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Our Australian Cousins
Chapter XIII


Sydney shop-fronts—Verandahs—Hitching horses to the side-posts— Wonderful docility of the horses—How they are trained—Cabs and cabmen—The hotels—Drinking habits—The licensing system—Need of reform—Hotels and boarding-houses—The parks—Municipal incompetence—Loungers on the pavements— Shop-runners—The streets on Saturday night—The Sydney Larrikin—Selfishness of the wealthier classes—Honour to whom honour is due.

If one thing more than another detracts from the beauty and symmetry of the Sydney streets it is the verandahs in front of the shops. In the construction of these every shopkeeper consults his own will, and is a law unto himself. In such a climate where, for weeks at a time, blinding sunshine pours down on the dusty streets, awnings and verandahs are most grateful to the pedestrian, and at other times, in the cold weather, the shelter of these adjuncts to the shop-fronts affords a welcome protection from the pelting rain; but their beauty or elegance of design would seem to be in a directly inverse ratio to their utility. The principal streets are lined at intervals with porticoes, .verandahs, and awnings, on both sides from end to end. Each structure is more hideously ugly than its neighbour. They are built on no uniform plan; at all angles, in every style of adornment, and they are emblazoned by ugly, vulgar, bare announcements, in the worst possible taste, and with an utter absence of all artistic conception of grace or elegance. There may be one or two exceptions, but only a few.

"Where land is so valuable and rents so high, one does not expect, at this early stage of the existence of Sydney as a city, to see great numbers of lofty shops and large plate-glass windows. The shop-windows of Sydney are, indeed, smaller and meaner looking than those of most capitals, but in the matter of awnings and verandahs the "Walers" had a grand chance for a bright, cheerful, artistic, ornamental display. They have entirely missed the opportunity. Both Pitt and George Streets might be rendered beautifully picturesque ; but unsightly structures jut out into the streets, of all sorts of shapes, at various elevations, and formed of ludicrously incongruous materials. Some are altogether roofless, others are adorned with festoons of tattered sacking and tarpaulins. Some have iron, others wooden supports. Some hang so low as nearly to endanger the pedestrian's head, and the one verandah will sometimes have three or four different styles of colour and lettering. Now Sydney can boast of just as good sign-painters and decorators as any city at home but the shopkeepers are not alive to the influences of artistic decoration. They go in for what is cheap and practical, which, in the matter of verandahs and signboards, certainly means the nasty and unsightly.

Another feature which is almost certain to strike the stranger with not a little wonder is the very common habit of hitching up horses to posts or pillars in the principal streets. At first sight, it would seem peculiar, to say the least of it, and decidedly against London notions, to leave a horse unattended and unattached to stand by the crowded pavement, and remain there unfastened, often for a considerable time. Sometimes the tired animal gets a little impatient, and plants his forefeet on the pavement, trying to attract the attention of his inconsiderate master, whom the influences of liquor, gossip, business, or oblivion have detained within for an unreasonable time and made forgetful of the existence of his faithful steed outside. The new comer feels a tremor of apprehension as he passes in close contiguity to the heels of Rosinante. Ladies and children have sometimes to leave the causeway to the steed in possession and make a detour into the mud of the roadway. After my first surprise, I must say the next feeling that took possession of me was unmitigated wonder at the marvellous docility of the horses themselves.

If ever the present rather stupid coat of arms of the " Waler55 should be changed, a more apt symbol of the most marked characteristic of Young Australia could not be found than the presentment of the fabled Centaur. Nearly every colonist feels at home on horseback. The riding of most young fellows is fearless and faultless. They train their horses admirably, and most riding-horses, those, at least, that are used in and around towns, possess some pretensions to blood and breeding. I am told that the horses are trained to stand still, when left alone, in this manner. When undergoing the training process they are frequently left to themselves, but having attached to the halter a long rope, to the end of which is fixed a" fourteen or twenty-eight-pounder ball or weight. Every time the horse attempts to stray or move away the weight pulls him up, and checks his motion. So" docile are these handsome animals that they become perfectly disciplined, and will stand patiently waiting the will of their dilatory master, often for hours at a stretch.

As I am on the subject of horses I may, in passing, mention the cabs of Sydney. These vehicles are about the best I have seen in any city. They are, as a rule, elegant in make, light in draft, roomy, clean, springy, and comfortable. The interior fittings are much above the average. The horses are generally sleek and well groomed, and "as miserable as a cab-horse" would be quite a misapplied proverb to the Sydney horses. Of the much maligned cabmen, what shall I say? On the whole, they are an intelligent, hardworking body of men. Many of them own the cab they drive, and take a real pride in having the turn-out respectable, or even stylish. They have a hard life of it. Constant exposure, frequent over-reaching by unscrupulous fares, and disbelief in their honesty or moderation are not the best means that could be employed for producing geniality of temper and a willing alacrity to oblige. Yet the Sydney cabmen, with few exceptions, are a smart, active, courteous body of men. At least, such has been my experience of them. They are not wanting in the proverbial sharpness of retort and quickness in repartee of their kind.

When so many utterly worthless channels are being constantly started in which to direct the streams of amateur philanthropy it would be well if some amiable person, yearning for an opportunity of winning honourable mention by the expenditure of superfluous wealth, would start a movement for the erection of cabmen's shelters. At most of the Sydney cab-stands, with the exception of a few in the crowded narrow parts of the city, these might be erected on the London • model, and would be considered a boon by the cabmen.

The cab tariff is looked on by strangers as very excessive. The regular charge is four shillings an hour for the first hour, or ninepence for every additional quarter of an hour. The first idea is, that in a country of cheap horses this charge is prodigiously unreasonable ; but a little reflection and judicious inquiry brings down the stranger to accept the charge, high as it is, as inevitable. In fact, the cabman will find it hard enough to make the current rate of a skilled labourer's wages, after paying for the keep of. his horse, repairs to his cab, his licence, and other incidental expenses. Boatmen's fees are chargeable according to the distance that one may wished to be rowed. To simply visit a vessel in the harbour near the principal wharfs is sixpence for each passenger.

Australian cabmen drive at a rattling pace, oftener over than under the regulation, six miles an hour. After 10 p.m. they are allowed to charge half fare extra. On one occasion only did a Sydney cabman demand more than his proper fare from me.

The hotels of Sydney. Alas! the language of superlative praise is not here necessary. I had almost said there are no good hotels in Sydney. "We are far behind Melbourne in this respect. In fact, so far as a building for hotel purposes goes, the only one really worthy of the name that I have seen in the whole colony of New South Wales is the Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle, the gritty, gloomy city of coal, and entrepot of the Hunter River traffic and commerce. The same reasons that militate as yet against the erection of costly warehouses and spacious, handsome shops tell against the establishment of palatial hotels. In all colonial hotels, as a rule, the bedrooms are stuffy little bandboxes. The first consideration and chief care of the colonial hotel-keeper is not the comfort of his lodgers and the supplying of their wants by a careful attention to their bed and board; but the all-engrossing thought is how to secure a goodly share of " bar practice." In fact, while there are multitudes of tapsters, bar-keepers, grog-sellers, there are very few, comparatively speaking, who really merit the title of hotel-keeper par excellence. The drink traffic in Sydney is a great curse. There are nearly 800 licensed public-houses in Sydney for the sale of alcoholic drinks. By Sydney I mean the city and suburbs. The population for which theso drinking facilities exist is under 200,000. The last census made it 140,000. Taking the higher estimate, this gives a proportion of one public-house to every 250 inhabitants. The sum spent on drink and in drink traffic in the colony in 1878 was, according to the lowest estimate, 3,500,000Z.

This sum would have bridged the gap between the terminus of the railway system and the sea. It would have provided public and commodious wharfs, with five hydraulic cranes, and all modern appliances for the loading and discharging of cargoes. It would have bridged the harbour, connecting the city and its northern isolated suburbs, and would have gone far to connect Sydney and Newcastle by rail. At the average cost per mile of the Great Southern Line it would have paid for the construction of 270 miles of railways in the interior. It would, otherwise applied, have conferred immense benefits on the country; as now spent, this euormous annual outlay propagates pauperism and vice of all sorts. It encourages disease, and breeds crime and destitution; it bolsters up a rotten fabric of adulteration, and it would be well if the Legislature would lay aside private squabbling and public political bungling, and unite to devise a measure by which this abominable traffic might be restricted within reasonable and proper limits, and dealt with in a manner more in accordance with sound statesmanship and Christian principle.

Now, I am no teetotaller or total abstainer. On the contrary, I like my wine or beer as well as any man, and I would not preclude any one from indulging his tastes in moderation; but as at present constituted the licensing system of New South Wales urgently needs reform, and is a crying evil in the land. The multiplication of low dram and drinking-shops is bearing its inevitable fruit in increased brutality, increased pauperism, a general lowering of the moral tone among the lower classes, and an augmented register of preventible diseases.

The principal objections to the present licensing system are these:—The granting of licences is vested in the hands of local benches of magistrates, who have received commissions from the heads of various governments in power as a reward for political support. Mental capacity or moral fitness are not the qualities looked for. Voting power is the article in demand. That there are among the honorary magistracy of the colony many able, intelligent, highly educated, and honourable men, no one will deny. Still, there are hundreds who have been pitchforked into this position, without having the slightest capacity or fitness for the, honour. Political partisans have been and are appointed, not on account of their social position, their education op ability, but simply because they have been, or may be, useful to the men in power pro tem.; and in this way an obligation has in numerous instances been liquidated, by the- easy and cheap process of bestowing the title of J.P. on the person to whom the obligation has been incurred.

Again. In the list of justices of the peace there are a large number of persons who are or have been engaged directly or indirectly in the drink traffic, and others who own or are interested in public-houses. These are strong enough, and numerous enough, to pack the benches when applications for licences are preferred; and at times licences are granted in the most wholesale manner to all and sundry who apply.

Another objection, and a serious one, is a want of finality in the refusal. An application is made for a licence for a particular house. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood, or the police, or others interested, may show clearly that additional drinking accommodation is not only unnecessary, but calculated to prove . injurious rather than beneficial. The application is refused. The applicant, like Bruce's spider, tries again, and is again refused. Watching time and opportunity, the applicant again and again renews his demand. In the end persistency not unfrequently wins the day, and a public-house may be planted in a neighbourhood where no necessity exists for it, and actually against the wishes of a majority of the residents.

Many good and wise men amongst all classes of the community have recognized the necessity that exists for coping with this growing evil. A Liquor Licence Amendment Association has been established, with Sir Alfred Stephen, the popular and respected lieutenant-governor as its president. By Mr. Holdsworth, the secretary, I have been furnished with a short precis of the aims and objects of the association. I cannot do better than transcribe the document bodily, for the information of the reader. It is as follows :—

The Council on the Liquor Licence Laws Amendment Association,

Having earnestly and carefully considered the best method of tranferring the licensing power to the people, have adopted the following principles of legislation, which would be just and moderate, yet effective :—

I. That the future control of the traffic in intoxicating liquors be vested in elective boards, to be called liquor licence boards.
II. That every electoral district in the province be declared to be a licensing district.
III. That every duly qualified elector on the electoral roll for such district be qualified to exercise one vote in the election of each member of the board.
IV. That the board consist of five members, who must be duly qualified electors for the district in which they are elected, that the board shall elect their own chairman, and that three shall form a quorum.
V. That all applications for the renewal or transfer or new licence of any public-house, wine shop, or other place for the sale of intoxicating liquors, must be made to the board for the district in which the premises are situated.
VI. That the boards be empowered to grant or to refuse all such applications, and that their decisions be final.
VII. That the boards be elected for three years; proposed principles of a licensing roand vacancies by absence from three quarterly meetings in succession, death, or resignation to be filled up by the remaining members electing duly qualified persons, or in case of an equality in votes, by the governor in executive council.
VIII. That nominations of persons for such boards be made in writing, and signed by not less than six electors for the district, together with the written consent of the person nominated to act if elected.
IX. That all persons nominated for such boards shall deposit with the, returning officer the sum of twenty-five pounds (251.) prior to the day of election, such sum to be forfeited to the government should the person concerned fail to poll one-fourth of the votes polled by the lowest on the list of elected members.

This policy must be strong in its claims upon the country and the legislature. The machinery needed to carry out these changes would not be too expensive, and it would not be difficult to frame a measure which would be simple and direct in its operations, giving to them legislative effect.

When it is remembered that the annual cost of intoxicants in this colony amounts to millions of pounds, it is not too much to ask that a few hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds should be spent in exercising a legitimate and beneficial control over this dangerous traffic.

A select committee of the legislative assembly have recommended the appointment of licensing boards, and there cannot be any valid reason why these should be nominee boards, seeing that the question is one of immediate concern te all as to whether licences shall be granted or not. The measure would also be very expansive and progressive in its working, and the restriction of the traffic in every district would be in exact accordance with the growth of public opinion.

Of course many minor provisions and regulations would be needed to make these recommendations effective; and to harmonize them with the other amendments in the law for which the association is contending.

This seems, indeed, a reasonable programme, and a laudable one. Some such legislation is needed to curb an evil which threatens to assume gigantic proportions, and prove a very grave and serious danger, and a standing menace to the well-being of society at large in the colony. While on the subject of drink and drinking habits, however, I wish to guard against possible misapprehension. The number of so-called hotels certainly strikes a stranger as being inordinately large. To hotels per se I have no objection. In all new countries there is a preponderance of males over females, of unmarried over married men. These solitary bachelors must find a habitation and a home. This accounts for many of the hotels. They are in reality primarily designed for boarding-houses. The sale of intoxicants should be but an auxiliary. Under the present licensing system the temptation is to make it the one essential raison d'etre.

It must not be supposed that the colonials, as a class, are addicted to drink. The middle classes, the tradesmen, shop-keepers, young fellows in banks and offices, are indeed a most temperate people. As colonial wine increases, too, in public estimation, the taste for fiery stimulants will more and more decrease. Among many of the working men, and the lower class of labourers and loafers, however, the consumption of drink is far too lavish. Yet little open drunkenness is to be seen. There are far fewer drunkards visible in Sydney than in Glasgow for instance, and the liquor supplied is probably better in quality.

Although much deplorable and remediable drunkenness exists, the New South Wales people, as a people, are a temperate race, and the young generation, while it betrays such a pleasing partiality for, and decided appreciation of healthy, manly, out-of-door athletic sports and exercises, bids fair, among the virtues of manly pluck and honest endurance, to cultivate temperance, that most admirable of virtues.

To hark back to our hotels. It seems somewhat invidious to single out one or two for mention, yet as I but give my individual experiences, they need only guide those who believe in my capability of judgment. Petty's Hotel has long been acknowledged to hold premier position as the aristocratic and select resort. Some, of course, dispute this—notably the proprietors of other hotels. Petty's is a very old-established house. I spent nearly three months in it, when Mr. Lahel was manager, and I was never more comfortable anywhere. The situation is retired, quiet, central. A new wing is being now built. The original building is old and rambling, and the rooms are small; but the cuisine is excellent. It has passed into new hands lately, but seems to retain all its ancient prestige. Pfhalerts, in Wynyard Square, generally ranks next in order of importance and excellence. A capital table d'hote is kept, at which many of the best-known men in this town may daily be seen at lunch-time.

A formal hot lunch of three courses—soup, joint, sweets, with cheese and salad to follow, seems to be de rigueur with the Sydney mercantile or professional man. There are no chop-houses after the London plan. There are depots for the sale of fried fish and oysters, but the Sydney eating-houses are not appetite-inspiring as a rule. The Exchange is much patronized by brokers, insurance men, bank clerks, juvenile lawyers, and investors generally. It is a good hotel. The Royal, in George Street, is a capital commercial hotel, and one of the oldest in the city. My favourite is the neat and clean Imperial Hotel, in Wynyard Square, with the beau-ideal of a good old English host in its stalwart proprietor. He is one of a not by any means too numerous class of hotel-keepers in the colonies. There are some who look on themselves as little demigods. To speak to them might cost you your bedroom, and a salutation is charged as an extra in the bill. At the Imperial the master is not above his profession, and his first care is the comfort of his guests.

The hotel-keepers are strict men in Sydney, if not in the estimation of the public, at least in their own. Several of them monopolize the chief seats in the synagogue of municipal government, one or two sit in the great Sanhedrim,' and legislate for the people, and the best of the class are shrewd, energetic, liberal-minded men. But the small bedrooms, the bad whisky, the indifferent cookery, the generally agressive assumption of being the obliging, and not the obliged party, strike the foreigner not very agreeably. The "New Chum" is fair game for all and sundry.

I have mentioned Wynyard Square and Hyde Park. These are two of the lungs of Sydney. The former is centrally situated, and very tastefully laid out, and neatly kept. All the hotels in the square are good, and tho lodging-houses, of which there are many, are excellent. Charges are moderate. First-class hotels afford a room, with use of public rooms, and good board for from two to three guineas per week. Some of the more ambitious, such as Petty's, charge 3/. 10s. Capital lodgings can be got for twenty-five to forty shillings with board. The price is chiefly affected by the locality in which the house is situated. Those nearer the parks, and in the neighbourhood of the Domain, will cost from two to three guineas per week. Moore Park is another of the lungs of the great city, but lies at some distance from the central portions of the metropolis, and near Moore Park is the famous Randwich Race-course, where high carnival is held on occasions. The matter of public parks for our colonial towns and cities has only lately begun to attract attention, and rouse intelligent discussion. The necessity for having these health-giving resorts would not seem to have been even faintly realized by the original founders of our colonial cities, for almost no reserves were made, or lands dedicated for the purpose. Indeed of late years, in many instances, land for public recreation-grounds has been bought back by the state at immensely enhanced prices, after having been alienated by government for a mere song. The Echo, in a sensible and concise little leader on the subject, puts the matter very neatly. "The reason," it says, "why a suitable recreation-ground is not to be found in tho centre of every considerable population is in a great measure political, to some extent municipal, and very largely owing to the want of foresight and energetic persevering action on the part of the inhabitants of the districts specially interested. The municipal councils are what the ratepayers make them; and if they elect men who haven't a soul above gutters, what can they expect but to have their money squandered, and to dwell in the midst of dirt and discomfort? The Legislative Assembly is what the -people make it; and if they choose as their representatives men of narrow views and bitter spirit, what can they expect but squabbling, mud-throwing, and obstruction? We are not in a position to say that the Assembly does not represent the people. Unfortunately the people have been too much absorbed in money-grubbing and pleasure-seeking to perform aright their duties as good citizens, and so the whole body politic has become tainted with disorder. When the new Constitution Act came into operation in 1856 the city of Sydney presented a 'frightful example' of municipal neglect and mismanagement, and after all these years it is still a £ frightful example.' Since that time we have had the Municipal Act of 1858, and the later statute of 1867; but both have been, to a great extent, signal failures. They have not prevented a state of things growing up in the suburbs, as odious as that which existed in Sydney in 1858, and which has now become still more aggravated. Year after year open spaces, which might have been secured to the public on easy terms, have been subdivided and built upon, and there has been no power vested in the municipalities to prevent the carrying out of plans which have inflicted, and will continue to inflict, serious injury on the metropolis. Thus we have houses being built over foul sewers, covered only with a few rough boards and a little sand; and to-day, not far from Eveleigh, may be seen a large number of alignment posts lying on flat, undrained ground, and half covered with water. Who expects that such land can be built upon without peril, not only to those who occupy it, but also to the whole community? A few miles away a large estate has been cut up for sale. A portion of it would make an excellent reserve, but cannot with impunity be built upon in the manner proposed. We want for the suburbs an authority which would prevent the greed of landowners from permanently injuring the metropolis. But what chance have we of obtaining a restriction of this kind unless it be imposed directly by the Legislature? What ought to have been done many years ago was to have secured open spaces in suitable localities all over the metropolitan area," &c.

Another exasperating habit of the Sydney street-lounger is the persistency with which he blocks up the pavements in the principal streets, and at the busiest crossings. The police are much to blame for allowing this. Great hulking fellows slouch round the barroom doors, and at the crossings, swearing and expectorating, till earth and air become tainted with filth and profanity. The police move backwards and forwards, with that provoking assumption of know-nothingness, which gives a dreamy, far-off look to the eye of the helmetted, white-cotton-gloved guardian of the peace. How different from the smart businesslike activity of the London prototype. The control of street traffic, and a proper regard to the convenience of pedestrians, ladies especially, seem to be points utterly beyond the ken of the Sydney policeman. In no other city, with which I have any acquaintance, would this odious habit of loafing on the pavements be allowed to such an extent without very practical protest.

Shop-runners are another feature of these principal streets. Men, having generally a very Hebraic profile, stand balancing themselves on their heels on the extreme edge of the kerbstone. They are generally hatless and coatless. Their linen ought to be at the wash. The shops to which they are supposed to be attached arc dark, gloomy, dingy dens. All the light of day is excluded by festoons and rows of slop-made garments, boots and shoes, remnants, cheap drapery and haberdashery, which overflow into the street, and hide the whole front of the shop. These coatless individuals solace themselves with bad tobacco and cheap cigars when trade is less brisk than usual, and they wheedle and importune the passers-by to look at their wares, in a manner very suggestive of Burra Bazaar in Calcutta, especially, too, if the pedestrian evidence by gait, dress, speech, or complexion, that he comes from the rural districts. Most of the clothing worn by the bulk of the people is bought ready-made. Slop-suits are the prevailing style. The common ruck of the Sydney populace are about the worst-dressed section of the Anglo-Saxon race, so far as good taste is concerned, that I have ever seen.

The Sydney populace can be seen best, in all its glory, on a Saturday night. 'Tis then they turn out in countless swarms, and throng the streets in thousands till nine or ten o'clock. It is a merry, good-tempered, orderly crowd, but the Sydneyites are as fond of a street promenade, as Parisian or Neapolitan. The markets are crowded. Shops flare with the ' garish glitter of gas. Cheap Jacks shout till they are hoarse. Barrel-organs and even more objectionable itinerant musicians, load the air with doubtful melody. There is a densely-packed, slowly-surging mass of people occupying all the breadth of the street. Young fellows banter young women, with more vigour than refinement of expression or refinement of manner or phrase. Most of the housewives carry the family basket, and make purchases here and there, as flesh, fruit, vegetables, clothing, groceries, or luxuries come before them. The men are comfortably dressed, so far as slop-suits admit of comfort. Nearly all of them smoke. The whole population is out of doors. It is the working man's weekly festival. On the whole it is a pleasant sight, and rarely marred by scenes of violence, drunkenness, or misbehaviour. It is rough, doubtless, but it is a hearty, jovial, good-humoured roughness, and everything bespeaks a rude plenty, a vigorous, well-contented, well-fed, well-housed, well clad, well-paid, working population. When we can add well-governed, and thoroughly well educated, we shall see a magnificent race, and the future is not without signs of hopeful promise.

The Sydney larrikin, as the street Arab, the antitype of the London rough, or Liverpool loafer, or New York hoodlum, is called, is the most detestable creature on the earth's surface. Devoid of respect for age, sex, or rank, he is an unmitigated nuisance, a hateful thing, abhorrent to every right-minded citizen. The larrikins are numerous in Sydney. They are brutal cowards, who would not hesitate to rob a sick child, or steal the letters off a gravestone. They insult women, assault unwary pedestrians, defy the police, haunt the parks at night, are up to every villany and outrage.

Larrikinism threatens dire consequences. The respectable classes growl and grumble, and occasionally write letters to the papers, and abuse the police and the aldermen, and the clergy, and government. But as for subscribing to night schools, or city missions, or organizing benevolent and philanthropic societies, such as exist in other great cities, thesİ things are not thought of. "Am I my brother's keeper?" they ask. "We are too busy gambling, and pot-hunting, and overreaching and manipulating politics, and plundering the treasury, and rigging the market, to lose time over mawkish sentimentality. Let the parsons, and the police, and the government look to it. They are paid to put down larrikinism. What have we to do with it?"

Overdrawn, you say? I wish it were so. Mammon-worship is the fashionable religion, and the waifs and strays of humanity, the larrikins and criminal classes, and indigent, uneducated brethren of the alley and the gutter, may go hang, for all that Dives cares. As a community, I accuse the Sydney richer classes of callous, cynical disregard of duty, in this and in other respects. They will encourage sport, spend money on ostentatious display, eat well, drink freely, live merrily, pursue wealth and pleasure with desperate keenness, but philanthropy is not their strong point. Religion is counted well enough for the women and the parsons, and a cold, selfish indifferentism spreads among men, until the moral tone of the nation is in danger of being seriously depreciated. A spirit' of unworthy dependence on government to do everything, while the individual shall do nothing, is on the increase, and bodes ill indeed for the growth of vigorous, manly self-reliance, sound national life, and a pure political atmosphere.

All honour to the brave ministers of religion, who struggle on, often almost single-handed, in the midst of indifferentism and cynical contempt. Myself a son of the manse, I can well appreciate the self-denying lives that they mostly have to lead. The money-grubbing parvenus, of whom there are hundreds in and around Sydney, treat them with offensive patronage or covert ridicule; church-going and parochial work are not fashionable with many of these plutocrats; and spiritists, free-thinkers, religious sensation-mongers and irresponsible hobbyists, are often feted and caressed in Very high circles indeed, when the' patient, upright Christian gentleman and minister is misrepresented and maligned. My remarks are only applicable to a section of the community, but it is a section that is powerful, wealthy, numerically strong. We all know the proverb,—Set a beggar on horseback and he will ride to the devil. If the restraints of religious training and example are removed; if an ultra-democratic upheaval should take place, and more improbable things are on the cards;—then let these purse-proud, self-indulgent, and apathetic favourites of fortune look to it. They may find the horse become unmanageable, and bring them to their destination sooner than is to their liking.


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