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Can this Isle of Skye, so altered since the
days of old prosperity, suffer another change,
and pass from worldly evil back again to
worldly good ? Perhaps it can; but if it can,
the process, at the best, will be extremely
tedious. To many of the natives in our own
immediate day, nothing presents a look of
hope; for them, an altered sky, a transfer to
Australia, is the one alternative of good. Of
course, the pastures of Australia offer to these
pastoral Highlanders the scene of life to
whichwe might say to which onlythey
are accurately fitted. The labour market of
Australia can absorb twenty-five thousand a-
year of able-bodied men, and give them
honest, independent livelihood. There was a
time when the poor people of Skye distrusted
every hint of emigration, and would rather
starve in their own mists than let themselves
be shipped away in cold blood, as they would
have phrased it. Truth, however, has made
a way among them; they begin to find that
very warm and generous blood stirs under
the advice to all men who are absolutely
destitute, which would send them where
there are men waiting to pay them for their
labours with abundant bread. So there are
at this moment in Skye more than four
hundred families, representing about two
thousand souls, asking for help to get them to
Australia.

This help they are asking at the hands of
the Skye Emigration Society. That is an
association composed of persons resident in
Skye, and intimately acquainted with the
people; men who have seen them during the
last five years of their intense suffering, which
has not found an outlet in one case of violence
or tumult, and which has occasioned no more
thefts than are committed in the most
prosperous districts of this country. The object
of this society, which seems to be excellently
conducted, is " to procure help for those who
wish to emigrate, but have not the means of
doing so, and to afford information, encouragement,
and assistance to all to whom emigration
would be a relief from want and misery."
It circulates information among the people,
and communicates freely with them, chiefly
by means of fortnightly colloquial meetings
held at Portree. It communicates thus with
the people on the one hand, and on the
other hand with the Emigration
Commissioners. From the latter it has obtained
some few judicious modifications of their
rules, by which they are more suited to the
habits of the peculiar population which it is
desired to aid.

The Government Commissioners take charge
of emigrants, and provide what is, in fact,
almost a free passage to Australia, where
they are received by an agent, lodged, fed
and assisted in obtaining suitable employment.
To obtain this privilege, it is required
that emigrants should be of suitable
condition, circumstances and character, and that
if on these accounts admissible, they pay
certain deposits varying in scale from one to
eleven pounds, and provide for themselves a
specified amount of clothing. Now the object
of the Skye Emigration Society, when it has
taught some of the people what they should
desire, is to assist them in attainment of their
object. Of the four hundred families now
wishing to emigrate, some have a cow, some
sheep or articles of furniture, but none of
them are rich enough to pay deposits and to
purchase clothing to the due amount. The
Society proposes to make up the deficiency in
the funds of each, not as a gift, but as a loan.
The emigrants, as they repay the money
borrowed, are to have a right to name to the
Society friends, in aid of whose emigration
they would have it to be invested; and so it
is desired that each pound having helped one
man should come back to help another, and
so go and come, dwindling, of course, in the
process, on account of losses and expenses,
but still helping many before its whole work
is done. Thus it may fairly be calculated
that each pound added to the funds of the
society, carries at least one man from starvation
to an altered sky.

The Isle of Skye has no manufactures, very
little trade, is a hundred miles distant from
its county town, and farther distant still
from any other town of note. This island
differs from most of its neighbours of the
Hebrides in wanting rich proprietors. Nearly
the whole of its land is in trust for the behoof
of creditors; detaining creditors are not
concerned in local efforts of benevolence, and
upon impoverished landlords no call for
subscriptions can be fairly made. The poor
would-be emigrants can get, therefore, in
Skye itself only a moderate amount of cash
attention. Their friends are now looking
abroad, and we trust heartily that they will
catch the eye of any individual who may be
bringing his philanthropy, or heir, home to
England from a residence at Timbuctoo, and
may be glad to let it rest and breathe a little
by the way upon a distant island of the
Hebrides.

TOWN AND GOWN.

THE gowned members of the University of
Bulferry love much to make themselves
contemptible in showing how much they can despise
the Town; the tradesmen of the town of
Bulferry spite the thing they lovethe Gown.
Were the gown-wearers Chloes, and the
townsmen Corydons, Corydons could not
pursue Chloes with more flattering attention.
Chloe is proud, but she would be sorry to
miss Corydon, and she can coquet with him
prettily. To be sure, they are a pair necessary
to each other; only now and then they have
their little tiffs, and of these the glorious
High Street of Bulferry is commonly the
scene. Town and Gown are the black and
white chequers on a chess-board; they must
differ, but they must abide by one another,

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