FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 1825.
We believe that Government, locally considered, have a wise and benevolent object in all its Regulations of this Colony; but the prophetic Ghost of Samuel need not rise to inform us, that sometimes the holiest designs are fatally productive of the vilest consequences. The laws which may be found most strictly expedient in one state of a community, will in another state be proved subversive of their original oper- ation, and actually coadjutive of those mischiefs which they were projected to ob- viate or repress. There is a progression, silent indeed, but undeniable, in all things subject to mortality. As a sage of anti- quity exclaimed, the wisest law of Lycur gus was that which rendered every law subject to revision. And so strong is our confidence in both the fine sense and pure sentiment of those by whom the state-affairs of Van Diemen's Land are now adminis- tered, that we dare assert they will more highly esteem us, for urging an amendment
by pointing out an error, than for exhibiting a serf-like assent to any measure, which however necessary it may have been, is now worse than superfluous, or which how- ever properly effective it at first, was, is now conducive to injury. We shall there- fore on this, as on every appropriate occa- sion, submit through our independent Columns such remarks as we shall think requisite, either to explode existing evils, or to procure desired good. In reference then
to the present system of licensing of refu- sing to license persons to retail wine, ale, and beer, it is our wish to offer some obser- vations. That by restricting the licenses within a given number, any benefit to either the community at large or the Pub- licans in particular, is afforded, we are on due consideration bound to doubt ; while that by it the interests of Government suffer, we hold as a fact completely indisputable. It is well known that more liquor and beer are vended in what are elegantly called " Sly Grog-shops," than in all the Licensed Houses. It is equally well known that for one of these sly grog-shops, which becomes obnoxious to the Police and finably tangi- ble, nine escape year after year, to the for- tune-making pleasure of their lawless owners. Consequently, who need feel surprised that though the public-houses are deserted, a drunken populace reel to and fro? Every publican's premises are open to the Police; his customers are exposed to observation ; if they are prisoners, he must either turn them out when the bell rings, or be heavily fined; he must not allow gambling in any of his rooms; and even a rubber at skittles is punished with a penalty of £40 sterling!-Who therefore
need be amazed that the lower orders con-
sume their time and expend their money where, unrestrained by constables or a con- scientious inn-keeper, they may swear and play at cards as much as they please, and as long as they chuse, because the sly grog man is in their power! Now we state, without fear of refutation, that the present fine for keeping an unlicensed house is not at all adequate to the offence, when the im-
moral train of evils connected with it are
considered ;-that its inadequacy is proved by the alarming increase of offenders ; and that nothing short of imprisonment as well as an augmented fine, will tend to diminish the list of those, whose " sly grog- shops," if not repositories for stolen goods, are at best but nurseries for blasphemy and lewdness ! In brief, would it not be better to let even indifferent characters have
licenses, which would certainly restrain them in some degree, and by which a con-
siderable share of the Colonial Revenue
would annually be furnished, than by per- severing in the present restrictive system to prevent their paying that sum to Govern- ment; which, when they are discovered to sell without a lisense, they must pay as a forfeit into the hands of some grovelling
It is a well-known fact that in military conflicts the corps of sharp-shooters, who fire from an ambuscade, receive no mercy from a capturing foe, but are immediately slaughtered ; so, in our opinion, an anony- mous accuser is completely without the pale of sufferance, and undeserving of even a sin- gle moment's respite from detestation. We have received a Letter on the subject of Phi lo's Communication, in which the author, who merely signs himself" a constant Read- er," states, that with reference to the pungent remarks in No. 10 of The Australian, allu- ded to in our last, and the manner of which towards His HONOR our LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR the writer is displeased with, it is rather singular we should have been ignorant of the grievance which called them forth, the more so as we in general manifest a zeal to cater for our Readers, and " an anxiety for the improvement of Tasmania, which cannot be too much praised." Now we are unable to observe any singularity at
all in connexion with the circumstance. True, we are zealous caterers for the Pub- lic;-but, supposing the general palate to be depraved, are we to pamper its depravi- ty ? True, we are anxious for this Island's improvement ;-but should we show that we were so by recording every unsuppor- ted imputation on Gentlemen, who were they Gods would be abused and hated, be- cause they are in office ? We are not so ignorant as we are unprejudiced ! We hear a
great deal of which we say nothing, and re- lative to which silence is our duty. It does not become us to anticipate the guilt of any man ! We know this is a British Colony, subservient to British Justice, and regulated by British Law. We know that whenever a public or eminent character is united by report with even the shadow of an accusati- on, there are willing ears enough to listen to, and fluent lips enough to circulate the rumour. We know that the conclave of calumniators will pronounce his conviction before one proof, or the semblance of any, has been registered against him by a just Tribunal. We know, too, that thousands will swallow his impeachment with gusto, who have no relish for his vindication-and that sceptics will implicitly confide when
doubt would be favourable to the accused.
-Knowing all these facts, in combination with the jealousies excited by lucrative ap- pointments, we disdain to suppose the ex- istence of grievances where no appeal to the Laws is offered for redress ! Obviously every exalted Personage must be obnoxious to those aspiring frogs of less than contempti- ble mediocrity over whom his talents or his virtues have raised him ; and those, perhaps the many persons, whom he has obliged, will sigh desiringly for his downfal as the seal by which their irksome bond of grateful feel- ing may be cancelled. We therefore shall never allow attacks to be made through our medium, which, if they have any founda- tion in truth, should be made in the SU- PREME COURT; where, as we have before stated, Equity is as free for the Beggar as the Potentate ; and where no rank, no inter- est can avail, to divert the penalty of crime
from an offender.
We respectfully desire with all possible delicacy to state, that by a former system, the road gangs were daily tasked to do a certain quantity of work ; and allowed, after it was done, to hire the remainder of their time, until the hour for retiring at night, to any person in the neighbourhood who might need, or be pleaded to accept, their ser- vices. They were thus enabled to earn
comforts in addition to their ration. The
poorer class of settlers were glad to cm ploy them for a few hours in the day ; and would, if enabled to do so, again cheer- fully avail themselves of the opportunity.
The Annual General Muster of the Colony, and the Sessions of Oyer and Terminer at Launceston, are concluded. His HONOR, the LIEU'IENANT GOVERNOR- arrived in Town on Tuesday; the Attorney-General, (J. T. GEL- LIBRAND, Esq.) has also returned ; and His HONOR Chief Justice PEDDER, and Lady, may be hourly expected.
The ship Hope, Captain Norris, bound from the Mauritius for Port Jackson, with a cargo of sugar, lately touched off George Town, solely for the polite purpose of sending on shore a number of commercial letters, by one of which we are extremely grieved to learn, that Colonel Cimitiere, late Commandant of Port Dalrymple, had been cut off with his detachment by a party of Indian Insurgents.
In serious and imperative reference to the many daring robberies which are continually happening at night in this town, we ask, Do the Constables discharge their duty ? For, although we cannot deny that between the hours of eight and nine each evening, they are indeed as busy as bees in all directions, and at every corner ; yet we can assert as a truth, well and generally known, that from those hours until day-light, you may, in vain, scream about the streets until your lungs bleed, for one of them ! Pray is their appointment nullified at night-fall ? Is the Penitentiary-bell their cerfew ? Or has the once depraved portion of the Inhabitants become so well-regulated, moral, pious, and confidential, that in sooth night-guardians are superfluous? No, but they prudently decide that a seat before their own blazing hearth is far more healthful and agreeable than a bleak or aguish walk on the exquisite roads of Hobart ; they imitate Gray's plough- man, " and leave the world to darkness" and those cracksmen, who, if you have any more Spanish dollars in your house than you know what to do with, will ease you of them, because they know to an instant when the coast is clear! O, by the way, if our wor- thy Chief Constable, would discontinue to let a fierce dog loose in his yard, any In- habitant wanting his assistance, might pos- sibly obtain it. The other night it was want- ed, and could not he obtained in consequence of the fears of a bitten leg.
A calculation (as we learn through a medium highly respectable) has been made from facts well established, that one-tenth in England, and one-eighth in Ireland, of the wheat crop is lost, by suffering the corn to stand until it becomes what is term-
ed by the farmers rotten ripe. In this state the least wind will strew the land with the finest of the grain, and what remains un- shaken in the ear, is vastly inferior. In addition to the above, it is found by a num- ber of accurate experiments, that after a certain degree of ripeness is attained, the farina, or flour of the grain, decreases, and the bran or external coat increases, and
THAT considerably. In the latter case, (viz. when over ripe), the grain becomes what is termed by the millers " steely," more dif- ficult to grind, and not yielding so much flour, is thus consideiably deteriorated.-The grand point therefore to ascertain is, the precise or critical moment to cut your corn ; and this you will attain by examining atten- tively the state of the straw at the bottom of them. The moment the roots appear to be dried up, and the straw near the ground turns brown, or of a dark colour and decayed, (though the upper part of the stem, next the ear, appear of a greenish hue, and not suf- ficiently yellow), at this moment cut your corn ; and be assured, though it be appa- rently too green, and not ripe, you will have on your floor a more abundant crop, a plum- per grain of finer colour, yielding a much larger proportion of flour, and a clean
stubble without loss :- the winds which
prevail so much in this Island, not having the same power over the corn in this state of maturity, as when it has attained an ex- cess of ripeness.
Perhaps no subject of Colonial import has ex-
cited more observation or influenced more dis- content, than the exorbitant or at least dispro- portionate ratio of charges for manual labour. We have received many relative Communi- cations, penned in a shape of judicious remon- strance. And as it is our duty to espouse every measute that on due grounds we may consider adapted to refiesh the languid plume of our industrious farmers' prospects, we beg permission to suggest that in future all acts of labour should be paid for in money, rather than in property. It is well and generally under- stood that what a man sells he intends to profit by. Of course then if he hires a labourer and agrees that payment shall be given in goods, the person hired, whilst cogitating on his bar- gain, will consider the difference between money and property so far as his employer is concerned, and consequently will exact such an increased rate of payment as shall be equivalent to the profit leviable upon a barter transaction. As illustrative of this fact, we may state that for a substantial post and rail fence, if paid principally in goods, labourers are accustomed to charge from 3 to 4s. per rod ; whereas we know that Mr. ROMNEY, an active Settler at the Hollow-tree, has, by pay- ing in Bank Notes, been enabled to fence in 500 acres, with a peculiarly strong and eligible fence of logs 5 feet high, at the trifling charge of one shilling and four-pence per rod, which is quite as low as it could have been done for in England, where provision and labourers are so plentiful. A fact like this requires no com- ment. Men work for gold and silver or the accredited representative of them, They love the sight of a dollar or a Bank Note. But they are dissatisfied and think themselves poor- ly remunerated by tobacco, tea, sugar, and flour; which they imagine, perhaps with rea- son, they could purchase much cheaper or of better quality, were they (as they wish to be) paid in cash. Besides all this, they conceive there is a species of degradation experienced when after working hard all day they are sup- plied by way of recompense with an old greasy cap full of provision ; and they, like every one else, feel a comfort in patronizing a favourite shop with their ready-money custom which is always acceptable.
We have so repeatedly called attention to the filthy state of the Town Rivulet, and so little attention has been paid to us, that a stranger to the activity of those who should punish nuisances, would suppose the Inhabi- tants had neither decency nor a palate. Is it, or is it not, the duty of some appointed in- dividual to prevent the banks of the creek within high-water mark from being hour after hour misemployed as a substitute for Cloaci na's edifice ? Is it or is it not the duty of some appointed individual to inspect the drains which communicate with the stream, and re- port at the Police Office such as are found im- pure ? Are dead animals allowed to be thrown into, and hogs to wallow in, that water, which is so principally connected with the health, cleanliness, and consequent comfort of this increasingly populous Town? -It is notorious, as a fact which the medical resi- dents can attest, that to the foulness of the ri- vulet may he imputed a majority of the com- plaints that hurry so many to the Church- yard. From six in the morning until even- ing, you cannot get a drop of drinkable water below the old mill. And unless either the current is arched over, or pipes are laid down as already suggested, we are compelled to dread the loathsome pollutions which will multiply with the Inhabitants.
It affords us great satisfaction to learn, that the Mill at New Norfolk, which was recently erected by Mr. TERRY, is enabled to grind ten bushels an hour; and, in conse- quence of the excellent manner in which it works, there is so small a quantity of bran,
that the most extensive patronage is afforded to it. Some Settlers so far distant as Pitt-water send all their wheat to be ground by Mr. Terry, who seems extremely attentive, and skilful in his business; and whose mill, from being made on an improved principle, and situated on a powerful stream, is so expe- ditious as always to secure Settlers from the expense and inconvenience of delay.-We also are happy to inform our Readers, that Mr. Terry expects the almost immediate ar- rival of a second pair of French burrs, which he will have prepared, and turned, so as to
suit the bakers in Hobart Town.
Since the publication of last week's Ga-
zette, that numerous and most indefatigable
lass, who wield the jemmy, climb the chimney, and do many other things of that sort, have gathered together by hook or by crook, no inconsiderable treasure.-Hobart's Hotel was pillaged of all Dr. BROMLEY'S plate to an amount of nearly £500! Mrs. WHITE'S premises were burglariously entered, and, as we are sorry to add, almost emptied ! An Inhabitant was robbed in the day-time,under circumstances singularly impudent; and either five or six other depredations have been reported to us. Surely a subscription should be raised in behalf or the Townsends, the Geffs, and the Lavenders of this place, for without them pray how many more ag- gressions would take place than do now ?
It being one of our manual duties to make a weekly distribution of type, we were this morning, whilst so employed most unaccount- ably reminded of many persons who have died intestate in the Colony, and whose estates have been collected by persons call- ing themselves principal creditors. Pray would not an equal distribution of all the assets received be an act entitled to appro-
bation? We have no doubt of the honour professed by the parties whom we do not name. We cannot for a moment suppose they are designedly regardless of claims which are only inferior to their own in pecu- niary magnitude, And we beg that they will not misconstrue these remarks, as our sole object is to refresh their memory.
The important but thankless labours of an Editor, are sometimes better bestowed in im- partial arguments on public opinion, than on a display of his own ideas abstracted entire- ly from, or at most but remotely connected with it. Religion, nation,education,habit : all warp the microscope of intellect, respecting a particular object. Most things in this world resemble the shield which one knight took to be of gold, whilst another viewing it
from an opposite direction concluded it was
silver ; and respecting which, after drawing their swords, they would have died in con- troversy, had not a Dervise happily arrived to undeceive them, by demonstiating that both were right though both were wrong, as either side of it was formed of a different metal ! Let us be therefore allowed to adopt the Dervise's example, by deserving that blessing which is decreed for the peace- maker ; and as unfortunately there always will be opposition on public matters, may we have the happiness to advocate the good sense and pure feeling of all parties ; not forgetting that, as a celebrated writer once observed, no adjustment of human interests can be solid, final, or permanent, which is not decidedly founded on the immutable principles of justice. Relative to the Organ for Saint David's Church a serious difference
is known to have an acrimonious existence. And sorry are we that it is not here to lull with its sweet and holy sounds every discordant murmer. But there can be no harm, and there may be some good, elicited by shewing the real points at issue. The Public have liberally bought an instrument to aid devotional melody, and adorn the Church wherein they bow before the Lord, their Maker. Are they therefore, or are they not entitled to ap- point the person who shall be selected as Organist?-If they are not entitled, why are they not? Pray would they not be so in England? And then supposing, but only for the sake of supposition, that the sub- scribers to the organ are voiceless on the subject, who else has any right to interfere ? This final query is by us unanswerable. If that which a man buys is not subject to his controul, we really are unable to distin- guish any ground for a claim to authority over it which may be assumed by another