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AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
I HAVE attempted in this volume to describe the Australian Colonies as they at present exist; and to tell, in very brief fashion, the manner in which they were first created. In doing so, it has been impossible to avoid speculations as to their future prospects, --in which is involved the happiness of millions to come of English-speaking men and women. As a group, they are probably the most important of our colonial possessions, as they are certainly the most interesting. Their population is, indeed, still less than half that of the Canadian dominion; but they are very much younger than the Canadas; their increase has been much quicker; --and we made them for ourselves. Canada and Nova Scotia, --of which New Brunswick was then a part, --we took, ready colonized, from the French. The Cape we got ready colonized from the Dutch, as also British Guiana. Jamaica and Trinidad we took from the Spanish. The early possession of Newfoundland was a moot point between ourselves and the French, till at last we obtained it by treaty from Louis XIV. Ceylon, which, in truth, is not a colony, though reckoned in our list of colonies, --was possessed first by the Portuguese, and then by the Dutch, before it fell into our hands. The Mauritius we got from the French. Among the colonies, which we ourselves first colonized, Barbadoes and Bermuda are the most important that still remain to us, --excepting those of which I am now about to speak.
When we make mention of "colonies" we should be understood to signify countries outside our own, which by our energies we have made fit for the occupation of our multiplying race. India is the possession of which we are most proud; --but India is in no respect a colony. It should be our greatest boast respecting India,
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that we hold that populous country to the advantage of the millions by whom it is inhabited; but we do not hold it for the direct welfare of our own race, though greatly to the benefit of our own country. The Europeans who are spread over India, exclusive of the military, are less numerous than the inhabitants of Tasmania.
The United States are, in the most proper sense, a British colony; and it is the colony in which, of all others, Great Britain should feel the greatest glory, --because therein has been achieved the highest prosperity by those who leave the shores of our islands from year to year. That India and the United States, --so absolutely unlike each other in all the conditions of humanity, and yet each so prosperous after its own fashion, should, the one be governed from England, and the other speak the English language, is a combination which makes an Englishman conscious that, let the faults have been what they may, the race has been more successful than other races.
The Australias and New Zealand have been and still are colonies in every sense; and they are colonies which have been founded by ourselves exclusively, --for the prosperity and the deficiencies of which we and the colonies are solely responsible. No French element, no Dutch element, no Spanish element can be pleaded by us as having interfered with our operations in Australia. And the real colonization of these Eastern lands, which did not in truth commence till the system of using them as penal settlements had been condemned, has been so recent that the colonists and the Government at home have had the advantage of experience, and have taken lessons both from the successes and the failures of earlier enterprises. Colonizing theorists have arisen, who have done something for the better management of a new world, and philanthropists also have aided. Statesmen have become wiser as they observed the errors of their predecessors. Intending colonists themselves have left their old homes with clearer ideas of their own wants. And advancing science has carried out and acclimatized, not only men and women, but beasts, birds, and fishes, fruit and vegetables, rich grasses and European trees, with a rapidity and profusion of which our grandfathers never dreamed, and which even our fathers hardly ventured to anticipate. New Zealand, the latest of our great colonies, of which in truth the occupation did not commence till 1840, contained no animal life and no native fruit useful to man when we first reached its shores. It is now so wonderfully prolific in life and vegetation imported from Europe that the visitor sees there groves of wild peach-trees and herds of wild horses. Australia was nearly equally destitute. Nevertheless, Australian capitalists are already
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engaged in the task of sending from Australia European meats to our home markets, and are thus relieving the wants of those at home who are too destitute to improve their fortunes by migrating to happier lands.
That Australian colonization has prospered greatly no one who sees it, --no one who studies it without seeing it, ---can doubt. Whether the progress might not have been quicker, greater, more thorough--whether it might not have been made to contain a more confirmed assurance of future well-being, many profess to doubt. To me it seems that the work, taken as a whole, has been well done. That anything should ever have been so well done that it could not have been done better, few will be found to allege in reference to a matter as to which no standard of excellence exists. Had this or had that line of conduct been followed in colonizing these new-countries, who can say what might have been the effect? Or if there be any one who thinks that he can show that such and such results would have followed a certain course, there will be another equally sure that he can prove the contrary.
The assailants of our colonial work who are most positive in asserting that mightier results and an improved condition would have come from management other than that adopted, generally blame the English Minister of the day for the alleged shortcoming of the colonists. There are many the tendency of whose minds leads them to discredit statesmen; who are prone to antagonism against authority; and who believe, almost as a matter of course, that the doings of Cabinet Ministers and their subordinates are customarily fatuous and often dishonest. Such men in dealing with our colonies speak of Downing Street, --where is the official domicile of our Colonial Ministers, --as a slough of despond whose mud has long clogged the wheels of our colonial enterprise. To such men it is enough that a member of Parliament shall take a seat in that building to render him harsh, unpatriotic, and unsympathetic, whatever may have been his character before he stained it by taking office. The teaching of such men has been spread so far that a large world of followers, who neither inquire nor think, but only hear, is educated in the idea that were it not for Downing Street our colonies might thrive. It does not occur to them to reflect that the man selected to sit in Downing Street has a wider source of information than others, a greater need to study the subject than others; that he performs his functions with the light of day upon him; and that he is chosen from among those who have made themselves prominent by their knowledge and sagacity. We are all willing to
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admit that two sets of men, --the Cabinet which is in and the Cabinet which is out, --contain, as a rule, the best politicians of the day; but most of us are ready to denounce the one Minister who holds authority in any matter in which we are personally interested. In reading books on the colonies, mostly written by colonists, I have been struck by the very small amount of praise ever bestowed on a Minister for the Colonies at home, and by the repeated allusions made to the want of judgment and indifference displayed by these gentlemen. I must add also, that the Australian colonists of the present day do not in ordinary conversation speak with enthusiasm of Downing Street.
It would be well if colonists and Englishmen interested in the subject, could learn what it is that is done for the colonies in Downing Street. I am speaking here, of course, of such colonies as those in Australasia. I am inclined to think that it is very little. The Colonial Office cannot plant a colony. It cannot even grant a patent to a great man, in order that he may plant one, -- as was done in the days of the Stuarts. It is called upon to judge, --and in so judging must carry with it the support of Parliament, --at what period of its life a young community of Englishmen on a distant shore shall receive the sanction of the Crown for its enrolment in the catalogue. And even in this matter the judgment of the Minister of the day is controlled by the circumstances of the case. When South Australia obtained her charter as a colony, Downing Street could not have retarded it, --as, indeed, she could not greatly have accelerated the granting of it. When, first, Victoria and afterwards Queensland, separated themselves from New South Wales, Downing Street simply complied with the wishes of the colonists. When New Zealand was established, Downing Street, which was then notoriously timid in reference to the creation of a colony in a land inhabited by a race at the same time more than ordinarily savage and more than ordinarily intelligent, simply complied when compliance was demanded in a voice loud enough to show that it expressed an earnest conviction. It was the determination of Englishmen to settle there, which settled the question. The people have made the colonies. That which Downing Street has done, or could have done, is but a small thing.
And then, as these colonies have settled themselves, they have themselves prescribed the forms of government under which they would be ruled. That form has always been self-reliant. "You shall not rule us at all, but we will rule ourselves," the colonies have said; and in every case the concession has been made. No one reading-
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the history of our colonies can doubt that further concessions would be made if further concessions were demanded. Let any one who knows the system of our Government at home think how long any Minister of the Colonies could have held that position, who would have attempted to impede this action after the demand for it had become earnest. That there must be some power to regulate such action, to prescribe limits here and there, to apportion the powers and privileges of communities so closely connected as are the colonies and the mother country, no one will deny. When the colony has been once established, and free Government conceded, the operations of the Colonial Office are mainly confined to the accurate observation of these limits.
But the fault now found in the colonies with Colonial Ministers is, that they are prone to govern too little, not that they govern too much; that they are anxious to abandon altogether the responsibility of any concern in the government of colonies which have free institutions. There has gradually grown among us, at home in England, a feeling, stronger than any of the same nature existing in the colonies, that they are to do just as they please with themselves. We say to them practically: --"You are English just as we are, and therefore, in the name of heaven, let us be friends to the end of time. Our interests must be conjoint interests, and our history a conjoint history. Let us not blot the history and mar the interest by any selfish divergence of political opinion. You are not, and probably you will agree with us in saying that you cannot be, represented in our Parliament. It is not open to you and to us to be politically one whole, as are the United States. But surely we can so arrange our matters that there need be no quarrel and no political hatred. We will interfere with you as little as may be. Parliaments of your own? Certainly. You have them. Collection and use of your own revenue? Certainly. You are collecting and using it. Possession of your own lands--which did by a sort of fiction belong to the Crown? Certainly. Your own lands are in your own hands. Is there aught else? Would you think it well to join together as one nation with one set of customs duties? Would you form one federation in all things? Would you wish for--Separation?" Such words are not spoken, but they are nearly spoken; and that which is not spoken is filled in by the ready imagination of the colonists. The colonists say that they are spoken, and that coming from men in office, they signify the indifference of England to her colonies. And then, not unfrequently, there is a burst of eloquence in reference to England's fading glory.
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I do think that some of us in England have been a little too forward in our assurances to the colonies that they have only to speak the word themselves, and that they shall be free, even from such slight control as England now exercises over them. I believe that any words so used have sprung from that tendency among us to lessen the bondage of authority, which has grown among the middle classes till it has become the doctrine of British statesmen. But they have been accepted as bearing a more defined sense in the colonies, and we are bound, as far as it may be in our power, to abstain from inflicting even sentimental grievances on our friends. Separation, though it may be ultimately certain, is, I think, too distant to have a place as yet in the official or parliamentary vocabulary of a Colonial Minister. Writers may speculate on it, and men of no political mark may discuss it in conversation. But when a Prime Minister in England or a Colonial Minister speaks of Separation in the House of Commons, or alludes to it in a dispatch as that which the future must bring forth, it is generally supposed that he intends to verify his own prophecy during his own term of office.
The loyalty of the colonies is very strong. In England, to speak the truth, we do not know much about loyalty. We believe in our form of government; we believe in the Crown and in Parliament; and we believe in the practical sense of the people at large. We are satisfied that we are doing well, and we think that should we make any material change, --such as would be the substitution of a democratic republic for the monarchy we possess, --we should improve ourselves not at all, and might injure ourselves very much. We value trial by jury, primogeniture, and an hereditary House of Parliament, because they have helped to make us what we are; and we are generally contented with our position. This may be better than loyalty, but it is not loyalty. Now and again some spring may be touched, as when the Queen's household was attacked, or when the Prince was lying ill; but the feeling thus induced is not the normal condition of the British mind. England's greatness is too near to us at home to create sentiment; --but in the far Antipodes loyalty is the condition of the colonist's mind. He is proud of England, though very generally angry with England because England will not do exactly what he wants. He reconciles this to his mind by telling himself that it is the England of the past of which he is proud, and the England of the present with which he is angry. But his hopes are as bright as his memories, --or, at any rate, less dim than his insight into the evils of the day, --and he still clings to
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the prospects of England in the future. He does not like to be told that he is to be divided from her. He is in truth loyal. He always speaks of England as home. He remembers the Queen's birthday, and knows the names of the Queen's grandchildren. He is jealous of the fame of Nelson and Wellington; and tells you in praise of this or that favourite colonial orator, that--he would be listened to in the House of Commons. All this is true loyalty, -- which I take to be an adherence to certain persons or things from sentiment rather than from reason.
It may well be understood that on minds so impressed threats of separation, --or allusions to separation, which by men ready to take offence are mistaken for threats, --produce anger and indignant remonstrance. "You want to get rid of us because we still cost you, or in certain emergencies may cost you, some trifle. You are, in these degenerate days, indifferent to the glory of England. We have come out here as pioneers, and by our energies and our intellects have added a new world to your empire; and now, as a reward for our sufferings, perils, and labours, we are to be cut adrift from that empire, and divided from our country!" Then there are two forms in which the remonstrance is continued. They whose loyalty exceeds their anger declare that no such cutting adrift shall be perpetrated, and that wiser men with wiser councils must be found. Bat the more loudly indignant declare that if it is to be done it shall be done in earnest, and that in such case the cutting adrift shall be a total separation, and that the division from the old country shall be a division in everything.
In all these differences it seems to me that the mother country is too rational, and the colonies too irrational. Something should be allowed to sentiment, something to the impetuousness of youth, and something also to its ignorance; something, perhaps, to the natural self-importance of juvenile legislatures, and colonial cabinet ministers whose opportunities for studying state-craft have been limited. I do not say that any Minister at home has been provoked into speaking of Separation by the annoyance, either of demands or remonstrances sent home from the colonies. I can understand that the first operation on a stateman's mind, when a colony in the plenitude of the power of self-government makes wild demands, and answers the refusal of them with impetuous language, should be one of anger and disgust. I can understand that he should be tempted to tell the colony that if it can do better alone than when subject to the slight control which at present binds it to England, it had better start at once and go alone. But I can understand also that
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he would not act on that first impression, and that he should resist that temptation.
I do not believe, however, that the colonies, either in regard to separation from the mother country or adherence to it, will be guided by the discretion or indiscretion of any Minister. The work of separation, when it is effected, will be done by Ministers, but they will do it on behalf both of the mother country and of the colonies, as the servants of the people, and because the people have thought that the time for such separation has come. There can be little fear now that the consummation of such a wish, were it once in truth expressed, would be forcibly opposed by Great Britain; and as little, I think, that separation will be forced on the colonies. Even had we an imprudent Secretary of State, his imprudence would not effect so great results.
It is a matter of much importance that men should fix in their minds the objects which they have in view when they think of "holding" the colonies, or of the adherence of the colonies to Great Britain. There are two distinct objects, which, without much thinking, we are apt to blend together, and to regard as one whole. But, though they may for a while act together, they are essentially separate, and, from the nature of things, must, as years roll on, be separated altogether. These two objects are the glory and greatness of Britain, and the happiness of a new home for Britons. Are we to "hold" the colonies in order that England may be great, or that Englishmen may be happy? If it be conceded that the first object be the one for which we should work, then I can understand that it should be regarded as a crime against our country even to speak of separation. But if we altogether ignore the first, when considering the welfare of the colonies, --as I think we are bound to do, both by justice and philanthropy, --then the discussion of separation is as open to us as is that of any other political condition.
Some years since it was undoubtedly the idea of all Englishmen that whatever England did was to be done for her honour, glory, and prestige. With this view we took distant spots on the globe from foreign nations, because they would afford us shelter for our fleets, or opportunities of exercising power, or because wealth was to be obtained for ourselves at home, and wealth deducted from our enemies abroad. It was after this fashion, too, that the Spanish colonies were established; --and in no wise that happy homes might be formed for coming races of Spaniards. And when Englishmen lodged themselves on distant shores in order that they might live
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with less restraint or with greater material comfort than they could at home, --as was done by those who first colonized Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, --though the colonists themselves were no doubt looking to their own future prosperity, there was no national movement in that direction. Certain privileges were granted as favours to certain individuals by certain kings; but after that these individuals were left to sink or swim by their own efforts, Raleigh, the first of them, sank. Lord Baltimore, and Lord Willoughby, and Penn were more fortunate. But the country did nothing till the colony was established, and then held it politically as forming a part of its own possessions, and as adding to its own power. Even Burke, than whom no politician of the last century was more philanthropical, clearly had this idea of the colonies. "My hold of the colonies," he says, "is the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are strong as links of iron. Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government, --they will cling and grapple to you, and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance." Nothing can be grander, --nothing sweeter, --than this. There may still be some who think that nothing truer could have been spoken. But the good thing of which Burke is speaking, the result to be obtained by a certain noble line of conduct, is England's hold upon her colonies, the perpetuation of England's greatness by the continued possession of these colonies, --and not the well-being of the colonists. Those colonies are gone, --with what results most of us know. There are probably not many now who think that our "hold" of them could have been continued to this day, even had Burke's counsel been followed. They now form the homes of more millions than live in our own island, and could hardly have remained subject to us, though we had granted them privileges similar to our own. To my thinking Burke's prophecy must have been untrue, let the British method of conducting that business in Burke's time have been what it might. But the good things which he foretold for Great Britain were to be good things in respect of her power, of her prestige, of her national greatness, possibly of her lasting endurance among the nations; --and the treatment of the colonies was to be liberal and humane in order that this might be secured.
That, no doubt, was the view in which Britons generally regarded the dependencies of the nation. It is the view in which some still regard them. But, if I be not mistaken, the tendencies of the
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national mind in this matter are changed. It is not thus that the great body of Englishmen now think of such colonies as the Canadian dominion, the Cape Colonies, and the Australasian group. Malta, Gibraltar, and Bermuda we may keep as strongholds of power, --strongholds which in other hands might be pernicious to us and to the world at large. Others, which are but of little use to ourselves or to those who cultivate their soil, we may still hold because it would not suit Great Britain to abandon her children. One or two we retain, perhaps, simply because we do not like to lessen the long list. But of all these places it may be said that they are not true colonies. It is not in these that the working Englishman seeks a new home, in order that he may earn higher wages, get better education for his children, and enjoy what he regards as fuller freedom than he can do at home. In the Australias and New Zealand, in the colonies of South Africa, and in Canada, --as also in that much greater American colony, the United States, --this is the process which is now taking place. Our people are going out from us, as bees do, --not that the old hive is deserted, but that new hives are wanted for new swarms. For a while it is our duty to take some care of these new homes. The most populous has long been freed from our control and our protection, and is successful. To say that the others also will be freed is only to say that they also will be successful.
If this be so, I do not see how we can venture to cling to that idea of England's glory. Even if the theory be correct, and the glory of the nation, otherwise doomed to perish, can be thus maintained, upon whom or upon how many of us will this glory radiate? Will the ploughman between his stilts, with barely bread to eat and no shoes for his children's feet, be the better for it? Will the artisan acknowledge it, who knows that the increase to his wages bears no proportion to the increased cost of the food and the fuel which he must buy? Will the young woman acknowledge it, whose hard lot in life gives her no chance of being a mother of children in a happy home? Will it warm the wanderer in the street, or teach the destitute child, or in any way help us to remove those terrible burdens of poverty which every Englishman, proud as he may be of his country, should feel as an incubus on his soil? As we are the richest of people, so are we also among the poorest. High as is our wealth, so deep is our want. Proud as are our acquirements, so lamentable are our deficiencies. By that theory of maintaining England's glory we can never cure these evils, or acquit ourselves of our disgrace. The system is not
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intended to work in that direction. The gist of it is to make the whole grand, and not to make the parts happy. But in the other direction there is hope.
It must generally be the case that discussion on this subject, and the action following such discussion, will be in the hands of those whose distant removal from want may enable them to feel the glory. You, my friend, want no shoes for your children. Though meat and coal may be dear, there is plenty of food and fuel at your hearth. Your daughter is not debarred from salutary social intercourse with those of the other sex. Your boys are not naked in the streets. Leisure and luxurious living allow you to indulge in glory. But for that poor man you know of, would not 5s. a day, with no song, be better than 2s. a day, and Rule Britannia? And for that young woman, would not £30 for a year's services, and at the end of it a husband able to keep her, be better than £16 a year and no husband, even though no regimental band should go by the windows once a fortnight, playing up "Steady, boys, steady," for the gratification of her patriotism?
Gradually there has grown upon us a conviction that there is something more to be achieved than glory, --that, after all, glory in either a nation or a man is but a means to an end, and that that end is well-being; --as regards a man, the well-being of himself and those whose happiness forms his happiness; and as regards a nation, the well-being of the greatest number. A people despised, trodden under foot, and subject to injury from without, cannot indeed be happy. It is well therefore that a nation should have power to protect itself against these evils. Nor without power to be independent, power to support itself, power to hold its own, can a nation do those great things which are necessary for the well-being of its members. Without the power which Great Britain possessed, Canada would have been French, South Africa Dutch, and Australia and New Zealand either French or Dutch. Having the power which she did possess, Great Britain was able to provide for her children homes in these lands. It would be unwise, indeed, to abandon the power which has enabled us to do so much. But it would be equally unwise to regard the power and not the well-being as the thing to be achieved.
I trust, indeed, that they may be inseparable, --that as the one advances so must the other, and that the greatness of England may for many years to come be based, in part, on the increasing wealth, and the increasing population of Australia. The one may be consequent on the other. The greatness of the nation may be
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perpetuated by the strength of her off-shoots. But it is not for that reason that we should endeavour to make these off-shoots strong. Every man who goes out thither has a right to demand that his political status shall be used so as best to contribute to his own happiness, and that it shall not be manipulated. to the advantage of others, except in so far as he is part and parcel with those others. This was the mistake which we made with the revolted American Colonies--that we were to hold them for our advantage, not for theirs. I think it very improbable that we shall make such a mistake with the Australias. But it would be well that every Englishman who gives a thought to the colonies, should bear in mind the conviction that their connection with the mother country is to be weighed by colonial measures. When the question of separation does arise, let it then be considered solely in regard to the interests of the colonists.
It may be taken as nearly certain that, after some rough fashion, colonists will manage things for themselves, and that they will not submit to much management from home. Military depots must be governed from home. Sugar islands which are, in fact, inhabited not by white men but by negroes and half-castes, may be governed from home. Such dependencies as Ceylon and Singapore, in which again the real population is not European, may be governed from home or by home-sent governors. But I regard such government to be impossible in a true British colony. The inhabitants are not represented in the British Parliament, and will not therefore be taxed by it. They raise and spend their own taxes, and consequently must govern themselves. It is out of the question therefore that we should hold them for our glory and power, rather than to their own comfort, even were we so minded. But that theory of England's glory, which is no longer permissible to us, is happily permissible to them. How different are the words, whether spoken by us at home or by colonists. "We will keep you in our hands in order that we may be great." That is what we in such case should say. "We wish to remain in your hands because we are proud of your greatness." This is what they may say. And as yet they do say it. In such a connection the adhesion should altogether come from them. Let them be ours as long as such adhesion is felt by them to be for their benefit. To us they are of infinite service, giving us room for our capital, room for our intellects, room for our energies, and above all some means of redemption for a portion of our poor from that grinding poverty which we are unable to cure at home. To have founded such colonies is the greatest blessing
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which we have above other nations. They are open to others as well as to ourselves, and are open with no privileges curtailed because of diverse nationalities. That it is so, is to be seen by the condition of the Germans who have gone in crowds to the United States and to Australia. But it may be seen with equal clearness that the language spoken indicates the superiority of the race which speaks it. The Englishman who emigrates to a British colony has everything in his favour. Such favour is also his in the United States--except in so far as it is lessened by the superior claims of those who have been born in the land. So also will it be in the Australias when time shall have allowed them to produce for themselves their own leading men. But even then their Washingtons and Franklins, their Websters, their Longfellows and Hawthornes, will be the sons and grandsons of British parents.
An Englishman visiting the United States, if he have any purpose of criticism in his mind--any intention of judging how far the manner of life there is a good manner, and of making comparison between British and American habits, should be ever guarding himself against the natural habit of looking at things only from his own point of view. As he would not buy gloves for his friend by the measure of his own hand, so should he not presume that an American will be well-fitted or ill-fitted in the details of his life according as he may or may not wear the customs and manners of his life cut after an English fashion. Should he find Americans to be educated, plenteously provided, honest, moral, and God-fearing, he might perhaps, in such case, safely conclude that they were prosperous and happy, even if they talked through their noses and called him Sir at every turn in their speech. We would not wish our sons to say Sir, and talk through their noses; neither would they like their sons to undergo the fagging which is common to our boys at school. Such things may influence the happiness of an individual, may make the United States an uncomfortable home for a middle-aged Englishman, or London a dreary domicile for an American well established in his own customs. They have no bearing at all on the well-being of a people, and yet they have often been taken as indicating national deformity, and sometimes national calamity. Our writers have fallen into this mistake in writing of America, and American writers have done the same in writing of us. On each side compassion has been expressed, so deep as to indicate a feeling that the persons so pitied must be the most miserable on the earth, and this compassion has been bestowed on account of habits of life altogether immaterial to actual well-being.
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The gloves are the worst gloves in the world, are absolutely worthless and abominable, because they do not fit our own hands.
And if this care be necessary in visiting America, if we are bound to rid our minds of such prejudices in looking at that now perfectly established British colony--as to which nothing which we can say or do can make much difference--the care is doubly necessary, and the obligation twice as sacred, when we attempt to form a judgment on young colonies, the success of which must still in a great degree depend on the opinion respecting their condition which shall gradually spread itself among the inhabitants of the old world. Nothing that any of us can say or write can now influence much the prosperity of the United States. But there are still many in England who have to learn whether Australia is becoming a fitting home for them and their children, and the well-being of Australia still depends in a great degree on the tidings which may reach them. The great object of those who undertake to teach any such lesson, should, I think, be to make the student understand what he, in his condition of life, may be justified in expecting there, and what are the manner and form of life into which he may probably fall. With this object in view, hoping that by diligence I might be able to do something towards creating a clearer knowledge of these colonies than at present perhaps exists, I have visited them all. Of each of them I have given some short account, and have endeavoured to describe the advancing or decreasing prosperity of their various interests. I hope I have done this without prejudice for or against the ways of a country to which I would not willingly migrate myself, being too old for such movement; but in which I have a son who has made his home there.
I should, perhaps, explain to the reader the method in which the different colonies are taken in my narrative. The course has been neither chronological nor geographical, --but has been arranged as I arranged my journey. I went first to Queensland, thence south to New South Wales, --the parent of Queensland; south again to Victoria, one of Queensland's elder sisters, and the most prosperous of the family, -- and thence south again across the Straits to Tasmania, a daughter also of New South Wales, and the elder of the three. These colonies, which I visited first, all came from the convict depot founded on Sydney harbour in 1788, in consequence of Cook's discovery, --which we used erroneously to call Botany Bay. For in truth Botany Bay was found to be unfitted for the purpose, and was never used. I next visited Western Australia, which is far distant from the other colonies, and but little connected with
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them, --and from thence I went back to South Australia. Neither of these two colonies has sprung from any connection with New South Wales. Having thus visited the six Australian Colonies, I went on to New Zealand, and returned home across the United States, journeying always eastwards.
The reader might perhaps have found it more convenient had I taken the colonies in the order of their birth, first New South Wales, and then Tasmania, --ending with Queensland. But I felt that by doing so, I should be writing of things almost in the present tense, long after they had occurred. Statistics which were new when I was in Queensland in August, 1871, had become quite stale by the time that I had reached New Zealand in October, 1872. I will, too, take the reader into my full confidence, and let him know that my book has been written as I went on. I do not know that I could have done my task otherwise. Queensland, and all that I had learned about that colony, --her land-laws, her habits, and her prosperity, had been as it were dispatched and cleared out of my mind before I had reached Melbourne on my return journey. Tasmania and Western Australia were finished before I quitted Adelaide-- and so on. And having written my book in this order, I found myself obliged so to publish it, --convinced that the confusion created by any other arrangement would be greater than any which this may produce.
I will venture to say once more, that in all that I have written, I have endeavoured to keep in view the conviction that the mother country, in regarding her colonies, --such colonies as those of which I have written, --should think altogether of their welfare, and as little as may be of her own power and glory.