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state of the French Canadian was felt ant and irritating line of separation much more as a reproach to the wis- between them and their fellow-subjects dom, than a credit to the enterprise in Canada. The policy of the Roman of France. France, glittering, pro- empire ought to be the policy of every fligate, and vain, was no more proud conquering country. The laws of of her offspring than a mother would England ought to be made the laws of be of a child whom she had flung into all her subjects, whether old or new, the highway. The pinched and starvė. as soon as it can be done. The adopling features of the colony scarcely tion of her language in all public allowed her haughty and frivolous transactions ought to be a principle. Court to recognise it as her own. Using no force with the people, and The American wilderness was an ex. letting them speak their jargon if they cellent substitute for the foundling hos will, she must make the whole language pital, and she was too glad to leave her of official and public life English, disyoung illegitimate there, without ever tinguish it as the language of high desiring to hear of it again. These life, of politics, of the professions, and Canadians are now boastful of their in a few years a new generation will French blood, but this is only since be seen springing up, with new loyalty, they have had England for a nurse. forgetting the language of the con. The little Ishmael, perishing in the quered, speaking the language of the wilderness, has now been suffered to conquerors, and, instead of looking grow up into the disturber," his back with regrets, alike frivolous and hand against every man, and every perfidious, to the nation that aban. man's hand against his.” But all this doned them, rejoicing in the confirmed is the result of English pampering. connexion with the liberties, literature, Left to the old nutriment of France, and power of the British empire. his frame would have been as maigre But how memorable a contrast to as his soup. And this ill success, too, all those abortive attempts exists in accounts for the singular facility with the colonies of England! Let them which France allowed Canada to be be thrown on what shore they will, wrested from her. The matchless they make for themselves a home, es.. gallantry of Wolfe and his troops must tablish a power, mould a government, have conquered; but the question was, and commence an empire. They may to have kept. In the general igno- land as pilgrims or fugitives, but they rance of England relative to the re- march forward as conquerors. What sources of the banks of the St Law a contrast in the United States to the rence, fifty years ago, her negotiators little settlements, even of the indus. would, probably, have made no very trious German and the trafficking stern stand against any serious deter. Dutchman, on the banks of the Dememination of the French Government rary, settlements bounded by the same to retain Canada. But it was aban- swamp for these fifty years; to the doned by France and kept by Eng- little French settlements in Guiana ; land, with, probably, equal indiffer- to the half savage languor of the ence; and now the British colony is but Spanish and Portuguese settlements a spot in the midst of a new British on that immense, various, and lovely, empire.
region stretching from the Equator to It is true that in its settlement at the La Plata! What a contrast in the the peace, our Government committed vigour, the activity, the multitude, of one capital error, an error against all the Anglo-American! What a still good policy, and which should be re- stronger contrast in the freedom, the garded as wholly beyond the line of public force, the national feeling, the pardonable blunders, they allowed rising literature, the political energy! the colony to retain its French laws Hostile as we are to American preand language. The conquest by force sumption, and conscious as all must of arms had put the question on both be of the spots that dim their character; fully in their power. But a weak and yet we proudly feel the superiority of most unwise desire to conciliate the the great colonies founded by our councaprices of the conquered sufficed them try, to all the dying dependencies of all to retain both, thus hazarding their other nations. future connexion with England, re- But we have not been content with taining them in perpetual alliance planting the standard of civilisation in with France, and drawing an import- the South ; we have waved it over the North. The regions which seemed free from the detail which now diminmade only for the rude habitudes and ishes their real grandeur ; when half strong instincts of the wild beast, a century more shall show him the where the climate made the efforts of noble proportions of a new empire the cultivator precarious at the best, ruling the Southern Ocean, filled with and often defied all his industry; where the free spirit and strong energies of winter lasted half the year, and lasted Britain-covering the waters so long with a severity unknown in Europe ; lifeless with her commerce-acting where “ life went out beside the like a new minister of life, along those pole,"—there, too, a colony has been boundless and most fertile shores which founded, which is itself the foundation spread from India to Japan-shooting of a mighty kingdom ; already dis- the moral electricity in shocks that playing the arts, knowledge, and am only reanimate, and sparks that only bition of European life ; increasing by enlighten, through the whole stagnant hundred thousands—sure and soon to and fettered, yet most lovely zone of increase by millions, and contribute, in the East,-then first shall he be able to that mighty increase, the products of comprehend either the nobleness of the an almost unlimited province to the task achieved, or the beneficence of necessities and luxuries of Europe. that Power which, controlling all
But of all the colonies of England, things, gave to our remote island the the most singular and the most suc- duty, the means, and the honour of cessful is the colony established in this great triumph of good over evil. New South Wales. Formed by none of We admit that all has not yet been the impulses which had hitherto urged completed, that there are many things men to take the chances of the wilder- in the execution to excite the displea. ness ; formed at the greatest distance sure of the fastidious, and not a few from home ever attempted by coloni. to puzzle the sagacity of the sapient. sation-in fact, the greatest possible We expect that those who pride themdistance, the Antipodes; formed of selves on the exclusive possession of the most intractable materials,--the philosophy will be indignant. We colony of Australia, within half the admit, also, that the manners of conlife of man, has risen to a pitch of victs and their attendant turnkeys can commerce, agricultural opulence, and have but little of the picturesque and population never before equalled in less of the sentimental. But the main the most fortunate or costly settle fact is uuquestionable, that out of ments of national fortune and enter those convicts has been formed a powprise. Why is this? May we not erful, active, and opulent community. naturally ask, why has the new Conti- What could have been done at home nent, given exclusively into the hands with the multitude who have been, in of England, exhibited the extraordi. succession, transported to Australia, nary spectacle of a new shape of do. if they had remained in England ? minion ?
Possibly, not one in fisty would have Raised out of the refuse and reject- ever thought of any thing but picking ed material of the mother country- pockets or robbing on the highway; whatever may have been the purpose, one half of them would have perished the result is clear, that a great experi. in prison, or of famine and disease, in ment in the faculty of renovation in their own hovels; one quarter at the human character has found its least would have been hanged. But, field in the solitudes of this vast con- by the fortunate, we might almost say tinent; that the experiment has suc- the miraculous, expedient of providing ceeded to a most unexampled and un- them with a country, where they might expected degree; and that the question begin the world anew, where they is now finally decided between sever- might live without the stigma of their ity and discipline. If this were the former life, and recommence their chaintent of Providence in making over racter—where, being saved from the to England the inheritance of New desperate difficulties of providing themSouth Wales, it would be only one of selves with food, they might feel some the crowd of instances which display human enjoyment in the beauties of the unwearied watchfulness of Heaven nature ; being protected from disgrace for the welfare of man. When the for the past, they might exert them. time shall arrive in which the philoso selves to provide a character for the pher shall be able to regard the results, future; and, being placed in the hope
of possessing property and providing travagant accounts of the interior. for their offspring, they might become Few runaway convicts are ever brought alike industrious and domestic, de. back without having a story to tell; cent and happy, or in some rarer in- and, as the great object of the Gostances, opulent and honourable,-the vernment is to ascertain the nature greatest example of rapid colonial of the unexplored country, the pub. prosperity in human records has been lic ear is seldom left ungratified with exhibited to the eyes of mankind. accounts of scenes, mountains, ri
The interior of New South Wales vers, and pastures, as little acces. is still unknown. The remarkable sible to man as mountains in the want of bays or large rivers indenting moon. As an instance of the impresthe coast, and the strange conjecture sion which those stories sometimes that all the rivers converged to the make, the Surveyor. General's first centre of the Continent, perplexed excursion to the north was the fruit public curiosity from an early period. of a convict's fancy (a convict named The problem at length seemed to lie George Clark, with an alias of “the between those who imagined the cen- Barber"), who had escaped into the tre of the region to be filled with an wilderness, and mixed with the naAustralian Mediterranean, a vast space tives, painted himself black, and helped of blue waves surrounded with pictu. them to add European knavery to Ausresque shores, the seat of future Anti- tralian savagery, but was at last caught podean kingdoms; or to make their and brought back to Sydney. What drowsy way into the centre of mighty is the use of our European refinements, sands, a new Zaara, and there sink which we call necessaries of life? This into a vast pestilential swamp. On fellow, accustomed all his life long to the whole, we wish well to the Medi. be clothed from top to toe, threw off terranean theory, looking on the Medi. his last rempant, braved the climate, terranean itself as the most brilliant which in winter is often as damp and invention in topography, and knowing cold as that of England, and in utter it to have been the source of the most nakedness contrived to live alike glittering enterprises of mankind, from through winters and summers, trathe day of the Argonauts to the battle of vel hundreds of miles, and, with his the Nile; the mirror in which Phæ- aboriginal wives, prepared to lay the nicia, Carthage, Athens, and Italy foundation of a cattle-stealing dynasty. dressed their locks and attired them. As he lost the fear of detection, he reselves in their laurels ; and once more approached the frontier of the colony, the heaving field in which Greek and and there, collecting some of the naTurk, Europe and Asia, will renew tives, and joined by some of the runathe old combat of Greek and Persian way convicts, he began the plunder of with the Russian, the heir of the an- the cattle pastures, on a large scale ; cient Scythian and his happiest repre- a scale, fortunately, too large for imsentative standing by, longing to de- punity, for it compelled the notice of vour both combatants, and by no the police, who at length traced him means unlikely to have his wish ful to his haunts, and took him. filled.
The “ Barber," now, with the inYet the whole course of the Aus- tention of tempting the lenity of Gotralian discoveries hitherto has failed vernment, told his tale of the discovery to substantiate either conjecture. The of a vast river, the “ Kindur," runsea and the swamp are still equally ning through the heart of the country, under a cloud; and, if we may venture and, by a north-west course, entering any new guess on a subject so reso- the sea. lutely obscure, we should decide for It certainly argues a remarkable the probability of some central waste degree of dexterity in this fellow, to of sand, as waterless, as herbless, and find him able to mystify all the science perhaps, reserved for the express pur. of all the savans of New South Wales. pose of keeping up the temperature of Declaring that, by pursuing the stream an immense continent, left by nature of the Kindur, he had made his way otherwise to shiver in the damps and to the opposite shores of the continent, mists of the greatest sweep of ocean he propped his narrative so happily on the globe, a world of waters. with what he knew, and what he did
New South Wales abounds in ex. not, that an expedition was construct. ed to ascertain the facts, and the ex- to that of the river itself. For, had pedition was given into the hands of the fall of all the rivers above menthe chief official man of science, the tioned been all to the north-west, it Surveyor-General.
was obvious that such a range must It is impossible to read any part of have been the dividing ridge or spine, the subsequent narrative without be. connecting the eastern and western ing convinced that its writer is a man parts of Australia; and which, when of intelligence, information, and sober. once discovered, was likely to be the ness of mind. Yet, it inevitably steals key to the discovery of all the rivers out, that Major Mitchell is to this on each side, and to the other subormoment a little ashamed of the gene- dinate features of this great island." ral acceptance of the convict's story. Thus, too, the whole expedition He fortifies himself with so much care amounts to the attempt to solve a most in rumours, probabilities, and possi curious problem, highly exciting hubilities, “ of a great river beyond Li. man interest of every kind, and urgverpool plains, flowing north-west," ing on the explorers day by day with that we are satisfied the Major will the delight of discovery, perhaps one never take a convict for his Columbus of the most delightful, ardent, and inagain.
tellectual of all delights, whether in On setting out for the exploration, art, science, or travel, that can be of. he makes a remark which may be usefered to the mind of man. The time, ful to future investigators of strange too, will come when these volumes lands.
will be as curious to the Australian, “ After I had surveyed extensive as their investigations are now curious tracts of territory, I never could se- to ourselves; when great cities shall parate the question respecting the stand on those mountains which are course of any river from that of the now designated merely as points for situation of the higher land necessary the theodolite ; when myriads of busy to furnish its courses, and supply its agriculturists shall be familiar with basin. I could not entertain the idea every spot of those vast plains, over of a river distinct from those condi- which the investigator now casts a tions, so necessary to the existence of bewildered glance, appalled by their one.” On this result of experience solitude; when commerce shall be he acts, and it accordingly " appeared pouring her wealth and animation to him that if a large river flowed to through the land, on the bosom of the north-west of any point north of rivers whose existence now hangs beLiverpool plains, its sources must be tween conjecture and science, whose sought for in the coast range in the paths are through deserts where none opposite direction, viz., to the east- but the foot of the savage ever trode, ward of those plains.” He then de- and whose glimmer on the remote hotermines on his plan. From the know. rizon is lost in the vapours of her ledge that various rivers did exist on plains, or shines but to tantalize the that side of the coast range, all falling eye of the traveller. to the north-westward, he proposed, All our military men are beginning therefore, to proceed to the northward to write well, but Major Mitchell as far as the nature of the country per writes like a man at once of knowmitted, so that he might arrive on the ledge and feeling. On the 24th of Nomost northern of those rivers, and then, vember, 1831, be commenced his jourkeeping in view whatever high land ney, having still to traverse 300 miles might be visible nearits northern banks, from Sydney before he reached the trace the river's course downwards, and limits of the colonial lands, and enterthus arrive at the large river, or com- ed upon the undiscovered soil. Some mon channel of all those waters. natural and graceful thoughts are ex
But he now arrives at a more im- pressed in the contemplation of his portant conclusion, “ The second con- new adventure. dition necessary to the existence of a “I felt the ardour of my early river, namely, the higher land enclos. youth when I first sought distinction ing its basin, might, in this case, have in the camp and field review, as I gave been either Arbuthnot's range or that loose at length to my reflections, and between the Darling and the Lachlan. considered the nature of the enterprise. And this seemed to me to involve a But, in comparing the views which I question of at least equal importance now experienced with those which excited my youthful ambition, it seemed and, immediately on leaving his friend's that even war and victory, with all garden of the Hesperides, the Major their glories, were far less alluring had to ride fifty miles through a scene than the pursuit of researches such as of desolation, rock, and ravine, that the these, for the purpose of spreading the very aborigines shun. Yet, who shall light of civilisation over a portion of say that even this repulsive tract may the world as yet unknown; rich, per- not, in the passing of a few years, echo haps, in the luxuriance of uncultivated with industry, and teem with wealth? It nature; where science might accom- will never be an Arcadia, but may it not plish new and unthought-of discoveries, be a Cornwall,-a great treasure-house and intelligent man would yet find a of tin, iron, and calamine—of copper, region teeming with useful vegetation, and silver, and gold,-a huge under. abounding with rivers, hills, and valground temple of Plutus, to tempt the leys, and waiting only for the enter- trade of the dollar-loving Chinese, and prising spirit, and improving hand, to extract the last gem from the fingers turn to account the native bounty of of the gold-footed King of Burmah, the soil."
unplume the feather-crowns of the His first halt was at the house of a kings and sovereigns of the Japanese friend, Mr M·Arthur, near Paramat- archipelago, and bow down to the ta, whose extensive and beautiful gar- majesty of gold the future Anglodens exhibit a high promise of the American usurper of California ? future horticultural treasures of this thriving land. Here was planted the “My ride on that day was along a first olive-tree ever seen in Australia. ridge which extended upwards of fifty Here he saw the cork-tree in full luxu. miles through a succession of deep rariance, the caper plant growing amid vines, where no other objects met the eye rocks. the English oak, the horse than barren sandstone rocks, and stunted chestnut, the broom, magnificent trees. With the banksia and xanthorhæa mulberry trees of thirty-five years' ever in sight, the idea of hopeless sterility growth, umbrageous and green ; beds
con : hede is ever present to the mind, for these, in of roses, in great variety, spreading
sandy soils at least, grow only where no
thing else can grow. The horizon is flat, round, and filling the air with frag
affording no relief to the eye from the rance. He saw, too, the convict Greeks,
dreary and inhospitable scene which these who had been transported for piracy,
Y solitudes present; they extend over a great training the vine of the Antipodes,
portion of country uninhabitable even by in trellices made after the fashion
the aborigines. Yet here the patient laof the Peloponnesus. The orange bours of the surveyor have opened a road, trees, flourishing in the form of cones although the stream of population must sixteen feet high, and loaded with be confined to it, since it cannot spread fruit, presented the most remark over a region so utterly unprofitable and able work of the gardener, as have worthless. ing been reduced to bare poles, by " It is not until the traveller has coma three years' drought, being cut pleted a journey of fifty miles, that he endown to the ground, and thus reco- joys the sight, doubly cheering after crossvering themselves by the effect of ing such a desert, of green cultivated more genial seasons. Mr M‘Arthur fields, and the dwellings of man. The assured him, that by adopting this broad waters of the Hawkesbury then plan, many fruit-trees, after suffering come unexpectedly in view, flowing in the from the effects of long-continued
deepest, and apparently most inaccessible drought, might be renovated success
of these rock-bound valleys. He soon disfully. This is a valuable secret in so
covers a practical proof of the advantage dry a climate as Australia ; but every
of convict labour to the inhabitants of such
a country, in the facility with which he fruit seems capable of growing in this
descends, by a road cut in the rock, to the fine climate. The apple and pear are
comfortable inn near the ferry across the luxuriant, and the vine, wherever it
river Hawkesbury. has been tried, spreads in remarkable
“ Early next morning my ride was reprofusion—a good omen of the future
sumed, after crossing the river in the conviviality of the Australians.
ferry-boat, where the width is 280 yards. But even in this fine country there is It is here the boundary between the counan extraordinary mixture of sterile land. ties of Cumberland and Northumberland. The sand-stone spreads extensively. The scenery is fine on these broad and This is the true stone of the desert; plaeid waters of the Hawkesbury, shelter