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.
to crowd on board each ship; and no accident has ever occurred from this mode of treatment.  But when a ship of war arrives here for the first time, the precautions taken are, to arm the row-guard with cutlasses and pistols, and to harass the crew with constant watching, while the only enemy that exists is in their own imaginations.  To the courage and enterprise of the commanders of whalers all credit is due for working the rapid change in these once bloody-minded savages, and forming safe and commodious harbours for their vessels to refit in:  this have they done in a part of the world lately looked upon with horror.  What credit soever the missionaries may take to themselves, or try to make their supporters in England believe, every man who has visited this place, and will speak his mind freely and disinterestedly, must acknowledge they have had no share in bringing about this change of character; but, on the contrary, they have done all that in them lay to injure the reputation of the whaler in the estimation of the natives.  Hitherto they have not succeeded:  their want of hospitality and kindness to their own countrymen raises a strong dislike to them in the minds of these unsophisticated people.  According to their simple notions of right and wrong, they think the want of hospitality an unpardonable offence, and that the counsel or advice of a man who shuts his door against his neighbour is not worthy of being attended to.

I will give the reader one more anecdote of these men, who are sent out to set an example of the beauty of the Christian faith to the unenlightened heathens.  A few weeks since, the festival of Christmas took place; and Englishmen, in whatever part of the world they chance to be, make a point of assembling together on that day, our recollections then being associated with “home” and our families, uniting to spend that day in mutual congratulations and wishes for happiness.  For some time previous to its arrival, the captains of the two whalers and myself had been deliberating where we should spend this social day; and it was finally settled that we should cross the bay to Te Puna, a beautiful and romantic spot, the residence of an intelligent chief, called Warri Pork, and an Englishman, named Hanson.  Near this was a church missionary establishment; and at this Englishman’s house we determined we would spend the day.  The captains of the two whalers then in the harbour joined our party; and as everyone contributed his share towards our picnic feast, the joint stock made altogether a respectable appearance.

We proceeded to Te Puna in two whaleboats:  it was a most delightful trip, the scenery being strikingly beautiful.  The village of Ranghe Hue, belonging to Warri Pork, is situated on the summit of an immense and abrupt hill:  the huts belonging to the savages appeared, in many places, as though they were overhanging the sea, the height being crowned with a mighty pah.  At the bottom of this hill, and in a beautiful valley,

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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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