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left Portsmouth in May 1787, carrying eight hundred and fifty convicts, and three hundred soldiers, to found the colony. Captain Arthur Philip, of the Royal Navy, was the first governor: he was a vigorous man, but the colony languished, in consequence of circumstances over which he could have no control. Ignorance of the climate, ignorance of agriculture, and ignorance of the country, were three evils not to be combated by a sea captain and his convicts. But the close of the French war seems to have been the signal of an increase of population all over the world. England poured out her emigrants on New South Wales, the colony is now advancing with singular rapidity, and the foundation of a great empire is laid in the centre of the Southern Ocean. But the most striking feature of all is the change of human character. In this great experiment, men and women, cast out of their country by their crimes, are here inured to labour, and by labour are restored to virtue. Those who were burdens to the state in England, are changed into active and useful members of the community in New South Wales; and men who in England would have perished on the highway by famine, or relieved themselves only by robbery and murder, become opulent, decorous, and civilized.
The Barrister. Lang is a Scotchman, and writes like one-shrewd, but severe. He is a dissenter, and writes like one with a prodigious taste for objecting to the powers that be, and a remarkable faculty in discovering that every successive governor is a greater blockhead than the one that went before. But his information is valuable, if his conceptions are crude; he gives facts, if he distorts characters; and the reader rises from his perusal with the full conviction that a much worse book might have been written by a much better tempered man. His chapter upon the libel system is written with the spirit of a colonial attorney; and if he had not the D.D. after his name, I should pronounce him a remarkably sharp solicitor.
The Doctor. General Darling's sufferings in the libel war probably tried the gallant officer's fortitude more than a dozen campaigns. The history of the Sydney newspapers at this period is a happy exemplification of the mischiefs of a licentious press in a young colony. Two common soldiers had been drummed out of the regiment for felony: one of them, who had a liver complaint, died immediately after, and all the scribblers of the colony, of course, laid his death at the Governor's door. The "Sydney Gazette," the government paper, had displayed its skill, in panegyric on the Governor; the other papers balanced the panegyric by furious libel, and on this subject the paper war continued for four long years. If one party made him an angel of light, the other turned him into an imp of darkness. Of course this squabble produced great bitterness in the colony, separated the government from the people, and the people from the government, made the one fretful, and the other factious, and spreading from the paper to the fireside, sowed discontent through the whole community.
The Rector. Lang's conception on the subject shows at once the clear-headedness of the man, his contempt for pretension, and his knowledge of scribblers.
"It would be a great mistake," says he, "to estimate newspaper writers in general, but especially in the colonies, on any other principles than those
that regulate the practice of persons in other lines of business, the whole and sole object of which is to make money. People do not go to the colonies merely to preach up liberties, and the rights of men; they go, for the most part, as it is most accurately certified in the Custom House books, to better their fortunes. If this paramount object can be gained through Government patronage, things as they are is their motto. If the Government patronage, however, is otherwise engaged, they strike for liberty and independence, just as a prudent man opens a shop in the grocery or tobacco line, when he finds that the ironmongery or haberdashery business is already overdone. It was confidently reported, and currently believed in the colony, that the ablest opposition editor whom we have ever had in the country, the late Dr. Wardel, did not become a patriot-that is, a person opposed to the Government, till he had been refused a lucrative Government appointment."
The Colonel. Lang seems to have taken as accurate measure of the other patriots, as of the Radical writers: among these was conspicuous Mr. William Wentworth, a native of the colony, and the favourite barrister of all the newspaper patriots in New South Wales. This person had prepared and forwarded to England a list of charges against General Darling, which were described in the colony as an impeachment of the Governor; and it was further given out that Wentworth intended to dog his Excellency on his return to England, and impeach him of high crimes and misdemeanours before Parliament, on the affair of the soldiers. "This prodigious display of intended patriotism," says Dr. Lang, "naturally afforded an excellent handle to the colonial press, and the mention of the impeachment, in a variety of ways, in the colonial newspapers, led to a series of prosecutions for libel in the supreme court of the colony, the result of which was, that all the three editors were repeatedly cast and fined, while those of the opposition newspapers were, besides, subjected to a long imprisonment in the common gaol. But as this famous impeachment was never heard of after the Governor left the colony, it was evident that the whole affair was a mere ruse de guerre, or rather mere fanfaronnade.”
The Barrister. Wentworth's professional tact, of course, must have told him the folly of a barrister's prosecuting on his own account. The physician might as well take his own medicines, and the hangman lay the lash on his own back; their services are intended for others. But Lang observes that he had a triumph, though it was certainly rather of a domestic nature.
"Mr. Wentworth," says he, with a very applicable sneer, "did indeed exhibit his patriotism on General Darling's departure, in a way, perhaps, that occasioned him less personal hardship than a voyage to England; but that, nevertheless, did him great credit with a certain portion of the colonial public, for, like a true patriot, who did not disdain the meanness of a vulgar triumph, he entertained a party of friends on the day of the Governor's embarkation, to celebrate the auspicious event; while all and sundry the canaille of Sydney were permitted to partake of his indiscriminate hospitality in front of his residence. These particulars," says Lang, "may perhaps appear uninteresting to the general reader, but they will at least show him of what materials the richest and rarest gems of Australian patriotism were composed. The General came to England in 1831, was harassed for four years by vexatious complaints, was at last forced before a Committee of the House, obtained by Mr. Maurice O'Connell; no charge could be substantiated against him: he was of course honourably acquitted. To show the King's sense of the matter, he received the honour of knighthood, and so vanished in smoke," as says Dr. Lang, "the complaints of the injured patriotism of Australia."
The Colonel. Gallantry always lays claims to the patronage of the sex, and I presume that I ought to feel double delight in the poems of the highest born, the most diligent, and the most successful of modern poets, the Lady E. Stuart Wortley. Her last publication, "Hours at Naples," does equal credit to her talents and her feelings. Here is a rich, dreamy passage, in the style of some of the fine old rhapsodists of the shores of the Mediterranean. The poet is listening to the murmurs of the enchanted and enchanting bay.
"Oh thou delicious, calming, soothing sound,
Whose glorious tones in th' elder ages sent
A throbbing awe, with solemn gladness blent,
Through the rapt listener's raised and chasten'd soul,
That still, as deeply they unfailing float,
A hymn in every organ-pealing note,
To all suggest exalted thoughts and pure,
Till that dread hour, when every sound shall be,
The Rector. I must acknowledge that I am terribly tired of Italy, as it appears in the epics, elegies, and eulogies of the inferior battalion of poets. A fine mind, like Lady Emmeline's, may write fine things even on the Thames tunnel. But it absolutely requires the frame of Monsieur Chaubert himself, who stood in the oven while his dinner was baking by his side, to go through a single day in the six months' roasting of the bluest of all possible skies. All our gentle spinsters, tipsy with the drams of Helicon, all the donkey-riders of the "muses' hill," every sweet-soul'd enthusiast, who gazes on the sky through the dusty panes of Lincoln's Inn,
"Some youth foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
can lisp, languish, and love nothing but "Italie."
The Doctor. Yes; and little they know what "Italie" is the foulest, filthiest, most starving, swindling, dusty, and dull region of Europe. If an Englishman's eye can find beauty in perpetual ranges of barren hills, let him enjoy the Apennine; if he can delight in the fragrance of marshes, steeping hemp, and rotting with miasmata in every month of the year, let him give his nostrils the rapture of the plains of the Milanese, the Ferrarese, the Campagna, and a hundred other prairies, that an Indian savage would turn up his nose at. If he find beauty in stunted vegetation, as brown as a berry, and dusty as a high road, let him worship the olive grounds, the vineyards, and the robber-filled forests of every province of this anti-paradise. If his sense of propriety is to be captivated by the most undressed system of manners on
this side of Otaheite, let him cultivate the polished society of a people who patronise a plurality of husbands; if the arts are his spell, let him look at the dry, dim, theatrical canvass of any, and every painter from the Alps to the Calabrias.
The Barrister. Or if rational government is among his favourites, let him live a week under the rule of any one of the mob of little potentates who govern their square-mile sovereignties by the rattan: if law be among his studies, let him try a cause before a court of Roman judges, and after seeing them both bribed, examine his gains: if he have any taste for rational loyalty, let him kiss the Pope's toe; or, if religion be a matter of the slightest interest with him, which, with a son of our marchof-mind times, it cannot possibly be, let him promenade for half an hour, any day, in any church in the capital of the Roman world.
The Colonel. If you should fall into a coterie of city poets, you will be stung to death, like a man fallen into a wasps' nest. I fully agree with you, in laughing at the second-hand raptures of the crowd of imitators-the ardent boobies who rave, recite, and madden round the land -the bards who ring the changes eternally on the same half-dozen thoughts, like the "Harmonious Youths," as they are called, of Hackney or Shoreditch, ringing their ten thousand triple bob-majors, and out of their half-dozen bells deafening the parish from roof to foundation.
The Rector. But Lady Emmeline is of a superior order. She feels not by hearsay-she has tasted of Italy as the bee tastes of the weedshe has imbibed the little drop of sweetness and odour, and left the rank and flaring flower to the taste of the bluebottles, who could not distinguish the one from the other. But she can write on better things than Italy. Here she does honour to British genius and British re
SONNET ON THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON,
"Oh what a noble nature's stamp is there!
Through these commanding features-through that eye,
To thee more precious is, I deem, than fame,
Judging from that calm mien-clear, eloquent, profound!"
The Doctor. "Opinions of Lord Brougham." The ex-chancellor is unquestionably one of the most remarkable men of the day. He is, in a stronger degree than any other of our public men, made for the time and by the time. His extreme shrewdness, his indefatigable industry, his pungency of remark, the vast variety of his topics, and the quickwitted, desultory, and daring style in which he seizes upon every subject, discusses it, and flings it aside, are all made for the present period. Oct.-VOL. LII, NO. CCII.
In an aristocratic age he might be excluded by the gravity of public feeling. In a learned age, his dogmas might be taken to task with impunity. In the age of great parliamentary orators, his style might have been outweighed by the majesty of Pitt, found loose beside the logic of Fox, and "paled its ineffectual fire" before the broad splendours of Burke. But in our hot, eager, anxious, and bitter times, his pen and his lips are made for superiority. His style, like his birth, is Scottish; and the fortunate, or unfortunate, establishment of the "Edinburgh Review," in 1802, when Brougham was but three-and-twenty, determined his career for life, as not merely a writer, but a speaker, of reviews. And it is to be regretted that he has written little beyond those Reviews. His only acknowledged work, " The Inquiry into the Colonial Policy of the European Powers," was evidently, in its first conception, an article for the "Edinburgh Review," which swelled beyond its bounds, until it distended itself into a volume. The time in England was favourable for his career: the death of Pitt, in February 1806, threw down the barriers which opposition had assaulted for twenty years, and which, while he lived, it must have assaulted in vain. Brougham came to London in 1807, and commenced practice as a barrister in the courts of Westminster Hall. Nature had intended him for an advocate, and he now saw before him the wide horizon which was fitted for the utmost flight of his ambition.
The Barrister. If the sincerity of party were to be proved by the consistency of its practice, the jury would be an extraordinary one that could bring in a verdict in its favour. Party for the last hundred years has railed against the boroughs, yet all the great borough-holders were its orators. In the House the abomination of close boroughs was perpetual fuel for all the flame of eloquence; yet all the leading speakers came into the House as members for close boroughs. In 1810, Brougham, following the example of his party, entered the House by the close borough of Camelford, by which the present Marquis of Lansdowne, then Lord Henry Petty, had entered just before him; as Chatham, Fox, Windham, Pitt, Burke, Lord Liverpool, Canning, Mackintosh, and all the remarkable men of the House of Commons had entered. He now found himself in the true position for his powers; in a great popular assembly, with the true materials for their display, numberless questions on education, commerce, popular claims, and party struggles. He took an active share in them all, and exhibiting unwearied industry where the leaders of his party were content with gentlemanlike indolence; and, displaying at once the energy of a tribune, and the eloquence of an advocate, he rapidly left his wellbred compeers behind, forced his way into the front ranks by the right of talent, the sure operation of death, disgust, and decay, and at length stood as the leader of the anti-ministerial side of the House. Without entering into questions of politics, on which I have no desire to touch, it is impossible to speak without respect of the exhaustless activity of mind which gave him this triumph. Without political connexions, without personal opulence, with a sickly frame, and a laborious profession, he turned his companions into his followers, and, springing over the heads of his professional brethren, seized at once the first position in Parliament, and the first dignity of the bar. He has now fixed