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from which it has receded, and deserve to be recognized as an auxiliary institution of the Church of England.' Be this, however, as it may, there is much to be learned from the volumes now before us. The ardent and enthusiastic minister of religion, who aspires to advance the cause of God and goodness, by whatever means and at the price of whatever sacrifices, may do well, from the example of Wesley, to learn that Christian prudence is a part not only of wisdom but of duty; and that strife once begun, in however trifling instances, has a tendency to enlarge the breach, till what was at first dispute, becomes at length division. And they who think most unfavourably of the measures which he pursued, may recollect that his many virtues, his piety, his selfdenial, his activity, his boundless charity, if they contributed to the success of his views, were, in themselves, no part of his schism, and that no common blessing must wait on the man who, while he avoids the last, endeavours to rival him in the former.
ART. II.—1. A statistical, historical and political Description of the Colony of New South Wales, and its dependent Settlements in l'an Diemen's Land, with a particular enumeration of the Advantages which these Colonies offer for Emigration, and their superiority in many respects over those possessed by the United States of America. By W. C. Wentworth, Esq. a Native of the Colony. 8vo. pp. 466. London. 1819. 2. Journals of two Expeditions into the interior of New South Wales, undertaken by order of the British Government, in the years 1817-18. By John Oxley, Surveyor General of the territory and Lieutenant of the Royal Navy. 4to. pp. 408. London. 1820.
THE 'HE Dutch, who were the discoverers of that vast body of land in the southern hemisphere, (which modern geographers distinguish by the name of Terra Australis, or Australia,) called it New Holland, little dreaming, perhaps, that at some future period the similarity of it to the old country would be found to sanction the name. That such is the case, the recent discoveries of Mr. Oxley seem to leave very little doubt. Whether its swamps and morasses will, like those of its parent, be at any period brought into a state of cultivation, may admit of question. In the mean time, however, that part of the eastern coast settled by the British government is making prodigious advances, not only in moral and political importance, but also in geographical interest. The physical barrier, which had so long confined the researches of its new inhabitants to a narrow slip of land along the coast, has been broken down; the contracted point of view in which this immense
region (nearly equal in extent to all Europe) was originally contemplated as the land of felons,' has expanded, and a more brilliant light diffused itself over this fifth continent of the globe. A new generation has grown up, in no way responsible nor reproachable for the crimes of their parents; voluntary settlers have emigrated from the mother country with their little capitals and a stock of honest and industrious habits; the state of society has in consequence undergone a material change for the better; property of all kinds has improved in value and security; and successful industry given a new and pleasing aspect to these distant shores, now smiling with cultivation.
It was to be expected, as a natural consequence of the increasing population and prosperity of the two colonies of New Holland (now New South Wales) and Van Diemen's Land, that the claims of the settlers on the mother country would rise in proportion to their progress; and that their views would one day outstep the original intention for which those settlements were established. That period has arrived; but we confess that we were not quite prepared for the extent of their demands, or for the dictatorial and menacing tone assumed by their advocate, Mr. Wentworth. This stripling Australian displays a considerable share of ingenuity in the fashionable occupation of constitutionmongering.There is not the least shadow,' he tells us, of a free government in New South Wales,' because,-as this beardless Solon of the new world gravely adds, the country possesses neither a council, a house of assembly, nor even the privilege of trial by jury. These institutions may be very proper for a society previously fitted to receive them, and some of them may hereafter, and no doubt will, be introduced into Australia; but, with all their excellence, Mr. Wentworth has yet to learn, that none of them, and least of all the last, are to be considered as a panacea adapted to the cases of all communities and all constitutions. With regard to New South Wales, it never was intended to consider it, during its infancy, in any other light than an enlarged prison for the custody, correction and employment of convicted felons; and, so long as the major part of the population consists of persons of this description, the propriety, or indeed the possibility, of a 'free government,' may be questioned. It is very much doubted, by those best informed on the subject, whether the settlers, not of the description of felons, are yet sufficiently numerous and enlightened, to be intrusted with an active share in the government of the colony; and more particularly, to sit as jurymen on the lives and property of their fellow citizens. Of the wisdom or expediency of establishing a house of assembly' there are equal doubts. In such an assembly we have but too many
proofs of the baneful influence of local and individual interests being set in array against the public good; and a council' would only add to the expense of the settlement, while its tendency would be to fetter and thwart the executive government, as experience, in other distant possessions, has but too often shewn. It is true, a Committee of the House of Commons recommended a council to assist the governor; but the reasons stated by Lord Bathurst for not acceding to this recommendation, we consider to be founded in good sense, and perfectly conclusive. The difficulty,' said his lordship,' of selecting proper persons for the situation of members of the council; the dissensions and disputes to which their opposition to the governor, or their protest against his conduct, must give rise; the parties which would thence spring up in the colony; the length of time during which the public tranquillity would be interrupted, before a communication could be received from home; the danger of weakening the higher authorities, in a society composed of such discordant materials, are all causes which have more or less influenced the determination which has induced his Majesty's government to leave the governor unfettered by a council.'-We return to Mr. Wentworth.
There are three descriptions of convicts; those who are sentenced to transportation for seven years; for fourteen years; and for life. Of these the first are the most idle, the most insolent and the most abandoned; the second are somewhat more manageable; and the third, feeling all hope of return to be cut off, generally become reconciled to their situation, and endeavour to improve their condition by adopting a line of conduct which may recommend them to the attention of the governor, who has ever been most ready to afford such as shew themselves worthy of it, an opportunity of providing a comfortable subsistence: and instances are not wanting, where persons of this description have, by industrious and virtuous habits, atoned, in some degree, for the crimes of their early life.
From the general bad conduct of the first class of convicts, it has been suggested that the transportation of felons should, in future, be limited to those who are banished for life; keeping the others to hard labour in hulks or jails at home, or in suitable penitentiary houses; it having been pretty clearly ascertained that a transportation for seven years, or, as it is facetiously termed, a trip to Botany Bay,' is rather courted than dreaded.* We cannot however
It was stated to the Police Committee, by the ordinary of Newgate, that the generality of those transported consider it as a party of pleasure-that they rejoice in it.' 'I have heard them,' he says, when the sentence of transportation has been passed by the recorder, return thanks for it, and seem overjoyed at their sentence.' This feeling indeed was strongly exemplified at the last Surry sessions, when a mere lad, who had
however be much surprised at this when we consider the comfortable manner in which the convict ships are fitted up, andBut we are over-stepping the limit prescribed to ourselves in the present article, in which we had no intention of examining into the political bearing of the question, preferring to wait for the Report of Mr. Bigge, (who has been commissioned to inquire into the various matters connected with the internal state of the colony,) when we shall probably take occasion to discuss it at some length. Meanwhile we shall content ourselves with a few observations on the statistical part of Mr. Wentworth's book, and on the progressive geography of New South Wales obtained from the expeditions of Mr. Oxley; which will be found to convey very accurate notions of the Australian territory as far as it has hitherto been settled and explored.
The town of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, has increased very considerably in extent; and the style and regularity of the more recent buildings have been much improved. It has a population of about 7000 souls; a market, well supplied with grain, vegetables, poultry, eggs, butter and fruit; and a bank with a capital of £20,000 in 200 shares, the paper of which is the principal circulating medium of the colony; its flourishing condition may be presumed from the proprietors having the last year divided 12 per cent. on their capital. There are also two good public schools, one for boys, and the other for girls; the latter contains sixty children, who are gratuitously taught reading, writing, arithmetic, sewing and the various arts of domestic economy. On completing their education they are assigned as servants to such families of respectability as apply for them; or married to free persons of good character, when a certain portion of land is given in dower from a tract set apart for that purpose.
Sydney possesses two other public schools, containing upwards of 220 children of the higher classes, both male and female: and, it should be stated, to the credit of the local governments, that provision is made in every populous district for the diffusion of education; to defray the expenses of which, one eighth part of the colonial revenues, amounting to about £2,500, has been added to the Orphan Dues' on coals and timber. Besides these laudable institutions there are two private societies, one called 'the Auxiliary Bible Society of New South Wales,' the other 'the New South Wales Sunday School Institution.'
The town next in importance to Sydney is Paramatta, situated
headed a gang of desperate thieves and ruffians, on receiving sentence of transportation for seven years, turned towards the chairman and with a grin of disdain said, Thank your honour. I hope you may sit here until I return, when I will make you a present of a handsome ring-tailed monkey.'
at the distance of fifteen miles from it, at the head of Port Jackson harbour. It consists of one street nearly a mile in length; its population amounts to 1200 souls, chiefly inferior traders, artificers and labourers. The principal public buildings are a church, a female orphan house, a hospital, and a manufactory of coarse cloth, in which such of the female convicts as misconduct themselves, and such as, on their arrival in the colony, are not immediately assigned as servants to families, are employed. The wool is received from the settlers, and a certain portion of the manufactured article is returned in exchange; the rest is used for clothing the gaol gang, and the re-convicted culprits who are banished to the Coal river.
There is, besides, another institution in Paramatta that does honour to its founder, the present governor, Colonel Macquarie. It is a school for the education and civilization of the aboriginal natives of the country. It is not more than four years since it was opened, and by the last accounts it contained eighteen children who had been voluntarily placed in it by their parents; and it is stated that they were making equal progress in their studies with European children, or rather with children of European parents, of the same age.
Windsor is a rising town situated near the confluence of the south creek with the river Hawkesbury, about thirty five miles from Sydney. Its population, amounting to about six hundred souls, is composed chiefly of settlers who have farms in the neighbourhood. The Hawkesbury is subject to occasional inundations, when the water rises sometimes to the astonishing height of 70 or 80 feet; owing, it is supposed, to the branch called the Nepean, running along the base of the Blue Mountains for fifty or sixty miles, collecting in its course all the mountain torrents, and pouring them into that river.
Sixty miles to the northward of Sydney, is the town of Newcastle, at the mouth of the Coal river. Its population, consisting chiefly of incorrigible offenders convicted of fresh crimes in the colony, amounts to about five hundred souls. They are employed from sunrise to sunset in burning lime, and in procuring coals and timber for the public works and for sale on government
The last town is Liverpool, founded by Governor Macquarie about five or six years ago. It is situated on the banks of George's river, at the distance of eighteen miles from Sydney, and has a population of two hundred souls. The river empties itself into Botany Bay, and is navigable by boats of twenty tons burden up to the town.
The state of society in all these places, is just what might be ex