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and moral rectitude of the great mass of the diggers themselves, is indeed a just cause of pride to the colonists, and ought to encourage thousands of our fellow-subjects at home to come over and help us.

“ We need their help; our flocks and herds are increasing, while the labour-market is exhausted. Wages have consequently advanced at rates averaging on the whole somewhere about thirty per cent. We have ample employment for many thousands of British immigrants, provided they be men who can really give a good day's work for a good day's wage. We do not want loungers; neither do we want any more of that swarming class of young gentlemen who can do nothing but sit on a stool and handle the quill. Of these we have always more than enough. But persons accustomed to hard work, whether mechanical or rural, and persons having money to invest, whether of large amount or small, will find in New South Wales a finer opening than any other part of the world presents, and than was ever before presented by any colony under the British Crown. Let them remember that for mildness and salubrity our climate cannot be surpassed; that our soil is capable of producing all that man requires for sustenance, and most of the luxuries that he prizes; and that at the time our gold fields were

discovered, the colony, with a population of less than 200,000 souls, possessed above 100,000 horses, 1,500,000 horned cattle, and more than 8,000,000 sheep; yielding an annual revenue of 600,0001., and exported of her own produce or manufactures to the extent of 1,100,0001. per annum, altogether irrespective of her gold. Coupling these facts with the great fact' mentioned above, that in ten months we have shipped a million's worth of our new-found product, the fruit of peaceful industry, and the earnest of a still brighter future, our friends in England must admit that our shores have strong attractions for all who think it better to emigrate than to stay at home.”

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CHAPTER V.

GENERAL FEATURES OF THE AUSTRALIAN CONTINENT-ITS SITUA

TION ON THE GLOBE-ITS MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS-ITS BOTANY AND ZOOLOGY—THE ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS, THEIR MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.

The data in our possession for forming an accurate estimate of the general features of the continent itself are extremely meagre. The surface is too extended and the explored portion too small to allow us with safety to hazard any general conclusions. The prevailing features, so far as they have yet been observed, have been barren and wooded plains, traversed by long ridges of precipitous but not very lofty mountains, and rivers which often spread into marshes, and do not preserve any course which may be called long, when compared with the size of the continent. There are few deep bays, nor does the sea receive any river, so far as yet discovered, whose magnitude corresponds with that of the land. Notwithstanding the spirited efforts lately made, it is still only a corner of the interior of this huge mass of land that is at all known. A great part of this, through the

mixture of broad mountain masses and heavy inundated plains, is rendered unfit for cultivation, and even for travelling; but these obstructions, however, do not prevent the occurrence on a large scale of fine tracts of pasturage, where the richest herbage grows spontaneously, and of fertile soil from which industry may raise the most plentiful crops of every kind of cereal produce.

The Australian continent lies wholly within the southern hemisphere. Its most northern point is Cape York, which is 10° 42' south of the equator, and Cape Wilson is its most southerly one, which is 390 9' south latitude; the breadth of the continent between these points is upwards of 2,000 miles, but the average breadth is not more than about 1,200. The most westerly point of the Australian mainland is 113', and the most eastern 153° 47' east longitude, and its greatest dimensions in this direction are equal to 2,400 miles. The superficial extent of Australia is about three millions of square miles, an area of more than four-fifths as great as that of Europe.

The hilly portions of Australia, so far as at present known, appear to be confined to the neighbourhood of the coasts, or to extend a short distance inland, while the interior spreads out into low and flat plains. The highest mountains yet explored are in the south-east, and are called the Australian Alps, which form a continuous chain, lying at a distance of from sixty to seventy miles from the coast. The highest measured peak of the Australian Alps is Mount Koskinsko, and is 6,500 feet above the level of the sea. Its summit, even at this moderate elevation, is much above the snow line, and all the higher portions of the chain are covered with perpetual snow. To the northward of the Australian Alps, chains of mountains extend along the whole of the eastern coast, but the only portions which have been explored are the Blue Mountains and the Liverpool range.

The Blue Mountains present on the eastern side a precipitous and inaccessible character. They tower up almost like a wall, their cliffs being so steep and separated by such dreadful abysses as to have been long considered as presenting a barrier absolutely impassable. It was not till 1813 that a route was discovered through them; but at that time the absolute necessity of finding pasturage for the immensely increased stock of sheep and cattle, roused the active energy of the colonists to endeavour to penetrate the barrier which stood between them and the interior. They found on the western side a series of well-watered downs, affording pasturage for millions of sheep; the lands were speedily occupied, and towns and villages sprang

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