out ugly imitations of monsters: shapes something like human beings, but deformed and grotesque. Some have thought that these figures were intended to be worshipped as idols; but travellers, who have lived in New Zealand, find that they are only ornaments. We see in England carved statues set up, and sometimes heads only. How sorry we should be if strangers, who knew nothing of our language, went away, and said that we worshipped images! I should be wrong in
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calling every pattern carved by the New Zealanders ugly. Some are rich and beautiful. It is the heads and figures that they do so ill.
When the outside of the house is finished, the framework put up, the reeds twisted, the thatch laid on, the carved-work set up, one thing remains to be done: this is, to smooth the floor. After making the rough earth as even as they can by such instruments as they have, they beat it flatter still with their feet.
This work goes on in a lively manner, for as many people as the house will hold come together for a dance. As most of them are very strong-limbed, and as their dancing is an active exercise, and their feet have become hardened by walking barefoot all their lives, this dance is a very effectual way of beating the floor. A
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village has, then, two kinds of houses, the little low hut, looking almost like a small
NEW ZEALAND STORE.
haystack, and the better kind of house for public purposes. Besides these, it has storehouses and cooking-sheds. The flax, that
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useful plant of which their clothing, sails, and ropes are made, is stored away, and well thatched in, to keep it sheltered from rain, which would spoil it. Vegetables also are put under cover in the same way. Then there are small cooking-sheds; for in the close huts it would be hardly possible to cook the dinner. In most villages may be seen a large box, supported on one or more stout poles driven into the ground, where the treasures these people hold most precious are kept. They could not have had much to store away until Europeans brought curiosities from other lands. The best paddles, the feathers used on gala days, and the choicest clothes, might have been laid up in the village box; but now they have muskets and fowling-pieces, nails, beads, and many other things, to take care of and store
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away. It seems to them that the Europeans must be a wonderful people, to make so many useful and pretty things, and they are ready to give much more than their real value for what is sold to them. I have put nails down among the curiosities: Some new Zealanders were so pleased with finding how useful nails were in fastening together wood-work, and how much trouble in fitting pieces together they would save them, when they built a house, that they could not wait to buy them, but carried away as many as their mouths would hold, without paying for them.
In coming near a village, you would see shelves put up among the branches of the trees that grew round about it. Food is placed on them, to save it from the rats and dogs, for these hungry creatures smell about for all they can get
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and cannot distinguish well between what rightly belongs to them and what belongs to their masters. I do not know how the birds are kept away from these shelves among the trees. They would think that the food had been put there on purpose for them to eat. Perhaps, they peck at it a little, and the New Zealander may be able to afford to let them have a share, though they could not give all up to the voracious rats and dogs.
At the proper time for planting the vegetables, all the families in a village are up before sunrise, and go forth to their labour, with a long day before them. They have but little to eat during the day, and come back nearly famished to their evening meal.
A quiet village employment is, making nets to catch fish. They are very large and long, --some are many thousand feet
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in length, --and are made of the flax that grows so plentifully in New Zealand. All join in making a net, and while the work is going on, it is made tapu, or sacred. One of the rules with regard to the work that is tapued, or made sacred, is, that the hands employed in making it must do no other work till the sacred net is finished. As net-making is a long and tedious business, perhaps the work was neglected in former times, and thrown aside, until the tapu was thought of.
The unscraped flax, of which the nets are made, is very strong and difficult to break; and it is not till after long use, that holes are found in them. When they are worn and broken, net-mending is another employment.
Weaving dresses is a work that goes on in every village, and here, again, flax
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is the material. The dresses, both of men and women, are coarse and strong; they will bear rain, and be as good after a wetting as they were before. In the weaving-sheds stakes are driven into the ground, and the threads of glossy flax, which have first been well cleaned and smoothed by scraping with sharp shells, are fastened to a rough frame on the stakes, and passed in and out, and across one another, until a coarse mat is formed. Any bits of coloured cloth, or wool, that can now be got from the Europeans, are gladly made use of to work in among the silky threads of the white flax. The middle of the mat is generally left plain, and dyed flax, red, yellow, and black, is twisted in and out, in the best patterns they can devise in the border, which is edged with knotted tassels. But the grandest dresses
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are tasselled all over, and by this means are made very weighty. The strong New Zealander, who can go bare-legged and bare-armed, in journeys through forests and over plains, can also bear the weight of his heavily-fringed mat, when, according to the custom of his forefathers, it is necessary that he should appear in full dress. Women do the work of weaving; and while it goes on there is much discussion as to which patterns will look prettiest. They are never in any great hurry to finish a dress; for, when once made, it lasts a long time, and the fashion does not change, so that it may be worn a whole life-time; and when the owner of it dies, it is left to be the dress of a relative or friend. These people have a way of putting on their dress which makes even a square mat a graceful and becoming garment.
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Indeed they manage better with their own dress, and look better in it, than in that which is sold to them by Europeans. When first they got hold of a European dress, they did not know how to wear it. A man would tie a pair of trousers round his neck as a scarf, and wear a shirt for an apron. On the arm of another might be seen a black worsted stocking. Women hung men's clothes about them: they liked checked shirts, and put them on under gowns, and then threw their own mat of native manufacture over all. Gradually they learnt how to wear the clothes as Europeans do, and, though the dress is much less becoming, some of them prefer it to their own. Those who prefer it are such as have been taught good and useful things by Europeans, and have therefore learned to look up to them with
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respect. We like to imitate those whom we respect.
The New Zealanders who have become Christians like to cast away the memory of their old customs, when they did what was wicked because they had been brought up in an evil way. They would gladly get rid of the marks on their faces and bodies done by tattooing, when they know that it is offensive to God. But those marks they cannot wipe away; there the dark lines remain. Whenever they look on themselves they are put in mind, by them, of what they once were. They once thought the painful operation well worth bearing to increase their beauty; now that they know it to be against the will of God, it seems only deformity, and they would gladly submit to greater pain to get rid of it.
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On feast days and high holidays great attention is paid to dress; some of their greatest feasts are in honour of the dead.
It must be very terrible to heathen people to have their friends and relatives removed from them by death. They cannot tell what becomes of their spirits, or whether they shall ever see them again. They show their grief by great violence, stamping and yelling, and tearing their hair, and cutting their flesh till the blood runs down in streams; and then, after all this show of excessive sorrow, they make a great feast, as if they would try to forget their loss in mirth, and noise, and jollity. In dressing for the feast they use paint and feathers. The paint is not just tinted over their cheeks delicately, but an abundant quantity is smeared over the head and body. To make a hasty toilette,
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a man will sometimes plunge his whole head into a calabash of ochre, and come out fiery red. Another, to make variety, will colour one half of his face-yellow and the other half red, with stripes of black, in various patterns, over the yellow and red ground. Then crowns and wreaths of the feathers of the albatross, and other sea-birds, are fastened, both by men and women, into their hair. The scene when one of these great feasts is going on is something like a fair, but much more riotous than any fair you may have seen in England. Savages are accustomed to live so much in the open air, and to use their limbs so actively, and to exert their voices in yelling and shouting, and singing so violently, that they enjoy a tumult and uproar that would weary more civilized people. A traveller, who saw one of these feasts
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going on after the death of a chief, has described it. It was held on a large plain. There were thousands of baskets filled with potatoes, and kumeras (a sweet kind of potato), and water-melons, and turnips, and other vegetables. Long rows of rough sheds, or booths, were set up, to protect the sellers from the weather. Pigs ran about in great multitudes: they were to be prepared, in due time, for food. The clamorous noise of buying and selling went on in the midst of games and dances. Some were wrestling, some boxing, some throwing reeds at a mark, and practising skilful feats of balancing. Here might be seen a man with a long heavy spear balanced on the palm of his hand; another with a pipe balanced on his nose, or a reed on his forehead. When the traveller who tells
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of this feast wrote, Europeans had been for some time settled in different parts of New Zealand; and from them the boys had added some of our games to their own. Some might be seen flying kites in the open plain. All day long the sports, and dances, and games, and buying and selling, went on. No one seemed to grow weary of it; though all were ready for the expected feast, which is not held till evening. Then the pigs, which till then had been enjoying themselves like the rest of the company, were suddenly put to death, and their flesh roasted, broiled, or dressed in other ways. Pork was the only kind of meat to be had; but there was a variety of fish, and vegetables, and fruit; and, altogether, a very plentiful meal was prepared, and then greedily devoured. Often, in the day-time, the noisy mirth
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was exchanged, for a short time, for fits of grievous weeping, and wailing, and lamentation, in remembrance of the dead chief; but it would be hard to say whether there was much real sorrow in these sudden changes from laughter to streaming tears. No doubt there were many who really loved their chief, and had long looked up to him as the father of the tribe; and these would feel his death more when all this unseenly mourning-holiday was passed. When the guests went back to their different pas, and sat together to talk as before, they would bring to mind the various labours, and journeys, and wars, to which their chief had led them out; and, if he had been a brave and kind chief, would grieve that they could never see him more.
In telling of dress, I do not think I
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have yet mentioned a convenient garment used in rainy weather. It is made of rushes roughly put together like a thatch.
A New Zealander may be seen, in a shower of rain, (wrapped in this rush mat,) squatting on the ground, with his knees touching his chin, and so completely covered, that he looks like a haycock. Sometimes a row of men together are sitting in this way till the storm is over. They are quite dry underneath their thatch.
The same thought of making these rush garments as a protection against rain has occurred to other nations. The Chinese have just such a dress for wet weather, and so have the inhabitants of the Azores.
Thus you see that, though the New Zealanders know nothing of the weaving of silk, or the fine weaving of cloth,
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or calico, or muslin, --though they cannot make a variety of ribbons and laces, such as we have so plentifully around us in every town and village in England, yet they are not at all at a loss for dress. They have the roughly-thatched wrappers instead of greatcoats and Macintoshes; robes woven coarsely of flax, with stained borders and fringes of knotted strings, for common wear; for ornament, many gorgeous feathers; and, for precious stones and jewels, the green talc stone and the shark's tooth. With all these materials, they can be as long in decorating themselves, and can admire each other as much when dressed, as any gay ladies in England on a court-day.
A great deal might be told of the cruelty and wickedness of the heathen. It is now, as it was in King David's time;
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"the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty." They give way to their bad passions, and have few restraints put upon them, even when they are little children. It would make you tremble to hear of much that is done, -- much that their own consciences must tell them is very wrong, and much that they have learned to think there is no harm in; though, if they could read God's word, they would see it was against His will. I do not wish to dwell on what is so bad. It is pleasanter to know that God and goodness have not entirely left the hearts of these savages.
Some good points in their character we should do well to imitate. One of these is their hospitality.
When a party of natives, on a fishing excursion, sits down on the bank of a run-
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ning stream to enjoy a meal, any traveller who passes is welcome tohave a share;
and, if they see a traveller, or party of travellers, passing by without joining them, they will go forward, and beg them to refresh themselves before going on their way; the travellers will join them readily,
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and would be glad, in their turn, to supply their entertainers, when they should be without food.
The families who compose one tribe are careful of each other. If some of the children lose their parents, they are watched over by their tribe, and not suffered to want. The fashion of giving presents is very common in all the tribes, among themselves, and between those other tribes with whom they are friendly. Sometimes a person will bestow all he has, in a fit of generosity.
On paying ceremonious visits there is as much pains and care bestowed on the dress as in preparing for feasts. Among the many dances one is called the dance of welcome: it is used by way of giving a joyful reception to friends when they come from a distance. Much time is given to
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practising the various dances. The body is thoroughly exercised in them--every limb is strained with the violent exertion, and so many fatiguing sports have to be learned, besides the active occupations of out-of-door life, that the New Zealanders never take walks for the sake of healthy exercise. When they set forth, it is either to hunt, or to fish, or to plant, or to fell trees, or to fight. When they see the white men who live among them taking long walks to see the country, or for the sake of their health, they cannot understand it. It seems to them a very needless and foolish way of spending time. They never know what it is to want exercise; and such time as they can spare from their business and their sports, they are exceedingly glad to have for rest, and are never weary of sitting or lying idly
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under the shade of the trees that grow round about their villages.
A long time of idleness is a time of enjoyment to a savage: if there is fish enough stored for the winter months, and if the sheds are well filled with vegetables, he can take his ease till the time of planting comes round again, just doing a little now and then, mending nets or canoes.
In his idleness he sings, and he sings also while at work. Singing is as much practised as dancing among the New Zealanders, and the dance seldom goes on without a song. The song is a kind of chant, not very harmonious, and the words are suitable to the various employments or amusements which it enlivens, whether fishing, canoe-making, planting, felling-trees, paddling canoes, dancing a welcome or a death dance. There are triumphant
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and rejoicing songs for victories, or marriages, or births, and sorrowful wailings for the slain. The yell of the war-cry can hardly be called a song; it is too terrific and unmusical to have that name. In time of peace, war adventures are chanted, and a skilful singer will amuse a group, who are eagerly listening round him, with his stories of fights and old victories, suiting the music to the words as he goes on, until he stirs their hearts with savage eagerness to imitate the cruel deeds of their forefathers.
These people are also very clever in imitating sounds: after hearing the noise of European tools, saws, hammers, pickaxes, they soon learnt to make sounds exactly like them; and, after amusing themselves with these separate sounds, all would join to make a chorus like a roar
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of musketry. These new noises pleased them much; before, they had only practised their voices in imitating dogs and pigs, and the notes of some birds. If they were to come into our country, where there is so much machinery, they would have great scope for the exercise of this talent of imitation.
The New Zealanders have never been very skilful in making musical instruments. A rude flute, carved out of the bone of an enemy, is one of their poor attempts at such inventions. They can bring some, sound out of this, but no variety of tones. Another instrument is made of a shell, to which is fixed a wooden mouth-piece.
The religion, or rather superstition, of the heathen, is not a religion that makes them better, more humble, more loving, or more fearful of doing wrong; it gene-
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rally teaches ways of hardening the conscience, and making excuses for sin, and sometimes even it persuades men that they are pleasing their gods when they do what is wicked; yet the belief of the heathen is not all false; there is a little truth mixed up with falsehoods and fancies. The true part among the New Zealanders' religion is their belief in good and bad spirits. Then come the false fancies that these spirits dwell in the shapes of living things--in birds or lizards. In many parts of the heathen world birds are held sacred. Here they think that the spirits of the departed dwell in birds. If any of the numerous clear-voiced little songsters, hovering near a burying-ground, begin piping their musical notes as the natives pass, they hurry by, and speak in a low tone, and tremble for fear.
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They believe, also, that when the substantial portion of a dead warrior rots away, the Wairua, or spirit, hovers round the place where his body lies. It may, perhaps, they say, go into a hog: then the hog is named after the chief, and never can be killed for food. There are sandy tracks in many parts of New Zealand, and high winds often rise and whirl the loose sand into the air, so that it seems almost to meet the clouds. This they think is a crowd of spirits, carried away from earth to heaven. If any meteors, or bright unusual lights, are seen in the sky, they are thought to be spirits driven out of heaven. Rainbows are, with them, the ladders on which the souls of the chiefs may go upwards after death, with greater pomp than their slaves and subjects. Water-spouts are supposed
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to supply the drought of the upper world; and when the sky is ridged all over with small uneven clouds, they think that the inhabitants above are digging their potato' grounds. The New Zealanders fear to climb a mountain alone: all its dark caves and solitary places are, they think, full of spirits, and when they hear the loud waves dashing into hollow places of the cliffs which rise close by the ocean, "That sound," they say, "is the noisy war-council of the gods; they are disputing which tribe deserves the palm of victory." And when the foam and surf froths over the edge of the dark cliffs, "See," they say, "the Atua (or spirit) is angry;" and if a river is heaving with a ground swell, "it is the uneasy ghost of some one once drowned there." These are wild fancies. No wonder they
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fear to be alone by the ocean side, or on the mountain tops, not knowing whether the spirits all round them are friendly or unfriendly; and many are going on in cruel and wicked ways, and they have dark and evil thoughts, and these make them frightened, as the Bible says-- "The wicked fear when no man pursueth; but the righteous are bold as a lion." Those righteous men of old, who had to wander in deserts and in mountains, and to hide in dens and caves of the earth, could not fear; for they knew that God, the Maker of all, was their Friend and Father.
Still it is well that the New Zealanders have some belief in the spiritual world. They are more likely to give heed to truths about spirits than mere stupid worshippers of wood and stone. The minds of people who have been accus-
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tomed to think that the woods and streams, and mountains around them, are watched over and peopled by spirits, are prepared to listen to the truths of the unseen world. They have not known whether those spirits, which they believe are in every bay, and creek, and plain, and hill, of their islands, wished them well or ill, and their fearful hearts have thought that they send disease and death. How much more happy to know that the evil spirits are weaker than the good; that they fly away in fear from the soul who trusts in the help of God! That the strong and good spirits who have never sinned, have it, as one of their duties, to take care of God's children; and that God himself allows His children to come and talk to Him when they will, and to ask Him, for Christ's sake, for
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anything they want, either for their bodies or souls. Instead of thinking that, while the chief's body moulders, his soul is perhaps gone away into some animal, how happy to know that "the souls of the righteous are in the hand of their God, and there shall no torment touch them;" that those who believe in Jesus, and obey Him while they live, shall sleep in Jesus when they die; that the whirlwind is not the departure of vexed spirits, in hurry and fear, but God's wind, which He brings out of His treasures; that the rainbow is set by Him in the clouds to speak of mercy!
All travellers who have written about New Zealand describe the country and climate as very pleasant.
Where people have, for ages, been civilized and industrious--where they
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are constantly turning fresh land to account to make it more useful--dividing it into fields, building cities and towns, and manufactories--cutting it up with railroads and canals--always hard at work to get more comforts and luxuries, and to make everything yield money, -- they gradually spoil much of the beautiful scenery. Every bit of ground, in some parts, is shut in by fences, and there are few wild walks, which all, even the poorest, are free to take; and, in some counties, even the little village greens and commons, where everybody's cow or horse might feed, are seized upon to bring in money for those who are rich enough already. When places are wholly neglected, they often become desolate in their richness. The thickest parts of the forests
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of New Zealand are so dark, and tangled, and matted, as not to show off the beauty of the separate trees, as it would be seen, if there were room to walk round and between them. After journeying on, with great difficulty, through a thick forest, and choosing the clearest part for their footway, and then clearing a passage with hatchets where it was impossible to bend aside the undergrowth, travellers often, in their journey, come to an open space-- a plain, dividing one part of the forest from another. They had passed through the thick-growing trees, whose top branches shut out the bright southern sun, and toiled on, too weary to think much of the scene, when they have come suddenly into an open space, looking like a rich park land. To step out of the dark depth of the shadowy forest into these
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bright green glades, where refreshing water-brooks may be running, sparkling in the glittering sunshine, is quite cheering, after all their weary toil.
Strangers generally travel in company with natives; and in such spots it is customary for the natives to make their encampment. If it is still broad day, they will rest, and eat, and then go forward; but if it is towards evening, they set about forming their little huts or sheds, and lighting large fires, as cheerful company in the night time. There are no wild beasts to fear, no serpents, or dangerous reptiles.
An English traveller, to whom all this was strange, and who had not been accustomed to sleep with so little shelter, might lie long awake, watching the scene around him, and occupying himself with
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many thoughts. His mind would, perhaps, be carried back to the forests of his own country.
The same moon would shine with the same light over English woods and New Zealand forests; but in place of the irregular sturdy-growing British oaks, or fine waving beeches, there would rest on the thick fern or grass shadows cast from the long shafts of palm-trees, and from the thick rich foliage of the many pines. An Englishman would have no home feeling connected with these, but the natives love them, as we do the oak.
Besides, the steady light of the moon, the flickering fire-glow, and the crackling of the wood as it burnt, would be like company to the wakeful traveller; and, as its last embers died out, he might fall asleep till about day-dawn.
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Even on a still night, when no wind was waving the pine-branches, or fluttering in the palm-leaves, his dreams might be broken in upon by one grand sound: it is the dashing of the wild waves into the mouths of some of the rivers. The mass of water, rolling with great force in the wide ocean, comes at last to one of those bars of sand God has placed as a bound that they cannot pass. "Here," says His voice, "shall thy proud waves be stayed." And then do His bidding; for they must do ti, though they dash, and foam, and roar, until their mighty waters are lashed into a high, white surf. The noise of all this is like distant thunder: and it may be heard for full thirty miles on a still night.
The New Zealand forests are some-
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times shaken by storms. First a moaning and low wind sounds; then the thunder growls in the distance, clouds blacken, a few heavy rain-drops fall; then it rages louder and louder, and the wind rends great branches from the trees, and the lightning shivers and scathes some tall pines. A storm like this will sometimes last three whole days; the rain pouring heavily down the whole time, making the little streams overflow, and the mountain torrents rush in muddy streams down the steep cliffs.
The forests then would be impassable, were it not that the roots of the trees make a wooden pavement where they grow thickly together. In other parts, the leafy soil of the forest becomes marshy, and the footing in these boggy parts is dangerous.
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Such slight buildings as the New Zealanders are able to put up cannot resist very high winds. The present Bishop of New Zealand, in taking a journey through part of his diocese, found, in more than one place, that the church had been blown down, and lay in ruins.
It was in 1843, that the first Bishop was sent to New Zealand. There was a time when Mr. Marsden--that good man of whom I have told you--could not get to New Zealand because of the savage ways of the people. When he slept there for the first time, it was with a stone for his pillow, and with the spears of the savages stuck round it, to guard him from those who might have beat out his brains with clubs. Many good men since his time have toiled in these islands, for the love of Christ. There were but
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two or three at first, but they have gone on increasing in number; and now there is a united band, with a bishop at their head, to rule, and direct, and appoint ministers, and find out new stations where hitherto there has been no instruction.
Bishop Selwyn has written frequent accounts to England of all that is now going on in New Zealand.
In a sermon, preached at Paihia, June 6, 1842, he said: "Christ has blessed the work of His ministers in a wonderful manner. We see here a whole nation of Pagans converted to the faith. God has given a new heart and a new spirit to thousands upon thousands of our fellow creatures in this distant quarter of the earth. A few faithful men, by the power of the Spirit of God, have been the instruments of adding another Christian people
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to the family of God. Young men and maidens, old men and children, all with one heart and with one voice praising God; all offering up daily their morning and evening prayers; all searching the Scriptures, to find the way of eternal life; all valuing the Word of God above every other gift; all in a greater or less degree bringing forth, and visibly displaying in their outward lives, some fruits of the influence of the Spirit. Where will you find throughout the Christian world more signal manifestations of the presence of that Spirit, or more living evidences of the kingdom of Christ?"
If you look on the map of New Zealand, you may trace the footsteps of the Bishop on his journey through his diocese. He preferred travelling on foot, and had a horse only once, for a short time, when
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THE BISHOP'S JOURNEY
his foot had become inflamed, from walking on the sandy plains. He carried with him a large tent, which would hold two hundred people, so contrived that it could be used as a church. Where there was no church built, or where the church was very small, and at those places where churches had been blown down, this tent was found to be very useful.
At Nelson, a town at the north of the Southern Island, the Bishop left his tent, that it might be constantly used there, until a large church was built. The town stands on a little plain, shut in by steep mountains one thousand five hundred feet high. Exactly in the middle of the plain there is a mount one hundred feet high. If you were on the top of it, you would see the plain below, and the mountains with their wooded sides seeming to touch
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the sky. The top of this mount was chosen by the Bishop as a fit place for the new church and schools.
We find in our own country, that the old churches were often built on hills, as if in imitation of the spot chosen by God Himself, for His temple of old. "The hill of Zion is a fair place, the joy of the whole earth." There is a little chapel at Nelson, on the slope of a hill, which is used daily for morning and evening devotion. Wherever the Bishop travelled, he found that these now Christian New Zealanders loved to meet together at sunrise and sunset, to seek daily the blessing that God has promised to those who are gathered together in His name.
The Bishop planned several things at Nelson. Families of English settlers are
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THE BISHOP'S JOURNEY.
living there, and all their provisions are brought to them from the country villages round. The natives come flocking to the town with their pigs, and potatoes, and kumeras, and Indian corn. Some come from a distance, and, as they carry heavy loads of their vegetables in baskets, they are weary when they arrive. There is no shelter for them. If it should be wet weather, they cannot go under cover, unless they make for themselves such little sheds as it is the custom of the country to rest under in travelling. The Bishop has appointed that they shall be made more comfortable.
While he was in the town he planned a large inn, or hostelry, for these weary travellers. There they will have room to stow away their goods till they are sold; and it will be divided out for the people
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of the different villages around, that the vegetables brought from one village may not be mixed up with those from another, but that all may be done orderly and comfortably.
This large hostelry is to be built in a crescent form, and "in the centre of the Crescent there is to be a small tank, fed by a stream that comes down from the hills." This is for a bathing-place.
In old times they have been very dirty; and, though they can swim with as much ease as they can run, yet they are not at the trouble to wash thoroughly. They have never known how to make soap; and, as they are very much in the habit of smearing themselves over with red-ochre and oil, it would be hardly possible, even if they wished it, to get properly cleansed from their thick coat of paint
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THE BISHOP'S JOURNEY.
with only a plunge into the rivers or seas.
You will wonder how, in travelling on foot, the Bishop could take about the large church-tent which I mentioned. He had with him a train of native New Zealanders, well accustomed to long journeys on foot. They are what is called a migratory or travelling people. They are not content to live, as some of our English villagers do, on one spot of ground (where their forefathers have also lived) all their lives long. Their goods they can pack up so easily, and carry with them, and their houses and huts (made only of wood, and dry rushes, and leaves) are so easily put up in a new place, that they think it a pleasant variety to abandon one village, and seek out a place at some distance to build a new one. The mis-
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sionaries who first went among them were sometimes disheartened to think that their labour was lost, when, after getting the people of one place to listen to them, and to receive what they had to say, they would all travel off to a far distant part of the country. But a little more experience showed that these travelling habits were useful. Those who carried away with them the love of Christ in their hearts, told the good news where they went, that had filled their own hearts with joy; and Bishop Selwyn tells us, in the journal of his travels, that, in one place where there was no missionary, he found a large company of Christian people who joined together in worshipping God, and who were endeavouring to live in obedience to His will.
The natives had other things to carry
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THE BISHOP'S JOURNEY.
besides the great church tent. They had the Bishop's small tent, where he slept at night, and the air-bed to sleep on, and clothes, and books. Many books there were among the baggage; for in places where the grateful people brought out the best presents they had to give, of the fruit of the ground, the Bishop returned it in what was much better than food for the body--a kind of food that would last when the potatoes and kumeras were all eaten--the Bread of Life; the Word of God. They gladly received these books, printed in their own language, which they now can road.
How often, since then, either alone or in company, their hearts have been refreshed while pondering on the many stories of the Saviour's compassion to the forlorn and diseased, and His kind words
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when He taught in parables! How gladly they exchange their old fanciful stories of falsehood for these words of truth!
As the Bishop travelled, he taught and preached in the language of New Zealand. On the anniversary of his consecration to the bishopric, he halted on his journey. The events he had to look back upon, and "my growing friendship with the natives, who have now heard of me in every part of the country, and welcome me with their characteristic cordiality, all form an inexhaustible subject for thoughts of joy and thanksgiving, which sometimes fill the heart almost to overflowing." , As he passed along, they flocked together from all parts to hear and see him. In some places, even a thousand people were gathered together. All were most Orderly and well conducted, and, during
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THE BISHOP'S JOURNEY.
his whole journey, which took six months, he heard nothing of open wickedness, and fierce savage passions, except in one place. There some dark deed of murder had been done, and there he found that the people, who had once been taught Christianity, had given up all the good they had learnt. Among the reasons given him for this, one was, that some of their children had died, and they thought the Atua, or spirit, had taken this method to punish them for changing their religion.
As the Bishop travelled, spring was coming on, (for October there is springtime,) and all the evergreens were "tipped" with their "fresh foliage." The climate was delightful, and now, as he passed over mountains, through forests, (clearing the way with hatchets,) across
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plains, or by the sea-side, sometimes wading through rivers, and descending steep precipices--where he had to be let down by the cordage of the luggage-- resting for a while in the little native villages, or in the larger towns of the settlers, or quite in the solitary plains--under shady trees, or by the clearest running streams, within sight, sometimes, of a towering snow-capped mountain, eight thousand feet high, 1 sometimes, of long ridges and chains of mountains, 2 he carried with him a heart to rejoice in all God's mighty and beautiful works, and to say over often, to himself, a favourite verse in the Psalms: "The lot is fallen unto me in a fair ground, yea, I have a goodly heritage." Sometimes he was in the midst of natives, all eager that he should
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THE BISHOP'S JOURNEY.
explain to them difficulties in the Scriptures; and, when multitude's came together, too many for the little churches to hold, they would sit down in companies on the grass, and listen to instruction, or join in the worship of God. Old tattooed warriors might be seen, side by side with little boys and girls, learning with the greatest humility.
Once on the journey, the party were overtaken by night. Though they saw thousands of glow-worms sparkling on the ground, their little lamps were not enough to light them on their way. On drawing near to a village, the natives, who were expecting them, rushed out to give them welcome with lighted torches of dry reeds. The men who carried the baggage had lighted, here and there, great bonfires of wood, and by the glow of the bright.
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flames they had been able to find their way.
Where deep rivers have to be crossed, in New Zealand, it is usual to make bridges; but as these people know nothing of the best way to form a bridge, so that the path over these deep waters may be as smooth as a common road, they fell two large trees, and throw them across the river. Thus they can only cross those parts that are narrow: and this makes the journeys often very much longer than they would be if our art of bridge-making were understood. The space between the two trees, as they lie across the water, is filled up with a wattling of brush-wood. In the course of his journey to Nelson, the Bishop halted at many places that lie on the Western side of the Northern Island; and, on his return, he saw the
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THE BISHOP'S JOURNEY.
boiling springs near a pretty inland lake. A green inhabited island, in the midst of this lake, was peopled with friendly Christians, who sent off their canoes for the travellers, and welcomed them with speeches and presents. The most adventurous part of the journey was near the Bay of Plenty, and Poverty Bay, where the road was difficult and unfrequented. Many a happy Sunday was passed in quiet country places, such as this: "A lovely plain, bounded on all sides with wood, except the one where a view opened of a range of distant hills. Below, in a deep valley, flowed the infant Manawatu, in a very winding channel, with precipitous wooded banks, feathering down to the stream. The day, was the perfection of New Zealand weather, which is the perfection of all climates; hot, but rarely sultry;
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bright, but not glaring, from the vivid green with which the earth is generally clothed."
Long ago, Captain Cook's good ship Endeavour was anchored off the shores of Heathen New Zealand, and a poet, 3 who has written of Cook's adventures, supposes that at night he and his fellow-voyagers, Sir Joseph Banks and Dr. Solander, might have been dreaming of all the horrors they knew went on among the savage cannibals near them. "If their dreams were such," he says, "how pleased must have been their waking in the early morn by the sweetest melody of little birds that ever broke the silence of the seas! The ship lay about a quarter of a mile from shore, and the distance and intervening waters made the music
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more harmonious. It was a throng of notes from countless warblers, singing, as it were, in emulation, and the sound was like 'small bells exquisitely tuned,'-- such bells as the voluptuous fancies of the East ring the welcome of the blessed into Paradise. These birds begin to sing about two hours after midnight, and continue their song till sunrise. What fairy land of love and music might not a youthful poet have anticipated, who had heard those songsters while floating on the dark-blue waters to an unknown isle? Unfortunately, our navigators could not forget that they sung to cannibals, -- still, they sang for their own delight, and their Maker's glory, and will sing when every child in that long savage region is taught to lisp its Maker's praise." When this ship lay at anchor, while
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bright sunshine rested on the earth, and sweet melody floated in the air, the people "sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death." Not one among them could send up thanksgiving to the true God, through the One Mediator between God and man. This was in Heathen New Zealand, but now, in Christian New Zealand, with the morning song of birds, there arises to God the voice of praise from man, more precious to Him than the grateful voices of His lower creation. As Bishop Selwyn woke on one of those peaceful Sundays, of which he tells, "when the song of birds was ended, the sound of native voices chanting around our tents, carried on the same tribute of praise and thanksgiving; while audible murmurs on every side brought to our ears the passages of the Bible, which
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others were reading to themselves, "well might he return to his head-quarters at the Waimate, 4 strong in the cheerful hope that these people, for whose souls he must watch as one that has to give an account, would go on walking in "the narrow path that leadeth unto life," and still "showing forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvellous light."
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