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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Rare Volume


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It is to be feared that the war in New Zealand will become matter of more general interest than at present, for bush-warfare is ever full of difficulties. Many then will ask how it arose. My own near relationship to the Governor has given me peculiar interest in this question. I have therefore read numerous documents, through which the general reader will not wade, and in the following pages have endeavoured to give a summary of their contents.

Though I have ever had the fullest confidence in the judgment, integrity, and humanity of my brother, the severity of the censures on his conduct, and the quarter from whence they proceeded, puzzled me as to his judgment in the present case, until I had read the documents laid before the Colonial Parliament and the long debates in both houses. By them I was fully re-assured; and I have only endeavoured in the following pages to lay before the reader, fairly and impartially, the evidence which has thus satisfied myself. Of course, I rejoice in believing that it will vindicate the conduct and character of a beloved and honoured relative. My own course of life, that either of the pastor of large parishes or of a Professor of Divinity, has led me scrupulously to avoid party, whether political or theological. I trust page 6 that I am not now departing from that general principle. The questions here are no party questions, but questions of truth, honesty and humanity. It is a matter of deep concern to me, that I am forced to express strong difference from one, whom of all men living I have honoured most for his unparalleled missionary labours, I mean Archdeacon Hadfield. There are passages in his conduct as regards the present disturbances which I cannot construe, and which I long to see cleared up. I can but strive to be satisfied with the knowledge, that burning zeal in imperfect beings will at times degenerate into intemperance, and that then it will blind its owner to principles and even to facts, which under other circumstances could not be overlooked.

I will only add, that the following pages are not derived from any private information, but entirely from published documents; that they do not, in any sense of the word, emanate from my brother, but that I alone am responsible for them. My brother simply sent me the documents, in order to convince me and other members of our family that he had acted honestly and rightly.