A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 eBook

Augustus Earle
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 197 pages of information about A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827.

On looking round upon their country, an Englishman cannot fail to feel gratified when he beholds the good already resulting to these poor savages from their intercourse with his countrymen; and they themselves are fully sensible of, and truly grateful for, every mark of kindness manifested towards them.  They have stores full of the finest Indian corn, which they consider a great luxury, a food which requires little trouble in preparing, keeps well, and is very nutritious.  It is but a few years since this useful grain was introduced amongst them; and I sincerely hope this introduction may be followed up, not only by our sending out to them seeds of vegetables and fruits, but by our forwarding to them every variety of quadruped which can be used for food.  Abundance of the finest water-melons are daily brought alongside vessels entering their ports; these, in point of flavour, are superior to any I ever met with.  I have no doubt every variety of European produce essential to the support of life would thrive equally well; and as food became abundant, and luxuries were introduced, their disgusting feasts on human flesh would soon be discontinued altogether.

We were soon at sea, and speedily felt considerable apprehensions as to the safe termination of our voyage.  Our vessel (the brig Governor Macquarie) we well knew was a leaky one, though her leaks did not distress us on the outward voyage, she being then only in ballast trim; but now that she was loaded to the water’s edge, and the winter coming on, we became greatly alarmed for her.  Another disagreeable circumstance was having no bread or flour on board.  To obviate the first evil, and to save the sailors a great deal of hard labour, our Captain offered to give a passage to Sydney to several natives, who accepted his offer, they being always anxious to see the colony; we likewise had on board the great Chief from the Thames, who had caused us so much trouble at Kororarika.  These men, being fine, strong, active young fellows, were indefatigable in their exertions at the pumps; and though we had to contend with much heavy weather, and contrary winds, they kept our vessel pretty dry.  The want of bread was not so easily remedied; though our Captain treated it lightly, saying he was sure of getting a supply by making a requisition to the missionaries.  He accordingly waited upon them, and acquainted them with our distressed condition; they had plenty (for only a few weeks previously they had received a large supply), and as we knew their agent at Sydney, Mr. Campbell, we had no doubt of procuring a sufficiency from them to carry us home; but in this we were disappointed.  Captain Kent did not ask them for a supply as a gift, but solicited merely the loan of a cask or two till we arrived at Sydney, when he guaranteed that the owners of the brig should return the same quantity into the missionary storehouse there.  The little monosyllable No was again put in requisition, with this qualification—­“that

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A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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