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colour and appearance, enveloped as he was in smoke, called up, were singular, and still dwell upon my recollection. We had not long left the tree, when it fell with a tremendous crash, and was, when we next passed that way, a mere heap of ashes.
At length having reached the Morumbidgee, the party proceeded down along the bank, the country round which appeared to be of a better character than that which met him in his last expedition into the interior. The natives, however, whom he now encountered, were by far inferior to those with whom he previously had become acquainted, for they were, observes Captain Sturt, the worst featured, without exception, that he had ever seen ; indeed, so bad were they, that they excited the astonishment of the beholder that human beings could be so hideous and loathsome. Proceeding along the river, the party ultimately approached that parallel of longitude in which the other known rivers of New Holland had been found to exhaust themselves in marshes ; but it was with delight that Captain Sturt saw that the river, as they advanced, still retained its width, a circumstance which admitted of the hope that the Morumbidgee would prove an exception to the remainder of the rivers. But he was doomed to be disappointed, and the only consolatory fact that came to his knowledge was, that the river Lachlan fell into the river Morumbidgee, a fact which proved that at the point of this junction there was a rapid fall of the country towards the south.
We may here take the opportunity of stating, that the result of this expedition contributed by no means so much as was expected to the discovery of any features of importance in the interior of the country, which would recommend it finally as a convenient residence for man. The absence of water is the grand and fatal deficiency which Australia has to deplore ; and the worst of it is, that no possible clue whereby human ingenuity can get at the secret of remedying this want, is likely to be discovered. Nevertheless, some general conclusions respecting the relative communications of the rivers in the interior of the country are deduced, which may hereafter serve as materials for future travellers. It also appears that a spot on the eastern shore of St. Vincent's Gulf, on the south coast of New Holland, is so abundant in pasturage, and so rich in its soil, that it is well adapted to receive an emigrant, with every chance of his success.
Having thus summed up, in a small compass, the results of this second expedition, it only remains for us to notice briefly such of the details of the journey as we may find worthy of the attention of the reader. It will be recollected that we left Captain Sturt on the banks of the Morumbidgee river, at the point where it began to become shallow. Here the Captain found a sort of population very different from that with which his men partially associated on the banks of the upper branches of the river. The manners of the former indicated that they were a peaceable, inoffensive people.
The old men (says the author) had lofty foreheads, and stood exceedingly erect. The young men are cleaner in their persons, and better featured than any we had seen, some of them having smooth hair and an almost Asiatic cast of countenance. On the other hand, the women and children were disgusting objects. The latter were much subject to diseases, and were dreadfully emaciated. It is evident that numbers of them die in their infancy for want of care and nourishment. We remarked none at the age of incipient puberty, but the most of them under six. In stating that the men were more propossessing than any we had seen, I would not be understood to mean that they differed in any material point either from the natives of the coast, or of the most distant interior to which I had been, for they were decidedly the same race, and had the same leading features and customs, as far as the latter could be observed. The sunken eye and overhanging eyebrow, the high cheek-bone and thick lip, distended nostrils, the nose either short or acquiline, together with a stout bust and slender extremities, and both curled and smooth hair, marked the natives of Morumbidgee as well as those of the Darling. They were evidently sprung from one commom stock, the savage and scattered inhabitants of a rude and inhospitable land.-vol. i. p. 53.
The customs of this tribe were identical with the coast natives, and also those inhabiting the banks of the Darling and the Castlereagh. The chief ornaments of their bodies are cicatrices, formed by lacerations, which are made for that purpose ; this people likewise extract the front teeth, and in their food, self-painting, and weapons, resemble the other tribes just mentioned. They make a light spear of a reed, which they employ as a missile in distant combat ; whilst for a close contest and for the chase, they use spears much more ponderous. It would appear that the laws which prevail over all the native tribes of New Holland are pretty much alike. The old men are exclusively permitted to eat the emu, and the consumption of ducks is prohibited to all with the exception of married persons. These laws are observed in a spirit of submission, which is truly edifying, by all the junior population. These people, observes Captain Sturt, hold their corrobories (midnight ceremonies), and sing the same melancholy ditty that breaks the stillness of night on the shores of Jervis' Bay, or on the banks of the Macquarie; and during the ceremony, imitate the several birds and beasts with which they are acquainted. If these inland tribes differ in anything from those on the coast, it is in the mode of burying their dead, and, partially, in their language. Like all savages, they consider their women as secondary objects, oblige them to procure their own food, or throw to them over their shoulders the bones they have already picked, with a nonchalance that is extremely amusing; and, on the march, make them beasts of burthen to carry their very weapons. The population of the Morumbidgee, as far as the party had descended it at this time, did not exceed from ninety to a hundred souls: they were persuaded that disease and accidents consign many of them to a premature grave,
hostility for the Captain, he states, wehighs, and
Proceeding down the course of the Morumbidgee, the party met frequently with bodies of the natives on the banks, who generally appeared to be prepared for an attack, but proved always ready to accept the friendly advances of the visitors, amongst whom Mr. McLeay particularly distinguished himself, by his well adapted contrivances at conciliation. At one spot, however, when the party was rowing to the bank, on which they saw a number of natives collected, and on whose good intentions they thought they might rely, such testimonies of hostility were immediately manifested by the tribe, as rendered it prudent for the Captain to continue his voyage in the middle of the stream.-The natives, he states, were painted in various ways : some who had marked their ribs, and thighs, and faces with a white pigment, looked like skeletons ; others were daubed over with red and yellow ochre, and their bodies shone with the grease with which they had besmeared themselves. Disappointed in their anticipations, the natives ran along the bank of the river, endeavouring to secure an aim at us; but unable to throw with certainty, in consequence of the onward motion of the boat, they flung themselves into the most extravagant attitudes, and worked themselves into a state of frenzy by loud and vehement shouting.
But the danger was not yet over, for the boat, which had hitherto moved in deep water, now brought them to a point where the stream was shoaling fast, and a tremendous sandbank before them threatened to stop completely their career. What must have been the feelings of the party, when they saw this bank covered with a dense mass of the natives, already over-exasperated, and now in an attitude which left no hope that a combat could be avoided ! Instant preparations were made in the boat for an attack on the natives, and Captain Sturt, in the expectation that one man being shot would render more deaths unnecessary, had his gun actually levelled at a particular individual, and was placing his finger on the trigger, when he heard the voice of Mr. McLeay calling to him that another party of blacks, consisting of four men, was hastening to the river on the left bank. The Captain raised his gun, and soon saw one of the four descend into the river and rush forward to the other side, where he stood for a moment in front of the foremost of the savages, who had threatened the boat party. After pausing for a moment, this man seized the savage by the throat, and seened from his gesture and demeanour to condemn any attempt to assail the boat. The party were allowed to proceed, and the Captain was for some time before he could recover from the shock, at the prospect of a menaced danger which was so providentially averted. This was a solitary instance in which the natives acted in a hostile manner towards the strangers. Everywhere they were found affected by the most frightful diseases; and in his further descent down the river, Captain Sturt, astonishing to relate! found the most dreadful vestiges of syphilis, particularly in the loss of the bones of their noses, by those of the natives affected with the disease.
It is not necessary that we should proceed further with the details of Captain Sturt's interesting narrative, as we feel that enough has been already exhibited of the contents of the work, to enable the reader to estimate its value. It only remains for us to notice the subject which forms the principal topic of the last chapter, namely the melancholy murder of Captain Barker by the natives. It appears that Captain Sturt, in his visit to the southern coast, not being in a condition himself to make the examination, recommended to the colo. nial government a further investigation of the territory intervening between the most eastern point of Encounter Bay, and the head of St Vincent's Gulf. Captain Collet Barker was appointed to perform this duty, he having been well fitted for the task by his long intercourse with the natives on the northern coast, to whose hands he had frequently entrusted himself. Captain Barker accepted his appointment, and in due time landed on the coast of St. Vincent's Gulf, at a spot which, from its rich soil and picturesque scenery, was peculiarly inviting, It appears that, in the pursuit of his scientific objects in this quarter, the Captain, though in a very unhealthy state, ventured upon swimming across a tide, in order to gain a hillock at a short distance, which was calculated to facilitate some observations that he desired to make. He was observed by several of his comrades, who, in the first instance, endeavoured to dissuade him from his purpose to ascend the hillock, which he had reached from the water. He then descended from the top on the opposite side, but was seen no more. Mr. Kent, one of the companions of Captain Barker, remained waiting on the shore with two soldiers, in expectation of seeing him reascend the hillock every moment; but they waited in vain, and at last, having conducted the soldiers along the shore to obtain wood for firing, the party was struck with a distant shout, which was recognised to have proceeded from a white man. The evening closed, and yet no tidings arrived of Captain Barker ; but whilst the party, assembled round their evening fire, were anxiously speculating on his fate, their con. versation was interrupted, in a manner which Captain Sturt describes in the following beautiful passage :
Soon after night-fall, however, their attention was roused by the sound of the natives, and it was at length discovered that they had lighted a chain of small fires between the sand-hill Captain Parker had ascended, and the opposite side of the channel, around which their women were chaunting their melancholy dirge. It struck upon the ears of the listeners with an ominous thrill, and assured them of the certainty of the irreparable loss they had sustained. All night did those dismal sounds echo along that lonely shore, but as morning dawned, they ceased, and Mr. Kent and his companions were again left in anxiety and doubt. They, at length, thought it most advisable to proceed to the schooner to advise with Doctor Davies. They traversed the beach with hasty steps, but did not get on board till the following day. It was then determined to procure assistance from the sealers on Kangaroo Island, as the only means by which they could ascer. " tain their leader's fate, and they accordingly entered American Harbour, For a certain reward, one of the men agreed to accompany Mr. Kent to the main with a native woman, to communicate with the tribe that was supposed to have killed him. They landed at or near the rocky point of Encounter Bay, where they were joined by two other natives, one of whom was blind. The woman was sent forward for intelligence, and, on her return, gave the following details :- It appears that, at a very considerable distance from the first sand-hill, there is another, to which Captain Barker must have walked, for the woman stated that three natives were going to the shore from their tribe, and that they crossed his tract. Their quick perception immediately told them it was an unusual impression. They followed upon it, and saw Captain Barker returning. They hesitated for a long time to approach him, being fearful of the instrument he carried. At length, however, they closed upon him. Captain Barker tried to sooth them; but finding that they were determined to attack him, he made for the water, from which he could not have been very far distant. One of the blacks immediately threw his spear, and struck him in the hip. This did not, however, stop him. He got among the breakers, when he received the second spear in the shoulder. On this, turning round, he received the third full in the breast : with such deadly precision do these savages cast their weapons. It would appear that the third spear was already on its flight when Captain Barker turned, and it is to be hoped that it was at once mortal. He fell on his back into the water. The natives then rushed in. and dragging him out by the legs, seized their spears, and inflicted innumerable wounds upon his body; after which they threw it into deep water, and the sea tide carried it away.-pp. 241-243.
A considerable number of beautifully executed plates, illustrating the natural history of the country ; together with an elaborate map, exhibiting the whole of the discoveries in the interior of New Holland, are appended to, and very materially augment the value and interest of this work. It gives us no little pain in the perusal of the results of these ingenious and useful labours, to find that they have been productive of some sacrifices of health, and particularly of the faculty of sight to Captain Sturt. However, we feel that there is much ground for hope and promise that his indisposition has been but temporary, when we find him, with his wonted enthusiasm, fresh and ready for a new expedition.
Art. V.- The Epistle from the Yearly Meeting, held in London by Adjournment from the 22d of the fifth month, to the 6th of the sixth month, inclusive, 1833, to the Quarterly and Monthly Meetings of Friends in Great Britain, Ireland, and elsewhere. London. 1833.
The yearly Epistle, which is annually promulgated by the singular community vulgarly called Quakers, has this claim on general attention, that whilst it is nominally a document devoted to mere