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Whatever changes may be introduced by the advance of Social Democracy, it is doubtful whether pride of birth will ever be eliminated from human nature. There is no sign of it
sign disappearing now at any rate. In Bepublioai France it is just as strong as it was before thi Revolution. In America, where there is m titled aristocracy, people are as f>roud of beinj descended from somebody who came over ii the Mayflower as the Beauforts are of having come over, in the person of an ancestor, with William the Conqueror. In Australia folks have not yet begun to boast of the fact thai their forebears came ovor with tho Sirius, or in one of the transports that accompanied thai epoch-making vessel. But I have no doubt that will come in time. Most noble origins, from the founding of Rome to tho Norman conquest, start from violenoe and orime, and in a couple of hundred years the convict taint will be blue blood. But in the present transition state of things, pride of birth takes, in Australia, a form peculiarly its own. To be the first person born in a new township, or on a new goldfield, is the Austra lian speciality in the way of natal honour. That it is an honour which is considerably run after is evident from the disputes which take between rival claimants, or rather between their parents. Here is the latest instance of sucb competition. I take it from the advertisement columns of a Mackay paper:— A CORRECTION. The statement republished in your late JBsue from the Courier that Gibson's child was the first born on Eungella is inconeot. The honour was taken by Eungella Banaghan, a little girl, born tbo first on the field. P. BANAGHAN. This, then, I presume, represents a pride of birth which is perfectly compatible with the most advanced democratic principles. It is rather a drawback that every time it is desired to create a patent of nobility of this particular kind, you have to establish a new township or start a new goldfield. But that will only render the distinction all the more valuable. The very nature of the case makes it exclusive. There can be only one Eungella Banaghan. Moralists of the ascctio sort, when denouncing our pleaßant vices, are very fond of holding up the lower animals to us as examples of purely natural ways of living. They will call your attention to the fact that your horse turns away its head in remonstrant disgust when you hold your pipe near its nostrils, and that when you approach your glass of grog to your dog's snout he also turns away in dumb protest against an unnatural indulgence. I have never been able to see the force of this reasoning on the part of the so If-mortify ing moralist. It has always appeared to me that it might be only a question of time. Man, after a certain point, has developed much more rapidly than the other animals, and there is no saying what habits your horse or your dog may yet adopt. There was no doubt a time when the human animal would have turned away in disgust from the smoke of tobacco or the fumes of whisky punch. So don't be too sure of your teetotal dog or your Band of Hope horse. In point of fact, I think there are signs that the corruption of artificial vice has already begun with the latter species of animal. Certainly I have never heard of a horse with a pipe in his mouth except in a circus, but there is autheutio information that the horse has begun to "chew." At a receut meeting of the ttook hampton Fanners'. Association, Mr. George Jones stated that the cultivated tobacco at his place had been allowed to bocorae wild, and his horses were, eating freely of it. This is worse than human. In my wildest tobacco debauches I never dreamed of making a meal of it! lam much obliged to Mr. George Jones for having furnished me with an answer to my anti tobaccoißt rebukers.
The capital-and-labour question at presen* so entirely overshadows all others that it seems almost absurd to attempt to get any attention paid to the relatively important question of territorial separation. But all are not of that mind, certainly not the separationists them selves. At Townsville they have taken tl>e decisive step of publishing a " Separation Waltz," the influence of whioh haa already ex tended toßockhampton, where it is pronounced to have "a rhythmio swing which would insure its success in the ball-room apart from all its separation associations." Although it is my cue to be neutral in regard to political questions in general, it is surely no departure from noutrality to impress upon unti separationists that this is a very formidable movement. We all know whut h:is been said about the power that lies in tW: ballads of a nation, and surely the same may be said of its danoes. That waltz may make hundreds of enthusiastio converts among both sexes, of whose heads whole treatises by Coote would not turn a hair. Between fingers playing separa tion and toes danoing it, people will b« thrilling with Reparation to their very extremities. If the Territorial Conservation Party are wise they will forthwith reply in kind. No time should be lost in issuing an " Anti-Separation Wultz," a ''Federated Provinces Polka," a 14 Government Proposals Schottische." Of course tho South will be answered by a fresh counterblast of dance music from tho Novtli, but if it ooineß to bo a competition of li.A.Jl.'.s, tho South needn't be afraid. We have Beveral imported ones down here that have no end of ficht in them-
M The great Robinstein" says he will come to Australia if Australia will give him £200 a night. Let us suppose he has come, and that he is getting the desired £200. Out of that amount about & per cent would represent the portion of his audience who were capable of perceiving the difference between Rubinstein's piano-playing and that of Mr. • * *. For these three asterisks substitute the name of any of our popular and really brilliant pianists whom you can hear any night for a shilling. Of the remaining part of the £200, 49£ per cent would represent those, or the money paid by those, who feel that they are called upon, from social, or would-be aesthetics, or other motives, to show their appreciation of "the great Rubinstein," whether they foel any or not. The remaining 50 per cent of the money oomes from those who are attracted by the "posters," or the newspaper puffs, or the simple mag netism of the apparent likelihood of a run upon "the great Rubinstein." No wonder that one feels riled at the very idea of a piano player carrying so much money out of the country. If the | per oent who really appre ciate his playing, to whom the effeot of it in delight and in elevation of soul cannot be ex pressed in terms of money at all—if these, I say, paid the £200 a night, or the bulk of it, even the earless outside spectator wouldn't say a word. But there isn't a soul in Australia who doesn't know that of the vast sums paid to imported musicians very very little represents value received. Not that the value isn't there, but it isn't received—and that is just where the extravagance lies.
Although we have it on the authority of a re spectable Toowoomba paper, lean hardly believe it. And yet, just as the dyer's hand becomes subdued to what it works in, so, I suppose, a man's mind becomes steeped in antipathy to that which it is his occupation to antagonise. That is not very lucid, but I can make it more so by a concrete instanoe. One can imagine a mem ber of a fire brigade contracting a positive hatred of fire, and getting to regard all incan descence as simply a something to be put out. Nevertheless, one can hardly imagine his acquired instinot of hostility to everything of the nature of flame carrying him so far as to lead him to try to extinguish the dawn. Yet that respectable Toowoomba paper wants us to believe that not only one man, but the whole local Fire Brigade, started off to the Range on Friday morning last, with reel and hose, to put out the break of day. Needless to aay they didn't do it—did not even tarn their hose on to water the " glorious rose of dawn." According to the latter part of the newspaper account, the whole thing was a sell. The glare of an unusually ruddy morn had been mistaken for a fire at " Boyce's." But after having drawn so on our imagination it is a pity to spoil the Btory thus. In the weird tale, suggested by the incident, which I am engaged on, the whole brigade, roused to gaze upon the ruddy glare of dawn, are suddenly smitten with professional jnadness, and rush forth with all their equipment to put it out. They are under no delusion as to the nature of the flame, but it has got to be ex tinguished, and that is all they know. Like maniacs, with maniao steeds and bumping reel, they rash to the top of the Range, only to find that the glare is on the farther ridge. Then on again they rush—and as far as I have got they are rushing still. But yon Bee the potentialities of the thing, don't you? One of those disagreeable psycho-pathological devilries, you know, that seem just to suit the lla»6 palate of the existent public.