Index | Ship History | Scherzer Diary | Expedition Narrative | Sydney | Selleny | Bibliography | Novara Expedition
Hochstetter I | Blanche Mitchell Diary | Minnie Mann Diary | Hochstetter II | FitzRoy Dock | Scherzer in Sydney
Frauenfeld Diary | Incident at Sikyana | Sydney Chronology | Appendicies
| Lissa 1866 | Ferdinand Maximillian

Narrative of the Circumnavigation of the Globe by the Australian Frigate Novara

by Karl von Scherzer

{The following account of the Novara Expedition's visit to Australia in 1858 is extracted from Karl von Scherzer, Narrative of the Circumnavigation of the Globe by the Australian Frigate Novara, ... undertaken by order of the Imperial Government, in the years 1857, 1858, & 1859. With a Preface by Commodore B. von Wüllerstorf-Urbair and Physical and Geognostic Suggestions by A. von Humboldt, Saunders, Otley & Co., London, 1861-3, III, 1-92. Additional material such as endnotes and supplementary paragraphs are also included, having been sourced from the original German edition of the Narrative as published during 1861-2. This additional material was not included in the English-language version, neither were the majority of engraved views and ligthograph of New South Wales based on original drawings by Joseph Selleny.}

The Austrian frigate Novara (coloured frontispiece from published account of the voyage)

Chapter XVIII

Sydney

Stay from 5th November to 7th December, 1858

Reflections on the rise of Australia

Whoever wishes to form an accurate idea of the power and might of the British nation, and is desirous to discover the sources of the all-important influence the "island race" exercise over the destinies of humanity, should visit, not England, but her colonies in America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In these he will see in full and beneficial operation, that system which one of the greatest of German political economists, the ingenious Fredrick List, recommended more than thirty years ago to the German Government, when he spoke of the serious detriment the Northern country sustained year after year by the emigration en mass of skilled German labourers, and when he repeatedly urged to make agriculture under the tropics reciprocally beneficial to the manufacturing industry of the temperate zone.1

England has comprehended better than Germany how to utilize the energies of such of her children as emigrate to distant quarters of the globe, and to make them subservient to her own advancement as well; she evinced the most anxious solicitude for these pioneers of progress, extended her protection to them, flung the ĉgis of her own power over their adopted home, regarding each new settlement as but an extension of the limit of her empire, as an enlargement of the sources whence she drew the materials for her industrial handicrafts, as a new market for her manufactures! In all parts of the inhabited earth English activity has thus displayed itself, busily engaged in supplying the demand for raw materials in her home market, by exchanging for them her own manufactures, till English ships have become the all but universal carriers of the commerce of the globe, while the English language has been adopted as the medium of intercommunication of all seafarers.

Australia, or New Holland,2 as it was originally termed by its first discoverers, proud of their nationality, furnishes of all the British colonies the most conspicuous and instructive example of this policy. England has not merely thrown open this immense continent to European civilization, peopled it with hundreds of thousands of her sons, and created a new market for herself and all navigating nations, she has also in this colony furnished the solution of a psychological problem, namely, that it is by no means an innate natural propensity to do evil, but rather the force of circumstances which drives man to vice and crime, and that the diviner portion of his nature forthwith re-asserts itself, so soon as he is provided with another more favourable sphere of action, and a fair opportunity is offered to him of earning his livelihood in an honourable, independent manner by the free, unshackled development of his mental and physical powers.

Originally founded as a penal settlement for convicts sentenced to transportation for long, periods of years, and in fact composed at first of such unpromising elements, this splendid country is at present one of the wealthiest and most important colonies of the British Crown, and close to that spot where, on 28th January, 1788, 850 criminals were landed, there to take up their involuntary abode, there now rises in one of the numerous coves of the splendidly situated Bay of Port Jackson, a city of such magnificence, so large and so beautiful that it has been called the "Queen of the South," or even, with more enthusiasm than accuracy, "Little London."

The population of the city and environs is estimated at 93,000, that of this single colony at 350,000, while its trade has increased to such an extent that it keeps employed 1000 ships and 18,000 men, the value of exports of raw and import of manufactured products, amounting for this one port to upwards of £12,000,000 per annum. The discovery of abundant gold-fields in the adjacent colony of Victoria has undoubtedly materially contributed to this enormous expansion, and has perceptibly increased the immigration, but the development of the capabilities of the land itself has not been less steadily increasing, wherever the population have pursued the surer and more solid occupation of agriculture and cattle-rearing. The wool growth of Australia, which in 1820 was barely 50 tons, has since then risen to nearly 25,000 tons, rivalling in bulk and quality that of the Cape, and rapidly becoming a dangerous competitor with those countries of Europe, whose wools have hitherto commanded their own terms in the English market.

General Considerations

A continent of such immeasurable natural resources, with a climate,3 especially on its southern coasts, remarkable for its mildness, equability, and salubrity, and a population so limited in proportion,4 to the extent of surface, was naturally an object of deep interest for the members of the Novara Expedition. Accordingly during their stay of thirty-two days they set diligently to work, not only to enlarge their acquaintance with the scientific idiosyncrasies of this vast portion of the globe, but also to examine minutely the prospects it holds out to German commerce and German emigration, and to investigate the influence which has been exercised on the development of the colony by the system of transporting convicts thither. And it is not less significant of the high repute enjoyed by the Imperial Expedition in foreign countries, as honourable to its members, to record, that the then Governor General of New South Wales, Sir William Denison, who has since been transferred to the much more important and lucrative post of Governor of the Madras Presidency, and who enjoys no slight reputation in scientific circles as a conchologist, expressed his anxious desire that the geologist of the Novara should thoroughly examine the geological formation of the province of Auckland in New Zealand, and exerted himself vigorously to forward the accomplishment of this project.

From the German residents in Sydney, as well as from all the officials and the inhabitants generally, we received the utmost assistance and most cordial co-operation in our various inquiries. The former received the Expedition with a most enthusiastic welcome, and it was truly gratifying to learn that some of the more keenly susceptible of home-influences had weeks before made the beach their favourite promenade, in order that they might be the first to see and welcome the long-expected German man-of-war at her arrival!

The German newspaper "Australische Zeitung" (published by a native of Grätz, named Degotardi) of November 6th was quite filled with advertisements and notices relating to the Novara, and the festivities which had been prepared in her honour. Every member of the staff received a copy on board, so that before even we set foot on shore, we were apprized of the old German hospitality which awaited us on our arrival in this the fifth quarter of the globe. As, however, it was imperatively necessary to have the frigate taken to the Government dock, in order to repair the damages she sustained in the typhoon, the contemplated rejoicings had to stand over for the moment, till the Novara could come forth in renewed splendour, and was fit to give a proper reception to the homage intended to be offered in her Honour.

These rather extensive repairs would require three weeks to complete, and after the first few days had passed in making and receiving official visits, as also in sight-seeing in the city and environs, the greater portion of their stay was employed by the scientific staff in excursions into the interior of the colony.

Rapid progress made by Sydney

Sydney at present has with its suburbs attained already to the dimensions of a European city. Only thirty years ago there stood but a few herdsmen's huts, where now the visitor beholds block after block of handsome stone private residences or magnificent shops. There is not one article of luxury or comfort which cannot be supplied here. The chief building stone of the locality, sandstone, is chiefly used in the erection of churches, public buildings, and private dwellings. The Exchange, the Bank, the Houses of Assembly, Government House, &c., are stately buildings erected in a solid, massive style, and if "Hyde Park," a treeless meadow in the centre of the city, by no means answers to its title, the Botanic Garden, on the other hand, the park known as "Lady McQuarrie's Chair," "Kissing-Point," and "Lovers' Walk," form promenades as delightful as any capital of Europe can show in such immediate proximity. Sydney, moreover, is amply supplied with gas and water, as well as with every means of conveyance that can facilitate intercourse in a large town, such as omnibuses, cabs, steamers, &c.

The theatres hitherto, whether as regards scenery or performance, have hardly exceeded mediocrity, but on the other hand educational establishments, public libraries, and hospitals, are of singular excellence. It is truly marvellous, and especially makes a profound impression upon the denizens of old Europe, to observe what handsome, imposing, costly buildings have been run up among this comparatively youthful community.

The Sydney University, founded in 1851, is built in the Gothic style, at an expense of £50,000, and is maintained by an annual grant of £5000. It is far the finest memorial erected by European civilization in honour of science, throughout the southern hemisphere. Its internal organization is somewhat analogous with that of those of the mother country. All the high schools of Sydney accord academic degrees in the various branches; and by a Royal Patent of 27th of February, 1858, holders of honours are raised to the same rank with those in the other universities of the Empire. Although only secular education is provided by the University, there have been founded four colleges in immediate proximity with each other, for the four principal religious denominations in the colony, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Methodist, in which the scholars may, without prejudice to the secular character of the University proper, receive instruction in their various beliefs.5 The erection of these four adjuncts cost about £40,000 more. At the period of our visit there were only 38 scholars enrolled, whose instruction cost the state a rather round sum. A commencement had been made with a library, a museum of natural history, and a numismatic collection.

Public Institutions

Besides the University, there are in Sydney a considerable number of very important educational establishments and public schools. The most strenuous exertions are made to keep the public schools in a high state of efficiency, and there is scarcely a hamlet, where the rising generation may not be instructed in reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, and geography.6

An observatory is also in course of erection, but meteorological observations had long since been carried on in the principal places of the colony, and from the favourable natural conditions of the continent for conducting such investigations, the results must greatly contribute to our acquaintance with the laws regulating atmospherical phenomena.

One very deserving institution dedicated to the noble object of awakening a sense of the beautiful, and furthering the interests of science, is the Australian Museum. All that this gracious country presents of interesting and useful in the three great divisions of nature is here being gradually classified in scientific order, and displayed in elegant cases in spacious handsome apartments, the whole thrown open to the public for amusement and instruction, free of cost. Already an excellent start has been made with valuable collection of conchylia and birds, as well as numerous ethnographical specimens and fossil remains. The management of the Museum has been confided to the most distinguished scientific men of the colony,7 and owing to the deep interest taken by these gentlemen in this truly national undertaking, the sphere of its activity is likely ere long to be extended to scientific publications, the appearance of which will be doubly valuable and important in a country which presents so many different objects for investigation and elucidation.

If, however, our knowledge of Australia and its black Aboriginal tribes is as yet very scanty, it has not assuredly been due to any cold indifference on the part of the new settlers for the history of a country and a race of men who are rapidly disappearing from the face of the country. It is rather to be found in the physical conditions of the continent, and especially in the great scarcity of perennial springs. In fact, there is hardly any country, with the exception of Africa, the exploration of which has cost the lives of so many scientific travellers as this fifth quarter of the world. What manly devotion, ardour, and perseverance, characterize such names as Leichhardt, Oxley, Kennedy, Eyre, Mitchell, Cunningham, Strut, Babbage, Warburton, Stuart, Gregory, Selwyn, MacDonnell, &c.! And it may fill a German with honest pride, that one of his race has attained the pinnacle of scientific eminence here.

Career of Dr. Leichhardt

The name of Leichhardt is the most popular and most highly honoured of the learned names in Australia. Repeatedly we heard him spoken of as the Australian Humboldt. Rendered all the more eager by the success of his first enterprise, and stimulated by the splendid Governmental reward of £10,000 for his last discoveries, the indefatigable explorer started from Sydney in 1848, on a second journey, in which hie intended to examine Western Australia, by crossing from Moreton Bay overland, to the West Coast and Port Essington. This proved to be the close of his earthly career. All trace of the lamented traveller has been lost, and even the admirably equipped expedition sent out by the Colonial Government, in march 1858, under the experienced conduct of Mr. Gregory, on the track of Leichhardt, spent long months in fruitless wandering, and returned without any more positive information as to the destiny of the sorely missed naturalist, except that Leichhardt and his companions had fallen a victim not to the murderous hand of the natives, but to the inhospitable nature of the region they were traversing.

They seemed to have left the Victoria at its junction with the Alice (where it was thought a trace of the travellers was discovered in some incisions made in the bark of some trees),8 and then attempted, favoured by heavy storms and showers of rain to get into the flat desert country on the northwest. As, however, the rain shortly afterwards ceased, the unfortunate travellers not merely ran short of water in prosecuting their dismal journey, but were prevented from returning, as the small quantity precipitated by a mere meteoric phenomenon would be exhausted in a few days, and it is not easy to suppose that such hardy, zealous, and experienced explorers would have failed to extricate themselves, had not their courage and physical powers been broken down and destroyed by privations of the most terrible nature.

Horrors of Australian Discovery

Despite the tragic fate of Leichhardt's expedition and those of other explorers,9 new expeditions are continually being set on foot for exploring the unknown regions of Australia in every direction, and although by far the larger part of the information collected consists rather of ghastly recitals of misery and privation endured than positive scientific results,10 yet some of the more recent ones, especially those of Stuart and Burke, have made also important discoveries in the interior; and in view of the impulse which the lamentable state of American politics threatens to impart to cotton-growing everywhere, the highly fertile banks of the Murray, which with a very little labour might be made navigable far into the interior, may at no distant period be covered with numerous cotton plantations.

Intellectual energy of the Australians

While the younger and more adventurous spirits enter with all their heart and soul upon these dangerous experiences of rude hardship, there is in the capital of the colony a not less marked scientific vitality, and the valuable libraries and private collections of the Governor-general, Sir Wm. Denison, Mr. W. Macleay, the botanist, Dr. George Bennett, physician and geologist,11 Dr. Roberts, microscopist, Messrs. W.B. Clarke and Selwyn, geologists, as well as their various and valuable contributions to science, exercise a doubly important and beneficial influence upon a number of contiguous states so peculiarly organized as those of Australia, which, first penal settlements, and then gold-fields, seemed to have been deprived of all those favourable conditions, which elsewhere are usually supposed to be requisite for the development of intellectual and scientific activity.

Much has also been done already in Australia for the diffusion of the principles of social economy and the diffusion of political and linguistic knowledge; and the historical writings of Dr. J.D. Lang,12 and the philological works of Dr. Threlkeld, both men of high attainments and of similar zeal in promoting the welfare of their fellow-men, furnished us with profound information as to the political history of the country, as well as the original language of the Aborigines.

Since the appearance of the first ethnographic works of Count Strzelecki there has appeared little that is new respecting the origin, migration, and history of the black races of Australia, and what we have to say on this momentous topic, whether in the result of personal intercourse or of in formation derived from other sources, we shall reserve for the narrative of our excursion into the interior of the colony, and our foregathering with the primitive inhabitants of the back settlements.13

Among the excursions in the immediate neighbourhood of Sydney we at once selected a visit to the well-known naturalist Mr. Macleay, who resides at a beautiful estate near Elizabeth Bay. In his beautiful garden one sees the most interesting plants of Australia side by side with splendid specimens from all other parts of the world. A stroll through the extensive grounds derives a double interest when in company with its highly-cultivated proprietor, and we are the more grateful for this good fortune, as the venerable old gentleman lives in strict seclusion.

Another very interesting visit was that paid to Sir Daniel Cooper at his residence on Rose Bay (Wullurah).14 Sir Daniel is of humble parentage, but fell heir to property which made him the wealthiest man in the colony, and which he now dispenses with the most noble and hospitable profusion. During the Crimean war he subscribed £1000 per annum towards defraying the costs. Lately he has been elected speaker of the Legislative Assembly, when he was knighted by her Majesty. His villa in Rose Bay, when completed, promised to be surpassed by few mansions of the English nobility in elegance and comfort.

"Rickety Dick." - La Perouse's Monument

Close to the palatial residence of the wealthiest resident of Australia, and clad in a filthy woollen coat, with an old hat on his head, crouches Rickety Dick, a wretched crippled native, the sole survivor of his tribe, once the lord of all this country, who now stretches out his horny hand to receive charity. Rickety Dick, who can only talk Australian, lives under a bark thatch, and leads a mendicant life, and this not owing to downright destitution, but because such a lazy mode of existence suits him better than a residence within the walls of a Poor's House. He finds himself more comfortable here, and cannot bear to quit the soil on which he has passed the greater portion of his miserable existence. Sir Daniel lets this last scion of a decayed race want for nothing, and gratifies every wish that the poor half idiot can form.

One excursion which no stranger omits to make is a ride to the monument erected to La Perouse at Botany Bay, a pretty good road to which passes through beautiful woods full of magnificent oaks, as also of Eucalyptus, or gum tree, so characteristic of Australia, Casuarina, or cabbage tree, Xanthorrhea, Acacias, and various descriptions of Epacris. The monument itself stands on an open cleared space, in what is known as "Frenchmen's Gardens" (because, according to tradition, the soldiers had raised a few vegetables here), and is a plain sandstone obelisk about 30 feet high, standing on a pedestal and crowned with an iron globe, within an enclosure about 35 feet square, bounded by a parapet wall of from three to five feet high. The inscription, which is in French, and on the south side facing the sea, runs as follows:

A la Mémoire de M. de La Pérouse. Cette terre, qu'il visita en 1778, est la dernière d'ou il a fait parvenir de sea nouvehes. Erigé au nom de la France, par les soins de M.M. de Bougainville et Ducampier commandant la Fregatte "La Thétis" et la corvette "Espérance" en relâche au Port Jackson en 1825.

On the north side is an English translation of the above, and on the west a French translation of the English inscription on the cast side. "Foundation laid 1825. Completed 1828."

Close by this simple monument, more interesting owing to the subsequent fate of the renowned French navigator than by its merits as a work of art, is Botany Tower, a sort of lookout for the whole coast line. This octangular tower stands quite by itself, and commands a magnificent and extensive view over Botany Bay. To the N.W. one perceives a flagstaff of Banks's establishment, a pleasure resort of the Sydneyites, which, on account of its small zoological garden, is likewise of some scientific interest. S.E., on the opposite side of Mud Bay, is visible the point of land where Captain Cook, accompanied by Banks and Solander, first trod the soil of Australia. Among the sandstone rocks adjoining, a brass tablet, with a suitable inscription, commemorates this interesting fact.

The Botanical Garden of Sydney

The botanical garden attracted very much of the attention of the scientific staff. It possesses, next to that of Buitenzorg (see vol. ii. p.204), the largest and most valuable collection we saw throughout our voyage. In addition to its splendid specimens of coniferĉ and the incomparable Dammara pine-tree; it also enjoys well-merited celebrity for its successful rivalry with that of Java in rare specimens of palms. The climate of Sydney is admirably adapted for experimenting on the cultivation of plants from the most various parts of the world; and while in one part of this garden we find the plants of every clime, which flourish here in great luxuriance, another portion is dedicated exclusively to the cultivation of Australian trees and canes. At the entrance stands a magnificent Araucaria excelsa, like a sentinel on guard over this singular vegetable world.

A gigantic Grevillea robusta attracts the eye by the striking tint of its luxuriant orange-yellow blossoms, shining with indescribable charm through the dark green of the foliage. Banksias, Casuarinas, different species of Callitris, Xanthorrhea, Proteaceĉ Eucalypti, the beautiful Telopea speciosissima, the giant lily (Doryanthes excelsa), and many others indigenous to the Australian continent, such as never meet the European's gaze, or, at all events, only very rarely in forcing houses, here arrest the attention by their towering forms, their elegant foliage, and their grand proportions, as compared with their brethren of northern climes.

One species of weeping willow (Salex Babylonica), which grows here in the utmost luxuriance, has a special historic interest, as it was a shoot from the well-known willow that overshadowed the grave of Bonaparte at St. Helena. Through the obliging attention of the superintendent of the garden, Mr. Charles Moore, who spared neither trouble nor pains to afford us all the assistance in his power, our collection of Australian flora is exceedingly plentiful and valuable. It consists not merely of a comprehensive collection of Australian seeds and useful woods, but also of some species of living plants forwarded to Europe in what is known as Ward's chest. At the same time we were successful in procuring and sending, in accordance with his request, to Professor Rochleder, in Prague, a Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Science, some 50 or 60 lbs. of the raw Epacris Grandiflora, as also a small quantity of Casuarina equisetifolia, for the purpose of chemical experiments, especially with regard to the relations of chemistry with the geographical distribution of plants.

At last, on 16th November, we were able to make out our long-projected excursion to Campbelton, 33 miles distant, over a tolerably good, usually somewhat flat country, traversed by railroad in about two hours.

On our arrival at this small but most industrious village we found, awaiting our arrival, our hospitable friend, Sir W. Macarthur, who took us to his estate adjoining, called Camden Park. Sir William belongs to one of the most distinguished families in the colony, and enjoys the double reputation of being at once the most important wine-grower of Australia, and of having the best wine in his cellar.

Anomalies of Australian Fauna - German Settlers

We drove to our host's house through very pretty scenery, and thus had a fresh opportunity of satisfying ourselves of the strange inaccuracy of former travellers, who related that the leaves in Australia were of wood and the stems of iron, that the bees had no stings, the birds no wings, and hair instead of feathers, the flowers no fragrance, the birds no melody, and the trees, like so many Peter Schlemils, no shadow. Although Nature has been guilty of some few freaks both in Australia and in New Zealand, and has created some extraordinary animals, such, for example, as the duck-billed platypus (ornithorrhynchus paradoxus), the ant-eater, the kiwi, &c., these are but exceptions, and there are here but few differences to be remarked in either the animal or vegetable world, such as should distinguish it for extravagance beyond all other countries. In Australia there are birds that sing, and odoriferous trees and flowers in great profusion, and the forests, at those places whither the axe of the busy settler has not yet penetrated or imparted to it a park-like aspect, are as dense, as thickly clothed with underwood, and as difficult to make one's way through, as in any other quarter of the globe under a similar latitude.

Close beside the elegant residence of Sir William are extensive vineyards, to superintend which he imported German vine-dressers from the Rheingau. Each of these families has his own hut, a plot of garden ground, and in addition to rations of milk, bread, and butter, receives £25 per annum wages. When these good folks heard that strangers, compatriots of theirs, were among them, with whom they could converse in their mother-tongue, a dozen or so at once assembled to bid us welcome. Most of these betrayed a certain amount of hesitation in expressing themselves in their own language, and, like the same class in Pennsylvania, whenever they were at a loss for a word supplied it by its English equivalent. There resulted from this a most comical jargon, sometimes most grotesque in its eccentricity, as, for instance, when, on our remarking to one of these vine-dressers who had been in Australia for ten years that he seemed to have quite forgotten his German, he replied, with an air of outraged national dignity, "Oh no! wir keep it immer in exercise."

The entire number of Germans in New South Wales is estimated (in 1858) at 7000. They are usually settled on the larger rivers, such as Hunter, Clarence, Brisbane rivers, where they have small farms on the alluvial soil, or are engaged in agriculture, or vine cultivation. Their industry, perseverance, and frugality soon make them independent and well-to-do. We were told of one poor peasant of the Rhenish districts, named Frauenfelder, who arrived here from Germany, in 1849, with twelve daughters, and settled on Clarence river as a vine-dresser. After ten years of unwearied activity he became a prosperous man, got all his daughters well married, and now owns one of the most flourishing settlements in the entire colony.15 A German enjoys in Australia, after five years' residence, the same political rights as the English. After twelve months he becomes naturalized and may possess land; after three years he may vote; and after five years' residence he may become a member of Parliament. Should there be anything specially affecting German interests in the colony, they can at least influence one vote in Parliament.

Causes of high Price of Land

The reason why the number of Germans in Australia is yet so small is undoubtedly owing to the high price of land. The same quantity which can be purchased in the United States for one dollar costs £1 here, and this solely because the Colonial Government contracted a loan in former days with the wealthier colonists, for which they pledged the land, which was taken at £l per acre; this has never been paid off, so that the mortgagee is virtually the proprietor of the soil, without Government being in a position to profit by its contract or get rid of its liabilities. It thus has become necessary for them to enhance the value of the land, and this seems to be the chief difficulty in the way of lowering the acreage price, to the manifest encouragement of emigration and the cultivation of the soil.

Sir William conducted us, now on horseback, now on foot, now in his carriage, over his extensive domain, and did not fail to acquaint us with the details of everything that could be interesting or useful. Wine cultivation in Australia, though only first raised into importance in 1838, has made such rapid strides, and has proved so profitable, that in no long time England, hitherto so deficient in wines, will be enabled through her colonies to vie with the choicest vintages of Europe; for those of Australia and the Cape are little inferior even now in body and bouquet to those of Spain, and it is only the smallness of the quantity hitherto manufactured, and almost entirely reserved for private consumption, that has stood in the way of their being much more extensively dealt in in European markets. The entire product of wine in 1858 was 60,000 gallons, but the reason why the quantity is so limited is not in the unsuitability of the land devoted to it, but the great difficulty of procuring labour, and of getting it at the precise moment when it is most wanted. As often as the journals launch forth upon the discovery of some fresh gold-field, the field hands forthwith strike work, and make off to the "diggings." On such occasions many thousand men are suddenly smitten with the gold fever, and their ordinary avocations are at once abandoned. We saw on one occasion a number of half-finished houses, which had been left in that incomplete state by the thirst for gold of the labourers, who are omnipotent here. "There are no greater tyrants than the labourers of this country," was Sir William's pithy remark, as he looked sadly on their work, abandoned unfinished, and the half-cultivated fields around.

Our host made us taste various descriptions of wine, which in every respect greatly resembled sherry, while a redder sort strongly reminded us of Muscat. Even in Australia, the grape has already been attacked by that mysterious disease which has done such mischief in various parts of Europe, and especially in Madeira, but its noxious effects have as yet been confined to a few species only. Much damage is occasionally done by a species of worm, for the extirpation of which boys are engaged at from 1s. to 2s. per diem. The vintage in Australia usually begins in March and lasts till far on in April.

Reasons of the high Tone of Society in New South Wales

We passed a short hour very agreeably in Sir William's study, which comprises a library full of valuable particulars as to the history of the country. At every moment the traveller from long-settled countries feels an emotion of surprise at the numerous and costly collections of rare works and valuable cabinets of natural history he finds in a country where he might expect that the universal rush after earthly dross must render such pursuits valueless. The fact is, that in forming an estimate of the country he is almost certain to omit taking into account that, in addition to the convicts and gold-diggers, there have come out hither a considerable number of young men of the highest circles of English society, who, provided by Government with tracts of land for settling upon, are in hopes of more speedily attaining fortune and position than in England, where the younger sons of the aristocracy are in too many instances apt to lead a sauntering life of dependency. Such cadets of leading families have, since the commencement of the present century, settled in considerable numbers in various parts of Australia, and have introduced with them that taste for combined elegance and comfort, which the foreign traveller in that country has such reason to feel surprise at, as well as to be thankful for.

Excursion to Appin and Campbelton

After our visit to Camden Park we spent the rest of the day at Campbelton, making preparations to continue our excursion as far as Appin and Wulongong, in the district of Illawarra. From Campbelton to Appin is a distance of 12 miles, by a tolerably wide level road, partly through cultivated farms, partly through forest scenery. We encountered but one vehicle the whole distance, containing a family dressed in their best, to accompany a body to the grave - probably some father or sister. "A funeral in the bush," said our driver to us with a somewhat serious face, as he called our attention to the cart moving on slowly through the stillness of the wood. In a simple little forest hut, whose inhabitants are engaged in avocations that necessarily imply the closest daily intimacy, the stroke of death must fall with redoubled severity, as he strikes down some of the dearest and best beloved.

When we reached Appin the day was already too far spent to admit of our reaching Wulongong, the end of our journey, the same evening. Uninviting as was the filth of the little village ale-house where we alighted, we had to make the best of its accommodations, as it was the only inn in the place. The dialect which now saluted our ears unmistakeably proved that we were domiciled in an Irish house. The people were by no means poor, they possessed an extensive "run" near the hotel, but it is part of the character of Irish settlers to be superior to the virtues of cleanliness and order. Quite close at hand began the forest, a visit to which was rewarded by the capture of several species of birds peculiar to New South Wales, among others the laughing jack-ass (Dacelo gigantea) and the beautiful blue-black atlas bird (Kitta holosericca).

The following morning we resumed our journey through lofty, dense, and magnificent forests, in which the vast trunks of gum trees imparted their special character to the scenery. One of the most beautiful points of view in this delightful drive was when we crossed Sir Thomas Mitchell's, or Broughton's Pass, which has been cut through the gigantic rocks of a mountain-range at considerable expense and labour, presenting at every turn a fresh and more beautiful grouping of rock and mountain fringed with fir and gum, reminding us somewhat of the romantic savage solitudes of the Alps.

On our way to the coast we passed but one solitary farm, consisting of a couple of wretched wooden huts, thatched with bark, standing on a clearing named Bargo, where the mail-boy on his way from Appin changes horses, and remains for a few hours over-night. We merely took some coffee, and were not a little surprised at finding it presented to us in a fashion in strong contrast with the rude exterior of this forest hut. Sheffield and Wedgwood wares in the bush, and English ships constructed of Australian timber - such is the secret of English political economy!

Not far from Bargo we enter upon troublesome sand wastes, at one point of which the traveller enjoys a wonderfully extensive prospect over the Illawara lake, the Keira range, and the sea, especially if, as was our case, he is accompanied by intelligent ciceroni acquainted with the country, otherwise he is likely to pass this little elevation, only a few paces from the road, little dreaming of the magnificent landscape which he is missing.

Visit to Wulongong, the New South Wales "Brighton"

As soon as we got to the coast we once more encountered fan-palms, tree-ferns, and other representatives of tropical vegetation, the last few hours of our road towards the little port lying through scenes of Eden-like loveliness. About 3 p.m. of the 18th November we reached Wulongong.

We again fell in here with Sir William Macarthur, who had undertaken a very arduous ride through the forests around Wulongong for the purpose of collecting some tree-ferns, which he intended sending to England. Few nations have such a thorough appreciation of nature as the English, or exert themselves so unselfishly, by personal observation and indefatigable energy, to enlarge the acquaintance of mankind with natural history in all its different ramifications. Men in every grade of life take a pleasure in hunting out rare species of plants, animals, or minerals, in the remotest districts of the globe, which they transmit to their own country, or publish such observations respecting them as may make them available for science, handicraft industry, or commerce. By these incidental voluntary contributions to the general stock, England now possesses scientific collections such as hardly any nation can hope to keep up short of an enormous expense. These endeavours, it is true, are considerably favoured and supported by the fact of British colonies being scattered over the entire earth, but even in this respect it must be conceded that it is through her own meritorious, unselfish policy that circumstances thus combine to aid her efforts in this peculiar direction.

Wulongong is a hamlet consisting of a few streets, and its principal resources seem to be in the visits of the Sydneyites, who come hither for sea-bathing. Already the existence of several hotels, which, considering the size of the place, are unusually elegant and extensive, but at the same time extremely costly, shows that Wulongong must be rather extensively patronised by the inhabitants of the capital, with which it has regular communication by small steamers, making the voyage in a few hours. Unfortunately Wulongong has no convenient harbour, but only a small exposed roadstead, rendered barely safe for a few small vessels by a stone bulwark, so that in the event of rough weather the landing and embarkation of visitors is attended with much discomfort.

We alighted at the Brighton Hotel, prettily situated on the sea-coast, and met here our newly-acquired Australian friend, Mr Edward Hill, a son-in-law of Sir Daniel Cooper's who, with his usual kindness and forethought, had made all possible preparations for ensuring that our further flying visit to the Illawara district should be one of the most memorable episodes of our stay in the colony. Mr Hill, an Australian by birth, may, through the peculiar circumstances of his life, his striking observations on and profound sympathy with the blacks, be considered one of those most profoundly acquainted with that remarkable race, whose idiom, as spoken in this district, he can converse in with the utmost fluency. For this gentleman's attention we were indebted not merely for repeated opportunities of intercourse with the natives, but also for the excitement, to us thoroughly novel, of a kangaroo-hunt.

Debased State of the Natives

A number of natives were living in an improvised sort of settlement outside the town, and camped around the forest under low sheds of bark. At a little distance off Mr Hill uttered a sharp, shrill whistle, which was immediately responded to from the forest. Presently two young natives made their appearance, and shook hands with Mr Hill. An old man with grey hair remained cowering upon the ground without stirring. There were altogether four men, two women, and two children, all pretty well made, their skin of a black or dull brown hue, broad nostrils, and black crisp hair, which, however, had nothing woolly in its texture. One of the women carried a child, whose features and complexion were obviously the result of white parentage on one side. However, she did not seem as is the case with other races that are proud of their colour, to be looked down upon on that account by her own race, who, so low is their standard of morality, rather consider it an honour for a black woman to bear a child to a white. Men and women alike showed on their skins the protuberant cicatrices of artificial incisions, two or three inches long, chiefly on the breast, arms and back.

All the male natives with whom we conversed had had the upper central teeth knocked out, such being one distinguishing mark of their having attained the dignity of manhood!

The abundance of mustachio and beard of the Australian savages is a marked secularity, which none of their cognate races east or west have in common with them. We were also told that they value the beard as their highest ornament, and make it one of the great objects of their life to tend it. No man of their race dare marry or kill an emu till he can show a beard, to which also great virtue is attached in battle. None of these natives understand the use of the Boomerang. According to English writers this instrument, the peculiar properties of which are so well known that we need not enlarge upon them here, has also been found in the Parrophagi of Upper Egypt. In some of the frescos now in the British Museum, which illustrate the manner and habits of the Ancient Egyptians, a figure is represented in the act of launching the Boomerang against a covey of ducks, which are flying out of a thicket.

The natives around Port Jackson and in the Illawara district have, generally speaking, little of the Aboriginal about them, and their abject misery and addiction to drink make them pitiable and disgusting objects; for their present hopeless state is in great measure attributable to their contact with civilisation, which has made them neither intelligent nor industrious. The natives, however, of the banks of the Murray, Clarence, and Brisbane rivers, though of the same race, are of a very different appearance. They keep up with the habits of their ancestors, and seldom come in contact with civilisation, and even then only with its pioneers, the squatters and shepherds. Among these the customs of circumcision and unlimited polygamy are universal, each man having as many wives as he can steal or support. Owing, however, to their nomad life, this system is practised to but a limited extent. Infanticide, especially of female children, is of very frequent occurrence. Abortion is also so frequently practised that they have a word (Mibra) to express it! On the other hand, we read in Count Strzelecki's valuable work that "the female natives after illicit commerce with a white man become barren for their own race," which, according to all unbiased observers, is a complete delusion.

In no part of Australia do the natives cultivate the soil. Nomad as is their mode of life, they live almost exclusively on the products of the chase, or of the deep, according as they live in the interior or on the coast. Lizards, snakes, and insects, and some few roots and resinous substances, form the delicacies of their primitive cookery.

Their dwellings are either natural cavities in the rock, or a few pieces of bark fixed into the ground at either end, and arched upwards in the middle. Throughout New South Wales the custom prevails, when a native dies young, of burying him under a shallow mound of earth, only the elders possessing the privilege of being consumed with fire. In the latter case the corpse of the deceased, with his hunting and fishing implements, is placed on a pile of dry wood about three feet high, with his face towards the rising sun. This is covered by the surviving relatives with straw and wood, who then set fire to the funeral pyre. Some days later the ashes and calcined bones are collected and burnt. The name of the dead is never again pronounced, any individual of the same tribe, who may also happen to bear it, being compelled to exchange it for another.

Prevalence of Cannibalism

The prevalence of cannibalism is a well-established fact among the natives of the north. M. Augos, amongst other interesting particulars, mentioned one case, where a boy died in the vicinity of Moreton Bay, whose head and skin, according to the savage habits of the natives, were separated from the rest of his body and dried over a fire. The father and mother were both present and uttered loud cries. The heart, liver, and entrails were divided among the warriors, who carried away with them pieces stuck on their bone-pointed spears; while the upper part of the thigh (apparently the tit-bit) was roasted and eaten by the parents themselves! The skin, the skull, and the bones were, on the other hand, carefully packed up and taken away with them on their grass sacks. It is not unusual for a mother to devour her own child, that she may thereby regain the strength which the fruit of her womb has abstracted for her!

When a warrior of a hostile tribe falls into their hands they celebrate his sacrifice with savage glee, by rubbing their bodies with the fat around their victim's kidneys, by which means they believe they strengthen their muscles and inspire their hearts with courage. In the southern parts of Australia the natives use human skulls as drinking cups, and one instance is on record where a portion of a human skeleton was habitually used by an entire race as a tool. Each woman has one of these bone calabashes, which she usually has hollowed out and manufactured herself. In the tolerably comprehensive ethnographic collection of the Australian Museum we saw several examples of these hideous drinking vessels!

With respect to the idea of a future life, or the immortality of the soul, the natives seem to have very contracted notions, principally confined to a superstitious dread of evil spirits, and to the very singular notion that after death they are converted into whites, and that the Englishmen who now people their hunting grounds are the spirits of their ancestors thus transformed!

At various parts of the colony, especially among the outlying mountains and bare rocks adjoining Middle Harbour, Camp Cove, Point Piper, Mossman's Cove, Lang's Cove &c., the eye is attracted by numbers of rude sculptures hewn in the stone, which usually represent terrestrial objects, such as kangaroos, emus, flying-squirrels, fish, tortoises, and, above all, numerous representations of natives performing the Coroborry. This is a sort of war-dance, in which those who participate usually paint their bodies with white lines, like a skeleton, and seen through the obscurity of night, leaping around a faint fire, have the appearance of a set of dead bodies dancing.

If we ask any of the black men of the present generation the significance of these rock sculptures, they usually reply, in their broken English, "Black fellow make 'em long time ago," and on being pressed more particularly as to their age, they throw up their hands and faces, shut their eyes, and say, "Murrey, murrey, murrey, long time ago!"

Theory as to the Migration of the Australian Negro

The great variety of theories commonly received as to the supposed origin of this singular race of men have done little to dispel the obscurity which prevails as to the real stirps of which the Australian race is a branch. Writers who are fond of squaring facts with re-conceived theories maintain that the first inhabitants of Australia came from Eastern Asia or the Indian Archipelago, and passing Torres Straits gradually overspread the entire Australian continent. Nay, some even go so far as to maintain that there exists to this time in the interior of some of the islands of the Malay Archipelago a race of men identical with the Aborigines of Australia. And it certainly is a remarkable fact, that most of the Australian war-songs, dances, &c., have been diffused from north to south, although it does seem venturesome to deduce from this single circumstance a migration from Eastern Asia.

Others again hold (such, namely, as Prichard, Wappaus, Burdach, &c.,) that the Aborigines are of the same race as that inhabiting New Guinea and New Caledonia, and thus make them of the same stock as the Australasian Negro. Lastly, a modern naturalist, Mr James Brown, who lived sixteen years amongst the blacks, considers it not improbable that some Malay crews (for since time immemorial it is known that the Malays have been acquainted with, and visited the northern shores of, Australia) had been, by shipwreck or some similar calamity, cast away on the coast of the mainland, or on some of the islands near Torres Straits, and had thus become the first involuntary settlers of the north of Australia. This increasing population gradually spread over the interior, and when after some centuries this people had traversed the continent and arrived at the ocean on its further side, they had already lost all recollection of their Pelagic origin, and were no longer capable of deriving any advantage from the sea spread before astonished gaze. Strange to say, the black populations of Australia seem to be the sole savage race inhabiting the coast of an ocean, who possess no means of transport by water, and are unable to swim! Very possibly the recent expeditions into the interior, undertaken with such ardour and attention to details, may throw some new light upon these Aborigines, but equally, if not more, probable is it, that the entire race may have disappeared from the earth before any reliable facts can be ascertained respecting their origin, their migrations, or their history.

Wallaby hunting - Forest Scenery

The morning after our arrival at Wulongong, and our first acquaintance with the natives, we made an excursion, under the tutelage of Mr White, to Balgonie Farm, to hunt kangaroo in the forests of the neighbourhood. It was not, however, the large species (Macropus Major) we were to hunt, which sometimes attains a height of six feet, or even more, but a smaller kind known as the Wallaby (Halmaturus ualabatus). The kangaroo proper have long since retreated before civilisation, and are now only found in the recesses of the forest, hundreds of miles inland. The various participators in the hunt were posted at certain distances in one of the splendid forests, stretching between the Bellambi-Keira and Kemla ranges of hills, while the blacks who accompanied us set forth to drive the game towards us, assisted by their Dingoes, a kind of dog usually supposed to be originally of European race. The blacks use the term "Dingo" promiscuously for every description of dog, whereas the regular wild dog, or rather the dog that runs wild in Australia, is called in the native tongue "Warrigul", and is of no particular breed, but seems rather a mongrel descendant of the sheep dog.

The hunt was not very successful, and of some ten or twelve started by the "beaters," only two were killed. Although one can discern the Wallaby at some distance by its plashing tramp, so that it seems but to need a glance of the eye to bring it down as it flies past on its hind legs, followed close by the dogs, it yet needs great activity and precision of aim to hit the nimble animal as it hops swiftly past.

Yet though we were rewarded with such poor sport, our stay among the splendid woods of the Keira range sufficiently repaid us. The most varied and luxuriant forms of vegetation, changing at every step, almost transcend the wanderer's power of description by their marvellous and enrapturing beauty. Some portions of the forest landscape, where splendid tree-ferns and gigantic gum trees, enveloped in the folds of the Liana, from which in its turn depended exquisite parasitic plants, reminded us of the brilliant profusion of the tropics. Not less peculiar and uncommon than the vegetation were the sounds that struck our ear from amid the semi-obscure green covert, without our eyes being able to distinguish the singers. And so deceptive are some of these, that one almost involuntarily starts as the loud crack resounds close to his ear of the Phsophodes crepitans, known to colonists as the "Coachman's whip", or the Myzantha Garrula, or bell-bird, sounds its bell-like note.

During our stroll we came upon several farms, plain wooden huts covered with the glutinous bark of the gum tree, whose impoverished exterior gave little promise of the comfort to be found within, and pleasantest of all was the ready and heart-felt hospitality. Hardly had we set our foot within a hut, ere all the members of the family bestirred themselves to bring milk and butter, eggs and bread, of which they pressed us to partake. In each we visited there was no lack of beautiful china, elegantly carved wine glasses, and Sheffield table cutlery, while the walls were decorated with elegant engravings and wood-cuts. The bread was usually the national institution, known as "Damper", which is simply some meal and water well mixed and heated in warm ashes. It is very palatable, and besides the simplicity of its preparation, the meal well kneaded being baked for an hour as aforesaid, it possesses the advantage of continuing for a considerable time fit for use.

Return to Sydney

Our return to Sydney was fixed for the following morning. We were desirous of catching the steamer which plies from Wulongong every second day, as our Commodore, and several of the scientific staff, had received an invitation for the evening at Sydney. As the steamer would first of all start towards noon from Keiama, we employed the hours of morning in a visit to the coal mines of the Keira, and hunting in the adjoining forests. Coal is very abundant in these mines, and is wheeled along a level shaft in small waggons as far as the high road, whence it is conveyed by regular carts to the city. About 200 of these are brought up every day.

Unfortunately our plan for returning by the steamer fell through, as a high wind and heavy sea rendered the entrance of the boat into the harbour a very problematical business. Accordingly, as the boat had not made her appearance by 4 p.m., there was nothing for it but to return by coach to Appin, so as to enable us to reach Sydney in time for our invitation. The cool of evening began now to be felt among the lofty steep hills, over which lies the road to the interior. At first all went well, and the early part of our journey was performed in all comfort and at a rapid pace. But we soon came to some very steep parts of the road, where our tired horses gave out, and could not proceed one step further. By this time we had left the coach and went on on foot, shooting and collecting as we proceeded, and admiring the beauty of the landscape around. The coach had stuck fast half-way up a steep ridge, while the horses took no heed of the servants' flagellation. The coarse language in which Mr. Croker, the very type in this respect of an English driver, exhorted Billy and Sam (so were our two steeds named), and the frequent song of the whip, availed nothing; the animals would not budge a step; so we had to lend our assistance in person, and move the vehicle a few paces further to a less dangerous position.

Further progress, under the circumstances, was out of the question. It was resolved to send man and horse back to Wulongong to engage additional horses, and continue our walk as far as the huts at Bargo, the next station, 18 miles distant. En route, or at Bargo, it was supposed our coachman would overtake us with fresh horses. As we were by no means sure of our road, we took the precaution of carrying our most necessary effects, in the event of our having to pass the night in the bush.

A Night March - Bush Hospitality

It was 6.30 p.m., and the sun was going down, only the extreme summits of the trees catching and reflecting his golden beams. On we went, our excitement stimulated by the prospect of an adventure. Gradually the darkness of night enveloped the wood. Our path became uncertain. Even the full splendour of the moon, as she rose in the east, and darted her silver rays through the gloom of the Eucalypti, casting gigantic shadows on the sandy soil, rather tended to confuse us amid this labyrinth than enable us to extricate ourselves. We held on however till 1 a.m., and were just on the eve of camping for the night to await the break of day, when all at once we saw before us the stately fence which surrounds Bargo. With quickened steps we made for the lonely little farm, and hammered at its closed door. A tremendous chorus of barking dogs was the not very propitious welcome of guests arriving at such an unseasonable hour. After repeated knocking the door of the hut was opened; an old man appeared in his night-shirt on the threshold, and gruffly inquired who we were and what we wanted? The reply was not difficult. Our having passed that way before, when we had scraped acquaintance with the old gentleman, likewise stood us in good stead. We were most cordially received, and, despite the lateness of the hour, preparations were at once made to prepare something for us to eat. Tea, coffee, butter, and damper were carried into the sitting room, and as far as was practicable sleeping quarters were prepared in the little hut.

The only ill result of our nocturnal fatigues was that we rose late, the sun being high in the heavens ere we awoke. We were just about to ask for our driver, when he made appearance, and told us he was ready to proceed. He paid hire for fresh horses at Wulongong, and hoped to make the rest of the journey without further interruption. While they were being put to, we re-entered the hut, and now perceived the small space within which ourselves, three persons, had passed the night on benches, chairs, and tables. The light of day did not belie the hospitality of our reception. The furniture was rude but clean. What most surprised us was the number of massive books which stood on a small shelf, carefully arranged. They were by much the most valuable part of the furniture, and the proprietor seemed to be aware of this. The books had been the property of a schoolmaster, who had exchanged their spiritual contents against spirits of another nature. The host gave "tick" to the schoolmaster, and thus gradually possessed himself of the entire collection, no inconsiderable number of interesting works, which now passed from hand to hand on holidays or after the day's work was over; the desire for knowledge of the settlers in this primitive Australian forest thus finding ample room to expand itself in many useful and learned particulars of foreign lands and peoples.

Immense Consumption of Spirits

Towards 1 p.m. we reached Campbelton. At the hotel where we alighted was installed a lodge of Odd Fellows, newly instituted. The first visible result of its organization was almost universal intoxication! In the streets and the public-houses, everywhere crowds of drunken men were staggering about. Every third house in Campbelton is a whisky shop! Throughout the colony the consumption of ardent spirits has reached an alarming height, being estimated at £6 per head of the entire population annually! Besides the spirits manufactured in the colony, itself, New South Wales imports annually £1,000,000 of wine, beer, brandy, and other description of liquor; a greater consumption of spirits than in any other country of the globe.16

The rest of our return journey being by rail was performed in two hours. The telegraph is in full activity between Campbelton and Sydney, the charge for a message of ten words being two shillings, and two-pence for each succeeding word. Towards 6 p.m. we reached Sydney, driving in the present instance to the Australian club, where accommodation had in the kindest manner been provided for us.

While one section of our staff had been making the excursion southwards which we have just described, among the forests and barrens of the Illawara district, another party visited the sources of Hunter River and the Newcastle stonefields, whence they returned laden with botanical, mineralogical, entomological, and palaeontological collections, samples of coal, fossil plants, and specimens of the Silurian formations.

The most interesting episode in their excursion was their stay on Ash Island, a small isle in the Hunter River, the property of A.W. Scott, Esq., M.L.A., who has settled there with his family. Two of his daughters are hardly more conspicuous by their loveliness and grace than by their profound acquaintance with entomology, which they pursue with the utmost zeal. In addition to geological and conchyliological collection, they have also a carefully classed collection of insects and butterflies, and at the time of our visit were about publishing a large work upon Australian butterflies. They also have the lepidopterous fauna of New South Wales in great variety and in every stage of metamorphosis, in many cases from the very ovum, all copiously explained, and their distinguishing characteristics placed beneath in a series of above one hundred tables, which the two ladies, who are accomplished artists both in drawing and painting, have themselves lithographed and coloured.

An excursion was also made from Ash Island to the Sugar Loaf, 3288 feet high, the loftiest mountain in the district. As they had to do 40 miles in one day, the party sprang to their horses as soon as day dawned, and, accompanied by two settlers of Ash Island, laid themselves out for the day's work. First they ascended Hunter River for about a couple of miles, which a little further on headed to the northward, while the cavalcade kept to the left towards the hills. The forest was so clear of Underwood, that one could almost ride along as though in a park. Despite the numerous traces of extensive fires, it seemed to have been but little altered by these from its primitive wildness. Occasionally huts and cultivated land were passed; the great proprietors usually give these runs to be cultivated as farms, or make them serve for their cattle, under their own drovers. In winter the cattle run at will in the Bush, as the settlers call this characteristic scenery, wherever they can find the best pasture for themselves. In summer again, when the great heat dries everything up, they are foddered with hay under shelter.

Denizens of an Australian Forest

The sunny forest consists of Eucalypti, Melaleuca, and other myrtaceĉ, splendid casuarina, Grevilleĉ, Banksiĉ, the native pear (Hylomelum), the highly prized Warratah (Telopea speciosissima), the all but shadowless Acacia, the indigenous cherry (Exocarpus), beautiful Papilionaceĉ, and very peculiar Stylidiĉ, &c. All these were old acquaintances however of the Austrian naturalists, who greeted them in this their native soil with redoubled interest and astonishment. Covered with blossoms they grew in wild unchecked profusion all around their path, so that the very horses frequently trod them under foot, scenting the air with an aroma which in Europe can only be obtained by lavish expenditure.

Numerous birds, chiefly parrots, circled round the tops of the trees; the crow like Strepera graculina, the bald-headed Tropidorhynchus corniculatus, the "Jack ass" (Dacela gigantea), so highly regarded and carefully tended by the colonists on account of its admonishing them of the presence of poisonous serpents, quantities of chaffinches (frigellidĉ), the fan-tailed flycatcher (Muscipiada), the Climacteris, which runs up and down the trunks of the trees like our own wood-pecker, the monitor lizard, four or five feet in length, which flits rapidly to and fro among the trees, the prickly chameleon, and beautiful specimens of fossil helix, all furnished a rich reward for the zoologist.

After a ride of three hours the party began to approach a steep wall of rock, where the horses were left, as they bad now to prosecute their journey on foot, till at length they came to a confused mass of coarse, breccia-like sandstone, constituting what is known as the Sugar Loaf, whence they had to toil laboriously among the rocks till they reached the summit. A marvellous panorama was spread out before them; the whole county of Northumberland, with its green forest clothing, was stretched out at their feet in all its sunlit splendour. To the left far in the distance was visible the township of Maitland, and the navigable part of the Hunter River, which wound along like a silver band till it was lost in the distance, where it fell into the Pacific, on whose seething billows the stately ships looked like small white specks on a confused, uncertain background.

Far in the distance to the right, half concealed by the forest, was Lake Macquarie. The colonial members of the party described the latter as very difficult of access, but as a veritable paradise for the sportsman, since it is frequented by black swans in hundreds, the Australian stork, curlews, the hook-billed creeper, cormorants and an infinite variety of water-fowl. The Blue Mountains formed the background of this splendid landscape. The whole neighbourhood is pretty well settled and cultivated. Here and there wreaths of blue smoke indicated where the huts of industrious colonists lay concealed in the forest. Their conductors were not a whit behind the strangers in their appreciation of the panoramic effect; they had never scaled the summit before, although the elder had lived 15 years at Ash Island, and had often been as far as the top of the first rocky ascent in search of strayed cattle.

Lost in delighted contemplation of the beauties of nature, no account was made of the passage of time, so that part of the return journey had to be made in the twilight. It was a delightful, clear, moonlight night. The deep stillness in nature was only occasionally broken by the shrill cry of the curlew (Numenius arquata), from the neighbouring swamps, or the rustling of Wallabies disturbed by the tread of the advancing horsemen. Buried in a sort of dreamy charm that could find no utterance, the riders left their horses to choose their own pace over the sward, hardly able to realize that they were indeed under the unclouded brilliancy of an Australian sky, traversing the forests haunted by the timid kangaroo and the swift but shy emu.

Gold-diggings of New South Wales

Unfortunately it was found impossible, owing to want of time, to visit the Blue Mountains and he gold regions around Bathurst. We bad to content our curiosity as to the products of the goldfields by examining the nuggets exhibited by the fortunate finders in the jewellers' shops of George Street, Sydney, and the particulars furnished in the daily papers of the well-authenticated riches of the goldfields of the oldest Colony. During our stay a lump of gold was discovered in the Western district weighing 150 lbs., and worth £6000. Such instances of good fortune only tend to raise fallacious hopes of being equally fortunate in the breasts of thousands of men.

Shortly before our arrival, on the news being promulgated of the new Eldorado in the north near Port Curtis on the Fitzroy, not less than 16,000 men flocked tither from New South Wales and Victoria. This enormous influx of human beings to a district totally unprovided with either shelter or provisions for such a horde resulted in unutterable suffering. People had sold their goods in Sydney for whatever they would fetch, in order to be the first in the gold-field with the requisite implements. Many lost their entire means of support, having even sacrificed the most favourable prospects in the eager thirst for gold and sudden prosperity. The streets of Melbourne and Sydney were filled with gold-seekers, who, laden with blankets, household utensils, axes, and spades, were laying down their last farthing for passage tickets, and rushed breathlessly to the ships which were to convey them to the newly-discovered goldfield.

The voyage began under the most rose-coloured anticipations of brilliant success. But scarcely a month later came most depressing intelligence from Port Curtis. Here was a set of lawless desperadoes, deceived in their expectations, without food, clothing, or even the object of their search, in a remote part of the country, with the hot season coming on, and no means of returning! Men were seen selling for a few shillings implements that had cost pounds. The whole road from the supposed goldfields to the landing-quay was strewed with diggers, who, footsore and fainting under the heat, were toiling towards the coast, where they rushed in wild confusion on board the ships which were to convey the victims back to the colonies they had left at so much sacrifice and with so extravagant expectations!

It was only the energetic measures taken by Government, by whom provisions were forthwith despatched to the wretched make-shifts of settlements improvised on the spur of the moment, and gave numbers free passages to Sydney and Melbourne, that prevented some serious disaster. A few months later the place so suddenly populous had become once more a despised solitude, and Rockhampton had resumed its wonted state of a hamlet consisting of two or three houses. In Sydney, however, the famished crowd seeking after work kept wandering about, thankfully accepting the soup which the charity of their fellow citizens supplied free of charge.

The Novara hauled up in the Fitzroy Dry Dock

During these various excursions of the scientific staff, the frigate had, thanks to the kindness of H.E. Sir Wm. Denison, been taken into the Government dry dock at Cockatoo Island in order to facilitate her extensive repairs. The Novara was, as the chief engineer himself allowed, the largest man-of-war which had ever been docked, not merely in Port Jackson, but anywhere in the Eastern hemisphere.

The Fitzroy dry dock, which had not long been completed, is 300 feet in length (since lengthened another 100 feet), 60 feet wide, and will accommodate vessels drawing 19 feet water. In preparing this splendid structure, which took eight years to complete, a huge rock 50 feet high was first blasted, the excavation began on the landside, and on its completion a gate opened towards the sea. All being right thus far, a subaqueous mine was sprung by means of large diving-bells, the excavations being charged with two or three lbs. of powder. A steam-engine of 40-horse power pumps the dock dry,17 besides being geared to set in motion the various machinery in the shops, such as lathes, iron planes, &c. The dock gates axe iron-plated. Although constructed entirely by convict labour, the expense was enormous, since to overcome the extraordinary difficulty presented by the soil, the entire machinery, down to the very smallest tool, had top be imported from England.

The frigate lay about a week in dock. Besides the usual handicraftsman there were upwards of thirty caulkers employed, each of whom was paid 14s. per diem, net, but the entire cost was 17s. a day, as each man was conveyed to and fro, morning and evening, at Government expense. But as provisions are high, the workman can save by the end of the week little if at all more than the English labourer who does not receive one-third of his wages. At present there are on the island 360 prisoners, all such as have been sentenced to ten years penal servitude at least. This establishment was, however, to be broken up, and the convicts distributed among other prisons, so soon as the dock was quite completed.

Sir W. Denison's Plan for Reclamation of Prisoners

The main features of a prison reform, contemplated by Sir Wm. Denison, with the praiseworthy object not merely of prevention of crime, but of ameliorating the moral condition of the criminal, consisted in the classification of criminals according to the nature of their crime - co-operative labour during the day, solitary confinement at night, and a certain amount of remuneration for work performed, so as to stimulate to habits of industry by a visible reward, and a scale of dietary barely sufficient to maintain life, any additional delicacy being paid for out of the man's own earnings, yet not so as to entirely exhaust his wages, the balance of which thus went on accumulating, so as to give him a small sum of money in hand, when, his sentence expired, he was set at liberty with, it is to be hoped, freshly-acquired habits of industry. To facilitate this benevolent plan, Sir William bethought him of erecting the prisons in the neighbourhood of Sydney, where there is more of a market for convict labour, and recommended the construction of roads. The number of prisoners at present in New South Wales is about 1260, whose support costs on an average £36,000 per annum. In order to adapt to the existing prisons the new system put in operation by the late Governor-general, and extend it to 1600 men,18 there would be required a further outlay of £69,000, one-third of the present annual outlay for sustenance would be saved.

Fête by the German Residents

On 25th November the Novara, thoroughly overhauled and rejuvenated, returned to her former anchorage near Garden Island, and the following day commenced a series of festivities, which the German residents at Sydney had got up to welcome the Imperial Expedition, commencing with a serenade, given by the German Singing Club, who hired a large steamer, the Washington, for the occasion, which they had gaily decorated with foliage and coloured lamps. Amidships there was a splendid transparency, with the word "Welcome" inscribed in letters of light, above which was a very neatly executed Austrian eagle. Upwards of 300 guests shared in the fete. At 8 p.m. the vessel got under weigh from Circular Quay. With the first plash of the paddles the music struck up, and the ship glided off, as though on the wings of Harmony, towards the grand looking Novara.

Unfortunately the weather proved very unfavourable. To an oppressingly hot, close, sultry day of entire calm, the thermometer marking 109° Fahr. in shade, there had suddenly sprung up a "Brickfielder,"19 that dreaded south wind, which may be considered one of the worst plagues of Sydney, owing to the clouds of dust. It now put German patience and German good-humour to a severe proof. At each tack of the steamer it blew out a whole row of variegated lamps and illuminations, which, however, were as perseveringly relit. It had been firmly resolved, however, to let nothing mar the success of the festival, and the old indomitable German "pluck" came out victorious in its contest with the "Brickfielder." Amid the full clangour of the bands of music were heard shouts of jubilant mirth, mingled with the howling and whistling of the wind, and the rush and roar of rockets, while the occasional firing of Bengal lights shed their magic effect over the parti-coloured crowd on board, the ships in harbour, and the agitated waters below. At last the steamer got near the frigate, which she swept round in a wide graceful curve, and dropped anchor at a little distance away. At that moment a considerable number of port-fires were lit on board the Novara, bathing the entire scene, including- the stately ship herself, in an absolute deluge of light, guided by which a number of boats put off with the company, who despite the weather were all enabled in safety to gratify their curiosity as to the effect of nocturnal festivities.

One of the frigate's boats was manned and despatched to the steamer, to bring on board the Novara the committee who had been entrusted with the presentation of an address.

On board the Novara the utmost excitement prevailed, almost all the officers and petty and warrant officers being on deck, the band playing nothing but German music. The evening ended as it began, with music and melody, such a thoroughly German welcome making a profound impression upon the English of Sydney.

The following day the German clubs of Sydney invited the staff to a ceremonial banquet, the saloon in which dinner was served being elegantly decorated with the flags of the various German states, between which were excellent likenesses of the Emperor and Empress. Upwards of seventy guests sat down to a sumptuous repast, after which free flow was given to the expression of the warmest wishes for fatherland and the German nation.

While these festivities were going on, the English mails brought the intelligence of the birth of an heir to the throne! So signal a cause for thankfulness on the part of Austria was duly observed at the uttermost ends of the earth, and on 27th November the thunder of the Novara's cannon announced the glad tidings to the colonies of the southern coasts of Australia! Salutes of 21 guns were fired at morning, noon, and sunset, while on board our ship, which was decorated with all her colours, a solemn Te Deum was sung, after which the crew were mustered on parade. The English ships of war also "dressed," and returned our salute by one of a similar number of guns.

On the 30th there was a ball on board, to which 400 guests were invited, many of the élite being overlooked through sheer want of space or accommodation.

The hospitality extended to the Austrian officers was not however confined to these public receptions, when they were thoroughly "lionized" during their stay, but also included a constant round of invitations among private circles, among which, without making invidious selections, where we can but feel a lasting recollection of the cordial kindness we everywhere experienced, we may specify those of H. E. Sir Wm. Denison, Sir D. Cooper, Speaker, Stuart A. Donaldson, Esq. Chief Secretary, Dr. G. Bennett, the eminent physician and naturalist, M.W. Sentis, French Consul, and Captain Mann, chief engineer of the docks.

Energy of a German Lady

Here also our thanks are due to an estimable Austrian lady, a native of Vienna, who, wafted on the pinions of Hymen to Australia, has not a little contributed to uphold in that distant region the gentle dignity of the Viennese ladies, and the renown of Germany for musical supremacy. This lady, widely known in artistic circles as Mllle Amalie Mauthner is now Madame Rawack, having a few years since married a German gentleman settled in Sydney. Quitting her home under the most auspicious anticipations for the future, the newly-married lady arrived in Sydney just in to see her husband's house of business succumb under the first of the great financial crises. Instead of a life of affluence and ease in the gold country, the sorely-tried lady was compelled to display her irresistible energy and activity by availing herself of her eminent musical attainments. The charming artist was speedily recognized and cordially supported in Sydney. The wealthiest and most distinguished families considered it an especial favour to be permitted to place their children under Mad. Rawack's tuition. Her concerts became the most fashionable of the season, and the dark cloud which had gathered above the young inexperienced wife on her arrival in Australia, had, thanks to her marvellous energy and activity, gradually been dispelled, leaving a bright sunny horizon of felicity and content.

Political Prognostications

We had but little opportunity of observing the phases of political life in Sydney, our arrival being coincident with the "dead season" of politics. We were just in time to be present at the spectable of the prorogation of Parliament. This ceremonial took place in the chamber of the Legislative Council, the Governor-general officiating in person. The second chamber, or Legislative Assembly, was, as in England, represented simply by a deputation.

Punctually at noon Black Rod threw open the doors and announced in grave but loud tones, "His Excellency the Governor-general of New South Wales," upon which Sir William Denison entered the apartment with much dignity, and assumed his seat under a sort of canopy. By his side stood the Ministers, his private secretary, and an aid-de-camp. Before him sat the President of the Legislative Council, and other high dignitaries.

Sir. D. Cooper, Speaker of the Assembly, whom we scarcely recognized in his strange official costume, - a black silk single-breasted coat, richly laced with gold, and an immense full wig, - delivered a short address, to which the Governor-general briefly responded, and the ceremony was over and the Parliament prorogued.

Australia now enjoys such a free constitution, modelled after the English form, the administration of the various colonies is so entirely autonomous, their duty to the mother country so significant (so far as outward form goes), that the colonists seem quite content with their present administration, and the malcontents, who once advocated separation and independence, even to the length of ventilating the subject in Parliament, have now been reduced to utter insignificance.

Each colony has, by the "New Constitution Act" of 1851, been provided with the utmost freedom of self-government, the British Government only reserving the right of veto in those cases where the colonial laws should happen to run counter to the common law of the Empire. One hears, it is true, many protagonists as to the result of dividing the country into so many independent colonies, and having so many parliaments, especially as to the immense preponderance that the inhabitants of the cities must have over the scattered country population. A few even seem to be of opinion that they must contain many elements eminently unsuitable to the vitality of a mutually reliant, cohesive, law-abiding confederation. But although some passing blots and temporary defects may be dragged to the light of day, it must not be overlooked that the Australian continent is almost as large as Europe, and that each of those colonies covers more superficial area than most of the European states. As the laws and administration are the same for all of these, it is more probable that the anticipated break up of moral power will rather take the form of developing true political life, so that the masses will more honourably and surely be enabled to appreciate their constitutional rights and duties.

Anthropological Excursion to Coggera Cove

A few days before our departure some of the scientific staff had further opportunity of communication with the "blacks." It was important to extend our collection of craniological specimens for that branch of study, by comparing the various races of men with each other, so as to enlarge our knowledge of the physiological peculiarities of either sex and every race; and as we had been told that numbers of skulls could be procured among the Gunyahs, or sand-stone cavities of Cook-River Bay, which had been a favourite burial-place of the Aborigines, we made an excursion thither, still accompanied by our staunch friend, Mr. Hill.

Our light vehicle rattled merrily through the suburbs of New Town, a sort of suburb of Sydney, thence over the Cook-River Dam, 1000 feet wide by 200 feet in length, to Coggera Cove, where several of the Aborigines had pitched a temporary camp. These were two Mestiza women with their children, and Johnny, the last of the Sydney blacks, who might be about 40, and was a cripple in consequence of an injury sustained in childhood. In 1836 there were 58 still alive; now Johnny is the last remaining survivor!

We set off from Coggera Cove in a small, but safe, and well-built boat, rowed by Johnny and some white colonists, bound for Cook-River Bay, but our search in the sandstone caverns was unfortunately fruitless. Johnny then conducted us to a spot where Tom Weiry, one of the last of the chiefs, who lived at the mouth of Cook River, and died about twelve years previous, had been buried. Tom Weiry, or Tom Ugly, as the English named him, was a very athletic man, whose skeleton was a real prize for the purposes of comparative anatomy.

Close to the spot where, according to Johnny, the last remains of the Australian chief reposed, were large quantities of empty oyster-sheIls, indicating that the place in question had once been a favourite resort of the " blacks," attracted thither by the prolific yield of this place in those shellfish, one of their most highly appreciated articles of food. At various spots traces of fires were visible.

The Aborigines of the coast usually bury their dead clothed in the woollen blanket they wore in life, with the heads seaward, and near the coast, with but a few feet of earth over them. Unfortunately we had our pains for our reward, although Johnny repeatedly assured us he had himself, in picking up shell-fish, on that very spot seen projecting from the sand human bones, that frightened the superstitious fellow from prosecuting his search in that direction. Indeed, Johnny was positive some other exploring naturalist had been there and walked off with our contemplated anthropological prize.

We returned, our object unachieved, to our boat, and so back to Coggera Cove, where we found tea and chocolate prepared in the renowned "black pot," that figures so much in bush life, off which we made an excellent repast. With true kindliness Mr. Hill shared what we had brought with us with the Aborigines, who, on their part, showed themselves very obliging and attentive.

A second excursion, still in Mr. Hill's company, was made after craniological specimens to Long Bay, twelve miles distant, among whose thickets a few natives had been residing for some weeks. The road thither passed through gum-tree forests, varied by wide grass plains covered with the many blossomed Metrosidero, with its long deep red stamens, and brilliant Melaleuca, its twigs also nearly covered with white flowers, among which rose the tapering flower-stem, ten or twelve feet high, of the Xanthorrhea, something like reed-mace, surrounded by flights of humming-birds, which were imbibing its delicious nectar with their long bills. Great quantities of little birds were swarming about the brushwood and rushes, occasionally coming quite trustfully so close to us that we could have caught them with a butterfly net.

We had been riding perhaps an hour or two when Mr. Hill suddenly began to call in the native manner. Those forthwith summoned by this quite unique sound replied from the thicket, as if recognizing the approach of a friend, and in a minute or tow we found ourselves in the midst of a number of Aborigines of both sexes, mostly naked, or with a coarse woollen cloth around them, lying at full length on the ground in listless ease. Close by was a fire, over which was suspended a kettle filled with water. A couple of mangy hounds covered with sores were basking in the sun, heedless of the footfall of our horses, lying as indifferent as their masters till we had dismounted and seen our beasts attended to.

Physiological Characteristics of the Australian Blacks

It is extraordinary to see how few necessaries these people seem to have, and how little ambition they have to better themselves,'so long as they can indulge their vagabondizing propensities. There is assuredly no nation on earth that so aptly illustrates Goldsmith's words: "Man wants but little here below," as the black race of Australia.

Those we were now visiting had come from the districts of Shoalhaven, Port Stephens, and Illawara. There were three man and as many women, one of whom, a Mestiza, named Sarah, with two half-blood little children. One of these, which although above two years of age, was still at the breast, had a skin quite white, red cheeks, and light blue eyes, and could scarcely be distinguished from the child of white parents. These presented so characteristic a type of the race, that we could not resist an attempt to make with them some of those admeasurements of the body already alluded to, while the artist attached to the Expedition delineated their appearance.

The skull of the Australian black is tolerably regular, the forehead broad and high, the bridge of the nose pretty high, the eyes dark, brilliant, and sunken; the nose and cheekbones well marked. The mouth generally is broad, the upper lip overhanging the under, and the upper teeth also project beyond the under. The face, like the entire body, is hairy in an unusual degree; the hair of the head is black, thin, often very fine in texture, and slightly crisped without being woolly. The skin is usually dark or dirty brown, or brownish black. The custom of marking the outer arm from the shoulders downwards with three or four marks, from 1 to 11/2 inch long, and rather thick in the cicatrix and continuing over the back with similar incisions is pretty universal, and seems to be considered as a personal decoration. The elder people have the nasal cartilage bored through, and wear in the orifice kangaroo bones, or other bones, or even pieces of wood as amulets. We did not however remark this among the younger generation; this hideous custom seems to have died out, apparently on account of its discomfort.

The stay of the Novara in Australia was, as already remarked, so brief, that it did not admit of the scientific staff making more distant tours to the great cattle "stations", or gold districts. At the same time it appears to us important to make some few observations on these two products, to which Australia is indebted for her present prosperity, and the former of which is fraught with even more of its future destiny than the latter.

Curious Statistics of Colonial Live Stock

At the commencement of the present century England used to procure all her wool from Spain, and somewhat later from Germany20 and Hungary. Since that period the production of wool in the Cape, the East Indies, and Australia, has so enormously increased, that Great Britain is enabled to get from her colonies the entire consumption she requires for her woollen manufactures, averaging from 60 to 70,000,000 lbs., thus utilizing the agricultural energies of her emigrating children for the behoof of the mother country and her industrial classes.

New South Wales produces at present (1858) above 17,000,000 lbs. of wool, the whole of Australia about 50,000,000. The number of sheep has increased from 29, imported by the first colonists in 1778, to 8,139,160 in New South Wales alone, the total for all Australia being about 15,000,000. Some proprietors have upwards of 100,000 sheep, which they divide into flocks of from 2000 to 3000, which are in charge each of its respective shepherd, who keeps them in their own special "runs."

We present an official account of the live stock in the settlement at Port Jackson, May 1st,, 1788, which forms an interesting contrast with the development of its resources since that period:

To whom belong

Stallions

Mares

Colts

Bulls

Cows

Sheep

Goats

Hogs

Pigs

Rabbits

Turkeys

Geese

Ducks

Fowls

Chickens

Government

1

2

-

2

2

Rams - 1, Ewes - 12, Wethers - 3

1

20

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Governor

-

1

3

 

2

Ewe - 1, Lamb - 1

-

10

-

3

5

8

17

22

-

Lieutenant-Governor

-

-

-

 

-

-

1

1

7

-

5

6

4

9

-

Officers and men of the detachment

-

-

-

 

1

-

12

10

17

2

6

9

8

55

25

Staff

-

-

-

 

-

11

5

7

1

-

2

6

6

36

62

Other individuals

-

-

-

 

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Totals

1

3

3

2

5

29

19

49

25

5

18

29

35

122

87

At present there are in this colony, 180,000 horses, 2,148,660 cattle, and 109,160 pigs.

The most suitable place for breeding sheep is Moreton Bay, lately raised into a new independent colony by the name of Queen's Land. The sheep there need but little attention and the maladies to which they are subject in the west and south never occur in that colony. Were it not for the ravages of the wild dogs, the rearing of sheep would be attended with hardly any expense. These are pastured on the crown lands, for the use of which each squatter pays £10 per annum for every 4000 sheep, or 800 head of cattle. In the north, "Darling Downs" are considered the best, consisting of an open undulating table-land, broken here and there by occasional clumps of trees, and much resembling the States of Minnesota and Iowa, north and west of the Mississippi. On these Downs from 3000 to 4000 sheep can easily be kept by a single shepherd, whereas in Bathurst 800 would call into play all the watchfulness of a single individual.

On Darling Downs the annual increase of a flock of 100 ewes is 96 per cent ; in Bathurst it is only 80. The value of a sheep is about 15s. to 20s., and the shearing usually begins in October and lasts till December, the average weight being 21 lbs. to the fleece. Innumerable teams of oxen carry the wool in bales of 200 or 300 lbs. from hundreds of miles in the interior down to the seaports, where the oxen and carts are usually sold, as, owing to the low price of cattle, it would not be remunerative to take them back without a freight.

Successful Importation of the Llama

While we were in Australia an attempt had been made, at much cost of time, trouble, and expense, to import from their native Cordilleras a large number of Llamas or Alpacas, with the view of increasing the value of Australian wool by a cross with the Peruvian. An enterprising English merchant of Valparaiso, named Joshua Waddington, who had been 40 years resident in Chili, was a chief promoter of the undertaking. In 1852 another Englishman had undertaken to convey 500 alpacas to England, but, despite the utmost care during the voyage, only three were landed alive. Waddington attributed this disaster to the want of fresh food, and therefore hit upon the expedient of accustoming those animals which he intended to send to Australia to the use of dry fodder, such as barley, bran, and hay, for some time before their embarkation. As soon as they had become somewhat inured they were shipped at Caldera, near Copiapo, and entrusted to the care of Mexican Indians accustomed to their habits, for transport to Australia. The vessel was of 800 tons burthen, and was chartered at 6000 dollars for the voyage. The fitting up of the vessel for her novel cargo cost about 300 dollars. Each animal, in addition to its ration of dried food, had a quart of water per diem. The voyage from Caldera to Sydney took 70 days. Of 316 Llamas shipped or born on the voyage only 36 died, 280 arriving in excellent health at Sydney, and were with all speed turned into a large pasture on the Government domain.21

For weeks the negotiations remained in an anxious suspense, in consequence of the original projector of the undertaking, an adventurous Yankee, named Ledger, who had purchased the animals in the interior of Peru, and after four years of unwearied assiduity had accompanied his charge hither, standing out for a large sum by way of reward. Long after we had left Sydney we learned that the 280 llamas were sold to a company of sheep-breeders at £25 a head, or for £7000 sterling the entire herd, the value of an animal in Peru being two or three dollars.

Priority of Discovery of the Victoria Gold Fields

The yield of the various gold-fields22 in the west, north, and south of the colony, though nothing like so great as in the neighbouring colony of Victoria, yet contributes in no inconsiderable degree to the annual revenue of the state, and maintains a considerable commerce with other countries. According to official reports, the amount of gold taken out since its first discovery in March, 1851, to the end of July, 1860, was 2,587,549 oz., worth about £9,600,000. Besides this, however, a considerable quantity of money was brought to the coast by private conveyance, where it was smelted down, since the entire yield of New South Wales in nine years was £12,696,231, besides £3,096,231 in the State Treasury and Mint, according to official returns.

The rumour that gold was to be found in Australia was first set on foot by the Rev. W.B. Clarke, a Protestant missionary and well-known geologist, who so far back as 1841 found gold in the hills W. of Vale of Clyde, and had even then proved to several influential personages by unmistakeable evidence the existence of gold-quartz, with the remark that in Australia, especially the province of Victoria, all scientific indications were in favour of there being a great amount of gold. But the learned country parson found at that time little attention or interest, as well in consequence of its then being still a penal colony, as of the ignorance at that period universally prevalent as to the value of such indications.

Ten years later a certain Mr. Hargrave adopted the rational course of visiting California, where he made himself master of the various means of obtaining gold, after which he returned, and commenced to wash for gold in Summer Hill Creek, New South Wales, and thus became the practical discoverer of the gold-fields, the special contributor to the development of the resources of the country. The committee of the Legislative Council, to whom was entrusted to examine and report upon the claims of individuals as to the honour of having discovered the Australian gold-fields, added to the minute of 10th March, 1841, that Mr. Hargrave, who had so disinterestedly thrown open to all this inexhaustible mine of wealth, ought to receive £5000, and Rev. W.B. Clarke £1000 in recognition of his mineralogical researches, which had conduced to the same result.

The first Australian gold, 18 oz., was landed in London by the Honduras on 20th August, 1851. Thenceforward the importation increased with each month, the amount by the end of the year having reached 240,044 oz., worth £871,652. The following year the amount extracted was 4,247,657 oz., value £14,866,79.

The crowd of gold-seekers and adventurers, attracted by the discovery, was something tremendous. From the commencement of September 1851, when 29 men were engaged in washing at Anderson's Creek, to the end of December, only four months, the population of the diggings reached 20,300; in 1852 they numbered 53,500, in 1853 75,626.

Shortly after the discovery of the gold-fields, the Colonial Government appointed special officers, the well-known "Gold Commission," to watch over these improvised settlements. They published "Regulations for the management of the Gold-fields," and sold licenses at 20s. or 40s. according to yield, for the privilege of digging within certain limits; the localities most in favour being Ballarat, Mount Alexander, Castlemain, Sandhurst, Beechworth, and Heathcote.

The gold obtained in 1852 was valued at from 58s. to 60s. per ounce. The banks made advances at the rate of 40s. to 55s. per oz., or exchanged the gold-dust at from 81/2 to 10 per cent. discount for coined money. The freight was per oz. 41/2d. per oz. In 1858 the value of the ounce bad risen at the "diggings" to from 70s. to 77s., and the discount had fallen to 1 per cent., and the Insurance Company charged for gold transport a premium of from 13/4 to 21/2 per cent.

Geological Speculations as to Age of Australia

Since that period gold has repeatedly been discovered in fresh localities of the adjoining colony of Victoria, the "yield" and the number of diggers being also steadily increasing. Many thousands at present leave New South Wales annually, to try their fortune in other fields than those of agriculture. In 1857 upwards of 26,000 persons left this colony for Victoria. Consequently, the price of labour has risen throughout Australia and while it has thus increased in expense it has become more uncertain and unreliable. A large number of buildings, especially in the country, have been left unfinished, and the clearing and cultivation of numerous tracts of land have been abandoned. These temporary evils, however, cannot be permitted to outweigh the enormous advantages derivable from the discovery of the gold-fields of Australia. It has attracted the attention of universal mankind to a distant British colony, hitherto almost unnoticed, it has peopled the country with magic celerity, centupled the value of the land, made its results appreciable in the remotest districts of the globe, and raised the colony of Victoria within a few years, in national prosperity, increased trade, and extended cultivation, to a degree of importance usually the slow growth of centuries of industry.

The discovery of the gold-fields had at the same time important scientific consequences, chiefly in the way of geological researches, which resulted in proving that the widespread popular opinion, that the Australian continent belongs to the latest geological era, and had comparatively recently emerged from the sea, is entirely erroneous. Rich palaeontological collections confirm the opinion that Australia is not the latest, but rather the earliest, continent. In several parts of the colony the fossil remains of various colossal animals have been discovered, which, as since measured, must have stood from 10 to 16 feet in height, and correspond to our diluvial Pachydermata in Europe. In like manner, with the exception of some quite insignificant tertiary strata of small extent, only crystalline rocks and primary formations (from the Silurian upwards) form the chief bulk of the continent. The entire series of secondary strata seems to be absent. From this fact it necessarily results that Australia has been a continent since the end of the primary epoch, that it never has been covered by the sea, but remained ever since the beginning of the secondary formations, through all those countless ages during which Europe was being convulsed by the most tremendous geological revolutions, a habitable soil, on which plants and beasts, undisturbed by change in the inorganic world, might have continued to flourish down to our own times. Viewed in this light the fauna and flora of Australia would be the most ancient and primitive in the world.

Did Australia ever form part of Asia?

Another Austrian naturalist, the well-known botanist Professor Unger of Vienna, has come to the same conclusions from the fossil remains of some Australian plants, accompanied by the further singular deduction, that Europe must have been at one period in much closer accordance with this remote region. Many forms of plants, especially Proteaceĉ, which at present form such a peculiar feature of its vegetation, seem to have been similarly prevalent in Europe at that remote age of the globe. But if even it be accepted that during the Eocene or earliest tertiary period there existed in Europe under similar climatic conditions flora of Coniferĉ, Proteaceĉ, Myrtaceĉ, and Casuarinĉ, such as Australia now possesses, the question still arises as to how the vegetation of a locality so remote should have been transferred to antipodean Europe?

Making all due allowance for the astonishing influence exercised by winds, waves, and the migration of animals over the diffusion of vegetable species, yet the means of transport by the ocean or by currents of water is confined within narrow limits, and under the most favourable conditions is limited to the very few plants which can maintain their powers of reproduction uninjured by immersion in water, and those on the other hand which, on being transported to a strange shore, find there the means of existence and increase. As, moreover, the observation which Professor Unger has made upon the diffusion of plants at that remote period, and their very accurately circumscribed limits, run directly counter to the opinion of those naturalists who hold to a variety of centres of development, (instancing a case where one species of plant is found in two widely separated regions,) have never been satisfactorily refuted, the learned botanist thereupon proceeds to the conclusion, that during the Eocene period Australia was united to the main-land through the Moluccas. This land route has been followed at one period by Araucarias, Proteaceĉ, sandal wood, and a hundred other varieties of tree and shrub, which till that connection was made could not diffuse themselves, so as thus to reach the European continent, where they are even now found, despite the lapse of myriads of years, in the shape of well-preserved fossils. Thus too, for similar reasons the geologist to our Expedition, like Professor Unger, regarded Australia as not a youthful, lately-born continent, but a country decaying, with antiquity, which had played its part in the physical history of the globe, and had spread its scions far and wide.

Some alteration of level is not merely indicated by the numerous coral reefs encircling Australia and its island groups, pointing to a similar sinking among them as that already noticed among the smaller Polynesian islands: - The whole characteristics of the soil, the wastes of the interior, the innumerable salt lakes, the rivers which lose themselves in these, &c. &c., tell of a coming geological transformation, which however - we mention this for the consolation of the settlers - may yet be postponed for myriads of years.

Thoughts on the Transportation System

The system of transportation, concerning which so loud an outcry has recently been made, has so materially assisted in developing the resources of the country , that it would hardly be right to quit Botany Bay without a few remarks on the penal colony which was in existence there till 1840. For there is no spot on the globe better adapted than New South Wales to serve as a stand point, whence any one might accurately study the advantages and drawbacks of the English transportation system, as also its influence upon a strongly recalcitrant society. In brief, we propose to subject the system as it subsisted for half a century in Australia to a thorough analysis, inasmuch as it seems to us that, in our present unnatural social conditions, transportation, i.e. the sudden transference of the criminal to totally new conditions of external life, seems to furnish the much desired turning point whence we may expect a lasting moral improvement of the individual. Our Austrian prisons, especially those in which the cell system has not been introduced, are simply houses of detention, not penitentiaries, still less reformatories. The incarcerated criminal is a burden to himself and to society, to which he is only in the most exceptional cases restored improved by confinement. The charge of maintaining him increases year by year, without any return being made by utilizing the labour of the prisoner. In penal colonies, on the other hand, the convict works as much for his own benefit as for that of society. He throws open new immeasurable tracts of land to civilization, trade, and industry. The evil effects of certain climates upon the health of the convict can be corrected by proper ordinances, till it is reduced to a barely appreciable minimum. The free settler is also exposed in unsettled countries to dangerous illnesses, but as his circumstances improve these disappear before the cleared forest, the cultivated patch, the drained swamp.

We do not believe that were the option left them there is one solitary individual in our Austrian prisons, condemned to periods of imprisonment of ten years and upwards, who would not willingly exchange his sojourn at home for one in even the insalubrious islands of the Indian Ocean, if the prospect were held out to him after a series of years of steady labour and honest activity, that he might make his new-found activity available to secure his liberty. What may be made, however, of a valueless wilderness by means of compulsory labour, we have at this day an example of in the case of the first penal colony of New South Wales. Even the objectionable man in which the system was administered during more than fifty years in Australia and Van Diemen's land could not entirely destroy its beneficial effects upon the criminal, or blind an unprejudiced observer to the advantages and general utility of transportation as a means of punishment.

In 1787 the eastern coast of Australia, chiefly in consequence of the too glowing accounts of the suitability of the harbours and the fertility of the soil of Botany Bay, was selected by the British Government as the site of a penal colony, and on the 26th January, 1788, the first batch of convicts was landed there. These consisted of 600 males and 250 women, and were accompanied by an escort of 200 men. Forty of the latter were married men, who were accompanied by their wives and children. The whole expedition under the command of Captain Phillip, the first Governor of the new settlement.23

Early History of Port Jackson

The colonists bad scarcely settled down after their arrival on, as was speedily found, the anything but safe or fertile shores of Botany Bay, ere they were removed to another harbour, lying about seven miles further north, beautifully situate, and fulfilling every requirement, which they named Port Jackson.

The first free settlers did not make their appearance till 1794. The officers of the garrison were merchants also, and trafficked in whatever merchandise they could find. Rum especially was a chief article. A Government regulation required every ship which should put into Port Jackson, to deliver a certain proportion of her spirits to the officers according to their rank! ! They also received a list of the merchandise brought by each ship, from which they selected whatever seemed most profitable, which they disposed of again at retail to the soldiers, settlers, and convicts at an immense profit. Further, the officers enjoyed the entire monopoly of importing spirits, as also the exclusive privilege of selling them to the retail merchants. By these devices many of them amassed considerable fortunes by trade, and thus the repeated efforts made by a succession of Governors to effect a reform in the colony rendered fruitless. During the administration of Captain Bligh, so widely known in connection with the tragic fate of the mutineers of the Bounty, rum was the most valuable article of exchange, and the colonists found by bitter experience that there were no other sellers of this destructive drink than the privileged few.

The utmost anarchy and violence reigned supreme throughout New South Wales at that period the power of the Government was set entirely at nought, license and violence usurped the place of law and order; the convicts found they were not under any effective control or supervision; whole bands of them infested the country as "bush-rangers", till they grew so bold as to enter the dwellings of peaceful settlers in broad day, where they perpetrated the most cruel excesses.

In 1807 Mr. McArthur and Captain Abbot of the 102nd introduced the first distilling apparatus into the country for cheapening the production of ardent spirits. The Governor forthwith confiscated the apparatus, and forbade distillation in any part of the colony. This prohibition gave rise among those interested to dissensions, which gradually rose to such a height, that about a year thereafter it led to Bligh being placed in confinement by some of his own officers. The English Government however now began to perceive that such a state of carelessness could no longer be endured, and not only reinstated Bligh, but promoted him to the rank of Admiral.

Conditions of Forced Labour formerly

On their arrival in the colony the prisoners were sent to barracks in Sydney, where the Government selected from their number such handicraftsman as they required for the public works, while the remainder were distributed as land cultivators, labourers, artisans, &c., among such private individuals as had made themselves agreeable to the Government. As free labour was rare and expensive in the colony at that period, the requests for such allocations of forced labour were greatly in excess of the number of workmen so available.

Those consigned to private individuals were taken into the interior in charge of a constable or overseer, where they were required to build a shelter for themselves, which, owing to the mildness of the climate, could be very speedily accomplished. The hours of work were from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the main feature was that the convict durst not leave his employer, whether kind and good-tempered, or harsh and cruel. When there was no further occasion for their services they were remitted to Government, who found another employer for them.

All landholders in the colony were entitled, on preferring a request to the Governor to that effect, to have assigned them, according to the current quantity of disposable labour, in the proportion of one workman to every 320 acres of land; but no settler, no matter how extensive his holding, could "take on" more than 75 convicts. Each employer had to engage to keep the convict assigned him one month at least, and provide, at his own cost, food and clothing according to a scale fixed by Government.

The weekly rations consisted of nine lbs. wheaten flour, or at the option of the employer, three lbs. Indian corn, and seven lbs. of wheat flour, seven lbs. of beef or mutton, four lbs. salt pork, two oz. salt, two oz. soap. The clothing consisted of two jackets annually, three shirts of canvas or cotton, two pairs of drawers, three pairs of shoes of stout leather, and a hat or cap. Each labourer was also allowed the use of a counterpane and mattress, which however remained the property of the employer. These legal privileges had however been extended through custom or the favour of the employers to various little articles of luxury, such as tobacco, sugar, tea, grog, &c. In particular, with the object of ensuring the utmost zeal on the part of the workman during the harvest season, it was almost imperative at that season to show him those little relaxations and favours which at length became customary, and in no slight degree enhanced the cost of his maintenance. On the arrival of a convict ship a crowd used to hurry down to await the moment when the convicts were to be allotted to applicants. As no special memoranda were made during the voyage of the offence for which each man had been transported, or his subsequent conduct on the voyage, the administration were not in a position to make such a selection as should classify the prisoners, and assign them according to nature of crime and subsequent behaviour to a determined or a more gentle employer. Hence resulted the most lamentable injustice; the most truculent of these men occasionally were assigned to the gentle masters, while a less hardened criminal came under the yoke of a hard-hearted task-master and thus had an infinitely more severe lot to bewail than he in fact deserved.

Such a harsh and in too many cases unjust, method of dealing with them, drove the convicts to the commission of fresh offences, or even crimes, and, in desperation at the wrongs to which they were exposed, they not merely neglected utterly the interests of their temporary masters, but in many cases, impelled by a fierce thirst for vengeance, they burned houses and property over his head at the harvest time!

Present State of the Colony

The chronic alarm and anxiety of the colony during a long period was not however traceable to the principle of the system itself, but to the method in which it was worked by self-seeking natives, greedy of gain. No sooner had the most glaring of the evils been rectified, and by means of a powerful government law and order resumed their wonted sway, ere the young colony began to make most unexpected strides in developing its capabilities, and both in the unfolding of its natural resources and in its trade and commerce ere long attracted the attention, not merely of England and her manufacturers, but of all Europe.

In 1840 New South Wales ceased to be a convict settlement, at which period there were 130,856 souls in the colony, 26,967 of whom were convicts. In 1857, when the last census was taken, there were in all 305,487, of whom 171,673 were males, and 133,814 females, who inhabited 41,479 houses, 1725 huts, 50 waggons, and 75 ships, and subsisted chiefly by pasture and agriculture.

The morality of this population diffused over 321,579 square miles has greatly improved, thanks to the unlimited freedom of individual power to develop itself, and the opportunities afforded for leading an independent, comfortable life, and in the interests of Truth we must add, that in no part of Europe would any one be left so unfettered to travel about alone and unarmed, or require less precautions, as in this once penal colony.

Results of the Transportation System

The number of criminal cases of all sorts in the colony during the last ten years, during which the population has increased from 189,600 to 266,189, is as follows:-

Year

Description

Executions

1848

448 accused, of whom were executed

4

1849

543 accused, of whom were executed

4

1850

555 accused, of whom were executed

4

1851

574 accused, of whom were executed

2

1852

527 accused, of whom were executed

5

1853

604 accused, of whom were executed

2

1854

637 accused, of whom were executed

6

1855

526 accused, of whom were executed (one of these was a woman)

5

1856

461 accused, of whom were executed

0

1857

395 accused, of whom were executed

4

One must not forget to take into account that by far the larger portion of the population are recruited from the lower class, as measured by education. On the whole we may assume that of the 305,487 souls, 30,000 men and 20,000 women can neither read nor write.

As to the intimate connection between crime and ignorance, most striking confirmation is obtained from investigations made in England and Wales in 1842-44, in the case of 69,616 criminals, of whom 21799 or 31.3 per cent. could neither read nor write, 41,620 or 59.8 per cent. could read and write imperfectly, 5909 or 8.5 per cent. could read and write well, and only 308 or 0.4 per cent. had received a good education. The present population of New South Wales, despite all their burdens and difficulties, furnish an instructive and cheering example of what may be made of even hordes of fallen man under certain conditions, if they can be afforded the opportunity of working and showing their powers.

Confined in gloomy cells between high walls, chained hand and foot with heavy iron fetters, condemned in their wretched state to life-long inaction, the convicts sent out to Botany Bay during fifty years would have cost the State directly, and society indirectly, an enormous sum; while their existence would have passed in silent brooding over their fate, and speculations as to the means of avenging themselves on mankind.

Placed on a remote, healthy, fertile shore, with the cheering prospect of inaugurating for themselves a new era of existence by labour and industry, and thus being enabled to attain competency and respectability, these very same men raise themselves, at but little cost, to the position of valuable subjects to the state and to society, by causing to smile, under the gold crop of agriculture, lands hitherto all but unknown, and thus becoming the founders of a community, which bears within itself the germ of such a marvellous development in the future, that political seers even now designate it as "THE GREAT BRITAIN OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE."

A system which, despite the many serious deficiencies caused by individual selfish short-sightedness, has produced such results, cannot be considered by any unprejudiced inquirer as altogether objectionable or aimless; - on the contrary, it seems to us it has proved its utility in founding new overseas colonies in portions of the earth as yet little visited, the first colonization of which is attended with local difficulties. We have but to avail ourselves of the experience acquired at Botany Bay, avoiding the canker under which the system has hitherto been worked in the British colonies (with exception perhaps of that pattern convict settlement at Singapore, which we have already described), and draw up such regulations, keeping in view the sole object of transportation, viz. PUNISHMENT BY EXILE, AND REFORMATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL THROUGH LABOUR, as shall facilitate its being carried out in an efficient manner, and suffer ourselves neither to be diverted from our course by the selfish warnings of interested administrators, nor by the objections of ill-advised philanthropists.

Principles that should regulate Penal Colonies; and Rules to be observed in future Penal Colonies

With respect to the carrying out of a system of transportation, such as formerly existed in the British colonies, especially Australia and Van Diemen's Land, the following modifications seem to be advisable:

1. The abandonment of the convict to the employer, i.e. the "assignment system," must be entirely given up, as the prisoner by such an arrangement degenerates into an article for speculation, out of which it must be the task-master's interest to get as much as he can, so as to be able to return him upon the hands of the State so soon as his capacity for labour begins to fail. The convicts who were thus "assigned" in New South Wales, stood to their employers in the same position as Negro slaves in the Southern States of North America, or the island of Cuba. They were fed like beasts of burden, without the slightest remuneration for the heaviest work. The State had, it is true, a right to punish the criminal, but it seems to us unjust in the extreme to make him the slave of his fellow-man. Accordingly this practice was the source of unutterable mischief, and was followed by most deplorable results as regards the moral development of the colony.

2. The case is very different when the labour of the criminal, instead of being devoted to the aggrandizement of a private individual, finds its expansion in forwarding parochial or national public works, in clearing and cultivating tracts of land, and preparing them for the future labour of free colonists, in the laying out of roads, in the erection of churches, schools, hospitals, and barracks, in the construction of docks, quays, &c. &c. So soon as private interest disappears, - so soon as the energies of the criminal are no longer made available to put money in the pockets of private speculators, but are utilized for the general good, by far the greater number of those minor drawbacks will disappear, which press with all the more force on the compulsory labourer, in proportion as he feets conscious that he is regarded by him who has purchased his labour not as a FELLOW MAN, but as a CHATTEL, to be employed while he is of any value, and then to be cast aside, as one might throw a dried twig into the fire. What may be accomplished in this direction, even in colonies of comparatively recent foundation, is evidenced by the splendid roads of Cape Colony, traversing mountain passes 6000 to 8000 feet high, the numerous public buildings in Singapore, Hong-kong, Sydney, &c. Edifices, which in consequence of the high price of free labour, might not have been erected under the lapse of many years, actually at present rear their imposing forms like so many ornamental memorials, now of the worship of the loving Saviour, now of our charitable duties to the sick and afflicted, but all serving to instruct and civilize the rising generation!

3. As to the subsistence of the criminals, we do not believe that the principle of giving them the same descriptions of rations, no matter whether they worked much or little, would be found conducive to the attainment of the great object of making them feel an interest in their labour. We would rather see the present system departed from in this particular, and a marked difference made in the food provided for the industrious, as compared with their more indolent companions.

4. Of great importance in penal colonies, as tending to produce a lasting and decided improvement of the individual, is the FAMILY TIE. What is independence or even affluence to the exile, if he has no one to care for, or think of, but himself? His slow and laborious earnings would greatly tend to plunge him once more into excesses, till he quickly sank back into his former state of war with civilization.

5. It seems to us imperatively necessary in the interests of this great design of a penal colony, that provision should be made for a certain proportion of female population, which might consist partly of female criminals, and partly of the wives of such of the male criminals as should, after a sufficient probation, be permitted to have their wives and children conveyed at the cost of Government to their place of exile. Lastly, the nucleus of a female population thus already formed might be added to from time to time, by sending out such discharged female criminals as had no visible means of making an honest livelihood in the mother country. It were a noble object for Christian activity and religious harmony to provide the means for sending these wretched outcasts to the new home that was thus being formed.

6. The importation of spirituous liquors, that fruitful cause of so much crime, must be confined within the narrowest limits. One cannot believe that even in unhealthy places, where the water frequently is very impure and unhealthy, owing to vegetable matters held in solution, the use of strong spiritous liquors must needs be unavoidable. Tea and coffee will in such places, as I experienced myself during several years' residence in unhealthy climates, be found excellent substitutes.

7. No official of the colony, civil or military, should be permitted to trade in any article except the natural products of the soil. On the other hand, it would be advisable that each employé should have assigned him by Government, a tract of land for cultivation corresponding to his rank.

Considerations in selecting Sites for Penal Colonies

There can be little doubt, and it may well be advanced as an argument on the other side, when the rapid progress made by the Australian colonies under the influence of this transportation system is adduced as an example in point, that nowhere probably on the earth would external circumstances, position of the country, and development of the colony to such a pitch of prosperity, combine so wonderfully to produce such a result, as was the case with New South Wales. But even the clumsy method of carrying out this form of punishment, and the immense use made of it for selfish ends by men who had every opportunity for studying close at hand the influence it might have been made to exercise upon the development of the Australian colonies, could not weaken the conviction that, under more judicious management, it would have answered every anticipation that could reasonably be formed of any mode of punishment, and that it is better calculated than any other to prove conducive to the amelioration of the criminal himself.

We might, while upon this subject, specially refer to the valuable and comprehensive work of Dr. Holtzendorf upon transportation as a means of punishment,24 which embraces all that can be said on either side of the question, all put together in an attractive and exhaustive manner, and who, contemplating the great example presented to the world by Australia, has arrived at a similar conclusion, "that the working power of the criminal may, under proper management, be made to produce results, able to accelerate the progress of a generation, while furnishing at the same time a lever by which to effect a moral reformation in the disposition of criminals." He foresees the time "when the colonists of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land no longer feel ashamed at the historic recollection of their original convict associations, but might rather, viewing the prosperity of their country, and the tone and extent of their civilization, feel grateful to the criminals who landed in 1788 to become the pioneers of the country, and do them the justice of believing that the good which they were compelled to do to the soil still existed, while the evil they might have done was left undone of their own accord, or was gradually assimilated under substantial progress."

The greatest obstacle to be encountered by the transportation system will be found in the difficulty of hitting upon suitable localities. When we consider the many conditions which must be satisfied, some referring to the general objects aimed at in all punishment, some to considerations of humanity and utility, when selecting a site for a penal colony, such as climate, soil, distance importance of the country as a market for the products of the mother country, &c., it will be found that the number of unclaimed or unbespoken territories, in which a scheme of compulsory colonization could be carried out on a large scale, is exceedingly limited.

For Germany, however, at least under her present political composition, the foundation of penal colonies over-sea seems all but entirely impracticable. She must, in the first place, have her maritime power more developed. On this subject, the agreement is of importance which was entered into in 1836 between Mr. James Colquhon, Consul-General for the city of Hamburg, and the agents of the Australian Agricultural Society on the other, as, although nothing resulted from it, it nevertheless indicates how States that have no colonies can set about the system of transportation. The gist of that scheme was the subscription of a sum for the passage of such convicts as voluntarily accepted the offer, on their engaging to remain for a certain period at compulsory labour in Australia on the same terms as those of English convicts.25

Possibilities of German Colonization

Once the wish and the necessity shall arise in Germany, owing to the expansion of her population, for possessions beyond sea, and her navy shall increase on a scale adapted to their protection and defence, then, although the choice of locality may be limited, the idea will no longer remain impracticable. In the Indian Ocean as well as the Pacific, there are numbers of island groups, which, by their hypsometric conditions, geographical position, and fertility of soil, are admirably suited for settlement by white labour. The prejudice against the climatic adaptability of the majority of these falls to the ground, when we recollect what entirely altered conditions in that respect have been brought about by the industry and energy of the colonists of Singapore and Pulo-Penang, on islands which, from being in the worst possible repute for their deadly climate and dreaded forest malaria, are now favourite invalid resorts of the wealthy white residents of the islands of Eastern Asia. But German statesmen must no longer hesitate, or continue to sacrifice the future to the exigencies, even the most pressing in political eyes, of the present, for England noiselessly but systematically is possessing herself one after the other of all the islands that are as yet untenanted by the white man, as, for instance, quite lately of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, or, as in the case of the Feejee Islands,26 accept a protectorate got up by an influential missionary; the Emperor of the French, with his irresistible inclination for annexation, is incessantly occupied in seizing on points important either by geographical position or for trade purposes, of which New Caledonia furnishes the latest example. Too long delay and expectation may have for the contemplative German results similar to those which in Schiller's beautiful poem, punished the dallying of the son of the Muses, whose fate, as compared with the actual political circumstances of Germany, suggests but too many painful analogies!

On 6th December the frigate was made ready for prosecuting her voyage, and the same evening all was ataunto. The following morning we were to be towed out of the many-coved port, till quite clear of "the Heads." The steamer, however, sustained an accident to her machinery, and we had her services little more than half a day.

Early on the 7th, a breeze had sprung up from S.W. by S., accompanied by squalls and rain, which gradually freshened into squally weather from the S., and determined the Commodore to make all sail at once. Already, even while we were still in the port, the weather began to be stormy; we had to take in a reef in the mainsail, and by 9 a.m. found ourselves outside of "North Head." By the afternoon the low flat coast of Australia had sunk below the horizon, and the south wind had now become a gale. It seemed as though winds and waves had conspired to put to the severest test the operation of the caulkers, carpenters, and sail-makers of Sydney. But although the frigate rolled tremendously, and the frequent squalls propelled the sea against her hull with frightful violence, she did not ship a drop of water below. The repairs in dock had been most effectually performed. After a couple of days both wind and sea fell, the sun shone out with the mildness of early spring, and we bowled along in the most delicious weather and with every stitch of canvas set, swiftly careering towards our next goal, New Zealand.

Steer for Auckland

On the 9th at 5 p.m. we buried the corpse of one of the gunners, who had died the same morning of dysentery, the remains being committed to the deep with the customary ceremonies and marks of respect.

On the morning of the 10th we sighted Barrier Island off Cape Butt, distant 35 miles. The more we neared the land, more balmy did the atmosphere become. Innumerable Albatrosses and Procellariĉ swarmed around us, and the result of half an hour's shooting from a small boat dropped over the side for the purpose, resulted in our securing eleven different species of storm-birds. A whale about 50 feet in length also came close under our quarter, and only retreated after he had been repeatedly fired upon and had received a number of balls in his carcase.

We steered for the South Point of Barrier Island, the outline of which is very beautiful, relieved as it is by two hills, of which that to the south is about 2000 feet in height, running up into a sharp peak, while the more northerly rises gradually, being only precipitous on the northern face. The broken conical rocks which ascend out of the sea near the northern point of the island unmistakeably indicate their volcanic origin. Our arrival off New Zealand was signalized by most unusual calms, which indeed materially delayed our entrance into Huraka Gulf, a sort of lateral bay, entering from the harbour of Auckland. A bark, which had sailed from Sydney three days before us, had, as we were informed by our pilot, been one day in harbour. We now had to tack slowly up under faint puffs of wind towards the anchorage, which we reached finally at 5.30 p.m. of the 22nd December, 1858.

The country round Auckland has none of those majestic features which are presented by New Zealand further south. The enormous volcanic peaks, such as Mount Egmont, 8000 feet high, have dwindled down in this region to numerous but small extinct cones, rarely rising above 800 feet. Instead of the hills covered with perpetual snow of the central island, one sees here only low chains of hills, about 2000 feet high, and a rolling country, which dips into the sea in steep cliffs of sandstone. In the various bays and channels of the wide gulf might be seen numbers of natives in their elegant canoes engaged in fishing. We found but five ships in harbour, and here also the Novara was the largest man-of-war that had ever entered the port. The population of Auckland turned out on the beach as we approached, and began to exchange the usual salutes with the little fort.

----------

Endnotes

1 J.C. Cotton, A National System of Political Economy, Stuttgart, 1840.

2 In an old map of the year 1542, the Australian continent is named New Java.

3 The mean of thermometrical readings on the north coast is 80.6 Fahr.; at Port McQuarrie, in S.E. Australia (31 S.), 68 Fahr.; at Port Jackson (34 S.) 66.5 Fahr.; at Port Philip on the south coast (38 S.), 61.3 Fahr.; at Perth on the west coast (32 S.) 62.6 to 64.4 Fahr. The annual rainfall in New South Wales is 45 inches.

4 The total superficial area of the somewhat oval-shaped continent lying between 10 and 45 S. and 112 and 154 E., is about 2,100,000 geographical square miles in extent, the coast outline of which is about 7000 miles, so that for each mile of coast there are about 300 square miles of surface, or rather more than double the proportion in Europe. The united English population of the different colonies founded in Australia (exclusive of Tasmania or Van Diemen's Land) and New Zealand amounts to about 1,400,000 souls. Within twenty years the population has increased six-fold, and the value of the exports twenty-fold.

5 The fundamental principle of the University is, "The association of students without respect of religious creed, in the cultivation of secular knowledge.' (See Sydney University Calendar for 1858, p.15.)

6 The fixed salary of the teacher varies from £120 to £140 per annum.

7 At the period of our visit to the colony, the post of secretary wag filled by Mr. George French Angas, distinguished as an artist, and widely known for his valuable ethnological studies upon the Caffers, New Zealanders, and South Australian Aborigines. Unfortunately his health gave way, owing to his exertions, and he now lives in retirement at Collingwood, in South Australia, where however he is still animated by the most intense zeal for science.

8 The expedition discovered on the 21st April, 1858, in 24 35' S. and 146 6' W., an ash tree, two feet in diameter, on whose huge trunk the letter L had been deeply cut. Close by there were everywhere traces of a regular encampment, and an impression pretty universally prevailed that Leichhardt and his companions bad camped here, and had cut a mark to indicate it. One of the oldest missionaries of Western Australia, the venerable Mr. C. Threlkeld, objected, however, to this view that the letter L, of which so much was spoken, had in all probability been made by one of the youthful natives, who when learning to read and write are in the habit of cutting the letters on the trees. We present here a precise passage of the text of a letter of Dr. Threlkeld's to us:- "I send you a spelling-book, that Billy Blue, one of the black boys, used to have, when he was learning to read and write. He and others used to go into the bush, and cut the letters of the alphabet on the barks of the trees, and Brown, an Aboriginal lad who went with the unfortunate Leichhardt, used to do the same. I suspect that he cut the celebrated L on the tree about which there is so much talk at the present time."

9 One of the most appalling of these was that undertaken in April 1848 by surveyor E.B. Kennedy, along the strip of land between Cape York and Rockingham Bay in Northern Australia, whose melancholy fate is described by one of the survivors, Mr. Carron, a botanist, in a not less simple than affecting manner.

"When we first started everything went on well, and the most brilliant anticipations were indulged, although there were numerous obstacles to be overcome, and the few natives we encountered were invariably hostile. Gradually, however, provisions began to fail; sickness and loss of strength succeeded, while the prospect of reaching our goal grew less and less. The further north we got, as the hot season was now setting in, the more frequently did we find the forest rivulets dried up, so that we had for days to bear up against an almost maddening thirst. The horses which accompanied the expedition gradually sank from exhaustion." Almost every day Carron's journal mentions one or the other horse giving in of fatigue, when they were compelled for want of further provision to eat its flesh during the next two days. That of the last was conveyed along by the travellers in sacks, made from the skin of the animal itself. Whenever they encountered natives, these proved hostile, and assailed the little caravan with spears. Some of them indeed were more friendly, and traded with the travellers, but less out of sincere hospitality than with the hope of taking them in, and getting them unawares into their power. Thus, on one occasion a number of tall, well-made, powerful men and women made their appearance, and offered them some fish, which they themselves refused to eat owing to its putrified state. Hardly had the travellers approached it, unsuspicious of evil, when a cloud of spears cleft the air with a whistling noise, and the scene, hitherto so friendly and peaceable, became at once a scene of blood and confusion. However, the spear-men seemed to have no great dexterity; they usually missed their mark, whereas the flints and double-barrels of the whites did deadly execution. One however proved more fatal than the rest, and killed Mr. Kennedy, the chief of the party. They were now only a few days distant from Cape York, the goal of their labours, whence a Government ships was to convey the leader and his party back to Sydney. But the survivors were also all but exhausted with the terrible fatigues of their journey. Only three out of the fourteen survived, and these were reduced almost to skeletons. Carron's elbow-bone of the right arm, and also the bone of the right hip, were through the skin!" (Narrative of an Expedition undertaken under the direction of the late Mr. Assistant Surveyor, E.B. Kennedy, for the Exploration of the Country lying between Rockingham Bay and Cape York; by W. Carron, one of the survivors of the Expedition, Sydney, 1849.)

Still more lamentable was the fate of the last and most important of these expeditions, which in 1861 succeeded in crossing the Australian continent from the north frontier of South Australia to Carpentaria, and back to Cooper's Creek, in which, unfortunately, the travellers missed the depot troop that had been sent to their assistance, and the entire party, including Messrs. Burke, Wills, and Gray, lost their lives, only one of their number, King, escaping to tell their sad fate. (Vide Appendix.)

10 Government has bethought itself of a plan for facilitating discoveries in the interior, and rendering them more profitable by importing from Egypt into Australia camels and dromedaries, chiefly of the breed known as El Hura,, as these animals can easily get over 60 to 80 miles per diem, and can moreover dispense with water for weeks together.

11 During a visit which our naturalists paid to Dr. Bennett they were shown a young pair of the Morok (Casuarius Bennetti), discovered not long since at New Britain, which he intended to present to the Zoological Society of London for exhibition at the Regent's Park. What is very remarkable in this singular bird is the shape of the bill, which is curved in the male, but almost straight in the female.

12 This distinguished gentleman, conspicuous alike as a theologian and a politician, who plays a by no means insignificant part in the legislative assemblies of the colonies, presented an address to the Parliament of Frankfort in 1848, in which he set forth the advantage of founding a German colony in the Pacific. Owing to the ignorance prevalent on the subject this brochure passed unnoticed, and New Caledonia, the island which the worthy Doctor had designed for a German colony, was taken possession of by the French. He has since published a most interesting and valuable work on Queensland, in which he gives some very curious details about the native practice of skinning their dead, when the true skin being of a white colour, the corpse has a most ghastly appearance. He says this is the reason some of the tribes so highly reverence the white man, whom they regard as their own ancestors restored to life, but in an improved nature! !

13 The depopulation of the natives is advancing so rapidly that one of our Sydney friends writes, "An expedition similar to your own, which shall visit us some years hence, will find little more than a scant remnant of the Aborigines. That of the Novara is probably the last of a scientific nature, which will have been successful in seeing living specimens of the once numerous blacks of Australia."

14 Wullurah in the native language signifies "the place of deliberation," because in former times this place had, on account of its commanding position, been selected by the aborigines for assembling the various tribes by means of watch-fires, or blasts of a horn, to decide upon peace-or war.

15 On the Clarence river there has been for several years past, in full activity, a stearine candle-factory, which pays well, owing to the demand at the diggings for these candles. In 1856 the value of those manufactured was £600,000.

16 In Prussia, the annual consumption of spirits would fill a basin one mile long, 33 feet wide and 10 feet deep. In England, the annual quantity of wine drunk per head is 0.267 gallon; in France it is 19 gallons! The British nation pays annually £70-74,000,000 taxes, and £74,000,000 for spirits!

17 The rise and fall of the tide at Port Jackson is very small, not above four or five feet.

18 Viz. 1400 men, 200 women.

19 This is the nickname given to the violent S. or S.W. wind, fortunately of short duration, which so frequently springs up towards evening from the "Brickfields," because it brings with it such volumes of sand and dust from the eminence known as the Brickfield lying S. and S.W. from Sydney, enveloping the entire city in murky clouds of dust. The "Brickfielder " is a pretty safe guide as to the weather, as soon as it blows the whole sky becomes suddenly covered with clouds, and cool rainy weather follows upon the previous heat.

20 The imports of wool from Germany had, in 1836, risen to 31,766,194 lbs., but it has since then rapidly receded, owing mainly to the increased production in the English colonies.

21 The sheep-breeders of the colony competed for the honour of purchasing these valuable animals.

22The distance of the various gold-fields from Sydney and the various harbours of the colony is as follows. Western Goldfields, - Bathurst 110 miles, Sofala 140, Orange 141, Ophir 146, Mudgee 155, Tambaroora 157, Meroo 160, Louisa Creek 176, Tuena 190. Southern, - Goulburn 125, Queanbeyan 182, Braidwood 184, Bill's Creek 190, Araluen 200, Gundagai 244, Cooma 254, Tumut 264, Adelong 273, Albury 236, Obin's River 410, Kiandra or Guoroy River, over Twofold Bay and Pambula, 240 miles. Northern, - Hanging Rock 304, Bingera Creek 365, Rocky Rivet 357, Tamworth 2,30, Timbarra 67 miles from Clarence River, via Grafton, overland. The other gold-fields of the Clarence River District, such as Lubra, Toolam, Emu Creek, Pretty Gully, Sandy Creek, Table Land, Nelson's Creek, &c., are 80 to 100 miles from the river.

23 The colony of New South Wales consisted at that period of the entire land comprised between Cape York in 11 37' S. to South Cape, 43 30' S., and as far as 135 in the interior to the-westward, including all islands adjoining, comprised within those degrees of latitude.

24 Die Deportation als Strafmittel in alter und neuer Zeit, und die Verbrecher Colonien der Engländer und Franzosen in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwickelung und criminal-politischen Bedeutung, Dargestellt von Franz v. Holtzendorf, &c., A. Barth, Leipzig, 1859.

25 The cost of transport of each convict was to be reckoned at £18.

26 This Archipelago, remarkable by the size and loftiness of its islands, extends from Batoa or South Island in the S.E. (19° 47' S. by 179° 52' E.), to Thicombea to the N. (15° 47' S.), and Biva to the W. (176 W E.), and contains 225 islands and islets, of which about 80 are inhabited. The entire superficial area is about 5700 square miles, and upon a superficial estimate it contains 150,000 souls. The climate seems to be emminently suitable for cotton culture, besides which sugar-cane, coffee, tobacco, arrow-root, and most probably rice and indigo, may be advantageously cultivated. Berchthold Seemann, the well-known botanist, who made a scientific exploration of some of the Feejee Islands at the expense of the English Government in the Autumn of 1860, discovered in the valleys of Naona forests of the sago palm, whose nutritious flour might become an important article of export. Dr. Petermann published in the latter half of 1861, at page 67 of his valuable "Particulars of certain important recent discoveries in geography," an interesting synopsis of all the latest scientific information respecting the Feejee Archipelago.


Index | Ship History | Scherzer Diary | Expedition Narrative | Sydney | Selleny | Bibliography | Novara Expedition
Hochstetter I | Blanche Mitchell Diary | Minnie Mann Diary | Hochstetter II | FitzRoy Dock | Scherzer in Sydney
Frauenfeld Diary | Incident at Sikyana | Sydney Chronology | Appendicies
| Lissa 1866 | Ferdinand Maximillian

Site last updated: 30 October 2004. Return to MO Home Page.