OPENING OF THE GEELONG AND
(FROM OUR OWN REPORTER.)
Geelong, Thursday night.
Tho Geelong and Melbourne railway was opened this morning, with a degree of ceremonial and an extent of festivity un- equalled, we believe, in this colony. The magnitude of the undertaking served to render
the occasion one of no little importance. The
opening of this railway is a noticeable event in our colonial history, and is the first reality which has followed the hopes of those desirous of seeing the country improved by a good system of intercommunication.
Although this line runs between the two great centres of population only; its effect upon remote localities will be in itself by no means remote; and we are strongly inclined to be- lieve that Ballaarat, and its suburban gold
fields, Buninyong, Italian Gully, Mount
Misery, &c., have quite as good reason to be
jubilant on the occasion of the opening of this line as either Melbourne or Geelong. Ballaarat and the others will be brought by it within a few hours' journey of this metro- polis. Some five or six hours of time, and as much space as that period would repre- sent on a heavy road, are virtually annihilated, and this being done, we may look for that here which followed the establish- ment of railways in England—a speedy cheap- ening of the cost of transit.
It was said at the commencement of this undertaking, that its completion would render Geelong the pivot on which inland colonial commerce would turn, and would render the city of Melbourne altogether subsidiary to her, and secondary in importance. This maybe so, dans l'avenir, but there are no immediate symptoms of it. Goods are not now landed at Geelong wharves exclusively for transmission to Ballaarat and its vicinity, although the road is pretty direct, nor are vessels entering the Heads likely to make for Corio sooner than Hobson's Bay, having goods for Mel- bourne, seeing that the cost of unloading and transmission by rail would be heavy and needless. Consignments will, we believe, take place to Melbourne as heretofore; but these consignments will find a ready market in so large a gold-field district as that of Ballaarat, and, in order to save time, and consequently money, they will he sent by rail to Geelong, which will thus be made an en- trepot, and receive a grcot and immediate accession of trade.
The facility of transmission afforded by the line must tend to reduce the prices of neces- saries on those gold-fields accessible by road from Geelong by drays, and this will, in no slight degree, tend to ameliorate the condi- tion of many who have been unsuccessful there, while it will not injure the store- keeper. The cost of carriage and risk of da- mage being a great degree lessened, the store- keeper would, if he made a proportionate re- duction in price, be a larger gainer than for- merly, as increased rapidity of supply, with a good demand, would enable him to turn his capital so much the more frequently in the course of the year.
There is another feature in the opening of this line which must not be lost sight of, and that is, the increased facility for amusement and excursions it will afford to residents both in Geelong and Melbourne. Geelong residents can easily visit Melbourne for a short time, without the certainty of having to lose some ten hours in the Bay, going and returning; and the residents in Melbourne will be able to walk about the outskirts of Geolong, enjoying the pure air and beautiful scenery, without vague misgivings as to wind and tide, and the hour of arrival at Melbourne next day. The first hill on the road to the Heads, from which Geelong and Lake Connewarre below make so picturesque an appearance on a clear day, would, no doubt, be visited, and the view admired by thousands. Those to whom soli- tude presents attractions may, passing from this hill towards the Heads, view the beauti- ful scenery around in an almost unbroken silence. Exquisitely tinted birds and the wild kangaroo still exist there, unconscious that the great instrument of civilisation is ap- proaching their domain. Their solitudes will soon afford them no cover. The birds will fall beneath the "sitting shot" of the unskilled sportsman, while the rest of the feræ naturæ, too wary for such a fate, will seek other grounds, and their present habitat shall know
them no more.
Without bestowing more than a passing thought, however, on the last consummation, we may proceed to illustrate one object of great importance this railway will serve, viz., of affording a relief to those who are inva- lided and cannot afford a long stay from Melbourne. From Geelong the Heads are easily accessible, and no doubt it will not be long before regular conveyances run on the road. The restorative effect of the air at the Heads is well known, and the means of health would be brought within easy reach of those who would otherwise perish from in- ability to quit their vocations for any long time. This subject has been often mooted, but we do not fear that tho benefit thus placed within the reach of many will not be eagerly and successfully resorted to. It is, however, time to pass away from anticipa- tions to the realities of the day.
The Citizen steamer, heavily laden with members of all classes of the community, to the number of four or five hundred, including a considerable sprinkling of ladies and legis- lators, left the Queen's Wharf about eleven a.m., and arrived shortly before twelve at the temporary pier, adjacent to the temporary station, erected in a stony meadow, designated as Greenwich. Upon this temporary station a considerable quantity of bunting was displayed, and a number of the water police officiated as special constables, and vigilantly preserved the plat- form from the intrusive footsteps of the visitors. Shortly after twelve, a wreath of white smoke was discerned in the distance, an agitated bellman commenced stunning the ears of the bystanders, an itinerant band struck up "God Save the Queen," and half a thousand shivering people made preparations to take their places in the coming train. To the dismay of the expectants, the train proved to be full of people from Geelong, most of whom thrust their heads from the windows of the carriages, and appeared to regard, with a singular mixture of wonder and pity, the assembled multitude.
The Governor, the Chief Secretary, and other notabilities, were in one of the car- riages, and alighted for a few moments, for the purpose, apparently, of inspecting the station or the township, both of which could be comprehensively surveyed at a glance; and his Excellency accordingly resumed his seat almost immediately, and preparations wera made for return- ing. Some little delay occurred, owing to the restiveness of the engine, and, this having been overcome, a further diffi- culty was experienced in consequence of the combined immobility of the carriages and debility of the locomotive. By the aid, however, of a physical force demonstra- tion, got up by a portion of the five hundred expectants, the vis inertiæ was overcome, and the train proceeded on its way, leaving the visitors from Melbourne in a state of blank amazement. By one o'clock symptoms of hunger manifested themselves on the part of those who had been invited to a distant déjeuner, and a good many persons hastened down to the Citizen steamer, and appeased the cravings of their appetite with such provender as was attainable. One Cabinet Minister was observed to return from the vessel, rejoicing in the acquisition of a goodly slice of bread and cheese, while many individuals were observed ruefully con- ning an advertisement in Punch, setting forth the number of tons, hundredweights, quar- ters, and pounds of poultry included in "Hooper's bill of fare."
Two weary hours crept past, during which the company remained sub Jove frigido the ladies shivering, and the gentlemen sw — smoking, we should say; and occasionally debating the propriety of holding an " indigna- tion meeting." Dreary clouds discharged their dreary showers upon the dreary landscape, while the faces of the spectators wore a drearier aspect than either the clouds or the scenery, nor was this dreariness altogether dispelled by the appearance, about two o'clock, of a train of empty carriages, which were dropped by the engine in the midst of an accumulation of viscid and adhesive mud, through which ladies had to pick their way, and upon which the patent leather boots of military volunteers made a profound im- pression.
At length the whole of the 500 shivering and hungry company were seated, and a start was effected at about the same hour that the
dejuner was appointed to commence at Gee- long. The train proceeded slowly and
cautiously over the newly ballasted line, and after reaching the main line the speed was in- creased, and the motion, though pretty rapid was smooth enough. The greatest speed attained however (judging from experience), did not ex-
ceed twenty-eight to thirty miles per hour. The nature of the country through which the line passes needs very little description. At first across a dreary and level plain, until reaching the River Exe—a picturesque little stream, which, however, must have presented an engineering difficulty in the formation of the line, from its high precipitous banks, heavily fringed with timber. From this spot Indented Heads can he seen in the distance. The land here is as fertile and level as an English meadow, from which indeed it could only be distinguished by its short although close grass; and from this spot and the runs near it will, in all probability, come most of the sheep that will supply the Mel- bourne market, as the grazing is excellent. Beyond this spot are what are termed the "Stony Rises,"—banks of bluestone, which must havo made the cutting through them very difficult, although they are not very deep. The expenditure of the Company in blasting at this spot was very heavy. The next diversification of the scene is the Little River—a precipitously banked and apparently dry creek. On the other side of the line " Station Peak " rises abruptly, and breaks the monotony of the plain so suddenly that it seems to be in the very act of being upheaved, and to have had no provious exist- ence. It is about three miles from the line, and doubtless the scenery must be very good amidst its heights and vallies. A station will be formed at the spot—a great boon to ex- cursionists, and we believe to naturalists, from the closely wooded appearance of the hills. Next came the "Duck Ponds," which resemble water-holes in a creek, and
are apparently not too inviting to the feathered race, for no birds are seen there now. Corio Bay next breaks on the view and Geelong is reached within four miles
In the case of the Melbourne guests their train started at five minutes past two, and stopped at the Geelong terminus at five minutes past four, having taken two hours to accomplish the distance (forty-three miles).
How the people at the other end of the line, waiting for the train to convey them to the ball were circumstanced, we know not. The train certainly did not, and could not, start in time. It may be that a telegraphic message was sent to them, but of this nothing is known, and the hour at which this is despatched prevents our making inquiries. One of the locomotive superin- tendents on the engine that first came down in the morning fell, while the train was in motion, and was dreadfully injured. The accident look place near Geelong, and the unhappy sufferer was immediately conveyed thither. The weather was most favorable during the journey.
On the arrival of the train at the platform it was found to be crowded to excess with boys and men, who forced their way into the carriages, before the passengers got out, in many instances. No one was stationed to in- dicate the way to the scene of the festivities, which was very tortuous. On the arrival of the Melbourne guests the dejeuner was over. It would be difficult to produce a greater failure than the whole affair was, as far as the accommodation of those invited from Mel- bourne was concerned, or a more discreditable scheme of management.
His Excellency the Govornor rose imme- diately after the entrance of the Melbourne guests. Very few of his remarks were audi- ble, as those who had refreshed themselves crowded around him closely. Had this not been the case, the confusion prevailing both inside and outside must have prevented his being distinctly heard, to say nothing of the frequent scream of the engine outside
Mr. Haines rose next, and was equally
So far as the decoration of the booking office, in which the déjeuner took place, was concerned, it was in good taste, and the tables must have been very well laid out, but two hours made a sad difference in appearance whon some 2,500 people have been busily oc- cupied masticating, and it was our fortune to see them in this state only. There can be no doubt that had a little more spirit been in- fused into the management of the affair it would have gone off with the greatest eclat. 'This unhappily was not the case although all means and appliances for a most satisfactory ceremony were forthcoming.
The following is the bill of fare of which the guests from Melbourne were invited to partake, had they arrived in time:—
HOOPER'S BILL OF FARE:
Roast and boiled fowls Poulets on Bichimelle Roast ducks
Do. geese Do. turkeys Dindons a la Creme Froid
Galantines of turkey, en aspic
Rounds of beef, a l'Anglaise
Poulards of veal, force
Do. mutton, do. Sirloins of beef Saddles of lamb (garni)
Boars' heads a l'Ardennes Tongues, docore Hams, modelled.
Lobster and chicken salad, on mai
ou aise Collar'd eels on aspic jelly Pates foie de gras a la perigord
Jellies, au vin et lemon
Blancmanges and creams Cheesecakes, tartlets, pastry
Savoy cakes and fancy biscuits Various fruits in season Plain broad Crystal 700 dozen. Knives, forks, and spoons .. 800 dozen.
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.)
Geelong, Friday Morning.
Walters, the superintendent who met with the accident, is dead. The ball is taking place in the hall where the dejeuner was given.
Every arrangement has been made to render
it a brilliant affair.
THE BAIION AND THE BARBER..-Apropos of Baron Rothschild's canvass for tho city of Xondon, tho metropolitan correspondent of the Liverpool Albion relates the following story:-"Odd enough, or rather oven enough, »11 things considered, thero dwells, after the manner of the cast, at the great man's gate in Swlthin's-lano (tho Sequin-court of the Disracllan romance) .a littlo barber, in ti vory little shop. Into this shop, tho other day rushed tho Baron, amiably and affoctionatoly asking after the health of the owner, and hoping ho was particularly well, as likewise his respected and much-esteomod better-half, together with the extremely interesting ofisprlng of thoir connubial cooing. Tho owner was not thero, but his apprentice was. Fancy the annihilating emotions of that ingenious young shaver, face to face with the richest man in the world, whoso person, of course, he knew well, anti used to wonder why he didn't havo himself olectro-gilt, and powdered all ovor with Koh i-noors, so as to give tho world some idea of the sort of man ho was; for what's the use, quoth the juvenile, of having so much money, and nobody any the wiser. And hero waa this nugget on two legs talking to a hair- dresser's assistant ! The cobbler of Bagdad, caliph for an hour, the legend of Dick Whit- tington and his auriferous tailed cat, and other visions of fniry-working faith, flitted through the curler's brain, IIB he gasped out his anxioty to know what on earth, or under the earth, ho could do to testify his desire to obligo the Baron. ' Do you think your master will vote for me!' aBkod tho Caucasian Orcoaus. ' Think 1' ox claimed the youth, as if ho perfectly well knew hiB master would think it stark staring mad- ness to think otherwise ' Certainly, Baron, quito suro of it, Baron ; would bo delighted to givo you five hundred votes if ho had 'em, Boron. Is there anything I can assist you to, Baron? Nico brown windsor four squares a shilling; genuino eau do cologno wator two and nine a bottle; okriki oint- ment for the growth of eyelashes, Baron' mastor's own manufacturo; patent tooth- brushes, roal pig bristles, Baron!' ' Well, you may send that up to Piccadilly, Bald the millionaro. pointing promiscuously to the front window, including wigs, blocks, wax jbusts, small-toothed combs, and the usual poruquean etceteras. ' Certainly, Baron, im- mediately, Biron," shrieked tho apprentice, bowing as low as tho counter would allow him ; and the money-bag walked out. Pre- sently the master returned, and tho assistant recounted that ho had received ' such an order 1' 'What order,' asked the master? . Tho whole shop I ' exclaimed the appron iico, extending hiB arms comprehensively, like Zamiel in the Circular scene in Der Ft'eitcliuli. ' Book It,' said the master, ' this looks something like business:' and thora npon he hung outside his door a board bavin; npon it, in highly spirited typography, tho announcement, 'Anotherbear will bo slaugh- tered to-morrow: order your greaso imme- diately.' That barber was early at tho poll."