But skim-milk ain't a thing to change its view
O usefulness, no moru’n a smoky flue.
But du pray tell me, 'fore we furder go,
How in all Natur' did you come to know
'Bout our affairs," sez I, in Kingdom Come ?”

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“Wal, I worked around at sperrit-rappin' some,
In hopes o' larnin' wut wus goin' on,
Sez he, “but mejums lie so like all split,
Thet I concluded it wus best to quit.
But, come now, ef you wun't confess to knowin',
You've some conjectures how the thing's a-goin'."

“Gran’ther," sez I, “a vane warn't never known
Nor asked to hev a jedgment of its own ;
An, yit, ef 'taint got rusty in the jints,
It's safe to trust its say on certain pints ;
It knows the wind's opinion to a T,
An' the wind settles wut the weather'll be."

“I never thought a scion of our stock Could grow the wood to make a weathercock ; When I wuz younger ’n you, skurce more'n a shaver,

No airthly wind," sez he, "could make me waver ! (Ez he said this, he clinced his jaw an' forhad Hitchin his belt to bring his sword-hilt forrard.)

“Jes' so it wuz wit me," sez I, “I swów,
When I wuz younger 'n wut you see me now-
Nothin', from Adam's fall to Huldy's bonnet,
Thet I warn't full-cocked with my jedgment on it;
But now I'm gittin' on in life, I find
It's a sight harder to make up my mind —
Nor I don't often try tu, when events
Will du it for me free of all expense.
The moral question 's ollus plain enough
It's jes' the human nature side thett's tough ;
Wut's best to think mayn't puzzle me nor you—
The pinch comes in decidin' wut tu du ;
Ef you read History, all runs smooth ez grease,
Coz there the men ain't nothin' more 'n idees -
But come to make it, ez we must to-day,
Th' idees hev arms an' legs an' stop the way ;
It's easy fixin' things in facts and figgers-
They can't resist nor warn't brought up with niggers;
But come to try your the’ry on-why, then
Your facts and figgers change to ign’ant men
Acting es ugly

“Smite 'em hip an' thigh!'
Sez gran’ther, “and let every man-child die !
Oh, for three weeks o' Crommle and the Lord !
O Israel, to your tents and grind the sword !”

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“ Thet kind of thing worked well in old Judee,
But you forgit how long its ben A. D. ;
You think thet's ellerkence-I call it shoddy,
A thing," sez I, “ wun't cover soul nor body ;
I like the plain all-wool o' common-sense,
Thet warms ye now, an' will a twelvemonth hence.
You took to follerin, where the Prophets beckoned,
And, fust you knowed on, back came Charles the Second ;
Now wut I want's to hev all we gain stick,
An' not to start Millennium too quick ;
We hain't to punish only, but to keep,
An' the cure's got to go a centrầy deep.”

“Wal, milk-an’-water ain't a good cement,”
Sez he, “ an' so you'll find it in the event ;
Ef rashness venter's suthin', shilly-shally
Loses ez often wut's ten times the vally.
That exe of ou’n when Charles's neck gut split,
Opened a gap that ain't bridged over yit:

Slav'ry's your Charles, the Lord hez gin the exe
“Our Charles," sez I, “hez gut eight million necks.
The hardest question ain't the black man's right-
The trouble is to 'mancipate the white;
One's chained in body an' can be sot free-
The other's chained in soul to an idee ;
It's a long job, but we shall worry thru' it;
Ef bag'nets fail, the spelling-book must do it.”


“Hosee," sez he, “I think you're goin' to fail :
The rattlesnake ain't dangerous in the tail ;
This ’ere rebellion's nothin' but the rettle-
You'll stomp on that an' think you've won the bettle ;
It's Slavery thet 's the fangs, an' thinkin' head,
An' ef you want selvation, cresh it dead-
An' cresh it suddin', or you'll larn by waitin'
Thet Chance wun't stop to listen to debatin' !”

“God's truth !” sez 1—"an' ef I held the club,
An' knowed jes' where to strike—but there's the rub."

“Strike soon,” sez he, or you'll be deadly ailin’
Folks that's afeard to fail are sure o' failin'.
God hates your sneakin' creturs thet believe
He'll settle things they run away an' leave !”

“He brought his foot down fercely ez he spoke, An' give me sech a startle thet I woke."


OLD NEW ZEALAND : A Tale of the Good Old Times. By a PAKEHA


1863. The press of New Zealand does not yet teem with publications sufficiently to enable us to view with indifference a goodly volume containing two hundred and forty pages.

The printing of the work before us is so excellent as to make no small addition to the pleasure of reading it, and the publishers are to be complimented on the production of a book which will be a credit to the colonial press, and an encouragement to colonial authors.

In this book a “Pakeha Maori ” has given us a contribution towards a great work which is as yet only partially completed, the work of preserving to future times a picture of this country as it was before its peculiar features were modified or destroyed by the encroachments of British enterprise. Of this work, what remains to be done must be done quickly; "dum loquimur, fugerit invida atas ,” the time slips away

; while we talk about it, and the course of things will not be arrested for our convenience. Nature, as careless of the type as of the individual, keeps her inexorable course.

-a thousand types are gone,

I care for nothing, all shall go. This is her language, and it is for us to seize and record her phases before they vanish.

The Maori race is probably perishing and certainly changing. Their old customs, institutions, and ideas are fast fading away, even from their own memories, and whatever relating to these things is not put on record speedily, will be lost for ever. If it is too much to expect that the work will be undertaken by some writer who has the industry to collect, the judgment to discriminate, and the talent to depict the facts necessary for a faithful and popular history of New Zealand and its aborigines, we may at least call upon all those whose experience in the earliest days of colonisation enables them to do so, to follow the example of the author of this book, and give us all the information they can about Maori life in the olden time. Every item of intelligence is to be welcomed, whatever the form of publication, whether the elaborate volume, the short pamphlet, the magazine article, or half a column in the daily newspapers. But we must proceed to consider the contents of our book.

There is nothing strained or inappropriate in the title of this book, for although this contemporary historian of “Old New Zealand” is a living man, and, if we may judge from his writing, in full possession of his powers and faculties, yet so different is the life which he records from that which exists now, that he must feel as if he had indeed lived into

VOL. I.-No. I.


another age of the world, or as if the earth, having slipped round under him, had landed him upon another island, similar in its physical features, but differing in all other respects.

From an express statement in his book (p. 74), we may infer that it is at the least more than forty years since, for want of a wharf, our Pakeha Maori trusted himself to the treacherous shoulders of the “Eater of melons," and upon their failing to support his weight, was at length brought safely to shore by the more friendly tide. He recovered his personal diguity by conquering the melon-eater in wrestling, and his mana soon became established among his new friends. From this time we have an account of many amusing personal adventures, mixed with a good deal of interesting information on the manners and superstitions of the natives, and their customs both in war and peace. The character of native tenure of land is amusingly illustrated in his account of the purchase of his estate, and the various claimants by whom he was beset.

One man claimed in right of his ancestor, who turned out to have been a lizard which formerly inhabited a cave on the land. One put in a claim because his grandfather had been murdered on the ground, another because his was the murderer. All the claimants agreed as to the existence of a wahi tapu or burying ground somewhere on the land, although no one could fix the precise spot, and they gave colour to their assertion by stipulating that the pakehá should fence this place round and make no use of it. He only got over the difficulties of his purchase by announcing that he had abandoned his intention, whereupon the rival claimants agreed among themselves as to the price they should demand, which they afterwards divided among themselves. We find it difficult to recognise in all this those definite ideas about the right in land which some writers assert to have existed from the earliest times among the natives. We rather suspect that in this, as in other instances, we have been more successful in recommending to our Maori friends such of our notions as happen to suit their purposes, than in introducing such as would answer our own.

Having acquired bis estate, our author became the pakeha of a redoubtable old chief named “Lizard Skin.” To become possessed of a pakeha was an object of ambition among the chiefs, for the acquisitiou involved an exclusive right of fleecing in the way of trade, combined with the duty of extending to the pakeha chattel a support chiefly moral, or if material, amply compensated by very material remuneration. Whilst fully sympathising with a man of our author's muscular development, in his regrets for those good old times when such lively and pleasant encounters were possible as that which he describes between himself and the amiable marauder who tried to kill him in his own house, we confess to a latent feeling of satisfaction that we, who are of a more degenerate type, should have our lot cast in a degenerate age ; but then, to be sure, a poor writer of magazine articles might hardly have been thought worth knocking on the head in the heroic times. Of the character of the bravo above-mentioned we have the following illustrations :

“ He was sitting in the verandah of his house, and told her [his wife] to bring bing a light for his pipe. She, being occupied in domestic affairs, said, 'Can't you fetch it yourself, I am going for water.” She had the calabash in her liand and their infaut child on her back. He snatched up his gun, and instantly shot her dead on the spot; and I had heard him afterwards describing quite coolly the comical way in which her brains had been knocked out by the shot with which the gun was loaded. He also had, for some trifling provocation, lopped off the arm of his own brother or cousin, I forget which, and was, altogether, from his tremendous bodily strength and utter insensibility to danger, about as 'ugly a customer' as one would care to meet."

This amiable person, having learned that our Pakeha Maori had ventured to threaten him, in consequence of some depredations which he had suffered at his hands, quietly presented himself at his house with the laudable intention of tomahawking him. A terrible struggle ensued, which is very graphically described, and which, after more than an hour's duration, and the utter destruction of all the windows and furniture, ended in the triumph of English muscle and endurance over savage ferocity.

The tribe with which our author dwelt had attacked a neighbouring tribe at a time when a body of their fighting men were absent on a warlike expedition. Peace was afterwards made, but the news of the return of the absent band, who, flushed with victory, would have to pass through their settlement, caused considerable apprehension in our author's tribe. He describes in an interesting manner the energy with which they worked day and night to make their pa defensible, the approach of the suspected enemy, the maneuvres which took place between the two parties, the ratification of peace, and the affecting tangi by which it was accompanied ; notwithstanding which—“twenty-seven years afterwards I saw the two tribes fighting in that very quarrel which was pretended to have been made up that day.”

Our author was attracted by a group of natives seated on a hill, who had accompanied the above-mentioned war-party on their return, and who were better dressed than common.

nearer inspection, however, he discovered to his amazement that the group in question consisted of heads alone, with cloaks so arranged as easily to deceive the inexpert.

Whilst contemplativg this new phenomenon, "I was saluted by a voice from behind, with, 'looking at the eds, sir?' It was one of the pakehas formerly mentioned. “Yes,' said I, turning round just the least possible thing quicker than ordinary. “Eds has been a getting scarce,' says he. * I should think so,' says I. "We ai’nt ad a ed this long time,' says he. • The devil !' says I. One of them eds has been hurt bad,' says he. “I should think all were, rather so,' says I. • Oh no, only one on 'em,' says be,

*the skull is split, and it won't fetch nothin,' says he. “Oh, murder! I see, now,' says I. Eds was werry scarce,' says he, shaking his own .ed.' *Ah ! said I. “They had to tattoo a slave a bit ago,' says he, ' and the villain ran away, tattooin' and all' says

he. • What ? said I. * Bolted afore he was fit to kill,' says he. • Stole off with his own head ?'

“That's just it,' says he. Capital felony !' says I. “You may ay that, sir,' says he. Good morning,' said I. I walked away pretty martly.

• It's all very funny,' said I.”” It seems there was & trade in "eds” with the skippers of some of the trading schooners, a trade which we may suppose to have become at length precarious, in suusequence of the unprincipled conduct of such persons as the slave sho went off“ tattooin' and all,” before he was fit to kill.

We meet with some interesting information on the subjects of muru

On a

sys I.

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