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The Gentleman Emigrant
The Gentleman Emigrant

A GENTLEMAN EMIGRANT!” cried an American backwoods farmer, to whom, we were one day describing Australian bush life, “A Gentleman Emigrant! Why, what on airth’s that? Guess he’s a British institution.”

A happier guess our horny-handed, sun-embrowned Yankee friend could, we think, hardly have made had he kept on guessing for a twelvemonth. The Gentleman Emigrant is a British Institution. France knows him not, neither does the German Fatherland. His counterpart will be searched for in vain among those countless thousands yearly leaving the ports of Hamburg, Bremen, Havre, for the shores of the New World; for he is an institution altogether, owing his being to the existence amongst us of a variety of other institutions—institutions which, although they may flourish singly in many lands, are to be found united in no other country save England. If we gently whisper Law of Primogeniture, Law of Entail, the reader will, we feel assured, be able to complete the list to his own entire satisfaction.

To judge from the heart-rending letters which he from time to time addresses to the editors of our daily prints, paterfamilias, with large family and strictly entailed estate, is just now at his wit’s end to know what he shall do with his younger children. Having had to “keep up his position in the world,” the amount he has been able to lay aside from year to year has been necessarily small, the sum total being barely sufficient to portion his daughters. There is the estate for Tom and the family living whenever it may chance to fall in for Jim, but what in Heaven’s name is to be done with Bill and Dick and Harry? and in the agony of his despair he can think of nothing better than to impart his perplexities to the editor of the Times, and ask the sympathy of its readers. The complainant has invariably been the very best of fathers, and has done what lie could for his lads. There have been no invidious distinctions made between the heir and his younger brothers; all have received the very best education that money could procure. As boys, they were sent to Eton or Harrow; as young men, to Cambridge or Oxford; whilst at home, stables and stubbles were free to all. After such advantages as these, the youngsters ought surely to be able to make their own way in life without much pecuniary assistance. Were one to tell this worthy English squire that, far from having done his best for his younger children, he had selected the very surest plan for ruining their prospects in life, how astonished he would be. And yet such an accusation would be but the plain truth after all. When preferment in the Church is next to hopeless without money for the purchase of a living; when, in both Army and Navy, the pay of junior officers must be supplemented by an “allowance when, out of every hundred young gentlemen called to the bar, there may perhaps be twenty who can find employment; when there is no admittance into commercial circles without an investment of capital; when almost every door to independence is locked, and only to be opened with a golden key—to give an impecunious younger son an education which, whilst it may or may not fit him for one of the learned professions, totally unfits him for a life of drudgery and privation, is not only unwise, it is cruel. Why is it that so many young men of good family are now shepherding in the Australian bush, tent-keeping for rough miners at the diggings, or begging for odd jobs in •Melbourne and St. Francisco, when they ought to be employers of labour rather than the employed ? Because the father, after having brought up the unhappy youth as if he were heir to ten thousand per annum, has, in many instances, packed him off to seek his fortune in the colonies, with perhaps as many crowns in his pocket as the son of the village grocer has received sovereigns from his father to start him in life—a liberal education being the sole makeweight. A liberal education, indeed! How the words bring to our recollection many a poor heart-broken wretch whom we have come across during our wanderings in the Far West and in our explorations at the Antipodes!

The younger son question has been so thoroughly discussed of late years, that the subject is worn well nigh threadbare. Heaven forefend that we should court the ill-will of "England’s firstborn by taking up the cudgels in behalf of Benjamin! Were the laws relating to primogeniture and entail to be straightway blotted from out the Statute Book, and all younger children be henceforth legally entitled, as in other lands, to their fair share of the patrimony, what, it has been plausibly asked, would become of Merry England ? Family estates, cut up into infinitesimal portions, fine old country mansions falling to rack and ruin, coverts converted into potato patches, and preserves into cabbage gardens 1 No more splendid hospitalities ! no more Christmas festivities! no more hunting! no more battues I no more coming of age as in the olden time ! Leaving to heirs in tail and to tlieir assailants the pleasant task of arguing the point, let us hark back to paterfamilias, and to the question by him propounded —In the existing state of things, what can be done with the younger children? Under the heading “Shirkers,” some letters made their appearance in the columns of the Field newspaper. The aim of the writer was to suggest a plan by which “those great lumbering, ’cute, good-natured noodles who sprawl about the premises during consecutive vacations, and yawn until one cannot help feeling it would be justifiable homicide to knock them on the head,” might be put in the way of earning their living. Divested of all extraneous matter, the plan proposed was simply this:—That an emigrant college, granting “testamurs” of efficiency, should be founded, where the shirks, or such other wretches as proved themselves incapable- of mastering the dead languages, or of shining in one of the learned professions, should be taught a trade, prior to their being packed off to the Antipodes.

Plausible as such a project may seem to those having no personal experience of colonial life, it does not take the initiated long to discover that it carries failure on the face of it. At what age would the probationer be admitted? At sixteen? at twenty? It is too late; and yet before that age it would be next to impossible to determine of what the lad might be ultimately capable. Like racers, some men are good to make the running; others come out strong at the finish. We have known lads who were always head of their class at school, and who brought home prizes every vacation, absolutely nowhere when it came to taking their degree; and, on the other hand, many a lagger to the distance-post, who, rushing gamely to the front when a few strides from home, carried the winning colours. A very unpromising yearling may, be a slashing horse at three years old, and there is no reason why the Eton or Harrow dullard should not ultimately develop into the first-class man. If you throw your son out of training simply because he does not promise well, you do him an injustice ; if he break down hopelessly when running his intellectual Derby, it is too late to begin his education. anew. Sending a young man whose tastes and habits are already formed to an emigrant college to learn turnery, the use of the file, farriers’ forge work, joinery, cabinet work, upholstery, basket making, any useful manual trade by which he is sure to earn his bread,” may be very well in theory, but it is unfortunately impracticable. Even supposing that he could forget the old home, and conquer his craving for those luxuries to which he has been since childhood accustomed, what kind of a trade could he learn in a twelvemonth, or even in two years’ time? If in the learned professions mediocrity means failure/5 it does so no less in the lower walks of life. A bungling carpenter has as little chance of employment as a blundering physician—less so, indeed, as the latter’s handiwork cannot be produced in evidence against him. Is it to be supposed that the trade which it has taken a smart, hardworking lad five or seven years’ apprenticeship to acquire can be picked up in a twelvemonth by the young gentleman who has already proved himself a dolt? We trow not. But even admitting that it were possible, and that the shirk could succeed in obtaining his testamur at the end of two years’ time, how far advanced would he be on his road to independence? Not much further than when he started. He might be master of a handicraft, but how about obtaining employment? His testamur wouldn’t help him. To represent himself as a graduate of the Gentleman Emigrants’ College would be to have the door shut in his face, for there is nothing that a master mechanic hates more than to have a workman in his employ who is above his business. “We don’t want no gentlemen here !” would be the response to his application, and he would be politely requested to seek elsewhere for employment. But it would not be the employers alone that would snap at him. The real working bees—all artisans by vocation—would be down upon him to a man. The British workman is doubtless a fine, intelligent fellow; but beware, 0 presumptuous interloper! how you interfere with his blessed rights and privileges. Sheffield tactics are known, unfortunately, beyond the confines of Yorkshire.

No! If a father be desirous that his son receive the education of a gentleman, and enter one of the learned professions, he must be prepared to furnish him with the means of subsistence in the event of failure. If he have no higher ambition than to see him a skilled mechanic, let him send the lad away from home before he has acquired a taste for luxuries which once launched in life will be beyond his means.

It is, no doubt, highly desirable that every man—be he prince or peasant—should be master of a trade; but to insure a livelihood by any particular calling, that calling must have been slowly and steadily learnt as a craft, not picked up haphazard as a makeshift. All attempts to combine the gentleman with the skilled mechanic will assuredly prove a failure. Does the reader desire to know the reason why? It is that he of gentle blood cannot forget the home of his youth, and keeps on hankering after the. comforts and good cheer of the paternal mansion. Much worldly wisdom is displayed in the story of the prodigal. How came it that poor Prodigal, instead of keeping a stiff upper lip under his misfortunes, so quickly broke down and resolved to return to his father? It was that he remembered how many hired servants of that father had “bread enough and to spare.” Had he not done so, he would doubtless have tried to labour, and to wait patiently until such time as he should find an occupation more to his taste than that of swineherd. The Australian Newchum (who need not necessarily be a prodigal), as he munches his damper and gulps the poisonous infusion supposed by bushmen to be tea, thinks with a sigh of the prime joints and sound homebrewed gracing the board in his father’s servants’ hall, and cries, in the words of his prototype, “I will arise, and go to my father;” and another returned shirk is soon added to the already lengthy list. Had Mr. Newchum not been so thoroughly acquainted with the internal economyof his father’s kitchen,the chances are that the damper would have found its way down, and that he would have tackled the tea without winking.

But although a college for the conversion of confirmed blockheads into skilful mechanics might prove a failure, there is no earthly reason why a school for emigrants of the better class should not be started in every county in England. There ought to be plenty of pupils to fill them all. By the better class, we mean the sons of men who can afford to start their children in life with a capital of from one to five thousand pounds. Less than one thousand pounds is no capital at all; with upwards of five at command, young men of average ability ought to be able to find an opening even in England. There is, so far as we can see, but one serious objection to the establishment of such schools, and it is this. Would the tender-hearted British matron consent to be separated from her bantlings; for the child would have to leave his father’s roof, never to return? To make an education such as the lad would receive at an emigrant school of any real service to him in after life, there must be no going home for the holidays. Six weeks at home, unless that home were very homely, would most assuredly nullify the half year’s training. To teach a lad habits of thrift and order for nine months out of the twelve, only to pamper him with every luxury for the remaining three, would be time and labour thrown away. If English parents are of so very affectionate a nature that they would scout such an arrangement as cruel and heartless, useless to attempt the foundation of emigrant schools. But then, if the parent be too tender-hearted to deprive his child of his half-yearly holiday, he ought surely to be too tender-hearted to turn him adrift in the world with an education which is valueless, and with a purse so poorly garnished that the poor fellow might just as well have no purse at all.

Supposing, however, for the sake of argument, that pater familias would gladly send his younger sons to an emigrant school, if by so doing he could assure to them a contented and independent, if not a very brilliant future; and that mater families would, for a like reason, consent to be separated from Benoni, the question naturally arises—given the lad, how would you train him?

It is a question much more easily asked than answered; and if we attempt its solution it is more for the sake of pointing out where the schemes hitherto proposed would in all probability fail, than of offering one of our own to the reader.

We have already given our reasons for believing that all attempts to combine the gentleman with the skilled mechanic would, be futile; we may go a little further, and add, that to teach our gentleman emigrant a trade as a trade, would be likewise useless. The most that can be expected of any ordinary mortal is, that be should be an expert in one particular handicraft. What is essential for the settler, is not so much that he be master of one trade, as that he be handy at half a dozen. The saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none,” may have exceeding point so far as the Old World is concerned; but away from the townships, it does not hold good in the colonies. At an emigrant school, general handiness, rather than special dexterity, should be the order of the day. ( Handiness, but no fancy work. Chair-making, cabinet work, upholstery, basket-making, turnery, are all capital trades no doubt— in Europe—but of what earthly use would they be in the bush or backwoods? Just imagine a poor wretch having to depend on chair-making for his daily bread in Canada, where chairs are turned out by machinery, at a ridiculously low figure—by basket-making in the backwoods, where an Indian squaw will weave one a clothes’-basket for an old shirt and a fig of tobacco—or on a knowledge of turnery in the Australian bush, where the transport of his lathe would more than swallow up all the possible profit? In Melbourne or Sydney the skilled artisan might probably be able to earn a living by such trades; but of what use would a superficial knowledge of them be to our friend from the emigrant college? Suppose we say of about as much real value as is a knowledge of mat-making to the discharged convict. No! The professor’s chair at an emigrant college would have to be filled by a very different stamp of man to “Mr. Holzapffell, the turner, of Charing Cross.” With the exception of the head master or warden, none of the instructors need necessarily be above the grade of journeyman artisan. In fact, they ought not to be so, and for this reason. Solidity, not finish, is what is wanted in the bush or backwoods; and a master mechanic would be too apt to sacrifice the former for the latter, and be looking to the appearance of his pupil’s work rather than to its utility. If the pupils did not exceed one hundred, the professorships at an emigrant school might be limited to six. Firstly, the warden, whose qualifications for office would be, not that he had taken a double first, or been senior wrangler of his year, but that he was a man of general information, qualified not only to impart a sound English education, but likewise competent to teach his pupils the rudiments of surveying, botany, geology, surgery, &c.—that he were, in fact, a walking cyclopaedia. Secondly, vol. I. d the professor of carpentry, who ought to be an American, as he would be required to understand the construction and repair of “frame” houses, a branch of the business not generally known in England. Thirdly, he of the anvil, who, besides farriery, including the shoeing of oxen, should possess a thorough knowledge of veterinary surgery. Fourthly, the harness-maker, who with his trade might combine that of cobbler. Fifthly, the stonemason, whose teachings might be confined to the underpinning of wooden houses, the building of cellars and chimneys, and the construction of loose stone walls. Lastly, the professor of agriculture, who, far from being a graduate of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, ought to be a plain, hard-working farmer. And here let us lay down an axiom which will be found to hold good in all new countries—one to which we shall have to revert again and again before we write the word finis. No greater folly can be committed than to attempt to introduce into a country where land is cheap and labour dear, the costly high-class farming in vogue in England, where land is dear and labour comparatively cheap. High farming may answer very well in Norfolk, but it does not pay in a country where land can be purchased for, say two pounds an acre, and where your ploughman

demands for his services twenty, perhaps thirty dollars a month and ratios. To own a model farm is doubtless very gratifying to one’s vanity; but what the wide-awake settler has to consider is, not if his farm be the model one of the district, but if he can make it pay better than his neighbour’s. To teach the embryo settler our English system of high-class farming would be to ruin him. His head would be so crammed with subsoiling and draining and Gurneyism and what not, that when it came to simple backwoods farming, he would be nonplussed. Like a certain gentleman of our acquaintance, after spending his capital on experiments, he would in the end have to put in his crops in more primitive fashion than even the bumpkins whom he had been trying to teach. In colonial farming there is such a thing as knowing too much. If the settler understand sufficient of chemistry to be able to determine the texture and nature of soils and their management, and the properties of the various manures and their application, of scientific farming he has learned enough. Of practical farming he cannot well know too much. Not only must he be thoroughly conversant with everything appertaining to both farm and garden, from preparing the swill for the pigs to grafting a choice pippin, but he must be able and willing to lay hold of the plough-handles and show his help how to turn a furrow, or to teach him how wheat is stacked in the “old country.” The master’s eye may suffice at home, it is the master’s hand that is requisite in the Far West and at the Antipodes. That the pupil’s education might be thoroughly complete, emigrant schools would have to be in a great measure dependent upon one another; for it would never do to bring up a lad whose intention it was to try “squatterizing” in Australia on a strong clay farm, nor one who had the backwoods in view, on a Highland sheep-walk. Four farms in different parts of the country might constitute an emigrant school—say a sandy-loam farm in Notts, a heavy clay ditto in Yorkshire, a dairy farm in Cheshire, and a Highland sheep-run. This arrangement would offer a double advantage, for not only would the pupils be thereby enabled thoroughly to comprehend the systems pursued on the different farms, but the change from one part of the kingdom to another would benefit their health, and seem to them almost as jolly as going home for the holidays.

Brought up in this way, any young man who, at the age of twenty-one, should prove unfitted for colonial life, might, we think, fairly be considered an idiot, and be straightway transferred to an asylum; for were he not so he would have surely managed to pick up, during his ten or twelve years’ apprenticeship, the rudiments at least of half a dozen useful trades, and have acquired a practical knowledge of farming. If he were not sufficiently handy with awl and needle to make a new set of harness, he ought, at least, to be able to mend an old one. If he could not undertake the building of a house from cellar to attic, he might surely manage to mend a broken door or rebuild a fallen chimney. If his veterinary knowledge was incomplete, he would be sufficiently wide-awake to know a splint from a spavin. Above all, he would have acquired habits of thrift and regularity; have discovered that riches are not absolutely essential to human happiness; that enough is as good as a feast; and last, not least, that manual labour, if not exactly “ dignified,” is very far from being derogatory. With average luck—for there is such a thing—the shrewdest man amongst us being but a puppet in the hands of Fortune, the betting should be ten to one on him, two to one against, being a fair quotation for our friend of the gentlemanly education, whom we have lost sight of altogether. Let us hasten to return to him; for the emigrant school question is hut looming in the distance, whilst the gentleman emigrant question is a topic of the day.

From information which we have from time to time received, and from our own personal experience, we can arrive at no other conclusion than that the expedients by which young gentlemen who have been unfortunate in their examinations hope to escape the penalties attached to nonsuccess are at present limited to three. Either they can wait until something turns up, or they intend to fall back on their own resources, or, if the worst comes to the worst, they will emigrate. “Waiting for something to turn up” signifies, so far as we can understand, the hiring of furnished chambers in town, and pestering one’s friends and relatives to obtain for one a secretaryship or some other easy billet. “Falling back on one’s own resources”—making a book (betting, of course)—pool-playing—loo—varied by an occasional letter to the “Gov.” for a little more specie. What ultimately becomes of these young gentlemen it would be no easy task to discover. A small percentage find their way to distant lands, and die there; but, as a rule, their oubliette lies much nearer home than the Antipodes.

With the gentlemen belonging to the third category—those who, “if the worst comes to the worst, will emigrate”—it is different. The story of their lives from year to year can be clearly traced from the hour they leave the Liverpool or London docks up to that in which they return home with a competency to end their days in their native land, or, weary and way-worn, lay them down to die in lonely bush or wild sierra— that is, always presuming that they do not return home at an early date in the character of victimized Newchums.

Supposing the entire body of gentlemen emigrants to represent an army, these form the infantry division; the cavalry brigade being composed of men of comparatively independent means, who emigrate merely because they have not sufficient to keep up their position in England. Married men, for the most part with growing families to provide for, they have perhaps been appalled at the steadily increasing total of the monthly bills, or have been induced to emigrate by glowing accounts of cheap living, high interest for capital, profitable farming, or, more probably still, opportunities of sport not to be found at home at any price. Immigrants of this class are to be met with in all parts of the world; and to judge from the never-ending inquiries addressed to the editors of our sporting journals respecting desirable locations for the gentlemen settler desirous of combining profitable farming with a little shooting and fishing, the number must be steadily on the increase. In the Field these inquiries usually appear under the heading “Notes and Queries on Travel.” Utopia would, perhaps, be more appropriate. The would-be settler almost invariably wants too much. Not only must he find some spot where he can farm profitably and enjoy a little sport, but it is highly desirable, if not indispensable, that the climate be fine, the society genteel, education cheap and good, and the servants hard-working and trustworthy. If such a terrestrial paradise exist, we should particularly like to hear of it. Instead of writing on emigration for the benefit of others, we would ourselves emigrate thither without a moment's delay. Were it not for certain books purporting to be truthful descriptions of settlers’ life in far-off lands, it would be difficult to understand how any reasonable being could believe in the existence of such Utopia; as it is, no very great amount of book lore is necessary to enable one to determine the originator of the hoax which has been taken au serieux. How well we know ‘the style! Is the winter long and severe? It does but increase the friability of the soil, and make the harvests more abundant. Is it short and mild? The productions of both the temperate and torrid zones grow harmoniously together, and the process of vegetation goes on uninterruptedly during the whole year. In the North you glide over the frozen ground to the merry tinkle of sleigh-bells; in the South you steam cheerily along with your produce to market under a cloudless sky. Far be it from us to damp the ardour of the emigrant; it is our desire to encourage rather than to dissuade. But that our writings be of any real service to the intending settler, we must not draw upon our imagination'; we must stick to facts. Good wine needs no bush; a good country needs no trumpeter. There are plenty of noble fields for the enterprising emigrant, but—alas! that it should be so—there are no Edens. Nothing can well do more harm than overrating a colony, or describing as “paradisiacal” what is only commonplace. Of the two, it is better to disparage than to eulogize. The immigrant who has pictured to himself a terrestrial paradise, is so grievously disappointed when he surveys his burnt-up lot or heavily timbered section in the heart of the lonely forest, that he not unfrequently breaks down under the affliction; whilst his neighbour, who finds things better than he expected, sets blithely to work, and in the end prospers. Our gentleman emigrant, out of the romances he has read, and from the answers he has received from “ disinterested” correspondents, creates for himself a little fairy land. Forgeting that emigration is, at best, but a remedy for a disease— consumption of the purse—and expatriation a bitter trial, he hugs himself with the belief that the settler’s is a very jolly, independent sort of existence, and that a little extra roughing is all that he will have to encounter. Finding his mistake, he straightway rushes into the opposite extreme, and views everything with a jaundiced eye. The country is a howling wilderness; the land is poor; his neighbours are churls; the climate is detestable; and he inwardly curses the day upon which he resolved to emigrate.

It is a wise dispensation of Providence, that advantages and disadvantages should be so equally balanced in this world, that the best country as a residence must ever remain a moot question. We do not, of course, include countries having nothing but disadvantages to offer, like those on the West Coast of Africa, but only such as have attractions in a pre-eminent degree. The advantages offered by England, France, Germany, and Italy are of so widely different a nature, that individual taste can alone decide which of them is the most desirable residence. As in the Old World, so in the New. To arbitrarily assert that this or that country is the one best adapted for the gentleman emigrant, would not only be presumptuous—it would be foolish. Circumstances alter cases. The*district that would be admirably suited to the married man with large family might offer but few attractions to the bachelor who had no one but himself to consider. In the choice of a locality, every man must be guided by his own particular tastes and requirements.

Whilst scrupulously avoiding all attempts to force our own private opinions on the reader, it shall be our endeavour as we proceed to point out to him what struck us as being the peculiar advantages and disadvantages of those three great fields of emigration—Canada, Australia, and the United States, across which we are about to journey together. We are perfectly willing that these impressions be appraised at whatever they may appear to be worth, for experience can alone determine whether we are right or wrong.

But before proceeding on our visiting rounds, it would perhaps be as well to disabuse the would-be settler’s mind of certain fallacies which he may perchance have picked up in the romances of paid emigration agents, and expose to his view some few of those hidden rocks and quicksands upon which so many of his kind have made shipwreck. We have already had occasion to mention one of them—high farming. Next in succession comes the “ social” quicksand. Our Gentleman Emigrant would like to pitch his tent in a district where there is good society.

Good society, that is to say the society of well-educated men and women, is to be found in America and Australia as elsewhere; of that there can be no doubt. But whilst in the Old World the intellectual and refined are disseminated throughout the length and breadth of the land, in the New it is chiefly in the vicinity of the great centres of fashion and commerce that they are to be met with. Land in the immediate neighbourhood of large cities being proportionately dear, if the emigrant wants good society he must be content to pay for it, and so high a price that it is only by the very best of farming that a living can be made. To obviate this too evident disadvantage, it has been suggested by the emigration agents aforesaid that nothing would be easier than .for emigrants of the better classes to form themselves into parties of say a dozen families, each making little coteries of their own, and dividing five or more sections of land amongst them. A more Quixotic scheme could not well be suggested. Supposing the families to be twelve in number, the farms of 3u0 acres each, and six sections—3840 acres to have been taken up—how would the lots be apportioned? By the hazard of the die? It would be the first step towards a general collapse of the undertaking. Unless it be on the western prairies, or on the Australian downs, to find 3800 acres in a ring fence which could be subdivided into twelve 300 acre farms of equal value would be almost impossible. Land varies in quality all the world over. The soil on one side of a river may be deep black loam, whilst on the other it is poor and stony. This farm may lie high and dry—that one be liable to inundation. There are besides other natural advantages which are seldom evenly distributed—springs, favourable sites for house and farm buildings, southern slopes for gardens, and such like. It would be out of the question that every man’s lot should be precisely as good as his neighbour’s: and, as a matter of course, those who had the worst lots would be dissatisfied. But it is not this alone that would endanger the existence of the infant settlement. Allowing that the men of the party were a veritable “band of brothers,” and altogether too magnanimous to squabble over such trifles as good or bad lots, is it to be supposed that little jealousies would not ere long spring up amongst the ladies respecting precedence, family connexions, taste in dress, or over some one or other of those thousand choice hones of contention which arouse the bellicose tendencies of the fair sex ? Even supposing that they had, with rare forethought, mutually agreed to eschew all topics likely to cause dissent, is it probable that a year would elapse without one of those twelve British matrons, grown weary of the monotony of the existence, having wheedled or worried her husband into taking his departure ? Mrs. Browne having carried her point, it would be Mrs. Greene’s turn next. She only consented to expatriation because the Brownes were to be of the party. Her dear Emily flown, it would be cruel to ask her to remain, &c. &c. &c., and the Greenes would follow the Brownes. Remove two of the foundation stones, and your house is on the totter. Unless there were some written agreement that no member of the party should have the power to dispose of his allotment without the consent of his associates— which would be highly improbable, it being the proud boast of every bold Briton that he can do what he likes with his own—Messrs. Browne and Greene would, prior to their departure, have sold their improvements to the highest bidder, probably to the very man of all others whom it would be the desire of the remaining members to exclude, for when one’s own interests are at stake one is apt to forget the interests of others. To buy up the lots would be but to encourage secession. The black sheep would have to be admitted, and there would be an end to your precious coterie. Again, in a new country, any attempt at exclusiveness would be sure to raise the ire of the “sovereign people.” The “gentleman’s” settlement would be held up to derision in the district, it would be difficult to obtain labour, and any and every obstacle that human ingenuity could devise would be thrown in the way of the “aristocrats.”

And this brings us to another dangerous reef —superciliousness. Our gentleman settler is wont to give himself airs, and to treat his illiterate neighbours with a certain degree of arrogance. It wont do. If he desire to lead a peaceful life, he must put his pride in his pocket. To secure the good will and kind offices of his neighbours, not only must he be courteous, he must be familiar. He must not be hurt by hearing himself spoken of as Browne or Greene without any prefix of Mr., nor be shocked when the wife of his bosom is inquired after as “the woman.” “How’s the woman?” is a very common question in the backwoods. Instead of frigidly responding, “Mrs. Greene is tolerably well, I thank you" the answer should be, “Spry, thank’ee; how’s yourn?” We are, of course, speaking of one’s intercourse with the neighbouring farmers. With hired servants or helps it is different. It is always advisable to make them treat you with a certain amount of respect, and with a little tact this can be managed even in the United States.

Another quicksand is greed. The gentleman emigrant, from the lying representations that have been made to him, often forms the most preposterous ideas of the profits to be derived from farming. Fortunes are not so easily made by husbandry. Large fortunes have, we are aware, been amassed in India by the cultivation of indigo, tea, and coffee, by the “ raising” of cotton, tobacco, rice, and sugar in the Southern States and W est Indies, and by sheep farming in Australia; but the first outlay has in almost every instance been heavy, and the risk incurred considerable. A distinction must be made between the planter or squatter and the ordinary farmer. The former, from the heavy investments made and the risks run, reasonably expects large returns; but the settler, who has only a few thousands at command, should be content if, in addition to a fair interest on his capital, he can manage to make a comfortable subsistence. Our own experience is, that farming, whilst the pleasantest and most independent of all occupations, is about the very last by which a fortune can be realized. One more quicksand, and we have done. That quicksand is sport. It is essential that there be some shooting and fishing in the vicinity of the settler's abode. The man who emigrates with the intention of combining farming with sport may rest assured that his farm will never be the best paying one of the district, and he should consider himself extremely fortunate if he do not go to the wall altogether. There may be, for aught we know, hundreds and thousands of instances to the contrary; but we can conscientiously say that in all our travels we have never yet met with a sporting settler who was a thriving one. In Canada and the Northern States, the fishing season is the one when he ought to be getting his crops in—the hunting season that in which he ought to be getting them out, or be doing his “fail” ploughing. In a country where farming operations can be carried on with little or no intermission during the entire year, the loss of a day or two, even in the busiest season, is a matter of small importance; but in a country where there are only six short months between the first spring ploughing and the setting in of frost, an hour lost is not to be vol. i. u recovered. We do not mean that the settler, in order to succeed, must needs lock up his gun and fly-rod in a cupboard, and throw the key into the river. What we would impress upon him is simply that he cannot be at one and the same time a Nimrod and a thriving farmer. Shooting and fishing for a little relaxation is one thing, going in for hunting as a pursuit is another. The settler who can content himself with whipping the adjacent streams for trout, or with beating the surrounding woods for ruffed grouse or “rabbits,” is all right; it is he who must have big game that is all wrong. The man who imagines that in the forest primeval one has only to take one's gun and beat about for an hour or two in order to bring home a fat buck or bear, or a dozen brace of wild fowl, will find himself most grievously disappointed. With the exception of wild duck and the passenger pigeon in their respective seasons, ruffed grouse and the Virginian hare, game is not plentiful in the backwoods. Unless systematically hunted, months—ay, years—may elapse without the settler’s eye having been once gladdened by the sight of bear, deer, moose, or caribou. Does he want them, he must seek for them, not in his clearing, but away back in the heart of the wilderness. If he be a very good backwoodsman and liaixl as nails, lie may venture to start off unaccompanied; if not, he must take at least one guide or Indian with him, and everything necessary for a prolonged camping out. All this time his farm is left to take care of itself, and, as may be imagined, it is seldom the better for it. Autumnal hunting in the grand old North American forests is delightful, but it unfortunately does not pay. There is certainly some hunting to be had in the winter, when work is slack, but it is not so pleasant as in autumn. It is not every man who cares to take up his night’s lodging in a snow-drift, and snow-shoeing, although very jolly along the flat, is apt to grow wearisome when pursued amongst the windfalls and cedar swamps of the dense forests.

In the Sunny South, it is not alone the loss of time that the sporting farmer has to fear, but likewise the expense he will inevitably incur, in the pursuit of his favourite amusement. In the North, the difficulty is to find a man not so over head and ears in business as to be able to accompany you. In the South, to escape being overwhelmed with invitations to join a party.

Unless they have greatly changed of late years, the Southerners are the most genial beings in existence. Once let your neighbours know that you are fond of field sports, and unless you can afford to engage an overseer, to take your place at home, you may as well give up farming. One friend wants you to come up his way, to have a crack at a deer, another insists upon your giving the canvas-backs, in his neighbourhood, a trial. Even the very niggers will present themselves at the door, and ask if Massa wouldn’t like go hunt ’possum by torch-light. If you decline, you are considered churlish; if you accept, the least you can do is to return the invitation, and then away flies the money. The only way to get out of it is to say that you are unlucky with firearms, and never fire a shot in company without dreading some accident. The man whose powder is notoriously crooked is seldom considered a great acquisition to a hunting party, either in America or elsewhere.

If the Australian settler, or squatter, leave his crops, or his flocks, to hunt with horse and hound, the bounding kangaroo, or to shoot the wonga-wonga, it will most assuredly not be owing to the force of bad example that he does so. No body of Englishmen has less of the sportsman about them than Australian squatters. One rarely sees a fine kangaroo dog on a station, and shooting for shooting’s sake would be considered by most squatters as a terrible waste of time and powder. Kangaroo hunting knocks up the horses required for station use ; and when the kangaroo want thinning out, there is a short drive and a battue. Shooting under a fierce Australian sun, and tearing one’s way through the dense myall scrubs, is very much like hard work, and there is always plenty of that to be had on the station without going a-field to look for it. And so the squatter’s shooting is limited to the potting of some screaming cockatoo, an evening’s stalk along the banks of a neighbouring creek in quest of wild-duck, and not unfrequently, on distant stations, a little harmless “rubbing out” of aborigines.

The more dangerous reefs and quicksands being plainly laid down on our chart, we can now safely cat-head our anchor, top our boom, and fill away for the shores of the New World.

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