Reasoning from analogy, it would have seemed probable that if much of the infertility of the Maoris were due to purity of race and interbreeding, a large fertility would have attended a cross with the more vigorous fertile white race: such, however, is not the case. It is true that the marriage of a white man and a Maori woman is often attended with a large family, but considering how very frequent have been and still are the promiscuous unions between the two races, the result is surprisingly small. No accurate census exists of the half-castes, but their number of all ages and sexes is probably considerably under 1,000. The half-castes are often handsome and well made, but they all die young, indeed there is a wide-spread belief that scarcely any attain the age of forty. Young half-caste women especially die very young unless they are well cared for. Both sexes die of consumption; the ravages of the chief destroyer of both parent races seems to attack them with intensified vigour. Topinard, writing on the respiration of various races of men, tells us that the mulattos have a chest capacity inferior to that of either parent race. Even in sultry Hindostan, the Topas, a cross between Hindoo women and French or Portugese men, are far more liable to phthisis than either parent race. Huth (“Marriage of Near Kin”) says the European North American half-breeds near Quebec are peculiarly liable to phthisis, and the greater number die early. I believe that this lessened chest capacity is to be found in nearly all New Zealand half-castes. It is true that many have handsome figures and broad shoulders, but their chests are usually of the shallow type seen in the consumptives of our own race. If, as seems probable, phthisis is largely increased by the presence of bacilli or other organisms, it is highly probable that such European microscopic organism, like introduced European grasses and other plants, finds a suitable nidus in the half-caste, and flourishes with renewed vigour. Be that as it may, the half-castes are a delicate race and succumb early in life to phthisis. The offspring of half-castes by either race are a very feeble race and rapidly tend to extinction. Though the climate is excellent for both races, the crossing does not seem
to result in improved fertility. The cross between a white woman and a Maori man has been so rare as not to afford any data for observation. As white women become more plentiful everywhere, the proportion of half-castes to the two races is steadily diminishing. Early colonists and many theorists believed that the two races might amalgamate; as a matter of fact the two races will never mingle, and any infinitesimal influence that the white race may receive until that not far distant time when the Maori race dies out, will thereafter be at once imperceptible. No New Zealander will boast like some Americans that the blood of Pocahontas still flows in their veins, or that they are connected with that magnificent race “the children of the sun,” the Incas. In another century only the prying ethnologist will be able to ascertain in isolated spots any partial effect of the Maori blood. This utter effacement of the Maori race, its complete inability to engraft itself on the European race, is singular, because the Maoris are a sturdy, powerful people with very distinct race characteristics, which they might have been expected to transmit at least in some degree.