Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/89

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moment, the sad condition in which, your invasion has placed the tribes of Derbal. Before them is the British banner, frowning destruction, and behind them the spear of the neighboring tribes, threatening them with a contest the most sanguinary. Which are they to choose? A glorious death by rushing on the sword of the invading foe? or a cruel and unnatural war with their own countrymen?

Remember, too, that ye have never attempted to make peace with them. Every cessation of arms has been only a tacit truce—a calm that preceded a storm. And while ye act upon a wavering uncertain policy, the war will assume a more sanguinary character on every recurrence of hostilities, till it become interminable; and, staining your title deeds with blood, involve the destruction of one of the most interesting races of Aboriginal inhabitants now to be found on the face of the globe.

There are still two courses open for you to pursue—either a decidedly pacific one, or a decidedly hostile. To the adoption of the former, I know of no obstacle that may not yet be easily surmounted. They have all along shown themselves ready to be reconciled, desirous to, live in peace and amity with you, and even willing to be taught your manners, laws, and polity. It remains for you to consider the consequences of adopting hostile measures. A bad name to the colony, a stop to emigration, and a depreciated property, are but minor evils. An exterminating war, the flames of which, spreading with increasing fury among the surrounding tribes as the settlement extends itself, must be the consequence. An exterminating war over a continent as large as Europe, and abounding with tribes unknown and innumerable! The very thought is appalling. The awful drama, the tragic scenes of which opening and closing successively amidst the cries of the dying and the tears of widows and orphans, and extending its desolations to generations yet unborn, will be without a parallel in the history of the world! Who will take upon himself the responsibility of giving such counsel? Who among you will answer for the frightful consequences to God, to his country, and to the myriads of the slain, whose blood will clamor through the skies for vengeance in both worlds, upon the guilty head of him that advised and of him that lighted up the inextinguishable fire?

Taking advantage of your distance from the mother-country, ye may flatter yourselves with the idea that it is possible either to commit the infamous deed of extermination clandestinely, or that ye can persuade the world that ye were not the aggressors. Vain thought! These game plundered and falling forests, which have so often filled their mouths with food and their hearts with gladness; that Moon, to whose mild beams they have