Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/274

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241
CONDUCT TOWARDS THE WHITES.

Although the Aborigines are in general so honourable and open in their warfare with one another, their behaviour towards the whites is very different, being often treacherous in the extreme. It frequently happens that those persons who have been most liberal and kind to the natives, are chosen as their first victims; for if a white man gives a present to a native, without stipulating for some service in return, the latter imputes the generosity of the white man to fear. Thus, the sawyers at the Nambucca, who gave the blacks a large quantity of flour, tobacco, sugar, &c. in order to propitiate them, became immediately exposed to their murderous attacks, which did not cease until the natives had received a severe lesson or two, to convince them of the superiority of the arms of the white men.

The districts near Port Phillip, where the blacks have committed the most serious outrages, are the very ones in which the salaried Protectors of Aborigines have resided. I do not know in what the duties of the Protectors consist; but no good has been derived from their appointment, as the natives in that part of Australia have been more audacious in their attacks on distant sheep-stations, than in any other districts; and on being pursued after their ravages, they have been known to jeeringly dare the whites to fire at them, as the Governor would hang any one who shoots at "blackfellows!"

"The soothing system" is no better adapted to civilize the natives of Australia, than to reclaim the