Page:The Aborigines of Australia (1988).djvu/25

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sea voyage when the only appliances are those which comparative barbarism supplies, the relative geographical positions of the country from which they emerged, and that which was the object of their search, will at once render demonstrable. Such a voyage in such seas must, to a people whose highest objects were a mere sustenance and the excitement of adventure, have been one more of pleasure than of difficulty. Island after island, rising in rapid succession before the eyes of the explorers, must have afforded, during the succession of days and weeks occupied in the voyage, all the charm and variety of a natural panorama, until in due time the coasts and ranges of New Holland finally presented themselves to the eyes of the voyagers—the destined land of their future homes and fortunes. The next position in which we find the future inhabitant of Australia is the land of promise gained, roaming delighted among the thick forests and the delightful valleys, of which he is thereafter to be lord and master. And now comes, perhaps, the most critical period in his history. If the newly-arrived adventurers were the offshoot of some of the civilized branches of the human family on the opposite shores, would they not first of all set about forming society in the newly-discovered territory, in conformity with the usages and customs of the land they had left? Would they not establish some system of government similar to that under which they had formerly lived? Would they not initiate some form of worship similar to that which they had been accus-