Page images
PDF
EPUB

immigrant from the United Kingdom this is not a foreign land. The novelty to him is the familiar aspect presented by everything round -in fact, the absence of novelty; and he is surprised, after a three or four months' voyage, to find an every-day scene like this burst upon his astonished sight, where he expected wild and picturesque barbarism. To the man of homely sympathies the surprise is agreeable; and he begins to trace in the passing throng resemblances to beloved faces which he has left far behind.

“ Those tall chimneys within view belong to steam flour-mills, of which there are upwards of seventy in the colony, besides fifty watermills, twenty-six windmills, and twenty-eight horse-mills, all employed in grinding and dressing grain. There are likewise about ninety-five tallow-melting establishments, which annually boil down half a million of sheep, and slaughter fifty thousand horned cattle. And of manufactories, there are five distilleries, twentyfour breweries, three sugar refineries, twenty soap and candle, fifteen tobacco and snuff, six woollen cloth (producing annually 200,000 yards of tweed and broadcloth), four hat, four rope, forty tanneries, five salting and preserving meat establishments ; one gas works, seven potteries, one glass works, one smelting works, and thirteen iron and brass foundries ;~a list of useful works which, increasing as they are every year, bid fair in time to produce manufactures sufficient to shut out one-half the present imports of British goods.

“Hark! one o'clock strikes from the churches, and is echoed back by 'two bells' from the shipping. Business throughout the city is suspended for an hour. The workmen go to dinner, while their masters eat a hearty luncheon. This hour is as strictly kept here as the siesta in a Spanish town; the difference being, that while the Don sleeps, John Bull eats. Here are numerous table d'hôtes and ordinaries, dining from twenty to sixty, with courses of soup and fish, roast and boiled, as much as any man can eat in this land of beef and mutton from a choice of twenty to thirty dishes, with dessert, for the small matter of one shilling-a coin as easily earned by the clever and industrious man here as sixpence is in England. Here is luncheon : a goodly display of viands. Turtle from Moreton Bay; although not so rich in flavour as West India, yet it makes good soup, and, like beef and mutton here, may be had at a penny or twopence per pound. Sole and schnapper from Botany Bay. We can't boast of salmon or turbot. Wild turkey from the plains; ducks and pigeons from the Hunter River, rolling in fat. The vegetables are sweet and juicy, and the salad crisp, having been cut before sunrise; and those smiling, black-coated potatoes are from Van Diemen's Land, the finest in the world.

“ Fruit, in the summer season, composes principally our midday meal; they are the treasures of a warm climate, and yet to be had at a trifling expense. Here are pine-apples and bananas from Moreton Bay and Brisbane Water, where, in the former localities, they grow, like cabbages, in the open air ; oranges from the extensive groves near Paramatta, where their blossoms flavour the honey; melons, grapes, peaches, nectarines, plums, loquats, and other fruits from the neighbourhood of the town; gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, apples, and pears, from Van Diemen's Land. And here we can wash down the débris with a glass of native-grown wine: first, an excellent species of Sauterne from Camden, which is the chief character of the Australian vintage; next, a tolerable claret from Regentville; a middling sort of Madeira from Varroville; and a brisk glass of Burnett's champagne from the Hunter River. Verily, this land can produce your light wines most plenteously, which will, no doubt, improve in quality as the growers attain experience.”

The Sydney people are early risers; and it is a very common thing to see a number of livery-attended turn-outs raising the dust of the Domain at six or seven in the morning. This Domain is one of the most beautiful spots imaginable ; in some respects it is not unlike Mount Edgecumbe at Plymouth, but the

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

ground is not so high. On it, as we have mentioned, the Government-house is built, the

W

[ocr errors]

gardens of which are open to the public from sunrise to sunset; and the pleasure of a ramblė through them is enhanced by the music of the band of the regiment quartered there, which generally plays every day upon the lawn. The flower garden contains, in a high state of perfection, varieties of every beautiful flower that you may have seen at home, and numbers of those which are indigenous, and, consequently, new.

The botanical garden also forms part of the Domain, and is also an object of great attraction. Here are all those plants and trees which cause one's imagination to take flight to distant parts; the air is loaded with a delicious perfume, and the only sounds you hear are those of the sea rippling on the neighbouring beach, and the constant song of the myriads of locusts that occupy the surrounding trees and shrubs. These gardens, from their delightful situation, their proximity to the city, the pleasant walks they contain, the great variety of rare shrubs and flowers and trees they produce, and the fine views they command, have been much frequented on holidays by all classes of the community since 1837, when they were thrown open to the public on Sundays by Governor Sir George Gipps. The Upper, or, as it is sometimes called, the Middle Garden, was planned as early

« PreviousContinue »