Notes on Early Life in New Zealand
In the last chapter I gave you a sketch of my official life down to the time when I negotiated the purchase of Otago from the natives.
That was at the end of July, 1844. Things were now quieting in the South. The titles of the New Zealand Company had been carefully sifted. Some of the most pressing difficulties had been arranged by compensation, and though there were still dangerous questions awaiting solution, nothing could be done with them for the present, and it would be a work of time and patience to dispose of them. For more than two years, all my powers of endurance had been strained to the utmost. It had been a time of incessant care and heavy responsibility, and I was getting very weary. I told the Governor that I thought myself due for a rest, and he very kindly recalled me to Auckland, and sent a gentleman to take my place. A rest was what I asked for, and little dreamed of the new troubles in which I was soon to be entangled.
There had been very little difficulty about the land question in the North, nor indeed was there serious disaffection on this subject anywhere except such as grew out of the loose purchases of the New Zealand Company. The rising of Heke and his followers was not at the beginning a question of Land Titles at all, but simply a revolt against the British Government, as such, for its assumption of power over the natives, which Heke declared to go far beyond what was contemplated in the Treaty of Waitangi. The land question did, however, come in before the final breach, in a way that no one had anticipated, and was, in fact, the last consideration that determined Heke to commit himself to war.page 68
Heke was a young and highborn Chief of the Ngapuhi Tribe, in the Bay of Islands, a little over thirty years of age; and his wife and cousin Harriet was the daughter of Hongi, and, perhaps, the greatest Maori lady in the land. They were both in their way as proud of their descent as any blue-blooded grandee of Spain. Before Captain Hobson's arrival, Heke had been much in the company of American visitors and residents. From them he learned the story of the American struggle for independence, and became a great admirer of Washington, and there slowly grew up in his mind a feeling of habitual distrust of the British power, and a dread of all our masterful ways.
It was with some hesitation that he was induced to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. He was enraged at the surrender of the murderer Maketu, and thought that to hand him over for trial by an English jury and not by his own people, was simply to efface the standing law of the Maori Blood Bond, which makes a man's own tribesmen the judges of his crime, and the executioners of his sentence. The quarrel with us was altogether impersonal. The object of his hostility was the British Government as an institution, and he expressed his resentment by cutting down the visible symbol of our sovereignty in his district, the Custom house flag-staff at Kororareka. In July 1844, while I was in the far South effecting the purchase of the Otago block, Heke, with a party of one hundred young men, cut it down by way of protest and defiance.
The Bay of Islands was at the time of the cession of New Zealand, the great resort of whaling ships, French, English and especially American. There were often as many as twenty whalers anchored at Kororareka at the same time, and of course there was a large trade between them and the natives.
The proclamation of British sovereignty changed it all. The immediate result of imposing Customs regulations, was to destroy this local commerce, and the Ngapuhi tribe, from being the richest and most prosperous in the country, sunk rapidly into poverty. The port was deserted, and the flag-staff and what it page 69 meant was the visible cause of the evil. To add to the commercial depression of the tribe the seat of Government was removed to Auckland, the centre of their Waikato enemies, and nearly all the resident traders of the Bay of Islands, who could get away, very naturally migrated to the capital. Heke's notion was first to free his own district from the control of Government officials, and when he had restored the independence of his tribe, to march upon Auckland. Then he hoped to effect a general rising of the Maoris throughout the country, and finally he had some dream of securing his victory by entering into an alliance with the Government of the United States. When the flag-staff of the Customs was cut down, Fitzroy at once sent to Sir George Gipps for soldiers, and a detachment of, I think, the 99th Regiment was sent to Auckland. H.M.S. “Hazard” was at hand, and she proceeded with the troops to Kororareka. Waka Nene, the great Hokianga Chief, who had been the leading spirit in effecting the Treaty of Waitangi, now interposed, urging the Governor to avoid a conflict and to keep the troops at Auckland, while he, Nene, pledged himself to guard the new flag-staff. The guns and tomahawks that the Governor demanded from the tribe in token of apology and submission, were given back, and at Nene's earnest entreaty the Bay of Islands was at once proclaimed a free port. It was too late. Though Fitzroy wrote to Gipps “the disturbance was caused by the false assertions of bad and designing men, mostly English, and by the land question, and above all by the Customs' regulations, which have almost destroyed the traffic of the Bay, without producing any considerable amount of revenue. By removing the Custom-house officers from this port, the root of the mischief will be, I think, extracted.”
In this statement I think the Governor was mistaken in attributing any weight as yet to the land question, which, as I have said, was the source of disturbance only among the Southern tribes. Things seemed to be smoothed down; but now there came tidings of the report of a select Committee of the House page 70 of Commons on the Maori tenure of land that worked irreparable mischief, and filled the minds of the native Chiefs throughout the country with the suspicion that we did not mean to keep faith in our engagements with them. The majority of this Committee impeached the Treaty of Waitangi, impugned the rights of the Maoris to what they called “wild lands,” and recommended that “lands not actually occupied by the natives” should be vested in the Crown. The report was passed by a majority of the House, but Lord Stanley refused to act upon it, or to annul a solemn Treaty that had been made in the name of the Queen of England, and on the faith of which we had been allowed to assume the peaceful sovereignty of the country. The news of all this came in the end of September, 1844, just before my return to Auckland, and greatly agitated the native Chiefs. It gave Heke his chance, and it sealed the disaffection of the Maoris. What mischief such a Committee ignorant and inflamed with party passions can do! On the 10th of January, 1845, without a word of warning to any one outside his special following, Heke made a rush with a few of his men upon the flag-staff, and cut it down the second time, but without disturbing the residents of Kororareka. Two hundred soldiers of the 58th were now sent on from Sydney, and Nene came on to the Bay with 300 men to sustain the English Government. Heke again declared that if we persisted in erecting the offending flag-staff he would at all hazards cut it down.
The staff was again set up, and to guard against surprise, it was sheathed this time with iron for several feet from the ground, a block-house was put up at its foot, trenches cut round the hill, and two or three guns mounted. A guard was put into the block-house every night, and a military camp formed in the town below. The “Hazard” was anchored close off the town, and the residents were drilled in arms.
In the beginning of February, after I had been in Auckland a week or ten days, the Governor, who was in great trouble, and in some doubt about what was really going on in the Maori mind, page 71 asked me to go to the Bay of Islands, and quietly find out how the Chiefs in the North would be likely to range themselves if, as he feared, conflict with Heke was inevitable.
So I visited the Bay, and spent a week in sounding the principal Chiefs, and listening to the common talk of their people, and having satisfied myself as to the course things were likely to take, I returned to the Governor and reported.
My impression was that Heke, Kawiti, and half a dozen other Chiefs were determined this time to fight, and, if possible, destroy the flag-staff, against any opposition of the garrison; that Nene, Patuone, Taewai, Repa and all the Hokianga branch of the tribe would support us; and that Pomare, Tareha, and Mauparaoa, the resident Chiefs in the Bay itself, and Ruhe, at Waimate, would be doubtful, sympathising indeed with Heke, but afraid to commit themselves openly to his cause. These men all round were close blood relations. They meant to watch events and take the winning side. On the 11th of March the crisis came. It was known that Heke might attack at any time that week, and on the day before his band was collected at a pah a few miles off. Heke divided his force on the night before his attack into three parties, two of them were to enter the Township at different points and engage the soldiers of the Garrison, the third he meant to lead himself against the block-house. During the night the assailants took up their positions without disturbing any of our sentries, and before daylight, Heke with his detachment had crept to within a hundred yards of the flag-staff. It was full daylight when they rose from their ambush and rushed for the block-house. The guard was taken by surprise, and after a short struggle was driven down the hill, and in less than half an hour the staff came down with a crash to the ground.
Meanwhile the two other detachments of the enemy sprang from their lair and made for the town, the largest one under Kawiti. They were met at the entrance and gallantly repulsed by the marines and sailors of the “Hazard,” who were stationed page 72 on shore. It was for the most part a hand-to-hand fight, cutlass against tomahawk.
A good many Maoris were killed, the rest were driven back, and Captain Robertson, who was in command, and who engaged Kawiti hand-to-hand, fell covered with wounds, from which, I am glad to say, he afterwards recovered.
Desultory firing went on till noon, when the Maoris at the block-house hoisted a flag of truce, and brought down a woman and our wounded men into our lines; among them, the signalman of the block-house, who stuck to his guns when the rest retreated, and was badly wounded before he would surrender.
A few minutes after, our powder magazines on shore blew up, and then it was determined to evacuate the town. It was awful blundering throughout.
Under somewhat wild, but heavy firing from the “Hazard,” the English men, women and children were brought off, without any interference from the natives.
The American corvette, the “St. Louis,” could not, of course, take part in the fight, but she manned all her boats, took off the families, and received a great crowd of fugitives on board. Next morning all the vessels left for Auckland, and the Maoris plundered and burnt the deserted town.
Much to the annoyance of Heke, not only the wives and children, but most of the men of the old missionary families, joined the fugitives in their panic. He thought that they ought to have known him better.
Mr. and Mrs. Williams remained at Paihia, Mr. Burrowes at Waimate, and Mr. Kemp at Keri Keri. Some of the young men also had not gone away; but H., who was the Maori Protector of the district and the official agent of the Government in all dealings with the natives, joined the flight in great trepidation. He had known Heke intimately all his life, but had taken fright and gone with the rest. He was an intelligent, well meaning man, and one of the best Maori scholars in the country, but he listened too much to alarmist reports, and could not keep his head in a time of any calamity or danger.page 73
I had told the Governor before, that I thought in any case Heke had no disposition to meddle with any of the missionaries' families if they conducted themselves with common prudence.
Fitzroy was annoyed at this gentleman, H., having come away in such haste, though he would not blame him. He sent for me, and bewailed the absence of any Government agent, who might at least rally our Maori allies and keep up communication with head quarters. Not a solitary representative of the Government had dared to stick to his post. He was afraid, as every one was, that Heke's next move would be to march on Auckland, unless we could get our Maori friends to hold him to the North. I at once told him that I did not think Heke would touch me, and at any rate I was ready to go, if there were any way of sending me, and I would do what I could to hold Heke back from any advance towards Auckland.
Fitzroy was pleased, and said he would not order me into so much risk, but if I volunteered, the United States corvette was going to look in at the Bay, and he had no doubt that Captain McClellan-would oblige him by giving me a passage and landing me.
So it was arranged, and the next day I sailed in the “St. Louis.”
My instructions were to make my way if possible to Waka Nene's camp, and to do all in my power to block the threatened advance of Heke upon Auckland by keeping him employed in his own district. My duty was to watch and strengthen what was at first the very shaky alliance of our Maori supporters; to report the movements of the Northern Tribes; to keep the Government in touch with the friendly natives; and to be the organ of communication between them and the authorities of Auckland.
They put me on shore at Paihia, and after ascertaining from Archdeacon Williams that Waka Nene was at Waimate, and Heke at Waitangi, I started by myself for the inland tramp of fifteen miles. At the landing place near the Waitangi falls of Haruru, I came upon a group of Heke's people, Heke himself being among them.page 74
He was rather surprised to see me, as he thought I was still in the far South, looking after Maori rights at Wellington. He knew well how hard I had fought, almost single handed, to get justice for the Maoris, and so he was prepossessed in my favour. I told him that I had left because I was tired almost to death, and when I had no idea of the trouble in the North; that I had come up in the “St. Louis” by the kindness of the American Commander; and that I wanted to get on to Waimate. “Oh,” he said, “I suppose you want to see Waka Nene and the Hokianga people. I do not know what they are going to do, but you can go on if you like. I am disgusted with H. for going away. You know that he and you and I were old playmates together, and unless you came upon me, sword in hand, I should not hurt either of you. Though you are a Government officer, you are an officer for the Maoris also according to your lights. You are not a stranger, and so long as you do not turn soldier, or policeman, or collector of customs, I do not mind if you are the only representative here of the Government in Auckland, but you must give up any letters you have on your person.”
I told him I had none. He then asked the news from Auckland, what the Governor was going to do, and enquired how the fugitives were disposed of. He said that the Pakehas who were not in arms need not have fled from Kororareka, and that he would not have molested the women, or plundered and burnt the town, if they had remained to look after their property. He enquired especially about Captain Robertson; said they admired his pluck; that in the encounter with Kawiti, he cut through the handle of the chief's tomahawk and nearly cut him down; and that he was the only very brave officer in the fight. Then he complained that the “Hazard” had not treated him well, but that after his people had ceased firing, she kept discharging her guns at the church, which was rather sacrilegious, and behind which the wounded were lying, though, as it happened, none of the people about the building were killed or even hurt.page 75
I told him I was quite sure that they knew nothing of the wounded there, or they would not have made the church their mark.
So we parted for the present, and I went on my solitary road.
Within a few miles of Waimate, I came upon Waka Nene's scouts, and soon reached his camp. Nene was very glad to see me, but as several Chiefs were present of whom he was evidently doubtful, he whispered to me that I had better reserve my confidences till they were gone. So I sat down and talked gossip, and purposely made very idiotic comments now and then about the state of political affairs. I hung about the place, laughed at the display of the war-dance, and chaffed the young men about their brave talk, reminding them of Ahab's proverb, “Let not him that girdeth on his harness, boast himself as he that putteth it off.” In the evening when Nene was alone, I dropped in “promiscuous like,” for a smoke and a chat.
Here I may explain that Waka Nene and his followers belonged to the Western branch of the Ngapuhi tribe, who had their seat in the district of Hokianga. Hokianga was necessarily the base of Nene's operations, while the region about Waimate was the centre of the Eastern branch of the tribe which was closely allied to Heke. Nene told me that of the five hundred people I saw around him, there were only two hundred of his own men that he could trust, and that, therefore, he had secretly sent to Hokianga for a contingent of two hundred more, who would arrive next day.
The people about Waimate were wavering, and, apart altogether from the cause of quarrel, they were drawn to Heke by blood relationship.
I found that though Heke and Nene were watching one another, no shot had as yet been fired on either side, and I was anxious that our friends should commit themselves. So I persuaded Nene to send off a troop of skirmishers next day, to the river Waiaruhe, half way to Heke's camp, to make a show of opposing the passage of the river. He did so, there was a page 76 desultory skirmish in which a few were wounded on both sides, but it was all I wanted to commit our friends to an act of war.
Heke and Nene now came to an understanding as to the way in which the contest should be carried on.
The two divisions of the tribe were so entangled by marriage-relations, that they could not afford to carry on war in the old, savage, and indiscriminating way. The actual fighting was to be kept as much as possible to the ground between and about the opposing camps. Women, children, stragglers, and unarmed whites were not to he meddled with when they were off the fighting ground.
They were not to intercept each others supplies, or to make raids on distant and defenceless villages, and they were to treat with humanity and kindness any of each others wounded who might fall into their hands.
And here I may anticipate, that when our troops came upon the scene, Heke had many a chance of capturing our convoys of food and ammunition and of cutting off detached parties in the rear, but he never attempted it. He even allowed one or two resident contractors to supply our soldiers with fresh meat, and let them go within his lines to drive up the cattle we needed for our support. There was no glory, he said, in fighting half starved men, who after all were serving their government, and between whom and himself there was no personal resentment.
There was hard fighting in this war; but Heke always said, “if fight we must, let us fight like gentlemen,” and, from beginning to end, I never heard of a single act of treachery on either side, and only of one reported, but doubtful, act of wanton cruelty. This was after our repulse at Ohaeawae, when we left our dead and dying at the foot of the stockade we had vainly tried to storm; the cries of some poor wounded fellow were heard in the camp, and the soldiers got the impression that he was being tortured, but the enemy afterwards denied it, though they confessed that some of the dead had been hacked and mutilated page 77 after they had fallen. I was never in the least afraid of going for a moderate distance within Heke's lines, though not into his pahs, so long as I was unarmed and had no troops behind me; and, though everyone knew that I was the channel of communication between Nene and the Auckland Government, I was fairly safe until I took actual part in the fray.
Nene soon found his position at Waimate very uncomfortable. He was really in the heart of Heke's country. Even the best disposed of the Waimate people gave him a grudging and half-hearted support, and the great majority sympathised with the enemy.
There was nothing now to keep Nene so near the Bay of Islands. Kororareka had fallen, the Bay was deserted, and there was no settlement to protect.
Nene was twenty miles from Hokianga, which was the proper base of his supplies. So he determined to give up his Waimate camp, and to build his pah some eight miles nearer to his own district. He would be out of the range of doubtful adherents, there would be nothing then in his rear, and it would not be difficult to feed his force.
The road from Waimate to Hokianga is about twenty miles long, and runs in a north westerly direction. About three miles from Waimate it skirts a remarkable volcanic hill, from the top of which there is a wide view of the surrounding district. Beyond Puke Nui, or “the great hill” as it is called, there is a deep lake six miles long and a mile or two across, caused by the subsidence of the land in some not very remote eruption.
Just under the hill, at the point where the road touches the edge of this lake, and with a network of impassable swamps on flank and rear, Heke built his stronghold of Okaihau.
Four miles farther on the road was Nene's pah. A stream crossed the centre of the intervening space and divided the hostile lines.
On Heke's passing through the Waimate to build his pah, I met him and had a few words of talk.page 78
He was rather sulky at the opposition of Nene, which held him to the district, when he would fain have been marching on Auckland, but though he would not say much, he was not at all uncivil.
I knew I had nothing to fear from the bulk of his followers, and that the safest place was always where they were congregated in the greatest number, but on this occasion he had a contingent of wild Maoris from the interior, to whom I was not so well known. I was quietly looking on at a war dance near the road, when a file of these wild rascals finished there capering by levelling their muskets at me at some ten paces off, I suppose to frighten me. To move would have been to invite a volley, so I stood still, when a man in the ranks, who had been an old servant of ours, rushed forward and beat their guns aside.
When the two pahs were finished, there used to be a skirmish every two or three days, and the passing of a challenge from one to another to let the young men “play,” as the old fellows called it, in the open.
The house I was living in was three miles to the rear of Heke, and his force lay across the direct road to Nene's pah, which I could only otherwise reach by taking a circuit of some ten miles.
There were wild larrikin lads about Waimate, as nearly related by blood to one side as to the other, and who of course did not care a rush for the cause of battle, but they looked upon a scrimmage much as we do at a game of football.
I generally knew a day or two beforehand, when anything important was coming on, and I was often amused to see a group of four young scamps sitting round their evening fire, and making up their minds which side they would severally take in the skirmish of the morrow. Sometimes they would even borrow cartridges from one another, and before daylight half would go to Heke and half to Nene.
Next day, perhaps, they would change about. The fight over, the friends would find their way back before midnight, and spend page 79 the time till morning in bragging about their respective exploits. Now and then one or two of them came home with a wound, but no worse than to disable him perhaps far a week or ten days.
I remember one particular day when there had been a sharper brush than usual, some had been killed and there were a good many badly wounded on both sides. The news came to me that they were torturing the poor wretches by laying rags soaked in rum upon their wounds, which they had been told by some quack Pakeha was the best thing to do for speedy healing and recovery, and I thought, for mere humanity's sake, I ought to try and stop it. So I rode to the outside of Heke's pah, and persuaded them to use no other treatment but washing with cold water, and then laying a green leaf upon the orifice. They were doing the same barbarous thing at Nene's pah, and so Heke allowed me to go through and stop it.
I had a quiet talk with Nene about the position of affairs, and he told me that if they continued to burn powder at the rate they had been doing in these skirmishes, he was a little afraid that their ammunition would run short. His object was not to fight a decisive battle at a heavy cost of life, which, even if he won, would not politically be of much service to our Government.
It was necessary that Heke should be crushed by a force of British soldiers, and not by people of his own race.
His own duty, he (Nene) thought, was to hold Heke back from the least advance towards Auckland until we had gathered a force, and the best service he could render us was just to keep harassing the enemy by frequent skirmishes, until we were ready to encounter him ourselves.
I told him that I would give his message to the Governor, and ask him to arrange time and place for delivering the ammunition. I thought we could only land it at the head of the Keri Keri, and Nene would have to send an escort to bring it on to the camp.page 80
On my return, towards evening, I came upon Harriet (Heke's wife) and a group of attendants outside Heke's pah. We talked about the wounded, and I told what I had seen of them, though they did not need the information, and at last Harriet said with an air of innocence, “How many letters did Nene give you for the Governor?” I said, “I am not a postman, and you don't suppose I should be such a fool as to carry despatches through your lines! No, the only letters I have brought are in my head.” She laughed and said, “I know you don't tell lies, but let me feel,” and so she passed her hand lightly on the outside of my pockets and said, “That will do, good night.” The letters came to hand in the evening.
In due time the supplies of ammunition came to the Keri Keri, in charge of my brother, and he came on with the escort to Nene's camp, and gave the messages with which he had been charged by the Governor.
Early in May, 1845, that is two months after the fall of Kororareka, the Governor sent a force under Colonel Hulme to Nene's aid. It consisted of detachments of the 58th and 96th, and some sailors and marines from the “Hazard” and the “North Star,” a little over four hundred in all.
They landed near the mouth of the Keri Keri and marched some fourteen miles to the old missionary station at the falls.
Two days after they tramped, with an escort of friendly natives, some sixteen miles to Nene's pah.
After a day's rest Colonel Hulme determined to attack, much against Nene's advice. I went with a few others to the top of Puke Nui to watch the day's events.
The ground lay before us like a map. Heke's pah, some hundred yards from the edge of the lake, was close at our feet. Four or five miles before us was the slope up to Nene's stockade, and we could see the troops in the distance, with two or three score of Maoris, slowly approaching. We could see also the preparations that Heke had made to receive them.page 81
As the troops came on and neared the pah, there was on their right flank a considerable force of the enemy under Kawiti, ready to attack if the soldiers should try to storm the pah. We could see them plainly enough, though they were hidden from the approaching troops by a rise in the ground.
We thought it looked dangerous, when suddenly we noticed a force of sailors and marines and a score or two of Maoris detach themselves from the main body, and making a sweep to the right they came round on Kawiti's flank, and, after a volley, charged with the bayonet. There was a struggle for a quarter of an hour or so, and then we saw Kawiti's people scattering in every direction.
They were badly beaten, a good many fell, and among them were two of Kawiti's own sons.
The troops before the pah fired a rocket or two into the enclosure, and, rushing forward with fixed bayonets, they drove in the stragglers, and then lay on the ground close in to the palisades. Colonel Hulme saw at once that the place was much too strong to be stormed by the bravest men without artillery, and he withdrew his men without the Maori garrison attempting to molest their retreat.
We had lost fourteen killed and over forty wounded in the fight with Kawiti: a large number out of four hundred men.
Nene's men covered the rear till all were back in the friendly camp.
Our dead were hurriedly buried, and a day or two after, Heke ordered the graves to be deepened, and the poor fellows to be more decently laid to their rest, and then he himself read over them the Maori version of the burial service.
Colonel Hulme returned with his force to Keri Keri, and re-embarked for Auckland. He expressed himself grateful for the care and tenderness with which Nene's men carried the wounded over that thirteen miles of bush road, and praised the loyalty of our allies.page 82
Heke now found that apart from the British troops, Waka Nene alone was too much for him, and that if he could not manage to crush him before we mustered for the next attack, his cause would be lost.
He would not wait for another expedition at Okaihau; it was getting more difficult to draw his supplies; and he had to be in a position from which, if worsted, he could retreat to where our soldiers could not follow him. He removed his pah to the other side of the Mawe Lake.
A day came when Heke knew by his spies that Nene's pah was nearly empty. Two thirds of his men were absent, getting supplies from Hokianga, and now, Heke thought, he had got Nene at last. He attacked him with a force of about five to one. This roused the old warrior at last. He not only held his own, but watching some movement of hesitation or confusion in the enemy, he fiercely charged them, and drove them headlong before him. Many were killed, Heke himself was badly wounded, and very nearly captured. Heke was now thrown entirely on the defensive. He never ventured to attack Nene again. He now built a new pah at Ohaeawae, some five miles to the west of Waimate.
There was a model either of this pah or of Ruapekapeka in our Hobart museum, and I suppose it exists still. The pah was very strongly built, with a double row of palisades, the posts of which were thick enough for our round shot to stick in them, and they were so ingeniously fastened by traverse rafters, that it was very difficult to bring them down, even when they were cut through. For some eight feet from the ground there was a thick thatched screen of green flax, and there were two or three embrasures with the muzzles of some ancient six-pounders peeping through. The interior was a net work of palisades and pits and covered ways. A fosse surrounded the whole work, and it was held by a garrison of about three hundred men.
In the month of June, that is nearly four months after the fail of Kororareka, Captain Fitzroy received fresh reinforcements, and page 83 a new expedition of six hundred men was organized under the command of Colonel Despard of the 99th, and went on to the Bay. He had but four field guns, a rocket-tube, and about eight old mortars. With much toil one of the “Hazards” thirty-two pounders was afterwards dragged by the sailors to the camp. The first camp was pitched at Waimate, and a good deal of time was spent in bringing up stores and ammunition. When all was ready, the troops marched five miles more to Ohaeawae, and the camp was pitched under the shelter of a low bank about three hundred yards from the front of the pah.
Nene, with two hundred and fifty men, accompanied the troops and pitched his camp on our right, a little to the rear. On our right front there was a low hill, backed by scrub, which commanded the inside of the stockade, and there we established a battery, and fired in a desultory way on the palisades.
I left the camp before the work was finished. My brother Henry was on the Colonel's staff as interpreter. On the 30th of June I happened to be on board the “Hazard” for a day at the month of the Keri Keri river, and a little after daylight the next morning I started alone on a tramp to Ohaeawae. I first walked 10 miles to the Keri Keri station, then 10 miles to the Waimate, and then five more miles to the camp. Two miles before I reached my destination I met a friendly Maori with the unpleasant news, “O Hori Karaka your brother Henry fallen this morning, shot through the head.” Presently I met another, whose version was that he was shot through the lungs, but was still alive, and I might see him if I hurried on. A third said, “he is badly but not fatally wounded, and you will find him all right.” When I got to the camp, I learnt that during the night a party of the enemy had worked round to the rear of the battery, which commanded the works inside the pah, and watching their opportunity had carried the battery with a rush in the early morning, driven out the guard and spiked the guns with wood, and they in their turn had been driven out by a bayonet charge of the 99th. At the moment when the enemy made their rush page 84 my brother Henry was standing at the parapet, looking down on the pah. There was a shout that it was the Colonel, and as my brother turned to face them, a volley was fired and he rolled from the top of the hill to the bottom. He had only one serious wound however, through the upper part of the thigh, but happily the femoral artery was not cut, and the bone not broken. I found him in the Hospital tent, and then sought out Lieutenant Phillpotts (son of the Bishop of Exeter) for whom I had a message, and found him and others ready to storm.
Before Kororareka was taken it was Phillpotts who drilled the civilians, and, on Captain Robertson being wounded, he had taken command of the “Hazard.” It was afterwards said that he had been too precipitate in his surrender of the place. It galled him terribly, and the poor fellow took it as a reflection on his courage, and was very sore about it. It made him reckless, and he joined the camp with the foreboding that he should never return. There were three of us brothers who were free and open guests to the company of officers on board the “Hazard,” and, as it happened, two of the officers bore the same distinguished name of Clarke. One day we were all five at dinner, and as you can imagine our several personalities got rather mixed. The two Lieutenants were distinguished by their familiars, one as “Polly” and the other as “Jemima” Clarke, and at Phillpotts suggestion we were nicked off, I, as “Prophecy,” Henry as “Litany,” and William as “Gospel.” Prophecy, Litany and Gospel were our current designations in the fleet to the end of the war. Gospel was a special chum. One day Phillpotts said, “Gospel, I am writing my will, what shall I leave you?” Of course William thought it a joke, and said, “Oh, leave me your Manton,” and a month after, to his great surprise and sorrow, the gun was handed over to him, and I believe he has it to this day. A day or two before the flag staff was cut down, Phillpotts took a walk by way of reconnoitring the enemy, and had been captured by Heke, disarmed, and escorted back to our lines when he gave him back his sword.page 85
The Maoris knew him everywhere as Toby Phillpotts, and liked him for his good humour. Once at Ohaeawae, a little after dusk, Phillpotts crept up to the palisade, and began slashing with his cutlass at the flax screen, when, of courses, nothing could have been easier than to strike him down, but instead of that an awful voice came from the ground at his feet, not five yards off: “Go away Toby, go away Toby,” and he went away.
The battery had been firing all day, and Colonel Despard fancied that there must be a practicable breach, and gave the order, “prepare to storm.” Nene told him that there was no breach, and that the bravest soldiers in the world could not find a passage for two abreast, and the Senior Officer of Engineers supported him. But Despard was not to be moved. Late in the afternoon the bugle sounded the assault. The storming party consisted of two hundred men, under the command of Major Macpherson and Lieutenant Phillpotts. Phillpotts was in flannel and carrying a seaman's cutlass instead of the regulation sword. It was not a rush of more than one hundred yards.
The poor fellows went on bravely, and might as well have run their heads against a stone wall. There was not a breach wide enough for a single man to enter. Phillpotts tried to do it; two officers and ninety six men out of the two hundred were struck down before they gave up the hopeless task.
We found out afterwards that with all our bombardment, the second, or inner palisade of the stronghold was hardly scratched, and many of our round shot were sticking in the posts of the outer palisade.
Two days afterwards a flag of truce was flown from the pah, and we were invited to bury our dead. We laid thirty four together in a single pit. Captain Grant of the 58th, and Lieutenant Phillpotts were among the killed.
We afterwards laid these officers in the quiet little churchyard at Waimate.*
But to go back to the assault: just as it was at its height, and they were dragging the wounded in, I made my way through a page 86 nasty fire to the hospital tent. There my brother was lying, While all around were the sights and sounds of the surgeon's work, and I felt that at any risk I must get him out. I ran round through a cross fire to our right flank, and got hold of two Maoris to help me, and so we carried him on his blanket through the hurtle and sputter of bullets till we got him to a place of comparative safety. At one point one of the two bearers dropped him, but we managed to drag him somehow over a low plantation wall and let him lie; then I made off in pursuit, and by forcible words and other persuasions I brought the fugitive Maori back to his duty. Then we rigged up a sort of litter, and, as night came on, we started with our burden for a five mile tramp to Waimate. It was very dark and rain came down in torrents. Part of our way lay through a thick forest, and the only passage through it had been cut and churned into a slough of glue mad, nearly up to our knees. The soil was a most tenacious day, and in struggling through it I got one foot into a hole, and had to leave my boot there, for by no effort could I get it out; it was enough to get one's foot out. So I stumped on with one boot till I got to the house. I lit a fire, made the patient a basin of slops, and laid him on a mattress upon the floor.
After midnight a dray load of weary, drenched, and groaning men came into the settlement, among them Major Macpherson, who had led the storming party.
The rain and the jolting had been bad enough for the poor fellows, but in the dark the bullocks had managed to take a stump and upset the dray.
I took the old Major in charge, and made him a bed on the floor by the side of my brother, to his very great content. The Major was very stout; he had been struck down by a bullet which flattened on a snuff box in his breast, and while in the act of falling another shot had gone through, the thickest flesh it could find in his body.
I was desperately tired, but my patients were feverish and restless, and I was perfectly stupid with sleepiness. They page 87 wanted water, or that I should pull the toes of the one, or help the other to turn over. At last I gave them each a stick and told them to stir me up when they wanted me. I fell into a dead sleep, and suppose I got up often, but do not know, only at different points over my ribs I felt uncommonly sore the next day from the poking of my friends.
After the repulse, Colonel Despard was naturally depressed, and began to talk about withdrawing the force. Again Nene remonstrated, telling him that it would be ruinous to the public interest, and would make the last error worse than the first. At last he said, “Well, Colonel, if you go, I mean to stay.”
It came on now to rain heavily for several days, and the trenches inside Heke's pah became so full of water that they were no longer tenable.
On the night of the roth of July the enemy silently evacuated the place, and no one knew it till next day, when they were already in the forest. We blew up the guns and burnt what we could of the place, and a few days after returned to Waimate. There the troops entrenched themselves, and remained in that position till the arrival of Captain Grey to assume the Government.
Heke had retreated far inland, and it was impossible for us to follow him.
Nene remained near Waimate, and for some time there was practically a suspension of hostilities. Heke and Kawiti parted early in September, and Kawiti built his new stronghold at Ruapekapeka, far away from what had hitherto been our fighting ground. The new pah was some ten miles inland from the head of the Kawa, Kawa, on the south eastern side of the Bay of Islands.
Active operations, as I have said, were suspended, and towards the end of October I went back to Auckland. I had been eight months in the very focus of the rebellion, and for most of the time I was the only representative of the Government in the district. I came, knowing that our only chance of page 88 avoiding serious disaster was to hold Heke to the Bay of Islands, and give him no chance of marching on Auckland. Waka Nene was not strong enough to crush him, but he could make it impossible for him to go out of the district.
I could watch the course of affairs and do something to rally our Maori friends, and could be the channel of communication between them and the Government of Auckland. I found that my safety, until I joined the troops, was in being somewhat ostentatiously defenceless and unarmed. I never even tried to get out of Heke's way, if he had chosen to hurt me. He always said, frankly enough, that I might do anything except fight in battle. I never saw the interior of Heke's defences as long as he occupied them, and it was understood, as a point of honour between us, that I should not try to do so.
I never carried arms until the attack on Ohaeawae, and after wards when before the stronghold of Ruapekapeka. But it had been an anxious time and I was glad of a short respite.
When I was in Auckland Governor Grey arrived, and he assumed the administration on the 18th November, 1845, and at once attached me to his personal staff. He was anxious to have done with the war; he had 1,100 available men on shore at his disposal; and there were four ships of war at anchor in the bay. Grey directed Despard to move with all his force to the head of the Kawa Kawa, which was within ten miles of Kawiti's stronghold at Ruapekapeka, and which Kawiti held with a garrison of a little over two hundred men.
The Governor and I joined the expedition, and took our passage in the frigate “Castor,” which had just come from the China Station, commanded by Captain Graham, brother of Sir James Graham.
In a conference with the friendly Chiefs, I wrote instructions at the Governor's dictation as to the plan of proceedings.
Mokoare was to be detached from the main body of Nene's people on special service. He was to make his way into the difficult country behind Kawiti, and to do his best to prevent a page 89 junction between him and Heke. The two pahs of Heke and Kawiti were now twenty miles apart. Makoare was to cut their line of communication, not to risk a serious battle, but avoiding anything beyond skirmishing, he was to block the way, and if Heke got past him, to hang on his rear and embarrass him as much as possible.
Our friend did his work well, and Heke was not able to send any considerable aid to his beleaguered ally. We had to cut a road from the Kawa Kawa to the front of Ruapekapeka.
Nene and his people pushed on in advance, and kept the work of road making clear of interruption.
Soon after Christmas Day we pitched our camp in sight of the stronghold and half a mile from it; we were separated from Kawiti by a deep wooded ravine. It was the strongest place we had as yet encountered, though it had a smaller garrison to defend it than that which occupied Ohacawae.
On our right front, a narrow ridge swept round the head of the ravine to the pah, and we were able to place a formidable battery of heavy guns within a hundred and fifty yards of the palisades, while we had another battery in the front of our camp. Nene's men were in high spirits at having the Governor at hand, and they built their stockade at the left rear of the advanced battery. Once only were we thrown into a few minutes confusion by a sally from the pah. There was a difficult way by which a bold enemy might sneak through the forest to our left front, and it had been left by us too slightly guarded. Suddenly our sentries on that side were driven in, and the alarm was sounded. Things looked likely to get mixed, and there was danger lest we should fire by mistake upon our own natives. Nene saw it in a moment; he was at the time with the Governor, the Colonel, and myself in the Governor's tent.
He at once begged the Colonel to order his men on no account to fire, and he (Nene) would soon account for the assailants. Calling to his men, he rushed at their head into the forest. There was a sharp skirmish, several on the other side page 90 were killed, and Nene returned in an hour and laid their arms at the Governor's feet. Fighting went on. We were very much struck with the tenacity with which, under the heaviest fire of our great guns, the garrison kept to their posts. Once we shot down their flag-staff, and there was a general cheer in the camp: it was answered back by a cheer in the pah, and the flag-staff was up again, and the flag flying in defiance before sunset. I remember standing at our battery with the Governor, and seeing him much moved. We were throwing shot and shell into the place, and could see the splinters flying from the stockade every time it was struck, but through it all we saw a young girl, apparently about twenty, and a man sitting quietly on the roof of a bomb-proof house, calmly watching us and quite undisturbed by the bursting shells and crashing timber around them.
We, with our great guns, mortars, and rockets, including our allies, numbered about two thousand men in arms.
The garrison of the pah never reached three hundred. On Saturday, the 25th of January, we opened fire from all our guns at daylight, every shot being directed to the same part of the stockade, so as to make a breach, and we continued the bombardment till evening.
Colonel Despard seemed to have learnt nothing from our repulse at Ohaeawae, and was actually preparing to storm a stronger place.
Mohi Tawai vehemently remonstrated against the madness of the attempt, and at length the Colonel gave way.
All through the coming night a gun was fired into the breach every half hour or so to prevent its being repaired, till at length daylight broke and there was a lull.
That Sunday morning the Governor and I were at breakfast in our tent when Nene came in. He said things were very quiet in the pah, and he was going to send one of his young men to find out what it meant. He asked that with as little noise as possible a few men should be got to the advanced page 91 battery, where lie had posted some friendlies, to be ready to act at a moment's notice. A hundred men were immediately sent, and the Governor and I went with them. On arrival at the battery perfect silence was ordered, and we watched the proceedings. Stripping themselves of nearly all their clothes, and with gun in hand, two young fellows made their way from stump to stump, crawled to the breach, and disappeared inside. Presently one of them showed out again, waved his musket over his head as a signal, and with one wild rush we poured in. The defenders were all on the outside farthest from us, sitting under the shelter of the palisades, never expecting such a move on our part. For a long time they held their ground, and fired in upon us through the spaces of the stockade from the fosse outside, but at last they were driven off. They retreated through the wood in splendid style, and a fine body of young men checked the pursuit whenever a stand was possible. The fight lasted for four hours; we had twelve killed and thirty wounded. What the loss of the enemy was we never heard. They carried off all their wounded but one, and some of their dead. I went over the ground when the firing ceased, and came here and there upon the dead. Behind one log crossing the road of retreat, where we had been kept at bay for more than half an hour, I found nine stalwart young men lying side by side.
In his official report to the Governor, Colonel Despard said: “Your Excellency has been an eye witness to all our operations, and, I may say, actually engaged in the assault;” which was so far true that we were in with the first party who rushed into the breach, and had to stand the fire of the enemy from outside.
Despard had good reason to rejoice that he had not repeated the blunder of Ohaeawae.
The pah turned out to be much stronger and far lesss injured than we thought. We had made a practicable breach through the outer palisade, but the inner works were not seriously broken. The inside was a network of covered ways, and the houses were all bomb-proof.page 92
The Maoris afterwards said that on account of its being Sunday morning, they thought they were safe from an assault, and so they were taken by surprise. It took us many years to learn how to attack a Maori stockade, and in after wars we suffered terribly from our rashness and ignorance.
The capture of Ruapekapeka virtually closed the Northern war.
There were negotiations by letter between the Governor on one side and Heke and Kawiti on the other, that passed through my hands. At last peace was declared. Very wisely, in the circumstances, the Governor did not put Heke to open shame by insisting upon the re-erection of the flag-staff at Kororareka. It remained where it had fallen till both Heke and Kawiti were dead. The natives themselves who had been fighting against us set it up again in 1858.
Heke never got over the hardship of the war. He broke down in health and died in 1850, about forty, from pulmonary disease.
His widow Harriet was re-married to Arama Karaka, one of the leading Chiefs of Nene's tribe, who had fought against her former husband in the war. She, too, died only a few years ago. While Heke was ill, Grey sent him many presents, which he gratefully acknowledged. A lingering remembrance of past suspicions haunted him, and, taking a sovereign from a number, he turned it over and said with a grim smile: “As it comes from Governor Grey I am looking whether there is any hook in it.” He wrote to Grey: “I am very ill, but do not grieve about that. This body is not our everlasting habitation.” He died professing the Christian faith, and kindly attended by his wife, the daughter of Hongi.
Heke's war stands quite alone in the history of our struggles with the Maori race; alone in its magnanimity, its chivalry, its courtesy, and, I dare to say, its control by Christian sentiment.
I did my best, with a good conscience, to frustrate Heke's plans, and to thwart his ambitious aims, for his success would page 93 have ruined the country. Heke knew I was there to do it, but he never shewed the least sign of personal resentment; nor did he treat me with such harshness as he might have done with very good excuse.
Personally we were always on terms of kindness, and I should be the last man to grudge him his meed of honest praise.
We had other wars afterwards that were bitter with all the elements of personal resentment; on the native side wars in which, I fear, there has been almost always more or less of excuse that we had provoked them to do their worst.
In the years to come we were to fight a people who for the most part had given up Christianity, and relapsed into their ancient ways, and who thought murder, treachery, cruelty, and, indeed, anything short of actual cannibalism, only fair reprisals in such a conflict of races.
There were many noble exceptions, but even with the best of them, they did not approach the chivalry of our first antagonists.
On our side, too, I am afraid that our hands, since that first war, were not always clean, and the feelings of our later wars took on a character of exasperation, that had no place in the conduct of the first.
I may here, too, say all that is necessary about our friend Nene and our relations with him, and the part he played among his countrymen. At the time when New Zealand was ceded, to the Queen, I roughly calculated the Maori population at about 60,000. Since the beginning of the century perhaps as many more had been carried off by war and disease, and everything portended that they were among the vanishing peoples that could not stand for long against the forces of what we call civilization.
It had been a race amongst the tribes which should be the first to arm themselves with the European rifle, and Hongi began that series of exterminating wars before which thousands and thousands disappeared.
We brought them epidemics against which we have been partially fortified by the innoculation of many generations, but page 94 which found in the Maoris fresh and virgin soil, in which the seeds of destruction grew with rapid and fatal luxuriance. This, I think, and not the oppression of white men at all, is the main cause of their fast diminution.
For a short time there was a rage among them for intoxicating liquors, which was a kind of defiance to the legal prohibition of their sale to the Maoris. That madness, however, has very much passed away, though intemperance is far too common a vice among them, as among ourselves.
The four greatest Chiefs of the country in my time were Waka Nene of the Ngapuhi, Whero-Whero of Waikato, Heu-Heu of Taupo, and Rauparaha of the Ngatitoa. They were all great warriors, but they were also men of exceptional ability in the diplomatic management of what we should call civil and intertribal affairs. Waka Nene was strong all through, in mind as in body. He had a singularly open, honest, and benevolent, expression of face, and though, if needs were, he could be stern enough, there was little of cruelty or vindictiveness in his composition, as there could possibly have been in one whose youth was spent in such surroundings. He was the bravest among the brave; a splendid Maori general; averse to fighting until every way of conciliation was exhausted: and, though he never heard of Polonius, with him, too, it was a maxim: “Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.” He was impressed with the abiding feeling that the only chance for his Race was to keep peace with the Pakeha; to accept loyally the supremacy of the Queen; and to hear themselves patiently through the slow and difficult transition from Maori custom to British law. His bare word was trusted through all the country as the most binding writing would be trusted among ourselves, and he had the power of attaching followers to his person with a devotion which made them ready to stand by him in life or in death.
If I remember right, he was the first to sign the Treaty of Waitangi; at anyrate his influence was paramount, and but for page 95 him the Maoris would never have signed the Treaty at all. His proper home was the banks of the Hokianga River, on the western side of the country, opposite to the Bay of Islands.
He had for many years been a convert of the Wesleyan Mission, and received at his baptism the prefix “Thomas Walker,” to his old Maori name of Nene. From beginning to end he never swerved from his pledge of loyalty to the Queen. When he died he was buried in the little churchyard of Kororareka, having solemnly adjured his friends not to allow the Maori custom of disposing of his bones, but to let him lie at peace in a Christian grave; and over his grave the Government raised a stone monument with an inscription in both languages expressive of their gratitude, and purporting that that was the resting place of one who was alike steadfast in his friendship, for the English, and in his labours to secure the best interests of his countrymen—a chief of men, as wise in counsel as he was brave in war.
For once in a way, this was an epitaph of severe and simple truth, and there was not a word of flattery in its praise of the dead. He had been one of Hongi's lieutenants, and had traversed with his war parties the whole of the Northern Island to the neighbourhood of Cook Strait. But it war for his wisdom as a councellor, and his influence as a peace-maker, that he was specially famous. No one could set down his conciliation to weakness or fear. In his ordinary bearing be was as gentle as a child. In conversation his voice was soft as a woman's, but in the shout of battle it was said to be terrible, and it could be heard above all the clash of arms and the din of the conflict. He was hardly ever defeated, and it was his way before he fought, to look beyond the victory, and to determine the move by which it should be followed. He was half a life older than Heke, and, indeed, he regarded the action of that Chief very much as the escapade of a petulant boy. In their case, too, the struggle had none of the bitterness of personal resentment, and, when Heke made his somewhat sulky submission, page 96 Nene advised the Government to treat him with kindness and consideration, and, the war being ended, not to add to his disappointment anything that would hurt his sense of personal dignity. We owe Nene's memory, more than to any other of the Maori race, a real debt of gratitude and respect, for at many a crisis he threw himself into the breach, and averted dangers that might have been fatal to us in those early days. As a father be was a man of tender feeling. He had but one son, eighteen years old, whom my mother nursed in his illness, and after the boy's death, when Nene came to our house, he could not speak of his loss without tears, or thank her too much for the kindness that seemed to him to have been all in vain.
I saw him last during Colonel Gore Browne's administration, when I paid a visit to New Zealand.
The Taranake war was then at its height, and the old man told me mournfully, that his heart was darker than it had ever been, when he thought of the issue of the struggle, whether to ourselves or to the people of his own Maori race. Of this I am sure, that throughout that first Maori war we were opponents who thoroughly respected each other, not only as the brave respect the brave, but as they admire the honour, the courtesy, and the humanity that may redeem even a war of races from sinking into a mere brutal struggle for existence, or a base and greedy struggle for our ruder neighbour's goods. I need not carry you farther.
After the war was over I accompanied Governor Grey to the Southern settlements, and we secured a good deal of the disputed land at Wellington, Nelson, and elsewhere, by compensating the unsatisfied Maori owners.
In the upper valley of the Hutt new disturbances broke out in which the natives were aggressive, and, I think, almost wholly in the wrong. There was a splutter of hostilities for a few months, with considerable loss on our side, but the aggressive natives were driven back to the mountains, and their principal leader died.
From a Drawing by K. L. Sutherland.
Things continued outwardly quiet for some years, though all the while the storm I had distinctly foretold was brewing, till it broke out in the Taranake war, and the series of struggles that followed in its train.
Before this, however, the time had come when I was wanted elsewhere, and much against the advice of the Governor, and many friends, I tendered my resignation and closed the Maori chapter of my early life.
A fit of prostration had brought me very low, and I knew that neither body nor mind could bear the strain much longer. It was a sort of living martyrdom to one not over robust in health and constitution, and to be always in the storm was not at all suited to my temper. I longed for a quieter scheme of living, and it did not trouble me to give up the splendid prospects which the Governor held before me, if I could only fulfil what had been all through my peaceful ambition—to be a plain and simple preacher of Christ's Holy Gospel. It was not the mere peril and care and worry of the life which made me give it up, but the change was hastened on because I was vexed by some things which the Governor had lately done in the South, and I thought they were not as straightforward as in our dealings with the Maoris we should have been. I was very unwilling to be an agent in a policy against which my private conscience revolted, or to be entangled in a business that I could not stomach in the way of morality. So I cut the knot, and definitely withdrew from active service, much against the wishes of the Governor with whom all along I had been on the most pleasant terms of intercourse. In fact the Governor would not accept my resignation when I tendered it, and I left with the arrangement that I should have six months leave of absence, and that if at the end of that time I still persisted in resigning, my service should be closed. Nothing could have been kinder than the way in which the Governor treated me, though I am afraid he thought me rather a fool for my decision. My brother Henry suceeded to my post and became a much trusted judge of the Land Court, who was often page 98 called by the Government to decide upon difficult cases after his retirement from official service, and who died only a few months ago.
It was not easy at first to break with such a past as is described in these notes, and, “forgetting those things which are behind,” to subdue oneself to the yoke of a simple college student, but I did it and have never regretted it. The issue has been the long, happy, and, I hope, not quite unless life of a Congregational minister in this fair land.
The story I have tried to tell you is a story of the beginning of things. My recollections go back to a time before the formation of a single town in New Zealand, and the point to which I have brought you is still as far back as fifty years ago. You know what those fifty years have done. The New Zealand Company with all its good and evil passed away. Nearly all the territory that it claimed, and large tracts of land besides, have been acquired by purchase from the natives. Many a wilderness and solitary place has been made glad, and the desert has blossomed as the rose.
We have had many a disastrous conflict between the races; and at great expense of blood and treasure, and still more of labour and thought, the dangers and difficulties of the earlier times have been overcome. Not only in numbers, but in all other ways, the British colonists are in the ascendant.
It seems that slowly but surely the Maori race is passing away, or at least hanging in the balance, as their own native birds, the Kiwi, the Weka, the Tui, and the Korimako, are vanishing before the pheasant, the partridge, the sparrow and the linnet.
It seems as if in God's providence, our English speaking race were destined to gain a supremacy in the world's affairs of which there is no example in the history of the past. But it is sad to think how much goes down before us. Let us hope that we may put something better in its place. Forty years hence those who look back at our time will think of it as the day of small things. It is in all these colonies the day of beginnings; page 99 and we have this advantage, that every true man among us can leave his mark upon the coming future as the man equally true cannot hope to do in long established communities.
For the rest—my Tasmanian friends know for themselves the manner of life I have had among them for fifty years. The foregoing story may, perhaps, help to account for it.