Page:The Coming Colony Mennell 1892.djvu/26

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of the days of Raleigh its tranquil conditions might prove disappointing, to the industrious pioneer, desirous of securing a home amidst broader and brighter surroundings, with somewhat less of convention, and somewhat more of elbow-room than the Old World has been able. to afford him, Western Australia. may be recommended as possessing possibilities of success for the steady man for which he might seek in vain in "Merrie England."

At home, no doubt, we meet instances on every hand of men who have raised themselves from humble positions to the front ranks in commerce and politics, but they mostly belong to the exceptional class of men who possess the temperament of success, and would "do" anywhere. The attractions which Australia seems to me specially to offer are, to the ordinary­-going man, who looks not so much to palaces and purple and fine linen as the goal of his hopes, as to the humbler, but not less praiseworthy aim of owning his own home and homestead, and of seeing his children, before he dies, lifted up some way on that ladder of social ascent which his own lot forbade him to climb in the land of his birth. Social contrasts are, no doubt, becoming accentuated, and social distinctions defined, even in Australia, but where all are avowedly engaged in the material development of the country, there cannot be quite the same line drawn between the officers and the rank and file of the great army of industry, which prevails amidst the more complicated conditions of the old world, in which everything has had to broaden slowly down from precedent to precedent. Entrenched on his own holding, and with the certainty that life will be better worth living for his children than it has been for himself and his predecessors, he may feel himself the equal of any one.

Comparing Western Australia with other parts of the Australian continent, it is not only possible to acquire virgin land from the State on easy conditions, but even the area that has been already alienated is more cheaply purchasable than is the case in similar situations in the older colonies. Then, too, there is the advantage of going to a country where production is behind instead of in advance of consumption, no small