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WORDS OF A SONG
Mdng-en-ny-wau-yen-go-nah, bar-ri-boo-lah, bar-re-mah. This they begin at the top of their voices, and continue as long as they can in one breath, sinking to the lowest note, and then rising again to the highest. The words are the names of deceased persons.
E-i-ah wan-ge-wah, chian-go, wan-de-go. The words of another song, sung in the same manner as the preceding, and of the same meaning.
I met with only two or three words which bore a resemblance to any other language.
The middle head of Port Jackson is named Ca-ba Ca-ba—in Portuguese Caba signifies a head. Cam-ma-rade, a term of affection used among girls, has a strong resemblance to the French word Cammerade; and may not some similitude be traced between the word E-lee-mong, a shield, and the word Telamon, the name given to the greater Ajax, on account of his being lord of the seven-fold shield? How these words came into their language must be a mystery till we have a more intimate knowledge of it than I can pretend to.
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I could have enlarged very much the foregoing account of the natives of New South Wales; but, both in describing their customs and in detailing their language, I have chosen to mention only those facts about which, after much attention and inquiry, I could satisfy my own mind. That they are ignorant savages cannot be disputed; but I hope they do not in the foregoing pages appear to be wholly incapable of becoming one day civilized and useful members of society.
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Since the preceding account was printed, letters have been received from New South Wales of as late date as the 20th of August 1797. By these it appears, that his Majesty’s ship Reliance, in her passage from the Cape of Good Hope to Port Jackson, met with uncommon bad weather, which kept her out eleven weeks and one day. About the latitude of 41 degrees S and 77 degrees E longitude, the sea suddenly became violently agitated, and at last broke on board the ship, staving a boat which was over the stern, and doing considerable damage to the ship. Captain Waterhouse, however, landed safely thirty-nine head of black cattle, three mares, and near sixty sheep.
Information was also received through the same channel, that a ship called the Sydney Cove had been fitted out for Port Jackson from Bengal; but springing a leak at sea, she was run ashore on the southernmost part of the coast of New Holland: seventeen of the crew attempted to get to Port Jackson in their long-boat, but were driven on shore, and lost their boat. They then attempted to reach it by land, in which hazardous undertaking only three of them succeeded, the other either dying on the route or being killed by the natives. They were eighty days in performing this journey, and reported that in their way they had found great quantities of coal. This was afterwards confirmed by the surgeon of the Reliance, who went down to the wreck, and brought specimens of it back with him, having found immense strata of this useful article. Some part of the cargo was got on shore and housed where the ship was stranded.