Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/46

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we should therefore be glad to hear Weeup's relation of the affray. We strongly suspect he will agree with us—that it was a wild and treacherous act; and not the heroic deed which some unthinkingly have designated it. The unfortunate youth has suffered for his temerity, and has entailed upon us a stigma which it will be the work of time to eradicate. The penalty of death, we have been led to understand, is attached to crime—for the effect of example as well as punishment. What a fearful lesson of instruction have we given to the savage! We have taught him by this act to exercise towards us deceit and treachery, which, in him, we have daily reproved, and led him to draw no very favourable conclusions of our moral and physical superiority. We do not remember to have heard one instance, in which the Aborigines of this country have abused our confidence when we have encountered them in the bush. We must, therefore, again deplore an act which, it appears to us, will annihilate the surest road to perfect amity—mutual confidence. We must remember Yagan was killed, after spending the morning in company with the youth who shot him, and when upon the point of partaking of his frugal repast, a portion of which he would not have withheld from the hand that slew him."

Thus fell the chief of Beeliar. It is impossible, in contemplating his melancholy fate, not to call to mind the lamentation of David over the grave of Abner, who was treacherously slain by Joab, under pretence of avenging the death of his brother Asahel, who had fallen before him in battle. "Died Abner as a fool dieth! Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put in fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men so fellest thou. And all the people wept again."

Suffice it to add that one scene of blood followed another, till Sir J——— S———, returning from from England, resumed the reins of government, and gave an impetus to the evil counsels which had for some time predominated. The fate of the tribe of Banyoula, on the Murray, cannot be related without exciting feelings of sorrow and indignation. In The Gazette of February 8, 1834, may be found the relations which they were anxious to form with the settlement. In the leading article, they and their country are thus mentioned:—

"An important discovery has been made within the last fortnight on the Murray, at the instance of the natives in that quarter. An intimation, it appears, was conveyed to Mr. Peel and Captain Byrne by the natives, that a considerable number of cattle had been seen on the banks of the Murray, which led to an inquiry and a determination on the part of those gentlemen to proceed to the spot which was pointed out; and, after