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The Glenn Negley Collection 
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Wonderful Discovery. — The Adventurers. — Marshy Lake. — 
The Canoe. — Troublesome Navigation. — Chain of Lakes. — Party 
of Natives. — Reception of the Travellers. — Singular People. — 
Early Emigrants. — The. Settlement. — Exploring Party. — Encoun- 
ter with Natives. — Native Allies. — Attack of Savages. — Defeat of 
the Assailants. — Savage Life. — Treaty of Peace. — Education of 
Savages. — Election of Senators. . . . Page 1 


Increase of the Settlement. — Separation of the States. — Eccle- 
siastical Communities. — Concord among Sects. — Houses and 
Towns. — Penal Colonies. — Southlanders' Hospitality. — Mode of 
receiving Company. — Feasts. — Animal Food. — Tame Animals. — 
Surprise at English Customs. — Carnivorous Propensity. — Lighting 
the Streets.— City of Bath. . . 25 


Duels. — Judicial Combats. — Existing Code of Honour. — Ap- 
peal to Arms. — Discussion on Duelling. — Mount Peril. — Noxious 
Vapours. — The Cavern. . . . .41 



Superstitious Notions. — Abolition of Duelling. — Interference 
of Providence. — Challenge to the Ordeal. — The Trial. — Convic- 
tion of the Offender. — Uncertainty of the Ordeal. — Ineffectual 
Prohibition. — Check against Slander. — Exclusion from Society. — 
Absurd Alternative. — Personal Courage. — Imputation of Coward- 
ice. — Public Opinion. — War between Nations. — Challenges. — 
Fear of Disgrace. .... Page 53 


Female Honour. — Agreement among Women. — Penalty of Ex- 
clusion. — Law of Honour. — False Dignity. — New Penalty. — 
Compact against Duelling. — Ruffians and Calumniators. — Asso- 
ciation against Duelling. — Court of Honour. — Abolition of Duel- 
ling. . ..... 70 


Rough Notes. — Public Entertainments. — Dancing. — Grotesque 
Dance. — Throwing the Spear. — Female Dress. — Decorations. — 
Ear-rings. — Wedding-rings. — Anomalous Costume. . 83 


Forms of Government. — Senatorial Regulations. — Speakers. 
— Peculiar Debate. — Fundamental Laws. — Unwise Legislators. — 
Timely Improvements. — Legislative Problem. — Legislative Ex- 
pedient. — Error in Government. — Division of Laws. — Repeal of 
Fundamental Laws. — Guard against Precipitancy. — Laws of 
Treason. — Mature Deliberation. — National Will. . 95 



Mode of Election of Senators — of Representatives. — Personal 
Votes and Property Votes. — Voting by Ballot. — Eligibility of 
Candidates. — Aboriginal Blood. — Mixed Blood. — Government 
Rent. — Public Expenditure. — Unwise Economy. — Choice of 
Statesmen. — Explanations. . . . Page 112 


Prediction Office. — Prophecies. — Useful Register. — Political 
Bustlers. — Disposal of Land. — Rents. — Laws of Tenancy. — 
Government Loans. . . . 130 


An Arrest. — Criminal Jurisprudence. — Jurymen. — Qualifica- 
tion of Jurors. — Syndics. — Royal Privilege. — Proceedings in 
Court. — Witnesses. — The Verdict. — Unanimity in Juries. — 
Decision of the Judge. — Pievarication. — Oaths. — False Wit- 
nesses. — Inconsistency in requiring Oaths. — Public Opinion. — 
Marriage. — Succession to the Crown. . . 140 


Punishment awarded to Criminals. — Capital Punishments. — 
Plea of Insanity. — Penitentiaries. — Houses of Correction. — 
Improvement in Laws. — Periodical Publications. — Editors of 
Newspapers. — State of Literature. . . 164 



Schools. — Reform of the Calendar. — Art of Teaching. — General 
Education. — Religion and Politics. — Inconsistency of the Jesuits. 
— Unbelievers. — Direction of Electors. — Political Churches. — 
Violation of the Laws. — Infidelity. — Obedience to Law. — En- 
forced Religion . — Persecution. — Hypothetical Case. — Treatment 
of Insanity. — Professed Inspiration. — Impostors and Lunatics. 
— Changes in Europe. — Founders of the Colony Page 176 


Preachers. — Divine Service. — Divisions of the Bible. — Funeral 
Service. — Burial in Cities. — Absurd Interments. — Monuments. — 
Private Mausoleums. — Harmless Absurdities. — Church Endow- 
ments. — State of the Clergy. — Religious Communities. — Admis- 
sion Fees to Institutions. — Ecclesiastical Societies. . 213 


Letter of Paul Wilkins. . 229 





Wonderful Discovery. — The Adventurers. — Marshy Lake. — The 
Canoe. — -Troublesome Navigation. — Chain of Lakes. — Party of 
Natives. — Reception of the Travellers. — Singular People. — 
Early Emigrants. — The Settlement. — Exploring Party. — En- 
counter with Natives. — Native Allies. — Attack of Savages. — 
Defeat of the Assailants. — Savage Life. — Treaty of Peace.— 
Education of Savages. — Election of Senators. 

Our readers will, no doubt, be interested by 
the few particulars we have been able to collect 
of the late wonderful discovery, in the interior 
of New Holland, of a civilized nation of Eu- 
ropean origin, which had, in so remarkable a 
manner, been kept separate hitherto from the 
rest of the civilized world. 



Mr. Hopkins Sibthorpe, who planned and 
conducted this singularly fortunate enterprise, 
was accompanied, it appears, in the expedition 
by another settler, Mr. William Jones, and 
Messrs. Thomas and Robert Smith (brothers), 
of the navy ; who, together with Wilkins, a 
sailor, hired as their servant, constituted the 
whole party. 

It was in the early part of August 1835 
that these adventurous explorers took their de- 
parture from the settlement at Bathurst : this, 
as our readers are aware, is the last month 
of the winter of that hemisphere ; though, from 
the greater mildness of the climate, it may be 
considered as spring. This season was chosen 
as the most suitable for an expedition in such a 
country as New Holland ; in which, not only 
the heat of summer and autumn is often very 
oppressive, but also the scarcity of water is one 
of the most formidable impediments : and, on 
this occasion, a plentiful supply of water being 
essential, not only with a view to their personal 
wants, but also to the accomplishment of the 
peculiar plan they had resolved on trying, it 


was thought best to take an early advantage of 
the effects of the winter's rains. 

Their plan was no other than to construct 
a canoe, to enable them to proceed in a di- 
rection in which farther progress had hitherto 
been precluded by a vast expanse of marshy 
lake. This, as our readers are probably aware, 
from the published narratives of former expedi- 
tions, is, in moist seasons, a sort of Mere, or 
shallow water, encumbered with aquatic plants ; 
but in times of great drought is, for a consider- 
able extent, dry, or consisting of mud rather 
than water ; constituting a sort of swampy 
plain, so choked up with a rank vegetation 
of reeds and flags as to present an almost in- 
superable obstacle to the traveller. 

In the present expedition, accordingly, it was 
determined to choose a time when there might 
be a sufficiency of water to enable the adven- 
turous explorers to proceed in a canoe ; and 
they accordingly carried with them one or two 
horses (which they proposed afterwards to turn 
loose) — the iron-work, and as much as was 
thought necessary of the frame of a canoe, 

b 2 


which they proposed to put together and com- 
plete on their arrival on the margin of the lake. 
And as it was impossible to carry with them a 
sufficient store of provisions for the whole of 
their contemplated voyage, they boldly resolved 
to trust in great measure to their guns and 
fishing-tackle, providing only a sufficiency of 
salt to preserve such game and fish as they 
might procure in their way. 

The details of the expedition, curious and 
highly interesting as they are in themselves, we 
are compelled to omit, lest they should occupy 
the space wanted for a far more valuable and 
important portion of the narrative. It will be 
sufficient, therefore, to say, omitting particu- 
lars, that they were enabled to put their design 
in execution ; and having constructed a kind 
of light flat-bottomed boat, of poles covered 
with bark (of the kind the natives use for their 
canoes), and fitted up with a slight awning, to 
afford shelter from the sun and the dews, they 
embarked on the above-mentioned shallow lake, 
and proceeded in a north-west direction ; some- 
times rowing, assisted occasionally by a sail, 
and oftener pushing themselves on with poles 


through the tangled aquatic plants which grew 
on the muddy bottom. 

Their progress was at first tediously slow ; 
but they were at no loss for provision, as the 
waters abounded with fish and wildfowl, of 
which they continued to obtain a sufficient sup- 
ply throughout the voyage. After two days 
of troublesome navigation they found the water 
become deeper, and gained a sight of some ele- 
vated land towards the west, which they reach- 
ed on the evening of the third day : they here 
found the lake not terminated, but confined 
within narrow limits by hills, for the most part 
of a rocky, sterile, and uninviting character : 
at length it became a broad river, flowing in 
a northerly direction, and serving evidently as 
a drain to the great expanse of lake they had 
passed. This gave them hopes of reaching 
(which was their great object) some large na- 
vigable river, which they might follow to the 
sea : they proceeded, therefore, though with 
considerable delay and difficulty from shoals 
and rapids, till, after more than two days' na- 
vigation, the high ground receded, and they 
found themselves entering on another great ex- 


panse of water, so extensive that, in pursuing 
their adventurous course nearly in the same 
direction, they were, for the greater part of one 
day, out of sight of land. 

They now arrived at another course of rocky 
hills, of considerable elevation, through which 
the waters found an exit by a narrow gorge : 
through this they proceeded in a direction 
northwards for a considerable distance, when 
they found the river again expanding itself 
at intervals into a chain of lakes, smaller but 
deeper than those they had passed, and sur- 
rounded by a much more agreeable country, 
which continued to improve as they advanced. 
They landed in several places, and in one in- 
stance came in contact with a party of natives, 
who were of a less savage aspect than those in 
the vicinity of our settlements, and showed no 
signs of hostility, and much less of alarm and 
astonishment than had been expected. From 
this circumstance, and also from steel knives 
being in the possession of two or three of them, 
on which they appeared to set great value, it 
was conjectured that they must, in their wan- 
derings, have, at some time or other, approach- 


ed our settlements : their language, however, 
was perfectly unintelligible to Mr. Jones, though 
he had a considerable acquaintance with that 
of the natives near Sydney. 

Some days after, as they continued their 
progress, they fell in with another party of 
natives, who excited still more wonder and spe- 
culation in our travellers, from their having 
among them ornaments evidently fashioned 
from the tusks of boars ; these (as it was un- 
derstood from the signs they made, in answer 
to the questions put to them by the same 
means) they described themselves as having 
hunted with their dogs, and speared. But all 
doubt was removed the next day, by the tra- 
vellers actually obtaining a sight of a wild hog 
in the woods, and afterwards of a herd of wild 
cattle, which they distinctly saw with their 
glasses : these animals being well known not to 
be indigenous in New Holland, afforded strong 
indications of the vicinity of some European 
settlement ; though, as they felt certain of be- 
ing far distant from the coast, they were utterly 
lost in conjecture. 

After proceeding in the manner above de- 


scribed, through a long chain of lakes connect- 
ed by the river which they were continuing 
to navigate, through a country continually im- 
proving in beauty and fertility, and presenting 
a strong contrast to the dreary rocks and 
marshes they had left behind, they were at 
length surprised and gratified, on entering a 
lake somewhat more extensive than the last, 
to see several fishing-boats, the men in which 
they ascertained by their glasses to be decently 
clothed, and white men. They ventured to 
approach and to hail them ; and, to their up- 
speakable surprise and delight, they received 
an answer in English : the English was, in- 
deed, not precisely similar to their own, but 
not differing so much from it as many of our 
provincial dialects ; and in a short time the 
two parties were tolerably intelligible to each 

We are compelled to pass over the interest- 
ing detail of the meeting, which was equally 
gratifying and surprising to both the parties ; 
of the eager curiosity of their mutual inquiries ; 
and of the hospitable invitation given, and, 
as may be supposed, joyfully accepted by the 


travellers. Accompanying their hosts in one 
of the fishing-boats, they found before them, 
on turning the point of a wooded promontory 
which had intercepted their view, a rich and 
partially cultivated country, interspersed with 
cheerful-looking villages, having much of an 
English air of comfort ; though the whole was 
in a far ruder condition than much of what 
they saw afterwards, as the point they had 
reached was the extreme skirt of a compara- 
tively recent settlement. 

The reception they met with was most 
friendly and every way refreshing, after an 
anxious and toilsome journey of above a month. 
They found themselves, on the second day after 
their arrival in the colony, the guests of the chief 
magistrate of a neat town of considerable size, 
where they were surrounded by visitors from 
all parts, eager to obtain and to afford infor- 
mation, and overwhelming them with pressing 

We are compelled to pass over the particu- 
lars of the several steps by which the travel- 
lers arrived at the knowledge of the singular 
country and people in the midst of which they 

b 5 


found themselves. We have only space for a 
brief summary of the results. 

They found themselves, then, in a nation of 
European, and chiefly, though not entirely, of 
English extraction, which had had no inter- 
course with Europe, or with any other portion 
of the civilized world, for nearly three centu- 
ries. Their numbers were estimated at be- 
tween three and four millions ; and they were 
divided into eleven distinct communities, exist- 
ing in a sort of loosely federal union, or rather 
in a friendly relation, sanctioned antl maintain- 
ed by custom more than by any formal com- 
pact. And they found these several states, 
though in some respects differing in their go- 
vernments and other institutions, agreeing in 
the manifestation of a high degree of civiliza- 
tion, considering the disadvantage they labour- 
ed under in their seclusion from the rest of the 
world. " Many points too," says Mr. Sibthorpe, 
in his journal, " in which they differ the most 
widely from the customs and institutions of the 
people from which they sprang, are such as can 
hardly be reckoned marks of barbarism, even 
by those who regard them with surprise, and 


even with disapprobation ; but are rather the 
result of the singular and, as some would con- 
sider them, whimsical notions of the extraordi- 
nary persons who took the lead among the first 

These were two men of the name of Miiller ; 
one a German, settled in England, and the 
other his nephew, the son of an Englishwoman. 
The former appears to have been one of those 
unions of enthusiastic wildness, brilliant genius, 
and sanguine credulity which periods of great 
excitement" — such as the commencement of the 
Reformation — are often found to call forth. He 
possessed great eloquence, and a power of ex- 
ercising an unbounded influence over minds of 
a certain description. His nephew, with much 
of the uncle's eccentricity, united a much clearer 
judgment, and seems gradually to have esta- 
blished a complete ascendancy over the mind, 
first of his uncle, and ultimately of all his 
followers ; and to have used his influence in 
a manner which indicates most enlarged public 
spirit, and a great mixture, at least, of political 

It appears, that during the various tumults 


which took place during the early periods of 
the Reformation, several persons in England, 
and some in Germany, (the parties holding 
communication through the means of M tiller 
and his connexions in both countries,) medi- 
tated a removal to some distant region, in 
which they should escape finally from strife 
and oppression, and establish a civil and re- 
ligious community on such principles as they 
were fondly cherishing. After the proposal 
and rejection of various schemes, and after 
many delays and disappointments, the project- 
ed departure in search of a new settlement 
took place, under the guidance of their en- 
thusiastic and adventurous leader. Instead of 
proceeding to America, as had been originally 
proposed, they were induced by some glowing 
descriptions they had heard, but which proved 
to consist chiefly of fable or exaggeration, to 
seek for the long-famed southern continent, the 
" Terra Australis Incognita." 

The curious and interesting particulars of 
their voyage, their various adventures, disap- 
pointments, and reiterated attempts, we are 
compelled to pass over. The result was their 


being ultimately driven by a storm on the coast 
of New Holland, somewhere, it is supposed, 
between lat. 10 and 20 south, and Ion. 130 
and 140 east, where one out of the four ships 
was wrecked on a coral reef, and two of the 
others driven ashore with considerable damage. 
They saved, however, not only their lives, but 
nearly all their property, including the live 
stock with which they had provided them- 
selves ; and it appears that their first idea was 
to repair their vessels, and proceed along the 
coast, in an endeavour to find a suitable spot 
for a settlement ; the part on which they were 
cast being not only barren and uninviting but 
excessively marshy. This last circumstance 
compelled them to forego their design ; for a 
fever broke out, and affected so many of them 
that they lost no time in removing to a healthier 
situation, eight or nine miles from the coast. 
Here the sick speedily recovered ; and, as the 
spot seemed highly salubrious, though for the 
most part barren, with only a small proportion 
of land fit for cultivation near the banks of 
small rivers, they proceeded to build log-houses 
and cultivate the land ; designing to make 


their settlement either temporary or permanent, 
as circumstances might determine. 

Their decision was ultimately fixed by means 
of the intercourse they succeeded in establish- 
ing with a native tribe. Mutual good-will and 
confidence having been completely established 
between the settlers and the natives (chiefly, as 
it should seem, through the judicious exertions 
of the younger Miiller), — and an increasing 
knowledge of each other's language having 
established a free communication between the 
parties, — the settlers were interested by the 
glowing colours in which their new friends de- 
scribed a region in the interior, which they— 
that is, some of the very individuals who spoke 
of it, and the ancestors of the rest, — had for- 
merly inhabited, and from which successive 
portions of their tribe had been from time to 
time expelled by more powerful hostile tribes. 
They were anxious to induce their European 
neighbours to settle there themselves, and en- 
able them to reinstate themselves in their an- 
cient abode. They easily perceived the vast 
superiority which European arts and arms 
would give to their new allies over enemies 


who had proved too powerful for themselves, 
and they hoped through their aid to re-esta- 
blish themselves in a country which they had 
quitted with regret. 

Moved by their representations, the settlers 
despatched two active young men, in company 
with some native guides, to explore this highly- 
vaunted region ; they proceeded accordingly, 
nearly in a direct line from the coast, to a 
range of mountains, about ninety or a hundred 
miles in the interior, which they surmounted, 
not without difficulty, and then found them- 
selves in an elevated plain of a most sterile 
character, extending for more than a hundred 
miles in the same direction : this they traversed 
with some difficulty, and arrived at another 
chain of rocky mountains, forming a still more 
formidable barrier, which they would have had 
great difficulty in surmounting but for the local 
knowledge of their guides. 

On passing this, however, they were reward- 
ed by the view of a most extensive and delight- 
fully fertile region, watered with numerous 
streams from these mountains, and interspersed 
with beautiful lakes. The whole appearance 


of the country fully justified the descriptions 
given ; and the accounts of these first explorers 
were so favourable that a second expedition 
was undertaken, with a view to a more com- 
plete examination of the country, by young 
M Liller himself and four others, who passed a 
considerable time in exploring the district, not 
without some narrow escapes from the hostility 
of some of the wandering native tribes ; and 
the result of their examination was so favour- 
able, that the settlers were induced to come to 
the resolution of finally removing the colony to 
the interior. 

This, after due preparation, they accomplish- 
ed, moving in two separate divisions ; the first 
consisting of the greater part of the most active 
of the adult males, both of the Europeans and 
their native allies, who were to prepare habita- 
tions, and break up land for tillage, &c. ready 
to receive the rest after an interval of some 
months. The entire removal was completed in 
the course of the third year from their first 
arrival on the coast. Their numbers appear to 
have been between three and four hundred, in 
all, of white people, besides a somewhat smaller 


number of natives ; the country in which they 
had first settled admitting of only a small and 
scattered population, of tribes subsisting by the 

Very soon after taking possession of their 
new abode they were attacked, in spite of all 
their endeavours to preserve peace, by the 
native tribes of the interior, moved by their 
inveterate animosity against their ancient ene- 
mies : the settlers, however, gained an easy 
and complete victory in every encounter ; their 
lire-arms, though only the old-fashioned, clumsy 
matchlocks of those days, being sufficient to 
strike terror into savages unacquainted with 
gunpowder ; though, independent of their 
guns, their bows would have given them a 
decided superiority. It is well known how 
skilful and how formidable were the English 
archers of those days ; and they could annoy 
the natives, among whom the bow is unknown, 
at three times the distance to which these could 
throw their spears. The native allies also, hav- 
ing been taught by the Europeans to use the bow, 
which, even in their less skilful hands, had an 
advantage over the spear, — and being also fur- 


nished with cutlasses, hatchets, and steel heads 
to their pikes, — now proved greatly an over- 
match for their former conquerors, who had 
only wooden swords and bone-headed spears. 

A peace ensued, which, however, was for 
several years interrupted from time to time by 
predatory incursions and irregular renewals of 
hostilities. This state of things, with all its 
inconveniences, appears to have had the ad- 
vantage of cementing the friendship between 
the settlers and their native allies ; each party 
feeling the other's importance for security 
against a common enemy. The whites, ac- 
cordingly, seem to have been assiduous and 
successful in civilizing these natives, with 
whom they were thus thrown into close con- 

Ultimately, the colony was delivered from 
all danger from the hostile tribes by an event 
which threatened disaster. A formidable com- 
bination was secretly formed among all the 
tribes for a considerable distance round, for the 
purpose of making a united attack, by surprise, 
with all their forces. It was so far successful 
that a band, far outnumbering all that the 


settlers could muster, unexpectedly attacking 
one of their villages, obliged the inhabitants to 
fly in the utmost haste, and spread the alarm 
through the whole colony. This success, how- 
ever, proved their ruin ; for, with the genuine 
improvidence of savages, instead of rapidly 
pushing forward their forces, they eagerly fell 
to plundering the various stores, especially of 
provisions, which had been abandoned ; and, 
as an army of savages is never well provided 
with a commissariat, gladly betook themselves 
to feasting on what they found. 

Among other things, was a large supply of 
beer ; for the settlers had brought with them, 
and successfully practised, the art of brewing, 
with which they had been familiar at home. 
Wine they had not as yet attained to, though 
they had begun the cultivation of the vine, as 
well as of several other European fruit-trees. 
The savages indulged in the liquor with charac- 
teristic excess ; and, while they were lost in 
intoxication, set fire, either accidentally or in- 
tentionally, to the wooden houses and stacks 
with which they were surrounded. The fire 
raged fiercely in all directions ; and most of 


the men were too much stupified with liquor 
to escape the flames, and were either stifled or 
burnt ; a considerable number, however, were 
rescued by the settlers, who had by this time 
come together, and who at once saved and took 
prisoners most of the survivors, who were 
too helplessly drunk for either resistance or 

This event, which at once and for ever 
broke the power of their enemies, has been ever 
since annually commemorated in the colony ; a 
day of solemn thanksgiving being concluded by 
the lighting of large bonfires in the evening, by 
parties who pass round among themselves a 
spear, such as the natives use, and a cup of 
beer, of which each tastes, in memory of their 
deliverance. This festival which the M tillers 
instituted, accompanying the celebration with 
apposite reflections on drunkenness and its 
effects, has probably tended, along with other 
circumstances, to keep up an almost universal 
habit of sobriety throughout the colony. 

This interesting portion of their early history, 
thus impressed on their minds and familiarized 
to their thoughts from childhood, creates an in- 


delible association of the idea of drunkenness, not 
only with those of helplessness and disaster, but • 
also with that of the character of brutish and 
stupid savages. Indeed, in several other points 
also, our travellers found the idea of savage life 
so associated with some others in the minds of 
these people, as to influence considerably their 
conduct and habits of thought. They have a 
deep-seated and habitual contempt for every 
thing which, according to their notions, savours 
of barbarism ; and this shows itself in many 
points, which to a modern European would 
be likely to appear whimsical. The younger 
Muller, though indefatigable in his kindness to- 
wards the native tribes, appears to have che- 
rished this feeling in his own people. He la- 
boured strenuously to reclaim and civilize the 
savages, and was equally anxious to guard 
against the reverse process — the approximation 
of the white men towards the habits of the 
savages : and, as he seems to have been a very 
able though eccentric man, and possessed bound- 
less influence over the colonists, who were 
under his government for above half a century, 
he succeeded in effectually stamping his own 


character on the nation, and perpetuating his 

The hostile tribes, after the above event, 
surrendered at discretion ; and they consented 
(those of them who had a considerable propor- 
tion of able-bodied men remaining alive) to re- 
move beyond a certain specified boundary, far 
beyond the then limits of the colony ; but se- 
veral tribes, which now consisted almost entirely 
of women and children, and were consequent- 
ly hardly capable of providing for themselves, 
were, at their own entreaty, received as sub- 
jects, and incorporated, along with the pre- 
viously-allied natives, into the body of the 

The European and aboriginal races became 
in time completely blended together ; for it ap- 
pears to have been one of the principles most 
earnestly maintained and inculcated by their 
extraordinary leader, to allow of no hereditary 
degradation ; no subjection of one race of men 
to another on the ground of colour or caste, 
but to make all subjects of the state necessarily 
admissible to the rights of citizenship. Yet, on 
the other hand, he was well aware of the actual 


inferiority of the aborigines as individuals and 
as a race, and was fully alive to the evil of 
placing inferior men on a level with those 
morally and intellectually superior. The max- 
im, accordingly, which he continually dwelt 
on, and laboured to embody in practice, was, 
that it is not the colour of the skin, but the 
heart and head, that makes a man savage or 
civilized. Education, accordingly, was the 
means adopted for reclaiming and for preserv- 
ing men from barbarism : and examinations, to 
ascertain how far each had profited by the edu- 
cation bestowed, were made the test for admis- 
sibility into the highest public stations. 

This principle has been in great measure 
adhered to in the several states into which the 
settlement was afterwards divided, though dif- 
fering from each other in many respects in 
their forms of government. And yet, as M tiller 
used himself to observe, one man may be much 
superior in fitness for certain public offices to 
another, who may be far beyond him in pro- 
ficiency in a prescribed course of studies, and 
in everything that can be ascertained in any 
regular examination ; but then, he used to 


add, when you come to a greater number, one 
hundred men well taught will always be supe- 
rior to a hundred untaught, and fitter to go- 
vern the community. In all the states, accord- 
ingly, their senates are always required to con- 
sist of men who have given proof of their 
proficiency in a prescribed course of study ; 
but these are left free to choose, and sometimes 
do choose, for the discharge of important offices, 
men who are inferior in this respect, but qua- 
lified by natural sagacity and practical habits 
of business. 



Increase of the Settlement. — Separation of the States. — Ecclesias- 
tical Communities. — Concord among Sects. — Houses and 
Towns. — Penal Colonies. — Southlanders' Hospitality. — Mode 
of receiving Company. — Feasts. — Animal Food. — Tame Ani- 
mals. — Surprise at English Customs. — Carnivorous Propensity. 
— Lighting the Streets. — City of Bath. 

The settlement, on being thus (about five or 
six years from its commencement) freed from 
all external molestation, increased in prosperity, 
and extended itself rapidly in several directions 
inland. Towards the sea they had no tempta- 
tion to advance ; being separated from it by an 
extensive district of great sterility, and of difficult 
passage. Inward, the abundance of fertile land, 
and the numerous lakes with which our travel- 
lers had been struck, and which afforded easy 
intercourse even between settlements at a con- 
siderable distance, invited them to overspread 
the country as fast as their rapidly-increasing 



population required. Their numbers seem to 
hav r e advanced at about the same rate as those 
of some of the North- American settlements. 

The division into separate states was not, as 
the travellers found to their surprise, the result 
of discord, but had been planned and commenced 
by their founder himself. He had, it seems, 
foreseen, or fancied that he foresaw, an ultimate 
necessity for such a separation ; and he judged 
it best that it should begin even in his own life- 
time, before there was any advantage in it, 
except that of setting an example and establish- 
ing a precedent for amicable separation. He 
founded, accordingly, within forty years from 
their first settling, a second perfectly inde- 
pendent community, on the opposite side of the 
lake, near which the first had been located. 
The original settlement still forms one of the 
states, and retains the name of Mullersfield, 
which it received from the founders : the new 
one, from its singular beauty of situation, he 
called E Utopia (fine place), probably with some- 
thing of a covert allusion also to the well-known 
fabulous Utopia (no place). The most perfect 
friendliness and freedom of intercourse conti- 


nued between the two states; and, without 
owning any common authority, they consulted 
together, like any two individual neighbours 
who are on friendly terms, respecting any mat- 
ters in which they had a common concern : and 
the principles of the procedure having been 
clearly laid down, and practically established, 
the example was afterwards repeatedly follow- 
ed as the colonization extended itself; and 
fresh swarms, as it were, issued forth, till the 
number of the separate states amounted to 

A similar principle has been acted on with 
respect to ecclesiastical communities. The 
number of separate churches amounts to no 
less than seventeen ; though some of these con- 
sist chiefly of converted native tribes, together 
with the missionaries residing; among" them. 
These churches are, of course, not coextensive 
with the several states, but on the footing of the 
early churches founded by the apostles, who in- 
stituted several distinct ones, — for instance, in 
the single province of Macedonia; viz. those of 
Philippi, Thessalonica, Beroea, &c. They are all, 
and have ever been, with a few temporary ex- 

c 2 


ceptions, in concord and communion with each 
other, but under distinct governments, and dif- 
fering in some non-essential customs and insti- 
tutions. They seem to have made good a fa- 
vourite maxim of Mailer's on that subject; — 
that men are always most likely to live in 
friendly agreement in essentials, when they are 
not so closely connected as to be obliged to 
agree in matters intrinsically indifferent. " Two 
men," he used to observe, "who may be very 
friendly as neighbours, might quarrel, if they 
were obliged to live together, as to the hour at 
which they should dine, — the keeping of the 
windows open or shut, &c. ; — in which one 
party would necessarily be compelled to give 
way to the other: whereas they may be very 
good friends while each follows his own taste 
in such matters." 

We shall subjoin such scattered extracts as 
our space will admit, of those portions of our 
travellers' Journal which illustrate the more 
strange and singular particulars of the habits 
of this interesting people. 


Nearly all their houses= — in the towns, all, 
without exception — are flat-roofed, like those 
in the East; whether from a fancy of imitating 
the custom they read of in Scripture, or for the 
convenience of having an airy unconfined place 
to walk or sit on. In the towns, there is, as in 
those of the East, a thoroughfare for foot-pas- 
sengers along the tops of the houses ; and, in 
the larger towns, the streets are crossed occa- 
sionally by light bridges. 

The houses in the towns, and all but the 
meaner sort of cottages in the newly-settled 
part of the country, are without any chimneys 
opening to the air : the smoke from the fire- 
places of one or two, or more, adjoining houses, 
passes into a sort of chamber (swept from time 
to time), from which it is forced out by ma- 
chinery into a flue branching off into pipes, 
which carry it back to the bottom of each fire ; 
so that it burns its own smoke. When the vi- 
sitors were describing to some Eutopians the 
European towns, these people remarked that 
London, for instance, though so much improved 
since the times of* which they had historical 
records from their ancestors, must still have 


a very smoky atmosphere ; and that, to walk 
along the streets, shut in by houses on both 
sides, must be very unpleasant, for want of 
open prospect and free circulation of air. 

It was with much difficulty that these people 
were brought to understand the nature of the 
colony from which their visitors came ; not that 
they were in general didl of apprehension, but 
they could scarcely satisfy themselves that they 
had rightly understood the accounts given 
them. To people a new settlement with con- 
victed criminals, — to form a new nation of the 
scum and refuse of mankind, — appeared to 
them so preposterous, that for some time they 
could not help supposing they must have mis- 
understood their informants. " To bring to- 
gether a number of villains," they said, "to a 
country where good character is not the rule, 
but the exception, allowing them free inter- 
course with each other must be the most effec- 
tual mode of hardening and confirming them in 
wickedness, and entailing the same character 
on successive generations :" and though it was 


explained to them that one great object of 
the plan was to reform the criminals, the ac- 
counts which truth constrained their visitors to 
give of the actual state of morals in the colony 
did not seem to satisfy them. They had won- 
dered at first, they said, that such a scheme 
should have been originally thought of, and 
now they wondered still more that it should be 
persevered in. 

The travellers were entertained with the 
kindest and most liberal hospitality, according 
to the notions of the Southlanders (such is the 
general name by which the inhabitants of all 
the states distinguish themselves from their 
European ancestors and other Europeans) ; but 
their hospitality differs considerably from ours. 
When residing as guests with any family, they 
partook of the family meals ; but when invited 
to a party, as they frequently were, to meet the 
principal gentry of the neighbourhood, — who 
were anxious both to show attention to the 
strangers and to gratify their own curiosity,— 
it was found that there is no such thing in 


this country as what we call a dinner-party ; 
that is, the company did not sit down together 
to a regular meal, but partook of refreshments 
something more of the character of an English 
luncheon, which was provided in all the supe- 
rior houses in a separate room. The guests 
dropped into this eating-room irregularly, and 
seating themselves in small promiscuous parties 
at small tables set out there, were served by 
the attendants with the various dishes pro- 
vided. They stayed as long as they pleased ; 
conversed occasionally with their neighbours, 
as we do at an irregular luncheon, and return- 
ed to the " company-room " (as it is called), 
without ceremony, whenever they chose. No 
refreshments were brought into this last, ex- 
cept such as correspond to what we have at 
evening parties, — such as cakes, lemonade, 
wine and water, ices (in those districts which 
are near the mountains), dried or fresh fruits, 
&c. : this they consider as what they call the 
most " honourable " — what we should call 
" stylish" — mode of receiving company. 

When our habits were described to them, 
they expressed their wonder that a civilized 


people should make feasts as the savages do. 
" The half-reclaimed native tribes," they said, 
" invite their friends whom they wish to ho- 
nour to a solemn feast, at which, having pro- 
vided a large quantity of their best provisions 
and liquor, and exerted what skill they have in 
cookery, the guests all seat themselves, with 
sundry formalities, round the food that is dress- 
ed, and regale themselves altogether; but with 
the Southlanders such an arrangement as this 
is only adopted as a convenience, when there is 
a large number of persons to be fed in the least 
troublesome way." They accordingly promised, 
laughingly, to take their visitors to something 
like an English dinner-party ; and the party to 
which they invited them (it was during the 
season of hay harvest) consisted of about two 
dozen mowers, with several of their wives and 
children, seated round a long table, with the 
master at the head of it, and supping on an 
ample supply of substantial food, served up 
in five or six huge dishes. 

The cookery among the higher classes is for 
the most part plain and simple, and the few 
who have refined much upon the luxuries of 



the table are exposed to something of the same 
sort of contemptuous ridicule that the being 
called a dandy incurs among us. But a cir- 
cumstance which early attracted the attention 
of the visitors was, that they found the animal 
food to consist (besides eggs, cheese, and vari- 
ous preparations of milk) entirely of fish and 
game. The pork, which they often met with, 
they found to be always the flesh of the wild 
swine : these were derived from those brought 
over by the first settlers, who turned them all 
loose into the woods ; and the chase of the 
wild-boar is eagerly pursued by many of the 
gentry. Wild cattle are also met with in some 
parts, descended from such as had accidentally 
strayed ; and the flesh of these is eaten, as well 
as that of the kangaroo, emu, and other indi- 
genous animals : but the visitors one day, in 
the course of conversation in the eating-room, 
expressed their surprise at having never seen 
any mutton served up, though sheep were not 
uncommon. The Southlanders had never heard 
the word mutton ; but, when it was explained 
to them that it meant the flesh of the sheep, 
they replied, "That they kept their sheep very 


carefully for their wool, and that there were no 
wild sheep in the country : but when it was 
explained to them that we kept both sheep and 
oxen chiefly for the purpose of feeding on their 
flesh, they were both astonished and disgusted 
that we should have retained such a barbarian 
custom (for they regard themselves as many 
degrees more civilized than their European 
ancestors) as that of killing and eating domes- 
tic animals. 

It was urged (and they freely admitted it) 
that the loss of life is no greater to a tame than 
to a wild animal : " That is true," they said, " as 
far as the animal is concerned ; but it makes a 
great difference to our feelings. A tame ani- 
mal is a sort of friend, a member of the family : 
it seems a sort of treacherous breach of hos- 
pitality to kill in cold blood a creature which 
you have reared and fed from its birth, and 
then devour its flesh." They expressed still 
more surprise (for they are keen sportsmen) at 
learning that some Europeans were vehement in 
their censures of hunting, fowling, and fishing, 
as cruel ; and yet fed without scruple on beef 
and mutton. " We declare war," they said, 


laughing, " perhaps an unjust war, against wild 
animals, and kill them as enemies ; but you as- 
sassinate your friends." — " We urged," says the 
journalist, " the necessity of keeping within 
bounds the numbers of our domestic animals ; 
and expressed our apprehension that the South- 
landers would in time find themselves quite 
overstocked with sheep, oxen, and fowls." 
They replied at the moment, merely, " that 
no such apprehension had ever occurred to 

But, on returning to what we should call the 
drawing-room, we soon found that much in- 
terest was excited by the accounts of what 
appeared to this most singular people our 
strange custom. We were surrounded by la- 
dies, who inquired, with an amusing mixture 
of good-humoured ridicule, wonder, and horror, 
into all the particulars respecting mutton ; and 
one lady surprised us by asking, among other 
things, what kind of flesh was that of horses, 
dogs, and cats, and by what name we called it. 
When informed that, though we kept these 
animals, we never thought of eating them, she 
replied, " Why, I had understood that you ate 


the flesh of domestic animals, and that you 
found it necessary to do so, for fear of their 
overstocking you with their numbers! How 
comes it that you are not overrun with horses, 
dogs, and cats?" To say the truth, we 
were rather dumbfounded by this question ; 
having, in fact, assigned as a reason what we 
had been accustomed to hear and repeat with- 
out any examination into its soundness. We 
could only allege that, in all these points, we 
conformed to what had always been the prac- 
tice of our ancestors and theirs, and of almost 
all other nations : in this we were borne out 
by the testimony of those of the company who 
were well read in antiquities. 

Several of these people, indeed, are good 
scholars, and well acquainted with the history 
(as far as was known three hundred years ago) 
of other nations, besides their own. They ad- 
verted to the descriptions of Homer's heroes : 
one of them would, when about to entertain 
his friends, have a sheep brought into his tent, 
cut its throat with his own royal hands, and 
then, with a skilful hand, — which the poet 
never fails to celebrate, — cut it up into slices 


and broil them on skewers over a charcoal fire. 
They remembered, also, the accounts given of 
some East-Indian tribes, who, when their rela- 
tives are grown old and infirm, kill them, to 
save them from lingering decay, and hold a 
pious and solemn feast on their flesh. But 
as these customs had worn away in the early 
progress of civilization, they wondered that a 
still further refinement had not, among us, con- 
fined the carnivorous propensity of man to wild, 
animals exclusively, and led us, as it had them, 
to regard with disgust the eating of (as they 
expressed it) one of the family, whose eggs, 
milk, labour, or wool had long ministered to 
our comforts. 

The description of our cities in their present 
condition, as contrasted with that of the six- 
teenth century, and of our whole mode of 
life, was exceedingly interesting to these peo- 
ple; but nothing did they admire more than 
our description of the gas-lights. In the midst, 
however, of their enquiries and admiration, 
one sly-looking old gentleman observed, "that 


if we would honour him with a visit in his 
city of Bath (capital of a state of the same 
name), he would excite even our admiration 
by the spectacle of an illumination still more 
splendid." In our visit there, where we were 
most kindly received, our host walked through 
the streets with us, showing us the principal 
buildings, and introduced us into the Senate- 
house, where the public business was going on. 
On our return to his house, he asked us (this 
was about seven o'clock in the morning) what 
we thought of the lighting of the streets. We 
answered, that we observed neither any light- 
ing of them, nor need of it, as it was a bright 
sunshine. "And is not this," said he, "as good 
a light as your gas? We have not," he added, 
"gone so far as you in arts; but we have the 
advantage of you in availing ourselves of the 
gifts of nature ; for, as you must have observ- 
ed, we are all alert and about our business at 
day -break; while you, by your own account, 
allow three or four hours of daylight in the 
spring and summer to be utterly wasted, while 
you are abed; and then go about your busi- 
ness at night, like owls and bats, but without 


their advantage of being able to see in the 
dark ; so that you are forced to light your- 
selves with gas. It was," said he, " a very in- 
genious contrivance you were telling us of 
t'other day, by which you distil fresh water 
from the sea ; but pray do you, when there 
are plenty of fresh springs, let all the water 
run to waste, that you may have the triumph 
of distilling from the brine ?" 

We endeavoured to explain to him the causes 
of our late hours ; but we were astounded 
when he had made us compute the saving in 
oil, and gas, and tallow, which might be effect- 
ed by a general resolution to use daylight as far 
as it would go. 

The city at which this conversation took 
place is named from its celebrated warm baths, 
supplied by springs issuing from a mountain in 
the vicinity ; one of the greatest curiosities in 
the country, both from the natural phenomena 
it exhibits (being evidently an extinct volcano), 
from which it received its name of Mount 
Peril, and from the extraordinary tradition 
of the superstitious ordeal formerly connected 
with it. 

DUELS. 41 


Duels. — Judicial Combats. — Existing Code of Honour. — Appeal 
to Arms. — Discussion on Duelling. — Mount Peril. — Noxious 
Vapours. — The Cavern. 

The visit of the travellers to Mount Peril, in 
the state of Bath, was preceded, and in some 
measure probably caused, by a conversation ca- 
sually occurring on the subject of duels ; and 
the notes taken of this, it may be as well first 
to lay before the reader. 

Much inquiry and mutual communication 
appear to have taken place, as was to be ex- 
pected, between the Southlanders and their 
guests respecting the institutions and manners 
of their respective countries ; and among others 
the subject of duelling, as prevailing among 
the Europeans and Americans, happened one 
day to be introduced in a mixed company. A 
large proportion of the younger persons pre- 
sent expressed their astonishment that a people 

42 DUELS. 

pretending to civilization should fight out their 
disputes " like the savages." This expression, 
as appears from several of the notices already 
recorded, was perpetually in their mouths ; and 
some added, that the savages in their code of 
honour had the advantage of the Europeans. 
The New-Hollanders in these parts have, it 
seems, in respect of their duels, similar customs 
to those that have been observed by our set- 

It has long been known that the aborigines 
of New South Wales leave all quarrels between 
individuals to be settled by a solemn judicial 
combat, the community interfering no farther 
than to see fair play. But their notions of fair 
play differ considerably from ours. If it, in- 
deed, does not appear clearly which is the party 
aggrieved, they fight it out, man to man ; the 
tribe being present as bystanders, while the 
combatants engage with spears or waddies 
(wooden swords) till the satisfaction is com- 
plete. But if one of the parties is adjudged 
to have the preponderance of justice on his 
side, he is allowed to bring a friend with him, 
as an auxiliary; and in very flagrant cases, 


even two or more, according to the character of 
the offence to be avenged. 

In all cases, the offending party, however 
clear his guilt may be, is allowed to fight for 
his life ; but in some cases, of course, against 
such odds as render it next to impossible he 
should escape. This, the Southlanders ob- 
served, was a degree better than the European 
duels, in which the regulations of our code of 
honour require the parties, however palpably 
one of them may be in the wrong, to meet 
on equal terms, or with an inequality only in 
favour of the one who may chance to be the 
better shot or swordsman. 

Others of the company entered more fully 
into the discussion of the general grounds on 
which duelling is to be reprobated, being cor- 
dially joined in their censure by Mr. Jones, who 
urged the objections, with which every one is 
familiar, against the wickedness of taking away 
a fellow-creature's life, and exposing one's own, 
in revenge for a trifling affront — the absurdity 
of calling it a satisfaction to stand to be shot 
at, and other such topics, which it is unneces- 
sary to enlarge on, as they may be read in 


numerous essays and tales, and heard at every 

The Messrs. Smith, on the other hand (naval 
men, as has been already mentioned) took the 
other side, and endeavoured to vindicate the 
existing code of honour. They urged that it is 
needless and nugatory to go about to prove 
that a duel is a bad thing, and that to censure 
the laws of honour on that ground is as unfair 
as to censure the law of the land on the ground 
that imprisonment and hanging are evils, these 
being the penalties denounced against a viola- 
tion of the laws. 

The requisition to expose one's life in a duel 
is, in like manner, the penalty denounced 
against a violation of the rules established in 
the society of gentlemen. The law of honour, 
they said, does not enjoin men to seek a duel 
as a desirable thing, but, on the contrary, to 
act in such a manner as to preclude all occasion 
for an appeal to arms ; and that the penalty 
which any system of rules holds out against the 
violation of them should be regarded as some- 
thing to be carefully avoided : this, so far from 


being an objection to the system, is essential to 
its maintenance. As for the unfairness of put- 
ting the injured and injuring party on a level, 
that they did not deny; but contended that 
it was an unavoidable evil, as in the case of 
war between two independent states. That 
every war is an evil, — that in every war one 
party must be in the wrong, and very often 
both : all this is universally admitted, but all 
this does not answer the practical question, 
whether, on the ground that war is an evil, 
a state should submit, and proclaim itself ready 
to submit, to any extent of encroachment and 
aggression from foreign nations without resist- 
ance. " If you go to war," it might be urged, 
" with those who have wronged you, you put 
yourself on equal terms with the wrong-doer, 
and are likely to suffer as much or more than 
the offending party." " Very true," it might 
be answered, " but we cannot help that ; if we 
could, we would make all the evil of the war 
fall on the nation that has injured us ; but as it 
is, we must do the best we can to deter our 
neighbours from injuring us : having no com- 


mon superior to appeal to, we have no alter- 
native but to fight for our rights, or to be 
insulted and oppressed with impunity." 

When it was urged in reply, that, though 
nations have not, individuals have, a common 
authority to appeal to — that of the community 
to which they belong, this was roundly de- 
nied ; and it was contended that the appeal 
to single combat does not take place in cases 
when the law of the land provides adequate 
redress, but in those only where it either can- 
not or will not afford any, or any but such 
as would be a mere mockery to the feelings 
of the sufferer. A man, they urge, does not 
challenge any one for robbing him of his purse, 
or for firing his barn, but for injuries of quite a 
different description, far more grievous to one 
moving in a certain circle of society, but which 
the law either refuses to take cognizance of at 
all, or for which it provides such redress as 
would aggravate the evil by rendering the 
sufferer ridiculous. Now a man resigns to 
the community his natural right of personal 
self-defence on the implied condition that the 
community shall protect him ; and in cases, 


therefore, where it either cannot, or will not, 
fulfil this condition, his original natural right 
remains unimpaired. Thus, when a man is 
suddenly assaulted by a robber, he is free to 
defend his person and property as well as he 
can ; and on the same principle, when the 
injury is of such a character as the law will 
not, or cannot, defend him from, he is left to 
guard his own honour with his own hand. 

As to the evils resulting from duels, they 
observed that it is most unfair not to take 
into account — though to calculate would be 
impossible — the immense amount of evils pre- 
vented, and which there is reason to suppose 
would take place but for the apprehension of 
a duel. The insolence, the falsehood, the slan- 
der, the base and the overbearing conduct, 
which are daily kept in check in many thou- 
sands of persons by the recollection that there 
is such a thing as being " called out" for such 
behaviour, is what no one can compute with 
any approach to accuracy ; these being pre- 
ventive and negative effects, and therefore in- 
capable of being calculated, and liable to be 


Some idea, however, they added, may be 
formed of these effects of the laws of honour 
by looking to the conduct of those classes of 
persons who are exempted from them. The 
ancient Greeks and Romans, for instance, who 
are cried up as exempt from this Gothic bar- 
barism, were accustomed, as we see from the 
specimens of their orators that have come 
down to us, publicly to revile each other in 
the grossest language. The Mahometans also, 
of all ranks, appear to be, with few exceptions, 
very much what Europeans would characterize 
by the term " blackguards ;" and the same de- 
scription seems very applicable to the people of 
the Celestial empire, from the haughty manda- 
rin downwards. 

In Europe, again, said these gentlemen, we 
see that those among the higher classes — viz. 
ladies and clergymen, (it is to be presumed the 
Messrs. Smith had met with unfavourable spe- 
cimens of these, and were rashly judging from 
such specimens,) — who are exempt from this 
law, are apt to avail themselves of that ex- 
emption by indulging themselves in the use 
of such language, and in such violation of 


truth and of decorum in their attacks on op- 
ponents as a layman would be deterred from 
by the apprehension of personal danger ; so 
that, on the whole, it was contended that the 
evil of the lives lost in duels — an extremely 
small number — may be reckoned a cheap price 
paid by society for the advantages of civilized 
and well-regulated manners. And, after all, it 
was added, even that evil is not to be laid 
to the charge of the law of honour as a neces- 
sary accompaniment, since, if all persons ad- 
hered constantly to the rules of good society, 
there would never be occasion for a duel ; in 
the same manner as there would never be occa- 
sion, if all men would comply with the law of 
the land, for any of the penalties of the law 
to be actually inflicted. 

An old gentleman named Christopher Adam- 
son, of the State of Bath, who was present at 
this discussion, now came forward to declare 
his conviction that these arguments, though 
not without plausibility, were entirely unsound, 
and his confidence that he should be able to 
establish this to the satisfaction of the whole 
party ; but he proposed to defer giving his rea- 



sons till they should have viewed a spot in his 
neighbourhood, curious and interesting on many 
accounts, and closely and historically connected 
with the subject under discussion. 

This was the celebrated Mount Peril (already 
alluded to), in the immediate vicinity of the 
city of Bath. The invitation was accepted ; 
and the travellers shortly after set out on their 
excursion to visit this mountain. It plainly 
appears to be an extinct volcano. The settlers 
found it regarded with superstitious awe by the 
natives, who had among them a tradition of 
smoke having been seen at times to issue from 
it, and who regarded it as the habitation of 
certain malignant deities, of a similar character 
to the Pel& venerated in the island of Hawaii 
(Owhyhee). The medicinal warm springs flow- 
ing from the foot of it gave occasion to the 
fixing of the city of Bath (thence so named) in 
the neighbourhood. It is one of the oldest 
states, the warm baths having early acquired 
such repute as to be highly attractive. 

The circumstance which gave rise to the ap- 
pellation of Mount Peril was" the existence of 
certain caverns and fissures on one of its sides, 


emitting at times noxious vapours, which had 
more than once proved fatal to those who had 
incautiously ventured too near them. These 
were reputed by the natives to be the abode of 
evil spirits, destructive to such as approached 
them : and in the etymological sense of the 
word spirit (spiritus, blast) this might be said 
to be literally true ; for our travellers soon 
ascertained that the danger arose from a dele- 
terious gas, the same that in coalpits is called 
the choke-damp, found also in the celebrated 
" Grotto del Cane " in Italy, named and long 
celebrated for the cruel experiments practised 
on dogs for the gratification of travellers. This 
gas, now well known to every smatterer in 
chemistry as the carbonic acid gas, so poison- 
ous when received into the lungs, issues forth, 
it should seem, in irregular blasts from these 
caverns, so as to render them more dangerous 
of approach at some times than at others ; so 
that many persons have passed with impunity 
spots which have at a different times affected 
others with alarming or even fatal suffoca- 

The cavern which the travellers inspected 

d 2 


the most closely is situated at the foot of a per- 
pendicular cliff, about fifty feet in height, from 
the top of which the mouth may be seen very 
distinctly and with perfect safety ; the gas be- 
ing, as is well known, so much heavier than 
common air that there is no danger of its rising 
even near so high as the top of the cliff. The 
visitors tried the experiment of letting down 
by a rope, with a chain at the lower end of 
it, a little iron grating brought for the purpose, 
containing (as a humane substitute for a living 
dog) splinters of dry wood set on fire, which 
being lowered when in a full blaze into the 
cavern's mouth, were suddenly and completely 
extinguished. This cavern was easily accessi- 
ble from below, as it opened a kind of terrace 
of nearly level ground, called " the Ordeal 
Path ;" but though many persons had passed 
it with impunity, it was considered too hazard- 
ous an experiment to be wantonly risked. 



Superstitious Notions. — Abolition of Duelling. — Interference of 
Providence. — Challenge to the Ordeal. — The Trial. — Convic- 
tion of the Offender. — Uncertainty of the Ordeal. — Ineffectual 
Prohibition. — Check against Slander. — Exclusion from Society. 
- — Absurd Alternative. — Personal Courage. — Imputation of 
Cowardice. — Public Opinion. — War between Nations. — Chal- 
lenges. — Fear of Disgrace. 

Mr. Adamson afterwards proceeded to relate 
the circumstances connected with the cavern. 
Many superstitious notions, it seems, and much 
tendency to give credit to tales of supernatural 
mystery had been brought from Europe by 
several of the original settlers, trained as they 
had been in the then prevailing credulity, and 
many of them tinctured with fanaticism. It is 
not to be wondered therefore, that, ignorant as 
they were of physical phenomena, several should 
have given more or less credit to the reports of 
the natives respecting evil demons dwelling in 
these caverns ; the dangerous nature of them 


having been proved in some instances by fatal 

The employment of one of them for the pur- 
pose of an ordeal originated long after. " It 
ought in the first place to be acknowledged," 
said Mr. Adamson, " that the barbarian institu- 
tion of duels did exist among us, though now 
long since exploded." 

They were not of common occurrence ; but 
he added that his father distinctly remembered 
as a boy the final abolition of the practice, 
in the manner about to be related. The duel 
was regarded — and such is well known to 
have been its original design — as a kind of 
ordeal, as a solemn appeal to Heaven, which it 
was supposed would not fail to interfere in 
support of the rightful combatant. 

And here Mr. Sibthorpe had the candour 
to interpose a remark, that, though duels have 
long since ceased to be considered in that light, 
the general principle is very far from being 
exploded among a large proportion of our own 
countrymen, who frequently apply the terms 
" providential," and even " miraculous," to the 
detection of murderers ; the frustration of 


schemes of injustice ; the escape of pious men 
from dangers of shipwreck or fire, &c. and who 
speak of pestilential diseases, conflagrations, 
and other fatal accidents, as judgments from 
Heaven on the sufferers ; evidently referring to 
a supposed special interference of Providence 
to allot temporal successes or adversities ac- 
cording to the deserts of the parties ; and often 
setting down as little better than an atheist 
any one who questions such a doctrine. 

" Now," said he, " if it be admitted that there 
is a special and extraordinary interference of 
Providence for the immediate temporal punish- 
ment of the wicked, and for the securing of suc- 
cess to a righteous cause, there seems no reason 
why this should not be looked for in the case of 
a judicial combat. Our ancestors were at least 
as wise as we, and more consistent, if we 
deride or reprobate the idea of a special in- 
terposition of Providence in the case of a single 
combat, while we look for it in all other cases. 
And you well know," added he to Mr. Jones, 
" how strongly the doctrine I allude to is set 
forth in newspapers — in magazines — in publi- 
cations of various descriptions, and, not least, 


in the nursery-books which are first put into 
the hands of children." 

This could not he denied. "Well, such," 
continued Mr. A damson, " had been our belief 
as well as yours. But while the trial by single 
combat was retained under an altered charac- 
ter, the other kinds of ordeal — such as the hot 
ploughshare, &c. to which women, as well as 
men, had in former times been exposed — fell 
completely into desuetude." 

Among the Southlanders the institution was, 
by an accidental circumstance, reintroduced. 
It seems that a woman, named Margaret 
Brucker, had been grossly defamed by a neigh- 
bour, and being highly indignant at the im- 
putations cast on her virtue, and conscious of 
perfect innocence, she appealed to the judgment 
of Heaven, and challenged her accuser to ac- 
company her publicly along the mountain side, 
by what was afterwards called the ' Ordeal 
Path,' to pass by the goblin cavern, the one 
viewed by our travellers. She professed her 
full confidence that her innocence would pro- 
tect her from the demons residing there, and 
that the false accusation would be visited by 


a divine judgment on her who had devised 
it. Margaret appears to have been a perfectly 
sincere enthusiast, and to have possessed that 
fervid eloquence which is the result of genuine 
strong feeling. This, together with youth, 
beauty, and the sympathy excited by her dis- 
tress of mind, operated so strongly on the su- 
perstitious feelings of the people that they 
vehemently seconded her proposal ; and the 
woman who had accused her dared not refuse 
the trial. 

The parties accordingly set forth, attended 
by a great concourse of eager spectators, who 
ranged themselves on the edge of the cliff over- 
hanging the cavern in breathless expectation 
of the results. The magistrates had only ven- 
tured to exert their authority so far as to re- 
quire that ropes should be let down from the 
top of the cliff, and secured by straps to the 
body of each of the women, so that in case 
of danger they might be safely drawn up. 

Margaret, with a firm and undaunted step, 
walked unhurt close along the mouth of the 
cavern. Her companion, who had been ob- 
served to become pale and agitated as they 

d 5 


approached the scene of trial, sank down in- 
sensible at the entrance of the cavern. The 
mingled shouts of wonder, alarm, horror, and 
exultation proceeding from the spectators of 
this complete fulfilment of the prophecy may 
easily be imagined. The fainting victim was 
drawn up by the rope to the top of the cliff, to 
all appearance dead. By sprinkling her with 
water, however, she gradually revived ; and 
on being restored to her senses and speech, 
confessed, with much awe and contrition, the 
entire falsity of the stories she had circulated, 
and which she had fabricated through jealousy. 
She acknowledged, and no doubt fully believed, 
that she had been struck down by the demon 
of the goblin cavern as a just judgment on 
her calumny. Of course Margaret Brucker 
was venerated as little less than a prophetess, 
and the ordeal rose into high and general 

Several, indeed, of the more sagacious enter- 
tained at the time the opinion which it would 
then have been most discreditable to avow, but 
which has long since become universal, that the 
one party escaped unhurt because she walked 


erect across the opening of the cavern, the 
noxious gas being so heavy that its influence 
does not usually extend much more than one 
or two feet above the surface of the ground ; 
and that the other, through the agitation of 
conscious guilt and superstitious terror, either 
turned giddy, or stumbled over a stone, and 
falling down, was immediately exposed to the 
full current of the vapour. This is agreeable 
to what is found to take place in the celebrated 
Grotto del Cane, which is entered with im- 
punity by men, but is fatal to a dog (whose 
head is so much nearer to the ground) if the 
poor beast is compelled to remain over one of 
the fissures from which the gas issues. 

The ordeal, however, was a very uncertain 
one, from the variations occurring in the quan- 
tity of vapour emitted. Sometimes both par- 
ties were suffocated, and oftener both escaped 
unhurt ; and in some instances, as might have 
been expected, it happened that a person 
whose character had been cleared by the 
ordeal, was afterwards, by circumstances sub- 
sequently brought to light, proved, or violently 
suspected, to have been guilty. 


Instances of this kind, in conjunction with 
the advancement of intellectual culture, gra- 
dually weakened, in progress of time, the be- 
lief in the supernatural character of the ordeal. 
It was, however, for a long time, frequently ap- 
pealed to, both by women and men, from all the 
states ; and, in spite of laws which were passed, 
but which it was found impossible fully to en- 
force, prohibiting any such trial, and denouncing 
as murder the offence of being accessary to any 
one's exposure to it in case of a fatal result, — 
the custom still received the sanction of many 
who disavowed all belief of miraculous inter- 
ference in the case of such trials. 

" They defended," said Mr. Adamson, " by 
nearly the same arguments as I have lately heard 
from you, both duels, such as you apply the 
name to, and these which were always very 
justly regarded as a kind of duel ; since there is 
no essential difference between calling on your 
adversary to stand a pistol-shot or a poisonous 
blast. It was conducive, they contended, to 
the preservation of good manners, and of a 
hio-h and delicate sense of honour in both 
sexes, that a man should be restrained from 


ungentlemanly behaviour, and from lightly 
taxing another with it, by the apprehension 
of personal danger; and that female purity 
should be guarded in like manner. ■ It is,' 
they said, ' a useful additional check against 
lying, for instance, and against rashly charging 
another with being a liar, to reflect on the pro- 
bable consequence of being called on to face 
the sword or pistol, or the goblin cavern of 
Mount Peril. And it is but fair, that a wo- 
man also should recollect that levity of con- 
duct, or wanton slander, may occasion her to 
be required to undergo a similar danger.' 
There were not wanting many who repro- 
bated this doctrine, and urged such arguments 
on the other side respecting the wickedness 
and the absurdity of the custom as we have 
lately heard from Mr. Jones. But they were 
urged with as little practical effect as they 
appear to have had among you. At length, 
several persons of the higher classes, and re- 
markable for correctness of life, refinement of 
manners, and cultivated understanding, formed 
themselves into an association and declared 
strenuous war against every kind of duel, in- 


eluding, as has been said, under that name 
the ordeal of the cavern, which they contended 
against on entirely new grounds. 

" They did not confine themselves to such 
topics as had been before, again and again, 
urged without effect ; but maintained that the 
practice tended to defeat the very end pro- 
posed, and to lower (instead of raising, as was 
pretended) the tone of manners in the society. 
* If,' they said, ' there were no such custom, 
then, any one, whether man or woman, who 
transgressed the rules which public opinion had 
sanctioned in the circle of society in which 
he or she moved, would at once be excluded 
from that circle. And the apprehension of this 
exclusion, of thus losing caste, and being sent 
to Coventry, which is the ultimate penalty 
that such a society can inflict for a breach of 
its rules, would be the best preventive of any 
violation of them, — the best preservative of the 
tone of the society, that it is possible to attain. 
If, under such a system, any one insulted an- 
other, he would be regarded as an ill-mannered 
brute, and excluded from good company : a 
woman who displayed levity of conduct would 


be at once excluded from reputable society : any 
one, man or woman, who should bring rash im- 
putations against a neighbour, would be shun- 
ned as a slanderer : and so of the rest. But 
under the system of duelling, society offers an 
alternative ; the only effect of which, as far as 
it operates, is unmixed evil. Instead of say- 
ing, absolutely, you must abstain from brutal 
insolence of demeanour, on pain of being ex- 
cluded from our circle, it says, you must either 
abstain from insolence, or be ready to expose 
your life ; instead of requiring a woman to 
abstain from levity of conduct, and defamatory 
language, on pain of forfeiting the countenance 
of respectable people, it proposes the alternative 
of either observing those rules, or the being 
prepared to encounter the ordeal ; and the 
result is, that those who possess personal intre- 
pidity will often be enabled to transgress with 
impunity those rules of good society, which 
the duelling system professes to enforce. Nay 
more ; the system tends to invest with a 
certain degree of dignity, arising from our 
admiration of personal courage, such conduct 
as would otherwise excite only unmitigated 


abhorrence and contempt. An insolent man, 
for instance, if by his insolence he braved no 
danger but that of expulsion from good com- 
pany, would be simply despised : but since he 
also, under the other system, braves the danger 
of death, he obtains some degree of honour for 
his intrepidity. And though some may be 
deterred from such conduct by the fear of a 
challenge, others, on the contrary, may be 
encouraged to it, by a desire of displaying 
valour ; especially if they have reason to think, 
from what they know of the other party, that 
a challenge will not ensue, and that they shall 
enjoy their triumph unmolested. 

" ■ Moreover, the magnitude of the injuries 
which one person actually can do to another 
is infinitely enhanced by the system of duels, 
because every affront offered is thus made to 
carry with it an imputation on one's personal 
courage, which can only be wiped out by the 
exposure of life. If, for instance, I am a man 
of uniform and scrupulous veracity, and some 
ill-mannered ruffian gives me the lie, then, 
supposing duels unknown, the attack recoils 
entirely on the assailant. He is incapable of 


proving his charge — my life refutes it, — and 
the only result is that he, not I, is set down 
as a liar, for having falsely called me a liar. 
But under the other system, I must go out 
and expose my life, or else I am disgraced — 
disgraced, not as a liar (for that imputation, 
perhaps, is dishelieved after all), but as a 
coward, for not daring to risk my life in 
defence of my honour. And thus a person, 
who otherwise might have been incapable of 
doing me any serious hurt at all, has it in 
his power to propose to me at his pleasure 
the alternative of hazard to my life and vio- 
lence to my conscience, or ignominy. A venom 
is thus added to the sting of the most con- 
temptible insect. 

" ' So much,' said they, ' for the protec- 
tion thus provided for us against injuries the 
most painful to the feelings ! Great part of 
the disgrace attaching to the authors of such 
injuries is removed ; the injuries are probably 
rather increased than diminished in frequency ; 
and in the pain they inflict, they are undoubt- 
edly aggravated tenfold.' With regard to the 
supposed necessity for a person's thus vindi- 


eating his own honour in certain cases, on the 
ground that the parties have no common au- 
thority to appeal to, this they flatly denied. 
The public opinion of the society they belong 
to, is that common authority. And that it is 
so, and is competent to decide effectually, is 
proved, they urged, by the very existence of 
duelling; for the duel itself is enforced by 
nothing else but public opinion. I am obliged, 
it is said, to challenge a man who has affronted 
me, because there is no authority to appeal 
to that will compel him to redress the injury. 
But what, then, compels him to accept the 
challenge? Nothing, but the knowledge that 
if he refused it, society would reject him as 
disgraced. Then, why should not society at 
once pronounce on him this sentence of dis- 
grace for the affront itself, unless he makes 
a satisfactory submission ? If he defies public 
opinion, and does not care for disgrace, he need 
not accept the challenge : if he does care for 
public opinion, then let the disgrace attach at 
once to the offering of the affront, instead of 
to the refusal of the challenge. It is manifest 
that those who have the power to propose the 


alternative, of either suffering disgrace or fight- 
ing, must have the power to discard the latter 
part of the alternative. Let society, therefore, 
but do its duty, and it is plain that it may, by 
a proper exertion of the power which it has, 
and which it actually exercises even now, re- 
strain, and restrain much more effectually, with- 
out duelling, the very evils which duelling pro- 
fesses to remedy. 

" As for the case of war between indepen- 
dent states, this," observed Mr. Adamson, " by 
the way, is by no means a parallel to that 
of private duels. One nation does not send a 
challenge to another ; because, as the parties 
really have no common authority to refer to, 
the aggressors would of course decline the chal- 
lenge, and would prefer enjoying unmolested 
the fruits of their injustice. The nation, there- 
fore, which considers itself aggrieved has no 
other remedy than, after complaining and de- 
manding redress in vain, to declare war, levy 
troops, and commence hostilities against its 
opponents without waiting for their consent ; 
And this procedure would be parallel to the 
case of duels only, if these were quite of a dif- 


ferent character from what they are. If it 
were customary for a man who had received an 
affront to declare war against his neighbour, arm 
himself, and proceed to attack him without ask- 
ing his consent, this would correspond to a war 
between two states. But a challenge is quite a 
different thing ; it is an invitation which a man 
may either accept or decline, to meet at a time 
and place settled by mutual agreement, where 
the parties, by common consent, expose them- 
selves to a certain specified risk. Generally, 
the challenge is both sent and accepted, not 
from motives of revenge, but from fear of pub- 
lic censure : but universally, the party chal- 
lenged might refuse it if he were willing to 
brave public censure. 

" So far, therefore, is a duel from being a 
mode of repelling injury, which a man is driven 
to resort to through the want of any common 
authority to appeal to, that, on the contrary, 
every duel actually rests on a tacit appeal to 
such an authority — viz. to public opinion; 
since no one could compel another to afford 
him the satisfaction sought except through the 
influence of the fear of disgrace, the other be- 


ing at liberty to refuse the challenge if he dares 
to set public opinion at defiance. Every duel, 
therefore, whether actually taking place, or 
merely talked of and threatened, is itself a 
complete disproof of the plea on which duels 
are justified. 



Female Honour. — Agreement among Women. — Penalty of Ex- 
clusion. — Law of Honour. — False Dignity. — New Penalty. — 
Compact against Duelling. — Ruffians and Calumniators. — 
Association against Duelling. — Court of Honour. — Abolition of 

" That public opinion, if rightly directed, is 
capable," continued Mr. Adamson, " of com- 
pletely affecting the desired object without the 
duel, even better than with it, which is what 
we of the present day are so happy as to know 
by experience, these reformers anticipated part- 
ly from the enforcement among ladies of the 
laws of female honour before that absurd ordeal 
had been instituted. Women moving in circles 
of good society had kept up its character, it 
was observed, at least as well before the ordeal 
came into use, and quite as well as men of a 
corresponding class maintained the laws of 


masculine honour ; and this was effected sim- 
ply by a tacit agreement among women of 
character not to associate with any woman who 
was known to have violated these rules. ' If, 
therefore,' said they, ' ladies will return to this 
system, and gentlemen will adopt a correspond- 
ing one, the rules of good society, whatever 
they may be that it thinks fit to impose, will 
be enforced by the simple expedient of de- 
nouncing exclusion against the violators of 
them, absolutely, and without offering the al- 
ternative of a duel.' 

" It was remarked, indeed, by some of you," 
said Mr. Adamson, " that in Europe the ladies, 
and also some other classes of persons who are 
exempted from the liability to a duel, are apt 
to avail themselves of this exemption by a less 
scrupulous adherence to truth and to courtesy 
of language, or by throwing such aspersions on 
their neighbours as would involve in personal 
danger those not so privileged ; and such in- 
stances of falsehood, insolence, and calumny 
were attributed by some of you to the absence 
of the salutary check of the duel. 

" As to the precise state of the fact, indeed, 


you appeared not to be quite agreed : but ad- 
mitting the most unfavourable representation 
to be true, you may perceive, even from what 
comes under your own experience, without re- 
sorting to ours, that the inference drawn is not 
correct ; for it appears by your own account 
that the English women, of the higher classes 
at least, though all kinds of duel are unknown 
among them, yet keep up the character of 
their society in respect of female purity. And, 
as this is effected through the direct influence 
of public opinion, — by simply enforcing the 
penalty of exclusion on any female of blemished 
reputation, — it is evident that if in respect of 
veracity, integrity, or any other point, they fall 
short of what is required of gentlemen, this 
must arise from the standard of honour being 
different in the two sexes. I collect that 
among you the character of ' an honest wo- 
man ' does not coincide with that of ' an honest 
man,' — and that even the word * virtue ' has 
a somewhat different signification in reference 
to women and to men. It cannot be there- 
fore that public opinion is insufficient to enforce 
the laws of honour without the intervention of 


duels, since modest women do succeed in main- 
taining the purity of the society in which they 
move ; but the laws of honour are themselves 
not the same among ladies and among gentle- 
men. The fact is, few persons, either men or 
women, will venture to incur infamy ; and 
that is the penalty which society may denounce 
against the violation of its rules, be those rules 
what they may. Let society determine what 
shall be the point of honour for each sex, or 
class of persons, or for all, and denounce the 
penalty of exclusion against such as violate its 
rules ; and that those rules will be generally 
observed, without the intervention of duelling, 
is proved by the very circumstance that women 
enforce their own law of honour as successfully 
as men do theirs ! 

" By acting on these principles," continued 
Mr. Adamson, " you would have the additional 
advantage of imposing a restraint on those fe- 
males, and others, who, you complain, are dis- 
posed to take advantage of their exemption 
from danger of a challenge by indulging in de- 
famatory or insolent language, &c. ; for, as I just 
now observed, conduct of this kind is regarded 



among you with somewhat the less of unmixed 
disgust and contempt, from the very circum- 
stance that among laymen of a certain station 
it may lead to a duel. It is considered as in 
some degree a mark of ' spirit.' The courage 
which braves death, even when disapproved 
as a brutal kind of courage, yet shelters its 
possessor from the last extreme of ignominy. 
Now, though the degree of false dignity with 
which insolent behaviour is thus invested ought 
certainly to be at least confined to those who 
actually do run a risk in displaying it, — though 
women and clergymen, for instance, since they 
run no risk, and consequently display no cou- 
rage by such behaviour as would expose a lay- 
man to personal danger, should properly be 
considered base as well as unmannerly when 
they are guilty of it, — yet this distinction is one 
which we cannot expect will be carefully kept 
in view and uniformly observed. A kind of 
association of ideas is created in people's minds 
between what is called • spirited behaviour,' 
' strong language/ &c. and * manly boldness ;' 
and this association continues to affect their 
judgment even in cases where no boldness is 


really displayed, because no danger is encoun- 
tered. Thus, such conduct, in a woman for 
instance, or in a clergyman, as would other- 
wise incur unmixed contempt, is likely to be, 
if not altogether honoured or approved, at least 
in some degree tolerated. 

" But let the system be changed, and the 
tone of manners in all classes would be raised. 
When duels are unheard of, such offences as 
are now regarded with a mitigated disappro- 
bation on account of the personal intrepidity 
which they are supposed sometimes to imply 
in the offenders, would become the subject of 
unmixed disgust ; the only danger braved be- 
ing that of the disesteem of reputable people. 
And this kind of penalty extending to all 
classes and both sexes alike, (at least among 
the gentry,) would of course tend to restrain all 
of them alike within the rules of honour and 
politeness. There may be some reason why, 
among you, a woman should not be called out 
to fight ; but there could be none, why she 
should not incur, as well as a gentleman, the 
penalty, when that was the sole penalty for 
both sexes alike, of exclusion from good society 

e 2 


if she transgressed its rules : a penalty which 
in fact actually is enforced, with unrelenting 
strictness, for a violation of the rules of what 
is now accounted feminine honour. 

" Such nearly," continued Mr. Adamson, " was 
the train of argument, as far as applicable to 
the then-existing condition of society among us, 
which was strenuously urged, and assiduously 
circulated by the association against duels which 
I have alluded to. The novelty of the argu- 
ments contributed, along with their intrinsic 
force, and the high character of those who 
urged them, to excite a general and serious 
attention ; and the judicious course pursued by 
the authors of the undertaking secured them 
ultimate success. The members of the associa- 
tion bound themselves, by a solemn compact 
with each other, never to give or accept a chal- 
lenge to any kind of duel, whether by the or- 
deal, or by single combat ; never to behave in 
such a manner as might otherwise have afforded 
occasion for a duel ; and not to countenance or 
receive into their society any one who should 
violate either of the above rules. In cases of 
personal assault, they were at liberty to defend 


themselves by force on the. spot ; but not to 
seek any subsequent satisfaction, except by an 
appeal to the laws, and by agreeing to shun the 
society of the oifender as of a ruffian. They 
were to defend themselves against slander by 
living it down — by giving the false accuser the 
lie in their conduct ; but they were to seek no 
other redress (unless they thought fit to bring a 
legal action for defamation) than by excluding 
calumniators from their society. 

"And the same in respect of rude and insolent 
language : into their society, no daring ruffian, 
however expert in snuffing a candle with a bul- 
let, could, as formerly, fight his way, by in- 
ducing those who really thought him no fit 
company for gentlemen, by a tacit appeal to 
their personal fears to admit him as an asso- 
ciate ; each inwardly wishing all the while 
that one of the others would undertake the 
perilous task of tying the bell round his neck. 
Every such person, and every one in any way 
of exceptionable character, was under the ban of 
hopeless exclusion. It was useless to challenge 
the excluders, since they had proclaimed that 
they would not fight. From personal violence 


they appealed to the law : insolent vituperation 
was unavailing ; since being directed against 
men who had abjured duels, it was understood 
to imply no personal risk, and consequently to 
give no proof of courage. From well-founded 
accusations, their blameless life and decorous 
behaviour secured them ; unfounded charges 
only proclaimed the authors of them to be 
themselves liars. 

" Very early in the history of this association, 
a question arose among its members, on the 
decision of which, probably, their final success 
turned. It was at first designed that they 
should continue formally to enrol as members as 
many unexceptionable persons as could be in- 
duced to join their society. Some of their num- 
ber, however, objected that this would be likely 
to impede their progress in the reformation they 
were aiming at. A jealousy, they said, would 
be likely to arise in the minds of some persons 
against the pretensions, real or supposed, of an 
association of which they were not themselves 
the founders or leaders. They would therefore 
be apt perversely to refuse joining it, as dis- 
daining to follow in> the wake of others ; and 


would then set about justifying their conduct 
by exciting suspicion and organizing opposition, 
as against a party combining to set up them- 
selves as arbiters of good manners, — guides to 
the rest of the world, — a self-constituted tribu- 
nal, &c. 

" These representations prevailed ; and a re- 
solution was adopted, and publicly announced, 
(accompanied with a frank statement of the 
reasons for it,) not to admit formally from 
thenceforth any more persons as members, ex- 
cept such as might have been actually engaged 
in a duel, and were desirous of thus solemnly 
and publicly proclaiming their renunciation of 
a practice to which they had thus once lent 
their countenance. But all other persons of 
respectable character, it was declared, should 
be thenceforth regarded as virtually members 
of the association, without any formal admis- 
sion or engagement, so long as they should con- 
tinue in practice to comply with the fundamen- 
tal rules of the society, by abstaining from 
duels, and from everything calculated to pro- 
voke a challenge, and by shunning the com- 
pany of those who acted otherwise. If any 


should in practice violate these regulations, or 
should openly proclaim his determination not 
to adhere to them, then, and then only, he was 
to be regarded as excluded from the number of 
the associates. 

" In all cases of dispute arising between one 
gentleman or lady and another, the cause was 
to be referred to the decision, not of any self- 
appointed tribunal, nor of any formally-elected 
court of honour (either of which might have 
furnished occasion for jealousy), but of a com- 
mittee of the neighbours meeting for the pur- 
pose, with the stipulation only that they should 
be persons received in good society and adverse 
to duelling. Of such persons, each of the par- 
ties chooses (for the custom was adopted, and 
still exists among us,) one or two of his ac- 
quaintance, — each of whom again names two 
or three others as assessors, — and the judges 
thus nominated privately hear and try the 
cause, calling in, in case of much difficulty or 
disagreement, the assistance of others. It is 
seldom that the parties do not readily acquiesce 
in the decision ; and the public in general are, 
as you may suppose, fully prepared to think 


that this must be at least more likely to ap- 
proach to a right judgment than a pistol-ball 
or a blast of choke-damp. 

" In this way it was that the custom of 
duels gradually, and not very slowly, went out 
of fashion among us. It has been wholly ex- 
tinct for more than a century ; for my father, 
who, as I mentioned just now, remembered as 
a boy the final prevalence of this reform, was 
born nearly one hundred and thirty years ago. 

" If the same reform," he added, " is not 
effected by the gentry of Europe, when they 
have only to will that it should be so, their 
claims to a high degree of civilization and 
refinement (to say nothing of humanity or mo- 
rality) can hardly be admitted. For example, 
as it is, any one who offers an affront to an- 
other, and on being challenged refuses to fight, 
is excluded from the pale of good society ; un- 
less it be a woman — a clergyman — a quaker — 
a person bound over to keep the peace, under 
the penalty of forfeiting a sum of money — (a 
curious exemption this ! ) — or belonging to some 
other description of privileged persons. All 
you have to do is to resolve that the offering 



of the affront shall place any person under the 
same ban as he is now placed under for re- 
fusing, after being challenged for the affront, 
to fight. Lay down this rule ; and let there be 
no exemptions on the ground of sex, profession, 
or any other plea whatever, and the object is 



Rough Notes. — Public Entertainments. — Dancing. — Grotesque 
Dance.— Throwing the Spear.— Female Dress.— Decorations. 
— Ear-rings. — Wedding-rings. — Anomalous Costume. 

The rough notes taken down by the several 
members of the exploring party are, of course, 
not arranged in the order of the subjects, but 
are merely memoranda written on the spot 
from time to time according as the knowledge 
was obtained, or the observations made ; and in 
the selections here laid before the reader, it has 
been thought best not to attempt any systematic 
arrangement, but to present them in their ori- 
ginal miscellaneous form. 

While the travellers were at Bath, — which 
is a city rather distinguished, like its namesake 
in England and in Germany, for gaiety, as be- 
ing a place of resort, to strangers on account 
of the mineral waters, — they were invited to 


several public entertainments of various kinds, 
and of different degrees of solemnity and splen- 
dour. One lady with whom, among others, 
they were conversing on the subject of one of 
these which they were about to attend, on being 
asked, among other inquiries, whether a ball 
possessed as much attraction for young people 
as, they told her, it does in Europe, replied in 
the affirmative ; though, for her own part, she 
said, she liked archery better; but different 
young people, said she, differ, you know, in 
their tastes in respect of amusements. 

When the gay party had been assembled, — 
which was on a lawn of considerable extent, 
partially shaded with some fine mimosa and 
eucalyptus (gum-tree), under whose shade tents 
were erected, — the travellers witnessed with 
much interest the several diversions that were 
going on ; and, among others, their notice was 
called by the lady with whom they had been 
conversing the day before to several "games of 
ball " of various kinds that were going on ; 
some played by gentlemen alone, some by 
ladies, and some by both together ; and many 
of them bearing more or less resemblance to 


the English games of cricket, bowls, trap-ball, 
tennis, billiards, &c. as well as to others which 
are common enough among children in Eng- 
land, but quite unknown among adults. 

The travellers laughed heartily (as the ladies 
did also, on receiving an explanation) at the 
mutual mistake they had made about balls : 
but, on making more particular inquiries about 
dancing, they learned that this was an amuse- 
ment confined to children ; scarcely any ever 
joining in that sport except those under thir- 
teen or fourteen years old, and any lively and 
good-humoured friend of the children, who 
joined their game for their amusement. The 
sport was in fact "playing at being savages," 
the dances consisting in a ludicrous imitation 
of those of the aborigines. These, it is well 
known, are much given to dancing, in which 
they display considerable ingenuity as well as 
agility and good ear; and their dances are not 
merely a recreation, but are also mixed up 
with their most important institutions and 
transactions, being performed with much so- 
lemnity at their " corrobories," or grand meet- 
ings, for the purpose of deliberating on affairs 


of state, and performing certain superstitious 
rites of divination. 

A group of romping boys and girls, who were 
at play in one corner of the field, were accord- 
ingly requested to exhibit to the strangers the 
spectacle of a dance ; and some of the most 
forward and lively of the boys entered into the 
proposal with much glee. Two of the party 
took on themselves, by general consent, the 
arrangement and direction of the whole, and 
seemed to officiate as masters of the ceremo- 
nies, or, as they called themselves, " Corrobory 
chiefs." They were, it seems, visitors from one 
of the back-settlements, and had had frequent 
opportunities of witnessing the native dances. 
The sport partook somewhat of the nature of 
a masquerade ; some whimsical changes being 
made in the costume of the dancers, in order to 
give the livelier representation of the strange 
originals. Much merriment took place, and 
many curious feats of grotesque agility were 
displayed, to the great diversion both of the 
juvenile performers and the bystanders. This 
sport was followed by the throwing of the spear, 
after the manner of the natives ; an art in 


which many of the Southlanders are very ex- 
pert, especially those who live on the margins 
of the lakes, where the striking of fish is a 
favourite diversion, as the salmon-spearing is 
in some parts of Scotland. The throwing of 
the spear at a mark, however, and also archery, 
are games not confined, as dancing is, to chil- 

The Southlanders expressed surprise that 
adult Europeans, even of the higher classes, 
should retain the amusement of dancing, " like 
the savages ;" an amusement which seemed to 
them, from habit, as childish as many of their 
sports, on the other hand, had appeared to 
their visitors. Both parties were somewhat at 
a loss to explain to each other the grounds 
of their respective notions as to what was or 
was not puerile. " There is no disputing," 
said one of the most intelligent of their hosts, 
" about tastes ; but in many points, I believe, 
ours are to be accounted for by that early and 
deep-seated association in our minds, which 
you have in many instances noticed, between 
certain practices or habits and savage life. You 
have remarked several times how frequently 


the phrase is in our mouths, that to do so and 
so is ' like the savages ;' and this may perhaps 
account for the ridiculous appearance which, 
as you perceive, one of your balls, as you call 
them, would have in our eyes." 


The sentiment above alluded to was mani- 
fested in several conversations (occurring at 
various places, and noticed from time to time 
in the memorandum-books of the travellers,) on 
the subject of dress, especially female dress ; 
respecting which the ladies showed themselves, 
as was to be expected, inquisitive and com- 
municative. They generally expressed their 
wonder, when the female costume of England 
was described, that people pretending to be 
so civilized should expose so much bare flesh, 
" like the savages." The habit of dressing, or 
rather, as they said, of undressing, so as to dis- 
play naked shoulders, bosoms, and arms, struck 
them more as barbarian than as indelicate ; 
they themselves, — though their clothing is 
usually thin, on account of the general warmth 
of the climate, — leave no part of the body 
uncovered, except the face and hands. They 


inquired whether the European ladies coat 
themselves with grease, mixed up with ochre 
or other paint, as the savages do, by way of 
protection to the unclothed parts from scorch- 
ing sun, piercing winds, and the bites of mos- 
quitoes ; also, whether they practised the tat- 
tooing, which is an essential part of aboriginal 

They inquired also whether English ladies 
did not suffer in their health from the great 
and sudden changes, from covering to exposure, 
of many parts of the body between morning 
and evening dresses ; and also whether many 
of them did not become diseased or deformed 
by the violence with which they appeared to 
squeeze their waists. Wilkins, the servant, it 
seems, had chanced to bring with him a lady's 
almanac, containing plates of " female costume," 
which excited great interest, wonder, and di- 
version among the Southlanders. Some ima- 
gined at first, among other mistakes, that the 
ladies were represented as taking precautions 
against drowning, by fastening, as the South- 
landers sometimes do, large bladders to their 


They expressed hardly less wonder on learn- 
ing that English ladies are accustomed, " like 
the savages," to wear feathers, necklaces, and 
other ornaments, and even to make incisions in 
their flesh for the purpose of inserting them. 
They asked whether, in addition to ear-rings, 
they wore nose-rings, and the ornament so ge- 
neral among the New- Hollanders, called hu- 
morously by the English sailors the " sprit- 
sail-yard ;" viz. the leg-bone of a bird thrust 
through the middle cartilage of the nose. 

The travellers observed, in reply, that the 
Southlanders, especially the females, seemed to 
have no scruples on the subject of ornamental 
dress and furniture, as they had much that was 
both handsome and costly. " That is true," 
said one of the party ; " and though there are 
many differences of opinion on the subject, and 
some indulge in a degree of attention to orna- 
ment which is regarded by others as excessive, 
the total condemnation of all regard to decora- 
tion is by no means common. The church, 
indeed, of the Kernhuters — of which I learn 
from you there is a considerable and valuable 
remnant in Europe — have adopted, for nearly 


two centuries, some very strict regulations on 
this head ; among others, they make it a point 
of discipline to use no dyes. Their shoes and 
boots are brown, of the natural colour of the 
leather ; their coats grey, being made of a mix- 
ture of black wool and white, as it comes from 
the sheep ; and their hats of the natural colour 
of the opossum and kangaroo : but these are 
exceptions. The point agreed on among us, 
and in which our difference from you gave rise 
to the wonder you heard expressed, is this, — 
that it is barbarian to wear anything for the 
sake of ornament, and which answers no pur- 
pose but that of decoration. Of this descrip- 
tion are feathers, which were worn by our 
ancestors of both sexes, but which I understand 
from you are now confined to women, and to 
military men when in uniform. So, also, are 
necklaces, rings, and, above all, ear-rings. It 
strikes us as peculiarly barbarian to bore holes 
in the flesh for the purpose of sticking in orna- 
ments. It may be a prejudice, but it is at 
least an ancient one ; for the Greeks, though I 
believe their women wore ear-rings, — and it is 
to be observed that they regarded women as a 


very inferior order of beings, and rather as 
toys, or as domestic drudges, than as civilized 
and rational companions, — considered ear-rings 
worn by men as a decisive mark of barbarism. 
You may find, in Xenophons Anabasis, one of 
the captains of companies, who had given some 
cowardly advice, reproached as uttering senti- 
ments unworthy of a Greek ; on which some 
one exclaimed ' He is no Greek ! his ears are 
bored : and this being ascertained by inspection, 
he was on this evidence at once pronounced a 
barbarian, and as such reduced to the ranks. 

" You have observed," continued he, " among 
us handsome and costly gold brooches and 
buckles, buttons made of jewels, embroidered 
garments, inlaid tables, and other such orna- 
mental articles ; but you will see no article 
that is merely an ornament. A gold brooch or 
button served as a fastening, not better indeed, 
but as well, as an iron or brass one. Its beauty 
is superfluous, but it is not itself superfluous, 
and destitute of all ostensible use. So, also, a 
silver goblet serves to drink out of, and an 
embroidered gown to cover one, no less than 
plain ones. The robes, caps, and thrones of 


our higher magistrates are y as you have seen, 
in some instances very highly decorated ; but 
they have an ostensible use, as coverings and 
seats. We have no necklaces, plumes, or rings; 
and have indeed carried so far this distinc- 
tion, which probably to you seems fanciful, that 
we have even laid aside the ancient usage of 
the wedding ring, and, as you must have ob- 
served, mark the distinction between the marri- 
ed and single by the dress. By the bye," he 
added, " the ring, which you speak of as having 
a use in distinguishing a married woman, is con- 
fined, I perceive, to the wife ; a married man 
not having, as among us, any distinctive mark." 
Mr. Sibthorpe here remarked, that though 
any practice to which we are not accustomed 
does usually appear to us fanciful, yet it occur- 
red to him — what had never struck him before 
— that no mere ornament is commonly worn 
by men of the present age in Europe ; a few, 
indeed, wear rings, but not the majority ; nor 
is it any requisition of fashion. Stars, ribbons, 
crowns, &c. are worn by men as marks of cer- 
tain rank or office ; but the feathers, chains, 
shoulder-knots, and ruffles, which our fore- 


fathers wore as a part of fashionable dress, are 
obsolete. Man is now so far conformed to the 
ancient definition as to be " a biped without 
feathers ;" women, on the contrary, are so far, 
according to the Southlanders, in the rear of 
advancing civilization as still to wear orna- 
ments, like the savages. 

He remarked also another point of coin- 
cidence between European women on the one 
side, and European men and the Southlanders 
of both sexes on the other ; the latter, he ob- 
served, were always dressed alike on both sides, 
so that if one imagined one of them split into 
halves, the two would match, like a pair of 
gloves ; among European ladies, on the con- 
trary, most of the many great variations of 
fashion agree in making some difference be- 
tween the two sides ; there is usually an obli- 
quity in the head-gear, or a bow, a feather, 
or a bunch of flowers, stuck on one side, with- 
out a corresponding one on the other. 



Forms of Government. — Senatorial Regulations. — Speakers. — 
Peculiar Debate. — Fundamental Laws. — Unwise Legislators. — 
Timely Improvements. — Legislative Problem. — Legislative 
Expedient. — Error in Government. — Division of Laws. — Re- 
peal of Fundamental Laws. — Guard against Precipitancy. — 
Laws of Treason. — Mature Deliberation. — National Will. 

All the states, which, as has been mentioned 
above, are eleven in number, differ more or less 
from each other in their form of government, 
but are alike in all the most important and 
fundamental principles adopted ; several of 
which are strangely at variance with everything 
that is to be found in the northern hemisphere. 
Seven out of the eleven states are denominated 
kingdoms : but of these, four only are under 
an hereditary royalty ; the other three being, 
as far as the travellers could ascertain, rather 
of the character of republics than of strictly 
regal governments ; but retaining the title of 


King to denote the chief magistrate for the 
time being, somewhat corresponding to the 
Athenian archon, Roman consul, or American 
president. There are four other states also 
which are, in name as well as in substance, 
republics. But these differences are greater 
in appearance than in reality ; the kingdoms 
which are the most strictly so called, being by 
no means under an unlimited monarchy. 

Many of the particulars respecting the con- 
stitutions and laws of the several states the 
travellers were of course, during their short 
stay, unable to collect, except very slightly and 
imperfectly. From those which they did col- 
lect, and ascertain with sufficient certainty, we 
shall select such as are likely to be the most 
interesting, from their dissimilarity to European 

It was in the state ofAtroloria, — so called 
from the lake of the same name* within its 
territory, — which the travellers first reached, 
that they had the earliest opportunity of wit* 

* The lake was so called by the early settlers ; doubtless from 
the same cause which led to the name of our own colony in 
Western Australia. 


nessing debates in their senate. They after- 
wards, on several occasions, attended the legis- 
lative assemblies in other places. The circum- 
stance which in the first instance most attract- 
ed, by its novelty to them, the attention of the 
visitors, was one which they found on inquiry 
was common to all the states in their delibe- 
rative assemblies ; being a regulation originally 
established by Miiller, and afterwards, from 
its tried advantage and convenience, continued 
universally and uninterruptedly. It was this, 
that no member was allowed to speak and to vote 
on the same question, but each had his choice 
between the two. The proceedings, accord- 
ingly, bore some resemblance to those of a 
court of justice in civil causes ; the speakers 
corresponding to the pleaders who address the 
court, — L the voters, to the jury, who give the 
verdict. The difference is, that each member 
has it left to his choice which character he 
will take. Any member wishing to address 
the house, quits his seat and places himself 
in front of the chair of the moderator, — an- 
swering to the speaker or chairman ; and 
when he has spoken, seats himself, not in his 



former place, but, with a view to prevent 
mistake or confusion, on a bench appropriated 
to the purpose, and thence called the speakers' 
bench ; or he is at liberty to leave the assem- 
bly if he thinks fit. When the question has 
been put to the vote and decided, and a fresh 
question is coming on, he resumes his original 
seat. Certain public functionaries, who are 
not members, have a seat by right on the 
speakers' bench, and are at liberty to address 
the house (though they have no vote) when 
there is any reference to the business of their 
own peculiar departments. 

Whether owing to this circumstance, or to 
any other, the debates were observed to be 
shorter, and the speakers much fewer, than 
is usual in European assemblies. They sel- 
dom exceeded two or three on each side. 

The travellers observed that the speakers 
rarely used even the smallest degree of action, 
but usually kept themselves remarkably still 
while speaking. This, it appears, was one of 
the results of that general and deep-rooted 
association already alluded to. In the course 
of conversation on this subject, the South- 


landers, it appeared, considered it as some^ 
thing uncivilized to use either vociferation or 
gesticulation in speaking, " as the savages do." 
They even accounted the refined Athenians 
and Romans of old as little better than half- 
reclaimed barbarians in this respect, because 
they would not attend to an orator unless he 
stamped and shouted, and brandished his arms 
about, as if he were speaking to a pack of 
hounds, instead of to an assembly of rational 


The travellers were so fortunate as to wit- 
ness on one occasion a debate of a peculiar 
kind, which is of rare occurrence, and which 
served to throw light on the whole system 
of legislature of this singular people. It occur- 
red in the kingdom of Nether-London, one of 
the most ancient and populous of all the states. 
They found a considerable excitement and 
bustle prevailing, though all was orderly and 
decorous, on account of a summons issued (in 
our phraseology, " a call of the house") to the 
members of their assembly, called in that state 

f 2 


the parliament, to deliberate on the question 
of removing a fundamental law. The par- 
ticular law then in question was, they found, 
like the Salic law of the French, one which 
confined the succession to the throne to males. 
But a further inquiry let them into the know- 
ledge of matter far more curious and interest- 
ing, — the general principle of " fundamental 
laws," which materially affects the whole of the 
system of legislature in the country ; being, 
with slight differences of detail, common to all 
the states, regal and republican, and extending 
also to the several ecclesiastical communities. 

" The system I am about to describe to 
you," said Mr. Adamson, who was one of their 
principal informants on this occasion, " was 
established by the M tillers ; the younger of 
whom, during the whole of his long reign, as 
it may be called, laboured earnestly and suc- 
cessfully to explain its advantages, and to 
perpetuate its adoption. I will put into your 
hands presently a little popular tract on the 
subject written by him, which, like the many 
others he wrote, is in every one's hands at this 
day. He sets forth in that the evils resulting, 


on the one hand, from retaining, or, oftener, 
vainly striving to retain, all laws, usages, and 
institutions unaltered, some of which, even 
though the result originally of consummate 
wisdom, may become utterly unsuitable to 
other times and altered circumstances ; and, on 
the other hand, from frequent, sudden, and 
violent changes, which are apt to agitate and 
unsettle men's minds, and to lead to conse- 
quences not designed or foreseen, — like the 
pulling out of one stone from a wall, which 
is apt to loosen some of the others. His 
discussion of this subject bears much resem- 
blance to those I lately saw in the little book 
you lent me the other day, by Lord Bacon,* 
who strikes me as a very able writer, and 
likely to be well worthy of the reputation you 
tell me he enjoys. 

"Miiller goes on to say that unwise legis- 
lators have been in all ages apt to bring on 
themselves, not one only, but both of these 
classes of evils. Unmindful of the proverb, 

* A little pocket edition of Bacon's Essays, one of four or five 
small volumes which the travellers had brought with them to 
beguile any occasional tedious half-hour at their halting-places, 
or in their boat. 


that " a stitch in time saves nine," they often, 
through dread of change, maintain unaltered 
things which manifestly want altering, at the 
expense of much loss and inconvenience ; and 
when the change does come, from the inconve- 
nience having grown to an intolerable height, it 
is apt to be, in consequence, a violent, hasty, 
and sometimes ruinous change. * That dirt 
made this dust,' is a homely old saying, which he 
used frequently to apply in speaking of such in- 
stances, in allusion to those who in wet weather 
neglect to scrape off the mud from the roads ; 
and consequently, besides being for a long time 
continually splashed and bemired, at length, 
when the mud is all dried up by the sun, 
they are half smothered by the dust it produces. 
He would always, therefore, he said, be, by 
choice, an improver, rather than a reformer ; in- 
troducing corrections and additions, from time 
to time, as occasion offered, rather than letting 
a building become so inconvenient or ruinous 
as to require being pulled down and rebuilt. 

" A great reformation he considered as, in 
all cases, a great evil ; though frequently by far 
the least evil that circumstances admit of, and 


though he had himself, accordingly, been always 
a strenuous supporter of the great reformation 
of religion, notwithstanding the many evils re- 
sulting, according to him, from its having been 
so long delayed and so obstinately resisted. To 
avoid both of the opposite evils, — the liability 
to sudden and violent changes, and the ad- 
herence to established usage when inconvenient 
or mischievous, — to give the requisite stability 
to governments and other institutions without 
shutting the door against improvement, — this 
is a problem which both ancient and modern 
legislators, he thought, had not well succeeded 
in solving. And the same, it appears, may be 
said of those who have appeared in Europe 
since his time. Some, like the ancient Medes 
and Persians, and like Lycurgus, have attempt- 
ed to prohibit all change ; but those who con- 
stantly appeal to the wisdom of their ancestors, 
as a sufficient reason for perpetuating every- 
thing these have established, forget two things ; 
first, that they cannot hope for ever to per- 
suade all successive generations of men that 
there was once one generation of such infallible 
wisdom as to be entitled to dictate to all their 


descendants for ever, — so as to make the earth, 
in fact, the possession, not of the living, but of 
the dead ; and, secondly, that, even supposing 
our ancestors gifted with such infallibility, 
many cases must arise in which it may be 
reasonably doubted whether they themselves 
would not have advocated, if living, changes 
called for by altered circumstances ; even as 
our own forefathers, who denoted the southern 
quarter from meridies (noon), would not have 
been so foolish as to retain that language had 
they come to live in this hemisphere, where the 
sun at noon is in the north. 

" The expedient of having two or more 
deliberative assemblies, or other authorities, in 
a state, whose concurrent sanction shall be re- 
quisite for enacting or abrogating laws, has 
often been resorted to, as a safeguard against 
sudden and violent measures adopted under an 
ebullition of feeling, yet without precluding 
well-weighed and deliberate changes. This ex- 
pedient he thought a very good one, as far as it 
goes ; it is adopted in various forms in each of 
our states. But it appeared to him that ex- 
perience had proved this provision to be not 


alone sufficient for accomplishing fully the ob- 
ject he had in view, which was to give the 
requisite stability to those more fundamental 
laws which may be considered as part of the 
constitution of any state, (yet not so as to at- 
tempt prohibiting a wary and deliberate al- 
teration of them,) and at the same time to afford 
proper facilities for introducing changes into 
matters of detail. 

" ' Nature,' said he, ' does not give the same 
degree of strength to the footstalks of the leaves 
of a tree, — destined, as these are, to be shed 
every year, — and to the roots, which are de- 
signed to hold the trunk fast in the ground. 
If she did, either the one would be far too 
strong or the other far too weak, or both of 
these inconveniences might take place at once ; 
yet this is the error committed by almost all 
governments. The same machinery is pro- 
vided to facilitate or to impede every change 
alike, in great or in small matters ; the same 
mode is prescribed for the maintaining, or ab- 
rogating, or introducing of every law and every 
institution alike. Among you, for instance, an 
act for regulating the manufacture of soap, or 

f 5 


an act which should introduce a complete 
change into your constitution, — which should 
take away or restore the liberties of half the 
nation, — must go through exactly the same 
forms, and be passed or rejected by the same 
authorities under the same regulations : in short, 
you are like a tree whose leaf-stalks and main 
roots have neither more nor less toughness and 
stoutness the one than the other.' 

" Now this is a state of things which he 
considered as always inexpedient, and often 
dangerous, and which he accordingly proposed 
to remedy. The system which he recommend- 
ed, and which has been universally adopted, is 
this. All our laws are divided into two classes ; 
the ordinary or repealable laws, and the funda- 
mental. The former are enacted, altered, or 
repealed much in the same manner as all laws 
of all other nations : but a fundamental law 
is one which there exists no immediate power 
to enact, annul, or amend ; and it is forbidden 
by the rules of the house to propose any mea- 
sure that, even incidentally, goes to defeat or 
interfere with the operation of any fundamen- 
tal law. But it is allowed to propose, and to 


pass, a bill for removing any fundamental law 
from the list, and reducing it to an ordinary 
law ; after which, it is open to be dealt with 
like any other law. So, also, it is allowed to 
pass a bill for placing any already existing or- 
dinary law on the list of fundamentals. 

" The enactment, therefore, or repeal of a 
fundamental law, may be accomplished at two 
steps, though not at one ; but it is further pro- 
vided that these two steps shall not take place 
in one session of parliament." [He was de- 
scribing the details, he said, in the terms, and 
according to the usages, of the kingdom of 
Nether-London ; having premised that there is 
a substantial agreement in principle throughout 
all the states on this subject.] " When it is 
proposed to remove a law from the list of fun- 
damentals, the motion made is, ' that such and 
such a law shall, at the close of the present 
session, cease to be fundamental.' It remains, 
therefore, even should the motion be carried, 
and the act receive the royal assent, irrevocable 
during the existing session. When, again, the 
reverse measure is to be proposed, of enrolling 
on the list of fundamentals some existing law, 


an act must have first passed, authorizing the 
legislature to take into consideration, in the 
ensuing (or some subsequent session) the ques- 
tion of enrolling such and such a law. 

" Lastly, another and more important safe- 
guard against precipitancy, is that, in the case 
of a motion for removing any law from the 
list of the fundamentals, or adding one to that 
list, every member who does not vote for the 
motion is, by a rule of the house, reckoned, 
whether present or absent, as having voted 
against it. In other words, such a motion can 
be carried only by an absolute majority of the 
whole house, not by a mere comparative ma- 
jority of members present.'''' 

Mr. Sibthorpe having interposed a remark, 
that there is something in the British constitu- 
tion of the nature of a fundamental law, inas- 
much as it is treason to propose the abolition of 
kingly government, — so that the maintenance 
of that government is irrevocable till a bill shall 
first have been passed for altering the laws of 
treason, — Mr. Adamson admitted that this was 
so far on the same footing with the law he had 
been describing; "but," added he, " if any one 


should — which I allow is highly improbable — 
propose such an alteration of the laws of trea- 
son, that question might legally be put to the 
vote in as thin a house as is competent to 
transact ordinary business. I think you would 
do well, after introducing our last regulation as 
to an absolute majority, to place some more 
of your laws on the same footing. Not that 
there would be any occasion for saying any- 
thing about treason. With you, as with us, it 
would no doubt be quite sufficient that a mem- 
ber should be at once * called to order' if he 
presumed to make any motion contrary to the 
rules of the house. 

" You would find, I think," he continued, 
" that the adoption of our system in regard 
to fundamental laws would tend to promote 
among you that comparative calmness and mo- 
deration which you have remarked in our pro- 
ceedings, and to mitigate the vehemence with 
which, by your accounts, one set of men oppose 
every change, good or bad, while another seem 
to be hostile to everything that is established. 
Those who are by temper and habit most dis- 
posed to the dread of innovation, lest rash 


schemes should be adopted, would have their 
apprehensions somewhat calmed by seeing a 
provision made at least against any great 
change being introduced with inconsiderate 
haste ; and those, again, who are most dis- 
posed to dread the perpetuation of abuses, 
might be moderated in their impatient eager- 
ness for reform, by seeing a regular path open 
for the examination and remedy of anything, 
however consecrated by long usage, that should 
appear, on mature deliberation, to be evil. 

" That you would be exempt from the possi- 
bility of error, or that we are so, it would be an 
absurd presumption to pretend. Our system 
does not profess to make human judgment in- 
fallible ; it professes only to provide that our 
deliberative assemblies shall decide according 
to the best of their judgment, and shall neither 
retain nor reject anything, without a full oppor- 
tunity at least being given for the exercise of 
deliberate reflection and mature discussion. To 
attempt more than this is mere folly. One ge- 
neration of fallible men has neither the right 
nor the power to supersede for ever, by irre- 
vocable laws, the judgment of all future gene- 


rations of their posterity ; though the endea- 
vour to do so may delay a beneficial change, 
and convert it, when it does come, into a nox- 
ious one. The will of a whole nation can no 
more be permanently and effectually stopped 
in its course than the current of a river. If 
you dam up the regular channel, you cause it 
first to flood the neighbouring country, and 
then to work itself new and circuitous channels. 
You may think yourself well off if this is the 
worst. Should your dam be ultimately burst, 
a fierce and destructive deluge of revolutionary 
violence will succeed." 


The debate which the visitors witnessed, 
and which led to the foregoing explanations, 
terminated in the removal of the law in ques- 
tion from the list of fundamentals. But as 
the minority had been considerable, the general 
expectation was, that before the next session, — 
in which alone the final repeal of the law 
could be proposed, — a dissolution of parliament 
would take place, in order that the sentiments 
of the people on the subject might be fully 



Mode of Election of Senators — of Representatives. — Personal 
Votes and Property Votes. — Voting by Ballot. — Eligibility of 
Candidates. — Aboriginal Blood. — Mixed Blood. — Government 
Rent. — Public Expenditure. — Unwise Economy. — Choice of 
Statesmen. — Explanations. 

Mr. Adamson, — properly designated as the 
worshipful Christopher Adamson, — being him- 
self a member of the senate of his own state 
of Bath, obtained for the strangers, as a spe- 
cial favour, permission to witness the mode of 
election of a senator to fill up a vacancy which 
had just occurred. 

He explained to them, that, in this particular 
state, the members of the senate, or upper 
house, are elected by the lower house (or com- 
mons) ; and that the appointment is for life, 
or till resignation. But though in these par- 
ticulars the constitution of this state differs 


from that of several of the others, the mode 
of election is similar to that by which several 
of the public functionaries are chosen in all 
the states. No personal canvassing, he inform- 
ed them, is allowed in an}' case ; nor is it re- 
gular to ask or to promise a vote. But at 
the time of the election, the president or chair- 
man of the assembly solemnly admonishes the 
voters of their obligation to divest themselves, 
as far as possible, of all personal bias, and 
nominate such persons as they shall in their 
consciences believe to be most fit. Admoni- 
tions of this kind stand in the place of the 
oaths which in Europe are usually adminis- 
tered on such occasions. The commons-as- 
sembly having been duly convened, each mem- 
ber was directed to write down on separate 
slips of paper, and deliver to the president, 
the names of five persons as candidates ; or, 
not more than five : for he was at liberty to 
write fewer ; or, if he pleased, none at all. 

The president next proceeded to inspect 
their names, and select the five that had the 
greatest number of votes. It so happened on 
this occasion that there were six names, of 


which two had each the same number of votes. 
This, as Mr. Adamson explained, creates no 
difficulty, and only prolongs in a trifling degree 
the business of the election. All six names 
were put in nomination ; and each member 
was next called on to give his vote against 
one of the six, by giving in a paper inscribed 
with the name of the candidate he wished to 
have struck off the list. The one who had 
the greatest number of these counter-votes 
being then removed from the list, the remain- 
ing five were proposed in like manner, to have 
one name struck off; and the same process 
was repeated till only one remained, who 
was thereupon declared duly elected. For 
example : suppose the five names that, in the 
first instance, have most votes, to be a, b, c, d, 
and e, and these being put in nomination, in 
the counter-voting a has the most votes against 
him ; then b, c, d, and e are proposed in like 
manner, and b is struck off by a majority of 
counter-votes ; there remain c, d, and e, from 
which, by the same process, c and d are 
successively struck off: then e is the one 


If in any case the number of counter-votes 
against two of the names are equal, and that 
number exceeds the votes against any other 
one, then both names are struck off, except 
it should happen that they are the last two ; in 
which case, of course, the question is, whether 
D or e shall be elected : and if on this question 
the numbers are equal, the president has the 
casting vote. 

Mr. Adamson was about to answer the 
inquiries of the visitors as to the peculiar 
advantages proposed by this mode of election, 
when a blunt, humorous-looking commoner, 
who sat near them, interposed, by telling them 
that, in plain terms, this was the advantage ; 
that each voter placed his own friend first, 
and the best candidate second, and so the best 
was elected in the end. Mr. Adamson replied 
with a smile, that, making due allowance for 
satire, there was a good deal of truth in the 

" It is a truth," said he, " that has been 
presented to you, dressed with vinegar alone, 
which you may easily suppose might fairly 
be tempered with a due proportion of oil. But 


I will leave that to your own reflections ; only 
reminding you of the well-known instance 
of the Grecian states discussing the respective 
merits of the several commanders after the 
overthrow of Xerxes. Each state, it was ob- 
served, placed their own commander first on 
the list of merit, and allotted the second 
place to Themistocles the Athenian ; whence 
it was reasonably inferred that Themistocles 
was clearly the most distinguished of all. Now, 
suppose he had been candidate for a prize in 
some assembly in which the Athenians were 
not present ; he would not, you observe, have 
obtained a single vote according to the direct 
mode of voting, while on our plan he would 
have gained a decisive triumph. I have heard 
also of a new-comer in some town consulting 
each of his neighbours as to the choice of a 
physician, and fixing on the one whom most 
of them accounted the second-best ; each pla- 
cing his own family physician first. 

The travellers having inquired into the mode 
of appointment of the lower house, were in- 


formed that the members are the representa- 
tives each of a certain town or district, as in 
England, America, &c. ; and that they are 
elected for seven years at the utmost ; one- 
seventh of the house, by lot, going out every 
year, but being capable, however, of re-elec- 

There is, besides this, a power lodged in a 
certain council of state and president, — for this 
state is a republic, — to dissolve the house and 
appoint a general election. In all the states 
there is a house of representatives, constituted 
substantially on the same principle. In their 
designations, and in some points of detail, there 
are several differences. 

In the election of members all citizens have, 
in most of the states, a vote, though not all 
equal votes. Any citizen, who is unconvicted 
of any crime, of sound mind, and of a certain 
specified age, (in the state of Bath it is thirty- 
five,) is entitled to be enrolled as a voter, on 
producing a certificate of his having gone 
through a certain course of elementary school- 
learning, and attained the required proficiency. 
He is then entitled to what is called a personal 


vote; i.e. a vote without any reference to the 
amount of his property. In Bath, and some of 
the other states, an individual may have con- 
ferred on him the honour and privilege of a 
double or treble personal vote, in consideration 
of peculiar public services or personal qualifica- 

Besides this, each individual who may pay 
a certain proportion of taxes, — i. e. who may 
possess a certain amount of taxable property, — 
is entitled, on that ground, to a property-vote ;* 
if he has a certain greater amount specified, — 
which is more, however, than double the first, 
— he has a second property-vote ; and so on, 
up to a certain limited number. In the re- 
public of Bath, six is the utmost number of 
property-votes that one person can hold ; but 
this varies in the several states ; the distinction 
of personal and property- votes, and the power 
of holding more than one of the latter, are 
regulations common to all. 

" This part of our system," Mr. Adamson re- 

* Any property not taxable,— as, for instance, professional in- 
come, — the holder may, if he think fit, enroll as equivalent to so 
much land, and pay taxes accordingly, which entitles him to a 
corresponding number of votes. 


marked to them, " is not so much unlike that 
of Great Britain as you had at the first glance 
conceived : for with you, if a man chance to 
have landed property in several different coun- 
ties, he is entitled to a vote in each ; and this 
is nearly equivalent to his having several votes 
in one county, should all the property chance to 
be in that one. The anomaly is with you ; in 
giving one man more direct influence in the 
election of the legislature than another, who, 
perhaps, has double his estate, but all within 
one county. I say," continued he, ''direct in- 
fluence; because, indirectly, a rich man among 
you does, it appears, influence his tenants, 
tradesmen, and other dependents in their votes. 
With us, the weight which property has, and 
ought to have, is allowed to operate directly 
and openly : with you, on the system of single 
votes, it does not. 

" And accordingly you apprehend, I find, a 
danger in the threatened introduction of the 
ballot ; as tending to place the richest and 
poorest on a footing of democratical equality, 
by taking away the indirect influence of the 
one over the votes of the other. And it is 


remarkable that the tendency of the ballot to 
produce this effect, — which is manifestly the 
great danger to be apprehended from it, — seems 
to be asserted by its advocates among you, 
and denied by its opponents. With us, on the 
contrary, there is no such consequence to be 
apprehended ; and, accordingly, our voting for 
representatives is always by ballot. On our 
system, this is not only unobjectionable but 
highly important ; for, as the successful candi- 
date is elected by the majority of votes, while 
it is possible that his opponent might be sup- 
ported by a much greater number of voters, it 
would be very inexpedient to let this be pub- 
licly displayed and recorded ; as it might tend 
to array the wealthier and poorer classes against 
each other. 

" On the whole," added he, " our system 
seems to be the simplest and most effectual for 
preserving that principle which must be main- 
tained in every good representative system ; viz. 
that persons and property should both be repre- 
sented. The democrat aims at a representa- 
tion of persons alone ; at putting on a political 
level those who have the largest stake in the 


country, and those who have little or none. 
The aristocrat (or rather, oligarchist) is for re- 
presenting property alone ; as if the taxes im- 
posed by the legislature towards the expenses 
of the state were everything, and the life and 
liberty of individuals, which may be affected by 
the laws passed, were nothing. The true wis- 
dom, surely, is to take both into account, and 
to provide that both persons and property shall 
be duly represented." 

In all the states but one, all persons are eli- 
gible to a seat in the lower house, — that of 
representatives, — who possess certain property 
and personal qualifications. In that one, — the 
kingdom of Upper-London, a small state, which 
was separated, above a hundred years since, 
from that of Nether-London, — a sort of here- 
ditary restriction exists, which, at the first 
glance, appeared to the travellers exceedingly 
whimsical. No one is eligible to their commons' 
assembly who is not descended, or married to 
one who is, from both blacks and whites. 

The origin of the regulation was this : — Be- 



fore the state was separated, the district which 
constitutes its present territory was occupied 
by a considerable proportion of blacks, viz. the 
descendants of the allied and reclaimed abori- 
ginals formerly described. It was observed by 
the then king of Nether-London, (then called 
New-London,) that the whites of pure blood 
were beginning to hold aloof, not only from the 
blacks, but from those of mixed breed, and to 
disdain associating with them on equal terms, 
however personally deserving. To remedy this 
state of things, and prevent a mutual alienation 
between two sets of fellow-citizens, the king, — 
who seems to have inherited something of the 
eccentric, original, and daring character of the 
younger Miiller, from a daughter of whom he 
was descended, — devised the plan, which, with 
the concurrence of the legislature, he carried 
into effect, for constituting this district — a 
thriving and, in other respects, promising one 
— into a distinct state, under some peculiar 

A brother of his own was appointed the first 
king of it, — whose wife is said to have been 
a lady of beauty and accomplishments, though 


she had a slight mixture of aboriginal blood. 
Inducements were held out to several of the 
most respectable and intelligent persons in 
various states who were of mixed race, to 
come and settle in the new kingdom. Some 
of the ablest of these, — who, by the bye, are 
said to have had a considerable over-proportion 
of European blood in their veins, — together 
with others of purely white race, were nomi- 
nated as the original senate (or upper house) ; 
and the lower house was, by a fundamental law, 
to consist exclusively, and for ever, of persons 
of mixed race, or who are married to such. 
And, to this day, no one is eligible who cannot 
prove his descent, or his wife's, from blacks and 

This, however, is easily done at present ; 
for the descent may be ever so remote, the 
mixture ever so unequal. Every one, there- 
fore, is eligible, of whom any ancestor has been 
enrolled as such. There are, accordingly, many 
members of the house who, perhaps, have not 
above -±g or -jV of aboriginal blood ; and, indeed, 
most of the population are at present not very 
dissimilar from Europeans in feature and com- 

g 2 


plexion, and yet are qualified, as far as the 
above rule is concerned, for a seat in the house. 
The plan was at first laughed at, as whim- 
sical, by many of the Southlanders themselves ; 
but the expediency of it in promoting mutual 
respect and speedy amalgamation between the 
two races, who were thus both alike excluded 
from an important branch of the legislature, 
was so apparent, and the joke was so good- 
humouredly joined in by those who were the 
objects of it, that the laughter was soon divest- 
ed of all bitterness. The satirists had suggested, 
as a symbol for the new state, two swans, — an 
Australian black swan (Cycnus ater) and white 
European, — lovingly entwining their necks: 
on which the Upper-Londoners immediately 
adopted this as the arms of the kingdom ; and 
so it remains to this day, with the motto of 
" Nimium ne crede colori." The state, though 
one of the smaller ones, (its population about 
two hundred and fifty thousand,) is prosperous, 
and its citizens respectable, intelligent, and 


* # * » # 

In most of the states, there are few or no 


considerable taxes, except a land tax; and 
in many of them even this is not heavy, from 
the government being in possession of con- 
siderable tracts of land, which in some in- 
stances have become very valuable from hav- 
ing been covered with buildings, wharfs, &c. 
[The word " tax " is used as best conveying to 
English ears the sense inwnded. They them- 
selves call it " government-re^ ,•" for they con- 
sider the state as alone holding what we call 
the fee-simple of all land, which it assigns to 
individuals, either for terms of years at a stipu- 
lated rent, or in perpetuity, subject to what we 
should call a land-tax.] 

On the whole, Mr. Sibthorpe is of opinion, 
that, taking into consideration the very small 
military (and, of course, no naval) establish- 
ments, and also the comparative wealth of these 
and the European states, the government re- 
venues are proportionably greater in the South- 
land states than in those of Europe, — the revenue 
that is actually expended in the public service 
each year ; for he does not take into account, 
as a part of our revenue, the enormous sum 
annually paid as interest on the national debt. 


These states having, happily been exempt from 
the prodigal expenditure of wars, have no na- 
tional debt. Their public expenditure is, how- 
ever, what we should be apt to call profuse in 
the payment of public functionaries. All are 
paid, even the representatives ; and to most 
offices is attached, besides what may be consi- 
dered an ample salrhy in reference to the pre- 
vailing style of living, a comfortable retiring 
pension : sinecures however, strictly so called, — 
i. e. payments for no services, either present or 
past, — are not known. When the more frugal 
system, in reference to this point, that prevails 
among us, was described to them, and also the 
prevailing clamour for still further reductions 
on that head, they gave it as their opinion that 
there could not be money worse saved, and that 
is must be a great wonder if we were well 

" The natural tendency," they urged, " of a 
system of frugal government in this sense, is, 
to obtain a worse commodity. Try the experi- 
ment," they said, " of being frugal to your phy- 
sicians, and reduce their fees to half-crowns, 
and you will have a half-crown's worth of skill 


instead of a guinea's worth. . You will still have 
plenty of physicians, but we should not like 
to be under their hands. While a man of 
talents and character, with a liberal education 
and industry, can realize a handsome and se- 
cure income in some of your learned profes- 
sions, you cannot expect him, especially if he 
have a family to provide for, and but little 
private fortune, to give up a lucrative employ- 
ment, and devote himself to the labours of 
political life, either gratuitously, or with an 
uncertain recompense in view. He will either 
keep aloof from public business, or will bestow 
on it a hurried, divided, and secondary atten- 
tion. Thus, political business, and ultimately 
political power, is thrown into the hands of 
one or both of two classes of men: — those of 
large estates; and adventurers, — men, who, 
for want of character, or of steady applica- 
tion, are not succeeding in any reputable and 
lucrative profession, and therefore see nothing 
better to do than to take their chance in the 
profession — an ill-paid and precarious one, as 
it seems to be among you — of politics. 

" Many persons of both these classes, among 


you, may, we doubt not, be possessed of high 
qualifications; but it seems evident that with 
so large a total number as you possess of edu- 
cated and intelligent gentry, you practically 
limit your choice to a very small proportion 
of them for persons to conduct public affairs ; 
and these affairs, therefore, we should expect 
to find conducted, if not ill, yet by no means 
so well as they might be. We should expect 
to find the department of government — one 
of such paramount importance — not so well 
filled as many subordinate departments ; and 
that there would be among you a larger propor- 
tionate number of highly qualified legal, mili- 
tary, and naval men, for instance, of engineers, 
artisans, &c. than of statesmen. 

" You are to observe," they added, " that we 
are only throwing out our conjectures: we are 
ready and willing to stand corrected. You 
must know how the matter of fact stands ; 
which may perhaps be at variance with our 
anticipations, through the operation of some 
causes we are not aware of. But we lay 
before you our notions and expectations, as 
the thought strikes ourselves." 


[There follows here, in the memoranda of 
the travellers, the explanations they gave, in 
answer to the foregoing remarks, of our in- 
stitutions and usages, — the reasons by which 
they are vindicated, — and the practical work- 
ing of them. But all this, though of course 
most interesting to the persons to whom it was 
addressed, would probably not be so to our 
readers, who must of course be familiar with 
discussions relative to our own institutions and 
customs, and curious rather to learn particulars 
concerning those of a strange nation, however 
unreasonable and whimsical their novelty may 
cause them to appear. For this reason, we 
have, in several other places as well as here, 
omitted much that we find recorded of the 
descriptions and discussions laid before the 
Southlanders by their guests ; inserting only 
what was necessary to make their descriptions 

G 5 



Prediction Office. — Prophecies. — Useful Register. — Political 
Bustlers. — Disposal of Land. — Rents. — Laws of Tenantry. — 
Government Loans. 

Among the other political curiosities, as 
they may be called, which came to the know- 
ledge of the travellers, was a most whimsical 
institution, existing in several of the states, 
called a " prediction office ; " viz. an establish- 
ment consisting of two or three inspectors 
and a few clerks, appointed to receive from 
any one, on payment of a trifling fee, any seal- 
ed-up prediction, to be opened at a time specifi- 
ed by the party himself. His name is to be 
signed to the prediction within ; and on the 
outer cover is inscribed the date of its delivery, 
and the time when the seal is to be broken. 
There is no pretence made to supernatural pro- 
phetic powers; only, to supposed political sa- 


At stated times, the inspectors break the 
seal of those papers whose term is elapsed, 
and examine the contents. In a great majority 
of cases, as might be expected, these predic- 
tions turn out either false, nugatory, or un- 
decided : false, if contradicted by events ; nu- 
gatory, if containing nothing but what had 
been naturally and generally anticipated by 
all, — like our almanacks, which foretell show- 
ers in April, heat in summer, and cold in 
winter; or undecided, when proceeding hy- 
pothetically on some condition which does not 
take place, — as when a man foretells that if 
such a measure be adopted, so and so will 
ensue ; if then the measure is tiot adopted, the 
prediction remains undecided. But here and 
there a case occurs in which a man has foretold 
truly something not generally expected, and 
the foreseeing of which evinces, accordingly, 
more or less of sagacity. In such a case he 
is summoned to receive an honourable certifi- 
cate to that effect. And the travellers were 
assured that some of their most eminent men, 
who afterwards attained to offices of dignity and 
trust, had been first called into notice from ob- 


scurity by means of this office. The other pre- 
dictions are kept and registered, but not made 
public, except when the author of any of them 
is named as a candidate for any public office. 

Previously to any such appointment, the in- 
spectors are bound to look over their register, 
and produce, as a set-off against a candidate's 
claims, any unsuccessful prediction he may have 
sent in. " Oh that he were here," exclaims 
Mr. Sibthorpe, "'to write me down an ass!' 
Many a man there is to whom we have com- 
mitted important public trusts, who, if such 
an institution had existed among us, would 
be found to have formally recorded, under the 
influence of self-conceit, his own incapacity." 
He seems to consider this portion, of the effects 
of the plan as hardly less useful than the other, 
— the establishment of the claims of some to 
superior foresight. 

" There is," he adds, " among our political 
bustlers usually a great squabble when any 
event takes place on the question, whether any 
one, and who, may claim the honour of having 
foreseen it ; and ill-founded claims are often 
admitted. Moreover, a prediction publicly ut- 


tered will often have had, or be supposed to 
have had, a great share in bringing about its 
own fulfilment. He who gives out, for in- 
stance, that the people will certainly be dis- 
satisfied with such and such a law, is, in this, 
doing his utmost to make them dissatisfied. 
And this being the case in all unfavourable, 
as well as favourable, predictions, some men 
lose their deserved credit for political sagacity 
through their fear of contributing to produce 
the evils they apprehend ; while others, again, 
do contribute to evil results by their incapacity 
to keep their anticipations locked up in their 
own bosoms, and by their dread of not obtain- 
ing deserved credit. For such men, this office," 
says he, " provides a relief like that which the 
servant of King Midas found by telling his 
secret to the hole he dug in the ground ; only 
there are here no whispering reeds to divulge 



The mode in which the states that have con- 
siderable tracts of uncleared land in their terri- 
tory usually dispose of these from time to time, 
struck the travellers as judicious and simple. 


When, from increasing population, a demand 
arises for a fresh portion of land requiring to 
be cleared and brought into cultivation, each 
person who desires to become a settler rents 
from the state (which, as has been before ob- 
served, is always held to be the sole proprietor 
in fee-simple of its whole territory,) a suitable 
allotment, at a rent which is always very 
small, and often merely nominal. He obtains 
a lease of this for a term of years, — commonly 
twenty-one, — either at this nominal rent for 
the whole term, or with a trifling increase for 
the last seven or fourteen years of it. At the 
end of the term, it is divided between him and 
the state ; part being made over to him in per- 
petuity, (subject to the general land-tax, or go- 
vernment-rent, as it is called,) and the other 
part reverting to the state. The proportions 
vary according as the expenses of reclaiming 
the land are greater or less. If the requisite 
outlay is considerable, the settler retains, per- 
haps, two-thirds, or even three-fourths, of the 
allotment ; if the reverse, his share will be 
half, or one-third. In all cases, the proportions 
in which it is to be divided are a matter of 


express agreement previously to his first enter- 
ing on the farm. Then, in order to secure a 
fair division of the land in respect of quality, — 
that the more fertile and the poorer land, the 
more and the less improved, may be duly ap- 
portioned, — recourse is had to the obvious plan 
of " one to divide and the other to choose." 

Suppose, for instance, the tenant is to be 
entitled by his contract to one-half; then, at 
the end of his term, he divides his holding into 
any two portions, at his pleasure, and gives 
notice to the state-surveyors, who, after due 
inspection, assign one of them (whichever they 
please) to him. Besides this, however, it is 
very often made a separate point of special 
agreement in the first instance, that, at the end 
of his term, he shall have the option of obtain- 
ing, at an advantageous rate, a lease for a 
further term of the portion assigned to the 
state. He is to be allowed to hold it at a rent 
below the market price. No definite sum, how- 
ever, is fixed, and the land is offered to the 
highest bidder ; but the tenant who shall have 
made such a contract as has been just alluded to, 
is to have a certain portion of his rent remitted, 


— suppose 20, 30, or 40 per cent, according to 
the agreement. He is thus enabled, — suppos- 
ing all parties to agree in their calculations of 
the land, — to outbid the rest. Suppose A. to 
be the former tenant, and that the bidders for 
the land do not offer quite so much as one 
hundred pounds rent for it, and that he is 
under agreement to have twenty per cent, re- 
mitted ; if he then thinks the land worth 
eighty pounds, he may bid one hundred pounds, 
and will be the successful competitor. But 
should A. not think it worth while to pay so 
much as eighty pounds, while B. is willing to 
pay one hundred pounds, then B. obtains it. 
Any bidder, to whom the land is knocked down, 
forfeits a certain deposit in the event of his not 
completing the bargain. 

This mode of procedure it was found neces- 
sary to introduce on account of the great and 
unexpected alterations in the value of land, 
which, in a new settlement especially, may 
take place by means of new towns, roads, and 
other improvements. A certain proportion of 
the market price, therefore, was fixed on, in- 
stead of a certain definite sum, as a more equi- 

RENTS. 137 

table mode of adjusting the amount of the 
advantage agreed for. 

All rents, whether for lands or houses, and 
whether from a tenant of the state or of an 
individual, are payable a year in advance; in 
other words, are payable, not for the year that 
is past, but for the year that is to come. 

[The rent, in short, is like the purchase- 
money of an estate, which is to be paid before 
the title-deeds are delivered and the possession 

In like manner, with them, rent is the^wr- 
chase-money of the house or land for one year ; 
md the tenant has no claim upon it till that 
is paid. Rent, accordingly, is not recoverable 
or claimable as a debt ; nor is there any such 
thing as distraining. It is, in fact, no debt ; 
but at the end of the year, if the rent, or rather 
purchase-money, for the ensuing year have not 
been paid, the occupier ceases to have any in- 
terest in the land, and is exactly in the situa- 
tion of a tenant whose lease has expired. If, 
however, he has agreed to take the house or 
land at a certain annual rent for a term of 
years, and fails to fulfil the engagement, he 


may be sued for a breach of contract, and, 
as in the case of any other breach of contract, 
will have to pay damages according to the cir- 
cumstance of the case. 

The travellers suggested, on this being first 
described, that it must be an inconvenience 
to a farmer to pay a sum of money out of his 
capital before he has got anything from his 
land. But they learned that, to prevent this, 
it is customary to let a farm for a term of 
years, and to fix the rent for the first year 
(to a new tenant) at a mere nominal sum. 
" At the end of each year, therefore," said 
they, "we have our rents coming in, just as 
you have in England ; and if (as you say is 
common in England) the same tenant and his 
family continue to renew from time to time, 
the landlord is just in the same situation in 
both countries. 

" It is only when there is occasion to get rid 
of a bad tenant, and put in a new one, that 
there need be any difference ; and when that 
is the case, your landlord is not, by your ac- 
count, always better off than ours ; but, on the 
contrary, sometimes loses more than one year's 


rent, and incurs a great deal of trouble and law- 
expense besides." 

New settlers, becoming government-tenants 
under the arrangement above described, are 
sometimes in want of sufficient capital for the 
requisite improvements, especially irrigation, 
which is conducted on a great scale. In such 
cases, the state often advances a loan at 
moderate interest, secured on the land that 
is to be the tenant's portion at the end of 
his term. 

There are no usury laws in the country ; 
every one lets either his land, his money, or any 
other property, on whatever terms the parties 
agree on. 



An Arrest. — Criminal Jurisprudence. — Jurymen. — Qualification 
of Jurors. — Syndics.— Royal Privilege. — Proceedings in Court. 
— Witnesses. — The Verdict. — Unanimity in Juries. — Decision 
of the Judge. — Prevarication. — Oaths. — False Witnesses. — 
Inconsistency in requiring Oaths. — Public Opinion. — Marriage. 
— Succession to the Crown. 

While the travellers were in conversation 
with their new friends, a crowd was observed 
passing through the streets, as if some circum- 
stance of interest had just occurred. On in- 
quiry, it turned out, that one of the people 
had been arrested on rather an important 
charge, and that the proper officers were lead- 
ing him off in custody. The travellers were 
very much struck by the demeanour of the 
people, which seemed to indicate respect for 
the authorities, and, at the same time, a delicacy 
of feeling towards the individual who was 
arrested, though not yet proved guilty. They 


became naturally curious to obtain information 
concerning their criminal jurisprudence, their 
mode of trial and of punishment. 

Mr. Adamson observed, that though any 
of the company present would be competent 
to detail to him the particulars of their 
practice, because it was held a general duty 
for every respectable person to have a know- 
ledge of this kind ; yet that as one of their 
judges, Sir Peter, was present in the room, 
it would be, perhaps, more satisfactory that 
they should seek the information from him. 
Accordingly, on being introduced to him, they 
started the subject by saying they were anx- 
ious to know whether the Southlanders had 
retained the trial by jury, as it was practised 
in England. He replied, that the first settlers 
had retained the usage in this respect with 
which they had been familiar ; but that, as 
the settlement advanced, they found it expe- 
dient to adopt some modifications of it, which 
they regarded as very important. These mo- 
difications related, he said, chiefly to the se- 
lection of jurors, or, as they were termed 

142 JURY-MEN. 

in the settlement, syndics, and also to the de- 
gree in which unanimity was requisite for a ver- 
dict. "Our judges," he said, "found speedily 
that all men, even in the same rank of life, 
were not equally to be entrusted with this 
important function ; and also, that requiring 
perfect unanimity was frequently the cause, 
either that no verdict was arrived at, or a 
wrong one, — sometimes, even against the opi- 
nion of the majority. 

" These inconveniences," he said, " did not 
develope themselves for a considerable period. 
On our first settlement, when the minds of 
the people were chiefly occupied in providing 
for their daily wants, we found that the in- 
telligence of each man might be very safely 
measured by the successfulness of his industry ; 
and we allowed our jury-men to be selected 
indiscriminately from amongst those who were 
able to support themselves creditably by their 
own exertions. But we found, subsequently, 
that successful industry was not always accom- 
panied by that intelligence and sagacity which 
would enable men to decide on the merits of 
conflicting evidence. 


" We have instituted, therefore, an examina- 
tion for the purpose of ascertaining fitness. As 
each man becomes of age, he may, if he thinks 
himself prepared, submit himself to the assem- 
bled judges, who question him with regard to 
the laws of evidence ; and, if they are satisfied 
both as to his intelligence and moral character, 
he is marked as a person capable of discharg- 
ing this function." 

The English travellers replied with a smile, 
that few in England would be found, probably, 
to submit themselves to such an examination ; 
that, though they prided themselves as a nation 
upon the possession of the right to trial by 
jury, yet that each man considered the office as 
a burthen, which he was anxious to roll over 
upon his neighbour, as interfering with the em- 
ployment of his time ; and that this feeling 
would certainly be strengthened if an examina- 
tion were required. 

" We," said Mr. Benson, " have established 
an order of syndics ; and it is considered ho- 
nourable to be enrolled amongst the number. 
We have conferred certain privileges on the 
order ; for instance, while we give to every 


man who has not been disqualified by crime 
a right to one vote in the selection of parliament- 
ary representatives, we give three votes to each 
syndic ; and this in addition to the increased 
number of votes which he may have arising 
from the manner in which we have graduated 
property. This latter circumstance has, how- 
ever, nothing to do with the matter in question. 
What I wish you to remark now is, that we 
regard any man of sufficient intelligence to be a 
syndic, as entitled on that account to exercise 
a greater influence than others in the selection 
of those who are to frame our laws." 

On being asked whether the examination 
was really strict, Sir Peter answered that the 
strictness of course varied with the dispositions 
and sense of duty possessed by the existing 
judges ; but that rejection was a very common 
occurrence. If this proceeded from moral ob- 
jection, it was exceedingly difficult for the per- 
son to gain admission afterwards ; this could 
only be effected by very conspicuous and con- 
tinued good conduct. If, however, the rejec- 
tion arose from a want merely of adequate 
knowledge, the individual was always at liberty 


to submit himself freely for re-examination, 
when in his own judgment he had acquired it. 
It was not considered creditable for any syndic 
to give his daughter in marriage to any one 
who was not enrolled with himself in the rank 
of the intelligent. Thus, he said, public opinion 
has conspired with civil privileges to render 
it important to each man to acquire this rank. 

On being asked whether the number of syn- 
dics was considerable, he replied that it was, 
and that it was found by the periodical census 
that it was bearing an increasing proportion 
to the number of citizens generally ; that they 
regarded this, in fact, as one of the tests of in- 
creasing civilization, — more especially because 
their experience proved that the examination 
became more strict and enlarged, according 
as the general intelligence of the country was 
increased. Persons would be rejected now, 
who, some years back, would have been, on 
the same acquirements, sure of admission. 

"I am describing to you, however, he said, 
u the regulations which prevail in this particular 
state. In the other states in union with us, 
many variations may be observed, though all 



agree in selecting syndics by examination. 
The number of votes, for instance, given to 
a syndic, as such, is different in different states. 
Again, in some states, the number of syndics 
is not left indefinite, as with us, but is limited." 
Sir Peter went on to observe, that the names 
of all the syndics were regularly arranged 
on rolls, each of which, in this particular state, 
contained not less than one hundred and twen- 
ty names. These rolls, a day or two before 
the commencement of the assizes, were pre- 
sented to the judge, who drew from them a 
certain number by lot. The persons so drawn 
were then summoned to attend the court ; and 
when any cause was entered upon for trial, 
the plaintiff and defendant were each allowed 
to assign some rule according to which triers 
should be taken from the roll of attendants 
summoned for that day, — as, for instance, every 
third or fifth or tenth individual, commencing 
from the top or bottom of the list, till the 
number of twelve was completed. " Thus," 
he said, " having taken precaution that none 
but men of intelligence should have their 
names enrolled, we must be careful that all 


packing of juries shall be out of the question. 
Neither of the interested parties can influence, 
either directly or indirectly, the selection of 
those who have to try the case." 

In those states which have a regal (or quasi- 
regal) form of government, the sovereign has, 
as with us, the privilege of pardoning criminals, 
but with one exception ; attempts on the life of 
the sovereign himself cannot receive the royal 
pardon, except through the means of an address 
to the throne from the whole legislative body. 

" It is," say they, " very indelicate at least, 
to let the king be placed in so invidious a situa- 
tion as that of having to decide on the fate of 
one who assailed his life." 
"And now," said Sir Peter, " having given you 
such preliminary information as you could not 
obtain by merely attending our courts, I would 
propose to you to defer any further enquiries 
respecting our modes of trial. These you can 
best judge of by actually witnessing them for 
yourselves. Come with me to-morrow : I will 
take care that you shall have a convenient seat. 
Observe narrowly for yourselves, and, when 
the business of the day is over, put any ques- 

h 2 


tions you please to me on any point in which 
you perceive our customs differ from yours, 
and I will explain to you our reasons for such 

The travellers thankfully availed themselves 
of this offer ; and next morning, accordingly, 
they accompanied Sir Peter to the court. Im- 
mediately on his taking his seat, general silence 
was proclaimed, when the regular officer read 
from a paper the character of the suit to be 
tried, the names of the parties, and of the wit- 
nesses whom each party had summoned to give 
evidence. The witnesses were then called for- 
ward, and placed under the care of an officer, 
whom they accompanied out of court. Sir 
Peter whispered to the travellers, that in no 
case did they permit one witness to hear the 
testimony given by another. 

The jury were then selected in the manner 
already pointed out by Mr. Benson on the pre- 
vious evening. On their taking their seats 
the trial immediately proceeded ; but, as the 
travellers were surprised to observe, without 
any administration of oaths. They remark- 
ed also, as each witness was called, it was 


stated whether he was a syndic or not. In 
case he was a syndic, the examination pro- 
ceeded at once ; but when a witness not a 
syndic was called upon, the judge urged on 
him, in a brief but solemn manner, to remem- 
ber, in giving his testimony, that his thoughts 
and words were known to the Searcher of 

As each witness concluded his evidence, the 
judge asked the opinion of the triers as to whe- 
ther that witness had shown a wish to prevari- 
cate. In one instance it happened that an 
affirmative answer was returned, when the wit- 
ness was immediately given over to the custody 
of an attending officer. 

When the evidence had been all heard, and 
commented on by counsel, the names of the 
twelve triers were written on slips of paper, 
and four names were drawn by lot. The four 
triers who answered to these names were then 
separated from the rest, and the judge required 
them to declare their decision within half an 
hour. They were then allowed to retire. 

Before the termination of the allotted time 
they returned into court, and declared that 


they were agreed. In one, however, of the 
trials which subsequently took place, it hap- 
pened that, at the end of the half-hour, they 
announced that the votes were divided. Four 
names of the remaining triers were then select- 
ed by lot, as before ; and the judge informed 
them that he would expect their decision in 
twenty minutes. 

At the expiration of the time they came for- 
ward, and pronounced a decision in favour of 
the defendant. They were then called upon to 
state whether, in their opinion, any witness 
had given testimony which he must have known 
to be false. They replied, none. The witness 
charged with prevarication was then called for- 
ward, and allowed to plead what he thought fit 
in his own defence. He failed to clear himself; 
and thereupon, having been very solemnly re- 
primanded by the judge, was declared suspend- 
ed for a twelvemonth from exercising any vote 
for a representative, or holding any civil em- 
ployment during that time. 

The travellers remained in court, on this 
and some subsequent days, to witness other 
trials, and perceived that the same process was 


gone through, with such variations in the re- 
sults as might be expected. They remarked, 
for instance, that one witness, who was a syn- 
dic, was declared guilty of prevarication, and 
that he was instantly pronounced to be de- 
graded from this office for ever ; but it did 
not happen during three days that the triers 
denounced any witness as having been guilty of 
deliberate falsehood. 

On joining Sir Peter in the evening of the 
last day, the travellers observed to him that 
they had been very much pleased with the 
orderly arrangements of the court, and the 
quiet attention of the spectators. " We need 
scarcely," they observed, " make any remarks 
with respect to your not requiring unanimity 
in your juries. The inconvenience of this re- 
quisition has been fully acknowledged amongst 
ourselves, though our practice has been suffered 
to remain unchanged. We hope, indeed, that 
our poet goes too far in saying that ' wretches 
hang, that jurymen may dine!' Still, a sus- 
picion even that this, or, more probably, the 
converse may be the case, is very injurious to 
the respect which ought to be entertained for 


legal decisions. And we must admit, also, we 
have heard of one juryman complaining that no 
verdict was arrived at because he was associated 
with eleven obstinate men who would not agree 
to his opinion. We strongly suspect, therefore, 
that you are justified in the change which you 
have made. We would wish to know, how- 
ever, whether it does not sometimes happen 
that the discrepancy of opinion, which we per- 
ceived to have occurred on one occasion in the 
first section of your jury, may not take place also 
in the second, and even in the third. Amongst 
us, when a discrepancy of this kind takes place, 
he only remedy we have discovered is to throw 
as much punishment and ridicule as we can 
upon the whole jury. We lock them up for as 
long a time as their constitutions can endure 
without actual loss of life ; and when our judge 
is leaving the county, we order that the jury 
shall be placed in a cart, and drawn out after 
the judge to the boundaries of the district. 
This certainly does not remedy the evil arising 
from want of unanimity in the particular case ; 
but it may operate upon the minds of jurors in 
other cases, and induce each of them to yield 


somewhat of his own opinion, not always to 
the majority or the wisest, but to the most 

" If this yielding, however," said Sir Peter, 
" proceeded, not from conviction, but from fear 
of punishment and ridicule, it may be doubted 
at least whether your juries are always, in point 
of fact, unanimous in their verdicts. Many of 
your jurors may have a strong suspicion, at 
least, that the verdict should be in some re- 
spects different from that which is actually re- 
turned. When no verdict has been given in, 
the public are aware that there was a difference 
of opinion amongst the jury ; but when they 
do deliver a verdict, it cannot be concluded, in 
every case, that there was even ultimately an 
unanimity. We think it better that every man 
should be left free, after having heard the opi- 
nions of others, and consulted with them, to de- 
clare what was his own ultimate conviction." 

" But supposing," the travellers said, " that 
no decision is come to by the jury after the 
third attempt, have you made any provision 
to meet this difficulty ?" 

*' In that case," said Sir Peter, " the judge 

h 5 


decides, as we think he fairly might. Where the 
contest is about property, we conceive it better 
that a positive decision should be arrived at ra- 
ther than that the matter should be left doubt- 
ful. We give then, however, a power of appeal 
to twelve judges, who examine the evidence, and 
ultimately decide. In a criminal trial we give 
an absolute power of decision to the judge, 
leaving him however at liberty if he pleases to 
pronounce a verdict merely of Not proved ; in 
which case, this verdict is recorded against the 
supposed culprit, as affecting his character in 
case of any subsequent charge against hirn." 

" We strongly suspect," said the English tra- 
vellers, " that you are right in this part of your 
practice ; but," added they with a smile, " you 
have taken us by surprise in one respect; we 
did not know you had adopted the opinion of 
the Quakers we were describing to you, — that 
oaths were forbidden by the Christian religion." 

" We have adopted their practice," said Sir 
Peter, " but not their principles. We do not 
conceive oaths unlawful, but inexpedient." 

The travellers said, " We perceive you have 
a substitute for oaths, as far as witnesses are 


concerned, because you make the triers pro- 
nounce as to whether any has been in their 
opinion guilty of prevarication, while his tes- 
timony is still fresh in their recollections : and 
we also observed that, when the whole trial is 
over, the triers are called on to decide whether 
any witness has been in their opinion guilty 
of perjury. We suppose," they observed, " that 
you have a punishment when an affirmative 
answer is returned ?" 

" We make the punishment," said Mr. Ben- 
son, " proportioned to the effect which would 
have been produced by his testimony, suppos- 
ing it to have been believed true. In all cases, 
of course, he forfeits office and civil privileges, 
as a person unworthy of their exercise ; and, 
in some cases, he is fined heavily, or his proper- 
ty is made to pass on to his heir, as if he him- 
self were dead. He may be sentenced, again, 
to imprisonment and hard labour, or even to 
death, should his testimony have endangered 
the life of another." 

" We think," said the travellers, " that this 
is certainly capable of securing truth fully as 
much, and even more than can be effected by 

1.56 OATHS. 

an oath ; for many will shun falsehood, through 
fear of detection, who would not scruple to 
break an oath. But," they said, " the decision 
of your juries would appear to us more to be 
relied on if that decision was given under the 
sanction of an oath." 

" We doubt it," said Mr. Benson, " and we 
strongly suspect that you do not really differ 
from us in opinion, though you do in practice ; 
because in the case of Quakers and others, 
who are exempted from the legal necessity of 
taking an oath, you are in the habit of relying 
fully as much on their testimony as if they had 
taken an oath. Now this does not happen, I 
believe, from your thinking more highly of 
Quakers than of others, but from your con- 
viction that oaths do not supply any real secu- 
rity. To us, however, it appears that oaths 
proceed altogether on an erroneous principle. 
It looks as if you thought that God would not 
attend to perjury, unless his attention were 
specially called to the matter. And this is to 
think as the savages do, who conceive their 
gods are often asleep or on a journey, and 
that they notice nothing except so far as they 
are solicited." 


" But would not your principle," said the 
English travellers, "equally militate against 
prayer of any kind ; because God must know 
our wants, whether we supplicate him or 

" True," replied the other ; " he knows our 
wants, but not our humble applications to him 
for aid, unless we make such application. Now 
it is to our prayers, not to our wants, that his 
gifts are promised. He does not say 'Need, 
and ye shall have ; want, and ye shall find ;' 
but ' Ask, and ye shall have ; seek, and ye shall 
find.' In the case of false witness, it is other- 
wise. God will punish the perjurer, in another 
world at least, whether he calls upon him to 
do so or not. Of this every man should be re- 
minded whenever he is called upon solemnly 
to speak truth. Your practice," he added, " of 
requiring an oath in each case, arose at that 
period when it was supposed that God would 
always interfere by a special judgment. You 
have given this up as far as trial by single com- 
bat is concerned ; but you have retained what 
grew out of the same persuasions, though, in 
point of fact, you as little believe your princi- 


pies in this case as in the former. Trial by 
jury, your great boast, is, as practised by you, 
a remnant of the superstitious ordeal of your 
barbarian ancestors. But the strangest part 
of all is, that, while you require oaths, you pro- 
claim at the same time your belief that every 
man is ready to perjure himself if he has the 
smallest pecuniary interest in doing so. Thus, 
for instance, you do not admit the testimony, 
even on oath, of any man who may gain or 
lose a shilling in consequence of his testimony. 
It is not a bare suspicion that he may bear 
false witness, and a consequent abatement of 
confidence in his testimony, but a full confi- 
dence that he will be ready to perjure himself, 
and a total exclusion of his testimony. 

" Again, you appear to us to think that 
oaths may wear out ; and you therefore renew 
them from time to time. When a man is ap- 
pointed to some situation, you compel him to 
take certain oaths. Should he continue to hold 
the same situation, all is well ; but if he has 
so distinguished himself as to be noticed by his 
superiors, and promoted to a higher office, — as, 
for instance, when a clergyman is transferred 


from a curacy, or from an inferior to a better 
parish, — instantly he seems to fall under the 
suspicion of the law, and a renewal of his oaths 
is exacted from him. 

" All this," he said, " appears to us not only 
unnecessary, but even calculated to weaken the 
general sense of public duty. To require an 
oath in any case, is to confess an expectation 
that men, when not under this obligation, are 
likely to tell falsehoods : to require an oath on 
being invested with office, is to state that so- 
ciety does not expect men to perform duties 
from any sense of their importance, or any ob- 
ligation arising out of the trust reposed in the 
individuals, but from a principle of a distinct 
and different kind. Now, to proclaim such an 
opinion, has, we think, a strong tendency to 
make it true. We should apprehend, at least, 
that in all cases (and, I may add, on all points) 
when no oaths are required, there would be 
a less active and conscientious discharge of 
duties, because the only acknowledged and 
legally recognised ground of obligation does 
not exist ; just as the oaths of witnesses tend 
to produce a disregard of veracity in ordinary 


transactions. This would be the natural re- 
sult. But, we must say, from what we have 
observed of your characters, and from many 
things you have mentioned to us, that you have 
impressed us with the belief that much public 
spirit exists amongst you in spite of your sys- 
tem. We apprehend, in fact, that public opi- 
nion amongst you is, in many respects, in ad- 
vance of your legal code. But we should like 
to know your own opinion. Do you conceive, 
in general, that those who hold such employ- 
ments as are guarded by oaths perform their 
duties in co?iseque?ice of the oath, or because 
they conceive that integrity and due attention 
are right for their own sakes ?" 

The travellers replied they were of opinion 
that most men acted from the latter feeling, 
and that the oath seldom recurred to the me- 
mory of any. " In fact," they said, " most 
persons amongst us would hold themselves af- 
fronted if they were told that they were trusted 
in any particular, not on account of their gene- 
ral reputation and their own sense of rectitude, 
but because they had taken an oath." 

" We are anxious," said Sir Peter, " that 


law should throw no obstacles in the growth 
of the feelings you describe, and we therefore 
exact, not only no promissory oaths, but no 
promises to perform duties. Of course we al- 
low, and legally enforce, contracts in all cases, 
when any individual consents to do something 
he was otherwise not bound to, in consideration 
of a promise made to him by another ; as, for 
instance, when he lets him land in consequence 
of a stipulated rent. Promises of this kind 
are committed to writing, and legally enforced. 
Or, to take a more important case — marriage. 
Here the parties enter upon a new course of 
life, in consequence of an engagement which 
each makes to the other: we enforce, there- 
fore, by law the fulfilment of that engage- 

The English travellers asked with a smile, 
" Do you always find that engagement fulfilled 
in its spirit ? Does your contract secure in 
all cases mutual kindness and good temper ?" 

" That," said Sir Peter, " is beyond the 
reach of civil law. As far as the civil rights 
of either party, or of their children, are con- 
cerned, we enforce them by a civil contract, 


undertaken in the presence of civil magistrates. 
Here the power of the law stops. But we 
recommend, and public opinion sanctions our 
recommendation, that every church should add 
a religious ceremony ; not for the purpose of 
enforcing the civil obligation, for that we make 
a matter of the civil law, but for the purpose of 
impressing the minds of both parties- with a 
due sense of the moral obligations they under- 
take. The forbearance and mutual kindness 
essential for happiness in the marriage state 
are the fruits, not of civil contract, (since they 
are not of a nature to be enforced by coercion,) 
but of moral principle ; and our opinion is, that 
this should be strengthened by whatever re- 
ligious service each church may consider most 

" Thus, again, we have no coronation oath. 
When our king dies, his heir immediately suc- 
ceeds as a matter of course, and with the full 
knowledge that he is under an obligation to 
govern according to the prescribed constitu- 
tion. So far our customs are like your own. 
Amongst you, however, after the king has 
actually entered upon his office, and not un- 


frequently in some considerable time after, you 
exact of him an oath. This seems to us very 
like constituting two different kinds of regal 
government, namely that of an uncrowned and 
of a crowned king.'' 

The English travellers replied, that they re- 
garded the power and duty of the king as pre- 
cisely the same previously and subsequently to 
his coronation oath. 

" We know that," said Sir Peter ; " and we 
therefore conclude that you yourselves do not 
regard the oath as of the least importance." 



Punishment awarded to Criminals. — Capital Punishments. — Plea 
of Insanity. — Penitentiaries. — Houses of Correction. — Im- 
provement in Laws. — Periodical Publications. — Editors of 
Newspapers. — State of Literature. 

The travellers proceeded to ask some further 
questions, which had been suggested to them 
by what they had observed in the course of the 
trials they had witnessed. 

" We perceived," said they, " that the pun- 
ishment most frequently awarded was that of 
confinement in a penitentiary ; instead, how- 
ever, of naming the period of confinement, it 
was generally announced that the terms of 
confinement would be determined subsequent- 
ly. We wish to know the reason of this pro- 

" We do not," replied Sir Peter, " in most 
cases regulate the confinement by time, but in 


another way. We require that each man should 
perform a certain quantity of daily labour, as a 
compensation — though, of course, often a very 
inadequate one — for his maintenance ; and 
whatever he can earn above this, is placed in 
a bank for him. Each man is sentenced to 
earn a sum, regulated according to his trade, 
state of health, and other circumstances. When 
he has earned this sum, he is set at liberty. 
We think this has a double advantage : it 
encourages him to labour, because he is made 
aware that his own industry will affect the 
period of his confinement ; and this has a ten- 
dency to create in him a permanent habit of 
industry. Again, the sum of money he has 
earned being given to him when released, he 
is not thrown on the world as a pauper, ex- 
posed by his very destitution to fresh tempta- 
tion, but has the means of carrying on some 
species of industry. 

" We have also as a punishment secret brand- 
ing (usually on the back), performed in the 
way of tattooing, as your sailors do. Every 
culprit is examined as to whether he had been 
thus branded ; in which case, the punishment 


for any subsequent crime is always the more 
severe. At the same time, as the brand is 
secret, the individual is not exposed on that 
account to the scoffs of his neighbours, which 
might make him regardless of character and 
produce a hardness of disposition. These are 
our most ordinary punishments. 

" In case of murder, however, and some few 
other crimes, we resort to capital punishments. 
This is restricted, as I have intimated, to very 
few species of delinquency ; but when those are 
perpetrated, the punishment of death is rigidly 
enforced and speedily inflicted. In any punish- 
ment prompt execution adds greatly to the 
terror ; but in this more particularly, because 
death, some time or other, is a sentence passed 
by nature upon all men." 

[Here occurs, as a marginal note to Mr. Sib- 
thorpe's memoranda, a quotation from Shak- 
speare's dialogue of Pistol and Fluellin : — 

Pistol. — Base caitiff ! thou shalt die. 

Fluellin. — You say fery true, scald knave, 
when Cofs coot pleasure is.~\ 

The infliction of all punishments, including 
capital, is private ; that is, is in the presence 


only of certain official persons, appointed to 
witness and certify the due execution of the 
sentence. The travellers could not but ac- 
knowledge the brutalising and noxiously hard- 
ening effects of our public executions. 

" To show you the strictness," observed Sir 
Peter, " with which our penal code is admi- 
nistered, I must mention to you that we do not 
allow the plea of insanity, in any case, as a 
ground of acquittal, unless that insanity is of 
such a nature as to warrant the opinion that 
the individual did not intend to inflict the in- 
jury for which he is tried. And in case any 
degree of insanity appears to have actuated the 
individual, we inquire whether this disposition 
had ever been previously displayed ; for in this 
case we hold the relatives or friends, or per- 
sons with whom he has lived, as accountable 
for not having given the magistrates due warn- 
ing of his state of mind, so as that he should be 
put into confinement." 

The travellers pressed in objection the vari- 
ous topics commonly urged respecting greater 
or lesser degrees of moral responsibility, capa- 
bility of discerning good from evil, &c. ; all 


which considerations the Southlanders, it ap- 
pears, are accustomed to regard as entirely ir- 
relevant. They maintain that criminal legisla- 
tion has nothing whatsoever to do with moral 
retribution ; the sole object of human laws be- 
ing the prevention of crime, which can take 
place in all those cases, and in those only, where 
the intention of the agent (no matter how that 
intention originates) is directed towards the 
action to be prevented. 

On the travellers expressing a strong desire 
to see their penitentiary, and examine its sys- 
tem of management ; " We have many peni- 
tentiaries," said Sir Peter, " and in each of 
them the system adopted differs in some re- 
spects from that of others ; for we hold it to 
be a subject of constant experiment to ascer- 
tain what mode of discipline may be the best 
fitted to secure the ultimate object at which we 
aim, which is, as I have just said, not the in- 
fliction of vengeance on the guilty, but the pre- 
vention of crime. I shall enable you, however, 
to judge of our system in this respect by taking 
you to visit our penitentiaries, according as you 
can command leisure. 


" The systems pursued in some of our houses 
of correction/' he added, " need, and, I trust, 
will receive alteration ; but I hope you will 
not think me unduly partial in considering the 
very worst of our modes of secondary punish- 
ment far preferable to yours. Be assured we 
shall never undertake to found a new nation 
from the sweepings of our jails ; receiving ad- 
ditional corruption — those of them who are ca- 
pable of it — by unrestricted intercourse with 
each other during a four months' voyage, and 
their moral degradation completed by being, 
reduced to a state of slavery ; that is, by being 
consigned, as in your colony, to masters for 
whose benefit they are compelled to labour." 

[The manuscript of the travellers did not 
contain very full information on the subject of 
penitentiaries, as there were many which they 
were still designing to visit. It would appear, 
however, that in some penitentiaries solitary 
confinement was the practice ; in others, the 
culprits worked in companies; but, as in some 
of the American penitentiaries, total silence 
was enforced. Every man was made to work 
in a mask, in order that he should remain un- 



known to the rest, and thus escape the harden- 
ing effects which are the consequences of ex- 
posure of character.] 

" There is one part of our system," said Sir 
Peter, "which I should mention to you, be- 
cause it will serve to show you the diligence 
with which we apply ourselves to the continual 
improvement both of our civil and penal code. 
We hold it as a duty belonging to our judges 
and chief law officers that they should discuss 
amongst themselves, from time to time, what- 
ever alteration their experience in the adminis- 
tration of our laws may suggest to any of 
them as desirable. Whatever report is sent 
in by their united wisdom to parliament, is re- 
ceived with the utmost deference ; and should 
any doubt remain as to the expediency of 
adopting their proposal, we invite some of the 
judges or law officers to assist us in our delibe- 
rations, by stating publicly the grounds of their 
recommendation. We allow them to debate 
freely, as if they were members of parliament ; 
but of course we do not give them, as they are 
not members, any vote in the final decision. 
Indeed," he observed, " whenever we appoint 


(as we very constantly do) a commission em- 
powered to collect information on any par- 
ticular subject, and draw up a report recom- 
mending any new laws or practices, we allow 
the members of that commission to attend our 
parliamentary meetings and explain their own 
reasons. We conceive this can be best done 
by the same individuals whom we appoint to 
deliberate. We regard them as members of 
parliament in fact, pro hac vice, except that 
we do not give them a power of voting." 

Newspapers, magazines, and other periodical 
publications are abundant and cheap in this 

In the early part of the traveller's visit, Lieu- 
tenant R. Smith, having accidentally taken up 
a newspaper which lay on the table, was much 
interested in its perusal. The leading articles 
appeared to have been written with considerable 
discretion and good sense. He asked whether 
he might regard that paper as a fair specimen 
of the degree of talent which their newspapers 
generally presented. 



The gentleman of the house replied that, in 
his estimation, that paper was rather the best 
of the day. Its conductor was a person of very 
high character and great attainments. 

"You just saw him," he said, "riding by 
with our leading minister. We have several pa- 
pers, — besides magazines and other periodicals, 
— conducted also with various degrees of talent, 
and of every shade and variety of political sen- 

" In our country," said Lieutenant Smith, 
"conductors are not on such familiar terms 
with our statesmen ; indeed they are seldom 
to be met in cultivated society. We think it 
the lowest department of literature. In fact, 
we scarcely deem the editor of a newspaper 
a literary man, or even a gentleman." 

" I suppose then," said Mr. Bruce (their host), 
" that your papers are nothing more than a 
record of events and advertisements ; and that 
they exercise no influence upon the general 
sentiments of the country." 

"Quite the reverse," said the English tra- 
vellers. " The newspapers produce a very de- 
cided influence ; so much so that each party 


in the state takes care to hold some of them in 
pay, as advocates of the opinions which that 
party is anxious to maintain : and the editor 
of a paper not unfrequently prescribes the opi- 
nions or conduct which each party should 
adopt, many confining their reading almost ex- 
clusively to papers on their own side." 

" This is very strange to us," said Mr. Sib- 
thorpe, " and it appears perfectly inconsistent. 
Your refusal to associate with the conductors 
as gentlemen of reputation, must make them 
unworthy to be received into good society ; 
most emphatically and particularly unworthy, 
not merely as unfitted for the company of gen- 
try, but as undeserving of the respect of repu- 
table people. Such, at least, seems to us to be 
the tendency of a ban of exclusion fixed on a 
class of persons such as these writers. A small 
shopkeeper indeed, or mechanic, though not 
admitted into the social circles of the higher 
classes, may be a worthy and respectable man 
in his w r ay, and may well be content to asso- 
ciate with those who are in every respect his 
own equals ; but not so a man of such educa- 
tion, knowledge, and talent as are requisite for 


the successful conduct of a newspaper. A man 
so qualified will seldom, we should think, be 
found consenting to follow an employment which 
excludes him from the society of gentlemen, 
unless there be, in some way or other, some- 
thing of moral inferiority about him. Excep- 
tions there may be ; but we should fully expect 
this to be at least the general rule. We take 
care, therefore, since newspapers cannot but 
influence public opinion, to induce men of re- 
putation to engage in this department, by show- 
ing that we regard it as a most honourable em- 
ployment. To act otherwise, would seem to 
us like proclaiming that we were determined 
to be rogue-led." 

The English travellers asked if the newspa- 
pers had to pay a tax to the state. They were 
informed, that in this particular state no tax 
was exacted, but that in other states of the 
union the practice was different. " We observe," 
said they, "a vast number of advertisements 
of all kinds ; and, amongst the rest, that a great 
variety of books were announced as in the 

" Our press," said one of the company, " is 


very active ; but you can best judge of the state 
of our literature by examining hereafter our 
public libraries. To some of these we shall 
have great pleasure in conducting you." 



Schools. — Reform of the Calendar. — Art of Teaching. — General 
Education. — Religion and Politics. — Inconsistency of the 
Jesuits. — Unbelievers. — Direction of Electors. — Political 
Churches. — Violation of the Laws. — Infidelity. — Obedience to 
Law. — Enforced Religion. — Persecution. — Hypothetical Case. 
— Treatment of Insanity. — Professed Inspiration. — Impostors 
and Lunatics. — Changes in Europe. — Founders of the Colony. 

The Southlanders have numerous schools — 
mostly day-schools — for boys and for girls, in 
all parts of the country. They are of various 
descriptions, suited to persons of different classes 
of society. There are also four universities, 
besides some other scientific and literary insti- 
tutions partaking of that character. 

The most ancient, and, at present, the largest 
university is in the state of Miillersfield. Mr. 
Sibthorpe's notes on this subject contain but 
a small portion of the little he had, up to that 
time, been enabled to collect; as it happened 


that the principal vacation of all the univer- 
sities is in the spring, the time of the travel- 
lers' arrival in the country. He was, accord- 
ingly, promising himself, in the latter part of 
his sojourn, to obtain a much fuller and more 
correct acquaintance with their academical in- 

It appears that, as might have been expect- 
ed, the Southlanders have not made the same 
advancements in the physical sciences as the 
Europeans, though much greater than, under 
their circumstances of seclusion, could have 
been anticipated. They have detected and rec- 
tified the error of the Julian calendar. The 
alteration of their style, which was begun above 
a century and a half ago, was not established at 
once, like the reform first made in Roman Ca- 
tholic, and subsequently in Protestant countries ; 
but was effected gradually, by the simple omis- 
sion of the leap-years, till the error was rec- 

Mr. Sibthorpe was particularly struck with 
the circumstance, that, both at the universities 
and elsewhere, the art of teaching is distinctly 
taught as a separate and most important de- 

i 5 


partment; regular lectures on it being given, 
and the pupils exercised in various modes, to 
train and qualify them for the office of giving 
instruction to others. This people are so far 
from taking for granted — as, till of late years, 
has been commonly done in Europe — that every 
one is qualified to teach anything he knows 
himself, that, from the highest to the lowest 
description of schoolmaster or tutor, every one 
is required to have gone through a regular 
course of training for that profession. Nor is 
the study of this art by any means confined 
to those who design professionally to engage 
in it ; but some degree of it is considered as 
a part of a liberal education. 

In some of the newly-settled, and, conse- 
quently, thinly-peopled districts, there are some- 
times two (and, in some instances, even three) 
schoolhouses for one master or mistress. In 
such a case, the master attends at them by 
turns for half a week, or, if at a greater dis- 
tance, a week. Sometimes the schools are kept 
up during the intervals by an assistant ; some- 
times even this is wanting; and the children 
remain at home half their time preparing les- 


sons, in which they are examined when they 
return to school. It is held that one good 
master can do more service in two or three 
schools than two or three inferior ones. All 
parents and guardians are required to have the 
children under their care instructed. Any who 
may be too poor to afford the moderate cost of 
the humblest education are provided with it 
at the public charge ; but it is very rare in- 
deed that there is occasion for this, except in 
the case of the half-reclaimed aborigines. 

The Southlanders were astonished to hear 
that, in what is called civilized Europe, a large 
proportion of the population should remain to- 
tally illiterate, " like the savages" When they 
were told that some persons in England dreaded 
the education of the labouring classes, as unfit- 
ting them for their station, and were disposed 
to apply the remark of Mandeville, that " if a 
horse knew as much as a man, I should be 
sorry to be his rider," they inquired how this 
was to be reconciled with the political rights 
which they were told were conceded to these 
very people ; and how it could be safe to en- 
trust power to those whom it was thought un- 


safe to instruct how to make a rational use 
of it. 

" If," said they, " you are to keep men in 
slavery, like the domestic brutes, it may be the 
safest way to keep them in as brutish a con- 
dition of mind as you can ; but brutes that are 
not enslaved are much more dangerous animals 
than rational beings. A horse is kept as a 
slave, and, however gently treated, is subjected 
to restraint, and compelled to labour for his 
master's service. It would be doubtless unsafe, 
and, what is more, unjust, to ride a horse if 
he knew as much as a man, — i. e. if he were a 
rational being, instead of a brute ; but Dr. 
Mandeville ought to have remembered that, 
if a groom knew no more than a horse, he would 
be very unfit to be a rider? 

They require, accordingly, that any parent 
who, from inconvenient distance of residence or 
any other cause, is unable or unwilling to send 
a child to school, shall provide for his instruc- 
tion at home, and shall bring him to the pe- 
riodical examinations of the school inspectors, 
who are appointed to visit the schools at stated 
times and examine the children. On being 


asked what would be done in the case of any 
parent's refusing instruction to his children, 
they said that no such case had occurred in 
their recollection ; but that they conceived, if 
it should occur, it would be considered as a 
sufficient evidence of mental derangement. As 
for the right of a parent over his children, they 
utterly denied that his children belong to him 
in the same manner that dogs and cats and 
horses do, which he is at liberty to keep as 
mere pets and playthings, or as drudges, or 
to sell or drown if he finds himself overstock- 
ed. They hold that he has no more right to 
debar his children from instruction than to 
deny them proper food and clothing. To these 
last they have a fair claim — a claim enforced 
by law in all countries — as animals; to the 
other, as rational beings. 

Female education also they attend to quite 
as much as Europeans, without confining it so 
much (among the upper classes) to mere showy 
accomplishments. Some of them laughed at 
our employment of the word " accomplish- 
ment," " which," said they, " signifies properly 
a completion of that which, by your account, is 


never begun." They cited a maxim which, 
they said, had been laid down by Aristotle, — 
that a people whose institutions pay no regard 
to women and children, are neglecting the half 
of the present generation, and the whole of the 
next. And they observed, that a child whose 
earliest years, — whose first impressions, and ha- 
bits of thought and sentiments, — have been left 
to a mother who is wanting in cultivated un- 
derstanding, and sound principles, and well- 
regulated feelings, will be very far from having 
a fair chance of turning out an estimable mem- 
ber of society. 

On these subjects the travellers had much 
conversation with Sir Andrew Knox, who holds 
in the kingdom of Eutopia the office of inspec- 
tor-general of education, nearly answering to 
that of minister of public instruction in some of 
the European states. In his observations on 
the conduct of the governments of Europe, — 
sucli as they had been three centuries back, 
and such as many of them appeared to him 
to continue in some measure still unchanged, — 
he remarked that nothing could be more com- 
pletely the reverse of a wise and honest legisla- 


ture than the attempt to make belief compul- 
sory, and knowledge not compulsory. 

" They enforced," said he, " the reception of 
* true religion,' — that is, what the rulers regard- 
ed as such ; and left it optional to learn, or to 
remain ignorant of, the difference between one 
religion and another. Even you, it seems, regard 
it as an intolerable encroachment on liberty to 
compel a person to learn his letters that he may 
be able to read the Bible ; but you compel him 
to believe the Bible, — at least to profess his be- 
lief, or not openly to deny it. His knowledge 
of the book may be anything or nothing, just 
as he pleases ; but he is required to acknow- 
ledge its divine authority and the correctness 
of your interpretation of it, or else you treat 
him as a helot or an alien, and exclude him 
from civil rights and power. He is not obliged 
to know whether Jerusalem is in the northern 
or southern hemisphere, or whether Mahomet 
lived before or after Christ; but he is obliged, 
under pain of punishments or civil disabilities, 
to think with you as to the Jewish, Christian, 
and Mahometan religions. 

u Now this," he contiued, " does seem to us 


most preposterous. I am not adverting now to 
its opposition to the principles of justice or of 
the Christian religion, but to common sense. An 
injunction which it is completely in the poiver 
of the subject to obey, and of the government 
to enforce, this governments do not issue ; and 
one which the subject may be unable to obey, 
and which the government cannot fully enforce, 
that forms an essential part of their enact- 
ments ; for to acquire a certain humble degree 
of knowledge (when government provides the 
means of instruction) is a command which the 
subject is clearly able to obey. He may, in- 
deed, not think knowledge worth the trouble of 
study, and may be so brutish as to feel it a 
hardship not to be allowed to remain in stupid 
ignorance ; but, unless he is a born idiot, he 
cannot say that it is out of his power to learn 
anything, or, again, that it is against his con- 
science to attempt it ; nor, on the other hand, 
can he evade the requisition by pretending to 
have learnt what he has not, since his pro- 
ficiency may be ascertained by examination. 
In the other case, all these circumstances are 
reversed. A man may be really unable to adopt 


the same view of religious truth as his rulers ; 
he may feel it a violence to his conscience to 
profess their belief; and, lastly, he can always, 
if conscience does not stand in his way, make a 
false and hypocritical profession of a faith which 
he does not really hold. 

" These governments, therefore, do not in- 
terfere where their interference would be, at 
least, both allowable and effectual — we think 
beneficial ; and where their interference, as we 
think, is always noxious, but evidently may be 
both unjust and ineffectual, there they do inter- 
fere. Such a ruler, if he teaches his subjects 
hypocrisy, teaches them at least to be like him- 
self; for his pretended zeal for God's honour 
and his people's welfare must be a mere spe- 
cious cloak for his desire to uphold his own 
power in the most effectual and least trouble- 
some way. As for true religion, if he had the 
least particle of it, or the least conception of its 
nature, he could not but know that it is a 
thing which cannot be enforced by law." 

[Much more to the same purpose was urged 
by Sir Andrew Knox, who, like most of his 
countrymen, is tinged, as our readers will have 


perceived, with much of that peculiar habit of 
thought, derived from the founders of the co- 
lony, which many will probably be disposed to 
regard as eccentric enthusiasm and extrava- 
gance. The travellers laid before him, in re- 
ply, the arguments commonly employed in Eu- 
rope (which need not be here repeated) for and 
against the existing principles of legislation, 
and the various modifications of these which 
have been introduced in the several European 

On something being said respecting the duty 
of a Christian ruler to maintain and enforce 
true religion, and respecting the conduct to be 
pursued by a Christian community, Sir An- 
drew observed that, in former times, there ap- 
peared to have prevailed among their European 
ancestors much confusion of thought on those 
subjects, which did not seem to be even now 
cleared up, but to be fostered by indistinctness 
of language. 

" Ours," said he, " are ' Christian states,' in 
the sense that the individual citizens of them 
are Christians, but not in the sense of our laws 
enforcing the profession of Christianity, or of 


any particular religious persuasion. And al- 
though, in the sense first specified, our states 
might be called Christian, the phrase ' Christian 
community' conveys to our minds the idea, not 
of a state, but of a church ; and to blend the 
two kinds of community into one, so as to give 
spiritual jurisdiction to the civil magistrate, to 
maintain religion by secular coercion, and to 
give those of a particular creed a monopoly of 
civil privileges and secular offices, — this we 
consider as changing Christianity into Judaism, 
and making Christ's kingdom one ' of this 
world,' which he expressly forbade." 

" But is it not natural, Sir Andrew," said 
Mr. Sibthorpe, " that Christians, who have any 
real veneration for their religion, should wish to 
exclude from all share of political power in a 
Christian nation those who are not Christians, 
or who have depraved and corrupted the Chris- 
tian faith ?" 

" Nothing could be more natural" replied 
he, " than that the Jewish people, when con- 
vinced, as the mass of them at one time were, 
of his divine mission, should wish to take Jesus 
and force Him to be their king, so that all who 


should have disowned his authority, or disobeyed 
his commands, would have incurred the penal- 
ties of treason. Nothing, I say, could be more 
natural than this ; and thence it is that He was 
so earnest in renouncing all such pretensions, 
and prohibiting all such attempts : and expe- 
rience shows how consonant to the character 
of the f natural man ' such a course of pro- 
cedure has been ever since. 

"But the question is not what is agreeable 
to human nature, but to the divine will. Our 
Master declared that his kingdom is not a tem- 
poral one ; and we must not seek to do Him 
honour by running counter to his commands, so 
as to make it a kingdom of this world, and, as 
it were, * take Him by force to make Him a 
king.' It cannot evince our veneration for 
Him to mix up religion with politics, when He 
and his Apostles neither did so nor permitted 
their followers to do so, though they possessed 
(what no human rulers can with truth pretend 
to) one ground of a claim to the right of en- 
forcing true religion by civil penalties and dis- 
abilities, viz. the infallible knowledge of what 
is true religion. 

Christ's kingdom. 189 

" As for what you were saying of Christ's 
kingdom being indeed not of this world, but 
that, according to prophecy, the kingdoms of 
the earth are to become the kingdoms of the 
Lord, this we conceive must be understood of 
the people themselves becoming Christians ; be- 
cause we conceive that, if it were understood as 
authorising the state, as a civil community, to 
enforce and regulate Christianity by the secu- 
lar sword, then Christ's kingdom does become 
a kingdom of this world. To set up a plea 
founded on a subtle verbal distinction where 
there is no real difference, reminds one (if I 
may be pardoned for using so homely an illus- 
tration) of the quibbling thief, who contended 
that he was unjustly charged with having car- 
ried off a horse ; for that, in truth, it was the 
horse that had carried off him. 

" The Jesuits of whom you have been telling 
me, according to the worst accounts given of 
their tricks and subterfuges, evasions and men- 
tal reservations, would be well deserving of their 
title, — they would be really and fitly 'com- 
panions of Jesus,' — if we could suppose Him and 
his Apostles to have secretly maintained a prin- 


ciple which goes to nullify practically (as soon 
as their followers should have gained sufficient 
strength) all their disavowals of political de- 
signs, — all their renunciation of temporal power 
as connected with their religion, — all desire 
to monopolize, as Christians, civil ascendency. 
They were accused of forbidding to give tri- 
bute to Caesar, — of speaking against Caesar, &c. 
Now,, if you suppose that, when Jesus, in answer 
to such charges, said in a loud voice to the Ro- 
man governor, 'My kingdom is not of this world,' 
He had whispered to his disciples, ' This is only 
till you have gained sufficient numbers and 
strength ; whenever and wherever you can be- 
come the predominant party, then draw the 
sword which I lately bid you sheathe, and en- 
force by civil penalties submission to my laws, 
and exclude by law from political privileges all 
who will not join your communion:' — if you 
suppose that while He publicly issued the in- 
junction, ' Render to Caesar the things that are 
Caesar's,' He added, as it were aside, to his com- 
panions, ' Remember, however, that, as Caesar 
is an idolater, you must hereafter make him 


embrace Christianity on pain of ceasing to be 
Caesar ; you must oblige him and all other go- 
vernors and public officers, from the highest to 
the lowest, and all who would lay claim to any 
of the rights of citizens in any state where you 
can acquire political ascendency, to profess my 
religion ; and then you must render to Caesar 
the things that are Caesar's ; you must then 
' render unto all their due,' after having first 
secured that none but those who agree with 
you in religion shall have, politically, any due 
at all ; you must ' submit yourselves to every 
ordinance of man,' after having first provided 
that every ordinance of man shall have sub- 
mitted to you ; you must consider * the pow- 
ers that be' as 'ordained of God,' after having 
monopolized them all for yourselves, carefully 
excluding unbelievers :' — if, I say, you suppose 
this to have been the secret meaning, and 
these the private instructions, of Jesus and his 
Apostles, while their openly avowed teaching 
was such as we find recorded, well surely may 
the most disingenuous of the Jesuits lay claim 
to their title." 


" Can an unbeliever, then," said Mr. Sib- 
thorpe, — "can even an atheist, in this country, 
rise to the highest offices ? " 

" I hope," said Sir Andrew, " such instances 
are rare ; I know of none : but if you speak of 
the possibility, you should remember that in 
every country, even where the Inquisition ex- 
ists, an atheist can, by disguising his real opi- 
nions, rise to any office, even that of Grand 
Inquisitor, or of Pope ; which, indeed, you were 
lately telling me is suspected to be no such 
very rare occurrence." 

" True," said Mr. Sibthorpe ; " there is no 
law that can prevent hypocrisy ; but what I 
meant is, an open and avowed infidel, or an ad- 
vocate of extravagant corruptions of religion." 

" If you mean to ask," said Sir Andrew, 
" whether / would vote for a man of that de- 
scription, and whether a majority of electors 
would in any case be as likely to appoint him 
as one of opposite character, I answer at once 
in the negative ; but if you are asking whether 
there is any law to prohibit my voting for such a 
man, — any legal incapacity on religious grounds, 
— we have no such law. As far as a man's re- 


ligious opinions are concerned, his fitness or 
unfitness for any civil office is left to be decided 
by the judgment of the electors. Conviction of 
any crime, or ascertained deficiency in the re- 
quisite knowledge, alone disqualify a man by 
law for public offices. 

" But it is important," added he, " to keep 
distinct two questions which, I observe, the mo- 
dern Europeans, as well as our ancestors, have 
often confounded, — the question whether a per- 
son of such and such a description is or is not 
Jit, or the most fit, to be appointed to such and 
such an office ; and the question, whether the 
electors to that office shall be left to decide that 
point according to their judgment, instead of 
the legislators deciding it for them, and restrict- 
ing their choice. How much shall be left to the 
discretion of the electors is one question ; what 
is the wisest and best use they can make of 
their discretion is another, quite different, 
though often confounded with it. 

" But, among us, it is in a religious, not a 
civil community — in a church, not in a state — 
that a man's religious qualifications or disquali- 
fications are taken notice of in the laws of the 



community as determining whether he may or 
may not be one of its officers or one of its mem- 
bers. Our brethren in Europe, you seem to 
think, would, some of them, take for granted, 
from our acting on these principles, that we 
must be very indifferent about religion (though 
you, I rejoice to find, are ready to bear your 
testimony to the contrary) ; but they might as 
well conclude that we are indifferent about 
political affairs also, because we attend places of 
worship in which no political questions are dis- 
cussed, and are members of Christian churches 
which do not intermeddle with politics. In- 
deed, I myself, as well as many others, am a 
member of an agricultural association also, in 
which neither political nor religious matters 
are introduced ; and yet I hope many of us 
are good citizens, good Christians, and good 
farmers too. 

" But since your people hold it to be allow- 
able and right, and a duty, for a civil legislature 
in a Christian country to take cognizance of 
matters of religious faith, (which we think should 
be left between each man's conscience and the 
Deity,) you ought, methinks, to see nothing 


incongruous neither in a religious community 
taking cognizance of political matters also, and 
embodying in its creed and formularies deci- 
sions, not only of points of faith, but of points 
of politics. Thus you would have, not only Tri- 
nitarian or Arian churches, Calvinistic or Ar- 
minian, Episcopalian or Presbyterian churches, 
&c. but also, according to your phraseology, 
Tory churches and Whig churches, commercial- 
restriction churches and free-trade churches, 
&c. Parents, bringing their child to be bap- 
tized, would have to engage that he should 
be brought up in sound political as well as 
sound religious views ; and to renounce in his 
name, not only sin, the world, and the devil, 
but also annual parliaments and vote by ballot, 
or some other political measure; and would 
have to be solemnly admonished, not only to 
bring him at a suitable age to be confirmed 
by the bishop, but also to have his vote duly 
registered. And a man would not be admis- 
sible at the eucharist unless he first declared 
his opinion, not only on the question of tran- 
substantiation, but also on the mint regulations, 
paper currency, or any other such points on which 

K 2 


the church or sect he belonged to should deter- 
mine what was to be accounted orthodox. If 
you are struck, as you seem to be, with the in- 
congruity and absurdity of such regulations and 
practices as these, you may form some concep- 
tion how incongruous it appears in our eyes 
to mix up together at all the Christian religion 
and politics. In short, 1 ' he added, in conclu- 
sion, u do but consider whether, among you, 
religion is considered as a 'part of politics, or 
politics a part of religion. If neither (which is 
what we hold), then your conduct is palpably 
inconsistent with your principles. If you hold 
religion to be a part of politics, what becomes 
of your Christianity ? But if politics is held 
to be a part of religion, then such politico- 
religious creeds and formularies as I have just 
now been supposing, must be, not only reason- 
able, but even necessary." 

" I admit," said Mr. Sibthorpe, " the absurd- 
ity of attempting by secular penalties to pro- 
duce conviction of a religious doctrine, and the 
cruelty, as well as absurdity, of compelling out- 
ward profession of conviction. But how do 
you proceed in regard to the public promul- 


gators of pernicious error? Is not a govern- 
ment bound to protect its subjects, not only 
from theft and violence, but also from having 
their minds, especially those of the young, the 
weak, and the ignorant, corrupted by every one 
who chooses to go about scattering moral and 
spiritual poison around him ?" 

" No one," answered Sir Andrew Knox, 
" would be allowed among us, under the plea 
of conscience, or any other, to incite men to 
a violation of the laws, to a breach of the 
peace, or to rebellion against government ; 
else, indeed, men might be found preaching 
up theft and all sorts of crimes, like those Ana- 
baptist sects that appeared before we left Eu- 
rope, who inculcated community of goods and 
of wives, and I know not what abominations 

" But the practice, or the recommendation, 
of anything that is immoral, and so accounted 
by all good men of whatever religious persua- 
sion, is clearly punishable by the civil magis- 
trate. Nor can any plea of conscience be ad- 
mitted as justifying abusive language against 
any class of religionists, — threats, violence, per- 


sonal slander, or interruption of religious wor- 

" But if any man peaceably sets forth his own 
views respecting religion, appealing to men's 
reason and conscience and the visible universe, 
or the Scriptures, we do not hold that the civil 
authorities are justified in going about to punish 
or silence him, or in excluding him from civil 
rights. Any church, indeed, to which he may 
have belonged will disown him as a member 
if he teach anything at variance with their fun- 
damental religious principles; but this we do 
not regard as a punishment inflicted as for an 
offence, but rather as a dissolution of partner- 
ship between two parties who cannot agree as 
to the matter in which they were partners. 
He is excommunicated by his church only in 
the same manner as his church is excommu- 
nicated by him ; but no secular penalties or 
privations are incurred by imputed religious 

" For we consider that, in the first place, as 
the legislature is not infallible, there is no se- 
curity that its enactments may not be on the 
wrong side ; as there have been, indeed, both 


Trinitarian and Arian, Protestant and Popish 
laws and rulers : and, secondly, we consider 
that Christ and his Apostles, who did possess 
infallibility, deliberately chose to rest their cause 
on pure persuasion alone." 

" But might it not be urged," said Mr. Sib- 
thorpe, " that this would go to put an end to all 
legislation on all subjects, since no legislature 
can be infallible, even in political measures ?" 

" It is true," replied Sir Andrew, " that 
statesmen can lay no claim to infallible wisdom, 
even in their own department ; and there is, 
accordingly, no country whose laws are, or need 
be believed to be, perfect. 

" It is the duty of a good citizen to labour 
to bring about the improvement of any laws 
which he thinks inexpedient ; but in the mean 
time (and here lies the important difference) he 
may, in almost all cases, obey the laws with a 
safe conscience, even such as he may not ap- 
prove of; because they require only the out- 
ward acts of compliance, and not the inward 
assent and conviction of the mind. You had, 
for instance, formerly a law enjoining all men 
to put out their fires at the toll of the curfew- 


bell ; it is now long since repealed. You had 
a law against selling game, which you have 
told us is abrogated. These laws may have 
been very inconvenient ; but it could not be 
against a man's conscience to put out his fire 
or to abstain from buying and selling game, 
though it would have been to require him to 
declare his belief in the wisdom of those regu- 

" Hence it is that, imperfect as human legis- 
lation must be, laws, since they are essential to 
the existence of civil society, have the sanction 
of reason, and conscience, and Scripture in fa- 
vour of submission to them, except in those 
cases where submission involves a violation of 
some prior duty ; as if, suppose, we had a law 
enjoining us to hunt down the blacks, and kill 
them like wild beasts. But it is remarkable 
that almost all the cases where it does become 
a duty to resist the law, are those in which 
religion is concerned, — those, in short, in which 
the civil legislature has gone out of its own 
province ; as when a man is required to profess 
or renounce, to preach or abstain from preach- 
ing, a certain religion ; forbidden to instruct a 


slave in Christianity, (as, you say, was formerly 
the law at the Cape of Good Hope,) and other 
such injunctions. 

" On these grounds," continued he, " we hold 
that all interference of the secular power to en- 
force the profession of ' true religion' and pu- 
nish 'heretics,' or to give Christians, or any 
particular description of Christians, political as- 
cendency on religious grounds, are adverse to 
the spirit and injurious to the cause of true re- 
ligion, contrary to the commands of its Author, 
tending to impair the force of its proper evi- 
dence, and leading at once to oppression in one 
party, to hypocrisy in the other, and to un- 
christian rancour in both. 

" These principles may be said, in some sort, 
to form a part of our national creed ; for there 
is no one of our churches that does not main- 
tain them, and inculcate the strictly voluntary 
character of true Christianity, and the spiritual, 
and not secular nature, of its Author's king- 

" But what would you do,'' said Mr. Sib- 
thorpe, " if some church were to arise among 
you of opposite principles? Would you to- 



lerate a sect whose religion forbade them to to- 
lerate others?" 

"That," said the other, "is certainly a 
shrewd question, and one which, I am happy 
to say, we can none of us answer from expe- 
rience ; as we have never had, and I hope never 
shall have, any such among us. I can, there- 
fore, only speak from conjecture as to what 
conclusions we might come to in such a case. 
Probably, a good deal might depend on the 
actual temper of the persons who should hold 
in theory persecuting principles ; for as men 
are too often worse than their principles, so, 
as you must be well aware, they are some- 
times better ; and if men of such principles 
were content to let their right and duty of 
persecution remain by some humane subter- 
fuge in abeyance and dormant, we should 
probably let them alone. Much might also 
depend on their strength of numbers, on their 
power, as well as their disposition to do mis- 
chief. The cat appears to be much the same 
kind of animal as the lions and tigers we have 
read of; but, being too small to be formidable, 
is allowed to go loose about the house. I sup- 


pose it would be unsafe to extend the same 
toleration to a tiger. 

" But on one point I think I can answer you, 
though still from conjecture, pretty confident- 
ly : if there should be any sect or class of men 
in one of our states whom we found it impossi- 
ble to place, with due regard to our safety, on 
the footing of citizens, we should undoubtedly 
part company ; we should banish them all, or 
we should imprison them all ; nay, I think we 
should even put them all to death at once, 
were there no better alternative, rather than 
tolerate among us a race of helots or Gibeon- 
ites, — a degraded and disfranchised caste, es- 
pecially one degraded on account of religious 
differences. That is contrary to all the prin- 
ciples, political and religious, which we have 
imbibed, as it were, with our very mothers' 

" There is, however, one point in which you 
were remarking, the other day, that our prac- 
tice is more rigid than yours, and in which we 
might perhaps appear at the first glance to be, 
though in truth we are not, acting at variance 
with these principles. You were remarking 


that we are more prompt and daring than 
most Europeans in placing under restraint 
those who appear to be in a state of dangerous 
mental derangement. We hold it to be a be- 
nefit to the individual, as well as to the com- 
munity, to confine and keep in order one who 
is palpably incapable of taking due care of him- 
self; as, for instance, an habitual drunkard, 
who, though not otherwise mad, when sober 
cannot command himself so as to refrain from 
drinking, when liquor is within his reach, till 
he becomes no better than mad. Now, al- 
though no legal interference takes place to 
prevent a man from setting forth his own views 
of religion, or any other subject, and appealing 
to the judgment of his hearers, it is otherwise 
if he profess to have received a divine revelation 
and to be the bearer of an immediate message 
from the Deity. We do not pronounce such 
pretensions a crime; for the magistrate has no 
right to prejudge the question as to their truth, 
nor, for the same reason, are they considered 
as decisive evidence of insanity : but they do 
justify a certain degree of suspicion of it, and 
of such an insanity as may prove highly mis- 


chievous in various ways, and especially as 
being, above all other kinds of insanity, dread- 
fully infectious. Madmen of this particular 
class are, among persons of a nervous and 
excitable temperament, almost as dangerous 
as mad dogs. 

" Now, any person professing, as the Apostles 
did, to have received an immediate divine com- 
mission to be special messengers of God, sent 
forth by his miraculous interposition with pro- 
phetic inspiration, must be either a true apostle, 
or an impious impostor, or else a man under 
mental alienation. That there can be but these 
three possible suppositions is evident ; though it 
may not be evident, in any given case, which of 
the three is the true one. On the first suppo- 
sition, the man is evidently entitled, as soon as 
he shall have exhibited his credentials, by dis- 
playing such miracles as are the ' signs of an 
apostle,' to high veneration, and diligent atten- 
tion to what he is commissioned to declare. 
On the second supposition, he ought to be 
punished, on the same principle (only more 
severely) as pretended witches, conjurors, and 
other such cheats who practise on the credulity 


of the superstitious. On the third supposition, 
the man ought to be secluded and taken care 
of, and subjected to proper treatment for the 
cure of his disorder. 

" In all cases, then, of professed inspiration 
and immediate divine commission, our laws en- 
join solitary confinement, as perfectly suitable 
on any of the foregoing three suppositions. 
The person is subjected to no indignity or 
unnecessary pain ; he is treated tenderly, and 
carefully provided for ; but he is closely se- 
cluded from all but medical attendants and 
other official persons. We have a full trust 
that, if he be indeed a divine messenger, he 
will be miraculously liberated. We find in 
Scripture that this was done repeatedly ; as in 
the case of the first imprisonment of the Apos- 
tles, — in that of Peter alone, afterwards, — and 
that of Paul and Silas. They were thus en- 
abled both to execute their commission, and, 
by appeal to the miracle, to attest its truth. 
Nor do we consider that, as long as we abstain 
from all reproach or unnecessary violence, we 
should be doing any wrong even to real pro- 
phets, or presumptuously tempting the Deity ; 


for it is contrary to all reason, and to all Scrip- 
ture, to suppose that He ever did or can re- 
quire implicit faith to be given to his ambassa- 
dors without furnishing them with testimonials ; 
with credentials, to satisfy us that they really 
are sent by Him. To call upon a man pre- 
tending to inspiration to display a sensible 
miracle (as by a supernatural release from con- 
finement) is no affront to God or man ; it is 
only asking a professed ambassador for his cre- 
dentials. But if, again, the man be either an 
impious impostor, or a lunatic, his confinement 
is, in the one case, a just, though very mild 
punishment, or, in the ether, an act of kind- 
ness towards himself, as well as a removal of 
a nuisance to the public. 

" Instances of the first class, I need hardly 
tell you, have not occurred ; and there are not 
many of us, I believe, who expect that they 
ever will. But whatever may be thought of 
that last question, we all agree that it would 
imply want of faith, ignorance of Scripture, and 
folly, to doubt that God, if He did send us 
an inspired messenger, would fail to vindicate 
His own honour, and establish the prophet's 


mission, by miraculous proof; or to suspect 
that it could be displeasing to Him that we 
should insist on such proof, and refuse to incur 
the risk of idolatry in paying divine homage 
to a human device or delusion. 

" In respect of the second class — impostors, 
our law has operated chiefly (as might have 
been expected) in the way of prevention. In 
a few instances, however, such men (having, 
for the most part, secretly circulated their pre- 
tensions among the credulous) have been in- 
duced, by the correction thus administered, to 
confess their fraud, and submit to the penalties 
of the laws enacted against common cheats. 

" Of the third class — those under delusion, 
there have been a good many instances ; and, 
in a large proportion of them, quiet seclusion 
and proper medical treatment have effected the 
restoration of reason : but some cases, as in all 
other kinds of derangement, prove incurable. 
There are also, by your account, in Europe also, 
such patients in almost every lunatic asylum, — 
imaginary apostles, prophets, and even deities. 
The only difference between us is, that you al- 
low several of such patients to go at large and 


do mischief in the world, because you think it 
necessary to have fully ascertained that a man is 
deranged before you confine him ; whereas we 
think it right to confine him at once, as soon as 
it is made evident that he is either deranged, 
or an impostor, or able (as a divine messenger, 
and therefore under a miraculous dispensa- 
tion,) to obtain immediate release. In all these 
cases (and there can be no other supposition) 
we hold it manifestly allowable, and conse- 
quently right, to confine him." 

It was in the course of this conversation, 
after the discussion of the foregoing and several 
kindred subjects, that one of the company made 
a remark respecting the views which had been 
presented to him of the history of Europe since 
their departure from it, as compared with its 
state at that time, and the general history of 

" Our founders," he said, " appear to have 
had peculiar advantages, from which we have, 
I trust, derived some fruit, in the particular 
time and circumstances of their change of abode. 
They left Europe at the exciting period of the 
Reformation, which had shaken the hold that 


ancient opinions, habits, and institutions had 
long maintained over the human mind ; when 
men's energies were roused, their imaginations 
kindled, and all their feelings highly stimu- 

" It is not to be wondered at, that, at such a 
period, many of the results should have follow- 
ed which appear in Europe to have actually 
ensued. Some, we know, ran into the wildest 
extravagancies of innovation. Again, the fierce 
and obstinate opposition of others to every 
change — besides the malevolent passions thus 
called into play — appears to have driven many 
of the reformers to still greater excesses, or to 
have hardened them into greater pertinacity. 
And, moreover, many, frightened at the pro- 
spect of extravagant innovations, or weary of 
perpetual change, seem to have resolutely stop- 
ped short before they had fairly followed out 
their own just principles of a complete reforma- 
tion ; or even relapsed into the prejudices they 
had renounced, embraced anew the errors which 
had been exploded, and returned to the cor- 
rupt systems, which were standing, as it were, 
with their gates open to receive them. 


" Our founders, on the other hand, after they 
had received the salutary stimulus, were re- 
moved out of the way of most of these evils by 
their retirement hither. Withdrawn from per- 
secution and oppression, and furious contro- 
versy and religious wars, they were secured in 
a great measure from the fanaticism and the 
unchristian bitterness of spirit which these are 
so often found to generate. They were kept 
out of the way, again, of all temptation to 
return to the corrupt systems they had re- 
nounced, since no example of these remained 
among them ; and were left calmly and peace- 
ably to make trials of the application of their 
principles in practice, and to modify at leisure 
those principles according to the dictates of 

[Such is the substance of the conversation 
that passed on these subjects. The language 
is of course altered, in this and in the other 
conversations recorded, in order to render it 
more readily intelligible. It is, indeed, almost 
a translation that is given ; not, indeed, from a 
foreign tongue, but from a peculiai dialect of 


The greater part of what was said by the 
travellers, except what was necessary to make 
the answers intelligible, has been omitted, for 
the reasons already stated.] 



Preachers. — Divine Service. — Divisions of the Bible. — Funeral 
Service. — Burial in Cities. — Absurd Interments. — Monuments. 
— Private Mausoleums. — Harmless Absurdities. — Church En- 
dowments. — State of the Clergy. — Religious Communities. — 
Admission Fees to Institutions. — Ecclesiastical Societies. 

It happened in the earlier part of their visit, 
when the travellers were less familiar with the 
peculiarities of the Southland phraseology, that 
they were inquiring one day whether there was 
in the neighbourhood where they then were 
any preacher of more than ordinary celebrity, 
and were surprised at being answered that 
there were no preachers within two hundred 
miles. As they had, before this, attended pub- 
lic worship, they perceived at once that there 
must be some misapprehension. They found 
that "a preacher" denotes — according to its 
primitive sense — what we understand by a 
missionary among the heathen. " Expound- 


ing," " lecturing," " discoursing," are the terms 
used by them to denote what we call " preach- 

When the difficulty was surmounted which 
they felt at first in following what was said, 
from the novelty to them of the dialect, they 
were very well pleased with some discourses 
they heard, which appeared to them sensible, 
pious, and instructive ; but they never heard 
any one who came up to the idea of what we 
call "a fine preacher," or " a very nice man," 
for the reason already mentioned in the notice 
of their parliamentary debates. 

The strangers were at first puzzled by an- 
other peculiarity which they met with in their 
attendance on divine service. The minister re- 
ferred, not to the chapter and verse of any 
book of Scripture, but to the page and line, or 
rather to what are called pages and lines ; that 
is, certain equal divisions, which are indeed the 
actual pages and lines of their large editions 
of the Bible, but of course do not correspond 
with those of a different size. These artificial 
pages and lines, as they may be called, are 
marked by horizontal (Li 5 .) and vertical ( L 5 |) 


lines, respectively. The origin of the custom, 
it seems, was, that their first edited translation 
having been paged, and subsequent editions 
being, for some time, fac-similes of it in point 
of size, the custom grew up, — indeed there is 
reason to think it was designedly encoura- 
ged, — of making the references to pages and 
lines ; and these same arbitrary divisions were 
accordingly retained in subsequent editions. 
Generally, though not always, the chapters 
and verses are marked in the margin, for the 
convenience of scholars who may wish to 
consult some of the old editions of the Bible 
in the learned languages, or who may be 
reading, in old editions, some works of the 
earlier divines containing references to those 
divisions. For their own use, they consi- 
der their method as preferable to ours, inas- 
much as their divisions are exactly equal; 
serve perfectly for the use intended, — that of 
facility of reference ; — and carry on the face 
of them a plain indication that they are de- 
signed for no other use, and therefore cannot 
mislead the reader into the notion of their hav- 
ing a connexion with the sense, and being the 


work of the sacred writers, or designed by edi- 
tors as a suitable distribution of the matter. 

The funeral service varies in a slight degree 
in the rituals of the several churches ; but in 
one point they all agree, — that in the prayers 
used, and in any discourse delivered on the 
occasion, no allusion is made to the particular 
individual deceased. The shortness and uncer- 
tainty of life generally, — a future state, and the 
requisite preparation for it, — with other such 
general topics, are the only ones allowed to be 
introduced. Any mention of, or allusion to a 
particular individual, in the way of panegyric 
or otherwise, on such an occasion, would be 
regarded as invidious and highly indecorous. 

" When a man," they said, " has departed 
this life, to pronounce upon his condition in 
another world, or to pray that that condition 
may be altered, we regard as presumptuous, 
and especially unsuitable in a Christian con- 
gregation assembled for a religious purpose." 

Their cemeteries are never contiguous to 
their places of ordinary religious worship, nor 
within any of their towns or villages ; but at 
some little distance, and generally within, or 


adjoining, some park or other public pleasure- 
ground. They imagined it must be deleterious 
to the health of the Europeans to inhabit 
towns, the site of which consists in great mea- 
sure of stratum upon stratum of decomposing 
animal matter, continually renewed and con- 
tinually stirred up. 

" We are well aware," they said, " what gave 
rise to the practice. It was the notion enter- 
tained by our ancestors (and, it should seem, 
by some of their European descendants) that 
demons are scared away by the sound of 
church-bells, by lustrations of holy-water, and 
the like ; and that the departed, accordingly, 
derive from such things some kind of comfort 
and protection. We hold, however, (and we 
hoped our European brethren had long since 
come to the same conclusion,) that the only 
injuries of which a corpse is in any danger 
are from the plough or the spade, the carrion- 
crow, the swine, or the wolf;" (so they call the 
Dingo, the New Holland wild-dog ;) " and that 
protection from these is to be found in stone 
walls, boards, and mounds of earth, not in any 
religious ceremonies. 



"As for spiritual danger, we conceive that 
the body becomes exempt from everything of 
that kind, precisely at the moment life departs 
from it ; and, accordingly, that religious appli- 
ances then employed resemble the practice of 
the savages, who clothe the dead body of a 
friend in the best skin robes they can pro- 
cure, and bury it, surrounded with a store of 
food, and with all the implements of hunting 
and fishing. If these poor heathens were to 
go a step beyond this in absurdity, — if they 
were to refuse to supply a famished compa- 
nion while living with needful food, clothing, 
and shelter, and then, as soon as he was dead, 
and no longer sensible of cold and hunger, 
were to begin to supply his dead body with 
provisions, which it could no longer use, — they 
would then be treating him, as some of our 
European forefathers treated themselves ; who 
seldom or never, during their lives, frequent- 
ed a house of worship to any profitable pur- 
pose, while they might have derived benefit 
from their attendance; but reflected with sa- 
tisfaction on the idea that their dead bodies 
would be brought into the house of worship, 


and perhaps interred there, as soon as the 
time should have passed when their presence 
there would be of any avail. 

"It is partly in order to guard against any 
relapse into such superstitions that we make 
it a rule never even to bring a dead body 
within the walls of a place of worship." 

There are no monuments in their burial- 
grounds beyond plain slabs, containing the 
name of the person whose remains are interred, 
with the necessary dates, &c. But in other 
places they have monuments of the nature of 
cenotaphs, in memory of persons who have 
been in any manner so distinguished as to be 
allowed this posthumous honour, by the direc- 
tion, or with the permission, of the civil au- 

Statues are sometimes erected, in places of 
public resort, to men of high eminence : but 
usually the memorial consists in an inscription 
(sometimes accompanied with decorative sculp- 
ture) placed on the house in which the person 
in question was born, or lived, or died ; or 
on any public building, such as a college, or 
library, or the like, which was in any way Cott- 
le 2 


nected with his useful labours. In all cases, 
any monument so placed as to meet the public 
eye, cannot be erected without the permission 
of the proper authorities ; whose approval of 
the inscription, decorations, and all the parti- 
culars, is essentially requisite. 

" If a man chooses," said they, " to erect 
within his own private house or garden the 
most extravagant mausoleum in honour of 
some ancestor, and to cover it with inscrip- 
tions of the most fulsome and groundless pa- 
negyric, he is quite at liberty to do so. We 
do not profess to make laws to prevent a 
man from playing the fool in private ; but 
whatever is obtruded on the public eye is fair- 
ly placed under public control. And monu- 
ments," they added, " when thus duly regu- 
lated, constitute a useful kind of record of 
departed worth, and of the several degrees 
and kinds of it ; the utility of which record 
would be greatly impaired if mixed up and 
interlined, as it were, with the aberrations of 
the private partiality, or ostentation, or absur- 
dity of individuals. 

" It is the same," they said, " with titles 


of honour, and decorations of office borne by 
the living. If a man has a fancy to wear in 
private a dressing-gown decorated like a robe 
of state, — to have his easy-chair in his study 
made after the fashion of a regal throne, — to 
make his own family in private call him your 
lordship or your majesty, or to amuse him- 
self at his own home with any such folly, the 
laws would not take cognizance of his harmless 
absurdities ; but if he were to do all this in 
public, he would not be allowed thus to go 
about to break down all distinctions of rank, 
dignity, and office, by assuming what did not 
belong to him. Now, we consider that mo- 
numental honours, when displayed before the 
public, are a kind of public posthumous dig- 
nities ; over which, accordingly, the Public has 
a just right of control." 

All the churches are possessed of endow- 
ments (greater or less) ; generally, though not 
exclusively, land, which are held by bodies of 
trustees (variously constituted), recognised as 
corporations; these receive and distribute the 


revenues, and, in some churches, have the no- 
mination to benefices ; in others, this is placed 
in their hands conjointly with the overseer 
(somewhat answering to bishop), or council 
of overseers, of the church. 

What is called among us the 'voluntary sys- 
tem,' — the maintenance of the minister by the 
voluntary contributions of his congregation, — is 
not only unknown, but distinctly prohibited, in 
all the churches, by a regulation which forbids 
the minister even to accept any kind of gra- 
tuity from his flock, or to derive any profit 
from the letting of seats, or any other such 

Dr. Campbell, a clergyman and theological 
professor at one of their seminaries, from whom 
among others their information on these sub- 
jects was derived, observed, that he was not 
sure (as the experiment never had been — and 
he hoped never would be — tried among them) 
whether any of their States would even tolerate 
a religion whose ministers were to be main- 
tained by the congregations as hired servants. 

" A pastor," said he, " appointed by the peo- 
ple, — which is bad enough, — or removable by 


the people, — which is still much worse, — or 
supported by the gifts of the people, — which is 
far worst of all, — has everything to encounter 
that can tend to make him what he should not 
be ; and that can expose him to suspicion of 
this, even if undeserved ; and that can lower 
his character, and lessen his deserved influence, 
if he is such as he ought to be. No plan," he 
added, " could possibly be devised more calcu- 
lated for debasing and corrupting both the cler- 
gy and people, and for perverting religion, and 
turning it into a source of evil, instead of good, 
to both. The people would be taught to seek 
for, and their pastor (I should rather say, their 
serva?it) tempted to supply, — instead of honest 
and profitable instruction and seasonable admo- 
nitions, — flattery to their prejudices, — indul- 
gence to their vices, — encouragement to their 
superstitions, — assistance and counsel in politi- 
cal schemes and party machinations, — amusing 
theatrical excitement to itching ears, — and flat- 
tering delusions, as opiates to the soul, instead 
of wholesome truth." 

On its being remarked, in reply, that many 
persons in England contend for the benefit of 


making a minister's income depend, in some 
degree at least, on his own exertions, and are 
accustomed to adduce instances of the inef- 
ficiency of some whose revenues are secure and 
independent, Dr. Campbell replied that it is 
true such instances do occasionally occur, and 
are much to be deplored. 

" But, after all," added he, " we ought to 
remember that, bad as it is for a minister to be 
useless, useless is the best thing such a minister 
can be. A clergyman who is capable of being 
stimulated to exertion only by motives of in- 
terest, and is careless and apathetic when that 
is wanting, had much better be left careless. 
When gain does rouse such a man to exer- 
tion, he will most likely exert himself as a 
demagogue or a mountebank. A man whom 
neither conscientious motives, nor desire for the 
respect and esteem of good men, can rouse to 
efficiency in doing good, is very likely to be- 
come an active doer of evil, if he have any 
dormant energies and talents that can be roused 
at all." 

On inquiring whether the governments, ac- 
cordingly, insist on paying all ministers of reli- 


gion who are not otherwise provided for, the 
travellers were informed that Government never 
pays any. Occasionally, indeed, grants of state- 
lands are made to various public institutions, 
and to religious ones among the rest ; but this 
is always by a distinct act of each legislature 
in reference to the circumstances of each case 
that is brought before them. But any persons 
who can raise among themselves, and from 
their well-wishers, funds towards building and 
endowing chapels, &c. and who prefer forming 
themselves into a distinct religious community, 
never find any considerable difficulty in obtain- 
ing a charter of incorporation for such trustees 
as they appoint. And it has often happened 
that, by accessions of donations or bequests 
from time to time, and also of members, some, 
both ecclesiastical and also academical corpo- 
rations, have, from small beginnings, grown 
into considerable importance. 

" The voluntary system," said Dr. Campbell, 
" which we condemn, is not voluntary gifts 
towards a common fund for an endowment in 
perpetuity, but voluntary payments from time 
to time to a particular minister for his yearly 

l 5 


or weekly maintenance by his people, — by those, 
I was going to say, who are placed under him ; 
but, it should rather be, under whom he is 



It is a custom, it seems, for those admitted 
on any academical or ecclesiastical foundation 
as partakers of the endowment, to contribute 
themselves towards the fund, by paying a cer- 
tain admission-fee, as it may be called, on 
entrance. In the greater part of the institu- 
tions whose endowments are sufficient for their 
objects this is little more than a nominal pay- 
ment, a sort of ceremonial acknowledgment, 
trifling in amount : but in less amply endowed 
societies it is something considerable ; in those 
whose common funds are still smaller, it is 
more ; and in some, — chiefly such as are in 
their infancy, — a man has to pay, on being 
admitted a fellow, an associate, a pastor, or 
whatever it may be, of one of these colleges, or 
churches, &c. a sum equal to, or even exceed- 
ing, what his maintenance derived from the so- 
ciety will probably cost, according to the prin- 
ciples of annuity-office calculations. In such a 


case, the advantages sought by the man or 
woman who is a candidate for admission (for 
there are several female institutions of this 
kind) are the pleasure and honour of being 
admitted into a society, perhaps in high re- 
pute for the intelligence, worth, knowledge, 
and agreeableness of its members, — (the same 
objects that make it in England often a matter 
of earnest competition to be elected into a par- 
ticular club,) — the conveniences, sometimes, of 
a common library, museum, table, &c. ; so that 
a person who may have paid more than he 
or she will actually cost the society, may yet 
have made a very good bargain in the purchase 
of a comfortable and respectable maintenance ; 
and, lastly, the advantage of the purchase of 
a kind of annuity ; paying down a certain sum, 
and being secured, as far as a decent subsist- 
ence, against all chances, by insuring a main- 
tenance during life, or during single-life, ac- 
cording to the regulations of each society. 

The fellowships, &c. of colleges are, for the 
most part, held during celibacy only ; and some 
of them make little or no provision for any but 
those actually resident. Persons admitted on 


the foundation of ecclesiastical societies, as mi- 
nisters or other officers, receive a stipend for 
life, unless regularly expelled for misconduct. 

There are several further particulars relating 
to these matters, on which, as has been al- 
ready mentioned, Mr. Sibthorpe hoped to ob- 
tain fuller information. 



Letter of Paul Wilkins. 

We shall close these extracts with a letter, 
which we have had permission to publish, from 
one of the exploring party, Paul Wilkins, the 
sailor formerly mentioned, written after his re- 
turn to Sidney to his parents in England. Our 
reader will perceive from this letter that a part 
only of the travellers had returned; two of 
them having determined to prolong their stay 
in the newly-discovered colony, in order to 
gain a fuller acquaintance with its singular 
customs and institutions. 

The letter is printed exactly from the manu- 
script, because, if any alterations had been made, 
— even though extending only to the style and 
orthography, — or any omissions even of the 


most trivial matters, the reader might have been 
left in doubt what degree of liberty might have 
been taken with the original. And errors in 
language or in spelling, such as may be ex- 
pected in the composition of a person of ordi- 
nary education in humble life, can excite no 
disgust or contempt ; and must disarm criticism, 
when occurring in a familiar letter designed for 
the perusal of his own domestic circle, by one 
who never thought of aspiring to come before 
the public as an author. Taking into account 
the station and circumstances of the writer, 
there is nothing, we conceive, that will be 
thought to do discredit to his head or heart. 

" Sydney, Novr. 23rd, 1835. 

" Dear Father & Mother 

" This comes with my Love, hoping to find 
you a live & all well, as it leaves me thank 
God, which I never expected sometimes to come 
Back a live from a long and peralous Expe- 
dition into the Interier. But am happy to say 
we suckseded & have been to the most Wonder- 
full country I ever see in all my Voyages. I 


sho'd never have done if I was to go to tell you 
every thing, but as their is a Vessel just going 
to Sail, and I can send this by a safe Hand 
I take up my pen to give you some a count 
of it. 

" I hardly know how to be gin my Head is 
so full of all the queer things I see. The two 
Lieut. Smiths who you remember my shewing 
you one of them last time I was at Home, fine 
dashing felowes they are as ever trod a plank, 
they and Mr. Sibthorp of the Colony and Mr. 
Jones, they ingag'd me as a tendant to exploar 
in the Interier on a new plan of their own. 
They said as no great Navigable rivers has 
been found by coasting Expiditions, the only 
chance was to try in land, and if they met with 
any considarable Stream to follow it till it come 
either to the Sea or a great Lake which some 
thought there is a great in land Sea in the 
Interier. So says they cout kick out they 
wou'd find wether their is one or no. So off 
we sat & took with us the frame work of a 
Canoe flat bottomed by reason of the Shallows 
were we was to Embark. And when we come 
to the Lake which it is a kind of swamp like, 


more weeds than Water, we put our canoe to 
gether & coverd it with Bark of Trees & got 
in our Stores. Their was no room for much 
Provisions but we trusted to our Guns & Fish- 
ing tackle, all the Party are pretty good shots, 
& your Humble Servant no bad Hand tho' I 
say it at striking Fish or Hook & Line. 

" It was hard work for some days, we were 
like a dab chick scufling & flutering along 
among the Flags & Mud, & then we got into 
clearer water & made Sail at a good rate, & 
then into a River which we thought this will 
bring us to the sea, But no we got into more 
Lakes & swamps, and then river a gain & so 
on, & then we had to get out and track the 
Canoe with Ropes to steddy its coarse along 
the rapids, & once we was forced to carry it 
overland to a void the Falls. And some times 
we never thought but what we sho'd be lost an 
starved in the Wilds, all the country round 
nothing but Rocks & Sands. But we all kep 
up a good Heart, no want of Pluck among 
the Gent men, and I can't say we wanted for 
Vittles only going without Bread mostly thanks 
to the Fish & Wildfowl. 


" I sho'd never have done if I was to tell 
you All. Well after better than a Month were 
do you think we come to at last, why to a 
Colony of White men, that had been hid like 
in the Wilds best part of three Hundred years 
&. never seen no Christian peple all that time 
only them selves. Its true I a sure you, & 
its compewted theirs nearer 4 milian than three 
toteli number of Soles in the Country. How 
serprised we was to see em & hear em hail 
us in English, for their of English Dissent 
mostly only some mixture of Duch & German 
& Swiss. Its an odd sort of English too they 
speak, but we got usd to it in a little wile, 
their lingo isnt worse than broaed Scoch or 

" Well you may be sure if they wonderd to 
see us we was wondring how they come their. 
And it seems they came out in former times 
when their was great trubles in Europe to 
make a settlement and live in Piece & Quiet, 
And their Vessels was driven on the coast, & 
they got a shore & landed all their stores 
safe, & then went up & setled in the In- 
terier, being they found the coast unhealthy. 


Its a fine Country they have got to now, as big 
I am thinking as Great Briton & Ireland put 
to gether, for they arnt no ways prest for room, 
but make a new Setlement were they likes. 
They treated us very kindly in deed & seamed 
glad to see us as if we had been bretheren like, 
as they say'd. And very good Towns & good 
Living their is a mong them, tho' they arnt 
quite so high civilised as English Peple, as 
stands to Reason being they have livd so long 
out of the World like. 

" And some queer ways they have among 
them to be sure, quite different from ours. 
Theirs not a bit of Bacca to be had for love 
nor money, nor Grog neither, as for Rum or 
Whisky or the like they dont know what it 
means. I usd to tell em how theyd stare if 
they was to come among us & see writen up 
every were Dealer in Tea Coffee To Bacco & 
Snuff, & Dealer in Spirtuos Liquors, for they 
havent nothing of the kind. But how ever 
they have good ale that I must say & Wine & 
Cyder to plenty, & very hospy table peple, but 
no way given to liquor, I never see a drunken 
Man all the time, & they say its like the 


Savages to get drunk. And theirs truth in 
that I can testyfy, for those Black felows will 
drink as long as they can stand in the Colony 
and longer two if they can come at liquor. 
They say wo'dnt you reckon it a Great Miss 
fortune if you was to go out of your Mind & 
have to be put in a mad House, and if a Man 
gets drunk he goes out of his mind, & ought to 
be shut up in confinement, & they say if a Man 
was a reglar drunkard they wou'd shut him 
up two. 

" They are good farmers I must say & good 
breeders too. you tell Mr. Evans, & my re- 
spects to him hope he is well & all his family, 
I haven't for got all the farming I learnt under 
him tho' I was but a lad, I wish he cou'd see 
the fine cows like the Holderness in the low 
grounds, and a breed like the alderny on the 
Mountaneous parts, & sheep to both long & 
short wool, such fleeces as I think he never see. 
But as for Mutton I can't speak, for only think 
they never heard tell of Mutton, for theyd 
think it a most as big a sin to kill a Sheep or a 
Bulock & eat it as we shou'd to kill a Chris- 
tian & eat his flesh like the Cannibles does. 


Theirs a queer peple for you. But they goes 
out hunting the Wild Cattle and wild Hog, 
theyve plenty of them, & they dont object by 
no means to a bit of wild pork or beef. 

" A nother fancy of theirs is they never will 
have Joints of meat servd up nor any thing 
done hole, not a pig or a foul or a fish if its ever 
so small, but all done in chops or Hash or the 
like of that. And they said we must be like 
the savages to feed on hole carcasses & Limbs 
of Annimals, as Egles & Woolves does. They 
calls a Dingo a woolf, thats the Newholland 
wild dog. 

"We went out with them several times, 
Hunting & shooting. They have guns only 
not so good as ours, but they shoot with Bows 
& Arows be sides, & wonderful good shots 
some of em is. Sometimes when we went out 
we had only to look on at them shooting, be- 
cause they woudnt have no firing for fear of 
scaring away the game. But sometimes we 
had a grand Battoo & then all had guns & our 
Gentmen shot as well as the best of them. 
Mr. Jones made a present of his double baril 
Gun to one Gentman of the Country & migh- 


tyly pleased he was, for their workmen arnt 
up to a double Baril. Arid I shewd them a 
thing or too about the build &c rigging of their 
fishing boats that they wasnt up to. And very 
great full & handsome they was I must say, 
for they gave me as much in their money & 
other things as comes to better than 50 £ be- 
sides several curosities as a sort of Keep sake 
like, I got new rigged from top to toe all in 
cloaths of their fashion hat & all & a comical 
hat you'd think if you was to see it. 

" Mr. Jones he said at first all the peple 
looked like musheroms they have hats as big 
as a small table, but that is to keep off the 
sun which it is very glearing in new Holland. 

" Then it was so strange to hear all about 
Kings & Sennates & Parliments & Piers & 
Lord mayers, just like being in a new World 
like. The thing is they have eleven states 
something like the States of America, only 
some is kingdoms & some is republicks & what 
not. I harly knew weather I was a sleep or a 
wake, it seam'd a kind of dream like. 

" Then I went several times to parties of 
pleasure something in the Nature of our Wakes 


they calls them Rebels & I a tended my Mas- 
ters to wait upon them at some of the Rebels of 
the Gentry, and high & low their was plenty 
of mirth at all. But the first time I went with 
the Gentmen I thought their was to be a Ball 
or the like of that just as the gentlefolks have 
in England, & sure anufF their was Gentmen 
& Lords & Lady's a playing at Bowls or some- 
thing like, & some shooting at a target, & some 
at other games in the nature of tenis & trap 
ball, all as fond of the sport as boys & girls, & 
they all grown up Gent folks & no mistake. 
And the best of it is they thinks dansing is 
only fit for children & Savages. It's as true 
as I am sitting hear. 

" Its a fine country as I told you for pastur 
&c corn & for gardens & orcheards to, & we see 
a good shew for fruit, only they havent got all 
the fruits as are in our colonies, being I sup- 
pose they wasnt known in former Times. And 
they are great Hands at Iragation as its calld 
thats leting the Water over the Land same as 
our Water Meadows, They'll dam up a stream 
were it comes down from the high Ground, 
& So let it off by Canalls, & smaller Canalls 


out of those & so on, & then lower down there 
will be a nother dam, & so the River keeps 
wasting a way as it goes on, & some never gets 
to the Sea a tall. And its my belief they are 
one cause why no body has found any large 
river falling into the sea, for they say them- 
selves, some that was in former times good sizd 
Rivers flowing to'rds the coast are now next 
to nothing. There is a great many Lakes tho' 
& a sight of fine Fish in them, its wonderful to 
see how some of them will shoot fish in the 
shalows with Bow an arow. I never see the 
like, but for striking them with a spear I 
was up to that as well as them, & hook & 
line two. 

" And they always serves up fish for second 
coarse, when theirs any meat for dinner or foul 
as their generly is, fresh or salt, pork beaf 
ducks & Geese plenty, then up comes fish 
after meat, & soupe last of all, & only think 
chese the first thing of all to begin dinner. 
They say its a wonder how any Body can de- 
gest chese after a Meal, & to be sure there is 
a saying that chese dejest all things but it self. 
But its all contrary to our ways as many things 


is hear, perhaps youll think it stands to reason 
were the north wind is hot & the south cold 
& Chrismas come in summer & the shortest 
day falls in June, tho' the folks dont walk with 
their heads down & heals up in the air neither 
as the old nurses used to tell us. 

"Well I cant tell you all nor half, but I 
must tell you of one great curosity we all went 
to see, near the town of Bath called Mount 
perril, its a good high mountain & they say 
was in times past a Burning mountain, & 
there is great caverns in the side, & out of 
some of them their ishues a noxuous vaper 
like what Ive heard talk of in coal pits wich 
they calls it chokdamp. We went a long with 
the worshipfull Christopher Adamson one of 
the Sennaters as they call im of the state of 
Bath, & stood a top of a cliff over one they 
calld the Gobbling cave, & let down in an iron 
Great a litle heap of dry chips & brush wood 
all a light & blazing, & wen it got into the 
caves mouth out it went as black as night jest 
as if you'd sousd it into the Sea, only there 
was no Hiss, and they said if any body was to 
go close to the mouth at some times hed drop 


down sufficated by the vaper. And in times 
past they said it was a fassion for Gentmen & 
Ladies two, if they had a Quarril to challenge 
one a n other to go their, by way of fighting a 
Dual, they calld it an Or Dual & they be- 
hovd to go to gather past the Gobbling cave 
& take their chance wich of 'em sho'd be Suffi- 
cated, & some times both. I said I thou't it bet- 
ter than that or pistols either, to go and box it 
out fairly & then shake hands, & be freinds, 
tho' to be sure that wouldnt do for the Ladys. 
But however theres no Or Duals now no kind 
of Duals at all their now a days. Their all 
to gather a very peicable well behaved set of 
peple as ever I see, And their a well looking 
peple to, tho' some of them has a lick of the 
Tar brush as they say in the West Indies that 
is a mixture of Black blood in them, but they 
ar'nt no ways asham'd of it, for they say their 
not savages at any rate, & all men are children 
of Adam. 

"Well I must conclude tho' I havnt tolld 
you half what I see, So Mr. Sibthorpe he was 
for staying a bit longer if he could but let all 
our freinds know we were safe, for they wo'd 



be sure to give us up for lost. So it was 
setteld for Mr. Sibthorpe to stay & Lieut 
Robt Smith, to stay behind & the rest of us 
to return, and a long with us young Squire 
Adamson a son of the old sennator. And 
there was several more talkd of coming to 
visit Sidney & paraps England to, along with 
Mr. Sibthorpe. Well it was about six weeks 
in all we'd been thear, geting toards the latter 
part of Octr wen we set off to return and 
the peple had sent a party on befour, with two 
Canoes & provisions to wait for us some way 
on, & we went over land on horse back by a 
short cut that the Hunters knew of. And 
that saved us a good bit. And when we im- 
barked we knew the rout & saved a deal of 
time that we had lost in coming. But then 
again we was forced to land in some places 
were the water was to shalow, or dried up 
since we was thear be fore. And some hard 
work we had to get a long over the rocks & 
weeds. So after great fatigue it was passed 
the middle of Novr before we ariv'd, which we 
did all well thank God, & glad our friends 
was to see us, for they given us up for Lost. 


" And so now as their's a Vessel to Sail Day 
after To morrow Morning I send this in haste 
hoping it will find you well & my Love to sis- 
ter Jenkyns and her Husband hope is doing 
well & the boys who I supose they are grown 
out of my knowlege, And love to sister Nancy 
hope she's a good girl & must be a help to you 
as you get old. So no more at present from 
your dutifull 

" Son dear Father & Mother 

" Paul Wilkins. 

" P. S. I send Nancy a work bag I brought 
with me, made & embroided by a southland 
woman, she'd never gess what its made of, for 
its the poutch under a Pellicans Throat, what 
he keeps fish in. I send you also some peaces 
of their Money what they Give me. it is no- 
thing very perticuler curious only for the shape, 
wich all they have is the Same that is not 
Round peaces like ourn is but Oval, wich they 
say it is not liabel to role away and be Lost if 
you drop a Peace, & so I think it is Better." 


I ON don : 


Dorset Street, Fleet Street. 


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