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natives, and a good sum of money to boot. The body is sometimes elevated to a certain height from the ground, after which any native, who passes the spot, throws a piece of wood, or a branch, beneath the corpse.
A considerable deterioration of the moral character of the New Zealanders, it seems, is now going on, in consequence of the intermixture of the Botany Bay convicts, who escape to these parts; and such is the influence of these vagabonds, that neither the missionaries, nor even the consul, lately appointed by the British Government, will be able to check the depredations and corruptions of this body, unless by force of arms. The crews of the whale ships contribute likewise to the demoralization of the islanders. The author carefully abstains from giving any opinion upon the effects of missionary labours in this quarter. If his report would have proved favourable, 'we see no reason why he should have observed so strict a silence; and he leaves us, therefore, to conclude, that, as a severe judgment would alone justify his abstihence, such a motive is the true key to its explanation. It'appears that the number of Europeans in those islands amounts to about one hundred and fifty. The missionaries in particular have large families. Some of the Europeans have purchased landed property, and some of them have purchased land from the chiefs with the view of cultivating flax for exportation, and of supplying the shipping with provisions, and spars, or plank. It has been ascertained that the flax is not adapted for cordage, as the very liable to unlay, and is easily broken; but it will be useful for many other purposes.
The natives of New Holland, to which our author next returns, constitute a very peculiar race. Their hair for instance is neither woolly nor frizzled, and the nose is flat, the nostrils expanded, the lips thick, and mouth wide; they are of good height, and with the exception of their limbs being somewhat too slender, they are sufficiently well formed. In some, the complexion is black as that of the
negro; in others it approaches nearer to that of a mulatto. - As their habits are migratory, so are their habitations temporary, being constructed of pieces of bark, or branches of trees, wherewith an oven-shaped hut is made, six or eight feet in diameter, and of about the same height: in this they repose in a sitting posture, with their knees against the chin. Natural deformity is very rarely met with, and most of them retain their teeth, in all their perfection, to the last. The aborigines in Swan River have given strong proofs of their great animosity to Europeans, supposed to be the effect of the bad treatment of the latter. " Amongst their customs may be mentioned as one of the most striking, that of the invariable destruction of some individual belonging to a neighbouring tribe, when one of their own tribe dies in the course of nature. They also adopt the custom which seems to be general along the Western Coast, that of disfiguring themselves by thrusting a bone through the blade of the
rope is cartilage which divides the nostrils. The following horrible transaction was told on satisfactory authority to Lieut. Breton, as having occurred a few years previously. Three natives persuaded ar-convict servant to accompany them in search of cedar, an ornamental and useful wood that is found in this part of the country. The man, naturally expecting no treachery was intended, as he, in common with others, had been accustomed to such expeditions, set off with them without hesitation--for the blacks, being much better acquainted with the localities, save both time and trouble to those who have occasion to penetrate into the “ bush.”. The guides, watching a favourable op, portunity, pushed him over a precipice, and he was killed upon the spot. One of them then cut out his tongue, and ate it, in the supposition that, as he had eaten the tongue of a white man, he would in consequence be enabled to speak English! ? The New Hollanders are sometimes driven to kill their own children for food, and the author knows a gentleman who has seen them bleed themselves with a bit of flint or a shell, and allow the blood to flow into a sort of dish made of bark; the latter was then placed upon
the warm embers, until its contents were somewhat dried : the blood was then eaten!
The power of enduring strong drink must be at a very low ebb indeed, when they are easily made intoxicated by a beverage manufactured in this simple manner. A bag, in which sugar is imported from the Mauritius, and made of the leaves of a particular kind of tree growing in that island, is steeped in water, and long enough to allow the fluid to imbibe the saccharine matter. This, when drank by these natives, has the effect of brandy, or other ardent spirits, on the rest of mankind. In truth, the lieutenant, every time he speaks of the New Hollanders, takes a good step in advance, as to the boldness of his condemnation; and, at last, does not hesitate to say that no injustice is done them by comparing them to the Chimpanse, or Ourang-outang, which so closely resembles man. This degeneracy is particularly striking in their want of cleanliness, and never is this deficiency more disgustingly exhibited than in their mode of eating. For example, these New Hollanders will lay hold of an Opossum, take off its fur, warm it for an instant at the fire, tear it in pieces, and eat heartily of the fare. But it would appear that whatever be the theory of the settlers as to the rank, in the animal kingdom, which they should concede to the natives, it is evident, at all events, that they think them very suitable game for the practice of the firelock; and Lieut. Breton says, that he met with a shrewd, sensible mechanic, a settler at Port Stephens, who told him, with the most perfect indifference, “ Oh we used to shoot them like fun!” It would seem from several of their customs, that some of the tribes at least have a notion of a future state ; they bave an idea likewise, that white men have been their ancestors, who had fallen in battle, and returned from the sea to revisit them: but whilst they dread an evil being in the next world, they have no conception of a good one. . About sixty or seventy miles above Moreton Bay, the huts of the New Holl landers are far superior to those met with elsewhere in this colony, the customs changing in some respects, even in that short distance. As a proof of this, all the runaway convicts who have been there, declare positively that the natives are cannibals; now they are decidedly not so, immediately around this settlement, nor to the southward of it. One of the most curious of their customs is, that of preserving the bones, skin, or other parts of their deceased friends, which they frequently carry about with them. One officer produced a complete skin, and another a child's foot, in perfect preservation. 2. It should not, however, be forgotten, that the convicts who escape and live amongst the natives, always speak gratefully of the kindness which they receive; and the uniformity with which this character is given leads to the suspicion that the New Hollanders are only cruel or inimical when they are ill-treated by whites. One remarkable ceremony is practised throughout New Holland, but particularly in the neighbourhood of Port Macquarrie: in the latter place, it bears the title of Kebarrah, and the following is the description of its nature. The summit of some eminence, or low hill, is chosen for the scene of this singular rite; the surface is then carefully cleaned from grass, &e., and the bark of any trees that may be near, is carved into rude representations of different animals. After this a fire is lighted in the centre, and the youth, who is to be initiated, is suspended, or held by the heels, while the natives dance round him, uttering loud shouts. A man called the Cragee, or doctor, then bites out the upper front-tooth on the left side, or, if he should fail, it is knocked out. It is not un likely that the tooth is loosened beforehand, as otherwise the Cras gee might be liable to break one of his own teeth instead of that of the lad. After the extraction of the tooth, the youth is supposed to have arrived at the age of manhood, and is then set at liberty to steal a woman from another tribe. No female is permitted to be present at the celebration of these rites, nor may she event approach within several hundred yards of the spot; and any attempt on the part of one to witness the ceremony would be punished by instant death, The kebarrah always includes several tribes, some of whom 'eome from a distance of eighty or a hundred miles, and probably much farther. As à preliminary to the meeting, twó messengers are des spatched from each tribe (intending to be present), and these men, together with the leading persons of the Port Macquarrie natives, form a council, by whose authority wars are proclaimed, boundaries settled, and one tribe prevented from interfering with, or encroaching upon another; so that it is natural to suppose that this part of the country is no small consideration.
A very full account, with some graphic representations, of the weapons in use amongst these New Hollanders, is given by the author. Their names are the spear, boomerang, and waddie, of the latter of which there are several kinds. The spear is nine or ten feet long, and its thickness that of one's finger; its point is usually jagged or barbed. This weapon is thrown with considerable, exactness to a distance of more than sixty yards, and some say a hundred, which he has reason to doubt. It may be thrown that distance, but not with precision. The boomerang is a weapon of varied form, but its principle is one of the most curious ever found in this description of instrument. Lieut. Breton has seen a native throw one so as to make it go forty or fifty yards horizontally, and not more than three or four feet from the ground; it would then suddenly, dart into the air to the height of fifty
, or sixty yards, describe a very considerable curve, and, finally, fall at his feet! In all cases, no matter how thrown, the boomerang keeps turning, with great rapidity, like a piece of wood revolving on a pivot, and with a whizzing noise, It is always made of hard wood, is thirty or forty inches in length, twoand-a-half to three inches; wide at the broadest part, and tapers away at each end nearly to a point. The concave part is from one eighth to one-fourth of an ineh thick, and the convex is quite sharp. It is a dangerous weapon, and should be very cautiously used by those who do not understand it, as no person, save a native, can ever be certain where it will fall. The waddies, and nullah-nullahs, are clubs, made, as might naturally be expected, of no small solidity, as they would otherwise make but little impression on the skull of a New Hollander. The tomahawks, that they use, are very clumsy, but at the same time curious, they are made of a piece of hard stone, fixed sometimes between two sticks, but not unfre, quently is it thickly coated, except at the edges, with some kind of gum (probably that of the grass-tree), which, in a short time, becomes almost as hard as the stone itself. The stick, .or handle, seldom more than ten or fifteen inches long, is fixed in the gum, and has the appearance of being let into the stone, but it is not so. With this rude instrument they cut the notches in the trees by which they ascend, and they use them in their wars as well.
List 1151HNA 6 The strangest instances of the tenacity of life are stated by our author in the native dog tribe, and it is a curious fact that they and the domestic dog exhibit, when they meet each other, the most der, termined disposition to strife. The author seems to have paid par ticular attention to the kangaroos, and has examined that strange animal called the paradoxical creature, the ornythrorhyncus paradoxus. Modern naturalists are quite at sea respecting this animal, being still uncertain whether or not it brings forth in the shape of eggs as a bird, or living offspring like cows and sheep. Some are of opinion that its young comes into the world in both ways. We recommend Lieutenant Breton's remarks on this animal, as he has enjoyed the rare opportunity of shooting them, and investigating their structure.
sül va In these regions the rapidity with which vegetation proceeds is searcely to be credited by those who are acquainted merely with its progress in temperate climates. Lieutenant Breton, who is fearful of being charged with exaggeration, statesthat at a place called
Liverpool, in a small garden or court-yard, he was shown a cabbage, the stalk of which, though crooked, was yet five feet and a half high; and to the uppermost flowers (it had not run to-seed) the height from the ground was thirteen feet, as measured by
an officer of the army and himself: it had produced three heads. At Edinglasse, a beautiful spot on the Nepean, the Rosa Multiflora grew from twenty to thirty feet in two years; and, at a farm on the Hunter, the boughs of a willow had grown sixteen feet in less time. As to the rapidity with which grafts produce fruit, and fruit-stones or seeds plants of good size, it so far exceeds every thing of the kind in England, that although a traveller, and consequently accustomed to "see strange things," he dare not describe it. Land, which at his former visit to New South Wales (1830), was entirely clear of wood, was, in (1833) thickly covered by trees of some size; and it always happens, that land once cleared and neglected for a year or two, becomes concealed by a forest far more dense than any before seen upon it. Most of the trees are evergreen, consequently the eye dwells eternally upon a forest' that, instead of the bright and varied tints in which nature is arrayed in other countries, presents to view the olive hue which has so often been observed to detract from even an Italian landscape; and the circumstance of many of them shedding their bark, which is seen hanging in long strips from the stem or branches, tends not to improve the effect. The acacias, when in flower, are assuredly very beautiful, but in looking over a forest they are not distinguished; as, if they grow there, they are overtopped by all the tribe of eucalyptus.
Isinu w r16 # · After the general views which this author presents to us of the state of New Holland, in the various relations to which we have already directed the reader's attention, he selects particular localities, such as are mostly known in Europe, as the subjects of his descriptions. The capital of Australia, Sydney, forms the first of the places to which his attention has been particularly directed. The prices there of common articles of consumption in January 1833, were as follows: From. To.
1* From." in To. £. s. d. £. s. d.
£. 8. d. £. s. d. Beef, per lb. per
4 0 10 16.0 quarter
0 0 1 0 0 2 Fresh butter per lb. 0 1 0 0 1.3 Do. joint, per.lb. 0.0 2003 Salt do.
010 Veal, do.
0 0 4 0 0 8 Mutton, do. 0 0 2 0 0 S Wheat, per bushel 0 3 4 04 0 Do. carcass 0 0 0 0 2 Maize
0 3 6 0.40 Pork, joint - 0 0 43 0 0 5 Barley
0 2 9 0.30 Do. carcass 0 0 2 0 0 3 Oats
0 2 6 0.29 Couple of fowls 0 1 9 0 2 3 Hay per ton,
from Do. ducks 0 2 6 0 4 0
English seed 6 0 0 8 00 Turkey
0 6 0 0 6 6 Do. do. Colonial 4 0 0 5 0 0 Potatoes are very dear in this place, and are very bad: water is