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Title: Account of an expedition to the interior of New Holland
Author: Fox, Mary, Lady
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Account of an expedition to the interior of New Holland" ***

                             AN EXPEDITION
                           TO THE INTERIOR OF
                              NEW HOLLAND.

                               EDITED BY
                             LADY MARY FOX.

                =Publisher in Ordinary to His Majesty.=


                               CHAPTER I.

 Wonderful Discovery.—The Adventurers.—Marshy Lake.—The
   Canoe.—Troublesome Navigation.—Chain of Lakes.—Party of
   Natives.—Reception of the Travellers.—Singular People.—Early
   Emigrants.—The Settlement.—Exploring Party.—Encounter with
   Natives.—Native Allies.—Attack of Savages.—Defeat of the
   Assailants.—Savage Life.—Treaty of Peace.—Education of
   Savages.—Election of Senators.                                 Page 1

                               CHAPTER II.

 Increase of the Settlement.—Separation of the
   States.—Ecclesiastical Communities.—Concord among
   Sects.—Houses and Towns.—Penal Colonies.—Southlanders’
   Hospitality.—Mode of receiving Company.—Feasts.—Animal
   Food.—Tame Animals.—Surprise at English Customs.—Carnivorous
   Propensity.—Lighting the Streets.—City of Bath.                    25

                              CHAPTER III.

 Duels.—Judicial Combats.—Existing Code of Honour.—Appeal to
   Arms.—Discussion on Duelling.—Mount Peril.—Noxious
   Vapours.—The Cavern.                                               41

                               CHAPTER IV.

 Superstitious Notions.—Abolition of Duelling.—Interference of
   Providence.—Challenge to the Ordeal.—The Trial.—Conviction of
   the Offender.—Uncertainty of the Ordeal.—Ineffectual
   Prohibition.—Check against Slander.—Exclusion from
   Society.—Absurd Alternative.—Personal Courage.—Imputation of
   Cowardice.—Public Opinion.—War between
   Nations.—Challenges.—Fear of Disgrace.                             53

                               CHAPTER V.

 Female Honour.—Agreement among Women.—Penalty of Exclusion.—Law
   of Honour.—False Dignity.—New Penalty.—Compact against
   Duelling.—Ruffians and Calumniators.—Association against
   Duelling.—Court of Honour.—Abolition of Duelling.                  70

                               CHAPTER VI.

 Rough Notes.—Public Entertainments.—Dancing.—Grotesque
   Dance.—Throwing the Spear.—Female
   Costume.                                                           83

                              CHAPTER VII.

 Forms of Government.—Senatorial Regulations.—Speakers.—Peculiar
   Debate.—Fundamental Laws.—Unwise Legislators.—Timely
   Improvements.—Legislative Problem.—Legislative
   Expedient.—Error in Government.—Division of Laws.—Repeal of
   Fundamental Laws.—Guard against Precipitancy.—Laws of
   Treason.—Mature Deliberation.—National Will.                       95

                              CHAPTER VIII.

 Mode of Election of Senators—of Representatives.—Personal Votes
   and Property-Votes.—Voting by Ballot.—Eligibility of
   Candidates.—Aboriginal Blood.—Mixed Blood.—Government
   Rent.—Public Expenditure.—Unwise Economy.—Choice of
   Statesmen.—Explanations.                                          112

                               CHAPTER IX.

 Prediction Office.—Prophecies.—Useful Register.—Political
   Bustlers.—Disposal of Land.—Rents.—Laws of Tenancy.—Government
   Loans.                                                            130

                               CHAPTER X.

 An Arrest.—Criminal Jurisprudence.—Jurymen.—Qualification of
   Jurors.—Syndics.—Royal Privilege.—Proceedings in
   Court.—Witnesses.—The Verdict.—Unanimity in Juries.—Decision
   of the Judge.—Prevarication.—Oaths.—False
   Witnesses.—Inconsistency in requiring Oaths.—Public
   Opinion.—Marriage.—Succession to the Crown.                       140

                               CHAPTER XI.

 Punishment awarded to Criminals.—Capital Punishments.—Plea of
   Insanity.—Penitentiaries.—Houses of Correction.—Improvement in
   Laws.—Periodical Publications.—Editors of Newspapers.—State of
   Literature.                                                       164

                              CHAPTER XII.

 Schools.—Reform of the Calendar.—Art of Teaching.—General
   Education.—Religion and Politics.—Inconsistency of the
   Jesuits.—Unbelievers.—Direction of Electors.—Political
   Churches.—Violation of the Laws.—Infidelity.—Obedience to
   Law.—Enforced Religion.—Persecution.—Hypothetical
   Case.—Treatment of Insanity.—Professed Inspiration.—Impostors
   and Lunatics.—Changes in Europe.—Founders of the Colony.          176

                              CHAPTER XIII.

 Preachers.—Divine Service.—Divisions of the Bible.—Funeral
   Service.—Burial in Cities.—Absurd
   Interments.—Monuments.—Private Mausoleums.—Harmless
   Absurdities.—Church Endowments.—State of the Clergy.—Religious
   Communities.—Admission Fees to Institutions.—Ecclesiastical
   Societies.                                                        213

                              CHAPTER XIV.

 Letter of Paul Wilkins.                                             229

                        ACCOUNT OF AN EXPEDITION

                                 TO THE

                        INTERIOR OF NEW HOLLAND.

                               CHAPTER I.

  Wonderful Discovery.—The Adventurers.—Marshy Lake.—The
    Canoe.—Troublesome Navigation.—Chain of Lakes.—Party of
    Natives.—Reception of the Travellers.—Singular People.—Early
    Emigrants.—The Settlement.—Exploring Party.—Encounter with
    Natives.—Native Allies.—Attack of Savages.—Defeat of the
    Assailants.—Savage Life.—Treaty of Peace.—Education of
    Savages.—Election of Senators.

Our readers will, no doubt, be interested by the few particulars we have
been able to collect of the late wonderful discovery, in the interior of
New Holland, of a civilized nation of European origin, which had, in so
remarkable a manner, been kept separate hitherto from the rest of the
civilized world.

Mr. Hopkins Sibthorpe, who planned and conducted this singularly
fortunate enterprise, was accompanied, it appears, in the expedition by
another settler, Mr. William Jones, and Messrs. Thomas and Robert Smith
(brothers), of the navy; who, together with Wilkins, a sailor, hired as
their servant, constituted the whole party.

It was in the early part of August 1835 that these adventurous explorers
took their departure from the settlement at Bathurst: this, as our
readers are aware, is the last month of the winter of that hemisphere;
though, from the greater mildness of the climate, it may be considered
as spring. This season was chosen as the most suitable for an expedition
in such a country as New Holland; in which, not only the heat of summer
and autumn is often very oppressive, but also the scarcity of water is
one of the most formidable impediments: and, on this occasion, a
plentiful supply of water being essential, not only with a view to their
personal wants, but also to the accomplishment of the peculiar plan they
had resolved on trying, it was thought best to take an early advantage
of the effects of the winter’s rains.

Their plan was no other than to construct a canoe, to enable them to
proceed in a direction in which farther progress had hitherto been
precluded by a vast expanse of marshy lake. This, as our readers are
probably aware, from the published narratives of former expeditions, is,
in moist seasons, a sort of Mere, or shallow water, encumbered with
aquatic plants; but in times of great drought is, for a considerable
extent, dry, or consisting of mud rather than water; constituting a sort
of swampy plain, so choked up with a rank vegetation of reeds and flags
as to present an almost insuperable obstacle to the traveller.

In the present expedition, accordingly, it was determined to choose a
time when there might be a sufficiency of water to enable the
adventurous explorers to proceed in a canoe; and they accordingly
carried with them one or two horses (which they proposed afterwards to
turn loose)—the iron-work, and as much as was thought necessary of the
frame of a canoe, which they proposed to put together and complete on
their arrival on the margin of the lake. And as it was impossible to
carry with them a sufficient store of provisions for the whole of their
contemplated voyage, they boldly resolved to trust in great measure to
their guns and fishing tackle, providing only a sufficiency of salt to
preserve such game and fish as they might procure in their way.

The details of the expedition, curious and highly interesting as they
are in themselves, we are compelled to omit, lest they should occupy the
space wanted for a far more valuable and important portion of the
narrative. It will be sufficient, therefore, to say, omitting
particulars, that they were enabled to put their design in execution;
and having constructed a kind of light flat-bottomed boat, of poles
covered with bark (of the kind the natives use for their canoes), and
fitted up with a slight awning, to afford shelter from the sun and the
dews, they embarked on the above-mentioned shallow lake, and proceeded
in a north-west direction; sometimes rowing, assisted occasionally by a
sail, and oftener pushing themselves on with poles through the tangled
aquatic plants which grew on the muddy bottom.

Their progress was at first tediously slow; but they were at no loss for
provision, as the waters abounded with fish and wildfowl, of which they
continued to obtain a sufficient supply throughout the voyage. After two
days of troublesome navigation they found the water become deeper, and
gained a sight of some elevated land towards the west, which they
reached on the evening of the third day: they here found the lake not
terminated, but confined within narrow limits by hills, for the most
part of a rocky, sterile, and uninviting character: at length it became
a broad river, flowing in a northerly direction, and serving evidently
as a drain to the great expanse of lake they had passed. This gave them
hopes of reaching (which was their great object) some large navigable
river, which they might follow to the sea: they proceeded, therefore,
though with considerable delay and difficulty from shoals and rapids,
till, after more than two days’ navigation, the high ground receded, and
they found themselves entering on another great expanse of water, so
extensive that, in pursuing their adventurous course nearly in the same
direction, they were, for the greater part of one day, out of sight of

They now arrived at another course of rocky hills, of considerable
elevation, through which the waters found an exit by a narrow gorge:
through this they proceeded in a direction northwards for a considerable
distance, when they found the river again expanding itself at intervals
into a chain of lakes, smaller but deeper than those they had passed,
and surrounded by a much more agreeable country, which continued to
improve as they advanced. They landed in several places, and in one
instance came in contact with a party of natives, who were of a less
savage aspect than those in the vicinity of our settlements, and showed
no signs of hostility, and much less of alarm and astonishment than had
been expected. From this circumstance, and also from steel knives being
in the possession of two or three of them, on which they appeared to set
great value, it was conjectured that they must, in their wanderings,
have, at some time or other, approached our settlements: their language,
however, was perfectly unintelligible to Mr. Jones, though he had a
considerable acquaintance with that of the natives near Sydney.

Some days after, as they continued their progress, they fell in with
another party of natives, who excited still more wonder and speculation
in our travellers, from their having among them ornaments evidently
fashioned from the tusks of boars; these (as it was understood from the
signs they made, in answer to the questions put to them by the same
means) they described themselves as having hunted with their dogs, and
speared. But all doubt was removed the next day, by the travellers
actually obtaining a sight of a wild hog in the woods, and afterwards of
a herd of wild cattle, which they distinctly saw with their glasses:
these animals being well known not to be indigenous in New Holland,
afforded strong indications of the vicinity of some European settlement;
though, as they felt certain of being far distant from the coast, they
were utterly lost in conjecture.

After proceeding in the manner above described, through a long chain of
lakes connected by the river which they were continuing to navigate,
through a country continually improving in beauty and fertility, and
presenting a strong contrast to the dreary rocks and marshes they had
left behind, they were at length surprised and gratified, on entering a
lake somewhat more extensive than the last, to see several
fishing-boats, the men in which they ascertained by their glasses to be
decently clothed, and white men. They ventured to approach and to hail
them; and, to their unspeakable surprise and delight, they received an
answer in English: the English was, indeed, not precisely similar to
their own, but not differing so much from it as many of our provincial
dialects; and in a short time the two parties were tolerably
intelligible to each other.

We are compelled to pass over the interesting detail of the meeting,
which was equally gratifying and surprising to both the parties; of the
eager curiosity of their mutual inquiries; and of the hospitable
invitation given, and, as may be supposed, joyfully accepted by the
travellers. Accompanying their hosts in one of the fishing-boats, they
found before them, on turning the point of a wooded promontory which had
intercepted their view, a rich and partially cultivated country,
interspersed with cheerful-looking villages, having much of an English
air of comfort; though the whole was in a far ruder condition than much
of what they saw afterwards, as the point they had reached was the
extreme skirt of a comparatively recent settlement.

The reception they met with was most friendly and every way refreshing,
after an anxious and toilsome journey of above a month. They found
themselves, on the second day after their arrival in the colony, the
guests of the chief magistrate of a neat town of considerable size,
where they were surrounded by visitors from all parts, eager to obtain
and to afford information, and overwhelming them with pressing

We are compelled to pass over the particulars of the several steps by
which the travellers arrived at the knowledge of the singular country
and people in the midst of which they found themselves. We have only
space for a brief summary of the results.

They found themselves, then, in a nation of European, and chiefly,
though not entirely, of English extraction, which had had no intercourse
with Europe, or with any other portion of the civilized world, for
nearly three centuries. Their numbers were estimated at between three
and four millions; and they were divided into eleven distinct
communities, existing in a sort of loosely federal union, or rather in a
friendly relation, sanctioned and maintained by custom more than by any
formal compact. And they found these several states, though in some
respects differing in their governments and other institutions, agreeing
in the manifestation of a high degree of civilization, considering the
disadvantage they laboured under in their seclusion from the rest of the
world. “Many points too,” says Mr. Sibthorpe, in his journal, “in which
they differ the most widely from the customs and institutions of the
people from which they sprang, are such as can hardly be reckoned marks
of barbarism, even by those who regard them with surprise, and even with
disapprobation; but are rather the result of the singular and, as some
would consider them, whimsical notions of the extraordinary persons who
took the lead among the first settlers.”

These were two men of the name of Müller; one a German, settled in
England, and the other his nephew, the son of an Englishwoman. The
former appears to have been one of those unions of enthusiastic
wildness, brilliant genius, and sanguine credulity which periods of
great excitement—such as the commencement of the Reformation—are often
found to call forth. He possessed great eloquence, and a power of
exercising an unbounded influence over minds of a certain description.
His nephew, with much of the uncle’s eccentricity, united a much clearer
judgment, and seems gradually to have established a complete ascendancy
over the mind, first of his uncle, and ultimately of all his followers;
and to have used his influence in a manner which indicates most enlarged
public spirit, and a great mixture, at least, of political wisdom.

It appears, that during the various tumults which took place during the
early periods of the Reformation, several persons in England, and some
in Germany, (the parties holding communication through the means of
Müller and his connexions in both countries,) meditated a removal to
some distant region, in which they should escape finally from strife and
oppression, and establish a civil and religious community on such
principles as they were fondly cherishing. After the proposal and
rejection of various schemes, and after many delays and disappointments,
the projected departure in search of a new settlement took place, under
the guidance of their enthusiastic and adventurous leader. Instead of
proceeding to America, as had been originally proposed, they were
induced by some glowing descriptions they had heard, but which proved to
consist chiefly of fable or exaggeration, to seek for the long-famed
southern continent, the “Terra Australis Incognita.”

The curious and interesting particulars of their voyage, their various
adventures, disappointments, and reiterated attempts, we are compelled
to pass over. The result was their being ultimately driven by a storm on
the coast of New Holland, somewhere, it is supposed, between lat. 10 and
20 south, and lon. 130 and 140 east, where one out of the four ships was
wrecked on a coral reef, and two of the others driven ashore with
considerable damage. They saved, however, not only their lives, but
nearly all their property, including the live stock with which they had
provided themselves; and it appears that their first idea was to repair
their vessels, and proceed along the coast, in an endeavour to find a
suitable spot for a settlement; the part on which they were cast being
not only barren and uninviting but excessively marshy. This last
circumstance compelled them to forego their design; for a fever broke
out, and affected so many of them that they lost no time in removing to
a healthier situation, eight or nine miles from the coast. Here the sick
speedily recovered; and, as the spot seemed highly salubrious, though
for the most part barren, with only a small proportion of land fit for
cultivation near the banks of small rivers, they proceeded to build
log-houses and cultivate the land; designing to make their settlement
either temporary or permanent, as circumstances might determine.

Their decision was ultimately fixed by means of the intercourse they
succeeded in establishing with a native tribe. Mutual good-will and
confidence having been completely established between the settlers and
the natives (chiefly, as it should seem, through the judicious exertions
of the younger Müller),—and an increasing knowledge of each other’s
language having established a free communication between the
parties,—the settlers were interested by the glowing colours in which
their new friends described a region in the interior, which they—that
is, some of the very individuals who spoke of it, and the ancestors of
the rest,—had formerly inhabited, and from which successive portions of
their tribe had been from time to time expelled by more powerful hostile
tribes. They were anxious to induce their European neighbours to settle
there themselves, and enable them to reinstate themselves in their
ancient abode. They easily perceived the vast superiority which European
arts and arms would give to their new allies over enemies who had proved
too powerful for themselves, and they hoped through their aid to
re-establish themselves in a country which they had quitted with regret.

Moved by their representations, the settlers despatched two active young
men, in company with some native guides, to explore this highly-vaunted
region; they proceeded accordingly, nearly in a direct line from the
coast, to a range of mountains, about ninety or a hundred miles in the
interior, which they surmounted, not without difficulty, and then found
themselves in an elevated plain of a most sterile character, extending
for more than a hundred miles in the same direction: this they traversed
with some difficulty, and arrived at another chain of rocky mountains,
forming a still more formidable barrier, which they would have had great
difficulty in surmounting but for the local knowledge of their guides.

On passing this, however, they were rewarded by the view of a most
extensive and delightfully fertile region, watered with numerous streams
from these mountains, and interspersed with beautiful lakes. The whole
appearance of the country fully justified the descriptions given; and
the accounts of these first explorers were so favourable that a second
expedition was undertaken, with a view to a more complete examination of
the country, by young Müller himself and four others, who passed a
considerable time in exploring the district, not without some narrow
escapes from the hostility of some of the wandering native tribes; and
the result of their examination was so favourable, that the settlers
were induced to come to the resolution of finally removing the colony to
the interior.

This, after due preparation, they accomplished, moving in two separate
divisions; the first consisting of the greater part of the most active
of the adult males, both of the Europeans and their native allies, who
were to prepare habitations, and break up land for tillage, &c. ready to
receive the rest after an interval of some months. The entire removal
was completed in the course of the third year from their first arrival
on the coast. Their numbers appear to have been between three and four
hundred, in all, of white people, besides a somewhat smaller number of
natives; the country in which they had first settled admitting of only a
small and scattered population, of tribes subsisting by the chase.

Very soon after taking possession of their new abode they were attacked,
in spite of all their endeavours to preserve peace, by the native tribes
of the interior, moved by their inveterate animosity against their
ancient enemies: the settlers, however, gained an easy and complete
victory in every encounter; their fire-arms, though only the
old-fashioned, clumsy matchlocks of those days, being sufficient to
strike terror into savages unacquainted with gunpowder; though,
independent of their guns, their bows would have given them a decided
superiority. It is well known how skilful and how formidable were the
English archers of those days; and they could annoy the natives, among
whom the bow is unknown, at three times the distance to which these
could throw their spears. The native allies also, having been taught by
the Europeans to use the bow, which, even in their less skilful hands,
had an advantage over the spear,—and being also furnished with
cutlasses, hatchets, and steel heads to their pikes,—now proved greatly
an overmatch for their former conquerors, who had only wooden swords and
bone-headed spears.

A peace ensued, which, however, was for several years interrupted from
time to time by predatory incursions and irregular renewals of
hostilities. This state of things, with all its inconveniences, appears
to have had the advantage of cementing the friendship between the
settlers and their native allies; each party feeling the other’s
importance for security against a common enemy. The whites, accordingly,
seem to have been assiduous and successful in civilizing these natives,
with whom they were thus thrown into close contact.

Ultimately, the colony was delivered from all danger from the hostile
tribes by an event which threatened disaster. A formidable combination
was secretly formed among all the tribes for a considerable distance
round, for the purpose of making a united attack, by surprise, with all
their forces. It was so far successful that a band, far outnumbering all
that the settlers could muster, unexpectedly attacking one of their
villages, obliged the inhabitants to fly in the utmost haste, and spread
the alarm through the whole colony. This success, however, proved their
ruin; for, with the genuine improvidence of savages, instead of rapidly
pushing forward their forces, they eagerly fell to plundering the
various stores, especially of provisions, which had been abandoned; and,
as an army of savages is never well provided with a commissariat, gladly
betook themselves to feasting on what they found.

Among other things, was a large supply of beer; for the settlers had
brought with them, and successfully practised, the art of brewing, with
which they had been familiar at home. Wine they had not as yet attained
to, though they had begun the cultivation of the vine, as well as of
several other European fruit-trees. The savages indulged in the liquor
with characteristic excess; and, while they were lost in intoxication,
set fire, either accidentally or intentionally, to the wooden houses and
stacks with which they were surrounded. The fire raged fiercely in all
directions; and most of the men were too much stupified with liquor to
escape the flames, and were either stifled or burnt; a considerable
number, however, were rescued by the settlers, who had by this time come
together, and who at once saved and took prisoners most of the
survivors, who were too helplessly drunk for either resistance or

This event, which at once and for ever broke the power of their enemies,
has been ever since annually commemorated in the colony; a day of solemn
thanksgiving being concluded by the lighting of large bonfires in the
evening, by parties who pass round among themselves a spear, such as the
natives use, and a cup of beer, of which each tastes, in memory of their
deliverance. This festival which the Müllers instituted, accompanying
the celebration with apposite reflections on drunkenness and its
effects, has probably tended, along with other circumstances, to keep up
an almost universal habit of sobriety throughout the colony.

This interesting portion of their early history, thus impressed on their
minds and familiarized to their thoughts from childhood, creates an
indelible association of the idea of drunkenness, not only with those of
helplessness and disaster, but also with that of the character of
brutish and stupid _savages_. Indeed, in several other points also, our
travellers found the idea of _savage_ life so associated with some
others in the minds of these people, as to influence considerably their
conduct and habits of thought. They have a deep-seated and habitual
contempt for every thing which, according to their notions, savours of
barbarism; and this shows itself in many points, which to a modern
European would be likely to appear whimsical. The younger Müller, though
indefatigable in his kindness towards the native tribes, appears to have
cherished this feeling in his own people. He laboured strenuously to
reclaim and civilize the savages, and was equally anxious to guard
against the reverse process—the approximation of the white men towards
the habits of the savages: and, as he seems to have been a very able
though eccentric man, and possessed boundless influence over the
colonists, who were under his government for above half a century, he
succeeded in effectually stamping his own character on the nation, and
perpetuating his institutions.

The hostile tribes, after the above event, surrendered at discretion;
and they consented (those of them who had a considerable proportion of
able-bodied men remaining alive) to remove beyond a certain specified
boundary, far beyond the then limits of the colony; but several tribes,
which now consisted almost entirely of women and children, and were
consequently hardly capable of providing for themselves, were, at their
own entreaty, received as subjects, and incorporated, along with the
previously-allied natives, into the body of the settlers.

The European and aboriginal races became in time completely blended
together; for it appears to have been one of the principles most
earnestly maintained and inculcated by their extraordinary leader, to
allow of no hereditary degradation; no subjection of one race of men to
another on the ground of colour or caste, but to make all subjects of
the state necessarily admissible to the rights of citizenship. Yet, on
the other hand, he was well aware of the actual inferiority of the
aborigines as individuals and as a race, and was fully alive to the evil
of placing inferior men on a level with those morally and intellectually
superior. The maxim, accordingly, which he continually dwelt on, and
laboured to embody in practice, was, that it is not the colour of the
skin, but the heart and head, that makes a man savage or civilized.
Education, accordingly, was the means adopted for reclaiming and for
preserving men from barbarism: and examinations, to ascertain how far
each had profited by the education bestowed, were made the test for
admissibility into the highest public stations.

This principle has been in great measure adhered to in the several
states into which the settlement was afterwards divided, though
differing from each other in many respects in their forms of government.
And yet, as Müller used himself to observe, one man may be much superior
in fitness for certain public offices to another, who may be far beyond
him in proficiency in a prescribed course of studies, and in everything
that can be ascertained in any regular examination; but then, he used to
add, when you come to a greater number, one hundred men well taught will
always be superior to a hundred untaught, and fitter to govern the
community. In all the states, accordingly, their senates are always
required to consist of men who have given proof of their proficiency in
a prescribed course of study; but these are left free to choose, and
sometimes do choose, for the discharge of important offices, men who are
inferior in this respect, but qualified by natural sagacity and
practical habits of business.

                              CHAPTER II.

  Increase of the Settlement.—Separation of the States.—Ecclesiastical
    Communities.—Concord among Sects.—Houses and Towns.—Penal
    Colonies.—Southlanders’ Hospitality.—Mode of receiving
    Company.—Feasts.—Animal Food.—Tame Animals.—Surprise at English
    Customs.—Carnivorous Propensity.—Lighting the Streets.—City of Bath.

The settlement, on being thus (about five or six years from its
commencement) freed from all external molestation, increased in
prosperity, and extended itself rapidly in several directions inland.
Towards the sea they had no temptation to advance; being separated from
it by an extensive district of great sterility, and of difficult
passage. Inward, the abundance of fertile land, and the numerous lakes
with which our travellers had been struck, and which afforded easy
intercourse even between settlements at a considerable distance, invited
them to overspread the country as fast as their rapidly-increasing
population required. Their numbers seem to have advanced at about the
same rate as those of some of the North-American settlements.

The division into separate states was not, as the travellers found to
their surprise, the result of discord, but had been planned and
commenced by their founder himself. He had, it seems, foreseen, or
fancied that he foresaw, an ultimate necessity for such a separation;
and he judged it best that it should begin even in his own lifetime,
before there was any advantage in it, except that of setting an example
and establishing a precedent for amicable separation. He founded,
accordingly, within forty years from their first settling, a second
perfectly independent community, on the opposite side of the lake, near
which the first had been located. The original settlement still forms
one of the states, and retains the name of Müllersfield, which it
received from the founders: the new one, from its singular beauty of
situation, he called Eutopia (fine place), probably with something of a
covert allusion also to the well-known fabulous Utopia (no place). The
most perfect friendliness and freedom of intercourse continued between
the two states; and, without owning any common authority, they consulted
together, like any two individual neighbours who are on friendly terms,
respecting any matters in which they had a common concern: and the
principles of the procedure having been clearly laid down, and
practically established, the example was afterwards repeatedly followed
as the colonization extended itself; and fresh swarms, as it were,
issued forth, till the number of the separate states amounted to eleven.

A similar principle has been acted on with respect to ecclesiastical
communities. The number of separate churches amounts to no less than
seventeen; though some of these consist chiefly of converted native
tribes, together with the missionaries residing among them. These
churches are, of course, not coextensive with the several states, but on
the footing of the early churches founded by the apostles, who
instituted several distinct ones,—for instance, in the single province
of Macedonia; viz. those of Philippi, Thessalonica, Berœa, &c. They are
all, and have ever been, with a few temporary exceptions, in concord and
communion with each other, but under distinct governments, and differing
in some non-essential customs and institutions. They seem to have made
good a favourite maxim of Müller’s on that subject;—that men are always
most likely to live in friendly agreement in essentials, when they are
not so closely connected as to be obliged to agree in matters
intrinsically indifferent. “Two men,” he used to observe, “who may be
very friendly as neighbours, might quarrel, if they were obliged to live
together, as to the hour at which they should dine,—the keeping of the
windows open or shut, &c.;—in which one party would necessarily be
compelled to give way to the other: whereas they may be very good
friends while each follows his own taste in such matters.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

We shall subjoin such scattered extracts as our space will admit, of
those portions of our travellers’ Journal which illustrate the more
strange and singular particulars of the habits of this interesting

Nearly all their houses—in the towns, all, without exception—are
flat-roofed, like those in the East; whether from a fancy of imitating
the custom they read of in Scripture, or for the convenience of having
an airy unconfined place to walk or sit on. In the towns, there is, as
in those of the East, a thoroughfare for foot-passengers along the tops
of the houses; and, in the larger towns, the streets are crossed
occasionally by light bridges.

The houses in the towns, and all but the meaner sort of cottages in the
newly-settled part of the country, are without any chimneys opening to
the air: the smoke from the fireplaces of one or two, or more, adjoining
houses, passes into a sort of chamber (swept from time to time), from
which it is forced out by machinery into a flue branching off into
pipes, which carry it back to the bottom of each fire; so that it burns
its own smoke. When the visitors were describing to some Eutopians the
European towns, these people remarked that London, for instance, though
so much improved since the times of which they had historical records
from their ancestors, must still have a very smoky atmosphere; and that,
to walk along the streets, shut in by houses on both sides, must be very
unpleasant, for want of open prospect and free circulation of air.

                  *       *       *       *       *

It was with much difficulty that these people were brought to understand
the nature of the colony from which their visitors came; not that they
were in general dull of apprehension, but they could scarcely satisfy
themselves that they had rightly understood the accounts given them. To
people a new settlement with convicted criminals,—to form a new nation
of the scum and refuse of mankind,—appeared to them so preposterous,
that for some time they could not help supposing they must have
misunderstood their informants. “To bring together a number of
villains,” they said, “to a country where good character is not the
rule, but the exception, allowing them free intercourse with each other
must be the most effectual mode of hardening and confirming them in
wickedness, and entailing the same character on successive generations:”
and though it was explained to them that one great object of the plan
was to reform the criminals, the accounts which truth constrained their
visitors to give of the actual state of morals in the colony did not
seem to satisfy them. They had wondered at first, they said, that such a
scheme should have been originally thought of, and now they wondered
still more that it should be persevered in.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The travellers were entertained with the kindest and most liberal
hospitality, according to the notions of the Southlanders (such is the
general name by which the inhabitants of all the states distinguish
themselves from their European ancestors and other Europeans); but their
hospitality differs considerably from ours. When residing as guests with
any family, they partook of the family meals; but when invited to a
party, as they frequently were, to meet the principal gentry of the
neighbourhood,—who were anxious both to show attention to the strangers
and to gratify their own curiosity,—it was found that there is no such
thing in this country as what we call a dinner-party; that is, the
company did not sit down together to a regular meal, but partook of
refreshments something more of the character of an English luncheon,
which was provided in all the superior houses in a separate room. The
guests dropped into this eating-room irregularly, and seating themselves
in small promiscuous parties at small tables set out there, were served
by the attendants with the various dishes provided. They stayed as long
as they pleased; conversed occasionally with their neighbours, as we do
at an irregular luncheon, and returned to the “company-room” (as it is
called), without ceremony, whenever they chose. No refreshments were
brought into this last, except such as correspond to what we have at
evening parties,—such as cakes, lemonade, wine and water, ices (in those
districts which are near the mountains), dried or fresh fruits, &c.:
this they consider as what they call the most “honourable”—what we
should call “stylish”—mode of receiving company.

When our habits were described to them, they expressed their wonder that
a civilized people should _make feasts as the savages do_. “The
half-reclaimed native tribes,” they said, “invite their friends whom
they wish to honour to a solemn feast, at which, having provided a large
quantity of their best provisions and liquor, and exerted what skill
they have in cookery, the guests all seat themselves, with sundry
formalities, round the food that is dressed, and regale themselves
altogether; but with the Southlanders such an arrangement as this is
only adopted as a convenience, when there is a large number of persons
to be fed in the least troublesome way.” They accordingly promised,
laughingly, to take their visitors to something like an English
dinner-party; and the party to which they invited them (it was during
the season of hay harvest) consisted of about two dozen mowers, with
several of their wives and children, seated round a long table, with the
master at the head of it, and supping on an ample supply of substantial
food, served up in five or six huge dishes.

The cookery among the higher classes is for the most part plain and
simple, and the few who have refined much upon the luxuries of the table
are exposed to something of the same sort of contemptuous ridicule that
the being called a dandy incurs among us. But a circumstance which early
attracted the attention of the visitors was, that they found the animal
food to consist (besides eggs, cheese, and various preparations of milk)
entirely of fish and game. The pork, which they often met with, they
found to be always the flesh of the wild swine: these were derived from
those brought over by the first settlers, who turned them all loose into
the woods; and the chase of the wild-boar is eagerly pursued by many of
the gentry. Wild cattle are also met with in some parts, descended from
such as had accidentally strayed; and the flesh of these is eaten, as
well as that of the kangaroo, emu, and other indigenous animals: but the
visitors one day, in the course of conversation in the eating-room,
expressed their surprise at having never seen any mutton served up,
though sheep were not uncommon. The Southlanders had never heard the
word mutton; but, when it was explained to them that it meant the flesh
of the sheep, they replied, “That they kept their sheep very carefully
for their wool, and that there were no wild sheep in the country: but
when it was explained to them that we kept both sheep and oxen chiefly
for the purpose of feeding on their flesh, they were both astonished and
disgusted that we should have retained such a _barbarian_ custom (for
they regard themselves as many degrees more civilized than their
European ancestors) as that of killing and eating domestic animals.”

It was urged (and they freely admitted it) that the loss of life is no
greater to a tame than to a wild animal: “That is true,” they said, “as
far as the _animal_ is concerned; but it makes a great difference to
_our_ feelings. A tame animal is a sort of friend, a member of the
family: it seems a sort of treacherous breach of hospitality to kill in
cold blood a creature which you have reared and fed from its birth, and
then devour its flesh.” They expressed still more surprise (for they are
keen sportsmen) at learning that some Europeans were vehement in their
censures of hunting, fowling, and fishing, as cruel; and yet fed without
scruple on beef and mutton. “We declare war,” they said, laughing,
“perhaps an unjust war, against wild animals, and kill them as enemies;
but you assassinate your friends.”—“We urged,” says the journalist, “the
necessity of keeping within bounds the numbers of our domestic animals;
and expressed our apprehension that the Southlanders would in time find
themselves quite overstocked with sheep, oxen, and fowls.” They replied
at the moment, merely, “that no such apprehension had ever occurred to

But, on returning to what we should call the drawing-room, we soon found
that much interest was excited by the accounts of what appeared to this
most singular people our strange custom. We were surrounded by ladies,
who inquired, with an amusing mixture of good-humoured ridicule, wonder,
and horror, into all the particulars respecting mutton; and one lady
surprised us by asking, among other things, what kind of flesh was that
of horses, dogs, and cats, and by what name we called it. When informed
that, though we kept these animals, we never thought of eating them, she
replied, “Why, I had understood that you ate the _flesh of domestic
animals_, and that you found it _necessary_ to do so, for fear of their
_overstocking you with their numbers_! How comes it that you are not
overrun with horses, dogs, and cats?” To say the truth, we were rather
dumbfounded by this question; having, in fact, assigned as a reason what
we had been accustomed to hear and repeat without any examination into
its soundness. We could only allege that, in all these points, we
conformed to what had always been the practice of our ancestors and
theirs, and of almost all other nations: in this we were borne out by
the testimony of those of the company who were well read in antiquities.

Several of these people, indeed, are good scholars, and well acquainted
with the history (as far as was known three hundred years ago) of other
nations, besides their own. They adverted to the descriptions of Homer’s
heroes: one of them would, when about to entertain his friends, have a
sheep brought into his tent, cut its throat with his own royal hands,
and then, with a skilful hand,—which the poet never fails to
celebrate,—cut it up into slices and broil them on skewers over a
charcoal fire. They remembered, also, the accounts given of some
East-Indian tribes, who, when their relatives are grown old and infirm,
kill them, to save them from lingering decay, and hold a pious and
solemn feast on their flesh. But as these customs had worn away in the
early progress of civilization, they wondered that a still further
refinement had not, among us, confined the carnivorous propensity of man
to wild animals exclusively, and led us, as it had them, to regard with
disgust the eating of (as they expressed it) one of the family, whose
eggs, milk, labour, or wool had long ministered to our comforts.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The description of our cities in their present condition, as contrasted
with that of the sixteenth century, and of our whole mode of life, was
exceedingly interesting to these people; but nothing did they admire
more than our description of the gas-lights. In the midst, however, of
their enquiries and admiration, one sly-looking old gentleman observed,
“that if we would honour him with a visit in his city of Bath (capital
of a state of the same name), he would excite even our admiration by the
spectacle of an illumination still more splendid.” In our visit there,
where we were most kindly received, our host walked through the streets
with us, showing us the principal buildings, and introduced us into the
Senate-house, where the public business was going on.

On our return to his house, he asked us (this was about seven o’clock in
the morning) what we thought of the lighting of the streets. We
answered, that we observed neither any lighting of them, nor need of it,
as it was a bright sunshine. “And is not this,” said he, “as good a
light as your gas? We have not,” he added, “gone so far as you in arts;
but we have the advantage of you in availing ourselves of the gifts of
nature; for, as you must have observed, we are all alert and about our
business at day-break; while you, by your own account, allow three or
four hours of daylight in the spring and summer to be utterly wasted,
while you are abed; and then go about your business at night, like owls
and bats, but without their advantage of being able to see in the dark;
so that you are forced to light yourselves with gas. It was,” said he,
“a very ingenious contrivance you were telling us of t’other day, by
which you distil fresh water from the sea; but pray do you, when there
are plenty of fresh springs, let all the water run to waste, that you
may have the triumph of distilling from the brine?”

We endeavoured to explain to him the causes of our late hours; but we
were astounded when he had made us compute the saving in oil, and gas,
and tallow, which might be effected by a general resolution to _use
daylight as far as it would go_.

The city at which this conversation took place is named from its
celebrated warm baths, supplied by springs issuing from a mountain in
the vicinity; one of the greatest curiosities in the country, both from
the natural phenomena it exhibits (being evidently an extinct volcano),
from which it received its name of Mount Peril, and from the
extraordinary tradition of the superstitious ordeal formerly connected
with it.

                              CHAPTER III.

  Duels.—Judicial Combats.—Existing Code of Honour.—Appeal to
    Arms.—Discussion on Duelling.—Mount Peril.—Noxious Vapours.—The

The visit of the travellers to Mount Peril, in the state of Bath, was
preceded, and in some measure probably caused, by a conversation
casually occurring on the subject of duels; and the notes taken of this,
it may be as well first to lay before the reader.

Much inquiry and mutual communication appear to have taken place, as was
to be expected, between the Southlanders and their guests respecting the
institutions and manners of their respective countries; and among others
the subject of duelling, as prevailing among the Europeans and
Americans, happened one day to be introduced in a mixed company. A large
proportion of the younger persons present expressed their astonishment
that a people pretending to civilization should fight out their disputes
“like the savages.” This expression, as appears from several of the
notices already recorded, was perpetually in their mouths; and some
added, that the savages in their code of honour had the advantage of the
Europeans. The New-Hollanders in these parts have, it seems, in respect
of their duels, similar customs to those that have been observed by our

It has long been known that the aborigines of New South Wales leave all
quarrels between individuals to be settled by a solemn judicial combat,
the community interfering no farther than to see fair play. But their
notions of fair play differ considerably from ours. If it, indeed, does
not appear clearly which is the party aggrieved, they fight it out, man
to man; the tribe being present as bystanders, while the combatants
engage with spears or waddies (wooden swords) till the _satisfaction_ is
complete. But if one of the parties is adjudged to have the
preponderance of justice on his side, he is allowed to bring a friend
with him, as an auxiliary; and in very flagrant cases, even two or more,
according to the character of the offence to be avenged.

In all cases, the offending party, however clear his guilt may be, is
allowed to fight for his life; but in some cases, of course, against
such odds as render it next to impossible he should escape. This, the
Southlanders observed, was a degree better than the European duels, in
which the regulations of our code of honour require the parties, however
palpably one of them may be in the wrong, to meet on equal terms, or
with an inequality only in favour of the one who may chance to be the
better shot or swordsman.

Others of the company entered more fully into the discussion of the
general grounds on which duelling is to be reprobated, being cordially
joined in their censure by Mr. Jones, who urged the objections, with
which every one is familiar, against the wickedness of taking away a
fellow-creature’s life, and exposing one’s own, in revenge for a
trifling affront—the absurdity of calling it a satisfaction to stand to
be shot at, and other such topics, which it is unnecessary to enlarge
on, as they may be read in numerous essays and tales, and heard at every

The Messrs. Smith, on the other hand (naval men, as has been already
mentioned) took the other side, and endeavoured to vindicate the
existing code of honour. They urged that it is needless and nugatory to
go about to prove that a duel is a bad thing, and that to censure the
laws of honour on that ground is as unfair as to censure the law of the
land on the ground that imprisonment and hanging are evils, these being
the penalties denounced against a violation of the laws.

The requisition to expose one’s life in a duel is, in like manner, the
penalty denounced against a violation of the rules established in the
society of gentlemen. The law of honour, they said, does not enjoin men
to seek a duel as a desirable thing, but, on the contrary, to act in
such a manner as to preclude all occasion for an appeal to arms; and
that the penalty which any system of rules holds out against the
violation of them should be regarded as something to be carefully
avoided: this, so far from being an objection to the system, is
essential to its maintenance. As for the unfairness of putting the
injured and injuring party on a level, _that_ they did not deny; but
contended that it was an unavoidable evil, as in the case of war between
two independent states. That every war is an evil,—that in every war one
party must be in the wrong, and very often both: all this is universally
admitted, but all this does not answer the practical question, whether,
on the ground that war is an evil, a state should submit, and proclaim
itself ready to submit, to any extent of encroachment and aggression
from foreign nations without resistance. “If you go to war,” it might be
urged, “with those who have wronged you, you put yourself on equal terms
with the wrong-doer, and are likely to suffer as much or more than the
offending party.” “Very true,” it might be answered, “but we cannot help
that; if we could, we would make all the evil of the war fall on the
nation that has injured us; but as it is, we must do the best we can to
deter our neighbours from injuring us: having no common superior to
appeal to, we have no alternative but to fight for our rights, or to be
insulted and oppressed with impunity.”

When it was urged in reply, that, though nations have not, individuals
have, a common authority to appeal to—that of the community to which
they belong, this was roundly denied; and it was contended that the
appeal to single combat does not take place in cases when the law of the
land provides adequate redress, but in those only where it either cannot
or will not afford any, or any but such as would be a mere mockery to
the feelings of the sufferer. A man, they urge, does not challenge any
one for robbing him of his purse, or for firing his barn, but for
injuries of quite a different description, far more grievous to one
moving in a certain circle of society, but which the law either refuses
to take cognizance of at all, or for which it provides such redress as
would aggravate the evil by rendering the sufferer ridiculous. Now a man
resigns to the community his natural right of personal self-defence on
the implied condition that the community shall protect him; and in
cases, therefore, where it either cannot, or will not, fulfil this
condition, his original natural right remains unimpaired. Thus, when a
man is suddenly assaulted by a robber, he is free to defend his person
and property as well as he can; and on the same principle, when the
injury is of such a character as the law will not, or cannot, defend him
from, he is left to guard his own honour with his own hand.

As to the evils resulting from duels, they observed that it is most
unfair not to take into account—though to calculate would be
impossible—the immense amount of evils prevented, and which there is
reason to suppose would take place but for the apprehension of a duel.
The insolence, the falsehood, the slander, the base and the overbearing
conduct, which are daily kept in check in many thousands of persons by
the recollection that there is such a thing as being “called out” for
such behaviour, is what no one can compute with any approach to
accuracy; these being preventive and negative effects, and therefore
incapable of being calculated, and liable to be underrated.

Some idea, however, they added, may be formed of these effects of the
laws of honour by looking to the conduct of those classes of persons who
are exempted from them. The ancient Greeks and Romans, for instance, who
are cried up as exempt from this Gothic barbarism, were accustomed, as
we see from the specimens of their orators that have come down to us,
publicly to revile each other in the grossest language. The Mahometans
also, of all ranks, appear to be, with few exceptions, very much what
Europeans would characterize by the term “blackguards;” and the same
description seems very applicable to the people of the Celestial empire,
from the haughty mandarin downwards.

In Europe, again, said these gentlemen, we see that those among the
higher classes—viz. ladies and clergymen, (it is to be presumed the
Messrs. Smith had met with unfavourable specimens of these, and were
rashly judging from such specimens,)—who are exempt from this law, are
apt to avail themselves of that exemption by indulging themselves in the
use of such language, and in such violation of truth and of decorum in
their attacks on opponents as a layman would be deterred from by the
apprehension of personal danger; so that, on the whole, it was contended
that the evil of the lives lost in duels—an extremely small number—may
be reckoned a cheap price paid by society for the advantages of
civilized and well-regulated manners. And, after all, it was added, even
that evil is not to be laid to the charge of the law of honour as a
necessary accompaniment, since, if all persons adhered constantly to the
rules of good society, there would never be occasion for a duel; in the
same manner as there would never be occasion, if all men would comply
with the law of the land, for any of the penalties of the law to be
actually inflicted.

An old gentleman named Christopher Adamson, of the State of Bath, who
was present at this discussion, now came forward to declare his
conviction that these arguments, though not without plausibility, were
entirely unsound, and his confidence that he should be able to establish
this to the satisfaction of the whole party; but he proposed to defer
giving his reasons till they should have viewed a spot in his
neighbourhood, curious and interesting on many accounts, and closely and
historically connected with the subject under discussion.

This was the celebrated Mount Peril (already alluded to), in the
immediate vicinity of the city of Bath. The invitation was accepted; and
the travellers shortly after set out on their excursion to visit this
mountain. It plainly appears to be an extinct volcano. The settlers
found it regarded with superstitious awe by the natives, who had among
them a tradition of smoke having been seen at times to issue from it,
and who regarded it as the habitation of certain malignant deities, of a
similar character to the Pèlè venerated in the island of Hawaii
(Owhyhee). The medicinal warm springs flowing from the foot of it gave
occasion to the fixing of the city of Bath (thence so named) in the
neighbourhood. It is one of the oldest states, the warm baths having
early acquired such repute as to be highly attractive.

The circumstance which gave rise to the appellation of Mount Peril was
the existence of certain caverns and fissures on one of its sides,
emitting at times noxious vapours, which had more than once proved fatal
to those who had incautiously ventured too near them. These were reputed
by the natives to be the abode of evil spirits, destructive to such as
approached them: and in the etymological sense of the word spirit
(_spiritus_, blast) this might be said to be literally true; for our
travellers soon ascertained that the danger arose from a deleterious
gas, the same that in coalpits is called the choke-damp, found also in
the celebrated “Grotto del Cane” in Italy, named and long celebrated for
the cruel experiments practised on dogs for the gratification of
travellers. This gas, now well known to every smatterer in chemistry as
the carbonic acid gas, so poisonous when received into the lungs, issues
forth, it should seem, in irregular blasts from these caverns, so as to
render them more dangerous of approach at some times than at others; so
that many persons have passed with impunity spots which have at
different times affected others with alarming or even fatal suffocation.

The cavern which the travellers inspected the most closely is situated
at the foot of a perpendicular cliff, about fifty feet in height, from
the top of which the mouth may be seen very distinctly and with perfect
safety; the gas being, as is well known, so much heavier than common air
that there is no danger of its rising even near so high as the top of
the cliff. The visitors tried the experiment of letting down by a rope,
with a chain at the lower end of it, a little iron grating brought for
the purpose, containing (as a humane substitute for a living dog)
splinters of dry wood set on fire, which being lowered when in a full
blaze into the cavern’s mouth, were suddenly and completely
extinguished. This cavern was easily accessible from below, as it opened
a kind of terrace of nearly level ground, called “the Ordeal Path;” but
though many persons had passed it with impunity, it was considered too
hazardous an experiment to be wantonly risked.

                              CHAPTER IV.

  Superstitious Notions.—Abolition of Duelling.—Interference of
    Providence.—Challenge to the Ordeal.—The Trial.—Conviction of
    the Offender.—Uncertainty of the Ordeal.—Ineffectual
    Prohibition.—Check against Slander.—Exclusion from Society.—Absurd
    Alternative.—Personal Courage.—Imputation of Cowardice.—Public
    Opinion.—War between Nations.—Challenges.—Fear of Disgrace.

Mr. Adamson afterwards proceeded to relate the circumstances connected
with the cavern. Many superstitious notions, it seems, and much tendency
to give credit to tales of supernatural mystery had been brought from
Europe by several of the original settlers, trained as they had been in
the then prevailing credulity, and many of them tinctured with
fanaticism. It is not to be wondered therefore, that, ignorant as they
were of physical phenomena, several should have given more or less
credit to the reports of the natives respecting evil demons dwelling in
these caverns; the dangerous nature of them having been proved in some
instances by fatal experience.

The employment of one of them for the purpose of an ordeal originated
long after. “It ought in the first place to be acknowledged,” said Mr.
Adamson, “that the barbarian institution of duels did exist among us,
though now long since exploded.”

They were not of common occurrence; but he added that his father
distinctly remembered as a boy the final abolition of the practice, in
the manner about to be related. The duel was regarded—and such is well
known to have been its original design—as a kind of ordeal, as a solemn
appeal to Heaven, which it was supposed would not fail to interfere in
support of the rightful combatant.

And here Mr. Sibthorpe had the candour to interpose a remark, that,
though _duels_ have long since ceased to be considered in that light,
the general principle is very far from being exploded among a large
proportion of our own countrymen, who frequently apply the terms
“providential,” and even “miraculous,” to the detection of murderers;
the frustration of schemes of injustice; the escape of pious men from
dangers of shipwreck or fire, &c. and who speak of pestilential
diseases, conflagrations, and other fatal accidents, as judgments from
Heaven on the sufferers; evidently referring to a supposed special
interference of Providence to allot temporal successes or adversities
according to the deserts of the parties; and often setting down as
little better than an atheist any one who questions such a doctrine.

“Now,” said he, “if it be admitted that there is a special and
extraordinary interference of Providence for the immediate temporal
punishment of the wicked, and for the securing of success to a righteous
cause, there seems no reason why this should not be looked for in the
case of a judicial combat. Our ancestors were at least as wise as we,
and more consistent, if we deride or reprobate the idea of a special
interposition of Providence in the case of a single combat, while we
look for it in all _other_ cases. And you well know,” added he to Mr.
Jones, “how strongly the doctrine I allude to is set forth in
newspapers—in magazines—in publications of various descriptions, and,
not least, in the nursery-books which are first put into the hands of

This could not be denied. “Well, such,” continued Mr. Adamson, “had been
our belief as well as yours. But while the trial by single combat was
retained under an altered character, the other kinds of ordeal—such as
the hot ploughshare, &c. to which women, as well as men, had in former
times been exposed—fell completely into desuetude.”

Among the Southlanders the institution was, by an accidental
circumstance, reintroduced. It seems that a woman, named Margaret
Brucker, had been grossly defamed by a neighbour, and being highly
indignant at the imputations cast on her virtue, and conscious of
perfect innocence, she appealed to the judgment of Heaven, and
challenged her accuser to accompany her publicly along the mountain
side, by what was afterwards called the ‘Ordeal Path,’ to pass by the
goblin cavern, the one viewed by our travellers. She professed her full
confidence that her innocence would protect her from the demons residing
there, and that the false accusation would be visited by a divine
judgment on her who had devised it. Margaret appears to have been a
perfectly sincere enthusiast, and to have possessed that fervid
eloquence which is the result of genuine strong feeling. This, together
with youth, beauty, and the sympathy excited by her distress of mind,
operated so strongly on the superstitious feelings of the people that
they vehemently seconded her proposal; and the woman who had accused her
dared not refuse the trial.

The parties accordingly set forth, attended by a great concourse of
eager spectators, who ranged themselves on the edge of the cliff
overhanging the cavern in breathless expectation of the results. The
magistrates had only ventured to exert their authority so far as to
require that ropes should be let down from the top of the cliff, and
secured by straps to the body of each of the women, so that in case of
danger they might be safely drawn up.

Margaret, with a firm and undaunted step, walked unhurt close along the
mouth of the cavern. Her companion, who had been observed to become pale
and agitated as they approached the scene of trial, sank down insensible
at the entrance of the cavern. The mingled shouts of wonder, alarm,
horror, and exultation proceeding from the spectators of this complete
fulfilment of the prophecy may easily be imagined. The fainting victim
was drawn up by the rope to the top of the cliff, to all appearance
dead. By sprinkling her with water, however, she gradually revived; and
on being restored to her senses and speech, confessed, with much awe and
contrition, the entire falsity of the stories she had circulated, and
which she had fabricated through jealousy. She acknowledged, and no
doubt fully believed, that she had been struck down by the demon of the
goblin cavern as a just judgment on her calumny. Of course Margaret
Brucker was venerated as little less than a prophetess, and the ordeal
rose into high and general repute.

Several, indeed, of the more sagacious entertained at the time the
opinion which it would then have been most discreditable to avow, but
which has long since become universal, that the one party escaped unhurt
because she walked erect across the opening of the cavern, the noxious
gas being so heavy that its influence does not usually extend much more
than one or two feet above the surface of the ground; and that the
other, through the agitation of conscious guilt and superstitious
terror, either turned giddy, or stumbled over a stone, and falling down,
was immediately exposed to the full current of the vapour. This is
agreeable to what is found to take place in the celebrated Grotto del
Cane, which is entered with impunity by men, but is fatal to a dog
(whose head is so much nearer to the ground) if the poor beast is
compelled to remain over one of the fissures from which the gas issues.

The ordeal, however, was a very uncertain one, from the variations
occurring in the quantity of vapour emitted. Sometimes both parties were
suffocated, and oftener both escaped unhurt; and in some instances, as
might have been expected, it happened that a person whose character had
been cleared by the ordeal, was afterwards, by circumstances
subsequently brought to light, proved, or violently suspected, to have
been guilty.

Instances of this kind, in conjunction with the advancement of
intellectual culture, gradually weakened, in progress of time, the
belief in the supernatural character of the ordeal. It was, however, for
a long time, frequently appealed to, both by women and men, from all the
states; and, in spite of laws which were passed, but which it was found
impossible fully to enforce, prohibiting any such trial, and denouncing
as murder the offence of being accessary to any one’s exposure to it in
case of a fatal result,—the custom still received the sanction of many
who disavowed all belief of miraculous interference in the case of such

“They defended,” said Mr. Adamson, “by nearly the same arguments as I
have lately heard from you, both duels, such as you apply the name to,
and these which were always very justly regarded as a kind of duel;
since there is no essential difference between calling on your adversary
to stand a pistol-shot or a poisonous blast. It was conducive, they
contended, to the preservation of good manners, and of a high and
delicate sense of honour in both sexes, that a man should be restrained
from ungentlemanly behaviour, and from lightly taxing another with it,
by the apprehension of personal danger; and that female purity should be
guarded in like manner. ‘It is,’ they said, ‘a useful additional check
against lying, for instance, and against rashly charging another with
being a liar, to reflect on the probable consequence of being called on
to face the sword or pistol, or the goblin cavern of Mount Peril. And it
is but fair, that a woman also should recollect that levity of conduct,
or wanton slander, may occasion her to be required to undergo a similar
danger.’ There were not wanting many who reprobated this doctrine, and
urged such arguments on the other side respecting the wickedness and the
absurdity of the custom as we have lately heard from Mr. Jones. But they
were urged with as little practical effect as they appear to have had
among you. At length, several persons of the higher classes, and
remarkable for correctness of life, refinement of manners, and
cultivated understanding, formed themselves into an association and
declared strenuous war against every kind of duel, including, as has
been said, under that name the ordeal of the cavern, which they
contended against on entirely new grounds.

“They did not confine themselves to such topics as had been before,
again and again, urged without effect; but maintained that the practice
tended to defeat the very end proposed, and to lower (instead of
raising, as was pretended) the tone of manners in the society. ‘If,’
they said, ‘there were no such custom, then, any one, whether man or
woman, who transgressed the rules which public opinion had sanctioned in
the circle of society in which he or she moved, would at once be
excluded from that circle. And the apprehension of this exclusion, of
thus losing caste, and being sent to Coventry, which is the ultimate
penalty that such a society can inflict for a breach of its rules, would
be the best preventive of any violation of them,—the best preservative
of the tone of the society, that it is possible to attain. If, under
such a system, any one insulted another, he would be regarded as an
ill-mannered brute, and excluded from good company: a woman who
displayed levity of conduct would be at once excluded from reputable
society: any one, man or woman, who should bring rash imputations
against a neighbour, would be shunned as a slanderer: and so of the
rest. But under the system of duelling, society offers an _alternative_;
the only effect of which, as far as it operates, is unmixed evil.
Instead of saying, absolutely, you must abstain from brutal insolence of
demeanour, on pain of being excluded from our circle, it says, you must
_either_ abstain from insolence, _or_ be ready to expose your life;
instead of requiring a woman to abstain from levity of conduct, and
defamatory language, on pain of forfeiting the countenance of
respectable people, it proposes the alternative of _either_ observing
those rules, _or_ the being prepared to encounter the ordeal; and the
result is, that those who possess personal intrepidity will often be
enabled to transgress with impunity those rules of good society, which
the duelling system professes to enforce. Nay more; the system tends to
invest with a certain degree of dignity, arising from our admiration of
personal courage, such conduct as would otherwise excite only
unmitigated abhorrence and contempt. An insolent man, for instance, if
by his insolence he braved no danger but that of expulsion from good
company, would be simply despised: but since he also, under the other
system, braves the danger of death, he obtains some degree of honour for
his intrepidity. And though some may be deterred from such conduct by
the fear of a challenge, others, on the contrary, may be encouraged to
it, by a desire of displaying valour; especially if they have reason to
think, from what they know of the other party, that a challenge will
_not_ ensue, and that they shall enjoy their triumph unmolested.

“‘Moreover, the magnitude of the injuries which one person actually can
do to another is infinitely enhanced by the system of duels, because
every affront offered is thus made to carry with it an imputation on
one’s personal courage, which can only be wiped out by the exposure of
life. If, for instance, I am a man of uniform and scrupulous veracity,
and some ill-mannered ruffian gives me the lie, then, supposing duels
unknown, the attack recoils entirely on the assailant. He is incapable
of proving his charge—my life refutes it,—and the only result is that
_he_, not I, is set down as a liar, for having falsely called me a liar.
But under the other system, I must go out and expose my life, or else I
am disgraced—disgraced, not as a _liar_ (for _that_ imputation, perhaps,
is disbelieved after all), but as a _coward_, for not daring to risk my
life in defence of my honour. And thus a person, who otherwise might
have been incapable of doing me any serious hurt at all, has it in his
power to propose to me at his pleasure the alternative of hazard to my
life and violence to my conscience, or ignominy. A venom is thus added
to the sting of the most contemptible insect.

“‘So much,’ said they, ‘for the protection thus provided for us against
injuries the most painful to the feelings! Great part of the disgrace
attaching to the authors of such injuries is removed; the injuries are
probably rather increased than diminished in frequency; and in the pain
they inflict, they are undoubtedly aggravated tenfold.’ With regard to
the supposed necessity for a person’s thus vindicating his own honour in
certain cases, on the ground that the parties have no common authority
to appeal to, this they flatly denied. The public opinion of the society
they belong to, _is_ that common authority. And that it is so, and is
competent to decide effectually, is proved, they urged, by the very
existence of duelling; for the duel itself is enforced by nothing else
but public opinion. I am obliged, it is said, to challenge a man who has
affronted me, because there is no authority to appeal to that will
compel him to redress the injury. But what, then, compels him to
_accept_ the challenge? Nothing, but the knowledge that if he refused
it, society would reject him as disgraced. Then, why should not society
at once pronounce on him this sentence of disgrace for the affront
itself, unless he makes a satisfactory submission? If he defies public
opinion, and does not care for disgrace, he need not accept the
challenge: if he does care for public opinion, then let the disgrace
attach at once to the offering of the affront, instead of to the refusal
of the challenge. It is manifest that those who have the power to
propose the alternative, of either suffering disgrace or fighting, must
have the power to discard the latter part of the alternative. Let
society, therefore, but do its duty, and it is plain that it may, by a
proper exertion of the power which it has, and which it actually
exercises even now, restrain, and restrain much more effectually,
without duelling, the very evils which duelling professes to remedy.

“As for the case of war between independent states, this,” observed Mr.
Adamson, “by the way, is by no means a parallel to that of private
duels. One nation does not _send a challenge_ to another; because, as
the parties really have no common authority to refer to, the aggressors
would of course decline the challenge, and _would_ prefer enjoying
unmolested the fruits of their injustice. The nation, therefore, which
considers itself aggrieved has no other remedy than, after complaining
and demanding redress in vain, to declare war, levy troops, and commence
hostilities against its opponents without waiting for their consent; and
this procedure would be parallel to the case of duels only, if these
were quite of a different character from what they are. If it were
customary for a man who had received an affront to declare _war_ against
his neighbour, arm himself, and _proceed to attack_ him without asking
his consent, this would correspond to a war between two states. But a
_challenge_ is quite a different thing; it is an invitation which a man
may either accept or decline, to meet at a time and place settled by
mutual agreement, where the parties, by common consent, expose
themselves to a certain specified risk. Generally, the challenge is both
sent and accepted, not from motives of revenge, but from fear of public
censure: but universally, the party challenged might refuse it if he
were willing to brave public censure.

“So far, therefore, is a duel from being a mode of repelling injury,
which a man is driven to resort to through the want of any common
authority to appeal to, that, on the contrary, every duel actually rests
on a tacit appeal to such an authority—viz. to public opinion; since no
one could compel another to afford him the satisfaction sought except
through the influence of the fear of disgrace, the other being at
liberty to refuse the challenge if he dares to set public opinion at
defiance. Every duel, therefore, whether actually taking place, or
merely talked of and threatened, is itself a complete disproof of the
plea on _which_ duels are justified.”

                               CHAPTER V.

  Female Honour.—Agreement among Women.—Penalty of Exclusion.—Law of
    Honour.—False Dignity.—New Penalty.—Compact against
    Duelling.—Ruffians and Calumniators.—Association against
    Duelling.—Court of Honour.—Abolition of Duelling.

“That public opinion, if rightly directed, is capable,” continued Mr.
Adamson, “of completely affecting the desired object without the duel,
even better than with it, which is what we of the present day are so
happy as to know by experience, these reformers anticipated partly from
the enforcement among ladies of the laws of female honour before that
absurd ordeal had been instituted. Women moving in circles of good
society had kept up its character, it was observed, at least as well
before the ordeal came into use, and quite as well as men of a
corresponding class maintained the laws of masculine honour; and this
was effected simply by a tacit agreement among women of character not to
associate with any woman who was known to have violated these rules.
‘If, therefore,’ said they, ‘ladies will return to this system, and
gentlemen will adopt a corresponding one, the rules of good society,
whatever they may be that it thinks fit to impose, will be enforced by
the simple expedient of denouncing exclusion against the violators of
them, absolutely, and without offering the alternative of a duel.’

“It was remarked, indeed, by some of you,” said Mr. Adamson, “that in
Europe the ladies, and also some other classes of persons who are
exempted from the liability to a duel, are apt to avail themselves of
this exemption by a less scrupulous adherence to truth and to courtesy
of language, or by throwing such aspersions on their neighbours as would
involve in personal danger those not so privileged; and such instances
of falsehood, insolence, and calumny were attributed by some of you to
the absence of the salutary check of the duel.

“As to the precise state of the fact, indeed, you appeared not to be
quite agreed: but admitting the most unfavourable representation to be
true, you may perceive, even from what comes under your own experience,
without resorting to ours, that the inference drawn is not correct; for
it appears by your own account that the English women, of the higher
classes at least, though all kinds of duel are unknown among them, yet
keep up the character of their society in respect of female purity. And,
as this is effected through the direct influence of public opinion,—by
simply enforcing the penalty of exclusion on any female of blemished
reputation,—it is evident that if in respect of veracity, integrity, or
any other point, they fall short of what is required of gentlemen, this
must arise from the standard of _honour_ being different in the two
sexes. I collect that among you the character of ‘an honest woman’ does
not coincide with that of ‘an honest man,’—and that even the word
‘virtue’ has a somewhat different signification in reference to women
and to men. It cannot be therefore that public opinion is insufficient
to enforce the laws of honour without the intervention of duels, since
modest women do succeed in maintaining the purity of the society in
which they move; but the laws of honour are themselves not the same
among ladies and among gentlemen. The fact is, few persons, either men
or women, will venture to incur infamy; and _that_ is the penalty
_which_ society may denounce against the violation of its rules, be
those rules what they may. Let society determine what shall be the point
of honour for each sex, or class of persons, or for all, and denounce
the penalty of exclusion against such as violate its rules; and that
those rules will be generally observed, without the intervention of
duelling, is proved by the very circumstance that women enforce their
own law of honour as successfully as men do theirs!

“By acting on these principles,” continued Mr. Adamson, “you would have
the additional advantage of imposing a restraint on those females, and
others, who, you complain, are disposed to take advantage of their
exemption from danger of a challenge by indulging in defamatory or
insolent language, &c.; for, as I just now observed, conduct of this
kind is regarded among you with somewhat the less of unmixed disgust and
contempt, from the very circumstance that among laymen of a certain
station it may lead to a duel. It is considered as in some degree a mark
of ‘spirit.’ The courage which braves death, even when disapproved as a
brutal kind of courage, yet shelters its possessor from the last extreme
of ignominy. Now, though the degree of false dignity with which insolent
behaviour is thus invested _ought_ certainly to be at least confined to
those who actually do run a risk in displaying it,—though women and
clergymen, for instance, since they run no risk, and consequently
display no courage by such behaviour as would expose a layman to
personal danger, should properly be considered base as well as
unmannerly when they are guilty of it,—yet this distinction is one which
we cannot expect will be carefully kept in view and uniformly observed.
A kind of association of ideas is created in people’s minds between what
is called ‘spirited behaviour,’ ‘strong language,’ &c. and ‘manly
boldness;’ and this association continues to affect their judgment even
in cases where no boldness is really displayed, because no danger is
encountered. Thus, such conduct, in a woman for instance, or in a
clergyman, as would otherwise incur unmixed contempt, is likely to be,
if not altogether honoured or approved, at least in some degree

“But let the system be changed, and the tone of manners in _all_ classes
would be raised. When duels are unheard of, such offences as are now
regarded with a mitigated disapprobation on account of the personal
intrepidity which they are supposed sometimes to imply in the offenders,
would become the subject of unmixed disgust; the only danger braved
being that of the disesteem of reputable people. And _this_ kind of
penalty extending to _all_ classes and both sexes alike, (at least among
the gentry,) would of course tend to restrain all of them alike within
the rules of honour and politeness. There may be some reason why, among
you, a woman should not be called out to _fight_; but there could be
none, why she should not incur, as well as a gentleman, the penalty,
when that was the _sole_ penalty for both sexes alike, of _exclusion_
from good society if she transgressed its rules: a penalty which in fact
actually _is_ enforced, with unrelenting strictness, for a violation of
the rules of what is now accounted feminine honour.

“Such nearly,” continued Mr. Adamson, “was the train of argument, as far
as applicable to the then-existing condition of society among us, which
was strenuously urged, and assiduously circulated by the association
against duels which I have alluded to. The novelty of the arguments
contributed, along with their intrinsic force, and the high character of
those who urged them, to excite a general and serious attention; and the
judicious course pursued by the authors of the undertaking secured them
ultimate success. The members of the association bound themselves, by a
solemn compact with each other, never to give or accept a challenge to
any kind of duel, whether by the ordeal, or by single combat; never to
behave in such a manner as might otherwise have afforded occasion for a
duel; and not to countenance or receive into their society any one who
should violate either of the above rules. In cases of personal assault,
they were at liberty to defend themselves by force on the spot; but not
to seek any subsequent satisfaction, except by an appeal to the laws,
and by agreeing to shun the society of the offender as of a ruffian.
They were to defend themselves against slander by _living it down_—by
giving the false accuser the lie in their conduct; but they were to seek
no other redress (unless they thought fit to bring a legal action for
defamation) than by excluding calumniators from their society.

“And the same in respect of rude and insolent language: into _their_
society, no daring ruffian, however expert in snuffing a candle with a
bullet, could, as formerly, _fight_ his way, by inducing those who
really thought him no fit company for gentlemen, by a tacit appeal to
their personal fears to admit him as an associate; each inwardly wishing
all the while that one of the others would undertake the perilous task
of tying the bell round his neck. Every such person, and every one in
any way of exceptionable character, was under the ban of hopeless
exclusion. It was useless to challenge the excluders, since they had
proclaimed that they would not fight. From personal violence they
appealed to the law: insolent vituperation was unavailing; since being
directed against men who had abjured duels, it was understood to imply
no personal risk, and consequently to give no proof of courage. From
well-founded accusations, their blameless life and decorous behaviour
secured them; unfounded charges only proclaimed the authors of them to
be themselves liars.

“Very early in the history of this association, a question arose among
its members, on the decision of which, probably, their final success
turned. It was at first designed that they should continue formally to
enrol as members as many unexceptionable persons as could be induced to
join their society. Some of their number, however, objected that this
would be likely to impede their progress in the reformation they were
aiming at. A jealousy, they said, would be likely to arise in the minds
of some persons against the pretensions, real or supposed, of an
association of which they were not themselves the founders or leaders.
They would therefore be apt perversely to refuse joining it, as
disdaining to follow in the wake of others; and would then set about
justifying their conduct by exciting suspicion and organizing
opposition, as against a party combining to set up themselves as
arbiters of good manners,—guides to the rest of the world,—a
self-constituted tribunal, &c.

“These representations prevailed; and a resolution was adopted, and
publicly announced, (accompanied with a frank statement of the reasons
for it,) not to admit formally from thenceforth any more persons as
members, except such as might have been actually engaged in a duel, and
were desirous of thus solemnly and publicly proclaiming their
renunciation of a practice to which they had thus once lent their
countenance. But all other persons of respectable character, it was
declared, should be thenceforth regarded as virtually members of the
association, without any formal admission or engagement, so long as they
should continue in practice to comply with the fundamental rules of the
society, by abstaining from duels, and from everything calculated to
provoke a challenge, and by shunning the company of those who acted
otherwise. If any should in practice violate these regulations, or
should openly proclaim his determination not to adhere to them, then,
and then only, he was to be regarded as excluded from the number of the

“In all cases of dispute arising between one gentleman or lady and
another, the cause was to be referred to the decision, not of any
self-appointed tribunal, nor of any formally-elected court of honour
(either of which might have furnished occasion for jealousy), but of a
committee of the neighbours meeting for the purpose, with the
stipulation only that they should be persons received in good society
and adverse to duelling. Of such persons, each of the parties chooses
(for the custom was adopted, and still exists among us,) one or two of
his acquaintance,—each of whom again names two or three others as
assessors,—and the judges thus nominated privately hear and try the
cause, calling in, in case of much difficulty or disagreement, the
assistance of others. It is seldom that the parties do not readily
acquiesce in the decision; and the public in general are, as you may
suppose, fully prepared to think that this must be at least more likely
to approach to a right judgment than a pistol-ball or a blast of

“In this way it was that the custom of duels gradually, and not very
slowly, went out of fashion among us. It has been wholly extinct for
more than a century; for my father, who, as I mentioned just now,
remembered as a boy the final prevalence of this reform, was born nearly
one hundred and thirty years ago.

“If the same reform,” he added, “is not effected by the gentry of
Europe, when they have only to _will_ that it should be so, their claims
to a high degree of civilization and refinement (to say nothing of
humanity or morality) can hardly be admitted. For example, as it is, any
one who offers an affront to another, and on being challenged refuses to
fight, is excluded from the pale of good society; unless it be a woman—a
clergyman—a quaker—a person bound over to keep the peace, under the
penalty of forfeiting a sum of money—(a curious exemption this!)—or
belonging to some other description of privileged persons. All you have
to do is to resolve that the _offering_ of the affront shall place any
person under the same ban as he is now placed under for refusing, after
being challenged for the affront, to fight. Lay down this rule; and let
there be _no exemptions_ on the ground of sex, profession, or any other
plea whatever, and the object is accomplished.”

                              CHAPTER VI.

  Rough Notes.—Public Entertainments.—Dancing.—Grotesque
    Dance.—Throwing the Spear.—Female
    Dress.—Decorations.—Ear-rings.—Wedding-rings.—Anomalous Costume.

The rough notes taken down by the several members of the exploring party
are, of course, not arranged in the order of the subjects, but are
merely memoranda written on the spot from time to time according as the
knowledge was obtained, or the observations made; and in the selections
here laid before the reader, it has been thought best not to attempt any
systematic arrangement, but to present them in their original
miscellaneous form.

While the travellers were at Bath,—which is a city rather distinguished,
like its namesake in England and in Germany, for gaiety, as being a
place of resort to strangers on account of the mineral waters,—they were
invited to several public entertainments of various kinds, and of
different degrees of solemnity and splendour. One lady with whom, among
others, they were conversing on the subject of one of these which they
were about to attend, on being asked, among other inquiries, whether a
ball possessed as much attraction for young people as, they told her, it
does in Europe, replied in the affirmative; though, for her own part,
she said, she liked archery better; but different young people, said
she, differ, you know, in their tastes in respect of amusements.

When the gay party had been assembled,—which was on a lawn of
considerable extent, partially shaded with some fine mimosa and
eucalyptus (gum-tree), under whose shade tents were erected,—the
travellers witnessed with much interest the several diversions that were
going on; and, among others, their notice was called by the lady with
whom they had been conversing the day before to several “games of ball”
of various kinds that were going on; some played by gentlemen alone,
some by ladies, and some by both together; and many of them bearing more
or less resemblance to the English games of cricket, bowls, trap-ball,
tennis, billiards, &c. as well as to others which are common enough
among children in England, but quite unknown among adults.

The travellers laughed heartily (as the ladies did also, on receiving an
explanation) at the mutual mistake they had made about balls: but, on
making more particular inquiries about dancing, they learned that this
was an amusement confined to children; scarcely any ever joining in that
sport except those under thirteen or fourteen years old, and any lively
and good-humoured friend of the children, who joined their game for
their amusement. The sport was in fact “playing at being savages,” the
dances consisting in a ludicrous imitation of those of the aborigines.
These, it is well known, are much given to dancing, in which they
display considerable ingenuity as well as agility and good ear; and
their dances are not merely a recreation, but are also mixed up with
their most important institutions and transactions, being performed with
much solemnity at their “corrobories,” or grand meetings, for the
purpose of deliberating on affairs of state, and performing certain
superstitious rites of divination.

A group of romping boys and girls, who were at play in one corner of the
field, were accordingly requested to exhibit to the strangers the
spectacle of a dance; and some of the most forward and lively of the
boys entered into the proposal with much glee. Two of the party took on
themselves, by general consent, the arrangement and direction of the
whole, and seemed to officiate as masters of the ceremonies, or, as they
called themselves, “Corrobory chiefs.” They were, it seems, visitors
from one of the back-settlements, and had had frequent opportunities of
witnessing the native dances. The sport partook somewhat of the nature
of a masquerade; some whimsical changes being made in the costume of the
dancers, in order to give the livelier representation of the strange
originals. Much merriment took place, and many curious feats of
grotesque agility were displayed, to the great diversion both of the
juvenile performers and the bystanders. This sport was followed by the
throwing of the spear, after the manner of the natives; an art in which
many of the Southlanders are very expert, especially those who live on
the margins of the lakes, where the striking of fish is a favourite
diversion, as the salmon-spearing is in some parts of Scotland. The
throwing of the spear at a mark, however, and also archery, are games
not confined, as dancing is, to children.

The Southlanders expressed surprise that adult Europeans, even of the
higher classes, should retain the amusement of dancing, “like the
savages;” an amusement which seemed to them, from habit, as childish as
many of their sports, on the other hand, had appeared to their visitors.
Both parties were somewhat at a loss to explain to each other the
grounds of their respective notions as to what was or was not puerile.
“There is no disputing,” said one of the most intelligent of their
hosts, “about tastes; but in many points, I believe, ours are to be
accounted for by that early and deep-seated association in our minds,
which you have in many instances noticed, between certain practices or
habits and savage life. You have remarked several times how frequently
the phrase is in our mouths, that to do so and so is ‘like the savages;’
and this may perhaps account for the ridiculous appearance which, as you
perceive, one of your balls, as you call them, would have in our eyes.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The sentiment above alluded to was manifested in several conversations
(occurring at various places, and noticed from time to time in the
memorandum-books of the travellers,) on the subject of dress, especially
female dress; respecting which the ladies showed themselves, as was to
be expected, inquisitive and communicative. They generally expressed
their wonder, when the female costume of England was described, that
people pretending to be so civilized should expose so much _bare flesh_,
“like the savages.” The habit of dressing, or rather, as they said, of
undressing, so as to display naked shoulders, bosoms, and arms, struck
them more as barbarian than as indelicate; they themselves,—though their
clothing is usually thin, on account of the general warmth of the
climate,—leave no part of the body uncovered, except the face and hands.
They inquired whether the European ladies coat themselves with grease,
mixed up with ochre or other paint, as the savages do, by way of
protection to the unclothed parts from scorching sun, piercing winds,
and the bites of mosquitoes; also, whether they practised the tattooing,
which is an essential part of aboriginal finery.

They inquired also whether English ladies did not suffer in their health
from the great and sudden _changes_, from covering to exposure, of many
parts of the body between morning and evening dresses; and also whether
many of them did not become diseased or deformed by the violence with
which they appeared to squeeze their waists. Wilkins, the servant, it
seems, had chanced to bring with him a lady’s almanac, containing plates
of “female costume,” which excited great interest, wonder, and diversion
among the Southlanders. Some imagined at first, among other mistakes,
that the ladies were represented as taking precautions against drowning,
by fastening, as the Southlanders sometimes do, large bladders to their

They expressed hardly less wonder on learning that English ladies are
accustomed, “like the savages,” to wear feathers, necklaces, and other
ornaments, and even to make incisions in their flesh for the purpose of
inserting them. They asked whether, in addition to ear-rings, they wore
nose-rings, and the ornament so general among the New-Hollanders, called
humorously by the English sailors the “spritsail-yard;” viz. the
leg-bone of a bird thrust through the middle cartilage of the nose.

The travellers observed, in reply, that the Southlanders, especially the
females, seemed to have no scruples on the subject of ornamental dress
and furniture, as they had much that was both handsome and costly. “That
is true,” said one of the party; “and though there are many differences
of opinion on the subject, and some indulge in a degree of attention to
ornament which is regarded by others as excessive, the total
condemnation of all regard to decoration is by no means common. The
church, indeed, of the Kernhuters—of which I learn from you there is a
considerable and valuable remnant in Europe—have adopted, for nearly two
centuries, some very strict regulations on this head; among others, they
make it a point of discipline to use no dyes. Their shoes and boots are
brown, of the natural colour of the leather; their coats grey, being
made of a mixture of black wool and white, as it comes from the sheep;
and their hats of the natural colour of the opossum and kangaroo: but
these are exceptions. The point _agreed on_ among us, and in which our
difference from you gave rise to the wonder you heard expressed, is
this,—that it is barbarian to wear anything _for the sake_ of ornament,
and which answers no purpose but that of decoration. Of this description
are feathers, which were worn by our ancestors of both sexes, but which
I understand from you are now confined to women, and to military men
when in uniform. So, also, are necklaces, rings, and, above all,
ear-rings. It strikes us as peculiarly barbarian to bore holes in the
flesh for the purpose of sticking in ornaments. It may be a prejudice,
but it is at least an ancient one; for the Greeks, though I believe
their women wore ear-rings,—and it is to be observed that they regarded
women as a very inferior order of beings, and rather as toys, or as
domestic drudges, than as civilized and rational companions,—considered
ear-rings worn by men as a decisive mark of barbarism. You may find, in
Xenophon’s Anabasis, one of the captains of companies, who had given
some cowardly advice, reproached as uttering sentiments unworthy of a
Greek; on which some one exclaimed ‘He is no Greek! _his ears are
bored_:’ and this being ascertained by inspection, he was on this
evidence at once pronounced a barbarian, and as such reduced to the

“You have observed,” continued he, “among us handsome and costly gold
brooches and buckles, buttons made of jewels, embroidered garments,
inlaid tables, and other such ornamental articles; but you will see no
article that is _merely_ an ornament. A gold brooch or button served as
a fastening, not better indeed, but as well, as an iron or brass one.
Its _beauty_ is superfluous, but it is not _itself_ superfluous, and
destitute of all ostensible use. So, also, a silver goblet serves to
drink out of, and an embroidered gown to cover one, no less than plain
ones. The robes, caps, and thrones of our higher magistrates are, as you
have seen, in some instances very highly decorated; but they have an
ostensible use, as coverings and seats. We have no necklaces, plumes, or
rings; and have indeed carried so far this distinction, which probably
to you seems fanciful, that we have even laid aside the ancient usage of
the wedding ring, and, as you must have observed, mark the distinction
between the married and single by the dress. By the bye,” he added, “the
ring, which you speak of as having a use in distinguishing a married
_woman_, is confined, I perceive, to the _wife_; a married _man_ not
having, as among us, any distinctive mark.”

Mr. Sibthorpe here remarked, that though any practice to which we are
not accustomed does usually appear to us fanciful, yet it occurred to
him—what had never struck him before—that no _mere_ ornament is commonly
worn by _men_ of the present age in Europe; a few, indeed, wear rings,
but not the majority; nor is it any requisition of fashion. Stars,
ribbons, crowns, &c. are worn by men as marks of certain rank or office;
but the feathers, chains, shoulder-knots, and ruffles, which our
forefathers wore as a part of fashionable dress, are obsolete. Man is
now so far conformed to the ancient definition as to be “a biped without
_feathers_;” women, on the contrary, are so far, according to the
Southlanders, in the rear of advancing civilization as still to wear
ornaments, like the savages.

He remarked also another point of coincidence between European women on
the one side, and European men and the Southlanders of both sexes on the
other; the latter, he observed, were always dressed _alike on both
sides_, so that if one imagined one of them split into halves, the two
would _match_, like a pair of gloves; among European ladies, on the
contrary, most of the many great variations of fashion agree in making
some difference between the two sides; there is usually an obliquity in
the head-gear, or a bow, a feather, or a bunch of flowers, stuck on one
side, without a corresponding one on the other.

                              CHAPTER VII.

  Forms of Government.—Senatorial Regulations.—Speakers.—Peculiar
    Debate.—Fundamental Laws.—Unwise Legislators.—Timely
    Improvements.—Legislative Problem.—Legislative Expedient.—Error in
    Government.—Division of Laws.—Repeal of Fundamental Laws.—Guard
    against Precipitancy.—Laws of Treason.—Mature Deliberation.—National

All the states, which, as has been mentioned above, are eleven in
number, differ more or less from each other in their form of government,
but are alike in all the most important and fundamental principles
adopted; several of which are strangely at variance with everything that
is to be found in the northern hemisphere. Seven out of the eleven
states are denominated kingdoms: but of these, four only are under an
hereditary royalty; the other three being, as far as the travellers
could ascertain, rather of the character of republics than of strictly
regal governments; but retaining the title of King to denote the chief
magistrate for the time being, somewhat corresponding to the Athenian
archon, Roman consul, or American president. There are four other states
also which are, in name as well as in substance, republics. But these
differences are greater in appearance than in reality; the kingdoms
which are the most strictly so called, being by no means under an
unlimited monarchy.

Many of the particulars respecting the constitutions and laws of the
several states the travellers were of course, during their short stay,
unable to collect, except very slightly and imperfectly. From those
which they did collect, and ascertain with sufficient certainty, we
shall select such as are likely to be the most interesting, from their
dissimilarity to European institutions.

It was in the state of Atroloria,—so called from the lake of the same
name[1] within its territory,—which the travellers first reached, that
they had the earliest opportunity of witnessing debates in their senate.
They afterwards, on several occasions, attended the legislative
assemblies in other places. The circumstance which in the first instance
most attracted, by its novelty to them, the attention of the visitors,
was one which they found on inquiry was common to all the states in
their deliberative assemblies; being a regulation originally established
by Müller, and afterwards, from its tried advantage and convenience,
continued universally and uninterruptedly. It was this, that no member
was allowed to _speak_ and to _vote_ on the same question, but each had
his choice between the two. The proceedings, accordingly, bore some
resemblance to those of a court of justice in civil causes; the speakers
corresponding to the pleaders who address the court,—the voters, to the
jury, who give the verdict. The difference is, that each member has it
left to his choice which character he will take. Any member wishing to
address the house, quits his seat and places himself in front of the
chair of the moderator,—answering to the speaker or chairman; and when
he has spoken, seats himself, not in his former place, but, with a view
to prevent mistake or confusion, on a bench appropriated to the purpose,
and thence called the speakers’ bench; or he is at liberty to leave the
assembly if he thinks fit. When the question has been put to the vote
and decided, and a fresh question is coming on, he resumes his original
seat. Certain public functionaries, who are not members, have a seat by
right on the speakers’ bench, and are at liberty to address the house
(though they have no vote) when there is any reference to the business
of their own peculiar departments.

Footnote 1:

  The lake was so called by the early settlers; doubtless from the same
  cause which led to the name of our own colony in Western Australia.

Whether owing to this circumstance, or to any other, the debates were
observed to be shorter, and the speakers much fewer, than is usual in
European assemblies. They seldom exceeded two or three on each side.

The travellers observed that the speakers rarely used even the smallest
degree of action, but usually kept themselves remarkably still while
speaking. This, it appears, was one of the results of that general and
deep-rooted association already alluded to. In the course of
conversation on this subject, the Southlanders, it appeared, considered
it as something uncivilized to use either vociferation or gesticulation
in speaking, “as the savages do.” They even accounted the refined
Athenians and Romans of old as little better than half-reclaimed
barbarians in this respect, because they would not attend to an orator
unless he stamped and shouted, and brandished his arms about, as if he
were speaking to a pack of hounds, instead of to an assembly of rational

                  *       *       *       *       *

The travellers were so fortunate as to witness on one occasion a debate
of a peculiar kind, which is of rare occurrence, and which served to
throw light on the whole system of legislature of this singular people.
It occurred in the kingdom of Nether-London, one of the most ancient and
populous of all the states. They found a considerable excitement and
bustle prevailing, though all was orderly and decorous, on account of a
summons issued (in our phraseology, “a call of the house”) to the
members of their assembly, called in that state the parliament, to
deliberate on the question of removing a _fundamental law_. The
particular law then in question was, they found, like the Salic law of
the French, one which confined the succession to the throne to males.
But a further inquiry let them into the knowledge of matter far more
curious and interesting,—the general principle of “fundamental laws,”
which materially affects the whole of the system of legislature in the
country; being, with slight differences of detail, common to all the
states, regal and republican, and extending also to the several
ecclesiastical communities.

“The system I am about to describe to you,” said Mr. Adamson, who was
one of their principal informants on this occasion, “was established by
the Müllers; the younger of whom, during the whole of his long reign, as
it may be called, laboured earnestly and successfully to explain its
advantages, and to perpetuate its adoption. I will put into your hands
presently a little popular tract on the subject written by him, which,
like the many others he wrote, is in every one’s hands at this day. He
sets forth in that the evils resulting, on the one hand, from retaining,
or, oftener, vainly striving to retain, all laws, usages, and
institutions unaltered, some of which, even though the result originally
of consummate wisdom, may become utterly unsuitable to other times and
altered circumstances; and, on the other hand, from frequent, sudden,
and violent changes, which are apt to agitate and unsettle men’s minds,
and to lead to consequences not designed or foreseen,—like the pulling
out of one stone from a wall, which is apt to loosen some of the others.
His discussion of this subject bears much resemblance to those I lately
saw in the little book you lent me the other day, by Lord Bacon,[2] who
strikes me as a very able writer, and likely to be well worthy of the
reputation you tell me he enjoys.

Footnote 2:

  A little pocket edition of Bacon’s Essays, one of four or five small
  volumes which the travellers had brought with them to beguile any
  occasional tedious half-hour at their halting-places, or in their

“Müller goes on to say that unwise legislators have been in all ages apt
to bring on themselves, not one only, but both of these classes of
evils. Unmindful of the proverb, that “a stitch in time saves nine,”
they often, through dread of change, maintain unaltered things which
manifestly want altering, at the expense of much loss and inconvenience;
and when the change does come, from the inconvenience having grown to an
intolerable height, it is apt to be, in consequence, a violent, hasty,
and sometimes ruinous change. ‘That dirt made this dust,’ is a homely
old saying, which he used frequently to apply in speaking of such
instances, in allusion to those who in wet weather neglect to scrape off
the mud from the roads; and consequently, besides being for a long time
continually splashed and bemired, at length, when the mud is all dried
up by the sun, they are half smothered by the dust it produces. He would
always, therefore, he said, be, by choice, an _improver_, rather than a
_reformer_; introducing corrections and additions, from time to time, as
occasion offered, rather than letting a building become so inconvenient
or ruinous as to require being pulled down and rebuilt.

“A great reformation he considered as, in all cases, a great evil;
though frequently by far the least evil that circumstances admit of, and
though he had himself, accordingly, been always a strenuous supporter of
the great reformation of religion, notwithstanding the many evils
resulting, according to him, from its having been so long delayed and so
obstinately resisted. To avoid both of the opposite evils,—the liability
to sudden and violent changes, and the adherence to established usage
when inconvenient or mischievous,—to give the requisite stability to
governments and other institutions without shutting the door against
improvement,—this is a problem which both ancient and modern
legislators, he thought, had not well succeeded in solving. And the
same, it appears, may be said of those who have appeared in Europe since
his time. Some, like the ancient Medes and Persians, and like Lycurgus,
have attempted to prohibit all change; but those who constantly appeal
to the wisdom of their ancestors, as a sufficient reason for
perpetuating everything these have established, forget two things;
first, that they cannot hope for ever to persuade all successive
generations of men that there was once one generation of such infallible
wisdom as to be entitled to dictate to all their descendants for
ever,—so as to make the earth, in fact, the possession, not of the
living, but of the dead; and, secondly, that, even supposing our
ancestors gifted with such infallibility, many cases must arise in which
it may be reasonably doubted whether they themselves would not have
advocated, if living, changes called for by altered circumstances; even
as our own forefathers, who denoted the _southern_ quarter from
_meridies_ (noon), would not have been so foolish as to retain that
language had they come to live in this hemisphere, where the sun at noon
is in the north.

“The expedient of having two or more deliberative assemblies, or other
authorities, in a state, whose concurrent sanction shall be requisite
for enacting or abrogating laws, has often been resorted to, as a
safeguard against sudden and violent measures adopted under an
ebullition of feeling, yet without precluding well-weighed and
deliberate changes. This expedient he thought a very good one, as far as
it goes; it is adopted in various forms in each of our states. But it
appeared to him that experience had proved this provision to be not
alone sufficient for accomplishing fully the object he had in view,
which was to give the requisite stability to those more fundamental laws
which may be considered as part of the constitution of any state, (yet
not so as to attempt prohibiting a wary and deliberate alteration of
them,) and at the same time to afford proper facilities for introducing
changes into matters of detail.

“‘Nature,’ said he, ‘does not give the same degree of strength to the
footstalks of the leaves of a tree,—destined, as these are, to be shed
every year,—and to the roots, which are designed to hold the trunk fast
in the ground. If she did, either the one would be far too strong or the
other far too weak, or both of these inconveniences might take place at
once; yet this is the error committed by almost all governments. The
same machinery is provided to facilitate or to impede _every_ change
alike, in great or in small matters; the same mode is prescribed for the
maintaining, or abrogating, or introducing of _every_ law and _every_
institution alike. Among you, for instance, an act for regulating the
manufacture of soap, or an act which should introduce a complete change
into your constitution,—which should take away or restore the liberties
of half the nation,—must go through exactly the same forms, and be
passed or rejected by the same authorities under the same regulations:
in short, you are like a tree whose leaf-stalks and main roots have
neither more nor less toughness and stoutness the one than the other.’

“Now this is a state of things which he considered as always
inexpedient, and often dangerous, and which he accordingly proposed to
remedy. The system which he recommended, and which has been universally
adopted, is this. All our laws are divided into two classes; the
ordinary or repealable laws, and the fundamental. The former are
enacted, altered, or repealed much in the same manner as all laws of all
other nations: but a fundamental law is one which there exists no
immediate power to enact, annul, or amend; and it is forbidden by the
rules of the house to propose any measure that, even incidentally, goes
to defeat or interfere with the operation of any fundamental law. But it
is allowed to propose, and to pass, a bill for removing any fundamental
law from the list, and reducing it to an ordinary law; after which, it
is open to be dealt with like any other law. So, also, it is allowed to
pass a bill for placing any already existing ordinary law on the list of

“The enactment, therefore, or repeal of a fundamental law, may be
accomplished at _two_ steps, though not at one; but it is further
provided that these two steps shall not take place in one session of
parliament.” [He was describing the details, he said, in the terms, and
according to the usages, of the kingdom of Nether-London; having
premised that there is a substantial agreement in principle throughout
all the states on this subject.] “When it is proposed to remove a law
from the list of fundamentals, the motion made is, ‘that such and such a
law shall, _at the close of the present session_, cease to be
fundamental.’ It remains, therefore, even should the motion be carried,
and the act receive the royal assent, irrevocable during the existing
session. When, again, the reverse measure is to be proposed, of
enrolling on the list of fundamentals some existing law, an act must
have first passed, authorizing the legislature to take into
consideration, in the _ensuing_ (or some subsequent session) the
question of enrolling such and such a law.

“Lastly, another and more important safeguard against precipitancy, is
that, in the case of a motion for removing any law from the list of the
fundamentals, or adding one to that list, every member who does not vote
_for_ the motion is, by a rule of the house, reckoned, whether present
or absent, as having voted _against_ it. In other words, such a motion
can be carried only by an _absolute_ majority of the whole house, not by
a mere comparative majority of members _present_.”

Mr. Sibthorpe having interposed a remark, that there is something in the
British constitution of the nature of a fundamental law, inasmuch as it
is treason to propose the abolition of kingly government,—so that the
maintenance of that government is irrevocable till a bill shall first
have been passed for altering the laws of treason,—Mr. Adamson admitted
that this was so far on the same footing with the law he had been
describing; “but,” added he, “if any one should—which I allow is highly
improbable—propose such an alteration of the laws of treason, that
question might legally be put to the vote in as thin a house as is
competent to transact ordinary business. I think you would do well,
after introducing our last regulation as to an absolute majority, to
place some more of your laws on the same footing. Not that there would
be any occasion for saying anything about treason. With you, as with us,
it would no doubt be quite sufficient that a member should be at once
‘called to order’ if he presumed to make any motion contrary to the
rules of the house.

“You would find, I think,” he continued, “that the adoption of our
system in regard to fundamental laws would tend to promote among you
that comparative calmness and moderation which you have remarked in our
proceedings, and to mitigate the vehemence with which, by your accounts,
one set of men oppose every change, good or bad, while another seem to
be hostile to everything that is established. Those who are by temper
and habit most disposed to the dread of innovation, lest rash schemes
should be adopted, would have their apprehensions somewhat calmed by
seeing a provision made at least against any great change being
introduced with inconsiderate _haste_; and those, again, who are most
disposed to dread the perpetuation of abuses, might be moderated in
their impatient eagerness for reform, by seeing a regular path open for
the examination and remedy of anything, however consecrated by long
usage, that should appear, on mature deliberation, to be evil.

“That you would be exempt from the possibility of error, or that we are
so, it would be an absurd presumption to pretend. Our system does not
profess to make human judgment infallible; it professes only to provide
that our deliberative assemblies shall decide according to the _best_ of
their judgment, and shall neither retain nor reject anything, without a
full opportunity at least being given for the exercise of deliberate
reflection and mature discussion. To attempt more than this is mere
folly. One generation of fallible men has neither the right nor the
power to supersede for ever, by irrevocable laws, the judgment of all
future generations of their posterity; though the endeavour to do so may
delay a beneficial change, and convert it, when it does come, into a
noxious one. The will of a whole nation can no more be permanently and
effectually stopped in its course than the current of a river. If you
dam up the regular channel, you cause it first to flood the neighbouring
country, and then to work itself new and circuitous channels. You may
think yourself well off if this is the worst. Should your dam be
ultimately burst, a fierce and destructive deluge of revolutionary
violence will succeed.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The debate which the visitors witnessed, and which led to the foregoing
explanations, terminated in the removal of the law in question from the
list of fundamentals. But as the minority had been considerable, the
general expectation was, that before the next session,—in which alone
the final repeal of the law could be proposed,—a dissolution of
parliament would take place, in order that the sentiments of the people
on the subject might be fully ascertained.

                             CHAPTER VIII.

  Mode of Election of Senators—of Representatives.—Personal Votes
    and Property-Votes.—Voting by Ballot.—Eligibility of
    Candidates.—Aboriginal Blood.—Mixed Blood.—Government
    Rent.—Public Expenditure.—Unwise Economy.—Choice of

Mr. Adamson,—properly designated as the worshipful Christopher
Adamson,—being himself a member of the senate of his own state of Bath,
obtained for the strangers, as a special favour, permission to witness
the mode of election of a senator to fill up a vacancy which had just

He explained to them, that, in this particular state, the members of the
senate, or upper house, are elected by the lower house (or commons); and
that the appointment is for life, or till resignation. But though in
these particulars the constitution of this state differs from that of
several of the others, the _mode_ of election is similar to that by
which several of the public functionaries are chosen in all the states.
No personal canvassing, he informed them, is allowed in any case; nor is
it regular to ask or to promise a vote. But at the time of the election,
the president or chairman of the assembly solemnly admonishes the voters
of their obligation to divest themselves, as far as possible, of all
personal bias, and nominate such persons as they shall in their
consciences believe to be most fit. Admonitions of this kind stand in
the place of the oaths which in Europe are usually administered on such
occasions. The commons-assembly having been duly convened, each member
was directed to write down on separate slips of paper, and deliver to
the president, the names of five persons as candidates; or, not _more_
than five: for he was at liberty to write fewer; or, if he pleased, none
at all.

The president next proceeded to inspect their names, and select the five
that had the greatest number of votes. It so happened on this occasion
that there were _six_ names, of which two had each the same number of
votes. This, as Mr. Adamson explained, creates no difficulty, and only
prolongs in a trifling degree the business of the election. All six
names were put in nomination; and each member was next called on to give
his vote _against_ one of the six, by giving in a paper inscribed with
the name of the candidate he wished to have struck off the list. The one
who had the greatest number of these counter-votes being then removed
from the list, the remaining five were proposed in like manner, to have
one name struck off; and the same process was repeated till only one
remained, who was thereupon declared duly elected. For example: suppose
the five names that, in the first instance, have most votes, to be A, B,
C, D, and E, and these being put in nomination, in the counter-voting A
has the most votes against him; then B, C, D, and E are proposed in like
manner, and B is struck off by a majority of counter-votes; there remain
C, D, and E, from which, by the same process, C and D are successively
struck off: then E is the one elected.

If in any case the number of counter-votes against two of the names are
equal, and that number exceeds the votes against any other one, then
_both_ names are struck off, except it should happen that they are the
_last_ two; in which case, of course, the question is, whether D or E
shall be elected: and if on this question the numbers are equal, the
president has the casting vote.

Mr. Adamson was about to answer the inquiries of the visitors as to the
peculiar advantages proposed by this mode of election, when a blunt,
humorous-looking commoner, who sat near them, interposed, by telling
them that, in plain terms, this was the advantage; that each voter
placed his _own friend_ first, and the _best candidate_ second, and so
the best was elected in the end. Mr. Adamson replied with a smile, that,
making due allowance for satire, there was a good deal of truth in the

“It is a truth,” said he, “that has been presented to you, dressed with
vinegar alone, which you may easily suppose might fairly be tempered
with a due proportion of oil. But I will leave that to your own
reflections; only reminding you of the well-known instance of the
Grecian states discussing the respective merits of the several
commanders after the overthrow of Xerxes. Each state, it was observed,
placed _their own_ commander first on the list of merit, and allotted
the second place to Themistocles the Athenian; whence it was reasonably
inferred that Themistocles was clearly the most distinguished of all.
Now, suppose he had been candidate for a prize in some assembly in which
the Athenians were not present; he would not, you observe, have obtained
a single vote according to the direct mode of voting, while on our plan
he would have gained a decisive triumph. I have heard also of a
new-comer in some town consulting each of his neighbours as to the
choice of a physician, and fixing on the one whom most of them accounted
the second-best; each placing his own family physician first.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The travellers having inquired into the mode of appointment of the lower
house, were informed that the members are the representatives each of a
certain town or district, as in England, America, &c.; and that they are
elected for seven years at the utmost; one-seventh of the house, by lot,
going out every year, but being capable, however, of re-election.

There is, besides this, a power lodged in a certain council of state and
president,—for this state is a republic,—to dissolve the house and
appoint a general election. In all the states there is a house of
representatives, constituted substantially on the same principle. In
their designations, and in some points of detail, there are several

In the election of members all citizens have, in most of the states, a
vote, though not all _equal_ votes. Any citizen, who is unconvicted of
any crime, of sound mind, and of a certain specified age, (in the state
of Bath it is thirty-five,) is entitled to be enrolled as a voter, on
producing a certificate of his having gone through a certain course of
elementary school-learning, and attained the required proficiency. He is
then entitled to what is called a _personal vote_; _i. e._ a vote
without any reference to the amount of his property. In Bath, and some
of the other states, an individual may have conferred on him the honour
and privilege of a double or treble personal vote, in consideration of
peculiar public services or personal qualifications.

Besides this, each individual who may pay a certain _proportion_ of
taxes,—_i. e._ who may possess a certain amount of taxable property,—is
entitled, on that ground, to a _property-vote_;[3] if he has a certain
greater amount specified,—which is more, however, than double the
first,—he has a second property-vote; and so on, up to a certain limited
number. In the republic of Bath, six is the utmost number of
property-votes that one person can hold; but this varies in the several
states; the distinction of personal and property-votes, and the power of
holding more than one of the latter, are regulations common to all.

Footnote 3:

  Any property not taxable,—as, for instance, professional income,—the
  holder may, if he think fit, enroll as equivalent to so much land, and
  pay taxes accordingly, which entitles him to a corresponding number of

“This part of our system,” Mr. Adamson remarked to them, “is not so much
unlike that of Great Britain as you had at the first glance conceived:
for with you, if a man chance to have landed property in several
_different counties_, he is entitled to a vote in each; and this is
nearly equivalent to his having several votes in one county, should all
the property chance to be in that one. The anomaly is with _you_; in
giving one man more direct influence in the election of the legislature
than another, who, perhaps, has double his estate, but all within one
county. I say,” continued he, “_direct_ influence; because, indirectly,
a rich man among you does, it appears, influence his tenants, tradesmen,
and other dependents in their votes. With us, the weight which property
has, and ought to have, is allowed to operate _directly_ and _openly_:
with you, on the system of single votes, it does not.

“And accordingly you apprehend, I find, a danger in the threatened
introduction of the ballot; as tending to place the richest and poorest
on a footing of democratical equality, by taking away the indirect
influence of the one over the votes of the other. And it is remarkable
that the tendency of the ballot to produce this effect,—which is
manifestly the great _danger_ to be apprehended from it,—seems to be
_asserted_ by its advocates among you, and _denied_ by its opponents.
With us, on the contrary, there is no such consequence to be
apprehended; and, accordingly, our voting for representatives is always
by ballot. On our system, this is not only unobjectionable but highly
important; for, as the successful candidate is elected by the majority
of _votes_, while it is possible that his opponent might be supported by
a much greater number of _voters_, it would be very inexpedient to let
this be publicly displayed and recorded; as it might tend to array the
wealthier and poorer classes against each other.

“On the whole,” added he, “our system seems to be the simplest and most
effectual for preserving that principle which _must_ be maintained in
every _good_ representative system; viz. that _persons_ and _property_
should both be represented. The democrat aims at a representation of
_persons alone_; at putting on a political level those who have the
largest stake in the country, and those who have little or none. The
aristocrat (or rather, oligarchist) is for representing _property
alone_; as if the _taxes_ imposed by the legislature towards the
expenses of the state were everything, and the _life and liberty_ of
individuals, which may be affected by the laws passed, were nothing. The
true wisdom, surely, is to take _both_ into account, and to provide that
both persons and property shall be duly represented.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

In all the states but one, all persons are eligible to a seat in the
lower house,—that of representatives,—who possess certain property and
personal qualifications. In that one,—the kingdom of Upper-London, a
small state, which was separated, above a hundred years since, from that
of Nether-London,—a sort of hereditary restriction exists, which, at the
first glance, appeared to the travellers exceedingly whimsical. No one
is eligible to their commons’ assembly who is not descended, or married
to one who is, from both blacks and whites.

The origin of the regulation was this:—Before the state was separated,
the district which constitutes its present territory was occupied by a
considerable proportion of blacks, viz. the descendants of the allied
and reclaimed aboriginals formerly described. It was observed by the
then king of Nether-London, (then called New-London,) that the whites of
pure blood were beginning to hold aloof, not only from the blacks, but
from those of mixed breed, and to disdain associating with them on equal
terms, however personally deserving. To remedy this state of things, and
prevent a mutual alienation between two sets of fellow-citizens, the
king,—who seems to have inherited something of the eccentric, original,
and daring character of the younger Müller, from a daughter of whom he
was descended,—devised the plan, which, with the concurrence of the
legislature, he carried into effect, for constituting this district—a
thriving and, in other respects, promising one—into a distinct state,
under some peculiar regulations.

A brother of his own was appointed the first king of it,—whose wife is
said to have been a lady of beauty and accomplishments, though she had a
slight mixture of aboriginal blood. Inducements were held out to several
of the most respectable and intelligent persons in various states who
were of mixed race, to come and settle in the new kingdom. Some of the
ablest of these,—who, by the bye, are said to have had a considerable
over-proportion of European blood in their veins,—together with others
of purely white race, were nominated as the original senate (or upper
house); and the lower house was, by a fundamental law, to consist
exclusively, and for ever, of persons of mixed race, or who are married
to such. And, to this day, no one is eligible who cannot prove his
descent, or his wife’s, from blacks and whites.

This, however, is easily done at present; for the descent may be ever so
remote, the mixture ever so unequal. Every one, therefore, is eligible,
of whom any ancestor has been enrolled as such. There are, accordingly,
many members of the house who, perhaps, have not above ¹⁄₁₆ or ¹⁄₃₂ of
aboriginal blood; and, indeed, most of the population are at present not
very dissimilar from Europeans in feature and complexion, and yet are
qualified, as far as the above rule is concerned, for a seat in the

The plan was at first laughed at, as whimsical, by many of the
Southlanders themselves; but the expediency of it in promoting mutual
respect and speedy amalgamation between the two races, who were thus
_both alike excluded_ from an important branch of the legislature, was
so apparent, and the joke was so good-humouredly joined in by those who
were the objects of it, that the laughter was soon divested of all
bitterness. The satirists had suggested, as a symbol for the new state,
two swans,—an Australian black swan (Cygnus ater) and white
European,—lovingly entwining their necks: on which the Upper-Londoners
immediately adopted this as the arms of the kingdom; and so it remains
to this day, with the motto of “Nimium ne crede colori.” The state,
though one of the smaller ones, (its population about two hundred and
fifty thousand,) is prosperous, and its citizens respectable,
intelligent, and polite.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In most of the states, there are few or no considerable taxes, except a
land tax; and in many of them even this is not heavy, from the
government being in possession of considerable tracts of land, which in
some instances have become very valuable from having been covered with
buildings, wharfs, &c. [The word “tax” is used as best conveying to
English ears the sense intended. They themselves call it
“government-_rent_;” for they consider the state as alone holding what
we call the fee-simple of all land, which it assigns to individuals,
either for terms of years at a stipulated rent, or in perpetuity,
subject to what we should call a land-tax.]

On the whole, Mr. Sibthorpe is of opinion, that, taking into
consideration the very small military (and, of course, no naval)
establishments, and also the comparative wealth of these and the
European states, the government revenues are proportionably greater in
the Southland states than in those of Europe,—the revenue that is
actually _expended in the public service_ each year; for he does not
take into account, as a part of our revenue, the enormous sum annually
paid as interest on the national debt. These states having happily been
exempt from the prodigal expenditure of wars, have no national debt.
Their public expenditure is, however, what we should be apt to call
profuse in the payment of public functionaries. All are paid, even the
representatives; and to most offices is attached, besides what may be
considered an ample salary in reference to the prevailing style of
living, a comfortable retiring pension: sinecures however, strictly so
called,—_i. e._ payments for _no_ services, either present or
_past_,—are not known. When the more frugal system, in reference to this
point, that prevails among us, was described to them, and also the
prevailing clamour for still further reductions on that head, they gave
it as their opinion that there could not be money worse saved, and that
is must be a great wonder if we were well governed.

“The natural tendency,” they urged, “of a system of _frugal_ government
in this sense, is, to obtain a worse commodity. Try the experiment,”
they said, “of being frugal to your physicians, and reduce their fees to
half-crowns, and you will have a half-crown’s worth of skill instead of
a guinea’s worth. You will still have plenty of physicians, but we
should not like to be under their hands. While a man of talents and
character, with a liberal education and industry, can realize a handsome
and secure income in some of your learned professions, you cannot expect
him, especially if he have a family to provide for, and but little
private fortune, to give up a lucrative employment, and devote himself
to the labours of political life, either gratuitously, or with an
uncertain recompense in view. He will either keep aloof from public
business, or will bestow on it a hurried, divided, and secondary
attention. Thus, political business, and ultimately political power, is
thrown into the hands of one or both of two classes of men:—those of
_large estates_; and _adventurers_,—men, who, for want of character, or
of steady application, are not succeeding in any reputable and lucrative
profession, and therefore see nothing better to do than to take their
chance in the profession—an ill-paid and precarious one, as it seems to
be among you—of politics.

“Many persons of both these classes, among you, may, we doubt not, be
possessed of high qualifications; but it seems evident that with so
large a total number as you possess of educated and intelligent gentry,
you practically limit your choice to a very small proportion of them for
persons to conduct public affairs; and these affairs, therefore, we
should expect to find conducted, if not ill, yet by no means so well as
they might be. We should expect to find the department of government—one
of such paramount importance—not so well filled as many subordinate
departments; and that there would be among you a larger proportionate
number of highly qualified legal, military, and naval men, for instance,
of engineers, artisans, &c. than of statesmen.

“You are to observe,” they added, “that we are only throwing out our
_conjectures_: we are ready and willing to stand corrected. You must
know how the matter of fact stands; which may perhaps be at variance
with our anticipations, through the operation of some causes we are not
aware of. But we lay before you our notions and expectations, as the
thought strikes ourselves.”

[There follows here, in the memoranda of the travellers, the
explanations they gave, in answer to the foregoing remarks, of our
institutions and usages,—the reasons by which they are vindicated,—and
the practical working of them. But all this, though of course most
interesting to the persons to whom it was addressed, would probably not
be so to our readers, who must of course be familiar with discussions
relative to our own institutions and customs, and curious rather to
learn particulars concerning those of a strange nation, however
unreasonable and whimsical their novelty may cause them to appear. For
this reason, we have, in several other places as well as here, omitted
much that we find recorded of the descriptions and discussions laid
before the Southlanders by their guests; inserting only what was
necessary to make their descriptions intelligible.]

                              CHAPTER IX.

  Prediction Office.—Prophecies.—Useful Register.—Political
    Bustlers.—Disposal of Land.—Rents.—Laws of Tenantry.—Government

Among the other political curiosities, as they may be called, which came
to the knowledge of the travellers, was a most whimsical institution,
existing in several of the states, called a “prediction office;” viz. an
establishment consisting of two or three inspectors and a few clerks,
appointed to receive from any one, on payment of a trifling fee, any
sealed-up _prediction_, to be opened at a time specified by the party
himself. His name is to be signed to the prediction _within_; and on the
outer cover is inscribed the date of its delivery, and the time when the
seal is to be broken. There is no pretence made to supernatural
prophetic powers; only, to supposed political sagacity.

At stated times, the inspectors break the seal of those papers whose
term is elapsed, and examine the contents. In a great majority of cases,
as might be expected, these predictions turn out either false, nugatory,
or undecided: false, if contradicted by events; nugatory, if containing
nothing but what had been naturally and generally anticipated by
all,—like our almanacks, which foretell showers in April, heat in
summer, and cold in winter; or undecided, when proceeding hypothetically
on some _condition_ which does not take place,—as when a man foretells
that _if_ such a measure be adopted, so and so will ensue; if then the
measure is _not_ adopted, the prediction remains undecided. But here and
there a case occurs in which a man has foretold truly something not
generally expected, and the foreseeing of which evinces, accordingly,
more or less of sagacity. In such a case he is summoned to receive an
honourable certificate to that effect. And the travellers were assured
that some of their most eminent men, who afterwards attained to offices
of dignity and trust, had been first called into notice from obscurity
by means of this office. The other predictions are kept and registered,
but not made public, except when the author of any of them is named as a
candidate for any public office.

Previously to any such appointment, the inspectors are bound to look
over their register, and produce, as a set-off against a candidate’s
claims, any unsuccessful prediction he may have sent in. “Oh that he
were here,” exclaims Mr. Sibthorpe, “‘to write me down an ass!’ Many a
man there is to whom we have committed important public trusts, who, if
such an institution had existed among us, would be found to have
formally recorded, under the influence of self-conceit, his own
incapacity.” He seems to consider this portion of the effects of the
plan as hardly less useful than the other,—the establishment of the
claims of some to superior foresight.

“There is,” he adds, “among our political bustlers usually a great
squabble when any event takes place on the question, whether any one,
and who, may claim the honour of having foreseen it; and ill-founded
claims are often admitted. Moreover, a prediction publicly uttered will
often have had, or be supposed to have had, a great share in bringing
about its own fulfilment. He who gives out, for instance, that the
people will certainly be dissatisfied with such and such a law, is, in
this, doing his utmost to _make_ them dissatisfied. And this being the
case in all unfavourable, as well as favourable, predictions, some men
lose their deserved credit for political sagacity through their fear of
contributing to produce the evils they apprehend; while others, again,
do contribute to evil results by their incapacity to keep their
anticipations locked up in their own bosoms, and by their dread of not
obtaining deserved credit. For such men, this office,” says he,
“provides a relief like that which the servant of King Midas found by
telling his secret to the hole he dug in the ground; only there are here
no whispering reeds to divulge it.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The mode in which the states that have considerable tracts of uncleared
land in their territory usually dispose of these from time to time,
struck the travellers as judicious and simple. When, from increasing
population, a demand arises for a fresh portion of land requiring to be
cleared and brought into cultivation, each person who desires to become
a settler rents from the state (which, as has been before observed, is
always held to be the sole proprietor in fee-simple of its whole
territory,) a suitable allotment, at a rent which is always very small,
and often merely nominal. He obtains a lease of this for a term of
years,—commonly twenty-one,—either at this nominal rent for the whole
term, or with a trifling increase for the last seven or fourteen years
of it. At the end of the term, it is _divided_ between him and the
state; part being made over to him in perpetuity, (subject to the
general land-tax, or government-rent, as it is called,) and the other
part reverting to the state. The proportions vary according as the
expenses of reclaiming the land are greater or less. If the requisite
outlay is considerable, the settler retains, perhaps, two-thirds, or
even three-fourths, of the allotment; if the reverse, his share will be
half, or one-third. In all cases, the proportions in which it is to be
divided are a matter of express agreement previously to his first
entering on the farm. Then, in order to secure a fair division of the
land in respect of _quality_,—that the more fertile and the poorer land,
the more and the less improved, may be duly apportioned,—recourse is had
to the obvious plan of “one to divide and the other to choose.”

Suppose, for instance, the tenant is to be entitled by his contract to
one-half; then, at the end of his term, he divides his holding into
any two portions, at his pleasure, and gives notice to the
state-surveyors, who, after due inspection, assign one of them
(whichever they please) to him. Besides this, however, it is very
often made a separate point of special agreement in the first
instance, that, at the end of his term, he shall have the option of
obtaining, at an advantageous rate, a lease for a further term of the
portion assigned to the state. He is to be allowed to hold it at a
rent below the market price. No _definite sum_, however, is fixed, and
the land is offered to the highest bidder; but the tenant who shall
have made such a contract as has been just alluded to, is to have a
certain _portion of his rent remitted_,—suppose 20, 30, or 40 per
cent. according to the agreement. He is thus enabled,—supposing all
parties to agree in their calculations of the land,—to outbid the
rest. Suppose A. to be the former tenant, and that the bidders for the
land do not offer quite so much as one hundred pounds rent for it, and
that he is under agreement to have twenty per cent. remitted; if he
then thinks the land worth eighty pounds, he may bid one hundred
pounds, and will be the successful competitor. But should A. not think
it worth while to pay so much as eighty pounds, while B. is willing to
pay one hundred pounds, then B. obtains it. Any bidder, to whom the
land is knocked down, forfeits a certain deposit in the event of his
not completing the bargain.

This mode of procedure it was found necessary to introduce on account of
the great and unexpected alterations in the value of land, which, in a
new settlement especially, may take place by means of new towns, roads,
and other improvements. A certain _proportion_ of the market price,
therefore, was fixed on, instead of a certain _definite sum_, as a more
equitable mode of adjusting the amount of the advantage agreed for.

All rents, whether for lands or houses, and whether from a tenant of the
state or of an individual, are payable a year _in advance_; in other
words, are payable, not for the year that is _past_, but for the year
that is to come.

[The rent, in short, is like the purchase-money of an estate, which is
to be paid _before_ the title-deeds are delivered and the possession

In like manner, with them, rent is the _purchase-money_ of the house or
land _for one year_; and the tenant has no claim upon it till that is
paid. Rent, accordingly, is not recoverable or claimable as a _debt_;
nor is there any such thing as distraining. It is, in fact, no debt; but
at the end of the year, if the rent, or rather purchase-money, for the
_ensuing_ year have not been paid, the occupier ceases to have any
interest in the land, and is exactly in the situation of a tenant whose
lease has expired. If, however, he has _agreed_ to take the house or
land at a certain annual rent for a term of years, and fails to fulfil
the engagement, he may be sued for a breach of contract, and, as in the
case of any other breach of contract, will have to pay damages according
to the circumstance of the case.

The travellers suggested, on this being first described, that it must be
an inconvenience to a farmer to pay a sum of money out of his capital
before he has got anything from his land. But they learned that, to
prevent this, it is customary to let a farm for a term of years, and to
fix the rent for the _first_ year (to a new tenant) at a mere nominal
sum. “At the end of each year, therefore,” said they, “we have our rents
coming in, just as you have in England; and if (as you say is common in
England) the same tenant and his family continue to renew from time to
time, the landlord is just in the same situation in both countries.

“It is only when there is occasion to get rid of a bad tenant, and put
in a new one, that there need be any difference; and when that is the
case, your landlord is not, by your account, always better off than
ours; but, on the contrary, sometimes loses _more_ than _one_ year’s
rent, and incurs a great deal of trouble and law-expense besides.”

New settlers, becoming government-tenants under the arrangement above
described, are sometimes in want of sufficient capital for the requisite
improvements, especially irrigation, which is conducted on a great
scale. In such cases, the state often advances a loan at moderate
interest, secured on the land that is to be the tenant’s portion at the
end of his term.

There are no usury laws in the country; every one lets either his land,
his money, or any other property, on whatever terms the parties agree

                               CHAPTER X.

  An Arrest.—Criminal Jurisprudence.—Jurymen.—Qualification
    of Jurors.—Syndics.—Royal Privilege.—Proceedings in
    Court.—Witnesses.—The Verdict.—Unanimity in Juries.—Decision of the
    Judge.—Prevarication.—Oaths.—False Witnesses.—Inconsistency in
    requiring Oaths.—Public Opinion.—Marriage.—Succession to the Crown.

While the travellers were in conversation with their new friends, a
crowd was observed passing through the streets, as if some circumstance
of interest had just occurred. On inquiry, it turned out, that one of
the people had been arrested on rather an important charge, and that the
proper officers were leading him off in custody. The travellers were
very much struck by the demeanour of the people, which seemed to
indicate respect for the authorities, and, at the same time, a delicacy
of feeling towards the individual who was arrested, though not yet
proved guilty. They became naturally curious to obtain information
concerning their criminal jurisprudence, their mode of trial and of

Mr. Adamson observed, that though any of the company present would be
competent to detail to him the particulars of their practice, because it
was held a general duty for every respectable person to have a knowledge
of this kind; yet that as one of their judges, Sir Peter, was present in
the room, it would be, perhaps, more satisfactory that they should seek
the information from him. Accordingly, on being introduced to him, they
started the subject by saying they were anxious to know whether the
Southlanders had retained the trial by jury, as it was practised in
England. He replied, that the first settlers had retained the usage in
this respect with which they had been familiar; but that, as the
settlement advanced, they found it expedient to adopt some modifications
of it, which they regarded as very important. These modifications
related, he said, chiefly to the selection of jurors, or, as they were
termed in the settlement, syndics, and also to the degree in which
unanimity was requisite for a verdict. “Our judges,” he said, “found
speedily that all men, even in the same rank of life, were not equally
to be entrusted with this important function; and also, that requiring
perfect unanimity was frequently the cause, either that no verdict was
arrived at, or a wrong one,—sometimes, even against the opinion of the

“These inconveniences,” he said, “did not develope themselves for a
considerable period. On our first settlement, when the minds of the
people were chiefly occupied in providing for their daily wants, we
found that the intelligence of each man might be very safely measured by
the successfulness of his industry; and we allowed our jurymen to be
selected indiscriminately from amongst those who were able to support
themselves creditably by their own exertions. But we found,
subsequently, that successful industry was not always accompanied by
that intelligence and sagacity which would enable men to decide on the
merits of conflicting evidence.

“We have instituted, therefore, an examination for the purpose of
ascertaining fitness. As each man becomes of age, he may, if he thinks
himself prepared, submit himself to the assembled judges, who question
him with regard to the laws of evidence; and, if they are satisfied both
as to his intelligence and moral character, he is marked as a person
capable of discharging this function.”

The English travellers replied with a smile, that few in England would
be found, probably, to submit themselves to such an examination; that,
though they prided themselves as a nation upon the possession of the
right to trial by jury, yet that each man considered the office as a
burthen, which he was anxious to roll over upon his neighbour, as
interfering with the employment of his time; and that this feeling would
certainly be strengthened if an examination were required.

“We,” said Mr. Benson, “have established an order of syndics; and it is
considered honourable to be enrolled amongst the number. We have
conferred certain privileges on the order; for instance, while we give
to every man who has not been disqualified by crime a right to one vote
in the selection of parliamentary representatives, we give three votes
to each syndic; and this in addition to the increased number of votes
which he may have arising from the manner in which we have graduated
property. This latter circumstance has, however, nothing to do with the
matter in question. What I wish you to remark now is, that we regard any
man of sufficient intelligence to be a syndic, as entitled on that
account to exercise a greater influence than others in the selection of
those who are to frame our laws.”

On being asked whether the examination was really strict, Sir Peter
answered that the strictness of course varied with the dispositions and
sense of duty possessed by the existing judges; but that rejection was a
very common occurrence. If this proceeded from moral objection, it was
exceedingly difficult for the person to gain admission afterwards; this
could only be effected by very conspicuous and continued good conduct.
If, however, the rejection arose from a want merely of adequate
knowledge, the individual was always at liberty to submit himself freely
for re-examination, when in his own judgment he had acquired it. It was
not considered creditable for any syndic to give his daughter in
marriage to any one who was not enrolled with himself in the rank of the
intelligent. Thus, he said, public opinion has conspired with civil
privileges to render it important to each man to acquire this rank.

On being asked whether the number of syndics was considerable, he
replied that it was, and that it was found by the periodical census that
it was bearing an increasing proportion to the number of citizens
generally; that they regarded this, in fact, as one of the tests of
increasing civilization,—more especially because their experience proved
that the examination became more strict and enlarged, according as the
general intelligence of the country was increased. Persons would be
rejected now, who, some years back, would have been, on the same
acquirements, sure of admission.

“I am describing to you, however,” he said, “the regulations which
prevail in this particular state. In the other states in union with us,
many variations may be observed, though all agree in selecting syndics
by examination. The number of votes, for instance, given to a syndic, as
such, is different in different states. Again, in some states, the
number of syndics is not left indefinite, as with us, but is limited.”

Sir Peter went on to observe, that the names of all the syndics were
regularly arranged on rolls, each of which, in this particular state,
contained not less than one hundred and twenty names. These rolls, a day
or two before the commencement of the assizes, were presented to the
judge, who drew from them a certain number by lot. The persons so drawn
were then summoned to attend the court; and when any cause was entered
upon for trial, the plaintiff and defendant were each allowed to assign
some rule according to which triers should be taken from the roll of
attendants summoned for that day,—as, for instance, every third or fifth
or tenth individual, commencing from the top or bottom of the list, till
the number of twelve was completed. “Thus,” he said, “having taken
precaution that none but men of intelligence should have their names
enrolled, we must be careful that all packing of juries shall be out of
the question. Neither of the interested parties can influence, either
directly or indirectly, the selection of those who have to try the

In those states which have a regal (or _quasi_-regal) form of
government, the sovereign has, as with us, the privilege of pardoning
criminals, but with one exception; attempts on the life of the sovereign
himself cannot receive the royal pardon, except through the means of an
address to the throne from the whole legislative body.

“It is,” say they, “very indelicate at least, to let the king be placed
in so invidious a situation as that of having to decide on the fate of
one who assailed his life.”

“And now,” said Sir Peter, “having given you such preliminary
information as you could not obtain by merely attending our courts, I
would propose to you to defer any further enquiries respecting our modes
of trial. These you can best judge of by actually witnessing them for
yourselves. Come with me to-morrow: I will take care that you shall have
a convenient seat. Observe narrowly for yourselves, and, when the
business of the day is over, put any questions you please to me on any
point in which you perceive our customs differ from yours, and I will
explain to you our reasons for such changes.”

The travellers thankfully availed themselves of this offer; and next
morning, accordingly, they accompanied Sir Peter to the court.
Immediately on his taking his seat, general silence was proclaimed, when
the regular officer read from a paper the character of the suit to be
tried, the names of the parties, and of the witnesses whom each party
had summoned to give evidence. The witnesses were then called forward,
and placed under the care of an officer, whom they accompanied out of
court. Sir Peter whispered to the travellers, that in no case did they
permit one witness to hear the testimony given by another.

The jury were then selected in the manner already pointed out by Mr.
Benson on the previous evening. On their taking their seats the trial
immediately proceeded; but, as the travellers were surprised to observe,
without any administration of oaths. They remarked also, as each witness
was called, it was stated whether he was a syndic or not. In case he was
a syndic, the examination proceeded at once; but when a witness not a
syndic was called upon, the judge urged on him, in a brief but solemn
manner, to remember, in giving his testimony, that his thoughts and
words were known to the Searcher of hearts.

As each witness concluded his evidence, the judge asked the opinion of
the triers as to whether that witness had shown a wish to prevaricate.
In one instance it happened that an affirmative answer was returned,
when the witness was immediately given over to the custody of an
attending officer.

When the evidence had been all heard, and commented on by counsel, the
names of the twelve triers were written on slips of paper, and four
names were drawn by lot. The four triers who answered to these names
were then separated from the rest, and the judge required them to
declare their decision within half an hour. They were then allowed to

Before the termination of the allotted time they returned into court,
and declared that they were agreed. In one, however, of the trials which
subsequently took place, it happened that, at the end of the half-hour,
they announced that the votes were divided. Four names of the remaining
triers were then selected by lot, as before; and the judge informed them
that he would expect their decision in twenty minutes.

At the expiration of the time they came forward, and pronounced a
decision in favour of the defendant. They were then called upon to state
whether, in their opinion, any witness had given testimony which he must
have known to be false. They replied, none. The witness charged with
prevarication was then called forward, and allowed to plead what he
thought fit in his own defence. He failed to clear himself; and
thereupon, having been very solemnly reprimanded by the judge, was
declared suspended for a twelvemonth from exercising any vote for a
representative, or holding any civil employment during that time.

The travellers remained in court, on this and some subsequent days, to
witness other trials, and perceived that the same process was gone
through, with such variations in the results as might be expected. They
remarked, for instance, that one witness, who was a syndic, was declared
guilty of prevarication, and that he was instantly pronounced to be
degraded from this office for ever; but it did not happen during three
days that the triers denounced any witness as having been guilty of
deliberate falsehood.

On joining Sir Peter in the evening of the last day, the travellers
observed to him that they had been very much pleased with the orderly
arrangements of the court, and the quiet attention of the spectators.
“We need scarcely,” they observed, “make any remarks with respect to
your not requiring unanimity in your juries. The inconvenience of this
requisition has been fully acknowledged amongst ourselves, though our
practice has been suffered to remain unchanged. We hope, indeed, that
our poet goes too far in saying that ‘wretches hang, that jurymen may
dine!’ Still, a suspicion even that this, or, more probably, the
converse may be the case, is very injurious to the respect which ought
to be entertained for legal decisions. And we must admit, also, we have
heard of one juryman complaining that no verdict was arrived at because
he was associated with eleven obstinate men who would not agree to his
opinion. We strongly suspect, therefore, that you are justified in the
change which you have made. We would wish to know, however, whether it
does not sometimes happen that the discrepancy of opinion, which we
perceived to have occurred on one occasion in the first section of your
jury, may not take place also in the second, and even in the third.
Amongst us, when a discrepancy of this kind takes place, the only remedy
we have discovered is to throw as much punishment and ridicule as we can
upon the whole jury. We lock them up for as long a time as their
constitutions can endure without actual loss of life; and when our judge
is leaving the county, we order that the jury shall be placed in a cart,
and drawn out after the judge to the boundaries of the district. This
certainly does not remedy the evil arising from want of unanimity in the
particular case; but it may operate upon the minds of jurors in other
cases, and induce each of them to yield somewhat of his own opinion, not
always to the majority or the wisest, but to the most stubborn.”

“If this yielding, however,” said Sir Peter, “proceeded, not from
conviction, but from fear of punishment and ridicule, it may be doubted
at least whether your juries are always, in point of fact, unanimous in
their verdicts. Many of your jurors may have a strong suspicion, at
least, that the verdict should be in some respects different from that
which is actually returned. When no verdict has been given in, the
public are aware that there was a difference of opinion amongst the
jury; but when they do deliver a verdict, it cannot be concluded, in
every case, that there was even ultimately an unanimity. We think it
better that every man should be left free, after having heard the
opinions of others, and consulted with them, to declare what was his own
ultimate conviction.”

“But supposing,” the travellers said, “that no decision is come to by
the jury after the third attempt, have you made any provision to meet
this difficulty?”

“In that case,” said Sir Peter, “the judge decides, as we think he
fairly might. Where the contest is about property, we conceive it better
that a positive decision should be arrived at rather than that the
matter should be left doubtful. We give then, however, a power of appeal
to twelve judges, who examine the evidence, and ultimately decide. In a
criminal trial we give an absolute power of decision to the judge,
leaving him however at liberty if he pleases to pronounce a verdict
merely of Not proved; in which case, this verdict is recorded against
the supposed culprit, as affecting his character in case of any
subsequent charge against him.”

“We strongly suspect,” said the English travellers, “that you are right
in this part of your practice; but,” added they with a smile, “you have
taken us by surprise in one respect; we did not know you had adopted the
opinion of the Quakers we were describing to you,—that oaths were
forbidden by the Christian religion.”

“We have adopted their practice,” said Sir Peter, “but not their
principles. We do not conceive oaths unlawful, but inexpedient.”

The travellers said, “We perceive you have a substitute for oaths, as
far as witnesses are concerned, because you make the triers pronounce as
to whether any has been in their opinion guilty of prevarication, while
his testimony is still fresh in their recollections: and we also
observed that, when the whole trial is over, the triers are called on to
decide whether any witness has been in their opinion guilty of perjury.
We suppose,” they observed, “that you have a punishment when an
affirmative answer is returned?”

“We make the punishment,” said Mr. Benson, “proportioned to the effect
which would have been produced by his testimony, supposing it to have
been believed true. In all cases, of course, he forfeits office and
civil privileges, as a person unworthy of their exercise; and, in some
cases, he is fined heavily, or his property is made to pass on to his
heir, as if he himself were dead. He may be sentenced, again, to
imprisonment and hard labour, or even to death, should his testimony
have endangered the life of another.”

“We think,” said the travellers, “that this is certainly capable of
securing truth fully as much, and even more than can be effected by an
oath; for many will shun falsehood, through fear of detection, who would
not scruple to break an oath. But,” they said, “the decision of your
juries would appear to us more to be relied on if that decision was
given under the sanction of an oath.”

“We doubt it,” said Mr. Benson, “and we strongly suspect that you do not
really differ from us in opinion, though you do in practice; because in
the case of Quakers and others, who are exempted from the legal
necessity of taking an oath, you are in the habit of relying fully as
much on their testimony as if they had taken an oath. Now this does not
happen, I believe, from your thinking more highly of Quakers than of
others, but from your conviction that oaths do not supply any real
security. To us, however, it appears that oaths proceed altogether on an
erroneous principle. It looks as if you thought that God would not
attend to perjury, unless his attention were specially called to the
matter. And this is to think as the savages do, who conceive their gods
are often asleep or on a journey, and that they notice nothing except so
far as they are solicited.”

“But would not your principle,” said the English travellers, “equally
militate against prayer of any kind; because God must know our wants,
whether we supplicate him or not?”

“True,” replied the other; “he knows our wants, but not our humble
applications to him for aid, unless we make such application. Now it is
to our prayers, not to our wants, that his gifts are promised. He does
not say ‘Need, and ye shall have; want, and ye shall find;’ but ‘Ask,
and ye shall have; seek, and ye shall find.’ In the case of false
witness, it is otherwise. God will punish the perjurer, in another world
at least, whether he calls upon him to do so or not. Of this every man
should be reminded whenever he is called upon solemnly to speak truth.
Your practice,” he added, “of requiring an oath in each case, arose at
that period when it was supposed that God would always interfere by a
special judgment. You have given this up as far as trial by single
combat is concerned; but you have retained what grew out of the same
persuasions, though, in point of fact, you as little believe your
principles in this case as in the former. Trial by jury, your great
boast, is, as practised by you, a remnant of the superstitious ordeal of
your barbarian ancestors. But the strangest part of all is, that, while
you require oaths, you proclaim at the same time your belief that every
man is ready to perjure himself if he has the smallest pecuniary
interest in doing so. Thus, for instance, you do not admit the
testimony, even on oath, of any man who may gain or lose a shilling in
consequence of his testimony. It is not a bare suspicion that he _may_
bear false witness, and a consequent _abatement_ of confidence in his
testimony, but a full confidence that he _will_ be ready to perjure
himself, and a total _exclusion_ of his testimony.

“Again, you appear to us to think that oaths may _wear out_; and you
therefore renew them from time to time. When a man is appointed to some
situation, you compel him to take certain oaths. Should he continue to
hold the same situation, all is well; but if he has so distinguished
himself as to be noticed by his superiors, and promoted to a higher
office,—as, for instance, when a clergyman is transferred from a curacy,
or from an inferior to a better parish,—instantly he seems to fall under
the suspicion of the law, and a renewal of his oaths is exacted from

“All this,” he said, “appears to us not only unnecessary, but even
calculated to weaken the general sense of public duty. To require an
oath in _any_ case, is to confess an expectation that men, when not
under this obligation, are likely to tell falsehoods: to require an oath
on being invested with office, is to state that society does not expect
men to perform duties from any sense of their importance, or any
obligation arising out of the trust reposed in the individuals, but from
a principle of a distinct and different kind. Now, to proclaim such an
opinion, has, we think, a strong tendency to make it true. We should
apprehend, at least, that in all cases (and, I may add, on all points)
when no oaths are required, there would be a less active and
conscientious discharge of duties, because the only acknowledged and
legally recognised ground of obligation does not exist; just as the
oaths of witnesses tend to produce a disregard of veracity in ordinary
transactions. This would be the natural result. But, we must say, from
what we have observed of your characters, and from many things you have
mentioned to us, that you have impressed us with the belief that much
public spirit exists amongst you in spite of your system. We apprehend,
in fact, that public opinion amongst you is, in many respects, in
advance of your legal code. But we should like to know your own opinion.
Do you conceive, in general, that those who hold such employments as are
guarded by oaths perform their duties _in consequence_ of the oath, or
because they conceive that integrity and due attention are right for
their own sakes?”

The travellers replied they were of opinion that most men acted from the
latter feeling, and that the oath seldom recurred to the memory of any.
“In fact,” they said, “most persons amongst us would hold themselves
affronted if they were told that they were trusted in any particular,
not on account of their general reputation and their own sense of
rectitude, but because they had taken an oath.”

“We are anxious,” said Sir Peter, “that law should throw no obstacles in
the growth of the feelings you describe, and we therefore exact, not
only no promissory oaths, but no promises to perform duties. Of course
we allow, and legally enforce, contracts in all cases, when any
individual consents to do something he was otherwise not bound to, in
consideration of a promise made to him by another; as, for instance,
when he lets him land in consequence of a stipulated rent. Promises of
this kind are committed to writing, and legally enforced. Or, to take a
more important case—marriage. Here the parties enter upon a new course
of life, in consequence of an engagement which each makes to the other:
we enforce, therefore, by law the fulfilment of that engagement.”

The English travellers asked with a smile, “Do you always find _that_
engagement fulfilled in its spirit? Does your contract secure in all
cases mutual kindness and good temper?”

“That,” said Sir Peter, “is beyond the reach of civil law. As far as the
civil rights of either party, or of their children, are concerned, we
enforce them by a civil contract, undertaken in the presence of civil
magistrates. Here the power of the law stops. But we recommend, and
public opinion sanctions our recommendation, that every church should
add a religious ceremony; not for the purpose of enforcing the civil
obligation, for that we make a matter of the civil law, but for the
purpose of impressing the minds of both parties with a due sense of the
moral obligations they undertake. The forbearance and mutual kindness
essential for happiness in the marriage state are the fruits, not of
civil contract, (since they are not of a nature to be enforced by
coercion,) but of moral principle; and our opinion is, that this should
be strengthened by whatever religious service each church may consider
most impressive.

“Thus, again, we have no coronation oath. When our king dies, his heir
immediately succeeds as a matter of course, and with the full knowledge
that he is under an obligation to govern according to the prescribed
constitution. So far our customs are like your own. Amongst you,
however, after the king has actually entered upon his office, and not
unfrequently in some considerable time after, you exact of him an oath.
This seems to us very like constituting two different kinds of regal
government, namely that of an uncrowned and of a crowned king.”

The English travellers replied, that they regarded the power and duty of
the king as precisely the same previously and subsequently to his
coronation oath.

“We know that,” said Sir Peter; “and we therefore conclude that you
yourselves do not regard the oath as of the least importance.”

                              CHAPTER XI.

  Punishment awarded to Criminals.—Capital Punishments.—Plea of
    Insanity.—Penitentiaries.—Houses of Correction.—Improvement in
    Laws.—Periodical Publications.—Editors of Newspapers.—State of

The travellers proceeded to ask some further questions, which had been
suggested to them by what they had observed in the course of the trials
they had witnessed.

“We perceived,” said they, “that the punishment most frequently awarded
was that of confinement in a penitentiary; instead, however, of naming
the period of confinement, it was generally announced that the terms of
confinement would be determined subsequently. We wish to know the reason
of this procedure.”

“We do not,” replied Sir Peter, “in most cases regulate the confinement
by time, but in another way. We require that each man should perform a
certain quantity of daily labour, as a compensation—though, of course,
often a very inadequate one—for his maintenance; and whatever he can
earn above this, is placed in a bank for him. Each man is sentenced to
earn a sum, regulated according to his trade, state of health, and other
circumstances. When he has earned this sum, he is set at liberty. We
think this has a double advantage: it encourages him to labour, because
he is made aware that his own industry will affect the period of his
confinement; and this has a tendency to create in him a permanent habit
of industry. Again, the sum of money he has earned being given to him
when released, he is not thrown on the world as a pauper, exposed by his
very destitution to fresh temptation, but has the means of carrying on
some species of industry.

“We have also as a punishment _secret_ branding (usually on the back),
performed in the way of tattooing, as your sailors do. Every culprit is
examined as to whether he had been thus branded; in which case, the
punishment for any subsequent crime is always the more severe. At the
same time, as the brand is secret, the individual is not exposed on that
account to the scoffs of his neighbours, which might make him regardless
of character and produce a hardness of disposition. These are our most
ordinary punishments.

“In case of murder, however, and some few other crimes, we resort to
capital punishments. This is restricted, as I have intimated, to very
few species of delinquency; but when those are perpetrated, the
punishment of death is rigidly enforced and speedily inflicted. In any
punishment prompt execution adds greatly to the terror; but in this more
particularly, because death, _some time or other_, is a sentence passed
by nature upon all men.”

[Here occurs, as a marginal note to Mr. Sibthorpe’s memoranda, a
quotation from Shakspeare’s dialogue of Pistol and Fluellin:—

_Pistol._—Base caitiff! _thou shalt die_.

_Fluellin._—You say fery true, scald knave, _when Cot’s coot pleasure

The infliction of all punishments, including capital, is private; that
is, is in the presence only of certain official persons, appointed to
witness and certify the due execution of the sentence. The travellers
could not but acknowledge the brutalising and noxiously hardening
effects of our public executions.

“To show you the strictness,” observed Sir Peter, “with which our penal
code is administered, I must mention to you that we do not allow the
plea of insanity, in any case, as a ground of acquittal, unless that
insanity is of such a nature as to warrant the opinion that the
individual did not intend to inflict the injury for which he is tried.
And in case any degree of insanity appears to have actuated the
individual, we inquire whether this disposition had ever been previously
displayed; for in this case we hold the relatives or friends, or persons
with whom he has lived, as accountable for not having given the
magistrates due warning of his state of mind, so as that he should be
put into confinement.”

The travellers pressed in objection the various topics commonly urged
respecting greater or lesser degrees of moral responsibility, capability
of discerning good from evil, &c.; all which considerations the
Southlanders, it appears, are accustomed to regard as entirely
irrelevant. They maintain that criminal legislation has nothing
whatsoever to do with moral retribution; the sole object of human laws
being the prevention of crime, which can take place in all those cases,
and in those only, where the intention of the agent (no matter how that
intention originates) is directed towards the action to be prevented.

On the travellers expressing a strong desire to see their penitentiary,
and examine its system of management; “We have many penitentiaries,”
said Sir Peter, “and in each of them the system adopted differs in some
respects from that of others; for we hold it to be a subject of constant
experiment to ascertain what mode of discipline may be the best fitted
to secure the ultimate object at which we aim, which is, as I have just
said, not the infliction of vengeance on the guilty, but the prevention
of crime. I shall enable you, however, to judge of our system in this
respect by taking you to visit our penitentiaries, according as you can
command leisure.

“The systems pursued in some of our houses of correction,” he added,
“need, and, I trust, will receive alteration; but I hope you will not
think me unduly partial in considering the very worst of our modes of
secondary punishment far preferable to yours. Be assured we shall never
undertake to found a new nation from the sweepings of our jails;
receiving additional corruption—those of them who are capable of it—by
unrestricted intercourse with each other during a four months’ voyage,
and their moral degradation completed by being reduced to a state of
slavery; that is, by being consigned, as in your colony, to masters for
whose benefit they are compelled to labour.”

[The manuscript of the travellers did not contain very full information
on the subject of penitentiaries, as there were many which they were
still designing to visit. It would appear, however, that in some
penitentiaries solitary confinement was the practice; in others, the
culprits worked in companies; but, as in some of the American
penitentiaries, total silence was enforced. Every man was made to work
in a mask, in order that he should remain unknown to the rest, and thus
escape the hardening effects which are the consequences of exposure of

“There is one part of our system,” said Sir Peter, “which I should
mention to you, because it will serve to show you the diligence with
which we apply ourselves to the continual improvement both of our civil
and penal code. We hold it as a duty belonging to our judges and chief
law officers, that they should discuss amongst themselves, from time to
time, whatever alteration their experience in the administration of our
laws may suggest to any of them as desirable. Whatever report is sent in
by their united wisdom to parliament, is received with the utmost
deference; and should any doubt remain as to the expediency of adopting
their proposal, we invite some of the judges or law officers to assist
us in our deliberations, by stating publicly the grounds of their
recommendation. We allow them to debate freely, as if they were members
of parliament; but of course we do not give them, as they are not
members, any vote in the final decision. Indeed,” he observed, “whenever
we appoint (as we very constantly do) a commission empowered to collect
information on any particular subject, and draw up a report recommending
any new laws or practices, we allow the members of that commission to
attend our parliamentary meetings and explain their own reasons. We
conceive this can be best done by the same individuals whom we appoint
to deliberate. We regard them as members of parliament in fact, _pro hac
vice_, except that we do not give them a power of voting.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

Newspapers, magazines, and other periodical publications are abundant
and cheap in this country.

In the early part of the traveller’s visit, Lieutenant R. Smith, having
accidentally taken up a newspaper which lay on the table, was much
interested in its perusal. The leading articles appeared to have been
written with considerable discretion and good sense. He asked whether he
might regard that paper as a fair specimen of the degree of talent which
their newspapers generally presented.

The gentleman of the house replied that, in his estimation, that paper
was rather the best of the day. Its conductor was a person of very high
character and great attainments.

“You just saw him,” he said, “riding by with our leading minister. We
have several papers,—besides magazines and other periodicals,—conducted
also with various degrees of talent, and of every shade and variety of
political sentiment.”

“In our country,” said Lieutenant Smith, “conductors are not on such
familiar terms with our statesmen; indeed they are seldom to be met in
cultivated society. We think it the lowest department of literature. In
fact, we scarcely deem the editor of a newspaper a literary man, or even
a gentleman.”

“I suppose then,” said Mr. Bruce (their host), “that your papers are
nothing more than a record of events and advertisements; and that they
exercise no influence upon the general sentiments of the country.”

“Quite the reverse,” said the English travellers. “The newspapers
produce a very decided influence; so much so that each party in the
state takes care to hold some of them in pay, as advocates of the
opinions which that party is anxious to maintain: and the editor of a
paper not unfrequently prescribes the opinions or conduct which each
party should adopt, many confining their reading almost exclusively to
papers on their own side.”

“This is very strange to us,” said Mr. Sibthorpe, “and it appears
perfectly inconsistent. Your refusal to associate with the conductors as
gentlemen of reputation, must make them unworthy to be received into
good society; most emphatically and particularly unworthy, not merely as
unfitted for the company of gentry, but as undeserving of the respect of
reputable people. Such, at least, seems to us to be the tendency of a
ban of exclusion fixed on a class of persons such as these writers. A
small shopkeeper indeed, or mechanic, though not admitted into the
social circles of the higher classes, may be a worthy and respectable
man in his way, and may well be content to associate with those who are
in every respect his own equals; but not so a man of such education,
knowledge, and talent as are requisite for the successful conduct of a
newspaper. A man so qualified will seldom, we should think, be found
consenting to follow an employment which excludes him from the society
of gentlemen, unless there be, in some way or other, something of moral
inferiority about him. Exceptions there may be; but we should fully
expect this to be at least the general rule. We take care, therefore,
since newspapers cannot but influence public opinion, to induce men of
reputation to engage in this department, by showing that we regard it as
a most honourable employment. To act otherwise, would seem to us like
proclaiming that we were determined to be rogue-led.”

The English travellers asked if the newspapers had to pay a tax to the
state. They were informed, that in this particular state no tax was
exacted, but that in other states of the union the practice was
different. “We observe,” said they, “a vast number of advertisements of
all kinds; and, amongst the rest, that a great variety of books were
announced as in the press.”

“Our press,” said one of the company, “is very active; but you can best
judge of the state of our literature by examining hereafter our public
libraries. To some of these we shall have great pleasure in conducting

                              CHAPTER XII.

  Schools.—Reform of the Calendar.—Art of Teaching.—General
    Education.—Religion and Politics.—Inconsistency of the
    Jesuits.—Unbelievers.—Direction of Electors.—Political
    Churches.—Violation of the Laws.—Infidelity.—Obedience to
    Law.—Enforced Religion.—Persecution.—Hypothetical Case.—Treatment of
    Insanity.—Professed Inspiration.—Impostors and Lunatics.—Changes in
    Europe.—Founders of the Colony.

The Southlanders have numerous schools—mostly day-schools—for boys and
for girls, in all parts of the country. They are of various
descriptions, suited to persons of different classes of society. There
are also four universities, besides some other scientific and literary
institutions partaking of that character.

The most ancient, and, at present, the largest university is in the
state of Müllersfield. Mr. Sibthorpe’s notes on this subject contain but
a small portion of the little he had, up to that time, been enabled to
collect; as it happened that the principal vacation of all the
universities is in the spring, the time of the travellers’ arrival in
the country. He was, accordingly, promising himself, in the latter part
of his sojourn, to obtain a much fuller and more correct acquaintance
with their academical institutions.

It appears that, as might have been expected, the Southlanders have not
made the same advancements in the physical sciences as the Europeans,
though much greater than, under their circumstances of seclusion, could
have been anticipated. They have detected and rectified the error of the
Julian calendar. The alteration of their style, which was begun above a
century and a half ago, was not established at once, like the reform
first made in Roman Catholic, and subsequently in Protestant countries;
but was effected _gradually_, by the simple omission of the leap-years,
till the error was rectified.

Mr. Sibthorpe was particularly struck with the circumstance, that, both
at the universities and elsewhere, the _art of teaching_ is distinctly
taught as a separate and most important department; regular lectures on
it being given, and the pupils exercised in various modes, to train and
qualify them for the office of giving instruction to others. This people
are so far from taking for granted—as, till of late years, has been
commonly done in Europe—that every one is qualified to teach anything he
knows himself, that, from the highest to the lowest description of
schoolmaster or tutor, every one is required to have gone through a
regular course of training for that profession. Nor is the study of this
art by any means confined to those who design professionally to engage
in it; but some degree of it is considered as a part of a liberal

In some of the newly-settled, and, consequently, thinly-peopled
districts, there are sometimes two (and, in some instances, even three)
schoolhouses for one master or mistress. In such a case, the master
attends at them by turns for half a week, or, if at a greater distance,
a week. Sometimes the schools are kept up during the intervals by an
assistant; sometimes even this is wanting; and the children remain at
home half their time preparing lessons, in which they are examined when
they return to school. It is held that one good master can do more
service in two or three schools than two or three inferior ones. All
parents and guardians are required to have the children under their care
instructed. Any who may be too poor to afford the moderate cost of the
humblest education are provided with it at the public charge; but it is
very rare indeed that there is occasion for this, except in the case of
the half-reclaimed aborigines.

The Southlanders were astonished to hear that, in what is called
civilized Europe, a large proportion of the population should remain
totally illiterate, “_like the savages_.” When they were told that some
persons in England dreaded the education of the labouring classes, as
unfitting them for their station, and were disposed to apply the remark
of Mandeville, that “if a horse knew as much as a man, I should be sorry
to be his rider,” they inquired how this was to be reconciled with the
_political rights_ which they were told were conceded to these very
people; and how it could be safe to entrust _power_ to those whom it was
thought unsafe to instruct how to make a _rational use_ of it.

“If,” said they, “you are to keep men in slavery, like the domestic
brutes, it may be the safest way to keep them in as brutish a condition
of mind as you can; but brutes that are _not_ enslaved are much more
dangerous animals than rational beings. A horse is kept as a slave, and,
however gently treated, is subjected to restraint, and compelled to
labour for his _master’s_ service. It would be doubtless unsafe, and,
what is more, _unjust_, to ride a horse if he _knew as much_ as a
man,—_i. e._ if he were a rational being, instead of a brute; but Dr.
Mandeville ought to have remembered that, if a groom _knew no more_ than
a horse, he would be very unfit to be a _rider_.”

They require, accordingly, that any parent who, from inconvenient
distance of residence or any other cause, is unable or unwilling to send
a child to school, shall provide for his instruction at home, and shall
bring him to the periodical examinations of the school inspectors, who
are appointed to visit the schools at stated times and examine the
children. On being asked what would be done in the case of any parent’s
refusing instruction to his children, they said that no such case had
occurred in their recollection; but that they conceived, if it should
occur, it would be considered as a sufficient evidence of mental
derangement. As for the _right_ of a parent over his children, they
utterly denied that his children _belong_ to him in the same manner that
dogs and cats and horses do, which he is at liberty to keep as mere pets
and playthings, or as drudges, or to sell or drown if he finds himself
overstocked. They hold that he has no more right to debar his children
from instruction than to deny them proper food and clothing. To these
last they have a fair claim—a claim enforced by law in all countries—as
_animals_; to the other, as _rational_ beings.

Female education also they attend to quite as much as Europeans, without
confining it so much (among the upper classes) to mere showy
accomplishments. Some of them laughed at our employment of the word
“accomplishment,” “which,” said they, “signifies properly a _completion_
of that which, by your account, is never _begun_.” They cited a maxim
which, they said, had been laid down by Aristotle,—that a people whose
institutions pay no regard to women and children, are neglecting the
_half_ of the _present_ generation, and the _whole_ of the _next_. And
they observed, that a child whose earliest years,—whose first
impressions, and habits of thought and sentiments,—have been left to a
mother who is wanting in cultivated understanding, and sound principles,
and well-regulated feelings, will be very far from having a fair chance
of turning out an estimable member of society.

On these subjects the travellers had much conversation with Sir Andrew
Knox, who holds in the kingdom of Eutopia the office of
inspector-general of education, nearly answering to that of minister of
public instruction in some of the European states. In his observations
on the conduct of the governments of Europe,—such as they had been three
centuries back, and such as many of them appeared to him to continue in
some measure still unchanged,—he remarked that nothing could be more
completely the reverse of a wise and honest legislature than the attempt
to make _belief_ compulsory, and _knowledge not_ compulsory.

“They enforced,” said he, “the reception of ‘true religion,’—that is,
what the rulers regarded as such; and left it optional to learn, or to
remain ignorant of, the difference between one religion and another.
Even you, it seems, regard it as an intolerable encroachment on liberty
to compel a person to learn his letters that he may be able to _read_
the Bible; but you compel him to _believe_ the Bible,—at least to
profess his belief, or not openly to deny it. His _knowledge_ of the
book may be anything or nothing, just as he pleases; but he is required
to acknowledge its divine authority and the correctness of your
interpretation of it, or else you treat him as a helot or an alien, and
exclude him from civil rights and power. He is not obliged to know
whether Jerusalem is in the northern or southern hemisphere, or whether
Mahomet lived before or after Christ; but he _is_ obliged, under pain of
punishments or civil disabilities, to think with you as to the Jewish,
Christian, and Mahometan religions.

“Now this,” he continued, “does seem to us most preposterous. I am not
adverting now to its opposition to the principles of justice or of the
Christian religion, but to common sense. An injunction which it is
completely _in the power_ of the subject to obey, and of the government
to enforce, this governments do _not_ issue; and one which the subject
may be _unable_ to obey, and which the government _cannot_ fully
enforce, _that_ forms an essential part of their enactments; for to
acquire a certain humble degree of _knowledge_ (when government provides
the means of instruction) is a command which the subject is clearly
_able_ to obey. He may, indeed, not think knowledge worth the trouble of
study, and may be so brutish as to feel it a hardship not to be allowed
to remain in stupid ignorance; but, unless he is a born idiot, he cannot
say that it is _out of his power_ to learn anything, or, again, that it
is _against his conscience_ to attempt it; nor, on the other hand, can
he evade the requisition by _pretending_ to have learnt what he has not,
since his proficiency may be ascertained by examination. In the other
case, _all_ these circumstances are reversed. A man may be really
_unable_ to adopt the same view of religious truth as his rulers; he may
feel it a _violence to his conscience_ to profess their belief; and,
lastly, he can always, if conscience does not stand in his way, make a
false and hypocritical profession of a faith which he does not really

“These governments, therefore, do _not_ interfere where their
interference would be, at least, both allowable and effectual—_we_ think
beneficial; and where their interference, as we think, is always
noxious, but evidently may be both unjust and ineffectual, there they do
interfere. Such a ruler, if he teaches his subjects hypocrisy, teaches
them at least to be like himself; for his pretended zeal for God’s
honour and his people’s welfare must be a mere specious cloak for his
desire to uphold his own power in the most effectual and least
troublesome way. As for true religion, if he had the least particle of
it, or the least conception of its nature, he could not but know that it
is a thing which cannot be enforced by law.”

[Much more to the same purpose was urged by Sir Andrew Knox, who, like
most of his countrymen, is tinged, as our readers will have perceived,
with much of that peculiar habit of thought, derived from the founders
of the colony, which many will probably be disposed to regard as
eccentric enthusiasm and extravagance. The travellers laid before him,
in reply, the arguments commonly employed in Europe (which need not be
here repeated) for and against the existing principles of legislation,
and the various modifications of these which have been introduced in the
several European states.]

On something being said respecting the duty of a Christian ruler to
maintain and enforce true religion, and respecting the conduct to be
pursued by a Christian community, Sir Andrew observed that, in former
times, there appeared to have prevailed among their European ancestors
much confusion of thought on those subjects, which did not seem to be
even now cleared up, but to be fostered by indistinctness of language.

“Ours,” said he, “are ‘Christian states,’ in the sense that the
_individual citizens_ of them are Christians, but not in the sense of
our _laws enforcing_ the profession of Christianity, or of any
particular religious persuasion. And although, in the sense first
specified, our states might be called Christian, the phrase ‘Christian
community’ conveys to _our_ minds the idea, not of a state, but of a
_church_; and to blend the two kinds of community into one, so as to
give spiritual jurisdiction to the civil magistrate, to maintain
religion by secular coercion, and to give those of a particular creed a
monopoly of civil privileges and secular offices,—this we consider as
changing Christianity into Judaism, and making Christ’s kingdom one ‘of
this world,’ which he expressly forbade.”

“But is it not natural, Sir Andrew,” said Mr. Sibthorpe, “that
Christians, who have any real veneration for their religion, should wish
to exclude from all share of political power in a Christian nation those
who are not Christians, or who have depraved and corrupted the Christian

“Nothing could be more _natural_,” replied he, “than that the Jewish
people, when convinced, as the mass of them at one time were, of his
divine mission, should wish to take Jesus and force Him to be their
king, so that all who should have disowned his authority, or disobeyed
his commands, would have incurred the penalties of treason. Nothing, I
say, could be more natural than this; and thence it is that He was so
earnest in renouncing all such pretensions, and prohibiting all such
attempts: and experience shows how consonant to the character of the
‘natural man’ such a course of procedure has been ever since.

“But the question is not what is agreeable to human nature, but to the
divine will. Our Master declared that his kingdom is not a temporal one;
and we must not seek to do Him honour by running counter to his
commands, so as to _make_ it a kingdom of this world, and, as it were,
‘take Him by force to make Him a king.’ It cannot evince our veneration
for Him to mix up religion with politics, when He and his Apostles
neither did so nor permitted their followers to do so, though _they_
possessed (what no human rulers can with truth pretend to) one ground of
a claim to the right of enforcing true religion by civil penalties and
disabilities, viz. the infallible knowledge of what _is_ true religion.

“As for what you were saying of Christ’s kingdom being indeed not of
this world, but that, according to prophecy, the kingdoms of the earth
are to become the kingdoms of the Lord, this we conceive must be
understood of the _people themselves_ becoming Christians; because we
conceive that, if it were understood as authorising the state, as a
civil community, to enforce and regulate Christianity by the secular
sword, then Christ’s kingdom _does_ become a kingdom of this world. To
set up a plea founded on a subtle verbal distinction where there is no
real difference, reminds one (if I may be pardoned for using so homely
an illustration) of the quibbling thief, who contended that he was
unjustly charged with having carried off a horse; for that, in truth, it
was the horse that had carried off him.

“The Jesuits of whom you have been telling me, according to the worst
accounts given of their tricks and subterfuges, evasions and mental
reservations, would be well deserving of their title,—they would be
really and fitly ‘companions of Jesus,’—if we could suppose Him and his
Apostles to have secretly maintained a principle which goes to nullify
practically (as soon as their followers should have gained sufficient
strength) all their disavowals of political designs,—all their
renunciation of temporal power as connected with their religion,—all
desire to monopolize, as Christians, civil ascendency. They were accused
of forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar,—of speaking against Cæsar, &c.
Now, if you suppose that, when Jesus, in answer to such charges, said in
a loud voice to the Roman governor, ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’
He had _whispered_ to his disciples, ‘This is only till you have gained
sufficient numbers and strength; whenever and wherever you can become
the predominant party, then draw the sword which I lately bid you
sheathe, and enforce by civil penalties submission to my laws, and
exclude by law from political privileges all who will not join your
communion:’—if you suppose that while He publicly issued the injunction,
‘Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s,’ He added, as it were
_aside_, to his companions, “Remember, however, that, as Cæsar is an
idolater, you must hereafter make him embrace Christianity on pain of
ceasing to be Cæsar; you must oblige him and all other governors and
public officers, from the highest to the lowest, and all who would lay
claim to any of the rights of citizens in any state where you can
acquire political ascendency, to profess my religion; and _then_ you
must render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s; you must then ‘render
unto all their due,’ after having first secured that none but those who
agree with you in religion shall _have_, politically, _any_ due at all;
you must ‘submit yourselves to every ordinance of man,’ after having
first provided that every ordinance of man shall have submitted to you;
you must consider ‘the powers that be’ as ‘ordained of God,’ after
having monopolized them all for yourselves, carefully excluding
unbelievers:—if, I say, you suppose this to have been the secret
meaning, and these the private instructions, of Jesus and his Apostles,
while their openly avowed teaching was such as we find recorded, well
surely may the most disingenuous of the _Jesuits_ lay claim to their

“Can an unbeliever, then,” said Mr. Sibthorpe,—“can even an atheist, in
this country, rise to the highest offices?”

“I hope,” said Sir Andrew, “such instances are rare; I know of none: but
if you speak of the _possibility_, you should remember that in _every_
country, even where the Inquisition exists, an atheist can, by
disguising his real opinions, rise to any office, even that of Grand
Inquisitor, or of Pope; which, indeed, you were lately telling me is
suspected to be no such very rare occurrence.”

“True,” said Mr. Sibthorpe; “there is no law that can prevent hypocrisy;
but what I meant is, an open and _avowed_ infidel, or an advocate of
extravagant corruptions of religion.”

“If you mean to ask,” said Sir Andrew, “whether _I would vote for_ a man
of that description, and whether a majority of electors would in any
case be as likely to appoint him as one of opposite character, I answer
at once in the negative; but if you are asking whether there is any _law
to prohibit_ my voting for such a man,—any _legal_ incapacity on
religious grounds,—we have no such law. As far as a man’s religious
opinions are concerned, his fitness or unfitness for any civil office is
left to be decided by the judgment of the _electors_. Conviction of any
_crime_, or ascertained deficiency in the requisite _knowledge_, alone
disqualify a man by law for public offices.

“But it is important,” added he, “to keep distinct two questions which,
I observe, the modern Europeans, as well as our ancestors, have often
confounded,—the question whether a person of such and such a description
is or is not _fit_, or the most fit, to be appointed to such and such an
office; and the question, whether the _electors_ to that office shall be
left to decide that point according to _their_ judgment, instead of the
legislators deciding it for them, and restricting their choice. How much
shall be _left to the discretion_ of the electors is one question; what
is the wisest and _best use_ they can make of their discretion is
another, quite different, though often confounded with it.

“But, among us, it is in a _religious_, not a _civil_ community—in a
_church_, not in a _state_—that a man’s religious qualifications or
disqualifications are taken notice of in the laws of the community as
determining whether he may or may not be one of its officers or one of
its members. Our brethren in Europe, you seem to think, would, some of
them, take for granted, from our acting on these principles, that we
must be very indifferent about religion (though you, I rejoice to find,
are ready to bear your testimony to the contrary); but they might as
well conclude that we are indifferent about political affairs also,
because we attend places of worship in which no political questions are
discussed, and are members of Christian churches which do not
intermeddle with politics. Indeed, I myself, as well as many others, am
a member of an agricultural association also, in which neither political
nor religious matters are introduced; and yet I hope many of us are good
citizens, good Christians, and good farmers too.

“But since your people hold it to be allowable and right, and a
duty, for a civil legislature in a Christian country to take
cognizance of matters of religious faith, (which _we_ think should
be left between each man’s conscience and the Deity,) you ought,
methinks, to see nothing incongruous neither in a religious
community taking cognizance of political matters also, and embodying
in its creed and formularies decisions, not only of points of faith,
but of points of politics. Thus you would have, not only Trinitarian
or Arian churches, Calvinistic or Arminian, Episcopalian or
Presbyterian churches, &c. but also, according to your phraseology,
Tory churches and Whig churches, commercial-restriction churches and
free-trade churches, &c. Parents, bringing their child to be
baptized, would have to engage that he should be brought up in sound
political as well as sound religious views; and to renounce in his
name, not only sin, the world, and the devil, but also annual
parliaments and vote by ballot, or some other political measure; and
would have to be solemnly admonished, not only to bring him at a
suitable age to be confirmed by the bishop, but also to have his
vote duly registered. And a man would not be admissible at the
eucharist unless he first declared his opinion, not only on the
question of transubstantiation, but also on the mint regulations,
paper currency, or any other such points on which the church or sect
he belonged to should determine what was to be accounted orthodox.
If you are struck, as you seem to be, with the incongruity and
absurdity of such regulations and practices as these, you may form
some conception how incongruous it appears in _our_ eyes to mix up
together _at all_ the Christian religion and politics. In short,” he
added, in conclusion, “do but consider whether, among you, religion
is considered as _a part of politics_, or _politics a part of
religion_. If neither (which is what _we_ hold), then your conduct
is palpably inconsistent with your principles. If you hold religion
to be a part of politics, what becomes of your _Christianity_? But
if politics is held to be a part of religion, then such
politico-religious creeds and formularies as I have just now been
supposing, must be, not only reasonable, but even necessary.”

“I admit,” said Mr. Sibthorpe, “the absurdity of attempting by secular
penalties to produce conviction of a religious doctrine, and the
cruelty, as well as absurdity, of compelling outward profession of
conviction. But how do you proceed in regard to the public
_promulgators_ of pernicious error? Is not a government bound to protect
its subjects, not only from theft and violence, but also from having
their minds, especially those of the young, the weak, and the ignorant,
corrupted by every one who chooses to go about scattering moral and
spiritual poison around him?”

“No one,” answered Sir Andrew Knox, “would be allowed among us, under
the plea of conscience, or any other, to incite men to a violation of
the laws, to a breach of the peace, or to rebellion against government;
else, indeed, men might be found preaching up theft and all sorts of
crimes, like those Anabaptist sects that appeared before we left Europe,
who inculcated community of goods and of wives, and I know not what
abominations besides.

“But the practice, or the recommendation, of anything that is immoral,
and so accounted by _all_ good men of whatever religious persuasion, is
clearly punishable by the civil magistrate. Nor can any plea of
conscience be admitted as justifying abusive language against any class
of religionists,—threats, violence, personal slander, or interruption of
religious worship.

“But if any man peaceably sets forth his own views respecting religion,
appealing to men’s reason and conscience and the visible universe, or
the Scriptures, we do not hold that the civil authorities are justified
in going about to punish or silence him, or in excluding him from civil
rights. Any _church_, indeed, to which he may have belonged will disown
him as a member if he teach anything at variance with their fundamental
religious principles; but this we do not regard as a _punishment_
inflicted as for an offence, but rather as a _dissolution of
partnership_ between two parties who cannot agree as to the matter in
which they were partners. He is excommunicated by his church only in the
same manner as his church is excommunicated by him; but no _secular
penalties_ or privations are incurred by imputed religious error.

“For we consider that, in the first place, as the legislature is not
infallible, there is no security that its enactments may not be on the
wrong side; as there have been, indeed, both Trinitarian and Arian,
Protestant and Popish laws and rulers: and, secondly, we consider that
Christ and his Apostles, who did possess infallibility, deliberately
chose to rest their cause on pure persuasion alone.”

“But might it not be urged,” said Mr. Sibthorpe, “that this would go to
put an end to _all_ legislation on all subjects, since no legislature
can be infallible, even in political measures?”

“It is true,” replied Sir Andrew, “that statesmen can lay no claim to
infallible wisdom, even in their own department; and there is,
accordingly, no country whose laws are, or _need be believed to be_,

“It is the duty of a good citizen to labour to bring about the
improvement of any laws which he thinks inexpedient; but in the mean
time (and _here_ lies the important difference) he may, in almost all
cases, obey the laws _with a safe conscience_, even such as he may not
approve of; because they require only the _outward acts_ of compliance,
and not the inward assent and conviction of the mind. You had, for
instance, formerly a law enjoining all men to put out their fires at the
toll of the curfew-bell; it is now long since repealed. You had a law
against selling game, which you have told us is abrogated. These laws
may have been very inconvenient; but it could not be against a man’s
conscience to put out his fire or to abstain from buying and selling
game, though it _would_ have been to require him to declare his _belief_
in the wisdom of those regulations.

“Hence it is that, imperfect as human legislation must be, laws, since
they are essential to the existence of civil society, have the sanction
of reason, and conscience, and Scripture in favour of submission to
them, except in those cases where submission involves a violation of
some prior duty; as if, suppose, we had a law enjoining us to hunt down
the blacks, and kill them like wild beasts. But it is remarkable that
almost all the cases where it does become a duty to resist the law, are
those in which _religion_ is concerned,—those, in short, in which the
civil legislature has gone out of its own province; as when a man is
required to profess or renounce, to preach or abstain from preaching, a
certain religion; forbidden to instruct a slave in Christianity, (as,
you say, was formerly the law at the Cape of Good Hope,) and other such

“On these grounds,” continued he, “we hold that all interference of the
secular power to enforce the profession of ‘true religion’ and punish
‘heretics,’ or to give Christians, or any particular description of
Christians, political ascendency on religious grounds, are adverse to
the spirit and injurious to the cause of true religion, contrary to the
commands of its Author, tending to impair the force of its proper
evidence, and leading at once to oppression in one party, to hypocrisy
in the other, and to unchristian rancour in both.

“These principles may be said, in some sort, to form a part of our
national creed; for there is no one of our churches that does not
maintain them, and inculcate the strictly voluntary character of true
Christianity, and the spiritual, and not secular nature, of its Author’s

“But what would you do,” said Mr. Sibthorpe, “if some church were to
arise among you of opposite principles? Would you tolerate a sect whose
religion forbade them to tolerate others?”

“That,” said the other, “is certainly a shrewd question, and one which,
I am happy to say, we can none of us answer from experience; as we have
never had, and I hope never shall have, any such among us. I can,
therefore, only speak from conjecture as to what conclusions we might
come to in such a case. Probably, a good deal might depend on the
_actual temper_ of the persons who should hold in theory persecuting
principles; for as men are too often worse than their principles, so, as
you must be well aware, they are sometimes better; and if men of such
principles were content to let their right and duty of persecution
remain by some humane subterfuge in abeyance and dormant, we should
probably let them alone. Much might also depend on their strength of
numbers, on their power, as well as their disposition to do mischief.
The cat appears to be much the same kind of animal as the lions and
tigers we have read of; but, being too small to be formidable, is
allowed to go loose about the house. I suppose it would be unsafe to
extend the same _toleration_ to a tiger.

“But on one point I think I can answer you, though still from
conjecture, pretty confidently: if there _should_ be any sect or class
of men in one of our states whom we found it impossible to place, with
due regard to our safety, on the footing of citizens, we should
undoubtedly _part company_; we should banish them all, or we should
imprison them all; nay, I think we should even put them all to death at
once, were there no better alternative, rather than tolerate among us a
race of helots or Gibeonites,—a degraded and disfranchised caste,
especially one degraded on account of religious differences. _That_ is
contrary to all the principles, political and religious, which we have
imbibed, as it were, with our very mothers’ milk.

“There is, however, one point in which you were remarking, the other
day, that our practice is more rigid than yours, and in which we might
perhaps appear at the first glance to be, though in truth we are not,
acting at variance with these principles. You were remarking that we are
more prompt and daring than most Europeans in placing under restraint
those who appear to be in a state of dangerous mental derangement. We
hold it to be a benefit to the individual, as well as to the community,
to confine and keep in order one who is palpably incapable of taking due
care of himself; as, for instance, an habitual drunkard, who, though not
otherwise mad, when sober cannot command himself so as to refrain from
drinking, when liquor is within his reach, till he becomes no better
than mad. Now, although no legal interference takes place to prevent a
man from setting forth his own views of religion, or any other subject,
and _appealing to the judgment_ of his hearers, it is otherwise if he
profess to have received a _divine revelation_ and to be the bearer of
an immediate message from the Deity. We do not pronounce such
pretensions a _crime_; for the magistrate has no right to prejudge the
question as to their _truth_, nor, for the same reason, are they
considered as decisive evidence of insanity: but they do justify a
certain degree of suspicion of it, and of such an insanity as may prove
highly mischievous in various ways; and especially as being, above all
other kinds of insanity, dreadfully infectious. Madmen of this
particular class are, among persons of a nervous and excitable
temperament, almost as dangerous as mad dogs.

“Now, any person professing, as the Apostles did, to have received an
immediate divine commission to be special messengers of God, sent forth
by his miraculous interposition with prophetic inspiration, must be
either _a true apostle_, or an impious _impostor_, or else a man under
_mental alienation_. That there can be but these three possible
suppositions is evident; though it may not be evident, in any given
case, _which_ of the three is the true one. On the first supposition,
the man is evidently entitled, _as soon as he shall have exhibited his
credentials_, by displaying such miracles as are the ‘signs of an
apostle,’ to high veneration, and diligent attention to what he is
commissioned to declare. On the second supposition, he ought to be
punished, on the same principle (only more severely) as pretended
witches, conjurors, and other such cheats who practise on the credulity
of the superstitious. On the third supposition, the man ought to be
secluded and taken care of, and subjected to proper treatment for the
cure of his disorder.

“In all cases, then, of professed inspiration and immediate divine
commission, our laws enjoin solitary confinement, as perfectly suitable
on any of the foregoing three suppositions. The person is subjected to
no indignity or unnecessary pain; he is treated tenderly, and carefully
provided for; but he is closely secluded from all but medical attendants
and other official persons. We have a full trust that, if he be indeed a
divine messenger, he will be miraculously liberated. We find in
Scripture that this _was_ done repeatedly; as in the case of the first
imprisonment of the Apostles,—in that of Peter alone, afterwards,—and
that of Paul and Silas. They were thus enabled both to execute their
commission, and, by appeal to the miracle, to attest its truth. Nor do
we consider that, as long as we abstain from all reproach or unnecessary
violence, we should be doing any wrong even to real prophets, or
presumptuously tempting the Deity; for it is contrary to all reason, and
to all Scripture, to suppose that He ever did or can require implicit
faith to be given to his ambassadors without furnishing them with
testimonials; with credentials, to satisfy us that they really are sent
by Him. To call upon a man pretending to inspiration to display a
sensible miracle (as by a supernatural release from confinement) is no
affront to God or man; it is only asking a professed ambassador for his
credentials. But if, again, the man be either an impious impostor, or a
lunatic, his confinement is, in the one case, a just, though very mild
punishment, or, in the other, an act of kindness towards himself, as
well as a removal of a nuisance to the public.

“Instances of the first class, I need hardly tell you, have not
occurred; and there are not many of us, I believe, who expect that they
ever will. But whatever may be thought of that last question, we all
agree that it would imply want of faith, ignorance of Scripture, and
folly, to doubt that God, if He did send us an inspired messenger, would
fail to vindicate His own honour, and establish the prophet’s mission,
by miraculous proof; or to suspect that it could be displeasing to Him
that we should insist on such proof, and refuse to incur the risk of
_idolatry_ in paying divine homage to a human device or delusion.

“In respect of the second class—impostors, our law has operated chiefly
(as might have been expected) in the way of prevention. In a few
instances, however, such men (having, for the most part, _secretly_
circulated their pretensions among the credulous) have been induced, by
the correction thus administered, to confess their fraud, and submit to
the penalties of the laws enacted against common cheats.

“Of the third class—those under delusion, there have been a good many
instances; and, in a large proportion of them, quiet seclusion and
proper medical treatment have effected the restoration of reason: but
some cases, as in all other kinds of derangement, prove incurable. There
are also, by your account, in Europe also, such patients in almost every
lunatic asylum,—imaginary apostles, prophets, and even deities. The only
difference between us is, that _you_ allow several of such patients to
go at large and do mischief in the world, because _you_ think it
necessary to have fully _ascertained_ that a man is deranged before you
confine him; whereas we think it right to confine him at once, as soon
as it is made evident that he is _either_ deranged, or an impostor, or
able (as a divine messenger, and therefore under a miraculous
dispensation,) to obtain immediate release. In all these cases (and
there can be no other supposition) we hold it manifestly allowable, and
consequently right, to confine him.”

It was in the course of this conversation, after the discussion of the
foregoing and several kindred subjects, that one of the company made a
remark respecting the views which had been presented to him of the
history of Europe since their departure from it, as compared with its
state at that time, and the general history of mankind.

“Our founders,” he said, “appear to have had peculiar advantages, from
which we have, I trust, derived some fruit, in the particular time and
circumstances of their change of abode. They left Europe at the exciting
period of the Reformation, which had shaken the hold that ancient
opinions, habits, and institutions had long maintained over the human
mind; when men’s energies were roused, their imaginations kindled, and
all their feelings highly stimulated.

“It is not to be wondered at, that, at such a period, many of the
results should have followed which appear in Europe to have actually
ensued. Some, we know, ran into the wildest extravagancies of
innovation. Again, the fierce and obstinate opposition of others to
every change—besides the malevolent passions thus called into
play—appears to have driven many of the reformers to still greater
excesses, or to have hardened them into greater pertinacity. And,
moreover, many, frightened at the prospect of extravagant innovations,
or weary of perpetual change, seem to have resolutely stopped short
before they had fairly followed out their own just principles of a
complete reformation; or even relapsed into the prejudices they had
renounced, embraced anew the errors which had been exploded, and
returned to the corrupt systems, which were standing, as it were, with
their gates open to receive them.

“Our founders, on the other hand, after they had received the salutary
stimulus, were removed out of the way of most of these evils by their
retirement hither. Withdrawn from persecution and oppression, and
furious controversy and religious wars, they were secured in a great
measure from the fanaticism and the unchristian bitterness of spirit
which these are so often found to generate. They were kept out of the
way, again, of all temptation to return to the corrupt systems they had
renounced, since no example of these remained among them; and were left
calmly and peaceably to make trials of the application of their
principles in practice, and to modify at leisure those principles
according to the dictates of experience.”

[Such is the substance of the conversation that passed on these
subjects. The language is of course altered, in this and in the other
conversations recorded, in order to render it more readily intelligible.
It is, indeed, almost a _translation_ that is given; not, indeed, from a
foreign tongue, but from a peculiar dialect of English.

The greater part of what was said by the travellers, except what was
necessary to make the answers intelligible, has been omitted, for the
reasons already stated.]

                             CHAPTER XIII.

  Preachers.—Divine Service.—Divisions of the Bible.—Funeral
    Service.—Burial in Cities.—Absurd Interments.—Monuments.—Private
    Mausoleums.—Harmless Absurdities.—Church Endowments.—State of
    the Clergy.—Religious Communities.—Admission Fees to
    Institutions.—Ecclesiastical Societies.

It happened in the earlier part of their visit, when the travellers were
less familiar with the peculiarities of the Southland phraseology, that
they were inquiring one day whether there was in the neighbourhood where
they then were any _preacher_ of more than ordinary celebrity, and were
surprised at being answered that there were no preachers within two
hundred miles. As they had, before this, attended public worship, they
perceived at once that there must be some misapprehension. They found
that “a preacher” denotes—according to its primitive sense—what _we_
understand by a _missionary_ among the heathen. “Expounding,”
“lecturing,” “discoursing,” are the terms used by them to denote what we
call “preaching.”

When the difficulty was surmounted which they felt at first in following
what was said, from the novelty to them of the dialect, they were very
well pleased with some discourses they heard, which appeared to them
sensible, pious, and instructive; but they never heard any one who came
up to the idea of what we call “a fine preacher,” or “a very nice man,”
for the reason already mentioned in the notice of their parliamentary

The strangers were at first puzzled by another peculiarity which they
met with in their attendance on divine service. The minister referred,
not to the chapter and verse of any book of Scripture, but to the page
and line, or rather to what are _called_ pages and lines; that is,
certain equal divisions, which are indeed the actual pages and lines of
their large editions of the Bible, but of course do not correspond with
those of a different size. These artificial pages and lines, as they may
be called, are marked by horizontal (P. 25,/─) and vertical (L. 5./│)
lines, respectively. The origin of the custom, it seems, was, that their
first edited translation having been _paged_, and subsequent editions
being, for some time, fac-similes of it in point of size, the custom
grew up,—indeed there is reason to think it was designedly
encouraged,—of making the references to pages and lines; and these same
arbitrary divisions were accordingly retained in subsequent editions.
Generally, though not always, the chapters and verses are marked in the
margin, for the convenience of scholars who may wish to consult some of
the old editions of the Bible in the learned languages, or who may be
reading, in old editions, some works of the earlier divines containing
references to those divisions. For their own use, they consider their
method as preferable to ours, inasmuch as their divisions are exactly
_equal_; serve perfectly for the _use_ intended,—that of facility of
_reference_;—and carry on the face of them a plain indication that they
are designed for no _other_ use, and therefore cannot mislead the reader
into the notion of their having a connexion with the sense, and being
the work of the sacred writers, or designed by editors as a suitable
distribution of the matter.

The funeral service varies in a slight degree in the rituals of the
several churches; but in one point they all agree,—that in the prayers
used, and in any discourse delivered on the occasion, no allusion is
made to the particular individual deceased. The shortness and
uncertainty of life generally,—a future state, and the requisite
preparation for it,—with other such general topics, are the only ones
allowed to be introduced. Any mention of, or allusion to a particular
individual, in the way of panegyric or otherwise, on such an occasion,
would be regarded as invidious and highly indecorous.

“When a man,” they said, “has departed this life, to pronounce upon his
condition in another world, or to pray that that condition may be
altered, we regard as presumptuous, and especially unsuitable in a
Christian congregation assembled for a religious purpose.”

Their cemeteries are never contiguous to their places of ordinary
religious worship, nor within any of their towns or villages; but at
some little distance, and generally within, or adjoining, some park or
other public pleasure-ground. They imagined it must be deleterious to
the health of the Europeans to inhabit towns, the site of which consists
in great measure of stratum upon stratum of decomposing animal matter,
continually renewed and continually stirred up.

“We are well aware,” they said, “what gave rise to the practice. It was
the notion entertained by our ancestors (and, it should seem, by some of
their European descendants) that demons are scared away by the sound of
church-bells, by lustrations of holy-water, and the like; and that the
departed, accordingly, derive from such things some kind of comfort and
protection. We hold, however, (and we hoped our European brethren had
long since come to the same conclusion,) that the only injuries of which
a corpse is in any danger are from the plough or the spade, the
carrion-crow, the swine, or the wolf;” (so they call the Dingo, the New
Holland wild dog;) “and that protection from these is to be found in
stone walls, boards, and mounds of earth, not in any religious

“As for spiritual danger, we conceive that the body becomes exempt from
everything of that kind, precisely at the moment life departs from it;
and, accordingly, that religious appliances _then_ employed resemble the
practice of the savages, who clothe the dead body of a friend in the
best skin robes they can procure, and bury it, surrounded with a store
of food, and with all the implements of hunting and fishing. If these
poor heathens were to go a step beyond this in absurdity,—if they were
to refuse to supply a famished companion while living with needful food,
clothing, and shelter, and then, as soon as he was dead, and no longer
sensible of cold and hunger, were to _begin_ to supply his dead body
with provisions, which it could no longer use,—they would then be
treating him, as some of our European forefathers treated themselves;
who seldom or never, during their lives, frequented a house of worship
to any profitable purpose, while they might have derived benefit from
their attendance; but reflected with satisfaction on the idea that their
dead bodies would be brought into the house of worship, and perhaps
interred there, as soon as the time should have passed when their
presence there would be of any avail.

“It is partly in order to guard against any relapse into such
superstitions that we make it a rule never even to bring a dead body
within the walls of a place of worship.”

There are no monuments in their burial-grounds beyond plain slabs,
containing the name of the person whose remains are interred, with the
necessary dates, &c. But in other places they have monuments of the
nature of cenotaphs, in memory of persons who have been in any manner so
distinguished as to be allowed this posthumous honour, by the direction,
or with the permission, of the civil authorities.

Statues are sometimes erected, in places of public resort, to men of
high eminence: but usually the memorial consists in an inscription
(sometimes accompanied with decorative sculpture) placed on the _house_
in which the person in question was born, or lived, or died; or on any
public building, such as a college, or library, or the like, which was
in any way connected with his useful labours. In all cases, any monument
so placed as to meet the public eye, cannot be erected without the
permission of the proper authorities; whose approval of the inscription,
decorations, and all the particulars, is essentially requisite.

“If a man chooses,” said they, “to erect within his own private house or
garden the most extravagant mausoleum in honour of some ancestor, and to
cover it with inscriptions of the most fulsome and groundless panegyric,
he is quite at liberty to do so. We do not profess to make laws to
prevent a man from playing the fool in private; but whatever is obtruded
on the _public_ eye is fairly placed under public control. And
monuments,” they added, “when thus duly regulated, constitute a useful
kind of record of departed worth, and of the several degrees and kinds
of it; the utility of which record would be greatly impaired if mixed up
and interlined, as it were, with the aberrations of the private
partiality, or ostentation, or absurdity of individuals.

“It is the same,” they said, “with titles of honour, and decorations of
office borne by the living. If a man has a fancy to wear in private a
dressing-gown decorated like a robe of state,—to have his easy-chair in
his study made after the fashion of a regal throne,—to make his own
family in private call him your lordship or your majesty, or to amuse
himself at his own home with any such folly, the laws would not take
cognizance of his harmless absurdities; but if he were to do all this in
public, he would not be allowed thus to go about to break down all
distinctions of rank, dignity, and office, by assuming what did not
belong to him. Now, we consider that monumental honours, when displayed
before the public, are a kind of public posthumous dignities; over
which, accordingly, the Public has a just right of control.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

All the churches are possessed of endowments (greater or less);
generally, though not exclusively, land, which are held by bodies of
trustees (variously constituted), recognised as corporations; these
receive and distribute the revenues, and, in some churches, have the
nomination to benefices; in others, this is placed in their hands
conjointly with the overseer (somewhat answering to bishop), or council
of overseers, of the church.

What is called among us the ‘voluntary system,’—the maintenance of the
minister by the voluntary contributions of his congregation,—is not only
unknown, but distinctly prohibited, in all the churches, by a regulation
which forbids the minister even to accept any kind of gratuity from his
flock, or to derive any profit from the letting of seats, or any other
such source.

Dr. Campbell, a clergyman and theological professor at one of their
seminaries, from whom among others their information on these subjects
was derived, observed, that he was not sure (as the experiment never had
been—and he hoped never would be—tried among them) whether any of their
States would even tolerate a religion whose ministers were to be
maintained by the congregations as hired servants.

“A pastor,” said he, “appointed by the people,—which is bad enough,—or
removable by the people,—which is still much worse,—or supported by
the gifts of the people,—which is far worst of all,—has everything to
encounter that can tend to make him what he should not be; and that
can expose him to suspicion of this, even if undeserved; and that can
lower his character, and lessen his deserved influence, if he is such
as he ought to be. No plan,” he added, “could possibly be devised more
calculated for debasing and corrupting both the clergy and people, and
for perverting religion, and turning it into a source of evil, instead
of good, to both. The people would be taught to seek for, and their
pastor (I should rather say, their _servant_) tempted to
supply,—instead of honest and profitable instruction and seasonable
admonitions,—flattery to their prejudices,—indulgence to their
vices,—encouragement to their superstitions,—assistance and counsel in
political schemes and party machinations,—amusing theatrical
excitement to itching ears,—and flattering delusions, as opiates to
the soul, instead of wholesome truth.”

On its being remarked, in reply, that many persons in England contend
for the benefit of making a minister’s income depend, in some degree at
least, on his own exertions, and are accustomed to adduce instances of
the inefficiency of some whose revenues are secure and independent, Dr.
Campbell replied that it is true such instances do occasionally occur,
and are much to be deplored.

“But, after all,” added he, “we ought to remember that, bad as it is for
a minister to be useless, _useless_ is the _best_ thing _such_ a
minister _can_ be. A clergyman who is capable of being stimulated to
exertion _only_ by motives of interest, and is careless and apathetic
when _that_ is wanting, had much better be _left_ careless. When gain
does rouse such a man to exertion, he will most likely exert himself as
a demagogue or a mountebank. A man whom neither conscientious motives,
nor desire for the respect and esteem of good men, can rouse to
efficiency in doing good, is very likely to become an active doer of
evil, if he have any dormant energies and talents that can be roused at

On inquiring whether the governments, accordingly, insist on paying all
ministers of religion who are not otherwise provided for, the travellers
were informed that Government never pays any. Occasionally, indeed,
grants of state-lands are made to various public institutions, and to
religious ones among the rest; but this is always by a distinct act of
each legislature in reference to the circumstances of each case that is
brought before them. But any persons who can raise among themselves, and
from their well-wishers, funds towards building and endowing chapels,
&c. and who prefer forming themselves into a distinct religious
community, never find any considerable difficulty in obtaining a charter
of incorporation for such trustees as they appoint. And it has often
happened that, by accessions of donations or bequests from time to time,
and also of members, some, both ecclesiastical and also academical
corporations, have, from small beginnings, grown into considerable

“The voluntary system,” said Dr. Campbell, “which we condemn, is not
voluntary gifts towards a common fund for an endowment _in perpetuity_,
but voluntary payments from time to time to a particular minister for
his yearly or weekly maintenance by his people,—by those, I was going to
say, who are placed under him; but, it should rather be, _under whom he
is placed_.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

It is a custom, it seems, for those admitted on any academical or
ecclesiastical foundation as partakers of the endowment, to contribute
themselves towards the fund, by paying a certain admission-fee, as it
may be called, on entrance. In the greater part of the institutions
whose endowments are sufficient for their objects this is little more
than a nominal payment, a sort of ceremonial acknowledgment, trifling in
amount: but in less amply endowed societies it is something
considerable; in those whose common funds are still smaller, it is more;
and in some,—chiefly such as are in their infancy,—a man has to pay, on
being admitted a fellow, an associate, a pastor, or whatever it may be,
of one of these colleges, or churches, &c. a sum equal to, or even
exceeding, what his maintenance derived from the society will probably
cost, according to the principles of annuity-office calculations. In
such a case, the advantages sought by the man or woman who is a
candidate for admission (for there are several female institutions of
this kind) are the pleasure and honour of being admitted into a society,
perhaps in high repute for the intelligence, worth, knowledge, and
agreeableness of its members,—(the same objects that make it in England
often a matter of earnest competition to be elected into a particular
club,)—the conveniences, sometimes, of a common library, museum, table,
&c.; so that a person who may have paid more than he or she will
actually cost the society, may yet have made a very good bargain in the
purchase of a comfortable and respectable maintenance; and, lastly, the
advantage of the purchase of a kind of _annuity_; paying down a certain
sum, and being secured, as far as a decent subsistence, against all
chances, by insuring a maintenance during life, or during single-life,
according to the regulations of each society.

The fellowships, &c. of _colleges_ are, for the most part, held during
celibacy only; and some of them make little or no provision for any but
those actually resident. Persons admitted on the foundation of
_ecclesiastical_ societies, as ministers or other officers, receive a
stipend for life, unless regularly expelled for misconduct.

                  *       *       *       *       *

There are several further particulars relating to these matters, on
which, as has been already mentioned, Mr. Sibthorpe hoped to obtain
fuller information.

                              CHAPTER XIV.
                        Letter of Paul Wilkins.

We shall close these extracts with a letter, which we have had
permission to publish, from one of the exploring party, Paul Wilkins,
the sailor formerly mentioned, written after his return to Sidney to his
parents in England. Our reader will perceive from this letter that a
part only of the travellers had returned; two of them having determined
to prolong their stay in the newly-discovered colony, in order to gain a
fuller acquaintance with its singular customs and institutions.

The letter is printed exactly from the manuscript, because, if any
alterations had been made,—even though extending only to the style and
orthography,—or any omissions even of the most trivial matters, the
reader might have been left in doubt what degree of liberty might have
been taken with the original. And errors in language or in spelling,
such as may be expected in the composition of a person of ordinary
education in humble life, can excite no disgust or contempt; and must
disarm criticism, when occurring in a familiar letter designed for the
perusal of his own domestic circle, by one who never thought of aspiring
to come before the public as an author. Taking into account the station
and circumstances of the writer, there is nothing, we conceive, that
will be thought to do discredit to his head or heart.

                                            “_Sydney, Novr. 23rd, 1835._


  “This comes with my Love, hoping to find you a live & all well, as it
  leaves me thank God, which I never expected sometimes to come Back a
  live from a long and peralous Expidition into the Interier. But am
  happy to say we suckseded & have been to the most Wonderfull country I
  ever see in all my Voyages. I sho’d never have done if I was to go to
  tell you every thing, but as their is a Vessel just going to Sail, and
  I can send this by a safe Hand I take up my pen to give you some a
  count of it.

  “I hardly know how to be gin my Head is so full of all the queer
  things I see. The two Lieut. Smiths who you remember my shewing you
  one of them last time I was at Home, fine dashing felowes they are as
  ever trod a plank, they and Mr. Sibthorp of the Colony and Mr. Jones,
  they ingag’d me as a tendant to exploar in the Interier on a new plan
  of their own. They said as no great Navigable rivers has been found by
  coasting Expiditions, the only chance was to try in land, and if they
  met with any considarable Stream to follow it till it come either to
  the Sea or a great Lake which some thought there is a great in land
  Sea in the Interier. So says they cout kick out they wou’d find wether
  their is one or no. So off we sat & took with us the frame work of a
  Canoe flat bottomed by reason of the Shallows were we was to Embark.
  And when we come to the Lake which it is a kind of swamp like, more
  weeds than Water, we put our canoe to gether & coverd it with Bark of
  Trees & got in our Stores. Their was no room for much Provisions but
  we trusted to our Guns & Fishing tackle, all the Party are pretty good
  shots, & your Humble Servant no bad Hand tho’ I say it at striking
  Fish or Hook & Line.

  “It was hard work for some days, we were like a dab chick scufling &
  flutering along among the Flags & Mud, & then we got into clearer
  water & made Sail at a good rate, & then into a River which we thought
  this will bring us to the sea, But no we got into more Lakes & swamps,
  and then river a gain & so on, & then we had to get out and track the
  Canoe with Ropes to steddy its coarse along the rapids, & once we was
  forced to carry it overland to a void the Falls. And some times we
  never thought but what we sho’d be lost an starved in the Wilds, all
  the country round nothing but Rocks & Sands. But we all kep up a good
  Heart, no want of Pluck among the Gent men, and I can’t say we wanted
  for Vittles only going without Bread mostly thanks to the Fish &

  “I sho’d never have done if I was to tell you All. Well after better
  than a Month were do you think we come to at last, why to a Colony of
  White men, that had been hid like in the Wilds best part of three
  Hundred years & never seen no Christian peple all that time only them
  selves. Its true I a sure you, & its compewted theirs nearer 4 milian
  than three totell number of Soles in the Country. How serprised we was
  to see em & hear em hail us in English, for their of English Dissent
  mostly only some mixture of Duch & German & Swiss. Its an odd sort of
  English too they speak, but we got usd to it in a little wile, their
  lingo isnt worse than broaed Scoch or Yorkshire.

  “Well you may be sure if they wonderd to see us we was wondring how
  they come their. And it seems they came out in former times when their
  was great trubles in Europe to make a settlement and live in Piece &
  Quiet, And their Vessels was driven on the coast, & they got a shore &
  landed all their stores safe, & then went up & setled in the Interier,
  being they found the coast unhealthy. Its a fine Country they have got
  to now, as big I am thinking as Great Briton & Ireland put to gether,
  for they arnt no ways prest for room, but make a new Setlement were
  they likes. They treated us very kindly in deed & seamed glad to see
  us as if we had been brethren like, as they say’d. And very good Towns
  & good Living their is among them, tho’ they arnt quite so high
  civilised as English Peple, as stands to Reason being they have livd
  so long out of the World like.

  “And some queer ways they have among them to be sure, quite different
  from ours. Theirs not a bit of Bacca to be had for love nor money, nor
  Grog neither, as for Rum or Whisky or the like they dont know what it
  means. I usd to tell em how theyd stare if they was to come among us &
  see writen up every were Dealer in Tea Coffee To Bacco & Snuff, &
  Dealer in Spirtuos Liquors, for they havent nothing of the kind. But
  how ever they have good ale that I must say & Wine & Cyder to plenty,
  & very hospy table peple, but no way given to liquor, I never see a
  drunken Man all the time, & they say its like the Savages to get
  drunk. And theirs truth in that I can testyfy, for those Black felows
  will drink as long as they can stand in the Colony and longer two if
  they can come at liquor. They say wo’dnt you reckon it a Great Miss
  fortune if you was to go out of your Mind & have to be put in a mad
  House, and if a Man gets drunk he goes out of his mind, & ought to be
  shut up in confinement, & they say if a Man was a reglar drunkard they
  wou’d shut him up two.

  “They are good farmers I must say & good breeders too. you tell Mr.
  Evans, & my respects to him hope he is well & all his family, I
  haven’t for got all the farming I learnt under him tho’ I was but a
  lad, I wish he cou’d see the fine cows like the Holderness in the low
  grounds, and a breed like the alderney on the Mountaneous parts, &
  sheep to both long & short wool, such fleeces as I think he never see.
  But as for Mutton I can’t speak, for only think they never heard tell
  of Mutton, for theyd think it a most as big a sin to kill a Sheep or a
  Bulock & eat it as we shou’d to kill a Christian & eat his flesh like
  the Cannibles does. Theirs a queer peple for you. But they goes out
  hunting the Wild Cattle and wild Hog, theyve plenty of them, & they
  dont object by no means to a bit of wild pork or beef.

  “A nother fancy of theirs is they never will have Joints of meat servd
  up nor any thing done hole, not a pig or a foul or a fish if its ever
  so small, but all done in chops or Hash or the like of that. And they
  said we must be like the savages to feed on hole carcasses & Limbs of
  Annimals, as Egles & Woolves does. They calls a Dingo a woolf, thats
  the Newholland wild dog.

  “We went out with them several times, Hunting & shooting. They have
  guns only not so good as ours, but they shoot with Bows & Arows be
  sides, & wonderful good shots some of em is. Sometimes when we went
  out we had only to look on at them shooting, because they woudnt have
  no firing for fear of scaring away the game. But sometimes we had a
  grand Battoo & then all had guns & our Gentmen shot as well as the
  best of them. Mr. Jones made a present of his double baril Gun to one
  Gentman of the Country & mightyly pleased he was, for their workmen
  arnt up to a double Baril. And I shewd them a thing or too about the
  build & rigging of their fishing-boats that they wasnt up to. And very
  great full & handsome they was I must say, for they gave me as much in
  their money & other things as comes to better than 50£ besides several
  curosities as a sort of Keep sake like, I got new rigged from top to
  toe all in cloaths of their fashion hat & all & a comical hat you’d
  think if you was to see it.

  “Mr. Jones he said at first all the peple looked like musheroms they
  have hats as big as a small table, but that is to keep off the sun
  which it is very glearing in new Holland.

  “Then it was so strange to hear all about Kings & Sennates &
  Parliments & Piers & Lord mayers, just like being in a new World like.
  The thing is they have eleven states something like the States of
  America, only some is kingdoms & some is republicks & what not. I
  harly knew weather I was a sleep or a wake, it seam’d a kind of dream

  “Then I went several times to parties of pleasure something in the
  Nature of our Wakes they calls them Rebels & I a tended my Masters to
  wait upon them at some of the Rebels of the Gentry, and high & low
  their was plenty of mirth at all. But the first time I went with the
  Gentmen I thought their was to be a Ball or the like of that just as
  the gentlefolks have in England, & sure anuff their was Gentmen &
  Lords & Lady’s a playing at Bowls or something like, & some shooting
  at a target, & some at other games in the nature of tenis & trap-ball,
  all as fond of the sport as boys & girls, & they all grown up Gent
  folks & no mistake. And the best of it is they thinks dansing is only
  fit for children & Savages. It’s as true as I am sitting hear.

  “Its a fine country as I told you for pastur & corn & for gardens &
  orcheards to, & we see a good shew for fruit, only they havent got all
  the fruits as are in our colonies, being I suppose they wasnt known in
  former Times. And they are great Hands at Iragation as its calld thats
  leting the Water over the Land same as our Water Meadows, They’ll dam
  up a stream were it comes down from the high Ground, & So let it off
  by Canalls, & smaller Canalls out of those & so on, & then lower down
  there will be a nother dam, & so the River keeps wasting a way as it
  goes on, & some never gets to the Sea a tall. And its my belief they
  are one cause why no body has found any large river falling into the
  sea, for they say themselves, some that was in former times good sizd
  Rivers flowing to’rds the coast are now next to nothing. There is a
  great many Lakes tho’ & a sight of fine Fish in them, its wonderful to
  see how some of them will shoot fish in the shalows with Bow an arow.
  I never see the like, but for striking them with a spear I was up to
  that as well as them, & hook & line two.

  “And they always serves up fish for second coarse, when theirs any
  meat for dinner or foul as their generly is, fresh or salt, pork beaf
  ducks & Geese plenty, then up comes fish after meat, & soupe last of
  all, & only think chese the first thing of all to begin dinner. They
  say its a wonder how any Body can degest chese after a Meal, & to be
  sure there is a saying that chese dejest all things but it self. But
  its all contrary to our ways as many things is hear, perhaps youll
  think it stands to reason were the north wind is hot & the south cold
  & Chrismas come in summer & the shortest day falls in June, tho’ the
  folks dont walk with their heads down & heals up in the air neither as
  the old nurses used to tell us.

  “Well I cant tell you all nor half, but I must tell you of one great
  curosity we all went to see, near the town of Bath called Mount
  perril, its a good high mountain & they say was in times past a
  Burning mountain, & there is great caverns in the side, & out of some
  of them their ishues a noxuous vaper like what Ive heard talk of in
  coal pits wich they calls it chokdamp. We went a long with the
  worshipfull Christopher Adamson one of the Sennaters as they call im
  of the state of Bath, & stood a top of a cliff over one they calld the
  Gobbling cave, & let down in an iron Great a litle heap of dry chips &
  brush wood all a light & blazing, & wen it got into the caves mouth
  out it went as black as night jest as if you’d sousd it into the Sea,
  only there was no Hiss, and they said if any body was to go close to
  the mouth at some times hed drop down sufficated by the vaper. And in
  times past they said it was a fassion for Gentmen & Ladies two, if
  they had a Quarril to challenge one a nother to go their, by way of
  fighting a Dual, they calld it an Or Dual & they behovd to go to
  gather past the Gobbling cave & take their chance wich of ’em sho’d be
  Sufficated, & some times both. I said I thou’t it better than that or
  pistols either, to go and box it out fairly & then shake hands, & be
  freinds, tho’ to be sure that wouldnt do for the Ladys. But however
  theres no Or Duals now no kind of Duals at all their now a days. Their
  all to gather a very peicable well behaved set of peple as ever I see,
  And their a well looking peple to, tho’ some of them has a lick of the
  Tar brush as they say in the West Indies that is a mixture of Black
  blood in them, but they ar’nt no ways asham’d of it, for they say
  their not savages at any rate, & all men are children of Adam.

  “Well I must conclude tho’ I havnt tolld you half what I see, So Mr.
  Sibthorpe he was for staying a bit longer if he could but let all our
  freinds know we were safe, for they wo’d be sure to give us up for
  lost. So it was setteld for Mr. Sibthorpe to stay & Lieut Robt Smith,
  to stay behind & the rest of us to return, and a long with us young
  Squire Adamson a son of the old sennator. And there was several more
  talkd of coming to visit Sidney & paraps England to, along with Mr.
  Sibthorpe. Well it was about six weeks in all we’d been thear, geting
  toards the latter part of Octr wen we set off to return and the peple
  had sent a party on befour, with two Canoes & provisions to wait for
  us some way on, & we went over land on horse back by a short cut that
  the Hunters knew of. And that saved us a good bit. And when we
  imbarked we knew the rout & saved a deal of time that we had lost in
  coming. But then again we was forced to land in some places were the
  water was to shalow, or dried up since we was thear be fore. And some
  hard work we had to get a long over the rocks & weeds. So after great
  fatigue it was passed the middle of Novr before we ariv’d, which we
  did all well thank God, & glad our friends was to see us, for they
  given us up for Lost.

  “And so now as their’s a Vessel to Sail Day after To-morrow Morning I
  send this in haste hoping it will find you well & my Love to sister
  Jenkyns and her Husband hope is doing well & the boys who I supose
  they are grown out of my knowlege, And love to sister Nancy hope she’s
  a good girl & must be a help to you as you get old. So no more at
  present from your dutifull

                                          “Son dear Father & Mother
                                                          “Paul Wilkins.

  “P. S. I send Nancy a work bag I brought with me, made & embroided by
  a southland woman, she’d never gess what its made of, for its the
  poutch under a Pellicans Throat, what he keeps fish in. I send you
  also some peaces of their Money what they Give me, it is nothing very
  perticuler curious only for the shape, wich all they have is the Same
  that is not Round peaces like ourn is but Oval, wich they say it is
  not liabel to role away and be Lost if you drop a Peace, & so I think
  it is Better.”

                                THE END.

                       PRINTED BY SAMUEL BENTLEY,
                      Dorset Street, Fleet Street.


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected obvious typographical errors and variations in
 2. Retained archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Account of an expedition to the interior of New Holland" ***