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and the commencement of this, our continental military glory,-such are, in fact, the honourable and avowable causes of our colonial inferiority. We do not complain of it: every nation has had its destinies, and ours yield in Europe to that of none other. To England belongs the great movement of colonisation, to create empires, to clear the forest, to cover the land with flocks and herds, and to build cities that shall rival London and Liverpool. It is a part full of grandeur, but which has its deceptions and its dangers: colonies are ungrateful, often very forgetful and very repudiating. More than one has cast off the metropolis, and, to continue prosperous and powerful, England has perpetually to begin over again.

"A few men and a few books that have emanated from France is, on the contrary, all that has sufficed to establish the preponderance and spread the influence of French genius over the world. We have many times heard regrets expressed that France was not before England in occupying New Zealand-regrets that have no foundation; that colony which has become so prosperous in the hands of the English would have remained sterile in ours. Besides, if we want a field for whatever aptitude we have in this line, have we not Algeria at our very doors? Commerce can do very well without colonies; the United States have none such, which does not prevent them being the first commercial people in the world. What we can reasonably demand, is a commercial development that shall have some relation to the number of our harbours and to the extent of our coast; transoceanic companies organised at Havre, at Bordeaux, and at Saint Nazaire; a share in the profits of distant fisheries; and maritime stations well and duly supplied to repair and to protect our mercantile navy. This is the title under which our establishments in Oceania present themselves to our suffrages, as points in a good commercial road, and hence it is that we have acted recently in favour of our true interests in taking possession of New Caledonia.”

This is a long and amusing preamble, with much in it that is true, and not a little that is fallacious. The portrait of the French colonist is worthy of a photographist. He is an engineer, soldier, or adventurer. Wherefore always soldier? How much of the intelligence and enterprise of France is absorbed in playing at soldiers? We are not aware of the touching affection of Louisiana and Canada for the metropolis, but it may be so. If military glory tore France from colonial aggrandisement, on the one hand, and colonies repudiate their aged islanded parent on the other, the balance is equal in one sense. But the military glory may depart, while the new nations founded may remain. A few men and a few books may suffice to spread the influence of French genius over the world, but we do not see how such can establish "French preponderance." One language, one literature, and one religion in North America, Australia, and New Zealand would, we should fancy, bear down the scale. If the once United States could do without colonies, the reason was very simple, the territory at the disposal of the States was not half populated at the epoch of their rupture. To demand governmental commercial organisation is the inherent weakness of all nations, who have neither the spirit nor enterprise to organise such themselves. If Great Britain had waited for government to take the initiative, neither the East Indies, nor North America, nor the Cape, nor

Australia, nor New Zealand, would be what they now are. The apology for "taking possession" of New Caledonia, of the Society Islands, and the Marquesas, the two first Captain Cook's discoveries, is, at all events, specious, and may be taken at what it is worth. If the French have a large mercantile marine (we know they have a large naval force) in the South Seas, it is but fair that they should have harbours of refuge; but is New Caledonia, or are the Marquesas, on a line of traffic? Have not the interests of the navy been more considered in the selection than those of merchants, and "points d'appui" whence to thwart or control Australia, New Zealand, and Western America, been paramount over considerations of advantages to an imaginary mercantile marine? Any schoolboy of fourteen years of age, be he French or English, could only answer the question in one way.

The corvette La Constantine, commanded by Captain Tardy de Montravel, was off the coast of China in the year 1853, when its commander received sealed despatches that were not to be broken till he was out at sea. The corvette sailed off at once, and proceeded, as a result, to occupy New Caledonia in the name of France. This island, connected with which are the Isle of Pines and the Loyalty group, is situated between the twentieth and twenty-third degree of south latitude. It is about ninety leagues in length, twelve in width, and is formed by a mountainous crest, fertile and well watered, that runs from north-west to south-east. It was discovered by Cook in 1774, and has been since visited by the French circumnavigators D'Entrecasteaux and D'Urville. It is, like the north-west coast of Australia (Queensland), and most of the islands in the Pacific, surrounded by coral reefs, and many vessels have perished on its dangerous and inhospitable shores.

When the Constantine arrived at the Island of Pines in January, 1854, the French flag already waved on that as well as on the greater island. Rear-admiral Febvrier des Pointes, "under apprehensions of being anticipated by the English," had gone thither from Tahiti in the previous September, to come to an understanding with some French missionaries settled in the Isle of Pines, and to open negotiations with the principal native chiefs, and he had then taken his departure, after having built a kind of small provisional fort.

A period of about ten years had elapsed at that epoch since the missionaries, who so efficaciously helped the French officers in their task, had been settled in New Caledonia. The corvette Bucéphale disembarked a few missionaries in the Balade Haven, on the west coast, in 1843, and, before leaving, the sailors constructed a commodious habitation for the pious exiles, and which, two years later, served as a place of refuge for the crew of the Seine, which vessel was lost upon the reefs of the island. In 1850, the missionaries were subjected to ill treatment by the natives. Surrounded, they were indeed about being made prisoners, when, luckily, a French ship, the Brillante, arrived in time to rescue them, an operation which was not effected without a struggle, and they were removed to the Isle of Pines.

There, with a perseverance that does them honour, they formed the nucleus of a new mission, and they succeeded in reopening new relations with the natives of New Caledonia, and in thus favouring French occupation. After their expulsion from Balade, a fearful crime was enacted by these ferocious insulars. In 1851, the ship Alcmène was engaged in

surveying the island, when two young officers, MM. de Varennes and Saint-Phal, were despatched in a boat with fifteen men to effect a recognisance along the coast and in the interior of the bays. They unfortunately allowed themselves to be taken by surprise by the natives on a small island which they thought was uninhabited. Officers and sailors alike were all massacred and devoured. The commander of the Alcmène fired upon the natives and burnt their huts wherever he could get at them, but he was destined to be almost as unlucky as his officers and men, for he lost his ship upon the coral reef that envelops the island.

At the very moment, indeed, that Commodore Tardy de Montravel made his appearance in these fatal waters, another French vessel had just been lost there. This was a three-masted ship, the Croix du Sud, which had only issued from the slips of Bordeaux two years previously. It had visited America, China, and Australia, and was coming from Melbourne with the intention of visiting the Moluccas and touching at the French establishment on the way. Deceived by imperfect charts, the captain believed himself, on doubling the western point of the island, to have entered an open channel, whereas he went right upon the reefs, and the ship went to pieces. The crew, consisting of the captain, a young wife, and twelve men, had no resource left them but to take to the boats, and they luckily succeeded, after seven days' suffering, in reaching Port Balade, with their water and provisions exhausted, yet unable to land from the hostility of the same natives who had devoured so large a portion of the crew of the Alcmène. The Constantine received the shipwrecked, and its commander despatched the screw-brig Prony to see if it could in any way relieve the Croix du Sud; but all hopes of this had to be given up after prolonged efforts, and the crew of the French merchantman had to remain in Caledonia till the opportunity presented itself of being transferred to Sydney.

The mission of the French commodore was more particularly directed to re-establishing the missionaries in safety on the chief island, to erect forts and habitations for soldiers and employés, to negotiate with the natives, and to "make them" (the word is not ours) accept the French protectorate. The task did not present any great difficulties at Balade, where the two powerful tribes of Puma and Pompo were under the influence of the missionaries. One of the chiefs, who, on being baptised, had exchanged his barbarous name of Buhone for that of Philip, willingly acceded, on receiving a few presents, to all that was demanded of him: he granted territorial concessions, and even submitted to the promulgation of a species of code, which, nevertheless, deprived him of one of his especial privileges, which was to distribute justice by breaking the heads of the accused. He was for the future bound over to graduate the scale of punishment according to the amount of criminality, and even, in certain cases, to have recourse to French jurisdiction. The French commander had further the ingenious idea of interesting the savages themselves in suppressing crime and in arresting the guilty. He organised a body of police among themselves, paying them with tobacco, and decorating, or rather distinguishing, them by a badge with the French colours. They thus became quite proud of their responsibilities, and were on the constant look-out for malefactors. The plan turned out, indeed, to be most successful. As to the chief, Philip, he was a brutal savage, of very limited intelligence, and it was impossible to trust in him. He was, in 1850, one of the most

vindictive enemies of the missionaries, and he still preserved as a relic of his plunder a magnificent cassock, which he took great pleasure in putting on upon grand occasions.

After having constructed and armed the new fort at Balade, the Constantine proceeded to a place called Pouébo, or, as we should write it, Puabo, farther to the south, and in the territory of the tribe of Monelibé. At that point the landscape is more agreeable and animated. We have no longer naked rocks and rugged crests: the highlands assume a fertile and smiling aspect. A prolific vegetation reaches from their very summits down to the sea-shore, whilst a pretty river, navigable in boats for some miles, precipitates itself down the mountain-sides in picturesque waterfalls, and then winds peacefully across the plain. One of the principal chiefs, when becoming a Christian, had assumed the name of Hippolyte; he had been a staunch friend of the missionaries, and he counterbalanced by his authority the opposition of another chief, of the name of Tarébate, who refused to become a Christian, because if he did he would have to renounce three out of his four wives. The non-necessity for such an alternative in accepting the doctrines of the Mormons has rendered the latter as successful in obtaining proselytes among Polynesian islanders, who merely wish on that point to sustain the status quo, as they have been in some parts of the old world among those who are desirous of inaugurating a new state of things.

No sooner had the Constantine come to anchor off Puabo, than the chief, Hippolyte, came, instigated by the missionaries, to solicit in the name of his tribe that the same "measures of order" should be adopted there as had been put in force at Balade. His request was complied with, and the French commandant resolved, in order to overawe these tribes, to carry out his objects with a certain amount of solemnity. He accordingly landed with his staff and two companies of marines, and also two field-pieces with which to salute the French flag that was about to be hoisted. The little expedition ascended the river windings, and disembarked at a distance of only a few hundred yards from a large village, where the whole tribe awaited to receive it in arms. The natives received the French force with loud shouts, and the latter took up a position en bataille before the mission-house. After a brief address from the commandant, which was translated by the chief Hippolyte, the French flag was hoisted and saluted by the artillery, amidst the applause of the aborigines. Hippolyte and Tarébate next affixed a kind of signature to the bottom of a document, in virtue of which they accepted the sovereignty of France, which was followed by the reading and explanation of the new penal code; lastly, what gave a great deal more pleasure to the natives, there came a general distribution of cakes and tobacco, and presents of arms, tools, and tinsel were made to the chiefs. In order the better to express their joy at this liberality, the natives gathered round the mission-house whilst the officers were there taking a frugal repast, and began to execute their dances. They (the Caledonians, we suppose) jumped and gesticulated to their own whistling and the sound of a bamboo, which beat time upon the ground. This substitution of whistling to singing when dancing is said to be peculiar to the natives of New Caledonia, and the French agreed that nothing could be more fatiguing or disagreeable.

The natives are, generally speaking, tall and robust, and the sailors all agree in extolling their vigour. The photographs that have been brought to this country give the idea of muscular, well-made men, but their physiognomy is coarse and brutal. The females especially, with their woolly hair, their great stupid features, their hanging breasts, and slender extremities, resemble beasts more than human beings. The men are entirely naked, with the exception of a simple waistband; and the women have for all clothing a wrapper of about a foot in width, with a long lappet behind. We find in New Caledonia the finest Polynesian races mixed up with the Austral negro, so low in the scale of humanity, and the bastard race that has sprung up from this admixture, like the mixed Austral-Malay races of the north-west of Australia, superior to the one and inferior to the other, have adopted the customs of both. One of the most remarkable superiorities of these savages consists in the strength and skill with which they use their clubs and the javelins. D'Entrecasteaux, who visited New Caledonia after Captain Cook's discovery of the island, relates that threatening groups of natives having gathered round him, he resolved to give them a notion of the terrible effects of their fire-arms. He had a pigeon tied to a tree, placed three of his best shots at a distance, and gave the word of command. Not one of the men hit it. A native, who was carelessly reclining close by, rose up, brandished his javelin (zagai, or assegai), cast it, and transfixed the bird,

The occupation of New Caledonia was not everywhere so easy as at Balade and at Puabo. The Constantine pursued its explorations along the eastern coast, visiting the principal tribes, and seeking for a spot favourable for a chief settlement. In proportion as she proceeded from the north to the south, the population was found to be more and more ill disposed. The action of the missionaries was no longer felt, and they were further, it is said, encouraged in their hostility by some English and American seamen, deserters from vessels, who had established themselves among them, who lived as they lived, without competition or control, and who dreaded the introduction of a foreign influence and domination.

There was particularly, at a place called Hienguène, a powerful tribe, whose chief, named Buaraté, a man of energy, and endowed with a certain amount of intelligence, and who had once been to Sydney, where he was received with great respect, and treated as if he had been king of all New Caledonia. Buaraté professed a great attachment for his friends the English-Sydney men, as he called them-and he had announced that he would resist the occupation of the country by any other white The neighbouring tribes looked up to Buaraté, whose followers were numerous, and well provided with guns, so it was determined to strike the decisive blow at this point.


The Constantine and the Prony arrived off Hienguène in the month of May, 1854, and a considerable number of canoes put off, and their crews went on board the French ships with a show of amicable familiarity; but their chief did not make his appearance. Buaraté having refused, on being summoned, to make his submission, an officer was sent with an armed party to communicate to him that if he did not obey the "invitation" made to him by ten o'clock the next day, the commodore would himself land with an armed force to raise the French

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