PART I. A NEW ZEALAND BOY IN LONDON, 1848-52
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A NEW ZEALAND BOY IN LONDON, 1848-52
VOYAGE TO ENGLAND
HOMEWARD BOUND IN A SMALL BARQUE--I MEET AN OLD FRIEND-- WE RUN INTO A GALE AT CAPE HORN, AND ARE BECALMED IN THE TROPICS--MY FIRST ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE HOMELAND.
We sailed 1 from Sydney in the Penyard Park, a small barque of less than five hundred tons, owned by its skipper, Captain Waller, a fine old seaman who began his life in the Honduras mahogany trade as a cabin boy, and worked himself up to the position he held. His prosperity was short-lived, poor man. The discovery of gold in Australia caused the biggest and swiftest ships to be sent there, and in less than three years Captain Waller was driven out of the wool and passenger trade, and obliged to be content with carrying coals to New Zealand. While doing so he was overtaken one winter by a violent storm, which sent the Penyard Park to the bottom of the
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MY DEBT TO DICKENS
Tasman Sea, and poor old Waller and all his crew were drowned. The vessel was so heavily laden with wool when we embarked that the boat in which we went alongside was only a couple of feet below the level of the deck.
Amongst our fellow passengers were several from New Zealand, including the Rev. William Cotton, 2 who was Headmaster of St. John's College when I was there. He took special interest in my welfare, and throughout the voyage got me into his cabin every morning to receive instruction from himself. When the lessons he set me were done he told me what books I ought to read in my spare time. I shall always be grateful to him for recommending the writings of Charles Dickens, with which I became acquainted for the first time. I read during the voyage Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby, and Barnaby Rudge, the contents of which made me understand, better than I could otherwise have done, the difference between the conditions of life in England and those under which I had been brought up in the Colonies. They explained many things which, without their aid, would have been unintelligible. They awakened a keen interest in all the queer places and queer people described in them, which so excited my curiosity, that from the moment I set forth in London I began to look out for Dickens's typical streets and houses, hoping to meet there some of the odd people who inhabited them. Search was not in vain, for I met two at least of his original characters--one a marine
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SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION OF WOOL SHIPS
store dealer in Clerkenwell, and the other a little woman who used to haunt the Lord Chancellor's Court in Chancery Lane.
Mr. Cotton also taught me to play chess, and made me study Staunton's book on the game, and work out one or two problems from it every day. He liked to watch me playing against some older person, and took such a keen interest in my success that if I happened to make a careless move I felt a smart box on the ear. Knowing it was kindly meant I never resented this mark of his special interest in my game, but took it rather as a compliment that my dear old friend was so jealous of my reputation as a chess player.
Before we left Sydney news arrived of the loss, by fire, of a homeward-bound ship, due to the spontaneous combustion of the wool, which had been shipped in a damp condition. The fears aroused by this piece of intelligence made us all nervous about our own safety, especially when entering our cabins for the first time, we were assailed by a hot, sickening smell of greasy wool. To add to our alarm, just as our anchor was being weighed, a big ship, which a week before left for England, returned with her bows all burnt away, her cargo of wool having caught fire.
Our captain did all he could to allay the passengers' fears, and explained to them the provision he had made for the proper ventilation of the cargo, which lessened the risk of combustion; and we found to our relief, when we got out to sea, that the smell from the cargo became fainter and less disagreeable, and the dread of fire soon ceased to haunt us.
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DANGEROUS WORK NEAR CAPE HORN
Our progress day by day was very slow--not half as fast as a steamer now travels and, as often as not, it was in the wrong direction as we zigzagged across the ocean. Near Cape Horn we encountered a violent gale, which raged for many hours. When at its height the captain decided to heave the ship to. This necessitated the furling of most of the sails, and the sailors were ordered to go aloft and furl them. Beginning with the mainsail, they got out on to the yard, and while resting their stomachs upon it, and pressing their feet against a small rope looped to the yard, they leant over and gathered up the stiff frozen sail, which the wind kept tearing out of their hands. It was most dangerous work, and required the united strength of the whole crew to accomplish. They kept as close together as they could on the yard, about fifteen men on either side of it. After a deal of shouting and noise the sails were securely fastened, and the men came down the frozen rigging, and stood in front of the poop deck, where they got a tot of rum as a reward for their exertions, to warm their half frozen bodies. I handled snow for the first time in my life during this storm, and as the gale abated took part in the snow-balling game which somebody started.
To reach the tropics from Cape Horn we had to sail across the Atlantic till close to Africa, and then to cross again to the coast of America, and again in a north-easterly direction into the tropics. We unfortunately entered by the doldrums, where we were becalmed for a whole fortnight. Not a breath of wind stirred; the sea looked like molten lead silently heaving up and down. My chief
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BECALMED IN THE DOLDRUMS
amusement was fishing up bunches of sea-weed, vast quantities of which were floating around us, being carried eastwards by the Gulf Stream. I found many curious marine creatures amongst the sea-weed, and a few small fishes, which I preserved in spirits.
Amongst the crew we had two Bermudans who delighted in swimming about in the warm water. One was a good diver, and used to jump from the fore yard-arm into the water, and like the Maoris always went feet first. The captain had a large sail let down into the sea on one side of the ship, to form a bath for any of the passengers who wanted a dip in salt water, but as the days passed, some of them grew tired of the monotony, and begged the captain to let them have a boat to go for a pull and a bathe. He was very unwilling to grant their request at first; he said it was a dangerous thing to do, as people in a boat soon lost sight of a ship, owing to the ocean swell, and if a mist came on might never find it again. But at last they persuaded him to let them have one of the life-boats, which they agreed to manage themselves. About eight of the men passengers got into it, and I was the only boy amongst them. As they pulled away I noticed, before we had gone any distance from the ship, that we lost sight of it whenever we went down into the hollow of a roller, and I was very glad when the pulling stopped, and everyone undressed for a plunge into the sea. I was the first to take a header, and found the resistance offered by the water was greater than I had expected or experienced before. My body was no sooner under water than it bobbed up
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INTO THE GULF STREAM
again like a cork, and I noticed the bodies of the men about me were floating higher out of the water than is usual with swimmers near land. I was told that this was due to the greater density of ocean water. While swimming about I lost sight of the ship completely, which brought home to my mind the captain's warning. Terrified by the thought of being lost in the ocean I hurried back to the boat, scrambled in as fast as I could, and did not feel happy in my mind till I was safely on board again.
We were delivered from the doldrums by the Gulf Stream current, which carried us out of the region of calms into the trade winds. Though constant, these winds were very gentle, and every stitch of canvas had to be stretched to get five or six miles an hour out of our old ship. All the yards were lengthened, to which the additional sails called "stunsails" 3 were fastened, and the sailors' work was doubled attending to them. Captain Waller followed the careful practice pursued by the Royal Navy, and always shortened sail at sunset. This was done to ensure the safety of the ship, which might founder if overtaken by a white squall in the darkness. During the daylight approaching squalls could be seen coming, and the sails lowered in time to prevent disaster, but not so at night.
The constant attention given to the sails required the crew to be always running up and down the rigging, and I longed to join them. After getting the captain's permission I followed
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FURLING THE MAIN ROYAL
them aloft one day. I no sooner reached the maintop than I was seized, and tied to the rigging, and kept there for an hour till my "footings" were paid. But after that the crew accepted me as a comrade, allowed me to join them on the yards, and taught me how to furl a sail and to tie a reef knot. Within a few days the captain sent me aloft with one of the crew to furl the main royal, which I did so much to his satisfaction that for the rest of the voyage he allowed me to execute any orders given relating to that sail. Only those who have experienced the sensation can know the delight of leaning over the main royal yard in the balmy air of the tropics, looking down on the rounded white sails filled out by the gentle but steady trade wind, and feeling the ship gliding with hardly any perceptible motion through the surrounding waters.
If I had not retained a vivid recollection of the dangers to which our sailors were exposed while out on the yards during those bitterly cold stormy nights we encountered coming round Cape Horn, I should have formed a very wrong opinion of the sailors' lot, judging of it by the enjoyable time I spent out on the main royal yard while sailing through the tropics.
As we approached the equator I got a bit nervous about what was going to happen to those of us who were crossing for the first time, as I knew that in Neptune's name sailors were accustomed to play strange pranks with newcomers into the realm. The captain told us the day when he should cross, and named twelve as the probable hour. When the time approached he and his
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FATHER NEPTUNE BOARDS US
officers scanned the horizon with spy glasses, looking for "the Line." At last the mate declared that he saw it, and invited the young people to look through his glass, and all who did so certainly saw a line, but it was one he himself had stretched across the lens. Not a few of the grown-up people as well as the children were taken in by this trick. In the midst of the laughter and joking which followed this discovery, loud shouts were heard coming from the sailors' quarters where a welcome was being accorded to Neptune, who had just come on board. He was invited aft by the captain, and came seated on a car drawn by his dressed-up attendants. He welcomed us all to the Equator, and offered, if we paid toll, to forego the washing and shaving of all newcomers amongst the passengers. His terms were accepted, and he returned to the forecastle, where some of the younger members of the crew, and steerage passengers, were subjected to very rough weather, and it was a great relief to them when Neptune took his departure at sunset.
I shall never forget the day we sighted the Scilly pilot boats, and knew that we had reached the mouth of the English Channel, and were near the end of our long voyage. Everything around us became invested with a new interest, as giving evidence of our nearness to the Old Country. The sea had lost its indigo-blue colour, a sure sign of our nearness to land, and instead of being the only vessel to be seen on its surface, there were many like ourselves in sight, homeward bound, the largest being an American liner, whose sails were
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PICKING UP THE PILOT
conspicuous amongst the others from their snowy whiteness, being made of cotton.
I was standing by the captain, looking over the stern at the graceful movements of the beautifully modelled cutters, which were darting about like great sea-birds over the surface of the rough sea, through which the larger vessels were laboriously ploughing their way, when one of them ran close alongside and hailed us:
"Where are you from?"
"Botany Bay," replied the captain, adding: "What is your news?"
The reply came, "Louis Philippe has run away, and Louis Napoleon will be President of the French Republic. Will you take a pilot?"
"Yes, if you can keep up with us till we are off the coast."
The cutter's crew at once began moving about with great alacrity, extra sails were set, and in a few minutes the little craft shot ahead of us, and kept circling round our old tub till she was hove to, and the pilot signalled to come on board. The cutter came within fifty yards of our ship, and sent the pilot in the smallest and roundest boat I had ever seen. He brought with him a sack of potatoes, fresh butter and eggs, but best of all (the grown-up people thought), a bundle of newspapers, which were eagerly read to learn what had happened during the four months they had been cut off from all knowledge of what was going on in the world.
During the night the wind died away, and at dawn it was quite calm as we drifted past the Cornish coast. We passed through a large fleet
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THE WHITE CLIFFS OF OLD ENGLAND
of brown-sailed fishing boats; there seemed to be hundreds of them. Some of them were so close that we could see the fish struggling in the nets as they were being hauled in. We were four or five days going up the Channel, and came to an anchor in the Downs, where I saw at last the "white cliffs of old England," and realized one of the dreams of my life.
We landed in a Deal boat at Ramsgate, 4 and after passing the customs took the train for London, arriving at Shoreditch station at dusk. You can imagine my excited state of feelings on our first day in England, and the sense of joy that thrilled us when we felt firm ground again under our feet after being cooped and tossed about for four months on board ship.
Everything around us was new, and unlike what any of us had ever seen or experienced before. We had never seen a train, or travelled as fast as we did from Ramsgate to London, or seen so much cultivated land, or passed through so many towns and places about which we had read in books, but never expected to see. For a moment our hearts sank within us when the goal of our hopes and expectations was reached, for as we entered the city, offensive smells filled the carriage we were in, and thick smoke veiled everything outside it. "Is London always like this?" we asked in dismay, and were relieved to find that the smoke and smells were confined to a small part of the city where soap and candles were made.
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A NEW CHUM IN LONDON
On our arrival being notified to the Church Missionary Society at Salisbury Square we were directed to our quarters with an old maiden lady in Pentonville, who had a number of invalided missionaries boarding with her. She was quite a Dickens character. A little woman, with a wrinkled face, sharp grey eyes, and prim manner, who could never keep still; dressed in black satin and wearing black net mittens on her hands; she conducted her house like a school, and made rules about everything, which created an unpleasant atmosphere of restraint amongst all, both young and old, who stayed under her roof.
I had not been many hours in England before I discovered that, although free from the noisome pests which annoyed one in Australia, London possessed a peculiar variety of its own in the ubiquitous butcher-boy, who seemed to be the tolerated insulter of everyone he chose to annoy in the street. These fellows instantly recognized a stranger, and at once set to work to make sport of him. When I landed at Ramsgate I was wearing a real cabbage tree hat, which was as highly valued in Australia then as a real Panama is in England now. But my English friends insisted on my wearing a tall silk hat, and procured me one a size too big for me, otherwise, they said, I should soon grow out of it. This not only added to my discomfort, but to the oddity of my appearance, which soon attracted the notice of the licensed street tormentor. I was looking at the contents of a shop window when I felt my shoulder nudged by a butcher-boy's tray full of meat, and
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THE OLD APPLE WOMAN
turning, I saw an impudent face peering into mine, and heard the owner of it asking:
"Who's your hatter?" Another butcher-boy joined him, and added to his impertinent remarks about my hat equally insulting references to my complexion, which had got rather brown on the voyage, and made him think that I must be a mulatto or a foreigner of some sort. To escape these offensive attentions I had to take refuge in a shop. But I was subjected to the same sort of annoyance wherever I went about in the daytime, until I lost my "new chum" look and manner, and could pass muster as a "cockney."
During a stroll I took one morning in the neighbourhood, I passed an apple stall kept by a big fat old woman, who sat under the shelter of a large umbrella. I bought an apple, for which I paid a penny, and passed on. The old body called after me, but I took no notice. Coming towards me was a policeman, who stopped me, and asked whether I got anything at the stall.
"Yes!" I said, "this apple, and paid for it."
"But the old woman," he said, "wants you back, and you had better go."
I did, and asked her indignantly why she had called after me seeing I had paid her all she asked for.
"No," she said, "you did not. How much money had you in your pocket?" "What is that to you?" I said. "Had you any silver?" she asked again. "Yes, I had half-a-crown." "Well," she said, "see if you have got it still." I took all I had out of my pockets; there was
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THE CHARTIST RISING
no half-crown, only coppers. The kind old thing stretched her hand towards me and said:
"There is your half-crown; you gave it to me by mistake for a penny."
I felt very much ashamed of myself, and thanked the honest old soul for being so good as to take the trouble to call me back and restore the money I paid her.
This was not the only instance I met with of honesty amongst the poor of London. I was returning from the city late one night, and when paying the fare, which was sixpence, I gave the conductor a shilling. Instead of giving me back the change, he ran to a street lamp and looked at my coin; then he came back and said, "Do you know you gave me a sovereign? I could tell it was gold by the feeling." The temptation to profit by my mistake must have been very great to such a poorly paid man, and his honesty is deserving of record and remembrance.
We had not been many weeks in England before we heard that the Chartists were going to follow the continental example, and create a revolution, and that the Duke of Wellington was filling London with soldiers to protect the city. Special constables were sworn in to help the troops, and a boy in our house, sixteen years of age, was allowed to join them. I envied him going out every evening armed with a "waddy," to be drilled, but as I was only thirteen my services were rejected. The day the Chartists marched into the city everybody looked very grave, for they expected much fighting and bloodshed would take place. I listened in vain all day for the sound of firing, and
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SENTRIES AT THE BANK OF ENGLAND
it was not till my boy-constable friend got back at night that I heard why no guns were fired. The police had been told to stop the procession, and not to use anything but their wooden staves to strike the people with. These orders were so well carried out that there was no need to employ the soldiers who were in the Churches close by and in the Royal Exchange waiting to be called.
My friend said it was great fun helping the police to bash in every bell-topper hat, and drive it down if possible on to the wearer's shoulders, which made him powerless for harm doing. When the Chartists found that they could not get past the police they gave up trying to do so, and dispersed. The leaders were all caught and imprisoned, and the risk of revolution was at an end. I went into the city the next day to see the damage that had been done, and noticed a specially big hole through a very large plate glass window in E. Moses and Son's shop in the Minories, valued at hundreds of pounds sterling. Sand-bags were piled all round the tops of the outer wall of the Bank of England, and sentries were pacing backwards and forwards behind the shelter of them.
I shall always cherish grateful recollections of the Islington clergy, to whose friendship and kindly intercourse it was due that we so soon felt at home in England. The Vicar, the Rev. Daniel Wilson, and his family, were particularly kind, and it was at his house that I first came into contact with an indoor servant, and narrowly escaped addressing him as one of the company, which would ever after have been a standing joke against
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A BLESSING INVOKED UPON ME
My dear mother was invited to meet the Rev. Edward Bickersteth, 5 Rector of Watton, who was a distinguished member of the Church Missionary Committee, and one of those who had taken part in the farewell service held when she and my father left for New Zealand in 1834, and it was by his request that I accompanied my mother. The chief guest of the evening was a very venerable-looking little gentleman with snowy white hair, and refined features, whom I looked at with a great interest as one whose name I had been familiar with all my life, and taught to regard as one of the greatest and best of living men. 6 I felt highly gratified when towards the close of the evening he crossed the room to where I was standing, and spoke to me in a kindly way about my poor father, for whom he expressed the highest esteem, and concluded by putting both his venerable hands upon my head and invoking God's blessing upon me, a blessing which I have good reason to know was granted.
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MY LIFE IN LONDON
EPPING FOREST IN WINTER--I VISIT A "SPORTING CLUB" IN LEICESTER SQUARE, MEET THE GREENWICH PENSIONERS, AND SEE THE LORD MAYOR'S SHOW.
I AM now going to tell you what happened to me in England during the four years I spent there after our arrival in 1848. I passed through so many strange and varied experiences during that short space of time that I have often wondered since how they were all crowded into it. Events followed one another in such succession, and my surroundings were so often changed that my life was full of interest, and I was learning something new every day. In this way, unknown to myself, an over-ruling Providence was supplementing the deficiencies of my early education in the wilds of New Zealand, and fitting me for the work God meant me to do there when I grew up.
Our first permanent home in England was in a quiet street off the Lower Road in Islington, where we occupied a small eight-roomed house, with a quarter-acre of garden behind it.
The Committee of the Church Missionary Society, who provided for all our wants, recommended that I should be sent at once to a commercial school established in the neighbourhood, and there be prepared to earn my own living when their allowance for my education ceased, which would happen in twelve months. The school to which I went was only commercial in name, for more attention was paid to teaching Latin and
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EPPING FOREST IN WINTER TIME
French and mathematics than to book-keeping and penmanship. I was no better qualified for commercial pursuits when I left the school than when I entered it. I do not look back with any pleasure to the time I spent there. I disliked the school, and everything belonging to it.
I had nothing in common with any of the boys, except one named Perry, who became my fast friend. He was three years my senior, but sought my companionship because I knew so much more than he did about seafaring life and strange lands on the other side of the world. He shared, too, my fondness for walking and boating, and we spent most of our holidays together, either on the River Lea or in Epping Forest. I remember in particular one walk we took together through Epping Forest in winter time, after a very heavy fall of snow, which covered the ground to a depth of four inches. I had never before seen a snow-covered landscape, and the novelty of it delighted me. Walking over the hard frozen snow was very exhilarating exercise, and I can recall how hungry I got, and how welcome the sight of the Eagle Tavern was as we approached it, and how thoroughly I enjoyed our simple lunch there of bread and cheese and spiced ale. But what seemed so strange was to find a forest with no undergrowth, and every tree leafless, and all the trees so short. The forests I was familiar with in New Zealand consisted of large, tall trees, ranging from eighty to a hundred feet in height, and surrounded by a dense undergrowth presenting every variety of evergreen foliage.
But though lacking the beauty and grandeur
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OAK AND KAURI FOR THE NAVY
of the New Zealand forests, Epping Forest possessed a special beauty of its own, in the conditions under which I saw it, and a special interest of its own, due to the fact that the trees I saw supplied the Royal Navy with the timber required to build the "wooden walls of old England." I reminded Perry that the oaks we were looking at only supplied materials for the hulls of the war-ships-- that the spars and masts, and decking, were obtained from the kauri forests of New Zealand.
My next experience with Perry was of a very different kind. He asked me to go with him to a Sporting Club in Leicester Square to see boxing and sword exercise by professionals. I felt rather alarmed when I got to the place, as the Square presented a most disreputable appearance. The centre of it was nothing better than a huge rubbish heap, and the houses on all sides of it were in a more or less dilapidated condition, while the people moving about were shabby and poverty-stricken, and many of them ruffianly looking fellows. I had never expected to see anything so squalid and unsightly so close to Trafalgar Square. I learnt afterwards that the locality was tenanted by foreigners, mostly political refugees from every country in Europe where revolutions were taking place. Whilst some were patriots of high birth and good character, others belonged to the scum of the criminal population of the Continent. Having seen the place once I never cared to go there again.
The "Sporting Club" hall, when we got into it, proved to be clean and well kept, and the audience orderly and well behaved. The perform-
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A SPORTING CLUB IN LEICESTER SQUARE
ance began with a glove boxing match between two prize-fighters, "Snowball," a negro, and the "Whitechapel" something or other. The skill they displayed in defence and attack was most interesting to watch, and there was nothing about it that the most fastidious could object to. No blood was drawn, though the blows were often very hard. "Snowball" might with more propriety have been dubbed "Rubber Ball," for he bounced about the stage like an acrobat. After an hour's sparring the match was declared drawn. Then followed a display of "single stick" exercises, and after that two Frenchmen gave an exhibition of their fencing skill with rapiers, which was most exciting to watch. That was followed by a display of the use of the sabre, given by a tall powerful Life-Guardsman, who wound up by cutting a huge sheep in two, with one blow from his sabre. This feat made me understand in after years how Scarlett's 7 Brigade did such execution at the battle of Inkerman when they charged and cut their way through ten thousand Russians who. standing together in close array, opposed them.
The boxing I saw helped me in subsequent days to understand why British people thought so highly of the part played by Tom Sayers 8 in his great fight with Heenan.
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THE POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTION
As my poor father had to undergo special treatment for his maladies in a private hospital, he was never much with us during our first two years in England. 9 Everything relating to the management of our home fell upon our dear mother. Perhaps it was well for us children that it was so because, for her sake, people took far more interest in us than they otherwise would have done. Her beauty and engaging personality, and romantic experiences amongst the cannibals of New Zealand, coupled with the sad circumstances under which she had returned to England, excited feelings of the deepest sympathy in everyone, which found practical expression in acts of kindness and attention to herself and her children.
Amongst the first of the clergy to befriend us was Mr. Hill, the incumbent of the church in our neighbourhood, where we took sittings. We were introduced to him by the Vicar of Islington, who, although we were living outside the mother parish, continued to treat us with the same kindness with which he met us on our first arrival in England. I shall always head the list of my English clerical friends with the honoured name of Daniel Wilson, 10 Vicar of Islington.
To Mr. Hill I feel deeply indebted for making me acquainted with the Polytechnic Institution, to which he sent me in company with his son, a Harrow boy, with whom he had asked me to spend
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THE DISCOVERER OF "PEPPER'S GHOST"
the day. I found it to be just the place I was longing for. Professor Pepper, 11 who is better known to the present generation as the discoverer of "Pepper's Ghost" than as a clever lecturer on scientific subjects, was the Director of the Institution. He was a born teacher, who delighted in imparting knowledge, and never wearied of answering intelligent questions. His special subjects were Optics, Acoustics, Mechanics, and Electricity, which he explained and illustrated by numberless experiments. One related to the then recent discovery of a method for transmitting messages by electricity. It seems almost incredible, now the world is encircled many times round by electric cables, and every city in every country in the world linked together by electric wires, that at the time I heard Dr. Pepper lecture on the Morse system in 1849, the longest line of communication in existence outside England was the one across the isthmus of Suez, a distance of sixty miles.
* * *
Our dear mother loved the country as much as we children did and often took us into the parks near London for picnics in summer time. Greenwich Park we liked to go to best, because it possessed so many attractions; for besides the Park and the Royal Observatory there was the Hospital and its interesting inmates to be seen.
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WE VISIT GREENWICH HOSPITAL
The steamer trip from London Bridge was always a source of intense interest to us. The wharves all down the riverside were lined with sailing vessels of every size and description, and the surface of the water was alive with boats and barges. Watermen's boats were crossing and re-crossing, carrying passengers from shore to shore, for there were no bridges then below London Bridge, and the Tunnel was seldom used, as people rather feared crossing by it under the river. When passing Deptford a vessel was pointed out to us as one in which Captain Cook sailed round the world; it was either the Resolution or the Discovery. 12 We young New Zealanders gazed at it with something approaching to reverential awe, as something sacred, and felt rather shocked to find it cast out of the Royal Navy and degraded to the rank of an ordinary collier.
In the Park we everywhere met pensioners going about in their old-fashioned uniforms and three-cornered hats. Many of them had lost a leg, or an arm, or an eye, and nothing pleased them more than to be asked to tell the story of the battle in which they were wounded. They loved to talk of Nelson and other great admirals under whom they served. Our dear mother, knowing their weakness for tobacco, always took some with her to reward the old fellows who told us their stories. We were much surprised to see how easily old men who had lost both legs could stump about the paths without any assistance.
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AND MEET SOME OF NELSON'S SEA DOGS
Having heard so much from my father of his own experiences as a boy on board a man-of-war in wartime, I took a very special interest in the sayings and doings of the old sailors, and in the fine buildings in which they were housed. The old men liked showing us over their cabins, which were kept very neat. They were formed by erecting low partitions, a few feet apart, all over the floors of the large rooms, of what was once a royal palace. The type of face of the old pensioners was quite unlike that of the modern man-of-war's man. The faces were fleshy and rubicund, and the nose large at the tip and red, and the veins swollen. This was not altogether due to exposure to rough weather which they had so often to face when working aloft, but rather to the daily ration of rum they consumed, and to the wild orgies they too often indulged in during their shore leave. Their taste in the matter of tobacco was quite different from that of modern sailors; nothing but the strongest "negrohead" found favour with them, a "quid" of it was always in their mouths except at meal times. A cigarette, or even a wooden pipe, was beneath their manhood; they would have expressed contempt for any sailor who smoked them.
How little any of us imagined in 1849 when we used to look across the river at the swampy Isle of Dogs that the youngest of us in years to come, when the Isle had become densely peopled with working men, was to make a name for himself amongst them as a faithful parish priest, and how little I foresaw that in 34 years' time I should be standing beside him and another clergyman
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THE LORD MAYOR'S SHOW
brother, on the river-bank opposite Greenwich, recalling to them our first visits to the Park and Hospital.
One of our greatest street discomforts was caused by the continual passing to and fro of mobs of sheep and cattle along the lower roads, on their way to the great cattle market situated not far from where we lived. Sometimes the animals got so frightened by the strangeness of their surroundings, and the cries of the drovers, and the barking of their dogs, that they would dash on to the pavement in amongst the passers-by, who were occasionally severely injured. I heard of one terrified cow rushing through an open door, climbing up a staircase, and getting into a bedroom, from which it was found very difficult to dislodge her.
* * *
My first attempt to see the Lord Mayor's Show was not a success. I got to Ludgate Hill in plenty of time, and secured a good place, as I thought, on the kerb beside a lamp post. Gradually the pavement became covered with people, and then the whole street filled up, and I wondered how the procession was to get past. All at once the crowd rushed to either side, and pressed so close together that no one could move, and the pressure became so great I felt as if the breath was being squeezed out of me. Mounted police were clearing the middle of the street, and forcing the people together. After long waiting a military band went by; then I knew that the procession had begun, but I could see nothing of it, as I was too short
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THE FARMER'S WIFE ON WATERLOO BRIDGE
to look over the shoulders of those who stood in front of me. I saw nothing all the time I stood wedged in the crowd but the back seams of a working man's fustian jacket, pressed unpleasantly near my face.
I made many fruitless attempts to get out of the crowd before I succeeded in slipping into one of the narrow courts leading into the next street. I made my way to Waterloo Bridge, because being a toll bridge I thought only a few people would be there, and was glad to see only one person upon it, a lady who passed me several times, and looked so hard at me that I thought she must know me. While eating my sandwiches in one of the recesses of the parapet the lady came up, and sat down on the same seat, and got into conversation with me. She told me she was a farmer's wife, and had come to London on business, having forgotten that it was Lord Mayor's Day. Finding herself in a crowd, and fearful of getting her pocket picked, she had sought refuge on the bridge. When she saw me first she felt suspicious, and walked quickly towards the toll gate, but after scanning my face she said she lost her fears. I told her what my experience during the morning had been, and that seemed to encourage her to confide still further in me, for she showed me her purse full of sovereigns, and a gold watch, which she said was her husband's wedding gift. I advised her to slip the watch down her neck inside her dress, and on no account to let her purse be seen, as she might still be robbed at the railway station, which was sure to be crowded when she got there. She thanked me, and said she would take my advice.
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I WENT TO SEE A "PUSEYITE"
and we parted quite good friends. I went home feeling gratified that my looks had inspired a perfect stranger with such implicit trust in my honesty.
* * *
Islington was one of the great strongholds of the Evangelical Party in England, and its people were all enthusiastic supporters of the Church Missionary Society. It was there that the college for training the Society's missionaries was situated, and the services rendered to the local clergy by the students helped to propagate and perpetuate the Church views of this particular section of the Church of England, to the exclusion of every other.
The Vicar of the original parish appointed the incumbents of the district parishes formed out of it; and he generally appointed men who had served as curates under him, who were all of his way of thinking. But in spite of his watchfulness a "Puseyite" clergyman had established himself in a corner of the parish, where he had got possession of a disused dissenting chapel. His following, however, was small, and his presence ignored by the bulk of the Church-people, who were all staunch Protestants. I went once to this church out of curiosity, to discover what a Puseyite was like. The only peculiarity I noticed was, that the choir consisted of boys and men who wore surplices, and that unlike our Vicar, Mr. Wilson, who always changed his surplice for a black gown and bands when he ascended the pulpit to preach, the Puseyite wore the same surplice in the pulpit which he wore in the reading desk.
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THE STORM OF CHURCH CONTROVERSY
I knew and cared very little at this time about the different parties within the Church, or amongst dissenters outside it. But I was soon forced to do so by the conduct of the Pope, Pius IX, who had the audacity to appoint rival Bishops in England, and by the action of dissenters, who avowed their intention to disestablish the Church. Fortunately for me the storm of bitter controversy which raged for years all over the country did not begin till I had formed some definite opinions about the foundation truths of Christianity, and possessed an intelligent understanding of the questions in dispute amongst my elders.
I AM CONFIRMED--RECOLLECTIONS OF ST. MARY'S, ISLINGTON, AND ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL--I ATTEND A "WATCH-NIGHT" SERVICE, AND AM FREED FROM THE BONDAGE OF FEAR.
AS I approached my fourteenth year my dear mother expressed a wish to see me confirmed. I shrank at first from the thought of it, conscious as I was of many grievous faults, one of which was the bad habit of swearing, which I had contracted in Sydney, and whilst among sailormen on board ship. My dear mother knew nothing of this, for I loved her too dearly ever to utter a word in her hearing which would distress her. Her gentle pleading prevailed at last, and I joined
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BISHOP SELWYN'S GOOD EXAMPLE
Vicar Wilson's confirmation class, and got from him much valuable teaching. I have never forgotten the practical lessons for the daily guidance of life which he drew from the first two chapters of the First Epistle of St. Peter, which saved me many times in after years from bringing discredit upon my Christian profession.
In due course I was confirmed by Dr. Blomfield, Bishop of London, together with five or six hundred other boys and girls. Though I was greatly impressed by the service, and permanently benefited by it, I must confess it did not prevent my scanning the faces of the hundreds of girls who passed up and down the aisle in which I sat, and remarking to myself, that not one amongst them was as pretty as my own mother.
The King and the Lord Mayor of London are the only persons in England who now drive about in the kind of carriage in which the Bishop came to the Confirmation, and they use such grand equipages only on State occasions. The Bishop's carriage was a very large and handsome vehicle, drawn by four beautiful horses, and driven by a coachman in the gorgeous array then customary, seated on a high box-seat covered with a beautiful hammer-cloth. Two footmen in handsome liveries, and wearing cocked hats adorned with plenty of gold lace, stood on the board at the back of the carriage, and added to the imposing appearance of the "turn out." Such ostentatious display on the part of a minister of Christ's Church, however exalted his office, is now felt to be wrong, and we shall never see anything like it again. Bishop Selwyn, on his return to England to take charge
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THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY'S, ISLINGTON
of the Diocese of Lichfield, was the first of the English Bishops to dispense with all the unnecessary trappings hitherto thought to add to the dignity of the episcopal office. And it is to his initiative that we owe the adoption by the English episcopate of simpler and more becoming habits of life than those which prevailed in the early part of the nineteenth century.
I made my first communion at St. Mary's in company with my dear mother, and, since it has been my own happy experience to kneel beside my children on like occasions, I can understand the joy which filled her loving heart when she saw the realization of her prayers on my behalf, and how it would have still further increased her joy could she have known that her cherished wish, that I should follow in my father's footsteps and enter the ministry, would in a few years be also realised.
My dear mother, who loved the services of God's house all the more for having been deprived of them for so many years in New Zealand, inspired her children with the same regard for them, and it was always a pleasure to us to accompany her to two services on Sunday, and to the Wednesday evening service, which was the only weekday service held in the parish church. Though we listened as well as we could to the sermon, so as to answer any questions mother might ask us about it, we found it weary work trying to fix our attention all through a thirty or forty minutes' discourse, of which we could seldom recall more than the number of divisions, and the oft repeated phrase "and now, lastly, in conclusion."
* * *
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UNSEEMLY SCUFFLES AND LATE ARRIVALS
The pews in the nave at St. Mary's were very high, and closed like horse-boxes. The congregation--except in the galleries, where the seats were arranged one above another--were invisible when seated, and only the heads of adults could be seen when they stood up. The middle aisle was very broad, and forms were arranged all the way down it for the accommodation of the poor. This flagrant disobedience of St. James's injunction, not to give the rich better seats in the house of God than the poor, was due, I was told, to the fact that householders in the parish had a legal right to the seats in the parish church; they were their property, and if on coming into church they found strangers in occupation they could remove them by force. The unseemly scuffles which occasionally took place during divine service made the pew-openers very reluctant to seat strangers till after the Psalms were said; many of the seat-holders were never in their places till then. The clergy seemed to regard their unpunctuality as a matter of course, and never took any notice of it, which surprised me very much when I remembered how punctual the Maoris were, and how fearlessly they were rebuked if they disturbed a service by coming in late.
The service was conducted from a tall erection immediately in front of the communion rails, and called a "three-decker" by irreverent critics. It was like three pulpits in one, the desks in tiers one above the other. The lowest one was occupied by the clerk, who wore a black gown. He gave out the notices and the hymns. The desk immediately
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BEAUTIFUL BELLS AND HIDEOUS GRAVEYARDS
above that of the clerk was occupied by the clergyman, who read the service, vested in a surplice, black stole and hood. The highest desk, which had a large cushion upon it, was the pulpit of the preacher, who wore the black gown, bands and hood. The offertory was always taken at the doors, as people left the church, but only collected occasionally for some special object. The idea of collecting alms and offerings at the close of every service was unheard of.
St. Mary's had a fine peal of bells, which were the first I ever heard. The beauty of the chimes rung upon them exceeded anything I could have imagined from my limited knowledge of bells, which was confined to the unmusical school bell, and the ship's bell which, though louder, was just as unmelodious. One of my cherished memories is the pleasure I derived, on many occasions during my first stay in England, from listening to the chiming of church bells.
When passing through the churchyard I often wondered how room could be found in such a small piece of ground for the burials which so often took place in it, till one day when I saw the sexton digging a grave close to the pathway, and noticed two skulls and many human bones amongst the soil he had thrown up. From that I knew that the same ground was being used over and over again, which accounted for the bad smells that often assailed one's nose in any London churchyard in 1849. These burial grounds having become a danger to public health they were all closed
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ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL
by Act of Parliament within a few years after that date. 13
* * *
Islington was a great place for public meetings in support of the various religious societies. They were held monthly, quarterly, and yearly. Most of the leading clergy in England appeared as speakers at some time or other on their platforms, because our parish was the Mecca of the party then in power in the Church. The novelty of the proceedings, and the interesting information obtained through them, made them attractive to me, and I was always ready to accompany my dear mother to any meeting she wished to go to. But before two years had elapsed I had grown critical, and could no longer listen with patience to the fulsome flattery habitually indulged in by many of the speakers when addressing the chairman, or alluding to other persons present, who were sure to return the compliment when their turn came to speak.
Of all the churches I saw in London St. Paul's impressed my boyish imagination most, and the service there came nearest to my conception of the worship of Heaven. On entering, I was rilled with awe and reverence by the vast size and grandeur of the building. And the sight of the white robed choir and clergy in their stalls, and the exquisite sounds I heard coming from the singers and the organ helped me to realize, as I had never done
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AND ITS THRILLING MUSIC
before, St. John's beautiful description of heavenly worship contained in the book of Revelation. I was doubtless more open to receive such impressions than an English boy of the same age would have been, because of the striking and amazing contrast between the vast Cathedral and its beautiful services, and the frail and insignificant buildings in which from my infancy I had heard the Church services rendered by a Maori congregation.
One of the first services I attended at St. Paul's I have never forgotten, for a variety of reasons. In the first place, I narrowly escaped being crushed to death by the crowd struggling to pass through a gate opening into the choir. Then it was I saw the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Sumner, 14 and it was on the same occasion I heard Phillips, 15 one of the most famous singers of the day, and the boys from St. George's, Windsor, who possessed the sweetest treble voices to be found in the country. And it was at the close of this service I heard Handel's grand Hallelujah Chorus, which thrilled my whole being with its majestic and triumphant tones, which I can still recall with delight after the lapse of seventy years.
The choir was the only part of the Cathedral used for services at that time. It was shut off from the rest of the building by a tall arch, on the top of which stood a grand organ. The space under the dome, and in the nave, was quite bare of seats of any kind. It was not till many years
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WATCH NIGHT AT CITY ROAD CHAPEL
after 1849 that services were held there, and seating accommodation provided; at the same time the arch and the organ were removed, and the chancel thrown open to view. The Cathedral could only be entered on week days by paying a penny to the porter, who sat in a huge armchair just inside the door.
My dear mother got me to accompany her, on the last night of 1849, to a Watch Night service in the City Road Chapel, where John Wesley used to minister. The service was conducted by Dr. Jobson, one of Wesley's former colleagues, a small wizen-faced old man, clean shaven, with a kindly expression on his wrinkled old face. He was dressed like a Quaker, in a brown coat and knee breeches, and wore a brown wig.
The service began an hour before midnight. The hymns and prayers, and portions of Scripture read, and the remarks made upon them, were all calculated to excite feelings of alarm in the minds of all who were present, respecting the future safety of their souls. For ten minutes before midnight a dead silence reigned, while the congregation awaited, on their knees engaged in silent prayer, the striking of the clock. When the last stroke of twelve was heard the old minister stood up in the pulpit and made the solemn announcement:
"The arrow has flown!
The moment is gone!
The words sent a thrill of alarm through my
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RELEASE FROM THE BONDAGE OF FEAR
whole being, and made me shudder at the thought that perhaps my day of grace was past and gone, a thought which clung to me for years and tormented me in secret.
The fear was intensified by the teaching in Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, Baxter's Call to the Unconverted, and Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, books which I was urged to read and lay to heart. They all dwelt so much upon the depravity of human nature, and the consequent danger of self-deception, that I could find no comfort in my religion. Conscious of being a sinner, and conscious of the weakness of my faith in the Saviour from sin, I entertained little hope of ever being saved. A dear old Islington clergyman, who was one of the best and kindest and holiest of men, gave me as his parting present, when I left England in 1852, his masterpiece in sermon writing, which consisted of three sermons on Death, Judgment, and Eternity. None of these good people seemed to realize the cruelty of terrifying young and sensitive persons into adopting their particular opinions. There was really little to choose between their methods of coercion and those employed by Papists and Mohammedans. The use of terrifying arguments, instead of the sword and the stake, was more subtle and refined, but no less cruel and unjustifiable.
It was not till I became a father in 1862 that I understood what was meant by the fatherhood of God revealed to mankind by the Lord Jesus Christ. My thoughts on the subject became clearer and clearer as I became more and more familiar
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I RECOGNISE A NEW ZEALAND FRIEND
with the writings of F. D. Maurice and Charles Kingsley and F. W. Robertson, 16 till at last by God's mercy I was completely emancipated from the bondage of fear and given an entrance into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
I FIND A JOB
AN OLD-TIME PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION--I SEE QUEEN VICTORIA AND THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON--THE C.M.S. ENGAGES ME AS A CLERK.
THE New River, which supplied London with pure water, flowed through Islington only a few minutes' walk from where we lived. I spent many of my holidays walking along its banks, and fishing in its waters, where I caught small perch and dace with a rod and line. More pleasure was got from the catching than the eating of them, as they were bony and tasteless.
By the riverside was the quickest way into countryside surroundings amongst green fields, and hedgerows, and lanes bordered on either side by great trees, whose branches sometimes met overhead. During one of my walks I was delighted to come across some bulrushes growing in the water, their brown flowers on stiff stalks looking just the same as the New Zealand variety. My English friends were surprised that the bulrush, which I called raupo, was such a useful plant to
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AN OLD-TIME PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
New Zealanders, who thatched the walls and roofs of their houses with the leaves, stuffed their pillows and mattresses with the down of the flowers, 17 and ate the inner part of the roots, which consisted of white starchy matter tasting like arrowroot.
* * *
I had the good fortune one day, when crossing Clerkenwell Green, to come upon a truly characteristic English scene in connection with a parliamentary election. Hundreds of rough-looking people were gathered in front of a long platform, upon which stood several well-dressed men, one of whom was addressing the crowd. There was a great deal of noise and shouting going on, and occasionally a cabbage or a dead cat was thrown at the speaker. That was followed by a shower of missiles at the occupants of the platform, who were all in a few minutes bespattered with rotten eggs and flour. Then the crowd began fighting amongst themselves. Banners bearing mottos, carried by opposing factions, were seized, and the poles to which they were fastened were broken and used as weapons of offence. It was a very exciting scene to witness, but when brick-bats and stones began to fly about I thought it best to retire before I got hurt. Upon enquiry I learnt that the election was being so fiercely contested because the electorate was determined to get rid of its former member, whose only object in getting into Parliament was to secure protection from his
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I SEE THE YOUNG QUEEN
creditors, because no member of Parliament could be sued for debt. He was the eldest son of a peer, who owned most of the land in the electorate, and used the power thus gained to coerce the electors to vote for his son.
To see Queen Victoria was one of my long-cherished wishes. The opportunity of doing so occurred the day she opened Parliament in 1849. On that day, by the advice of an experienced friend, I took up my stand in St. James's Park, just opposite the Duke of York's monument. There I waited for more than an hour before any sign of a procession appeared. Then detached parties of troops began to go by, followed by carriages containing notabilities of all sorts. After this had gone on for a long time someone in the crowd, who was standing on the tiptoe of expectation and looking eagerly in the direction of Buckingham Palace, raised false hopes by crying "Here she comes!"
But there was no mistake when the trumpeters went by and we could see the glistening helmets and breastplates of the Life Guards approaching in charge of the Royal Party. I had no eyes for the cream-coloured horses, and their smart jockeys and handsome trappings, nor for the gorgeous carriage and liveried servants, nor even the Prince Consort, who accompanied the Queen. I could look at nothing but the wonderful grey eyes of my Sovereign, which fascinated me and drew me so close to the carriage that I could have touched it.
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AND THE "IRON DUKE"
She looked so intently towards me as she bowed to my side of the road that I felt a thrill of recognition, which put me into such a rapturous state of excitement that I danced for very joy of heart, and felt as if I must do something, however ridiculous it might be, to give expression to the feelings of loyalty which filled my boyish heart to overflowing.
* * *
Hyde Park was a favourite resort of mine. Its great trees and its picturesque stretch of water recalled the woods and waters with which I was so familiar on the other side of the world, and that made me always feel at home when beside them.
Though Apsley House is close to Hyde Park Corner I was never fortunate enough to see the Duke of Wellington in any of my visits to the Park. It was not till 1851 18 when I was walking down Pall Mall one day that I saw him come out of a Club, and get into his brougham. There was no mistaking his remarkable features, and I had a good look at him before he drove away. I saw him again several times, when he was driving to and from the House of Lords. It has always been a source of satisfaction to me that I did not miss seeing and raising my hat, while in England, to the hero of Waterloo.
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I JOIN THE C. M. S.
I finally left school at Easter, 1849. The allowance for my education, granted by the Church Missionary Society, ceased then, as I had reached my fourteenth year. I was told that I must do something to earn my living. But what to do was the difficulty. My education was so imperfect that the choice of employments for which I was fitted was very small and quite uncongenial.
Being fond of the sea I suggested that I should be apprenticed to the East India Merchant Service, but my dear mother could not bear the thought of parting with me for what she considered such a dangerous calling as that of a sailor. Fortunately for me, she had so interested the clerical and lay members of the Church Missionary Committee, before whom she appeared on our arrival from New Zealand in 1848, and told the story of my father's illness and the circumstances which led up to it, that from that date forward they seemed to take a special interest in her welfare and in that of her children. When the Committee heard that my mother was in such a state of perplexity and anxiety about my future career, they wrote and offered to employ me at the Mission House in Salisbury Square, where there happened to be a vacancy for a junior clerk.
My duties at first were to copy letters, and fetch and carry for the Lay Secretary, Major Hector Straith, of whom I stood in great awe. His room was just over the office I sat in, and I dreaded to hear the sound of his bell summoning me to his presence, for he looked so sternly at me through his spectacles, and spoke in such a sharp commanding tone. I imagined him to be a severe
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AND FIND A FRIEND IN MAJOR STRAITH
and unsympathetic man, the very reverse of what he really was. He had served in India, and taken part in several hard-fought battles, and before coming to Salisbury Square he was Professor of Fortification at Addiscombe, and that accounted for his official look and tone. I soon discovered that his assumed sternness concealed a really tender heart, for when a great sorrow befell me he displayed the tenderest sympathy, and did more than anyone else to solace my grief. A warm and lasting friendship grew up between us, in spite of our difference in age and official rank. He used often to take me down to spend the Sunday with him at Penge, where Mrs. Straith and her two sisters did all they could to spoil me with their kindness. During these visits the Major did everything in his power to make me feel quite at home in his house.
My first attempts to copy missionaries' letters into the big ledgers in which their record was kept was very unsatisfactory. Both my spelling and penmanship were imperfect, and the letters were often so hard to decipher that I got along very slowly, and had little to show for a day's work. Complaints came from the Committee room about my work, and I had to submit to the humiliation of having my writing corrected by the junior in the accountant's office who, besides being two years my senior, had spent more than double the time I had done at school, wrote a really good hand, and was a smart fellow. He seemed to take a spiteful pleasure in marking my mistakes in spelling, which he did in such a way as to exaggerate their defects. This young man was the only
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I BECOME A REGISTRATION CLERK
person who ever said or did an unkind thing to me during the eighteen months I spent at the Mission House in Salisbury Square. From the Secretaries down to the lowest storeman in the office staff I was treated with special kindness by everyone. Because I was a missionary's son, I somehow belonged to them, and they all tried to make me feel that I did so.
My shortcomings as a copyist were very forbearingly dealt with, and instead of being dismissed as I anticipated, the Major told me to get special instruction in writing and spelling. For three months I spent two hours every evening with a very good writing master, and at the end of that time I had so much improved that I was placed on the copying staff, in a room where I was given a desk and high stool, and worked with four other clerks.
IN THE MISSION OFFICE
I BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH REMARKABLE PEOPLE, DISCOVER INTERESTING PLACES, ACQUIRE THE READING HABIT, AND LEARN HOW TO VIEW A PICTURE.
TO each clerk in the Mission office the letters for one particular mission field were given for registration. Those coming from East Africa were given to me. Little did I know at the time how fortunate I was, and that in a few weeks all Europe would be waiting in eager expectation for
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AND HANDLE LETTERS OF FAMOUS MEN
the news contained in the letters which I was amongst the first to read; and that having the letters in my charge would bring me into contact with such distinguished men as Sir Roderick Murchison, 19 Chevalier Bunsen, 20 and others whose names were famous.
Dr. Krapf and Dr. Rebmann, who were the C. M. S. missionaries at Zanzibar and Mombassa, were the pioneer explorers of East Africa. It was their discovery of the Snowy Mount of Kilimanjaro and the reports which they sent home about the existence of great lakes near the foot of it, which led to Speke and Burton's expedition in 1857 being undertaken, which resulted in the discovery of Lakes Tanganyika and Nyanza. 21
Many theories were current amongst scientific geographers at that time respecting the sources of the Nile, and they were all curious to know which of the theories would be proved by the discoveries of the missionary explorers to be the most correct.
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MY READING LIST
And that was why the letters I had charge of possessed such interest for them.
Before I got my post in the copying room, and while I was still qualifying for it, I had to assist a clerk named Bolton to arrange and catalogue the books which had been left to the Society from time to time, and allowed to accumulate on the floor of a room adjoining the library till there were thousands of them. They were covered thickly with dust and cobwebs and the job proved a very dirty but at the same time a very interesting one. I found my companion a particularly well-informed man who loved books, and knew a great deal about them. He raised my enthusiasm about Samuel Johnson's haunts in Fleet Street, and got me to read his Life by Boswell, and to recall the scenes he narrates, by going together to the "Cheshire Cheese" occasionally for a grilled chop, and sitting in the rooms the old lexicographer once occupied.
During the first year of our acquaintance I read Byron, Pope, Moore, Goldsmith, Scott, Campbell, Thomson, and Falconer's Shipwreck, besides Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Taming of the Shrew, Tempest, and Richard the Third. I read Coleridge and Southey, but could not get through Wordsworth. Bolton encouraged me to buy second-hand copies of the books I really valued, and when I pleaded poverty, he said "Do what I do; have a currant roll, which costs a penny every other day for lunch, instead of spending one shilling upon it as you usually do, and what you save will provide you with money for books."
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AND HOW I BOUGHT MY BOOKS
He recommended me to buy Chambers's Encyclopedia of English Literature, which he said I should find invaluable. He took me to a shop in St. Paul's Churchyard, where I saw two well-bound volumes priced at fourteen shillings. It took me many weeks to save enough to purchase them, and before I could do so I paid many visits to the shop window, fearing somebody else might get them. When at last I did secure them I was very pleased, and on getting home with them began at once to study their contents most carefully, and never relinquished my task till I possessed an intelligent idea of each of the great departments of English literature, and of the writings of the various authors who had helped to create them. History and poetry were at first my favourite subjects of study, and my next savings of dinner money were expended in the purchase of the guinea edition of Thomas Moore's Poetical Works, Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and Macaulay's History of England.
In order to widen the range of my reading I joined the Church of England Young Men's Society, and got books from their library in St. Bride's Court. There I often met a Mr. Suter, one of the East End clergy who used to give lectures and addresses on subjects of interest to the members of the Young Men's Society. Mr. Suter eventually became Bishop of Nelson 22 in New Zealand where I again met him and got to know him well. The New Zealand Church owes him a deep debt of gratitude for the interest he
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I LEARN HOW TO UNDERSTAND PICTURES
took in the education of the clergy, and the provision he made for securing a succession of educated men to fill the ranks of the colonial ministry.
Besides helping me to select the right sort of books to read, Bolton taught me how to select the right sort of pictures to admire, for though I had been taught to draw pictures of a sort while at school, my master never taught me how to tell a good picture from a bad one. I was telling Bolton one day how disappointed I was with my visits to the National Gallery, where very few of the pictures impressed me with their artistic beauty.
"Ah well," he said, "I think I know why, and if you will come with me I will introduce you to some of my favourites."
When we reached the National Gallery he pointed out that the first thing to do was to get the right focus, and never to stand too close to a picture. He took me up to one painted by the French artist Poussin, and asked me what I thought of it.
"I see nothing," I said, "but formless patches of dull colours. I cannot make anything out of it."
"Well, step back," he said, "sit down on this chair, and look steadily at the picture till I come back in ten minutes." I did so, but long before the ten minutes expired I was in raptures with what I saw standing out in bold relief from the canvas. It was a charming scene of quiet rural life; a cottage, sheltered by some fine trees, and a pool of water close by in which some cows were drinking, and ducks swimming, and beside it stood
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AND TO MANAGE A BOAT ON THE THAMES
a peasant man watching them with a nice-looking dog at his heels. I was delighted with my discovery, and had no difficulty ever after in finding out the beauty of any painting of real merit which I came across.
One of the privileges I enjoyed and valued, while working at Salisbury Square, was having free access to the Temple Gardens, the private domain of the Benchers of the Inner Temple, from one of whom my pass had been procured for me by Major Straith.
The gardens which adjoined and overlooked the river Thames were well kept, and provided a delightful retreat upon a bright warm day, where, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers, and away from all street noises, one could enjoy peace within pistol shot of the roar of street traffic.
There were broad steps leading down to the water in one corner of the gardens, where boats were kept for hire. And when the tide suited I often went for a row on the river as far as Westminster Bridge. I had learnt to pull a boat in Sydney when staying with my Uncle Maurice at Double Bay, and since coming to England I had learnt on the Serpentine and the River Lea to pull two sculls and manage a boat by myself, so I found no difficulty in moving about safely amongst the traffic on the River Thames.
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A GREAT SORROW
HOW THE CHOLERA CAME TO LONDON--AN ORDINATION SERVICE-- AN UNEXPECTED BLOW--THE SADNESS OF EARLY VICTORIAN RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE.
When I look back on my first two years in England I wonder that I was not more scared by the cholera epidemic 23 which prevailed in London all that time. It was only when it came near to us in 1849, and I saw almost daily signs of its ravages in some part or other of Islington, that I felt any fear. Perhaps I met a parish handcart with several empty coffins in it, on the way to a stricken household, or I was told that somebody I had seen looking well in the morning was dead before evening.
I remember one day, when passing the churchyard of the Chapel of Ease, on my way to see a friend, I noticed a great pile near the main entrance, covered with tarpaulins, and near it, a number of men digging a deep trench. I was told the pile consisted of coffins collected during the night, awaiting burial in the trench I saw getting dug. Infected houses got a mark put upon them,
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CHOLERA IN LONDON
which made one hurry past if it caught the eye. Old Street road, which led from the Angel inn to Smithfield, was my shortest way to Salisbury Square, and the one I generally chose to go by till house after house lost its occupants, when its deserted appearance warned me that it was a dangerous plague-stricken quarter to be avoided. Strange to say Smithfield Market, into which Old Street led, though itself the dirtiest spot in London, entirely escaped the plague, and very few of the drovers or butchers connected with the Market died of cholera.
You can imagine how bad the sanitary conditions of London were at the time, when I tell you that the drains at Salisbury Square overflowed and flooded the lowest ground floor rooms with liquid filth every time there was a high tide in the river, and caused a horrible stench, which could only be got rid of by washing the floors with disinfectants. It is not surprising that tens of thousands of poor people living in rooms liable to such periodical floodings of sewerage died of the cholera plague. Only once do I recollect feeling really frightened, and that was the result of reading a notice to the public, issued by the Government, which contained a list of the premonitory symptoms of cholera, and a warning to apply immediate remedies. On reaching home I went to bed suffering from two of the symptoms--"dizziness," and pains in the pit of my stomach. I took the remedies prescribed; finding I was still alive in the morning, and rid of the "symptoms," I got up and went down to the city as usual.
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A GREAT CALAMITY
During the summer of 1850 our mother gave birth to a little boy, who was christened John Maurice. A few weeks afterwards, while calling upon a friend, someone sitting beside her fainted, when all the windows were opened, causing a great draught, which gave our dear mother a fatal chill, and in less than six weeks she died from the effects of it, on the 1st of September, 1850.
She seemed to grow lovelier as the end approached, and though she hinted to me more than once during the last few days of her life that she might be taken from us, she looked so unlike a dying person that I put the thought of her doing so entirely away from me, and told her as soon as she was stronger we would all go back to New Zealand together. Alas! that was never to be. Her death came suddenly and was a terrible shock to us all. And though the greatest sympathy was shown to us by many kind friends, who in the short time they had known her had learned to admire and love her, we her children were inconsolable, and for days gave vent to passionate expressions of grief. 24
When the funeral was over, and we returned to the house, a terrible sense of loneliness oppressed me. The person I loved best, and trusted most in the world, was gone. I could no longer count upon her sympathy and advice, and I dreaded the future without it. What added to my perplexity was the consciousness that her death had imposed a new burden of responsibility upon me in connection with my brothers and sisters
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NATIVE BIBLE MEETING AT KOHANGA
The Rev. R. Maunsell, with others, began the translation of the Scriptures into Maori in 1836, and-- interrupted by a disastrous fire in 1843--completed the work in 1856-7, the book being printed at St. John's College, Auckland. The event was commemorated at Kohanga. the sketch showing Mr. Maunsell and his family, Rev. B. Y. Ashwell and his daughters. Catechist James Stack (standing at back), together with native converts and monitors, the latter including the Ngati Tipa chief Waata, who, perhaps, is holding aloft the newly published Book. (From an old print in the possession of Mr. H. Fildes.)
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From a rare portrait kindly supplied by his grandson. Rev. Frank Latter.
Stack first met Robert Latter in London, about 1851. The acquaintance was renewed and ripened into a firm friendship when Stack arrived in Canterbury in 1859. Robert Latter died in 1865. See note on page 70.
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MY PATH IS MADE PLAIN
who, in my father's absence, would look to me as their adviser and the guardian of their interests. It was a long time before I recalled to mind my dear mother's advice, and sought on my bended knees the help I stood so much in need of. But when I did, it came in a wonderful way--in God's way, and not in one of my own choosing.
When the C. M. S. Committee heard of my mother's death they generously undertook to provide for us all. By their direction the baby was placed with one who promised to be a good nurse; Alfred, the delicate ex-baby, was consigned to the care of a friend. Mary, Ann, Kate and Edward went to the C. M. S. Children's Home in Milner Square, and I was lodged with a Mr. Marriott and his family in Barnsbury Park. Within a week we were all dispersed, and the contents of our late home disposed of by auction, with the exception of a few things which I was allowed to keep.
Major Straith was away for his annual holiday in Scotland when all this took place, and knew nothing about our sad loss till his return to the office. On hearing all the painful details from me he expressed the deepest sympathy, and in words which touched me deeply he assured me that for my parents' sake he would do all he could to befriend me and my brothers and sisters, and from that day forward I knew that I possessed in Major Straith a sincere and faithful friend. And it is to him under God that I owe my choice of a career in the mission field, and subsequent entry into the ministry of God's Church.
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RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE IN 1850
England was in a condition of great religious ferment in 1849 and 1850.
All the grown-up people around me were continually discussing the Gorham dispute 25 about baptismal regeneration, and denouncing the Bishop, whom they called "Henry of Exeter" 26 for his tyrannical method of upholding the doctrine taught about it by the Church catechism.
When they were not discussing "Henry of Exeter" they were denouncing the Puseyites, who were accused of reviving Romish practices in our Church, or they were giving vent to the angry feelings aroused in them by the invasion of England by a band of Bishops sent over by the Pope of Rome. Guy Fawkes commemoration, on the 5th of November, 1850, gave an opportunity for people to give vent to their excited feelings by shouting "No Popery!" everywhere about the streets to their hearts' content. I saw the Guy Fawkes procession going down Fleet Street on its way to the City, and it was hailed all the way with loud cheers. Every bare wall in the City and suburbs had "No Popery!" chalked up or painted upon it, and even little children were encouraged to take part in these religious disputes and shout "No Popery."
It was many many years before the excitement
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AND ITS EFFECTS UPON ME
subsided, and a more Christian spirit manifested by those who differed from one another in matters concerning their religion. In the meantime lads like myself formed the most violent and unreasonable prejudices against all whose religious views they were taught to oppose.
It was a very unhealthy religious atmosphere to grow up in. I suffered from the effects of it through most of my after years, and would have done so to the end but for my life being passed in a new country, where I was compelled to associate with men whose "Church views" differed from my own, when I discovered that they held just the same beliefs as myself regarding all fundamental truths, and that it was only about the externals of religion that we disagreed, and about such questions I am sure Christians ought not to quarrel, and separate from one another.
SOME INTERESTING LONDONERS
C. M. S. ACQUAINTANCES--SADLER'S WELLS THEATRE--I CARRY ON MY STUDIES UNDER DIFFICULTIES, AND HEAR A GREAT MISSIONARY.
AMONGST the persons employed at the C. M. S. House was an old man who was a bit of a character, and used to amuse me very much by his odd sayings and doings. He was a sturdy, thick-set man, clean shaven, always dressed like a clergyman, and wore a broad-brimmed hat like
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A LONDONER BORN AND BRED
a clerical dignitary. He said he felt entitled to dress as he did because he was a parish clerk, and officiated at all the services of the Church, where it was his office to make the responses and say "Amen." He occupied a large room at the top of the mission house, where he sat at a low table all day long, pasting receipts into registers which he had to index and keep charge of. He was a Londoner, born "within sound of Bow Bells" and although seventy years of age had never slept a night out of London. Once in all that time he had been to Gravesend, which he spoke of as the "sea-side," and said "the briny smell of the water" made him "feel sea-sick," and he never wished to go there again.
At the Saturday prayer meetings held in the big committee-room, which all the staff were expected to attend, this old man used always to start the hymn, as he possessed a good strong voice, and was familiar with all the tunes to which the hymns were sung. The service was conducted by one of the clerical secretaries or one of the neighbouring clergy, and as soon as the clergyman stood up, the old clerk stood up too, and received from the clergyman a bit of paper with the number of the hymn to be sung. Having found it, the old man grasped his hymn book and held it open in front of him, glancing from it to the face of the clergyman, who read out the first verse. When he thought the reading finished, he started the singing in stentorian tones, but being stone deaf, as often as not he started too soon.
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JUVENILE PICKPOCKETS ON HOLBORN HILL.
Mr. Strachan, the accountant, returning one day from the Bank of England, discovered on reaching the office that his large pocket book had been abstracted without his knowledge by some clever thief who had slit the coat open with a razor, probably while he was looking into a shop window. Fortunately the thief got nothing, as the book was empty, its contents having been left at the Bank. There was a street at the foot of Holborn Hill which swarmed with juvenile pickpockets. It was said that anyone who passed along with a silk handkerchief in his pocket might, on his return down the same street, see it hanging up for sale in one of the second-hand clothes shop windows kept by receivers of stolen goods.
* * *
When I first went to Salisbury Square there was an old gentleman who used to call regularly two or three times a week on business connected with orders for supplies sent home by different missionaries from abroad. His snowy white curly hair gave him a venerable appearance, and his kindly face, which was always wreathed in smiles, presented a true index of his benevolent character. He seldom left the office without making some allusion to the work of the Sunday School Union, of which he was, I think, the honorary secretary. In order to find time to do the work required he used to get up early in the morning, go from Fenchurch street where he lived, to Paternoster Row near St. Paul's Churchyard, and spend an hour or two every day doing secretary's work. He was an enthusiastic Sunday-school teacher, and
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MY FIRST ACQUAINTANCE WITH ROBERT LATTER
was superintendent of the Sunday-school belonging to one of the city churches.
I learnt to respect and admire the old gentleman for his self-denying devotion to the very trying work of Sunday-school teaching, and I became still more interested in him when I discovered that he was the agent my father employed to send out those English boxes which, as a child, I was always so delighted to see opened. You may imagine with what surprise I met old Mr. Robert Latter, 27 whom I had last seen in Salisbury Square in 1851, standing on the wharf at Lyttelton in New Zealand when I landed there in 1859. An equally great surprise was in store for me when I reached Christchurch, a few days afterwards, and met Dr. Coward, whom I had last seen at an evening gathering at Mrs. Bookfield's in London in 1851, and further, when I learnt from Canon Cotterill 28 that Mrs. Bookfield was his sister.
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HOW I SPENT MY EVENINGS
One of the noted places I often passed on my way to and from the city was Sadler's Wells theatre, where only Shakespeare's plays were acted. It was then under the management of the famous actor Phelps, 29 who proved himself a worthy successor of Macready as an exponent of our great national dramatist. Although I should have liked to hear Phelps, I could not overcome my prejudice against theatre going, which I had been taught to regard as incompatible with a sincere profession of Christianity; even to attend one performance was said to endanger the soul's salvation.
The drama is a perfectly legitimate source of amusement, and might become, if under better direction and management, a powerful influence for good. The Christian Church would be well advised to make more use of it as a teaching agency.
* * *
I always look back with satisfaction to the way in which I spent my evenings during the winter months of 1850 and 1851. I was not allowed a fire in my bedroom, which was often so cold that the water was covered with ice in the jugs. But finding it impossible to study in a room where others were sitting and talking, I determined to try to read in my own room, in spite of the cold. But my host and his wife were much opposed to my doing so, fearing that if my health suffered they might be blamed. Accordingly, they raised
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THE BOOKS OF NATURE AND OF REVELATION
objections to my using extra lights, or doing anything to disarrange my bedroom before I retired for the night. But I got over these difficulties by purchasing a packet of wax candles, a couple of tin candlesticks, and two thick blankets.
At seven o'clock every evening I went to my bedroom, and after lighting my candles wrapped my feet and legs round with one of the new blankets, and my shoulders and chest with the other, and putting on warm gloves, found I could keep "as warm as a toast." Once or twice when the temperature was lower than usual I had to add the blankets from my bed to my coverings, but I took care to put everything straight again before going down to supper, lest the maid who brought up the hot water before bed-time should tell tales.
A new and intensely interesting subject of study was brought to my notice at this time, in a course of lectures I attended at the Freemasons' Grand Hall. It was the new science of geology, which revolutionized the prevailing beliefs regarding the age of the world and the way in which the world came into being. At first the majority of the clergy denounced the new teaching and branded it as "infidel." But there was no getting away from the testimony of the rocks, and in a short time all reasonable men acknowledged that the Book of Nature was just as much God's Book as the Book of Revelation, that one Book could not contradict the other, and that wherever they appeared to do so it was owing to our misreading of the records they contained.
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DR. DUFF OF INDIA AT EXETER HALL
Another course of lectures which I enjoyed very much was delivered at Exeter Hall by Dr. Duff, 30 a celebrated Indian missionary, on the subject of our Indian Empire. Dr. Duff was the best orator I ever heard in England. He could raise his voice till it pealed out like the notes of an organ, or lower it to the faintest whisper; but he modulated it with such consummate skill that not a word he uttered was ever lost by one of his audience. Till I heard Dr. Duff I never could have believed it possible for a man to make his whispered words heard by three thousand people.
Dr. Duff said that whilst the former conquerors of India had left behind them splendid monuments of their occupation in beautiful buildings and useful irrigation works, the English, up to the time when he spoke, had done nothing that would last fifty years to show that they had ever occupied the country. That reproach can no longer be cast upon the English who, since 1851, have built enormous canals, and irrigation works of vast dimensions, bridged many of the largest rivers, and erected massive harbour works in many places along the coast.
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ARCHDEACON WILLIAMS AND TAMIHANA RAUPARAHA
WHAT OF THE FUTURE?--MORE NEW ZEALANDERS ARRIVE IN LONDON --A LOST OPPORTUNITY--THE GREAT EXHIBITION--AN INDIAN PRINCE AND A CHINESE JUNK.
AN apparently trivial incident which occurred about this time had a very marked influence on my afterlife. I was walking along Fleet street one Saturday evening with Mr. Knight, one of the clerical secretaries, after the weekly prayer meeting in the committee-room, and he kindly asked me whether I had formed any plans in my own mind about what I should do in the future, as he felt sure that I should never be content to spend my existence copying other people's letters, however interesting. He was so sympathetic that he quite gained my confidence, and I told him frankly how troubled I was about my two sisters who were just reaching the age when the Society's allowance would cease, and I could not see how at fourteen years of age they could support themselves, and I had nothing to give them. My heart was very full, and Mr. Knight saw it, and did his best to comfort me. He wound up by quoting the Psalmist's words, "Never saw I the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging their bread." "Rest assured," he said, "that God will provide for all your necessities if you only trust Him." As he
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ARCHDEACON WILLIAMS ARRIVES IN LONDON
uttered the words I looked up and saw the stars shining down upon me, and the sight of them filled me with a strange feeling of confidence in the reality of God's providential care. I felt that "the eyes of the Lord" were upon me, and I parted from Mr. Knight cheered and comforted. From that day to this I have tried all through my life to follow the leadings of God's providence, and not to prefer my way to His in the shaping of my future course through life. It has been by asking daily to be taught, and following, when shewn, God's way that I have become possessed of all the blessings I now enjoy.
Just before the annual meeting of the C. M. S. in 1851 Archdeacon William Williams arrived from New Zealand. 31 He greeted me very warmly on his arrival at Salisbury Square, and asked me to show his son James--who accompanied him-- over St. Paul's Cathedral, while he was engaged interviewing the Committee on some very important business connected with the New Zealand Mission. I gladly undertook to do what he wished, but felt rather disappointed when I found how little interest my old New Zealand school-fellow manifested in what he saw. The transition from a Maori village to the city of London was too sudden to permit of his forming a right estimate of things. Sunshine was everything to him, and
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I MEET TAMIHANA TE RAUPARAHA
the absence of it spoilt whatever he looked at. It was not till he had been some months in England that he could really enjoy being in the Old Country. I thought how lucky it was for me that I got prepared in Sydney to understand and appreciate London, and so was enabled to enjoy it from the first day of my arrival.
On leaving the office in the evening Major Straith asked me to call on my way home at a house in Myddelton Square, where a Maori chief was staying who had come to England in the same vessel with Archdeacon Williams, and who was to be the guest of the Society during his stay in the country. As he could not speak English I was asked to go and cheer him up with a few words in his own language. The chief was the son of the celebrated warrior Te Rauparaha, the victorious invader of the South Island. His name was Tamihana. 32 I shall never forget our first
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'WHO ARE YOU WHO SPEAK MAORI?'
interview. On entering his sitting-room I saw a Maori man with his back towards me, cowering over the fire, trying to warm his hands, for the weather was bitterly cold. He hardly turned his head on hearing my footsteps behind him, taking it for granted that I was one of the people he had found it hopeless to try and talk to. But when the familiar salutation "Tena koe e hoa!" sounded in his ears he jumped to his feet, and with a beaming smile seized me by the hand, saying:
"Who are you! Who are you who speak Maori."
I wanted to tell him, but words failed me. I could not recall them--and no wonder considering I had not spoken a word of Maori for four years. I sat down saying "Korero koe" (you speak) which fortunately he was only too pleased to do. As I sat listening to the story of his voyage to England, and to the reasons which led to his undertaking it, the meaning of the Maori words he used came back to me.
Tamihana had been two days at the lodgings
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TAMIHANA WANTS TO SEE THE QUEEN
before I came to see him, and all that time he was unable to understand anything that was said to him by the people of the house. He was so delighted when he did meet someone who understood him that he kept on talking for hours, and it was after nine o'clock before I could get away from him. Then a curious thing happened. As I walked to my lodgings the Maori word for everything I saw kept coming into my mind, and all night long I kept awake, repeating Maori phrases to myself, so that when I met Tamihana the next day I conversed quite easily with him.
A few days after our first meeting the C. M. S. Committee expressed a wish to see Tamihana, and I was asked to accompany him as interpreter. While we were waiting in the library a lady came in, leading by the hand a little negro girl, very nicely dressed. The instant the child caught sight of Tamihana she cried out in alarm "O, black man, black man!" and hid her face in the lady's lap. Tamihana was very much offended at being called a "black man" and crossing the room, said to the little child, "Me no black man," and putting his hand beside hers said, "You black, you black! me no black."
The lady soothed the child's feelings, and apologised for her rudeness, and we were soon all on good terms.
During the interview which took place between Tamihana and the C. M. S. Committee he expressed a strong wish to see Queen Victoria, and was told that the Committee would try to secure him an audience. They sought the good offices of the
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MY ILL-TIMED MERRIMENT
Marquis of Cholmondeley, the Queen's Chamberlain, who succeeded in getting her consent to see him. It so happened that the same Marquis was the chosen chairman to preside over the annual May Meeting which took place a few days afterwards in Exeter Hall.
On the morning the meeting was held, while waiting for the arrival of the chairman, the secretaries informed Tamihana that they were going to introduce him to the Marquis. I explained to him who he was, and my description of his high rank amongst the nobility of England, and his intimate relations with Royalty, so impressed his imagination, that when the introduction took place his face assumed such a bewildered expression that I was seized by a sudden spasm of merriment, and lost control of my voice and features. Turning my face aside to recover myself, and seeing Ronaldson, 33 a C. M. S. student lately arrived from New Zealand, standing beside me, I plucked his
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RONALDSON TAKES MY PLACE
sleeve and slipped behind him. He fortunately proved equal to the occasion, and at once took my part as interpreter when, to my mortification, I heard the Marquis say, "Her Majesty will be glad to see you, and I will let you know when and where she will do so." Turning to Ronaldson he added, "And I hope you will accompany the chief."
A few days passed, and then an invitation came to Tamihana, who went to the palace accompanied by Ronaldson, had a long interview with the Queen in her private apartments, and saw at the same time the Prince Consort and the two eldest of the royal children. I have never forgiven myself for letting the opportunity slip of seeing Queen Victoria. I should have felt far more at ease if, when the Empress Frederick came up and spoke to me in the Victoria Hall at Bordighera in 1900, I could have recalled to her memory the interview with Tamihana at the palace in 1851. I was spared the humiliation of a rebuke from the secretaries for my breach of good manners, because they doubtless realized that what I lost by it was the best rebuke, and one I could never forget.
The annual May Meetings in 1851 were rather overshadowed by the opening of the Great International Exhibition in Hyde Park on the First of May by Queen Victoria.
The whole ceremonial as described by the newspapers was most imposing, and rendered all the more interesting from the presence of representatives from every civilized country in the world.
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JUNG BAHADUR AND HIS JEWELS
One Indian prince 34 from Nepaul, who wore a head-dress covered with valuable jewels, was warned by the police not to drive about in an open carriage as he did on his first arrival in England, because London was swarming with thieves, who had flocked into the city from all parts of Europe, and some of them might snatch off his head-dress, which he would never recover again. An interesting story of his kindness to a fellow-countryman raised him immensely in the estimation of Londoners. It recalled the good deeds of Haroun al Raschid, as narrated in the Arabian Nights Entertainment. When driving to the city one day the prince saw, at the top of Ludgate Hill, a man in Indian costume sweeping the crossing, and called him to the carriage door when, to the astonishment of the bystanders, the crossing-sweeper entered the carriage, and was driven off by the prince. It was said, in explanation of the prince's action, that in the crossing-sweeper he recognised an old acquaintance, who came to Europe in search of knowledge many years before, but was lost sight of and supposed to be dead. His ignorance of the English language, and want of money, had driven him to consort with the poorest of the London population, and to adopt one of their methods of obtaining a livelihood.
The improved sanitation of London, and everywhere throughout the United Kingdom, dates from the year of the Great Exhibition. The prevalence
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WHAT SANITATION DID FOR ENGLAND
of cholera and other deadly diseases, all due to bad drainage, forced upon everyone's notice the immediate necessity of improving the sanitation of dwellings and their surroundings. Probably having seen at the Exhibition all the best sanitary appliances in existence in Europe, and many new inventions and suggested improvements, many private individuals were led to introduce them into their houses, and public bodies followed their example, and adopted them wherever they could for the use of the general public. In a short time the foul and offensive practices, unbecoming in people who called themselves civilized, were done away with, and the unhealthy conditions under which everyone lived in England prior to 1851 were removed. The death-rate was reduced, and the physique of all town dwellers improved.
Of this I was able to judge when I returned to England after an absence of thirty-two years. The difference in appearance between the men and women I met in the streets and suburbs of London in 1852, and those I saw in 1884, was very striking. In 1852 a large proportion of those I met were thin, pale-faced, undersized persons, but in 1884 I found the streets full of tall, well-developed men and women. The most marked improvement in physique I found had taken place in the manufacturing districts of Lancashire, from which the undersized, narrow-chested, chinless, putty-complexioned persons so often met with in 1852, had completely disappeared.
A large Chinese junk, the first that ever reached Europe, made its appearance in the Thames shortly before the opening of the Great
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A CHINESE JUNK IN THE THAMES
Exhibition. Everyone who saw it wondered how such a clumsy looking craft ever crossed the ocean from China to England. It was undoubtedly a great feat of seamanship on the part of those who navigated the vessel. This strangely shaped and oddly rigged craft with its pigtailed crew was very conspicuous amongst the other vessels moored alongside the city wharves, and attracted much notice from curious sightseers. I was amongst the first to go on board after its arrival, and have a very clear recollection of what I saw. Being a bit of a sailor I examined the hull and rigging, and noticed with interest the points in which they differed from our ships. The bow and stern were very high, like those of ships at the date of the Spanish Armada. The rudder was of great size, and the tiller quite a spar. It was worked in a large covered deck-house built over it, and adjoining it was the "joss house" where, before an image representing the patron deity of sailors, sticks of incense called "joss sticks" were kept burning.
In the chief cabin we saw a Mandarin, looking exactly like one of the painted figures on china vases. He was very stout, with long thin black moustaches, and dressed in handsome silk robes. He sat in a chair, with his hands in his lap--the only thing he could do with them apparently, as his nails were six or eight inches long, supported by bits of bamboo tied to the fingers. We were told that having long finger nails was proof that he never used his hands, and had to be waited on, which proved him to be a person of high social standing in his own country. In another cabin
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A TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE
we saw an artist painting flowers and butterflies on rice paper; the colouring was exquisitely soft. There are not many who can say they have been on board a Chinese junk in the Port of London. The one I saw was the first and will probably be the last to enter the Thames. Ocean-going Chinese vessels are now the same as ours, and to board a sea-going junk one would have to visit China.
CHOOSING A VOCATION
I OFFER FOR SERVICE ABROAD--MORE ABOUT MY COLLEGE LIFE-- "GOLD AT ILLAWARRA"--BATHING AT SOUTHEND.
THE year 1851 was a turning point in my life, when a complete reversal took place of all my preconceived ideas about what my occupation should be. As a boy I had always said that I would never be a schoolmaster, or a clergyman, or a missionary, because what I learnt about a schoolmaster's work, while living with my uncle Maurice, gave me a distaste for it, and my father's occupation possessed no attraction for me. In the end I became all three--a schoolmaster, a clergyman, and a missionary.
The sympathy and kindness I received at the time of my dear mother's death, from Major and Mrs. Straith, and Mr. and Mrs. Hambledon, and Bishop Williams's brother John and his family, brought me under influences which quite altered my way of thinking. Then the Maori Chief Tamihana appeared on the scene, and I became
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I AM ACCEPTED FOR SERVICE IN N.Z.
his intimate companion, and a constant visitor at the C. M. S. College where he was housed. This brought me into almost daily contact with numbers of men who were preparing for work in the mission field, and I was in this way made ready to accept the suggestion that I should offer my services to the Church Missionary Society for employment abroad.
As I was only sixteen years of age I was too young to be accepted as a candidate for the ministry, but schoolmasters were wanted in the mission field, and I was accepted for that branch of the work, and sent to Highbury Training College, where I spent a year before being sent to New Zealand to help Dr. Maunsell. The College buildings were situated in a very pleasant neighbourhood between Islington and Hornsey. They were surrounded by fields and country lanes, which afforded the students ample opportunities for pleasant walks within easy reach. There was nothing anywhere within sight to remind one that any town was close by, and least of all London with its smoke and roaring traffic.
The College had not been opened long when I entered it. The Principal was the Rev. Dr. Ryan, 35 afterwards Bishop of Mauritius. There were three resident masters who shared with him the work of instruction. Music, drawing and gymnastics were taught by outside masters. There were about thirty students, several of whom proved to be very nice fellows who helped to make my life at the College a very happy one.
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THE HIGHBURY TRAINING COLLEGE
My chief chum and class-mate was a man called Baber, a fair-haired giant with kindly blue eyes, who loved walking, and sharing my outdoor tastes. I was gratified to meet him in Sydney forty years afterwards as Vicar of Petersham, and to hear of his successful record.
Another of my friends was an interesting young man named Cross who, like my friend Bolton at the Church Missionary House, had nice literary tastes. Dickens was publishing David Copperfield in weekly parts at the time. Cross took it in, and I was the one privileged to share the reading of it with him in his own room. How eagerly we looked forward week by week to the arrival of a fresh number from the publisher. It is hard to believe, now that the merits and worth of Dickens's writings are so universally recognised, that at the time I am writing about the Principal of our College, in common with the majority of the clergy, disapproved of Dickens, and many of the students shared their views, and thought his writings unfit reading for "religious" people. Cross and I had to keep our opinions about him to ourselves, or we might have got into trouble.
It was Dr. Ryan's practice to go all round the rooms occasionally to inspect them, and he always chose a time when no one was about. On one of these occasions he removed from my shelves a book I valued. On missing it, and making enquiry, I could hear nothing of it, till one of the students told me that he had seen it in the Principal's library. I could hardly believe it possible, but as he was an Irishman I thought he might, on seeing
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I KEEP MY BOOKS UNDER LOCK AND KEY
Tom Moore's Poetical Works, have found the temptation to read the poems irresistible. However, the next time, I had to see Dr. Ryan in his room he coolly said, "By the by, Stack, I saw a book on your shelves that I object to, and have brought here." It was Longman's guinea edition of the poet's works, and represented the savings of many a fast day on my part. Though I could not say so I thought it intensely mean of Dr. Ryan to keep the book on his own shelves, and not refund the money it cost me. On returning to my room I quickly removed Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a far more dangerous book, which I had also bought at Longman's, after enduring much privation to get the money together to purchase it. This, and a few other books, I kept under lock and key for the rest of my stay at Highbury.
Attached to the College was a normal school where the students were practised in the art of teaching. The headmaster used to give lectures on the theory and practice of teaching. He was a great admirer of Stowe's system of "picturing out," and I became an ardent student of the method, which I afterwards found of great service when teaching Maoris.
On certain days of the week we all met in the big schoolroom, when model lessons were given by selected students, each lasting fifteen minutes. We then adjourned to the lecture-room, where every student had to read out the criticisms he had made during the progress of each model lesson. It was an unpleasant ordeal for inexperienced teachers,
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I HAVE TO GIVE A MODEL LESSON
who came in for some very hard judgments sometimes; occasionally the criticisms were spiteful. I detested having to read out what I had written, for it was often very bald and valueless. When everyone had had his say the headmaster reviewed the delivery of the lessons himself, and praised or blamed as he thought fit.
My turn to give a model lesson did not come till just as I was leaving the College. The subject was "The Martyrdom of Stephen." I was in a terrible condition of "stage fright," and I neither slept nor ate as usual till it was over, indeed I ate nothing at all on the day I thought I was to make a public exhibition of my incompetency. To my astonishment I got through my lesson in the exact time, and never lost my presence of mind from beginning to end. The boys who formed the class were good intelligent fellows, and answered splendidly. I wondered what the verdict in the lecture hall would be when we all assembled there. I listened with nervous anxiety to what was said. With one exception all were kind to the beginner, but judge my astonishment when I heard Mr. Daintree the Master say, in the course of his remarks, that mine was the best specimen of catechetical teaching he had heard given in his school. I felt as if I could drop down on my knees and thank God before them all for helping me to make a success of what. without Him would have been a failure.
As the students were required to teach in some Sunday School every Sunday, I joined a party of them who used to help at St. James's, Holloway. I had a class of twenty little boys assigned to me.
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SUNDAY SCHOOL WORK UNDER DIFFICULTIES
They were the children of brick-makers and other rough people engaged in the neighbouring brickfields. Most of them came in their fathers' worn-out garments, the trousers being shortened, and the coats trailing along the ground. All were more or less ragged and tattered. They had to wash their faces and hands in the porch before being seated in class. Sunday after Sunday I could do nothing more than keep them in order. But after a while I got a few to take an interest in Samson, and in the killing of Goliath by David, and after a long time I managed to make them keep quiet while I told them Bible stories or bits of the catechism. But there was one incorrigible little rascal whose name I still remember--Vennables--a name I wondered how he came by, as it was one held in honour in clerical circles. This little imp never wore anything but one flannel garment like a short singlet. From the time he entered the class till he left he never sat quietly for a moment, and was always throwing things about, or pinching his neighbours, or doing something to annoy others. I tried to practice Abbot's method of "moral suasion," and kept him back Sunday after Sunday to have a quiet talk, but without producing any permanent good effect, so I handed him over to the Superintendent of the school, who was a good disciplinarian, and from whom he got a good caning, which had a sobering effect upon him for the rest of the time he was under my charge. My experience as a Sunday School teacher was by no means a happy one, but I was thankful for it, as being good training in patience and forbearance. It taught me to hold
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GOLD FOUND AT ILLAWARRA
in high estimation the men and women I knew who voluntarily gave up their time on Sundays to engage in such trying work.
During my stay at Highbury I had a curious experience that seems worth recording. Some time before it occurred, wild rumours were in circulation about gold discoveries in Australia, which would far outstrip in richness anything yet found in California. Knowing that my father owned one hundred acres at Illawarra in New South Wales. I often wondered whether gold would ever be found there, and pictured to myself the change that would take place in our circumstances if it ever happened. As a boy I had often heard that gold existed in many parts of New South Wales, and so I was quite prepared to hear that my father had suddenly become possessed of untold wealth.
One day I got by post a Sydney newspaper, but did not dare to open it till I could get to some quiet place in the College grounds where no one could witness my emotion. As soon as I reached a suitable spot I tore the wrapper off and opened the paper, and the first thing which caught my eye was the announcement--"Rich Gold Found at Illawarra."
The blood rushed to my head, and everything began to whirl around me. I saw broad gold rock under my feet, and experienced an indescribable feeling of elation. I walked about by myself for some minutes till I could think calmly, and then decided not to tell anybody what I had seen in
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SOUTHEND AND ITS BATHING BEACH
the paper till more reliable evidence reached me, as I felt sure it soon would if the gold was really found on my father's land. And it was well I did, for after many weary months of hope deferred I learnt that the reported discovery of gold at Illawarra was premature, and founded on a prospector's statement that he had got a few grains of gold in the bed of a stream there. And so my vision of untold wealth vanished away.
My summer holidays in 1851 I spent at Southend, just opposite Sheerness. It was then a very small village, but noted for possessing a very long pier. I got comfortable lodgings in a pretty cottage, the front of which was covered with creeping roses, and the little garden round it full of sweet-scented flowers, the sight and smell of which was an agreeable change from the smoke-laden atmosphere of London.
Finding that English people thought it the bounden duty of everyone visiting the seaside to bathe whether they liked doing so or not, I felt compelled to comply with the custom of the country, and to go down to the beach every morning for a dip. The colour of the water was not very inviting, and contrasted unfavourably with that of the water in Auckland and Sydney, being thick and muddy. My first bathe was fairly satisfactory, for I was able to dive off the beach, but in a few mornings I had to walk a quarter of a mile before the water reached up to my knees. When the sun shone, and there was no wind, I bore with the inconvenience of having to pursue the receding tide, but the misery of doing so on a sunless morning when a cold wind was blowing,
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SUMMER IN ESSEX IN 1851
and having to return across the bleak wet beach after a partial dip in liquid mud, was an experience I determined never to renew. Sea bathing I had always associated with pleasant bodily sensations, owing to the water in our southern seas being always clean and tepid. But I look back upon my experience of it in England as a species of torture which custom compelled me to endure.
Curiously enough I associate sensations of great discomfort from heat, as well as cold, during my summer stay in Essex. After shivering on the exposed beach in the morning, it sometimes happened in the afternoon, when walking through sheltered fields of ripening corn somewhere inland, that I felt the heat stifling. On one occasion in particular, the sun poured down its rays through a gap in the overhanging leaden clouds, as if focussed on my head, and took all the strength out of me, I could hardly move one leg after the other. I have since visited many hot countries, but never in any of them have I felt the heat more unbearable than I did in Essex in 1851.
FAREWELL TO ENGLAND
HAVING COME TO THE END OF MY FOUR YEARS' STAY IN LONDON, I VISIT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS, PREPARE TO RETURN TO NEW ZEALAND, AND TAKE LEAVE OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
THE man who occupied the next room to mine at the College was a Channel Islander named Le Cocq. He came from Alderney, and was a
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A ROUGH CHANNEL CROSSING
protege of the Principal, who was at one time the clergyman of the island. He was very much interested in my stories about New Zealand and Australia, places he knew by name, having relations who had gone to live there. I was equally interested in all he had to tell me about the Channel Islands, and the brave people who dwelt there, who had furnished so many brave officers and seamen to the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. Le Cocq invited me to spend the summer holidays with him in 1852, which I gladly agreed to do, when I learnt that the cost of the trip was quite within my means. It was my first sea trip since my arrival in England in 1848, and I was anxious to keep my reputation as a seasoned sailor, and to do that it was necessary not to go below while crossing the Channel, for fear that the sights and smells of the cabin might upset my stomach.
On reaching Southampton it was pouring with rain. A peep into the cabin made me more determined than ever to stay on deck. All the berths were occupied by people who had joined the steamer by an earlier train. High piles of tin basins were ranged all along the floor, showing what was expected to happen very soon. When we got into the Channel the steamer pitched and rolled in a way I was quite unaccustomed to in a sailing ship. I held on to a stay, on the windward side, long after everyone else had disappeared from the deck. The Captain, who knew Le Cocq, had sent a steward to fetch him to a berth in his own cabin, and two or three hours afterwards the same steward took me there too. But the berth I got
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HOSPITALITY IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS
was athwart ship. I was alternately head down and heels up till we reached St. Peter's Port in Guernsey, about the break of day. Though I got a nice bed at the hotel I could not sleep, nor could I enjoy the nice breakfast Le Cocq had ordered for us. He fortunately had got rid, in the Channel, of what was still troubling me. I being a sailor would not yield to sea-sickness, and brought my misery ashore with me.
Le Cocq drove me round the island, and introduced me to a lot of his friends. They all reminded me of New Zealand settlers in their dress, and homes, and general bearing. The Resident Magistrate was dressed in a blue dungaree suit, and was busy in his garden when we called. He was a shy, reserved man, but his wife and daughter were charming ladies. Then we called on a gentleman who had a son in New Zealand, and who wished to hear all I could tell about the country. Though feeling very poorly I had to do my best to be communicative. What increased my difficulty was that at every house we called the hospitable people forced us to take cake and wine. I managed by the aid of my pocket handkerchief to secrete several pieces of cake in my pocket, but the wine I was obliged to swallow. I had never taken so much wine in my life before as I did during that drive round Guernsey. Fortunately, being light French wine, it did not intoxicate me.
We went on to Alderney in a small tug boat, and when halfway there Le Cocq took me to the bows to show me a strange thing. The steamboat was steering straight on to a rock, which just showed above water. As we got within six feet
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THE HOME OF THE ALDERNEY COW
of it one noticed that the current was rushing past the rock with tremendous velocity, and its force deflected the bow of the steamer and prevented its striking the rock. I afterwards witnessed the same sort of thing when going through the French Pass in Cook Strait, New Zealand.
I met with a very warm welcome from Le Cocq's father and mother, two homely old people of the farming class. We had not been long in the house before the Judge called, and Mr. Phillip Mesney the Postmaster and Custom House Officer and General Agent of the Government to give us welcome and a general invitation to their houses.
I spent a delightful time in Alderney. Everyone seemed bent on doing something to add to my enjoyment, and I was made to feel quite at home wherever I went. One of the things which surprised me was the smallness of the farmers' holdings, and the richness of the soil. I never expected to find the home of the celebrated Alderney cow so restricted; her grazing ground barely exceeded what was allowed elsewhere to a nanny goat.
The coastline of Alderney was very rocky, and reefs abounded all round the island. The currents, except at high tide or dead low water, swept along with the speed of a mill race, and made navigation in the neighbourhood very dangerous, as the French often found to their cost when trying to invade the island in war time. On one memorable occasion the women managed to prevent a French landing by wearing red petticoats over their shoulders, and top hats, and sticks to represent muskets. The approaching enemy seeing them,
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THE EXCITEMENT OF SAND EELING
mistook them for British soldiers supposed to be lately landed to resist them, and went back to their ships.
One of the island pastimes was sand eeling at low water. The favourite time chosen for it was during a full moon. My friends did not like me to go away without seeing and enjoying the fun of their favourite sport, but they hardly liked ladies to go past the Irish camp, which was close to the beach, after dark; and it was some time before a decision was arrived at. Without the ladies' company all felt the eeling expedition would be robbed of half its charm. Mesney interviewed the Governor, Le Mesurieur, and got him to give us an escort, and under their wing we went down to the beach about midnight. Our party consisted of five couples, and we worked in pairs. One dug the sand over with a potato fork; and the other caught the eel turning up, and popped it into a basket. The eels were wonderfully quick in hiding themselves, and unless they were instantly seized they got out of sight under the sand again. When caught they often wriggled out of the holder's hands and escaped. We were all highly excited, and I quite understood from the state of my own feelings why sand eeling by moonlight was so popular amongst the islanders.
Towards the close of my visit I got a letter telling me to report myself at Salisbury Square by a certain date, as my passage to New Zealand had been taken in the Slains Castle, which would sail in August, and the Committee wished to give me their final instructions.
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STOPPING THE MAIL STEAMER
The Mesneys had planned a picnic for the very day the Alderney steamer left to join the mail boat at Guernsey for Southampton. Mesney said the Captain of the mail steamer was a special chum of his, and that if I would stop, he would get him to call at the island and pick me up. All pleaded so hard, and my own inclinations seconded their pleading, so that I stayed and we spent a most enjoyable time together, and we were all very sad when about four in the afternoon the smoke of a large steamer approaching showed that the time had come to bid farewell. Phillip Mesney drove me quickly down to the Port, where a large sailing boat he had engaged was waiting to carry me out to the steamer. There was a good breeze, and in a short time we were alongside, and I got safely on board. The passengers evidently wondered who the youth could be who was of sufficient importance to cause the Royal Mail steamer to come so far out of its course, and occasion such a delay in delivering the mails. This incident is of special interest, as it shows the brotherly relations in which all Channel Islanders then stood towards one another. Nowhere else in the Kingdom would such a thing have been done by the captain of a mail boat to please a friend and countryman.
On my return to London I attended a farewell service at which the C. M. S. Committee's charge to the outgoing party of missionaries, of whom I was one, was read. Only a few days then remained before sailing, during which I was busy packing and bidding adieu to my friends.
I went to Oldham to bid my father good-bye, and from there on to Westmoreland to see my
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I NEARLY MISS THE MAIL TRAIN
eldest sister Mary, who was at a school there. On coming back to the station, after visiting my sister, I nearly missed the mail train, owing to the slowness of the horse which drew the gig which I was in. I suspected that the hotel-keepers, from whom I hired it, wished me to miss it, in order to keep me for the night, but I promised the driver a sovereign if he caught the train, and he got more pace out of the fat old cob than I expected. The road was downhill, and he galloped all the way, turning the corners so quickly that it was a miracle we did not capsize. The train was at the little platform, and the big gate leading to it was shut. The station house door which I tried was locked, so I pitched my gladstone bag over the gate, and climbed over, picked it up and rushed for a truck which stood opposite to me. As I was clambering into it, thinking the train about to move, the stationmaster came up and asked me where I was going. "To London," I said.
"Have you a ticket?"
"Well, come with me and I will give you one."
"But is it not too late?"
I went into the little station and put down a five pound note.
"Have you nothing less?"
Then he began opening one drawer after another in search of change. In the meantime the driver was whistling loudly, and I greatly feared he would start without me. But the stationmaster reassured me, and in the most leisurely way walked
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A "NIP" OF BRANDY AND ITS RESULTS
towards a carriage and put me in. By this time the passengers were poking their heads out of the windows, wondering what was causing the delay.
The carriage I got into was quite full at first, but after a time all but one passenger left. He was rather an odd looking man about thirty years of age, and was surrounded with bearskin rugs.
"Are you going to London?" he asked.
"Yes," I replied.
"Well then, you take charge of the seat you are on, lie down on it at full length, and you can have one of my fur rugs to cover you. Whenever the train stops at any station on the way, be sure to get up and look out of the window, and that will prevent people getting into the carriage and disturbing us, and we shall then be able to sleep the best part of the journey."
My companion was rather communicative, and told me that he was a Canadian, but that he was now going to try his luck on the Australian gold-fields which were just discovered. He was interested to hear that I was a colonial too, and that I was on my way back to New Zealand. After a long wait at one of the big stations, when we were both chilled by standing so long at the open window, my companion advised me to take a "nip" from his brandy flask. I had never tasted neat spirits before, and declined with thanks, but he was so insistent that I swallowed a mouthful with most painful results; my breath was quite taken away, and I choked, and felt as if I were being suffocated. I put my head out of the window, and tried hard to breathe, but it was some time before I could do so freely. The Canadian
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AN OVERCROWDED SHIP FOR MELBOURNE
was very sorry for what he had done, and made up for it by insisting that I should be his guest at the hotel he meant to put up at in London. We reached our destination about four in the morning, and put up at the Grand Hotel, near the General Post Office, where I had a luxurious bed and a good breakfast before we parted, never expecting to meet again.
But while the ship in which I was going to New Zealand was lying off Gravesend, waiting for the tide to help us out of the river, I landed to get a few necessary things for my cabin, and in the shop I entered to make my purchases, who should I meet but the Canadian I travelled with in the mail train. He was bent on the same errand as myself. He complained bitterly of the overcrowded condition of the ship he was going to Melbourne in, and anticipated a miserable voyage. Lots of the men, he said, had no sleeping places provided for them, and the ship's carpenters were still busy making rough bunks which were very narrow and too close together to be comfortable. I never saw my fellow traveller again, and only hope that he fared better in the end than he feared.
Though I knew I was doing quite the right thing in going to join the Church Mission in New Zealand, I felt very sad at having to go so far away from my young brothers and sisters who, since our dear mother's death, looked to me for guidance and comfort in all their little perplexities. It pained me to think there was so little chance of our ever meeting again, for we could not then foresee how near the antipodes was about to be brought to England by steam navigation. Happily
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THE SADNESS OF FAREWELL
our worst forebodings were not realized, for we did meet again, but not till thirty-two years had elapsed, when all traces of youth had disappeared, and we who parted as children met again as middle-aged men and women.
This brings to an end the account of my four years' sojourn in England. I shall next give you an account of my voyage to New Zealand in the Slains Castle, and my entry upon my life's work at Waikato in 1853.