Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/130

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


BINNELONG IN AUTHORITY. 117

betters. In personal appearance he was one of the best specimens of the aboriginal race. His hair, of which he possessed a luxuriant crop, had, during his stay in England, acquired a smoothness and gloss which attracted general attention, completely controverting the erroneous opinion which for a long time prevailed, and which is now entertained by some, that the New Hollanders were of negro origin.

He continued to reside at Government House after his return, and was accustomed to assume a patronizing and authoritative tone towards the aborigines of the neighbourhood, declaring that it was his resolution to put a stop to those barbarous practices in which they had previously indulged; that he would compel them to wear clothing and adopt an industrious and settled mode of life. On one occasion his dignity was greatly shocked by his sister running to Government House to welcome him home, with her infant seated on her shoulder in the usual style, and wearing only the scanty habiliments of her caste. He thenceforth prohibited any of his relatives or friends appearing near Government House till they had arrayed themselves in a suitable costume. In this way did Binnelong pass the remainder of his days in the colony, treated by the whites as a man distinguished from his fellows by superior intelligence and by his knowledge of European society, and honoured by the blacks on account of the favour which he enjoyed at the hands of the colonists and the Government