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"Oh, of course the quarrel is about nothing at all! He said his eggs at breakfast were overboiled, or something like that; but he must go. I warned him when he came that if there were any rows in the kitchen he would go instantly. You see," she added explanatorily, "I can get an outdoor man any day, and I can't get a tolerable cook."
onial institution, a paragraph inquire into the rights of the may be devoted. He is a nondescript individual of multifarious duties. He waters and feeds the horses, grooms them in rough fashion, cleans the buggies a task rendered no light one by the dusty roads-drives in the cow, milks her, pumps the water for the house supply, cultivates the kitchen-garden, trims the flower-borders, mows the lawn, and sweeps the paths. It goes without saying that this species of creature, being half animal and half vegetable, is rarely satisfactory. If he understands horses, and can groom tolerably, he despises gardening; and if he loves the gentle art of floriculture, he goes in terror of the horse. Also his meals are served at the kitchen-table, which is a source either of love-making or of bickering.
"John, you must dismiss Joe -he has spoken rudely to cook again," said our hostess one morning.
"Very well," acquiesced the host; "I'll advertise for another man to-day."
Visions of cook as a large, raw-boned female with a knowledge of horse-flesh, and skilled in the uses of the "totaliser to the replenishing of her purse on race-days; and of Joe as a meek, broken-down-looking individual, of exceedingly limited wardrobe-the first exhibition of his linen on a clothesline brought him instant and lavish contributions from the male members of the familyflashed across my consciousness. "But cook may be in the wrong," I hinted. "I hinted. "Won't you
So Joe-with a largely augmented wardrobe-fared forth; and his place was speedily filled by an Italian exile answering to the name of Gilbert. smart young man, with a huge trunk, who confided to the boy that he occupied his spare moments in writing a diary of his life and adventures, which he was gradually bringing up to date. At that time he was engaged penning the record of 1892, only seven years behind time!
Gilbert was an admirable and tasteful gardener, so it stands to reason that during his reign the horses were but half groomed and the buggies smeary. When, a month later, he left to wed a large, plump country girl whose opulent charms had caught his fancy, Sam filled his empty shoes. As Sam's up - bringing had tended to the possession of many wise saws regarding horse-feed, grooming, and doctoring, and as he was at the same time a passable gardener, Sam is likely to remain.
The Maoris rarely condescend to accept a menial position; but when they do, they make ad
wait at table, clean lamps and silver, cut and arrange flowers, undertake darning also and the care of the linen cupboard.
In her dealings with the autocrats of her kitchen, the New Zealand mistress requires to exercise especial tact. Servants must be engaged on their own representations. A colonial maid would deem it a dire insult were she asked for a character.
While we were calling on
some friends several miles from town, a carriage, drawn by a pair of horses, drove up to the front door, and a presence, gorgeous in frills and flipperies, alighted. It was a domestic condescending to apply for a vacant situation.
Among her other privileges
mirable and loyal servitors. We knew one household wherein a Maori acted as general factotum. He had been born and reared in the family of his mistress, and was an admirable specimen of a fine race. So highly was his integrity esteemed by his employers that when an ignorant white womanservant refused to eat with him, she was at once discharged; and until her date of exodus had arrived the family showed their disapproval of her action by insisting upon Hemora taking his meals at their tablea privilege upon which the Maori gentleman did not presume. When we left Auckland, Hemora had just declined the tempting invitation proffered by his tribe, who sought to induce him to take up his right--which she considers rightsful position as a leading member the colonial maid claims that of their community. He was He was of seeing her personal friends devoted to his master and when she chooses. One Sunday mistress and to their children, afternoon as we lounged on the and even the added allurement verandah, a buggy, crammed of a young Maori bride could with white-robed, pink-parasoled not entice him from his allegi- beings, was seen approaching. Instead of entering the drive, it branched off towards the stable entrance. "Visitors for the kitchen," said the hostess, in answer to an inquiring look. And one wet morning, as we sewed indoors, the aggressive and persistent click-clack of a sewing-machine came from the back premises. The housemaid explained the unwonted sound by volunteering the information that cook's aunt had come to spend the day, that she had brought her hand-machine, and was occupying her time in making her niece a blouse.
Although in the colonies female servants get much higher wages than at home, it must be conceded that they do far more work for their money. The lowest wages of an Auckland plain cook are 16s. a-week; a housemaid's 12s.; their highest being whatever sum the employer's necessity offers or their qualifications demand. Still, a colonial cook, in addition to her purely culinary duties, will wash, iron, clean, and bake for a goodly household; and besides her legitimate sweeping and dusting, the housemaid will
"I won't take any notice,"
the astute mistress. "It's so near Christmas that if I make any complaint cook will be glad of the excuse to throw up her place, and have a gay time till the holidays are over. I would find it impossible to get another cook at this season; but she would have no difficulty in finding a new situation whenever her money was done and she was tired of play."
Apart from such slight domestic mischances, any family combining the possession of a small settled income-say £400 or £500 a-year-with a desire for unlimited sport, might take a worse step than that of emigrating to New Zealand. There sports such as polo, hunting, fishing, shooting, and boating-the indulgence in any one of which in Britain entails considerable outlay can all be enjoyed for a minimum of expense. Land and house-rent near town are comparatively expensive; but the land once acquired, the customary wooden house with corrugated iron roof, and a space beneath for your hens to lay away in, is cheap to erect, and speedily ready for occupation. And one must remember that the ground is amazingly fertile; and that horses can feed out all the year round. Servants' wages are high; but two will do more work than four can undertake at home. A strip of kitchengarden will supply a constant succession of fruit and vegetables; and for a fee of 10s. ayear a cow is supplied with a zinc badge and permitted to glean a comfortable subsistence
along the waysides. Beef is absurdly cheap: a sirloin 11 lb. in weight will cost 4s. ; a whole shin of beef may be bought for 1s. in town-in country districts the price falls to 9d. Mutton and lamb, I imagine, may almost be had for the asking.
Like that of most lately developed countries, the SOcalled social life of New Zealand is devoted to the amusement of the rising generation. Dances, balls, tennis tournaments, progressive euchre parties, and boating or riding picnics-into these and other forms of entertainment suited for young people do the amusements resolve themselves.
From the instant when the fully fledged New Zealand belle bursts her pinafore-cocoon until the fatal moment when she dons her bridal robes, her wings are kept hard at work bearing her dainty form from one species of gaiety to another. The colonial girl has all the American maiden's freedom from espionage, and like her rejoices in giving huge lunches and afternoon teas to her girl companions.
Her smallest smallest doings chronicled. The society papers lose no time in informing their sympathising readers that Miss Tottie Teasdale has sprained her ankle; or in announcing to a listening world that Miss Tilly Milliken (of Wairapara) has arrived at Auckland on a visit to her friend Mrs O'Brady in Ponsonby. And the knowledge that an omnipresent press has duly proclaimed that she appeared in yellow at the Hunt Ball compels any selfrespecting damsel all untimely
to discard the yellow frock, and other pariahs. They looked exhibit herself at the Yacht hungry.
Club dance in blue. And thereby her expenditure for dress is agreeably increased. Small wonder, then, that these pampered maidens hesitate long on the brink of matrimony, before throwing aside all these advantages, and condescending to become sober matter-of-fact wives and mothers.
For older folks there are, perhaps, more card - parties where money stakes are played for than is quite desirable; and sometimes there is a gardenparty to which, by favour, men are admitted; or an afternoon "At Home for "ladies only."
"Men never go to these parties," explained our hostess, when a card for one reached
"It would make a sensation if your husband or mine walked in." And in truth it was my name only that was inscribed on the invitation.
This especial reception was given in a handsome and wellappointed house, and the guests must have numbered nearly two hundred. They were all women, and mostly all matrons, too. Some vague order of precedence was in force, and for once the damsels were in the background. The drawingrooms, where music and gossip were served, and the diningroom, with all manner of delectable refreshments on tap, were crowded with the married ladies, while the maidens, in two neglected rows, lined the halls.
Coming out from a debauch of fruit-salad, ices, and tea, I noticed two pretty girls I knew,
fing disconsolate among the
"But we can't, dear Mrs Boyd. We mustn't go until we are asked," they replied dolefully.
And when we mounted our respective buggies to depart, two tealess drooping maidens accompanied us. Need I say I wickedly rejoiced to have discovered one instance, at least, in which the colonial girl had failed to have an innings?
To any one with a love of horticulture, northern New Zealand presents boundless possibilities. One private garden which we visited within Auckland city seemed to hold healthy specimens of all known plants, from bananas and palms to lotus lilies-all flourishing, be it noted, in the open air. The stone-walled ponds held a collection of flowering aquatic plants which were far before any display we have seen during frequent visits to the Royal Botanic Gardens in London. In the borders, in exquisite profusion, bloomed countless varieties of flower and shrub. The complete absence of frost renders glass unnecessary, though in many instances it is used to ensure the earlier ripening of grapes.
The market gardening of Auckland is chiefly in the hands of Chinamen. One such garden was situated within view of our shady verandah, and all day and every day
quaint figures, topped with conical straw hats, bent over the long rows of flourishing vegetables. When darkness fell the pointed hats were still busy; and dawn found them still as industriously engaged as though their work had not ceased through the dark hours. Unlike Australia, New Zealand has few native wild-flowers, though imported seedlings flourish so well as to speedily outgrow their garden bounds, and overflow into the highways. During a stroll along a suburban byway a choice bouquet may easily be gleaned from the roadside. I have picked great bunches of damask roses which grew wild in the hedgerows; and geraniums, nasturtiums, and arum lilies were to be had for the taking. Our scentless dog-rose is unknown; but the sweetbrier is so plentiful as to threaten to become a nuisance to farmers. Early in December, when we arrived, every lane glowed pink with countless blossoms, and the air was full of its fragrance. The Maoris christened sweetbrier the "missionary plant," as it owed its introduction to the home-sick wife of an early missionary, who, by carrying a plant into her exile, sought to endow her new habitation with something of the essence of home. During summer picnicking is a distinctive feature of New Zealand life. Our host had a little steam-launch called the Kaituna, a tubby and unornamental but comfortable and roomy craft; and in her we had many adventurous excursions to one or other of the islands
VOL. CLXVII.—NO. MXII.
which dot the harbour. Sometimes we landed on islands in whose gullies the bush vegetation still prevailed: grand primeval tree-ferns waved overhead, and a luxuriant growth of lesser ferns carpeted the ground.
On Boxing Day we picnicked at Quarantine Island, under the shadow of a great Pohutukawa or "Christmas" tree, its spreading branches laden with greygreen leaves and the large scarlet blossoms, resembling chrysanthemums, suspended overhead like a gigantic garland. land. This tree is peculiar to New Zealand, where it grows abundantly near the sea, blossoming most profusely when swept with the salt spray. On the high cliffs behind us grand clumps of pampas grass grew side by side with the regal spikes of native flax. A fire soon kindled, and while the "billy" (a huge (a huge milkcan) boiled, lunch was spread. The meal disposed of, the company bathed, fished, or gathered the sweet little oysters which abound on the rocks and can be easily collected when the tide falls.