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EARLY SKETCHES OF NEW ZEALAND.

No. X.—Nelson.

Descending to the mission station, of the Kcv. Dr. Maunsell, we enjoyed another brief intercourse of refinement. The Dr. was absent upon some of his numerous duties, and thus we missed an interview with, one of the most energetic _ and singleminded men in the mission work ;. _of lays intellectual, development, and high erudition; a New Zealand Dr. Johnson in Maori lexicography, but who had endured a Newton-like loss (the uearly complete work of several years labour) in the destruction of his manuscripts by fire, together with house and effects. We were lcindly forwarded in his boat across the beautiful river Waikato. Arriving at the opposite shore, the boat was pushed.into a narrow creek called the Awaroa, and we found ourselves being conveyed under overhanging boughs onboth sides for a considerable distance. Winding round one of its several bends, we surprised a large party of natives all engaged in damming the creek, canallock fasliion, to admit the passage of some large canoes. All the party were nude, save a single flax fastening, and a ludicrous covering of mire. The men, first in sight, were of Herculean proportions, and from the utterances of the boat's crew we found the largest man to be the great Te Whero (subsequently King of New Zealand). After some speedy ablutions and the donning of mats amongst them, we exchanged the usual civilities, also, with the formidable chief and his wife —a lady of bulky proportions and as dignified as she could be, after such a surprise during her miry occupation. Here we, discussed a bottle of wine, and complimented the great, man on being now bettor engaged than when he sat, covered with blood and brains, crashing in the heads of his prisoners. But as the civility was couched in refined English and French, doubtless the compliment was utterly lost upon him. Parting with the usual exchanges of "Enoho 1" and " Haeri!" we shortly afterwards waited; into the native settlement of Waiuku. Here onr path ran parallel, for about half a mile, with shark and "dog fish" suspended upon frame-works of poles, being in course of preparation by the sun's rays for a native feast; the said fish emitting highly appreciated odours by Maori olfactories. We pursued our course, around the extensive Manukau, while with a breeze from the south-west the faithful little "Fairy" entered the Manukau Heads by the North Channel. This heavily sea-washed entrance (as well as those of Ivaipara and Hokianga Bars) had been surveyed by Captain Wing, many years previously, in a whaleboat, at his own cost of time and patient labour, from zealous motives. The passage through the dangerous shoals off the Heads wag thus rendered fairly navigable, and the elder natives related how those shoals once comprised their former grounds of cultivation. After a circuit of about 20 miles, we arrived at the eastern extremity of the Manukau, where volcanic ejections and lava streams divide by a quarter of a mile the harbour from the southern waters of Auckland, at the head of the Tamaki Creek. After a walk of a mile or two through high fern and scrub, over jagged blocks of scona, distributed around an extinct volcanic mount, in company with its several brothers, standing at various distances about the country, we arrived at the landing place of Onehunga, with its two or three pakeha houses on a rise by the side of the road. Here we heard of Governor Hobson's death, on the 10th September, 1842, worried on all sides by conflicting in_ toreßts. The road to

AUCKLAND, lined out by the Surveyor-General Ligar, showed signs of its being in possession of all the country traffic, over a "level countxy," but occasionally through pools of drainage water, rocky patches, and disintegrated ash, until arriving at an angle where a cabbage tree stood sentinel at the entrance of a small mixed bush, and through which the track lay over roots and stumps, under broken Tines, and outstretched branches. Crossing the Newmarket stream, we found a path over the Government domain, where we canght first sight of the smooth waters of the Woitemata, aa {[ its outside beautiful archipelago. Descending into the swamp and passing upwards from Mechanics' Bay—where no mechanics were seen—we came to a halt before Government House, a long one-storied domicile of wood, with rerandan, ami a wing at each end, the materials and fittings of which had been brought from England. Here a delightful view of the harbour entrances and objects in "the distance met the beholder, impressing the wayfarer with the notion that the favoured occupants were in possession of supreme quietude, ease, and enjoyment, far from the contentious elements of winds and other passionate aspirations, associated with the southern rival port. At a short distance appeared the Metropolitan. Church, in course of erection, with a nave and spire, imparting to the mind home familiarities, and presenting also an elevated land-mark to ships entering the harbour. Below, to the right, the officials had ensconced themselves in a small bay, variously designated "Official Bay," "Glen Flibberty," and "Cooper's Bay." At its side, against the descant from St. Paul's Church, stood the unpretentious offices of the seat of Government called " Blarney Hall;" above,andon the brow of the hill, opposite the eastern angle of ths church, appeared the ominous enclosure, erstwhile containing the unhappy occupants of "chokey." Below, off the landing place, lay a man-of-war, with its hull and lofty rig.' Turning to the westward, down Shortland Crescent, away from the emblems of paternal government and clerical dignity, in possession of all the high ground, with Commercial and Mechanics' Bays on each quarter, flanking "Fort Bntomart," we now found ourselves among the business erections of raupo and board ea shops, interspersed with intimations in paint of hotel, mercantile, and legal occupations. At the corner, and looking up Queenstreet,- were blacksmiths', Travellers', and grocers1 shops; to the right were ranged in a line with the " Ligar Canal" a row of shops and "pubs." This street, although availed of for feed and repose of cows and pigs, was evidently intended for the principaTone of the town, by its greater width, running over marshy places (by an imposing looking Court-house with its two wings) and terminating apparently at the foot of a hilly background, Here a captious remark was made that the range of

ground descending to " Barrack " or Britomart Point," but cut off now by the church, might-have been made an important trunk road, which gave rise to a description of the origin of the original surveys, and that the great adapter of plans to the ground of this future city was still a resident and admirer of the immortal instance of his genius. This sentiment in Felton Matthews filled to overflowing a small physique of very precise "getup," with coat of fur collar, sparkling nap, and Victoria buttons, who was said to have retired from his surveyor-general-ship under Sir George Gipps, who, from a want of appreciation, had declined to give his sanction to the aspiring oflicial for wearing two epaulettes; and not even amending the affront by afterwards signifying his willingness that he, the the Surveying General, might wear three, "but, the third one on the nether man !" However, we both saw, and smelt, that the drainage and offal of the valley of Qneen-street led , into the Canal, with its boarded sides, and bridge of about six feet in width at _ West Queen-street, ii (contracted continuation of the Crescent, and about 22 feet wide). The bridge was erected with ingeniously bound 4 by 1 inch timber, and bore the appellation of •' Waterloo Bridge." The whole of this Canal contrivance cost the colony abont £50, and was the origin of growlings and discontent, (without due consideration of the uninteresting state of the Government Chest). This confined receptacle of the Mis, swamps, horse refuse, and defunct cats" and dogs, was argued to be more dangerous than heretofore, in the good old days, and when open with less abrupt sides, and when drunken men and canoes had easy access ; these evils, therefore, were of grave concern with newspaper editors, THE SETTLEHS. comprised an amusing medley of humours and objects; the variety far more interesting to the psychologist than those of the communities wliich we had visited at the south; consisting of the orthodox and dissenting, the New South Wales element, the clerical in their head quarters, the old land claimants and the new, the mercantile, the shopkeepers, the Maori produce buyers, all in charge of the aristocratic purlieus of Official Bay, and Government House Statesmen. Several much questioned ?urchases of large tracts of land and slands in the north had been made by local and also Sydney people, by the distribution here and there to the natives of various hundreds and odd pounds' worth of much valued articles of slops, guns, powder, tobacco, &c, much to the encouragement of mental determination of other capitalists, and those at home through their agents. But unfortunately, numbers of the awakening natives, who had not participated in the payments, repudiated in uncivilized style the paper plans of boundaries, and became roughly confused over the simple terms of their Waitangi Treaty, and on the other hand, the non-recognition of individual rights by tho pakeha buyers. Then, again, various valuable considerations were offered for choice localities, with suggestions of satisfactory distribution to the aboriginal land owners; but alas ! the perplexed Representatives of the Home Government, through the implacable Lord Stanley, were not empowered to recognise such transactions, over the limit of 2,560 acres, and then only through the Government surrey office and regulations ; interviews of gentleness, expostulations, and f ulminations, emanating from "Radical Court," and publicly made known by the mentally and physically gigantic Dr. Martin, editor of the "Cross Journal," rendered the happy looking little Government House anything but the quiet abode that we supposed it to be. On the other hand, the occupant of this pleasant spot was a tall, dark featured, full flesh and bone dignitary, who enacted quarterdeck austerity, and was called '' Bully bhortland," erstwhile naval lieutenant and colonial secretary, bearing upon his figurative shoulders all kinds of fearful accusations of the "opposition journal," such as being the cause of the Mongonui war, the Tauranga and Wairau massacres, changing the streets of Auckland, the great social evil of jobbing in lauds, quashing the Bank, and negotiating his drafts on the Home Government with the Royal Bank of Australasia for £15,000 at 15 per cent, with a promise of double that amount in Government debentures as security. Down below, within the precincts of the New Zealand Downingstreet, at Oilicial Bay, were to be seen the disheartened Freeman, so significant of the adverse of his name ; the active Connell, amicable and seeking on all occasions to throw oil upon the troubled waters which discomfited his executive colleagues and fellow-townsmen. Strolling in from his office, opposite Masonic Hotel, might be seen the athletic form of the SurveyorGeneral Ligar, with his cool indifferent air, and forgetfulncss of importunities ;or liberal-minded Coates, with his tall, slim, gentlemanly demqanour, and no want of office ability. Seven or eight official satellites participated in the gloomy sterility, through which they were desktoiling with the Government Truck. Great was the antagonism in the infant nation between the governing powers and the visiting, absent, and local capitalists, who were, so eager about the commodity of land, and spreading large sums about the country in perfect freedom, and in no way would these anxious benefactors of the public be satisfied otherwise in contributing adequately to the revenue. In pursuance of this, one day a great public meeting was invited to assemble in the Exchange Hotel, with its handy rooms in Shortland Crescent,

TO DISCUSS THE CRITICAL POSITION. There, then, assembled the great representatives of the people and adherents of the Government, with as seemly a sprinkling of officials as was admissible to be considered consistent with dignity, all dressed in genteel cloth, and phrenologically with sapient craniums. Amongst them, were remarked the great Doctor of the "Cross Journal," and the ostensive "captain" of the immaculate " Chronicle," the organ belonging to (it was said), and through which, the Government breathed. Next came a personage of note, from his careful necktie, shirt of starched consistency and button-up surtout, who had discovered that from a late day's commercial transactions his income might be calculated at about £1,600 a-year; and thus feeling himself justified in resigning his appointment under shaky Government.' There stood a comfortable stoutish personage, presenting a large judaical organ, with good-humoured eye and laugh, dangling some massive watch seals with one hand, and with the other leaning on his cane; well-known for his

candour in newspaper writing, commercial integrity, and as one of the ancient tribes by birth. Next to him was a tall, Vigorous old gentleman, intent upon Gieat Barrier coppermining.andiinporterof cattle. There, another gentleman who had exposed his real feelingthrough the hired one.and afterwards instituted the independent " Mangle," or " Auckland Times, on his own account, by promoting a laundry machine, under which were rolled the sheets of his journal, and circulated witfi readable type, occasionally on one Bide only ; . and giving rise on a particular exigency to a desperate affair, which may serve to illustrate the tone of the times. The proprietor of this important production was taking his sociable tumbler at the "Masonic (or called after the popular owner "Wood's Hotel," in the iiristocratic position of Princes-street) one evening, where Lieutenant Phillpots (afterwards one of the gallant heroes of Kororareka, son of the Bishop of Exeter, and lieutenant of H.M. ship Hazard), and others were indulging likewise. In the course of conversation, the gallant sailor, not being acquainted with the " editor," contemptuously stigmatised the "MaDgle" as a "rag" only fit for unclean use, at which the man of mighty pen

"CALLED HIM OUT." After seVere heroical recriminations, a meeting was, with all due form, arranged to take place at 5 o'clock in the morning, Dr. M— seconding his friend Mr Falwasser, the offended representative of the great fourth estate, and a dapper little official of the Commissioner Department hacking the lieutenant. The belligerants met at the appointed time on the site of the Northern Club; two shots a-piece weroexchanged,with all tlie usual deadly formalities. Tlie first shots took effect, one carrying off the brass button of the lieutenant's coat, and the other passing through the editor's coat-tail. The second exchange was hardly given, when the constables were seen running up the hill, and a stampede took place to within the courts of the expostulating "Rakau," or owner of the hotel, when the gallant lieutenant went up to the exasperated editor and offered his hand with a greeting of "You're made of real stuff; let us have a drink together," With regard also to the second round, it was insinuated by a quaking or envious associate that the seconds had inserted soap balls instead of leaden ones, at the suggestion of the speciously-accommo-dating host; at all events, the duel was fought with the dire sanguinariness that so m omentous a cause was considered to justify. On another occasion, of a political nature, several notables were in the meetingroom of the Exchange, amongst whom was, of course, a gentleman of medium height, large beard, dark, with specs on nose, serious regular features, of legal knowledge, deep in the fathomings of Government mysteries, and the admired leader ot "Radical Court." By his side stood a tall, sedate, elderly gentleman, beaming with smiles, and looking down with profound attention to his friend's successive tappings with his fore-finger upon the palm of his left hand. The elder one was aforetime British representative at the Bay of Islands, where he liad purchased a large territory at the north on his own account, and firmly maintained possession iv face of governing powers. He was about to proceed home, and beard Downing-street in the interests of the deeply-injured land claimants. Standing near there was a young, intelligentlooking man, of fair complexion, in light clothes, apparently diffident or dubious over his present position, and was Co.to the one in the spectacles. By the side of the room, stood, or attempted to stand quietly, a tall spare man, with marks of gentle breed, although in fustain coat and trousers, with wild restless eyes and demonstrative attitude. This was the son of a knight and M.P., and had made some heavy good hits at land jobbing, but was now in great ire by beyig hindered from further operations by regulations, and the dispatches of the despot, Lord Stanley. This ire was nursed by frantic declamations and memorialising until some 15 months afterwards lie terminated the strife, in a Jit of lunacy, by ending his career with a razor. The room was soon filled with others of the respectable and the unwashed. A stir took place, when lo !Mr Coutts was called upon to take the chair. This appeared to be a slight incongruity anent the origin of the meeting, he being the sheriff, and of course one of the conclave comprising some of the the high individuals who were to be brought low. However, as he had enjoyed sufficient popularity to have been called upon on other occasions to take the chairmanship of public meetings, no dissenting voices could have been consistently or with seemliness tolerated. The proceedings commenced with a display of the most urbane and deferential demeanour on all sides, when a passing stranger might have supposed the meeting to be of a sociable and pacific nature, and not that for a predetermined downfall of a dynasty and its enactments. Presently, a little more liveliness was instilled into tlie assembly by some boastful allusions to the advancement of the settlers and country, and resolutions favorable to new public offices, pleasing to the ears of mechanics. Then came the chief order of the day, a resolution, calculated to undeceive the hood-winked rulers in Down-street^-the incompetency of chief officers of the New Zealand Government, notwithstanding the anomalous position of the chairman, he ably maintained the "chair'a duties," and paraded with scholar-like emphasis the formidable resolution to the meeting; and then, with a magisterial air, directed Ms oonstitutente to divide, if necessary, to shew any dissenting opinions—the ayes to the right, and the noes to the left. The "situation" was observedat once, by the dependent "independent politicians, for were not Government adherents at the table " taking notes" of their opponents ? Strong objections to this ruling were indignantly poured forth from several voices at once; and, at last, one of the stump orators, virtnally acknowledged the check-mate that had appeared. After some other entertaining confusion, the chairman, finding that no results of his determination were likely to occur, wholly determined the meeting and departed. This done, a zealous chairman was appointed, and British freedom was speedily re-established, by passing resolutions and petitions unanimously.

At a recent German festival in Philadelphia, lasting three days, there were sold about 90,000 glasses of beer, several thousand bottles of wine, 7ff,000 plates of eauerkraut, 12,000 pounds of sausages, and 14,000 pounds of ham and tongue.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

EARLY SKETCHES OF NEW ZEALAND., Auckland Star, Volume XII, Issue 3510, 5 November 1881, Supplement

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3,183

EARLY SKETCHES OF NEW ZEALAND. Auckland Star, Volume XII, Issue 3510, 5 November 1881, Supplement

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