Page:The new British province of South Australia.djvu/33

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cities, it would be necessary to begin by restoring the wells, tanks, and aqueducts. Without such contrivances, a great part of the dense population of Southern China must inevitably perish. Where, indeed, in latitudes corresponding with extra-tropical Australia, has a dense population ever been maintained without such contrivances? No where: there is no exception to the rule. In New South Wales, as in similar latitudes of the northern hemisphere, more rain falls during the year than in England; but in England, some rain falls almost every week; while at Naples and Sydney months pass without a cloud. Why, then, one is led to ask, have the settlers in Australia never, to any extent whatever, employed those contrivances for the management of water, to which the inhabitants of other countries are so largely indebted? The answer is full of instruction to future settlers in Australia. Because, in the first place, Australia has been settled by Englishmen, in whose native country, water, falling every week, is often an incumbrance; where fertility depends rather on the art of draining, than on that of collecting and preserving water; Englishmen, whose ignorance of the latter art was not likely to be cured by a sense of its value. Because, secondly, even if the settlers in Australia had seen the value of that art, still, being scattered as they are over a wide expanse of country, they could not have formed dams, embankments, water-courses, tanks, reservoirs, and wells. For to conduct such works, combination is required; combination of two sorts: first that combination of purpose which takes place amongst the landowners of a valley in Europe which is artificially irrigated—a kind