페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

uncle; your good qualities are of a very rare order. folded a scroll of richly-tinted crimson paper, I, the mean one, am ashamed of myself; just as

studded with the golden letters that convey the rotten wood is in the presence of aromatic herbs. I now receive your indulgence, inasmuch as you words of love and modesty. The outer surface have listened to the words of the matchmaker, and is likewise emblazoned with a quantity of given Miss S. in marriage to the mean one's eldest

raised work, representing robes of honor, tails son, named Kang. Your assenting to it is worth more to me than a thousand pieces of gold. The

of distinction, the smallest of all small shoes, rriage business will be conducted according to the peacocks' feathers, and a variety of other equally six rules of propriety, and I will reverently announce tasteful designs, which are supposed to be emthe business to my ancestors with presents of gems and silks I will arrange the things received in your

blematic of the vast accession to the wealth and basket, so that all who tread the threshold of my

honor of both contracting houses that may be door may enjoy them. From this time forward, the expected to flow from the union of the gallant two surnames will be united ; and I trust the union

Su Tan, junior, and the accomplished Miss will be a felicitous one, and last for a hundred years, and realize the delight experienced by the union of Tu 0.” the two countries Chin and Chin. I hope that your honorable benevolence and consideration will defend

We can readily imagine the courtship” me unceasingly. At present, the dragon flies in Sin of such a pair as this-consequent upon Hal term-the first month, lucky day. I, Mr. Su, bow respectfully. Light before.' is

the betrothal. A Chinese countenance, “On this decoction of the essential oil of animated by love, must be a curiosity modesty, the young Miss O's father looks with indeed! The eyes may perchance be favor; so he responds in a state of still more eloquent; “but the nose, the nose, my profoundly polite humility :

good masters !" However, the natives ""The younger brother surnamed 0, named Tus,

are “used” to it; and Use is second of the family to be related by marriage, washes his bead clean, knocks his head and bows, and writes Nature. Their ideas, too, of “ expresthis marriage letter in reply to the far-famed and sion,” may vary from ours; so let us not virtuous gentleman surnamed Tan, the venerable · teacher and great man who manages this business. be hypercritical. At this season, the heart of the plum-blossom is increasingly white; at the beginning of the first Success to the gallant Su Tan, junior, month, it opens its petals. The eye-brows of the and the accomplished Miss Tu 0, of the willow shoot out their green; when shaken by the wind, it displays its glory, and grows luxuriantly two countries Chin and Chin! into five generations. "Tis matter for congratulation, the union of a hundred years. I reverence your losty gate. The prognostic is good, also the divination of the lucky bird. The stars are bright, and the

THE AUSTRALIAN FILE. dragons meet together. In every succeeding dy. nasty, office will be held; and for many a generation official vestments will be worn. Not only those of

THERE is no readier way of obtaining your family surname will enjoy all the aforementioned felicity, but more especially will you, honorable something like a correct idea of the gentleman, who posseis abilities great and deep: condition of society, as it exists in a disone, am ashamed of my diminutiveness. 'I for a long tant colony, than by contemplating the retime have desired your dragon powers; now you flection of it presented by its newspaper have not looked down upon me with contempt, but have entertained the statements of the matchmaker, press, when it is fortunate enough to posand agree to give Mr. Kang to be united to my despicable daughter. We all wish the girl to have

sess one. This, though not intended genher hair dressed, and the young man to put on his erally to serve any such purpose, is in cap of manhood. The peach flowers just now look beautiful; the red plum also looks gay. I praise fact a source of information not to be soyour son, who is like a fairy horse who can crossover phisticated; and the knowledge to be dethrough water, and is able to ride upon the winds and waves; but my tiny daughter is like a green rived from it, though it consists of little window and a feeble plant, and is not worthy of becoming the subject of verse.

more than heterogeneous scraps, is of a "Now I reverently bow to your good words, and nature to be relied on, and not the less make use of them to display your good breeding. Now I hope your honorable benevolence will always likely to be genuine that it is involuntarily remember me without eod. Now the dragon flies in bestowed. Under this conviction, we prothe Sin Hai term-first month, lucky day. Mr. Tu makes obeisance. May the future be prosperous !"" pose taking a brief glance at the contents “ The modesty of the old gentleman is so

of a late number of the Melbourne Argus, painful, that we are almost afraid to guess what in the course of which we may chance to may have been the feelings of Master Tan and

turn up a few not uninteresting social Miss 0; but whatever they were, they must have overcome them by this time; for the

characteristics which lie but thinly shroudfriend to whom we are indebted for these ed in the form of advertisements for it epistolary gems, danced at their wedding a

is with advertisements alone that we shall couple of months back, and was nearly suffo- have anything to do. cated with drinking scalding black-tea out of

Melbourne, as most of our readers know, cocoanut-shell cups.

“ But the letters themselves—for we have is a thriving and rapidly rising town, situreceived the originals, together with the trans- ated near the extremity of the noble bay of lations--are at least as remarkable for external Port Philip, and within a few days' jourglitter as for internal value. Each of them is about the size of one of the Citizen's pages, and ney of the Mount Alexander gold diggings. consists of a rich frame composed of something Two years ago it possessed a population like our papier maché. Inside this, is artistically of twenty thousand, and since that time

[ocr errors]

has been increasing at such an abnormal Next to the sales by auction, the proprate, owing to the number of immigrants ositions under the general head of “merarriving almost daily, that it might be im- chandise” demand attention. These are prudent at the present moment to venture announcements of sales by private cona guess as to their numbers. The Mel- tract, or proposals for barter on the part bourne Argus is a newspaper published of individuals. Some of them are sugdaily, about the size of the double Times, gestive enough. One gentleman wants to and containing fifty-six columns some two get rid of ten thousand sheep in a lot so · feet in length each, offering to the colo- soon as he has done with the shearing. nists a cheap and excellent medium for all And another is sick and tired of twentythe purposes to which a newspaper can be eight thousand sheep and three thousand adapted. Large as it is, and expensive as head of cattle; his health compels him to labor is on the spot, it is delivered daily to seek another climate; and he will sell the subscribers at about $10 a year, or some- whole lot, together with the feedingthing under twenty cents a week; and it ground, a bargain, and add to it, if the can afford to insert advertisements of four purchaser chooses, “ forty miles of lamb lines and under at the charge of only and dog-proof galvanized wire," with twenty-four cents each. The consequence which the flocks and herds may be inis, that of the whole fifty-six columns closed within telescopic bounds. An imrather more than forty-three are crammed patient adventurer is anxious to be off to with advertisements. Of these, sixteen the diggings, and, by way of raising the are occupied by announcements of sales wind, offers for sale his “elegant gold by auction, from which it would appear chronometer, made by French, of the that the cargo of every vessel that ar- Royal Exchange, London, with massive rives in port is for the most part subjected gold chain attached.” A sober tradesman, to the hammer and sold off at once to the residing in the Market Square, anxious no highest bidder. The articles thus put up doubt to contribute his share toward the to competition comprise almost every lux- comforts of the rising colony, makes the ury, as well as all the necessaries of life. following proclamation, part of which we There are sacks of four, and Indian copy: “For sale by the undersignedcorn, and double-action grand pianofortes. arsenic, corrosive sublimate, butyr antiThere are all the drapers' wares which mony, strychnine in crystals ;" then folare to be found in the most comprehensive low some quack medicines, the whole London catalogue, and there are corru- showing a judgment in the classification gated iron houses” with two or four rooms, of poisons highly creditable in a tradesman which will make a home in the wilderness in a young country.

Another is a whole. at the expense of a few hours' labor. sale purveyor of all the mining requisites, There are Newcastle coals, and Wiltshire and politely invites "persons proceeding bacon, and Nottingham shoes. There are to the Ballarat and Eureka diggings" to allotments of land for “successful gold come and inspect his abundant stores of diggers,” and “ cheese, butter, and books,” necessaries, a long list of which figures at food for mind and body, for the benefit of the end of his address. The perusal of their families; and there are pistols! the list is not very encouraging to the pistols! pistols!" revolvers with as many non-combatant: along with cradles, scales, barrels as you choose to carry, with rifles, washing-pans, pestles, and mortars, and daggers, belts, and life-preservers, for magnets, there is a murderous display of those about to take up the gold-diggers' pistols, guns, tomahawks, and gunpowder, peaceful profession. There are “eggs! with the usual appendage of " Wanted a eggs! eggs!" and a valuable assortment shopman;" that being an article evidently of jewelry—with joists and beams for scarce in Melbourne.

Then there are builders, and tobacco, and meerschaums, horses, and drays, and wagons, and yokes and everything possible in the shape of a of oxen, and carts, and wheelbarrows pipe for those that choose to smoke. In which will shut up and submit to be carshort, there are no limits to the modes in ried under the arm like a three-cornered which an immigrant may lay out his money hat on a levee day; there are wooden and commence his colonial progress, either houses without number, and piccola pianoup-hill or down, the moment he sets foot fortes, and octaves of sherry, and cases of on shore.

champagne, and soda water, and bottled

ale ; and there is a printing business which known, and starvation and standing meals is guaranteed to yield a better income than are economical discoveries yet to be made. is to be got at the diggings; and there are Linen-drapers' assistants, moreover, are five hundred things besides, all to be had an uncommonly scarce commodity; one for a consideration by those who want employer actually goes so far as to adverthem.

tise for an entire establishment, including But enough of sales and merchandise; manager, cashier, general salesmen, and let us now take a glance at the “ wants," in-door porters. Sawyers, wood-cutters, all pithily expressed in paragraphs of from gardeners, cattle-drovers, smiths, laborers, three to five lines each. Of these there quarrymen, tent-makers, &c., &c., all are is no end; but we must be as brief in our lured by tempting offers to accept service selection as the necessities of the case at the highest current wages, at a mowill allow. Of domestic servants, to be- ment's notice. But the chief desideratum gin with, there appears to be a universal of all would appear to be sailors, who, lack; from “ a little girl to nurse a child” judging from the unheard-of premiums and a “strong boy to carry out goods,” up offered for their services, must have been to the finished cook and experienced head seized with an infatuation for the diggings, waiter, all are in general demand, and the and abandoned their vessels almost to a advertisers promise an easy place and lib man. A captain, advertising for a crew eral wages as an inducement for candi- to navigate his vessel to China, offers $150 dates to come forward. From some of a month, or $300 for the voyage, at the the proposals we gather that “liberal option of the seamen: this is about ten wages” means for female servants about times the usual amount of wages paid in $120 a year, for a good plain cook $200 a merchant vessels. If the common sailors year. Married couples appear to be in have succumbed to the golden temptation, prodigious request—the husband to act as the ship's officers have been equally unaporter, groom, storekeeper, or carter, and ble to resist, the same appeals being made the wife as a domestic servant, and to them in the columns of the Argus, in8400 a year are offered as their united viting them to return to their duty on wages. “A steady man to look after a board. Among other singular wants is horse and drive a dray” is earnestly re that of a man with a good bass voice to quested to make his appearance, and go to supply the place of a chorister who has work at once, for the consideration of $10 vanished, gone off probably with a cradle a week and his rations. Good plain cooks, upon his shoulder in company with Herr especially if they have husbands willing to Mater's musicians—that gentleman being wait at table, are at an enormous premium, compelled to have recourse to an adverjudging from the reiterated demands made tisement to procure performers, both vocal for them; in short, servitude of almost and instrumental, for the Thursday night every imaginable kind, except clerks, is at concerts, from which his band, seduced by a premium, and no species of domestic the charms of Ballarat, have taken uncerhelp need go a-begging. Then, among emonious leave. Perhaps, after all, the the trades and handicrafts, the wants seem most remarkable " wants" are those exequally pressing. A master who is evi- perienced by the proprietors of the Argus dently driven to extremities cries out in themselves: they have actually advertised large capitals : “Bakers ! bakers! wanted in its columns, first, for any number of two good journeymen bakers; the highest compositors to come forward at once, wages given. Apply,” &c. A builder is fering to all payment at the rate of sixty in want of carpenters and joiners, and pro-cents a thousand, at which it would be claims to all and sundry that he is ready easy to earn $7 a day ; secondly, for two to give any one or more of them nearly strong fellows to turn the machine which four dollars a day for wages, and a house prints the paper; thirdly, for a reader to to live in into the bargain. Watch and read it; fourthly, for 1500 pounds of new clock makers are also a general deside- nonpareil type, the old being worn out ratum, and the Argus, with its hundred long ago; and fifthly, for any quantity of eyes, is on the look-out for them in all paper of the requisite size upon which to quarters. Milliners and dress-makers, print it. This is a curious crisis of affairs too, look up in the market of Melbourne, in a printing-office, and one too in which where midnight labors are a thing un- / such a prodigious amount of work has to

of

be daily got through as the publication of registers the addresses of the gold-finders, a paper the size of the Argus must neces- together with the brands and descriptions sarily involve.

The last “ wants" we of their horses, which latter he undertakes shall mention are two which it is pleasant to hunt up at any time, and restore to to suppose, whatever may be the case their owners, for a consideration. The with the others, have a chance of being owner of an estate on Salt Water River supplied. Mr. Harris wants a big dog to announces that a black horse, marked W. guard his house by night; and Mrs. Har- V., and having a switch tail, and a whiteris will give a liberal price for a goat giv- faced bay mare, also wagging a switch ing milk. As watch-dogs and milch-goats tail, have come astray on his estate, and may be supposed to be free from the gold that the owners can have them on applifever, it is likely that these good people cation. But there is another kind of aniobtained what they wanted with less tax mal gone astray, the loss of which is more upon their patience than the miscellaneous deeply deplored than that of switch-tailed advertisers above-mentioned had to en nags, and which nobody offers to restore. dure.

Wives and sisters, deserted by husbands As a consequence, where such high and brothers, put forth a melancholy apwages are given, the cost of the necessa- peal to the wanderers for a recognition of ries of life cannot fail to be affected by their tender claims : “ If this should meet that of labor. Mr. William Howitt, in the eye of —-"-thus runs the all but his letter which is now going the round hopeless cry sent forth into the wilderness of the papers, gives a lamentable account _" he is particularly requested to write of the difficulty of getting into “any kind to his wife;" and she adds her present of lodgings, even at the most astounding address—it is all she can do—and awaits prices.” But what says the newspaper in solitude the response of her absent prowhich was printing while he was writing ? tector. A disconsolate sister earnestly “A single gentleman can obtain board and demands information concerning her brothresidence in a private family for $6 per er from any one who is able to give it. week. Apply to Mr. Harvey, chemist, Such announcements as these are the only Wellington-street.” This is not outra- elements of romance in connexion with geously dear, at any rate, and it is by no real life to be found in the columns of the means a solitary specimen of the sort of Argus, and these are such as we should accommodation offered.

have been glad to have dispensed with for Among the miscellaneous advertise- the sake of the forlorn sufferers. ments we nust allude to two or three, The rapid growth and prosperity of suggestive of social peculiarities incidental Melbourne must be owing more to its sitto a city located within fourscore miles of uation on the noble bay of Port Philip the gold-diggings. Thus, there is one than to any other cause. This bay is an which summons very imperatively an inland sea, having an entrance not more Irish delinquent, one Michael Casey, to than a mile and a half broad, and presentcome back immediately and surrender ing within the strait an area of fifty miles the sum of $300, which was paid to in length by twenty-five in width. The him, over and above its value, for his Argus advertises as many as fifty-six vesgold, and threatening him with the rigor sels on the point of sailing, five of its of the law if he dare to neglect the appeal. columns being taken up by the business of One can hardly help suspecting that Mi- navigation. The town has one street chael has been cheating the bullion-broker more than a mile in length, with a number with a sham“ nugget,” thousands of which, of others branching from it laterally. As it is said, have been manufactured in En a place of residence it is subjected to one gland, and sent out to facilitate the vil- very serious drawback, in the shape of lanies of the unprincipled, with which un sudden inundations of an alarming charachappily the convict colony abounds. A ter. We gather from the letter of a correspectable “party going to the diggings respondent that children are sometimes with pack-horses on Tuesday next can drowned in the streets; and we happen accommodate several persons by carrying to know from private sources that newtheir swags, and with the use of a tent on comers who have been thoughtless enough the road.” Another advertiser has estab- ' to settle, seduced by their cheapness, upon lished a Diggers' Directory, in which he low sites, have been ruined by the sudden

irruption of floods, from the sweep of that less gold is found than formerly, but which they have themselves escaped with that it takes now nearly three times the difficulty.

number of hands to dig the same quantity. To the above aspect of society, gath- The roads and routes to the diggings are ered from the contents of a newspaper, we infested by gangs of bushrangers and banfeel bound to add a few characteristics dits, who hold human life at a discount, derived from information of a later date. and plunder and maltreat all who fall into From this we gather that, owing to the their hands. Lastly, according to the influx of strangers into Melbourne, the late advices from Mr. Howitt, the climate arrivals being calculated at about three appears to be by no means of that genial hundred a day, the price of accommoda- temperature which has been lauded so tion is on the rise, $7 50 a week being loudly in England as rendering Australia now demanded for board and lodging for a a paradise of salubrity. He declares that single man, who, even at that price, gets the past season has been frightfully unbut a share of a bed in a many-bedded healthy, and the journey to the gold fields room. Notwithstanding the strenuous at- has been fatal to many. “ Thousands," tempts of the police to keep the peace, says he,“ have been struck down by sickrobbery and violence prevail to an alarm- ness; hundreds have already returned, ing extent, and almost every night is abusing the parties who sent them such marked by a murder. At the diggings, all one-sided statements of the gold fields and is lottery; some making large sums with the climate; while hundreds are still lylittle exertion, and others wearing them- ing ill from its insidious influence. In selves out, and sacrificing health and com Melbourne, I hear, there is scarcely a perfort for the scantiest reward. The ac son but has been ill, and all up the country quirement of sudden wealth by men of it is the same. Gentlemen who have been degraded habits has realized the proverb in India, China, and over the whole contiof “ the beggar on horseback," and crowd- nents of Europe and America, say that ed the taverns and the streets with a class this is the worst climate they know." of reckless wretches, who are a bane to We need hardly remark that this report is one another, and a terror to the well-dis- | in direct contradiction to the declarations posed. The prospect of the crops and of former writers on Australia ; but it may the clip of wool is not very promising ; be true without impugning the credibility the difficulty of obtaining hands is not in- of their evidence. One unhealthy season deed so great as might have been antici- does not make an unhealthy climate; and pated; but the gold mania has demoralized it is quite in accordance with natural laws the men, and it is found impossible to keep that the overcrowding of Melbourne, and them in subjection, and to induce them to the excitement attending the speculative labor with industry and regularity. Men pursuit of digging for gold, should create who have gone out with their families find an unusual amount of sickness. All posthemselves deplorably situated, unless they sible or probable contingencies the intend. have friends to whom they can apply. | ing emigrant should weigh well before he The charge for transport and warehousing sets forth on an expedition for any El of their property amounts, in a short time, Dorado. The above sketch may supply to its entire value; lodgings for families | him with some elements for reflection, and are not to be had, and the smallest house, we would commend them to his sober conif indeed it is to be procured at all, has to sideration before he takes such an importbe hired at a rent of four or five pounds a ant step. week. Houses, ready made, are now being exported in large numbers from En- Domestic Peace.-The less of physical gland, and new ones are dayly being built force or menacing language we use—the in Melbourne ; but these efforts have been less, to take an expressive word, we scold as yet quite inadequate to the demand. our children—the more order and quiet we Provisions have risen at least ten per cent. shall commonly secure.

I have seen a since the date of the newspaper from family where a single word, or a look which the above sketch has been compiled; even, would allay a rising storm. The and at the same time complaints are made gentle but firm method is the very best on all sides that the mines have diminished security for domestic peace.Rev. A. B. more than one-half in productiveness—not | Muzzey.

Vol. III, No. 3.-T

« 이전계속 »