Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/111

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THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

would have disappeared from the face of the land—a whole-offering sacrificed at the shrine of civilization?[1]

At the period above referred to the tribes inhabiting the country in the immediate vicinity of Port Jackson and Botany Bay appear to have been numerous in proportion to the advantages which they enjoyed as to territory. They inhabited both sides of the harbour, and were found dispersed over the entire country along the coast as far as Broken Bay, where a large and distinct tribe was located. One of the first voyagers speaks of them as appearing to be "a very lively, inquisitive race—a straight and thin but well-made people, small in their limbs, but very active." Numerous are the anecdotes extant of the first colonists and their unsophisticated neighbours, with whom they wisely, endeavoured to cultivate the most friendly relations. To this the Europeans were urged both as a matter of precaution against their hostility and as a matter of policy, in securing their assistance in their efforts towards exploring and settling the country. In general the aborigines, after a time, evinced no indisposition to reciprocate the friendly feeling of the new-comers, but, as the fact became established that the latter intended to settle themselves permanently in the country, and as their encroachments became more extensive, a


  1. From semi-official information, recently made public, it appears that the aborigines of the county of Cumberland bave becpme entirely extinct.