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Commissioner in those days was a man of
great authority; in fact, altogether more like
a little king, than any less lordly personage:
so, instead of coming down himself with his
police to our assistance, he allowed the superintendant
to send six of his men, while he
himself remained where he was " otium cum."
for in truth the old fellowto say nothing of
his love of ease, was of old Falstaff's opinion
touching the advisable predominance of a
certain quality in the exercise of valour.
The men arrived in great silence at midnight,
and the Blacks fortunately knew nothing of
their arrival; for if they had, they would
have deferred their attack until a more
seasonable opportunity when we were not so
well prepared for their reception.

Daylight came, and in the distance we
could see their dusky figures crossing the
lagoon to one side. They had only three
canoes, so that it was a considerable time
before all were landed. They then gathered
together in a clump in dead silence, and held
a council of war, thinking themselves unobserved
all the time. At sunrise they slowly
approached, and only those of us whom they
expected to see showed out to them, and
without arms; they appeared to have no
other arms than their tomahawks; but every
man of them was dragging a large jagged
spear with their toes through the long grass.
When, by the way, one of these spears enters
a man's body, it is impossible to get it out
again, except by cutting the flesh all round
it, or pushing it right through to the other
side. As they advanced nearer, they spoke,
and continued talking to us all the time in
the most friendly strains, until within about
twenty yards; when just as they (at a signal
given by one of them) were stooping to pick
up their spears to make a rush, the men in
the hut let drive through loopholes right
among them; and we all made a simultaneous
rush, and put them to rout in a manner
that would have given the Old Duke intense
satisfaction had he been looking on. How
many fell, I cannot say, as they always try to
drag their dead from the field, and all around
us, except on the water-side, was long grass
and reeds;  two were left dead, and these we
buried.

To detail all the skirmishes and the Parthian
description of fighting with the Blacks for the
eighteen months which ensued, would only
weary you. Where, little more than three
years ago, ours was the only station in this
direction, being five miles beyond any other,
there are now stations formed a hundred miles
below us, and even ladies grace the river forty
miles down, one of them married to an old
school-fellow of ours, viz., Brougham, nephew
of Lord Brougham. Among other diversions,
I have been employing myself in making a
flower-garden, for independently of my love of
flowers, I think their contemplation, and engagement
in their cultivation, has a humanising,
or, if you will, a civilising effect on
the mind, such as I can assure you we require
in the Bush.

SUPPOSING.

SUPPOSING a Royal Duke were to die.
Which is not a great stretch of supposition,

For golden lads and lasses must,
Like chimney-sweepers, come to dust:

Supposing he had been a good old Duke
with a thoroughly kind heart, and a generous
nature, always influenced by a sincere desire
to do right, and always doing it, like a man
and a gentleman, to the best of his ability:

And supposing, this Royal Duke left a son,
against whom there was no imputation or
reproach, but of whom all men were disposed
to think well, and had no right or reason to
think otherwise:

And supposing, this Royal Duke, though
possessed of a very handsome income in his
life-time, had not made provision for this son;
and a rather accommodating Government (in
such matters) were to make provision for
him, at the expense of the public, on a scale
wholly unsuited to the nature of the public
burdens, past, present, and prospective, and
bearing no proportion to any kind of public
reward, for any sort of public service:

I wonder whether the country could then,
with any justice, complain, that the Royal
Duke had not himself provided for his son,
instead of leaving his son a charge upon the
people!

I should think the question would depend
upon this: Whether the country had ever
given the good Duke to understand, that it, in
the least degree, expected him to provide for
his son. If it never did anything of the sort,
but always conveyed to him, in every possible
way, the rapturous assurance that there was
a certain amount of troublesome Hotel business
to be done, which nobody but a Royal Duke
could by any possibility do, or the business
would lose its grace and flavor, then, I should
say, the good Duke aforesaid might reasonably
suppose that he made sufficient provision for
his son, in leaving him the Hotel business;
and that the country would be a very unreasonable
country, if it made any complaint.

Supposing the country did complain, though,
after all. I wonder what it would still say,
in Committee, Sub Committee, Charitable Association,
and List of Stewards, if any ungenteel
person were to propose ignoble chairmen!

Because I should like the country to be
consistent.

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