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TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OF A COSMOPOLITE'S LIFE ;
ter of some score unhappy bloodsuckers that,
a sore annoyance to me, against which I could find attracted by the noise, thrust their inquisitive no remedy. All these and a hundred other pleaheads into peril. I was perfectly familiar with sant souvenirs of St. Thomas' Mount and Palathe Hindostanee and Tamul languages, and held verum possess my mind; but I must come back frequent courts-martial in these tongues, the cul- there again, as in the course of years I returned prits being sometimes a small black boy (who hitherward from my early travels. suffered scourging in a military style); but oftener One day the quiet monotony of our lives was a captured crow or a bloodsucker, and these were interrupted by the sudden appearance of two invariably condemned to death. Old Colonel strangers, one of whom turned out to be my — the superintendent of the gun carriage widowed brother-in-law, the judge at Bellary, the manufactory, had given me a model cannon, and other his particular bosom friend, the paymaster of lots of powder and shot; and when I look back Invalids at Ponamalee, a rough, queer-looking old to the pranks I was wont to play with this, the chap, with a fiery nose and bushy whiskers to only marvel was that I never seriously maimed match, and who stumped about with a wooden leg some one; for, although it was little better than a in a way that was quite marvellous to my young popgun, I have knocked many and many a squirrel mind. The loss of one leg seemed to have caused over at five yards, and, loading it up to the muzzle, a dryness all over his clay, for he was perpetually nearly knocked my own head off by the rebound. sipping brandy and water, and humming to himself Poor old grandmamma was the chief victim of this the old Indian nursery rhymes--small cannon- - not that I ever fired at her; but I
“Off we go to Ponamalee, am sorry to say that, on more occasions than I
Drink a glass of Sangaree," can well enumerate (especially after she had been which lively ditty he illustrated scores of times indulging in reminiscences of the Irish rebellion), ber by the sudden report of a gun, and rushing in, in-law had been removed from Bellary to the I have startled her from a profound morning slum| (for I watched him to the sideboard marvelling),
before breakfast was upon the table. My brotherroared that the Philistines were upon us. Dear old soul! she never got me into trouble, though coast ; and as this latter was a healthy station, it
Zillah judgeship of Tellicherry on the Malabar the least I often merited was a hearty good
was agreed that we should accompany him thither, caning
Those were glorious days !--spangled and bril-grandmamma, my two sisters, and myself travelling liant chequer-work in the unfurled banner of my stud of famous horses, and plenty of good dogs,
in palanquins, C-- on horseback. He had a experience; when the sun shone only to fill my being a sporting character, and almost one of the heart with joy and exuberant spirits; when sick
first presents he made me was a pony, a very ness was a stranger-care and anxiety weeds that
valuable Pegu pony, mounted whereon I paid my had not yet been planted to spring up and choke
farewell visits to friends at the Mount, and started the better seed of innocence and happiness; when sunshine or rain had each a peculiar pleasure, and upon that first and most interesting journey of my
life. the long day only came to a close to find me ready to drop smoothly off into a delicious slumber, only broken occasionally by visions of bird's nests and
CHAPTER II. unripe mangoes.
Then when there was to be a grand public review of all the artillery and infantry from the Mount and Palaverum, besides Railways are beginning to spread their iron fibres squadrons of cavalry down from Arcot, no general over the Madras Presidency now. In 1830, the made greater preparations than I did for these appearance of a solitary steamer in the Madras occasions; and, as owing to the hot weather, they Roads was hailed with acclamations of delight, beusually commenced soon after daybreak, the pre- came a seven months' topic of conversation, and ceding night was one of broken rest and perpetual | gave birth to endless leading articles in the Male alarm. Every servant, every orderly, every black Asylum Herald, and other organs of the press, boy had distinct and separate instructions how and which congratulated the community on this most when to call me next morning, so that the family auspicious event, and prophesied augmentation of were surprised and perplexed at the sudden and trade to India. Madras was then even minus a alarming invasion of bedroom windows about an bishop. hour before daybreak, when crows were waking Under these circumstances travelling was an up noiselessly to their morning pillaging excur- arduous undertaking; especially when, as in our sions; and showers of gravel stones, and hootings, case, a large family, with attendant Indian retinue, and yellings firmly convinced poor old grandmamma with household furniture and baggage, were about that a new rebellion had broken out, until the real to traverse some thousand miles from one ex. cause being stated, hot coffee thoroughly aroused tremity almost to the other of the presidency; all parties, and we drove off to witness the bril- over almost inaccessible ghauts, and through a liant spectacle. So many horses used to break dense jungle, the very name of which was sufficient loose or throw their riders, that I was never per- to terrify the timid ; as, in connexion with fevers, mitted to appear on the field mounted, which was robbers, wild elephants, tigers, bison, chetahs, and
BEING PAGES OF ADVENTURE AND TRAVEL.
abominably venemous serpents — whose variety of mare; so had not the chokera, who was burthened shape and size, and the nature and length of tor- with gun and shooting material, and walked ment inflicted by their sting before terminating in lovingly beside the Tonneycutchee's daughter death, might be classified under the head of legion. (whom the young villain married, and mounted Much preparation was requisite in purchasing pro- upon a sorry nag, as soon as we got to Bangalore). visions and necessary vehicles of transport for our- But who shall pause to enumerate the countless selves and the servants; in hiring bullock carts, and motley assembly?- The dog boys leading greycoolies, and ponies for the luggage; and, when all hounds and pointers in chains; the hookabadee, these had been procured or hired, in arranging the the chillmugee, the bullock drivers ; the hired line of march, and marking out the distances to be coolies, the men, women, and children that constitravelled day by day (for it had been determined tuted that caravan, as the Arabs say—such reflecthat we should travel by easy stages so as to keep tions throw dirt upon memory's beard, and bring pace with the baggage, or rather that the baggage confusion to the intellect. might keep pace with us). And when all this was It was arranged that we should travel in two finally settled, and the hour of departure drew nigh, divisions until arriving at the Ghauts, or peneof a truth we mustered a formidable party, such trating the Wynard jungle; then, for mutual as under proper discipline of arms, might have security's sake, we were all to keep close together, proved a troublesome foe to encounter even for and to content ourselves with travelling one instead the once terrible Pindaries.
of two stages per diem. With this understanding, But to give the reader some faint notion of the heavy division, consisting of the baggage carts, what travelling in India entails, I must endeavour, the coolies, and the servants, with their families, as briefly as possible, to place before him a table constituting the most picturesque caravan I have of details. In the first place, the party consisted ever in my life encountered, started at 3 p.m., the of three ladies and their three native ayahs, who, day previous to that fixed for our own departure ; besides the writer, travelled in palanquins, making and when the last cloud of dust from hoofs and in all seven palanquins, each with a complete set wheels had subsided in the distance; when the of bearers and cavaddy coolies—and a set consists people that had assembled to witness the start of twelve bearers, a head bearer and two cavaddy had dispersed again, then we that were to follow coolies. So this one item alone, inclusive of in- subsided into solitude and repose, after six weeks sides, amounted to one hundred and twelve persons. of incessant turmoil, bustle, and dust of packing, Then came my brother-in-law, who rode on horse- during all which interval I, individually, had been back, having three horses to change. Each horse on the summit of my glory, getting into everyhad a godal wallah (groom), each godaliwallah had body's way; having occasional skirmishes with a vise, and each wife had at least four children-coolies ; superintending the basketting of favourite this party making eighteen. Then came the old fowls, and game cocks, making testamentary codicils barouche with the older horses, and a perfect of pigeons, old clothes, odds and ends of useless Methuselah for a coachman; a man who had then furniture, and above all of quails (on which I set served different branches of the family through immense value, owing to their pugnacious qualifimore than half a century, and who I believe still cations) in favour of one or the other of my dis. drives the coach of some thirtieth cousin at Tavish- banded militia, I revoking the same half a dozen apoondy; who had no fault but that of getting times in as many hours. Now however, everyroyally drunk on the recurrence of each monthly thing was disposed of and everybody gone, and pay day; and, when under the influence of arrack, from a perfect storm of excitement we had subsided addicted to trying new coach whips upon his suddenly into the gloomiest desolation and calm. faithful old partner, the mother of seventeen Every room in the house was stripped bare, and children, all grown up, and every one of them the coach house and stables were deserted. Legless serving in some capacity in the family. Why, old chairs, broken and seedy picture frames, bless my heart! this man's family alone would empty bottles and half emptied pickle jars, rusty have colonised a very respectable village, and hoops and smashed barrels, small heaps of straw summed up, I am pretty sure, to close upon fifty. and dust, crooked and broken nails, with a handleThen came the high caste butler or head dubash, less hammer, this constituted the general aspect of who carried his wife and mother with him, but all the rooms, whilst legions of sparrows fluttered secreted them carefully in a well screened hackerry; | in and out of the open doors and windows, unhe himself riding upon a wretched tatoo. Then scared and uninterrupted. The bearers had gone came the cook on a brahminy bull, all knives and to take leave of their friends, and were not exskewers (not the bull but the cook), with com. pected back before midnight. The three ayahs modious sacks full of cooking utensils; clattering were on similar errands. My sisters, grandmother, and banging against his short legs, whenever the and brother-in-law had gone to bid good-bye to bull would persist in breaking into a horrid trot. the sister we were leaving behind, and I, (it was He also had a wife and family perched somewhere the first dawning impression of independence,) amongst the furniture, in one of the eight bullock was left in solitary charge of the house and the carts. So had the “Matey," who straddled upon seven palanquins (which were to be our beds for a donkey; so had the madsalger, who rode Shanks’ | the night), and wandered from room to room like a
forsaken chicken in search of its mother hen, | Trichinopoli, and then, if ever I felt ill in my life, whistling manfully the while, but terribly oppressed it was during the half hour immediately succeeding with a horrid sense of loneliness. To my great that first cigar. The old villain laughed at my relief, I heard the voice of the wooden legged pay. contortions and misery, and insisting upon my swalmaster trolling his favorite ditty as.lie and his horse lowing more brandy pawnee, put me to bed in a made their appearance from Ponamalee, coming palanquin, where I was soon in a profound and down the long avenue of trees that skirted the a stupified sleep. public drive.
He had come well supplied with When I opened my eyes at daylight next morncigars, and a camp canteen, to have a night of it ing, it was to the music of the palanquin bearers with C. before parting; finding no one at home, he song, as they carried us along to the full chorus of insisted upon my joining him in a glass. It was the their—"Hoo-He-Hi-Ho-hum, Heiday-Baba-Deefirst drop of spirit I ever tasted in my life, and boy." I had taken up a roving commission to oh! how I loathed it, though well diluted with travel through the world, which was not to be water. I felt the house going round in a most ex. laid aside for many a long year to come. traordinary manner. Then came a cigar-a real
(To be Continued.)
BY THE Hon. T. M'COMBIE, MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OF VICTORIA.
Those engaged in seeking gold form the most re- markable example of their influence was exbibited markable order in the Australian colonies. An in the last session of the Legislative Council of occupation that admits of an active labourer Victoria. The ballot was equally at variance with securing employment with fair wages, and a for- the wishes of the Government and the party op; tune within the range of probability, while he is posed to it, but it was triumphantly carried under the control of no master, must possess through by the independent members, assisted by many charms for the more spirited adventurers the representatives of the gold fields. The Godaily arriving in the colonial cities from Europe. vernment resigned, those who had defeated it were The agricultural labourers are scattered over a wide surprised when requested to take their places, extent of country, which in most places is but and being united by no other tie than similarity of thinly inhabited, and they have but few opportuni. sentiment and identity of opinion upon one or two ties of meeting and consulting together, while the political principles, they were not in a position to gold diggers form a gregarious order, containing do so. The gold diggers of Ballarat, whose indignaso many intelligent and spirited members that no tion was aroused by the imbecility and corruptions Government can trifle with their interests. A re- | that existed among the officials of the camp there,
rebelled against the authority of the supreme Go of the early diggers were shepherds and stockvernment at Melbourne in 1855. They rose to men, who had deserted from the stations of the repel the military by arms. One fearful collision surrounding squatters, and they, being well acoccurred, and it is impossible to say what might quainted with the shifts of bush life, had little have been the final issue of the sanguinary struggle difficulty in obtaining treasure. I have seen a if Sir Robert Nickle, who commanded the military hundred weight of gold obtained in an afternoon in Victoria, had not arrived on the scene, and at by working men; and every digger who had a claim once entered the camp of the diggers. He was a in Eagle-hawk Gully, Bendigo, realised a handveteran, who had served in the Peninsular cam. some property ; but, even in the most splendid era paigns with Wellington, and had grown old in of fortune-making, there were hundreds who never arms, but had never before met his own country- got a start, and who had to abandon the gold fields men in deadly combat. It was a bold task for a for want of supplies and implements. soldier to ride into the heart of armed enthusiasts, The diggers did not then, as now, follow mining whose minds were irritated by the recent slaugliter as a regular calling. No person thought of reof friends and companions; and it would have maining, for any time together, on the gold fields. appalled many a stout heart. But the commander To make a large fortune and return to their former was no neophyte, and he had little to fear, for he occupations was the desire of the many. A few, was sinking under a violent disease, and had not perhaps, aspired to enrich themselves, and return many days to live. When his venerable figure was to spend their money in Europe. Many found distinguished, the most violent forgot their gold in the very first pit they sank, and, after a grievances, threw down their arms, and farther stay of some days or weeks, returned in triumph. bloodshed was spared. The complaints of the Those who were unsuccessful did not usually rediggers were found so just that the Government main over the month, but retraced their way, with was under the necessity of dismissing the irres- heavy hearts and doleful countenances, towards ponsible magistrates. The diggers have now mu- . their homes, and returned to their every day ocnicipal institutions, they elect their wardens and cupations. Nearly all of them were disgusted administrative officers, and are fairly represented with the mode of life, and anxious about their in the Colonial Legislature.
families from whom they were separated. Then, They seldom live or work singly ; but are as now, digging was a lottery, some parties doing usually associated together in parties of from two a thousand ounces in a few weeks, and others not to six, who reside together in one tent or hut, and clearing the expenses of the outfit. The populaeat at the same table. The married diggers, of tion increased with great rapidity, and the compewhom there are many at work, have separate tents, tition every day became more and more keen. Any generally work together, and share the proceeds, rich spot was taken possession of by crowds of each making such domestic arrangements as suits hungry and eager adventurers, and constant dishis convenience.
claims ensued. The aggregate Those who now visit the gold fields can form amount of gold obtained was as great as ever, bat a very inadequate conception of the singular but it had now to be shared by ten times the and incongruous appearance they presented in the number of persons. From this competition those first pbase. Nothing more rude and comfortless who had property or other lucrative engagements, could well be conceived than the mode of living soon retired, and the field was left to such as bad
The diggers had, in many cases, no capital, and were depeudent upon their labour to walk a hundred miles or more from Melbourne, for their livelihood. The latter class were comGeelong, or Sydney, to the field of their proposed pelled by necessity to continue on the gold fields, operations. A great many of them could not and digging became their legitimate occupation. obtain carriage for their implements, food, and We now reach the second phase of gold diggiug; bedding, and such as they were compelled to take the population began to settle on the ground inthey had to carry on their backs. There were few stead of going and returning every few weeks to houses of accommodation on the line of march, and Melbourne, Sydney, or Geelong. The main roads the weary gold digger had to sleep in the open were not now crowded with teams of diggers air with very scanty covering. It is little to be going to and fro. They had discovered that contiwondered at that the majority reached the gold nuous labour was absolutely necessary to their fields weary and footsore, and they had many pri- support. The change in the aspect of the gold vations still to encounter.
fields was magical. Tradesmen and storekeepers The colonists for the most part brought a tent, began to gather, and townships were laid out and and a fair stock of necessaries, with them. They settled, with a celerity which astonished even those generally had enough to eat and drink, and a shel accustomed to the back woods of America, where ter from the weather. There were, however, hun. such transitions are very rapid. I had Jeft Forest dreds of runaway sailors and other adventurers, Creek in 1852, a settlement of canvas. who had no money, and had to content themselves afterwards I visited it again, and found a fine with rude huts formed from the boughs of trees, or township, with all the comforts and conveniences a rug, or a couple of canvas bags stretched over a of high civilisation. Courts of General Sessions pole, the sides being fastened to the ground. Many I were established, and the Judges of the Supreme
A year 106
RAPID GROWTH OF THE “ DIGGING" TOWNSHIPS.
Court opened a criminal sessions
three a pit which had been opened and abandoned, they months. There were spacious hotels, churches, took possession, or what is termed "jumped ” it, and printing offices; a variety of theatrical ce- It was always been the rule on the diggings, that lebrities from Europe were performing at the time, if a claim has been abandoned for a certain numand not long after, this digging township was ho- ber of hours, any person who likes may jump into noured by visits from Lola Montes, Catherine it, and take legal possession. The Cavenaghs deHayes, and G. V. Brooke.
scended till they reached a lair of dirty, greasy The Government ruled with despotic power on clay, of a blueish colour, and in it they discovered the gold fields for several years. On all these an enormous quantity of gold. Their companions localities the camp was the centre of attraction, also began to sink to this peculiar spot, and the as it contained the police courts, the residences of results were most splendid. For a long time the the gold commissioners, and the escort office. diggers used no other machinery for washing than Those commissioners were nominated by the Go- the cradle ; and it is certain that they did the vernment, and had the sole control of the gold work in so slovenly a manner that they lost nearly fields. They were not responsible to autho- as much gold as they saved. Like every other rity, and from their decisions there was no appeal. occupation of life, gold digging demands knowMany of them were inexperienced persons, of ledge and experience, and at first all were neohaughty manners, and the diggers were treated phytes. When the old Californians arrived, great more like serfs than equals, while the property of improvements began to be made. The diggers the colony was wasted by their negligence and did not continue to waste the gold in washing, extravagance. The diggers suffered long; but at but by experience they were at length able to exlast the tyranny and corruption of the Govern- tract the ore from the clay without waste. They ment officials became insupportable, and they no longer opened large square 'pits-a toil of a sought by arms that justice which otherwise was week's, and at times of a month's, duration; but not available. Aiter the outbreak at Ballarat, the they economised their time and labour by sinking Government was compelled to grant local self- shafts just large enough to enable them to descend, government to the digging communities. “ The and when the auriferous soil was reached, they Camp," which used to be the terror of all, is now opened drives under ground. Instead of finding seldom thought about—the functions of Govern- the ground everywhere thrown up, as on the old ment having been transferred to the local courts, fields, the passer by now only sees these shafts the members of which are elected by the people. open here and there, the diggers going to the full
The journey from Melbourne to Bendigo, which extent of their claim below the ground. The occupied from seven to ten days on foot, and two great finds of gold have been always in or near to four days on horseback, is now performed in one the lairs of pipe-clay, which generally lies over or day. The various lines of conveyances are splen- amongst bright slate. There are sometimes pockdidly horsed, and travel at a very quick pace. The ets of gold in crevices amongst the layers of slate. gentleman who first started the line to Castlemain The gold usually runs in zig-zag form, disappearing was an American ; the coaches are usually built here, appearing there, and is capricious and uncerafter the Yankee fashion, and the drivers are tain. The “ lead," as it is termed, or the line Yankees, and the best that the world can pro- where the gold runs, was lost on the Avoca for duce. They often drive six horses at full speed nine months, and the field deserted. Some miners over rough bush roads, and no serious accident has who were “fossicking ” in the old holes suddenly yet occurred. Four lines run daily to Castlemain struck the long lost lead, and a second rush enand the surrounding gold fields, and it is likely sued, and the Avoca again swarmed with active that in a few years that town will be connected miners. When a rich lead has been struck in a with Melbourne by rail. The road is now flat or gully, the whole of the ground is marked livened by towns and villages at various intervals ; off by eager adventurers, anxious to have a chance the country is everywhere becoming settled and in of being near the right spot. Few of their claims, many parts enclosed and cultivated.
however, are actually “bottomed," for the owners There are four methods of obtaining the auri- merely watch* their more active contemporaries; but ferous metal-surface washing, deep sinking, pud- if there is any chance of gold, they sink shafts dling, and quartz crushing. A fifth not seldom without delay. In some thousand claiins there resorted to is by turning the water off from its are seldom more than ten per cent. really remuneusual channel, and looking for gold where the rative, the remaining portion being blank, or so stream had formerly flowed.
poor as not to repay the owners. This is why What is termed “surfacing " consists of simply many will not exert themselves to sink until the washing the soil on the surface of the ground, result is known, but in order to have a legal title which is occasionally auriferous. This was the to their claims, the owners must work for some method employed on the first fields in Victoria, time each day on them-if abandoned for twentysuch as Clune's, Anderson's Creek, and Ballarat. four hours they may be “jumped.” Deep sinking did not occur to the early diggers until the discovery of the Cavenaghs' at Ballarat. * This is termed " shepherding " a claim. This family had been surface washing, but, finding † A claim without gold is termed a "shicer."