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than the myriads beyond all calculation of smaller ones. They visited us every day, rainy ones only excepted, and the cavalcade, like a black line, of comers and goers, might be traced far away into the bush. Their place of resort, next to their own nest, was the safe in which meat was kept, or the sugar-bag, They are not such pests in brick or stone dwellings as in wood ones, such as ours. To keep them out of the house, we poured kettles full of boiling water on them ; we also tried pepper, and hot ashes : it was in vain, and we grew sick of the slaughter. We suspended our safe by a string from the cottage-roof: it succeeded for a few days; then down from the roof by the string they came in millions. At length we tarred the string, and the safe was no misnomer. When wearied, often far away in the bush, wanting to rest, I have looked on tree after tree, lying along the ground; but so thronged were they with highways and by-ways of the ant nations, it was impossible to sit down.
“You are sometimes startled by the serrate-backed, ashycoloured guanas, that lie still, near you; then, when they move, go with a scuffle to the nearest tree, on the bark of which, from similarity of colour, they are scarcely discerned. Lizards of all sizes run about in abundance—the largest kind six or eight inches in girth, and about a foot long. It will stay in your path for you to touch it with your stick, and will open a wide, disgusting, sky-blue mouth, and bite very pettishly. I believe it is harmless.”
“Australia, Jan. 25th, 1844. “ We have been busy for the last week or two, preparing to quit this far-away country—this wrong side of the world ; but fortune, or the demon of perversity, who have many a time and oft before given us hard rubs, are not content that we should depart without a stirrup-cup memento of their spirit; thus, when we most anxiously desire fine weather, the winds beat up big drums in the west, and bring up rain over the land incessantly. The corn, by this rain and the warmth of the weather, has grown · in the sheaf sooner than in England you would imagine.
“My nephew has only been able to get 2s. 6d. per bushel for his barley, as it had been stained by the insects ; for his wheat, 4s. We disposed of our bullock-team, the beasts, dray, &c., which cost us 901., for (some of the beasts were lost) 131. I must name a few prices of farm implements. Drays, two years ago, were 281., now, 8l. or 101.; ploughs, 21. to 31. ; harrows, 32s. to 21. per pair ; working bullocks, 61. per pair ; yoke and
bows, 10s.; bullock chains, 58. each ; horses, 101. to 201. each ; new calved cows, 11. 10s. to 21. 10., the calves given in ; sheep, 5s. per head ; mixed herds of cattle, 1l. per head.
“Price of farm produce :-Oaten hay, ll. 10s. to 21. 10s.; barley, 2s. 6d, to 3s. 6d. per bushel ; oats, do. Is. 6d. to 2s. ; wheat do., 3s. 6d. to 4s. ; colonial cheese, 8d. per lb. ; butter do., 6d. to 9d. ; potatoes, 2s. 6d. per cwt.; mutton, ltd. ; beef, 1 d. per lb. Wages :-Domestic servants, 81. to 121. ; labourers, 15l. to 201. per annum, and rations; mechanics, anything they can get, when they can get employment.”
“ Australia, March 19th, 1844.
* “We have taken our passage for England. This may reach you (by another vessel) if we do not. On shipboard I had a feeling again of Old England; felt indeed as though I were already in the London Docks. I turned on the sand to look at the goodly ship, which is to carry us over the ocean; and then fancied I could hear the seamen chanting merrily some national ditty. Here, in our temporary abode, in Spring Street, Melbourne, which is yet only half a street, having the bush before us, where all is tranquillity above and around, I fancy again I hear the same strain ; it must be this :
‘HURRAH FOR ENGLAND.
Why, dead to joy, thus linger here?
Hurrah ! for England let us steer.
Thought nothing of them all, 'tis clear,
Hurrah! for England let us steer.
Who conquered nations, year by year;
Hurrah ! for England let us steer.
Its name the farthest wilds revere ;
Hurrah ! for England let us steer.
To man, to God, to freedom dear!
Hurrah! for England let us steer.'”
THE RETURN VOYAGE.
On the 30th of March, 1844, I left, in the Aden for London, the Heads of Port Phillip, after four days' lingering and illness in the bay. The winds not being altogether favourable caused the delay; and the change of temperature—from warm to cold, from land to water-an attack, after three years' good health, of my colonial enemy, the dysentery. Sea-sickness I had not, nor ever had. Good health soon returned, however, and was mine the whole voyage.
I did not leave Australia without regret : some fibres of the affections, if not roots, had struck deep into the alien soil. In my heart I bade an affectionate farewell to the not always gentle and friendly Yarra; to the one small cottage on its banks-our tranquil home of many seasons, and endeared to us-it and its few surrounding fields-by toil and difficulties, as the child of our industry in the waste wilderness. Ties of kindred there were, too ; likewise kindred spirits, which had sympathised with us, and with which we had sympathised ; and for these, in my heart there lived, and were now breathed forth, warm wishes and warm farewell benedictions.
But I am growing serious—as farewells generally are. The land of Australia was receding—the land of blacks, black snakes, black fish, and black potatoes ; all of them, say the natives, very excellent eating ;* to the quality of the two latter only I can bear witness—the land of kangaroos, fleas, and grasshoppers, which jump abundantly, though not with my inclinations—the land where trees sink and stones swim; where the birds dress very handsomely-very angels in their plumage, but at the antipodes in their voices—the land where Whitsuntide wraps herself in a woollen mantle, forsaken of daffodils, peonies, and lilacs; whilst Father Christmas cools himself with a fan under verandahs, wreathing his sunburnt brows with summer blossoms, and dressed in the finest of fine linen—the land which, as God made it, is a fine land; where whatever there is in it miserable is mostly of man's making-a land of abundance of food; wherein
* A Port Phillip native was heard to say, “ White man no good to eat; white man salt; black fellow good as bullock."
there is room and rest for the elbowed and o’erwearied of the densely-populated old European nations, when they shall be permitted to taste it-a land, wonderful in its infancy and gigantic in its promise.
It was fading in the afternoon from our sight; and in the words of Campbell, than which, as applied by him to Australia, none are more appropriate, I bade adieu to its
“Mountains blue, and melon-skirted streams."
The Mary Lloyd, of Liverpool, had followed us from Port Phillip Bay, and seemed disposed to sail with us in amicable companionship. Some few hours she had been satisfied to follow; now she came forward and sailed with us in an even course. We had heard that our captain was a sea-Jehu, a furious sailer, and we rather wondered at the complacency with which he took her approaches. It was only for a short time, however, that he dallied : other sails soon fluttered to the breeze ; our companion soon lost that friendly relation—was gradually left, and the next day was behind too far for our observation.
We saw in the evening the north-east point of Van Diemen's Land--sailing betwixt it and Flinders' Island. We saw with great interest the high mountains in the latter, from which one of the natives of the former, there expatriated, had had his own country pointed out to him, and towards which, with outstretched arms, and a voice toned by the deepest melancholy, he exclaimed, “My country! my country!”
Never were there more propitious gales, never finer sailing, than fell to our lot for three or four days as we left the Straits and sped on prosperously towards the islands of New Zealand. A change we experienced too soon; stiff winds sending us sadly too much to the south-west. Then came a dead calm of a week's continuance. Then, with gentle breezes, we went softly forward, speaking with two vessels ; one, the Enterprise from Hobart Town, the other, the Adelaide from Launceston; both, like us, bound for London. Both were brigs-small crafts compared with ours; of not more than half the tonnage. Yet adventurous indeed they were ; for they had to traverse the wintry regions of storms and icebergs, and had to contend with that lion on the ocean path-Cape Horn.
What I have to say of the voyage from this part of the ocean will be best given in a letter, written long afterwards, but which I had no opportunity of forwarding.
At sea, near Rio Janeiro, June 17th, 1844. To Godfrey Howitt, M.D., Melbourne, Port Phillip.
DEAR BROTHER,—Having now been on board the Aden twelve weeks, and having made but miserable progress compared with what we expected, it will indeed be very long before you can receive intelligence of our arrival in England ; more especially so, if the remaining portion of our voyage prove as tedious as the first. On this account I judged you would like to hear of us from this part of the world, should there be a ship for your port in Rio.
We are here contrary to the intention of our captain, who is going into Rio very much against his will; the winds having left us no alternative, unless that by going eastward we would consent to complete thus, for no purpose, the circle of the southern hemisphere.
We are off Cape Frieo, on which is the lighthouse, at the elevation, it is said, of 18,000 feet. We first saw the light on the evening of the 15th, at about 11 p.m.; at 12, we bouted ship and went back four hours ; after which the captain again tried to retrace his way to the light, but being driven forty miles to leeward, by winds and currents which run here strongly, we are to-day working hard to make up lost sea-way.
We have met on the voyage with delays many and vexatious; have lost much time through calms and head-winds; have had some timber blown away also in heavy squalls : the sail-maker, as well as the carpenter and joiner, has been well employed. Fortunately, we have lost no masts; although yards, fore and main, and booms, thick as a man's middle, have gone in pieces, snapping like small sticks. · We went southerly to latitude 57°, and when we were in the latitude of Cape Horn our longitude was 165° 6' east. We then run off the east longitude to 1889, and from 188° the west longitude to 70° to Cape Horn; consequently, we sailed in the winterly region of the southern hemisphere 125o. On went the ship, day after day, and week after week—all of it cold, dim, dismal weather. Onward for ever were we blown by the same strong wind; the sun and moon and stars seldom visible, or seen as are weeping eyes; the air tempestuous, and driving before it, with a wail and whistle, rain, sleet, hail, and snow-drifting to corners winterly heaps, and glueing ice to ropes and shrouds. Many of the stoutest seamen had chilblains on their hands and