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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

XVIII

Material for Erewhon Revisited

APOLOGISE for the names in Erewhon.   I was an unpractised
writer and had no idea the names could matter so much.

Give a map showing the geography of Erewhon in so far as
the entrance into the country goes, and explain somewhere, if
possible, about Butler's stones.

Up as far as the top of the pass, where the statues are,
keeps to the actual geography of the upper Rangitata district
except that I have doubled the gorge. There was no gorge up
above my place [Mesopotamia] and I wanted one, so I took
the gorge some 10 or a dozen miles lower down and repeated it
and then came upon my own country again, but made it bare
of grass and useless instead of (as it actually was) excellent
country. Baker and I went up the last saddle we tried and
thought it was a pass to the West Coast, but found it looked
down on to the headwaters of the Rakaia : however we saw a
true pass opposite, just as I have described in Erewhon, only
that there were no clouds and we never went straight down as
I said I did, but took two days going round by Lake Heron.
And there is no lake at the top of the true pass. This is the
pass over which, in consequence of our report, Whitcombe was
sent and got drowned on the other side. We went up to the
top of the pass but found it too rough to go down without more
help than we had. I rather think I have told this in A First
Year in Canterbury Settlement, but am so much ashamed of
that book that I dare not look to see. I don't mean to say
that the later books are much better ; still they are better.

They show a lot of stones on the Hokitika pass, so Mr. Slade
told me, which they call mine and say I intended them in

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