The governing forces were outwardly much the same as in Upper Canada a Lieutenant Governor responsible to the Colonial Office, an Executive Council appointed by the Crown but coming to have the independent power of a well-entrenched bureaucracy, and a Legislative Council nominated by the Crown and, until nearly the end of the period, composed chiefly of the same men who served in the Executive.
We made sail in half an hour and the Sea Spell made a good leg to windward, beginning her voyage into the south a voyage on which I was following the beckoning finger of a spectre. I learned a whole lot beside seamanship during those next few weeks as the schooner Sea Spell coasted Buenos Ayres Province and the vast Colonial Territory of Magellan.
Exile to Java was made financially easy and attractive by the Dutch Government, but it was for the most part a permanent separation from the mother country, and a long term of years necessarily elapsed before the colonial planter could even return for a short visit to his native land.
If the unfortunate course of our history has hitherto prevented us from building a colonial Empire, it is our duty to make up for lost time, and at once to construct a fleet which, in defiance of all hostile Powers, may keep our sea communications open. We have long underestimated the importance of colonies.
This system would have been less successful if it had not been for two important facts. The original stuff of which our Colonial Empire was formed was singularly good.
An exaggerated view of self, however, and an almost total forgetfulness of God, took the place of the colonial humility with which they had commenced their career in this new region. These feelings were greatly heightened by three agents, that men ordinarily suppose might have a very different effect religion, law, and the press.
They wore brown leggings and riding-breeches and khaki shirts. They carried their rifles at the trail and strode up to us with the graceful gait of those accustomed to the outdoor life. "Awstralians!" said some one. "An' the corporal!" Immediately our men roused up and gathered round. "Where's yer boss?" asked the tall Colonial. "The adjutant is over here," I answered.
He has a fair knowledge of business, and he would have been hurt if I had not made him executor. So I have appointed him, and have of course left him a little money. But he could no more tackle Delia than fly. In the knock-about life we have led since I left the Colonial Service, I seem to have shed all my old friends.
Rimington takes command of his regiment, and the corps, like the rest of the Colonial Division, will be paid off. I have a vision of a great blue steamer with a bow like a cliff bursting her way through the seas on her homeward voyage. And yet I can scarcely believe it. Bad news waits us here. They say the Colony is rising. Now mark my words.
The king's mandate to stay the New England persecutors was effectual in preventing further martyrdoms; but the colonial authorities, trusting in the remoteness of their situation, and perhaps in the supposed instability of the royal government, shortly renewed their severities in all other respects.