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You read in their faces, those indexes to “red-lined accounts," the nature of the race they are about to run, and before they start you award them the prize. The world moves on—you are engrossed by many, and most likely what the world terms trifling objects : theirs are few and sedulously followed. You hear rumours perpetually of the immensity of their attainments, their accomplishments: they are set down in the world's opinion for the wealthiest of the wealthy. They become bankrupts! What of that ? They still retain their pleasant country residences; you see them still in their carriages, and on horseback, looking complexionally pleasant. A poor honest man on foot meets them on the dusty road, and in the entire simplicity of his heart touches his hat to the great people. What ! they have still their squatting-stations in the bush-fine herds of cattle and sheep ; and of their servants, and of their well-doing, there appears to be no end,
AN EARLY SETTLER. What an eventful life was that of Batman! His adventures in the woody wilds of Tasmania, previously to his settling in Port Phillip, when pursuing the aborigines and the bushrangers, would fill an ample volume ; and, if agreeably written, would make an admirable winter fireside story. He, indeed, rendered such valuable service, in these vocations, to the government, that Governor Arthur promised him some boon; not, perhaps, whatever he might ask, as the Arabian Genies would have done, but anything in accordance with the quality of his public services; and he did ask something that made the governor pause and demur. He did not request any honourable or lucrative public office, nor that ample breadth of fair lands might be accorded him, but what one so free, gallant, and fearless, should have done ; he sued for pardon for a fair and youthful damean outcast and outlaw-whom he had met with in the fastnesses of the mountains, and secluded in the solitary woods; too interesting a bushranger to be readily delivered by him up to the public authorities. It is said that she attended him as Kaled did Lara, in male habiliments; and that she was secreted at times at his country location under ground. What kind of bower he made for his Fair Rosamond I know not, nor by what clue he found her; he loved her well, perhaps wisely, and such grace found, after some delays, his intercessions, that she was pardoned, and became his wife. Prosperity brightened before them, and their affection. They were amongst the earliest settlers of the new, and then not far-explored region of Australia Felix ; and the hill where they resided near Melbourne, and a beautiful hill it is, graced sweetly with shiac-trees, is still called by his name. I have been told by a person who attended the small, low-roofed, wooden church, in the early days of Port Phillip, that to see the Batman family, not a small one, the parents, and the children of various heights and ages, all marching in orderly, all graceful, figures, with open, healthfully blooming countenances, was a most beautiful sight. A spectacle that was, no doubt, additionally interesting from what there was romantic in their history.
November 30, 1843.—Waterton, Audubon, or any of their naturally-observant brotherhood, would have had a feast this morning of no ordinary kind, had they found, as a member of our household did, an oval nest, in a wattle-tree, not far from the house, suspended by a thread, and swinging like a sailor's hammock in the breeze. I have seen similar nests suspended by a twisted line of fine twigs a few inches in length, but never such a blending of man's and animal's work as this. The thread was more than a foot long, not bird-manufactured, but stolen, and first unwoven, from a piece of canvas left out-of-doors. How the nest could be built there, was the most singular circumstance. The thread was fast woven into the texture of the nest, and tied to and again about the bough. There it swung, with its two pale, not white, eggs, but with a faint blue tinting their whiteness. We suggested that the nest had been originally fitted and completed in the branch above, and had been either launched thence, to swing hammock-wise, or that such a position was merely accidental, that it had been blown out and suspended by a chance thread. Analogy did not bear out either inference; birds, these birds, do suspend their nests; no doubt to defend them from snakes and other enemies; then there seemed nothing like chance, but every certainty of a nicety of design ; for had the nest fallen, it might have swung sideways or upside-down, instead of being in the exactest natural position. Design there was, most unequivocally complete, in its whole and fit development; ordered by the same intelligence as our reason ; wonderful in its operation ; forcibly reminding us, by its novelty, of the wisdom and benignity, observed or not, ever evident in the whole creation.
UNANIMOUS INDECISION. Monarchies are sometimes good things, so are republics perhaps. Decision in a leader is a great blessing, when directed by wisdom. The race, after all, is not always to the swift, or the battle to the strong : accident is sometimes better than strength or swiftness; better than republican discretion, or monarchical decision. So I once found it. We were on the beach, four of us; one physician, two surgeons, and a druggist. If we agreed physically-politically we were all at variance. Our boat was anchored on the shore ; before us, two miles off, was our ship. Darkness was coming on; the wind sighed; the heavens scowled for a night of tempest ; the surf broke upon the shore, mingled foam and sand. Three of us proposed to kindle a fire, and remain on shore for the night, not liking to venture. The fourth would not. He had passed the previous night under the bare heavens, and was resolved to go to the ship, whatever the consequence. I had been out too, but we consented ; and a fisherman volunteered to push our boat for us through the surf, observing, at the same time, that it would not be a trifle that would tempt him to go to the ship in such a night. For two hours we toiled and contended with wind and wave, drenched with spray, and nearly exhausted with almost unavailing efforts to reach the ship anchored off William's Town. At no time had we been in such danger of losing our lives. We proved ourselves thorough republicans, all differing in opinion, all giving orders, or suggesting different courses for the management of the boat ; all commanding, none obeying. Each of us was satisfied that his idea of our situation was the best, and the way to get out of it. Had our captain been with us, we should have obeyed him; the helm would have been given unanimously to his sovereign hand. He would have shaped our course, have made one our divided councils, and would have accomplished that in half an hour as a sovereign, which it took us two hours to accomplish as republicans. We escaped by accident; and, in similar gales, many in that very bay have lost their lives : Morris, Dellanoy, Mr. Walsh, a gentleman from Ireland, and his companions ; besides others.
CONVICT PASSPORTS. Some Australian settlers wish for the introduction of the pass into Australia Felix, or that it might be customary for workingmen to carry with them a magistrate's certificate of the settler, with whom, and where he had last resided, to put a stop to colonial vagabondism. Pro and con. there has been on this subject in the papers, betwixt Mr. Wills, of Mount William, and Mr. Hull, the Melbourne magistrate. The former for, and the latter against it. The first proposes what would be certainly a salutary check on a race becoming a great nuisance; and the last as strenuously advocates the liberty of the subject—the unimpeded movements of Englishmen. Some settlers think it would be well to charge just the cost of the food which, in outof-the-way places, they feel compelled to offer to wayfarers, when there are no inns; and, perhaps, that would be the best way of ridding themselves of men who seek work, yet ask exorbitant wages, and such as the squatter cannot give. Certainly passes are nuisances. The first I saw of the system, was whilst standing by Sibbald's Mill, at Launceston, where the Esk is crossed by a punt. By the river was a sentry-box. There, whilst I waited, a foot-traveller came to cross the punt; the constable asked him for his pass; the man pulled a strip of paper from his pocket; the official examined, and returned it. Whilst our ship lay in the Tamar, two of our passengers walked from Launceston to where we were, twelve miles down the river, and were just hailing us to take a boat for them, when a constable, thinking them bolters-run-away convicts-came up to them and demanded to see their passes. It was in vain that they assured him they were strangers in the colony-passengers of the very ship in sight; not being able to show him the passes -nor knowing any person who could identify them—they, like stupid fellows, went back the twelve miles to Launceston, instead of compelling the constable to go on board with them. They were, being ignorant of the country and its laws, in no small trepidation; and were too glad, on being identified in Launceston by some shipmates, to be at liberty again, to trouble themselves with any magisterial inquiry into the constable's officiousness.
This pass affair is a sore poser to run-away convicts, where it is carefully enforced, in penal colonies. One run-away, at Port Arthur I think it was, had to pass a narrow peninsula, quite a narrow strip of land, where stood a sentry-box and a most watchful sentinel. He had approached under the cover of the neighbouring trees, and retired again in despair times and times -he always found the watcher vigilant at his post. A thought struck him : kangaroos were so abundant there, that he fancied were he to disguise himself in a kangaroo skin, he should be suffered to pass without notice. Immediately he became, to all
outward appearance, a boomer, or large forester kangaroo, and jumped very leisurely into the sentinel's walk; but not unobserved. The gun was pointed immediately ; and as quickly, like Balaam's ass, the kangaroo spoke—“Stop, don't shoot I'm not a kangaroo—I'm a man!”
Another anecdote is told, and I believe truly, about the pass.
A magistrate, either the originator, or notorious for the strict enforcement of the pass ; a man of an austere disposition, and common-looking; was met in the bush by a newly-appointed waggishly-inclined constable, who only just knew him by name and sight, and what was more, by his character. The policeman was one of that sort who must break a jest at whatever expense ; and so he accosts the stranger with—“My man, where is your pass?” “What assurance,” said the magistrate haughtily_"Get about your business !” “It's my business to see your pass,” continued the official firmly. “Nonsense, fellowget you gone !”-here the magistrate hesitated a little, as though he would rather get rid of the man without making himself known; it was not pleasant to be thought to be a convict; but saw such resolution in the constable's face, that he exclaimed, “ I'm Mr. - the magistrate.” “Ha, ha, ha! that's good, if it isn't. I should never have thought of that—that's capital !!! laughed the constable ; “or, you are Mr. Horne, of Rossbridge, or Mr. Archer, of Norfolk Plains : any of the rich men, ha?” “ You rascal !” stormed the enraged little man. But the man of the staff was resolute. “No gammon,” said he ; "your passor with me you go before the bench.” And before the bench of magistrates, then sitting, they went. On the business being explained, there was fun enough; the magistrates laughed heartily, especially those who did not altogether like their unfortunate brother.
GLIMPSE OF THE BUSH. Very pleasant is a ramble over hill and dale, or through forests and by streams in this primeval region ; yet I must not compare it with England. So thoroughly am I what the Yankees term an Englisher, that I often pity the native white people of the colonies, who only faintly know what England is from the narrative or descriptive revelations of their parents. You see a bandicoot run, rat-like, before you to its rabbit-like hole in the ground; a hare would be the more graceful object. Near you stands an old gum-tree, called red from its internal colour, massy, gigantic, gnarled, and fantastically branched as the English