The New Zealand Evangelist
Waimate, Taranaki — Notices of the New Zealanders.
Notices of the New Zealanders.
In your January Evangelist you express a wish that your Correspondents would send some information about the natives. Perhaps the following will be acceptable, out of my Note Book:—
A New Zealander's Idea Of Numbers.—One day I was travelling down the coast with a chief when I told him that I had lately received intelligence of the death of my father. He asked, “How old was he?” I replied 75. He was struck as he thought, with his great age, exclaiming, “What an old man! There's a million of years I suppose in them?”
A New Zealander's Exaggeration.—On Sunday morning March 11, 1840, my youngest daughter, five years old, was proceeding from one side of the room to the other, and upset the kettle of boiling water upon her leg, which was sadly scalded. Our Native servant had just set it down, and witnessed the accident. We page 262 went inland afterwards to service. She was so excited in describing the accident that she said the child was destroyed by the scald! By using the proper means she is doing well.
Mortality Among The New Zealanders.—Since my residence in the Waimate Circuit, I have baptized upwards of 120 children. Out of this number more than a third have been cut off by disease.
New Zealand Custom.—On the death of a person, for instance the young man above, who left a widow, the people from the surrounding settlements assemble to weep with her. For several days, one after another, male and female, close face to face, set up the most dismal howl, so that when all have had a “tangi,” i. e., weeping, the poor woman is almost exhausted.
A New Place Of Worship.—A new Chapel was opened last Tuesday, March 11, at Katotauru, in the Waimate Circuit, which was filled with attentive hearers. This Chapel is free from debt.
March 14, 1849.