Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

THE

YOUTHS' MAGAZINE;

OR,

EVANGELICAL MISCELLANY.

APRIL, 1848.

NEW ZEALAND PAH. "The New Zealander has a fixed and settled habitation : he resides either in his pah, which is a fortified stockade; or in a kainga maori, or native settlement, which is not enclosed, where the houses are scattered about as in a village. In times of warfare the whole tribe seeks refuge within the pah, which is often erected on the summit of a steep hill, or on an island, or along the bank of a river. The pah is surrounded with a strong, high fence, or stockade; and the interior is divided, by lower fencings, into numerous court-yards, which communicate with each other by means of stiles ; in each court stands the house and cook-house of one or more families, and also the patuka, or store-house for food. The dwelling-house, and frequently the store-house, are ornamented with grotesque carving, and colored with kokowai, or red ochre. The cook-house is merely a shed, built of posts or slabs of wood placed several inches apart, so as to admit the air and wind, and roofed with beams, over which is a thatchwork of raupo: in these houses the domestic operations of cooking and preparing food, corn, &c., take place during wet weather ; at other times they are carried on in the open air. The

A

houses are partly sunk in the ground, and a true native house is always built with a gable roof and a portico or verandah, where the occupants generally sit. The inner chamber, which extends a long way back, serves as a sleeping apartment, and towards evening is heated by means of a fire; after the family enters for the night, the door and window are tightly closed, and in this almost suffocating atmosphere they pass the night: when day comes, they creep out of the low door into the sharp morning air, dripping with perspiration.

“Within the enclosure of the pah also stand the wahi tapu, or burial places of the chiefs, which, being colored red, and ornamented with rich carving and a profusion of feathers, are attractive objects to a stranger. As the natives at certain seasons of the year are constantly in their plantations and potatoe grounds, they erect in them tem. porary sheds, and long thatched buildings, beneath which to repose in wet weather, and also for the purpose of cooking their food. In the plantations, patukas or store-houses are also frequent, in which they deposit the seed during the winter; these patukas are always raised upon a pole, or placed between the forked branches of a tree, to preserve them from the attacks of the rats which overrun both islands.

“Some of their pahs are very extensive, and contain a population of 1000 to 2000 people; others are much smaller, and are inhabited merely by one chief, with his family and dependants. Since the introduction of Christianity amongst the New Zealanders, the use of these fortifications is become less constant, and in whole districts the natives may be seen dwelling at peace in their scattered houses, without either wall or fence to protect them from an enemy.”—Angas's Savage Life.

THE LIVING RILL,

The last number of our narrative left Horace Langford still in a fainting state in the coach and four of Mr. Barwell, or as the gentleman was generally called, “ Justice Barwell.” This youth engaged for once and for ever, the warmest regards of the old gentleman from the noble manner in which he had defended his son at the risk of his own life ; for though the justice may have hitherto seemed to have been somewhat hard on his poor son, yet after-years made it plain that when he had yielded to the persuasions of his daughter and son-in-law to send the child to school, he had so done with kind motives.

A few minutes' rapid travelling was sufficient to bring the coach through the great gates and into the long avenue which led from them to the front door of Barwell Hall, where, on a platform at the summit of the double flight of steps in front of the hall door, already stood Mrs. Rokeby, having been called thither by first hearing, and then seeing, that the coach was returning. The figure of the lady, arrayed in the highest fashion of those days, stood out more prominently on account of the elevated pedestal on which it appeared ; and though naturally tall, the heels of her satin shoes added some inches to her height. She wore a petticoat and train of silk, highly trimmed with puffs and bows of ribbon, with an enormous elevation of powdered hair, on the very summit of which was pinned a fly cap of gauze, whilst huge plaistered and powdered curls hung by each ear. There was more state than grace in her appearance, which was not improved by a betrayal in her manner of more than usual ill humour ; for before the coach had stopped, she had exclaimed, in a high key, “ It is as I thought: my father's returned.” At the same time she called to her husband, some where near, to come out. But the justice, paying his daughter no attention, was at first only anxious to get Horace lifted easily out of the carriage, and to give such directions as were needful respecting him to the servants, who by that time were running towards the carriage. "Take the poor youth,” he said, “and lay him on a bed in the quietest and most airy room in the house, loosen his dress, and call the housekeeper to come with any restoratives she can lay her hands first upon.” Having given these orders, he was hurry

ing himself after the servants who bore away Horace, when his daughter stopped him by moving right in his way, at the same time following her young brother who was close in the train of his friend, with eyes flashing indignation. “What is all this, sir?" she said, addressing her father : "nothing I see has happened to you personally; but who is that youth whom they are carrying up stairs; and how is it that Jocelyn is brought home. Surely, sir, if there is any trouble, the child would be best out of the way - he can be of no use. You are ruining the boy."

“I say, Nancy,” returned the justice, " let me pass; and be it understood by you and Rokeby, that Jocelyn never sets his foot again in that, nor any other, school in this island, nor elsewhere." Thus saying, he passed on, leaving his daughter and her husband to meditate at leisure on what he had last said, knowing that although they had reason in general to think their father an easy man, yet that he could occasionally, or in other words, when he did not give way to their suggestions, be what they called, " as obstinate as a mule.”

Ah! poor human nature! how faint is the struggle when it finds itself in a condition where duty seems to be opposed to selfinterest. Such was the case of Mr. and Mrs. Rokeby as it regarded their brother and themselves—the helpless and the weakminded being who stood between them and a rich inheritance; and it is only the Divine Spirit who can make it clear to the mind of any creature that duty never is, and never can be, at variance with a man's real interest.

Every thing which kindness first, and medical skill afterwards, could do to restore Horace, was used, and with so much success, that he soon recovered from his faintness, or rather the state of insensibility into which he had fallen when the heavy log, propelled by Buller, had struck him down. As he had, however, been somewhat profusely bled, he was not permitted to rise from his bed that day; but it was then suspected that some internal injury on the chest, which did not at first appear, would soon bring him back to that bed, never to leave it again alive.

After the bleeding, and when all needful attentions had been paid, the youth was left to sleep, with no other person in the room but Jocelyn. The poor child had received a promise from his father that he should never be sent back to school, but should

be left with master Langford as long as he desired to have him with him ; and that, thought Jocelyn, will be always-as long as be is ill, that I may nurse him, and when he is well, that I may be his fag.

The little boy climbed on the bed when every body else was gone, and placed himself on the bolster on the edge of the frame, his mind, of narrow capacity, having fully received one sweet idea on which it seemed to find more rest than ever it had found before ; and this was the idea —" he loves me-Horace loves me

he would have died for me if he could not have saved me in any other way. I am a fool, but Horace loves me. I can never do him any good, but he loves me. I have cost him a great deal of money—sixpences and shillings and half-pence, but he loves me. Oh! I should like to live with him always—always ! always !-because he loves me.”

Our narrative will lead us shortly back to the consideration of the pure and simple influences wrought on the mind of this weak child by the sense which was inspired within hím of being loved by one whom he looked up to, and felt that he could depend upon. It was probably this idea which, under the teaching of the Divine Spirit, suggested to the mind of Horace a clearer view of the disinterested and exhaustless love of God, as exhibited in the Holy Scriptures, than he might otherwise have formed. For though he often read his Bible and felt an undefined reverence for it, and a deep sense of its truth and value, it was not until after this illustration of undeserved affection, that he appeared to realize anything of “the love that passeth knowledge," as applicable to himself. He was in fact led to make use of this type in assisting him to form some conception of the changeless and enduring loving-kindness of his heavenly Father.

Before his sleep, Horace had scarcely known where he was, or what all the persons about him were doing with him. When he again opened his eyes, he was quite himself. He was then able to look round on the large, low, oak-pannelled chamber, and to see the summits of tall trees gently waving before the windows, whilst the red rays of the setting sun shed a golden glory on the many tinted leaves, and he could see that the wainscoting was hung round with hard old portraits in oils, set in white wooden carved frames—that the hangings of his bed were of fine though

« ZurückWeiter »