Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/83

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Nothing can either force or allure her from the scenes of her childhood—nothing can dissolve her attachment to her natal soil, but death. It came from the dust with her; and she can resign it only when her earthly tabernacle dissolves, and again mingles with its original element. Nor is it the character of the place that forms this inextinguishable regard. Like every other part of our constitution it derives its origin, not from locality of situation, but from the author of our being. It is a fire kindled within us by the breath of nature, the moment the soul springs into existence; the place of our birth forming, not the source, but the object of attachment. It is nourished by association, it grows with our growth, it ripens with our age, and becomes stronger and stronger, the more it converses with surrounding objects. The Highland cottager sees as many charms in the barren heath, the silent pine, the solitary glen, the wild crag, and the stupendous rock, as the royal tenant beholds in the peopled terrace, the galaxy of beauty, the monuments of art, and the towers of Windsor. Were it possible for them to change places in the womb, they would reciprocally exchange their predilections. The descendant of a royal line would discover an attachment to the lonely cottage, and would as enthusiastically admire the bleak uncultivated taste around; while the Highlander, English born, would chill at the sight of the north, and kindle into rapture amidst the gorgeous scenery of the royal residence.—It is kindly ordered. In the love of country, we may still trace, amidst the ruins of our fallen nature, and in characters sufficiently legible, the impress of divine wisdom and benevolence in our creation. The soul is so formed as to love above all others, whatsoever may be their character, those objects on which she opens her eyes on coming into life; and is thus constitutionally prepared for the enjoyment of an allotted portion of happiness, wheresoever in the unerring arrangements of divine providence she may first behold the light, whether amidst the cheerless snows of the polar regions, or the perennial bloom of the tropical.

Think not, then, that the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia, offspring of the same great parent with yourselves, and partakers of all the kindred feelings of a common humanity, can resign the mountains and seas, the rivers and lakes, the plains and the wilds of their uncradled infancy, and the habitation of their fathers for generations immemorial, to a foreign foe, without the bitterness of grief. What, though the grass be their couch and the tree of the forest their only shelter, their blue mountains, and the country where they first beheld the sun, the moon, and the starry heavens, are as dear to them as your native land with