Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria Part 5
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Ebden, like most others in it, did not bring much out from the allotment mob. When returned afterwards to represent the district along with me in Sydney, I heard that a draft of cattle from the station was needed for expenses. These were still the reactionary times of such small things for all of us. But in after years he went on and prospered, and he left behind him what might have been called a large fortune in any place where there were not a W.J.T. Clarke and a Henry Miller, and perhaps some few others besides, in the rival category.
EDWARD WILSON, CHIEF PROPRIETOR OF "THE ARGUS," "THE TIMES" OF THE SOUTH.
"The good I stand on is my truth and honesty; I fear nothing What can be said against me.
I was long and intimately acquainted with Wilson. He was a man of high qualities and n.o.ble longings, and scorned meanness of all kinds; and he had, like his predecessor Kerr, some good and pungent literary pretensions, although he could not be placed on a level with Kerr while the latter enjoyed adequate health. But, on the other hand, he greatly marred his influence by what might be called impetuous intemperateness in his early press career. Indeed, "The Argus", in its later stages, must needs emerge, as in fact it did, from its chief owner's editing, if it was to take the position of "The Times" of the South. He had a great antipathy to indecision in public men, and he entered upon a furious crusade against the Superintendent and his surroundings, as the prime causes in the delay in "the unlocking of the lands." Mr. La Trobe was dubbed "the Hat and Feathers," as though these trappings were the most of him; and this vulgarity, excusable only under small "Eatanswill"
conditions, pa.s.sed into the great developments of the golden age. Some of us, who were doing our best in the same general direction, often had to wish, with reference to Wilson, to be saved from our friends, while Mr. La Trobe, if affected at all, was only encouraged or scared into still more decided indecision.
Wilson was not much of a man of practical business. He was not successful in his early life at home, where business is a harder ordeal, and with fewer of the "flukes" that cross the path in young colonies.
Arriving in Melbourne shortly after myself, and in company with a friend, one of the brothers Kilburn, he squatted upon a small cattle run to the south-east, towards Dandenong. But as this did little beyond merely keeping soul and body together, as things were all now subsiding from the riot of the earlier years, it was given up. Foregathering next with Mr. J.S. Johnston, they between them bought "The Argus" from Kerr for a very small sum--I think under 300 pounds--and the paper then started upon its successful career under the increased vigour and improved method of its management.
Although, as I have said, not a business man himself, Wilson was fortunate in business partners--first Mr. Johnston, as above said, succeeded by my old friend James Gill, who, retiring, was replaced by Lauchlan Mackinnon whose energy and application piloted the paper financially into its later grand position. He had latterly, besides, a surpa.s.sing business agent in my old friend James Rae, whose firm of Jackson, Rae and Co. had retired comparatively early, after attaining the mercantile heads.h.i.+p of the colony; thus leaving the colonial field open to other early friends, Fred. G. Dalgety and Fred. A. Du Croz, who have since, as Dalgety, Du Croz and Co., and Dalgety and Co. Limited, taken the first position in Australasian commerce.
For some years Wilson took full charge of the editorial and general literary work, which, after the gold discoveries, was labour second to none. In the sudden expansion of all colonial interests, there was constant fear for years together of falling short of adequate supply.
Now it was type, again it would be paper, and, worst of all, it would at times be the inadequacy of staff. The Australian press had at times to be content with such dress of paper as could on emergency be had, and for some time, as I recollect, one of the Sydney issues came out on tea paper from China. Wilson, as I have repeatedly seen him, would occupy his corner in the comparatively large room into which the narrow old premises in Collins-street east had been latterly expanded. There most of the work was done, he receiving, during nearly the whole night, news and messages, correcting proofs, and pa.s.sing instructions in his quiet off-hand, and, when needful, peremptory or commanding way, and, amidst the ceaseless noise, writing or correcting leaders when possible.
With the gold tide came at first such heavy expenses, much of them quite unforeseen and unprepared for, that the press interest was run, of necessity, into heavy debt, where there was no adequate capital. It was either this or to give up the game in those changing times; and those who had not the money or the credit went to the wall, to make room for others less embarra.s.sed. "The Argus" thus got heavily into debt to its agents and bankers; but after 1854, which had been a most trying year of inevitable reaction, there was gradual recovery, and eventually a due reward in commissions and interest to its supporters.
The prosperity of "The Argus" about this time was unprecedented in the antipodes, and for a considerable interval the paper stood unrivalled, not only in Victoria but in Australasia, having at last surpa.s.sed, both in circulation and in the profits of business contents, even the long-established and highly respectable "Sydney Morning Herald", it was allowed, and not unfairly, to be "The Times" of the Southern Hemisphere, for Wilson had retired in favour of more temperate editors.h.i.+p; and in supporting, and being supported by, the mercantile interests, and in the adoption generally of the Freetrade policy of the parent state, the paper followed its northern prototype.
But the clearing of the ground had left room for other and better accoutred rivals, and "The Age" arose to enter the lists with "The Argus". The latter had taken up Freetrade and the "cla.s.ses;" the former took up Protection and the "ma.s.ses;" so far, at least as these terms might, as to either application, distinguish democratic Victoria's condition. Protection had been quite in abeyance under the old regime, beyond at least, an occasional sigh from agricultural Geelong for higher prices for the farmer, "the mainstay of every country." Even during the interregnum of semi-const.i.tutionalism, 1851-55, the tendency had been effectually checked, chiefly by the energy of the Collector of Customs, Mr. Ca.s.sell, then one of the Official Legislative Members, who, supported by the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, was bent upon a tariff of the Home kind, of half-a-dozen leading articles, with perfect freedom of exchange over the world for all products of the colony's labour. But Mr. Ca.s.sell, to universal regret, on general as on commercial grounds, died in November, 1853, leaving the colony a less obstructed road to those restrictions which it has since seen fit to impose upon its own industry. "The Age", with remarkable ability and as remarkable success, has always advocated Protection. But at first, as my recollection goes, it was in that qualified way which is not necessarily against trading freedom, reasonably considered. I perfectly recall the late Mr. Syme's main argument, or excuse, to the effect that the Western United States, for instance, should, on social considerations, restrict universal wheat-growing, even at economic loss. But if one may judge from some recent Freetrade and Protection controversy as between Victoria and New South Wales (see "Age" for April-May, 1887), all qualification seems now dropped, and even direct economic advantage expected from Protection.
None the less "The Age" gained upon "The Argus", and has, I understand, long surpa.s.sed it in that most prominent of all tests, the circulation.
Perhaps in profits also. When I inquired lately of one of "The Argus"
chiefs upon those delicate points, the reply was, that "The Argus" was not up to "The Age's" circulation, "but, further, deponent sayeth not."
This does not mean, however, the loss of position as the Southern "Times", for "the leading journal" is by no means at the head of the London press in point of circulation. Where it may be, however, when it comes down from the aristocratic threepence to the common penny of its brethren remains to be seen; and I am told that all has long been in readiness for the change when the fitting times arrives. And so, as "The Argus" is still twopence to "The Age's" penny, inverted relations as to circulation may some day not be impossible there also. The circulation of the daily "Age", by my last account, is close upon 70,000, which is not "a poor show for Kilmarnock," in that sense of the joke.
In 1858, Wilson quitted the colony "for good," as the phrase is, followed by Mackinnon, and later on by their third and only other partner, Mr. Allan Spowers. "The Argus" was now an established principle of Victoria, and prosperity was a.s.sured. After a few more years of economizing, until the business debt was finally cleared off, the partners could enjoy to the full their great and well-merited fortunes.
Wilson and Mackinnon took up palatial country residences--the one at first at Addington, ten miles from London, and later at the pleasant and cla.s.sic Hayes Place, the favourite abode of the great Chatham; the other at Elfordleigh, in Devons.h.i.+re; while Spowers lived chiefly in London, where, as the common favourite of both, he, with his genial temper, kept the peace between his seniors, who, with an infirmity too common to human nature, were p.r.o.ne to disagree, for want, let us suppose, of anything else to think about.
Mackinnon, with his energetic mind, had been the most concerned in building up the later stages of the "Argus" fortunes. Both Wilson and I had a high opinion of his qualities, as the following incident may show.
He and I, as I have said in my sketch of the Henty family, were anti-transportation delegates to Tasmania in 1852, and, proceeding by steamer to Launceston, we had for fellow-pa.s.sengers a considerable body of returned diggers, most of them with their bags of gold, and a good proportion of them with expressions of face one would rather not meet if beyond call of the police. In short, a good sprinkling of returned convicts were of the number, with their "piles," acquired possibly quite as much by robbing as by digging. After a few hours at sea, a rumour reached the cabin that there had been a robbery, one of these ruffians having seized a bag of gold from one of the other digger pa.s.sengers. The thief had at once disappeared below and secured himself within a surrounding of his own chums, so that it was feared he might escape with his booty, as no one seemed "game" to descend the fore companion ladder and encounter this sinister crowd below. Mackinnon at once took the cause in hand. Telling the robbed man to follow him, so as to help identification, he, without an instant's hesitation, descended the ladder. A few of us followed, to support our gallant leader. "I want the thief," he said; "he must restore the gold. You honest diggers are not to lose your earnings in this way." So saying, he pressed forward into the crowd, followed by his guide; and when at last the latter pointed out the culprit, he seized his arm and dragged him back to the ladder's foot, where he peremptorily ordered him to restore the stolen gold. All this was done in less time than I have taken to tell it. The thief, overwhelmed by the suddenness of the action, and still more, perhaps, by the want of expected support from his "pals," promptly brought out the gold; and thus ended a little drama highly ill.u.s.trative of those stirring times.
On my return I mentioned this circ.u.mstance to Wilson, and we both agreed that Mackinnon was just the man we were all looking for at that critical period for the heads.h.i.+p of the colony's police. Wilson was in full power as owner and editor of the rising "Argus", while I was senior member for Melbourne; and between us we reckoned upon influencing the Government to make at once this appointment, and in that view we went straight to Captain Lonsdale, our Chief Secretary. We were just too late, for the appointment, as we learnt, had already been decided in favour of Mr., afterwards Sir William, Mitch.e.l.l. I do not doubt that this incident had something to do with Wilson's subsequent invitation to Mackinnon to join him in the "Argus" interest. And here he worked so effectively as to make Wilson just a trifle sensitive as to people thinking that the new hand did even more for the common cause than the old one. But, as the saying has it, "Comparisons are odious." They are, besides, quite unnecessary, for both have proved themselves most worthy men, fighting their life's course valiantly and well, and that, too, with a rare success.
There can, I hope, be no betrayal of confidence in repeating what rumour gave as to "Argus" fortunes. The net profits about this time--that is to say, towards 1878, when Wilson died--were put at between 22,000 and 24,000 pounds; but this, I believe, must have since very considerably increased. Wilson had the larger moiety; Spowers, who was the later importation, having a comparatively small interest.
Wilson was now the country gentleman, able to live in almost princely style. With his amiable and highly-cultured sister, who lived latterly with him, he kept a hospitable house, inviting the old colonists of his acquaintance, as they came and went to and from the old country. He was not without faults of temper and impatience, increased probably by a feeling of physical weakness which denied him activities of mind and body to the extent his ambition for life's utility would have preferred.
His tall, well-developed form and commanding presence, backed by his ample means, placed him easily in a leading position. Now he would be pacing Hayes Place grounds with the frank and genial Archbishop Tait, who, on a visit to the parish, had dropped in with the Vicar, Mr. Reid.
Again he would be a well-known and welcome figure at dinners, "at homes," picnics, and what not, with the Darwins, Lubbocks, Farrs, and the rest of the neighbourhood, scientific and otherwise, but the former by preference. His chief trouble was a weak action of the heart, which for the last year or two kept him constantly in view of death. He calmly regarded the prospect of the great change, put his affairs in order as he wished, and awaited "the call of G.o.d." He pa.s.sed away with but slight suffering in the beginning of 1878, before completing his 64th year. His remains were, by his own request, returned to the colony which, as he always insisted, he had served so long and so faithfully. His large means were left chiefly to various charitable and other useful inst.i.tutions in the colony. Besides larger legacies to his relations, twenty-six of his oldest colonial friends enjoy for life a bequest of 100 pounds each per annum, and as these were the friends of the early and small times of Port Phillip, few of whom had prospered at all like himself, the help is not unneeded in most cases. That all of these legatees were of the other s.e.x is explained by the fact that, having been always a bachelor, he had an intense, although only a general admiration for the s.e.x. Very many others will, over an indefinite future, have reason to bless the name of Edward Wilson.
EARLY SOCIETY: WAYS, MEANS, AND MANNERS.
"When rather from our acts we them derive Than our fore-goers."
--All's Well that Ends Well.
The salient defect, for more or less interval at first, in all commencing colonial societies, is the disproportion of the female element; and thus, in the spa.r.s.eness of homes and families, we have that hardness of social feature, which ill.u.s.trates how much better is the one s.e.x with the "helpmeet" provided in the other. Early Port Phillip was no exception to this rule. Ladies and children were comparatively rare objects. From Tasmania and elsewhere there were a good many "choice spirits" in more than one meaning of the words. There was a marvellous consumption of brandy, among such unusual proportions of strong, venturous, rowdy adults; of tea and sugar, and butcher's meat also; giving altogether a statistical category worse than useless for accurate purposes. Manners were rough, to use a mild term. The town was bad, and the bush was worse. When a pious missionary of those early times, prior to adventuring into the interior, inquired of a squatter if the Sabbath were observed in the bush, "Oh, yes," was the prompt reply, "a clean s.h.i.+rt and a shave."
In such times a large family of ladies might have trodden the soil somewhat as G.o.ddesses come down to the desolate habitations of men. Four such families of the earliest times, in particular, rise to my recollection. They were those of Mr. Grylls and Mr. Clow, both clergymen, the one of the Anglican, the other of the Presbyterian communion; of Mrs. Williamson, a widow lady from near Edinburgh; and of Mr. James Smith, Magistrate and Savings Bank manager, whose bustling form, ever hurrying through our streets, was perhaps the best known of the place, and who, along with his friend and co-magistrate, Mr.
Simpson, was as the coping stone of local respectability. That all of these fair young maidens, most of them remarkably attractive and pleasing, as I have reason to remember, were duly married, need hardly, under all the circ.u.mstances, be told, besides being attested to-day by whole generations of consequences.
Another feature of those early times, a lively and bright feature in many respects, was the considerable number of young men, the younger sons of good families--and, for that matter, the elder sometimes along with the younger--who flocked out, in unusual proportion, I might say, and who infused into the somewhat rough social scene the charm of high culture and manners. Wild they doubtless were in instances not a few; but even that may not be without its side of charm, at least amongst the younger votaries. Some few eventually returned "Home," mostly those who had been s.h.i.+pwrecked in the troubled sea of early-time speculation. But most of them have remained to take their various and full part in colonial society, not a few taking the very highest positions. Thus we had the Stawells and Barrys, the Leslie Fosters, Sladens, Rusdens, of town and neighbourhood, and the Campbells, McKnights, Irvines, of surrounding squatterdom. Most of these are long since the fathers of families, native Australians, including sons who not unfrequently finished their education in the mother country--a dutiful deference which Australia may surely not yet quarrel with. This habit is still strong, even to the third generation in Victoria, amongst her well-to-do colonists. The youths may not expect better training than from a Hearn or a McCoy, an Irving or a Pearson, on the colonial floor; but such diversion from rule will, in its occasional way, the better help to keep the great scattering family united to their venerable mother--to keep together the elder and the younger Britain.
Oxford and Cambridge in particular have, indeed, been quite run upon from Victoria, and those two venerable mothers of English university life can already command in and of that colony quite a small legion of their alumni--the Clarkes and "Loddon" Campbells, the Finlays and "Colac" Robertsons, the Websters and Westbys and Wilsons, who are now the young or the still vigorous life of their colony. If some few of these have remained permanently at Home, or if they pleasantly alternate their domicile by such facile means as the marvels of modern inter-communication afford them, yet all of them help, in more or less degree, to strengthen that tie between the mother and her adventurous colonial offspring which we must hope is never to be broken.
I have the less need to expand further this inspiring section of my subject, seeing that I have been antic.i.p.ated to some extent by a brother author, who, under the pseudonym of "Rolf Boldrewood," has presented to us, in lively and fitting style, a most charming picture of early colonial life, its pleasant hospitalities, plus the Attic salt of no small proportion of the bounteous tables. The disguise of name is not difficult to penetrate. The author's father, residing in his pretty place at Heidelberg, whose genial sun-browned face I pleasantly recall, was well known to me, as well, indeed, as to every other early colonist.
His son's book has been my pleasant companion as I write up daily my "Recollections" in the little cabin of the good s.s. "Coptic", more especially as we both traversed much the same ground, and during the same interesting early time, in Western Victoria.
"Old fas.h.i.+ons please me best; I am not so nice To change true rules for odd inventions."
--Taming of the Shrew.
But perfection is never to be expected in human nature, and accordingly some decided drawbacks were, reasonably I think, chargeable to this "good society" which, as I have just said, had beneficially helped the dawning colony. There was a tendency to separate from, and rather hold in undue depreciation, the trading and toiling ma.s.ses who mainly made the country. This tendency was fostered in the pre-representative days, when there were no political inst.i.tutions to bring the ma.s.s of plain but prosperous society to the front. Of course, when these times came, the game was soon up. But, while the preceding era lasted, a somewhat invidious "aristocracy" gathered around the authorities, the mutual instincts, born of the situation, inclining them to each other. This united party got the name of "Government House." It included most of the highly educated, to whom it was a tempting status, and most of the squatting Crown tenants, whether highly educated or otherwise; and it was cordially open to "presentable" colonists in general, who, holding its views--of course a sine qua non--were willing to enter it. The views were decidedly "p.r.o.nounced," and took practically the form of a decided preference for the status quo, or, at least, modified by the slightest possible of political concession to those noisy, restless ma.s.ses, who, with the local press generally on their side, ceaselessly kicked at all authority. The political timidity and indecision of Mr. La Trobe, worthy man as he otherwise was, gave practically life and soul to this anti-popular party, which laboured, more secretly perhaps than openly, to avert or modify, for the time being at least, the political concession expected from the Imperial Parliament. Mr. La Trobe's view evidently was, that if the colonials kicked so strongly when under bonds, how much more furiously must they kick when the bonds were removed. But, as reasonable persons might have predicted, and as was promptly experienced, the colonists kicked because they were bound, and when unbound they did not kick at all.
The same political feature, and even in more resolute form, had then developed also at Sydney, where Mr. Wentworth led the "upper ten," for the protection of authority against levelling radicalism. He and his party, out-Heroding Herod, and being more governmental than the Government, seriously contemplated a limitation of the franchise to a 50 pounds rental, and the inst.i.tution of a Colonial Peerage, as a permanent slap in the face to the ugly Democracy. Had he carried his views, or even some considerable approach to them, his influence with the party, and his bull-dog courage, would soon have put his colony into an uproar, and possibly even into civil war. But, thanks for once to his political extremes, the question was happily settled rather by being laughed out of court than by time-wasting argument.
"Government House," however, did secure, in both colonies, a certain measure of triumph. Authority in esse having the whip hand of authority in posse, the one-third of nominees as against two-thirds elective were, by a disproportionately large representation purposely given to the squatting districts, converted into a permanent majority of Crown nominees and Crown tenants. This was clearly an evasion of the intention of the Imperial Parliament, which was that, by giving a decided majority to the popular side, the colonies might be graduated into complete const.i.tutionalism.
But, after all, this evasion lasted only for a very few years. These early wranglings are now all but forgotten. But they are so only because the narrow views which gave them birth have been entirely defeated, and are all but exploded. In the progress of the colonies since, "the merits" have occupied the front, and the useful has taken the precedence of the ornamental. The latter is not to be despised when in company with the former; nor has it been, for not a few who were once on the anti-popular side have entered public life, and even secured the highest prizes. This necessitated a descent from cloudland to the solid ground of colonial society. The alternative was extinction, and wisely, in most cases, the latter was not preferred.
Another feature of this Sydney ultra party--a curious feature, indeed, to look back upon to-day--was its undisguised antipathy to the anti-transportation feeling then gathering force throughout South-Eastern Australia, and even in Tasmania. The movement was highly unfas.h.i.+onable, say even deeply vulgar, in the leading circle surrounding Government House. For those who had the infirmity of such puritanical leanings there was an approach to the antipathy, plus contempt, of the southern slaver of the States for his northern abolitionist countryman.
When my friend, Mr. (afterwards Sir) S.A. Donaldson introduced me, for my temporary stay, at the Australian Club, then the high quarters of the party, he pa.s.sed me a friendly hint to steer clear, at least when on the floor of that "house," of that delicate subject.
This feeling was further and rather amusingly ill.u.s.trated on one occasion during the "Separation Session," at which I was the member for Melbourne, and present at the time. Mr. Henry Moor, the well-known solicitor, and one of the five district members, in replying to the charge urged against us of the unfilial indifference or ingrat.i.tude of Port Phillip in thus seeking separation, instanced for the contrary the recent event of the arrival from Melbourne of a deputation from the Anti-Transportation League, in order to help Sydney in promoting its good cause. The instant his drift was detected, the Speaker, Dr. (Sir Charles) Nicholson, apprehensive, doubtless, of some undesirable scene on that too sensational subject, rose to call peremptorily the honourable member to order, and to the non-transgression of his proper subject. But all this injuriously exclusive faction had entirely disappeared from that open and genial society of Sydney which welcomed Mr. Froude three years ago, and which he describes so pleasantly.
"All cheering Plenty, with his flowing horn, Led yellow Autumn, wreathed with nodding corn."
After the first few years of disturbing land speculation, and a too general extravagance of living, we settled down into a frugal folk, of moderate but steady prosperity, which lasted up to the general unsettlement of everything by the gold. The general moderation, and the cheap and plenty time that characterized it, culminated in 1844, when bread was 4 pence the 4-pound loaf, rich fresh b.u.t.ter 3 pence a pound, and beef and mutton 1 penny. A good managing lady, with whom I lodged in that year, told me one day at dinner that a savoury dish we were enjoying was a bullock's head, got for nothing from her butcher, and with which she hoped to keep the house for yet two more days. Shortly before this, when my friend Fennell and I housed together at the west end of the town, we sent one day to the neighbouring slaughtering-place, where the custom was to sell by retail to the public the legs of mutton at 5 pence each, as they had comparatively so little of tallow for boiling down. We duly got one, cooked it, and found it very good.
No doubt it was in very great measure because money was scarce and dear that nearly everything was thus cheap. I recollect the sale by auction at that time of a vacant half-acre allotment in central Collins-street, next to that on which Mr. George James, wine merchant, had very early erected his surpa.s.sing brick office and dwelling. After some slight compet.i.tion, the allotment, put up, I think, at the upset price of 300 pounds, was bought by Mr. Edmund Westby for 344 pounds. The amount is impressed upon me, because I wondered at the time that anyone should thus throw away so much good money. But my friend Westby reckoned the future more accurately than I did, for within nine years after, this price was hardly the 500th part of the value. To cap the whole tale, the lot was, I think, in the hands of Government from having been abandoned by the original buyer, who had forfeited his deposit rather than complete his supposed bad bargain.
According to my recollection, the first of our sober community to set up a carriage and pair was Mr. Henry Moor, above alluded to. Even His Honour the Superintendent had no such luxury at that time. I remember looking upon that vehicle with a sense of awe, possibly not without envy at what was to most of us the entirely unattainable. I speak of the real Hyde Park Corner article, and not the old "shandrydan" with which some remote squatter might at times have galloped into town, poising himself with practised and needed adroitness on nature's bush track, behind a pair or more of the hundreds of nags on his run. I must except also those said anomalous early years, for I recollect sallying forth in 1841 from my little lodging in Lonsdale-street, opposite the old gaol, then being erected, to see Mr. John Hunter Patterson, a spirited colonist of the earliest times, drive his splendid four-in-hand through the trackless bush into town from the direction of the Moonee Ponds.
Our small society, in its upward struggle, received a distinctly great impetus for good by the accession in 1848 of the first Lord Bishop of the colony, Dr. Charles Perry. He exhibited a rare energy in the cause of his Divine Master, and he frankly and genially sought and recognized that Master's Church far beyond the pale of the Bishop's own section of it, so far at least as the rules of that section would permit. But the good Bishop, liberal as he was in one direction, yet failed to reach the full width of colonial sentiment in that respect, when he refused to reciprocate the courtesy visit of his Roman Catholic brother. He is credited with having given his reason, namely, that, in his view, the Roman Church belonged to "the synagogue of Satan"--surely a very venturesome a.s.sertion of so vast a part of Christianity and of the power and civilization of the world. We might say at times of bishops, as is so often said of judges, that when they have to make any unusual or unexpected decision they had best not give the reasons. I witnessed a very different sense of duty, and one to which I must confess a preference when we were at Lugano, an inland town of Teneriffe, situated a few miles from Santa Cruz, where our good "Coptic" halted for six hours to replenish her coal, thus permitting her pa.s.sengers a sh.o.r.e excursion. A polite elderly gentleman, apparently the sole occupant of the Lugano hotel, whose decidedly clerical aspect, together with that simple white neckband which Catholics claim as solely their own, made us at once set him down as Roman, invited us to look through the inevitable cathedral, the only sight of the place. But we found our mistake when he took occasion to allude to "our dear Roman Catholic brethren." We then adjudged him to be a broad-minded Anglican, which was correct, for, as he afterwards told us, he was an ex-navy chaplain.
THE GERMAN IMMIGRATION.
Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria Part 5
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