Page:Darwin Journal of Researches.djvu/440

This page has been validated.
418
[CHAP. XVIII.
NEW ZEALAND.

In the afternoon we went on shore to one of the larger groups of houses, which yet hardly deserves the title of a village. Its name is Pahia: it is the residence of the missionaries; and there are no native residents except servants and labourers. In the vicinity of the Bay of Islands, the number of Englishmen, including their families, amounts to between two and three hundred. All the cottages, many of which are white-washed and look very neat, are the property of the English. The hovels of the natives are so diminutive and paltry, that they can scarcely be perceived from a distance. At Pahia, it was quite pleasing to behold the English flowers in the gardens before the houses; there were roses of several kinds, honeysuckle, jasmine, stocks, and whole hedges of sweetbriar.

December 22nd.—In the morning I went out walking; but I soon found that the country was very impracticable. All the hills are thickly covered with tall fern, together with a low bush which grows like a cypress; and very little ground has been cleared or cultivated. I then tried the sea-beach; but proceeding towards either hand, my walk was soon stopped by salt-water creeks and deep brooks. The communication between the inhabitants of the different parts of the bay, is (as in Chiloe) almost entirely kept up by boats. I was surprised to find that almost every hill which I ascended, had been at some former time more or less fortified. The summits were cut into steps or successive terraces, and frequently they had been protected by deep trenches. I afterwards observed that the principal hills inland in like manner showed an artificial outline. These are the Pas, so frequently mentioned by Captain Cook under the name of "hippah;" the difference of sound being owing to the prefixed article.

That the Pas had formerly been much used, was evident from the piles of shells, and the pits in which, as I was informed, sweet potatoes used to be kept as a reserve. As there was no water on these hills, the defenders could never have anticipated a long siege, but only a hurried attack for plunder, against which the successive terraces would have afforded good protection. The general introduction of fire-arms has changed the whole system of warfare; and an exposed situation on the top of a hill is now worse than useless. The Pas in consequence are, at the present