The New Zealand Survey
Notes to the New Zealand Survey
Notes to the New Zealand Survey.
Note 1, Page 5.
“May not these
Cascades of solitude, which long have spent
Their force in vain, as having none to guide,
Be brought in requisition yet to aid
Empire; Nation; Colony; Future; Technology; Commerce; ProsperityIf we look on the map of the Southern Hemisphere one may easily perceive that it requires no great amount of prescience (especially to a mind of thought and enterprize, even although such spirit of enterprize may not have the power or means to put thought in a practical or tangible form) to see and shew to others how New Zealand shall yet become the Great Britain of the South. Take into consideration the genial climate of New Zealand, then its extensive seaboard, its numerous harbours and navigable rivers, such that may be much improved upon, and again its multitude of inland never failing streams, many of them well adapted, with little expense or trouble, for the driving of any kind of machinery for manufacturing purposes, where perhaps steam engines would be of less service through the want of a cheap supply of coal, should such prove to be scarce. Those streams with their waterfalls and rapids, how easily could they be brought into actual service in aiding the enterprize and industry of those who may yet discover their interests lying in that direction; so that instead of sending the wool of the country away to be spun and manufactured elsewhere—only to be brought back again with heavy charges attached,—such could be spun and manufactured here, to be dispersed among markets elsewhere. Standing on this point of view and looking toward the numerous islands and their populations, on the vast Pacific ocean, and taking into consideration the extensive field of wealth there will be to work upon, in the development of their resources, from which every kind of raw material in cotton and other produce may be had to be manufactured in New Zealand for the markets of the southern world. On the one hand, not only see the naked wants of the Pacific islanders, but also see the whole page 69 range of the western coast of America, far from other manufacturing districts, whose chief occupation is the raising of grain and agricultural pursuits, such Western American states would readily absorb a vast amount of manufactures of the textile class; and, on the other hand, Australia and all the islands lying between that and China, and even China itself,—all on each hand lying on the way direct, without the disadvantage of doubling stormy capes, all lying more natural to the future mart of New Zealand than to any other manufacturing country in the world. Thus the new Great Britain of the South may yet be able to share in the profits of commerce as inward flowing wealth like that of the old Great Britain of the north. Long have I regarded the practicability of the Panama route to the southern world with such desire, which creates wonder why those at the head of affairs cannot see the benefits that would accrue by having such a way opened, yet felt assured that the time would yet arrive amid the changes which occur in the world’s affairs, that such would eventually be adopted; now that such a course is about to be pursued I cannot but regard it again as the first step in the march of improvement among the isles of the Pacific, but also as the laying of the grand foundation upon which may yet be reared the future greatness and power of New Zealand as the second Great Britain of the world. And may I here also add—if Wellington can mind her “P’s and Q’s,” as the saying is, she may become the London of the South, while many a flourishing Glasgow and Manchester may spring up among the other Provinces. Though such may belong to the future, yet who would not congratulate the rising generations on the prospects before them, with the hope that they may rightly use the privileges bequeathed from their fathers.
Note 2, Page 9.
“The floods progression, in its rise as through
The forest flowing greatly is in check
As there are great obstructions to its course;
But when into the clearings it has come
The current seems momentum fresh to gain
In its free course, which no small damage bring
Upon the cottager, by washing off
His seed sown soil, thus rend’ring labours vain.”
When observing the natural progress of events one cannot but mark the changes which occur. The periodical floods of the Hutt river have often been a serious annoyance to the people of page 70 the valley, and many a plan has been discussed, of how the river might be kept within its bounds, but all such plans were never tried, save when a few of the inhabitants of the village near the bridge, at one time clubbed together to try the experiment, of casting up a dike or mound along the bank of the river for a few chains, but such soon shewed itself a failure, a work of no avail. But in the course of time nature seems to be bringing round in her own way the amelioration of an evil complained of by the substitution of another in its stead, which affects the few comparatively, rather than the many; so that the floods of the Hutt, in regard to their general overflowing, may yet only exist in the history of the past. There was a time when the forest was standing in its prestine glory, and when the river was of narrower dimensions than now, that a day’s heavy rain from the north or north-east would bring down a freshet from the Tararua ranges enough to make the river overflow its banks at various points, thereby spreading a sheet of muddy water over the greater part of the valley. I have seen upwards of an acre of potatoe land, a few days after being planted, by such a kind of flood totally swept off; the loose soil of which had lately been ploughed and harrowed; and along with the soil went the seed, leaving only the hard subsoil, with the mark of the plough on its face where the furrows were drawn. That same piece of land I believe is now not molested with such visitations. Wheat patches in newly formed clearings were not safe sometimes from such devastations, especially where the force of the water formed a current in a clearing. When the water subsided, it was no uncommon thing to see all one’s labour greatly damaged, for instance, by log heaps, which were piled up ready to be burned at the proper season, being sometimes scattered and swept all over the wheat patches; and the springing wheat, being robbed of the soil through which it had sprung, would be lying flat, being held to the subsoil by a single fibre of its roots; such damage being greatly detrimental to the expected crop. Weather; Perception; WorkAgain, in summer floods, which generally took place about the approach of Christmas, at the time when people begin hay-making. The season looking propitious, the sun shining brightly in an azure sky betoken nothing but prosperity, and so the labours of the season proceed. Fields of hay are cut down, hay-makers are busy tossing about the hay to the influence of the sun, while preparations are being made for stacking, the husbandman dreaming of nothing but that all appearances are in his favor. Some may have succeeded so far well, but with many it has been otherwise,—when a seemingly sunny shower of rain has come on, thickly gathering clouds would add their disheartening signs in regard to the state of the weather; rain pouring page 71 copiously all day, and continuing all night; next day the river begins to rise, and by and bye it overflows its narrow boundaries, and swelling into a flood, it carries the hay along, cleaning up the newly mown fields, where most subject to its force. When the flood has subsided then may be seen the damage,—lots of hay sticking against the fences wherever the current has borne it; the hay so much mixed up with sand, that it is utterly worthless. Such has sometimes been the effects of a rainy day in hay making time at no great distant date, while the river kept its widely circuitous course of narrow bounds. But now since the last heavy earthquake of the year 1854 when the ground got such a heaving, undoing its somewhat solidity, many acres of land—land cleared of the forest and in cultivation—have been swept away with the river. Thus the river has opened for itself, in several places, fresh channels more direct, instead of going round, as formerly, long circuitous bendings; while in doing so, some people have lost a good deal of fertile soil, having left in its place an expanse of shingle, with a great many half embedded trunks and roots of trees. So now that the river course in many places has become more straight and from three to four times wider, the greater number of the inhabitants of the valley reap the advantage, seeing such floods as depicted above are becoming more rare both in winter and in summer, on account of the more rapid escape of the water from the upper part of the valley. Here a circumstance of note may be worthy of being recorded about 3 years after the earthquake of 1854 a more serious flood occurred than had been experienced since the beginning of the Colony, for the water came in such a body and rose so high that it not only was the ruin of some small haystacks which were considered safe, while also carrying off sundry pigs and cattle, but also by lifting two houses from their steadings aud carrying them off into the current with their inmates—families who had lately come into the neighbourhood—who unfortunately were lost. It was several days after the subsiding of the flood before the lost bodies of the unfortunates were found, when they were discovered here and there partly buried among the sand and shingle and other wreck left by the flood. Such a melancholy occurrence cast a gloom over the minds of the people of the Hutt; while the natives declared that such a flood had not occurred within the memory of their time, or that of their predecessors, so far as they had learned.
Note 1, Page 13.
“Time verily there was, as all around
Can testify, ’gainst risk of much dispute,
When o’er those summits rolled the ample waves
Of boundless ocean.”
Science; LandAlthough I have not been more than about 60 miles of a radius away from Wellington, still in that compass much may be observed to shew that New Zealand as a country has nothing to boast in regard to its antiquity. For instance—its sandstone rocks are but in what may be termed a puerile state. In a sandstone formation, at the depth of about two feet I have come upon a species of granite boulders, three in number, which had no appearance of being connected with the locality; they were incrusted with a substance similar to oxide of iron, and seemed to have been dropped there together, and so got thus embedded when such formation was in a soft and plastic state; which sandstone formation is on the top of a hill from five to six hundred feet high. Such sandstone formations do not shew the same shattered state as those of a harder nature, which seem as if they had not yet got over the damage they have sustained from the rendings and throes and upheavings of the earthquakes, which forced the mountain framework of the country from beneath the waves. Nothing as yet have I seen as a consolidized rock, from which a grindstone or a gravestone, or a piece of pavement can be made; or from which building material can be had like what is obtained in other countries, whose geological records tell of earlier dates. Again, Science; New Zealand Flora and Faunalooking at the “Flora” of New Zealand. There is no appearance of its birth being beyond a thousand years, and probably not yet exceeding two-thirds of that period. For instance when we range the forests of the country, even upon the hills, how few old fallen trees comparatively, are to be found; and those that are standing do not shew much appearance of any great age. True it is that the remains of some ordinary sized trees are to be found in the Hutt Valley buried, some of them about twelve feet below the surface, and over which other sizable trees have grown: but such a climate as this country enjoys gives vegatation generally a rapid growth, so that trees shoot up and grow in bulk more rapidly than in a colder climate, where it would take a hundred years to effect what forty or fifty years would produce here. Taking into consideration the nature of the periodical floods taking place several times a year, and leaving behind, over the valley, goodly layers of mud; in a very few years, after the sea had retired, a page 73 good accumulation of soil would be raised, to allow the growth of forest seeds to take place; so that the forest of the Hutt, as it appeared when the colony was first planted, could scarcely boast of a tree whose age was much over 300 hundred years, while many which shewed dimensions large enough especially those of soft woods, might not reckon half that age; though on the hills where the soil is of a more sterile nature, and the clime somewhat colder, the trees of a like girth of those in the valley might claim a greater age, but not comparatively “old.”
“Deep was thy bed.”
The following is an extract from the journal of a missionary, relating to a journey from Wanganui to Taupo, which I found in an old colonial newspaper sometime after the poem was written, and which I here transcribe in support of the above expressed idea. “June 19, 1846.—We left Pipiriki after morning service, calling at a small kainga (village or dwelling place) where our natives were presented with a pig. Thence, we stopped at some curious caves called pura rota, where I heard there was some limestone. The scene was very romantic; half of a stream falls down a precipice of 100 feet, and the other through a cave out of which it comes with a rushing noise. There is an amphitheatre of rocks, in the middle of which is a cave fifty feet high, into which we entered. In this we saw some staluctites. I picked up one, which had fallen from the roof, about two feet long. We went to the end of this cave, the roof being white with a calcareous deposit. As we receded from the light, I noticed with astonishment innumerable spots of light which at first I thought came from openings in the top, but on further examination of some on the sides, I found the light proceeded from innumerable little worms of a luminous nature crawling upon the damp rock. * * * Afterwards I lit a newspaper and we explored the termination. It is an immense rent in the cliff formed most probably by an earthquake, and extends nearly a quarter of a mile. The rock is soft sandstone containing sea shells in great quantities similar to those found on the shores; the cliffs of the river, there, are from four to five hundred feet high.
Note 3, Page 29.
“Havock’s motley mass.”
At the time of the heavy earthquake which occurred on the 23rd January, 1854, as a certain coasting vessel was on its way to Port Nicholson, some 200 or 300 miles, and in a great part of its voyage, it passed through numerous shoals of dead fish of every description tossing about on the waves, while at many places a great many of the dead fish were also thrown up on the beach by the rolling of the waves of the sea. These facts are given as a coincidence of what is likely to have taken place in earlier times.
* This note ought to have been (1) and the following one (2), but they are thus marked to agree with the numbers in the text, which were overlooked till too late to correct the error.
Note 1, Page 35.
“Or upheaving still
The floor above their level.”
In the earthquake of 1854, we had a good illustration of the upheaving of the land. Previous to that time the river Hutt was somewhat navigable for large boats, coming up for cargoes of sawn timber, with the rising of the tide to some distance—say a quarter of a mile above the bridge which spans the river. Since the time of the earthquake, the tide does not come, by the course of the stream, to within a mile of where it used to flow. Formerly a great deal of land had Yankee water frontage, being then generally overflowed even at low tide, especially near the mouth of the river; but now the same land is high and dry. being raised above the water’s level even at high tide, and is made available as grazing runs for cattle and sheep. By the same causes as above alluded to, large swamps full of N. Z. flax, which luxuriate amid water and mire, stretching across the valley and could not be drained to any advantage, as every tide proved an obstacle to such work; but now all such obstacles are removed, and drainage can easily be effected, such lands are now ready for the improvements of cultivation, and much has already undergone a cheering change from what such formerly was. The above remarks are applicable to other places I have seen. The bay of Pahautanui for instance, the waters of which formerly washed up to the side of the road, but now even at high tide, some hundreds of acres may be said to be reclaimed land without the interference of human skill or labour. Such page 75 instances of the land’s upheaving as above, and which have taken place from time to time in former periods are easily discernible in several places of the different valleys opening out towards the sea, by the ridges of beach shingle left as the waters were obliged to retire. In the Wai-nui-o-mata for instance, where a drain was made alongside the formation of a road, I could see among the shingle stones the remains of cockle shells, showing that here the sea waves once have washed. As this place was considerably more elevated than the Hutt at the time when the upheaving of the land caused the waters of the Wai-nui-o-mata inland lake to retire, leaving the drainings of the hills in possession of the deeper hollows to form a swamp in other times, a considerable portion of the Hutt valley must have been covered with the briny waters of the sea; the sea beach then being somewhere about the Taita or the Gorges.*
Note 2, Page 37.
“By surging tides
They have ashore been cast and anchored there
In sand and gravel, thus embedded deep
Their roots and branches useful have become
To form receptacles, and means to stay
The deposit of sediment till formed
The basis of a superincumbent soil.”
As an illustration of the above lines, I may mention that at two different places in the Hutt valley, I had occasion to dig wells for water. After digging down through different strata of clay and sand, and then clay again to the depth of about 12 feet from the surface, at each place I happened to strike upon a log, apparently about the place where a limb of the tree had been broken off a small piece from the body; for it was in the fork among some splinters, somewhat decayed, I got my spade, and wrenched up some of them. Finding at length that the body of the log seemed to cover the breadth of the well, and had not yet got to water, with no small trouble I managed to dig down in the fork of the log about eighteen inches, when the water page 76 began to rise, and very soon the well was filled to a few feet from the top. The incidents relating to the bottom of each well being the same, could not fail to impress my mind with coincidences not easily forgot. But it is to the circumstance of finding the logs at the depth referred to above that I allude, to shew what was once a mere mud flat similar to what now may be seen at the mouth of the river at low water, is thus so many feet buried beneath the present surface of the land. Besides the above instances others may be seen along the banks of the river, where not only large logs or bodies of trees of no small dimensions may be seen, but also a quantity of the smaller kind of brushwood, with their roots and branches entire, are obtruding themselves to view, as if to declare something regarding their former history seeing the land has risen over them from six to ten feet in height. On examining the nature of the wreck, I could see that such was of a kind that is now found growing on the face of the hill along the western side of the valley.
Note 3, Page 45.
“A double distance is the fate of this
Compared to that ere reaching to the sea.”
What is called the Mungaroa river comes from another valley, now called Whiteman’s valley, from the name of a person who made its discovery, and took up his abode in it, and afterwards made it known to the Government, which time was considerably after when the poem was written; which valley was but lately (about 1863) surveyed in forty acre lots and sold by the Government. The stream referred to, coming from this valley, issues out from a gorge in the hills with a rapid current, and runs along the Mungaroa Valley northwards, for about three miles from the place of its outlet, when it unites with the river Hutt, taking a southward course.
Note 4, Page 46.
“Its outlet was the sea,
As it existed once in that deep vale
The Upper Hutt—deep when compared to this!”
That the Mungaroa swamp was at one time a kind of lake or loch there can be no manner of doubt, into which the stream of Whiteman’s Valley emptied itself. Traces of sea may be seen in the quantity of boulders, but partially buried, found at a page 77 considerable elevation above the present level of the Hutt River, farther up the valley. Taking the comparative levels of the swamp and the Upper Hutt road, opposite the present Criterion Hotel, into consideration, and supposing the depth of water in the old loch to be about 22 feet, which is the present depth of the swamp in the centre, known by driving a pole down till it reaches the hard bottom, the depth of water in the Upper Hutt Valley, where the road now is, would be about 322 feet, but where the course of the river is the depth would have been considerably more. When examining both sides of the hill we find that, on the swamp side, descending with a gradual slope to the margin, and so on the other side till coming down to about the level of the swamp, when the descent of the hill on the Hutt side becomes more steep, and in some parts nearly perpendicular, as showing how the action of the surging of the waves have worn down the hill side, and so have spread the mud as residium over the face of that part of the valley on the top of a deep bed of boulders.
Note 5, Page 47.
“Save such small vestiges remaining, which
Reminds one of the softest whisper made
When a great secret’s told, and scarcely heard!”
On the eastern side of the Mungaroa swamp, about a mile farther south from where the stream from Whiteman’s Valley issues into that of Mungaroa, the shores slope from the margin gently upward, which places were covered with ferns on a black surface mould. When here looking around there may be seen here and there small quartz pebbles lying on the surface of the ground. How such pebbles have come there is a problem hard to be solved, (as to all appearance they are not natural to such a place) unless we take into account the probability of their being brought hither from a distance by the birds which frequented the scene, as it then was, as their place of resort at certain seasons, perhaps for incubation, and so have been dropped; or may have been the remains of such who have here ended days in their old age, or have fallen a prey to others of a ravenous nature; so the pebbles have remained, as monuments of the past history of the place, like the whispered secret scarcely heard! New Zealand Flora and FaunaIn corroboration of the above may be mentioned that one of my neighbors, after having burned off some bush, which he had felled on the top of a hill on his lot of land, he discovered some remains of an extinct species of bird, called the page 78 Moa, such as part of legs and thigh bones of the bird, and over which the roots of a large rata tree had extended in their growth along the surface of the ground. After such a discovery, when searching about the place for more of the remains of the bird, from pieces of charred bones which he picked up he could trace to a nearness the direction and manner in which the skeleton lay, so as to ascertain the probable size, which was reckoned to stand about sixteen feet high, and about the place where the craw or crop of the bird appeared to have been he picked up some pebbles or round smooth stones, which were supposed to have belonged to the bird, as they were in their natures unlike any other of the stones found about the place as natives of the soil. So in like manner, reverting to the vestiges accounted for above, such pebbles found on the shores of the swamp referred to above must be indicative of the feathered frequenters of the ancient loch.
* Since the above was written I have visited Manawatu. Travelling up the coast I could not but observe that from Paikakariki, and as far as I have been northward, the sea waves have washed up against the mountain ranges at no distant date—at the same time when the sea beach of the Hutt was about the Gorges. And since then, by the action of the N.W. gales on the waves of the sea, throwing up the sand, the country chiefly has been formed upon the extensive shallow mud flats which were left when they were raised above the level of the tides.
Note 1, Page 54.
“Though much of their traditions in their kind
May bear comparison to what of old
Would Ovid tell.”
Māori; CustomAmong the many fanciful traditions belonging to the Maories concerning the primeval growth of the forest, a Wesleyan Missionary when lecturing upon the manners and customs of natives of New Zealand informed his audience that they gave as their opinion, according as they had it from their ancestors, that the trees were produced at first by a man who became transformed into a tree by having his head buried into the ground, when his hair became the roots of the tree, and his legs and toes expanded into limbs and branches, while from his fingers grew the many interlacing karawas and other parasite climbers among the forest trees, and covering the ground with runners. Similar ideas to the above may be found in Ovid’s metamorphoses, in which he informs his youthful student of the Latin tongue how some swain or lady lover have been transformed to trees and other things.
Note 2, Page 54.
“Wild superstition, as with reptile coil
Have in the bonds of mystery wound their tale
page 79 The which t’ unravel, who will take the pains?
So much ’tis wrapped in degredation’s stench!”
Māori; CustomThere is scarcely a tribe or nation on earth but has not a few superstitions peculiar to itself, some of which may be traceable to some cause or event in its past history: but those connected with the Maori race are in many respects so devoid of common attraction that they are not worthy of being enquired into as regards their origin, however much their foolishness may provoke a smile. Some superstitions connected with their taboo (tapu) system are not only painful, but, in fact, are unendurable in regard to impositions laid upon the unfortunate victim brought under its power, so that to be tabooed is dreaded as a severe punishment, while at the same time the superstition is ridiculous enough. For instance, one may be so under the influence of the taboo, that though he were hungry and victuals were within his reach, yet the person dare not help himself or even touch them, unless some one comes to feed him; and to get rid of such a state it requires no small amount of painstaking ceremony, performed under the direction of some prophet or priest. Such like instances I have heard related by the lecturer referred to above. In a book called “The Mahoe Leaves” may be found an account of a ceremony performed, as connected with one of the phases of Customthe tapu superstition, as calculated to remove some sickness which had been prevalent at the pa where the author of the above-named book had been staying. “Some days,” says the author, “after receiving news of the arrival of the poropiti, (prophet) I was out near the pa, when I suddenly came upon a group of individuals promenading in a circle, apparently engaged in the search for something, and arranged so that if the first man missed it, the next, being close to his heels, might have a chance of finding it. It was Beelzebub and Malachi (two principal men in the group) and a number of people at work lizard hunting. * * * The circular promenade continued for some time, when suddenly they came to a dead stop, and Beelzebub pounced like a tom cat at something in the fern! This was lizard number one. The procession continued gradually contracting the limits of the circle, and by the time they had finished Beelzebub had caught two more. All this time the greatest solemnity was observed. The poropiti then kindled a fire, and proceeded with the greatest coolness to roast these wretched reptiles—repeating, in a low mourning tone, an incantation, as the poor lizards slowly frizzled. The lizards being nearly calcined the poropiti shouted something, and the whole crowd at once covered their faces and dropped into the attitude of prayer. I was subsequently given to understand that at this identical page 80 juncture the souls of the departed vacated the bodies of the lizards (as well they might). Whether they became stars in the firmament or entered the bodies of other lizards I did not enquire. Beelzebub swore hard and fast that he ‘saw them go,’ so I suppose they did. Anyhow the ‘tapu’ was gone, and no one going over that spot could catch lumbago, colic, or any other disease. So far the arrangement was satisfactory.”—For other superstitions regarding the taboo and other customs I would refer the reader to another book entitled “Old New Zealand.”
Note 3, Page 57.
“That Ancient who
Of late departed life—who in his youth
Was witness to Cook’s visit, an event
Auspicious, though to all its full extent
He no conception had!”
The native alluded to, was called Te Tanewha. He was the last of Captain Cook’s Maori contemporaries, he died during the year 1853. It is said that he was a youth of 12 or 13 years of age when first he beheld the wonderous spectacle of a foreign visitor, in October, 1769.”
Note 4, Page 61.
“But otherwise, by a kind Providence,
Has been ordained their welfare to secure.”
Māori; Empire; ColonyIt was truly a very remarkable coincidence when, as it is understood, the savans of the British parliament, in the year 1839, had been considering whether or not they should take possession of New Zealand, while about the same time a New Zealand land company had started into existence, and also had just sent a batch of emigrants as a preliminary of what were to follow. About the same time the Government of France had come to a conclusion to do what the British Government were not quite sure of doing; and so also had despatched a man-of-war ship with some emigrants, as a prelude of what were to follow. But before the French expedition had arrived, Governor Gipps, of New South Wales, had got apprized of the arrival of the New Zealand Land Company’s staff of officials, &c., and acting on behalf of his Sovereign, he sent Captain Hobson to take possession of the New Zealand islands in the Queen’s name, which mission he had only fulfilled in time to prevent the messengers of the French Government from establishing their claim and authority there. Had it been otherwise, instead of the Natives being dealt with according to the rules of common justice, by page 81 the purchase of territory, such territory in all likelihood would have been taken possession of without any regard to the Native’s claims for compensation, and they would have been severely dealt with if offering any resistance to such proceedings. Such has been the expressed opinion of many, when taking into consideration other precedents of the French system of colonization.
Note 5, Page 63.
“The Natives, too, are happy and at peace
Where terror once had reigned.”
Society; War; Peace; CustomThe peaceful and happy state of the Natives round Port Nicholson, when the above lines were written, may be known from the fact, that many of them had got located in places, and that in open camp, where in former times they dared not venture. Before the arrival of the first settlers in the Colony, the pas or villages of the natives, were strongly fortified, so as to resist the sudden intrusion of an enemy; but since then, their fortifications are greatly at a discount,—as now they are not required. At the time when the first settlers came, the Port Nicholson natives were in a state of warfare with some of their neighbours, though they seemed to have the upper hand, yet they were in a state of dread. But by-and-bye one of the chiefs, who one day being in his garden, was surprised and killed by one of the enemy, who was there lying in wait, and his head was taken away, I believe, as utu or payment for what damage the enemy had sustained. Since then no alarm of war has troubled them, save when they were a little startled at what was called the Maori row of 1845. Now, all their pa defences have fallen into disuse. With the natives, their spears and clubs have become plough-shares, spades, and hoes; and the only defences they now require are such as may keep their cattle and pigs from their crops.
Note 6, Page 67.
“Such blest achievements, gaining ground at length,
Ev’n after you have done with earthly things,
Shall be like sounds of praise, re-echoed far,
And to posterity your virtues tell!”
Colony; Work; Suffering; Memory; Sadness; Honour; FutureLooking back upon the history of the past, in so far as it regards that of the colony; and taking into consideration the hard beginnings of many a worthy old colonist, and how they faced hardship and privations with spirits of bravery; and having through arduous perseverance and toil got, as it were, through the hardest of the struggle, and coming out, so to speak, to the prospect of a time of rest and enjoyment; then, at that time, page 82 having become broken down in health, and sinking at length beneath the effects of their hard exertions into a premature tomb—premature indeed, seeing they have come far short of long cherished expectations! Such is in itself a theme for reflection which surely cannot but excite the deepest sympathy and commisseration for their lot, and make one feel that such a one’s memory, above all others who have had an easier lot, ought to be held in the highest yet most solemn estimation! True it may be, that many cannot see any merit in such thoughts, and may but lightly regard such victims of sterling industry, and look on their fates as a mere passing event: yet such an estimation is, however, most unworthy in its nature, speaking nothing in favor of those who entertain it. The labours they have undergone, and the works they have left, shew how willing they were to do their duty to the utmost, not only as agents in preparing the way for the rising generation, but also in striving to raise their adopted country from its degraded savage condition, so as to make the wilderness rejoice, and make the gloomy desert become like a garden of delights, even although they were unable to gain the ultimate designs—designs impressed upon their minds by the remembrance of scenes they had left, coupled by a desire to make the gloomy wastes around them to appear as a counterpart of those they held in memory dear! But seeing disappointment was theirs, and having a strong affection for the scene of their labours, how feelingly have they requested that, after they have ceased to be, their remains should be deposited in the grounds they have called their own, and upon which their strength has been spent, at the same time hoping, as they have made a last appeal, that those who remain, would for their sakes, take possession and retain the inheritance, keeping it as an heirdom to future posterity. Although such wishes in many respects have ill been performed, yet there their works remain, as a starting point for the next possessor, who for a trifle owns the estate and sees his advantage in a light to which the dispossessed were blind. How sad to think such industry and toils have been held at something of discount by those whom they were destined to benefit, yet that substracts nothing from their value, while the parting from them declares the small esteem, and that to their own reproach, in which they have held the life of a worthy man! But you who are now the possessors of such estates, disturb not the ashes of the dead, but rather let their resting place remain, securing it as sacred to the memory of such an one, and the deeds of industry they have left, as the best memorials of their worth, as heroic early colonists!