Imágenes de página

ety, but extravagantly expensive, under no ordinary dificulty in meeting and even destructive of the lives of the unusual pressure.” the intending emigrants. A few ex- Of course, such a business, attracts from the Report of the Com- tempted to be carried on by an inexmittee (1853) to the Colonial Secre- perienced public board, sitting in a tary will be sufficiently intelligible as central office in London, although to the inefficient working of the pre- dealing with emigration from various sent system. In the first place, it ports in the United Kingdom, was will be made clear that a great public likely to ran into arrear and confuoffice, with already a multiplicity of sion. Individual local firms, however, business to conduct, is incompetent, feel no difficulty in carrying it on, from its very composition, of carrying upon a scale fully equal to that of the on a trade in which they have to Board, when measured by the extent compete with experienced private of their establishments. Those indifirms. After mentioning the utter vidual firms would have forwarded failure of an experiment made by promptly all the Government emithem of sending out a large number grants which the Colonial Land and of Highland emigrants on board Emigration Commissioners might have H.M.S. the “Hercules," which was thought proper to hand over to their proceeding to Hong-Kong as an hos- care, and managed all the details pital-ship, and was offered them by and correspondence dwelt upon_as the Admiralty for the purpose, the being so onerous upon them. But Commissioners report :

the Commissioners must needs char

ter ships of their own, throwing away " Meanwhile applications for assist- all the advantages which private merance were made on behalf of Germans chants possess, of procuring profitand Swiss, and, by a very respectable able freight for a portion of each ship committee at Madras, of the half-caste sent out. And they had to pay population of India. But the growing dear for their whistle.” At page 18 eagerness to reach Australia soon ren- of the Report, they say:

" The dered it unnecessarily pressing for us freights, which in June 1851 had either to close with applications of this

fallen as low as £10, and in one inkind, or to relax our ordinary rules in regard to British emigrants. This eager

stance to £9, 9s. 5d. per adult, rose ness soon became excessive—so much so,

in June 1852 to upwards of £17; and that, at one time, our office contained no

since that time they have actually less than 18,000 applications for passages

reached the enormous amount of £23 to Australia. The number of letters re- per adult.” Undoubtedly, they might ceived in the month of June, which, in havereached this “enormous amount" 1850, was 1564, and, in 1851, 2884, at the time named. But private and amounted in 1852 to 18,910, being at an most respectable and experienced average rate, excluding Sundays, of 727

firms, at the dearest time mentioned, a-day. And when it is remembered that

taking advantage of their ability of a large number of these transmitted

paying merchandise freight, would small sums of money, requiring consider

have sent out emigrants, supplied to able accuracy of treatment, and that a far greater number respected the time

them by the Commissioners, at an aveand manner in which poor emigrants rage price of two-thirds the amount, were to leave their country for ever-a

and furnished them with the ample matter in which any inaccuracy, though stores, the ventilation, and the other trifling in respect to the magnitude of conducives to health insisted upon by the whole service, was of the greatest the local Government Commissioners, importance to the individuals--that a in the case of voluntary as well as great number of our correspondents Government emigration. Taking from were persons who could not be counted

one hundred to one hundred and fifty upon for expressing their own meaning with clearness, or understanding correctly

passengers, paid for by the Commiswhat was written to them-and, finally, afforded to charge even lower.

sioners, in each ship, they might have that all this mass of details, by no means capable of a cursory or careless treatment,

But the Commissioners had a model was to be disposed of by persons partly system of their own to exhibit to the overtased and partly new to those details, world, and peculiar views as to the it will be seen, we hope, that we laboured fitting up of emigrant ships, more calculated, they maintained, to secure being sailed under private managethe health and comfort and safety of ment, has more than the ordinary poor persons going out at the expense rate of mortality prevailed. After of the colony, a knowledge of the na- this disastrous loss of human life, the ture of which was denied to the ex- Commissioners came to the resolution perienced Goverument officers sta- of diminishing the number of children tioned at the various ports, whose allowed to each passenger, and limited duty it is to superintend the accom- the size of their ships. Private firms modation and quality of provisions allowed the same number, and inafforded to persons going out at their creased the size of their ships. Yet own expense. Let us see what was the latter have had no increase in the the working of this model system ! rate of mortality, whilst, only a few

They state that, in consequence of weeks ago, a ship chartered by the the high rates for shipping, they were Commissioners lost at sea-having compelled to adopt large ships, and only reached Cork—in putting back they add, page 18:

to their depot at Birkenhead, and “We lament to say that in those de- after placing the sick in hospital, upspatched from Liverpool the result was wards of sixty lives! The absurdity, unfortunate. Among the adults, indeed, on the part of the Commissioners, in no bad consequence followed, but amongst employing exclusively small ships, is the infants and young children, whose thus apparent, even in a sanitary numbers had been increased by the then point of view. The large clippers, recent relaxation

our rules, a great built expressly for the trade, have mortality occurred. On the Bourneuf,' at the same time had the advantage

Marco Polo,' and 'Wanata,' in which the aggregate number of passengers was

over their competitors in quick sailing. 2581, the number of deaths was 181, of In proof of this fact, we quote a table, which no less than 152 were below four

extracted from a file of the London years of age. On the Ticonderago,' 165

Times of this year, showing the averpersons died on the voyage, or in qua- age number of days occupied in the rantine after arrival, of whom 65 were passage by the vessels of different below fourteen, and 18 were less than one tonnage, ranging from 200 tons upyear old.”

wards, despatched from Liverpool to It is a somewhat singular fact, that Australia in the years 1852 and in not one of these vessels, since their 1853.


1853. Average number Average number of days.

of days. Under 200 tons,


133 From 200 to 300 tons


122 300 400


113 400 500




112 600 700


103 700 800


101 800 900


100 900


95 1000 1200


91 1200 & upwards,


90 We entertain little doubt that, in a individuals, that these important colshort while, the provincial legislatures onies must look chiefly for a relief and people of the various provinces of from their present temporary difficulAustralia will protest loudly against ties. A large amount of misconcepthis mismanagement of their contri- tion has been spread abroad as to the butions for the purpose of encouraging prospects which they hold out for emigration, and assert the right of settlers and their social condition. exercising a greater control than We have had too much information they have at present over their own from the Colonies themselves about funds.

the state of trade in Melbourne and But it is, after all, to the honest the other large towns, and the yield of press, and to the enterprise of private the various gold mines, and much too

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1000 رو

[ocr errors]

little of the progress making in agri- leave his home to settle for life in cultural pursuits. With respect to Australia in the entire confidence that the latter, too, the sort of information his industry will meet its full reward. conveyed, and the picture which it To bring about the future greatness presents, have not been of a character which we have predicted for the likely to attract the most useful classes colony, as the centre of a wealthy of settlerg-our small farmers and and powerful Anglo-Saxon empire farm-labourers. Sheep-farming and in the Pacific, whose population are stock-farming in “the bush," as it is governed by British laws, and are in still absurdly termed, is naturally the enjoyment of British institutions, associated in their minds with ideas it is most important that the British of solitary and half-savage life, to element should be as largely as posadventure upon which most men, and sible infused amongst them. Society especially those who have been accus- in Australia calls especially for the tomed to quiet domestic life, and have presence of an educated middle class, no pressing necessity for taking such capable of ameliorating, by its ex a step, will hardly be induced to leave ample, the rudeness of character and their native land. In the large towns manners which may be expected from society is gradually assuming a settled amongst her successful gold-diggers, character, and their population, the bush-farmers, and traders. The spread old and the newly arrived as well, of truthful information respecting the are directing their attention to the or- climate, capabilities, &c., of the coundinary avocations of industry. Dwell- try, will effect much in supplying that ings, as we have shown, are being want, and inducing such a class to erected almost with sufficient rapidity emigrate thither as to a permanent to meet the demand for them, and home. The time may come—be it proper sanitary and other arrange- far distant !—when the colonists may ments will follow. The most congratu- demand to be an independent people. latory movement which has recently, Such an infusion amongst them of and is now more rapidly than ever right-hearted and loyal British men taking place, is the conversion of the and women—the fathers and mothers soil, hitherto in a wild state, or form of another generation —may do much ing portions of sheep-runs, into farms to postpone such an event. And of various sizes, cultivated in the best when it does arrive-when people manner by British and other farmers. grown great and wealthy under the Little communities, the germs of future protecting arm of British sway refuses towns and villages, are springing up to be governed from the antipodeson every side; and before many the breaking of the link may be renseasons are over, the population, dered a kindly one; and it may to no however largely augmented, will have slight extent operate upon our future no occasion to depend upon extrane- relations with the grown-up child, who ous supply for any of the leading has cast us off, and decided to walk necessaries of life. Whether as a by himself, that his heart still clings merchant, a tradesman, or to engage to the home of his parents, and feels an in other legitimate and useful occupa- interest in maintaining the prosperity tions, the emigrant may now safely of the land which gave them birth.



Let us imagine one of our species, the moon. Why all these things at an early period of its history, des- came to be as they are, he knows no titute of any artificial aid to the sense more than the bird that is blithely singof sight, contemplating the aspect of ing on the branch above him, but for a things around him. He perceives certain Book, which tells him that God that, somehow or other, he lives upon made him, and everything he sees about a Something-apparently a flat sur- him; the sun, the moon, the stars, face, of indefinite extent in all direc- the earth, with all the arrangements tions from the spot where he stands securing night and day, light and

consisting of land and water, darkness, seasons, days, and years; alternately visited with light and forming him, in His IMAGE; giving darkness, heat and cold; with a regular him the earth for a dwelling, and succession of seasons, somehow or dominion over everything that lives other connected with the growth of and breathes in it; and commanding vegetables of various kinds, suitable him to be obedient to the will of his and unsuitable for his purposes, with Maker. That the first man and woman beautiful flowers and magnificent placed on the earth became, nevertheforests : while the air, water, and less, almost immediately disobediearth, teem with insects, birds, fishes, ent; whereby they incurred the anger and animals, which seem almost alto- of God, and their position on earth gether at his command. There are also became woefully changed for the winds, dews, showers, mists, frost, worse. That God, nevertheless, loved snow, hail, thunderstorms, volcanoes, man, formed in His own image, after and earthquakes. He himself, equally His likeness, with such tenderness, with the vegetables and animals, that He devised means for his restopasses through divers gradations, from ration, if he chose, to the favour which birth to decay-from life to death: he had forfeited ; and Himself visited but during life, alike alternately sleep- the earth, in the form of man; subing and waking, subject to vicissitudes mitted to mockery, suffering, and of pain and pleasure, of health and death, on his behalf; rose again, and disease.

returned to Heaven with the body If he look beyond the locality on which He had assumed on earth. That which all this takes place, he beholds though man's body must die and a blazing body alternately visible and decay, equally with that of every invisible, at regular intervals, and to animal, his shall rise again, and be which he attributes both light and rejoined by its spirit, to stand before heat; another luminous body visible the judgment-seat of God, to be judgonly at night, which it gently illumi- ed in respect of the deeds done in the nates ; and both these objects are body, and be eternally miserable or occasionally subject to brief but por- happy, according to the righteous tentous obscurations. During the judgment then pronounced. Moreover, night there also appear a great num- this Book tells him, with reference to ber of glittering white specks in the the locality in which he exists, that all blue distance, which he calls stars; all things shall not always remain as they he knows of them being, that they are are ; but that the earth, and all that beautiful objects in the dark; even con- is in it, shall be burned up; that it, tributing a little light, in the absence of and the Heaven, shall pass away with

Of the Plurality of Worlds ; an Essay. Also Dialogue on the same subject. Second Edition. Parker and Son, 1854.

More Worlds than One, the Creed of the Philosopher, and the Hope of the Christian. By Sir David BREWSTER, K.H., D.C.L. Murray, 1854.

The Planets : Are they Inhabited IVorlds ? Museum of Science and Art. By DionysIUS LARDNER, D.C.L., Chapters i., ii., iii., iv. Walton and Maberly, 1854.

a great noise; that the elements shall peopling infinitude ; and these, moremelt with fervent heat; and for those over, obeying laws of motion the same on whom a favourable doom shall have as those which exist in the system of been pronounced in the day of judg- which the earth forms part ! ment, there shall be a new heaven, “Well," says our overwhelmed oband a new earth, wherein dwelleth server, “it is certainly late in the righteousness. Believing all this, and day to make these sublime and awful his inner nature telling him that the discoveries; but here they are, unless law of action laid down in the Book is my instruments play me false, so righteous, and conformable to that that I am the victim of mere optical nature, he endeavours to regulate delusion ; the boundless, numberless his conduct by it, and dies, as dies realms of insect life being only imagigeneration after generation, in calm nary; and the stars really no suns and happy reliance on the Truth of or worlds at all, but simply the glitthat Book.

tering spots which alone mankind has Ages pass away, and great dis- hitherto believed them.

But if my coveries appear to be made, by the telescope tell me truly, the little exercise of man's own thought and speck on which I live is in fact but a ingenuity, and quite independently of grain of dark dust in the heavens, any revelations contained in his Great circling obscurely round a sun, itself a Book. Whereas he had thought the mere star, perhaps eclipsed in splenearth stationary, he finds it, the sun, dour by every other star in existence; and the moon, to be round bodies, each probably containing many more each turning round on its own axis, and greater planets circling about it the earth once in twenty-four hours; than has our sun! And about these that the earth also goes round the sun matters TAE Book is silent." once in every year, the moon accom- Pondering these discoveries, and aspanying it, and at the same time suming them to be real, our observer turning round it once in every month; echoes the inquiry of our greatest livand that these are the means by which ing astronomer—" Now, for what are caused light and darkness, night purpose are we to suppose such magand day, heat and cold, and the nificent bodies scattered through the various changes of the seasons. The abyss of space ? ”* And at length the stars remain twinkling, the mere grander one occurs-Are there human bright specks they ever appeared. beings, or beings similar to myself,

Let us now, however, suppose our anywhere else than on this earth ? thoughtful observer's sight assisted by On the sun, moon, planets, and their the aid of glass, in two ways--so as satellites ? Nay, on all the other to place bim on the one hand, nearer inconceivably numerous suns, plato distant objects, and on the other, nets, and satellites in existence ? reveal objects close to him, which he He pauses, as though in a spasm of had never suspected. In the latter awe. But he may next, and very case, his microscope exhibits an as- rationally, ask, If it be so, how does tounding spectacle - almost every all this affect me? Has it any pracatom turned, as it were, into a world, tical bearing on the condition of a peopled with exquisitely-organised ani- denizen of this earth ? mal forms, adapted perfectly to the If our bewildered inquirer unfortuelements in which they are seen disport- nately had at his elbow Thomas Paine, ing themselves. In the former case, he would hear this blasphemous his telescope makes equally astounding whisper : “ The system of a plurarevelations in an opposite direction. lity of worlds renders THE CHRISThe Heavens are swarming with TIAN FAITI at once little and ridisplendid structures unseen to the culous, and scatters it in the mind, naked eye: new planets are visible, like feathers in the air. The two with rings, belts, and moons, and beliefs cannot be held together in the the stars prove to be resplendent suns; same mind; and he who thinks he the centres of so many systems believes both has thought but little of

* HERSCHEL, Astron., $ 592.-[We quote from the first edition.]

« AnteriorContinuar »