Comments

Show 1 comment
  • peter-macinnis 21 Feb 2011 at 15:28
    The "laughing jackass", now known as the kookaburra, is here given as "gogaga" in "the aboriginal language".

Add New Comment

5 corrections, most recently by mgregory - Show corrections

WALK THROUGH SYDNEY. (Continued from our last, page 1516). Close to where we now stand is the foundation of an intended new Cathedral, laid by Macquarie, but abandoned on Mr. Bigge's inquiry. The site is well chosen, being central and elevated. Had this church been proceeded with according to the plan, it would not have been finished before it was wanted, for it is wanted now.   A herd of cattle approaches leisurely. Well my man, whose cows are these ? "Different people's   Sir ; its the town flock, I get 6d. a head a week for taking charge." Some good cows among them, but poor, dreadfully poor? "Yes Sir, some fine frames   of cows." And where do you obtain pasture for these forty or fifty head ! "Pasture Sir, Lord   bless you, its very bare of feed where they go. But I take them out early in a morning and they get a snift of fresh air as the sun rises, and a drink of fine water, and so they pick about like till it's time to come home, and then I water them again !" The cow is known to be a ruminating animal, but "chewing the cud of fancy" is of itself too abstracted. Amongst the shops and taverns and cottages, which line the outlet of George-street, all more or less common-place if not vulgar, we observe one where Ic. dole has " ta'en the aniquarian trade." Here every human implement used in past generaions, or even the present, may be found ; and most of the requisities for building a house, and furnishing it, the same being of a solid and ancient fashion, are also in this musuem ; there is no catalogue of the articles, but Isaac is himself always on the spot to explain their properties and worth. Two or three dogs guard the exhibition, while he paces about with his cap and barnacles on, to re-adjust this, that, and the other, in some new position ; or while he sits within amidst the soiltary obscuration of his dwelling, revolving the infinite variety of his pos- sessions ; and perhaps then with a placid feeling of thankfulness, turning to peruse Baxter's Saint's Rest. For Isaac is a great divine, and can reason high on "fixed fate and freewill" equal to a bishop, than whom he is far more contented and happy. From here, we obtain a vista of the Parramatta- road, and the large distillery premises of Mr. R. Cooper, which cost it is said twenty thousand pounds. Also the turnpike house, a neat Gothic structure ; the Asylum, where the old ard infirm, (poverty is non- descript here) find a home ; the Carters' Barracks, where the juvenile delinquents of Britain, are trained to be workmen instead of robbers ; and the new burial ground, which is already half filled up ; for people die here it would seem, as fast and as soon, as they do in the raw foggy climate of England. The sight of this cemetery where such numbers are laid, stricken before the term of threescore and ten, has prompted many an exile to turn his steps homeward, or to wander still to some other clime. A foreign grave-yard like this, where no one knows who his neighbour is, (for there are no epitaphs here but of good people gone to heaven), can have but little to reconmmend itself to the imagination. In the flat beneath is the new cattle market, which, from the extent of its accommodation, will need no enlargement for a few centuries to come. The horn sounds the Royal Mail Coach for Parramatta, to which place two coaches run daily ; besides another at intervals, to Windsor, and one to Liverpool. Full of passengers as usual, inside and outside ; fare 5s. and 3s. On the pannels is a well-painted Kangaroo, a figure, we take it, which will be stamped on the coin of this future kingdom, unless the image and superscription of Caesar should predominate. What would it be worth to see before us a few cen- turies ! Our eyes ici bas are dim and feeble, but when we look, without, immaterially, what fine prospects then ! Sydney is built on a promontory a mile and a half   long, being now on the west side covered with strag- ling cottages, some with neat verandahs and some mere hovels ; several of the streets are rocky and impassable, while over the bay which has a few schooners, a brig, and a ship, we see barran craggy shores, islands, and ridges, with stunted trees on them—the east side fronting Port Jackson is at pre- sent the most courtly—to this quarter we therefore pass, to the Race-course or Hyde Park as it is called, an area of half a mile by a quarter, without a tree upon it, and as much like Hyde Park as a river in this country is like the Ganges, the Plata, the Po, or the Misissippi. Notwithstanding, there is a pretty view from it, and a pleasant freshness in the air. We see on the right, rising out of the bush ; several neat stone windmills, and the new gaol wall which is twenty feet high, and four hundred feet square, or thereabouts. Close to where we stand, is the mouth of the aqueduct that is to bring water from the swamps of Botany Bay, to supply Sydney, the accomplishment of which, will confer deserved re-     nown, on those by whom it is effected. Eastward of this park without trees, is the Catho- ic Chapel, and a view of Port Jackson with its nu- merous bays and woody shores. This gothic edifice, though a plain structure without the usual archi- traves, fretwork, moulding and sculpture, is a sur- prising piece of work, standing where it does. We see some of the lonely parts of England and near modern vulgar towns, some matchless Gothic build-   ings remaining, but passing by them ; we know tlhat there were giants on the earth formerly. Here   there is no such tradition ; this fabric has arisen    

however, as a memento of the old world which may excite in the new, reflection, emulation, and general improvement. When the settler beyond the Blue Mountains, the ridge of which we can discern from here, brings his grown-up boy to Sydney to see a ship, he also comes with him to look at the Catholic Chapel, and the conversation which ensues conveys instruction to one and pleasure to both. This building begun in 1820, and now roofing in, is in the form of a cross, having at each corner octaganal buttresses rising above the roof with high pointed caps, ornamented with turrets. These, and a cir- cular projection in the turnsept for the altar, con- stitute the principal decorations, yet the whole has a fine effect ; and by moonlight, but that the stone is fresh, you might fancy it to be some old abbey, and begin to dream accordingly. In the valley beneath on the other side is a large verandah cottage with dormer windows, and a row of Norfolk Island pines, each exactly tapering as if cut to resemble a pyramid and in front, is the little bay, called by the blacks   Woolamoola. The aboriginal language is certainly beautiful and highly expressive, much more so, we conceive, than an European tongue. Where did they get it? Gogaga is their name of the bird we call the Laughing Jackass, and Gogaga repeated quick is part of the chuckling notes, which distinguish that ludicrous forester. Here we have several public buildings close at hand. The Prisoners' Barracks, called by courtesy Hyde-Park Barracks, a neat brick building, in which are lodged and fed five and six hundred men, and in Macquarie's time double that number. Opposite to it is St. James's Church, the Court-house, and a Public School, all brick edifi- fices, capacious, lofty, and well fitted up. There is also the Methodist Chapel, a more plebeian struc- ture than the rest. Churches and chapels are works of imagination, most decided indications. A sectarian considers the gilding his prayer-book would be a waste of money, and that a place of worship built beyond what convenience and shelter from the inclemency of the weather require, instead of feeding the poor, feed vanity and pride. As the sectarian advances in wealth, by adhering to these careful maxims, he enters the patrician order and talks of temples to the honour of God ; but if not so, if he still follow the lowly path of his ancestors, he is apt to become more degenerate ; and then, ac- cording to Beaumont or rather Fletcher, the illus- trious dramatist, "his only words of health, and   names of sickness, finding no true disease in man but money, he talks much, but chiefly against the sha- dow of himself. The Church of St. James's, which is the Court church, has recently been beautified with an excel- lent organ, which cost £500 and if the south por- tion of the church, which is blocked up to make a vestry, were opened, all would then be done that is required to complete the original edifice. The spire is framed of wood and cased with copper, lofty and upright, or with but a slight inclination. We will ascend however and see what prospect it commands. The bells here, though the best in the parish, are too Lilliputian for a treble Bob major, or for any symphony of a minor cast. From this height we have a magnificent panorama. All Sydney together is but a little spot, intersected by a parcel of formal streets, with boxes on each side, and here and there a few shrubs. There has been a great pother to raise up the diminitive works we see, some of which appear mighty large and fine, to the mortals beneath. Port Jackson appears like Windermere, an extensive lake, the shores some what sombre. The cliffs, at its entance or the Heads as we call them, are abrupt ; on one side is the Light-house, a pretty object from Sydney, and be- hind we can see from this height a narrow portion of the blue main, which seems hushed and motionless, though we can sometimes hear it roar of night when the wind is southerly. Looking over Hyde Park and some green swamps, we see a broad sheet of shallow water with low hills behind it, called Botany, the cognomen of this unfortunate land. One or two cottages on each side, are all that rescue its sandy shores from the dead gloom spread over it by the hand of nature. In a glen nearer, we catch a glimpse of several stone buildings three or four sto- ries high close together, the distillery premises of Mr. James Underwood, who assures us that he has laid out on them one and twenty thousand pounds, without being able to distil any thing hitherto, from the continued high price of grain. The two forts on the edge of Sydney Cove, though not very for- midable, add grace and stability to the town, as do the Government Stables, which surprise the stranger's eye in sailing up the harbour. But the panorama of Mr. Earle is now in London, and in that, our Eng- lish friends will see all these objects exhibited most faithfully. It is now evening, and numerous carria- ges of every description are flying across Hyde Park on the South-head road. We must descend, and taste a portion of the terrestrial solace which an inn affords. The Rose and Crown, by A. Hall. Mr. H. is the printer of this work ; also the Sydney Monitor, an opposition newspaper, published weekly, and two other journals, one by a literate clergyman, other by a native of the colony, each of which is, or was, published quarterly. After all, there is comfort to be found in the vicin- ity of Botany Bay. With a breast of veal or a cou- ple of short-legged fowls, a ham and a glass of Ma- deira, our existence may be rendered tolerably easy at the very ends of the earth. Pilgrims and wan- derers as we have been, a tavern has been to us, for many years, our most common home ; where in- deed hospitality is not a name, nor the horn of plenty a fable. Sitting in this arm chair with every thing at command for a single word, our thoughts are divested of all care, or strife, and we hear with equanimity, the happy confusion of talking and singing, now issuing from the Tap and the Dolphin. Let us listen for a moment.   Britannia's sons at sea,     In battle always brave, Strike to no power disee, That ever plough'd the wave.     Pal lal da ral derido. But when we are not afloat,   'Tis quite another thing, We strike to petticoat, Get merry, dance, and sing ! Fal lad, &c.

With Nancy deep in love, I once to sea did go, Returned she             So now I take my glass, Drink England and my King ! Content with my old lass, Get merry, dance, and sing, Fal tal, &c. This is rather a vulgar song, but we must give Jack his credit; he scorns to be thought a gentleman ; besides, he has helped us in many an extremity, since our " nautical existence" began—What is that in the Dolphin ; Oh yes ! Oh yes I has any one found a heart that a lady has lost ? Whoever restores it unbroken and sound, shall be handsomely paid for his cost. Oh yes shall be &c. When first it was miss'd she can't tell in the least, But she's reason to think it was stolen ; O yes, &c. Oh yes she thinks that the thief is a youth, who slyly, attention had shown her; Whoever it is, may as well tell the truth, for it's only of use to the owner ! Oh yes &c. What is there in language ? men are the same every where—We had intended to portray several strange characters in Sydney, quite unique, but for the present our day's work his done.      

Zoom

plus
thumb
minus
left
thumb
right
up
thumb
down