THE GENTLEMAN EMIGRANT.*
AMIDST schemes of emigration for the city mechanic and the -country labourer, the gentleman emigrant is apt to be lost. -People are rather too prone to forget that the poor gentleman is -conifecratively as badly aff as the poor workman, and while they endeavour to give the latter a new home, they leave the former -to shift for himself. Colonisation, too, or rather emigration, has xeached a stage when, with every „reasonable allowance to the valuable qualities of the manual labourer, it is impossible not to Mee that the influx of a higher and more educated and more intellectual class into the colonies must be productive of great and lasting benefit to the civilisation of the New World. There is a time when the demand for muscles and energy must be supplemented by a demand for culture and brains. The -infusion of some of the culture and the feeling which centuries of learning and scientific research have necessarily produced in -the mother-country may make all the difference in the moral progress of a colony. A class of emigrants who may be described as cultivated Englishmen of small means who go forth not to camp out in backwoods, but to settle in a country where oppor- tunities of advancement are more frequent and more easy of being used, may then with advantage to themselves and the colonies betake themselves to these new. homes. The book which we are now reviewing is written with the object of informing this class of emigrants what they must expect in the colonies and what is expected of them. There is a good deal of sense in what the writer says, mixed up with a very fair proportion of nonsense, and a good deal of information, conveyed in a very free-and-easy, not to say slangy form. As a piece of literary work, it is worth- less, but we do not expect to find the hand which is at home with the plough or the gun equally ready with the pen. Our author is not, however, like the endless travellers who will continuallypublish narratives and diaries of places we have read of a hundred times before, for he makes no pretence of being anything more than one who has to the best of his ability placed the practical information which he has, gleaned from personal observation and experience at the service of any one who likes to read his book, or wishes for knowledge on the subject of emigration. The Canadas, the United States, and Australia are the countries of which he writes. The information which touches the first is given in a narrative shape. Our traveller met with two emigrants on his outward voyage,—first, Mr. Benedict, who posseses a wife, two children, and a few thousand pounds ; next, Ccelebs, a bachelor, with two thousand pounds in his pocket, and without incumbrances. Some time after his arrival in America, the writer pays his two friends a visit, and thus can tell us what the emigrant ought to do or to omit, what be will gain and what he will lose. Benedict is settled on a farm of two hundred and fifty acres in Canada West, for which he paid 12,500. From this he can make a comfortable living, and receive in addition five per cent. on sunken capital. That Is not making a fortune, and there are many drawbacks and disadvantages in the life ; but it has this advantage, that it means an existence free from care and the hourly expectation of the workhouse. Thus -Bart Benedict to his friend (p. 99) :—" If it were not for the Heffernans (Irish neighbours) and the servants, we should get along pretty smoothly. We are not likely to make a fortune, but
• we live comfortably, and manage to lay by a little for the children. During the spring and summer months I shall always find plenty of occupation on the farm, and each autumn after the crops are harvested we purpose taking a month's holiday. In the winter, we shall subscribe to a score of magazines and amuse ourselves with
* The Genehman Emigrant. By W. Starner. London : Tinsley Brothers. ISM reading." Such an existence, looking at it from the pointef -view of a poor clerk or commercial man, appears to us one which may fairly be envied. The period of time which elapses from the moment that ordinary common-place mortals not overburdened with money commence the business of life until they happen to die, may be briefly deseribed'as being spent in getting along. People whose whole energies are concentrated in this painful struggle to keep their head above water in England do little either to raise themselves or their neighbours. Habit, of course, becomes a second nature, and the week's holiday at the sea-side appears to them a really bright spot in their existence. Still it is impos- sible not to see that even from the mere fact of a wider field, the energy and strength which are spent in England in a hard struggle for bread might bring, in the colonies, not wealth or fortune, but a certain ease and comfort. Mr. Starner carefullyabstains from giving any glowing picture of the delights of the new world, but what he says is, that taking the advantages and disadvantages of the two countries (that term including, of course, the rate of interest on money and every other matter to be taken into consideration), the sum of the advantages for a poor man is greatly in favour of Canada. "That there may be no mistake as to our meaning," heaays (p. 141), "we will be more explicit still. To the married man who has children to educate and to start in life, to those whose capital is limited, say, to five thousand pounds, no country that we know of offers greater advantages than Ontario ; but if he be an un- married man, or a married man in easy circumstances and without a family (or with, -we might add, if his circum- stances were large enough), he would be a fool to emigrate at all." Benedict emigrated not that he and his family might avoid starvation or the workhouse, but in the hope that he might find some spot where, on the little that he had, they could live more at their ease than in England. ."-13y doing so he becomes not altogether dependent on the proceeds of his farm for his daily bread ; he lives, for the colonies, well, if not sumptuously. He resides in what is a long-settled district. Be is but a short distance from the capital, and within easy reach of one of the most fashionable watering-places of the continent. He has shooting, fishing, and boating, horses for his carriage, books from the library at Toronto, papers and magazines from London and New York." He is, in fact, making the little which he, a man of small means and average intelligence, possesses go farther than in England. Such is the main object, we conceive, which the majority who leave this country should aim at, rather than endeavour by means full of risks to amass wealth or fortune. If a man has, according to Mr. Stainer, five thousand pounds, he could live on the interest of his capital, that interest being at the rate of six per cent. But, as he further on observes, the amount required for living depends chiefly on the man himself. We have not attempted in this notice to follow our author either to the backwoods farm of his friend Ccelebs, or to the States. His advice as to these parts appears to be sound, and much informa- tion is conveyed in a few words. For instance, he tells us at once, "The West may be a poor man's paradise, but for the gentleman emigrant there are many more desirable locations,"----just exactly the reverse of what the quack colonial advisers are continually dinning into our ears. The gentleman emigrant has come to be regarded as almost a manuals sujet, the man who having failed at all trades, as a last resource emigrates. Probably in no line of life have men been more fool-hardy, more unreasoning, and more lacking in forethought and business-like calculation. The very natural consequence is that emigration has lost much of the attraction for gentlemen which it should possess, simply because so many who have tried it have failed, from their own inherent foolishness or want of proper care. Mr. Stamer will have done really good service by the publication of this book, if he makes it apparent to the world that the colonies are neither a Paradise nor an Inferno, but simply a-field where the qualities which enable a man to do well in England will enable him to do better abroad, and where, if the genius bloom unseen and neglected, the poor man of energy.and thrift may live a life of comfort and peace, not one of discomfort and worry.