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to obtain what has been left beneath the
"walls" that separate them. Others are
sinking new holes on spots that have hitherto
escaped, probably because tents were pitched
there during former rushes. Numbers of
Chinamen are busily washing over again old
"stuff," or paring off about six inches of the
surface of some untouched hillsurfacing, as
this operation is called, being more to their
taste than the heavier toil of sinking holes.
Our sketch, however, is of the roads, not of
the diggings, which must by this time be
familiar to every reader.

We pass through Forest Creek, and find at
Castlemainewhich joins ita neatly laid
out township, with streets and squares, stone,
brick, and iron stores and houses, a church
and chapels, large substantial inns, and all
the essential of an old community. Across
a small bridgewhich has occupied the
energetic government rather more than two years
in buildingstands the government camp, a
very extensive establishment, and there it is
that a commissioner lives and reigns over
his subject diggers. We, being carriers,
require no license from him, and are therefore
not within his jurisdiction; we may feel
his power though, if we forget ourselves
so far as to stay for a couple of days
within his territory; for in that case some
armed and mounted digger-hunter may
pounce down upon us unawares, drag us
before his majesty, and in a moment sixty of our
hard-earned shillings fall due to her Majesty's
exchequer.

Here ends my ordinary journey at the store
to which our load has been directed. The
dray is at once discharged, a receipt is given
which acknowledges the delivery of our
material in good condition. Without loss of
time the horses' heads are turned, and we
go back empty to Melbourne.

THE ROVING ENGLISHMAN.

RUSTCHUK.

THOUGH I am getting an elderly gentleman,
I do not remember to have ever witnessed a
scene of such filthy and disorderly wretchedness
as that presented by the Sultan's good
town of Rustchuk, on the banks of the
Danube.

The approach to it is over some romantic
hills; and the land on all sides, agriculturally
speaking, is as rich and grateful a soil as
could be found anywhere. There is no
natural reason, therefore, for the horrible
squalor of a town which might, and ought to
be, one of the first cities in the Turkish
empire.

To see it, however, now is positively
disheartening. On the morning we arrived
there, a fine drizzling rain was falling, and it
was bitterly cold. There was a deadly
penetrating chill about the weather, which gave
you a sort of beau ideal of thorough
irredeemable discomfort. There was a slight
fog, also: one of those raw fogs which haunt
the marshy banks of the Danube in winter
time.

So, cheerless exceedingly, we rode through
the broad street on to the Pasha's house, or
Kouak, as it is locally called. Our hands
were so wet and cold that the bridle slipped
through our powerless fingers whenever our
horses stumbled, and they did stumble with
most disagreeable frequency. It would have
been odd if they had not. The broad high
street of Rustchuk was neither more nor
less than a deep and dangerous mud-pond.
Safe footing for man or beast did not extend
more than a few feet immediately in front of
the dirty little wooden traps of shops which
were situated on either shore. The remainder
of the road was really and truly a perilous
pond. The inhabitants, however, had placed
great blocks of stones at irregular intervals
to mark where the pond was fordable; and
if you went aside from the narrow line of
safety a single yard, your horse had hard
work to struggle and flounder back again.
A ride is not so pleasurable a thing, under
such circumstances, as an amateur traveller
would desire. But fancy two English gentlemen
struggling, on sorry hacks, against drift
and wind with a little cloud of servants and
pack-horses, and so jolting slowly through a
blinding rain, completely wet through and
dispirited, and you will have us to a hair.

Rustchuk, like most Turkish towns in
Bulgaria or elsewhere, covers a large extent
of ground; for the houses are scattered about
here and there, and the shops and the
dwelling-houses of the shopkeepers are often
wide apart. The great Turks also often live
in a house completely separate from that in
which the harem resides; and if any great
Turk has more than one wife (a rare occurrence),
each wife has often, perhaps I may
write usually, a house and servants of her
own. The Turks, indeed, are fond of having
a good deal of house-room. A grand Turk
will rarely offer a guest apartments in his
own house, but he will provide him with a
distinct establishment, visiting him every day
and perhaps dining and breakfasting with
him, but not residing. This arises, of course,
chiefly from the jealous seclusion of their
women. The near relatives of Turkish
ladiestheir sons and brothers, for instance
are of course allowed to enter the harem;
but as a Moslem guest would, of course, be
horror-stricken at his womenkind being
beheld by the relatives of his friend's wife or
wives, this disagreeable chance is duly
provided against by giving them a separate
house. The relations of host and guest are
almost as clearly defined among the Turks as
they were among the ancient Greeks and
Romans; for every traveller of respectability
claims the hospitality of his acquaintance, as
there are no hotels, and the khans are merely
refuges for the destitute.

Then again the size of oriental towns of

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