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15 corrections, most recently by janicehelenforbes - Show corrections

Original Communications.  

MR. EDITOR.—I did, as you stated in your last Paper, address His Honor the Chief Judge, on the subject of the Law charges; and had I not been cut short in the midst of my oration, owing to the informality of my mode of proceeding, I should have said much more on the subject.

Now, I beg to assure you, Mr. Editor, that I never made a speech before, and perhaps never shall again. For I confess myself much hurt at seeing my first oration, after my dis- appointment in Court mutilated, as it has been by Dr. Ross. Indeed, I think no man would be pleased to know that another had adopted the offspring of his genuis to mur- der it. Will you therefore oblige me by in- serting in your next, what I really did say, and what I intended to have said, which I  

will faithfully communicate to you, for it was all cut and dry for the occasion. In- deed, I had been spouting in re-hearsal to the gaol wall two hours nearly before I en-

tered the Court-house.

In making a motion for the reduction of the exorbitant charges of the Law (said I, addressing myself to the Chtef Justice),

"I have to apologize for the personal intru-   sion of my remarks, for I conceive it would be hardly fair to expect any of my Learned Friends in the Law could warmly espouse a cause so hostile to their own interest. I shall,   therefore, endeavour, out of pure delicacy to their feelings, to spare them the painful task of doing so. With this view, I earnest- ly beg the favour of your Honor to bestow a few moments of your precious time to the ob- servations I am about to make.

"I beg to assure your Honor, it is far from   my wish to offer any personal attack on the Gentlemen of a Profession, for which I have a most wonderful respect. It is the magnitude of their charges, authorized or otherwise I cannot pretend to say, of which I complain.

" They will tell your Honor as they have told me, that they cannot help it. Poor fel- lows ! nor do they wish to help it, but I trust your Honor will relieve them from that help- ess condition, and save the Colony from

ruin.

"Few, if any, of them came out to this Co-   lony for want ; but it is now an undeniable fact, that many of them are now possessed of large herds of cattle, and flocks of sheep; and the Colony reduced to beggary by their  

exertions."

Thus far had I gone, when, as I think you observed, my oration was cut short.

It was my intention to have added, but I   was again left spouting to the bare walls, that accident or the uncertainty of the wea- ther, often prevented the former from bring-   ing his produce to market at the appointed time to discharge a debt. He was then very improperly arrested, and in the course of two days subjected to Law charges, which exceed the amount of his debt, to discharge which, he was compelled to sell his team, and be thus deprived of the means of carry, ing on his agricultural pursuits, and his whole family are left destitute. But I did not intend to say a word about the "bottom-   less pit" alluded to by Dr. Ross. I should have pointed out to His Honor, that "the charge of one small Law suit, is the price of one pair of oxen, and two pair of oxen is an independence to the industrious man—to de- prive him of which must involve him in ruin  

and wretchedness.

In conclusion, I was about to have said, hoping I should not be thought uncharitable,   that I imputed much of the crime which con- stantly occurs in this Colony, to the distresses arising from the above causes. I have heard that crime has increased, but I am sure the Lawyers have multiplied in proportion.—I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,

Redlands, July 18, 1826. H. OAKES.

-oo -

MR. EDITOR,—As the Government Gazette of last week contains my dismissal from the situation of District Constable of this town, I hope you will do justice to my feelings, by giving the following statement a place in your Independent Paper.

About two months since, Mr. Mulgrave re- quested me to bring charges against the Chief Constable, to enable him to dismiss him, and with his fists clenched, begged me for God's sake, to accept the situation, to both which I repeatedly and positively refused.

About five weeks since, I was employed by Mr. M. in a private search, (as he said by   private information), after Dunn and others,   he stating as a reason for employing me, that there was not a man about the Police he could trust, except myself, and begged me not to let the Chief Constable know on any account, lest he should frustrate it; that he had ap- plied to the Commandant to dismiss him some time after a report was in circulation that I was to be dismissed.

Some little time after this I was called upon to give evidence on an investigation of the public store-keeper, for offering to lend me   some iron he had purchased from a dealer in town, which evidence I gave to the extent of my knowledge.

On the 29th June, I was employed by Mr. M. on a secret enquiry at the Springs, rela- tive to Mr. Walker's robbery, he positively stating, I was the only person he could place confidence in, when to my surprise on the

Monday following, I was informed by him,   I was suspended by order of the Commandant. —I waited on the Commandant, who took the deed on himself, which I would willing- ly have given him credit for, had not half the  

town heard of my dismissal prior to that affair taking place, and I have doubtless to trace it to a very different course.

As I have no wish to fill any situation un- der the Government of Port Dalrymple again, I would not have troubled you with this, had it not appeared singular to the public and prejudicial to my character, that after hav- ing such repeated intreaties to accept the situation of Chief Constable, I should so soon  

be dismissed from the one I held.—I am, Sir, yours, &c. WILLAM HORATIO BROWN.

Launceston, July 17, 1826.

MR. EDITOR,—The following beautiful ob- servations made by Mr. Burke, in his speech to the electors of Bristol in 1780, when ex- plaining his motives for the support he gave to Lord Beauchamp'» Bill, seem so very ap- plicable to the present state of debt in this Colony, aggravated as that misfortune is, by the exorbitant demands of the Lawyers, that I think they merit quotation.

4t There are too capital faults in our law, with respect to civil debts-one is, that every mun is presumed solvent, a presumption in innumerable instances directly against truth. Therefore the debtor is ordered, on a suppo- sition of ability and fraud, to be coerced his liberty until he makes payment. By this means, in all cases of civil insolvency, with- out a pardon from his creditor, he is to be imprisoned for life ; and thus a miserable mistaken invention of arti tica 1 science, ope- rates to change a civil into a.criminal Judg- ment, and to scourge misfortune or indis- cretion, with a punishment which the law does not inflict on the greatest crimes.

* u The next fault is, that the inflicting of that punishment is not on the opinion of an equal and public Judge, but is referred to the arbitary discretion of a private interest- ed and irritated creditor. Re who formally is, and substantially ought to be, the Judge, is in reality no more than ministerial, a mere executive instrument of a private man, who is at once judge and party. Every idea of judicial order is subverted by this procedure. If the insolvency be no crime, why is it Kuuished by arbitrary imprisonment? If it

e a crime, why is it'delivered to private hands to pardon without discretion, or to punish without mercy or without measure ?

" Gentlemen,! never relished acts of grace, nor ever submitted to them, but from des- pair of better. They are a dishonourable invention, by which, not from humanity, not from policy, but merely because we have not room enough to hold these victims of the absurdity of our laws, we turn loose upon the public so many naked wretches, corrupt- ed by the habits, debased by the ignominy of a prison. If the creditor has a right to those carcasses as a natural security for his proper ty, I am sure we have no right to deprive him of that security.' But if a few pounds of flesh were not necessary to his security, we had not a right to detain the unfortunate debtor, without any benefit at all to the per- son who confined him. Take it as you will, we commit injustice."-Yours, &c.

SPECTATOR.

.-000

MR. EDITOR,—In a recent number, you communicated the adoption of an entire new system, by the Governor-in-Chief at Sydney, with regard to female prisoners, whereby every possible encouragement is to be afford- ed to matrimonial alliances. I beg to ex- press the satisfaction I feel at this Philanthro- pic and Colonially beneficial measure, and I hope it may be imitated here ; in reference thereto, I beg to offer a few remarks thereon, which I consider of some importance to an infant couutry such as this.

From the great disproportion in number between the two sexes, everyone would rea- sonably be led to suppose, that no sooner did any respectable young woman arrive here, than she would have many advantageous of- fers of alliance. This is not the case. The   contrary is the fact ! There are great num-   bers who haye been here several years, and many who have been born here and arrived at womanhood, and who are in every respect capable of ameliorating the condition of any steady young man, but who are suffered to remain neglected, and in a manner lost to society ; and without any opportunity of ex- ercising that powerful influence bestowed by nature in softening the manners, and rectify- ing the moral conduct of men, which in the cement of the most lasting bonds, the foun- dation of all society, and which binds us to the soil we inhabit. And why is this the case ? Not because there are not young men enough in want of suitable companions, for they greatly exceed the others in number, but from the uncertainty of success in their undertakings (which is expressly applicable to agriculturists), and the exorbitant fees de- manded for the permission and performance of the marriage ceremony—the insolent treat- ment experienced by many men and women applying for such—the trouble and difficulty experienced in obtaining Mr. Bedford's con- sent to marry, and the apprehension univer- sally felt to encounter it from the dread of his displeasure. These considerations induce him rather to live in the most barbarous, un- social, and miserable way imaginable, and which is really the case with great numbers, rather than subject themselves to great ex- pence, and probably much personal annoy- ance ! In order to obviate these evils, I would suggest, as the first step to be taken, a reduction of at least two-thirds of the usual fees demanded for licence and marriage by licence ; not that I wish it, Mr. Editor, to be

supposed that any young man would have the least objection to paying £8 sterling for the wife of his choice, but every sensible one would, I believe, rather have it to increase her comforts after marriage, than give it to the Secretary and Chaplain, whose salary and means already so much exceed his own. And secondly, that permission to marry be ob- tained exactly as it is in Britain, upon the ap-   plication and affidavit of the parties, without subjecting them to Mr. Bedford's interference in any way, shape, or form whatever ; con- fining him strictly to the exercise of his sa- credotal functions, beyond which he has no right to go. Next, I would recommend that those expensive and worse than useless esta- blishments, the Government farms, be aban- doned, and that the fifty to one hundred men employed thereon, he assigned to the differ- ent industrious Settlers that most need them. These men have been worse than uselessly employed for more than twelve months past; performing what any Settler would have ac- complished in the same time with a tenth of the means. Thirdly, I would advise that the Government herd of bandacoots, which they call cattle, be destroyed or disposed of, and that the stock-keepers, with their horses and

the carts, and bullocks employed in culti- vating the Government farms at Ross Bridge, be employed in repairing the roads, which are now almost impassable. And lastly, that the fine sheep district, now occupied by the Government bandacoot herd, be allotted out (not to Civil and Military Officers, nor Horse-dealing Companies, who probably never intend to see it themselves), but to industri- ous steady young men, who will take a wife, and sit down upon their farms, and improve them, and stock them with sheep, and attend to the improvement of wool, and thereby add several thousands of fleeces annually to the export of that staple article, which alone can ever redeem us from the disadvantages we labour under, from the balance of trade being so much against us. I am well ac- quainted with every part of that district, commonly called the Government run ; and I am quite sure it is capable of depasturing at least fifty thousand fine woolled sheep, and which is now worse, than uselessly occupied by a herd of the worst cattle in the Island. If you think these remarks will be of any be- nefit to the people, by giving them a place in your valuable Paper, you will oblige, Sir, yours, &c. A BATCHELOR SETTLER.

Macquarie River, July 11, 1826.

* A particular instance of this occurred on the last arrival, which we shall notice in a

future number. ED.

-ooo

MR. EDITOR,—Having, by the intervention of signs, held a sort of conversation with a tame tribe of Aborigines, of whom some ap- peared more willing to answer my enquiries (so far as I could make them understand my meaning) than any I have hitherto met with, they communicated the terms used by them for the following words :—the head, pericrag- na; eyes, nieburdeirda ; nose, muinna; teeth, capada ; tongue, meina ; chin,cumunda, ear, culubunda ; breast, nomena ; arms, wenmda; legs, tieuruna ; toes, perra ; leine, a crow ; eura, a wattle bird.

From the foregoing short specimen it may be seen, that the vowels frequently abound the letter a in particular formed a component part, and terminals in a great number of their words; and where it and some others occur, they are pronounced very soft, so much so in fact, that a native of the British Isles can neither spell nor articulate them correctly, or with ease. To the ear their language sounds by no means harsh ; on the contrary, it is rather grateful and melodious. I am   satisfied that at any event a slight knowledge of it might be acquired by time and assi- duity.—Yours, &c. A BUSH RECLUSE.

   

Edward Everett and Thomas Denning,   for the extensive robbery at Mr MINNETT'S, at Pitt Water, nearly £1000 in property having been stolen from that Gentleman, were   yesterday tried, and found guilty.

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