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ety, but extravagantly expensive, and even destructive of the lives of the intending emigrants. A few extracts from the Report of the Committee (1853) to the Colonial Secretary will be sufficiently intelligible as to the inefficient working of the present system. In the first place, it will be made clear that a great public office, with already a multiplicity of business to conduct, is incompetent, from its very composition, of carrying on a trade in which they have to compete with experienced private firms. After mentioning the utter failure of an experiment made by them of sending out a large number of Highland emigrants on board H.M.S. the "Hercules," which was proceeding to Hong-Kong as an hospital-ship, and was offered them by the Admiralty for the purpose, the Commissioners report:
"Meanwhile applications for assistance were made on behalf of Germans and Swiss, and, by a very respectable committee at Madras, of the half-caste population of India. But the growing eagerness to reach Australia soon rendered it unnecessarily pressing for us either to close with applications of this kind, or to relax our ordinary rules in regard to British emigrants. This eagerness soon became excessive-so much so, that, at one time, our office contained no less than 18,000 applications for passages to Australia. The number of letters received in the month of June, which, in 1850, was 1564, and, in 1851, 2884, amounted in 1852 to 18,910, being at an average rate, excluding Sundays, of 727 a-day. And when it is remembered that a large number of these transmitted small sums of money, requiring consider able accuracy of treatment, and that a far greater number respected the time and manner in which poor emigrants were to leave their country for ever-a matter in which any inaccuracy, though trifling in respect to the magnitude of the whole service, was of the greatest importance to the individuals-that a great number of our correspondents were persons who could not be counted upon for expressing their own meaning with clearness, or understanding correctly what was written to them--and, finally, that all this mass of details, by no means capable of a cursory or careless treatment, was to be disposed of by persons partly overtaxed and partly new to those details, it will be seen, we hope, that we laboured
under no ordinary difficulty in meeting the unusual pressure."
tempted to be carried on by an inexOf course, such a business, atperienced public board, sitting in a central office in London, although dealing with emigration from various ports in the United Kingdom, was likely to run into arrear and confusion. Individual local firms, however, feel no difficulty in carrying it on, upon a scale fully equal to that of the Board, when measured by the extent of their establishments. Those individual firms would have forwarded promptly all the Government emigrants which the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners might have thought proper to hand over to their and correspondence dwelt upon as care, and managed all the details being so onerous upon them. But the Commissioners must needs charter ships of their own, throwing away all the advantages which private merchants possess, of procuring profitable freight for a portion of each ship dear for their whistle." At page 18 sent out. And they had to " pay of the Report, they say: The freights, which in June 1851 had fallen as low as £10, and in one instance to £9, 9s. 5d. per adult, rose in June 1852 to upwards of £17; and since that time they have actually reached the enormous amount of £23 per adult." Undoubtedly, they might have reached this "enormous amount" at the time named. But private and firms, at the dearest time mentioned, most respectable and experienced taking advantage of their ability of paying merchandise freight, would have sent out emigrants, supplied to them by the Commissioners, at an average price of two-thirds the amount, and furnished them with the ample stores, the ventilation, and the other conducives to health insisted upon by the local Government Commissioners, Government emigration. Taking from in the case of voluntary as well as one hundred to one hundred and fifty sioners, in each ship, they might have passengers, paid for by the Commisafforded to charge even lower.
But the Commissioners had a model system of their own to exhibit to the world, and peculiar views as to the fitting up of emigrant ships, more cal
culated, they maintained, to secure the health and comfort and safety of poor persons going out at the expense of the colony, a knowledge of the nature of which was denied to the experienced Government officers stationed at the various ports, whose duty it is to superintend the accommodation and quality of provisions afforded to persons going out at their own expense. Let us see what was the working of this model system! They state that, in consequence of the high rates for shipping, they were compelled to adopt large ships, and they add, page 18:
"We lament to say that in those despatched from Liverpool the result was unfortunate. Among the adults, indeed, no bad consequence followed, but amongst the infants and young children, whose numbers had been increased by the then recent relaxation of our rules, a great mortality occurred. On the Bourneuf,' 'Marco Polo,' and 'Wanata,' in which the aggregate number of passengers was 2581, the number of deaths was 181, of
which no less than 152 were below four years of age. On the 'Ticonderago,' 165 persons died on the voyage, or in quarantine after arrival, of whom 65 were below fourteen, and 18 were less than one year old."
being sailed under private management, has more than the ordinary rate of mortality prevailed. After this disastrous loss of human life, the Commissioners came to the resolution of diminishing the number of children allowed to each passenger, and limited the size of their ships. Private firms allowed the same number, and increased the size of their ships. Yet the latter have had no increase in the rate of mortality, whilst, only a few weeks ago, a ship chartered by the Commissioners lost at sea-having only reached Cork-in putting back to their depot at Birkenhead, and after placing the sick in hospital, upwards of sixty lives! The absurdity, on the part of the Commissioners, in employing exclusively small ships, is thus apparent, even in a sanitary point of view. The large clippers, built expressly for the trade, have at the same time had the advantage over their competitors in quick sailing. In proof of this fact, we quote a table, extracted from a file of the London Times of this year, showing the average number of days occupied in the passage by the vessels of different tonnage, ranging from 200 tons upwards, despatched from Liverpool to Australia in the years 1852 and 1853.
But it is, after all, to the honest press, and to the enterprise of private
little of the progress making in agricultural pursuits. With respect to the latter, too, the sort of information conveyed, and the picture which it presents, have not been of a character likely to attract the most useful classes of settlers-our small farmers and farm-labourers. Sheep-farming and stock-farming in "the bush," as it is still absurdly termed, is naturally associated in their minds with ideas of solitary and half-savage life, to adventure upon which most men, and especially those who have been accustomed to quiet domestic life, and have no pressing necessity for taking such a step, will hardly be induced to leave their native land. In the large towns society is gradually assuming a settled character, and their population, the old and the newly arrived as well, are directing their attention to the ordinary avocations of industry. Dwellings, as we have shown, are being erected almost with sufficient rapidity to meet the demand for them, and proper sanitary and other arrangements will follow. The most congratulatory movement which has recently, and is now more rapidly than ever taking place, is the conversion of the soil, hitherto in a wild state, or forming portions of sheep-runs, into farms of various sizes, cultivated in the best manner by British and other farmers. Little communities, the germs of future towns and villages, are springing up on every side; and before many seasons are over, the population, however largely augmented, will have no occasion to depend upon extraneous supply for any of the leading necessaries of life. Whether as a merchant, a tradesman, or to engage in other legitimate and useful occupations, the emigrant may now safely
leave his home to settle for life in Australia in the entire confidence that his industry will meet its full reward. To bring about the future greatness which we have predicted for the colony, as the centre of a wealthy and powerful Anglo-Saxon empire in the Pacific, whose population are governed by British laws, and are in the enjoyment of British institutions, it is most important that the British element should be as largely as possible infused amongst them. Society in Australia calls especially for the presence of an educated middle class, capable of ameliorating, by its example, the rudeness of character and manners which may be expected from amongst her successful gold-diggers, bush-farmers, and traders. The spread of truthful information respecting the climate, capabilities, &c., of the country, will effect much in supplying that want, and inducing such a class to emigrate thither as to a permanent home. The time may come-be it far distant!-when the colonists may demand to be an independent people. Such an infusion amongst them of right-hearted and loyal British men and women-the fathers and mothers of another generation-may do much to postpone such an event. And when it does arrive-when a people grown great and wealthy under the protecting arm of British sway refuses to be governed from the antipodesthe breaking of the link may be rendered a kindly one; and it may to no slight extent operate upon our future relations with the grown-up child, who has cast us off, and decided to walk by himself, that his heart still clings to the home of his parents, and feels an interest in maintaining the prosperity of the land which gave them birth.
SPECULATORS AMONG THE STARS.
LET us imagine one of our species, at an early period of its history, destitute of any artificial aid to the sense of sight, contemplating the aspect of things around him. He perceives that, somehow or other, he lives upon a Something-apparently a flat surface, of indefinite extent in all directions from the spot where he stands
consisting of land and water, alternately visited with light and darkness, heat and cold; with a regular succession of seasons, somehow or other connected with the growth of vegetables of various kinds, suitable and unsuitable for his purposes, with beautiful flowers and magnificent forests while the air, water, and earth, teem with insects, birds, fishes, and animals, which seem almost altogether at his command. There are also winds, dews, showers, mists, frost, snow, hail, thunderstorms, volcanoes, and earthquakes. He himself, equally with the vegetables and animals, passes through divers gradations, from birth to decay-from life to death: but during life, alike alternately sleeping and waking, subject to vicissitudes of pain and pleasure, of health and disease.
If he look beyond the locality on which all this takes place, he beholds a blazing body alternately visible and invisible, at regular intervals, and to which he attributes both light and heat; another luminous body visible only at night, which it gently illuminates; and both these objects are occasionally subject to brief but portentous obscurations. During the night there also appear a great number of glittering white specks in the blue distance, which he calls stars; all he knows of them being, that they are beautiful objects in the dark; even contributing a little light, in the absence of
the moon. Why all these things came to be as they are, he knows no more than the bird that is blithely singing on the branch above him, but for a certain Book, which tells him that God made him, and everything he sees about him; the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, with all the arrangements securing night and day, light and darkness, seasons, days, and years; forming him, in Hrs IMAGE; giving him the earth for a dwelling, and dominion over everything that lives and breathes in it; and commanding him to be obedient to the will of his Maker. That the first man and woman placed on the earth became, nevertheless, almost immediately disobedient; whereby they incurred the anger of God, and their position on earth became woefully changed for the worse. That God, nevertheless, loved man, formed in His own image, after His likeness, with such tenderness, that He devised means for his restoration, if he chose, to the favour which he had forfeited; and Himself visited the earth, in the form of man; submitted to mockery, suffering, and death, on his behalf; rose again, and returned to Heaven with the body which He had assumed on earth. That though man's body must die and decay, equally with that of every animal, his shall rise again, and be rejoined by its spirit, to stand before the judgment-seat of God, to be judged in respect of the deeds done in the body, and be eternally miserable or happy, according to the righteous judgment then pronounced. Moreover, this Book tells him, with reference to the locality in which he exists, that all things shall not always remain as they are; but that the earth, and all that is in it, shall be burned up; that it, and the Heaven, shall pass away with
Of the Plurality of Worlds; an Essay. Also a 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 Worlds? 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 melt with fervent heat; and for those on whom a favourable doom shall have been pronounced in the day of judgment, there shall be a new heaven, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Believing all this, and his inner nature telling him that the law of action laid down in the Book is righteous, and conformable to that nature, he endeavours to regulate his conduct by it, and dies, as dies generation after generation, in calm and happy reliance on the Truth of that Book.
peopling infinitude; and these, moreover, obeying laws of motion the same as those which exist in the system of which the earth forms part!
"Well," says our overwhelmed observer, "it is certainly late in the day to make these sublime and awful discoveries; but here they are, unless my instruments play me false, so that I am the victim of mere optical delusion; the boundless, numberless realms of insect life being only imaginary; and the stars really no suns or worlds at all, but simply the glittering spots which alone mankind has hitherto believed them. But if my telescope tell me truly, the little speck on which I live is in fact but a grain of dark dust in the heavens, circling obscurely round a sun, itself a mere star, perhaps eclipsed in splendour by every other star in existence; each probably containing many more and greater planets circling about it than has our sun! And about these matters THE BOOK is silent."
Ages pass away, and great discoveries appear to be made, by the exercise of man's own thought and ingenuity, and quite independently of any revelations contained in his Great Book. Whereas he had thought the earth stationary, he finds it, the sun, and the moon, to be round bodies, each turning round on its own axis, the earth once in twenty-four hours; that the earth also goes round the sun once in every year, the moon accompanying it, and at the same time turning round it once in every month; and that these are the means by which are caused light and darkness, night and day, heat and cold, and the various changes of the seasons. The stars remain twinkling, the mere bright specks they ever appeared.
Let us now, however, suppose our thoughtful observer's sight assisted by the aid of glass, in two ways-so as to place him on the one hand, nearer to distant objects, and on the other, reveal objects close to him, which he had never suspected. In the latter case, his microscope exhibits an astounding spectacle almost every atom turned, as it were, into a world, peopled with exquisitely-organised animal forms, adapted perfectly to the elements in which they are seen disporting themselves. In the former case, his telescope makes equally astounding revelations in an opposite direction. The Heavens are swarming with splendid structures unseen to the naked eye: new planets are visible, with rings, belts, and moons, and the stars prove to be resplendent suns; the centres of so many systems
Pondering these discoveries, and assuming them to be real, our observer echoes the inquiry of our greatest living astronomer-"Now, for what purpose are we to suppose such magnificent bodies scattered through the abyss of space?" And at length the grander one occurs-Are there human beings, or beings similar to myself, anywhere else than on this earth? On the sun, moon, planets, and their satellites? Nay, on all the other inconceivably numerous suns, planets, and satellites in existence? He pauses, as though in a spasm of awe. But he may next, and very rationally, ask, If it be so, how does all this affect me? Has it any practical bearing on the condition of a denizen of this earth?
If our bewildered inquirer unfortunately had at his elbow Thomas Paine, he would hear this blasphemous whisper: "The system of a plurality of worlds renders THE CHRISTIAN FAITH at once little and ridiculous, and scatters it in the mind, like feathers in the air. The two beliefs cannot be held together in the same mind; and he who thinks he believes both has thought but little of
* HERSCHEL, Astron., § 592.-[We quote from the first edition.]