Australian Access Federation

You are here: Home Corpora Corpus of Oz Early English 3-082 (Raw)

3-082 (Raw)

Item metadata
addressee author,male,Westgarth, William,38
Narrative Discourse
Word Count :
Plaint Text :
Public Written
Ward, 1969
Document metadata

3-082-raw.txt — 2 KB

File contents

The squatting system in the Port Phillip district had commenced just prior to this period. The commencement of the colony in this new locality, was in fact the commencement of squatting, which vocation was then and for fifteen years afterwards, until the discovery of the goldfields, the chief interest of the country. On the Sydney side (to use the distinctive mode of speaking that was in use prior so the separation of Victoria), this system had been commenced in rapine and disorder, vulgarity and poverty, from which it had been gradually and laboriously purified. At Port Phillip, on the other hand, the squatting class had from the first been respectable, and attained in this particular, both as to the means and the social status of its members, a position equal or even superior to that of any other colonial vocation.
The mode of life was eminently attractive to many of the young, and even to the educated members of home society, who flocked out in considerable numbers to the rising settlement. The attractions were doubtless enhanced by the pleasant scenery of the country, a fine and bracing climate, a free and easy hospitality that became everywhere in the interior a sort of public right, and the prosperity that generally resulted from pastoral enterprise under an average prudence of management. [194] Many youths of finished education, the junior members of good families, were met with at the various sheep stations, whose homesteads, thus classically garnished, formed so many luminous points in the wilderness of the bush. These parties had either taken up 'stations' for their own account on the vacant Crown Lands, or they were residing with friends and fellow-colonists in order to acquire some preliminary local experience. Separated as they thus found themselves from society and family ties, the life was not over favourable to a continuance of early discipline and study. The smock-frock, the black pipe, and a general indifference to the personel. often concealed the cultivated English gentleman. But the classic reminiscences had not entirely disappeared, and they still mingled their crystal stream to diversify the monotony of Australian pastoral life. The squatter, negligently reclining beneath the shade of a wide-spreading gum tree, recited old Horace as he gazed upwards through the scanty foliage upon a bright Australian sky; or he prescribed to himself a daily study from the fragments of a dilapidated Virgil, that were successively sacrificed to the lighting of tobacco pipes, or to other domestic necessities.