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AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY.

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general and Crown revenues of the colony. The interest on this loan would be £28,000. We have shown that the Crown revenues alone, amounting already to upwards of £100,000 per annum, were steadily increasing, and when augmented by the millions of acres thus made available for purchase, and by the numerous emigrants thus imported the burden of this charge would scarcely be felt.*

The population of the colony would by these means be doubled at once; what it would reach in a few years, from the natural causes of increase, aided by a continuous stream of immigration, it is hard to calculate. Great Britain in the mean time would have been freed from the maintenance of, say 60,000 paupers, whom she otherwise will have to support in workhouses, at an annual charge of £400,000 ; and her annual exports will have been increased, at the very least, by £500,000.

Let a mutual interest be thus created, and the affections of the colony will be bound to

* The general revenue for the half-year ending June 30, 1850, was £67,835, being an increase on the corresponding half-year of £9,425. The Crown revenue for the same period was £46,240.

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AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY.

Great Britain more firmly than they are at present, by the protection of 70 soldiers, (the whole military defence of Port Phillip,) which Mr. Cobden now grudges to it.

Many of the advantages held out by Australia as a field for enterprise aud the acquisition of wealth, have been pointed out; but can it be entered upon without great sacrifices and privations? Some will anxiously enquire, Who are these with whom we are about to associate ? We have heard of the horrors of the penal settlements, Are their inhabitants to be the companions of our labours ? Is this the society which we are about to choose for our children? Is there any opportunity for intellectual enjoyment, or for mental improvement? What are the means of education ? Are the ordinances of religion regularly administered on that remote shore ?

It is one of the characteristics of Australian society, that there are mingled through it men who have seen much of the world, and have also been more or less forced to use their minds. This gives an unusually diversified and manly tone to conversation. One may be heard to describe the delights of landing at Rio, on his

STEAM COMMUNICATION WITH ENGLAND. 75

outward-bound voyage,

while another recommends his friends to proceed home viâ India and Egypt, as preferable to being compelled to seek shelter in Pernambuco; the wool in the hold of the ship having ignited on the passage homewards. One praises the steam route, viâ the Cape of Good Hope; another contrasts the storms of Cape Leewin with the still waters, the coral reefs, and beauty of Torres Straits; a third declares that the Leewin is a most calumniated Cape, that he has passed it twelve times in smooth water, and on the last occasion was becalmed there; while a fourth maintains that anything must be better than only five hours of daylight, or an adventure with an iceberg off Cape Horn. One describes his stay for months on Desolation Island, in a scarcely less enviable position than his companion trading for hides on the coast of California before its golden treasures were made known. No wonder that one is struck with the “travelled aspect,” if we may use the phrase, of Australian society. Many there are who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and say that all is barren. Nor is it a matter of surprise, if, in a pastoral and solitary life, many should be found “whose talk is of

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bullocks,” the staple of whose conversation is wool and tallow. There, as elsewhere, a man can choose his associates.

The social benefits to be derived from steam communication with England, can scarcely be over-estimated. It is calculated that the voyage can be made in 63 days, with the greatest certainty. Numbers then will repeatedly revisit their native land, and thus preserve the ties of kindred, their acquaintance with the continual growth of science and literature, and strengthen those old national associations of their youth, which they originally brought out with them. The sense of banishment, the recklessness, the roughness, now the result of it will, in very many, be totally extinguished ; and if a line of powerful screw steamers can be established, to carry emigrants and mails monthly, viâ the Cape of Good Hope, to the various Australian settlements, (in which no great difficulty presents itself,) it is hard to estimate the advantages, direct and collateral, which would thus be secured.

None need ever fear to meet in good society any who have been tainted by the conviction of crime. Even in convict colonies, (Port Phillip never was one,) even when wealth, whether well

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or ill gotten, has been obtained by those, originally prisoners, such live, with very few exceptions, in a society of their own. That this class, if too numerous, as it is in the penal colonies, possessing as it does in them great wealth, must prove a serious evil is not denied ; and this will induce many to give a decided preference to such colonies as never were penal settlements, inasmuch as New South Wales proper and Van Diemen's Land do suffer from having their people originally composed, like Falstaff's brigade, of " discarded, unjust, serving men, younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters, and ostlers, trade fallen."

Even in New South Wales proper, the free immigrants have acquired a decided ascendancy; which, as transportation has ceased, must constantly increase. No valid reason, therefore, can exist, why even those of the working class who would be thrown into more immediate contact with persons who have suffered the penalty of their crimes, need hesitate to go there. The more dissolute are fast dying off. The greater number of the prisoners were driven by poverty to crime. It is not to be wondered at, if a large part of this unfortunate class, these “cankers

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