페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

that they relate chiefly to the condition and prospects of the north island and its occupants. The attempts at colonization narrated above are matters of history. With regard to the middle island, (Tavai poenammoo, or New Munster,) which at present occupies a great share of attention from the emigrating portion of the community, the case is different. There everything is in projection. Its success or failure is in the womb of time. And as we have not similar sources of information in regard to them, we cannot so confidently canvass the flattering statements put forward by the promoters of emigration to Otago and Canterbury. Our experience, however, has taught us, that twelve years ago a respectable body of well-meaning and sanguine men held out equally bright prospects, and described the country in as glowing terms. And what has been the result? We are as earnest promoters of the cause of colonization as any member of these associations. But we would seriously counsel them to weigh well the statements on which they found their conclusions. As Bishop Selwyn advises Captain Thomas, Local Secretary to the Canterbury Association, " to send the very soil in boxes to be analyzed in England,” so would we recommend him to inclose with it a patch of turf to shew the native pasture on their plains, for the inspection of the public, and the satisfaction of the intending immigrants. For the latter, in their enthusiastic visions of the supposed “ charms of colonization,” place implicit faith in the slightest favourable account, looking towards their future lot in the land of their adoption, as the bride elect pictures to herself an uninterrupted succession of happy years as soon as she crosses the threshold of her new home. Many a scene of grievous disappointment on the distant shores of New Zealand is known to us, and we believe that if the propounders of those contemplated colonies had witnessed these scenes, they would speak in less confident terms of their success.

In the imaginary tariff at the future port of Lyttleton we find an item of export to a promised market gravely stated, upon such slight data, that we cannot but refer to it, particularly as the commodity in question might be supposed to create a considerable portion of the future revenue of the colony, and thereby induce a larger per centage of agricultural labourers to emigrate than would be judicious :

“ As the settlement,” it is remarked, “ begins to fill up, and the demand for grain increases within its limits, an export of grain may eventually be looked for from the enterprise gradually engaged in its cultivation. For this grain there can hardly fail to be a considerable demand at the Australian ports, as the engagement of labour in pastoral and mining pursuits on that continent renders its population partially dependent on foreign supplies.”- Canterbury Papers, p. 13.

Otago and Canterbury.

357

Any one acquainted with the internal resources which Australia possesses for producing every description of food, will remark at once the gratuitous assertions contained in this passage. The writer might with equal plausibility have affirmed, that as numbers of sheep and cattle die of excessive drought in the warm districts of Australia, there is no doubt that the Canterbury sheep farmer will ultimately find a market there for his “ mutton, so fat, that the sailors of the Acheron could not eat it.” Van Dieman's Land alone, with its rich soil and cheap convict labour, is able to land grain of the finest quality at any Australian or New Zealand port cheaper than it can be produced on the spot. In fact, the grain market throughout those colonies is ruled by the Launceston prices. Excepting the imports of grain at Sydney and Moreton Bay from the corn-growing districts of the same group of colonies, we are not aware of any foreign supplies.

If we are, therefore, to place as little confidence in some other assertions contained in those papers, we must pause before we accept the judgments of those well-meaning leaders of colonial enterprise. We would advise them to solicit the advice of some disinterested and experienced mercantile men in such matters, for we are afraid that while many of their first transactions must necessarily be connected with exports and imports, supply and demand, produce and consumption, their education has not been of that nature to qualify them for conducting such monetary transactions with due caution and economy.

Far be it from us to discourage emigration and colonization on the praiseworthy plans of the Otago and Canterbury settlements. We most heartily wish them “God speed.” But the wisest of men are liable to commit mistakes in their enthusiasm. Colonies, like plants when forced into premature growth, are ever weak and puny, and where natural resources and advantages are absent they will pine and die. Moreover, without a substantial foundation of capital, even the richest natural resources can seldom be made available. Labour itself is usually of small avail at the establishment of a colony where this is wanting. In our information regarding those distant lands we have known strong and willing labourers sitting idle for want of capital to employ them. And we have likewise known capital invested in local works which have yielded no return, as in the mining operations at Kawau. That the produce from pastoral pursuits must form the staple export from this colony, like her flourishing neighbours in Australia, there is little doubt. But before this can be accomplished to an equal extent with that naturally richly grassed land, a long period must elapse to bring stock to its mere intrinsic value in a foreign market, or lower the prices from £12 for cattle, and 35s. per head for sheep, perhaps to 30s. for the former and 5s, for the latter, as they are in Australia. Although the shrubs and sedges indigenous to New Zealand furnish good pasture for cattle, yet they are not the food for fine woolled sheep. Hence the sheep farmer has to incur the heavy outlay of clearing the land and sowing European grasses, and this cannot be done without great expense. For home consumption, and to a limited extent, a profit may be realized; but when the grazier has to boil down his increase, as in Australia, for the sake of the tallow, wool, hides, and horns, the returns look very small in proportion to the outlay.

In this Article we refrain from offering any further opinion upon the schemes of colonization which are in operation in Otago and Canterbury. A discussion of the principles on which these plans are founded may supply enough of material for another Article. In the meantime we cordially wish them all possible success. We have employed this opportunity specially for presenting facts and judgments concerning the physical capabilities of certain parts of New Zealand, which, we believe, are not yet commonplace to many of our readers. Our purpose is served if they tend, by spreading truth, to promote caution and wisdom, in the future history of the great modern movement of colonization, which is still in its infancy, but in which our warmest sympathies are embarked. It is one thing to discuss those principles of Social Science by which colonization should be regulated, and to apply them to the circumstances of this age. It is another task to describe accurately the resources of spots which have been, or are likely to be, selected by emigrants, and thus to diffuse information concerning them among the various orders of the community. Both these investigations are of the greatest importance in the present circumstances of our country. In this paper we have confined ourselves to the latter, and we shall be glad if what we have said suggests the desirableness of more systematic .means for collecting and spreading true facts and judgments, gathered by disinterested parties, with regard to the geology, botany, physiology, and other resources of our favourite resorts of emigration.

[merged small][ocr errors]

of Phout the gradualimue theme

ART. III.The Life of John Sterling. By THOMAS CARLYLE.

London, 1851. LITERATURE and CHRISTIANITY present in their relations hitherto a somewhat singular and perplexing study. They have but seldom gone hand in hand. Their mutual bearing has been often one rather of repulsion and hostility than of attraction and sympathy. There has been a strong jealousy on both sides which has often manifested itself in downright animosity. To what extent this is to be traced to their original position of antagonism it would now perhaps be difficult to say. *Christianity grew up under the hostile frown of Pagan Literature. The spirit of the one revolted from that of the other; and while it is true that almost all the literary culture which survived gradually passed over into the Church, we yet find throughout the early centuries, till it culminated in the notable case of Gregory in the sixth, a prevailing feeling of indifference, and even of opposition to heathen learning among Christians.* With the revival of letters the old antagonism reappeared. The ideals, which kindled the young enthusiasm of Europe in the fifteenth century, and reawakened the long slumbering literary spirit, were those of Greece and Rome. It was from the old fountains of Pagan culture, dilapidated by long neglect, and overgrown with the weeds of centuries, that the stream of genius burst forth afresh.

The spirit of Modern Literature necessarily partook of the character of its origin. It was impossible that it could be otherwise. Accustomed to find the standard, not merely of taste, but of character and feeling in the productions of Grecian and Roman learning, modern genius could not fail to bear the stamp of the models which it thus worshipped. A certain Paganized influence accordingly diffused itself through the latter—an influence which, in some of its noblest representatives, may be said to have been almost entirely overcome, but which is not the less characteristic of its general productions.

We scarcely think that any would be disposed to question this decided effect of the ancient upon the modern classical Literature. In turning from the one to the other, we frequently meet with but little change of tone. The same class of sentimentthe same cast of character, claim our sympathy or provoke our dislike. Or where there is no such identity, there is yet, save in some comparatively rare instances of high significance, no reno

* Julian, we know, made it one of his main reproaches against the Christians, that they ascribed the works of heathen genius to Satan or his agents--an accusation exaggerated it may be supposed, but undoubtedly indicating in the Church a prevailing sentiment of hostility to heatheu learning. VOL. XVI. NO. XXXII.

2 A

vation of thought and feeling. There is no baptisın of divine fire renewing and transfiguring the page of Literature. Christianity might nearly as well not have been, for aught of its spirit that breathes in many of these works of modern genius which have most interested and delighted the human mind. It is of our own literature we would be understood chiefly to speak; but the truth of our remark will perhaps be most readily adinitted when applied to Modern Literature in general.

It may seem a harsh and Puritanical judgment which we thus pronounce. But the real question that concerns us is, not whether the judgment be harsh, but whether it be true. No good can come from mere evasion on such a subject. The truth is not the less true that we do not acknowledge it, and force ourselves to contemplate it. We remember the strong revulsion of feeling with which we first read John Foster's very minute and candid treatment of this subject, in his famous essay, “ On the Aversion of Men of Taste to Evangelical Religion.” It was hard to have one's idols so struck down, and their true character so unsparingly exposed. Even now, on reverting to the essay, we have been unable to read it, in some parts, without a kind of pain which must have led many, we fancy, indignantly to toss it aside. He brings forth, with such a clear yet mild prominence, the peculiarities of Christianity, and confronts them so clearly, yet boldly, with the characteristics of our polite Literature, as to leave no escape from conclusions which we would still fain repudiate. He presses the point of contrast in a manner at once so measured and forcible that it is impossible to resist the essential truth of his argument. We may regret it from our love of Literature, or despise it from our scorn of Christianity, but we will find it hard to repel it.

We do not, indeed, in some respects, coincide with Foster. We think that here, as often, the gloom of his temperament tinges the picture that he draws. He shuts out too much the lights which would relieve, and the pleasant colours which would soften it. Nay, we believe that the severity and exclusiveness of his own religion have led him to do some special injustice to the venerated names of Addison and Johnson. Still, with every abatement we may make of his representations, their substantial truth remains. There is the fact, which we cannot get rid of with the most tolerant latitudinarianism, that so much of our Literature is not characteristically Christian, but the reverse. Its genius is not only not consonant with that of the gospel, but often, though without any polemical purpose, quite hostile to it, so that every truly Christian mind must feel that the fascinations of Literature are not without their danger.

Not for one moment, indeed, would we be supposed to be

« 이전계속 »