Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/563

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deavours in every way to increase the population as much as possible. Hardly a month passes but there arrives some ship freighted by it, laden with provisions, goods, and above all with men and women, some transported people, who have to serve practically as slaves, others free immigrants, cultivators, to whom concessions will be granted. Perhaps at first you will be astonished to learn that honest men voluntarily transport themselves with their families to the extremity of the world, to live in a country which is still savage, and which was originally, and is still actually, occupied by brigands who have been thrust from the breast of society. But your astonishment will cease when you learn under what conditions such individuals consent to exile themselves to these shores, and what advantages they are not slow in deriving from a sacrifice which must always be painful.

In the first place, before their departure from Europe, a sufficient sum is allowed to each individual to provide for the necessities of a long voyage. On board the vessel which transports them to Sydney a price is fixed for the sustenance of the immigrant and his family, if he has any. Upon his landing at Port Jackson concessions are granted to him in proportion to the number of individuals comprised in his family. A number of convicts (that is the name they give the transported persons), in proportion to the extent of the concessions granted, are placed at his disposal. A house is constructed for him; he is provided with all necessary furniture and household utensils, and all the clothes he needs; they grant him all the seed he needs to sow his land, all the tools he needs to till it, and one or more pairs of all domestic animals and several kinds of poultry. Besides, they feed him, his family, and his assigned servants during eighteen months. He is completely sustained during that period; and for the next twelve months half rations are allowed to him. At the end of