The Book of the Bush - Containing Many Truthful Sketches Of The Early Colonial - Life Of Squatters, Whalers, Convicts, Diggers, And Others - Who Left Their Native Land And Never Returned

The Book of the Bush - Containing Many Truthful Sketches Of The Early Colonial - Life Of Squatters, Whalers, Convicts, Diggers, And Others - Who Left Their Native Land And Never Returned

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Book of the Bush, by George Dunderdale This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: The Book of the Bush Containing Many Truthful Sketches Of The Early Colonial Life Of Squatters, Whalers, Convicts, Diggers, And Others Who Left Their Native Land And Never Returned Author: George Dunderdale Illustrator: J. Macfarlane Release Date: July 24, 2005 [EBook #16349] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BOOK OF THE BUSH *** Produced by Amy Zellmer THE BOOK OF THE BUSH CONTAINING MANY TRUTHFUL SKETCHES OF THE EARLY COLONIAL LIFE OF SQUATTERS, WHALERS, CONVICTS, DIGGERS, AND OTHERS WHO LEFT THEIR NATIVE LAND AND NEVER RETURNED. By GEORGE DUNDERDALE. ILLUSTRATED BY J. MACFARLANE. LONDON: WARD, LOCK & CO., LIMITED, WARWICK HOUSE, SALISBURY SQUARE, E.C. NEW YORK AND MELBOURNE. "Joey's out" CONTENTS. PURGING OUT THE OLD LEAVEN. FIRST SETTLERS. WRECK OF THE CONVICT SHIP "NEVA" ON KING'S ISLAND. DISCOVERY OF THE RIVER HOPKINS. WHALING. OUT WEST IN 1849. AMONG THE DIGGERS IN 1853. A BUSH HERMIT. THE TWO SHEPHERDS. A VALIANT POLICE-SERGEANT. WHITE SLAVERS. THE GOVERNMENT STROKE. ON THE NINETY-MILE. GIPPSLAND PIONEERS. THE ISLE OF BLASTED HOPES. GLENGARRY IN GIPPSLAND. WANTED, A CATTLE MARKET. TWO SPECIAL SURVEYS. HOW GOVERNMENT CAME TO GIPPSLAND. GIPPSLAND UNDER THE LAW. UNTIL THE GOLDEN DAWN. A NEW RUSH. GIPPSLAND AFTER THIRTY YEARS. GOVERNMENT OFFICERS IN THE BUSH. SEAL ISLANDS AND SEALERS. A HAPPY CONVICT. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ILLUSTRATION 1. "Joey's out." ILLUSTRATION 2. "I'll show you who is master aboard this ship." ILLUSTRATION 3. "You stockman, Frank, come off that horse." ILLUSTRATION 4. "The biggest bully apropriated the belle of the ball." "The best article in the March (1893) number of the 'Austral Light' is a pen picture by Mr. George Dunderdale of the famous Ninety-Mile Beach, the vast stretch of white and lonely sea-sands, which forms the sea-barrier of Gippsland."--'Review of Reviews', March, 1893. "The most interesting article in 'Austral Light' is one on Gippsland pioneers, by George Dunderdale."-'Review of Reviews', March, 1895. "In 'Austral Light' for September Mr. George Dunderdale contributes, under the title of 'Gippsland under the Law,' one of those realistic sketches of early colonial life which only he can write."--'Review of Reviews', September, 1895. THE BOOK OF THE BUSH. PURGING OUT THE OLD LEAVEN. While the world was young, nations could be founded peaceably. There was plenty of unoccupied country, and when two neighbouring patriarchs found their flocks were becoming too numerous for the pasture, one said to the other: "Let there be no quarrel, I pray, between thee and me; the whole earth is between us, and the land is watered as the garden of Paradise. If thou wilt go to the east, I will go to the west; or if thou wilt go to the west, I will go to the east." So they parted in peace. But when the human flood covered the whole earth, the surplus population was disposed of by war, famine, or pestilence. Death is the effectual remedy for over-population. Heroes arose who had no conscientious scruples. They skinned their natives alive, or crucified them. They were then adored as demi-gods, and placed among the stars. Pious Aeneas was the pattern of a good emigrant in the early times, but with all his piety he did some things that ought to have made his favouring deities blush, if possible. America, when discovered for the last of many times, was assigned by the Pope to the Spaniards and Portuguese. The natives were not consulted; but they were not exterminated; their descendants occupy the land to the present day. England claimed a share in the new continent, and it was parcelled out to merchant adventurers by royal charter. The adventures of these merchants were various, but they held on to the land. New England was given to the Puritans by no earthly potentate, their title came direct from heaven. Increase Mather said: "The Lord God has given us for a rightful possession the land of the Heathen People amongst whom we dwell;" and where are the Heathen People now? Australia was not given to us either by the Pope or by the Lord. We took this land, as we have taken many other lands, for our own benefit, without asking leave of either heaven or earth. A continent, with its adjacent islands, was practically vacant, inhabited only by that unearthly animal the kangaroo, and by black savages, who had not even invented the bow and arrow, never built a hut or cultivated a yard of land. Such people could show no valid claim to land or life, so we confiscated both. The British Islands were infested with criminals from the earliest times. Our ancestors were all pirates, and we have inherited from them a lurking taint in our blood, which is continually impelling us to steal something or kill somebody. How to get rid of this taint was a problem which our statesmen found it difficult to solve. In times of war they mitigated the evil by filling the ranks of our armies from the gaols, and manning our navies by the help of the press-gang, but in times of peace the scum of society was always increasing. At last a great idea arose in the mind of England. Little was known of New Holland, except that it was large enough to harbour all the criminals of Great Britain and the rest of the population if necessary. Why not transport all convicts, separate the chaff from the wheat, and purge out the old leaven? By expelling all the wicked, England would become the model of virtue to all nations. So the system was established. Old ships were chartered and filled with the contents of the gaols. If the ships were not quite seaworthy it did not matter much. The voyage was sure to be a success; the passengers might never reach land, but in any case they would never return. On the vessels conveying male convicts, some soldiers and officers were embarked to keep order and put down mutiny. Order was kept with the lash, and mutiny was put down with the musket. On the ships conveying women there were no soldiers, but an extra half-crew was engaged. These men were called "Shilling-a-month" men, because they had agreed to work for one shilling a month for the privilege of being allowed to remain in Sydney. If the voyage lasted twelve months they would thus have the sum of twelve