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will be found navigable for vessels of burthen to a much greater distance, probably not less than fifty miles. There was no appearance of its being flooded, no mark being found higher than seven feet above the level, which is little more than would be caused by the flood-tide at high water forcing back any unusualaccumulation of waters in rainy seasons.'
Mr. Oxley is of opinion that the sources of the river will not be found in a mountainous country, but in some lake, which will prove to be the receptacle of interior streams crossed by him in 1818. • Whatever may be its origin (he adds), it is by far the largest fresh water river in New South Wales, and promises to be of the utmost importance to the colony, as it affords communication with the sea to a vast extent of country, a great portion of which appeared to me capable of raising the richest productions of the tropics.'
It is remarkable that Mr. Oxley in this report makes no reference to Captain Cook's suggestion already noticed. But there is another omission still more unaccountable, and, indeed, somewhat uncandid; because, as the report now stands, one would infer from it that Mr. Oxley had been led to the discovery of the river from his own unassisted observation of natural phænomena. This omission, however, is supplied in the lively and interesting memoir of Mr. Uniacke, who accompanied the expedition.
It appears from Mr. Uniacke's narrative that immediately after the Mermaid anchored in Moreton Bay, an Englishman, of the name of Thomas Pamphlet, made his appearance on the shore attended by a number of natives, from whom, by his appearance and color, he was and color, he was quickly distinguished. He was immediately taken on board, and he stated that, in company with three other men, he had sailed from Syd-. ney in March, 1823, in an open boat, to bring cedar from some islands about fifty miles to the south of Port Jackson; that the boat being driven out to sea by a gale of wind they had suffered inconceivable hardships for twenty-one days, at the expiration of which they were wrecked near the spot where the Mermaid was then lying; that one of his companions had died of thirst, and the two others, Richard Parsons and John Finnegan were still on shore. These two men were subsequently taken on board also, and from their information the Brisbane was discovered. Mr. Oxley makes no allusion whatever to this circumstance.
From the description given of the natives of this part of New Holland by Mr. Uniacke, and from the narratives of the Englishmen who had resided with them, we cannot avoid forming a far more favorable opinion of their characters and
moral habits, than we had entertained from the accounts of former navigators. Their personal appearance is better than that of the natives near Sydney: many of the women are, tall, straight, and well formed, and there were two, in particular, whose shape and features were such as no white woman need be ashamed of.' The treatment they receive from the men, is very different from what they experience near Sydney. Thomas Pamphlet asserts that during his residence among these natives, nearly seven months, he never saw a woman struck or ill treated except by one of her own sex. Indeed, save among the women, he never saw a quarrel in that or any other tribe he was with.' This must be understood of the individuals in each tribe, as among themselves, for we are afterwards told that the contests of the neighbouring tribes are frequent and often end fatally. Yet even these contests, from the description given of them, appear to be much less sanguinary and ferocious, than those which are common among savage tribes in most of the uncivilized parts of the world. Their food is principally fish and fern roots, which they roast: both sexes go entirely naked, but they smear their bodies twice a-day with a mixture of wax and charcoal.: Each tribe has a chief, who appears to possess unlimited authority over it. But the most pleasing and remarkable part of the whole narrative is the account of the kindness, generosity, and humanity, with which the shipwrecked Englishmen were treated by these New Hollanders; they were plentifully supplied with food, even when it was scarce; they were lodged in a spacious hut separate from the natives; their bodies were regularly painted, and they were often gently solicited to allow themselves to be farther ornamented by having their skins scarified, and their noses bored. Not the least violence was ever done to them during their whole stay. This conduct forms a striking contrast with that of one of the shipwrecked men, Parsons, who made two attempts to murder one of his companions for the slightest causes of offence. The natural savage of Moreton Bay: appears a being of a very superior order, when compared with the half-tamed savage of our own country, of whom we may often truly say, with Cicero, "In hominis figurá im-· manitatem belluæ gerit." Only on one occasion, during the stay of Mr. Oxley's party with the natives of the vicinity of this bay, did they shew the least inclination to pilfer, although they were constantly begging for every thing they saw; and yet, strange to say, they had no notion of religion. 'I could not ascertain,' says Mr. Uniacke, that these people had any idea whatever of religion. They do not stand in
awe either of good or evil spirits; nor did the Englishmen we found with them ever observe any thing like religious ceremony or prayer among them during all the time of their residence. This, doubtless, is no more than negative evidence, and, perhaps, it ought not to be received as conclusive. The account of the impression produced by the first sight of boiling water is amusing: 791
When Pamphlet arrived among them, they had no more idea that water could be made hot than that it could be made solid; and on his heating some in a tin-pot which he had saved when wrecked, the whole tribe gathered round him and watched the pot till it began to boil, when they all took to their heels, shouting and screaming; nor could they be persuaded to return till they saw him pour the water out and clean the pot, when they slowly ventured back, and carefully covered the place where the water was spilt, with sand. During the whole of our countrymen's stay among them, they were never reconciled to this operation of boiling.
The narrative of two fights among the natives contain a lively description of their manners; and it is deserving of notice, that when Finnegan, who accompanied his hospitable tribe, fell into the hands of the adverse party, they laughed mach at his color and appearance, but did not offer him the slightest injury.
The immediate practical and very useful result of this expedition, has been the selection of a site for the removal of the convict-establishment from Port Macquarie. The latter will be thrown open to free settlers. Its fine climate, excellent soil, and convenient distance from Sydney, afford it many advantages for that purpose.
The sixth article of the volume is The Journal of a Route from Bathurst to Liverpool Plains, with a Map, explored by Mr. Allan Cunningham, his Majesty's Botanical Collector for Kew Gardens. The country through which Mr. Cunningham passed, in going to the north and north-east, contains much fine grazing land, in many parts open, in others wooded. The country through which he returned contains a large extent of barren land, and is in some parts almost destitute of water. He appears to have crossed no river of any magnitude in the whole of his journey, after leaving the Macquarie: he has marked in the map numerous rivulets descending from the mountains, but their courses through the country remain to be traced. The information which Mr. Cunningham has given respecting the soil and natural productions will be valuable to the settlers in the colony, but a three months' journal without any adventures, and chiefly filled
filled with descriptions of the quality of the land, affords little entertainment to a general reader. We may look forward with pleasure to a period, not very remote, when these extensive solitudes will be the cheerful abodes of civilized men.
The remaining part of the volume is chiefly occupied with papers read before the Philosophical Society of Australia. These papers might possess some merit in the place where they were first made known, but they scarcely contain any observations which intitle them to republication in Europe. The paper on the aborigines of New Holland and Van Diemen's Land was written by Mr. Field, the editor of the volume. He is of opinion that the Australians are of Ethiopian origin; and, like many preceding writers, he classes the New Zealanders and the inhabitants of most of the islands scattered over the Pacific and South Seas, with the Malays. The inference which he draws from hence is that the Australians will never be civilized, but that the South-Sea islanders will.. To this awful sentence of eternal barbarism, pronounced by the learned ex-Judge of New South Wales against a large portion of the human race on the slightest evidence, we are not disposed to yield our assent. The experiment of Negro improvement has not yet been fairly commenced, except in Hayti, and there the result is directly opposed to the notion that Negroes are incapable of civilization. In other parts, slave drivers and convicts do not present the best examples of the advantage of civilized life over that of the savage; and the thirty years which, the writer says, have elapsed without producing a change in the manners of the New Hollanders, is a period much too short to effect any improvement in the natives surrounding a colony of convicts. Even sailors and soldiers, without an admixture with the outcasts of society, are in general but ill qualified to teach, by their example, the duties of self-government and the kind charities of life to savage tribes. Granting the physiological difference and inferiority of the Negro to the Caucassian, or even to the Malay, it remains to be proved that this difference and inferiority may not be dimi nished, when the intellectual powers are developed by education through successive generations. We remember to have seen and conversed with Paul Cuffee, the first Negro who crossed the Atlantic in a vessel built by himself and his Negro crew: we thought we could discover a marked improvement in the expression, and even in the form of his' face it was less animal than that of the uneducated Negro, and had acquired much of the thoughtful, meditative cast that characterizes many of the religious society of Friends,
of which he was a member: his observations on the best means of civilizing the Africans were judicious and discriminating.
The only remaining paper in this volume, which we think it necessary to notice, is one on the maritime geography of Australia by Captain King: it contains various articles of information respecting the general appearance of the country near the coast, which do not admit of abridgment. The same remark also applies to his scattered observations on the geology of the country, which occur in several of the memoirs. We much wished to have had a better account of the coal-field south of Hunter's River, than is given in Mr. Berry's paper on the geology of part of the coast: this coal-field must in a few years be of great importance to the colony.
We cannot conclude without noticing some of the peculiarities of the editor's style. He says, The geology of the country is sand stone,' which is about as proper as to say, "The zoology of Lincolnshire is mutton." In the preface we are told, much every way is expected from the gubernatorial experience and decision of mind of the Governor-elect, the wisdom and learning of the Archdeacon, and the natural science and business-talent of the Colonial Secretary.' After regretting the extinction of the Philosophical Society of Australia, and naming several clever persons in the colony, the writer adds; Of wood like all this surely the mercury of a scientific body might be made.' We are not aware of any natural affinity between these two substances; nor are we certain that the gentlemen here named will be very well pleased with their appointment as wooden members of the new society. This reminds us of Mr. Brooke Watson, a city orator of the last generation, who was distinguished by a wooden leg, the natural one having been bitten off by a shark. In the "Criticisms on the Rolliad" the public are congratulated that the shark had not bitten off the orator's head, instead of his leg; for, in the writer's opinion,
"The best of joiners, and the best of wood,
Could not have made another half so good."
These Memoirs are elucidated by four maps, drawn to correspond with Mr. Oxley's general map of the colony of New South Wales: a reduced outline of that map should also have been annexed.