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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 63

The Changes Effected in the Natural Features of a New Country by the Introduction of Civilized Races. By W. T. L. Travers, F. L. S. — (Part I.) — [Lecture delivered at the Colonial Museum, Wellington, August 7, 1869.]

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The Changes Effected in the Natural Features of a New Country by the Introduction of Civilized Races. By W. T. L. Travers, F. L. S.

(Part I.)

[Lecture delivered at the Colonial Museum, Wellington, August 7, 1869.]

Is attempting to compress within the limits of a lecture so broad a subject as character and extent of the changes effected by civilized man in the physical features and organic life of new countries, I am aware that I have undertaken to ordinary task, and on this ground alone I should have to crave your [unclear: indulgence]; but when, added to its inherent difficulties, I venture to state that my usual avocations are not akin to such investigations, I trust I may have a still further claim upon your good nature. In discussing the subject which I propose to bring under your notice, it is necessary that I should call your attention to the position which, so far as investigation has yet afforded light upon it, man has occupied on this globe [unclear: earn] the most ancient times, for it must be manifest that although man, in his [unclear: dest] stages of life, must long be dependent upon spontaneous productions for his means of subsistence, and that it is not until the arts of civilization have been considerably advanced, that he is able to bring under his dominion, more than a very limited number of the varied productions which are made to minister his wants, or to his luxuries, yet nevertheless, in an enquiry like the present, we must take into account his primitive condition of existence. It has been well observed by a modern writer of great power, that "there are few scientific questions exciting so much interest as the origin and antiquity of man, and that nevertheless, general as the interest is, there is no subject so furtively studied and so unfairly dealt with." The same writer then shows that the influence of theological ideas has induced the great mass of enquirers [unclear: its] approach the subject with doubt and hesitation, and that even the [unclear: ned] societies of Europe exhibit an "uneasy tenderness" in dealing with it; and yet he points out how infinitely more important it is to acquire a Knowledge of the origin, present condition, and probable future of man, than it is to, possess the most intimate acquaintance with any of the other biological problems presented for our solution. And he argues that "if there be any irreverence in dealing with such questions as man's origin, antiquity, and destiny, that irreverence must rest with those who would circumscribe the range of reason, and seek by unworthy clamour to deter the human intellect from arriving at some conception, however faint, of those laws by which the Creator has chosen to sustain the phenomena of this marvellous universe. That man's relations to external nature, his relations to his God, and his relations to his fellow men, determine at once the range of his knowledge and the sum of his obligations; and that unless these relations be understood (and this is what science is always striving after), there never can be a complete fulfilment of the duties they involve. That it thus becomes truly pitiable to [unclear: har] from certain quarters their misrepresentations of scientific aims and scientific conclusions. That, in fact, it is easier to bear than to hear them; and that one can scarcely avoid the conviction, that those who can misrepresent the opinions of others, in order to strengthen their own arguments, would have page 300 little hesitation in falsifying facts to subserve a similar purpose. They talk of religion and infidelity! There is no profession of religion more offensive than that which, under the assumption of superior piety, attempts to vilify the honest convictions of others; the 'stand aside because I am holier than thou art' is, in general, void of reality, as it is wanting in Christian humility and charity. They talk of reconciliation between the utterances of science and religious beliefs, as if true religion and sound science ever have been or can be at variance. If religion means belief in certain dogmas and adherence To certain ritualistic forms, science and religion may often be in conflict; if, on the other hand, the exercise of religion consists in search after truth, regard to the relations in which we are placed to the universe, and devotion to the Great Author of all, then science and religion 'are at one, and need no reconciliation.'"

Agreeing entirely with these sentiments, I wish it to be borne in mind, that in the enquiries I propose to make in this lecture, I hold myself free from those theological dogmas which attempt to put arbitrary limits of time to man's presence upon earth, and to dictate the character in which he first appeared, and that I intend to deal with this part of the question under the light which the investigations of scientific men have recently thrown upon it

Now we are told, by a late writer upon this part of our subject, that "the first appearance of man in Europe dates back to a period so remote, that neither history, nor even tradition can throw any light on his origin or mode of lift," and we accordingly find that Prehistoric Archæologists are driven to acquire a knowledge of the character and habits of these early races, by examination of the remains they have left behind them.

Adopting this test, careful enquiry has enabled Archæologists to divide (by way of ad interim classification) the præhistoric period of Europe into four epochs.

1st. The "Palæolithic," in which man shared the possession of Europe, including England itself, with the Mammoth, the Cave Bear, the woolly-haired Rhinoceros and other now extinct animals.

2nd. The "Neolithic," in which men used beautiful polished stone weapons and other instruments, but did not until nearly the close of this age, possess any knowledge of metals except gold.

3rd. The "Bronze Age," in which bronze was used in the manufacture of arms and instruments of all kinds.

4th. The "Iron Age," in which iron had superseded bronze for many uses, though the latter metal was still used for ornamental purposes.

During the first of these periods we shall find that even in England man was the contemporary of the Elephant, the Rhinoceros, the Cave Bear, the Reindeer and the Hyæna. Mr. Lubbock in his recent work on [unclear: "Præhis] Times" tells us as follows :—

"In the year 1840, Mr. Godwin Austin communicated to the Geological Society a memoir on the Geology of the south-east of Devonshire, and in this description of Kent's Hole, near Torquay, he says that 'human remains and works of art, such as arrow heads and knives of flint, occur in all parts of the cave, and throughout the entire thickness of the clay; and no distinction founded on condition, distribution, or relative position, can be observed, whereby the human can be separated from the other reliquiæ, which included bones of the Elephant, Rhinoceros, Ox, Deer, Horse, Bear, Hyena, and a feline animal of large size.

"The value," he truly adds, "of such a statement must rest on the care with which a collector may have explored; I must therefore state that my own researches were constantly conducted in parts of the cave which had never been disturbed, and in every instance the bones were procured from beneath page 301 a thick covering of stalagmite; so far, then, the bones and works of man must have been introduced into the cave before the flooring of stalagmite had been formed

"These statements, however, attracted little attention; and the very similar assertions made by Mr. Vivian, in a paper read before the Geological Society, were considered so improbable, that the memoir containing them was not published.

"In May, 1858, Dr. Falconer called the attention of the Geological Society to a newly-discovered cave at Brixham, near Torquay, and a committee was appointed to assist him in examining it. Grants of money were obtained for the same object from the Royal Society and Miss Burdett Coutts. In addition to Dr. Falconer, Mr. Pengelly, Mr. Prestwich, and Professor Ramsay were intrusted with the investigations. In September, 1858, a preliminary report was made to the Geological Society, but it is very much to be regretted that the results have not yet been published in extenso.

"The deposits in the cave were, in descending order:—
1.Stalagmite of irregular thickness,
2.Ochreous cave earth with limestone breccia,
3.Oehreous cave earth with comminuted shale,
4.Rounded gravel.
"The organic remains belonged to the following species :—
1.Rhinoceros tichorhinus. Teeth in considerable numbers and an astragalus.
2.Bos sp. Teeth, jaws, and other bones.
3.Equus sp. A few remains.
4.Cervus tarandus. The Reindeer, skull and bones.
5.Cervus sp. Horns.
6.Ursus spelœus. The Cave Bear; lower jaws, teeth, and the bones of a hind leg.
7.Hyæna speæa. Lower jaws, teeth, fragments of skulls, and other bones.

"Several flint flakes were also found indiscriminately mixed with these bones, and according to all appearance, of the same antiquity. They occurred at various depths, from ten inches to eleven feet, and some of them were in the gravel, below the whole of the ochreous cave earth. One of them was found close to the bones of the left hind leg of a cave bear. The remains comprised not only the femur, tibia, and fibula, but even the knee-pan and astragalus were in their respective places. It is evident, therefore, that the limb must have been imbedded while in a fresh condition, or at least while the bones were held together by the ligaments. As, then, they must have been deposited soon after the death of the animal, it follows that, if man and the cave bear were not contemporaneous, the latter was the more recent of the two."

It is impossible, within the limits I have assigned to myself, even to enter upon the mass of evidence of a similar kind which has been adduced by number-less, writers and enquirers in support of the great antiquity of man in Europe, and the foregoing extracts must be taken as only examples of the cases which have been investigated; but it is certainly impossible for us to resist the conviction that a length of time, enormous beyond all ordinary ideas on the subject, must have elapsed, since England and the western parts of Europe were inhabited by the elephant and the rhinoceros, animals of which no account is preserved even in the oldest known traditions or monuments. But although the circumstances, that many of the bones of each of these animals exhibit marks of having been cut and broken by man in order to extract the marrow, and that many of the implements which have been found associated with his remains, were made from such bones, may satisfy us that, even at that remote period, man had attained to a page 302 position of power over the lower animals, we are nevertheless justified in supposing that these early men were greatly limited in number, and were living in a state of much degradation and barbarism. We may conclude, therefore, that nothing was done by people in such a condition to modify, in any material degree, the physical character of the country they inhabited, or which was calculated to subvert or even materially to affect the balance then existing amongst the various forms of contemporary organic life.

In the next age (the Neolithic) a great advance was made, for we find, (at all events during the later periods of this age), that man must have increased largely in numbers, and have made considerable strides in civilization. The principal monuments of the polished stone age in Europe are "Tumuli" ancient burial mounds, the "Lake dwellings" of Switzerland, and the "shell mounds" of Denmark, each of which is characterized by peculiarities which can only be glanced at here.

There are also other remains of great interest which have been investigated by archæologists, such us the ancient "castles" and "camps" which crown so many of the hills in England; the great lines of embankment which cross many of the downs; the so-called Druidical circles, and the vestiges of apparently contemporary habitations, and the "Hut circles" and "Picts' houses" found in various places, but it is not my purpose to do more than refer to them.

With regard to the Tumuli, Mr. Lubbock tells us as follows :—"All over Europe wherever they have not been destroyed by the plough or the hammer, we find relics of præhistoric times, such as camps, fortifications, dykes, temples, tumuli, etc., many of which astonish us by their magnitude, which all of them excite our interest by the antiquity of which they remind us, and the mystery by which they are surrounded. Some few indeed, there are, such, for instance, as the Roman Wall in England, the Dannevirke, and Queen Thyra's tumulus, in Denmark, of which the date and origin are known to us, but by far the greater number, such as the Wansdyke, the 'temple' of Carnac in Brittany, the tumuli supposed to be those of Thor, Odin, and Freya at Upsala, and the great tumuli near Drogheda, are entirely prehistoric. Some of them doubtless, belong to the metallic period, some to that of stone, but it very rarely happens that we can attribute any of them, with reasonable probability, to one period rather than to another. This is particularly the case with ancient earthworks and megalithic temples or circles. The barrows, or Lows, on the other hand, frequently contain objects from which some idea of relative antiquity may be obtained. These ancient burial mounds, of which several typical example and represented, are extremely numerous. In our own island they may be seen on almost every down; in the Orkneys alone it is estimated that more than two thousand remain; and in Denmark they are even more abundant; they [unclear: raje] found all over Europe, from the shores of the Atlantic to the Oural mountains in Asia they are scattered over the great steppes, from the borders of Russia, to the Pacific Ocean, and from the plains of Siberia to those of Hindostan in America we are told that they are to be numbered by thousands and tens of thousands, nor are they wanting in Africa, where the Pyramids themselves exhibit the most magnificent development of the same idea; so that the whole world is studded with these burial places of the dead. The Cromlechs, Dolmens, Cistvaens, are now generally regarded as sepulchral, and the great number in which these ancient burial places occur is very suggestive of their antiquity, since the labour involved in the construction of a tumulus would not under taken except in honour of chiefs and great men. Many of them are small, but some are very large; Silbury Hill, the highest in Great Britain, has a height of one hundred and seventy feet; but though evidently artificial, there is great doubt whether it is sepulchral.

"Mr. Bateman, in the Preface to his second work, has collected together page 303 the most ancient allusions to burial ceremonies, and we see that 'Mound burial' was prevalent in the earliest times of which we have any historical record. Achan and his whole family were stoned with stones and burned with fire, after which we are told that Israel 'raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger.' Again, the king of Ai was buried under a heap of stones.

"According to Diodorus, Semiramis, the widow of Nirius, buried her husband within the precincts of the palace, and raised over him a large mound of earth. Some of the tumuli in Greece were old, even in the time of Homer, and were considered by him to be the burial places of the heroes. Pausanias mentions that stones were collected together, and heaped up over the tomb of Laius, the father of Œdipus. In the time of the Trojan war, Tydeus and Lycus are mentioned as having been buried under two earthen barrows. Hector's barrow was of stones and earth. Achilles erected a tumulus upwards of one hundred feet in diameter, over the remains of his friend Patroclus. The mound supposed by Xenophen to contain the remains of Alyattes, father of Crœsus, king of Lydia, was of stone and earth, and more than a quarter of a league in circumference. In later times, Alexander the Great caused a tumulus to be heaped over his friend Hephœstion, at the cost of 1200 talents, no mean sum, even for a conqueror like Alexander, it being £232,500 sterling. Virgil tells us that Dercennus, King of Latium, was buried under an earthen mound; and, according to the earliest historians, whose statements are confirmed by the researches of archæologists, mound burial was practised in ancient times by the Scytheans, Greeks, Etruscans, Germans, and many other nations. The size of the tumulus may be taken as rude indication of the estimation in which the deceased was held; the Scotch Highlanders have still a complimentary proverb, 'Curri mi clach er do cuirn,' i.e; 'I will add a stone to your cairn.'

"What Schoolcraft says of the North American Indians is applicable to many savage tribes. 'Nothing that the dead possessed was deemed too valuable to be interred with the body. The most costly dress, arms, ornaments and implements, are deposited in the grave; 'which is always placed in the choicest scenic situations, on some crowning hill or gentle eminence in a secluded valley.' And the North American Indians are said, even until within the last few years, to have cherished a friendly feeling for the French, because, in the time of their supremacy, they had at least this one great merit, that they never disturbed the resting-places of the dead."

Now it is somewhat remarkable, (and parenthetically I may say the fact speaks strongly for the more extreme antiquity of the cave men,) that although in these ancient burial monuments the bones of animals are constantly found associated with those of men, yet most of the species to which such bones belonged had then undoubtedly been domesticated, and we no longer find the bones of the elephant or rhinoceros, of the bear, hyaena, or reindeer, with which the remains of the earlier men were constantly associated. These animals had evidently disappeared, and in the meantime great advances had been made in various branches of art and civilization. No longer dependent upon spontaneous animal and vegetable growth for food and clothing, we find the people of this age protecting and propagating numerous forms of animal life, and we may assume that they warred upon such rival organisms as might have preyed upon these objects of their care, or might have obstructed the increase of their numbers. We may suppose too that these people carried on considerable agricultural pursuits, and that in doing so they encroached upon the forests which had covered the greater part of the surface of the countries they inhabited. We have, therefore, in our investigations of these early monuments, evidence of the first great modifications effected in the physical character and page 304 organic life of our own mother country, and we are entitled fairly to [unclear: assuem] that the consequences which ordinarily result from the felling of the woods namely, changes in local climate, changes in the drainage of the soil, and changes in the external configuration of the ground, followed the action of these people, and rendered England a fitter abode for man, as a civilized being, than it had been during the earlier period I have referred to. We are, as I think I before observed, fairly justified in assuming, on the one hand, that during the age of the cave men, the population was extremely limited, and confined to localities easily accessible, while the country at large was ranged over by animals analogous to those which now occupy the jungles of India, and on the other, that during the later Neolithic period the population was large, extending over every part of the country, and that the earlier fauna and flora had given place to one more suited to the wants and uses of a semi-civilized people. How this change was brought about it is difficult to say, but that a very large period of time must have been concerned in producing it, is beyond all doubt.

The Neolithic age passes, by insensible gradations, into the age of Bronze.

Of the latter age Mr. Lubbock tells us as follows :—" There are four principal theories as to the Bronze age. According to some Archaeologists, the discovery, or introduction of bronze was unattended by any great or suden change in the condition of the people; but was the result, and is the evidence of a gradual and peaceable development. Some attribute the bronze arms and implements, found in Northern Europe, to the Roman armies, some to the Phoenician merchants; whilst others, again, consider that the men of the Stone age were replaced by a new and more civilized people of Indo-European race coming from the East; who, bringing with them a knowledge of bronze, over ran Europe, and dispossessed—in some places entirely destroying—the original or rather the earlier inhabitants.

"It is not, indeed, necessary to suppose that the introduction of bronze should have been effected everywhere in the same manner; so far, for instance as Switzerland and Ireland are concerned, Dr. Keller and Sir W. R. Wilde may be quite right in considering that the so-called 'primitive' population did not belong to a different race from that subsequently characterized by the use of bronze.

"Still, though it is evident that the knowledge of bronze must necessarily have been preceded by the separate use of copper and of tin; yet no single implement of the latter metal has been hitherto found in Europe, while those of copper are extremely rare. Hungary and Ireland, indeed, have been supposed to form partial exceptions to this rule. The geographical position of the former country is probably a sufficient explanation; and as far as Ireland is concerned, it may perhaps be worth while to examine how far that country really forms an exception. In the great Museum at Dublin, there are 725 celts and celt-like chisels, 282 swords and daggers, and 276 lances, javelins, and arrow heads; yet out of these 1283 weapons, only 30 celts and one sword blade are said to be of pure-copper. I say 'are said to be,' because they have not been analyzed, but are supposed to be copper only from the 'physical properties and ostensible colour of the metal;' indeed, one of these very celts which was analyzed by Mr. Mallet, was found to contain a small percentage of tin. It is possible that for some of the purposes to which celts were applied, copper may have been nearly as useful as bronze, and at any rate it might sometimes have happened that from a deficiency of tin, some implements would be made of copper only.

"Taking these facts into consideration, Ireland certainly does not appear to present any strong evidence of an age of copper, while no one has ever pretended to find either there, or anywhere else in Europe, a trace of any separate use of tin.

page 305

"Sir W. R. Wilde himself admits it to be remarkable, that so few [unclear: antique] copper implements have been found, although a knowledge of that metal must have been the preliminary stage in the manufacture of bronze." He thinks, however, that "the circumstance may be accounted for either by supposing that but a short time elapsed between the knowledge of melting and casting copper ore, and the introduction of tin and subsequent manufacture and use of bronze; or from the probability of nearly all such articles having been recast and converted into bronze subsequent to the introduction of tin, which renders them harder, sharper, and more valuable.

"There is, however, another circumstance which strongly militates against this theory of a gradual and independent development of metallurgical knowledge in different countries, and that is the fact which has been broadly stated by Mr. Wright, and which I may, perhaps, repeat here, that whenever we find the bronze swords or celts, whether in Ireland in the far west, in Scotland. In distant Scandinavia, in Germany, or, still further east, in the [unclear: fida vonic] countries, they are the same—not similar in character, but identical. The great resemblance of stone implements found in different parts of the world may be satisfactorily accounted for by the similarity of the material, and the simplicity of the forms. But this argument cannot be applied to the bronze arms and implements. Not only are several varieties of celts found throughout Europe, but some of the swords, knives, daggers, etc., are so similar they seem as if they must have been cast by the same maker. It have been easy to multiply examples of this similarity, and it is not going, too far to say that these resemblances cannot be the result of accident. On the other hand, it must be admitted that each country has certain minor peculiarities. Neither the forms nor the ornaments are exactly similar. In Denmark and Mecklenburg, spiral ornaments are most common; farther south, these are replaced by ring ornaments and lines. The Danish swords generally have solid, and richly decorated handles, while those found in Great Britain terminate in a plate which was riveted to pieces of wood or bone. Again, the British lance heads frequently have loops at the side of the shaft-hole which is never the case with Danish specimens. The discovery of moulds in Ireland, Scotland, and England, Switzerland, Denmark, and elsewhere, shows that the art of casting in bronze was known and practised in many countries. Under these circumstances, it appears most probable that the knowledge of metal is one of those great discoveries which Europe owes to the East, and that the use of Copper was not introduced into our Continent, until it had been observed, that by the addition of a small quantity of tin it was rendered harder and more valuable."

At whatever period the people of the Western countries of Europe may have acquired their first knowledge of bronze, it is clear that it must have been long anterior to any of which we have historical knowledge, nor does it much concern our enquiry except as regards the very great antiquity of the march of civilization. In the opinion of Professor Wilson (as we are told by Mr. Lubbock), "the ornamentation characteristic of the Bronze age, is decidedly Semitic rather than Indo-European. He lays considerable stress on two curious vase-carriages, one found in Sweden and the other in Mecklenburg, which certainly appear to have been very like the 'vases' made for Solomon's temple, and described in the first Book of Kings. Finally he believes that the use of war chariots, the practice of reaping close to the ear, and a certain mode of fishing, are all evidences of Phœnician intercourse."

We find, then, that the close of the Bronze age brings us to the dawn of historic times, and we are able, by examination of a variety of remains, to trace the progress of change in the physical character and organic life of the older countries of Europe, a subject full of interest, and one which is found to march, page 306 hand in hand, with increasing civilization. But whilst I have thoughts it necessary thus to call your attention to this subject, I have done so chiefly for the purpose of suggesting a comparison between the rapid changes which are effected in new countries, as the result of their sudden occupation by civilized man, on the one hand, and the wonderfully slow process by which the physical character and organic life of our own country (for example), has been changed from the condition in which it appears to have existed at the time of the men, to that in which we now find it.

Let us now turn to the special subject upon which I propose to address you.

It is manifest that a subject so broad can, consistently with what is due to your patience, be only partially dealt with, and therefore, whilst I propose to offer some general reflections on the questions involved in it, I intend confine myself, by way of example, chiefly to a consideration of the effect which has been produced upon these Islands.

In looking into the history of the discovery of these Islands, we are led to believe that the impressions made upon early voyagers were somewhat erroneous, for whilst it is true that the general aspect of a country, as regards its fertility, may as a rule, afford an idea of its capacity for sustaining & population, yet that capacity may be very different from what the immediate conformation and appearance of the country would lead the traveller to expect; height above sea level, exposure to special winds, and a variety of other causes, giving rise to the anomaly. Captain Cook (as you are aware) sailed round both of these islands, determining their size and figure, as well as their character and appearance, and the general opinion he arrived at was, that the whole country was one long chain of mountains with fertile valleys near the shores, and that it was chiefly covered with dense and in many places impenetrable woods. But even then our great navigator appreciated the advantages which these islands might, at some future time, offer as a field for settlement, and we have no reasons to suppose that the most sanguine opinions which have since been formed on that subject, are not open to realization.

Except, however, by the Maoris, these islands remained entirely unoccupied until the year 1818, when the first missionary settlements were formed at the Bay of Islands, and until a short period before that, the only animals which had been introduced were the dog and the pig, and the vegetables the kumera, the taro, and the gourd. How the Maoris obtained the dog is doubtful, but they owed the pig to Captain Cook, whilst the kumera, the taro, and the gourd, had certainly been brought with them upon their original migration to this country. It is a singular fact (so far at least as I know that these islands produce no indigenous edible fruit or vegetable capable of being improved into value by cultivation, and, therefore, although the Maoris used a considerable variety of indigenous vegetable substances as food, these were quite insufficient for their ordinary purposes, and they were therefore compelled to devote a large portion of their time and attention to the cultivation of the few introduced plants to which I have before referred. But the populations was not sufficiently numerous, and their cultivations were not sufficiently extensive to effect any great changes in the aspect or organic life of the country. It is true that for a long, but remote period, during the latter part of which man was certainly an actor on the scene, these islands had been the habitat of large struthious birds, of which the osseous remains are to be found distributed all over the country. What were the actual circumstances under which they disappeared we cannot say, although analogy leads us to suppose that the birds themselves, as well as their eggs, were diligently sought for as food in a country otherwise destitute of large animal life, and that they were gradually driven away from those grounds which alone afforded them the means of sustenance. page 307 Taken on the whole, then, notwithstanding the cultivations of the Maoris, we may treat these islands as having been a virgin country, but little modified by the hand of man until the arrival of the European settlers.

Let us then enquire into the changes which have already been effected, and into the probable further changes which will in time be effected as the result of our colonization. This subject is necessarily twofold in its bearing, firstly, as regards the effect of colonization upon the native race, and secondly as regards its effect upon the indigenous fauna and flora.

In considering this subject I am tempted to draw your attention to the difference in the character of ancient and modern colonization, for it must not be supposed that the art of colonization is of purely modern invention, although, as you will find, the mode in which it is now carried out differs greatly from that which was practised by older civilized nations.

It has been urged by some political writers, that although the great nations of Europe have, within the last three centuries, sent colonies into almost every part of the habitable world, and have by this means subjected countries infinitely surpassing in extent those they have left, yet that we cannot compare the colonies of the ancients with those of the moderns, without being at once impressed with the conviction that the former renewed the human race, tempering it afresh, and beginning existence with all the advantages of youth, whilst the latter are born old, with all the jealousies, all the troubles, and many of the vices of the States from which they spring. That the colonies of the ancients, in every point of civilization, constantly rose above those who had given birth to them, whilst ours as constantly tend to fall below their founders that the European colonies already large, are destined to become larger, but that in vain will be sought for in them, the virtues, the patriotism and the vigour which belonged to the first age of the world. They urge that the Greeks, and before them the Egyptians, founded a colony that "it might be complete in itself, whilst we (speaking of existing European nations) design it become part of another empire. They had constantly in view the welfare of the colonists; we, the advantage of the mother country. They wished the colony to depend upon itself with respect to its subsistence, defence, internal government, and all the principles of its development; we wish it to be dependent in every way, to subsist by commerce, and that this commerce should enrich the mother country; that it should be obedient to her orders, governed by her lieutenants, and that its citizens should receive even their education, in its highest branches, from their elder brothers. It is added, moreover, that whilst the colonies of the Egyptians, of the Phœnicians, of Be Greeks, and even of the Romans, brought benefits to the people in whose countries they were established, ours bring calamities. That the first, by their contact, civilized the barbarians, whilst the modern Europeans have, wherever they have settled, barbarised the races they call barbarous, and in turn have become barbarised themselves. And it is urged, with much force and truth, that in their transactions with the aborigines, recent colonists have frequently sullied themselves by deceit and by abuse of force; that they go back in their agriculture and other arts, and that the general level of intelligence descends instead of rising.

Such writers further show that the first care of the ancient colonists was the choice of a site to build their city, for it was in cities they wished to live; and it was by means of cities that they spread the arts of the life of towns or civilization, and that the colonists, usually few in number as compared with the aborigines, and completely abandoned to themselves (for the mother country did not think of defending them), took care to build all their houses within the enclosure of the city, from which they went forth daily to cultivate the fields in their vicinity. Of course, the progress of such colonies in wealth page 308 and numbers was slow as compared with modern ones, but their advance in the arts of civilization and of social life was never checked. In modem colonies, on the other hand, an immense extent of fertile land is sought for, and when obtained, is abandoned to the first occupier, who, relying upon the protections of the mother country, takes up a portion out of all proportion to his strength to cultivate, his capital to improve, or his wants to consume the produce Masters at once of large tracts of country, which they hold, either by force or by purchase, they do not husband any of the benefits of nature. They clear the forests by fire, or by barking the trees, leaving them to decay where they stand; they abandon every system of manuring, of improvement, and of the rotation of crops. They apply themselves to benefit by the natural advantages of the soil, to which they sacrifice all others; they exhaust it by a succession of the same crops, and soon reduce the richest land to comparative sterility.

In the old colonies the different conditions of the citizens did not art with us, or in our colonies, by a universal rivalry of one another, but, on the contrary, all felt a common interest, which had relation also to the aborigines. Intercourse with them could alone feed the colony at its commencement, and the means of gaining their friendship, of obtaining their confidence, and of establishing between them and the colonists common signs, or a conventional language, was the business of all and the urgent interest of all. At the same time it was from these aborigines that all danger arose, and watchfulness of them and defence against them, in the case of any sudden quarrel, were also interest felt by all. Now, on the contrary, wherever European colonization takes place, the colonists preserve all the incidents annexed to the different conditions of the citizens, both in relation to themselves and to the aborigines; all engage in rivalry as to rank and wealth, the latter frequently securing the former with but little relation to those higher grounds upon which alone superiority of position ought to be admitted. Intercourse with the aborigines is maintained on a footing of friendship only until the colonists are strong enough; to be independent of them, and then we see the former rapidly become degraded those who had previously held high rank amongst them, first losing their status, whilst the race itself soon dies out. It is indeed a fact, which does not admit of doubt, which is even presented to us as a law of nature,—as a necessity—that wherever a white race comes into contact with an indigenous dark race, on ground suitable to the former, the latter must disappear in a few generation, It will be said that the parallel I have drawn offers but a gloomy picture, but in its main features I think its truth is indisputable. However, I will now deal with my subject in those respects in which it may offer us more pleasing grounds of thought.

The general effects of human action in altering the surface of the earth and its natural productions have been thus eloquently described by Mr. George P. Marsh, an American author of great research and intelligence :—

"It is certain that man has done much to mould the form of the earth's surface, though we cannot always distinguish between the results of his action and the effects of purely geological causes; that the destruction of the forests the drainage of lakes and marshes, and the operations of rural husbandry and industrial art have tended to produce great changes in the hygrometric, thermometric, electric, and chemical condition of the atmosphere, though we are not yet able to measure the force of the different elements of disturbance, or to say how far they have been compensated by each other, or by still obscurer influences; and, finally, that the myriad forms of animal and vegetable life which covered the earth when man first entered upon the theatre of a nature, whose harmonies he was destined to derange, have been, through his action, greatly changed in numerical proportion, sometimes much modified in form and product, and sometimes entirely extirpated.

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"The physical revolutions thus wrought by man have not all been destructive to human interests. Soils to which no nutritious vegetable was indigenous, countries which once brought forth but the fewest products suited for the sustenance and comfort of man, while the severity of their climate created and stimulated the greatest number, and the most imperious urgency of physical wants—surfaces the most rugged and intractable, and least blessed with natural facilities of communication, have been made in modern times to field and contribute to the sensuous enjoyments and conveniences of civilized life. The Scythia, the Thule, the Britain, the Germany, and the Gaul, which the Roman writers describe in such forbidding terms, have been brought almost to rival the native luxuriance and easily-won plenty of Southern Italy; and, while the fountains of oil and wine that refreshed old Greece and Syria and Northern Africa, have almost ceased to flow, and the soils of those fair lands are turned to thirsty and inhospitable deserts, hyperborean regions of Europe have conquered, or rather compensated, the rigours of climate, and attained to a material wealth and variety of product that, with all their natural advantages, the granaries of the ancient world can hardly have been said to have enjoyed.

"These changes for evil and for good have not been caused by great natural evolutions of the globe, nor are they by any means attributable wholly to the moral and physical action or inaction of the peoples, or, in all cases, even of be the races that now inhabit these respective regions. They are products of a complication of conflicting or coincident forces, acting through a long series of generations; here improvidence, wastefulness and wanton violence; there, foresight and wisely guided persevering industry. So far as they are the purely calculated and desired results of those simple and familiar operations of agriculture and of social life, which are as universal as civilization—the removal of the forests which covered the soil required for the cultivation of edible fruits, the drying of here and there a few acres too moist for profitable; husbandry, by draining off the surface waters, the substitution of domesticated and nutritious for wild and unprofitable vegetable growths, the construction of roads and canals and artificial harbours—they belong to the sphere of rural, commercial, and political economy more properly than to geography, and hence are but incidentally embraced within the range of our present enquiries, which concern physical, not financial balances. I propose to examine only the greater, more permanent, and more comprehensive mutations which man has produced, and is producing, in earth, sea, and sky, sometimes, indeed, with a conscious purpose, but for the most part, as unforeseen though natural consequences of acts performed for narrower and more immediate ends.

"The exact measurement of the geographical changes hitherto thus effected is, as I have hinted, impracticable, and we possess, in relation to them, the means only of qualitative, not quantitative analysis. The fact of such revolutions is established partly by historical evidence, partly by analogical deduction from effects produced in our own time by operations similar in character to those which must have taken place in more or less remote ages of human action. Both sources of information are alike defective in precision; the latter, for general reasons too obvious to require specification; the former, because the facts to which it bears testimony occurred before the habit or the means of rigorously scientific observation upon any branch of physical research, and especially upon climatic changes, existed."

Bearing these general views in mind let us apply them to the case of New Zealand. Before the settlement of these Islands by the Europeans they were inhabited by a race of savages, barbarous beyond conception, and practising rites of so foul a kind, that the very existence of such rites was often doubted by modern writers. And yet these people possessed characteristics page 310 which were calculated to redeem them even in the eyes of civilized man. Brave to a fault, having a clear perception of the distinctions of rank, and therefore proud in character, they also possessed a large amount of intellectual capacity, and even of latent moral character. Acute in their understanding and comprehension, they rapidly fell in with many of the arts and habits of the colonists, but, unaccustomed to the restraints of civilized life, and in the habit of indulging with little check their natural impulses, they have found it difficult to adopt as fully, as their own appreciation of them would otherwise lead them to do, the social habits of the Europeans. Unfortunately too we have shown too little regard to their feelings of pride and nationality, and by the ridicule with which we have treated their habits and manners, we have driven them to adopt, as individuals as well as collectively, a position of isolation, if not of hostile feeling towards us. Without having introduced amongst them any form of government more suited to promote and foster our intercourse with them, we have broken down the power and influence of the greater chiefs, and have induced a consequent disorganization of their own social condition, which is producing unfortunate results. I wish, however, not to be misunderstood in this matter. It has been admitted by foreign political economists that the English are the only nation which, of late years, have felt any true sympathy for the people amongst whom they have sent their colonist, who have acknowledged their rights, and who have seriously proposed to civilize them, to protect them, and to make them happy. But in their efforts to effect these objects from a distance, and with the imperfect knowledge they necessarily possessed of the original character of the native races, and of the changes which contact with civilization would produce upon them, they have constantly overlooked many important considerations. They have forgotten that those to whom the task of protection was entrusted, would naturally place themselves in antagonism to the advance of the colonists, whilst the latter would certainly view with distrust and dislike, those who stood in the way of their efforts to acquire wealth; and thus, between the two, the natives would come to grief. Our colony (as it appears to me) has exhibited to some extent, this unfortunate phase of English philanthropy, and yet elements of hope present themselves to our view. It is not, however, my purpose to pursue any further this enquiry, which belongs rather to the political economist and the legislator, than to the student of geography and natural history, and I will proceed at once to call your attention to the general physical appearance of these Islands, and the character of their fauna and flora before the introduction of European civilization, and to the changes which have since been effected and are now in progress. In doing this, however, I propose to disregard such alterations as had resulted from their occupation by the native race.

Stretching from the thirty-fourth to the forty-seventh degree of south latitude in a general north and south direction, with an average breadth in the Middle Island not exceeding 120 miles, and in the North Island (except above Auckland) of about 150 miles, the whole extent may be treated as a great mountain chain divided by Cook's Strait. In the North Island there are, in the western and north-western sides of this chain, several large volcanic cones some of the mountains of which rise to altitudes varying from 4000 to 9000 feet above sea level, and of which Tongariro, nearly in the centre of the greater mass of the island, is still active. In the Middle Island the great mountain chain extends from the north (in the form of spurs radiating from the Spencer mountains on the west side, and from the Kaikoura mountains the east) to the extreme south, attaining its greatest elevation in Mount Cook whilst in many places it reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet, and has a general elevation of from 6000 to 8000 feet. In the Middle Island, with the exception of the Canterbury plains and the undulating country to the north and south of page 311 them, stretching on the one side to the Waiau river, and on the other to the south of Otago, there is little in the general appearance of the country to include any high idea of its capacity for sustaining a large agricultural population; nor does the North Island present, at first sight, any better field, although on the eastern side it also possesses plains, in the Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa districts, and the country on the West Coast from Otaki to the Manukau probably contains some of the most fertile land in the world, eastern sides of both islands, including the slopes of the mountain chains, contain large tracts of grassy country available for pastoral purposes, but, as a rule, the whole of the western sides are clothed with dense and, in many parts, impenetrable forest. It is found, however, that the slopes of the mountain chains excellent soil, and that when cleared of the forest growth, they are capable, under proper cultivation, of being converted into valuable pasture had. The whole country may be said to be well, and in many places, profusely watered, and the native growth is usually luxuriant to a degree.

It must be manifest that in islands having so large a range of latitude, there must be a corresponding range in climate, and accordingly we find that whilst in the extreme north the climate is sufficiently warm to ripen freely many of the fruits of the tropics, and that, even in the neighbourhood of Auckland, the citron, the orange, and the guava mature their fruit, so, as we pass to the South, we find it eminently suited to the production of all the varied fruits and vegetables which make the luxury of temperate climates. It would lead me too far (nor indeed is it necessary in addressing a New Zealand gudience), were I to attempt any very detailed description of the physical aspect of the country or its climate, and the general outline I have given will be sufficient for my purpose. To the first colonists it undoubtedly presented the appearance of a country in an almost untouched condition, covered, in its forest lands, with the growth of untold centuries, and in its open lands with grasses, :[unclear: terms] and swamp-loving plants to which their eyes were totally unused, and which differed in all important respects from the wild growth of Europe. I had Ended to describe, in some detail, the organic natural productions of the country, but I began to find that this lecture would stretch to an inconvenient length, and I must leave your local knowledge on this point to fill up the void. This is perhaps the less important, for with the exception of grasses, made available in their uncultivated state for depasturing purposes, and of timber used for building and farm purposes, it may be said, that little has been done towards utilizing them, and still less towards ascertaining their properties and value. Within the last two years the fibre of the Phormium tenax has been Eared as an article of export, and, if properly managed, it will probably yield an excellent return, but I know of no other natural vegetable production of the country (unless we can give that name to Kauri gum) which has yet been turned to account for purposes of foreign export. You are all aware that the mineral resources of these islands are very large and very varied, but it is clear that the natives had no knowledge which would enable them to turn those resources to account, before the arrival of the Europeans, for we found them still using stone and wooden weapons, similar to those which, in Europe, characterize the middle epoch of the Neolithic age.

Such, in brief, was the condition of the country when civilized man under the impulses which ordinarily inspire modern colonists, was poured upon it—and now how changed has it all become? Instead of the miserable "pahs" and "Kaingas" of an uncivilized and utterly barbarous race, we have, in most of the great ports of the country, flourishing towns, each inhabited by thousands of Europeans, and many of them possessing buildings which present all the characters of wealth and durability. Instead of the solitary canoe of the native fisherman, or the fleet of a war party intent upon murder and rapine, our page 312 waters teem with ships busily engaged in the peaceful work of commerce whilst large and valuable works in our various ports give facilities for the carrying on and development of that commerce. Instead of our great tracts of native pasture lying idle, and yielding sustenance to no useful living thing they are now roamed over by and maintain large herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. Instead of the desolate, but luxuriant vegetation of the swampy ground along many parts of our sea board, and the impenetrable forests of many of our valleys, we have rich fields, producing the grain and other crops of temperate Europe. Instead of the narrow bush track, along which the savages travelled on his mission of revenge, we have roads penetrating the country is all directions, facilitating the maintenance of that intercourse, which is essential to the progress of the community in wealth and civilization. Instead of the mineral resources of the country lying idle, we have thousands of men busily engaged in extracting them from the soil, and thus, whilst enriching themselves, contributing by their labours to the wealth of others. We have, indeed, on all sides of us abundant evidence that the energies of a European race are rapidly converting a country which in its natural state scarcely afforded means for the sustenance of man, into one capable not only of maintaining a contented population, but of affording the materials for an extended foreign commerce.

But it is not merely these more material and directly apparent effects concern us. Many, if not all of you, have heard of the Darwinian theory as applied to the origin of species. This theory teaches us that a struggle for existence is constantly going on between all the varied organisms, both animal and vegetable, which occupy any particular Zoological or Botanical province, and that only such organisms can ultimately succeed in maintaining a place, as may happen, for the time being, to possess some point of vantage beyond the rest. Of course time is an important factor in this theory, and in order to appreciate its bearing upon the origin of species, the observer must be prepared to admit millions of years for the work. In a country like New Zealand, placed at such a distance from other countries as to preclude the risk of invasion, except through the agency of man, it must be manifest that this struggle would be carried on under peculiarities little likely to be observed in other places, and the results already caused by the introduction of new and rival organisms satisfies me that the indigenous flora and fauna even on their own ground, are unable to cope with the intruders. I cannot but think that the former had reached a point at which, like a house built of incoherent materials, a blow struck anywhere shakes and damages the whole fabric. The "Kiore" has been replaced, if not destroyed by the European rat; the European honey bee now swarms in our forests, taking the food of the meliphagous birds, which are already diminishing palpably in numbers, whilst the facility afforded by the immense epiphytical growth upon the forest trees enables the rat also to aid in this destruction by devouring eggs and young birds. The forests too contain large numbers of wild pigs, cattle, and goats. The former root up the ground, destroying the seedling trees, whilst the latter browse upon the young shoots and foliage, and even eat the bark of the smaller trees in a manner tending greatly to limit their growth. Following in their wake come many of the hardy vegetable organisms of Europe which spring up on all sides as rivals to the remaining indigenous plants, and thus the latter are exposed to a contest under circumstances in which defeat is almost certain. Such in effect, is the activity with which the introduced plants are doing their work, that I believe if every human being were at once removed from the Islands for even a limited number of years, looking at the matter from a geological point of view, the introduced would succeed in displacing the indigenous fauna and flora.

I must now bring my task to a close, and in doing so again apologize to page 313 you for the imperfect manner in which it has been performed. I know that I have left untouched a huge mass of matters bearing upon the question, under [unclear: consideration] to which I ought, in justice to you, to have referred; but the with which, and the difficulties under which this lecture has been written, must be my excuse both for sins of omission and of commission. I will only said, that in all which is taking place around us, we see the energies of our [unclear: and] forming a new and vigorous state. The face of the country, the life native to its soil, and the aboriginal race which claimed it, are all being modified, [unclear: afsharma] and displaced. The intrusive race has indeed wrought mightier changes in the third part of a century than the aborigines would have effected had they remained for another thousand years unvisited by civilized man.

The rapidity of such changes, too, strikes the on-looker with astonishment, and is inconceivable to those who have not witnessed it for themselves. In 1839 the "Tory" first visited Cook's Straits on a colonizing mission, and then fund the natives engaged in a bloody feud at Waikanae, and exhibiting the most forbidding habits, natural to savage life. All was strange, wild, and [unclear: average.]. Thirty years have elapsed since then, and already large cities have [unclear: rien] in many parts of the Islands. Everywhere the broad sheets of the press are engaged in diffusing information, and in discussing the politics and wants of a civilized people, where so recently the hut of the savage was the only evidence of the presence of man. The clearing, the form, the industrious settlement have displaced the scanty cultivation of the Maori, and his ephemeral [unclear: hat]. The progress of a single year outspeeds the work of past centuries, and amid the charred stumps of our hill-side forests, and the rough clearings of our farms, fancy may trace the handsome villas, and luxurious plantations of wealthy landed proprietors. Already we have seen the iron horse doing its work in the colony, whilst the mind of the people is intent on extending the range of its work to the immense tracts of rich country, still too distant, for full value, from the centres of population. If, by the intrusion of the vigorous races of Europe, smiling farms and busy marts are to take the place of the rough clearing and hut of the savage, and the millions of a populous country, with the arts and letters, the matured policy, and the ennobling impulses of a free people, are to replace the few thousands of the scattered tribes now living in an apparently aimless and unprogressive state, even the most sensitive philanthropist may learn to look with resignation, if not with complacency, on the extinction of a people which, in the past had accomplished so imperfectly every object of man's being. If the Maoris can, so far as wise policy and a generous statesmanship can accomplish it, be admitted to an equal share with the intending colonizer in all the advantages of a progressive civilization; then we may look with satisfaction at the close of that long night time during which this country gave birth to no science, no philosophy, no moral teaching, and hail the dawn of centuries in which it is to claim a place in the common-wealth of nations, and bear a part in the accelerated progress of the human