Arrangements had been made for a kangaroo-hunt to-morrow. I should dearly like to see one; but it is impossible to remain for it, as not only is Tom expecting us to return, but I feel much too weak and ill to think of riding. It was therefore settled that Mabelle, Tab, and Mr. Pemberton should stay, and Mr. des Graz and I return to Albany. A black boy was despatched on horseback to Mount Barker with sundry telegrams to make arrangements for staying at Albany over next Monday night, when it is proposed to give a ball in our honour. Posts are so few and far between in Western Australia, and indeed in many other parts of the continent, that telegrams generally take the place of letters. The cost of a message is very moderate within the limits of each colony, but terribly dear when once those limits are passed.
At twelve o'clock the waggonette came to the door, and I resumed my place in front, well wrapped up, for it was raining hard. We left the buggy to bring on the others to-morrow, and started on our way, full of regret at having to leave so soon, and of gratitude for the kindness and hospitality we had received.
Just before leaving, we had an opportunity of seeing a native lad throw a boomerang—or kylie, as they are called here. I could not have believed that a piece of wood could have looked and behaved so exactly like a bird, quivering, turning, flying, hovering, and swooping, with many changes of pace and direction, and finally alighting close to the thrower's feet.
The horses were tired, and our progress was therefore somewhat slow as far as Mount Barker, where Mrs. Cooper—the hostess—again received us cordially, quickly lighted a fire, and made me comfortable in front of it. Then she produced a regular country lunch, ending with a grape tart, plenty of thick cream, and splendid apples and pears. I gave her some books in remembrance of our little visit; and she finally sent me away rested and refreshed, with a present of fresh butter and flowers.
It was nearly dark by the time we left Chorkerup—indeed, scarcely light enough to distinguish the kind landlady's white apron as she ran out to greet us. Such a warm welcome as she gave us! and such a good meal of poached eggs, cutlets, bacon, and all sorts of good things, in spite of our protests that we wanted only a cup of tea! Her children had gathered me a beautiful nosegay of bush flowers, and she put up some bunches of 'everlastings,' for which this part of the world is famous, and which are said to keep fresh for years.
I settled down as best I could in the back of the waggonette before the horses were put in, so as to be quite ready for the actual start, which was a work of time and difficulty; for the horses at first absolutely refused to move forward, though they kept alternately rearing, kicking, plunging, and standing stubbornly still. At the end of half an hour's efforts our coachman, who had been exhorted to stick tight in expectation of a flying start, gave up the attempt, and the horses were removed. After some discussion the least tired of the past pair and the least wicked of the present were put in, and off we went, with a jerk and a jolt, and many injunctions to stick to the road. This was easier said than done; for when we came to the camp-fires of the lumberers whom I had seen at work yesterday, the glare frightened our horses, and caused them to swerve off the road, and dash into the bush by the side. This happened more than once; but even on the road itself the jerks and jolts were so bad that we were forced to go slowly, so that we only reached Albany at half-past eight instead of at six o'clock, and found everybody very anxious about us. Tom and Baby waited on the pier until past seven, when cold and hunger drove them back to the yacht.
Saturday, May 14th.—When I awoke this morning the fever and ague from which I had been suffering had all disappeared, and, though still very tired, I felt decidedly better for the change and the bush life. I am convinced there is nothing like a land journey to restore a sea-sick person after a voyage. The news which greeted me on arriving last night had not been cheering, for several of our men were ill with feverish colds.
ALBANY TO ADELAIDE.
Saturday, May 14th.—It was a cold showery morning when we landed, to photograph a party of natives, and see them throw boomerangs and spears. They were the most miserable-looking objects I ever beheld; rather like Fuegians. The group consisted of two men, dressed partly in tattered European clothes, and partly in dirty, greasy kangaroo-skins heaped one on the top of another, and two women in equally disreputable costumes. One of the latter had a piccaninny hung behind her in an opossum-skin, the little hairy head and bright shining eyes of the child peeping out from its shelter in the quaintest manner. Although the poor creatures were all so ugly, we did our best to take some photographs of them, using a pile of sandal-wood bags as a background. Then we drove up to the cricket-ground to see them throw their boomerangs or kylies, which they did very cleverly. One of the kylies was broken against a tree, but most of the others flew with unerring precision. The spears were thrown from a flat oval piece of wood, in size and shape something like the blade of a paddle, which sent them forward with great accuracy and velocity. The natives have formed a small encampment not far from here, where they live in the most primitive fashion, very dirty, and quite harmless. Their nearest neighbour tells me that they come daily to her house for water and scraps, but that they never attempt to steal anything or cause her any annoyance.
We next visited two curio shops, kept by Webb and Gardiner. Webb is rather a clever naturalist, and corresponds with Dr. Hooker; he sent a good many botanical specimens from this neighbourhood to the Colonial Exhibition last year. There were some beautiful feathers of the male and female cockatoo, a few stuffed birds, and a good many weapons, some of which we bought. At Gardiner's we found more native weapons, which he buys in the bush and then sets the natives to work to repair. Fortunately for us, he had only recently returned from one of his expeditions, and we were therefore able to pick up some of the specimens in the condition in which he had found them, all rough and broken from the effects of recent fights. The spear-heads and teeth are generally made of flint or granite, or old bottle-glass, fastened to the shaft with kangaroo sinews and the gum of the 'black-boy.' The tomahawks have double edges fastened on in the same manner. The knives are like one-sided spear-heads, with a short handle attached. The flat paddle-shaped pieces of wood by means of which they throw their spears are called womaras. There were also numerous specimens of kylies, and curious message-sticks about ten or twelve inches long, made from the thigh-bone of the kangaroo, and sharply pointed at one end. A sort of hieroglyph or rude writing is scratched upon them, and they are used to convey messages from one place to another. We bought some opossum-skins and rugs of various sorts, and admired the beautiful live birds, including parrots and cockatoos.
From three to five o'clock I was 'at home' on board the 'Sunbeam.' The afternoon had improved, and was bright and sunny. I think our guests were pleased with their visit.
Tab, Mabelle, and Mr. Pemberton returned this afternoon. They seemed to have had a most enjoyable though fatiguing day, having breakfasted at seven o'clock, and started before eight. They saw some twenty or thirty kangaroos, of which they only killed three. At half-past one they set out for Albany, and drove the forty-two miles, through Mount Barker and Chorkerup. Mabelle brought me back some bush flowers, very beautiful and interesting when closely examined, especially the blue holly, a plant with a holly-like leaf and a blue pea-shaped flower. Two or three varieties of blue erica, tiny heaths, and epacris were also very pretty. It is curious how all, even the smallest of the bush flowers, run to bottle-brush just as readily as the great banksias and eucalypti, and what strange little bottle-brushy appendages they all have.
Mabelle also brought some beautiful black cockatoos' feathers. Those of the male bird have a band of brilliant scarlet right across them, which looks so artificial that when a fan made of these feathers was sent lately to New Zealand nobody would believe that it had not been cleverly painted. The female bird has a light yellow and fawn-coloured tail, more delicate in colour though not so brilliant as her mate's plumage. We saw a great flight of black cockatoos yesterday. These seemed to have white in their tails instead of red. Cockatoos are very affectionate and loyal to one another—a fact of which those who kill or capture them take advantage; for if they succeed in wounding a bird they tie it up in a tree, where, so long as it continues to cry, not one of its companions will leave it, but will hover around, allowing themselves to be shot rather than desert a comrade. It is a great pity these handsome birds devour the grain so terribly that settlers are obliged to wage a war of extermination against them. Very different is the behaviour under similar circumstances of the kangaroo, in whom I have in consequence lost much of my interest. When hard pressed the doe will take her offspring out of her pouch and fling it to the dogs to gain time for her own escape. The meat of the joeys, as the young ones are called, is by far the best, and tastes something like hare, though it is rather tough and stringy. The flesh of the older animals is more like that of red deer. Both require to be well basted, and eaten with red currant jelly, to make them at all palatable.
Sunday, May 15th.—Such a lovely day—more like an ideal May morning in England than an Australian winter's day. We attended service in a picturesque ivy-covered edifice.
After lunch a great many workpeople and others came on board, by invitation, to see the yacht, as it was impossible for them to visit it on any other day. The blue waters of the Sound looked quite gay with the little flotilla of boats coming and going.
At three o'clock we all went ashore in the steam-launch, most of the party intending to climb up the hill to the signal-station to look at the view. My own destination was Quarantine Island, where I sat on the sands in the delicious sunshine, while the dogs ran about and the children gathered flowers. It seems a nice, healthy, breezy little place, with a well-planned lazaretto, capable of accommodating a small number of invalids, and a convenient cottage for the custodian and his wife, whom we could see out in their boat fishing. While we were on shore, the men in our boat, with the assistance of two boathooks, but even then with considerable difficulty, captured an octopus about three feet across; a horrid-looking monster, which tried to cling to everything near with its round suckers and long feelers.
Monday, May 16th.—Tom took me ashore to enable me to keep a driving engagement; but he was suffering from a chill, and felt very unwell. Although anxious to try the efficacy of his universal panacea—exercise—he was ultimately obliged to abandon the experiment and to return on board.
I enjoyed my drive immensely, for it was a bright sunny morning, with a soft air blowing. The buggy was comfortable; the horses went well; and Mr. Young, who drove me, was full of interesting information. After passing the cemeteries, we went by a rough road through the bush, where much of the vegetation was new and strange. Then we crossed the extreme end of a large fresh-water lake, and shortly afterwards emerged from the bush on to the shore of a fine bay, called Middleton Beach, along the edge of which, by the side of the curling breakers, we drove over a firm white sand, admiring the effect of the dark blue sea, changing to a delicate pale green before breaking on the shore. On the way back I was shown a small corrugated iron house, with an outbuilding attached, in the middle of a considerable clearing, the owner of which proposes to supply the town of Albany with garden and dairy produce. I wish him every success, and hope that he will include eggs and poultry in his scheme; for the only eggs which we have been able to procure have been six in number, and have cost threepence each. These, too, were only supplied as a special favour, because I was 'sick.'
Tom dragged himself on shore again in the afternoon, but did not remain long, as we had to receive more visitors, who had been prevented from coming yesterday.
At seven o'clock Mr. and Mrs. Loftie and Mr. Young came to dinner, and Tom being too ill to appear, I had to do my best to entertain them. After dinner, having seen the invalids made as comfortable as possible, we started, well wrapped up—for it was bitterly cold—for the dance at the Court-House, which is built on so steep a hill that, although the building is three storeys high towards the sea, yet by entering at the back the level of the top storey is at once reached. The dancing had just begun, and it proved a most cheery little ball. All present were hearty, kindly, and genial.
Tuesday, May 17th.—A lovely morning, perfectly calm. Tom much better, and anxious to be off. Mails and farewell messages were accordingly sent on shore, and Mr. Loftie came off with parting words of kindness and farewell, and laden with flowers. Precisely at eleven o'clock, with signals of 'Good-bye' and 'Thanks' hoisted at the main, we steamed out of the snug harbour where we have passed such a pleasant week and have received so much kindness. The pilot soon quitted us, and we were once more on the broad ocean. The wind outside was dead ahead, and the heavy rollers tumbling in foreboded a still heavier swell as we got further away from the land. In fact, Tom more than once asked me if we had not better put back. As it was too rough to steam, a certain amount of snug sail was set; and, close-hauled, we steered as near our course as circumstances would permit.
There are a good many invalids on board among the crew and servants, the symptoms in each case being very similar. This morning the two maids, two stewards, and three of the men had more or less succumbed to 'malarial colds'—nothing serious, the doctor says, but very uncomfortable. It is quite certain that many more are now laid up than we ever had on the sick-list in the tropics; but the sudden change from heat to cold may of course account for this state of things.
Wednesday, May 18th.—The wind was rather more favourable; but, although close-hauled, we were nearly two and a half points off our course, the head-sea running very high. Although the air was warm I remained in my cabin all the morning, feeling wretched and uncomfortable. At noon we had run 110 miles—100 under steam and 10 under sail—and were in lat. 35 deg. 44' S., long. 119 deg. 53' E., Kangaroo Island being 820 miles distant. The total distance now accomplished since we left England is 9,236 miles under sail, and 7,982 under steam, making a total of 17,218 miles.
I was called upon deck once during the day to see a whale with a fin on its back. Gray, in his book on Western Australia, says that this kind of whale lives principally on the large phosphorescent medusae. The evening was cold, as usual, and I was glad to go below early. Venus rose brilliantly, but so red that several on board thought it must be the port light of a ship astern; though how any vessel could have suddenly got there they could not make out. Soon afterwards shouts were heard on first seeing what Tom described as lamps of light or fireballs astern. These turned out to be the luminous medusae which Gray speaks of, and which were much larger and more brilliant than any we had yet seen.
Thursday, May 19th.—Wind fair, but head-swell still continuing. I had a very busy morning below, writing journal and letters. At noon we had run 120 miles under sail, and were then in lat. 36 deg. 12' S., long. 122 deg. 4' E. In the afternoon we took some photographs of Tom in his R.N.A.V. uniform, the Guard of Honour, ourselves, the Court, &c., on the occasion of Neptune's visit when we crossed the line. Sundry unsuccessful attempts were made to photograph the animals, but they seemed to be suffering from a severe attack of the fidgets. To see 'Jenny Jenkins,' the monkey, in her new blue jumper with 'Sunbeam R.Y.S.,' embroidered by Mabelle, and 'Mr. Short,' the black-and-tan terrier, playing together, is really very pretty; they are so quick and agile in their movements that it is almost impossible to catch them. 'Mrs. Sharp,' the white toy terrier, in her new jersey, a confection of Muriel's, occasionally joins in the frolic; though her condescension is not much appreciated, for she is rather too quick with her teeth. The photograph of the Guard of Honour was spoiled by a passing whale, to which Tom suddenly drew everybody's attention by pointing to it with his drawn sword. The monster left a greasy wake behind him, as he swam lazily along, blowing slightly.
Towards evening the air became very cold, and the wind not quite so fair. A splendid sunset threw a lovely glow on the sails. Later on the sea continued to go down, and I was able to make my first appearance at dinner at sea for many a long day past, but only as a spectator even now.
Friday, May 20th.—Another fine clear day; but the horrid easterly swell is as bad as ever, and with such a light wind we seem to feel it more. A busy morning with journal and letters.
At noon we had come 148 miles under sail, and Kangaroo Island was now 546 miles distant; we were in lat. 36 deg. 25' S., long. 125 deg. 13' E.
Saturday, May 21st.—A pouring wet morning, with every appearance of continued rain. Later on the weather cleared, though heavy squalls came up at intervals until noon, when it turned quite warm, bright, and sunny.
In the afternoon the wind freshened considerably, and our speed improved in proportion. The heavy head-swell having gone down, everyone on board felt more comfortable. Advantage was taken of the lull to get a few photographs of the engineers, cooks, and others. A nautical entertainment had been fixed for 6 P.M.; but unfortunately that hour was selected to gybe the ship, so that it was 6.30 before the entertainment commenced. There was but a small audience; which seemed a pity, for the performance was exceptionally good.
The wind continued to freshen, and by 11 P.M. we were tearing through the water before a fair breeze, but knocking about a good deal more than was pleasant.
Sunday, May 22nd.—From midnight until 6 A.M. the state of things was wretched in the extreme. Sails flapping, the cry of the sailors continually heard above the howling of the wind, and much water on deck. Then I went to sleep, waking again at seven to find it blowing half a gale of wind, which rapidly increased to a whole gale. At noon we were in lat. 35 deg. 55' S., long. 132 deg. 7' E., having run 206 miles under sail.
We had service at 11.15, and again at four o'clock. In the morning there was no congregation; partly because of the rough weather, and partly because we had sailed so well that nobody realised how much faster the time was to-day than it had been yesterday, and we were therefore all behindhand. In the afternoon I went on deck for a short time, but found it so cold that I could not remain; for, although the wind was right aft, the gale blew fierce and strong. Tom had a very anxious time of it, literally flying along a strange coast, with on one hand the danger of being driven ashore if the weather should become at all thick, and on the other the risk of getting pooped by the powerful following sea if sail were shortened. At 11 P.M. we met a large sailing-ship steering to the southward; which was felt to be very satisfactory, showing as it did that we were on the right track.
Monday, May 23rd.—Precisely at 7 A.M. we made the lights of Cape Borda or Flinders, on Kangaroo Island, about twelve miles ahead, exactly where Tom expected to find it, which was a great relief to everybody on board, after our two days of discomfort and anxiety. At noon we had run 265 miles, and should have done much more had we not been obliged to shorten sail in the night.
In the afternoon the yacht passed between Kangaroo and Althorpe Islands, the coast of the former being very like the white cliffs between Dover and Folkestone. It was extremely cold, and after my night of neuralgic pains I did not dare to go out on deck, and had to content myself with observing everything through the windows of the deck-house. In the evening we made Troubridge and all the other lights on the way up to Glenelg, and after some deliberation Tom decided to heave-to for the night, instead of sailing on to the anchorage of Port Adelaide.
Tuesday, May 24th.—By 6 A.M. we were on deck, endeavouring to ascertain our precise position, and about seven a steam-launch came bustling towards us, whose occupants hailed us with cordial welcomes to South Australia. Directly they came alongside, our small deck-house was crowded with visitors, who presented us in the name of the Holdfast Bay Yacht Club with a beautifully illuminated and kindly worded address. So anxious had they been to give us a warm and early welcome, that they had been on the look-out for us all night, while we had been waiting outside so as to arrive by daylight. It seems that the signalmen on Cape Borda had made out our number yesterday when we were more than seven miles off, so clear is the dry air of these regions. Our early guests were naturally hungry and cold; and a large party soon sat down to a hastily prepared breakfast. It was excellently supplemented, however—to us seafarers especially—by a large basket of splendid fruit which our friends had brought off with them. Presently the Mayor of Glenelg and his daughter arrived, full, like everybody else, of kindly plans for our amusement while here.
Having come to an anchor off Glenelg, Tom and Tab went up to Adelaide to attend the Birthday levee, and I landed later with the rest of the party at the long wooden pier.
The first appearance of Glenelg from the sea is very like that of Deauville, the town appearing to consist of semi-detached houses standing in the midst of gardens and trees, with a pretty background of hills. There seemed to be no small houses or streets—an impression which was confirmed by closer inspection. In fact, Glenelg is essentially a fashionable seaside place; and though there are a few excellent shops, most of the supplies must come from Adelaide, seven miles off, to which a steam-tram runs every half-hour, taking twenty minutes for the journey. The carriage-road crosses the tramway and the railway line to Melbourne at intervals. The country is quite flat, the road passing between fields now beautifully green. We saw the suburb of Goodwood a little way off, and soon afterwards the tall spires of the churches and the towers of the public buildings of Adelaide appeared. To-day being a general holiday in honour of the Queen's birthday, the houses in the city were decked with flags and the shops closed, which gave it rather a Sunday-like appearance. The streets are fine and wide, especially King William Street. We drove to Government House, a comfortable residence surrounded by a nice English-looking garden.
It was very pleasant to meet our friend the Governor, Sir William Robinson, again. After lunch we drove off to the races in two open carriages, with an escort of police, passing through a pretty part of the city, where charming little villas nestle in the midst of detached gardens. The racecourse itself is extremely pretty, and commands a fine view. The grand-stand is a fine building, with the Governor's box in the centre. The Cup had just been run for, but we saw a capital hurdle-race, over a course three miles long, with some very stiff flights of rails, about which there was no give-and-take. Then came a good flat race, three out of five horses coming in neck and neck. We drove back to Government House to tea, and then returned to Glenelg, where we had left the two little ones.
On the pier we found awaiting us an unfortunate reporter, who had been hunting Tom down all day to try and interview him, but had always managed to arrive everywhere just too late. We took him off with us and gave him some dinner, for which he was very grateful after his hard wearying day. Presently Tom and Mabelle arrived, and directly afterwards a boat came alongside with another reporter. More unfortunate even than the first, he had sat at the semaphore, halfway between here and Port Adelaide, all night, and then, not knowing where to go, had oscillated between the two places all day, telegraphing in various directions for information.
Wednesday, May 25th.—At half-past ten o'clock we started on an excursion into the picturesque mountains which lie behind Glenelg, Mr. Stock driving us in his nice little American buggy, drawn by a capital pair of horses. The rest of the party followed in a waggonette. Our way at first lay through the suburbs of Glenelg. The houses which we passed had a well-to-do appearance, with scarcely any shops or workmen's dwellings to be seen. The road soon began to ascend, and before long became steep. As we climbed upwards towards Belair the view became so lovely that it was impossible to resist the temptation of adding to our collection by pausing to photograph the scene. Our first stopping-place was the Blackwood Hotel, where we found a capital luncheon. The air felt pure and bracing, the sun shone brightly, and the scenery had a thoroughly English character, with pretty hedgerows, and little streams crossed by modern bridges, all of which reminded us pleasantly of the old country. What was less familiar was an unprotected railway crossing which intersected the road close by, and over which a train passed rapidly, and, as it seemed to us, with dangerously insufficient warning.
After driving for some distance along the crest of the hill, we dipped once more into the valley by another road quite as steep and more tortuous than the last. From this road the views were even more charming than those which we had previously admired; for beneath us lay a complete panorama of Adelaide and its suburbs, covering part of the rich plain at the foot of the opposite blue hills, and skirted by the north arm of the Port river. The little horses went well, and, although the road was rough and in many places steep, trotted merrily on until we reached the pier at Glenelg. Here we found a group of sixty or seventy visitors to the 'Sunbeam' waiting to be conveyed on board in the steam-launch, which had to perform several journeys to the shore before her task was accomplished.
May 25th.—About noon we got under way and steamed up towards Port Adelaide, stopping for a time off the semaphore in order to visit the Japanese corvette 'Ryujo,' and the South Australian gunboat 'Protector.' The coast reminded me of that outside Liverpool, near the mouth of the Mersey; well-built watering-places, piers, and sandy beaches—a very paradise for bathers—completing the resemblance. Largs Bay is a particularly healthy spot, and possesses an hotel which is said to be the best in South Australia. At the semaphore also a compact little township has been established, which boasts a mayor and corporation.
Further on nothing except sand and bushes could be seen; and a little higher we got into a narrower channel, and passed a few boats and small craft, every one of which had some sort of flag or bunting flying in our honour. The shouts of warm greeting increased as we approached the town, till at last it was difficult to turn quickly enough from side to side and respond to the waving hands and cheers and shouts of cordial welcome to the new country. The pier and wharves were densely crowded, and we were scarcely abreast of them before the Mayor (Mr. S. Malin) and Corporation came on board with an address saying how glad they were to see us in their waters. This visit was followed by another from Commodore Honey, Mr. Justice Bundey, and other gentlemen representing the South Australian Yacht Club. All this was very pleasant and gratifying; though I must confess that such unexpected kindness produced that familiar feeling known as a lump in my throat. It is always rather touching to hear any one else cheered enthusiastically, and when those nearest and dearest to one are concerned, it is naturally doubly trying.
After a hurried inspection of the yacht by our visitors, and a hasty tea, we were obliged to say 'good-bye' to our newly-made friends, for we had to catch the five-o'clock train, and there was no time to spare. In fact, we nearly missed it, and I am afraid we must have presented an undignified spectacle to the numerous idlers who had turned out to look at us—I in a waggonette heaped with bags and bundles, and the others flying along the street. Passing through the pleasant country, we arrived at the North Terrace station, and reached Government House a few minutes later. In the evening there was a dinner party and a reception, which brought what had been a most agreeable, but for me a very tiring, day to a close.
Friday, May 27th.—We breakfasted punctually at nine o'clock, and I drove afterwards with the Governor to see a collection of furs which were to be sold by auction. They were chiefly from Tasmania, and comprised a good many excellent specimens. From the fur-shop we went to the Exhibition buildings, where we were met by Sir Herbert Sandford (the British Commissioner), Sir Samuel Davenport, Mr. Jessop, and others. The building is light, airy, and well designed; and when filled, as it promises to be, with natural products, manufactured goods, and works of art, will doubtless be well worth a visit. I wish we could return for the opening, as we have been most kindly pressed to do; but unfortunately our motto always seems to be 'Forward!' and we are due in Melbourne on June 9th, and at Mount Gambier on the 16th; so that if we linger for every inducement I fear we shall never get through the programme of our voyage.
From the Exhibition the Governor took me for a drive all round the city, past handsome and substantial public buildings and through wide and clean streets. The system of park-lands, or reserves of open spaces between the blocks of buildings, appears to be excellent, both from a picturesque and a sanitary point of view.
We lunched at North Adelaide with Mr. Justice Bundey, and saw the beautiful view from his house. On arriving, I was given a basket of pink roses grown out of doors, which recalled delightful memories of an English June, although in Australia the present month really corresponds to our own November.
Tom had to rush off to meet Mr. Bray, and to attend the annual meeting of the South Australian Geographical Society, where he made a speech. Among other people present at the meeting, he was introduced to the Australian explorer, Mr. David Lindsay, who returned about six months ago from a journey of thirteen months right across the continent, from Adelaide to a point a little to the south-east of Port Darwin. The expedition was most difficult and trying—much more so than it would have been in any ordinary year, on account of the drought. The thermometer sometimes stood at 125 deg. in the shade, and could not register the heat in the sun! The explorers were obliged to travel by day, in order that they might see and report upon the country. They were once seven days without water, and constantly ran very short of it. The journey was made entirely with camels, and the intelligence of these animals seems to have been extraordinary. One day the party were, as usual, very short of water, and Mr. Lindsay's favourite camel seemed almost exhausted. Fortunately his rider chanced to notice smoke in the distance, which, he knew, indicated the presence of blacks, and consequently water. Merely turning the camel's head in the right direction, he let the reins fall on its neck, and the creature carried him to the desired spot, although it took five hours to traverse the distance—fourteen miles. After a little drink and a short rest of four hours he was able to proceed sixteen miles further, to a spot where he rested quietly for three or four days, by the side of a stream.
[Footnote 2: See Appendix.]
Saturday, May 28th.—We had several visitors in the early morning, among whom was Brigadier-General Owen, who brought plans for the defences of Adelaide for Tom to examine. Mr. Millar also called to make arrangements about our projected trip to Silverton.
At half-past eleven we proceeded by train to Port Adelaide, where we were received by the Mayor (Mr. Malin) and Corporation, and taken to see the new municipal buildings. Afterwards we had lunch in the town-hall; and later on some of the party took a drive round the town and saw the museum, which, though small, is interesting, a large flour-mill, and several other buildings. By the 2.50 train we left for Adelaide, and had to dress with unheard-of rapidity in order to be present at the Governor's reception, which was attended by several hundred people. Fortunately it was a lovely day, and we were able to take advantage of the mild spring-like temperature to stroll about the pretty garden and listen to the pleasant strains of the police bands.
Sunday, May 29th.—This morning we went to the Anglican cathedral at half-past ten, and heard a most beautiful choral service, including a 'Te Deum' by Gounod. This being Whit Sunday, the interior of the church was prettily decorated. Service over, we drove to the residence of the Chief Justice, where zoology and botany are combined in a small space, for the semi-tropical garden in front of his house is lovely, while in the spacious grounds at the back much care is given to rare and curious pets. The interior of the house is a perfect museum of beautiful specimens of Japanese art and curios of all kinds.
Wednesday, June 1st.—A very agreeable luncheon at the Mayor of Adelaide's house, and afterwards to the town-hall, where we received a formal welcome from the Adelaide Town Council. Kind speeches and warm acknowledgments, followed by an organ recital. The instrument superb and admirably played. By 4.45 train to Cockburn to visit the celebrated Broken-Hill Silver Mine at Silverton.
Thursday, June 2nd.—Our special train reached Cockburn at eight o'clock this morning. We breakfasted at the running-sheds, and were afterwards driven over to Broken-Hill, which we reached at two o'clock, and descended the mine both before and after luncheon. We went down what is called M'Culloch's Shaft, at a point where the mine is 216 feet deep, and were greatly interested in seeing the process of extracting the ore. The latest weekly returns from this mine show a production of 46,000 ounces of silver.
Friday, June 3rd.—This morning we descended another shaft and inspected a different part of the mine, in which the ores differ greatly from those we saw yesterday, and consist chiefly of kaolin. After reaching the surface we visited the assaying offices, and watched the experiments for testing the richness of ores.
The afternoon's drive to Silverton was very pleasant. After changing horses, we went on over plains covered with salt-bushes. The plucky little horses did their work excellently, and landed us at Cockburn at 6.30 P.M. Thence, after another change of horses, we continued our journey to Thackaringa, where we rejoined the railway.
Saturday, June 4th.—On the return journey from Silverton to Adelaide I stopped during the early hours of this morning at Terowie to see my cousin Herbert Woodgate, and thoroughly enjoyed, in spite of sleepiness and fatigue, the sight at his house of so many objects which brought back memories of old days. The walls were covered with pictures of Swayslands, the dear old place in Kent of Herbert's father—where I spent many happy hours of childhood, and where Mr. Burnand used often to come and coach us all in charades and amateur theatricals. There were also many pictures of Penshurst Place, and of the old village church, whose beautiful chime of bells I so well remember, and where I have 'assisted' at more than one pretty wedding. It all brought back many mingled memories of joy and sorrow. Nothing could have been kinder than our welcome. I was quite sorry when we had to turn out again and trundle down to the train and be off once more to Adelaide, where we arrived at half-past twelve P.M.
We were met at the station and carried off to lunch at Government House, and afterwards had to dress as quickly as possible to go to the meet of the hounds. The day was fine and pleasant, and it was very enjoyable driving down in the Governor's mail-phaeton, and seeing the other vehicles of all sorts and kinds proceeding in the same direction. The drivers of these vehicles were so regardless of all considerations of time, place, and speed, that I began to think hunting on wheels, or even going to a meet on wheels, was far more dangerous than riding across country.
I am not sure that I should enjoy my time in Australia so much if I had not a certain belief in kismet; for travelling out here is certainly very full of risk. What with unbroken horses, rickety carts, inexperienced drivers, rotten and ill-made harness put on the wrong way, bad roads, reckless driving, and a general total indifference to the safety of life and limb, a journey is always an exciting, and sometimes a risky, experience. A little excitement is all very well; but when it becomes absolutely dangerous, a little of it goes a long way. I dislike seeing a horse's hoofs quite close to my head, with a trace or two trailing in the dust, or to hear the ominous crack of splinter-bar or bolt; yet these are things of daily and hourly occurrence in our bush drives. I must say I was fully confirmed in my opinion that driving was more dangerous than riding when the hunt commenced. A man in scarlet went first with a little bag of aniseed, and was followed by about 150 people on foot, and as many more either on horseback or in vehicles. The drag was so arranged that many of the jumps could be seen from a ridge near. The clever way in which little horses of all sorts and kinds, well bred and underbred, with all sorts of weights on their backs, jumped high timber fences without touching them, was wonderful to behold. Some of the obstacles were even worse than timber, for they were made of four wires stretched between timber posts with a solid rail at top. The last fence of all, after twenty minutes' run through a fairly heavy country, measured four feet two; and yet not a horse out of the fifty or sixty who jumped it even touched it in the least. I noticed that one or two of the riders were very careless of the hounds, who had to crouch under the fences until the horses had jumped over them. Afterwards I drove with the children to 'The Olives,' a pretty house with a lovely garden, full of fragrant violets, where a large party was assembled to meet us at tea.
Monday, June 6th.—Resumed work upon my Ambulance paper at an early hour this morning. Not having a secretary to help me, I find the work really hard; for my arm is often so bad that I can hardly use it. I had a very busy morning, and after breakfast went to the Zoological Gardens, where we were met by Sir Thomas Elder and others. I was amused to see four little leopard cubs crouched in a row on a plank, looking in their dark corner like owls. From the Zoological Gardens we drove to the Botanical Gardens, and were met there by Dr. Schonburg, the director, who showed us all the plants, and especially pointed out the different species of eucalypti, which I am most anxious to understand, for they are a large 'family.' Everything here, whether called banksia or anything else, seems to run to bottle-brush just as in Western Australia. Antipodean botany is puzzling to the new arrival. The museum at the Botanical Gardens is excellently arranged, both for the exhibition of specimens and for the information of visitors.
Mrs. Hay sent her carriage for us at one o'clock, and we went out to lunch at her pretty country place, where we met a large party. We had to hurry back directly afterwards to attend the Ambulance Meeting, at which the Governor kindly presided. It was held at Government House, and was well attended. I found it a great effort to read the paper I had prepared. There were few speakers. Everything, however, went off well, and I earnestly hope our afternoon's work may bear good, useful fruit. There was a dinner-party in the evening at Government House, followed by a small reception and some nice music.
Tuesday, June 7th.—In spite of my Ambulance meeting being over, the force of habit was so strong upon me that I awoke before four. At half-past ten I went to a small gallery of excellent pictures, over which we were shown by the gentlemen in charge. We afterwards went through the School of Art and saw the pupils at work.
At half-past eleven Mr. D. Lindsay, the Australian explorer, came with his aboriginal servant, Cubadjee, whom he had brought from some place in the interior. This youth, it seems, is considered the short member of his family; but, although only seventeen years old, he is six feet five inches in height, while his elder brother, they declare, is seven feet six inches, and the rest of the family are equally tall. Cubadjee made fire for us with two pieces of wood (a process of which I had often heard), by rubbing a piece of wood with holes bored in it against another piece, quickly producing sparks, which easily ignited a piece of paper, and left a certain amount of black powder.
At 12.30 I went with Mr. Riches to the Treasury to see the nuggets which had been collected by the Local Government to be shown at the Exhibition. Some of them were fine specimens, especially the last great find at Teetulpa—a solid alluvial lump of gold. There was also a splendid piece of gold quartz, brought in only yesterday from Mount Pleasant. We next visited the post-office, and were shown all over that establishment by Mr. Todd, the Postmaster-General. There I saw for the first time the working of a large telephone exchange, where at least half a dozen ladies sat with their mouth and ears alternately applied to the instruments, either to speak or to listen. The telegraph-room was also interesting. Only a few years ago the telegraph service cost per week some seven or eight pounds, whereas now the expenditure amounts to twice as many thousands. Mr. Todd had himself been with the expedition to establish the great European telegraph line that runs right through Southern, Central, and Northern Australia to Port Darwin. He told us an amusing story of the natives' notion of the work they were engaged on: 'What big fool white man is, putting up fence! cat will run underneath.' Mr. Todd is a great electrician, as well as a talented meteorologist, and his tables of winds and probable weather, to be seen in the central hall of the post-office, must be of great value to shipowners.
On our way to the station we called in at the Lower House, and heard Mr. Playford make his speech on the no-confidence vote. From the Lower we went to the Upper House, where another gentleman was advocating, as strongly as Mr. Playford has been denouncing, the Government loans.
Many friends met us at the station, including the Mayor, the Speaker, the Chief Justice, and several others. Two carriages had been reserved for us in the Melbourne Express. The railroad climbs up the same hills among which we have taken so many pleasant drives during our stay here. The views of Mount Lofty and Mount Barker from the carriage window were lovely, and I was quite sorry when darkness prevented me from seeing any more of the landscape.
We arrived at Murray Bridge soon after six, and were met by Tab and Mr. Reid, and all walked up to a snug hotel. The beds were comfortable, and I managed to keep up a fire of mallee roots all night, for it was bitterly cold.
Wednesday, June 8th.—I awoke at two, and as it proved impossible to go to sleep again, I wrote and read until daybreak. At a little before nine we went down to the bank to meet Mr. Macfarlane and his daughters, who had come forty miles down the Murray in their pretty little steam-launch to take us to their station lodge, eight miles from Wellington. They had started before four this morning, Mr. Macfarlane steering all the way. The launch is a Clyde-built boat, and is very fast. We passed through pretty scenery on our way up the river, and after a time came to a station to which many acres have been added by reclaiming the swamps which lie on either side of the river. There chanced to be two guns on board the launch, and as we steamed along, the gentlemen amused themselves by occasional shots at the numerous black swans, coots, and ducks.
We voyaged for some miles between banks fringed with willows, the original cuttings of which had been brought by an old French settler from Napoleon's grave in St. Helena. The trees have grown marvellously; and I hear that this year the avenue, if it may be so called, is to be extended some miles further up the stream.
At about one o'clock we arrived at the landing-pier, where we found one of the capacious trading-boats, of which we have met many on the river. It is a regular pedlar's store on a large scale, where one might buy dresses of the latest fashion, cloaks and bonnets, besides all sorts of medicines for man and beast, groceries, and stores of every kind. A most useful institution it must be to isolated toilers on the banks of the Murray.
On reaching Wellington Lodge we were first shown a shearing-house with every convenience for folding the sheep in thousands. After the shearing operations are completed the sheep are let out into little pens, so that it can be at once seen whether a man has done his work well or ill. We saw all the processes and modes of packing the wool, of which Mr. Macfarlane is justly proud; for I believe his system has been adopted in almost all the wool-producing countries of the world. Leaving the wool-sheds, we went to the stables, which were full of young horses; and here we were shown a 'buckboard'—a wonderful Australian conveyance. It is as light as a feather, and is capable of carrying a great deal of luggage or farm produce, besides the driver and one passenger. This particular buckboard almost came to grief yesterday with Mr. Macfarlane, who had gone out shooting with one of his daughters. He had left the carriage to get nearer his game, when the horses took fright and ran away, tearing round and round a field; a trace broke, and the light trap nearly touched the fence at every turn. The young girl stuck pluckily to her post, and at last succeeded in pulling the horses up.
Through a door in the wall of the stable yard we passed into a beautiful garden full of violets, mignonette, scarlet geraniums, and late autumn flowers; besides gooseberries, raspberries, currants, and other English fruits; while overhead stretched a long trellis covered with fine Muscatel vines from which some late bunches of grapes were still hanging.
Wellington Lodge itself proved to be a comfortable dwelling, with rooms opening into a garden, bright and gay with sunshine and flowers. The view over the plains was full of life, and the paddocks were well stocked with cattle and horses. After an excellent luncheon of good things produced upon the station, we spent a pleasant time looking over a capital collection of photographs, some of which Mr. Macfarlane very kindly gave us. Then we went into the garden, strolled round the stables, saw some of the young stock, and were shown what a buck-jumper could do. After a few preliminary curvets and bounds, the gates of the yard were opened and the animal was allowed to 'go' like an arrow from a bow for three miles. His first leap was over a very stiff gate more than five feet high, which he took like a bird, and was soon out of sight.
Having dined, we returned to the railway, and took up our quarters in a boudoir-car attached to the express train, timed to arrive at Ballarat at six o'clock to-morrow morning.
Ballarat: Thursday, June 9th.—After an excellent night in a luxurious sleeping-carriage I was called at seven. A little before eight the Mayor of Ballarat and others were announced, and I had to settle with them the programme for the day whilst the others were making their toilettes. At 8.30 we left the station for Craig's Hotel, where we found breakfast prepared in a comfortable room. Tom and the doctor had arranged to arrive at half-past ten. They had parted from us at Port Adelaide on the 3rd instant, and had gone by sea in the 'Sunbeam' to Melbourne, which they reached on the 6th, after a quick but stormy passage. Tom remained a couple of days at Melbourne—just long enough to be present at the opening of the Parliament, and also at the annual banquet of the Public Service Association, at both of which functions he was glad to be able to assist. On the 9th he embarked again, took the yacht on to Geelong, and came by train to meet us here. We were just in time to receive the Mayor at half-past eleven, and then we all went together to the town-hall, where the Corporation, the Mayoress, and a number of ladies were kindly waiting for us. After looking over the building we drove first to the Albion Lode Mine; but as no preparation had been made for our descent, we went on to the Star of the East Mine, where, after putting on real miners' clothes, we went down in the cage with Mr. Carroll and several other directors who had come to meet us. The directors asked me to christen a new lode the 'Lady Brassey,' but I suggested that the name should be the 'Sunbeam,' and this they eventually adopted. I was afterwards glad to hear that the next day they struck gold. There was a good deal of walking to be done in the mine, and I was very tired when we got to the surface, at about three o'clock, having been underground more than two hours. But there was still the crushing and separating machinery to be seen. This proved to be much the same as we saw in use in Cornwall last year for dealing with the tin ore.
It was past three before we got back to the hotel, tired and hungry. Much as we were in need of refreshment, we were not allowed to take it in peace, for interviewer after interviewer kept coming in. At last, in despair, we ordered three hansoms and went for a drive round the town and environs, which looked wonderfully beautiful in spite of the wintry season and the gloomy day.
We dined at the table d'hote. Tom and the doctor arrived later. Tom's eye was very bad, and had to be bandaged up, and altogether he looked very unwell.
Friday, June 10th.—Miss Cornwall, the discoverer and part owner of the Midas Mine, came early this morning with her father and one or two other gentlemen—directors of the mine—to take us to see it. The drive through the town was pleasant, and we admired its fine public buildings and beautiful avenues of trees. It was a long drive to the mine through Dowling Forest, a picturesque spot with large trees growing amid park-like scenery; marred, however, by debris of abandoned mines, or little red flags and heaps of rubbish, which marked the camps of new explorers. Miss Cornwall made the way interesting by telling us the history of the various mines we passed. One story was about a mine known to be very rich, but which had never paid more than its working expenses. The reason for this unsatisfactory condition of affairs could not be discovered for a long time; but at last one man 'peached,' and was followed by the police to a public-house, where he met four of his fellow-diggers. Although they had all been carefully searched before leaving the mine, a more rigorous examination by the police produced fifteen ounces of gold on each man, the gold being valued at 4l. per ounce.
Arrived at the mine, we donned our mining costumes and climbed to the top of a high mound, where the crushing apparatus stood. The contents of one of the huge cylinders had been kept especially for us to see, and the miners now proceeded to run it out, with the result that a good proportion of small nuggets was obtained. This was by no means the last process. There would be two or three further washings. We next went down the mine—in a cage, as is usual—and had to walk through the workings, for there were no trucks or trolleys. The operations have been successful, and the character of the ground leads to the belief that large nuggets may yet be found in the river bed. After going through a great many of the levels I felt tired, and sat down, and, to amuse myself, proceeded to scratch in the side of the heading in order to fill a little pannikin, which Miss Cornwall said each of the children and I were to have to wash out in the old-fashioned miner's way. Each pannikin was marked and sent to the top in charge of one of the 'head gangers.' Many of the miners were Cornishmen who had emigrated from the old country, and were bringing up their sons to their own calling in this wonderful new land. They have a saying here that a Cornish miner is the best miner in the world, and the only one better is a Cornish man's son. The meaning of this is that you cannot begin a calling too early in life, and that an intimate, though perhaps unscientific, knowledge of the various strata is of the utmost importance in mining operations.
On returning to the surface the air seemed frightfully cold in comparison with the warm atmosphere of the mine; and I shivered and shook, as I sat by a little heap of debris, and washed out my pannikin of dirt. But I only obtained about half an ounce of small gold nuggets, which, however, the experienced say, denote the proximity of a bed of very much larger specimens. It seemed delightful to get into the warm shelter of the office, put on our wraps again, and enjoy the lunch so kindly provided for us. We drank success to the Midas Mine and all connected with it, specially to the energetic discoverer, principal shareholder, and manageress—Miss Cornwall.
[Footnote 3: In connection with Lady Brassey's visit to the Midas Mine, the following extract from the Melbourne Argus of June 14th may be of interest:—'The nugget obtained in the Midas Company's mine, on the Dowling Forest Estate, Ballarat, on June 11th, has been named the "Lady Brassey." It was found within two feet of the spot in the drive from which a dish of stuff was washed by her Ladyship when she visited the mine the previous day, and it has since been shown to her in Melbourne, and by her leave has been named after her. Its weight is 167 oz., and it consists almost entirely of pure gold. Together with the rest of the gold obtained from the mine last week (117 oz.) the nugget will be exhibited in the window of Messrs. Kilpatrick & Co., jewellers, Collins Street. The Midas Company was only registered in October 1885, since which time the gold won has realised a total of 5,400 oz. The Company began operations with 500l. and has not had to make a single call.']
Immediately after lunch Tom and I were obliged to leave, as we wished to call on the Bishop. There was only just time to do this and catch the train to Geelong, at which place we arrived at about half-past six. We were met at the station by Mr. Bartlett (one of the numerous sons of the Mr. Bartlett who was so long with Mr. Brassey in France, Spain, and other parts of the world), and soon found ourselves on board the yacht again, which looked, as usual, pleasant and homelike after our short absence.
Saturday, June 11th.—I was up early, and tried to rouse the other people up too, so as to be ready to receive the Mayor and Corporation, who arrived punctually, accompanied by their ladies. The presentation of the address of welcome took some time, and then we had to go ashore and drive round the town of Geelong to admire its public buildings and natural beauties. Tom went first, with the principal members of the Corporation, in a break drawn by four horses, and I followed with the children in other carriages. We drove first to the skating-rink, through nice broad streets with good houses on each side. There we were shown an excellent collection of New Guinea curiosities belonging to a German explorer. From the skating-rink we drove through fine streets to the Botanical Gardens, where we were given beautiful nosegays, and there met the rest of the party, who were being taken round by the curator. The gardens, and especially the houses, seem admirably planned. I noticed an ingenious arrangement of water-pipes leading to the top of the tree-ferns, by which the parasites growing on them are kept constantly moist.
When we had thoroughly explored the gardens we bade adieu to the Mayor and our friends on shore, and went off to the yacht. We reached Hobson's Bay at dusk, and arrived at Government House in the middle of dinner!
Sunday, June 12th.—The Government House of the colony of Victoria is an enormous building, surrounded by an extensive park, situated on the top of a small hill, which commands a fine view over Melbourne and its suburbs. There is a complete suite of private apartments in the house, besides rooms for many guests, and splendid reception, banqueting, and ball rooms.
Monday, June 13th.—My cold is still bad; and although Tom is also far from well, he went to the town-hall this morning to receive a deputation from the Victorian Branch of the Imperial Federation League. The morning was a busy one until it became time to go down to the yacht to lunch and to receive the officers of the naval forces and Naval Brigade. Miss Cornwall and her father came later, bringing the nugget with them which had been found on Friday not more than two feet from the place where I was scratching. It is to be named after me. It is looked upon as the forerunner of other and larger ones. Miss Romilly also arrived, and we all returned to Melbourne in the evening.
Tuesday, June 14th.—After a bad night I had to receive many interviewers. Amongst those who called was a gentleman from the Woman's Suffrage Society, who wished to elicit some expression of my opinion, as he understood that I was strongly in favour of woman's suffrage. He seemed disappointed when I told him he was mistaken, and that I thought women already did govern the world more or less, whereas if we had votes we should probably not have nearly as much power as we now possess without any undue fuss being made about it.
Mabelle went down with Miss Romilly to see her off to England by the 'Bengal.' Tom took the children for a walk, but it was still too wet for me to venture out, except in a close carriage. In the afternoon I went with the Governor to the fine public library, where we were met by Sir George Verdon and some other gentlemen. It is a splendid building, and the arrangements are most excellent. A student can get any book he requires, on almost every subject, without the least trouble. From the library we drove to the picture-gallery, which contains a small but excellent collection, partly selected and sent out by Sir Frederick Leighton. Then we went to the museum, where we found many New Guinea and Fijian curiosities. Ugly objects are here arranged so as to look pretty, and I gathered many hints for the future arrangement of my own museum at home.
Tom and Mabelle had not intended starting for Mount Gambier until to-morrow, but they found to-day that it was absolutely necessary to leave by the 4.5 train if they wished to arrive in time for the opening of the new railway from Mount Gambier to Narracoorte.
Wednesday, June 15th.—I spent a busy morning reading, writing, receiving interviewers, and trying on my fancy dress for the Jubilee Ball. Lunch was early in consequence of Sir Henry and Lady Loch having to lay the foundation-stone of the Genevieve Ward of the hospital. I did not go to the ceremony, although I discovered afterward that I had been expected. The ladies of the committee sent me a lovely bouquet which they had intended to present, ornamented with a little stuffed bird bearing a tiny model of the 'Sunbeam' on its back. I had a hard afternoon's work until tea-time, when my friend Mrs. Fairfax, the Admiral's wife, arrived with Miss Dundas.
Thursday, June 16th.—Sir Henry Loch, Mrs. Fairfax, and Miss Dundas went to the Mint this morning to see the first of the new sovereigns struck, but I was not able to accompany them. Everyone seems to agree that the likeness of her Majesty which is to appear upon the coins is not at all good. The weather was showery all day, and bitterly cold in the afternoon when we went to assist at the stone-laying of the Wesleyan College, where many speeches were made, Sir Henry Loch's being a really brilliant oration. There was again an early dinner to-night, to allow of our all going afterwards to the Bijou Theatre to see Madame Majeroni in 'Wanda.'
Saturday, June 18th.—Tom, Tab, and Mabelle returned to-day from Mount Gambier. I must use Tom's description of the expedition.
'We made another excursion from Melbourne on June 14th, to attend the opening of the railway connecting the district of Mount Gambier, in South Australia, with the direct line from Adelaide to Melbourne. We travelled to Wolseley by the ordinary train, the journey occupying from 4 P.M. on June 14 until an early hour on the following morning. There we waited several hours for the special train from Adelaide; and Mount Gambier was not reached until a late hour in the evening.
'Mount Gambier is a pleasing town of 5,000 inhabitants, in the centre of a district of rich volcanic soil, thrown up over a sandstone formation by the eruptions of a former period, when the surrounding mountains were active volcanoes. The two principal craters are now filled with lakes of great depth, appropriately named, from their beautiful colouring, the Blue Lake and the Green Lake. Looking outwards from the craters, a vast and fertile plain expands on all sides, bounded by the ocean on the south, and by distant chains of hills on the north. Here and there the plain is studded with other cones, as distinctly defined as those of Mount Gambier, but on a smaller scale.
'I will not enter in detail upon all the incidents of the opening of the railway. We were greeted by the school children with a stirring rendering of the National Anthem. We travelled a short distance on the line, and were banqueted in the evening. I replied for the visitors, and preached federation. In the interval between the opening of the railway and the banquet we went out to see a run with the Mount Gambier drags. The timber fencing would be thought desperate riding in an ordinary English hunting-field. The doubles in and out of a road are decidedly formidable.
'We visited the Wesleyan Chapel at Mount Gambier. The minister described the excellent organisation which enables him to give effective spiritual supervision over a wide district. In the afternoon travelled by special train to Narracoorte. Had some interesting conversation on the land question. From the railway traffic point of view monopolies in land were severely criticised. Where tracts of 100,000 or 200,000 acres are in the hands of a single proprietor, the district does not progress as in cases where the land is subdivided into smaller holdings. The large proprietor concentrates his energies on sheep. The owner of a small tract finds it pays to give a larger proportion of his land to arable cultivation. Subdivision of land encourages population. Monopoly in land has the contrary effect. If the increase of numbers, under good conditions as to standard of living, be one of the aims of government, it follows that concentration of ownership and occupation is contrary to public policy. The objection disappears where satisfactory arrangements are made for letting the land on liberal terms. In this case the large proprietor is a provider of capital, for which he receives interest, in the form of rent, readily accepting a lower rate than a labourer, with slender security to offer, would be compelled to pay if he were the borrower of money instead of the hirer of land.'
The party from Mount Gambier, though rather tired, were able to come on board the yacht with us about one o'clock. We had quite a large and pleasant lunch on board, and an 'At home' in the afternoon, when upwards of two hundred people came to tea.
The yacht was berthed alongside the graving-dock pier at Williamstown, which made it easy of access. In spite of the agonising pain which Tom was suffering from an inflamed eye, he insisted on going to the Seamen's Meeting, and actually managed to make a good speech, though he scarcely knew what he was saying at the time. The party at dinner this evening included several members of the Government, among whom was Mr. Deakin, who has just returned from attending the Colonial Conference in London.
Monday, June 20th.—The day of the grand volunteer review (the beginning of the festivities in Jubilee week) dawned bitterly cold, as indeed one must expect in midwinter. I got leave from the Doctor, with great difficulty, for Tom to go to it in a closed carriage; for he was still suffering much from his eyes. Lady Loch drove with me to the ground in an open carriage, and of course we had an excellent place close to the saluting-flag, and were able to admire the march past of the troops. They seemed an excellent and well-drilled body of men. The Lancers and the Royal Naval Brigade especially attracted attention. All the party went to the military tournament in the evening except Tom and I, who stayed at home with Lady Loch. The wind was very high and keen to-day, and seemed to increase in violence towards evening.
Tuesday, June 21st.—During the night it blew half a gale, and the wind incessantly shook all the little lamps which are to be used at the Jubilee illuminations to outline the frames of the windows, producing discordant and sleep-dispelling noises.
At half-past ten the day's celebration began with the Governor's levee, which was tremendously crowded by all sorts and conditions of men. There were two black chiefs from Fernshaw. Lady Loch first presented her address to the Governor from the ladies of Victoria, and then hundreds of other loyal addresses followed from all parts of the colony. There was considerable confusion, and the scene, as we looked down from the gallery at the end of the ball-room, was very animated and amusing. Directly after the levee came a grand lunch given by the Mayor. I went for a long drive, first to St. Kilda, and then on to the Convent of the Good Shepherd, which enabled me to form a very fair idea of the suburbs of Melbourne. I was particularly struck with the enormous width of the roads. Such space appears to us unnecessary, but I am told it is needed for the occasional passage of mobs of cattle. We met one large mob of, I should think, more than five hundred head, driven by half a dozen men with long stock whips. The stock-men appeared to travel comfortably, for some buggies followed laden with their simple camp equipment.
Wednesday, June 22nd.—At twelve to-day the children and I paid a visit to the law courts, where we were met by Mr. Justice Kernford, who, being engaged in court himself, deputed Mr. Sheriff Read to show us round. The courts seem well arranged, and the rooms are much more handsomely furnished than similar places in England. The library attached to the courts was filled with books of reference. There are smaller rooms for consultations with clients. There were also one or two large reception-rooms, in which hung some portraits of former Governors and Judges.
We had an early dinner, and then all dressed for the ball; assembling first in the large private hall a little before nine, where we formed ourselves into a procession. The costumes were so rich and correct in their details that the sight must have been very pretty as we passed through the crowds of spectators (who had been arriving for hours, and had filled the public reception-rooms), and took up our positions on the dais.
For the first few minutes the crowding was tremendous, as everybody wished to shake hands with the Governor and Lady Loch. In course of time, however, the throng began to clear away, and for the rest of the evening it was possible not only to walk about but to dance in perfect comfort. It was a magnificent spectacle, and the arrangements seemed admirably conceived and carried out, the Fountain Court, covered in by a temporary structure, being perhaps the prettiest of all. At one o'clock the doors of the supper-room were thrown open. Not long after supper Sir Henry and Lady Loch and I retired; but I believe that many of the people did not get away until five o'clock. The illuminations were beautiful, especially among the shipping, both at Williamstown and Port Melbourne, and the little 'Sunbeam' made herself as gay as she could with red and blue lights.
Thursday, June 23rd.—The event of to-day was the christening of the central hall of the Parliament Houses, to be henceforward known as the 'Queen's Hall.' An immense number of people had assembled. The dais, to which the Governor, Lady Loch, and we ourselves were led, had been placed at the foot of Mr. Marshall Wood's fine statue of her Majesty, and everything was arranged to ensure a splendid coup d'oeil; but all the details of the ceremony have been so fully described in the newspapers that I need not repeat them here. It was worth coming all the thousands of miles we have traversed by sea and land to have the opportunity of witnessing such loyal enthusiasm.
Directly after we left the hall I hurried on board the 'Sunbeam' to receive a couple of hundred guests, and had only just time to get back to Government House to dine and dress for the State Concert at the Exhibition building, which was densely crowded. The combined musical societies, under the skilful leadership of Mr. Herz, opened the proceedings by singing the 'Old Hundredth,' in which the audience joined with great heartiness. This was followed by a grand Jubilee Ode, composed by Dr. Mackenzie, and by several excellently rendered solos, among the performers being Mr. Beaumont, the tenor, whose 'Death of Nelson' brought the house down, and Miss Amy Sherwin, 'the Australian nightingale,' whose rendering of 'The Harp that once,' 'Within a Mile of Edinboro' Town,' and 'Home, Sweet Home' was simply perfect.
Friday, June 24th.—To-day a demonstration of schoolchildren, said to be the largest gathering of the kind ever held in the colony, took place in the Exhibition building. Twenty thousand children must have been there; and as they each wore a rosette and carried a little flag, the scene looked gay as a summer garden. Of course there were the usual loyal anthems; and besides the cheers in the programme the children did a good deal of happy shouting on their own account. The Bishop of Melbourne gave them an excellent address, and all the arrangements were admirably and carefully carried out.
Saturday, June 25th.—Awoke early after a fairly good night, and set to work at once on my correspondence, which accumulates terribly in spite of my efforts to answer every letter as it arrives. I made many futile attempts to write up my journal, but was interrupted by numerous interviewers, especially by secretaries of charitable societies, anxious to get some share of the proceeds derived from showing the 'Sunbeam.'
Precisely at twelve o'clock we started for the races at Caulfield. The road lay for several miles through prosperous-looking suburbs consisting of villas and a multitude of small wooden houses with corrugated iron verandahs and roofs. However convenient this material may be for such purposes, it does not add to the beauty of the landscape. Bungalows in India, and indeed all over the East, look picturesque and pretty, with their deep wooden verandahs, which must surely be much cooler than these corrugated iron houses, said to be hot in summer and cold in winter.
We arrived at the racecourse at about a quarter to one. The heavy rain of last night had swamped the place, and though luckily the course was not flooded, it was very heavy going, and a great deal of the ground close to the course seemed quite under water. I heard a story of a lady having to swim her horse over a field during this morning's run! It was bitterly cold, and we all felt glad of the excitement caused by the appearance of the jockeys, mounted on nice-looking horses. I fixed my mind on horse number twelve on the card, and thought he looked extremely well as he cantered past the stand. The poor animal kept up bravely till near the end, when he caught his foot in a hurdle, while going at a fearful pace, and fell, breaking his off-leg so badly that he had to be shot on the spot. His jockey escaped with only a severe shaking. I had no idea until I came here what steeplechase riding was like in Australia. To-day, just before the first race came off, an ambulance-carriage was driven into the centre of the ground and took up a central position so as to be able to quickly reach any part of the course. I was assured that it was not at all unusual for two or three jockeys to be injured in one race. Another significant and permanent adjunct of the Caulfield racecourse is the neat little hospital, provided with every possible medical and surgical appliance for remedying injuries to the human frame. There are eight beds in the hospital, and I was told that they had at times been all filled with serious cases. Such a state of things degrades the good old national sport of steeplechasing to the level of Spanish bullfights, where the toreadors hear Mass before going into the ring. It is not wonderful that these dreadful accidents happen, for some of the fences are truly fearful, consisting of a big tree cut into four or five pieces, nailed firmly one on top of the other to a height of four feet six inches. This arrangement precludes all possibility of the fence yielding if the horse touches it. The argument in favour of this fence is that it represents the real fence of the country, and that horses are accustomed to jump it. The accidents, which are nearly as frequent and as bad in the flat races, occur generally from the tremendous number of starters. To-day there were thirty-two in one race and forty-seven in another, and some of the worst casualties were caused by one horse falling and others tumbling over him.
At half-past two we left, for the Governor had to open the bazaar in aid of the Convalescent Home in the place of Lady Loch, who was unable to leave her room. We drove to the Exhibition building, which did not look half so pretty as yesterday when it was filled by the children. However, everything went off well according to the programme, and after one or two short speeches, and a few pieces on the organ, we made the tour of the bazaar, and tried to find amid the quantities of pretty things something to buy, which is always a difficult matter. From the Exhibition building Mr. des Graz and I proceeded to the yacht at Williamstown, whither she had been obliged to return on account of the rough weather off Sandridge. My telegram had not been received, and I had to wait at the station, until a civil greengrocer volunteered to drive me down to the pier alongside of which the yacht was berthed. After the spacious rooms of Government House the 'Sunbeam' cabins looked very small, but they are snug and bright. When one is so many thousands of miles away from England the various little treasures scattered about them remind me of home and its happy associations, and I feel not utterly cut off from the scenes I love so well.
We were packed up ready to go to Sir W. Clarke's charming place at Sudbury, when we received a telegram saying that in consequence of a death in his household he could not receive us; so all our plans have to be changed. Tom joined me on board the yacht shortly before midnight, after a pleasant evening at the banquet given by the Melbourne branch of the Imperial Federation League.
[Footnote 4: See Appendix.]
Tuesday, June 28th.—I was awakened early by the pattering of rain on the deck, and on looking through the portholes I could not see three yards ahead for the curtain of wet mist which seemed to hang before them. Tom was anxious that we should give up our projected journey, for he was much afraid of the risk I should run from the cold and damp. But, just as I always in England go to a meet on a fine day because it is fine, and on a wet day because I hope it will clear up, I determined to start now. I was already dressed by ten o'clock, when the Governor, and a few others whom Tom had invited to accompany him as far as the Heads, arrived. The fog was still so dense that the deputy harbour-master would not allow the yacht to be unmoored; and after waiting some time, the Governor returned to Melbourne, whither I also went by the 10.45 train. Tom—who had settled to take the yacht round to Sydney—had to postpone his departure, as it was impossible to move out; and we afterwards learned that many accidents happened during the fog. From Spencer Street Station we drove across to Princes Bridge Station, and thence proceeded at a snail's pace—still on account of the fog—out of the city, till we got to Mitcham, when it began to clear. A few minutes afterwards the sun came out brilliantly like an English summer's day, and when we reached Lilydale it really felt quite hot.
Messrs. Cobb & Co. had sent a Tom Thumb sort of coach and a buggy, into which our numerous party could by no means squeeze. However, we packed both vehicles as full as possible, and sent for another conveyance, familiarly known as a 'Tip-up,' its narrow wheels making it liable to upset except on good roads.
About three o'clock we reached St. Hubert's, a pretty house, the owner of which is now in England with his family. One of his sons remains to manage the estate. We were soon comfortably established in pleasant rooms looking on to a sunny verandah. The view from our windows was perfectly enchanting, stretching away over the distant mountains, now covered with snow. A tremendous swamp lies between the house and the foot of the range, which accounts for the heavy mist that rises at sunset. My room was delicious with a blazing fire, and after lunch we went round the cellars with our kind host, and saw all the interesting and various processes of wine-making. Mr. de Castella has introduced the best methods of preparation, as practised in Europe, and has succeeded in producing wines of a quality equal to the finest supplied from the French and German vineyards. By the time we had finished our tour of inspection it was cold and dark, and after dinner we all went early to bed.
Wednesday, June 29th.—We were called at half-past six, and soon after nine made a start, in two coaches, on a cold and wintry morning, for Black Spur. Our way first lay through the vineyards, which were not in their best looks, having only just been scarified, as the process is called. It means cutting off the branches and reducing the vines to small and ugly bushes, destitute of leaves at this season. On our way we passed a large 'selection' belonging to Mr. McNabb, who is a great judge of prize cattle and stock of all kind, and who, like many other Scotchmen in the colony, seems to have prospered in everything he puts his hand to. Further on we came to Koordal, a 'reserve' for the aboriginals. It has a nice house, and the land is good. The aboriginals are rapidly dying out as a pure race, and most of the younger ones are half-breeds. Even in this inclement weather it was sad to notice how little protection these wretched beings had against its severity. We passed a miserable shanty by the side of the road, scarcely to be called a hut, consisting merely of a few slabs of bark propped against a pole. In this roadside hovel two natives and their women and piccaninnies were encamped, preferring this frail shelter to the comfortable quarters provided for them at Koordal. The condition of the men of the party contrasted very unfavourably with their appearance when they presented themselves under the charge of Captain Traill, the Governor's A.D.C., at his Excellency's Jubilee levee last week. To-day they looked like the veriest tramps, and were most grateful for a bit of butterscotch for the baby and the shilling apiece which we gave them after an attempt at conversation.
From Healesville we rattled merrily over an excellent road, the scenery improving every mile, till we reached the picturesque little village of Fernshaw, a tiny township on the river Watt. Important as an absolutely pure water supply is to a city like Melbourne, where the present provision is anything but satisfactory, we could not help regretting that this hamlet and several others must be cleared away in the course of the next two years, in order to provide space for the gathering-ground of the city's drinking water. The increased facilities for travel afforded by the railway, now nearly completed to Healesville, will, however, enable people to make new settlements on the other line of hills further from Black Spur. The memory of Fernshaw will always linger pleasantly, and I rejoice that I have seen it before it is swept off the face of the earth by the requirements of the big city near it.
From Fernshaw up the Black Spur must be a perfectly ideal drive on a hot summer's day, and even in midwinter it was enchanting. The road is cut through a forest of high eucalyptus-trees, varying from 100 to 450 feet in height, and from twenty to fifty, and even seventy, feet in girth. At intervals roaring torrents rush down gullies overgrown with tree-ferns, and full of dicksonia-antarcticas and alsophilas. To-day they looked very curious; for, instead of growing as usual, with their fronds erect or nearly level, all were bent down by the weight of the late heavy fall of snow, so that they resembled graceful umbrellas and parasols. So fairy-like was the sylvan scene that I half expected to see the curved branches open softly and disclose naiads or wood-nymphs. I had always been told that these fern-gullies were charming, but I never thought anything could be half so lovely as this romantic ravine. If only the sunlight could have glanced through the trees and thrown some shimmering sunbeams on the bright green leaves, it would have been even more delightful. After climbing up the hill by a steep but good road we arrived at Myrtle Gully, called after the trees which grow there. They are quite different from our idea of myrtles, though their dark and glossy leaves contrast finely with the lighter green of the young tree-ferns and the blue-green of the eucalypti. My botanical ideas are getting quite confused and upset in Australia, and I must study the new forms with the assistance of some kind director of gardens. It is necessary to understand the classification of these plants, for the common names are entirely deceptive and utterly opposed to one's preconceived ideas of the species to which they belong.
We climbed up to the summit of the hill, and on our way saw some rail-splitters at work. These men are peculiar to Australia, and I cannot but think they do harm to the country. On payment of a fee of 1l. a year they are allowed to go into the forests and kill the finest trees by 'ringing' them. Often the trees thus dealt with are left to die as they stand and disfigure the forest. In this way an enormous quantity of valuable timber seems to be uselessly destroyed. The rail-splitters remind me of squirrels, who nibble off nuts before they are ripe, and then take a dozen away to their winter's nests; or of a vixen, who will bite the heads off twenty chickens and only carry one back to her cubs.
On our return to the comfortable inn at Fernshaw we found cheerful fires ready to welcome us. This inn is very prettily situated. At the back runs the river Watt, brawling over its stones like the veriest Scotch salmon-trout stream. It is full of excellent imported trout, which flourish well in these antipodean waters and attain a weight of six or seven pounds. Across the river is thrown a primitive bridge, consisting of the trunk of a big tree cut in halves. Very slippery and slimy it looked, and I did not feel inclined to attempt the perilous passage. Near the inn were some extremely nice gardens with the trunks of old tree-ferns filled with flowers, producing a pretty effect as rustic flower-pots.
Precisely at half-past two we started on our homeward journey, and with the exception of a few minutes' stay at Healesville to water the horses, and at the blacks' camp to have a little more chat with them, we did not stop anywhere on the way. Since morning the blacks had turned their huts right round, for the wind had shifted and they wanted shelter from its severity.
At 5.15 we reached St. Hubert's, just saving the daylight over the last seven miles of bad road. We all felt better for our pleasant expedition, though the violent joltings of the road and the bumpings of the coach were decidedly fatiguing.
Thursday, June 30th.—We were called at half-past six, and hastily got up to pack off the luggage before setting off at eight, on a fine though misty morning. We had a delightful drive to the station at Lilydale, after bidding a regretful adieu to picturesque St. Hubert's.
Once in the suburbs of Melbourne, it was necessary to crawl along at a snail's pace on account of the numerous express trains running into the city at this early hour. We did not reach the terminus until nearly eleven o'clock, and were glad to drive quickly to Menzie's Hotel for breakfast. A large mail arrived for us from Wellington, as well as heaps of letters and telegrams. At half-past twelve Mabelle and I went to the Botanical Gardens, where Mr. Guilfoyle, the superintendent, met us, and was good enough to allow me to drive all round the gardens. He kindly explained the arrangement of the plants, clearing away many botanical difficulties which have puzzled me ever since I landed in Western Australia. I do not think I ever saw so well-arranged and beautiful a garden as this, and never have I had so intelligent and kind a cicerone as Mr. Guilfoyle. There is a beautiful lake in the gardens, well stocked with different species of wild-fowl. We drove all over the exquisitely kept lawn, yet the carriage-wheels appeared to make no impression. The grass grows from a mixture of buffalo and other kinds of grass-seeds—a combination which produces a velvet-like sward about three inches in depth, and apparently incapable of injury. At one part of the gardens where the carriage could not possibly penetrate, Mr. Guilfoyle had thoughtfully provided a chair and two men to carry me through the fern-gully. This rivals what we saw at Fernshaw yesterday, and I was able to observe what I could not well see there—the undergrowth of smaller ferns and the parasitic ferns growing on the trunks of others. I was quite sorry to leave. Mr. Guilfoyle sent us away laden with interesting botanical specimens, and gave Mabelle and me each a sweet-smelling bouquet of daphnes and white camellias.
We lunched at Government House. After bidding good-bye to H.E. and Lady Loch, from whom we have received so much kindness, we went to Menzie's Hotel, calling on our way at Cole's Book Arcade, which is one of the sights of Melbourne. A most curious place it is; consisting of a large arcade three stories high, about the length of the Burlington Arcade in London, though perhaps rather wider. The whole place from top to bottom is one mass of books, arranged in different styles, some according to price and some according to subject. It was crowded with intending purchasers, as well as with readers who apparently had not the slightest intention of purchasing, and who had only gone there to while away a leisure hour, and to listen to the band, which discoursed sweet music to them whilst they read.
After strolling through this wonderful arcade, we collected the luggage from the hotel and sent it off to the station, following ourselves in time to catch the 4.55 train to Seymour.
Friday, July 1st.—We left by the 9.30 train for Shepparton, in pouring rain, passing through a flat rich grazing country, which seemed well stocked with sheep. The grass looked luxuriant, and must be excellent for dairy produce. The fences were different from any we had seen before, made of felled trees laid lengthwise all round the paddocks. As may easily be imagined, they form a formidable obstacle for young horses, many of which were running in the paddocks. All this was interesting, but the beauties of the distant landscape were quite blotted out by the rain and mist. However, when we crossed the Goulbourn, the sun began to try and peep through the clouds, which had hitherto hidden everything from our view. Shepparton is a rapidly growing township, with 2,000 inhabitants. A few years ago there was not a single house in the place.
The township of Shepparton, like all Australian settlements, is arranged in square blocks, the houses consisting chiefly of four- or six-roomed cottages of one story, built of wood or corrugated iron. At present the whole place appears to be under water, but its inhabitants say that in summer it is beautiful, and the pasturage certainly looks excellent. In the course of our drives we went to Mr. and Mrs. Robinson's house. There I met some ladies and gentlemen interested in ambulance work, to whom I said a few words and gave some papers. I hope they will communicate with the head-centre at Melbourne, and obtain permission to establish a branch-centre here. Everybody seems to agree that it would be most useful, as the doctors are few and far between, and there are only five medical men to an area of 1,000 square miles! We left by the 4.30 train for Seymour, Mr. Rose driving me to the station in his carriage with his pretty pair of ponies. They are said to be perfectly quiet, and I suppose they are, according to Australian ideas; but they did not come up to my notion of docility. Besides sundry kicks and buck-jumps, they had both legs over the splinter-bar once, one leg over the pole twice, and another leg over the traces, which fortunately came unfastened, or in the regular kicking match which ensued some mischief would have been done. I expected every minute that the little carriage would have been broken to pieces, and that we should have been landed at the bottom of the quagmire over which the road appeared to run.
Seymour was reached at 6.30, just in time to change into the express, and at Albury we were again transferred, at 10.30 P.M., into Lord Carrington's carriage, sent up from Sydney for us.
NEW SOUTH WALES.
Saturday, July 2nd.—When I awoke in the morning I saw a landscape of a very different character from the scenery of Victoria, showing that we were getting into a warmer climate.
Our train was late, and all were glad when Sydney was at last reached and we found ourselves driving swiftly to Government House. The way lay through crowded streets resembling the Hammersmith Road beyond Kensington. There were some pretty views of the harbour down the narrow streets through which we drove on the way to Government House, a building in the Gothic style.
The afternoon was so fine that everybody longed to be out of doors, and I enjoyed a stroll in the gardens—from which there is a lovely view of the harbour—immensely. I had heard so much of it that I had fully expected to be disappointed, but it more than fully realised all my preconceived ideas of its attractions. The water was crowded with small boats, and the Volunteers, disappointed in the non-arrival of the 'Sunbeam,' were taking their exercise in Macquarrie Fort. So deep is the water beneath what is called the Tarpeian Rock that the big ships of the Orient Line, the P. & O., and other giant traversers of the ocean, can easily lie alongside. We spent a quiet evening, and were glad to go to bed early after our recent short and disturbed nights. Before retiring, however, arrangements were made for a steam-launch to meet Tom in the 'Sunbeam' on his way in from the Heads, and to tell him to stop at Watson's Bay, as the Volunteers wished to go out to meet him. Saturday afternoons and Sundays are their only possible days, and if he were to wait for Monday it would be a serious disappointment to hundreds of people. Large numbers were waiting about this afternoon on the look-out for the 'Sunbeam,' and they seemed much disappointed that she did not come in.
Sunday, July 3rd.—After a refreshing night I awoke, and was soon at the window enjoying the view over the harbour. The morning was misty, but the effects of light and shade were most beautiful. At 10.30 the Governor and Lady Carrington, with their children, his Excellency's staff, Colonel St. Quintin, myself and others, went on board the steam-launch and steamed down the harbour towards Watson's Bay. The views on every side were charming, both looking up the harbour towards Parramatta and also in the direction of the Circular Quay, where the big mail steamers lie. The shores of the various little creeks and inlets were studded by fine houses with pretty gardens stretching down to the blue waters of the harbour. We passed Clark's Island, which is the quarantine station for dogs, Darling Head being the quarantine station for human beings, and then we saw the 'Sunbeam' lying at anchor in the little inlet called Watson's Bay. The gig was soon sent alongside, and we were speedily on board. I was delighted to see Tom looking so much better, though he was still obliged to wear a pair of green spectacles. After a somewhat lengthy inspection of the yacht Lord and Lady Carrington and party returned to town, and we had service on board.
Precisely at half-past two, as agreed, we weighed anchor, and proceeded slowly up the harbour under steam. Not seeing anything of the boats, which were also to leave Sydney at 2.30, we steamed as slowly as possible in order not to meet them too soon. A very pretty sight it was when we beheld the Volunteers approaching in two regular lines of boats, accompanied by crowds of people in small sailing and rowing boats, as well as launches and steamers, all apparently perilously overloaded with passengers.
When the Volunteers reached the yacht they all tossed their oars and stood up and saluted. Then the commanding officers came alongside, and we received them on board. It really was a lovely sight, and my only wish was to be, like the famous bird, in two places at once—namely, where I was, to help to entertain the Volunteers and thank them for their warm and kindly welcome, and on shore to look at the dear old 'Sunbeam' surrounded by the mosquito fleet, through which she had considerable difficulty in making her way without doing any damage. It took some time for all the officers and men to come on board to have some refreshment and look over the yacht, and it was therefore rather late before the commanding officer rowed us ashore in his gig. We landed at the man-of-war steps, close to Government House, where a large crowd had assembled to give us another welcome. They formed a little lane for us to pass through, cheering lustily, and smiling and nodding as if they were glad to see us. There was nothing formal or obtrusive about their welcome. It was, in truth, a real, warm, honest greeting from friends across the sea, and it touched both Tom and myself deeply. All such demonstrations invariably give me a choking sensation in my throat, and I was not altogether sorry when we had made our way through the crowd of kindly welcomers and reached the steep pathway leading to Government House. Halfway up we could stop and survey the scene, and I was able to partially gratify my wish to see the yacht from the shore with the boats around it.
After a short rest we had another quiet evening, Tom coming to dinner, but returning to sleep on board the yacht. I went to bed early to try and nurse a bad and rapidly increasing cold, caught during the wet journey between Melbourne and Sydney.
Monday, July 4th.—I awoke at five, and wrote letters. The doctor would not hear of my going out as my cold was no better.
It continued foggy all day, and the children had to content themselves with skating and battledore and shuttlecock in the verandahs. Lord Carrington, Tom, and Mabelle went for a long walk, calling on Cardinal Moran, and paying visits to the picture-gallery, the Anglican cathedral, and other places; and after an early dinner at 6.45 all the party went to the meeting of the Royal Humane Society. I was bitterly disappointed at being unable to attend, and perhaps do something to encourage the friends of the St. John Ambulance Association.
Tuesday, July 5th.—Awoke early, and had a busy morning. The day proved lovely, so I was allowed to walk in the garden. After lunch we started in a carriage-and-four for a long but most delightful drive to the South Head. We passed through the far-extending suburbs of Sydney with their good houses and gardens. It was very charming to have the occasional glimpses of the many inlets and creeks of the harbour. Farther on we reached the real bush, full of flowers, the ground being covered with the red and white epacris, and with various banksias, hoyas, and other flowers. At the South Head the view of the city, through the light veil of smoke and fog which hung over the landscape, and beyond the lighthouse on the other side over the ocean, was very fine.