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I. 



CLARA MORISON 



A TALE 



OF 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA DURING THE 

GOLD FEVER 



IN TWO V0LUME8 



VOL I 




LONDON 
JOHN W PAEKER AND 80N WEST STRAND 

MPCCCMY 



< 



^^^. t, Zfo. 



y.V^\^^ ^>«» «\^>kKtt«^ rillNTKIIS^ 




PREFACE. 



^^HE foUowing tale has for its author a young lady 
who, for some years, has resided in one of the 
provinces of that distant country in which the scene of 
the novel is laid. This preíace is written by the iriend 
to whose care she entrusted the manuscript; and the 
work has been printed without the adyantage of the 
author 8 final revision. 

Of the merits of the story it would be altogether unbe- 
coming here to speak. The fair writer's aim seems to 
have been to present some picture of the state of society 
in the Australian colonies, especially as it existed in 
South Australia, in the year 1851, when the disoovery 
of gold in the neighbouring provinoe of Victoria took 
place. At this time the population of South Australia 
numbered between seventy and eighty thousand souls, 
the greater part of whom were remarkable for their 
intelligence, their industry, and their enterprise — cha- 
racteristics which had doubtless been fostered by the 
energy shown in developing the mineral resources 
of the country, and which, in the instance of the 
Burra Burra and other copper mines, had met with 
such signal success. When it became known that 
gold in illimitable quantities, at a locality not moré 
than three hundred miles distant from their own 
territory, was to be had, it can scarcely be supposed 
that a people, so keenly alive to their own interests. 



í¥ FEEFACE. 

wonid remíán nnmaveá. Bewdote sttenqite w€xe made 
U> 4imover a gold £ú^ near Xáehááe. YindÍBg ibe 
fyAd would not oome totlii^ the pec^^ di^emiiiied to 
go to tbe gold Accordin^jy tlie eatire male popola- 
tíon^ witb comparatÍYelj few exo^itioiiSy remoyed in the 
eouimia of a lew short wedís, to the Tidmt j of Momit 
Alexamler and Forest Creek. MoBt of them left in 
vmmU which were gladlj sent from Melbomne to con- 
vey them. Others aBcended the conrse of the RÍTer 
Murray, depending partiallj fbr subsistenoe on the 
gama which abounds on that noble stream. Others, 
Again, purfliuad the shorter but more adventurous route, 
aorow tho inhospitable region which separates the two 
oolonie», startling the wild tribes of the interior by 
tbelr appantion, and leaving occasionaUy behind them 
imall mounds of earth to mark the place where the 
itrong man had bit the dust. 

Tbe exodui was almost complete, and entirely without 
parallel in the history of any country. The absence of 
the 'braw foreaters/ so pathetically bewailed in the old 
baUad, was not more keenly felt by the Scottish maidens^ 
tban waa that of many a husband and lover from the 
haarthfl of South Australia. None but women and 
ohildren were to be seen anywhere, and the skill 
manifeated by them in the management of afi^drs 
waa the aubjeot of muoh admiration. The entire 
vintage of that year was gathered, and the wine made 
by them ; and never waa there better mada *In those 
df^* it may be em^^tioally said, 'there was no king 
in larael, and every woman did that whioh was right 
in her own eyea.' No aight or soxmd of manual labour 
met the ear oor eya An unwonted silenoe prevailed. 
A atate of aooiety unsuug by poets, and such as was 
«iif?«r aa^ belore» existed, in whioh gentleness^ and 



PREFACI. V 

cawrtesy, and loving kindnees reigned, and which will 
never be forgotten by those whom a supposed hard 
fortnne oompelled to remain behind. Had Mr. Tenn json 
been there at the time, another book might have been 
added to his 'Princes&' 

MarvellouB successes attended those who were fírst ' 
on the gold-fields. The South Australian settlers were 
remarkable for their good fortune — it may be added for 
their sobriety, and for the good example they set to the 
rest of the diggers. A few months, in many cases a 
few weeks, suffioed to gratify their dedres. None of 
them took kindlj to Yictoria, or thought of making a 
permanent abode thera They remembered, too, that 
warm hearts were beating for them in their own loved 
and beautiful province, and that bright eyes were 
waiting to beam brighter at their retum. 

And the retum came ; and many a green valley, and 
vine-clad cottage, bore witness to the welcoming back, 
it may almost be said 'with timbrels and dancings/ of 
the wanderers laden with their golden spoil. 

It is the abo ve epoch in the history of South Australia 

which the writer has seized on for her story. How 

&r ahe has been successful in so doing, it is for the 

gentle reader to determine. 

B. 



CONTENTS 



OF 



THE FIRST VOLUME. 



CHAPTER I. 

PA.OB 
LIKE ALL FIB8T CHAPTER8 — mTRODUCTORY 1 

CHAPTER II. 

WILL PROBABLT BB MISSBD, FOR IT ONLY DKSCBIBKH A 
LONO VOYAOB 10 

CHAPTER III. 

FIRST IMPBESSIONS OF ADBLAIDB 22 

CHAPTER IV. 

THB BOARDUra-HOUSE 81 

CHAPTER V. 

A SUNDAY AT MRS. HANDY'B 53 

CHAPTER VI. 

A OLIMPSB OF A SITUATION 61 

CHAPTER VII. 
ANOTHER glimpse, and a resolution 76 

CHAPTER VII í. 
at servicb 90 

CHAPTER IX. 

A VISITOR Q^ 



• • • 



vm CONTBNTS. 

CHAPTER X. 

PÁOB 
HOW MISS WITHSRINO MADE HERSBLF AGBEEABLE TO MBS. 

BANTAM AND HEB GUESTS 103 

CHAPTER XI. 
MnrmE stands up fob heb oountbt 117 

CHAPTER XII. 

THE FAMILT KEXT DOOB 128 

CHAPTER Xni. 

CLABA HAS AN INVITATION, AND GETS A ' SUNDAT OUT' . 142 

CHAPTER XIV. 

MBS. BANTAM AND MINNIE LAT A PLOT TO GET QUIT OF 

MISS WITHEBING .... * 154 

CHAPTER XV. 

CLABA HAS AN OFFOBTUNITT OF SEEING HEB FELLOW-PAS- 

SENGEBS 169 

CHAPTER XVI. 

DABKNESS AND SOBBOW 178 

CHAPTER XVII. 
MB. beginald's letteb to england is beoeived and 

ANSWBBED 187 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

MB. BEGINALD MAKES THE ACQUAINTANCE OF THE ELLIOTS 200 

CHAPTER XIX. 

MB. AND MBS. BANTAM BETBEAT BEFOBE THE ENEMT . . 211 

CHAPTER XX. 

SOUTH AUSTBALIA UNDEB AN ECLIFSE 218 

CHAPTER XXI. 

CLABA IS OFFEBED A HOME 227 

CHAPTER XXTT. 

0WEET AND BITTBB 242 



CLARA MORISON. 



CHAPTER L 

UKE ALL FIBST CHAPTEBS — ^IKTBODUCTOBT. 

MR. MORISON had been sitting m his study for 
half an hour one moming^ neither reading nor 
writing, but apparently settling the pros and cons of 
some new resolution which he had jusjb formed, or per- 
haps trying to make it appear as gracefiil as it was 
convenient. At the end of his half hour^s delibera- 
tion he rung the bell, and desired the servant to let 
Miss Susan and Miss Olara Morison know that he par- 
ticularly requested their presence in his study imme- 
diately. They soon appeared, obedient to their imde's 
summons; and while he is dearing his throat and 
making a few preliminary observations not much to 
the point, we will take a glance at the parties, and 
briei&y explain their relative positions. 

Mr. Morison was a grave, respectable looking man, 
between forty and fifby, who had a handsome house, 
and saw a good deal of company, in a &shionable street 
in EdinburgL He had a delicate and rather exígearUe 
wife and seven children, to whom he was as much at- 
tached as he could be to anything; but living up to 
his income, he felt that the recent death of his brother, 
leaving him two penniless girls to provide for, wafl a 
dreadful calamity; and it was in order, as he thought, 
to do the best for them with the least possible incon- 
venience to himself, that he sent for his nieces on this 
memorable moming. He did not like to be opposed 
in anything, and both of the young ladies knew it. 

Susan was about one-and-twenty, with a plain face, 
and a figure barely tolerable; but her voice was exqui- 
aitely musical, her manners graceful and re&£kfó^ «>xA 

YOL. L B 



2 CLA£A MORISON. 

eveiy accomplisliment which she had cultiyated wad 
thoroughly acquired ; she was a skilfíil musician, she 
drew admirably, and she understood more than one 
foreign language. Mr. Morison felt that she would be 
an excellent govemess for his Êunily, and rejoiced in 
the idea that he was able to do all his duty by her. 
But with poor Clara, what was to be done ? There 
she stood, with her soft grey eyes, sunny brown hair, 
radiant smile, and gracefiil fígure, formed to delight 
her father^s eyes and to gladden his heart, but without 
one accomplishment that had any marketable yalue. 
She neither played, nor simg, nor drew, but she read 
aloud with exquisite taste; her memory was stored 
with old ballads and new poems ; she imderatood French, 
and was &iniliar with its literature, but could not 
speak the language ; she could write short-hand, and 
construe Osesar's Oommentaries; she played whist and 
backgammon remarkably well, but she hated crochet 
and despised worsted-work. In her father's lifetime, 
Olara had been the general referee at home on all mis- 
cellaneous subjects. She knew what book such a thing 
was in, what part of the book, and almost at what 
page. But alas ! no one cared now for such accom- 
plishments, and she himg her head before her matter- 
of-fact uncle. 

* My dear girls,' said he, * you are aware that I am 
not rich, and I hope that neither of you have any ob- 
jections to doing something for yourselves. I think, 
Susan, that you could make yourself usefdl in instruct- 
ing my three girls, for your education has been a long 
and expensive one, and must now be tumed to account. 
You will be treated by me and by your aunt exactly as 
a daughter of our own, and visit and receive visitors 
with us. And, my dear Susan, as you know your poor 
aunt's delicate state of health, I hope you will reUeve 
her as much as you can from the fatigue and worry of 
looking affcer servants and ordering dinner. You have, 
since your mother's death, three years ago, had the 
whole management of your Êither's establi^iment^ and 



THB PAETINO» $ 

I am sure yoti take sufficient interest in us to do your 
utmost in mine. Now I hope, Susan, that you have no 
objection to make to this arrangement.' 

Susan murmured, * None whatever ; but what shall 
Clara do Y 

* Clara, unfortunately, has not made the same use of 
the advantages she had,* replied Mr. Morison. ' I do 
not see how I could get a situation for her, except per^ 
haps as a nursery goyemess, with some eight or ten 
pounds a-year, which I am afraid Clara might think 
too small, and her employer too large, a remuneration 
for her services. My idea for Clara is, that she should 
emigrate to Australia.* 

* Australia ! sixteen thousand miles off !' cried both 
sisters, bursting into tears. 

* What matter for distance ]' said Mr. Morison, * If 
Clara were to take a situation at all, you must be sepa- 
rated; and if you would look on the thing rationally, 
you would see that the greater the distance the better 
fbr her. In Australia they cannot want accomplished 
govemesses; Clara might get fifly or sixty pounds 
a-year, and take a good position in society besides. 
Aiid Olara, you are a pretty and a good girl ; you will 
be sure to marry well in a country where young ladies 
are so scarce, and where nobody looks for a fortune 
with his wife ; and then you can write for Susan, if you 
like, to join you.' 

' But am I to go alone?' said Clara. * I am only 
nineteen, and it is a dreadfiil thing to go through that 
long voyage without a friend.' 

* I have spoken to Captain Whitby, of the Magni- 
ficenty said her uncle, * and he says that his wife will 
be a mother to you during the voyage. You wiU pro- 
bably make friends among your fellow-passengers in a 
four months' voyage ; and I will give you a strong letter 
of recommendation to my old friend Campbell, who is a 
rising merchant in Adelaide, and whose wife will give 
you a home till you get a situation. And I hope, my 
dear girl^ that you will hold fast by your religiouA 

B 2 



4 CLARA MOBISON. 

principles even in sach a distant land, for that is my 
only anxiety about you ; and write to us by every op- 
portunity tliat offers. I am confident tliat you "will 
make a capital colonist. I have spoken to Captain 
Whitby about an intermediate berth for you; the ao- 
commodation between decks is of a very superior de- 
scription — ^very superior, indeed. But, my dear child, 
if you do not like to go, say the word.' 

Clara gasped^ and felt nearly choked; but managed 
to say — 

* What does my aunt say about my going soíaxV 

* She thinks it highly advisable, particularly as the 
climate is so £ne, and she does not think the long^ cold 
Scotch winters agree with you.' 

* If I am to go, when does the vessel ^ 

Clara could say no more. 

* Oh, no hurry — ^not for six weeks yet. You will 
have to get your things in order, and I will see that 
your outfit is complete; but you will tell me to-morrow 
moming if you have any reasonable objection to maka 
Tou had better sleep upon it^ Clara, and tell me to- 
morrow.' 

The sisters withdrew into their own room — not to 
consult, but to weep. They had never been separated 
in their lives. The loss of both their parents had 
made them all in all to each other; and though a 
vague and alarming idea had crossed each of their 
minds that their poverty might prevent them from 
living together in future, it had never been expressed 
in words, and it was only intimated by the fi^uency 
and tendemess of their caresses, and by long silent 
gazes into each other's eyes, that they felt a time might 
come when they could neither caress nor look at one 
another. 

Susan's tears were of unmingled sadness; but theie 
wafi some indignant bittemess in Clara's. Susan felt 
that her uncle was kind to her, and that for Clara he 
was doÍQg the best he coulA But Clara, more clear- 
sighted, saw that her uncle wiahed to be spared the 



THE PARTINO. 5 

mortifíoation of seeing so near a relative reduced to be 
a nursery govemess in his neighbourhood. But this 
feeling she did not communicate to Susan, when she 
aaw that her sister did not herself i>eroeive it; but 
said, she dared to say it was all for the best, but it was 
very sad. 

They did not think of making any objection, or of 
pleading for any delay, but prepaxed for the worst by 
fresh bursts of tears; and when they did at last speak 
on the subject, it was about the long letters they would 
write, and the prayers they would offer up to Grod for 
each other. 

' I shall be oomfortable,* said Susan ; ' but what 
troubles you may have to go through, and I not near 
to help or comfort you ! But yet, my darling, you are 
not appreciated here. Tou have fíner abilities than I 
have; but because I make a noise on a piano, and 
acratch figures on Bristol board, I am extolled, and 
you are dii^raged. They will judge better in 
Adelaide, I hope ; and you will be marrying some rich 
man, and keeping your carriage; for you are very 
lovely, at least in my eyes. And when you are rich, 
and I would be no burden to you, send for me; for 
though my uncle and aunt are very kind, I am yours 
and you are mine, till deatL* 

' Till death,* said Clara. ' But I can form no hopes 
of anything brilliant in the prospect before me. I feel 
so helpless, so useless, as if I might perish, and no 
man regard it. Only in your heart would I leave a 
void.' 

Thus all that day did the sisters grieve together; 
and, afber a sleepless night, rose at their usual hour, 
and went in to breakfast. Mrs. Morison was up, and 
xlispensing coffee, which they scarcely expected, for she 
had been confined to her bed-room all the preceding 
dreadful day. 

* Well, Susan,' said she, ' this is the last day I mean 
to get breakfest for the family. You will, as my 
eldest daughter would do if she were old enough, pre- 



6 CLARA MOBISON. 

8Íde at tlie break&st-table in fdtnre, I hope. The 
effort is really too mucli for me. I feel now quite 
exhausted, and I think I caught a chill this moming. 
Clara, will you ring the bell for me, my dear 1 What 
a treasure you "will be in any Australian &mily; you 
are so obligÍDg, and so fond of children. Your do- 
mestic virtues are quite undervalued in this country : 
every one looks to show and flourish here ; but I believe 
that a truer taste pervades the communities of our 
colonies. I expect to hear of your being domiciled in 
some nice Scotch family in Adelaide, or near it. I 
would not like you to go fer in the bush. The natives 
and bushrangers make it unsafe; and I have heard, 
too, that snakes are nimierous and dangerous in the 
thinly-settled districts : so, for our sakes, as well as 
your own, do not venture far out. But every one 
says that the climate is delightfiil, and that is a grand 
Gonsideration; and people are so simple and unsophis- 
ticated: the state of society is very charming. Go- 
vemesses of every kind are so much wanted, that I 
have heard of people going in quest of them on board 
every newly-arrived ship, and engaging them before 
they put foot on shore. But, Clara, you must follow 
Mr. Campbell's advice, and not take the fírst situation 
that offers. You should prefer forty pounds a-year, 
with a comfortable home, to sixty, where everything is 
not comme U/cmt. We hear of servants and distressed 
needle-women ma,king brilliant marriages in Australia. 
So, Clara, who knows how long you may continue 
teaching? But let your choice fidl on a man of sound 
prínciples and religious feelings, if you mean to be 
happy.' 

Mra Morison had gone on, without looking at Clara's 
red eyes, or Susan's woe-begone face ; but, in present- 
ing to them both the idea that Clara would be appre- 
ciated in the far land they destined for her home, she 
had done something to comfort and encourage her. So 
Íhat when, affcer break&st, her unde asked her how she 



THS PABTIKG. 7 

felt on the snbject of emigration, she replied, in a firmer 
voice than she could have thooght poflsible the ómj 
before— 

'I have no objection to maka I will go to 
Anstralia.* 

Her uncle and aunt encouraged and indulged CLira 
during the short time she had still to remain with 
them. Every one was busied with her outfít, which 
was a very good one, though principally adapted for 
summer wearing; for Kngliah and Scotch people never 
reckon on Australia having a winter at alL All Mr. 
Morison's children gave Clara a little present to keep 
for their sakes. A great proportion of her friends gave 
her books, chiefly religious ones, with good wishes for 
her temporal, and especially her spiritual, prosperity, 
written in a bold hand on the fly-lcnif 

Susan wished Clara to take aU her books, as she her- 
self did not care so much about reading as Clara did, 
and, besides, she would always have access to her 
uncle's library, and the circulating libraries in town, 
whereas Clara might not be able to meet with books in 
that distant land. 

Clara accepted her sister^s generous ofíer, leaving 
her only a few keep-sakes. Everything that Susan had. 
she would have given to her sister; but, except in the 
matter of the books, Clara would not consent to such 
robbery. 

Captain and Mrs. Whitby were invited several times 
to Mr. Morison's^ that Clara might become acquainted 
with them. 

The host and hostess thought them most excellent 
and delightful people; but Clara 'could not admire 
them. They took too much notice of her, and made 
her feel uncomfortable. They talked of the colony of 
South Australia with raptures, which encouraged her 
at first; but when she discovered that this was their 
first voyage thither, she felt that their praises were no 
recommendation. Clara read every book that she 



8 CLABA MOBISON. 

could procure about the colony she was bound for ; but 
the accouiits were so contradictory, that she came to 
no satisfiuïtory conclusion. 

She felt nervous when she heard that a young ladj, 
named Miss Waterstone, was to share her cabin, and 
must, necessaríly, be her intimate companion during 
the long dreary voyage. Mrs. Whitby was to be a 
mother to Miss Waterstone Ukewise. Clara begged 
her uncle to invite this young lady to spend a few 
days with her before imdertaking the voyage together. 
And Miss Waterstone accepted the invitation for the 
last week but one of her remaining m Edinburgh. 

Miss Waterstone was apparently about twenty-five. 
Her charms were fíilly developed, her complexion 
fiorid, her voice loud, and her manner imposing. She 
took so much notice of Mra Morison's children, that 
this lady was fíilly convinced of Miss Waterstone's 
amiability; and, as she behaved with great deference 
to both her host and hostess — ^never allowing herself 
to contradict them in the slightest point — ^they thought 
her a young woman of good judgment, with very 
correctprinciples. Mr. Morison eamestly recommended 
his young niece to her care, and presented her with a 
handsome work-box, which raised her opinion of his 
virtues to an extravagant pitch. Miss Waterstone's final 
destínation was Melboume ; so that, as she sometimes 
regretfully said, she could do nothing for Clara at the 
end of the voyage; though, every now and then, she 
forgot it, and, with singular irrationality, proposed 
entering into partnership and commencing a school, in 
which she would take all the higher branches, while 
Olara would look after the house, and teach the junior 
members of the establishment. Mrs. Morison could 
not see that there was much to choose between Mel- 
boume and Adelaide, and thought it would be as well 
for Clara to change her destination, to secure so valu- 
able a Mend ; but her husband, not knowing anybody in 
the colony of Victoria, but an immarried sheep-fermer, 
who lived a hundred-and-fifby miles up the coimtry. 



THB PARTING. 9 

was obliged to give up the idea of the partnership, 
which would have been, indeed, an excellent arrange- 
ment for Clara. A few Mends gave her letters of in- 
troduction to their Australian acquaintances ; of which 
more hereafber. 

Miss Waterstone had no doubt of her success : she 
was thoroughly competent to undertake anything in 
the way of education, though, as yet, she had had no 
experience ; and she trusted to her ietters of introduc- 
tion bringing her at once into the best society in 
Melboume. Clara tried hard to get up her confidence 
as well, but could not. She saw a thousand difficulties 
from within and from without, which no one else 
seemed to see for her. And when her friends wished 
her a safe and pleasant voyage, as if all would go 
smoothly if she were once landed in Australia, she felt 
that worse might follow, and that dangers by sea were 
the least of the risks she ran. 



♦♦♦♦♦ 
♦♦♦ 

♦ 



á 



10 CLABA MOBISOy. 



CHAPTER n. 

WILL FBOBilBLY BE lOSSED, FOB IT OITLT DEBCBIBES 

A LOKG YOTAGE. 

1T was late in the autuiim of 1850, when Clara 
Morigon set sail from Leith in the good ship Mag- 
nificent. The bitter parting from Snsan was OYer. 
Miss Waterstone was drowned in tears on taking leaYe 
of all her friends ; and they both felt ill and miserable 
as the^ lay in their' respectÍYe berths, Clara aboYe and 
Miss Waterstone below, sobbing and ciying. Miss 
Waterstone left neither &ther nor mother, nor brother 
nor sister, behind her; and Clara thonght her situation 
comparatÍYcly euYÍable, particularlyas she was so hopefiil 
of Buccess in Yictoria, till Miss Waterstone suddenly 
burst out with — 

* Oh, how I enYy you, Miss Morison, if you do not 
leaYe your heart behind yoiL I haYe tried to keep up 
my spirits, but really I can stand it no longer. Oh, 
dear Robert ! I may ncYer see you again ; and I neYer 
knew how dear you were to me till now T 

* Oh !* thought Clara, * CYerybody has her romance : 
thÍB commonplace-looking woman may be as sensitÍYe 
aa I am, and haYe more to grieYe for.' 

* I fear, if you are heart-whole, Miss Morison, that 
you will Bcarcely be able to sympathize with me; for 
loYe seems a d^usion to all who haYe not felt it; but 
to thoae who haYe— — ' 

MÍBS Waterstone could say no more. 

* I oan gÍYe you my sympathy, though I haYe had no 
personal experience of the feeling,' said Clara. * My 
idea of the subject is, that loYe is a Yery uncomfortable 
tbing,' 

* Ah ! my dear ohild, that is not the term to apply to 
it It ia angiúah or ecstasy.' 

Here Mias Waterstone groaned and blew her noea 

* Bo foel fbr me, my dear; it would do me so much 
to talk about him.* 




THE VOYAGE. 11 

* Are you engaged, and have your fríends objected to 
your marriage V said Clara. * I suppose you expect him 
to foUow you iJo Australia V 

* I certainly do/ said Miss Waterstone, * for I know 
he loves me; in fact, it is just possible that he is on 
board this vessel ; but we have seen none of our fellow- 
passengers yet. He intends to go to Melboume, and 
that is the reason I wished to go there, and indeed, I 
wish you were to go there too. I am sure you will 
like Hobert, he is so handsome and agreeable, and 
genteel in his manners ; I never saw any one so much 
the gentleman, and such a lady's man he is too ; reads 
all the new novels ; he used to get them for me ; and 
goodness ! how angry my old aunts used to be when 
they found them in my room. They forbade him to 
enter the house again ; but I heard from a sure hand 
that he was going to Melboume, so I made up my mind 
to go before him, that my cross aunts might suspect 
nothing. And even if I do not meet him — but that 
thought is not to be borae ; — I must not dream of it. 
Still one can die in Australia as well as in Scotland, 
and it will not take much to kill me. But oh ! Miss 
Morison, I feel very imwell indeed How are you 
feeling nowï' 

Claja felt too ill to make any further inquiries as to 
Miss Waterstone's love, though she thought she was 
behaving very imprudently, and was still more impru- 
dent to confess all this to such a stranger. But the 
real miseries of sea-sickness, aggravated by tho want of 
attendance and comforts which cabin passengers could 
command, but which are utterly unattainable in the 
intermediate, banished every unkind thoueht from her 
mmd, and niLle her only pity her companion, who w<u> 
suffering more from sickness than herself. 

Mrs. Whitby came down to see them once, and 
brought something that the girls could eat and drink ; 
but her words of encouragement were more valuable 
than all, and she could not stay to give them many. 

Miss Waterstone eagerly asked the names of the 



12 CLABA MOKISOy. 

cábin paflsengers, but thon^ they were all gívai with 
preciflion, 8he seemed diasatisfíed with the answer. She 
next falteringly inquired if there were any inter- 
mediate paasengers on board beskles themselTes. 

' Only two young men, Mr. Benton and Mr. Macnab/ 
Baid Mrs. Whitby. * I suppose you will mess with 
them, for there are too few to make two messesT 

* Oh r said Clara, ' could not Miss Waterstone and I 
have a table to ourselves?' 

' I don't see how it could be done/ said Mrs. Whitby ; 
' besides, there is no steward for the intermediate, and 
as I fancy you will not like to go on deck to roast your 
ooffee or get your meals, you will find these yoimg 
gentlemen very usefiiL' 

* I would like to join them by all means/ said Miss 
Waterstone. * It would be so dull to be always by 
ourselves; don't you think so, Claraï' 

Olara thought that Miss Waterstone's willingness 
proceeded from her knowledge of one at least of the 
purties spoken of, and was surprised when, on Mrs. 
Whitby's leaving their cabin, Elizabeth Waterstone 
burst into tears afiresh, on account of Robert's notbeing 
on board. 

* Do you think it right to mess along with two young 
men who are utter strangers to usl' asked Clara. 

* If it had been wrong, would Mrs. Whitby have 
talked of it as a matter of ooursel* said Miss Water- 
fltone ; * besidee, they will be oompany for us. It would 
indeed be dull work this fbur montiis* voyage without 
a beau or twa We oan get up a flirtation; I will take 
the taU««t, and you will flirt with the shortest, and I 
dwre aay we shall have &mous fun.' 

* That would surely be wrong, Misa WatersUme; we 
oannot be too caatious in oor manners to young men, 
Íhn^wn as we are into such doee contact with thenu 
And Tvm an enga^^iNL woman too ! It is not ri^t to 
tnA^ Kith oib<»r peo|4e s íe«lÍBg&' 

*Tat! tatr saá Miss Watorstone» *you know 
of tiM iroild» or jou woald neviar put the 




THB VOYAOE. 13 

words feelings and flirtations together. Flirtation only 
means lively talk, and if you would condemn me to 
silence or to dull prosy conversation, I Hhall never get 
through this dreuy voyage at all, with such a weight 
on my mind as I have, too. But do yoa know I feel 
much better now. I would like to peep out and 
reconnoitre. Come with me, Clara; do, there*8 a 
dear/ 

So Clara, forgetting that her hair was in disorder and 
her dress crushed and tumbled out of all shape, good- 
naturedly accompanied Miss Waterstone into what was 
to be their dining-room and common sitting-room. 
Clara was pleased to see that they were divided from 
the young gentlemen by a iong, narrow deal table, with 
ridges like those on the deaks of church pews, to pre- 
vent plates from slipping ofL The young gentlemen 
were on deck, so that the girls could look about them. 
Ships were not so crowded with passengers then as they 
are now, and the other four cabins of the intermediate 
were untenanted by any living occupant, but were full 
of goods, chiefly stores for the cabin ; for the steward 
and the steward's boy were continually scrambling up 
and down the hatchway in search of something in them. 
At the further end of the apartment was a small room, 
that seemed to run into the mainmast, which was the 
dormitory of the flrst and second mate. The sound of 
children crying, and people groaning and squabbling, 
was easily heard through the thin partition which sepa- 
rated the intermediate from that part of the steerage 
allotted to the married folks and their £unilie& They 
heard eight bells strike, and presently saw their two 
fellow-passengers descend the ladder, one bearing a 
small pitcher of pease-soup, and the other a piece of 
salt pork on a tin plate. They started on seeiog the 
two girls, but recovering themselves, begged that they 
would share their repast, as their allotments were put 
together. 

Miss Waterstone begged to be introduced, and having 
aaoertained that Mr. Benton was deoidedly the tallest 



14 CLABA HOEISON. 

and best-lookiiig, while Mr. Macnab was short and 
surly, with a dreadfdl squint, tumed to Clara with a 
jaeaning smile, and saLd, — 

* Miss Morison and I, who I beg to inform you am 
Miss Waterstone, of Duke-street, Edinburgh, are 
scarcely in dinner costume, but you must excuse us 
for to-day, gentlemen. We will sit down with you for 
society, though I think neither of us can eat anything ; 
and it does not look very tempting either.' 

Tin plates, and knives and forks, were with some 
difficulty procured, and the two young ladies got a 
portion of the mess, but Clara oould eat nothing. Miss 
Waterstone ate a little from complaisance, and endea- 
voured to make herself agreeable by the suavity of her 
manners. Afber dinner, Clara asked how the dishes 
were to be washed. Mr. Renton offered to do it, and 
Miss Waterstone was about to accept the offer, when 
Clara interfered, by saying — 

^lf we are spared the trouble and annoyance of 
going on deck to get our provisions by these gentle- 
men, it is the least we can do for them to keep things 
dean and tidy down starrs. If they would be so kind 
as to bring us some hot water, we will wash the dishes, 
and the table too, for it needs it sadly.' 

Miss Waterstone would have demurred, but Clara 
for once insisted on having her own way, and carried 
the point. Hot salt water was brought, affcer which 
the gentlemen went again on deck. 

* Croing out on speculation, I suppose,' said Ilenton. 
* Can't hook any one at home, and trying it on in the 
•colonies. What an extensive affair the eldest one is, 
but the little one knows what she is about too. Ha ! 
hal What fun we'll get out of them both, Macnab ! I 
wish I had not been in such dishabille, but on board 
ship one can't be always spruce, particularly through 
that confounded sea-sickness. And I flatter myself 
that I have the air of a gentleman^ even in the ^b- 
biest doihefi.* 

^WhooareB aboat a bod/s air?' said Macnab^ with a 



THE VOYAGIU 15 

sapercilious sneer; 'it is what a body has that takes 
the women's fency. I dare say that they would like 
to be saved all trouble in catching a husband on land, 
by £shrng a little at sea; but they are no bait for meý 
Tm thinking.' 

In the meantime the young ladies had retired to 
their cabin, and Miss Waterstone was very anxious to 
know Clara's fírst impressions of the beaux they had 
got. She herself saw some resemblance between 
[Renton and Robert; there was the same look about 
their eyes, and their manners were very similar. 

* You see that I have got the best of the two,' said 
she, smiling. * Macnab is a perfect fright, and of all 
things in the world I abhor a squint. Oh, how I pity 
you, Clara ! you cannot possibly flirt with such a crea- 
ture. His west-country drawl is really detestable, and 
yet he seems to grudge his words as if they were 
music' 

* If I were to pass an opinion at all on the subject,' 
said Clara, * on such slight groimds as I have for judg- 
ing, I would say that I would rather go through this 
voyage with Mr. Macnab than with the other. He 
may be rude and surly, but Mr. Kenton strikes me as 
beiug familiar, and inclined to be impudent.' 

^Only kind and Mendly,' said Miss Waterstone, 
eagerly ; * you cannot expect the stiffiiess and ceremony 
which you find in Edinburgh on board ship. There 
is an absence of all restraint here.' 

* Ah ! Miss Waterstone, I have read and heard that 
where there is no artificial constraint, yoimg ladies 
should put a great deal of restraint upon themselves. 
For instance, when no one sees what you do, you should 
be the more careful to do nothing imprudent. I have 
often felt myself frozen up in a tête-ártête with a gen- 
tleman whom I treated with cordiality when I met 
him in company.' 

^ Well, Miss Morison, I don't know what to make of 
you at all. A tête-á-tête is the most delightful thing in 
the world, but those auuts o£ miae wo\ÍId TXfó^et ^^ 



16 CLABA MOSISON. 

me anj opportiinity for one, and I used to lay mj 
plans beforehand, in order to manage an interview.' 

Olara now said tliat she wonld like to read a little, 
and took up a book into her berth with her. Miss 
Waterstone got out some letters from her dressing-case, 
and began to read them, sighing and groaning at inter- 
Tals. Suddenly thej were in total daxkness, and Miss 
Waterstone rose in real alarm. 

' Clara, we are going to have a dreadfál storm,' said 
she ; ' I never saw anything so sudden in my life. Oh 
dear ! we shall all be drowned ! I must see what it is.* 

And throwing down her letters with precipitation, 
she rushed out at the cabin-door, but all was as light 
in the dining-room as before; and afber consulting with 
Clara, they came to the conclusion that something 
must have been put on the bull's-eye that served them 
for a window, 

* Probably the plates for the cabin dinner,' said Clara, 
* for I believe the pantry is just above us, írom the 
noises I hear.' 

Miss Waterstone was very indignant, and wanted to 
go on deck to remonstrate, but Clara intreated her to 
remain below, and not show herself in such dishabille. 

* The plates cannot remain there long,' said she, * and 
we can surely stay contentedly in darkness for half an 
hour. I cannot think of thrusting ourselves forward, 
during the bustle of the cabin dinner, to make com- 
plaints.' 

* Whenever the gentlemen come down ril tell them 
of it,' said Miss Waterstone, ^and send them up to 
rectify it. I don't see what right the cabin dinner has 
to deprive us of the light of day; it is unjustifíable. 
In the meantime let us open the door and let in the 
borrowed light from the saloon, as they call it, into our 
sfcate-room' 

Clara consented to the door's being lefb slightly ajar, 
getting up herself, and smoothing her hair and arranging 
her dress as well as the bad light permitted her ; but 
Mifls Waterstone still remained straining her eyes over 



THE VOYAGE. 17 

her letters, tUl aroused by the footstep» of Renton and 
Macnab descending the liatchwuy. 

* Do go and speak to theiu, Chira ; I am nf »t fit to Ikj 
Been. Bid them remoiiHtrute with the steward, aiid 
get the plates taken away — my eye« ache dreadfuUy for 
want of light. Quick, Ckra, before they go into their 
cabin.' 

Timidly, Clara went out, and explaiiie<l their aniioy- 
ance. Mr. Renton said he waj8 enclianted to liave an 
opportunity to oblige the Lulies — there wíi» iKithing he 
would not do to pleiise the fair; aiid hurrie<l oíf'. Mr. 
Macnab gave a sardonic siiiile, and retreated into his 
cabin. The steward was hurried and cross, and made 
great objections to lifbing the phites; the buirs-eye was 
just at his pantry-door, and it was very inconvenient 
to put them anywhere else ; but Mr. Renton talked so 
much and so loudly alx)ut the depi'ivation and annoy- 
ance to the yomig ladies, that he attracted several of 
the cabin-passengei*s round the disputants. They gave 
decision in favour of the ladies, but could not help 
laughing at the vulgar importance of their chainpion. 
The steward was oíFended at his manner, aiid d(;ter- 
mined to set the plates on tlie bull's-eye every díiy, to 
give Renton the trouble of coming up and battling for 
daylight for the ladies. 

Hot and triumphant, he came down stairs; Clara 
went out to thank him, while Miss Watcrstone mur- 
mured her gratitude from the further end of her cabin. 

We need not go into detail with the monotonous life 
on board a passenger ship during so long a voyage. To 
fancy that a captain's lady can tako a motherly charge 
of any mtermediate passenger is a splendid absurtlity, 
which nobody that had been on board a week could bo- 
lieve for a moment. Mrs. Whitby did more than could 
be expected from her ; she came to see the girls once 
a-week, and asked after their health. She found Miss 
Waterstone on very good terms with her messmates, 
ordering Mr. Renton about in the most unscinipulous 
manner, but always joining the reluctant Clara in evory 

VOL. I. 



18 CLARA MORISON. 

request she mada When they went on deck, they had 
no proper place allotted to them, and not being per- 
mitted to go afb with the cabin passengers, sat on a 
bench together, amongst the steerage passengers. If Miss 
Waterstone's voice had not been so loud, and her flirta- 
tions with Mr. Renton so undisguised; if she had put 
as much restraint upon herself as she had done in her 
visit to Clara's uncle, Mrs. Whitby, who was not ill- 
natured, would have pressed Mrs. Surford and Mrs. 
Hastie, the principal ladies in the cuddy, to have in- 
vited the girls to the poopj and really felt for Clara, 
who looked uncomfortable and unhappy. But to in- 
vite Clara without Miss Waterstone was impossiblej 
Benton and Macnab would have followed them, and 
the exclusive society of the after-cabin would never to- 
lerate such a whol^ale invasion of their privileges. 

How Clara longed for the voyage to be over ! — ^how 
she wiahed that she had been rather sent out alone, 
than with a companion who compromised her so fatally, 
yet so good-humouredly ! Her heart sank within her 
when she remembered her uncle's assurances that Mra 
Whitby would be a mother to her, and that she was 
sure to make valuable Mends on board; and a dread 
came over her that his golden dreams about South 
Australia might prove as groundless. 

Miss Waterstone was continually taking notice of 
the children, and talking to the servants of the ladies 
in the cuddy, which was considered presumptuous and 
impertinent by those ladies; and Clara's backwardness 
and timidity were also misconstrued. Even what Mrs. 
Whitby told in the cabin about Miss Morison's good 
connexions — ^her excellent uncle, his handsome house, 
elegant fumiture, and numerous servants — ^went against 
his niece. If she really was a good, amiable girl, why 
did a man of Mr. Morison's means and standing send 
her out alone to such a distance ï 

Mr. Macnab got more endurable towards the end of 
the voyage. Miss Waterstone thought he was becom- 
ing melted. And as for Mr. Renton^ he was delightfdL 



THB VOYAOE. 19 

Clara would oflen liave remained alone in her cabin, 
and allowed Miss Waterstone to go on deck without 
her ; but she felt that her companion needed protection, 
though she did not wish it. How oflen Clara wished 
for solituda How weary she was of Miss Waterstone's 
long digressive descriptions of Robert and liis charms ; 
and of all the other delightful young men who either 
had admired her, or ought to have done so. How sick 
of all her companion^s cross-questionings as to the state 
of her own heart, and whether she had ever had an 
offer, and if there were many beaux visiting at her 
father's house; or if her sister was never jealous of 
her superior charms. In vain Clara again aiid again 
answered in the negative to all these questions. The 
undaimted Miss Waterstone retumed to the charge, and 
only felt hurt at Clara^s closeness; it seemed such a 
bad retum for all her confidence. 

Then Miss Waterstone was always dreaming that 
Mr. Macnab had stolen her hundred sovereigns out of 
her dressing-case, and getting up at any hour in the 
night in great alarm, striking a Hght, and counting 
them all over for security. She once insisted on Clara's 
getting up too, and seeing that her money was safe. 
Poor Clara's ten sovereigns were not so hard to count. 
Miss Waterstone was of opinion that her imcle should 
have given her, at least, fiffcy. 

* You should always have enough to take you home 
again, if you do not succeed, or do not keep your health 
in a strange country,* said she ; * and it is no wonder 
that I am so anxious about mine. If Robert does not 
come to Melboume, I may feel too broken-spirited to 
take a situation, and wiU need all I have got. But it 
really is the most singular thing that I should dream 
this so offcen, and always of Mr. Macnab. I never 
dream of Mr. Renton taking it, or of Mr. Melvin or Mr. 
Mac£e, the mates, doing such a thing, and I am sure 
they aíl need it more than Mr. Macnab, who is very 
weU off indeed. It is really wonderful that I should 
always jQz on him as the thie£ He looks very avari- 

2 



20 CLAliA IIOEISON. 

cious certainly, and has a greedy look about the eyes. 
We had better both beware of him, for the thiiig is 
quite outside of the cominon.' 

But in the moming her suspicions vaiiished, and she 
was as gracious to Macnab as ever, and that was as 
gracious as he woidd let her be. Miss Waterstone 
was very affable and polite to the mates, who lived in 
the maimnast-cabin, and got them to procure her some 
comforts and luxuries, which, they said, they stole for 
her; so, as she said, it would have been more to be 
expected that she shoidd dream of their being the 
thieves. 

But the voyage was got through at last, and, after 
seeing a very unpromising-looking island, about which 
Miss Waterstone fell into raptures, and misquoted 
some sentimental poetry about yon green isle, and 
which, they were informed, was called Kangaroo 
Island, they took a pilot on board, and slowly went up 
the creek till they got into Port Adelaide. Miss 
Waterstone wanted to go on shore at once ; Mr. E^nton 
took the opportunity of the first boat that came to 
leave the ship; but Mr. Macnab had a considerable 
quantity of goods on board, and would not land till he 
saw them safe. 

Clara cogitated within herself how she should appear 
before Mr. Campbell. She wished to prevail upon 
Mrs. Whitby to accompany her; but she was surpnsed 
to see that lady go on shore along with Mrs. Hastie 
and her family, merely remarking to her, that she had 
better go to town on the morrow, and see Mr. Camp- 
bell at his place of business in Hindley-street. Mrs. 
Whitby bade Clara good-by for the present, saying that 
Bhe was going with Mrs. Hastie to a friend's house, 
flome miles out of town, and leffc Clara in great per- 
plexity. MissWaterstonevolimteeredtogotoAdelaide 
with ner; and 01ar% hoping that she would be as 
prudjBut and quiet on ahore as ahe had seemed to be at 
hfít imole*B iMfore ahe aailed, aooepted of her offer, and 
thaiikai lnr Jbr Ji«r Hnifanwi, Ghia's boxes were got 



THB VOYAGE. 21 

out, and she packed up all her loose property, with the 
exception of a book, and a few nick-nacka, which Mias 
Waterstone had admired, and which she now begged 
her to keep for her sake. 

Grood-humoured Miss Waterstone waa much obliged. 
She regretted parting with her dear Clara, hoped they 
might meet again, and put the prosents in her box. 
Miss Waterstone did not dream this night about the 
loss of her money; but though undisturbeíl, Clara was 
too much excited to sleep. The next day she was to be 
thrown upon the world in a strange land All her de- 
ficiencies stared her in the face. She saw Mr. Campbell 
looking sternly at her, and asking what right she had 
to any coimtenance or protection from him. She saw 
Mrs. Campbell eyeing her from head to foot, and ex- 
pressing by looks, if not by words, her annoyance at 
being burdened with such a helpless creature. She 
saw Renton shaking hands with her in an ofFensively 
familiar way before Mr. Campbell's face. She heard 
Miss Waterstone's loud vulgar remarks. She fancied 
that Mr. Campbell must have seen the cabin passengers 
of the Magnificent, and heard from them what sort of 
people the intermediates were. And tossing to and fro 
in her narrow berth, she sobbed aloud at the humilia- 
tion of her position. 



n 



♦♦♦♦♦ 



♦ 



22 CLABA IIOEISON. 



CHAPTEE III. 

FIRST IMPBESSIONS OF ADELAIDE. 

TT was a liot day, rather towards tlie end of an 
-^ Australian summer, when Clara and Miss Water- 
stone went on shore, and after a little difficnlty about 
Clara's luggage, whicli, after some hesitation, she 
directed the draymen to take to Mr. Campbell's ware- 
house, they got into a port cart, and drove up the 
miserably dusty road which leads firom the port to the 
town. Everything looked as disconsolate as Clara*s 
own thoughts. The grass was scanty, and so bumt up, 
that one wondered if it ever could have been green ; 
there wa^ not a flower to be seen ; the sun was scorch- 
ingly hot ; the wind, direct from the north, blew as if 
out of a fumace ; the cart jolted, as if it would shake 
her to pieces, while the passengers abused the weather, 
and prayed for a railroad. Miss Waterstone's round 
&ce was streaming with perspiration ; Clara's pocket- 
handkerchief became nearly black in her vain en- 
deavours to keep hers clean; and the pale muslin dress 
and white chemisette and sleeves, which she had put on 
as suitable for the weather, were sadly crushed and 
soiled. The sight of green gardens in North Adelaide 
refreshed her eyes; and as the cart drove into town, her 
curiosity and interest in what she saw for a few minutes 
drove away her painfíil sensations. The streets, though 
strai^t^ were most irr^ularly built upon ; houses of 
brick, wood, earth, and stone, seemed to be thrown to- 
getber witbcmt any plan whatever, and looked too in- 
congmotw even to be picturesqua The river was un- 
worthy of the name; she had never seen a bum in 
Sootland so mialL And when one of the gentlemen in 
ihe cart told her that on this river Torrens, the in- 
liabílnilt of Ad ri ai d e were almost wholly dep^dent 
ftr watff^ tbe ftwed ihat there mnst be dreadfol 
H^ ttMik flhe wandaned at the oomplaoent 



ABBIYAL AT ADELAIDE. 2S 

tone in which this gentleman talked of the coloiiy, 
though he confessed that it was oflen as hot and as 
dusty as now ; and that in winter the streets and roads 
were dreadfully bad — almost impassable. 

Miss Waterstone groaned audibly, from the effects 
of heat and exhaustion; and pitied Clara, who had 
been condemned to live in such a fíery fiimace as 
Adelaide seemed to be. But the cart stopped, and 
with it her lamentations ; and the driver directed them 
to a large building^ a few doors off, which he said was 
Campbell's store. 

Clara would ÍBÁn have made a more creditable 
appearance than she now could, and was half inclined 
to ask the gentleman who had spoken to her before, if 
he knew of any respectable boarding house where she 
might rest for half an hour, but did not like to take 
the liberty. Miss Waterstone eagerly forced her on, 
being so anxious to get into the shade, that she quite 
overlooked the appearance they must both make— dusty, 
and bumt quite red with the sun. 

The warehouse door was open, and the girls looked in. 

* Is Mr. Campbell iaV said Miss Waterstone, taking 
the lead from her anxious companion ; * we have par- 
ticular business with him.' 

*A consignment,* muttered the clerk; 'rather a 
heavy article ;' but he said aloud, * Mr. Campbell has 
just gone out, but you will take a seat in his private 
room till he retums. He cannot be ten minutes.* 

* Oh 1 most gladly will we take a seat out of the 
sun,' said Miss Waterstone. * The heat is really beyond 
everything. Is it always like this in Adelaide? Oh, 
.me! I feel melting away altogether.' 

And MÍ8s Waterstone sat down in Mr. Campbell's 
own particular chair, loosened her bonnet, wiped her 
&ce, unclasped her shawl, and spread out her clothes 
as much as she could, that they might come down to 
in-doors temperature. 

* Oh 1 Clara,' said she, * this is refreshing. I feel as 
if I were down a well, and yet the thermometer says 



24 CLAJtA MORISON. 

89 degrees. What it can be outside I cannot fancy ; 
sometliing very near the boiling-point, I dare say.' 

Here Miss Waterstone laughed, and tumed over the 
leaves of some newspapers that lay on the table. 

* Everything seems in order here ; it does not look 
so unlike Edinburgh in-doors as out. Maps pasted up 
and letters filed with the greatest propriety,' continued 
Miss Waterstone. ' I am sure Mr. Campbell must be 
an excellent man of business. I see our names are in 
this paper as having come by the ' Magnificent,' and I 
dare say Mr. Campbell is expecting us, or at least you, 
for I faiicy he knows nothing of the Waterstones. Well, 
I hope you will get on well with him. You heard how 
much he was respected from those gentlemen in the 
cart, — quite at the top of the tree in the colony. I 
don't see why he should not engage you himself, even 
if he has no family, which you are not sure of ; I dare 
say his wife would be the better of such a companion 
as you would make ; and you would see such lots of 
folk in a house like his. I must say you are in luck, 
Clara;' forgetting how much she had pitied her ten 
minutes before. 

In vain Clara tried to collect herself for the im- 
portant meeting, — ^in vain she tried to frame an initi- 
atory speech; tears started to her eyes, her heart beat 
wildly, and her tongue clove to the roof of her moutL 
Miss Waterstone found out that she, too, was very 
thirsty, and was just going to rise to request a glass of 
water, when the door opened, and Mr. Campbell 
entered. 

He seemed to be about the same age as Mr. Morison. 
He was dressed in white from head to foot, and though 
rather stout, had a good presence, Miss Waterstone 
thought. EÍis complexion was fair, but on this hot 
day his face was red all over ; he looked good-natured, 
but not very firm ; and from his voice twelve years' 
residence in South Australia had not taken the accent 
so dear to Clara's heart. 

Miss Waterstone snatched from Clara's passive hand 



ARBIVAL AT ADELAIDE. 25 

the letter of her nncle, aiul presented it with an air of 
Bome importance to Mr. CaniplK»!!. Clani trenibled as 
he opened it, and read to hiiuíiclf a8 follows : — 

'Deab Cahpbell, — 

* After 80 long a silence on my part, I fear 
that you wiU consider mo aa trespaHsing on your well- 
known good-nature in tho request I am about to make 
to you. 

* My poor brother William, after a tedious illness, 
died a few months ago, leaving liis affairs in a sad state. 
He would specidate beyond his means, and the result 
has been ruinous. He left liis two girls to be provided 
for by me, and of course I have done all in my power 
for them. The eldest and plainest girl I have given a 
home to, but I cannot afford to injure my owii family 
so much as the additional burden of the younger would 
do; and as she is a thoroughly amiable, good, and 
pretty girl, I think she may by your good ofíices make 
her way well in a colony like yours. 

* My brother made a great pet of Clara, and did not 
force her on so much with her education as he might 
have done ; he selfishly trained her to minister to his 
own private comfort, instead of looking forward to hor 
ultimate prospects in life. She used to read aloud to 
him, copy letters and accoimts, play whist and back- 
gammon, and I am aware that she has very good abili- 
ties. She has had a thorough English education, is a 
very fiiir French scholar, and a first-rate arithmetician ; 
but I regret to say that she is quite ignorant of musio 
and drawing. I have found it impossible to get a 
situation for her in this country, but I feel convinced 
that she would be a treasure in any family who pre- 
ferred solid acquirements to superficial accompíish- 
ments. 

* I hope, dear Campbell, that for auld lang syne you 
will look to her a little, and that your kind-hearted 
wife wiU give her a home tiU she gets a situation. 

* If it is impossible to get anything suitable for her, 



26 CLABA MOSISON. 

you may draw on me for as much money as will take 
her back to Scotland, thongli that is an extremity I 
can scarcely imagine Clara to be reduced to in your 
flourishing community. 

*We hear great things of your mines in South 
Australia, and all your friends in Edinburgh expect 
you to come home as rich as a nabob some day soon. 
It is nearly twelve years now since we parted, and I 
cannot say that I have ever met any man that I re- 
spected or liked so much as you all that time. Mrs. 
Morison and I offcen talk of the pleasant evenings we 
used to spend with you in the Crescent. My femily 
now amounts to seven, — ^three girls and four boys, and 
of course they are the finest children that ever existed. 
They are all in great grief about parting with their 
cousin Clara, and all their mamma can say to them 
about its being for Clara*s own good does not quite dry 
their tears. 

* I hope Mrs. CampbelFs motherly heart will warm to 
the orphan thrown upon her tender charity in a strange 
land. Mra Morison would have written to her, but all 
this excitement has been too much for her nerves, and 
she feels quite inadequate to the task. She joins me 
in kindest regards to Mrs. Campbell and yourself, and 
in the hope that you will soon revisit Auld Beekie, 

' Believe me yours sincerely, 

'James Mobison.' 

After readÍQg the letter, Mr. Campbell looked dread- 
fully puzzled. Which was the lady, and what was he 
to do with her 1 Miss Waterstone certainly had given 
him the letter, but she did not look at all like the 
family, and he hoped that she was not the one he was 
to take care of ; besides, she seemed confident and com- 
fortable, and though in some instances new comers had 
presented letters of introduction to hÍTn with consider- 
able coobiess, Miss Waterstone's self-possession was 
beyond anything he had yet seen ; and when she began 
to speak, and complained of the cíust and the heat with 



AERIVAL AT ADELAIDE. 27 

loud volubility, while Clara stood trembling in tbe back- 
ground, his alarm as to his coiuiignment found veut in 
words, and he exclaimed, ' Which lady ïa Míhh MorÍHonf 

^ Oh 1 not me,* said Miss Waterstoue, with a hearty 
laugh ; * only to think of me being Bup]M)8ed to be the 
principel party here ! I am Miss Waterstone, a fellow- 
passenger of Clara's, and I accom{)anied her because Hhe 
did not like to come by herself ; and if it had not been 
for this dreadful heat and al)ominable dust, I would 
have liked it very much; but it is delightful here, just 
like a well. Can your thermometer be right, Mr. 
Campbell? Is it really so hot here as 89 degrees] We 
never suffered so much from heat, even when crossing 
the Line, as we have done to-day ; but the sea breeze 
is preferable to the land breeze. I should fancy that 
the soil here could grow nothing, for it seems to spend 
' most of its time in the air,' as the old song says. Eh, 
Mr. Campbelir 

Perhaps Miss Waterstone thought that she was 
giving Clara time to come to hersélf wldle she was 
gpeaking, but it had quite the contrary effect. 

*I hope, Mr. Campbell, — ^that is, I wish, — I am 
sorry. I will do anything. Will Mrs. Campbell ^" 

Here she came to a full stop, and felt that she had 
said nothing, and yet too much. 

* I should have thought,' said Mr. Campbell, gravely, 
* that my old friend Morison might have heard of my 
sad bereavement before you set sail ; but I regret to be 
obliged to tell you that I cannot offer you Mrs. Camp- 
bell's protection, which I know she would have gladly 
given you. She is no more !* 

Clara grieved for the bereaved husband ; she grieved, 
too, for herself, and burst into tears. Mr. Campbell 
was rather pleased with her sensibility, for he over- 
looked the selfish part of her sorrow. 

* Ah, Miss Morison, it makes a fearful blank, — ^but 
I can offer you the protection of my house, if you 
choose to accept of it ; that is, if you have no other 
Mend^* said Mr. Campbell, hesitatingly. 



28 CLAEA MORISON. 

Miss Waterstone signed to Clara to take advantage 
of this offer, but Clara monmfiilly shook her head, and 
took from her bag three other letters of introduction, 
which her friends had given her on her departure. 

'Oh, my poor child,' said Mr. Campbell, kindly, 
* these are quite valueless. One of the parties addressed, 
to my certam knowledge, lives at Hobarton, another in 
Sydneyj so much for Edinburgh folks' knowledge of 
Australian geography.' 

^But the thirdf said Clara, eagerly, ^surely I may 
try what it can do?' 

*I do not know who wrote this letter,' said Mr. 
Campbell, * but if any one had given a letter of intro- 
duction to any girl I took any interest in, with such 
an address, I should look on it as an insult. He bears 
a bad character, and you must not know him.' 

* The letter is from his aimt,' said Clara ; * I under- 
stood that he was married, and that his wife would be 
kind to me ; but take it, destroy it, or let me tear it in 
pieces.' So saying, she tore the letter into shreds, and 
exhausted and heartsick, sat down to hear what advice 
Mr. Campbell had to give her. 

* If,' said he, ' you really have no fiiends here, I can 
give you a home. I have room enough in my place 
out of town.* 

Visions of the whist and backgammon, and of all the 
little attentions Clara might pay him, floated through 
his mind ; and bumt, and dusty, and tearfiil as Clara 
was, there was no disguising that she was a bonnie 
lassie ; and he felt inclined to press her to become an 
inmate of his very dull, lonely house, but he resisted 
the temptation. 

He felt relieved when Clara gratefully but decidedly 
declined his offered hospitality, and begged him to re- 
commend her to a respectable house where she might 
Btay till she foimd employment. He delicately in- 
quired into the state of her finances, and hoped she 
might be able to make her money hold out tUl then. 
GSaza aamired him that she would do her best with her 



ABEIYAL AT ADELAIDE. 29 

ten poiinds, or rather, what was left of it, for she had 
been obliged to break in upon it for the chiy'H exjKíiiHCH; 
and, turuing anxiously to Mr. Camf)boll, said Khe would 
go to the chea|)est re8]>ectable hoiLse he could |M)int 
out ; she did not mind about discomfort^ but the place 
must be res])ectable. 

Mr. Campbell good-naturedly put on his liat, and 
offered to accom]>any Míhh Morison in lier Hc^iirch for 
lodgings. He told Clara that Mrs. Handy's houHe was 
thought very well conducted; that Mr. Handy had 
gone to Califomia on a gold-hunting exi>edition, and 
though he had been gone more tlian a year, did not 
speak of coming back Hoon; but that, in his abnence, 
the boarding-house was very cre<litíibly managed by 
Mrs. Handy. It would not cost Clara more than 
eighteen shillings a-week to live at Handy s. There 
were often no ladies there ; but she ought to keep by 
her hostess as much as |)ossible. 

' I will make inquiries amongst all my lady ao- 
quaintances,' said Mr. Campbell, 'and do all in my 
power to get a situation for you; but, Miss Morison, 
you must form no extravagant idea of the remuneration 
of governesses here. They can get no more tlian they 
do at home, and often not so mucL They are fre- 
quently called upon to assist in hoasehold work, and 
generaily are made to act as nursemaids. The only 
point in which their situation is better than in Scot- 
land is, that their term of service is not generally so 
long. There is more chance of promotion ; but girls 
should be cautious in tliat matter, too ; for I have seen 
some govemesses make wretched marriages, from not 
knowing the man's character, and having no one to 
find out what he was for them.' 

Clara thanked Mr. Cam})bell for all his advice and 
kind intentions ; agreed that she would try to be use- 
ful, and would not object to a small salary. He laughed 
when she told him tliat she knew a little Latin, and 
eould write shorthand, and thought her education had 
been singularly misdirected; but by this time they had 



80 CLABA MORISON. 

reaclied Mrs. Handy's door; and Miss Waterstone, 
who was feint with heat and feitigue, declared that she 
would stop there a week, while the vessel was in 
harbonr, and keep Clara company till she had got over 
the novelty of such a strange life. Mr. Campbell had 
taken as great a dislike to Miss Waterstone as it was 
in his natnre to feel ; for she was not overawed by his 
manner, and did not seem to know her position. He 
did not like this woman to stick so close to his protêgée, 
but he said nothing. He recommended Miss Morison 
to Mrs. Handy's particular care, and left her, with a 
comfortable consciousness oii his part, that he had done 
all he could, and more than could have been expected 
feom him. 

' I wonder,' thought he, as he retraced his steps to 
his place of business, ' if James Morison had heard of 
my wife's death, and sent out this pretty niece to be 
Mrs. Campbell number two. It looks very queer, for 
I sent him the paper, and there has been time in twelve 
months to fit out the young lady and despatch her. I 
think she knows nothmg of the matter, however ; but, 
upon my word, it is the boldest stroke ever James 
made. K not to be my wife, what should make him 
send the poor thing here? Everybody that can do 
nothing at home is sent out as quite good enough for 
the colonies, and generally with such a flaming high 
character, that we require to be cautious. I have had 
two clerks recommended to me by Mends at home, as 
trustworthy and honest, who have robbed me right and 
left; and three others, who habitually got drunk, and 
neglected and mismanaged my business, who, I was in- 
formed, would prove treasures. I like to see a man 
eam a colonial character before I trust him fer, and a 
woman too. And this girl may tum out like the rest 
of them, though she has a sweet voice, and a modest, 
timid inanner.' 



THK BOARDINO-HOUSE. 31 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE BOABDINO-HOUSE. 

MRS. HANDY regrette<l that she had not two rooms 
vacant, but she hoped that the two Imlies woiild 
not object to occupying the Hamo room. Mísh Water- 
stone said she would prefer thÍR amuigemont, and 
Clara, though longing to be alone, if but for half an 
hour, could make no objectioiu The bed-room they 
were shown into was somewhat hirger than their cabin 
on shipboard; and though it was scantily fumished, it 
looked clean and tidy. Mrs. Ilandy liaving j^rocured 
them a tolerable 8upj)ly of cold water, wliich, Hhe Haid, 
would make them half forget how hot it was, left Miss 
Waterstone and Ciara to arrange their toilet. 

* Oh, Clara ! what shall we do V said Miss Water- 
stone. * My portmanteau is in Mr. Campbeirs store, 
and so are all your things. I hope some one will 
think of sending them, for we can't go in to dinner 
as we áre.' 

But there was no help for it, as neither Clara's 
boxes nor Miss Waterstone'B portmanteau nuule their 
appearance till the following day. Mrs. Handy 
obligingly brought their dinner into their bed-room ; 
but hoped that they would come into tea. 

*I told the gentlemen,* said she, *that I had two 
young ladies in the house, and they were like to pull 
me to pieces because I did not bring you in to dinner. 
We have tea a little afber seven, and as it wiU then be 
candlelight, you need not mind about your dresses.* 

So at a quarter past seven, the young ladies emerged 
from their apartment, and were introduced by Mrs. 
Handy to so many new names, that they forgot them 
all immediately. They sat down on each side of Mrs. 
Handy, and felt that they were gazed on with con- 
siderable curiosity by some eight or ten pairs of eyes. 
There were two clerks in situations, two on the look- 



82 CLAEA MORISON. 

out for a clerkship, a middle-aged man who did some- 
thing in the commission way, a German gentleman 
with a large moustache, two assistants in shops, who 
seemed to be looked down on by the others ; the over- 
seer of a sheep-farmer in the north, who had come into 
town to sell sheep and get stores for the stations; and 
a new comer, who, without being a clerk or accoimtant, 
or, in feict, brought up to any business at all, had come 
out to South Australia, in the hope that something 
would tum up for him there. He was very simple, 
and seemed to be the general butt. 

Miss Waterstone felt quite happy when she saw so 
many people who seemed disposed to be agreeable ; she 
saw with half an eye the great joke of the estab- 
lishment was to make Mr. Blinker (the butt) show off, 
pnd she felt sure that she should not want for attention 
where the gentlemen formed so overwhelming a 
majority. Close beside her was the country overseer, 
Mr. Humberstone, not ill-looking, rather well-dressed, 
disposed to be complimentary, and labouring under the 
strange delusion that he was very bashftd, and wanted 
a great deal of encouragement. 

Miss Waterstone had received a piece of bread and 
butter from his hands with a gracious smile, and had 
laughed at an attempted witticism on the similarity of 
their names, which had been received with general 
applause. Mrs. Handy had just asked her if her tea 
was sweet enough, when the door opened, and a gentle- 
man with spurs and large straw hat on, and looking hot, 
dusty, and tired, entered the well-filled parlour. 

^Well, Mr. Reginald,' said Mrs. Bíandy, with the 
accent of surprise. 

The new comer quietly ascertained that he could be 
accommodated with the sofei for a bed; and having 
vanished for a few minutes to brush away the marks 
of his joumey, soon reappeared, brought forward a 
chair, and sat down next to Clara, displacing the sur- 
prised Mr. Haussen, the Crerman, who speaking English 
jrvj íiape^ifyatííjj aiiá oulj by his gestures expressing 




THE BOARDINO-HOUSE. 33 

politenees, had struck Clara as beiiig by &r the most 
gentlemanly of the i^arty. 

* Ah r said Mrs. Haiidy, * Mr. Reginahl knowH wliat 
he is about when he getH ncíir the Luliea Let me in- 
troduce you. Mius Waterstone, Miss MorÍHon, just 
landed to-day from the Magnilicent; Mr. Reginald, 
from the NortL I think you know Mr. Cami^ljell, 
Mr. Beginald, a friend of Miss Moriaon's, — a relation, 
I believe?' 

* No relation,* murmured Clara» 

* I felt quite pleaned,' said Mrs. Handy, ' at the high 
terms Mr. Campbell used to-day about tliis CHtablish- 
mént. He said I was the only person in town he could 
trust ladies witL' 

* Do give me a cup of tea, Mrs. Handy,' interposed 
Mr. Reginald, * for I am dying of thirst. I come near 
you to be well supplied; all selíÍHhness on my j^art.' 

Mr. Reginald saw that his iiewly-introduced comi^anion 
was pretty and ladylike, and evidently ill at ea«e in the 
motley assembly she was throwii amongst. Her face 
was so intelligent and expressive, and her manner so 
timid, that he wondered what strange chance had sent 
her alone, or with such a companion as Miss Water- 
stone, to South Australia. 

Claxa, in the two half glances she had given him, 
saw a gentleman tall and dark, with fíne eyes and a 
Bingularly pleasant smile. His age seemed to be about 
thirty, and his accent was EuglisL 

* Does this put you in mind of Todgers*, Miss 
Morison?* said he, while the hostess was warmly re- 
commending Miss Waterstone to change her mind 
about going to Melboume, and remain in Adelaide, 
which she confidently asserted was far the better, and 
appealed to the gentlemen for con£rmation. 

How refreshing to poor Clara was this little allusion 
to a book 1 Of course Miss Waterstone had read all 
the current literature of the day that Robert had pro- 
cured her, and considered herself, in her own phrase, 
a weU-recíd womom; but whatever she read she made a 

VOL» I. D 



34 CLASA HOBISON. 

point of forgettdng, so tliat for those four montlis Clara 
had been debarred from her favourite topic of conver- 
sation. She smiled her assent, and Mr. Eeginald con- 
tinued, — 

* We have a greater medley here than Mrs. Todgers 
had; ETiglish, Scotch, and Irish, and the German 
gentleman at your other hand. It is a pity he knows 
so little English, and has so little con£dence in what 
knowledge he has, for he is higHy a^complished, and 
you "would find him agreeable when you got to under- 
stand him. I think I see Jenkins at the other end of 
the table, and perhaps that poor, ill-used individual, 
Bliuker, might pass for Augustus Moddle. We cer- 
tainly want Miss Cherry Pecksniff, though your com- 
panion makes no bad Miss Merry.' 

Olara felt flattered at Miss Waterstone's being con- 
sidered her companion merely, not her friend. She 
felt more at ease with this strange gentleman than she 
had done since she left home, and with a look such as 
her father had loved to see, said, — 

* Then you do get a sight of Dickens' works here?' 

* It would be too bad if we did not,' said Mr. Regi- 
nald. ' I get tired sometimes of the mighty dead, and 
like to hold communion with the delightful living. I 
get out the newest works of Dickens, Bulwer, and 
Thackeray. Have you seen the end of * Pendennis,' 
Miss Morison?* 

* It had not all come out when I left home,' said 
Clara, ' aAá I was very ansdous to know how it was to 
wind up.' 

* So am I,' said Keginald. ' It would be too trite 
and conmionplace to l^ off Blue Beard*s wife, and get 
Laura to marry him, — ^but yet I do not feel that Pen 
deserves her. I am afraid, however, that (ïeorge 
Warrington is too rough and gruff to suit a lad^s 
tasta' 

* O, no, indeed,' said Clara, * I do not like Pen ; he 
wants courage. If men knew how much women 
admire oourage— moral oourage in particular — ^they 



THE BOAEDINO-UOUSE. 35 

iTould not be so fond of making themselyes appear 
small and j)etty in their presence, as they ara' 

* What has struck me most in ' Pendenuis* íb that 
chapter about Sadducees,' said Keginald ; ' it seems to 
be written for this colony; how many Sadducoes we 
meet here every day 1 men who have no genuino faith 
in anything, who see things going wrong, but will not 
give themselves any trouble to set them right, men 
whose belief is only opinion, and whose love degenerates 
into convenience T 

* Miss Waterstone is going to sing,' said Mr. Oscar. 
* Why, Mr. Keginald, you completely monopolize Miss 
Morifion.' 

Miss Morison blushed. She had forgotten the whole 
company; she had heard voices and laughter, but knew 
not what had been said, or who had been amused She 
had even forgotten that Miss Waterstone was present ; 
she had only felt happy, and was unconscious of any- 
thing else. 

Miss Waterstone sung. Never had she sung so 
welL The hot wind clears the voice, if it has no other 
good effect ; and a naturally fíne voice, some musical 
talent, and a slight infiision of taste, rendered her song 
a very pleasing performance. Miss Morison was next 
entreated to sing. She said she never sung, and 
appealed to Miss Waterstone for confirmation. 

'lndeed,' said Miss Waterstone, 'Clara has never 
&youred me with anything like a song the whole 
voyage; except, indeed, the words. I think she knows 
the words of every song that ever was written. And 
for poetry, too, I never saw such a memory.' 

* Miss Morison would not sing to-night, even if she 
oould,' said Mr. Reginald, in a low tone, to Clara. 

Olara smiled * But, indeed, I cannot sing at all, 
nor play either,' said she. 

* If Miss Morison knows the words of songs,' said a 
black-eyed puppy, with an imperial, from the other 
end of the room, ' she will be invaluable to Blinker. 
He 18 acquainted with all the tunes, but £ails in the 

d2 



36 CLABA MOEISON. 

•words. It is Miss Waterstone's privilege to call: I 
merely hint that Blinker sings.' 

'lndeed he does, charmingly,' said half-aHÍozen 
voices. * You see the ladies are dying to hear you, 
Blinker.' 

* Ask him, Miss Waterstone,' whispered the coimtry 
overseer. * It is such fun ! You have no notion how 
soffc he is.' 

And Miss Waterstone, entering into the joke, pressed 
Mr. Blinker to sing. And Mr. Blinker would do any- 
thing to please the ladies; but he did not sing "welL 
He knew what good singing wasj heimderstood music; 
but his voice was not what it used to be. He would 
do his best, however, if they would not be too severe 
upon him. Would Mrs. Handy let him have her 
* Little Warbler?' 

* Oh r said the puppy before mentioned, whose name 
was Brown, ' Miss Morison will enable us to dispense 
with the ' Little Warbler' for to-night. We must get 
a song of some kind from Miss Morison.' 

Clara looked indignant, and with a glance made 
Brown lower his eyes, which saved Mr. Reginald the 
trouble of telling him to hold his tongue. 

* Well,' said Oscar, * here is the * Little Warbler,' 
andgoit, Blinker!' 

So Blinker began at the begmmng of the book, 
and simg *The Last Rose of Summer,' in a feeble, 
croaky voice; but was greeted with a round of 
applause at the termination, and an eamest request for 
another. He sang tho next in order, and was again 
applauded. He liked to sing, and whenever he seemed 
inclined to shut the book and give up, the other gentle- 
men whispered that the ladies were enchanted with his 
performance, and would be quite grieved if he did not 
continue it. The Grerman, who had a fine taste in 
music, had put on his hat at the beginning of the 
second song and gone out ; and nothing but his desire 
to see how his fair companion would get through what 
must be to her a very uncomfortable scene, prevented 



THE BOAEDINO-HOUSE. 37 

Regmald from following his example. Fom*teen songs 
had been smig by the indefetigable Blinker — fonr 
comic, and ten sentimental — before he hiid down the 
book. Then Miss Waterstone simg again. Not so 
well as at first, for her lungs were qnite exhausted by 
laughter, suppressed and otherwise. Clara had not 
much more iminterrupted conversation with Mr. 
Beginald; but she felt that he imderstood her; and 
ahe wondered if South Australian sheeivfarmers were all 
as agreeable. In the midst of these thoughts, she heard 
the clock strike. She did not exactly know what hour ; 
but she telegraphed to her companion, who understood 
thesignaL 

Miss Waterstone wished to shake hands with Mr. 
Humberstone at least ; but she saw that Clara's digniíied 
reverence looked well, and ventured on an imitation. 
Mrs. Handy accompanied them to their bed-room; 
hoped they had enjoyed themselves; said that she her- 
self had never passed a more delight^ evening, and bid 
them good night. 

* Ah, Clara T said Elizabeth Waterstone, * I thought that 
youneverflirted,andcouldnot conduct a tête-ártête. Well, 
if you never did in Scotland, you came off amazingly 
well for a beginner. You monopolized the handsomest, 
the richest, and the most agreeable gentleman in the 
room. Mr. Humberstone tells me he is a large sheep- 
holder, and of a good family, too ; but I see you did not 
care to flirt till you fo\md some one worth your while T 

* Do you call that flirting V said Clara. ' Mr. Reginald 
only taiked to me as my father used to do — my own 
dear papa! Oh, if he was with me, I should be able to 
bear ajiything 1 Welcome poverty and labour, if shared 
with ^rm I I must try to do nothing unbecoming his 
memory, and, by God's help, I will do what is right in 
the thomy path I have to tread' 

* Dear me, Clara ! you are on your high horse, to^ 
night; but do not be so much uplifbed. I think Mr. 
E.eginald is a dreadM flirt. Mr. Brown told me as 
much^ when he saw you so much taken up with him.' 



38 CLASA MORISON. 

Clara paid no attention to tliese worcls; bnt knelt 
down, and prajed long and fervently that her steps 
might be ordered aright. She would enter into no 
eonvernation, though Elizabeth was dispoeed to talk; 
huif contrary to her own expectation^ after this excit- 
ing day, fell immediately into a sweet, sound, refresh- 
ing slecp. Kext moming, Mrs. Handy told the ladies, 
after break&st was over, and the gentlemen dispersed, 
that she considered Mr. E^inald as a king oompared 
to the rest 

' The others may have more fon, but Mr. Beginald 
is always polite and gentlemanly ; I never saw anybody 
with fiuor manners in or out of the colony. And they 
all grumble at the food I give them but Mr. Beginald. 
If I gave him bread and water, I believe he would make 
no complaint If you only knew Mr. Oscar and the 
trouble he gives me, you would wonder that we have 
hung together so long. At first I used to fret myself 
sadly when he said, * No pudding to-day, Mrs. Handy ! 
I shall be obliged to try another house.* Or sometimes 
with a suoer and a toss of his head, ' The grand secret 
of making good coffee, is to put in iileidy oí coffea 
Perlmps you do not know that, Mrs. Handy. You 
will be the better for the information.' Or sometimes, 
* Do you thiuk us Abyssiuians to live on raw meat, 
Mrs. Handyl* Or, what was worse than all, when I 
had made a nice light pudding, and taken such pains 
with it, he would call it a delusion, and teach the other 
gentlemen to do the same. But Mr. Reginald is not 
uke that' 

01ara*s boxes and Miss Waterstone's much wished-for 
portuuuiteau anived in tho forenoon. Mrs. Handy re- 
commouded a washerwoman to Clara, telling her that 
the wasliiug of hei* ship's-clothes was likely to cost her 
about tliirty shillings. This woiUd make a great hole 
in her liuauoes; but Clara was determined not to be 
discouraged by triflos, and sat down to write the com- 
menoement of a letter to Susan, which was tolerably 
diQorfoL 



THB BOAEDINO-HOUSE. 39 

Mis8 Waterstone went in to dinner this day, which 
was Saturday, in all the glory of a well-fitting black 
Bilk dress, a {rold chain, pretty bracelets, and several 
handsome rín^ CWs dreJ was quiet and simple ; 
her hand and arm, without omament of any kind, were 
perfectly beauti^, and her throat white and slender. 
Mr. Keginald thonght he had never seen anything so 
onique as this solitary girl, who seemed pleased to sit 
beside him and ask hun questions about the colony, 
without either forwardness or mauvaiae h(yiite, It was 
not to every lady that Mr. Reginald could be agreeable. 
He had no petUa aomSy paid no compliments, and had 
no fidvolous remarks to make. Miss Waterstone would 
have found him a much duller companion than the 
sprightly Humberstone; but Clara had a very diQerent 
taste. 

' I do not understand what makes people get fond of 
South Australia, while at the same time they own to so 
many disagreeables in it,' said Clara to Keginald. 

' I shall fínd it difficult to make the feeling under- 
stood,' replied he 3 * in time I hope that you will share 
it. When our weather is fine, it is very fine indeed \ 
there is something in the air so clear, so bracing, that 
it seems to be enough of happiness to breathe it. Then, 
when our society is good, it is so cordial and uncere- 
monious. There is not that imiversal desire to keep 
np appearances here whicli iK>Í8on8 English society, and 
renders hospitality a toil to the giver and a bore to the 
receiver of it. In foct, six years' residence in this 
colony has made me quite unfit for England, and I feel 
very much indisposed to submit to either its climate, 
its restraint, or its etiquette. But I suppose, Miss 
Morison, that you are disappointed with South Aus- 
tralia, or at least with Adelaide ; you have come out at 
a bad season of the year, and I fear that your beautiiul 
imaginary pictures of the Arcadian scenery and pastoral 
tranquillity of Australia have been too like fiuryland 
to be ever realized.' 

'lndeed, I coDnot say that I expected to like the 



40 CLABA MORISON. 

colony,' said Clara. * Some have greatness thrust upon 
them, and I think I may say that emigration was 
thrust upon me. My uncle thought it advisable that 
I should come out, and endeavour to get a situation as 
govemess here, for it is no easy matter at home ; and 
as Mr. Campbell was an old friend, he recommended 
me to his and Mrs. Campbell's care ; but, imhappily, 
Mrs. Campbell's death has deprived me of a protector 
and adviser j so here I am.' 

Mr. Reginald saw many difficulties before this yoimg 
girl, but he talked encouragingly, and was pleased to 
see that she was determined to do her utmost for inde- 
pendence. 

Afber tea, Mr. Brown, who liked to do rude things 
when he could, began a violent phiHppic against Scot- 
land, concluding with his stock quotation from Byron 
about 'The land of meanness, sophistry, and mist,' 
winking with one eye to Oscar, and keeping the other 
fixed on the two Scotch girls. Clara's lip slightly 
curled, but she took no further notice of the imperti- 
nence ; not so Miss Waterstone ; she fired up, and de- 
fended her coimtry. 

*I am sure, sir,' said she, Hhere is no country 
superior to Scotland, or any people better than the 
ScotcL Mist, indeed ! mist is a far cleaner thing than 
that abominable dust that covers Adelaide all over 
like a cloak. I suppose you think we can't grow any- 
thing in Scotland, but if you just saw how green the 
grass is there, and what apples, and pears, and goose- 
berries we have, you would change your mind. And 
for a city, what city can beat Edmburgh, the modem 
Athens?' 

But here Mr. Brown sought to escape from the 
lady's rhetoric, by calling out another accomplishment 
of his unfortunate butt. 

' Ah, Blinker,' said he, * it is a pity that your scmples 
about the gentility of the thing prevents you from 
startíng a dancing-schooL You would have all the 
tea at yiBid £ttlii(»i of Adelaide eager for initiation into 



THE BOABDING-HOUSE. 41 

the matchless grace of your Terpsichorean feats, or 
feet, — ^it's all the same.' 

* Do you really think so, Brownf said the hapless 
Blinker. *If you will move the table aside, and 
whistle ' the Original,' I will give you the polka.' 

* But you must have a partner,' whispered Ivory; 
' can't you ask one of these ladies to dancef 

'Miss Morison is dying to dance with you,' said 
Brown; ' go and ask her.' 

Blinker did as he was bid, but met with a chilling 
negative. He was next instigated to ask Miss Water- 
stone, but she said that she could not dance to whistlingy 
and professed herself very anxious to see him dance^ 
which she could not do so well if she joined him. 

Thus encouraged, Blinker went through all his steps 
with more precision than grace. Mr. Haussen again 
retreated, and Clara asked Mr. Reginald if he was 
not inclined to leave the house with his German 
fiiend. 

* This is not very pleasant,' said he, 'but for two or 
three days it forms a variety to me. My bush life is 
very solitary, and after eight or ten weeks of it, I feel 
wondrously charitable, even to such absurdities as 
these. But I hope, Miss Morison, that your stay here 
will not be a long one, for a week of such vulgar jokes 
is more than enougL' 

' I do not know how long I may remain here. I do 
not think my uncle contemplated my going to a board- 
ing-housej but when Miss Waterstone has left for 
Melboume, I shall keep to my own room more than I 
can now. I feel more timid about getting a situa- 
tion than I did ; for it would have been better, much 
better, if I could have gone from Mrs. Campbell's 
house, than from such an establishment as this. I 
never met with gentlemen so familiar and presuming, 
except, indeed, one on board the Magnificent j but he 
was a * single spy,' here * they are in battalions,' and 
Bupport each other.' 

* We muat not think too mucb. «!\ío\3l\» ^^ts^í ^^ 



42 clábjl morison. 

Begmald, gaily ; * it is too great a compliment. I want 
to ask you if you are an adinirer of Byron's ; for if you 
are not, you had better disguise your sentiments, if 
jou wish for peace at Hand/s. These haJf gentlemen 
are all rabid for Byron.' 

* I have read very little of his writings, and what I 
have read has puzzled me much/ said Clara. 'One 
moment I admire, next pity, then hate, then despise. I do 
not feel comfortable in reading Byron; my mind aches 
with his jerks more than my body did yesterday in the 
port cart. And can you tell me what he wrote for, 
Mr. Beginald? It seems to me that he could not help 
writing, but that he wrote without a purpose. He 
throws no light upon the path of life.' 

* Only the lighí— the beacon of his own sad expe- 
rience,' said Beginald. ^How wasted were all his 
powers! How contented we should be with medio- 
critjr, when we see that such a brillÍBiit destíny waa so 
miserable! But you are too young, or not young 
enough, to admire Byron. I have, of late years, seen 
more eamestness in his sorrow, and I detach it as much 
as I can from the sneers and frivolity, which, I think, 
were mere excrescences on the reality of his style. 
But what annoys me most with these Browns and 
Oscars, and such like, is, that the very jerks which you 
feel so painfiil, and which to me are aJÓfectations, form 
his great recommendation to them. It encourages 
them in their fiivolity and unbelief to see a man of 
8uch geniufl 38 By«>n placing pathos and satire side by 
side in unnatural juxtaposition. One of them is out 
of place. I would deny the sincerity of the sneer; 
they would ignore the pathos.' 

*How much more healthy is your Walter Scott,' 
continued Iteginald, Hhough I do not consider his 
genius so great ; but his sympathies were wider, and 
his observation genial When he paints a villain, he 
is generally a villain — ^not Byron's melodramatic half- 
Bcoundrel, half hero, with some infiision of the fooL 



THE BOABDINO-HOUSE. 43 

Still, neither Sir Walter^s villains nor heroes are so 
mucíi to mj taste as his middling characters. Hi8 
back-grounds are well filled in, all the accessories are 
perfect, and his minor characters never out of place. 
But I suppose 70U, like every Scotchwoman I have 
met, worship Sir Walter, and think I am giving very 
fiúnt praise indeed.' 

* I like Sir Walter much,' said Clara; * but my father 
nsed to be disappointed in mj admiration of his novela 
He considered them perfect, and incapable of improve- 
ment. I could £lnd no fault with them ; but I missed 
Bomething.' 

' Yes,' said Beginald, ' it is the outer life he por- 
trays ; the inner he rarelj touches upon. In reading 
them, I feel a thousand thoughts come into mj mind, 
deeper and higher than what are expressed in the book 
for ma I think that even niediocre people like our- 
flélves have still depths of thought within them which 
thej like to have stirred up sometime&' 

Olara was pleased to hear her sentiments so naturally 
expressed, and was still more pleased that she was 
called mediocre, Her father had taught her that a fíne 
taste for poebry and a well cultivated mind did not 
make her a genius ; but her aunt and uncle, and, latterly, 
Miss Waterstone, had been accustomed to annoj her 
by supposing she thought herself very clever. She had 
talked about books to this stranger, because he had 
started the subject, and because she had nothing else to 
talk about; but she had sometimes feared that he 
would think her a blue-stocking, who wished to make a 
parade. That very evening she had heard Miss Water- 
stone telling the two gentlemen neai*est her, that 
Claray though not accomplished, was quite a leamed 
lady-— quite intellectual, indeed. 

* Intellectual T thought Clara. ' What a vague idea 
Miss Waterstone has got of the meauing of words! 
The utmost that can be said of me is that I am intelli- 
gent. I hope Mr. Eeginald thinks me sa' 



44 clajul moeison. 

The evening wore away; and, after the ladies had 
gone out of the room, cards were brought out : and, 
with the exception of Blinker, who could not play, and 
Beginald, who would not, the whole party sat down to 
loo. Keginald took up a book, and seemed all im- 
patience tiU the game should be over, He went out 
to smoke, and came in to find the party more engrossed 
in their garae than befora He took up the book 
again, and smoked another cigar; but there was no 
stopping them till twelve o'clock, when he dismissed 
them with some thankfiiLaess that it was Saturday 
night, and that next night they were likely to go ta 
bed soon. 

When they were all gone, and the doors shut, Regi- 
nald took ftom his pocket two letters, which he had 
got at the post-office that day. One of them was 
opened, the other had the seal unbroken. He had 
merely glanced at the first, but had had no opportunity 
of reading the second, and even now he seemed to want 
oourage to begin. 

' Had Julia married me,' said he, half aloud, * when 
she should have done so, and that is six years ago, 
what a companion this gentle girl would have made 
for her. Let me see, we might have had three children 
now, and Miss Morison would have taught them, and 
kept Jidia from feeling dull in my absence. And 
Jiilia would have grown to be a domestic, affectionate 
wife — she was as wax in my hands then ; but six years 
have been spent by me in solitude and labour, by her 
in dissipation and gaiety, and we are both changed« 
I fear that the song is not right about ' absence mak- 
ing the heart grow fonder.' That ship-board song, six 
years ago, seemed to speak to the heart; but I doubt 
it now. 

* But I must read these letters, ond perhaps answer 
them too, as there is a mail making up for ïkigland on 
Tuesday. It would be foolish to delay writing till I 
am in the buáh, for my letter will be gloomier from 
Torínga thaa fram Adebáde.' 



THI BOABDINa-HOUSE. 45 

So he got paper, pen, and ink togetlier^ preparing to 
answer before he began to read 

' I liad better read my mother's over again fírst/ said 
ha It was as foUows : — 

' Mt dear Chables, 

* I have just got your letter of May the twelfth, 
and am delighted to hear that you are so well, and 
making your way in the world, as I always knew yon 
would. Your letters are all most interesting to me, 
and I feel so glad that you do not cut them short, but 
give me full weight of fbreign post well filled. 

' Your sisters have been spending a month with me 
lately; Jane brought her three children for change of 
air; and though they were quite sickly when they left 
Everton, they soon were able to make noise enough for 
half-a-dozen, which of course delighted me; and when 
James came for them he was quite struck with the 
change in their appearance. 

* He is getting on very well now in his profession, and 

has got all Lord L ^"s agency, which is a very hand- 

some thing; and they have got a most beautiful house 
in Everton now. It is in the High-street, and is twioe 
as large as the one they used to live in. They see a 
great deal of company, for both Jane and Mr. Marston 
like society ; but yet I fancy that it is greatly on Julia's 
account that they give so many parties. You would 
be proud of Julia, Charles, if you could see her now. 
I am very proud of her myself, though her engagement 
to you is not generally known. I think that she grows 
handsomer every year; her figure was slight and girlish 
when you left home, but it has developed into what 
everybodv calls perfect. She has been takinir lessons 
in ^g from Signor rarinelli, and her yoi^ is con- 
sidered the finest in all Everton. The Hon. Mr. Ash- 

leigh, Lord L ^*s eldest son, paid Julia great atten- 

tion at the county ball, and was heard to remark that 
Miss Marston's air was as good as that of any lady he 
had ever seen. 



46 CLABA MORISON. 

' I am sorry to say that your sister Alice has not re- 
covered lier strength affcer her late severe iUness. She 
must be nursed all winter, and when spring comes on, 
Edward means to take her for a tour on the Continent. 
She has asked Julia to accompany her, and though Julia 
wished to go, she asked my permission before she would 
consent. Of course it was just what I could have 
wished, for she will be a cheerftd companion for Alice, 
and, by your quiet fireside some day, she will be able to 
tell you all about her wanderings, and the sights she 
has seen, which will be the more delightful to you, as 
you have never been abroad. 

^ I dare say Julia's fidelity has been much more tried 
than y«urs, for you can never see any one so beautifiil 
in Australia, while here some of the handsomest and 
finest young men in the country have been most assi- 
duous in their attentions. People wonder that she does 
not make her choice, but I never breathe a word about 
her reason. I say there is no hurry; but she is now 
twenty-five, and I hope that you will come and claim 
her soon, for I should like to see my only son happy 
before I die, and I may not be long for this world. 

* Everything goes on much as usual with me at Ash- 
field. The garden has lost abnost all its glory, but 
Eichard promises that it will surpass all former years 
next summer, and be quite a great exhibition of itsel£ 
He is always asking me when you are coming back to 
England to see the trees you planted, which are thriv- 
ing very weU; he wishes to surprise you by a great 
many lími>8 ruUv/rcBSy as he calls them, but I don't ex- 
actly know what he means by the phrase. He requests 
you to send some more Australian seeds. Very few of 
those we received have come up, and even those that 
grow do not seem to thrive; but B>ichard wants to try 
agaln. 

* I feel my rheumatism coming on again, and expect 
to be able to go out very little aU this winter, but my 
Mends are very kind in visiting me. JuUa promises 
me a two months' visit afber Christmas, which wiU he 



THE B0ABDIN6-H0USE. 47 

delightful, for she fílls the house with amuBÍng com- 
panj, and saves me &om the trouble of entertaining 
them. Afber she retums from the Coutinent, she pro- 
mises me another visit, and we propose going to see 
the Great Exhibition together. 

'I have been thinking, and Julia too, that in a 
short time you might be able to retum to England 
for good and all, and settle down in the old house, or 
in a new one if you prefer it It seems a burying alive 
of Jtdia to take her to your lonely sheep station, so far 
from town. If you could afford a house in Adelaide 
for her, though it would be equally hard for me to bear, 
it wotdd be diflferent for Jtdia, for she is formed for 
society. So do, my dearest Charles, make money aa 
fast as possible, and come back with a fortune to justify 
Jidia's choice in the eyes of the world, and you will 
make the evening of my days as happy as it can be. 

* When I get on this subject, I forget everjrthing else 
that I ought to tell you, so I may as well conclude by 
subscribing myself your attached mother, 

* K Eeoinald.' 

Mr. Keginald next looked at the other letter. It 
had a very pretty seal, was inclosed in a tasteful 
envelope, and was addressed in a very pretty hand; 
but Charles Keginald felt a&aid of it. The proposition 
that his mother had made would probably be repeated 
in it, and he knew that he could not accede to it. But 
he must read it, and did accordingly. It ran thus,— 

'My dearest Charles, — 

* I wish you would not write me such dull 
letters as your last two have been, giving me advice, 
and so forth. Nobody ever thinks of advising me 
here. From your dear, kind mother, down to our 
little niece Fanny, all with one accord allow me to do 
just as I please, and you must be as complaisant, or 
you and I will quarreL 

' When Jane asked me what was in your last letter, 



48 CLABA MORISON. 

it qTiite took me by surprise. I could give her no 
answer. There was no news in it ; only the names of 
Bome books you wanted me to read, and some songs 
yon would like me to leam. I appealed to Jane if I 
had any time to read, or if it was possible for me to 
leam such antiquated songs, and your sister quite took 
my view of the matter. 

' We have had delightful pic-nic parties this last 
autumn, and now we are beginning to be gay in 
Everton. I expect to be out two or three nights a 
week, and we have most pleasant parties at home. The 
plan of Jane's new house is so much to my taste, that I 
send you a copy of it, that you may get up something like 
it, or at least imitate the air of it, if you cannot have 
80 large a house. The double drawing-room holds 
twenty couples comfortably, and the lofbiness of the 
ceiling makes it delightfiil to sing in, I have got up 
as high as B flat in it, and you know that I u^ed to 
have difficulty with G sharp not long ago. 

' I am going to visit your mother about the New 
Year, and when Spring sets in, I go with Alice 
and Mr. Bisset on the Contiaent. Will not the tour 
be delightfiil? and I know it will do Alice much 
good. 

' My brother James and Jane say they will never 
be able to do without me so long, but I dare say 
they will enjoy a little quiet, for I am as restless 
as ever, and like nothing so well as variety. Your 
mother and I are of opinion that as we have waited 
80 many years already, we had better wait a few 
years longer, tiU you have made your fortune, and 
then you could come back, and settle near Everton 
in some sort of style. Your mother proposed your 
living at Ashfield, and getting some additions made 
to the old house, but it would never do. It is old- 
fashioned, and suits an old lady like your mother, 
but I never could submit to the narrow passages 
and low ceilings. You give me no brilliant descrip- 
tion of your present dwelling; I assure you that I 



THE BOA£DINO-UOUSE. 49 

do not find it at all tempting. I know I could not 
liye in the bush; I should mope to death. Much as 
I love jou^ Charles, I cannot consent to live so 
many miles from civilization, among savages and 
flnakea I have given up a great deal for your sake; 
do make an efibrt, or even a sacrifíce, to please me. 
I always thought you rather contradictory; but how 
a man of your talents and accomplishments can pro- 
fess to like a life which by your own description is 
monotonous and unexcitmg, I camwt \mderstand 

*My dress at the co\mty ball was considered the 
most tastefíil in the room. It was a suggestion of 
my own that Madame Estcourt worked out, and it 
was quite a success. It was of white satin^ trimmed 
en bouiUony — ^but of what use is it giving you any 
account 'of it? I suppose you would rather see me in 
a brown stuff dress, with a blue apron, or some such 
horror, than in the most elegant attira I hope you 
dress like a gentleman, for I cannot bear to fancy you 
untidy. The sleeves of coats are wom very wide, and 
the collars very low. I hope you will have yours made 
thus. 

' In all your letters youhave nevermentioned whether 
you wore a moustache or not, or if your black hair 
curled better in your hot climate than it used to do in 
England Your mother gave me such a pretty present 
on y<ywr birthday, of a bracelet. Only one is wom 
now; at least, if you wear two, they must not match, 
but be as dissimilar as you and I. Such disparity is 
fashionable, you see. 

* By the bye, how old are youl Either thirty or 
thirty-one, I know, but I am not certain which. I am 
twenty-five, but do not feel at all old yet. I seem to 
get younger every day ; at least, Jane and your mother 
say so. 

* People have forgotten, if they ever knew, that I am 
engaged to you ; and it is so pleasant and so comfort- 
able to be able to flirt without any danger of being 
caught myself; while no one knows how secure I am. 

TOU I. B 



50 CLASA MOBISON. 

I hope 70U dance sometimeB, and have not forgotten 
Iiow to Hing. I never can get such a good second as 
yours to join me. 

' The three children send love and kisses to Uncle 
Charles, for though they have never seen you, grand- 
tnamma has been talking so much about you lately, 
that they are quite fond of you. 

^ Do you know, James and Jane are so glad that I 
held out against being married to you when we were 
first engaged, and going with you to Australia. They 
were just saying last night, tíiat, instead of enjoying 
myself for six years in my own element, and, conse- 
quently, looking well and happy, I should have been 
old and carewom by this time, with the dreadfiil long 
voyage, and all the hardships you described; and yoii 
would, perhaps, have ceased to admire, if not to love 
me. Ajid I must have admiration as well as love; I 
cannot live without some incense. 

' So, dear Charles, write me a very delightftd letter. 
Put as many compliments in it as you can — conscien- 
tious, if possible; and believe me, yours ever, 

* JuLiA Marston.' 

Keginald sat for ten minutes in silent thought ; and 
then took up his pen to answer Julia's letter. To his 
mother he could write from the country; but he felt 
that he must let Julia know the plain truth as soon as 
possible. 

He wrote as follows : — 

* My deabest Julia, 

* I am very much grieved that my letters 
are too dull for you. I cannot write you news, when 
you know nobody here. I can only write my own 
thoughts and feelings, which, as I have not you near 
me to enliven them, must necessarily be stupid, and 
sometimes sacL I fear, my dear girl, that the life you 
lead, and which you seem to enjoy so much, is no good 
.pceparation for ultimately settling down as my wife, 



V* 



THS BOAEDINO-HOUSE. 51 

for I am not a lively man, though I will love you tnily, 
and devote myself to making you happy. But I can- 
not give parties, or go with you on tours, nor am I 
witty enough to keep you always amused. My mother 
and you seem to have formed a very erroneous idea of 
my circumstancea It would be many years before I 
could be justified in selling off my sheep, and living 
like a gentleman in idleness. Even a house in town is 
beyond my present means; and even if I had it, I 
should be obliged to leave it for half the year to look 
afber my stations ; and afber waiting so long, it is a cruel 
thing to think that I cannot have you always with me. 
And, dear Julia, look at the matter, not from the false 
point of view you at present see it from, but reasonably 
and generously. I have worked hard for six years, 
and am now able to give you all the comforts, and even 
some of the elegancies of life. But you wish me to wait 
till all my youth is over, and I have pined and hardened 
in solitude, that we may be able to begin life in style, 
and make a respectable £gure in that circle which is to 
you * the world T I do not mean to reproach you ; but 
you have enjoyed everything that your heart could 
wish for these six years, and yet you object to sharing 
my moderate forfcunes, and making a paradise of my 
cottage. You would rather wait till I was old, and 
wom, and rich. Oh, Julia, how happy you would 
have made me if you had married me that May ! 

* If you will promise to come out with me, I wiU go 
home after the New Year; and if you really wish it, 
and my circumstances will afford the expense (which 
they may if wool brings a good price next clip), I pro- 
mise you a house in Adelaide, not so handsome as your 
brother James's, but as good as is expected here by 
people in our position. 

* FoT my dear mother's sake, I would fain have settled 
down in her neighbourhood ; but, perhaps, we can pre- 
vail upon her to come out with us. The climate wiU 
suit her admirably, and as for the voyage, it is not 
disagreeable^ if you have a tolerable captain and a good 

E 2 



52 CLABA MOBISON. 

protector. And my motlier may make a new Ashfield 
of my poor station of Taringa; she shall change its 
name into something more English, if she pleases, and 
you two will make me the happiest of men. And I 
will not bore you with books either : you shall play 
aad sing, and I^ though rather rusty, will cultivate the 
second you like. And we "will ask Mends to see us ; 
and I can certify, that Mrs. Charles Keginald, of 
Taringa^ will be more admired in South Australia 
than Miss Marston was at any county ball, or town of 
Everton either. 

* I wear no moustache, but, if you like it, I can easily 
get one up. I saw a white hair among my raven locks 
this moming, which set me moralizing on the departure 
of youth ; but I am only thirty-one, after alL I shall 
certainly get a coat with wide sleeves and fashionable 
collar, though I fear that before this reaches you they 
will have gone out of fiishion, and you will be shocked 
at the idea of my wearing complacently what has been 
exploded for months. StiU, Julia, this may prove to 
you that I wish much to please you, and would do any- 
thing in my power to gratify your every wish, even 
every whim. I did wish to hear how you were dressed 
at the ball, and was quite disappointed when you 
stopped short in your description; so write me a full 
account of your last dress in the answer to this, which 
I shall weary for sadly. 

' Do not think me too exacting, my dearest love, and 
believe me yours devotedly, 

' Chakleb Reginald.' 

Charles sighed when this letter was finished, and lay 
down on the sofist to try to sleep ; but the hard pillow 
under his head, and the anxious thoughts in his heart, 
kept him awake the greater part of the nighl 



AN ADELAIDE SUNDAY. 53 

CHAPTER V. 

A SUNDAY AT MRS. HANDY'S. 

MRS. HANDyS table was nothalf filled next morn- 
ing at break£a£t, for several of the young gentle- 
men preferred cold tea, or even none at all, to getting 
iip in time for it on Snnday moming: so that the 
breakfast-things lay on the table tiU it was time to lay 
the cloth for dinner. Mrs. Handy complained of their 
laziness to the yoimg ladies, and Miss Waterstone won- 
dered at her submitting to it, and declared that, afber 
a certain hour, they should have no break£ast. 

* The Adelaide people are all very tender in the 
momings,' said Mr. Humberstone. ' I can't sleep a 
wink myself after íive o'clock, and it puzzles me to get 
through the hours before an Adelaide break&st I 
get up as usual, and get out, but there is nobody up ; 
I have to walk about the streets for an hour and a half 
before I meet even a milk>man, and I should be glad 
to talk to him, but he cannot stop — ^he must serve his 
customers. I next see servant-girls, very untidy, with 
night-caps on, coming out to get wood to light tíie fíre, 
and to ÍQI the kettle ; but in &ct these thmgs should 
be brought in ovemight In another hour or so, I 
see Adelaide trying to get up and look awake, and by 
that time I think breakíiast will be ready, and come in 
here to £lnd Mrs. Handy's gentlemen snug in bed yet 
It Í3 really 8candalou& They would be the better for 
living in the coimtry for a year or two. And what makes 
all the Adelaide ladies look so pale, but their not get- 
ting up early enough? We have not many country 
lasses, but what rosy cheeks they havel Ahl Miss 
Waterstone, there's no flowers in the garden like those 
flowers; I know you are an early riser; you need say 
nothing about it, for in fact I am quite convinced of it' 

The ladies went to Little St. AndreVs, the churoh 
of the Scotch establishment) where the service was so 



54 CLAEA MOEISON. 

delightfiilly &>iniliar to Clara, that she almost forgot 
she was in a strange land ; and she came home soothed 
and tolerably cheerfiil ; but the confusion and noise of 
dinner distracted her again. Mr. Beginald had been 
out aU day, and she missed him. 

In the affcemoon, Miss Waterstone complaLned of a 
headache, and saying that an hour's rest would put her 
to rights, lay down in her own room; while Clara sat 
with her kind-hearted hostess, and heard her talk of 
many things— of cookery, of servants, of washerwomen, 
of the difficulty of getting servants that could do any- 
thing, and of the comfortable position of servants in 
this coiony, compared with that of their employers. 

* They get good wages,' continued she, * and have no 
cares ; ihey have only their dress to find ; and really 
my Jane, with her seven shillings a-week, dresses better 
than myself To see her go out now in her flounced 
muslin gown, satin visite, and drawn bonnet, you would 
take her for the mistress, and not the servant. She is 
out waUdng with her lover, for it is her Sunday out 
to-day, and a good match she is making — a master car- 
penter, who employs three or four men, and as sober 
and respectable a young man as is in the colony. Ah, 
well ! Miss Morison, I hope you will like the colony ; it 
is hard to get a good situation here, but I am sure that 
you will get on well when you are once in a respectable 
family. Your friend, Miss Waterstone, has a nice 
&ank manner, that will take people at fírst, but you 
need have no fear but in the long run you will succeed 
as well. What do you think of Mr. Eeginald, Miss 
Morison? He is not quite so handsome as he used to 
be on board ship, nor perhaps so lively, but I suppose 
it is the dull life he leads. It was always a kind word 
or a smile to me when he saw me so poorly on the 
DcmrUlesa; and my husband said that he was as consi- 
derate and polite to the poorest woman on board as to 
any of the young ladies in the cuddy. He is an old 
aoqniintaiioe of mme, ycm see; and I have had good 
to Uko Idmi fiv lie bas eacoiiraged this house as 



d.^ ^ .. 



AN ADELAIDE SUKBAT. 55 

much as he could, and recommended it to his firiends. 
And really it is a good thing that I can make my own 
lÍYÍng, for Handy has sent me nothing as yet It is a 
hard life : up early, and down late ; but I can paj my 
way, and look everybody in the fece. You can*t think 
how sleepy I get Sunday aflemoon& I &ncy it must 
be the early dinner. I must lay my head on the so& 
for half an hour ; I see you have a book.* 

Clara had a book— -one of the good books she had 
got as parting presents from her Mends ; but her mind 
was too anxious to take in what her eyes mechanically 
wandered over, when Mr. Reginald came in. A heavy 
shower, which had fallen during the night, had re- 
freshed everything ; the wind was from the south-west» 
and was fresh and bracing, and you could almost feincy 
that you saw something green springing up. 

'Now, Miss Morison/ said Reginald, 'is not our 
£lne weather very fíne, as I said last night?* 

' It ïa indeed/ answered Clara ; ' the short walk to 
and from church was so delightfrd, that it made me 
quite like the country.* 

* You cannot quite call this the coimtry/ said Regi- 
nald ; * but I know that you will like the real countoy 
when you see more of it. Adelaide was never mudi 
to my taste, though I ofben weary to come into it, par- 
ticularly in winter, when the evenings are long and the 
roads bad, but I am always glad to get out of it again. 
This weather promises me a pleasant day for my ride 
home to morrow.' 

Clara was sorry that he was going away so soon, for 
what could she say to the other gentlemen, or how 
escape their impertinence? She hoped that Mr. 
Haussen would sit beside her sometime& She sat 
some minutes in silence, and so did Reginald; then he 
suddenly said,- 

* Have you read BorroVs * Lavengro?' ' 

*No; I have heard of it, and seen reviews; critics 
call it stupid; but I liked the * Bible in Spain/ and I 
think I should like it.' 



56 CLARA MORISON. 

* What struck me most was, that in this book, which 
is either an autobiography or an imitation of one, he 
meets with characters, describes them, and makes you 
interested in them, and then they disappear, and you 
see them no more, and the book leaves off without 
ending anything, as unfinished as the lives of its readers. 
This is life-like, but not book-like ; everything in books 
is jointed in and polished off — ^neaÚy, but not naturally. 
Have y ou ever observed this ? 1 suppose it is highly pro- 
bable, Miss Morison,' continued Reginald, * that we 
may never meet again; yet I should not write a life 
of myself without describing our short acquaintance, 
and many like it, — pleasant passages which lead to 
nothing.' 

^ You must see many different characters in a house 
like this,' observed Clara. 

* Of course,' said Reginald, still thinking of Lavengro, 
the last book he had read, and which he was glad to 
talk over to an inteUigent listener. ' I think the most 
prominent characteristic of Borrow must be what 
phrenologists call secretiveness. He seems to delight 
in concealing his thoughts, his attainments, his past 
life and ftiture intentions, from every one he meets, or 
at least Lavengro does.' 

* Perhaps it is merely the invention of an imaginary 
character )' said Clara. 

' It seems to come out of the very nature of the 
man,' said Keginald ; 'and it has set me wondering what 
the man really is, since all he tells of himself seems in- 
tendéd to obscure the subject.' 

* I like to see the portrait of the author prefixed to a 
book, provided he is dead,' said Clara; * but I am not 
fond of seeing living writers trying to look sublime at 
the commencement of their own works, and yet by some 
perversity that I cannot aocount for, I long to see the 
portrait anywhere else.' 

' Do yoa draw at aUy Mias Moriaon f said Keginald. 

* 0\kf no t BOl at all;' aaid GlanL ^ I am sin^arly 
dMÉttpl» íof MOonplidinieute íbir an Edinburgh girl of 



AN ADELAIDE 8UNDAT. 67 

the nineteenth centnry ; but I admire drawing very 
much, and my sister used to make little sketches for 
me, and smile at the criticisms I made.* 

' I have made several sketches of Australiaii 
scenery to send home to my mother and other friends/ 
said Reginald ; ' but whether I have not done them 
justice, or that the scenery is not really fine, I know 
not, but they have not been much admired. What a 
splendid display of all works of art there wiU be in the 
Great Exhibition in a few months from this time. I 
suppose that you must regret losing the opportunity of 
seeing it, by coming to this wild coimtry? Several of 
my Mends have gone home expressly to see it, and if 
I could have combined business with pleasure, I should 
have sct sail by this time.' 

* I really regretted leaving my native coimtry when 
it was on the eve of so wonderful a display,' said Clara. 
* My sister Susan is going up to London with my imcle 
and aunt, but I wa8 to go to South Australia, and 
everybody seemed to think, the sooner the better.* 

* Your sister would fain have kept you longer, I dare 
say,* said Eeginald. 

* Indeed she would, or have gone instead of me, had 
that been permitted ; but what my imcle thought right, 
she was oonvinced must be for the best, so she gave up 
her own wishes with wonderfully good grace.* 

' £ut your inclination was not consulted any more 
than your sister's.* 

' Ah ! but I am not so good as she is. Papa used 
to say that girls were generally taught to place gene- 
roBÍty before justice, and he determined to reverse the 
matter with us ; Susan did not relish the justice-lessons 
much, but when she came to the generosity, she 
revelled in it. She seems quite to enjoy every saorifice 
she makes, and has no conscience whatever on her own 
side; but as for poor me, I have been so engrossed 
wiih the justice, that I have never got so &r as the 
generoBÍty.' 

* You do not mean me to believe that you would 



58 CLAJEUL MOEISON. 

not make a sacri£ce for those you love Y said Regi- 
nald 

' I could make a sacri£ce/ said Clara, ' but I should 
know that it was a sacrifice, and be fuïíy aware of its 
extent, which Susan and all amiable girls never are.' 

* Then you deserve the more credit if you do your 
duty because you feel it is right, and not to gratify a 
selésh desire to make others happy, and so promote 
your own enjoyment,' said Beginald. 

'Do not say so,' said Clara. 'How much more 
beautifdl is spontaneous benevolence than such calcu- 
latíng virtue 08 mme is !' 

' Miss Morison,' said E.eginald, kindly and gravely, 
' I see you have a passion for depreciating yoursel^ and 
that you have a pleasure in telling that you want this 
or that good quality; but you will find that an indul- 
gence in it will do you no good in South Australia. 
You must say what you can do, and look confident, or 
ninety-nine in a hundred will not think you capable 
of anything. I am a good deal older than you, so I 
hope you will not take my little piece of advice in bad 
part.' 

' No, indeed,' said Clara, ' it is very kind of you ; you 
are quite right to tell me of my fetults.' 

' I did not call it a Êtult,' said Keginald. 

' Well, my imprudence,' said Clara. 

'But here comes Miss Waterstone, looking well 
again. We have been taJking of the Great Exhibition, 
and Mr. Beginald has been expressing his surprise that 
we did not delay emigrating till we had seen it. I 
have given my reason, that I had no choice. Will you 
give us yoursï' 

* Why,' said Miss Waterstone, looking a little con- 
fíised, *I was hurried in my departure in many waysj 
and even if I had stayed, it is very likely that my aunts 
would not have gone, or if they had, they were sure to 
leave me to keep the house; and perhaps it may tum 
out a &ilure afber all ; and a ship sailing from Leith 
with a married captain, wbb a great ixLdaoeineiiLt at the 



AN ADELAIDE SUNDAT. 59 

time, I remember. And after all, I suppose we will 
see all about it in the papers; though I do hate news- 
papers, and never read them when I can help it ; and 
there's nobody now to make me read them against mj 
will, which is a great comfort, isn*t it, Clara? Aunt 
Penny used to make me read the Cowrant and the 
Wii/rieaa till I was hoarse. When the (Jeneral Assembly 
of the Free Church was sitting, and Aunt Penny was 
not well enough to go to hear the speeches, she used 
to make me read them all ; and once they took me 
three hours and a half, and I could not speak above 
my breath for a fortnight afberwards. So I just hate 
the papers.' 

One after another the gentlemen dropped in ; tea re- 
lieved Miss Waterstone's headaxihe, and she listened to 
Mr. Humberstone*s account of bush living — ^tea without 
milk, drunk out of pannikins three times a day, with 
an unvarying routine of mutton and damper for solids, 
with sympathizing wonder. There was talk of a very 
desultory nature going on. Mr. Reginald seemed re- 
served, and Clara felt dull. It certainly was not 
proper Sunday conversation, and perhaps he would 
have preferred going to church. She wished to go 
herself, but Miss Waterstone did not feel well enough 
to accompany her, and she felt she could not go alone. 
So she sat beside Mr. Reginald, looking sad and 
anxious, but very pretty, while all the wit of the 
company was lost upon her. 

Mr. ïleginald liked to see her silent, for it is a rare 
virtue in one that can converse well ; and he felt too 
anxious himself to talk. The letters he carried in his 
pocket were uncomfortable ones, and he sat contrasting 
in his mind's eye the quiet girl beside him with his 
own brilliant betrothed, as he remembered her, and as 
his mother's letter described her. Julia was certainly 
handsomer, and more striking. Her hair and eyes 
were darker, and her fígure taller and more com- 
znanding. There was no comparison in beauty, but 
yet Olan. looked charming. And she was going to be 



60 CLARA MORISON. 

a govemess to some half-dozen children, with domestic 
drudgery enough besides, and would be glad to marry 
any one, to put an end to it. Govemesses generally 
make bad wives, and their manners are offcen not 
agreeable; but Miss Morison had evidently never 
taught yet. But yet a lovely, accomplished English 
wife was preferable to a girl like this, thrown into the 
colony with no connexions that any one knew of, and 
with merely a letter-of-introduction passport into 
society. 

When they had got into their room at night, Miss 
Waterstone confided to Clara her opinion that Reginald 
was a atick, 

* Mr. Humberstone says that he is going out of town 
to-morrow, too, and will ride in Mr. Reginald's com- 
pany a good bit beyond Gawler Town, though where 
that is I know no more than the man in the moon ; so 
we shall both be minus our beaux. By the bye, when 
do you mean to see Mr. Campbell again?' 

* I do not like to give him much trouble,' said Clara ; 
' if he sends me no message, I shall call at the end of a 
week to see if he has heard of anything for me.' 

* Did your uncle say nothing about taJdng you back 
in case you did not succeedí' 

* He did not seem to contemplate any such contin- 
gency,' said Clara, moumfully; 'but Mr. Campbell 
mentioned it as a pis-aller. I do not wish to retum 
if I am unwelcome, to embitter dear Susan's happy 
home. So I will take any situation in South Aus- 
tralia rather than be sent back as retumed goods, im- 
suited to the market.' 

And Clara looked slightly scomful. 

* Well,' said Miss Waterstone, * I shall be quite sorry 
to leave Adelaide, for I shall be all alone in Mel- 
boume, whereas you are as good as a sister to me here. 
But do you know, Clara, that my sleep in the afler- 
noon has not made me feel wakefíQ now. I am dread- 
fully sleepy, though it is quite early. There is only 
ten o'clcx^ stríking.' 



THB FIEST ATTEMPT. 61 

CHAPTEIl VL 

A OLIMPSE OF A SITUATION. 

NEXT moming, Mr. B^ginald read the newspaper 
till all the gentlemen had gone out but Humber- 
stone, who was flirting with Miss Waterstone in a 
despairing manner, regretting that he should never see 
her again, entreating her not to leave Adelaide for 
Melboume, and vowing that he would wear the willow 
for at least a year and a day ; all which Miss Water- 
stone took as it was meant, and treated as an excellent 
joke. Clara was rising to leave the room, when Regi- 
nald started up, and said, — 

* Come, Humberstone, we must be going ; I have an 
English letter to post, or I should have been on the 
way before breakfast. Don't leave the room without 
bidding me good bye, Miss Morison. We have not 
known each other long, but let us shake hands at 
parting.' 

Clara looked him in the face, stretched out her little 
hand, which he grasped with a fiiendly warmth, a 
half-muttered good wish, and a look that said, ' If I 
could serve you, I would.' 

The example of shaking hands once set, Miss Water- 
stone and Mr. Humberstone went through with it, and 
made many fine parting speeches. Miss Waterstone 
foUowed with her eye from the window her coimtry 
friends, while Clara retreated to her room, and sat for 
a ftdl half hour endeavouring to analyze her emotion. 
Was it right in her to be so sorry at this gentleman's 
departure ? Why did she think so much of him ? Why 
did her thoughts follow him to his lonely home in the 
distant bush'? And why had she talked so much to 
him, and to no one else? She came to the conclusion 
that it was foolish, but natural, and not at all wrong. 
She busied herself in getting all her things arranged, 
in mending everything that needed m<^\:kdiii%) «sA xssl 



62 CLABA MORISON. 

adding a few lines to her letter to Susan. Tlius tlie 
day passed away, and the evening was to be spent 
among strangers. Her Mend was gone. 

* AÍ, young ladies,' said Mr. Brown at dinner, * your 
gallant knights are gone. They love and ride away. 
Blinker, you must give us that song to-night ; your 
voice is in excellent trim, and the ladies will show 
their appreciation by tears if not by applause, if you 
8ing it with feeling.' 

*I am going to sail away this week,' said Miss 
Waterstone ; * so all the Adelaide gentlemen may ride 
away when they please, and where they please, for me.' 

'But Miss Morison has not that consolation,' said 
Oscar. *What a fellow that Reginald is to talk; 
but I would put no trust in him if I were you, Miss 
Morison.' 

And so on for all the evening Clara was annoyed 
by the impertinence of the yoimg men, which she could 
not laugh off, as Miss Waterstone did Blinker sang 
appropriate songs, and was made to declaim very 
incorrectly several hackneyed pieces of poetry; and 
Clara had no refiige. She tried to get Mrs. Handy to 
talk to her, but that lady liked the amusement going 
on, and coxdd not bear to lose any of it ; so that Clara 
sat silent and imcomfortable, wMch was attributed to 
her not having a beau. Thus passed day after day till 
the Friday on which Miss Waterstone was to retum 
to the Magnificent, and Clara to call at Mr. Campbell's ; 
and they went together to his store. 

Mr. Campbell had a very numerous acquaintance, 
but on inquiry he foimd that very few of them wanted 
govemesses. Most of them sent their children to 
school j it was cheaper, and more convenient ; some 
would like a govemess, but had not accommodation, 
for the children had too little room already. Some 
wanted an elderly person, who had had experience 
in tuition ; but could not think of entrusting their 
children to a girl of nineteeiL But the want of music 
was ihe gre«l dmwtal^ katJism^ most of theee 



THB FIEST ATTEMPT. 63 

music-reqniring ladies had no piano, they conld never 
think of getting a govemess merely to teach reading 
and writing ; they conld teach these things qnite as 
well themselves. There was only one lady who wonld 
like to see Miss Morison, though even she was aíraid 
she wonld not snit, and she wished Mr. Campbell would 
desire her to call. It was a nice walk, only four miles 
and a half out of Adelaide. Mr. Campbell gave Clara 
directions as to her road, which she could not easily 
mistake, for all the roads go straight north or south, 
east or west, from Adelaide ; and telling her that Mrs. 
Denfield was a high-spirited woman, who did not like 
contradiction, and though she was very clever she 
spoilt her children a little, but that she was very ami- 
able notwithstanding, he recommended her to go that 
very day, that no time might be lost. So Clara took 
a hurried but kind leave of Miss Waterstone, who 
promised to write to her whenever there was anything 
worth writing about, and set off on her nice walk 
The sun was overpoweringly hot, and when Clara got 
out of town, and had to walk between sections fenced 
with posts and rails, she longed for the green shelter- 
ing hedges of her own country. Here and there the 
com was left on the field, though it had been reaped 
weeks ago, and she wondered to see how small and &r 
apart the shocks were. Where the wheat had been 
reaped by the machine, and the heads merely had been 
taken off, the long stubble, which is reckoned of no 
value in Australia, had been either bumed or was left 
standing till favourable weather came. She saw one 
large field which had accidentally taken fire, and 
watched the active exertions of all the people about to 
extinguish it by beating it out with boughs. It had 
been a very dry winter, and the crops in the plains 
near Adelalde had been very poor ; so that she had 
no flattering view of the capabilities of South Austra- 
lian Boil. But with all this, there was an appearance 
of civilization and comfort in the numerous cottages 
4m the way, each having a smaLl garden, aud genendly 



64 CLASA MOEISON. 

a patcli of vines, which were loaded with finiit ; and 
what interested Clara still more, she saw many wells 
near the cottages, which encouraged her ofben to ask 
for a drink of water. She was imnsed to walking fejp 
for so many months, and the road was ofben so deep 
in sand, into which her feet sank every step, that she 
was very thankful when a decent-looking woman asked 
her to sit down out of the sim and rest a bit. She 
wiped a chair for the lady to sit on, and went on with 
her washing. Several children were about her, eating 
bread and butter with their grapes. They had aU 
dirty faces, but looked healthy enough ; their clothes 
were neither fine nor altogether whole ; the fiimiture 
was scanty, and altogether Clara did not see that over- 
powering contrast between the exterior of this dwell- 
ing and those of people in the same rank in Scot- 
land which she had been led to expect. But the bread 
and butter, and the smell of meat baking in the camp 
oven, and the teapot, which the eldest girl was bright- 
ening a little for father's dinner cup of tea, were all 
very different, and looked as if, whatever crops might 
be, the labourer ran no risk of being starved. 

A little curly-haired boy crept up to her, and asked 
her her name, where she came from, and where she 
was going ; and Clara, having no motive for conceal- 
ment, gave him ready answers. 

' You're going to Mrs. Denfield's ; that's where my 
sister Louisa Jane stops,' said he. * Mother, this lady 
is going to Louisa Jane's missis's.' 

The mother looked rather curiously at Clara, and 
said, * My Louisa Jane is coming home next week, for 
she can't stand the work nor the rowing she gets there 
no longer ; and them children are enough to tire out 
the patience of Job himself I hope, miss, that you 
aint a going to be govemess there, for the last one had 
a pretty time of it. The boys and the girls, too, gave 
her such sauce ; and then if she scolded them, their 
mamma's tongue came cataracting down upon the poor 
thing ; and if Mr. Denfield said a word to help Miss 



THB FIEST ATTEMPT. 65 

Dobson out, I expect lie catched it too. Maybe I am 
too free of my tongue, miss, for Mrs. Deuiield might 
be a friend of yours ; but I can*t forgive her for not 
letting Louisa Jane come to see me, and forbidding 
her to take the children out a-walking this way ; for 
she says it is only to have a gossip at her mother's, 
that will spoil her for a week afterwards. I wonder 
what mississes think servants are made of, if they are 
not flesh and blood the same as them. Suppose her 
children had to go to service, I fancy she would like 
to see them odd times, particular if they lived within 
a mile. My Louisa Jane did not like Miss Dobson, 
for she held her head high, and would not speak £ree- 
like to the servants in the kitchen ; for my maid has a 
good spirit of her own, and she thinks that as they 
were all working for wages, there should be an equality. 
£ut, as I says to Louisa Jane, mind Miss Dobson wears 
better clothes than you, and sits at table with your 
missis, and does no dirty work, so there should be a 
diíFerence.' 

* I had better go now,' said Clara ; * I feel quite 
rested now. I have not much further to go, I hope V 

* Only a mile and half a section,' said Mrs. Watts. 
* You'll lind it easy ; a white house in the middle of a 
section, with the haystack on the lefb hand, and the 
hedge of kangaroo thorn roimd the garden.' 

Clara met the master of the house in the doorway, 
who was wiping his forehead and calling on Betsy to 
look sharp with the dinner. He gave a slight bow as 
he passed the young lady, and hoped she did not feel 
the weather too hot. But she felt it all the hotter 
after her temporary shelter, and plodded on more 
wearily and despondingly than before. 

In front of the white house was a very pretty gar- 
den, fuU of a variety of fruit trees and vines ; and she 
saw there two girls and a boy, who were busy picking 
grapes and devouring them, seeds and stones included. 
They had no hats' or bonnets on, and were very much 
£reckled; they stared for a few seconds at the new 

VOL. L F 



66 CLASA MOBISON. 

Gomer, wlio found some difficulty in imtying the rope 
that &£itened up the gate, and supplied the place of 
the lock, which was broken ; but they did not offer to 
assist her, and resimied their pleasant occupation. A 
sharp-looking girl, whom Clara conjectured to be Louisa 
Jane, came out. 

' My word ! Master Bfenry and Miss Lucy and Eliza,' 
said she, 'wont your ma be angry to see you 'out 
without hats this broiling hot day, and eating them 
Muscats too. You'll all be ill as sure as I'm here. 
m just run and tell your ma. Come in, there's dears, 
and get on your hats ; you know you'll be simstruck.' 

The two young ladies said that they never wore hats, 
and that therr sun-bonnets were dirty — ^much too dirty 
to wear ; and scolded Louisa for her lazLness in not 
wafihing them, and her iU-nature in not giving them 
their best bonnets when the others were not fit to 
put on. 

Clara had by this time reached the door, at which 
she knocked. Louisa Jane whispered to the children 
that most likely this was the new govemess coming, 
at which news they hurried in at the back door, to get 
into the parlour as soon as she did, and have a good 
look at her before their mamma made her appearance. 
So by the time Clara was ushered into the sitting-room 
the whole of the juvenile Denfields were there ready 
to inspeot her. There was the eldest, Caroline, who 
seemed to be about fifbeen ; then James ; then the 
three whom Clara had seen in the garden, and Eobert 
and Emily, first merely lookÍQg at her, and then askÍQg 
her questions. 

* What a pretty frock you have on,' said Caroline, 
' though you have got it rather dusty with the walk ; 
and your bonnet is very nicely trimmed. Have you 
been long in the colony, or have you just come out ?' 

' I only landed last week,' said Clara. 

* Then why do you wear your hair in ringlets? they 
are quite out of &8hiozL A21 mffw oomm wear their 
hair crimped and itoolE 4lÉ||MBni|pD4Ar-*nd it looJcs 



THE PntST ATTBMPT. 67 

80 stylisL If you stay here you must -wear your hair 
like tfaat, for ma does not like curls at alL What is 
your name V 

* Clara Morison/ was the reply. 

' It is a nice name, I like it. Our last govemess was 
called Bridget Dobson; wasn't it a horrid ugly vulgar 
name ? but she was a vulgar creature altogether/ 

' I do not think it such a vulgar name,' said Clara. 
* There was a Mrs. Dobson who translated Petrarch 
beautifully.' 

Miss Denfield stared, and continued, ' If you are to 
be our govemess you must give us nice short lessons, 
and let us play a great deal. I am not too old for play 
yet, though I am so tall, and I don't mean to give it up 
till I oome out, and I hope that will not be long. 
There is Miss E.obertson came out at £fteen, and I 
wish you woidd help me to persuade ma to let me 
accept the next invitation I get.. It would be delight- 
fiil to dance till daylight. It is never too hot to dance 
you know, and I would never miss a dancing lesson for 
the world, but I do hate leaming spelling and grammar, 
and doing horrid sums when it is as hot as this. Ma 
says she is fit for nothing to-day, and what can you ex- 
pect of meí Master James, don't break the chairs, 
swinging upon them like that; and do, Miss Eliza, 
keep Emily from ma's work-box. She has got every- 
thing out of it; and there now, if she has not run the 
scissors into her hand. Oh Emily, don't cry, it is not 
very bad. What will ma sayl' 

But Emily was of opinion that it was very bad in- 
deed, and screamed so that Caroline was forced to take 
her out of the room to her mamma. Clara saw the 
other children do a good deal of mischief, and when 
she mildly hinted that they had better not, they merely 
stared at her, and went on. Three quarters of an hour 
elapsed before Mrs. Denfield entered, and with con- 
siderable dignity requested Clara to resume her seat 
when she rose to accost her. Mrs. Denfield prided 
herself on two things in particuLax , ftr^t^ ^2!aaX» ^^ ^^ 

p 2 



6S CIAfiA MOHISON. 

lady-like, and secondly tbat ahe was deoided. Her 
maimer was cold, Ler eye critical, her moutli hard in 
ite ezpreBSÍon, and her gait atiff; but still she was, in 
the opinÍOD of those tTenty people ■who formed her 
world, sach a lady-like Buperior voman. She waa 
anxiouB that her children ahould be as ladylike and firm 
as she was, but neither precept aor ezample had 
hitherto succeeded in producing that resuit. She had 
at last adopted the opinion that mothera were not the 
best instructora of their darlings, but that they needed 
a subordinate educating machine, such as a govemess, 
to act under their orders, and to cram the minda of 
children with nseful knowledge, without either inapir- 
ing any of the respeot, or -winning any of the affection 
which waa due to the mother, and the mother alone. 

Her cold grey eyes looked Clara over; the result 
was not satisfáotory. As Clora's colour rose at the 
inspection, ahe suppoaed that she had not heen accus- 
tomed to good society; and aa her flexible mouth did 
not close like a vice, úie waa of opinion that she wanted 
ËrmneSB. Besides, she was too young, and what some 
people would think too pretty for a govemeas, thongh 
there waa no mind whatever to be found in her &x!e. 

' You are, I presume,' said Mra. Denfield, ' the yoimg 
peraoc. in whose íkvour Mr. CampbfiU spoke to me on 
Wedncsday evenjng ï Miss Morison, I believe, is your 

' Yes, ma'am,' said Clara. 

' Pray, have you been accuatomed to tuitiont for I 
conmder that a great point.' 

Clara'a distressed eyea glanced at the childreu, who 
were al! eagerly lÍBt^úng, but whether Mrs. Denfield 
thought that they would profit by the colloquy, or 
whether she thought it a good triol of the govemeee's 
patience to conduct her croes-ezamÍDKtion before her 
fiiture pujijla, she did uot take the hint, but looked im- 
patient for an answer. 

' I h&ve uever been ia a Edtn^{^|^^^í^md to 
teach ihe litUe ones tAK 



THE FIRST ATTBMPT. 69 

* Án apprentice, I suppose/ said Mrs. Denfield 

* It was only because I liked it/ said Clara ; * I think 
there are no such things as school apprentices in Scot- 
land' 

'Then you are Scotch; yes, I hear you have the 
accent very strong. Were you at a boarding-school or 
a day-school, Miss Morison i' 

* I have been at both,' said Clara, ' and had instruc- 
tion at home besides.' 

*Are you acquainted with the routine of tuition? 
Could you give me any idea of how you would go 
through one day with these young folks of mine?' 

* I cannot teU until I know what progress they have 
made. Probably your boys go to school, and as for the 
young ladies I must take each separately, as there is 
such a difíerence in their ages, and they cannot leam 
exactly the same lessons,' said Clara. 

* I imderstood from Mr. Campbell that you know á 
little Latin, Miss Morison; and if you coiild carry on 
James and Heniy for a few moiLths, to prepare them 
for a good school, I think it would be a good arrange- 
ment for all parties. What is the matter, Caroline?' 

* Oh, ma,' said Caroline, who just now burst into 
the room, * I wish you would come and speak to 
Louisa, she is so cross with Emily, and was just going 
to give her a slap, when I said I would run and tell 
you. And what do you think Sarah is doing, ma? 
She is scrubbing out your room with the same water 
she took to wash the passage ; all her laziness to save 
her drawing more water from the welL' 

' Servants are the plague of my life,' said Mrs. Den- 
fíeld. * You will excuse me five minutes, Miss Morison. 
Put on your bonnets, my dears, and pick some grapes. 
I dare say Miss Morison would take a few this hot 
day if you dip them in cold water for a few minutes to 
cool them.' 

When Mrs. Denfield retumed it was without her 
children, to Clara's great delight ; sheresvucajedlciKt ^-«l- 
versatíon witjhout delay. 



70 CLABA MOBISON. 

* Caroline, as you may see, is very sliarp and ob- 
servant ; nothing escapes her, and as she tells me all 
that she sees, she prevents these girls from imposing 
upon me. 1 feel that under a mother's eye alone can 
daughters in particular be rightly brought up; aud if 
we should happen to come to terms, Miss Morison, let 
it be on the distinct understanding that my authority 
is in no way delegated to you. You teach them such 
and such lessons, and report to me how well or ill they 
have been leamed, and what their behaviour has been; 
for my children are of such an affectionate temper that 
they camiot bear anybody to find &iult with them but 
me. And in the next place, Miss Morison, I wish you 
to tell me exactly what you can and cannot do. I beg 
that you will resort to no subterfdges, for children are 
acute observers, and if you lay claim to any knowledge 
or skill which you do not possess, you will completely 
lose their esteem whenever they find it out.' 

' I can teach all the branches of an English education,' 
said Clara, ' and I und^tand Erench grammatically. I 
could give lessons in Latin for the fiíst year or two, 
and I could instruct the yoimg ladies in plain needle- 
work.' 

*No fancy work, knitting, or crochet?' asked Mrs. 
Denfield. 

' No, ma'am.' 

* No music?' 

* No, ma'am ; I know only the notes.' 

* Don't you draw at allf 
' No, ma'am.' 

* Cannot you teach dancing?' 

' Oh yes, at least I can dance well; my master always 
said I was his best pupiL' 
' WaB he a Frenchmanl' 

* Yes, ma'am.' 

Mrs. Denfield hesitated a little, aiid then flaid, * May 
I ask your age9' 
' Kineteen, ma'amu' 
'ln what veasel 



. /■.' ■ 




THB FIRST ATTEMPT. 71 

' In the Magnificent — ^in the intermedÍAte.' 
' I have met a Mrs. Hastie, just come from Scotland ; 
I suppose a fellow-passenger of yoiir& May I inquire 
from her as to how you conducted yourself on board? 
Excuse my doing so, for in a oolony like this one can- 
not be too carefoL' 

'Mrs. Hastie knows nothing whatever about me, 
ma'am,' said Clara. 'We never spoke to the cabin 
paasengers all the voyage. I have no referenoe exoept 
to Mr. Campbell; my imcle did not even procure me 
certificates firom the schools and masters I attended, 
for he thought that Mr. and Mrs. Campbell's interest 
would be suficient to procure me the situation I 
wanted. Will you try me for a month, and see if I 
will not suit you?' 

* Well/ said Mrs. Denfield, ' with so few accomplish- 
ments, and no recommendations, I suppose you will be 
glad of a home. I cannot afford to give you a high 
salary.' 

* I would come for twenty poimds Sr-year,' said Clara, 
anjdous to bring the matter to some condusion. 

'Twenty pounds a-yearl what an absurdly high 
salary for a nursery govemessl If you had known 
anything of music I might have stretched a point^ but 
I do not consider myself justified in ofíering you any 
more than fifbeen.' 

* That is very little,' said Clara j * I do not see how 
a yoimg lady can provide her dress and contingencies 
on such a small income.' 

* I do not care for the yoimg person who occupies the 
place of govemess in my £miily dressing at all expen- 
sively. The plainer the better, provided she is clean 
and neat. Every govemess I have had has assisted 
me with the &inily needlework ; and Miss Dobson, to 
whom I gave fifbeen pounds Sr-year, used to dress two 
of the younger children every moming. She was no 
musician, certainly, but she drew nicely; I shall be 
grieved if Caroline's drawing is to be at an end : and 
she was very skilíul in aU án.dB o£ feaass^ ^a^ ^ ^sw^- 



72 CLABA MORISON. 

not possibly offer you any higher salary, Miss Morison ; 
it is for you to accept or decline it.' 

Clara's colour went and came several times during 
this speech ; she knew it would be a most uncomfort- 
able situation, but yet she thought it right to take it ; 
for, according to Mr. Campbell's account, this was a 
fidr specimen of colonial ladies, and no other employer 
might appear before her money was spent, and she was 
destitute. So she consented to take the salary of fiffceen 
pounds a-year, board and washing (this last in modera- 
tion), for instructing Mrs. Denfield's seven children. 

Mrs. Denfield now became tolerably gracious to 
Clara. She had asked her a great many questions, she 
had engaged her at a low salary, she had a prospect of 
her boys learning Latin at no expense ; in fewït, she had 
been decided, and made the govemess come into her 
terms without binding herself in any way. So she was 
talking rather pleasantly about the colony and the 
weather, the vineyard and.the dairy, and Clara was 
beginning to think that she would like her a little, 
when Mr. Denfield entered, with the children. 

* Ha !' said he, * a yoimg lady here, and a fair one. 
Introduce me, Mrs. Denfield.' 

* This is Miss Morison, about whom Mr. Campbell 
spoke to me.' 

* Just 80,' said Mr. Denfield ; * I am glad to see that 
it is Miss Morison. I hope you will like Langley, Miss 
Morison. I am sure, Caroline, and Lucy, and Eliza, 
you will like this nice lady to teach you your lessons. 
She does not look at all like Miss Dobson, my dears. 
Why do you not ask Miss Morison to take off her 
bonnet and what-do-you-call-it, Priscilla ? she must be 
smothered in them.' 

Mrs. Denfield was displeased at her husband for ad- 
miring the new govemess, and at his taking it for 
granted that she was engaged without its being an- 
nounced firom head-quarters ; and still more at his 
rebuking her for a íailure in courtesy. So she changed 
her Trn'nd, and determined that Miss Morison shoidd 
have anotliflr fátaaiáQii to aeek íbr. 



THB FIRST ATTEMPT. 78 

' You are always too precipitate, Mr. Denfield,' Raid 
she. ' I have not settled matters with MÍ88 Morison 
jet; there are some inquirics to make before a iinal 
^gagement can be entered into.' 

' A final engagement ! That sounds very like a mar- 
riage,* said Mr. Deníield, laughing heartily. 'Never 
mind, Miss Morison, there are lots of young fellows 
about here who will be very dcsirous of entering into 
a final engagement with you ; but in the meantime, we 
must allow Mrs. Denfíeld to have her way iu the first 
place, and to make your prior engagement as íirm and 
decided as she is herself Ha ! ha !' 

' I am sure I shall like you,' said Miss Denfield ; 
' you look so good-natured.' 

' I don't like a woman to teach me,* said Master 
James ; * I want to go to school like other boys.' 

* So you shall, my boy, and Harry too,' said Mr. 
Denfield. 'This young lady cannot take charge of 
such great unruly fellows as you are; can you, Miss 
Morisonï' 

' Miss Moríson has promised to do so,* said Mrs. 
Denfield; 'she knows Latin, and says that she can lay 
the foundation for that language. I hope she can do 
it well, for it occurs to me thab there is some difiference 
between English Latin and Scotch Latin. Is there not, 
William, my love V 

' Oh ! to be sure there is ; Scotchmen make all the 
vowels broad,' rejoined Mr. Denfield. I remember a 
chap, of the name of Macbamet, coming to our gram- 
mar-school firom the north, and how terribly he got 
laughed at among the boys for his way of pronouncing 
the words.' 

* Afber which fashion do you pronounce the language?' 
said Mra Denfield, with such cold severity, that hot 
as the day was, Clara felt a shiver come over her. 

' Afber the Scotch fashion, ma'am,' said she, flushing 
under the supercilious sneer of the boy James, who, 
knowing nothing whatever of the matter, thought it a 
fine thing to despise ladies* Latin. 

' It Í8 of very little oonsequence, Priscilla,' said Mr. 



74 CLABA MOEISOK. 

Denfield, apologetically; 'Macbamet was really the 
best scholar among us, and wbs never once out in his 
quantities.' 

*I beg yonr pardon, Mr. Denfield,' said the lady, 
* but I am disposed to consider it of great consequence; 
and I am glad I am aware of this poiut, Miss Morison, 
for I should have been sony indeed if you had suo- 
ceeded in holding it back from me. I will let you 
know on Monday whether I can engage you, and in 
case I do, you ought to hold yourself in readiness to 
acoompany the messenger.' 

Clara assented, and fbeling imcomfortable under Mrs. 
Denfield's eye, she moved to take her leave; having 
merely tasted the slass of colonial wine that Mrs. Den- 
field had offered hlr. and leaving both fruit and bread 
much as she had got them. Mr. Denfield went out to 
open the gate for her, and Caroline followed with a 
bunch of grapes, which she insisted on her eating by 
the way; while Mrs. Denfield, more displeased than 
ever, siillenly detemmied that, whatever might be said 
on the subject, that girl shoidd never enter her house 
again, to make mischie^ as she was sure to do. 

As Clara went home, her heart felt unaccountably 
lightened. She had observed Mrs. Denfield's manner, 
and was convinced that her answer woidd be unÊivour- 
able; but she was conscious that she had conceded 
every point, and that she was not to blame for her bad 
success in her first attempt to get a situation. 

So she picked her grapes, and slowly retumed to 
Adelaide, happy in the thought that on this evening, 
for the first time for months, she could have a little 
solitude, and even looking forward to a retum to Mrs. 
Handy'8 cordial fe^ ^th a sort of home feeling. 
Mrs. Denfield*s coldness had made her long to retum 
to the boarding-house. The sun was low when she got 
into town, and in passing Mr. Campbell's store, she 
found it was shut, so tíiat ahe oould not on this 
evening give him anyaioooiuit oihK ixmTersation with 
hifi amiable &iflii4 ^4jjg||yM^yHÚMAi* . . 




THB FIBST ATTEMPT. 75 

On reaching home, Olara went straight to her room 
to obtain a little rest, but was not long lefb to herself, 
for in half an hour Mrs. Handy tapped at the door, 
brínging in a cup of tea, with bread and butter; and 
Clara begged she would sit down to hear about her 
application to Mrs. Denfield, while she took the welcome 
tea. Mrs. Handy was convinced that Mrs. Denfield 
would send for Miss Morison on Monday. She knew 
yery well that Mrs. Den£eld coidd afibrd to give a 
better salajy than fifteen pounds a year, and concluded 
hj advising Clara to make a stand at fírst both for 
more authority and more pay. 

Clara said quietly that ^e did not expect to get this 
* aituation, but that even if she did, she was not in cir- 
cumstances to make any stand. She must come rnto 
her employer^s terms, or not be engaged at alL 

* Well, Miss Morison,' said Mrs. Handy, * I suppose 
it is all for the best, but things do go cont^uy with U8 
all sometimes. I am losing all my pleasantest peopla 
There's Mr. Haussen has given me notice to-á&j^ 
and I believe it is just the singing and dancing they 
make Mr. Blinker do in the evenings that sends him 
off ; but I cannot say a word about it, for Mr. Oscar 
and Mr. Brown, and some of the others, would leave, 
if I dared to £bid &.ult. I don*t think you like the 
noise they make either, and I must say that it would 
be a great deal more gentlemanly if they woidd exert 
themselves to amuse you in a quiet way, than by making 
game of that poor harmless creature. We have got a 
new gentleman to-day, who takes half a room till Mr. 
Haussen goes. He is a Jew, a Mr. Samuels; but he 
does not mind about eating pork. He took bacon at 
dinner to-day, and I was rather sorry to see it, for you 
know that it is the most expensive article on the 
table; and I have had Jewswhowere more particular, 
and I liked them for boarders very welL* 



76 CLABA MOBISON. 



CHAPTER VII. 

ANOTHEB GLIMPSE, AND A RESOLUTION. 

in LARA did not admire Mr. Samuels at all; on the 
^ contrary, sli^ took a great dislike to liiTn at fiorst 
siglit. He insisted on sitting beside her, and talking 
to her about dress, &ahions, and personal omaments ; hé 
tumed his rings and brooches in every different light, 
in order to dazzle her by their brilliancy, and in spite 
of her short answers and averted head, he seemed de- 
termined to force himself upon her attention. Clara 
made her escape as soon as possible, not feeling quite 
so sure that she was glad Mrs. Denfíeld would not have 
her. 

Monday brought a stiff note from that lady, saying 
that, afber making further inquiries, she had formd that 
Miss Morison would not suit. When Clara next saw 
Mr. Campbell,he seemed to think that it must have been 
her own h.vlt that she had Mled; and though she 
repeated her conversation with Mrs. Denfield nearly 
verbatim, he was not convinced. 

Mr. Campbell was not so rich as he was supposed to 
be ; his own affairs were puzzling him, and he felt the 
burden of Clara's very oppressive, though not very im- 
portant. So he told her that she had better advertise. 
She sat down directly at his table, and promptly wrote 
the following: — 

^Wants a situation as govemess, a yotmg lady 
capable of teaching thoroughly all the branches of an 
English education, French, dancing, and the elements 
of Latin. Only a moderate salary is required. Address 
to C. M., Post-office, Adelaide.' 

* Will that do, Mr. Campbell?' said she, ' or had I 
better leave out the Latin, as I don*t pronounce it afber 
the orthodox &8hiou in &oaÚi Awrtralia. But you 
know the Sootoh Wlf liiilÉÉÍ Iti Iwil I ai&ed 




ANOTHEB DISAPPOINTMENT. 77 

Mr. Haussen, a German gentleman, whom I met at 
Mrs. Handy's, how he read Latin, and he told me it 
was nearly the same as ours, whereas English Latin is 
utterly unintelligible all over the Continent' 

* Don't leave out the Latin,* said Mr. Campbell ; * it 
will do very well for people in the country. Scotch 
folks will prefer it as you pronounce it, and nine-tenths 
of the English don't know Latin fix>m Qreek; even 
"Rnglifth gentlemen are generally ignorant of all 
clasBÍcal literature; Scotland Í3 the place to be inducted 
into the humanities. If Mrs. Deufíeld had not been 
such a very superior woman, she would never have 
found out anything wrong in the broad vowels; but it 
cannot be helped now. I like your promptitude, 
Miss Morison ; no sooner do I say you should do such 
a thing, than instead of asking how it is to be done, 
you set about it and accompliah it. And you wipe 
your pen when you have done, which looks methodi(^, 
and is good for my fevourite pen. I expect that some- 
thing will come of this advertisement. You must send 
it to one or two of the papers, for how many insertionsl 
— ^let me see — I think three insertions in two news- 
papers will do, Miss Morison. I shall feel great 
pleasure in being of use to you, and of course aU appli- 
cants can be referred to^ me. My name is good for 
something in Adelaide. Yes, Miss Morison, I feel 
convinced that this advertisement will do you good.' 

Clara having still further reduced her stock of 
money by paying for advertising, waited with some 
impatience for the result. Mrs. Handy spoke to her 
kindly and cheerfully, and if there hÉid been no one 
else in the house, Clara would have been comparatively 
happy; but the vulgar jokes she was subjected to 
firom the young men in the boarding-house were in- 
tolerable. 

At last came an application for her services ; it was 
couched in these words : 

'Mrs. Caumray presents her complements to C. M., 
and wauld be glad to see her on Tewsduy next, at the 



78 CLABA MOEISON. 

Hotelj where I am stopping for the preasant 



time, at three o'clock p.m.' 

Clara shrugged her shoulders slightly at this elegant 
note, but with only thirty shillings in the world, she 
must not be too partieular ; so she showed it to Mrs. 
Handy, who read it twice over. 

*Well, Mrs. Caimiray's compliments are something 
new ; and the paper is beautifiil, though I can't say 
the same of the writing and spelling. I fency she 
would not speak to me now, though many a good day's 
work she has had from me when she wanted it ; for 
Caumray used to drink awful the first year they were 
here, and if it had not been that she took in washing, 
both her and her little girl might have starved. When 
he took the pledge, and they went out to the coimtry, 
they never took any more notice of me. I hear they 
are doing very weU down south, and Mr. Oscar told 
me that Caumray had bought three more sections of 
land yesterday at the land-sale. They live about thirty 
miles out of town, with a sort of rough plenty about 
their housekeeping ; but I can see by this that Mrs. 
Caiunray wants to start in a more genteel line now, 
and get a govemess for Janey, and make a lady of her. 
Set them up to get a bom gentlewoman to teach a girl 
that I remember going about in perfect rags ; but it is 
all of a piece, for the last time I saw Mrs. Caumray 
and Jane, they were riding through Adelaide on beau- 
tifiil horses, and had on handsome green cloth habits. 
I dare say you would be kindly treated there, Miss 
Morison ; but it seems a casting of pearls before swine 
— excuse the quotation — for you to go to my old 
washerwoman's.' 

* How old is the little girl V asked Qlara. 

*Let me see; she was eight years old when we 
landed, and that is fully six years ago ; she must be 
going on for £fbeen now. JUl the ohildieii ahe had 
after her died in the colonj,. i#il ami* be flnly^ íbr 
Janey that flhe waats a -^ - - 




ANOTHBR DISAPPOINTMENT. 79 

' Then they came out in the same ship with you and 
Mr. .' Here Clara stopped short. 

' Yes, with me and Mr. Keginald. I knew what 
you were going to say. Only she was in the steerage, 
I was in the intermediate, and Mr. Keginald in the 
cabin, of course. What a good laugh he will have 
when I tell him that Mrs. Caumray wanted you to go 
to leam Janey the accomplishments, as she calls them. 
Really, Miss Morison, you must not go there ; you are 
sure not to like it, and you will find it difficult to get 
a genteel situation afberwards. And what would Mr. 
Keginald think V 

* I have no choice left,' said Clara, * for I have scarcely 
any money left. I will, if possible, agree with this 
lady. I dare say I shall be happier with her than I 
coiúd have been with Mrs. Denfield ; and even if I 
am not, we were not sent into the world to be happy.' 

* What were we sent for, then V said Mrs. Handy. 

* To be usefiil, to be strong, to conquer our Êiults, 
to uproot our pride' — and Clara dashed a salt drop 
from her eye, and looked so determined that Mrs. 
Handy was of opinion that, though she was a gentle- 
looking creature, there was a great deal of spirit in 
Miss Morison. 

* Afber all,' said Mrs. Handy, * I dare say that is 
very true. I expected to be happy when I was as 
young a3 you, and yet my life has been only one of 
very hard work, with a good deal of anxiety, and very 
little pleasure or happiness in it at all. So I hope that 
as you don't seem to expect happiness, but only mean 
to do your best and be usefiil, you may find happiness 
by the way.' 

Mrs. Caumray was a stout, good-humoured looking 
woman, very proud of her nice farm and beautiftd dairy, 
but above all things proud of her only daughter, whose 
rosy cheeks, and tall though awkward figure, gave 
promise that she would one day tum out a fine woman. 
Janey was an admirable horsewoman, and understood 



80 CLARA MOUISON. 

all about cows, and pigs, and poultry ; but slie liad had 
no education but what had been picked up from young 
gentlemen who had been at hef father's in the capacity 
of servants, no unconunon thing in South Australia. 
Grenerally speaking, they were what Scotch people 
call ' né&r-do-weda / but it was a convenience in the 
evenings, when the day's farm-work was over, that 
they coidd hear Janey read, set her a copy, and make 
her work a few sums. 

But, as Mrs. Caumray wisely observed, Janey was 
getting too old to have a yoimg man for a teacher 
now j she must either go to a boarding-school or have 
a govemess. She would be likely to pick up the finest 
manners at school, if she went to a íirst-rate one, and 
an inferior one was not to be thought o£ So Mrs. 
Caumray applied to two or three of the most esteemed 
boarding-schools in Adelaide ; but as her accent and 
manners were unmistakeably vulgar, she was told that 
they had no vacancy at present. 

When Clara entered the room which Mrs. Caumray 
for the present occupied, she foimd that both her hus- 
band and daughter were with her. She hoped that 
they were a more united couple than Mr. and Mra 
Denfield, and they appeared to be so, so far as she 
could judge at sight. Miss Caumray was standing at 
the window, looking out at the nimierous passengers, 
which are so irresistibly fascinating to a country girl. 
She looked at the young lady whom she expected to 
be her governess with a sort of wondeiing awe, as she 
thought of the French and Latin; but the idea of 
dancing crossed her mind, and made a smile pass over 
her feice. 

The awkwardness of introduction by people who 
did not well know how to set about it fe.irly over, Mrs. 
Caumray said, 

* Jane, my dear, will you go to Miss Nicoll's, and 
get your dress tried on, and tell her as both yours and 
mine must be sent here by Saturday moming, for your 
Êither says he can't stop in towxi no longer.' 



ANOTHEE DISAPPOINTMBNT. 81 

Jane took a parting stare at Miss Morison, and went 
her way. 

^ It is better, Miss Morison, that she should not be 
here while you talk over matters with Mr. Caumray 
and me.' In this sentiment Clara heartily joined. 
* I like yonr appearance, and think you are sure to 
soit me ; but would you tell me who I can refer to 
about your character and all that sort of thing Y 

* I can refer you to Mr. Campbell, of Hindley-street, 
an old Mend of my imcle's.' 

'A most respectable gentleman, indeed/ said Mr. 
Oaumray ; * that is quite satis&ctory.' 

* So it is,' concurred Mrs. Caumray. * I don't know 
anybody whose recommendation is worth more ; but I 
wish you could teach music and singing, for Miss 
Caumray haa a wonderful ear, and is wild to leam the 
piano j but perhaps you know enoiigh to begin her, 
and her father has promised her a piano, and I know 
he will have no peace till he gets it, so I wish you 
could give her music' 

* I Imow the notes of music, but I can teach nothing 
further.' 

^ Well, Jane shall get a musical question and answer 
book, and you can teach her out of that, surely ; for 
she is a great girl now, and has no time to lose. You 
will wonder that I don't send Jane to school, having 
only one daughter to educate.' 

* I suppose you do not like to part with her,' sug- 
gested Clara. 

* Indeed and I don't,' said Mrs. Caumray ; * but yet 
I did make some inquiries about a school for her, and 
went to some ladies the other day ; but they looked so 
proud and haughty, that I was afraid they would make 
my girl as proud as themselves. She will have a good 
bit of money by and by, and that makes me want her 
^ught to be humble. She is naturally of a very meek 
disposition, Miss Morison ; and if anybody takes ex- 
oeptionB to her, and fínds fiftult, she cries dreadful, and 

^ l|VQ,\ip6ak for an hour or two ; but for all that, she 



k 



a , CLASA MOKISON. 

must be foiind fault with sometiiues. You will have 
it all yoiu: own way, for I never interfere, and neither 
does Mr. Oaumray. It*s her manners that I am most 
particular about, fbr in the bush people gets so rough, 
and the neighbours about kas no notion of gentility ; 
so I like to keep Jane at home, at least I do my 
utmost. Now, IVÊss Morison, what salary would you 
be seeking f 

Olara had been instructed by Mrs. Handy to ask a 
tolerably high salary, and to do it coolly too ; so she 
said, * Forty pounds a-year.' 

* That is quite a large sum for teaching one girl,' 
said Mrs. Oaumray. ^ I never heard of such a salary 
being given ín town or country ; and there is tlJb 
very genteel lady, Mrs. Forbes, oi^dy gives thirty, and 
her govemess knows music too.' 

* That may be true,' said Olara, * but does she under- 
stand English V 

* I'm sure I never thought of asking, but you know 
that it is a great matter to be able to play.' 

* What I say I can do you will find that I will per- 
form,' said Claira, remembering Mr. Beginald's advice. 
' When my imcle sent me out to Axistralia, he expected 
that I shoidd get at least sixty, and had poor Mrs. 
Campbell been alive I should have been staying with 
her, and should have felt in no hurry to take a situar 
tion. As it is, I am anxious to have a comfortable 
home, and will take forty.' 

The confidence and decision with which this was 
said prpduced its effect. To get a young lady, a friend 
of Mr. and Mrs. Campbell's, at forty poimds a-year, 
would, in spite of the want of music, be a grander 
thing than even Mrs. Forbes' thundering polka-player, 
who knew nobody in the colony, and whom nobody 
knew. * And as for the money,' thought Mrs. Caum- 
ray, ' we can afford it a mighty sight better than Mrs. 
Forbes can, with all her genteel airs.' 

But she could not resist the temptation of satisfying 
her curiosity as to where Claxa lived, if it was not with 



ANOTHER DISAPPOINTMENT. 83 

the Campbell's; probably it was at Mrs. Barnard'sy 
wiio was a great Mend of theirs, and the most elegant 
woman in Adelaide. 

' You say that jou want a comfortable home, Miss 
Morison ; where are you stopping now ]' 

* I am in a boarding-house at present, and I do not 
Ukeit' 

^Whose boarding-house is itl Miss KenshaVs^ I 
suppose ; that is the best in town.' 

* I do not live there ; I am staying at Mrs. Handy's.' 
Mr. and Mrs. Caumray both flushed when Mrs. 

Handy's name was mentioned. but the lad/s colour 
was the highest, and lasted longest Clara commanded 
her countenance as well as she could, but her heart 
sank when Mrs. Caumray began to speak. 

* I don't think we can come to terms, Miss Morison ; 
you know you don't teadi music, and you ask too much 
salary, and I don*t see no use in girls leaming Latin; 
do you, Mr. Caumray?' 

* Neither do I,' said he; but he whispered something 
to his wife. 

She shook her head. Clara tried to look unconscious, 
but blushed, in spite of herself 

*Will you not think of it again, Mrs. Caumrayí' 
said she. ' If you really think the salary too high, 
give me what you consider reasonable.' 

* She does not know yet,' said Mrs. Caumray, in an 
under tone to her husband. ' It will never do. We 
cannot have her.' 

* I will call again to morrow,' said Clara; 'perhaps 
you will have settled then how much you think me 
worth.' 

* No,' said Mrs. Caumray, shaking her head, * you 
will not do; how old are you?' 

' Nineteen last September.' 

* Oh, you are much too young for Jane; Jane is 
going on for fifteen. Have you ever been in a place 
before? Ibegpardon; I mean a situationf 

' Not a regular situation,' aaid OAaxd.*, ^XsxsX. W^sstï^í; 

G 2 



84 CLASA MOBISOy. 

taught a good deal at school, and understaiid giving in- 
struction qnite as well as those who have had more 
experience.' 

' But experienoe is the great thing, Miss Morison; I 
am sure you will not do j — I wish you a good afber- 
noon.' 

' I do the same/ said Mr. Caumray. 

And presently Clara found herself in the street, 
without having succeeded in getting a situation. She 
went straight to Mr. Campbell's, and told him the 
result of her advertisement. He looked annoyed, but 
he was too honest a man to reproach her for telling 
the truth. 

* Well, Miss Morison, I really do not know what 
is to be done with you. How does your money 
hold outr 

' I have still thirty shillings, but I must not wait 
tiU it is all spent,' said Clara j ' I am very slow at 
needlework, but I sew neatly; do you think I could 
get anjrthing to do in that wayï' 

* I do not know,' said Mr. Campbell ; ' I will 
inquire. I believe that it is a business which does not 
pay, all over the world. You could not, even if you 
woro a skilful sempstress, eam so much as would pay 
Mrs. Hondy her eighteen shillings a week.' 

Mr. Campbell took two or three tums about the 
littlo room, and then took out Mr. Morison's letter, 
dosiring hor to read it 

Whon Clara had done so, he asked her if she would 
liko hira to draw upon her \mcle for as much money as 
woidd take her home. 

* No,' said Clara, ' I would rather work my fingers 
to tlio lK)ne than be dependent on his unwillinjr 
oharity.* ° 

a am not rioh, Mias Moriaon,' said Mr. CampbeU, 
«but I dMraMy I oould lend you a trifle tiU you cet 

vft ^ JÍWli ■■M i. to ÊÊBiA me hBte; said Clara. 

I getnotiiiEig to do at 




*-A 



ANOTHEB DISAPPOINTHENT. 85 

all? I have made no objection to any sort of 
drudgery.' 

' Áh\ Miss Morison, if jou had been a strong 
servant girl, instead of an educated lady, there would 
have been no dij£culty in getting you a place, and good 
wages, too.' 

* I never thought of that before,' said Clara; ' I can 
go to service. I don't know anything about work yet, 
but I shall Boon leam, and you don't know how strong 
I am. Do you think any body would take me? Will 
you ask for a place as housemaid in a respectable 
family for me, and I know that I shall soon leam to 
work hard and well. Do let me have a trial, Mr. 
CampbelL* 

Mj*. Campbell admired the girrs independent spiri^, 
and smiled approvingly; but when he looked at the 
little white h^ds and taper fíngers, the slight fígure 
and elegant bearing of the young lady, he was 
rather doubtful whetíLer anybody would take her as a 
servant. 

' I will inquire, Miss Morison,' said he. ' £y the 
way, Mrs. Bantam mentioned to me the day before 
yesterday that her last girl — one of that batch of Irish 
orphans who tumed out so ill — ^had got drunk and 
been so iurious, that Mr. Bantam was obliged to tum 
her out of doors ; and that after she had gone, Mrs. 
Bantam had missed a great many things, which the 
girl had stolen. She told me that she would not engage 
another till she found one with a good character; per- 
haps she woidd take you. She is a very amiable, kind 
woman, and I dare say she woidd take pains with you, 
if you were willing to leam.' 

* Do not tell her who I am,' said Clara; ' only say 
that I have never been at service before.* 

' And that not having succeeded in getting employ- 
ment as nursery govemess or needlewoman, you wish 
to get a servant's place. Mrs. Bantam is an English 
|ad7> cmd has an idea that Scotch young ladies are 
ignonuit of all household work; so I will not tell that 



86 

j<m «e a ladj. Came in hare toHmcMTOw about this 
tíiiie, and I will let joa know wliat Mis. BMi t ftTn 

aay&' 

Mr. CWpbeil Mt oomforiAble in ilie thou^ that 
the girrs good senae and hi^ spirit wonld cany her 
throogh the world, and save him any foriher trouble ; 
but Mhl Handy was hcMrrQr-etrack when Glara made 
her aoquainted with the resolt of her interyiew with 
Mr. aod Mrs. Caomray. 

' To think, MÍ88MorÍ8on, that yoor being staying in 
hoose could do y ou any harm ; I am ao sorry aboat 
it. To be sure it must be wormwood to her that I 
know how poor she used to be ; and as she knows me 
to be free-spoken enough, of course she supposes that 
I should tell you all about it before die saw you again. 
But afber all, it would be hard for you to be oomfort- 
ftblo with such a vulgar woman; and I am sure you 
wjll Hoon get a better opening' 

* I have made up my mind,' said Clara, * as to what 
1 am to do. Mr. Campbell says that if I had been a 
hard-working girl, I should have had no difficulty in 
«etting employment, so I have resolved.to go to 
líorvioo/ 

* Clo t« sorvicol Don't think of such a thing l You 
ai»o iiot ilt for the work, and wiU lay yourself up in a 

^r^*^ Ai'"^*^ ^*""^*^**» youwill quite spoil your chance 
í»f «oitlng woU married; and that would be a pity.' 

JNoni,iit<< lUiidOlara; 'I wiU keep out of debt 
maiM'lml ' ^«*'**> "^^ ^^ ^ T^o necessity for being 

HUm'^^I*"^'^ ^^*'*'» ^^** Movison; but you would not 
vmrwh;»*\'^^^^^^^ ''^ ovorybody's beck and caU, for 

IZ V : ï 1*1* ^^y *^^ ^^''^ y^^ ^^^« tried^or a 
uot ÍiÍh \^" ^'''"^ ^; «^^^ fK>o; ind I fancy you would 

•aJí'iK'*''''^ '''''^'^ "''^ '^^ *" "'''^ ^^^ ^^^' 

•Wkjr. ihojaaw loid dmka «omotimeB do many 



ANOTHEK DiaAPPODmCENT. 87 

servaat-girls, and I have heaid of two or three gentle- 
•men who did the same ; but then their wiyes are not 
▼isited by genteel people,' — at least, by the lady part 
óf them. Tou must not go to aervioe, Míab Morison ; 
I am in no hurry about the board, as my house is ftdl; 
and if 70U coidd make yourself haiidy and useM about 
the house, I could easily make a deduotion. Jane is 
so thoughtless ; she forgets more than half she is told ; 
and 70U could do a deal to save mj poor feet Perhaps 
Bomething suitable maj tum up in a week or two. 
Mr. Regmald will be in town again soon; wouldn*t 
you like to see him again?' 

' I feel yery grateM for your yery great kindnesa^ 
Mrs. Handy, but Mr. Oampbell says he knows of a 
lady who is in want of a maid-of-all-work, and has 
promised to speak in my favour to-day; and I am 
bound to him to accept of the place, if Mrs. Bantam 
will take such a poor, stupid thing as I am.' 

' It would be quite colonial in you to change your 
mind to-morrow,' said Mrs. Handy. 

But Clara felt that she could not trifle with Mr. 
Oampbell, or lose the chance of what appeared to be an 
Unexceptionable situation. Grateful as she felt to 
Mrs. Handy for her kind offer, she was oonscious that 
the position of hanger-on at a boarding-house was 
neither very safe nor very respectable. 

' If Mrs. Bantam will engage me,* said she, * I will 
go there ; if not, I shall really be very glad to do all 
ín my power to assist you. In the meantime^ will 
you let me go to the kitchen to see how you manage 
things there ; and if you can give me any hints or 
advice, I shall be very much obliged to you. I see the 
parlour looks dusty ; let me try to sweep and arrange 
it; I think I oould manage to have it done before 
«Tane comes to lay the cloth for dinner; and be good 
enough to critioise my performanoe when I have 
finished' 

Mrs. Handy was pleased with Clara's first attempt 
At -work, and gave her a fair meed of praise. Bhe then 



88 CLABA MOEISON. 

proceeded to give her directions about a variety of 
thiiigs, told her how long a joint of meat took to bake 
in a camp-oven, how long in a brick-oven, and how 
long it took to roast before the fíre ; how clothes should 
be washed, and how starch should be made ; how knives 
and forks should be cleaned, and how Gíerman-silver 
could be kept from tuming yellow; how floors were to 
be scrubbed, and hearths blackened or whitewashed; 
how fumiture was to be oiled, and crystal polished 

Clara got quite confused by hearing that so much 
knowledge was indispensable to a good servant. Things 
which she had thought were done merely by instinct, 
she now saw required thought and management; but 
some of Mrs. Hand/s d&ections remained in her 
mind; and she went to Mr. Campbell's next day, with 
the determination that if he got her a place, she would 
do her utmost to keep it. 

Mr. Campbell had not found much difficulty in per- 
suading Mrs. Bantam to try his protégée, for the idea 
of getting a girl who was sober and honest, and who 
spoke the truth, was a welcome one to her affcer her 
experience of the last two or three who had so 
grievously imposed upon her good nature. Clara had 
dressed herself very plainly, in case Mrs. Bantam 
might wish to see her; so there was nothing to dis- 
tinguish her £rom others except the propriety of her 
language; but that her Scotch accent prevented Mrs. 
Bantam firom observing. As she was to be taught 
everything, Clara offered to go for the first month 
without wages; at the end of that time, there was to 
be a new agreement. Mrs. Bantam hoped that they 
might get on comfortably, for she said she did not like 
changing her servant ofben. 

Next moming Clara had to bid Mrs. Handy good- 
bye ; that worthy lady was not satisfled with shaking 
hands; she threw her arms about Clara, and kissed 
her aflectionately. 

' I will not tell any of the gentlemen where you 
Mve gone, tbough they may teas» me ever so mucL 



ANOTHEE DISAPPOINTMENT. 89 

I will not even tell Mr. Iteginald when he comes into 
town again. He is sure to ask me about you, for he 
seemed to take more interest in you than I ever saw 
him take in anybody.' 

' Do not tell anybody anything about me, my dearMrs. 
Bkndy. I must not even come to see you again though I 
do like you so much; for I must only associate with 
my equals. I hope your Jane will not think herself 
very much above me.' And here Clara laughed a little 
sad laugL 

'My Jane shall think nothing about the matter^ 
either good or bad, for she shall know nothing; but 
do oome to see me sometimes, Miss Morison; Mra 
Bantam will surely let you out now and then.' 

/If I «u. I wilf; aná again good-bye my dear kind 
firiend.' And Clara set out to try the world for her- 
self, with a singular mixture of pride in what she was 
doing, and of contempt for all who would despise her 
for it. But yet she feared to meet any one she knew, 
and a fígure slightly resembling Mr. E.eginaíd*s sent 
her two streets out of her way. 






QQ CLABA KOBISON. 

CHAPTEIl Vni. 

AT SEBVICE. 

WHEN yoxing ladies in novels are set to any work 
to which ^ey are unaccustomed, it is surprising 
liow instantaneously they always get OTer all the diffi* 
colties before them. Thej row boats without feeling 
&.tigued,- they scale walls, they rein in restive horses, 
they can lift the most ponderous articles, though they 
are of the most delicate and fragile constitutions, and 
have never had such things to do in their lives. 

It was not 80 with Cla^, however. She found the 
trork dreadfullj hard, and by no means &flcina'tíng; 
and though she was willing and amdous even to pain* 
fuhiess, the memory that had tenadously kept hold 
of hard names and dates, which her father had 
trusted to as to an encyclopsedia, seemed utterly to 
&il her' in recoUectÍBg whenls^oepans were to be 
put on and taken oS, and every day brought the same 
puzzling uncertainty as to how plates and dishes were 
to be arranged at the breakfast and dinner-table, which 
Mrs. Bantam had more than once shown her, with a 
particular desire that she should do it exactly in the 
same way. 

Then she was very awkward at lighting a fire, and 
would ofben let it go out black just when it was most 
wanted. The camp-oven was a perfect heart-break to 
her, for she could never hit upon any mediimi between 
scorching heat and lukewammess. Mrs. Bantam said 
that every new comer from England was awkward with 
the wood-fires and the camp-oven at first, so she ex- 
cused her ; but Clara knew that she should have been 
no better if the fires had been of coal, and the oven the 
newest invented patent cooking apparatus, but this 
opinion she prudently kept to herseíf. 

She made a considerable smashing of crockery the 
first week; nezt week she scalded her arm pretty 



. AT SEBVICE. 91 

Beverely, and felt almost imable to move it for two 
dajB ; the third week she was becoming more fít to be 
trusted, but yet she was conscious that if Mr& Bantam 
had not been a paragon of good nature die would not 
bave patíenoe with her even for the month that she 
got no wages. And as for her work ever being done^ 
she never could see over the top of it. Mrs. Bantam 
came into the kitchen every day to bring up arrearsy 
and Clara with hopeless admiration saw her quietiy 
put one thing after another out of her hands fíniished 

' I am afiraid I shall never leam/ said Clara to her 
mistress one day. ^I am sorry I am so dreadfuUy 
stupid.* 

' I dare say you will leam in time, though you seem 
determined to take your time to it, Clara; but where 
in all the world can you have been brought up to be 
fio helpless. I do not know a yoiuig lady in the colony 
fio ignorant of all household matters. The people next 
door, whom you see sometimes in the back yard, keep 
no servant, aiid do all their own work, but yet every 
body knows the Miss Elliots are ladies, though I do 
not visit them myself.' 

^ I am heartily ashamed of my ignorance/ said Clara^ 
' but I was a spoilt child at home, and am suffering 
for it now. I fear you do not think me anxious to do 
right &om the many &ilures I make.' 

'You are too anxious, I think, and get nervoua. 
Keep yourself cooler in future, and you wiíl do better/ 

Clara endeavoured to keep herself cooler during the 
last week of her month*s probation, for she was very 
anxious to remain with Mra, Bantam. It seemed to 
be a quiet place, and neither her master nor mistresB 
was unreasonable. She was too busy to feel her soli- 
tary kitchen dull, and though she ached all over every 
moming &om the exertions of the preceding day, that 
was preferable to the headache which Mrs. Handy's 
young gentlemen had inflicted upon her every evening. 
She was subjected to no impertinence; the butcher and 
baker called her 'Miss* when they came with their 



i 



92 CLAEA HOKISON. 

commoditiesj Mrs. Bantam did not send her out on 
many errands, and though waiting at table was a 
hmmliating piece of work, there had been no strangers 
afl yet to make her feel it deeply. 

The month having expirêd, Mrs. Bantam was of 
opinion that though a very great deal was yet to be 
leamed, some progress had been made; and offered 
Clara four shillings a week to stay. * You are nothing 
of a servant,' said she, * but you are civil and honest, 
80 I wiU try you a little longer. K you would only 
leam to be methodical you would suit me.' 

Clara was gratefíil and happy, and sat down forth- 
with to write to her uncle, in order to give him a clear 
fitatement of the new position in which she was placed. 
She had not considered it advisable to write on the 
subject till the month of tnal had expired. To Susan 
she would have written on the same day, but could not 
find time, and was forced to delay it till the next 
Sunday evening, when she entered into detail, de- 
scribing her mode of life at Mrs. Hand/s, her two un- 
successful attempts at getting a situation as govemess, 
and her final settlement as maid of all work, with a 
very kind lady. 

* Do not fejicy that it is so very dread^, my dear 
sister, or that I am completely miserable. I am deter- 
mined to be happy if it is possible, and though now I 
feel the toil fatiguing, because I am new to bodily 
labour, in time I shall feel it nothing, and have leisure 
in the long winter evenings which are coming on to 
read and to write to you. 

'The house I am living in is situated in a little 
garden; it is a real cottage of one story, which almost 
all the houses in Adelaide are, with only a trap ladder 
leading up to the little attic where I sleep. I have a 
fine view of the hills from my bed-room window, and 
now that the great heat has moderated I think the 
olimate delightfiiL I still sleep with my window open 
that I mxw have enough of fresh air, and it is no un- 
^ tliÍBg in mimmisr for people to leave all their 




AT SEBVICE. 93 

doors and windows open through the night. I think 
that shows that the colony must be an honest place ; 
but you must always bear in mind that this never has 
been a penal settlement. 

* I do not think you would úaicy the trees here, at 
least taken separately. They are evergreens, and looked 
fresh when everythmg else was bumt up, but now the 
newly sprung grass makes them look rather lugubrious. 
They are somewhat scraggy, and the bark is white on 
the greater proportion of the trees around the town, 
which gives them quite a ghostly appearance by moon- 
light. There are a few near the river Torrens which 
look really pretty, and I have been told that in the 
bush there are much fíner trees than in the neighbour* 
hood of town. They say that South Australian wood, 
being of slow growth, and consequently very hard, 
makes the best fuel possible, but I fínd it no easy mat- 
ter to kindle it, and am always getting splinters of it 
in my hands; but of course I shall leam to do better 
soon. 

* I suppose that when you receive this you wiU be in 
London with my uncle and aimt to see the world, and 
to wonder at the Great Exhibition. But, Susan, I am 
seeing life, and leaming lessons which I hope I shall 
never forget; it is not merely the things I am leaming 
to do, useM as they undoubtedly are, but the new 
thoughts and feelings which my present employments 
awaken, which will benefít me mucL I have hitherto 
lived too much in books, and thought them all-im- 
portant; now I see what things fill the minds of nine- 
tenths af my sex — daily duties, daily cares, daily 
sacrifices. I see now the line of demarcation which 
separates the employers from the employed; and if I 
ever, by any chance, should again have a servant imder 
me, I shall surely imderstand her feelings, and be con- 
siderate and kind. How I reproach myself now for. 
the unnecessary trouble I used to give our good &ith- 
fíil Peggy and Helen, and all through want of thought. 

' So again I say, do not pity me much; feel for me a 



di cláaa: hoeison. 

titile, but rest assured that these little trials I meet 
with will do a great deal of good to 

* Your most afiectionate sister, 

'Claba.' 

Mrs. Bantam at last foimd Clara usefuL K she 
leamed slowlj it ma surely; and at the end of three 
months she was really a tolerable servant — ^not a strong 
ane, but industnous and tidy. She ofben speculated 
upon the girls next door. There were three of them. 
TÍiej must be Scotch, for they were always singing 
Scotch ballads, and they went to the Scotch ChurcL 

They were all very comely, if not positively pretty, 
and in spite of the work they had to do Clara would 
have known them to be ladies even if Mrs. Bantam had 
not told her so. Their two brothers went to business 
in the moming, and retumed in the evening, and Clara 
would sometimes see one or two of the sisters meeting 
them at the gate, and bringing them into the house 
through the little garden. They had a piano^ and used 
to play and sing in the evenings; sometimes Clara 
would go into tíie comer of Mrs. Bantam's yard to 
listen, or if she happened to be passing that way she 
would linger near the windows to catch the words of 
some faTnTlia.r ditty. The yoimg men used to dig in 
the garden, or sometimes chop wood in the yard in the 
momings. 

Clara had been once sent by Mrs. Bantam to borrow 
a log of wood, for they happened to be out of itj and 
she saw the eldest Miss EUiot busy washing out her 
kitchen. Clara was delighted to see it, but Miss Elliot 
did not like quite so much to be caught by\he girl 
next door doing the most disagreeable piece of work in 
the housa However, she pulled down her sleeves, and 
showed Clara where to get the wood, saying that Mrs. 
Baatam was welcome to it. 

As Clara got more au/mim the routine of her daily 
^úatíea, abs; jlmiid tíw) evenings long and wearisoma 
thil Aa QSigjna^ tp onploy them in sewing 




K.k ■. 



▲T SEBVICE. 95 

for herself, for her wages were not higli, and the clothes 
she had were not suitable to her emploTments ; so she 
began her fírst attempt at dress-making on a dark- 
brown print, with unhappy looking white spots on it, 
which was to be a morning wrapper. She did not 
kuow how to cut it rightly, and it tumed out to be a 
deplorable misfít; and what between the gloomy colour 
of the thing itself, and the cheerless solitude in which 
ahe made it, the tears dropped ofben and fast over it. 
Státch afber stitch she put in, and thought of her old 
happy home — her &,ther, her mother, her sister; of the 
want of some one to exchange an idea with; of the 
constraint of this continual reticence, till her heart felt 
ready to breaL When the gown was really done, she 
brought down a blank book that she had got for a 
journal on board ship, but which she had written no- 
thing upon there, and relieved her mind by expressing 
her thoughts. 

^ It is right that I have made this dress, but to make 
another in the same way would kill me, I think. I 
had better go in rags than have my heartstrings tom 
up like this. I must read, though I haye no £sice to 
look up to when I lifb my eyes from the book; I must* 
write, though nobody but myself shall read it. 

' I hope I may never meet Mr. Iteginald again ; I 
feel that once we were equals, but that now, without 
any &tult of mine, I am hopelessly his inferior.' 

Such were a very few of the thoughts which Clara 
oommitted to paper. She felt relieved by doing so, and 
then began to read something not very wise, or very 
deep, but amusing; for she did not want to over-think. 



96 CLASA MORISON. 



CHAPTER IX 

A VI8IT0R. 

MES. BANTAM did not much approve of her ser- 
vant's studies, and afber Clara had gone on with 
them for a week, she told her that it would be much 
better if she would sew, and pronoimced a decided ne- 
gative on either reading or writíng upstairs when she 
had gone to bed; for, said she — 

' A. girl I had two years ago used to read novels in 
bed half the night, and was never fit for her work 
through the day. She was always pale, and had a 
startled look about her; but one night she startled us 
all in eamest, for she set fire to her bed, and we had 
difficulty in putting it out. So, since that, I have 
made a rule that no servant of mine shall read in bed ; 
and I hope, Clara, that you will not break it.' 

* Then do not be angry if I read or write in the 
Mtchen, ma'am,* said Clara; ' for I feel too sad and 
lonely to sew, mucL' 

' I am as fond of a book myself as anybody can be, 
but I never let reading interfere with my duties,' said 
Mrs. Bantam; * and I hope, Clara, that you will not let 
a passion for novels lead you into idleness and all mis- 
chief, as it did poor Eieanore. She has tumed out 
very ill ; gone quite wrong indeed.' 

Olara coloured at this comparison, but she said no- 
thing. 

* Well, Clara, we are going to have a visitor to spend 
a few weekg with us, so you must see that the spare 
bedroom next mine Is very clean and comfortable, for 
tíÚM lady ii just out from England, and seems to be 
TSiy mMÍie aiid partioular. I do not kno w her myself, 
bttl HMI^kM ^lxmight lettm to Mr. Bantam from a 

She wants a situation 
r, or as teacher in a 




A VISITOE, 97 

good scliool; and Mr. Bantam has asked her to stay 
with us till she meets with something to suit her.' 

'Was it the lady who called yesterday?' asked 
Clara. 

* Yes; and she comes this afbemoon with hor luggage. 
Now see and don't make any mistake at table, Clai-a; 
for this lady is very observant, and of course will blame 
me as well as you, if anything is wrong.' 

* I will try to get everything done comTne il/aut.' 

' No slipslop French, at any rate, Clara ; Miss Withor- 
ing would consider that dreadfully out of place. Mr. 
Bantam is to be on an election committoe this after- 
noon, and he dines in town ; so you had better have 
dinner ready by three, when I expect Miss Withering 
here.' 

Clara thought a groat deal about Miss Withering. 
She had only had one glance at her face ; it was neithor 
pretty nor young, but there was a coníidence about its 
expression which looked as if its possessor could make 
her way in the world. 

Three o'clock came, and with it Miss Withering and 
her boxes in a spring cart. She had a quarrel witíi the 
driver as to the amount of his charge for bringing . 
them, but was ultimately obliged to pay the fuU aum, 
as he would not go away without. So Miss Withering 
entered Mrs. Bantam's house highly malcontent, and 
took off her bonnet and shawl in the room her hostess 
showed her into, in a state, for her, of considerable ex- 
citement. She was dissatisfied with the colony gene-^ 
rally, and as this was a very wet day, and she had got 
spla^ed in the cart, she felt justifíed in complaining of 
a climate which she had been led to believe, from books 
published, and general conversation in England, was 
the finest imder the sun. 

* I cannot think how you can submit to such streets, 
Mrs. Bantam,* said she, as she sat down to dinner. * I 
feel that I have been deceived with regard to South 
Australia» I was told that it was Italy without its 
siroooo, and that the air was so mild that throughout 

TOL. I. H 



98 CLASA KOEISON. 

the whole year sleeping in tbe open air was agreeable 
and innóxious. Now my experience hitherto has been 
very con^Tary to these acconnts; the bracing frosts of 
England are luxnries compared with this plaahing, con- 
tinual rain.' 

^ I cannot say I like the rain much,' said Mrs. Ban- 
tam ; ' but unless we have a great deal of rain in winter, 
we have short crops in summer. La^ seafion was dry 
and very pleasant whHe it lasted, but we are suffering 
for it now, in high prices and scarcity both of com and 
hay. We are but yoimg people here, and Rome was 
not built in a day.' 

' Pray, Mrs. Bantam, have you been long in South 
A.ustralia?' asked Miss Withering. 

' Only ten years ; I cannot call myself one of the 
original colonists, but I have been here long enough to 
see great improvements, and to have ceased to think 
abbut retuming to England.' 

' Do you mean to say that you have lived ten whole 
years in such a place as this? really you must have 
made many sacriSces, and submitted to many discom- 
forts. No lady thinks of staying ten years in India, 
Mrs. Bantam.' 

* You would not compare South Ausiaradia to India,' 
said Mrs. Bantam, wanuly. 

' Indeed I should prefer India of the two. I like 
warm weather, and a lady never needs to do anything 
whatever there; while here, I understand, 'that servants 
are so scarce and bad, that a lady's life is one of unmi- 
tigated slavery. You should really get Mr. Bantam 
to take you home again; Mr. Dillon expects that you 
will not be long in retiuTiing to Staffordshire.' 

^ There are a great many things to be considered, 
Miss Withering, before I could make up my mind to 
leave this colony. I rather think I like it too well to 
leave it, even if it were advisable otherwise.' 

Miss Withering elevated her eyebrows at this speech, 
and gave her attention to her diianer and Clara, whom 
she watched with her pale cold blue eyes till Bke suc- 



A VI8IT0E. 99 

oeeded in making her nervous and uncomfortable. Miss 
Withering wanted a great deal of waiting on. She 
could not help herself to water from the jug, though it 
stood at her hand ; nor hand anything past, as Mr. and 
Mrs. Bantam usually did. 

Afber dinner, she asked Mrs. Bantam if she would 
send one of her girls to Rundle-street for the key of 
her work-box, which she had left at the house where 
she had been living for the last two daya Mrs. Ban- 
tam supposed Clara would make no objeotion, and 
Clara did not It was not raining just then, but the 
streets were very wet and muddy ; she was picking her 
steps very carefally in coming home, but just in tuming 
an awkward comer, she met Mr. Renton full in the 
face. He was carrying a large parcel and a bandbox, 
and looked as much caught as she did. 

' Ah ! Miss Morison, this is an imexpected pleasure, 
for I have never got sight of you since we landed. 
Where have you hidden yoursel^ and how have you 
been this agef 

A heavy shower came on, and Clara was obliged to 
stand beside Mr. Benton under a broad verandah, sub- 
jected to the inspection of half-ardozen children, who 
were watching the rain from the windows of the 
cottage. 

* Gíot a good situation, I hope, Miss Morison. Have 
you heard from our extensive fiiend, the fair Elizabeth, 

yetr 

' Not yet, Mr. Itenton. I suppose she has forgotten 
me.' 

* ril be bound she has not forgotten me,' said Mr. 
Itenton. * I flatter myself that I did make an impres- 
sion in that quarter; but where are you living, Miss 
Morisoní' 

*I have got a very comfortable situation; I hope 
you have succeeded in getting into a line of business 
that suits you?' 

* Why, not quite I I have tried several places, but 
the &ct is, they were not suited to me; they wanted a 

h2 



100 CLAEA MOEISON. 

man of less talent and less ambition than I am. I have 
been thinking of going to the Turon, the New South 
Wales gold fields, you knowj but I have goné as 
assistant to Macnab in the meantime, and am reallj 
invaluable to him with the ladies. With servant-girls, 
in particular, I am irresistible. This parcel, Miss 
Morison, contains five pounds seventeen and sixpence 
worth of drapery that I induced a red-handed, coarse- 
looking girl, who is going to be married next week, to 
buy at Macnab's; and I capped the matter by offering 
to take the young lady's parcel home myself, so she 
bought a guinea bonnet out of very joy. And she 
came into the shop to buy a pair of shoes, an article 
we were out of. Really, Macnab ought to consider 
these things, and remunerate me accordingly.' 

By this time the shower had moderated, and Clara 
and Renton parted. She made the best of her way 
home, and Mr. Renton proceeded up another street to 
deliver his precious parcel. 

Miss Withering received her key with dignity, 
opened her workbox, and took out a narrow strip of 
muslin, which she began to hem slowly and painfully, 
while she talked in an oracular manner to her good- 
natured hostess, who grew uncomfortable under the 
battery of her words. The new-comer boasted herself 
to be a person of great discemment, and told Mrs. 
Bantam that she could read people's characters at a 
glance. 

* I have astonished many persons by my singularly 
quick perception, and many of my friends have re- 
gretted not attending to my wamings in time. I hope 
you will excuse me for mentioning that I think the 
girl who waited at table to-day only wants an oppor- 
tunity to be impertinent; and you will allow me to 
find fault with her in case she treats me with disre- 
spect, I suppose you do not find your girls improve 
after you have had them for six months?' 

* They are very seldom good for anything affcer that 
tíme/ said Mrs. Bantam j 'and yet I dislike changing 



A VISITOR. 101 

80 much that I would submit to almost anTthing. I 
have had great trouble with Clara, not from any want 
of respect, but from her total ignorance of every kind 
of work I cannot bear to find fault, and she really is 
a good, well-meaning girl, tliough fonder of reading 
thaii I quite approve of' 

' There is nothing spoils a servant so much as a taste 
for reading,' said Miss Withering; * it makes them dis- 
like working, and besides, they fe.ncy when they have 
read a few books, that they Imow as much as their 
mistresses, and then there is an end of all right subor- 
dination. The old plan was the best, to have servants 
in their proper places; let them leam to wash and 
scour, bake and brew, and leave reading and writing 
to their betters. *A little leaming is a dangerous 
thing; ' 

' One girl I had was quite ruined by reading,' said 
Mrs. Bantam ; ' I told Clara about it, but she seems to 
think that, as she does all the work of the house, she 
may have the evenings to herself.' 

'Ah! Mrs. Bantam, I see how you are imposed 
upon. I am pretty sure that a great deal of the work 
Clara professes to do falls upon you; and in order to 
let her amuse herself in the evenings, you are forced to 
slave half the day.' 

'Well, there is some truth in that,' said Mrs. 
Bantam. 

* It was for the girrs own good I spoke,' said Miss 
Withering; * for it would be much better for herself if 
she would bring up her arrears, and keep the fumiture 
brighter than £^e does, than to be filling her head with 
nonsense.' 

When Mr. Bantam retumed home to a late teaMiss 
Withering began a discussion on politics with him. 
Mr. Bantam was a Badical, a Dissenter, and a Volun- 
tary ; Miss Withering was very High Church indeed ; 
80 that Mrs. Bantam, whose opinions were not very 
decided either way, but who rather inclined to her 
husband's views^ had great difiiculty in keeping the 



102 CLARA MOBISON. 

expressions of the disputants within ^ parliamentary 
langnage/ and was not sorry when bed-time put an 
end to the altercation. 

^ What a talented man Mr. Bantam is !* said Miss 
"Withering to his wife, when she came to see that her 
guest was comfortable for the night. * Very decided 
in his views, and prejudiced on some points, but really 
a masculine mind. I admire fimmess in others as 
much as I cultiyate it in myself ; so do not be annoyed 
at our war of words, my dear Mrs. Bantam ; we are 
only trying the stuff we are made o£ I have enjoyed 
this little conversation more than I have done anything 
since I left England.' 

' Well, Elinor,' said Mr. Bantam to his wife, in con- 
fídence, 'I am sure I was foolish to ask this Miss 
Withering to stay here, for I don't think we shall find 
her a comfortable guest Do you V 

* She seems a clever, sensible woman,' replied the 
lady; 'she admires you very much, and thinks you 
very talented indeed.' 

Mr. Bantam was greatly molMed 






THB TEOTJBLES OF H08PITALITY. 103 



CHAPTER X. 

HOW MISS WITHERING HADE HEBSELF AGBEEABLB TO 
MR& BANTAM AND HEB GUESTS. 

l^EE a week had passed, Mrs. Bantam foiind that 
-^ Miss Withering was not at all a desirable guest ; 
but still she had a great opinion of her judgment, and 
thought that it must be from some &iult of her own 
that she was always imcomfortable with her. Miss 
Withering ordered Clara about in the most unreason- 
able manner, and it was only by the greatest eflfort 
that Clara could submit patiently. She despised the 
meanness which could lead Miss Withering to accept 
of hospitality from people whose existence she was 
embittering ; for day afber day she succeeded in detach- 
ing the members of the family from each other, and 
rendering herself the centre round which the household 
must revolve. 

She pitied Mrs. Bantam for having so much to do ; 
wondered why Mr. Bantam did not get her a carriage 
to drive about in — ^it would benefit her health so 
greatly ; thougbt that as Mrs. Bantam did not keep 
two servants, she should have one strong enough and 
clever enough ^o spare her every fiitigue ; talked her 
victim into a wretched headache, and then was afraid 
Mr. Bantam did not feel enough for his angelio wife. 

To Mr. Bantam, when she could attack him singly, 
she regretted his wife's weak nerves and easy temper j 
asked if he did not think it advisable to have a com- 
petent person in the house to look afber Clara, and get 
her to do her duty; admired the force of his mind and 
the vigour of his fancy ; sighed over the difficulty gen- 
tlemen find in getting ladies to enter into their projects 
or pursuits, or to comprehend business inatters ; and 
concluded by saying that Mrs. Bantam was the most 
amiable of women. 

To Clara she seldom spoke, except to find fault; 



104 CIABA MOEISOK. 

but after Miss Witliering liad been witli her mistress 
a week, something occurred whicli ahnost made her 
continual watching and reproving nothing to Clara. 
It was towards the close of a fine mild winter day in 
the end of May, when a knock called Clara to the door, 
where, to lxer>eat surprise, she saw and recognised 
Mr. lieínnald : but owinff to the shadow in which she 
wa^thr^hUdnotláowheragain. 

' Is Mrs. Bantam at home V said he. Clara could 
not trust herself to speak, but made a gesture of assent, 
and opened the parlour-door to admit him, retreating 
to the kitchen with all possible despatch, saying to 
herself, * He will not stay long. I hope he will not 
stay to tea. How wretchedly ill he is looking T 

* How long it is since you have been in town, or, at 
least since you have come to see us, Reginald,' said 
Mr. Bantam. ' What has kept you in the bush for so 
many months V 

It appeared that Mr. Keginald had suffered a long 
iUness, and had come to Adelaide for change of air ; 
but that, finding his usual abode at Mrs. Handy's oc- 
cupied, he thought of retuming the next day but one. 

*Do stay with us, Reginald,' said Mr. Bantam. 
*You can give your vote in Adelaide for whatever 
county you have qualified for ; and though you and I 
differ on politics, we wont quarrel. You will find a 
powerfdl aíly here ; Miss Withering is a strong church 
and state lady, but I am not afraid to contend with 
both of you.' 

Mr. Reginald hoped that it would put Mrs. Bantam 
to no inconvenience, and being assured that it would 
not, confessed that he should only be too happy to 
spend a month in such pleasant quarters. Mrs. Ban- 
tam's conscience pricked her a good deal that night, 
for having entrapped an invalid within ear-shot of 
Miss Withering's tongue, but as that lady had been 
milder and more agreeable that evening, she was inclined 
to think it was all for the best after all. But Clara's 
fÊtt was the hardest to go through. She delayed 



THB TR0TJBLE8 OF H08PITALITY. 105 

bringing in tea tiU Miss Withering declared that Hhat 
girl' meant to starve them all, and ning tlie hand-bell 
with such violence as nearly to dislocate the handle. 

When she did bring in candles and tea, her cheeks 
were painfuUy ílushed, and her hand trembled so that 
she could scarcely put the cups and plates in their 
places. Miss Withering's eye was upon her, but that 
she heeded not ; she saw at a glance that she was 
reoognised. She cast one imploring look at her friend 
of the boarding-house, to let him know that he must 
take no notice of her ; it waa understood, and Reginald 
only gave one or two stolen glances to see how the 
young lady got on at service. She did not do Mrs, 
Bantam credit this evening, and made so many blim- 
ders, that Miss Withering looked from her to her mis- 
tress as if to say, * Do not you see what an affected, 
stupid thing she is Y 

After tea, Clara heard with despair of the arrange- 
ment that had been made, and she and Mrs. Bantam 
went in together to put the prophet's chamber, as they 
called it, into a habitable state. 

* And I must wait on him here for a month,' she 
wrote down in her short-hand joumal, *and never 
speak to him, and nobody must know that we have 
ever met. He said that our meeting formed a page 
of his life ; truly it fiUs a page in mine, too. Miss 
Withering is not handsome, neither is she agreeable ; 
I am sure he will not like her. . . . How I wish 
she had never come here ! I always was afraid of 
visitors, and the first has been so bad, that I never 
thought I could feel the second a worse infliction ; but 
I do.' 

When Clara had written this, she remembered that 
she had got that day through Mr. Campbell (who 
sometimes looked in, and was pleased to see how 
bravely she got on) a letter from Miss Waterstone, 
which she had twice opened, but only to be interruptedi 
Anybody's thoughts were better than her own just 
then, 80 she opened it again, and read as follows : 



106 clara. mobison. 

* My deabest Clara, 

' I have been very long in "writing to you, 
but my plans have been so unsettled, that I did not 
like to write till I bad £xed upon something. 

* You know what was my great inducement for going 
to Australia, and when I heard fix)m Aunt Rachel 
that Bobert had got a good situation in Glasgow, and 
had no intention of leaving the country at all, I saw 
that I had no chance of seeing him in Melboume, so I 
had Iwilf a mmd to go home again. But you know it 
would have looked a foolish-like thing in me, and I 
don't think Robert behaved well about it at ali 

* However, I made up my mind to forget him, and 
to take a situation in Melboume; and I daresay I 
should have succeeded if I had not foolishly (you will 
say) fallen in love. I could not refuse such a hand- 
Bome offer as I had made to me just three weeks ago 
to-day, and I think you will be glad to hear that T am 
going to be comfortably established. Mr. Fatrick 
Fleming is, m my opmion at least, very agreeable. He 
is in business in Melboume; I liked him from the 
first day I saw him; he is tall and feir, with fine blue 
eyes (you prefer black); and though he has been a 
great many years in Port Philip (or Victoria I should 
call it now) he is as fond of Scotch music and Scotch 
people as ever. 

*Melboume is a much finer town than Adelaide; 
the streets are regularly built, and are kept in better 
repair; but the environs are not so pretty, and there 
are not many villages near the town. However, I 
prefer Melboume on the whole, and the river is much 
finer than that miserable little bum they call the 
Torrens; but I have good reason to prefer this place 
for it is to be my home, and my mtended has a nice 
shop in one of the best streets, -with a dwelling-house 
TipBtair& 

'Do imte to me 8000, my dear Clara; and let me 

vh^ jrou are doiiig, Tou must address to 

CbQiiUHitreet^ Melboume. It seems 




THE TROUBLES OF HOSPITALITY. 107 

queer to write the name before it is really my own, 
but Fatrick is continually asking me if it does not 
sound very well ? — ^he is 80 amusing. 

* I want to know how Mr. Macnab and Mr. Renton 
are getting on, for I still take a great interest in all 
my fellow-passengers. Remember me kindly to Mrs. 
B^dy when you see her, and believe me to be, 

* Yours very affectionately, 
(for a short time only) Elizabeth Waterstone.' 

^ A kind husband and a happy home,' sighed Clara, 
affcer reading this letter. * Ah, Miss Waterstone ! you 
are indeed to be envied.' 

On the foUowing moming when Clara was getting 
the breakfast-table arranged in the parlour, Mr, 
Beginald came in. Keither Mr. nor Mrs. Bantam, 
nor even Miss Withering, were early risers, so he was 
the first to make his appearance. Both of them coloured 
a little, but Keginald recovered fírst, and said, rather 
confusedly : — 

*I hope you are well, Miss Morison. I did not 
know that you were living here. If I had known, I 
would not have accepted Mrs. Bantam's kind invitation, 
for I see you would rather have my absence than my 
company. I will go to-day if I ms^e you uncomfort- 
able.' 

' Do not go on my account. Mrs. Bantam has a 
right to ask what guests she pleases. I shall get used 
to this ; I know I looked very foolish last night, but 
you are the first person I had met who had known any 
thing of me before I went to .^ 

'Could you not have done better, Miss Morisonl 
Could not Mr. Campbell have got you any situation as 
a govemess ? This is a sphere for which you were not 
formed, and it must be painfdl to you to submit to the 
position you hold here.' 

^ I am not heroic enough to deny that it is painfiil, 
but I had no altemative. I am not accomplished 
enough for Adelaide people •, 1 laaA. xlo xassckís^^ ^"V 



108 CLABA MOBISON. 

detennined that if mj head was valueless I would try 
mj hanÓA, and I have succeeded better thaa jou could 
have expected' 

*But, Miss Morison, would you not prefer to go 
home. I think you told me that your unde was in 
good circumstances, and itwould be better and happier 
for you to live with your sister in his house than to go 
through such drudgery here.' 

' If my uncle writes me a kind invitation to retum 
to Scotland I will gladly go, but I will not for a cold 
one. It would make Susan unhappy if I were to be a 
burden on my imcle. So I am better here.' 

*But you are pale and thin, Miss Morison; your 
eyes look as if you did not sleep well, and I fear you 
are suffering a great deal in silence. Shall I speak to 
Mrs. Bantam, and represent your former position to 
her that she may show you more consideration Y 

' Do not speak, I beseech you, Mr. Reginald She 
is very kind, very patient with me; she has taught me 
everything, for I was dreadfiilly stupid. I beg of you 
to take no notice of me at all, but just let me go on in 
my old way, and not try to make me discontented with 
the station in life in which Grod has seen fit to place 
me. I must order myself lowly and reverently to you 
as well to all my other betters, so good-bye, we are 
strangers now.' 

So saying Clara returned to the kitchen, and waited 
till the bell summoned her before she would again 
encoimter Reginald's eyes. 

Miss Withering soon foimd out that colonial gentle- 
men were not attentive, and that Mr. Reginald was 
neglectful beyond all forbearance. He was at all times 
rather spasmodic in his efforts to please ladies, and 
Miss Withering trod so ruthlessly on his pet prejudices 
and old established opinions, that he could barely be 
dvil to her. Mrs. Rtntam required very little from 
her guests beyond an appearance of satisfexïtion with 
what she didíor their comfort, and she did not mind 
tlMyac^ Me; B^giziald forgot to inquire affcer her last 



THE TROUBLES OF HOSPITALITY, 109 

night's headaclie on the foUowing moming, or that he 
reqiiired to be reminded to pass anything across the 
table, even though she wanted it herself. But to Miss 
Withering these were serious things, and she very soon 
began to talk at Mr. Keginald to Mrs. Bantam, and 
made her regret having invited Reginald to the house. 
But she could not send Miss Withering away; it 
would be cruel, for she was very poor ; she was cer- 
tainly clever and managing, and though she was not 
an agreeable or accommodating guest, she might be au 
admirable govemess for unruly children. 

Mrs. Bantam was glad when one of Miss Wither- 
ing's moming tirades was stopped by the arrival of 
a gig at the door containing Mr. Hodges and his 
daughter Minnie. She had but a slight acquaintance 
with them, but what she had seen of them she liked 
very much. Mr. Bantam had sold some property for 
Mr. Hodges lately, and had got a good price for it j the 
two gentlemenwere both busy electioneering on thesame 
side at the present time ; and when Mr. Bantam had 
taken his wife on a tour down to the south they had 
been most kindly entertained at Mr. Hodges' for a 
week. Mrs. Hodges had been everything that was 
hospitable, and Minnie had walked with her guest to 
all the prettiest spots within walking distance, and had 
laid herself out to please her with the fiunkness and 
eamestness of a country girl, anxious to convince her 
town acquaintance that the bush is the most delightfiil 
place in the world. 

Mrs. Bantam introduced the new comers to Miss 
Withering, who thinking that there might be a 
situation in this quarter, drew herself up to her full 
height, and looked like the concentrated essence of all 
the virtues and accomplishments extant. Mr. Hodges 
thought her ladylike, Minnie thought she was a bad 
specimen of a class whioh she generally disliked; — a 
new-comer, who did not take kmdly to Minnie's own 
dear colony. 

* You have not come all the way into town to-day,' 



110 CLAB.A MOBTSON. 

Eiaid Mra Bantam; ^ early risers as I know you to be, 
tíiirty-five miles of indifferent roads cannot be gone 
over by eleven o'clock.' 

^ No, no, Mrs. Bantam ; a merciful man is merciful 
to bis beast/ said Mr. Hodges ; ' my poor grey could 
not do it 80 soon. We came in as far as the foot of 
the hills yesterday, and stayed all night with our friends 
the Summerses; and the late breakíisist there, and one 
thing or another, has kept me out of town till now; 
and I have business to do, and little time to do it in. 
Mr. Bantam is at his office, I suppose V 

* He went nearly two hours ago,' said Mrs. Bantam. 
* But though you are hurried, Miss Hodges is not. I 
hope she will be induced to pay me a visit of a month 
now, afber my trespassing on her good nature last 
summer.' 

*Don*t trespass on it now, by calling me Miss 
Hodges; I hate the name so thoroughly. Will the 
new Council not be able to change our names as well 
as the English Parliament ? I really wish, papa, you 
would inquire, for it would be so delightfÍLil to have a 
pretty name.' 

* I am quite contented with my name myself,' said 
Mr. Hodges, * and if you dislike it, you have it always 
in your power to chaiige it for a prettier; don't you 
thiTiTr she has no reason to complain, Mrs. Bantam V 

* I like to be called Minnie best, and you called me 
80 in the country,' said the young lady. 

* Very well, Minnie ; I am sure that your father is 
in no hurry for you back again just now, and I 
should be so pleased if you would spend a few weeks 
with me, till business again brings Mr. Hodges into 
town.' 

^The children will lose their lessons, and I fear 
mamma will have too much to do if I leave her so long, 
And besides, papa, I ought to go to stay with the 
ElliotSy if I have any time to spend in Adelaide.' 

* Bat I am y&cj anzioiis for your oompany just now, 



THE TR0UBLB8 OF H08PITALITY, 111 

And Mr. Hodges seemed well-disposed towards his 
daughter's accepting tlie inyitatioiL 

*We see,' he said, *so little good society in the 
bush ; and really Minnie grows quite wild.' 

But Mr. Hodges looked very proud of his daughter, 
notwithstanding. 

* But, papa,' said Minnie, * I cannot do it. What 
wovld Annie Elliot say to see me next door, afber all 
my promises to come to her the very next time mamma 
could spare meí Do you know the EUiots, Mrs. 
Bantam?' 

*I am sorry to say that I don't; but perhaps you 
could take me to see them.' 

'Minnie has a school-girl friendship for Annie 
Elliot,' said Mr. Hodges, 'and is always keeping 
up a correspondence with her. I can't fency what 
they write about, but they fíll sheet after siieet of 
paper.' 

* Now, papa, it is a shame to say you don't know 
what we write about, when I read you my last letter 
from beginning to end, not forgetting the postscrípt. 
I was rather proud of it, do you know, Mrs. Bantam^ 
I had made quite a hit in giving a descríption of papa's 
accident, which tumed out quite harmless; and I wrote 
about mamma's fears that Ellen's second teeth were 
ooming in cross ; and I descríbed Mrs. Caumray's new 
govemess, whom I saw at church ; and Miss Caumray's 
fashionable bonnet; and John's insane desire to leam 
the native language; and all about Charles losing him« 
self in the Murray scmb, and asking for a night's 
lodging from a German, who looked upon )iiTn as a 
beggar, and would hardly let him in ; (was it not dis- 
gracefíil inhospitality for the bush T) and afber I had 
read every word of it to papa, he said it was only a 
rigmarole about nothing.' 

* Young ladies are very fond of letter-wríting,' said 
Miss Witíiering, 'but I think that some restríctions 
should be put upon this taste. In the school which I 
oonducted iu England, I made a point of seeing every 



112 CLABA MORISON. 

letter written by the yoiing ladies, and sealing and 
addressing it mysel£ Also I kept a very strict watch 
that no letters should be interchanged by the girls or 
sent by the servants. I prevented a great deal of mis- 
chief by that means.' 

' That ifl a very good old-fiishioned system/ said Mr. 
Hodges. 

'But imrestrained letter-writing gives a person a 
fluent style/ said Minnie. 

* Yes; but not a correct or concise style,' said Miss 
Withering. *How few ladies can write a business 
letter! they cannot keep to the point; they enlarge 
and digress on eveiy hand; and it is a common subject 
of complaint that afber you have got through perhaps 
six pages, you find the only important part of a girrs 
letter in the postscript.' 

* Very true ! very true !' said Mr. Hodges. ' I must 
say, Miss Withering, that your views are very judi- 
cious. Now, Minnie, I hope you will not make a con- 
venience of your kind firiend here, and be constantly 
nmning out to see Annie EUiot. I have an engage- 
ment this moming, so you must excuse me for the 
present, ladies — I must wish you good moming.' 

So saying, Mr. Hodges leffc the room, and presently 
drove off 

' By the bye, I ought to have asked Miss Withering 
if she has any objection to sharing her room with you, 
Minnie, before I induced you to stay ; for Mr. Begi- 
nald occupies the only other spare room I have,' said 
Mrs. Bantam. 

* I should be most happy,' said Miss Withering, ' if 
Miss Hodges would give me her company in my dor- 
mitory ; I shall be only too glad to have some one to 
talk to while I dress and imdress, for it seems such a 
waste of time otherwise.' 

' I hope you have a tolerable servant just now,' said 
Minnie to Mrs. Bantam ; * for I cannot bear to think 
that I shall give you trouble. I can do anything for 
nmd^ but I diaiike making my hostess feel \mcom- 



THB TR0UBLE8 OF HOSPITALITY. 113 

fortable by maMng her girls have more to do than 
usual.' 

* Clara is a very fair servant/ said Mrs. Bantamj 
' though she is not very strong.' 

*You are too good-natured/ said Mias Withering. 
* I never saw any one so easily pleased in my life.' 

' I know that for one I have had better, I have had 
two worse than Clara, and I regard her accordingly.' 

' That speaks ill for South Australian seryants/ said 
Miss Withering ; *but Miss Hodges will judge for herselí* 

' South Austra]ian servants are not so bad as they 
are called,' said Minnie. ' Perhaps they are not suoh 
working machines as English servantSy but we have 
met with so many instances of genuine good feeling in 
ours lately, that I am determined to £nd some better 
topic of conversation than the faults of domestics, which 
I have long been sick of hearing from our neighbours. 
I walk or ride across for a little change to see a Mend, 
and hope to get into some agreeable conversation, when, 
behold! they will talk of nothing in the worM but 
Sarah's blunders and Mary's depravityj dwelling upon 
trifles with severe displeasure, till 1 am inclined to 
think that if our characters were as much taken to 
pieces by them in the kitchen, as theirs are by us in the 
parlour, we should out a very poor fígure indeed.' 

Miss Withering and Minnie were water and fire, and 
never could agree. The water at firat made the £re 
bum dim, and Minnie felt unoomfortable while Miss 
Withering dilated on the eleganoe and etiquette of 
Englishlrfe, and the many blunders which novices made 
on the threshold of the world. 

Miss Withering waa of opinion that a sister was a 
very un£t teacher for her brothers and sisters. There 
could not, imder her management, be the strictness or 
the regularity which, like the hem at the end of the 
garment, prevented the fraying and wasting of the 
loose edges of time. Punishments were rarely enforced 
by a sister with suffioient rigour to prevent the recur- 
rence of the íÍB.ult, and often an appeal to mamma would 

VOL, L I 



114 CLARA MORISON. 

thwart the finnest and best-laid schemes of the amar 
teur govemess. Mimiie was conscious that she was 
not very strict or regular with her dear pupils, and 
that there was a great deal of truth in what Miss 
Withering now insinuated gently, and then declared 
boldly; but she had both sense and feeling, and she 
was convinced that such a teacher as her didinterested 
adviser would be a great change for the worse. 

The first opportTmity Mrs. Bantam had to speak to 
Minnie alone, she apologized for inviting her to meet 
a person who, though clever, was so disagreeable; but 
said, that she herself was so tired of her, and had been 
so worried with her advice and opinions, that she hoped 
Minnie would excuse her, and talk to Miss Withering 
a little to relieve her, and contradict her as much as 
she pleased ; ' for, my dear child, I cannot contradict 
any one, and I cannot make up my mind to ofiend her, 
and get quit of her at once.' 

' Then I have free leave to say what I like to this 
lady?' — and Minnie clapped her hands. * I will not 
let her talk against the colony, or despise the Elliots 
because they do their own work. Greek shall meet 
Greek, and a fine tug we shall have !' 

* Remember, I don't want you to qoiarrel with Mr. 
Reginald,' said Mrs. Bantam ; * I will not forgive you 
if you do.' 

Clara was alarmed at the announcement of a third 
visitor, but a sight of Minnie dispelled her apprehen- 
sions. Minnie waa tall and straight, with an easy, 
though not fully developed figure. Her hair was dark- 
brown, and in great profiision; her eyes were very 
blue, and clear, though not sparkling; her nose was 
rather too large, but the efíect of it was carried off by 
a tolerably wide mouth, with beautiful teeth, and a 
bewitching smile. Her hands were rather red, and she 
was a good deal fi-eckled ; but yet nobody could say 
there was anything vulgar in Minnie's appearance. 

She volimteered to save Clara all further trouble 
with the bed-room she and Miss Withering occupied j 



THB TROUBLES OF HOSPITALITY. 115 

and as, previous to her arrival, it had been left every 
moming deplorably untidy, this was a great relief to 
Clara. 

* And, Clara,' said Minnie, ' as there is only you to 
do the work of the house, and now it is full of visitors, 
you must sometimes have more than you can manage ; 
80 ask me to help you when you have a push. I can 
do anythmg in the way of maJdng puddings and piesj 
indeed I am quite fond of it, and will not let our girl 
do them at home.' 

To Mr. Reírinald, Minnie was frank and afireeable : 
8he had a piece of knitting in her hand, from which shé 
looked up every now and then to listen and reply to 
what was said. Miss Withering proposed a game at 
whist after tea, saying that it was the only game of 
cards that she liked, for it was the only one which was 
rational and solid. Mrs. Bantam could not play, but 
Minnie couldj so the two gentlemen sat down to play 
with the two young ladies — Minnie and Beginald 
against Miss Withering and Mr. Bantam. Mrs. Ban- 
tam was in a state of great delight when she saw Miss 
Withering fixed to the card-table, and felt herself fi:ee 
to do as she pleased. She went into the kitchen, and 
foimd Clara endeavouring to read, and silently wiping 
away the tears that rolled from her eyes. 

* What is the matter, Clara ? Are you illí' 

' No, ma'am j but I have wanted to speak to you for 
some time.' 

' Do you want to leave me, Clara? I shall be quite 
sorry to part with you.' 

' Shall you, indeed?' said Clara, her face brightening 
at the thought that some one cared a little for her. * I 
am so glad to hear you say so. I did not wish to leave, 
but I wanted to know how I have displeased you; for 
you do not seem to put the same confidence in me you 
used to do.' 

' You have not displeased me at all, Clara. It is 
only that Miss Withering's nonsense. I wish she had 
never entered the house. Never mind what she says, 

I 2 



116 CLABA HOBISON. 

or what she makeB me say, for I like jou as well as 
eyer, and should be grieTed if you went away; and I 
am sure jou would neTer get such a comfortable plaoe 
as you have here, So diy jrour gres, you ailly child, 
and tell me if you don't thii^ Miss Minnie a very 
inuch pleasanter guest.' 

Clara agreed that Miss Minnie was a paragon of a 
visitor, and received directions &om Mrs. BantAm with 
regard to supper with restored equ^nimity. 

Miss Withering imderstood whist better tban the 
pther players, but she had decidedly the worst partner; 
for Mr. Bantam madie many and serious blunders. ShiQ 
laid down the laws of the game with great precision, 
explained how her partner might have taken suoh and 
such tricks; and when he would have paased it ofi^ 
saying, that as they were only playing for love, it waa 
of no couseq^uence, she WQuld not have such a pail<* 
liation. 

' Excuse me, Mr. Bantam; if a thiog is worth doing 
at all, it is worth doing well^ If you mean to play 
whist, you must attend to the rules of the game; it is 
a game of skill as well as chance.* 

' Really,' said Miimie, ' I do not see any pleasure in 
playing at anything that requires much thought. I 
quite hate chess wr that reason. I see no use in 
making a labour of an amusement, any more than in 
tuming conversation into a pitched battle.' 

'Thank you, Minnie,' said Mr. Bantam; *I see I 
may trust to you as an ally, Suppose we are partners 
to-morrow evening, you will not take my blunders 
much to heart, ehV 

* If you will be merciful to mine, I will overlook 
yours,' said Minnie. 




COLONIST AND EMIGltANT. 117 

CHAPTER XI. 

MINNIÉ STA»Da OT POa HEB COUNTR'r. 

NEXT dav being very fine, Mrs. Bantam asked Mids 
Withennff and Minnie to accompany her when she 
máde some calls. Miss Withering was surprised and 
shocked at everything she saw ; the houses Were small, 
the fumiture scanty and shabby ; the children seemed 
like wild things, and the number of babies who were 
brought out to be admired was really quite intolerabla 
Mrs. Bantam was going round her acquaintances with 
fiunilies on this daj, in the faint hope that some one 
of them might think Miss Withering a desirable go- 
vemess. She could not conscientiously recommend 
her, but she would let her be seen and heard^ thinking 
that her air of con£dence and universal knowledge 
might induce an engagement. Miss Withering, though 
not admiring Australian society, prttdently kept her 
thoughts for the amusement and edification of her 
more immediate companions; and looked more like a 
being from another sphere condescending to enlighten 
and astonish inferior creatures, than like the iU-tem- 
pered, domineering woman she really was; and when 
in the house of a quiet and éasy, bttt ixot particularly 
olever or tidy lady, who had four jroun^ children, she 
met Mrs. Denfield, the congeniality of their natureS 
drew them together. 

Mrs. Bantam had Scarcely a bowing acqtiaintance 
with Mrs. Denfield, and was not inclined to cultivate 
it ; but she was pleased to see that she seemed to be 
struck with Miss Withering's appearance and manners. 
She ventured to ask if Mrs. Deníield was in want of a 
govemess, for her friend Miss Withering had been 
hiffhly recommended, and hdd had much e^perience in 
tuition. Mrs. Denfield said that she was at present 
but indifferently pleased with the young person shé 
had; but as the engitgement had been entered into for 



118 CLABA MORISON. 

three months, and only six weeks had elapsed since it 
was made, she supposed she must keep her till the full 
term had expired. But she looked at Miss Withering 
keenly, and asked several fishing questions as to her 
quaMcations. Miss Withering, of course, could do 
everything under the sun, and had the best possible 
manner of imparting knowledge; she talked like a 
book on the subject of education, and flattered Mrs. 
Denfield so delicately that a certain impression was 
made. 

'lf nothing else tums up,' thought Mrs. Bantamy 
* here is an opening for Miss Withering. I can, per- 
haps, submit to her for six weeks, but no longer.' 

Mjnnie had meant to go to see the Elliots this affcer^ 
noon, but Mrs. Bantam had a bad headache, and besought 
her to stay with Miss Withering, while she retired to 
her bedroom for a little peace and quietness. So 
Minnie goodnaturedly gave up her pleasant visit, and 
endeavoured with all her powers to amuse her unwil- 
ling subject. Miss Withering woidd not be led into 
any topic of conversation ; she must start it hersel^ 
and tum it, if possible, her own way. The sad state 
of manners in the colony was her present theme, and 
she dilated upon it, abnost with feeling. 

* It woidd have been a great thing for you, Miss 
Hodges, if you had been two or three years in a good 
boarding-school in England. It woidd have made you 
see things in the same light in which they appear to 
an Englishwoman like ma* 

'And I thiok that a very unpleasant light,' said 
Minnie. *We have gone with Mrs. Bantam to see 
five ladies to-day ; I have been quite happy in these 
visits ; woidd it really have been better if I had been 
as dissatisfied as you have been T 

' You would find yourself much at a loss in English 
society, Miss Hodges. It is not customary for young 
ladies there to talk about babies cutting teeth, or the 
wearing out of children's shoes ; or to discuss the best 
method of ironing and clear-starching, or what shape 



COLONIST AND EMIGRANT, 119 

of pinafore sits best on the shoulder, and is most easily 
made.' 

* What is the great end of conversation, Miss Wither- 
ing ? Is it not to suit what you have got to say to the 
tastes and capacity of the person you address ? I like 
to please those I am with, and though you may think 
my subjects low and common-place, I both gave plea- 
sure and felt it/ 

* That is a sort of truckling I could not submit to,' 
said Miss Withering. * I was bom to rule, and cannot 
stoop to my inferiors. A master-mind like mine was 
not made * to chronicle small beer.' ' 

*I can assure you,' said Minnie, *that Margaret 
EUiot, who is the very cleverest girl I know, can both 
make small beer and chronicle it. I am sure her mind 
is cultivated as highly as any English lady's, and yet 
she never complains of me, though I am so inferior to 
her on all points.' 

* She cannot have a lofby mind, or she would revolt 
from such drudgery as she has to do. These girls 
actually wash and scour j I can see them from my 
window.' 

* She has a comprehensive mind ; it can take ia 
smaU things aa weU aB great,' 8aid Miimie, thinking 
she had settled the matter. 

* How did you become acquainted with these EUiots, 
Miss Hodges ? Your papa does not seem to feel cor- 
dially to them ; I do not Hke girls having friends whom 
their parents do not approve o£' 

* Papa cannot but approve of them,' said Minnie. 
* Though he talks sometimes of foolish schoolgirl friend- 
ships, it is only in jest, for I owe more to the Elliots 
than we can ever repay in gratitude. We were ship- 
mates in the 'Aleicander' eleven years ago, and Dr. 
EUiot was very attentive to mamma and me, when we 
had the fever on board, though he was not the surgeon 
of the vesseL We took a house between us when we 
landed here, and lived three months as one family. Of 
course, when we went to the bush, and they settled in 



120 CLAILA líOMSON. 

Adelaide, we oonld not see each other so often ; bnt 
when it was thought advisable that I shoidd be sent to 
Bchool, Mrg. Elliot offered to take me into her house, 
that I might go to school with Annie, who is of my 
own age.' 

' Annie— that is the least of the three, is it not V 
' Tes, she is not so tall as either of her sisters, but 
she is a dear girl ; and we became great friends ÍQ the 
four years that I liyed at Dr. Elliot*s. It was a second 
home to me ; Margaret and C^rge used to help us 
with our lessons íq the evenings, and I know I leamed 
more from them than I did at schooL I am sure I 
was ten times happier there than I could have been at 
a boarding schooL' 

* I suppose it was qtiite as expensive.' 

* Perhaps it was ; but then I had all the advantage 
of a home while I was leaming, and as eveiy one of 
the Elliots was clever, and knew more than I, their 
society must have done me good besides.' 

*My opinions are very different from yours upon 
thÍB point/ said Miss Withering. * Girls never leam 
anything thoroughly unless they are kept under strict 
discipline ; but tell me more about your ftiends ; their 
fitther and mother are dead now, I believe V 

* When Dr. Elliot died, after a long and severe ill- 
ness, he left the two brothers to maintaia the Êunily; 
for he had very little notion of eoonomy, and the trifle 
which he had laid aside was lefb to his wife ; but she 
did not long survive him— only about twelve months, 
and now the girls are obliged to be very economical, 
in order to live on their brothers' salaries and their 
own little money, for Greorge and Gilbert settled that 
all their fiither and mother lefb should belong to their 
sisters.' 

' I wonder that the young ladies do not take situa- 
tions, as you say they are clever and tolerably aocom- 
plished.' 

' Qeorge and Gilbert would not hear of such a thing, 
and the girls are too fond of being at home to wish to 



COLONIST AND EMIOBANT. 121 

leaTe it They are so iinited a family, that they can- 
not part witli one of their number/ 

'They are not all yonng/ said Miss Withering. 

* Have they never thought of relieving their brothers 
by marrying, or have they had a chanoe ? They cer* 
tainly cannot be called handsome, and they want style.* 

*Now, I call them all good-looking,* said Minnie. 

* Grace has been engaged nearly two years, but as Mr. 
Henry Martin does not get a high salary, they are 
waiting till he has a rise. He is at the Burra mine, 
in the Oompany's employment ; so they see each other 
very seldom, though their engagement is no secret. 
Grace talks about it to her friends as a matter of course. 
They take the thing quite coolly and comfortably, are 
confident that on some future day they will be made 
happy, and are not particularly miserable in the mean- 
time.' 

' And the second sister,' said Miss Withering ; * is 
there any prospect of her settling in life soon V 

* No, I do not think there is at present. Papa was 
quite angry with Margaret for refusing a Mend of his, 
who waa in veiy good circumstances. He w^ rather 
handsome too, and not stupid ; but Margaret did not 
like him. Papa said it would have been such an ad- 
vantageous connexion for the whole family.' 

' Don*t you think she was wrong and selfijih in re^ 
fasing such a connexion, Miss Hodges V 

* What would it have been worth to the &mily if 
Margaret had not been happy ) G«orge and Gilbert 
were quite satisfíed with her conduct, and I am sure 
she must have been right. Do not fistncy that the 
Elliots told me this. It was from papa I heard it. 
As for Annie, I hope she is not going to be mairied 
for a long time to come, for I want to keep my friend.* 

' But these three girls all at home must be a great 
burden on their brothers ; the poor yoimg men cannot 
think of marrying themselves, and they seem very nioe 
lads,* said Miss Withering, looking searchingly into 
Minnie's face. 



i 



122 CLABA MOEISON. 

*0h! time enough for that; they are both qnite 
young yet ; indeed, Gilbert is scarcely one and twenty ; 
and really they are so comfortable with their sisters, 
that they have no inducement to think of manying. 
Such a man as Mr. Ileginald, now, woidd be the better 
for a wife ; for he is alone in the colony, and has no 
one to talk to at home, neither mother nor sister. 
Don't you like Mr. Begináld, Miss Withering ? Would 
you not take compassion on his solitude, and condescend 
to marry a bushman V 

A &int smile for a moment played on Miss Wither- 
ing's thin lips, but it disappeared when she recollected 
that Il^inald was anything but attentive to her, and 
that to Minnie he had been more agreeable. 

' Don't you think his manners are very gentlemanly, 
Miss Withering ?' asked Minnie. 

* Anything but that. He is a bear. I have never 
seen such a thing as a gentleman in the colony. I sup- 
pose there are none.' 

^ Don't you consider Mr. Bantam a gentleman V said 
Minnie. 

*He is rather clever, though opinionative ; but he 
cannot be called a gentleman.' 

' And what do you call Mrs. Bantam, then V said 
Minnie, in increasing wonder at the new comer's im- 
pertinence. 

' A most amiable usefiil woman, but not a lady,' said 
Miss Withering, authoritatively. 

Minnie woidd not deign any answer to this, feeling 
too indignant to trust herself to speak. She expressed 
a great wish to read that day's newspaper, and hoped 
Miss Withering woidd find a book to amuse her, for of 
course she did not suppose that a new comer could take 
any interest in colonial matters or colonial politics, or 
Miss Withering might have the newspaper. 

* I like to get information from what I read,' said 
Miss Withering, taking up a book containing the 
driest chips of history, which Mr. Bantam had bought 
years ago, but which had never been cut. She asked 



C0L0NI8T AND BMIGBANT. 123 

Minnie to get her a paper knife, whicli after a quarter 
of an hour's diligent searching was found and given 
to her. 

* There is a great deal of valuable information oon- 
tained in this work,* said Miss Withering, after she had 
cut several leaves and read three pages. * I have really 
found one fact which was new to me already.' 

' Yes,' said Minnie. ^ Don't we feel every book we 
read convince us of how little we knowí' Miss 
Withering stared. That was not generally the result 
of her reading. 

* I am not a very great reader myself,' said Minnie^ 
' and am not so fond of solid reading as I ought to be. 
I like a lively novel better than anything else.' 

* I think time is too valuable to be frittered away 
over novels,' said Miss Withering, *and even news- 
papers are a dissipating kind of reading. History, 
phllosophy, biography, and science, particularly medical 
science, are what suit the requirements of my mind.* 
And so saying she again settled herself to pick up her 
chips for a blaze on some future occasion. 

Whist this evening was pleasanter to Mr. Bantam 
than on the previous night, but Miss Withering was 
not at all sati^ed with her partner. He was absent 
and forgetful, and not all her remonstrances could in- 
duce him to take an interest in the game. 

* There is to be a concert at the Exchange to-morrow 
evening,' said Mr. Bantam, who had won the rubber, 
and thought he had done great deeds. ' Shall we make 
a party and go to it, ladies ) I can assure you, Miss 
Withering, that we have very good concerts in Ade- 
laíde considering what a young colony this is, and that 
ít is not very populous. The many Germans who have 
settled amongst us have infused a taste in our audiences 
for what is CEilled solid music, though I myself scarcely 
understand it.' 

Minnie was delighted at the idea of the concert j she 
had not been at one since she was grown up, and knew 
it would be delightful. But when she remembered 



124 CLAJtA MORISON. 

that she bad a great deal of shopping to do next day to 
be in time to go to her Êtther*s by the dray, her spirits 
fell at* the thonght that she would not get her visit 
paid to her Mends next door till she had been three 
whole days in town. 

' I want a new carpet, Minnie/ said Mrs. Bantámy 
when they went out the next day, * for Miss Withering 
is always fiying her eyes on the old one as if she were 
counting the holes and dams in it, and I feel it quite 
unpleasant. Will you help me to choose one V 

* I will give you my taste on the subject,' Said 
Minnie, * and what is more, I will help you to cut and 
make it, for I made all our last one at home, with 
very little assistance from mamma.. We shall improve 
the appearance of the parlour greatly, I have no 
doubt.' 

Minnie had a most miscellaneous list of articles to 
purchase, and had to go from one end of the town to 
the other in order to cet what she wanted. There were 
éommissions from both the servants at home, besides 
what was wanted for her mother and the children. She 
hesitated a long time about the cooVs Sunday dress ; 
but Mrs. Bantam was much longer in making up her 
mind about the carpet. It was nothing to please her- 
self and Minnie, but she wanted to get something that 
Miss Withering coidd not greatly object to. This 
stripe would suit the room nicely, but Miss Withering 
would think it stiff; that diamond-shaped pattem 
looked rich, and would be serviceable, but Miss Wither- 
ing would certainly think it gaudy. So they chose 
something not sufficiently prononcé to please them- 
selves, but which the shopman called quiet and genteel, 
hoping that its unobtrusiveness woidd disarm criticism. 
But, alas ! they might as well have got something to 
please themselves, for Miss Withering looked very con- 
temptuously on the new carpet when it came home, 
ánd could not have supposed that Mrs. Bantam meant 
to put it in ihe parlour. Kiddenninster carpets, she 
JÉJk WM liever uaed at home except in nurseries; 



COLONIST AND HMIGEANT. 125 

t 

Brussels and Wilton had oompletelj ezploded the 
homelier manu&cture. 

Mrs. Bantam was both tired and mortified, but a 
cup of tea gave her new strength and spirits, and she 
waa quite able to go with the others to the ooncert. 
Minnie was enchanted with the music and the numbers 
of people she saw; áhe sat next to Mr. Bieginald, who 
ta^ed agreeably to her whenever there was a sUence; 
her íace was radiant with pleumre, and she almost 
forgot her disappointment at not seeing the Elliots, in 
the enjoyment of the moment. Of course Miss Wither- 
mg had heard really good muaic before, and could see 
nothing delightful in the performance ; the airs were 
old and hackneyed, and she smiled at the simplicity of 
the noYÍces aroimd her. She remarked many thingB 
on which she meant to comment aiterwards, and par- 
ticularly the words and looks of poor Minnie, who, 
she thought, waa certainly much toofree in her conduct 
in a pubUc place. 

Wliile they were absent Clara thought she would 
try to write to her sister, but when i^e had begun» 
' My dearest Susan,' she could prooeed no further. A 
full tide of bitter thoughta broke in upon her. Every 
day lately had been so miserable^ that even MrsL 
Bantam's half apology for her coldness had scarcely re- 
Ueyed her oppr^%>mt. She begau to f eel now that 
Begioald was dear to her from the pangs which hia 
attentions to Minnie inflicted. It was in vain that 
she said to herself that it would have been the same 
had he been an old married man; ber keen self-scruti* 
nizing eye saw that her heart was implicated; and her 
judgment decided that if she ever hoped for peaoe or 
happinessy a love so hopeless must be crushed before it 
grew too strong to master her. 

She did not feel that she had done wrong; it was 
natural that her mind should tum to the only person 
who seemed to understand her feelings, or to compas- 
sionate her position. Even Mr. Campbell had fancied 
her nature * like the dyer'a hand, subdued to what it 



126 CLABA MOEISON. 

wrought in;' Mr. Kegiiiald alone could see that she 
suffered in secret, and that this life, though she had 
entered on it of her own free will, and was convinced 
that she was right in doing so, was one of much pain- 
fíil humiliation. But no further shoidd this feeling on 
her part go. She had only answered Mr. Ileginald in 
monosyllables, and with distant respect, even when 
they were by chance thrown in each other's company 
without witnesses. This had been but rarely since 
Mínnie had come, for she was an early riser, and used 
to chat gaily with Beginald before break&st, until the 
other members of the household made their appear- 
ance. 

Clara did not dislike Minnie in spite of this, nor did 
áhe think that as yet there was any love between them ; 
but it cost her great pain to see conversation going on 
that she was shut out from, and to observe that Kegi- 
nald watched the expression of Mionie's eye while Miss 
"Withering was speaking, enjoying its decided anta- 
gonism to the insufferable new comer. And Minnie's 
position was so good, her face so pleasing, and her 
manners so frank and prepossessÍQg, that Clara was 
oonvinced that love would soon ensue on Regiiiald's 
part, which Minnie surely could not feil to retum. 

Clara stole into the empty parlour, and sat down 
where IlegÍDald had been sittiag at tea. She fencied 
Minnie sitting opposite her, and recalled her bright 
look and merry laugL Then she took up the book 
Mr. Reginald hïad been reading, and looked into it. It 
was a novel from the oirculating library, and a very 
silly one. 

* I cannot read such trash as this,' said she; * if he 
admires it, he has not such a fine taste as I had expected 
frt>m him, I dare say that I have imagined many won- 
derful things of him, because I have seen and talked 
to no one else yet. After all, he may be but an or- 
dinaiy mortaL' 

But Clara did not feel any the better for this suppo- 
títíúo^ Her natare was one that loved to adnure and 



COLONIST AND EMIGBANT. 127 

look up to whatever was true and noble; and though 
much suffering was connected with her admiration of 
Mr. Keginald, it made her still more miserable to think 
that he was not admirable. However) she thought 
she had found an idea that would do her good ; and she 
began to write down in her joumal all that might lower 
her Mend in her estimation; she enlarged upon his 
reserve, his bad taste in novel-reading, and his some- 
what hot discussions on politics; and feeling that she 
had done a great deal to uproot her strong prepossession 
in his favour, she shut and locked up her journal with 
some little triumpL Two hours were yet to elapse 
before the pleasure-seekers were expected home; and 
Clara began to repeat what she called her ' household 
treasures/ — ^those pieces of poetry which she had leamed 
in happier times, and which her fistther used to call for 
in the twilight, when he sat in his easy chair by the 
fire, and she was on a low stool at his feet. 

Different as were her circumstanoes now, and differ- 
ent as the scene was on which her eyes rested, it was 
surprising how much better she felt in thus making her 
thoughts and memories audible to herself ; poem after 
poem was gone through in a low, distinct voice, while 
her fíngers mechanically endeavoured to twine the Ymr, 
which she had properiy braided on going to service, 
into the long ringlets she had wom at home. Her 
kitchen brightened as she stirred the fíre and snuffed 
the candle at intervals; her spirits rose, and life seemed 
again endurable. Even the sound of Minnie*s joyous 
voice, when she retumed, and Mr. Eeginald's anxious 
hope that she had not caught cold in the slight shower 
they had encountered in the walk from the Exchange, 
though they sent a pang through her heart, did not 
make her relapse into such hopeless and deep misery as 
she had felt when they set out 



128 CLAEA MOEISOïí. 

CHAPTER XIL 

THE FAMILT KEXT DOOB. 

WHEN Mixmie proiuised to help Mrs. Bantam to 
loake the carpet, she did not expect that it was to 
be done in sach a hunyj but Mrs. Bantam had a 
fidgetty desire to haye it put down, for she knew it 
would look much better on the floor than in the hand« 
Carpets were not things to stand being criticÍBed without 
^ the general effeot being seen j so the poor slandered 
Kidderminster was cut immediately alber break&ist^ 
and Minnie and Mr& Bantam set to work, and did not 
stop till it waa finished Then it was laid down and 
admired hj the makers; but Miss Witheríng thought 
it looked cold, and that the colours did not harmonize 
with the window curtains. .Minnie was too anzious to 
go to see the Elliots, and make an apology to her dear 
Mend Annie for not coming sooner, to be roused by 
anything Miss Withering could say. She put on her 
bonnet, and hiirried away. Just as she got to the 
Elliots' gate, she saw George and Gilbert coming home 
to dinner, accompanied by another young gentleman 
who was a stranger to her. She had scarcely time to 
knock at the door and receive admittance, when they 
all came in. 

<Ah, MÍQnie!' said George, 'you have been more 
than three days in town,^ and have never come to see 
us, though you were only next door.' 

' I have very good excuses to make, George, if you 
only knew them,' said Minnia 

' That you have been so happy at Mrs. Bantam's, 
that you have forgotten us,' said George. 

' I will make my excuses to your sisters,' said Minnie, 
who felt offended at George supposing such a thing as 
that she felt coldly to her old friends. 

Minnie did excuse herself, though rather awkwardly, 
to the Misses Elliot. She did not like to tell them 



AN ADBLAIDB HOUSEHOLD. 129 

that she had wished Mrs. Bantam to call with her the 
fírst time, but that she had refused, saying that Miss 
Withering would certainly wish to go with them, and 
that she would not bring such a torment on the EHiots 
for the world. Nor did she like to reveal just at first 
how disagreeable Miss Withering was ; and that Mr& 
Bantam wanted her to save her from the annoyance 
of her interminable harangues and uncomfortable 
innuendoes; so that having made the most of the 
shopping, and drawn out the round of calls and the 
making of the carpet into the utmost possible tediousr 
ness, she felt that, afber all, she had made a very poor 
apology. 

* I am glad you have come to-night, Minnie/ said her 
particidar friend, Annie Elliot, ' for afber being so gay, 
you would have found it very didl if we had only been 
in our old way; but Greorge hafl brought his fiiend, 
Mr. Everard Harris (from the Burra), to spend the 
evening with us, and he wiU enliven us, if any one can. 
He came down frcím the mine yesterday, and only stays 
till the day after to-morrow. I liked him very much 
both times I have seen him, and I hope you will like 
him too.* 

* I should much rather have come when you were 
alone,' said Minnie. 

* But you can come some other day; you can come 
offcen before you go out of town. What do you say to 
giving Mrs. Bantam your momings, and spending your 
evenings with us, when our brothers are at home ? You 
used to think it pleasant.' 

' So I do yet,' said Minnie, * nor did I ever weary of 
momings in your house. How often I think of your 
mamma's good-nature in letting us iron on Saturdays; 
I am sure we spoiled many of our dolls' things by 
ironing with too hot irons ; but it was so nice.' 

' Well, come in to dinner now, and we will talk of 
old times by and bye.' 

Mr. Everard Harris was a young gentleman whom 
every one thought very good-looking, though he had 

VOL. L K 



130 CLABA líOBISON. 

not a good feature in his íauce; but there was a 
brilliaiicjr in his oddly-shaped eyes, and an expression 
of humour in his irregular but most mobile mouth, 
that conveyed a feeling of pleasure which beautj itself 
can scarcely give. He was tall, his movements were 
eoBj and graceful, and no one disputed the symmetry of 
hÍ8 figure. He had not been more than a year in ihe 
co\(mj, but he was popular from the first, and was 
always the chief man in company. Creorge Elliot 
had hitherto admiringly acquiesced in his superiority, 
but on this poarticular evening he did not like it quite 
80 welL Mr. H!arris sat between Minnie and Annie at 
dinner, keeping up a rattle of lively small-talk, and 
dividing his attentions so &irly between the two ladies, 
that not even Cleorge could see any difference. 

Qrace was always quiet, and Margaret and Gilbert 
had thelr heads so ^ill of politics at this particular 
time, that they could talk of nothing else; Annie was 
delightedly listening to what Mr. Harris was saying, 
and George, without the assistance of some one of his 
&mily, found it impossible to start a subject that woidd 
amuse Minnie, and bring himself forward. 

When dinner was over, the young people sat round 
the fire, and George succeeded in getting beside the 
young lady he wished to please. 

* There is to be a conversazione at the Mechanics' 
Institute in a fortnight, Minnie,' said George. ' Will 
you go with us? I think you will like it. We have a 
lecture, with musio and singing afberwards.' 

' I shall be delighted to go if I am in town, but papa 
has only given me a fortnight to stay in Adelaide, and 
three days have expired already.' 

* I saw you last night at the concert with Reginald,' 
said Mr. Harris. * I bowed to him, but he seemed to 
be too pleasantly engaged talking to you to pay any 
attention to me. What a queer kind of duenna that 
was sitting beside you ; I think she is the approved 
mixture of whalebone and vinegar. Oh ! George, you 
should have seen her, sitting upright, tall, thm, and 



AN ADELAIDE HOUSEHOLD. 131 

bony, with a precise black silk dresS) and virtuous 
bonnet, endeavouring to keep this young lady and 
Beginald quiet in their flirtation, but not succeeding.' 
George looked cold, Minnie looked hot, and could 
not resÍBt a hit at Miss Withering, as the most tire- 
some of new comers, concluding by saying, — 

* If I have leave to stay in town till the day of the 
conversazione, you must be good enough to take me ; 
and I shall like it quite as well as the concert ; for, as 
Miss Withering says, it is a great thing to be able to 
get information ; and I hope your lectures are not too 
abstruse for my comprehension.' 

*0h! not at all,* said George; Hhey are generaUy 
too popular for me ; 1 hear notliing but what I have 
known before. The music is the most pleasing part of 
the performance to my taste ; but of course you wiU 
not think it equal to what you heard last night.' 

* It was very fair,' said Harris, * very creditable to 
such a place as Adelaide ; but you should have heard 
Jenny Lind in * La Figlia del Regimento,' Miss 
Hodges.' 

And here Mr. Harris burst forth into an opera 
reminiscence. From that he went to the ballet and 
Cerito, then to the theatre and Macready; next to the 
Fine Arts and Landseer, describing all the things which 
his auditors had never seen, and had no chance of 
seeiQg, with an animation and enthusiasm which made 
Annie ahnost wish to retum to England, and produced 
a greater effect upon Minnie than all Miss Withering had 
said upon the advantages of the mother coimtry. 

George, completely silenced by this great Tom o' 
Lincobi, sat wondering when JMinnie would tum her 
fa^ towards him; Grace was pleased and quiet as 
usual ; but Margaret, who thought it mattered very Uttle 
what people had seen, unless it was foUowed by reflec- 
tion and action, got into a traui of thought of her own 
about the education question, which then was agitated 
between the volimtary party and their opponents. The 
Yoluntary side was sure to triumph in the matter of re- ■ 

k2 ^ 



132 CLASA MOEISON. 

ligion, and Maxgaret saw with sorrow that the State 
grant was doomed as regarded the clergy; but she 
hoped that the liberal party, as they were cálled, would 
not commit so snicidal an act as to withdraw support 
from education unless it were divorced from rel^on. 
GUbert wa« writmg to the ne^spaper on the subject, 
and a few ideas that might enlighten it were crossing 
Margaret's mind, when Mr. Harris, leaving the oma- 
mental, touched upon the usefril, and mentioned steam 
and railways. He was astonished that none of his 
auditors had seen a raiLway, and that only Grace and 
(xeorge remembered being in a steamer. Margaret 
would fein have recalled her thoughts from her own 
subject, and fixed them on railways, but she could not 
manage it. Perhaps Gnbert had been thinking about 
his letter, too, for when he did speak, it was on quite 
a different subject from what was imder discussion. 

' Are the Burra proprietors ever going to pay divi- 
dends againf said he; 'it is a great pity that they 
shoidd have been stopped just now, when there is such 
a stagnation in the colony; money being scarce, and 
labourers coming out when there is no employment 
for them. The great bulk of emigrants from England 
are despatched in spring, and reach us in the dead 
of winter, which is always a slack time. If they were 
to land in September, in time for the sheep-shearing, 
or in December, for the harvest, they would soon be 
dispersed through the country, instead of remaÍDÍng, 
poorly fed and ill-lodged, in town.' 

* Oh ! the dividends will soon be resimied,' said Mr. 
Harris; ' there is no fear of the company, for they have 
an immense quantity of ore raised, and the Patent 
Copper Company have ship-loads of copper smelted and 
ready to be taken to the port ; but you know what 
abominable roads we have just now. It woidd be so 
expensive to get it carted down at present, that the 
proprietors do wisely to wait till the roads are fit to 
travel on. Besides, some creditors are pressing them, 
aud they are spending their present receipts in deaiing 



AN ADELAIDB HOUSEHOLD. 138 

off old scores. And this monster engine for keeping 
the mine clear of water has cost no trifle of money 
either ; but what a property that copper mine is, after 
alL Those luckj- fellows that in\ested in it at first are 
getting eight hundred per cent. on their outlay.' 

* I think bad times are coming on the colony,' said 
Gilbert, *and really we deserve it These elections 
have made me ashamed of my fellow-colonists ; such an 
amount of clap-trap and mock wisdom, such truckling 
to the masses, such abuse of the term liberty, put me 
too much in mind of Yankeeland' 

* I thought you were a Whig, Gilbert?' said Harris. 

* So I used to consider myself, but I find that though 
I have changed none of my principles, I am looked upon 
in this land of enlightenment as a red hot Tory.' 

* I must say that I feel slightly conservative myself 
when I am told to look up to the working-classes, as a 
respectable man in a fïistian jacket once required me 
to do at a public meeting lately ; but it is not sdon les 
rëgles to tsilk politics to ladies; is it, Elliot?' 

* Indeed !' said Annie, ' if you are to exclude politics 
you condemn Gilbert to silence, and Margaret too, for 
she is quite as enthTisiastic as he is. If ever I am in- 
clined to be merry since this excitement came on, they 
seem to think me childish and frivolom' 

' And what does Miss Hodges think on the subjectl'- 
said Mr. Harris, with an air of empressement which 
made Minnie blush. 

* I have not quite made up my mind,' said Minnie ; 
* I think both parties go too far, papa on the one side, 
and our good friends here on the other.' 

'Then you think ladies have nothing to do with 
politics V said Harris. 

' If ladies can understand them I think they are 
entitled to take as much interest in them as gentle- 
men,' answered Minnie. 

* Do not say gentlemenf that is not the term,' said 
Harris. * It is working-men who are the parties most 
capable of judging upon all political subjects, and for 



184 CLABA MORISON. 

whose especial behoof every law must be enactecL They 
may form a combination against the use of macliinery 
where it is much needed; they may petition Govem- 
ment to impose an exporb duty on com; but yet the 
Mends of improvement and free-trade will stiQ con- 
sider them inÊillible dictators of what is right and wise 
in colonial policy. * Let us protect the working man,' is 
the cry that wins the day in South Australia. But, for 
my own part, I take as little interest in politics as any 
lady in the land. I, like them, had no vote, and I was 
glad of it, for it saved me a world of trouble — 

^ How small, of all that hninan hearts endnre, 
That part which kings or laws can cause or cure.* * 

' That couplet of Goldsmith's is a fallacy, though it 
sounds very well,* said Margaret. * A great d^ of 
our happiness depends on the good govemment of the 
country we live in. I do not like to see you so indif- 
ferent to the welfiire of South Australia, Mr. Harris.' 

* My father sent me here in the hope that I should 
leam to be more avaricious,' said BLarris. *He had 
heard that colonial life made people sharp and keen, 
and as I always made ducks and drakes of my cash at 
home, he thought I could not but improve here. I 
think I have got a little better, for no one will tmst 
me, 80 I keep out of debt — ^but I never have a surplus. 
My whole energies are devoted to the task of maJdng 
my month's pay satisfy my month's wants; so what 
stake have I in the colony? And now, when I am dis- 
posed to pass a delightfiil evening in such agreeable 
company, do not fency that I can be stirred up to 
honourable action. The non-political young ladies 
will sing, I hope.' 

The piano was opened, and Annie played an accom- 
paniment, while Minnie and Harris joined her in sing- 
ing. George had a cold, and could not sing ; GUbert 
read the newspaper, whose arguments he meant to 
demolish, and the two elder girls went into the kitchen 
to look afber tea. Harns had a remarkably £ne voice, 



AN ADELAIDE HOUSEHOLD. 185 

and knew how to aid without drowning those of his 
companions ; their voices had never sounded so well, 
and they were delighted with the effect. Tea waa only 
a short interruption ; for Annie insisted on Minnie's 
going over all their old songs together, and Mr. Harris 
conld always extemporise a second or a third, as it was 
wanted. 

Then Mr. Harris, after deploring the want of ladies' 
society at the Burra, intreated somebody to play a waltz 
or a polka, for he had not had a dance for six months. 
Minnie expected George to ask her to dance with him, 
but Mr. Harris engaged her beforehand, leaving the 
Elliots to dance with their sistera When Minnie was 
tired, her partner danced with Annie, and, to her sur- 
prise, George did not ask her hand afber she had rested. 
He spoke very little, and seemed out of spirits ; he 
handed her a book of engravings to look at, but did 
not himself point out what he liked, and what he hoped 
she liked. When Mr. Harris was quite tired, he sat 
down and talked, expressing his intense enjoyment of 
this evening, which he said he should mark as a white 
day in his almanack, if he had happened to have one. 

* You had rather a black day at Kooringa lately, 
when the floods came,' said Gilbert. 

* And washed the people out of their Burra burrows,^ 
said Harris. ' I saw a rich scene there and then, Miss 
Annie. Some honest fellows, miners, who had com- 
fortable houses in the township, went to lend their 
assistance to the poor half-drowned inhabitants of the 
holes in the side of the creek. You know, Miss Hodges, 
that a number of the miners make a hole, rat fÍa<shion, 
to put their heads in, and bring up their families in a 
subterranean sort of way. This was cheap, but neither 
heaithy nor comfortable, and when the floods came it 
appeared to be rather an unsafe proceeding. No lives 
were lost, but a good deal of curious property was 
floated away. These good fellows I spoke of worked 
hard to fish out the people fpom one of these holes. 
The husband was in the mine at the time, but they 



136 CLASA MOBISON. 

had to take out the womaii and her cldldren, and she 
sent them back for a box of clothes, some stools, a 
chair, and some bedding. The water was rising very 
ÊLst, and when they had bronght out all these articles, 
and stood gasping to recover thêir breath, she whined 
out, ' Oh ! please do go in again ; there are two nice 
logs of wood on the fire, and it is a pity they should 
be lost.* The fellows looked quite disgusted, and walked 
off, leaving the woman bewailing the loss of her fuel, 
and wondering how people could be so disobliging. Of 
oourse I sympathised with her, though I did not offer 
to dive for the wood.' 

* I suppose you have a considerable population both 
above and below groimd T said Minnie. 

* Upwards of four thousand now, and I am sure they 
made noise enough for eight thousand at the election. 
It is quite a rising place, and plenty of business doing. 
The town will look larger when the burrows are aban- 
doned and substantial cottages erected. The company 
have wamed the miners that they must not live in 
holes for the future, and have given them six months' 
notice to quit ; but the working men are quite offended 
at this ; they think if they take the risk at their own 
valuation, the Mining Association should not inter- 
fere.' 

* You don't mean to say that they have any desire 
to retum to their holes after being so summarilyejected?' 
said George. 

* I saw them baling out the mud the day I left Koo- 
ringa for Adelaide,' answered Harris, * with a view to 
taking possession again. They are sure to live in them 
till they are again washed out, or till the six months 
are up ; but they mean to petition for a longer lease. 
Well, I suppose they are as comfortable as the poor 
gold diggers on the Turon ; that is wet work.' 

* Gold may be bought too dear,' said George, senten- 
tiously. * I should be sorry to nm the risk of losing 
health and happiness for ever so large nuggets.' 

* That monster one of a hundredweight might tempt 



AN ADELAIDB HOXJSEHOLD. 137 

even the philosophic George,' said Hanis. ' Is not it 
a thousand pities it could not have been sent in time 
for the Exhibition ? The articles near it wonld have 
been overlooked, for such a mass of gold would be the 
greatest wonder in the Exhibition.' 

* I do not think so,' said Margaret. * It would not 
tempt me much. I would much rather see something 
on which skill and labour had been employed, or genius 
had struck out a world-wide interest from homely mBr 
terials, than an ugly mass of gold, worth, when dug 
out of the ground, 31. 17«. lOd. per ounce.' 

* I am sure it could not be ugly,' said Annie ; * and 
if they had carved and brightened it up, it would have 
looked beautiful.' 

' I beUeve it is as pretty a sight dow the Burra 
mine as anywhere,' said Gilbert. * I thought when I 
went down with Henry that it was magnificent ; the 
malachite and varioTisly-coloured ores, with pieces of 
quartz and crystal sparkling all round, must make it 
more briUiant than any gold or silver mine in the 
world.* 

It was getting late, and Minnie went to put on her 
bonnet. She felt that George was stiff and cold, and 
that she had talked more to Mr. Harris than she ought 
to have done in the presence of such old friends, She 
wanted to tell Annie again how really sorry she was 
not to have come before, when they were alone ; but 
the words stuck in her throat, and when her friend 
asked her how she liked Mr. Harris, and was so glad 
that she had had an opportimity of seeing him, she 
could only say that he was very agreeable, and that she 
liked him very mucL When Grace asked her to come 
again soon, and hoped she was happy at Mrs. Bantam's, 
Minnie could contain herself no longer, but told her 
friends, in confidence, how disagreeable Miss Withering 
was, and how she worried Mrs. Bantam out of health 
and spirits. 

* So don*t fancy that I am forgetting you, or that I 
am happier there than I should be here, if I do not 



138 CLAHA MOBISON. 

A 

come 80 often to see you as we could wisli ; but pity 
me for haying to entertain or to quarrel with a person 
whom I 80 exceedingly dislike.' 

* But,' said Margaret quietly, * you will be happier 
in the evenings, for both Mr. Bantam and Mr. Eeginald 
are said to be clever, agreeable men.' 

*0h, yes!' said Minnie^ blushing, 'you would like 
Mr. Eeginald, Margaret ; he is quiet, and not at all 
íunny ; he would just suit you, besides that you would 
agree on politics. And Mr. Bantam plays whist so 
delightftdly ill, and makes Miss Withering so cross ; 
it is fun to see her bristling up with Hoyle at her fin- 
ger's end when he makes a mistake.' 

Mr. Harris had his hat in his hand when Minnie 
retumed to the parlour, and would see her safe to the 
end of her long and perilous joumey next door. George 
did not offer to accompany them^ nor did Gilbert, but 
hoped Harris would take good care of her. Minnie 
did not hear what her companion said, and answered 
yes and no at random^ and was glad when Clara opened 
the door and she parted from hun. ' 

The fiimily at Mr. Bantam's were just breaking up 
to go to bed, when Minnie entered ; but Miss Withering 
detained her, saying that she wished to have a talk with 
her by the fire. 

* I hope you have spent a pleasant evening, Miss 
Hodges,' said she ; * I saw three gentlemen going in at 
the gate immediately afber you lefb us. Are there 
three Mr. Elliots, or was one a stranger V 

' It was a Mr. Harris, from the Burra, a Mend of 
Grace's intended; I never saw him before.' 

' He is taller than either of your friend's brothers, is 
he not; and a finer figure?' 

' Yes, I think he is,' said Minnie. 

' Well, what have you been doing all this evening, 
Miss Hodges? you have been in no hurry home; so I 
oonclude that you have enjoyed yourself very much 
among your old frienda There is so much cordiality 
and fiwdom from restraint in such visiting as yours, 



AN ABELAIDE HOUSEHOLD. 139 

and tHe single strange gentleman would prevent it 
from being too domestic. I suppose you were singing 
with the Elliotsr 

' Annie and I were singing with Mr. Harris ; he sings 
very well indeed.' 

* Better than Mr. George Elliotf 

* Yes, I think he does, — ^more correctly and scienti£-* 
cally. Annie says she £nds him easier to sing witL' 

'Well, you must have been very happy. It has 
been a miserable evening here, for I could not prevail 
upon Mrs. Bantam to try whist ; and though I said I 
had no objection to dummy, neither of the gentlemen 
would consent to play under such circumstances ; and 
then, instead of talking, they sat down to read. I do 
not think Mr. Reginald addressed twelve words to me 
in the course of the evening.' 

* Was he so much interested in the novel I recom- 
mended to him?' said Minnie. 

' Oh, no ! he threw it down, saying he wondered 
Miss Hodges could like such rubbish; and began to 
read some work of Carlyle*s, — fferoes and Hero^orsMpy 
I think it was, which I believe he had read befora 
Such a puerile mind his must be, to require to read 
anything over again. You understand me better, Miss 
Hodgesj and I really have some pleastire in talking to 
y ou. Your mind is a rich though an uncultivated garden, 
and I feel much disposed to endeavour to do some- 
thing with it What shall we talk about to-night ? I 
think that if we were to take the life of Hannibal or 
Alexander the Great, and go over the incidents in their 
order, we should £nd it a most interesting and im* 
proving study.' 

'lt is late,' said Minnie, 'and my head aches; I 
could not talk history to-night, even if I were up to 
the facts, which I am not.' 

* How do you teach your sisters history, Miss Hodges, 
if you are unacquainted with its facts?' 

'Oh! they are at the History of England,' said 
Minnie) with great simplioity ; ' and I know that well 



{ 



140 CLABA HOBISON. 

enough, particxdarly the first part of it ; and then I hare 
the book before ma I do not like to trust to my 
memory; I might make some mistake.' 

* Orai tuition is very much in feshion no'w,' observed 
Miss Withering; * I know some families where they do 
not allow the govemess to use books at all, but insist 
on her knowing everything independent of them, and 
require her to be constantly conmiunicating informar 
tion to her pupils, while they are walking and dressing, 
and even at meal-times.' 

* Oh ! how I pity the poor govemess's head,' ex- 
claimed Minnie. 

* Your sandal has got untied, Miss Hodges ; you will 
be sure to break it, if you do not featen it up.' 

'Oh! so it has,' said Minnie; *I suppose it 
slipped the knot when I waa dancing. How untidy it 
must have looked 1' 

* You should always tie it in a double knot; I will 
show you how it is done. There is a right and a wrong 
way of doing everything.' 

'Oh, Miss Withering,' cried Minnie, *I must and 
shall go to bed ; you did not help to make the carpet, 
and of course you are not tired.' 

'I never did such a thing in my Hfe,' said Miss 
Withering, * and could not think of attempting it. I 
see you have pri(^ed your fingers sadly; and as for 
poor Mrs. Bantam, she could not sew at all this 
evening. In England, some one is sent from the 
fumishing warehouse to measure the room and fit and 
inake the carpet, which is a much better arrangement. 
I was forced to try to amuse Mrs. Bantam to-night; I 
got her to hold several skeins of silk while I wound 
it. Mr. Reginald never offered to do it when I brought 
them out.' 

But Miss Withering was speaking to the fire or the 
table, for her auditor had escaped. What a relief it 
would have been to Minnie to take a good cry, but she 
dared not do it, for fear that this dreadful woman 
would observe her. Her only plan was to pretend to 



AN ADELAIDE HOUSEHOLD. 141 

be asleep ; so, though Miss Withering addressed her 
several times when she came in, she gave no answer. 
Minnie could not sleep for a long time; she reproa<5hed 
herself for not apologizing to Oeorge for her somewhat 
snappish speech to him at fírst ; for not denying that 
she flirted with Eeginald ; and) above all, for receiving 
80 much attention from Mr. Harris. He ought to 
have known better than to take so much notice of a 
stranger when there were three Miss Elliots to talk to; 
ond if she had only had five minutes' quiet conversa- 
tion with George, aíl would have been welL But the 
evening had been spent, and could not be recalled ; and 
Oeorge thought she had found new iriends whom she 
preferred. 

^ And I am sure/ thought Minnie, ' that neither of 
these gentlemen are half so delightful as George can be. 
Beginald is too grave, and Harris too flippant j Oeorger 
ÍB so true and honest, and sprightly, too, when he 
pleases. If Gilbert had been offended with me, I could 
have gone straight up to him, and explained matters; 
but I feel more shy with Gíeorge. I suppose it is 
because he is older, that I am more afraid of ofifending 
him. And to think that Annie really fancied I should 
like to see a stranger among that dear circle. I hope 
she does not like that Mr. Harris too well. It was 
very wrong in me to tell her that I thought hím 
agreeable.' 

At last Minnie fell asleep, and dreamed most dis- 
agreeable dreams, starting up in bed sometimes, and 
occasionally receiving a sharp poke from Miss 
Withering's elbow, to admonish her to keep quiet. 



142 CLARA MORISON. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

CLABA HAS AN INVITATION, AND GETS A ' SUNDAY OUT.' 

MDíinE felt too ill to get up after her miserable 
night; she was hot and feyerish, and even Miss 
Withering advised her to take breakfest in bed; so 
Clara again met Beginald alone in the parlour. 

* Miss Morison/ said he, * I have a message to deliver 
to you j do not leave the room till you hear it.' 

* A message for me! from whom, sir?' said Clara. 
'lt is from your friend, Mrs. BÍandy; she is quite 

grieved that you have never been to see her, and when 
she heard that I was staying at Mrs. Bantam's, she 
aáked me how you got on. I said that you seemed to 
work well, but that you looked as if you were ill ; and 
she wishes you to ask Mrs. Bantam to let you take tea 
with her to-morrow. You will only see her husband, 
who has just retumed from Califomia. Mrs. Handy 
says ^he will not believe you are comfortable at all if 
you do not come, for if Mrs. Bantam refuses you per- 
mission, she must be a very unfeeling mistress.' 

Clara's face had brightened at the first mention of 
Mrs. Handy's invitation, but when she thought that 
all the work and Miss Withering stood in the way of 
her accepting it, she sighed, and said— 

* I fear I cannot be spared, for with so many strangers 
in the house, there is a great deal to do.' 

* I am going out to-morrow,' said Reginald, * to spend 
Sunday with a friend in North Adelaide; so I am off 
the list for that day; and surely Mrs. Bantam will not 
object to your going out for once, for you really want 
a change. You will be ill, and I fear I shall have 
helped to make you so, from the additional work I 
have inconsiderately brought upon you.' 

* I do not mind work, I am strong enough; but do 
not talk of my being ill,' said Clara, nervously. * What 
woxdd become of me if I was really ill? Miss Wither- 



AN DíVITATION AND VISIT. 143 

ing would haye me sent to the hospital, and I suppose 
that my mistress, kind and good as she is, conld not 
bear to be burdened with me, and would take her ad- 
yice. I must not think of it.' 

' If you were in distress, Miss Morison, and a íriend 
offered you assistance, would you be too proud to take 
itl Will you trust me as a man and a brother, and 
write to me if you are in want or sickness? Here is 
my address. I have sisters whom I should be sorry to 
see friendless in a strange land, as you are. You are 
as well bom and as well educated as they are, and 
knowing what they would feel, I can understand what 
you must suffer in your present position.' 

Clara took the address in her hand. 'God only 
knows what is before me, sir,' said sha * In case of 
sickness, I might draw on my uncle,'through Mr. 
Campbell, but you know I should be unwiUing to do 
80. I wiU keep your address, and I will not forget 
your kindness. It does me good to hear that I have 
a friend in the world. If circimistances should justify 
me in applying to you for temporary assistance, I am 
not too proud to do it — ^though I have no claim on 
anybody here, and least of all on you.' 

' Only the claim that you may need help, and that 
I should be glad to give it. It is simple enough, and 
if our cases were reversed, you would see how natural 
and proper it is. When I see Mrs. Handy to-day, 
shall I tell her that you are coming at three to- 
morrow V 

^ I will ask my mistress, and should really like to 
go above all things. I long to see her kind &ce again,' 
said Clara, as she lefb the room. 

Keginald strolled out to look at the weather, and to 
see if any vessel was signalled. There wba an English 
vessel coming in, if the ball at the flagstaff told the 
truth, and Reginald determined to go to the post-office 
as soon as the mail came into town, to inquire for 
letters. He expected a letter from Julia, not in 
answer to that which we saw him write at Mrs. 



144 CLARA MORISON. 

Handy's, for the eight months, which has been our 
conrse of post, had not expired; but he had only had 
two short letters from his mother since, telling him 
that Julia had started for the continent with his sister 
Alice and Mr. Bisset, and hoping that she was writing 
to him frequently and fully, describing all she had 
seen ; but till now he had not had a word from Julia. 
When he got a letter, addressed by her, at the post- 
office, with a foreign post-mark, and looTdng very thick 
and closely written, Ins spirits rose ; but on opening it 
he found the greater part was written by his sister 
Alice, and a short, cold letter from Julia was all he 
received after months of silence. She described what 
she saw and whom she saw, but said very little about 
either herself or him. He would have preferred her 
lively raillery, or even her scolding, to this chilling in- 
difference; and when he saw that she took it for granted 
that he had agreed to her proposal to wait till he could 
retum to England, and only mentioned their marrifige 
casually as a very distant event, which she had given 
up thinking of, he felt doubly anxious to know how 
she would receive his refusal of her request. 

* She loved me once,' thought he, * and perhaps the 
eamestness of my appeal may awaken that affection, 
which all this gaiety and the foolish indulgence she 
meets with, have so sadly deadened. But she will 
never be able to accommodate herself to me, so I must 
try to humour and study her. If I can only make her 
haj^py, I shall be happy myself, whatever sacrifice I 
may have to make. How different is this poor Clara ; 
difíerently placedand differently minded; but I do not 
think Julia would feel much for her. If I were not 
engaged, I «hould feel tempted to break through aU 
my rules about uneqiial matches, and appear the most 
mcoufflrtent of men, by oflSsring a heart and a home to 
Mn. Buitam's Mrrónt^írL' 

JBame flot iip afker Imkfiuriif «id a» her knitting 
Sr ^ gy&IW P 4gj» i^JMgged a pieoe of workfrom 

" not Kt idlei and did not 




AN INVITATION AND VISIT. 145 

feel inoliiied to read. Mrs. Baiitam had nothing at 
hand, but Miss Withering volnnteered to give her 
employment. It was to knit her trimming for sleeves. 
She had seen that Minnie knitted fast and well, and afl 
she herself despised such a mechanical kind of work, 
and yet wanted the thing done, it was a very 
good arrangement for Miss Withering. So Mimiie 
knitted while Miss Withering talked, for thongh 
the narrow strip of mnslin was always in the new 
comer's hand, she got on very slowly with it, for her 
eloquence was very exacting, and could only have full 
effect when her eyes were fixed upon her listener. 
Miss Withering's bearing with regard to Clara had 
now assumed a new phase; she pitied her, and hinted 
that she feared she was going into a consumption. 

'I heard her coughing last night after you were 
asleep, Miss Hodges; and really she is so pale and 
thin, that she looks £tter for an hospital than for 
service. It is a pity that Mrs. Bantam does not keep 
two servants, for it is quite pain^ to look at that 
poor overworked creature.' 

Minnie rose and lefk the parlour, and found Clara 
making her bed. 

'Clara, you are not well,' said Minnie; 'lmeant 
to do the room to-day, when I had had a rest, for I 
slept badly last night, and feel a little queer this 
moming. Let me finish it now, and go to your 
regular work.' 

Clara would not allow this, but Minnie insisted 
on helping, at any rate, and in a short time all was 
tidy. 

'Thank you, Miss Minnie; the sight of your Êice 
does me good,' said Clara. 

*I suppose Miss Withering's countenance is not 
a cordial to you, Clara, any more than it is to me. I 
think she has talked me ill, and I am quite a£raid to 
go back to sit with her. Will you fetch me my 
knitting, and I will stay here. Tell Mrs. Bantam where 
I am, if she inquires.' 

VOL. I. L 



146 CLABA MORISON. 

Miss Witliering "Was sitting wondering what had 
taken Miss Hodges away, and wliat she coiild fínd to 
say to Clara, when the latter entered, and was taking 
away Minnie's work. 

* What a ghost you look, Clara ! I think you are 
fallíng into a decline, from the cough you have ; you 
should really take care of yoursel^ and not take too 
much Êitigue. Will you bring me my pocket-hand- 
kerchief from the bed-room, and tell Miss Hodges that 
she has lefb me quite alone; and that I want the 
knitting to be made broader as it gets to the middle ; 
I will show her how it is to be managed.* 

Minnie reluctantly returned, and received instruc- 
tions from head-quarters as to the trimming. All day 
she submitted to Miss Withering's persecution with 
mi aching heart . but uncomplaining tongue ; but in 
the evening, when Mr. Bantam had gone out on busí- 
ness, and Mr. Keginald looked too dull to amuse her, 
ahe could hold her head up no more. She entreated 
Mrs. Bantam to let her go to bed. 

' Certainly, my dear. I hope you may have a sleep, 
for that will do you more good than anything.' 

' I scarcely expect to sleep, but I shall rest,' said 
Minnie. 

' Shall I come with you to amuse you V said Miss 
Withering. 

. * Oh no !' said Minnie, trying to disguise her horror 
at the proposaL * Do not give yourself any trouble 
about me. 1 shall be well to-morrow, I dare say.' 

She had lain down about ten minutes when she 
heard a gentle tap at the door. 

* Who is there V said she. 

* It is Clara. I want to know if you would like 
anything — ^if 1 can do anything for you.' 

* Yes, you can. Bring me a glass of water and a 
candle, if you please ; I put mine out, and I should 
like to read now.' 

The candle was brought, but Minnie's eyes ached, 
and she could not see. 



AN INVITATIOlí AND VISIT. 147 

* Shall I read to you V aaiá Clara ; * perhaps it might 
set you to sleep.' 

* Perhaps it may,' said Minnie, recollecting the drawl- 
ing way in which the servants at home read. 

Clara opened the book, even the silly novel, and 
read so sweetly, so musically, that Minnie felt relieved 
by the sound of her voice. She fínished the novel, for 
Minnie had got near the end of it ; and as she declared 
she was not tired, her listener began to ponder what 
she should like to hear next. 

* Can you read poetry as well as prose V said she. 
* I like nothing so well as hearing poetry read to me, 
if it is well read. Qet me Tennyson's Poems from the 
parlour, there's a good girl, and let me hear you read 
some of them.' 

Clara retumed with the news that Mr. Beginald 

was reading the book that was wanted. Would Miss 

Minnie like her to ask for it ? 

' Oh, no, it is of no consequence,' said Minnia 
*But, Miss Minnie, I faiow many of Tennyson's 

poems by heart I will repeat them if you would 

like it.' 

* I should like it exceedingly.' 

So Clara repeated the ' Talking Oak' with spirit and 
fanciful feeling. She asked if Mininie was tired, but 
she was in a state of tranquil enjoyment, and begged 
Clara to go on. She then began ' Locksley Hall,' and 
gave it with all the indignant bittemess which the 
poet throws into it, but which, perhaps, poor Amy did 
not deserve. Mr. Reginald passed the door once or 
twice during this recitation, and stopped to listen to 
the sound of what he had been readmg, as if life and 
reality had been given to it through the utterance of 
this poor servant-girL When he heard her scomfdl 
way of treating a love which was not * love for ever- 
more,' he thought that when Clara loved it would be 
for once and for ever, and he shrank from the mockery 
which Julia offered him as an exchange for a tme 
heart. He detennined to go home to Ms station on 

l2 



14& CLARA MORISON. 

Monday moming, to relieve Clara fróm tlie trouble 
and hiuniliation of his presence — lie had gratified a 
selfish desire to see into her character at the expense 
of her comfort, but he was determined to do so no 
more. 

Clara wound up with * The Lotos-eaters,' which she 
rehearsed so dreamilj that it sent Minnie into a sound 
sleep ; and then, as it was late, and Mrs. Bantam had 
told her she need not sit up, she went to her attic to go 
to bed. 

What a bright day this had been to her — ^Mr. 
Beginald's interest in her, the invitation from Mrs. 
Hfi^dj, her mistress's consent that she should go out 
for the whole affcemoon, the pleasure of reading aloud 
and repeating her favourite verses to that kind-hearted 
girl, whom Miss Withering had torménted as well as 
herself, for she was sure that Minnie's ilbiess had been 
either occasioned or aggravated by that evil-disposed 
person — all these things £lled her mind with a joy and 
thankfcdness which coidd only find a vent in tears. 
She looked at the address again; she was glad to 
know Mr. Keginald's Christian name ; she felt that he 
respected her, and that his oflfer of assistance was no 
insult. She sat half-dreaming on her box, with her 
íace buried in her hands. * He may love Minnie, but 
still he esteems me ; and Minnie does not care for hÍTn 
— ^her heart is elsewhere ; I am convinced of that.' 

Clara's heart was liffced up to heaven that night in 
devout thankfulness that life was again a blessing. 
One is not apt to feel religious influences when simply 
uncomfortably imhappy, but the depth of miseiy, or 
the lighting up of the heart after it draws the soul to 
the Giver of ail good In her desolation, in the sharp 
pangs of jealousy, in the anguish that for the last fort- 
night she had endured, Clara had tumed for he^ to 
Grod,and now in her comparative happiness she acknow- 
ledged his hand. 

* I shall not be at church to-morrow,' said she ; ' how 
dreadfiil my uncle would think my neglect of the pub- 



AN INVITATION AND VISIT. 149 

lic ordinances of religion ! but I want the sunshine of 
human sympathy and human fiiendship, and I trust 
that I have enough of religion within me to purify me 
from the worldliness of the week' 

Miss Withering was of opinion that Clara was likely 
to catch a severe cold if she exposed herself to the 
night air, and, for the girl's own sake, urged Mrs. 
Bantam to insist on her coming home before dark, in 
time to get tea for the fiimily; but when Minnie heard 
that she was going to see the only friend she had in 
the colony, and that this was the first time she had 
asked for permission to pay a visit, she offered to get 
tea, and hoped Clara would enjoy herself Minnie 
had been very much struck with Clara's accomplish- 
ments, from which she had derived benefit the previous 
evening; and expressed such a warm interest in her, 
that Mrs. Bantam resolved she woidd never let Miss 
Withering shake her confidence in her servant again. 

Clara walked now through green plots and then 
through dirty streets, for there was nearly a mile be- 
tween Mrs. Bantam*s and Mrs. Handy's, and Adelaide 
is not half built upon. Wherever grass could grow, 
it came up green 'even in comers of streets. Wherever 
Clara could find it, she woidd even go out of her way 
to tread on it, — sometimes half creeping through a 
dilapidated fence to go over a whole acre of green turf, 
fuU of yellow flowers. She picked a few little blos- 
soms, and found that they were fragrant enough, though 
the sweetest were too small to look beautiful until they 
were closely inspected. 

She went round by the back way, in case of meeting 
Brown, Oscar, and Co. going out for their Sunday 
stroll, and found Mrs. Handy watching for her at the 
door. She kissed her, and brought her into her own 
little room. 

* Handy is out for a walk, but he will be in soon,' 
said she; 'so tell me all the news before he comes. 
Of course you would not like to tell me how* you like 
your place before him, as he is a stranger. Mr. Eegi- 



150 CLASA MOKISON* 

nald told me that you were the most elegant hand- 
maid he ever saw, and that jou did everything so 
nicely. I knew you would try, but it is a wonder 
that you have strength to do so mucL And your 
mistress is kind, and your master quiet j and if your 
visitors are all like Mr. Keginald, they will not give 
you much trouble.' 

Mrs. BLandy then took off Clara's bonnet and shawl, 
and drew off her gloves, saying that really her hands 
looked wonderfcd, considering ; ^ and I must say^ Miss 
Morison, though you are thmner, and have lost your 
colour, you are quite as lady-like as ever. I did not 
let my husband know you were at servicej he &iicies 
you are a govemess, so give yourself a few airs, and he 
will believe it. And tell me when you heard irom 
Miss Waterstone, and how she is gettmg on.' 

Clara told all she knew of her Mend, and also that 
she had met a fellow-passenger in the street the other 
daý, who told her he could do anything he liked with 
servant girls, but who had not succeeded in findmg 
out where she lived, though he seemed very anxious 
to know. Then she told what difficulty she foimd in 
leaming to work, and how patient Mrs. Bantam had 
been with her. She asked if Mr. Beginald had men- 
tioned Miss Minnie Hodges' name, or told Mrs» 
BLandy what a pleasant girl she was. 

* He only said there were two ladies visiting at the 
Bantams', but mentioned no names. The Hodges are 
neighbours of the Caunirays, and Mrs. Caumray feels 
quite bitter because Mrs. Hodges will take no notice 
of her or her &mily. Now that she has got a genteel 
accomplished govemess for Janey, she thinks she is as 
good, if not better, than Mrs. Hodges, whose eldest 
girl has to teach the little ones.' 

Clara next mentioned Miss Withering, and said that 
she did not like her at all. She knew that it was not 
considered quite correct to criticise her master's guests 
to a stranger j but if Mrs. Handy had kept her secret 
from her own husband^ it was not likely that any of 



AN INVITATION AND VISIT. 161 

her other revelations wonld be repeated ; and she felt 
great relief in telling her troubles to ears that heard, 
instead of to senseless paper. She next asked how the 
house got on, — if the gentlemen made as much fun of 
poor Mr. Blinker as ever, and if Miss Waterstone's 
friend, the overseer, had ever been in town again j not 
that she cared very much to know, but she knew it 
would please Mrs. Handy if she expressed curiosity. She 
learned that poor Blinker, after having endured perse- 
cution till all his money was spent, came to the con- 
clusion that he did not know what to do, and was 
much obliged to Humberstone for seizing upon him, 
and taking him to the country, where he said he would 
make a man of him. He was to be a hut-keeper at 
first, and if he was worthy of promotion, he was to be 
advanced to take a flock of sheep. Oscar and Brown 
had talked to him of Arcadia and corrosive sublimate ; 
of pastoral pipes, of damper and shifting hurdles, till 
he was in a state bordering on distraction. He had 
come into the kitchen, and asked Mrs. Handy if they 
put corrosive sublimate into the dampers, or how did 
they make them damp — was it by poiiring water on 
them afber they were baked, or by boiling them for 
awhile í She had told him that damper was a wrong 
name, for it was the driest description of bread that 
could be made, except biscuits ; but that he would be 
shown how it was to be made when he got to the sta- 
tion — ^he would have nothing to do but to follow direc- 
tions j this had relieved him, and he went off next day 
with Humberstone, quite happy. 

When Mr. Handy came in, Miss Morison was intro- 
duced to him, and the new girl, Leonora, got tea. It 
was new and delightíul to Clara to take tea in com- 
pany with any one— to be asked to take another cup— 
to be pressed to try another piece of seed-cake. Mr. 
Handy was cumbrously polite, and paid her several 
slow compliments, but Clara was in elysium, and not 
at all critical ; she thought the attention and the com- 
pliments could not be improved, they were so pleasanti 



152 CLABA MOBISON. 

Mr. and Mrs. Handy talked a good deal about It^- 
nald, and all in high praise of his many good qualitiea 

' Now, should not you think, Miss Morison,' said 
Mrs. Handj, * that when mj husband had got home to 
his own comfortable house, he would be inclined to 
stop at home, and not to wander to the ends of the 
earth again to seek for goid?' 

' I am sure/ said Clara, * that such a pleasant tea- 
table as this should make you yery reluctant to go 
through as much discomfort and privation as you must 
have suffered in Califomia.' 

* The tea is very well in its way, Miss/ said Mr. 
Handj, ^ particularly in such pleasant oompany as we 
are Êtvoured with this evening ; but when a man comes 
home, and cannot get work at his trade, he feels quite 
lost. I should like to take a tum at Bathurst^ till 
things work themselves right in Adelaide. I am a 
builder hy trade, and that business is very slack just 
now. It is all very fine taUdng about the hard life in 
CaUfomia, but that only makes me inclined to try if I 
oould not take it easier in New South Wales. And 
that hundredweight of gold ! — I cannot get over that. 
Suppose I were to pick up such a bit, Betsy, would 
not you set up for a lady directlyí Oscar, Brown, and 
the rest, woidd have to march in double-quick time, 
and we would buy a place in the country, and live in 
peace and quietness.' 

* You don't seem to value peace and quietness much, 
Handy, or you would remain where you are now. He 
had not been home a week, when he began to talk of 
going off again. It is not feir to me; is it, Miss 
Morison?' 

* Well, Betsy, if I had brought you anything back 
firom Califomia besides myself I should h^ve l&ed to 
stop; but whatever I made there by hard work went to 
feed a parcel of sharks that cheated folk right and leffc.* 

'But the Sydney people will cheat you quite as 
cleverly as the others. You know that most of the 
diggers are old convicts,' said Mrs. Handy, 



AN INVITATION AND VISIT. 153 

* I am s\ire they are better than the Califoniiaii 
rascals; if they were not convicts before they came, 
they deserved to be every day of their lives that I had 
anjthing to do with them. An honest man has no 
chance among them ; but there is more law and justice 
in New South Wales. There is a settled responsible 
govemment there, and not so much of Judge Lynch's 
authority; 

Clara asked some questions about the state of Cali- 
fomia, and the methods of obtaining the gold, but Mr. 
Handy was too sore upon the subject to tell anything 
bat how he had been overreached ; he would give no 
general information, but was copious concerning his 
persoual experiences. 

Mr. and Mrs. Handy promised to see Clara home, so 
she was in no hurry to go, and sat chatting happily tiU 
near ten o'clocL She parted with her friends at the 
comer of the street, got in quietly, and was not found 
&ult with for being too late. 




154 CLABA MOBISOK* 



CHAPTEK XIV. 

MBS. BANTAM AND MINNIE LAY A PLOT TO 6ET QUIT 

OF MISS WITHESING. 

AS Miss Withering would not go to chapel upon any 
consideration, and disliked to go to church by 
herseU^ Minnie, though in general a chapel-goer, felt 
obliged to accompany her, and was entertained with 
lectiires on the ignorance and vulgarity of the great 
proportion of dissenting teachers, both in the way to 
church and on her retum. In the aftemoon Miss 
Withering yawned over a volume of sermons, which 
she complamed were rather superfícial, and took the 
book into her bed-room, thinking she might be able to 
£x her mind upon her studies if she were undisturbed. 

Mrs. Bantam and Minnie canvassed Miss Wither^ 
ing's character in her absence, and found themselves of 
one mind on the subject. 

^ I think I know now why newcomers are called 
Griffins in India. It has not been adopted here, but 
it is very appropriate to Miss Withering. She is a 
GrijB^,' said Minnie. 

*I wish I could tell her to go away,' said Mrs. 
Bantam ; * but I cannot do such a thing even to a 
servant without its disturbing me for a weekj and she 
is such a clever woman that I know I should feel ten 
times worse if I quarrelled with her. Coidd you not 
do it, Minnie V 

* I have said more mde things to Miss Withering 
than I ever thought I could say to any one, but it has 
no effect upon her except to make her say more dis- 
agreeable things.' 

* What does she say to you ? I think she is more 
polite to you than to me,' said Mrs. Bantam.' 

* Oh, it is not what she says, but her spiteful way of 
saying it, that makes me so imcomfortable,' said 
Minnie. ' Would not Mr. Bantam quarrel with her 



THB FLOT. 155 

if you asked himl I think he grows thinner every day 
she is here.' 

'I could not trust Mr. Bantam; if he could be 
roused to say anything he would say a great deal too 
much, and then she will spread such reports about 
us. She says such things about people she knows, it 
makes me quite afraid to give her a handle. I do not 
know how I can manage it.' 

' I have got an idea that may do/ said Minnie« 
* You know she is always asking Clara to do unreason- 
able things for her ; let Clara refiise, and you can take 
her part. I think that may make a breach wide 
enough to get Miss Withering out of the house 
through.' 

* It is really a capital thought, Minnie. Well, two 
heads are better than one ; I never should have con- 
trived such a plan by myself I will tell Clara about 
it as soon as she comes home. I am quite thankfiil 
for your suggestion.' 

And Mrs. Bantam began to read with some com- 
posure, while Minnie*s thoughts wandered no further 
than next door. She must go and see the Elliots 
again to-morrow, and try to get G^eorge to be once 
more friendly. 

Beginald retumed from North Adelaide about eight 
o'clock in the evening, and told Mrs. Bantam that he 
found he must retum to his station immediately. 

' I am sorry you are leaving us so soon,' said 
Mrs. Bantam, ^and still more ^tressed to see that 
you have derived no benefít from the chaD^e of air. 
You look quite as ill as when you came. CJould you 
not stay another week to see what that would do for 
youí' 

' You seem to be in a great hurry, Beginald,' said 
Mr. Bantam. ' I understood the visit was to be for a 
month, and unless you give us good and sufficient 
reasons, I shall not be inclined to let you go. I feel 
quite disappointed in my visitors. Here is Eeginald, 
who came here looking ill, nowgoing away worse; and 



156 CULBA MOBISON. 

poor Miimie, who came blooming like a rose, looks 

more like a lily now ; and ^ 

Ý ' What of me^ Mr. Bantam V said Miss Withering^ 
with a very stem expression. 

^ Oh !' said Mr. i^uatam, ahrinking into himsel^ ' I 
do not see much change upon jou. Your constitution 
seems not to be affected by the air of Adelaide, which 
has told so sadly on poor Minnie, and even the servant 
girl seems to sufferfrom it too. But I must drive jou 
áovm to the sea-side some fine day this week, Minnie, 
andseeiflcaimotbrmgbackyoiroses.' 

* By-the-bye, Mr. Beginald, I think you are fond of 
reading manuscript,' said Miss Withering. < Eead this 
aloud, and guess where I foimd it.' 

It was not a large piece of paper that she handed to 
him. The writing was in a plam roimd hand, and ap- 
peared to be only a fragment, for it terminated ab- 
ruptly. He saw it was in verse, and afber glancing 
down a line or two to get into the rhythm read as 
follows : — 

' Lords of creation ! how I envy you ! 
Wliat in these stirring times can woman do ? 
Shut up each avenae, close-barred each gate, 
Every approach forbid her to the Great ! 
Even if Ambition does not fire her soul, 
If Independence merely is her goal, 
Scarce can her head and hands, howerer good, 
Eam that small pittance, even a livelihood. 
The pleasure, too, of giving is forbid ; 
How much good will lies in her dormant, hid ! 
The power to bless, relieve, protect, maintain — 
Her natnre longs for — stmggles for — ^in vain. 
Thus the sad teacher, or domestic slave, 
Feeling her toil but drag her to the grave, 
Looks for a refnge from her war with life 
Even as a loveless and indifferent wife ; 
Dashes the tear-drops from rebellious eyes, 
Veils the heart*s image of Love's happy skies, 
Btifles the proud thoughts that across her oome, 
And marries — ^not a husband — but a home. 

* But surely / shall never stoop so low, 
I shall not tamely yield to Fortune's blow— 
Not necessary is it to be great, 
Or rich or honoui^d, *tis the chance of fate ; 



THE PLOT, 157 

Or loved or even happy ; — wise men say 

Life was not meant to be a holiday. 

Through many pangs the soal shakes off the dust ; 

I mvM do right, — tiiat is the orUy most. 

Shake off ' 

Beginald had not read &r before he was as certain 
that Clara had composed and written these lines as if 
she had told him so. But though he was sure that 
Miss Withering had come imfídrly by them, and shrank 
from making the inmost thoughts of the poor girl 
public, he could not stop without betraying her secret, 
and he accordingly read all the verses. 

' Where did you get this V said he, almost fiercely. 
* It is not your own writing, is it, Miss Withering V 

' No, indeed ! I do not write like a charity-school 
girl. This is my writing,' said Miss Withering, show- 
ing her name on the fly-leaf of her book of sermons, in 
which the letters were all length and no breadth, and 
formed a complete contrast to poor Clara's business- 
like hand. 

* Is it written by any fiiend of yours V asked Minnie. 

' I knew that none of you would find it out. It is 
some of Clara's scribbling. She seems fond of copying 
poetry, or she would not have taken the trouble to 
write out such stuff ; but perhaps it is for the improve- 
ment of her hand.' 

' How did you come into possession of it ? I am 
sure she did not give it to you to criticize,' said 
Keginald. 

' Why, I missed my brooch this aftemoon, and I 
thought I would just look if Clara had not picked it 
up by mistake. Girls do such things sometimes, you 
know. And there, between the leaves of Longfellow*s 
poems (that was the odd name of the author), I found 
this slip of paper sticking out. I thought I should 
like to see what was in it, and then that you would 
like to see it too, for Miss Hodges has such an idea oí 
Clara's taste in poetry that perhaps she will admire 
this precious fragment.' 

' I wonder at you,' said Minnie. ' I am ashamed of 



158 CLAEA MOKISON. 

you, Miss Withering. Your brooch is safe. I put it 
away this momiiig in its proper place. You know I 
liaye arranged the room ever since I came here, and 
you should not have been going up like a spy into 
Clara's garret, until you had asked me if I had seen the 
brooch, and Mrs. Bantam if she would give you leave 
to do such a thing. English ladies may think this 
sort of conduct right, but colonial people think differ- 
ently.' 

* Ah ! you have a great deal to leam yet, Miss 
Hodges/ said Miss Withering. *It is quite a cus- 
tomary thing in England, and I have heard so many 
strange tales about Australian servants, that I did not 
think it necessary to stand upon ceremony with Clara. 
But are you sure my brooch is safe} I shoidd be quite 
grieved to lose it.' 

Mrs. Bantam would fEiin have taken Minnie's side 
of the question, and rebuked Miss Withering's over- 
suspioion ; but she could not hit upon the exact words 
to say, and her courage died during the hesitating 
delay. 

^ You will oblige me, and I am sure Mrs. Bantam 
too, by taking this piece of paper and putting it exactly 
where you foimd it. I will go with you and carry the 
candle,' said Minnie, resolutely. 

Mrs. Bantam wished the manuscript to be replaced ; 
Mr. Bantam agreed that they had no right to keep it ; 
and Reginald was relieved to see Minnie mounting 
guard, and insisting that it was done. 

* Though these Hnes are not half so pretty as what 
Clara repeated to me last night,' said Minnie, when 
she retumed to the parloiu', 'perhaps that was the 
reason she copied them, for she might not think them 
pretty enough to leam, and yet be imwilling to lose 
them altogether. Is it not strange, Mr. Beginald, that 
Clara should have such a taste for poetry, and her read- 
ing áloud is the most beautiful I ever heard. None of 
the Elliots have such variety in their tones, though 
they are adniirable readers too.' 



THE PLOT, 159 

' I shdfild like to know the Elliots/ said Beginald. 
* I hear that they are such a fine femily altogether.' 

' I wish you knew them,' said Minnie. ' I know 
which of them you would like best. Margaret is ex- 
actly to your taste, I should think. She is so clever, 
and knows so much, but yet has no pretension about 
her ; you really must get introduced to them— don*t 
you know George or Gilbert V 

* I know G^orge a little, from seeing him in AinslieV 
store ; I must físh for an invitation the next time I 
meet him. He seems a fíne, intelligent young man.' 

* They are all intelligent/ said Minnie ; ' but though 
Gilbert is very clever, I consider Margaret the genius 
of the family.' 

Keginald had rather a horror of ^ the genius of the 
&,mily' in general, and he doubted Minnie's ability to 
judge of what would suit his taste ; but yet he did 
wish to know a fiimily whom every one respected, and 
a good many people loved, and he had had his curiosity 
raised with regard to the second Miss Elliot years 
ago. 

' Margaret, is not that the young lady I used to hear 
Dent talk so much about V said iReginald. ^ He used 
to come to my station, and talk in the evening of his 
feir lady.' 

' Yes, it was Margaret that h^ admired so muoh, 
though they were very unlike each other,' said Minnie. 

^ I cannot think what made the man confide so much 
in me,' said Keginald. ' He struck me as being a close, 
reserved man, and yet he unbosomed himself regularly 
every time he came to Taringa, until he had actually 
proposed. He never could bring himself to confess the 
refusal.' 

* He was certainly close and cautious in money mat- 
ters,' Minnie said, ' but this love seemed to be a thing 
that he could not keep to himself He told papa aU 
about it in the same way, and papa, as in duty bound, 
told it over again to mamma and me. What Mr. Dent 
admired in Margaret I cannot conceive ; he did not 



160 CLAEA MORISON. 

think her pFetty, and I am sure he did not appreciate 
her talentB.' 

^Perhaps her manners were frank, and that to a 
man like Dent is a great attraction,' said Keginald. 

'No — Margaret's manner is cold, and to him was 
particularly so. She had no money, no position, and 
Íew accomplishments, and yet he liked her notwith- 
standing ; and in spite of his money, his position, and 
his perseverance, Margaret could not like him.' 

* My taste is so diametrically opposed to Mr. Dent's, 
that I cannot think of admiring Miss Margaret EUiot. 
I never can be his rival.' 

'Oh, you don't know till you see,' said Minnie; 
' don't be too sure.' 

When Eeginald saw Clara in the moming, he was 
pleased to see how much better she looked. * Have I 
not prescribed well for youï' said he. ' You look quite 
a different being to-day — ^you must go to see Mra 
Handy whenever you are afraid of being ilL I am 
going to my station agaín this moming, and I feel 
relieved to see that I have not killed you outright.' 

* There is a great deal of vitality left in me yet,' said 
Clara, smiling, * and I think even Miss Withering will 
not succeed in crushing it out of me. While Miss 
Minnie remains here, I shall not mind the other 
mucL' 

She looked straight into Reginald's fiace while she 
said this, to see if he really cared much for Minnie. 

* Yes, that young lady is a visitor among a thousand. 
Without great abilities or much cultivation, she has a 
steady, fearless uprightness and tmth in her that are 
very delightful to see.' 

* She is very pretty,' said Clara. 

' Do you think so, Miss Morison ? I consider her 
pleaflmg m her appearance, but I do not think her 
pretty. 

*Hush! I must go now; I hear Miss Minnie 
commg out of her room. 

* Good bye j do not forget my address.' 



THE PLOT. 161 

* Grood bye ; I am much obliged to you/ said Clara, 
as she hurried out of the room. 

Beginald lefb Adelaide immediately ailer breakfast, 
leaving no one to regret him much but Clara, who, 
though she had been miserable when he was near, felt 
now that she missed him, and scolded herself for being 
so very unreasonable. Mrs. Bantam proposed that 
Minnie should take the room which he had occupied, 
which Minnie would gladly have done, to escape, for 
some part of her time, from her tormentor ; but Miss 
Withering would not part with her, and assured Mrs. 
Bantam that, in Miss Hodges' present state of health, 
it would be highly dangerous for her to change her 
sleeping-room. So, as they trusted soon to get rid of 
Miss Withering herself by following Minnie*s ingenious 
plan, of which they had made Clara cognizant, they 
thought she might as well remain in the same room 
while she stayed in Adelaide. 

But as if by some instinctive knowledfije of the snare 
laid for her, Miss Withering seemed deteWined to ask 
Clara to do nothing so imreasonable as to justify oppo- 
sition. Clara could not refuse to brush her dresses, 
though it took up a great deal of valuable time ; nor 
to fetch her pooket handkerchief from the next room, 
though Miss Withering could easily have done it her- 
self ; so things remained in atatu qm. 

Minnie would not take Miss Withering^s hints of 
her curiosity to see the Elliots, and as Mrs. Bantam 
could not go without her incubus, she went by herself 
in the affcemoon. She went early enough to have a 
good talk with Annie, and she hoped that when Ceorge 
came home she should not be too flurried to spe£^ 
comfortably to him. 

Annie was alone, and delighted to see her. ^ I have 
been wondering if you would oome to-day, for I feel 
so duU,' sa^d she. ' Grace and Margaret have gone an 
hour ago to spend a long evening with Mrs. Plummer, 
and have lefb me to keep the house. Gilbert is going 
to dine with the Plummers, and will bring them home 

YOL. L M 



16^ CLABA MOBISOX. 

in the evening, so George and I shall be nmch ilie 
l)otter for your company. How is Miss Witheríiigf 

* Oh, the griffin ! She gets worse and wor8& She 
ha8 driven Mr. Beginald out of the honsey and I ahoald 
gladly follow. In time she will send Clara awaj too^ 
and then we shall see Mr. and Mrs. Bantam úoiáj 
taking leave of their paradise, and leaying her ' monardi 
of all she surveys.' You will have an observing nei^ 
bour then — I advise you to keep your blinds down u 
it is. But I was much comforted the other night lij 
the servant Clara reading aloud to me, and repeatiiig 
poetry so softly and so sweetly, that it really felt liko 
a balm to my ears and nerves, after they had been 
irritated by Miss Withering's sharp, inquisitive, mi»- 
chief-making voice. I cannot help thinking that Clan 
must be a lady, her accent is so beautifuL' 

* It is rather strange,* said Annie, ' but perhaps she 
might have been a shop-girl in some fashionable mil- 
liner's establishment. Those girls pick up the acoent 
from the people they serve, you know. But you must 
see Gilbert's letter to the newspaper, if you promise 
not to tell whose it is, for of course it is anonymous. 
Margaret helped him with it, and Gleorge criticised 
their joint production, so you must really read it all 
through. I think it is very clever mysel£' 

Minnie read it all, and admired it as much as her 
friend expected. 

* Why does not George write something of his ownl' 
said Miimie. 

* Oh ! you know George is not half so clever as 
Gilbert, though, CTUre nous, Minnie, I like him the 
best. Besides, poor George seems very dull and out of 
spirits lately. I think Mr. Ainslie is very imreason- 
able in making him go back to work at the office in 
the evenings. You know his hours are long enough 
through the day. But he told me he should not ne^ 
to go back to-night, and that is pleasant. And now, 
Minnie, we must try over the new songs Mr. Harris 
has lent me. They belonged to his sister; you see the 



THE PLOT. 163 

name, Maria Harris, at the beginning of the book, in 
her own hand, I suppose, and a beautiful hand it i& 
I really wish I did not write such a scrawl myself ; but 
you don't write any better, and that is one comfort.' 

They tried over several songs, and were siu'e that 
(Jeorge would be able to take a part in some of the 
prettiest, when he came home. 

* I suppose Grace and Margaret will spend a duller 
evening at Mrs. Plummer's than we shall do at home,' 
said Annie ; * for Mrs. Plummer never thinks of in- 
viting anybody to meet them, as Grace is engaged, and 
Margaret has so much sense. Mrs. Plunmier is very 
prosy, and she never talks on any subject but the state 
of baby's teeth — I am so tired of those eye-teeth ! As 
I am volatile, and like to talk, I am sometimes favoured 
with a strange face; and I have several times met a 
certain Mr. William Bell lately ; such a strange fellow 
he is, Minnie ; I should like you to see him, and to tell 
me what you think of him. He contradicts everybody, 
and me in particular, a great deal more than I like ; 
he would argue every point with George and Gilbert, 
instead of concurring with them, or letting the thing 
pass, as Mr. Harris does. Mrs. Plimimer says he is 
an admirer of mine, but it must be an odd sort of ad- 
miration; I don't think I could win a compliment 
from him if I were to try for a month, And, strange 
enough, George has taken quite a fiancy to this Mr. 
Bell, and says he thinks he shall make a fiust friend of 
hinL He is a brother of the James Bell who died a 
short while ago — ^you saw the death in the papers ; he 
waa in business in Hindley-street; I don't know whe- 
ther William means to carry on the concem. But, 
bless me! Minnie, here comes Greorge, and I have 
quite forgotten his dinner; the potatoes will be soup 
by this time, for we have sung six songs since I put 
them on. Do talk to him, and keep him in good hu- 
mour while I try to make them presentable.' 

Minnie blessed these potatoes from the bottom of 
her heart; for it is so seldom that young people in' the 

M 2 



164 CLABA MORISOX. 

middle ranks of societj have an onmteimpted momat 
together, to make up any little nniimTi^ ^qíii^^mHing, tiiik 
Íhe ojiportunity was as rare as it was desíiable. A 
frank look and smile to George when he came ÍD, u 
expression of her pleasure that there was no stnngff 
with him to-daj, and that he did not need to go Iêól 
to his work, seemed to make her peacey fcft he nevff 
thouglit of jealousy again. There was no Mr. HaníAo 
eclipMe liim at home, and the relieved Tnftj^nAr in whidi 
Miiinie mentioned Iteginald*s departurey oonvinoed hin 
that his suspicions in that quarter were nnfoonded. 

Minnie exhausted part of her grudge against Vl 
Harris by taUdng slightingly of him all dinner timfl) 
which made her friend warm in his defenoe. ^ 
began to fear that Annie*s heart was in danger; bnt if 
he liked Greorge, and would follow his adyioe^ Hj^ 
Ëvorard Harris might make a tolerable hnsband after 
all. George^s hoarseness, which had been brought on in 
a great measure by shouting for unsucoesafol candidateB 
at tho elections, was quite gone by this time^ and he 
sung witk the girls with great success. He begged 
Miiniio to listen to a really fine article from the * Edin- 
burgh Reviow,' which had struck him when reading 
by hiniHolf ; he showed her some drawings which he 
had just íiiiished, and hoped she would like them; in 
short, ho wíis deíightful, and Minnie did not think it 
near time to go when she heard the gate open and saw 
the other mombers of the fiimily come in. 

* We havo had such a delightful evening !' said Annie. 
* I have been pit^dng you three sadly, for you have 
been whore you had neither books, nor music, nor oon- 
versation, and we have been revelling in all of them.' 

* Neither books nor music, certainly, but enough of 
conversation,' said Margaret. 

*0f course,' said Annie, *you had the progress of 
the teeth brought down to the latest date, and Mr. 
Plummer has been lording it over Gilbert because he 
is a govemment officer, while Gilbert is only a lawyer's 
clerl^ who has not even got articles; and talking mag- 



THB PLOT. 165 

niloquently of ' our department of tlie public service ;' 
but surely you do not call that conversation, Mar- 
garetr 

* No, I do not ; but we had other speakers and better 
Bubjects ; at least another speaker,' said Margaret. * We 
met one of the most brilliant birds of passage I ever 
saw — a Mr. Staynes, on his way to Sydney. He has 
seen all the great writers of the day, and does not 
point out their faults or disagreeable peculiarities, but 
admires them afker seeing them quite as much as we 
do imseen. Your friend, William Bell, was at Mr. 
Plummer's, too, quite ecUpsed, but resigned; and he 
listened without contradicting very mucfu' 

* He asked for you, Annie,' said Grace ; ' and Mrs. 
Plummer looked quito sly on the subject. Gilbert 
asked him to come in, but he said it was too late, and 
promised to spend an evening with us some other day.' 

* He walked home with me,' said Margaret, * and 
really, Annie, he is quite agreeable when you have 
him, as we Scotch say, to a * two-handed crack' ' 

* I suppose you mean a têto-ártête, Margaret,' said 
Minnie. 

' I mean nothing so tender as that,' said Margaret. 

* And were you sewing all the evening V said Annie. 

* Mrs. Plummer has always a nice piece of work for 
her young friends when they come to visit her.' 

' I had something in my hands,' said Margaret, ' but 
it got on very slowly.' 

* What was this Mr. Staynes like, Gilbert ? It is of 
no use asking Margaret,' said Annie. 

* Much plainer than even William Bell,' said Gilbert, 

* and not so talL Grey eyes, fe-ir hair, and a dull 
complexion, but he speaks pure English, and choioe 
English, and seems to know everything. However, he 
must be at least five years older than I am, and I do 
not mean to remain stationary; though we are ill p^ro- 
vided with the means of improvement in the colonies, 
I shall surely be able to make something of myself by 
that time.' 



166 CLABA MOKISOX. 

^I musfc go now/ said Miimie, 'it is surelj very 
late.' 

* Only twel ve o'clock,' said Greorge. * Time flies swiftly 
when we are among Mends.' 

Minnie fonnd George ready to escort her home, and 
in the tone of his voice in wishing her good night, and 
the pressore of his hand at parting, she felt an assor- 
ance that she was loved by him. She did not care 
whether Miss Withering was up or not, she was indif- 
íerent now to either her talk or her silence. All the 
Êunily had gone to bed but Clara^ who opened the door 
for her, but she did not want to go to bed just then. 
She sat for an hour and a half by the parlour fíre, 
which went out while she thought how happy she 
was. 

George was poor, but time would amend that; he 
was only a merchant's clerk, while she was the daughter 
of a wealthy stockholder^ and a justice of peace for the 
province b^ides. But she felt that there was really 
no disparity between them, and that by and bye her 
£stther would see that he could have no son-in-Íaw so 
good and suitable in every way as George Elliot. There 
waa no hurry for the marriage. Minnie must remain at 
home at any rate for several years to come, to educate her 
sisters^ and by the time the yoimgest was out of the 
school-room, George would be thirty-one, and Minnie 
berself twenty-five, a very proper age, just the ages of 
her father and mother when they were married ; and 
surely George would be rich enough to begin life with 
her in a quiet way then. Minnie recollected a thou- 
sand little words and looks which convinced her that 
she was not mistaken, and that Greorge had liked her 
for a long time, when she had never dreamed of such a 
thing. Even his sulkiness last Friday was confirma- 
tion strong. How delightful it is when a girl's first 
intimation of the love she feels is awakened by the 
consciousness that she is beloved ! Minnie wanted no 
deolaration, no engagement ; she rested in her present 
happiness with períect satÍBfaction. 



THB PLOT. 167 

Minnie looked so well and cheerful next day that 
Miss Withering was convinced that she must have 
entered into a clandestine engagement with one of the 
EUiots. She had no faith in hnman nat'ure, and could 
not fancy a girPs looking happy unless she had done 
something wrong. She determined to watch Minnie 
narrowly, and if she had her convictions strengthened 
by observations, to communicate with Mrs. Bantam, 
and even if she found it neoessary, with Mr. Hodges. 
These things should be taken in time; Mr. Hodges 
had evidently no desire for an increased intimacy on 
his daughter's part with this low family, and he would 
feel very much shocked and very grateftil for her timely 
discovery. He was a man whom a clever woman 
could tiirn round her finger, and he was very likely to 
engage Miss Withering on handsome terms to look 
after the education and right training of his family, 
which Minnie by her duplicity would have shown her- 
self quite incapable of doing. 

These were pleasant thoughts for Miss Withering, and 
made her more than usually polite to every one, and 
even to Clara, to whom she presented an old gown with 
great condescension. How Glara longed to refíise it ! 
but she swallowed down her proud heart, and heroically 
said, * thank you,' determining to give it to the first 
black woman who might come to chop wood. It was 
old and oddly made, but her acquaintancë, Black Mary, 
would make no objection, and would be very much the 
better for a gown, for she had nothing at present but 
an opossum skin rug, and an old drawn silk bonnet, 
which had once been white. The dress was a moming 
wrapper, and drew in with strings, so that it would be 
sure to fit ; and it had also a capacious pocket, which 
would charm Mar/s heart Mary occupied a consider- 
able part of Glant's next letter to Susan, which she 
now mustered courage enough to write ; she described 
Minnie at great length, slightly touched upon Miss 
Withering's character, but did not mention Mr. Regi- 
nald's name. She described the delightful visit to Mxb, 



168 CLAEA MORISON. 

HaadT'B, cHroiiicled the weather, the appeaiunce of the 
country, and the political news, so fár as she had 
gathered them from broken scraps of conversation 
when she was waiting at table. It was what Mr. 
Morison would have called a good letter, for it con- 
tained a great deal of information clearlj expressed, 
but Glara knew that Susan would be disappointed with 
it, for it was empty of those delicious personalities 
which Bister expects from sister. ' Any other person 
might have written this/ said she to hersel^ bitterly, 
when she laid it aside, ' but I cannot make a better 
one. I cannot write how I feel, for it would only make 
Susan miserable.' 

In her joumal she felt at liberty to write without 
reserve. She wrote how absurd it was in her to regret 
Beginald, for it would be the best thing that could 
happen that she should never see him again; noting it 
first in short-hand; then not feeling much relieved, 
repeating it in long-hand; and at last buming it lest 
any one bj any chance might see and be able to read 
it. She then imagined herself in the parlour, and 
wrote down a fanciful conversation, in which she bore 
a principal part She differed from Miss Withering 
on every point, supported Miss Minnie, and contra- 
dicted her master and mistress most imscrupulously 
whenever she put any absurdity into their mouths, 
which was not seldom Nor had she said half she in- 
tended, when Mrs. Bantam roused her from her inter- 
esting employment by bidding her bring in supper, 
as Miss Withering had got very hungry over a keen 
discuBsion. 



AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 169 



CHAPTEE XV. 

CLARA HAS AN OPPORTUNITY OF SEEING HEB PELLOW- 

PASSENGEBS. 

T'HE discussion which had occasioned Miss Wither- 
' ing's hunger, had been on the subject of maiTÍage, 
and the motives which should induce thereunto ; and 
Miss Hodges had advanced such dangerous and hete- 
rodox opinions with regard to this important matter, 
that her benevolent Mend was certain there was 
that something very wrong going on. 

* There can be no excuse for marriage but love,' said 
Minnie. * I am sure I never could bring myself to 
marry for Mendship, because I should have to leave so 
many dear friends, that I should be the loser if my 
husband did not love me as much as all of them 
together, and if I did not love him quite as mucL' 

* You do not mean to say that circumstances, posi- 
tion, and connexions are to be overlooked,' remarked 
Miss Withering. * I think it a very impertinent pro- 
posal when a yoimg gentleman offers a yoimg lady an 
inferior home, fewer comforts, and a lower position, 
all merely to gratify a selfísh feeling, which he digni£es 
by the name of love.' 

'There is some truth in that, Minnie,' said Mr. 
Bantam ^ I think, unless a man is her equal, that he 
has no right to urge a union with a young lady. Don't 
you marry to be worse off than you are, for marriage 
brings 8o many cares aad toU upon you that you do 
not need poverty to aggravate them' 

* Indeed,' added Mís. Bantam, ' yoxmg people are 
very apt to think too lightly of the advantages of a 
comfortable home. They fancy that if they are only 
fond enough of each other, the butcher's and baker's 
bills will be paid somehow; but there is nothing like 
poverty coming in at the door for making love fly out 
of the window.' 



170 CLABA MORISON. 

'Debt is indeed a wretched thÍDg/ said Minnie, 
* and even the most affectionate pair could not be con- 
BÍdered happy if they owed money which they could 
not pay. And I should like always to have enough to 
eat ; but I have not many wants, and should not break 
my heart because I wore gingham while my neighbours 
wore silk.' 

* But when people are poor, and have much drudgery 
to do, they get so very coarse-looking,' said Miss 
Withering ; * and in a climate like this, if ladies have 
toil and cares, even when in comfortable circumstances' 
— and here she glanced at Mrs. Bantam — 'sufficient 
to plant wrinkles in their cheeks before their time, 
what must poverty superadded bring a poor young 
wife and mother to ? I had heard in England that 
people fadeá very fÍEist here, and so I was in some mea- 
sure prepared j but I must confess that those ladies 
you took me to call on the other day, looked so mise- 
rable and carewom, that I was quile shocked at their 
appearance. And the neglected children, who were in 
everybody's way, must be a great drag upon their un- 
fortimate mothers. I have quite made up my mind 
to remain single unless I could marry a gentleman 
worth at least eighteen hundred a year — and even then 
I think I should be thrown away upon such specimens 
as I have yet seen.' 

Mr. Bantam looked his intense pity for the gentle- 
man whom Miss Withering would take, even in &ncy 
— ^it would be, indeed, a take in. 

' Can't you say ten thousand a year at once V said 
Minnie, scomfully. * But, to be sure, I do not think 
there is a gentleman with so much as ten thousand a 
year in the colony. There are a few who have eighteen 
hundred, but I have never seen a rich man who was 
half 80 agreeable as the poor men are in generaL 
He seems always in such fear of being caught, that 
one is obliged to look cold and distant out of self- 
respect ; and it is quite a penance to me to be cold or 
distant to any one.' 



AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 171 

* I should think it is,' said Miss Withering. * Your 
manners are certainly very much the reverse in gene- 
raL But you show no stiffness to Mr. Reginald, and 
yet I have been told that his circiimstances are good.* 

* He does not come up to your mark by a long chalk,* 
laughed Minnie. 

* What did you say Y exclaimed Miss Withering^ in 
a tone of utter amazement. 

' I meant that he has not nearly eighteen hundred a 
year,' said Minnie, blushing at having been led into 
speaking colonial slang. 

'Oh! is that what you meant? I understand 
Engliahy but I see you colonists are corrupting the 
language sadly. It is a pity, for the purity of their 
diction marks the lady and gentleman. Mr. Bantam 
quite puzzles me sometimes with novel phrases, and 
even Mrs. Bantam makes me feel at a loss to appre- 
hend her meaning occasionally. But to retum to our 
original subject, though Mr. Beginald is tolerably rich, 
you still thmk him agreeable, Miss Hodges V 

* He is rather slow,' said Minnie, who now was de- 
termined to defy Miss Withering, ' but I think he is 
really a good fellow ; he does not seem afraid of being 
taken in and done for, so that I feel at ease with him. 
But I suppose he is engaged to some cousin or other 
at home, for he has just the cut of it.' 

Miss Withering seemed to be greatly shocked, and 
said, coldly, * I see I must get you to explain the im- 
intelligible words and phrases I meet with in the 
Adelaide newspapers, Miss Hodges. What is a no6- 
hler neat, for instance Y 

* Don't you know what a nobbler is, Miss Wither- 
ing ? Your education must have been neglected 1 
Why, you are quite as ignorant as the judge, who 
positively asked once in fuU court what a nobbler was 
— and it was considered a capital joke all over the 
colony. A nobbler is half a glass of spirits, generally 
brandy ; and when it is taken neat, it means that it ÍB 
undiluted.' 



172 CLASA MOSISON. 

' I mm g^sd to find that my ignoraiioe la sanctioned 
hy tsadk lu^ anihorit^, for I suppoae tii&t Ms hononr 
the jndge is at leftBt & gaitleman,' said Miss Withering. 

'Bot he has not got ei^teen himdred a year/ 
answmed Hinnie, malicionslj. * Thoogh, perhaps in 
oonsidenition of his high standing in the colony, yoa 
maj place him in the list of jonr ' eligibles.' I adyise 
joa not to refose the jndge if he asks jocl' 

* I mnst say I feel sar^Nnsedat jour mode of expra»- 
ing joarsd^ Miss Hodges ; and it is odd that jon seem 
to think jonrself compet^t to give advice to me, who 
have seen so irerj mnsAi more of the world than jon 
haTe done. Perfaaps I maj be allowed to hint, that it 
ÍB not oonsidered ladjlike to talk of loTe in the manner 
jon do.' 

* It is lad^^like to hin^ at love, and even to despiae 
it^ I snppose,' said Minnie. 

'Cffliainlj, that is qnite admiíwible, even in the best 
aocietj/ r^lied Míbb Witiiering. 

' Bnt,' said Minnie, ' it is nnlad jlike to feel it, to 
hononr it, or to speak of it with eamestnesa. We are 
onlj to be nnbelieving spectators of sach things, if we 
are to be considered worthj of the world's respect or 
admiration. Well, I don't care for being thooght to 
be a ladj ; I woald rather be considered a genoine 
character, which I will try to deserve b j sajing alwa js 
what I think, withont distressing myself abont how it 
will soand in the nice ears of societj.' 

MLas Withering looked in£nitelv more shocked than 
befbre, and addressed herself to Mrs. Bantam, speaking 
at Minnie, who was qnite calloas to her disagreeable 
remarks, and ate her snpper as carelessl j as possible ; 
choosing to be defícient in politeness, rather than let 
MisB Withering íancj she cared for being considered 
ladjlike or volgar. 

Mífiïiíft was engaged on the aftemoon of the next 
daj in trimming a new bonnet, which she meant to 
wear to paj a viiát with Annie Elliot. Miss Wither- 
ing advised her to trim it ^hionablj bj onlj giving 



AN OLD ACqUAlNTANCB. 173 

it a deep curtain and strings, leaving the bonnet bare 
of ribbon elsewhere ; but Minnie waa determined not 
to take any advice from the griffin, and, out of a spirit 
of contradiction, put on oven more ribbon than she 
would naturally have done. She had triumphantly 
crossed the ribbon over the bonnet, and made a large 
knot at one side, when she foimd that she should not 
have enough lefb for strings. Mrs. Bantam, seeing that 
she looked mortifíed, suggested that Clara should be 
sent out to get an additional yard, and Minnie went 
herself into the kitohen to ask the favour. Clara waa 
very willing to oblige Minnie, and even the informa- 
tion that she must matoh the ribbon at MacnaVs did 
not damp her zeal. Miss Withering took the oppor- 
tunity to get Clara to execute two or three little com- 
missions for her at the same time, and gave her orders 
with great exactness. It was to get two yards and a 
half of white blond, with a tolerably rich edee : and 
three yaxds of peacli bloasom gimp, to match a pi^ce of 
silk which she gave her ; also half a yard of pea-green 
satin ribbon, about an inch and a half in width, and 
three quarters of a yard of wiredrawn black tulle. 

Clara set off to execute these commissions, and re- 
joiced that the roads were not muddy; for there had 
been a keen, diy north-east wind, blowing strong for 
the last two days, which had made the footpaths dry^ 
though they were hard and uncomfortable, being, as it 
were,baked into shoe moulds and irregularexcrescences. 
She was sorry that she had not closed her letter to her 
sister, for she woidd have liked to have put it in the 
post office as she passed; but she had omitted to men- 
tion Mr. Campbell's name, and as she felt gratefol to 
him for the interest he had taken in her, she did not 
like to despatch it without taking some notice of him ; 
and there was too little daylight remaining for her to 
have ventured to write anything additional before she 
went out. 

She found Benton looking well, but could not see 
Macnab, with whom she would rather have transaoted 



174 CLABA MORISON. 

her little busiiiess, for he generally sat in a little back 
crib, dignified by the name of the connting-room, 
whence he might see, but in which it was hard to get 
a sight of him. 

Kenton was in his element, talking an old womaii 
into the purchase of a set of red cotton pocket-hand- 
kerchie& for her husband. 

* Twenty pence apiece, young man ! I think that 
is a most unconscionable sum/ said she. ' I can get 
as good as these anywheres for fourteen pence, and I 
don't see no call on me to give you such a price.' 

*We could show you an arbicle at one and two, 
ma'am/ said Eenton, * but it would not give you satis- 
Êtction. These are the genuine Turkey red ; all dyed 
with turke/s blood, ma'am. It makes a fast colour, 
but you know, my good lady, that it comes expensive. 
Ah, Miss Morison, you are giving us a call at last 
What shall I have the pleasure of showing you V 

' I want this ribbon matched,' said Clara. 

*Was it bought heref said Eenton, 'for I can't 
pretend to match things that have been got in other 
shops.' 

' Yes ; it was bought in this shop last week,' said 
Clara. 

' Oh, yes, very true ; I know the article now. A 
tall young lady who came from the co\mtry bought it, 
and you want three yards of it, I suppose. — I assure 
you, Mrs. Higgs, that these handkerchiefe are worth 
double the money I ask for them. They are the real 
adamantine touch — ^you may put them on in the pot, 
and boil them ever so fefit, for the colours are fiuster 
stilL' 

* Only a yard of ribbon for me,' said Clara. 

'Phil,' said Eenton, 'make up a dozen of these 
pocket-handkerchiefe for Mra Higgs, and put them 
along with the shawl and gown-piece, and take them 
home for her.' 

'I have not bought the gown-piece,' said Mra, 
Higgs, who had yielded upon &e other oounts of the 



AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 175 

indictment, but was determined to make a stand 
there. 

' It i8 the most genteel thing in the shop/ said 
Renton. * The Govemor's lady got a dress of it just 
last week, and I am sure if you once saw it on her^ 
you would confess that a thing does not show what it 
is till it is hanging on a lady.' 

Mrs. Higgs was completely overcome, and saw Phil 
put the dress into the parcel with pleased resignation. 
Renton made out her little bill, received payment, and 
then tumed to Glara, who told him her other commis- 
sions. 

She had felt her eyes ache a good deal during her 
walk, and now, in the dubious glimmer of a newly- 
lighted lamp stmggling with the setting sun, she en- 
deavoured to get Miss Withering*s silk matched. Mr. 
Renton left her to attend to a yoimg milliner who was 
choosing a variety of materials for her trade; Phil had 
lefb with Mrs. Higgs' parcel, the other shopman had 
gone to his tea, and Mj. Macnab kept to his books, so 
that Clara could get no assistance. Her eyes grew 
dazzled over the varieties of peach-blossom ; then she 
looked over a box of ribbons to find a right peargreen ; 
and after tuming over all the black tulles in Mr. Mac- 
nab's shop, she found out that there was none of the 
kind that Miss Withering wanted. So she went into 
three other shops, with no better success; and as the 
shopmen were ail sure that they had the article 
she wanted, she was obliged to tum over all their 
stock of the description before she found out their 
mistake. 

Kenton had offered to send home her small parcel, 
in the hope of getting her address, but Glara had de- 
clined his courtesy. She now retumed unwillingly to 
ask him if he knew where she was likely to get the 
wiredrawn tulle. He directed her to a large shop at 
a considerable distance, where he said she was sure to 
find the article ; and as he was then at leisure, asked 
if there was any news of Miss Waterstone. Glara told 



176 CLAEA MORISON. 

him of that lady's intended marriage, and Kenton re- 
ceived the inteUigence with his usual nonchalance. 

' So, the iair Elizabeth has charmed another, and 
thought it of no use waiting for me. I wish the mar- 
nage had taken place here instead of Melboume, for it 
would have been a good thing for the shop. It would 
have taken twenty yards of white satin to make a 
proper wedding-dress for her; and I know she woidd 
have everything of the best for such an occasion.' 

' You take a great interest in the shop, Mr. Renton, 
and yet you say that you are going to leave it soon/ 
said Clara. 

* Not 80 sure of that now, Miss Morison. Mac has 
behaved very handsome, and I think ril stick by him. 
I expect soon to get a footing in the business, now that 
Mac knows my value. Times are rather dull in Ade- 
laide just now, but the premises are central, and we 
have never felt custom slack, so I think I shall let the 
Turon alone. I could not blamey the gold out of the 
quartz as I did Mrs. Higgs out of her sovereign with 
that tale of the turke/s blood. Besides, I never was 
fond of hard work in my life, and I have a notion that 
it wont agree with me, so 1*11 stick to the coxmter and 
Mac — ^Mr. Macnab, don't you see Miss Morison here V 

Mr. Macnab now emerged from his den, looking 
very much as usual, grunted that he did see Miss Mori- 
son, and hoped she was well, and that she liked the 
colony j then, without waiting for an answer, he made 
his way into the back shop. 

*A sad bear, is he notf said Renton, compas- 
sionately ; * but I bear with him, /or a condderation, 
you know. I hope you will give us a more extensive 
order next time you look in our way. Good evening, 
Miss Morison.' 

It was quite dark before Clara had completed her 
purchase of tulle; and the walk home was miserable, 
Íbr the cutting east wind entered into her eyes, and 
made them ache dreadfiilly. 

Minnie was of course quite pleased with her ribbon^ 



AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 177 

and atta^hed it to her bonnet with great satisfiíc- 
tion. 

* It will look quite nice to-morrow when I go to see 
Mrs. Beverly. I nsed to go to school with her when 
she was Miss Watts, and she expects me to spend one 
day with her while I am in town ; Annie Mliot is 
going with me. Mra Beverly has got a little boy now ; 
Annie says he is quite a beanty, so I long to kiss him.* 

'Where can Clara's eyes have been?' said Miss 
Withering. * She has brought me sky-blue ribbon in- 
stead of pea-green, and if she calls this gimp peach- 
blossom, I call it puce. The things are of no use what- 
ever; it is a downright picking of my pocket to buy 
such things for me.' 

* Clara shall go and exchange them to-morrow,' said 
Mrs. Bantam, apologetically. * It is not a good plan 
in general to give commissions to servants, they exe- 
cute them so badly ; but I did not think Clara would 
be so stupid. By the bye, Mr. Campbell sent across a 
letter for her while she was out ; I will give it to her 
now, and tell her she must rectify her blunders to- 
morrow.' 



♦ 



VOL. L N 



178 CLABA MORISON. 

CHAPTEE XVI. 

DABKNESS AXD SOBBOW. 

AT the sight of a letter from Susan, Clara forgot the 
pain in her eyes; she devoured every word of the 
long, closely written epistle, and then sat down to add 
a postscript to her own, with the view of posting it 
to-morrow, when she had to rectify her blunders with 
regard to Miss Withering's commissions. While read- 
ing and writing, she wiped her eyes frequently, for the 
tears came very fast, hot, and scalding; and when she 
had signed her name and addressed the letter, she be- 
came conscious of an insupportable pain shooting 
through her head. She had heard that weak eyes 
were quite common in Australia, and knowing that 
Mrs. Bantam had a lotion which she used when she 
suffered from them herself, she requested some for 
hers; and her mistress, without looking at Clara's 
eyes careftdly, gave her the lotion, telling her to apply 
it frequently, for it never failed to do good. But it 
was rather of a stimulating nature, and was very un- 
suitable to the violent inflammation which Clara was 
sufferÍDg from, and as all through the long night she 
kept applying it, in the hope of relieving the pain, she 
grew gradually worse, and in the momÍDg she could 
open neither of her eyes. 

No one has ever had ophthalmia without feeling ap- 
prehensive that it will terminate in total blindness; 
and as Clara, alone and friendless in a strange land, 
contemplated the loss of her sight as probable — ^nay, 
almost certain — it is no wonder that her mental agony 
should increase the real physical pain she felt. Her 
pulse was high, and her skin parched and buming; but 
m a sort of despair she got out of bed, groped to her 
clothes, and dressed herself She went down stairs 
but found she could do nothing, not even light the fire' 
so she sat down on the single kitchen chair, and waited 



DAUKNESS AND SORROW. 179 

tiU she should hear either Mrs. Bantam or Miss Minnie 
getting up. Minnie was the first to move, and Clara, 
tapping at her door, entreated her to speak to her 
for a moment. She was shocked at Clara's miserable 
condition. 

* Go to bed directly, Clara,' said she ; * you are not 
fit to be up ; you are going to have a sharp attack of 
ophthalmia, and must take care of yourself, or you may 
find it a serious affair. Keep out of any draughts, for 
it is vory sensitive to cold. It must have been going 
on my message yesterday that brought it on, and no 
wonder that you matched Miss Withering's silk so 
badly with this hanging about yoiL Mrs. Bantam and 
I must do all that there is to be done for two or three 
days; but keep yourself quiet and easy, Clara; it wiU 
do you 110 good to fret.' 

* Had you ever eyes like these, Miss Minnie T said 
Clara. 

* No, nor any of our family ; but I remember seeing 
Mrs. Elliot when she had ophthabnia, and I saw how 
it should be treated.' 

So Clara returned to her room, with no other com- 
pany than her miserable thoughts. She thought of 
going home blind to her uncle, and being a burden upon 
him, and feeling that she was of no use to anybody. It 
was hard that, now she had leamed the use of her 
hands, all the labour should be thrown away from want 
of eyesight. She thought how grieved Susan would 
bo to see her so helpless, and how she would overwork 
herself to make up for her sister's inability to do any- 
thiiig to serve her generous uncle. Then she thought 
tliat she should never see Mr. Heginald again; and 
that it was well he was gone, for she could not bear 
him to see her. She envied everybody who could see, 
and even Miss Withering, for the time ; for though her 
eyes had a disagreeable expression, they seemed to be 
very strong, and never failed her. 

Minnie brought her up some breakfÍEist, which she 
oould not eat^ and shortly afberwards came up witb 

N 2 



IHO cljlbjl noRisas. 

Mtr. Bantam and Mifls Witherm^ to hold a oaancil as 
io wbat was to be done. 

* I atij leeches," said Mjsb Withenngy oraciilariij; 
' aiid aa Mísb Hodges ia going cfut, at sny rate, she Tníght 
get Imlf-a-dozen." 

* Ye», Clara,' said Minnie, ' there is nothin^ so good 
or fio Bafe as leeches in inflammatioiL of the eyes. I am 
Bure thiíj will do yon good, and I ahall be veiy ^ad to 
get thum for you.' 

* But who is to put them <m, fi>r I cannot tonch a 
leechf said Mrs. Bantam. 

* I will see that they are put <m,^ said MisB Withov 
ing. ' I have a great tum for all branches of mediciiie 
aud Burgeiy, and rather like the employment than 
otherwise. And, Miss Hodges, you will exchange the 
ríbl>on and gimp for me, as you are going to the che- 
mÍBt*8 next door.* 

ThÍB arrangement was agreed to, for though MÍTiníft 
pitied Clara íbr having su(£ a nurse, she had no douht 
that she would be the better for her skilL 

Miss Withering really enjoyed the task she had im- 
poaod upon herself ; she compelled her patient to re- 
main quite still, and rebuked eveiy moan she made, 
while ahe recounted dreadftd stories of the French and 
Engliali soldiers in i^ypt, and many other cases of 
ophthalmia, which she had read of in her &vourite 
medical books; dwelling upon the frequency of the 
disease in Australia, and on the liability of a person 
who has had it once to have it again. 

Though Clara could see nothing with her ^es^ she 
seemed to see a great deal in them ; a sort of morbid 
vÍBÍon had taken the place of the natural sight, and 
while lyiiig in Mrs. Bantam's attic, she saw around her 
her owu lost home : every little adjunct was there— 
her fiither^s spectacles were lying beside him on the 
round table ; nhe imagined that she had put them on^ 
and was trying to read the debates in parliament to 
him ; her sister's drawing portfolio was open, and she 
was putting the íiuishing touches on a. £Eivouiite land- 



DARKNESS AND SOEEOW. 181 

scape ; her mother was stitching a shirt-collar — it was 
two-threads-stitching, and Clara found herself com- 
pelled to count the threads as the needle went in and 
out. This picture she could not shut out ; her mind 
intently examined it, while it as intently listened to 
Miss Withering's spoken pictures of sufferings which 
she was likely to endure, and was as sensible of every 
throb and sting that shot through her own head as if 
nothing else occupied her attention. 

At lEist the leeches were tired, but not Miss Wither- 
ing. She brought hot water, and made Clara foment 
her eyes, remarking how frightful she looked, and 
that very likely she would not be able to see for a 
month. 

* You can scarcely expect Mrs. Bantam to keep you 
when you are such an object. You shóuld go home to 
your friends, Clara ; it does not suit mistresses to have 
their servants laid up and giving trouble, instead of 
doing work Would you like me to write for you to 
your parents, that they may know what a state you 
are in, or wouid you prefer the hospital? I thought 
at first that you might get better in a few days, but I 
see now that the inflammation is very violent, and will 
not be so soon cured. If Mrs. Bantam approves, I 
should say blisters on the temples, and perhaps a dozen 
more leeches would be beneficial; but I must go down 
to lunch now ; keep the hot cloths on your eyes, and 
do not moan so childishly — ^to think of a grown woman 
having so little fortitude ! I will make you up a dose 
of medicine when I am down stairs, and I wíll see it 
swallowed, too ; for I am sure you are too much of a 
baby to take it imless you are looked afber.' 

Clara's eyes partially opened upon Miss Withering's 
retum with her potion, and the sight of her cold, in- 
flexible fiice did not by any means sweeten the dose; 
but she swallowed it, and tried to feel grateful for what 
was really good service on Miss Withering's part. That 
lady had no contemptible amount of skill in matters 
like this, and had Clara's feelings been less acute, and 



182 CLASA MOBISON. 

her sense of desolation less croshingy ahe might pos- 
sibly have benefíted more bj her deeds than she sn^ 
fercil by her words and manner. She tried to be hrave^ 
and to show Miss Withering how much she ooold eo- 
dure without flinching, but the effort ojúy increased 
the fever and reduced her strength. Miss Witheriiig 
was satisfíed that she had done a world of good to 
Clara, by standing fírm and not allowing her to giie 
way like a baby; and went down to dinner in a stose 
of self-glorification at her condescension, for whidi 
also she received high praise from both Mr. and M18. 
BantauL 

Minnie had spent the day with Mrs. Beverlj, and 
the evening with the Elliots. She had met Mr. William 
Bell, and had paid as much attention to him as she 
could spare fi:otn George, who had a great deal to ssy 
to her. She had again promised to go with the EUiote 
to the conversazione, if she was in town so long; and 
Mr. Bell had been trying to ask if he might accompany 
the party, for ten minutes, without success, whenCreorge 
put an end to his abortive attempts by asking if he had 
any objection to join them. 

Minnie would not allow that Mr. Bell was plain- 
looking; he could not be so with such expressive eyes, 
and such a good-himioured smile. She was too grateful 
to him for not coming between her and Greorge, to con- 
sider that his manners were defective; and if he was a 
little contradictory, why, it served to bring other people 
out. And he seemed to understand Margaret, and not 
to be a&aid of her, so that, on the whole, she assured 
Annie that he was very agreeable, with more satia&c- 
tion to herself than in the praises which had been ex- 
torted from her in favour of Harris. 

With sunshine in her heart, and comfort on her 
lips, she hurried up to Clara's cheerless attic as soon 
as she came home. Miss Withering had left the in- 
valid by herself since dinner, and Clara's heart leaped 
to hear the light step of the young guest breaking npon 
the dreary soHtude. 






DAUKNESS AND SOEEOW. 183 

* Well, Clara, how are you getting onl I think the 
eyes look better to-night. Do I hurt them by putting 
tíie candle so nearyou?' 

* A little ; but I really think the pain is not so vio- 
lent now,' said Clara. 

* Don*t be afraid of losing your eyesight,' said Minnie. 
' I fancy Miss Withering has been croaking to you on 
ihat text, for she never could resist such a fevourable 
opportunity of prophésying evil. The lady I saw (who 
was the mother of the young ladies next door) had 
ophthalmia quite as severely as you have it, and she 
was able to go about the house in a week, and in a 
month she could read and sew by candle-light ; and 
though she lived for three years afíerwards, she never 
had another attack. So you must keep up your spirits, 
and trust to my friends the leeches — ^wonderful little 
doctors they are — ^but did not they bite sharply?* 

' Very sharply, indeed,* said Clara. * I thought they 
were almost taking out my brains. But what does 
Mrs. Bantam say about me, for Miss Withering spoke 
of my going home to my friends or to the hospital. I 
have no friends here-r-I am quite alone; so <io, Miss 
Minnie, try to persuade Mrs. Bantam not to send me 
away. I shall feel so grateftd if she will only keep me 
tiU I get welL' 

< Miss Withering is a humbug,' said Minnie. * Mrs. 
Bantam has no idea of sending you away, and if Miss 
Withering tries to put such a notion into her head, I 
will take your part against her, and be quite glad of 
the pretext for a quarrel. I suppose that you think I 
might offer to read to you to-night, in retum for your 
kindness to me on Saturday; but you are too feverish, 
and it would do you more harm than good. You look 
thirsty; shall I give you a little water? There now — 
you only want a tolerable night's sleep to give you the 
tum; sleep and quiet will do you more good than all 
the medicine in the world.' 

And Clara felt so soothed by Minnie's kind voice 
and cheerful words, that she really fell asleep, and 



184 CLABA MOBISOX. 

though her dreams were wild and ancomfortable, she 
felt better when she woke. Miss Withering, however, 
insisted on completing her cure, and in&llibly pre- 
vented a relapse bythe application of six more leeches, 
and two smaU blisters on the temples. The eyes wer€ 
then certainly cured, and Miss Withering considerec 
herself entitled to Clara's everlasting gratitude. Bj 
the time that Minnie was sent for, Clara was able U 
do her house-work as usual, but was forced to sit witl 
vacant hands when that work was done, and to contens 
herself with tuming over and over again the coníused 
chaos of her thoughts. 

Miss Withering had given Minnie several hints tha;; 
she expected an invitation to her father's house, becausd 
she was very anxious to study colonial subjects and 
colonial manners, and thought that the bush was the bes^ 
place for arriving at a right conclusion as to the real 
merits of the land she had adopted. Mr& Bantam. 
though desirous of being freed from her guest, had toó 
much conscientiousness to give any encouragement to 
these suggestions, and Minnie herself heard the hints 
as if she heard them not. She would as soon have in- 
vited a boa-constrictor to her home as the formidable 
griffin. Clara was quite sorry when Minnie was bome 
away by her fiither, though she was pleased that the 
custom of the colony, as well as Minnie's natural deli- 
cacy of feeling, prevented any offer of money in the 
shape of vails when she went away, She took a 
cordial ferewell of every one but Miss Withering, to 
whom she was very stiff, and left that lady as firinly 
rooted in Mrs. Bantam's house as she had been on her 
arrivaL But Miss Withering had not succeeded in 
collecting any such chain of evidence with regard to 
the conjectuiil clandestine engagement, as she thought 
would justify her in making known her suspicions to 
Mr. Hodges. Minnie had been several times at the 
Elliots', and had talked of them all frankly enough, 
but had not been betrayed into confusion by Miss 
Withering's insinuations. She was so comfortable now 



DAUíLNESS AND SORROW. 185 

in her own mind, that she did not heed what anybody 
said ; it was ' only after that miserable evening when 
Mr. Harris's star was in the ascendant, that Miss 
Withering's words had stung her, and made her show 
her agitation. If she had gone to the conversazione 
with her friends, Miss Withering would have gone 
there by one means or another, and have watched her 
behaviour ; but Mr. Hodges came into town for his 
daughter before the day fixed for that mild species of 
dissipation. 

She had hinted her fears with regard to Miss Hodges 
to Mrs. Bantam, but that lady had expressed such a 
horror of meddling and mischief-making, and declared 
so decidedly that the Elliots were as well-bom and as 
well-educated as the Hodges, and that in time it would 
be a very likely and suitable thing if Minnie could make 
it up with one of the young men, that Miss Wither- 
ing was convinced Mrs. Bantam would be a very bad 
coadjutor. 

When Minnie was gone, Mr. and Mrs. Bantam felt 
how invaluable she had been to them, for they were 
again burdened with the whole of Miss Withering's 
tedious dogmatism ; but though her bright idea had not 
benefíted herself, it did not &Il to the ground, for about 
a week affcer she had gone, it was acted upon, and the 
Bantams and Clara were delivered from their unwelcome 
guest. 

Miss Withering was somewhat of a * gourmet,' and 
had a partiality for hot suppers, which was contrary to 
all Mrs. Bantam's ideas of health and economy ; and she 
had accordingly resisted that encroachment with all her 
power. But Miss Withering, having made a poor tea 
on Thursday evening, had taken a violent fancy for 
something nice for supper, and had talked of what was 
customary in England for a long time in vain. 

' What has Clara to do now, when she can neither 
read nor sew in the evenings, but to get supper for the 
family in a civilized manner? I am quite tired of 
bread-and-cheese, and I am sure so is Mr. Bantam; 



186 CLABA MOEISON, 

besides, cheese is indigestible, and apt to occasion 
troublesome dreams. Would you not refish a nice pork 
chop to-night, Mr. Bantamf 

* I assure you, Miss Withering,' said Mrs. Bantam, 
* that there is not a morsel of anything in the house 
that could be made warm for supper. There is cold 
roast bee^ but nothing else.' 

^ I saw such beautifiil pork-chops in a butcher's shop 
in Rundle-street this afbemoon. Can you not send 
Clara for a dish?' 

* / certaLoly shaU not send her on such an errand,' 
said Mrs. Bantam ^ You may do as you please.' 

So Miss Withering asked Clara to go out at nine 
o'clock to buy pork chops for supper ; and Clara said 
she would rather not. Miss Withering was determined 
to carry her point, and called on Mrs. Bantam to sup- 
port her; but she was sadly disappointed, for she only 
said the girl was quite right not to do such an iin- 
reasonable thing. 

The griffin saw that her hold on Mrs. Bantam was 
lost, for in spite of her conviction that she was bom to 
rule, she knew that if she submitted to one act of re- 
bellion, others would follow ; so she retreated to her 
room, packed her tmnks, and made her preparations 
for departure on the morrow. 

Mrs. Bantam could scarcely believe she was serious 
when she annoimced her determiiiation to go. She 
made no polite objection, fearing that the slightest hint 
would l>e sufficient to induce her tormentor to remain, 
but bade her good-bye with an agitation which cer- 
tainly had no grief in it. She stretched herself out on 
the sofe, when the door closed on Miss Withering, and 
indulged in a comfortable loimge for nearly two hours ; 
then she went into the kitchen, and raised Clara's wages 
to five shillings a week on the spot. 



THE ENGLISH BETROTHED. 187 



CHAPTER XVII. 
MR. reginald's letter to england is received and 

ANSWERED. 

liyriSS MARSTON was reclining on a sofe., reading 
-'-*-'- an interesting French novel, when the letter of 
her suitor in Australia was dolivered to her. She had 
come up with Mrs. Reginald to London for a fortnight, 
to see the Great Exhibition; but Mr. Bisset, who was 
to take them under his escort, had been delayed from 
unforeseen causes for three days, and Miss Marston felt 
impatient of a stay in town which she had not yet en- 
joyed. However, Mr. Bisset was positively coming 
this very day, and Julia was filling up the hotirs which 
must intervene with a very exciting tale, which she 
could not leave tiU she had fínished ; so she put the 
letter imopened into her escritoire, saying to herself, 
that a letter from Charles would suit her better when 
she was weary of pleasure, than when she was antici- 
pating it; and retumed to see what answer Celestine 
gave to poor Armand. When Mrs. Beginald came in 
from her own apartment to sit with Julia, she rose and 
placed a chair for her in the most pleasant part of the 
room, andbringing her the newspaper and her spectacles, 
she settled herself again to her novel. It was by such 
little attentions as these that she had made herself so 
dear to Mrs. Beginald, and convinced her of the 
amiability and genuine goodness of her disposition. 
The mother wa» very fond of talking of her son, and 
Julia listenod with patience, if not with interest. Mrs. 
Beginald read every description of colonial news, from 
the Adelaide newspapers which her son sent her, to the 
shorter notices of the colonies given by the London 
joumals, and drew from all she read the deduction that 
Charles was quite lost at a sheep station in South Aus- 
tralia, and that it was only a feeling of duty which 
made him say he liked it. While JuHa, for her part, 



188 CLABA MOBISON. 

was snre she should be miserable there, and talked so 
much and so feelingly of the pain it would give her to 
part from all her dear, dear Ênglish friends, that Mrs. 
Tleginald thought it would be blameable in even her 
own son to woimd so tender a heart, and condenm so 
brilliant a girl to such a limited sphere. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bisset, as soon as they arrived, were of 
course all eagemess to set off to see the world's wonder, 
and Julia having fínished her novel, and Mrs. Iteginald 
read every word of the colonial news, they too wished 
to lose no time, and were very soon ready. What they 
saw I need not describe, for of course my readers have 
either seen it for themselves, or read all about it in the 
newspapers, according to Miss Waterstone's plan ; and 
even we in the colonies are getting tired enough of that 
Great Exhibition and its appendages. Of course Mr. 
Bisset's party were charmed with everything they saw; 
but there was one part to which Mrs. Beginald's 
motherly heart tumed with peculiar ititerest ; this was 
the South Australian division. There was not much 
to see in it — ^wool, wheat, and mineral specimens being 
almost the only articles exhibited ; but Mrs. Reginald 
gazed at and admired the wool, long and intently. A 
knot of gentlemen were talking together close to this 
department ; one of them, a tall, thin gentlemanly man, 
who was dressed with peculiar care, seemed to look 
on the pieces of ore as if he remembered every one of 
them. 

* Fine specimens these,' said he to the person next 
him ; * the Burra malachite is not to be despised even 
in the world's fair, Langton.' 

* The Russian beats it hoUow,' said Mr. Langton, 
* but I care more about the wool. That is Escott's ; I 
should know it among a thousand. You can see that 
he has stiU got Humberstone with him. I fear my old 
master's will not look so well this year.' 

* Can there be any of Charles's wool in the Exhibi- 
tion V whispered Mrs. Reginald to Julia ; * this gentle- 
man seems to recognise some of the specimens.' 



THE ENGLISH BETEOTHED. 189 

* Nonsense !' said Julia ; * he would have "WTÍtten to 
us that he nieant to exhibit if he had sent anything 
home.* 

* The Port PhiUip specimens of wool are much better 
than the South Australian,' said the tall gentleman; 

* but in the matter of minerals none of the Australian 
colonies have anything to show, except South 
Australia.' 

* True/ said Mr. Langton, a short, thick-set man, who 
had been an overseer in the north, and had retumed 
to England to gratify a feeling of home-sickness after 
ten years' absence, but who meant to retum to the 
colony. * I wish I had done as you did, Mr. Dent, 
and bought Burras with my capital before I left ; I 
might then have been drawing my dividends here and 
cutting a figure. You bought cheap; but I suppose 
you mean to hold, for one cannot get more than three 
per cent. in this old country.' 

* Pshaw !' said Mr. Dent, * I don't trust to my Burra 
dividends altogether, though they are pleasant things 
when they come, and I certainly do not mean to sell 
out any of my shares.' 

* Come with me, Mrs. Reginald,' said JiQia, ' Mr. 
and Mrs. Bisset are on before us.' 

* Mrs. Reginald !' said Mr. Dent, coming forward, 

* I have no doubt, from the locality in which I find you, 
that you are the mother of my friend, Charles Reginald, 
of Taringa, in the north.'* 

* I am very glad to see any friend of my son's,' said 
Mrs. Eeginald, ^and so I am sure is Miss Marston 
and Mrs. Bisset Alice, this is a Mend of your 
brother's.' 

* I ought to have given you a letter of introduction 
before this time, which Beginald was good enough to 
give me,' said Mr. Dent, ' but I have never been in 

shire since I came to England. I do not deserve 

this pleasant-meeting, but I hope you will permit me 
to wait on you in town while you remain in it. My 
name is Dént; jí^bably Mr. Eeginald bas mentioned 

* 

W 



I 



190 CLA1VA MO&ISON. 

me in some of liis letters. I shall be proud to make 
the acquaintance of his family.' 

As Mr. Dent had no party of his own to accompany^ 
he was easily prevailed on tojoinMr. Bisset's; and, 
gÍYÍng Julia his arm, he felt quite happy. Míbs Mar- 
ston was so strikingly beautiful, that he wondered a;t 
his ever having admired Margaret Elliot, and the 
elegance of her deportment made him reflect with in- 
credulity on the time when he had fencied Margaret 
ladylike. Mr. Dent had been in the colonies from 
his childhood, and had grown up to manhood in the 
fcush, where he had rarely seen a female &ce; and the 
death of his father put hrm into possession of consider- 
able property in the shape of flocks and herds when he 
was about four-and-twenty. He had taken cattle and 
horses overland to South Australia, and sold them 
well ; he had disposed of his sheep with their stations 
at a good time, and realized prices beyond his expecta- 
tions ; and when he settled in Adelaide to look out for 
investments for the capital he had realized, he natu- 
rally began to look out for a wife at the same time. 

He had looked very keenly to his own interest in 
all the bargains he made, indeed, too keenly for Mar- 
garet's taste, despising as she did the great coloniaJ sin 
— an overweening love of money. Mr. Dent had been 
at first incredulous of Margaret's contempt for riches, 
but when he saw that it was bome out by her whole 
behaviour, and that it was in no way allied to extrava- 
gance, his affections fixed themselves on her in pre- 
ference to prettier and more feahionable girls, whose 
fathers and mothers flattered and invited him, and who 
were very much more gracious to hÍTn themselves. 
Besides, Margaret's good sense, her varied information, 
and her lofty self-respect, gave her in Mr. Dent's eyes 
the appeara]j;ice of a lady. Her few accomplishments 
she did not parade; her &ce, though he did not think 
it pretty, was expressive; he knew that she was reli- 
gious without being tiresome, and that she would cer- 
tainly make a good wife. He himself stood very high 



THE ENGLISH BETEOTHED. 191 

in the worl(l*s opinion — it is surprising how easily a 
man can gain a good character. Mr. Dent was free 
from the more vulgar vices ; he was not extravagant, 
neither could he be considered mean ; he was fond of 
ladies' society, and had great ideas of propriety in his 
intercourse with them. So every one said, * What 
fault has Margaret Elliot to find with Mr. Dent V But 
if Margaret had seen no positive vices, neither had she 
seen any virtues in her persevering admirer. He had 
no groatness of soul, no highminded generosity ] nothing, 
in Êtct, to look up to ; and she had given him his dis- 
missal as soon as he afforded her an opportunity, which 
was not till half Adelaide was fixing the wedding-day. 
. Mr. Dent never paid another visit to the cottage 
after he had been refused ; if he was not to be Mar- 
garet's husband, he cared little to be her friend. The 
death of an uncle soon obliged him to go to England, 
in order to convert into monpy a quantity of miscella- 
neous property which had been left to him, and there 
he resolved to obtain a handsome, accomplished English 
wife. 

Mrs. Tteginald was pleased to see Julia so friendly 
with her son's friend, and asked him to come home and 
dine with them. Mr. Dent was, of course, most happy, 
and accepted the invitation with many thanks. 

* Now tell me how Charles looks,' said Mrs. Regi- 
nald, after dinner, to her guest. 'lt is long since 
this likeness of him was taken; does he look much 
older V 

* Considerably older,' replied he, * and not so animated 
— ^but of course he cannot be so lively at a dull place 
like Taringa, as he must have been in such a delightful 
family circle as this.' 

* Is Taringa very dull 1 He writes as if he liked it,' 
said Julia. 

* Wretchedly dull, in winter especially. In summer 
Reginald has a few visitors, but some of them are queer 
characters, though all meet with a welcome from him. 
I always called on my way to and from the £urra| 



192 CLAiA MOEisoy. 

and I think he was ^ad to see a genileman fin* a 
change.' 

' He keeps his health, however/ said Mrs. Bisset, 
' and that is a great point. We hear from all qnarterB 
that the climate is yeiy fine.' 

^ Yeiy middling/ said Mr. Dent ; ^ nothing to equal 
either Yan Diemen*s Land or Kew Zealand, and even 
Port Phillip is cooler and pleasanter. The hot winds 
in Adelaide xised to laj me up altogether.' 

' Are there many snakes in the colony f aaked Jnlia 
' There are none in the town, and for some distanoe 
out of it ; but in the bush they are pretty nmnerous. 
Alady of my acquaintance used to be dreadfully alarmed 
by seeing one pop its head through a cranny in the. 
back of her parlour chimney. She had a great horror 
of snakes, and this creature's occasional appearanoe 
quite preyed upon her spirits. You know that snakes 
are fond of being about old walls, and I suppose the 
wall of her house had not been well built (few oolonial 
houses are), and the snake had found a nest there to 
live in' 

Julia looked shocked, and whispered to Alioe to ask 
Mr. Dent how Charles was dressed now ; for she did 
not like to inquire herself. Alice did so, and Mr. 
Dent willingly gave the information. 

* In town, he dresses tolerably well ; but in the bush 
he isquite different. You should see him, Miss Marston, 
in an old shooting-coat, offcen out at the elbows, a blue 
striped shirt, moleskin trowsers, and a leathem belt 
roimd his waist ; a cabbage tree hat, with a black rib- 
bon round it sometimes — ^the whole affair not worth a 
shilling — and a short black pipe in his mouth ; no 
waistcoat, no gloves, and very thick boots. I always 
made a point of dressing very paxticularly when I 
visited him, for I thought my example might do him 
good ; but I think nothing but a visit to England will 
improve him. The sheep farmers who live round him 
dress no better than himsel^ and that encourages him 
in his carelessness.' 



THE ENGLISH BETROTHED. 193 



* Does Mr. Reginald really smoke — and smoke such 
a thing as a horrid black pipe V asked Julia. 

* He takes a cigar in Adelaide, but in the bush he 
sticks to the short pipe. He sits in that long, low 
room of his, close to the wide open fireplace, smoking 
and reading alternately, and sometimes both together, 
for the entire evening, unless any visitors happen to be 
there, when he will make an effort, and be very agree- 
able. I always came provided with a pack of cards, 
and we used to play piquet together. There was no 
man in the colony I liked so well as Reginald ; there 
was no nonsense about him.' 

*What are the characteristics of colonial ladiesï' 
said Julia. * Do they dress as wretchedly as poor Mr. 
Reginald V 

* Some do dress shockingly. Ladies are always so 
ill supplied with servants in the colonies, and have to 
do so much with their own hands, that it would be 
unreasonable to expect them to be handsomely dressed.' 

* I suppose that we shall hear of Charles marrying a 
colonial yoimg lady some day soon. I should like to 
hear a description of the wife he is likely to get from 
a gentleman who has seen so much of South Australia,' 
said Julia. 

Mr. Dent could think of no one as a colonial lady 
but Margaret Elliot, and he accordingly gave her 
portrait. 

* I will describe one to you whom I used to consider 
a very favourable specimen of the class. She was tall 
and fair, with a slight stoop; her voice was rather 
loud than sofb, and her manner would have been lady- 
like if it had not been too abrupt. She was very well 
informed, and particularly fond of posing people with 
puzzling questions. She danced tolerably, and played 
and sung a little ; her hands were neither small nor 
white, but yet they would have looked well if she had 
not spoiled them with washing dishes and scrubbing 
floors. I mention this lady in particular, for she is 
more likely thon any in the colony to take Reginald*s 

VOL. I. o 



194 CLABA IfOBISON. 

fancy, unless, indeed, he returns to England, and seeB 
how superior ladies are here to those half-polished, 
half-educated colonial girls.' 

' You are describing a lady whom you admire/ said 
JuUa, * but you do not flatter her. Could you really 
consider a girl who did such drudgery a lady ? I think 
washing dishes is a very singular accompli^iment.' 

' Ladies are forced to practise strange accomplisb- 
ments in the colonies. There are many who could 
afford to keep enough of servants, who cannot get them, 
and the mother of a yoimg £unily, in particular, is 
greatly to be pitied. The houses are all so small, that 
there is rarely a nursery, and not always a nursemaid; 
and the children are always imder people's feet in the 
siiigle sitting-room.' 

All this talk was no good preparation to Julia for 
the reading of her lover's letter ; and when she saw 
that he wouM not yield to her wishes, but required 
her to go with him to the miserable colony which he 
said • he liked, she felt very indignant. She drew in 
her mind's eye a picture of him equipped as Mr. Dent 
had described, and could not bear the idea of spending 
her life with such an object. The dull home, where 
every comer was welcome, and the picture of a colonial 
lady's toils and cares, made her long to break ofT an 
engagement which never could result in happiness to 
either party. But what would Alice and Jane say, 
and, above all, how bitterly Mrs. Reginald would feel 
her conduct ! And Julia was entirely dependent on 
her brother James, who was warmly attached to Regi- 
nald. She thought how foolish she had been to have 
engaged herself at alL She put away Reginald's letter 
without letting any one see it, and made up her mind 
not to answer it tiU she had retumed home. 

Miss Marston had observed that Mr. Dent admired 
her, and she rather liked him, though he had told her 
so many disagreeable things. She had led him to 
believe that she was very yoimg when Charles left 
England^ and as she did not look more than twenty. 



THE ENGLISH BETEOTHBD. 195 

Mr. Dent had no snspicion of the engagement ; though 
he was certain that, íf Beginald came home for a visit, 
he would imdoubtedly be enslaved by her beauty and 
talents. 

If Mr. Dent was not very polished, he was evidently 
desirous of pleasing ; and as he had scarcely any English 
acquaintances, he would have been inclined to cultivate 
this, even if Julia had not been of the party. He was 
anxious to buy a property in the country, and Mr. 
Bisset recommended him to Thoms, which was offered 
at a moderate price, and which was within two miles 
of Ashfield. There were many improvements to be 
made on the house and groimds, but he rather preferred 
it oíi that acco\mt, and showed both taste and discri- 
mination in the remarks he made on the subject. 

Julia was to retum to Ashfield when their short 
stay in London was over, and she thought with com- 
placency on the probable new neighbour, whom she 
laughingly told Mrs. Bisset she should like to civilize. 

' Don't you think, Alice, that if I could get hÍTn to 
fell desperately in love with me it would do the poor 
man an infinity of good V 

* You take people at an amfeir advantage, Julia,' 
said Mrs. Bisset, * for there is no chance of his love 
being reciprocated. And what a miserable neighbour 
you would have if he fancied you had used hiln ilL I 
am sure his face could look remarkably unhappy ; it is 
rather a hatchet íbjqq at best.' 

' It is rather thin, and I am sure a hopeless passion 
would make Mr. Dent look quite distinguê, I assure 
you I mean to try, so don't any of you drop a hint of 
my engagement to Charles. I hate being laid on the 
shelf 80 summarily.' 

Mr. Dent always happened to meet with Mr. Bisset 
and his party in their frequent visits to the Exhibition, 
and as he had been there fipom the first time it was 
opened, he was at first valuable as a cicerone, and sub- 
sequently the whole family grew accustomed to his pre- 
sence, and would have felt disappointed if he had not 

o 2 



196 CLABA IfOBISON. 

accompanied them. When Mrs. Beginald was leaving 

town, Mr. Dent spoke of going to look at Thorns, and 

was invited to spend a week or two at Ashfield, that 

he toight have every opportunity of inspecting the pro- 

perty he desired to pnrchase. His attentions to Julia 

were not marked, for he was only feeling his way; but 

he was thoughtfíil of her comfort, and spared no pains 

to amuse her. When she sang, he listened with plea- 

sure, but he preferred her talk, for she was lively and 

amusing, and succeeded in making him shine in con- 

versation as he was conscious he had never done befora 

With Margaret he had felt nervous and embarrassed, 

and neither party had been felicitous in selecting topics 

for discussion. Margaret liked to get a thorough in- 

siglit into whatever chanced to be mentioned, and 

alwayB succeeded in convincing him that he knew 

notíiing about the subject; but Julia lightly skimmed 

ovor the surface, and was infinitely better suited to 

Mr. Dont's cast of mind. 

Mr. Dont liked Thoms very much, and succeeded in 
gotting tho price still more reduced; then having con- 
Hult.o(l with an architect and omamental gardener, he 
])roc(HHl(Hl to establish himself there as an independent 
<M>untry gííntloman, with an income of three thousand 
a-y(Mir. lío wont very frequently to Ashfield, and 
oonHultod Julia*s taste upon the improvements he was 
lïiiiking ; but yot he was so imobtrusive, and had always 
Huch aíhuirablo roasons for asking her advice on this 
])articular point, that even Julia was puzzled as to his 
fcHílings. When thoymet at parties, Mr. Dent did not 
dance with her; indoed, he did not dance with any one, 
for ho (Ud not dance well enough to ventnre on such 
an (ixliibition; but he paid Julia a shade more atten- 
tion than any other lady in the room, which pleased 
MrH. Reginald much, as he was such a Mend of 
Charles 1 

Julia did not answer Reginald's letter till she was 
thoroughly ashamed of herself for her delay, nor till 
she had got another as uncompromising in the main 



THB ENGLISH BETEOTHED. 197 

point as the fírst. She did not take Mrs. Eeginald 
into her confidence with regard to these letters or her 
answer; but only said that she had insisted on his 
giving up smoking, and dressing like a gentleman, 
otherwise she would not go to South Australia with 
him. She wrote thus : — 

' My dearest CharleS; 

* I am quite shocked at your cruel language, 
and the doubts you cast upon me. Affcer all the sacri- 
fices I have made for you, can you really expect me to 
leave all my beloved friends here, and live so miserably 
as people do in Australia ? 

* Dear Charles, I have seen a friend of yours, a Mr. 
Dent, who says that you go with your coat out at 
elbows, and smoke a short black pipe constantly. I 
thought I should have fainted when I heard of it, and 
Alice too was greatly shocked. It is not what your 
friends in England would have expected from you, 
And I cannot leam to wash dishes and scrub floors, as 
Mr. Dent says all colonial ladies must do. And the 
idea of snakes peeping out of the fireplace is too much 

for my nerves altogether. 

* « * * * 

* Mr. Dent has bought Thoms, and is consequently a 

near neighbour of ours. We met him first at the Ex- 

hibition, where your mother could not help fancying 

that some of the specimens of wool were from your 

flocks ; I did not fancy anything so absurd, for my love 

is not so blind as your mother's. If you make your- 

self agreeable to me I shall always like you; but lí you 

will not I must and shaU grumble. 

***** 

* Alice is very much stronger since her tour on the 
continent, and was equal to a great amount of sight- 
seeing. I have grown to love her more dearly than 
ever. Independently of her being your sister, she is 
very loveable for herself. I should not like her so 
much if she were not more gentle and forbearing with 



198 CLAKA MORISON. 

me thaii you are ; she neyer reproaches me as jon are 
80 ofben doing. Indeed, Cliarles, it is cmel of you to 
write so imkindly to me. Alice wished me to go to 
Carrington with her for the autumn and winter, hut 
your mother had set her heart upon mj stajing witíi 
her, and as she has the best claim upon me, I remam 
at Ash£eld for some months. James has got accos- 
tomed to my absence, and Jane sajs she does not ndss 
me so much as she expected ; they have complimented 
me by making me godmother to their beautiful babj, 
and I can assure you that little Julia promises to 
eclipse me altogether. 

'Your mother is very well this simimer. She is 
going to write imder the same envelope, so I may cloae 
this by hoping that you will not be unreasonable with 
your very affectionate, 

' JULIA MaBSTON. 

* P.S. — Mr. Dent says that you are very likely to 
fell in love with a young lady, who, though well enough 
connected, is very much reduced, and is obliged to do 
things which are leffe to servants here ; but he said she 
was well-informed, and fond of asking questions. I 
felt quite jealous, and longed to ask her name; but 
though I was desirous of information, I could not bring 
myself to ask any questions except from you. Your 
taste must have deteriorated from what it was when I 
knew you, if you can admire this lady, supposing Mr. 
Dent's description of her to be correct. Yours ever, 

' J. M.' 

* I wish I knew whether Mr. Dent likes me or not,' 
said Julia, half aloud to herself, when she had fínished 
this letter. * It would be better to be happy with him 
than miserable with Charles, who can easily get a wife 
in the colony willing to go to the bush with him. But 
then what would my friends say to such a thing? I 
should like him to be more explicit, but I cannot bring 
him to the point. He always looks at me, and seems 
to value my opinion more than that of others; but I 



TUE ENGLISH BETEOTHED. 199 

STippose that my face is a pleasing object to most people, 
and I have sense and taste sufficient to give weight to 
what I say. Thoms will be a beautiful place when it 
is completed ; perhaps he is waiting till then before he 
speaks out, and then I ought to refuse him.' 

Months passed, and Mr. Dent slowly but surely 
found his way to Julia's heart : his face grew hand- 
somer every day, and his manners more polished; his 
taste in books and music echoed her own ; and her in- 
fluence made him too delightful for her own peace. 
But still Mr. Dent would not speak without more en- 
couragement than Julia felt she ought to give, and 
which the very yeamings of her heart made her back- 
ward in giving. 

Mrs. Reginald looked forward to her son's coming 
home soon to relieve the flutter of spirits which Julia 
evidently suflered from ; and she had planned that if 
Oharles could not remain in England, she would ao- 
company him to Australia, and brave the long voyage 
and all the hardships of coionial life, for the sake of her 
son and her daughter, Julia. 






200 CLiLRA MORISON. 



CHAPTER XVm. 

MB. REGIKALD HAKES THE ACQUATNTANCE OF THE 

ELLTOTS. 

WE retiim to Mrs. Bantam's kitchen in Adelaide, 
where Clara sits listless and weaiy, suffermg frm 
the stagnation of mind which generally sucoeeds to 
great excitement. The routine of her dailj duties did 
not rouse her; she seemed to be unable to strag^e 
against what she knew to be a wrong state of mind. 
Her thoughts, on every subject but onei, were Tague 
and indistinct ; while, on that subject, every idea was 
sharp in its outline, and painfdl in its intensily. She 
tacitly acknowledged that she was not strong enough 
to struggle with her love ; she must let it wear itself 
out, and as it had no encouragement, it was sure to die. 
Now she longed to be with Susan again, and tell her 
all hor sufferings, for her sympathy might compensate 
for the coldness of all the world beside ; then again she 
shraiik from goiiig where she could never see Reginald 
lïioro. She dcspised herself for giving away her affeo- 
tioTiH wlicn they were neither asked nor cared for; but 
yot lovo liad become so identified with her nature, that 
slio thouglit she should be nothing at all without it 
llor only amusement was a dangerous one; it was jour- 
nalizing. She had nothing to be interested in but her- 
Holf, aiid hor mind was constantly tumed inwards, so 
tliat ovory shifbing cloud or shadow was observed and 
magniíiod. She had found so much pleasure in writing 
inmginary convorsations when she could share in none 
roal, tliat sho indulged herself in it till it became neces- 
sar V to hor ; and she said many brilliant things on paper 
to hor uncle, to Mr. Bantam, and Mr. Reginald. She 
introduced herself in the same way to the family next 
door, and gave a distinctive character to each of 
thom, corresponding to the expression of their Êu^es. 
From tho first she had liked them, but she did not win 



AN INTRODUCmON. 201 

thoir friendship irntil two long conversations had passed 
between them. 

Two or three months passed before Reginald came 
again into town, or at least to Mra Bantam's. She 
wondered if he meant to make any stay in the house, 
and looked into the little roora he had occupied, to see 
if it was in fit order to receive a guest. But he had 
only come to call, and though Mrs. Bantam invited 
him to make a longer visit, she did not press the 
matter. A feeling that if Mr. Reginald was staying 
with them, Miss Withering might be induced to re- 
turn, thougli perhaps it was unreasonable, influenced 
her in not insisting upon his accepting her hospitality. 

But, in truth, her dread of the griffin's retum was 
a continual troubleto Mrs. Bantam; she used to plan 
what she would do if she met her in the street, and 
what if she called, without ever coming to a distinct 
idea of the right conduct to be pursued. Miss Wither- 
ing had never been at the house since her exit ; Mrs. 
Bantam had heard that she had got a situation at Mrs. 
Denfield*s, with a salary of thirty pounds aryear ; and 
that she ruled the household with a rod of iron. Strong 
as Mrs. Denfield's will was, it succumbed to Miss 
Withering's, which was stronger. By adroit flattery 
of the children, and stiU more skilful management of 
Mrs. Denfield's own peculiarities, she succeeded in com- 
manding a respect and consideration which no gover- 
ness had ever obtained in the family before. Mr. Den- 
field certainly hated her ; but as, in her opinion, the 
master of the house was a mere cipher, she took little 
pains to ingratiate herself with him— «he could hold 
her ground without him. 

The children were forced to leam unreasonably long 
lessons, as they had such fine abilities; they were 
punished severely if the tasks were not well leamed, 
for there was nothing like decision in the management 
of such remarkable children; and the servants were 
kept running at Miss Withering*s beck and call, that 
they might feel a proper respect for the lady whom 



202 CLA&A MOSISON. 

Mra. Denfield entrusted with the offioe of infltractíng 
her prodigies of geniua Caroline Denfield did not 
love her govemess, but she stood in awe of her; and 
she loved her mother better eveiy day, which was a 
result exacUy suited to Mrs. D^ifield's viewa Her 
love for her £either was also increasing, but that neither 
of the ladies in authority paid any attention to. 

But Mrs. Bantam had no confidenoe that ihis state 
of things at Langley would continue, and was nervously 
a&aid of Miss Withering*s coming back with some good 
excuse, such as so dever a woman could not fiúl to 
find. She started quite alarmed at a strange knock at 
the door, particularly if it was a loud one, and Clara 
was instructed that she was particularly engaged in 
case Miss Withering asked to see her. Clara would 
not say ' not at home,* which was likely to be more 
efiectual, for the pretext of an engagement would 
be but a flimsy protection from such a dauntless in- 
vader. 

Clara saw that, as Mr. Reginald left their house, he 
met George Elliot going into his. They seemed to 
exchange a few words together, which probably re- 
sulted iu an invitation on George*s part, for He^nald 
accompanied him into the cottage. Clara was bringing 
in water from the butt which stood in the yard when 
she observed this ; she tried to ' go on quietly with 
getting the dinner forward, but ^e experienced the 
old feeling, which resembled envy of the Misses Elliot, 
coming upon her more strongly than ever. 

Mr. Bantam did not come home at his usual time, 
and her mistress came into the kitchen to see if dinner 
was not getting spoiled 

* Did you not think that it was Miss Withering, 
when Mr. Keginald rapped at the door to-day, Claraí 
The two people, though so difíerent, having been here 
at the same time, I naturally think of the one when I 
see the other, and his rat-tat on the knocker is nearly 
as decided as hers. What should I have done if it had 
been really she? I have not such a good way of 



AN INTRODUCnON. 203 

managing as poor Mrs. Campbell bad. Sho was quite 
infested witli * consignments/ as Mr. Campbell bad so 
many Edinburgb connexions and acquaintances, but sbe 
used to got quit of tbem very cleverly.' 

* I bave beard tbat Mrs. Campbell was very kind,' 
said Clara. 

' Obj yes ! sbe was remarkably kind and obliging to 
ber fipiends and equals ; but wben people are forced 
upon one, as Mr. Dillon forced Miss Witbering on me, 
one cannot stand upon ceremony. I remember one 
young girl wbose fatber bad been at scbool witb Mr. 
Campbell for tbree montbs, and wbo founded some claim 
upon bim tbrougb tbat, wbom Mrs. Campbell did not 
like, but wbom sbe could not get rid of for more tban 
a montb. But it cbanced tbat a young gentleman wbo 
visited at tbe bouse took some notice of Miss Ker, and 
flirted witb ber a wbole evening, witb wbicb tbe yoimg 
lady was very mucb pleased, and got into bigb spirits; 
so Mrs. Campbell was very mucb sbocked at tbe im- 
propriety of ber conduct, and dismissed ber tbe next 
day witb a great deal of good advice. By tbe bye, you 
bad some recommendation to Mr. Campbell, Clara, as 
a needlewoman, or sometbing of tbat kmd; but I can 
tell you tbat you are mucb better off in a comfortable 
place like tbis, tban if you bad been a protégée of poor 
Mrs. Campbell, for sbe would not bave paid you as 
mucb as tbe current rates for your work, and would 
bave made you feel dopendent besides ; tbougb nobody 
could be more attractive or deligbtful in society tbaii 
sbe was.' 

* Do you know wbat became of Miss Ker, ma'am)' 
asked Clara, sympatbizing in a fate wbicb migbt bave 
easily been ber own, for wbat would Mra Campbell 
bave tbougbt of tbe way in wbicb sbe bad talked to 
Mr. Regiimldï 

* Miss Ker, poor girl 1 sbe met a wretcbed fate. Sbe 
married a man wbom sbe knew notbing about ; but, 
poor little tbing, sbe bad no bome, and could not get 
a situation. Tbis man bad a good deal of property; 



204 CLASA IfOBISON. 

she was pretty and inexperiencedy and thought anything 
that woiild give her a shelter would be comparatÍTe 
happiness. He had a shocking temper, and was veiy 
unsteady; but that was not the worst of it, for about 
six months after he married Miss Ker, he went on some 
pretext to Sydney ; and shortly afberwards, his wife and 
four children came out to Adelaide to join hinL Of 
course the true wife took possession of all his property 
here, and poor Miss Ker was left penniless with a 
sickly baby, and was forced to apply to the Destítute 
Board. She gets rations from public charity in thÍB 
way, and takes in plain sewing; but her constitution is 
quite broken up, and the doctor says she cannot live 
over another winter. Girls shoidd be very careful who 
they marry in a place like this, for there are many men 
who have a wife in each of these colonies, besides one 
in England. I am glad to see that you are contented 
without any followers, Olara, for you have a chance to 
draw a bad lot ; and even at the best, you will never 
be so comfortable as you are here. You have no care, 
no trouble, your work is not hard, and your hours are 
regular ; you have nothing to do but draw your wages 
and buy your clothes, and you are clear of the world. 
Don't marry the baker if he asks you, for I have heard 
that he h íssipated and extravagant, and you would 
lead a wretched life with him.' 

Clara disclaimed all intention of taking the baker, 
who besides had no desire to ask her. He thought her 
genteel in her manners, and rather pretty, but she was 
not tall enough to come up to his ideas of a fine woman, 
and he was aÊ^d she wanted style. He had asked her 
once if she was going to a tradesman's ball, and had 
generously offered ' to stand treat if her missis woidd let 
her come'; but she had refused so haughtily, that he 
was offended, and took Plummer's Betsy instead. 

Mr. Reginald liked all the Elliots better than he had 
generally liked people whom he had heard so much 
praised, He díffered from Mr. Dent with regard to 
Margaret, for he thought her positively pretty, par- 



AN INTRODUCTION. 205 

ticularly when she smiled; but he did not feel at all 
inclined to fall in love with her. He compared her in 
hifl own mind, not with Julia Marston, but with Clara 
Morison, and thought her infinitely less charming. 
Margaret Elliot was full of what she herself called 
elhowsj — salient points which people who did not know 
her very well were apt to find inconvenient. She had 
been accustomed to take the lead in conversation at- 
home, and being more reflecting than observant, she 
was not skilful in adapting what she had to say to the 
tastes and prejudices of those whom she addressed. If 
a subject cQd not interest her, she could not feign an 
interest, and either sat silent, or expressed her disap- 
proval ; but when a subject did interest her, she was 
completely possessod with it, and could not be pre- 
vented from enlarging upon it with warmth and vehe- 
mence. Her mind was not poetical, nor imaginative ; 
if she was silent, she seemed always to be thinking, never 
dreaming. Her eyes were never timidly cast down, but 
bravely looked the whole world in the face, with a 
steady truth in them which demanded nothing less than 
truth in return. 

Grace was more loved by oommon acquaintances, and 
Annie more indulged and humoured by the fiimily 
at-home; but Margaret was the life and soul of the 
circle. She studied mathematics with George and law 
with Gilbert ; she read the driest books, and made ex- 
tracts from them in an old ledger whioh she called her 
album, and was fond of singing something wise and 
stirring to tho times of love-songs. She read all the 
newspapers she could get hold of, and was as well ac- 
quainted with current history as with MangnalFs 
Questions. In general she preferred the company of 
gentlemen to that of ladies, though this preference was 
not reciprocated, for gentlemen did not like a girl who 
thought for herself, and spoke as boldly as she thought, 
without desiring to be led by their superior judgment. 
From all these characteristics, it is not surprising that 
she won for herself from the public voice of South 



206 CLAAA MOBISON. 

Anstralia the repntation of being a blue, which she 
bore very philosophically, but sheltered her sisters firom 
any imputation of the kind, for she knew they áia- 
likedit 

She rather liked Eeginald at first, though his cha- 
racter was scarcelj marked and rugged enough to come 
up to her idea of manliness. She Éiew he had been a 
friend of Robert Dent's, and was afraid he was of the 
samecalibre. E^ald agreed with her about Dickens 
and Thackeray, but they differed on Tennyson and 
CSarlyle. She admired what was clear, and thou£:ht 
many of Tennyson's poems were incomp^ehendbHlid 
therefore valueless; Carlyle's style was so unnatural 
and affected, that if he had as much sense as Reginald 
gave hiTn ci^edit for, he should reform it forthwith ; and 
when she was met by the assertion that the gift of 
language is not bestowed upon all men in equal measure, 
and that it is often as easy a task to change one*s cha- 
racter as one's style, she declared that if what a man 
writes is not clear, he must either think indistinctly, 
which is a radical error, or mystify his clear thoughts 
by involving them in a complexity of words, which is a 
contemptible practice, merely followed to make people 
wonder what the meaning really is, and fancy that 
as it is incomprehensible, it must needs be deep and 
wide. 

* Macaulay writes very differently, and very much 
better,' said she. 

E^ginald admired Macaiday too, but insisted that 
he felt more improved by readdng Carlyle than Macau- 
lay ; which Margaret wondered at, but believed that 
he really thought so. * None of those dreamy German- 
ized minds ever have much strength in them,' thought 
she ; then said aloud, ' I dislike German philosophy, 
for it leads to nothing.' 

* That is a sweeping charge,' said E^ginald, * yet I 
think it is not altogether an unfoimded one. There is 
a friend of mine who studies Kant and Fichte, and 
talks admirably (m all subjects connected with the 



AN INTRODUCTION. 207 

mind and the wiU ; but he really does nothing with 
his knowledge, and fínds it as difficult to resist tempta- 
tion as the most ignorant ploughman in the colonj. 
He has been long attached to a lady in his own country 
whom he has known from childhood ; but he could not 
resist the fascinations of a pretty milliner in Grenfell- 
street, and he is going to be married to her to-morrow. 
He feels very much ashamed of himself, and made as 
many apologies to me as if I had been his conscience- 
keeper, because he had told me previously of his love 
for the other lady. He begged me to be present at 
the ceremony, that I might see how very pretty and 
captivating the girl was, and I have agreed to go. 
Affeer the honeymoon is over, he means to go to BaUa- 
rat, to try the diggings there ; for he does not seem 
able to settle down comfortably. Do you know of any 
party who will start from Adelaide about that time, 
Mr. Elliot, for Haussen is desirous of meeting with one?' 

' I know of one party consisting of two shopmen, a 
bricklayer, and a gentleman, who start in ten days,* 
said George ; * but very few people take a month to 
think of the matter. Have any of the shepherds in 
your neighbourhood gone off yet V 

' A few,' said Keginald, ' but the chief migration has 
been from the minos. Several parties have lefb the 
Burra and the Kapunda, and all the improfítable mines 
are getting fast deserted. I hear that a good many 
yoimg gentlemen are leaving Adelaide for Ballarat — 
have you no idea of trying your luck yourselves ? The 
distance is not so formidable as to Califoi*nia or the 
Turon ; you can get to Gteelong in two or three days, 
with good winds, and sixty miles is nothing of a land 
joumey.' 

* We have no intention of leaving South Australia,' 
said Gilbert. * I have no inclination to give up my 
home and situation for gold washing, and our sisters 
would never hear of such a thing.' 

* I am grieved that gold has been foimd in these 
oolonies,' said Margaret. ^ We were avaricious enough 



208 CLABA MORISON. 

before tlie discovery, and I fear it will only feed the 
restless desire of our populatioii to inake money as 
easily as possible— we meet with so many men who 
think it quite a virtue to be worldly-minded. I wish 
we could find coals in the colony, for we sbould see 
how many gentlemen would fency digging for them ; 
though they are really far more useful, and look beau- 
tiful, too, when they bum ; and though the work is 
not a whit dirtier or more disagreeable, I think we 
should have a very poor tum-out. People are fonder 
of uneamed money than of what they give a real, feár 
proportion of work for.' 

' I should not like to bum coals,' objected. Annie ; 
' they make so much dust, and have a disagreeable smelL 
There is nothing so cheerful as a blazing wood-fire.' 

* The Sydney coal, which is the only kind you see 
here, is not nearly so good as what we bumed in Scot- 
land,' said Grace. * I hope that if we were to get coaJs 
here, they would be of better quality.' 

* But it is their application to machinery that would 
make them so valuable to us,' observed Gilbert. ' Once 
give us coals, and we should not be long in having 
railroads.' 

'You are going to be a lawyer,' said ReginaJd to 
Gilbert, * and I suppose it would be very iU-advised in 
you to give up good prospects to dig for anything, 
even for coals.' 

* I have not got my articles yet,' answered Gilbert, 
rather gloomily, ' but I study as hard as if I could be 
admitted. I hope to make myself so useful to my 
employer, that he will give me my articles to retain 
my services. I like law very much, and Margaret and 
I help each other on. We mean to be Mr. Sampson 
Brass and Miss Sally, by and by.' 

* I think Dickens wrote that sketch to Mghten ladies 
from law, which, besides, is a thing he never can resist 
hitting hard. How well he describes Doctors' Com- 
mons in David Copperfield ! Do not you find law a 
very dry study, Miss Margaret V asked Beginald. 



JlS INTEODUCnON. 209 

* Nothing is too dry for Margaret/ said Annie. ' She 
has an idea that what men can understand should be 
comprehensible to women, but I think law very dry 
indeed ; and as for mathematios, they are fright^.' 

' I do not understand why the piano should be kept 
shut/ said Eeginald. ' It is qidte a cruelty to me, for 
I never hear such a thing in the bush, and very seldom 
even when I visit Adelaide. I know that Miss Mar- 
garet Elliot can both play and aing, and feel extremely 
anxious to hear her.* 

* How do you know that I play or sing, when you 
never saw me in your life before V demanded Margaret. 

* Mr. Dent used to expatiate on the subject of your 
accomplishments once a fortnight at my station,' Begi- 
nald answered. Margaret did not look at all conscious. 

' Do you know what has become of Mr. Dent V asked 
Annie. * Somebody told me last week that he was 
travelling on the continent, and had married a Parisian 
lady ; but I did not believe it.* 

* He has not written to me since he left the colony, 
though he promised to do so, so I know nothing of 
what he has been about. I gave him a letter of intro- 
duction to my mother, which he does not appear to 
have delivered, for she takes no notice of either it or 
him when she writes. But his friendship for me was 
merely one of convenience; it suited him to call at 
Taringa in his frequent visits to the Burra, and he 
consequently took every opportunity of doing so ; but 
I never expected his liking to outlive change of scene 
and circumstances.' 

Margaret was delighted at this hit at Mr. Dent, for 
she scarcely expected it from such a quarter. She 
opened the piano with alacrity, and Reginald, who 
would not lose the rare opportunity of cultivating his 
fine second, volimteered to take a part. Grace busied 
herself with a piece of crochet, while Annie came up 
close to her sister, wondering very much in her own 
mind whether Reginald was to tum out the paragon 
that Margaret could íall in love witL She thought 

VOL. L P 



210 CLABA MOKISON. 

her sister eyerTthing that was beautiíal and excellent, 
and was afraid that this sheep fiumery thou^ his talk 
was certainly not so dreadfdlly aheepish as that of the 
generality of his class, was not qnite good enough for 
Margaret. 

When he had gone, Margaret was sorry ihat she had 
not talked more with him^ instead of wasting so much 
time in singing; for, as she said to Qrace^ 'he is a 
new character to me, and I should like to understand 
him better ;' but Annie thought his «ÍTigÏTig -^^as better 
than his conversation, for it was in perfect harmony 
with Margaret's, while there were jars and disoords in 
their spoken expressions. Grace settled the matter by 
trusting to sée a great deal more of Mr. Heginald, for 
Henry Martin had said that no man in the north bore 
80 high a character, and that his acquaintance was wdl 
worth cultivating. 



▼▼▼▼▼▼■v 



ATTACK AND EEPULSE. 211 

CHAPTER XIX. 

MB. AXD MRS. BANTAM RETBEAT BEFOBE THE EKEkY. 

IVTRS. BANTAM, in the course of a moming call on 
■^■^ Mrs. Townley, a mutual acquaintance of herself 
and Mrs. Denfield, was alarmed to hear that Miss 
Withering had been inquiring very particularly about 
her, and had spoken of calling on her the next week, 
aad bringing Mrs. Denfield with her. Some words 
had fallen from her lips about spending a week in 
town, as the children had petitioned for holidays, and 
Miss Withering had thought it advisable to allow them 
a short respite, in order that they might engage in 
their studies with renewed ardour at its termination. 

Mrs. Bantam consulted with her husband as to what 
should be done, and they came to the resolution that 
they should go out of Adelaide for a fortnight, so that 
Miss Withering might be met by a true * not at home* 
from Clara. There was not much doing in the com- 
mission line of business at the time, and Mr. Bantam 
thought that he might take a holiday, and spend a 
week or two with Mr. Hodges. Mrs. Bantam was 
charmed with the arrangement, and communicated her 
intention to Clara in an overflow of spirits. 

* You will have an easy time of it when we are gone,' 
said she. 'I do not care for anything extra being 
done ; only keep the house clean and tidy, and if any 
friend comes to call, ask her to walk in and rest, and 
give her a glass of wine; for it is a long way out of 
town, and people are always tired before they get here. 
I leave you the keys of the wine-cupboard, for I can 
trust you with them, Clara. If Miss Withering comei^ 
you must not let her in on any account. Have you 
any message to Miss Minnie, whom you liked so muoh> 
and who was so kind to you when she stayed hereí 
Yes, you send your respects; well, I will deliver them. 
I assure you I am quite thankM that you are so 

p2 



212 CLABA M0SI80K. 

Bteady, for I feel comfortable in leaying jou in charge 
of tlie house.' 

Clara did not feel qnite so comfortable in being left 
to a fortnight's utter solitude, and looked at the gig 
which conveyed her master and mistress to the oonntiy 
with a regret which she could not conquer. 

She tried to write to h^ sister, and to MiflB Wate^ 

stone ; she joumalized till she was weaiy of wiitm^ 

and read some of Mrs. Bantam^s booksy hopÍDÍg that 

they would be more interesting than her own. fflie 

considered herself fortunate in a YÍsit from bladc Maij, 

one day in the fírst week of her solitude, and bribed 

her, by crusts of bread and an old gown of her own, to 

relate to her what she remembered of her histoiy . It 

was uninteresting enough, but yet it did not fleem 

true, so that it was unsatisÊEictory in all respecta Maij 

had no way of recorómg time escoept by moonsy and 

nopower of counting more than ten; after that thej 

were called many moons; and when she told Glan 

about the pickamnny she had had many moons ago, 

who had wasted away and died, she did not weqp as 

an English mother would do, nor did her voice sink 

to sorrowful pathos; but she talked of it with indif- 

ference, till she had fínished her redtaL, and then buist 

out into a long expostulatory whine, which terminated 

in a request for medicine, for she felt very bad. Ahnost 

all the natives are fond of medicine, particularly of 

castor oiL ; and if you keep a good medicine chest in 

the country, they will besiege you for it, or for salts, 

senna, or any other nauseous drug you choose to give 

them, which they swallow without a grimace, and 

always profess to feel much the better for. Clara in- 

dulged Mary with a dose, which she swallowed with a 

horrible relish, and took her departure forthwith. 

Afber a week had been passed, sadly enough, Claia 
wrote a note to Mrs. Handy, requesting her to come 
and see her for an hour or two, for she herself could not 
leave the house ; and next day, at about eleven o'clook, 
Mrs. Handy knocked at the kitchen door. Glara 



ATTACK AND EEPULSB. 213 

opened it with agitation, and falling into the arms of 
her only friend, sobbed as if her heart would break. 

*What is the matter, Miss Morison) — ^what dis- 
tresses you, my dear Clara?' asked Mrs. Handy, 
puzzled to know what could occasion such violent 
distress. 

' I am very foolish, but this does me so much good 1 
Don't be angry at me for crying like a baby ; I thought 
I should lose my senses altogether firom being lefb so 
long alone, but the sight of you^ kind face is bringing 
me to myself again, though in a strange way.' And 
Clara set a chair for Mrs Handy, close to her own, and 
clasping her hand in both of her own, looked in her 
&ce steadily, as if to sun herself in a human smile. 
Mrs Handy waited till she waa more composed, and 
then opened a budget of news. 

* Hfiuidy goes off next week,' said she. ^ I persuaded 
him past the Turon soheme, but he has set his heart on 
going to Ballarat, which we heax such great acco\mts of 
now j and indeed I prefer it greatly to the other, for it 
is pretty close at hand, and the people are more respect- 
able there. And who do you think is going with him^ 
but Haussen — ^you remember him, the German gen- 
tleman, who was so polite, but said so little — and S»- 
muels, who used to wear so many rings 1 They want 
a fourth, and Mr. Oscar has offered to go with them; 
but they fight shy of him, for they don't think he'Il 
work hard. I wish they would insSk» him cook to the 
party, for it would just serve him out fbr all his grumr 
bling, and the trouble he has given me these many 
years. Both Samuels and Handy are very particular 
about their food, and would not spare him. And do 
you know that Mr. Haussen has got a wife now — a 
silly pretty little thing that used to work as a milli- 
ner's girl in Grenfell-street 1 She is to live with me 
while her husband is gone; and I shall do the best I 
can for her, as I know Mr. Haussen will do by Handy 
at the diggings; but she does giye herself airs to be 
sure, juat as if nobody had ever been married before. 



214 CLARA MOBISON. 

Mr. fl[aiissen was married when Mr. Reginald was in 
town last, and he got him to go to the wedding, and 
be groomsman. And Mr. Humberstone was in town 
a few days ago, and says that Mr. Blinker maikes a 
first-rate hut-keeper; but that he suits that place so 
well, that he has no chance of promotion to be a shep- 
herd. He fries chops to perfection, and his dampers 
are the best to be seen for £fty miles round— quite 
famous, in fact ; and he has ventured on some attempts 
at puddings, which have given great satis&,ction. I 
told Mr. Humberstone about his old flame being Mr& 
Fleming now, and he seemed quite vexed, for, as he 
said, she would have suited him to a T. BEe quite 
looked down on Mrs. Haussen, when he met her at 
table ; for, as he said to me, with a sort of sigh, ' she 
was not half so fine a woman as Miss Waterstoné.' * 

Clara became more cheerful during this recital, and 
was smiLing and laughing, taking an interest in the tatde 
of the boarding-house, and telling the most insignificant 
things to Mrs. Handy, when Miss Withering and Mra 
Denfield knocked at the door. She knew the rap and 
the voices, and entreated Mrs. Handy to go and open 
it, for her face was stained with tears, and she could 
not bear the idea of seeing and being recognised by 
Mrs. Denfield. 

Mrs. Handy was good-natured enough to do what 
Clara wanted; she hastily threw off her bonnet and 
shawl, and put on a large apron, and then went to the 
door courageously. 

* Mrs. Bantam is at home, I hope,' said Miss Wither- 
ing. 

' No, ma'am; she is not at home,' said Mrs. Handy. 
'I suppose she will be in presently; I will wait till 
she retums.' 

* She has gone to the country, and will not be home 
again for a week' 

* I am sorry to hear that,' said Miss Withering, * for 
I had promised myself the pleasure of spendii^ this 
very week with her; but as I am an old fnend, I need 



ATTACK AND BEPULSE. 215 

stand upon no ceremony; so I'll stay here, notwith- 
standing, as I have been accustomed to do when in 
Adelaida James, biing my box from the carriaga I 
know my room' 

' I beg your pardon, ma*am,' said Mrs. Handy, ' but 
I was lefb idl charge of the house, and got no instruc- 
tions to receive visitors. I am sorry it has happened 
so imfortunate, but I cannot go beyond my orders. I 
wish you a good moming; 

Miss Withering, astomshed at this rebuff, requested 
James to replace her box on the oarriage ; and, loudly 
complaining of the woman's insolence, proceeded home- 
wards. 

' I shall enjoy my holidays more at Langley than at 
poor Mrs. £antam*s, for indeed pity aione induces me 
to visit her,' said Miss Withering. * She is so weak, 
that she lets herself be imposed upon by everybody, 
and is the better for having a strong-minded friend by 
her side. I am sure that vulgar woman who opened 
the door is cheating her during her absence. You keep 
your servants in very dififerent order £rom poor Mrs. 
Bantam's. I never need to give you any advice; 
everything is done just as it ought to be at Langley. 
All that I can give you is sympathy, and that you may 
be assured I feel for you. I regret that certain parties 
scarcely appreciate you, and that all your sacrifices and 
toils are not sufficiently considered.' 

' It is too true,' said Mrs. Denfíeld ; ' I have all along 
felt this great want of congeniality ; but still in all 
great points agreement is preserved; it is only intrifles 
that I feel the jar.' 

'Nothing can be called trifling that woimds the 
feelings or cramps the genius; consideration should be 
shown to the slightest wish of one so thoroughly a lady 
as yourself. But gentlemen are so very de£cient in 
those delicate sympathies which are felt by us, that I 
fear little is to be hoped.' And here Miss Withering 
applied her handkerchief to her eyes, and gave two 
little sighs. 



216 CLABA MOEISON. 

Mrs. Handy stayed with Clara till fotir o'clock, and 
as she lefb^ asked a fayour from her. 

* Will you copy out for me in a legible band a few 
of the songs and poems that Miss Waterstone said you 
knew so well ? I have brought you a blank book for 
you to write them down in. It would be a great 
acquisition to me, for I have lost my * Little Warbler.' 
Mr. Oscar says that poor Mr. Blinker took it, but that 
I do not believe, though I am sure if he had wanted 
it he might have had it and welcoma But you cannot 
think how much I miss it. You need not try to re- 
collect exactly what was in my book, but write whai 
you yourself think pretty, and I assure you I shall 
prize it very much. Now, good bye, my dear child; 
don't get so miserable again, for you have a friend in 
the oolony, though neither a great nor a strong one.' 

Clara's pen was a quick one, and the blank book 
filled fast. Mrs. Handy had shown a woman's tact in 
the request she had made, for nothing could have 
relieved the poor maid-of-aÚ-work more than this de- 
lightful task. She fírst repeated the songs and poems 
aloud, that she might be sure she had them perfect ; 
and then wrote them where they would be seen and 
prized by a friend. 

Grace Elliot observed that Clara was left all alone, 
and thought that the poor girl must feel miserably 
dull. She exchanged a few words with her over the 
fence, asking her if she was afraid to sleep in the house 
when there was no one else in it, and assuring her that 
Adelaide was very little infested with robbers, and that 
she need not be aj^d of them. 

The second week was not so long as the first, but 
yet Clara felt unspeakably relieved when she saw her 
master and mistress retum. Mrs. Bantam's first ques- 
tion was as to what had been seen or heard of Miss 
Withering; and Clara told her that though she had 
oalled, she had not seen her, but the person with whom 
she had lived when she first came to the colony, who 
had happened to be in Mrs. Bantam's house at the 



ATTACK AND EBPTJLSE. 217 

time, had gone to the door instead, and passed herself 
o£f as a woman lefl in charge, completely discomfíting 
MissWitheringjthoughthe griffin had doneher utmost 
to effect an entrance. 

^ I do not think I could have managed the thing 
half 80 well myself/ said Clara^ * so I hope you are not 
displeaaed; 

' Displeased ! no, I am delighted, for nothing could 
have happened better/ said Mrs. Bantam, glorying in 
the success of her retreat. ' And she brought Mrs. 
Denfield with her too, and her box — ^the impudence of 
that woman is really beyond everythinff. I may be 
glad that I waa safe enouih thirty-five miL ofi; thínks 
to Mrs. Townley*s information. I will never accuse 
her of being a gossip or tattler again, now that I have 
gained so much by her telling all she hears to every- 
body. Well, I suppose I am safe now from Miss 
Withering till Christmas, and may keep my mind easy 
till then.' 




218 CLAEA MOSISON. 

CHAPTER XX. 

S0X7TH AUSTBALIA UNDEB AN EGLIPSE. 

BXJT, before Christmas, cbaiiges came upon Íhe 
colony, from which neither Mrs. Bantam, nor the 
family next door, nor any other fÍEjníLy in town or 
country, could escape. 

There had been for some months, as has alreadj 
been hinted, a stagnation of business, and a great want 
of money in South Australia. Over-speculation in 
building and in mines had prevailed for some yeaiB, 
and though the mines which were every now and Íhen 
discovered, and paraded as likely to ri'vúl the Burra or 
Kapimda, imdoubtedly contained copper ore^ it was 
neither of rich quality nor in great quantity ; while the 
high prices of labonr and freight demand both these 
requisites to make mining pay in South Australia. But 
speculators had bought the mines, and puffed the 
mines, selling shares at an enormous profít, and com- 
mencing in many instances expensive workings, which 
produced ore not worth the freight, till every one that 
had dabbled in shares felt a painful tingling come over 
him at the very name of * indications.' The gold in- 
terest in New South Wales had not been shaken into 
its place ; the exchanges were so much against England 
there, that the banks in all the colonies were forced to 
sell bills on England at a discount. The Burra divi- 
dends had been stopped, and though there was every 
prospect of a speedy resumption, still it prevented 
money from being in circulation during the scarcity 
from other causes. There was a general want of em- 
ployment, particularly in Adelaide. No one had 
courage to build, and all trades, connected with the 
erection of houses, were suffering. Clerks were getting 
miserable salaries, and every situation that was open 
was besieged by dozens of applicants. Shops were 
empty of cnstomers, but overflowing with goods ; for a 



8YMPT0MS 01' THB PEVEE. 219 

market so small as that of Adelaide is easily glutted ; 
and the colonyhad over-imported, trusting to the large 
pro£ts of retail business. XJnder all these circum- 
stances of depression, it is not at all surprising that 
when the wonderful gold-diggings of Mount Alexander 
were discovered, so many times richer and more pro- 
ductive than those of Bathurst or Ballarat, the rush 
from Melboume was foUowed by a simUar rush jfrom 
Adelaide. 

Labourers, tradesmen, shopkeepers, clerks, and 
gentlemen, aíl caught the gold-fever, and there was no 
business doing in Adelaide but the sale of outfíts to 
the diggings. You could have no better accoimt of 
the state of Adelaide about Christmas, 1852, than is 
contained in a letter from Annie Elliot to her friend 
Minnie : — 

* My dearest Minnie, 

' I promised to write you soon after my last, 
to detail all that happens in Adelaide, but I have 
nothing to write about but the all-engrossing gold- 
fever. I suppose you see plenty of drays going over- 
land in your quarter, but here most people go by sea; 
The clerks out of employment, supemumerary shop- 
men, failing tradesmen, paraAol-menders, and piano- 
tuners, went first; but now every one is going, without 
regard to circumstances or &jnilies. Married and im- 
married, people with lots of children, and people who 
have none, are aJl making up their minds and their 
carpet-bags for Moimt Alexander. Those who are 
doing nothing here &>ncy they will do something at the 
diggings, and those who are doing something are sure 
they will do more ; so that there is no security a^ainst 
any one*s leaving dear South Australia. 

* We hoped that our dear family cirole would have 
been spared, and that we should have shown an ex- 
ample of moderate contentment ; but, oh I Minnie, 
George and Gilbert are both making jpreparations, and 
will sail in ten days at furthest. And yet, you know 



220 CLAEA MOBISON. 

that neither of them is avariciotiSy bat they have been 
in a mamier forced to go. When Mr. Ainfilie told 
G^rge that he had no more need of his seryices, for he 
could keep his books himself in fature, C^rge looked 
,out for a party to join, but could not meet with one 
that suited him; and as Gilbert was threatened with s 
reduction of his salary, both Margarefc and Graoe ad- 
YÍsed him to give up his situation and accompanj 
George, so that in case of sickness one brother might 
take care of the other. I cried a great deal about 
losing them both, for we shall be all so anxious and 
miserable while they are gone; and we hear such 
dreadful accoimts of the bad health that the diggers 
suffer, with no protection from the changes of the 
weather in this yariable climate but a tarpaulin, or a 
tent at best. And the water they have to drink is as 
thick with mud as pease-soup, which must be as bad as 
poison. 

' But Margaret and Grace are busy making things 
as comfortable for the poor dear fellows as they can. 
I am sure Grace has thought of many things that will 
agreeably surprise them. Well, as I was saying, we 
were making up our minds to their leaving, when dear 
Grace got a letter from Henry Martin, saying that he 
had got his dismissal too (he called it ' the sacky but 
that was only his fun), and hoped he was not too late 
to join George*s party. Henry is expected in Adelaide 
to-morrow, and will spend a week with us before he 
starts for the Mount ; and I hope he will cheer dear 
Grace a little, for she feels so sad to thiuk of us three 
girls being leffc without a protector in the colony. 

* Margaret is the bravest of the whole of us ; she has 
promised to Gúbert that she will make extracts for 
him, and go through Chitty systematically in his ab- 
sence ; for though Adelaide just now looks as if it was 
knocked completely on the head, she has confidence 
that it will revive again, and that Gilbert will find 
both his own and her knowledge of law usefiil to 
him yet. 



SYMPT0M8 01' THE PBVER. 221 

* I wish, Minnie, you were here to see how our par- 
lour is confused with the purchases they make ; it is 
now a lot of Guemsey shirts, then a coUection of pan- 
nikins, that are displayed and commented on. The 
cradle stands in one comer, for they all admire it so 
much that they will not allow it to be tumed into the 
kitchen ; and George actually put their pickaxes and 
shovels, and crowbars, and fossicking knÍYés imder the 
piano, till Grace remonstrated with him on the impro- 
priety. 

' Grace and Margaret have been sewing over again 
the strong shirts they have bought ready-made, which 
Grace says are only blown together. I have done 
nothing but make a housewife-case, and stick needles 
and pins, and tapes and buttons in it ; but my head is 
not fit for such a bustle. I have promised George to 
keep the garden in order, and see that the doUicas 
grows well over the verandah, to shade us from the 
west sun, which comes in so dreadfiilly in the after- 
noon. The seeds you gave me have come up, though 
I did not scald them with hot water. 

* Henry writes that Mr, Harris says he must tura 
over a new leaf, and save enough of money to take him 
to the Moimt ; for he does not like the idea of staying 
at the Burra when all the men have lefb it ; besides, 
he thinks that it will be bad for him — ^he will be 
made too much of. 

* WiUiam Bell says he shall probably go in a few 
months, but he has his brother's afiairs to wind up, 
and they were lefb in a very involved state. I like 
him now better than I did, though he does not fiatter 
me at alL By the bye, Mr. Plummer took it upon 
him to lecture Gilbert about leaving his situation to 
go to the diggings. Mr. Plummer is apprehensive of 
a reduction in his own salary, for the govemment are 
cutting down every description of expenditure in their 
panic ; but he valuuitly resolves to stick to the publio 
service of South Australia, for he knows that nothing 
could be done in his department without the aid of 



222 CLARA. HOKTSON. 

his experience. So he wonders at Gilbert's being dii 
satisfíed with a diminished salaiy; but a redndáon < 
ten shillings from two pounds a week ia rather sever 
'Things are cheap enough in Adelaide now, bn 
people are afraid to buy the greatest bargains, forthe 
do not know where money is to come from for fiitui 
necessities. We are perfectly besieged by women offei 
ing to do wáshing and needlework for us, saying tha 
they are in great distress ; but, of coiirse, we are lefi 
able than ever we were to pay for labour which w 
can do om-selves. 

* Has your papa lost anything through Mr. Gamp 
bell's stopping payment ? George says that there ar 
enough of assets, but that it is impossible to tum theo 
into money in Adelaide at this time ; so Mr. C. has go 
permission from his creditors to go to Melboume U 
sell his goods, and six months' time to do it in ; and ] 
hope he may be able to clear off all his debts soon. 

* I hear that our next-door neighbour, Mr. Bantam 
is going to Melboume, some time next month ; he losl 
sadly by Men-koo and Mount Bemarkable shares. H< 
has advertised the house for sale, but I see nobod} 
looking at it. I wonder what will become of youi 
pretty friend, Clara ; perhaps Mrs. Bantam will takc 
her to MelboTime, as it is impossible to get servantí 
there. I hear that Mrs. Bantam is in great distress at 
leaving Adelaide ; I never see her over the door, but 
poor Clara looks very woe-begone. 

* Our butcher's man has dwindled into a small boy, 
who tells us that he is the only man at the shop. Our 
baker dríves his own cart, and you see women driving 
about quite independently now. If you go up into the 
business part of town, you hear men in knots talking 
of going by the * Hero* or the * Queen of Sheba;' and 
the words nuggets, ounces, gold-dust, cradles, and dig- 
gings, are in everybody's moutL The chief streets are 
still very fall of a most imsettled-looking population ; 
but the outskirts of Adelaide are greatly thinned, and 
the villages round about are almost deserted. 



8YMPT0MS OP THB PBVER. 228 

* George and Gilbert hope to have your best wishes 
for their succesa George has a fevour to ask of you; 
he knows that you have three copies of Shakspeare 
in the house, which nobody reads but you, and even 
you seldom ; and he asks if you would let him have the 
old one, with the absurd woodcuts, to read at Mount 
Alexander. He does not like to deprive Margaret of 
her beautiful copy, and is sure that the quaint old- 
fashioned one will be more delightful at the diggings 
than any he could buy; besides that, everybody is 
buying up Shakspeare in Adelaide. I know that you 
will send it in by the dray on Tuesday, along with an 
answer to this long letter. I hope you have more 
oheerful things to write about thaji I have, and that 
the gold fever has not cost you so many tears. All 
the fÍMnily unite with me in love to yours and you ; so 
I must remain, as ever, your very affeotionate 

'Annie.' 

The dray which was to bear Minnie's answer and 
the Shakspeare did start, as Annie expeoted, on the 
Monday, so as to reach town ón the foUowing day ; 
but the driver, going into an inn on the road for a 
glass of ale, met with a party of diggers going overland, 
who were much in want of a man who had been used 
to drive bullocks or horses ; for they were all shopmen, 
and got on very badly. They told the man that they 
would take him with nothing, that he might live with 
them, get to Mount Aleicander without spending a 
shilling, and share equally with the party when he 
arrived. . This temptation was too strong for Ben 
Hardy ; he joined the party, and telling the landlord 
of the inn to send in the dray for Mr. Hodges, who 
would pay any one handsomely for his trouble, he 
craoked his new whip over his old bullocks by way of 
farewell, and lefb them. 

Several days passed before anybody found it conve- 
nient to take the dray into town, and it was not till 
the party were on the eve of sailing that the paroel 



224 CLABA MOBISOX. 

was deliverecL When Annie opeued her note 
found that Minnie had been Tery anxions for its speo^ 
delivery ; for Charley had taken a violent desire to go 
to the diggings, and her Êtther and mother were afiaid 
to trust him alone, or among stranger& Thej thei«- 
fore begged George and Gilbert to take him-wiihih€m 
for the sake of old Mendship between the fiunilies; 
offering to pay a fíill share in all the .expenses they 
had ÍQCurred or might incfor. Nothing conld j^*^ 
them feel so easy in lettíng Charles go to the ^^ggmjw 
at all, as the knowledge that he was with sach a steadj 
set of yoimg men, to whom also he had been in ihe 
habit of looking up ; for Charley was only seTenteoi, 
and though he was a fearless rider, and knew how to 
deal with wild cattle, and could shoot kangaroos and 
wild turkeys in the bush, he was utterly ignorant d 
the world, and his parents and Minnie were afiraid Íhai 
if he got among bad companions now, he might be 
ruined for life. 

* It is too late now/ said George. * We haTe taken 
out our passages, and cannot afford to forfeit them; 
but if Charley has set his heart on going, he had better 
wait till we can inform him as to our whereabouts, and 
join us at the Moimt.' 

* He will be of no use,' said Martin. * A raw lad of 
seventeen will be rather an encumbrance. Don't you 
think we should get on better without himf 

But Annie and George woxdd not hear of such an 
imgracious refusal, and George's proposal was considerod 
Íhe proper way of treating lieir Mend. 

It was a very sorrowfiil parting; for Adelaide was 
in such a state that those who lefb it were omcertain as 
to their ever seeing it again. Grace, calm as she gene- 
rally was, could not see the three dearest objects on 
earth leaving them for a life of hardship and danger 
without most unwonted tears. Annie cried a great 
deal, but that was nothing so uncommon. Margaret 
shook the tears from her eyes as she bade them good 
bye, and said, without much feltering — 



SYMPTOMS OF THE FEVEE. 225 

' Don't forget that there are other things better tLan 
gold, wherever you may be. God bless you, and keep 
yovLf and send you baok to iis with the same hearts, and 
we shall not mind whether you are any richer or not. 
Write soon, and write often. Qood-bye — good-bye !' 

Clara saw the party set off on their way to the port, 
in their Guernsey shirts and belts, with green veils tied 
round their cabbage-tree hats, and wished them suc- 
cess with all her heart. She felt the young ladies 
next door drawn closer to her in their sorrow and soU- 
tude than they had ever been before, and determined 
to apply to them for advice as soon as she oould get an 
opportunity. Mrs. Bantam was in miserable spirits, 
and her temper was not so even as it had been ; so that 
Clara shrank from asking her where or how she was 
to get another place, when her master had gone to 
Melboume. 

The only conversation she heard was about the imi- 
versal distress in Adelaide, and how this man had 
failed, and that stopped payment, — how one lady had 
parted with her govemess, and another dismissed her 
servant; so she supposed that it would be impossible 
to get a place without strong recommendations, and 
Mrs. Bantam was not likely to give her a high charac- 
ter. Sorrow is often selfish, and Clara felt that she 
was now regarded by her mistress as a mere appurte- 
nance to her house, which did not interest her half so 
much as the house itself. 

Clara fancied, after her long course of sufferíng, that 
her \mcle must surely relent, and that his letter would 
be kind. Perhaps, if Adelaide were mined, it would 
be excusable in her to go home, even at his expense ; 
but she was startled one day to hear Mr. Bantam tell 
his wife at dinner that Mr. Campbell had sailed for 
Melboume. Of course he had been too muoh engrossed 
in his own affairs to have thought of hers at all ; but 
to whom could she apply now in her threatened desti- 
tution? She had thought of Mrs. Handy, but her 
husband had been very unluoky at Ballarat, and by 

VOL. L Q l 



226 CLABA MOBISON. 

the last aooonntB he and HaoaBeii liad left the diggmgs 
there for Monnt Alexanda-, with onl j ten shillings 
between them; Mrs. HandVs hoose was almost empty, 
and her spirits mnch dqfkressed by difficulties of man j 
kindSy particalarl j the task of wMoiaging Mrs. Haussen, 
who was either Teiy merry and fli^ty, or in the depths 
of woe. 

The onlj perscm in the colonj who was at onoe 
wiUing and sÍAe to assist her, was Mr. R^inald; bnt 
her heart beat too stron^ j to allow her to ask eyen 
adyice finom him; and the idea of a{^jing to the 
EUióts seemed more natoral and pleasant to her than 
an j otiber. 




A HOME AT LAST. 227 

• CHAPTER XXI. 

CLARA IS OFFEBED A HOME. 

* /^LARA/ said Mrs. Bantam, one day, *has the 
^ waterman gone to the diggings, that he has never 
been to fiU our caskf 

* I don't know, ma*am,' said Clara; *but he seems to 
have forgotten ns. If he meant to go, he oughfc to have 
told us, that we might apply to some one else. We 
have no water for tea, and this is miserable weather to 
be without it.' 

* Will you give my compliments to Miss Elliot, and 
ask her if she would be good enough to lend us some 
for the present; and to tell her man to bring us a load 
the first opportunity ; but perhaps, though he is a Ger- 
man, he may be off too.' 

Here was an opportunity for Clara to speak to one 
of her neighbours; and when Margaret opened the 
door, and said Mrs. Bantam was heartily welcome, and 
that they would let their waterman know as soon as 
they saw him, she took courage, and asked if she knew 
any one that wanted a servant. 

* Then you do not go to Melboume 1 We all 
thought you would accompany Mrs. Bantam,' said 
Margaret. 

* Oh no, ma'am, though I almost wish I were going, 
for I like my mistress, and I have one Mend there.' 
Poor Miss Waterstone was now looked on as a Mend. 

* You are a Scotchwoman. What part of the country 
do you come from V asked Margaret. 

' I was bom and educated in Edinburgh, and have 
not been quite a year in the colony,' said Clara. 

' Yes, I thought you had a smack of Auld Beekie 
about you,' said Margaret. * Were you ever at service 
before you came out here V 

* No, Miss Elliot, I was brought up very differently ; 
but I cau work very tolerably now. Could you not 

q2 



228 CLAAA HOBISON. 

take me ? I do not mind about wages ; I only want a 
home, till I can hear £rom my Mends, which most be 
soon now/ 

* What is your name ? I don't mean your ChTÍstian 
name, which I know is Clara, but your sumame.' 

' It Í3 Morison,' said Clara. 

' Morison ! — ^and your mother's name before ahe mar- 
ried, what was it V 

'My mother's name was Agnes Somers,' Clara an- 
swered, wondering at Miss Elliot*s questions. 

* And your íather's name was William Morison, and 
you lived in Inverleith-row, did you not V 

' How do you know so much about me V asked Ciaií, 
with increasing surprise. 

' A friend of ours in Edinburgh wrote to me to be- 
Mend a Miss Morison, who had gone to Adelaide as a 
govemess; and I suppose you are the peraon I was 
requested to take an interest in,' said Margaret^ kindly ; 
* which I do the more willingly, now that I have seen 
you, as you are a second cousin of my own, and have a 
resemblance to my dear mamma. Her name was Agnes 
Bobertson, and her mother was a Somers, and therefore 
she was a cousin-german of your mother's. I suppose 
you never heard of us, because there was a quarrel be- 
tween our grand&tthers about some money that was 
lefb them by our great-grandfathers ; so there was no 
intercourse between the fÍEimilies. But we must forget 
old quarrels in this new country, and be glad to find 
relationa Grace! — Annie! come and íind a cousin; 
this is the Miss Morison whom we have been pozzling 
ourselves to find out, who has been living next door to 
us for all these many montha' 

' She has quite a look of mamma's feLmily,' said Grace 
EUiot. 

* No wonder Minnie said she thought you must have 
been a lady ; and I, like a siUy thing, would not listen 
to such an idea,' said Annie. * I must write to her 
how good a judgment she had. How hard it must 



A HOME AT LAS't. 229 

have been to you to go to servioe, and to be tormented 
by Minnie's griffin, as she told me you were 1' 

* My worst misfortune is not in having had to go to 
service,' said Clara; *it is in having to seek another 
place, and not knowing where or how to get it in these 
dreadful times ; and Mr. Campbell has gone out of the 
colony, so that I cannot go home, at least till I hear 
from my \mcle— ' 

* That is, Mr. James Morison,' answered Grace. * I 
wonder at a man who has such a high character send- 
ing you out here, so young and friendless ; for a re* 
commendation to Mr. Campbell was a very insufficient 
introduction.' 

*I had a recommendation to Mrs. Oampbell, too; 
but from all that I hear, that would have done me very 
little good,' said Clara. 

* I understand it all perfectly,' said Margaret; ' Mr. 
Morison is a respectable man of the world, and so is 
Mr. Campbell, and you have had but a poor chanoe 
between them. But what has become of your sister— 
despatched to Melboume or America, I suppose V 

* No, Susan stays as a govemess to my uncle's 
family. She is so much more acoomplished than I am, 
and has a better temper,' said Clara. 

* So it was convenient to keep her, but not you, poor 
child ! There is very little generosity among those 
respectable people,' Margaret said. *And of course 
you kept your name and position as secret as you could, 
that nobody might be able to ask at Mr. Morison's 
evening parfcies how his niece likes being a maid-of-all- 
work in South Australia. However, we need not dis- 
turb his sleek repose, and it would do you no good 
either. You see, Graoe, that Clara is losing her place, 
and wants another. I hope she may fínd one more 
suited to her rank and eduoation when the oolony has 
shaken itself into some kind of order ; but in the mean- 
time she need only leave Mrs. Bantam's to live next 
door; and, poor as we are, we can surely afford food 



£30 CLABA HOBISON. 

and house-room to so near a relation ; and warm hearts 
too, which I suppose she will prize still more.' 

Clara could not thank her cousins in words, but her 
hfíe was sufficiently expressive. Though Margaret had 
made the proposal, it was evident that all three were 
of one mind in the generous offer ; and Clara was 
almost thankfiil for her late distress, since it had im- 
pelled her to take a step which resulted in so much 
goocL 

* Now, Clara,' said Grace, ' Mrs. Bantam wants her 
tea, for this is dreadfiilly hot thirsty weather; so you 
must not delay taking home your bucket of water. 
Tell her that you have found relations in us, and keep 
your spirits up, for as the old Scotch proverb says, 
'Tine heart, tíne a\' And Clara was kissed bjtiie 
three cousins she had so imexpectedly foimd, and told 
to come again soon, if Mrs. Bantam would let her. 

Clara could scarcely wait till she had filled the 
kettle, before she told her mistress the joyful news. 
She burst into the parlour, and started to find Heginald 
talking eamestly to Mrs. Bantam. 

* What has come over you, Clara, that you look so 
happy V said Mrs. Bantain. * I think everything is 
miserable now, and your mirtíi is surely very ill- 
timed.' 

* I have found Mends,' Clara answered, * and cannot 
help looking pleased. The Misses Elliot are cousins 
of my own, and have been so very kind as to ask me 
to stay with them till I can get a situation. It has 
relieved my mind greatly, for I really did not know 
where to tum.' 

' The Miss Elliots your cousins ? "Why, they are 
ladies, Clara,' said Mrs. Bantam. 

* And so was I once,' said Clara, * and had qtiite as 
good a position as they had at home ; but I was sent 
out here with very little money, and preferred going 
to service to going into debt ; so, of course, I am no 
lady now.' 

* I met Miss Morison at Mrs. Handy's,' said Regi- 



A HOME AT LAST. 231 

nald, coming to Ihe rescue, * and I assure you that I 
was very much surprised to find her in the position 
she holds here. If it had not been that I have heard 
you say that you never had a day's comfort while you 
had a Miss Gibb, who wanted to imite in her own 
person the incompatible offices of lady and servant, I 
could have told you that your maid of all work was 
both educated and refined.' 

* But Miss Gibb made me wait upon her/ said Mrs. 
Bantam, ' and flew into a passion with me, because I 
happened once to call her Mary. Clara, to be sure, 
was the most helpless creature I ever saw when she 
came to the house ; but she gave herself no airs, and 
dressed so plainly, that I never thought of her being 
used to anything higher. Well, I have taught her a 
good many use^ lessons, and now I am obliged to 
part with her; but really, Olara, I rejoice in your 
good fortune. There is no home that could be so safe 
or comfortable, or where you would have a better 
chance of getting a better situation than you have had 
with me.' 

* I never could have met with a kinder or more 
patient mistress,' said Clara, ^and I run no risk of 
ever forgetting you. Not an article of fumiture or 
cooking utensil, but will remind me of how much you 
taught me.' 

* Well, Clara, I hope you were not too overjoyed to 
fiU the kettle, for I feel quite parched. Do get me 
my tea as soon as possible, there's a good girl.' 

When Clara brought in the much wished for tea, 
Mrs. Bantam made a heroic effort, and roused herself 
to say, * Since you are an equal of Mr. Beginald and 
the Élliots, I cannot consider you beneath me, so you 
must sit down and make tea to-night; and for this 
week, the last week I have to remain in Adelaide, let 
us be friends, and nothing more distant.' 

Clara saw that her mistress was in eamest, and did 
as she was bid. Mr. Bantam was at the port, choosing 
a cabin in a vessel boomd for Melboume, and his wife 



# 



232 CLABA MOEISON. 

did not know whether to expect him home or not that 
night. She was yery dnU, and oould acarcely speak at 
all, 00 that Clara, unoertain of her positioiiy felt mudi 
embarrassed when she found that sJl the oonTemtiari 
mnst lie between herself and Reginald. At first Ae 
conld scarcely raise her eyes to his^ to make the most 
common-place remark with regard to her tearmakmg 
duties, but when he began to speak frexïkly and cheer- 
fiilly to her, and to tell her all he had seen and heard 
of her cousinS; she soon felt at ease. They began to 
talk as they had done at Mrs. Handy's^ and Claisk, 8e&* 
ing no disapproval in Mrs. Bantam's &cey threw herself 
into the various subjects which Beginald started, wiih 
an enjoyment that was so keen as almost to be poinfbl 
She (Usplayed so much ioformation and such Tarious 
reading, as well as fluency in expressing her thoaghtBy 
that Mrs. Bantam could not help staring at her servant, 
and wondering what Mr. Bantam would say. When 
tea was over, and the tea-things cleared, Clara asked 
Mrs. Bantam for a piece of needlework, which that 
lady provided for her speedily and gladly, as she was 
then busied with a sort of outfit for Melboume. And 
while she sewed she listened. How pleasantly the 
needle went through now, when Beginald was recount- 
ing his troubles with his shepherds, and the absurd 
shiffcs he had been put to when ten of his men gave 
notice in one week, and how he had been compelled to 
come into town to supply their places, if possible. 

* I mean to get men with wives and large families,' 
said he, * for it will surely be hard for them to go off 
as the single men do.' 

' Shall you not find that an expensive plan,' inquired 
Mrs. Bantam, ' with so many useless mouths to feed Y 

' I do not mind that, if I can retain their serviceSy 
for unless these diggings raise the price of provisions 
very much, the rations wiU not cost a great deaL If 
there is a boy of twelve in the family, he could take 
out a small flock of sheep ; the wife might act as hut- 
keeper, though sometimes shifting hurdles is heavy 



A HOME AT LAST. 233 

work for a woman ; and we should gladly feed the 
younger children for the sake of three available 
labourers. Bigby has got five children who can do 
nothing; and Escott four, without grumbling about it 
at all. Wheat is very cheap yet, for the farmers are 
all so eager to raise money to take them to Mount 
Alexander, that they wiU not wait for a rise in price. 
I have got enough to last all my stations for twelve 
months, and I hope the millers will condescend to 
grind it for fifbeen pence the bushel.' 

* The colony is ruined, that is clear enough,' remarked 
Mrs. Bantam. * To be sure I am going out of it, but 
I know I shall never like Melboume as I have liked 
Adelaide, or ever have a house I shall be so fond of as 
this cottage. My children have been bom here and 
buried here, and you cannot think, Mr. Reginald, what 
a wrench it gives me to leave the place where my dar- 
lings* graves are.* And Mrs. £antam*s eyes swam in 
tears. 

* The colony may revive yet, and you may retum,' 
said Clara ; ' let us hope that this panic is but tempo- 
rary. With a fine climate, a good soil, and inexhaust- 
ible copper mines, I cannot believe that South Australia 
has received its deathblow.* 

' I have always had quite a contempt for the Swan 
River settlement, but we are sinking even lower than 
it, when everybody that can raise a few pounds leaves 
the colony as if the pestilence was in it,* Mrs. Bantam 
complained. 

' I am an exception,' said Beginald ; * for I intended 
to go to England this New Year, and what has driven 
so many people away has kept me here. Sheep &rmers 
dare not leave their flocks, if they mean to save any 
property at all. My neighbour Escott was saying to 
me yesterday that, whatever property we reckoned 
ourselves to possess a month or two ago, we must 
reduce the value of by one-half ; but I am glad that 
we trust to an English market for our produce, for it 
is not so fluctuating as these times show colonial mar- 



234 CLA&A. xosiaoN. 

kets to be. How Miss Wiihering would deliglLt to 
enlarge upon the dreadfdl unoertaiiïty of all thíiígH in 
this wretched colony if she were among us now ; tiiere 
would be enough of tmth in her remarks to make them 
doubly bitter.' 

' I may be thankfol for one thing,' exdaimed Mis. 
Bantam, 'and that is, that I am going out of that 
woman's reach, for in my state of mind she would drive 
me crazy. Mrs. Denfield has kept her much longer 
than I could have expected; she must have been four 
months at Langley, and luckily has not thought d 
giving me a visitation these Chnstmas holidays.' 

' What is Mrs. Denfield's character V asked B^inald. 
* I suppose she must be very yielding^ to have bome bo 
long with Miss Withering ]' 

*Not at all yielding; no, Mrs. Denfield is figur from 
that ; but I suppose she has made such an idol of fiim- 
ness all her life, that she cannot help admirinir and 
worshipping it when it comes io her in a bodilyshape. 
I wonder how Mr. Denfield's affairs are standing, for 
if he has difficulties about money, and Miss Withering 
in the house, I should not be surprised at his going 
mad or blowing his brains out.' 

* I suppose nobody's affairs are very flourishing just 
now,' Reginald said ; ' the Grazette is ftdl of bankruptcies, 
and three are tottering for one that has fellen. I do 
not remember the first Australian panic, for I was not 
in the colony at the time ; but does this strike you as 
being worse, Mrs. Bantam V 

* I think it is a great deal worse,' was the answer; * for 
though people were poor then, they had no inducement 
to leave, and accordingly they worked hard in the 
colony, and brought it to rights again; but now there 
is no chance of our doing any better in South Australia, 
80 I must leave along with others. I hear that the 
markets at Melboume are brisk enough, and the prices 
at the diggings shamefuL What a pity that we have 
not succeeded in finding gold here! The thousand 



A HOME AT LAST. 235 

pounds reward offered by govemment has not been 
claimed yet, but it wonld have saved the colony.' 

* I am not so sure of that,' said Regioald; *let our 
neighbours dig for gold in Victoria, but if we supply 
them with food, we may make that as profítable as the 
other. If our farmers are rational enough to retum to 
put in their crops in time, I feel sure that they will get 
higher prices for their produce than they have got these 
seven years I have been in the colony.* 

Clara began to fancy that the colony was not in such 
a very hopeless condition ; and though one might suppose 
she had very little reason to like South Australia, she 
stiU rejoiced when she thought of its revival. 

When Mr. Reginald took leave of Mrs. Bantam and 
Clara, he promised to come again on the following 
evening, as he wished much to see Mr. Bantam before 
the latter sailed for Melboume. He also determined 
in his own mind that he must call on the Elliots; osten- 
sibly to see how they were now they were lefb without 
their brothers, but really to discover if Clara would be 
happy with them, and to express his interest in her wel- 
fare. He left Mrs. Bantam and Clara sitting at the 
open window, with no light but that of the moon, for 
it waa a hot night, aud they had given up sewing, and 
were talking of the preparations that must be maíde for 
the voyage. Clara was willing to do anything, and 
spoke so gently and cheerfully, that Mrs. Bantam gladly 
threw the whole matter on her hands, and proposed 
that she should make all necessary purchases next day ; 
^for,* said Mrs. Bantam, *I cannot bear to go out, 
when I may meet people who will only vex me with 
questions; perhaps I might even see Miss Withering. 
By the bye, Clara, is not the attic upstairs very hot to 
sleep in ? Miss Withering went up one day, and called 
it a miserable hole.' 

* Yes it is very hot indeed ; my ears tingle and smart 
when I go up to dress in the middle of the day, and 
when there is a hot night I feel suffocated in it/ 



236 CLABA XORISON. 

'lt Í8 dreadful to-nighty so don't go np; take ti» 
little room downstairs so long as yon staj in the 
cottage.' 

* I shall write to my sister to-night, before I go to 
bed,' said Clara. * My last letter was so gloomy, tiiat 
I must not delay commimicating good tidings.' 

So Clara sat down in thelittle room to write to Sbsml 
Among all the miserable letters that were dropped into 
the Adelaide post-office next moming^ hers, if it oonld 
have been seen, would have shone like a sunbeam. 
Had not the bad times and the general distress given 
her a home and Mends, and hope and sympathy agam) 
and, as she scarcely whispered to hersel^ had they not 
kept Mr. Eeginald in the colony í She had seen him 
once more as an equal ; she had a prospect of seeing 
him again, for he faiew and liked her consins, and he 
would visit them when he came to town ; his eyes had 
lighted up as she spoke, and there had been a smile in 
them whether his lips had smiled or not ; his voice had 
grown animated when he addressed her ; they had agreed 
on all matters of taste and opinion, and Clara suffered 
herself to hope that if they met often, she might become 
nearly as dear to him as he was to her. Who could 
sleep with such thoughts 1 And as she sat remembering 
all that had been said, and thioking on what might 
have been said, she saw the red and grey streaks in the 
east promiaing as hot a day as the preceding one. She 
roused herself from her reverie, and putting on her 
morning dress, proceeded with a light heart to do her 
ordinary work It seemed to be done in half the usual 
time; and she surprised Mrs. Bantam shortly affcer 
breakfast, by saying she was ready to execute all her 
commissions. She asked leave to call on Mrs. Handy, 
and explain her new prospects; and no objection being 
made, she dressed herself with particular care and 
set out. ' 

. ^^''J'®^ shopping was accomplished, she went up 
to ^Handy s front door, and knocked withont much 
tixmdiiy. Mrs. Handy was busily prepanng lunch for 



A HOME AT LAST. 287 

Reginald and Humberstone, who were both going down 
to the port in quest of shepherds. 

* I tried the labour office this moming, Miss Morison,* 
said Humberstone, * but there is nobody there worth 
their salt. A parcel of old weavers and fectory men, 
who don't know a sheep from a cow, and who would 
lose the sheep in the scrub if you trusted them in their 
charge — to ask employment from me 1 The most sense- 
less blockheads I ever saw !' 

* How does Mr. Blinker get on V asked Clara. ' I 
hope he has not deserted you in this emergency.' 

' Blinker is a trump,' said Humberstone. ^ Not a 
word from him either of going or asking for more 
' screw.' He goes on with his dampers and puddings 
as if there was no tuming the world upside down, 
Escott is going to raise his wages upon principle, but I 
don't think he will be any the happier for it. But 
these are ticklish times, Miss Morison ; it does not do 
to be so very short of hands. I wish, Mr. Beginald, 
we could get those lazy natives to mind the sheep; 
they will do it by fits and starts, but there's no stability 
about them.' 

' In the Tatiara country,' said Beginald, ' they are 
very serviceable ; and it is a good thing, for that is the 
district of South Australia which lies nearest the dig- 
gings, and which is sure to be soonest deserted by white 
men. A friend of mine has a flock of three thousand 
under a black man and his two wives ; they camp out 
with them all night, and never need to put up the 
hurdles. He gives them plenty of fooc^ blankets, 
and tobacco ; but is obliged to get white men to cook 
for them, for not even the women are fit for hut- 
keepers.' 

^ It woidd be too bad to make poor Mr. Blinker 
cook for natives,' said Clara. 

' Yes, Miss Morison,' said Humberstone, * good fel- 
low as he is, there is a pitch beyond which he would 
not go. But that plan of having native she^^erds is 
much better than Stoue'a plan of making a maii on 



^ 



238 CLABA MOBISON. 

horseback take care of so large a flock as three thou- 
saiicL The sheep are driyen too íast, and have not 
room to disperse or time to feed.' 

^ Time to feed 1' exclaimed Mrs. Haussen, who now 
entered the room. ' I am sure that you always take 
time enough to do that, whatever else you neglect.' 

' I was not speaking of myself, ma'am,' said Hum- 
berstone, * but of a very diflerent set of animals — sheep, 
in &ct.' 

* I do not see so much dijSerence between you,' re- 
tumed Mra H3,ussen. * You are both very rough to 
look at, and as for manners, one is quite as good as the 
other.' 

' That is the unkindest cut of all,' said Humberstona 
' Shakspeare !' said Mra Haussen. This was her 
Êivourite joke, whenever any quotation was made. 

* I don't know where it came from at flrst, but I 
foimd it on a jug in the bush/ said Humberstone. 

' I have told Mrs. Handy/ said Beginald to Clara) 
' of your finding cousins in the Elliots ; but, of course, 
you have a great deal to explain to her yourself Is 
not this your writing, Miss Morison V continued he, 
taking up the blank book which Clara had fllled ' I 
opened it last night, and read it through before I slept ; 
for besides many old fe,vourites which I never tire of 
reading over again, I met with many new poems which 
were quite as beautifuL I received a book the other 
day, which I had written to England for, of which I 
want your opinion, and your cousin, Miss Margaret's, 
too. It is Mrs. Browning's poems — ^have you seen 
them r 

*Not her whole works,' answered Clara, 'only co- 
pious extracts, and I shoiild like to see all that such 
a woman has written. What do you think of them 
yoursel^ sir V 

* You wish to entrap me into giving my opinion of 
a woman's writings, before I know the decisions of her 
own sex, I think the poems feminine without being 
feeble^ and musical without being over smooth, and 



A HOME AT LAST, 239 

really admire them more than any I hare read for 
years. But you must not tell your cousin Margaret 
what I think ; for she is so fond of contradicting, that 
she will take a prejudice against them, because thej 
please me. I wíll send you the two volumes by the 
first opportunity, and I hope they may give you as 
much pleasure as this little book has given me.' 

' That is Beginald all over/ said Humberstone. * He 
can't talk of anything else but books ; do not you think 
he might find other subjects to entertain young ladies, 
Mrs. Haussen?' 

* You read nothing yourself/ was the answer, * and 
don't imderstand a refíned taste. I am ao fond of 
reading myself ; I have just finished Yalentine Yox 
and begun Mortimer Dehnar, and I find them very 
interesting indeed. I need something to keep up my 
spirits now. Heigho !' 

' Those books have not names like Chiistians at all/ 
said Humberstone. ^ I should like to see books called 
John Smith or James Watson, or even such a respect- 
able name as William Humberstone. I like a thing 
to be real and naturaL I was induced to read a book 
about Fisistratus Caxton, for they said there wafi some- 
thing about Australia in it ; but I would advise the 
man who wrote it to take his passage for one of these 
colonies as soon as possible, if he means to write any 
more about us ; for L aU the áxteen years I have been 
in them I never heard of a damper being tv/med tiU I 
read it in that precious book. And after reading 
through himdreds of pages of rigmarole, to find such 
ignorance on the only subject I cared about ; it was a 
shameful imposition — ^in áwït, too bad.' 

* Really,' said Clara to Eeginald, ^ could any one go 
through a work so full of wisdom, of kindly feelii^, 
and of poetical fancy, with the impression that it was 
only a rigmarole ; and blame a man who knows the 
human mind by heart, because he does not know how 
a damper is baked V 

* We must be off now,' Humberstone said. * Good 



240 CLA&A MOSISOK. 

bje, MÍBS Moríflon. You must tell joar fiiend, wben 
jou wríte to her, that I did not ezpect lier to go and 
marry, before the year and daj I promised to wear the 
willow for her were expired.' 

Mra. HaoaBen was decidedly yery pretty ; ahe had a 
pretty face and a pretty figure, and she was veiy piet- 
tily dressed; but Clarsk did not think the Gerxnan 
gentleman's Engliah wife was either clerer or sen8ibl& 
Her manner wanted repose^ and she spoiled the e^feci 
of her good looks hj her restless endeayoiirs to ™^^ 
the most of them. Mrs. Haussen talked of her hns- 
band*s absence and her amdetj- about him with teara 
in her eyes, and immediately afterwards began to lau^ 
at Homberstone's clownishness and Reginald's grave 
airs. Clara managed to get a few minutes to tell Mi& 
Handy of her good fortune, and that lady sympathized 
as heartilj with her in joy as she had done in sorrow. 

^ It is a good thing for you, Miss Morisony to get 
among fnends who are not such great people as to 
hold themselves above you, and disown you on account 
of jour having gone through so much ; and yet who 
are so respectable and well thought o^ that they can 
carry you through anything. If that uncle of yours 
had given you letters to them, instead of Mr. Camp- 
bell, you would not have needed to go to servica' 

' Better go to service than meet with such a dreadful 
&te as that of poor Miss Ker,' said Clara. ^ I caimot 
get her story out of my head, and I am very anxious 
to know where she lives and how she is. Mrs. Bantam 
has lost sight of her for some months ; if you could 
find out, I should feel much obliged to you.' 

' 1 will try what I can do,' said Mrs. Handy. ' I 
have more time to go about now, for there is very 
little doing in the house. All my old stagers are gone 
but Mr. Brown aud Mr. Green, and I do not think 
they will stay long. I expect two birds of passage 
£rom the ship that came iu from England on Tuesday 
last, but they wont stay more than a week or two • 
and you know that Mr. Beginald and Mr. Humberstone 



Á. HOME AT LAST. 241 

are but chance people. As for Mrs. H3,usse]i, I shall 
never get any board for her, nnless her husband is 
lucky at the diggings ; and then I shall not need it so 
much, for, of course, Handy will have got gold too. 
Just now I am at my wit's end for money ; but I 
shoTild not like to give up the house, for things maj 
take a turn.' 

* I am sure they "will,' replied Clara, * but I must 
really go now, or Mrs. Bantam will think I have beeu 
imreasonably long. Good bye.' 




VOL. I. » 



242 CLABA MORISOX. 

CHAPTER XXIL • 

SWEET AND BITTEB. 

MR B ANT AM was not much sarprised to hear that 
Clara was superior to her station, but took the 
news very pleasantly, and was glad to have her in the 
parlour to cheer his wife and help her preparations; 
and she showed such foresight and quickness, that her 
aid was invaluable. She seemed to fall into her proper 
place in the household at once, and was a i^TOng- 
minded as well as a kmd-hearted Mend to her late 
mistress. When Mr. Beginald came in the evening, 
Mr. Bantam told him all his plans, and relieved lus 
mind of a good many floating ideas, which he had not 
liked to tell even to his wife, but which looked veiy 
feasible when they were fairly expressed. Reginald 
gave him a letter to an old friend and school-fellow of 
his, who was doing well as a merchant in Melboume, 
which he said he hoped woiild benefit him more than 
letters of introduction in general. 

* I will give you a commission, too, to begin with,' 
continued Reginald. * If Campbell settles in Mel- 
boume, and gets his head up again, you will be able to 
recover the three hundred poimds he owes me, and 
charge me the commission current there upon it. I 
hope that you will have more important business soon, 
but you must not scom small things.' 

' Have you any message to Mr. Campbell, Clara ]' 
asked Mr. Bantam. 'He was a sort of patron of 
yours.' 

* I have no message, except that I can do without 
him ; but I am very wrong to say so, for he certainly 
got me the very best place in Adelaide, and gave me a 
great deal of good advice,' said Clara. 

* Mr. Campbell is a very worthy man,' said Beginald; 
* but I do not think him very well qualified to give 
advice to you. He was always so conscious of his posi- 



SWEET AND BITTER. 243 

tion, and so condescending, that it must have been 
painful to hav« felt irnder obligations to him. Was it 
not so, Miss Morison V 

* I did not feel it so ; I was only comfortábly grateful ; 
but lately I was inclined to forget all he had done for 
me, in my disappointment at his leaving the colony 
without inquiring at all about me, when he knew that 
he was the only channel through which I could get 
any assistance from my uncle, and that I w£is likely to 
need it in the universal distress.' 

There was something so delightful to Clara in having 
her imaginary conversations realized — in being actually 
speaking on equal terms with her master and mistress. 
and Mr. Reginald — ^that she felt unusually placid and 
contented. Mr. Bantam seemed quite pleasant ; "opi- 
nions, from which she had dissented when she stood 
behind his chair, she readily adopted now that they sat 
side by side; Mrs. Bantam's commonplaces appeared 
new and startling; and, of course, Reginald, always de- 
lightful, seemed now to surpass himself. As Clara's 
needle went through her work with outfit rapidity, 
the sparkle in her eye, and the flush on her cheek, 
made up for the effects of months of slow suffering, 
and she looked lovelier than ever. She caught Regi- 
nald's eye resting oocasionally on her face, and saw in 
its expression something that might well give new life 
to her half-conceived hopes. 

Mrs. Bantam's spirits had gradually risen from the 
time that she had discovered a friend in Clara, and she 
was beginning to look upon her departure from Ade- 
laide with tolerable resignation ; and even talking of 
the time when, if they prospered, she would send for 
Clara to join them, not as a servant, but as a cherished 
guest. Mr. Bantam liked her very much, and as they 
were sadly afraid that society in Melboume was in a 
wretchedly disorganised state, it was the more neces- 
sary to make a society for themselves. 

The moming afber Reginald's farewell visit, Mrs. 
Bantam and Clara were both busy with needlework, 

R 2 



2fM CLAKk 

aaiiáxt, decïded daqble kfiock was bazd st the 



' Tliat js Mks WitÍLaiiig — úiaJl I aaj tiwt jm m 
fasrúcfaSaiij «igakgedf a^ed Cl&rm. 

' It is iHeleaB to aay ít,' Mrs^ TWnrfca.Twi uKw^eTed, ' fer 
úie Í9 det^mÍEked to eome in to tziamplL orer me' bni 
as it is the ha^ tnneyiine bsMÍbett»' sobmít witlkagood 
gnee; — bvxt staj witb me, Clan; I need aH tbe b^ 
joa can giye me.' 

' And tbat k bot little ; I wiab joa b^ Misb Miimie 
instead,' asúd Cbny as abe ir^t to op^i. the door. 

MisB WitbCTD^ -wÍKX, to Mxa^ Buitaun s grest jo^, 
WBs aloik^ aadled iato tbe parioiir witk more thm ber 
iBoal importancey and iras greatlj smpnsed to see 
Clam follow bo*, and takíng a aeat near Mks. "FU^fa^in^ 
qtdetlj resmne her woik. 

' I conld not let joa leaTe tbe cokm j, m j- dear Mi& 
Bantam, witboat coming to bid jou &refwe]l ; and I 
baTe bnrried Mrs. Denfield sadljy tbat I might get to 
town in time to see jon before jon saUed,' said Miss 
WitbeTÍng. 'Mrs. Denfield and mjself were verj 
mnch shocked to hear tbat jon were actaallj going to 
accompan j Mr. Bantam ; we anticipated jour remain- 
ing here imtil Mr. B. had in some measure settled bim- 
selfi for, as jon bave not sold jour cottage, jou might 
as well occupj it, as bouse-rents are enormous in Mel- 
botime, I imderstand' 

* So I believe,' said Mrs. Bantam ; ' bnt wherever m j 
husband goes, I must go too, and of conrse I am glad 
to go, even to Melboume, with bim.' 

* Of course,' answered Miss Withering. * Mr& Den- 
field was saying to me tbis verj moming, when we 
were talking about jou and jour affairs, that she was 
tbankful Mr. D. bad no intention of leaving South 
Australia, for she shoiild have been so divided between 
her dutj to her husband and her duty to her children, 
that even her strong mind must have had a long and 
painful struggle. But Mr. Denfield is determined to 
see this colonj through its difficulties; and indeed his 



SWEET AND BITTER. 245 

property is so valuable that it would be folly to leave 
it without a master's care. He purposes having a 
great breadth of wheat sown this year, even though he 
and his boys have to put it in themselves ; for he is 
sure more is to be made in that way than by gold- 
digging or gold-broking. Does Mr. Bantam go to 
the diggings, or does he mean to settle in town?' 

* It depends entirely on ciroumstances ; I think our 
prospects are tolerably bright,' was the answer; but 
the tremor in the speaker's voice belied her words. 

* Will you be good enough to hand me the scissors, 
ma^am,' said Clam ; ^ I am ready to begin the sleeves 
now.' 

* I see that you are preparing for Melbourne in many 
ways, and are initiating yourself in the general level- 
ling of ranks which pervades that town,' observed Miss 
Withering. 

* When people are quiet and agreeable, there is no 
hardship in having their company; if they are not, it 
is indeed a penance,' said Mrs. Bantam. 

* You cannot look for much quiet in Melboume,' 
remarked the visitor; *but I suppose you take Clara 
with yoiL It is just the place for a girl like her; she 
will be very soon marrying some fortunate digger, and 
leaving you in the lurch.* 

' I do not take Clara with me at present,' replied 
Mrs. Bantam ; * she is going home to her fiiends for 
awhile ; but if we succeed, as we expect to do, I may 
send for her to join me ; for she has been quite a com- 
fort to me, now that I know her value; and perhaps I 
may want a friend.' 

* That is indeed a sad want,' said Miss Withering, 
pathetically. * Mrs. Denfield can never feel the want 
of a friend in future, for, as we often 'say, we were 
formed for each other. She half reproached me to-day 
for leaving her to the care of servants, as she has not 
been confined above ten days, and has not yet been up. 
She has got a most lovely boy — so large and strong, 
and so like his papa I I have taken the whole charge 



246 



CLABA MOBISON, 



of the house duTÍng her illnesSy as well as my oidinaiy 
scholastic duties ; this, I hope, will serve as my excose 
for not paying you a visit at Christinas; we haTe 
thrown the holidays a month forwaiti, and as I fear 
that then you will be out of the colony, I mnst delay 
my visit till you retimi to Adelaide.' 

* I see that you have no intention of going to Mel- 
boume, Miss Withering,' observed Mrs. BantanL hope- 
fuUy. 

* Certainly not,' answered Miss Withering. * I have 
seen one Australian colony, and I have no desire to 
see any other, particularly Victoria, where vulgar 
wealth is so completely in the ascendant, and where 
talents, education, and refinement are trodden under 
foot. I think that Melboume seems to have all the 
evils of Adelaide, without any one of its advantage&' 

* There is more money and more prospect of doing 
business in Melboume than in Adelaide at present,' 
Clara said, quietly. 

Miss Withering stared ; but made no remark for a 
minute or two. 

* I should like to know how I could serve you in 
any way, Mrs. Bantam,' she then said. 'Mrs. Den- 
field is of opinion that you might find keeping a board- 
ing house very profitable ; and, as I know your active 
habits, I think it would suit you. If any advice from 
me could benefit you, you are most welcome to it • and 
I understand liow these things are managed, for I lived 
a long time at an establishment of the kind in Liver- 
pool, and was the landlady*s right hand. I shonld, 
indeed, be glad if you would point out how I can serve 
you in your present diíficulties.' 

Mrs. Bantam could make no reply to this imper- 
tinence ; but Clara said — 

* Since you are so kind as to offer assistance, I wish 
you could put this dress together; for Mrs. Bantam 
and I have been puzzling ourselves over it all this 
moming, and cannot get it to come right. Do you 
think it can have been properly cut V 



SWEET AND BITTER. 247 

* I know nothing whatever about dressmaking,' 
said Miss Withering, * and think time too valuable to 
be frittered away on the adomment of the person.' 

*I beg your pardon, ma'am,' said Clara; *but I 
really thought you could do everything, and that your 
time was at the service of your friends.* 

Miss Withering turned round to address herself to 
Mrs. Bantam. 

* I think I saw Mr. Bantam in King William-street 
to-day; but he is so changed that I scarcely knew 
liim. He looks very much thinner and older than he 
used to do. Are you sure that he is well enough to 
undertake a sea voyage í He did not recognise me at 
all ; but he is always so absent that I did not mind. 
Mrs. Denfield gives me this character, which I am 
proud to think I deserve — ^that I do not take offence 
at trifles. Miss Hodges would have frequently offended 
me, and Mr. Reginaíd stiU oftener, if I had not been 
very lenient to their étourderies. But I had made up 
my mind that such a thing as good society was not to 
be found out of England, and consequently was sur- 
prised at nothing. Ah ! here is my old friend,' con- 
tinued she, taking up the book of chips. *I have 
ransacked Mr. Denfield's library in vain for this 
valuable work ; and he has endeavoured, without suo- 
cess, to procure a copy at Platt's, and other book- 
sellers' in town. But really the supply of books is 
shamefully limited in Adelaide. Such a work as this 
ought to be procurable wherever books are sold at all. 
Wliere was tbe copy purchased, may I ask, Mrs. 
Bantam V 

* It was bought by auction many years ago. But 
you are heartily welcome to it, for no one in the house 
ever reads it,' answered Mrs. Bantam. 

*It is not attractive to people who read only for 
amusement ; but to those who are desirous of informa- 
tion it is invaluable. As a text book, I shall find it 
of the greatest service ; and Miss Denfield will thank 
you as well as I do for it. Did I leave a pocket- 



248 CLASA MOBISON. 

handkerchief and a silver thimble about mj* room, 
Clarar 

'No, ma'am/ was the amiwer. 'There was no- 
thing lefb in the room belonging to yoiL I foiind 
some knitting-needles, which Mrs. Bantam has in her 
work-box now; but I think they beloiiged to MÍB8 
Hodges.' 

* Then they mnst have been picked up by the ser- 
vant at the boarding-honse I went to from here. Tle 
girl denied it flatly ; but I suppose she must have been 
gmlty, nevertheless. There is very little truth in colo- 
nial servants, as I have foimd out by sad ezperience. 
Mrs. Denfíeld always keeps them at a distance; but 
yet she watches them narrowly; and I think she 
manages them much better than any one I have yet 
seen in Australia.' And Miss Withering looked as if 
she was determined to drive Clara out of the room; 
but Mrs. Bantam's appealing £Etce kept her in her seat 

* Was not Christmas week excessively hot V con- 
tinued Miss Withering. 'I never felt anjrthing so 
prostrating as such a continuation of hot winda I 
suppose we must expect a great deal of such weather 
before summer is over. You will not like beingboxed 
up in the miserable cabin of a coasting vessel for three 
weeks, Mrs. Bantam, with the thermometer at 100 
degrees, or higher. I believe it is no uncommon tbing 
to be three or four weeks on the way to Melboume, 
imless the winds are favourable.' 

Here there was a knock at the door; and Clara was 
glad of the interruption, for she ho}^ that a new I 
comer might divert the current of Miss Witheiing's 
eloquence. It was Grace EUiot, who thought she 
would call to see if she could do anything for Mrs. 
Bantam. 

* I do not like to force myself upon people, Clara^' 
said she ; * but Mrs. Bantam is in trouble, and i£ I 
offer to assist her, I can, at the most, only be refosed. 
I can, at least, show my good will.' 



í 



SWEET AND BITTER. 249 

. Clara came in with Miss Elliot, who immediatelj 
seemed to change the aspect of affairs. She asked the 
name of the yessel Mrs. Bantam was to sail in, and 
praised it highly, saying that both the captain and his 
lady "were considered attentive and agreeable. She 
offered to put the dress to rights, and took her thimble 
out of her pocket in a business-like manner that was 
delightful to behold ; spoke of Melboume as a "wonder- 
fíil place, "where people "with talents and energy could 
not fail to get on well ; waa sure that Mr. Bantam 
would get into a first-rate business as a bullion-broker ; 
and thought there "was no doubt that Mrs. Bantam 
woTild at onoe take her place in Melboume good 
society, "which every one kne"w was reckoned superior to 
that of Adelaide by English people. 

Grace talked in a continuous stream, which Miss 
Withering could not interrupt, till it had made a 
pleasant "way to Mrs. Bantam's heart. Miss Withering 
felt greatly shocked at the very lo"w people Mrs. 
Bantam "was associating "with ; and, as she told Mrs. 
Denfield "when she got home, felt it due to herself "to 
leave the house. When she was fairly gone, Mrs. 
Bantam sighed, Clara smiled, and Miss Elliot laughed 
outright. 

^ Is not she a dreadful woman, Miss Elliot V said 
Mrs. Bantam. * Though she did not say much while 
you "were here, you could see by her face what a dis- 
agreeable creature she is. Your friend Minnie used to 
fight regular battles of "words "with her; and I must 
say that, clever as Miss Withering may be, she never 
had the best of it.' 

' I understand she is quite a oharacter,' Grace 
answered. * She did not tlunk it worth while to open 
upon me, and I am afraid I shall never have an oppor- 
tTinity of seeing her again. Minnie "will be quite dis- 
appointed that I have not seen her griffin to ad- 
vantage.' 

' Be thankfiil, Miss Elliot, that she takes no notice 



250 CLAllA MORISON. 

of you, for she has nearly upset me to-day,' said Mrs. 
Bantam. 

* Well, I dare say, she might have made me very 
uncomfortable by talking of midnight robberies and 
bowie-knives at the diggings, and about the slight 
chance we have of seeing our dear Mends again,' said 
Grace. * How glad you may be that you are going 
with your husband to Yictoria ; for I can assure you, 
that all the widows I know are inconsolable. There is 
poor Mrs. Beid, with her five children, whom I never 
see smiling ; and Mrs. Brown has only been married 
three months, and Mrs. Trueman five, and they are all 
so anxious and miserabla They fancy every gale is 
going to wreck their husbands' vessel ; and if the wind 
is still and the sun hot, they can thiiik of nothing but 
sun strokes. We ourselves are far from comfort- 
able in the absence of our brothers and poor Henry; 
and if the diggings were not a very unfit place for 
single ladies, we shoiild liave been strongly tempted to 
accompany them. Any hardship or sorrow is endur- 
able if it is shared with those we love ; but when our 
friendsare so far away, and the post-office so'ill con- 
ducted, that we cannot trust to receiving the letters 
they write, we cannot feel at all easy about them. I 
hope, Clara, that you wiU be able to enliven us a little, 
for you have no dear friend at the diggings to pine 
after.' 

Mrs. Bantam began to perceive that her situation 
was comparatively enviable, and thought Miss EUiot 
was a most sensible girl. Clara lifbed her eyes from 
her work occasionally, and examined more minutely 
than before her cousin Grace's appearance. The 
features were not regular, nor their expression very 
intellectual, and the first bloom of youth was over ; 
but still, Grace Elliot, at eight-and-twenty, was a very 
comely and joy-giving woman. Her eyes were very 
gentle, and her voice soft ; and though she was tall, 
and rather stout, her step was light as a fairy's. She 



»1 



■ 
f 



STfEET AND BITTER. 251 

was "what every one called tlie best oreature in tlie 
world, and was applied to in times of sickness and dis- 
tress by all her acqnaintanoe. Mrs. Bantam reproached 
herself for never having called, and thanked Miss 
Elliot again and again for having overlooked etiquette 
in this weU-timed visit. 

The days went swifbly by, which intervened be- 
fore the vessel sailed. AU preparations were com- 
pleted on the previous evening, and Mr. Bantam had 
gone to bed, leaving his wife sitting with Clara, and 
telling her all she meant to do or to try to do in Mel- 
boume. 

* I felt quite pleased at Mr. Bantam's single commis- 
sion from Mr. Reginald, for it may lead to more, and 
he is so admirable in this line of business, that he can- 
not fail to succeed if he only gets a fair start,' said she. 

* It was very friendly in Mr. Reginald to put a little 
work in his way. What do you think of Mr. Eregi- 
nald, Clara ? I am very anxious to know your opinion 
of him.' 

* I esteem him very much,' answered Clara, hesitat- 

ingly. 

* I knew you must esteem him, for he is just the 
sort of man whom one would like to see always, and 
not merely now and then,* said Mrs. Bantam. ' It is 
plain that he takes a great interest in you, Clara, from 
all he has said to me — ^you must feel quite flattered by 
his good opinion.' 

Clara's eyes were tumed away ; her heart fluttered ; 
but she gave a silent assent to what was said, and fell 
into a pleasant reverie. 

* I have been wondering,' Mrs. Bantam continued, 

* how to account for what he said to me the other day, 
before you came in with your joyful face. You must 
know he asked me if I meant to take you with me to 
Melboume, and I said that I did not think of doing 
so, and he said, with some emphasis, that perhaps you 
would be more happy and comfortable hera I thoughb 



252 CLABA MOBISON, 

at the time that his idea was that Melboame was an 
unfit place for such a youiig and pretty girl as jot I 
are, but now I think he meant somethmg more Úa 
thaf 

Mrs. Bantam here subdded into silence ; Claradaiel 
not make any inquiry, but wondered i£ her mistrea 
was ever going to tell what she conjectured Thelac^ 
proceeded. 

* Now, Clara, I had a letter a month or two ago 
from a Miss Leicester, in England, which told me t 
piece of news as a secret. Of course, I have told no- 
body about it ; but I think, for the sake of all partieB, 
I had better read you some part of the letter, and yw 
will see if my idea about Mr. Beginald is not bome oot 
by it Miss Leicester lived for several years in Adekdde, 
and was a fellow-passenger of Mr. Reginald, as well as 
an intimate friend of Mr. Bantam's and myself - so yoQ 
must feel an interest in her.' ' 

* Was she young V asked Clara. 

* Oh, no ! she was ten years older than I am I dare 
say, but a delightfïil creature; and though she was 
foud of a gossip, she never exaggerated, or told what 
was not true ; so I trust entirely to what she says. I 
have the letter here, so you must listen.' 

* My dear Mrs. Bantam, 

* You will see that I have not forgotten you 
or old days in Adelaide when you open this, for it 
r6í|uires some courage in me to commence a corre- 
sj)oiidence, and I have not heard from you yet. Don't 
wish to come back to England, for you have forgotten 
how fearfuUy cold it is ; and afber being twice as long 
in South Australia as I have been, you are likely to 
suffer still more from the change. I overwhelmed 
myself with clothes, and kept quite close to the fire all 
last winter, but I never could keep myself warm.* 

* Well,' said Mrs. Bantam, interrupting herself, * after 
Bome more of the same gossip, Miss Leicester goes on 



SWEET AND BITTER. 253 

to say how sbe went to the Exhibition, and also to a 
ball in the country, and how at the last she met a gen- 
tleman formerly of this colony. 

* * Who/ she writes, * should be leaning over the sofii 
I sat upon but Bobert Dent ? He did not dance, but 
looked very well as a wallflower. He paid me a few 
compliments, not quite so stiffly as of old, and intro- 
duced me as an Adelaide lady to Mrs. Beginald, an 
old lady, and Miss Marston, a young one. Of course, 
I knew Mrs. Beginald at once, and I had no sooner 
seen Miss Marston than I was convinced Charles Begi- 
nald had very good reasons for his coldness to all the 
young ladies I ever saw him in company witL I 
never beheld a lovelier creatiire; her hair and eyes 
are very dark, and her complexion brilliant ; and she 
is so tall and elegantly proportioned, that she moves 
like a queen among her subjects. I fancied Dent was 
smitten, but my hmts did not seem to affect him, and 
soon I leamt the truth from the old lady. She told 
me that Jidia Marston had been engaged to her son 
since the summer he left England, and that she ex- 
pected him to come home in the course of a year, if 
things went rightly in the colonies; but that Jiilia 
did not like it talked of, as was very natural. Mrs. 
Keginald seemed to love her as a daughter, and assujred 
me she was the most amiable and affectionate of girls. 
I judged for myself of her talents, for I talked a good 
deal to her, and found her remarkably intelligent and 
well-informed She asked me some questions about 
the colony, and, wishing to teaze her, I told her it was 
a horrid place, and that I never meant to go back 
again, at which Miss Marston looked delightfully 
annoyed. 

'Dent told me that she was very highly accom- 
plished; and I, remembering that he did not oare 
much about accomplishments when you and I knew 
him, gave him a slight hint of his more humble tastes, 
which he did not like at all. One has only to remind 
him of the existence of a certaiu Miss Margaret^ to 



% 



254 CLARA MORISON. 

make him look quite miserable yet. 'ELow silly she 
was afber all, for he has a olear three thousand a-year, 
and a beautij^l house and grounds ; and I am sure it 
will be long before she has such another offer. 

* You must address me . . .' 

* But the rest is of no consequence,' said Mrs. Ban- 
tam, folding up the letter. * The Miss Margaret 
mentioned here is yo\ir cousin, who was foolish enough 
to reftise Mr. Dent with three thousand a-year. I am 
sure the elder girl has &r more sense. But what has 
struck me, Clara, in putting what Miss Leicester says 
and what Mr. Keginald says together, is, that his sheep 
station being a very dull place for his beautiftil young 
wife, he thinks you would make a cheerftQ companion 
for her, and will be able to do many things wluch, of 
course, a lady brought up as she has been knows nothing 
about. ït is a great compliment to you, and I hope 
that what I have told you wiU quite set you at your 
ease wíth Mr. Keginald, who is all the same as a mar- 
ried man ; and any favoiir he may wish to do yon, you 
need have no scruple in accepting, for you can thank 
his wife for his kindness. and retum it to her in some 
way or other. Still, Clara, if I can make you as com- 
fortable as they can, remember I have a prior claim 
upon you. And now good night, child ; for it is twelve 
o'clock, and we must be up early to-morrow.' 

Mrs. Bantam lefb the room, but it was some time 
before Clara could move. When she had recovered 
in some degree from the stupor occasioned by this 
unexpected news, she rose languidly, and went to her 
bedroom. 

* She pitied her own heart 
As if she held it in her hand.' 

Reginald was then altogether out of her reach — all 
the same as a married man, Mrs. Bantam had said — 
and she felt sure that Miss Leicester's intelligence was 
true, from many little incidental expressions she had 
iieard him let Ml, which memory called up sharply 



8WEET AND BITTEH. 255 

before her again. His betrothed was so beautiful, so 
accomplished, and so amiable. Clara looked herself 
all over in the mirror, and quite scomed her preten- 
sions to beauty. She took a mental inventory of all 
she could not do, and thoughfc she must have been mad 
to hope ever to win the regard of one accustomed to 
qualifications so much higher than her own. 

* I have only seen him in company with Miss Water- 
stone, Mrs. Handy, and Mrs. Bantam,' thought she. 
* He íinds me more agreeable than they are, but that 
is no criterion ; for, oh ! how inferior am I to Miss 
Marston, and how completely I should be neglected if 
she were in his company ! If he expects me to become 
a companion to his wife, he wiU be disappointed; for 
I could not live with them, and be a constant spectator 
of her happiness and his love. I am not good enough 
to wish only for his happiness ; I cannot see my own 
life withered, and only smile over the wreck of hope 
and happiness. Why — why did I regard him, when 
he could not care for me? Did he not himself say of 
our first meeting that it was a pleasant passage, which 
led to nothing — nothing, alas I to him, but much — ^how 
much ! — ^to me. 

* A week ago, and the prospect of a restoration to 
my own j)osition, and the discovery of such kind and 
excellent friends, would have seemed like a fairy vision, 
too bríght to be realized; now I overlook all in the 
certainty that my affection is hopeless, as I might 
always have known it would be. 

* How Mrs. Baotam would despise me if she knew 
the suffering caused by the news that was to set me at 
my ease with him, she thought, for ever ! And he 
would scom me, too, for he never gave me any reason 
to think he cared at all for me. He was merely find- 
ing out if I should be a suitable companion for his 
lovely Julia; and I fancied that he was interested in 
my opinions and pleased with my tastes. 

* Oli I why did I come to this miserable Australia 1 — 
to be forced into love from utter vacuity of heart and 



256 CLABA KOEISOK. 

life, and to find now that no good fortune, no employ- 
ment, no fidends, can ever compensate for the pang of 
haying my love thrown back upon me as a thing value- 
less and vain. I am glad that I wrote cheeríully to 
Susan; she wiU not get such a joyous letter again, and 
I hope it may make her happy for months. God grant 
I may overlive this blow in time i' 



END OF VOL. L 



THE 



ANNOTATED EDITION 



OF THE 



ENGLISH POETS. 



BY 



ROBERT BELL, 

ÁVTHOB or 
^THE HI8T0RT OF BU8SIA,' 'LIVE8 OF THB ENGLISH P0ET8/ ETO. 



' I hold that no man ciui have any Just oonception of the History of England 
who has not often read, and roeditated, and learnt to love the great Poeta of 
England. The greatest of them, such as Chauoer, Shakspeare, Massinger, 
George Herbert, Milton, Cowley, Dryden, Pope, and Bums, often throw more 
rich and brilliant oolours, and sometimes even more olear and steady lighta, 
on the times and the doings of our forefáthert, than are to be gathered out of 
all the ohroniders together, ftnom the Venerable Bede to the Philosophioal 
Hume. They are at least the greatest and the best comroentators on those 
chroniders.'-'Sir Jamet Siephen on DesuUory and Syitematic Beading. 



LONDON: 
JOHN W. PABKER AND SON, WEST STRAND. 

1854. 



Mready Publisied, 

PoBTiCAL WosKs OF JoHK Dkydbf, VoL L, witíi Memob, 
oontaming New Facts and Original Leftters of the Poet. 

POBTICAL WOSKS OF THS EáSL OF SuBSBT, OF MiKOK CoH- 
TBMPOBAHBOUS PoBTS, ÁKD OF SaCKYIU:.B, I«01U> BuCK- 

HUB8T. With Notes and Memoirs. 

POBTICAL WOBKS OF JoHK DbYDBF, YoL IL 

Pobticál Wobks of William Ck)WPBB, YoL L 



O» tAe First of Maify 

PoBTiCAL WoBKS OF JoHH Dbtdbv, Third and oondudiiig 
Yolaine. 



Annotated Edition of the English Poets. 



rpHE necessity for a revised and careMly Annotated Edition 
-^ of the English Poets may be found in the fact, that no 
8uch publication ezists. The only CoUections we possess con- 
sist of naked and frequently imperfect Tezts, put forth without 
sufficient literary superyision. Independently of other defects, 
these voluminouB CoUections are incomplete as a whole, from 
their omisBÍons of many Poetfl whose works are of the highest 
interest, while the total absence of critical and illustratiye 
Notes renders them comparatively worthless to the Student 
of our National Literature. 

A few of our Poets have been edited separately by men well 
qualifíed for the imdertaking, and selected Specimens have 
appeared, accompanied by notices, which, as far as they go, 
answer the purpose for which they were intended. But these 
do not supply the want which is felt of a Complete Body of 
EngUshPoetry,edited throughoutwith judgment and integrity, 
and combining those features of research, typographical ele- 
gance, and economy of price, which the present age demands. 

The Edition now proposed wUl be distinguished from aU 
preceding Editions in many important respects. It wiU include 
the works of several Poets entirely omitted from previous Col- 
lections, especiaUy those stores of Lyrical and Ballad Poetry 
in which our Literature is richer than that of any other Country, 
and which, independently of their poetical daims, are pecuUarly 
interesting as iUustrations of Historical Events and National 
Customs. 

By the ezercise oí a strict principie of selection, this Edition 
wUl be rendered intrinsicaUy more yaluable than any of its pre- 
decessors. The Text wiU in aU instanoes be scrupulouslycol- 



í 



The EngUah Poets. 

lated, and accompanied by Biograpldcal, Critical, and HistoTÍcal 
Notes. 

An Intboductoby Yolumb will prcBent a succinct acooimt 
of English Foetry from the earliest times down to a peiiod 
which will connect it with the Series of the Foets, throagli 
whose Lives the History of our Foetical literatore will be 
continued to the present time. Occasional volnmes will be 
introduced, in which Specimens, with connectiiig Notices and 
Commentaries, will be given of those Foets whose works aie 
not of sufficient interest to be reproduced entire. The im- 
portant materials gathered from previously unexplored sonrceB 
by the researches of the hist quarter of a centuiy will be 
embodied wherever they may be available in the general design; 
and by these means it is hoped that the Collection will be moie 
complete than any that has been hitherto attempted, and tíui 
it wiU be rendered additionally acceptable as compiisinginiti 
course a Continuous History of English Foetry. 

By the arrangements that will be adopted, the Works of ihe 
principal Foets may be purchased separately and independently 
of the rest. The Occasional Volumes, containing, according 
to circumstances, Foetry of a particular Class or Feriod, Col- 
lections iUustrative of Customs, Manners, and Historical- 
events, or Specimens, with Critical Annotations, of the Minor 
Foets, wiU also be complete in themselves. 

As the works of each Foet, when completed, will be indepen- 
dent of the rest, although ultimately falling into their places 
in the Series, they will be issued irrespective of chronological 
sequence. This arrangement will present a greater choice 
and variety in the selection from month to month of poets of 
different styles and periods, and at the same time enable the 
Editor to take advantage of all new sources of information 
that may be opened to hÍTn in the progress of publication. 
General Title-pages wiU be finally supplied for combining the 
whole Collection into a chronological Series. 

London: John W. Fabkeb and SoN, West Strand. 



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