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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/305

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JANUARY, 1899.


THE earliest nomadic stage of mankind has left traces in many of the colonies. The first age of French Canada, of New York, of great part of North America, was one of hunters and trappers, and it has continued in the Northwest till recent times. The first brief period of Rhodesia was that of the big-game hunter. The Boers of the Transvaal are still as much hunters as farmers. The American backwoodsman who clears a patch, then sells his improvements to the first newcomer, and, placing his wife and children and scanty belongings on a cart, proceeds da capo elsewhere, is a nomadic pioneer. The stage is in one way or another perpetual, for the class never quite dies out. The drunken English quarryman who, driven by a demon of restlessness, continually goes "on tramp," and in his wanderings covers on foot a space equal to twice the circumference of the globe, is a demi-savage whose nomadism is only checked by the "abhorred approaches of old age." If he emigrates, he repeats the old, wild life as a pick-and-shovel man in Queensland or a quarryman in New South Wales. The soberer colonial youth, who more luxuriously canters from farm to farm in New Zealand on the back of a scrub, is a tamer specimen who settles down when he marries. Nay, the "restless man" who periodically applies for leave of absence from a colonial legislature in order to travel in India, China, and Timbuctoo, is a still milder but not less incorrigible example of the same indestructible type.

The pastoral stage is all but universal. Wherever grass grows