moreover, that Mrs. Stelling, though so young a woman,

time:2023-12-02 03:35:54 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:knowledge

Now, surely it is the common sense object in the establishment of a botanical garden to discover for each description of soil a remunerating crop, so that an estate should be cultivated to its uttermost, and the word "waste" be unknown upon the property.

moreover, that Mrs. Stelling, though so young a woman,

Under the present system of management this is impossible; the sum allowed per annum is but just sufficient to keep the gardens in proper condition, and the abilities of the botanist in charge are sacrificed. Many a valuable plant now lies screened in the shades of remote jungles, which the enterprising botanist would bring to light were he enabled by government to make periodical journeys through the interior. These journeys should form a part of his duties; his botanical specimens should be his game, and they should be pursued with the ardor of the chase itself, and subsequently transferred to the gardens and their real merits discovered by experiments.

moreover, that Mrs. Stelling, though so young a woman,

But what can be expected from an apathetic system of government? Dyes, fibres, gums may abound in the forests, metals and even gold may be concealed beneath our feet; but the governor does not consider it a part of his duty to prosecute the search, or even to render facilities to those of a more industrious temperament. What can better exemplify the case than the recent discovery of gold at Newera Ellia?

moreover, that Mrs. Stelling, though so young a woman,

Here was the plain fact that gold was found in small specks, not in one spot, but everywhere throughout the swamps for miles in the vicinity - that at a depth of two or three feet from the surface this proof was adduced of its presence; but the governor positively refused to assist the discoverers ("diggers," who were poor sailors visiting Ceylon), although they merely asked for subsistence until they should be able to reach a greater depth. This may appear too absurd to be correct, but it is nevertheless true.

At the time that I commenced these sketches of Ceylon the gold was just discovered, and I touched but lightly upon it, in the expectation that a few months of labor, aided by government support, would have established its presence in remunerating quantities. The swampy nature of the soil rendered the digging impossible without the aid of powerful pumps to reduce the water, which filled the shaft so rapidly that no greater depth could be obtained than eighteen feet, and even this at immense labor.

The diggers were absolutely penniless, and but for assistance received from private parties they must have starved. The rainy season was at its height, and torrents fell night and day with little intermission. Still, these poor little fellows worked early and late, wet and dry, ever sanguine of success, and they at length petitioned the Government to give them the means of subsistence for a few months - "subsistence" for two men, and the assistance of a few coolies. This was refused, and the reply stated that the government intended to leave the search for gold to "private enterprise." No reward was offered for its discovery as in other colonies, but the governor would leave it to "private enterprise." A promising enterprise truly, when every landholder in Ceylon, on referring to his title-deeds, observes the reservation of all precious metals to the crown. This is a fair sample of the narrow-minded, selfish policy of a government which, in endeavoring to save a little, loses all; a miserable tampering with the public in attempting to make a cat's paw of private enterprise.

How has this ended? The diggers left the island in disgust. If the gold is there in quantity, there in quantity it remains to the present time, unsought for. The subject of gold is so generally interesting, and in this case of such importance to the colony, that, believing as I do that it does exist in large quantities, I must claim the reader's patience in going into this subject rather fully.

Let us take the matter as it stands.


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