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A PAUPER OBLIGED TO WORK.
“M. Dr. H. has great faith in blisters; they are said to be the best things in your complaint.
“P. Ah! but I could not bear them: you see, ma'am, they would throw me into a fever—that is the worst of my complaint, what does me good one way, does me harm another.
“ M. But with low diet there would be no fear of a fever. I will write you a note to Dr.
“P. Why, no, ma'am ; I will wait a day or two, thank you. Are there any parishes in this town?
“ M. Several.
“P. Do you say so, ma'am ? -(A long pause.) Where is there a vestry? for you see, ma’am, I'll never be able to do without a little relief. Have you a benevolent society here?
“ M. Yes.
“P. Oh, ma'am, cannot you do something for me? Do you not know any kind people who will help me with a trifle?
“After trying his patience for some time longer, I gave him two days' provision for his family, and told him I would try and find an easy place for him. A few days after he came, and renewed his demands in the following manner :
“P. If you would only give me six shillings for a pair of shoes.
“M. I will the day you are engaged. Now, here is a little coffee for you, and here is a needle, cotton, and thimble for your wife, to mend your coat ; you must come to me to-morrow, at nine, and I will give you a waistcoat and shirt.
“ I then spoke to him about a shepherd's life ; told him of the flocks that belonged to men who came here without a sixpence. I gave him a sheet of paper and pencil, and told him to go home and calculate what he could save in five years. I was glad to observe his step was quickened : the following morning he was punctual. I had a new loaf, quite hot, some tea, sugar, a beefsteak, a few pounds of potatoes—these were in a basket,
“M. That's fine beef, John—it is for your breakfast. “ P. Do you say so, ma'am! Well, I am lucky.
“M. You will get a good place to-day. Now, here is sixpence; go and get shaved and your hair cut; and here is twopence-you are obliged to buy water here; and, as soon as you come back, you can take the basket, for I have something else for you yet.
“ In less than half an hour he returned, quite another man; and, as I reminded him of my promise to give him the six shillings, he went off in high spirits; and at half-past ten John Baldwin sat in the office as a candidate for work. Though the improvement was very great, still he had an idle look: I therefore sent to Thorp's for one of their cheap neckerchiefs, and I must confess never laid out one shilling and three pence better. The office was crowded, when Number Five entered; in a loud voice he talked of the dreadful times; cheap labour; still he wanted a few shepherds; but he was on the look out for a bargain—a cheap bargain. I could perceive John view him attentively, and then cast a wistful eye at the money that lay on the office desk. At last, Number Five praised John for his apparent anxiety for work: he blushed at the compliment; and, as I saw it was likely to be a bargain, I went into my room(whether it was that I felt guilty of using a little starch, or my dread of the ridiculous, that made me retreat to where I could see and hear without being observed). My success pleased me, for I was certain Number Five would make John earn his wages; and I, at the same time, knew he had half a lawyer to deal with. I returned to the office, entered the agreement at £18 per annum-a man and his wife for £18! I could see Number Five was delighted; so was I, for methought what a change, what a blessing for his family, that he has come to a country where we have no home for the idle: what an advantage to his children! This man has been now some months with his master, and if he turns out well I shall be bound to acknowledge that, even grinders may do good. I may also remark, with reference to these idlers, that when the men in barracks were ordered by the immigration agent to work in the domain, nine came to me very sick-Would I give them a ticket to Mr. MʻLean, to say they were unable to work? “No; but I will to the doctor.'
“ They were not quite ill enough for that, and went accordingly to work."
Even harder than men it is to deal with the silly women, who, either having or pretending to have pretensions to gentility, venture out to colonies where they are not needed unless they are prepared to wash or iron, or act as servants, and wait for a good time coming.
From the before quoted records (published in Sydney only) which apply equally to all colonies we take the following effective extract :
“ I had one very beautiful girl ; she could read and write well, was of an amiable temper, and willing to take advice: I provided her with a situation; she was returned to me solely on account of her good looks. I was at a loss what to do with her ; I was afraid to allow her to go out for exercise, and was obliged to limit her to church on a Sunday. She was the daughter of a lieutenant who had spent twenty-four years in the service of his country: having a large family and limited means, he sent one of his treasures here: Providence, however, provided for her in an unexpected manner. A very respectable woman, a settler's wife, waited on me for advice; she was one of those sensible, shrewd women that help to keep a home together. She told me she had five boys and a girl, none of whom could read or write, and that she wanted a teacher. “My eldest boy, Jack, ma'am, is as fine a young man as you would wish to see, only he is too wild: he is past learning; but the others are willing enough. At this time I had three of these helpless creatures I wished to provide for; I told the worthy woman that - was so good-tempered that she would suit her best, if she did not mind her being handsome. Has she any bounce about her?' 'None.' I went into the room with her; as her eye rested on there was a look of satisfaction, followed directly by one of deep thought and reflection. There was something so rent in her countenance I became curious ; she left the room; returned to the office, when she said, “I'll see you again at five o'clock, ma’am; but don't let the girl engage, any how: a thought has come into my head, I must think over.' At five she came, “Now, DISADVANTAGE OF BEAUTY.
Mrs. — I would like to tell you my plan_Do you see,' says I, "if any gal would keep a man at home, it would be the creature I saw this morning : now,' says I, “tho' Jack's not taken to drink, yet he's uncommonly fond of company, and is for going to every horse-race he hears of; and I expect, some time, he'll make a very foolish match, wi' some one more ignorant than he is :' yet, ma'am, tho' he can neither read or write, he's uncommonly 'cute. Now, I think, if I take - home, she'll tempt him to stay at home; and then, when I see he's taken, and his heart is touched, I shall call him one side-bounce a bit, and say, 'I'll have no fine ladies living wi' me.' This opposition will make him more determined; then, in a day or two, I'll cry a bit about it-he's kind-hearted, and can't stand that: then he come coaxing me, and I'll consent, and talk over the old man; and the clergyman shall settle everything, and it will be a good thing for us all, ma'am.' I consented to arrange with who should be ready the next day: she was engaged as a teacher for one year, salary £16.
"I may here remark, that pretty girls, no matter what their qualifications or characters were, it was difficult to dispose of them; they are not, it appears liked as servants, though they are preferred as wives."
OUTFIT AND PASSAGE.
THREE MODES OF EMIGRATION : PAUPER EMIGRATION, ASSOCIATED EMIGRATION,
FAMILY COLONIZATION, CABIN EMIGRATION-PREPARATIONS FOR VOYAGEOUTFIT -- CHOICE OF SHIP-LLOYD'S REGISTER - DIETARY - MEASUREMENT EXTRA STORES_SEA SICKNESS.
THERE are three modes of emigration, and three classes in ships,
1 which we take in the order of number-government or pauper emigration, associated or group emigration, and isolated emigration; so there are also cabin passengers, and second and third class passengers : between second and third there is little difference, except in name. Cabin passengers are not protected by law. They must depend entirely on the character of the brokers, the honour of the captain, and on the nature of the agreement into which they enter. There are brokers and shipowners, like other tradesmen, on whom the fullest reliance may be placed; there are others who do not think honesty the best policy. Many instances have occurred in which parties on going on board have found the cabins they had engaged in the possession of others; and complaints of the provisions, reasonable and unreasonable, are of daily occurrence. The rapid, constant communication now opening with Australia will soon make it a matter of course to provide satisfactory accommodation for cabin passengers. We expect this class will follow the course of passengers to America, and be conveyed almost entirely by the steamers.
Sailing-ships will then have to depend on £20 passengers, and below £20 on all persons who take what, under various flattering names, amounts to a steerage passage in the eyes of the captain of the ship. There can be no question that the best ships are those which carry only one class of passengers, where they have the full range of the vessel for exercise, and where, although they have to wait upon themselves, they are, at any rate, of as much consequence as any other passengers. Where ships are divided into first class, second class, and third class, the second and third class often come badly off. In the first place, although by the Passengers' Act a ship is restricted in the number of passengers that it can carry by the tons register and cubic feet (two tons and fourteen cubic feet to each passenger), it does not say how the space shall be divided; so that such inferior passengers often find that a lion's share of the space, as well as of the light and air, cooking power, and room for exercise, has been monopolized by the cabin passengers. They are left to the enjoyment of a bunk, big enough to turn in at night, with second-hand atmosphere when the hatches are down, meals when the cook has nothing else to do, and two or three yards for exercise.
The “packing" system has been carried to perfection in Liverpool, where it commenced in the American ships carrying helpless Irish, who were packed on open shelves, like hounds in a kennel, but less clean, airy, and comfortable. In many of these Australian ships decency is as little attended to as comfort. Curtains have recently, under the pressure of public opinion, been hung up before the berths. Until public attention was called to the fact, married men and women in government ships used to undress, sleep, and dress before each other, and private ships followed the same example. In the arrangement of water-closets, for both sexes, equally flagrant inattention to comfort and decency was and is displayed.
We have recently seen in the ship of a respectable firm the berth of a second-class single passenger divided from that of a married couple by a partition three feet high, with an open space of eighteen inches. This was an example of a very common case. If any representation as to the want of space and ventilation be made to a London broker, the answer is, “Look at the Liverpool ships."
In the quality of provisions served out a few days after the ships
DEFECTS OF THE PASSENGER ACT.
are clear of English ports the abuses in quantity and quality are equally flagrant.
It is true there is a government inspection, and all that the law permits to protect the emigrant is done in the port of London by that excellent and indefatigable officer, Captain Lean, the government emigration agent. But he cannot inspect all the provisions of a ship, and he has no power to enforce ventilation and many other regulations which he would if he could.
These heavy charges will be met by a loud cry of indignation, that we have written more than we are prepared to prove, with names and dates, and much more flagrant cases than any referred to. It is necessary that some one should speak out on whom “no interest can be brought to bear," as merchants do not care, and others do not dare, to protest against iniquities daily practised on helpless emigrants. In the session of 1851 a committee of the House of Commons was appointed “to inquire into the working of the Passengers' Act, and to report whether any and what further protection is required by emigrants during the passage, or at the port of embarkation.”
The Right Honourable Sidney Herbert was chairman of this committee; one of the honestest men who has ever taken up the question of emigration; with talents, too, above the average, rank and large fortune, but who, for want of a dash of audacity, or in consequence of a sort of moral timidity,—a respect for the opinion of respectable shams,—does not always venture to follow his own judgment, and do and say what he knows to be right, without caring what the gossiping Mrs. Grundys of the great little world will say.
The committee collected an important and most disgusting body of evidence on the abuses practised in emigrant ships. As to remedies, they were less successful; the chairman could, but did not call the right witnesses. At any rate, a useful bill for amending the Passengers' Act was prepared, and improved by the notes of a very competent person known to the author.
“It would,” said a Liverpool slipowner, “have played the very deucewith us; but we brought our interest to bear, and now we don't care twopence for it.”
Since the passing of the Amended Passengers' Act, large ships have been sent out to Australia full of passengers, with whole rows of berths without light or any provision for ventilation except through the hatchways, which are closed in storms.
Thirty or forty ships have been sent to sea with cargoes of patent