Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/127

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114 THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

from Binnelong a promise to return to Government House on an appointed day, the interview terminated, and the Governor's party re-embarked. Cole-be does not appear to have been present on this occasion, although he afterwards was accustomed to frequent the settlement and enjoy the favour of the officers.

Interviews such as the one just described were in those days very frequent in the colony. In addition to the desire which the colonists naturally entertained of cultivating the friendship of the aborigines, they were urged to cultivate their society by other motives. In a community such as then formed the colony, the number of those with whom the officers and the more honourable portion of the colonists could associate must have been very small. In order, therefore, to lessen the monotony of their avocations and relieve the dullness which, as a matter of course, prevailed in the new settlement, they courted the society of the aborigines, in whom they found men as yet untainted by the multiplied vices which prevailed among the great bulk of their own countrymen. Independent of that recommendation they also found among the New Hollanders men whose bravery, intrepidity, intelligence, and candour excited their admiration and commanded their esteem — men with whose character the term savage was utterly incompatible, and whose rudeness extended no further than their uncouth appearance and their uncivilized mode of life. Hence the reason why Governor Phillip and his officers could condescend to comply with an invitation from