An Autobiography HTML version

older and much richer than himself, and she was living on two acres in North Adelaide,
bought with her money at the first sale of city lands in 1837, and Mr. Tinline boarded
with her till his marriage. The nephews, and especially the nieces, of the old lady
interested me--Lucy, the eldest, a handsome girl, was about two years younger than
myself; Arabella, about the age of my sister Mary; Elizabeth, the baby Beare, who was
the first white person to set foot on South Australian soil after the foundation of the
province, died from a burning accident when quite young. The only survivor of that first
family now is William L. Beare (84), held in honour as one of our earliest pioneers. By a
second marriage there were nine more children. Several died young, but some still
It was not till 1843 that I went as a daily governess at the rate of 6d. an hour, and gave
two hours five days a week to the families of the Postmaster-General, the Surveyor-
General, and the Private Secretary. Thus I earned three guineas a month. I don't recollect
taking holidays, except a week at Christmas. I enjoyed the work, and I was proud of the
payment. My mother said she never felt the bitterness of poverty after I began to earn
money, and the shyness which, in spite of all her instructions and encouragement, I had
felt with all strangers, disappeared when I felt independent. When a girl is very poor, and
feels herself badly dressed, she cannot help being shy, especially if she has a good deal of
Scotch pride. I think mother felt more sorry for me in those early days than for the others,
because I was so ambitious, and took religious difficulties so hard. How old I felt at 17.
Indeed, at 14 I felt quite grown up. In 1843 I felt I had begun the career in Australia that I
had anticipated in Scotland. I was trusted to teach little girls, and they interested me, each
individual with a difference. I had seen things I had written in print. If I was one of the
oldest in feeling of the young folk in South Australia in my teens, I am the youngest
woman in feeling in my eighties; so I have had abundant compensation.