Page:The Boy Travellers in Australasia.djvu/470
THE BOY TRAVELLERS IN AUSTRALASIA.
Here light and easy Columbines are found,
The principal theatres of Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide will compare favorably with those of any other city on the globe, and there is hardly a town of any consequence at all that does not possess a minor theatre or a hall where entertainments are given occasionally. During the days of the gold rushes the mining regions proved more remunerative to the strolling actors who visited them than to the majority of the men who were digging for the precious metal.
The theatres of those days were often the rudest structures imaginable, and not infrequently performances were given in tents, and sometimes in enclosures that were open to the sun and rain. It is said that a performance of "Hamlet" was once given on an open-air stage in a pouring rain. Ophelia wore a water-proof cloak, and in the last scene in which she appeared she carried an umbrella. Polonius, being an old man, was permitted to wear an India-rubber coat; but Hamlet's youth did not permit such a protection from the weather, and when the play ended he bore a close resemblance to the survivor of an inundation of the Ohio valley, or a man rescued from a shipwreck on the Atlantic coast.Beyond Goulbourn the railway carried our friends through the district of Riverina, famous for its pastoral and agricultural attractions. At Albury they crossed the Murray River and entered the colony of