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By an annual increase of some eighty per cent., till flocks and herds going on at this disproportionate rate of increase to the population, which could not consume them, and could not get a handy market for dead meat, were devoted to a new trade-tallow. And a profitable trade it was while it lasted; but a new element was soon to mix in the commercial world of the far east, and draw a population that would bring sheep to their destined fate again-to be mutton, and not tallow. But whether mutton or tallow, the fleece of the dead sheep could take no other shape than wool-formerly a product not known to Englishmen out of England; now we find it figuring in our imports as high as about sixty-nine million pounds per annum, and every year contributing to the wealth of this country (taking the price at an average of 2s. per lb.) produce of the value of nearly seven millions sterling, the Continent, which formerly had the almost exclusive supply of wool for our manufactures, modestly taking its place in the second column of wool statistics. And, while making us independent of foreign supply for wool and tallow, these new colonies were giving us extra light in oil-a light which we chose to put under a bushel, by refusing to protect to them the right of fishery on their own coasts and in their own bays, true to the paternal (or rather maternal, and certainly old-womanly) policy that lost us America, and which the Americans, with bitter sagacity, and by way of teaching us another lesson on the text of 1777, immediately took into their own hands, and harpooned the Australian whales in the Australian waters, and sold us the produce; not that it was a particularly smart or cute act, but that our conduct was dull and imbecile.
Then came the gold discoveries-the least profitable or pleasing part of our story-with their concomitant attendants of idleness, profligacy, gambling, prodigality, and disappointment. The golden age, in its coarse sense, has now passed away, and the golden age of reason supervened
And now we come back to the question, What are the real golden resources of this new land? The staples are wool, oil, and whalebone; the possible resources are, as the sea sands, innumerable. But let us explore the tracts of wealth that lie between these two. South Australia
has made itself world-famous by its copper mines; the yield of the celebrated Burra-Burra mine, we believe, is twenty-three per cent., in contrast to the average yield of the Cornish and Devon mines of ten or twelve per cent. of metal. In Western Australia there are mines yielding as much as thirty-five per cent., the ores of which have fetched as much as 347. per ton at Swansea; and lead mines, giving a produce nearly all metal-namely, eighty-four per cent. It is in this latter colony, too, that those inexhaustible forests exist, wherein trees grow a hundred feet and more without a branch, and of such a durable character, that they are found equal to iron for naval purposes, and a perfect substitute for copper bottoms, as they resist the terredo navalis of Australian waters, as well as barnacles and all other marine corruptions. The gum which exudes from them is also found to be so distasteful to the white ant of tropical climates, that the government are adopting them for the fortifications of the Mauritius, as the only timber impervious to that destructive insect; and the Indian railway companies are ordering up cargoes of them for use as sleepers on which to lay their rails.
lately the contractors for the Indian railways had obtained from England-imported thither, in the first instance, from northern ports-Baltic timber, subjected in England to an expensive creosoting process, which has proved totally ineffective against the attacks of the white ant, and, in despair, they were turning to the miserable alternative of iron sleepers -an alternative well known in the forebodings of their engineers as ruinous in cost, expensive in wear, and essentially most dangerous in use. In a fortunate moment, their attention was directed to the Jarrah, or (colonially called) mahogany timber of Western Australia, imperishable in quality and inexhaustible in quantity; and they sent down orders for it to such an extent as the funds of local hewers are totally inadequate to supply, although at a price which would afford a large profit to any companies with sufficient capital to execute them.
A peculiar feature of this timber, and the one which renders it so valuable in the eyes of shipwrights and railway contractors, is the remarkable fact that iron, when passed through it as bolts, or let into it as chains, will not corrode. It is only right, however, to add that these imperishable woods are confined to one portion of the Australian continent, Western Australia, and the contractors of the South Australian railways have had to send to that colony for timber for the construction of the Adelaide line; but they exist in such vast quantities as to demand a place and a foremost one-among the aggregate resources of Australia..
Leaving out of sight that questionable commodity, gold (which, however, in a few short years made Port Phillip, newly christened Victoria, a state giving laws to the country of which it had only been a small port, and collected together a population of nearly six hundred thousand souls, increasing at the present time at the pace of thirty thousand a year), taking no account of some two and a half million ounces of gold that come from one colony alone every year, because it is not always the most desirable product of a new country, we must remark that the metallic deposits of Australia are wonderful. At their head, we believe, nearly topping every copper mine in the known world, stands the Wheal Fortune at Champion Bay (some day, perhaps, and that not a distant one, destined to be a wheel of fortune with all prizes and no blanks), exhibiting its thirty-eight per cent. yield. Of lead we have already spoken, and plumbago and other minerals are known in large quantities and great purity all over Australia. Coal, perhaps not equal to Wallsend, but yet of useful quality, and no doubt in abundance, also exists in this great country.
From natural to acquired resources, we have only to look to the splendid supply of horses which the Indian cavalry procure from this continent, which fetch prices averaging fifty-eight pounds per horse, whilst the steeds contributed by equine South America scarcely reach an average of twelve pounds. Of course Swan River, whose horses we are more particularly speaking of in reference to the high prices realised, has the great advantage in the trade of a closer proximity to India, which makes the contrast all the greater by reducing the expense and risk of carriage.
A great wine-producing country, too, Australia must soon become. The true sort of grape flourishes there, and it is only a petty system of legislation dictated from home, and protecting the foreign manufacturer, that
has impeded the development of this great article of commerce. But error is but short-lived; it is soon discovered when nibbling at the public good. The colonial wine-grower cannot be much longer obstructed by excise laws made to protect foreign brandies with a miserable view to the profit arising from the customs duties on the importation of them, and as soon as he is allowed to distil brandy from the refuse, or "lees," of the grape, he will be able to produce wine of as good quality as, and at an infinitely lower rate than, the Peninsula.
The writer of this was, he believes, some twenty years ago, the first to send out to Australia some plants of the true Zante currant (procured with great trouble from Ionia through the influence of a large firm in London), in those pretty little contrivances the portable glass conservatories (which provided by condensation and the exclusion of external air for the natural thirst of the plants), before Wardian cases were known. They have done well, and multiplied, and there is no reason in the world why Australian raisins and currants should not soon take the place of Turkish or Levantine. Olives arrive at a rare perfection in these colonies; in fact, most of the tropical fruits flourish in this more temperate climate.
Our friend Mr. Routledge, who can produce such good paper from such strange materials-even, as he said, from the wood of the floor on which he was standing and who has long rendered himself quite independent of rags, and consequently able to snap his fingers at the French emperor and his hundred per cent. duty, is prepared, we believe, to use the native flax of Australasia to any extent in paper-making, and is using it at his mills at Eynsham in considerable quantities.
Gum, from the "blackboy" tree, promises to be a profitable article of commerce, and to threaten the trade of Senegal. By the last mail we heard of a cargo being shipped at Fremantle, and some avant-couriers, in the shape of samples which have already appeared, have been well received, and pronounced equal to the finest gum-arabic.
These are only a few of the resources which are to be converted, in the crucible of industry, into gold. These are but a portion of the really golden fruits produced by our vast empire in Australia. Doubtless they are, and will long be, the principal ones-the main roads to wealth, on which there are many byways all tending in the same direction. And the most blessed product that those latitudes can boast has not been mentioned yet where the gold-fever has not reached, and left behind it its secondary symptom and more fatal form, familiarly known at Victoria as "D. T.," the balmy atmosphere grows and produces the richest prize a man can seek-buoyant and glorious health. This most valuable of all wealth is more particularly the fortune that falls to the share of children. Dr. Rennie, the staff-surgeon who has for the last seven years had charge of the last remaining convict establishment in Australia-that on the western coast-and who has just sailed to join the expedition to China, has put in print his experience and his knowledge that, during the thirty years of the colonisation of the particular districts over which his inquiries extend, scarlet fever, whooping-cough, and measles have been and are yet unknown, and pulmonary diseases quite exceptional, even as importations. Happy, then, must be the prospects of a country in which health and wealth are indigenous !
THE JEWS ON THE CONTINENT.*
ISRAEL is looking up in France. The troublous questions agitated by the reviving struggle between Gallicanism and Romanism, the controversy on the evils of a united temporal and spiritual power, and the rupture between Pope and Emperor, together with the general absence of any effective religious bond among the French people themselves, have led the Jews to anticipate the dawn of a new era. M. Salvador would proclaim a new Messiah in the person of Napoleon III., under the auspices of free trade, and with agriculture, commerce, and industry for a shibboleth. M. Bédarride, more modest or more limited in his views, contents himself with demanding liberty, equality, and fraternity for the Chosen Race; and, in order the better to vindicate their claims, he traces their condition from the days of the dispersion to our own times, in relation to legislation, to literature, and to commerce.
In carrying out this comprehensive object, he begins by justly pointing out that the dispersion of the Jews dates far anterior to Christianity. There were the captivity in Egypt, the emigration under Salmanazar, and other Assyrian monarchs, and the foundation of a Jewish colony at Alexandria by the Macedonians. Before the fall of Jerusalem, many Jews had met with a favourable reception at Rome. Cæsar and Augustus alike extended their protection to them. They raised their synagogue in a quarter beyond the Tiber, whence they were called by the poets Transtiberini. They had also at Rome a court of justice, called Beth Dim, in which St. Paul sustained his cause against Cæsar. A lady, Fulvia by name, having left large sums of money to Jerusalem, Tiberius began to persecute the Jews, and Caligula having conceived what was at that time considered to be "the foolish idea" of having himself worshipped as a god, Petronius raised his statue in the temple at Jerusalem; but the Jews refused, sword in hand, to bend the knee to an idol. Then it was that Caligula revenged himself on the Jews of Rome for the obduracy of their brethren in the East. The same hostility to the Jews continued till the Holy City fell before Titus. Then was the whole of the Chosen Nation doomed to slavery or dispersion. The Jews of the East were sold in the public market-place, or sent to the provinces to serve for combats of gladiators, or to be delivered over to wild beasts. Those of the West, except for an interval under the humane Nerva, were very little better off.
It was at this epoch that one Barchochebas, with the idea of delivering his brethren from slavery, and uniting ideas of patriotism and independence with religion, declared himself to be the Messiah, "the son of the star," and in a moment the scattered children of Israel assembled round him. It required all the military power that Hadrian had at his command to put down this new insurrection, and after three years' warfare Jerusalem
* Les Juifs en France, en Italie et en Espagne. Recherches sur leur Etat depuis leur Dispersion jusqu'à nos Jours sous le Rapport de la Législation, de la Littérature et du Commerce. Par J. Bédarride, Bâtonnier de l'Ordre des Avocats à la Cour Impériale de Montpellier. Paris: Michel Lévy Frères.
once more fell into the hands of its vindictive conquerors. But their condition underwent some amelioration under Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and more especially under Severus, who admitted them to all public posts. Heliogabalus, who had conceived the design of uniting all religions, reinstituted that system of persecution which was so cruelly carried out by Decius, Valerian, and Diocletian against Jews and Christians alike.
But whilst the Emperors of Rome vented their ire against a nation whom they had subjugated, they did not persecute them in order to convert them to paganism. The Christian princes, on the contrary, when that religion came into ascendancy by the conversion of Constantine, never ceased to carry on religious persecutions against those who were born their subjects.
The Jews had settled from the earliest times in Spain and in Gaul. A few bishops even protected them, intimating "that it was the duty of a Christian pastor to combat their errors, but it was just to protect their persons in civil causes so long as they had right on their side." The councils, however, forbade the Christians to admit a Jew to their tables. Already at these early periods the Jews were devoted to commerce and to industrial pursuits. The Visigoth kings more particularly distinguished themselves by their hostility to the race, but they were saved from extirpation by the necessity which was felt by the people for their services, and which has ever caused them to be tolerated even where they were most despised and persecuted.
The more the preservation of the law had drawn misfortunes and persecutions on their heads, the more precious did that law become in their eyes; hence the zeal which they devoted to its study, and the theological character of most of their early Rabbinical writings. But the Talmud was also a perfect encyclopædia of knowledge; and, above all, it contained elementary notions of medicine-an art to which the Jews were particularly addicted in early times; as also of jurisprudence, to which the Hebrews devoted their greatest attention, and which with them at times humane and philosophical, as when they expressed their abhorrence of the pain of death, was at others marked by the puerility of an early state of society, as when gamblers and shepherds were excluded from being witnesses, the one because their pursuit inclined them to cheat, the other because they loved to feed their flocks upon lands that did not belong to them!
There is no better school than adversity, and the Jews continued to dwell in countries from which they were nominally excluded, and to thrive amidst all kinds of misfortunes and persecutions. Saint Gregory wrote repeatedly to Theodoric and Theodebert, declaiming against the Jews possessing Christian slaves, and they were forbidden to eat with, or to intermarry with, Christians. Both of these edicts were, however, constantly disregarded. While the councils earnestly advocated their conversion, Childeric was the first prince to enforce such by punishment in case of obduracy. In Burgundy, a Jew had his hand cut off if he struck a Christian, and he was put to death if he insulted a priest. With all the commerce of Italy, Spain, and France in their hands at those early periods, they assisted materially in the defence of Naples against Belisarius, and yet they could not succeed in getting fanaticism to look upon