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blending with tint to a height often really great, but nearly always clad in the eternal colours of a tropical vegetation; the deep hollows that recede among the hills, giving an indefinable feeling of ineffable solitude and repose amongst the leafy shades of unbroken forest, or by the murmuring course of a hidden river, are all characteristics of a world of beauty, whose splendours seem more the offspring of a poet's dream than the realities of nature's handy-work.
Such are some of the motives which should attract the adventurer, the poet, and the artist to explore those regions of wonder and beauty, but to our mind they do not embrace by any means the first view which we would fain take of these wonderful “ Gems of Ocean." It is to the future of these islands, now teeming with life it is true, both animal and vegetable—but with savage life, that we would look. This we c:nnot dream of as the destiny of these islands; this we cannot patiently contemplate as the ultimate condition of their inhabitants. Of these inhabitants we would first speak, and we do so froin a personal acquaintance with them, and from having seen their manner of life in their own homes. Most of them may be described as of the Papuan-Malay race, but mixed in so many various degrees, that the original race is not easily made out by either features or language. Physically they are not of a hardy or enduring constitution, although their manner of life may not improbably account in a great degree for this. When the Polynesian element enters largely into the composition of the race, as it does chiefly in the eastward groups, which are the smallest and least populous, there may exist a hope of rapidly raising them in the social scale to a certain height, as has been done in the Hawaiian group, and in this country with the Maoris. With the Papuan-Malay races of the western islands, the Banks' islands, the Solomon group, and New-Guinea, the conditions of their elevation, even to a partial civilization, must, we fear, prove a yet more difficult thing than it has with the Polynesian islanders. Want of energy, an almost entire absence of ambition to rise in the scale of social life, will probably there be found to be the grand obstacles to be met and overcome. Still, like all such difficulties, they can no doubt be successfully met, and are not impossible to overcome. They will not, we feel sure, raise themselves however. They want the elements in their nature which tends to effect this. They are idle, soft, sensuous in their nature and habits ; not even, as a rule, energetic in war, and utterly self-indulgent and lazy in peace. Such a people, to rise at all, must be raised. Others must do for them that which by themselves they would not have even a wish to attempt. And if others must civilize these islands, with their teeming myriads of inhabitants, there can be little doubt what nation is appointed to the task. France, we know, corets colonies, and has a burning desire for dependencies, but she cannot show, and never has shown any talent, or indeed any great desire for the civilization of any people whom she has taken under her care. Peace she can produce, but it is a peace like that of the old Romans, which was so dreadfully akin to desolation. She might govern the islands of the South Seas, but she would never elevate their inhabitants.
If the task is to be performed, it must be by men of British race, Aud a more glorious task for men to set before them we cannot conceive. They would, too, derive great assistance from various sources. We have
mentioned the physical and moral nature of the inhabitants, we would now speak of the natural advantages of the islands themselves. At present, all is beauty or terror in nature's aspects there, but this does not represent at all adequately what their future may become. A wonderful climate, and a soil the richest conceivable, is sufficient guarantee for the powers of these islands to produce in rare perfection any thing of tropical growth. Cotton and arrow-root, as our own observation enables us to testify, are grown to wonderful perfection wherever they have been introduced. Spices of every description would unquestionably flourish to a wonderful extent; and in a word, all that is wanting to render these islands the wonder of the world for their wealth, as well as for their beauty is, that the inhabitants should rise from the worst of savages to the level of even a moderate civilization. This, again, we contend, can be effected by Englishmen; perhaps by them alone; and we believe, nay we feel sure, it will ere long be so effected.
To us, in New Zealand, we hold that this is a question of no common degree of interest. If we look around us we may see how we are pointed out as the people placed, as it were, in front of this task.
Our AustraJian brethren have a continent before them, and the task of replenishing it may well occupy all their energies for many a long year. Such is not our case. New Zealand is limited in extent. Its adventurous sons will soon find that its limits seem to their aspirations something far too narrow. And it may therefore look forward at no distant day to pushing forward its arms and embracing many, if not all these groups of wonderful islands under its own Government. The idea may appear dream-like now, but we look confidently forward over a few years, and see the whole position of New Zealand changed. Already the most wonderfully progressing of all the colonies of Great Britain, she is destined we well believe to pro zress yet more marvellously when the shadow of her present troubles pass away, as they soon must, and leave her to pursue her course under the full blaze of prosperity's sunshine. When that time comes we have no doubt this idea of ours, with many another which is now held wholly chimerical, will be viewed as sober earnest, and will, moreover, be put into practice.
Such prospects we cannot but think it well to keep before our eyes, even though they may seem both dim and distant at present. It is well to train our minds to look to no narrow or inexpansive future for our adopted country ; because everything that enlarges the mind to look to a great future, reflects a light upon the comparatively small things of the present. We shall not, as a nation, we believe, be the less likely to act wisely and generously in the treatment of our own aboriginal natives in New Zealand, if we look forward as to our special mission, to the elevating and governing of the teeming populations of the Sonth Sea Islands.
In my last chapter I promised to give some account of the sports and amusements of Canada. In fulfilling that promise, I must first impress upon my readers the fact that it is only those sports in which I have taken an active part myself, in the district termed Upper Canada, that I can lay any pretensions to relate, as there is a wide difference in the sports of Upper and Lower Canada, the latter of which I am a perfect stranger to.
In any country where there is nearly six months of severe winter, and where the ordinary farm labour is obliged to be suspended, it is no wonder that the young settler should attach some importance to the amusements of the chase, which bring him health and replenish his larder; they also draw closer the ties of friendship, and in the genial society of each other settlers are enabled to beguile many a long winter evening with the racy descriptions of their different hunting adventures. The month of September is undoubtedly the best time of year for pleasuring up the Lakes. Venison is now in season, likewise fish and game of every description; the weather is glorious, not too hot, but with gentle frosts at night, which makes the air pleasantly sharp, and gives one an appetite for his breakfast, although there are few I think who require this tonic to digest their morning meal. The russet tints of Autumn have clothed the forest in raiment of every hue, and this season of the year seems intended alone for enjoyment. How joyous ! how our hearts bound again as we make ready for our trip up the lakes. Has it not been planned weeks ago ? How carefully we have tended and watched the young hounds, and how anxious we are to test their several merits. Vanity, Harmony, Melody, and Modesty, jump around us with frantic joy, and as they watch our preparations for the start, their eager looks seem to speak volumes.
We hasten down to the lake, here we have collected every thing that we are likely to require for a two months' campaign: amongst the heterogeneous collection of articles we see scattered around us, we notice fowling pieces, rifles, shot-belts, powder-flasks, harpoon for spearing fish, four, tea, sugar, bacon, whiskey, tin plates, panakins, a frying pan, blankets, buffalo robes, tent, &c. All these things must be carefully stowed in the canoe, and unless done in a true sportsmanlike manner, you are neither safe nor comfortable. As the canoe is rather an important feature in our outfit, before stepping into it we will first take a glance at the fragile but graceful craft that is to carry Cæsar and all his fortunes.
The bark canoe is among the most ingenious and most useful of the Indian manufactures ; and nothing that European ingenuity has devised, is so well adapted to their habits, and the necessities of their mode of life; they are made of the bark of the birch tree--and of all the various contrivances for transporting burthens by water, these vessels are the most extraordinary. From the lightness of their construction, they would appear to be totally inadequate to contend against the rapids they are continually exposed to; they are of various lengths, from twelve to thirty feet, their breadth from four to six feet, diminishing to a point at each end without distinction. The exterior is the bark of the birch tree; scarcely the eighth part of an inch in thickness; it is kept distended by thin hoops of white cedar, or other light elastic wood, and very thin shingles, as an inside lining, are placed between the hoops and the bark; the gunwale is a narrow lathe, to which the hoop and the bark are sewed with narrow strips of the root of the white cedar tree; and the joinings in the bark are rendered water-proof by a species of gum which the Indians informed me they procured from the wild cherry tree, which soon becomes perfectly hard. No ironwork or nails are used in their construction, and they are so very light, that the common sized ones are easily carried for several miles by a man of moderate strength; they are propelled by paddles, and the dexterity of the Indians in using them is surprising: they of course push them forward and not backwards, as in the operation of rowing. The common hunting canoe is constructed to hold two persons, but as a rule each man prefers to have his canoe to himself: the paddles are generally made of well seasoned white ash, or rock elm, which is still better wood, and very pliable ; it takes a person some time to learn the art of paddling, but, like everything else, when once learnt it is exceedingly easy. The paddle has but one blade, not two like those I have often seen used at home, and it is used only on one side of the canoe ; in making a stroke the canoe darts gracefully forward slightly gwerving to the side opposite that you are paddling on and rising at the bows--with a twist of the wrist you bring the canoe back to its former position and take another stroke. It is a beautiful sight to see a canoe going at full speed; it rises on the top of the tiny billows, and like a bird seems to skim the surface. We must return to our party whom we left on the shores freighting their vessels. Each one having taken his fair portion of swag, together with one or two hounds, they are ready to start. Off they go, those they leave behind waving their adieus and wishing them luck. All goes merry as a marriage bell, and no one cries halt until they have accomplished five or six miles towards their destination. Now they reach some verdant islet, perhaps some favourite resting place, which invites them to disembark; this they at once proceed to do, and as they near the shore, they look carefully around for some sandy nook, that they may not graze the bottoms of their canoes. Oh! what bliss divine, to stretch once more our cramped limbs, how we enjoy our sprawl upon the soft turf, how consoling is the pipe of sweet meditation, and as we watch the spiral column of white smoke ascending, what visions we see of game and sport conjured up by our deluded brain-but stay; what is that little craving spirit we feel within ? Ah! is it hunger-methinks it is-halloa ! there you Brown ! Jones! Robin. son-put the billy on ; get ready the frying pan; cut up the bacon. Lunch over, five minutes allowed for a smoke. Time's up my lads, we must make the love-sick rapids to-night, or we shall not reachDeer Bay to-morrow. Look well to your guns ; we must kill some ducks, or you'll have only a second edition of bacon for supper. Get ready your trolling lines, here is good trolling ground for salmon, and if we hook one, we will have some cutlets. Brown knows how to cook them to a turn. Out goes thirty feet of trolling line, the bright American spoon bait spins brilliantly under water; we paddle on. I've got him! No! he's off
. Yes ; I've got him. Haul him in fast Smith. What a noble fellow! hurrah for the salmon cutlets. Look sharp old fellow, or else Jones will reach Duck Creek first. Halloa ! what is Jones about? Don't you see him going into that little bay-bang! bang! there go the ducks. I wonder if he has potted any ? Let us paddle on and catch him up. Well, Jones, have you bagged anything ? (Jones looking very modest) only a brace of black duck; they are very wild. The evening shades gather around us, the fire flies sparkle in the bush by the shore side ; the moon rises in majestic grandeur; the hoarse croak of the bull frog (Canadian nightingale) break the still silence, and the sweet note of the dear little“ Whip-poor-Will, (so called from its cry) is still heard ; to those long accustomed to the plaintive note of this little bird, there is, I think, something very touching in it. The scene shifts-look at those jolly fellows sitting in their tent, before that blazing log fire. What a ruddy glow it casts upon their merry faces. Look at that beggar Smith walking into the roast duck; and mark yonder hounds, chained to the trees near the fire, how they watch their masters, and look askance at Smith's duck bones. We will not be so inquisitive as to enquire how Smith, Jones, and Robinson enjoyed their supper, knowing them all to be good-natured, jolly fellows. We will imagine, for brevity's sake, that it did not disagree with them. Neither will we enquire how many glasses of hot toddy they indulged in that night; if they did take one glass extra all round, whát business is that of ours. They turn in, the fire burns low, the leaves crackle in the frosty air. I see a squirrel peeping out from a hollow tree; I hear an owl hooting in the distance: it is midnight. To enjoy good hunting, it is necessary to go some distance from the settlements. Cultivation and civilization have advanced hand in hand, converting the sylvan woods into cities and villages : and where once might be seen the track of the deer, the slide of the otter, or the dam of the beaver, we see now streets and houses. The timid deer has gone elsewhere, gone where the crystal spring wells up in the shady dells, and where the light elastic moss presses
its slender limbs. Thither also must the hunter follow, if his object is sport.
Perhaps to those accustomed to hear only of a fine stag and a pack of hounds, it may seem somewhat tame, when I inform my readers that deer killed on the Lakes in Canada are mostly shot in the water. I will endeavour to describe the ordinary way of killing deer, of which I have been an eye-witness. First, having selected a suitable camping ground, where there is a good supply of hardwood for your fire, and having made yourself snug, you rise the next morning before daybreak, and start for the hunting ground, which is usually some little distance off. Supposing the party to consist of four, the one who is best acquainted with the country takes charge of the dogs, and sees that they are carefully placed in his canoe, after which, he paddles off to the hunting grounds ; having reached which, he couples his doge together, and makes his way through the woods, until he finds a fresh