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regards marriage, but also in revenging in- | and lines. On reaching home, the settler juries, in imputing witchcraft, and in the went to the black's camp, and delivered the fights that so constantly occur.
letter to the father, who thereon called together
all the blacks who were living with him, and We presume, without dogmatizing, that the to the settler’s great surprise, read off from aborigine, in his anxiety to avoid family in the stick a diary of the proceedings of the termarriage, an anxiety found in many the Edward River till their arrival at the new
party day by day, from their departure from savage races, and in him most intense, was slowly building up a caste system, and station, describing accurately the country made it easier to recollect the rules, and through which they had travelled and the more difficult to practise deceit by enforc. places where they had camped each night. ing food regulations; but the extension of Before Europeans landed, the aborigines the system to all nature is, so far as we had discovered fire and the use of cooking, know, unique. Is it undeveloped tribal but had never learned how to boil, or conworship, or what, which makes a clan structed the simplest instrument of pottery, claim the sun, while discarding the moon ? or indeed anything to hold water, except Yet the same people who recollect all these hollowed wood. Their contrivance for things recollect no traditions, and betray a creating fire — the rapid twirling of a stick sense of physical oppression under educa- in some dry wood was probably distion which occasionally kills them. They covered by accident; but fire once made, die or run back to the woods, obviously to they guarded it very jealously, the torch, get rid of the burden. They have an art as we may call it, being carried by women like that of children, making pictures of in all their marches. Like children, they natural objects in the caves and on rocks, refer always to the old for guidance, yet pictures of the rudest kind, but always rec- without creating any form of government; ognizable, and they ornament both weapons and like some children, they are a prey to and canoes, but have arrived at no idea of endless unreal terrors and spasms of cruel writing, though — and this is, we think, excitement. They are always dreading the only unchildlike thing we have found something done against them somewhere about them, the only practice suggesting by sorcerers, and go sometimes so nearly indefinite possibilities of advance — they mad with grief, that in a sort of hysteria have arrived at a means of sending mes- they begin fighting and kill one another. sages intelligible to others than those for They have arrived, like children, at the whom the message was intended. Tribes notion of property in anything due to an are often summoned by message. These exertion -- as, for example, in the game messages were sent by notches on sticks, they have struck -- and they make partnerand are assumed by many who have seen ships for sharing game; but though they them to be of the rudest kind, but it is have tribal districts, they have no notion possible, though not proved, that this is an of property in land. Suicide is as unknown assumption, and that some natives, proba- among them as among children. They bly very few, can carve something like a have not, in fact, discovered the inevitabilletter. At least, if it is not so, Mr. John ity of death, and do not, Mr. Smyth affirms, Moore Davis, whom the author quotes as believe that death occurs naturally at all. trustworthy, has drawn very largely on his Its sole origin is witchcraft, the aborigines imagination:
not conceiving of any reason why the
machine should stop of itself; and some The late Mr. John Moore Davis stated in a of their weird ceremonials suggest a perletter to me, in 1874, that when on a visit to manent doubt whether, even after witchBenalla he became acquainted with the fact craft has done its work, the men really are that the aborigines have the means of com
dead: municating with each other at a distance, and that peculiarly-formed notches on a stick con- Sometimes a long speech is delivered over vey their ideas in a manner similar to the the grave by some man of consideration in the knots on a cord used in the days of old by the tribe. Mr. Bridgman, of Mackay, in QueensMexicans. He adds that a friend of his, land, states in a letter to me that on one occahaving decided on forming a new station, sion he heard a funeral oration delivered over started from the Edward River with a lot of the grave of a man who had been a great warcattle, having with him several blacks. When rior which lasted more than an hour. The the settler was about to return home, one of corpse was borne on the shoulders of two the young natives asked him if he would carry men, who stood at the edge of the grave. a letter to his — the black's father, and on During the discourse he observed that the expressing his willingness to do so, the young orator spoke to the deceased as if he were still man gave him a piece of stick, about one foot living and could hear his words. Burial in in length, which was covered with notches the district in which Mr. Bridgman lives is
only a formal ceremony, and not an absolute the limpet (Pattella tramoserica), the peridisposal of the remains. After lying in the winkle (Lunella undulata), and the cockle ground for three months or more, the body is (Cardium tenuicostatum). These accumuladisinterred, the bones are cleaned, and packed tions resemble in many respects the kjök-ken. in a roll of pliable bark, the outside of which möddings of Denmark. With the shells are is painted and ornamented with strings of stones bearing distinctly the appearance of beads and the like. This, which is called having been subjected to the action of fire, ngobera, is kept in the camp with the living, and there are also numerous pieces of charIf a stranger who has known the deceased coal imbedded in the mounds. They are comes to the camp, the ngobera is brought out visible all along the coast where it is low, but towards evening, and he and some of the near never in any other position than that described ; relations of the dead person sit down by it, and when opened up, are seen to be formed of and wail and cut themselves for half an hour. heaps not regularly superimposed one on the Then it is handed to the stranger, who takes other. Those that have been frequented it with him and sleeps by the side of it, re- most recently exhibit clearly the mode of acturning it in the morning to its proper custo- cumulation, and one can trace the old heaps dian. Women and children who die, Mr. upwards to the last, which is generally found Bridgman says, are usually burnt.
on the highest part of the mound. The area
covered by some of the largest of the mounds It may be, as they believe in ghosts, and exceeds an acre in extent; and the shape of in some sort of future life in the stars, that the heaps of shells composing them, which they think the spirit lingers on earth as are separated by layers of sand, indicates their long as its earthly temple survives, as origin. The enormous period of time during Egyptians thought; but they either will which the natives have assembled on the not, or cannot, communicate their half-shores to gather and cook the shellfish acformed ideas on these subjects with suffi- counts for the great number and extent of the
mounds. cient definiteness.
These strange people, who seem to have And yet it is extremely improbable that reached their limit early, just as the Chi- they are true aborigines, for all the evinese reached it late, are perishing so fast dence points to an immigration :that they will speedily be only a memory. Small-pox and other diseases kill out the It is proper to call attention to the fact that wilder tribes, and those “black fellows" no works of art have been found in the recent who come among the whites seem unable drifts of Victoria, and these drifts have been to withstand the influence of their own largely and widely explored by gold-miners. sense of incompetence, which often pro
Was Australia unpeopled during the ages that duces a deep melancholy unknown among form low terraces in every valley, and the beds
preceded the formation of the gravels that the larger-brained and more cheerful ne- of soft volcanic ash that yet cover grass-grown groes. There are, Mr. Smyth thinks, not surfaces ? If peopled, why do we not find above forty-five hundred left in all Victoria, some evidence a broken stone tomahawk or and they are rapidly dying out, a sad spec- a stone spear-head – in some of the most reimen of a people perishing without a use cent accumulations ? Their stone implements in the world. They have no past and no
are not found in caves or in the mud of lagoons present, and no future; have apparently with the bones of the gigantic marsupials, or done nothing for mankind. They came, any of the now extinct predaceans that have and they are, and they will go, just as
their living representatives in the island of
Tasmania. The bones of the Tasmanian might be said of all humanity, if the ma: devil (Sarcophilus ursinus), the great kangaroo terialist's theory were proved beyond all|(Macropus Titan), the Thylacoleo, the Notothequestion. How long they have been there rium, and the Diprotodon, and those of a rep. is utterly unknown, and cannot even be lile (Megalania prisca), allied to the lace-lizards guessed. It must have been ages upon of Australia, are found abundantly in mud
flats in various parts of Australia; but nothing
has been discovered to show that the contiOn the coast of Victoria there appear in nent was inhabited by man when these now various parts, what at first sight one would well-preserved relics were clothed with flesh, suppose to be raised beaches, and if only a and the animals were feeding on the plains slight examination be made of these, their true and in the streams, which were as well fitted character is not discovered. But instead of then as now, as shown by the fruits and seeds lying in regular and connected layers, they that have been discovered, to afford the means occur in heaps, beyond high-water mark, and of support to a savage people. What was the they are always opposite to rocks laid bare at condition of Australia when the fint-implelow water. Moreover, they are found to con- ment makers of the drift period were living ? sist mainly of one kind of shell — namely, the Probably an unpeopled tract, where the then muscle (Mytilus Dunkeri), with a small pro nearly extinct volcanoes shed at times over the portion of the mutton-fish (Haliotis nivosa), landscape a feeble light, and the lion gnawing
the bones of a kangaroo was watched with caped them. The destruction of the jackal-like eyes by the native dog, ready to eat Hungarian city, Szegedin, which has been up such scraps as his powerful enemy might going on for nearly a week, is in many leave when bis hunger was appeased. It is almost certain that during the period of the We cannot recall the destruction of a Eu
ways an almost unparallelled catastrophe. large carnivorous marsupials, man there to contest with the lion the right to the ropean city, by water before. The deproceeds of the chase.
struction of house property is probably as great as in the earthquake of Lisbon, and though the loss of life is much smaller probably not a fourth - it has still been
very great. The officials make as light of From The Spectator.
it as they can, but the best observers place THE RUIN OF SZEGEDIN.
the loss at four thousand, while the expulTHERE is a certain apathy in the Ension and ruin of a population as great as glish mind about catastrophes caused by that of Norwich, thousands of whom Hoods which it is very curious to notice. passed forty-eight hours in a marsh flooded They excite less interest and less attention with ice-cold water, without food, or firing, than any other kind of great calamity. So or shelter, represents a frightful aggregate incuriously are they watched, that people of human misery. The destruction, too, forget how often they occur in some parts was so complete. A city of seventy thouof the world, and do not realize to them. sand people is, on the Continent, a firstselves in the least that though far less class city; and Szegedin was a prosperous dramatic, they are often more destructive place, full of large warehouses, with a great than earthquakes. The great floods which trade in wool, and corn, and timber, and often ravage parts of Louisiana are less inhabited by a people so well off that they noticed than the most ordinary incidents often refuse aid, and that an English in America, though a city like New Or- reporter, observing them, declares that leans, almost made by English capital, only their prosperity has developed in them an lives by favor of its dykes; and though almost American self-reliance. All Hunthere is no lack of the sacer vates; Swiss gary has felt the shock, and the Hungarian floods are dismissed in a paragraph ; and Parliament seemed for a few hours as if it even the French floods, which threaten would become uncontrollable with grief whole districts and great towns, raise no and rage, - grief for the people, and rage serious discussion. The flood of 1875 at a certain want of foresight which the which so nearly destroyed Thoulouse, majority thought they perceived in the though minutely described at the time, is official arrangements. The total destructotally forgotten, and even the flood of tion of such a city is almost unique, or Deccan-Shabazpore, which, in 1876, swept quite unique, in European annals; yet the away half a million of British subjects, interest felt in the occurrence here has is a vague historic recollection. That was been somewhat languid, and the subscripfar and away the greatest catastrophe of tions in aid, though liberal as far as indiour time, as regards the destruction of viduals are concerned, have not risen to life and property; was perfectly described the dimensions which in England indicate by a most competent authority, Sir Rich- that public feeling has been stirred. They ard Temple, and was attended by circum- do not approach the subscriptions for the stances so unique as should have stamped it survivors of the “Princess Alice." There into the minds of the whole people. Never has been nothing to check the flow of feelbefore in the history of our race was there ing. Hungary has been always popular in such an incident, – a British county, in England; the people of Szegedin have behabited by nearly six hundred thousand haved with great patience and courage souls, depopulated in a night by the rush the cases of incendiarism being, we image of a stormwave, the few survivors, some ine, the result of efforts to save the insur. thousands, owing their lives to being ilung ances, which were not granted against upon the thorns of the spiky trees abound-water, but against fire — and the place, ing in the district. Yet the catastrophe though little known here, was civilized was forgotten in a month; it was not intro. enough to be within the range of Western duced into the Indian paragraph of the sympathy. Nevertheless, that sympathy queen's speech, and we venture to say that has been comparatively tame. most of our readers will recall the event, sume the reason is that the English people, which was minutely described in our own nearly exempt as they are from serious columns, with a sensation of surprise that floods - a few inches of water "out" its occurrence should have so nearly es- I on the meadows is a “flood " here - do
not realize what a flood is, or what fifteen nature and the desert. The slowness of feet of water in a city of sun-baked bricks mankind to quit homes where they can on a marshy foundation actually means. live pleasantly in the intervals of disaster They would understand an earthquake, but is incurable, and the people of the new the slow collapse of a city in the water, the Szegedin will sleep without minding the quick saturation of the soil, the yielding of Theiss, and without watching the dykes the foundations, and then the toppling which protect them much more carefully down, hour by hour, of houses, usually in than of old. Villages built at the foot of patches at a time, according to the condi- reservoirs do not empty for fear of the tion of the soil or previously unnoticed food, nor are Swiss villages deserted in differences of level, does not come clearly positions where the avalanche must come home to their imaginations. They do not some day. The mass of mankind look feel that a food like this accumulates on forward very little, and seem quite incapaits victims' heads the suffering caused by ble of imagining that the habitual rule of an epidemic, the horror of whole families the nature around them will ever be perishing at once, and the suffering broken; that the earthquake which has caused by a grand financial catastrophe. not occurred for centuries will happen in Thousands must have been made childless their time, or that the dyke which has been and pauperized by one and the same blow. safe for a year may any day give passage It requires effort to think out processes to the waters. They think, if they think at men have not seen though one day they all
, that they will be forewarned, and leave may see something like it on the banks of cataclysms, as they leave sudden death, out the Thames — and they do not make the of their calculations. And we do not know effort. There is not, that we know of, any that they are wrong. A food which where in England a place quite under the sweeps away a city seems an awful thing conditions of Szegedin, planted in a marsh, to the on-looker who thinks of thousands with a river the bed of which has been at once, but it is to the single sufferer raised like the bed of the Po, in parts of only equivalent to a fire, which may happen its course, by continuous embanking, till its to any individual. He might be drowned floor is distinctly above the plain, and without a flood. Insurance will guard the safety depends entirely on the solidity of property, care will guard the dykes, and the dykes. The explanation does not quite the chance of a violent death to a dweller satisfy us, for there are close analogies in Szegedin marsh is probably not arithbetween a food and a shipwreck, and in metically greater by any perceptible fracshipwrecks the English interest is of the tion than the chance to a dweller anywhere keenest character; but it is the only one else. His prospect of drowning must be in which we can see any probability. a minute fraction, compared with the pros.
It is believed that Szegedin will be pect of any captain of a coasting collier, rebuilt in the same place, with stronger and the wharfingers have no difficulty in dykes; and if so, the population will flow finding captains for their rotten hulls. No back, and then go on increasing as before. fear of fire deeply alarms a great city, The site chose itself, as it were, and, like though most great cities would burn, and all self-chosen sites, will not be deserted. a great fire would be by many degrees The junction of the Theiss and the Maros worse than a great food. The great fire in a country like Hungary, where water of London made a deep impression on carriage is everything, the vast spaces Charles II.'s generation, but the impres. rendering all other carriage too dear, is sion was not one of fear of great fires, too convenient a spot to be abandoned, and which were risked just as much after the all experience proves that no fear of cata- calamity as before, and no more provided clysms recurrent at uncertain intervals will against than the recurrence of the great deter ordinary folk from the pursuit of a storm of a century ago, which shook the livelihood. The yellow fever does not minds of that generation more than any empty New Orleans. No one quits the calamity is ever known to have done. mainland of the Orkneys because it was The human mind, in truth, accepts these once swept by a storm-wave, and might be great cataclysmal dangers as part of the again. The wave-swept island of Deccan- order of things, and by a beneficial instinct Shabazpore will be filled up. The people refuses to consider them, or to waste enhave gathered like ants for ages at the ergy in an insurance which may be all in foot of Vesuvius, and if Pompeii were vain. An inhabitant of Szegedin may be destroyed once more would gather again, drowned, and so may any other person, and rather than surrender the warm slopes the fact that if he is drowned Szegedin will where the olive flourishes so well, back to be drowned too, does not increase to his
mind either the proximity or the magni-critics call “mutilation,” but which with tude of his risk. One Szegediner has but more propriety is called “topiary” work, one life, and so Szegedin, what with sub- from the Latin topiarius, shaped by cutscriptions, and grants, and drafts on the ting, the word being used in this sense by inhabitants' hoards — for their farmhouses Pliny, Vitruvius, and Cicero. But if I do are outside the flood — will be rebuilt, not defend the taste through thick and probably to be destroyed again, for the thin, I am prepared to admit that much inhabitants are not rich enough to rebuild may be said in its favor, and it is far from on piles, or we fear, to cut the mighty my intention to denounce it as either exreservoirs and build the lined canals travagant or foolish. It may be true, as I which would enable them on a stormy believe it is, that the natural form of a tree night like that of the 12th inst. to carry off is the most beautiful possible for that parthe overplus of the waters. Strengthen- ticular tree, but it may happen that we do ing the dykes is no final precaution, for not always want the most beautiful form, when that is done, the bed of the river al. but one of our own designing, and expresways rises, and the floods become even sive of our ingenuity. So far as authority more dangerous and severe. Nothing but bears upon the subject, it is all in favor of new channels for the water is of any use, topiary, for the Romans recognized the and the expense of building them in a cutting of trees into architectural forms as marshy delta, without a stone in it, to the an integral and essential part of the art needful height, would probably be too of horticulture. We have Shakespeare great even for the wealthy municipality quoted as an authority for anything and which Szegedin, if it were made tolerably everything, and especially in defence of safe, ought to become. Even France has “ the natural” in gardening. But the not regulated her rivers yet, though Napo-garden of Shakespeare's time was more or leon said it “concerned his honor that less a topiary garden; in fact the real“old rivers, like revolutions, should keep within English garden,” whence we are supposed their banks," — and Hungary is to France by a certain few narrow enthusiasts to as Shadwell to Belgravia. Money granted, derive all the flowers that are worth growthe Austrian engineers or Sir John Hawking, and not a single weed that we might shaw would soon render Szegedin fairly with advantage discard, this old-fashioned safe; but the State is poor just now, and a garden was enclosed with hedges of clipped city just swept away is in no condition to hornbeam, and embellished with arbors, mortgage its future industry. The old obelisks, pyramids, and spires of clipped expedient of raising the dykes will, we yew. The " curious knotted garden” imagine, be continued, and some day a new mentioned in the letter of Armado in the finance minister will be scolded as M. first scene of “ Love's Labor Lost Szapary has been, not for not cutting chan- beyond all doubt liberally furnished with nels for the overplus of water, but for not examples of topiary, and if reference be providing boats to carry away the people. made to Knight's“ Pictorial Shakespeare " The want of boats, not the condition of the (Comedies I., 86), it will be seen that in hull, is always the first popular complaint, presenting a figure of the garden, the artist when a ship gets water-logged.
was constrained by his own sense of propriety to adorn the centre of it with a foursided canopy of yew. Shakespeare was familiar with such gardens, and approved
of the prevailing taste of his time. Lord From The Gardener's Magazine.
Bacon, who was in advance of ShakeTOPIARY GARDENING.
speare, both in time and critical acumen, THE yew-tree candlesticks and box-tree saw far beyond the puerilities of the knot. cups and saucers, and the larger work in ted garden, for in his famous essay he the way of trees fancifully shaped by knives says, “the making of_Knots or Figures, and shears, have been extremely useful to with Divers Colored Earths,” etc., * they the traders in cheap indignation, for to rail be but Topes; you may see as good Sights, against them is easy work, and may some- many times, in Tarts.” And in reference times give a show of wisdom to people to the higher branch of topiary he says, “I, who are exceptionally shallow. Having for my part, doe not like Iinages cut out enunciated an article of faith of my own to in Juniper, or other Garden stuffe; They the effect that the most beautiful form for be for Children.”. But he approves of any tree is its own natural form, it will arched alleys and “pretty Pyramides,” and scarcely be expected of me to defend the “ Broad Plates of Round Colored Glassa, taste that finds delight in what the modern gilt, for the Sunne to Play upon,” as well