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Perils, pastimes, and pleasures of an emigrant in Australia, Vancouver's Island and California 1849

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1849.  To
Dear Sib,
I shall not dedicate the " Perils,
Pastimes, and Pleasures   of an Emigrant in Australasia" to   you   through the  medium of a dry
dissertation upon Emigration, but shall endeavour
to pen it in as free and easy a manner as though we
were quietly discussing that knotty question; or,
rather, as though I were simply engaged in recording
the many pithy and practical   suggestions which,
unpremeditatedly, emanate from   your well-stored
mind, whenever that subject is under consideration.
You will agree with me that there are two great
facts connected with our present Social Condition,
B which may well perplex the Statesman and afflict
the philanthropist. The first is, that our population
has long been increasing at the rate of a thousand
souls a day; and the second, that pauperism has
been increasing at a still faster rate than population.
This may be truly termed an organic disease in our
Social Condition, and the ultimate tendency of it,
unless it be carried off by some wise remedial treatment, must be obvious to every one* Now the
nature of that remedial treatment of the disease
can only be suggested to us by a careful consideration of the cause of it; and the increase of population, per se, cannot be the cause df it, for the laws
of God and nature are abhorrent to such a conclusion.
Nor can the concurrent increase of pauperism be
properly termed the cause of the disease, being, in
fact, the effect of it; and what we really have to
consider then is, what is it that is continually aggravating this baneful effect ? And, first, what is
Pauperism—I mean able-bodied Pauperism ? Is it
not an insufficiency of productive and remunerative
employment; and, if so, how is it that this insufficiency of our resources for employing the in- DEDICATION. 6
dustrial classes becomes greater pari passu with the
numerical growth ofi those classes 1
To solve this important question, we must consider what the nature and extent  of our resources
for employing the industrial classes are; and these
may be nearly wholly comprised under the general
terms   of agriculture and manufactures—including
in the latter all handicrafts of  every description.
Now, of the latter, it is true that the demand for
manufacturing labour would increase with the increase of population, if there was a similar increase in
the demand for agricultural labour.   But the demand
for agricultural labour in this country has a limit
which it reached long ago,  and,   therefore, every
increase of the agricultural   population, instead of
creating an increased   demand for  manufacturing
products, (as every increase of the   manufacturing
population  creates an  increased demand for agricultural produce), flies, by necessity, to manufacturing
labour itself, and thus inordinately swells the supply
of it, instead of augmenting the demand for it.
The cause, therefore, of the disease is the limit
which nature has placed to the demand for agri- 1
cultural labour in this country, while she has. at the
same time ordained that it shall continually increase
and multiply. Of the ever accruing excess, the
more inert portion remain and augment the
mass of pauperism in the rural districts, while the
more aetive portion are constantly migrating into
the manufacturing districts, and importing the same
evil of a superabundance of labour into them. It is
thus that the limited extent of the soil has an
increasing tendency to crowd all the markets of
labour to repletion—to render employment precarious because there is not sufficient employment
for all—to reduce wages to the minimum of subsistence, because all are competing for employment
under the pressure of an apprehension of that
pauperism which must be the fate of some. Such
a state of things of course could not have arisen
until tlie whole extent of soil capable of profitable
cultivation had been fully interrogated to supply
additional employment for the growing increments of
the population. Neither could it have arisen at all, had
the Crown possessed accessible and unoccupied territories into whieh the surplus labour of the country DEDICATION.
might have been conducted by easy and inexpensive
channels of transit. But, unfortunately, although
emigration would obviously have been the natural
preventive of the pauperism, which has sprung
from the impossibility of our limited area supplying
ad infinitum sufficient employment for a population which is illimitable ; and, although the Crown
possesses unoccupied territories, of almost boundless extent and fertility, for colonisation, our
surplus labour has been hitherto cut off from
them by oceans which have rendered them inaccessible for immigration, except on too small a
scale to produce any sensible effect on the labour
market, which it is so essential to relieve from
redundant competition for employment at home.
The question, therefore, is—-How is Emigration
to be carried out so as to produce this desirable result ? Before I attempt to answer this question it
may be as well to take a retrospective glance at the
subject of Emigration—to trace its rise and progress
in public, opinion—to mark the different phases
through which it has passed, from its first nebulous
condition in the cloudy regions of error, to its pre- DEDICATION.
sent  semi-transparent state, as it approximates to
the luminous point of demonstration,
The gradual encroachment of population upon
territory, with its accompanying evils, of labourers
wanting work, and capitalists seeking investment for
their capital, is no new phenomenon in the liistory
of the world. Sooner or later in every country of
not unlimited extent this phenomenon must have
been experienced; and the only difference between
the past and the present is, we conceive, that in
former times the means of relief were at hand, and
the evil was no sooner felt than remedied. If
the parent hive became too full, there were trees
enough in the land ; the surplus population had
but to swarm, and make for themselves another,
and the faster the mother city grew, the sooner
her boughs touched the earth, and became offshoots to renew and cherish, instead of branches
to weaken and exhaust her. At length, however,
by the continual pressure of population upon subsistence, the earth has been partly peopled; and
some of the peopled parts have grown so
full, that no vacant places are left in the neighbour- DEDICATION,
hood, into which the superabundance may be drawn
off, as it used to be. If the Emerald Isle were, at
this moment, uninhabited, instead of being full to
repletion, those who are now uneasy with the elbowing and competition in England, would straightway
cross over the channel and commence a new career
for themselves; and when the increase of numbers
should re-appear in all their irritating activity—and
no second Ireland should be at hand, to absorb the
discontented and unemployed, the people must either
make up their minds to the slow destruction, which
decimating disease and deadly fever would bring
about, or bridge the Atlantic and seek an existence
in the unbroken solitudes of the far-west. This has
been partly accomplished in our time, and the great
question is, how to bring the occupied and unoccupied portions of the earth nearer to each other, so as
jto stream off the pent-up people from their densely
isolated spots to a wider space, and an ampler region
for their industrial energies, and give them elbow-
room for the full development of their faculties.
But we are somewhat anticipating. When the population in this country began to increase too  rapidly F*
for the means of employing it—when it became
difficult to adjust the proportion between the claimants for wages, and the fund out of which wages
were paid—the public mind was strongly directed
to this phenomenon, and after the usual amount of
acrimonious dispute, and more than the usual
amount of hypothetical dogmatism, from the novelty
and magnitude of the question, and the immense
interests that were at stake—no less than the peace
and prosperity of the whole community—it was at
length agreed that Emigration would prove the
panacea for the great evils which stared every one
in the face, and the recognition of that fact was a
considerable point gained. Enquiry was immediately
set on foot to devise a scheme on an adequate scale
to the emergency; and two Committees of the
House of Commons (1826-7) elaborately investigated the question, and reported that the British
settlements supplied room enough for the surplus
population, and that by the assistance of Government
a sufficient number could be enabled to settle on the
Colonial Wastes, so as to relieve the immediate
pressure, and restore, in some measure,  the equi- DEDICATION.
librium between demand and supply. This was a
beginning which augured well for the labouring
community : but the expense was soon found to be
too great to follow the scheme up with spirit, so as
to produce the desired effect upon the labour-
market i it therefore languished for want of adequate funds during^ the three or four succeeding
years. In addition to this, another depressing cause
manifested itself in the rumours of the ills and accidents to which the first batch of poor settlers were
exposed on the Colonial Wastes : and the consequent
discouragement of the destitute classes from taking
advantage of the means of emigrating under such
gloSmy prospects. But, if the scheme had been
carried out in extenso—if "ample scope and verge
enough " had been given to emigration as then propounded—it would not have reached the seat of the
disease; the remedy, with all its expenses and
3$ difficulties, wa3 only a remedy for the day. It aimed
only to relieve an extra pressure, not to provide
what was really wanted, a natural and continual
source of relief for a pressure which must be continually  recurring.    It  was   simply   a   temporary
B   5 w
measure—a mere expedient—to stave off the evil to
a future time, when it must again appear in a more
aggravating form, and with a more hideous aspect;
and again to experience the same results, for the
hand-to-mouth policy of our political rulers, which
too frequently prevails, whenever questions of great
general bearings came under their treatment, could
tend to no other point.
At this crisis the |Wakefield Theory" burst
upon the world as a new discovery in economical
science; but, unlike most new theories, was treated
with marvellous respect, and almost immediately
put into practice—and that, too, under the most
auspicious circumstances. Its projector had everything in his favour—new territorities, ample capital,
indulgent followers, a free and open course for his
experiment—to say nothing of the vigorous and
persevering support which he received from a small
band of followers; yet, with all these special appliances it turned out a complete failure.
The " theory' may be comprised in the following
sentence—" That our colonization ought to carry
out society entire, and to plant it in the wilderness
in such a way that the new community should exhibit
all the attributes of civilization belonging to the old,
without the evils which arise from the excess of
" If mankind were a chess-board," exclaimed the
late Sidney Smith, " then might the Grote-ballot
scheme work well in our political system;" we say
also, that if man were a machine, and you could dispose of him according to his fitness and capacity in
the social edifice, then might Mr. Wakefield's theory
of colonization work well. But experience teaches
us that man, both individually and collectively, is by
nature selfish, wayward, and ambitious—that necessity, or what he deems his own interest, keeps him
in a certain subordination to his fellow-men ; or, in
other terms, the " hewers of wood and drawers of
water " are not such by choice but by compulsion'
and that they would instantly cease to perform those
necessary occupations, had they any chance of bettering their condition in the social gradation* It is
competition, arising from the pressure of population,
that keeps them in their humble sphere, and precludes them from rising higher; and not their own DEDICATION.
sense and conviction that they are specially fitted for
such useful occupations.
But Mr. Wakefield's theory assumes the converse
of all this. He says—" The life of a servant, in a
country where servants are plentiful and well paid, is
more eligible than the life of a master, where servants
are not to be had ; and, therefore, by voluntarily
doing here (Australia) what they would have been
forced to do in a country where land was scarce,
they would have promoted not only the general
interests of all, but the individual comforts of each."
No doubt of it; but, unfortunately for this hypothesis, men only act "voluntarily" in pursuit of
their own interest, or what they conceive their own
interest; they are " forced" to act as they do in
their different spheres, not from a sense of duty
or a peculiar fitness for the performance of it, but
from necessity which has placed them there, and
from competition which will keep them there.
Every man wishes to better his condition, and would
gladly abandon his present pursuit for another, if he
saw any advantage in so doing ; and, although society at large might be injured by such   a change, DEDICATION
he would care little for that, and would follow the
bent of his own inclinations. So with settlers in a
new colony, upon the plan of Mr. Wakefield ; they
would not remain together, and combine their individual interests, so as to make the territory yield the
greatest amount of produce, and the share of each
become larger; but they would rush abroad in all
directions to obtain land, of which for want of combination, they could make no use when they had got
it. To remedy this defect in his theory, Mr. Wakefield proposed to compel his community to remain,
each in his respective sphere, not directly by force
but indirectly, by placing land beyond their reach.
He reasons thus—there is a certain ratio between
the supply of labour in the market, and the surface
of land under cultivation, by which the greatest
quantity of produce will be raised. If you miss
this ratio, you fall into the evils of an underpeopled
country on the one hand, in which land is
merely scratched; or, on the other, of an
overpeopled country, in which competition reduces wages to a minimum, and the land will not
produce sufficient to feed the people.    To keep up DEDICATION.
always the proper ratio, you must keep the   ratio
constant between hireable labour and the price of unsold land j and this must be done, by first fixing the
just price, and then applying the whole proceeds to
the introduction of immigrants.    But how this just
price—this "dueproportion between land and population" this " golden mean" between Dispersion and
Density, is to be determined, we are left entirely in
the dark.    The ground-work   of  Mr.  Wakefield's
theory is pure assumption, and the superstructure,
consequently, fallacious ; it is based on the same hypothesis as that of M. Louis Blanc, and the French
Communists,  that men-will  act in their  social capacity from a sense of duty, and not from interest,
and that principle has been worked out in France to
a most lamentable  conclusion.    Instead of leaving
society to develop itself quietly, according to  the
natural order of  things,  acquiring gradation, and
rank, suo motu, he would arbitrarily impose these
conditions upon it, not working as it were ah intra
and bringing up the social body to the point where
distinctions naturally manifest  themselves, and the
artificial machinery is a necessary result, but working -DEDICATION
as it were, ah extra, by insisting upon his mechanism
being established before the body itself has grown
into sufficient strength and proportions to bear it.
We have dwelt the more upon this pet scheme of
colonization, from the fact of its having been lauded
hy almost all parties on its first enunciation; and, also,
from the singular failure which it has experienced in
our colonies, the consequences of which are yet felt
to a very great and aggravating extent. Several of our
leading statesmen were strangely smitten with its
0 0       1/
beauty; did all they could to sanction its practical
development ; extolled it to the skies in limini, as
a masterpiece of political sciences : have, many of
them, lived to see its utter break-down, and, yet,
have not the moral courage to confess their judgment at fault, as they still cling to some of its provisions in their administrative instruction to our
colonial dependencies—the high price of land, for
instance, and its attaching conditions, which is a
' 0 *
bane to a healthy system of Colonization.
Having disposed  of Mr.   Wakefield's theory of
Colonization,   which   still  adheres to our Colonial m
administration,* and  harasses the great mass of the
settlers by its monopolizing tendencies, I shall briefly
notice the aid which Government h?s accorded to
Emigration, during the last few years.   I shall purposely pass over the influx of Emigrants to South
Australia and New Zealand, under the stimulating
impulse of  the  % Wakefield Theory," and the New
Zealand Company, as it may be termed an artificial
state of things \ for men rushed blindly to the promised El Dorado at the antipodes with their " little
all," in the hope of augmenting it, but many of them
were deceived, and clearly illustrate the folly, if not
the crime, of too eagerly embracing  the plans of
plausible schemers and political Utopists.    You will
agree with me, sir, that the sudden  influx of Capitalists and labourers in 1834—7—40 to Australia,
ought not to be classed in the category of steady,
healthful, and progressive Colonization, but, on the
f I perceive by the advertisements that the " Churchy Emigration Society" propose to establish a colony in New Zealand upon the '* Wakefield" principle—" with order, rank
and gradation," the harness, before the horse is reared towear
it—profound Economists. DEDICATION.
contrary, that it should be considered as a " heavy
blow and great discouragement" to it, as it was
mainly instrumental in presenting a sound and
healthy plan of Emigration.
Government has granted for the purposes of Emigration—its Superintendence ! ! It is true that a
sum of ten thousand pounds was applied last year to
convey certain convicts to New South Wales, and
Van Dieman's Land; but this, I apprehend, will not
be deemed an encouragement to the poor labourer
to emigrate. The expense of conveying the 17,000
who emigrated within the last twelve months was
paid out of the Colonial funds, and the Emigrants'
pockets—.£200,000, was the share of the former,
.£50,000 of the latter The question, therefore, naturally recurs—How is Emigration to be carried out
so as to produce the desired result ? Our Colonies stand
in as great need of the redundant labour of the parent
Country, as the Parent Country does of being relieved from it; but to the legislature of neither can
we look for adequate funds to support anything like
a comprehensive scheme of Emigration. If such a
scheme, therefore, is ever to be effectuated, it must
>.'-- -. m
be from the resources of the working classes themselves.
But how ? There are few amongst them, who would
be able to meet, individually, the expense of passage
and outfit, and few, therefore, would ever be able to
emigrate except by a system of Mutual Aid and Co-
The plan, therefore, to which I respectfully call
your attention is as follows :—
1st. One hundred thousand persons are invited to
form the first class of this society, and to provide
for their emigration in succession, as follows :—
2nd. Each Member to subscribe Is. per week, or
4s. per month.
3rd. As the aggregate monthly subscriptions
would amount to £20,000., this sum, supposing the
cost of Emigration (including outfit, &c.,) to be
.£12 10s. per head, would provide for the Emigration monthly of 1,600 members.
4th. The whole body, therefore, (except those
previously provided for) would have to draw lots for
1,600 preference passage tickets, <fec, monthly ; and,
as there would be 13 such monthly drawings in the
year, the whole number provided with passage, &c,
each year would be 20,800. ■W-.
5th. Each member, previous to his departure from
England, will give such security for the regular payment of his subscription in the Colony to which he
may have emigrated, as the Society may require.*
6th. As these payments will extend over a period
of five years, the aggregate will amount to £13, of
which £12 10s. will be advanced to, or from him, in
the following manner. His passage money will be
deducted from it in the first instance, half the residue
will be expended in clothing, and an order will be
given to him to receive the other half on his landing
in the Colony. The over-plus of 10s. will be appropriated towards a fund to defray the expenses of
7th. In the Society's ships there should be no distinction of classes—such as cabin, intermediate, and
steerage passengers—the object should be not only
to achieve greater economy, but the greatest comfort
* The Colonial Authorities must render their assistance
in this matter. The Emigrant must assign his wages to the
Company's Agent, or such portion of them until he has re*
deemed the expense of his voyage, &c. This can easily be
done by the Colonial Legislature enacting that no one shall
hold land who has not redeemed his debt. DEDICATION.
of the greatest number, or rather of all. The ships,
of course, should be specially fitted up for the object.
8th. When the First Class shall have been fully
subscribed to, a Second Class must be opened for
subscriptions, and then a third, and so forth.
It must not, however, be supposed that I have the
emigration of Agricultural labourers alone in view;
for, although the situations, which are chiefly open
to imigrants in our colonies, are of a rural character,
operatives from towns will find no difficulty in either
obtaining them, or discharging the duties of them.
On the contrary, the Stockholders and Sheep Farmers
of Australia prefer the latter as servants, not only
on account of their more disciplined sagacity and
ingenuity, but on account of their freedom from all
prejudice in favour of the old-world way of doing
things which is frequently impracticable, and always
too expensive, for the young and rude agriculture of
a colony, where so many conveniences must not be
looked for as at home.
To conclude.
Let any man of ordinary observation pay a visit DEDICATION.
to our Colonies—say the Cape or Australia—and
he will there find a splendid climate, a fertile country, yielding everything that a man can desire—the
finest wool wherewith to clothe him, the finest corn
wherewith to feed him, besides other things, beyond
necessaries, in abundance. Man alone is scarce.
Ask the Colonist what he wants; and the only
answer will be Man. Men are not ; therefore,
labour is not. The colony languishes for want of
labour. Let the enquirer then turn his eyes upon
this large capital, fretting and sweltering with the
density of its population—what will be the first observation that he will make ? He will be struck
with the superabundance of Man, and the want of
everything but Man. He will see the land taxed to
the utmost to ooze out a living for the masses upon its
surface. He will see these things, and involuntarily
exclaim—" England wants what the colonies can
supply; and the colonies want what England can
supply." Nothing seems more easy, simple, and
practicable, yet it is not effected. The question has
been deemed too complicated—too weighty for ordinary solution—too perplexed by Utopian projectors
—in short, impracticable.
1 . As a humble attempt to render the question
plain, practical, and intelligible, I respectfully present
through you, my dear sir, the preceding plan to the
I have the honour to remain,
With every respectful consideration,
1 J. W.
Nugoz in seria ducuntl When I sat down to
rummage over my friend's Australasian
Correspondence, in order to furnish you
with a few hints as to the sort of world you
might expect to find in the other hemisphere,
I little thought that I should be led into such
a serious scrape, as becoming the Editor of a
work upon the subject. How little, indeed, I
meditated such a piece of presumption is evi- w
dent from the   fact that, instead of supplyin
you with a digest of the information scattered
through    his   letters,   I consulted   my   own
indolent humour by placing them bundled up
together in your hands in order that you might
sift them for yourself; and even now  I can
scarcely conceive myself accountable for their
publication, seeing that I have been propelled
into it by the urgency of your * numerous
friends," amongst whom you have handed them
about, and who threaten to impeach me of injustice to my friend if I refuse to allow him
to appear in print.
I am bound to say this much, on my own
behalf, lest it should be supposed after all that
I have been lured into the publication of my
friend's MSS. by the tempting opportunity it
would afford me of lugging some of my own
lucubrations also before the public. And, in
fact, it is only as a further act of justice to
myself that I also protest that I should not
have   thought   of   publishing   the   following INTRODUCTION.
friendly suggestions to you on the subject of
Emigration, had you not overcome me by the
following remonstrance that the work would
hardly be complete without them.
In the first place, then, I would have you
to understand that whoever goes to this new
world, if he means to succeed in it, must resolve, in a great measure, to become a new
man.    He must make up his mind to dispense
with most of the indulgences, and to discard
from his memory most of the conventionalities
to which he has been accustomed, and to reconcile himself to the simpler pleasures, and the
ruder manners, of a mere primitive life.    The
man who can thus break through old habits,
and divest himself of old social prejudices, is
endowed with a force of character which would
enable him to make his way anywhere; and
in Australia will certainly carve out for himself
a sure, though somewhat rough, road to fortune.     You, for instance,   considered as an
Emigrant, may be classed as a capitalist; but,
you would make a very great mistake if yon
looked  for  all  the  exemptions   in  Australia
which the capitalist is entitled to here.    The
province  of   capital  here  is  simply  to  keep
labour in motion without anv further  effort
than that   of   vigilant  superintendence;   but
there the capitalist must make up his mind to
set the example of labouring himself, and, indeed, to consider himself as. little better than
the foreman of the persons in his employment.
He must not expect to say " do this," and see
it done ; but must direct how it is to be done,
and also lend a hand in doing it.    He must re-
member that in a new countrv labour, instead
of being the slave of capital, is itself the most
valuable  species of capital, which  he  never
ought to allow to remain idle and unproductive
for a day.    In this country, where labour of
every   description  is  plentiful  and  cheap, it
would be bad economy in a master to endeavour
to save the wages of a labourer by labouring
himself, to the neglect of that general super- INTRODUCTION.
intendence, by which he is able to save incalculably more; because here the division of
labour is carried so far, that without his superintending head to direct and controul every
branch of it, there would be endless irregularity and waste. But, in a new country,
where there is little or no division of labour,
the best sort of superintendence is that which
is ever present in participating in the work to
be done; and it is obvious, moreover, that it is
of the utmost consequence to the employer to
fix the scale of labour by the example of what
he is capable of performing himself.
Indeed, to the person who emigrates with a
moderate capital, I would strenuously advise
that he should make a point of weaning himself from most of his previous habits—even
those which may come within the category of
innocent indulgences—except those which are
purely domestic; and thgse latter, on the contrary* I would have him cherish with a hun-
dred-fold more fervour than ever. People will
c 3 arr
-, not to take out
tell you, my   dear 	
this, and not to take out that; but, whatever
you resolve not to take out, by all means take
out a wife. Few men know what a home is
without a wife, even here; and what sort of a
home, therefore, can he expect to find in the
wildernesses of Australia without one ? And
even as a matter of £. s. d. it is of the utmost
importance to a settler that he should be married. Here, a married life is associated with
frightful ideas of large expenses and increasing
incumbrances; but in the Bush the cost of
housekeeping is not much affected by the
number of mouths to be supplied; and, even
if it was, children, almost as soon as they are
breeched, become such valuable helps to their
parents, that in Australia it may truly be said,
happy is the man who hath his quiver full of
them. And, on the contrary, what economy,
to say nothing of comfort, can be expected
from the housekeeping of a clumsy Satyr, in
the shape of a hut-keeper ?   For my part, I INTRODUCTION.
can easily fancy the pleasing excitement which
the Bushman's occupations afford hiiri during
the hours he is engaged out of doors; but the
happiness of his life must be marred by his
returning home in the evening to a cheerless
hearth, where there is no object upon which
his affections can repose and expand themselves.
In the following pages there will be found
such excellent arguments, by real Bushmen,
for even your " practical men " imposing upon
themselves the discipline I have inculcated, of
renouncing as many of their old notions and
prejudices as possible, that I need not take
those who are already adepts in the agriculture
of the Old World under my instructions. There
is another class, however, for whom I have a
few words of stern but encouraging advice;
and it is the more incumbent upon me to dwell
upon their case, because it has been customary
to treat them with disdain, as wholly unfitted
K5»i ilSSi-i
11! i
to be of any service to themselves, or to others
in the character of Emigrants.
If a clerk, a shopman, or a weaver, was to go
into the country and ask a farmer for employment, he would no doubt be laughed at by all
the clowns who might overhear such an out-of-
the-way application. But if you were suddenly
to transplant one of those clowns, and one of
the aforesaid non-descripts, as they may be
termed in an agricultural sense, into the Bush,
their respective chances of proving valuable
labourers would be all in favour of the latter.
In fact, the clerk, the shopman, or the weaver,
would, if he possessed an ordinary share of
ingenuity and pluck, became a tolerably good
herdsman, or shepherd, in the Bush, before
Hodge had got rid of half of the old*world
notions, which be must unlearn before he could
make himself worth the salt to his porridge.
All that the clerk, for instance, has to make up
his mind to is precisely that which I have said
the capitalist himself must do—namely, to dis- INTRODI CTI0N.
miss all the ideas which he has hitherto associated with his relative position in life, and reconcile himself to the new conditions which are
attached to the situation of servant, as well as
master, in the new world where he is desirous
of obtaining that sufficiency, and perhaps competence, which he despairs of finding here.
He will not be called upon to unlearn his old
practice of book-keeping, and go to school again
to learn another against which he would be
prejudiced. He will only be called upon to
forget waste-books, cash-books, and ledgers,
altogether, and apply his wits to a pastoral
occupation, which is so much more simple, that
a child can learn all the mysteries of it there,
much before he would be master of the twenty
first pages of a Tutor's Assistant, here. And
so far from his Town education being a disadvantage to him, he will be found to have
derived from it a quickness of perception, and
a dexterity in emergencies, which is seldom or
ever possessed  by the uneducated, and there
in] I
j '--'
frvli if,
%   i
I'll 1I
fore unreflecting, farm-labourers of England.
To say that a class of men who have been
accustomed to the free and easy carriage of
their limbs, and to the continual exercise of
their faculties, cannot learn how to use an axe,
a spade, or a bullock- driver s whip, is absurd.
All that they would want is the will; and, if
they have the will, they are a hundred to one
before the joint-stiffened and muddle-headed
clown from the threshing-floor or the plough's
That the prosperity of Australia will be progressive there can be very little doubt. Even
the crisis through which its various settlements
have passed, are sure indications of their ultimately arriving at a point from which there
will be no sensible retrogression. In short,
those commercial crises have been only the
natural struggles of a rising commercial spirit,
which will overcome all obstacles. Her wool
trade has already taken its place amongst the
taple  trades of nations;  the   tevival of INTRODUCTION.
Southern Fisheries will create another vast
branch of traffic with Europe; and, above all,
the rapid development^ her mineral resources *
will shortly effect a radical change in another
branch which is of the highest importance to
all countries, and will therefore bring her into
intercourse, when our Navigation Laws are
repealed, with the world at large.
Commercial  pursuits, however, will not be
appropriate immediately for the moderate capi-
* The rich mineral resources of Australia is one
of the most striking phenomenon of modern discoveries. Within the short space of three years the
proprietors of the mines have exported copper to
England which has realized twenty per cent., on an
average, more than the best European coppers, not
even excluding those of Chili and Peru; the ore of
the Burra Burra mine yielding as much as 40 per cent,
of pure copper, while the average yield of Chilian
copper is 17 to 18 per cent., and those of South Wales
about 8 per cent. The average price of South Wales
or English ores at Swansea, for the last three years,
has been 51.10s. per ton ; whilethose of foreign origin
have realized 121., and during the same period
c 5 m
talist. The development of her marine and
mineral resources can only be prudently
attempted, or effectually worked out, by the
enterprize, management, and capital, of associated bodies. An individual who only equipped
one ship for the Whaling Grounds, or sunk his
capital in a solitary mine, might be ruined by
the failure of that isolated adventure; but a
public company, which sent out fleets to the
Fisheries, or worked simultaneously a dozen
different mines, would be compensated for the
the Australian ore has commanded, in some instances,
as much as 33£. per ton—the lowest price never
falling below 13Z., and the bulk realizing from 18 to
191. per ton. Other mines in Australia have yielded
corresponding riches in copper ores ; and when the
lead and iron ores shall have been but partially
realized, the mining interest of the South Australian
Settlement must become one of the finest and richest
of the New World. For an interesting detail of the
mineral resources of South Australia, and other
valuable information relative to that settlement, see
Mr. Wilkinson's work—" South Australia, its advantages and Resources." INTRODUCTION.
loss arising from some by the gain accruing
from the rest, and thus, by a sort of self-insurance, secure to themselves an average rate
of profit. And, as to joining these public com-
panies, emigration is not necessary for that,
because it can be done just as easily at home.
With these introductory remarks, I shall leave
the letters of our friend to speak for
themselves; and, if read with attention,
and in a proper spirit, they cannot fail to
impart a great deal of useful information, not
only to the Emigrant, but to the Merchant, the
Manufacturer, and even to the Statesman.
fours, etc.,
J. W. r> * /?
Since my arrival on this side of the globe, my
dear W—, I have witnessed some strange
sights and adventures, which I shall describe
to you, as well as I can, knowing your love for
that sort of thing, and the lively interest which
you will take in perusing the description, from
the simple fact of your old chum being the
sight-seer and adventurer.
Hi ■OF*
You may believe me when I state that I
never witnessed any sight or scene out of the
ordinary way, that I did not instantly think of
you, and of the pleasure you must have experienced, had you been present, so much does sympathy increase the power of enjoyment; and
when the freshness of the scene had worn away,
and you were still in my mind, I naturally
reverted to the incidents which marked our
long acquaintance—to our almost daily meetings at that anatomical temple, St. George's,
where the High Priest of nerves and muscles,
old cut-em-up, who never said a kind thing
and never, willingly, did a good one, was continually dinning into our ears, the necessity of
acquiring a thorough knowledge of anatomy and
of the human frame, and while he was practically demonstrating before our eyes the truth
of his instructions, or, in other words, was
cutting away at his subject, how frequently
have we wished to I cut away* to our favourite
pastimes and pleasures*    Ah! my dear fellow, COW-PASTURES.
I think I know better now, experience has
taught me a wrinkle or so ! There is nothing
like roughing it in this world, if you wish to
clear the brain of many of its foolish notions;
especially in its youthful state, when there is
something peculiarly green about it, and it is
too apt to riot in the freshness, and freedom
of its nature. It is all very well to talk as
you and I did, ' when the bloom was on the
peach,' of the monotonous routine of our existence; of our ardent desire to see more of
the world, as we then phrased it, of our determination to emancipate ourselves, or, in
familiar terms, to 'cut it,' the very first opportunity that might present itself. Well—that
opportunity presented itself to me, which T
eagerly embraced, and, as you know, I would
scarcely give myself time even to make the
necessary preparations for a long journey, so
hot and hasty was I to be off, going, I knew
not whither, and to see, I scarce knew what,
or whom.    Believe me, my dear W*—, that
time works wondrous changes in our feelings
and sentiments; and were I to tell you that I
have experienced more pleasure in wandering
alone amidst the wild " Bush," and in the deep
solitudes of New South Wales, or commingling
with the motly denizens of her stations and her
towns, than I have done while sauntering down
that great artery of civilization—Regent
Street—arm-in-arm with yourself, I should
grossly deceive myself if I did not deceive you, and I will not attempt to
do either. It is very easy for your sickly sentimentalist, who never lacked the creature,
comforts of this life, to declaim against the
thronged city—to conjure up imaginary wrongs
—and the hypocritical feelings of its denizens;
to chatter about hollow hearts, pride, ambition
finery, and festivity; and then, by way of contrast, to paint the Arcadian simplicity of your
Australian Emigrant, so honest, so truthful,
and so guileless, as we have heard our friends,
R- and B—do, and then quote the beautiful antithesis of Byron, touching his " pleasure COW  PASTURES.
in the pathless woods," and his 1 rapture on
the lonely shore;" butlet them experience afew
of the hardships which every Emigrant is compelled to undergo, when he arrives in this quarter
of the globe, and the luxury of "apathies? wood,"
and the rapture in viewing u a lonely shore,"
will become merely conventional terms, the
true meaning of which must greatly depend
upon the physical condition of the individual,
which must be of a good, healthy, nature
before the mind can experience such enjoyments. Try it, my friend, as I have done,
half-a-score times, and you will soon discover
the delusion. A head-ache or too, a severe
cold with fever and excitement, and a scarcity of
the common comforts of life, these ills will soon
dispel your poetic notions of M society where
none intrudes," and all the Byronic sentiments
of your brain. In this land of Convicts and
Kangaroos you cannot live upon fine scenery,
but you must work hard, endure  much, ac-
IpH! :,'
cumulate slowly, if at all, and then, perchance,
you may end your days with a comfortable
competency—which you cannot fail to do in
England, with your peculiar education, if you
only exercise ordinary industry and prudence.
Having eased my mind of these few reflections
upon the difference between imagination and
reality, as regards the feelings of certain
would-be emigrants, I shall now proceed to
jot down my scenes and adventures in this
quarter of the world, as freshly and freely as
they occurred to me; and shall consider myself especially happy, if they have the effect of
conveying a truthful impression to your mind,
of * the actual state of things, so contrary in
many respects to that, which is generally entertained of them in the mother country.
The Cow Pastures are about thirty-five
miles from Sydney, where the Australian
Nomade really begins his life. The pasture-
life, especially sheep-tending, is dull, lazy, and
excessively monotonous. Day after day passess COW    PASTURES.
away without the slightest call for exertion,
except at branding time, which comes but once
a year, when the bustle and boozing create
a temporary change; but it is soon over, and
then returns the usual quietude and repose.
Everything connected with this occupation
disposes to dreaminess and dozing—the heat,
the drowsiness of the atmosphere, and the
stillness of the cattle—-and you sink, as it were
insensibly, into that condition. I soon became
like others, very idle—smoked a great deal—
stuffed birds by way of killing time, and
affording me a stimulus to carry my gun-
took long steaming walks, as they term them—
from the shear fatigue of indolence, which frequently created the only excitement which is
incidental to a Bush life. I passed three
months in this lazy manner, and became
heartily weary of it. Our living, I must observe, was wretchedly bad, as everything was
so very scarce and dear. Sometimes we had
great difficulty in procuring even bread; and
iiiil mm
as to meat and milk, although in the Cow
Pastures, the first was lean and tough, and the
latter not to be obtained at almost any price.
But this scarcity arose, I ought to relate, from
a terrible drought which lasted three successive
years, and rendered everything in the shape of
food almost inaccessible. The cattle died off
by thousands, and those remaining behind
were weak, attenuated by hunger, and comparatively unproductive. A timely importation of wheat and rice, chiefly' from the
Indian Archipelago, proved a great relief to
all classes and conditions of society, and even
to animal life, so universal was the depression
at that time.
My professional pursuits frequently called
me to the Pastures, althougth my head
quarters, or bleeding establishment, was at a
small house near Yass, on the road to Goul-
bourn, where my partner C , who attended to the kill-or-cure department at home,
while I toured it in the country, almost always COW  PASTURES.
resided. During the awful scarcity to which
I have alluded, we could neither obtain money
nor meat of our clients in the town, therefore
determined to take a turn together in the
country—to pay our patients a friendly visit
—where we hoped to find I relief in one shape
or another,    C put the horse in the gig,
and off we ' started on our tour, and we
generally managed to enquire the price of
ducks, fowls, hams, &c, or whatever we saw
about in the eating line; especially if there
was an old bill standing, or a new one accumulating. We never objected to take it
out in kind during the drought, as there was
scarcely any kind of eatables "to be obtained
for either love or money. One day we had a
goose, two dried tongues, a loaf of bread, a
couple of live ducks, a small bag of flour, a
piece of mutton, and a lump of butter; all of
which were sets-off against our precious
medicine and advice. It would have done your
heart good to have seen C hand out the
Ml iwll1
articles, one after another, and to have heard his
quaint observations upon the relative value of the
cmutton' and 'goose,' as compared with our
costly(draughts' and% lotions.' It would also have
been capital fun to have seen you in a similar
predicament, with your precise notions, and
systematic habits—breakfast exactly at nine ;
dinner—at five,, to a minute; or Lord have
mercy on the servants! Stick at home, my
boy, and don't venture out of the regular
routine of life; it would play the deuce with
your clock-work habits, and prim, and precise
locomotion. You no more could stand * roughing ' in this quarter of the globe, unless your
old feelings were completely bruised and battered out of you, than a fine-fed Italian greyhound could take a tramping tour with the
gipsies—a jump from the luxuriant drawing-
room to a dirty ditch. You have often admired the Horse-Guards and their fine black
horses. Just imagine one of the latter—fat,
sleek, and saucy—suddenly transferred to  a COW  PASTURES.
cabman; and, in lieu of regular habits, capital
feeding, and out-and-out grooming, shoved here
and  there, on  every road,  and  at  all hours,
subject to the caprice of his drunken driver—
you know the rest, broken knees, broken wind,
broken heart—he dies, and the dogs close the
account of the poor animal—then you have a
not very inapt resemblance to many men who
come out here, who are totally unfitted for it.
Don't feel offended at my blunt and homely
way of writing to you; it is, at all events,
sincere.    Picture to your mind what I have
been compelled to endure, and many others
besides me, who had no notion of the real state
of things here—no bread, no butter—worse
than the charity children in England; no meat,
no money—worse than the common prigs of
London, for they can at I a pinch'  procure
both—to say nothing of a multitude of other
inconveniences which came 4 thick  and  fast'
upon me,  and which, with  every   respectful
feeling be it spoken, I question much if you
lift $FG:
could endure, without wincing most grievously
But, nHmporte.
We considered ourselves exceedingly fortunate by the tour which we made amongst our
friends, as it secured us against the terrible
scarcity which everywhere prevailed. We
were determined to enjoy ourselves, therefore
cooked the goose, and tapped some bottled
stout, which cost us fifteen shillings at Sydney,
not reckoning the carriage to Yass, which is
always very high throughout the Colony; and
on that day we made a good dinner—a great
treat—and looked forward to a few more while
our prog and porter lasted. I ought to mention
that I purchased some excellent claret for
fifteen pence per bottle, which turned out a
most agreeable beverage, especially in the hot
My three month's partnership, if I may so
term it, had expired—for I was only on trial—
the influenza, which was raging most murderously, had disappeared, and from the time I COW    PASTURES.
arrived at Yass till I left, every one seemed
less and less to require medical a3d, and from
booking two and three pounds per day, it gradually fell down to that sum in the course erf as
many weeks, or a month. After winding up
our accounts, I found myself just Jive pounds
better than when I started; not so bad after
all, thought I, considering the times and circumstances.    'C , my boy, it will not
do—I must try another station,' said I. tPfae
remote—the very remote bush, with all its privations—salt beef, damper, nothing but water*
tea with the coarsest brown sugar, no mil&, a
mere shed to dwell in, bush-ranger-rascals on
the one hand, and black savages on the other,
ready to instantly pounce upon your valuables,
and carriage, at such a price that even a few
books would be a source of trouble and expense
—all these things 1 did not fancy, for if money
were to be made, it would be at the sacrifice of
all social feelings and pleasure, and the rust
which solitude invariably generates, would most
fee §
i vm
likely corrode and canker the little valuable
stuff I may have in my mind, to say nothing of
the repulsive manners which one too readily
acquires by association.
MI will see what this place Wollongong is,"
I observed  to C "It is  becoming   a
fashionable watering place to Sydney."
We had several horses, which cost nothing
for keep if you turn them out in the Bush;
but, if you require them for use, tliey become
expensive. We were obliged to have one
ready at all hours, and with maize at ten and
twelve shillings per bushel, and hay at eighteen
pounds a ton, it was no joke. An innkeeper would charge ten shillings for the keep
of a horse, for one night only—so dear was
everything at that time.
"No riding for me," said I: "I wiH stump
it, it is not more than forty miles."
C put to the horse, and over we drove
to the village pastor, from whom we solicited
a letter of introduction to the clergyman of COW-PASTURES.
Wollongong; and permit me to remark that
the former is a most excellent and worthy
man, universally beloved, and  an honour to
old England.    When I first joined C , he
was suffering severely from strumous abscesses,
so that he could not attend to his business in a
proper manner; and it was so arranged that I
should take the night journies, and the long
distances, which  enabled  him to recruit his
strength, and  recover  his  ordinary  state  of
health.    But, as business fell off, we generally
went together for mere company's sake, and I
always drove, as he was rather timid, and many
a shake have I given him by shaving too close
to a fallen log in the Bush, driving over a
branch, pitching one wheel into a deep excavation, or rattling, with increased speed, through
the trees, where there was not the slightest
trace of a road.    We had many merry days
together;  for he was a good-tempered   and
lively dog, although an invalid.    We occupied
part of a house—a whole one was too expen-
sive there—situate on the road to Yass, Goul-
bourn, and Port Philip, and the owner was a
freed-man.    His wife had also been a convict,
and they formerly kept a public-house;  bu?t
they lost their lieense through bad conduct of
some kind or otter.    They were almost always
drunk; and isur servant, who had been transported for forgery, and was a ticket-of-leave
man, was just as bad.    The scenes of riot and
drunkenness were too much for us, so that we
moved a little further off to the house of a
white native, whose father, it was said, was an
Irishman of the genuine '98 breed, who "left
his country, for his county's good." This man,
also, was drunk the first thing in the morning,
and would continue in that state for four or
five weeks together.
I have seen vice in almost every form, and
under almost every condition in the old world,
but never did it appear to me in so repulsive
and disgusting a shape as it exists among the
rower orders at Sydney', and, indeed, in almost COW  PASTURES.
every place that I have visited in New South
Wales. The Sydneyitps seem to have concentrated all the worst feelings of human nature—
beastly drunkenness, sensuality of the grossest
and coarsest kind, expressions of the most
horrid and sickening nature; in short, everything that debases the human species is there
indulged in to the utmost extent, and, being so
common, produces among the better sort of
residents no feeling of surprise, and excites no
comment. The higher class of settlers, as if
affected by inhaling so tainted an atmosphere,
are selfish, grasping, suspicious, cunning, full
of trickery, deceipt, and falsehood, in almost
all their dealings; and the day is wholly engrossed in endeavours to overreach your neighbour, while the spare time is filled up by indulging in scandal, and drinking to excess,
which leads to every other debauchery. When
once the foot is placed on this hated spot, all
the little courtesies of life disappear, and all
11 if!
11 IP'!-
refinement of thought, and every generous
and elevated sentiment, is instantly extinguished. Poor fallen human nature seems to
have sunk to its lowest possible depth in this
j'sllrs:!' CHAPTER II.
The first day of my journey to WuiJongong,
in the beautiful district of Illawarra, was
through a partially cultivated country. After
leaving Campbell Town to the right, I passed
over a hilly district which was studded with
wind-mills, cottages, and neatly. trimmed
gardens, besides a pretty considerable extent
of enclosed lands; then dropped into a broad
road made  by  the  convicts in some former I'
Governor-General'8 administration, for public
convenience, which soon brought me to Appin,
a queer, long, and straggling village, at which
I stopped for the night. There was but one
public-house in the place, kept by a freed
convict; it was a low and dirty crib, and you
may imagine that it was no luxury to sleep
in it.
The next day I tramped along the broad
road, which soon terminated, when I plunged
into the bush, where I had to rough it, all
alone, for more than twenty miles—one small
path, through which the mail goes, being my
only guide. The weather was remarkably
fine. The sun shone out brightly, but not
oppressively ; the birds glanced cheerfully from
bough to bough, their plumage gleaming like
the coruscations of a rainbow; the scene was
wild, my mind at ease, my legs strong; in my
hand a good thick stick, very little in my
pocket, and " the world all before me where
to choose." SYDNEY.
While I was pushing along through the
brushwood I observed a flook of white parrots,
which indicated thai water was near, and in
a few minutes afterwards the beautiful Nepean
burst upon my sight, meandering at a distance
over the undulating ground like a silvery eel
in motion. The bed of the river was deeply
worked in the rocks, at the point where I
crossed it, and its water was gurgling over
the shingly bottom at a rapid rate, making its
way to a broad valley which stretched itself
out at the foot of the bills over which I was
passing. I bathed myself in the river, whose
cool water refreshed my feet, and quenched
my thirst, and I never in my life felt so grateful and contented in my mind, especially as I
viewed the pendant woods, the bold precipices,
and the picturesque falls, which this stream
had formed in its onward course through the
mountains. I sat myself down to take a view
cf -the country, and greatly admired the scene
that presented iiself,   so different in almost —
II ' ill*
all the phenomena which meet the eye in an
European landscape. Trees are but trees, you
will say, but trees, vegetation, flowers, birds,
insects, animals—in short, everything that goes
to make up a landscape—assume such a
peculiar aspect, and are so strikingly different
in this country, to anything that I have observed in our northern latitudes. The peculiarity of Australian vegetation, as contrasted
with European, is its harshness. The leaves
of almost all the trees and shrubs are tough
and rigid, and frequently terminate in a sharp
and prickly point, which is anything but
agreeable when you have to push your way
through a tangled mass of them, a by no
means uncommon occurrence. The gum tree,
which abounds here, is very like our laurels;
the casuarina resembles the fir genus; the
cabbage tree approximates to the yew in
shape; and the dryandra may be likened to
the holly. The foliage, with few exceptions,
is   exceedingly thin, and the leaves present SYDNEY.
their edge, and not their "surface, to the light;
so that we have little of that cool and umbrageous luxury in  the forests of Australia,
which you have in your European woods.    To
the traveller this is a   matter of prime importance, especially when the hot sun is pouring down his  rays upon your head, and the
parched earth is responding in the  same element to your feet.     The bulrush,  the sow-
thistle, and  the furze, appear indigenous in
New Holland.     The  beauty and luxuriance
of the  flowers are   beyond  description,   and
seem to afford considerable sustenance to many
of the feathered and insect tribes. The silence
that prevails in these forests is singularly felt
by an European at first, until the ear and the
eye became accustomed to it.      It will frequently happen that, in a deep, woody country,
no sound or movement of life can be heard or
seen; the very leaves on the trees seem fast
asleep, the insects are perfectly tuneless in the
air; no hum, no buzz, no chirrup, to break
III liif'
the fairy-bound and spell-like monotony which
completely reigns around you. Such was the
effect on my senses when I gazed upon the
scene around me from the banks of the
Nepean, and so it continued, until I came to
the open country, when the comical-looking
kangaroo, and its bounding movements—
the queer scream of the* cockatoos—the agile
squirrels—and the various other living things
which there abound, began to show life and
animation, in all their respective peculiarities.
On I trudged for another ten miles or so,
when I heard the sound of the human voice,
which came like refreshing music on my ear;
and, as I was anxious to ascertain its whereabout, I listened and listened, and actually
thought it had been a dream, until, at length
it burst out into a loud and boisterous laugh,
which soon broke the spell, and convinced me
of its reality. On a sudden turn in the path
I came upon some men, who were seated in a
shed, which they had been erecting   in the SYDNEY.
midst of the forest, as a sort of resting-place
for way-faring wanderers like myself; and, as
this  was the  only   spot likely  to  contain a
human being on my route, I turned in among
them, lighted my pipe, sat down, and began
to chat away; so delighted was I to meet with
anything  in   the  shape  of a human  being.
Here I found some damper—a kind of heavy,
close, bread—and some good brandy, which I
greatly enjoyed, and while I was stowing these
things away, up came a constable and a runaway  convict, on their way to Wollongong.
The constable observed that he saw me start
from Appin, and guessed that I was not c< all
right," from the rapid pace   at which I was
going; and then he further questioned me as
to my being "free,"  my destination, place of
departure—all of which I purposely evaded,
which excited his curiosity still more.    I was
amused at the idea of being taken for a runaway felon.    What next?   thought I.    The
constable could make nothing of me, which ■sill
somewhat annoyed him; but when I offered
to  accompany him  to Wollongong,  he   was
greatly appeased, and we soon became comparatively friendly and sociable.    I found him
a  somewhat intelligent  fellow,  and  able to
give me a great deal of information about the
country  and the people, which  I  much required ; and he amused me with many of his
adventures—his tales of queer characters—his
singular experience among the criminals—all
of which he had picked up in  the  different
stations which he had   filled  in   the  colony.
First, he was in a regiment of the line stationed at Sydney; next in the horse-police of
this district,   and   finally  a constable, which
brought him in contact with many strange incidents and individuals.    His stories of a bushranger's life would make you laugh; his tales
of the Felonry of this colony would make you
shudder or weep, according to the sympathies
of your nature.    He invited me to share his
f& pot of tea," which I did with a great deal of SYDNEY.
pleasure; but I could scarcely keep my eyes
off his prisoner, so unmistakably was his character written on his face.
I have seen many criminals in my time, but
never in my life did I see a countenance like
that of the poor runaway whom the constable
had in tow. Poor devil, he was dead beat;
and he had that hardened, haggard, and despairing look which none but a thorough
criminal can put on. Every line of his queer
and sinister features betokened excessive grief;
and it made me quite ill, at first, to look at
him. That man's face, said I to myself, is a
multum in parvo of crime—a map of Newgate in
miniature; so you would have said, had you
seen ii*/j
When we had finished our "tea," the^pri-
soner was hand-cuffed, and off we started on
the road to Wollongong. The prisoner walked
first, while I and the constable followed close
behind; the latter having decked his sides
with a couple of loaded pistols, in the event of
IP =
in in l ■* ill. • ■■''
the former attempting to bolt. In this respectable society I reached Illawarra, after passing
over a rough and irregular road, with five miles
of steep descent before we neared Wollongong;
but, on a sudden turn in the road, before the
descent commenced, I caught sight of the sea,
spread out like a sheet of blue silk, and the
effect was so electric upon me, that I thought
for a moment, that I should have cried, albeit
not much given to that sort of thing either.
The truth is, that the first sight of the sea,
when you have been some time in the interior*
always reminds you of home and its affections
—it forms the connecting link, as it were,
with that sacred and hallowed spot. We all
sat down for a few minutes—the runaway at
some distance from us—when I began to talk
to the constable about his home, and recollections of old England; but I fancied that he
was shy, so I changed the subject.
I wonder," said I,  "whether that poor
man ever thinks of his home." SYDNEY.
' "Oh, I dare say he does—it comes o'er 'em
all sometimes; but they won't have it, if they
can anyways help it—they stifle it as quick as
possible/' replied the constable.
Do you know him ?" I enquired.
No; but he is oute for life;' he is on the
gang-work down at Wollongong.    I never had
him at this game before," he replied.
"I suppose," said I, "that they are soon
' used up' at that work ?"
| Not so soon as you would imagine ; a
great deal depends upon their condition when
they arrive here. Some of them are as hard
as iron, and could they (meaning the authorities) keep the c spirit' from them, they would
last a precious long time; but they will have
it, somehow or other, and then all the devil
comes out of them, and a regular hell-on-earth
it is, too, I can assure you."
| No doubt," said I; "no doubt; but there
is a great difference, I suppose, among
them ?"
II illilffl
8 Oh, I believe you," he replied; " I have
known some men among them—gentlemen-
sort of men, you know—who have been unfortunate, and got 5 lagged' on the other side,
who have soon dropped off; they couldn't
stand it, you see, like that man, who has been
bruised about all his life time, most likely.
But they seldom put these gentlemen-convicts
or J?e\on-swells, as we call 'em, to any hard
work like ' ganging,' and such like; they are,
always wanted for other purposes, such as
store-keepers, writers, aud other clean and easy
work, which it is difficult to get done well, as
there are so few of that sort that come out here."
i So much the better," said I, alluding to the
latter part of his observations.
$ True, true; but you know luck is luck,
and life is uncommon strange, and you would
say so too, if you were to hear one half of what
1 am obliged to hear every day," he exclaimed.
On my arrival at Wollongong, I soon found m.
the Revd. Mr. M
■, to whom  I had a
letter1 of introduction, who turned out a kind-
hearted and hospitable Irishman; in fact, the
only really gentlemanly-minded man that I
had met with for some time. We took a survey of Wollongong together, and he and 1 endeavoured to measure the chances of my succeeding in that place, when, for reasons which
I will shortly detail, it was decided in the
negative. The fact is, there were two medical
men already located there, which were more
than sufficient to attend to the | ills which flesh
is heir to" in that limited but fashionable
watering-place. This Wollongong is rapidly
increasing in population, being a convenient
distance from Sydney; but there is one great
draw-back to its prosperity, which it will be
difficult to overcome—the dangerous state of
the coast, and the consequent inconvenience
of landing. Steamers are constantly plying
here; but the surf in general beats heavily
against the   shore, and many of   them  with
rr lit
»VJ mm
their cargoes of live stock are compelled to
return to the capital, whence they had come
to improve their health and spirits. I put up
at the head Inn, the Royal Hotel, kept by one
Dillon, an Irishman; and so full was the house,
that I was compelled to sleep on a sofa, then
on a table with a bundle of women's petticoats
for my pillow, and, at last, I had great difficulty in procuring even that luxury, so great
was the competition for accommodation. I
washed my face, as usual, in the morning—the
utmost luxury of that kind, that I could indulge in—but they brought me such a dirty
towel at first, that a lady, who observed it from
an adjoining room, gave me a clean one of her
own, observing, at the same time, that it was
a shame to treat u gentlemen" in such a manner, and at the head inn, too, of the place. I
fully agreed with her, and took her to be a
person of much discrimination, a quality not
often met with in this topsy-turvy portion of
the world; but the fact is, it would have been pill
quite useless to complain, as the landlord and
his  wife were half slued all  day  long,   and
almost always fighting, half-play, half-earnest.
Walking   round the town, and looking at
the curiosities and characteristics of the place,
I met my companion, the constable, who was
also on the stroll, which gave me an opportunity of acquiring some information about many
things, of which I was completely ignorant,
therefore I joined him with some degree of
pleasure.     Sauntering along,   and talking of
this and of that, in his peculiar style, we, at
length stopped at a small house, where they
sold spirits and tobacco, which we entered, sat
down on a bench, and then re-lit our pipes.
There we  had a 1 drain"   of rum  together,
which I paid for, of course, and smoked my
pipe, while the constable and the landlord, or
storekeeper, were holding a conversation together.    The storekeeper, I must tell you, was
quite a character in his way—he was a short,
11 SI
liil m
quick, bustling, cock-sparrow, sort of a man.
knew everything, talked to every one, about
anything [or nothing, and didn't care a pin
what you said or did, so long as you purchased
his spirits and tobacco ; and, if you would
only stand a $ drain" for himself, you was
everything, in an instant, in his estimation.
" Well," exclaimed the fubsy little man, | so
you nabbed him, did you?" speaking to the
constable about his prisoner of the preceding
'day. •.■'■• ^
uOh, yes, it is all right; I dropped on him
at Appin," replied the latter.
6i I  suppose you'll give  him  the   ecruel'
again?"   alluding to  some peculiar mode of
punishment, which they inflicted on runaways
—said the storekeeper.
§ That's of no use; he has had that so many
times; they will give him a * Norfolk dumpling'
next time, and that'll tie up his stockings pretty
tight," returned the constable. SYDNEY.
u That'll c choke him off,' and no mistake;
none on 'em can stomach that; it stuns 'em
all," exclaimed the storekeeper.
" And pray, Mr. Constable, what may be a
e Norfolk dumpling ?"' I enquired.
" That's what we call sending 'em to Norfolk Island, the most out-and-out, cruel, punishment that they can give," replied he.
" Well, that's the only way to put £ a stopper ' on such outdacious coves, as him," popped
in the storekeeper, by way of a closer, seeing
that we had finished our spirits, and not disposed to have any more.
I A smart little mfrn, that," said I to the
constable, when we had left the store.
$c Yes, he is; and knows his business too. He
is up to a move or two, and no mistake. Get
him out to talk about London, and then you'll
hear a bit that'll amuse you. Mind, I don't
mean the low, slangy, and blackguard life* in
England ; for he's a superior sort of man, and
,•;■■»;•!■ 41
IKS! 1 72
has been well brought up in the world," he
11 should'nt have thought that," I remarked, % if I may judge from his language
and his manner."
€i That's habit, at least a good deal on it is*
I can assure you ; when he likes he can come
out in the right style, and then he astonishes
them all, above a bit, in this quarter," responded the constable.
" I should like to bring him out, then," I
ri Well, so you shall, and when you like.
He'll do anything for me, for I've given him
a turn now and then, which cost me nothing,
but was of great service to him," replied my
companion. " If you have half-an-hour to
spare, When you have finished your stroll,
we'll drop in upon him; I see he's a Httle
bk 8 on" now, you've only to wet him, as they
say of a hedgehog in my country, and he's sure
to open" observed the constable. SYDNEY.
f With all my heart," I replied, " for I'm
very partial to everything of the curious and
uncommon in life, which you must have seen
a great deal of, since you have been in these
M Well, Mr. Watson, we have come to have
a glass of your "yankee particular" after
dinner, if you have no objection," observed
the constable, as we re-entered the store of
the little spirit-dealer, which we had visited
in the morning.
fl Walk in, gentlemen, walk in," exclaimed
the active boniface, u there, go into my little
snuggery behind, there's nobody tbere,.and I'll
join you in a jiffy."
We all three smoked, we all three drank,
and heartily too, for the constable was a
regular soaker, and nothing seemed to come
amiss to him—he could stretch his throat, like
a ribbed stocking, to anything, from a pen'orth
of gin up to a frothy pot of heavy-*—and we
all three talked, but not in the same ratio, for
I-'' 74
I said little, the constable said much, but the
landlord said the most, which particularly
pleased me, as I was anxious to hear the history of his adventured through life.
" When I first came out to this country,"
exclaimed the landlord.
The constable whispered in my ear, " Came
out, indeed ! he was sent out! a little difference
between you and I."
a Well, well, I know what you mean, but
I don't care about that. I've always behaved
6 fair and square' since 1 have been here, and
show me the man that's done better, considering what I've had to fight against," alluding
to our tete-a-tete, which I would gladly have
avoided, but the constable was getting a little
on himself.
" I meant no harm, I assure you, Mr. Watson," exclaimed the constable, " I was merely
cracking a joke upon the difference between
6 came out' and * sent out,' which we hear so
often up at Sidney; but I never thought for SYDNEY.
a moment that it would * bring you out' in
this way, or would'nt have drop't a word to
my friend beside me."
" Ah ! that's all very well, you are like
many others that I know here ; you must have
" a fling" at us ' out-siders,' you can't help
it," retorted the landlord. 1 Let a man once
commit himself—it's all up with him, then;
he may be as good as an angel all his lifetime
afterwards, but they won't forget^ it—that's
just like the world," continued Watson, who
seemed disposed to turn sulky and ' shut up
shop,' as the saying is.
| Mr. Watson," I put in, | I've heard our
friend, the constable, give you the best of
characters, during our stroll this morning,
therefore I hope you won't take amiss what
he said to me just now—I'm sure he meant
no harm to you, as I'm certain he respects
you too much for that. In fact, to tell you
the truth, it was only what he said to me
about you, that induced me to come back to
e 2
I I* if*
your place, and take a glass of grog with you",
therefore I shall take it as a personal favour
if you won't allude to it again. Here's to
your very good health, Watson; may you
live long and die happy."
*' Thank you, sir, thank you—the same to
you," responded the landlord. " Well, I was
going to tell you why I'm out here," continued his boniface friend, f and to make a
long story short, I'll begin at the beginning."
In the mean time our glasses were replenished and our pipes re-filled, at my suggestion.
% I was born, bred, and educated, in a small
town in Northamptonshire, and my parents
were respectable farmers, and pretty well to
do in life. As a start in the world, I was
apprenticed to a linendraper in the country ;
served five years, and learned my trade, such
as it was; then removed to London, to try
my fortune in that great whirlpool of struggling care, honest industry, ambitious hopes, •SYDNEY.
splendid success, and, I must say, of crushing
misery to the many, whatever advantage the
lucky few may obtain—in that great industrial
game which is always on, and never played
out, in one way or another, within its eddying
rounds. I was lucky at first in obtaining a
situation at twenty pounds a year in one of
those large houses—whose gaudy fronts and
well crammed windows, which denote a very
plethora of opulence* are an infallible cynosure
to ladies eyes—situate in the neighbourhood
of St, Pauls. Our governor—wo never called
him master—was a religious man, and lived
out of town, and, in his way, not a bad sort of
character either; but as deeply bitten with
the conventional morality of the trade, as any
shopkeeper possibly could be. His motto was
—' sell, sell—fairly and honestly, if you can—
but you must sell, or you won't do for me.' If
a lady came in, and one of the young men—
or women either—for there were a great
number of the latter in the shop—could not
pis, • '
|H m
suit her with an article, he was considered a
bad salesman, and depreciated instantly in his
annual value, if indeed he was allowed to stop,
which was seldom the case.    The result of this
system—which is almost universally observed
throughout London—with a few exceptions—
is the rearing up of young men and women
thus employed, as unmitigated and rotten liars,
which it would be impossible to surpass, as the
utmost ingenuity and ability are exercised in
devising new schemes  to  entrap customers,
and fresh devices to prevent their escape without making purchases, when once entrapped.
I have  known some  of the most audacious
liars  in  those establishments, and well they
might be so,   for many of the after-hours of
business were spent in telling the tricks and
devices of the day, in order to sell goods, or,
in other terms, to make a ' good book,' which
the governor most scrupulously scanned next
morning.    If you were a good salesman, or,
which is synonymous   in   linen-drapery ety- —
mology,   a   great   liar,   that   is,   technically
speaking, if you could shave the ladies well,
and took a good amount every day, you would
be sure to obtain the approbation of the heads
of the house, and receive an approving smile
or nod from the governor-m-chief, as he made
his morning's survey through his well-drilled
establishment.     That  is   a   very   corrupting
school, let   me  remark,  and,   I believe, that
competition, or the great glut of goods, has
produced  it  in that   branch of trade, more
than in others.    My next move in life was to
a  large   wholesale house,   which   abound   in
London, where I received a good salary, and
succeeded comparatively well.    But there you
may observe the same system of lying, deceit,
and chicanery, and of a more atrocious nature
too, as   far  as genuine morality or common
honesty is  concerned;   but the parties upon
whom it is practised are of a more crafty kind
than the e ladies' in the retail shops—being no
less than the buyers and masters of these same
mm 80
shops—therefore   to   compete   with   them is
verifying completely the old proverb of ~ dog
eating'dog,'  and to beat that  class of men,
the   most   pre-eminent   of  liars,   you   must
obtain    a    % sad    pre-eminence'    indeed,   in
the   art   of   lying   yourself.       Having   ran
the   round   of   the large   Houses,   with the
view of enlarging my experience, and improving
my finances,  in both of which I greatly succeeded, I at length  determined to commence
business on my own account.    The times were
good—money was easy—I was well known in
the manufacturing districts, as a buyer—others,
with less means, had succeeded, which greatly
annoyed me—therefore, I made up my mind
to try my luck.    Imagine me in business with
about twelve   thousand   pounds stock,   with
liabilities to about fifty thousand, and literally
owing twenty thousand—similar to many and
many a man in the city of London, I will venture to say, at the present moment—a great
depression in trade, a panic in the money mar- SYDNEY.
ket, no bills discounting in any shape; you are
desperately hard up for the needful, and with
a balance  at your bankers', which they had
long hinted as too tapery, or too fine, as their
respective terms might be ;   what could you
have done under such circumstances?:  What!
—why stop payment, of course 1    Nothing but
a miracle, which never  occurs in methodical
London, in the shape of a secret mine, could
save you.    That was my case in 1837,  and
here I am in 184— little thinking that I should
have ^experienced so many and such peculiar
changes.    Ah! that is an infernal system of
business, and breaks many a man's heart.    No
one should embark in such a business without
he has ample capital to carry it on with ease, I
think I hear you say; very true, but almost all
your wealthy men in England, and especially
in London, many of whom  have fallen  under
my   observation, have commenced with comparatively little capital.    The fact is, when a
storm sets in, no matter whence it blows, the
p. i-i fy
. fti 82
great commercial world of England feels it
most keenly, and many of her strongest and
most stately trees are swept down by it, although
fully prepared to live in fair and quiet weather.
Talk of misery, too; what can equal the feelings of a man who wishes to do well; who
would gladly pay twenty shillings in the
pound, and yet cannot turn himself round to
do it ? Many and many a time have I gone
into London in a morning with the most
agonized feelings; and many and many a man
have I saluted in the well-known Omnibus,
with an apparent smile upon my face, who
was similarly circumstanced to myself. Talk
of the tread-mill—that must be a luxury when
compared to the misery which a poor devil
must endure who has a heavy bill coming due
and very little at his banker's to meet it. He
goes home to his excellent and careful wife,
the mother, perchance, of several children, all
of whom must be provided for, and, of coarse,
in a respectable manner, if he wishes to main- SYDNEY.
tain his status in his neighbourhood; he listens
to a little music, which, for the moment, drives
away the thoughts of the abill;" he goes to
bed, tries to sleep, and from sheer fatigue dozes
or dreams an hour or two, all of which time his
thoughts are disturbed, his mind is wandering
over figures, cheques, stamps, bill-discounters
and bankers, which cause him to tumble about
and " fan " the sheets right and left, when his
gentle  spouse—that   guardian  angel   of   his
existence, who instantly divines that all is not
quite right—gently taps him, which procures
a momentary cessation  in  hisKbodily  move-
ments.    When  he  rises 3n  the  morning  he
feels fatigued, hurries to the city to read the
" city article," never cares about the '''splendid
Leader," although it may be in The Times^-
not even the  "Jupiter  tonans "   himself can
seduce him from the one overwhelming idea—
the  unprovided-for  bill  at the  banker's.    A
man—I mean a fair, round dealing man, such
as abound in the city of London, who would
m pay if he could—who has bills falling due and
cannot command the means to meet them, and
wishes to keep up his credit, may as well have
a live cat in his belly, scratching its way out
every morning of his existence—no sinecure
that, you will say.
" But," you will naturally exclaim, " what
has all this to do with my being here, o will
tell you, and you will find it has more to do
with the circumstance than you imagine. One
morning I was desperately hard up; had gone
through all the phases of mental agony which
I have feebly attempted to describe ; had some
thousands coming due at my bankers', and very
little to meet it; could force no sales, which,
after all, was only precipitating the event;
had exhausted every means of renewal, borrowing, exchanging cheques, drawing § pig on
pork," as it is technically called; therefore
came to the fatal resolution of writing another
partie's name across a stamped bit of paper—
or, in other terms, as you know all about it* >-s
committed forgery. When I wrote the name
I trembled; when I took it with others to the
discounter's I almost fainted, and felt sick at
heart; and yet I endured all this to prolong a
miserable existence—to hide a false feeling—
false, in relation to a criminal act—of shame ;
and rather than brunt the supercilious sneers
of the world, plunged into a crftne of the
deepest dye, and inflicted a lasting stigma upon
my family and friends, which no after-exertion
can thoroughly efface. Oh! could I but live
my time over again, how differently would I
act; but that, you will say, is idle rant	
it isn't much better."
For a moment or two Watson paused, as
though in deep agony of mind, and never shall
I forget his countenance as he fixed his little
keen eye upon ine—his face, at the same time,
lit up with the fiery spirit we had been drinking—when he exclaimed in a measured,
solemn, and deep-toned, voice,
"If I wished any one  to be  miserable—
ti 86
really and truly miserable—to have all feeling
of kindness and humanity thoroughly crushed
in his bosom—I have only to wish him
the feelings I experienced while standing at
the bar of the Old Bailey—to see an old
friend sneaking in one corner of the court,
looking at you on the sly, and ashamed to acknowledge you; to bid your wife and family
an everlasting good-bye; to be thrust amongst
the lowest criminals, and obliged to hear their
blasphemous language, and see their filthy and
disgusting habits; to make a long voyage, under every species of hardship, mental and
physical; then to be ordered about like a dog;
and if all that would not gratify a malignant
heart, then I don't know what human feelings
really are."
When he had finished, he fell back for a
moment in the seat; his pipe dropped from
his hand; the cold perspiration seemed to hang
on his brow ; and altogether he seemed really
and truly a miserable man. SYDNEY.
1 Come, cheer up, my trump," exclaimed the
constable, " let us have another ' drain' before
we part; and let by-gones be by-gones; and,
if ever you be so down upon your luck again,
when I introduce a gentleman to you, hang
me if I'll enter your house."
"Agreed, agreed, my friend," exclaimed
Watson, at the same time extending his hand
to the constable, who shook it most heartily,
and then drank his | last drop," as a matter of
course, and your humble servant did the same.
II! i
Pi! !i
As  I found  the ground   occupied at  Wai-
longong, I took my departure for Shoalhaven,
according to the advice of  Mr.  M , who
gave me a letter of introduction to his friend
B , one of the largest occupiers of land in
that quarter, and, indeed, the principal settler.
My first day's journey was through a line of
country of rich and varied wildness—flats?
rivers, hills, tall trees, and tangled brushwood, SYDNEY.
alternating the scene. Nature was arrayed in
all her glory, and most luxuriantly displayed
her charms. Here a thick and inter-twined
mass of scrub and brush, utterly impervious
to the human frame—there an open space,
dotted over with isolated tufts of grass, the
favourite couch of the Kangaroo and Opossum,
on which " the foot of man had ne'er, or rarely,
been," to disturb their almost unbroken solitude.
The trees, in many instances, were of the most
gigantic growth, and, in others, of the most
fantastic forms, which added greatly to the
beauty of the woody scene. The enormous
ferns, the thick-girthed gums, shooting up to a
height of a hundred feet with their branchless
bolls, and their peculiar barks; the caoutchouc,
or Indian fig-tree, with its tortuous branches
piercing the atmosphere in the most fantastic
directions, were flourishing in unrestrained
luxuriance. The Banksia, with its orange-red
flowers, in shape like the cone of a pine, and
perfuming the air with a scent as delicious as
MBit Qui 90
that of the honey-suckle; the Dryandra, with
its flowers shooting from the end of the branch,
like the head of a large thistle; the Xanthorea,
or grass tree, with its sooty-coloured trunk,
its long, pendulous, thickset tuft of grass, from
the centre of which springs up a stem several
feet in height, covered with small white blossoms ; then there, was the Xylomela, with iter
fragrant flowers, and its pear-like seed-vessels;
the Zamia Spiralis, with its black trunk, and
its foliage like that of the wild date tree—the
fruit of this tree is a favourite with the natives,
and a condiment resembling arrow-root has
been made from its pith—which, curious to
relate, has often been found in a fossil state in
England; but the tree of trees in Australia—
the glory of her forests—is the Nuytsia
Jloribunda, or cabbage-tree, with its bright
yellow-and-red-tinted flowers, profusely scattered over the foliage, and, at sun-set, glittering like a mass of molten fire; these, and many
others, variegated the richly-spread landscape SYDNEY.
in whatever direction you turned your eye.
The luxuriance of Flora, too, was beyond
description ; she had decked herself out in the
utmost profusion—her robe glittering in the
wildest gaiety of colouring, and enriched with
every variety of tint and shade. There was
the purple Kennedia, climbing here, there, and
everywhere; and, also, the scarlet Kennedia,
creeping along the ground, in the same fantastic forms; then the pale green Arragosanthus,
with its velvet-like, ruby stem; the scarlet
Comptoniana ; the Drosera, with its pink and
white blossoms; the orange Camilanthium;
the slate and yellow-coloured Chrysanthimums ;
the elegant Thysanotus, or lace flower; the
white, pink, and gold-tinted Xeranthemum,
were peeping up in every direction, with their
peculiar shapes, and their rich and brilliant
hues. The variety of birds, with their gaudy,
yet superb, plumage, skimming here and there
in apparent wonderment at the sight of an
object like myself,  was perfectly staggering;
ill 92
and the stillness—the almost breathless
quietude—and my utter loneliness, which
added to the peculiarity of the scene—all conspired to throw my mind into that dreamy
state, which strangely bewilders one's
thoughts, and utterly baffles description.
This district of Illawarra is certainly the
most beautiful portion of New South Wales,
and amply deserves all the fine things said of
it. Being fatigued, I sat down on a log of
wood, ate the lunch which I had brought
with me, and, after contemplating the enchanting scene around me to the full of
my fancy, 1 fell off to sleep as soundly
as though I had been feather-bedded in old
England, by which I felt greatly refreshed.
When I awoke I jumped up and shook myself to ascertain, as it were, my c whereabout,'
so indistinct and dreamlike did everything
seem around me, for a few moments; at
length, feeling the reality of objects, I trudged
on and reached a small place called Dapto, SYDNEY.
where I stopped for the night, and indulged
in the luxury of a lie-down, infinitely preferable
to what I found at Wollongong, although it is
the fashionable watering-place—the Brighton
—of the Sydney people. The next day I
passed through Jamboroo and reached the
village of Kiama—consisting of three houses
—where I fell id with a native and his family,
quietly squatted under the branches of a tree,
round a queer sort of fire which they had
kindled, and eating a peculiar kind of seaweed which they had cooked, after a certain
fashion. Blackey, his Gin, or wife, and two
girls, all of the true Australian breed, and
myself, bivouacked together that night; and,
as he had picked up a few words of broken
English amongst the settlers, with whom he had
been e on' and ' off' for some time, his company was not a perfect blank, as far as speech
was concerned. He wished me to understand
that he was king, or a bigwig of some kind or
other among the natives, and wore round his 94
neck a semi-lunar piece of brass, which some
one had given to him, and upon which was
inscribed the name  of a  chief of a certain
Australian tribe.    I gave him some tobacco,
which he seemed to enjoy very much, and, as
his sable majesty was going the same way as
myself, we set off early in the morning on our
journey.    When  we were all fairly en route
I had an opportunity of observing the habits of
the Australians in their migratory excursions,
and was highly amused at everything I saw.
The Gin carried a bundle of all sorts on her
back, which   was   pretty   heavy;  the  eldest
daughter had  a few things in a bag,  and a
lighted  stick   in her hand, toddling  steadily
along with   her mother, whilst the youngest
ran and rolled in the sand, and tumbled about
in   the  tufts of grass,   like a  jovial   young
savage, which she really was; her black skin
glistening in the sun, for she was almost 'as
naked as she was born,' and with a long reed,
like a sprit sail-yard, run through the cartilage SYDNEY.
of her nose.    The chief 'of this bright host '
carried his waddy, or club, in one hand, and a
few spears in the other; and wore over a portion of his body an old shirt, almost as black
as  his skin, which   he had picked up somewhere, not having the slighest idea of washing
it, or of the comfort that  would  be derived
from such an operation.   The lady-blacks were
decked out in pieces of old blankets, just as
dingy as the skeleton shirt of their lord; and
so careless were they about such a covering,
and so utterly insensible did they appear to
anything like shame, that they allowed their
bits of blanket to float free about their sable
persons, and took no pains   to   restrain   the
liberties  of   the  saucy and capricious  wind,
which blew about them where it listed, and
seemed to make a sport of their half-covered
nakedness.    At length Blackey scented some
friends of his in our immediate   neighbourhood ;   and thinking, perhaps, that he could
get nothing more out of me, shammed head- tsata
mm. • i
ache. " Cobbera sick," said he—then asking
me for " tick pence," left me to pursue my
way quite alone, which was anything but irksome, as it gave me ah opportunity of indulging in one of those quiet communions
with nature, which invariably leave behind a
pleasing sensation in the mind.
Wandering   about   the   neighbourhood   of
Kiama in   search  of something   out   of  the
ordinary   routine   of  nature's   phenomena,  I
observed a bold and rocky point jutting right
into the sea; the waves beat furiously against
it,   interrupting   their   full-flowing   and free
course, and sent up their foam and spray, which
floated like a fleecy cloud in the atmosphere,
until the wind spread them like a white mist
far over the  cliff and the   forests, when at
length they were dissolved into a good smart
shower of rain,  which felt both cool and refreshing.    But the most curious object that
met my eye was the crater of an extinguished
volcano, which spouted up a column of water SYDNEY.
at  least thirty  feet in  height,  and  with
immense force, as its splashing fall on the sides
of the vitrified and rocky cone could be heard
at a great distance.    The sea had worked its
way by a bend of the  coast to the base of
the volcano, the hollow cone of which  soon
became  filled ;   and  the   water  rushing  out
with great force through a narrow aperture,
formed a foamy column, whose feathery spray,
presented an object of the most unlooked for
and  startling   beauty.    This   phenomenon  is
the Lion of the place, and every visitor, as a
matter of course, is sure to see it.    For my
part, I candidly confess, that I never witnessed
a more beautiful sight, and I lingered about
for hours, looking at this fine natural jet d9eau,
and even returned on the morning,  before  I
bad adieu to the place, to indulge in the luxury
of another and a longer look.    Before I arrived
at Shoalhaven, I passed   through Jeringong,
which is a small place; made my way over a
rocky and winding road, which was intersected
! 98
with woody scenes of singular richness, and
at length came to the sandy beach of the sea,
along which I trudged for seven or eight miles,
holding a boot in each hand, and allowing the
spent surges to lave my feet, which I found to
be agreeably cool and refreshing. A dead
whale on the shore was the only object that I
saw of importance, throughout the journey,
after leaving Blacky, and the volcano waterspout of Kiama.    When I arrived at B 's,
I was most hospitably entertained, but instantly dissuaded from attempting the project
I had on foot, which was the principal, if not
the sole, cause of my visitig so out- of-the-way
place as Shoalhaven. There were as many
doctors as they required in that neighbourhood, the settlers enjoying a very good state of
health, from their temperate habits, and their
industrious pursuits; and, had I been allowed
to set myself down amongst them, it is withiJn
the range of possibility that they might have
fared worse, as young beginners must make a SYDNEY.
trade if they wish to do as well as their neighbours, although I should feel ashamed to establish myself at the expense of others-rthat is,
by creating a raw in the healthy sides of the
community, as I have seen  others  do since  I
have  been   in  this    quarter    of  the   world.
B is   a   Scotchman   of   the    truly  industrious breed, and has accumulated a large
property  by  his   own   unaided   exertions,  if
I   exclude    his   two  sisters    and  his   three
brothers,  which   perhaps   I   ought not  to do,
although   they  followed  him   to   New   South
Wales.    He is the owner of 70,000 acres of
land, a member of Council at Sydney, where
he generally resides, and employs, altogether,
about two hundred hands.    He has constructed
a wind-mill,   and  several   saw-mills;   makes
his own casks, and all his iron work; contracts
largely to  supply  the  government with  salt
provisions;   and  the  shoemakers, carpenters,
smiths, butchers, and salters, which wTere employed on his establishment, were  nearly all
f 2
■i:,': ■' .  I'
I? I i 100
I ill:
ill lit
convicts. I observed a patch of wheat of about
three hundred acres, growing in the most
luxuriant condition on the other side of the
river (the Shoalhaven) which I crossed to pay
a visit to B 's bailiff with whom I stayed
two nights, but was compelled to sleep in a
mere sea-cot, through which the wind whistled
with terrific violence. There I was regaled
writh salt mutton, damper, tea, and the usual
eatables and drinkables in the bush, but here
I had an additional luxury—milk—which was
quite a treat to me. This was the regular fare,
all the year round, at Shoalhaven; and also,
except the milk, at almost all the other settlements which I visited. Before I left Shoalhaven,  M  arrived to preach his monthly
sermon, as usual, when I acted as   his clerk,
the first   time that   I ever  assumed   such  a
vocation in  my  life.    He  performed  service
under  a verandah   of   B......V  house,   and
all the congregation appeared decorous and
attentive in their   demeanour     Here I wit-
nessed, for the first time, the performance of
the Corrybory, by a tribe of natives, who were
wandering about the settlement, as they were
in the habit of doing at certain periods of the
year. It was a kind of merry-making with
them, or meeting to dispense justice, according
to their barbarous ideas of jurisprudence; and
it generally ended by the natives dancing in
the wildest and most grotesque manner, and by
shouting and hallooing in the most savage
and unearthly tones. The women were ornamented about the head with the white tips of
the native doo;s' tails, and with Kangaroo-teeth :
and their faces patched about with pipe-clay,
which gave them the most extraordinary appearance. Some had their lips whitened only;
others the inside of the leg; while a third
portion had drawn over their heads a small
net, which was stuck over with swansdown,
looking something like a powdered head-dress
of the olden time. The men were, also, as comically decorated as the women, and both formed
Ills 102
as singular a coup oVaeil, as well could be met
with in this world. I must, also, tell you that
the men rejoiced in certain peculiar names,
that had been given them by different settlers,
and mostly through caprice or fun, as there
was no affinity between the meaning of
the Jljerms and objects to which they were
applied. One was called "Ugly Jack;"
nother u Blanket;" several assumed the
titles of | Broken-nose Tom," and "Waterman Bill;" and one fellow was glorying in
the appellation of u Fryingpan."
These Aborigines are proverbially lazy,
and can only be induced to work at
intervals; so naturally opposed is savage life
to regular and consecutive industry. Before
the ceremony was closed some of the youths
were- admitted to the rites of manhood, which
are performed at a certain age; when after
undergoing a peculiar, and I should suppose,
painful, process of initiation, they are permitted to indulge in  the luxury of a wife, m
which is strictly prohibited up to that age—
so at least I was informed by my old friend
and companion—Blacky. Some of the women
were not badly formed, and by no means
unattractive—especially the younger ones; but
those of more advanced age were ugly and
repulsive in the extreme. One old damsel
might be termed a finished specimen of ugliness; nevertheless, she seemed to command
considerable respect, moving among them, like
some mere defamille , and apparently possessed
of considerable authority.
Bidding adieu to my hospitable friends at
Shoalhaven, I set out on my journey back to
Wallongong; but not exactly by the same
route, although, as a matter of necessity, I
touched at the same places, for there alone
could anything be found in the shape of eating, drinking, and sleeping; and everything
approaching to civilization, however coarse it wll
may be in its condition, is always acceptable to
the way-worn and weary wanderer, especially
if he happen to be in the primeval paths of an
untrodden and uninhabited forest.    Necessitas
non habet  legem—or, as we used to translate
the axiom somewhat freely—Necessity has no
legs; and when poor human nature is really
hard up, as your humble  servant was at that
precise period, and in that particular spot, it
must stump along as well as it can, and leave
the more measured manner of its movements
to luckier and happier times.    After enjoying
the soft and refreshing breezes of the ocean
for an hour or so, I tramped bare-footed on the
sands, which most agreeably cooled my feet;
then plunged  once more into  the  deep and
umbrageous woods,  which almost fringed the
water's edge for miles along the shore, and en-
deavoured to shape my course to Jeringong;
but the new and singular phenomena which
nature spread before me at almost every turn
and step I took, caused me to diverge strangely
$ till
m 106
from the zig-zag, and roughly-hewn, way
which travellers had formed for themselves in
journeying from Shoalhaven to Wallongong.
Everything appeared so fresh and gay, and
so truly enchanting to my mind, which was in
prime condition for observing the beauties of
nature, being free, healthy, and fully flushed
with the hearty breakfast which I had partaken at my friend's, although I had seen
the same objects frequently before; yet,
every time that I viewed the face of nature in
those deep and unbroken solitudes, I could
always discover some fresh beauty, some unexpected phase of design, which gave new zest
to my wandering propensities, and even added
another pleasure to my existence. The morning was bright, clear, and warm; and the dew
hung in pearly drops on the bushes and flowers,
wetting me to the skin, as I forced my way
through the tangled masses of underwood which
opposed my path. Then I saw, to great advantage, the enormous webs of the spider-class of SYDNEY.
Insectivora, set out to catch their prey;  and
many of them  exhibited great  ingenuity  in
construction, besides strength and size; and
far surpass our western Arachnids in both the
latter respects.   These webs were very troublesome to pass through, as they clung so stickingly
to the face and hands; and from their mul(ty?
plicity, intersecting  thorns, and bushes,  and
flowers,  in almost every direction, you soon
acquired    a    gummy   coagulation    all    over
your clothes, which was somewhat difficult to
remove.   As I brushed past some of these webs,
out would come the owner, and with terrific
glare  scamper  back   along   the   line   to  his
hiding place, utterly staggered, apparently, at
the havoc which I had committed in his house-
bold arrangements.    Some of  these  spiders
are   of  enormous size, and peculiar   colour;
and like our  European   species,   used  their
long antennas with amazing power and agility,
whenever a victim chanced  to become  entangled in their  springes.    I amused myself
*wj 108
9 - ' ■:;
with .teazing them, watching their movements
whenever a fly, or any other insect, attempted
to cross  their path;   and observed that they
frequently fought hard for their prey, especially
if it happened to drop on the contiguity of two
or more webs—a sort of no man's land—which
would immediately bring out their respective
owners  to   the rescue, and  bitter and sharp
would be the contest between them for a time.
At certain seasons of the year, the Arachnida?
have plenty  of food, as the air teems with
insects; while, in others, there must be great
scarcity, for the periodical fires which sweep
across, and utterly lay bare   whole   districts,
must completely destroy the nests, eggs, and
larvae of all the insects which happen to come
within their range. For miles and miles the underwood is blackened with the flames and smoke;
and when not destroyed altogether, is so scorched
and dried up that no insect could survive or
exist, while   the conflagration lasts;   and,  as
there are thousands and millions of these insects SYDNEY.
buzzing about the long  grasses and  flowers,
which almost everywhere intersect the country,
they are completely swept away by the ravaging
element,  and the balance of nature is somewhat disturbed by  such   irregular and fitful
assailants.    1 say that the " balance of nature'
is somewhat disturbed in the Australian forests,
by these destructive fires, which are frequently
caused by the negligence or the design of the
natives; and that portion of the spider-class,
which does not happen to fall a victim to the
element, is almost sure to pine and starve for
want of food.    Many of the birds and lizards
also,    exist    almost    exclusively    upon    the
Arachnidae,   and    the   Insectivora,   therefore,
must   be   desperately   hard   up   whenever   a
raging   and destroying   fire   has    swept  over
the  plains,   which    is   the   nursing  place   of
their food   and   existence.     The musquitoes
I found   exceedingly troublesome,   especially
in  swampy   places, and their bite is blistering    and   sharp   in  the  extreme;   but   the
m 110
ants are the most formidable of the annoying
insects, which man must make up his mind to
encounter in all hot climes and new countries,
and they sting you with merciless pain.    There
are several kinds of ants—the black, the white,
and the red—and one species, called the lion-
ant, is a most terrible assailant whenever his
anger is aroused, and that is, when you chance
to trespass within the boundaries of his domain,
which is somewhat extensive in the forests of
Australia.    You will meet with the paths of
these industrious creatures in almost every part
of the forest, which they have formed  with
singular   care   and    assiduity,   along    which
they  periodically migrate  from  one  nest  to
another,   some of the latter  being of a prodigious size, and extending over a wide space.
In many spots, where the ants have pursued
their instinctive industry, you will find the way
cleared of every obstacle, as though the hand of
man had been there employed; and so carefully
do they remove every  obstruction   to  their SYDNEY.
intercourse, that scarcely a stone will be left
unturned, which lies immediately in their path.
I also observed a great variety of the Reptilia—
especially snakes, lizards and tortoises; some of
the snake and lizard genus being exceedingly
venomous, but the greater part are, I believe,
harmless, and all fly at the approach of a human
being. There are several kinds of frogs, and some
of them beautifully coloured; particularly one
species, the dark green-backed kind, with brown
spots and stripes intersecting his body ; his belly
was yellow, and his eyes were peculiarly bright,
which he seemed to open rather largely as I
accidentally dropped on him.
Beating my way through the bushy
underwood, which produced a crackling
noise, whose echo seemed to startle the
sunny silence of the spot, as though I
were the cnly destructive being in the wide
circumference around me, I suddenly came
upon an open space, which contained some
water holes; and if you had heard the flutter
ffffll 112
of birds, the scampering of animals, and the
rustling noise in every direction, of something
or other scudding away from me, you would
never have forgotten it.
I sat down on a clump of trees, pulled out
my pipe, lit it, and smoked in quiet contemplation of the scene around me, which was full
of animation and intelligence to an active and
discursive mind; and when the calm had become somewhat restored, and I betrayed no
symptom of existence, except the curling
wreaths of smoke which ascended from my
pipe, out came the animals, one by one, but
most provokingly cautious, to have their feed
among the young grass, which was profusely
scattered over the ground, and their drink at
the cc holes," which had been dug, I presume,
by some of the settlers, although it was in such
a wild, sequestered, and unfrequented part of
the forest. The birds, too, hopped down from
the trees and bushes, and exchanged mutual
signs of contentment,   after  the   strange in- SYDNEY.
trusion, which I had committed on the silence of
their habitations, and which must have strangely
puzzled them. I felt at that moment the beauty
of Byron's splendid stanza, which has embalmed
the spirit of solitude, as it exists in thronged
cities, and amidst the busy hum of men; contrasting it in a felicitous vein of irony with the
cheerful and healthy communion with nature,
which the mind may hold, when properly
tuned, as to place and condition; but I shall
forbear quoting the stanza—it has become
so trite and hacknied, especially amongst those
who have the least opportunity of experiencing
its truthful beauty and sublimity.
At length, feeling somewhat hungry, and
having taken my fill of the animated scene
around me, I made my way as well as I could
.to the beaten path which I had quitted, but,
it was a long while before I could reach
it, having no clue to direct me, and the underwood, was of more than ordinary thickness
and    density,    so   that   the    day    was   far 114
advanced before I found myself on the right
route for Jeringong. On I trudged, however,
for some time, until I saw the sun was declining fast on the horizon; and, as there is
no twilight in this hemisphere, I became somewhat anxious to reach my destined point,
half regretting that I had dallied so long for
the mere purpose of indulging in beautiful
scenery, which I could do freely every
day of my existence, in this quarter of the
globe. Yet, so it was; and before I reached
Jeringong it was long after sun-down; nevertheless, I indulged in a comparatively comfortable sleep at the house of a freed man,
who had been a convict, and who, considering
his position, and the scenes that he had gone
through, was by no means a common man.
Before I reached his station I was wandering
some time by the light of the moon, which
seemed like a large lamp suspended in the
sky, and never before saw an Australian
night to so  much advantage.    The heavens SYDNEY.
were beautiful and clear, and the stars were
out all over the bright expanse—and so sharply
defined were they on the dark ground of the
sky, and of such a resplendent order, that I
looked at them with an almost silent awe—
the moon, too, was Queening it in the most
lustrous style, and steered her radiant course
in such quiet beauty over the arched expanse of the dark, deep blue, that I could
scarcely take my eyes off the enchanting
scene, had not chillness and hunger somewhat
damped the poetic temperament of my mind.
The stillness of the night in the forest of
Australia is peculiar, and almost unbroken;
except you chance to be in the neighbourhood
of the wild dogs, which occasionally intrude
on the haunts of man, especially when pressed
by hunger, and then their howling is
mournful and monotonous in the extreme.
When in the pursuit of their prey these dogs
seldom bark, but generally make a " yapping"
noise, something similar to that of the fox in CSBS
England, when hunting down the rabbit; but,
let a poor beast stray behind, when on your
journey, through fatigue or sickness, and
you will presently have a whole multitude of these dogs upon it, yelping, fighting,
and tearing each other, and quarrelling
over their victim, although a few minutes
before you would scarcely have seen one
in the whole range of your view. At
night time these dogs drop down upon the
kangaroo and dalgoyt, the latter sometimes
going out to feed when the sun goes down;
but the instinctive sagacity of the latter is
generally a match for the dog during the day,
smelling them a long way off, and conscious
of their approach, these timid creatures make
off with the utmost fear and rapidity. There
is an owl in these quarters which takes its
nocturnal round and is abroad in search of vermin when everything else seems buried in sleepy
repose, startling the tf dull ear of night" with
its drowsy and lonely cooing ; but, in general, SYDNEY
there is an almost death-like silence pervading
the nights of Australia, when you are distant
from the habitation of man, and his living
Next morning, after I had somewhat refreshed myself, I started for Kiama, which I
reached about noon, rested myself for an hour
or so, then pushed on to Jamboroo, where I
stopped for the night. There I obtained a
bed, or rather a settle before the fire, at an
Irishman's store, and a pretty comfortable kind
of affair it was too; the next day I trudged
on to Dapto, where I found somewhat decent
quarters, and stopped all night, but the fleas
were so active and industrious that I could
scarcely sleep, therefore, I rose in the morning
more fatigued than when I retired to'rest. This
store was kept by a Scotchman, who, like most
others in a similar condition of life had been a
transport, and had recovered his liberty by good
conduct and steady industry. At length I
once more reached Wollongong, paid my old
j |||Jj
; life ■
V 118
jp'd ■
j] M; ■ .
friend  Mr. Mears  a visit;   strolled  down to
Watson's store, whose romantic history I have
already related to you; stopped the night with
him,  and  started  the  next day on my way
back to the Cow Pastures, by way of Appin,
where I rested for the night at old Bean's;
and   on   the   evening of  the following day,
reached my destination—a little fatigued, but
as sound in *"c wind &and limb,"  as they say of
horses, as on the day I set out on my journey.
It is true that I passed two places in the forest,
in one of which, a few days afterwards, the mail
was robbed, and in the other, a traveller was
stripped of his clothes,  by the bushrangers;
but the   latter   only  look   for   plunder, and
seldom add murder to their other crimes,  so
that   I   should   not   have   been   desperately
frightened at encountering one or two of those
rascals,    provided   they   had   confined   their
atrocities to robbing me of mv  clothes, albeit
a not very pleasant condition to be  left in—
stripped stark naked in the lonely wilds and SYDNEY.
forests—although I can now afford to talk
lightly of the matter, seeing that all danger is
over, andz I am completely out of their
In my next I will give you an account of
my first whaling excursion, and the new
scenes of excitement which it opened up to
my view; and by the time that I have carried
you through them, I shall be prepared to enter
upon a wider and more comprehensive chapter
—namely, the convict-system, and the position
of the freedmen in the colony, which I trust
you will find not only interesting, but also
instructive, as I have been most particular
in sifting the details of the information, which
I have obtained3 and have weighed it all with
scrupulous care and comparison.
Mb m
Ifl *p
In November last, while at Sydney, I saw an
advertisement in the paper for a surgeon to go
a Whaling-voyage, which stated that he would
be " treated liberally by the Captain," and
that his services would be required for eighteen
months, or, perhaps, two years. A long time,
thought   I, but I should   like  to see   New ON  THE  LINE.
Zealand, and take a cruize among the islands
of the Pacific—
£| I longed to see the isles that gem,
Old ocean's purple diadem.'
So I immediately enquired about it, and found
everything to my satisfaction. I shipped myself aboard at once, and on the 24th of November we were outside the Heads, running before
the wind with a fresh breeze, which soon took
us into the deep blue ocean, and out of sight
of the contaminated shore of Australia. We
had provisions on board to last us the first
twelve months at least; the remainder we
could procure from the different islands at
which we intended to touch. The first night
we were at sea, it came on to blow, the ship
tumbled about awfully, and we were in very
deep water, which washed over us like a half-
tide rock. About midnight a heavy swell
swept away   the binnacle,  carried  overboard m
Ji",!:-   :■     HifJ
the compass, knocked off our cabin sky-lights,
and poured down the water like a cataract into
the cabin, setting everything afloat. We car-
ried four whale-boats, ready for lowering, and
two spare ones on the "skids;" and the sea,
that night, swept one away with a crash,
breaking the davits short off, at the same time
carrying every fastening with it. We tried
hard to save it, but the elements were too much
for us. We then hoisted on board the larboard
waste-boat, and lay-to under close reefed main-
topsail, main try-sail, and fore top mast staysail, till the storm blew itself out, or, in other
words, till it appeared to have become spent.
For four months we cruized southward to
about latitude 38, having encountered heavy
blowing weather, rolling seas, and gales of
wind, with a few intervals of fine weather;
but with indifferent success, having taken only
five whales during all that time. Some of the
latter, however, were pretty large, and the oil
we   obtained   from   them was   worth   about ON  THE  LINE
£2000, calculating it at <£80 per ton, the then
market price. We only killed sperm whales;
for the black, or Greenland, whale is rarely
seen in these latitudes, nor have I seen a single
one during the whole voyage. Now, I will tell
you all about whaling.
The " Jane"—our ship—is a barque of
about 300 tons, carrying 32 hands, and is what
is called a four-boat ship—that is, she is able
to lower four boats at a time, after whales.
There wTere five men to each boat to pull, and
the headsman at the steer-bar. A whale-boat
is well loaded—six harpoons, three lances, two
tubs of line, short-warp, key for water, tinder
box, lantern, blue lights, compass, boat spade,
axe, knife, whiffs, drogues, nippers, &c. Suppose the day to be Sunday, the ship going
easily before the wind, and most of the hands
turned in, or lying down on their chests, some
asleep, others mending their clothes. Two men
are stationed, from sunrise to sunset, at the
main-top-'gallant mast-head, and  two   at  the 124
fore. One of them sings out in a long, melan-
choly, strain—" T-h-e-r-e she s*p-o-u-t-s."
" T-h-e-r-e a-g-a-i-n" and down goes the work
or book, the skipper bolts out of his cabin and
runs on deck, and the hands, all alive and
eager, come tumbling up the half-deck hatch
and fore scuttle. Now, the following is something like the colloquy that takes place
between the skipper, the mast-headsman, and
the man at the wheel. In the meanwhile, the
boar's crews are in active preparation to lower
at the first signal.
First question—
% Where away ?"
f? On the weather bow."
" How far?"
" Five miles off."
" T-h-e-r-e a-g-a-i-n" sings out the man at
the mast-head.
§f Here, Charley, hand up the glass I"
¥ Aye, aye, sir."
4c There she breaches; there again!" ON  THE  LINE.
" Mind what you are at there, at the wheel;
why, d n your eyes, you are three points
off the wind—well so ; steady there; keep her
as she is."
e< Where are they now?"
3 Making to windward."
" Here—give me the glass; mind your
weather helm ; there's white water."
^"Near—near—no higher; you are now all
up in the wind; top-gallant sails are shaking ;
why, damme, you'll have her all aback
" T-h-e-r-e she s-p-o-u-t-s" continued from
the mast-head—the skipper having got as far
as the fore-top-mast cross-trees, looks through
the glass, exclaiming—
That's only current rip."
T-h-e-r-e she s-p-o-u-t-s"   continued the
mast-head man.
u That's not sparm whales," exclaims one
who had been looking all along in the wrong
direction ; at length, coming along the horizon
sH i
HHB —— "*-•
with his glass, he sees the ff spout," and loud
and joyously exclaims, H. sparm whales!"
" Keep your luff there, you tiger; brace up
the yards a bit—get your tubs in your
Now life commences. Twenty-four men—
the crews of the four boats—are now seen
hauling away, pulling along the whale-line tubs,
and rousing them into the boats—tumbling
over one another, and swearing, and singing,
like mad.
" Stand by to lower—down with your
" There's blackskin," meaning the whale
" There she breaches."
" That's only floptail."
U There again, five miles off—keep her to
the wind—we will see if we cannot shave them
pretty close before we lower."
" There she breaches—there again—a whole
school!!—we are making on them fast." ON  THE  LINE.
ie T-h-e-r-e  she s-p-o-u-t-s," again from  the
mast-head—t-h-e-r-e a-g-a-in"
" Four or five of 'em right ahead, sir."
" Steady there—steer her steady—don't be
yawing the ship about that way—we shall be
on the top of 'em directly—man your clew
garnets—stand by to back the main-yard—
braces let go—lay the topsail to the mast, boats
Now there's a devil of a bustle, and all hands
are jumping up to the boats.
u Cast off your cram lines—cut away your
Down davit-tackle falls.
" Cast off the gripes—hoist away—sway up
well—hold on, in with your cranes—avast
lowering there, you Jim Crow—look out for
the steer oar—lower, lower away, fore and aft
altogether—hurrah, boys ! Unhook, hand up
tackle there—jump in, d—n you, jump in, you
sleepy-headed beggars—ship your tholes, out
boat-hooks, shove   off—shove   her  off  there,
111 128
forward—keep her away from the ship—ship
your oars—pull, pull, pull, you beggars,
f Where away, now ?"
" Two points on the weather-bow."
And away they go, pulling as if for life ; the
steersman standing and backing up the after-oar
at every stroke. The boat pulls right alongside
the whale, puts two irons (harpoons) into her,
if they can, takes a turn round the loggerheads, and eases the line out, now and again, if
the whale pulls the bows too much under water,
and if she slacks at all, they haul upon it to get
up to her. She (the whale) must come up to
blow, and then the lances are ready to complete
the work of death ; the boat's crew dart them
into her as deeply and quickly as they can,
until, at length, she gives up the ghost. There
is always one man who acts as ship-keeper
when the skipper is away, and who stands at
the masthead all the time, to keep the "run of
the whales," make signals, put the ship about ON  THE  LINE.
and heave to. The compliment generally left
to work the ship comprised the carpenter, the
cooper, the steward, the cook, two boys and
myself. We all watched with intense excitement the proceedings of the boats—now jumping up on the rail, now standing on the cathead or the skid, or half way up the rigging,
and every one exclaiming, according to his
feelings and excitement, in short and rapid sentences, at the scene before them.
"There they are—boats in among them—
look at the humps !|
" The skipper is nearly up with them—there,
she spouts again!"
P Mr. Kerr is laying with his oars apeak, to
give the green boat a chance."
6C There—he's into her—didn't you see him
strike?"      ,;  <     ,
f Pshaw; he's only getting ready."
" Getting ready do you call it;  look how
she's dragging him through the water."
I W%!
■I'M 11
I I'll bet two niggerheads we get a couple of
"Mr. B.'s got another; see, there goes a
lance...they are fouling one another's lines...
there's a will have to cut."
" By Jove 1 she's carrying him right in the
teeth of the wind."
"Brace-up the main yard; keep her close
at it." •'    -%
" There she is again—strike, you beggars,
" There she has it again—now she fights."
1 There's white water—spouts clear yet."
"Now she tumbles—another boat coming
up—he'll be at her directly."
<c There she kicks again—there's blood—
there's the red shirt."
i( Two chaws of baccy against a rope-yarn
she's ours—there she fights again—there's the
red flag—she's getting weaker—it's all up."
"A young bull, I think—back the main ON THE  LINE.
yard—clew up the main-sail—in driver—boat
coming for fluke-rope."
A stout rope is then carried from the ship,
made fast round the small just before the
flukes, and the whale is soon towed alongside;
when operations are immediately commenced,
as she lays in the water—the " cutting-falls"
being prepared—and the men standing on a
stage oyer the ship's side. First—the upper
part of the head is separated from the lower;
the former comprises what is called the ft case"
and the "junk," and is immediately towed
astern till the last, and then, if not too large,
brought on deck. The "junk" is cut up into
slices, and the "case" is baled out—the latter
containing pure fluid oil; while the " junk"
or brain, contains the spermaceti, or, as we
call it, head-matter. I vv\\\ endeavour to
describe the mode of disposing of the whale,
and extracting the oil. Suppose a ruler about
eighteen inches in length, with a ribbon, about
three inches wide, wound round it in a spiral.
III 132
manner; the former will represent the whale
—the latter the blubber.
Suppose, again, a piece of the outside covering of the whale (the blubber) which averages
from three to four inches in thickness, is raised
by tackles and hooks, worked by a windlass—
the men cutting with long spades into the
sides of the whale to detach the covering—this
may be compared to the ribbon. As the piece
is raised by the tackle, the whale itself will
turn, precisely in the same manner as the
ruler would turn, were you to pull the ribbon
perpendicularly from it—or, in other words,
were you to uncoil it. The piece cut is called
a " blanket piece," generally measuring from
three to four feet in width; and the first process of oil-making is to stow down this * piece'
in the blubber room, where two men cut it up.
into what are called " horse pieces," thence
it is conveyed to the mincers who prepare it for
the " try pots," where it is boiled till the scraps
are quite brown and crisp, which denote that ON   THE   LINE.
10 9
the utmost quantity of oil has been extracted
from them. The oil is then bailed out into
the coolers, and from thence to the barrels;
when it becomes cool it is stowed below. The
next operation is to boil what is technically
called the " stink," which comprises the slivers
of blubber, bits of " fat lean," and the "snot"
—which may have been thrown aside. As the
barrels are rolled off from the coolers, they are
lashed to the "stringer," till stowed down.
We have had sometimes fifteen tons of oil on
deck. The sperm, which sometimes adheres
so closely to the casks when emptied, we call
south-sea snow. The flesh of the whale is of
a deep red colour, darker than beef, and appears full of blood ; its flavour very much resembling that of black puddings. We had it
frequently on table—sometimes stewed, sometimes in steaks, sometimes chopped up with
onions and pepper, like sausage-meat—and it is
not a bad relish in any way, although I preferred it prepared in the sausage manner. 134
Such is the pastime of a south-sea whaler,
which I have described as minutely and faithfully as my memory will enable me; and now
we are off to the islands which you shall have
some account of in my next. CHAPTER VI.
•'It I li
m m
AT  SEA.     LAT.  45  MILES,  SOUTH.      LONG.   176
We are in what we call fine weather—that is,
without gales of wind, under a hot and scorching sun, and with a few squalls and rain; but
had very bad weather to the southward. We
are out for twenty months, nearly seven of
which are expired—now crossing and re-
crossing the line—now running to the westward, and expect every moment that the man 136
■•■> ml
!   .    0\ ■;',;:'; :
!   .   -jxwv
''  ^fp:
;  ' j->.'> *
at the mast-head will sing out, i T-h-e-r-e she
s-p-o-u-t-s." This whaling life is a life of great
excitement. It suits me to a T. I am glad
now that I chose surgery, as a means for a
livelihood; it not only; enables me to maintain a
respectable position in the world, but it gratifies
that darling delight of my soul, which seems
to "grow with my growth and strengthen
with my strength," I mean the love of adventure, and the wandering to and fro, through
the world, with fresh scenes and characters
constantly starting up before my view. I enjoy, beyond description, visiting strange and
unfrequented lands, although I have to endure
greater hardships than your  quiet people on
shore; but, as our old friend Miss P	
would say,   I am f manureoV   to  it  now, and
endure willingly all the inconveniences which   ,
are incident to such a life.
After leaving Sydney, the first place we
made was Lord Howe's island—one of the
most  beautiful   and   romantic   spots  in   the AT SEA.
Pacific ocean. Some parts of the island rose
perpendicularly from the water to the height
of six or seven hundred feet; while others were
lower, and, in some instances, there were
portions undulating to the water's edge,
although we experienced great difficulty in
landing. The interior of the island is richly
covered with trees, growing in all manner of
forms, and covered with the most variegated
verdure. There we saw the tall cabbage, with
its graceful plume at the summit; the tangled
fig-tree with its peculiar shape, besides a great
variety of almost all the tropical kinds. There
were three white men (English) on the island,
and each of them had a wife and a numerous
family; their wives were New Zealand women,
which they had picked up, somehow or other,
from ships putting in for food. Those
three Robinson Crusoes, a big lad, brother
to one of the women, and their families,
constituted the whole of the population.
They had plenty of pigs, goats, poultry,
and   dogs for  hunting;   besides   a  canoe for
m 138
catching fish, so that they did not want provisions, whatever may have been their other
privations. Birds were also in great abundance,
and many of them of a plump and eatable
order; but, as to their plumage, you may
imagine that, when I tell you that nature had
painted them in the most prodigal manner.
I shall not attempt even to describe it. There
we saw growing the pumpkin, the water
melon, potatoes, onions, cabbages, and other
vegetables, all of which were cultivated with
care, and appeared healthy in condition. I
spent a whole day there with my gun, and
killed more birds than I could stuff, while
they were good. There is a beautiful bay of
smooth water within the reef, with a sandy
beach, which leads up to the bottom of a hill,
where those island-triumviri had built their
houses,   which   were   rude   and    simple   in
structure, but by no means incommodious; and
there these  secluded adventurers   and   their
families, lived happily together, so at least] I
should infer from their appearance, and their AT  SEA.
observations. I dined with one of the
" Englishmen" on pork and greens, and left
the charming little island with regret. We
had fifteen miles to pull from the ship to the
shore, with a heavy swell; but, towards evening, she had beat up nearer, so that we got
safe on board about an hour after sun-down.
The other boats had been off to near the
rocks, to catch fish, and had returned with a
bounteous stock, so that we had plenty to salt
down after we had all enjoyed a good fresh
meal or two, which made an agreeable
change in our food for some time after-
The next island on which I landed, was
called the " Three Kings." It is, properly
speaking, a group of islands, situate near New
Zealand, but by no means inviting in its appearance, from the bold and rocky projections,
which front you on every side. There is not
a single place all round this group, on which
you can safely shove a boat, so that
we were greatly puzzled at first how to land.
■■: mm 140
e wanted some pigs, and two boats were sent
from the ship to bring back what we purchased.
The  group   consists   of  several  small  rocky
islets, one of which is  much  larger than  the
rest, and to that we bent our course, one boat
steering leeward, and  the other keeping  the
weather side of the island, in the hope of finding a convenient place for landing; but, after
a long pull right round  the   island,   meeting
each;Other at a point directly opposite to that
from whence we started, it proved a fruitless
search, and we were compelled to jump  from
the boat on to a piece of rock, one of the crew
standing by, and with great difficulty keeping
the boat from bumping to pieces.    We  then
ascended   a   broken,   irregular,   and    nearly
perpendicular rock, and when we had reached
the   summit,  we  found  some  of the  natives   ,
anxiously  waiting our arrival.     As   we cast
our eyes around, we saw some fine slopes and
tracts of land, which seemed highly fertile, but
very little timber appeared   on   its   surface,
which    greatly   diminished    its   picturesque AT   SEA.
beauty, when compared to Lord Howe's island.
However,  the  little  streams  of water  were
murmuring   through the  rocky channels, the
birds were singing a cheerful note, the day was
beautifully bright and clear,  and  the  varied
tints of reeds, tea'trees, short-scrub, and here
and there a small patch of green cultivation,
which shone out distinct and vivid, while the
deep shadows formed the relief—all these objects produced so enchanting a scene, such a delicious landscape, that I still linger on it with
pleasure and regret.   I sat down by the side of
one of the natives—an old chief—and drank in,
as it  were, the delicious beauty of the scene.
There were only twenty-seven inhabitants on
the    island,    including    men,    women,    and
children; and, according to their own account,
they are a remnant of a conquered tribe of
New Zealanders, who escaped from their enemies,  and   found   a   peaceful  refuge  in  that
almost inaccessible spot.    The old fellow, who
sat  next to me, was partly enveloped   in a
lanket, and deeply tattooed all over his face.
;l:,',;-ll 142
If ":
I gave him a pipe and a piece of tobacco; and
I heard him say to one of his countrymen—
" Rang a Tira," or, in plain English, that " I
was a gentleman." One of the natives who
had been in a whaler, and spoke a little broken
and barbarous English, was particularly
anxious about the grog, so we formed a party
round this fellow's house, and spent a jolly
hour or two in that way. His wife, rigged out
in a Cockahoo, or rough mat round her middle,
squatted herself on the ground, made a fire,
and stuck up some fish to dress, which she performed much to our satisfaction. Hunger,
after all, is the best sauce; and I am not so
dainty a dog as I used to be, when in your
quarter of the globe, or I might, perhaps, have
questioned the culinary art of our sable
serviteure. We produced our buiscuit and
grog, and several of the natives seated them-
selves round us; but what amused me most in
that singular scene was two little girls—
Like George and the Dragon,
Without e'er a rag on, AT    SEA.
who stood gazing at a distance, in apparent
wonderment, yet seemingly amused, while
their black, smooth skins were glistening in the
sun. For the life of me, I could not help
laughing at those sable nymphs, which caused
them to laugh still more; yet the sensations
which produced the laughter must have been
widely different in each of us—so, at least,
I should respectfully suggest. We soon left
the island, as we could procure but
little provisions, other ships having forestalled
us in the purchase of what we wanted. We
bartered two niggerheads of tobacco for four
•jfHgs and a couple of baskets of potatoes; the
pigs were very small, and as wild as rabbits.
One of our men gave his old woollen shirt for
a couple of small pigs, and pulled on board
quite comfortable without naked as pos-
*sible. Another was fixed on a point of the
rock, in making his descent, with a large
pumpkin in his shirt, and a pig squeaking under
•his arm, which completely paralyzed his movements;   he  could neither get up nor down, 144
and   appeared     in   a    strange   quandary.—
When I eased him of his burden, he descended
easily, and the young grunter was soon lowered
into the boat.    We had still two hours of daylight, so we pulled among the large rocks, and
amused ourselves by letting down the line for
fish; and long before sunset the bottom of the
boat was covered with them—mostly rock cod
(and capital eating they were, too)—which ad,ded
to our stock of food on board.    At length, we
stood out to sea for the ship, which was a long
way off; but having taken her bearings, and
steering by the compass, we reached her in about
an  hour after   dark.     Whale-boats,   let   me
*   remark to you, carry compasses, tinder, blue
lights, lanterns, water, and all sorts of useful
things at sea.
Our second mate is a New Zealander, son of
the chief from whom Mr. Marsden bought so
much land for a few axes, and a decent fellow
he is, too, considering all things. While I am
writing the perspiration is dropping from my
nose and chin, and literally running in streams AT  SEA.
from my arms—having tucked up my shirt
sleeves for coolness. All the clothing that we
require here—that we can really wear—is a
light cotton shirt and trousers, so powerful is
the heat felt in these latitudes. I am as well
in health as I could possibly wish to be, and
enjoy myself, in my way, as much as it is possible for any one to do.    Adieu.
1 a
ON   THE  LINE,  LONG.   178 DEG.
Although among new scenes, new countries,
and new faces, I love to cherish the recollection
of old days, old associations, old rambles, and
still more lonely evenings, so that we might
participate in each other's pleasurable emotions.
I look forward, with fervent hope, to the time
when we shall be able to smoke a cigar together
—it is one of the choicest pleasures which I
have stored up for myself—when, I promise
you, I shall be most happy  " to spin  a jolly ON  THE  LINE.
good twister," as our mate calls telling stories,
and relating incidents.
Shortly after we left the " Three Kings " we
made for New Zealand, rounding North Cape,
and running into a small but secure harbour,
called Mungonutie, in Doubtless Bay, about
sixty miles to the northward of the Bay of
Islands. We had a bit of a breeze a night or
two before we got in, and were in some danger
from the rocks on our lee. As it fell calm the
night we entered the bay, we sent our boats
a-head, and'were towed in by four of them,
each containing six men; and, as they were
pulling all night, we cheered them up by singing songs, all joining in with a jolly good
chorus, and keeping time to the oars, which
made the labour comparatively light and cheerful.
We had scarcely anchored, before a canoe with
about thirty natives came off to our ship, and
it was highly amusing to see them pattering
away, and digging their paddles so quickly in
h 2
im .48
mm s
the water, as though it were a matter of life
or death with them. In the midst of the crowd1
stood a chief, with a green, plaid, camlet cloak
thrown over his shoulders, a large tuft of white
down stuck jauntily in his ear, his hair
besmeared with fat or oil, and hanging in black
ringlets all round his head. This chief was a
regular, out-and-out, south-sea swell; and, in
his line, I have no doubt, a very clever fellow.
He brought his " mob*' of women in his
canoe, for the accommodation of the ship's
crew; keeping a regular stock of that commodity, which he carefully cultivates and preserves for the use of the ocean-wanderers who
may chance to put in there, either for safety or
for provisions. The Franklin, an American
Whaler, anchored just beside us, when off went
those "dusky doves'1 of the island, to give
the Yankees a turn, having transacted their
business with us, with the utmost coolness and
nonchalance. The canoe with the nymphs
was no sooner alongside our ship, than up they ON  THE   LINE.
*came, scrambling over the ship's side any how,
anywhere, tumbling down over the rail,
and walking about, as if the vessel was all
their own, and they had the greatest quantity
possible of business to perform. Some of those
Ebony Eves—not like our friend Baily's, that
deesse of art—-were clothed in a sack-shaped
garment of blue printed calico; others had
mats—Cockatoos—blankets, and some only a
portion of one of these articles. I must say
that they were not over-prepossessing in their
appearance, and by no means a fair sample of
the South-sea Island-nymphs; nevertheless,.
it was highly amusing to see " Jack" turning
and twisting them about, and making his se-
lection. These nymphs mostly belong to the
chief, who receives a blanket or so by way of
compensation, for any services that they may
have rendered; in addition to which they pick
up a trifle for themselves.
Little is known of this Mungonutie, and
only about four respectable white settlers live
on the island.    On the shores of the harbour
i*J%      \ 150
there are a few grog-shopkeepers, and some
drunken and reprobate labourers, such as
sawyers, helpers, &c. Three families are settled here from Adelaide, having left that settlement in consequence of the excessive dearness
of everything in the shape of provisions,
of which they gave a most miserable account;
but I find by experience, that such testimony
of the value of localities is not to be relied
upon, so much depending upon individual
ability and enterprise, whether a place is
esteemed good or bad. While our ship anchored
in this harbour, I endeavoured to see as much
of the island as possible, and made the most of
my time. There are two small rivers,
which empty themselves into the Bay, almost
close to where we lay; and another five or
six miles to the northward, but much
larger. I went up these rivers six or
eight times, as far as the boat would go, and
should conclude that it would be a capital
place for an emigrant to settle at—from its
fine timber, evidently suited to almost every H3<
purpose, its extensive tracts which are ready
for the plough or the spade, and others equally
rich, which only require the fern to be burnt
off, to render them highly productive. There is a
fine, black, loamy soil—-the debris of thousands,
of years of decayed vegetable matter—with
which a little skilful industry on the part of man,
would make a smiling garden. The natives had
numerous patches of land, producing maize, potatoes, water-melons, shallots, &c, and all appeared in the most exuberant state* The climate is infinitely superior to any that I know
of in the whole circuit of New Holland; and
the rains are genial, mild, and abundant. The
natives are active, intelligent, and well-behaved ; and would, to a great extent, if under
proper treatment, supply the Emigrant with
what he so much desires, and is so much
talked of in all the colonies—namely, a suffix
eiency of labourers. Many of the natives are
excellent sawyers; and some of them on the
West Coast, have learned several trades; so
different is their disposition to the lazy, crafty
WW- 152
New Hollander, whom I shall describe when I
touch upon Swan River, and other points of
the Continent which I have visited. All
along the Eastern Coast there are numerous
creeks and harbours for coasting craft;
with a small capital, and a little skill and industry, an emigrant on this island would
rapidly progress, as compared with other settlements. To tell you the truth, I have purchased about 200 acres of land, which is situated on the river Typat, about five or six
miles northward of Mungonutie; and look
forward to its becoming a place for building
houses upon, as it is just at the mouth of the
river, and a native settlement is already near it*
I had made up my mind to purchase
land in that quarter, when I left Sydney?
from the accounts I had previously heard of
it, which were more than confirmed by my
own eyes ; and had furnished myself with the
usual and useful articles for such an undertaking—namely, blankets, cotton prints, powder,
shot, double barrelled gun, rifle, soap, shirts^ "^xKctI
trousers, etc., etc, all of which are indispensable to the settler. It is possible, from the,
uncertain state of property there at present,
that I may never possess it: nevertheless, I
thought the risk not great, and the prospect
highly advantageous, when I made the purchase, and do not regret it. There are two
native houses on the estate at present—they
will make capital pig-styes. Some of the huts
of the natives are large, warm, and not badly
put together; and one old chief, whom I visited
at a place called Orudee, had a very comfortable
hut, with a verandah and two windows, in
which he was stowed away at his ease. When
I arrived, the old chief, and his fat wife, were,
enjoying themselves outside the house, and, as
the latter had taken just enough grog to make
her feel funny, it was highly amusing to observe
her deportment to her spouse and to ourselves.
This lady had done us the honour to visit our
ship in the morning, and, as a matter of course,
we returned the compliment in the afternoon*
Ml 154
^IVW-tf-1, i
•■•: t
K ;■.;,•';•■
Kg!;- i
They made us very welcome ; wanted us to
stop all night, and would insist upon killing a
pig—a great compliment, by the bye, to
strangers. The "lady" produced her spirits,
which was what we call "white face," or
" Yankee Particular ;" sent her slave for water
melons, and brought out her best mat for us to
recline upon under the verandah, at the same
time, making me sit close beside her.
During the whole of my stay here, the ship
was crowded with natives; each seaman had
his wife, and our crew numbered thirty-two, and
these wives their friends. They used, all of
them, to sit on the taffrail bowsprit, night-head,
or on the top of the " try works," and sing a
curious song, which they frequently composed
from the passing incidents. They were very
clever and showed great dexterity in that sort
of amusement. These women were also fond
of a game, at which two only could play;
which consisted in performing a motion with
the fingers and hands, at which both must keep ON  THE   LINE.
time. They would play at this game for hours
together I and when they left us, to go on a
visit to the Yankee ship anchored close by, we
could see them sitting on the hurricane-house,
and almost all parts of the ship, amusing themselves in this manner. Fish were most plentiful in the Bay, and it was highly amusing to
set the black girls to fish over our stern, which
they delighted to do, as it was a novelty for
them. While we stopped there, our crew were
at work every day, taking in wood and water,
and getting drunk—indeed, I may safely say
that they were all drunk from the day we cast
anchor, till we were out to sea again—and
heartily sick of it was your humble servant, I
can assure you.
Jr*B Jruii !';s:-',rf.!
177° 12'
I had just commenced writing to you, some
days since, when "spouts" were hailed from
the mast-head, the boats were instantly lowered,,
and all hands at their post, so that I was
obliged to lay down my pen, and hurry on deck
to take my part in the business In the course
of the day, we had three whales alongside; and,
with little intermission, have been taking in AT   SEA,
whales ever since, having stowed down, in a
very short space of time, nearly £4,000
of oil, at the present market price. There is
great excitement and bustle while the game
lasts, and a great deal of dirt and work after
it is over; but I have little to do with the
latter, except to mind the " try pots," and
prevent the oil running too rapidly into the
" coolers," which it is apt to do if the heat is
kept up at too furious a pitch. But, before I
give you a description of my scenes and adventures since I last wrote to you, permit me to
observe that I have met with a somewhat
serious accident, which very nearly prevented
me writing to you again—for some time at
least. I nearly cut off two of my right-hand
fingers, and have just removed the bandage to
take up my pen; but I find them so stiff and
cramped that I am fearful you will tcarcely be
able to read my writing, so difficult do I find it
to use them in any way. We had hoisted on
deck the jaw of a large whale, measuring about
■ v .58
seventeen feet in length, which contained some
very fine teeth; as all bands were busy in
cutting them out, I took up a boat-knife to
assist them, and began cutting away like the
rest. The teeth of the whale are imbedded in
a tough, white, resisting substance, and it
requires some dexterity of hand and knife to
cut them out cleanly from their sockets ; while
I wa3 forcing the knife round a large tooth, my
hand slipped over the handle, which was covered
with oily matter, on to the sharp blade which
cut right to the bone of my little finger, and
nearly through the joint of the next, for I was
grasping pretty tightly the handle of the knife.
The wound healed rapidly; but I have no
feeling in the last joint of the little finger, and
very little in the next, as the nerve is completely divided, so I have lost all power of
moving the joints of either of them.
In my last letter I endeavoured to describe
the treatment which we met with in the
Island of Mangonutie, and ended with an ac- AT   SEA.
count of the confusion and noise on board our
vessel, occasioned by the women leaving, our
sailors almost all drunk, and bidding; a mawkish
adieu to the dark " fair ones," who had been
so generous in bestowing their favours upon
them; some of the native chiefs trading for
pigs and potatoes, while others were buying
muskets and cotton goods, to say nothing of
the bustle and shouting of the natives in their
canoes, who came alongside our ship, either to
barter or beg; the rafting of casks, and the
stowing away of wood and provisions, so that
I was heartily glad to get clear of the place
But I must be permitted to indulge in a few
more remarks on the scenes and incidents
which I observed in that beautiful island, so as
to make my narrative complete in all its parts.
Some of the chiefs were tattooed in a most remarkable manner; and amongst the rest
" Jacky," or " wide awake," the fellow who
came off with the sable "mob"  to our ship,
I':"' | SSI]
ii'^iiL, w
*'■■■!» Wa!H
when we first sighted the island.    The face of
the latter was lined in  every direction, and
with   great  regularity ;   and,   altogether,   he
presented the best specimen of tattooing that
I   ever  beheld.     " Jackey'    was   about  the
middle size; very firm and well set in his appearance, his features were good and regular,
and his manner, altogether, had the air of a
melo-dramatic " swell" on the stage, so awfully fierce and energetic were some   of  his
movements.    He was an off-shoot of the warrior tribes of New Zealand, and prided himself on   his   great  qualities  in   that  respect.
Sometimes he would come on deck, with  no
other covering   than   an  old   tattered  shirt;
while at others, he would sport a pair of clean
duck trousers, a sbowry handkerchief round his
neck, and his hair well-plastered, and glistening, with oil.    Many of these men were  tattooed all over their thighs, as  well as  their
faces;   and most of the women were marked
about the lips in characters   of a deep blue AT  SEA. 161
tint, which gave a singular appearance to their
otherwise not badly formed features; but, both
men and women had a large hole bored in each
ear, through one of which they stuck the
stem of their tobacco-pipe, while the other
was generally decorated with the tooth of the
tiger-shark, suspended to a black ribbon, and
ornamented with red sealing wax. Both sexes
seemed blessed with a luxuriant head of hair,
but greatly varying in quality, and in quantity,
also; some of them exhibited the frizly texture, while others were of the gently waving,
as though they had indulged in "Rowland's
Macassar" all their life-time. Some of the
white settlers urgently requested me to stay
in the island, as there was no disciple of
Esculapius within some hundred miles of
them; while one old chief solemnly declared
that I should never want either " pigs or potatoes," would I but consent to live among
I left the island with considerable regret.
tii cam
||l 111
When we had got our men together, dis-
harged their " wives," and their grog-bills,
we weighed anchor, and stood out to sea—
sighting Curtis's Island, and passing another
which seemed uninhabited, except by goats.
It was our intention to have touched at
Navigator's Island, to procure yams and pigs,
but we had such a continuance of foul winds,
that we were blown much more to the eastward than we w7ished; but, shortly afterwards,
I landed at a small Island, mentioned by Cook,
called Mangea, against which the surf beat
with tremendous force. Several canoes came
off to land us, our boats being perfectly useless for that purpose in such a swell; and I
could not but admire the rude cunning of
the natives in the construction of their craft,
which were built with an outrigger to prevent
their capsizing, and seemed admirably adapted
for those seas. One of the " natives" beckoned
me to come ashore in his canoe, which invitation I willingly accepted, and stepped into —
it, when he paddled away until he reached the
outside'of the point where the swell breaks
on the coral reefs. There he paused till three
good surges had passed ; then, taking advantage of the lull, both he and his companions
paddled in with all their might, the next
surge merely wetting us to the skin, and
grounding us on a bar of gravel and shingle,
we all jumped out, standing ready for the swell
within one hundred yards of the shore, which is
bordered with coral rock. There was a crowd
of natives waiting our landing, all of whom set
up a loud shout when I touched the shore, and
conducted me to the house of a native missionary, from Otaheite, where I sat down until
all our party should arrive. The people on
the island were exceedingly civil, and I may
say with justice also, hospitable and ingenious,
for we were treated in a somewhat generous
manner, and by no means in a mean condition.
The  natives were not a large race;   they
;»•.-. ■ 164
were brighter and clearer in colour than the
New Zealanders, and the expression of their
features was somewhat pleasing, and indicated
a mildness of disposition seldom met with in
a semi-savage race. I dined with the mis-
sionary, who had prepared a boiled sucking
pig, some yams, bread-fruit taro, and sweet
potatoes, by way of edibles; while cocoa-nut
milk, and lime-juice, served us for drink. I
enjoyed my dinner greatly, and was highly
amused at the semi-religious and savage-
saintism of my host, who talked in quite an
ex-cathedra tone, simply because he took me to
be a thoroughly-ingrained sailor, whom he
characterized as more barbarous, in a certain
way, than the natives of the islands, to whom
he administered spiritual comfort. The next
day I had the honour of dining with the
Sj King of the island"—an old man—who entertained me in a similar manner to the missionary,
except that he served up to table some roast
fowls, which were exceedingly delicious eating. AT  SEA.
There seemed a great plenty of the good
things of life on the island—turkeys, pigs,
ducks, fowls, bananas, and almost every variety
of tropical production. The natives are
very expert in making straw hats, nets, furs,
plaited woman's hair-belts, mats, carved clubs,
wooden bowls, and native cloth of various
colours and patterns, in many of which articles
they exhibit considerable skill. They exchange
these various commodities for cotton handkerchiefs, shirts, iron, scissors, needles, thread,
tomahawks, soap, and other articles which they
require for their use. One of the natives
gave me a quantity of native cloth, which
they call Tappe, because I cured his sore eyes,
a disease which prevails to a great extent
among them, especially in the younger classes.
There is a large church on the island, which
I visited; the inside is painted red, white, and
black, and there are several carved pieces of
work, which evince considerably ingenuity in
the architect.    The houses are large and lofty
!''*£$>! — 4-
! lis i *"
and are put together without nails, and very
strongly and ingeniously lashed at the joints;
and the better sort are carved and painted to
even a sumptuous degree, considering the
nature and condition of the place. The females
are clean and tidy in their appearance; and
many of them exceedingly, good looking—
simply clothing themselves in a scanty piece
of native cloth, except the better sort, whose
clothing partakes of more ample dimensions,
although composed of the same materials. As
I walked about the island the people followed
me in crowds, gaping and staring in apparent
wonderment, while the little boys and girls
tried to touch my hands, looking up in my
face, and rubbing my legs, and feeling down
my back—sometimes giving me a poke, to see,
apparently, if it was all right, and flesh and
blood, like themselves—and on my turning
round to see what was the matter, away they
would scamper in all directions, which afforded
me a great deal of amusement. AT  SEA.
It was late before we had collected our
three boat's crews, who had been purchasing
commodities, and amusing themselves as Well
as they could among the natives. I was then
shoved off in the same canoe which landed me;
and, after being nearly capsized, and getting a
good wetting in the surf, I reached our boat,
which was lying off to avoid the breakers. I
had scarcely left the canoe when it was overset, and the five natives were swimming and
chattering away at a furious rate; but our
people took no notice of them, and never
moved an oar, so accustomed were they to see
the Islanders in the water, and apparently in
the most dangerous plight. While our men
were arranging the cargo of fruits and livestock, which we were to take on board, I
watched the natives extricating themselves
from their difficulty, and was highly amused to
see them pattering about the serf, and shoving
their canoe to the shore. These islanders are
expert swimmers, and seem quite at home in
1 re's'1
the water, where an ordinary swimmer could
scarcely exist; and I remember seeing one
native, breaking his way through the serf, and
swimming towards our ship, which was at
least five miles off, with something in his hand,
which he held above the water to keep dry;
and, when tired with holding it in one position,
changed hands, still keeping it above his head,
that it should not be damaged, intending it for
barter or sale. The ship, however, had braced
up her main-yard, and was going through the
water when he was about half-way, which,
when he perceived it, caused him to return to
the island, still holding his commodity above his
head. Before we had arranged our cargo it
became quite dark, and no one could see the
ship, which was lying off at a great distance;
and, to make matters as bad as possible, no
one had taking her bearings, but almost every
man differed in opinion as to her " whereabout," so that we were compelled, as it were
to grope our way over the waters, which with \m
our living and dead stock was no sinecure;
nevertheless, we reached her in the course of
the night, and glad enough we were to get to
what seemed our home.
After leaving Mangea, we steered for a
small island called Whylotacke, sighted Harvey's Island, which is' said to be uninhabited
at the present time, although there were people
upon it when Cook landed there; and after
two nights and a day-and*half's sailing, we
reached the former, when we sent two boats
ashore to procure yams for sea-stock, which we
found both plentiful and cheap. The island
produces bananas, bread-fruit, taro, tobacco,
limes, pumpkins, water-melons, and other rich
fruits and vegetables; besides pigs, fowls and
turkeys, all of which were in excellent condition, and proved very agreeable eating.
Mr. Riley, an English Missionary, resides
there, for the praiseworthy purpose of converting the heathenish natives to Christianity;
but, how far he has progressed in his holy en-
;*;:■; 170
m ■■
terprise, I am incompetent to give an opinion*
therefore   shall   content myself  with   simply
relating what I saw, and leave you to infer the
precise   condition of  his  progress.     I learnt
that Mr. Hiley came  out in the Missionary
brig, Camden, in company with poor Williams,
who was so cruelly murdered at  Eromango*
by the   savage  natives of   that island;    and
many singular stories are told of the humbug
and duplicity of both missionaries and natives
—the one wishing  to believe that they had
made   converts,  by  way  of gratifying  their
vanity, in swelling their  own  importance  in
the eyes of the home authorities; the  other
disssembling, in the most artful manner, and
pretending to  embrace  the  doctrines of the
missionary* by  way of serving some cunning
purpose, or   acquiring  some paltry  gain.     I
could fill a page with the artful dodges which
are practised on both sides, as little creditable
to the pretended piety of the one, as it is indicative of the low cunning of the other. AT  SEA.
As soon as I landed I made enquiries for
Mr. Riley, for whom I had brought a letter
from Mangea, and was told that I should find
him  at   church, where   he was   performing
divine service, although on a week-day, which
struck me as being   somewhat  extra-pious;
but upon   further enquiry, I   also   learned,
that the natives were seldom occupied steadily
in  their   pursuits for   many   days together,
therefore had a great deal of idle time on
their hands, which caused the missionary to
preach a few extra sermons, by. way of keeping
them up to the mark, and preventing them
from sliding down the declivity upon which,
with  much   praiseworthy   perseverance,   and
pious energy, he had contrived to raise them.
I soon made my way there, and found the little*
* We should sincerely regret if any inference unfavourable to the Missionaries in the South Seas
were drawn from the above remarks, as we deeply
venerate their character, and can bear testimony to
the value of their services. The Missionaries have
I 3
iViW. 172
man peppering out the service to his numerous
and dingy congregation, in a somewhat smart
and fluent manner; but thinking, perhaps,
that my presence—a white man, and a stranger,
togged in sailor's costume—would distract
the attention of his hearers, if it did not disconcert himself, I withdrew until the service
was oyer, and then delivered my letter in
propria persona to Mr. Riley, as he came out
of the church. Our mate was with me, and
we waited outside the church for some time,
taking a view of the surrounding scene, which
was peculiarly interesting from  the religious
done much to humanize the savage islanders, and
prepare them for a higher state of civilization; and
the sacrifices which many of the former have made
to carry out their sacred purpose, may be classed in
the choicest category of human martyrdom. We
have no desire to make exceptions, but must give
our testimony to the great services which the Wes-
leyan Missionaries have rendered in the cause of
progress and civilization, especially in the Southern
Seas. AT   SEA*
associations with one's native land. The tune
sung by the natives at the conclusion of the
service, although in a nasal and conventicle
tone, reminded me of many a chaunt which I
had heard in my youthful days at home, and
threw my mind into a melancholy mood,
which seemed, for the moment, like a sweet
dream of the past—and that even here, in this
lone and remote island of the oeean, the holy
and benign influences of religion were beginning
to be felt.
While we were waiting, a shower of rain
came on, which caused us to seek shelter in
the hut of a native close by, the owner of which
brought us a mat to sit down upon, and began
questioning us about "this and that," in his
broken English, as though he were intent on
turning a penny, either by direct sale or by
barter. When the S darky " learned that our
mate had given "two needles" for his straw
hat at Mangea, which he had in his hand, he
held up his hands in astonishment, and laughed
pi 174
heartily at the idea of his being so egregiously
cheated by bartering the article at so dear a
rate. At length, the congregation came out,
and many of them saluted me, as they passed,
with " Your honour, Bo," this being the common "good morning, fine day," of these
islanders; and almost all seemed as decorous
and devout as they possibly could be, considering the sunny nature of their skins, the
warmth of their blood, and their strong animal
passions, which, in spite of the thick covering
of continual devotion which had been impressed
upon them, peeped out in their sly, slanting,
and laughing eyes. Many of the women wore
bonnets, and the favourite trimming seemed to
be a bit of red rag, which they had obtained
from the sailors; therefore, a soldier's red
coat, and a sailor's flannel shirt, if torn into
shreds, would be valuable at Whylotacke, and
command a considerable amount of produce in
exchange. I paid a visit to the missionary's
house, which was a large  and lofty building,
if *
but somewhat rude in shape; the walls of
which were composed of coral rock, the natives
•having erected the whole building at their own
expense. The church, also, is very large, considering the number of inhabitants to be
accommodated; but coolness, and not space, is
what is generally required in public buildings
in these islands—hence their apparent disproportion to the domestic huts of the natives.
Mr. Riley is a deliberate, smooth-faced and
precise little man, with a white shirt and tie
scrupulously clean, and neatly put on ; a light
blue dressing-gown was wrapped negligently
round his person—a dressing-gown in the
pulpit! new fashion that, thought I—and he
walked along ia as prudish and pedantic a
manner, as any provincial pedagogue would
have done among his squad of unruly boys*
Mrs. Riley was no great shakes, so 1 shall pass
her over at once; although I ought not to
forget that she treated us with some delicious
milk and oranges—the former, we learnt, was 176
from a cow and two heifers which the missionary had contrived to pick up among his English
friends, and nurtured on the island. While
we were seated on the sofa at Mr, Riley's, and
fanned by a native girl, the judge of the island,
two fat female Otaheitans, old servants of Mr.
R., and several other natives, squatted themselves on the floor in a semi-circle around us,
and seemed to take great interest in our
conversation. Altogether, the scene w7as
highly amusing, and I shall never forget
it. Mr. Riley told me that he had
experienced great difficulty in reclaiming
the natives, and that a large party called the
"Tutiony," or opposition-mob, still held out
against his instruction and ministration, and
resolutely adhered to their heathenish customs.
The judge of the island, learning that I was
a surgeon, or one skilled in the use of medicine,
particularly wished to have me tattooed, with
the view of inducing me to stay there; and
the   venerable   chief actually   spoke to Mr. AT  SEA.
Riley on the subject, thinking that he might
persuade me to adopt that course. I made
the old gentleman a present of a bundle of
Epsom salts, for which he seemed extremely
grateful; and taking my leave of the missionary and his pious, but, apparently, prudish
wife, I bade adieu to the island. As we made
our way to the shore, where the barter and
trading was going on, we were followed
by three or four nioe, plump, laughing girls,
who were joined by others, until there was
quite a mob of them, all playing the same
tricks, exhibiting the same wonderment, and
full of the same savage wantonness, which we
observed in the islanders of Mangea; but they
w-ere perfectly harmless, and only wished to
indulge in a little innocent curiosity at the
expense of our convenience, but by no means
against our will and pleasure. I must not
omit to mention the visit which I paid to the
" old king" of the island, whom I found greatly
advanced   in   years,  his   eyes   being  nearly
i 5
>■ I mm
<*vu lis
clouded by his white, shaggy eye-brows; his
hair was short, grizzly, and frosted with age,
and his harsh, crabbed, and dried-up countenance, exhibited all the phases of impotent
cunning, and used-up duplicity. When I
entered his house he requested me to take a
seat upon an old sofa, by his side, which had
a table before it, with certain fruits upon it,
some of which I gladly partook, and made
" his majesty" a present of some medicine in
the shape of a few bundles of Epsom salts, in
return for which he seemed highly grateful;
but, on taking my departure, I observed a
native girl, who was weeping bitterly, with
her hands and feet confined in a wooden
structure, something like the old stocks in the
country towns of England, and altogether she
presented a very melancholy and pitiable appearance. I inquired the cause of such treatment,
which appeared cruel in the extreme, when I
was informed that the old chief had turned
missionary, and had married the girl—and, in i
short, that she was compelled by missionary law
to sacrifice her young and blooming beauty to
an old man, contrary to her notions, her education, such as it was, and all the associations
and customs of her companions, at the same
age of life. Mr, Riley had married them;
had converted his "majesty;" had made him
a good christian, by confining him to one wife*
and as the old gentleman could not treat her
in a manner suitable to her age, her wishes,
and the notions in which she had been reared
before missionaries or single-blessedness, in
the shape of one wife, had set its foot on the
island, it seemted the height of cruelty to
sacrifice that young being to an old and in*
fatuated dotard—yet so it was. The fact was
that the young and beautiful islander had
violated the marriage vow; and she was suffering for her guilt at the instance of the
missionary, as I understood, and, certainly
according to the wishes of the jealous old chief.
There  she   sat—that   prepossessing creature^ 1 l'?§f $*$
in all the fulness and freshness of youth and
age; her long, dark hair flowing to her waist
in waving curls; her bright and beautiful eyes
shining from beneath her smooth and well-
turned forehead; and, from my soul, I pitied
her. The features of that young creature
were singularly fascinating; her skin was
clear, and her general expression was mild
and pleasing; and her feet and hands were
particularly small and well-formed, a peculiarity, by-the-bye, which I observed in almost
all the females on that island.
When we had finished our bartering with
the natives, for yams, pigs, ducks, fowls, turkeys, and potatoes, for which we gave them
boat-axes, blue cotton prints, and dungaree,
and had stowed all away in the boats, we
shoved off, and were soon outside the reef of
rocks and aboard, the ship having beat in pretty
close to shore. The yards were instantly
squared, the main sacks brought aboard, and in
an hour we lost sight of that pleasant little AT SEA.
island, and stood away to the north. We intended to touch at Palmerston Island, to take
in cocoa nuts for our live-stock, thinking it
was uninhabited as it used to bej but hearing that some white men were there, and not
of the best character, we declined, although it
abounds in nuts and fruits, which we greatly
stood in need of at that time.
We put in here to obtain provisions, after a
long, dreary, and profitless voyage to the
northern latitudes of the Pacific, having sought
the "field" of whales, which we heard of
when down at Mangea, in vain; for this was
one of the chances of war to which we wandering whalers are subject, and often have to
cruise three or four months, with a man at
each mast head on the look-out, without the
cheering sight of a single fish.    Indeed, we SANDWICH   ISLANDS.
ought to have been cruizing more to the
southward, as the whale-herd had migrated to
that quarter, according to their natural instincts, in search of the food which was there
in abundance—the insects blown off the immense tracts of land which are washed by the
Pacific, forming a glutinous mass which floats
with the periodical currents; but, as our captain
wished to do a little business on his own account, he too readily listened to the reports of
others, and the more so, as they tallied with
his own interested views.
After touching at numbers of the small
islands which, within a few hundred leagues,
stud the great basin of the Pacific^—sometimes to exchange articles of trade for native
produce, at others, to take in provisions solely
—we traversed the greater portion of the 49th
and 50th degrees of North latitude without
matching a single fish, and found ourselves at
Vancouver's Island, as rich as when we left
port, as regards the real object of our voyage.
M&'M •
■W*wJ. 5
We lay to in the harbours of the latter island
for nearly six weeks, in and out; and had
many opportunities of viewing its condition,
which, in many respects, was highly interesting. The principal portion of the Islanders
are Indians, belonging to different tribes, who
hunt the fur-animals, and dispose of their produce to the Hudson's Bay Company; few of
the inhabitants being addicted to steady and
stationary industry, except some old semi-
civilized hunters and half-cast Americans, who
till the land, and dispose of the produce principally to the Sandwich Islanders and the few
ships that frequent those distant seas in search
of the whale. The Hudson's Bay Company have
an agricultural establishment on the southern
point of the island, where they cultivate most
of the productions which are common to the
climate of England, to supply the posts of
their fur hunters, farther north, with provisions, instead of importing them from the
western coast of America,   and  the  distant SANDWICH  ISLANDS.
islands of the Pacific, as well as some of them,
as formerly, from this country. They have
also built a fort called Victoria, to protect the
property of the establishment from the
thievish incursions of the Indians, who are not
over scrupulous as to whom they plunder when
the cravings of want are strong upon them.
As we sailed down the straits of San Juan de
Fuca, at the south eastern point of which the
Victoria Fort is built, we observed two vessels,
principally laden with corn, destined for the
islands of the Pacific, the Vancouver settlers
carrying on a considerable trade with the
latter, but mostly in the shape of barter—the
former exporting corn, pigs, potatoes, and
dried fish; receiving in return sugar, pepper,
dried woods, honey and spices, most of which
ultimately find their way to the European
markets. There are also some fish-curing
depots, at which we purchased dried salmon in a
remarkably fine condition, and at a very
reasonable rate; that kind of fish  migrating
til .86
in immense shoals, at certain periods, all along
the north western coast of the Continent of
America, and caught in abundance as it ascends the fresh-water streams to spawn. The
sturgeon is also caught and cured, and proves
a very agreeable dish after a long sea-voyage.
Vancouver's Island is about three hundred
miles long and fifty broad, and is said to
abound in minerals of the most useful description ; especially in copper and lead, the
former jutting out of the rocks in many places
and apparently in large quantities ; lead is also
plentiful, and the specimens extracted were of
an excellent kind. Coal is found in abundance,
especially on the north-eastern portion of the
island, and is seen distinctly on the open
beach, extending over the space of a mile in
length, having been laid bare by the washing
of the sea, which in the course of time has
evidently frittered away the overlaying mould
and sandstone. The Indians dig the coal, and
transport it to the ships, at a very trifling ex- SANDWICH  ISLANDS.
pense; and the mineral burns bright, exuding
a good heat, being strongly impregnated with
a bituminous matter.
The timber is exceedingly luxuriant, especially in the northern portions of the island;
such as pine, spruce, red and white oak, ash,
cedar, arbutus, poplar, maple, willow, and yew,
all of which are more or less abundant, the
cedar and pine attaining an immense size.
Limestone may be easily excavated, and fit for
the most useful purposes. The climate is considered mild and pleasant, and not subject to
any extraordinary changes, from local causes,
which obtain in many places in the same
latitude; and the capabilities of the soil for
agricultural purposes have proved great, being
composed the most part of two varieties—a
dark vegetable mould of considerable depth,
and a mixture of the latter with a greyish,
clayey loam, upon both of which vegetation
is rampant and luxurious. The island is not
subject to the damp fogs which prevail along
H mi
111: 188
. '..£*'■
. jrf« tt>X,tfi
the coast in lower latitudes, especially in
Upper California, which are blown from the
ocean, and stunt down, even when they have
not sufficient power to blight, the cereal crops.
The potatoe grows to an enormous size, and
seems to thrive most luxuriantly on the island;
the Indians having large patches under cultivation, which frequently serve them for food,
when the hunting-season is not on, or not so
productive as they expect.
The natives, for the most part, are a fine
race of men, have their faces tattooed according to the savage rites of their respective
tribes; are excessively fond of ardent spirits,
for which they will exchange their very souls
if possible; not indifferent to beads, pins, or
anything in the shape of metals in a manufactured state; are industrious and friendly, but
cannot possibly abstain from thieving whenever
the slightest opportunity presents itself.
Having stored ourselves amply with provisions, and our captain done his utmost to SANDWICH  ISLANDS.
turn a penny on his own account, which was
not always in unison with the interests of the
owners of the vessel, nor of the crew, we left
the island for the south, and kept coasting
along for some days, until we stood in for
Mendocino, a cape on the Coast of Upper
California. But, before we could reach it, the
wind changed, and we again stood out for sea,
still steering for the south ; when, after a few
days' fishing, in which we were unexpectedly
successful, having stowed away a couple of
whales, we sailed for San Franciscos,* with the
view of recruiting our stock of water and
As the tide sets in heavily at certain changes
of the moon in the deep channel leading to
the Bay of San Franciscos, we were obliged
to steer the vessel steadily in one direction, so
as to avoid the strong eddies on either side of
the stream.    The Bay is one of the finest and
* Vide Appendix.
■   wv?> ■
most capacious in the world3 not excepting
Sydney Cove, and a thousand vessels could
ride at ease in its deep basins which widen out
and stretch far into the land north and south
beyond the point where we cast anchor.
There were several ships in the harbour besides ours ; some of them for trading purposes
from New York and Boston, with their floating retail-shops of  dry  goods,  trinkets, and
wearing apparel, the latter especially adapted
to the   habits   and  climate   of  the country;
others were there for repairs, and for recruiting their stock of provisions and water, like
ourselves; and almost all their crews became
alike noisy, drunken, and quarrelsome, which
made it anything but agreeable to be in their
neighbourhood even, much less their company,
as we were sometimes compelled to be.     The
town of San Franciscos lies on the southern
extremity of the channel which leads to the
Bay, and vessels may anchor almost elose to SANDWICH   ISLANDS.
shore with perfect safety.    The passage to the
latter is about two miles in width, bounded by
steep basaltic rocks, and the tide is sufficient,
as we have already observed, to carry you in
without the wind being in your favour.   The
Bay extends about twenty miles N. E., and
about thirty miles S. W.; the northern part
narrowing to a passage which opens  into  a
basin about ten miles wide, called San Pablo,
and a second pass unites this basin with another, into which most  of  the great  rivets
empty themselves.     The favourite anchoring
place for whalers is called San Salito, opposite
to Yerba Buena, where fresh water and provisions can be readily obtained.     There are
several islands in the Bay of Franciscos, the
largest lying in the northern part of the first
basin, and is easily distinguished, even from
the ocean; the next in size is opposite to the
town of Yerba Buena,, and is the habitation of
goats, birds, and  game,  being covered with
wood and wild pasturage.
■5 192
There are a few merchants in the town, some
poor Indians, a few half-caste Spaniards, and
here and there an old friar strolling about; the
dwellings, for the most part, are miserable,
being built of adobes or unburnt bricks, for the
better kind of houses, while the meaner huts
are simply composed of rough poles, covered
with dry grass, having a small aperture for the
entrance. The climate is beautiful, except
some dense fogs which come steaming off the
ocean at certain seasons of the year, but they
do not extend far inwards; in other respects
the atmosphere is pure, clear and invigorating
—bracing up the nerves to a most healthy
tension, and imparting an elasticity to the
limb, which is only occasionally felt in the
more temperate regions of the globe. The
land all round San Franciscos seems highly
productive, and requires but little cultivation ;
judging by the indolent habits, and the lazy
movements of the inhabitants, who appear, in
that  particular respect,  to take things  very 1MB
easy. The wheat is sown broad cast on the
land when it has been sufficiently ploughed and
crossed; the latter being occasioned by the
construction of the plough which cannot cut
up and turn over a furrow as with us, but
simply leaves a rut, therefore the soil must be
broken by repeated crossings, before it is
capable of receiving the seed. The land is
prepared in the same way for the maize, oats
being little cultivated, although in some parts
they grow wild and luxuriant—so at least I
have been informed by parties well acquainted
with the interior of the country. In many
parts of California they are obliged to irrigate
the land to produce corn, but round San Francisco the rains and dews are sufficient for that
purpose. The same remark will apply, doubtless, to the rich valleys lying between the two
great mountainous chains which run from
North to South, and are parallel with the line
of the coast. Barley is cultivated in comparatively small quantities, as it only serves for
ua y-1
food to the horses, distillation from this grain
being unknown. The price of wheat is about
two dollars the fanega, or 11. 5s. the English
quarter, and maize at 1-| dollar, or XL per
quarter. Barley is about the same price as
wheat, the latter being mostly cultivated.
Clover is also grown, and serves as excellent
fodder for the cattle; and flax is found in a
wild state, the Indians using it for their nets
and rope3. Vegetables of almost every description we found in abundance, and exceedingly cheap ; potatoes, beetroot, onions, carrots
beans—besides fruits of almost all kinds, such
as apples, pears, peaches, melons, grapes, plums,
cherries, figs, oranges, and pomegranates, were
offered at an extremely cheap rate, and most
excellent in quality. Many of these fruits, we
were credibly informed, grew wild, especially
the strawberry and the grape, the former
attaining an extraordinary size, and deliriously
sweet in flavour.
But  the principal occupation of the Cali- fornians, and the foreign settlers, must be in
rearing cattle, which not only supply them
with meat, but also yield a profitable return
from their hides and tallow. These cattle are
comparatively wild, roaming at will in the
immense praries which are covered with vegetation, or in the rich valleys watered by the
numerous streams, which lie between the great
mountain chains of the Sierra Nevada and the
Rocky range. Judging by the price of skins,
which were heaped up in huge piles ready for
shipment, with that of animal food^ it might
reasonably be inferred that the herds of cattle
must be very numerous, and in excellent condition. The management of the dairy is
almost unknown among the natives; cheese and
butter being procurable only from the foreign
settlers. The pigs are fatted for their lard, of
which a large quantity is exported; while the
sheep does not seem so plentiful, nor so much
prized, although, with an improvement ©/ the
breed, it would prove more profitable, in their rich   pasturage,  than   either   the   ox or  the
The population is a strange mixture of
Mexicans, Germans, Americans, and English
the first are proud, ignorant, and lazy; the
second, as far as we could learn and observe,
are quiet, laborious, and intelligent j while the
latter partake of their national characteristics—
industrious and dominating, according to the
peculiarities of their disposition and education.
The Indians are quiet and docile; lazily disposed, and scarcely fit for continuous industry
—their wild habits and roving spirit being
utterly inimical to such a condition of ex*
We left San Franciscos with regret, having
experienced a more than ordinary amount of
courtesy and kindness, both by the Americans
and our own countrymen; and our captain
had made up his mind to put in there on his
return from the south, had he not been pre*
vented by the (C winds and the waves," whose SANDWICH  ISLANDS.
mandates no sailing vessel dares dispute, and
to which we were obliged to submit, although
much against our inclinations.    As we cleared
the harbour and stood out at  sea,  with the
intention   of  steering  southwards,   we   soon
found that it would be useless to attempt it,
as the southeast wind, which blows with such
terrific  violence up the Pacific,   had  set in
somewhat earlier than usual, and compelled us
to take a nor-westerly  course.     At  length,
drifting about for some days—sometimes in a
calm, sometimes in a storm—and constantly
^n the "look-out" for our game, which, by-
the-bye, seldom appeared, we found ourselves
off the Sandwich Islands, after sweeping over
half the Pacific; and, as we had lost a mast,
and otherwise damaged our vessel, we made up
our minds to put in the first convenient port,
by way of squaring our timbers—as a landsman
would say—or, in other words, to put our ship
in order, so  that she might weather another
storm or so before she reached her final desti-
nation. I
I have been sojourning for the last three
months at Sydney, not only to purge myself
of a little scurvy which 1 picked up in my
last whaling expedition, but also with a view
of studying the strange phases of society here,
to which, neither in its origin or present conr
dition can any prototype be found in the
history of the world. It was precisely on this
day sixty years ago that Governor Philip laid
the foundations of this now important Colony SYDNEY,
at the head of Sydney Cove; and strange,
in truth, were the materials which were placed
at his disposal. Indeed, there was no idea
then of colonizing even at some future time
this distant acquisition of the British Crown.
The loss of our American Colonies had de^
prived Great Britain of a place of exile to
which she was accustomed to banish those of
her sons whose crimes had placed them out of
the pale of liberty, and civilization ; and New
South Wales was, in this predicament, selected
simply as a penal settlement for all the roguish
depravity which was supposed to be incorrigible at home.- This, the first stage of the
present colony, has been compared with the
early state of ancient Home, in which the
community were nothing more than an association of robbers and outlaws; but, there is
this remarkable difference to be observed between them—the robbers and outlaws of
ancient Rome were independent and free,
while those of New South Wales were in a SYDNEY.
Mr- Jw'
.VBitki '■'..
state of slavery more rigorous in principle than
even negro slavery in the West, because the
labour and submission exacted from them was
not merely considered by their masters as a
right, but as a punishment also, which it was
their duty to render effectual, both for retribution and correction.
The great blunder committed in the outset
was in endeavouring to construct a community
of felons alone, which was to be continually
increased by fresh accessions of convicts* The
machinery of government, even in its most
simple and orderly state, cannot be carried on
without hands, and much less in a state of
society almost exclusively composed of unruly
spirits, who are to be kept under rigid surveillance and coercion, because the local government had no alternative but to select from this
very class nearly all its subordinate functionaries. Public works were necessarily filled by
those convicts whose better educacion only
rendered them more dangerous as confidential SYDNEY.
employes. The frauds and robberies in particular practised upon the government in the
timber-yard—that is the depSt for the materials
and stores belonging to the Office of Public
Works—were most enormous and audacious.
Every Overseer and Clerk on coming into
office at once set about building on his own
account with the labour and materials of
government; and 6uch was the fellow-feeling
amongst the convicts that the practice was very
rarely split upon, or detected. Some of the
largest fortunes now enjoyed in the Colony by
Emancipists, or their descendants, have no other
origin but this.
It was not until the appointment Sir Thomas
Brisbane, in 1821, that the tide of free emigration steadily set in for New South Wales, and
enabled the government to keep the felon population somewhat more at arms-length. In the
course, however, of thirty years, under the
system I have alluded to, that class had
acquired, as a body, great wealth, and becam©
■ I
inflated with extravagant pretensions. Nor?
unfortunately, was the assignment system
which was now brought into full vigour, however well calculated in other respects to promote the progress of the Colony, calculated
to check the growth of this evil. In fact, it
was through the facilities which existed of
abusing the assignment system that transportation, instead of conducting the malefactor to a
place of punishment, only opened for him a
road to fortune; and that we at this dav witness
the anomaly of the opulence and luxury of a
rising Colony being represented by a class,
whom our criminal legislation had intended
that they should reap nothing from their
labours in it, but privation and disgrace.
I am not, however, going to moralize, or
philosophize, on this subject; and you will,
therefore, merely regard the above observations
as necessary to your fully entering into the
amusing sketches which the most common-place
observer cannot fail to draw from those singular ■M
< m
adventures  which  have rendered   societv   in
Sydney what it now is.
A few words first3 however, as to the nature
of the assignment system itself. By it all free
settlers could command the unpaid labour of
as many convicts as they could satisfy the
government they were able to employ and subsist, on re-imbursing the Government for the
trifling expense of the convict's dresses; and
the masters of these assigned convicts had the
power of rewarding them for good conduct by
recommending them for a ticket of leave. In
consequence of these regulations a very different fate was in store for the ignorant convicts
from the rural districts of the mother-country.,
and the better educated criminals from the
cities and towns. The former were, of course,
selected by settlers in the interior, who, in the
event of their proving worthless, returned them
upon the hands of the government, to be enu-
ployed in chain-gangs upon Public Works, and
if thej^ proved useful and valuable, never re*
ma 204
linquished their services until the term of their
sentences expired. Not so, however, with
your Gentleman-forger, Cracksmen, Swell-
mob-men, &c, who might escape for a ten or
fifteen years retirement to Sydney, at the
public expense. This class of offenders are
usually | fallen angels " from a better sphere
of society, and, together with the accomplishments acquired in the earlier and more virtuous
portion of their career, bring with them also
the unscrupulous cunning which they have
imbibed during their rise and progress in crime.
This sort of people had very little difficulty in
procuring eligible assignments in the Colonial
Metropolis; and in most cases proved themselves so useful to their masters, that they
could command from them a very early recommendation for a ticket of leave, as the condition
of continuing to devote their talents to their
service. In frequent instances they would
insist, not only upon a ticket of leave, but
even upon a sub rosa partnership with their Mm
assignee masters, and the latter, for their own
interest, were compelled to submit, because,
though assignees of the mere manual labour of
their convict-servants, they had no power to
exact the exercise of their professional skill, or
other acquirements, except upon their own
But there was something still more in favour
of this class. Your swell-burglars, fences,
forgers, swindlers, mail-coach robbers, &c.,
always advised some old hands in the Colony
of their coming, so as to have assignees of the
right sort to apply for them on their landing.
These gentry, moreover, always took care
before conviction at home to secure the spoils
of their raids on the public so that they could
enter into partnership with their pseudo
assignees at once, and, frequently, by the time
that they underwent the ceremony of Emancipation, they were prepared to start a carriage-
and-four, and liveried retinue, a town ho.use
and a cottage ornie, with extensive pleasure-
flfc/kj 206
grounds delightfully overlooking the finest sea-
scenery in the world.
It often happened, too, with the highest class
of criminals—lawyers, for instance, who had
robbed their clients with so much ingenuity
that they were not allowed to practise it any
longer at home—that the very enormity of the
offence was a sure and immediate passport to a
much greater degree of affluence here than
they could ever have aspired to in their native
land. Their fame, as clever practitioners, preceded them, and the incompetent professional
men of the Colony were all on the qui vive to
obtain from Government a preference of their
assignment, and to outbid each other with the
convicts themselves for their services. I met
a man this morning, driving his barouche and
pair along George-street, whose hfctory is a
fair illustration of the  manner in which thes.e
nd he
gentry get on.    His name is W	
was at one time an attorney of considerable
repute and practice in Liverpool.    Like many SYDNEY.
other clever people, however, who are not
content with making respectable fortunes by
persevering in their own calling, this man would
fain become rapidly rich by secretly entering
into speculations alien to his profession ; and,
as it mostly happens, he found that he had been
throwing away his substance by grasping at
shadows. To meet his engagements, and with
the hope of retrieving himself, he took to abusing
the confidence of his clients, and, ultimately,
forged a will, and was sentenced to be transported
for life. The dexterity, however, with which he
had prevented the fraud from being discovered,
for several years, was a theme of general conversation, and the fame of it had reached the
Colony before his arrival. A young lawyer
named A , who had previously been destitute of business, was fortunate enough to obtain
the assignment of this celebrated rogue, and
from that day clients beset his offices in shoals.
W — of course was, under the rose, the
active, and A only the sleeping^ partner in
■   ml
mmrLM =
the concern; and the former thus jumped into
a vastly more lucrative business, on the strength
of his bad character, than he had enjoyed at
home on the strength of a good one.
There was also another dodge, which was
the more remarkable, because it was generally
connived at by the authorities; but, as before,
I had better give you an example, than a
description, of it. A Jew in Petticoat Lane,
who had been a notorious fence for years in
London, at last carried his pitcher to the
well once too often—in short he was nabbed
and lagged. From the first he was quite
aware that the scene of his future destiny
would be laid in New South Wales; aud he
set about providing for the change in the most
business-like way imaginable. He realized all
he possessed, and had it placed to the account
of his wife in one of the Sydney banks; and
the day after he received his sentence, sent
her forward to the colony to be ready for his
arrival.     Immediately upon his landing,  his 0
better half was ready with a petition to the
Governor to have him assigned to her as a
convict servant* and, as she had qualified as an
householder, the assignment was made to her
as a matter of course. Indeed, a wife, if she
had a family of children to back her claim—
and if she had not, she could easily borrow
three or four brats for the occasion—rarely
failed in having her husband assigned to her;
and thus the transported felon not only became
his own master, but found himself in a place
where he could employ the fruits of his past
nefarious courses to more advantage than he
could have done, had he been allowed to continue his career at home.
The large and rapid fortunes which these
gentry have made in Sydney would almost appear fabulous, even in the purlieus of Capel
Court during an epidemic mania for speculation. The spectacle of a millionaire Emancipist
is by no means a rara avis; and from five, to
twenty, thousand a year may be taken as the
^11     \l
: km:.-
mm average incomes of the aristocracy of that
worthy class. Indeed they quite over-top the
free and respectable inhabitants; and the exhibition is the more glaring because they endeavour to revenge themselves for the noli me
tangere of the untainted citizen, by the most
ostentatious display of their wealth. You
shall count hundreds of carriages-and-four,
barouches, landaus, &c. on the race-course at
Five+dock Farm; and your cicerone in giving
you an account of their proprietors will only
be giving you a catalogue of the most successr
ful felonry of the colony. Still, in spite of
their display, there is always the meanness of
the parvenu amongst these gentry; for they
will give anything to acquire a footing in the
society of the free settlers, whom, at the same
time, they appear so ambitious of out-shining.
I know an instance of a wealthy emancipist,
who had for a long time been endeavouring in
vain to induce a respectable draper to lend
im his countenance, by taking a seat in his 'I
barouche; despairing at least of being able to
scrape an acquaintance with him, he turned
his attention to a person in the same trade,
but in more humble circumstances, over the
way. He finally succeeded in corrupting his
virtue, and in enrolling one free settler on the
list of his acquaintances, by the lavish expenditure of himself and his emancipist friends.
It has often struck me that these people,
who are certainly not endowed with any excess
of modesty, so rarely return to dazzle their old
friends and enemies at home. I only know
one instance of the kind; and if the reception
he met with in his native place was generally
known, I do not think that it would deter
others from following his example. Master
P was a very large horse-dealer in Lincolnshire, ransacking all the fairs in the
United Kingdom for hunters, carriage-horses,
and hacks, and, after making them up, disposing of them to great advantage amongst the
gentry, within fifty miles of his stables.    He
*'i. was a master-hand at his craft, and had, notori*-
ously, accumulated considerable wealth; but
one luckless, (or, as it ultimately turned out,
lucky) day, he happened to sell a horse at a
high figure to a gentleman who returned it as
unsound, and, as our hero refused to return
the money, a series of expensive law-suits
was the result, in which he was finally discom-
fitted. Enraged at this issue of his shiftiness,
he turned everything he possessed into ready
money, and procured a docket of bankruptcy
to be struck against him. His opponent, however, stuck to him like a bull-dog, and palpably
proving in the Bankruptcy Court that he must
have made away with his property to defraud his creditors, he was prosecuted for the
offence, convicted of it, and sentenced to
transportation for fourteen years.
An assignee master, however—a large
emancipist, stock and landholder—was ready to
apply for him as a convict servant on his arrival,
with  a large sum  which he  had saved
IIIH out of the fire" by "smashing" at home,
he purchased a share of his sham-master's business. Now, although they are very good
judges of breeding horses in Australia, they
knew nothing of training them to their paces,
and making them up for market;   and Sam
P  possessed these peculiar  qualifications
to perfection. Before three years had passed,
he and his partner became the largest exporters of chargers to India, where they
always   commanded  enormously  high prices,
and where the breed* of Master P  and
his partner had already grown high into repute,
above all others. At the expiration of eleven
years P received a full pardon, and he returned home with a large fortune. Instead,
however, of sneaking into his native place,
like a returned convict, he entered it   in an
* The horses on a stock-farm in Australia are
all branded with some peculiar mark by the owner
when yearlings.
laSB iM
open carriage-and-four to the tune of u See the
conquering hero comes," by a couple of braying bugles; and the same evening gave a
sumptuous feast to his old neighbours and
friends, whose flattering reception of him, I
presume, must be imputed to their.attributing
his return with health and wealth to the interposition of Providence in favour of persecuted
innocence 1 When I last heard of him he was
enjoying all the pleasures and sports of a
country gentleman's life, within a few miles of
the stables which, before he left England, he
did not disdain to clean out himself.
But, if the strange fortunes of our male
convicts may be called the romance of crime,
that term is still more applicable to those of
the female convicts. They remained after
arriving at Sydney, eight or ten days on board
before they landed, during which a portion of
them found assignee-masters, and the remainder were then sent to what is called the Factory
at Paramatta.    Such, also, of those who were SYDNEY.
assigned, and did not conduct themselves to
the satisfaction of their masters, were returned
on the hands of the Government, and sent to
the Factory, where they are provided with an
abundance of food, without being subject to
any labour or discipline, and enjoyed, also, in a
range of extensive gardens, all the pleasures of
gregarious intercourse. Indeed, the female
convicts soon found out that the Factory was
the very best market for their charms imaginable.
The settlers in the interior are always anxious
for the male convict servants marrying; and
the latter, when they- become free, are equally
bent upon matrimony, because, apart from
other considerations, a wife and children are of
considerable value in the Colony, as indeed
they are in ail thinly-peopled, grazing, countries. The wife can always command good
wages in the same service as her husband;
where a boy of ten years of age is as useful in
the management of a flock, and of twelve years
in the management of stock, as many a grown-
w<> 216
ml mi 11
ilffipl' 11
up adult. When one of these Benedicts wag
on the look out for a spouse, and could not, as
he very rarely could, find a mate to pair with
near home, he applied to the Factory.*   The
* A painful circumstance, in relation to Paramatta, occurred some years ago, and, as it points a
moral, by showing that the only romance is in real life,
we shall repeat it here.   A yonng man who had been
some years in Australia, came up from the Bush as
usual to dispose of his produce, and take unto himself
a wife ; when he arrived in Sydney, he was advised by
his friends to choose his " fair one I from Paramatta,
as a fresh importation had recently arrived from England, and women were then scarce in Sydney.    Accordingly,!^ took his way to the Factory, speculating
in his mind what kind of being he would be able to
select; when,  to  his utter astonishment, his  own
sister was in the file of the women he had to choose
from, and the effect upon his mind was so stunning
that fatal consequences nearly ensued.    At length
the young man recovered ; obtained the freedom of
his sister by means of a ticket of leave ;   and both
are   represented  to   have   lived happily together,
and   to   have   accumulated an   easy  competence.
It is needless to observe that his sister was a convict. unmarried frail ones were drawn up in a line
for inspection; and after examining their
points with as much curiosity as if he was about
to bargain for a brood-mare, he beckoned with
Ms finger for the one to step forward from the
rank, who happened to strike his fancy the
best. After a short conference in private, the
treaty of marriage was generally agreed upon ;
and, if not, the amorous adventurer had only
to try his luck again and again, until he succeeded in bringing one of the fair Calistas to
Indeed, from the moment that the female
convicts acquired any knowledge of the convict customs of the Colony, marriage was
the. subject which pre-occupied all their
As soon as the transport-ship arrived at
Sydney, they devoted the few days of their
Quarantine in preparing to make their descent,
upon  the  natives, with  the greatest possible iirl':
effect. Most of them carried out some little
finery with them ; but your lady-sinners made
their appearance in all the gorgeousness, in
which they had been accustomed to tread the
pave* of Regent Street, or the saloon of old
Thus decked out, they disembarked to
present themselves before their future
masters; and were frequently besieged hy
captivated suitors even before they arrived at
their new habitations. But the assignee-
master had the power of 6i forbidding the
banns," though his obstinacy rarely continued
long, for my w lady," by playing the part of a
princess instead of a servant, could soon extort
from him her conge for the Factory, where the
surliness of a master would no longer be a bar
to her matrimonial projects.
Bad, however, as all this was, it was hit
finitely better than that the Colony should be
left, as it since has been, almost entirely with? out a supply of female immigration into the
interior. My friend Onslow, however, has
already enlightened you on this subject, better
than I can do, and I will, therefore, conclude
with the assurance of my respectful esteem. CHAPTER XI.
I have to thank you for the flattering compliment that not only you (from whose friendship I might expect some little partiality), but
the circle also of your private friends, to whom
I am a stranger, take great interest in my
communications from this part of the world.
I will not, however, affect to be surprised that,
however homely the style of them, the
matter should possess some charms for you
denizens of the old world; because I can easily SYDNEY.
perceive that the adventures and scenes, and
strange conditions of society into which I have
been led by my rambling disposition, and
which have left such vivid impressions upon
me as an observer of, or actor in, them must,
even in description, however feeble, have the
charm of novelty for those who are languishing
for want of excitement, under the jog-trot
sameness of civilized and conventional life in
the West. Nor will I deny that I derive much
pleasure from corresponding with you on these
subjects, because it is only when I sit down
to recal my experience, and embody it in
litteris scriptls, that I begin to reflect and
philosophise upon it, and to feel that I have
not travelled from Dan to Beersheba, and
found all barren of useful and entertaining
knowledge. Your last, however, contained a
request with which I shall not be so foolish as
to attempt to comply. You wish me to give
you some ideas of "Life in the Bush;"
but, personally,  I  know little of it, except 222
a ramble or two to the Cow-Pastures,
which I have already described, and which,
after all, is but the mere fringe of life, and
character, and incident, in the "Bush." Nor
are any accounts of it to be gathered in the
settled districts, (beyond which my erratic star
has never led me to penetrate to any extent)
at all to be relied upon. Indeed the shopkeeper, or broker, of Sydney knows no more
of & Life in the Bush," ex officio, than the
slop-seller of Portsmouth does, by virtue of
cheating Jack when on shore, know of life
afloat. It is true that the Bushman comes
down once a year to Sydney to dispose of the
products of the Bush, and to take back provisions and other necessaries in return; but
the Bushman in the colonial metropolis is no
more like what he is while exerting his un-
ceasing watchfulness and activity in the
solitude of the interior, than the seaman, who
comes to London with his pocket full of money*
to unbend himself,  after the privations and SYDNEY.
restraints of ten or twenty months' voyage, is
like the same man buffeting, with an eye
always to the weather, the winds and waves
in the solitude of the ocean. You must recollect, too, that there were no bagmen who
travel into the Bush for orders, as they do
into the rural districts in England, and hence
the most valuable class of anecdote-mongers
are wanting to give us even sketchy outlines of
the life of a Bushman; and as for your mere
book-keeping travellers they know as little of
it as a Frenchman would learn of the graziers
of Lincolnshire from a Smithfield salesman,
who had never been further north than Bar-net
in his life. <
Fortunately, however, though I can tell you
little or nothing on this subject of my own
knowledge, I am enabled to furnish you with
some interesting particulars at second hand.
About a month ago I received a long letter
from an old friend of mine in the Bush, in
answer to one from me which anticipated the 224
UJ *? ■  w I;
very request contained in yours. I had hear$
by accident at Sydney that my old hospital
chum, Charles Onslow, had come out about
.six years ago, and had proceeded at once into
;the interior to commence the life of a Bushman. I at once wrote to him to inform him
that I also was in this part of the world, and
fhaviDg related my own ups and downs since
we had last parted in London, desired that he
would in like manner gratify my friendly
puriosity as to his own. I enclose his answer,
which will sufficiently speak for itself; but it
/will perhaps be better to preface it by informing you out of what materials this successful
and happy Bushman has been made,
Charles Onslow's father was a surgeon, en-
Joying a first-rate practice in a provincial town*
and educated him (he being an only child) to
Jus own profession, with. a view of his succeeding at a proper age to the business. He
received a tolerably good education—though
he was much fonder of stealing a mount upon one of his father's spare horses than making
a hobby of poor Pegasus—and in due time
he was sent up to " walk" one of the hospitals
in London. It was there that I first met him
as a fellow student; and, although our temperaments were strongly contrasted, it was
perhaps to that very reason that we became
such intimate friends. I was always observing
everything, but in a quiet way, whereas,
Onslow, though equally ardent to acquire a
knowledge of the world, was never happy unless the pursuit of it was productive of some
strong and stimulating excitement. You may
suppose, therefore, that there was a good deal
of that reckless dare-devil about him which
does not qualify a young man, for gaining
favour in that ordinary level of society, where
lie proprieties are considered to be almost as
essential as the virtues. Whether under ordinary circumstances, his tendency to become a
scapegrace might not have been checked as
maturer age taught him the necessity of not II
!f I »
offending the sober prejudices of the world in
which he was about to move, I cannot say;.
and his sudden succession, just after he had
attained the age of twenty-one, to a fortune of
seven thousand pounds by the death of his-
father, cut off every chance of this problem
being solved. What course of life he led for
some time after this event, you will be able
to infer pretty well from his letter, of which
the following is a transcript—
rt My dear  , ^
si I have not experienced
so much surprise and delight since I have resided here, divisus toto orbe as it were, in the
Bush as I did on the receipt of your letter.
Not that I have any hankering for the blase
old world which I have quitted; but one
cannot refrain from indulging in speculations
as to the fate of one's former friends and
companions; and curiosity is gratified by any SYDNEY.
information which enables one to retrace with
the mind's eye the scenes of our earlier
career, and note the changes which time has
wrought in the characters and fortunes of
those who once played a part in them. Need
I, therefore, repeat that to hear from you, not
only the earliest, but I may say the only,
friend (of course, I except my father) with
whom 1 ever truly sympathized in my younger
days, afforded me inexpressible gratification.
" Nor will you wonder, my dear , you
who know how pleasurable any sort of excite-*
ment is to me—that this gratification was
greatly heightened by my astonishment on
finding that you also should have made a weary
pilgrimage to the Antipodes, in search of adventures to satisfy an uneasy spirit, as well as
myself. As for me, my impetuosity and my
impatience of anything that is stale and con*
ventional, was certain to hurry me, sooner or
later, into taking a tangential flight from the
centre of civilization into distant and unknown SYDNEY.
regions, in search of something natural and
new. But for your more quiet temperament,
dashed as it is with a sort of semi-professional
passion for dissecting human nature, I should
have thought that the study of the excrescences
which the luxuries and privations of civilization have engendered in the body social of the
world in which you were born, would have
been sufficient. I should have as soon expected
to hear of a curious oyster leaving his ' native'
bed at Burnham to examine into the condition
of his fellow-creatures in the pearl fisheries of
Ceylon, as to hear of your whaling in the
Pacific, or philosophizing and trading at
. uBut a truce to these prosy reflections.
You wish to know what I have been doing:
since we parted; and, like a true Bushman, I
will dash in medias res at once.
" You are aware that just after having
attained my majority, and my examination at
the \ College,' my father died, leaving me about SYDNEY.
seven thousand pounds, and the reversion of
his practice. However, it would have been as
little desirable as it would have been agreeable
for me to start alone in my profession at that
early age; and I, therefore, contracted with a
medical man of name and standing to take a
share in the business, upon the condition that
he should manage the whole of it himself for
three years, while I was acquiring a little more
knowledge and manliness in London. Small,
however, was the portion of my time which I
devoted thenceforward to Professors and Pharmacopoeias. Possessed of so considerable a
sum of ready money, and with the best share
of a lucrative practice to fall back upon, if that
fund should be exhausted, I abandoned myself
to the indulgence of my craving for excitement
without stint. My first step was to make
myself at home at those places of convivial
resort—Coal-hole, Cyder-cellars, &c—^where
the sons of Apollo andThespis enjoy their midnight revels, after having gone through the laborious harmony and forced humour of the*
sta^e.    But I was soon tired of this sort of
The sameness of it, night after night,
in  a short  time  only  produced that sort  of
weariness which the musician in an orchestra
may be supposed to feel, who is doomed to sit
through the performance of the same opera for
half a season    without  change.     There  was
always the same set, and the same * feast of
reason and flow of soul,' until the affair at last
became as intolerable  as it would be to sit
down to the same dish with the same set of
faces before you for twelve months together.
I therefore looked out for something else, and
chance threw me into the t ring,' and here, for
a time, I certainly found a source of more
animating excitement.    To a medical student
the  development   of physical power in   the
heroes of the 'ring' is always an interesting
study; and besides this branch of t comparative
anatomy,' the science of Fistiana presents to
the novice seducing opportunities for making SYDNEY.
himself practically acquainted with the 'Doctrine of Chances.' In fact, while the amusement to be found at the 'Sporting Houses' of
the East and West continued to be racy from
its novelty, and heightened by the additional
excitement of betting, it was all very well.
But the manners of the P.K.., which at first
attracted from their unsophisticated rudeness,
soon disgusted by their revolting coarseness;
and even the passion for gambling in such an
arena vanished as soon as I discovered that in
every match to which I was a party, and in
every bet into which I was drawn, I was uniformly planted upon as a victim and a dupe by
a set of blackguard sharpers who, while flat-^
tering and spunging upon me, were only
chuckling in their sleeves at the fat flat who
had fallen into their clutches.
H With the change of scene, however, no
change took place in the bent of my inclinations^ Even the mortification of having been
gulled did not efface the pleasing infatuation of 23%
having something worth one's anxiety de-
pendent upon the hazard of events; and I only
sought to find what had become the principal
charm of my existence in a somewhat more
refined sphere. In short, J next sought to
dissipate the irksomeness of mental inaction
by " roughing" it among the well-dressed
(and iu many instances, well-bred) black legs
of the turf, and the fashionable roues of the
second-rate Hells in Bury Street, and the
Quadrant. But even here the fascination gave
way before the satiety of sameness; and so it
was in every subsequent stage of " Life of
London;" until at last, thoroughly fatigued
with the the vain pursuit after a stimulus
capable of exhausting the overflow of my
animal spirits, I sat down coolly to consider.
whether I had not adopted a mistaken course
for that purpose, from the first."
"I shall never be able, I thought to myself,>
to keep down these ever-teeming humours of
my temperament by such drastics as I have SYDNEY.
hitherto been taking to expurgate them. My
diseased state of mind requires a medicinal
regimen, the basis of which must be more
powerful ingredients than any I have hitherto
prescribed for myself—and those ingredients
are toil, difficulties, and dangers. As soon as
this new light broke upon me, I, at first,
turned my thoughts to the army; but then, in
these piping times of peace, I should be much
more likely to find my lot cast in the enervating lethargy of a Colonial barrack, than
amidst the exciting apprehensions" and aspirations of the march, the retreat, and the battlefield^ Then foreign travel, with its surprising
discoveries and ever-present perils invited me ;
but my forture was no longer adequate for
such a life of adventure, as I had barely fifteen
hundred pounds of my original patrimony left.
I had been turning these and other schemes
over in my mind without arriving at any satisfactory result for more than a fortnight, when
I accidentally alighted upon an amusing article
mm Pflr
a >',m, I
***'«! •(■:
in one of the Magazines, descriptive of the
hardships and enjoyments of life in the Bush
of Australia. No fiction of romance ever interested me so much as the startling realities
which were there portrayed. Eureka I I exclaimed, with more rapture than ever astronomer did over the discovery of a long-
sought star; and my mind was instantly, and
unchangeably, made up to pursue my destiny
in the virgin wildernesses of the southern
hemisphere. I have said that I had still fifteen
hundred pounds left; I disposed of my interest
in my late father's business to my partner for
another twelve hundred pounds; and in less
than ten months I found myself at Sydney,
well equipped for a residence in the Bush, and
with an account of £2,500 at the Bank of
If Being a single man, and in rather independent circumstances, I resolved, before
finally settling down, to acquire some experience by a tour of observation in the Bush for SYDNEY.
a twelve-month. Mounted upon a strong and
good-paced horse, and with no other baggage
than my arms, which consisted of a musket, a
brace of pistols, and an axe, and a knapsack
furnished with a blanket, a change of linen,
and a supplementary pair of stout, moleskin
trousers, behold me crossing the frontier of the
narrow belt of sea-board which comprises the
settled district of New South Wales. The
few necessaries I required, such as tea, tobacco, &c, were stowed away in the capacious
pockets of my stout, fustian shooting-jacket.
" The appearance of the country before me
was, at first, anything but promising ; tracts of
stunted scrub and stony waste succeeding each
other, alternately, for a considerable distance.
This cheerless phenomenon, however, did not,
as might have been expected, depress me; on
the contrary, I never experienced more
elasticity of spirit in my life. Of course, I
attributed this to the stimulus of the adventures in store for me; but I afterwards learned 236
91    ■',(■
m II
to account for it in a much more natural way;
Once beyond the taint of the denser haunts of
men, the atmosphere of Australia is the most
exhilarating in the world; the genial warmth
of it not being counteracted, as the similar
temperature of India and America, by steaming exhalations from the soil. It is not, however, altogether exempt from the sudden convulsions common to all climes, in which the
air is unequally rarified, as I had an opportunity of testing before I had travelled twenty
miles into the interior. A tornado suddenly
gave evidence of its approaching from the
East, by the huge spiral column of dust and
leaves, and even branches of trees which
seemed to sport madly on the wings of the
whirl-wind; in less than two minutes it was
upon me, and had not my steed understood the
nature of the crisis better than I did, I should
certainly have been unhorsed in the very outset of my first trip in the Bush. The sagacious animal turned his head to leeward, and planting his fore-feet into the ground at an
angle, and drawing in his hind quarters at a
parallel inclination, opposed the resistance of
his whole weight to the fury of the storm,
while, by throwing myself forward on his;
mane, I afforded it as little surface as possible
to act upon. In ten minutes it had passed
as far to the West as I had first observed it in
the East; and, except that I was smothered
with dust, I suffered no inconvenience from
the rencontre.
" The appearance of the country at last began
to improve. Belts of woodland and pasture
succeeded to those of scrub and flint; and huts
which appeared in the distance like dark spots
scattered over the horizon indicated that at
this point man had again re-commenced bis
labours upon the soil. As the sun was now
setting, I resolved to stop for the night at the
first station in my path, well knowing that,
belong to whom it might, I should be hospitably entertained.
jwi   ■   _. imv atfl&li l,;
hi i:
"On approaching the hut, I was much
struck by its external appearance; for, contrary to what I had been led to expect, it
seemed as if the owner had been attempting
to give to it something of the air of a sporting-
box on the northern Moors of our native land.
The hut-keeper, who welcomed our arrival,
after informing me that his master had been
for some time down at Sydney, conducted me
into the hut, the parlour of which, I was surprised to observe, was, though excessively
dirty, ornamented with a profusion of guns,
saddlery, and other appurtenances, which indicated far greater taste for the rural diversion
of old England than for the privations and
toils of the Bush. The Major Domo set before
me a dish of mutton chops, some damper—that
is, cakes similar to the short cakes of Lincolnshire, only that they are baked in the hot
embers instead of upon a tile—and a large
panikin of tea, which I was compelled to
sweeten from the stock of sugar I had with me. But though this was my first taste of
Bush fare, I enjoyed it heartily; and not finding my deputy host a very conversible companion, I retired early to rest.
" I learned afterwards that the owner of this
"run" was a young man of good family, who
bad come out with about three thousand
pounds, and had purchased it ready fenced
and built upon to his hands. His first object
was to reconcile his dwelling with the tastes
and habits which he had acquired at home;
and of which, though they had partially ruined
him there, he had not the sense or pluck to
divest himself in the very different country of
his adoption. He had, as might be expected,
been pretty well fleeced in the stocking of his
land; and as his continual hankering after the
billiard rooms and other gaieties of Sydney,
led him to abandon the management of his
flocks to a superfluous number of hired servants, everything was going to the devil as
fast as possible.    In less than a year after my
KB? 240
| 111
visit, the whole concern was sold under execution ; and the exquisite colonist returned a
beggar to his friends in England, who had
fondly afforded him this chance of retrieving a
dissipated fortune, to abuse the colony, its inhabitants, and everything connected with it.
" 1 continued my journey the next morning,
the woodlands, and belts of pasture becoming
gradually broader and more luxuriant, and the
intervals of arid and stony land less frequent.
About noon I entered a forest which I had to
traverse for about twelve miles; and here, for
the first time, burst upon me all the glories and
sublimities of the solitude of the Bush. Solitude indeed it could hardly be called, for never
had I seen animated nature so joyous and beautiful before. From every branch the mocking
parrot, or coquettish cockatoo, were carrying
on their lively mimicry or flirtation ; and, as I
rode along, I was amused, without ceasing, by
the tricks and evolutions which I could almost
fancy these feathered jesters and tumblers were
going through to testify the welcomeness of
my visit amongst them. The forest scenery,
too, was different from any I had ever beheld
before. Though the trees stood as densely as
in the forests of Europe, they did not interpose
an umbrageous and gloomy canopy between
the light of Heaven and the traveller. The
leaves presenting their edges, instead of their
surfaces, to the sun, the sward beneath appeared
like a carpet of golden ground intersected
capriciously by dark zigzag lines which, ever
varying with the trembling foliage from moment
to moment, presented, like the kaleidoscope, a
succession of pleasing designs to the eye.
Indeed, it was not until I emerged again into
the silent and monotonous pasture, beyond, that
the sense of being alone returned upon me.
| Once more, at sunset, I pulled up at a hut,
and received that invariable greeting which is
tendered to every stranger in the Bush. The
host, on this occasion, was a stout man, past
the middle age, and whom, from his build, you
W< 14
would at once pronounce as an emigrant farmer
from the mother country. Finding that I was
a i new chum '—that is, a new arrival in the
Colony—he regretted that he shotfld not be
ible to ? sleep ' me very comfortably, but hoped
that I should be able to plank it, nevertheless,
among the good company with which his hut
was then honoured. On entering into the
salle a manger, he introduced me to nine or ten
other visitors who had all casually dropped in,
and who were then busily engaged in making
scarce the eternal mutton chops, damper, and
pannikins of tea. I was soon one of them;
and, in spite of the homeliness of our beverage,
and the vulgarity of our short and blackened
pipes, it was one of the most agreeable evenings
I ever spent. To be sure, we had no political
discussion, no theatrical criticism, no fashionable scandal, nor even so much as the news of
the day wherewith to amuse ourselves; but we
bad something, to me, infinitely more piquant
— stories of Bush-ranger's actrocities, of fights SYDNEY.
at alarming odds with the Aborigines, of the
ravages and hunting down of the native wild
dogs, of the mysterious loss and miraculous
recovery of whole flocks and herds, and of the
perils and disasters of long journeys, with their
heavy drays, between the far Bush and Sydney,
through almost impassable forests, across precipitous ravines, and swollen rivers, and over
swamps and morasses, which threatened to
engulph not only wain and oxen, but the horse
and his rider. For me, the narratives possessed
a more romantic interest than I can describe,
and confirmed my sanguine anticipations that
here at least I should find adventures sufficiently
rapid and stirring to work off the hot blood
which ' my mother gave me ' to the utter unfitting of me for the dull and unvaried recreations of civilized life.
% As our host could only supply one, or at
the most, two of us with a bed by giving up
his own, that courtesy was by universal consent
awarded to me; but I refused to avail myself
m 2
•m'&\ If,'- II   "
i» 'ft.
' '"ft ?
of it; I was eager to commence my life in the
Bush in earnest, and therefore persisted in
bivouacing for the night with the rest of the
party in the wool-shed. Wrapt in my blanket,
and stuffing my shooting-jacket into the knapsack to make a pillow, I threw myself upon
the floor, and slept a more refreshing sleep
than I had ever enjoyed on a bed of down.
" I arose early the next morning, and had
time to look about me before breakfast, as I
was anxious to do, in order to contrast the
management of a born and bred farmer with
that of the " gentleman" Bushman at whose
station I had last sojourned. My inspection
greatly disappointed me, for I found as much
inactivity, disorder and slovenliness at this
station, as at the other. The bullocks had
strayed during the night, and the driver
and his watchman stood gaping at each other,
as if waiting for some inspiration as to the
direction in which, like Saul the son of Kish,
they ought to seek them; and the good man SYDNEY,
himself seemed to think that he was fully
meeting the urgency of the case by lustily
swearing that his two trustworthy servants
spent the whole of their time in finding the
cattle one day, and losing them the next.
(j Not so his guests. No sooner were they
made acquainted with his loss, than they were
all in their saddles, myself included, and prepared to scour the country round for the recovery of the wanderers. We radiated off in
pairs to the different points of the compass,
each pair being attended by a rough, Scotch
colly, and a bob-tailed, Smithfield lurcher, and
armed with those formidable stock-whips,
which the wildest bullock, who has once had a
taste of her lash, never hears without trembling.
Off we went at a spanking gallop, taking no
heed of up-hill or down-hill, however steep,
and clearing the fallen timber and creeks in
our way, at a fly. When we had in this way
departed about a  couple  of  miles from the
•'.«; ■■'•..
centre of our movements (the hut), at an
understood signal we severally turned short
to the right and followed each other rapidly
in a circle around it; and the experienced Bushmen, having ascertained that the cattle had not
passed this cordon, dispersed themselves over
the area within it, to discover in what amphi-
theatrical valley they were browsing, or to
what gulley they had resorted for water.
Presently the clang of whips, the short, sharp
barking of dogs, above which rose the Bushman's cry of c Tail 'em! Tail 'em, boys!5
which was heard to our right; and, the
other parties all making in that direction,
we were soon in a body driving the cattle
furiously before us at a pace, which no one
can conceive who has not witnessed the extraordinary speed of the Australian kine.
Never did I enjoy a half-hour's burst behind
the most clipping pack of fox-hounds so much,
or relish after it a deviled bone and a draught SYDNEY.
October, more than I did the mutton
chop and pannikin of tea, which awaited us
after our exploit.
" The road of one of my new friends not
lying very wide from the direction of. my Own,
he kindly offered, in order to show me the
nearest route, to see me ten or twelve miles
on my way g and, as we rode at our leisure,
I learned from him some particulars respecting
our late host, which explained to me the causes
why the management of his i Bun9 was, obviously even to me, so very indifferent. He
had occupied rather a large sheep-farm in
Wiltshire, and finding that his returns did not
enable him, with the utmost economy, to face
the landlord and the tax-gatherer, without
trenching upon his capital, he resolved to
emigrate to a land where those unpleasant
visitors are unknown, jj He came here,' said
my informant, Iand took to the \ Bun' he
now holds; but, though he had been living
among sheep all his life-time in  England, he jit
11 i
was as little calculated for the management of
a sheep-farm in the Bush, as if he had not
learned the difference between a ewe and a
tup. Sheep-farming in England is an occupation over which the grazier and his shepherd
may almost go to sleep, except in the lambing-
season ; but here a man need have a hundred
eyes, and a hundred hands to conduct it successfully. Indeed, here it is a different business
altogether, when we have those two curses to
contend with, the scab and the wild dog, to
say nothing of the wide extent to which our
flocks are apt to ramble if not diligently attended to ; and, therefore, the man who comes
out here to make his fortune by breeding sheep
with the conceit that he knows all about their
nature and habits, is sure to make a failure of
it, because he will not set about unlearning
his old lessons, and learning the little which is
peculiarly required for his calling in this
country. Our friend, too, made another serious blunder in bringing out with him his very knowing old shepherd to superintend his flocks,
and one of his waggoners to officiate as his
principal bullock-driver. A Manchester weaver,
or a Birmingham button maker, or a Sheffield
grinder, make much better shepherds here,
than any born and bred shepherds from England, Scotland, or Wales; because the former
have no prejudices to get rid of, while you
have to drive (if you can) a host of old notions out of the heads of the latter, before you
can drive into them the slightest conception of
what they are required to do, and to contend
with, in the Bush. Besides, your English
farmers, and farm-servants, have been used to
so many conveniences that they have no idea
of the shifts that must be, and, where there is
a resolute will not to be beat, can be made in
the Bush ; and hence they leave a hundred
things undone, which are all material to success, because they have been accustomed not
to do them at home.    What is wanted here is,
m 5 m If
'mis- •■:
■ W
IT Si ' '
not an European education in agriculture, but
an active mind which can apply itself to anything, and which will fish out for itself, not
only what, under the peculiar circumstances, is
to be done, but how it can be done; and, it is
from the want of this quality in our friend
and his servants that the management of his
6 run' is so slovenly and unsatisfactory as it is.
"I was comforting myself with the reflection that I was at least unencumbered with any
previous knowledge of the business to which I
was about to devote myself, when my fellow
traveller directed my attention to several dark
and motionless objects which appeared on our
field of view about a furlong out of the line
which we were traversing. In reply to his
question, what I conceived they might be, I
said that I took them for the burnt stumps of
trees; upon which he gave a loud crack with
his stock-whip, and these seemingly inert
masses of matter at once started into life and SYDNEY.
scampered away from us in an oblique direction, and with a speed, which would have done
credit to the swiftest of your sporting pedestrians*
8 My companion informed me that this sort
of pose plastique was a trick, to which the
Aborigines usually resorted when they wished
to avoid observation; and that, therefore, he
apprehended that the blackies, who had just
given us leg-bail, had some mischief in hand.
Nor was it long before these apprehensions
were verified:—we had not proceeded more
than a mile when we observed a dense cloud
of smoke, issuing, as it were, from the bowels
of the earth, at some distance from us to the
north west; and then a lambent and lurid
flame burst forth, which ran with terrific
rapidity in a line parallel to that of the route
we were pursuing; and then, having deployed,
as it were, to the full extent of its forces, began
to advance upon us at the rate of the quick
inarch of an attacking enemy.
•Si? 252
n §
"t Those viUanous blackies,9 said my com*
panion, c have set fire to the dry herbage—let
us haste on to the nearest station, and give the
alarm, or the fire will be down upon them, and
consume them, before they can entrench themselves against it.'
(8 And driving his spurs deep into the flanks
of his horse, he was off at a furious gallop, as if
on a business of life or death. Of course I
followed in his wake, and in about twenty
minutes we arrived at the station where he was
so anxious to give the alarm. From this point
the advance of the fire was just then concealed
by a high ridge of upland; but no sooner were
the inmates apprized of the coming danger than
&11 hands were busily employed in entrenching
their little fortress against it—an operation
which consisted in clearing a considerable
circular space around it, by setting fire to the
grass-, and when it had been sufficiently burnt
down to afford no pabulum to the hostile
flames which were coming down upon them?
m beating it out with branches of trees, or anything else that was at hand for the purpose.
Scarcely had we thus fortified ourselves within
a little desert, which tabooed us, as it were,
from the incursions of the approaching conflagration, than it made its appearance on the
crown of the upland ridge to which I have
alluded, swept down the declivity like a stream
of liquid flame, and then advanced steadily
upon us, until at last we found ourselves surrounded, as it were, by a circular wall of fire.
The heat was intense, but of short duration,
for the destroying angel did not slacken in his
pace, but passed on steadily to the East, and
was followed by a refreshing breeze, to fill up
the vacuum which its scorching breath had
created. Little or no damage had been done ;
having taken lunch with the proprietor of the
station, my companion summoned me to prepare for our departure with as much nonchalance
as if nothing extraordinary had happened.
'You will find some difficulty,' observed
m J-54
Mr. Smith (for such was the name of my
guide) c in continuing your route to the point
you intended, because the blaze which these
rascals have kicked up will have obliterated all
traces of the track we shall pursue. 1 do not,
therefore, think that you could do better than
come with me, and pass a few days at my
station, if time is no great object to you, as you
will there meet with all the principal settlers
for forty miles round, who are about to assist
me in conducting the sports, and doing the
honours, of my annual Bushman's feast.'
" I gladly complied with this invitation, and
in a few hours we arrived, and Were welcomed
by a numerous retinue of servants at his hut.
<c On entering the hut my host found a
considerable number of guests already assembled in anticipation of the grand to-do on
the morrow; and a more picturesque tableau
than the one they presented to a stranger cannot be imagined. Picture to yourself a dozen
stalwart, youngs and middle-aged men, form- ing five-sixths of a circle, round a blazing
wood fire—conceive them habited pretty much
after the fashion of discarded game-keepers,
turned poachers, in England ; and their waists
encircled by broad, leathern belts in which
huge pistols are stuck, ready to be used right
or left, while the savageness of their appearance is so heightened by their thick, bushy,
beards that it would excite suspicion, if not
terror, were it not relieved by the honest conviviality which sparkles in their eyes—and you
have a scene before you which I wish you
could send us some modern Salvator Rosa to
immortalize. They all rose when they perceived that their host was accompanied by a
stranger, whose outward man at once satisfied
them that he was a new recruit to the Bush,
and without waiting for any formal introduction, welcomed me amongst them with
every demonstration of satisfaction.
" Mr. Smith withdrew me for awhile into
an inner room to partake of* some solid re- 256
freshment, which by this time we very much
needed, and we then rejoined the company in
what might be termed the hall of the Bush-
man's residence. As this was the eve of a
grand, annual festival, the usual abstinence
observed by the denizens of the Bush, was
relaxed, and our tea was allowed to acquire
a strong flavour of Jamaica rum. In fact,
instead of tea we revelled that night in tea-
punch ; and the time, most agreeably to me,
was passed by my companions in recounting
their adventures, since their re-union, or in
discussing the probable fate of several gangs
of Bushrangers who had been recently hunted
down, and carried back to Sydney for trial.
8 The history of one of these miscreants
was such a harrowing one, and is, altogether,
so illustrative of the horrid life which they
must lead, that I will endeavour to tell it to
you as nearly as possible as it was told to
" I must first apprize you that the  most SYDNEY.
atrocious, or incorrigible convicts, are confined
to a distant settlement by themselves, where
they are employed in chain-gangs by day, and
as soon as their hours of labour are over, are
transferred to a sort of land-bulk, where they
are confined by night. So intolerable does
this sort of life become to them, that they have
been frequently known to have murdered their
contiguous convicts, from no other motive
than that of ending their sufferings on the
scaffold; and you will, therefore, not be surprised to learn that they still more frequently
make the most dangerous attempts at escape.
In this, though extremely difficult, three convicts had lately succeeded; and also in making
their way to the far Bush, by traversing which
they hoped to find their way to some point
on the coast, where a vessel might possibly
pick them up, and carry them either to India
or Europe.
i On their route to the Bush they had each
contrived to furnish  themselves,   feloniously,
mm *s
. r>!Mi;
■ !$&
with a hatchet, but with nothing more. For
the first three days they struggled onwards
without either food or drink; and on the
fourth, famine and despair could be read by
each in the glaring eyes of his companions.
Simultaneously a horrid thought struck them
all: namely, that one must fall to satisfy the
furious cravings of  the survivors; and then,
CD y *?
also, simultaneously, each was seized with the
horrid fear that he was marked out as the
victim by the other two. All day long they
walked abreast, neither of them daring to
leave his companions in his rear, and each
manoeuvering, by side-way movements, so as
not to be the centre of the line, lest he should
be cut off from flight, both to the left and
right. Night came, but they dared not sleep ;
and in the morning they moved on in silent
but terrible agitation as before. At last one
of them made a sudden leap, and with the
blow of his hatchet brought down the man
upon his left. 11 cannot go through the details of the
worse than Cannibal-feast which succeeded.
The survivors fed their full, and resumed their
journey; but, though their appetites were for
awhile appeased, they made no approach to
companionship. They felt that they were only
two\ and that, when the dire necessity recurred, there was no alternative for them but
to murder, or be murdered, to satisfy it.
Neither of them dared to remain within arm's
length of his fellow traveller, lest he should
be unawares attacked ; and yet, neither of
them was willing to allow the other to get at
a distance from him, lest his prey should escape.
At last, after two wearisome days, and sleepless nights, one of them sank to the earth from
utter exhaustion; the last man sprang upon
his prostrate body, but when he had butchered
it, he was seized with an unaccountable loathing for the feast he had so long been craving
for, and fled in horror from the corpse. He
was now alone!    No, not alone; for his sicl$ ma
; -.v.-'p
.«.    ilta. .Wn
and fevered brain conjured up his slaughtered
companions? who seemed on either side to accompany him, and with fixed and glaring eyes
to be watching for an opportunity to inflict
the same fate upon him, as they had suffered
themselves. How long he wandered under
this maddening hallucination is not known.
He was found by some stockmen on the borders of a forest in a senseless state; and to
them, when he was restored to consciousness,
he confessed all that he had done and undergone, and implored them to deliver him up,
that he might terminate his miserable ex-
istence as soon as possible by the gallows. His
wish was, of course, complied with; and, at
the time that we were assembled under our
hospitable friend's roof he was awaiting the
execution of his sentence.
At an early hour we retired to rest; the
guests, who had each brought his own blanket,
contenting themselves with a shake-down of
clean straw on the thrashing floor of the barn, SYDNEY.
and making their saddles serve as pillows for
the nonce. At dawn we turned out into the
stock-yard, thoroughly re-invigorated, though
of course we had dispensed with the refreshing
luxuries of the toilet; and here we found a
strong accession of neighbouring stockholders
to our party, who had dropped in with their
horses and dogs before dav-break. A sub-
stantial breakfast was soon dispatched ; and
then presto! every man was in his saddle and
prepared for the stock-hunt. Our (field' consisted of nearly thirty horsemen, with a pack
of upwards of a hundred dogs, such as I have
before described, and without further delay we
dispersed ourselves into the Bush to tail the
cattle, and drive them into the Camping-
Ground. This is mostly achieved without
much trouble, for the Camping-Ground is
generally a shaded and well-watered spot, to
which the cattle have been disciplined by the
Stockmen to resort to during the heat of the
day, and the gathering, therefore, is effected
\WL 262
without much difficulty by noon, except when
a scarcity of grass has induced the cattle to
roam in search of better pastures at a distance
from their 'run.' But then comes the tug of
war. The cattle have now to be driven from
the Camping-Ground into the Stockyard,
where they have to be drafted into separate
partitions, in order that the stockholder may
c take stock' respectively of his cows, bullocks,
heifers, and calves, and also baptise the latter
into his herd with the branding iron. Urged
on by the sharp, pistol-like, cracks of the
stockwhips, and by the incessant barking of
the dogs, the cattle, at first, appear to obey
with much docility; but no sooner does the
sight of the stockyard recal to the recollection
of some of the more sagacious old ones the
rough treatment they have formerly received
there, than they set an example of resistance
which is, of course, followed bv the whole herd.
With one consent they turn round, and in
every direction attempt to break through the SYDNEY,
cordon of  horsemen   and dogs, which, up to
this time, they have allowed to close in gradually upon them; and then commences an uproar of bellowing, and barking, and hallooing,
and swrearing, and a feu-de-joie of stockwhip
thongs, which makes the welkin ring again over
the visible horizon.    Not one must be allowed
to escape—but see, there is one off, and bounding across the 'run' like a land-porpiose.    A
couple of horsemen and their dogs are after
him; but the beast has got a good start, and
now is the time to prove the horsemanship of
the Bushman!   A flowing rein is given to his
steed, with a simultaneous plunge of the spurs
into his flanks, and awTay he thunders over the
'run' after the fugitive,  while his rider, his
gaudy i Belcher'  fluttering, and his long hair
streaming, in the wind—for his hat seems to
be towed after him by the string which secures
it to his jacket—urges him furiously over fallen
timber, and perilous fissures on the earth, and
through  rocky  gullies, and   swampy  creeks,
m which a Centaur himself might reasonably
hesitate about f taking !' Ah ! he has headed
his game, and is driving it homeward —but no
—the beast has doubled like a hare, and is off
once more for the far wilderness! Quick as
thought the well-trained steed has spun round
too, and is after him—the same manoeuvres are
repeated again and again, the beast never
doubling until the horse is running him neck-
and-neck, until at last the former is completely exhausted, and is compelled to make
his way back, foaming, panting, and bleeding,
as the only means of obtaining a respite from
the Bushman's knout, which at every stroke
has cut him to the flesh. Within your field
of view twenty such scenes as these are being
enacted at the same time; and the excitement
of the melee is occasionally increased by a wild
bullock, who has found his way amongst the
herd, and who, scorning either to obey or fly,
fights like an Andalusian, and only yields
when he is pinned, nose and heel, by half-a-
dozen of the dogs. fj When the cattle are once got into the
stock-yard, the sport may be said to be over.
In drafting, the poor creatures receive a plentiful measure of goading and cudgelling, and
tail-screwing, as a punishment for not comprehending the wishes of their masters; but
there is not much amusement in this, and still
less in the branding and cutting of the 'rising
generation' among the herd which follows. It
is late in the day before all these labours are
completed, and then they are wound up in the
evening by the 'Bushman's Feast.'
¥ With the exception that our party was more
numerous, and perhaps somewhat more bent
upon enjoying themselves, this evening was
spent pretty much in the same manner as the
last. I gathered, however, a i new w?rinkle' as
to Bush life in the course of it. I found that
the stock-holders of the Bush—of which class
our party was exclusively composed—not only
regarded the drudgery of sheep-breeder as
vexatious,   but its pursuits as comparatively
ignoble. Indeed, the life of a stock-holder is
by far the'most romantic, as he is constantly on
horseback from morning to night, and ranging
far and wide with some exciting obiect in view
—tracking stray cattle, or exterminating the
wild dog—while, on the other hand, he has
nothing to do with that filthy and everlasting
torment of the sheep-run, the scab. The feeling of the thorough-going Stock-holder towards
the duller'and more tiresome, but more profitable occuption of sheep-breeding is somewhat akin to that which the military adventurers of the era of chivalry may be supposed to
have entertained for the plodding and exacting
but more lucrative pursuits of commerce. I
need hardly tell you that my election was made
at once, and that I have since sought health
and wealth in the tending of my herds.
" Our party broke up the following day;
but Mr. Smith, aware that my more immediate
object was to acquire information, which might
prove valuable to me when I should determine SYDNEY.
to settle down in a c Run,' invited me to prolong my visit ad libitum. I gladly accepted
the offer and for more than a fortnight attended
him in the overlooking of his extensive concerns. Nothing could be more admirable than
the vigour, the regularity, and what was of
equal importance, the liberality of his management ; for it is of the utmost consequence to
the success of a large Stock-holder that, while
he keeps his Stock-men rigorously up to their
work by his "vigilance, he should also attach
them to his interest by the well-timed generosity of his treatment. And, would you
believe it—this same Mr. Smith was in Eng-
land nothing more than a linen-draper! Finding, as he informed me, that the old game in
that trade of buying job-lots of draperies,
which had become depreciated by the superannuation of their patterns, and then blazoning them forth to the public as the
effects of a bankruptcy to be cleared in a few
days at a stupendous sacrifice,'   had  grown
n 2
I Ifl
M If
* flat, stale, and unprofitable,' he resolved to
capitalize his assets, and try his fortune in the
yet unreclaimed wilds of Australia. You
must not, however, suppose that Mr. Smith
was an aboriginal cockney. In fact, there are
very few stirring men of business in the
middle walks of life in London, who have
not, in the first instance, pushed their way up
from the country—younger sons, and others,
who are compelled to make up, by enterprize,
for the accidental disadvantages of birth, or
station—and these men never forget the pursuits and the sports amongst which their boyhood and youth were past. Mr. Smith had
been one of these cadets of the agricultural
order; and, therefore, although his genuine
cockney friends shrugged up their shoulders
at the wildness of his Australian adventure*
he was not quite so unfitted to prosecute it
with success, as, in their ignorance of his
real character, they supposed.
"Indeed  he was the   better fitted for   it, SYDNEY.
from not having become bigoted, by force of
habit, to any of the * provincial systems of
farming, in favour of which such strong, local
prejudices exist at home. His mind was open
to square his own system with the necessities
which he might have to encounter; and, by
the advice of his friend, who was an old settler
in New South Wales, he selected such servants
as he chose to take out with him, from classes
who would have still less to unlearn in the
new world they were going to, than himself.
e That fellow/ he said to me one day, pointing
to a man who was working in the best ordered
kitchen-garden to be found within fifty miles
of his station, P is worth his weight in gold to
me. I knew that I should want'a gardener;
but, instead of selecting one of your blue-
apron professionals, who can shave lawns and
trim hedges and box-borders as neatly as a
barber will shave the chin and trim the
whiskers of a dandy, I fixed upon a cobler,
whom I accidently observed one Sunday morn-
ing planting cabbages and hilling potatoes on
on a few perches of a large piece of waste,
opposite the old church of St. Pancras, which
had for years been abandoned to any one who
chose temporarily to cultivate it, until customers could be found to take it upon building-
leases. This man was, of course, in his way
an example of the * pursuit of knowledge
under difficulties/ had learned how to make
anything do for a tool, when he was not master
of a proper one, and to make a thousand shifts
which an educated Scotch gardener would
never have dreamed of—and in fact was just
the man for the Bush, where few things that
are wanted in the way of implements are at
his hand, and where, if his mother-wit cannot
find a substitute for them, he is of no more
use than a man without hands. A kitchen
garden is invaluable here; but I never should
have had one if I had trusted to one of your
scientific gardeners, who can do nothing without a whole out-house full of tools.' SYDNEY.
** Ultimately, as our intercourse proved mutually agreeably to us, it was arranged that I
should serve my year's probation with Mr.
Smith; but, as the nearest distance at which
an unlicensed 'Run' was to be obtained was
nearly two hundred miles further into the interior, he kindly proposed to accompany me
thither, for the purpose of advising me in
making a prudent selection. This is a matter
which requires great knowledge of the country,
for there are many places which, at certain
seasons, would tempt the eye, by the luxuriance of their verdure, but which, at other
seasons, would become nothing more than arid
plains, or swampy marshes, from the drying
up, or overflowing, of the stream^ upon which
they bordered. Our excursion—which Mr.
Smith assured me cost him nothing on the
score of time, as he only sacrificed to it a long
visit which he had intended to make to Sydney,
and which would have been productive to him
of less pleasure—occupied us more than six
I J: ft
weeks. Of the nature, however, of the reception and adventures we met with, you can
form a tolerably correct idea from my description of the past. To me the scenery and
mode of life would have been charming without alloy, had it not been for the total absence
of the greatest of all the charms of civilized
life—I mean female society. After we had
left Mr. Smith's station fifty miles behind us,
we did not meet with one European woman
during the whole of our future travels into
and about the 'Bush'—an unfortunate feature
of life in the Bush, which I have since observed with a more painful feeling than one of
simple regret, to be as productive of moral
evil, as it is fatal to real domestic enjoyment.
" With such a Mentor as Mr. Smith I could
not fail to secure an eligible jj Bun;' and, this
object being accomplished, we turned our
backs on the still untrodden wilderness to the
north, and returned, by a direct route, to the
home where   my   short   apprenticeship as a SYDNEY.
Bushman was to be passed. The time seemed
to speed as rapidly as it was spent pleasantly,
and I may say profitably, also; for Mr. Smith's
tuition, together with the active part which he
took in selecting my stock, and household outfit for the Bush, enabled me to commence the
career of a Stockholder without suffering any
of those losses, impositions, and obstructions,
which generally fall to the lot of what, in
'Bush-patois, is called a ' raw arrival.' And
here I am now enjoying the labours, the
sports, and the pleasures of life in the Bush
with as much zest as I did the first day that
I set foot upon it.    I can say, my dear ,
that I am neither a disappointed, or discontented man; and who among our friends in
that blase old world of theirs can conscientiously say as much.
"Yours, &c.
"J. 0."
N 5 rer
Many thanks for the parcel, my dear ,
of papers, reviews, &c., which in due course
reached me yesterday, just before we dropped
anchor for our present excursion; and especially for your kind consideration that the
pamphlet on our Fisheries in this part of the
world would be peculiarly interesting to me.
It is a strange coincidence that many of the
views on this subject, which Mr. Endcrby has AT  SEA.
set forth in his proposal for the re-establishing
our Fisheries in the Southern Pacific have
been for some time elaborating themselves in
my own head, which, since my last trip to the
Whaling Grounds, has been full of vague
conceptions as to the riches which our hardy
seamen might reap there, if our enterprising
merchants could only hit upon some more
inexpensive mode of gathering in the harvest,
and transporting its fruits to their own warehouses in England. This idea first struck me
from noticing the advantages wrhich our
Whaling expeditions from Australia possessed
over those sent out from Europe or America,
although their products had to be realized in
the same distant market, and, in spite of their
inferiority on the score of Capital. All these
advantages are directly referable to their contiguity to the scene of the Whaler's labours;
or rather, I should say, all the disadvantages
under which the Southern Whale Fishery has
been gradually abandoned by the merchants of
fal I.I
till mi?
: r ■„:
Great Britain are directly referable to the great
distance of the place of outfit from the actual
field of enterprize—an economical consideration
which I am surprised should have escaped the
notice of a class of men who are accustomed in
all their mercantile operations to take into strict
account the smallest items of profit and loss,
and especially as in this particular matter the
waste of labour, time, and materials, under the
old system, was such a large figure in the
balance-sheet of every voyage, that it could
hardly have failed to be suggestive of the
question, whether there were no means of
avoiding it.
Curiously enough, this idea first struck me
as I stood gazing over the Pacific from one of
the Hills of that very island which Mr. Enderby
proposes to convert into a depdt for the produce
of the Southern Fisheries. In the month of
April last, the Whaler to which I was engaged
stopped at Auckland Island, not to refit—for
your Colonial Whalers only being out   one AT SEA.
season, are not subject to such inconveniences
and delays—but simply, pour passer le temps
for awhile, because we had ascertained that we
should otherwise be somewhat too early on the
Whaling Ground, and of course I did not lose
the opportunity of making myself as much as
possible acquainted with the spot which may
be considered as one of the solecisms in the order
of nature. Few spots have been discovered,
even in the most barren and secluded quarters
of the globe, in which some Aboriginal, or
migrant race has not been found, or in which
traces, at least, could not be detected of their
having at some former time been inhabited by
man. But in this island there is no sign whatever of its having been a habitation of the
human species before it was discovered by
one of Mr. Enderby's Whaling ships in 1806.
There is something imposing in the thought
that you are penetrating into such an undoubted
primeval solitude; the excitement of curiosity
is dashed by a feeling of awe as the imagina-
i'i< ,v.-t..-.,./! MmJPHI
tion suggests that you are about to trespass on
one of the sanctuaries of nature, hitherto undisturbed from the date of its creation, except
by the tuneful choristers of the woods; and I
have wandered whole days moralizing, and
philosophising, or dreaming, of Alexander
Selkirks and Robinson Crusoes, while I thought
I was simply investigating the botany and
ornithology of this terra incognita.
But how, my dear , the poetical, even
in a reverie, gives way to the utilitarian, when
a glorious scheme is suggested  to the acquisition  of riches!    When   I  had  made  myself
master of Mr. Enderby's splendid project for
converting this hitherto uninhabited spot into
a flourishing   seat  of cheerful industry  and
active commerce, I could not refrain from discussing the subject with myself in the following
strain:—After all, I reasoned, there is little
cause for wonder in this island having been so
long doomed to the neglect of man, and still
less for regret that it should be at last brought
m within the sphere of civilization. For how
many ages have the most wonderful secrets of
nature been hidden from man, because he has
been too incurious, or too indolent, or too
bigotted to deviate from the beaten track?
And when, at last, some accident, or
some adventurous, or inquisitive, spirit
has brought them to light, of wrhat a large accession to the aggregate of human happiness
they have been productive! If some wizard
were to afford us, by his magic speculum, a
prophetic exhibition of the changes which will
some day be effectuated in that island, what a
great and happy transformation would he foreshadow ! First, he would exhibit it to us as
a little desert in the ocean, walled in against
the aggression of the waves by precipitous,
basaltic cliffs, and clad in a defensive dress of
rampant verdure matted with thick and tangled
underwood, as if to ward off the intrusion of
man. Suddenly the scene dissolves away, and
another is gradually lighted up within the M
field of view. The wild, choking, vegetation,
and the impervious brushwood of ages seems
to have retired at the approach of man, and
a broad belt of fertile gardens, fruitful orchards, luxuriant pastures, and golden cornfields, encircles the Bay in which a whole fleet
of Whalers are lying ready to discharge the rich
products they have gathered on the Whaling
Grounds of the Southern Seas, or in the
Western Coasts of Africa, or the sea-board
which stretches along the shores of the
Americas. Silence has been affrighted from
her retreat of ages, and the air is resonant of
business and life. Around the head of the
harbour rise warehouses, and docks, and
wharfs, and quays; and crowds of happy, or
anxious wives and children awaiting to receive
the adventurous whalers after the perils and
labours of the season are over, and welcome them
to repose and enjoyment, until the song of the
April bird again warns them that the harpoon
must hang no longer idle on the walk   Hark! AT    SEA.
from beneath yon spire, which towers above
the humbler dwellings of the settlement, there
is wafted a sweet strain of holy harmony—it
is the hymn of praise and thanksgiving, which
the hardy mariners are offering to the Most
High for his past mercies to them amidst the
perils of the deep! Who would wish that
your Magician—and his name is TIME—
should restore the picture to its original state,
however wild and picturesque it may have
The extent of the field, which is comprised
under the term of the Southern Fisheries is
generally misconceived in Europe. The popular impression is, that the prosecution of the
Southern Fisheries is only followed in the
high latitudes towards the South pole, just as
the Northern Fisheries are prosecuted in the
high latitudes towards the North. But this is
a mistake. The field of the Southern Fisheries
consists of nearly two-thirds of that broad
central zone of the globe, which is in width
l> l&rtpj
'■■■> u
W\ %ife
fell r;i
nearly ninety-five degrees of latitude, and
only indented by the Southern projections of
the Asiatic and African Continents. It
stretches fron 50 South to 45 North latitude ;
and from 75 West, to 18 East longitude; embracing the coasts of Chili, Peru, the Polynesian Islands, Japan, New Zealand, and the
Eastern Archipelogo. They are simply called,
the Southern Fisheries because ships from
Europe must sail Southward to reach them.
And a fine, free, and easy trade, it is which
they offer to the adventurous Mariners. To
be sure, there is occasionally some labour in
vain; but there are no tariffs or treaties, to
perplex them; or quarantines, or Customhouse squabbles, to detain them. They roam
over the waters in search of their game as free
as the birds of the ocean themselves, and,
were it not for the irksome length of the
voyage, a sea-faring life would present no more
seductive adventure.
Another   popular   error   on   this   subject amongst you is, that your Fisheries have fallen
off in consequence of the introduction of gaslight; whatever diminution in the demands
for oils may have arisen from this cause it has
been more than doubly or trebly compensated
for by the increased demand for them in manufacturing processes. The total quantity of
fish and vegetable oils imported into Great
Britain in 1821 was under 50,000 tons, and in
1845 they considerably exceeded 100,000 tons
—the increase being thus accounted for, that
while the quantity of fish oils fell from 32,000
to 22,000 tons, the quantity of foreign vegetable oils increased from 16,000 to 82,000 tons.
Nor is this to be wondered at, seeing that
Sperm oil in England has been 82/. per ton,
while Olive oil has only been 47/., and common
oil 29/., while Linseed oil has been only 27/.
The vegetable oils, therefore, at such relative
prices have naturally had the preference;
while in America, where Sperm oil has only $1 IP
$ 1 iiii
been 561. per ton, and common oil 21/. per ton,
the vegetable oils meet with no such favour.
The question, therefore, in a Mercantile
point of view, appears to me to be this—could
not our Southern Whalers compete with the
foreign vegetable oils, as the Americans do,
by affording it at the same price as they do ?
According to the present system of course
they could not; but, could they not, by
adopting the Colonial plan of fitting out vessels
of a more moderate size, from a station contiguous to the Whaling Grounds, and shipping
the produce of each season annually for
Europe, instead of waiting to bring home the
accumulated produce of those seasons at the
end of the fourth|*year from setting out ? I
have made some calculations for the solution
of this problem, which may be worth the at*
tention of some of your mercantile friends in
" Your present  system is to send   out a AT SEA*
vessel of 350 tons, fitted for a four years
voyage; that is, for three years on the Whaling
Grounds, and a year for their voyage out and
home. The ship will cost you 18/. per ton,
and 21. per ton per year for stores, provisions,
&c, in all 9,100/., to which you must add
interest at 5 per cent., or 1,820/. for the four
years, during which you are without any return for your capital. Your whole cost of
equipment, therefore, is 10,920/.
On the other side of the account, your crew
will be thought to do well if they ship fifty
tons of sperm oil in each season, or, 150 tons
during the whole cruize, which, at 80/. per
tun, would yield 12 000 Z. Of this the crew's
share (32 in number) would be S,50Ql, so that
yon would net only 8>500Z. You may also
consider your ship still worth half her prime
cost, or 3,150/., so that you will have 11,650£,
standing in your favour against 10,920/. the
cost of equipment, which shews a balance of
kim> 286
'      :
,,.s •
730/. in your favour, or a profit rather less than
7 per cent.
But a ship sent from a station contiguous to
the Whaling Ground to fish only for a season,
need not exceed 250 tons, which at 18/. per ton
will only cost 4,500/.; and her fitting out with
stores and provisions for four successive seasons
at 21. per ton per year, would come to 2,000/1
more—altogether to 6,5606. Moreover, as two
years would elapse before a cargo could be
realized — one year for collecting it, and
another for carrying it to Europe, and remitting the proceeds—two years interest, or
650/. must also be charged to the ship, making
her total equipment 7,150/.
On the other hand the ship will make four
voyages in the four years, and, therefore, collect 200, instead of 150, tons of sperm oil,
which, if sold in England at the American
price of 561. per ton, would produce 11,200/.
But from this you must first deduct 61. per AT SEA.
ton for freight to England, or 1,200/.; and,
secondly, the share of the crew who, being
only 22 in number, would be better paid by
2,500/. than the crew of the 350 tons vessel
were by 3,500/; these deductions would reduce
your as&ts to J,500L, to which you would have
to add 2,250/. for the then value of your
vessel (half of its prime cost); so that you
would have resulting in your favour 9,7oO/.
against 7,150/., which is something more than
36 per cent.
From these comparative statements, the
reasons why it would pay so much better^ at
the American price for oil, to prosecute the
Southern Fisheries from a station in the
vicinity of them, than to prosecute them from
England at the extravagant price, under which
the oil cannot now be afforded there, are
A ship setting out from a Colonial station
need only be five^ievenths the tonnage of a
whaler from England, and a crew in propor-
ft'ul 288
£ -»flf 1»■£
Iff          *    '   - ■ ■ -
lion; and she not only makes an annual return
of her produce, but makes four seasons, while
the other makes three; but there is another
consideration still further in favour of the
Colonial vessel which is only absent one season
from the first of her departure. It is an es-
tablished fact that the oil which she makes in
a season exceeds more than one-half the
quantity which an English whaler makes; nor
is this surprising, when we consider the difference between the two services. Neither on
board the English or American whalers does
the monthly pay, earned by the seamen,amount
to anything like that given on board of ordinary trading vessels; and hence, instead of
experienced seamen, jbheir crews are made up
of U green hands," who, after having acquired a knowledge of their calling, during
their four years apprenticeship to the whaling
trade, of course quit it for some other branch
of the merchant service, in which the wages
are   higher,   and   the   privations   of  shorter AT SEA.
duration. Indeed, no small portion of them
anticipate the period of their emancipation
from the whaler by desertion, an occurrence
which so frequently takes place as to cause
the most serious obstruction to the prosecution
of the voyage. With the crew of a Whaler,
on the contrary, fitted out from a station in the
South Pacific, for a single year's voyage, circumstances are entirely different. Instead of
one Jourth of their time being unprofitably
occupied in going to and returning from the
Whaling Grounds, they are in them at once,
and are fishing every hour that they are out.
This greatly enhances their part in the venture,
and as that is only for a twelvemonth, they
never think of deserting it, but work like
Turks to make the most of it ; hence, they are
neither disgusted by the length or unprofitable?
ness of their voyages, but rather become
enamoured of them as short, enterprising cruises,
and the service is never in want of practised
and trustworthy  hands.     And  again;  it is
«* yptfllr
utterly impossible to prevent the master of aa
European Whaler, which is out four years,
from neglecting his owner's interest by employing the time which ought to be devoted
exclusively to fishing, in trading on his own'
account. An Esculapian brother assured me
that he was once in an English Whaler, which
only spent 850 days in these parts, and that
during 310 of them he was lying to at one place
or another, to traffic on his own account with
the inhabitants. This abuse cannot be prac*
i^ised in Whalers fitted out from a port in the
South Seas, because the masters would have no
apology, except on extreme occasions, to put in
anywhere. It is no wonder, therefore, that
Colonial Whalers make such better yearly
returns of oil than those from England, or even
from America. In 1845, it appears that the
Australian Whalers made 88 tons per annum,
while British Ships made only 50; but, supposing that the former, in a series of years only
averaged 70 tons, the accouut of expenditure
itt: i ' I It! AT  SEA.
and returns, given at page 29* would assume
the following form :—
280 Tons of Oil at £56 per ton . JL    £15,680
Crew's Share   ....    35001.
Freight to England at 61.
per ton 16801.     5,180
Value of the Vessel.    .    .    .    .      2,250
:     If '" ' '* 1^,750
Equipment as before    .    .    .    .      7,150
Profit    .........      5,600
which is upwards of 78 per cent.
* Vide the able and explicit pamphlet of Mr
Enderby, entitled a " Proposal for re-establishing the
British Southern Whale Fishery," published by
Effingham Wilson, which clearly demonstrates the
immense advantage that must accrue to England,
and her Colonial possessions, especially Australia, in
the event of the Fisheries in the Southern Latitudes
being prosecuted upon the plan proposed therein.
The Americans employ between 600 and 700 vessels^
o 2
'fSli£ We must not forget, however, that there are
two features in this trade, which render it rather
repulsive to individual enterprise—namely, its
uncertainty, and its liability to abuse, when
carried on by agents at a distance. The owner
of a single ship may incur a very serious loss,
by its making what is termed a clean voyage —
that is, by its falling into a track from which
the fish have been disturbed, and coming home
with its deck unsoiled by the blubber of a
single whale. Some other ship, of course, will
fall in with the fish in more than usual abun-
manned by upwards of 18,000 seamen, in these
Fisheries; and the oil produced between 1838 and
1845 was 37,459 tons, one third of which was exported. The capital employed by our transatlantic
friends iu this branch of industry amounts to
.£1,500,000; while the produce of Great Britain during
the last year—including the Greenland Fishery—
was only 5,565 tons, or one-eighth of that of America,
which represents a capital of only .£249,181. The
balance in favour of Jonathan, in capital employed
in the Whale Fisheries is, therefore, £1,171,266. dance ; and if the two ships belong to ihe same
party, the gains of the one wo#ld make up for
the losses of the other. In short, a number of
ships should be employed, so as to mutually
ensure each other; and this mode of
imparting certainty to the trade can, of course,
be adopted only by a confederation of capitalists, who agree to divide the aggregate profits
of the whole of it amongst each other, according to the amounts which they have invested
in it. I need hardly say that a company
alone could organize an agency, under such
checks and responsibilities as would prevent
peculation, or any other malversation.
To such a company the high rate of profit
which I have shown to be possible, from prosecuting the fisheries, from a station contiguous
to them, offer a most inviting prospect; supposing the rate of profit to be only 40 per
cent., instead of 70 per cent., it would leave,
after making a liberal allowance for the foundation and management of the station, a net
m\.\ AT  SEA.
profit to the shareholders, larger and more
certain than any other speculation of modern
Nor is this any new conception. More than
seventy years ago, the capacious and penetrating mind of Burke comprehended the vast
riches which are to be gathered from this
source, and foresaw that we were allowing our
American brethren to pre-occupy the field,
where they were to be gathered, before us. In
his speech on American affairs in 1774, he reproached us for our envy and indolence in the
following terms—
<c As to the wealth, which the Colonists
have drawn from the sea by their fisheries, you
had all that matter fully opened at your bar.
You surely thought those acquisitions of value,
for they seemed to excite your envy; and yet
the spirit by which that enterprising employment has been exercised ought rather, in my
opinion, to have raised esteem and admiration.
And pray, sir, what in the world is equal to it ? ■ttHMtf^HHnfiS
Pass by the other parts, and look at the manner in which the New England people carry
on the Whale Fishery. While we follow them
among the trembling mountains of ice, and
behold them penetrating in the deepest frozen
recesses of Hudson's and Davis' Straits; while
we are looking for them beneath the Arctic
Circle, we hear that they have pierced into the
opposite region of polar cold; that they are
at the Antipodes, and engaged under the frozen
serpent of the South. Falkland Island, which
seemed too remote and too romantic an object
for the grasp of national ambition, is but a
stage and resting-place, for their victorious industry. Nor is the equinoctial heat more discouraging to them than the accumulated winter
of both poles. We learn that while some of
them draw the line, or strike the harpoon, on
the coast of Africa, others run the longitude,
and pursue their gigantic game along the coast
of Brazil. No sea but what is vexed with
their Fisheries.    No climate that is not wit-
If T
K. W
ft*, JK, >y •'.
if ■ ■ •
ness of their toils. Neither the perseverance
of Holland, nor the activity of France, nor
the dexterous and firm sagacity of English enterprise, ever carried this most perilous mode
of hardy industry to the extent to which it
has been pursued by this people ; a people who
are still in the gristle, and not yet hardened
into the bone, of manhood.9
I fear that you will have found this letter
somewhat uninteresting, not being of the same
rambling and anecdotic character as my letters
usually are; but you must, for once, forgive
my taking the liberty of riding a hobby of my
own, however dull it may be, and expect to be
recompensed by a something more amusing in
my next. SYDNEY.— MINING    INTERESTS.        DESTINY     OF
I cannot but admit that I, in some sort, sympathize with the psychological yearning to
which you give expression in your last. You
say that you cannot reflect upon the wonderful discoveries in mechanical, chemical, and
pathological science, which seemed to have
marked the present as an epoch from which
the march of intellect, after ages of desultory
and digressive efforts, has in reality commenced, mm
without a curious longing for a spiritual privilege to revisit the world a hundred years
hence, and note the startling changes which, by
that time, man will have worked out in his
condition, as lord dominant of the creation,
by his progressive mastery of the secrets of
nature. In like manner I cannot reflect upon
the expansive power with which the colonization of this vast continent has begun to extend itself, without regretting that I am unable to pierce through the present, and have
revealed to me the destinies which are in store
for it, within even the very brief term of a
few fleeting generations!
When I remember, too, the happy geographical position of Australia, in reference
to the Equator—that it is blessed with a
climate which enables its soil, wherever it is
fit for cultivation, to yield in abundance not
only all the cereal and esculent vegetables,
which are indigenous or naturalized within the
more temperate latitudes of Northern Europe* out the wine, and oil, and other productions of
its more genial "garden-lands" in the South,
and even the cotton and the spices, and other
rich fruits of the Tropics—I am at times
seduced into a belief that we shall almost see
her leap, per saltum, as it were, into a position
from whence she may face proudly the im-
memorially inhabited regions of the ancient
West. But these flights of fancy are soon
curbed by the obtrusive truth, that the growth
of communities of men, like that of the individual, must be slow; and that a wilderness
is not to be peopled by the human species with
the same rapidity, as it frequently is by the
lower orders of creation, to whom it is capable
of furnishing all the necessaries of life without
any exertion or preparations of their own.
The adventurous race which is reclaiming
Australia must be content to toil through the
usual stages which have marked the progress
of every new community to an established
state of material prosperity; for many of the
jm ilpli
most essential resources of that prosperity
must be created by themselves, before they
can hope to attain it* When they have inter*
sected the located parts of the country with
roads and canals, which, with commodious har^
hours and quays, are the first objects to which
their surplus means should be applied; and,
when they have accumulated capital to assist
nature by art in preparing the soil for the
finer operations of agriculture, which cannot
be done until, by the increase of population,
labour becomes more abundant and cheaper,
then it will be sufficient time for them to turn
their attention to the vine, to the olive, and
the cotton tree; but for many years to come
they must look to the more primitive occupations of the soil for the acquisition of that
wealth, without which, if they hurry precociously into more expensive exploitations,
they will only verify the proverb of the
*' most haste, the least speed."
To this, however, as a general economical SYDNEY.
principle,  for advancing the progress of the
colony, there is an exception.
The colonization of South Australia was
first commenced at Adelaide in 1835; but,
although there wras no deficiency in the quantity
or quality of land available for settling, the
colony was in a state of general insolvency—
the government as well as the people—before
the end of 1842. These were the consequences of the impolitic restrictions of the
Wakefield system, by which no grants of land
could be made in less quantities than a square
mile, or at a less price than 11. per acre, and
by which, therefore, all small capitalists were
proscribed from becoming owners of the soil,
and they must have been fatal to the colony,
had it not been for the fortunate discovery of
the Great Burra Burra and Kapunda copper
mines in 1843. From that time the colony
has wonderfully revived; and if the mineral
wealth, of which the Burra Burra have afforded the first   indication,   is   industriously
rea ft
•>V. ii.'l/ ..:,
! 1   ;•*-»*,'■*
tracked through the mountain range which
runs from the south towards the north, not
only will the capital of the colony rapidly increase directly from this source, but indirectly,
also, from the demand which will be created
not only for the agricultural products of the
colony, but for foreign imports, by which the
internal trade will be encouraged and extended.
Hitherto, however, the South Australian
Miners have not had fair play, having suffered
much inconvenience and loss from an entirely
useless privilege, with which the British Ship*
owner finds himself invested to their cost.
The importation of their ores into England is
prohibited except in British Bottoms; and the
commerce between Adelaide and England has
not attained such a degree of magnitude and
regularity that freights in British Bottoms are
always to be engaged there. In fact, the exportable produce of South Australia is not yet
sufficient to supply employment for a constant SYDNEY.
line of trading vessels to and from the Mother
Country, and, as the Colonists are prohibited
from sending it in foreign bottoms, their opportunities of forwarding it to England are
both rare and precarious. So situated, the
Mining Agents in South Australia are compelled, either to allow a large stock of ore to
accumulate on their hands, by which their employers suffer a great loss of interest in the
Capital which it represents, or to forward it in
any old brig or bark to Sydney, and there re-
ship it for the English market, by which the
expense of freight is considerably increased.
Of course this is only a consequence of that
principle of the navigation laws by which
(wisely or not) it is sought to secure to the
British Shipowner the carrying trade between
the Mother Country and her Colonies; but
as the British Shipowner himself does not
think this particular branch of it to be one
which it would be worth his while to undertake, it is very hard that the Government
y t
should play the dog in the manger in his be»
half, and refuse the Colonists the privilege of
getting others to do for them what he declines
doing for them himself. Some time since the
Colonists petitioned the Government at home
that German ships, which imported mining
labour from Germany into the Colony, might
be permitted to return with the produce of
such labour to England; but the boon was
refused. It would have been a contravention
of the Navigation Laws, which Lord Grey
thought inadmissible, though the case was one
to which the framers of those laws could never
have dreamed of its occurring, and calling for
their application.
The principal miners in South Australia are
Germans, many of whom came out from
Bremen last year, and they live in a village,
almost in an isolated state near the Kapunda
mines, which is some distance from Adelaide.
They have a pastor of the Lutheran church,
who presides over their spiritual interests; and SYDNEY.
their temporal affairs are almost exclusively
confined to Mining operations, few of them
being connected with the agricultural industry
of the Colony. They are a quiet, industrious,
and slow-working race ; but, in the absence of
good, stout English miners, whose strength and
capacity is about double to that of the Germans, they have proved of great utility in developing the resources of the Colony. These
Germans understand the process of smelting
the ore, according to the manner of the Hartz-
smelters, which is expensive when compared
to that of England, as pursued at Swansea;
the first using wood, while the latter have
plenty of coal, to say nothing of the superior
skill and capital employed in England in such
But the great difficulty to overcome, in
Australia, is the transport to England, which I
have already remarked upon ; nevertheless, to
give you a clearer conception of its injurious
effects upon the interests of the Miners, and of
mm \
the Colony also, I shall note down a few facts
which must carry conviction with them, even
to the most prejudiced mind. In the course of
the year 1846 there were raised, and sent to
England, from the Kapunda Mines alone from
1,200 to 1,500 tons of copper ore, of first-rate
quality—200 tons of this quantity having been
sold at Swansea at an average of 191. 3s., and
another 300 tons averaging 211. 9s.—notwithstanding the great impediment to its transport,
occasioned by the navigation laws.
The Burra Burra Mines have been equally
productive, and more successful in some of the
sales, as regards the price realized for the ores
—some of the latter having sold as high as
311. 6s. 6d. per ton at Swansea; and when a
regular cummunication shall be established
with England—the most effective and practical
suggestion yet made for so desirable an object
is that of a central depot, where the ore can be
deposited as freight homewards; which must
have the effect in a still greater ratio of in* ducing freights outwards, the return cargo
being the great desideratum with the merchants
and shipowners in this country—the copper
mines of Australia may vie with those of Cuba,
and other slave-holding states, and will have,
also, a tendency to solve that knotty problem
—the slavery question—which so strangely
perplexes our statesmen, however experienced
and weighty may be the amount of their
knowledge. There is, certainly, a growing
conviction that the most effective blow which
can be aimed at the slave-trade, is to prove
that free labour is cheaper than that of slavery;
and when the Mines of Australia shall become
more productive, as they cannot fail to do when
the ores can be more easily transported to their
proper market, then it will be seen that the
copper of the Antipodes will supersede that of
Europe, and also that a simple incident in the
industrial and commercial interests of the world
will prove more potent in suppressing a great
crime, and in wiping out a moral stigma on the
I !$'S!
-;i; $\"
enlightenment of the nineteenth century, than
the proud and gigantic schemes of your politico-
economical statesmen, with almost unlimited
resources at their command.
Oh, man ! how impotent, after all thy display
of power and ingenuity, appear thy works,
when compared to His who moves in a way so
simple and so grand, that it seems to rebuke
the ostentation of thy efforts; and while you
have been straining your nerves to the utmost,
and wasting your means most prodigally, in the
non-attainment of a single object—the suppression of slavery—from an opposite, and unlooked-
for quarter comes the true solution of all your
I have often heard it doubted whether
society in Australia did not receive an original
taint which will, for a long time, prevent it
from settling down into that gradation of
orders for which the Mother Country is, beyond all others, remarkable; and there certainly does exist a serious obstacle to wealth
« ■■■!:;   '■'» SYDNEY.
raising itself into an indisputable Aristocracy,
as it does in reality everywhere else, whatever
may be the form of Government. The Emigrant who brings a large capital here has rarely
any other view than that of repairing or improving the fortunes of his family, and has
seldom any idea of making the Colony his
future hereditary home. Those, too, who have
left their father-land voluntarily in search of
that independence, without which no man can
feel comfortable in England, are prompted, by
pride as well as love of country to return to
it when the object of their ambition is accomplished. Hence the opulence of the Colony
will for a long while be represented by the
most successful of that class who would rather
banish every idea that is associated with their
mother country than otherwise. But then, on
the other hand, it will be long before the
(i Colonial origin" of these people will be forgotten, and the resident wealth of the Colony
. »E
command the respect and influence which i$
the cement of civil society.
And there is also another question under
this head, which it is as painful to speculate
upon as it is difficult to solve.    What, as the
inroads of the white man take a deeper and
broader range, will become of the Aboriginal
possessors of the soil ?   Reasoning by analogy
from past experience, we should conclude that
they will  be unavoidably exterminated;   for
such has been the fate of the savage in almost
every quarter of the world ; and, of all savages
hitherto  discovered, the Australian  seems to
be the very lowest in the scale of humanity.
We found him in what philosophers have supposed to have been the rudest and primeval
state of our species.    He had not the least
idea of rendering the soil tributary to his sub-
sistance, or of contriving defences even against
the   climates, by  which   he was   continually
harassed.    He had no conception of any mode SYDNEY.
of social government, not even the patriarchal,
and was utterly devoid of all religious, or even
moral, impressions. Even of the rudest conveniences and contrivances, common amongst
all other savage tribes, he was utterlv ignor-
ant; his invention, not having soared even so
far as a vessel for holding water, or the bow,
the spunge, and the net, for supplying himself
with animal faod. In the latter respect, too,
he does not seem to have been endowed with
a taste to make any distinction, devouring insects, reptiles, fish or flesh, clean or unclean,
indifferently; and his culinary art extended
no farther than roasting the flesh of animals9
under hot embers, alike ungutted and un-
skinned. And, lastly, so circumscribed were
his ideas, that he had no terms to express any
but visible objects, or divisions of time, or
quantities, beyond the number three. Whether
a race so deplorably backward can survive the
introduction   of    a   highly   civilized   people amongst them, may, indeed will, be doubted,
when we reflect upon the extinction, under the
same circumstances, of other uncivilized races,
who bad arrived, comparatively speaking, at a
higher pitch of savage refinement. APPENDIX
The unlooked-for discovery of the mineral
riches of California, made long after the preceding pages were in print, has imparted a new
interest to that quarter of the globe. The
auri sacra fames has resumed its magic influence on the mass of mankind, and thousands
are hurrying, under the excitement, to participate in the discovery of the treasure. Over
seas and continents, through morasses and
deserts,  traversing   the   highest   mountains, b
fording the most dangerous and rapid rivers —
in short, no obstacle is too great, no difficulty
too appalling, for men to attempt when hurried
on by greed, and blinded by avariee. They
will neglect the treasure which lies immediately beneath their feet, to hunt after that
which tempts the eye at a distance upon the
surface of the earth; it is the old story of the
Tortoise and the Hare retold—the craving
desire of the many to gratify their wishes
without the necessity of labouring for the
means, or, in other terms, the hop-step-and-
jump process of procuring a competence, in
contradistinction to the old, steady, refreshing,
and healthy-toned habit of acquiring it by
well-directed industry.
As the public mind is too strongly bent towards the Californian Fldorado for our feeble
voiee to influence it in a contrary direction, we
shall endeavour to act in the same way, as
though we were unfortunate enough to be
placed in a vehicle, with the horse rattling
down hill at a neck-or-nothing pace—in short,
running away—and simply content ourselves
with pointing out the best route to arrive at
the scene of wealth, to prevent a useless
sacrifice, and an immense amount of suffering, APPENDIX.
on the part of the treasure-hunters, just the
same as we should coolly guide the reins of
the horse—to diminish the chances of having
our own neck broke.
Every now and then the world is awakened
from its ordinary and even movements by some
startling event or other; but it must be something to strike the million, to flash on the c mind's
eye' of the many to produce such a result. It is
not your scientific discoveries that have the
desired effect, although in reality the incipient
cause of such phenomena, for they are confined to the choice and limited few, and are
only palpable to the multitude when embodied,
perchance, in the form of a locomotive steam
engine, for the first time let loose upon the
world—a flying, thundering, screaming monster, tearing along and snorting fire, with
tons of weight and whole towns of people in
its rear. Such a phenomenon strikes upon the
senses of the vulgar many in too unmistakable
a manner—they look, they wonder, they are
astonished; while your informed mind, without
any such excitement, can easily reason, by
an inductive process, to so magnificent a result, A revolution, for instance, which smashes
p 3 li
a throne, and scatters a dynasty, is an
event which may properly be called a
1 startler," especially when we see the fragments before our eyes, in the shape of a
4 discrowned king,' white-haired and worn-out,
rudely thrust from his imperial abode, and
even glad to shelter his feeble frame
from the rough and ugly storm in an old
pilot coat. Who is so blind as not to see
such an event as this, in its befitting amplitude? Again, the discovery of the gold on
the banks, and in the estuaries, of the Sacramento in California, must naturally be deemed
a * startler;' as it hits the latent desire of the
heart of man, the darling object of his aspirations—power, in one shape or other —
either to exercise an influence, or to indulge
a passion—ft to be the observed of all observers," be they what they may.
Having eased   our mind  of these   bits of
sentiment which somewhat clogged the even
current of our practical ideas, we shall
now proceed, as briefly as possible, to indulge
in a few observations upon the several suggestions which the gold-event has naturally
given rise to. First, let us turn finger-post, and point the
way to the " dust."
The country in which the precious metal
has been found is called Alta-California, to
distinguish it from lower California, in which
the 6 metal' is supposed to exist as abundantly
ls in the former. So say the geologists, and
who will question their dicta, based, as it
unquestionably is, or ought to be, upon the
most scientific data? This country forms a
portion of the western part of America, and
the eastern shores of the Pacific, and extends
from north to south about 700 miles.
In the text we have already described the
various phenomena of the country, as far as
our knowledge and observation extend; therefore shall content ourselves with having
recourse to other authorities, from whose scat*
tered accounts we may be enabled to combine
a brief, intelligent, and practical summary.*
The Sacramento river is the largest of West
California, and the  only  navigable one.     It
* We ought to except the Notes to Wyld's Map
on California, which comprise all the useful information necessary to an Emigrant, in addition to a
number of facts and observations not found
elsewhere. The map is also the most faithful and
accurate of any yet extant.
?3&m m
rises in the mountains on the borders of the
Oregon territory, and is about £00 miles long.
It is fed by a number of tributaries in its
course, and in the debris of the mountains and
sands washed by this stream is found the gold.
The Sacramento is navigable for boats for 150
miles, and for ships about 50 miles; it also
abounds in salmon, and runs through a highly
productive country, upon which the principal
establishments of the foreign settlers are planted.
There are numerous harbours and bays on the
coast, which afford excellent shelter for shipping ; the principal, and the most capacious
we have alreadly described, San Francisco, and
it must ultimately become the point for all
settlers who make the ocean the highway of
their journey.
The topography of the Gold and Mining
districts is principally confined to the Sacramento and its tributaries, or more properly the
district of the Sierra Nevada, the high mountain range which intersects the Country from
North to South. It is from this range that
the precious metals are supposed to be washed ;
other minerals, such as silver, mercury, and
platinum, are also said to abound in the Sierra,
and  will ultimately  be turned to profitable APPENDIX.
account. On the shore of West California minerals are also stated to be found. At St. Francisco, copper, iron, and marble have been long
known (vide Wy Id's excellent notes and map). At
Santa Cruz there are traces of coal; and, as we
have already remarked, this mineral abounds in
Vancouver's Island, which might be easily
coasted down to the mining operations. The
quicksilver mines of New Almaden are on a
spur of mountains 1,000 feet above the level of
the Bay of St. Francisco, twelve miles south
from the town of San Joseph. They belong
to Mr. Alexander Forbes, English vice-consul
at Tepic, and are worked by miners from
Mexico. The ore is cinnabar, found in a large
vein, dipping at an obtuse angle to the horizon.
The mineral is mixed with lime, and volatilized.
In the spring of '48 four ovens were at work,
and the yield in one day was above 300lbs. of
quicksilver, worth 1 dol. 80 cents in Mexico.
The second mineral province is in the South,
but little known, although it is considered to
abound in metaliferous ores. In 1825 the
St. Isidore gold-mine was worked. In the
year 1840 M. Baric, a Frenchman, found a
thread of virgin gold near the Mission of St,
Ferdinand, which he worked with considerable APPENDIX.
effect, having yielded him an ounce a day*
Whether gold-mining, as distinguished from
gold-washing, will succeed, is doubtful, as the
mineral is mostly found in small threads or specks
thinly scattered, and the outlay in removing
large masses of rock, which are in themselves
worth nothing, is always a great drawback to
profitable production.
The Gold-Mining-Works are divided into
two classes—dry diggings and wet diggings.
The dry diggings are, as their name imports, in
the higher banks, and have been hitherto less
productive, but more healthy, than the other.
The wet diggings, on the contrary, are in the
beds of rivers and streams, and are generally
more profitably worked; but as the diggers
stand in the water, under a hot sun, they are
subject to attacks of ague and fever. APPENDIX.
The routes   to   California   from  Europe  are
three: first, through the United States; sceond,
across the isthmus, which separates the two
continents; third, round Cape Horn.
The first route is through Boston, New
York, or Philadelphia, to the Ohio, and
then up the heads of the Missouri, across
the Rocky Mountains, to the Sacramento.
The overland journey is of three months'
duration, without accommodation, beset with
Indians, and in some places there is neither
food or water. Travellers go together in
parties, carrying their goods in waggons
p 3 322
or on the backs of mules and horses*
Travellers from England may go to New
Orleans, and up the Mississippi and the
Missouri. The people of Texas have a way
by the Rio Bravo del Norte into New Mexico,
thence across the Rocky Mountains.
The second route is by the West India mail-
steamers to Porto Bello or Chagre, in the state
of Ystmo, New Granada, and thence by an
overland journey of fifty miles, or two days to
Panama on the Pacific. A steamer is to be
put on the Chagre river. The road between
Chagre and Panama has been recently repaired
by the local authorities, by means of a loan from
the Royal Mail Steam Navigation Company.
The town of Chagre is the unhealthiest in the
world; that of Panama tolerably good. At
Panama the Pacific Steam Navigation Company's steamers arrive from Valparaiso and
Callao; and an American mail-steamer runs
to California once every six weeks, but after
April next it will start once a month.
Passengers can therefore go by this steamer,
or by a sailing-vessel, to California, which is
reckoned a three months' journey, but it
proves a very expensive one, and very little
luggage can be carried by the vessels.
iff! 11 APPENDIX.
The third route is by ship throughout from
England to California^ round Cape Hurn, a
six month £ voyage at least. The English have
a settlement in the Falkland Islands near
Cape Horn, which is likely to prosper by the
increased trade in  the Pacific.
Passengers by sea may get round Cape
Horn most readily, by taking a berth for Valparaiso in Chili, for which place many vessels
go out, bringing back copper-ore, guano,
hides, and tallow; while ships for California
must be chartered for that purpose. From
Valparaiso passengers may get to California
either by coasting-vessels trading in the
Pacific, or by the Pacific Steam Navigation
Company's steamers to Panama, and thence,
as before remarked, by the American government steamers to California. Mm
The sudden influx of the precious metals
into Spain, upon the discovery of the rich
mines of Mexico and Peru, was the principal
cause of her manufacturing and commercial decline. Previous to that period she was supreme
in the skilled arts of industry, and supplied
the whole of Europe with the rich and costly
products of her looms. The workshops of
Cuenca, Cordova and Seville, with their " busy
hum" of manufacturing enterprise, were infi- 3aitely richer sources of national wealth than
the golden mines of the new world ; .and, had
the Spaniards of the sixteenth century taken a
juster view of the real value of the precious
metals—had they not mistaken the means for
the end, by estimating a lump of gold at a
higher rate than a piece of cloth, although the
same amount of labour should have been expended on both—her looms might possibly
have been competing at this day with those of
England, France, and Germany.
The following historic summary will fully
illustrate our meaning.
From the middle of the fourteenth century
the kings of Castille rigidly prohibited the exportation of the precious metals, under an impression that they alone constituted the wealth
of the nation. The great truths of political
economy had not then dawned upon the minds
of statesmen, and revealed the laws which define the precise value of gold and silver among
the material productions of the earth. While
kings and ministers were taking counsel, and
racking their brains to keep the precious metals
within their dominions, the latter were quietly
oozing out in spite of all their schemes, and in
obedience to a law which is beyond human con-
ill IIP
trol—the desires of man. The Spanish statei
man could not be supposed to be in advance of
the age, and it was perfectly natural, with their
limited notions of the subject, to apprehend an
internal derangement of industrial occupations,
were the gold and silver—which they mistook
for the end instead of the means—to leave
their country. In these days we may smile at
the ignorance which prevailed in the sixteenth
century on the subject of Political Economy;
nevertheless, we may as well bear in mind that
it has caused us a vast deal of trouble and labour, and no little sacrifice of national wealth,
to arrive at a clearer notion of its'sound and
useful laws.
In 1480 the Cortes of Toledo formally
demanded of Ferdinand and Isabella a stricter
application of the prohibitive laws against exporting the precious metals, and it was declared
highly penal to export gold in any shape, or
under any conditions. Not only bars of gold
were specifically named, but coined money,
vessels, ornaments, and articles of luxury, into
which the precious metals largely entered, were
strictly forbidden to be sent out of the
country. But, upon the discovery of the
Americas, when the gold poured in so abun- ,ntly to the mother country, it became ira-
'possible to maintain the prohibitive laws against
its exportation ; nevertheless, it was preserved
in the country as effectually as it could be,
and every device, threat, and denunciation, was
called into requisition for that purpose. In
lieu of exporting the gold to the markets of
the world, in exchange for commodities, which
would have enriched her people, and diffused
the former more equally among her manufacturing neighbours, Spain pursued an opposite
course; and the vast accumulation of the precious metals among her own people, soon augmented the price of raw materials, raised
wages to a corresponding height, and prevented
her manufacturers from competing with those
of other countries. Instead of being an exporting, she soon became an importing nation,
dependant upon the foreigner for her supplies,
and compelled to give her dearly-cherished
gold, which she vainly imagined the be-all of
industry and enterprise, for the very commodities which her own looms had previously produced. The cheap labour of Flanders, Spain,
and Italy, soon attacked her manufactures,
which could not breathe An such a golden at-
Wm* ill
mosphere; and the very source of what she
deemed her riches and power, became the most
effective cause of her ruin.
It is impossible to ascertain the quantity of
the precious metals imported from Mexico and
Peru by the Spaniards; a rough estimate is the
utmost that can be achieved. Under the reign
of Charles V., the royal functionaries allowed
ten years to elapse before they rendered any
account of their stewardship; and the documents in the provincial Treasury of Potosi
have no records beyond the first year of the
reign of Phillippe II.,* therefore the statements of Moncada, Ustaritz, and Ulloa, must
be considered somewhat apocryphal, as they
are too often based upon very incorrect data.
The researches of Humboldt have reduced the
extravagant estimates of the Spanish writers
to their just value, and may be safely relied
upon, as the nearest approximation to the truth.
He states that the importation of the precious metals into Spain was in the following
sums:—from    1492   to   1500,   there   were
* Hamboldt, livre 4, chap. xi. APPENDIX.
250,000 piastres* annually imported; from
1545 to 1600, eleven millions; and from 1600
to 1700, there were sixteen millions. Thus, in
the space of two hundred years, the quantity
of the precious metals imported into the
mother country was about seventeen millions
and a half of pounds sterling, of English
money, which must have had an immense influence on the price of commodities, considering the value of the precious metals at that
period, throughout the markets of the world,
and especially in Spain, where it was hugged
and hoarded with the utmost tenacity.
Some idea may be formed of the effects
which this vast influx of gold must have produced upon the Spaniards, by collecting the
scattered notices of the luxury, the grandeur,
and the wasteful extravagance, which seemed
to dominate among all classes, from the throne
down to the common artizan, in all the writers
who have touched upon that period. The
king, the court, and the grandees, seemed to
vie with each other in lavish expenditure, and
* De 1' Influence du Grouvernement d' Isabelle.
Memoire insure dans la collectio n de TAcad^mie de
Thistoire de Madrid, t. vi., p. 293. in costly display. Philip II. spent six millions
of pistoles* in the construction of the Esc u rial;
an enormous sum at that period, when the
precious metals were comparatively scarce.
The marriage of Marguerita of Austria with
Philip III. was celebrated in the most sumptuous style; a million of ducats was spent upon
that occasion, or nearly half a million of our
money in pounds sterling. The grandees
imitated the court, and scattered their newly-
acquired wealth from the new world, with
vicious profusion. Their palaces, dependents,
and vassals, were upon a scale of magnificence
that dazzled Bossompierre^ albeit, not unaccustomed to the splendour and display of a
court. The income of the Duke of Lerma
was 600,000 ducats (200,0007.) ; on his deathbed he bequeathed to pious purposes 1,500,000
ducats, or nearly half a million of pounds
sterling. Then there were the Mendozas, the
d'Enriquezs, the Pachecos, and others of approximative grandeur, of whose wealth some
notion may be formed, when it is related that
* Nearly 2,000,000£.
t Journal de ma vie. p. 536. APPENDIX.
upon the death of the Due d'Albuquerque, it
took six weeks to complete the schedule of his
vessels of gold and silver, working two hours
each day. There were 1400 dozen of gold
plates and dishes; and forty steps of solid
silver, to serve as ladders, by which he could
ascend to the top of his lofty buffets.
" When they told me of this opulence," says
the writer,* from whom we are quoting, " I
thought they were quizzing me; but when I
enquired of Don Antonio de Toledo, son of the
Due d'Albe, he assured me it was true, and
that his father, who did not consider himself
rich in plate, had six hundred dozen of dishes
of gold, and eight hundred of silver." The
citizens imitated the nobles, and disdained the
manual arts, and other industrial pursuits, as
beneath their dignity; and the folly descended
the intervening degrees of all ranks of the
people, until even the water-carriers of the
capital abandoned their humble pursuit, and
luxuriated as long as they could in the golden
showers which had so suddenly poured down
* Kelatim du voyage  d'Espagne fait  en  1679«
t. ii., p. 119. I "J
upon the nation. This feeling pervaded all
Spain, after the precious metals had become
sufficiently diffused; and in the course of a
century they declined in value about four-
fifths, according to the most accurate authorities.* The merchants of Seville, who had the
monopoly of trading with the new world, aggravated the evil, by the conviction and belief
that gold was more profitable to import than
other commodities; and disdained to bring
home a cargo of anything but the precious
metals.f They treated with superb contempt
the drugs, the indigo, cotton, leather and wools,
which were the first articles of necessity, and
the prime support of the Spanish manufactures.
The foreigner instantly availed himself of the
ignorance of the Spaniard, and quietly crept
into a lucrative commerce. In the seventeenth
century the Dutch were masters of the island
of Curacao, and the English had established
themselves in Jamaica; the ships of these
enterprising traders began to dot the oceans
* The Value of the old Piastre was about four
shillings and two-pence of our money.
t Mancipantes se ipsos fertilitati.    Campanella,
p. 128. APPENDIX.
of the world, and while the stately galleons of
Spain, with their rich argosies from the
Indies were proudly sailing into port, the
former were quietly picking up the crumbs
which the latter, in their ignorance, had disdainfully flung from them. The English
traders purchased in the markets of Panama
and Porto Bello, re sold their commodities in
the markets of Europe, and realiszed a good
The Spanish manufacturers soon began to
decline in their energies; workmen became
scarce; and the raw materials rapidly advanced
in price. The Merchants of Seville were
obliged to order, sometimes, five or six years
beforehand, what they wanted of the manufacturers, the price of commodities in a manufactured state, at the same time, were greatly
advancing; while, in neighbouring countries,
where the precious metals were in less profusion,
labour at a much lower rate, and workmen
plentiful, the progress of manufacturing industry
was making rapid strides, and ultimately inundated the markets  of Castille, Valentia, and
* Memoires de la Soci£t6 economique de Madrid,
t. iii., p. 264. 111'
Seville. This was the death-blow to Spanisfe
industrial supremacy. The Genoese, to whom
Charles V. had accorded certain commercial
privileges, poured in their goods in almost overwhelming quantities; and, conjoined to the
persecutions of the Jews by Philip II., the most
industrious and useful portion of his people, their
competition completely ruined the manufacturers of Cuenca, Segovia, and Toledo, who
alone had previously furnished the Colonies,
with their productions.*
Nevertheless, Spain might have struggled on
with its embarras de richesses, had her statesmen turned a deaf ear to the ignorant clamours
of the people, who seemed determined to plunge
deeper and deeper into the slough of error.
The high price of commodities was attributed to
the exports to the Colonies, and the Cort&s were
solemnly adjured to put an end to all exportation,
as the exchange of the gold of Mexico and
Peru, for the products of national industry, was
deemed an injury. The document which
embodies these extraordinary opinions, is
worth citing, as it furnishes a curious insight
* Memoirs de   la Soci^te  de Madrid,  p.   289,
Jovellanos, Collecion de verias obras, t. i., p. 110. APPENDIX.
into the spirit and intelligence which then
prevailed, regarding commerce and manufactures ; and in these days of trading free-
dom, and commercial enterprize, when the
last blow has been struck at the old giant
of monopoly, it will be perused with pity or
derision, according to the disposition of the
reader. The petition was presented to the
Cortes of Valladolid in 1548.*
" Every day," say the petitioners, " we see
the price of cloths, of leather, of silks, and of
other articles of necessity, which are manufactured in this kingdom, rise in price. We
know, also, that this rise of price is occasioned
by their exportation to the Indies; and the
evil has now become so great that the people
cannot struggle against the growing dearness
of commodities—even the first articles of
necessity. And, as it is notorious that America
furnishes, in abundance, wool superior to that
of Spain; why don't the inhabitants make
their own cloths ? Many of their provinces,
also, produce silk ; why don't they manufacture
their own satins and velvets ?   Does not the
* Cortes de 1548.   Petic. cciv. iffill
lii ill
New World produce plenty of leather, not
only for its own wants, but also for the whole
kingdom; we therefore pray your Majesty to
prohibit the export of these Articles to
It is difficult to conceive the ignorance which
must have existed in those days regarding the
laws which regulate human industry, had we
not so many and such palpable proofs before
us; and, by way of completing the picture of
economic wisdom in the sixteenth century,  we
shall add a few more touches, which are equally
as  characteristic   as   the  preceding  sketches.
The petitioners had not the slightest conception that the precious metals, which they estimated as the real riches of the country, were
the cause of all the evils they deplored; and
the government, equally ignorant, shaped their
measures in unison with the misconceptions of
the petitioners.    A law  was passed, limiting
the departure of galleons for the Indies, to the
guild of Seville ; and an absolute prohibition of
trading with the Colonies could not have had
a more fatal effect upon the industry of the
country than that partial measure.*    In the
* Memoires de la Societe economique de Madrid,
| iii., p. 289. APPENDIX.
meantime the wise statesmen of that day passed
a singular law, in the hope of diminishing the
price of commodities—they enacted that the
exportation of "corn and cattle were hurtful
to the kingdom, as it enhanced the price of
food, to the detriment of the people;" and
threatened with confiscation of their goods,
whoever dared to violate that law. They also,
in their wisdom, prohibited the export of cloth,
of woollens, silks, See.;* and from that time
forward, as it will be readily conceived, the
manufactures languished for want of markets,
and ultimately declined altogether. The government also fixed the price of leather and
other articles, which gave a fatal blow to those
industries; they also prohibited the export of
raw and manufactured silks, which diminished
the amount annually consumed about 50,0001bs.
and gave the coup de grace to weaving—the
markets of Genoa, Florence, and even Tunis,
being supplied by the Spaniards.!
By these absurd and destructive measures
the Government of Spain inflicted an irrepara-
* Influence du gouvernement d'Isabella.    Nueva
Recopilacion, ley 27.
t Jovellanos, Colleccion de varias obrus, t. i. p. 112.
Q •••■
ble blow upon her great industrial pursuits;
and in lieu of lowering the price of commodities, which was their immediate aim, they had
exactly the opposite effect. As money became
more abundant, the price of commodities advanced, and the laws which prohibited the
export of the precious metals had no other
result than to restrict production, and ruin the
home manufacturer.
From the preceding facts the following important inferences may be drawn—
First—That every increase of the precious
metals in a country has a tendency to diminish
its value, if there be no corresponding
augmentation in the amount of commodities;
and, vice versa, every increase in the amount
of commodities without a corresponding increase of the circulating medium, has a tendency to augment the value of the latter.
Second—That the supply of gold and silver
is regulated by the same laws as that of all
other commodities. So long as an adequate
price is paid, sufficient to yield a profit, the
supply will be continued; and upon any increase of the value of gold and silver, additional exertions will be made to furnish larger
supplies, not only from the mines in working APPENDIX.
order, but also from new sources. On the
other hand, as the value of gold and silver
diminishes, the least fertile mines will be abandoned as unprofitable, as those in Europe
were, after the discovery of the more fertile
mines of America.
Third—When the currency of a country is
sufficient for the circulation of commodities,
any addition to that currency does not augment
the national wealth, or the sum of necessaries
and conveniences of life. Luxuries, it is true,
may be increased by a greater supply of gold
and silver; but in so trivial a degree as to be
scarcely deserving of notice. But a sudden
influx of the precious metals has a tendency
to produce this serious evil—that, when currency is abundant, the prices of commodities
are  enhanced beyond   their  value   in   other
countries ; consequently, every advantage
which the possessors of the abundant currency
could derive from employing it, is completely
frustrated, as the price of raw materials, of
machinery, and, also, the rate of wages, advance in proportion to the diminished value of
the currency, therefore preclude it from being
profitably employed.
The decline and decay of Spanish industry
q 3
M': XI
V »
clearly illustrates the truth of the preceding
inferences, and ought to be studied with the
deepest interest, especially as the newly-discovered mines of California may pour into the
markets of the world an augmented stream of
the precious metals, whose effect upon the
great industrial interests of mankind can
scarcely be estimated* CHAPTER IV
The relative value of gold and silver has experienced some strange fluctuations since these
metals have been selected as the standard of
value for all other commodities.
Heeren relates that the value of silver was
tenfold greater than that of gold in Arabia
Felix*, when the Phenicians discovered the
mines in Spain, and exchanged their produce
—silver—for the gold of Arabia. The only
authority which he cites is a note of Bochart;
* Historical Researches—Phenicia. p
and adds, u that the conjecture of the latter is
not destitute of foundation."
At the time of the second punic war, the
relative value of gold and silver was 1 to 17^,
according to the authority of Jacob; but the
reason assigned for the relative high price of
gold is not well-authenticated. The cause
most probably was, the successful workings of
the Spanish mines by the Carthaginians, whose
wealth and enterprise had enriched the whole
western world; and the comparative difficulty
of procuring the gold from the East, when the
commercial intercourse of the Carthaginians
with the Arabians had diminished.
Silver, for several centuries previous to the
reign of Justinian had held in general the proportion of 10 to 1 of gold, when it suddenly
rose to 14| to 1. Gibbon attributes this fall in
the value of silver to the inroads of the Barbarians in the fifth century who happened to
throw themselves on countries which produced
the gold. The produce of the Austrian Gold
Mines, he says, had6 long averaged £1,000,000
per annum : they were ruined by the Visigoths,
and have never been re-opened since.
The proportionate value of the two metals is
not at any time a correct index of the actual
■MBHitfrtM APPENDIX.     *
proportionate quantifies of them. Silver is at
present nearly sixteen times less valuable than
gold, but when we consider how very much
the former is used in manufactures, there can
be no doubt that its quantity exceeds that of
gold in a greater proportion than 16 to 1.
The relative value, or price, of gold and silver
has long been fixed by all civilized nations, and
bears a corresponding* ratio   throughout the
* When I say that the Mint fixes the relative
prices of gold and silver, I merely use the ordinary
expression ; but, as there seems to be a great misconception of that expression, it may not be inopportune
to explain what it really means. The Mint does not
fix the price of gold ; but merely says, by fixing the
standard, that a Conventional pound shall mean the
same thing to-morrow as to-day—the same a month,
or three months hence, when I am to be paid for my
goods as on the day I sold them. All the fixity
amounts to this—A sells B certain goods to-day for
one pound sterling—that is, so many grains of gold ;
and B is to receive in payment the same number of
grains of gold when the day of payment arrives, or
what is equal to it, a Bank Note for which he can
go and demand those number of grains of gold. The
truth is that a fixed price of gold only means a fixed
quantity. This is the error which the Liverpool
Keform Financial Association commit, like many
others who will not take the trouble to understand, or
who have not the clearness of intellect to perceive it,
commit, which leads them, necessarily, into all manner of currency crotchets and blunders.
SI!? I
world; and the fluctuations, hitherto, have been
but slight, as the cose of producing the precious
metals is generally a fixed sum, which, from the
nature of things, admits of little or no diminution.
From the reasoning in the preceding chapters it
may be safe, therefore, to infer that the cost
will not be greatly disturbed by the recent discoveries in California. HOARDING,   ONE   OF  THE  CAUSES   WHICH  MAINTAINS THE VALUE OF THE PRECIOUS METALS.
TiiEpassion of mankind for the precious metals is
as intense now as it was at the earliest recorded
instance of exchange, when simple barter was
superseded. It is superfluous to dwell upon
this point, as there are so many evidences of its
reality and truth. But the passion for hoarding may not be so obvious to the ordinary
observer, as it is to those who are occupied in
watching the varied phenomena which it
exhibits,     and    which    assume    so     many
$F forms in the actions of mankind. Hoarding is
practised to as great an extent in the most
civilized nations as it is in the comparatively
barbarous; and, singular to relate, it
arises from the sar£e cause—namely, the
insecurity of property.    In France* the passion
* Chevalier has made an ingenious calculation of
the circulating medium of Europe, and fixes it at
8 milliards of francs. Estimating the population at
250 millions of inhabitants, and France having 35
millions, he gives as her share of the medium, 1,120
millions, whereas she has upwards of 4 milliards, which
entails upon her an enormous expense, annually, in
coinage and interest. He estimates the circulating
medium of England, 1,200, with which she transacts
the enormous amount of her business. France loves
the bullion, under a mistaken impression that it is
more valuable and safer, as an instrument of exchange.
—" II regne dans toutes les classes uh amour exclusif
de la richesse metallique," says Chevalier; and he
proves clearly that she pays preciously dear for it.
Of the 825, kilogrammes of precious metals, produced annually by America and Europe, France has
coined, since 1830, 360,000 kilog., almost half. Her
custom-tables also show that her import of silver,
since 1816, has exceeded her export by two milliards
of francs. What with the cost of extraction, mercury,
and the expenses of coinage, she pays annually about
3,600,000, or nearly four millions of francs for her
circulating medium. She still adheres to her barbarous method of delegating the royal authority to a
company, who, at their different Hotels des Monnaies,
strike off 80 millions of francs annually; the reason APPENDIX.
for    hoarding   is   greater    than    any   other
country   of  Europe,   which   may  be   easily
traced     to    the     uneasy      and     unsettled
condition   of   property.     The   revolutionary
ploughshare has so completely furrowed up the
settled habits of her  people,   and   destroyed
that mutual  confidence in  each other, wflich
alone can inspire a high tone of  credit arid
security, that there are but few investments to
attract the surplus earnings of her industry.
And even that few are looked upon by the
mass of the French with distrust and apprehension ;   hence   the   almost   universal   concomitant of parental dissolution—the hoarded
is simple—the directory get a handsome per centage
upon the coinage.
A great portion of this annually increasing coinage
is hoarded, which has become a settled passion with
the French, especially among the working and middle
M. Chevalier does not go deep enough ; he wishes,
I presume, to spare the feelings of his countrymen
by merely glozing over the causes of the intense,
passion for hoarding which has long characterized
them. I would respectfully refer him to Les Causes
Celebres, wherein he will find abundant evidence of
the fact, and of the diabolical results to which it frequently leads. In most of the cases of murder, there
is generally an old stocking of five franc piece's prominently in the fore-ground, as one of the exciting
causes of the perpetration of crime.
$$■ \$
stocking of five-frank pieces. The criminal
tribunals of that, in some respects, fine and
intelligent people, exhibit some dark and
mournful incidents; indicating too unmistakably the wide-spread passion for hoarding
which exists among them. In other parts of
Europe, where property is not respected, the
same passion must exist, although, perhaps,
not to the same extent as in France. The inhabitants of the East Indies have long been
noted for hoarding the precious metals; and
the bulk of the enormous sums which find
their way to that quarter of the globe, never
returns into the great circulating arteries of
commerce, but lies in a state of unprofitable
and unhealthy congestion. Their passion for
hoarding is a natural result from the political
institutions of that country 5 and must always
exist under similar conditions; the Indians,
even now, under the comparatively mild and
paternal sway of the East India Company,
are not permitted to hold land, therefore have
no inducement to cultivate it to a profit, which
would naturally- wean them from hoarding
their wealth. If their property, formerly,
was too palpable to sight or touch, it was
safe to be mulcted; for Asiatic rulers are not,
and never have been, over nice in their scruples
as regards the law of meum and tuum, as their
subjects can too plainly prove. I except the
Company, of course, from this remark; whose
rule is a blessing compared to the native
chiefs of India, although the conditions of the
land-question, as it stands at present, require
very grave consideration.
The hoarding of the precious metals must
rather increase than diminish, under the disturbed state of the world, and the protracted
political struggle of the present age; and any
increase, therefore, from the mines, to any
considerable extent, would meet with a counteracting check in this strange, but in some
respects pardonable, passion of mankind.
j i1)' ■sll
Before a satisfactory answer can be given to
so important a question, it is necessary to consider the conditions under which it has risen.
First.—The discovery of a new source for
the production of the precious metals, must
naturally create an impression that the general
quantity in the world will be greatly augmented.
Secondly.—A sudden increase in the quan- MKA
tity of the precious metals will have a tendency
to derange their relative value to other com-
modifies | and such derangement must
naturally disturb the commercial dealings of
nations, the pecuniary settlements of society,
and the equitable relations of debtor and
First.—Will the discovery of the California
Mines—the new productive source—lead to an
augmentation of the quantity of the precious
metals ?
It is barely possible that the supply of the
precious metals from California may be so
abundant that they will be materially depreciated as compared to other commodities,.and
their utility, as instruments of exchange, and
a standard of value* greatly impaired; and
were this inconvenience to arise, gold would
simply take the place of silver, and silver that
of copper, in their relative exchangeable
values—in short, copper would be useless, as
silver would exchange for the smallest computable quantity of commodities. But these
are not probable events—and we ought to
limit our hypotheses to the probable, and not
extend them to the possible, range of contingencies—for if any fertile mines of either gold
m Lj
mi r*& hi
or silver were discovered, or even the present
mines  to yield far more abundantly, it would
soon  be found, that,  owing to the increased
quantity of these metals, their value would be
diminished in proportion; and the least fertile
mines, whose produce would be no longer equal
to the expense of working them, would necessarily be closed.    This happened in the 16th
century, when  the   Spaniards  discovered the
mines in South America, and procured unusual
supplies from that quarter; the greater part
of those in Europe were  soon  abandoned,  as
the cost of working them was too great for the
value of their produce in the markets of the
world.    And the same results will again obtain
in the event of unusual quantities of the precious  metals  being found  in California;   the
least productive mines, now in operation, must
naturally cease to be worked.
Again, there is an a priori argument against
the immense quantity of the precious metals
alleged to exist in the newly discovered regions
of California. All history attests, that gold
has been found in small quantities —indeed, it
seems an essential result from the condition of
its existence—and in similar states, from the
most   remote   period   to   the   present   tim APPENDIX.
etren, the able and learned historian, enters
elaborately into the condition of the Mines of
Spain, when first discovered by the Phenicians,
trading to that country. That adventurous
people found the silver lying upon the surface
of the earth, the natives having no means of
exchanging it, and only estimating its value
by its utility; but when the adventurers had
exhausted the first supply which was of so
easy access, they were compelled to dig deep
into the bowels of the earth for the second,
and to expend a great deal of labour, involving
a vast outlay of capital, before they could
obtain additional supplies of the metal. At
length, according to the natural laws which
govern production, mining in Spain became a
laborious, expensive, and exceedingly precarious undertaking, which barely paid those
whose capital was embarked in it; and, upon
the discovery of the Athenian Mines shortly
after, when silver became depreciated in the
market, the Phenicians abandoned those of
Spain, from the fact of the outlay being too
great for a profitable return. I have already
remarked upon the abandonment of the European mines, when those of America were dis-
m"i hi
m mm:.
>if Mis
If a
covered, from the same causes, precisely, as
those which closed those of ancient Spain; it
will only be necessary to state another event
in the hisljpry of the precious metal-disomvery,
to illustrate simply and clearly, the point at
which I am aiming.
The discovery of gold in the Ural Chain of
Siberia led to the most exaggerated estimates
of its quantity, and suggested many enquiries
which have resulted in a more correct knowledge of its positive conditions. In the gullies
and ravines of the water-courses the precious
metal was found in abundance; but in the
wide estuaries* formed by the rivers, over
which the debits of that high mountain range
had been washed for ages, it was scattered
about in comparatively diminished quantities.
After the first gathering was accomplished, it
became a settled form of labour, involving a
definite outlay of capital, and yielding an
average, but not an enormous, rate of profit.
Indeed3 the profit barely exceeds that of the
Brazilian and Mexican Mines, which have
been long in operation.
Nor has the working of the Ural mines materially changed the relative value of gold, which
. •'■■■■■
was confidently anticipated*, as the quantity annually produced approximates to a given sum—
about £ 2,0C0,000 odd—but with this drawback,
that the amount of labour is almost annually in-
creasing, while the quantity of metal produced is
not augmenting in the same ratio. Again, when
we consider the conditions under which the
precious metal is generally found, it will
be readily inferred that the quantity must
be exceedingly limited; and that the expense of obtaining it must always keep up
its relative value to other commodities.
v In the lofty chain of mountains running
* The reader may feel some interest in knowing
to what extent the mines of the Ural and Siberia
have proved productive. In the year 1837, the
gold produce of the Ural mountains exceeded 304
poods i this portion is considered the richest of the
mountain-chain, as all the other mines only produced
104 poods. In 1842, the total amount had already
reached 100 poods—nearly double that of 1838—
and in the last year, 1843, it swelled to the enormous quantity of 1342 poods. Taking the pood at
43 lbs. 103 dwts. troy, and estimating the ounce
of gold at 3£. 17s. 10^d., and the fineness of
the gold at the British standard, the sterling value
of the last year's produce of Kussian gold amounts
to 2,751,962£. Vide, Murjchison-'s " observations
on the Ural mountain.** ■0
.; ;..•>■*>•:'..
nearly due north, which form as it were the
backbone of Central America, shoot out an
infinite number of elevated spurs; these, running in a N. E. and S. W. direction, form
either deep ravines or elevated table lands.
The plains are composed, at the Base of the
Rocky Mountains, of limestone overling granite. In a lower latitude they are superstra-
tified with serpentine, and greenstone trap;
and in the Sierra Nevada, the rocks are composed of granite—consisting of white quartz,
feldspar, and black mica—porous trap, or
basalt. The granites of this part of the world
are nearly all auriferous (California—but the
geological phenomena are nearly the same in
the Ural chain,) and from their granular and
loose structure, undergo rapid decomposition.
During the winter season, the crests of these
mountain-ranges are deeply covered with snow;
and at the periods of thaw, and during the
rainy season, which lasts from November until
March, torrents of water sweep from the
mountain-tops down the deep gullies and
ravines into the valleys, and carry with them
the disintegrated rock, and the particles of
gold. Thus the valleys of the region are
annually inundated, and masses of decomposed
rock are scattered over their surfaces. The
id deposits are found in the heads of
the ravines, and although the valleys may
yield large returns, the richest accumulation
will be found at the heads of the deepest
gullies. Hence the pursuit of gold-finding is
very uncertain, although throughout California and Upper Mexico the washings of the
mountains have accumulated since the creation
of the world, yet in valleys the gold is seldom
found below a few feet from the surface, and
the smallest undulations upon the surface of
the valley may considerably lessen or increase
the residuation of the metallic grains. Thus,
therefore, in most parts of the world where
gold deposits have been found, the superficial
working has been successful: but as the pursuit is extended, very large tracts are often
explored unsuccessfully. This has been the
case in the Ural, in Columbia, in Costa Rica,
and other places." (Wyld's notes.)
It may readily be inferred from the preceding observations, that no great quantity
of the precious metals will be obtained in
California; none, at least, that will have any
great disturbing influence on its relative value
in the markets of the world, as many alarmists
111 358
apprehend,* from too limited a view of the
nature and conditions of the question. The
cost of the labour to obtain it will soon assimilate the Sierra Nevada to the conditions of the
Ural Chain; when the cream is swept off—
if we may be pardoned such a phrase—the
II Wiggins     will  gradually diminish, and  the
* Vide the pamphlet of a Merchant, entitled
Reflections on the manner in which property may
be affected by a large influx of Gold in California!"
The following may be taken as a sample of the
writer's reasoning powers—" In all the gold mines
hitherto discovered, circumstances have imposed a
limit on the extent to which they could be worked.
In Africa, the impediments are a bad climate and a
barbarous people. In the Oural mountains the sterility of the soil prevents any increase of population.
In South America and other countries, where the
metal is obtained exclusively by excavation, that
very circumstance restricts the number of miners,
as few can be employed at a time in a shaft.'* In
all these instances of the t merchant," a wrong
cause is assigned for the limited production of gold.
The cause is simply this—mining will not repay the
cost of labour employed in it. In Africa, Mehemet
Ali foilnd that the forced labour in the gold mines
of Darfour and Nigritia cost him more than the gold
was worth—therefore abandoned them as unprofitable undertakings. The Emperor of Russia, or rather
the Pafince Demidoff, and the owners of the Ural
mines, find that no more labour can be profitably
employed upon them ; the sterility of the soil has
little to do with the question, even were it in that " diggers ' will be gradually reduced to the
skimmed-milk state, as the labourers are at
present in the Russian Mines.
Having treated of the first branch of the
proposition which I set out with, I shall now
consider the subject in another form, so as to
meet the conditions of the second branch.
Let us assume, for the sake of argument,
that a large influx of gold from California will
take place. What effect will that quantity
have on the monetary relations of the world ?
The possessors of the precious metal, like other
people, will be desirous of employing advantageously the greater part of their property ;
an increase of currency, which would naturally
ensue from a large influx of the precious
metals, would therefore cause more competition for its employment, and, consequently, the
nominal price of commodities would rapidly
condition, which is not confirmed by intelligent
observers, (vide, Murchison.) In South America
also, the mines would have been more extensively
worked, had they yielded a profit; and not simply
because " the metal is obtained by excavation, that
circumstance restricting the number of miners,"
which could soon have been obviated by a profitable return. We have one word for this species of
reasoning—Niaiserie. i MUm
advance. I assume, at the same time, that the
quantity of commodities has not increased
pari passu with the gold. After prices had advanced, a new relation would be established
between the circulating medium -and commodities ; and the competition for the extra
currency would immediately cease. An augmentation of the precious metals in any one
country will advance the price of commodities
in that country, but not always in proportion
to their excess, as a part]would most likely be
exported for profitable employment elsewhere;
and, as prices advanced, the inducement to
import foreign goods would increase, which
would be paid for in the precious metals, until
a more equable relation was established between the importing and exporting countries,
as regards the pric^e of commodities.
Many people regard the importation of gold
and silver as a benefit greater than results from that of other commodities,
and consider the exportation of tbem as a
national detriment. A superabundance of
the precious metals is no proof of the increase
of national wealth. An individual possessed
of a large quantity of these metals may be
considered opulent, but if he  does not  ex- gauwwfcp— .
change them for other objects which can add
to his property, it will continually diminish by
all the amount of expense that he incurs. So
it is with the aggregate of individuals constituting the nation. Every superfluity of wealth,
not employed usefully for the reproduction of
another value, is placed in a state of total consumption, and the national wealth accordingly
diminishes. Were an increase of metallic currency to afford additional facility to the circulation of goods, then production might be encouraged, and a greater supply of gold and
silver would be desirable; but every excess,
beyond what can encourage production, proves
useless, and occasions wasteful expense. Let
us pursue this argument a little further, as
many are smitten with the notion that the acquisition of the precious metals is the acquisition of wealth. Such reasoners do not bear
in mind that the foreigners, who send gold and
silver to this country, take away what they
deem of greater value; in like manner, the
exporters, also, of the precious metals to other
countries calculate, as if they sent other goods,
upon obtaining  from  thence a greater value
I m
in return, and were no benefit to result, the
exportation would cease.
The importation or exportation of gold and
silver does not, necessarily, imply the transfer
of capital from one country to another for the
sake of permanent employment. Either of
these, like the importation or exportation of
any other commodity, is most frequently the
exchange of the excess of one kind of capital
which cannot be so usefully employed where it
is, as if it were forwarded to another country,
for the acquisition of a different kind of
capital, from which the owners expect a greater
Every advantage, therefore, which may be
supposed to arise from the augmentation in
the quantity of the precious metals in any particular country, is altogether without foundation. %
No country can retain a n excess of them in
circulation, greater than would occasion a
diminution in their value, equal to the risk and
expense of conveying them to other countries,
united to a moderate rate of profit. The augmented value attainable from other nations,
which are in comparative want of the precious "*
metals, beyond what they will exchange for
where they exist in superfluity, must always
prove an inducement to export them for commodities of greater value, and even to carry on
a contraband trade in them, too powerful to be
controlled.* Spain furnishes a memorable example of this fact.
+ Nueva Becopilacion, ley 27, Madrid 1548.
There were several laws of this kind passed before and
after the period cited, prohibiting the exportation
of the precious metals. In consequence of that prohibition Spain suffered two disadvantages. First,
every possessor of gold and silver in the kingdom
could obtain less for them than he otherwise would,
had he been permitted to send them freely to the
best market. Secondly, foreigners received additional
encouragement to carry on a forbidden trade with
the Spanish colonies, as all goods sent from Spain to
the former were a per centage dearer than those sent
from other countries, in as far as the price was enhanced by the prohibition of the export of gold and
silver. The colonies returned raw produce to Spain
in payment for what they received, then the price of
the returns in the mother country would have
been sufficiently enhanced to equalize the advance on the goods sent out. But the result was
different when returns were made in coin or bullion,
which was more valuable to foreigners than to Spanish
Merchants, by the per centage of prohibition imposed
n 2
am in mm
We must also bear in mind that the circumstances of the world are vastly different to what they
were when the Spaniards discovered America,
and inundated Europe with the precious metals.
The elements of production were comparatively
limited, and commodities, therefore, but few;
and the means of diffusing those commodities
throughout the world, and carrying on an extended commercial exchange, were but scanty
and meagre, as compared to the present day.
A voyage across the ocean was a marvel and
wonder which few could undertake; and even
from town to town, not to say from country to
country, a communication was of but rare
occurrence. The influx of the precious metals
into Europe at that period, therefore, must
have had an instantaneous effect upon prices,
as commodities were but few, and not capable
of rapid augmentation. The manufactures
were almost exclusively confined to Spain and
on the latter. The prohibition of the exportation of
gold and silver from Spain was consequently a tax
upon the trade both of the mother country and of
the colonies. The design was to preserve a large
quantity of the precious metals in Spain; but
the effect was to diminish their importation into
that country, and to ruin her manufactures and com-
Flanders ; France and England, at that period
employing but few hands in such occupations.
There were then no Manchesters, Glasgows,
Birminghams; no Lyons, Paris, Rouen, St.
Quentin; no Strasbourgh, Eiberfeldt, Mul*
hausen, Abbeville; no Milan in Italy for
manufacturing renown—no Berne in Switzerland for its ingenious devices; all these busy
hives of industry had not awakened into existence, to send forth to the world the marvellous
prodigies of their power, to excite the cravings,
to indulge the tastes, and to satisfy the wants
of mankind: at the period to which we refer
population was thinly scattered over the globe,
its desires few and easily supplied; its power
of satisfying its wants were exceedingly limited.
Gold must, therefore, have been but little in
request among the mass of the community, and
seldom used as an instrument of exchange, although it was adopted, as the precious metals have
been in all ages, among civilized nations, as the
standard of value, by which every article in its
saleable capacity was measured. The merchants of that day—those of Grenoble, Venice,
Barcelona and Seville, had a measurement of
its value, and minutely watched its fluctuations in the  markets of the world, as  far as
•Mil *:-^
their limited knowledge of the rise and fall of
the precious metals at that period, would allow
them; but the mass of men—and even the
governing few—knew little about it, or cared
for comprehending the laws which governed its
value, although it was almost daily affecting
the relations of their whole property. Contrast
the present state of the world with what it was
in the 16th century, when the influx of the
precious metals affected so great a change
in the relative value of commodities. In
these days we can produce commodities
much faster than we can dig or delve gold from
the earth, and were mankind to discover a real
Pactolus, with nothing but gold for its sands,
the spinning-jenny in our great hives of industry would keep pace with it, and produce
as rapidly as the value of the metal could possibly fall, so that the standard measure
would not be greatly disturbed by the discovery. The ships now off the coast of California, to omit those announced for that quarter,
even in this country alone, contain more ex -
changeable commodities than the relative value
of the discovered gold is worth, and must
quickly  absorb  it; so  that the   chance of a /
large importation from thence is but
remote, except in exchange for commodities,
and any surplus quantity that may reach either
Europe or America will be instantly diffused
by the multiplicity of articles awaiting a
profitable exchange, and the many wants of
mankind which are only scantily gratified. To
sum up these few remarks—the productive
power of our manufacturing and agricultural
industry is much greater than that which produces the precious metals, as is clearly demonstrated by the fall in the price of commodities in relation to silver and gold; while,
on the contrary, the production of the
precious metals in the sixteenth century was
much greater than that of commodities, hence
the great fail that ensued in the value of the
former, as compared to the latter. The positions
are precisely reversed.
If any large increase, therefore, of the
precious metals result from the discovery in
California, the absorbing power is snfficiently
great to counteract the effect of depreciation
in those metals ; and it may be safely inferred^
that the disturbing influence will not be so
great as many alarmists are disposed to believe,
IP '! if
which fulfils all the conditions required in the
* Should the influx of gold from California into
Europe ultimately prove as large as it is at present
expected to be, it would produce two effects, according as we consider it, first—as increasing the
whole aggregate of the coined monies circulating
throughout Europe; and, secondly, as we consider
it, as merely altering its own relative value to that
of silver. With respect to the latter effect, though
it may not be so serious as anticipated, yet the
consequences which will flow from it, will be of a
most momentous character. Let us suppose, for
instance, that gold, instead of bearing as it does
now a relative value to that of silver, as 15^ to 1,
should become so depreciated by its abundance, or
rather by its cheapness of production, that it should
be only twelve times the value of-silver. It would
thus be depreciated about one-fifth; and the 113
grains of fine gold in our sovereign would be only
worth sixteen shillings. In fact, it would require
four shillings-worth more of gold, at that price, or
28 grains more, that is, 141 grains to discharge an
obligation of one-pound sterling. In all our existing
contracts, the bond between the creditor and
the debtor is, that for every pound sterling of
obligation, the former shall demand, and the latter
shall not be called upon to pay more than 113
The operation of such a change will not
only effect the public creditor, but all those great
social institutions, Life Assurance and Reversionary
Companies. For instance, the former, at some distant date, on being called upon to satisfy a Policy, APPENDIX.
after having taken for a series of years of the
Insurer gold which was worth twenty shillings, would
pay his representatives in gold which would be
only worth sixteen shillings. And, on the contrary,
a Reversionary Society which had advanced a sum
of money in gold worth twenty shillings for the distant Reversion of a larger sum, would, when that
Reverson fell in, have to receive it in gold worth
only sixteen shillmgs. In fact, all the calculations
which these Institutions have made during the last
two generations would be stultified to the immense
gain of one class, and the immense loss of the
other. wm
The accidental development of mineral wealth
in the far west, has naturally directed public
attention to the Isthmus of Panama, which
seems on the map like a thin line of thread
uniting the two great continents of America.
Nothing seems easier than to snap it asunder,
and force a passage for the two oceans to join
their masses of water together, so that the
ships of the world might sail proudly through,
instead of having to sneak some thousands of
miles round Cape Horn, not only to their great
endangerment, but also at an immense sacrifice
of time, one of the most important elements
in an economical calculation. Yet, so it is.
Science, with all its gigantic accomplishments,
seems appalled at the effort to remove this
obstacle to the world's enrichment; she can
fill the earth with her wonders, and has enabled man almost to outstrip even time and
space, yet she cannot annihilate the distance between the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans—a mere forty-five odd miles—which
would immediately bring the East and West
into polite proximity to each other; at least,
if brother Jonathan would leave off his " tarnation go-a-head intrusiveness," and John Bull
would not insist upon thrusting down the
throat of the fastidious Chinaman his commercial rules and regulations. But this will never
be, although the Isthmus should cease to~mor-
row, under the magic mastery of a Stephenson
or Brunei; it would simply precipitate the great
destiny of modern discovery, that the Anglo-
Saxon branch must ultimately subdue the
whole human race. On—on—is the instinctive
watch-word which echoes in the heart of England and America; movement is the law of
their existence;  the^ends of the earth  will
\ Elli
I ?||
11» >'•
ultimately recognise their presence and give
evidence of their sway. When? Let time
answer; in the meanwhile we may speculate
on the events which will lead to the precise
period when that answer will be given.
Ever since the discovery of America the
project of cutting down the Isthmus of
Panama has been entertained at one time
or other. Old Christopher Columbus was
the first to estimate its importance—the
discoverer of that new world saw at a
glance that it would immensely assist maritime intercourse between the Eastern and
Western hemispheres, were that barrier
knocked down; but all the Kings of Spain,
nor all the wealth of their sumless mines,
could not accomplish it; and there it stands,
like an ugly eye-sore, to reproach the boasted
exploits of man, and to humble the otherwise
superb flights of his soaring and scientific
Humboldt has penned even a sublime summary of the advantages that must accrue to
mankind, were the Isthmus knocked on the
head;   and Monsieur Michel*  Chevalier  has
* Vide Journal des Debats. July, 1846.
drawn up, most ably, the report of M. Garella,
who surveyed it in a very scientific manner,
and the former concludes that it never can
be accomplished in our days—at least, upon
the plan projected by his countryman;
M. Garella proposed to cut a canal through
the solid rock of the Isthmus at an elevation
of 140 metres (460 feet), which would require
a lockage for every three metres—or 48 metres
on the one side, and 54 metres on the other,
on account of the difference of tides in the
two oceans; or to pierce a tunnel at the same
elevation, of dimensions sufficient to let ships
of 1,200 tons burthen pass through with their
lower masts standing. Of these two projects
M. Garella inclined to the latter, and estimated
the work as follows : —
!  W
Height from the bottom of canal to crown of
the arch 37 metres (122 feet)
Breadth 21 metres    (69 feet)
Total length 5,350 metres or 5,900 yards.
M. Garella considers that the tunnel would
be cut through a solid rock of porphyry, and
calculates the expens*
iO   * 374
For Canal, tunnel, conduits, and ports—139
millions of francs, or in English money—
Several objections to this project were soon
started ; and most of them well-founded. Like
others, of a similar nature, it died a natural
death. Since then the Americans have surveyed the Isthmus, but nothing, at present,
has resulted from their survey.
The most feasible, and, at the same time
the most practicable, is the plan proposed by
Don Jose de Garay, who caused the survey of
the Isthmus at Tehuantepec to be made, under
the sanction of the Mexican Government,
in 1842. C       ~        >w/
M. Moro, to whose scientific skill M. Garay
is indebted for the survey, declares the Isthmus
at Panama to be impracticable, from the enormous expense that it would involve.
He next examines the plan projected of
cutting a canal to the lake of Nicaragua,
or making the river St. John, which runs
a distance of 93 miles, navigable; and finds
the physical obstacles so great, that he abau
dons it in despair.
M.   Moro then   proposes   the Isthmus   of Tehuantepec, as the most eligible point for
constructing a canal, the greater part of the
distance which separates the two seas, being
occupied on the south by lagoons and extensive plains, and on the north it is traversed by
the river Coatzacoalcos; so that the principal
works to be executed would be comprised
within a space of about fifty miles in length.
He calculates that the canal would be navigable for ships drawing twenty feet water;
will ensure excellent ports at both extremities; and alleges that the materials for construction cannot be more abundant, superior
in quality, or better distributed in any part of
the Isthmus. In point of health, Tehuantepec
is exceedingly favourable; while, on the contrary, Panama is a complete pest-honse, so
much so, that Messrs Loyd and Falraarc could
not complete their exploring labours, which
they undertook in 1827 and 1828, by order
of Bolivar.
Besides these purely local advantages, Tehuantepec is more favourable for navigation,
offering to vessels proceeding to Asia or the
N. W. coast of America, a communication
more direct, and through a more genial climate.    On their return, they are now obliged 1=
r   2
to keep in northern latitudes, and direct their
course towards the Californias, in order to
escape the influence of the trade-winds, and
for these also the route would be less circuitous. Lastly, the fresh but not dangerous
north and north-easterly winds are common
to the whole of the American Isthmus, but
Tehuantepec is not subject to the protracted
calms, which at some seasons of the year,
paralyze navigation at Panama.
M. Moro estimates the cost of the undertaking as follows:—
Cost of 150 locks   at £8000  £1,200,000
50 miles of canal at 30,000    1,500,000
15 miles of trench ,.       400,000
3 miles   of  trench         120,000
Regulation   of   the Coatzacoalcos
lakes, and Bocca Barra        160,000
The estimated returns to repay this outlay
of capital, are based upon the maritime commerce of the four principal shipping nations
of the world—England, United States, France, APPENDIX.
and the Netherlands. M. Moro states that
the aggregate quantity of tonnage, conveyed
round Cape Horn annually, amounts to 1,500,
000 tons, relying upon documentary evidence:
this, with other items of profit, would produce—
For transit duties £600,000
Sale of lands, and steam navigation 50,000
Timber, &c., &c.    550,000
Total.        £1,200,000
We shall leave to others the task of analysing these statements, simply contenting ourselves with placing them prominently before
the public; nevertheless, we may be allowed
to observe that, from our slight experience in
such matters, the proposal of M. Garay appears the most practical of all that have been
as yet submitted to public adoption, and
promises as great advantages as can possibly
accrue from such an undertaking. Surely
England will not be backward at this important
crisis ; the requirements of her commerce, and
the adventurous instincts of the age, demand
that she should be prompt and decided. The
same   policy that   dictated the necessity   of
making Aden a station to protect the Overland-
route to India ought, we must presume to remark, to prevail as regards the Isthmus of
Panama ; and there can be no great difficulty
about the matter, if pursued with promptitude
and energy. We hold Gibraltar, the key to
the Mediterranean, and wisely too ; then ought
we to lose the opportunity of securing the key
to the Pacific, in whose waters we have so
many and such mighty interests ? Common
prudence says no—emphatically, no. Jonathan
is already alive to the importance of the
crisis, and has directed his keen and calculating
eye upon the Isthmus, knowing well the immense advantage that must accrue to him,
when a free communication shall be made
through it; and it will be a hard race with our
commercial and manufacturing interests and
those of America, when the distance to the
Eastern hemisphere shall be shortened to the
former some thousands of mile3. We must
hold our power over the great maritime artery
of the world, through which the life-stream of
national enterprise must naturally and inevitably flow ; and that artery must lie athwart the
back of the Isthmus of Central America.
Again,  the  cutting  a   canal   through   the APPENDIX.
Tsthmus, at the most eligible point, would not
absorb a large amount of capital, when compared to other works which have been effected
to benefit our commerce, the profitable returns
of which have been more than doubtful; we
allude more particularly to the Caledonian
Canal, and the Exploring Expeditions to the
North Pole. Indeed, a free passage through
the Isthmus for our mercantile marine would,
in a great measure, supersede the advantages
of a North-west passage, even could the latter be
effected; we allude, of course, to the mercantile advantages, and shall not presume to undervalue its scientic results, which are justly
appreciated by all. We feel confident that the
British Government will lose no time in the
matter, as the Central States have been always
ready and willing to dispose of the beneficial
interest to any party who would undertake
such a noble work. The late King of Holland
seriously entertained the idea of a canal,
before the revolution of 1830 shook him from
his purpose; and the state of Nicaragua proposed the same measure to the Belgian Emigration Society, which was abandoned from a
similar cause, and would gladly do the same to APPENDIX.
England, with full and guaranteed right of possession.
In our next chapter we shall attempt to
analyze a project which, from the sudden
celebrity of its author, has largely attracted
public attention. CHAPTER   VIII.
In the year 1846, Prince Louis Napoleon,
then an exile in this country, circulated, among
his friends, a project to connect the Atlantic
and Pacific oceans, which excited considerable
attention, not only from the singular position
of its author, but also from the great practical
knowledge which it evinced of the subject.
The project, it appears, was first suggested to
the u Imperial mind" by the following circumstance. ilii
I In the year 1842, several influential
persons of Central America wrote to the
prisoner of Ham, through a French gentleman
in Jamaica, with the view of inducing him to
ask for his liberation and proceed to America,
where, as they said, the Prince would be welcomed with enthusiasm, and would find occupation worthy of his name and active mind."
The Prince declined the proposition ; nevertheless, it made a strong impression upon his
mind, if we may judge by the terms in which
he alludes to it—gj The more closely," he remarks, "the body is confined, so much more is
the mind disposed to wander in unbounded
space, and to canvass the feasibility of projects
which it would scarcely be at leisure to entertain in a more active existence.". And a French
Naval Officer, who was about to start for
Central America, having paid Louis Napoleon
a visit in his prison, was directed by the latter
to make observations on the practicability of
cutting a ship-canal that should join the two
oceans, especially through the lakes of Nicaragua and Leon. This incident was duly
communicated to Head Quarters at Paris, and
the Citizen King whose microscopic mind
unduly   magnified  the  mole-hills  that   came APPENDIX.
within its range, instantly despatched M.
Garella to make surveys for a contemplated
cutting across the Isthmus of Panama, not
with the most distant view of carrying it out,
but simply to check-mate a rival whose power
he affected to despise, and whose apparent influence, at that period, was at zero on the
political scale. What a singular destiny is that
of Louis Napoleon I
It was a favourite saying of his uncle—
" there is but one step from the sublime to the
ridiculous," and many have remarked that
Louis Napoleon has always taken that step.
The Strasbourg!) and Boulogne affairs partook
largely of the a ridiculous'' portion of the
apophthegm; they certainly embodied but a
trifling amount of the " sublime." The projected cutting of the Isthmus, which has engaged so many and such marvellous minds, and
yet unaccomplished, must stand upon its own
merits—it is simply in print, and will be judged
accordingly. Has Louis Napoleon put his
" ridiculous," or his ie sublime," foot foremost
in stepping into his present position ? He has
never yet taken a right measure of his movements; not from want of pluck, but from failing to perceive that there is an immense distance
Blip/'. 384
between the conception and the execution of
a scheme.* Be that as it may, we have no
right, perhaps, to introduce political dissertation while considering a plan which is purely
commercial and scientific, therefore shall proceed to analyze that of Louis Napoleon as fairly
and justly as we are able. In a preceding
chapter we have already alluded to the surveys
of M. Garella, and pointed out their impracticability, even had the French Government
been desirous of seeing them completed.
* The avowed policy of the President, among his
friends in this country, is to break up the Centralization-System, which was the grand aim of his Uncle to
accomplish; the first, wishes to scatter the fiery
spirits of the Capital over the provinces, on the principle of divide etimpera ; the latter did all he could
to concentrate them on one point, in order that he
might the more effectually rule them. Napoleon was
in his element when directing the collective wit and
wisdom of his empire ; and Louis Napoleon, we can
imagine to be anywhere but in his element, when
attempting to direct either one or the other. Has
he the grasp to " hold in leash,: the fiery and subtle
spirits which encircle him—:to say nothing of the
dare-devil and desperate few who oppose him 1 Has
he the genius to start the right game, and keep them
well on to the scent 1 He stands, in our opinion, a
much greater chance of realizing the fable of Actoson
—nor will he be the first, by a great many, who has
fallen a victim to his own followers. APPENDIX.
The Prince states, after a few preliminary
emarks upon the condition of Central America,
that five principal points have been p roposed
as eligible for the opening of a communication
between the two seas. The first, on the northern side, through the isthmus of Tehuantepec;
the second, through the isthmus of Panama;
and finally, two other projects, through the
gulf of Darien. Of these, the passage through
the isthmus of Tehuantepec presents almost
insuperable difficulties, according to the surveys
of General Orbegoso, and the valuations of
M. Garella;* besides, this canal would have
the immense disadvantage of opening into the
gulf of Mexico, dangerous to navigation, and
also of lengthening, by several hundred miles,
the route to South America. The opinions
collected by M. Chevalier, are quite unfavourable to the adoption of the two proposed routes
through the gulf of Darien, There remain only
two available projects; one by the isthmus of
Panama, the other by the river San Juan and
the lakes of the state of  Nicaragua.    If all
* We have already observed that the surveys of
M. Garella are not to be depended upon. They were
got up to serve a political purpose.
s 386
these projects were available, the last is the only
one that should be adopted, inasmuch as it is
the only one conducive to the real interests of
Central America, and the world at large. The
proposed canal must not be a mere cutting
calculated to convey from one sea to the other
European produce simply; it must, above all,
render Central America a maritime state,
prosperous by the interchange of its internal
produce, and powerful by its extensive commerce." A canal can only do this by running
through a fertile country, with a highly- productive and numerous population, with many
wants and plenty of means to gratify them.
The prince commits a pardonable error in
political economy—as many others have done
before him—namely, in mistaking a consequence
for a cause. Canals do not create the conditions required by the hypothesis, no more
than railwavs through a sterile district create
activity and industry ; but they are created in
consequence of those conditions being already
in existence. When a people have produced
eommodities, then canals are highly useful to
circulate them; but all the canals in the world
are not able, to oreate commodities, where the APPENDIX.
people are deficient in the  elements for  their
The Prince observes—| that if a canal
could be made to cross this territory of Central America, situated on the Caribbean sea,
and ending at Realego on the Pacific, that
canal would completely satisfy the required
conditions (?), for Kealego has a good harbour,
and San Juan offers a good roadstead, sheltered
from the north-easterly winds, which are the
only violent ones upon the coast. Neither at
Panama, nor at Chagres, nor on any point of
the same coasts, is there any moorage to be
compared with that just mentioned."
We enter the more minutely into this project of the Prince, from the fact of the public
mind being largely directed to the subject, as
a natural result of the recent discoveries in
that region of the goble; and we already perceive, by the announcements in the papers, that
speculation will run strongly in that direction,
and blindly too, if not cautiously, and judiciously instructed. The two oceans must be
united through the medium of the Isthmus,
at one point or other; the wants of the world
will accomplish the union sooner or later.
The Prince   objects   to   Panama   for   the
&u ■■
reasons frequently assigned—| at Panama su
a canal could only cross a country marshy,
unwholesome, uninhabited, and uninhabitable,
which would offer a passage of but thirty
miles, amidst stagnant waters and barren rocks,
yielding no spot of ground fitted for the
growth of a trading community, for sheltering
fleets, or for the development and interchange
of the produce of the soil."
The proposed canal between the Atlantic
and Pacific, commencing at the port of San
Juan, and terminating at the port of Kealego^
would be as follows—
Length of the river San Juan
Lake Nicaragua
River Tipitapa
,5 Lake Leon
Isthmus  between  Lake Leon  and
Pacific       -
Total length     278
Eighty-two miles only of this length  will
need exploitation, as the lakes are navigable for ships of the largest size. According to the
most accurate surveys of the whole contemplated course of the canal, the following results
have been obtained :—
Above the Atlantic    Above the Pacific
ft.    in. ft.    in.
Height of the Lake
of Nicaragua 147    9   128    3
eight of the Lake
^of Leon 176    5   156 11
Height  of  superior
level of land 231  11    212    5
The difference of level between high-water
in the Pacific and low-water in the Atlantic
being, according to M. Garella, nineteen feet
and a half, it will require less lockage on the
side of the former; and not prove an obstacle
to the construction of the canal, as many, unacquainted with hydraulic works, suppose.
The Prince anticipates overcoming all the difficulties in the San Juan river> in spite of
shallows, rapids, lockage, and 57,906 yards, or
33 miles of complete transformation; but, on
this point, there appears considerable difference
of opinion, and, as it involves the practicability
of the plan, we may as well cite other authorities, who seem to have thoroughly studied and
mastered the question.
| The Isthmus of Nicaragua seems to offer
many advantages; but upon a more minute
examination there appear many difficulties, and
these of an insurmountable nature. From the
report published by the command of the
Government of the State of Nicaragua in reference to the exploration of that Isthmus,
effected during the years 1837 and 1838 by Mr.
J. Bailey, it seems that the course of the river
St. John, with all its windings, is about 93
miles in length, six and a half of which are
obstructed by four rapids, caused by ledges of
rocks stretching across the whole width of the
river. These obstacles were considered such
formidable impediments as to suggest the construction of a canal as an easier operation than
that of rendering the river itself navigable.
Towards the South, a distance of nearly 17
miles between the lake and the Pacific, the
territory is occupied by a chain of mountains
which, although not very elevated, would occasion works of extraordinary magnitude. It
would be necessary to excavate a considerable
portion of it to a depth much greater than has
■■■tfi APPENDIX.
been hitherto customary in works of this kind,
and for 3 J miles it would be indispensable to
bore the mountains, and open a tunnel of sufficient dimensions to admit the large vessels
employed in transatlantic navigation. Besides,
on the side of the Atlantic, the port of San
Juan de Nicaragua, into which the river San
Juan empties itself over a bar with only three
feet of water upon it, now only affords anchorage for a few vessels drawing 10 feet
of water; and could not be formed into a harbour for large ships, except at an enormous
expense ; and the Port of St. John, Souths on
the Pacific side, is not adequate from its small
dimensions for large shipping, as its access is
difficult, if not impossible, when the North
and North-east winds, which are common, prevail."*      I
These are grave objections, and, in cur
opinion, which is also confirmed by other authorities, fatal to the scheme of the Prince;
nevertheless, we shall lay the whole of it before
*Vide An account of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
by Don Jose de Garay. APPENDIX.
the public, so that they may be able to judge
for themselves, premising that the surveys of
Signior de Moro confirm those of Bailey and
The  estimated cost of  the    works  is   as
Works on the river San Juan
„    Tipitapa
The Isthmus of Bealego
At the extreme ports    -
Purchase of tools, engines, waggons
Other works       -
Casual expenses and reserved fund
After specifying the immense advantages
that must accrue to commerce by opening a
canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as it
would shorten the voyage from Europe to the
wester coast of American 2,846 miles, and
save, on an average, forty-eight days, he estimates his revenue upon the following data.
BtiSUBa Of the 1,203,762 tons, which the commerce
of the leading maritime nations measured in
1841. he assumes that 700,000 tons at least
have doubled Cape Horn; in addition, he
calculates upon an augmentation of 200,000
tons by the impulse that would be given to
the enterprize of the world—
600,000 tons at     10s.     £300,000
Yearly revenue of the canal      £600,000
or 12 per cent upon the capital employed,
after deducting 2 per cent., for repairs, and
1 per cent, for sinking-fund.
The difference of tollage of ten shillings
per ton would be charged to the ships of the
United States, as they would gain double, their
voyage being shortened by two months; but
how long Jonathan would submit to such a
differential item, the Prince does not consider
it worth while to consider. 
The economy to the ship- owner he estimates
In the maintenance of the crew
Interest at 1| per cent, on the value of
the  cargo,  supposed   to   be  worth
£4,000 -
Interest at 1  per cent, on the value of
the ship, valued at £3,000
B eduction of insurance at 1 per cent.
Total saving    £292
Equal to a saving of 195.   Id. per ton.
The following calculations of time required
for voyages to different points on the globe,
will be read with interest, whether the project
of the Prince be carried out or not, and clearly
indicate the importance of piercing the Isthmus
at one point or other.   APPENDIX.
For reasons stated in a preceding chapter
we consider the project for the Tehuantepec
route, greatly preferable to that of' Nicaragua,
as it will secure the same advantages to commerce, and will be much easier of being carried
into effect. CHAPTER IX.
The following details from a traveller who has
recently crossed the Isthmus, and upon whom
every reliance may be placed, will be read
with interest at the present moment: —
f* The route across the Isthmus from
Panama to Chagres is perfectly easy at almost
all seasons of the year, and may be accomplished in about 28 or 30 hours, with due
diligence and energy on the part of the
traveller.    The land-portion of the journey is APPENDIX.
about 21 miles, from Panama to Cruces; the
remainder is effected by means of the river
Chagrcs, which is navigable for small boats at
all seasons, and admits even heavy-weighted
Canoes to sail on its bosom for a considerable
portion of the year, The best route to take
from Panama is to Grorgona, and not Cruces,
as the road, except in the rainy season, is more
easily traversed by the mules; while the
latter is stony and in a roughly broken-up
condition. The Cruces' road, as its condition
clearly indicates—excellent materials lying scattered about in almost every direction shewing
that it must have been expensively constructed—
Was the old route of the Spaniards, before the
colonies were separated from the mother
country, and the common high-way between
the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Indeed, the
jealousy of that secret and selfish government
was ever opposed to a free and open communication across the Isthmus, from an apprehension that its influence would be lessened, and
that the needy and prying foreigner would
acquire too large an insight into the richly-
productive power of its possessions. The instructions of the mother country to her viceroys
in America were highly characteristic of this
feeling, as we may learn from Alcedo,* who
informs us that the kings of Spain itnerdicted,
on pain of death, the opening of the two
oceans. " En tiempo de Felipe 2nd," he says,
jjjj se projecto cortarlo, y communicar los dos
mares por medio de un canal, y a este!Fefecto
se enviaron para reconocerlo dos Ingenieros
Flamencos; pero encontraron diflcultades in-
superables, y el consejo de Indias represent 6
los perjuicios que de ello se seguirian a la
monarquia, por cuyd razon mando aquel
Monarca que nadie prospusiese 6 tratare de
ello en adelanto, pena de la vida."
The road branches off about three leagues
from Panama, to the right towards Cruces,
and to the left towards Gorgona. Before you
reach this point you lose sight of the Pacific,
which lies spread out before you with its indented shores, its islands, and its countless
beauties, presenting, at almost every turn of
the road, a fresh and enchanting landscape
to the   view.      Gorgona    is    a small   place
* Vide, Die. Geo. Hist,  de las  Indias  Occidentals, ad verbum Istmo. APPENDIX.
comprising a few shabby tenements built
principally of the reeds, which grow so
abundantly and so richly throughout the Isthmus ; and the occupation of the inhabitants is
generally as muleteers, store-keepers, boatmen or bagos, the remainder are employed in
agricultural pursuits, simply to gratify their
limited wants. From Panama to Gorgona the
road is excellent in summer, or the dry season,
but impassable during the rainy season, which
lasts from the end of July to the beginning of
December. The distance from Gorgona to
Chagres may be accomplished in about
eighteen hours in favourable weather, that is
when the currents of the river, which winds
about in so many directions, are not effected
bv the winds which blow with terrific violence
during the rainy months. The scenery on the
banks of the Chagres, when it flows evenly
on its course, is richly picturesque; its water
is pellucidly clear, and you may trace the
bottom with ease as you silently float along
in the canoes, undisturbed by a single object,
if you except the dip of the paddle or the
buzzing nuisance of musquitoes. The cost of
a journey from   Panama to   Chagres, with a 402
moderate allowance of baggage, is about 18
From Panama to Cruces or Gorgona,
with two mules, one for saddle, the
other for luggage 8
From Cruces to Chagres by a Cayucu      10
1 1 t«- \>l
The Cayuca is a small boat or canoe which
is the quickest conveyance for a single passenger with little luggage; but a canoe is
necessary if you have a large quantity of
packages and of considerable weight. The
latter are conveniently built for navigating
rivers, and are worked by negro watermen who
paddle them along with considerable dexterity;
some of these canoes are laden with 60 or 80
bales, averaging 150lbs. weight each, besides a
bed or two, luggage for the travellers, and an
'        no   o *
awning, or toldos, made of cane and leaves, to
keep out the tun and rain, which adds considerably to the weight and draft of the canoe.
The freight of goods is about as follows:—
Dol. Rial.
From Chagres to Cruces per Canoe.    1 5
Mule-hire from Cruces to Panama
(7 leagues) 2 4
(On each bale of 150lbs. weight)    .    4      1
Were a tram-line laid down from Gorgona,
or better still, from Cruces to Panama, the
76 miles, which the windings of the river, and
the detours of the road occasion, across the
Isthmus, while its line measurement is only 32
miles, might be effected in a comparatively few
hours, and to the immense advantage of commerce
and civilization. One example will fully illus-
Jrate our meaning:—
Time required from England
to Lima via Panama.
England to Jamaica
by Steam • . .
Jamaica to Chagres
Chagres to Panama
Panama to Lima   .
Total... 37
Time required via Cape
Average voyage
from England
to Lima via
Cape Horn    .
Deduct Panama
Route   .    .    .
jmmijm 404
Therefore,   the   difference   between   the
two   routes, for   travellers  and   light goods,
would   be    73    days!    which   requires   not
single word of comment.
I   ;
Ji "-;


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