페이지 이미지

settler is so fortunate as to be near a line of railway he would not feel it quite so much ; but although a great deal has been done by the different Colonial Governments to extend their railways, it must be remembered that Australia is very sparsely populated : although it is nearly as large as Europe, its population is less than that of Ireland. Nearly all the railways have been built by the State, and private enterprise has done very little, so that many districts have no railway within fifty miles or even more, and no land could be purchased near a railway except at a prohibitive price.

Australia has the further disadvantage of having practically no large navigable rivers to make up for the lack of railways, as the mountain ranges are too near the coast.

I remember some years ago, when I was in Queensland, there had not been a drop of rain for over two years, and in all the churches and chapels there were prayers for rain. The drought was very general over the colony, as also over parts of New South Wales and South Australia. This was followed by very destructive floods. These were not quite so bad as the floods which have recently devastated some hundreds of square miles in Southern Queensland ; yet many small farmers and even large squatters, who had been sorely tried by the prolonged drought, were completely ruined by the floods, or had to borrow money from the banks at high rates of interest, while the horses, cattle and sheep which had survived the drought were swept away in hundreds by the floods.

Then as regards the climate. Many people are under the impression that Australia possesses a most delightful climate, not much warmer than England in summer and not so cold in winter, and that it has not the everlasting rain and gloomy weather with which the inhabitants of these islands are unfortunately afflicted. But this is by no means the case. True, Australia is not so damp as this country ; it is, on the contrary, remarkable for the extreme dryness of its climate. Of the three eastern colonies, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, the last is the most temperate ; but in summer it is subject to hot winds and dust-storms, when the only thing to be done is to shut up the house as closely as possible and not go out at all. But as these storms sometimes last for several days together, it is almost worse to remain in the house for so long than to go out and face it. In New South Wales also, the hot winds are very trying, but the dust-storms are not so bad as those of Victoria. In Queensland the hot winds are not so frequent as in the Southern Colonies, but the climate is much hotter on the average. In fact, the Australian Colonies in summer are quite as hot as many parts of India ; and in Sydney and Melbourne the thermometer is often above 90° in the shade, while in Brisbane it is above 100°; and further north it is, of course, hotter still. This may not seem very much to those accustomed to the heat of the Indian Plains in summer ; but in India there are various compensations which are totally absent from Australia, such as punkahs, tatties, thermantidotes and plenty of cheap servants to wait on one.

There are no such things as punkahs and tatties; and even if there were, there are no servants to work them.

For my part,

I consider life in India in the hot weather far more endurable than in Australia. In India, ladies and children can always go to the Hills and escape the worst part of the hot weather ; but in Australia there are no Hill Stations.

The cold weather in Queensland (May, June, and July) is bright and invigorating, and very similar to that of India : cold at night and in the early morning, and agreeably warm in the middle of the day.

In New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, it is, of course, much colder ; while in Sydney and Melbourne the hot winds which were so prevalent in the summer, become the piercing cold winds of the winter ; for it is a curious fact that in Australia the hottest and coldest winds in the year blow from the same quarter, the West. No overcoat can protect one from the bitter cold blast and I have never yet felt an East wind in London that

could compare with the West wind in Sydney and Melbourne in July.

In Australia, every man thinks himself the equal of every other man ; and this, though no doubt very charming in theory, is rather embarrassing in practice. An Anglo-Indian settling down there, who expected anything like the deference and respect which he is accustomed to in India, would be greatly disappointed. His own servants, if he employed any, would talk to him in a free and easy style which would rather shock his sensibilities.

Another drawback for an Anglo-Indian is, that there is no cultured class in Australia. The country is too young yet for any considerable class to devote its attention to culture and refinement. Everyone is too busy making money to have any time to spare for that sort of thing ; and this would no doubt be very trying for an AngloIndian. There are many very wealthy men in Australia ; but they are nearly all self-made men, and are very proud of their own handiwork ; but whether Anglo-Indians would join them in their self-admiration, or find them pleasanit companions, may be doubted.

Most of their public men--legislators, magistrates and others—are men who emigrated many years ago, when fortunes were rapidly made and as rapidly lost. It is even said (but this is an exceedingly delicate point), that some of them were either convicts who had been released on a ticket-of-leave, or the descendants of such ; and though they are now justly respected for their many excellent qualities, yet they are not quite the sort with whom AngloIndians would care to be intimately associated.

The Australian Colonists are, as a rule, the kindesthearted and most generous and hospitable people in the world. They extend a warm welcome to visitors from the “Old Country” as they affectionately call England, and entertain them royally. I do not know of any more delightful place to go for a visit than either Sydney or Melbourne ; but Australia is not a place where I should recommend Anglo-Indians to settle down.

[ocr errors]

These remarks apply to the island-continent of Australia only, and do not include either New Zealand or Tasmania, where I have not been. But while in Australia I naturally met many people from both places; and I will in a few brief lines say what I think of them. New Zealand and Tasmania have each a very delightful climate, though on the whole, I believe Tasmania to be superior to New Zealand in this respect, and I believe that there are many Anglo-Indians already settled down there. Regarding suitable schools, I can, of course, say nothing of my own knowledge ; but I understand that in this respect they are very similar to Australia. As to servants I cannot, for the same reason, speak positively, but I never heard that they were more plentiful or more suitable, than in Australia. From all I could gather, I think that New Zealand and Tasmania and more especially the latter, are far more suitable for the settlement of Anglo-Indians than the mainland of Australia ; but it would be advisable for anyone who thought of settling there, to go out and see for himself beforehand—say during a furlough—and not take anything simply on trust from agents and interested parties.

To sum up, I am of opinion that Australia is a most unsuitable place for the settlement of retired Anglo-Indian officials, who have a family to educate and bring up to some profession. Tasmania and New Zealand I consider far more suitable in some respects though they too have drawbacks similar, in others, to those in Australia. To all, I say, before finally deciding to settle in our Australian Colonies go there for six or twelve months and see for yourselves. For those whose pensions are paid in silver, there is the additional disadvantage of the heavy loss by exchange, the coinage in Australia being the same as in England. A Hill Station or valley in India appears far more suitable in every way, than any part of Australia, for the Anglo-Indian.


ORIENTALISTS (LONDON; 1891). 1. The Samvat Era by Pandit Jwâlâ Sahâya of Ludhiana (Panjab). II. Bhârata Nâtya Shâstra or the “Indian Dramatics by Bharata

Munshi” by Pandit H. H. Dhruva of Baroda. These two papers, from the pens of well-known native scholars, mark another stage in the history of Indian Chronology, and furnish a fresh illustration of Prof. Whitney's dictum, that all dates in Indian Literary History, based upon the conjectures of European scholars “are pins set up to be bowled down again."

The history of the controversy as to Vikramâditya's date is briefly as follows: universal tradition in India places Vikramâditya and the "nine Jewels" of his Court--of whom Kalidasa, the author of the Shakuntala, was the most famous—in the first century before Christ, and makes this first year of his era almost coincide with Julius Cæsar's invasion of Britain.

Some years ago, a school of European Orientalists, setting aside the universal tradition, attempted to show, by a series of ingenious conjectures and assumptions, that Vikramaditya's date was really six or seven centuries later. The reasoning which led to this conclusion was never very convincing, and was based on the very dangerons doctrine that it is possible to fix the date of a work by arguing deductively from the assumed antiquity or modernness of the ideas it contains. When writing of the date of the Upanishads, Prof. F. Max Müller himself pointed out how dangerous this doctrine is : “ Till we know something more," he wrote, “about the date of the first and the last composition or compilation of the Upanishads, how are we to tell what subjects and what ideas the first author or the last collector was familiar with ? To attempt the impossible may seem courageous, but it is hardly scholarlike.'

The reasoning which led to Vikramaditya's date being placed in the sixth century after Christ, may be illustrated as follows: “Kâlidâsa was contemporary with Vikramaditya. Kalidasa's style is artificial, and therefore comparatively recent; the seventh century of our era is a comparatively recent date ; therefore Kâlidâsa, and with him Vikramaditya, must belong to about the seventh century of our era."

It is hardly necessary to point out the fallacy of this argument, as the conjectures on which it was based have practically been given up, and scholars are coming round to the view, first put forward by Dr. Bühler and Dr. Peterson, that the universal Indian tradition as to the Vikramaditya era, is almost certainly right.

One word more; the view has been put forward, and Prof. Weber has endorsed it, that the Samvat era is a parallel to the Julian and Gregorian computations; and that it may be as wrong to put Vikramâditya in the first year of his era as to put Julius Cæsar or Pope Gregory in the first year of the Julian or Gregorian Calendars.

Sacred Books of the East, vol. xv., p. xxiv.

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »