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uncle; your good qualities are of a very rare order. I, the mean one, am ashamed of myself; just as rotten wood is in the presence of aromatic herbs. I now receive your indulgence, inasmuch as you have listened to the words of the matchmaker, and given Miss S. in marriage to the mean one's eldest son, named Kang. Your assenting to it is worth more to me than a thousand pieces of gold. The marriage business will be conducted according to the six rules of propriety, and I will reverently announce the business to my ancestors with presents of gems and silks. I will arrange the things received in your basket, so that all who tread the threshold of my door may enjoy them. From this time forward, the

two surnames will be united; and I trust the union will be a felicitous one, and last for a hundred years, and realize the delight experienced by the union of the two countries Chin and Chin. I hope that your honorable benevolence and consideration will defend me unceasingly. At present, the dragon flies in Sin Hai term-the first month, lucky day. I, Mr. Su, bow respectfully. Light before.'"

"On this decoction of the essential oil of modesty, the young Miss O's father looks with favor; so he responds in a state of still more profoundly polite humility:

"The younger brother surnamed O, named Tus, of the family to be related by marriage, washes his head clean, knocks his head and bows, and writes this marriage letter in reply to the far-famed and

virtuous gentleman surnamed Tan, the venerable teacher and great man who manages this business. At this season, the heart of the plum-blossom is increasingly white; at the beginning of the first month, it opens its petals. The eye-brows of the willow shoot out their green; when shaken by the wind, it displays its glory, and grows luxuriantly into five generations. Tis matter for congratulation, the union of a hundred years. I reverence your lofty gate. The prognostic is good, also the divination of the lucky bird. The stars are bright, and the dragons meet together. In every succeeding dynasty, office will be held; and for many a generation official vestments will be worn. Not only those of your family surname will enjoy all the aforementioned felicity, but more especially will you, honorable gentleman, who possess abilities great and deep; your manners are dignified and pure. I, the foolish one, am ashamed of my diminutiveness. I for a long

time have desired your dragon powers; now you have not looked down upon me with contempt, but have entertained the statements of the matchmaker, and agree to give Mr. Kang to be united to my despicable daughter. We all wish the girl to have her hair dressed, and the young man to put on his cap of manhood. The peach flowers just now look beautiful; the red plum also looks gay. I raise your son, who is like a fairy horse who can cross over

through water, and is able to ride upon the winds and waves; but my tiny daughter is like a green window and a feeble plant, and is not worthy of becoming the subject of verse.

Now I reverently bow to your good words, and make use of them to display your good breeding. Now I hope your honorable benevolence will always remember me without end. Now the dragon flies in the Sin Hai term-first month, lucky day. Mr. Tu makes obeisance. May the future be prosperous!'"

folded a scroll of richly-tinted crimson paper, studded with the golden letters that convey the words of love and modesty. The outer surface is likewise emblazoned with a quantity of raised work, representing robes of honor, tails of distinction, the smallest of all small shoes, peacocks' feathers, and a variety of other equally tasteful designs, which are supposed to be emblematic of the vast accession to the wealth and honor of both contracting houses that may be expected to flow from the union of the gallant Su Tan, junior, and the accomplished Miss Tu O."

"The modesty of the old gentleman is so painful, that we are almost afraid to guess what may have been the feelings of Master Tan and Miss 0; but whe they were, they must have overcome them by this time; for the friend to whom we are indebted for these epistolary gems, danced at their wedding a couple of months back, and was nearly suffocated with drinking scalding black-tea out of cocoanut-shell cups.

"But the letters themselves-for we have received the originals, together with the translations are at least as remarkable for external glitter as for internal value. Each of them is about the size of one of the Citizen's pages, and consists of a rich frame composed of something like our papier maché. Inside this, is artistically

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THE AUSTRALIAN FILE.

THE

ПHERE is no readier way of obtaining something like a correct idea of the condition of society, as it exists in a distant colony, than by contemplating the reflection of it presented by its newspaper press, when it is fortunate enough to possess one. This, though not intended generally to serve any such purpose, is in fact a source of information not to be sophisticated; and the knowledge to be derived from it, though it consists of little more than heterogeneous scraps, is of a nature to be relied on, and not the less likely to be genuine that it is involuntarily bestowed. Under this conviction, we propose taking a brief glance at the contents of a late number of the Melbourne Argus, in the course of which we may chance to turn up a few not uninteresting social characteristics which lie but thinly shrouded in the form of advertisements-for it is with advertisements alone that we shall have anything to do.

Melbourne, as most of our readers know, is a thriving and rapidly rising town, situated near the extremity of the noble bay of Port Philip, and within a few days' journey of the Mount Alexander gold diggings. Two years ago it possessed a population of twenty thousand, and since that time

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 flour, and Indian copy: "For sale by the undersigned— corn, 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 wholeat 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 66 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

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ale; and there is a printing business which is guaranteed to yield a better income than is to be got at the diggings; and there are five hundred things besides, all to be had for a consideration by those who want them.

known, and starvation and standing meals are economical discoveries yet to be made. Linen-drapers' assistants, moreover, are an uncommonly scarce commodity; one employer actually goes so far as to advertise for an entire establishment, including manager, cashier, general salesmen, and in-door porters. Sawyers, wood-cutters, gardeners, cattle-drovers, smiths, laborers, quarrymen, tent-makers, &c., &c., all are lured by tempting offers to accept service at the highest current wages, at a moment's notice. But the chief desideratum of all would appear to be sailors, who, judging from the unheard-of premiums offered for their services, must have been seized with an infatuation for the diggings, and abandoned their vessels almost to a man. A captain, advertising for a crew to navigate his vessel to China, offers $150 a month, or $300 for the voyage, at the option of the seamen: this is about ten times the usual amount of wages paid in merchant vessels. If the common sailors have succumbed to the golden temptation, the ship's officers have been equally unable to resist, the same appeals being made to them in the columns of the Argus, inviting them to return to their duty on board. Among other singular wants is that of a man with a good bass voice to supply the place of a chorister who has vanished, gone off probably with a cradle upon his shoulder in company with Herr Mater's musicians-that gentleman being compelled to have recourse to an advertisement to procure performers, both vocal and instrumental, for the Thursday night concerts, from which his band, seduced by the charms of Ballarat, have taken unceremonious leave. Perhaps, after all, the most remarkable "wants" are those experienced by the proprietors of the Argus themselves: they have actually advertised in its columns, first, for any number of compositors to come forward at once, offering to all payment at the rate of sixty cents a thousand, at which it would be easy to earn $7 a day; secondly, for two strong fellows to turn the machine which prints the paper; thirdly, for a reader to read it; fourthly, for 1500 pounds of new nonpareil type, the old being worn out long ago; and fifthly, for any quantity of paper of the requisite size upon which to print it. This is a curious crisis of affairs in a printing-office, and one too in which such a prodigious amount of work has to

But enough of sales and merchandise; let us now take a glance at the "wants," all pithily expressed in paragraphs of from three to five lines each. Of these there is no end; but we must be as brief in our selection as the necessities of the case will allow. Of domestic servants, to begin with, there appears to be a universal lack; from "a little girl to nurse a child" and a "strong boy to carry out goods," up to the finished cook and experienced head waiter, all are in general demand, and the advertisers promise an easy place and liberal wages as an inducement for candidates to come forward. From some of the proposals we gather that "liberal wages" means for female servants about $120 a year, for a good plain cook $200 a year. Married couples appear to be in prodigious request-the husband to act as porter, groom, storekeeper, or carter, and the wife as a domestic servant, and $400 a year are offered as their united wages. "A steady man to look after a horse and drive a dray" is earnestly requested to make his appearance, and go to work at once, for the consideration of $10 a week and his rations. Good plain cooks, especially if they have husbands willing to wait at table, are at an enormous premium, judging from the reiterated demands made for them; in short, servitude of almost every imaginable kind, except clerks, is at a premium, and no species of domestic help need go a-begging. Then, among the trades and handicrafts, the wants seem equally pressing. A master who is evidently driven to extremities cries out in large capitals: "Bakers! bakers! wanted two good journeymen bakers; the highest wages given. Apply," &c. A builder is in want of carpenters and joiners, and proclaims to all and sundry that he is ready to give any one or more of them nearly four dollars a day for wages, and a house to live in into the bargain. Watch and clock makers are also a general desideratum, and the Argus, with its hundred eyes, is on the look-out for them in all quarters. Milliners and dress-makers, too, look up in the market of Melbourne, where midnight labors are a thing un

be daily got through as the publication of a paper the size of the Argus must necessarily involve. The last "wants" we shall mention are two which it is pleasant to suppose, whatever may be the case with the others, have a chance of being supplied. Mr. Harris wants a big dog to guard his house by night; and Mrs. Harris will give a liberal price for a goat giving milk. As watch-dogs and milch-goats may be supposed to be free from the goldfever, it is likely that these good people obtained what they wanted with less tax upon their patience than the miscellaneous advertisers above-mentioned had to endure.

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As a consequence, where such high wages are given, the cost of the necessaries of life cannot fail to be affected by that of labor. Mr. William Howitt, in his letter which is now going the round of the papers, gives a lamentable account of the difficulty of getting into "any kind of lodgings, even at the most astounding prices." But what says the newspaper which was printing while he was writing? "A single gentleman can obtain board and residence in a private family for $6 per week. Apply to Mr. Harvey, chemist, Wellington-street." This is not outrageously dear, at any rate, and it is by no means a solitary specimen of the sort of accommodation offered.

Among the miscellaneous advertisements we must allude to two or three, suggestive of social peculiarities incidental to a city located within fourscore miles of the gold-diggings. Thus, there is one which summons very imperatively an Irish delinquent, one Michael Casey, to come back immediately and surrender the sum of $300, which was paid to him, over and above its value, for his gold, and threatening him with the rigor of the law if he dare to neglect the appeal. One can hardly help suspecting that Michael has been cheating the bullion-broker with a sham "nugget," thousands of which, it is said, have been manufactured in England, and sent out to facilitate the villanies of the unprincipled, with which unhappily the convict colony abounds. A respectable "party going to the diggings with pack-horses on Tuesday next can accommodate several persons by carrying their swags, and with the use of a tent on the road." Another advertiser has established a Diggers' Directory, in which he

registers the addresses of the gold-finders, together with the brands and descriptions of their horses, which latter he undertakes to hunt up at any time, and restore to their owners, for a consideration. The owner of an estate on Salt Water River announces that a black horse, marked W. V., and having a switch tail, and a whitefaced bay mare, also wagging a switch tail, have come astray on his estate, and that the owners can have them on application. But there is another kind of animal gone astray, the loss of which is more deeply deplored than that of switch-tailed nags, and which nobody offers to restore. Wives and sisters, deserted by husbands and brothers, put forth a melancholy appeal to the wanderers for a recognition of their tender claims: "If this should meet the eye of "thus runs the all but hopeless cry sent forth into the wilderness "he is particularly requested to write to his wife;" and she adds her present address-it is all she can do—and awaits in solitude the response of her absent protector. A disconsolate sister earnestly demands information concerning her brother from any one who is able to give it. Such announcements as these are the only elements of romance in connexion with real life to be found in the columns of the Argus, and these are such as we should have been glad to have dispensed with for the sake of the forlorn sufferers.

The rapid growth and prosperity of Melbourne must be owing more to its situation on the noble bay of Port Philip than to any other cause. This bay is an inland sea, having an entrance not more than a mile and a half broad, and presenting within the strait an area of fifty miles in length by twenty-five in width. The Argus advertises as many as fifty-six vessels on the point of sailing, five of its columns being taken up by the business of navigation. The town has one street more than a mile in length, with a number of others branching from it laterally. As a place of residence it is subjected to one very serious drawback, in the shape of sudden inundations of an alarming character. We gather from the letter of a correspondent that children are sometimes drowned in the streets; and we happen to know from private sources that newcomers who have been thoughtless enough to settle, seduced by their cheapness, upon low sites, have been ruined by the sudden

irruption of floods, from the sweep of which they have themselves escaped with difficulty.

To the above aspect of society, gathered from the contents of a newspaper, we feel bound to add a few characteristics derived from information of a later date. From this we gather that, owing to the influx of strangers into Melbourne, the arrivals being calculated at about three hundred a day, the price of accommodation is on the rise, $7 50 a week being now demanded for board and lodging for a single man, who, even at that price, gets but a share of a bed in a many-bedded room. Notwithstanding the strenuous attempts of the police to keep the peace, robbery and violence prevail to an alarming extent, and almost every night is marked by a murder. At the diggings, all is lottery; some making large sums with little exertion, and others wearing themselves out, and sacrificing health and comfort for the scantiest reward. The acquirement of sudden wealth by men of degraded habits has realized the proverb of "the beggar on horseback," and crowded the taverns and the streets with a class of reckless wretches, who are a bane to one another, and a terror to the well-disposed. The prospect of the crops and the clip of wool is not very promising; the difficulty of obtaining hands is not indeed so great as might have been anticipated; but the gold mania has demoralized the men, and it is found impossible to keep them in subjection, and to induce them to labor with industry and regularity. Men who have gone out with their families find themselves deplorably situated, unless they have friends to whom they can apply. The charge for transport and warehousing of their property amounts, in a short time, to its entire value; lodgings for families are not to be had, and the smallest house, if indeed it is to be procured at all, has to be hired at a rent of four or five pounds a week. Houses, ready made, are now being exported in large numbers from England, and new ones are dayly being built in Melbourne; but these efforts have been as yet quite inadequate to the demand. Provisions have risen at least ten per cent. since the date of the newspaper from which the above sketch has been compiled; and at the same time complaints are made on all sides that the mines have diminished more than one-half in productiveness-not | Muzzey. VOL. III, No. 3.-T

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that less gold is found than formerly, but that it takes now nearly three times the number of hands to dig the same quantity. The roads and routes to the diggings are infested by gangs of bushrangers and bandits, who hold human life at a discount, and plunder and maltreat all who fall into their hands. Lastly, according to the late advices from Mr. Howitt, the climate appears to be by no means of that genial temperature which has been lauded so loudly in England as rendering Australia a paradise of salubrity. He declares that the past season has been frightfully unhealthy, and the journey to the gold fields has been fatal to many. "Thousands," says he, “ have been struck down by sickness; hundreds have already returned, abusing the parties who sent them such one-sided statements of the gold fields and the climate; while hundreds are still lying ill from its insidious influence. In Melbourne, I hear, there is scarcely a person but has been ill, and all up the country it is the same. Gentlemen who have been in India, China, and over the whole continents of Europe and America, say that this is the worst climate they know." We need hardly remark that this report is in direct contradiction to the declarations of former writers on Australia; but it may be true without impugning the credibility of their evidence. One unhealthy season does not make an unhealthy climate; and it is quite in accordance with natural laws that the overcrowding of Melbourne, and the excitement attending the speculative pursuit of digging for gold, should create an unusual amount of sickness. All possible or probable contingencies the intending emigrant should weigh well before he sets forth on an expedition for any El Dorado. The above sketch may supply him with some elements for reflection, and we would commend them to his sober consideration before he takes such an important step.

DOMESTIC PEACE.-The less of physical
force or menacing language we use the
less, to take an expressive word, we scold
our children-the more order and quiet we
shall commonly secure.
I have seen a
family where a single word, or a look
even, would allay a rising storm. The
gentle but firm method is the very best
security for domestic peace.-Rev. A. B.

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