Not a member?     Existing members login below:
Holidays Offer
 

An Autobiography

and left me as full of life and vigour and zeal as I had ever been. Our work had by no
means been confined to the city and suburbs, as we spoke at a few country towns as well.
At Albury, where we stopped on our way back to Victoria, we were greeted by a crowded
and enthusiastic audience in the fine hall of the Mechanics' Institute. We had passed
through a snowstorm just before reaching Albury, and the country was very beautiful in
the afternoon, when our friends drove us through the district. The Murray was in flood,
and the "water, water everywhere" sparkling in the winter sunshine, with the snowcapped
Australian Alps in the background, made an exquisite picture. Albury was the only town
we visited in our travels which still retained the old custom of the town crier. Sitting in
the room of the hotel after dinner, we were startled at hearing our names and our mission
proclaimed to the world at large, to the accompaniment t of a clanging bell and
introduced by the old-fashioned formula, "Oyez! oyez! oyez!" Our work in Victoria was
limited, but included a delightful trip to Castlemaine. We were impressed with the fine
Mechanics' Hall of that town, in which we spoke to a large audience. But a few years
later the splendid building, with many others in the town, was razed to the ground by a
disastrous cyclone. Returning from Castlemaine, we had an amusing experience in the
train. I had laid aside my knitting, which is the usual companion of my travels, to teach
Mrs. Young the game of "Patience," but at one of the stations a foreign gentleman entered
the carriage, when we immediately put aside the cards. After chatting awhile, he
expressed regret that he had been the cause of the banishment of our cards, and "Would
the ladies not kindly tell him his fortune also?" He was as much amused as we were when
we explained that we were reformers and not fortune tellers. I have been a great lover of
card games all my life; patience in solitude. and cribbage, whist, and bridge have been the
almost invariable accompaniments of my evenings spent at home or with my friends.
Reading and knitting were often indulged in, but patience was a change and a rest and
relief to the mind. I have always had the idea that card games are an excellent incentive to
the memory. We had an afternoon meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall to inaugurate a
league in Victoria, at which Dr. Barrett, the Rev. Dr. Bevan, Professor Nanson, and I
were the principal speakers. Just recently I wrote to the Victorian Minister who had
charge of the Preferential Voting Bill in the Victorian Parliament to ask him to consider
the merits of effective voting; but, like most other politicians, the Minister did not find
the time opportune for considering the question of electoral justice for all parties. I
remained in Victoria to spend a month with my family and friends after Mrs. Young
returned to Adelaide. The death of my dear brother John, whose sympathy and help had
always meant so much to me, shortly after my return, followed by that of my brother
William in New Zealand, left me the sole survivor of the generation which had sailed
from Scotland in 1839.
Remove