He was a clever man, however, and had other things to say well worth attending to.
He had LIVEd much among the Maori; we were passing through the scenes
of the last great native war, and he pointed out the spots
where anything interesting had happened.
He had known many of the missionaries, too, in the days of their
They do not flourish now, being an organisation suited better
to Crown colonies than to local constitutional governments, and their work among the Maori has shrunk far within its old dimen- sions. So much passion gathers about these good people and their doings that it is difficult to learn anything about them which it is possible to believe. So extravagant is the praise of the few, so violent the abuse from the many, that I was glad to hear a rational account of them from a moderate and well- informed man. The Maori, like every other aboriginal people with whom we have come in contact, learn our vices faster than our virtues.
They have been ruined physically, they have been demoralised, by drink.
They love their poison, and their grateful remembrance of the missionaries has taken the form of attributing the precious acquisition to them. ''Missionaries good men,^' they say; '^ brought three excellent things with them — gunpowder, rum, and tobacco.*' One need not defend the missionaries against having brought either the one or the other; but it is true ^at, both in New Zealand and elsewhere, the drink has followed them, as their shadow. They have opened the road, and the speculative traders have come in behind them, and they have fought in vain against the appetite when it has been once created. The Maori do not distinguish between the use and the abuse, and they have humour in them, as a story shows which Mr. F told me. A missionary and a chief, whose name I think was Tekoi — it will do at any rate>-were intimate friends. The chief had great virtues : he was brave, he was true, he was honest— but he could not resist rum. Many times the missionary found him drunk, and at last said to him, "Tekoi, good man, I love you much. Don't drink fire-water. If you do, Tekoi, you will lose your property, you will lose your character, you will lose your healtb, and in the end your life. Nay, Tekoi, worse than that, you will lose your immortal souL'' Tekoi listened with stony features. He went away. Days passed, and weeks and months, and the missionary saw no more of him. It seemed, however, that he wad not far off and was biding his time. About a year after, one stormy night the mis- sionary, who had been out upon his rounds, came home drenched and shivering. The fire burnt bright, the room was warm; the missionary put on dry clothes, had his supper, and felt comfortable. He bethought himself that if he was to make sure of escaping cold, a glass of hot whisky-punch be- fore he went to bed would not be inexpedient. His Maori servant brought in the kettle. The whisky bottle came out of the cupboard, with the sugar and lemons. The fragrant mixture was compounded and just at his lips, when the door opened, a tattooed face looked in, a body followed, and ther^ Stood TekoL **LittLE father/' he said, "do not drink fire- water. If you drink fire-water, little father, you will lose your property, you will lose your character, you will lose your health. Perhaps you will lose your life. Nay, little father, you will lose But that shall not he.
Your immortal soul is more precious than mine. The drink will hurt me less than it will hurt you. To save your soul, I will drink it myself.'* Another story which Mr. F told me showed that the Maori's questions were as troublesome, occasionally, to the missionaries as the inquiring Zulu was to Bishop Colenso. One of them being threatened if he was wicked with being sent to outer darkness where fire and brimstone burnt for ever, said, "I don't believe that. How can there be darkness where a fire is always burning?" Mr. F took leave of us at a side station; in another half-hour we were at the terminus, a hundred miles from Auckland, at a place which bore the ambitious name of Cam- bridge. Oxford was twenty miles further, on the coach road to the lakes, and the names at least of the two great English universities had been revived at the antipodes. Cambridge was a large and fast-growing settlement, a village developing into a town, on the edge of the Maori location, to which it had once belonged. It was forfeited after the war. The land all round is excellent. The houses, hastily built, were all, or most of them, of wood; but they were large and showy. A post-office, a town hall, a public library, and a church in- dicated a busy centre of life and energy. There were two hotels, with extensive stables, with boards indicating that post horses and carriages were provided there. Coaches, breaks, waggonettes were standing about, and there were all the signs of considerable traffic. It meant that Cambridge was the point of departure to the hot lakes, to and from which swarms of tourists were passing and re- passing. The attraction was partly the picturesque and wonderful character of the scenery; but the sulphur-springs had become also a sanitary station. The baths were credited with miraculous virtues, and were the favourite; resort of in*