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Charles Wentworth Dilke.

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BOOKSELLER
STATIONER









ESTABLiSHI

1776










2
O




GREATER BRITAIN.




A CINGHALESE GENTLEMAN.






GEEATEE BEITAIN:



A RECORD OF TRAVEL



ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES



DUKING



1866 AND 1867.



BY

CHAELES WENTWORTH DILKE.



IN TWO rOLUMES.rOL. II.

WITH MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS



Jfonbtm :
MACMILLAIsr AND CO.

1868.



LONDON :

a. CLAY, SONS, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS,
BREAD STREET HILL



Bancroft Library



CONTENTS

OF

THE SECOND VOLUME.



PAET III.

CHAP. PAGE

I. SYDNEY 1

II. RIVAL COLONIES 12

III. VICTORIA 21

IV. SQUATTER ARISTOCRACY 39

V. COLONIAL DEMOCRACY 46

VI. PROTECTION 59

VII LABOUR 71

VIII. WOMAN 83

IX. VICTORIAN PORTS 88

X. TASMANIA 93

XL CONFEDERATION 106

XII. ADELAIDE . . Ill

XIII. TRANSPORTATION 124

XIV. AUSTRALIA 140

XV. COLONIES . 148



CONTENTS.

PAST IV.

<;HAP. PAGE

I. MARITIME CEYLON 161

II KANDY 176

III. MADRAS TO CALCUTTA 185

IV. BENARES 197

V. CASTE 206

VI. MOHAMEDAN ClTIES 221

VII SIMLA . . 234

VIII. COLONIZATION . . . . 252

IX. THE "GAZETTE" 260

X. UMRITSUR . 272

XL LAHORE 286

XII. OUR INDIAN ARMY ' . . . 291

XIIL EUSSIA 299

XIV. NATIVE STATES 313

XV. SCINDE 328

XVI. OVERLAND ROUTES 338

XVIL BOMBAY . . 349

XVIIL THE MOHURRUM 357

XIX. ENGLISH LEARNING 365

XX. INDIA 374

XXL DEPENDENCIES 390

XXIL FRANCE IN THE EAST 397

XXIII. THE ENGLISH 405



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



A C1NGHALESE GENTLEMAN Frontispiece.



PAGE



THE OLD AND THE NEW : BUSH SCENERY COLLINS STREET

EAST, MELBOURNE 22



GOVERNOR DAVEY'S PROCLAMATION



MAPS.

AUSTRALIA AND TASMANIA 12

OVERLAND ROUTES 340



PART III.

AUSTRALIA,



VOL. IT.



GREATER BRITAIN.



CHAPTER I.

SYDNEY.

AT early light on Christmas-day, I put off from shore
in one of those squalls for which Port Nicholson, the
harbour of Wellington, is famed* A boat which started
from the ship at the same time as mine from the land
was upset, but in such shallow water that the pas-
sengers were saved, though they lost a portion of their
baggage. As we flew towards the mail steamer, the
Kaikoura, the harbour was one vast sheet of foam,
and columns of spray were being whirled in the air,
and borne away far inland on the gale. We had
placed at the helm a post-office clerk, who said that he
could steer, but, as we reached the steamer's side,
instead of luffing-up, he suddenly put the helm hard
a-weather, and we shot astern of her, running violently
before the wind, although our treble-reefed sail was by
this time altogether down. A rope was thrown us
from a coal-hulk, and, catching it, we were soon on
board, and spent our Christmas walking up and down

B 2



.4 GREATER BEIT AIN. [CHAP,

her deck on the slippery black dust, and watching
the effects of the gale. After some hours, the wind
moderated, and I reached the Kaikoura just before
she sailed. While we were steaming out of the
harbour through the boil of waters that marks the
position of the submarine crater, I found that there
was but one other passenger for Australia to share
with me the services of ten officers and ninety men,,
and the accommodations of a ship of 1,500 tons.
"Serious preparations and a large ship for a mere
voyage from one Australasian colony to another," I felt
inclined to say, but during the voyage and my first
week in New South Wales I began to discover that in
England we are given over to a singular delusion as to
the connexion of New Zealand and Australia.

Australasia is a term much used at home to express-
the whole of our Antipodean possessions ; in the
colonies themselves, the name is almost unknown, or,
if used, is meant to embrace Australia and Tasmania,
not Australia and New Zealand. The only reference to>
New Zealand, except in the way of foreign news, that
I ever found in an Australian paper, was a congratu-
latory paragraph on the amount of the New Zealand
debt; the only allusion to Australia that I detected
in the Wellington Independent was in a glance at the
future of the colony, in which the editor predicted the
advent of a time when New Zealand would be a naval
nation, and her fleet engaged in bombarding Melbourne,,
or levying contributions upon Sydney.

New Zealand, though a change for the better is at
hand, has hitherto been mainly an aristocratic country ^



i.] SYDNEY. 5

New South. Wales and Victoria mainly democratic.
Had Australia and New Zealand been close together,
Instead of as far apart as Africa and South America,
there could have been no political connexion between
them so long as the traditions of their first settle-
ment endured. Not only is the name " Australasia"
politically meaningless, however, but it is also geo-
graphically incorrect, for New Zealand and Australia
are as completely separated from each other as Great
Britain and Massachusetts. No promontory of Aus-
tralia runs out to within 1,000 miles of any New
Zealand cape ; the distance between Sydney and
Wellington is 1,400 miles ; from Sydney to Auck-
land is as far. The distance from the nearest point
of New Zealand of Tasman's peninsula, which itself
projects somewhat from Tasmania, is greater than that
of London from Algiers : from Wellington to Sydney,
opposite ports, is as far as from Manchester to Iceland,
or from Africa to Brazil.

The sea that lies between the two great countries
of the South is not, like the Central or North
Pacific, a sea bridged with islands, ruffled with
trade winds, or overspread with a calm that permits
the presence of light-draught paddle steamers. The
seas which separate Australia from New Zealand
are cold, bottomless, without islands, torn by Arctic
currents, swept by polar gales, and traversed in
all weathers by a mountainous swell. After the
gale of Christmas-day, we were blessed with a con-
tinuance of light breezes on our way to Sydney, but
never did we escape the long rolling hills of seas



6 GREATER BRITAIN. [CHAP.

that seemed to surge up from the Antarctic pole :
our screw was as often out of as in the water ; and,
jn a fast new ship, we could scarcely average nine
knots an hour throughout the day. The ship which
had brought the last Australian mail to Wellington
before we sailed was struck by a sea which swept
her from stem to stern, and filled her cabins two feet
deep, and this in December, which here is Mid-
summer, and answers to our July. Not only is the
intervening ocean wide and cold, but New Zealand
presents to Australia a rugged coast guarded by reefs
and bars, and backed by a snowy range, while she
turns towards Polynesia and America all her ports
and bays.

No two countries in the world are so wholly
distinct as Australia and New Zealand. The islands
of New Zealand are inhabited by Polynesians, the
Australian continent by negroes. New Zealand is
ethnologically nearer to America, Australia to Africa,
than New Zealand to Australia.

If we turn from ethnology to scenery and climate,
the countries are still more distinct. New Zealand
is one of the groups of volcanic islands that stud
the Pacific throughout its whole extent; tremendous
cliffs surround it on almost every side ; a great
mountain chain runs through both islands from north
to south ; hot springs abound, often close to glaciers
and eternal snows ; earthquakes are common, and
active volcanoes not unknown. The New Zealand
climate is damp and windy; the land is covered in
most parts with a tangled jungle of tree-ferns, creepers,



i.] SYDNEY. 7

and parasitic plants ; water never fails, and, though
winter is unknown, the summer heat is never
great ; the islands are always green. Australia*
has for the most part flat, yellow, sun-burnt shores ;
the soil may be rich, the country good for wheat
and sheep, but to the eye it is an arid plain; the
winters are pleasant, but in the hot weather the
thermometer rises higher than it does in India,
and dust storms and hot winds sweep the land
from end to end. It is impossible to conceive
countries more unlike each other than are our two
great dominions of the south. Their very fossils
are as dissimilar as are their flora and fauna of
our time.

At dawn of the first day of the new year, we
sighted the rocks where the Duncan Dunbar was lost
with all hands, and a few minutes afterwards we were
boarded by the crew engaged by the Sydney Morning
Herald, who had been lying at "The Heads" all
night, to intercept our news and telegraph it to the
city. The pilot and regular news-boat hailed us a
little later, when we had fired a gun. The contrast
between this Australian energy and the supineness of
the New Zealanders was striking, but not more so than
that between my first view of Australia and my last
view of New Zealand. Six days earlier I had lost
sight of the snowy peak of Mount Egmont, graceful
as the Cretan Ida, while we ran before a strong
breeze, in the bright English sunlight of the New
Zealand afternoon, the albatrosses screaming around
our stern : to-day, as we steamed up Port Jackson,



3 GREATER BRITAIN. [CHAP.

towards Sydney Cove, in the dead stillness that
follows a night of oven -like heat, the sun rose
flaming in a lurid sky, and struck down upon brown
earth, yellow grass, and the thin shadeless foliage
of the Australian bush; while, as we anchored, the
ceaseless chirping of the crickets in the grass and trees
struck harshly on the ear.

The harbour, commercially the finest in the world,
is not without a singular beauty if seen at the best
time. By the " hot- wind sunrise/' as I first saw it, the
heat and glare destroy the feeling of repose which the
endless succession of deep, sheltered coves would
otherwise convey ; but if it be seen from shore in
the afternoon, when the sea-breeze has sprung up,
turning the sky from red to blue, all is changed.
From a neck of land that leads out to the Govern-
ment House, you catch a glimpse of an arm of the
bay on either side, rippled with the cool wind,
intensely blue, and dotted with white sails : the
brightness of the colours that the sea-breeze brings
almost atones for the wind's unhealthiness.

In the upper portion of the town, the scene is less
picturesque ; the houses are of the commonplace English
ugliness, worst of all possible forms of architectural
imbecility, and are built, too, as though for English
fogs, instead of semi-tropical heat and sun. Water
is not to be had, and the streets are given up to
clouds of dust, while not a single shade-tree breaks
the rays of the almost vertical sun.

The afternoon of New Year's day I spent at the
" Midsummer Meeting " of the Sydney Jockey Club,



i.] SYDNEY. 9

on the race-course near the city, where I found a vast
crowd of holiday-makers assembled on the bare red
earth that did duty for " turf/' although there was a
hot wind blowing, and the thermometer stood at 103
in the shade. For my conveyance to the race-course I
trusted to one of the Australian hansom cabs, made
with fixed Venetian blinds on either side, so as to
allow a free draught of air.

The ladies in the grand stand were scarcely to be
distinguished from Englishwomen in dress or coun-
tenance, but the crowd presented several curious types.
The fitness of the term " corn-stalks " applied to the
Australian-born boys was made evident by a glance
at their height and slender build ; they have plenty of
activity and health, but are wanting in power and
weight. The girls, too, are slight and thin ; delicate,
without being sickly. Grown men who have emigrated
as lads and lived ten or fifteen years in New Zealand,
eating much meat, spending their days in the open air,
constantly in the saddle, are burly, bearded, strapping
fellows, physically the perfection of the English race,
but wanting in refinement and grace, of mind, and this
apparently by constitution ; not through the accident
of occupation or position. In Australia there is promise
of a more intellectual nation : the young Australians
ride as well, shoot as well, swim as well, as the New
Zealanders ; are as little given to book-learning, but
there is more shrewd intelligence, more wit and
quickness, in the sons of the larger continent. The
Australians boast that they possess the Grecian climate,
and every young face in the Sydney crowd showed



10 GREATER BRITAIN. [CHAP.

me that their sky is not more like that of the Pelopon-
nesus than they are like the old Athenians. The eager
burning democracy that is springing up in the Austra-
lian great towns is as widely different from the repub-
licanism of the older States of the American Union as
it is from the good-natured conservatism of New
Zealand, and their high capacity for personal enjoyment
would of itself suffice to distinguish the Australians
from both Americans and British. Large as must be
the amount of convict blood in New South Wales,
there was no trace of it in the features of those
present upon the race-course. The inhabitants of
colonies which have never received felon immigrants
often cry out that Sydney is a convict city, but the
prejudice is not borne out by the countenances of the
inhabitants, nor by the records of local crime. The
black stain has not yet wholly disappeared : the
streets of Sydney are still a greater disgrace to
civilization than, are even those of London ; but,
putting the lighter immoralities aside, security for
life and property is not more perfect in England than
in New South Wales. The last of the bushrangers
were taken while I was in Sydney.

The race-day was followed by a succession of hot
winds, during which only the excellence of the fruit-
market made Sydney endurable. Not only are all
the English fruits to be found, but plantains, guayas,
oranges, loquats, pomegranates, pine-apples from Bris-
bane, figs of every kind, and the delicious passion-
fruit abound ; and if the gum-tree forests yield no
shady spots for picnics, they are not wanting among



i.] SYDNEY. 11

the rocks at Botany, or in the luxuriant orange-groves
of Paramatta.

A Christmas week of heat such as Sydney has
seldom known was brought to a close by one of the
heaviest southerly storms on record. During the
stifling morning, the telegraph had announced the
approach of a gale from the far south, but in the
early afternoon the heat was more terrible than before,
when suddenly the sky was dark with whirling clouds,
and a cold blast swept through the streets, carrying a
fog of sand, breaking roofs and windows, and dashing
to pieces many boats. When the gale ceased, some
three hours later, the sand was so deep in houses
that here and there men's feet left footprints on the
stairs.

Storms of this kind, differing only one from another
in violence, are common in the hot weather : they are
known as " southerly bursters ;" but the early settlers
called them " brickfielders," in the belief that the dust
they brought was whirled up from the kilns and brick-
fields to the south of Sydney. The fact is that the
sand is carried along for one or two hundred miles,
from the plains in Dampier and Auckland counties ;
for the Australian " burster " is one with the Punjaub
dust-storm, and the " dirt-storm " of Colorado.



12 GREATER BRITAIN. [CHAP.



CHAPTER II.

RIVAL COLONIES.

NEW SOUTH WALES, born in 1788, and Queensland
in 1859, the oldest and youngest of our Australian
colonies, stand side by side upon the map, and have a
common frontier of 700 miles.

The New South Welsh cast jealous glances towards
the more recently founded States. Upon the bril-
liant prosperity of Victoria they look doubtingly,
and, ascribing it merely to the gold-fields, talk
of " shoddy ;" but of Queensland an agricultural
country, with larger tracts of rich land than they
themselves possess the Sydney folks are not without
reason envious.

A terrible depression is at present pervading trade
and agriculture in New South Wales. Much land
near Sydney has gone out of cultivation ; hands are
scarce, and the gold discoveries in the neighbouring
colonies, by drawing off the surplus population, have
made harvest labour unattainable. Many properties
have fallen to one-third their former value, and the
colony a wheat-growing country is now importing
wheat and flour to the value of half-a-million sterling
every year.



IT.] EIVAL COLONIES. 13

The depressed condition of affairs is the result,
partly of commercial panics following a period of
inflation, partly of bad seasons, now bringing floods,
now drought and rust, and partly of the discourage-
ment of immigration by the colonial democrats a
policy which, however beneficial to Australia it may
in the long run prove, is for the moment ruinous to
the sheep-farmers and to the merchants in the towns.
On the other hand, the labourers for their part assert
that the arrivals of strangers at all events, of skilled
artisans are still excessive, and that all the ills of
the colony are due to over-immigration and free
trade.

To a stranger, the rush of population and out-
pour of capital from Sydney, first towards Victoria,
but now to Queensland and New Zealand, appear
to be the chief among the causes of the momentary
decline of New South Wales. Of immigrants there i&
at once an insufficient and an over-great supply.
Eespectable servant-girls, carpenters, masons, black-
smiths, plasterers, and the like, do well in the colonies,
and are always wanted ; of clerks, governesses, iron-
workers, and the skilled hands of manufacturers, there
is almost always an over-supply. By a perverse fate,
these latter are the immigrants of whom thousands
seek the colonies every year, in spite of the daily
publication in England of dissuading letters.

As the rivalry of the neighbour- colonies lessens in
the lapse of time, the jealousy that exists between
them will doubtless die away, but it seems as though
it will be replaced by a political divergence, and con-



14 GREATER BRITAIN. [CHAP.

sequent aversion, which will form a fruitful source of
danger to the Australian confederation.

In Queensland the great tenants of Crown lands
" squatters " as they are called sheep-farmers holding
vast tracts of inland country, are in possession of the
government, and administer the laws to their own
advantage. In New South Wales, power is divided
between the pastoral tenants on the one hand, and the
democracy of the towns upon the other. In Victoria,
the democrats have beaten down the squatters, and in
the interests of the people put an end to their reign ;
but the sheep-farmers of Queensland and of the interior
districts of New South Wales, ignoring wells, assert
that the " up-country desert " or "un watered tracts"
can never be made available for agriculture, while the
democracy of the coast point to the fact that the same
statements were made only a few years back of lands
now bearing a prosperous population of agricultural
settlers.

The struggle between the great Crown tenants and
the agricultural democracy in Victoria, already almost
over, in New South Wales can be decided only in one
way, but in Queensland the character of the country is
not entirely the same : the coast and river tracts are
tropical bush-lands, in which sheep-farming is impos-
sible, and in which sugar, cotton, and spices alone can
be made to pay. To the copper, gold, hides, tallow,
wool, which have hitherto formed the stereotyped
list of Australian exports, the Northern colony has
already added ginger, arrowroot, tobacco, coffee, sugar,
cotton, cinnamon, and quinine.



ii.] RIVAL COLONIES. 15

The Queenslanders have not yet solved the problem
of the settlement of a tropical country by English-
men, and of its cultivation by English hands. The
future, not of Queensland merely, but of Mexico, of
Ceylon, of every tropical country, of our race, of free
government itself, are all at stake; but the success of
the experiment that has been tried between Brisbane
and Eockampton has not been great. The colony,
indeed, has prospered much, quadrupling its popula-
tion and trebling its exports and revenue in six
years, but it is the Darling Downs, and other table-
land sheep-countries, or, on the other hand, the
Northern gold-fields, which are the main cause of
the prosperity ; and in the sugar and cotton culture
of the coast, coloured labour is now almost exclusively
employed, with the usual effect of degrading field-
work in the eyes of European settlers, and of forcing
upon the country a form of society of the aristocratic
type.

It is possible that just as New England has of late
forbidden to Louisiana the importation of Chinamen
to work her sugar-fields, just as the Kansas radicals
have declared that they will not recognise the Bombay
Hammal as a brother, just as the Victorians have
refused to allow the further reception of convicts by
West Australia, separated from their territories by
1,000 miles of desert, so the New South Welsh
and Victorians combined may at least protest against
the introduction of a mixed multitude of Bengalees,
Chinamen, South Sea Islanders, and Malays, to culti-
vate the Queensland coast plantations. If, however,



16 GREATER BRITAIN. [CHAP,

the other colonies permit their Northern sister to
continue in her course of importing dark-skinned
labourers, to form a peon population, a few years will
see her a wealthy cotton and sugar-growing country,
with all the vices of a slave-holding government,
though without the name of slavery. The planters of
the coast and villages, united with the squatters of
the table-lands or " Downs," will govern Queensland,
and render union with the free colonies impossible,
unless great gold discoveries take place, and save the
country to Australia.

Were it 'not for the pride of race that everywhere
shows itself in the acts of English settlers, there
might be a bright side to the political future of
the Queensland colony. The coloured labourers at
present introduced industrious Tongans, and active
Hill-coolies from Hindostan, laborious, sober, and free
from superstition should not only be able to advance
the commercial fortunes of Queensland as they have
those of the Mauritius, but eventually to take an
equal share in free government with their white
employers. To avoid the gigantic evil of the degra-
dation of hand labour, which has ruined morally as
well as economically the Southern States of the
American republic, the Indian, Malay, and Chinese
labourers should be tempted to become members of
land-holding associations. A large spice and sugar-
growing population in Northern Queensland would
require a vast agricultural population in the south to
feed it ; and the two colonies, hitherto rivals, might
grow up as sister countries, each depending upon the



n.] RIVAL COLONIES. 17

other for the supply of half its needs. It is, how-
ever, worthy of notice that the agreements of the
Queensland planters with the imported dark-skinned
field-hands provide only for the payment of wages
in goods, at the rates of 6s. to 105. a month. The
" goods" consist of pipes, tobacco, knives, and beads.
Judging from the experience of California and Ceylon,
there can be little hope of the general admission of
coloured men to equal rights by English settlers, and
the Pacific islands offer so tempting a field to kid-
napping skippers that there is much fear that Queens-
land may come to show us not merely semi-slavery, but
peonage of that worst of kinds, in which it is cheaper
to work the labourer to death than to '' breed " him.

Such is the present rapidity of the growth and
rise to power of tropical Queensland, such the
apparent poverty of New South "Wales, that were
the question merely one between the Sydney wheat-
growers and the cotton-planters of Brisbane and
Kockampton, the sub-tropical settlers would be as
certain of the foremost position in any future con-
federation, as they were in America when the struggle
lay only between the Carolinas and New England.
As it is, just as America was first saved by the coal
of Pennsylvania and Ohio, Australia will be saved
by the coal of New South Wales. Queensland pos-
sesses some small stores of coal, but the vast pre-
ponderance of acreage of the great power of the
future lies in New South Wales.

On my return from a short voyage to the north,
I visited the coal-field of New South Wales at New-

VOL. II. C



18 GREATER BRITAIN. [CHAP.

castle, on the Hunter. The beds are of vast extent ;
they lie upon the banks of a navigable river, and
so near to the surface that the best qualities are
raised, in a country of dear labour, at 85. or 95. the
ton, and delivered on board ship for 125. For
manufacturing purposes the coal is perfect; for
steam-ship use it is, though somewhat " dirty," a



Online LibraryCharles Wentworth DilkeGreater Britain. A record of travel in English-speaking countries, during 1866-7 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 28)