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heard no more. Thus, all sense of personal
tyrannies, and all special animosities, are
avoided; the convicts feel they are under
the spell of a sort of iron fate, a doom with
an iron tonguethey are subdued and
surrounded by an ever-vigilant and inflexible
system, and they submit in spite of their will
not to submit.

Mr. Barrow has been engaged in this
anxious, painful, and unresting work these
twelve long yearsfirst in Norfolk Island,
then in Van Diemen's Land, finally placed over
Pentridge Stockade, the head-quarters of all
the penal establishments of the colony. Of
all public officers, there is probably not one
whose duties are so full of sleepless anxieties,
and so imperfectly appreciated (partly
because they are but little known), as those he
performs with such rigid constancy.

I have taken a stroll round the outskirts
of the Stockade, and, while gazing over the
swampy fields, now wearing the green tints
of the fresh grass of winter which is near at
hand, and thence turning my gaze to the
bush in the distance, with its uncouth and
lonely appearance, I hear the jingle of chains
to the left of where I am standing, and
presently I see winding round the road a gang
of convicts on their way to work at a bridge.
They are succeeded by another gang; and, at
the same interval, by a third. I am instantly
and forcibly reminded of the string of
convicts whom Don Quixote met and set at
liberty, driving away their guards, taking off
their fetters, and making them a noble
speech; in return for which they ran off
scoffing and hooting, and saluting their deliverer
with a volley of stones. I never before felt
so strongly the truthfulness of this scene.
Here are a set of men who would have done
and who would this very day dothe same
thing to any eccentric philanthropist in a
broad-brimmed hat who should set them free
and make them an address on liberty and
humanity. So true may fiction be in the
hands of genius.

Other convict establishments have been
alluded to, which consist of two smaller
stockades, and the hulks which are lying in
Hobson's Bay. The stockades being
conducted in the same manner as the one just
described, it will be unnecessary to particularize
them, but I at once accept Mr. Barrow's
obliging offer to take me on board the prison
ships. We mount his gig and drive off.

On the way to Melbourne, through the
bush, I ask many questions of the Superintendent
as to the growth of corn and cabbages
the latter, with other vegetables, being
expensive luxuries in Melbourne. I also ask
if the convicts can be trusted with edge tools,
out of sight of the guards, or in sight? Is a
funeral of one of them at all a melancholy
sight to the others? and so forth. To these
questions, I only receive monosyllabic replies,
and often no reply; I half expect to get an
answer from the distant bell. The
Superintendent scarcely hears me; his mind is
away at Pentridge, or on board one of his
hulks. We pass through Melbourne, cross
the bridge, and make our way along the
muddy road to Liardet's Beach. I am indiscreet
enough to ask a few more questions,
but the anxious and absorbed look of the
Superintendent shows me that he is absent
from the gig, drive as well as he may, and I
give it up. We arrive at the beach, and put
off in the Government boat.

It is a long pull, and by no means a very
lively one, for it is pretty clear that everybody
in the boat feels a certain sort of cloud over
his spirits from the serious business all are
upon; but the sky is clear and bright, and I
am soon in quite as absent a state as my friend
the Superintendent, though it is probable that
our thoughts are not in the same direction.

We first pull on board a hulk, a new one,
to meet the rapidly increasing exigencies of
the gold fields, which is being "fitted up" as
a convict ship. From the magnitude and
strength of the wooden bars, rails, and battens,
one might imagine that it was intended for
young elephants, buffaloes, and wild boars.
But I am assured by one of the wardens that
they are not at all too strong. From this
we row away to the prison ship for sailors
not convicts, but refractory. This word
refractory includes all the offences of running
away to the gold fields on the very first chance
after the vessel drops her anchor in the bay,
or of refusing their duty, or otherwise
misconducting themselves while on board, with
a view to distracting and overthrowing all
arrangements for a most difficult port, and
escaping in the confusion. To this hulk many
captains of vessels have been obliged to send
half their crews as soon as they have entered
the harbour, and several have even adopted
the more resolute plan of sending the whole
crew off to prison at once, on the first show
of insubordination, and keeping them there.

From the refractory, would-be gold-digging
sailors' prison we push off for Williams'
Town, and land near the light-house, at a
little boat-pier of loose stones now in course
of erection by a gang of convicts sent ashore
for the purpose. Guards with loaded muskets
patrol on the outskirts. It is a most useful
work, and the extremity towards the water
being made circular, for a small saluting
battery, may serve to salute in another way,
if there should ever be need. We pass from
the pier to other works of building, drainage,
and so on, all performed by convict labour:
Mr. Barrow attending to his duties, and leaving
me to stroll about and observe what I may,
and judge for myself. To sum up all this in
two words, I cannot perceive that the
convicts have one spark of manly shame at their
position; but I do most certainly observe that,
without any hard words from the overseers,
or the least personal violence (which would
not for a moment be allowed), they do twice
as much work in an hour as double the

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