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From the quiet dignity of Park Street,
Westminster, we will take a rapid run down
to the London Emigration Depot at the Nine
Elms Station of the South-Western Railway.
Southampton is now the great port of
embarcation for Government emigrants from the
south coast; and, by special arrangements
with the directors of the Railway Company,
emigrants are temporarily housed and fed at
their Nine Elms Station; and are eventually
conveyed to Southampton for a very small
sum per head. The extensive suite of lofty
well ventilated rooms, once the London
headquarters of the Company, are now converted
into dormitories, refectories, and reception-
rooms for Government emigrants; and a
very comfortable time they have of it whilst
awaiting the arrival of a sufficient number to
be sent off by special train to Southampton.

At that port the disused terminus is also
used for the same purpose. What was once
the directors' board room contains a
hundred beds for married couples; the secretary's
rooms accommodate as many more for
single men; and single women are safely
accommodated in the old treasury. The ancient
booking-office is now the dining-hall; and,
adjoining, the luggage-room has been
converted, by the aid of huge boilers and steam-
pipes, into a gigantic kitchen. The savoury
fumes of soups and meats permeate the
whole establishment; heavy boiler-lids are
constantly leaping up, and reeking joints
peep out like Hadji Baba's thieves from the
oil-jars inquiring if it were time. The hissing
and steaming cauldrons contain the mid-day
meal of a party of Government emigrants
momentarily expected to join the copper-
fastened, swift-sailing schooner (standing A 1
at Lloyd's) "Muffineer," now in the Southampton
docks, which is promised to have
"quick dispatch" for Melbourne.

The humble passengers begin to pour in
by half-dozens, then in scores; and presently
men, women, children, and luggage inundate
the depot, tumbling over one another for the
first half hour in the most hopeless confusion.
But time and patience convinces everybody
that there is room for all and to spare.
Everything goes on systematically. Heavy
packages are placed in an outer railed shed;
parcels and children are carefully stowed
away on one side of the dinner-hall. There
is a good deal of talking, and pushing about,
and wondering whereever "my boxes," or
"my Johnny," or "my missus with baby
and the tea-canister with the money in it,"
can have got to. But at length one o'clock
comes; a large bell sounds; and, as it
dies away, there is not one of all that
motley crowd who is not seated before a
clean plate.

Many of these poor emigrants have not
partaken of such a meal as that which is
now spread before them for many a day;
perhaps never before in the course of their
toilsome lives. Certainly none of them ever
laid down to rest in more comfortable beds
than they do on this first night of their
wanderings towards the Gold World at the
Antipodes.

Long before the Southampton public are
awake or moving, the emigrants are up, and
submitting their baggage to the examination
of the government officer; whose duty it is to
see that each has an outfit sufficiently
abundant for a four months' voyage. Sometimes
a few articles of clothing are found wanting;
for many of these people are of the poorest
class; but the deficiency is in certain cases
made good by a Ladies' Emigration
Committee at Southampton; which takes care
that no mother of a family leaves her
home without such comforts for herself and
her children as are indispensable to a long
voyage.

Every attention is necessarily given to
cleanliness and ventilation on board the ships
chartered by the Emigration Conimissioners;
and, as soon as the passengers have been
allotted their respective berths, they are each
served with a set of utensils necessary for the
voyage; such as a tin pot, a bread basket, a
can for water, metal plates, knives, forks, and
spoons, in addition to bedding and a clothes
bag. These articles become the property of
the emigrants at the end of the voyage,
except in cases of misconduct. Recently, it has
been found necessary to take from the
emigrants at the port of embarcation a written
engagement, that, if they go to the gold fields,
or if they quit the colony within four years
after landing, they will repay to the colonial
government a proportionate part of their
passage money, at the rate of four pounds per
adult for each year remaining to complete
four years from landing. This is the merest
justice to the colonists; who provide funds
in order that labourers might be forwarded
to them; and not with the romantic
benevolence of stocking the diggings with gold
seekers.

It does not require many days to fill the
"Muffineer." The stores are all on board, the
sails are loosened, the last group of parting
friends have left the gangway, the emigration
agent certifies that all is complete, the word is
given to the little steam-tug to move ahead,
whilst hats and handkerchiefs are waved,
tears are shed, and as the "Muffineer" is being
towed out of the mouth of the harbour, some
few rather bolder and stouter than the rest
try to get up a parting cheer; but it generally
turns out a miserable failure. They are off, to
swell the living tide that floats towards the
south. They who have been inured to
labour are off, from hunger, toil, and sorrow,
to plenty, to comfort, and happiness. They
are off, from the poor-house, the jail, and the
asylum, to the green hills, and fertile fields of
a new land.

During this present year to the end of June
there had left our shores for all parts of the

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