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CHAPTER XVIII.

WHY EMIGRATE_WHO SHOULD EMIGRATE.

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MIGRATION, except to half-starved paupers, is not a luxury, as

some ignorantly assert, but a severe remedy which may adopted, not without due consideration, for certain severe afflictions. There is only one kind of emigration that flows on steadily and succeeds—that is the emigration of those who emigrate to work with hands or head, or both, because they see positive or comparative beggary before them in their native country. Emigration to Australia affords a fine climate, an unlimited field for hard-handed labour, opportunities for the judicious investment of capital in pastoral pursuits, and change of scene. The climate is an attraction to invalids who cannot afford to live idle in the south of Europe. The change of scene enables those who have lost fortune or character or confidence at home to start again with a fair field if no favour; but it should never be forgotten that poverty, real or comparative, is the great, and ought to be the great, recruiter for emigrant ships.

It is a gross deception to represent to an intending emigrant that there is some other country more pleasant to live in than his own. The soil, the sun, the fruit, the flowers, the horn, the corn, whether it be of Norway or of Naples, are good enough for a native, if he can get enough of them ; but if he cannot, if he finds himself slipping down the hill of fortune, or struggling against some intolerable personal or local association, it is ridiculous for him to be over nice in making a transplantation -he must be content with a balance of advantages. The climate of Northern New Zealand is brilliant and exhilarating, peaches are cheap and delicious in Australia, but sensible people do not emigrate to enjoy bright skies or eat ice-cold peaches. When we dwell upon the genial climate, the fruitful soil, the rich crops, the countless cattle, the mineral wealth in gold, copper, and precious stones of Australia, we cite them not to induce men to emigrate who have snug estates or incomes from the three per cents., or promising openings in professions or trades, but to show what compensations may be expected for the want of convenient shops, morning papers, good roads, gas and water companies, agreeable society, and all the luxuries created in Europe by centuries of progressive civilization. A bush hut is not to be compared to the Euston

sea.

Hotel; but to enter the latter a man must have a well-filled

purse,

while the former is generally open to gentle or simple, with thanks for coming and gossipping the latest news. A man who has fasted and ridden hard for twelve hours enjoys the plainest dinner ; a tramp over deep heath-covered moors on a hot August day gives an amazing relish to a cup of cold water; and so a hard landlord, a grinding creditor, a chancery suit, a bankrupt executor, a false sweetheart, or any other real calamity, prepares a colonist for passing through the ordeal, mental or physical, which must be endured before he can be contentedly and successfully rooted in a colonial soil.

Young men of respectable parentage and education, but restless disposition, are now frequently sent to one of the colonies instead of to

The Robinson Crusoes of the nineteenth century tempt the bush instead of the ocean. Some of them would fail whatever they attempted; at any rate, pastoral pursuits are more suitable than the axe or the plough of the backwoods of America.

A farmer would often do better to land in a colony with £50 and four children than to go scrambling on in perpetual fear of the landagent and the tax-gatherer. In Australia the farmer will only have to do what he has been accustomed to do all his life. The scene may be new, the occupation will be the same; the pipe will be there if not the mug of beer; he may have few neighbours, but he will have no poor rates; no market ordinary, but no rent day; not so snug a house the first year,

but it will be his own; if his daughters leave their piano behind they will have a better chance of a husband; and, although his sons may lose good shooting and hunting, they can easily be provided with farms. Then, again, there are tradesmen who, in years

of commercial pressure, see ruin advancing upon them, eating up first their capital and then their credit, with scarcely a chance of escape. Men who live in huge shops in leading thoroughfares—obliged to make a great display of plate glass, gas, and goods—obliged to keep up a large staff of assistants and support a numerous family; who find custom falling off and bad debts increasing; stock left on hand as unfashionable, consequently valueless; health failing, children increasing and requiring expenses for education, and yet they can scarcely diminish one important item of expense. Dinners may be cut down, wine and amusements forbidden, the seaside visit, so necessary for the health of a life passed in work and gas light, discontinued, children taken from school, and friendly interchange of visits declined. But in a panic year, when the funds fall to 75, and the best stock is unsaleable, these economies

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