Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria Part 4

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He was a Moravian Christian, of a well-known name in that excellent body, and possessed of all its virtues; he was, besides, a well-educated gentleman. The pure and happy home which he transferred to the new scene was of priceless value to its society, and all the more so at a time when such virtuous homes, in such high quarters, were by no means over common thereabout. But with a natural shyness, and, in a socio-political sense, timidity of character, which in ordinary circ.u.mstances are feelings leaning to the better side, he exemplified how a good man may not always be a good ruler of men. The diffidence is often mistaken by the ruled, and always disappointing; and in public affairs it is apt, as Mr. La Trobe but too well ill.u.s.trated, to take the inconvenient and injurious form of personal indecision.

He had not a particle of pride or selfishness, hardly even of the commoner infirmity of vanity. He would, whenever possible, take a roundabout to escape observation, but if even the humblest colonist persisted to address him, unrepelled by the evident tendency to "move on," he would be as frank and unceremonious as our Queen in a Highland cottage. We regret that so righteously-stored a man should make a bad Governor; but so it was, none the less.

There was comparatively little damage during the day of smaller things, prior to the gold. Still, even then, the characteristics told, in the reluctance to resolve upon action in any departure from the red tape of the beaten track, in a young settlement of men nearly all in the exuberant prime of life, and almost daily called upon, amongst Australian peculiarities, to confront their novel circ.u.mstances. For instance, upon rumours, oft repeated, that there was good workable coal at Western Port, a party is formed, with capital in readiness, to give the case a thorough testing; and they, as of course, apply to the Government to give them all those aids and concessions, or, at least, a sufficiency of them, which could most easily have been given in that quarter, for Mr. La Trobe was practically the Government. He referred the matter to Mr. Crown-Solicitor Croke, to ascertain what might be the legal impediments. Impediments, obstacles, difficulties! But who had asked for them? The application had been for facilities. Of course, Mr.

C.S. Croke, as instructed, and with all the facility of any lawyer worth his salt, duly found the required impediments; and so the disturbing enemy was defeated, and the Government left at rest.

But when the goldfields' grand drama of progress opened, when thousands promptly flowed into Victoria from neighbouring colonies, and, a little later on, ten thousands from Home, this chariness of action, this resolute irresolution, or, in Ollivier's description of his master Napoleon, before he, in an unlucky moment, swayed over to his side, this "obstinate indecision," proved sadly damaging to the colony, although indeed, under all the circ.u.mstances, it was hardly possible for any obstacle whatever to arrest materially its marvellous growth. Of course, the interest of a colony, thus enviably favoured, was to settle as best it could this throng of enterprising humanity over its vast and all but empty areas, and that could only have been done by prompt and adequate access to the land. But some current differences as to the bearing or rights of squatting leases gave the Governor--the Superintendent being now in that higher position--the too ready excuse for his infirmity of indecision. Even the squatting difficulty, which could have been easily removed by a reserve of compensation for whatever of it might have been real, was only one part, perhaps not even the chief part, of the wretched case. Acres by the million, on either side, along the busy highways, and around the many goldfield outbreaks, small and great, from which the live stock, where there had been any, were now all driven away, might have been brought to market at once without real injury to any interest. The squatters, naturally enough, sided with the Governor, giving him an encouraging semblance of public principle; for did not the one-third of united Crown Officials and Crown Nominateds, plus the Crown Tenants, in our first so-called representative Legislature, show, on this question, a small majority for "the Crown?"

At last, when the public scandal of so grievous a spectacle made longer inaction impossible, when the disappointed and s.h.i.+ftless immigrants began to beat a retreat from the inhospitable colony, the balance streaming by thousands into "Canvastown," or wandering helpless elsewhere, and mostly ruined by the cost of living--for a cabbage had risen to 5 s.h.i.+llings at the goldfields, and to 2 s.h.i.+llings and 6 pence in Melbourne--the Governor, by an adroit move, in the despair of the position, referred the case "Home." There common sense decided it at once, or at least as quickly as might have been expected from the leisurely ways of the Colonial Office of those far-back times. But the decision came, in very great measure, much too late. There had been in the meantime a blazing fire of land speculation, which, unlike other fires, had blazed all the more intensely from the want of fuel. The small supply of land, and the fury of mult.i.tudinous demands, had driven up prices to such absurd, and, the utilities considered, such impossible heights, that the inevitable reaction had already begun, involving numbers of families in most sudden and unexpected loss, and not a few in ruin.

But Victoria easily recovered from and forgot this preliminary and bad physicking, and was soon to be seen galloping on its road of progress as if nothing to its damage could ever have happened. Full of work for the day, full of hope for the morrow, the busy colonists saluted cordially the departing Governor. For my part I do not grudge it to him, for his motives and conduct were of the purest, and he was ever withal a right good Christian gentleman.

SIR JOHN O'SHANa.s.sY, PREMIER, AND FOREMOST PUBLIC MAN OF VICTORIA.

"Altogether directed by an Irishman; a very valiant gentleman, i'

faith."

--Henry V.

One of O'Shana.s.sy's oft-repeated jokes, told with the humorous twinkle of his eye, was that "All men are born free and equal, AND MUST REMAIN SO." He was wide as the poles asunder from the radical leveller, as this joke of his might help to show. Indeed, he was decidedly conservative, in a general socio-political sense of the word. While in strong sympathy with the ma.s.s of his countrymen, he might have limped at times alongside even of Parnell, to say nothing of Davitt and O'Donovan Rossa. He had more than O'Connell's dread to pa.s.s irretrievably outside the law, although he might not have scrupled to drive the proverbial carriage and six through law's usual dubieties of expression, particularly in certain sections of the Victorian Education Acts.

As one of the earliest Irish colonists from the old country, he soon rose to the leading position amongst his fellow-colonist Irishmen. His qualities, alike in physique and mind, easily gave him that position.

His tall, ma.s.sive form, with the imperturbable good-humored smile that, even when annoyed by an opponent, he could hardly dismiss from his face, except, perchance, by a blend of the sarcastic; his deliberate manner in speaking, and his sonorous voice, gave him this surpa.s.sing influence.

But in colonial public life, where he had to encounter greater compet.i.tion and sharper criticism than in his own smaller Irish world, he lay under some disadvantages. Like his friend and occasional opponent, Fawkner, he had an ungainly gait and rather mannerless address; he had, too, a rich Clonmel brogue, and certainly he had not enjoyed an education at all commensurate with his great natural endowments. But, all defects notwithstanding, he steadily rose in political estimation, and for the simple reason that his views of public affairs were characteristic of the statesman more perhaps than those of any others a.s.sociated with him.

He first entered public life in 1851, as one of the three representatives for Melbourne in Victoria's first Parliament. But, doubtful perhaps, with his anti-radical temperament as to the fickleness of large town populations, as well, possibly, as the dread of his liability to get compromised by the over-zeal of supporters, he changed the venue to the small semi-Irish town of Kilmore, where his seat was always secure, until, in his advancing years, he condescended to the less laborious sphere of the Upper House.

I saw much of O'Shana.s.sy at the outset of Victorian legislation, when he and I, in 1851-3, sat together as colleagues for Melbourne in the single chamber of that inaugurative time, and afterwards when we were a.s.sociated in the Goldfields Commission, 1854-5. Often I noticed the unerring bent of his mind towards the statesman's broad view of subjects of political controversy. As a sincere Catholic he was sometimes trammelled as he ran with liberal Protestant majorities. In the education question, for instance, as already hinted, seeing that Victoria stands amongst the most advanced in the rigid secularity of its teaching, to the extent, at least, of what of instruction is provided--and gratuitously provided--by public money. But in general he was anxious to be reasonably accordant with public opinion--so much so, indeed, in that "profane" direction (as Gibbon might have phrased it) as not to be quite reckonable with the extreme of the Jesuit or Ultramontane section of his church.

I recollect and record with pleasure one of the Goldfields Commission incidents ill.u.s.trative of O'Shana.s.sy's high public qualities. We had completed at Castlemaine, near the original Mount Alexander, our considerable tour of goldflelds inspection; and as we sat round the table of the only public room of the small hotel or public-house of the place, the evidence completed, and all the proposed changes decided on, there remained yet one question. Our proposed chief pecuniary change abolished the indiscriminate, and, to the many unsuccessful, most oppressive charge of 30 s.h.i.+llings monthly license fee, and subst.i.tuted a yearly fee or fine of only 20 s.h.i.+llings. And what was this, or the doc.u.mentary receipt that represented it, to be called? Reduced as the amount was, it was still a tax, and any ingenuity that could dignify or otherwise reconcile a tax, was worthy of the best statecraft. As chairman, and not having at the moment a suggestion of my own, I had to knock at the heads of my co-members. I turned to one, then another, and yet another, but without response. Even the original brain of Fawkner sent forth no sign. At length I came to O'Shana.s.sy, who happened to be at the far end of the table. He had been waiting his turn, and the answer came promptly, "Call it the Miner's Right." It was but one out of many instances of his statesmanlike turn. The Miner's Right, of course, it was called. The name pa.s.sed on to many other goldflelds. I noticed it in British Columbia shortly after, with its new gold discoveries; for the Commission's report had attracted much attention, owing to the forefront position which golden Victoria had already a.s.sumed in the world.

WILLIAM KERR, FOUNDER OF "THE ARGUS," AND TOWN CLERK OF MELBOURNE.

"I am in the place where I am demanded of conscience to speak the truth, and therefore the truth I speak, impugn it whoso list."

--"The Argus" motto.

Another of O'Shana.s.sy's oft-repeated jokes was a good story about Kerr, and always told with that stereotyped good temper which I fear the latter, with his strong Orange antipathies, would, upon opportunity, have but grudgingly reciprocated. Two "brither Scots," happening to meet one day in Melbourne, one of them, presumably not long arrived, "speered" of the other, "Did ye ken ane Weelum Kerr here aboot?" "Weelum Kerr!" replied the other, in reproachful astonishment; "No ken Weelum Kerr, the greatest man in a' the toon!" That a hard-headed, liberal-minded commonsense Scot, as Kerr was in most things, should have had the Orange infirmity, may be excused, or at least explained, by the fact of his being of Stranraer, a Scotch town almost within hail of Ulster. That small, and not overmuch known place, has not been the least among the cities of Scotia in contributing heads and hands to the colony's progress, including, besides Kerr and others, James Hunter Ross, a leading Melbourne solicitor, and my good old friend Hugh Lewis Taylor, who, ere well out of his teens, was made manager at Geelong, and is now manager in London, of the prosperous Bank of Victoria.

Kerr had a high order of abilities in certain literary directions, which might have given him a much better position than he ever secured but for his indolence and negligent want of method. He had also a bad physical const.i.tution, which had probably much to do with the other defects.

Perhaps it was his literary turn that led him first, in his new home, to try a stationery business, which, under the style of Kerr and Holmes, afterwards Kerr and Thompson, in Collins-street west, was, I think, the precursor of that particular trade in little early Melbourne. But that had to be given up, and after some looking about, with not overloaded means, he established the Melbourne "Argus". The preceding press efforts had, at my arrival, established three papers, which, by tolerant mutual arrangement in a bi-weekly issue respectively, gave the small public the almost indispensable food of a daily paper. Almost at the beginning, Fawkner's practical hand supplied "The Patriot," hand-written for the first eight or ten numbers, until type came from Launceston. This was soon followed by "The Gazette" of George Arden, and that again by "The Herald" of George Cavenagh. All three had, I think, the common prefix of "Port Phillip". "The Gazette", after a brief career, under its very able but rather erratic owner, went to the wall. "The Patriot", under Boursiquot, who had succeeded the overworked Fawkner, was, somewhat later, bought up by the "Argus", under Wilson and Johnston, in succession to Kerr. The Herald, when quitted after an excellent and timely sale by its founder early in the gold times, was soon after s.h.i.+pwrecked in the storm of vicissitude that characterized some of the first years of gold-digging.

With the editorial pen Kerr was in his element, and his naturally combative tendencies found their fitting expression in the motto he adopted, and which still heads the paper, "I am in the place where I am demanded of conscience to speak the truth, and therefore the truth I speak, impugn it whoso list." But even the little "Argus" required management, and Kerr was no manager. He was induced to sell it, and for no great sum--pounds going a long way in those times--to Mr. Edward Wilson, who thus laid the foundation of his subsequent great position and fortunes.

Kerr was fortunate after this in securing the town-clerks.h.i.+p of Melbourne, in succession to Mr. John Charles King, the first clerk. The Corporation was still hardly beyond infancy, and Kerr's natural legal acuteness was of great service at his new post, where reigned he practically master, and was an authority far outside his official sphere, and even in legislative difficulties of the young Parliament, for we are now entering into Victorian life, and the importance that was fast being developed with the gold.

But after a time the old besetting infirmity turned up here also, and in a rather serious form, as connected with irregularities in Corporation moneys and accounts, which might have been compromising to any other than Kerr, with his well-known indifference to such vulgar good things.

He had a remarkable resemblance, in more than one point of character and circ.u.mstances, to his brother Scotchman, and fast friend till death, the Reverend Dr. Lang, of Sydney; and had he possessed the physical vigour, not to say the stately proportions, of that most combatant of members of the church militant, he might have been his Victorian rival in a far more prosperous and protracted career. In each there was a very combative mind behind the mildest of manner. Besides the pulpit, Lang sought successfully also the Legislature, where, somehow, clergymen are not favourites. He was, in fact, in the first instance, one of our members for Port Phillip, and it was chiefly to his efforts and abilities that separation from New South Wales was eventually conceded from Home. In the elective contests we saw some of the peculiar talent with which Lang fought his many political foes, when, with an inimitable blandness of address, and the softest of mellifluous language, he would build up a many-sided argument, patiently and leisurely, and at last, as with the bitterly biting end of a stockman's long whip, flay the Wentworths of opposition, who, with more noise than effect, were ever snapping at his heels.

But, alas for the cause of human perfection! The Doctor, being on a mission Home, and by no means for the first time, for the promotion of the emigration of Scotch Presbyterians to Australia (his great and not unworthy hobby), and being short of funds after raising in one direction all he could upon his bill of lading, horrible dictu! pledged elsewhere for the balance of his account a spare copy of the set, left with him in trust and confidence. Now was the day of vengeance for his foes, and they duly essayed to take it. But the imperturbable Doctor was not troubled with too thin a skin, especially in a matter which was totally devoid of personal pecuniary advantage. The overdraft was, as he expected, readily made up by the public. Nor did he sustain any great moral damage, even with his foes, as his indifference about money was too well known--first his own money, and after that other people's.

Kerr was in a like plight, but a great deal more helplessly. If he escaped as to character with the many who knew him, yet of necessity he lost his good post. He was succeeded by Mr. Fitzgibbon, who, more fitly, I doubt not, than Kerr, has held this important office ever since, a period of no less than thirty-two years. This serious loss of means and position completed a breakdown that had probably begun before, so that Kerr was no longer able for first-cla.s.s work. We may envy this opportunity to his old opponent, O'Shana.s.sy, who, in power at the time, generously found him a small appointment--a station upon one of the railways--which gave him, at least, a comfortable, and, in a social way, by no means ungenial home for the short remainder of his life.

It was mainly at my good friend Kerr's urgent instance that I entered public life, which was in 1850, for the representation of Melbourne at Sydney. Doubtless he had his own aims quite as much as my interests in view, as he wanted the supposed good card, a Melbourne merchant, Scotch and Presbyterian like himself into the bargain, to play against the anti-Orange and Irish-c.u.m-O'Shana.s.sy party. I fear that his expected henchman was too cosmopolitan at times. But Kerr rendered me a more direct service at the subsequent election for Melbourne in Victoria's first Parliament, by bringing me in at the head of the poll, which happened in this way:--At the first count the poll stood thus: O'Shana.s.sy, Westgarth, Johnston, Nicholson, the latter being out, much to his own and his friends' astonishment, as there were only three seats. Kerr, who was resolved O'Shana.s.sy should not be declared first if he could help it, called for a scrutiny prior to declaration. He had knowledge of a goodly scale of false voting on the Irish side, where, in fact, there was a legion of busy Kerrs to my one, many of them having voted double, or, as with Sheridan's proposed yearly Parliaments, "oftener if need be." One had voted nine times in succession at different polling places. I fear Kerr was wrong, and that scrutiny should have been applied for after declaration. But Kerr was the most dogged of mortals when he had a mind and an object, was then in the zenith of his influence, and, best of all for his side, he was king of the position as town clerk. So he secured his purpose, and O'Shana.s.sy and I changed positions.

I have a better service than this, and of much more general interest, with which to conclude my present sketch. A year later, the second year of the gold, during which it was estimated that fifteen millions of gold had been washed out of the drifts, chiefly of Ballarat and Bendigo, the colony was already flooded, and no wonder, by the convict element from Tasmania. To intensify this evil beyond all bearing, that colony's Government, in view of relief from acc.u.mulating prisoners, had lately enacted a "conditional pardon" system, the condition being that the criminal was at liberty for all the world except to return Home, and forthwith, Her Majesty's pa.s.s in hand, he crossed to golden Victoria. A cry of despair arose there, for almost immediately the towns, goldfields, highways, and everywhere else where havoc was to be made, were the almost daily scenes of the most atrocious outrage. One forenoon word reached town that five ruffians, taking position on the St.

Kilda-road, had stuck up and robbed some twenty of the merchants and traders on their way to Melbourne, including my friend John G. Foxton.

The Anti-Transportation League, then some years in existence, held a great meeting, at which a large committee was appointed, and was enjoined to find an effective mode of dealing with this novel form of evil. I think that it was at my suggestion that each of the committee was to write out his thoughts and bring the paper with him, so as to have a basis for arriving at a prompt conclusion. Kerr was made convener, and he was not long in convening us.

Only Kerr and myself responded! We may take a mitigated view of the others, for everyone was busy over something in those days, many embarra.s.singly so for want of servants, who had "bolted" to the diggings, while most of the committee had had legislation and incessant deputations and public meetings to look after besides. As to myself, I had vainly tried to find fifteen consecutive minutes for the subject.

When Mr. Kerr asked me for my paper, I excused myself by pleading that it was so meagre that I would rather first hear his. Thereupon, in his deliberate way, he drew forth a sheet of foolscap, and read to me "The Convicts Prevention Act." Such it was, for, with a few comparatively unimportant mitigations, secured by the ability and influence of Attorney-General Stawell, the impatient a.s.sembly, highly appreciating and determined to have the measure, promptly pa.s.sed it by a large majority. This was Kerr's culminating public service, and I am the more pleased to have this opportunity to say so, as my name was rather unduly attached to the bill, from its having been committed to my charge. His prompt remedy, I doubt not, saved many a colonist, not only as to life, limb, and property, but from outrage in some cases worse than death. His scathing measure introduced, indeed, a new principle, for we unceremoniously clapped people into prison who held up to our courts the Queen's pardon. Her Majesty's representatives at Home did not at all like it. The Home Government, indeed, refused to confirm the temporarily enacted measure; but by that happy safety-valve understanding, which has perhaps saved some explosions, it was renewed and re-renewed as long as required. The letter of imperial law was doubtless violated; but Her Majesty's Government first violated the spirit, by authorizing men unfit for England to go to Victoria.

WILLIAM NICHOLSON, MAYOR OF MELBOURNE, AND PREMIER OF THE COLONY.

"An honest man, sir, is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not."

--As You Like It.

In one of our colonial munic.i.p.alities, which of them I have forgotten, as I heard my story so long ago, a working furniture-maker, who had secured an order from the Mayor for his official chair, was observed to be at particular pains over its construction, and, on being asked the reason, replied that he intended some day to occupy it himself. If the subject of this sketch had been of that particular trade, this would have been a very likely story to fix upon him. Not that he was of inordinate ambition; for, on the contrary, he looked quiet and contented beyond most around him. But he was always ready and willing to respond to the many opportunities of a new colony, and from his great natural gifts usually able to do them justice. Nature had given him all she could to make him a good and useful colonist; but there was one thing he had not had from her, because not within her power, and that was the school. He was probably not altogether uneducated; but he could not have had many chances in that direction, otherwise the facility with which he educated himself in life's practical work after he had reached manhood would have told for him as a schoolboy as well. In business, in public speaking and debating, and in public life in general, he took successfully a first part; but when he had to condescend to such schooling products as writing and spelling, he made confessedly only a bad second. But, again, a defect of this kind is much less of an obstacle in new colonies than in old societies, because for generations in the former the hand is relatively more important to progress than the head, and the man of work than the man of thought. In colonies men of great natural parts, if ambitious, can usually take good positions even if but little educated. At Home this is hardly possible, and the consequent social distemper is there a danger to the State--a danger, however, which our Education Acts since 1870 must be steadily removing.

I happened, on one occasion, to meet Nicholson's home employer in Liverpool. He had been foreman, if indeed so high as that, in a warehouse. When he told his employer that he had made up his mind to go to Port Phillip with his family, there was regret to part with so quiet and trustworthy a servant, but, as he said to me, not the least idea that the unpretending individual before him would, within a few years, take a position considerably in advance of his own.

He set up a grocery shop in Melbourne, and was soon on the road to success. Then he stood for the munic.i.p.ality, which was hardly yet out of infancy, was duly elected councillor, and in a very few years became Mayor of Melbourne. Then, gliding easily onwards and upwards, he entered the young colonial Legislature of 1851, as member for the Metropolitan County, North Bourke. He had previously, as I have told, tried unsuccessfully for the capital itself, getting some compensation, however, in the "next first." But with all this rising importance he was ever the plain, una.s.suming William Nicholson, and when Mayor or M.L.C.

both he and his wife would be found in their shop as usual--so far, at least, as the other crowding duties would permit.

When he formed his first and very brief Ministry, under Const.i.tutional Government, prior to my definitely leaving the colony in 1857, he did me the honour to invite me to a place in his "Cabinet," if our young colonies may use that grand Imperial term, as his Commissioner of Customs. With regret I was compelled to decline; for, from experience a few years before, I had found that if a man has business of his own which he must attend to he cannot possibly at the same time attend to that of everybody else.

Premiers came in thick and fast succession in those days, for there was no small doing and undoing, and no little of general upturning when an exclusively representative a.s.sembly took the place of the "Crown"

system, in its preceding complete or subsequently still partial condition. The Land Question was ever the chief difficulty, for, whereas in previous times the people had been directed to conform themselves to land laws, now the new fancy all was that the land laws should conform to the needs of the people. Ministries rose and fell mainly on this question. When the second time Premier, I think in 1860, Nicholson left his name to a Land Act, as did O'Shana.s.sy, Gavan Duffy, and others, and there is a ringing of the changes even yet upon that fertile subject.

William Nicholson has pa.s.sed to his rest, and Burns might have fitly awarded him his high palm, "An honest man's the n.o.blest work of G.o.d."

CHARLES HOTSON EBDEN, ESQUIRE.

"But I thought there was more in him than I could think."

--Coriola.n.u.s.

"Methinks there is much reason in his sayings."

--Julius Caesar.

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." The subject of this sketch might put in a claim for at least something towards redeeming Jack's dulness, for he had a few odd ways, and a fertile turn for epigrammatics, some of them not bad. He boasted of having Beau Brummell's antipathy to certain vegetables. During the early but brief allotment mania he said that he feared he was to become "disgustingly rich," one of his epi's which became a by-word, and scored him a decided success. When some colonist, hearing him called by the name of Ebden, asked him if he was related to "the great Mr. Ebden," his humorously-delivered response, to the effect that he was himself that happy individual, scored him another, perhaps smaller, success. I have often seen him score yet another, which, perhaps, in his own view, was not at all the least of that sort of thing, when, after writing in a rather neat and most distinct hand, the pen seemed suddenly under paralysis, and a sadly dilapidated signature was the result. He always signed his name in that fanciful way.

Ebden's name was so well known in the earlier years--indeed his gait and ways, his sayings and doings were so marked throughout--that to omit him from my list would leave a decided blank. But if the man had consisted of these little oddnesses just alluded to, whether first cla.s.s or second, little would have survived of him, as business-like John Bull fails to appreciate people who have no more solid backing than that.

Underneath all this very gauzy surface, Ebden, as all who had his intimacy were aware, was withal a man of ability and good common sense, and, what was practically more, he was reputed to rank high in the role of success in the early allotment rig. Indeed, in the rapid fortune-making of that time, he contemplated a palatial residence for himself upon an ample frontage to Collins-street, next above the Bank of Australasia. Two back offices had been built towards the full idea, but the allotment game had already turned ere he got further, and there the incomplete work stood. The "offices" were readily sold or let, and from intended sculleries or what not, rose to be the places of business of two early firms of solicitors--Meek and Clarke on the one side, and Montgomery and McCrae on the other. The s.p.a.cious frontage remained long unbuilt upon, but it has since been taken as part of a "Temple"--not, however, of the G.o.ds, but of very different people--the lawyers.

He and I were on opposite sides of the political hedge, at least in the times when we were together in public life, both in Sydney and Melbourne, during the pre-const.i.tutional era. He belonged, almost beyond any others--the exceptions being perhaps limited to William Forlong and my friend A.R. Cruikshank--to the anti-popular and pro-squatting party; although, subsequently, when there was the "fact accomplished," and no help for it, he accepted "fully and cheerfully," as his election addresses put it, the reigning democratic platform. But he was not unkindly withal, and he helped my comparative legislative inexperience at Sydney, when we were both there to represent Melbourne and Port Phillip. He had done me a great favour also in making himself most serviceable with the German immigration which I had started from Hamburg in 1849. He was quite a German scholar, having finished his education at Carlsruhe, a name which he transferred to his pastoral station in the Port Phillip District.

Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria Part 4

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