Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/86

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foundation of future wars, answered the double purpose of saving him expense and gratifying his ambition; for the quarrels thus produced and the feelings engendered, could issue only in thirst for revenge. Ye have not merely followed his example. In wanton cruelty ye have gone beyond him. Ye have hitherto lived in a great measure upon the fish and the game of the country, while the Aboriginal inhabitants are fired at if they dare to approach either, though famishing with hunger. But, as I have already remarked, I conceive it unnecessary to reckon in detail the numberless provocations they have received at your hands. They are numerous and well-known. I would merely ask, what did ye when ye arrived on these shores? Ye seized their fishing stations; ye took possession of their hunting grounds; ye drove them from the scenes of their childhood, and ploughed up the graves of their fathers. Yet all these ills they bore with a patience unparalleled in the history of nations. In not a single instance, did they throw a spear, or attempt to shed blood, till they began to fall under the fire of the merciless invader. Even in the affair of Bull's Creek, which has kindled such a flame, they were not the aggressors; they were only exercising the law of retaliation—a law as ancient as the records of history, and sanctioned by divine authority. The brother of Yagan and the son of Midjeegoorong, the principals in this affair, had been killed that very morning at Fremantle. What brother is there among you, if required by the laws of his country, that would not avenge the death of a brother. What father that would not revenge the death of a son.

Ye were born under a meridian where a benign religion enjoins the exercise of mercy even to the criminal. Shall the avenger of his country's wrongs, the high minded patriot, whose character forms a theme of admiration among all nations whether friends or foes, in every age and in every country, find none at your hands? Ye sustain in society the various connexions of sons, brothers, husbands, or fathers—a name to which ye are indebted for the privilege of beholding the light, and all the sweet enjoyments of domestic and social intercourse. Ye have sisters, daughters, wives, or mothers who watched over you during the years of helpless infancy and wept over your departure to a foreign land. Will ye, then, disregarding alike the feebleness of old age, the fond expectation of youth, and all the tender feelings of consanguinity which bind man to man and constitute the mainsprings of human happiness, send the hope of the country ye have invaded to a premature grave, and cause the survivors to mourn, in the loss of these endearing relationships, all that can render life desirable? Shall the defenceless Australians, who never