PART V: AUCKLAND, 1852-62.
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Extract of Report to C. M. S., 1852. --"I was appointed by the Central Committee to the charge of the Auckland missionary district, extending from Whangarei (north) to Taupo, near Pakihi (south), including the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, also the native settlements of Mangere, Puketapapa, Oraki, Pukaki, Tamaki, &c, places situated within six or ten miles of Auckland. I commenced the regular duties connected with this work in June, the previous part of the year being occupied either at Opotiki or in residence at St. John's College. 1 When in Auckland I have charge of morning and evening service at the native hostelry, and visit the sick at the hospital and jail."
Extract from Report for 1854. --"After much observation, it seems to me that the most effectual method to advance this people in the Christian faith would be to establish a few educated native teachers on the different islands, and in the larger settlements on the mainland, who could not only perform the office of religious teachers, but also act as counsellors to the people -- daily instructors and schoolmasters to their children."
Extracts from Report for 1855. --"The moral and religious state of this district during the past year presents little encouragement to the missionary. . . . The chapels at present are mere ruins, and the people have been in vain solicited to rebuild or repair them. At Whangarei I find the population as follows: --Natives within a range of ten miles, 500. Settlers (of whom I made a census)--Church of England, 56; various denominations, 116. This little colony of settlers is fast progressing, and it affords me sincere pleasure to bear testimony to the good and religious example which its members set the aborigines, who in return live on friendly terms with their European neighbours. But I am sorry to add that with few exceptions the Whangarei natives are of indifferent character. Most of these people joined Heke during the late war with the Government, since which they have, nearly to a man, fallen back on heathenism."
Extract, 1857. --"In November last I spent nearly three weeks at Whangarei.... A native of some consequence told me that it was their intention in January next, all of them, to proceed to the Bay of Islands and aid the natives of that place in the re-erection of the flagstaff, which was cut down by Heke, and was the cause of the late war. That after they had performed this (he gravely added) they should again believe, and attend worship as formerly. This assertion conveys no incorrect idea of the indifference and blindness in which they live."
Extract Report, 1858. --"Having visited Whangarei at intervals during the last five years, it was only in the course of the present month that some of the natives of that place invited me to hold public worship on the Sabbath. This, I trust, may prove the precursor of a general return to the ways of peace, and the promise be accomplished in them--'I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.' (Psa. xiv. 23)."
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1860. TARANAKI WAR.
Parnell, July, 1860. 2--I must say a few words as to the cause and motive which led me to Taranaki. One morning in the beginning of this month George 3 and I were sitting at breakfast, when the news arrived in Auckland of Major Nelson's defeat on the 27th June, before Puketakauere. It was a sad affair; badly planned and feebly conducted; enough to say the attacking party, after three or four hours, were completely broken, leaving the dead and many wounded on the field. . . . The conduct of the natives was so unrelenting and barbarous, that I pondered the matter long and thoughtfully. In the evening I met a gentleman near St George's Bay, who, with some excitement, said: "Have you heard the news?" "What news?": "Why, the defeat of the troops at Taranaki!" He went on, "Do you know how they did it? They made handles many feet long for their tomahawks, and so struck over the soldiers' bayonets." He laughed and appeared merry over it. I made no answer, but turned away. In a short time I had made up my mind what to do--to leave my station (Auckland) and go to Waikato (the root of the evil), and try what could be done there to check this merciless warfare.
I was thus first led to visit Taranaki when the struggle had reached a climax, and I was in Waikato for this purpose when the Maoris, who had worsted the regiments and naval brigade under Major Nelson, returned to their homes. It was from them and the man who led them (Epiha) that I heard the Maori side of this sad story, and their boastful narrative deeply roused my sympathy and enlisted my every energy to interfere on behalf of my countrymen. These Waikatos told me plainly that they had given no quarter-- that they took not a single prisoner--but that all alike were indiscriminately slain; and even the wounded, found two or three days after the encounter, shared the same fate.
Epiha mentioned that, on the morning after the action at Puketakauere, he sent men to bury the dead, 4 and that on finding the first body the native, who was about to dig the grave, sat down on the fern. In doing so he hurt a wounded man concealed beneath. The soldier at once raised himself and drew a pistol in defence, but owing to the night's rain it missed fire. The Maori then attacked him with his spade and killed him. This party afterwards came to a second body, at the back of which sat a poor wounded fellow who had crept from the bush to his dead comrade, and hungry and
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faint was eating the little food left in the man's kit. On one of the Maoris assaulting him, he had strength sufficient to wrest the weapon from the native, but, crippled and unable to rise, a second shot him dead. I asked Epiha "why they behaved with such cowardice and cruelty to wounded men, who could no longer resist them?" He answered, "What else could we do? They always were on the defensive. One of them, a soldier lying on the ground, shot two Maoris before they succeeded in killing him. How could we spare them when they acted in this way? Wounded as they were, they tried to shoot and kill us." Epiha did not say this in anger, or, as far as I could see, from a feeling of revenge. He then spoke with praise of Lieutenant Brooks, of the 40th Regiment, who defended himself in a swamp for some time against three young men, till a fourth (he pointed the man out to me), coming up, shot him. But I shall say little more of this sad catastrophe; my object in referring to it thus far is to show that there was a cause which led me to visit Taranaki.
Otawhao (Te Awamutu), the station of the Rev. John Morgan, is situated in the centre of the disaffected tribes, and during a prolonged stay at this and other parts of the Waikato (I left Auckland on the 11th September, and did not return till the 9th of November), I saw and heard much among the people which determined me to carry out my purpose of dissuading them from such barbarity to a humane and generous conduct. To this end Mr. Morgan and myself visited the tribes and their chiefs day by day, and no argument from either Scripture or the usages of nations, to guide their future conduct, was left untouched. To all this, however, they refused to consent. Their reply was, "What do you think we are going to war for? Do you suppose we are going to save men's lives? We fight as our forefathers and as our fathers did; let the soldiers do the same. We do not interfere with their mode of fighting; do not interfere with ours. We ask no quarter--we give none; we ask not for that we give not." Yet the frequent intercourse of many days made some slight impression, and when all was ready for the taua again to leave for the scene of their late achievements, the chief who was now to lead them, Wetini Taiporutu, a man of great patriotism and humanity, and who already had done what he could to soften the stern and cruel features of the war, said to me: "To-night we hold a runanga to consider what you and Mr. Morgan have said. I shall try to induce the people to show mercy. Come here to-morrow at daylight, we leave early for Taranaki. You shall then hear our decision."
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1860. "WE FIGHT AS OUR FOREFATHERS DID."
October 11th. --When I arrived early this morning the last files of the taua were leaving the village of Kihikihi. I found Wetini standing alone, looking at the men of his tribe as they passed before him. He seemed heavy and cast down. His only weapon was the sword of Lieutenant Brooks, which he held drawn in his hand. After we had greeted, his words were few. "We held a runanga, as I promised you," he said; "but the people would not hear. Epiha, Te Oreore, and myself were for mercy to the wounded and prisoners; all the rest were against us. I now go with them to this war, but should they persist in this evil work and act as at Puketakauere, I shall leave them and return to Waikato." Then he added in a low voice, sinking to a whisper, "They say they will spare the women and children." And, after a pause, as though speaking to himself, said, "Perhaps."
This was a sad reverse to all the hopes I had begun to entertain. I could say nothing; for a short time I could scarcely speak, but after a few minutes I made a last effort and said: "I shall follow you to Taranaki. Perhaps, when you are all together, the chiefs of the other tribes, your allies, may act otherwise. What do you think of my doing this?" "That will be best," he replied; "come and see us there. For if we Waikatos had consented to what you ask, what use would it be if others had not done so? Other tribes would not feel themselves bound to keep what we, not they, had promised. But come 5 to Taranaki, and then you will hear, when the whole aro assembled, what the people will say. "Thus we parted, he nearly immediately to fall at Mahoetahi, I to see his grave and carry out his humane intentions among his colleagues on the field of Waitara.
Sunday, 14th. --Waipa. Preached in Mr. Reid's chapel. News afterwards arrived from Hangatiki of an intended attack of the natives upon Auckland and Whaingaroa.
15th. --Remained to see the war party. Natives again change their plans,
22nd. --Otawhao. Discussed the case of the Maori found killed at Patumahoe. Natives say he has been murdered by settlers.
23rd. --Visited Kihikihi; this place is the focus of the disaffected; found them always well behaved and civil, notwithstanding the war feeling.
25th. -- Left for Whaingaroa to warn the white men of approaching danger. Slept at Waipa. Natives have all left for the war.
28th. --Whaingaroa. Saw the head chief on the position of
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affairs, also the Wesleyan Mission; they seem to me to be living in a false security.
November 3rd. -- Ngaruawahia. Visited the native king on behalf of Europeans.
Sunday, 4th. --Taupiri. Heard natives had passed to surprise and destroy Auckland.
9th. --Auckland. Called on the Governor, stated fully the condition of things in the Waikato; the determination of the natives to prosecute a ruthless war, and I also mentioned my intention, with his approval, of proceeding to Taranaki. Colonel Browne at once entered into my plans and warmly approving of all, spoke many kind words of encouragement to second my efforts. So, without any other connection with His Excellency than his good will and advice, I left in the "Victoria" for Taranaki, on the 26th of December.
December 27th. --Taranaki. On my arrival here, I called the same afternoon upon General Pratt (the commanding officer); to him I simply stated the object of my coming amongst them and the motives by which I was influenced. I told him my knowledge of the Ngatihaua, the bravest and most influential of the Waikato tribes, my long residence in the country, and my willingness to do anything to lessen on the part of the Maoris the ferocity of the war, and I asked his permission to visit the Maori camp. The General, to whom I was a perfect stranger without any introduction, did not quite like this request, and at first received it with marked coldness. After much further conversation, he at last observed, "You should have come sooner, there is no time; we march at daylight; you can go, but it will place you in an awkward position." I, however, gladly accepted his assent and we parted in more confidence than when we met.
28th. 6 --At daylight, while the troops in the town were forming up, my native guide and myself, well mounted, started for the Maori position at Matarikoriko. Wetini and most of the men he had led, had already fallen at Mahoetahi; and now I had no colleague among the chiefs and was a stranger unknown to the natives in this part of the country. After a quiet ride of three hours through a district as beautiful as fertile, wasted by the enemy and
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1860. THE MAORIS REFUSE TO GIVE QUARTER.
deserted by the settler, we came to Matarikoriko, a little inland of Puketakauere, a fine elevation overlooking a large sweep of country and well protected. Here the Maori awaited the advance of the British. About half a mile from this place we overtook two men gathering puwha (sow thistles), who proved to belong to Wetini's tribe. They saluted me in a wild yet not unkind manner, and shook hands. Then they called my name--"Ko te Wirihana"-- to their comrades at the foot of the pa in the prolonged half thrilling, half yelling expression used when under excitement. We were quickly surrounded by a number of armed men, nearly all naked, who were surprised to see a stranger, and at first were disposed to be insolent, but a few Waikato men being among them, explained to the Taranaki people who I was, etc., and this friendly interference checked their insolence, and at last they heard quietly what I had to say. In my address I mentioned the terms already submitted to Waikato, and which were as follows: -- "1st. That the wounded on both sides should be treated with humanity. 2nd. That prisoners should be exchanged. 3rd. That the dead should be undisturbed and buried by their respective people. 4th. That persons approaching under a flag of truce should be respected and uninjured." In urging their compliance with these conditions, I reminded them that success would not always attend either people; that the Scriptures which they professed to receive, and also their present interest, urged their acceptance of those terms. A chief of Ngatihaua, named Henee, replied, flatly refusing to listen to such conditions, and Hapurona Pukerimu said: "The soldiers are now on their way to attack us. This is not the time to speak of humanity, atawhai! This is our reply. You must leave here at once, and take with you this message to the chief of the soldiers."
The message was too gross and unseemly to repeat, and I merely answered by a half scornful smile. Then coming near to me, his eyes glaring with passion, he said fiercely: "Do you come here to laugh at me? Do you mean to deride my wars and to mock me?"
To which, looking him full in the face and firmly fixing my eyes on his, I asked him, "Why should I not laugh? You think you have only to speak and I must obey and carry your message to the soldiers; while the mission that I have come on and have delivered to you--words of mercy, not mine, but from above, words of God!-- you regard not. Why, then, must I listen to you? I have said that which is for your good, the good of the people and of the pakeha."
Grim and savage as he was, he ceased to menace and gradually
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turned away, though he still continued to vow vengeance against the soldiers and requested me to leave immediately.
The Ngatihaua chief I had known in better times, when he and his cousin, Tarapipipi, were head teachers in the mission school at Matamata, and I doubt not that it was owing to the presence of this man (under the good providence of God) that Hapurona confined his insults to mere words. Before turning to leave he said to me: "You are a missionary, you must stay now a little longer and karakia with the people."
Now, those who know the Maori best, can fully appreciate the feeling which led to this request (we find nearly an exact parallel in Numbers xxii to xxv.), but I steadfastly refused. A teacher from Waikato with Hapurona, asked, "Why?" "Because," I said, "you refuse to obey God. He is a God of mercy. You have been taught this and yet you will show no pity. God will not listen to the prayers of the merciless, prayer now would be useless. Grant what I have asked and then we will address God. "This and much more did not abate their importunity; they continued to press that I should karakia; 7 this I quietly yet firmly refused.
Before 1 left a few of the Waikatos seemed to approve (in part, at least) of the conditions I had mentioned. I now turned and rode along a bush track in the direction of the troops, who were on their way to the attack. I told the general what had passed, and of my present failure.
29th. --The natives were attacked at Matarikoriko.
Sunday, 30th. --After some conversation with the general, 8 he consented to a truce during the day if the natives also refrained
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1860. SABBATH TO BE RESPECTED.
from hostility. I went over to the native position to inform them of this. After walking, or rather wading a hundred and fifty yards through fern breast high, I came upon two Maori sentinels: the first a dwarf and hunchbacked, the second well made and active; they were well armed with double-barrelled guns, etc. The dwarf (who I afterwards heard was one of their bravest men) was a thin, slight man, nearly naked, and presented a strong contrast to the fine men of the 40th and 65th Regiments, who were carelessly lounging in their great coats along the parapet they had recently thrown up. The Maoris were both unknown to me and remained stern and silent, refusing to answer. While in this rather awkward position, a third man, who had been hid in the fern, rose up from behind them and recognised me, though I had forgotten him. He at once came forward, held out his hand and laughed with pleasure, saluting me as his matua. It appears that when Mr. Brown and myself formed the mission station at Matamata, some twenty-six years since, this man was one of my native "boys." He now made his fellows give way, and shouted my name to iho taua, encamped in a ravine below us, quite protected from the fire of the troops. After waiting a minute, a chief called to me to advance; here I found about 240 people, a little band of brave men, who for two days had resisted part of two regiments and a small naval brigade, under an experienced and gallant general. After defending themselves the last night, many were busy preparing breakfast, others, from the fatigue of the long encounter and still in fighting costume (half naked), lay fast asleep in the early morning sun, while some in groups conversed together. The principal men, to whom I made my way, sat silently by themselves under a sort of awning made of their garments. There was no noise or confusion anywhere, yet I thought there was a slight depression on some of their countenances.
They received me with reserve, still somewhat kindly, and when I was seated, asked what had brought me, and expressed surprise at my coming. I said, "The day is the Ra tapu, and if you will respect it as such, the soldier will do the same. Let there be no fighting to-day." They answered, "Tell the chief of the soldiers we never wish to fight on this day, or to takahi te Ra tapu. We shall not fire if they remain quiet. It is the pakeha who violates this day."
Such were these men! And when we look back on the past-- at what they once were--the thought will occur, how would the colonist have fared who should have had the hardihood to land on these islands previous to the work of the Christian missionary and
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the blessing of God on his efforts? 9 Massacre and the grave would have awaited him.
The defile in which the Maoris were unconcernedly resting was not more than two or three hundred yards from the redoubt, afterwards called No. 1 Redoubt, that had been thrown up during the fight of the last two days, and which cost twenty-two men killed and wounded. On the left front of this work, and not more than one hundred and fifty yards in advance, in broken ground covered with deep fern four feet high, the nearest native rifle-pits were hid. They were in two irregular sections, the last line of which was dug on the edge of the ravine just above where the Maoris were now sitting, and could be escaped from in an instant. From this little valley they had a good retreat open, and could retire into the forests of Pukerangiora without the possibility of being followed.
After a pause, I asked whether the taua would assemble for morning service. To this they readily consented. I read a few prayers (they had their books), prayers which I thought suitable, and then addressed them from Rev. xxii. 5, "There shall be no night there." Anyone who may see this journal will perhaps say, "A strangely selected text!" It may be so, but I knew the temper and feeling of the men I had to deal with. To have rebuked them as a party to this war, or for inhumanity, at such a season would have been as useless as to have reproved Cromwell's army after the battle of Dunbar or Worcester. I chose rather to dwell upon the fallen and miserable state of mankind, the demoralising and degrading consequences of sin, with all its melancholy detail. Then, turning to the promise in the text and contrasting the present with the future life, I dwelt on the joys of heaven, the perfection of that sinless and immortal nature destined for the sons of God in the kingdom of their Divine Father. I pressed them to consider all this in contrast to the scene which we at that moment witnessed. Their temporal and eternal welfare formed the sole purport of this address. The camp listened without the slightest interruption, in a silence rarely witnessed in days of peace. This act of worship over, they all became more cheerful and friendly. Shortly after they commenced breakfast, and one of them kindly placed before me a small iron pot containing a few slices of beef and potatoes which had been baked in it. As I sat eating, some gathered round whose faces I knew; among them was Rewi, the chief of Ngatimaniapoto, a leading man in the war. Our conversation at once turned on the object of my coming to Taranaki. Rewi said: "It is well you have come to see us; return to-morrow and
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1860. BURIAL OF MAORIS.
meet us in the forest at Huirangi; we will all assemble and, with other who are on the road to join us, hear again what you have to say about the wounded and prisoners." None present objected to this invitation.
And now I felt for the first time (with no slight gratitude to God) that the object I so ardently desired would be obtained.
When I rose to leave, a chief from Kawhia said to me: "Last night we buried some of our dead in the rifle-pits; ask the chief of the soldiers to respect them---let them remain undisturbed." I promised to do so, and added, "The general will allow you to remove the dead if you desire it." To this they objected, saying, "No; let them remain where they fell. The burial service was read over them in the night during the fight. The ground is tapu now. We wish them to lie where we have laid them."
Thus, under no ordinary fire (for the troops expended in all 170,000 rounds of ammunition during the two days of their attack), at a distance varying from 150 to 250 yards, these people, without perturbation or fear, interred their dead, concluding with the noble Burial Service of the Church of England--a fact which probably has no parallel in the annals of war. The farewell honours to these bold spirits were literally paid by the guns of our artillery, and the unbroken volleys of two British regiments. The burial of Moore (the theme of song) pales in the contrast!
As the day advanced I moved on through the wood towards Huirangi. There I found women weeping for the dead. With them were a few men whom I had known at Matamata. I spoke to them on the loss of friends, the misery and evil of war, and the religion of Jesus Christ. They admitted all I said, yet remained inconsolable.
December 31st. --To-day, with the General's sanction, I set out for Huirangi, hoping to persuade the natives to the terms before mentioned. After passing the first rifle-pits and the stream which runs in a lovely little valley between them and the wood, I found not more than three or four hundred men collected, for others whom they expected were not yet arrived. These were fully armed; they received me with civility and suggested that we should move to a more secluded part of the forest to prevent any inconvenience from the fire of the troops. They all arose, and bending their way a short distance to the left, sat down under a grove of karaka trees; here they seated themselves close together, leaving only sufficient room for each man's arms to rest between himself and the person next to him. I sat in front of this square, so that all could hear what I had to say. All being now quiet I advanced arguments and motives for humanity (much the same as had been used at
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similar meetings); the Scripture precept, "If thine enemy hunger feed him;" the chivalrous usages of Christian nations in war, This I illustrated by citing to them the chivalry of our brave troops at the battle of Talavera, who, during a cessation of three hours in the heat of the day, in the midst of a conflict in which they had lost nearly one thousand men, descended to drink at a stream which divided them from the enemy; the French doing the same; they met and mingled together without suspicion or fear, and that our men, seeing some of their hoariri (enemies) on the opposite side of the brook on their knees lapping the water, threw across to them their own drinking cans, etc.
At this some of those before me laughed; all were not a little interested, and one or more stretched the arm at full length above the head, and with the hand made a feigned attempt to grasp something, saying, "We cannot reach so high as that! (Pakeha! Pakeha!! E hara i te Pakeha!!! Truly the Pakeha!)" After I had ceased, no man for a while stood up to reply; they sat as they had listened and in a low tone conversed together in mass; they seemed to approve what had been advanced, but after a pause others denied its application to themselves. Some observed, "Our father's taught us their mode of warfare, we will adopt no other, etc." Yet they spoke without anger and even with mildness, if it be possible when under the exciting influence of war to do so. As these words of the many died away, the chiefs one after another spoke in the same strain, quietly and well, and all appeared going right, when suddenly a man sprang to his feet and came in front of the people. He was a chief of Kawhia, named Te Tapihana; his tribe had suffered at Matarikoriko and there he had lost his brother. In a furious rage he vehemently opposed all that had been said. He was armed with a short handled war hatchet, which he quivered in his hand from excitement, and with a fierce and fiend-like stare, either assumed or real on these occasions, he came to me and thrust his face so near that his nose nearly touched my own. In this menacing attitude, trembling with irritation and wrath, he declared he would never consent to such a compact; that, whatever others might say or do, he would never give quarter to any pakeha in arms. He had continued his fierce threats till half exhausted, when two or three young men of note rose to appease him. One of them addressing me said: "Do not regard him; take the book from your pocket and write down our protest to all he has said; we cannot restrain him, but he stands alone." Te Tapihana set at naught their remarks and treated my efforts to pacify him with scorn.
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1860. TE TAPIHANA'S VIOLENT SPEECH.
Yet, notwithstanding this man's temper, I was on the whole satisfied with the result of the meeting, with the softened feeling of the people, and felt assured that if they entered into an engagement of this nature they would influence others to do the same. When the confusion which the Kawhia chief had occasioned ceased, they requested again that the graves in the rifle-pits might be respected. I inquired where they were situated, but as the forest where we stood hid the site of the late contest, I said, "Who will come with me, that I may know where your friends are buried?" My object in this was to teach them confidence in English character and honour; and further, the usages of humanity exercised in war by Christian nations. Two young men at once offered themselves, but after a little expostulation from their tribe, thought it safer to decline and sat down; much eager and noisy talk followed. At last a third man came forward and called out, "I am the son of Te Karu (a principal man of Kawhia, who was buried in the rifle-pits and brother of Te Tapihana), I will go"; and his offer, after a slight debate, was accepted. He quickly laid aside his outer garment and his arms and came cheerfully forward; I at once turned away lest some reaction of his tribe might stop him. We had moved only a few paces, when, with forbading exclamations, they besought him to stay. I now spoke with warmth, told them their fears were groundless, that his life in the camp of the soldiers would be as safe as mine and that I would be surety for him. In a few minutes we were again on our way; as we went on we conversed together till we came near the position lately held by his people. I observed that my companion now looked wistfully at some soldiers and men of the naval brigade, who were filling in the native rifle-pits. Therefore, to give him confidence in British honour and to teach him the meaning of a safe-conduct, I led him through the midst of these men. When we came to the extreme right where the natives were posted on Friday and Saturday, and where his father and others were buried, we found that the graves had already been disturbed and some of the bodies uncovered, but the naval brigade were again filling them up. The native at once perceived it and said: "This is the place, but the dead have been moved," and this distressed him. When we came to other graves in a lower part of the valley, we found Commodore Seymour 10 and other officers. The Commodore asked the reason of the man's coming; he was told that the General had given permission, so that the graves of the natives might be known and respected; that the
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man had come to point out his father's (a chief) and other graves. The following conversation now took place: --
Commodore to myself: "What relation has he lost?"
"Is this where he lies?"
Commodore: "Ah, poor fellow! Has he lost his father? Tell him that I am sorry for him. Tell him we bear no malice, it is war."
Maori: "I am not pouri (sorrowful) on his account. He fell in open field, in battle; it was fairly done. He was not murdered." This he said gravely but coldly.
Commodore: "Say the grave shall not be molested. Tell him my carpenter shall fence it."
I repeated this generous and manly assurance, so characteristic of a sailor, and I said, "This rangatira, who speaks to you, is the chief and leader of the sailors." He looked satisfied but made no reply, returned no acknowledgment.
This grave silence, rather unaccountable to a European, is nevertheless in keeping with Maori usage and character in instances like the present. There was nothing disrespectful intended, and I hopefully anticipated the effect this magnanimity would have on a people able to appreciate it. We then passed on to graves in the deepest part of the valley. Two military officers were here on duty and they also treated the native with a few kind remarks. He pointed out where his comrades lay and then we returned on our way to the forest, where, meeting some of his tribe, we parted.
Wrote to the Governor suggesting the release of Te Wihona, a chief of Upper Waikato, who had been wounded and taken prisoner at Mahoetahi. The Waikato tribes having now arrived in great force, this seemed a good opportunity for an act of clemency. 11
I shall here record some features of Maori character as illustrated in the conduct of three young women, which came under my notice about this time: -- The first I met, with some others, in the forest. When addressing me, she said, abruptly, "Don't speak to me, I am deaf. I will not hear anything you have to say. I will fight the soldiers till freed by death--a mate noa!" I had not spoken to her, but probably she was at the gathering in the morning. When she had passed, I was told that her husband had recently been killed in action. She then took his arms, and had since fought side by side with the men in the rifle-pits. To have attempted to dissuade
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1861. MAORI AMAZONS.
her would only have increased her resolution, to avenge his death. She was a strong, active woman of about twenty-seven years of age. The second case was similar. Two women, daughters of Te Ao (a native catechist from Maungatautari, who had been killed); the eldest was now about the age of twenty-four. Such was their ardour in the cause, 12 and love to their father, that, forgetting their sex and every other duty, they repaired to the field where he fell, and in the rifle-pits day after day fought against the troops.
January 10th, 1861. --In answer to my application, by the Governor's kind consent the authorities at New Plymouth turned the prisoner (Te Wihona) over to me this morning, and, as he could not walk, we embarked early in the "Tasmanian Maid" for Waitara. At this place the Commissariat Officer obligingly supplied a bullock-cart and driver to convey the chief and his baggage to the native camp. I notice his baggage to illustrate the spirit which actuated many of the settlers of New Plymouth. This man was nearly naked when captured, but now he was well
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clothed and possessed of some valuable presents. After three miles we came to No. 1 Redoubt, and the soldiers, attracted by us, came out and crowded round the cart to see the prisoner. It was amusing and very pleasant to see their good-nature, their manly countenances, and their attempt to say something that would convey the noble sympathy of brave men to each other. Some took him by the hand, others saluted him in language coined at the moment, while others laughed kindly. The Maori was a man open to nobleness of mind, especially from an enemy, and he was much delighted by this kind-hearted military reception. When the cart at last moved on, Te Wihona sat as erect as his wounds would permit, and in token of goodwill and amity waved his cap, heartily cheering the troops. 13 About a mile from the native outworks I sent back the bullock-cart. The man who drove it seemed a straightforward, honest settler. He was unarmed, and far from any kind of protection. I stopped him and said, "You had better return now; it may be unsafe for you to go further." He replied, "Well, as you think best, sir. Yet, if you say 'Go on,' I will not fear them." I could not allow him. It was a burning hot day about 11 a. m., yet I chose to make the wounded man suffer some inconvenience rather than, risk the safety of this good-natured driver; so I packed the prisoner's presents in two bags and slung them across my horse; the rest of his treasures, which were rather heavy, I carried myself, and with some difficulty I helped Te Wihona into the saddle. As we neared the forest the natives came out to meet us, and led us to an open space in the encampment, and in a short time everybody was assembled.
The Maori by nature is a formalist, and on solemn occasions, like the present, is precise. They stopped us at a spot where all could see us, and would not allow the chief, though suffering, to descend from the horse, nor myself to leave him, till their wail was over. The mob who had collected stood in an irregular circle near us, and all became silent. They then greeted my companion as the representative of those who fell with Wetini at Mahoetahi, and began one of those fearful wails for the dead which may be heard afar, and which makes the drums of the ears vibrate. In their lamentations they addressed Te Wihona, as personating the fallen, and they became more and more excited till the tangi in due form ceased. The chief then left the horse, and was led by his friends to the booths of his tribe, formed of palms and branches of trees, and I saw no more of him till the evening.
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1861. TE TAPIHANA WON OVER.
After the tangi, the natives gathered from every part of the forest. This took some time as they were scattered. (For the Maori never like encamping side by side either in peace or war; this custom is to prevent confusion and the intrusion of individuals; they are generally separated by a gully, or, on level ground, some two or three hundred yards apart.) Their present force was 2,000, including the women. The chiefs requested that I would remain to hear their speeches and see the taua under arms.
The spot chosen for the gathering was an elevated position crowned by the King's flag and which could just be seen from No. 1 Redoubt. In less than an hour the various tribes stood to their arms, their only dress was a short kilt (scanty enough), the rest of the body, as in war, quite naked. They were a manly, active, determined looking enemy and well equipped. Some wounded men, the sick and the women, seated themselves, or stood as spectators about the skirts of the wood. The tribes, as they came on the ground, rushed forward and when they came to a stand went through the war dance. After this the whole formed in one compact phalanx, and then charging down from the flag over the irregular and broken ground, halted in front of the forest where I was sitting. From this place I had a good view of the whole, and observed that though a few men fell in the rush and were thrown violently against stumps of trees which had been left in what was once a cultivation, and were trodden down and passed over by their friends, yet, as they rose again, they showed no symptoms of pain and quickly rejoined their ranks. I had not long been seated when Te Tapihana, who had treated me with much fierce insolence at the Karaka Grove, came and sat by me; I now found that the man who went with me to Matarikoriko was his nephew, and he had fairly told all that had passed on that occasion, and this entirely changed the manner and bearing of the chief. He kindly shook hands and through the rest of the day behaved with all the kindness and suavity of a rangatira. We sat some hours together, he, taking much interest in what went on, frequently called my attention to the chief orators; he told me who they were, and in the high figurative language of the speakers, explained anything he thought difficult to be understood. When anything particular interested him, he would have me to observe it too, and he remained by me till most of the leading men had spoken.
When the tribes who came down from the flagstaff had taken breath, a dead pause ensued which no one interrupted; each warrior remained on his right knee, ready at the word to spring into action. The war dance, with all the savage energy of former
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times, was again repeated by the whole people and then all sat as they had stood, in perfect order. Presently a division was made through the centre of the square, leaving a way about ten feet broad, and along this opening the chiefs moved as they addressed the people, bounding from the ground as they turned to and fro and at the conclusion of a sentence, to add force and emphasis to what was spoken. By a few, some show of quiet dignity was preserved, while the greater part of the speakers were carried away by passion, denouncing death and destruction on their enemies. In these harangues, some addressed the spirit of Wetini and his friends who had fallen with him, in sympathetic accents.
By others the tribes were exhorted to quit themselves, as their fathers would have done, to abandon the rifle-pits and throw their force at once upon the soldiers. Under the influence of these repeated appeals to their courage and patriotism, such a state of general excitement animated all present that it seemed as though they would burst forth and assault the redoubts, and the thought more than once crossed my mind, whether I should ever again pass from among them. Te Kaha, of Mokau, after a most furious and vindictive address, sunk to the ground from mere exhaustion and passion, and the energy and devotion he displayed characterised the speeches of most of the old men--full of vehemence and fire. But the great speaker and character of the day was Hapurona, a chief of Taranaki. He was about fifty years of age, in person middle-sized, square, and strongly built, his neck short, with round bullet head, his chest and shoulders broad, and his limbs powerful. His complexion, for a native, very dark, and his countenance a mixture of ferocity and cunning. All his motions spoke of strength unabated, combined with the activity of youth. When he came forward there was a slight commotion--he was the object of attention by all. Te Tapihana, lest I should be inattentive to a single word, said: "Friend, look at this man. This wonderful man! Tangata whakamiharo. This is Hapurona! Regard all that he says. There is not his equal in speech-making, taki." Hapurona advanced slowly along the path which divided the armed men, in apparent abstraction. He appeared to notice neither objects nor persons. All he wore was a small piece of sackcloth which covered his loins. His head was thrown back and his face, which was frightfully distorted, fixed steadfastly upwards, and he had so contorted his eyes that the white portion only could be seen, which seemed as immovable balls of chalk in their sockets. Thus, he passed twice through the armed men without uttering a word, seeming rather to glide than to walk, while all sat in silence, intently
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1861. EXHORTATIONS TO HUMANITY
watching his actions. The man looked like some dread wizard of old. As this prelude was going on, Te Tapihana gently placed his hand on my arm, saying: "Observe the man. There is none that can use that weapon (the hani) 14 as he does." This weapon he was now holding at full length at a right angle with his body, and his left arm stretched parallel in the opposite direction to the hani. To the hani and his left hand he gave a rapid, tremulous motion. Upon his turning the third time, he suddenly started into violent action, more like a demon in word and gesture than anything human. He tried every argument and used every effort and menace to urge the taua to emulate the deeds of their fathers, and to cast down their enemies. The motion he gave his weapon was almost electrical, often graceful, and it called forth loud and repeated acclamations from all. The suitableness of his voice and attitude and the movements of the entire man thrown with heart and soul into every sentence of his appeal, were inimitable, and to his countrymen all but irresistible. These harangues of Hapurona and the other chiefs were interspersed with song, the chorus being taken up by the people. In these choruses they raised aloft their arms and beat time with their hands, feet, and weapons with such admirable precision that the old forest seemed to resound to the voice as of one man. When this outburst was exhausted, the more moderate men addressed the assembly, and by slow degrees the tribes calmed down to something like reason. At this time Tapihana (now my friend) stood up. Though naturally a tangata riri, he made no attempt, as others had done, to excite their passions, but spoke quietly, and concluded by mentioning my coming and the object, and then in a complimentary manner (such as is often accorded by Maoris to a herald or peacemaker) greeted my efforts. When at last it came to my turn to speak I reminded them of previous conferences I had had with them in Waikato. I recalled Wetini to their remembrance--his efforts to gain them over to a humane treatment of wounded men and prisoners, and his last wish to me, 15 that we should meet at Taranaki as now, again to discuss this subject, and for which purpose I stood among them this day. I spoke of the praise the soldiers awarded to Wetini's memory, and those who fell with him, for courage and intrepidity, 16 the
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honourable burial he had received at New Plymouth; the humanity of the General and troops towards their wounded and prisoners; and lastly I pressed them to act as men who believed the Word of God, to let mercy and valour go together (kia haere tahi te atawhai me te toa!) To this many answered, "Well!" and some called out, "The Pakehas have been generous; let us do as they have done."
And now Rewi called for silence and said, "Listen to these terms" (which he repeated twice in a loud voice): --
"1st. The prisoners shall be exchanged.
"2nd. That both prisoners and wounded shall receive quarter.
"3rd. That the dead shall be respected and buried by their respective people."
As Rewi repeated these conditions the second time, the natives gave their assent, and made the place ring with the shout of "Yes! Yes!" (Ae! Ae!.) 17
There were little clusters of men and women sitting a short distance from the main body, others along the side of the forest looking on. I was standing by one of these last, and as I contemplated all before me and heard their hearty shout of response, I felt it one of the happiest hours of my existence. The day had been hot, with a gale from the high woodlands above us, and a day of no ordinary excitement. The evening, too, was in keeping with all around; nature and man were stilled. Even the Maori banner ceased its dancing in the wind, and now in thick, white folds hung motionless down the staff. The very ripple of the adjacent stream might be heard mingling with the quiet murmur of satisfaction in the voices of men and women, conversing in accents, scarcely audible, on the favourable events of the day. I was thinking over all this when a native came to conduct me to Te Wihona's whare, who wished to see me before I returned. I found him, his wife (always a chief person on like occasions), and friends, in a large open, shed built of boughs of the forest tree. His wife (about thirty, and some ten years younger than himself), as I entered, stood up and stretched out her arms to welcome, and with many tears would have embraced me as their benefactor. His friends, who appeared to have met purposely, congratulated me with many kind words and thanks. In reply, I observed that their acknowledgments were due to the Governor, rather than to myself. After friendly conversation I left them rejoicing and making merry over their once lost friend.
I found my horse at the rifle-pits, where he had been taken from
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me in the morning by Himiona (Tapihana's nephew). He had been well cared for, and was ready saddled. My friend Himiona was waiting for me. This kind, unsought attention bad excluded him from a day of warlike excitement and debate so dear to young men of his race. On my way back to Waitara camp, where I slept, I passed some men of the 65th Regiment. They were outside their redoubt, and one of them said, "We never expected, sir, to see you come out of the forest alive again. They have been yelling and shouting there all the day, etc."
The object which led me to Taranaki was now, I hoped, through the good providence of God, accomplished, and for this it was impossible to be too grateful.
January 12th. --Received a letter from Epiha inviting me to see him fifteen miles south of New Plymouth, where he is with Ngatiruanui, one of the worst tribes in New Zealand.
Sunday, 13th. -- Morning and country exceedingly beautiful. Accompanied by two native guides I arrived about mid-day at a native kainga--Kaihihi. Our conference was in a large house, the principal men of this blood-thirsty tribe appeared to be present. 18 They listen to nothing, and threatened to kill me if found on the road or in the bush. 19
14th. -- Arrived at the outer camp during action. With the General most of the time. The troops threw up a redoubt in the face of the enemy. Walked along the line of battle. Was sometime with the Naval Brigade. Their fire was exact, the natives could do nothing against it--were quite checked. The fire of the guns and skirmishers continued till five in the afternoon, when the redoubt was finished. - Natives made no attempt on the retiring troops.
16th. --Two soldiers, Mackindry, a private in the 65th Regiment, and McCauley, of the Royal Engineers, were suddenly attacked while gathering firewood half-a-mile from the redoubt. Mackindry was shot dead and buried by the natives in front of the forest. McCauley, though in the midst of the enemy and his arm broken, escaped. The land a short distance from the redoubt had at one time been cultivated, but was now covered with high Scotch thistles. Through these the soldier passed, while the natives in their short
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kilts could not follow. I afterwards saw him in the hospital, and the only desire he expressed was that his arm might soon be well and he again on the field against the natives.
17th. --Started for Huirangi a little after daylight. A beautiful summer morning. After passing some few miles I saw Taranaki natives driving a cart, from which I argued that no enemy was near; but as I ascended a hill 20 through a cutting not far from Bell blockhouse, I heard, in a recess on the right, slightly higher than the road, the click of a gun, or guns. Here, ten men who had been concealed by shrubs, at once discovered themselves. They were about fifteen paces off, were all kneeling, and brought their double-barrelled guns to the present. My horse at the time was walking; I checked him, and turning round on the road, sat silently right in front of them. As I sat, they and I looked at each other without a word. I could recognise none of them, and yet I had a great friend there present among them--One who puts His hand even on the ocean and says, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further!" Their arms still remained at the level, at the shoulder, but after a while they slowly lowered them.
The ambush spoke first, "What are you doing here, and where are you going?"
"I am going to Huirangi. I heard yesterday that you had taken a soldier to the forest, but you agreed at the gathering that the dead were to be buried by their own people. I am going to see about this."
"You are right," they replied, "it was not we (Waikatos) who did this, but the men of Taranaki. Hapurona ma."
An old man then addressing me said: "E tupapaku koe, you are a dead man! Those white tohus (my bands which I wore while wandering alone over the country in war) on your breast saved you, always wear those white marks."
"Go on your way," said another. "Had a soldier been with you, we would have spared him for your sake."
A few rapid words then passed amongst them, and I heard one say "What are we doing longer? Whakatika! arise," and in an instant they were over the hill out of sight.
The ambush was so well contrived that escape would have been next to impossible; the men were in a slight hollow shaded by low trees and packed so well and closely that they looked like a nest of birds vigilant and ready to take wing at once. They had a good retreat open and of that kind which none but Maoris could have followed. I heard afterwards that some men of influence were *
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1861. "WHAT DEATH IS NOT SAD?"
among them, such as Rewi, Te Kaukau, and Anatipa. This last man was a murderer.
When I arrived at the camp 21 of the 65th Regiment, Colonel Wyatt mentioned the case of Mackindry, and observed that he might be still living, that they were anxious to recover him, and if I thought it could be done I might act as I pleased and make any arrangements I thought well about an exchange of prisoners. He asked me with earnestness to do what I could. Now the natives had seriously cautioned me never to come among them when in action, and as they had been fighting all the morning, I said if he would cease the firing for an hour or two and hoist a white flag, I would afterwards go. Meanwhile he, Lieutenant Urquhart, 22 and myself, sat down in the Colonel's tent to take some refreshment. During our lunch the conversation turned on death. I observed that a soldier's death was generally thought a sad one. What death was not sad? But a sadder than the soldier's was to languish months or years on a bed of suffering, --to see wife and children mourning their loss, filling a father's heart with sorrow and anxiety, yet often powerless to aid or comfort them, and at last bidding them a sorrowful farewell. Whereas, if a soldier is only a Christian, all right with God, and he falls in battle, suffering is soon over. That long detail of sorrow is spared him, and he passes direct to the future endless bliss. 23 One or both of them observed, "It all turns on whether a man is a Christian." This was about the drift of our discourse, and it was a fine opportunity, in the midst of war, quietly to speak on these things with brave men. Such moments are not easily forgotten!
When I had rested an hour I went towards the natives. As I came near a Kawhia man, about twenty yards off, levelled his musket at me. The cap broke on the nipple, but the gun held fire, and without further molestation he let me pass. But the day was not over yet. At the rifle-pits there was a young man named Wiremu, whose father had been killed. He was from. Mr. Morgan's station at Otawhao. Hapurona seeing me approach, said to the young men about him, "Here is Te Wirihana coming again; we old men don't like to kill him, but you young men who care for nothing could do it. Which of you will shoot him?" On this the youngster took aim (I was quite near him), when a Wesleyan teacher, quicker
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and stronger than himself, threw his arms round him and his gun, saying, "What harm has he ever done to you?" At this moment I rode up to them. I had never seen this good man before. I told Hapurona the object of my coming. He replied, "The soldier was killed by the ambush, taken to the woods, and buried near the peach grove by the stream." He added, "The burial service was read over him." I could say no more, but neither he nor his men concealed their displeasure at my visit.
Though the early part of the day had been so lovely, it was now blowing half a hurricane from the hills and the natives found it difficult to take aim. This being usually the calmest month in the year, some of them asked, "Why is this great wind, this gale, in the midst of summer?" and they superstitiously thought it an ill omen.
In returning, I came across one of the General's mounted men, whose horse had been shot; he was looking in the fern for his saddle and in the search all but lost his life. I cautioned him. When we had got clear of Maori scouts and were under the protection of the redoubt, Mr. K. was unreasonable and silly enough to ask that I would return and obtain this saddle; he seemed to think that I could do anything with natives, or to value my life at less than a saddle.
Upon reflection, the effort in the case of the poor soldier was a failure, for though we knew it not, he was already dead, yet the events of the day were full of instruction and encouragement. He, who nearly 3,000 years ago, "delivered out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear," is the same God who still reigns, and is now, as then, the defence and shield of His servants. Their way at times may be hedged up, menaced by danger, with little hope of escape. As one of old, an outlaw, said to his friend, "Truly as the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death." He, though a wanderer and destitute, and in part distrustful of the care and promise of his God, yet at that moment was under the immediate protection of the Almighty. And so, amid our dangers, or fancied dangers, if God be our friend, what have we to fear? "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." Such has been the oft told experience of the Christian soldier! and such it is now!
18th 24 --Action all day. On the field with the troops.
23rd. --Very soon after the moon had set, No. 3 Redoubt, held
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1861. THE ASSAULT ON NO. 3 REDOUBT.
by the 40th Regiment, was suddenly assaulted. I had slept in the camp of the marines at Waitara, and hearing heavy firing in the direction of Huirangi, conjectured what it might be. I shall briefly mention what led to this attack, and notice a few incidents in native character which even Europeans might envy.
When in the forest with the natives on the 10th, I was detained to hear the speeches of the chiefs, many of which were most violent, and although the troops were entrenched, some of the speakers urged an immediate onset. They reprobated their present inactivity and mode of fighting-- "They must act as their fathers would have done, and no longer fight as rats in holes (rifle-pits), of which they were weary, etc.," and though for a time the more cautious prevailed, the discontent continued and afterwards broke out in hot dissension, and some spoke of breaking up the taua and returning to their homes. The one most opposed to their present tactics was the chief of Patetere. 25 He declared that he and his tribe would leave if within a few days the redoubts were not attempted. This had some weight in their councils, and to meet the dissatisfaction the leading-men finally gave their consent, and a plan was formed to carry the three redoubts simultaneously.
On the evening of the 22nd, the Maoris leaving sufficient of their number to protect the camp, the tribes were told off for the assault. No. 3 Redoubt fell to the lot of Ngatihawa (140 men). The rest of the force was sent against the other redoubts.
But now, after the moon had set, the darkness and the difficulty of the ground, part being covered with high fern and shrubs, and broken by deep ravines, with other unforeseen hindrances not unfrequent in night attacks, led to failure. Ngatihawa had gained their position, and were long and anxiously waiting a signal from their allies; but at last, supposing that something had baffled their efforts to near the redoubts assigned them, they became impatient, and without support, single handed, rushed on to the assault. It was so determined that some gained the top of the parapet and laid hold of the rifles and bayonets of the soldiers. 26 The 40th Regiment, of whom there were about 350 present, bravely resisted for some time, but at last sounded the call, and then the advance of the 65th Regiment, Lieutenant Urquhart with his light company, also a company of the 12th Regiment, came rapidly forward and entered the ditches hand to hand with the enemy. This, with the
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constant fire from the top of the parapet and the aid of a nine pounder gun, finally repulsed Ngatihawa, leaving some forty dead and wounded in the ditches and round the redoubt.
Among the wounded who escaped was a man who many years ago lived with me at Matamata and Tauranga. He had been one of my native teachers, and was now about 45 years of age, tall, powerful, and of great endurance. He was in the ditch in the midst of the struggle when the 65th Regiment entered, a soldier ran his bayonet through, or rather underneath, the flesh across his back, the weapon entering on one side, passed on (just missing the backbone) through the thick firm flesh of the other side; but the next instant the soldier was disabled, a native striking him on the arm with his hatchet, causing him to drop his gun. The strong muscles and fibre of the back contracting, held the bayonet fast, and Paora Taoroto, my old teacher, hors de combat, found his way out of the fight, supporting with his hand, or dragging the rifle as best he could, till he arrived at the forest, where his friends took out the bayonet. 27
I shall now allow one of the wounded prisoners to speak for himself. "When first I saw this man he was lying between two of his comrades who had recently expired. I sat down by him and asked, "Who are the dead?"
"This man," he replied, "is of Waikato, the other from Maungatautari."
"Where are you wounded?" Native pointed to his right leg shattered by a shell, and to a wound in his left arm.
"What part of the country are you from?"
"From Kawhia. I am of Ngatimahuta, I belong to the king."
"How many attacked the Redoubt?"
"One hundred and forty. Ngatihaua led. Perhaps they all have fallen," and then, slightly smiling, "The attack was badly carried out."
"Did many fall?"
"Yes. many have fallen, all gentlemen, rangatira kau."
"How is it you have remained so long at Huirangi? You must have difficulty in getting food?"
"No; there is still plenty at Mataitaua. When we want more we make a descent on the settlers' cattle." Then, ironically, his face brightening a little, "Perhaps it is wrong."
"Well, you are a brave people! The leaders of the soldiers say it is a pity you should thus destroy yourselves."
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1861. NOBLESSE OBLIGE.
"Brave formerly! But where is our valour now? Have we succeeded?"
"Brave formerly and still the same, though beaten."
"To the soldier is the success. Friend, there is no cause, taki for this war. If there was a cause it would be right, but there is none."
"Are you a believer (a Christian)?"
"Yes, I have long been so; my name is Marakai."
"Then you know that God is now near you. That He knows what has happened to you and where you are. That He will hear your prayer, if you ask Him."
"I know it all."
"You are now in the power of the pakeha, but you have nothing to fear; they will not injure you now; you will be treated with kindness."
"Why, one of them would have killed me, I was twice wounded; but a young chief" (Lieutenant Pennefather of the 65th Regiment) "defended me. Had he not parried the soldier's gun he would have killed me as I lay on the ground, and yet in the forest it was agreed that the wounded should receive quarter."
"That was in hot conflict. Perhaps he knew not that you were wounded."
"Perhaps not, there was much confusion, it might have been an oversight. Yet, it was a young gentleman who saved me. To the gentleman only belongs the heart of a gentleman! Kei te rangatira anaki, te ngakau rangatira."
"My friend, listen to me; make God your friend and He will never forsake you. He can restore your strength and return you again to your people."
"It is true."
I then passed others who had fallen, but I found that Marakai and a young man named Kiritoha, were the only surviving prisoners. All others were dead! 28 On returning from these, I met Commodore Seymour, and said, "Come and see how a New Zealander can endure suffering; let us not think that manhood is confined to ourselves." We returned together to the wounded chief. The morning was exceedingly hot, without a breath of wind, and both the wounded and the dead were covered with flies. Marakai, though suffering intensely, received us with calm gravity. In answer to the remarks of the Commodore, he spoke cheerfully and sometimes
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even playfully, yet free from levity; and but for the position in which he reclined, seemed as one who had received little injury. After a while he asked, "When will the doctor come and cut my leg off? Bid him come soon."
The Commodore observed, "He is a fine fellow, and bears it wonderfully!" He then called one of his seamen who stood near, and sent him for some tobacco and pipes. As I placed them by his side where he could reach them, I said, "This is a present from the leader of the seamen." Marakai raised himself a little on his elbow, and looking up kindly at Captain Seymour, he slightly inclined forward in acknowledgment with all the ease and dignity of a Spaniard of the last century. And then, without showing the slightest expression of pain, he coolly commenced untwisting the tobacco and filling his pipe. Then he asked me to place it nearer his head, where he could conveniently reach it. Yet though not conscious of it himself, he was now much exhausted, and we left him under the care of the sentry quietly enduring war's terrible penalty. During the afternoon I saw him again, and sat some time conversing with him. He was then rather more depressed, owing, no doubt, to weakness, yet still cheerful. In the evening, before his leg was amputated, a passer-by asked him how he would manage without it. He good-naturedly replied, "The doctor must give me a new one."
The operation over, comfortable clothing was given him. Marakai was between forty and fifty years of age, physically inferior to most of his countrymen, rather slight, but well-made and wiry. His features were small and ordinary, but intelligent, and not much tattooed. As I sat by him the stories I had heard when a boy of English seamen after battle holding out their limbs and assisting the surgeon in the amputation appeared verified in the fortitude of this Maori. 29
Kiritoha, a young man from Maungatautari, had been shot in the breast, the ball having passed through the lungs and back. As he breathed the air rushed through the orifice, giving him terrible agony. In his distress he asked the doctor if he could recover, and having been told that he could not, he besought of him some drug which would at once end his misery. This was, of course, refused, the doctor saying, "We do not kill our prisoners."
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1861. THE PEACE OF TARANAKI
He was treated with much attention, a soldier voluntarily took car of him, regarded his wants, altered his position, and supplied him with water or anything he needed, sitting up with him during the night. The soldier did this, though weary and needing rest himself from daily encounter and fatigue duty. All honour to such noble men!
24th. --Early this morning I received a message to say that the prisoner Kiritoha wished a letter to be written to his friends. I at once rode to the tent where he lay. But he was gone! Those who had just seen him die were ignorant of his language, and knew nothing of what he wished to communicate to his people. The soldier who had cared for him told me that in the act of dying the native took him by the hand and shook it in amity, bidding him farewell. It was the only expression he could give to assure the soldier of his goodwill and gratitude. Equal honour to both! Buried the dead, both soldiers and Maoris.
27th (Sunday). --Held native service at Henui. In the evening preached at St. Mary's, New Plymouth.
28th. -- Embarked in H. M. S. "Niger" for Onehunga. I was treated with marked kindness by Captain Cracroft and officers. And here I may say that the cheerfulness, humanity, and valour which animated all ranks of the Taranaki army was worthy of the British character. The wounded soldiers I visited--and some of them were frightfully injured--bore their sufferings without a murmur or a groan, enduring agony with admirable fortitude. Indeed, a short time spent amongst them might have imparted instruction to many a man; and the recollection, of the confidence and kindness to myself of both officers and men amid the turmoil of war affords me the deepest satisfaction.
March 27th. --Received an invitation from Governor Browne to join him at Taranaki. The object was peace.
April 4th. --Sailed in H. M. S. "Fawn" from Manukau and landed at Waitara on the 6th. Next day visited the natives at Mataitawa.
8th. --Accompanied by the Chief Hapurona and Major Hutchens visited Pukerangiora. On the way Hapurona facetiously pointed out to us the weak parts of the sap, showing us where the natives could hide and shoot the soldiers.
10th. --In Conference. The chiefs censure Wiremu Kingi as the cause of so much mischief.
nth. --General Cameron reviewed the troops. Consulting about fresh terms of peace proposed by the Governor.
13th. --Ngatiruanui decline an interview with the Governor.
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Each article of the terms submitted to Mr Donald McLean and myself previous to their being laid before the native chiefs. 30 On the 15th the Governor left for Auckland. (Mr. Wilson remained till the 27th, obtaining signatures to the Treaty. )
Auckland, May 26th. --The Governor-asked if I would undertake a mission to Wiremu Tamihana, the king-maker, whom he wished to conciliate. 31
(After waiting two days for a boat to Waiuku. and slowly paddling up the Waikato, Mr. Wilson arrived at Otawhao on the 14th June on his way to visit Thompson. )
Otawhao, June 17th. --Could not move out for the heavy rain. As I was sitting in Mr. Morgan's dining-room he suddenly came in, his hand resting on the collar of a young man (Wiremu), and as he released him, turning to me, he said, laughing--"I have brought you the man that you may see him, the man who tried to shoot you at Taranaki." I held out my hand to him and made him sit by me on the sofa, and we had a little kind talk. He said, "It was not my fault," which I believe, but I did not go into the matter. In the end I gave him an old and dear friend of mine--my companion for years--a favourite native Testament, once belonging to one dearer to me than myself, and who would fully approve of what I now did. I told him to take it, to study it, and learn of Christ. We parted good friends.
19th. --Left for Matamata to see Wiremu Tamihana, and if possible, induce him to make peace. The roads very heavy from recent rain. My only companion is Hokimate, a faithful friend; I have known him twenty-five years. In the evening three mounted natives from Kawhia, on a deputation to Tamihana, overtook us at the Horotiu crossing. We had, all of us, to wait here till dark, when a small canoe came to our aid and carried us over. The river was rapid, and the opposite landing could not be seen. As the natives piled their saddles into the canoe I observed to them that if they put in more we should probably be upset, and taking off my coat made ready for the worst. They took no heed of my remarks, further than, "That rests with God, Kei te Atua te whakaaro," and jumped into the canoe, their horses' chins
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1861. TARAPIPIPI, THE KING-MAKER.
resting on the gunwale, about two or three inches above the water. When we had gained the other side and were plodding along in the dark, I asked Hokimate what he thought of the reckless mode in which we crossed the river and the assertion of our companions that we must leave the event to God. He replied, "To go into danger against our judgment, or because we are too indolent to use it, is to act as fools, e. g., I wish to cross the Hauraki Gulf, the day being favourable I put to sea, should the weather change and overtake my canoe mid-way, and I am in danger, I can then with a light heart pray to God for deliverance. On the other hand, if anything is unfavourable for the voyage, and my impatience leads and governs me against my judgment, what right have I then, when in danger, to pray for help with the same assurance?"
About midnight we reached the house of a native teacher named Piripi and found only his wife there. She, however, boiled us some potatoes, and, having no tent with us, we lay down in an empty chapel, which was much out of repair and very cold.
20th. --Beautiful morning, with white frost. The frost all cleared away an hour after sunrise. Piripi's wife could only offer us a few vegetables, which seemed much to grieve her. About ten o'clock we met a native named Patangata, and I induced him to accompany us. He belonged to Tamehana's tribe. This man was one of the unwounded ten who escaped from Mahoetahi (5th November last). That defeat has not damped his ardour. He talked cheerfully. I have known him long. Age has improved him. Peached Maungakawa, and slept in a hut with the natives in possession.
21st. --In the evening arrived at Peria, Tarapipipi's village. Received very coldly; no welcome. We were brought into a large bouse, where (here were many natives--men and women. After a while the conversation turned on the war, the state of the country, and my advice to themselves. They told me how narrowly I had escaped being killed at Taranaki. After that they became more social, and I proposed evening prayer, addressing them from the words. "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." As the night drew on, Hokimate and I lay down just as we were on the floor with many people and slept as best we could.
22nd. --As I lay awake in the very early morning, some one stood over me, and laying his hand on me, said: "You will be devoured by fleas in this place. Arise, come down and stay with me." This was Tarapipipi, the king-maker. The people in the house had told me that I could not see him, that he had left for the eastward, and that I had better return, so they were not
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prepared for this. After breakfast I found Tarapipipi at his plough. The day was wet; he was soaked with, rain and bedaubed with mud. The great man. --for such he really is--was dressed in a blue serge shirt and corduroy trousers, without hat, and toiling like a peasant. At night, when we were alone, I stated the object of my visit (see letter to Governor Browne). To a remark I made about plunder taken and houses of settlers burnt by them, he replied the Government commenced the system of plunder by taking Wiremu Kingi's cattle and sheep and burning his chapel. Therefore they would not say anything on this. head. He spoke strongly on the conduct of Ngatiruanui, their murder of Captain King, saying had any of Waikato been there it would not have happened. He censured Hapurona for barbarity and bad faith; that it was owing to this that they had failed in the assault on Huirangi Redoubt. He was desirous of peace, but on no terms would he sacrifice their king; and, to show that no foreigner could hold sovereignty in this island, he quoted Deut. xvii. 14, 15, and asked, what wrong there could be in setting up one of their brethren to fill this office, since God had commanded the Israelites to do this? It was a hard question, quite in keeping with the mind of this Maori leader. Had I too been a Maori I should have felt and perhaps acted just as he had done. But the pakeha (foreigner) has now a firm footing, and a foreign Queen and native king cannot both reign in this island. He stated their losses, saying that it was owing to their sins; that he constantly exhorted his people to put away everything which they knew to be evil, and so avert the anger of God.
HIS EXCELLENCY COLONEL T. GORE-BEOWNE, C. B.,
Government House, Auckland.
OTAWHAO, 1st July, 1861. SIR, --When last I wrote I was on the eve of starting for Peria, near Matamata, where William Thompson and a part of the Ngatihaua tribe frequently reside. The constant rain rendered the roads very difficult, so that it was not till the evening of the third, day that I reached that place. The morning after my arrival William Thompson visited me and invited me to his hut, which is some distance from the village and near a boarding-school which he has established for native children. This school, in which he appears to take very great interest, contained before the war from sixty to one hundred children, but is now reduced to twenty. For a native institution it is well ordered, and the children (both boys and girls) are carefully taught. When I went to take up my quarters with him, I found Thompson, his son, and three other natives at the plough, putting in wheat for the school. They had two ploughs, one drawn by oxen, the second by horses; at the latter Thompson was hard at work. He received me with great hospitality and kindness, and told me that his reason for wishing me to reside with him during my stay was that our conversation might be
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1861. LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR.
private and not interrupted by his tribe. He then took me to see his school. As it was Saturday, the children were all away gathering firewood for the Sunday. After looking at the buildings, two of them appeared-- girls of about eleven or twelve years of age. He called them to us and desired them each to get a slate. He then set them a sum containing many thousand bushels of wheat, desired me to name the price per bushel, and they worked it out in about five minutes. He then gave them a more difficult one, and called a third girl. This they also worked. After this he dictated a portion from Deuteronomy, and they wrote it in a good hand, without a mistake. I mention these incidents to give you some idea of this man, who is the most intelligent and patriotic I have ever met amongst his countrymen; in manner kind, courteous, and hospitable, and, as far as words go, open, and honest in intention.
The first night I had taken possession of his hut, he sat up with me till midnight, and went into all the circumstances of the war. In this he threw much blame upon the Europeans. He then stated the natives' object and motives, etc., from which it appeared that the "land league" and the "king movement" to establish the league were the leading springs of the whole movement--to establish a sovereignty of their own, and to exclude future attempts at colonization. He spoke quietly, though with great firmness, and appeared to concede nothing. He regretted in strong terms the unsparing revenge which some had committed during the war (especially the acts of Ngatiruanui), and promised me that in the event of future hostility he would do his best to throw all the humanity he could into the struggle. He ended at last by saying that at present he saw no reason to deviate from the reply he had already sent to your Excellency's letter, which was addressed to the chiefs at the last meeting at Ngaruawahia.
He then desired me to speak, and after some general remarks on what he had said, in which I deeply lamented the war and its consequences, and predicted its calamitous effects to them as a people if persisted in, I spoke at large on the following subjects, which I will give in as few words as I can, with his answers, and shall reserve till my return the explanation of anything which may appear obscure:--
1st. I asked him to point out any clause which he considered objectionable contained in the conditions sent to the late meeting of chiefs at Ngaruawahia. He replied, he had already answered your letter, and asked me whether I had seen it. I said I had not. He then evaded any further conversation on that subject.
2nd. I inquired whether he could suggest anything that might lead to reconciliation and peace? He said it rested with the Governor.
3rd. I then assured him of your goodwill and friendly disposition to them as a people. Your desire to raise and elevate the chiefs, and give them influence. Your policy in calling together a Native Conference as a representative assembly of the native tribes, and who, under the Government, would govern their own people, and asked him what he thought of three chiefs instead of one (bearing the mere title of king) being placed over Waikato, under the above system. I added, I thought your Excellency would approve of this, and that the chiefs so elected would be placed in a position to which the king movement could not elevate them. This
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suggestion evidently surprised him. He made no immediate reply, but at a late hour of the night alluded to it, and said-- "Three principal chiefs in the Waikato would not do; one would be better than three. Disputes would soon arise amongst them, and they would fight with each other. The old system would return."
4th. I inquired whether, in the event of war, he would respect the persons of the settlers and their property, and would allow them to leave unmolested, etc.? He answered that his own Europeans should not leave till there was a cause; but as soon as war appeared, they should return in peace, and take with them whatever they might possess.
5th. I then introduced the subject which I have never ceased to urge upon the chiefs--the claims of the wounded and prisoners to humane and generous treatment. I reminded him of the example in this respect which your Excellency and General Pratt, as well as the officers and men, had shown to his countrymen, and which he on his part fully acknowledged. He told me he had approved of my visit to Taranaki on behalf of the wounded and prisoners, and had written to the natives to respect me, and on no account to injure me. He added, "In our late runanga all the chiefs considered this matter, and it was agreed that none should be killed but in battle; that prisoners should be spared and exchanged; and that they would doctor the wounded with the same remedies which they used for their own people." He then added, "But our ambuscades we shall not abandon; they are the only artillery that we have."
6th. I lastly observed, "The Governor once asked me if I had known you personally! I replied I did; that I had known you from your youth. The Governor then remarked that he had heard you spoken of as a man of understanding, and on that account he expressed a wish to see you; he thought that a personal interview might lead to a better understanding, and be consummated by peace." Thompson was much interested by this remark. He replied, "It will never do for me to go to Auckland; it was I who set up the first king. I shall be treated by the Governor as the former Governor treated Te Rauparaha and Pomare. They had not offended as I have. They were treacherously seized and imprisoned. I have made two kings, and if I were to put myself in his power, my freedom, and perhaps my life, would be forfeited." To which I answered, "It is not the custom of the English rulers to act with treachery. The cases are not parallel. Should the Governor offer you a safe conduct, your person is sacred; no one dare touch you. I will remain as a hostage, and should the Governor break his word let the Ngatihaua set my head on the old fortifications of Matamata." We sat many hours discussing these subjects, and Thompson at last said, "War is useless; it will end in our being exterminated or driven into the mountains, there to live on what the earth produces. Let the Governor swear unto me that if I visit him on behalf of the people, I shall return immediately after our interview in safety to my tribe, and I will comply with his invitation. I wish to see him face to face; but when I remember Rauparaha and Pomare my confidence is shaken." I observed, "If the Governor pledges his word for your security he is incapable of treachery, and you have nothing to fear; his word is inviolable; you will be as safe in Auckland as in the midst of your tribe." After a long pause he repeated what he had before said--"Let him swear unto me and I will go."
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1861. LETTER TO WIREMU TAMIHANA.
I may observe that Thompson spoke of your Excellency with respect, and always mentioned the valour and humanity of the military with pleasure and admiration. He told me that he was much pleased with the good nature and all absence of revenge manifested by the troops, during the few days' truce which preceded their (the natives) retreat from Taranaki. Some of them, he said, called to them in a friendly manner, and, holding up their panakins of tea, called out "Waikato tea. Ka pai the tea. Come for the tea." Another chief had remarked, "These soldiers are better men than we are, they are the only tribe of gentlemen (rangatiras) we have seen."
I left Matamata on the 24th June. In wishing Thompson good-bye, I urged him again to visit your Excellency. He replied, "Do pot hurry me, let me think on what you have said, let the Governor write to me; let him insure my safety, then, whether my tribe like it or not, I will leave them secretly and see him."
I saw William King and Rewi of Ngatimaniopoto, yesterday; and to-day Rewi called to see me at Otawhao. As usual, he went through the cause and circumstances of the war, and after some hours' conversation, consented to visit Auckland if invited by your Excellency to do so. He said he had seen you at Waitara, when peace was made with Ngatiawa, and would not distrust your word.
The natives generally are very depressed on account of the uncertainty of the future, but though depressed they are extremely obstinate. I, nevertheless, think there is a hope that they may possibly yield to your conditions.
I remain, Sir,
J. A. WILSON.
Dear Mr. Wilson, --I am truly obliged by your valuable letter, which I have acted upon without a moment's delay. McLean and Drummond Hay go to William Thompson with our invitation, and a safe conduct from me. They are to leave to-morrow morning very early, and go by way of the Piako, so you can judge whether or not you will go to meet them.
I am very anxious to see W. Thompson, and think if he would visit me some good might come out of it. You may give him every possible assurance of safety which he can desire....
Believe me, yours sincerely,
T. GORE BROWNE.
Sunday night, 7th July.
E HOA, E WIREMU TAMIHANA.
Kei mate noa a taua korero. Mau e Whakaara ki taku kupu i muri i ahau, mo tou haere ki Akarana. Aua koe a rongo ki te korero--ki te tupato noa a Ngatihaua. E haere ana ta ratou i runga i te ritenga Maori. Na! ki au ia, ka tae mai ki a koe te ki tapu, te ki oati rawa a te Kawana; whakatika tonu, a haere. E hoa, kia rite rawa te tamaiti ke te papa! Ara, me whakarite koe te toa, me te mahi a tou matua, a te Waharoa.
Kia puta hoki tou ingoa ki nga iwi, me nga runanga Pakeha.
Na tou hoa pono,
Na te WIRIHANA.
OTAWHAO, Hurae 16, 1861.
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Under date Taupiri, July 25, 1861, Mr. Wilson, writing to his son John, says:--
"I regret very much that he (Thompson) did not accompany Mr. McLean to Auckland, but he had a very difficult part to play. He fully intended to have visited the Governor at once, had not one messenger after another from the Runanga prevented him."
AUCKLAND: Extract of Report to C. M. S. for the year ending December 31, 1861: --
In the autumn of the past year, war unhappily commenced in the province of Taranaki, and I regret to say that the struggle has been carried on with much savage valour by the natives. But that which is most to be deplored in the present contest, is, its withering and demoralizing effect upon the natives, and this is already felt and will continue. War and its consequences are daily discussed by the natives, and much distrust and reserve are everywhere manifested by them. Owing to this state of things and when the war appeared to be approaching a climax, I visited Waikato and spent about two months at Otawhao, the gathering point of the disaffected tribes, and from facts which presented themselves on the spot, no one acquainted with the character of the New Zealander, could doubt their determination to carry on the war to the last extremity.
It was during frequent intercourse with the natives that I too often heard the melancholy detail of unsparing severity which the natives had exercised on the wounded troops and settlers at Taranaki, and this led me to form the determination to labour and (by God's help) influence these people to a more manly and humane conduct. After frequent meetings (at which Mr. Morgan was generally present), three of the principal chiefs were gained over, namely, Wetini, Epiha and Tioreore, and finally I had a private understanding with Wetini (the leader of a fresh attack about to be made on Taranaki) to meet the Waikato and Taranaki tribes at Taranaki, and arrange, if possible, certain terms between themselves and the troops respecting the humane treatment of wounded and prisoners.
At Taranaki, after many difficulties with the natives (my attempts being opposed by a great majority), they at last agreed to the terms which I communicated to you immediately after my return from Waitara. These conditions imparted general satisfaction to the officers and men of both our services.
It gives me unfeigned pleasure to notice in this report the humane conduct of the officers of the little army at Waitara towards Maori prisoners, also the attention the wounded received from Dr. Mouat, head of the Medical Department. The influence of these humane actions will live when the war itself has ceased and have the best effect on the Maori, who can appreciate disinterested kindness....--J. A. W.
The following extract from a letter dated Bank Hall, Broughton, Lancashire, 18th July, 1862, from Mr. Wilson to Professor Browne 32* at Cambridge, in which is mentioned an interview with Maori chiefs at Ngaruawahia in August, 1861, will show that the Maoris
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1861. THE PAST AND THE FUTURE.
were at this time inclined to come to terms with the Government. He writes:--
On a Sunday, between morning and evening services, some chiefs, among whom were the King's nearest relatives, came to me and proposed that they should send an embassy to the Governor as the first step towards peace. They inquired what I thought of the measure. They asked, "Will twenty chiefs be sufficient as our representatives?" I replied, "Yes, two or three will suffice if they are men of influence and standing. But do not delay. What you do do quickly." They said, "We know it is necessary to act at once." In this last remark they alluded to the re-opening of the campaign, which they expected to take place in the spring.
In the same letter, Mr. Wilson, writing of himself, says:-- I have always felt a most lively interest in the real welfare of this people. I have lived some thirty years amongst them, and have acted not only as their missionary but physician and arbitrator, often standing between tribe and tribe, and sometimes between man and man: and hence my perfect knowledge of them as a people.
An extract from one of Mr. Wilson's letters, dated Jersey. February 22nd, 1881: --
It is certainly very pleasant at times to look back on the past and see the uneven road in the distance which we have already got over as we held on by a Hand stronger than ours; but it is still more pleasant to look onward to the short portion of the way that yet remains, not merely to hope, but to know and feel that the same faithful, strong Arm supports and guides us still, and will preserve us to His Heavenly kingdom. . . . To "dwell in the house of the Lord for ever" will throw into oblivion all the little details which may have tried and perplexed us here. The night will soon be gone and the shadows will flee away, and the morning of that long, long day--without a cloud or night--dawn, the dawning of eternal glory.