WANT OF EMPLOYMENT IN THE BUSH.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir -The recent large meeting of the unemployed in Adelaide is the occasion of these lines. ** Why not push into the country if the town gives you no prospect of employment!'1 is the sage advice given
uy me weu-ieu anu inise iu worm oroauciotn buttoned to the chin to their less fortunate colonists. But, stop : it may be better, perhaps, ' to bear the ills they have than fly to others that they know/not of.' Mari? Antoinette, when a princess, was astonished that people in her father's
realms snouid be so foolish as to starve for want of bread: sooner than that she would eat cake. bo, on thesameprinciple of reasoning, why should people be idle and destitute in town when then is so much to be done in tho country 1 Let, us how ever, »-tudy the matter a little. r' A chance haa come o'er the spirit of the dream,' and on account of the fitate of the country travellers seeking em ployment receive not the Bame hospitality from squatters and their men as in the olden times. Many weary footsore travellers, with their long. ucaras uutummed, looking like so many Bobinson Uusoes running to seed, und with theurburdens on their backs hke so many broken-down pilgrims relate how further north than this station refresli ruent can scarce ever Iks procured for love, and sometimes not for money, although Is. and Is. 6d. a meal are the charm. aluuKi invnrini.iVaairiwi ami
paiu. vi course rrom the several annual droughts the squatters have sullered severely, and many of then- stations, flocks, and bounds of feed aio uaw on sale : but others are ' Of churlish disposition, And little reck to find the way to Heaven By doing deeds of hospitality ;' while some who are not wholly devoid of the milk of human kindness, and used at one time gladly to welcome men iu misery, like those who might themselves one day perchance suffer a reverse of fortune, scarce now give a kindly good evening. And many old and well-experienced in the bush, who have been on the wallaby track vainly seeking employment for one, two, or even three months, would, were it not for the large heart and brave hope that support them, fairly give up in despair. Farmers, too, both in the North and South, can also often procure strong and able-bodied men for their board and lodging; and if they should get a present from their employers of a winter coat or a pair of hoots they may be considered fortunate. Nor is this state of things peculiar to this colony. In Victoria, where I was a few months ago, matters were decidedly worse: and numerous soup
kitchens and the daily dole of a loaf of bread to the strong and able-bodied, as is the custom there, have not as yet become the institutions of South Australia. ' I wish.' says many a ]-oor fellow, 'some one would write to the panew and let them know alwut it, so that jieopUs may not bo tempted fror.i what may \m happy homes in Britain to undergo all this misery; butl suppose the editors would nut inseit it.' Kow, 1 believe that you, as fearless journalists and Christian men, will publish the matter, fur the remedy is a simple one, and 111 this fair land there would be food and woik for all if with an overflowing Treasury the Coveriiineiit ut once proceeded vigorously with the public works. The men of btreuglh and sinew would then have ample employment, and as for those of education and talents, instead of sending up applications to the number of tW for the poor h;llcl of a parlor to the Town Hall, they must bow themselves to circumstances, and gradually accustom themselves to manual labour. No one knows what he can do until he tries, and the nimcli's will soon develop and strength come to the weakest, amid the pure bracing air of tho country aud the mountains. As for talents, they are not current coin of tho realm ; their possessors cannot hreukfiist uud dine upon them. Adelaide and Melbourne, like uveiy otlier populous city, aro flooded with talents, without friends to adviso.
umisi. urcueriMi; nicy meet you willi worn booU aud threadbare coat at every corner of tho street, jostle one in the squares aud by-lanos, anil are to l-e read in hungry eyes and pale faces looking anxiously, anu too otten hope lessly, for bread. Then tho bush is sought as' the last resource, and, paradoxical as all tlmiKs aru at the ivntipoilea, doctors, artists, tutors, architects, dorks, clcniymeiiV sous, aud otheis possessing talents and often University honour', Kink into the shepherd and tho hutkeeper —sic transit gloria mundi. But to speak after the fashion of Touchstone-' In respect of itself, it ia a Rood life; but in respect that it ia a shepherd's life, it is nought. In rexpect that it is solitary, it is very well ; but in reflect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now, iu resiiect that it is in tho fields, it pleaseth one well ; but that it is not in the
cuv, 111s leuiuus. In conclusion, I trust that you will recommend those in Adelaide who can earn board and lodging, or their Is. (Id. or 4s. u day, to bear it patiently, and wait for the krm»'l time shortly comhiK, when our paternal (Jtfvcnmient will cany 011 public works in earnest, rather than travel on what is poetically termed the ' wallaby track,' often wet to the kkio, sleeping in some draughty hut or wooluhed in satu rated blankets, and existing on au average of live or six meals a week, aud enduring a life that would drive many a London workhouse casual iuto a state of supreme dis^uit. 1 am, Sir, &c, AN OLD COLONI8T. Mount Bryan, July 21. ISO''.