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3 corrections, most recently by P.Kent - Show corrections

Tin V— TmcvTCTim.

'Patriots are we; for, be it understood, We left our cauntrr for our country's ir-od.n

So sang the renowned Harrington ; an 1 mire truth U lontaincd in the couplet than most people imagine. Sitherto it has been generally applied to the class referred lo ia terms of derision, but it will bear a different con

icrscuon on a careiui anaiyzsuun. &uy mui was ocueu ? lis country, directly or indirectly, voluntarily or com julsorily, is a patriot; and that England has derived jreat. benefit from transporting her ciim'nah to the intipodes admits of no doubt. By so Aiing she has released herself from a great amount of crime and, eon lequently, expense, which are naturally thrown on tbe jountry receiving tho offtccurings of tho parent state. Let any one examine the criminal record* and statistics of Victoria, and ha will be astonished at the ustounding preponderant of iriminals figuring there who were originally expatriated from the m jihsr-coontry for their crime*, and who became freo by servitude or by escape. It is mr firm belief that, if th; convict element had never existed in the southern hemUpherv, Melbourne at the present time would ba enabled to spend- at least a million sterling in jirosccutiaj public works to the manifest advantage of her unemployed population, more than that sum having been expended in maintaining, apprehending, and convicting men who had received sentence of transportation, aad which the mother-country, by every principle of right and jus tice, should have defrayei. Although Victoria was never a penal settlement, beyond receiving a few shiploads of Parkhurst boys, there were at tho time of which I write great numb ars of conditional-pardon men, or men who had become free by servitude, throughout the country. In fact, the situa tions of shepherds, hutkeepars. and stockriders were com pletely monopolized by them. To a stranger this assertion would naturally excita doubt; but when it is remem bered that Victoria granted free passages to h.er shores to all who chose lo leave Tasmania, ana that miny came overland from Sydney with sto:k, &c, the tru:h is apparent. On one ociaiion I was encamped with my mites on the Campaspe River, near an outst.itton of the Messrs. Boss. The hutkeeper, who had evidently been obser ving the progres-. of the dray for so-.ne time, sallied forth frjm the hut on the stoppage of the vehicle for the purposo of camping aboit a hundred yards or so from the sh'.nty, bearing in his hand as a peacs-offtfrin? a shoulder of mutton. After a few commonplace observa tion; on the weather, state ofthe diggings, and so forth, he fp,voured us with a short biographical sketch of him self. Ha informed us that he had been ' lagged' from Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, for fourteen year*, for 'shaking a ticker;' a-..d a* it was tome time since he had left 'tho island,' he was desirous of hearing of its welfare. In the innoconcy of our hearts, little Hunting tint by so doinc we should strike a tender ebord, w« told hin we were all Adelaide men, and had never cvan ie»n ?* the island.' On hearing this ooiifession he took a coal from the embers, lit his pipe, and abruptly de parU-d in tb« most inelhble disgust; and we never saw an» more of tho man who ' shook the ticker.' All South Australians who have worked acy time on the Victorian diggings will agree with me that the greatest aversion to the Adelaide men was evinced by the Derwenters. At Fryer's Creek, the hotbed of the scum of 'the island,' and where ' Black Douglas led hb band' of midnight fossickcrs, it- was almost unsafe for koacEt mm to work among sudi Tillains, and who identified the country with themselves by such names as 'Choke'em Plat,' and '' Murdering Flat.' If an Ade laide man marked out a claim in a likely position, and left it for a few hours, it was sure to be' jumped' by some Derweiter, who had been 'laid on' by his com peer?,- 'as it only- twloDged to an Adelaide man.' If the injured party remonstrated on the injustice of tbe proceeding, he was tolJ to do his best; and if he brought tho Commissioner so many could be produced to bear false witness against tho unfortunate Adekidean, that tbe officer was obliged to give it in favour of the Derwenkr. Some ofthe Adelaide people adopted a novel means of defence, by taking a'lag' into their party, aud paying his working expenses; and although this amounted to a considerable sum per vyeek from the dcarncis of pro yUions, yet they were gainers by the transaction, for their ' patriotic' mate was sure to be ' laid on' by hia brethren to something payable, I have tried to discover the origin aud meaning of this aversion, but I have never succeeded, and. therefore I am obliged to have recourse

io conjecture, fcvn is isicntially np;-,-r..jd to good j itnu whan the lion shall lay down with the lamb— when Virtue shall nestle in the bonom of Vice— then will Perwenters— tho true breed, with the scowlimr eje, th» flittoricd nose, and tho low projecting forehead— regard1 Adelaide ffifil' witb complacency, but not till then. Of course I do not iftclado oil in ray catalogue. I havs» found some— yea, many— who where not imbued with such narrow-minded, uncharitable views, but were pos sessed of a nobleness of mind, and a generosity of pur pose, which would became any station. On another occasion we were encamped on the Major's Line, about 13 miles from the Mclvor Inn, on the banks of a beautiful creek, and in a splendid grazing country, On the opposite side of the creek was an outstation, and as it was eventide a shepherd was driving home his flock. Whilst unloiding wo observed a woman coining: from the hut in the direction of the homeward-boumi shcerf, aind we imagined it was the shepherd's wife wel* coming her hunband home. It was his wife, but she was bent on a far different mission as tbe seqael will show. Instead of welcoming ficr husband, she pato us 6 visit, and on her first introduction her manner was mltee uif she hal known us from childhood. She was a young woman, of about thrce-and-twenty, of rather pre possessing appeal au:e, and tho person' driving home the' meep she Uifonuel us was her husband. She further HWormed us that sho had been subject W syasmodlot affections of tho stomach for some years, flirt tha» hsrdstufT' Ungjiet, any kind or spirituous li-jc»rs- wth exceedingly efficacious in effecting a cure. Shelbel been a complete martyr tho whole afternoon to tlw malady, and if we could relievo her pain sho would b« exceedingly obliged to us. Such an earnest appeal from oar self-invited guest was irresistible, and as we bad par* chased a bottle that morning at tho Mclvor Inn, wa drew the cork and gave her i nobbier. The effect of tbe dram was perfectly marvclloiw,- for the pamutstr had scarcely left her lips ero the pain ccaced, and she became more loquacious than ever, and enquired how long kmo« Wo left tno Derwent. Oa telling her wo bad never seen that noble estuary, she evinced an uubelief h- our stat«-- meat, by gayiRg' we need not be ashamed tor etnr oar country, but sh uld acknowledge it at once ; she be' longed to Hobart Town herself, and was confident shtf had seen sjmo of us there. We denied the soft lrapescV m.-nt most emphatically, hut she still appeared incredu* Iouj. However, aflef receiving another nobbier, as ons was not of sufficient strength te cffectoally allay tbe pain iu the abdominal region*, sho firocceded to jfire m an outline of her past history. She informed us that bcr name was Alice S- . As what I am abort Ux relate to   perfectly true, I havo suppressed her surname, because, as a wcll-Snown functionary recently saw, the press having ten thousand wings, a pinion with lnese- 'iucidents' imprinted on it msy fall in the immedmt» neighbourhood of my heroine, wMoh would probably tend to militate against her reputation/ if by toil tins* she has any left. But to return. Tier nairio was Aliotf S— , and she was transported at the early ag» of 1* for purloining a silk dress from a linendraper's stop in m provincial town. On her arrival at Hobart Tow* sho -vas expressly selected by Bishop Nixon, in consequwte* of the good eharaoter she received from the Surgeon' Superintendent, as a domestic in that worthy prelate's* family, and after a service of four years, having previously secured her frcsdom, sho became the wife of tier present husband/ her distinguished employer officiating at ttas nuptials. Shortly after their marriaae they took advan tage ef the free passages offered, aud emigrated to Vic toria, where thej had since met with ready employment. She complained bitterly of (he conduot of her partner ki life, who, it appear?, was in the habit of exercising hb» lordly power bv giving her occasional caatigatlons. After throwing out 'various hints withotrt being takin, she came boldly to the point, and offered to etbpe with us in the mornlog, if we would wait till her husband- went out with his flock, and she would only exact oat proviso. She was tbe mother of three children, one at tbe breast, and two oWer. She could not leave her sucking babe, but the other two she would risk with her 'old num. If, therefore, we would take her .with the infant, «ho would joyfully go, and bceorao our slave. As tho night was wearing on, to get rid of her we yielded assent to her proposal, an.lshe wished us good ntiht, having been for four hours in the tent of strangers, leaving her husband for that spaee of time to tako care of three young eWW dren, and one of them a sucking babc, The next morning, before her 'old man' had gone out with the sheep, we were miles from the domicile of Alice S — . Another instance, and I have done. Whilst prospecting in company with a mate near the Woolshod, Reis's   Creek, we fell in with an elderly man who was tailing cattle. Having just boiled the "billy," we invited him to partake of a pannican of tea, which he accepted. Having mixed much with men from the three kingdoms, I have acquired a knowledge of the idioms and pronun- ciations peculiar to many of the counties, and I imagined I could detect in our visitor the Sussex accent, and en- quired if he was a native of that county. With the greatest nonchalance he replied, ' I was born in Sussex, but was "lagged" out of Kent.' He then entered into a recital     of his past career, from which we learned that he had been transported for life some 35 years ago, 'when George tbe Third was king," for smuggling. Uepitlrstttd in ritld colours the cruelties he had undergouo from various masters, and offered to pull off his shirt and show* his back, in corroboration of hb statemeuts. We de clined the Inspection, feeling satisfied that ho spoke the truth ; and after sympathizing with him, we wbhod him good afternoon. I forgot to mention that on our roturn from the Ovens we again met with Alice S. This time she was     filling a situation for which she was eminently capable— the proprietress of a 'coffee-shop.' Although the name would imply that such establishments are conducted on teetotal principles, yet the very reverse is the case. Mocha, Twankay, and Hysouskin certainly form items of consumption, but the principal article retailed is 'hard stuff.' The tea and ooffuo canisters and sngar-basln ato put prominently forward to deceive the officers of tbo law; but in immediate contiguity to the establishment is what is known as tho ' plant'— that is, a hole in tha earth containing the forbidden artiaUs, from which they are taken as occasion requires. These establish ments are generally kept by persons of very lax princi ples, and not only acts of fraud but crimes oi a revolting nature are occasionally perpetrated by the unscrupulous proprietors. Not content with mixing salt with tha liquor* to increaso tbe thirst, but If a digger U observed with plenty of money on his person, it oiten occurs that he is dosed with either opium or laudanum mixed with the alcoholic compound, under tho stupefying innatnoa of which he is eased of the wholo of his hard earnings, and then turned adrift. In many instances the parties thus ' locusjod' (such is tho term used) feel the baneful effects of the poisonous draught for many months, and some even have been hurried to a premature grave. In consequence of tho cessation of transportation tho class in relorenco to which this chapter is written is bat dying out, and in a few short years will be known only as a relic of tbe past.