this book written? Principally to satisfythe questionings of many friends in India and the oldcountry, who continually write me such queries asthese:—How do you like Australia? "Would youadvise me to come out? Is it healthy? Is there anysport to be had? Are the people really nice? Coulda man, with a small income and a large family do
anything out there? and so on. I have honestly tried todetail my own experiences in such a way, that they
shallbe usefully suggestive to
my friendly catechists and
others like them, and yet be sufficiently interesting tocommand the suffrages of the general reader.
I do not
profess to be a polished writer. The gracesof my style are perhaps conspicuous by absence, yet Iwould have the critic know, that I have no
proofs. Add to this that my book has.been written mostly on holidays, and late into thenight, after an active day's duty in the city,
when bothhand and brain are
somewhat jaded. It has required
no slight sense of duty, and a desire to do somepublic good to keep me up to my self-appointedtask.
I have incorporated letters
that I wrote to ThePioneer when
acting as special correspondent for thatpaper, and I have tried to write naturally, truthfully,and as I felt; where I have made extracts from
newspapers and books, I have acknowledged the obligation,and here again thankfully do so to my unknown
It may be
asked what acquaintance I have withmy text, and whether I am competent to speak as acritic, when I refer to colonial social manners
institutions and peoples. I can
only say that I have been a colonist since I was abouteighteen years of age. In New Zealand, I was byturns cadet on a sheep-run, gold-digger,
travellingagent and general
utility-man, turning my hand to
what first presented itself, for I was young and ardent,and willing to work and did work hard. In India Iwas for twelve years Indigo planter and manager oflarge estates. Since I returned to the antipodes,
Ihave been journalist,
traveller, special correspondent,newspaper manager, and am now secretary of aninsurance company. I claim therefore as a
traveller,and an observant man,
to know something about the
colonies. The success of a former book, and the veryfavourable criticisms it received, has emboldened
meto commit this present volume
to the winds and wavesof public
love Australia. It has become a healthy,happy home to me, after I had been given up by mymedical friends as almost a hopeless case. I likethe Australian people—the young people especially—and I want my book, if they read it, to do more
thanmerely amuse, I want it to
awaken thought. Theywill find
here, written by no unfriendly hand, with nobias or prejudice, the opinions of a cosmopolitan. Ihave spoken strongly on colonial public life, andpublic men, and public measures, but not more sothan the subject deserves.
of Australia lies in the hands of heryoung men. If they use the mighty power theypossess, and send the right men to their
parliamentsand councils, and
purge them of corrupt government,and look on things with a wider and more comprehensive
vision; say less, and act more, in fact: actrighteously and honestly and loyally, and if my pagesof sporting recollection, scenic description, andstraightforward criticism, shall conduce in the
leastdegree to this result, I
shall think my night oilhas
burned to good purpose.
I am under
great obligations to Mr. R. Scott ofNewcastle, for fishing and shooting notes, and to Dr.S. T. Knaggs of the same city for much kind
assistance,and to Mr. Gr.
Ranken, "Capricornus," for much counseland kindly help.
A retrospect—I start from Calcutta—Our steamer and
cargo—Down the Bay—Penang—The Cowree Festival.
Singapore—My impressions of the island—Start for Australia—Among the islands—Torres Straits—Our
Captain—Passengers and Chinese doctor—Somerset—Looking back—Colonial
evidences—A bush dandy—The pearl-shell Fishery—The divers' boats and details of the Fishery—The pearloyster—Incidents of the Fishing—Curious facts in
The missionary—New Guinea—Early discoveries—Recent Expeditions—General
description of the island—Animals—Natives — Curious customs—Deadly climate—Legends—General remarks.
We leave Somerset—The Australian coast—The "Black Fellows"—A wreck—Brisbane—Aspect from the river—Signs of
progress—Hotels—Loungers at the bars—The streets—Housesof Parliament—View of the city—Queensland a fine
Regaining health—An Easter trip up the coast—My travellingcompanion—We travel steerage—Experience of a
tea—General discomforts of colonialtravel—Across the bar—Our reception by our host—Thefishing station—The dugong—Mode of capture—Its
uses—The black fellow
assistants—A domestic squabble—Customsof the black fellows—A native battle.
A corroborree—Discomforts of camp life—Treatment of thenatives—The native police—British pluck and
Christiancourage—How the blacks
are dealt with.
Chapter VII. Start for Maryborough—A colonial conveyance—A drive
bush inn—We reach Maryborough—The sugar-cane country—Alford sugar estate—Method of cultivation—Yengarrie Factory—Mode of
manufacture—The cheap labour question—Kanaka recruiting—Burning questions of the day—Class antagonism.
Return to Brisbane—A ride by rail to Ipswich—Scenery on theline—Venality of legislators—The Bathurst
burr—Grassseeds—The sida retusa—Ipswich—The
Grange Stud Farm—The horse
trade with India—An Indo-Australian tradingcompany—Excellence of Australian stock.
Natural wealth of Australia—Neglect of agriculture—Proposalsto establish experimental farms—Apathy, indolence,
andignorance prevalent—My own
experiments with Indian
seeds—Indian products for Australia—Resume of the salientpoints of indigo culture—Probable result of its
Australia—Mustard and rape seeds—How grown—Linseed — Sesamum — Castor plant —Hemp—Safflower—Millets—General remarks.
The marsupial plague—Young of the marsupiata born—What is a marsupial?—Able
account by a "Bush Naturalist".
A kangaroo battue—Mr. Bracker of Warroo—The DarlingDowns—Warwick and Stanthorpe—Varieties of marsupials—Pikedale Station—The scene of operations—The
line— The beaters—Old wombat—The beat—Fierce excitement—Incidents of the sport—A Spartan meal—Camping
out—Amonster bag—Waste of
skins—How these might be utilized—A letter from the Globe on the subject—Pikedale WashPool—Tin mining—The present and future of
Sydney—Her magnificent harbour—Its unrivalled beauties—The city—General charge of dirtiness—Not so bad as
painted—Comparison of Sydney with other towns—Sydney for her age a wonderful city—Eapid extension—General aspect of the city—The suburbs—Suburban
allotments and undue subdivisionof land—Absence of cottage gardens—Want of sanitation—The term "Cornstalk"—Sydney streets—Public
buildings—Causes of her chronic
indebtedness—Unfitness of her
aldermen—Testimony of one of their number—Summary.
Chapter XIII. Sydney shop-fronts—Verandahs—Hitching horses to the
docility of the horses—How they aretrained—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 onSaturday night—The Sydney Larrikin—Selfishness of thewealthier classes—Honour to whom honour is
Workmen's combinations—Fear of strikes retards industry—Condition of the Australian workmen—Swagsmen andLoafers—Friendly Benefit Societies—Rules, working,
doctor—Abuses in the system—Accident Assurance—Comparison—Life
Society—The Mutual Life Association—Insurance agents—Insurance
Building Societies—Workmen's wages—Labour—Summary.
The railway terminus two miles from the sea—Amazing red-tapism—How not to do it in Australia—The railway—Paramatta—Views along the line—John
scenery—The great Zigzag—Govett's Leap—The BlueMountains—Hartley Vale—Dargan's Creek—Mineral wealth yof the district—Kerosine shale deposits—The
Professor Dawkins and Professor Tate—Openings for capitalists.
Sporting proclivities—Gambling and betting—Lord Harris andthe Cricketing Association of New South
holiday—Bookmakers the vultures ofsociety—Their influence subversive of true sport—A waterparty on the harbour—Our host and
constraint and conventionality than in England—Precocity of the girls—Beauty
of the harbour—Monman'sBay—A
merry party—The eight-oar race between the rivalcolonies—Account of the race between Trickett and Rushfor the championship of the world
An Easter outing in the Antipodes—Arrangements for the party—Our comrades and their appearance—The start—Westeam round to Port Hacking—Our camp—A damper—Abad night—Dawn in Australia—After wallaby—A gem inthe forest—A pull up the river—Splendid
scenery—Thelyre bird—A camp
feast—Hooked through the hand—
Chapter XVIII. I become manager of a newspaper—Australian journalism—Editors in the Antipodes—Characteristics of the
tone of same—The Sydney Morning
Herald—Literary talent plentiful, but ill-remunerated—TheAustralian Magazine—Sydney Punch—Illustrated
correspondents—The Miners' Advocate—General estimate of the colonial press.
The city of Newcastle, New South Wales—Buildings, wharfs,cranes, &c.—Badly laid out—The
sand-drift—Subordination of great national works to petty local
wants—Negligence of sanitary principles—Want of public spirit—Wantof a proper water supply—The filth and squalor of
a colonialtown—How contagion
spreads—The shipping—Pall of
smoke—Port defences—The coal trade—Devices for keepingup the price of coal—Short history of the
relations betweenthe masters
and miners—The Yend Scheme—Both sides—The miners—Their sports and general characteristics—Chinese gardeners—Miners' houses.
A trip to Lake Macquarrie—Beauty of the forest—First view ofthe lake—Boating and fishing—Our Charon—Destructivefishing—Pot-shooting—Want of a close season—Musk
ducks—Black swans—The Heads at
the lake—Chinaman colonists—Scenery—Oysters—Their excellence and abundance—Present system of oyster culture crude and
wasteful—Importance of the
-industry—Plans in vogue elsewhere—What might be done in Australia—Present apathy andneglect.
Deep-sea fishing in Australia—Schnapper fishing—Acclimatization making
progress—The fishing grounds—My friendBob—Rock fishing—Growing scarcity of fish—Bait— ULines—Black bream—Best time for fishing—Best
localities—Groper and rock
cod—Flat-head and tailor fish—Garfish—Sting ray-sharks—Fishing incidents—Leather jacketsand green eels—Anecdotes.
Fresh-water and fly-fishing in Australia—Varieties—Nativemodes of fishing—The fresh-water tortoise—Spearing
fish—The fish of the Western
waters—The platypus—The fresh i/water eel—Perch and herring—Fly-fishing on the Hunter—Fishing notes by Bob—Shooting—Sport on the
Lachlan—Varieties of wild
fowl—Pigeons—Character of the country—Incidents of
duck-shooting—Deterioration of the sport—Pot shooting—Necessity for conservation—Snipe in Hexhamswamps—Anecdotes—The wood duck—Its cunning andsagacity—The Australian crow—Anecdotes—The shrike
Acclimatization Society—The Animals Protection Act.
Climate of Australia—Sites for a sanitorium—Start for Mount"Wilson—My host—The road-side publican—Types of
colonial character—The parvenu—Vulgarity and boorishness—"Young Australia" in the bush—Domestic servants—Argument on the subject—The beauty of Mount
description—Luxuriance of the vegetation—Thetree ferns and scrub—Sassafras and Messmate—Wild fruits,mosses, and plants—Clearing—A bush store—Cascade—Opinion on the climate by one of the leading
Sydney physicians— Prospecting for a section—Forest scenery and .denizens—Wild indigo—Plants that might be
introduced— Casting about for
water—Lunch in the bush—The awfulsilence—Forest leeches—Wynn's Rocks—Grandeur andsublimity of the desolation—A magnificent
panorama—What a country for
game!—The mountain land—Timber
clearing—A field for labour—False ideas of speedily acquiring riches—A bush
interior—Prodigality—The kind oflabour we want—How men can rise—Advice to thenewcomer.
The functions of Government—Estimate of colonial Parliaments—Rallying cries—Many of our legislators unfit for
theirposition—At war with
into a court of petty causes—Sir Henry Parkes on the subject—Extract from
the Sydney Daily Telegraph—Municipal councils—Difficulty of finding good
men—Constituencies to blame—The qualities they appreciate in theirrepresentatives—Beggarly dependence on the
State—Goodmen disinclined to
enter public life—Necessity for a CobdenClub—An overgrown Civil Service—Selfishness and apathyin high places—My opinions corroborated by a
on Australian statesmanship—Deterioration of the Civil Service—The same
writer on thissubject—Jealousy
of outside criticism—Deep-seated diseasesrequire strong remedies.
The land question—The burning question of the day—The landsettlement—The early policy—Free selection—Objects
of the Act of 1861—Abuses that have arisen—Repudiationlooming in the distance—Feuds between squatter andselector—How the case now stands—Reasoning by
analogy—The land system of.
India—Its broad and leading principles—How the revenues are raised—The
Punjaub system—Periodical assessments—"Waste lands reclamation in Oudh and the North-West—The present problem in Australia—No more
legislation—Recent legislation—The new proposals—General summary.
Argument continued by illustration and from personal experiences in land
settlement—The work of settlement in Oudh—Fixity of tenure and easy conditions—Surveys and
improvements—Village settlements—Importation of labour—The labour question—Misstatements and false
wanted—Anti-immigrationists—Protectionists in disguise—More abundant labour
the. talismanof Australia's
development—The reign of the carpet-baggers—No progress without population—Words of an Australianpoet
Scheme of land reform by "Capricornus"—Commutation ofexisting rights—Survey before
agricultural and pastoral areas—Land operations in NewZealand—Railways and public works—Imported labour—Fixity of tenure—Employment of capital—Rents and
cesses—Title direct from the
State—Local land boards—A model
land tax—Objections—The right of the State to a moiety ofthe unearned increment—Centralization—A nomadic
racethe result of the present
railways—Foreign capital—Inducements to capitalists—Results of a wise and liberal land
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