Orders are like mountains
Orders are like mountains

road. The hard ground would show very few tracks, I thought,

time:2023-11-28 21:54:53Classification:healthedit:zop


road. The hard ground would show very few tracks, I thought,

NEXT day, the 27th of January, the passengers of the MACQUARIE were installed on board the brig. Will Halley had not offered his cabin to his lady passengers. This omission was the less to be deplored, for the den was worthy of the bear. At half past twelve the anchor was weighed, having been loosed from its holding-ground with some difficulty. A moderate breeze was blowing from the southwest. The sails were gradually unfurled; the five hands made slow work. Wilson offered to assist the crew; but Halley begged him to be quiet and not to interfere with what did not concern him. He was accustomed to manage his own affairs, and required neither assistance nor advice. This was aimed at John Mangles, who had smiled at the clumsiness of some maneuver. John took the hint, but mentally resolved that he would nevertheless hold himself in readiness in case the incapacity of the crew should endanger the safety of the vessel. However, in time, the sails were adjusted by the five sailors, aided by the stimulus of the captain's oaths. The MACQUARIE stood out to sea on the larboard tack, under all her lower sails, topsails, topgallants, cross-jack, and jib. By and by, the other sails were hoisted. But in spite of this additional canvas the brig made very little way. Her rounded bow, the width of her hold, and her heavy stern, made her a bad sailor, the perfect type of a wooden shoe. They had to make the best of it. Happily, five days, or, at most, six, would take them to Auckland, no matter how bad a sailor the MACQUARIE was. At seven o'clock in the evening the Australian coast and the lighthouse of the port of Eden had faded out of sight. The ship labored on the lumpy sea, and rolled heavily in the trough of the waves. The passengers below suffered a good deal from this motion. But it was impossible to stay on deck, as it rained violently. Thus they were condemned to close imprisonment. Each one of them was lost in his own reflections. Words were few. Now and then Lady Helena and Miss Grant exchanged a few syllables. Glenarvan was restless; he went in and out, while the Major was impassive. John Mangles, followed by Robert, went on the poop from time to time, to look at the weather. Paganel sat in his corner, muttering vague and incoherent words. What was the worthy geographer thinking of? Of New Zealand, the country to which destiny was leading him. He went mentally over all his history; he called to mind the scenes of the past in that ill-omened country. But in all that history was there a fact, was there a solitary incident that could justify the discoverers of these islands in considering them as "a continent." Could a modern geographer or a sailor concede to them such a designation. Paganel was always revolving the meaning of the document. He was possessed with the idea; it became his ruling thought. After Patagonia, after Australia, his imagination, allured by a name, flew to New Zealand. But in that direction, one point, and only one, stood in his way. "_Contin--contin_," he repeated, "that must mean continent!" And then he resumed his mental retrospect of the navigators who made known to us these two great islands of the Southern Sea. It was on the 13th of December, 1642, that the Dutch navigator Tasman, after discovering Van Diemen's Land, sighted the unknown shores of New Zealand. He coasted along for several days, and on the 17th of December his ships penetrated into a large bay, which, terminating in a narrow strait, separated the two islands. The northern island was called by the natives Ikana-Mani, a word which signifies the fish of Mani. The southern island was called Tavai-Pouna-Mou, "the whale that yields the green-stones." Abel Tasman sent his boats on shore, and they returned accompanied by two canoes and a noisy company of natives. These savages were middle height, of brown or yellow complexion, angular bones, harsh voices, and black hair, which was dressed in the Japanese manner, and surmounted by a tall white feather. This first interview between Europeans and aborigines seemed to promise amicable and lasting intercourse. But the next day, when one of Tasman's boats was looking for an anchorage nearer to the land, seven canoes, manned by a great number of natives, attacked them fiercely. The boat capsized and filled. The quartermaster in command was instantly struck with a badly-sharpened spear, and fell into the sea. Of his six companions four were killed; the other two and the quartermaster were able to swim to the ships, and were picked up and recovered. After this sad occurrence Tasman set sail, confining his revenge to giving the natives a few musket-shots, which probably did not reach them. He left this bay--which still bears the name of Massacre Bay-- followed the western coast, and on the 5th of January, anchored near the northern-most point. Here the violence of the surf, as well as the unfriendly attitude of the natives, prevented his obtaining water, and he finally quitted these shores, giving them the name Staten-land or the Land of the States, in honor of the States-General. The Dutch navigator concluded that these islands were adjacent to the islands of the same name on the east of Terra del Fuego, at the southern point of the American continent. He thought he had found "the Great Southern Continent." "But," said Paganel to himself, "what a seventeenth century sailor might call a 'continent' would never stand for one with a nineteenth century man. No such mistake can be supposed! No! there is something here that baffles me."

road. The hard ground would show very few tracks, I thought,


road. The hard ground would show very few tracks, I thought,

ON the 31st of January, four days after starting, the MACQUARIE had not done two-thirds of the distance between Australia and New Zealand. Will Halley took very little heed to the working of the ship; he let things take their chance. He seldom showed himself, for which no one was sorry. No one would have complained if he had passed all his time in his cabin, but for the fact that the brutal captain was every day under the influence of gin or brandy. His sailors willingly followed his example, and no ship ever sailed more entirely depending on Providence than the MACQUARIE did from Twofold Bay. This unpardonable carelessness obliged John Mangles to keep a watchful eye ever open. Mulrady and Wilson more than once brought round the helm when some careless steering threatened to throw the ship on her beam-ends. Often Will Halley would interfere and abuse the two sailors with a volley of oaths. The latter, in their impatience, would have liked nothing better than to bind this drunken captain, and lower him into the hold, for the rest of the voyage. But John Mangles succeeded, after some persuasion, in calming their well-grounded indignation. Still, the position of things filled him with anxiety; but, for fear of alarming Glenarvan, he spoke only to Paganel or the Major. McNabbs recommended the same course as Mulrady and Wilson. "If you think it would be for the general good, John," said McNabbs, "you should not hesitate to take the command of the vessel. When we get to Auckland the drunken imbecile can resume his command, and then he is at liberty to wreck himself, if that is his fancy." "All that is very true, Mr. McNabbs, and if it is absolutely necessary I will do it. As long as we are on open sea, a careful lookout is enough; my sailors and I are watching on the poop; but when we get near the coast, I confess I shall be uneasy if Halley does not come to his senses." "Could not you direct the course?" asked Paganel. "That would be difficult," replied John. "Would you believe it that there is not a chart on board?" "Is that so?" "It is indeed. The MACQUARIE only does a coasting trade between Eden and Auckland, and Halley is so at home in these waters that he takes no observations." "I suppose he thinks the ship knows the way, and steers herself." "Ha! ha!" laughed John Mangles; "I do not believe in ships that steer themselves; and if Halley is drunk when we get among soundings, he will get us all into trouble." "Let us hope," said Paganel, "that the neighborhood of land will bring him to his senses." "Well, then," said McNabbs, "if needs were, you could not sail the MACQUARIE into Auckland?" "Without a chart of the coast, certainly not. The coast is very dangerous. It is a series of shallow fiords as irregular and capricious as the fiords of Norway. There are many reefs, and it requires great experience to avoid them. The strongest ship would be lost if her keel struck one of those rocks that are submerged but a few feet below the water." "In that case those on board would have to take refuge on the coast." "If there was time." "A terrible extremity," said Paganel, "for they are not hospitable shores, and the dangers of the land are not less appalling than the dangers of the sea." "You refer to the Maories, Monsieur Paganel?" asked John Mangles. "Yes, my friend. They have a bad name in these waters. It is not a matter of timid or brutish Australians, but of an intelligent and sanguinary race, cannibals greedy of human flesh, man-eaters to whom we should look in vain for pity." "Well, then," exclaimed the Major, "if Captain Grant had been wrecked on the coast of New Zealand, you would dissuade us from looking for him." "Oh, you might search on the coasts," replied the geographer, "because you might find traces of the BRITANNIA, but not in the interior, for it would be perfectly useless. Every European who ventures into these fatal districts falls into the hands of the Maories, and a prisoner in the hands of the Maories is a lost man. I have urged my friends to cross the Pampas, to toil over the plains of Australia, but I will never lure them into the mazes of the New Zealand forest. May heaven be our guide, and keep us from ever being thrown within the power of those fierce natives!"


STILL this wearisome voyage dragged on. On the 2d of February, six days from starting, the MACQUARIE had not yet made a nearer acquaintance with the shores of Auckland. The wind was fair, nevertheless, and blew steadily from the southwest; but the currents were against the ship's course, and she scarcely made any way. The heavy, lumpy sea strained her cordage, her timbers creaked, and she labored painfully in the trough of the sea. Her standing rigging was so out of order that it allowed play to the masts, which were violently shaken at every roll of the sea. Fortunately, Will Halley was not a man in a hurry, and did not use a press of canvas, or his masts would inevitably have come down. John Mangles therefore hoped that the wretched hull would reach port without accident; but it grieved him that his companions should have to suffer so much discomfort from the defective arrangements of the brig. But neither Lady Helena nor Mary Grant uttered a word of complaint, though the continuous rain obliged them to stay below, where the want of air and the violence of the motion were painfully felt. They often braved the weather, and went on the poop till driven down again by the force of a sudden squall. Then they returned to the narrow space, fitter for stowing cargo than accommodating passengers, especially ladies. Their friends did their best to amuse them. Paganel tried to beguile the time with his stories, but it was a hopeless case. Their minds were so distracted at this change of route as to be quite unhinged. Much as they had been interested in his dissertation on the Pampas, or Australia, his lectures on New Zealand fell on cold and indifferent ears. Besides, they were going to this new and ill-reputed country without enthusiasm, without conviction, not even of their own free will, but solely at the bidding of destiny. Of all the passengers on board the MACQUARIE, the most to be pitied was Lord Glenarvan. He was rarely to be seen below. He could not stay in one place. His nervous organization, highly excited, could not submit to confinement between four narrow bulkheads. All day long, even all night, regardless of the torrents of rain and the dashing waves, he stayed on the poop, sometimes leaning on the rail, sometimes walking to and fro in feverish agitation. His eyes wandered ceaselessly over the blank horizon. He scanned it eagerly during every short interval of clear weather. It seemed as if he sought to question the voiceless waters; he longed to tear away the veil of fog and vapor that obscured his view. He could not be resigned, and his features expressed the bitterness of his grief. He was a man of energy, till now happy and powerful, and deprived in a moment of power and happiness. John Mangles bore him company, and endured with him the inclemency of the weather. On this day Glenarvan looked more anxiously than ever at each point where a break in the mist enabled him to do so. John came up to him and said, "Your Lordship is looking out for land?" Glenarvan shook his head in dissent. "And yet," said the young captain, "you must be longing to quit this vessel. We ought to have seen the lights of Auckland thirty-six hours ago." Glenarvan made no reply. He still looked, and for a moment his glass was pointed toward the horizon to windward. "The land is not on that side, my Lord," said John Mangles. "Look more to starboard." "Why, John?" replied Glenarvan. "I am not looking for the land." "What then, my Lord?" "My yacht! the DUNCAN," said Glenarvan, hotly. "It must be here on these coasts, skimming these very waves, playing the vile part of a pirate! It is here, John; I am certain of it, on the track of vessels between Australia and New Zealand; and I have a presentiment that we shall fall in with her." "God keep us from such a meeting!" "Why, John?" "Your Lordship forgets our position. What could we do in this ship if the DUNCAN gave chase. We could not even fly!" "Fly, John?" "Yes, my Lord; we should try in vain! We should be taken, delivered up to the mercy of those wretches, and Ben Joyce has shown us that he does not stop at a crime! Our lives would be worth little. We would fight to the death, of course, but after that! Think of Lady Glenarvan; think of Mary Grant!" "Poor girls!" murmured Glenarvan. "John, my heart is broken; and sometimes despair nearly masters me. I feel as if fresh misfortunes awaited us, and that Heaven itself is against us. It terrifies me!" "You, my Lord?" "Not for myself, John, but for those I love--whom you love, also." "Keep up your heart, my Lord," said the young captain. "We must not look out for troubles. The MACQUARIE sails badly, but she makes some way nevertheless. Will Halley is a brute, but I am keeping my eyes open, and if the coast looks dangerous, I will put the ship's head to sea again. So that, on that score, there is little or no danger. But as to getting alongside the DUNCAN! God forbid! And if your Lordship is bent on looking out for her, let it be in order to give her a wide berth." John Mangles was right. An encounter with the DUNCAN would have been fatal to the MACQUARIE. There was every reason to fear such an engagement in these narrow seas, in which pirates could ply their trade without risk. However, for that day at least, the yacht did not appear, and the sixth night from their departure from Twofold Bay came, without the fears of John Mangles being realized. But that night was to be a night of terrors. Darkness came on almost suddenly at seven o'clock in the evening; V. IV Verne

[illustration omitted] [page intentionally blank] the sky was very threatening. The sailor instinct rose above the stupefaction of the drunkard and roused Will Halley. He left his cabin, rubbed his eyes, and shook his great red head. Then he drew a great deep breath of air, as other people swallow a draught of water to revive themselves. He examined the masts. The wind freshened, and veering a point more to the westward, blew right for the New Zealand coast. Will Halley, with many an oath, called his men, tightened his topmast cordage, and made all snug for the night. John Mangles approved in silence. He had ceased to hold any conversation with the coarse seaman; but neither Glenarvan nor he left the poop. Two hours after a stiff breeze came on. Will Halley took in the lower reef of his topsails. The maneuver would have been a difficult job for five men if the MACQUARIE had not carried a double yard, on the American plan. In fact, they had only to lower the upper yard to bring the sail to its smallest size. Two hours passed; the sea was rising. The MACQUARIE was struck so violently that it seemed as if her keel had touched the rocks. There was no real danger, but the heavy vessel did not rise easily to the waves. By and by the returning waves would break over the deck in great masses. The boat was washed out of the davits by the force of the water. John Mangles never released his watch. Any other ship would have made no account of a sea like this; but with this heavy craft there was a danger of sinking by the bow, for the deck was filled at every lurch, and the sheet of water not being able to escape quickly by the scuppers, might submerge the ship. It would have been the wisest plan to prepare for emergency by knocking out the bulwarks with an ax to facilitate their escape, but Halley refused to take this precaution. But a greater danger was at hand, and one that it was too late to prevent. About half-past eleven, John Mangles and Wilson, who stayed on deck throughout the gale, were suddenly struck by an unusual noise. Their nautical instincts awoke. John seized the sailor's hand. "The reef!" said he. "Yes," said Wilson; "the waves breaking on the bank." "Not more than two cables' length off?" "At farthest? The land is there!" John leaned over the side, gazed into the dark water, and called out, "Wilson, the lead!" The master, posted forward, seemed to have no idea of his position. Wilson seized the lead-line, sprang to the fore-chains, and threw the lead; the rope ran out between his fingers, at the third knot the lead stopped. "Three fathoms," cried Wilson. "Captain," said John, running to Will Halley, "we are on the breakers." Whether or not he saw Halley shrug his shoulders is of very little importance. But he hurried to the helm, put it hard down, while Wilson, leaving the line, hauled at the main-topsail brace to bring the ship to the wind. The man who was steering received a smart blow, and could not comprehend the sudden attack. "Let her go! Let her go!" said the young captain, working her to get away from the reefs. For half a minute the starboard side of the vessel was turned toward them, and, in spite of the darkness, John could discern a line of foam which moaned and gleamed four fathoms away. At this moment, Will Halley, comprehending the danger, lost his head. His sailors, hardly sobered, could not understand his orders. His incoherent words, his contradictory orders showed that this stupid sot had quite lost his self-control. He was taken by surprise at the proximity of the land, which was eight miles off, when he thought it was thirty or forty miles off. The currents had thrown him out of his habitual track, and this miserable slave of routine was left quite helpless. Still the prompt maneuver of John Mangles succeeded in keeping the MACQUARIE off the breakers. But John did not know the position. For anything he could tell he was girdled in by reefs. The wind blew them strongly toward the east, and at every lurch they might strike. In fact, the sound of the reef soon redoubled on the starboard side of the bow. They must luff again. John put the helm down again and brought her up. The breakers increased under the bow of the vessel, and it was necessary to put her about to regain the open sea. Whether she would be able to go about under shortened sail, and badly trimmed as she was, remained to be seen, but there was nothing else to be done. "Helm hard down!" cried Mangles to Wilson. The MACQUARIE began to near the new line of reefs: in another moment the waves were seen dashing on submerged rocks. It was a moment of inexpressible anxiety. The spray was luminous, just as if lit up by sudden phosphorescence. The roaring of the sea was like the voice of those ancient Tritons whom poetic mythology endowed with life. Wilson and Mulrady hung to the wheel with all their weight. Some cordage gave way, which endangered the foremast. It seemed doubtful whether she would go about without further damage. Suddenly the wind fell and the vessel fell back, and turning her became hopeless. A high wave caught her below, carried her up on the reefs, where she struck with great violence. The foremast came down with all the fore-rigging. The brig rose twice, and then lay motionless, heeled over on her port side at an angle of 30 degrees. The glass of the skylight had been smashed to powder. The passengers rushed out. But the waves were sweeping the deck from one side to the other, and they dared not stay there. John Mangles, knowing the ship to be safely lodged in the sand, begged them to return to their own quarters. "Tell me the truth, John," said Glenarvan, calmly. "The truth, my Lord, is that we are at a standstill. Whether the sea will devour us is another question; but we have time to consider." "It is midnight?" "Yes, my Lord, and we must wait for the day." "Can we not lower the boat?" "In such a sea, and in the dark, it is impossible. And, besides, where could we land?" "Well, then, John, let us wait for the daylight." Will Halley, however, ran up and down the deck like a maniac. His crew had recovered their senses, and now broached a cask of brandy, and began to drink. John foresaw that if they became drunk, terrible scenes would ensue. The captain could not be relied on to restrain them; the wretched man tore his hair and wrung his hands. His whole thought was his uninsured cargo. "I am ruined! I am lost!" he would cry, as he ran from side to side. John Mangles did not waste time on him. He armed his two companions, and they all held themselves in readiness to resist the sailors who were filling themselves with brandy, seasoned with fearful blasphemies. "The first of these wretches that comes near the ladies, I will shoot like a dog," said the Major, quietly. The sailors doubtless saw that the passengers were determined to hold their own, for after some attempts at pillage, they disappeared to their own quarters. John Mangles thought no more of these drunken rascals, and waited impatiently for the dawn. The ship was now quite motionless. The sea became gradually calmer. The wind fell. The hull would be safe for some hours yet. At daybreak John examined the landing-place; the yawl, which was now their only boat, would carry the crew and the passengers. It would have to make three trips at least, as it could only hold four. As he was leaning on the skylight, thinking over the situation of affairs, John Mangles could hear the roaring of the surf. He tried to pierce the darkness. He wondered how far it was to the land they longed for no less than dreaded. A reef sometimes extends for miles along the coast. Could their fragile boat hold out on a long trip? While John was thus ruminating and longing for a little light from the murky sky, the ladies, relying on him, slept in their little berths. The stationary attitude of the brig insured them some hours of repose. Glenarvan, John, and their companions, no longer disturbed by the noise of the crew who were now wrapped in a drunken sleep, also refreshed themselves by a short nap, and a profound silence reigned on board the ship, herself slumbering peacefully on her bed of sand. Toward four o'clock the first peep of dawn appeared in the east. The clouds were dimly defined by the pale light of the dawn. John returned to the deck. The horizon was veiled with a curtain of fog. Some faint outlines were shadowed in the mist, but at a considerable height. A slight swell still agitated the sea, but the more distant waves were undistinguishable in a motionless bank of clouds. John waited. The light gradually increased, and the horizon acquired a rosy hue. The curtain slowly rose over the vast watery stage. Black reefs rose out of the waters. Then a line became defined on the belt of foam, and there gleamed a luminous beacon-light point behind a low hill which concealed the scarcely risen sun. There was the land, less than nine miles off. "Land ho!" cried John Mangles. His companions, aroused by his voice, rushed to the poop, and gazed in silence at the coast whose outline lay on the horizon. Whether they were received as friends or enemies, that coast must be their refuge. "Where is Halley?" asked Glenarvan. "I do not know, my Lord," replied John Mangles. "Where are the sailors?" "Invisible, like himself." "Probably dead drunk, like himself," added McNabbs. "Let them be called," said Glenarvan, "we cannot leave them on the ship." Mulrady and Wilson went down to the forecastle, and two minutes after they returned. The place was empty! They then searched between decks, and then the hold. But found no trace of Will Halley nor his sailors. "What! no one?" exclaimed Glenarvan. "Could they have fallen into the sea?" asked Paganel. "Everything is possible," replied John Mangles, who was getting uneasy. Then turning toward the stern: "To the boat!" said he. Wilson and Mulrady followed to launch the yawl. The yawl was gone.

WILL HALLEY and his crew, taking advantage of the darkness of night and the sleep of the passengers, had fled with the only boat. There could be no doubt about it. The captain, whose duty would have kept him on board to the last, had been the first to quit the ship. "The cowards are off!" said John Mangles. "Well, my Lord, so much the better. They have spared us some trying scenes." "No doubt," said Glenarvan; "besides we have a captain of our own, and courageous, if unskillful sailors, your companions, John. Say the word, and we are ready to obey." The Major, Paganel, Robert, Wilson, Mulrady, Olbinett himself, applauded Glenarvan's speech, and ranged themselves on the deck, ready to execute their captain's orders. "What is to be done?" asked Glenarvan. It was evident that raising the MACQUARIE was out of the question, and no less evident that she must be abandoned. Waiting on board for succor that might never come, would have been imprudence and folly. Before the arrival of a chance vessel on the scene, the MACQUARIE would have broken up. The next storm, or even a high tide raised by the winds from seaward, would roll it on the sands, break it up into splinters, and scatter them on the shore. John was anxious to reach the land before this inevitable consummation. He proposed to construct a raft strong enough to carry the passengers, and a sufficient quantity of provisions, to the coast of New Zealand. There was no time for discussion, the work was to be set about at once, and they had made considerable progress when night came and interrupted them. Toward eight o'clock in the evening, after supper, while Lady Helena and Mary Grant slept in their berths, Paganel and his friends conversed on serious matters as they walked up and down the deck. Robert had chosen to stay with them. The brave boy listened with all his ears, ready to be of use, and willing to enlist in any perilous adventure. Paganel asked John Mangles whether the raft could not follow the coast as far as Auckland, instead of landing its freight on the coast. John replied that the voyage was impossible with such an unmanageable craft. "And what we cannot do on a raft could have been done in the ship's boat?" "Yes, if necessary," answered John; "but we should have had to sail by day and anchor at night." "Then those wretches who abandoned us--" "Oh, as for them," said John, "they were drunk, and in the darkness I have no doubt they paid for their cowardice with their lives." "So much the worse for them and for us," replied Paganel; "for the boat would have been very useful to us." "What would you have, Paganel? The raft will bring us to the shore," said Glenarvan. "The very thing I would fain avoid," exclaimed the geographer. "What! do you think another twenty miles after crossing the Pampas and Australia, can have any terrors for us, hardened as we are to fatigue?" "My friend," replied Paganel, "I do not call in question our courage nor the bravery of our friends. Twenty miles would be nothing in any other country than New Zealand. You cannot suspect me of faint-heartedness. I was the first to persuade you to cross America and Australia. But here the case is different. I repeat, anything is better than to venture into this treacherous country." "Anything is better, in my judgment," said John Mangles, "than braving certain destruction on a stranded vessel." "What is there so formidable in New Zealand?" asked Glenarvan. "The savages," said Paganel. "The savages!" repeated Glenarvan. "Can we not avoid them by keeping to the shore? But in any case what have we to fear? Surely, two resolute and well-armed Europeans need not give a thought to an attack by a handful of miserable beings." Paganel shook his head. "In this case there are no miserable beings to contend with. The New Zealanders are a powerful race, who are rebelling against English rule, who fight the invaders, and often beat them, and who always eat them!" "Cannibals!" exclaimed Robert, "cannibals?" Then they heard him whisper, "My sister! Lady Helena." "Don't frighten yourself, my boy," said Glenarvan; "our friend Paganel exaggerates." "Far from it," rejoined Paganel. "Robert has shown himself a man, and I treat him as such, in not concealing the truth from him." Paganel was right. Cannibalism has become a fixed fact in New Zealand, as it is in the Fijis and in Torres Strait. Superstition is no doubt partly to blame, but cannibalism is certainly owing to the fact that there are moments when game is scarce and hunger great. The savages began by eating human flesh to appease the demands of an appetite rarely satiated; subsequently the priests regulated and satisfied the monstrous custom. What was a meal, was raised to the dignity of a ceremony, that is all. Besides, in the eyes of the Maories, nothing is more natural than to eat one another. The missionaries often questioned them about cannibalism. They asked them why they devoured their brothers; to which the chiefs made answer that fish eat fish, dogs eat men, men eat dogs, and dogs eat one another. Even the Maori mythology has a legend of a god who ate another god; and with such a precedent, who could resist eating his neighbor? Another strange notion is, that in eating a dead enemy they consume his spiritual being, and so inherit his soul, his strength and his bravery, which they hold are specially lodged in the brain. This accounts for the fact that the brain figures in their feasts as the choicest delicacy, and is offered to the most honored guest. But while he acknowledged all this, Paganel maintained, not without a show of reason, that sensuality, and especially hunger, was the first cause of cannibalism among the New Zealanders, and not only among the Polynesian races, but also among the savages of Europe. "For," said he, "cannibalism was long prevalent among the ancestors of the most civilized people, and especially (if the Major will not think me personal) among the Scotch." "Really," said McNabbs. "Yes, Major," replied Paganel. "If you read certain passages of Saint Jerome, on the Atticoli of Scotland, you will see what he thought of your forefathers. And without going so far back as historic times, under the reign of Elizabeth, when Shakespeare was dreaming out his Shy-lock, a Scotch bandit, Sawney Bean, was executed for the crime of cannibalism. Was it religion that prompted him to cannibalism? No! it was hunger." "Hunger?" said John Mangles. "Hunger!" repeated Paganel; "but, above all, the necessity of the carnivorous appetite of replacing the bodily waste, by the azote contained in animal tissues. The lungs are satisfied with a provision of vegetable and farinaceous food. But to be strong and active the body must be supplied with those plastic elements that renew the muscles. Until the Maories become members of the Vegetarian Association they will eat meat, and human flesh as meat." "Why not animal flesh?" asked Glenarvan. "Because they have no animals," replied Paganel; "and that ought to be taken into account, not to extenuate, but to explain, their cannibal habits. Quadrupeds, and even birds, are rare on these inhospitable shores, so that the Maories have always eaten human flesh. There are even 'man-eating seasons,' as there are in civilized countries hunting seasons. Then begin the great wars, and whole tribes are served up on the tables of the conquerors." "Well, then," said Glenarvan, "according to your mode of reasoning, Paganel, cannibalism will not cease in New Zealand until her pastures teem with sheep and oxen." "Evidently, my dear Lord; and even then it will take years to wean them from Maori flesh, which they prefer to all others; for the children will still have a relish for what their fathers so highly appreciated. According to them it tastes like pork, with even more flavor. As to white men's flesh, they do not like it so well, because the whites eat salt with their food, which gives a peculiar flavor, not to the taste of connoisseurs." "They are dainty," said the Major. "But, black or white, do they eat it raw, or cook it?" "Why, what is that to you, Mr. McNabbs?" cried Robert. "What is that to me!" exclaimed the Major, earnestly. "If I am to make a meal for a cannibal, I should prefer being cooked." "Why?" "Because then I should be sure of not being eaten alive!" "Very good. Major," said Paganel; "but suppose they cooked you alive?" "The fact is," answered the Major, "I would not give half-a-crown for the choice!" "Well, McNabbs, if it will comfort you--you may as well be told-- the New Zealanders do not eat flesh without cooking or smoking it. They are very clever and experienced in cookery. For my part, I very much dislike the idea of being eaten! The idea of ending one's life in the maw of a savage! bah!" "The conclusion of all," said John Mangles, "is that we must not fall into their hands. Let us hope that one day Christianity will abolish all these monstrous customs." "Yes, we must hope so," replied Paganel; "but, believe me, a savage who has tasted human flesh, is not easily persuaded to forego it. I will relate two facts which prove it." "By all means let us have the facts, Paganel," said Glenarvan. "The first is narrated in the chronicles of the Jesuit Society in Brazil. A Portuguese missionary was one day visiting an old Brazilian woman who was very ill. She had only a few days to live. The Jesuit inculcated the truths of religion, which the dying woman accepted, without objection. Then having attended to her spiritual wants, he bethought himself of her bodily needs, and offered her some European delicacies. 'Alas,' said she, 'my digestion is too weak to bear any kind of food. There is only one thing I could fancy, and nobody here could get it for me.' 'What is it?' asked the Jesuit. 'Ah! my son,' said she, 'it is the hand of a little boy! I feel as if I should enjoy munching the little bones!'" "Horrid! but I wonder is it so very nice?" said Robert. "My second tale will answer you, my boy," said Paganel: "One day a missionary was reproving a cannibal for the horrible custom, so abhorrent to God's laws, of eating human flesh! 'And beside,' said he, 'it must be so nasty!' 'Oh, father,' said the savage, looking greedily at the missionary, 'say that God forbids it! That is a reason for what you tell us. But don't say it is nasty! If you had only tasted it!'"

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