Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/564

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PÉRON'S REPORT ON PORT JACKSON

that time the produce of his land is, with reason, expected to be sufficient for his requirements, and the Government leave him to his own resources.

During five years he remains free of all contribution, accumulating the produce of land all the more prolific because it is virgin. At the end of that time a slight repayment is required by the Government. This gradually and slightly increases as time goes on. But mark here, General, the profound wisdom of the English Government, that enlightened policy which guides all their enterprises and assures them success. If the new immigrant during these five years has shown himself to be a diligent and intelligent cultivator; if his clearings have been well extended and his stock is managed with prudence; if the produce of his land has increased rapidly—then, so far from finding himself a debtor to the Government, his holding is declared to be his own, and, as a recompense, fresh concessions are made to him, additional servants are assigned to him, his immunity from contributions is prolonged, and additional assistance of all sorts is extended to him. It is to these extensive and well-considered sacrifices that it is necessary to attribute the fine farms that daily increase in number in the midst of what was recently wild and uncultivated forest. Activity, intelligence and application conduce here more rapidly than elsewhere to fortune; and already several of the earlier immigrants have become very wealthy proprietors. Emulation of the noblest kind is stimulated everywhere. Experiments of all kinds are made and multiplied. The Government encourages them, and generously recompenses those who have succeeded.

What still further proves the particular interest which the English Government takes in the colony is the enormous expense incurred in procuring commodities for the new colonists. Nearly everything is furnished by the Government. Vast depots are filled with clothes