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OUlt COLOURED SUPPLEMENT : THE OLD RACE AND THE NEW.
In this plate our artist has sought to illustrate a curious phase of the relations of the departing aboriginals to the growing masterful race of invaders which was once de scribed in a country paper. . The story was that an old
native woman, the last of her once numerous tribe, lived at a station in a district over which her people had roamed in earlier times. She was maintained by the charity and kindness of the daughter of the proprietor of the station as a favourite pensioner. The account stated that a strong feeling of attachment grew up bet ween, the two, and that a significant and interesting view was presented when in their frequent walks they were seen, the old aboriginal, suitable representative of a vanishing people, leaning on the arm of her bright- faced, blooming protectress, one , of a race before which her own was so rapidly disappearing from the earth. A poem dealing, with the idea suggested by the view is printed with the picture. FATHER CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA. Like all who come from a cold clime in the northern - hemisphere to acclimatise themselves in this warm southern region, Father Christmas has to conform in many respects to the conditions of the place and the season. - He has to exchange his fireside and the blazing yule log for an easy armchair in a cool verandah) and wholly to abandon mulled port, hot ale, or steaming elderberry wine, for cool beve rages more suited to a time when, the thermometer stands at OOdeg. in the shade. The surroundings upon which the old gentleman looks, out from his shady corner are them selves very, different from what he has been accustomed to in his native home. The garden, instead of being smitten and almost petrified by the cold iron hand of winter, and wrappedin a white, chilly garment of snow, is in the fullest bloom and luxuriance. But Father Christmas is able to adapt himself to the altered conditions. As our artist has depicted;; him, he is lightly, loosely attired. He sits in an easy chair beside a table bearing fruits and cool wines, and a blackfellbw is engaged fanning his warm brow. The old gentleman is smoking a cigar, which is now burned down close to 'the stump, and is evidently intended to be sym bolical of the year nearly ended. However, there are more where that camef rom; and let us hope that when the stump is thrown away, and its successor (1876) is tipped with fire, that will be found to be as fragrant and as soothing as its forerunner. iQn the whole, Father Christinas does not Beem to have lost much by the change which has made him the denizen of the summertime in Australia. If Christmastide here has ,tq alter, many of its .conditions in obedience to the great law of change, it is something to know that it retains its jollity, its holiday feeling, its plenty, and its jovial enjoyment.
,,.^.v, ,,.r CHRISTMAS MARKETING. A man' must be very hard in feeling if he can look with out being, .conscious of some sentiments of pleasure and sympathy at the crowd which throngs the Eastern Market on Christmas Eve to purchase the materials for next day's feasting. . . It may be admitted that it is not very rational to lay in those stores for the preparation of a feast so utterly unsuited to the climate and the season ; that the board covered ? by heavy smoking dishes, forming a meal well enough in place in a cold northern climate, in the depth of winter, is quite out of place here in midsummer ; that the custom altogether is a survival transplanted to circumstance's for which it is unfitted. But what has all this to do with the pleasure with which the mechanic and his wife purchase their fat goose, their stores of groceries for the Christmas pudding, the loads of vegetables and fruit with which several of their children
are burdened, and the enormous bunches of flowers and long, green fronds of the tree ferns borne by the others 1 The processions of families threading their way through the dense crowd in Indian file, carrying these long fronds erect to save them from damage, are a curious feature in the great assemblage. For days before the dwellers around the Dandenong and Plenty ranges have been engaged in penetrating into the moist, deep gullies, and stripping of their tender, fan-like fronds the stately fern trees, for the purpose of bringing to market to serve as house decoration at Christmas time. On the one side they serve as a substi tute for the glistening holly and the green mistletoe of the , home country, and on the other, with their tropical, palm like forms, they speak of shady Australian glens in some dense, forest-clad ranges — glens along which a clear, cold stream trickles, and in which the colossal forest trees stand high, keeping off the rays of the hot summer sun. But the youngsters carrying the tall, graceful fronds think of no such things as this. They think only of Christmas, of the good things it will bring— of their feast, their games, their toys, their holiday — of all of which this visit to the market and these lavish purchases are but the beginning. And so the dense crowd sways and simmers, thousands of good humoured people throng and push, and are thronged and pushed, without much minding it. The youngsters talk to each other at the tops of their voices, the poultry scream, the chaffering and bargaining go on loud and fast, the market people drive a literally 'roaring trade,' the scene is ablaze with lights, all is noisy, excited, pleased expecta tion — a fitting preparation for the festivities of Christmas. There would be nothing to differentiate the scene from one on a similar occasion in the old country were it not for the presence of that busy African negro selling ice creams as fast as he can ladle them out — a very distinct reminder that we are in the midst of an Australian summer, and not in the depths of an English winter.
A SOLITARY CHRISTMAS EVE : THE 'WATCHMAN IN THE FIRE-BELL TOWER. While the bulk4 of the population of the city are happy in the anticipation of a festive time on Christmas Day, there is one man who is spending a very solitary Christmas Eve, and to whose watchfulness is duo much of the security which they enjoy. High Tip above the roofs of the city, up ?there in mid-air, with darkness and loneliness- all around, stands a solitary fireman in the look-out tower attached to the fire station. He is keeping close watch over the whole expanse of the city and suburbs, so far as it is visible from his station, to discern any indications that may show the outbreak of a fire, so that the brigade may be alarmed at the earliest moment. His post is, necessarily, always a solitary one, but it is especially so at this holiday time, when friend is accustomed to meet friend, when the streets of the city are crowded with visitors and pleasure- seekers, and when, in even the most busy quarters of trade and business, work has for the time given place to pleasure and play. Up there to him in his exalted post come the sounds of 'revelry by night,' but to him they only speak of sports and pastimes from which he is cut off. The streets flash with lights, and resound with noisy wheels and the patter ing of countless feet, and the echoes of many voices; but he is away from and above it all. If the solitary fireman were a student of Carlyle, he might with strict truthfulness repeat the words from Sartor Jtcsartus — 'That Btifled hum of Mid night, when Traffic has lain down to rest ; and the chariot wheels of Vanity, still rolling here and there through dis tant streets, are bearing her to Halls roofed in, and lighted to the due pitch for her ; and only Vice and Misery, to prowl or to moan like nightbirds, are abroad ; that hum, I say, like the stertorous unquiet slumber of sick life, is heard in Heaven ! Oh, under that hideous coverlet of vapours, and putrefactions, and unimaginable gases, what a Fermenting- vat lies simmering and hid ! The joyful and the sorrowful are there; men are dying there, men are being born; men are praying — on the other side of a brick parti tion, men are cursing ; and around them all is the vast.
void Night.' But the probability is that the fireman does not pass his time in reciting passages of literature such as this, but merely in carefully and conscientiously doing the duty that lie is sent up there to do. He slowly paces the four sides of his small aerial den, closely scanning the unsightly horizon of spires and chimney stalks and roofs exposed to his view. Occasionally, as a more than usually bright glare is seen in the* distance, he examines it with his glasses to see if it is the outbreak of a fire, or merely a group of boys kindling an extempore bonfire on a vacant allotment. Then he has —lamentable instance of the want of confidence reposed in 'human nature — at every quarter of an hour to mark time on the tell-tale clock. There are two lines of telegraph communicating with his box, one from the Post-office and , one from the Lands-office. A new; tower commanding a higher and wider outlook is badly wanted. In many parts of the city r and suburbs the view . has been altogether obstructed by the progress of building, and in Buch places the position of a fire can only be guessed at from its reflec tions. It is unnecessary here for us to say anything of the high efficiency of the small but admirably competent brigade officered by Superintendent Hoad. It is always the corps d'Slite and nucleus of operations at every great fire, and aids at such a time as much by the direction and discipline it imparts to others as by its own efforts. DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF CHRISTMAS. DAY IN AUSTRALIA.
Our contributor 'M. or NT.' has an article based on the illustrations contained in tHia page. ? CHRISTMAS AT ST. PATRICK'S. The rich and impressive ritual of the Roman Catholic Church naturally provides for the celebration with suitable and highly imposing solemnities the ' sacred season of Christmas. On such occasions as this, when the. church puts forth all its efforts to honour by the highest religious rites the great festival time of the Christian world, the fine massive cathedral of St. Patrick's, although it is only in an. -incomplete condition, -presents'' a spectacle of .the greatest impressiveness. At such times the cathedral is visited not only by crowds of Catholics, who engage in the service, but also by large numbers of others, who come for the sake of seeing in the celebrations of the antique Catholic Church a view of the tuathetio aspect of religion such as is notafforded by the services of any other church.
THE GERMAN IMMIGRANTS AT niLL PLAINS. In elucidation of the sketches taken by our artist in the course of a special visit to this settlement we quote a long descriptive article elsewhere. BLONDIN PERFORMING ON BOARD THE PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL STEAMER POONAH. On his recent trip to 'Australia, Blondin, the great rope walker, astonished the passengers on board the Poonah. by walking on a rope, strained between two masta of the vessel. The difficult nature of the feat is easily understood when it is remembered that, to the ordinary difficulties and dangers of walking on a rope at a great altitude, there are those superadded which arise from, the rolling and onward movement of the ship, the beat of the engines, and the bewildering effect on the eye and brain of the dancing, gliding, restless motion of the waves. One of the eye witnesses of the feat on board the Poonah has supplied us with the drawing which we reproduce of the vessel and Blondin on the rope, and also with the following account of the extraordinary feat : — At 5 o'clock in the afternoon of the 19th October, when the vessel was between Aden and Galle, Blondin announced that he was ready to try the feat of walking on the tight rope in a seaway, and undertook to walk from the main to the mizenmast and back. Accord ingly, a stout 7in. hawser was made fast to the 'mizentop, rove through a heavy block in the maintop, and hauled taut by the steam winch on deck. Lateral motion was prevented as far as possible by guys made fast to the sides of the ship, but the motion of the vessel herself could not be. avoided, and the main difficulty was the long, slow, confused swell, which at the change of the monsoon comes from different quarters at once. When; Blondin^ stood in the maintop, pole in hand, he hesitated long enough with one foot 'on the rope to make many people think he had repented, I as the task was one enough even to try his nerves. The mizentop is, of course, lower than the main. The steadying guys had pulled the' rope down in the centre, so that he had to start down a rather sharp incline. Blondin is accustomed to guide and steady himself by fixing his eyes on the rope about 20ft. ahead of him, but what with the rolling of the Bhip and the vibration of the powerful engines, the rope he had to walk was drawn into such sinuous waves that he described it as looking more like a snake than a rope. Before ho had gone five yards, he was forced to sit down to steady himself and avoid two or three rollers that came in succession. He rose, and twice again he sat down before he reached the mizenmast. This part of the journey was made more difficult by the sun being directly in Blondin's eyes. His return was quick and easy till he had passed over about three-fourths of the distance, when the swell caught the ship, and he had to stop and sway from side to Bide. The pole wavered violently, and once or twice appeared to be held almost straight lip and down, and much anxiety was felt, not only by the passengers, but by Captain Angove and the officers, of the ship. Blondin never lost his nerve, but coolly waiting till the troublesome rollers had passed, walked on and reached the mainmast in safety. He said that his task was a most difficult one, and that he could not have gone through any of his usual performances on a rope such as that. ' Captain Angove, who had eased down the engines, and varied the course of the ship from time to time so as to keep her as steady as possible, congratulated Blondin warmly; upon his safe descent. The whole thing was gratuitous, Blondin's only recompense for having done what no man did before being a unanimous vote of thanks from the passengers.
STRAYED FROM THE PICNIC. It does not require much explanation to make such a picture as this intelligible. The young pair have formed part of the company at a Christmastide picnic, but after the luncheon, when all started off for a stroll through the forest, they, in some unaccountable way, became separated from all of their companions. They find themselves left alone, but they do not seem to mind it very much. . Each finds in the other all the company that they want. The oihers have missed them, and are perhaps searching for them, under the- impression that they are lost, but they bear their isolation very calmly. Time flits by, but they take no heed. They are happy in each other's society, and time and the world may go on as they please', they care little for either. COUNTRY HAWKERS. ,' , We devote an article to this subject on another page. THE UPPER RESERVOIR : ADELAIDE WATER SUPPLY. Our engraving depicts one of the objects of interest within distance of an easy drive from Adelaide— viz. , the Upper Reservoir of the fine and copious water-supply system by which the city is furnished with this indispens able fluid.
CHRISTMAS AT ST. PATBIOK'S.
CHRISTMAS AT ST. PATBIOK'S.