Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/231

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217
FOUR OF THE FAMILY.

them in 1769 in the name of the British sovereign. Numerous whaling stations were first established along the coast by enterprising Sydney merchants, and a permanent settlement was eventually effected on the site of Wellington, in the extreme south of the North Island. Wellington is now the official and political capital of the colony, having superseded its more northerly rival, Auckland, which nevertheless continues to be the larger and more populous city of the two. In 1848 a Scotch settlement was founded at the southern extremity of the Middle Island, now known as the province of Otago, whose chief city is Dunedin, the largest, most populous, and most commercial city in the group. Almost contemporaneously, the province of Canterbury, on the eastern coast of the same island, was colonised under the auspices of the Church of England, a fact sufficiently denoted by its name and that of its capital, Christchurch, one of the finest and wealthiest of the New Zealand cities.

The history of New Zealand presents a violent and startling contrast to that of the other antipodean states. In the work of colonising the mainland of Australia, no opposition worth mentioning was manifested by the natives to the coming of the whites. The aborigines retired before the new-comers without striking one combined blow. As time passed on, the white man's brandy-bottle did its silent work of destruction and extermination so effectually that now, with the exception of the remote districts of the interior, scarcely a solitary pure black is to be met with on the continent of Australia. Not so in New Zealand. There the whites found a warlike, active, intelligent, and high-spirited people in possession. The Maories declined to surrender their lands at the bidding of the invaders; a bad