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Full text of "Our New Zealand cousins"



THE LIBRARY 

OF 
THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 
LOS ANGELES 



OUR NEW ZEALAND COUSINS, 



LONDON' : 

PRINTED BY GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED, 
ST. JOHN'S HOUSE, CLERKENWKLL T.OAD. 



OUR NEW ZEALAND 
COUSINS 



THE HON. JAMES INGLIS 

("Maori"), 

MINISTER OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN THE NEW SOUTH WALES LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY; 

AUTHOR OF "SPORT AND WORK ON THE NEPAUL FRONTIER," 

"OUR AUSTRALIAN COUSINS," ETC., ETC. 



Uoutiou : 

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, AND RIVINGTON 

CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET 

1887 

[All rights reserved^ 



DU 

4 VI 



PREFACE. 



THE first chapter of this book explains the 
circumstances under which I undertook the work, 
and renders a long preface unnecessary. 

Being originally written for the Sydney Press, 
my descriptions, penned as we journeyed, have all 
the drawbacks incident to hasty composition ; but 
I have had so many, and so gratifying requests, to 
have the letters published in book form, by friends, 
whose good opinion is dear to me, that I feel it 
would be prudish to refuse. Frankly confessing 
my shortcomings therefore, I throw myself once 
more on the merciful consideration of my critics. 

Allusions and comparisons, will be found scat- 
tered at intervals through the book, which are more 
peculiarly applicable to Australians, than to the 
wider circle of readers at home ; but as, I believe, 
such references may be found to incidentally illus- 
rate phases of Colonial life, and circumstance, I 
have deemed it on the whole better to retain them. 

Mindful of former criticism, I have honestly tried 
to " prune my style," and curb my natural ex- 
uberance of expression ; but alas ! I am conscious 

1313997 



vi Preface. 

that I have yet much to learn, and that there is 
great room for improvement in these and other 
respects. 

However, if the reader will accept my pages, as 
a homely unpretending record of a very delightful 
trip, through " The Wonderland of the South 
Pacific," I hope my comments on what we 
witnessed, and my revelation of the change and 
progress, effected by twenty years of colonization, 
may prove both interesting and instructive. 

I have tried to describe simply and truthfully 
what I saw, and what I thought. My most earnest 
hope is, that what I have written may enkindle in 
the hearts of our kinsmen in the dear old mother 
land, who may read this book, a livelier, deeper, 
and kindlier interest in the fortunes of their 
loyal and loving Cousins, of Australia and New 
Zealand. 

J.I. 



CRAIGO, STRATHFIELD, SYDNEY, N.S.W. 
May, 1886. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

A retrospect Twenty years ago A long cherished 
desire about to receive fulfilment First glimpse of 
the Maori coast Kauri gum The North Cape 
An old whaling station " The old order changeth " 
Rangitoto Auckland harbour The city from 
the sea Contrasted with Sydney Queen Street, 
the chief artery The water supply The theatres 
Hotels North Shore Lake Takapuna Excel- 
lence of the city commissariat I 

CHAPTER II. 

Auckland continued Mount Eden the chief lion View 
from the mountain Conveyances Start for the hot 
lakes Railways The Waikato Hills The ubi- 
quitous manouka scrub Wayside villages A 
Maori belle The village market Arrive at Cam- 
bridge the present terminus 17 

' ? CHAPTER III. 

Cambridge Mixture of races Our Jehu, Harry The 
Waikato river Novel sheep feed The Waikato 
terraces A town of one building A dangerous 
pass The lonely, lovely bush First glimpse of 
Rotorua Ohinemutu Steams and stenches The 
primitive cooking-pot Striking contrasts Wailing 
for the dead An artless beggar " for the plate " 
The baths Whackarewarewa A Maori larder 
Volcanic marvels Subterranean activity Barter 
The road maintenance man Forest wealth The 
track of the destroyer The Blue Lake Mussel- 
shell Lake Wairoa village Kate the guide 
McRae's comfortable home 25 



viii Contents. 



CHAPTER IV. 

A rude awaking An enraged Amazon " Too hot "for 
the thief We start for the Terraces Lake Tara- 
wera A merry boat's crew The Devil's Rock 
Native delicacies The landing-place First view of 
the Terraces Beauty indescribable The great 
basin empty Pluto's foghorn The majesty of 
nature Wonder upon wonder The mud cones 
Devil's Holq The Porridge Pot Devil's Wife 
Poor Ruakini ........ 44 

CHAPTER V. 

Lunch An ogre Bush rats Kate's "familiar" The 
Pink Terraces Sacrilegious scribblers Nature's 
masterpiece Words too tame for such a sight A 
Sybarite's bath Back to Wairoa The waterfall 
Fern-hunting Adieu to Wairoa . . . .60 

CHAPTER VI. 

Traits of native character The ivharepuni or common 
dormitory The processes of civilization Foul 
feeding Causes of disease Attempts at reform in 
social customs The primitive carving-knife The 
Hau Haus The Urewera country, the Tyrol of 
New Zealand Captain Mair's description of the 
hillmen The Urewera women Some queer facts 
Extraordinary pigs A whimsical scene Then 
and now, a sharp contrast A stirring episode of the 
old war Snapping of the old links A Maori chiefs 
letter . t . 70 

CHAPTER VII. 

The s.s. Rotomahana Opotiki, a military settlement A 
sensible system of emigration Faults of the Sydney 
system A chance for capital The town of Gis- 
borne Napier Public spirit Projected harbour 
works Napier, the Malta of the southern seas An 
attenuated army - . . 86 

CHAPTER VIII. 

The famous Hawke's Bay pastures Hastings Maori 
farmers Mountain torrents A backwoods clearing 



Contents. ix 

PAGE 

Wasteful methods The forest and hill country 
Woodville The famous Manawatu gorge A 
curious ferry Palmerston 98 

CHAPTER IX. 

A homely hotel Hotel management in New Zealand 
and New South Wales- Sharp criticism Wan- 
ganui, the town Its fine reserve Mount Ruapehu 
A pioneer settler Diligent farmers Great fer- 
tility of soil Signs of prosperity A coasting 
steamer The Rip Entrance to Wellington Har- 
bour Panoramic view of the capital Then and 
now Importance of the city View from Mount 
Victoria . 112 



CHAPTER X. 

McNab's gardens The Rimutaka railway The Fell 
engine The gorge itself Grandeur of the scenery 
Power of the wind The Wairarapa Valley The 
town of Masterton An antipodean hermit Mr. 
Kohn's curios The Belmont Viaduct Meat pre- 
serving industry The various stages A Social 
blot . . 128 



CHAPTER XI. 

Bank's Peninsula Port Lyttelton The changes of 
twenty years A transformation The great tunnel 
The graving work Christchurch, the city of 
gardens Its homelike aspect Hard times 
Colloquy with a croaker The philosophy of the 
matter " The good time coming " .... 141 



CHAPTER XII. 

The majesty of the mountains The great Canterbury 
Plains Ashburton, a city of the plains Then and 
now The Rangitata River Progress of settlement 
Timaru The surf The olden time The city of 
to-day A triumph of engineering skill The giant 
mole Its construction The engineer's description 
of the work An old chum " Once a mate always 
a mate " Calling the roll A vivid contrast . . 149 



x Contents. 

PAGE 

CHAPTER XIII. 

" The old order changed " A fine farming country A 
literary peddler Otago scenery Wealth of water 
The Clutha country A colonial manse The 
minister's lot a hard one Kindly relations between 
pastor and people Tree-planting Slovenly farm- 
ing An angler's paradise Gore township The 
Waimea Valley A night ride 166 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Up the dark silent lake Dawn on LakeWakatipu "The 
Remarkables " Queenstown Chinamen gold- 
diggers Lake scenery Von River Greenstone 
Valley The Rees and Dart Rivers Head of the 
lake Kitty Gregg Peculiarities of the mountains 
The terrace formation The old Scotch engineer 
Frankton Valley Farmers' feathered foes Lake 
Hayes Arrive at Arrowtown . . . . . 179 

CHAPTER XV. 

Arrowtown "A river of golden sands 1 ' An auriferous 
region A dismal look-out Old gold-workings A 
terrible chasm Nature's laboratory Rabbitters at 
.work A serious plague The kea, or liver-eating 
macaw Hawk and pigeon "Roaring Meg" 
Cromwell township The Molyneux Valley 
Deserted diggings Halt at Roxburgh . . . 195 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Dunkeld Our Jehu On the box seat- A Chinese 
Boniface Gabriel's Gully Good farming Dune- 
din Harbour works A category of " the biggest 
things on record " Charms of Dunedin A holiday 
drive The Grand Hot el The churches Preachers 
Dunedin mud Beer Keen business competition 
The West Coast connection " Wild Cat " claims 
The .Scotch element Litigiousness Energy of 
the people 212 

CHAPTER XVII. 

The Bluff Bleak and inhospitable view Miserable 
railway arrangements First impressions Cheerless 



Contents. xi 

PAGE 

ride to Invercargill Forestry neglected Shameful 
waste The Timber industry Necessity for re- 
form Pioneering The usual Australian mode 
The native method A contrast Invercargill A 
large farm Conservatism of the farming classes 
Remenyi's anecdotes 229 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Education in New Zealand School buildings Opinion 
of a high authority The order of educational 
arrangements Professor Black's mining lectures 
Scheme for instruction to miners Technical 
education Political parasites 246 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The farming industry Technical education for farmers 
An agricultural department a necessity State of 
farming in Australia Slovenly methods New 
products Necessity for experiment Village settle- 
ment Water conservation Futility of a protective 
policy 260 



CHAPTER XX. 

Good-bye to the Bluff A rough passage Tasmania in 
the distance Coast scenery A nautical race 
Ocean fisheries Neglected industries Fish curing 
Too much reliance on State aid The view on 
the Derwent Hobart from the sea An old-world 
town " No spurt about the place " Old-fashioned 
inns Out into the country A Tasmanian squire 
The great fruit industry A famous orchard 
Young Tasmanians The hop industry Australian 
investments The Flinders Islands A terra incog- 
nita Back to Melbourne 273 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Summary Importance of the colonies sometimes over- 
looked at home Their commercial importance 
Fields for capital Mineral wealth Farm products 
New Industries Field for farmers Liberal land 
regulations Openings for artisans For labourers 



xii Contents. 

PAGE 

Free institutions A land of promise for willing 
workers Inducements for seekers after health and 
lovers of the picturesque The clouds clearing 
Returning prosperity The peace and unity of the 
Empire ......... 294 

APPENDIX 301 



OUR NEW ZEALAND COUSINS. 



CHAPTER I. 

A retrospect Twenty years ago A long cherished desire 
about to receive fulfilment First glimpse of the Maori 
coast Kauri gum The North Cape An old whaling 
station " The old order changeth " Rangitoto Auck- 
land harbour The city from the sea Contrasted with 
Sydney Queen Street, the chief artery The water 
supply The theatres Hotels North Shore Lake 
Takapuna Excellence of the city commissariat. 

ONE reads much now-a-days of the progress of 
colonization. One hears much of the rapid rise 
of communities, of the quick changes of modern 
life, and the sudden surprises of contemporary 
history. It is rare, however, that one is privi- 
leged to see for oneself the startling contrasts 
and pregnant transformations, which have been 
effected during twenty years of bristling activity 
and onward progress, in a young country like 
New Zealand. To endeavour to describe some- 
thing of these is my aim in these notes of 
travel. 

It is no^ more than twenty years since I first 
landed on the shingly beach at Port Lyttelton, 
in the Canterbury province, and with light 
pockets and hopeful heart trudged over the high 

B 



2 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

hill that then barred the city of Christchurch 
from its port. The great tunnel (monument to 
the foresight and energy of Mr. Moorhouse, who 
at that time was superintendent of the province) 
was then only in course of perforation. In the 
whole of the New Zealand group, only some 
nine miles of railways were in working order. 
It was my fate to travel pretty extensively through 
the islands then. I visited nearly all the towns 
of. any note, and being young, impressionable, 
and not unobservant, those early scenes are in- 
delibly fixed in my memory. 

When I left India some years ago, after 
spending some twelve years there as an indigo- 
planter, an account of which has been given in 
a former work, 1 my intention was to revisit New 
Zealand, and compare its present appearance 
with my recollections of its former state ; but 
hitherto circumstances had prevented my carry- 
ing out that intention, until, in the month of 
March, 1885, I found the opportunity I had 
so fondly desired, and these notes of travel are 
the result of my recent wanderings in the scenes 
of my early experience, and I shall endeavour 
to make them as interesting and instructive as 
I can. 

The incidents of steamship travel are pretty 
uniform now-a-days. I could, I daresay, draw 
a graphic contrast between the old Mermaid^ 
clipper ship, for instance, in which I made my 

1 " Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier." London : 
Macmillan and Co., 1878. 



. Our New Zealand Coiisins. 3 

first voyage to the antipodes, and the smart, 
well-found, modern steamer Manapouri, one of 
the magnificent fleet of the Union S.S. Co. of 
N.Z., with her genial, lovable commander, Captain 
Logan ; but it may be sufficient to say that, 
having left Sydney with her peerless harbour 
and sickening smells behind us, after a few days' 
steaming we sighted Cape Maria early on a 
Monday morning, and I once more gazed with 
strangely mingled feelings on " the land of the 
Maori and the moa," the new Great Britain of 
the Southern Seas. 

Cape Maria is the northernmost point of the 
mainland of the colony, but it is not the first 
land sighted by the voyager from Sydney to 
Auckland. The triple islets named " The Three 
Kings " lie to the north of Cape Maria, and are 
the first spot of the Maori domain that catches 
the eye of the man on the look-out. 

Eastward of the cape is a wide, shallow bay, 
known as Spirit Bay. The coast-line terminates 
here, in an abrupt solitary conical bluff called 
Spirit Point. The designation, however, relates 
not to that mundane medium of seduction which 
a Scotchman would call " speerits," but owes its 
name to a legendary belief of the waning Maori 
race. These dusky warriors hold that the spirits 
of the departed here congregate, and poise them- 
selves on the dizzy verge, preparatory to taking 
a final farewell of the shores of their earthly 
dwelling-place. From this point they wing their 
flight to the Three Kings above-mentioned, which 
B 2 



4 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

are thus the veritable Walhalla of the Maori race. 
A sacrilegious cynic aboard, remarked, that if a 
private still were only set to work on the Three 
Kings, the spirits of a good many more than 
merely defunct Maories might be expected to 
muster thick when the roll was called. 

Behind Cape Maria stretches a weary, wild 
sand-drift. We could see the clouds of shifting 
sand whirling aloft like a mist. The country does 
not, indeed, look inviting here. It is reputed to be 
the most barren tract in all New Zealand. Indeed, 
as the reader will find if he follows me, a suspicion 
sometimes steals across the mind of the observant 
traveller that, on the whole, perhaps the fertility of 
the country has been overrated. 

Farther inland a good breed of Herefords has 
been introduced ; and at North Cape, a few miles 
to the eastward, many sheep can from the steamer 
be seen browsing on the scanty pastures. 

The chief industry on this part of the island, is 
the digging for kauri gum by the natives, and by 
scattered parties of bushmen. The diggers probe 
in the likely places for the buried deposits of the 
amber-like gum with long slender spears. In 
Auckland great warehouses are filled with huge 
blocks of this unearthed treasure. It looks just 
like clouded amber, and a lively foreign trade is 
done with the steamer passengers in trinkets made 
from it. 

The North Cape presents a rugged, scarred, 
weather-beaten front. It is capped by a thin 
layer of red earth, and in the precipitous gullies, 



Our New Zealand Cousins, 5 

a patchy undergrowth of stunted bushes main- 
tains a precarious foothold. In one ravine, the 
smoke from a bush-fire rolls lazily up in murky 
columns, till the gale, catching it as it emerges 
from the shelter of the gully, whirls it abroad, 
amid the dashing spray and driving rain. Truly 
a wild, forbidding, tempestuous coast. And what 
awful tragedies have been enacted here in the grim 
past ! The red earth looks ominous. It suggests 
bloodshed. I had pictured something greener and 
fresher-looking. This is not one whit less sombre 
than the ordinary Australian coast, with its eternal 
fringe of neutral-tinted eucalyptus scrub. 

Rounding the Cape we get under the lee of the 
island. The steamer glides into a blessed calm, 
and wan figures begin to emerge from 

That seclusion which a cabin grants ; 

and soon we sight Stephenson Island, with its 
isolated masses of upstanding rock jutting out into 
the sea. 

Behind this island lies the harbour of Whanga- 
roa, once a noisy, lawless whaling-station. Only 
the other day an enormous whale, which had been 
harpooned in the Bay of Islands, far to the south, 
was secured by the natives in the harbour, and the 
sale of the carcase, or rather the products therefrom, 
realized iooo/. The port is now, however, quiet 
enough. The old whalers lie idly rotting in 
Auckland or Hobart harbours. The roving, rol- 
licking Jackey Tars belong to Seamen's Unions 
now-a-days ; own suburban allotments or steam- 



6 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

boat shares ; study the law of contracts, and pass 
in political economy. To " turn in a dead eye " 
is as defunct an accomplishment as dancing a 
minuet, and " shiver my timbers " is a phrase of no 
meaning, in these days of iron ships and steel 
steamers. Some little timber trade is still done 
at Whangaroa, and there is a large native settle- 
ment, but the roystering days of the whaling in- 
dustry are gone, never to return. 

There are few lights on this part of the New 
Zealand coast, a lack which badly wants supplying. 
As I write, there is a gathering of over five hundred 
natives assembled at Whangarei, another northern 
port, for the purpose of indulging in one of their 
famous war-dances. Nothing could more forcibly 
mark the difference between these latter days and 
the former order of things, when feasts of human 
flesh were the accompaniment of these orgies, than 
the fact that now this gathering is extensively 
advertised. Steamers are specially put on to make 
the run, and take up large numbers of curious 
sightseers, who throng to see the war-dance, as 
they would to any ordinary exhibition. This may 
be less romantic from the novel-reader's point of 
view, but surely it is well that over the old ruthless 
savagery " Ichabod " should be written. 'Tis pity 
though, that the lust for fire-water and the vulgar 
thirst for beer, should all so easily have formed the 
modern substitute for that fierce craving for human 
blood, which was wont to rouse the Maori nature 
to verge of madness. 

All the night, on through the darkness our 



O^lr New Zealand Co^ts^ns. 7 

good steamer glides swiftly along, and at break of 
day we are almost abreast of the approaches to 
Auckland, the commercial capital of the North, as 
Dunedin is of the South. 

In the dim misty greyness of early morn we 
crept past the towering bulk of Rangitoto, the 
giant sentinel that guards Auckland harbour, and 
all hands hurried on deck to get the first glimpse 
of the far-famed panorama of beauty that lay 
stretched before us. This renowned harbour ranks 
in order and loveliness among the " most excellent 
of the earth." " See Naples and die," is an oft 
quoted saying. Rio has its worshippers. Peerless 
Sydney has her liege votaries, whose ardent homage 
naught can quench and yet, in many respects, 
Auckland harbour has a beauty of its own, which 
in some measure exceeds that of any other spot of 
earth I have yet seen. 

Its charm seems to me to lie in its wide diversity, 
the vastness of its extended embrace. Every 
charm of landscape blends together into one mag- 
nificent whole. Open sea, land-locked bay, deep 
firth, rocky islet, placid expanse of unruffled deep 
blue, cloud-capped mountain, wooded height, bosky 
dell, villa-crowned ridges, and terrace on terrace of 
massive buildings, all can be seen by a single 
roving glance from whatever coign of vantage the 
beholder may command. For league upon league 
the eye may run down the ever-varying configura- 
tion of a beautiful coast, the promontories re- 
flected in the lapping waters of magnificent bays, till 
far out to seaward the Coromandel headlands lie 



8 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

shimmering in the sun, crowned with fleecy 
clouds ; and almost hidden in the misty haze of 
distance. 

Out towards the open sea, the watery void is 
broken up and relieved by lovely mountainous 
islands, round whose wooded summits the quick 
changing clouds chase each other in bewildering 
rapidity ; and ever and anon white sails flash 
across the ken of vision, or trailing lines of black 
smoke from some swift steamer mar for a moment 
the clear brilliancy of the azure sky. The cloud- 
less blue of the Australian sky has here given 
place to the exquisite variety of ever changing hue 
and form, which gives such animation to the New 
Zealand landscape, and forms one of the chiefest 
charms to the visitor from the bigger island. 

Yes, Sydney harbour is lovely. But Auckland, 
with its wider sweep, its greater diversity and 
bolder features, has a beauty of its own which 
makes her a not unworthy rival. 

In other respects the city presents features which 
might well be copied by the great metropolis which 
clusters so thickly on the shores of Port Jackson. 
For instance, there is here a well-endowed harbour 
trust, which has a near prospective income of 
close on half a million per annum, and an agita- 
tion has even now been commenced in favour of 
making the port free in the widest sense. Large 
reclamations have been and are being made ; 
spacious wharfs run out into deep water. The 
reclaimed land is let on fifty years 5 leases. So 
valuable is it that the trustees get io/. per foot 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 9 

per annum for the first twenty-five years, and an 
enhancement upon that of fifty per cent, for the 
second twenty-five years. A handsome custom- 
house is now in course of erection. Public baths, 
well-ordered and cleanly kept, are extensively 
patronized close by. An enormous building is 
rapidly going up close to the chief wharf for a 
further extension of the meat-freezing industry. 
The sea-line is faced with spacious warehouses and 
handsome commercial buildings, and, chiefest con- 
venience of all, the railway station is being built 
within the harbour precincts, and the .locomotive 
and the steamer are withia^ neighbourly hail of 
each other. Thus there is no waste of time, of 
power, or of money, in shipping and discharging 
operations. 

The shipping facilities in Sydney are a disgrace 
to the age, and a reproach to the character of the 
New South Wales people. The sanitary state of 
the city is even worse than the state of her wharfs 
and shipping arrangements. A Harbour Improve- 
ment Association has lately been started by private 
citizens. All honour and good speed to it. 

By contrast with the miserable makeshifts and 
primitive arrangements of Sydney, Auckland rises 
to the rank of a modern city, while Sydney, by the 
comparison, sinks to the level of a mediaeval fishing 
village, only she does not even have a decent 
supply of fish, which Auckland has. 

No good is got by burking unpleasant truths. 
He is a false prophet who only " prophesies smooth 
things." He is no true journalist or publicist 



io .Our New Zealand Cousins. 

who cries " Peace, peace," when there is no 
peace. 

What has been done in Auckland could be al- 
most infinitely outdone by Sydney with her greater 
wealth and wider commerce. A trust established 
in Sydney for the same purposes as the one in 
Auckland, would in a few years be enormously 
wealthy, and the reputation of the port, and the 
public convenience would be a millionfold en- 
hanced. The vested interests of a selfish few, into 
whose hands the beautiful foreshores of the harbour 
have been allowed to fall, and who will do nothing 
whatever to move in accordance with the spirit of 
the times, cannot for ever be allowed to bar the 
way of national progress. 

Queen Street is the chief artery of Auckland. It 
runs up a natural valley somewhat after the man- 
ner of Pitt Street, Sydney, only the street is much 
wider, and now that a Building Act is in operation, 
very handsome structures are rising on every hand. 
Evidences of the old regime are yet apparent in 
very unsightly ramshackle verandahs here and 
there. I observe several necessary conveniences 
for pedestrians at modest intervals. Here again 
the Maori city scores a point against the metro- 
polis of New South Wales. 

During our visit a gum warehouse and bedding 
factory took fire. Such is the splendid nature of 
the water supply, and the efficiency of the fire 
brigades, that in less than thirty minutes from 
the first clanging of the great bells the fire was 
extinct. Bell towers are a prominent feature in 



Our New Zealand Coitsins. i r 

all New Zealand towns, and where wooden houses 
are the rule, fires, of course, are very frequent. 

The magnificent jets of water paled into puny 
insignificance the dribbling gouts of our intermit- 
tent Sydney supply, and in Auckland the painful 
" clank, clank " of the pumps is never heard when 
the fire-fiend has to be battled with. 

There are two capital, commodious theatres. 
We went to hear Remenyi, the famous Hungarian 
violinist. The Governor, and Mayor, and coun- 
cillors were there. Ostrich feathers seemed the 
leading feature in the head-dresses of the ladies. 
Gigantic structures of the Queen Anne era were 
surmounted by a panoply of feathers that would 
have turned a fashionable undertaker green with 
envy. These kept nodding time to the magic 
sweetness evoked by the gifted violinist ; and the 
effect was really ludicrous in the extreme. 

One Herr Himmel sang a ballad. The deep 
German gutturals rang through the building with 
an unmistakable Teutonic twang. A corpulent 
civic dignitary sitting behind us, turned to his be- 
plumed dowager, and asked very audibly, 

" What's that, Mariar? Is that Hitalian?" 

" Lor no, dear ; that's French/' said Maria. 
Foreign critics say the English are wofully defi- 
cient in modern languages. Perhaps so ! 

Banks are numerous. The buildings fine. But 
the hotels are legion. And yet it is noticeable how 
many passers-by wear the blue ribbon. When I 
say hotels, I err. Public-houses or drink-shops 
there are in abundance, but the bonA-fide first-class 



1 2 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

family hotels, might be counted on the fingers of a 
one-armed soldier. 

Gram's hotel is comfortable, clean, quiet, and 
the host is obliging, and looks personally after the 
welfare of his guests. It is a favourite house with 
passengers waiting for the San Francisco steamer, 
and tourists generally. 

Let no visitor to Auckland omit a trip to North 
Shore, and a drive out to Lake Takapuna. The 
scenery will amply repay the trouble, although in 
the endeavour to reach the lake may be included 
a jolting vehicle, a larrikin driver, a pair of jibbing 
horses, necessitating a walk up every incline over 
rough scoriae or through blinding dust. Truth com- 
pels me to add that this was the only occasion on 
which I saw a badly-horsed conveyance round 
about Auckland. As a rule, the visitor will mark 
with delight the grandly developed, robust, well- 
fed horses. The trams are served by splendid 
animals. The strain is not that of the fast but 
slender weeds which are so common about Sydney. 
The breed is a mixture of the Suffolk Punch, the 
Clydesdale, the Cleveland, with a good dash of the 
thoroughbred, and they appear to be generously 
fed. In the old war times the Commissariat got 
down the very finest stock procurable from Tas- 
mania and New South Wales, paying 2OO/. and 
even 300/1 for a good mare. They bred for work 
and usefulness in these olden times, not for short 
races and gambling handicaps, and the result is 
seen now in the magnificent chargers and sleek 
Samsons which one sees in every conveyance. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 3 

But to return to the North Shore. The beauties 
of land and sea are here displayed with a lavish- 
ness and variety that fairly exceed my powers of 
description. The houses (many of them exceed- 
ingly pretty villas) are all wooden. Bricks are 
scarce and dear ; blue stone of a volcanic origin 
and more than granite hardness is much used in 
the larger public buildings in town. There are few 
gardens, and what there are, are scantily supplied 
with flowers. 

Fruit is abundant all through the North Island. 
The apples are really fine, grapes are choice, pears 
exquisite ; plums luxuriate ; oranges do not thrive ; 
yet tons of fruit are imported from Tasmania, to 
the exclusion of the home-grown crops. Growers 
here say it does not pay for carriage to put up the 
produce of their orchards. Apples in the city are 
4<af. or $d. per lb., and yet in the Waikato district 
pigs are fed with tons upon tons of the finest 
varieties. How is this ? Is it not a complaint in 
Sydney also ? Dear fruit in the midst of abun- 
dance ? Here is a problem the solution of which 
might well attract the philanthropists of our little 
Pedlingtons. Nay, the question after all is a 
serious one, and worthy of the best solution the 
best minds of our community can bring to it. 
Freights along the coast for one thing are exces- 
sive in N.Z. Other means of communication 
and conveyance are scanty, precarious, and expen- 
sive. 

Surely co-operation might work some reform. 
The profits that will alone content the " middle 



1 4 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

man " are out of all proportion to the benefits he 
confers on the patient consumer. It is high time 
Australians awaked out of their apathy as regards 
their fruit trade. 

So, too, with fish supplies. Schnapper here 
(I am speaking of Auckland) can be caught, down 
by the Thames estuaries and bays, in thousands ; 
delicious flounders and flatfish abound, mullet 
teem, other kinds swarm. And yet it is either a 
famine or a feast. At times none can be had. 
Wellington, I am told, is the best supplied with 
fish of any city in Australasia, and the fishmonger's 
shop and the fisherman's calling are recognized as 
being of equal importance with the butcher's or 
baker's. Room surely for a new departure in our 
fish supply. 

Butcher meat, too, as I am on gastronomic 
topics, demands a word. The beef and mutton in 
Auckland are delicious. Immeasurably superior 
to the supplies common to Sydney -and the 
sausages ! My mouth waters yet as I recall their 
succulent juiciness and exquisite flavour. The 
ordinary Australian sausage is a B.M. a bag of 
mystery so long as there is plenty of thyme and 
sage ; it matters not how old, how black, how dry, 
and how unsavoury the other ingredients may be. 

The butchers' shops in Auckland are better than 
anything of the kind I had yet seen in the colonies, 
and it should be remembered, too, that the climate 
is more favourable to the trade than the sweltering 
heat of New South Wales. 

The shops are lofty, well ventilated, and scru- 



Our Neiv Zealand Cousins. 1 5 

pulously clean. All interior arrangements of hooks, 
blocks, and gear have been evidently specially de- 
signed to suit the requirements of the meat trade. 
The chief and crowning excellence, however, which 
is well worthy of record for Sydney readers, was 
this. All the walls were inlaid with glazed 
encaustic tiles. The counters were cool marble 
slabs. The windows were furnished with porcelain 
plates, and the whole looked so temptingly clean 
and cool that I could not help wishing some of our 
Sydney " knights of the cleaver " would take a 
lesson, and be fired with a noble emulation to even 
outvie the Auckland butchers in obeying the 
dictates of common sense and the instincts of 
cleanliness. 

But to get once more back to the North Shore. 
Lake Takapuna is a lovely circular sheet, evi- 
dently the crater of an extinct volcano. The black 
rugged masses of scoriae all around leave no doubt 
as to its volcanic antecedents. There are a few 
tame swans on the lake. Lovely ferns, orchids, 
and the crimson flowering pohutaukaua, or Christ- 
mas bush of New Zealand, fringe the steep banks, 
and the scene is one of perfect loveliness. . The 
Maoris tell the legend that as Tahapuna sank and 
filled with water, so Rangitoto, the steep mountain 
in the bay, arose. The energy and enterprise of 
the Aucklanders are here well exemplified in the use 
they make of the telephone. They have carried it 
across the harbour in submarine pipes, and a lady on 
North Shore can order her groceries and joints 
in town without going more than a few steps. 



1 6 Our New Zealand Co2isins. 

Terrific gales occasionally rage here. We saw 
the devastating traces of one such, in myriads of 
half-prostrate young pine-trees. The sides which 
had been exposed to the gale were withered and 
shrivelled as if smitten by fire. Pines have been 
very extensively planted all round Auckland. 
They form quite a feature in the scenery, and seem 
to thrive luxuriantly in the volcanic soil. So, alas,, 
do briars and the Scotch whins or furze, which 
some enthusiastic idiot has at some former 
time introduced from a mistaken sentiment of 
patriotism. 

The furze, with its aggressive spikes and golden 
blossom, is becoming ubiquitous all over New Zea- 
land, and promises to become as great a nuisance, 
in its way, as the briars of the west, or the prickly 
pear of the north, are in New South Wales. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 7 



CHAPTER II. 

Auckland continued Mount Eden the chief lion View 
from the mountain Conveyances Start for the hot 
lakes Railways The Waikato Hills The ubiquitous 
manouka scrub Wayside villages A Maori belle- 
The village market Arrive at Cambridge, the present 
terminus. 

MOUNT EDEN is of course the lion of Auckland, 
after the harbour, but next to these, the most con- 
spicuous features in the suburbs, to the stranger 
at all events, are the wooden houses, the hawthorn 
hedges, and the stone walls made of the scoriae 
blocks, which bestrew the ground so thickly. 
These stone walls remind one of an upland 
Scottish or Irish parish, and the resemblance is 
strengthened in places by the appearance of a sod 
wall surmounted by a prickly furze hedging. The 
ascent up Mount Eden is very steep. A few 
clumps of pines have been planted here and there, 
and relieve the nakedness of the hill. When near 
the summit, you get a view of the deep circular 
crater, with its debris of loose boulders in the 
centre. Cows graze peacefully now in the still 
basin ; and nursemaids, babies, mashers, and 
maidens, and all the modern medley of tourists 
munch their apples, display their fashions, or sweep 

c 



1 8 Otir New Zealand Coiisins. 

the horizon with field-glasses, from the terraces 
erstwhile occupied by cannibals. Here and there 
a heap of glistening white pipi shells marks the 
spot where the tattooed warriors, when " long pig 7> 
was scarce, regaled themselves on the shell-fish, 
laboriously carried up the mount, from the adjacent 
shores by the comely dark-skinned women, in the 
brief intervals of peace between the tribes. 

The scene from Mount Eden is surely unique 
in its diverse beauty and grandeur. Here may be 
seen at one glance, the tide at its flow on the 
eastern shore laving the rugged fringe of Rangi- 
toto, the bold bluffs of the north shore, and the 
terraced sweep of the mainland and lapping 
lazily the massive timbers of the wharves, where 
the big ships and steamers are busy discharging 
their multifarious cargo. On the western side the 
tide is at the same identical moment receding 
through the tortuous channels of Manukau har- 
bour, leaving the broad mud flats, with their rocky 
environment, reeking and steaming bare, black, 
and ugly under the rays of the afternoon sun. 
The suburbs glow with beauty, as the light gleams 
oh bright roofs, snug gardens, young plantations, 
and dark green masses of pine and cedar. The 
domain below, with its wild entanglement of 
natural bush, fern-trees and dark undergrowth, 
looks cosy, cool, and refreshing ; everywhere is the 
glint of water, relieving the tumbled masses of 
scoriae, the circling outlines of extinct volcanoes, 
and fortuitous jumble of buildings. The back- 
ground is filled in by bold outlines of ragged peak 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 9 

and crested hill, amid the recesses of which, masses 
of bush and forest show as great black patches ; 
and the cloudlets trail, like the shreds of a great 
veil, which the merry western breeze has torn and 
riven to tatters. 

As one withdraws the eye from the marvellously 
diversified panorama of loveliness, and looks into 
the yawning barren ugliness of the burnt-up focus 
of bygone fire at his feet, the abrupt transition is 
one of those rare experiences which form a land- 
mark in memory, and the scene is imprinted with 
photographic fidelity on the recollection, never 
again to be effaced. 

Cab fares are absurdly high in Auckland. Five 
shillings an hour is rather too much to pay for the 
luxury of being jostled about in a vehicle, which, 
whatever the horse may be, is decidedly inferior in 
comfort and cleanliness to an average Sydney 
cab. 

" The nimble sixpence " is thought more of here 
than in Sydney. Children will even accept a 
penny with an approach to gratitude, and not 
spurn it with the supercilious scorn of a Sydney 
gamin. Street porters, each with his hand lorry, 
wait at the corners of the streets to transport 
parcels or baggage, and I found them a decided 
convenience civil in their conversation, and 
reasonable in their charges. If you want your 
luggage taken to the steamer, samples taken round 
to a customer, or any little carrying job done, one 
of these porters will save you the expense of a cab 
or van, and this class might well be introduced into 

C 2 



2O Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Sydney. Street commissionaires would be well 
patronized, and the municipality might take the 
hint and issue licences. The horse trams are much 
patronized, and are, in my humble opinion, in- 
finitely more suited to the busy streets of a city, 
than the snorting, noisy, smoking, gritty abomina- 
tions which monopolize the right of way in the 
busiest streets of the New South Wales capital. 
But enough of Auckland. 

Taking advantage of the Easter holidays, we 
took out our excursion tickets for the hot lakes, 
and started on the Wednesday a merry party of 
six. 

The railway runs on the narrow gauge, but the 
carnages are comfortable and clean, and are of 
local manufacture. The employes were not re- 
markable for either smartness or civility at least 
such was my experience. Doubtless travellers are 
often exacting and inconsiderate ; but tact, temper, 
and urbanity are as essential to a railway porter 
as to a policeman ; and it is after all just as easy 
to be courteous to a stranger, as rude. The 
appearance and behaviour of the railway officials 
here, struck me as being slovenly and boorish. 
They seemed to deem it incumbent on them, with 
luggage especially, to completely outvie the 
ordinary coasting steamboat sailor in the vigour 
of their haulage and the destructiveness of their 
handling. The guards I do not include in this 
adverse criticism, as we found them polite, active, 
and neat. 

The railway stations do not strike one as being 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 2 1 

elaborately ornate. In fact they err too much on 
the other side, and are painfully bare and devoid 
of comfort. The platforms, for instance, need not 
be all sand and dust and grit, however much from 
the draper's and cobbler's point of view these may 
be desirable concomitants. Surely, too, a few 
benches for tired intending passengers, and a 
decent awning or some shelter from the elements, 
might be provided. The line is not fenced, and so 
the engines are all provided with ponderous cow- 
catchers. Some attempts have been made, here 
and there, to plant shade-trees along the track ; 
but no attempt at gardening has as yet seemingly 
been attempted by station-masters. Judging from 
the published time-tables I should think they had 
plenty of time on their hands to devote a little 
attention in this direction. 

Around Auckland, the country seems pretty 
populous. Farm-houses are frequent, villas numer- 
ous, cultivation common, and every now and then 
a modest little spire marks the site of a snug 
little village. The strata we note in the cuttings 
is ridgy, wavy, and streaked like a ribbon, show- 
ing the volcanic influences that have been at 
work. 

Nearing the Waikato Hills, whose broken out- 
lines loom out dark on the horizon ; we pass 
great rich flats, with a black, peaty soil ; and here, 
draining and trenching is being extensively carried 
on. Where the land lies higher, nothing is to be 
seen but league upon league of bracken and ma- 
nouka, or ti-tree scrub. This is as characteristic of 



22 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

all northern New Zealand scenery as gum-trees are 
of Australia, or heather of the Scottish Highlands. 
The perpetual unbroken stretch of dun brown or 
green fern soon grows very monotonous. In all 
the swamps, flax and green sedge (the raupo of 
the natives) form an agreeable contrast to the 
eternal ferns. 

In places, black tracts show where the fern has 
been burned down, and in many a distant valley 
and on the flanks of all the hills we see the smoke 
of fires, where the annual autumn burning is even 
now being proceeded with. The cattle are fat and 
sleek. The sheep, compared with the ordinary 
Australian " muttons," look gigantic. At one 
village we see a rustic mill, with its water-wheel 
busily revolving, and the water splashing from 
its glistening blades. It is the first water-mill we 
have seen for years. Clear water and foaming 
rivulets, plashing over black rocks ; still brooks, 
gleaming from a sedgy margin ; or small still lakes, 
glistening like jewels in some emerald setting, all 
testify to the fact that here Nature is kinder than 
with us in drought-haunted Australia. 

At Mercer, which is a tidy compact village with 
wide streets, we stop for lunch, and see our first 
batch of Maoris, dressed in gaudy prints and 
blankets. Every woman has a child a-straddle 
on her back, and a short black pipe in her mouth. 
The men look awkward, shambling, and out of 
place in their ill-fitting European garments. 

Here, the strong Waikato flows with a peaceful, 
sluggish-looking current. Deceptive enough this, 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 23 

as it is in reality swift and full of eddies and under- 
tows, which make it dangerous to bathers. This 
most beautiful river we keep with us now all the 
way up to Cambridge, getting an occasional glimpse 
of its pure free current as the banks here and there 
open, while we pursue our onward course. 

At Huntley. there are two coal-mines, with great 
beds of burning refuse ; lines of rail and staiths on 
the river for the trucks. A small river steamer is 
here loading. The scene suggests what Newcastle 
must have been in its very early days. 

An irate Irishwoman now affords amusement to 
the passengers by opening out on the colliery 
doctor, for some real or imaginary dereliction of 
duty. She stormed in orthodox virago fashion, 
and the poor disciple of Galen meekly had to bow 
before the storm of Celtic wrath. If I might 
interpret the glitter in his eye, and the flush on his 
wrinkled cheek, however, I would say that if ever 
that Irishwoman chances to be in need of his 
medical services, she may have to undergo about 
the very liveliest time that all the occult resources 
of the pharmacopoeia are capable of producing. 

Note this young, nice-looking Maori girl. What 
a " get up ! " Man's hat, with feathers of sorts, 
Scotch shawl of the " dambrod " pattern, and the 
colours such as we see in early prints of Joseph 
when dressed in his historical coat. A vivid 
green scarf, pinchbeck brooch as big as a highland 
targe, flaming red petticoat, and high-heeled 
boots, complete the bizarre costume. And yet 
the colours, loud and outre as they are, seem to 



24 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

suit the soft, warm complexion, the black hair, 
gleaming teeth, and lustrous .eyes of the dusky 
maiden. 

At a small village, with an unpronounceable 
native name, where the Waipa mingles its pel- 
lucid stream with the blue Waikato, we see the 
remains of an ancient Maori burying-place. It 
is market-day here. Crowds of stalwart lads 
career madly up and down on horseback, chasing 
unruly mobs of bellowing cattle to and fro. Sub- 
stantial-lookingfarmers and dealers are congregated 
round the chief hotel. A busy hum and general 
bustle bespeak active business ; and the neat 
cottages peeping from clumps of ash, elm, plane, 
and oak, surrounded with gardens ; and the bright, 
clear river sparkling beside us, all carry our thoughts 
back to the mother country ; and we could easily 
fancy we were again at a village fair in dear old 
England. 

Now we are entering on the famous Waikato 
pastures. The cattle would delight the eye of a 
farmer. Cheese-making is here a flourishing in- 
dustry. The people all seem healthy, happy, and 
well-to-do. The air is exhilarating ; our spirits 
rise, our chests expand ; and as the train rolls into 
Cambridge, our halting-place for the night, we 
feel hungry enough to eat a tailor stuffed with 
needles. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 25 



CHAPTER III. 

Cambridge Mixture of races Our Jehu, Harry The 
Waikato river Novel sheep feed The Waikato ter- 
races A town of one building A dangerous pass 
The lonely lovely bush First glimpse of Rotorua 
Ohinemutu Steams and stenches The primitive cook- 
ing-pot Striking contrasts Wailing for the dead An 
artless beggar " for the plate " The baths Whacka- 
rewarewa A Maori larder Volcanic marvels Sub- 
terranean activity Barter The road maintenance man 
Forest wealth The track of the destroyer The Blue 
Lake Mussel-shell Lake Wairoa village Kate the 
guide McRae's comfortable home. 

AT Cambridge there is a commodious hotel kept 
by Mr. Gillett. In the big garden behind the 
house I came upon many old friends the dear 
wee modest daisy, sweetwilliam, violets, old- 
fashioned roses, stocks, primroses, and all the 
favourites of an English garden gooseberry 
bushes of something like the home proportions, 
and cabbages of giant size, all spoke of a cooler 
climate than that we had just left. The early 
mornings, with the heavy dew begemming every 
leaf and blade, and the fresh breeze scattering the 
liquid pearls at every puff, are most bracing and 
refreshing after the hot, languid Sydney summer. 
Cambridge is a neat, though straggling town. 
It is fairly in the Maori country, and groups 



26 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

of gaudily dressed Maoris and half-castes are 
everywhere met with. Evidences of the mixture 
of race are apparent in the sign-boards. Each 
English announcement of the trade or profession 
practised inside, is blazoned also with the Maori 
equivalent in Roman letters. Owing to the 
admirable Maori schools, most of the younger 
natives can now read and write very fairly. Law- 
yers and land-agents seem to thrive here, judging 
from the sign-boards. A flaring placard catches 
my eye, bearing witness to the fact that on Easter 
Monday, after the sports, there will be a Maori 
dance, proceedings to conclude with European 
dances. These mixed dances, from all accounts, 
are not such as St. Anthony would have pa- 
tronized. 

Under the care of Harry Kerr, one of the very 
nicest, most efficient, and most good-natured of 
Jehus it has ever been my good fortune to en- 
counter, we take our departure from the hotel in 
the sweet, fresh morning, and behind a spanking 
team of fine, broad-chested, clean-limbed, well- 
matched horses, in a comfortable American coach 
hung on leather springs, we merrily rattle through 
the quiet little town ; and, turning the corner, we 
behold the noble Waikato, spanned by three 
bridges, surging and foaming between its high 
banks, which are clad with verdure to the water's 
edge. The river here is very swift, and really a 
regal stream. It boils and hisses and bubbles 
along, with a fierce, impatient swoop. Scooping 
out a cauldron-like hollow in the rocks here, dash- 



Our New Zealand Cousins* 27 

ing in impetuous headlong rush upon a jagged 
point there, now rolling over on itself, and tumbling 
in unrestrained exuberance among the boulders ; 
and then with a swift dash, spreading its bosom, 
calm and unruffled to the kiss of the sun, as it 
leaves the rocky defile, and careers along through 
the plain. At the mouth of the gorge a wide basin 
is formed by the junction of a mountain stream ; 
and here a massive " boom " of great logs, chained 
together, is cast across the river. Within the 
barrier thus formed, immense quantities of sawn 
timber and logs are spinning and curling, chafing 
and fretting, as if anxious to escape from durance 
and resume their rapid flight down stream. 

A strange fodder here takes the place of the 
lucerne, to which, as a New South Welshman, I am 
more accustomed. Let our coast farmers take a 
hint. Along with grasses, turnips are sown. 
Cattle, horses, and sheep are turned in to eat down 
the crop, bit by bit, when it has attained a good 
growth ; and all animals alike seem to thrive and 
get fat on the succulent feed thus provided. When 
the crop is sufficiently grazed down, a disc harrow 
is next put through the field, which brings the 
turnip roots to the surface, and the cattle and 
sheep are again turned in to regale themselves 
afresh. A curious instance of adaptation to cir- 
cumstances is given by the sheep here. They 
learn in time to paw the earth away from the 
turnip roots, and actually eat them out of the soil. 
In the black alluvial plains of New South Wales, 
too, where wild carrots are a common growth, the 



28 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

sheep in times of drought will with infinite 
patience and care draw the roots from the soil, 
and so keep life in their miserable carcases. 
And similarly with thistle roots. 

Over the river on the right, rise a series of ter- 
races, so symmetrically fashioned that it is hard to 
believe the river alone originated them. These 
are the far-famed Waikato terraces, formed, so 
geologists tell us, when all this region was a lake 
bed. Between are deep gulches, sunken canyons, 
and ravines, with curious cones thrown in here and 
there. And over all, at the back, the misty 
mountains rear their mysterious heads, while the 
river foams along at our feet. It is a lovely scene. 
What a river for trout. Harry, however, informs 
me that the water is so impregnated with minerals 
that fish will not thrive in these streams. The 
more's the pity. 

Many of these steep conical hills we see, 
scattered at intervals over the vast champaign, have 
a gaping chasm on one side, where, during some 
former fierce cataclysm, the pent up molten lava 
must have burst the cindery barrier, and rushed, a 
living torrent of fire, into the deep ravines below. 
Others bear traces of Maori fortifications, and 
each has some story of blood and strife associated 
with it. 

A long climb, with steep craggy heights to our 
left, and the river to the right brings us to the 
summit of a fern-covered saddle, and far as the 
eye can reach in front, we look across a great 
strath or broad valley, all barred and scarred, 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 29 

disrupted, riven, and tumbled about, into ravines, 
terraces, ridges, and conical peaks, showing what 
terrific and eccentric forces must have been at 
work at some former epoch. We bowl rapidly 
along now, crossing numerous clear brooks, their 
sparkling current playing amid the vivid green of 
the watercress, and forming a grateful contrast to 
the dun bracken and manouka all around. In 
among the ridges, arc tall groups of tree-ferns, 
with enormous fronds radiating gracefully from 
their mossy centres. But now, with a cheery 
halloa to the horses, who neigh and prick their 
ears responsively, with a crack of the whip and 
the rattle of hoofs, we pull up at Rose's Hotel, at 
Oxford ; and, laden with dust, we descend, shake 
ourselves, and are shown into clean cool rooms, 
where we make plentiful ablutions, and soon enjoy 
a most appetizing and toothsome repast. We 
expect from the name to find a pretentious 
academic town. Not so, however. The traveller 
in the colonies, soon learns to attach mighty little 
significance to names. In N.S.W., for instance, 
Vegetable Creek is a mining centre with some- 
times eight or nine thousand inhabitants, while 
the adjacent township of Dundee, consists of two 
public-houses, one store, and a few bark-covered 
sheds, pig-styes, and a post-office. 

The town of Oxford, however, at present, merely 
consists of the hotel. It is a well-ordered, com- 
fortable town. There is no squabbling, because 
there are no neighbours ; and for the same reason, 
drainage and other municipal works are all as 



30 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

perfect as they can make them now-a-days. For 
a quiet retreat for an invalid wanting- rest and 
fresh air, commend me to Oxford. Mr. Rose is a 
frank, genial, hearty host. He looks as if his food 
agreed with him, and his beef is the best I have 
tasted for twenty years. 

The next stage from Oxford is a short one, but 
a toilsome. The road winds upwards through 
deep cuttings, with great gorges on either side ; 
and by-and-by we halt to change horses at a 
little collection of huts, on a lonely hillside, while 
far below, the concealed river splashes and gurgles 
amid a forest of tree-ferns and undergrowth. 
Water for the horses is here supplied by a ram-lift 
from the river below. 

The road on ahead is very narrow, and winds 
along the side of a steep hill. There are two 
dangers one, that of falling over the siding down 
the almost sheer face of the cliff; the other, that 
of landslips from above. After rain, the resident 
groom rides daily over the road to see that no 
earth-fall has taken place during the period be- 
tween his visits. " 

What a magnificent view lies here spread out 
before us ! To the left is an immense ravine, the 
bed of the Waiho river. The sides of the deep valley 
are clad in all the inexpressible loveliness of the 
New Zealand bush. What an air of mystery 
hangs around its deep, dark recesses ! How vivid 
are the varied shades of glossy green, lit up by the 
passing sunbeam ! What a rare radiance shines 
out, from what was but now a gloomy depth, as 



O^tr New Zealand Cousins. 3 1 

the rapid clouds flit past, and let the sunshafts 
dart far into the nooks, where the most exquisite 
forms of fern life are "wasting their sweetness." 
The defile here is 830 feet deep from where the 
coach passes, and on the other side of the narrow 
neck of land over which we roll, another equally 
deep and equally lovely valley spreads its beauties 
before our admiring eyes. 

Then we enter the hoary, silent bush, and for 
twelve miles we drive through a perfect avenue of 
delights. Here is the giant pittosperum : there 
the tall totarah. Multitudes of ratas, having coiled 
round some fated giant of the forest, with their 
Laocoon-like embrace, now rear aloft their bloated 
girth ; and all around are ferns, creepers, llianas, 
orchids, trailing drapery, exquisite mosses, and 
all the bewildering beauty of the indescribable 
bush. 

For nearly two hours, we wend our entranced 
way through this realm of enchantment. Every 
revolution of the silent wheels over the soft, yield- 
ing, but springy forest-road, reveals some fresh 
charm, some rarer vision of sylvan beauty. And 
yet it is very still. No sound of bird, no ring of 
axe here. All is still, as if under a spell and in- 
sensibly we become hushed and almost awed, as 
we look up to the giant height of the mossy pines 
and totaras, or peer into the shadowy arcades 
where exquisite ferns and creepers trail their leafy 
luxuriance over the rotting tree-trunks, as if to 
hide the evidences of decay beneath their living 
mantle of velvety green. 



3 2 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Presently the track widens and the forest gets 
thinner. We round a rocky bluff, and there 
before us, far below, in the distance shimmering 
through the tree-boles as if the azure vault had 
fallen to earth, we get our first glimpse of 
Rotorua. 

Mokoia Island in the centre, white cliffs on the 
further side, faint curling cloudlets of steam on the 
hither shore. There is a general long-drawn sigh, 
and then exclamations of pleasure, delight, and 
surprise burst from every lip. 

We receive a hearty, noisy greeting from a cart- 
load of merry Maoris as they drive past, and very 
shortly we rattle across the bridge over the hot 
steaming creek, and find ourselves at friend Kelly's 

Palace Hotel, in far-famed Ohinemutu. 

>K * H; * * 

Steam everywhere, and an all-pervading sul- 
phurous stench, apprise us very forcibly that we 
are now in the hot lake country. After a luxu- 
rious half-hour spent in the warm natural bath 
attached to the hotel, we take a languid stroll down 
by the beach, and survey the native settlement. 
The evening meal potatoes and whitebait is 
being cooked. The sound of incessant ebullition 
is at first almost awe inspiring. One realizes what 
a thin crust alone intervenes between one's shoe 
soles and the diabolical seething cauldron beneath. 
Naked children are bathing in a deep pool by the 
lake. Culinary matrons, gaudily dressed of course, 
squat and gossip round the steaming, sputtering 
holes, in which their viands are being cooked, and 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 33 

beguile the time by desperate pulls at black, evil- 
smelling cutty-pipes. To a tattooed group sitting 
round the great council-hall an English interpreter 
is retailing the items of interest from a recently- 
arrived newspaper. What a contrast is here ? The 
great whare is carved with all sorts of hideous, 
grotesque images. Surely, even in the wildest 
delirium, or the most dire nightmare, we've never 
seen such outrageous effigies. Surmounting a post 
used as a flagstaff, is a goggle-eyed monstrosity, 
with gaping jaws and lolling blood-red tongue ; 
while close by, out nearer the point which forms 
the burial-place of the tribe, and was formerly a 
fortified pah, stands a neat little English church, 
with a pathway of shining white shells ; and one's 
thoughts cannot help reverting to the stories of 
strife and treachery, and cannibalism, and all the 
horrors of pagan cruelty, now happily banished 
for ever before the gentle, loving message of the 
Cross. 

A long-drawn, wailing, dirge-like cry proceeds 
from one inclosure. Looking in we see a company 
of women, seated in rows beside a tent, crooning 
and keening with a strangely weird inflection ; 
and peering further, we are soon able to discover 
the cause. Beneath the canvas lies a figure 
draped in white so stiff, so rigid. No motion 
in those stiff, extended limbs. An old chief, 
weeping copious tears, sits beside his dead son, 
patting the poor unconscious corpse, with a 
curiously pathetic tenderness. The old woman 
who officiates as chief mourner, waves a fan back- 

D 



34 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

ward and forward over the poor dead face ; and 
as the " keen " rises and falls with its wailing 
cadences, we reverently uncover in the presence 
of the dead, and recognize the common tie of 
humanity, in the grief that comes to all alike. 

Next morning (Good Friday) there was a native 
service in the little church. One buxom lass, in 
garments of rainbow hue, accosts us, wanting 
" change for a shilling." 

" What for ? " we asked. 

" Put sikeepence in plate," she said ; " shillin' 
too much." Artless maid ! 

Another one, more mercenary still, unblushingly 
begged for the sixpence itself for the same sacred 
purpose. No doubt she had heard of " spoiling 
the Egyptians." 

I am reminded by this, of a famous old Calcutta 
merchant who was no less noted for his great 
wealth, than for his niggardliness. Coming out of 
church one day, a merry wag, seeing the rupee for 
the plate, ostentatiously held between the finger 
and thumb of the merchant, and wishing to test 
him, tapped him on the shoulder and whispered, 

" I say, S , can ye lend me a rupee for the plate ?" 

" Ou aye," readily responded S . 

Then second thoughts having seemingly inter- 
vened, he muttered, 

" It's a' richt, I'll pit it in for ye," which he did, 
but my friend narrowly watched him, and saw that 
he only put in one rupee for the two. Old S 
doubtless thought the rupee would be credited in 
the celestial treasury as his own offering, yet 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 35 

nevertheless he sent his Durwan, next morning, to 
demand repayment from my waggish friend. Old 
S would have possibly found his match in our 
simple Maori maiden. 

The " tangi," as the funeral feast and ceremony 
is called, was now in full swing. The weeping 
and wailing were even more demonstrative than 
that of the day previous ; but we were told that 
the evening would be wound up with a general 
gorge, and possibly a drunken spree. 

In the church the men sat on one side and the 
women on the other. The singing was pleasing, 
but peculiar. The strains reminded me somewhat 
of India. We went all through the neglected 
graveyard. We peeped into many of the little 
pent-house receptacles for the dead, arid saw 
coffins both big and small, and then after a glorious 
bath in the Madame Rachel Fountain down at 
Sulphur Point, we lunched, and started for Wairoa. 

On this side, the lake is bordered by a great 
flat plain, and at Sulphur Point as it is called 
lies the Government township. The only build- 
ings at present are the Government baths, the 
post and telegraph office, a spacious empty hos- 
pital, and doctor's and attendants' quarters. The 
baths are well arranged, capitally managed, and 
every comfort is provided in the shape of towels, 
shower-bath, and all the usual accessories of a 
modern hydropathic establishment. During our 
stay we tried the temper of all the baths. We 
found the Priest's bath the warmest and most 
relaxing, but for pure unalloyed Sybaritic deli- 
D 2 



-36 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

ciousness the Madame Rachel takes the palm. 
The water is alkaline, and makes the skin feel 
velvety soft ; and, in short, the sensations are 
simply perfectly pleasurable. 

On the margin of the plain proceeding towards 
Wairoa, at the base of a burnt cindery-looking 
pile of scarped cliffs, we see great gouts and 
bursts of steam escaping from various centres of 
activity, and a white cloud rests over an open 
space, which, as the wind ever and anon lifts the 
vapoury veil, is found to contain a village, consist- 
ing of a few whares and huts, with groups of 
natives moving to and fro. 

This is the Geyser village of Whackarewarewa 
pronounced Whack-a-reewa-reewa. Crossing a 
high wooden bridge, which spans a rapid noisy 
stream, we enter the village. The first man we 
meet is a tall native attired in the garb of a priest, 
with rosary and crucifix round his neck, and he 
affably returns our salutation. In some gardens, 
bunches of home grown tobacco are hanging to 
dry under a thatch of raupo. Behind this hut a 
huge dead pig is strung up. It needs little hang- 
ing, as, judging from certain sensations, we can 
certify that it is high enough already. Peeping 
into this zinc-plate-covered larder, we find a col- 
lection of scraps that would make a beggar turn 
green ; and a great gory boar's head, black and 
nasty-looking, stares at us with lack-lustre eyes 
from the top of a pile of potatoes. Verily the 
Maoris are not dainty feeders, but of this anon. 
We have to enter our names in a book, and submit 



Oitr New Zealand Cousins. 3 7 

to a mild extortion of sundry small coins, and then 
a motley cavalcade of children, tattooed old men, 
women with infants astride their backs, laughing 
girls, and begging half-breeds, escort us to see the 
wonders of the place. 

What a scene of desolate grandeur ! The back- 
ground of limestone cliffs, with great white seams 
and landslips, which look like the marks of old 
wounds. Beneath and around a perfect vortex of 
most malevolent activity and boiling confusion. 
Sputtering pot-holes here, spouting geysers there. 
Roaring steam escapes, shrill, whistling fissures. 
Hoarse, bellowing fog-horns everywhere. On this 
side, fierce ebullition ; on that, a gentle sputtering 
and simmering. Here a noiseless steaming, and 
there a blast as if Apollyon were bad with catarrh, 
and were blowing his nose in a rage; and over all, the 
unmistakable odour which popular legend has ever 
attributed to the atmosphere of the infernal regions. 
The presence of sulphur is further fully betokened 
by the beautiful yellow efflorescence and little 
caverns of orange crystals round most of the holes. 

Here is the great Geyser itself one of the most 
active in this district of incessant volcanic action. 
Great swelling volumes of boiling water rush up 
fiercely in hissing hot columns. These plash and 
tumble madly back, and are again shot forth, and 
billow over a white encrusted face of fretted rock, 
into a hole of mysterious depth ; and as the steam 
is ever and anon wafted aside, the intense blue of 
the unfathomed depth is seen like a sapphire set in 
an encrustation of whitest marble. 



38 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Wonder upon wonder here. We stand on a 
thin echoing crust of pumice and silica, with a 
raging hell beneath our feet. Steam and boiling 
water issue from every chink and cranny, and yet 
at the foot of the crested reef so close that we 
could dip our foot into it flows the purling, plash- 
ing stream, so cool, so fresh-looking, with trailing 
masses of aquatic weeds, swaying to and fro in the 
swift current. 

Over the river what a contrast. If here be 
life, brightness, intense activity, what have we 
there ? A black, oozy, slimy flat ; sulphurous 
steam, too, hangs over the Stygian, quaking bog ; 
but instead of azure water, only bubbling, lethargic 
mud comes, with a thick, slab mass ; seething, in 
horrible suggestiveness of witches' broth and 
malignant wizard spells. One could fancy the 
flat a fit abode for ghouls, vampires, and evil 
spirits. While the living stream, the pure white 
and deep blue of the terraces, and lively pools, 
might be the chosen abode of spirits of healing 
and beneficence. The sound is indescribable. 
You hear the thump, thump, as of pent-up engines. 
The din confuses you ; and as you hear it gradu- 
ally softening in the distance, you begin to realize 
what an awful thing is nature, and what an atom 
is man. 

Let us look for a brief instant at this deep pel- 
lucid pool. Clear as is the water, the eye cannot 
penetrate far into the unequalled blue of its mys- 
terious depths. It is perfectly still. A quivering 
steam hovers on its surface. So innocent and in- 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 39 

viting it looks. And yet it would boil the flesh 
from your bones did you but trust yourself to its 
siren seductiveness. At one pit mouth close by, 
the mephitic breath from below has bleached the 
overhanging scrub to a ghastly yellowish white. 
It is shudderingly suggestive of grave-clothes. 
The marvels are legion. The sensations they 
excite I shall not attempt to analyze. It is a 
memory to linger with one for a lifetime. 

Commerce here has her votaries, however. One 
Maori offers us a carved stick for sale. Mistaking 
us for a Rothschild, he demands a pound for the 
product of his industry, but without a blush even- 
tually transfers the stick at a reduction of only 
fifty per cent. ; and we are presently thrown into 
paroxysms of gratification by the information 
which is volunteered by an acid old cynic, that " if 
we had on'y bluffed the beggar, we mout a 'ad it 
for five bob." 

Entering our vehicles again, we sweep once more 
through the plain in the direction of the lake, and 
crossing the river begin to climb the skirting hills, 
by a long, devious, dusty track. Presently we pass 
a lonely tombstone, sacred to the memory of a 
drunken Maori, who broke his neck by falling from 
his horse while returning from a festive party, about 
a year ago. 

Gazing through a narrow gorge on the right, we 
see the long square table-top of steep Horo Horo ; 
the intervening champaign being a succession of 
those terraces and ravines and cones, so character- 
istic of "all the region round about." 



4O Our New Zealand Cousins. 

This district has not yet " been through the land 
court," as is the phraseology of our informant. 
The precise ownership is not yet finally deter- 
mined. And so, as there is no safe title procurable, 
there is no tenancy. This explains what I had 
been remarking, namely, the absence of flock or 
herd or house or tilled field. And yet, there is 
grand pasturage among these hollows. The briar 
is fast becoming a dangerous pest here, as in parts 
of Australia. The Maoris are too lazy to milk 
cows, so they do not keep them. The whole dis- 
trict, so far as being made productive goes, is a 
sad wilderness a regrettable waste. It is Good 
Friday, and yet here is a road-maintenance 
man, hard at work, with his shovel and pick and 
barrow. 

"What, Jim? workin' on Sunday?" says Joe, 
our driver. 

" Oh, if I wasn't workin', some blasted cove, wot 
wants my billet, 'ud be makin' remarks. They 
can't say much if I keeps at it. 'Sides there ain't 
much to do here if I was idle, 'cept it might be to 
get drunk." 

With which philosophical summing-up the old 
fellow shovelled away again. What a grim satire 
on the resources of modern civilization, and 
the brotherly love of the 'orny 'anded to each 
other ! 

Now we enter the cool green bush, with its 
pleasant shade, its humid smell, and all the lovely 
profusion of its ever-changing forms of vegetable 
beauty. Who could ever tire of the glorious bush 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 4 1 

of this magnificent country ? What a contrast to 
the sombre monotony of the Australian forest. 

Ferns ! ! ! " Ram ! Ram ! Sita Ram ! ! ! Could 
anything be more exquisite ? 

Tree fuchsias ! ! As big as gum-trees. 

Pittosperum ! ! ! Giants of convoluted shrubbery. 

Llianas, and supple-jacks, and creepers ! ! 
festooning the forest, like boas and pythons of a 
new order of creation. 

Mosses ! ! Never was carpet woven in loom half 
so exquisite. 

And here, too, the " trail of the serpent is over 
all." The woodcutter is making sad havoc with 
this peerless bush. Deep ruts, with ruthlessly 
felled shrubbery, and withering branches on either 
side, lead away into the bosky dells, where the 
mossy giants, with all their adornment of orchid, 
and trailing fern, and hoary lichen, shiver under 
the fell strokes of the lumber-man, and bow their 
stately heads and fall to rise no more. Hence- 
forth, for the clean, sappy wood, the odour of red 
herring and the smell of sperm candles take the 
place of the faint fresh scent of morning in the 
dewy glade, where the moss and wild flowers send 
up their sweet kisses ; and we can almost fancy 
the giant shuddering as the ripping-saw tears at 
his vitals, or weeping, as the nails are driven, that 
forces him to embrace the oilman's or the chandler's 
distasteful wares. 

What ho ! What fresh beauty is this awaiting 
us ? Here is surely the sweetest, prettiest, little 
lake ever sun shone on or wind caressed. It is 



42 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

the Blue Lake Tikitapu home of the dreaded 
Taniwha (the Taniwha is the water-kelpie of the 
Maoris). How perfectly beautiful looks the lake, 
embosomed amid her surrounding craggy hills ! 
The white gleam of this landslip from the pumice 
cliff, contrasts so sharply with the deep sombre 
shadow of the wooded dell beside. Here at our 
feet is a semi-circular beach of white ashes, with 
a lapping fringe of olive-green ripplets ; and on 
the lake's clear bosom the breeze raises thousands 
of tiny wavelets, that sparkle and flash as if silver 
trout were chasing each other in myriads ; while, 
at times, a gust comes sweeping through the 
ravines, and raises great black bars of shadow on 
the face of the waters. 

We cross a narrow neck, and there down, down, 
eighty feet below, lies another larger and not less 
lovely sheet of water, Lake Rotokakahi, or Mussel- 
shell Lake. It stretches away before us, a plain 
of burnished silver for about four miles. It is 
bounded opposite to us by a buttressed, flat-topped 
range of steep mountains, along whose base, and 
skirting the lake for its entire distance, winds the 
road to Taupo and Napier. Away at the far end 
lies a small islet, like a waterfowl at rest, and yet 
farther away, looking soft in the blue haze of 
distance, beyond the low green hills that bound 
the farther extreme of Rotokakahi, rises a mighty 
crest, beneath whose ample shadow reposes 
another, and yet another lake. Words utterly 
fail to depict the magic beauty of this wondrous 
region. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 43 

At our feet, nestling amid willows and fruit 
trees, and cheered by the babble of the noisy 
brook, lies Wairoa. 

What noisy, jabbering crew have we here? 
They are dirty, ragged, boisterous, uncivil, rude. 
These are the poorest specimens of natives we 
have yet seen. Dogs, pigs, children, lads and 
lasses, all unite in emulating Babel. They are all 
aggressive. They have been spoiled completely 
by the tourists taking too much notice of them 
and treating them too liberally, and now they are 
an unmitigated nuisance. 

We were introduced to Kate the famous guide, 
recipient of the Humane Society's medal, and quite 
a well-known character in the lake country. We 
found Kate to be, judging by first impressions, a 
gentle, soft-voiced woman, rather deaf, and, if any- 
thing, somewhat stupid. One should be cautious 
of first impressions. 

We are glad at last to escape from the noise into 
one of Mrs. McRae's natty, quiet "bedrooms, and 
under McRae's hospitable roof we gladly rest for 
the night. 

Comfort is not the word. McRae's is not an 
hotel it is a home. Could any word convey a 
higher appreciation of his princely fare and his 
ever wakeful consideration for the comfort of his 
guests ? 

Hurrah ! the Terraces to-morrow ! ! And now to 
sleep. 

" To sleep, but not to rest." 



44 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER IV. 

A rude awaking An enraged Amazon "Too hot ''for the 
thief We start for the Terraces Lake Tarawera A 
merry boat's-crew The Devil's Rock Native delicacies 
The landing-place First view of the Terraces 
Beauty indescribable The great basin empty Pluto's 
foghorn The majesty of nature Wonder upon wonder 
The mud cones Devil's Hole The Porridge-Pot 
Devil's Wife Poor Ruakini. 

HlLLO ! What's the matter? we hurriedly ex- 
claim. It is a little past midnight. The room is 
dark, as the moon is just now obscured by a 
passing cloud. 

Did anybody wake me ? I vow I felt some one 
pulling at the bed ? And yet there is apparently 
nothing stirring in the room. 

Bang ! rattle ! What now ? The bed is vio- 
lently tossed to and fro. The walls seem dancing 
on all sides. The floor sways and creaks, and 
we hear the crash of falling crockery below. 
Cocks are crowing. Dogs are barking and 
howling. And then all again is still. It is very 
mysterious. 

A sickly sensation creeps over us. And then it 
begins to dawn upon our dumbfoundered senses 
that we have just experienced an earthquake. 
It was a very sharp one, too, while it lasted. We 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 45 

felt, in addition to the big shock, no less than 
seven other tremors, or distinct quakes, during the 
night. Nothing more forcibly or vividly brought 
home to us the nature of the country we were now 
in. The eerie feeling produced by the shock does 
not readily pass away. One lies in a state of 
intense expectancy, waiting for the next develop- 
ment. I was not frightened ; but I, as well as 
others, got a severe headache. This must have 
come, I think, from nervous tension. We were 
glad when sunrise awoke us from a troubled sleep ; 
and you may be sure there was an animated inter- 
change of what we thought and how we felt, while 
we discussed our morning meal. 

A terrific row now, outside ! Is it another 
earthquake ? a murder ? a rising of the natives ? 
What can it be ? We rush to the verandah, and 
there, in front of the assembled clan, a stalwart 
female paces to and fro, literally foaming with 
rage and bristling with electric energy, as she de- 
nunciates some one in voluble Maori commination. 
What an Amazon ! How she gesticulates ! She 
clenches her fist, and strikes it with a whack into 
the palm of her other hand. She walks to and fro 
with short angry steps, like a savage treading a 
war measure ; she stamps her foot like an angry 
charger chafing at restraint. What a torrent of 
words ! what a shrill clamour ! Can this be the 
gentle Kate, our debonnaire and soft-voiced guide, 
with whom we were so favourably impressed 
yesternight ? 

It was indeed Kate ; and when we learned the 



46 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

cause of her fierce indignation we excused her in 
our hearts at once. The fact was, Kate had just 
discovered that one of the interesting youths of 
the hamlet had stolen her watch from her tent, 
and, having a shrewd suspicion as to the identity of 
the culprit, she was piling the agony on his head 
and surely never was there such an oration as 
that just so vehemently declaimed by this roused 
Pythoness. 

Amid interjections, exclamations, soothing en- 
treaties, and wild outcries, the torrent of her in- 
vective went on, until in sheer physical exhaustion 
she was compelled to pause ; and then, turning to 
our party, she explained her loss to us in English, 
and ever and anon turned round to still further 
lash with her scorpion tongue the supposed thief, 
who cowered before her like a guilty thing. 

" My word ! " says McRae. " If Kate does not 
get her watch back, I pity the whole tribe of them. 
She rules the roost here when she likes." 

The thief seemed to think he had made a bad 
job of it too ; for by-and-by Kate found the 
watch restored to its wonted position at the head 
of her bed, and she soon regained her accustomed 
composure. 

In the meantime, however, she had certainly 
altered our first impressions, and revealed to us an 
unsuspected phase in her curiously complex 
character. 

Kate is really a curiosity. She is a half-blood 
her father having been a Scotchman. She was, 
I believe, educated for several years at a school in 



Our New Zealand Coiisins. 47 

Auckland, but preferred the free unconventional 
life of the whare and the bush. At times she 
could be conveniently deaf. She professes a very 
outspoken contempt for blue ribbonism, and can 
put herself outside a sample of whisky with as 
much nonchalance as apparent gusto. Not that 
she is intemperate ; far from it. We found her 
exceedingly attentive and obliging, and she was 
particularly nice in her behaviour to one old lady of 
the party, who but for Kate's strong guiding arm 
would have fared badly during the long day's 
sight-seeing. Kate is proud of her Scotch descent, 
and never fails to put in her claim to Caledonian 
nationality. Altogether, we found her an amus- 
ing study. Sophia, the other accredited guide, we 
did not see at all. She had gone away on a visit 
to some other settlement. 

I would fain record my impressions of the 
Terraces. I know they have been done to death. 
I am aware that words are all too feeble to give a 
just estimate of their many-sided wondrous beauty. 
And yet they so haunt my imagination ! They so 
appeal to my inner consciousness that I must 
commit my thoughts about them to paper, and 
perchance let my friends share with me, in some 
measure, the keen pleasure of the retrospection. 

We were fortunate in the weather. It was a 
glorious morning when we started. The sun lit up 
the long blue arm of Lake Tarawera, on which we 
gazed from the top of the steep descent, down 
which we scrambled and jumped all full of robust 
gaiety and pleasurable expectancy. Marshalled 



48 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

by Kate, we crowd into the large whaleboat. 
There are eleven of us tourists, six brawny rowers, 
one crouching native woman and Kate. Altogether 
nineteen of a party. With a cheery cry, the 
Maoris dip their oars into the blue lake ; and to 
the accompaniment of song and chorus and jest, 
they pull strongly and steadily for the open lake, 
and soon before a spanking breeze we are scudding 
merrily along. 

" What a day we're having ! " One excitable 
punster of our party, in the exuberance of his de- 
light, and anxious to show his appreciation of a 
good chorus that has just been sung, tosses his hat 
high in air ; and, of course, it at once becomes a 
sport for the breezes, sails away to leeward, and 
soon floats upon the tiny billows. 

"Man overboard!" we yell. '"Bout ship! 
Man the lifeboat! 1 ' The Maoris grin, the ladies 
squeal, the gentlemen roar, and Kate claps her 
hands and yells out, " A fine ! a fine ! A bottle of 
whisky for the men ! " For the moment we might 
have pardonably been mistaken for a small private 
lunatic asylum out for a picnic. 

Away we go in pursuit of the hat. We have to 
haul down the sail, and we lose ten minutes ; but 
under the promise of the " Barley Bree," the rowers 
strain at the oars, and soon the hat is restored to 
the bereaved owner. 

On again we go. What a beautiful expanse ! 
What a vivid green on the steep precipitous banks ! 
Beautiful coves indent the coast, with here and 
there a fringe of sandy beach. Some giant sen- 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 49 

tinels of gray pumice stand out in lonely isolation 
from the steep point of yonder rounded hill. The 
truncated cone of Mount Tarawera stands up black 
against, us yonder; while Mount Edgecombe, a 
very Saul amongst the others, rears his towering 
crest far, far away, his base being lost in the curve 
of distance. 

We pass the Devil's Rock, on which it was cus- 
tomary formerly to deposit some offering to pro- 
pitiate " Taipo " (the Maori equivalent for Satan) 
into giving the votary a fair wind ; the offering 
being flowers, twigs of trees, fruit, fish, &c. Kate 
suggests that the white folks generally put pennies 
on the rock now instead of twigs ; but the surround- 
ings, not being favourable to the growth of a 
superstitious credulity, we ignore the possibility of 
satanic interference in pur affairs, and defy "the 
devil and all his works/' 

We pull in now to a native settlement, where for 
sundry white coin we procure two kits of black 
grewsome-looking fresh-water prawns and a kit of 
very inferior apples. 

Turning a point, with a solitary shag sitting 
reflectively on a partly-submerged tree-trunk, we 
enter another long arm or gulf, and find it ter- 
minates in a marshy flat, with a few huts dumped 
down promiscuously on the rising ground at the 
back, and a strong running creek bisecting the level 
delta ; and on either side white cliffs, draped in 
part with ferns, and with steam rising up from 
hot springs at their base. On ahead, amid burnt- 
looking bleak hummocks, we see more steam 

E 



50 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

clouds, and we are informed, " There lie the Ter- 
races ! " 

The dream of years is about to be realized. 
Hastily disembarking, leaving the weaker and aged 
members of the party to be poled up the swift 
creek in canoes, we put on our sand-shoes, tramp 
along in Indian file through the tall manukau scrub. 
Kate's stalwart figure leads the way, with free 
swinging gait and elastic tread. 

After a walk through the bracken of about a 
mile, we top a ridge, and at our feet lies the won- 
der of the world that has brought us so far. In 
the hollow flows the swift clear stream, up which 
we see the Maoris poling the canoes, with our 
friends seated very comfortably therein. On the 
left glistens the cold lake, steely and still. On the 
right gleams Rotomahana, the hot lake, with its 
sedgy shallows, its reeking, steaming margin, its two 
floating islands, and its winged hosts of waterfowl. 

Right in front, spread out like a snowy cloud 
dropped from the heavens rising to its fleecy 
frosted source, in the black, burnt bosom of the 
hill billowing over in countless crested cascades 
of alabaster-like purity and marble whiteness ; by 
terraced gradations, each one a gemmed chalice or 
fretted basin of purest white, the famous terraces of 
Rotomahana confront us ! 

We plod over a slushy courtyard as it were, and 
then reverently and softly, as if in the precincts of 
a sacred shrine, a silence having settled on our 
whole party, we mount those pearly stairs of ex- 
ceeding loveliness. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 5 1 

Each fresh step is a new revelation. We look 
above ; all is a glistening, glowing mass of un- 
earthly brilliancy. We look down and who may 
describe the ineffable beauty of those translucent 
basins of opaline-tinted water ? The blue is like 
nothing else " in the heavens above, or the earth 
beneath." To what, then, can it be likened ? It 
is a colour unique sui generis never again to be 
forgotten. Lapis lazuli is muddy before it. 
Opal, with its iridescence, gleams not so perfectly 
soft and lovely. The azure vault of heaven itself 
has not the dainty delicacy of that pearly tint. 
It is, in a word, exceeding beautiful ; and it 
must be seen to be understood. No man can 
describe it adequately. Nay, not even Ruskin, 
master though he be, could fitly picture it. And 
there is not one or two, but tens and twenties of 
these chaliced cups. The saucers of the gods, 
surely, these ? The tea service of the Grecian 
goddesses ? Can you not fancy Venus reposing on 
yonder crystalline couch, with its tracery of 
marble fretwork, its pearly lace woven by fairy 
fingers, dipping her dainty lips to sip the liquid 
gems that gleam so soft under the sunbeams ? 
Bah ! what need for metaphor ? As I recall the 
scene I feel inclined to throw down the pen, and 
feel how utterly all endeavour must fail to re- 
produce the picture in words. 

With a north-east wind blowing, we were 

fortunate enough to behold the White Terrace in 

one of the rare intervals, when the boiling fount (the 

origin of all this pearly overflow) was empty and dry. 

E 2 



52 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

This peculiarity is another of the mysteries of the 
place. Why the subterranean springs should have 
electric affinities for particular winds, may be known 
to Pan ; the fauns and elves and naiads and fairies, 
may know all about it, but mortals cannot explain 
it. The fact remains the vast cavity at the top 
was empty. We could walk down its frosted 
steeps, and gaze into the very throat of the great 
geyser itself. The sun had licked dry the steps of 
the terraces, and the whiteness was almost too 
intense for the human eye. To peer underneath 
the curling lip of some of the frosted billows of 
stone was a relief, and in the semi-shade what 
fresh revelations of beauty ? Pearly globules, 
clusters of gems, delicate lacework, fretted coral, 
fluted tracery, crystallized dew, drifted flakes, 
curves, webs, cones, prisms, volutes, of immaculate 
glory of whiteness such as no snow could equal 
a creation of unutterable loveliness. An efflo- 
rescence of wondrous purity and beauty. It seems 
a shame a sacrilege to defile such a floor with 
common tread. I felt as Moses may have felt in 
the Presence itself, when he heard the voice : " Take 
thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon 
thou standest is holy ground." 

And then the contrasts ! Look at this mass of 
black rock, uprearing its bulk right from the lip of 
the great gleaming crater. The presiding genius 
has tried to relieve its uncompromising blackness 
by a thick drapery of soft moss and vernal ferns 
The same green adornment brightens up the burnt 
scorched background of the cliff beyond. How 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 53 

one wonders to see such delicate fronds growing 
with vivid greenness on the very edge of smoulder- 
ing clay ; and, to all seeming, thriving beside living 
steam from pent-up fires below. And yet we 
shortly cease to wonder at anything. Everything 
is wonderful ; to such an extent, that the very 
capacity for wonder seems to become blunted and 
sated with repletion of wonders. 

Right at the back of the geyser, having walked 
half round the circumference of the great open 
basin, we come up to a roaring blow-hole. There 
is a noise as if all the din of Pluto's multitudinous 
workshops were focussed into this outlet. A swift 
current of hot air and attenuated steam comes 
screeching forth ; and so strong is the blast that 
handfuls of large pebbles, thrown in by Kate, are 
sent spinning back, aloft into the air. Spouts of 
steam and jets of boiling water flash and flicker, 
and spirt and sputter among the white rocks below. 
They trickle and trail in glistening splendor over 
the incrusted bosses, the tattooed fringes, and the 
marble lips of the steep crater, at the back of which } 
right under the burning rocks, we are now standing. 
We are enveloped in steam. " The fountains of 
the deep " are breaking up all around us. It looks ' 
like a grand cloud of perpetual incense rising up to 
the great source of all life and activity, and we feel 
as the Psalmist may have felt, and our heart 
whispers to us, " Shall not Thy works praise thee, 
O God ? " 

As the perpetual, ceaseless beat of the throbbing 
engines below shakes the earth, we think again of 



54 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

that apocalyptic vision, and can now realize how 
even earthly forces may be joining with spiritual 
intelligences, in the never-ending adoration and 
ascription ; and with a new significance we think 
of the phrase, " They rest not day and night." 

Leaving the empty circumference, with its back- 
ground of steam and ferns, and spouting gouts of 
boiling water, we descend the terraces, seeing the 
heavens in every pool ; and in a retired nook to 
the left, under an overhanging canopy of scrub, we 
come upon three silently overflowing hot wells, 
pouring their scalding libations over three crested 
structures of great beauty, to which fancy has 
given the names of Queen Victoria's Crown 
and the Prince of Wales's Crown. The third 
Kate appropriates, and calls it Kate's Crown. 

Through a leafy arcade we now thread our way. 
The ground sounds hollow, and echoes to our 
tread. There is a scent of hothouse air, and pull- 
ing up the long velvety moss, a tiny steam-escape 
follows the roots, which are hot enough to be almost 
unpleasant to the touch. Nothing can more vividly 
suggest the thinness of the crust on which we gin- 
gerly tread. What a forcing-house ! 

Emerging into the open, we now stand on a 
narrow neck of land, with crumbling, burning 
rocks all around, on which it would be unsafe to 
venture. A deep, black valley, called the Valley of 
Death (most appropriate name), lies on the one 
hand, and on the other is an agitated pool, in 
which, some time ago, a poor woman was scalded 
to death. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 55 

A little further, and we come to a geyser called 
the Steam Engine, with a great spray leaping over 
ochreous-looking rocks. 

Below is a boiling, hissing Phlegethon. It 
rejoices in the appellation of Ngahapu, meaning, 
" All the tribes rolled into one." Its hellish ac- 
tivity justifies its title. It is one of the most 
vigorous geysers of all the district It has 
intermittent spasms of activity, during which the 
huge column of water spouts up with amazing 
force, and the din and commotion are truly in- 
fernal. A great column of steam towers aloft, in 
ever changing volumes like the " Pillar of cloud 
by day." The incessant vibration, and clang, and 
pulsing din, go unintermittingly on, and almost 
deafen us, as we shudderingly hurry past. 

A few more yards bring us to the shore of the 
lake blast-holes here too, on all hands Takapau, 
a boiling cauldron, with countless lesser comrades, 
seething and bubbling all around, make us think 
that surely here all the witches of the earth are 
boiling their deadly porridge " thick and slab." 

Through the scrub again. Now we come on a 
perfect hecatomb of broken bottles, empty cans, 
straw, envelopes, and waste paper. This is humor- 
ously named by Kate the Rotomahana Hotel, and 
is the place where lunch is usually devoured. 

Up a steep, muddy hill now, and at the top we 
emerge on the mud flat, where many boiling mud- 
holes repeat the phenomena we have already seen, 
only substituting liquid boiling mud instead of water. 
We look down, and see a seething mass of molten 



56 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

mud in incessant motion. It rises up in great 
circling domes and plastic cupolas, which seethe, 
and expand, and swell, and then break with a 
lazy, hissing, escape of steam ; and the mass falls 
back and collapses, and heaves up and down with 
an unctuous horribleness. Sometimes a big spout 
rises up nearly to the outside rim of the deep hole, 
and then falls back with a sullen, vicious flop, as if 
some slimy spirit, there imprisoned, were angry 
and baffled at not being able to reach us, and 
smirch and scald us. 

Here is the Coffee Pot, not inaptly named, if 
one looks at the brown liquid, swirling around, 
with an oily, dirty scum circling in endless eddies 
on the surface. 

Behind us, as we glance around, the whole 
hillside, for many acres, smokes and steams, and 
as the sun is glinting on it, the effect is inde- 
scribably lovely, as contrasted with the sullen mud- 
holes into which we have been peering. The 
light fleecy wreaths of steam take on all sorts of 
rainbow tints from the sun, and curl gracefully 
aloft, like an army of cobwebs floating across a 
lawn on some sunny morning in spring. 

There are now many extinct cones in this valley 
and yet all the sights and sounds' have a weird, 
uncanny suggestiveness. Poke your stick through 
the thin crust, and steam issues forth. Every 
cranny and fissure is steaming and hot, and the 
whole mountain is undoubtedly a hotbed of com- 
bustion. 

The Devil's Hole, we hear roaring behind these 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 5 7 

tumbled crags and smouldering cliffs. What a 
hoarse gasping ! It sounds indeed as if Apollyon 
chained down below was being choked by the dogs 
of Cerberus, and that their snarling and his 
wrathful choking roar were being listened to by 
awe-stricken mortals. The wonders here again 
are " legion " the Green Lake, the gypsum slabs ; 
the Porridge- Pot, of which we taste, and exchange 
experiences. 

One says, " it is acid." 

Another says, " it is tasteless." 

Yet another, " it is sweet." 

Yet one more, " it tastes like ink." 

I vow it " tastes like melted slate pencil," and we 
all agree that that is about as correct a definition 
as we can arrive at. The Maoris, we are told, fre- 
quently eat it in large quantities. 

We climb next a white rocky eminence, and get 
a peep over the lake at the Pink Terraces on the 
far side with their circling canopy of steam. 

We pass more scaly white efflorescences amid 
the scrub, gaze upon another active geyser with an 
unspellable name, wonder at the gurly blackness 
of " The Ink-Pot " in a state of frantic ebullition, 
and again dive into the thick scrub. 

Here all is solemnly still. The earth shakes 
beneath us. We are walking over vast caverns of 
boiling mud and pent-up steam, and sometimes as 
we pass a crevice we can hear the boiling waters 
swishing and sighing restlessly far, far below. 

The Devil's Wife was the next sensation, " and 
an angry wife was she," as the old song says. 



58 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

What a grumbling, spitting, fiendish vixen she 
must be, if she is at all like this spuming, growling 
hole. Close by is a vast dried-up gulf of slaty 
mud, at least, it was so when we saw it. It is 
uneuphemistically named The Bellyache, and at 
times we are told the moans and outcries are 
supernaturally terrible. It only indulged in one 
unearthly groan while we were there ; but that 
was enough to startle us all, and make us hurry 
from the spot. 

There are vast deposits of gypsum and sulphur 
here, and possibly as the central fires " slow down " 
and cool off, and when the railway comes with its 
utilitarian matter-of-fact presence, some speculators 
unless restrained will mar the poetry of this spot 
of marvels, and turn the glories of the place into 
pounds, shillings, and pence. 

Here we come to warm caves and terraces 
of broad flagstones, where Maoris once lived. 
Moko's Cave is a natural Turkish bath, where 
I forget how many -generations Kate said were 
born and reared. They must have had a hot 
time of it. The fires are burning out this side 
the hill, surely. Here is a deserted terrace, now 
getting cold and moss-grown. Below it, and near 
the lake, is a boiling pool of some extent, and of 
an exquisite deep blue, in which a poor Maori'nurse- 
girl and her charge a helpless infant were boiled. 
The bodies were never recovered. Did the gnomes 
of the hill have a cannibal broth, we wonder ? 
The cauldron is named after the poor girl, Ruakini, 
and it is forming a white terrace here on a small 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 59 

scale, as if weaving a shroud for the poor 
victim. 

It is now, however, getting near lunch-time. 
The sun is high in the heavens ; and, turning a 
corner, we emerge from the bush on to the terraced 
shore of the lake, where already in the hot springs, 
the prawns and potatoes are being cooked, and 
where our attendant Maoris are waiting, gastro- 
nomically expectant for their share of the good 
things in the provender baskets. " To what base 
uses may we not descend/' 

The foregoing descriptions of the hot lakes region, have 
been invested with a mournful interest since they were 
written, by reason of the awful and sudden eruption at 
Wairoa and Rotomahana, on the night of Wednesday, the 
9th, and the morning of Thursday the loth June, 1886. In 
the Appendix No. II. full extracts are given from the Aus- 
tralian papers, and it will be seen what an awful calamity 
has taken place. 

The loss of life must have been appalling, and scores of 
the light-hearted merry Maoris, with whom we came in con- 
tact, were swallowed up in the black, blinding, stifling shower 
of ashes and volcanic mud. It is said the beautiful Terraces 
are gone, and Lake Rotomahana itself, is now a seething, 
hissing, quaking morass. The exquisite forest of Tikitapu 
lies buried ten feet deep under the deadly hail of fire. The 
whole face of the country for leagues around has been com- 
pletely changed, so that the record of our summer holiday 
will form perhaps a valuable reference to many who wish to 
have an accurate description of what were certainly some of 
the most marvellous and beautiful natural phenomena on 
the face of our globe. 

For fuller details I must refer the reader to Appendix II. 



60 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER V. 

Lunch An ogre Bush rats Kate's "familiar" The Pink 
Terraces Sacrilegious scribblers Nature's masterpiece 
Words too tame for such a sight A Sybarite's bath 
Back to Wairoa The waterfall Fern hunting 
Adieu to Wairoa. 

OUR appetites whetted by the long walk, excited 
into abnormal gastronomic activity by the fragrant 
smell of the boiled prawns and smoking potatoes, 
just withdrawn from the hot spring by the Maori 
cook, and by the sight of the cool long-necked 
bottles and tempting viands, which McRae's kind 
forethought had provided for our delectation, we 
were soon very busily engaged indeed. The clink 
of glass, the clatter of knives and forks, and the 
gentle gurgling of wine, all formed a melodious 
accompaniment to the soft lapping of the lake 
against the hollow canoes, and the dreamy gurgita- 
tion of the bubbling hot springs, beside which we 
ate in supreme enjoyment, and for a while in almost 
unbroken silence. Our appetites were whetted, I 
have said, and yet before the efforts of that old 
Maori chief and his henchmen the most valiant 
attempts of the best trencherman amongst us were 
as nothing. The chief himself, tattooed de rigimir, 
and with ugly black and yellow fangs like a wolfs, 



Our New Zealand Co^lsins. 6 1 

was not above the seduction of a glass of foaming 
stout ; but to see the way he demolished prawns 
was "a caution to snakes." He kept one boy 
doing nothing else, but stripping these Crustacea of 
their outer integument for him ; and, without salt, 
he swallowed dozen after dozen with a calm pla- 
cidity which could only have been begotten of 
constant practice. Our punning hero of the hat 
episode vainly tried to emulate him, though his 
efforts were, from a European point of view, by no 
means despicable. Still he wasn't "a circum- 
stance " to the ogre, as we had christened the 
absorbing warrior. After we had finished our re- 
past, the disjecta membra of the feast were next 
collected, and the chief allowed first to select what- 
ever took his fancy. He manifested a truly noble 
impartiality in his choice. Beef, ham, butter, bread, 
sheeps' tongues, potatoes, and marmalade, he mixed 
up in one vast incongruous, but evidently to him, 
delicious medley ; and then he proceeded to treat 
us to an exhibition, beside which the fire-eating 
and sword-swallowing tricks of the Arabs were 
tame by comparison. After he had gorged himself 
till we momentarily expected to see an apopletic 
fit, his roving fancy betrayed a penchant for rats ! 
There were dozens of these rodents running about. 
The bush swarmed with them. Great, fat, sleek, 
cunning, impudent rogues, attracted by the refuse 
from the shellfish, the crumbs, and other " uncon- 
sidered trifles," and emboldened by long impunity, 
they scampered about quite close to us ; and the 
chief, bethinking him that he would not be so near 



62 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

to our supplies at supper-time, resolved to " make 
rats " if he could " while the sun of present oppor- 
tunity shone." Seizing an enormous " rung/' 
therefore, more like a flagstaff than anything else, 
he squatted down behind a clump of bushes, and, 
with uplifted weapon, waited for the rats. The 
rats, however, were not such fools as to come 
within his reach. They skirmished warily round 
about and behind him, but never gave him a chance 
to show his accuracy of aim, until getting tired of 
his position, he threw his weapon at them with a 
grunt of disgust, and betook him to the consola- 
tions of his pipe. 

Kate has a familiar spirit in the shape of a little 
French poodle named Tiny, and her solicitude for 
Tiny was touching. The poor, wee animal is really 
itself a first-rate guide, and from frequently having 
been over the ground, it was quite safe to follow 
Tiny's lead anywhere. Tiny's devotion to her mis- 
tress must be sometimes embarrassing, however ; as 
for example, when at Wairoa, Kate's whereabouts, 
which she was not anxious should be known, was 
discovered by the little animal scratching at the 
door of a whare ; and it became demonstrated 
thereby, that Kate, having become the proud 
possessor of a bottle of whisky, was discussing it 
with some of " the fathers of the hamlet " inside. 

Great councils and important conventions used 
formerly to be held at this luncheon spot. The 
shore of the lake for some distance is paved in 
rows with broad gypsum flags. On these the 
chiefs and clansmen used to squat, enjoying the 



O^lr New Zealand Cousins. 63 

grateful warmth from the steamy ground below, 
and discussing in open council grave affairs of 
state. Here were decided the questions of domes- 
tic reform and foreign policy. Here was arranged 
the plan of campaign for a coming war, or the 
provisions of some treaty of alliance. Meantime, 
gently simmering in the cooking-holes, under the 
eyes of the hungry and expectant senators, would 
be great kits of crayfish, potatoes, eels, ducks, or 
pig, with the women squatted around in pic- 
turesque groupings. And then the council being 
over, the feast would follow in true orthodox, 
diplomatic style. Thus ever does gastronomy 
play an important part in politics. And many a 
treaty has been materially modified by a good 
dinner. 

Now, with much misgiving, the ladies seat them- 
selves in the unsteady canoes, and soon we are 
being propelled by the well-fed paddlers over the 
calm bosom of Rotomahana. Wild fowl of all 
sorts are disporting themselves among the reeds 
and raupo. The water is quite tepid to the touch. 
And here another regal feast of adorable loveliness 
awaits us. 

The Pink Terraces are, I think, even more 
lovely in some respects than the White. The 
tints have been sadly marred by the apish 
propensities of multitudes of cads and snobs, who 
have scrawled and scribbled their ignoble names 
on every available inch of space. It is truly 
lamentable to see such a painful exhibition of the 
awful absence of reverent feeling on the part of so 



64 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

many. To myself personally, and, I think, to 
every member of our party, perhaps bar one and 
his youth might have excused him the terraces 
seemed like some hallowed place, some sacred 
spot, in which it was almost profane to speak 
aloud. Yet here on the exquisite enamel of these 
marvellously beautiful chalices, were vulgar scrawl- 
ings, as if all the devil-possessed swine of Gadara 
had suddenly been transported bodily' here ; and, 
afflicted with the " cacoethes scribendi," had been 
impelled by the archfiend himself, to deface 
with their hoggish hieroglyphics this masterpiece 
of God's handiwork in the great art gallery of 
nature. 

You have seen those saucer-like fungi growing 
from the under surface of some old log in the 
forest ? 

Such, magnified many thousandfold, is the 
shape of the saucer-like formations of the Pink 
Terraces. But for the difference in tint, they are, 
of course, akin in shape and beauty to the White 
Terraces which I have already faintly endeavoured 
to describe. 

One charm was added here, however, which was 
absent from the white vision over the lake. A 
perpetual pattering of tiny cascades, ringing like 
silver bells, here made melody over all the steam- 
ing pink expanse. The sun glinted on the 
moving mass of flowing waters, and the hillside 
seemed alive with rush of pearls, diamonds, and 
gems of refulgent lustre. A cloud steals swiftly 
over the face of the sky, and the effect is like a 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 65 

transformation scene in some grand pantomimic 
display. Again the sun flashes forth, and the 
wind sweeps down on the moving face of the 
tinkling rills, and the effects are such as poet, in 
his most exalted flights of fancy, never even pic- 
tured. One might as well try to paint the phos- 
phorescent rush of blazing foam from the prow of 
some proud vessel in tropic seas, as to describe the 
exquisite effects of colour, motion, light, shade, 
and enchanting sound from the Pink Terraces on 
such a day as this. 

The great circular basin at the top is full to the 
brim with water, at boiling-point, of the most ex- 
quisite blue. The edges of the iridescent pool, 
over which dreamily hangs an ever-shifting cloud 
of swaying steam, are of a dainty, delicate pink. 
This shades off to a light saffron, or pale straw 
colour. Next a yellowish white is reflected from 
the snowy reefs which overhang the gulf, and then 
the great unfathomed chasm itself, with its deep 
azure blue. These jutting reefs of white incrusta- 
tions overarch the abyss like icebergs, and project 
here and there like masses of honeycomb carved in 
purest marble by the skilled artificers of heaven. 
At times the soft cloud of swirling steam enwraps 
all this from your gaze ; and then coyly, as it were, 
the Angel of the Pool draws aside the veil, and 
affords a still more ravishing glimpse of the be- 
witching beauty that haunts you, takes possession 
of your entire being, and almost tempts you to sink 
into the embrace of the seductive lava. This is 
really no over description. I had that feeling 

F 



66 Our New Zealand Cozisins. 

strongly myself, and it was shared by other mem- 
bers of the party. The witchery of this exquisite 
bath, albeit it would boil one to rags in an instant, 
is such that one feels a strange semi-hysterical 
impulse to sink softly in and be at rest. 

N.B. The feeling can be at once dispelled by 
dipping one's fingers into the scalding waters. The 
cure is instant and effectual. 

The floor seems made of pearly sago, and a soft 
deposit covers the sides and bottom of the bath- 
ing pools, which feels grateful to the naked touch 
of our pliant limbs, as we roll lazily about in Sy- 
baritic enjoyment. The baths are, of course, a 
little lower down the terrace, and you can have 
every degree of warmth, as you shift your posi- 
tion higher up or lower down. They are quite 
hidden from the view of any one at the edge of 
the lake, and thus we waited till the ladies had 
had their bath, and then we fairly revelled in the 
delicious sensations, and would have possibly re- 
mained there for hours, had not Kate, with sten- 
torian voice, summoned us to hasten, as the day 
was drawing in to its close. 

A day surely to be marked with a white stone 
in the calendar of one's life. The remembrance 
of these marvels will haunt me to my dying 
hour. 

The swift return down the impulsive creek, with 
its fern-clad banks, thermal springs, scuttling wild 
ducks, and the skilled steering of our bronzed and 
tattooed Maoris were all very enjoyable ; but 
during all the long row home, the disembarkation 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 67 

in the dark, and toilsome climb up the steep hill, 
we were silent and reflective for the spell of the 
wonders we had been privileged to behold was 
still deep upon us and even the most unthinking 
of our party were calmed into quietude by the near 
remembrance of the visions of this ever-memorable 
day. 

As if Nature were determined to leave out no 
element of the weird wonders of her working in 
this region of mystery and marvel, we were visited 
again, after we had retired for the night, with a 
succession of earthquakes. There was a mighty 
tremor and shaking, as if of some chained giant 
beneath, turning uneasily in his sleep. 

The pale, cold moon had climbed the vault of 
night, and looked down serenely upon the turbu- 
lent desolation of this region of fire and vaporous 
turmoil ; and as I resought my pillow my feelings 
were again those of the Psalmist : " What is man, 
that Thou art mindful of him ? " " Wonderful are 
Thy works, Almighty God. The whole earth is 
full of Thy wonders." 

Next day, being Sunday, was devoted to quiet 
rest and curious observation of the many quaint 
phases of native life in the village. Wairoa is the 
site of an old mission, and there is a picturesque 
little church and a parsonage close by. Morning 
service was held in the church, and we noted the 
English hedges and trees, the mischievous briars, 
and myriads of tiny wild strawberry plants growing 
all around in rich luxuriance, evidence of the 
efforts of the early missionaries to bestow not only 
F 2 



68 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

spiritual but temporal benefits on the savage 
populations amongst whom their lot had been cast. 
After a sumptuous repast at Mr. McRae's hospi- 
table board, we proceeded under his guidance to 
view the waterfall at the head of the declivity which 
leads to Lake Tarawera. The surplus waters from 
Lake Rotokakahi here form a considerable stream, 
and now commence their headlong, leaping rush 
down the steep descent. Cautiously descending 
by a rugged pathway amid the most bewildering 
varieties of fern life, and past lichen-covered 
rocks and mossy tree-trunks, with all the forest 
wealth of creeper, trailing vine, rustling foliage, 
and swaying branches around us, we suddenly 
come in sight of the stream plunging in one sheer 
unbroken leap from what seems a nest of ferns and 
foliage high up in the verdant cliffs above us. The 
white gleam of the waterfall lightens up the defile 
with a rare beauty. Halfway down the cliff there 
is a ledge of glistening rocks glistening not less 
with the tossing spray than with the vivid glossy 
green of ferns and mosses, and trailing water-plants. 
Magnificent tree-ferns, with the under surface of 
their fronds gleaming like silver, spread their 
graceful arms over the dancing waters. The 
hurrying stream frets madly among the restraining 
rocks and gushing noisily into eddying hollows, 
leaping madly over barriers, tossing high in broken 
spray here, or frantically shooting there in a clear 
amber-coloured volume, speeds at last exultantly 
by a series of bounds from ledge to ledge, and dis- 
appears in the shades below. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 69 

There are several imps of Maoris with us hunting 
for ferns ; and these, with their ringing shouts, the 
plashing jets, the surging boom of the big fall, the 
sheets of spray lit up by the sun into all sorts of 
rainbow glories, form a scene of joyous life in vivid 
contrast to the weird, eerie wonders of yesterday. 
Our spirits are elated. There is a constant din 
here, too ; but how different to the subterranean 
noises of the geysers and mud-holes. There is 
also perpetual motion here, but how unlike the 
agonized struggling of the boiling waters of the 
Terraces. Here all is joyous, radiant, expressive 
of life and freedom ; and all the elements of 
mystery and the scorching breath of fires are 
utterly absent. 

Retracing our steps with our spoil of ferns, we 
find the coach for Ohinemutu awaiting us ; and 
amid the kindly adieus of Kate and the McRaes, 
the piping bark of Tiny, and the shrill chorus of 
the noisy natives, we bid adieu to Wairoa, having 
laid in pleasant recollections that will never fade, 
and with memories of such varied and marvellous 
natural phenomena, as I have very inadequately 
endeavoured to describe. 



70 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Traits of native character The ivharepuni or common 
dormitory The processes of civilization Foul feeding 
Causes of disease Attempts at reform in social cus- 
toms The primitive carving-knife The Hau-Haus 
The Urewera country, the Tyrol of New Zealand 
Captain Mair's description of the hillmen The Ure- 
wera women Some queer facts Extraordinary pigs 
A -whimsical scene Then and now, a sharp contrast 
A stirring episode of the old war Snapping of the 
old links A Maori chief's letter. 

ONE of the most pleasing and prominent traits of 
the Maori character seems to be their hospitality. 
All authorities agree on this. My own observa- 
tions would have led me to the same conclusion. 
At every village or native resort we have visited, 
we have had ample evidence that they are a 
hospitable people. The chief edifice in each village 
is the wharepuni, literally the common sleeping- 
place. It is generally adorned with much carved 
work of the usual grotesque character. The in- 
mates, which may include half the village, guests, 
dogs, and even pigs and fowls, lie on either side of 
a mud passage, each human individual, at any rate, 
on his or her separate raupo mat, and each 
enveloped in his or her blanket. Old men and 
maidens, young men and matrons, alike woo the 
embraces of Morpheus, indiscriminately mixed and 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 7 1 

huddled together. This, of course, is not con- 
ducive to a high standard of either morality or 
cleanliness. It is well that, according to all the 
accounts recently of the most credible observers, 
that things are improving in this respect. Of 
recent years there has been a marked departure 
from most of the more objectionable old native 
customs. Both immorality and drunkenness are 
much less common than they were. We saw quite 
enough, however, to convince us that there was yet 
much room for improvement in both these respects. 
In most villages there always seems to be a tangi, 
or feast, in course of proceeding. These may be 
held at any time. They may be occasions of joy 
or sorrow. They are invariably a part of all 
funeral rites, and are held as may be dictated by 
the financial circumstances of the giver of the feast. 
Food is supplied in profusion to all comers, and 
gifts given in such unstinted measure that fre- 
quently the giver and his family have to endure 
actual privation for subsequent months, to make up 
for the extravagance of the outlay. 

Recent years have seen a much more cordial 
friendliness to Europeans engendered than formerly 
existed. In the north many road and other con- 
tracts for public works are now taken up and 
faithfully carried through by natives. Round the 
vicinity of Napier and Wanganui, Taranaki, and 
other centres, partnerships have been formed 
between Maoris and white settlers ; and farms, 
sheep-runs, saw-mills, and other industries are 
carried on jointly. The old native dress is giving 



7 2 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

place to the perhaps less graceful habiliments of 
modern civilization. The men affect English 
fashions not only in boots, ties, coats, and dress 
generally, but in the cut of their whiskers, and 
their fondness for billiards, horse-racing, whisky, 
and other so-called luxuries. We saw dozens of 
Maoris at Napier in their buggies, springcarts, and 
vehicles of all sorts. A tall belltopper, surmount- 
ing a grizzly tattooed visage is quite a common 
sight in Auckland or Napier. 

The Napier natives were much more pleasant- 
looking, and bore a more well-to-do air than those 
of Auckland and farther north. At Napier we 
saw a substantial farmer-looking Maori purchase 
for 1 5.$-., several hideous masses of stale stingaree 
or ray fish. It was fly-blown and far advanced in 
decomposition in parts, and smelt abominably, yet 
he filled a great sack with the disgusting carrion, 
and we were told by the vendor that he sold tons 
of such rank stuff every week to the inland Maoris, 
and that they liked their fish as some Europeans 
like their game rather " high." 

This foul feeding is one prolific cause of disease 
amongst them. Another one is their foolish dis- 
regard of common precautions against changes of 
temperature. During the day they dress in 
European costume ; but in the evening at the 
whare, they revert to the scanty drapery of savage 
life, and sit bare-headed and bare- footed round the 
fires, and often get a chill. 

At Wairoa we saw a whare, in which about 
forty of all sexes and ages sleep every night. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 73 

Every cranny is shut up. Two fires burn on 
the earthen floor. The sleeping-room is shared 
with the domestic animals and vermin-infested pets 
of the settlement. Every mouth in this huddling 
human hive holds a pipe. You can imagine the 
atmosphere. You can imagine the effect on even 
the hardiest constitution, of a change from this 
reeking pest-house to the cold crisp air of a New 
Zealand winter night. No wonder pulmonary 
diseases and malignant fevers annually claim so 
many victims. It seems to be pretty certain that 
the race is decreasing, though not so rapidly as is 
generally asserted. 

A circular has recently been issued by the 
Defence Minister, the Hon. J. Ballance, urging 
on the chiefs and headmen to use their influence 
to alter this mode of life, and to bring about 
salutary reforms in the sanitary conditions of 
the pahs, and with especial reference to greater 
cleanliness in the selection and preparation of food. 
This circular has already had a beneficial effect. 
At Waitotara, even as I write, preparations are 
being made by the local tribes to hold a great 
tangi to welcome a distinguished visitor in the 
person of Tito Kovvaru. He was the great fight- 
ing chief of the war of 1867, but he is now per- 
ambulating the coast country with a large follow- 
ing, preaching peace and goodwill to the pakeJia, 
i.e. white man. As a result of Mr. Ballance's 
circular, strange innovations are being made in 
the projected feast. A cup, saucer, spoon, knife, 
fork, and plate have been provided for each antici- 



74 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

pated visitor, and the cookery will all be after the 
European fashion. The crockery for the different 
tribes or kapus will all be of different patterns ; 
and when one tries to recall such a feast in the 
not very olden time, with its accompaniment 
of war-dance and possibly sodden or roasted 
human flesh as the piece de resistance, one begins to 
realize somewhat the mighty change which is now 
apparent in the character as well as in the physical 
surroundings of the Maoris after twenty years. At 
a banquet given to the Duke of Edinburgh during 
hi visit, some of the big chiefs were seen by my 
informant to go into the dining-hall, and each 
seizing a goose, or turkey, or other fowl, proceeded 
to carve it in fine old savage fashion by dismember- 
ing the carcase with teeth and fingers, much as a 
wolf would have done. These very men now are 
conversant with silk hats, paper collars, Albert 
chains, and all the conventionalities of the correct 
diner-out. 

The change is infinitely to the advantage of the 
noble savage, if, with the conventionalities he 
could only happily discard the vices and follies of 
our modern civilization. 

I had the good fortune to meet a band of real 
primitive Maoris at Wairoa. They were Hau- 
Haus from the Urewera country, and their dress, 
weapons, and manners were as yet unmodified by 
European contact. Some years ago Government, 
for some service or other, had granted the Ure- 
weras a sum of 5OOO/., and traders were attracted 
to the wild and almost inaccessible mountain 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 75 

country. McRae gave us an amusing account of 
his first trading trip, the recital of which con- 
vinced us of two things, viz. that the Hau-Haus 
must have been a very simple, primitive people, 
with a very hazy idea of values of such goods as 
shawls, ribbons, beads, and gewgaws generally. 
And also that McRae's ideas of profits, and the 
utilization of opportunities of making them, were 
quite up to the very highest proverbial Aberdonian 
standard. 

We were also fortunate enough to meet at 
Ohinemutu Captain Mair, who commanded the 
Arawa contingent of natives during the big war. 
He has been in constant contact, official and 
friendly both, with the natives here for about 
twenty years, and there are perhaps not half-a- 
dozen men in New Zealand who know as much of 
native life and manners and customs as he does. 
He has one of the finest and most complete 
collections of Maori curios extant, and he was 
good enough to show us some of his latest acqui- 
sitions, and to give us much valuable and inte- 
resting information on this subject. 

Urewera, says Captain ,Mair, is the Tyrol of 
New Zealand. It is not very accessible. There 
are two ways of penetrating the country. One 
from the coast near Tauranga, the other from the 
Lake country. The latter route was traversed 
by Captain Mair during a recent visit. The road 
is simply the bed of a mountain river called the 
Horomanga. It may give some idea of the 
nature of the country, when it is known that the 



76 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

traveller has to cross the bed of this river no less 
than one hundred and eighty-six times before he 
reaches the uplands. 

The Urevveras are lean, lank, active moun- 
taineers. They know the country as a bushman 
knows the run on which he was born and bred, 
and they often make almost incredible journeys 
even on the darkest nights, threading the most 
dangerous defiles with all the agility and sure- 
footedness of a goat. They are industrious, too, 
and indeed most of the pretty flax mats and bags 
that one sees exposed for sale in shops and among 
the Maoris of the plains are made by these moun- 
taineers. 

They are very excitable and emotional. Indeed, 
the Maori race generally are easily moved by any 
impulse, and tears and laughter are never hard to 
excite, according as their feelings are touched. It 
was among the Ureweras that the Hau-Hau fana- 
ticism (a strange jumble of Judaistic and Pagan 
religious fervour) was developed. 

Perhaps the most effective proof of their simple 
unconventionality was contained in Captain Mair's 
statement that the women make really good 
mothers-in-law. They invariably back up the son- 
in-law in domestic broils. 

The women are springy, good-looking, and hardy 
to a degree. 

" Do you think the adoption of European dress 
has an injurious effect on the health of the Maoris ?" 
we asked. 

" Undoubtedly. Especially when they adopt 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 77 

some of the more insane devices of fashion to 
cramp and distort the human frame, high-heeled 
boots, for instance." 

" I can cite one instance of their hardihood," 
said the captain. " One woman, during a pro- 
longed and severe march, fell out of the line about 
nine miles from the destination of her party, for 
the night. Having given birth to a baby, she 
walked into the camp the same evening, bearing, 
in addition to the burden of her newly-born child, 
a load of firewood, and then she went about her 
usual work as blithely as if nothing unusual had 
occurred." 

" Similar instances are on record," I said, 
" among the American Indians, and I have known 
of like cases among Hindoo coolie women." 

" One very strange instance of maternal sym- 
pathy," proceeded the captain, " I can vouch for, 
as it is within my own personal knowledge. One 
old woman in the Urewera country found herself 
in milk when her only daughter bore children, 
and, as the mother could not, this old grand- 
mother suckled her grandchildren herself, and 
this occurred six times in succession." 

" Is it true," asked one of our party, " as I have 
read in some books, that the Maori women suckle 
young pigs?" 

"A gross libel, sir/' says the captain. "An 
offensive traveller's yarn. I have lived among the 
Maoris more than most white men, and I never 
yet heard of a case of the sort, either as regards 
pigs or any other animal. One doctor who came 



78 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

here, and who firmly believed the truth of the 
common rumour, was indeed in danger of coming 
to serious bodily harm, because he sent to the 
settlement to try and get a Maori foster-nurse for 
a little puppy of a favourite breed whose mother 
had died." 

" Talking of pigs," said our punning friend, " we 
saw a one-eared pig in Wairoa, and we were won- 
dering if it was the result of accident or what ? " 

" Oh, such a sight is common enough in every 
Maori village. Indeed you often see pigs quite 
earless. The dogs tear or gnaw them off. On 
the coast the most extraordinary pigs may be 
seen. They would puzzle any naturalist not 
acquainted with the cause. The hind-quarters are 
quite contracted and atrophied. They are 
shrunken away to infantile proportions. You see 
a great massive head and front, with brawny chest 
and ample shoulders. A pig, indeed, with a front 
like 'The Albanian boar,' but with the hind-quarters 
of a sucking pig. The quaint-looking brute rears 
up like a giraffe. His spine is at an angle of 45. 
At Whakatane I counted sixteen, all in this 
condition." 

" What is the cause ? " 

" It is caused by their eating karaka berries. 
The karaka is the New Zealand laurel (Corynocar- 
pus laevigata). These berries contain prussic acid, 
and seem to act on the lumbar muscles, causing 
them to become shrivelled up, as I have de- 
scribed." 

The toot plant, another very common shrub all 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 79 

over the islands, has a peculiar effect on cattle or 
sheep partaking of it. It induces sudden and 
violent vertigo, partial paralysis, and if taken in 
any quantity will kill the animal who eats it. A 
shrub, with a whitish leaf, called the paper plant, 
is also plentiful hereabouts, and horses who eat of 
it ofttimes die from the effects. 

" There are few deformities among the natives, 
are there not ? " we ask. 

" Very few, indeed. Scrofula sometimes has its 
victims, and is induced by eating rotten maize." 

During the whole of our trip we only saw one 
hunchbacked native. 

As we were leaving Ohinemutu we were spec- 
tators of a most whimsical scene. It would have 
made the gloomiest anchorite laugh. Ranged in 
a row in the middle of the street before the hotel 
we saw five native Roman Catholic priests. They 
were bareheaded, and deep emotion of some sort 
or another was depicted on their countenances. It 
might have been indigestion, but it looked like 
woe. The verandah of the hotel was crowded by 
a miscellaneous horde of semi-civilized savages, 
and these now began a slow procession, and one 
by one proceeded solemnly but methodically to 
rub noses with the five reverend fathers. Many 
tears fell, but not a word was spoken. Doubtless 
there was pathos in the tearful silent farewell, but 
the nose rubbing was too much for our gravity ; 
it was really too ludicrous. It was such a scene 
as could only be witnessed in Maoriland : the 
poor flock affectionately rubbing noses with their 



8o Our New Zealand Cousins. 

respected shepherds. I have seen many a good- 
bye, but never one like this. 

The women folk were not permitted to partici- 
pate in the nasal osculation. The more modern, 
if less effusive, hand-shaking was alone vouchsafed 
to them. They gave vent to their feelings, how- 
ever, by joining in a wild and noisy saltatory 
measure in the verandah, accompanied by hoarse 
shouts, snapping of ringers, barking of dogs, and 
the crack of whips and rattle of wheels as we 
rolled away from Kelly's hospitable abode and 
bade a reluctant adieu to the Hot Lakes and their 
many marvels. 

The drive back through the bush, where we 
loaded the coach with the most beautiful mosses 
and ferns ; the cheerful chat with Harry ; the first 
glimpse of snow on the far distant battlements of 
Ruapehu and Tongariro, all, all might be dilated 
on if the reader could but share the raptures of the 
writer ; but alas ! at secondhand, earth's brightest 
joys are apt to pall somewhat, and the most vivid 
and graphic narrative cannot bring up the sensations 
which make recollections hallowed, and cause the 
flush of pleasure to mount the cheek and brow, 
as memory recalls the gladness and joy which 
have gone, never again, perhaps, to be renewed. 

I cannot more fittingly close this chapter of 
rather fragmentary gossip on the natives than by 
presenting the reader with an account from one of 
the local newspapers while referring to the recent 
turning of the sod of further railway extension 
through the Maori country. It is the most re- 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 8 1 

markable instance, perhaps, I could give, of the 
changes that have taken place in twenty years' 
time : 

" The ceremony at Te Awamutu was a pleasing 
contrast to the scene enacted within three miles of 
that spot during this very month one-and-twenty 
years ago. Early in April, when Cameron and 
Carey were out, word was brought that some three 
or four hundred Maoris were fortifying a position 
at Orakau. General Carey at once attacked them 
with 1 200 men. They repelled several assaults, 
baffled the artillery fire with bundles of fern, com- 
pelled our people to proceed by sap, and annoyed 
them terribly during the process. Before the 
attack they had declared proudly that they would 
fight ' for ever, and ever, and ever.' Want of water, 
failing ammunition, a reinforcement of 400 British, 
and the slaughter wrought by shells and hand- 
grenades at last making the position untenable, 
they marched out through a gap in the investing 
line left open for the artillery fire. 

" ' They were in a solid column,' wrote an eye- 
witness, 'the women, the children, and the great 
chiefs in the centre, and they marched out as cool 
and steady as if they were going to church.' A 
flanking fire galled them as they marched, a swamp 
lay between them and the Punui River, where was 
safety. They lost heavily, but many reserved the 
last of their ammunition for the swamp. They 
fought their way through with undaunted resolution, 
and brought away an unconquerable remnant. 
Half their number had fallen. 



8 2 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

" General Carey said, in his despatch, ' It is im- 
possible not to admire the heroic courage and de- 
votion of the natives in defending themselves so 
long against overwhelming numbers. Surrounded 
closely on all sides, cut off from their supply of 
water, and deprived of all hope of succour, they 
resolutely held their ground for more than two 
days, and did not abandon their position until 
the sap had reached the ditch of their last en- 
trenchment.' 

" It was one of the finest deeds in New Zealand 
story. The man who commanded against us in 
this heroic fight was Rewi, who turned the first sod 
of the Northern Grand Trunk Railway the other 
day, within the view of the ground of the great 
exploit. The gathering was not so great in 1885 
as in 1864. But its result will be greater and 
better. The whirligig of time has given us a most 
romantic contrast." 

It is sad to reflect that one by one the gallant 
old fighting chiefs are fading away. The links 
that bound the present age of bustle and progress 
to the old era of early settlement are snapping fast, 
and soon it will be quite a rarity to see a tattooed 
Maori at all. Not long since another of the old 
celebrities died at the Kaik, Otago Heads. This 
was an old chief named Waitota, or, as he was 
more familiarly called, New Zealand Jack. He 
had reached the ripe age of ninety-two. 

This ancient Maori chief had lived at the Kaik 
ever since the arrival of the ship John Wickliffe, 
as long ago as the year 1848. Jack had been 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 83 

quite a traveller in his day, had seen a great deal 
of the world, and altogether led a most eventful 
life. He was born in the Nelson district, and 
always held high rank amongst the natives. On 
one occasion he was taken prisoner during a war 
between the South and North Island natives, and 
was then conveyed to the Bay of Islands. After 
his escape from captivity, he shipped on board an 
American whaler, and sailed in her to the United 
States. Then returning again to New Zealand, 
Waitota joined an English ship and made a 
voyage to London. He then traded between that 
port and China for a time, and ultimately joined 
the ship John Wickliffe which brought the first 
settlers to Otago under the late Captain Cargill. 
Waitota was really a wonderful old fellow, gifted 
with a splendid memory, and a fluent tongue ; he 
could tell one the most interesting stories about 
the early history of various parts of the colony, 
and his graphic description of life among the 
Maoris in olden times was invariably realistic and 
vivid in the extreme. And so, one after another 
of the old tribal chiefs are passing away, and with 
them many a legend and ancient tradition that it 
would be well to have preserved. 

After I had written this chapter I came across a 
curious document which is of peculiar interest as 
showing what some of the more powerful and 
observant chiefs themselves think of the surrival of 
their race. It is a reply from Tuteao Manihera, 
dated from Kawhia in response to the circular 
letter of the native minister, Mr. Ballance, before 
G 2 



84 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

alluded to : " Friend, salutations to you. I have 
received your circular letter pointing out how 
disease could be averted and the means of preserv- 
ing health among the native people of New Zea- 
land. Your advice is good. Friend, listen to this. 
According to the observation made by the Maori 
people as to the decay of their own people, it is 
found that formerly, in the days of our ancestors, 
the natives mostly died of old age. Their whares j 
their clothing, their food, were very bad. When 
they slept at night, they used fire to keep them 
warm, and in the day they basked in the sun, its 
heat serving them as clothing, and the people 
never died off. But the arrival of the Europeans 
to these islands brought disease amongst them, 
and two complaints made their appearance, 
namely, chest complaint and cough. From that 
time the numbers of natives began to decline. 
Subsequently, another disease called measles, and 
now fever has come, and rheumatism. Among 
other causes which have been discovered by the 
Maoris is that they have been neglected by the 
ministers, for the Maoris have a reverence for 
sacred things. In former days, when the chief of 
any tribe died, before that evil happened, his 
approaching death would have been known to all 
by the flash of lightning and the roar of thunder 
rolling along the mountain-tops of his own district. 
No matter where the chief was dying, they always 
knew, and would always say that such-and-such a 
chief was dying, because that the thunder and 
lightning were in such-and-such a place. Friend, the 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 85 

food and clothing are now both very good, but the 
Maoris are dying off rapidly. This is what I have 
to say to you : If you think well of it, let all 
vessels that come here be inspected, and if any 
kind of sickness be found on board, let them be 
ordered to go away, so that we may not catch the 
sickness. That is all. I leave it to you to judge 
whether it is right or wrong. Enough. 
" Your loving friend. 

" TUTEAO MANIHERA, Pihopa." 



86 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER VII. 

The s.s. Rotomahana Opotiki, a military settlement A 
sensible system of emigration Faults of the Sydney 
system A chance for capital The town of Gisborne 
Napier Public spirit Projected harbour works 
Napier, the Malta of the southern seas An attenuated 
army. 

WE left Auckland on a Thursday afternoon in 
the Rotomahana. She is seldom driven at her full 
speed, as the vibration is somewhat excessive. 
The catering is first-class, and the army of stewards 
are more than ordinarily attentive and obliging. 
They are quite military in the precision of their 
movements. At the sound of a handbell they 
range themselves in position. At another signal 
the covers are removed with a flourish. At each 
fresh signal some fresh manoeuvre is repeated with 
a precise exactitude which would rejoice the heart 
of a rigid disciplinarian, and which, in good sooth, 
contributes much to the comfort of the passengers, 
and entirely does away with the usual scrambling 
and disorder at meals on shipboard. 

At the bottom of the deep bay which trends 
southward from Auckland's spacious harbour, and 
a little to the westward of East Cape, lies the small 
military settlement of Opotiki. It was formed 
during the war, each settler in exchange for the fee 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 87 

simple of twenty acres being liable to military 
service. Officers got a proportionately larger 
grant. This is now a flourishing community of 
farmers and wool-growers. 

In some of the country papers I noticed the 
advertisements of an Immigration Society, which 
seemed to me to be capable of a useful develop- 
ment in Australia. The idea seemed to be to 
encourage lads and lasses to emigrate under the 
auspices of the society ; and it undertook to pro- 
vide situations for the adventurous youths on their 
arrival in the colony. Farmers and settlers, de- 
sirous of having helps, were invited to send in 
applications to the local agents, or to the head 
office ; and, from what I read, it seemed that in 
return for board and tuition in all sorts of country 
work, giving " colonial experience," in fact, the new 
comer was bound down for a term, to his host and 
teacher. Doubtless such a system might be 
abused. But under careful supervision, and the 
direction of genial men of tried probity, would it 
not be better than the haphazard no-system which 
is pursued in Sydney and elsewhere ? In New 
South Wales emigrants are often shamefully 
treated. Domestic servants, indeed, are competed 
for as if they were prize pedigree stock, but mate 
labourers, artisans, and such like, are often turned 
adrift without knowing to what part of the country 
they should go for employment. A labour bureau 
after the American fashion would be a decided 
improvement on the present faulty system. 

The scheme I refer to as being advertised in the 



88 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

New Zealand papers seems to havethe meritof being 
in accordance with common sense. The Sydney 
plan is something as follows : Here is a young 
fellow yearning for an opening in the outer world. 
His parents are quite willing* to give him a little 
money to start him. They cannot give him much ; 
but what little they can scrape together is precious. 
It is the hard-earned savings of much self-denial 
and laborious years, The youth under our Sydney 
system arrives in a strange country after a voyage, 
during which he has little kindly supervision, and 
may be exposed to many sadly adverse influences. 
He is cast out on his own resources, with less 
thought bestowed on him, than on the bales of 
merchandise that travelled out with him in the 
hold of the ship. He soon finds out the value of 
his letters of introduction. If he apply to a labour 
agency a perfectly irresponsible medium, be it 
remembered not even licensed by the State, or 
supervised in any official way, he may, after con- 
siderable expense, succeed in finding employment. 
He may ? Yes ! But he may not most often does 
not till his little hoard has vanished, and he is 
no longer in a position to refuse any offer. Then 
begins the life in the new world, round which was 
centred so many roseate hopes and anticipations. 
The best material in the world would feel cast down, 
and the lad does not really get the best chance. 
How many get wearied and disheartened before the 
battle is well begun ? How many sink in the 
fight, and are lost after all the brave hopes and 
worthy resolves ? But suppose now that on his 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 89 

arrival he was met and welcomed by some good 
cheery inspector of such a society as I am referring 
to. His luggage is looked after for him. He is 
directed to the lodging guaranteed by the society. 
He has a list of vacancies put before him, every 
information as to locality, mode of life, prospects 
of success in this or that, are clearly and kindly 
explained to him. His money, if he have any, is 
put safely out at interest for him. His selection is 
made. He knows he has some one who will take, 
an interest in him. He acquires his experience, 
and at the end of two years' time, who can doubt 
that he is ready to start a career for himself, and 
become a valuable acquisition to the State ? 

Methinks there's room for philanthropic, patri- 
otic Australians doing something in this direction, 
which ought to have been done long ago, which 
Dr. Lang (fine old Great Heart !) did do, and 
which the societies I speak of are doing now, in 
connection with immigration to New Zealand. 

I am aware that heartless scoundrels have acted 
nefariously under the guise of doing all that I 
suggest ; but, under directors of known character, 
such a scheme would, I think, be a laudable and 
patriotic, and, I verily believe, might be made a 
profitable venture. The young immigrants would 
be in fact apprenticed. In my humble opinion 
there is far too little apprenticeship now-a-days 
in every department of human effort. 

But a truce to moralizing. 

From East Cape to Gisborne, a distance of 
about eighty nautical miles, one sees but a wild 



go Our New Zealand Cousins. 

mountainous country, with a precipitous, rugged 
coast. This country is as yet exclusively in the 
hands of natives, if we except the two widely- 
separated hamlets at Tologa Bay and Waiapu. 
There is no farming. The settlers subsist by 
their trade, and barter with the natives. The 
Maoris themselves cultivate chiefly maize and 
potatoes, and a very little wheat at times. This 
they thresh out in primitive style by the aid of 
their horses' hoofs. Native wheat in New Zealand 
can be known, as native indigo is, in India by 
the dirt in the samples. 

There is a large amount of fine forest-land and 
many rich fertile valleys inland waiting exploita- 
tion, but the coast is very barren. There is a 
proposal before the speculative public now to form 
a great popular syndicate and acquire this tract of 
country by purchase, and then settle it on a com- 
munistic plan. Here's a chance for the disciples 
of Henry George. I would like to see it tried. 

Turning round Gable End Foreland, a sheer 
abrupt rocky face like the gable of a mighty house, 
a formation, as one can see by the detached ' frag- 
ments and hummocks in the sea at its base, 
evidently the result of some tremendous land- 
slip, we enter Poverty Bay, in the mid circum- 
ference of which nestles the neat and thriving little 
town of Gisborne. 

The roadstead is exposed to south-east gales > 
and a poor stranded barque, lying battered and 
broken on the strand, with the exultant waves 
hungrily licking her riven ribs, proved conclusively 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 9 r 

how dangerous these can be at times. Even in 
this little coastal town, public spirit is ahead of 
Sydney in at least one respect. Gisborne can 
boast of a Harbour Board. A loan has been 
proposed, and plans are already prepared, and 
will shortly be proceeded with, for the formation 
of a harbour which will render the anchorage safe 
at all times. On the substantial wharf are com- 
modious sheds. The streets are wide, planted 
with shade-trees, and the embankment of the 
river is strengthened with flourishing rows of 
pollard poplars. The river winds picturesquely 
past, skirting the town, and the bridges, footpaths, 
&c., were all in capital order. There is a capital 
hotel, kept by Wilson, and many really highclass- 
looking shops. 

A cheese factory has been started here lately, 
and the cheese I tasted was exquisite in flavour. 
There is a future for Gisborne. The back country 
contains magnificent pastures, and the people 
seem wideawake. The getting ashore was a 
hazardous feat. The sea was high. The steam 
launch bobbed about like a cork. The gangway 
was slung from the ship, and was now high in 
mid-air, now banging on the funnel, or deck, or 
cabin hatch of the launch. Luckily we all got 
ashore and back to the steamer again without 
accident ; and in the evening away we steamed 
for Napier. 

We arrived off Napier, in Hawke's Bay, very 
early, and caught the first launch. The offing 
here is too exposed to south-east winds ; but here, 



92 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

too, the Harbour Board is vigilant and active. It 
is indeed pleasant to see the signs of so much 
enterprise and public spirit. The sea-shore here 
is fringed with shifting banks of shingle, which 
has been carried down from the main range by 
the swift rivers that tear through the gorges and 
denude the hill country, on a scale which is, 
perhaps, paralleled nowhere else on the face of our 
globe. This moving shingle is carried up by the 
currents, which set strongly into the bay, and 
many leagues of lagoon which formerly existed 
have been silted up by the sea action. In fact, 
the bold spit, behind which lies the town itself, 
was formerly an island ; and tradition has it, that 
Captain Cook sailed between the spit, which was 
then called Scinde Island, and the mainland, over 
the very spot on which is now built the trim, 
bustling town. Port Ahuriri, the merchants' 
centre, with all its great wool and produce stores, 
and commodious warehouses, is built on reclama- 
tions from the marsh. On the shingle bars, in 
fact, which have been cast up by the ocean currents. 
There is still a great body of water in the lagoon 
inland, and this creates a very powerful scour, 
sufficient to keep the channel deep and open with 
the aid of a dredge, which is constantly at work. 
The workmen employed by the Harbour Board are 
kept busily engaged raking out and stacking up 
the great round water-worn boulders, which the 
tides are perpetually casting on the bank at the 
mouth of the harbour. Acting under reliable 
engineering advice, the board propose to build out 



Oar New Zealand Cousins. 93 

a long breakwater into the deep, which would turn 
the ocean currents, and with the strong natural 
scour from the lagoon, would, it is believed, keep 
the harbour clear. The plans provide for a 
harbour with a depth of thirty-six feet, as the 
tides are high here. 

It was proposed to expend 300,0007. on this 
important work. In Parliament the motion was 
scouted. But the Napierites were determined. 
The prejudices of party, the divisions of cliques, 
the differences of creeds, were all forgotten. 
Common cause was made, and after a long and 
sore struggle, the bill was passed, and very shortly 
the work will be commenced. 1 Already there is 
an enormous meat-preserving industry flourishing 
at Tomoana, where the cleanest, most succulent 
dainties of this description are turned out in a style 
not excelled anywhere. Large areas are now laid 
down in tobacco, and this bids fair to become a 
thriving industry. The Hawke's Bay pastures 
and crops are famous throughout Australasia. 
Cheese factories are being established. The frozen 
meat industry has already attained goodly propor- 
tions. Much timber is exported, and the port is 
bound to become one of very great importance. 
Already the annual exports have reached the 
imposing total of 6oo,ooo/. More power to the 
Harbour Board, say I, and good luck to the 
plucky, public-spirited people of Napier. 

These same good folks of Napier must surely 

1 Since writing, the plans have been adopted, the contracts 
let, and the work has been begun. 



94 Our Neiv Zealand Cousins. 

have sturdy legs. They would need them. The 
steeps, and stairs, and climbing walks, and bellows- 
bursting paths, beat Edinburgh hollow, and would 
even, I think, run Malta hard. The town itself, 
with its shops, hotels, public buildings, factories, 
&c., is on the flat on the landward side of the spit 
or mountainous bluff. The merchants' portion, as 
I have said, is at Port Ahuriri on the seaward side 
of the spit. But the dwellings of the shopkeepers 
and merchants are perched high up on the pre- 
cipitous sides of the hilly bluff itself. They are 
perched aloft at every conceivable altitude, and 
look down at you from towering elevations. They 
crown rugged heights. They line precipitous 
gullies. They stick like limpets to sheer walls of 
rock. Embowered amid artificially made gardens 
they peep at you from shady foliage in places 
where you would think it hard for the trees them- 
selves to keep a foothold. All the villas and houses 
are of wood, and really the general effect of this 
garden crowned, villa bestrewn, precipitous bluff- 
land is very pleasing. There are many deep 
cuttings leading to the various ravines, and every- 
where wooden steps and winding walks. The 
extent must be some thousands of acres, seme few- 
miles perhaps, but every spot on which by any 
exercise of ingenuity a house could possibly have 
been built has been taken advantage of. Napier is, 
in fact, the Malta of the southern seas, only with 
all the rich accessories of southern vegetation, and 
the clear, crisp, glorious freshness of the southern 
atmosphere. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 95 

There is a very efficient water service. Fire-plugs 
at every corner. The streets are clean and the shop 
fronts bright, and the municipal watercarts, drawn 
by really magnificent horses, actually keep the dust 
laid. Think of it, ye city magnates of Sydney ! 

There is one hansom cab. The driver is neat, 
obliging, and moderate in his charges. He hops 
down to open the door for his fare. He cheerfully 
assists with luggage. In one corner of the cab is a 
small hand-bell to draw his attention to the wants 
or wishes of his passenger. A neat glass panel is 
provided on which to strike matches. A file of 
the latest newspapers is ready at your elbow, and in 
the remaining corner is a handsome horn-shaped 
vase, with. a dainty fresh bouquet of flowers, set in 
water, and brightening up the interior. 

Think of that, ye long-suffering cab patrons of 
Sydney ! Think of it, ye much maligned, cour- 
teous, gentlemanly, angelic Bayards ; ye never-to- 
be-forgotten cabbies of Sydney. 

The Salvation Army at the time of our visit to 
Napier had become somewhat attenuated. The 
officers outnumbered the rank and file in rather too 
much Mexican fashion. The band consisted of 
one very uncertain cornet and two blasting not to 
say blasted instruments, whose scope seemed 
limited to a hard-and-fast slavish adherence to one 
monotonous sound, emitted in jerks or slabs as it 
were. The sound would have suited a jungly boar 
with a bad cough, but was not calculated to rouse 
any one to religious fervour. Rather the reverse. 
The army consisted of three instrumentalists, five 



96 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

red-coated officers, two poor girls in poke bonnets, 
and as far as we could see one rank and file. 

To me it was really a. melancholy sight. No- 
body seemed to take any notice of them. The row 
they made was simply exasperating. Yet they 
tootled away, and sang hoarsely their one tune (it 
never varied, at least during the four days we heard 
them), and perambulated the streets with a 
regularity which surely merited more recognition 
than it met with. 

On Sunday they paraded past the churches, 
rather markedly as I thought, and seemed defiant 
in their blare and irreverent noise. It seemed out 
of harmony with the quiet Sabbath air of the 
place. The Presbyterian Church we attended 
was crammed. Every seat was uncomfortably full. 
The minister, a plain blunt Scot, with an unmis- 
takable accent smacking of the Grampians, gave 
an eloquent extempore sermon on " The persistent 
influence of a good man," which was listened to 
with marked attention. The singing, to the 
accompaniment of a capital organ well played, was 
excellent, and most heartily joined in by the 
crowded congregation. The English and Roman 
churches seemed just as well attended as the Scotch. 
On the whole, my impression of Napier was that 
it is a well-ordered, self-respecting, thriving town ; 
and the pleasant and profitable Sabbath we spent 
there was not the least enjoyable of the many 
delightful days we spent during our trip. 

In the afternoon we wandered along the shingly 
beach under the overhanging cliffs, and watched 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 97 

the breakers come rolling in. We climbed the flag- 
staff-hill, past the asylum and gaol, and had 
pointed out to us the quarry and cutting in the hill, 
where the prisoners are sensibly forced to work, 
and in part pay for their subsistence, instead of 
being pampered and kept in easy idleness at the 
expense of the ratepayers. 

Back to church in the evening, where the con- 
gregation was just as dense and as attentive as 
in the morning. On Tuesday we bade good-bye 
to Napier. 



H 



98 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

The famous Hawke's Bay pastures Hastings Maori 
farmers Mountain torrents A backwoods clearing 
Wasteful methods The forest and hill country Wood- 
ville The famous Manawatu gorge A curious ferry 
Palmerston. 

WE determined to travel to Wellington by rail 
and coach, instead of doing the usual sea passage, 
as by so doing we would see more of the country, 
and get a better idea of the progress of settle- 
ment in the interior. 

As soon as one gets beyond the deposits of 
shingle on which Napier is built, the train enters 
magnificently grassed country. Rich paddocks, 
neatly fenced, and stocked with fine flocks and 
herds. There are no unsightly stumps such as 
may be seen in most Australian pastures. No dead 
timber ; no brush fences ; no jungle of briar and 
thistle and prickly pear. There are thickly 
scattered about, however (as many as three or four 
in some paddocks), substantial bulky hayricks. 
Bountiful provision for a year of scarcity or a 
bleak winter. This is, alas ! a sight that may not 
commonly be seen in Australian pastures. All 
the paddocks are here laid down in English grasses, 
and would, I should imagine, carry possibly six, if 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 99 

not ten, sheep to the acre ; and such sheep, big 
carcases, healthy fleeces. They are mostly a 
Romney cross. 

After fourteen miles, during which we cross one 
or two sluggish rivers, and pass the Tomoana Meat 
Preserving Works, which are well worth inspec- 
tion, we pull up at Hastings', which is to Napier 
pretty much what Parramatta is to Sydney. It 
seems a neatly kept, flourishing town. There is 
one fine old church with twin turrets. A good 
racecourse with new race stand. Hotels, which so 
far as outward appearances go, are immeasurably 
superior to the usual grog-shops which in an 
Australian, country town are dignified with the 
misnomer, hotel. The streets are planted with 
shade trees ; and rows of poplars and willows, 
clumps of firs and alders, and hedges of gorse and 
hawthorn, with the broad fertile pastures of home 
grasses, give a wonderfully English look to the 
place. 

After Hastings, the train runs past miles of bare 
brown hills, with a long winding valley at their 
feet, raupo growing on its swampy bosom, and 
there is little of interest for the tourist. The rich 
rolling downs, the grasses and clover, the splendid 
condition of sheep, cattle, and horses, the air of 
rural prosperity, would doubtless have charms for 
the pastoralist ; but to the searcher after the 
picturesque it is rather monotonous. I indulge 
in speculations as to the future, when increasing 
population will make the land more valuable ; and 
then, doubtless, these myriads of acres, now lying 
H 2 



ioo Our New Zealand Cousins. 

unproductive as raupo swamp, will be drained and 
cultivated, and, who knows, may be planted with 
rice, maize, tobacco, poppy, oil seeds, ginger, 
turmeric, safflower, indigo, and other subtropical 
products, for behoof of the swarming villagers. 
I feel certain these would grow well here. 

At Poukawa, a native village, with a big whare 
in the centre, the train stops to shunt. Groups 
of native women lie lazily about, very fat, 
very dowdy, and very dirty. A troop of school 
children, about to proceed by rail, are amusing 
themselves by a noisy game at marbles, and have 
to break up their game to catch the train, a 
disruption which gives rise to a very pretty 
quarrel. 

The car platforms are very dangerous for child- 
ren, having no protecting rails whatever, and 
the guard informs me that already several 
deaths have occurred from the consequent 
accidents. 

Still advancing and ascending, the scantily clad 
hills begin to draw nearer to the line. At the top 
of a long rise, whence looking back we get a 
fine view of the raupo swamps and grassy pas- 
tures we have left behind us, we emerge into a 
lovely valley, with two perfect little gems of lakelets, 
one on each side of the line, nestling still and 
beautiful under the bright sunshine. Myriads of 
ducks scuttle across the placid water as we pass, 
but a number of black swans paddle serenely about, 
disdaining even to turn their graceful necks to 
look at us as we whizz by. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 101 

Further on in a hollow to the right, shaded by 
drooping willows, is a college for natives. The 
buildings of red brick look warm and comfort- 
able. 

Here now is a noteworthy sight. One sugges- 
tive enough of the changes time is working. 
What think you ? A native village. No Euro- 
peans visible. And yet here is a modern thresh- 
ing machine of the most improved pattern, with 
all the latest contrivances busily at work, under 
native guidance exclusively. 

Only twenty years ago, these Maoris were 
quite in the mood to wage war with the settlers on 
the slightest pretext. Now, the men, in Euro- 
pean costume, are busy threshing their grain, in 
the most approved modern fashion, and the scene 
is one of cheerful, peaceful rural industry. 

What a water-favoured land is this. There is 
a lakelet in every valley or hollow we pass. 
At Kaikora, surrounded by grassy hills and rich 
pastures, the school children get out. Evidence of 
the popular tastes in amusements is here fur- 
nished by the sight of two racecourses an old 
and a new one. We get an insight into the 
staple trade here too, as the down trains for the 
coast are laden with sawn timber and enormous un- 
cut logs, and also grain. The timber is mostly 
white pine and rimu. 

Is it not short-sighted policy to have no regu- 
lations, making it compulsory on timber-getters to 
replace by fresh plantings this constant depletion ? 
A wise policy would be to have tracts set apart for 



1O2 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

new forests, and let fresh planting of suitable trees 
proceed contemporaneously with the cutting down 
of the original forests. Is this being sufficiently 
attended to ? I doubt it. I see no signs of it. A 
few sparse patches of pine are being planted here 
and there, but nothing systematic or on an 
adequate scale seems yet to be attempted. But of 
this more anon. 

The train now crosses the Waipawa River, 
and at Waipukura just such another river is 
crossed. 

These are typical New Zealand mountain 
streams. Here we have the explanation of the 
enormous shingle drifts on the coast. This is one 
of the gigantic operations of Nature, which alters 
the face of the earth, fills bays, changes coast- 
lines, and puts at defiance the most skilful con- 
trivances of the best engineers. 

At present the rivers are mere shrunken threads 
winding through their desolate valleys of shingle. 
But in rainy seasons, or at the melting of the 
snow on yonder high serrated ridge of mountains, 
the torrents come tearing down the gullies and 
carry tons upon tons of silt and shingle and 
gravel with them ; and the roar of the stones 
and boulders as they roll over each other and 
crash onwards in the bed of the flooded stream is 
louder than the angry surges on the tempestuous 
coast. 

Still more trim pastures. A constantly rising, 
rolling country. The very perfection of land for 
pastures and stock-keeping. Wire fences by the 



Our New Zealand Cousins. . 1 03 

league. Turnip paddocks, hundred of acres in 
extent. Great hayricks here and there, and an 
occasional mansion peeping out from its planta- 
tions of fir and willow. Alas ! for the sparsity 
of humanity. Sheep and cattle cannot equal 
men. 

Now we leave the undulating downs and grassy 
ridges and enter the bush country. We pass 
sidings with great logs ready for the trucks. 
Wooden tramways lead everywhere into the dense 
forest. Here are magnificent wild wooded valleys 
and forest-clad gorges ; the silence in their deep 
recesses only broken by the ring of the timberman's 
axe. 

Dashing ever onward and upward, we whizz 
across a high spidery wooden bridge on fragile- 
looking trestles, spanning a deep ravine, and now 
reach Ormondville. 

Such a township ; with its acres of blackened 
prostrate logs, its giant trunks and stumps, the 
clearing fires, the rough backwoodsmen, the lum- 
bering bullock teams, and the distant peep of the 
wooded hills over the ever-widening circle of 
seemingly impervious bush. It recalls the stories 
of Fenimore Cooper ; and we could almost fancy 
ourselves away in the Indian wilds of Canada. 

And so to Danevirke, a neat Danish settlement. 
The same prospect here. Man carving a home 
out of the heart of the primeval bush, and every- 
where the fire completing the work begun by the 
axe. The sky is shrouded in gloom from the 
smoke. We are told this is a good burning 



IO4 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

autumn. Last year was wet, but this season fires 
have been blazing for weeks, and of the poor forest, 
if it were sentient, one might say, " The smoke of 
its torment goeth up for ever." 

No use seemingly made of the potash ? No 
destructive distillation of wood ? No pyroligneous 
acids, or wood tars, or oils, made here ? Under 
more enlightened processes many most valuable 
products might here be utilized and saved. The 
whole thing waste, waste ! Want of capital, want 
of knowledge, want of foresight, want of proper 
labour, and facilities for marketing. Verily, " the 
greater haste which in the end may prove the lesser 
speed." 

Possibly I am wrong. This process may really 
be the cheapest and the best, and the game may 
be worth the candle in the long run. And yet my 
soul revolts at this wholesale destruction. It was 
not so the old planters worked, in my old pio- 
neering days, among the forests in India. Char- 
coal, tar, potash, oil, resins, gums, battens, spars, 
planks, even lichens and mosses, were all found 
marketable ; and my forest clearing was made to 
pay in products for the labour expended. I think, 
too, of the elaborate care bestowed on plantations in 
Scotland, in Germany, and elsewhere, and sigh as I 
contrast the thrift there with the extravagance here. 

But of course circumstances alter cases, and I 
am conscious that under altered conditions such as 
we have here, I am but poorly qualified to judge as 
to what is best. And yet such wholesale waste 
and destruction does to me seem grievous. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 105 

At length we reach Tahoraite, the present ter- 
minus, eighty-two miles from Napier. The air is 
keen and bracing. Around us we can see countless 
leagues of forest country and wooded ranges 
stretching to the far-off plains below, and climb- 
ing in rugged succession, range on range, right up 
to the topmost peaks of the main mountain chain 
above us. 

The fourteen-mile drive to Woodville is very 
beautiful. It is through the New Zealand bush. 
Having said that, I have said enough. At Wood- 
ville, the public school and various public buildings 
were neat, but, evidently, inexpensive edifices of 
wood not the extravagant palaces which the 
cupidity of the electors, the plasticity of Cabinets, 
and the log-rolling of members have peppered 
down in every hamlet in New South Wales, 
where the money might have been infinitely 
better expended on reproductive works of public 
utility. But there ! ! " Off the track again, you 
see ! " 

At Woodville you have the choice of three 
routes. The one, to take coach to Masterton, and 
thence by rail to Wellington ; another to go on 
through the famous Manawatu Gorge to Palmers- 
ton, thence by rail to Foxton on the coast, and 
then either by coach along the beach, or by 
steamer to Wellington ; or, thirdly, from Palmers - 
ton by rail to Wanganui, and then on to the capital 
by steamer. 

We chose the last mentioned, as we had business 
in Wanganui. 



io6 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

About two miles out from Woodville we begin 
the never-to-be-forgotten passage of the Manawatu 
Gorge. 

The first view of the river is striking. The 
valley in which it flows is narrow, and the steep hills 
on either side are thickly clad with forest. The 
coach (Jones's) with its three splendid grey horses, 
seems suspended right over the stream, which rolls 
in brown, eddying volumes close under the road. 
It has, in fact, hollowed out the cliff in which the 
roadway is cut. Down below, crossing an elbow 
of the stream, is a graceful suspension bridge. On 
the further side steep pinnacles of rock tower high 
into the sky, and the defiles look black with shade. 
A blue haze, like that of the Blue Mountains, 
shrouds all the distance. The trees are hoary with 
mosses, hidden and smothered with creepers, and 
laden with tangled masses of parasitic grass. 

The road is barely wide enough for the coach. 
There is not ten inches to spare at many a jutting 
angle. Two vehicles could not possibly pass. 
Even an equestrian must pull up to let the coach 
pass at certain places, sidings in the rock wall 
being cut for that purpose. The wall of rock on 
the left rises sheer up from the road. Beneath, 
whirls and foams the river in its rocky bed. Over 
the river we see the blazed line along the face of the 
precipices which marks the survey for the projected 
railway. Above, rise terrace on terrace of fern 
trees. Here a bald jutting rock some hundreds of 
feet high. Here a dell of glossy verdure. Here a 
plashing cascade. Here a bare ugly gash in the 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 107 

steep boskiness, caused by a landslip. Every 
winding turn discloses some bank or crag, some 
dell or ravine more exquisitely lovely than the one 
just passed. 

The clang of the hoofs on the hard road, or the 
boom as we cross a culvert or bridge, echoes from 
cliff to cliff, and the crack of the driver's whip is 
multiplied, and reverberates amid the gorges and 
precipices on both sides of the pass. 

Giant totaras, ragged with age, draped with 
moss and lichen, tower in masses above the lower 
bush, which is thickly clung with creepers innu- 
merable. The wind howls up the pass, and lashes 
the pools into temporary fury. The tints, the 
heights and deeps, the tossing foliage, the swift 
stream, the mists and shadows, the fringes of ferns 
over the beetling cliffs, the craggy boundary 
before and behind, seeming to enclose us in a 
rocky prison, all form a scene of inexpressible 
beauty and indescribable grandeur. 

Well may New Zealand be named wonderland, 
and this most glorious gorge is aptly designated 
one of its chiefest wonders. After miles of this 
majesty and sublimity, the cliffs open out like the 
rocky jaws of some Adamantine serpent, and the 
released river rolls out smilingly and open-bosomed 
into the undulating forest country outside the 
gorge. 

We cross by a curious ferry. The boat is pro- 
pelled by the current of the stream itself. A well- 
oiled traveller runs on a taut wire cable. The 
current catches the boat at the angle made by the 



io8 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

running gear on the cable, and so the traveller 
runs freely along, and the boat goes across like a 
craft under sail. 

The forest country here shows all the evidences * 
of frequent settlement, in houses and herds, fences 
and foreign grasses. There seems to be no crop 
farming. Stock-raising taxes all the energies of 
the settler. Even the gardens look neglected. 
The familiar stumps and prostrate logs, and 
slovenly paddocks of Australian scenery again 
meet the eye here. 

Burning is going on all around. The air is dense 
with smoke. Our clothes get white with falling 
ashes, and our eyes smart with the pungent 
reek. 

Here we pass the railway line again, and we 
are now in the straggling but thriving town of 
Palmerston. 

Palmerston occupies the centre of a plain, which 
has been carved and cleared out of the virgin 
forest. It is well laid out. A big square occupies 
the centre of the town, and round the square are 
shops, hotels, and buildings, such as are seen in 
very few country towns of much greater age and 
pretensions in the mother colony of Australia. 
There are several handsome churches. A hall, a 
public library, several sawmills and factories of 
various kinds ; and the place looks altogether lively 
and progressive. The railway station alone looks 
ramshackle, and is more like a piggery or a dog 
kennel than a station. 

By the time the train from Foxton comes up it 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 09 

is dark, and through the deepening gloom, broken 
only at fitful intervals by the lurid glare of 
the forest fires, we are whirled into Wanganui, and 
put up at the prince of hostelries, the Rutland 
Hotel. 

Shortly after our trip as above recorded, this part 
of the island was visited with a series of devasta- 
ting forest fires, which did enormous damage, both 
to life and property, and made many families 
homeless. Referring to this, a correspondent in 
one of the Sydney papers gives the following 
graphic account of the dangers some of the mail- 
coach drivers have at times to encounter in the 
execution of their duty : 

" It is interesting," says the writer, " in connection 
with the peculiar weather we have lately had in 
New Zealand, that the Maoris in one district are 
just now very busy removing their dwellings to 
higher ground in anticipation of a very heavy flood 
setting in shortly. The Maoris of the North 
Island predicted an unusually dry summer, on 
account of a peculiar appearance in connection 
with the flax flowers. It is certain that their 
prophecy in that case has turned out correct, and 
it remains to be seen whether this latter prediction 
of the natives will also come to pass. But the 
terrible bush fires that have raged throughout the 
country have been the worst feature of the season, 
destroying as they have so much valuable property, 
and in many instances endangering life. On the 
day previous to that on which I travelled by coach 
on the same route, and passing through an almost 



1 1 o Our New Zealand Cousins. 

similar experience which I shall never forget on 
the Reefton road, the following incident occurred : 
The coach left Nelson at the usual hour, but on 
reaching the Motupiko Valley it was found that 
an extensive fire was raging to the right of the 
route. Mr. G. Newman (the coachdriver), how- 
ever, continued his course, thinking that he could 
keep ahead of the flames. But in this he was mis- 
taken ; for after proceeding a few miles, and reach- 
ing a portion of the road where it was next to im- 
possible to turn the coach, he found that the fire 
was of greater extent than he had imagined, and 
began to realize the gravity of the danger which 
threatened him. 

" The country behind him he knew to be all in 
flames, and therefore all hope of retreat in that 
direction was cut off. His only hope then con- 
sisted in his chance of heading the fire, and he 
accordingly put the horses to the utmost speed, 
and then commenced a race for dear life. The 
smoke at this time was such as to almost entirely 
shut out the leading horses from the driver's view, 
and the heat growing more and more intense as 
the great column of fire rolled down the hillside 
towards the road. The flames were now within a 
few yards of the roadside, and the paint on the 
coach began to blister and give out a strong odour, 
which caused Mr. Newman to think that the coach 
awning was on fire. But being himself almost 
suffocated with the heat and smojce, his only 
thought was of reaching a point ahead, where 
there was a break in the country, and a small 



OUK New Zealand Cousins. 1 1 1 

stream into which he might throw himself, for 
his whiskers and hair had already been badly 
singed. The coach swept on at a terrific pace 
until reaching the point on the route already 
referred to, where, as expected, the fire had taken 
another direction, and the danger was over. 

" A glance at the coach and foaming horses then 
revealed how terrible had been the ordeal through 
which they had just passed for the last mile. The 
horses were singed fearfully, the paint had peeled off 
the coach, and the only wonder seemed to be that 
the awning had not ignited. Mr. Newman will not 
be likely to forget that journey in a hurry. 
Probably few other men could have undergone 
such a trial without losing their senses. Had a 
burning tree fallen across the road, or had any 
accident happened to the coach at the great 
speed at which it was going, there would have 
been no possible escape from a terrible death 
for them all. But this is only one instance out 
of many. One man descended a, well in order 
to escape a raging fire, and had a most miracu- 
lous escape from a terrible death, when the wood- 
work on the top of the well caught fire, and 
crashed down the shaft, but was happily ex- 
tinguished in the few feet of water remaining in 
the well." 



ii2 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER IX. 

A homely hotel Hotel management in New Zealand and 
New South Wales Sharp criticism Wanganui, the 
town Its fine reserve Mount Ruapehu A pioneer 
settler Diligent farmers Great fertility of soil Signs 
of prosperity A coasting steamer The Rip Entrance 
to Wellington Harbour Panoramic view of the capital 
Then and now Importance of the city View from 
Mount Victoria. 

WANGANUI, like all the New Zealand towns we 
have yet seen, strikes a stranger favourably at 
first glance. Oh, if our Australian hotel-keepers 
and licensed victuallers were but more alive to the 
importance of first impressions ! The welcome we 
received at the " Rutland " did more to dissipate 
our fatigue than even the subsequent ablutions and 
snug little supper. It was past ten, and we had 
had nothing since midday, and were, as you may 
imagine, both tired and hungry. On timidly 
preferring a request for supper, what a relief to 
find alacrity, in place of the usual response to 
which a long travelling experience in New South 
Wales had habituated us that response being, 
generally, something of this sort" The kitchen's 
closed, and the cook's gone ; ye can't have nuthin." 
Instead of that we were served with delicious 
oysters, fresh bread, and beautiful butter, and told 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 113 

that if we wanted a hot grill or cup of tea or 
anything, it would be a pleasure to get it for 
us. The hotel was full, but the kind landlady, 
Mrs. Parsons, vacated her own room for us, and 
made us as comfortable as if we had been at 
home. Nor is this by any means an unusual 
experience in New Zealand at Gram's, in Auck- 
land ; at McRae's, in Wairoa ; at the Criterion, in 
Napier ; here at the Rutland, in Wanganui ; and, 
most notably of all, at Mceller's Occidental Hotel, 
in Wellington ; at Warner's, in Christchurch ; and 
the Grand, at Dunedin, we found a civility and 
attention, a readiness to oblige, and a disposition 
to forestall one's most trivial wants, which, alas ! 
and I say it deliberately are sadly absent in 
hotels on the Sydney side, with only a few 
honourable exceptions. 

The domestics certainly seem more willing, and 
whether it be the climate, or better system, or 
what, I know not, but they are decidedly less lazy 
than the usual Phyllises and Ganymedes, to 
whose tender mercies travellers owe so mighty 
little of comfort or pleasure, in New South 
Wales. 

While on this subject, it is a real pleasure to 
testify to the good hotel management we have 
experienced so far in New Zealand. Take, for 
instance, the bedrooms. It is the rule, not the 
exception, in bush " pubs " and country inns on the 
Sydney side, to find a filthy deposit of dirt, 
organic matter, and other abominations in your 
ewer and water-jug. The ewer is seldom tho- 

I 



ii4 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

roughly washed out, or scalded with hot water, 
and the basins merely get a perfunctory rub 
with a greasy cloth after the slops have been 
emptied. The towels are often in rags, and the 
soap is seemingly as hard to find as the Holy 
Grail. Of the condition of the bath-room 
when there does happen to be one, which is 
not often common modesty and decency forbids 
me to speak. The defiant disregard of the first 
principles of sanitary laws in the disposition of 
closets and other conveniences, shocks the stranger 
and disgusts every traveller. 

" What matter ? " muses the publican. " It's the 
bar that pays. Travellers are only a nuisance. 
Them there arrangements wor good enuff for me, 
ever sence I wor a kid. Oh, hang travellers ! let 
'em leave it or lump it. Gim me the good thirsty 
'uns ! " 

Such is the normal state of affairs in many inns 
in New South Wales. As for the cookery ! 
that, alas, is simply nasty ; there's no other word 
for it. The kitchens are polluted and vile. The 
surroundings are odious. The atmosphere of the 
bar and common rooms reeks with the odour of 
stale beer and sickly tobacco fumes. Bacchus in 
New South Wales is no longer the rosy radiant 
god, but a combination satyr part swine, part 
slobbering Silenus and wholly repugnant to every 
clean instinct. Of course, I am not forgetful of 
some bright exceptions to this description. 

Here in New Zealand, however, I have not yet 
seen a dirty bedroom. The various utensils for 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 115 

ablutions are gratefully clean. Naturally, with 
abundant water the baths are copiously supplied ; 
but then the accessories and surroundings are so 
clean and comfortable ! The butcher's meat is 
naturally superior ; but how much is that superi- 
ority enhanced by the prevalent cleanliness and the 
really good cookery ? It is an ungrateful task at 
all times to find fault, and doubly distasteful when 
a comparison tells against one's local prejudices and 
the natural bias one has in favour of home institu- 
tions. Still, if I am to be a truthful critic, I must 
give my opinions on what I observe, honestly and 
fearlessly ; and I am content to appeal to any 
traveller who has had experience of hotels in New 
Zealand and New South Wales to say whether, at 
every point, the management of theolder colony does 
not lag miserably behind that of the newer colony. 

" Bung " is a mighty power in the land ; and the 
licensed victualler's calling is an honourable and a 
necessary one. But in the name of common sense 
and common fairness, let the bargain be observed 
loyally on both sides. In many cases, as things 
go at present, the licence is all with the publican to 
do as he "darn pleases," while the victualling, 

which the public have a right to expect is . 

Yes, just so, a blank ! 

But to return to Wanganui. If the visitor wants 
to have a comprehensive view of the town, let him 
do as we did, and mount the steep Flagstaff Hill, 
which looks down upon the river, spanned by its 
noble bridge on iron piers ; and there, while his 
sense of smell is regaled with the sweet scent of the 
I 2 



I E 6 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

blossoming whins, his ears are ravished with the 
dulcet chorus of the warbling larks and linnets; let 
him feast his eyes on the magnificent panorama 
which unfolds itself before his gaze. 

Away from the symmetrical town, nestling round 
its two sandy knolls, and skirted by the silvery 
river at your feet, your eyes are drawn as by some 
irresistible fascination to yonder mighty altar, up- 
rearing its spotless architecture right away up from 
the puny brethren around it, till it stands out clear, 
distinct, sharp cut, in virgin purity, looking like " a 
great white throne " let down from Heaven. 

It is Mount Ruapehu, crowned with eternal 
snows, draped with samite, and glistening in the 
sun ; and yet so calm, peaceful, pure, that as you 
gaze, the spell works, and you stand hushed, sub- 
dued, and yet with the sense of a great peace within 
you, as you think of the pure majesty of the 
Creator of that wondrous pinnacle of light and 
glory, and can feel that even the tiny lark poised 
above your head, throbbing with song, has its every 
feather noted by His all-seeing eye, and that in the 
boundless infinitude of His love, you too, have the 
portion of a child. 

The larks ! Yes, here they are abounding, 
exultant. What an incense of song ! What de- 
lightful trills and melodies ! What gushes of 
minstrelsy all around ! Daisies, too, peeping up at 
us with their pink-tipped fringes. And the gorse ! 
Surely we are back in the old country. 

A glance below at the wooden town dispels the 
illusion. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 1 7 

I have mentioned two sandhills in the middle of 
the town. One is crowned with an old block-house, 
used now as a gaol ; but which served as a rally- 
ing centre, and was intended as a refuge during 
the troublous times of the Maori war. The other 
is bare, save for a ruddy brown carpet of sorrel, 
which looks for all the world like heather in the 
distance. Both spaces are reserves for the use of 
the inhabitants. 

And in this matter of reserves, how rich is the 
dower of Wanganui. There is a fine wide expanse 
of racecourse, with paddocks, grand stand, and 
offices, all very complete. But round the town, 
embracing it in a wide semi-circle from the river to 
the river again, is a splendid reserve called the 
Town Belt. It comprises 600 acres of fine rich land, 
partly put down in plantations, partly let out on 
short leases, thus yielding a revenue to the corpora- 
tion, and forming indeed a noble heritage for the 
generations that are to come. 

The town has a good water supply from springs 
and lakes on the rampart of tableland that 
overlooks the flat on the side farthest from the 
river. One lake is three miles out, and has only 
lately been united to the supply. There is a fall 
of over 200 feet, giving a splendid head of water for 
service in cases of fires. 

Sales of stock are held weekly, at which there 
is a large gathering of farmers and settlers. 
Hotels, churches, banks, insurance offices, and 
shops that would not disgrace George or Pitt 
Streets, Sydney, all impress .the observer with a 



1 1 8 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

belief in the soundness and future importance of 
Wanganui. The entrance to the river is four miles 
down, and there is a bar which at present detracts 
somewhat from the serviceability of the harbour. 
A long breakwater is now, however, being formed, 
and will, when finished, extend 2800 feet into deep 
water. The bar will then be cleared, and it is 
believed the scour of the river will always main- 
tain an open and deep passage. 

We were lucky enough to get a grand drive out 
into the surrounding country, under the genial 
guidance of our friend and fellow-countryman, 
Mr. Peat. He is a genuine specimen of the sturdy, 
independent Scot, who has carved his own way to 
a competency, but has not with the increase of 
wealth gathered any of its hardening incrustations. 
There is no film over his soul. He will tell you 
of the early times when he was glad to take the 
first job that offered. He points out the field in 
which he did his first day's work at the tail end 
of a New Zealand plough. And then with simple 
manly modesty, he tells the story of his struggle 
with fortune, ending in his being in possession of 
these rich paddocks these waving plantations 
these comfortable farms these rolling downs and 
pastures, through which we ride for miles, and at 
last alight at the door of his handsome and com- 
fortable family mansion on a height overlooking 
the town. 

The country round Wanganui is wonderfully 
fertile. We drove over one field of stubble, and 
the farmer, in whose occupancy was the land, had 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 119 

threshed out ninety-seven bushels of oats to the acre. 
The thick second growth of self-sown crop showed 
that the yield must have been considerably over a 
hundredfold. 

All along this coast, right up to Taranaki, there 
exists a curious chain of lakes, running parallel 
with the sea, at a distance of a few miles inland. 
To the seaward side of these lakes, the country is 
sandy, light, and not particularly fertile. But 
between the lakes and the hill ranges, the soil is 
magnificent. A rich black loam that can grow 
anything. Only a very narrow strip of country, com- 
paratively speaking, is as yet settled here. All 
the back-wooded country, the hilly valleys and 
ranges, are still unoccupied. Room here for thou- 
sands of colonists. The roads are in good order. 
They are under the supervision of county boards, 
who levy a rate of three farthings per pound on 
the acreage value. They take the Government 
valuation for the property tax, as the basis of their 
assessment. The limit under the property tax is 
one penny per pound. 

Farming here is in a healthy state. It was a 
genuine pleasure to me to see the trim hedges, the 
cleared-out ditches, the long clean expanse of well- 
tilled fields, unmarred by a single unsightly stump 
or fallen log. In one field we saw the farmer and 
his men cleaning out an empty dam, and spread- 
ing the silt as a top dressing on a bit of poor land. 
Grazing is, however, the chief industry, and most 
of the splendidly-grassed paddocks were not so 
many years ago waving high with the ubiquitous 



1 20 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

bracken and manuka scrub. Twenty years ago 
there was scarcely a hoof in the district, and now 
my host sells often in one transaction over six 
hundred head of the finest fat beasts a dealer could 
pick up anywhere. 

Everybody tells me "things are awfully de- 
pressed in New Zealand." Certainly I could see 
no signs of this depression in Wanganui. The 
signs were absent from Auckland. They were not 
visible in Napier, and in almost every village on 
our route we saw only evidences of industry, 
activity, and progress. Even in Wellington, 
the much-bewailed depression eluded us still. 
If this be " the awfully depressed state of 
things " so constantly bemoaned, then New 
Zealand, when things are brisk and lively, must 
have been about the friskiest community and the 
liveliest country to live in, that all history makes 
any mention of. 

We took passage to Wellington in a little 
coasting steamer, yclept the Stormbird. The 
steward was really very hospitable and kind, and 
made a state-room for myself and wife out of the 
little smoking-room. We were so close to the 
machinery, that on the experience of that one 
night, I might surely set up as an authority on 
clangour and clanking for life. 

We sailed in the cheerful company of a dan- 
gerous lunatic under charge of a constable. There 
were also a goodly company of passengers. The 
case of the lunatic aptly illustrates a phase of 
journalistic practice which is, alas ! too common in 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 121 

these colonies. How often the legitimate influence 
of the Press is frittered away, in petty local squab- 
bles, in pandering to narrow prejudices, in 
fomenting little quarrels, and fostering a strait- 
laced Pharisaism, all the while neglecting to teach 
the broader, nobler lessons of the big, broad, 
throbbing world outside the isolated narrow- 
minded circle in which the local rag is too often, 
alas ! the weekly apple of discord, instead of being 
the fruit of the tree of life. The lunatic was 
declared to be a sane man by the authorities at 
Wellington. Doctors do differ, always have 
differed, and probably always will differ. It being 
dull season with the papers, the case of the lunatic 
formed the subject of a leading article. The 
medicos who committed the man at Wanganui took 
up the cudgels in their own behalf. And now 
a very pretty duel is raging between the two 
sets of medicos, while the Press acts as judicious 
bottle-holder, and pokes up both sides with its 
traditional impartiality. 

Coming through the Straits, we encounter 
" The Rip," a current running like a mill race, 
and a very fast and powerful mill race at that. 
The little " puffer " of a steamer sturdily sets its 
stout stem against the mad turmoil, and bravely 
ploughs it way through. 

The coast is, as usual, bare and uninviting. 
The same serrated backbone of hills, with sharp- 
edged spurs, abrupt ravines, conical mounds, and 
here and there a bare gable end, where some land- 
slip has collapsed into the sea, exposing the in- 



122 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

terior economy of the mountain, which a constant 
shower of loose stones and gravel tries in vain to 
hide. 

The entrance to Wellington Harbour is very 
bold and striking. The sun is just rising, and a 
soft haze rests on the ocean. Great toothlike 
rocky ridges stud the heaving sea, covered with 
waterfowl, and the long swell dashes with a 
surly roar amid their ragged recesses, and 
the gleaming foam contrast finely with their 
blackness. 

Another similar ridge on Barrett's Reef looks 
like the fossil jaw of some antediluvian monster. 
Another scattered line of just such black ugly 
rocks divides the channel, and in the absence of 
lights, with a battery on either side, and a torpedo 
service, I fancy it might be made a very hazardous 
matter indeed for any hostile .ship to force an 
entrance. 

As we steam up the broad sound, between the 
hilly peninsula on the left, and the bold mountain 
chain on the right, we are confronted with an island 
lying right in the centre of the land-locked bay. 
It is at present used as a quarantine station ; 
but would surely form a fine site for an inner 
fortress. 

Away up in the right-hand corner, beyond the 
island, lies the Hutt, with its gardens, railway 
workshops, and scattered residences, and the 
river debouching over its shingly flat between the 
hills. Right behind the island, with two or three 
miles of gleaming bay intervening, is the little 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 123 

village of Petone, nestling under its fern-clad 
cliffs. 

. We turn sharp round a projecting cape to the 
left, and Wellington, the empire city, lies before 
us. In the lee of the cape we have evidence of 
the prevailing war scare. On the point a gang 
of men are busily toiling at the earthworks 
for the heavy gun battery. Below on the beach 
a cluster of snowy military tents betokens the 
presence of other large bodies of men engaged 
in forming approaches, and in other camp 
duties. 

But can that stately city be Wellington ? What 
a change from the shabby, lowly, insignificant 
village of twenty years ago. 

When I last saw Wellington it looked from the 
harbour but a collocation of shambling huts, 
sprawled down higgledy-piggledy along the scant 
margin of pebbly beach, between the hills behind 
and the harbour in front. Barring the provincial 
buildings and Parliament House there was scarcely 
an edifice of any pretensions to be seen. We were 
rowed ashore to a landing-stage, rickety and green 
with slime, among blackened piles, on which was 
built the Empire Hotel, then the fashionable resort 
of visitors. The town consisted of one long 
straggling business street, known as Lambton 
Quay, with a few weatherboard dwellings perched 
here and there on the terraced hills behind. 

Now ! The wizard wand of progress has waved 
to some good purpose during the twenty years 
that have elapsed. Under the auspices of the 



124 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Harbour Board, a spacious strand has been re- 
claimed from the shallows of the bay. The mas- 
sive wharves stretch out their welcoming arms into 
deep water ; and ocean giants like the Coptic 
yield themselves to the friendly embrace, and pour 
forth their argosies of freight on the ample struc- 
tures. 

A stately post and telegraph office, with a fine 
clock tower, boasting of mellow chimes such as I 
have heard nowhere else in Australasia, confronts 
the visitor ; and around it rise pile on pile of orna- 
mental buildings, block after block of commodious 
warehouses, showy facades of offices, rows of shops, 
and all the usual bank buildings, customs offices, 
and general surroundings of a busy, thriving sea- 
port. And all these occupy the site of what was 
deep water twenty years ago. The Supreme 
Court buildings, the Government, insurance, and 
other offices, the enormous wooden structure sur- 
rounded by its gardens (said to be the largest 
wooden building in the world, under whose roof 
the various Government departments find shelter) 
are all built on reclaimed ground. There was 
not a vestige of all this when I last saw the infant 
city. 

Square massive blocks crown the heights. Here 
the hospital ; there the Catholic college. All 
along the sweeping semi-circle of guarding hills, 
the continuity of villas, terraces, and gardens is 
broken by the spires of handsome churches, or the 
ridge line of important institutions. The site for 
the great central prison, with its tall chimney, and 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 125 

ever-varying groups of labouring convicts, burrow- 
ing at the face of the cliffy banks, levelling the 
mounds, and filling up the hollows like so many 
Gargantuan ants. The elegant spire of St. 
Peter's English church ; the high scaffolding of 
St. John's Scotch church, rising like the Phoenix 
from its ashes of two years ago ; the Catholic 
church of St. Joseph's ; the Catholic cathedral 
of St. Mary's ; the dainty spire and turrets of 
St. Andrew's Scotch church, boasting the prettiest 
interior of any church in the colonies. All 
these, and others, look down on the busy town 
below, and point one's thoughts upward to 
the purer realms, where the tricks of trade and 
the sordid pursuits of earth find no abiding place. 

Wellington owes much to its Harbour Board. 
Geographically speaking, it occupies a most im- 
portant position, and must always be a shipping 
centre, as it commands trade routes to every coast 
of both North and South islands. The railways, 
too, are being pushed vigorously forward, and all 
the wealth of the Wairarapa Valley, and the rich 
lands to the north along the Manawatu railway 
now in course of construction, must inevitably find 
their entrepot in Wellington. 

From the harbour one gets but a cramped idea 
of the extent of the town. One sees nothing of the 
dense array of houses which fill the Te Aro Valley, 
which stretch in long streets away for some miles 
towards Island Bay, and which huddle together in 
the narrow valleys up behind the first terrace on 
the backward hills. 



1 26 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

The best idea of the extent of the city can be 
gained by ascending Mount Victoria or Flagstaff 
Hill. It is a pretty steep pull, but the view 
from the summit amply repays you for your 
exertions. 

How the city seems to open out the higher we 
ascend among the gorse and rocky spurs. Every 
valley is now seen to be full of houses. The har- 
bour opens out into numerous long bays. The 
calm ocean (for, wonderful phenomenon for Well- 
ington, the winds are lulled and the day is placid) 
lies spread out before us in all its bewitching 
beauty, flecked only here and there with a few 
small craft, lying idly rocking on the glassy sur- 
face. The long grey sweep of the rocky peninsula 
terminates in a busy swarming scene, where the 
gangs of men are lustily working at the fortifica- 
tions. Beyond rises the abrupt ridgy backbone of 
hills which bounds the harbour to the southward, 
and following their craggy sweep from the light- 
house, the eye reaches the smoking valley of the 
Hutt, where the reek from the railway workshops 
rises in a murky cloud into the clear sky. The 
island nestles in the foreground like a fragment of 
the surrounding hills dropped into mid-harbour. 
Behind, we see the scarped cuttings in the cliffs ; 
and the busy steaming trains running to and fro, 
disclose the meaning of these rigid, uncompromising 
lines, which at first puzzle one, and look like the 
trenches of an investing army. 

Then comes the long semi-circular array of 
serried streets, noble buildings, imposing blocks, 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 127 

and the busy motion of the quays in front. It 
is, indeed, a grand panorama, and well repays 
the climb. 

There is a chorus of melodious larks making 
the air alive with song ; and beneath our feet 
little daisies in rich profusion smile at us from the 
close-cropped turf. Great splashes of gold reflect 
back the sun rays with almost a blinding radiance 
from the hillsides around, where the gorse is 
bourgeoning forth its yellow glory ; and the air ! 
so clear, so crisp, so exhilarating ! No wonder 
the children have such ruddy cheeks, and the 
maidens such bright eyes and bonnie faces, in 
Wellington, the Empire city, as its citizens love to 
call it. 



128 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER X. 

McNab's gardens The Rimutaka railway The Fell engine 
The gorge itself Grandeur of the scenery Power of 
the wind The Wairarapa Valley The town of Mas- 
terton An antipodean hermit Mr Kohn's curios 
The Belmont Viaduct Meat-preserving industry The 
various stages A social blot. 

THE " lions " about Wellington are not numerous, 
but they are well worthy inspection. 

McNab's Gardens, at the Hutt, are unique in 
their way, and in the season can boast of the 
very finest display of azaleas, camellias, and espe- 
cially rhododendrons, probably to be seen south 
of the line. McNab himself is a fine specimen of 
the good, thrifty, gentle-mannered, practical old 
Scottish gardener. His buxom wife partakes of 
the practical also ; but nothing delights the worthy 
couple more than to do the honours of their floral 
domain to any one who betrays a curiosity to look 
and learn. 

What memories gardeners must have ; real 
gardeners, I mean. Not the frauds and shams, 
who invent names on the spur of the moment to 
hide their real ignorance, and whose assumption of 
infallibility is at times so exasperating. 

McNab showed us pines, palms, lilies, flowering 
shrubs, from Japan, Brazil, India, Africa, Europe, 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 129 

all growing " cheek by jowl," yet in graceful 
groupings and telling contrast, and the name of 
every one came as pat as petitions to a mendicant, 
and was accompanied with quaint little bits of de- 
scription and touches of humour, which made the 
old man's tale most enjoyable. 

On St. George's Day we took advantage of an 
excursion train at a marvellously cheap tariff of 7$. 
fare, to go over the world -famed Rimutaka rail- 
way. 

Englishmen make very little fuss over St. George. 
What a fuss and fuddle Scotchmen sometimes make 
over their dinner to St. Andrew ; and, of course, 
we all know that St. Patrick's memory is embalmed 
in the heart of every Irishman, and annually 
honoured by an amount of green ribbon, whisky, 
and eloquence, which none but an Irishman could 
compass. But St. George ! Well, really, there 
was very little bustle in Wellington on his account 
on the date I write about ; and the banks were 
the only institutions that seemed to hold his 
memory in any special esteem. 

The excursion train was but poorly patronized, 
and, punctually at 10 a.m., we started in most 
inauspicious weather. It rained heavily, and the 
clouds were low, and the air raw and chill. We 
steamed through the mists and driving rain, away 
round the harbour and up the valley of the Hutt, 
past rural farms and rich pastures in the valley, 
and the river at our feet rattling noisily over its 
shingly bars. 

Past Silver Stream, a pretty station, we begin 

K 



1 30 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

to approach the bushy defiles and half-cleared 
flats, where settlement is more scanty and recent 
than in the lower valley. " The forest primeval " 
still holds its own stubbornly here, and only a few 
unsightly patches of slovenly clearing on the hill- 
sides show that the pioneer has begun to make his 
mark. These first rude beginnings of settle- 
ment are so like the schoolboy's first writing 
lessons grim, unsightly blots and thick strokes ! 
Never mind ; the fine penmanship will come in time. 

When we come to the Upper Hutt, the outlook 
under the depressing influence of the dull weather 
is not inspiring. There is a neat little church, 
but that about exhausts the neatness. Farming 
has retrograded here during the last five years. A 
big timber trade was formerly done ; but the forests 
have been denuded, and a wilderness of black 
stumps are all that remain to tell of the former 
bravery of foliage. A wave of dullness has swept 
over the place, and it languishes for the want of 
energetic workers and possibly a good-natured 
banker or two. 

From Kaitoke we have two engines, and make 
a steady ascent through some forest scenery of 
striking beauty. The look back, across the valleys 
and down the wooded glens, is most romantic and 
beautifully diversified. 

At the top of the steep, the Fell engine is 
attached to the train, and takes us down the terrific 
decline to Cross Creek. There is here a raised 
centre rail, and the engine is provided with some 
intricate and ingenious mechanism which grips 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 131 

this centre rail, and so minimizes the danger, and 
gives additional power. I was informed that only 
on the Vesuvius Railway and on one incline on 
the Alps is there such a steep gradient as here, 
and that it is only on these three lines that the 
Fell engine is in use. Not being an engineer I 
cannot vouch for this. 

At all events the Rimutaka gorge is a sight 
which once seen can never be forgotten. Critics 
of the carping sort say that the line should never 
have been brought by this route at all. They 
tell you of two alternate routes of easier grades 
and much more suitable for traffic. All I can 
say is that for the tourist, the Rimutaka line 
offers attractions which are positively enthralling. 
The curves are very abrupt. The pace is rapid 
enough to make standing on the platform dan- 
gerous, as the oscillation is extreme ; but the 
scenery is thrillingly grand. 

The clear, brawling stream dashes along at the 
foot of the embankments, with here and there an 
abutment of logs and gabions stemming its im- 
petuous rush, and diverting the insidious waters 
away from their work of undermining, and over- 
throwing the labours of the engineer. Some of 
the glens are stupendous in their depth. Two 
slender, spidery-looking chain-bridges span the 
stream at two different gorges. The bosky hills 
seem on fire, as the steam and mist curl and 
wreathe their ghost-like fantastic columns aloft 
through the dark canopy of matted creeper and 
dewy fern fronds. 

K 2 



132 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Anon the sun bursts through the driving 
scud, and for an instant the gleam and glitter, 
the sheen and radiance, the play of glowing 
brightness and gloomy shadow, are positively 
bewildering, and superlatives are exhausted in 
the attempt to render any of the faintest concep- 
tion of the absorbing witchery of the fairy 
display. 

Through a long, dark, curved tunnel we dash. 
We spin across the narrow neck named Siberia, 
where at times the wind shrieks like as if all the 
squadrons of the " Prince of the Power of the 
Air" were hurling themselves upon the rugged 
rocks in the attempt to dash them into pieces. 
Great stones hurtle through the air at times. It 
was here that terrible accident took place, when 
the train was lifted bodily from the track by the 
hurricane, and many lives were lost. Since then 
the naked spur has been protected by high, strong 
barricade fences. 

But what a work has this been ! How could 
the surveyors have possibly come down these 
beetling cliffs ? What a wild chaos is here ! 
Crags, cascades, towering heights, and dizzy steeps. 
It beats the western ghats of Bombay for wild 
majesty. 

And the mists ! Those columns of vapour on 
the steep mountain sides. "He but toucheth the 
hills and they do smoke." Look up or down the 
gorge as you will, we seem shut in from the outer 
world as by the fiat of some fell magician, with 
impassable barriers of the wildest rock and forest. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 133 

Ho ! ho ! a beneficent wizard to the rescue. 
See through yonder rift in the hoary glen the 
distant plains of Beulah. The sun blazing on the 
Delectable Mountains beyond, and nearer, the 
gleam and sparkle of a great lake. What a con- 
trast ! Down there a picture such as one dreams 
of when fancy conjures up pictures of the plains 
of Heaven. Behind, looking away up to the 
mountain tops, they are literally hidden in " clouds 
of thick darkness," and so majestic is the whole 
that the mind is overwhelmed with its grandeur 
and sublimity, and quite unfit to analyze it into 
its component parts. 

We descend swiftly now into the famous Wai- 
rarapa Valley. The great lake now takes on a 
muddy hue. It is like an inland sea of dull olive 
green. The dun manuka hills around, and swampy 
flats bordering the lake, seem very tame after the 
majesty of the mountains and solemn grandeur of 
the gorges. 

The Wairarapa Valley is famous for its pastures. 
The centre of the valley is poor land, mostly 
shingle and sand. The lower valley, however, and 
the hollows alongside the hills are very rich. It 
is well populated and dairy farms and factories 
are numerous. The land about the lake wants 
draining. The lake itself is the property of the 
Maoris, and they are agitating now for permission 
to prevent all European interference with their 
riparian rights. 

The towns in the valley are Featherstone, Grey- 
town, Carterton, and Masterton. At Carterton is 



134 O ur New Zealand Cousins. 

an extensive saw-mill employing over two hundred 
hands. 

At Masterton are three flour-mills, and the 
town is bustling and seems thriving. The school 
was undergoing enlargement. There was not a 
house to let in the place, and we noticed several 
new buildings in process of erection. There are 
numerous streams here in which trout-hatching 
has been successful. There is a capital institute 
and reading-room, and an efficient fire-service. 
Ladders are slung in prominent places along the 
main streets, for use in case of fires. They are 
supplied by the different insurance companies. 
This is a good idea surely. 

We had a good lunch at Elkins's Club Hotel, 
and got back in the dark to Wellington about 
seven o'clock, and had our usual comfortable 
and hospitable reception at the Occidental. 

Another celebrity that must be seen in Welling- 
ton is the far-famed Island Bay Hermit. Some 
mystery attaches to this ascetic individual. He 
lives in a miserable, cold, bare cave, lies on the 
bare stones, and, while accepting food or clothes 
from his visitors, rejects all money offerings. 
Herein he differs from his Oriental prototype, the 
Fakeer or Yogi. Possibly the dreary past holds 
its horrid secrets for him. He converses intelli- 
gently enough on current topics. At night occa- 
sionally he comes into one of the newspaper offices 
in town, where he is supplied with mental pabulum 
in the shape of a great bundle of mutilated 
exchanges. Over these he pores, and possibly he 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 135 

may one day astonish the world in the role of a 
new Mahdi, or Peter the Hermit. At present he 
is an object of curiosity with the many, and 
certain \y, with some, an object of pity and kindly 
interest. 

If the visitor wishes to feast his eyes on an exhi- 
bition of perfect good taste and exquisite skill in 
arrangement, let him visit the atelier of that artist 
in arrangement of curios Mr. Kohn, the jeweller, 
on Lambton Quay. Mr. Kohn has a wonderful 
and most complete collection of Maori and Island 
weapons, cloths, and other curios. They are 
arranged round the walls of an upper room, where 
the light streams softly in through stained windows, 
and the courtesy of Mr. Kohn is on a par with his 
good taste. The room is a wonder. It is some- 
thing unique. Dr. Buller has another splendid 
collection of Maori curios which I much regretted 
I was unable to see, although Captain Mair 
had most kindly provided me with a letter of 
introduction to the worthy doctor. 

The museum and botanical gardens, too, are 
worthy a visit. 

Another object of interest, too, I had the good 
fortune to behold, under the guidance of its con- 
structor. This was the Belmont Viaduct, erected 
on the Wellington and Manawatu Railway about 
a mile from Johnston ville, by Mr. Morton Dana- 
her, the contractor, from the design of Mr. H. 
P. Higginson, the engineer to the company. 

The bridge is said to be the highest viaduct, built 
exclusively of timber, in the world. So that Wei- 



136 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

lington boasts the possession of the largest wooden 
building and the highest wooden viaduct, as is 
alleged, which the world contains. 

The viaduct is raised on sixteen concrete base- 
ments. It contains 212,000 superficial feet of 
kauri timber, and there are thirty-five tons of 
wrought iron used up in bolts, nuts, washers, and 
straps alone. At a distance it looks like a gigantic 
web, or the puzzle of a dreaming geometrician. 
It is 170 feet in height, above the stream, and the 
span over the valley is 185 feet. The erection of 
such enormous lengths gave occasion for a display 
of fertility of resource on Mr. Danaher's part which 
is, I think, well worthy of record. It is a sample 
of what is being done, in hundreds of cases, by our 
cousins at the Antipodes to conquer nature, and a 
good illustration of the dogged fight which has to 
be waged before modern civilization can subdue 
the wild forces and primaeval difficulties which 
confront the hardy pioneers of progress in these 
new lands. 

All his sections were built on the ground on the 
side of the hill. The problem was to place them 
in situ without the aid of ruinously expensive 
scaffolding, and, at the same time, without undue 
risk to his workmen. Every log had to be 
laboriously dragged up steep hill-sides, along the 
bed of a mountain stream, and over ground 
which would have daunted the resolution of most 
men. 

How, then, did he manage ? 

Thus. Having built his section on the ground 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 137 

he raised it bodily into its place by a vertical 
lift. 

But how did he get his vertical lift ? Well) that 
was the clever idea ! He sank a tunnel into the 
rock on each side of the valley, and made a T 
shaft in each tunnel, and in this shaft set a huge 
beam. Through the beam he rove a strong wire 
cable, and then hauled it taut across the valley, 
and on it put his blocks and tackle, and thus with- 
out scaffolding raised his structure, section by 
section, and so the wonderful erection rose without 
accident or mischance into being, and now stands 
a marvel of skilful contrivance, and a lasting tribute 
to the resourcefulness and energy of the genial and 
gifted contractor. 

My visit was not wholly engrossed with behold- 
ing the wonders in natural scenery. My tastes lie 
also in viewing the practical, and inspecting the 
industrial. 

So it was that we were glad to avail ourselves of 
an opportunity afforded us of being shown over 
the Gear Meat Preserving and Freezing Company's 
works by the courteous and intelligent superin- 
tendent, Mr. Oldham. 

The Gear Company employs altogether about 
250 hands. They have made arrangements for 
turning out 4,000,000 Ibs. of tinned and preserved 
meats during the coming year. They are turn- 
ing out at present over ten tons daily, and they 
are the only firm, I believe, in Australasia who 
have successfully laid down corned beef in London 
to pass the Admiralty standards at Deptford. 



138 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

The men were engaged putting up Government 
supplies for her Majesty's navy at the time of our 
visit. Considering the nature of the material 
being operated on, the cleanliness of the works 
was wonderful. 

We were first shown into the boning-room, 
where mighty carcases were being stripped with a 
deftness and celerity only begotten of long prac- 
tice. The bones were bundled off to boiling-down 
and glue works outside the town. Some of them 
are used to make rich stock for the soups. 

The second stage is that wherein the flesh is 
put in pickle tanks to extract the superfluous blood. 

Thirdly, it is next blanched by being loaded in 
an iron cage, which is worked up and down by 
machinery, and dipped into boiling water. The 
attendants forking in the huge masses of flesh 
with great steel forks was a new sensation, and 
the forks would have suited " Blunderbore " of 
Jack the Giant-Killer renown to a nicety. 

Fourthly, it was then, after being cut to requi- 
site sizes, filled in hot into the cans, which have 
previously all been made on the premises by a staff 
of experts, and have been scalded in hot water, 
and thoroughly cleansed. 

Fifthly, the cans are next subjected to enor- 
mous pressure, ingeniously applied by a patent 
arrangement of turn-screws at a long table, 
capable of pressing many tins simultaneously. 
Each can has to undergo a pressure of three tons 
to the inch, and the process is a patent of the 
company. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 39 

The tinsmith now (sixthly) fixes the heads of 
the cans in, and solders them down. A small 
orifice is left purposely in the top of each can. 

The cans are now (seventhly) placed in the 
preserving vats in the cooking-room. Here the 
heat was rather tropical, though the smell was 
most appetizing. The lightly-clad workmen, 
with their clean white caps, hurry to and fro, 
bending over the seething, bubbling vats, like 
magicians busy over some magic cauldron. There 
is the purring, piffing, paffing, plop plop, of inces- 
sant ebullition, and the cans in their simmering 
bath, steam away each from its tiny aperture like 
so many independent miniature steam-engines. 
The medium in which they are immersed for half 
their bulk has to be a dense one to keep down 
ebullition and lessen evaporation, and so a mix- 
ture of muriate of lime and fat is used. When 
sufficiently cooked, the orifice in the lid is sol- 
dered up, and the cans are next subjected to a 
further treatment in a bath of a higher tempera- 
ture. Here one or two will occasionally burst 
with a terrific report and to the grievous hurt 
of the attendants. Happily such accidents are 
rare. 

They are then plunged through an orifice into 
a bath of cold water, cleaned, painted, labelled, 
and a neat finish given to the exterior, which at 
last assumes a most attractive guise. 

The tin-room was perhaps the most interesting 
one of the whole factory. The whole work was so 
neatly, cleanly, and expeditiously done that ft 



1 40 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

was a treat to witness the regularity and method 
so apparent in every department. 

But we have lingered too long over our descrip- 
tions and must leave Wellington. One painful 
thing obtruded itself on our observation. We 
saw more drunkenness in Wellington than in any 
city or town in New Zealand. Whether this be 
a permanent or but a passing and transitory phase 
of the social life of this fine town I cannot 
say, but it is the only reproach I feel called on to 
record. 

We saw many deplorable cases of open, brazen- 
faced, flaunting drunkenness, and sad to say not a 
few of the lamentable instances were those of 
really well-dressed, respectable-looking women, 
evidently workmen's wives, probably mothers of 
families. Alas ! alas ! under such circumstances 
is larrikinism to be wondered at ? 



CHAPTER XI. 

Bank's Peninsula Port Lyttelton The changes of twenty 
years A transformation The great tunnel The 
graving work Christchurch, the city of gardens Its 
homelike aspect Hard times Colloquy with a croaker 
The philosophy of the matter "The good time 
coming." 

AFTER Wellington, Port Lyttelton is our next 
halting-place, and memory is busy as it carries me 
back along the eventful line of twenty-one years 
since I landed on its steep and stony strand. 
The view from the steamer is very fine. The 
snowy mountains are the same. The hazy bulk 
of Bank's Peninsula looms ahead as if barring 
our farther progress as it did of yore, but the 
individual Ego, the I, how different ! As the 
morning mist lifts we see the deep light, beyond 
which lies the cathedral city, Christchurch. The 
tall spire is faintly discernible, surrounded by 
other leafy spires of poplar and pine, and tiny 
wreaths of blue smoke rising in spiral columns 
into the grey air of morning. Behind, rise the 
silvery spurs of the snow-clad Alps. They glitter 
like burnished armour in the rosy light. The 
hills and steep braes of the Peninsula are brown 
and bare, but the snow has a homelike look, and 



142 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

seems to gleam with a kindly welcome to the 
returning wanderer. 

Now we near the Heads. Dear me ! How 1 
remember the clustered rigging, thick with immi- 
grants, as we clung to the shrouds and gazed on 
the land we had come so far to see. What 
changes since then ! How many have gone down 
in life's fight and been trampled into the dust of 
forgetfulness. How many are scattered far and 
wide over the earth's circumference, for I have met 
shipmates in far-apart places. How very few 
have weathered all the storms and reached the 
quiet haven of cosy opulence and middle-aged 
leisure. Ah, well ! it is the way of the world, and 
my fight is not by any means over yet. 

The changes in Port Lyttelton are little short of 
phenomenal. What was but a bare harbour, with 
a shingly beach, on which we had to step from 
watermen's boats, which plied between ship and 
shore, is now a magnificent port, with an enormous 
embracing breakwater, with stately wharves on 
massive piles, reticulated with a network of rails, 
along which the busy locomotives snort and steam. 
Trucks laden with produce are propelled merrily 
along. Great sheds line the shores. A big termi- 
nal railway-station skirts the sea-face, where once 
the waves lapped the strand. A noble observatory 
crowns the promontory above. The quarantine- 
station is bright and gay with houses and gardens. 
The town runs its open streets up the steep hill 
and the houses overflow into every nook on the hill- 
sides and jostle each other almost into the water. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 143 

A great area has been reclaimed. Old stone ware- 
houses have been pulled down to make way 
for the railway and locomotive sheds, and a 
blackened, smoky archway, low down near the 
great graving dock, shows me the sea-end of the 
famous tunnel through the towering mountain, 
which Moorhouse projected, and which had 
not long been begun when I arrived in the 
colony. 

Then, Lyttelton was but a little village of 
weather-board huts. Now it is a crowded town 
of gable-ends peeping up in serried rows all over 
the hills. Alas ! the cemetery on the hill is more 
densely peopled now, too, than it was then. 

The tunnel is 2870 yards long, and brings all the 
Canterbury plains into direct touch with the sea. 
The magnificent back-country of New South Wales 
is as yet in a worse plight than the plains of this 
little province. The railway system of Sydney 
practically stops short of the sea by a weary 
gap of two or three miles ; so far at any rate as 
passengers are concerned. What a bitter satire on 
the vaunted wealth and energy and enterprise of 
Sydney blood ! 

The Graving Dock is another achievement of 
which the Canterbury people may well be proud. 
It is over 400 feet in length. In fact we saw the 
fine steamer Kaikora berthed high and dry in 
the dock, getting a new blade put on to her 
screw. The Kaikora is 420 feet on the keel, and 
the dock could have taken a much larger vessel 
than that. 



144 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Dashing through the tunnel, we emerge into 
Heathcote Valley, after five long minutes of 
Cimmerian darkness. For once in my colonial 
life I ride in a clean smoking carriage. It is 
worthy of record, that fact. The spittoons in the 
floor are burnished as bright as a new shilling, and 
the cushions are spick and span. There are tab- 
lets for striking matches ; the atmosphere is sweet. 
The saloon is more like a club smoke-room than 
a railway-carriage. What a contrast to the 
piggeries on N.S.W. railways ! 

Through the valley, the Avon winds amid its 
drooping willows, and on the great plain the city 
spreads its symmetrical streets, and its houses 
embosomed in gardens. 

Christchurch is par excellence the city of gar- 
dens, groves, seminaries, churches, and artesian 
wells. 

Climb the Cathedral spire, by all means, and 
enjoy the view. The Avon winds through the 
town. An outing in one of the dainty pleasure 
skiffs, on its limpid waters, is one of the pleasant 
experiences of the place. From the spire you 
look down on busy streets stretching from a 
common centre, and each one as it nears the 
circular town belt loses itself amid villas and 
gardens and poplar groves. Such a rus in urbe is 
surely unique. Over the Avon are groups of 
quaint old-world-looking buildings. Some are 
built of a dark-blue stone some of a warm red 
brick ; but all seem fragrant with old memories and 
hallowed with the sanctities of studious life. They 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 145 

suggest cloisters, quadrangles, libraries, groups of 
grey professors, and throngs of grave-lipped 
students. 

There are old ivy-covered churches, too, that 
seem to have been picked out of old English 
towns and dropped down here. Yonder is an old 
belfry tower, weather grey and lichen-covered. 
Surely it has been transported bodily from some 
corner of Lichfield or York. 

The schools and colleges are thickly scattered 
over the flat beyond the river. I remember when 
it was a wilderness of marshy sedge tussocks and 
flax-bushes. Now the architectural triumphs 
would do credit to any cathedral city at home. 

The Museum, under the able curatorship of 
Dr. Julius von Haast, ranks as the finest in 
all Australia. Indeed, the collection in some 
respects is not inferior to that of any European 
capital. 

The Botanic Gardens and Park are exquisitely 
laid out, and set off by the silvery, ribbon-like Avon, 
which purls gently along, meandering through the 
groves and ornamental lawns. 

The ocean bounds the view on one side, and far 
away, verging the plain, the snowy Alps fringe 
the picture with their glistening crests of spotless 
white on the other. 

It is a beautiful panorama. One could easily 
fancy himself back in the old country. But the 
sights are soon exhausted, and the flatness is apt 
to become "just a leetle monotonous." 

Warner's Commercial Hotel, in the Cathedral 

L 



1 46 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Square, was our caravanserai. No home could 
have been more comfortable and no host more 
hospitable. Warner is a host in himself, and his 
gentle-mannered nieces do the honours of his house 
with a grace and geniality that makes one feel 
sorry to leave the home-like atmosphere of the place. 

The autumn winds, too, had swept the leaves 
from the deciduous trees, of which there are more 
here than in any New Zealand town ; and the 
bare branches added to the English look of the 
place. Altogether Christchurch is the most 
English-looking town we have yet seen at the 
Antipodes ; and, as it was the object of the fathers 
who founded the settlement, to transplant a slice 
of England bodily into their new garden ground, 
they are to be congratulated on having so success- 
fully accomplished their purpose. 

Notwithstanding the prevailing cry of dull times, 
the streets were thronged with cosily-clad and 
well-fed crowds ; the shops were full of customers ; 
the theatre was well patronized ; and a general 
well-to-do air was apparent everywhere. 

I only found one croaker. He complained bit- 
terly of the bad times ; but when I asked him 
where lay the blame, he was rather hazy as to how 
to allocate it. 

" Was it the Government ? " 

" Well, no ! He believed they were doing their 
best. Of course there used to be more public 
works going on ; but then these were finished, and 
no Government could always be putting up public 
buildings." 



Our New Zealand Cousins, 147 

Was it the banks ? " 

" No, he didn't know much about banks, but he 
believed they was pretty liberal, too/' 

" Was it employers ? " 

" Well, no. They were just as bad off as any 
one else." 

" Would he like to go back to the old country ? " 

" No fear," very energetically. " Times was 
bad, no doubt ; but, Lor' bless ye, they wasn't any- 
thing like as bad as they was at home." 

And so, boiled down, it all came to this Times 
were bad. That must be true, because everybody 
said so. But how bad were they ? Men had fair 
wages, comfortable homes, were well clad, well fed, 
could afford tobacco, and other little luxuries, and 
yet and yet, they were not happy. 

The fact is, as it seems to me, just about this. 
People were too extravagant while the good times 
lasted. Fat contracts and big public works cannot 
last for ever. Even big reckless loans must have 
an end. The period for payment of interest comes 
round with unerring regularity. The time must 
come when steady industry must apply itself to 
reproductive works. Lands must be tilled, and 
ploughing is not so showy as tunnelling and bridge- 
building. Grasses and cereals must be sown, but 
returns are slower than from big contracts. " While 
the dollars roll in let us spend them. Sufficient 
for the day is the evil thereof." Such seems to me 
to be the general philosophy of these recurring 
hard times. When wages are high and work 
plentiful, the fat kine are slaughtered and eaten 
L 2 



1 48 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

right off, rump and stump ; and not even a scrap 
is salted down to eke out the scanty fare that must 
inevitably follow, when the evil days of the lean 
kine come upon us. 

I believe that while there is a certain amount of 
depression in New Zealand at present, it is but 
temporary. The resources of the country are only 
in the birth throes of their exploitation. Well for 
all concerned if the lessons of thrift, self-denial, 
frugality, and the necessity for hard continuous 
effort, be learned now, from a temporary depression, 
than from the dry rot and stagnation of a wide- 
spread national deterioration and exhaustion. 

Christchurch has stirring times, and a bright busy 
future before it yet, beyond a doubt, else the Anglo- 
Saxon is played out, and there is no more virtue in 
beef, wool, and grain. So long as grass grows and 
water flows, and industry merits success, so long 
will Canterbury flourish, and the cry of bad times 
from lazy croakers will have as much effect as the 
idle wind that wastes its energies on the sands of 
the desert. 



149 



CHAPTER XII. 

The majesty of the mountains The great Canterbury Plains 
Ashburton, a city of the plains Then and now 
The Rangitata River Progress of settlement Timaru 
The surf The olden time The city of to-day A 
triumph of engineering skill The giant mole Its con- 
struction The engineer's description of the work An 
old chum " Once a mate always a mate '' Calling the 
roll A vivid contrast. 

ON a bitterly cold morning, and under a dense 
heavy pall of leaden cloud, we start on our journey 
across the great Canterbury Plains towards Timaru 
and Dunedin. 

The plains are composed chiefly of shingle, with 
a scant herbage of tussock grass. Here and there, 
alongside the line, are young plantations of English 
oak and Australian blue gum. Stubble fields, 
hedged in by long rows of gorse, stretch away on 
either hand for miles. Already (May) the winter 
ploughing has begun in places. The majestic 
range of the snowy Alps bounds the great plain to 
the right. What a burnished splendour ! what a 
dazzling glory ! as the sun bursts through the pall 
of cloud ! Could anything be more beautiful than 
these eternal solitudes of snow ? The absolute 
purity peace rest. What an emblem of the 
soul's repose after purification from life's mire and 
unrest ! The rattle of the train hurts and jars. It 



1 50 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

is so incongruous with that pure holy majesty of 
the pinnacled snow. Little wonder that moun- 
taineers are generally reverent and religious. 

Now we cross the rapid Rakaia over a very long 
wooden bridge. At every country town in the 
South Island among the most prominent features 
are the great granaries and stores of the New Zea- 
land Loan and Mercantile Agency Company. 
They seem to be ubiquitous. The company 
provide weighbridges and platforms for their cus- 
tomers at all the large stations free of charge. 
The neat churches, too, are a constant feature. 
Here is a malthouse ; there a flour or saw-mill- 
Here again is a granary ; there is a woolshed. 
Seed-cleaning machinery is of frequent occurrence ; 
so too are steam ploughs, traction engines, reaping 
machines. Indeed, all the most modern forms of 
agricultural labour-saving appliances are common 
sights. The faces we see are ruddy and fresh and 
brimful of intelligence. Corn-ricks and farmhouses 
stud the plains. 

Through the Rakaia Gorge we get a peep beyond 
the snowy barrier into the inner mountainous 
country. The gorge discloses ever a grander 
succession of snowy peaks and glistening glaciers. 
A region untrodden by human foot, and sacred to 
the sway of nature's mightiest activities. It is a 
sealed workshop, where Titanic forces are cease- 
lessly at play. 

Now, far ahead, the white buildings of Ashburton 
gleam in the sun. It is verily a City of the Plains. 
We find it a busy, thriving centre of a populous 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 5 1 

farming district. There are numerous plantations 
of blue gum, and the town itself is very scattered 
and rural-looking. Poplars are prominent; and, 
indeed, this regard to tree adornment is a very 
pleasing feature of all New Zealand towns. Would 
it were so in New South Wales. 

Twenty years ago I rode through Ashburton. 
It was then a bullock-teamster's camp. There 
was a " bush pub." and a blacksmith's shop and a 
police hut. These constituted the township then. 

Now, look around ! See the tall brick chimneys, 
the gas-works, the wide streets well lined with 
spacious shops and public buildings, hotels, 
churches, institutes, and even a theatre. Hand- 
somely laid-out reserves and well-wooded parks, 
enormous wool and grain stores, coach factories, 
wool factories, butter and cheese factories ; public 
library. I may well rub my eyes ! It seems all a 
dream to me, that memory of the lumbering bullock 
team, ploughing its weary way over shifting shingle 
and through boggy hollows. 

Across the sprawling river, where many a foot- 
sore bullock has been swept down to sea in the 
gone-by times ; and many a swagsman has found 
a watery grave ; we now spin gaily along over 
another very long wooden bridge past gardens, 
nurseries, farms, plantations, hay-ricks, and thresh- 
ing-mills, we dash. Mile after mile is left behind, 
till at Ealing, some seventy miles from Christ- 
church, we dip towards the bed of the fierce Ran- 
gitata, which we cross by another of the charac 
teristic timber viaducts. The milky water, 



152 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

treacherous and swift, comes dashing down from its 
snowy source amid the glaciers, carrying its rolling 
burden of shingle with it. The bridge is protected 
by flanking buttresses running up stream. These 
are simply wooden coffer-dams filled with shingle 
and boulders. What a wild waste of shingle bars 
and drifted wrack fills the valley ! The stream 
runs now in myriads of silvery threads ; but in 
flood-time what a mad surging rush of foaming 
water is here ! It is then fully two miles across 
and resistless in its might. 

The snowy peaks are now shrouding themselves 
in misty mantles, as if to protect their hoarded 
crystals from the Sun-god's seductive touch. The 
plains below are bathed in sunshine, but far out to 
seaward, Heaven's murky battalions are gathering, 
and the air is hushed and still, as if presaging an 
impending storm. 

At Orari, with its snug farms, and belts of plan- 
tations, the train disgorges a vulture-like crowd of 
betting-men. A little ramshackle erection, which 
local pride has dignified with the title of grand 
stand, decorated with bits of bunting, sufficiently 
discloses the attraction which has brought the 
jackals hither. 

Betting and gambling blights the kingly sport 
here, as it does so much all over the colonies. 
The degrading influence of the betting-ring lowers 
the moral tone of the country, and vast sums are 
withdrawn from legitimate uses to keep in luxury 
a set of unscrupulous parasites who batten on 
industry and clog the wheels of healthy progress. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 153 

On we hurry through a splendid farming dis- 
trict. Past Winchester, with its neat villas and 
trim gardens ; past Temuka, with its handsome 
white-spired church and Gothic schools, its well- 
stocked farms and plethoric corn-yards ; past 
Arowhenua, with its Maori village, and another 
mountain stream brawling over its bed of shingle. 
On, with accelerated speed, through magnificently 
cu Itivated farms, rich swaths of stubble, and ample 
evidences on every hand of rural wealth and thriv- 
ing settlement. I have rounded sheep over every 
mile of this country in the olden time, when there 
was little else but flax, raupo, tussock, wild pig, 
and unbroken ground. Verily the times have 
changed and happily. Men are surely better 
than wild pig, and smiling farms than lonely- 
shepherds' huts. 

I am fairly lost in delighted wonder, and we are 
glad when the train rolls into Timaru, and we get 
housed in the comfortable Grosvenor Hotel, and 
find time to draw breath, and try to realize the in- 
finite alterations which have taken place in twenty 
years of busy colonial life. 

****** 

Time has indeed made many changes here. 
When I last visited Timaru, I sailed up from Lyt- 
telton, in a small coasting tub of a steamer. 
There was a terrific ground swell off the open 
beach of shingle, and the breakers rolled their 
curling crests landwards with a roar and crash like 
thunder. All landing, both cargo and passengers, 
was done in huge unwieldy surf-boats. And it 



1 54 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

was a very rare experience, indeed, to get ashore 
with a dry skin. The boats big and heavy as 
they were were not unfrequently tossed aloft like 
chips, and sent rolling up on the shingle, bottom 
upward like so much driftwood. Lives were not 
unfrequently lost and goods often sacrificed. 

The village boasted then of only a few shops, one 
or two warehouses along the beach, and less 
than half a dozen inferior hotels. The Timarn 
Herald of that date was published in a very 
small weatherboard hut, quite detached, and 
perched on a waste hillock overlooking the ocean. 
The very hill itself has now disappeared, to make 
room for the railway, and the Herald is much 
more suitably housed. At that time the streets 
were fearfully and wonderfully made. Bullock 
teams might be stuck up in the main streets until 
the townspeople came to the assistance of the 
teamster to dig them out. All the houses were 
of wood, and were set down very much at random. 
When the annual races were held, the young bloods 
and station hands " from all the region round 
about," " The boys " from the Mackenzie country, 
the sawyers from the Waimate, the half-breeds 
and " cockatoos " from Temuka and the Arowhenua 
Bush, and all the " flotsam and jetsam " from every 
accommodation-house within a radius of fifty miles 
used to come into town, and for a lively week or 
two high saturnalia used to be held. 

At that time Timaru had the reputation of 
being the fastest, most racketty, riotous township 
in the South Island. Verily, I could a tale disclose 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 155 

of some of the mad, harebrained escapades of " the 
boys " that would scarcely be believed in these 
more prosaic, steady-paced, and orderly latter- 
days. It certainly was a rough time, and a rough 
place then. But now, how changed ! 

Timaru has grown into a city. Solid blocks of 
stately shops, warehouses, and offices now line the 
principal streets. The hotels are quite up to 
metropolitan form. The very hills, as I have said, 
have been levelled, and stately churches, a theatre, 
convent, schools, banks, mills, a massive post and 
telegraph office, and countless cosy homes and 
handsome villas now stud the slopes where I have 
erstwhile seen the peaceful sheep quietly browsing 
among the tussocks. 

When I first recollect the place, the post- 
mistress has been heard to say to the young 
telegraph clerk : " I hear you had a telegram 
through this afternoon ; why didn't you tell me ? " 
Yes, in the primitive time the advent of a telegram 
was quite an incident. Now in the palatial post- 
office the service is conducted by an army of clerks 
and messengers. The hospital is really a magni- 
ficent stone building, and second to none I have 
yet seen in the colony. A great part of the bleak 
hill, on which stood the Royal Hotel, has been 
cut away to form the railway-station and shunt- 
ing-yards, and quite, a large area has been re- 
claimed from the relentless surf. 

Now, had any one twenty years ago told me 
that those shifting masses of shingle, those 
travelling acres of rattling roaring boulders 



156 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

could be arrested, and that the fury of those 
terrific surges and angry waves could be tamed, 
I would have laughed the idea to scorn as the 
vain imagining of a foolish visionary. And yet 
the seemingly impossible has been accomplished. 

Timaru, owing to the genius and skill of Mr. 
Goodall, her harbour engineer, can now lay claim 
to being a safe port, and big steamers and stately 
ships can lie close alongside her wharves and dis- 
charge their passengers and cargo in ease and 
safety. How has this been accomplished ? 

If we saunter down to the beach and look 
around at the massive blocks of concrete, we will 
see how the fury of the angry surf has been defied, 
and how man's genius and perseverance has com- 
pletely conquered some of the mightiest forces in 
nature. 

The long-reaching pier, or breakwater, is indeed 
a triumph of constructive skill. The problem of 
forming a secure harbour on the face of an open 
coast, is difficult in any case ; but when to the 
usual difficulties have to be added 

" The long wash of Australasian seas," 

as the billows of the Pacific come thundering in on 
the strand of shifting shingle, which makes the 
New Zealand coast one of the most baffling and 
unpromising sites in the world for engineering 
operations, the immense arduousness of the task 
which Mr. Goodall had before him, will be recog- 
nized at a glance. Does it not say much for 
the energy and pluck and public spirit of the 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 157 

community which had set its heart on having a 
secure harbour, in defiance of shingly drift, and 
roaring surf, and all the antagonism of wind and 
wave and treacherous coast combined ? Verily, 
the lesson of such courage, and resolution, and 
inventive resource might well be applied by more 
highly favoured communities nearer home. 

Fortunately, material for the manufacture of 
concrete blocks was plentiful and handy. The 
shingle was forced to become the instrument of its 
own subjection. Vast wooden tanks were formed 
along the beach, and cement and shingle were 
shovelled into these, and in time the embracing 
wood was knocked asunder, and giant blocks of 
concrete stood revealed. Some of these weighed 
upward of thirty tons. An enormous travelling 
crane was then moved up, and the block was 
gripped in its Titanic clutch, and slowly carried 
outwards and dropped into its assigned position. 
The whole was then cemented together by more 
concrete. In vain might the angry surges dash 
against that callous mass. In vain might the 
shifting shingle with a snaky hiss, seethe and toss 
around the unyielding block. Bit by bit the solid 
rampart grew, side by side the mighty blocks 
showed a firm immovable front to the baffled 
waves. It boots not to tell of the numberless con- 
trivances brought to bear on the task by the 
cunning skill of the engineer. Amid interruptions 
and partial breaks and a ceaseless war with the 
forces of nature, that properly viewed, completely 
eclipses the fabled battles of classic mythology, 



158 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

the good work went steadily on ; and now, after 
the lapse of so many years, as I stood on the 
broad massive immovable rampart, listening to the 
hungry surge as it rushed impotently against the 
majestic buttress of the protecting pier as I saw 
the sheltered ships idly rocking in calm security, 
and remembered the surf-boats and tossing cockle- 
shell of a steamer of the former times I felt 
indeed that here was a triumph worthy of the age 
a prodigy of beneficent achievement that sheds 
a lustre on the name of humanity. 

Mr. Goodall, in his own modest way, thus writes 
me regarding the great work which will henceforth 
be associated with his name : 

" It had always been the wish of many of the 
leading residents of Timaru and neighbourhood 
to construct a safe harbour for Timaru, the 
hindrance to which seemed to be in the great force 
of the waves and the large quantity of shingle 
travelling on the coast. An experimental groin 
was constructed by Mr. Balfour, and reports were 
obtained from many leading English and colonial 
engineers. The experimental work was first buried 
in shingle, then washed away shortly after it was 
constructed ; and the reports of the engineers were 
directly opposed to building a solid structure from 
the shore. The Harbour Board were not satisfied, 
and, as a last resource, called for competitive plans 
for a. harbour scheme. That of the present writer 
was chosen, and was approved of by a Government 
commission. This scheme proposed to construct 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 159 

a solid breakwater of concrete blocks thirty-six 
feet wide, reaching to half-tide in height ; then 
capped with a monolithic concrete block of 
about five hundred tons in weight. This wall 
was to extend to about 1000 feet from low water- 
mark in a north-east direction, and then turn in 
a northerly direction 700 feet or 800 feet ; 
it was to be six feet above high water spring 
tides, and would have twenty feet of water at 
spring low tides at the extremity. The work was 
started and succeeded, withstood the force of the 
waves, and was not swallowed up by the travelling 
shingle, which was swept back by the backwash of 
the waves. This backwash is caused by the reflec- 
tion of the waves from the face of the mole ; it 
sweeps back the approaching shingle, or retards its 
advance, and by its action the shingle line adjacent 
to the breakwater has been stationary for the last 
four years. When the works were carried out 
1000 feet, its success was so self-evident that the 
Harbour Board determined to extend the mole 
another 400 feet, and the cant to the north to 200 
feet, and also to strengthen the section. It is also 
proposed to build a mole from the shore on the 
north towards the extremity of the cant, and so 
produce a nearly enclosed harbour. The area of 
this harbour will be 180 acres, and when completed, 
will be perfect and commodious. Now, although 
only a small portion of the cant has been built, 
along with the straight mole from the shore, ac- 
commodation gained is already invaluable. Vessels 
of 1000 tons can anchor to the lee of the break- 



i6o Our New Zealand Cousins. 

water in perfect safety, can also come alongside 
the wharf attached to the breakwater, and load and 
unload with perfect ease and great dispatch, even 
when there is a heavy sea running and breaking 
over the breakwater. All this has not been ob- 
tained without some trouble, for at times the angry 
seas have knocked about the concrete blocks as if 
they were of wood, and on one occasion threw 
down 100 feet in length of the mole, distributing 
the blocks over the bottom to forty feet from the 
line of works. This portion of the work had not 
been capped with the monolithic block, which 
would have bound all together. It is notable 
in this work that whatever has been finished with 
the coping, has in no instance ever given way or 
subsided, in spite of the many violent seas that are 
so prevalent. The concrete blocks used, weigh 
about thirty tons each, and are placed in position 
with perfect ease and expedition by a large travel- 
ling steam crane that has been tested to forty-five 
tons. This crane weighs 120 tons, and is worked 
by one man. There are two of these cranes in the 
works. They were both manufactured in the 
colony. 

The works will cost, when the present contract 
is completed, extending over 180 feet further, 
210,000!. The Board are applying to Parliament 
for another loan, ioo,ooo/., for prosecuting the 
works ; but this will not complete the works as 
designed. 

The success of this work has tempted Napier, in 
the North Island, to try a similar scheme, the con- 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 161 

ditions of sea and travelling shingle in the two 
coasts being almost identical. During last session 
of Parliament, powers were obtained for 3OO,ooo/. 
for the works, and a start has already been 
made." 

*r ^K 5|C 5fC 3jC 3fC 

To resume my personal narrative. 

At fitful intervals during my world-wide wander- 
ings, I had now and again heard a scrap of news 
about some of my old companions of the long ago 
Timaru life. Of the kindly group which used to 
sit round the table in the old station, in the 
peaceful and prosperous squatting days, how many 
had gone down under the waters of oblivion. Of 
the rollicking old hands that used to applaud my 
songs in the vast shadowy woolshed, when the 
busy day was at an end, and the flickering light 
from tallow pots with some blazing rags in them, 
cast a Rembrandt-like glare on the swarthy faces 
around, how many had " pegged out " in the game 
of life ! How few survived ! Thus I pondered as 
I idly strolled down the street, when suddenly I 
bethought me that one of the old station hands 
had found an anchorage in Timaru, and was now 
reported to be a wealthy burgess and a well-to-do 
livery-stable keeper. 

Away then I hurried to King's stables. There 
sure enough, with, I could almost have sworn, the 
same Glengarry cap, though hair and whiskers 
were now frosted and grizzled there stood old 
Jim King, the " orra man" of the station in my 
younger days. Jim was a douce shrewd plough- 

M 



1 62 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

man from, I think, Donside, and many a day he 
and I had pushed and pulled the heavy cross-cut 
saw, or wielded axe and maul together in the 
Otaio bush in the olden days. 

Jim's astonishment when I greeted him by 
name was very amusing. He did not recognize 
me ; but remembered me when I asked after the 
young cadet he had known so long ago. My 
interview with poor Jim was worth all the pil- 
grimage, and before I left Timaru he brought 
most of the surviving friends of my early days 
to see me. 

Ah me ! these meetings in after life ; are they 
not full of pathos ? What a record of deaths and 
failures, as we call up the muster roll which 
memory suggests. 

How essentially colonial, too, these chance 
meetings. How quickly the comradeship is 
formed. How soon, may be, to be sundered, and 
yet " once a mate always a mate " in the colonies. 
We had not seen each other for over twenty 
years, and yet the old bush, the wool-shed, the 
whare, with its idle group of Crimean-shirted, 
black-bearded stockmen, shepherds, bullock-pun- 
cher, horse-breakers, fencers, and general rouse- 
abouts, as they used to muster on the quiet Sunday, 
all came back to us ; and as naturally, as if no 
time had since elapsed, big with changes to both 
of us, we reverted to the old days ; and long- 
forgotten names and incidents came to our lips, 
as eager query and rejoinder passed between us. 

" Old Donald ; you remember him ? " 



. O^tr New Zealand Cousins. 1 63 

" Oh, man ; poor old beggar, he's still alive ; 
but over eighty. Living with so-and-so." 

"And old Jack, the bullock-driver?" 

" Oh, he went to the diggings. I lost sight of 
him." 

" And George A ? " 

" Went to Australia. I hear from him occa- 
sionally." 

" What became of Harry ? " 

" Man ; he went all to the bad. Broke his neck 
one night coming home from a spree." 

And so we called the roll. Some were drowned. 
Some lost sight of. Very, very few had been 
prosperous. Many were dead. Some had left 
the country. How strange it all seemed to recall 
the past, and for the moment feel as if all the 
busy years had not been, and that we were shapely, 
active youngsters once again. 

Alas ! I saw that poor Jim was a cripple on 
one leg from a fall, and he surveyed the uncom- 
promising rotundity of my substantial middle age, 
and we felt that 

Limbs grow auld, and hair grows grey, 
However young the heart may be. 

There is good hunting round about Timaru. 
Three packs of beagles are kept. The hares are 
enormous in size, and the jumping is good. There 
are a fine set of hearty fellows in the Timaru 
district ; and, for a change from the sweltering 
heat of New South Wales in summer time, a month 
or two's residence in Timaru would be delightful. 
M 2 



1 64 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

In a street leading up from the post-office is a 
monolith, which is sure to be pointed out to the 
visitor. It is commemorative of a gallant act of 
British daring and generous self-sacrifice, and is 
worthy to be recorded. On the tablets, which face 
three sides of the pillar, you read 

This Monument 
is raised to commemorate the generous 

and noble self-sacrifice of those who 
gladly encountered the peril of death in the 

heroic endeavour to save their 

fellow-men on Sunday, the I4th May, 1882, 

when the City of Perth and the Ben-venue 

were wrecked at Timaru. 
" Greater love hath no man than this 
That a man lay down his life for his friends." 

From the other tablets one learns that nine of 
the noble, self-sacrificing band perished, including 
Mills, the harbour-master, and Blacklock and 
Gardener, first and second mates of the City of 
Perth. 

Timaru altogether was an intense surprise to 
me. I could scarcely realize the changes. The 
village had become a city. Nothing more 
forcibly brought home to me the marvellous 
progression of the age in which we live, and 
the resistless vitality and boundless resources of 
our race. 

And what a contrast to turn from the throng- 
ing streets, the crowded pier, the hum of commerce, 
and din of busy industries, and lift one's eyes 
to the calm white crests of the Eternal Hills. 
There they stood, ever the same, solemn and 
majestic in their changelessness. They blazed 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 165 

up their burnished pinnacles like pyres of flame 
in the still air, amid their drapery of mists, and 
trailing wreaths of cloudlets, and the intense vivid- 
ness of their immaculate whiteness, is the memory 
of Timaru that is now most indelibly fixed on my 
mind. 



1 66 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

" The old order changed " A fine farming country A 
literary pedlar Otago scenery Wealth of water The 
Clutha country A colonial manse The minister's lot a 
hard one Kindly relations between pastor and people 
Tree-planting Slovenly fanning An angler's para- 
dise Gore township The Waimea Valley A night 
ride. 

WE started from Timaru on a bright sunny day, 
and passed first through a magnificent farming 
district. Ploughing was being actively pursued, 
and myriads of friendly gulls were following the 
plough, and finding fat delicacies in the upturned 
furrows. My eye follows the old track, along 
which I have galloped " many a time and oft," 
astride " the old chestnut," in the golden days of 
my youth. At that time there were only two 
houses between "the head station " and the town. 
Now, villages, hamlets, and farms stud the country- 
side as thick as blackberries. The fight was just 
beginning then, " Sheep v. Settlers," and sheep 
have lost the day. Settlement here is most 
complete, and the evidences of rural wealth are 
everywhere abundant. 

At Makikiki, for instance, I find a snug village. 
A steam threshing-machine is at work in a field 
close to the railway station, and as far as the eye 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 167 

can reach, it follows farm after farm, and takes in 
cottages, corn-ricks, trim plantations, hedge-rows, 
and busy ploughing teams in its comprehensive 
survey. 

When I was last here, Makikiki was purely a 
flax swamp, with not a human habitation within 
miles of it ; and it was only famous as being a 
grand shooting ground for ducks. 

Waimate too ! I remember when there was but 
the home station here, one " bush pub.," and 
forge, and a few sawyers' huts. Now the dense 
bush has all been cut away. Waimate is the 
terminus of a branch railway, and can boast 
stores, hotels, and buildings equal to most country 
towns verily " the former things have passed 
away, and lo, now all things have become new." 

We cross the Waitaki, one of the snow-fed 
rivers, by another lengthy bridge, and I recall to 
my mind the old punt which used to convey 
passengers precariously across in the olden time. 
Oamaru presents the same amphitheatre of grassy 
knolls, but the tussocks on the heights are gone. 
Villas and gardens have taken their place. The 
town looks gay and lively, the white stone giving 
it quite a palatial look. What enormous stores ! 
What mills ! woollen factory ! cheese factory ! 
saw mills ! &c. In fact, a repetition of Timaru. 
Another breakwater in the bay. All this since I 
was here last. 

Ascending the steep incline, we emerge upon 
a succession of broken, tumbled slopes. Grand 
farms here. The farmers are lifting their potatoes 



1 68 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

and the long rows of well-filled sacks testify to the 
fertility of the soil. We pass the famous quarries 
of white stone, and looking over the surrounding 
country, can see numerous evidences of volcanic 
action in the circular mounds which stud the land- 
scape. Sites of extinct fumaroles and geysers 
these. 

Away to the left the Pacific reflects the rays of 
the afternoon sun. Moeraki Lighthouse glistens 
in the warm light, and the sheen sparkles on lovely 
bays, and glistens along the wavy line of great 
curling breakers on the beach. 

Yonder is Shag Point jutting out into deep 
water. There is a colliery at work at the extreme 
verge of the headland. Otago is rich in minerals, 
and her coalfields are important and extensive. 

Palmerston is a pretty town in a hollow, sur- 
rounded by hills, low and undulating. The Salva- 
tion Army has been doing a great work here. 
The leaders were two lasses, and they have 
succeeded in enlisting a large following, and have 
shut up several hotels. So we are informed by a 
polite, though pale young gentleman, who makes 
himself very pleasant, gives us much unsolicited 
information, and winds up by wanting to sell us a 
few celluloid cuffs and collars. 

In self-sacrificing gratitude, we pass him on to a 
burly farmer, who eventually, on our recommenda- 
tion, purchases a set, and doubtless made a very 
good bargain. This peripatetic peddling we find 
to be a feature of the railways here. The pedlar is 
generally employed by the leading newspapers to 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 169 

secure lists of passengers and odd items of news ; 
but he will sell you books, periodicals, refresh- 
ments, wild ducks, and other game shot by himself, 
and, as in this case, celluloid collars and cuffs. I 
daresay the young gentleman would have insured 
our lives, or taken our portraits had we been so 
disposed ; and he possibly would have been able to 
arrange for our funerals in case of an accident. 
We live and learn. Literature, commerce, and 
sport, here go hand in hand. 

At Puketeraki there is a small native settlement 
of about fifty adults, and here we pass the first 
native bush we have seen to-day. This is one of 
the very few remaining native settlements in Otago. 
There are only now some six or eight families. 
" How are the mighty fallen !" No more war 
dances and freebooting forays, ending with a canni- 
bal feast nowadays. The men farm a little now, 
and subsist on the keep of a few sheep. " 

We are now nearing Dunedin. Through the 
gathering gloom we can see the white gleam of 
curling breakers on the cliffs beneath us. We are 
dashing along at a breakneck pace above the 
moaning sea, midway up the cliffy heights. The 
scenery here, we are told, is very grand and awe- 
inspiring. We can well believe it, but alas for 
the veil of darkness which hides each charm from 
view. Soon we see the motley heights of Port 
Chalmers ; anon, the long serried rows of lamp 
lights in the steep streets of the great city itself. 
They look like the watch-fires of a great army, 
bivouacking among the hills. The train rolls into 



i /o Our New Zealand Cousins. 

the station. We are in Dunedin. Hey ! for the 
comforts and luxuries of the Grand Hotel ; and, 
as we are very tired, we hurry off to bed. Dunedin 
is worthy of a chapter to itself, and we will not 
pause now, but continue our trip to the lakes, and 
return to Dunedin later on. 

****** 

Leaving the straggling station, the city opens 
out towards the sea, at Ocean Beach. A great 
flat of reclaimed land is here being rapidly built 
upon, and at Cavcrsham there are many good shops, 
and nice houses. 

Forbury Fort, one of the new defences, is rapidly 
approaching completion, and will protect the city 
from any bombardment by a hostile cruiser sea- 
ward. Above the fort the most prominent 
landmark is the stately mansion of Mr. E. B. 
Cargill, whose father was one of the pioneers of 
Otago, and founders of Dunedin. A monument 
to his memory graces the great space in the 
centre of the city. We dash rapidly, with a shrill 
scream from the engine, through a long tunnel, 
and on the farther side come in view of the 
numerous buildings of the New Zealand Drug 
and Chemical Works. The country around con- 
sists of open grassy downs, and at the foot of a 
high conical wooded hill nestles the neat little 
village of Burnside. It is a typical Otago village. 
There is a very pretty church, a large tannery, 
a fellmongery, a wool mill, with its long flume 
or water-race on high trestles, carrying water 
to the noisy, sparkling wheel. All the valleys 



Our New Zealand Cousins. i 7 1 

and slopes around are dotted with bright 
houses. A sluggish creek meanders through the 
marshy reaches of the lower valley, broadening 
as it goes, till near the beach it widens into 
a lake, which gleams like silver in the morning 
rays. 

Another long tunnel leads us now into a richly 
cultivated valley with numerous farms, the thin 
scraping of snow on the low-lying hills betokening 
that winter is at hand. 

In this valley lies Mossgiel. Its tweed factory 
is favourably known all over Australasia, and the 
products of its looms have achieved a reputation 
for excellence, equal in its way to those of the 
famous West of England fabrics. Beyond the tidy 
trim-looking village rise bold hills, white with 
their winter vestments. The whole scene, with its 
snug farms, peaceful herds, clean-cut stubble, trim 
hedge-rows, and smiling village in the plain, and 
the white solitary grandeur of the lone silent 
mountains beyond, affords one of those sharp en- 
joyable contrasts which are so characteristic of 
New Zealand scenery. 

As we move still further south, evidences of the 
abnormal rigour of an exceptionally early and 
severe snowstorm are everywhere apparent. The 
valleys are all flooded. Shattered trees with 
broken branches cumbering the ground, give the 
orchards a mournful look. The very flax and raupo 
clumps have been broken and flattened, and in 
many straths the stooks are rotting in the sodden 
fields. And this is only the early part of May. 



172 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Now we skirt Lake Waihola, generally a clear 
shallow bed of water, averaging a depth of about 
twelve feet. It is now muddy and turbid, and 
swollen with the floods from a branch of the Taieri 
River, which flows into it. A piercing wind comes 
whistling over the Taieri plains, and lashes the lake 
into mimic mountains. 

Oh, could I but transport this wealth of water to 
poor drought-smitten Australia. " Water, water, 
everywhere " here. Lakes, streams, standing pools. 
Great shallow meres, with crowds of wild ducks, 
stocks standing in water in many of the fields. 
The bare brown hills, and cheerless stubbles, all 
dank and sodden with the plashing rain. All the 
noses in the carriages are blue. Our feet feel like 
lead, and it is very hard, indeed, to resist the de- 
pressing influence of the cold. 

At and about Stirling there is a lakelet in every 
hollow, and the snow is lying very low down on 
the hills. Near by, at Kaitangata, there are some 
rather famous coal-mines, which are being vigor- 
ously opened out and worked. 

We are now in the Clutha district. All the 
settlers are Scotch here, with but a few excep- 
tions. They are deep-chested, big-headed, ruddy- 
faced people. Kindly hearted and keenly intelli- 
gent, they are the right stamp of men to found a 
noble nation. 

The Clutha country is prettily diversified and 
more wooded than the long ranges of dun hills 
and undulating slopes we have been passing 
hitherto. The Clutha River is a broad stream, 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 73 

swift and brown with flood. The town of Bal- 
clutha is unhappily situated on a flat, which is 
liable to inundations from the river. Four years 
ago the bridge was washed away. The churches 
are very ornamental, and form a noticeable fea- 
ture here, as indeed they do in every settlement 
in Otago. The early fathers evidently did " not 
forsake the assembling of themselves together as 
the manner of some is." 

A few more miles, and we alight at a quiet little 
wayside station, where we are hospitably met by 
the minister of the parish, a younger brother, 
whom I have not seen for several years. We are 
soon snugly ensconced in the cosy little country 
manse, and the evening is devoted to asking and 
answering such questions as the reader can well 
imagine embrace a wide range of subjects. 

I spent the greater part of a pleasant week with 
the good young minister and his comely, buxom 
wife and bonny black-eyed bairnie. The quiet, 
homely atmosphere of the manse, the hearty 
greetings of the kindly, simple country folks ; the 
peace and quiet of the secluded " pairish " were 
inexpressively grateful, after the hurry and bustle 
of city life ; and yet a little of such life would go a 
long way with me. A country pastor's life is no 
bed of roses in the colonies. The roads in winter 
are shockingly bad. The parish generally is of 
great extent, and the mere physical labour in- 
volved, in faithfully discharging pastoral duties, 
such as ministering to the sick and sorrowing, 
would tax severely the energies of a strong, robust 



1 74 Oit,r New Zealand Cousins. 

man. He has to preach three times on Sundays, 
in three different centres, and must keep up his 
studies if he is to-be a faithful and successful 
minister. He is often called upon to undertake 
duties outside his own parish, and the cares of 
schools, church organizations, presbytery and 
synod meetings, are exacting and incessant. He 
must take an active part in all social movements 
in his neighbourhood, and beside his own imme- 
diate daily troubles, must have a ready ear and 
sympathizing heart for every tale of sorrow or 
distress that may be brought to him. With the 
education and tastes of a gentleman, he must be 
ever among the people of the people a minis- 
tering, comforting source of strength and enlighten- 
ment to his people, reflecting the temper and 
character of the Master whose servant he is. 
And, alas ! how often is he fated to have his 
motives misinterpreted ; his best and purest in- 
tentions misrepresented ; his brightest and holiest 
aspirations sneered at and maligned. The wonder 
is that so many highly cultured, sensitive men are 
found for the office of the ministry, when worldly 
callings offer so much more tempting and tangible 
inducements. 

It was peculiarly gratifying to me to see the 
cordial relations that existed between my good 
young brother and his flock. The stipend of an 
Otago clergyman is but 22O/. a year, no more 
than the salary of a good clerk ; but this sordid 
view of their position does not present itself to 
the young fellows I was privileged to meet, and 



Our New Zealand Coiisins. \ 75 

the kindly regard and affectionate esteem of the 
farmers and their young folks are immeasurably 
above all money value. The relations subsisting 
between people and pastor were much more like 
the old home life than anything I had yet seen in 
the Australian colonies. 

A great spiritual work is being done in these 
remote little country places. A really pretty new 
church had been built in the south half of this 
parish, and opened free of debt. The young 
people especially had been wakened up to a lively 
interest in the higher life, and both by precept and 
example the young ministers I met in this part of 
New Zealand were approving themselves "good 
workmen, needing not to be ashamed." They take 
an active, intelligent part in secular matters, as well 
as sacred, and are a credit to the good old true 
blue Presbyterian stock. 

A good impulse, for instance, had been given to 
tree-planting in the parish, the minister having 
set the example by adorning the bare spaces round 
the manse and church ; but many other good im- 
pulses were working far beneath the surface, and 
producing good fruits of unselfish acts and purer 
lives. 

Amid all the crudities and falsities of modern 
infidelity, the sneerings and scoffings of indifferen- 
tists, and contemptuous isolation of Pharisaic 
sectarians, it was positively refreshing to get into 
this warm atmosphere of Christian-loving regard 
for each other between pastor and flock, and I 
can never forget the heartiness of the welcome 



1 76 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

I received from these shrewd yet simple far- 
mers, just because I was the brother of their 
minister. 

The roads were awful, as I have said, but 
equestrianism is the favourite mode of progres- 
sion here. Every youngster has his horse, and 
is usually followed by a motley retinue of dogs, 
who wage incessant vendetta against the ubiqui- 
tous rabbits. Ploughing was general over all the 
downs. Potatoes were being dug up, and stored 
in winter pits. Occasionally the smoke from a 
peripatetic threshing-machine would darken the 
air round some busy farm, and at times can be 
noticed another less pleasing smoke, as some 
slovenly farmer adopts the wasteful agency of 
fire to get rid of his surplus straw. Frequent 
cropping of the same cereal, either oats or wheat 
without rotation, has produced its inevitable 
result in some places here, as it will elsewhere ; 
but why farmers anywhere will disregard the 
plain teachings of experience and common sense, 
goes beyond my comprehension. The straw 
which is so foolishly burnt might be used in an 
open courtyard to give comfort and warmth to the 
farm animals in winter. It could be cut up into 
chaff and mixed with chopped roots and a little 
salt, and in this way form a valuable fodder. 
Mixed with lime and earth, and allowed to rot, it 
forms a valuable fertilizer. But to burn it is a sin- 
ful waste, and I was surprised that douce, steady, 
thrifty Scotchmen should adopt such an insane 
method with so valuable a material. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 177 

The University of Otago has recently taken a 
new departure in a most sensible and practical 
direction, in sending travelling professors to lecture 
to the mining population on the chemistry and 
technology of rocks, ores, &c. They might well 
enlarge their field, and give lectures to farmers on 
chemistry of soils, rotation of crops, adaptations 
of mechanics to farming processes, and on other 
subjects of practical importance to farmers. 

But of this more anon. 

We left the peaceful manse of Warepa with many 
regrets, and passing through a bare pastoral and 
agricultural country, with little of interest in the 
scenery, reached Gore, the bustling little town 
where the Waimea cross-roads railway branches 
off through the fertile but bare Waimea plains, to 
join the Lakes line at Lumsden. 

All the burns and streams in this part of the 
country are well stocked with trout, and in the 
season this is quite an angler's paradise. The 
Mataura River, a stream of some magnitude, tra- 
verses the Waimea plains, and runs past Gore. It 
is full of trout. The price of a fishing licence is 
twenty shillings for the season. 

Gore, eighteen years ago, had not even a house 
to boast of. It was only a police camp, and a few 
canvas tents constituted the township. It is now 
the busy centre of a fine farming district. It has 
a great saw-mill, a flour-mill or two, and some 
capital stores, hotels, banks, and other buildings 
lining its well-laid-out streets. 

It lies at the mouth of the wide Waimea Valley. 

N 



178 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

On both sides we see stretching away to the far 
horizon, like gleaming barriers of marble, tier on 
tier, terrace on terrace, peak on pinnacle, and 
pinnacle on peak, of the cold, glittering, alpine 
Cordilleras, every point being glorified by the 
slanting rays of a declining sun, glinting down 
from between bars of gold and amber and purple, 
until at length he sinks suddenly behind a 
Sierra, and the valley is rapidly enswathed in the 
sombre veil of a wintry night. 

Intensely cold, and very hungry and weary, we 
bowl along through the darkness ; and at length, 
about ten o'clock, are rejoiced to see the red lights 
of the Mountaineer gleaming on the waters of Lake 
Wakatipu as she floats alongside the wooden wharf 
at Kingston. 



T/9 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Up the dark silent lake Dawn on Lake Wakatipu " The 
Remarkables " Oueenstown Chinamen gold-diggers 
Lake scenery Von River Greenstone Valley The 
Rees and Dart rivers Head of the lake Kitty Gregg 
Peculiarities of the mountains The terrace formation 
The old Scotch engineer Frankton Valley Farmers' 
feathered foes Lake Hayes Arrive at Arrowtown. 

IT was a bitterly cold night, that on which we 
sailed up the silent lake, through the darkness, to 
Queenstown. The end at Kingston was formerly 
the outlet, but during some great glacial cataclysm 
the moraines must have filled the valley, and raised 
the level of the lake, the pent-up waters eventually 
finding a fresh egress much farther up, by the 
Kawarau Falls into the Kawarau Valley. 

The lower end of the lake is not nearly so 
picturesque as the upper. Still it was eerie, in 
the extreme. This silent gliding up the unknown 
vista, with giant mountains snow-covered and 
silent on either hand, like wraiths and spectres, 
keeping watch and ward over the mysterious 
depths below. The churning swish of the 
paddles alone broke the deathly stillness. The 
cold was intense. But soon the fragrant odour 
of grilled steak stole on the frosty air, and all 
poetry was banished for a time, while we satisfied 

N 2 



i So Our New Zealand Cousins. 

our hunger from the choice cuisine of the Moun- 
taineer 

The Mountaineer, I should mention, is not the 
least wonder in this region of wonders. It is a 
perfect little craft, clean as an admiral's launch, 
comfortable as a first-class hotel, and one marvels 
to find a steamer of such elegance and pretensions 
so far away from salt water. Captain Wing, a 
son of the old harbour-master of Hobson's Bay, is 
a debonair and pleasant cicerone, and takes a 
kindly pleasure in showing the beauties of the 
lake to any passenger who betrays an interest in 
his surroundings. 

This dark, cold, lonely progression up the lake, 
was, however, a fitting prelude to the marvellous 
panorama of beauty which broke upon our en- 
raptured sight next morning. 

My Scottish blood fired with rapture at the 
sight of that wondrous vision across the lake. At 
our feet the steely blue expanse rippled and gently 
undulated under the breath of morning. Beyond 
a mighty mountain range pierces the clouds, which 
have settled in dense fleecy folds upon the ragged 
peaks. The mist hangs midway between the 
upper heights, and the steely lake below. To the 
left a chain of sharp peaks extend, barred and 
ridgy, and flecked with wreaths of snow, which 
seems to have been driven and stamped into their 
black, rugged sides by the stormy winds which 
at times rave and howl with fury down the passes. 
These peaks are known as the far-famed Remark- 
ables. And far away down the lake, vista after 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 181 

vista opens up of the grim snowy sentinels, that 
looked down on us through the darkness of the 
night. In a few sheltered crevices, here and there 
cowers a scanty handful of stunted trees and 
shrubs, as if huddling for shelter from the biting 
blasts that with icy breath come hurtling and howl- 
ing down the gorges from the fields of snow. 
What a scene of desolate grandeur! I had heard 
of the majesty of the mountains of Wakatipu ; but 
the reality beggared all description. We are en- 
compassed on every hand by these mighty masses, 
and could fancy them djinns, guarding the valley 
of desolation from all contact with the outside 
world. 

The horizon is 'crowded thick with hoary 
giants ; and beyond their utmost pinnacles the 
scene is circumscribed by a band of black-blue 
leaden cloud ; save where, behind us, closing in 
the valley at the back of Queenstown, a drapery 
of purest white has settled down on the moun- 
tains, with not a speck sullying its absolute 
purity. 

Down on the little wharf two stalwart lakes- 
men are discharging a cargo of firewood from 
a melancholy-looking ketch ; and a blue-faced 
teamster is vigorously blowing on his chilled 
fingers. The whistle of the Mountaineer wakes 
the echoes, and hastily dressing, we sally forth 
from Mrs. Eichardt's cosy hotel and embark once 
more on the tidy little steamer whose hospitality 
we have already tested. 

Going up the lake the most noteworthy peaks 



1 82 Our New Zealand Coiisins. 

passed in succession are these : Mount Cecil 
Walter Peak, the broad dome of Mount Nicholas, 
the Round Peak, Tooth Peak, and then the 
wondrous glory of the Humboldt ranges. On the 
right, or Queenstown side, the ranges start with 
White Point, then Mount Crighton, Mirror Peak, 
Stone Peak, and Mount Larkins ; while at the top 
of the lake stand out prominently like very Sauls 
among the others, Mounts Alfred and Earnslaw, 
the latter 9200 feet high. There are a few patches 
of cultivation at intervals around the lake ; but 
several of the sheep-runs have been abandoned 
owing to the ravages made by rabbits. Walter 
Peak station was sold the other day for a mere 
song ; and Cameron's run was similarly sacrificed 
only a few months ago, the rabbits having 
regularly starved out the sheep. Phosphorized 
oats have been laid everywhere, and gangs of 
rabbitters are out all over the country ; but much 
of it is so wild and inaccessible to all but the 
bunnies themselves that these virtually are masters 
of the situation. 

My sharp ear catches the sing-song jabber of 
Chinamen forward. What can have lured the 
followers of Confucius to this inhospitable and 
out-of-the-way region ? Verily, these celestials 
deserve the name they sometimes get, " The Scotch- 
man of the East," for they are ubiquitous. Not 
that the canny Caledonian feels much flattered by 
the comparison. These men are gold-diggers, pro- 
ceeding to the top of the lake. Lots of coarse gold 
is found hereabouts, mostly from surface sluicing ) 



O2ir New Zealand Cousins. 183 

but various reefs are also being profitably worked. 
During two months of the year the cold is so 
intense that work is stopped. 

We are evidently destined to behold the lake in 
one of its sulky moods. The clouds are hovering 
ominously near the mountain tops. A mantle of 
thick mist is already creeping over the face of the 
crags, as if to hide their gruesome nakedness. 

The name of the valley here has a grim sugges- 
tiveness. It is called Insolvent Valley. So called 
owing to two impecunious ones having managed to 
cross the lake, and elude their clamorous creditors 
by threading the passes on horseback, and getting 
safely away to Lumsden, and the outside world. 

At Rat Point we turn the elbow of the lake, and 
get a glorions view far up its wondrous expanse. 
The three islands named respectively Tree, Pig, 
and Pigeon Islands, nestle on the water ahead ; 
and beyond, the eye tries to pierce the obscurity 
of a wild glen, filled with curling volumes of mist, 
that lifting at intervals, show mighty pinnacles 
of rock, and fields of snow stretching into the 
mysterious distance in seemingly endless con- 
tinuity. 

We stop to land a passenger at the mouth of 
the Von River, which comes tearing down through 
the gorges, bringing with it tons upon tons of 
gravel and shingle, which in its shifting course, 
terraces the plain, and carries ruin and desolation 
in its path. During the last few years the stream 
has shifted its bed fully a mile, and in its migration 
it has cut away one of the finest orchards that was 



1 84 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

in all ths lake district. The scene now is one of 
unrelieved desolation. 

At intervals, as the steamer progresses, a white 
gleam of silvery foam comes streaking down 
through the fern, and flashes over the rocks, 
marking the descent of some tumbling cascade 
from the melting snows on the heights. After 
heavy rains the hillsides are just one chaos of 
hissing, roaring, leaping water. Every gully be- 
comes a gleaming torrent. Every rocky buttress 
is enveloped in seething, churning, foam. The 
crash and roar of landslips is heard above the 
swishing boom of the cataracts, and the wild 
Walpurgis of the angry elements is held, as earth 
and lake and sky blend in one mad medley of con- 
vulsive sound and commingling strife. 

Now we have the lake scenery in all its weird 
presentment. Words utterly fail to describe the 
savage grandeur of the hills above the Greenstone 
River, which here comes rolling its brown waters 
through a deep black cleft in the mountains. 
Gusts of crapy mist are creeping, snaky-like, up 
the gorge. The sides of the defile are wooded 
with a dark forest mass, in fit keeping with its 
surroundings. What a startling contrast to look 
upward from this funereal sombreness, and gaze 
on the immaculate majesty of the still, lone 
mountain crags, piercing their flaming crests 
through the grey canopy of cloud. 

A surveyed track leads through the Greenstone 
Valley to Martin's Bay, on the West Coast, only 
some fifty or sixty miles distant. My good friend 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 185 

the Scotch engineer, waxes enthusiastic, too, as I 
expatiate, with what eloquence I can command, 
on the glorious scenery around us. 

" Aye, man, it's juist graund," he says ; " it 
only wants some big gentleman's hoose, and beech 
nuts and hazel nuts, and a gamekeeper to chase 
ye, to be like hame." 

Luckily there are no gamekeepers here, though 
to be sure there is a close season for the trout. 
One magnificent trout, weighing upward of 30 Ibs., 
was caught in the lake recently, and we feasted 
on a boiled trout on board which had been dried 
and smoked by the cook, and was as big as a 
good-sized salmon. (The trout, of course, not the 
cook.) 

We are now reaching the far end of the lake. 
The hillsides are here heavily wooded, and have 
a softer aspect than the terrible bare desolation 
which marks the rugged seams and iron ridgy 
bars of" The Remarkables." As we look back, too, 
the three islands form a pretty foreground, and 
the pitying mists 'drape the bare rocks, softening 
their rugged outlines, till the scene looks like a 
summer pass in the Trossachs. As ever and anon 
the veil is lifted, however, the great height of the 
towering mountains, here some 8000 to 9000 feet 
of sheer acclivity, burns in upon the brain. The 
snowy peaks rise abrupt, sheer, straight up, up, 
up, like a pyre of white flame. It looks as if 
earth were blazing up her very mountain tops in 
sublimated essence "as a wave- offering before the 
Lord." How can I describe the wondrous sight ? 



1 86 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Take this mountain-side now, for instance. Let 
me try, however faintly and inadequately, to pre- 
sent it to you. It displays to the beholder an 
epitome of every varied feature of Alpine scenery ; 
from the calm blue lake on which we float 
the eye seeks the skirting of wave-worn lichened 
rock. The mossy weather-worn boulders girdle 
the strand, draped in part by fern, and shadowed 
by the hill myrtle and manukau scrub ; next the 
bracken-covered slopes, with their dull, dead 
greenery ; the ridgy coping beyond, dipping 
yonder into a warm bosom, set thick with birch 
and boughy trees ; above that again the silvery 
sparkle of a hill torrent with a sheen and glitter 
at every successive step, as the water leaps from 
ledge to ledge, lighting up the whole picture ; 
all around and above, in swelling ridges and 
billowy bosses, the dun-brown stunted herbage 
spreads, with here and there a warty excrescence as 
the bed-rock bursts through the shrivelled, shrunken 
skin, and presents its nakedness, which the trailing 
mists hasten to cover. Now, as the eye ranges 
higher, the mists gather thicker. The clouds 
kiss the bare patches. The shroud and pall of 
vaporous film drapes the scarred face with its 
clinging cerements ; and higher up, peeping 
through the ever-shifting upper strata of the 
trailing gauze, the gleaming peak itself robed in 
eternal snows, lifts up its silent witness to the 
heavens, a mute protest one might fancy against 
the smirched and sullied creation of the lower 
firmament. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 187 

Some idea of the great altitude of the mountains 
here is formed from the appearance of the forests 
round about Kinloch. From the deck of the 
steamer the trees seem mere shrubs ; but as you 
approach the shore, you are astonished to find 
them great towering forest kings ; and the trunks 
that seemed slender as a woman's wrist, are now 
seen to be huge logs, and the sawn planks are 
of a large size. Close by is an enormous water- 
wheel, which works the neighbouring saw-mill. 
This is said to be the largest mill-wheel in New 
Zealand indeed, some enthusiastic Maorilanders 
say there is no bigger in existence. We watch the 
slow revolutions, the water plashing in glittering 
circles, and hear the clanging resonance of the 
saws eating through the great logs. The lake 
here is over 1200 feet deep, and dips down sheer 
from the bank. The overhanging hills are more 
than 8000 feet high. 

Opposite the saw-mill, up a narrow gully called 
Buckler's Burn, a party of Chinamen are at work, 
and succeed in getting very fair quantities of coarse 
gold. Up the Rees Valley there is a batter)'- at 
work on the quartz reef known as The Invincibles. 

The head of the lake possesses enough objects 
of interest to detain the tourist for weeks. The 
great Lake Valley itself terminates in a long 
triangular flat, through which come tearing down 
the rapid waters of the Rees and Dart. The 
exploration of these valleys is rewarded by the 
discovery of waterfalls, cataracts, gorges of sur- 
passing grandeur, glaciers of fascinating beauty, 



1 88 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

and artistic peeps such as may be equalled in the 
Himalayas, but surely are nowhere surpassed on 
this planet of ours. 

Beyond the flat rise snowy cones and isolated 
pinnacles, and the eye follows peak after peak, and 
snowfield after snowfield, till vision loses itself 
amid the blinding whiteness of Mount Earnslaw, 
uncontaminated as yet by the touch of human tread. 

A Mr. Mason owns a very beautiful bit of fairy 
land here, adorned with beauteous vegetation, and 
which goes by the name of Paradise. It is not 
inaptly named. On the hither side a Mr. Haynes, 
an Irish storekeeper, has recently purchased a 
property ; and, with Hibernian humour, has 
christened it Purgatory, because, as he says, " you 
must pass through Purgatory before you reach 
Paradise." 

We have just been lucky enough to get a 
glimpse of Earnslaw's hoary crown. Now a wild 
blinding sleet comes down, and hides all the 
glorious panorama from our gaze ; and, as the 
steam whistle screams hoarsely, as if in emula- 
tion of the shrieking storm, we seek "the seclu- 
sion that our cabin grants " to thaw our icy feet 
and fingers, and muse on the marvellous glory 
of crag and peak, and laks and fell that enwraps 
us all around. 

At Kinloch, the tourist will find every comfort 
at Bryant's Hotel. At Glenorchy, on the other 
side, Mr. Birley has clean and comfortable 
quarters at your disposal, and is attentive to 
your every want. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 189 

At Bryant's, Kitty Gregg, the guide, was pointed 
out to us. She is renowned through all the lake 
country as a daring and accomplished horsewoman. 
Can handle an oar like a Beach, and an axe in a 
style that would make Gladstone envious. Bred 
and reared amid these rocky pastures and wild 
solitudes, she knows every foot of the country, and 
is as free, fearless, and independent as the winds 
that whistle round Mount Earnslaw. Woe betide 
the " rash intruding fool," who in his self-sufficiency 
would presume on Kitty's sex to give himself airs, 
or attempt any familiarity. We heard of one case 
where she left a coxcomb to find his way home by 
himself, and he getting lost in the mountains was 
glad humbly to sue for pardon, and accept Kitty's 
guidance into safety after she had thoroughly 
frightened him by a temporary desertion. Kitty 
is evidently a lake institution, and much respected 
by all the dwellers round about. 

I am not sure but that the mountains at the 
top of the lake are not even in some respects 
more remarkable than " The Remarkables " them- 
selves." 

They all rise at the same angle from the valley. 
Their ridgy backs all point in the same direction, 
and each terminates in a cliffy point very similar in 
shape. Each is a counterpart of the other, and are 
all clad in the same livery of black spots and streaks 
and silver scales. I could not help the fancy being 
engendered that they were a school of gigantic dol- 
phins suddenly frozen into ice, as by the fiat of some 
dev or djinn, as they were taking a ten-thousand-foot 



1 90 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

plunge upward, from the still blue depths of the 
abyss. They look in their regularity of outline 
just like so many great fish, and I do not think the 
simile at all a strained one. 

On the Glenorchy side are some very perfect 
examples of the terrace formation, which is one of 
the most extraordinary of the geological pheno- 
mena which abound on all hands. The top 
terrace is named the Bible. It has a breadth of 
eighty or ninety acres, and is as flat as a book, 
though why it gets the 'name I could not find out. 
There is no doubt that each terrace was succes- 
sively the lake level, and as the waters sank, owing 
to the cutting away of the rim at the Kawarau 
Gorge, these steps of this giant's staircase were 
left in their present regularity. Now, of course, 
great gaps and chasms are being torn through 
them by the incoming waters, and another terrace 
is forming at the present level of the lake. The 
waters will again recede, and fresh terraces be 
formed, until in time a valley will be left with the 
conjoined waters of the Rees and Dart foaming 
through it, in a deep gorge, just as the Kawarau 
now tears down through its rocky channel. 

The crowning feature of the whole view is, of 
course, Mount Earnslaw. He rises from the flat 
of two abrupt ridges, enclosing a vast glacier 
between. The ridges gradually draw together, 
and at the point of convergence a majestic mass 
shoots up into the heavens, like a pyramid of 
glory, and the great, glistening, white expanse is 
Mount Earnslaw. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 1 9 1 

The mighty battlements round the lake, with 
their piebald ridges, and black spots, look like the 
grim walls of some old Afghan hill fort, riddled 
with bullets, and torn and rent by fierce onslaughts 
of the foe. 

Close to Pigeon Island there is a very pretty 
pass between the island end and the main land. The 
cabbage-trees, green sward, and verdant bush (for 
there are no rabbits on this island, and grass and 
sheep are consequently abundant) are charming 
by contrast with the bare desolation of the snowy 
ridges. The passage close to the three islands is 
the prettiest peep on the whole lake. It is pretty. 
The rest is grand. 

The keen mountain air had whetted my appe- 
tite, and we were glad to hear the summons of the 
bell to lunch. We found the cuisine most excel- 
lent on board the Mountaineer, and some lake 
trout, smoked d la Findon haddock, a second time 
tempted me to make rather a display of my gas- 
tronomic powers. Old Thomas Thompson, the 
Scotch engineer, I noticed eyeing me rather dubi- 
ously, and I fancied he was putting some con- 
straint on his appetite. I afterwards found he had 
some reason to doubt the too facile pen of the 
peripatetic scribe, inasmuch as his appetite for 
porridge had already been made the butt of " The 
Vagabond's " ' sacrilegious sarcasm. It seems that 
on the occasion of " The Vagabond's " ' visit, poor 
Thompson had made the porridge disappear with 

1 "The Vagabond," Mr. Julian Thomas, a well-known 
writer and special commissioner for the Melbourne Argus. 



1 92 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

a celerity which must have roused Mr. Thomas' 
envy. At all events the allusion he made to " the 
porridge-eating engineer" in his letters to the 
Argus, was taken hold of by the small wits of the 
place, and henceforth poor Thompson's life was 
made a burden to him by constant allusions to the 
satisfying dish so dear to Scotchmen. 

In a burst of confidence, judging from my tongue 
that I would sympathize with him as a brother 
Scot, and having already seen that my own appetite 
was none of the least robust, " Man/' he said, with 
some bitterness, "Yon was an' awfu' chiel, yon 
Vagabone ! The beggar eevidently couldna enjoy 
the parritch himsel, so he needna been sae like a 
dowg i' the manger wi' his remarks aboot me. Ma 
fegs/' he continued, " I'm thinkin' Athol Brose 
wad hae been mair i' the Vagabone's way than 
guid plain parritch. Feth ! he looket mair like a 
batter't gill stoup than an honest parritch cogie 
ony w'y." 

This deliverance of the engineer being a criticism 
upon his critic, I promised to record, greatly to the 
good old fellow's delight. 

We spent a delightful time in Queenstown. Mrs. 
Eichardt's hotel is most comfortable. She looks 
well after every department herself, the result being 
that everything works smoothly. The trout cutlets 
and Scotch baps were joys for memory to linger 
lovingly upon. One trout was recently stranded 
here which weighed 40 Ibs. Surely the boss trout cf 
the world. 

We walked up to Mr. Murray's fruit-garden, and 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 193 

got some very rosy apples from the hospitable old 
Highlander ; and his couthie auld wifie regaled 
us with delicious butter and other home-made 
luxuries. 

It was, indeed, with genuine regret we turned 
our backs on this region of romantic beauty and 
wild grandeur. 

On the way to Frankton we passed flocks of 
starlings, flights of parrakeets, and hordes of 
sparrows and green linnets, all destructive pests 
and enemies that cause the poor patient farmers 
immoderate loss. At Boye's station, at the 
Kawarau Falls, an army of rabbitters are employed, 
and at the tariff of ^d. per skin many of them make 
over I2s. per diem of wages. 

The poisoned grain which is laid for the rabbits 
has destroyed nearly all the quail and wild duck, 
of which there used to be legions about here. 
Away up at the head of the lake, on the Rees 
and Dart, paradise ducks are yet pretty numerous. 

The Frankton Valley is backed up by the glisten- 
ing Crown Ranges one immense expanse of 
unsullied snow, rolling along to the verge of the 
horizon in billowy waves of dazzling purity and 
gleaming splendour. The fields are here protected 
by rabbit-proof wire fences ; but times have been 
hard with the farmers, and we see hundreds of 
acres of uncut crops beaten down by the untimely 
snow, and myriads of stocks rotting in the sodden 
fields. The land here is very productive ; a hun- 
dred bushels of oats to the acre is quite a common 
yield. 

o 



194 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Crossing the brawling and treacherous Shot- 
over, in its deep gravelly valley, we top the rise on 
the farther side, and immediately our eyes are glad- 
dened by the sight of Lake Hayes, lying in its 
pacific beauty before us. The surroundings of 
stubble and numerous farmsteads give a homely 
air to the view ; but the majesty of the snowy ram- 
parts which stretch round about like an amphi- 
theatre of Parian marble, brightens up the lake 
with an effect which is most theatrical in its start- 
ling contrasts. The lake is so crowded with trout 
that, as an Irishman would say, " they jostle ache 
other ; " and in the raupo selvage at the lower 
end, swamp hens and ducks are at times pretty 
abundant. 

As night is falling, and the mists are creeping 
down the valleys, w r e enter Arrowtown, with its 
three churches and quaint old slate-built houses, 
and are glad that Host O'Kane has built a good 
fire and provided a cosy dinner for us, both of which 
we mightily enjoy. 



195 



CHAPTER XV. 

Arrowtown "A river of golden sands'' An auriferous 
region A dismal look-out Old gold-workings A ter- 
rible chasm Nature's laboratory Rabbitters at work 
A serious plague The kea, or liver-eating macaw 
Hawk and pigeon "Roaring Meg'' Cromwell town- 
ship The Molyneux Valley Deserted diggings Halt 
at Roxburgh. 

SURELY there are few towns on this earth's surface 
more hemmed in by mountains than Arrowtown. 
The snowy peaks peer down the chimneys, and in 
whatever direction you look out your eye meets 
only crags and rocks, gorges and precipices. 
The Arrow runs its muddy stream at the base of 
the cliffs, and the houses, built of flat slate-stones, 
jostle each other on the brink of the stream. The 
sands in the river have been turned over for gold 
some five times already ; and it is said that a 
methodical search would even now unearth much 
more treasure. 

It was raining heavily as we left O'Kane's little 
hostelry, where every regard had been paid to our 
comfort ; and never in all my travelling experience 
did I face a gloomier prospect. We seemed hope- 
lessly caged in by immense lofty walls of rock ; 
and the bridle and team tracks to the various 
workings, in the glens and gorges, wound along the 
O 2 



196 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

face of the walls at a dizzy height above the stream ; 
with bare gaunt pinnacles piercing the mists in 
all directions. 

The township was founded during the first gold 
rush to the district, twenty-six years ago. The rude 
masonry walls of the old houses are much more 
antique-looking than one commonly sees in any 
colonial town. 

All this region round about is auriferous. The 
shaly, slaty, crumbling mass, of which the hills and 
strata are composed, is seamed and permeated 
everywhere throughout its bulk by thin veins of 
quartz, and most of these are gold-bearing. In 
all the flats, and in the beds and on the sides of all 
the rivers and creeks, surface digging and sluicing 
has been more or less profitably followed ; and at 
one time there was an immense mining popula^ 
tion in these lake districts. Now, however, 
" Ichabod " might almost be written over the 
map. 

At Macetown there are some rich reefs now being 
worked, and Macetown is even more inaccessible 
than Arrowtown. The teams that go to Macetown 
must surely possess some of the attributes of the 
goat or house-fly, for the road is perhaps one 
of the most audacious in the colonies. It 
literally sticks to the face of the cliffs in some 
parts. 

Rain ! rain. How it patters. Mud ! mud. 
How it splashes. The horses, poor things, look 
veritable hypochrondriacs, and both driver and 
passengers look blue as the surroundings. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 197 

Through a temporary rift in the grey mist, the 
gaunt hills show their bare, naked, ugly backs, 
lacerated with gaping scars. All the glamour of 
the kindly drapery of snow has vanished under 
the pitiless pelting of the rain. Great landslips 
have laid bare the blue shale-beds on the moun- 
tain sides. The chasms and abyssmal depths look 
the very acme of wild unrelieved desolation. 
There is not a bright tint. The only signs of 
motion are the foaming cascades tearing down the 
gullies, their silvery streaks looking like the white 
locks of angry furies trailing over the barren jagged 
clefts. The only sign of life is where a ghostly 
gull, sated with the flesh of some poisoned rabbits, 
wings his heavy flight athwart the black-blue 
background of dripping rock. 

We seem to be floating above the clouds, and to 
be dipping into a sea of mist. Yonder is a glorious 
peep ! A rift in the cloud with a spumy circle of 
cirrhus edges, reveals a glimpse of a snowy peak, 
far, far aloft. It looks, as we might fancy, the face 
of a veteran warrior, with a few lyart locks scattered 
thinly over his brow, to gaze at us through the 
gauzy curtains of an hospital window. 

Now we cross the Arrow, swift as its name por- 
tends ; roaring and foaming deep down in its 
drumly channel. Look at the old workings ! 
What Titan's toil has been here ! It looks as if 
a pack of prediluvian monsters had been madly 
tearing at the banks. The valley is riven and torn 
and trenched and furrowed in all directions. 
Every furlong of the way now for the next thirty 



198 Qur New Zealand Cousins. 

miles is like this. These are the early diggings. 
The auriferous earth was sluiced, and the boulders 
and rocks and pebbles piled up in great dykes and 
battlements out of reach of the water. It is a 
most unique appearance. I have never witnessed 
such. The dykes and wavy irregular outlines are 
quite unlike the debris and tumuli left after the 
workings or alluvial gold-washing in any part of 
Australia I have visited. Look back ! How 
majestic seem these mighty sentinels, clad in 
eternal snow, and looking down so purely and 
serenely on the disrupted valley, as if in pity at the 
mad hurry-scurry and feverish lust of gold which 
they have witnessed. 

The peaceful plough has now succeeded the 
eager pick and shovel, and several thatched farm- 
cots are visible here and there through the 
mists. 

On our left a magnificent cascade comes shoot- 
ing down over an abrupt ledge, and now we reach 
the Swift Burn gorge. 'T would take a Dore' to 
paint this awful chasm. Far below, the Swift 
Burn dashes. Appropriate name ! The abyss is 
appalling in its inky hues of desolation. It looks 
as if mortification had set in on all the livid faces 
of crag, and rotting cliff, and the black-blue tinge 
of universal dissolution has set its seal on all the 
surroundings. The Arrow here loses its mud- 
begrimed waters in the olive-green volume of the 
swift Kawarau. The canyon is of a depth that 
makes one shudder. The crags and peaks are 
blasted as if by the scorching breath of the legions 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 199 

of Apollyon. The seamed and riven sides of the 
crumbling gorge assume the most ghastly hues. 
All the potent agencies of nature in her most 
wrathful mood, have seemingly been exerted here 
to produce a chaos of wild, weird desolation. It is 
a picture fit for a prophet's vision, laden with wrath 
and woe, and desolation. 

It is, indeed, a vision of judgment. The memory 
of it haunts me yet. A solemn awe settles on 
our spirits. Words utterly fail to present a 
tithe of the terrific awesomeness of this amazing 
pass. 

We cross the Kawarau by a massive iron bridge, 
slung on thick wire cables, let into the solid rock 
on either side. A column of splintered spray comes 
scatteringly down over the giddy height to the 
left. We shudder as we gaze back at the terrible 
view. 

Surely, now we are coming into some more 
cheerful environment ? But no ! Nature presents 
herself in these wild solitudes in her most for- 
bidding guise. The Hindoos would say that Kali, 
or Doorga, the goddess of wrath and desolation, 
was the presiding divinity here. Everything is 
baneful malign. 

See dangling on yonder line a row of gory 
mangled scalps a ribbon of bloody flesh with a 
silver selvage ? What is it ? Nay, start not ! 
These are only a few hundred gory rabbit-skins 
drying for market. They are quite in keeping with 
the scenery. 

A few farmsteads are scattered over this desolate 



2oo Our New Zealand Cousins. 

strath. On the other side of the river the strath is 
ribbed into ridges by the file-like teeth of innumer- 
able rills and runlets. These are nature's filesi 
eating away the mass of the earthquake's up- 
heaval. The swift Kawarau there is but nature's 
bosom, sweeping the detritus of the workshop 
down into the open plains of the low country, 
there to be worked up by the rosy fingers of that 
cunning artificer old Helios into ruddy fruit and 
golden grain, and all the witching loveliness of 
grass and flower and tree. 

What a laboratory is this ! We are looking here 
at nature in her apprentice stage. 

The mist is now gathering its serried battalions 
and slowly retiring to the mountain tops. The 
valleys come out more distinctly. The sound of 
falling waters becomes more clear and musical. 

Hurrah ! Yonder is the sun, and we are to have 
a fine day after all. 

What a glorious vision have we here ! Surely, 
reader, could you but behold this with me my 
rhapsodies might be pardoned. 

This gorge is named Nevis Bluff Pass. How 
eerie and uncanny look those rotten crumbling 
masses overhead. The road winds in and out 
amid heaps of fallen debris, and the rocks hang 
ominously over the horses' heads. Below, the im- 
petuous river is in a more savage mood than 
ever. The water, pent up and impeded by fallen 
rocks, roars and swishes and churns itself into 
foam, as it dashes in impotent wrath against the 
great buttresses and barriers that seek to retard, its 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 201 

furious rush. There is not a blink of brightness 
here to relieve the pallid leaden look. Even the 
snowy heights are again hidden by the grey dark 
envious mist, which clings to the sodden soil like 
grave-cloths. 

Here is an episode in keeping with the general 
aspect. The rabbitters have been out laying 
poisoned grain. Poor greedy bunny ! Have you 
no premonition of danger ? No ; the all-devour- 
ing greed which makes these multitudinous hordes 
such an awful plague, is not to be deterred by 
any scruples. The grain is looked on as a god- 
send, for of grass and green herbage there is not a 
blade all eaten up long ago. The vermin are at 
starvation point. They eat. See now ! Look 
at that one leaping in the air in its death agonies. 
Look at the contortions and gyrations of that 
other. Hear the agonizing screams of a third ; the 
deadly drug is eating at the vitals of the hapless 
rodents. The earth is dotted with white upturned 
pelts of dozens of them. They lie thick behind 
every tuft of spear-grass, in scores under every 
cliff, in hundreds over the plains. The peltry 
hunters will have a rich harvest this evening. A 
the rabbitters move forward, picking up the dead 
beasts and rapidly skinning them, hundreds of sea- 
gulls follow the gang, flitting about like eerie 
ghosts, and gorging themselves on the poisoned 
carcases. The poison does not seem to affect these 
birds ; at least no dead gulls are ever noticed, 
though I saw them myself feeding on the poisoned 
flesh. 



202 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

This rabbit infliction is of awful dimensions 
here. We saw them by the thousand, bobbing 
about among the dry withered thistle-stalks, and 
many hundreds of tons of skins are exported from 
Otago and Southland every year. On some runs 
as many as fifty men are employed laying poison 
and collecting skins. The skins almost pay for the 
outlay, but of course the check to the wool industry 
cannot be formulated in figures. The skins are 
most valuable naturally when the winter fur is on 
them. There is so much difficult country here- 
abouts where the vermin can breed in safety, that 
they will never now be wholly eradicated, but 
already they are being sensibly held in check, and 
meantime the poor people comfort themselves 
with the thought, that after all, employment is 
given to many hundreds of hands, and money is of 
necessity spent in the country which might other- 
wise only swell the hoards of absentee squatters, 
and rich corporations. The poison used is phos- 
phorized grain. For flat country, where the 
warrens are easily accessible, and the soil not too 
porous, probably no better means of checking the 
plague has been found than that promulgated by 
an old fellow-student of my own, whom I had 
the pleasure of meeting again in Dunedin after a 
long separation of more than twenty years. 

I refer to Professor James G. Black, Professor 
of Chemistry in the Otago University. Some nine 
years ago the rabbit plague was working havoc 
with the prospects of pastoralists in Southland ; 
and one of the leading squatters, Mr. James 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 203 

Holmes, of Castle Rock station, Southland, wrote 
to Professor Black, almost in despair, to see if he 
could suggest any remedy. After some considera- 
tion the professor recommended the trial of the 
bisulphide of carbon and himself superintended the 
experiments. The rabbits were first of all hunted 
into the warrens by dogs. A rag or stem of the 
common New Zealand flax (phormium), dipped in 
~the bisulphide, or a spoonful of the liquid itself, 
was then put into each hole in the warren and a 
sod was then stamped into each opening. The 
poisonous fumes are immediately generated and 
penetrate to the remotest recesses of the warren, 
and no live rabbit escapes the deadly dose. 

For low lands this is the best remedy that was 
then known, and none better has been discovered 
since, and to Professor Black belongs the honour 
of having first suggested and tried it. It gives me 
genuine pleasure to be able to record this of 
an old fellow-student ; for his modesty is only 
equalled by his high attainments. 

During this digression the coach has been 
jolting on, and the weather has been clearing. 

Right ahead, seemingly barring the valley, 
Mount Difficulty towers aloft. It is well named. 
Its black bare ribs are like the bones of some 
giant megatherium, which have been scorched 
and blackened by primeval fires. We cross the 
Victoria Bridge, and in the valley below, the 
Nevis here joins its waters to those of the 
Kawarau. The Nevis is muddy and thick as pea- 
soup from recent freshets. 



2O4 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

In these wild glens the liver-loving kea is very 
plentiful. This epicure is rather an interesting 
example of an uncommon fact in natural history. 
Of course it is pretty generally known that the 
kea has attained an unenviable notoriety on 
account of the damage he does to the sheep. He 
fastens on to some unlucky beast, and with his 
powerful hooked beak regularly cuts a hole into 
the poor victim till he reaches the dainty he is in 
search of the liver. This luscious morsel having 
been appropriated, the bleeding, lacerated victim 
is left to die in agony, while the rapacious kea 
transfers his attentions to another ill-fated member 
of the flock. And yet the kea was formerly a 
fruit-eating bird. He is allied to the macaw 
family, and how the taste for a carnivorous diet 
became developed does not seem yet to be known. 
It is a curious instance of change of natural 
instinct. 

I should say the student of natural history 
would find a fine field for observation here. 
Another episode befell us here, and thus : The 
driver and I were chatting gaily, when an ex- 
clamation from him roused my attention to the 
swift movements of a couple of birds. A sparrow- 
hawk in pursuit of a fine blue rock pigeon. They 
swept past us on fleet, strong wing. The hawk 
swooped to strike ; but the pigeon eluded him. 
Again they circled, swept upward, downward, 
flashed past us like a streak of light, and again 
the hawk made his deadly dart. Palpitating, 
trembling, the harried pigeon just managed to 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 205 

swoop under the friendly shelter of a clump of 
bushes beside a mountain rill that came merrily 
rippling down the hillside. The baffled hawk, 
with a most malignant glitter in his eye, took up 
his station on a jutting rock, and had evidently 
made up his mind to wait for the poor pigeon. 

"No, old man, I'll be hanged if you'll have 
him," said Jack, the driver, apostrophizing the 
hawk. 

" Here, sir, hold the ribbons." This to me, 
throwing me the reins. Jack got down from his 
perch, and after a little search in the bush was re- 
warded by the capture of the poor dazed pigeon, 
who was consigned to safe custody in the boot. 
The hawk dodged a stone, which Jack threw at 
him, and very sulkily winged his way off in quest 
of other prey. 

At this part of the road the rocks show a curious 
honeycombed appearance, and the river rolls along 
in a series of rapids, in a terrific chasm far below. 
This spot is known locally as " the natural bridge." 
A mass of fallen rock obstructs the stream, which 
at low water can be easily forded here over the 
o'er-arching rocks. High up in mid air, a broken 
and partly dismantled iron flume spans the gorge. 
It was designed to carry water across to some 
diggings on the other side of the valley ; but the 
span was too great, and it was never a success. 

Now the road crosses " Roaring Meg." The 
name describes the torrent. It comes roaring, 
tearing, crashing, dashing down the steep, and 
plunges like a catapult into the river bed. The 



206 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

force and velocity must be stupendous, and the 
impact of so many tons of water at such a speed 
sends the volume of the Kawarau high in air, 
tossed in blinding spray, and the mighty buttresses 
of rock seem to tremble again as the water surges 
to and fro in their cavernous recesses. The swift 
Kawarau staggers, and its waves, swift as they are, 
are for the moment dammed back, and rise as a 
charger preparing for a bound into the thick of the 
fray. The point of junction is a hissing hell of 
foam a very Phlegethon of fury. It needs the 
pen of a master to fitly describe such a " meeting 
of the waters " as this. 

Below this point, and across the foam-filled chasm, 
we see the miners' huts on the Gentle Annie claim. 
Provisions and stores are sent across in a chair 
slung to a wire rope stretched across the river. 
By the same dizzy contrivance the wives and chil- 
dren of the district cross and re-cross. The school 
children use this contrivance daily. Surely here, 
if anywhere, we should have a race of women not 
liable to that mysterious malady known as " the 
nerves." 

Still farther down the valley, great beetling 
rocks rise on either hand, and amid their honey- 
combed recesses colonies of blue and white pigeons 
have taken up their quarters. Here we release our 
rescued captive, and watch his gladsome exultant 
flight, as he rejoiced in his recovered freedom. 

There is a magnificent cataract in the river 
here for some hundred yards. Several Chinamen 
are fossicking among the chinks and crannies of 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 207 

the colossal dykes which the early toilers for gold 
have formerly heaped up. Millions upon millions 
of tons of earth must have been sluiced from these 
hillsides. 

We pass now a gang of men busily restoring the 
traffic which has been interrupted by a terrific land- 
slip caused by the recent heavy rains. The rocks 
here are rotten and treacherous. The formation 
is chiefly mica schist, both hard and soft, with beds 
and layers of slate and phyllite. 

A short distance beyond, we reach the deserted 
Kawarau Gorge township. There was formerly a 
dense and busy population here ; but there are 
only some three houses and a school now stand- 
ing. 

The valley now widens out, and away across the 
river, Jack points out the cliffs of Bannockburn, 
where active sluicing is even now being carried on, 
and where some very heavy finds of gold have 
made the place famous. Like mostly all the fields 
around this district, however, Bannockburn is now 
getting worked out, and will soon be deserted. 

Now we rattle on to a broad, flat, sandy plain, 
a church steeple showing its tip at the far verge ; 
above which towers a snowy range, and nestling 
in the shadow thereof is the neat little town of 
Cromwell. 

Cromwell, in common with mostly every town 
of any importance in New Zealand, can boast of 
one thing which Sydney with all her magnificence 
yet lacks. 

" And what is that ? " you may ask. 



208 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Well, it is simply this : a perfect and plentiful 
water supply. Its source is in the hills over the 
river, and the water crosses in great pipes under 
the bridge. There are three banks represented 
in the town, and a racecourse and hospital testify 
both to the philanthropic and sporting tendencies 
of the people. 

From a lignite pit a few miles out on the plain, 
good fuel can be procured at 2Os. per ton. This 
rather unusual conjunction of coal and gold is 
common enough on the Otago goldfields. 

At Cromwell the individuality of the Kawarau 
becomes merged in that of the Molyneux, and the 
valley downward is now named the Molyneux 
Valley ; emblematic this of the gradual absorption 
of the native in the foreign element. In a 
hollow by the river, we find the Chinese camp. 
Of course a gardener is to be found in close 
proximity, and the rocking of several mining 
cradles, shows that these industrious and perse- 
vering Asiatics are yet finding payable gold, 
though the more impatient Anglo-Saxon has long 
since considered the workings " played out." 

The contrast between the green current of the 
Molyneux and the grey muddy volume of the 
Kawarau is most striking. All around the junction 
of the two streams the country consists of bare 
grey rugged cliffs and tumbled rocks of a friable 
material, which crumbles and flakes under the in- 
fluence of the weather ; and the river carries 
enormous masses of material with it in its onward 
course. 



Our New Zealand Cousins, 209 

In fact, New Zealand is a good instance of 
growth not merely mental, or political, or com- 
mercial, but physical material growth. Geologists 
tell us that every year the land encroaches on the 
sea ; and when we see the rivers at work we can 
see the process for ourselves. 

The valley of the Molyneux is much wider and 
more open ; but at this wintry season (May) it is 
not less bare and desolate-looking than the upper 
straths and gorges. 

Clyde is another languishing little town through 
which we pass. The new bridge on stone piers 
is a noticeable feature. The old one, with four 
others on the river, were swept away entirely by 
the great flood of 1878. 

At Alexandria, the next township, we find 
sluicing on a small scale still being practised. A 
substantial dredge is at work in the river bed 
itself, and the mud-laden Manuherikia rolls down 
its tribute to swell the swift Molyneux. 

The country here presents a picture of chaotic 
desolation. The rocks are crumbling and rotting. 
Everything looks ruinous. Sand and withered 
thistle-stalks seem the prevailing products of the 
place, and there does not seem even enough 
herbage to support a rabbit. In fact, we see 
numbers of dead ones near the road, and the great 
convoys of gulls are the only live animals we 
see. 

It is a treat from this desolate region to come 
upon a well-cultivated, well-populated settlement 
known as Spear Grass Flat. It is also called Bald 

p 



2io Our New Zealand Comins. 

Hill Flat, but as Bald Hill is covered with great 
brown bunches of spear-grass, all but a spot on 
the crown, the origin of the names is not far to 
seek. On the right the Old Man Range lies, 
gleaming white with drifted snow. Round one 
farmstead we count over thirty great stacks. The 
wheat grown here took the second prize at the 
Sydney Exhibition. 

Here another curious freak of bird nature came 
under our observation. A massive carcase had 
been slung up by the butcher of the settlement, 
and perched on it were dozens of twittering 
sparrows and torn-tits tearing away at the flesh 
and regaling themselves right royally. I had 
often heard the expression, " A torn-tit on a round 
of beef," as an illustration of an unequal match 
in size, but here was the real thing itself. 

At Gorge Creek we dip into the valley down a 
slippery, muddy decline, very trying to the poor 
horses, and change teams at the top of the next 
rise. The last sixteen miles into Roxburgh is 
through rocky country and is done in the dark. 
At Coal Creek Flat there are some famous 
orchards. The fruit fetches high prices in Dune- 
din. Grapes are grown under glass, and it is 
amazing to see so little attention paid to such an 
industry, since more than three-fourths of the 
fruit consumed in the colony comes from abroad. 

Flitting lights, twinkling and moving down 
below near the stream, and others shining with a 
steady glow, now apprise us that Roxburgh is in 
sight. The lights by the river are those of the 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 2 1 1 

night shift of miners, busy sluicing their wash- 
dirt while the river is low. Roxburgh is our 
resting-place for the night, and cold and weary 
we alight, and are glad of the welcome dinner 
and warm fire which are awaiting us. 



p 2 



212 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Dunkeld Our Jehu On the box seat A Chinese Boniface 
Gabriel's Gully Good farming Dunedin Harbour 
works A category of " the biggest things on record " 
Charms of Dunedin A holiday drive The Grand 
Hotel The churches Preachers Dunedin mud 
Beer Keen business competition The West Coast con- 
nection " Wild Cat " claims The Scotch element 
Litigiousness Energy of the people. 

ROXBURGH, like nearly all the other goldfields 
towns in New Zealand, is now but a shadow of its 
former self. There is not much of interest to note 
about it. 

To Dunkeld, we ride through a wide pastoral 
valley studded with numerous farms, and pass the 
deserted sites of old gold-crushings by the river. 
One or two dredges are still at work in the stream ; 
but the gold got now is insignificant in comparison 
with the returns of the pristine rushes, when the 
valley was a busy humming human hive. Old 
James M'Intosh, our Jehu, one of the oldest 
drivers in New Zealand, is full of reminiscences of 
these stirring times. He points out to us the fine 
freehold estate of Mr. Joseph Clarke, brother of 
Sir William Clarke, of Victoria. Many farms 
about here are let at a high rental. I was told they 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 2 1 3 

did not pay. We pass frequent parties of rabbit- 
ters, and almost every man we meet carries a gun, 
and is followed by several dogs. The rabbit 
question is a burning one hereabouts. We are 
getting out of the country of rocks now, and the 
hills become more rounded, and are clad with 
a denser growth. The scenery is more distinctly 
pastoral and rural. Flax swamps increase, and 
we leave the snows and cataracts behind us. 

Dunkeld is a sleepy-looking little hamlet. Its 
great four-square hotel is big enough for a popula- 
of ten times the number the town can muster. 
The curtainless windows look cheerless. 

The coach is packed inside, and I share the box 
seat with a dandy, diminutive publican, who has 
made a snug little pile as a butcher, and has taken 
to the tap in his old age as a sort of genteel occu- 
pation for his declining years. The little man is 
possessed of a fine vein of humour, of the broad 
American kind, and some of his passing remarks 
on men and things are shrewd and witty withal. 
The other occupant of the box seat is a desperately 
drunken Irishman, who alternately wants to fight 
and embrace the ex-butcher. At the slightest 
remark he flares up in the most ferocious manner, 
evidently looking on me as a base and bloody 
Saxon, whose head he would like to punch. His 
muttered treason occasionally bursts out into a 
general commination, which includes everything 
English, from Gladstone down to the meanest 
powder-monkey of her Majesty's fleet. It is in 
vain we reason, expostulate, threaten, cajole. His 



2 1 4 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

rum-laden brain is proof against all our blandish- 
ments, until, mindful that "music hath charms," 
I try the effect of a plaintive Irish song on " the 
savage breast." And lo ! at the old familiar strain 
the flood-gates are unloosed, and the poor, blunder- 
ing, impulsive, drink-besotted, warm-hearted bos- 
thoon begins to blubber like a child. 

Poor Pat ! Surely his love of country covers a 
multitude of sins. We get on better after this ; 
but I have to sing till I am hoarse to keep our 
Hibernian friend in the right key, and possibly 
to preserve my pate from a punching. 

We cross the river at Dunkeld on a pontoon 
raft, propelled by the power of the current 
through the agency of a traveller on a wire 
cable, such as we had seen on the Manawatu 
River. I was informed by M'Intosh that the 
idea had been borrowed from India, and introduced 
into New Zealand by an engineer who had served 
in the East. 

At Lawrence, the ancient Tuapeka (why will 
they change these beautiful old native names for 
the vulgar patronymics of Cockaigne ?), we bid 
good-bye once more to the stage coach, and revert 
to the iron horse. Here for the first time in all 
my colonial experience, I noticed a Chinese name 
over a hotel. Sam Chew Lain is the Boniface of 
"The Chinese Empire Hotel," nor is this the only 
sign of the march of civilization among the Mon- 
golians in New Zealand, as I found on reading 
the Bankruptcy list in Dunedin the names of two 
Chinese market-gardeners, whose liabilities were set 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 2 1 5 

down in round figures at some 6oo/., and their 
assets a modest ten-pound note. 

" Tarantara ! ! " 

As the urbane celestial blandly observes. 

" Bankeelupchee, welly goodee. Got him cash, 
got him goods. All same Englisman. Go tloo 
courtee ! ! " 

Close by is the famous Gabriel's Gully, which 
was about the first gold field in Otago. What a 
scene was this in those rude lawless times. Every 
one conversant with the literature of the early 
gold days, can imagine the roar and turmoil, the 
ever-shifting phantasmagoria on those slopes ; and 
along these flats, crowded with tents, blazing with 
camp fires, and the air resounding with the din 
of tongue and shovel and cradle, and not unfre- 
quently the sharp report of firearms. Now the 
little settlement is peaceful enough. There is 
still one rich working up the creek, called the Blue 
Spur claim, which gives employment to about 
one hundred men. The houses are scattered over 
knolls, and up secluded gullies, and many pretty 
villas surrounded with ornamental gardens crown 
the ridges. There is a pretty quiet cemetery sur- 
rounded by pines on the hill behind the town 
where the coffin of many a wild and turbulent 
spirit moulders. At present the trees are for the 
most part leafless, and the aspect of the country is 
dun brown, and bare ; but in summer this must be 
really a pretty district. 

We pass Waitahuna, a great flat, where com- 
panies of bestial-looking Chinamen are fossicking 



2 1 6 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

among the old workings. They have to go deep 
now for wash dirt, but get coarse gold, very red 
and water-worn, among the pebbles and drift. 
They are a more hang-dog set of oblique-looking 
pagans than one generally sees in New South 
Wales. Many of them look as if they had been 
in the wars. 

Cultivation extends to the very tops of the 
ridges here. Great armies of gulls follow the 
shining ploughshare as it turns up the teeming 
tilth. And I am glad to observe pleasing evi- 
dences round every homestead that the tree- 
planting fever has been pretty generally infectious. 

It does one's heart good, after the slovenly 
farming and tree-stumps of some parts of Australia, 
to see the clean fields here. The ploughmen of 
this part of Otago are famous, and the mathe- 
matical exactitude of the long, clean furrows 
would rejoice the heart of a true farmer anywhere. 
The train is full of volunteers going up to Dunedin 
for the review and sham-fight on the Queen's 
Birthday, and the run from Milton Junction is 
past Lake Waihoa, Mossgiel, &c., a part of the 
country which I have already described. 

****** 

Having now got back to the Otago capital, we 
find time to look about us, and very soon the con- 
viction is forced upon us that, from an architec- 
tural point of view, Dunedin is the finest city of 
the whole colony. The inequalities of her surface 
lines undoubtedly aid in producing a fine effect ; 
but the genius of her architects, the taste and 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 217 

public spirit of her citizens, and the liberality of 
her merchants and magnates have all combined to 
adorn their hilly site, and the result is a noble city 
worthy of metropolitan rank in any country. 
Considering the age of the colony, I think the 
progress of this city nothing short of marvellous. 
Hitherto ocean steamers and big ships have had 
to discharge cargoes at Port Chalmers, a small 
town, prettily climbing over its rocky -peninsula at 
the foot of the long firth or estuary, which extends 
upwards to Dunedin proper, some eight miles. 

The Dunedinites, however, have never been 
satisfied with this arrangement. Year by year 
dredging, embanking, and other reclaiming opera- 
tions have been going on. Steadily the channel 
has been deepening, and the reclaimed flats on 
either side broadening ; and bigger and bigger 
craft have been, as time passes, able to come 
right up the bay to the city itself. The harbour 
board has expended vast sums of money on 
these works, and in anticipation of the time 
when the leviathans of the merchant service 
shall haul alongside, great wharves have been 
erected, mighty storehouses line the wharves, and 
the reticulations of the railway system interpene- 
trate both wharves and storehouses. Everything 
is ready for the big steamers, and now a monster 
dredge, said to be the largest on this round sphere 
of ours, is busily engaged deepening the channel 
still further; and no doubt the time is not far 
distant when the honourable ambition of Dunedin 
will be realized, and she will become a port of 



2 1 8 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

direct call for the mightiest ocean-going vessels of 
the age. 

En parenthese, let us just for a moment recapitu- 
late and array together these "biggest in the 
world " items, of which New Zealand is so proud. 
It is, indeed, a motley catalogue. First, the biggest 
dredge ; then, the biggest water-wheel ; next, the 
biggest trout ; the biggest wooden building ; the 
highest wooden bridge ; the biggest calcareous 
terraces ; the biggest bird (if the moa still lives) ; 
the biggest apples those of the Waikato district ; 
the biggesb and most luxurious natural warm 
baths ; the biggest terraced formation ; the biggest 
glacier (that of Mount Cook though that is 
doubtful) ; the biggest tattooing on the biggest 
reclaimed cannibal, with probably the biggest 
mouth ; the biggest flax-bushes ; the steepest 
railway incline ; the biggest beds of shingle ; the 
biggest concrete breakwater ; the biggest cabbages 
if we accept the cabbage-tree as generic ; the 
biggest proportion of rabbits to the acre ; the 
biggest artesian water supply (that of Christ- 
church) ; the biggest beds of watercress ; the 
biggest colonial debt ; and as its admirers say, 
the biggest hearted people, to which my own 
experience says amen ; and the biggest future of 
any of Britain's colonies, to which with a Scotch- 
man's proverbial caution, I say, " Weel, we'll see ! " 
" Nous verrons" 

One of the charms of Dunedin is its irregularity 
of outline. The streets are nowhere straight. To 
get even an approximate idea of the city as a 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 219 

whole, you must mount the fine tower of the yet 
incomplete town hall, or ascend the steep inclines 
which overlook the city, by one of the wire tram- 
ways, which are a feature of the locomotive life of 
Dunedin, or, if you are favoured with a fine day, 
take a drive along the beautiful winding road, 
which threads the heights of the peninsula, between 
the firth and the open sea, and you will be rewarded 
with views of the great city, which give you an 
idea of its extent and importance, such as perhaps 
you could acquire in no other way. 

This drive formed a memorable event in our 
visit. I took with me a small select party of 
ladies and children, and we enjoyed the varied 
scenery to our hearts' content. On the one side 
the cultivated slopes leading down to the bay, on 
the other the frowning headlands, seagirt cliffs, 
and here and there a placid inlet, although in 
some places old ocean battled with the coast in 
its usual boisterous and hollow-sounding fashion. 
Some of the surf bits were exquisite in their beauty. 
Descending the hill above Portobello, however, the 
hired horse, which had hitherto been a paragon of 
every equine virtue, began to lash out wildly with 
his hind legs, and smashed the splinter bar. This 
finished my pleasure for the day. The horse re- 
quired all my attention now, as he had become 
nervous, and manifested an insane desire to shy 
at every conceivable object we encountered. I 
had eight miles to drive home, along the winding 
shores of the bay, by the low road. There was 
no parapet, and the water lapped on the " bund " 



220 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

or embankment all the way. My ladies were 
nervous ; my horse was likewise. My road was 
barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass, and 
the frail rope with which I had spliced my splin- 
tered splinter bar threatened to give at every tug. 
Under such circumstances I must be excused if I 
failed to see the vaunted beauty of Dunedin from 
the harbour. My wife says it was exquisite, beau- 
tiful, lovely, &c. As a dutiful husband, I endorse 
the dictum of my wife. 

Dunedin from the harbour is beautiful. 

One noteworthy feature of Dunedin, one grand 
feature, I may say, is its Grand Hotel. This is 
unique in the Southern hemisphere, and would 
not disgrace New York. Under Mr. Watson's 
able management the visitor finds himself relieved 
from every care. The dining-room and public 
drawing-rooms are palatial apartments. The 
private sitting-rooms are models of elegance and 
comfort. The bedrooms are without a fault, and 
the bath-rooms are luxurious to a degree. The 
table would satisfy the most fastidious ; and if you 
want a more obliging hall-porter than " long 
Charley," with his cadaverous eyes, well, you must 
be hard to please that's all. 

While I am in the praising mood, I must not 
omit to mention Burton Brothers for photographs 
of New Zealand scenery. If Bourne and Shep- 
herd be a household word in India for collections 
of photography, surely Burton's is equally famous 
in New Zealand, and deservedly so. A visit 
to their atelier embraces all New Zealand. You 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 221 

can study every phase of her marvellous coast, 
every aspect of her wonderful hills, rivers, and 
sounds. 

If you want your portrait taken, you cannot 
find a better artist in that line than Morris. One 
glance at his handiwork will confirm what I 
say. 

The churches are really fine. The Scotch Pres- 
byterian Church, of Otago, is well endowed, and, 
much to its honour, it is a liberal patron of educa- 
tion, and supports two professorships in the Uni- 
versity. But the First Church and Knox Church 
would be an ornament to any city ; and to see the 
dense throngs of big-headed, intelligent men, and 
fresh complexioned, elegantly dressed women, that 
crowd the churches is a treat. In Dunedin, par 
excellence, they " do not forget the assembling of 
themselves together as the manner of some is." 
Except in Mr. Charles Strong's church, or when 
Bishop Moorhouse preaches in Melbourne, I have 
not, in all the colonies, seen such packed congrega- 
tions as in Dunedin. 

To hear dear old Dr. Stuart preach was in itself 
worth a pilgrimage. The homely Scottish tongue, 
the genial mobile face, with the earnest eyes and 
appealing, winning smile, the quaint illustrations, 
and powerful searching home thrusts, were those 
of a born preacher. Would we had more such. 
I heard Dr. Roseby too. The affectionateness of 
the man would open the most closely guarded soul, 
and let the sweet influences of the Gospel work 
their will. 



222 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

After what I heard and saw in Dunedin, my 
heart was uplifted. Let no one tell me that the 
power of the pulpit is on the wane. The Word is 
" quick and powerful " still as ever it was, where 
properly presented. But oh, woe is me for the 
many that " sit at ease in Zion." Methinks there 
are too many " dumb dogs " and " hireling shep- 
herds " in some of the churches nowadays. 

Twenty years ago, I saw Dunedin, when it was 
a rambling collection of miserable wooden shanties. 
The cutting through Bell's Hill was not then 
finished. If I mistake not, it was of Dunedin 
mud in those days that the following satire was 
concocted : 

"A new chum, walking along the quaking 
morass that was then the street (so the story 
goes), espied a nice new hat on the surface of the 
treacherous mire. Presumably he was a web-footed 
stranger, for he sallied out to pick up the hat. To 
his surprise it was clutched firmly on both sides 
by two bunches of digits, and he perceived it was 
being held on the head of some subterranean 
wearer. ' Hallo ! ' shouted the N. C., making a 
speaking-trumpet of his hands, " You are surely in 
a bad way down there ? ' ' Oh, no ! I'm all right,' 
came the muffled reply. ' I'm on the top of an 
omnibus.' " 

The streets are very different now. Well paved, 
well scavengered, and with horse-trams running in 
all directions, they redound to the credit of the 
city management. They have not been idiotic 
enough to try and make the trains do the work of 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 223 

a city railway, and consequently the public are 
well served. 

The Water of Leith, with Nichol's Falls, are 
well worthy of a visit. Farther up, through the 
saddle above the falls, a recent discovery has been 
made, which bids fair to introduce a new industry. 
This is a deposit of shale, specimens of which have 
been sent home, and have been pronounced by 
experts there to be of more than usual excel- 
lence. It is in contemplation to erect machinery 
and start works at an early date, and, if all I 
hear be correct, there is no doubt that a highly 
remunerative industry will be inaugurated. 

From shale and sermons to beer. Dunedin 
beer fairly rivals the renowned brews of Auld 
Reekie. The populace seem also to have very fair 
powers of imbibition. There are no less than 
seven breweries in and around the city. This is in 
keeping with almost every other branch of industry. 
It is much overdone. Competition has cut prices 
down to the point at which legitimate profits have 
almost entirely vanished. 

For keen business competition Dunedin fairly 
"cows the gowan," as a Scotchman would say. In 
this respect it puts Aberdeen to the blush, and 
outrivals the Burra Bazaar of Calcutta. The 
fact is admitted by the merchants themselves 
that there is no cohesion among them. They will 
not combine. They all do a " cutting game," 
and while the result cannot but be beneficial to 
the purchasing public, I cannot see how the 
sellers can reap much of a rich reward. Several 



224 O ur New Zealand Cousins. 

instances came under my observation, in which 
a little combination as regards certain commo- 
dities with which the market was insufficiently 
stocked, might have raised prices very materially 
and given the merchant a legitimate profit on his 
scanty stocks. But no ! Each was afraid of the 
other forestalling him, or springing a surprise on 
him ; and, indeed, in some cases, a smart man 
might have bought goods in Dunedin, and shipping 
them to Melbourne or Sydney have realized a 
respectable profit on his transaction. Every 
merchant I spoke to on this subject deplored the 
existence of such a spirit, and yet such I suppose 
are the exigencies of trade, and the keenness of the 
competition, that no one could afford to take his 
stand, and hold for a rise. In other words, it 
seems to me that there is barely sufficient trade in 
Dunedin to keep all the traders going. The cry 
of dull trade was no bugbear in Dunedin. 

The West Coast connection has always been an 
important and valuable one for Dunedin. The 
mining communities on the West Coast prefer to 
get their supplies from Otago ; but they dearly 
like also to " spoil the Egyptians," in the shape 
of Dunedin men, whenever they get a chance. 
The Dunedinites, it would seem, have rather 
arrogated to themselves the reputation of being 
preternaturally knowing, and maintain rather a 
supercilious attitude as regards the intellectual, 
commercial, or other acumen of outsiders. So it 
becomes a study with the West Coast speculator 
"\iv\vtodo Dunedin," i.e. it is considered no in- 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 225 

fraction of any moral obligation, but rather a 
laudable achievement, to beguile the Dunedinite 
out of his money under any pretence what- 
ever. And so the merry old game of mining 
swindle has been played with variations more 
or less intricate, for the last two decades at 
least. Enormous sums of Dunedin capital have 
been invested in perfectly worthless enterprises on 
the West Coast ; and a swindling speculation 
which consists in puffing up a "duffer claim," or 
rigging up a reputation for a worn-out mine, is 
a favourite occupation with many keen-witted 
characters in New Zealand. The claim, or mine, 
so manipulated, is called " A Wild Cat." There 
are many legitimate mining enterprises, and a 
wide field for bona-fide investment, on the gold- 
fields of New Zealand, but let the prudent man 
beware of " Wild Cats." 

Just as a Highlander of the days of our grand- 
fathers looked on smuggling as a virtue, and cheating 
and hoodwinking the gauger as an honourable 
achievement; so the Reefton promoter or projector 
looks on a Dunedinite as his fair, natural, and 
legitimate prey. 

I make bold to say, however, as the result of my 
own rather limited observation, that in the long 
run the Wild Cats get rather the worst of the 
rubber with the Dunedin men. This mutual game 
of " Beggar my Neighbour " does not, as may be 
imagined, tend to elevate the moral tone of the 
people. "Trade fictions," to use a mild phrase, 
are considered justifiable ; and of a great many 

Q 



226 OILT New Zealand Cousins. 

of the statements which the ordinary Dunedinite 
may make to you on ; Change, on the wharf, 
or on the market-place, you might be par- 
doned if you again used the caution of the 
Caledonian, and whispered quietly to yourself, 
" Ou aye ! if a' stories be true, that ane's no' a 
lee." 

Of course I was prepared to find the atmo- 
sphere intensely Scotch. It was delightful to 
hear the dear auld Scottish tongue, to note the 
Scottish names of streets, and mark the prevailing 
Scottish nomenclature on the sign-boards. But 
I was scarcely prepared to find the very wine- 
cards in the hotels transmogrified from French, 
to Scotch ; and yet on perusing the wine-carte at 
the Grand Hotel we found the French " St. Julien 
Me'doc" figuring as St. Julien M'Doe. This was 
transposition with a vengeance surely. 

I do not know whether Dunedin human nature 
be abnormally litigious or not, but this I will aver 
that if all the solicitors and legal practitioners 
of sorts who exercise their calling in the city, 
make a good living out of their clients, it would 
argue that litigation is pretty lively. As with 
commerce, so I should imagine with law it is 
surely overdone. The city swarms with solicitors. 
One well-known legal firm of high standing, and 
in the enjoyment of a splendid practice, have a 
suite of offices that are probably unequalled for 
sumptuousness in any town anywhere. The offices 
are worthy of a visit. The granite pillars at the 
doors were specially imported. The rooms and 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 227 

lobbies are replete with every modern device for 
luxury and adornment. Gildings glisten from 
floor to ceiling. In the centre is a dome of stained 
glass, more in keeping with a summer palace on 
the Bosphorus or Guadalquiver than within the 
precincts of a lawyer's sanctum. If the magnificence 
of the offices be at all a fair index to the scale of 
fees, no wonder Otago litigants are impoverished 
and complaints of dull times are rife. 

A very beautiful cemetery crowns one of the 
overlooking eminences, on the north of the town ; 
and, from its shady walks and terraces, you can 
look down on the busy human hive. The long, 
irregular town spreads away southward at your 
feet. There is the dark-blue mass of the Uni- 
versity, laved by the waters of the Leith Burn, 
and admirably set off by the quaint red-brick 
buildings, of Queen Anne style of architecture, 
which form the residences of the staff of professors. 
Farther along, the imposing bulk of the hospital 
looms up from the valley, and then beyond, the 
graceful spire of the Knox Church, the aspiring 
altitude of the Town Hall, and crowning the 
heights, terrace on terrace of really-beautiful houses 
with artistically laid-out grounds, and the Boys' 
and Girls' High Schools, the convent, the cathedral, 
and other great buildings breaking the continuity 
and evidencing the importance of the city. In 
fact nothing better perhaps is better calculated to 
give the visitor an idea of the push, energy, " go " 
of Dunedin, than to see how the citizens have made 
the most of their difficulties of site. Great hills 
Q 2 



228 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

have been scarped away to make room for villas. 
Roads have been cut right into the solid rock, 
chasms have been bridged and gullies filled, terraces 
and gardens formed somewhat after the similitude 
of the hanging gardens of Babylon, so far as eleva- 
tion is concerned ; and yet every now and then 
you come on a bit of the old original bush, right in 
the heart of an environment of houses and gardens. 
So that, as you look around, upward and downward, 
and reflect that all this lavish display of architectu- 
ral and horticultural adornment has been the work 
of only some twenty years, and that it has been 
achieved in face of natural difficulties which force 
themselves on the attention of the most cursory 
and unthinking observer, you begin to realize 
that the Dunedinites must have come of a good 
stock, and that they do well to be proud of their 
natural progress. 

I do most sincerely hope that the present cloud 
of commercial depression may speedily lift, and 
that the wheels of trade may run merrily as of 
yore. 



229 



CHAPTER XVII. 

The Bluff Bleak and inhospitable view Miserable railway 
arrangements First impressions Cheerless ride to 
Invercargill Forestry neglected Shameful waste 
The timber industry Necessity for reform Pioneering 
The usual Australian mode The native method A 
contrast Invercargill A large farm Conservatism of 
the farming classes Remenyi's anecdotes. 

WE have thus tracked the much-talked-of depres- 
sion down to earth. We have followed the cry of 
"dull times" all through the islands ; and here at 
last, in Dunedin, we have found some faint echoes 
with the ring of truth in them. Before entering 
into any inquiry or speculation as to causes and 
possible remedies, let me finish my descriptive 
remarks by detailing briefly what we saw at 
Invercargill and the Bluff, and then, with the 
reader's permission, we may devote a chapter or 
two, profitably, to a consideration of one or two 
deductions from what we have observed, and 
take a glance in closing at some of the moral, 
social, and intellectual phases of life in this land 
which is so rich in natural beauties and scenic 
marvels. 

We drew up alongside the dreary wharf at 
the Bluff on May 29. It may be necessary to 



230 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

mention for the edification of my readers that this 
is the most southerly point of call for ocean-going 
rteamers to New Zealand. 

The Bluff is a good instance of what is at first 
so puzzling to a new arrival from the old country, 
namely, the antipodean order of things. He has 
been so accustomed all his life to associate cold 
weather, snowy hills, bleak moorlands, and wintry 
skies with the " inhospitable north ;" and warmth, 
colour, foliage,and all the delights of balmysummer 
with the " sunny south/' that he gets " consider- 
ably mixed," as a Yankee would say, to find that 
in New Zealand the farther south he goes he gets 
the less sun ; and if he happens to experience the 
same weather as we did at the Bluff, he will 
begin to think that he has taken farewell of the 
sun altogether. 

Now it does seem like a confession of weakness 
and want of straw, so to speak, to begin a chapter 
by a disquisition on the weather, and yet the 
elements cannot be left out in any description of 
the Bluff. 

If there is any other place at the Antipodes 
where more piercing blasts are to be experienced, 
accompanied by gusts of sleet and rain ; if there 
is anywhere else in the wide world, a more un- 
sheltered, forsaken, " waste-howling wilderness " 
than the Bluff, well, I don't want to see it ; that's 
all. The Bluff is quite enough for me ! I saw 
it in somewhat similar circumstances twenty 
years ago, and it does not seem to have altered 
much since then. There are possibly a few more 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 231 

houses, and bigger shops. The wharves are some- 
what more extensive, and the railway buildings 
have been added. There was a railway twenty 
years ago ; that I distinctly remember, because 
an enthusiastic Bluffite got a shovel, and dug a 
sort of pit in the drifted sand, and showed me 
the rails, but there was no train then. The line 
was blocked by the sanddrifts, and possibly also 
because the provincial treasury-chest was at 
ebb-tide. 

There is a train now. It is the coldest, most 
comfortless train I ever rode in. The railway 
officials seem like the old rails, to have been dug 
out of a sanddrift too. One individual, who 
seemed to be invested with authority, was about 
the most sluggish in his movements of any official 
I remember to have ever met. He professed the 
most sublime ignorance of the time-table, or 
possibly was too lazy to give the asked-for infor- 
mation. Surely any fool, he evidently thought, 
coming to the Bluff, should know at what hours 
the trains ran. At any rate he acted as if such 
were his mental excogitations. The miserable 
pigeon-hole, or trapdoor, through which the bits of 
pasteboard are purveyed, was kept inexorably 
shut till exactly one minute after the train was 
timed to start This, in spite of frequent 
knockings by a troop of fellow-passengers, who 
were already depressed enough by what they 
had seen of the Bluff. Of course, then, the guard 
began to fuss, the engine-driver to cuss, the solitary 
porter to " muss," and things rapidly got " wuss." 



232 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

The first applicant for a ticket tendered a one- 
pound note. 

" Ain't ye got no smaller change ? " came queru- 
lously from the official. 

" No." 

" Well, I can't change it. Ye'll have to wait." 

The next man "planked " a half-sovereign, and 
received his ticket. 

I put down a sovereign, and sharply demanded 
both tickets and change. Now, whether some 
subordinate had in the meantime been over to the 
public-house or store for change, or whether my 
attitude and tone signified that there might be 
trouble about, I know not, but there was no 
difficulty raised in my case. The poor second-class 
passenger, however, who had proffered his pound, 
was kept waiting in the cold for some minutes, 
until at length he managed to get an accommo- 
dating friend on the platform to negotiate the 
desired exchange for him. 

Now " little straws show the drift of the current." 
We are all unconsciously influenced very much by 
first impressions. I can fancy a party of immi- 
grants coming out to New Zealand ; their hearts 
beating with ardent resolves, fond fancies, and high 
hopes, being at once chilled and disappointed by 
the bleak, wintry, inhospitable aspect of the Bluff ; 
but if, in addition, they were doomed to a dose of 
that railway official, I can imagine the suicide 
statistics going up to a hitherto unapproached per- 
centage. The man deserves promotion. He would 
be invaluable as a Ministerial Under-Secretary to 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 233 

receive deputations, or answer questions in Par- 
liament. He merits much the sort of promotion 
Hainan got. 

At length we started for Invercargill. The wind 
howled dismally across the sandy dunes and flax- 
covered mounds. It screamed and whistled across 
the broad shallow bay, and dashed the blurring, 
blinding rain in at every crevice of the rattle-trap 
carriages. Far away over a dim, misty, flat expanse, 
we got one last peep of the distant snowy sierras. 
Then down again came the intensified veil of misty 
clearlessness and hissing sleet. 

The ride to Invercargill was cheerless in the 
extreme. Here and there we pass a train track into 
the once plentiful bush, now getting sadly thinned. 
There are several saw-mills on the railway-line, 
and sidings, piled high with planks and square 
timber. Every year sees the country denuded of 
its best timbers, and yet such is the Bceotian 
stupidity of the average Anglo-Saxon colonist that 
no organized scientific effort is made to fill the gaps, 
and ensure a continuity of the supply. Verily, the 
progress of humanity is a slow process. 

How often do we hear the poor bewildered 
doubter ask, in an agony of vain regret, t( If there 
be a God, why doth He yet permit this evil, or that 
abuse ? " And yet the same doubter will wax 
eloquent as he expounds what he is pleased to call 
the Gospel of Humanity. He exalts the human 
intellect, and indulges in glowing anticipations of 
the unerring fate, which is working toward the 
time when " men shall be as gods, knowing good 



234 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

from evil." But it is the fashion nowadays to 
put all the blame on God. Our doubter quarrels 
with Omnipotence, and the All Wise, " whose ways 
are not as our ways," because the mysteries of being, 
the operations of spirit, the deep problems of man's 
moral nature are not all brought into harmony with 
his own crude, imperfect ideas of what should be, at 
once, by a mere fiat, by a creative instantaneous 
act. " And lo, man being in honour, abideth not. 
He is like the beasts that perish." Take this mat- 
ter of forest-felling, for instance, how short-sighted, 
how crass, how like " the beasts that perish." 
What amazing stupidity ; what shameless greed ; 
what want of foresight, or criminal indifference to 
results! Has not the lesson been proclaimed over 
and over again that wholesale denudation of the 
forests of a country will exact its retribution in 
widespread ruin and desolation ? Forest manage- 
ment has attained the rank almost of an exact 
science now. It has its literature, its schools, its 
laws ; but they do seem to be as a dead letter to 
New Zealanders, and not, alas ! to them alone. 
Occasionally a warning voice is raised, a mild pro- 
test appears spasmodically at intervals in some 
country journal ; but who can touch the callous 
heart of the lumberer and timber contractor ? Who 
can prick his seared conscience ? " Let it last my 
time " is all the aspiration of his creed. " Let 
those that come after me shift for themselves " is 
the selfish cry that echoes in the emptiness of his 
inmost soul, and finds expression in his conduct. 
The legislator who would attempt a remedy ; the 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 235 

reformer who would stay the hand of the spoiler, 
and insist on construction and destruction proceed- 
ing simultaneously, is denounced as a dreamer, is 
hounded down as an obstructive. Vested interests 
stir up ignorance and fanaticism, and the spoiler 
has his way. There is no piercing the thick hide 
of self-interest. You cannot perforate the greedy 
man's armour. 

Now the timber industry of New Zealand is a 
vast one. Millions of capital must be invested in 
it, and thousands are dependent on it for their sub- 
sistence. There is no need to stop timber-getting. 
There is no necessity to close a single saw-mill. 
But surely the plain lessons of experience and the 
monitions of common sense might be acted on. 1 

If self-interest, or patriotism, or intelligence will 
not make individuals act, then the general intelli- 
gence should be roused to interfere. The State 
should frame its policy so that indiscriminate havoc 
should not be made with the forests. Replanting 
should be insisted on, of acre for acre corresponding 
to what is annually cut down. Waste should be 
punished. Strict supervision should be exercised. 
The classes in the commonwealth, other than those 
engaged or interested in the timber trade, should 
have their interests conserved ; and forestry, in a 
word, should be taught and practised, and the in- 
dustry made subject to the same restrictions in 
kind, as have been found to be beneficial in India, 
Germany, and other countries, where public atten- 
tion has been awakened, and the subject scientifi- 

1 See Appendix I., Professor Kirk's report. 



236 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

cally studied. It has been found good for the 
common weal to legislate for factory workers, for 
miners, for mariners, for sportsmen, for farmers 
even, to impose certain restrictions and formulate 
rules ; why should it not be done with lumberers 
and sawyers? It is no reply to say, "Oh, the 
forests will last our time." Surely we have a duty 
to posterity in this matter. I am so convinced of 
the evil that is being done, of the sinfulness of the 
wasteful methods that are allowed, that I cannot 
refrain from adding my feeble protest to that of 
others abler than myself, who have from time to 
time uplifted their testimony in favour of a reform 
in the present conditions of iorest administration. 
And in a hundredfold greater degree is it neces- 
sary for New South Wales. 

You speak on the subject with your fellow- 
tourists. They agree with you that " something 
should be done/' You refer to it in your con- 
versations with farmers, theologians, legislators, 
merchants, squatters, hotel-keepers, and shop- 
keepers. Yes, they agree with you that the 
present state of matters is wrong ; that the best 
kinds of timber are fast becoming scarcer ; that 
the supply at this rate cannot last for ever ; that 
there is enormous preventible waste ; that even 
firewood near the towns is becoming dearer ; 
that the present want of system is rotten ; any- 
thing you like excepting that it is any business 
of theirs to help forward public opinion, to check 
abuses, and institute reformed methods. Here in 
Southland vast areas, while they have not been 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 237 

made one whit more adapted for settlement, have 
simply been despoiled of all that made the land 
valuable to the State. Some few individuals have 
been enrjched, but the country has been impove- 
rished to an extent that would appal the heavily- 
taxed farmer, and general consumer, could he be 
only made properly cognizant of the fact. In some 
parts where public roads had been made, or tele- 
graph-lines constructed through bush country, I 
have seen millions of magnificent logs, each of 
them containing hundreds of square feet of sound, 
merchantable timber, burnt like so much stubble, 
or tumbled together pell-mell to rot, to breed 
putridity, to become a loathsome eyesore, to raise 
one's gorge, at the reckless, sinful waste of God's 
good gifts to man. 

I saw several such roads in the North Island. 
Had a portable saw-mill or, for the matter of that, 
where one could go ten could go had portable 
saw-mills accompanied the road party, enough 
timber might have been cut to go far toward 
defraying every penny of the expense of forming 
the highway. 'Tis true the road might have taken 
longer time to make, the initial expense might 
have been greater ; but in no country that I am 
acquainted with would the returns from sawn 
timber have been so absolutely ignored and con- 
temptuously rejected as an item of reimbursement as 
in New Zealand and, shall I say it, in Australia too. 

Or take the average settler, pioneering in a bush 
district. All the timber he fells is indiscriminately 
burned. That is so! Is it not? It is un- 



238 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

doubtedly generally the case. Well, I, too, have 
been a pioneer, and have had my fair share of 
clearing to do. The method of my procedure, 
which was not different from the general custom 
there, was to cut down all useless undergrowth and 
small timber first. I next selected such trees as I 
intended to retain as permanent shelter. Of course, 
this would depend largely on the uses to which it 
was intended to put the land. My own experience 
and my reading have taught me that, whether you 
are clearing for pastoral or agricultural purposes, 
it is wise always to retain a few trees to the acre. 
In clumps to be preferred. Sometimes I would 
leave a pretty wide belt, and wherever the soil was 
light and poor, I would invariably retain the primal 
forest on such spots, until I could put in plantations 
of more useful trees. 

Thus you provide for shelter, a most important 
desideratum, either for flocks or crops. You also 
cause less disturbance of atmospheric and climatic 
conditions ; and there are other advantages, not to 
speak of the beauty, which accrue from this plan^ 
but which, as this is not a treatise on land manage- 
ment, cannot be given here. 

You next proceed to fell the forest trees. I 
used invariably to lop judiciously, burn what 
could not be used ; but if bark was of any use, it 
was saved. If charcoal could be made from the 
loppings it was made, and the logs, barked and 
stripped of branches, were next cut into con- 
venient lengths, and stacked until such time as I 
could sell them or saw them up. In Germany 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 239 

the chemical products from the destructive dis- 
tillation of wood form a handsome source of 
revenue in themselves. The reserve stock of 
timber thus secured may serve the wants of 
generations. I do not think it relevant to say 
that such a mode might be all very fine for India, 
or France, or Germany, or Great Britain, but it 
would not pay in Australia. I say, give it a 
trial and see. " It wouldn't pay " is too often the 
cry of ignorance and sheer laziness. 

The usual Australian mode, as my readers must 
know, is to cut and slash and burn indiscrimi- 
nately everything, and very often the timber that 
goes to build the settler's habitation has to 
be bought actually from some foreign importa- 
tion. Surely in this vaunted age of enlighten- 
ment and utilitarianism such methods are worse 
than imbecile they are sinful. 

I have heard it said that " there are three things 
in this world which deserve no quarter : Hypocrisy, 
Pharisaism, and tyranny." To these I would add 
a fourth, " waste." 

Instances might be indefinitely multiplied. Is 
a paling post wanted, or a log for a culvert, or a 
rail to stop a gap, the nearest forest king is 
straightway hacked down, leaving frequently 
three or four feet of the very primest stuff in the 
ground. One length is cut up, and possibly as 
much precious material left wantonly to rot as would 
suffice almost to keep a family for a month under 
better management. 

It is true a few faint, but none the less laudable, 



240 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

beginnings have been made. I know one lover 
of his kind who has for years been making experi- 
mental plantings of the most likely trees in New 
South Wales. My brother, in his parish, has set 
an example which is happily being followed largely 
by his people. In South Australia, in Victoria 
even in the sometime laggard New South Wales 
some little is being done to stay ruthless waste ; to 
improve forest administration and introduce new 
supplies of fresh kinds of timber. Near Wanganui 
I saw plantations, 'tis true, and the Government 
must be credited with good intentions in giving 
grants of land as a guerdon for tree-planting ; and, 
yet, how much more might be done. Oh ! surely 
if waste be sinful as I believe it to be might not 
preachers and teachers deviate occasionally from 
their sickening platitudes, to preach practical lessons 
of thrift and economy in such directions as I have 
been endeavouring to indicate ? Surely it would be 
worthy of a patriot or statesman yea even of a 
three-hundred pound a year hireling to devote a 
little time to the elucidation of such economic 
problems as are contained in wise and prudent 
forest administration. 

Or let us look at the matter in yet one more 
light before we leave the subject. Here is a 
country so bountifully endowed with natural ad- 
vantages, that at Gisborne, at Warepa, at Auck- 
land, at Christchurch, out of a score of places, I 
have seen trees whose one year's growth has been 
twelve feet in height. We find in possession a 
savage, cannibal, tattooed race, who, if they wanted 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 241 

a canoe, would select the most suitable tree with 
care, and expend infinite toil in carving it for its 
required use. If they wanted to build a whare, 
the trees were as carefully selected, and as 
judiciously used. There was no wanton disfigure- 
ment of the grand gallery of illustration which the 
Great Architect had painted in such resplendent 
beauty and such magnificent variety on the fair 
face of hill and dale. But at last comes civilized 
man ; the last greatest crowning effort of the 
" selection " of the ages; the "fittest" inhabitant 
of this sublunary sphere. And what do we be- 
hold ? Already the reckless devastation has been 
so great, that ruin impends over more than one 
deforested district. There are places where fire- 
wood actually costs as much as bread ; and still 
we boast of our civilization, and hug ourselves in 
the intoxication of our self-worship, and " thank 
God that we are not as this poor Maori." Let 
him that readeth, reflect. 

Why, even in sleepy Tasmania, where the forests 
are much more dense than New Zealand, the re- 
markable Huon Pine, once so plentiful all over 
the West Coast, is all but exterminated ; and a 
legislative enactment has recently been passed, so 
I am informed, forbidding farther cutting of Huon 
Pine for a period of fifty years. I cannot refrain 
from italics. Is not this a caustic commentary 
on what some of my readers may have been pooh- 
poohing at, and regarding me in their hearts as a 
garrulous "gowk," for presuming to speak as I 
have done. 

R 



242 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Meantime, we are still shivering in the cheerless 
railway carriage on the slow road to Invercargill. 
The rain is plashing and dashing more determinedly 
than ever, and it is evident we are not to see 
Invercargill under favourable auspices. 

And yet I was agreeably surprised at the extent 
of the town. It is well laid out on a great flat 
plain, with gravelly soil, and therefore healthy. 
The streets are rectangular, and of a regal width. 
It was most pleasing to note that the streets are 
being planted with shade trees, and some day 
they will be fine boulevards. The most enormous 
building in the city is Walter Outline's woodware 
factory. Surely in advance of the requirements 
of the place. There is a spacious crescent leading 
up from the railway station, some excellent hotels 
therein, and four handsome bank buildings where 
the main street intersects the crescent. 

Of course on such a depressing day, the general 
appearance was not inspiriting ; but there is a 
large surrounding country, for which Invercargill 
is the emporium, and as settlement increases a 
steady business must always be done. At present 
it has reached the nadir of its depression. A shal- 
low estuary from the sea reaches to the town. It 
is called the New River. Small craft can come up 
on a flood tide, but the sea outlet is, of course, at 
the Bluff. 

The usual industries of a colonial town are 
carried on brickworks, breweries, tanneries, soap- 
works, saw-mills, &c. The chief exports are sawn 
timber and grain, principally oats. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 243 

The New Zealand Agricultural Company has a 
splendid freehold estate in Southland, the pro- 
vince of which Invercargill is the capital ; and 
some idea of the productive capacity of the soil, 
and the importance of the farming interest may 
be gathered from a bare recital of what that one 
estate has done this season. Mr. Valentine, the 
manager, a bright, intelligent Aberdonian, sowed 
over 6000 acres with oats, and did not lose an acre. 
It averaged about sixty bushels to the acre. In 
addition, he has 5000 acres sown with wheat, which 
usually averages forty bushels per acre. Mr. 
Valentine farms on scientific principles, not by 
" rule of thumb." The secret of his exemption 
from the vexatious losses that visit his neighbours, 
he attributes to his early autumn sowings. And 
yet his neighbours will not follow his lead. 

How awfully conservative is the old farmer 
class ! How terribly difficult to move out of the 
old routine ! Even the gods fight in vain against 
stupidity. 

Remenyi, the world-renowned violinist, with 
whom I had the good fortune to travel from the 
Bluff, gave me one or two admirable anecdotes 
bearing on this very point. 

" Potatoes, for instance," said the maestro. "It 
is a plant that does delight in moisture ; but the 
old-world farmers did always plant it on the top of 
the ridge. The American Farmer, he did notice 
that the best potatoes did grow in the hollow. He 
did reverse the old plan ; and now everybody will 
see how much better is the new plan." This told 
R 2 



244 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

in his broken English was more entertaining than 
any reproduction I can give. 

To illustrate the proverbial grumbling of the 
average bucolic swain, he told a good anecdote 
which he heard Francis Deak, the Hungarian 
patriot statesman, tell. 

Deak, whose nobility of soul would allow him to 
accept of no return for his splendid and disinter- 
ested services to his country, used occasionally to 
spend a few weeks' pleasant retirement from the 
cares of politics, at the farm of a well-to-do brother- 
in-law in the country. 

On his arrival, on one occasion, he found his 
host and relative in a very bad humour brow 
clouded, manner abrupt and unamiable ; and on 
asking what was the matter, his query elicited a 
querulous burst of bewailing over his wretched bad 
fortune. 

" Why, what's the matter ? " queried the states- 
man ; " potatoes failed ? " 

" Oh, no ; potatoes are a good crop." 

" Vines blighted, then ? " 

" No ; the vineyards have borne well." 

" Wheat a failure ? " 

" No ; wheat and corn have given an abundant 
harvest." 

" Well, what in the world are you bemoaning ? 
Potatoes, vines, corn, wheat all excellent. What 
can have gone wrong ? Are the cattle dying ? " 

" No, no !" responded the rich Hungarian ; " but 
I tried a half acre of poppy this year, and it has 
turned out a dead failure." 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 245 

" Ah, me ! ;> said Deak. " How many of us think 
only of our half-acre of poppies, forgetful of the 
myriad good things which fall daily to our lot." 

The closing note I find recorded about Southland 
is that it contains the finest herd of black-polled 
Angus cattle in the southern hemisphere. These 
form the famous Waimea herd, near Gore, which 
has taken the first prize for this class wherever 
shown in Australia. 



246 Our New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Education in New Zealand School buildings Opinion of 
a high authority The order of educational arrange- 
ments Professor Black's mining lectures Scheme for 
instruction to miners Technical education Political 
parasites. 

To turn now more to the social than the physical 
features of the colony. After the neatness and 
numbers of the churches, perhaps the next thing 
that most strikes a reflective observer is the atten- 
tion that is paid to education, as exemplified in the 
number of schools, colleges, seminaries, and other 
educational buildings one meets. Although pos- 
sessing a considerably more rigorous and mutable 
climate than New South Wales, the school build- 
ings, as a rule, are not nearly so pretentious and 
expensive in New Zealand as they are in the 
former colony. This one fact alone speaks well 
for the practical nature of the people. In New 
South Wales enormous sums of money have been 
needlessly spent in erecting stone buildings far in 
advance of the requirements of the times. The 
schools are mostly built of wood in country dis- 
tricts in New Zealand. They are comfortable and 
neat. The children generally are taught together 
in class on the floor ; but in the benches and at the 



Our Neiv Zealand Cousins. 247 

desks the boys occupy one side of the school and the 
girls the other. The school furniture is fully up to 
modern requirements. All the teachers I met 
and I tried to get speech of as many as I could 
were very intelligent, and possessed of considerable 
esprit de corps. In such cities as Wellington, 
Christchurch, Dunedin, &c., the high schools were 
indeed quite palatial looking, and some of the 
private educational institutions were not more 
admirable in their interior arrangements for the 
comfort and health of the pupils, than impos- 
ing externally from an architectural point of 
view. 

I had the privilege and good fortune to meet 
some of the highest and most honoured authorities 
on educational subjects in the colony. I found a 
very generally expressed opinion that the existing 
system errs on the side of liberality. The burden 
of the educational impost presses heavier on the 
people every year. In fact, free education is felt by 
manyjnow to have been a political blunder. It 
was never wanted. In the bitter outcry against 
sectarian teaching on the part of large masses, 
the advocates of free education stole a march, and 
succeeded in getting their whole programme of 
free, secular, and compulsory education swallowed 
entire, like a bolus. Many now think that the 
giving up of the revenue derived from fees was a 
useless, nay, a harmful surrender. What costs 
nothing, say they, is generally not valued much by 
the recipient, and anything which tends to sap the 
citadel of personal responsibility and individual 



248 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

independence is bad for the self-reliance of the 
citizen. 

" In Dunedin," as a venerable and learned friend 
put it to me, "In Dunedin, no one objected to school 
fees. There were only a very few poor widows 
who could not afford to pay ; and provision was 
always made for the children of such, without any 
one being any the wiser. The old instincts of 
Scottish independence revolted at the thought of 
parental responsibility being shirked in the matter 
of the education of their children. It was held as 
an article of faith by the majority, that it was as 
incumbent on a parent to provide food for the 
growth and development and nourishment of the 
child's mind as for his body. The result of free 
education by the State is," pursued my friend, 
" very much to beget a feeling of entire indifference 
on the subject on the part of many, and a general 
weakening of the sense of parental responsibility 
almost along the whole line." I try to reproduce 
our exact conversation. Said I, " But you would 
have education compulsory ? " " Undoubtedly ; but 
if parents complied with the requirements of the 
law in respect of attainments, and were willing to 
pay out of their own pockets direct, why should 
they be forced to make their children attend this 
or that school, or submit them to the tuition of 
this or that teacher ? That I think an unwise 
and an unnecessary compulsion. I do not wonder 
at one section of the community kicking against such 
a sweeping and arbitrary enactment. It savours of 
persecution, and I would resent it myself." 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 249 

" But does it not ensure greater economy in 
working, and greater efficiency, and better 
results to have a compulsory State system ? 
Would not the latitude you advocate tend to the 
multiplication of sectarian and denominational 
schools ? " 

" What has that to do with the justice of the 
case ? But I do not think it would. The Free 
Church of Scotland had hundreds of schools, and 
she was very glad, indeed, to hand them over to 
the school boards. They had always been a heavy 
burden, the bearing of which had fallen almost 
exclusively on the minister, who had already too 
much to attend to, if he was really to carry on 
his own peculiar pastoral work, and attend to his 
public ministrations with any degree of acceptance 
and success. The consequences have been all for 
good, in the case of the Free Church of Scotland, 
and I do not think that, with the exception of 
the Roman Catholic Church, and possibly a 
section of the Anglican, any movement in the 
direction of having schools separate from the 
State schools will ever be made here." 

" But would not the secularists object ? " 

" What matter if they did ? I do not think 
that secularism is so strong as some people would 
like to make out. There is a distinct reaction 
against it here in this community." (We were 
speaking of Dunedin at the time.) " The feeling 
that I am glad to say is gaining strength amongst 
us is, that the Bible should be read in all the 
public schools. I would apply the principle of 



2 50 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

local option to Bible teaching, as to whisky selling. 
If the majority of the people in a country town we 
will say Balclutha, for instance, wished to have 
the Bible taught in their schools, why should the 
veto of Dunedin prevent it, and vice versa ? Of 
course, to obviate individual hardships, any child 
might have exemption from attendance on the 
Bible classes under a conscience clause." 

" But suppose the Catholics and Anglicans did 
set up separate schools, would they not demand a 
share of the proceeds of the education cess, as a 
result of your proposed modifications ?" 

" Well, and they might have it ! I would allow," 
said my reverend old friend, " I would allow a 
capitation grant from the general revenue, con- 
ditional on the child passing the secular standard 
established by the Government educational depart- 
ment. In Canada there is an education rate, 
and Catholics are there allowed to pay over their 
rates to their own schools, whether high or ele- 
mentary. All are, of course, inspected and 
examined by the Government officials, only the 
Government does not examine in religious teaching. 
This has worked admirably there, and is the best 
and fairest compromise that could be made between 
the advocates of purely secular teaching on the 
one hand, and denominationalism on the other." 

I give this conversation as being the boldly- 
expressed opinions of a representative man. I 
found they were shared by the majority of the 
intelligent colonists I spoke to on the subject. 
There was evidently in Otago and Canterbury a 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 251 

reaction against secularism pure and simple, and 
the advocates of Bible teaching in schools would 
in my opinion poll an immense majority if it came 
to a vote. 

The order of educational arrangements is briefly 
thus : 

The first step is the primary school. These 
primary schools are thickly scattered over the 
length and breadth of the land. Attached to 
every school is a glebe and house for the teacher. 
A system of what is called provincial scholarships 
is in force so many for juniors and so many for 
seniors. These are open to the youth of both 
sexes, and are tenable for three years. They 
ensure the holder free education, either in a district 
high school or in such high schools as those of 
Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Timaru, &c. 
In fact, all the principal towns boast of their high 
school. 

In the " Otago boys and girls high schools 
Dunedin," for instance, there are more than fifty 
resident pupils getting free education, who either 
hold provincial scholarships, or who, in the com- 
petition for these, have made fifty per cent, or 
over of the necessary marks. This, surely, is a 
liberal arrangement. 

Some high schools again have a higher grade of 
scholarships ; these are tenable for three years also, 
are of the value of 4<D/. per annum, and the holders 
must take the arts course in the University of 
Otago. This University itself also offers two 
scholarships of similar value and condition. 



252 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

The New Zealand University, which is merely 
an examining body, offers also every year about 
a dozen junior, and about half that number of 
senior scholarships. These are open to the whole 
colony. There are also exhibitions and scholar- 
ships founded by wealthy and patriotic patrons of 
learning, and the Otago University has at least 
one nomination for a military cadetship, at the 
Royal Military College at Sandhurst. 

The scholarships of the University of Otago are 
of three kinds : The Junior, of the annual value 
of 45/. ; the Medical Scholarships, annual value 
loo/. ; and the Senior, which are fixed each year 
by the Senate at its annual meeting. There are 
also money and book prizes for best essays, and 
other inducements to aspirants after academic dis- 
tinctions. Altogether, the endowments and en- 
couragements to students are on the most liberal 
and praiseworthy scale. 

There has also been good organization among 
the teachers and professors, for mutual improve- 
ment. During the last seven years it has been the 
custom for the professors in Dunedin, to give 
Saturday lectures in turns, for a few months every 
year, to school teachers solely. The response by 
the teachers has been most cheering. Hundreds 
come down every Saturday during the course, 
from a radius of eighty miles from the city. The 
teachers pay a guinea to the Government for 
their ticket, which entitles them to admission to 
the lectures, and their railway carriage to and fro. 
A most liberal concession ! The movement, three 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 253 

years ago, extended to Christchurch, and is now 
a fixed institution there, and it is now being started 
in Wellington. 

It would be well if some such admirable custom 
could be inaugurated in connection with our 
splendid Sydney University. 

This is not the only evidence of the practical 
good sense and energy which the educational 
bodies in New Zealand bring to bear on their 
work. 

Last year the Otago University Council, re- 
cognizing the need of practical instruction in many 
departments of industry outside the academic walls 
as well as inside, tried the experiment of sending 
Professor Black to the mining centres to lecture 'to 
the miners, and the result was a pronounced 
success. The subject is of such practical im- 
portance to communities such as ours, in a young 
country where minerals are of such frequent 
occurrence, that I make no apology for tran- 
scribing copiously from Professor Black's 
report. 

The professor first of all went to the mining 
centres on the West Coast, where there are ex- 
tensive gold-fields. There he says : 

" I delivered forty-four lectures at fifteen differ- 
ent places, and established testing classes at nine 
centres. The attendance at the classes was very 
satisfactory, many miners in several districts taking 
a holiday during my visit, so as to avail them- 
selves more fully of the testing classes. 

" At Boatman's, near Reefton, I was joined by 



254 Our New Zealand Coiisins. 

Mr. Alex. Montgomery, M.A. of this University 
(Otago), on March I4th, and during the remainder 
of the tour he was of the greatest assistance to me, 
taking an active part in every department of the 
work. Mr. Montgomery also delivered lectures on 
' Geology, Mineral Veins, Faults,' &c., in Grey- 
mouth, Kumara, Hokitika, and Ross, and visited 
the coal-mines at Koranui, Coalbrookdale, and 
Brunner, as well as several of the largest quartz 
reef mines at Reefton, Boatman's, and Lyell. Mr. 
Montgomery's lectures, like my own, were very 
well received everywhere, and a strong desire was 
expressed in many quarters that he should be 
available for carrying on this kind of teaching in 
the district. The subjects of my lectures were the 
following : I. How quartz reefs were formed. 
2. How gold came into the reefs. 3, 4, and 5. 
The chemistry of gold. 6. The extraction of gold 
from quartz. 7. The chlorine process for extract- 
ing gold. 8. Sodium amalgam, and its use in 
saving gold. 9. The amalgamation of copper 
plates, and the removal of gold from them. 10. 
The analysis and assay of gold-bearing stone. 
ii. The ores and metallurgy of silver, lead, tin, 
copper, antimony, zinc, mercury. 12. The chemis- 
try of sheelite, &c. 

" In the testing classes the students themselves 
went through the processes for testing metallic 
ores containing the metals named above, Mr. 
Montgomery having charge of the blowpipe pro- 
cesses, whilst I directed the wet chemical opera- 
tions. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 255 

" In the more important centres, when the 
miners were beginning to see how simple and 
practical were the methods of testing ores, they 
began to form themselves into clubs (subscribing 
usually i/. each) 'to procure the appliances 
necessary for carrying on the testing of ores 
after my departure. Before the end of April ten 
of these clubs were in existence, with their chair- 
men and secretaries, and funds subscribed, with 
a membership ranging from thirteen to thirty- 
five each, total membership about 200. At two 
other places, clubs were being formed when I 
was just leaving the coast. The following are 
the centres where clubs are now in existence : 
Reefton, Boatman's, Lyell, Westport, Waiman- 
garoa, Greymouth, Kumara, Hokitika, Ross, 
Goldsborough ; and in process of formation at 
Dillmanstown and Rimu. Public meetings were 
held in most of the centres to apply to the 
Government and the University of Otago for 
assistance in the way of instructors and facili- 
ties for procuring appliances at the smallest 
cost. 

" During my whole visit I received the warmest 
support, not only from the miners and the civic 
authorities, but also from the clergymen of all 
denominations, medical men, and druggists. The 
press also very heartily advocated the movement, 
and published elaborate reports of the processes of 
testing. During my visit to the coast, as well as 
to the Otago gold-fields, I was strongly impressed 
with the large field open for teaching to crowds of 



256 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

intelligent men such subjects as geology, minera- 
logy, the use of the blowpipe, the chemistry of 
minerals, the extraction of metals from their ores. 
The men are there thirsting for this kind of know- 
ledge. They at present present the saddening 
spectacle of standing together in clubs, with funds 
subscribed for procuring chemicals, books, and 
apparatus, but with no one left to teach them the 
use of these appliances. There was never a 
better opportunity offered to any Government, 
or University authorities, of providing suitable 
means of instruction to so large a number of 
earnest students eager to receive it. And no 
body of students will make a better or more 
direct and immediate use of the instruction pro- 
vided for them. 

" Such instruction, if liberally provided, will 
convert very many of these miners into most 
intelligent prospectors, since they will then be 
able to identify a valuable ore when they find 
it (which is not the case at present). The 
country will reap a thousandfold in the develop- 
ment of its wonderful mineral resources any 
expenditure judiciously made in this direc- 
tion. 

" It is important that help to these clubs come 
soon if it is to come at all. It is much easier to 
keep them going now than it will be to resuscitate 
them again if they are allowed to die for lack of 
support. I need not say that it will give myself 
the greatest pleasure to take an active part during 
the summer holidays in carrying on the move- 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 257 

ment so auspiciously begun in connection with 
your ' School of Mines.' " 

The Professor was farther so impressed with the 
importance of the work thus auspiciously begun, 
that he has formulated a scheme which he for- 
warded to the Minister of Mines to provide 
special instruction in several branches of know- 
ledge on the gold-fields. 

The branches of knowledge embraced in this 
scheme are as follows : " i. Geology, the general 
subject including modes of occurrence of useful 
minerals, prospecting for useful minerals by 
boring and otherwise. 2. Ore-dressing, in- 
cluding gold-saving machines, treatment of 
auriferous sulphides (sulphides of iron, copper, 
antimony, arsenic, &c.), the preparation of 
valuable ores for the market. 3. Mineralogy, 
including the wet and dry processes for determin- 
ing minerals, the physical characters of useful 
minerals, instruction in the use of the blowpipe. 
4. Metallurgy, including the 'characters, tests, 
and mode of occurrence of the ores of gold, silver, 
lead, mercury, copper, tin, antimony, iron, zinc, 
manganese, and cobalt, and the processes for 
smelting these metals or reducing them from their 
ores. 5. Analysis and Assaying, including practical 
instruction in the processes for assaying metallic 
ores. In these testing classes, which I regard as a 
most valuable part of the scheme, the students 
themselves will perform the work under the direc- 
tion of the instructors. It is for the prosecution of 
this kind of work that the local schools of mines 

S 



258 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

have been formed. 6. Mine-surveying. 7. Mining 
These, I think, may, in the meantime, be provided 
for by an arrangement with one or more of the 
local mining engineers." So much for Dr. Black's 
admirable syllabus. 

Can any one doubt that the systematic carrying 
out of such a scheme as this would redound im- 
mensely to the credit of the Government, and 
to the welfare and progress of the mining com- 
munity ? 

A Technical College has, in Sydney, New South 
Wales, been in existence for some years, and has of 
late been launching out upon a wider sea of enter- 
prise, making tentative efforts in directions some- 
what similar to the foregoing. Such efforts are a 
healthy sign of awakening interest in this import- 
ant work of practical technical education. They 
are deserving of the warmest sympathy and com- 
mendation of. every patriotic Australian ; and the 
itinerary of one such lecturer is worth all the 
twaddle and fustian of all the stump politicians and 
demagoguic nostrum-mongers who muster thick in 
Sydney, and who air their incoherent and in many 
cases antiquated and exploded theories with a 
vehemence and fervourwhich, if applied to some 
honest occupation say breaking blue metal, for 
instance would make even these wind-bags 
superior to all the frowns of fortune. Your politi- 
cal spouter and conference organizer, however, has 
a wholesome horror generally of hard work for 
himself. The golden gift of eloquence, or what 
he mistakably assumes to be its equivalent, 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 259 

"glibness of gab," is accepted by him as the 
direct guerdon of a kind Providence to enable him 
to live sumptuously on the proceeds of the hard 
work of others. Such men are the parasites of the 
body politic. 



S 2 



260 Our Nezv Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The farming industry Technical education for farmers 
An agricultural department a necessity State of farm- 
ing in Australia Slovenly methods New products 
Necessity for experiment Village settlement Water 
conservation Futility of a protective policy. 

THERE is in the Australian colonies, alas ! another 
branch of national industry, more ancient and 
honourable even than that of mining, and which is 
even more in need of the wise help of well-wishers, 
and the sympathy of friendly counsellors. We 
read and hear of much being done for the mining 
interest, and no one grudges all that is being done 
to elevate this most important industry to a posi- 
tion commensurate with its deserts. But what 
about the patient farmer and toiling husbandman ? 
What is being done by our universities, our govern- 
ments, our politicians, to help forward the grand 
old primal industry, and to accentuate the homely 
old aspiration of " Speed the plough " ? Trades 
unions and guilds exist in plenty, by the laudable 
efforts of which the position of the artisan has been 
much ameliorated. Organizations exist, by which 
the class interests of special sections of the com- 
munity are jealously guarded, and their rights and 
privileges conserved. But why is it we hear so 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 261 

much in New South Wales, at least, of the poverty 
of the farmer ; of the disabilities and drawbacks 
under which tillage labours ; of the disinclination 
which undoubtedly exists among young Australians 
to take to the plough and become cultivators of 
the soil ? 

Is it that farmers are more divided, less intelli- 
gent, more indifferent and less energetic than the 
artisan and the miner? Surely, for the very 
honour's sake of the sower and reaper, we cannot 
say that. 

Is it that the climate is too rigorous, our soil too 
poor, and our returns too scanty, our expenses too 
excessive, our fiscal policy too unaccommodating, 
our markets too limited, or our rulers too 
antagonistic and unsympathetic, that agricultural 
pursuits seem to languish ? Some of all of these 
causes are assigned by various authorities ; but 
whatever be the reason, it seems to be the common 
opinion that farming in Australia, as it is under- 
stood in the old country, does not pay. It is an 
undoubted fact that among the masses in general, 
much apathy and ignorance does exist on this most 
vital subject, the progress of our agricultural 
industry. 

Now surely it will not be denied that farming is 
of equal importance to mining. It is certainly 
capable of more widespread application. It gives 
employment to more inhabitants in the State. It 
is, in fact, the industry par excellence which forms 
the basis and foundation of all others. All other 
implements, where usefulness is concerned, must 



262 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

yield the place of honour to the ploughshare. 
And yet is it not a notorious fact that the practice 
and science of tillage is sadly neglected in Australia 
generally ? Instances of wasteful and ignorant 
farming are not confined to New South Wales. 
They are common enough even in New Zealand. 
Surely if a school of mines is a necessity, a school 
of agriculture is not less so. (I merely select 
mining for the purpose of a comparison, and not 
with the intention of undervaluing its great impor- 
tance). Yet certainly if lectures on metallurgy 
and mineralogy are valuable, instruction by 
practical experts in the chemistry of soils, the laws 
and phenomena of growth, the relations of climatic 
influences to varieties of products, and the experi- 
mental introduction of new plants, new processes, 
and new adaptations of natural and mechanical 
forces to the art and practice of cultivation, 
whether in field or garden, are of equal importance 
and desirability. 

The plain fact is, I take it, that from a broad 
national point of view, the vast importance of 
farming, whether pastoral or agricultural, has been 
much under-estimated, if not altogether overlooked. 
Mining speculations, commercial undertakings, en- 
gineering works, explorations, politics and polemics 
have all loomed largely in the public eye ; but the 
work of the silent ploughshare, of the meditative, 
unobtrusive husbandman, has attracted little 
notice, either from the honest patriot or the 
scheming self-seeker. Farmers have been too 
widely scattered (one of the direct results, in New 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 263 

South Wales, at least, of indiscriminate selection 
before survey), and have been too disunited, to 
make them attractive-enough material for the 
blandishments of the professional demagogue ; but 
the inevitable Nemesis which follows a disregard 
of Nature's laws is now forcing the question of 
agriculture to the front. Farmers' unions, too, 
have been established of late years ; and the 
farmer is now becoming an object of more interest 
to certain classes, who see in him a convenient peg 
on which to hang a pet nostrum, or a handy hack 
on which to ride some cherished hobby. 

For myself personally, I can claim to have been 
a persistent and consistent advocate of the import- 
ance of our agricultural interests ever since I cast 
in my lot for good in this the land of my adoption. 
By writings, by lectures, by experiments, by dis- 
tributing seeds and plants, by every influence I 
could command, I have never lost an opportunity 
of trying to rouse public attention to the vital 
importance of this much-neglected branch of our 
national industries. I have been a humble co- 
worker with some of the brightest and noblest 
spirits in the colonies ; but the most brilliant 
individual efforts are, after all, apt to get lost in 
the immensity of conflicting interests which agitate 
young and expanding communities such as these. 
The time has come when a Department of Agri- 
culture should form part of our administrative 
machinery. A Minister of Agriculture is a 
necessity for New South Wales no less than for 
New Zealand. If Victoria, South Australia, India, 



264 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Canada, to say nothing of such countries as 
France, Germany, and other continental states, 
including even little Denmark, have found it a 
wise provision, surely the necessity is even greater 
for an imperfectly developed country like New 
South Wales ? Experimental farms and schools 
of farming are badly wanted, and must be founded, 
if we are to keep pace with the achievements of 
other communities, utilize to the full our splendid 
possibilities, and hold our own in the march of 
material and mental progress. 

I have already spoken of the wasteful methods 
in vogue with the New Zealand farmer ; as, for 
instance, in the disposition of straw, neglect of 
manure, disregard of draining, and so on ; but a 
much more serious matter is the exhaustion of 
the land in many of the earlier settled districts. 
Continuous cropping without rotation or rest has 
worked its usual result in Otago, Canterbury, and 
Southland, as in County Cumberland in New 
South Wales, and in other parts of Australia. 
The rotation of crops is part of the alphabet of 
agriculture ; but it would seem as if Australian 
farmers were really, in some respects, ignorant of 
their first letters. Or is it that they are too lazy, 
or too greedy ? " Soft words butter no parsnips ! " 
Anyway, I believe soft soap is a poor salve. 
" Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the 
kisses of an enemy are deceitful." It is the 
veriest folly to imagine that any soil, even the 
richest, can be cropped year after year with the 
same crop, and not become impoverished. Wheat, 



Oztr New Zealand Cousins. 265 

for instance, takes a certain set of constituents 
from the soil. These must be given back in the 
form of manure, or the land inevitably becomes 
less able to grow wheat. Disease is at once a 
consequence and an evidence of insufficient nourish- 
ment. Hence many common crop diseases are 
Nature's protest against a direct infringement of 
he*r laws. It is probable that if lands round 
Camden, 1 we will say, had been well-manured, or 
if farming by rotation had been practised, rust 
might never have put in an appearance in 
County Cumberland. Now, in the earlier times, 
wheat seemed to be the ultimate limit beyond 
which the mind of the farmer never rose. Even 
now the bucolic mind is desperately conservative, 
and it seems hard to make the ordinary farmer 
understand that if wheat will not pay, something 
else might. Instead of resolutely tackling the 
problem of experimenting, of availing himself of all 
the modern discoveries and improvements in the 

1 Camden, a beautiful district in County Cumberland, 
New South Wales, is one of the earliest settled parts of the 
colony. It was here that wheat-growing was first introduced 
into Australia, and for years the rich soil gave returns so 
enormous, that the farmers in their foolishness cropped the 
soil to death. Subsequently rust made its appearance, and 
for many years wheat -growing has been abandoned, mills lie 
empty, silent, and unused, and sorrel, briars and weeds have 
taken the place of the golden leagues of waving grain. The 
farmers too grew lazy and inert. Fruit and grape growing 
has been tried latterly, but at the present moment phylloxera 
has made its appearance in some few vineyards in the 
district, and the Government are meditating measures for its 
extirpation. 

They are only meditating. How long they will meditate 
before they will act it is impossible to say. 



266 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

art and practice of agriculture, he too often gets 
led away by some irresponsible will-o'-the-wisp, in 
the shape of some glib-tongued theorist, who seeks 
a remedy for short crops and poor prices in such 
cabala as reciprocity, free-trade, protection, reduc- 
tion of railway rates, and so on. 

There is a certain text in an old-fashioned book 
which will persist in forcing itself on my memory 
when I hear the plausible specifics of such Sangra- 
dos. It is one of those proverbs which the scribes 
of Hezekiah copied out, and it is well worthy the 
attention of every farmer. It is a promise and a 
warning, which is peculiarly applicable to Austra- 
lian farmers in the present juncture. It is this : 
" He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of 
bread ; but he that followeth after vain persons 
shall have poverty enough/' 

When coffee in Ceylon was blasted by the 
blight which ruined more than half the planters, 
and nearly wrecked the prosperity of the island, 
what has been the result ? It was seen how 
dangerous it was to rely on any one staple ; how 
important not to have all the eggs of national 
prosperity in one basket. Now Ceylon is entering 
on a new and extended lease of renewed vigour 
and prosperity. Tea, cinchona, india-rubber, 
cocoa, and other products are yielding splendid 
returns, and much of this resuscitated life and re- 
awakened enterprise is due to the experimental 
gardens, and the work which has been done by 
planters and others in acclimatizing new plants 
and trying new products. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 267 

So, too, with Mauritius. The over-production 
of sugar, with the consequent collapse of the sugar 
market, brought the staple industry of Mauritius 
to the verge of extinction ; but now it is found 
that coffee, the aloe, china-grass, fibres, and other 
products can be successfully grown ; and it is 
certain that good, and not evil, will be the ultimate 
issue of present perplexities. 

Surely such lessons are plain enough for us to 
learn them here. 

All the schools and lectures and experiments in 
the world will not furnish the farmer with moral 
attributes. They will not provide him with thrift, 
energy, intelligence, industry ; but if in the posses- 
sion of these, they will help him to use them to the 
best advantage, and I think it is in this way we 
can secure the most practical protection to the 
pristine profession, and give the most living impetus 
to the great agricultural industry. 

Doubtless there are many drawbacks attendant 
on farming in Australia and New Zealand, such 
as want of capital, dearness and scarcity of labour, 
which act as a handicap on the struggling husband- 
man at the antipodes, but there are none the less 
grave grounds for reproach, and plenty of oppor- 
tunities for candid self-examination and reform- 
Both in New Zealand and Australia, I have fre- 
quently observed with pain and regret the sloven- 
liness and wastefulness of the methods employed 
by farmers in the ordinary work of the farm. 
There is frequently, too, the smug self-satisfaction 
of the incurably self-conceited egotist. Many 



268 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

ignorant dunderheads are too self-complacent to 
" take a wrinkle ;" too hopelessly obtuse to act on 
a hint ; too slavishly wedded to antiquated custom 
to profit by the experience of others. 

To give an instance : I once remonstrated with 
one man for burning the stalks of his maize crop. 
I informed him they were nutritive, contained 
much saccharine matter, could be chopped up and 
mixed with chaff and straw, and when moistened, 
and a little salt added, made an excellent fodder, 
and were so used by the Germans and by the 
cultivators of India. The old farmer only insulted 
me for my well-meaning bit of information ; but 
a young neighbour of his took the hint, and it has 
resulted in a very considerable addition to his 
income. 

Wherever any farmer has resolutely set himself 
to discard old, antiquated notions, and gone in for 
modern farming, availing himself of the use of 
modern labour-saving machinery, and growing 
such crops as were most readily saleable, growing 
them, too, on a scale large enough to enable him 
to concentrate work and expenditure, the result 
has, in every case I have observed, been a trium- 
phant vindication of science over rule of thumb, 
and such men, though they may grumble at lots 
of things, do not blame either the soil, the climate, 
or the country. 

If we in New South Wales can buy potatoes, 
wheat nay, even cabbages, cheaper from Victo- 
rian, New Zealand, and South Australian farmers, 
the natural course is to buy them, and let our own 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 269 

farmers turn their attention to something that will 
pay better. And so it is I advocate the establish- 
ment of experimental farms, and a department of 
agriculture as an imperative necessity, to say 
nothing of the beneficence of such a policy. There 
are drugs, dyes, fibres, fruits, oil-seeds, vegetables, 
timbers, barks, piths, nuts, roots, even mosses, 
weeds and fungi, with multitudes of valuable fodder 
plants, which are eminently suitable to our soil, 
adapted to our climate, and congenial in every way 
to all our conditions. It is in introducing these, 
in making these known that our experimental 
farms would be so beneficial. In no other way 
that I can see would so much national good be 
done at so little cost, Methinks that in this direc- 
tion even the most bigoted protectionist, and the 
most utilitarian free-trader might work hand in 
hand. 

Another feature of New Zealand rural life which 
struck me was the frequency of villages the 
nearness of neighbours in a word, settlement in 
communities, as contrasted with the isolated, 
detached way in which habitations are found set 
down at wide, weary intervals, in most of the 
country districts of New South Wales. Indeed, 
village life, such as we know it in the old 
country, or as it is found in many parts of 
New Zealand, is scarcely known in our older 
colony. The evils of indiscriminate, unrestricted 
selection the Ishmaelitish, nomadic proclivities 
of the roving land-grabber of the old regime are, 
alas ! " twice-told tales " in New South Wales ; 



2 /o Our New Zealand Cousins. 

but in New Zealand, especially in Otago, a more 
human and humane system had evidently been 
followed from the first As a consequence, farms 
and fields were neatly fenced and divided. 
Village churches were numerous ; common centres 
round which clustered the neat homes of village 
tradesmen and traders. Farm-houses were trim 
and neat, and adorned with gardens and orchards 
much more than is common in Australia. Waste 
places were fewer, roads were more numerous 
and better kept, and, in fact, rural settlement 
was more forward ; and notwithstanding a wide- 
spread depression commercially, consequent on 
continued bad seasons and low prices for produce, 
the people looked healthy, happy, and contented, 
and I saw nothing to indicate any absence of the 
material comforts, and even the common luxuries 
of life. 

For many years I have advocated that a trial 
should be given in Australia to oil crops. Some 
time ago I contributed articles to various journals 
on the subject, and made special reference to it in 
my last published volume, 2 and it was gratifying to 
find instances during my tour that proved my 
ideas were not chimerical. I found, for example, a 
few progressive farmers turning their attention to 
linseed as a crop. I have on record the results of 
several of these trials. I find that even with a 
yield of half the number of bushels of linseed to 
the acre as compared with wheat, the oil seed crop 

2 " Our Australian Cousins." London: Macmillans, 1880. 



O^^r New Zealand Coiisins. 271 

pays better than the cereal. An average price of 
5-$". 6d. per bushel is procurable in Dunedin all the 
year round for linseed, and I am convinced that 
rape seed, mustard seed, sesamum, gingelly, castor 
and other such crops would be more suitable to 
our climate and pay our farmers better. 

Much might be written on this subject, but the 
space at my disposal is limited. New Zealand is 
so bountifully endowed with that merciful gift of 
heaven water that she has an undeniable 
superiority over us in this drought-infested colony 
of New South Wales ; but this is only another 
argument to strengthen my contention that we 
do not utilize our gifts to the full as we might. 

Water conservation might well go hand in hand 
with the experimental work of an agricultural 
department. As an instance of what private 
enterprise can accomplish, I may mention that in 
the far west now, I am privileged to be a co- 
worker with a public-spirited and wealthy land 
owner, and on rich soil, such as we have for count- 
less leagues on our great western plains, he is now 
irrigating and preparing land for sowing with 
tropical crops, and the result may be the in- 
troduction of several new and remunerative 
industries. 

With irrigation, a plentiful supply of agricul- 
tural labour, intelligent experiment and collation 
of facts and dissemination of information under a 
well-organized and active agricultural department, 
a liberal land system, which will seek to minimize 
harassing restrictions and exactions, and give 



272 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

fixity of tenure with compensation for all improve- 
ments by which the value of the land would be 
permanently enhanced, such as dams, tanks, wells, 
&c. the lot of the farmer in New South Wales 
might be enormously advantaged, and it is in this 
direction that the friends of the farmer must work, 
and the hare-brained twaddle we hear about a pro- 
tective policy for the farmer, which would tax him 
heavily on every implement of husbandry for the 
benefit of an insignificant section of weak-kneed 
manufacturers, which would seek to force him into 
a continuance of his present unequal fight with 
Nature, in which he vainly tries to grow products 
for which his soil and climate are not so well 
adapted as those of his competitors in more 
favoured neighbourhoods, and which, in a word, 
seeks to sap his energies, rouse his worst passions, 
inflame his discontent, and make him less self-reliant 
and enterprising, instead of encouraging him to 
patient investigation and intelligent experiment. 
All this irresponsible chatter, I repeat, .by imprac- 
ticable theorists and hobbyists, all the protection 
conventions, vain-glorious challenges to public 
debate, and organized stumping of the country by 
fluent farmers' friends, who perhaps don't know 
the difference between a plough and a pickaxe, 
would not do one tithe the good that one experi- 
mental farm would do. In fact, by distracting 
men's attention from practical measures, and rais- 
ing clouds of dust on theoretical issues for purely 
personal political ends, these self-dubbed saviours 
of the farming interest do irremediable harm. 



273 



CHAPTER XX. 

Good-bye to the bluff A rough passage Tasmania in the 
distance Coast scenery A nautical race Ocean fish- 
eries Neglected industries Fish-curing Too much 
reliance on State aid The view on the Derwent 
Hobart from the sea An old-world town " No spurt 
about the place" Old-fashioned inns Out into the 
country A Tasmanian squire The great fruit industry 
A famous orchard Young Tasmanians The hop 
industry Australian investments The Flinders Islands 
A terra incognita Back to Melbourne. 

THE icy breath of the South Antarctic was caus- 
ing finger-tips to tingle as we steamed away from 
Invercargill in the good ship Wairarapa, and left 
the shores of Maoriland to fade away in the blue 
haze of distance. What a feast of picturesque 
grandeur and beauty had we not stored up in 
memory ! What visions of the wondrous glory of 
the Almighty's creative skill did we not recall as 
we pondered over the incidents of our all too short 
summer holiday ! And yet we had not half ex- 
hausted the marvels of this land of wonders. The 
weird solemnity of Lake Taupo, with its volcanic 
eruptions and abysmal activities ; the awful 
majesty and rugged grandeur of the Alpine gorges 
and passes ; the labyrinthine intricacies and as- 
tounding sinuosities of the West Coast Sounds, 
with their startling contrasts of blufif and craggy 

T 



2 74 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

peak, dashing cascade, and calm azure depths of 
unfathomable sea, heaving gently at the foot of 
beetling cliffs the perils of mountain ascent, over 
glittering glacier and tumbled moraines the blush- 
ing vintage and orchard bounty of the far north 
the billowy prairies of rustling grain in the more 
robust south ; all these we might have witnessed, 
had time been at our disposal ; but all these, and 
marvels many times multiplied, may be seen by 
any one possessed of leisure and means, who may, 
after reading these notes of mine, feel the impulse 
born within him to follow our example, and pay a 
visit to this glorious country. I once read a book 
on the marvels of India entitled, " Wanderings of 
a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque." There be 
many pilgrims now-a-days after the same quest ; 
but India and all the magnificence and colouring of 
Oriental pomp and luxury all the barbaric splen- 
dour of "the land of the peacock's throne" 
cannot, I think, compare with the majestic pro- 
digality, the lavish adornment with which Nature 
has so generously and richly attired the mountains, 
plains, lakes, forests, and coasts of New Zealand. 
For variety of natural scenery I do not think any 
country on our planet can vie with it. Little 
wonder, then, that any one having a soul in har- 
mony with the beautiful in Nature, ever so little, 
and gifted, if even but sparingly, with the faculty 
of expression, should revel in description of these 
wonders. As a countryman of Burns and Scott, I 
confess I could not resist the impulse, and if I 
have given any of my readers only a tithe of the 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 2 75 

pleasure by my descriptions that the actual 
witnessing of the scenery itself has given me, 
then I feel that I am repaid for all my scribe 
labour ; and possibly, if I have been the means of 
exciting a desire to behold for one's self the 
wonders of Maoriland, I will reap a rich reward of 
kindly benediction by-and-by, I am sure, from 
travellers who may follow my footsteps, checking 
my accuracy and sharing in my delight. 

We had a rough, nasty passage to Tasmania. 
The bounding billows of the South Pacific belie 
their name ; and the peristaltic motion they impart 
to the diaphragm begets tendencies the very reverse 
of pacific. " The vasty deep " in these southern 
regions gets very much mixed and tumbled up, in 
the winter months, and the accompaniment to the 
cheerful whistling of the merry winds in the rigging, 
was a series of groanings almost too deep for utter- 
ance in the cabins below. We were glad when the 
bold coast of Tasmania hove in sight. Cape Pillar 
was the first promontory to greet us. Certes, how 
the icy blasts shrilly piped their roundelay. The 
spray from the cut- water hissed past us as we stood 
on the poop, and made the skin tingle, as from the 
lash of a whip. As we got abreast of Port Arthur, 
the scene of horrors and cruelties and iniquities of 
demoniac intensity in the old convict times, the 
elements quieted down somewhat, and we were 
able to enjoy the varied panorama that rapidly 
unfolded itself before us as we sped swiftly along. 

Dense forests clothe the country from the far- 
off inland hills down to the cliffs that guard the 
T 2 



2 76 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

coast. At Cape Raoul the basaltic columnar 
formation of the coast is very strikingly dis- 
played. The cliffs jut out in serried series of 
mighty pillars, just like the perpendicular pipes 
of a great natural organ. The blast wails and 
shrieks amid the nooks and crannies, and anon 
sobs with a gurly undertone of lamentation as it 
whistles past. All the cliffs in shadow are white 
with hoar frost, and their minute icicles glitter 
like diamonds, while the sunny portions, wetted 
with spray, gleam with a sheen which is positively 
dazzling. 

Now Storm Bay opens out before us. As if to 
sustain its reputation, the icy blast comes swirling 
round the snowy summit of Mount Wellington 
with augmented force, and chills us to the mar- 
row. We were informed that snow on Mount 
Wellington is abnormal. Anyway the night- 
cap was on when we were there, and the 
weather was bitterly cold. Now we catch the 
gleam of a white lighthouse on a small island right 
ahead. Lovely bays open out on the right. 
The long, glistening estuary of the Derwent, studded 
with the bleached sails of numerous yacht-like craft. 
The long blue indistinctness of the river line of the 
Huon, with here and there a sail relieving the 
uniformity of tint. The swelling forest-clad hills 
closing up the background, and now the homesteads 
and ' green fields here and there dotting the long 
acclivity in front, all made up a scene which for 
breadth, animation, brightness, prettiness, you 
would find it hard to beat anywhere. The knolls 



On r New Zeala n d Cous ins. 277 

at the mouth of the inner bay are quite park-like 
with their clumps of bosky wood. Round the 
various points, sailing close up in the wind, creep 
whole flotillas of fishing and trading ketches. 
Tasmanians are famed for their dashing seamanship. 
The broad estuary is thronged as if a regatta were 
being held. Some of the ketches lie very low in 
the water, and some heel over in regular racer 
fashion. Most of them have a deep centre-board. 
Ask the skipper where is his load-line. .He will 
answer, " Up to the main hatch." They are 
manned by a hardy, adventurous race, who number 
among their ranks some of the very finest boat 
sailors in the world. What splendid herring fishers 
they would make ! Yes, if we only had the 
herring ! * 

And yet around the Australian coasts what 
hauls might be made with proper appliances, and 
what a source of wealth have we not in the teem- 
ing millions of fish that haunt the shores, and 
breed among the islets and in every bay and 
estuary. Here is another of the neglected indus- 
tries that might give employment to hundreds 
of our colonial youth. It needs no coddling by the 
State. It would flourish without the aid of fustian 
claptrap. It might exist without any custom-house 

3 Since the above was penned, an effort has been made 
to acclimatize this well-known fish. A large consignment 
of herring ova was sent out to Melbourne, but unfortunately on 
being opened, the whole shipment was found to have gone 
bad. There is little doubt that the trial will again be made, 
and that the introduction of this valuable fish is only a 
matter of time. 



278 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

interference. All that is wanted is energy, 
enterprise, a little daring, and hardihood, a little 
common-sense organization, and the machinery for 
disposing of the fish after they are caught. If some 
enterprising capitalist would only import a crew 
from Cornwall, or Montrose, or Buchan, or 
Lerwick, to show our Australian youngsters how 
they do it in the more treacherous and boisterous 
seas of the inclement north. I think the 
venture would pay a good dividend ; and I am 
quite sure every well-disciplined and properly- 
balanced gastronomic mind would hail such an 
attempt to introduce a change .from the eternal 
"chop, steak, and sausages," with a chorus of 
benediction. 

In New Zealand, fish-curing is a thriving and 
lucrative calling. In every hotel delicious smoked 
fish form a never-failing adjunct to the breakfast 
table. Large quantities are exported and reach 
Victoria, and go to other parts. Why can we not do 
likewise in New South Wales ? Again I ask is it 
ignorance, or apathy/ sloth, want of energy and 
enterprise, or what is it ? Are we so mildewed 
and emasculated with the eternal molly-coddle 
of the Government pap boat, that we cannot launch 
out and start a new industry like this by private 
enterprise ? 

Has the dry rot of subsidy and bonus so wizened 
us up that all private initiation and independent 
effort is atrophied? Surely when natural channels 
pf enterprise such as this exist, and are only 
waiting to be tried seriously and sensibly, to 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 279 

succeed nay, to brilliantly succeed is it not folly 
is it not sinful, for patriots with exuberant 
verbosity, to get up and demand that the State 
shall impose protective duties on this and that in- 
dustry, thus hampering the free play of commercial 
activities, strangling all noble self-reliance, and 
crushing all independent spirit out of a people 
already deeply infected with the demoralizing 
doctrine that the State is to do everything, and that 
private pluck and enterprise are a mistake and a 
delusion. 

Some time ago several Chinamen started fish- 
curing on one of the northern lakes in New South 
Wales, and at the time I knew the place, they were 
doing well and making a good thing out of it. 
But then there arose vicious and evil practices, such 
as the sinful slaughter of myriads of young fry 
the use of illegal nets, the wholesale destruction of 
spawn by means of dynamite, &c., and I believe 
the fishing on that part of the coast was pretty 
well murdered. It is a saddening and a humilia- 
ting reflection that, with all our self-complacency 
and self-congratulations about our marvellous 
resources and wonderful natural wealth, we really 
do so mighty little practically to develop the one 
or utilize the other. 

Possibly the hardest-working and most self- 
reliant class we have in the Australian community, 
it seems to me, are our miners or diggers and 
prospectors ; and upon my word, our mining 
legislation generally, seems deliberately designed 
with the object of making things as hard for the 



280 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

miner, and putting as many obstructions and 
impediments in his way, as possible, 

But to hark back. Here I am off the track 
again, and pursuing my impetuous way from 
smoked fish to mining reserves, without ever a 
thought towards the patience of my readers ! 

One of the most prominent features that shows 
boldly out from the background of boscage as the 
visitor nears the narrows of the Derwent, from the 
open roadstead, is a gigantic shot tower, which must 
have been built in the very early days when the 
Hentys were pioneers over on the Victorian coast, 
and when the clanking irons of the chain gang must 
have been a constant sound in the infant settle- 
ment. Let the reader get that weird and awful 
record of the convict system, contained in Marcus 
Clark's novel, " His Natural Life," and he will then 
have an idea of what man's inhumanity to man is 
t^pable of. The old tower is not the only evidence 
of antiquity about the place, as we shall presently 
see. Meantime look at the chequered patterns on 
the hill-sides. Black ploughed fields alternate 
with the squares of green young crops, and these 
again with symmetrically arranged orchards and 
vineyards. Yes, this is the chosen home at the 
antipodes of the ruddy-cheeked and golden-haired 
Pomona. One can almost fancy there is a fruity 
fragrance floating on the breezes that sweep over 
the laden trees. Away to the left, the long 
gleaming water-way of the tortuous Huon, 
crowded with ketches, wanders in and out 
among the hills, which are here clothed from 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 281 

base to summit with forests of blue and red gum, 
stringy bark, Tasmanian cedar, and other valuable 
timber trees. 

Now as we glide onward, the homely old city 
opens out, backed by the steep bulk of Mount Wel- 
lington, whose tawny shoulders are now streaked 
with drifted snow. A fortress is here also in 
course of construction, though it seems, to my 
civilian eye, to be easily dominated by the heights 
at the back. Here lies Hobart at our feet, shining 
in the sun, and climbing, in errant and leisurely 
fashion, the easy slope which trends upwards from 
the water's edge. 

A knoll projects out into the water in the middle 
of the city, and the houses cluster thickly round 
the two bays thus formed. The farther one is 
seemingly the busiest, as there are the wharves, 
warehouses, and populous streets. The ware- 
houses are enormous. The roofs are lichened and 
grey with age. Alas ! they are mostly empty. 
The old whaling days, and the days when large 
convoys sailed in from their six months' voyage, 
with Government stores and European goods have 
gone, never to return. The great barracks and 
long dormitories are silent and deserted now. The 
big stone buildings, built with a solidity which is 
all unknown to the contractors of this shoddy age, 
have a forlorn and desolate look, and there is an 
unmistakable air of decayed gentility and de- 
parted grandeur about the place which is some- 
what depressing. Away on the left, at the head 
of the little bay, a multitude of gleaming white 



282 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

tombstones marks the site of the city of the dead. 
These look like the great white bones of stranded 
whales bleaching and glistening in the sun. To 
the extreme right a fine stately mass of warm- 
tinted buildings flanks the city, and affords a 
charming relief to the eye, as it crowns the low 
eminence on which it is set. * This is Government 
House, and round about it, encompassing it with 
a band of silver, steals the gently flowing Derwent, 
winding past a broken chain of wooded bluffs, 
which terminate the vista in a confused mist of 
leafy luxuriance. 

We are now nearing the massive wharf. There 
is timber enough in the structure to make a dozen 
of our modern wharves. What an old-world look 
the place has ! Many of the houses are built of 
red bricks, the roofs are brown with lichen, and 
wrinkled with old age. And yet there is an 
absence of life and a want of energy and bustle. 
Lots of badly-dressed young hoodlums loll about, 
leaning against the great stacks of shingles 
(Hobart palings) which are piled up in vast quan- 
tities ready for export. Of these are the fruit-cases 
made, which take away the wealth of the orchards, 
for which the island is famous groups of young 
girls saunter about arm-in-arm ; queer old habitues, 
clad in quaint garments of antique cut, hobble 
about and exchange nautical observations with 
each other. Several dismantled whalers lie at 
their moorings, and the huge warehouses hem in 
the scene silent, deserted, empty. 

" There ain't no spurt about the place ! " 



Oitr New Zealand Cousins. 283 

ejaculates an observant Yankee fellow-passenger ; 
and he aptly enough expressed the sensation it 
gives one who witnesses the whole scene for the 
first time. 

Time seems to be measured by Oriental 
standards here. All work is done in a leisurely 
fashion. An old horse is discharging cargo by 
means of a whim, instead of a steam crane, from a 
Dutch-looking lugger. Piles of hop bales litter 
the landing-place, and it would seem almost as if 
their hypnotic influence had cast a sleepy spell 
over the whole environment. The very steeples 
on the old grey churches in the city seem to nod 
in the gathering haze, and the smoke from the 
chimneys curls aloft in a somewhat aimless fashion, 
as if the fires below were all only half alight. An 
enthusiastic Victorian cannot refrain from com- 
menting on this general attitude of sleepiness. 

" Humph," says he ; " there's the effects of free 
trade for ye not a blessed factory or a steam 
engine in the whole place ! " 

A little boy with a wan, pinched face, and the 
shabby-genteel look which patched and darned 
but scrupulously clean clothes gives to the wearer, 
now accosts us. " Board and residence, sir ? " he 
pipes in a squeaky treble. Poor little fellow, 
doubtless a sad tale he could tell. And so my 
gentle little travelling companion with a woman's 
quick imagination, begins to weave a romance of 
misfortune and penury, in which the little tout 
figures as the heir of a noble but decayed family. 
The mother, a fragile uncomplaining martyr, faith- 



284 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

ful to the shattered fortunes of a gallant husband, 
and so on and so on ! All this was poured into 
my ears as we sped along, and it was with much 
difficulty I restrained the tender-hearted little 
dame from trotting back to verify her romance 
from the poor boy himself. 

In the summer season most of the houses are 
let to visitors from Sydney and Melbourne, and 
there are certainly large numbers of decayed 
gentlewomen and retired officers on half-pay, and 
such like, who eke out their slender incomes in 
this fashion. 

Here is another evidence of the antiquity of the 
place. The names of the curious old inns they 
transport one back to dear Old England at once. 
Here is The Queen's Head, The Bell and Dragon, 
The Eagle Hawk, the Maypole Inn, and so on 
through all the old familiar nomenclature. The 
gable ends elbow their way into the streets ; the 
bow windows project over the pavements ; the 
mossy roofs, with quaint dormer windows half 
hidden by trailing creepers, the stone horse troughs 
and mounting steps, the dovecotes and outside 
stone stairs to the stables, the old stone walls 
bulging out in places and tottering to their fall, all 
speak ofmerrie England ;" and one can scarce 
fancy that these dull dead masses on the distant 
hills are gum-trees, and that this is part of Austra- 
lasia. 

We quickly hire an open landau and are driven 
by a rosy-faced young Jehu into the open country. 
The suburbs are very pretty. We pass beautifully- 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 285 

kept gardens, rich lawns, handsome stone houses. 
Ever and anon one of these quaint old inns. 
Churches are plentiful. Some have square towers, 
and are covered with red tiles, which give a warm 
touch of colour to the landscape. We pass the old 
orphan schools, now used as an invalid station. 
Yonder is a pottery there a bone mill. Here 
the show and cricket grounds. On all hands grand 
orchards of great extent, trim rows of cottages, 
country houses standing back amid great planta- 
tions of symmetrically planted fruit-trees. On the 
right the Elwick racecourse, with its grand stand of 
red brick, and the Launceston railway, running 
close by ; and now in front, the silvery Derwent 
opens out like a lake ; and as we gaze across Glenor- 
chy, with its hop kilns and tannery, and the pretty 
village of Bryant's Bridge sheltered by high wooded 
ranges, and nestling cosily round the old square- 
towered rustic church, we feel the whole charm of 
the place stealing upon us, and no longer wonder 
at the fair daughters of Tasmania so loyally main- 
taining the supremacy of their little island for 
natural beauty against all rivals. 

Having heard so much of the fruit-growing in- 
dustry of Tasmania, I was anxious to see an 
orchard for myself. Fortunately, we shared com- 
mon interests with one of the fine old pioneers of 
the island, a grand old English gentleman, with 
cheeks as rosy as his own apples, and a heart as 
sound and ripe as the sweetest and best of them, 
though his hair was now whitening, like the almond 
blossom before the door of his hospitable mansion. 



286 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Turning up a lane, between sweet-smelling hedges 
and goodly rows of chestnuts, with a great expanse 
of pleasant fruit-trees on either hand, we accord- 
ingly drove up to the old manor-house, and 
politely inquired for the proprietor. Our advent 
had already been observed, and out came the old 
squire himself to receive us ; and no sooner did 
we make ourselves known to him, than the hearty 
English welcome we received made us more than 
ever doubtful that we were not the sport of some 
beneficent fairy, and that we were not really back 
in the old country after all. 

The manor-house, with its many buildings, was 
the very picture of an old English homestead. 
The spacious courtyard, green with grass, sur- 
rounded by the stables, barns, and outhouses ; the 
running brook close by, wimpling merrily over its 
pebbly bed ; and all around, the trim avenues of 
neatly pruned fruit-trees and bushes, with the big 
black bulk of the wooded mountain in the rear, 
composed such a picture of rural happiness and 
contentment as is rarely seen out of " Merrie 
England." Then the smell of apples about the 
place. Apples by the ton in the long low lofts 
and cool spacious granaries ; apples and almonds 
of the choicer sorts in the verandahs and in 
sweetly-scented rooms. In the orchard a lovely 
pond, green with mosses, lustrous with the sheen 
of sun and water, and fringed with loveliest ferns, 
was well stocked with fish, which are here acclima- 
tized, and from which the streamlets are being 
stocked. From the spacious verandah we look 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 287 

right across the fertile valley to " Rest Down," 
the earliest settlement in the island, so called 
because the first people " rested down " here in 
old Governor Collins's time. Then the broad 
sweep of the river intervenes, and fifty miles off, 
the great dividing range of the Table Mountain 
closes in the scene. The remains of the first 
chimney built on Tasmanian soil was visible at 
Rest Down up to twenty years ago. 

This particular orchard comprises forty-five 
acres. Last year the owner sold 2000 bushels of 
gooseberries, 3000 bushels of currants, and other 
fruits, including apples. In two years he raised 
fifty tons of strawberries on the estate. For the 
last twelve years the average return per acre has 
been over 6o/. I saw two and a half acres of 
gooseberry bushes, from which 500 bushels of fruit 
are picked every year, and which are sold at 4^-. 6d. 
per bushel. This beats wheat hollow. On the 
other side of the estate I was shown over ten 
acres of fine black soil, beautifully worked, and 
kept as clean as a Behar indigo field. During the 
ninth year of its cultivation this small patch yielded 
1000 bushels gooseberries and 2000 bushels apples, 
for which the ruling prices are 4^. 6d. to $s. per 
bushel. And yet if one talks to the ordinary run 
of Australian farmers about new products, about 
fruit-growing, tomatoes, vines, oil crops, anything 
out of the eternal old grind of wheat, and other 
usual cereals, he is laughed at, sneered at, jeered 
at, and stigmatized as visionary, conceited, and 
goodness only knows what else. 



288 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

Black currant bushes were shown me here, 
which yield two, and even three bushels per plant, 
and the fruit is sold readily at 1 1 s. per bushel. To 
show the enery and practical, management of my 
host, he showed me 'where he had walled up a 
flood-water creek, which used formerly to run 
riot through the orchard, and the land so reclaimed 
was being levelled and planted with young trees. 
He had cut down bush trees and saplings, and 
made a corduroy road of these, on which he was 
carting his soil, stones, and material for the work 
of reclamation. As the garden grew at the far 
end, the corduroy road was taken up and the 
wood used for fuel, and the very road was being 
dug up and made eligible for the reception of 
more young trees. Nothing is wasted under his 
able management. Manure is liberally applied, 
and the inevitable result was everywhere apparent 
in bounteous returns and substantial plenty. 

Along the roads were belts of walnut-trees, and 
several magnificent almond-trees were pointed out 
to me, of the fruit of which I partook, and found 
the almonds simply delicious. And yet such is 
the prejudice or apathy of the general public, that, 
my host informed me, his almonds were a drug in 
the market. Actually /o/. were paid through the 
custom-house during the last six months for im- 
ported almonds, while the home-grown article, 
infinitely superior in quality, was absolutely un- 
saleable. 

You see, protection through the custom-house 
is not the infallible recipe for " every ill that flesh 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 289 

is heir to " that some " doctrinaire's " would have 
us suppose. 

My old entertainer had very decided opinions 
about the causes of the prevailing depression and 
stagnation in the island. When I deplored the 
lack of energy which I noticed : 

" Bah," said he, " there's plenty energy, but it's 
misdirected, sir ! Our young people will dance 
at a ball till two or three in the morning, and play 
lawn tennis all day to boot ; but they are too ill 
and languid to get up to breakfast, and would let 
their own mother wait on them in bed. They will 
go to a picnic right up to the top of Mount Welling- 
ton ; but they are too weak to go two miles to 
church unless they go in a carnage. Our young 
people are too well off, sir. Their parents made 
money in the old times, and the young ones had 
no inducement to work, when assigned prisoners 
could be got for io/. a year. So our young men 
grew up with no settled industry, no application, 
and the country feels the curse of indolence and 
want of enterprise now." 

Such was the dictum of my old friend. I make 
no comment on it. The moral is obvious. 

My friend was enthusiastic in his advocacy of 
orchard farming as against cereals. All his young 
trees are now on blight-proof stocks. He has up- 
rooted all his hedges and cultivates right up to his 
boundary walls, and even trains trees against them. 
He pointed out the property of a neighbour thirty- 
four acres in extent, which a few years ago was 
purchased for 3OO/. cash. During the first three 

U 



2 go Our New Zealand Cousins. 

years the buyer got half his money back, and in 
two years they took over fifty tons of strawberries 
from fifteen acres. 

" Where is the cereal that can equal that ? " 
triumphantly queried my host. Certes ! Echo 
answers, " Where indeed ? " 

Another product for which the island has be- 
come famous is its hops. Since its first introduc- 
tion in 1822 by Mr. W. Shoobridge, the industry 
struggled on through many fluctuations, and in 
1 867 numbers of new growers erected kilns forcuring 
the hops at various places, and hop-growing be- 
came fairly settled as one of the leading industries 
in the New Norfolk district. The low prices in 
1869 70 checked for a time the progress of the 
industries, but now it seems fairly established, and 
as time goes on, adding to the experience of the 
growers, and their ability to turn out a good article, 
there seems every reason to predict a great future 
for Tasmania as a hop-growing country. The lead- 
ing kinds at present grown are the early white 
grape, goldings (Canterbury) ,and lateorgreen grape, 
and also a very early kind called the red golding. 

In 1879 the Agricultural returns give the follow- 
ing statistics : 587 acres ; produce, 738,616 Ibs. ; 
value of hops exported, 26,5127. ; weight, 558,622 
Ibs. 

After a very pleasant day among the orchards 
we rejoined the steamer, and sailed for Melbourne 
during the night. 

Next morning we had a beautiful view of 
the picturesque coast of the goodly little 



Oztr New Zealand Cousins. 291 

island. Between- Hobart and Swan Island we 
passed no less than three localities where 
coal exists. Mines have, in all three places, been 
opened and since abandoned. There is no doubt 
that in minerals Tasmania is very rich. Like all 
the Australian colonies, she only wants capital, 
and more abundant labour, to become the theatre of 
busy and remunerative industries. The quid-nuncs 
of the London Stock Exchange smile and shrug 
their shoulders at the mention of Australian 
investments. For the gambling purposes of 
London jobbers, securities must be readily nego- 
tiable ; and Australian stocks and shares, though 
offering three, and even four times, the rate of 
interest obtainable on the floating media of Capel 
Court, are of course not readily negotiable or 
vendible, and so for the present they are neglected. 
The time will come, however, nay, is on the 
approach now, when capitalists and workers, both, 
will better understand and more intelligently 
appreciate the boundless resources of Australasia, 
and a new era of enterprise and development will 
undoubtedly set in, which will advance the cause 
of true Anglo-Saxon federation more than all the 
fussy claptrap of irresponsible theorists, who speak 
so much and really do so little. 

As an illustration of how really little is known 
of Australia, even by those who might be imagined 
to know most ; the captain, as we were talking on 
this theme, pointed out to me the Flinders Island 
which we pass between Hobart and Melbourne. 
This group contains more land than all Samoa, 
U 2 



292 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

about which so much fuss is being made at present, 
and which has almost led to a grave imbroglio 
between some of the European great powers. 
The Flinders are by all reports rich in mineral 
wealth, and yet they are practically ignored, and 
their very existence unknown to the great majority 
even of Victorians, who are so enthusiastic (and I 
for- one do not blame them,) about the conquest of 
South Sea Islands, the annexation of New Guinea, 
and the opening up of new markets for Victorian 
manufactures. The islands contain a population 
of some sixty individuals, mostly half-castes, the 
result of the intermarriage of runaway sailors with 
Tasmanian aborigines. Sheep and cattle are 
reared by these islanders, but no attention is paid 
to growing either wool or beef on a commercial 
scale. They make a living which suffices for all 
their simple wants out of their flocks and herds, 
and their diet is eked out with the eggs and 
oil of the mutton bird, both of which they also 
export. 

The bird itself, after the oil is expressed, is 
smoked, and forms one more antipodean paradox. 
It is familiarly known as the Australian smoked 
herring, and yet it is a bird. A toasted smoked 
mutton bird, both in smell, taste, and colour, is 
scarcely distinguishable from a smoked bloater. 
They are said to be very nourishing, and invalids 
find them toothsome and appetizing. 

Maria Island, one of the group, has been leased 
to an Italian for the purpose of trying to intro- 
duce silk culture. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 293 

Amid a succession of icy squalls we reached 
Hobson's Bay, threaded our devious way up the 
unsavoury Yarra, and were pleased once more to 
take up our quarters in that most homely and 
comfortable of caravanserais, Menzie's Hotel, and 
so for the present we bid a reluctant adieu to our 
New Zealand cousins. 



294 O UT New Zealand Cousins. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Summary Importance of the colonies sometimes overlooked 
at home Their commercial importance Fields for 
capital Mineral wealth Farm products New in- 
dustries Field for farmers Liberal land regulations 
Openings for artisans For labourers Free institutions 
A land of promise for willing workers Inducements 
for seekers after health and lovers of the picturesque 
The clouds clearing Returning prosperity The peace 
and unity of the Empire. 

BRIEF as had been our sojourn among " our New 
Zealand cousins," and rapid as had been our 
journeying through the islands, it will 'be evident, I 
think, from what I have recorded in the foregoing 
chapters, that enormous progress has been made 
during the last twenty years in all that tends to 
build up sound national life. The history of New 
Zealand in its connection with the mother country 
is, in fact, the history of all the Australian colonies. 
Too often has their importance been but grudgingly 
recognized, where it has not in some instances been 
overlooked altogether by the leaders of thought 
and political life at home. Of late years, thanks to 
such true Britons as Professor Seeley and others, 
ample amends have been made for this whilom 
neglect. The tendency now is all the other way. 
With the multiplication and development of im- 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 295 

proved means of communication, the pulsations of 
colonial life are more quickly and keenly felt at 
the heart of the empire. Their political importance 
is no longer ignored ; but it is open to some doubt 
if their commercial importance is as yet adequately 
recognized. What fields are there not here open 
for the employment of British capital in exploiting 
our mineral wealth alone. We hear of millions 
being sunk in Southern India, Spain, and elsewhere, 
yet I know myself of gold, silver, copper, tin, anti- 
mony, bismuth, coal, slate, marble, lead and other 
deposits in dozens of localities in Australia and New 
Zealand, all of which would give certain and ample 
returns to judicious investment. In silver alone, of 
late years, the application of improved methods 
has at one jump lifted Australia into the foremost 
ranks of silver-producing countries. If English 
capitalists would utilize the services of competent 
scientific mining engineers, metallurgists and 
mineralogists ; if they would assist their colonial 
cousins with part of their wealth, to properly pro- 
spect the country, there might be such a " boom " 
in mining, as would draw more closely than ever 
the heart and circumference of the Empire together, 
and forge fresh bands of solid substantial profits, 
mutual inter-dependence, and community of 
material interests between all portions of our race 
which would quickly result in a very real tangible 
federation indeed. But not only in minerals do 
these colonies offer inducements to the capitalist 
at home. Hundreds of promising industries are 
retarded for want of the necessary capital. Oil 



296 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

mills, for example, would be an instant success, if 
the farmer were only assured of a steady market 
close at hand for his oil crops. Tobacco-growing 
would increase a hundredfold and would become 
a lucrative investment, if capital were judiciously 
expended in putting up the necessary appliances 
for manufacturing the leaf. Butter, cheese, and 
bacon factories are even now increasing, but are 
capable cf indefinite multiplication. In the manu- 
facture of essences and essential oils, there are 
splendid openings for investment, and indeed there 
is scarcely a product of nature used in the arts or 
sciences that could not be profitably grown and 
manufactured in these colonies were but the right 
men imbued with the desire to try them. As a 
rule the colonial farmer is a poor man. Clearing 
is expensive ; wages, fortunately for the labouring 
classes, are high ; and the facilities for securing 
land have hitherto been great, so that most settlers 
have been tempted into purchasing more land than 
they could profitably work, with such resources as 
have been at their command. Now, however, 
capital might be encouraged to bring the aids of 
combination, modern machinery, and skilled enter- 
prise, to the aid of the farmer. In fruit-preserving 
alone, were the right methods adopted, there are 
fortunes lying ready to be made, beside which the 
profits of similar enterprises in old lands would 
seem petty and mean. As it is, all the available 
capital in the colonies is profitably invested, and 
any return under six per cent, is looked on as on 
the whole rather unsatisfactory. 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 297 

In fisheries I have suggested boundless poten- 
tialities ; and indeed nature has been so lavish in her 
gifts of raw material, that if we could only fairly 
set moneyed men and men of inventive genius 
thinking, and induce them to throw in their lot 
amongst us, we could not fail to benefit by the 
accession, and they would never have cause to 
regret their advent. 

To farmers with a little capital, who find too 
circumscribed a sphere for their energies in the old 
lands, the colonies present an inviting field. Land 
is yet plentiful and cheap. The returns for faith- 
ful tillage are bountiful and certain, and there 
is no end to the variety of products that may 
be grown. " Corn, and wine, and oil," is no figure 
of speech as applied to the products of these 
colonies, but a plain matter-of-fact statement. 
As regards New Zealand, for instance, the fol- 
lowing statement illustrates the anxiety and 
determination of the Government to foster agri- 
culture, and it should not be forgotten that roads 
and railways are constantly being constructed, 
and new markets being opened up. 

" In order to test the sincerity of the outcry 
for land by professional political agitators, as well 
as to prevent the chronic appeals of the labouring 
classes to the Government through alleged lack of 
employment, the Minister of Lands has devised a 
new land scheme. The leading features of it are 
the setting apart of blocks of land as special 
settlements in the first instance in Wellington 
province, but if successful, the scheme will be 



298 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

extended to other provinces to be occupied on 
perpetual leases for a first term of thirty years, and 
a second term of twenty-one, without any right 
of acquiring a freehold. Rental is to be based on 
the capital value of the land, the minimum price 
being two per cent, per acre, and the maximum 
area twenty acres to any applicant, who will get it 
without competition, as priority will be determined 
by lot. Among the essential conditions are 
residence, cultivation, and that the land shall 
not be subdivided or sublet. Government will 
contribute 2O/. towards building the settler's 
house, and, if land is bush, will give the average 
price to enable the selector to clear and sow the 
section in grass. The State will then charge on 
value of the land five per cent, per year, and on 
the sum advanced for the improvement the same 
rate. A start will be made in the middle of 
June of the present year (1886) to make the 
initial experiment at Parihaka, and the Govern- 
ment state the settlements will be located near 
towns or railways where labour is attainable, 
and where the land is suitable for small indus- 
tries." 

To active, intelligent artisans, and workers who 
have no capital but their own stout hearts and 
strong, willing limbs, these colonies present a field 
for their enterprise, such as is nowhere else existent 
at this time upon the earth. We have no room for 
the intemperate idler, the loafer, or incompetent, 
chicken-hearted, slovenly shirker. We have enow 
of these, God wot, already ; but there is work out 



Our New Zealand Cousins. 299 

here for every willing, capable, self-respecting man, 
under circumstances of such material comfort, such 
increased remuneration, such political freedom, such 
generous fare and charm of climate, with all the 
accessories and surroundings of community of 
speech, race, religion, and home institutions, as are 
nowhere else procurable in any dependency of the 
Empire. A little " roughing it " there is certain to 
be at first. Things will be a little strange to begin 
with. The streets of colonial cities are not paved 
with gold, and indeed the towns and cities are in 
any case not the best fields for the labourer in 
the colonies, but if a man is willing, adaptable, 
handy, cheerful, sober, and determined to get on, 
depend upon it he cannot fail of a success, which is 
all but impossible of achievement in the crowded 
and narrow sphere of the labourer's life at home. 

To the seeker after health, these colonies offer 
the fountains of renewed youth. At all times of 
the year by judiciously changing the locality, you 
can live in perpetual summer, with an air as balmy 
and bracing, and perfectly enjoyable, as can fall to 
the lot of mortals here below. 

To the lover of the picturesque, and the seeker 
after the pure delights that a communion with 
nature ever yields, I think my pages of description 
surely afford ample promise that a visit cannot 
possibly be fraught with disappointment. 

The clouds of commercial depression are lifting. 
The native difficulty seems to be fairly and for 
ever settled. Politics, let us hope, are becoming 
purified. The long succession of deficits has at 



300 Our New Zealand Cousins. 

length come to an end. Last year's estimates 
have shown a surplus of 37,ooo/. The coming 
year has an estimated revenue of over four 
millions, with an anticipated surplus of 42,ooo/.. 
This is accompanied by a diminution of the 
property tax to the amount of 24,000!. The 
population is increasing satisfactorily. Public 
works of much importance, and of a reproductive 
character, are being vigorously prosecuted ; and 
those already carried out, are year by year 
becoming increasingly reproductive. The feeling 
of friendly regard and brotherly affection for the 
dear old mother country seems only to become 
accentuated as time rolls on. The signs of 
returning and permanent prosperity are everywhere 
apparent. Intellectual and mental life is vigorous ; 
religion and learning are advancing ; and on all 
sides, the outlook is hopeful and the signs fortuitous. 
It is to be hoped indeed that our New Zealand 
cousins are entering upon a new era of peaceful 
progress and steady advancement in everything 
that will tend to build up true national greatness, 
and help to preserve the unity, the peace, and the 
dignity of that great Empire of which their 
southern island home is one of the most beautiful 
and most fruitful dependencies. 



3Ci 



APPENDIX I. 



NEW ZEALAND FORESTS. 

PROFESSOR KIRK has prepared a voluminous report on the 
forests of the Colony and the state of the timber trade, which 
he has forwarded to the Minister of Lands. The report 
deals with each provincial district separately, but the forests 
of East Cape and the southern districts of trie North Island 
have yet to be treated of. The following are portions of the 
report : 

THE SOUTHLAND TIMBER INDUSTRY. 

In Southland there are still 312,467 acres of virgin forest 
out of 345,197 reserved by the Crown. It will thus be seen 
that the area already denuded by sawmillers is 32,730 
acres. There are thirty- six sawmills in operation, employing 
about 700 men, the average weekly expenditure for wages 
being I2oo/., or about 65,ooo/. per annum ; the total output 
being estimated at 24,000,000 superficial feet of inch thick- 
ness per annum. The Southland timber trade is certainly in 
a depressed state at this time, caused by over-production, 
though the rapid development of Southland trade has closed 
mills in Catlin River, annihilated the coastal timber export 
of Westland, and greatly restricted that of Marlborough and 
Nelson. The timber converted in Otago district does not 
amount to more than one-fourth of the annual output of 
Southland, so that Southland practically supplies the markets 
of the southern portion of the Colony from Invercargill to Ash- 
burton with red and white pine, and exports cargoes to Queen 
Charlotte Sound, the Wairarapa, and the Manawatu. The 
quantity of timber shipped from Southland ports coastwise dur- 
ing the year ending 3 ist March, 1885, was 1,659, 038 superficial 
feet ; to foreign countries, 1,107,674 feet. There can be no doubt 
that the foreign trade is capable of considerable expansion. 
The total area of forest land granted for sawmill leases during 
the three years ending 3oth September, 1885, is 5901 acres, so 



3<D2 Appendix. 

that, including the mills working on private land, over 200 
acres of forests are denuded yearly in Southland alone. 

THE OTAGO FORESTS. 

Otago has an area of 13,759,000 acres Crown lands, but 
the Professor thinks the area of really good forest will fall 
below 1,000,000 acres. From a return prepared by the 
Commissioner of Crown Lands for Otago, I find that eleven 
sawmills are in operation in the district, while two others are 
returned as not working. The total number of men employed 
is stated to be 101, and the annual output slightly exceeds 
7,600,000 superficial feet. Although six mills are stated to be 
worked by engines of six-horse power only, the number of 
men may safely be increased to 160, and will then contrast 
poorly with 700 men and boys employed in the Southland 
sawmills. Licenses in Otago are granted for sections of 100 
acres, at the rate of i/. is. per acre, payable in three annual 
instalments. Licenses are granted to split and cut firewood, 
fencing, &c., on sections 200 feet square, on payment of 2/. los. 
per annum. The total receipts from both sources amount to 
rather more than 5oo/. per annum. 

TIMBER INDUSTRY IN CANTERBURY. 

The proportion of forest land in the Government district of 
Canterbury is less than in any other part of the Colony, large 
portions of the districts being absolutely divested of trees 
except where small plantations have been made by settlers. 
The district has an area of 8,693,000 acres, of which 374,350 
acres are considered to be more or less clothed with forest, 
but as the chief forest areas are situated in mountainous 
country, the quantity of timber available for the purposes of 
sawmills is extremely small. No timber is being cut in 
State forests in Canterbury under license at the present 
time. The land is sold at 2/. per acre, including timber. 
Twenty-one sawmills are in operation, and the average output 
of each is less than 500,000 feet per annum, the total not 
exceeding 9,893,000 superficial feet. 

WESTLAND. 

The area of Westland is estimated at 3,045,000 acres, of 
which 1,897.558 acres are covered with splendid forest still 
in the hands of the Crown, in addition to 632,519 acres of 
lowland scrub or inferior forest. At the present time most 
of the mills are not working more than one-third time, and 



Appendix. 303 

some even less. The actual output at the present time 
scarcely exceeds three million superficial feet, while the 
number of men employed is 291, conversion being restricted 
to sufficient to meet local demands, the coastal trade having 
completely passed away. The freehold may be acquired in 
Westland for i/. per acre, including the timber. Licenses 
to cut timber are granted for one year on payment of a fee 
of 5/., or los. per month, but no definite limitations are made 
with regard to area. Practically, the licensee has liberty to 
cut wherever he pleases within the boundary described in 
this license, no supervision being attempted. 

NELSON FOREST LANDS. 

The area of the provincial district of Nelson is estimated 
at 7,000,000 acres, the forest lands still in the hands of the 
Crown comprising an area estimated approximately at 
3,290,000 acres ; but this quantity includes good mountain 
forest, scrub, and patches of timber in gullies, &c., so that it 
is extremely difficult to form an approximate estimate of the 
average of timber available for profitable conversion. In all 
probability it will not exceed 1,000,000 acres. Twenty-two 
sawmills are in operation in the district, and afford employ- 
ment to 130 men and boys. The total output is stated at 
5,360,000 superficial feet. 

THE TIMBER INTERESTS OF MARLBOROUGH. 

Marlborough has 2,560,000 acres, one-fifth of which is 
covered with forests of varying quality. Fourteen sawmills 
are in operation in the district, and afford employment to 
175 men and boys. The annual output is estimated at 
8,606,340 superficial feet. Sawmills were established in this 
district in the very early days, a large supply of good timber 
growing in situations of easy access, and the facilities for 
shipping coastwise have proved an irresistible inducement. 
It is therefore no great matter for surprise that most of the 
forests near the sea have been practically worked out. 

THE AUCKLAND TIMBER INDUSTRY. 

The provincial district of Auckland comprises 17,000,000 
acres, and includes the most valuable forests in the Colony. 
The area covered by forest is estimated by the chief surveyor 
to contain 7,200,000 acres, of which about 1,606,350 acres 
including the reserves are still held by the Crown. A re- 



304 Appendix. 

markable feature of the forests of the Northern District is 
that while they possess timber-trees not found in any other 
part of the Colony, they comprise as well all the kinds found 
in the other provincial districts. The kauri is by far the 
most valuable timber-tree in the Colony. For good conti- 
nuous kauri forest, 20,000 superficial feet per acre would be a 
rather low average, but much of the land classed as kauri 
forest may have only one or two trees per acre equivalent, 
say, from 3000 to 5000 superficial feet. 

The following approximate estimate has been prepared by 
Mr. S. P. Smith, chief surveyor : Kauri forest in the hands 
of the Government, 36,470 acres ; owned by Europeans, 
58,200 acres; owned by natives, 43,800; total, 138,470 
acres. Mr. Smith states his belief that a considerable pro- 
portion of the kauri forest still in the hands of the natives is 
subject to rights of Europeans to cut timber therefrom, 
and adds : " In making up this estimate I exclude forests in 
which the timber, as far as my knowledge goes, is scattered 
and not likely to pay for working at present, and take only 
that which is fairly accessible.'' 

Referring to the timber industry of Auckland, Professor Kirk 
says that the return drawn up by the Registrar-General states 
the number of sawmills to be 43, of which eight are worked 
by water-power. The annual output is stated to be 48,63 1 ,206 
superficial feet, and the number of persons employed 1443 
men and 35 women. These are very much below the proper 
numbers. The total value of timber exported from Auckland 
is returned at i35>952/., or more than five times as much as 
all the rest of the Colony put together. The Auckland saw- 
mills must be classed amongst the best in the world. The 
largest are considered to be unequalled in the southern hemi- 
sphere. In one or two cases employment is given to nearly 
500 men and boys, and the annual output of each is stated to 
exceed 8,500,000 feet per annum. At the present time there 
are numerous mills with an output of 5,000,000 feet and 
upwards. One mill, with an annual output of 500,000 feet, is 
stated to have sufficient timber to last for over 30 years, but 
this is an exceptional case. With possibly two exceptions, 
all large mills have sufficient standing kauri to keep 
them going for the next 12 or 15 years, at least, at the present 
demand. 

THE EXTINCTION OF THE KAURI. 

Professor Kirk concludes his report, as follows : "Esti- 
mating the total extent of available kauri forest at 200,000 
acres, and placing the average yield at the high rate of 1 5,000 
superficial feet per acre for all classes, the present demand 



Appendix. 305 

will exhaust the supply in 26 years, making no allowance for 
natural increase of local requirements. If, however, the 
demand expands in the same ratio that it has shown during 
the last 10 years, the consumption in 1895 will be upwards 
of 240,000,000 superficial feet per annum, and the kauri will 
be practically worked out within 1 5 years from the present 
date. Under these circumstances, the best interests of 
Auckland and the Colony at large demand the strict conser- 
vation of all available kauri forests. The progress and wel- 
fare of northern districts have been largely due to her 
magnificent forest resources, and their conservation will 
prove an important factor in the permanence of her prosperity. 
The utilization of the ordinary timbers should be encouraged, 
and it should be an axiom with the settlers not to use kauri 
when red or white pine can be made to answer the purpose. 
Any steps tending to postpone the period of exhaustion will 
be of the greatest benefit to Auckland, as they would allow 
a longer period for the growth of kauri timber to take 
place within the restricted limit in which replacement is 
possible. Should this warning be unheeded, a large displace- 
ment of labour will result, and the prosperity of the North 
will be greatly retarded. 



306 Appendix. 



APPENDIX II. 



Extracts from the Sydney Daily Press relating to 
the recent eruption of Mount Tarawera. 

Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, June nth, 1886. 

AUCKLAND, Thursday. 

INTELLIGENCE was received here early this morning from 
Rotorua, stating that a terrible volcanic disturbance had taken 
place at Mount Tarawera. The residents of Rotorua passed 
a fearful night. The earth had been in a continual state of 
quaking since midnight. At ten minutes past two this 
morning the first heavy shock of earthquake occurred. It 
was accompanied by a fearful subterranean roar, which 
caused the greatest alarm to the residents, who immediately 
ran out of their houses. A grand yet terrible sight met their 
gaze. Mount Tarawera, which is in close proximity to 
Rotomahana, suddenly became an active volcano, and from 
the summit of the mountain immense volumes of flame 
belched forth to a great height. Streams of lava ran down 
the sides of the mountain. 

The eruption appears to have extended itself to several 
places southward. 

Dense masses ^of ashes came pouring down in the 
neighbourhood of the settlement at Rotorua at 4 a.m., 
accompanied by a suffocating smell, which rose from the 
lower regions of the earth. An immense black cloud of 
ashes hung like a pall over the country for miles round, 
extending in a line from Taheka to Wairoa. 

At 3 a.m., a terrific report aroused the sleeping 
inhabitants of Taupo. An immense glare of a pillar-shaped 
light was observed to the N.N.E., and a great black cloud 
hung over this pillar. It was concave on the underside 
and convex on the upper, whilst meteors shot out from 



Appendix. 307 

the cloud in every direction, shedding unearthly bluish 
lights all around. Loud reports, accompanied by very heavy 
shocks of earthquake, followed in quick succession. The 
earthquakes continued till 6 a.m., when daylight dimly 
appeared, but the clouds of ashes which hung over the 
country rendered the light almost invisible. The trembling 
inhabitants thought that the end of the world had come. 
Two hitherto extinct volcanoes, Ruawhia and Tarayvera, 
threw an immense column of flame and smoke into the 
heavens. Molten lava and hot mud ran in all directions, 
while huge rocks and masses of fire went up and around 
everywhere. 

June 1 2th, 1886. 

Refugees from Wairoa describe the eruption of Okaro, one 
of the peaks of Mount Tarawera, as a magnificent, but terrible 
sight. It is estimated an area of country sixty miles in 
extent has been either under volcanic eruption, or affected 
by the upheavals. The scene at Wairoa is described by 
several eye-witnesses as being one of terrible grandeur, and 
equal to that represented in Martin's celebrated picture of the 
Last Day. Shocks of earthquake continued almost incessant for 
three hours, but after that the quakings somewhat subsided. 

Latest intelligence from Rotorua states that at a quarter 
to eight to-night, Ruawaku, one of the craters of Mount 
Tarawera, was still belching forth a huge column of steam 
and smoke. The whole mountain is almost completely 
hidden from view by the dense clouds of smoke. One man, 
who caught a momentary glimpse of the mountain, says that 
it has been raised by from 200 to 300 feet. Lake Rotomahana 
has become less, and is now one mass of boiling water. 
Nobody has yet been able to penetrate as far as the famous 
Pink Terraces. It is a matter of dispute as to what state they 
are now in. An attempt will be made to examine the 
neighbourhood of the terraces to-morrow. 

Sydney Daily Telegraph. 

Tuesday, June 22nd, 1886. 

June 12. We left Tauranga at half-past six, the wind sharp 
and bracing and the ground covered with hoar frost and the 
pools with ice. All over the surface of the land, as far as the 
eye could reach, lay a coating of volcanic dust, which was 
stirred up into clouds by every puff of wind. As we ascended 
the hill towards Oropi bush this coating became thinner, 
diminishing from an even deposit of about a quarter of an 
inch to the bare covering of the ground. Vegetation 
everywhere is coated with this earthy matter, although it is 
not so deep as to prevent the cattle from obtaining food. 



308 Appendix. 

The atmosphere was perfectly clear and the sun unobscured. 
The few settlers spoken to on the road all referred to the 
alarm caused by the untoward event of the previous day, but 
it was generally taken for granted that the force of the 
eruption had expended itself. Its distance and the cause of 
the dusteloud being understood, there was no further 
uneasiness, except for the fate of those near the centre of the 
eruption. The coating of dust steadily diminished as we 
neared Ohinemutu itself. On emerging from the bush at the 
top of the hill overlooking Lake Rotorua, a magnificent and 
at the same time saddening spectacle was disclosed. A 
dense bank of steam of snowy whiteness extended for miles 
and rose above the range of hills on the shore of Rotorua, 
opposite Ohinemutu. This bank of vapour drifted slowly to 
the northward and merged into another dusteloud, which 
appeared to be created by the play of the wind upon the 
thick deposits of dust which covered the hills and forests in 
that direction, In the direction where Tarawera was known 
to be, the bank of steam was solid and unbroken for miles, 
and rose to a height of several thousand feet further to the 
right. Over the road leading to Kotomahana was another 
vast column ; over that lake the setting sun lit up these 
cloudbanks with a flush of pink, covering with a glory the 
ramparts of desolation below. Taking within this view the 
whole line of hills from Taheke to Ohinemutu that is to say, 
the whole of the north shore of Rotorua everything wore 
the grey-drab tint of the volcanic debris. At Ohinemutu 
itself the steam-jets appeared rather less active than otherwise, 
although numbers of new springs have broken out and the 
water of Lake Rotorua has risen a foot. 

At the Ngae the shower was heavier, the dust falling to a 
depth of nine inches. The stories of mud and stones being 
deposited to a depth of several feet at this place are thus 
disproved. The dust covered up all vegetation, leaving cattle 
absolutely without food ; some have already died at the Ngae ; 
others are being fed on hay. The block of land at Taheke, 
which was valued on Tuesday at iu. an acre, is now 
declared almost worthless, owing to this thick deposit of dust. 
Beyond Taheke, in the direction of Tauranga, the lightning 
felled several trees, which produced bush fires, and falling 
timber has obstructed the coach-road. There was, for- 
tunately, no loss of life in any of these directions. 

The pretty little Tikitapu bush, such a favourite with tourists, 
is completely destroyed; the whole forest is covered with 
three feet of volcanic dust. Trees 170 feet high are lying flat, 
torn up by the convulsion and the high wind, and their roots, 
as they were torn from the earth, lying in many cases ten feet 



Appendix. 309 

high. All undergrowth is swept away or torn down with the 
weight of the debris, and not a leaf is to be seen, and the 
foliage of the big trees is destroyed. On reaching the 
Tikitapu Lake, we find that it is the " Blue Lake " no longer ; 
the colour of the water is changed to a dirty brown. Following 
the road, the sidings are filled up with drift deposits to half 
the width of the road. Rising the hill we come in view of 
Rotokakihi. What was once the green lake is now dirty 
water, and the heaviness of the shower may be gauged by a 
ditch of two feet, and a bank four feet, the top of which only 
is visible. 

The residents at Rotorua described the noises heard as 
similiar to those experienced at Tauranga rumblings and 
tremors but nothing resembling the cannonading heard in 
Auckland. The latter noise probably arose from the 
discharges in the upper atmosphere, and was deadened to 
those nearer the scene by the rumblings and vibrations in 
the lower atmosphere. 

At Ohinemutu, the first signs of disturbance were felt at 
one o'clock in the shape of rumbling noises, which were taken 
for earthquakes. These continued without intermission. On 
looking out, a dense black cloud was seen in the direction of 
Tarawera, but it appeared as if it was hanging over Ohine- 
mutu itself. In this cloud occurred wonderful electric 
phenomena, like the most brilliant lightning, but terrible 
beyond description. Finally the whole population rushed 
from their houses, terror-stricken, and ran down the street, 
moved apparently by the impulse to get away from the black 
canopy which swelled as if it were about to seal up the history 
of the village and involve all its inhabitants in a common 
grave. Some declared that the Day of Judgment had come, 
and the feeling experienced was such as we may suppose 
would be felt by the inhabitants of the earth on that day. 
None of these to whom I have spoken wish to repeat the 
experience of that terrible night. 

The discoveries made by the expedition to Rotomahana 
and its south sides enable us for the first time to construct 
a connected account of the eruption and the extent and 
character of its influence. As to the phenomena, as con- 
nected with the first outbreak, there is naturally some dis- 
crepancy in statements, owing to the excitement under which 
observations were made, but a careful comparison of the 
descriptions given by the most competent and careful obser- 
vers, shows that the first outbreak undoubtedly began in the 
peak of Tarawera mountain, known as Ruawhia. Not 
improbably some shifting of the earth crust beneath the 
mountain or a change within it, producing the generation of 



310 Appendix. 

great heat, caused the prolonged earthquake and rumblings 
which were heard between one and two o'clock in the morning, 
forming the first of the series of phenomena which attended 
the eruption. Soon after two o'clock Ruawhia was observed 
to be in flames. Above it hung a canopy of black smoke, 
producing on the mountain the appearance of a large 
mushroom, and lightning played with such brilliancy around 
the peak that the glare from the volcanic fires was hardly 
distinguishable. There is no doubt, however, that the moun- 
tain did emit flames, attended with a belching forth of red- 
hot stones, which could be distinctly seen as they were 
ejected into the air and rolled down the mountain sides. 
This continued for about an hour before the vomiting of the 
great mud cloud out of Lake Rotomahana, which fell so 
disastrously on the village of Wairoa. This cloud was 
observed by those watching the eruption of Tarawera to 
come up some miles south of the great mountain, and its 
apparent location gave rise to the belief, now proved erro- 
neous, that Mount Kakaramea and the adjacent Lake Okara 
were in eruption. 

The loss from the destruction of the terraces, as we cannot 
but fear they are gone, is simply incalculable. A marvel 
which was without parallel on the earth has been swept 
away ; and even if ever replaced by the same agencies work- 
ing in the silicious strata, and this is improbable, a long 
geological period would be necessary for their reproduction. 
The eruptions now in progress are attended by frequent 
earthquakes. Three were felt while we were in camp and 
two during the four hours spent on the dusthills around 
Rotomahana. One was of such violence that the swaying 
of the hill we were standing on was visible to the eye. If 
these craters keep in action they will form as great an attrac- 
tion to tourists as the terraces, but when an escape has been 
found for the forces recently set into motion, they may 
subside into quiescence or become intermittent. The 
Rotorua district, however, must always be a very wonderful 
one, which tourists through New Zealand will never willingly 
leave out of their routes. As an attraction now, the district 
offers novelties which surpass everything here before. It 
furnishes the extraordinary example of how geological 
changes in the earth's strata are sometimes effected in the 
course of a few hours. The half-buried houses and whares 
at Wairoa are perfectly unique, and the village ought to be 
left standing just as it is, except so far as excavations are 
necessary to recover bodies or property. Rotomahana, as 
an exhibition of nature's forces, is infinitely more marvellous 
than ever it was before. To see this large basin torn and 



Appendix. 3 1 1 

lashed with a fury that baffles description roaring, can- 
nonading, screeching, driving into the air at one spot 
columns of steam such as might be generated in the boilers 
of a leviathian steamship, and from another orifice in the 
same crater send out black volumes of smoke and showers 
of stones, is a spectacle that can only lose in magnificence 
by any attempt to convey an expression of it in words. I 
feel that 1 dare not attempt to do it justice. Fortunately, 
from the configuration of the ground a full view may be 
obtained of a most extensive area of country. 

With regard to the volcanic eruption, Dr. Hector believes 
that the earthquake shocks caused by the outbreak of Tara- 
wera mountain, ruptured the steam-pipes in the Rotomahana 
geysers and let in the water of the lake upon the subterranean 
heat, resulting in the generation of enormous quantities of 
steam and the ejectment of the mud at the bottom of the 
lake. He doubts, however, whether the eruption has been 
of a character which produces the formation of lava. He 
thinks rather that the outburst on Tarawera was caused by 
the rupture of the sealed cap which was previously impervious 
to steam. The stones resembling scoria were, he thinks, 
formed by heat produced in steam and not through liquefaction 
of the rock by intense heat. From a number of specimens I 
had collected on the scoria hills at the back of Rotomahana, 
he selected one which, from its characteristics, gave indica- 
tions of lava. The rest were mostly pieces of terrace 
formation and a small piece of obsidian. As to the chance 
of a further eruption, Dr. Hector hesitates to pronounce any 
decided opinion. He believes, however, that the chief danger 
at present is from the mud. He says the danger from the 
shifting of recent deposits is well recognized. 



LONDON : 
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sr. JOHN'S HOUSE, CLERKEXWELI ROAD. 



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Fuller (Edward] Fellow Travellers. 3^. 6d. 



(F. ; the Old Buffer) Modern English Sports : their 
- Use and Abuse. Crown 8vo, 6s. ; a few large paper copies, ior. 6d. 

Galloway (W. B.) Chalk and Flint Formation. 25. 6d. 



List of Publications. n 



Gane (D.N.} New South Wales and Victoria in 1885. 55. ' 
Geary (Grattan) Burma after the Conquest, is. 6d. 
Gentle Life (Queen Edition). 2 vols. in i, small 4to, 6s. 

THE GENTLE LIFE SERIES. 

Price 6s. each ; or in calf extra, price lew. 6d. ; Smaller Edition, cloth 
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The Gentle Life. Essays in aid of the Formation of Character 

of Gentlemen and Gentlewomen. 
About in the World. Essays by Author of " The Gentle Life." 

Like unto Christ. A New Translation of Thomas a Kempis* 
"De Imitatione Christi." 

Familiar Words. An Index Verborum, or Quotation Hand- 
book. 6s. 

Essays by Montaigne. Edited and Annotated by the Author 
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The Gentle Life. 2nd Series. 

The Silent Hour: Essays, Original and Selected. By the 
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Half-Length Portraits. Short Studies of Notable Persons. 
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Essays on English Writers, for the Self-improvement of 

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Other People's Windows. By J. HAIN FRISWELL. 6s. 
A Man's TJioughts. By J. HAIN FRISWELL. 

The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia. By Sir PHILIP SIDNEY. 
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George Eliot; a Critical Study of her Life. ByG. W. COOKE. 

Crown 8vo, los. (>d. 
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Gilder (W. H.} Ice-Pack and Tundra. An Account of the 

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Records. Illustrated, 8vo, 12s. 6d. 
Gisborne (W.) New Zealand Rulers and Statesmen. With 

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13 



Sampson Low, Marston, &* Co.'s 



Gordon (General} Private Diary in China. Edited by S. 

MOSSMAN. Crown 8vo, Js. 6d. 
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Gouffe (Jules) Royal Cookery Book. Translated and adapted 
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Grant (General, U.S.} Personal Memoirs. With numerous 
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Great Artists. See " Biographies." 

Great Musicians. Edited by F. HUEFFER. A Series of 



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Bach. 
*Beethoven. 
*Berlioz. 

English Church Com- 
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Gliick. 



Purcell. 

Rossini. 

Schubert 

Schumann. 

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Weber. 



2S. 



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Haydn. 
*Marcello. 

Mendelssohn. 

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Groves (J. Percy) Charmouth Grange : a Tale of the Seven- 
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Guizofs History of France. Translated by ROBERT BLACK. 
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binding, 8 vols., at lor. (>d. each. 

" It supplies a want which has long been felt, and ought to be in the hands of all 
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Masson's School Edition. Abridged 

from the Translation by Robert Black, with Chronological Index, His- 
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Guyon (Mde.) Life. By UPHAM. 6th Edition, crown 8vo, 6s. 



List of Publications. 13 



"LJALFORD (F. M.) Floating Flies, and how to Dress them. 
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Hands (71) Numerical Exercises in Chemistry. Cr. 8vo, 2S. 6d. 
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Harland (Marian) Home Kitchen : a Collection of Practical 
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Harley (T.) Southward Ho I to the State of Georgia. $s. 

Harper's Magazine. Published Monthly. 160 pages, fully 
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Hymnal Companion of Common Prayer. See BICKERSTETH. 



List of Publications. 15 



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^^ 

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Dick Cheveley. 



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Boy's King Arthur. 

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Russia in Central Asia. Illustrated. 2 vols, 42^. 

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List of Publications. 1 7 



Leonardo da Vinci's Literary Works. Edited by Dr. JEAN 
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Miscellaneous Notes on Personal Events, on his Contemporaries, on 
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Le Plongeon. Sacred Mysteries among the Mayas and the 
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Library of Religious Poetry. Best Poems of all Ages. Edited 
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Lindsay (W. S.) History of Merchant Shipping. Over 150 
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Vols. i and 2, nj-. each; vols. 3 and 4, 14?. each. 4 vols., 50?. 

Little Britain, The Spectre Bridegroom, and Legend of Slecepy 
Hollow. By WASHINGTON IRVING. An entirely New Edition de 
luxe. Illustrated by 120 very fine Engravings on Wood, by Mr. 
J. D. COOPER. Designed by Mr. CHARLES O. MURRAY. Re-issue, 
square crown 8vo, cloth, 6s. 

Low's Standard Library of Travel and Adventure. Crown 8vo, 
uniform in cloth extra, Js. 6d., except where price is given. 

1. The Great Lone Land. By Major W. F. BUTLER, C.B. 

2. The Wild North Land. By Major W. F. BUTLER, C.B. 

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4. Through the Dark Continent. By H. M. STANLEY, izs. 6J. 

5. The Threshold of the Unknown Region. By C. R. MARK- 

HAM. (4th Edition, with Additional Chapters, lOs. 6d.) 

6. Cruise of the ChaUenger. By W. J. J. SPRY, R.N. 

7. Burnaby's On Horseback through Asia Minor. lOs. 6d. 

8. Schweinfurth's Heart of Africa. 2 vols., 15^. 

9. Marshall's Through America. 

IO. Lansdell's Through Siberia. Illustrated and unabridged, 
ior. 6d. 

Low's Standard Novels. Small post 8vo, cloth extra, 6s. each, 
unless otherwise stated. 
A Daughter of Heth. By W. BLACK. 
In Silk Attire. By W. BLACK. 
Kilmeny. A Novel. By W. BLACK. 
Lady Silverdale's Sweetheart. By W. BLACK. 
Sunrise. By W. BLACK. 
Three Feathers. By WILLIAM BLACK. 
Alice Lorraine. By R. D. BLACKMORE. 
Christowell, a Dartmoor Tale. By R. D. BLACKMORK. 
Clara Vaugrhan. By R. D. BLACKMORE. 



1 8 Sampson Low, Marston, & Co.'s 



Low's Standard Novels continued, 

Oradock Nowell. By R. D. BLACKMORE. 

Cripps the Carrier. By R. D. BLACKMORE. 

Erema; or, My Father's Sin. By R. D. BLACKMORE. 

Lorna Doone. By R. D. BLACKMORE. 25th Edition. 

Mary Anerley. By R. D. BLACKMORE. 

Tommy Upmore. By R. D. BLACKMORK. 

An English Squire. By Miss COLERIDGE. 

Some One Else. By Mrs. B. M. CROKER. 

A Story of the Dragonnades. By Rev. E. GILLIAT, M.A. 

A Laodicean. By THOMAS HARDY. 

Far from the Madding Crowd. By THOMAS HARDY. 

Pair of Blue Eyes. By THOMAS HARDY. 

Beturn of the Native. By THOMAS HARDY. 

The Hand of Ethelberta. By THOMAS HARDY. 

The Trumpet Major. By THOMAS HARDY. 

Two on a Tower. By THOMAS HARDY. 

Three Recruits. By JOSEPH HATTON. 

A Golden Sorrow. By Mrs. CASHEL HOEY. New Edition. 

Out of Court. By Mrs. CASHEL HOEY. 

Don John. By JEAN INGELOW. 

John Jerome. By JEAN INGELOW. j. 

Sarah de Berenger. By JEAN INGELOW. 

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Q-uild Court. By GEORGE MAC DONALD. 

Mary Marston. By GEORGE MAC DONALD. 

Stephen Archer. New Ed. of " Gifts." By GEORGE MAC DONALD. 

The Vicar's Daughter. By GEORGE MAC DONALD. 

"Weighed and "Wanting. By GEORGE MAC DONALD. 

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Elinor Dryden. By Mrs. MACQUOID. 

My Lady Oreensleeves. By HELEN MATHERS. 

Alaric Spenceley. By Mrs. J. H. RIDDELL. 

Daisies and Buttercups. By Mrs. J. H. RIDDELL. 

The Senior Partner. By Mrs. J. H. RIDDELL. 

A Struggle for Fame. By Mrs. J. H. RIDDELL. 

Jack's Courtship. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

John Holdsworth. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

A Sailor's Sweetheart. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

Sea Queen. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

Watch Below. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

Strange Voyage. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

"Wreck of the Qrosvenor. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

The Lady Maud. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

Little Loo. By W. CLARK RUSSELL. 

The Late Mrs. Null. By FRANK R. STOCKTON. 

My Wife and I. By Mrs. BEECHER STOWE. . 

Foganuc People, their Loves and Lives. By Mrs. B. STOWE. 



List of Publications. 19 



Low's Standard Novels continued. 

Ben Hur : a Tale of the Christ. By LEW. WALLACE. 
Anne. By CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON. 
East Angels. By CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON. 
For the Major. By CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON. 55. 
French Heiress in her own Chateau. 

Low's Handbook to the Charities of London. Edited and revised 
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J^CCORMICK (./?.). Voyages of Discovery in the Arctic and 
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Sir John Franklin, &c. With Maps and Lithos. 2 vols., royal 8vo, 

S2j. 6d. 
MacDonald (G.) Orts. Small post 8vo, 6^. . 

See also " Low's Standard Novels." 

Mackay (Charles) New Glossary of Obscure Words in Shake- 

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Macgregor (John) "Rob Roy" on the Baltic. 3rd Edition, 

small post SYO, 2s. 6d. ; cloth, gilt edges, $s. 6d. 

A Thousand Miles in the "Rob Roy" Canoe, nth 
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Voyage Alone in the Yawl " Rob Roy." New Edition 
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McLellan's Own Story : The War for the Union. Illustrations 
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Macquoid(Mrs.). See Low's STANDARD NOVELS. 
Magazine. See DECORATION, ENGLISH ETCHINGS, HARPER. 
Maginn (W.} Miscellanies. Prose and Verse. With Memoir. 

2 vols., crown 8vo, 24^. 
Main (Mrs.; Mrs. Fred Burnaby) High Life and Towers of 

Silence. Illustrated, square 8vo, 10*. 6d. 
Manitoba. See BRYCE. 

Manning (E. F.) Delightful Thames. Illustrated. 4to, fancy- 
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Markhatn (C. R.) The Threshold of the Unknown Region. 
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War between Peru and Chili, 1879-1881. Third Ed. 

Crown 8vo, with Maps, los. 6J. 

See also "Foreign Countries." 

Marshall (W. G.) Through America. New Ed., cr. 8vo, 7*. 6d. 



2Q Sampson Low, Marston, 6 Co.'s 

Martin (y. W.} Float Fishing and Spinning in the Nottingham 

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Maury (Commander) Physical Geography of the Sea, and its 

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Men of Mark : a Gallery of Contemporary Portraits of the most 

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Mendelssohn Family (The), 1729 1847. From Letters and 

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Merrifield's Nautical Astronomy. Crown 8vo, 7 s. 6d. 
Merrylees (J.) Carlsbad and its Environs, js. 6d. ; roan, gs. 

Mitchell (D. G. ; Ik. Marvel) Works. Uniform Edition, 
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Bound together. 
Doctor Johns. 
Dream Life. 
Out-of-Town Places. 



Reveries of a Bachelor. 

Seven Stories, Basement and Attic. 

Wet Days at Edgewood. 



Mitford (Mary Russell) Our Village. With 1 2 full-pape and 157 
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Milford (P.~) Ned Stafford's Experiences in the United States. 5*. 

Mollett (J. W.} Illustrated Dictionary of Words used in Art and 
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Money (E.) The Truth about America. $s. 

Morley (H.} English Literature in the Reign of Victoria. 
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Morse (E. S.} Japanese Homes and their Surroundings. With 

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Morwood. Our Gipsies in City, Tent, and Van. 8vo, 185. 
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Murray (E. C. Grenville) Memoirs. By his widow, COMTESSE 

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List of Publications. 2 1 

1\TAPOLEON and Marie Louise : Memoirs. By Madame 
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Nicholls (J. H. Kerry) The King Country : Explorations in 
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Nordhoff (C.) Calif ornia, for Health, Pleasure, and Residence. 
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Northbrook Gallery. Edited by LORD RONALD GOWER. 36 Per- 
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Nott (Major) Wild Animals Photographed and Described. 35*. 

Nursery Playmates (Prince of}. 217 Coloured Pictures for 
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flBRIEN (R. B.) Fifty Years of Concessions to Ireland, 
U \vith a Portrait of T. Drummond. Vol. I., i6s., II., i6s. 

Orient Line Guide Book. By W. ]. LOFTIE. 5^. 

Orvis (C. J 7 .) Fishing with the Fly. Illustrated. 8vo, 12*. 6d. 

Our Little Ones in Heaven. Edited by the Rev. H. ROBBINS. 
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Outing : Magazine of Outdoor Sports, is. Monthly. 

Owen (Douglas) Marine Insurance Notes and Clauses. New 
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pALLISER (Mrs.} A History of Lace. New Edition, with 
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The China Collector's Pocket Companion. With up- 
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Pascoe (C. .) London of To- Day. Illust., crown 8vo, 3*. dd. 

Payne (T. 0.) Solomon's Temple and Capitol, Ark of the Flood 
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Pennell (H. Cholmondeley) Sporting Fish of Great Britain. 
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Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America. 8vo, 215. 



29 Sampson Low, Marston, & Co.'s 

Philpot (H.J.) Diabetes Mellitus. Crown Svo, 5*. 

Diet System. Tables. I. Dyspepsia ; II. Gout ; 

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Plunkett (Major G. T.) Primer of Orthographic Projection. 
Elementary Practical Solid Geometry clearly explained. With Pro- 
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Poe (E. A.) The Raven. Illustr. by DOR& Imperial folio, 635. 

Poems of the Inner Life. Chiefly from Modern Authors. 
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Polar Expeditions. See GILDER, MARKHAM, McCoRMiCK. 
Porter (Noah) Elements of Moral Science, i os. 6d. 

Portraits of Celebrated Race-horses of the Past and Present 
Centuries, with Pedigrees and Performances. 3U. 6d. per vol. 

Poivell (W.) Wanderings in a Wild Country ; or, Three Years 
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