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THE OLD AND NEW SQUATTER.

         THE OLD SQUATTER.

IN the year eighteen hundred and thirty-
five wonderful rumours spread themselves
over the pleasant little island of Tasmania of
new regions on the other side of Bass's Straits.
At little more than a hundred and fifty
miles distance, it was said, there spread
beautiful pastures, green and fertile and beautiful
woodlands, where the forest trees were so
lightly and airily scattered, that the turf grew
strong, and fresh, and sweet beneath them, as on
the openest plains, or the fairest downs. These
park-like expanses, stretching themselves
for hundreds of miles in all directions, were
here washed by the ocean, and here stretched
at the feet of far off blue-glancing mountains.
Rivers and lively brooks wound invitingly
through them, and occasional lakes gave
their refreshing charm to plains of most
luxurious fertility.

Certain adventurous men who had assumed
the profession of whalers, it was said, had for
some time haunted these elysian shores; now
skirting their lofty and more thickly-forested
portions, and now anchoring in secluded creeks
and bays, where they varied their ocean-life by
hunting the kangaroo and the emu through
the lovely pastures and the pleasant
evergreen woods. So charming had they found
this life, that they had resolved to enjoy it
continually, and had therefore built huts on
the shores of a fine bay, and had stealthily
carried over in their whale-boats flocks and
cattle, and all that was necessary for a
jocund and plentiful Robinson Crusoe life.

But such fairylands, wherever they lie,
are too alluring to remain long terræ
incognitæ. King Arthur is supposed to have lain
hidden some thousand years or more in the
Isle of Avalon, waiting for the day when it
shall be necessary to turn out and save his
country, and as said country appears yet
very able to save itself, he may, with our
consent and that of posterity, probably stay
there another thousand. But that is the only
instance in which a man can keep such a
desirable country to himself. Little Tasmania
having been only inhabited by the white man
about thirty years, was already become
glutted with his flocks and herds. Fertile
as were the valleys of Van Diemen's Land, a
great portion of the island was occupied by
wild, rugged mountains, and still more by
dense and often barren forests. In these thirty
years of European possession the population
had reached the sum of forty thousand, of whom
no less than seventeen thousand were
England's expatriated criminals. The little more
than twenty thousand free men already found
themselves masters of eight hundred
thousand sheep, which were palpably becoming
too many for the capabilities of the pasturage,
especially in summer, when the grass was
scorched, and, as it were, dead.

The news of the new regions of fertility
and boundlessness, on the other side, as the
phrase became and remains, were, therefore,
listened to with avidity. Not only did
individuals hasten to get over, but
companies were formed, to purchase vessels, and
large tracts of country from the natives, when
they had reached the promised land. First
and foremost amongst these adventurers were
John Pascoe Fawkner and his associates,
who, procuring a ship from Sydney, steered
across with their cattle and people from
the heads of the Tamar in Van Diemen's
Land to the present bay and site of Port
Phillip.

But the spirit of enterprise was awake,
thousands were on fire to expand themselves
over limitless regions of fertility; the cry of
the whole island was, to-morrow to fresh
fields and pastures new; and others had
contrived to outstrip the Fawkner party. As
their vessel bearing, as they supposed, the
nucleus of a new colony, made its way up
the spacious bay of Port Phillip, a man
descended from an eminence, now called
Indented Head, and warned away those who
had hoped to be the first patriarchs of the
soil. This was one John Batman, who, with
a company of fifteen others, including a Mr.
Gellibrandan eminent lawyer of Van
Diemen's Land, destined to perish by the
tomahawks of the natives, and give his name to
several hills in the new countryhad not only
outstripped Fawkner, but had purchased a
tract of six hundred thousand acres of the
natives.

Thus he came down on the people of the
little ship Enterprise, not only as a prior
arrival, but as a proprietor of the ground.
But John Fawkner, who was destined to cut

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