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SKETCHES IN SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA. AŞ
S the aboriginal tribes of Australia dis- take when they come out of the bush to
appear before the march of civiliza- feed, and women are sent round to the tion, it may be interesting to chronicle further end of the thicket, where they pictorially a few of their peculiarities and make a loud noise, and drive the wallaby characteristics.
into the nets. The taking of the Emu is a favorite Mrs. Clay, in her very agreeable vol. sport of the aborigines. The emu is ume of Australian experiences, gives the caught in very large nets, twenty yards following characteristics of the aborigines : long and five feet high, which are here
“I have heard some intelligent colonists remade of the roots of the marsh, baked and mark, that the low condition of the aborigines chewed, and then spun. Several natives may perhaps be traced to the peculiar state of will watch the emus as they go to drink the country they inhabit. There is nothing inat the lagoons, having heard the birds digenous like rice or corn—no grain ; so that
the greater portion of their life and ingenuity whistling, and set their nets in readiness ; is devoted to the capture of the kangaroo and they then drive the emus toward the nets, , other animals. Instead, therefore, of their where other natives are lying in ambush; mental organs being called into action by a vathe birds get frightened and entangled, the riety of wants, objects, or pursuits, the necesnatives rush upon them, and when in the lessened, and their whole energies concentrated
sity for invention or construction has been net seize hold of them and kill them with upon the one great object of their existencespears and wirris. They catch the wal- the chase. This must degrade man to a mere laby with nets about fifteen yards long and
creature of instinct; and to such a state the two feet high. Parties go out and set these
aborigines of Australia appear reduced. Ooo
“As regards the religion of the natives, I be nets across the paths which the animals | lieve their principal belief is in an evil spirit,
of which they have a great dread, imagining striking her with a wooden club or wattie, and that it walks about of a night; and they there- then drags her away to his own tribe. This is fore avoid, when dark, the vicinity of their often the cause of their going to war. burial-grounds. These burial-grounds I have “Naturally, the natives wear no clothing ; attempted to describe elsewhere. They fre- but if any article of dress be given them, they quently burn the aged dead; and should a are proud to array themselves in it. The manwoman die having a young infant, the living ner in which they wrap a blanket around them, child is buried with the mother. The name of fastening it over one shoulder, is very graceful. the dead is never mentioned ; and any one in the women are exceedingly susceptible to gay the same tribe having a similar name is obliged colors, and accept a bright pocket handker. to take another.
chief, or a few beads, with as much delight as an “The aboriginal method of courtship would English girl would receive a Parisian bonnet. not be admired by white ladies. The native, "The greatest passion of the aborigines is having determined on his future spouse, who is revenge ; and even if one of them dies a natural generally selected from another tribe, steals death, they fing spears at one of his friends upon her secretly when she is at a little dis- until blood appears; hence their universal hostance from the protectors, and stuns her by I tility to the white man. They can never forget
nor forgive the atrocities perpetrated upon them with various success. Schools have been estabby some of the early settlers, who at one time lished by the government, but the young peoused to hunt them down like wild beasts, and ple almost invariably, when passing out of fire at any they came upon, however inoffensive childhood, throw off their clothes and return they might be.
to their native haunts and habits. A few girls • The features of the aborigines are not pleas- become house-servants, but they are easily ining, being very coarse. Their lips are thick, duced to leave for the woods. Of late there has, with flat noses and low, receding foreheads. however, been a somewhat important change. They are not, generally speaking, tall or well The impossibility of obtaining a sufficient nummade, neither are they particularly strong. ber of white shepherds and laborers, caused Their going about in such numbers alone makes many stock keepers to offer good money wages them dangerous.
to the natives, instead of merely giving them “The number of aborigines is not great, and food and clothes, as was before the custom, it is steadily decreasing. Several tribes have and to adapt the service to their feelings. The already wholly disappeared. Many efforts have result is said to have been very generally benebeen made to protect them, and to induce them ficial. They show little inclination, or rather to adopt settled and industrious habits, but considerable dislike, for manual labor ; but they
make very and hakupen 27 at 21 of science as the discoreries of philoso-
Labideth forever. It was once
serve that poi toul the fourth day were
vast body of fire, he is, on the contrary, a palvas.
: globe, in all probability like our own,
In exact conformity with the Mosaic reco
sult of numerous practical experiments,
that light as well as heat has a separate THE event now presented for our con and distinct esistence independent of the
I ren gineat the pro losophy
most memorable that ever occurred upon given by the sacred writer is philosophicour earth previous to the advent of Christ. | ally correct. It is the total destruction of the human So, also, as respects the subject now race, with the exception of one family, under consideration. It was once very consisting of eight persons. We are in- confidently affirmed that there was not debted for our knowledge of it to the sufficient water to cause such a deluge as sacred historian; but of a catastrophe so that described by Moses. It was then appalling and so universal it might, in computed that twenty-eight oceans would deed, excite surprise, if not doubt, were be necessary for that purpose; but the there no corroborating circumstances in progress of mathematical and physical the aspect of our world and in the testi- knowledge has shown that the different mony of tradition. We shall find, accord seas and oceans contain at least fortyingly, that there is a vast amount of what eight times more water than was then may be called circumstantial evidence, supposed ; and by philosophical experiwith reference to the reality of this event, ment it has been proved, that the mere and the truth of the account given thereof raising of the temperature of the whole by the inspired writer. Before entering, body of the ocean to a degree no greater therefore, upon the Scriptural narrative than marine animals live in, in the shal. let us turn our attention to some undis- low seas between the tropics, would so puted facts which serve to confirm the expand it as more than to produce the account of this event given by Moses. height above the mountains stated in the
I , remarkable instance of the progress of the Again: it was once objected to the inhuman mind, that whereas philosophy was spired writer, that the ark built by Noah once arrayed against revelation, it has of was by far too small to contain the vast late been found that the one is the hand number of animals said to have been premaid of the other; and that the researches served therein, together with food neces
sary for their subsistence. Now it may a flood as that described by Moses. To fairly be questioned whether Noah was this may be added, that the very aspect of commanded to bring into the ark all living the earth's surface exhibits marks both of creatures zoologically and numerically con- the violent action and rapid subsiding of sidered, or only those, clean and unclean, water. The undulations of hill and dale, which were indigenous to the country in valleys with winding and sinuous course, which he dwelt. During the fifteen hun- abrupt declivities, rough and ragged dedred years previous to the flood the various files, immense plains of barren sands, animals must, of course, have spread them- | abound to a greater or less extent in every selves over a great part, if not the whole of quarter of the globe, and are on no other the antediluvian world. Those which were hypothesis accounted for so satisfactorily, saved must, therefore, if all were included, as by referring their origin to the great have come together from very great dis- event we are now considering. tances; but there is no intimation of any Indeed, the researches of modern scisuch journeyings. And it would seem, I ence, and more especially the developthink, quite probable that the animals ments of geology, are continually confirmpreserved in the ark were those only ing the sentiment of the wise Lord Bacon, which were found in the region where that natural philosophy is the surest antiNoah dwelt. This supposition will ac- dote to superstition, and the food of recount also for the remains of animals to- ligious faith. tally unknown which have been discov. It is perfectly reasonable to expect, I ered in various places since the date of remark further, that of an event so wonthe Deluge.
derful there would be, in the different I remark, further, that, after all the ar- nations of the earth, some traditionary acguments which have been alleged against counts. It certainly made a deep impresthe probability of a general deluge, phi- sion on the minds of the survivors, who losophy has at length acknowledged that doubtless would relate its history to their the present surface of the earth must have children, and thus it would descend from been submerged under water. Not only, one generation to another, and thus some says Kirwan, in every region of Europe, knowledge of it would be retained even but also of both the old and new conti- among those who had not the writings of nents, immense quantities of marine shells, Moses. Were there, indeed, no tradieither dispersed or collected, have been tions upon the subject, the truth of the discovered. This and several other facts Bible account would not thereby be overseem to prove that at least a great part thrown; yet, finding them to exist, as they of the present earth was, at some time or do, among almost all nations, they contribother, the bed of an ocean.
ute greatly to strengthen faith in the truth Other facts seem also to prove with suf- of the inspired record. The limits of this ficient evidence, that the retirement of the essay will not allow me to go much into waters from those parts now inhabited was detail on this part of my subject, yet I not gradual, but violent. This is evinced cannot do it justice without alluding to by various undisputed phenomena. Strat some of the more prominent of the traified mountains are found in all parts of ditions. the world; in and between the strata of Berosus, a Babylonian historian, whe these mountains various substances of | lived in the time of Alexander, is quoted marine origin repose, either petrified or in by Eusebius as giving a brief account of their natural state. To overspread, says this memorable event; and although there Watson, the plains of the arctic circle is much that is evidently fabulous mixed with the shells of Indian seas and with the up with his narrative, yet it contains sufbodies of elephants and rhinoceri, sur ficient evidence that it is founded upon the rounded by masses of submarine vegeta- Scriptural account of that occurrence. tion ; to accumulate in promiscuous con He speaks of a floating ark, of birds sent fusion the marine productions of the four out from it, and of its finally resting upon quarters of the globe, what conceivable in a mountain. struments would be efficacious but the In the mythology of ancient Greece we rush of mighty waters? These facts, find in the history of Deucalion, the reabout which there is no dispute, are pre- puted founder of that nation, a very strikcisely what might be expected from such I ing allusion to the general deluge as de
scribed by Moses. Their legend states Now seas and earth were in confusion lost: that Jupiter, designing to destroy the bra- A world of waters, and without a coast. zen race of men on account of their wicked. The frighted wolf now swims among the sheep;
The yellow lion wanders in the deep; ness, poured rain from heaven ; that Deu- The fowls, long beating on their wings in vain, calion and his wife, Pyrrha, were preserved Despair of land, and drop into the main. in an ark, which floated until the waters Now hills and vales no more distinction know, had subsided, and then landed them upon
And level'd nature lies oppress'd below." Mt. Parnassus; that there they offered
After proceeding at some length with sacrifices unto their gods, and that from this description, he goes on to observe that them descended the inhabitants of the re
the Deity, newed earth. Pausanias, a celebrated geographical
"Surveying earth from high,
Beheld it in a lake of water lie, writer, relates that the ancient Athenians That where so many millions lately lived believed that the flood retired from the But two, the best of either sex, surviv'd; land through a cavity in their district, over He loosed the Northern wind; fierce Boreas which their ancestors had erected a sacred
To puff away the clouds and purge the skies. building. They made this event the sub
Serenely while he blows, the vapors driven ject of an annual ceremony; throwing Discover heaven to earth and earth to heaven. every year into the fissure through which At length the world was all restored to view; they supposed the waters to have departed, But desolate, and of a sickly bue: a large cake composed of honey and Nature beheld herself, and stood aghast,
A dismal desert and a howling waste." wheat.
According to Lucian, there was also at If we turn our attention from ancient to Hierapolis, a city of Syria, a sacred tem- modern times we discover, even among ple erected in commemoration of the same the least enlightened nations, distinct traevent. The Syrians claimed that it was ditions of the reality of the Deluge. through a chasm in the earth under their These traditions are, as might be extemple that the waters of the Deluge de- pected, mixed up with fantastic absurdiparted, and that the foundation of their ties just in proportion to their lack of sacred edifice was laid by Deucalion him- intellectual cultivation and to the extrav. self, immediately after he came forth from agance of their popular superstition. the ark.
One of the earliest European visitors The opinion of the ancient Romans on to the island of Tahiti relates that, in anthis subject may be gathered very ex- swer to a question relative to their origin, plicitly from the poetry of Ovid. It is one of the natives said that a long time almost impossible to read his account | ago their god, being angry, dragged the of the Deluge without being impressed earth through the sea, when their island, with the belief that by some means or was broken off and preserved. The literother he had access to the description ature of the Chinese, says Sharon Turner, given by Moses. I shall be pardoned for has several notices of this awful catastrogiving here a brief extract from this writer, phe. The history of China by Confucius in the beautiful translation of Dryden, as opens with a representation of their counit illustrates the truth of this remark. try being still under the effect of the waThis, be it remembered, is the language ters; and among the traditions current of a heathen - an idolater-who never among them are the confounding of day heard of Moses, and knew nothing of the and night which they say then took place ; God we worship. After stating that, that Min-hda, evidently a corruption of owing to the wickedness of men, Jupiter Noah, was preserved in a boat, and that had determined to destroy by a flood the the remainder of the human race were human race, with the exception of two per converted into fishes. sons, he proceeds with his description of Mr. Medhurst, in his “ State and Prosthe dire catastrophe :
pects of China," alludes also to the same * Th' expanded waters gather on the plain : fact, and specifies several circumstances They float the fields and overtop the grain : in connection with their account of the Then rushing onward with impetuous sway, flood, which led him to the belief that, in Bear flocks, and folds, and laboring binds away. their allusions to this period, the Chinese Nor safe their dwellings were, for, sapp'd by floods,
are merely giving their version of the Their houses fell upon their household gods. events that occurred from Abraham to