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3 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

"Vox Populi—vox Dei."      

It has often been remarked that a strangcr visiting for the first time London, the Metropolis, as it is justly called, of the world, is affected with a degree of asto-

nishment and admiration that almost amounts to awe ; and though Sydney is as far behind that great city in wealth and magnificence, as in extent, yet such feelings will exist in, the mind of the reflecting man in as intense a degree from a view of this   comparatively, narrow and contracted town, as in the view of the former. It is true that of England the riches are immeasura- ble, the resources vast, and the power pro- portionably beyond calculation ; but this     has been the work of ages; she has gra- dually risen to the station she occupies- in the ranks of nations, and by slow, perhaps tedious steps; each century has ? seen her progress — but it is by centuries that' his- tory defines her rise from the- infancy of barbarism to the full 'strength of manhood—' an onion, we trust, that her' descent, 'if descend she must in a.. world where. thexe is nought stable, will, be marked by the. same «low gravity of step^and that ages, yet iii embryo, will 'drag their .slow lerigtV along' ere like the cities, of the desert she becomes a name — scnr.cely a monument. . But it is within the memory of man that the shores of Port Jackson first re-echoed   to European accents ; and there are living   in the Colony in the present day, those who saw upon their landing, perhaps on the very spot -where the hum of men is now busiest, no trace of man or of his works, other than the gunya of astonished savages, and where no other sign of life re-assured his sinking heart, than the kangaroo which bounded, or the serpent which glided from a vicinity which instinct too surely whispered them was not for their advantage ; a pathless brush covered with a mantle impervious to any hand but that of civilization, the now laden streets and crowded thoroughfares; and where not a solitary head of cattle browsed upon Nature's carpet, are now flocks and herds which reduce Job, in his   most prosperous hour, to the rank of a very second rate grazier. Such, and so rapid has been our progress ;

and if our future condition is la befcmea sured by thU literally yolden 'nile, we^ shall . soon reach a point beyond which the most vivid imagination must forbear to wander. A height of prosperity -and power which reduces the boasted growth, of America to a size and height no longer astonishing. Such too has been the fruit of that ' unblessed thing,' transportation ; the result of. a system which, if we are to put faith in the speculative ignorance of unin formed and uncorrected prejudice, lias within itself the elements of every thing that is destructive, fatal and terrific., But we have pi Ted the In boring oar, in ?bonds and fetters, morally as well as phy sically ; and paradoxical us is the Colony and many things in it, it, would be too great a: -departure from ordinary rules of reasoning to expect a very rapid progress under unfavorable circumstances. ' A liberal' and enlightened Government may undoubtedly do much for iis ; it may supply .in -.some measure -our wants,, and minister not unsparingly to our necessities ; but to hope for the same good results from the solitary ideas and representations of one .individual as would spring from the exer cise of our own earnest efforts, is a measure of faith! inore creditable 'to: 'our humility than justifiable. It is not necessary to enlarge, upon the theme, 'tedious as a twice-told tale,' of the incom potency of life 'incurables who sliunbci-rbver 'minute's and' bills; and pass resolutions in' helpless ignorance, in Mac quarie-street ; nor need we undertake the humiliating task of .shewing that, with one or two exceptions upon whom all the labor and necefsary care devolve, our alPairs and interests are in the hands of as complete a set of, old women as ever yet were by some strange mischance congregated 'round any thing but a washing' tub ;- it is notorious that while the one or two exceptions have to. devote their .valuable time tolhecon cccting and '-perfecting'.' of every important Legislative enactment, the sweet voices of ihe majority never wake the dull echoes of the Council Chamber, unless to prop up some such matter as a tumble-down bridge, or to encrcase' or secure' an unnecessary pension. It is a natural but degrading effect of tliis stale of things that- an apathy and listlessless that' have perhaps a parallel in enslaved Greece, or some auch other fallen nation,' pervade 'those whose abilities and leisure and wordly-mcans might work as profitably for us- a£- honorablv for them selves under more favorable circumstances; a more noble ambition than that of making money— -a higher occupation' than that of adding acre to acre,' would', employ the thoughts, and constitute theenviable reward of the enlightened and capable amongst* us ; as things are, -there is no arena for, the exercise of patriotism.' ? Hope, .however, beams in the , distance : tlese arc no longer timeswhen just demands . can be safely passed. oyer.in. contemptuous, silence; ' the world, from its .trance.., is awaking,' and the mis-government which lost England her. Colonies'can scarcely be anticipated frorii the now views and opinions which have taken place of. by-gone bigotry ; and as these' Colonies' have now acquired a growth and strength .which begin to be re cognised at home, as well as obvious here,, it' is neither presumptuous nor unreasonable to luok with confidence for the speedy extension of British, privileges to British subjects, , ' ; ;..

Ix the impounding Act passed last year is a clause .to prevent the vexatious im pounding of cattle; one very- vexatious species of, impounding1 has ..been unfortu nately overlooked ; a' horse gets out of a paddock, and goes upon the land of, A or B, who does not care about it; but a pound ketper, or some fellow 'whom he employs as a, sort of cad, is on the watch, and snaps him up for, the sake of the fees ;. now as laws arc made for public protection, it is perfectly jijst that he who has received damage from trespass should be compen sated ; but where no loss . has been sus tained, to punish a man for the misfortune of losing his horse, is unjust. It may be said, perhaps, that it is better to pay the fees than to risk the loss of your horse, and that the poundkeeper has now, fortunately for you, an interest in preventing it ; this answer might have been good four or five . .years ago, but. the country within twenty miles of Sydney, is now too much enclosed for a wide excursion,' and at a 'greater dis tance there is still less reason to fear such an event, as when horses or any other cat tle, breakout of bounds, they do not do so for the sake of taking a long journey, but will, always be found within a moderate distance of the ihomers. Mr. M'Alister, lately in command of the mounted, police at Bathurst, has received on his retirement, an address from all the principal* inhabitants. of that district ex-, )ressive , of teeir regret. at his .retirement, and of approbation of liis conduct while living amongst them in that capacity ; this we should have published, had the direc tions which were sent 'to the Herald with the copies of the address and answer, been forwarded to us ; we have no hesita tion in giving our opinion- with. the sub; scribers thereto, that Mr. M'Alister has proved a' very .valuable and efficient officer. ???.,. At the same time, we would recommend that gentleman, should .circumstances ever '?'ivcrise to another' address to him, not to Travel of the record by the introduction of theories and opinions, into what ought to be merely an acknowledgement of a compli ment, or' at ' farthest, a mark of friendly satisfaction ; the allusion to the' policy of having a corpsof mounted police regularly &permanently appointed, 'asrecommended by General Darling,' smacksrather strongly of Mr. McAllister's well known private pre dilictions ^moreover, we beg leave to in form him, that that recommendation was made to the Home Government before Ge neral Darling set his foot in the Colony. ' ' '.' ' ??';? -1*-®-**-:, \ ?'..'.. The Monitor lias published malter, which-; if true, conveys -a gross imputation upon the conduct of Messrs. O'Briens, lately ap pointed Justices of the Peace, both as ma gistrates and masters of assigned servants. It is alleged, that one of these latter had been guilty of some negligence, and. that nstead of being taken before the nearest

bench, tfic master, M-. O'Brien^ waUeJ,V.V . arrival oClus brother,-who 'heard 'the cimrge in. his private residence, and caused the man to be punished. Wedoubt the occurrence, but it demands enquiry, for the charge is publicly made, and if true, the act should be as publicly denounced,- if false, con tradicted.' Despite of all the excuses-that have, from to time, been, made for magis trates holding courts at their residence's, nt'id trying their friend's servants, there is no candid mind, but must acknowledge that it is a practice calculated to sap the founda tions of justice, as, well, as to destroy the efficacy of .the transportation system: -Once let it appear plain to the mind of of the convict, that he is treated with in- jus tice, and you cut off at once the grand incentive, to exertion, tae only Jiope of reformation. - ? The Court of Requests has been held this month for the trial of sonie 600 cases, in the saloon of the Theatre Royal, and we beg' to'call ' the particular;atteiition-of the Secretary of State,' whoever- he tnay happen to be, to the- fact — not that we mean to insinuate- that justice- cannotbe done as well there as elsewhere — but it has an odd appearance, that's all. And w]j'en there are so many thousand pounds, !in specie rusting in fhe.Treas'uryT we cannot sea any unpardonable extravagauce: in ap propriating a couple of them to the p o viding a commodious building for the nu merous suitors in this, all important Court. Lest however the Secretary of State should form an erroneous opin:o;i, of, the Theatre Royal Saloon, from his. knowledge of other salooons, we beg to' acquaint him, ihat it is used as 'a billiard and tavern room ; .and certainly ? we could hardly re-' press our risible ? faculties on seeing fie worthy, Commissioner hoisted on the top of the billiard table, dealing oat ju -.lice ' at one end of the room, and the a tendnnt suitors enjoying their gio^ round the ta vern tables at the oilier. The learned gentleman, novel thcless Formed tj uiuler .stand his cue, and pocketed tlie affront very gravely, while ll.oie who' came-tj, ina.ee: their- creditors bulled ic a\Viy. a d seemedtq ihiiik they -inciincl no kuzur.i of losing'thcir ?. in e ' , The conviction of the unhappy man M'Corrnick, for the murder of his wife,' is a matter of greater interest than ii would be, affecting as it is in itself to humanity, in consequence of those attending circum stances which have boon a subject of noto riety, in bringing the duties 'of the coroner a'nd the. chief, police magistrate into colli sion. ? ? ? Each of those officers 'has had among that 'portion of our press which, has but. little claim to independence j their ? res pective advocates. The^defenders of Colo nel Wilson have now, certainly, just reason to congratulate that gentleman on the. con- duct he adopted, and themselves, on the argument they advanced. The. verdict of the jury with the sanction of the court, has satisfactorily proved; that but for the zeal and diligence of that offi cer, a, murderer of his wife would have es: caped with entire impunity. ? Tlie coroner, 'and the partisans having contended,; that' the decision of his jnqucst released -M Cor mick from the liability of being accused before any other tribunal, -a .doctrine not only repugnant to every principle of law, utterly subversive of the humane intentions in 'which originated the constitution of the officer of coroner, b..t so absurd as to out rage common sense. Feeling it would be superfluous to say another word on this part of the subject, or without delaying to offer any unnecessary compliment to Colo nel Wilson, for his'. correct estimate of the' duties of his -office/ and for the zealous and faithful manner in which, in this instance, he has carried them into execution^ we . should consider ourselves negligent of our own, as commentators of this important event if we did not give a word of advice to the coroner, by whose ridiculous notions of his duties, a murderer had nearly escaped the hand of justice. 'We do therefore seriously recommend that gentleman in [future to be less* opi -niati ve vend obstinate in the notions; which he may himself farm, or have instilled into him by inexperienced medical men ; and in all cases where a possibility of -doubt can arise, to call the assistance of professional gentlemen of well ascertained judgment and experience — The emolument is a matter of no moment compared with public justice, and the - gross mistake committed in the case of .M'Cormick ought to be a lasting and impressive incentive to caution.'

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