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.

I have often tried, in vain, to account for there being such a decided dissimilarity between the natives of New Holland and New Zealand.  So trifling is the difference in their situation on the globe, and so similar their climates—­both having remained so long unknown to the great continents, and so devoid of intercourse with the rest of the world—­that one would be led to imagine a great resemblance must be the result.  But the natives of the former seem of the lowest grade—­the last link in the great chain of existence which unites man with the monkey.  Their limbs are long, thin, and flat, with large bony knees and elbows, a projecting forehead, and pot-belly.  The mind, too, seems adapted to this mean configuration; they have neither energy, enterprise, nor industry; and their curiosity can scarcely be excited.  A few exceptions may be met with; but these are their general characteristics.  While the natives of the latter island are “cast in beauty’s perfect mould;” the children are so fine and powerfully made, that each might serve as a model for a statue of “the Infant Hercules;” nothing can exceed the graceful and athletic forms of the men, or the rounded limbs of their young women.  These possess eyes beautiful and eloquent, and a profusion of long, silky, curling hair; while the intellects of both sexes seem of a superior order; all appear eager for improvement, full of energy, and indefatigably industrious, and possessing amongst themselves several arts which are totally unknown to their neighbours.



On April the 14th, our brig being stored with planks, flax, and potatoes, and ready for sea, I went on board of her.  We had fine weather till we dropped down to the entrance of the river, where we intended taking in our stock of water for the voyage, when the scene suddenly changed, and a severe gale came on, right out to sea, which we could not avail ourselves of; neither could we get the water off, as our rafts of casks got adrift in the attempt to get them on board.  To add to our disasters, one of our cables parted, and we had to ride out the gale (of two days’ continuance) with one only, the sea rolling heavily right open before us, and we in momentary expectation of the remaining cable’s going; we had not a single day’s allowance of water on board, and at one period all hands (except the carpenter and passengers) were out of the brig, on shore, filling the casks.  Fortunately for us, the cable proved a tough one; had it parted, we should have been in a most perilous situation.

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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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