The Voyage Out Published in Memories of New Zealand Life by Edwin Hodder, 1862
I went on board the John Blank, a very Gershom, knowing nobody, and nobody knowing me. It was one of the most miserable days within my recollection when the vessel left England. A nasty drizzling sleet was falling, a north-east wind was searching with a deadly vengeance among the very marrow of one's bones, and a dense fog, of that jaundice-looking kind which seems as ifit were disease in form, was hanging over the Thames. It is nothing to anybody what my feelings were when I found myselffloating down the river, perhaps, for the last time; being borne away from home, and country, and kindred; nor am I bound to say whether I waved my hat to figures grown indistinct upon the shore, or sighed a sigh of regret.... The first night of my life on board ship was strange and memorable. As soon as the day had faded, and nothing remained to be seen on shore, I went below to reconnoitre and estimate the chances of pleasant company during the passage. At two tables, covered with brand new oil-cloth, which must have cost at least eightpence a yard, and seated on low forms without backs, covered for appearance-sake with green baize equally costly, were my fellow-travellers and companions. With few exceptions they were all people who had moved in good positions in the middle class of society. They were mutually bemoaning the hardships before them, and the way they had been treated by the ship owners in being consigned to such miserable quarters, protesting that had they even dreamt of what they now knew, they would never have set foot upon the John Blank. And truly they had cause to complain; the hatchway, which had been left open during the day, had let in a large quantity of water, making the whole place wretchedly cold and damp. Two miserable oil-lamps were burning, and with their combined strength shedding as much lustre on the scene as one rushlight would have done. The steep wooden steps up the hatchway were wet and slippery. The steward, who upon the prospectus was described as 'giving every attendance, and studying the convenience and comfort of the passengers', was discovered to be a purely fictitious individual, having his existence only in the fertile imagination of the shipowners; and the whole arrangements, which were declared in that most untruthful and fabulous prospectus aforesaid to be superior to any vessels on any line of passenger ships', were found to be altogether of the most unsatisfactory kind. There were about twenty adult passengers in the second cabin, and a juvenile population, which, if estimated by the uproar, doubled that of the adult. One cabin was set apart for single men, and into this I was consigned with three others. We sat down that night on our boxes, which were jammed together on the floor of the cabin, a compartment eight feet by six feet, containing four berths like coffins, just wide enough to lie in without turning, and talked over the prospects before us. To me they presented no very agreeable aspect. Our cabin was about the most uncomfortable in the whole ship; it was totally dark when the door was closed, even on the brightest days. The deck overhead was badly caulked, and let the rain through; and it was so small that three had difficulty to find room inside at the same time... I will not dwell upon the horrors of sea-sickness; they can only be appreciated when felt, and those who have gone through the trying ordeal cannot possibly want to have their memories refreshed with such a subject. Suffice it to say, we found our ship to be in every way adapted to give us as good a benefit of the disorder as any craft that was ever built. I will not indulge in invective; but ifever there was a miserable Bat-bottomed tub in this world, that made lying pretensions to be a first-class clipper built, more deserving than another to be made a wreck or bonfire, it was the John Blank. Ceaselessly rolling as if she gloried in it, and was wreaking a bad revengeful spite on those she carried, our vessel never gave the poor sea-sick travellers a moment's rest. At the expiration ofa fortnight the worst ofthe sea-sickness was over, and then we began to settle down in our floating home, and get into some systematic order. Every passenger had to engage in domestic matters, for this reason-there was nobody else upon whom domestic matters could be thrown. We had no stewards, no cooks to prepare our food, no attendants of any kind, and although it may be perfectly true, man wants but little here below, still that little sometimes involves a great deal of trouble. I will just give an insight into one day's .work, in order that any adventurous person, who thinks he should like to take a trip to the Antipodes under similar circumstances, and is wont to speculate on the poetry of life at sea, may re-consider the matter before he makes up his mind. At six o'clock every morning we were awakened by the stentorian voice of the third mate, who acted also as a storekeeper, bawling out, as loud as he could bawl: 'Water!' Now, this cry had become perfectly intelligible to us, and it meant that one person from each mess was to get up, find his keg, take it on deck, and receive four quarts of water - the day's supply for a mess of four persons. Arrived on deck, perhaps fifty people would be standing round the water cask, while the storckeeper doled out the day's allowance, without any regard to the patience of his customers; and this operation was performed every morning, wet or fine. At seven o'clock, having washed in salt water with marine soap, the supply of fresh water being so limited as to preclude the luxury of washing in that (and having felt during the operation that were it not for the old memories of childhood-associated with the lines, Not like to be washed? not like to be clean? Then, go and be dirty, unfit to be seen- the victim to such circumstances would have foresworn any ablution until the voyage's end), preparations had to be made for breakfast. It was usual for one person to cook for all in his mess, and undertake the whole of the household arrangements for a fortnight, and then resign in favour ofsome one else, and so on in turns, the person in office assuming, for the time being, the high-sounding title of'Captain of the mess'. Breakfast was the mainstay of our existence, and generally consisted ofa pot of bergou each-a farinaccous dish, known by the Scotch as 'porridge', and by the English as 'chicken's food' -reckoned by all to be wholesome, but not highly esteemed as a relish. This had to be cooked; and the difficulties attendant on so seemingly easy an operation would form one entire chapter, if Soyer happened to be writing on the same subject. First of all, a given quantity of oatmeal was placed at the bottom of the respective pots, with an equivalent of water; the 'captain' then proceeded to the galley, an inconvenient place, capable of holding three persons, provided they were fire-proof, and could bear being par-baked before the roaring fires. On our vessel there were about 200 passengers, one hundred and fifty of whom had to use this galley fire for all cooking purposes; so I shall not be judged guilty of exaggeration when I tell the reader that the captain of the mess had often to stand a couple of hours waiting a chance to get at the fire to cook the morning's porridge. At eight o'clock, hot water was given out for the coffee. The captain had to appear again at the galley with his hook-pot to receive a limited supply of dirty-looking water, boiled in the same copper in which all the meat was cooked, doled out by a dirty cook, through the instrumentality ofa dirty ladle. Supposing the vessel to be rolling much, the difficulty to prevent oneself going head foremost into the lee-scuppers, hot water and all, had to be cautiously guarded against. The mess then sat down to breakfast, and a pretty mess it generally was - bergou burnt, and the brown parts having a strong tendency to adhere permanently to the bottom of the pot; biscuits musty, and not unfrequently suggestive of lively features in natural history. Coffee without milk (for it was not supplied in the ship's rations, and none of us had brought any on board, so that for the whole four months we never had a drop), tasting strongly of greasy water, and requiring to be drunk with closed teeth to serve as an extempore strainer - drunk, too, out of tin mugs which retained the heat, and could not be put to the mouth until the coffee it contained was cold - this constituted the repast. After breakfast, a general rush was made on deck by the passengers to breathe the fresh air and forget the meal, while the doomed 'captain' remained below to wash up the breakfast things in cold salt water, clean out the pots and cans, sweep out the cabin, and perform the usual bed-making and other occupations - relieved occasionally by a morning at the wash-tub. He would then collect all jars and stray pots he could find to receive the week's provisions from the storekeeper; a surly fellow, who delighted to make the second-cabin passengers wait until those in the steerage were served, 'just to bring their pride down, and take some of the shine out of them', as he used affectionately to express it. The 'captain' would then have to provide the day's dinner, and when I held that honourable post this was always the crowning point in the day's misfor- tunes. I once prided myself upon my hands, and would spend many a leisure half-hour in contemplating them with quiet satisfaction. Now, I had to turn up my shirt sleeves and bury them in a conglomerated mass of flour, water, chopped suet and plums, to make a 'duff' for dinner. This operation always took place in our washhand-basin, for we were told at the shipowner's in London that nothing need be taken on board save a hook-pot, tin mug, plate, knife and fork, and spoon each, supposing one plate amply sufficient for one person at all times, and everything else on the same scale. Having, therefore, no other supply, and being similarly situated in this respect with most of the others, we were obliged to make our puddings in the same basin in which we washed; and - I dread to say it, for fear I should offend some of delicate palate - being very, very badly off for pudding cloths, we used often to recourse to a stocking in lieu thereof, in the leg of which our rouly-pouly duff was boiled. Our meat was generally either salt beef or salt pork, which, having been towed overboard to cleanse off all impurities and stale brine, was tied round with copper wire or string, to which a piece of wood was attached bearing the initials of the 'captain'. When the hour for dinner arrived, a bell rang, and the passengers thronged round the galley at which the cook presided, standing before the huge copper, fishing up the different pieces of meat and singing out each time, 'Who belongs to E.H., or H.G.?' as the case might be, when the proprietor in question would signalise himself in some way among the crowd, and press forward to receive the portion bearing his initials. Tea was a popular meal but unsatisfactory, having only a variation from biscuit and butter to butter and biscuit, accompanied with a decoction which upon analysis we discovered was principally composed of superannuated birch-broom, but described on the 'dietary scale' as tea. This was the usual day's work, and a troublesome affair it was. We all complained bitterly, and spent two-thirds of our time in grumbling; but after two months' initiation it came to us as a matter of course, and we were so accustomed to our grievances as hardly to regard them. Now be it known, I do not attempt to describe passenger ships generally, but merely the John Blank; nevertheless, every intending emigrant should be remarkably cautious before taking a passage in any ship, and have a distinct understanding as to all the rules and regulations, even to the most minute points, before starting. If it is stated 'everything will be provided', it may be taken as a rule that you will not get half what you want, and therefore it will be well to prepare for emergencies. If we had provided ourselves with little luxuries, in the shape of seats for the deck, eggs, cheese, biscuits, summer beverages and jams for private cabin use cloths. crockery, culinary utensils, and other things of the sort, half our troubles would have been obviated. Time and patience would fail to tell all the disagreeables of the voyage; how rats held a soirée dansante nightly upon our beds - how cockroaches of fabul- ous size would put out the candles - how the ship was badly caulked, and for two months of the voyage we did not know what it was to sleep in a dry bed - and how innumerable little causes of discomfort occurred for which we had not bargained. However, we all shared alike; and being fellow-sufferers we soon came to be mutual sympathisers, and sympathy generated friendship, insomuch that when the voyage was over many of us sincerely regretted its termination as it broke up our large family-party... Yet notwithstanding all the discomforts of our voyage, which were many, and the daily, nay hourly, annoyances to which we were subject, either from the cabin passengers, who looked down upon us because we were literally beneath them; or from the steerage passengers, who regarded us as upstarts; or internal strifes and vexations among ourselves, which were not unfrequent: notwithstanding all this, there were on that voyage, as I have since found there are on all voyages, pleasures and enjoyments commensurate with the disagreeables.... One incident connected with a courtship on board our ship I must relate.... In the second cabin was an ancient maid of the dubious age of thirty or thereabouts, rejoicing in the name of Amelia, which her affectionate little nieces construed into Aunt Mealy. This lady was much sought after, not so much perhaps in consideration of her personal attractions as for a store of jams and other little delicacies which it was known were stowed away in her cabin, and, for any killing compliment, might change hands. There was in the first cabin a young man who was going to New Zealand, for the simple reason that his society was not required at home. He was what is termed in the colonies 'cranky'; that is, possessed of an unusually small modicum of brains, and having a strong tendency to imbecility. He had not an imposing appearance, being diminutive in stature and possessing a most insinuating cast in one eye, which always seemed struggling to look round the corner. But with this identical eye he spied out Miss Amelia soon after leaving England, and whether he fascinated her, or the eye was evil, is not known. We will suppose the former was the case, for Miss Amelia soon exhibited symptoms of partiality towards the first-cabin youth. A violent flirtation ensued, and when the sun had drowned itself in the sea, and the clear stars shone in the heavens, the sentimental pair would promenade the deck and say - but I don't know what they said. We single men in the second cabin were jealous, and justly. We were within arm's length of the tempting stores, next cabin neighbours to Amelia herself, and felt therefore we had a just claim to any spare affections she might have to bestow. Not being thus favoured, we resolved to play a trick upon the 'lovers so gay'. Accordingly we let a lady friend into our secret, and, as a matter of course, at once obtained her co-operation. The first step was to have a letter written by her in a neat lady-like hand, addressed to the first-cabin youth, stating that 'Miss Amelia, not knowing distinctly what were the intentions of Mr B-, and being anxious to prevent scandal for the future, would be happy to meet him on the hen-coops on the poop-deck that evening at ten o'clock, in order to ascertain upon what grounds Miss Amelia was henceforth to meet Mr B---' This letter was sent to the first-cabin youth, who was thrown into a tremendous state of excitement by the unexpected success he had met with in his first love passage. Dinner was not eaten by him that day, nor did he make his appearance on deck until half-past nine o'clock, when he commenced walking the deck at a furious and excited pace. The night was dark. At ten o'clock a thickly-veiled lady made her way up the steps leading to the poop-deck and was received at the top by Mr B--, who handed her tenderly to a seat on the hen-coops. Not a word was spoken by either; the lady seemed greatly agitated, and held a handkerchiefto her face; the amorous youth seated beside her was the very impersonation of nervousness. Some- thing must be said by somebody, and the youth felt it his duty to break the ice, which, to judge by the perspiration he was in, could not be a matter of much difficulty. I do not know what he said; at the best of times people say on such occasions very stupid things which have no existence in fact; but he proposed, formally proposed, and tenderly grasped Amelia's hand. But he did it at his peril. In an instant she struck him a hearty box on the ears which sent him sprawling on the deck, and ere he could regain his position on the hen-coops, the young lady, in a violent gush of tears and sobs, fled from the deck and retreated into the second cabin. That night poor B- took out his razors, strapped them, and put them back in the case; but for three days he remained in his own cabin, the victim to cruel feelings. Need I say we had borrowed our lady-friend's clothes, dressed up one of the male passengers from our cabin to represent Amelia, and played a very practical joke. But the gist of the thing was to see the scrupulous care with which on all occasions afterwards he avoided Miss Amelia, and, coward as he was, always kept at arm's length. Nor was his discomfiture lessened when Miss Amelia would call him from the other side of the deck, and endeavour to tempt him into conversation. He always managed to get a mast, the skylights, or some suitable obstruction between himself and his lady fair, before any conversa- tion commenced. After a fortnight I told the poor fellow, in confidence, of the joke which had been played upon him, and he never again attempted courting during the passage. But practical jokes, however amusing they may be at the time, often terminate unpleasantly, or cause a subsequent disagreeable re-action upon the perpetrators. This was not the case in the affair of Miss Amelia and B ; but in many other jokes that were played, equally practical, the result was not so satisfactory. It is usual to complain very much of the monotony of a long sea-voyage—but when there are a goodly number of passengers, this is considerably relieved; events are daily happening which render some oue or other the town-talk for a time. Then the peculiarities of character, which are revealed more on board ship in a month than they would be elsewhere in five years, present a very interesting field for study, as the distinctive traits are brought out by daily incidents. Here is an example:— Mrs. A. was the victim of fainting fits; if ever she went on deck and nobody offered her a seat, she would faint from exhaustion. If the cook spoiled the pea- soup, or burnt the bread, she would make a faint in order to get some medical comforts from the Doctor; and a hundred other manoauvres, of which woman's ingenuity is alone capable, were always at hand to assist her in any emergency. One day she was seized with convulsions on deck. It was a fine day, and all the passengers were promenading; so that the effect was really telling. One or two rushed to the rescue, amongst whom was a John Bull fellow, who had a spite against weakness in any form — woman's especially. He took her hand and rubbed the fingers together, which were adorned with rings, so briskly, that she involuntarily opened her eyes and exclaimed, "Oh !" The bystanders imagined she was " coming to;" but this was not consistent with Mrs. A.'s idea of making the most of an opportunity, so she relapsed forthwith into a prolonged faint. Our John Bull friend was bent on mischief, and he said to those around, " This is all nonsense; I don't believe Mrs. A. is fainting at all." Whereupon the bystanders declared him to be a cruel, unkind, &nd unfeeling man. When Mrs. A. recovered, she was assisted down the hatchway, and the first person she found in the cabin was her John Bull attendant. "Well, Sir," she said, " I regret I should have so long mistaken you for a gentleman. I could not have imagined that any one with a spark of manly feeling could have behaved so cruelly as you have done to-day." "My dear Madam, what do you mean ? I am quite ignorant of having said or done anything to offend you," he replied; for truth was unfortunately always at a discount with him, if a joke was at stake. " Why, Sir, you have lacerated my hand with your rubbing, and you declared I was only pretending to faint, when really I was dreadfully ill." "Pardon me. Madam, you are labouring under an error; I never said anything of the kind." "But, Sir, I heard you." "Bravo !" he cried," then, my dear Madam, if you heard me, you were shamming after all." This story went the round of the ship; and it was observed that Mrs. A. never fainted again, until she had first ascertained that John Bull was taking his afternoon nap, or otherwise safely out of the way. When our voyage was about half over, Christmas-day arrived—the grand gala-day of the passage. It was to be celebrated by a dinner party; plum puddings were made a week before the event; all the luxuries that could be collected were reserved for the occasion ; and innumerable plans were laid for spending the day as much according to old English fashion as circumstances would allow, despite the fact that we were within the tropics. But on Christmas-eve a heavy gale of wind began to blow, and on the morning of the eventful day had so much increased as to render it unsafe for the ladies to be on deck, and everything was damp and wretched below. The compliments of the season were given and received with a sickly giggle, and nobody had the heart to be merry. The Doctor came down to congratulate us, and presented each person with a bottle of some good port he had on board as medical comforts. Everybody put on their best clothes, and wandered about talking of how they spent last Christmas. The great event of the day was to be the dinner party, and at one o'clock we were all seated, waiting for it to be served up. But at the eleventh hour the cook came down to say, that owing to the rough weather the meat pies—which were to constitute the first course — were not done, and that when they were, he feared they would not be fit to eat, as the sea had broken over the deck, swamping the galley, and soaking the pastry with salt water. This was a sad damper, but we tried to make the best of it, and had the third course first, namely, bread and cheese — the former article being esteemed a great luxury after faring so long upon hard biscuits. Then came the pudding—the crowning feature in the banquet; but it came in a peculiar way. Our vessel, as I have said, was an awful roller, and on this day she was reeling from starboard to port, and port to starboard, each roll- giving a fresh impetus for another, and staggering with the shocks of each wave. This rendered it a matter of difficulty to sit at the tables, which were very foolishly constructed athwart ships — how much more then to walk on deck ? One of the passengers who prided himself on his " sea legs " was deputed to go and fetch the pudding; a post of honour which he felt to be a flattering distinction. He went; he safely brought it as far as the hatchway, and then a heavy sea struck the vessel's side, and the unfortunate pudding came rolling down the ladder, and burst into numerous fragments at our feet! The pieces were collected, scraped, and placed on a dish, and we still magnanimously endeavoured to make fun of the matter; but when we commenced eating it, and discovered that it had been boiled in salt water, and that our week's rations of plums and flour, together with almonds and other luxuries, were all spoilt, human patience could brook it no longer, and we lifted up our voices and howled imprecations on the cook, and "John Blank," and everybody and everything. Besides the daily social events that happen on board ship, there are always some external excitements occurring to relieve the monotony. Exchanging signals, and speaking with other vessels, is very interesting, more especially if they are homeward bound; writing letters, and corking them up in bottles, to be thrown into the sea when the ship is anywhere near land, produces a general interest; fishing, shooting, and snaring the albatross, is an endless amusement to the lover of sport; and the appearance of whales, porpoises, sharks, or any of the monsters of the deep, water spouts, lunar rainbows, and other phenomena, are sure to produce an excitement among all hands. Then there are the different appearances of the sea; sometimes rough weather, which, if esteemed agreeable or otherwise, nevertheless effects a change in the course of events; and a calm brings with it a number of opposite circumstances. Crossing the line, and placing a hair across the telescope, in order to let the unlearned get a good view; watching the glorious tropical sunsets, and picturing imaginary scenes in the painted clouds; witnessing the departure of old familiar stars, and looking out for the beautiful southern constellations, are all events of interest. In our passage we sighted land several times; obtained a good view of Madeira, partially of the Canary Islands, and went close to that curious island of curious history, Tristan d'Acunha. All these may be considered very minor and unimportant events, and so they would be under other circumstances; but in the narrow limits of a board-ship world, they meet with their due appreciation. It would be tedious to tell the oft-told tale of ordinary sea-life here; to go into particulars of gales and squalls, the doubts, fears, and anxieties of passengers, the disasters and calamities of seas breaking on board, or the thousand little incidents which are patent to every voyager. The descriptions which have been given must suffice to form an idea of some of the ways of spending time, of the privations which have to be endured, and the pleasures and enjoyments which are usual to such a life. At length, after a hundred and thirteen days' tossing about on the restless ocean, we began to near the shores of New Zealand. Everybody was on the qui vive, day and night: " shore-clothes" were unpacked, the ship was made tidy, and active preparations for landing occupied the undivided attention of passengers and crew. The first palpable evidence that we were approaching land was given one morning when the sounding line was brought on deck, and the Captain was seen perpetually straining his eyes in one particular direction. A hearty cheer burst simultaneously from the passengers when, in the far-distant horizon, a faint streak like a cloud was discerned. Steadily onwards sped the "John Blank;" and by noon, New Zealand, our future home, the land of promise, was before us. But although we were in a bay, and land was ahead, it was not Blind Bay; and the land before us was not Nelson, the port to which we were bound. The nautical instruments of the Captain had misled him, and where we were the chart only could decide. The ship was tacked, and forthwith put to yachting purposes—a coasting tour. It was a successful one; for, in less than an hour, rocks and islands were found to agree with the chart, and tell our whereabouts. We were far off the course that should have been followed; but we willingly forebore grumbling, as a chance now occurred of seeing to perfection some of the most beautiful of New Zealand scenery before landing. The day was lovely; the bright resplendent sun seemed expressly employed in the kindly mission of showing us our adopted country in the best light; not a cloud resting over the land, seemed to give us a prophetic assurance of prosperity. It was a glorious scene. Far as the eye could reach, ranges of mountains rose one above the other, until the bold acute outlines stood out alone in the sky; densely timbered hills, displaying the most faultless foliage, rose from the water's edge, while others, covered with fern, and loose rocks and stones, looked like old ruined castles and abbeys of a former age. One very singular freak of nature was an island (described in the chart as Archway Island) formed of an immense rock, washed by the sea into the form of a tower, with archways and passages around, having all the appearance of an architectural design, executed by the hand of man. Nature seemed to have made that coast one of her particular studies, to comprehend a large collection of her many beauties, and the lavishness of her varied designs. On Sunday night, the 9th of February, in strict accordance with the unsabbatarian principles which obtain among all New Zealand vessels, the joyful sound of "Clear the cable," and " Let go your anchor," was heard. With a loud noise the cable ran out, and the ship rode at anchor, the passengers all joining with heart and voice immediately afterwards in singing— "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow." We were not able to go ashore that night, as no boats were put off to us, and we were lying out about three miles from the harbour. It was amusing to look at the different expressions of countenance as the passengers gazed on their future home. There it was before them, a wilderness of hills and gigantic mountains, densely timbered, and without one trace of the cultivating hand of man. Until the harbour is fairly entered, all view of the town of Nelson is shut out; not a foot of level land is to be seen from the sea, nothing but the everlasting hills. We puzzled ourselves all that evening in trying to imagine where it was possible the town could have hidden itself, and where level land could be found sufficient for all the people who had come out in the "John Blank" expressly to farm. Next morning all problems of this kind were solved. At an early hour the tide favoured us, and we sailed triumphantly into harbour. During that time, the scenes that were going on below deck were of a most amusing, yet edifying and satisfactory kind. The termination of the voyage had terminated all ill-feelings that had existed among us. Those who had been sworn enemies throughout the passage, were now vowing eternal friendship over bottles of beer; those who had injuries to forgive, or apologies to make, were accomplishing their tasks with the greatest candour and good will. One elderly gentleman was magnanimously pronouncing an absolution upon some person or persons unknown who had stolen a cheese of his; and while all this was going forward, simultaneously with the packing of boxes, sundry presents were being exchanged in token of good faith. A boat soon came alongside, in which I and my cabin companions managed to make our exit, and arrive the first on shore. With light hearts, full of thankfulness, we stepped on terra firma, and were received by the settlers, who had assembled on the beach to witness the disembarkation, as cordially as if we were old and intimate friends. We were besieged with inquiries—" How many days had we been out ?" Any deaths?" "Was Mr. Jones on board ?" "Had we any passengers named Smith?" and a hundred other questions, were eagerly put by anxious relatives and friends. Some ladies were there, who presented us with peaches, apples, and other fruits, which, after four months on the sea, without a sight of any fresh fruit or vegetables, it need hardly be said, we gladly accepted; others gave pressing invitations to breakfast at their houses; and one or two, upon learning that our friends lived some miles up the country, kindly offered to convey us in their bullock-drays. Here was a lively exhibition of the truest hospitality; it was a treat to have our hearts gladdened with the sight of a comparatively new virtue to us, illustrated so happily. Before we had been in New Zealand an hour we felt at home, and were confident that we should not only like the people, but their ways and habits. Doubtless it was very infra dig., and, to some folks' thinking, quite improper, for total strangers to introduce themselves, shake hands with cordiality, offer presents of fruit, give invitations to breakfast, and evince pleasure in welcoming mere strangers to a new country. So let it be to those who think so. For my own part, I took it as the evidence of warm-hearted friendly feeling, dictated by the best and noblest principles, called into exercise by the memory of days gone by, when they had landed strangers in a strange land. And now, although it is five years since that time, among my intimate friends are several of those who welcomed me on shore when I first landed in New Zealand. Transcribed by Corey Woodw@rd
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