|Chapter Title||THE GOOD OLD DAYS.|
|Newspaper Title||Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876)|
|Trove Title||Harry Linton's Downfall: A Story of Old Sydney|
1HARRY LINTON'S DOWNFALL. A STORY OF OLD SYDNEY. BT B. A. ATKINS. (Written expressly for the Portland Gutardian.) CHAPTER. I. TIHE GoOn OLD DYs-. TtERne is no history, ancient or modern, that cill better repay perusal titan that ol the British Colony of Now South Wales. All indescribable interest attaches to tih landing of Cook at Botany Bay, even sur pIasing that which we teel on rending of Cmesar's landing in Britain, pIerhaips we should feel equal interest in the latter event, it we could realise the pIossiblity of our grand fathers having boon present oil that ocenaiotn, and perhaps putted o0i the back that Ilcky stadtlard-heatrer of the X. Legion. Blefore cotmnunetcing my story the rnnder will per nips pardon mu i' I briefly recapitulate snmo hi'toticl events, tending to show the state of society in Sydney at the time the events I ame about to relate occurred. Colonel Lachlan Macquario was Governor of New South Wales duoing a period of twelve years Irom 1800 to 1821; and to shtctw the state of the colony on his arrival we can not do better than give the following extract from the first dispatch :-I found the colony barely emerging front infantile imbtlecility, suffering from various ptivations anl disna bilitics, tihe country ilmpenetrable bLyonl forty miles from Sydney, agriculturo in yet a hIngtiahii g state, comllttreo in its early dawn, revetlue unknown, threatened withl fminite, di'tricted by factiot, ti a public bluildings in a state of dilapidation, the lhw roads atnd bridges aloast unpassable, the Ipopulntion int gencral distress by poverty; no credit, public or private; tlhe morals of the great nass of the peoplo in the lowest slate of e'ebaemtnent, and religious worshitl, aolmost totally neglected. At the time aty story colnnttlces thitgs had greatly imt Iroved, under the role of the first aitan of decided talent appointed to hold oflien in New Iaolland; indeed it htas justly been vnilI (it him that " heo found New South WIles a gaol anti let it a colony; Ito found Sydney a village and left it a city ; heo found it ponit latint of id lt prisoners, Ipaul.ern ant pani oflicialt, and he lilt it large free community, thriving on the produce of flocks anti the labour of convicts." Yet ho was not with out his ftanlts attd failitgs, for which, how ever, his good qualities compensated ; Itis views, though narrow, were clear, his vanity boundless, but his activity untiring; he in mnost cities relied oni his owa olpiian onin cven i the tbw instalces he condtescended to ask ltd vice. It was chiefly owing to his onergy, atnd not to his care for the mnoral toie of tihe colony, that his lultors were so successful. hlo used to soy-"the colony consisted of thoso who nhad been transported and tlhoo hlio ought to have been," and "that it was n colony for convicts, and free colonists had no business there." Ile looked upon New South Wale as ns a ce where convicts IhlouI be radnle to subsist upon the least possibleo ox pet'se, and his comamon sense told Iltn that to efflect tiis the best way would be to show the t loets atit per.everanco and industry woul gain their rewards. It was Ifrm no moral leeling that he lthought the convicts should not, as former governors had imagined, bhe made anything else than alaves to the free nmen, but from an idea that such a course would Iprove a- drawback to the country. By referring to the Sy, ey, Gazette of 11th lMay, 1800, wte find a iman named Thlluptlson is cI vict, allowed to purchase blsesing utetsil, ftromi the government stores at the usual advanlce of fifty per cent. on the invoice price, with the privitlege of brewing beer, for his courageous conduct irn saving lives from the floods on the llawkesbury. When lMucquario arrived in the colony he crettlti Thomllon a llngi.trate, and went to tlr as to invite hin aitd other eamtuncipits to dinao at Governmellnt lhouse, despdit the re inontrancces of tfree settlers andt the otlicers ,t the 13rd regiment, at that time stationed it S)dtey. LDoubtless thlis lad the ,that of cau?ilig, n ait grett degree, the cessation oi crimu amongst the convict lopulatiou oc Sydnliey, tfr when they saw in ex.-prisoner riding in his carritagt to ditto at Governentent soluse, they waert indlcedt to Ilprsetvro ini i cour-, of stober industry; but in England the ellct sans detrimental on it becaluttg lkown to dishontet characters that when they picked a pocket or robbed ii house they would be Cent to it country whlter such un heard-of lloners tr it iited theln. During this time Governor Macquarie also looked Ialtr the ntmueuecents of the people, anti in the ytldny (;a:ctic (the first Australian journal, publishted t' authority int 1803, by George Ilosae, a prltonier,) we see recorded thrtc days'racing, conducted in New Market style, followed by an ordinary and two balls; the first prize, a ladies' cup, being "presented
to the winner by Mrs. Macquarie"- This period is also marked by the 'erection of a suitable place of worship, and in Dccemtht, 1809, St. Phillip's, the first brick church, was consecrated on. Christmas Day, by the lev. Samuel Marsden. The pastoral districts of the colony were extended, and their resources opened out. The Governor topik a journey across the Blue Mountains, nccompauii., by Mrs Macquaric, his chief oflicer;, and Mr. Lewin, lpouter and naturalist, fifteen mnoths after the successful tattempt in that direction h?l been made by \Vm Wentworth, Lieut. I Lawson, and Gregory llaxland, and two months before te hbattle of \Yaterloo; and on thc 7th May, 1815, he fixed on a suitable site for a town,-at some future period to be called " lBathurst." Ile also coummenced i road over the nlountains, which is now a pride to the colony. As al example of the state of public morality I may mention that the Syd ney Hlosplital was built by two gentlemen under a contract with the Governor, on con dition that they monopoliscd the right of selling and importing rum for a certain nutm I ber of years. (Ilcce many old colonists call this building tihe "Runt ospital.") The public-houses increased rapidly, and fostered tthe slpread of dissipation, which gained in lfearful extent. Despite this discouraging o state of things, it will be seen that the first dawn oft prosperity wna brightening the dark ness that had hitherto enveloped colonial society, and that Virtue was bravely strug ghug to gain a footing where hitherto Vice ar lone had reigned supreme.