Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/169

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156 THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

the Irish. In proof of this many truthful historians assert that the terrible farrahs and other shouts used by the latter in former times frequently proved more efficacious, by means of the terror which they inspired, in repulsing an enemy than even the lances and skeans of the kerns. If a peculiar shout, then, be a necessary appanage of every people, why should not the New Hollander have his? Accordingly he has his shout to distinguish him among "contemporaries," and one which will bear comparison with those of most of the more pretending families of mankind. The "coo-ee" of the Australian aboriginal is much more musical, and to the full as expressive as the ejaculations which many of the European nations use for the purpose of calling a comrade, saluting a friend, or bidding defiance to an enemy. Nor, indeed, is it much less celebrated at the present day than many of those, for throughout the interior of the country the coo-ee has been adopted almost universally by the whites, and many a traveller who has lost his way in the depths of the wood, or become benighted in a lonely spot, has regained the beaten track, or been introduced to a hospitable fireside by the assistance of the well-known sound; and an age hence, when some Australian lexicographer shall compile a dictionary for the use of his countrymen, "coo-ee" will, doubtless, be one of the words with which he will enrich and fertilize the English language. Even the streets of the great metropolis of Britain have resounded with the sounds of the coo-ee; and the