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chimed the Hon. George Spoonbill was–––to
use the mildest expression,–––as unequivocally
tipsy as the fondest parent or guardian could
possibly have desired a young gentleman to
be on the first night of his entering "the

Not yet established in barracks, Mr. Spoonbill
slept at an hotel, and thither he was
assisted by two of his boon companions, whom
he insisted on regaling with devilled biscuits
and more brandy and water, out of sheer
gratitude for their kindness. Nor was this
reward thrown away, for it raised the spirits
of these youths to so genial a pitch that, on
their way back–––with a view, no doubt, to
give encouragement to trade–––they twisted off,
as they phrased it, "no end to knockers and
bell-handles," broke half a dozen lamps, and
narrowly escaping the police (with whom,
however, they would gloriously have fought
rather than have surrendered) succeeded at
length in reaching their quarters,–––a little
excited, it is true, but by no means under the
impression that they had done anything as
the articles of war say–––"unbecoming the
character of an officer and a gentleman."

In the meantime, the jaded waiter at the
hotel had conveyed their fellow-Ensign to bed,
to dream–––if he were capable of dreaming–––of
the brilliant future which his first day's
experience of actual military life held out.



THERE is something in the dress of an
Australian Settler that is no less characteristic
than becoming,––what a splendid turn-out of
this class may be seen at some of the townships
as they meet on the Sunday for Divine
service. I have looked at such assemblages
in all parts of the colony, until my eyes
have dimmed with national pride, to think
that to England should belong the right to
own them; the old-fashioned Sunday scenes
and manners of England, seen in her younger
colonies, being thus revived. The gay carts,
the dashing gigs, that are drawn round the
fence of the churchyard enclosures,–––the blood-
horses, with side saddles, that are seen quietly
roaming about, add much to the interest of the
scene. True, there are no splendid equipages,
but, then, there are no poor. The dress, the
appearance of the men, the chubby faces of
the children, the neat and comfortable
habiliments of the women (and here let me remark,
–––for the information of some of the gay young
bachelors of England, that, among these
Sabbath meetings may be seen here and there
the blooming native maiden in a riding-
habit of the finest cloth, and of the newest
fashion, the substantial settler's daughter
riding her own beautiful and pet mare; I say
"pet mare," because some of these maidens
have a little stud of their own)–––all these
realities of rural life strongly impress a
stranger with the real comforts which these
people enjoy.


As people of different religions meet at
times on the highway, somewhere near their
respective places of worship, it is delightful
to observe that, whatever faith they possess,
Christian charity reigns. As neighbours, the
men group together, sitting upon, or resting
their backs against the fence, whilst a brilliant
sun smiles on them. At the same time, their
children may be seen decorating themselves
with flowers, or dragging a splendid creeper,
in order to beautify the horses, and make fly-
brushes for them. After the weather has
been commented upon, a political shade is seen
to pass over the countenances of the assembly.
There is great earnestness amongst them.
The females arrange for their own comfort,
by resting on the shafts of the carts, or seating
themselves on the grass. Matrimony
and muslins, births and milch cows, by turns
engross their attention, while the men make
free with matters of State.

As the soft sound of the bell gives notice
that the hour of service is near, the party
may be seen to break up: children throw
aside their garlands, wives join their
husbands, and with sober countenances and
devout demeanour enter the House of God.
There is one circumstance worthy of remark,
namely, the perfect security with which they
all leave their conveyances–––great coats, and
shawls, whips and saddles, in gigs and carts;
proving that a fair day's labour for a fair
day's work is a better protection, for property
than the police.

When divine service is over, the families
keep more together. There is a sober
reverence about them which shows that they have
listened attentively. As they move to their
conveyances, or walk on, it;a pleasing to see
that if their neighbours have been kept longer
at another church, the first party out will
often delay their departure till they arrive.
These charitable pauses are delightful to
witness; these neighbourly greetings make
bigotry in dismay crouch to the earth, and
show, that when the mind is rightly directed,
the being of different religions is not inimical
to friendship, for frequently in these cases the
elder girl of a Catholic family may be seen in
the cart of a Protestant neighbour; the wife
of one carrying the younger child of the other,
at the same time that the two husbands, as
;hey get into the open road, slowly pace their
lorses, so that they may converse on their
way home, occasionally interrupted perhaps
Dy their sons, who, mounted on good horses,
try their speed to please their fathers, and
throw bunches of wild flowers to their
mothers, while younger hands catch at the prize.


I unexpectedly joined the party I am now
attempting to describe, and leaving my own
travelling spring- van at the church-door, took