Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/158

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forbearance towards them, and have taken the trouble to instruct them in their new duties. Their aptitude for and quickness at learning how to perform the services required of them is, in many instances that have come under my notice, surprising. The girls sent out are very well adapted for country servants, and, as many of them have gone into situations in the country, their conduct has been so good that many applications have been made to me by the settlers lately with which I could not comply, there being no girls at the depot. I must not omit to mention that the moral character of these Irish girls has not, to my knowledge, in one single instance been brought into question. Some few of the English girls who came in the 'Beulah' from Port sea have, I am afraid, gone astray; but out of nearly 400 single females who arrived in the ships 'Beulah,' 'Australasia,' and 'Calcutta,' I have not heard of more than four instances where the girls have left their situations, and preferred obtaining a livelihood in an improper and immoral manner. If more instances had occurred, I think I should have heard something of them, as many persons here are over-anxious to mark anything amiss or improper in the character, conduct or management of the free immigrants. I consider the arrival of these girls here, and their distribution throughout the island, has been a great public good, and I only sincerely hope and trust that the further supply will not be stopped."

Colonel Mundy, who had special opportunities of obtaining accurate information, declares that in some cases the Irish girls were shamefully treated on board the emigrant ships, and there are certainly cases on record of young women being punished in the most brutal manner for alleged breaches of discipline, at the instance of inhuman surgeon-