Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 4/Recent explorations in Australia by John MacDougall Stuart

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Once a Week, Series 1, Volume IV (1860-1861)
Recent explorations in Australia by John MacDougall Stuart
by William Campbell
2687057Once a Week, Series 1, Volume IV — Recent explorations in Australia by John MacDougall Stuart
1860-1861William Campbell

ANA.


The Marquiss of Westminster's Diamonds.—We have heard people talk of Prince Esterhazy's jewels, but we need not go so far as Austria for some first-rate specimens, English by ownership, though not of home manufacture. It is well known that the insignia of the late Marquis of Westminster were far more splendid than those of any other Knight of the Garter. The jewels that he wore at Court on "collar days" and other grand occasions were of enormous value, and two of them were made heir-looms by his will. Some idea of the value of the entire set may be formed when we state that one of the diamonds which Lord Westminster was accustomed to wear on the pommel of the sword which he used on State occasions cost him no less than 30,000l.

The Alchymist.—During the Seven Years' War, an alchymist offered his services to Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, for the purpose of converting iron into gold. "By no means!" answered the Duke: "I want iron to fight the French, and as for gold, I get it from England. But if you are able to convert mice and rats into calves and oxen, you are my man. The former make great havoc in my military stores; and the latter, I stand in great need of."

Napoleon and the Governor of Sevilla.— "If the town does not surrender," said Napoleon to the governor, "within three days, je la ferai raser."—"Permit me to doubt it," was the quaint reply. "Your Majesty would certainly not like to add to your titles of Emperor of the French and King of Italy, also that of Barber of Sevilla!"


THE FRATRICIDE.

(FINNISH)

O where have ye been the morn sae late,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
O where have ye been the morn sae late?
And I wot I hae but anither.
By the water-gate, by the water-gate,
O dear mither.

And whatten kin' o' wark had ye there to make,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And whatten kin' o' wark had ye there to make?
And I wot I hae but anither.
I watered my steeds with water frae the lake,
O dear mither.

Why is your coat sae fouled the day,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
Why is your coat sae fouled the day?
And I wot I hae but anither.
The steeds were stamping sair by the weary banks of clay,
O dear mither.

And where gat ye thae sleeves of red,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And where gat ye thae sleeves of red?
And I wot I hae but anither.
I have slain my ae brither by the weary water-head,
O dear mither.

And where will ye gang to mak your mend,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And where will ye gang to mak your mend?
And I wot I hae not anither.
The warldis way, to the warldis end,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave your father dear,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave your father dear?
And I wot I hae not anither.
The wood to fell and the logs to bear,
For he'll never see my body mair,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave your mither dear,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave your mither dear?
And I wot I hae not anither.
The wool to card and the wool to wear,
For ye'll never see my body mair,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave for your wife to take,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave for your wife to take?
And I wot I hae not anither.
A goodly gown and a fair new make,
For she'll do nae mair for my body's sake,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave your young son fair,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave your young son fair?
And I wot ye hae not anither.
A twiggen school-rod for his body to bear,
Though it garred him greet he'll get nae mair,
O dear mither.

And what will ye leave your little daughter sweet,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And what will ye leave your little daughter sweet?
And I wot ye hae not anither.
Wild mulberries for her mouth to eat,
She'll get nae mair though it garred her greet,
O dear mither.

And when will ye come back frae roamin',
My merry son, come tell me hither?
And when will ye come back frae roamin'?
And I wot I hae not anither.
When the sunrise out of the north is comen,
O dear mither.

When shall the sunrise on the north side be,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
When shall the sunrise on the north side be?
And I wot I hae not anither.
When chuckie-stanes shall swim in the sea,
O dear mither.

When shall stanes in the sea swim,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
When shall stanes in the sea swim?
And I wot I hae not anither.
When birdies' feathers are as lead therein,
O dear mither.

When shall feathers be as lead,
My merry son, come tell me hither?
When shall feathers be as lead?
And I wot I hae not anither.
When God shall judge between the quick and dead,
O dear mither.A. C. Swinburne


THE VICTORIAN EXPLORING
EXPEDITION.

In our Part for February last year, we took the opportunity of bringing before our readers the almost fabulous account of the journey of the intrepid explorer Stuart, who, starting from Adelaide, crossed the continent of Australia to within 200 miles of the Gulf of Carpentaria, this too with only two companions and eleven horses. Since then this same gentleman, on a second attempt, penetrated to within 90 miles of the Northern Shore, and we trust, on his third attempt which he is now prosecuting, he will be successful in reaching the sea.

Meantime the more wealthy colony of Victoria started a magnificently equipped expedition, consisting of eighteen officers and men, upwards of twenty camels (which had been brought from India, at a great expense), and a vast equipage of horses and waggons, carrying provisions for twelve months, amounting to about twenty tons.

Well might the Melbourne people flatter themselves, as they saw this imposing cavalcade defile out of their town, in August, 1860, that success was in their grasp—that hostile natives and want of water, which had checked the gallant Stuart, would offer no impediments to them. But how sad the tale that has reached us within the last few days, that of the brave-hearted men who penetrated to the opposite shore, one by one perished from exhaustion, leaving a solitary individual, who owed his life to a tribe of natives, to tell the story of all the heroic daring and patient sufferings.

So sad a close to such brilliant hopes may well mar the satisfaction of the Victorians at being the first to achieve the task, long proposed in vain to Australian explorers, the more so since it is incontestible that the sacrifice of so many valuable lives, the loss of much of this splendid equipage, and the scanty information gained at so tremendous a cost, was owing to the expedition being deficient in discipline, unanimity, and observance of orders.

The individuals who composed thin ill-fated party, consisted of Robert O'Hara; Burke, the leader; Landells, in charge of the camels; Wills, a surveyor and astronomer; Beckler, surgeon and geologist, and thirteen others, of whom three were Sepoys.

Starting from Melbourne in August, 1860, it was the intention of the party to proceed in a body to Cooper's Creek, about a third of the way across the continent, here a depôt was to be formed, and left in charge of two or three of the expedition whilst the others were to make their way to the Gulf.

The intention of forming a depôt here was that the flying Party might fall back upon it, and in the meantime it was to be refurnished from Melbourne, with further means of conveyance and provisions.

Long before they had reached Cooper's Creek, Burke and Lsndells quarrelled; the latter abandoned the expedition, and, taking with him Beckler the surgeon and several of the camels, returned to Melbourne. Nothing daunted, though shorn of more than half his strength, Burke, with three companions—-Wills the astronomer and the two men King and Gray—started from the depôt at Cooper's Creek, on the 16th December, with six camels, several horses, and three months' provision, to undertake the gigantic task before him.

We gather from the memoranda left by Wills, as well as from the despatch of the brave yet unfortunate leader, found in the "cache," that they had discovered a practicable route to the Gulf of Carpentaria, on the line chiefly of the 140° E. longitude, following which they reached the sea on February 11th, 1861. The country through which they travelled far surpassed anything we have usually been led to expect of the interior of Australia. True it is that, here and there, we read of tracts of stony ground and unavailable territory; but, generally speaking, almost every other entry or so in the memoranda contains a notice of that element, to Australians more precious than any other—water, in the condition either of creeks, lagoons, or rivers. Much of Page:Once a Week Dec 1861 to June 1862.pdf/227