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3 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections


Si H,

I wrote a short time ago to the Editors of the " Australian" in answer to the unmanly attack of "the jolly Coachman" on us " currency girls "which they have not deigned to insert, nor even to acknowledge ; though I know they have re- ceived it, which I consider a great hardship to see one's-self libelled in a newspaper that refuses to publish one's defence. These learned gentle- men ought to know better, as papa says it is con- trary to law to hear but one side of the question ; and in your last Paper, in speaking of these very   Editors, you say, " Let us forbear to condemn any   one, without hearing what they have to urge in their defence." I will confess Mr. Editor, that I had a high opinion of one of those gentlemen being as I may say one of ourselves; as well as from the very fine poetry he wrote in England about our native country, but now that he abandons the cause of his country women, I cannot put much faith in him. So much, for Australian gal- lantry!—but entre nous, Mr. Editor, I will tell you the cause it was not published?—it was be- cause I wrote some nonsense about, their big wigs and ugly black gowns, without the slightest in- tention of offending them. And surely, Sir, lawyers; who themselves say such impudent things to poor witnesses who are called before them, ought not to be angry at a joke. I shall not notice master Coachee further than by wishing I was a man for his sake (if so, I should have given him a parading on the Race Course, to improve his man- ners); but will beg to draw your attention to a matter of much more consequence, I mean the situation of us currency spinsters. There are

upwards of twenty fine healthy respectable girls of   my acquaintance, all of us marriageable from 3 to 10 years past, yet alas, here we are (malgre nous) still maidens !

I will commence with myself. I am just out of   my teens ; have lived in Sydney some years ; been to all the balls and gay parties; where I have been told a hundred times over that I was a charm- ing girl, a divine creature, nay, a perfect angel, and a variety of such agreeable nonsense, and always found gentlemen very polite and attentive for an evening; but, when we next met at a party,   I saw his attentions transferred to another, and have frequently overheard him whisper the same   soft tales of love to one of my friends, that only the evetiirig before he addressed to me. Naval officers I found constantly in the habit of treating us in this manner ; I recollect one of these gentle- men so urgent one evening al a ball for a promise to marry him, that I at length consented, if papa approved of it, to whom he swore he would apply next morning ; but at a tea party the following evening, I learned that he had extorted a similar

promise from two of my friends,though it was the first time he saw either of us,-but what was my

surprise a week after, when a friend led him up     to me in a room full of persons saying " this

gentleman is particularly anxious to be known to   Miss C ?' and has requested, the honour of an introduction." Surely, Mr. Editor, these sailors must have very bad memories ! About two ¡years ago 1 met a gentleman, at a friends, who ! made love in due form, got introduced to papa,

and visited us constantly for three «reeks; I con« sented to his proposals, and was in hopes that every thing was settled, but the business waa suddenly broke off by some misunderstanding between him and papa on the score of ron une. I declare, Mr. Editor I wish there was no such thng an money in the world, I think we would be

all much better without it.

There is next an old school-fellow, Miss M. H. a beautiful girl, with whom I recollect we used al' to quarrel, for no other reason than her being so much handsomer than any of us, though we never acknowledged that was the cause; she, like myself, passed most of her days in Sydney, but is   still unmarried, though I often heard she had many admirers, which I suppose she refused ; indeed she must he very difficult to please. 1 don't know what to make of her, she was always a cold hearted girl, and never possessed the gene« rous warm feelings that currency girls generally do,-for my part 1 think she was borm without a heart; be that as it may, I wish I was as handsome as she is, that's all ! I am sure I would be out of the list of spinsters half-a-dozen years ago - However nobody can-be sorry for her should »he die an old maid ; which I think very likely, par- ticularly as I understand she very lately rejected the overtures of a gentleman of properly, and is now come to live in the bush. Alas, poor woman ! If she-knew as much of the bush as I do, she would not be so anxious to change the gay scenes of Sydney for it.

There is also Miss M. B. a fine portly girl like myself, and about the same age, who despairing of getting a husband in Sydney, has retired to the country likewise.

You cannot conceive, Mr. Editor, what a dull stupid place the bush is, after~living in Sydney ; here we have nothing to do but look after the dairy maids, mend, or alter our Sydney dresses ; take a walk in the bush, and always as far as the road on Friday to see the people return from market, in hopes of getting a letter from some old friend, or the newspaper, which we are always very anxious to receive.

Ii is useless to trouble you with any more of our histories; they are all of the same complexion nearly, with this difference, that the most of my old companions still remain at Sydney to see what may chance to turn up, though to tell you the truth, I see little prospect for them, and am afraid that we are all destined to lead apes here» after, unless something is done for,us.

I will now suggest a plan of my own, that I. think would soon obviate the hardship I have complained of.' Suppose the " Australian Company," who every one says has made a good bargain about the million acres of land; and who I am told are anxious to promote the wel- fare and happiness of this country, should select a number of respectable young men of good cha- racter at home, and, sending them out here, pro curing for them previously a grant of land, which will cost them nothing, and with an engagement that in the event of their marrying a currency girl of good character, and becoming a settler, to lend them, to stock their farm, from £500 to £1000 pounds, without interest fur seven years. After which to bear legal interest, or be paid off at the discretion of the parties. Five per cent, of their capital thus invested, and which may be well spared, I am convinced would be well ap- plied, as improving the breed of sheep, horses, or cattle. " Breeding, in all its branches," l am told is quite a fashionable toast amongst gentlemen. Why then, let me ask, should improvement in the human species be the only one neglected ?

I shall feel obliged by your inserting this letter in your next Paper, which l am persuaded must be highly gratifying to the Colonial ladies ; and also any improvements on the hints suggested, from such of your Correspondents as may feel an interest in the subject. I am, Sir.

your obedient servant.