1867 - Thomson, J. T. Rambles with a Philosopher - [Front Matter]

E N Z B       
       Home   |  Browse  |  Search  |  Variant Spellings  |  Links  |  EPUB Downloads
Feedback  |  Conditions of Use      
  1867 - Thomson, J. T. Rambles with a Philosopher - [Front Matter]
Previous section | Next section      


[Image of page i]

Rambles with a Philosopher.

[Image of page ii]

[Page ii is blank]

[Image of page iii]




"Comes jucundus in via pro vehiculo est."
Copyright Reserved.

[Image of page iv]

[Page iv is blank]


[Image of page v]



YOU will ask me why I have troubled you with this little book-- what has been my motive?--have I selfish ends to gain? Many questions, no doubt, will arise in your mind. Shall I satisfy you? No, certainly not. Judge for yourself: the book is yours--you have bought it with a price from the bookseller, who will not take it back again even if you be dissatisfied, and conclude, on the contrary, it to be worthless.

Some who read it may find it too deep for them. To them I would say, grope through it the more warily: read only one chapter before going to bed, and no more. Others who read it will find it too shallow. Then, to such I would say, wade through it the oftener: you can do this without danger. Some will say there is something mysterious about it. To them I would say, study it the more: the veil will lift by better acquaintance. Others will say, there is nothing new in the book. To such I would suggest its closing, for it can be of no advantage to them.

We have grown since the olden times. We now do not know each other so well as we used to do. The tall flax no longer grows in Princes-street, nor do blue shirts and fustian trowsers clothe our society. The "Old Identities" are few and far between. Occasionally, one may be seen staring from one side of the street to

[Image of page vi]

the other, wondering at the noble fronts of the wealthy banking establishments. The past is as a dream to him--the present is magic--the future--ah! that is not ours. The "Old Identity" is bewildered, for he sees no old land-marks: he is saddened, for be finds himself a stranger in a crowd--his position is lonely indeed.

I was standing at the door of one of the few old houses of resort lately, enjoying some newly-imported tobacco. The blue smoke curled up in fantastic forms: I watched it--there was an unaccountable attraction in it; what could be the cause? I stood ruminating till the forms and features of two old companions developed themselves to my fancy. I was puzzled for a moment-- ah! I had it: the tobacco was the same that I had so often tasted from the Squire's stores: and there stood also "our companion"-- in idea only.

The mental apparition brought to my recollection some papers I had written down and long put aside: a strong desire came upon me to re-peruse them. They were found, after much search, in the lowest drawer of an old oak chest, and at the furthest end of the garret. Re-perusal excited renewed interest in "our companion's" great theme; so, after much "backing and filling"--as my friend Salt Junk would say--I determined to publish them.

Gentle Reader, what is your verdict? Am I right in doing so? --I am, &c,


Dunedin, 11th September, 1867.


[Image of page vii]


CHAPTER I. --The Last Day of a Journey. A Rider ahead. The Dilemma. Storm on the Snowy Range. The Meeting. The Descent. A Glimpse of Dunedin.....1

CHAPTER II. --The Old Royal. Refreshment. The Rule of Contraries. Doubts. Projects of an Infant Settlement. A New Actor. Alchemic Circles. Effects. A Riot Subdued. Satisfactory Explanations. The Stranger's first Reflections. Small Beginnings may have Large Endings......6

CHAPTER III. --A Stroll through the Village Two Notable Citizens. The Rush of the Mob. Sacred Melody. Bell Hill as it was. H. M. Jail. A Courteous Prisoner. The Old Man's Moral Influence. Its Strong Power. Its Rarity. Its Appropriateness to the Circumstances. How long might it last?...........12

CHAPTER IV. --A Noisy Company. A Ragged Bull-dog. National Aversions and Church Politics. A Stray Englishman at bay. A Northern Episcopalian. The Crammed, Surfeited, and Wrecked.........19

CHAPTER V. --Starting on a Journey. I introduce the Squire. We gain the Ridges. The Squire's Poetry. Doric Nomenclature. The Pioneer Settlers of the Taieri. The Squire's Contempt for our Companion's Philosophy. His first Escape from it. We Flounder over the Tracks.......24

[Image of page viii]

CHAPTER VI. --Patience at the Ferry. The Accommodation House. Difficulties and Losses. The Squire's Predilection. Pigging. A Restless Night. Our Companion's Disgust. The Blunted Delicacy of the Squire........30

CHAPTER VII. --The Squire's Candour. A Repulse. Our Companion's Explanation. A Survey Party. More Moral Persuasion. Honored Labor. Labor and Knowledge--which will be uppermost?.......35

CHAPTER VIII. --Hitherward and Thitherward. The Settler's Home. His Family. Disinterested Kindness. The Young Ladies. Elevated Simplicity. A Clean Bed, and Sound Rest. Kakas and Wild Ducks. The Philosophy of Home. Love: its Power. Man and Wife. The Squire's Notions of Women. His Pipe put out.......39

CHAPTER IX. --A Whare in the Bush. Heterogeneous Company. Good Fare. An Argument and a Quarrel. The Inebriate. A Noisy Set. A Civil Bush Host. Philosophy of Drunkenness..........47

CHAPTER X. --Misgivings. Dear and Scant. Skilley, or Prison Fare. A Grace. Doubtful Sanctity. Invidious Distinctions amongst Levellers. A General Purge. Toleration and Endurance. A Moral.........53

CHAPTER XI. --To and Fro. General Impressions. Social System Upset. An Exposition. Forms of Respect in vice versa Order. Natural Objects, Minute and Many. The Rat and the Moa..........59

CHAPTER XII. --A Maori Host. His Whare. His Family Circle. Supper. A Female Slave. Degradation. The Squire's Solace. A War-dance. Hideous Contortions. The Opposite Social System. Useless Gentility: Cogitations thereon. Nature. Physical Deductions........63

CHAPTER XIII. --Torrents of Rain. An Exposition of the Favorite Theme. An Atom. Infinite Comminution. Matter Infinitely Divisible. Reko's Intelligence.........72

[Image of page ix]

CHAPTER XIV. --Infinity of Space. The Elements. The Balance. A Central Sun. The Milky Way. A Descent to Actuality. The Mind of a Slave. Instability of Ignorance. Unerring Laws.......75

CHAPTER XV. --The Rain Pours. Time. The Present, the Past, and the Future. Periods and Eternity have no Ratio. A Motamentum not perceptible......80

CHAPTER XVI. --Temporal Cares. Change. Continuity. Change is Life. Visible Objects, Apparent only by Change. Renovation by Change. Change on the Face of New Zealand. Change not to be Regretted. This, the Era of Stimulated Change.......84

CHAPTER XVII. -- Clear Weather. Mataura River in Full Flood. The Falls. The Lamprey. The Root Vermin. Variety. A Disgusting Comparison......88

CHAPTER XVIII. --Maori Diet. Links of Nature. The Feelings of a Stone. An Intellectual Mineral. Sensitiveness of Vegetables. The Zoophite. The Link Between Man and the Ape. Flying Mammals. The Ornithorhynchus. The Leaf Insect. The Squire's Impatience........91

CHAPTER XIX. --Maori Geography. Knowledge of the Interior. Reko's Travels. Geological Disquisition. Drifts and Terraces. How Deposited. One Tide's Action. One Principle Proved. ........99

CHAPTER XX. --A Horse Power. Comparison between Great and Small. Cutting of the Channel of the Mataura. A Cycle. Actinism. Alternations of Heat and Cold. Rise and Fall of Land. Expansion and Contraction. A Theory. A Practical Illustration. The Rind of the Earth. Lateral Pressure. Subject Wrapped in Smoke........104

CHAPTER XXI. --A Pig Hunt. The Squire's Agility. Gradual Development. The Early, Middle, and Late Creations. New Links. The Creator's Law. The Squire's Chemical Composition. Six Cycles to Mature Man. A Cycle a Day..........114

[Image of page x]

CHAPTER XXII. --The Duty of Philosophy to Discover Error as well as Truth. Creation. The Earth. The Steps in Creation. True Philosophy of the Sacred Records. No Chance-work. Amalgamation of Species. Truth, though Scotched, not to be Killed. Study of Geology Enjoined in Holy Writ. Crude Persuasions not to Crush Intelligent Inquiry.........121

CHAPTER XXIII. --We Cross. Dangers of the Ferry. Heroism of Reko. Primitive Charges. The Fascination of Danger. The Squire's Confirmation........128

CHAPTER XXIV. --An Eccentric Pioneer. Short Commons. "Old Hands." The Waiopai. Precursor of Justice. Unpopularity of a Limb of the Law. Law Valued at a Price. Lovers and Haters. Tall Talk and Small Appreciation........133

CHAPTER XXV. --A Disturbed Night. A Wake. The Funeral. Drunken Sorrow. A Priestess. Squire's Philosophy of Women. Virtue out of Depravity........139

CHAPTER XXVI. --A Reconnoitre. A Seat in a Fireplace. A Whaler Host. The Cooper's Schnaps. A Dance. Our Host's Activity. The Bullock Cut Out. Wild Scenery. The Social System. Sunday Exercises. The Power of Contrast...........144

CHAPTER XXVII. --The Theory. Auld Reekie. No Opposites, no Existence. An Illustration. A Totara. Man and Woman. The Earth and the Firmament.......153

CHAPTER XXVIII. --Land. Its Existence in Change. The Coral Insect. Alternate Action. Junction of Heat and Cold. Fulcrum of Opponent Forces......157

CHAPTER XXIX. --Water: its Currents. Constant Change. Salubrity in Motion. Reaction the Soul of Nature. The Squire's Resolve..........160

CHAPTER XXX. --Air. Its Opposites. A Still Day. A Sealed Bottle. Slow Change and Fast Change. The Trade Winds. Cyclone. No Opposition, no Action. Shelving the Question........163

[Image of page xi]

CHAPTER XXXI. --Being. Pencillings of Nature. Electric Currents. Divine Ideas. The Squire's Amazement. A Chinese Illustration. Religion Upheld. A Day of Creation. A Pig without a Tail. Men with Tails. A Noble Lady and a Papuan. The Ratio. Forms of Mankind. Porcupine Men. The Lost Link.......168

CHAPTER XXXII. --Humanity. Black and White. Its Flow. Tendency from Cold Regions to Hot Regions. Impulses. Economy of a Nation. Motive Power. Effects of Ignorance. Rome on the Wane. Patricians and Plebeians. Self-Preservation...........182

CHAPTER XXXIII. --Man's Fear of Man. The Squire's Political Economy. The Democrat and the Aristocrat. Influence of Climate. Civilization and Barbarism. The Foundation of Races. Material Interest the Bond of Nations. Having and Not Having. Great Britain, the Model of the World. A Paradox. Opposites in Populations. Slavery. Caprices of Extremes. Weakness of Diffusion. Perpetuation by Mutual Concession..........197

CHAPTER XXXIV. --The Mind. Its Influence. Contrarieties of Mind. Growth of Faculties. Circulation of Ideas. Religion. Great Divisions on Small Differences. The Counterpoise of the World.. Zones of Creeds. Perception and Non-Perception of a Deity. The War of Mind. The Phraloang. Gross and Humane Convictions..........218

CHAPTER XXXV. --A Wide Prospect. Fascination of Mystery. Lecture on Politics. Universal and Manhood Suffrage. Self-Preservation the Impulse of All. Just Rule. Old England the Model. The Maori. The Parting........235

Previous section | Next section