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REGARDING the aborigines of Western Australia the materials at our disposal are somewhat scanty.

There exists a theory that all savages are the degraded descendants of civilized ancestors, If this be true it seems to me that the Australian Blackboys' period of enlightenment must have existed very far back in the dim twilight of ancient history.

Theories are, as is well known, apt to outrun facts, so I will not try my reader's patience by venturing to discuss the question of "rise or fall," but content myself with the observation that through unnumbered ages there have been wanderers in the desert, side by side with dwellers in cities; and our black Australian brother seems to have descended from the former class. I am likewise led to remark in passing, that our first parents before the fall did not live in a state of civilization, but of ignorance--an ignorance which was undoubtedly bliss,--for ever to be dispelled by the knowledge of good and evil. It was after the fall when they had to work, and became ashamed of their nude condition, that they

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bethought them of the most primitive modes of dress. Thus did civilization and sin enter the world hand in hand, soon after the creation; and the fig leaf was ancestor to the petticoat.

Among the rudest tribes of men, inhabitants of the wild forests and deserts, dependent for their food and clothing on the accidental produce of the earth or spoils of the chase, a form of skull is prevalent, which is termed prognathous, indicating an extension forward of the jaws. The facial angle peculiar to this formation is low, and is strongly developed among the Alfurian or Australian races. They probably spring from a common source; and the Rev. William Ridley draws attention to the interesting fact that the blacks themselves always have in idea that their ancestors came from the north. Then the current of migration has been ever towards the south and west, and the natives of the north-eastern corner call it "Kai Dowdai" or Little Country. This seems strange when New Guinea is known to them as "Muggi Dowdai" or Great Country. The anomaly is accounted for by their ignorance of the extent of country they inhabit. To those living near Cape York, and passing to and fro across the strait dividing New Holland from New Guinea, the low narrow promontory would seem insignificant compared with the great mountain ranges of the latter. Then again there is a tradition among some tribes that their first parents landed on the North West Corner from Java. All this, however, is at the best but wild conjecture. The real source from which the Aborigines of Australia

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originally came is one of those mysteries buried in the impenetrable depths of an unwritten past.

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