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the increasing population of the colony, as well in consequence of numerous flocks of free-settlers from all parts of the world, as from internal increase, and frequent importations from the mother country, it was absolutely impossible for one, two, or even for three clergymen to perform the whole of the very important duties, demanded in such a station, with due punctuality. For nearly fourteen years, Mr. Marsden had officiated with a zeal, an industry, and a constancy that are scarcely perhaps to be paralleled; but it had long been at the hazard of a most robust constitution, which at last, excellent as it was, proved altogether incompetent to one half of the services required. Two public free-schools, a boys' and a girls', this most excellent man had already established and provided for, without any expense to government: but a growing population, and a population of the very worst kind, of illegitimate children, demanded three times the number; a population which, if early instructed in habits of industry and principles of virtue by a judicious and pious education, may indeed be rendered of inestimable value to the rising colony; but, if neglected and abandoned by the state, must assuredly work its speedy and absolute destruction. To both these propositions, also, administration readily assented, and his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom these points were chiefly referred, wisely and liberally left it to the able founder of the plan to select such persons as he thought most likely to promote his benevolent object; in consequence of which, altogether heedless of expense or trouble, he travelled, at his own charge, over a great part of this country, in pursuit of persons who were recommended to him as qualified for the station. He at last succeeded to his own satisfaction: some of them have by this time reached the settlement, and the rest are on their voyage thither.
The next object of consideration, with his majesty's principal chaplain of the colony, was how to turn its resources to most advantage, and to provide employment for the adult as he had provided instruction for the young. It is well known that most of the culprits, sentenced to transportation, are men of talents, though of talents perverted; of those that are transported, moreover, the greater number are initiated into some branch of mechanics or manufactures. With a view of turning these talents to a proper use, of making the criminals contribute to their own support, and, above all, of taking them off from habits of idleness and dissipation, he next proposed to the minister, that the colony should be allowed one or two practical mechanics, with very small salaries, such as should be a recompense to them, but not sufficient to support them without their own exertions, and one
or two general manufacturers. To the last proposal an objection was urged, that it would interfere with the staple trade of the mother country; but the objection was overruled by an engagement, on the part of the proposer, that if government would accede to it, the enormous expense which the state at present sustains for clothing the convicts at Botany Bay, should entirely cease within a certain period; he observed, that the wool belonging to the government flocks, which, in conjunction with its wild herds, are now sufficiently numerous to provide food for the convicts, without any expense to the parent state, was now sufficient in quantity to provide them with proper clothing, and that they might hereby be rendered their own manufacturers. Both these requests were in consequence acceded to; the benevolent petitioner was, as in the former case, authorized to provide himself with four such persons as he thought would best answer his purpose; and he set off by the mail on the same night at his own expense toward Warwickshire and Yorkshire, succeeded at length agreeably to his wishes, and the artisans and manufacturers have by this time arrived, or are on the point of arriving, at their destined abode.
Having thus in by far the greater number of points accomplished his most benevolent and patriotic object, he now prepared for his own return, that he might put the whole of his machinery into proper and harmonious action : but an almost infinite multiplicity of business still awaited him to transact. In quitting Port Jackson, he had been solicited to become the agent of almost every poorer person in the colony, and especially of great numbers of the convicts. As though the common father of all, he undertook this voluminous concern; and the writer of these observations has known him, in consequence, burdened with letters from Ireland and other remote parts, the postage of which for a single day has often amounted to a guinea, which he cheerfully paid, from the feeling, that, although many of these letters were altogether irrelative and of no use whatever, they were written with a good intention, and under a belief that they were of real value. It will please the reader to learn, however, that at this same period, Mr. Marsden had also the pleasure to receive despatches of the most satisfactory kind from his head bailiff, Ywho was himself formerly a convict, but is now a free-settler, and has proved a faithful servant to this gentleman for nearly fourteen years,) confirmed by collateral testimonies, announcing that his agricultural concerns, which he had now quitted for about three years, were in the most flourishing state, that his live stock had upon an average been doubled in number and value since he had left Paramatta, and must have been at least triple
the number to which it amounted at the period of M. Péron's visit. He had also found, from actual experiment at Leeds, that the wool of his own growth, taken in the gross, unmixed and unselected, produced a cloth at least equal, and in the opinion of the manufacturers superior, to that of the best French looms.
From New South Wales, or Notasia, as it is called by modern geographers, his eye often glanced at New Zealand. Tippa-Hee, who may be regarded as the sovereign of the island, though it has several subordinate chiefs, had twice made a voyage to Port Jackson, in pursuit of European knowledge, and, like M. Péron, had been affectionately entertained at Paramatta : he had acquired a tolerable knowledge of the English language, had learnt some few of its arts, especially that of writing, and was very anxious to learn more. To New Zealand, therefore, our philanthropist earnestly directed the attention of the society for missions to Africa and the East; and, succeeded in obtaining a practical artisan, well versed in carpentry and building, and at the same time of sound Christian principles and a devotional turn of mind. This man and his wife he has taken over with himself, and we believe he will be found of incalculable service. He is also accompanied, we believe, by another well-qualified person, skilled in flax-dressing, twine-spinning, and rope-making.
One of the last public acts to which his heart was directed before he requitter his native country, was that of procuring, by public contributions and donations of books, what he called a lending library, to consist of the most valuable and useful publications in religion, morals, mechanics, agriculture, commerce, general history, and geography, to be lent out under his own controul, and that of his clerical colleagues, to soldiers, freesettlers, convicts, and all others who may have time to read, so as to prevent idleness, and occupy the mind in the best and most rational manner. In this desire, too, he succeeded under the favour of Providence; and it is with no small gratification we add, that, by the gift of books and subscriptions, he was enabled to take over with him a library of not less than between three and four hundred pounds value; which he intends annually to augment, on a plan he has already devised.
We ought not to close this imperfect sketch, which few of our readers will think too long, without stating, that, on its being communicated to his majesty that Mr. M. was extremely desirous of obtaining the royal assent to purchase and take over with him a couple of Merino sheep, his majesty, with his accustomed generosity, not only freely gave such consent, but requested Sir Joseph Banks, with whom Mr. Marsden had the honour of being acquainted, to select for him, as a royal present, five Merino ewes
with young: Sir Joseph had much pleasure in obeying, and hastened to Portsmouth for this purpose with all speed, where he arrived just in time to put his present on board before the ship sailed. At this moment Mr. Marsden is on his passage,-in humility a child, in vigour of mind and benevolence an angel, full of enterprise for the good of mankind, and especially of his native country, and full of faith and reliance on the divine promises. Already has he sown the good seed on the best principles of heavenly husbandry, and half the eastern hemisphere, perhaps, may form its harvest. Unborn empires are dependent on his exertions; and his name will be the theme of the new world, as long as there is a heart to feel reverence, or a tongue to utter praise.
48, line 3, note: for pen read peu.
London : Printed by H. Fisher.