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is a bald-headed supernumerary in one
corner, in the depths of despair because an
emigrant freight note from some Irish port
will not add up. He makes the total come
to three hundred and thirty-nine and a half
statute adults; and, being a fresh hand, he
cannot conceive the possibility of half of an
Irishman emigrating to any part of the
globe; not yet being aware that by the
Government regulations it requires two
young children to make up the full statute
adult.

Higher up on the next floor, secretaries,
assistant secretaries, and commissioners, hold
solemn deliberations about ships, shepherds,
single women, and salt pork. Early in the
morning, the desks of the assistant secretary
and chief clerk are piled with enormous
heaps of letters from every part of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, not
forgetting the Orkney and Shetland Islands,
and the Isle of Man. Every town and village
throughout the empire is represented in the
corresponding department of the Colonial
Land and Emigration Commission in Park
Street. The requirements of the colonists
sending home the funds for emigration are
all in favour of married labourers of certain
ages and occupations, and those considerations
have, of course, to be borne in mind
in the selection of candidates for free
passages to Australia. The callings most in
requisition for these colonies are agricultural
labourers, shepherds, herdsmen, journeymen
mechanics and artisans. It follows, that
while such persons as shopmen, clerks,
bakers, butchers, tailors, confectioners, green-
grocers, wire-drawers, wig-makers, and
jewellers, are invariably refused, and whilst all
single men (except those who may be part
of a family) are also rejected, the search is
for blacksmiths, carpenters, sawyers,
gardeners, agriculturists, with their wives and
families. To select the hale and honest
artisan or farm servant from the pauperised
town labourer; to choose the valuable family
colonist from the London candidate who has
more than three children under ten years
of age, or who has not been vaccinated, or
has more sons than daughters, or who has
been in the habitual receipt of parish relief
forms no inconsiderable or pleasurable
task. It taxes the patience, the industry,
and the good temper of the secretary and his
assistants to an inordinate degree.

The work of opening, sorting and docketing
these numberless letters begins. The
majority are oddly folded, oddly spelt, oddly
addressed, oddly worded. There is one
extremely uncouth-looking epistle soldered
together by cobbler's wax, and pressed tightly
down with the thumb. It contains an
admixture of the official and free-and-easy
style; commencing "Honoured sir," and
ending "Yours affexenetly." This correspondent
appears to be as versatile in his "begs
to inform to the honourable commissioners" that
he can not only do all sorts of field-work,
but house-work also; and that he believes he
shall do his country a service by going to
"Orstraley;" that his wife can make butter,
is very stout, and has had the measles: his
three children are perfect prodigies.
Another applicant indulges in a desponding
strain, telling Her Majesty's Commissioners
that he is extremely desirous of being
married to a young woman, five feet five inches
in height, with whom he has been keeping
company for three years; but that he sees
no prospect of accomplishing this unless they
will do themselves the pleasure of sending
him out to the colonies. He is a painter
and glazier; but is quite prepared to undertake
any sort of work from a police-sergeant
down to a shepherd, the qualifications being,
he thinks, precisely the same. A third
candidate for expatriation states himself to be
"a yung man of good ten stun fore; used to
osses, with a wife which will bear investigation."
A fourth is "a mill-rite with two
female children." A fifth represents himself
to be "just like the fond lover wishing to
gain the desire of his art, but often meets
with disappointment;" and has an ardent
attachment for Australia, and entreats the
Commissioners to take his case in hand by
return of post.

While, above stairs, piles of such letters are
being read and replied to (sometimes with
lithographed circulars), the crowd of personal
applicants have to be attended to below.
One by one, or two by two, these are
admitted to an interview with a deputy
inspector-general of emigrants, in a small
official cabin very like a regulation steerage
berth. This officer is a keen-eyed, sharp-
witted person, up to no end of artful dodges,
and more than a match for any number of
painters and glaziers, or half a hundred
"mill-rites," trying to get out under false
pretences. We have explained that only
emigrants of certain callings are eligible
for free passages out of the Government
funds. Consequently, it is the unceasing
object and aim of hundreds of Spital fields'
weavers, Lambeth labourers, and Kentish
Town cads, to transform themselves into
rustic swains by the aid of smock-frocks,
slouch hats, and laced boots. They might as
well endeavour to pass themselves off as
noble savages or Aztec dwarfs. Our keen-
eyed friend in the steerage is thoroughly
up to them. He knows that pale faces and
smock-frocks do not belong to each other;
he can tell that bony fingers cannot
possibly know anything about sheep-shearing,
or hedging and ditching. He can see the
difference between hands that have worked
with the spade and those that have only
made acquaintance with the yard or the
scales. He can tell by the way a man walks
into his little 'tween decks, whether he has
ever followed the plough or sewn up a
coat.

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