JAMM 12th Dec 1884
Journal from the P&O Steamer ‘Ganges’ Sydney to London.
Mr, Mrs, Miss McConnell.
Mr, Miss and young Douglas (left at Malta)
Mr Dubern (Frenchman. Left at Columbo)
Miss Millatt (Left at Adelaide)
Mr Farquhar Scott (left at Albany)
Mr Fenwick (Dr)
Mr Grunow (Left at Colombo)
Mr Schwarz ditto
Mr Shaw Ditto
Mr Hislop Ditto
Mr Addington Ditto
Mr & Mrs Rigney & infant.
Mr and Misses Moir (left at Albany)
Mr & Mrs Conlan
Mr & Mrs Bray & son )
Miss Bray ) from Adelaide
Miss [Poke?] )
Mr & Miss Solomon
Mr & Mrs Barlow Roderick & child
Mrs Johnson (left at Colombo)
Mr Cooper (left at Colombo)
Mr Cayley (Pemberton Coll contab)
Mr Wenz (Frenchman)
Mr & Mrs Cochran (came from Colombo)
Mr Hall from Malta
Mr Hay from Malta
Mr Washhouse [?]
Mr Williams from Malta
Friday 12th December 1884.
Sydney, New South Wales.
At X o’clock I left “Glen Ayr,” leaving Grace and Mrs Stephney[?] and Marie Russell and [Lina?] Stephen to follow me to the ship, P& O Steamer “Ganges” lying at Circular Quay. I first of all went to A.J.S. Bank and obtained from them £75 in sovereign to carry with me on the voyage. From thence to Water Police Court, sent Constable Flaherty with several boxes to the wharf and went with Milly and little Jack on board about XI. Found a great concourse of people (and friends) came to wish us good bye. Lady Manning and daughter, Mrs James Manning and Annie, Fanny and Wise, the Stephens, Captain Preston, C. Cowper, W.W. Stephen.
The solicitors headed by Levie M.P. had proposed to present me with a gold locket as a mark of their respect and it was arranged after some difficulty with Captain and Health Officers, that I should go down with them in the Police Launch “Nemesis” as faar as Bradley’s Head and that the Steamer should stop at that point and take me no board there. I therefore left the ship and went down the harbour as far as the point arranged. On board were the following solicitors:-
W Roberts sen, H. Levien M.P., F. Gannan, Hill, Lowe, Wallace, Barry Hourigan, Brady and Inspectors Anderson, Walen, Donahue and Attwell, also Joseph of [Nousance?] Seymour and three of my colleagues, Addison, Abbott and Johnson, (Buchanan, Clarke and Yates not being able to get across from the Police Courts). Roberts as Senior Solicitor addressed me in very complimentary terms and then presented the locket in question. Inspector Anderson also expressed himself favourably on the part of the Police, and Inspector Seymour on the part of the Corporation of its Officers. I did not get on board the “Ganges” till 10 o’clock, when I found all the passengers were at lunch, Grace however, was on deck, watching the proceedings of the Nemesis, and she and I, after I got on board, remained waving our handkerchiefs till we got as far as the “Heads” and the launch was out of sight and we bid adieu to our many kind friends for awhile. This saying good bye is a terrible wrench to one’s feelings, as the poet Shakespeare says “in every parting there is an image of death.”
Saturday 13th December 1884
Lovely weather. Our passengers consist of Mr, Mrs and Miss McConnell from Queensland, Mr, Miss and young Douglas, also from Queensland. Miss Millat, a pretty ladylike girl, who is going only to Adelaide to meet a lady friend and return again to Sydney.
Miss Boodle, who came out as Governess to Mrs Drysdale, the pretty widow.
Mr McCutcheon, a young Civil Service Officer, (who has been staying at the Mitchells) on sick leave.
Mr Dubern, a clever Electrician, going to Colombo, there to await orders.
Mr Farquhar Scott, a young Bank Inspector en route to “Perth.”
Mr Grunow, a German Naturalist who has 6,000 specimens of seaweed, going to write a book.
In the evening had music and singing in the “Music Hall.” Miss McConnell, Miss Douglas and the Captain (Andrews) the performers. He has a good voice. And Miss McConnell plays well and has been well taught by some good master abroad, on the Continent.
Grace and I occupy a 2 berth cabin midships, opposite the Engine. I had previously chosen a 3 berth one aft, but the fear of the vibration of the screw induced Grace, on the advice of Lady Manning, to change it. But the noise and thumping of the Engine, all night, disturbed y rest and I am [treating?] for a 4 berth cabin aft, which the Agents and Purser have promised me, in the event of no one taking it in Melbourne.
Sunday 14th December 1884
Very cloudy drizzly weather. We arrived at Williamstown Pier about 4 o’clock in afternoon, and on the opposite side of Pier the Orient Steamer “Sorata” (just arrived from England) lay. We were inundated with sightseers from Melbourne who regularly rushed the decks, and saloon shortly after our arrival. The Stewards were busy looking after the cabins for fear of intrusion. Indeed this was very necessary for the crowd appeared certainly wanting in manners, and sat themselves down in the chairs in the cuddy as well as the passenger chairs on deck.
The Captain changed his seat at dinner today, and took the bottom of the table instead of his usual place in the middle opposite Grace and myself, and having on his left Miss Nuttal and Miss Boodle and on his right Miss Douglas. This change seemed to arise from his having 2 lady friends dining with him, and who came, I believe from Melbourne and as they were not introduced and kept aloof, I do not know their names or their “genus.” The Captain is a very attentive man, especially to young ladies, to whom he has commenced to give “afternoon teas” in his cabin, interspersed with (I hear) his views of the different kinds of “Love” in the World, the Parent’s, the wife’s, the child’s, the Lover’, &c &c, and he is a married man and supposed to be a safe specimen of humanity.
Monday 15th December 1884
Great noise throughout the ship. The discipline hitherto (at sea) kept up, very much released whilst alongside the Pier. The morning broke with rain clouds and a bleak wind, and shortly after breakfast heavy showers fell. The Captain, as at dinner yesterday, located himself at the end of the Cuddy Table, instead of in the centre, and entertained two of his lady friends, (evidently from the shore). Douglas and McConnell started before and for the purpose of “foraging,” for some Inn to stay at for the next few days; Grace, Miss Millat and I started a little while after them but they missed the train, and we overtook them at the Station, and then we went altogether on to Melbourne, by train 9d each. We passed through a flat and uninteresting country. Many of the houses appeared built of wood, and only temporary structures. On reaching the station, we hired a one horse waggonette, and drove to a Miss Goulds, Parliament Place, where we took lodgings. Had lunch at 1, and then Grace, Miss Millat and I went sight-seeing, first to the R.C. Cathedral, St Patricks, where we saw several female devotees on their knees worshipping. We then strolled to the Picture Gallery, and saw the fine painting of “Esther” not long since purchased from London by this gallery. Miss Millat saw it in the Exhibition in London shortly before she came out. Another oil painting “A Question of Propriety,” representing a dancing girl, before the Priests and Officers of the Inquisition. There were a great many other nice pictures, but though the Gallery itself was much better than the Sydney buildings, yet I do not think the pictures themselves were either so numerous or so valuable. Not so the statuary. This was far superior to ours. A fresh purchase, a group of goats by a young artist (Summers) attracted our attention and a cast of Dr Johnson’s head which no doubt was a faithful likeness of the lexicography brought up the memories of the past. There were several large portraits, one of Lord Melbourne, Sir Henry Barclay, a former Governor, and a large one of that huge mountain of flesh, the late Sir John O’Shagnatty. As the rain had somewhat moderated we made a start “for home.” Miss Nuttal however preferred returning to the Ship “Ganges” having a sample about leaving a Miss Boodle (another passenger) alone by herself, and not being brought with her any of the paraphernalia of dress. I forgot to mention that at “Lunch at the Boarding House,” I found two Sydney people, one a Mr April Haviland who married a Miss [Budda? Kindsa?] who is a wonderful medium and wrote the poem “Dorothy” while in a trance, he too is a thorough believer in Spiritualism. The other person was my namesake, Digby Marsh, son of Colonel Marsh of the Royal Engineers, and cousin of Frederick Marsh of Wellington N.S.W. In the evening a still greater number of lodgers sat down to dinner, mostly young men, one the Doctor of the “Sorata.” Miss Gould, the Proprietoress has two adjoining houses which she rents. Posted letters from Grace for Fanny, Mrs M.H. Stephen, Marie, and George Pinnock and I sent one to Aunt Sophy and another to Fanny under cover of Wise. And in Melbourne I sent a registered letter to Milly with cheques inclosed for Mr Calvert, £6.11, a Newman Photograph £2.13.6.
Tuesday 16th December 1884
Had breakfast at 8.15. Very cold and occasional showers of rain. Grace writing to Milbourne and others. About 2 we went in to Melbourne, and drove to the Post Office, where Campbell Yorke, (who has been staying in Victoria some weeks or so) agreed to meet us at 1. He took us to the Melbourne Coffee Palace for lunch. He informed Grace, that he had made arrangements for taking a curacy in Melbourne, subject to the consent of the Bishop of Brisbane, in whose Diocese (Rockhampton) he now is. His own health, (when he means, Cecil’s health being, or likely to [?] hot wind prejudiced by the Queensland climate. I purchased Holman’s Liver [pad?] for Yorke, as he said he had for the first time suffered so much from sea sickness, when coming from Sydney, and which I had escaped from (I think) wearing one. Strolled a little about the town, and then Grace and Yorke walked to the Fitzroy Gardens, whilst I remained to have my hair cut at a shop near the Church of England Cathedral. The man who cut it, knew me, he reminded me that I had fined at the Water Police Court, some short time ago, for Sunday [thieving, drinking?]. Met Mrs A Cruickshank and her daughter, Jessie just outside the shop, they are going to New Zealand tomorrow at 12 o’clock. I went to Coles Book Shop afterwards but as it was coming on to rain, I returned to the lodgings about 5, Grace coming from her walk just at the same time.
After dinner at the lodgings Grace and I walked to the Oriental Hotel, in Collins St, not far from our lodgings to see Mrs Cruikshank and her daughter, stayed talking till nearly 11 o’clock. Agnes C, much annoyed at the extravagant charges a livery stable keeper has made for an afternoon drive (from 2 to 5.30) about the town, no less than £1.15! Ashley Moore ordered it for them. On going to bed found the bed room full of gas. Opened both the door and windows but without much advantage. Tried to sleep through it, but could not, eyes and tongues effected by tasting it as it were. Felt nervous about the possibility of an explosion, and danger to our health.
Heard Sir E. Strickland and John [Mann?] were both in Melbourne.
Wednesday 17th December 1884
Kept awake all night, owing to the escape of gas. One of the lodgers upstairs neglected to turn off the screw and our bedroom was filled with it, had to open the window all night. After breakfast took a cab, drove to the Agents of the ship and obtained a letter for Grace from T. Icely. Thence on in the direction of the Bishop and Deans residences near Fitzroy Gardens. On our way met Broderick of Sydney who made us turn back a few yards to see his wife who is staying with her daughter, Mrs Purves, the barrister, to whom Broderick introduced me. The house is a very handsome one, and furnished accordingly. I got out of the cab and walked a little way with Grace in the Fitzroy Gardens which is more noticeable for its shrubberies and trees than for its gardens. From hence we drove to the Yorke Diocese Registry Office, where we had agreed to meet Yorke at XI o’clock. He was very punctual as he was going to leave for Sydney by steamer at 12. I gave him the travelling bag I borrowed form Milly, and asked him to deliver it to Chris Russell on arrival in Sydney. We afterwards went to the Markets, a heavy shower made us undetermined where next to go but as the storm cleared away, we got in to an omnibus and drove to the Zoological Gardens, some little distance away, passing on the road there the University and Colleges on the right hand side, catching sight of the Exhibition Building, large Brewery &c &c. We were much pleased in walking through the Zoological Gardens, not only are the gardens themselves well kept, with numerous parterres with dozens[?] of flowers in full bloom scenting the atmosphere, but the animals seemed all choice ones, well fed and attended to. A magnificent Lion, Tiger, Panther, Leopard attracted our especial attention, the Ourangontang, Esquimaux dog, were next to this. We returned by 1 o’clock in a waggonette to Melbourne, had lunch at the Melbourne Coffee Palace, where we lunched with Yorke yesterday. And then walked about Bourke, Collins, Swanston, Elizabeth Streets. Purchased Christmas cards, and one or two books for light reading. Returned to Miss Gould’s lodgings ( Parliament Place, No.3, Bella Vista) packed up our boxes, paid the bill 16/- a day for two of us, and hired a waggonette to take us to the Pier at Williamstown where the “Ganges” was lying. The distance from Melbourne is nearly 10 miles. And the fare by train 9d each. We commenced on reaching the shop to change our cabin we had occupied amidship two berth cabin on Port side, nearly opposite the Engines, from the noise of which I suffered considerably and we were allowed to go into No.37, a 4 berth cabin, aft but which though far more roomy and comfortable was rendered also uncomfortable from the proximity to the screw, which caused us to feel the vibrating motion more than in the other cabin. We found it very cold today, on board a cold wind blowing from S.West.
Grace and I occupied in the evening writing letters for Sydney.
Landing and staying in Melbourne cost all together £5.10.
Thursday 18th December 1884
Sent the following letters off by the Postman who came on board to deliver letters, viz;
Lady Manning from Grace.
Lady Stephen from Grace with Christmas card.
Marie Russell from Grace.
Mrs Garvin from Grace with Photograph.
Mrs O’Brien from Grace with Christmas Card
Miss Campbell from Grace.
Milbourne, from Grace
Mrs Wise from Grace.
Mrs Wise from myself.
Milly from myself
S.F. Wise from myself.
Plunkett from myself with date of lease.
A. McDonald from myself.
Mrs M.H. Stephen from myself with Christmas Card.
Jack from myself.
We did not leave our moorings till between 12 and 1 o’clock and a great many more passengers came on board for various ports. Amongst others Mr Fenwick, who is going as far as King George’s Sound, in his way to “Perth” where he has received a [home?] appointment of Harbour Master. Mr Fenwick was formerly in H.M.S. “Elio[?]” and subsequently Clerk in the [Emmigration, Transportation?] Office under Wise, and he has asked Grace and myself to call and see his father, Admiral Fenwick, on arrival in England. He sings and plays on the piano agreeably, and in the evening in the Music Hall, was the only one who sang. Miss Douglas played a few waltzes, and Miss Millat and Miss Boodle, lay on the benches, the former feeling headachy and having recourse to [Someling?] Salts.
After the ship had left Williamstown, the Steward delivered to us the following letters which had been sent by the Agents to the ship, too late however, to answer them.
1 from Milly to me.
1 from Fanny.
1 from Wise with inclosure.
1 from Griffiths (official) with £5 for Post Box.
1 from Mrs Donkin.
1 from Scholes milkman (receipt).
Amused tonight by Miss Millat satirically describing (to herself) the Captain as partly a Bacchus and partly a Cupid with a monkey jacket round him. The Captain’s rejoinder seemed to take for a fact, when he remarked that Cupid was very seldom represented with any clothes on!.
Friday 19th December 1884
Had a very rough night of it. Heavy swell on, off “Cape Otway” which we passed during the night, and the ship rolled from side to side all night long. Could not sleep and awoke this morning with great pain in back of head and nape of neck, could hardly turn my neck round from a feeling of stiffness, could not shave myself, and had to send for the ship’s Barber to shave me, ( a Lascar). Very few ladies at the breakfast table. Mrs and Miss McConnell, Miss Millat, Miss Boodle all suffering from mal-de-mer and those whose names I do not know. Miss Millat and Miss Boodle occupy the same cabin together now and at about 11,they came on deck, reclining in chairs, and [carried?] by Captain and Mr DeBuen, from one part of the deck to the other, withersoever they whims or caprices desired.
Lost my silver pencil case, and it must have tumbled out of my pocket I suppose and rolled along somewhere.
Saturday 20th December 1884
About 9 o’clock in the morning, we anchored in the Roadhead opposite “Glenelg” which is built on a very broad beautiful beach extending some distance, upon which carriages and horsemen were driving and riding along. The Pier too extended far into the sea and puts me in mind of the old Pier at Ryde. Many of the passengers with the Captain went on shore soon after arriving. Grace and I went off in the Tug about XI o’clock. The train left in about a quarter of an hour and we reached Adelaide in about 20 minutes. We walked to the Port Office and posted our letters.
1 to Fanny from Grace and myself.
1 to Milbourne from me.
1 to Griffiths inclosing the £5 he had sent me for Poor Box, W-
1 to Marie inclosing another to Chris.
1 to George Pinnock from Grace.
1 to Mrs Donkin.
1 to Dr Viyngdon[?]
1 to Mrs Dowling.
1 to A. McDonald (McDonald Smith esq.)
We then took a hansome cab, drove up King William St, then two smaller streets to a Coffee Palace where we had lunch, and at 1.15 took the same cab and drove to the Botanical Gardens. Got out and walked about, admiring the way the gardens were laid out, and how well kept under the supervision of a Dr Schonkey[?] (a German). The Greenhouses too appeared full of rare exotics. Adelaide is a pretty town, some of the public buildings, which are all concentrated in a large square are remarkably fine. And the trams, which are worked with horses appeared to me far preferable to those of Sydney worked with [horses, undes?] All the Banks are large, fine buildings, and one in particular “Bank of South Australia” a most admirable piece of architecture, Corinthian pillars introduced in every part of the building. The Hospital adjacent to the Botanic Gardens appeared to be a very handsome edifice, and several other public institutions along that line of road attacked attention. King William Street is a fine large wide street. Adelaide is built at the [front?] of a lofty range of hills, which act as a background to the town and looked at from seaward gives it a very pretty effect. There are two lines of Railway from the Pier to the Town, we went one way and returned the other, reaching the Pier on our return little before 4, where we found several of our fellow passengers, McConnell, Douglas, &c, also awaiting the Tug Boat to take us to the ship. Several other passengers came on board but whose names as yet, have not been made known. The day was beautifully fine, and much warmer then any we had experienced since leaving Sydney. Notwithstanding, I felt very unwell all day, having had a severe and sudden attack of pain in the kidneys, which rendered walking unpleasant. Had recourse to Dr Fischer’s medicines, which relieved me to a certain extent of the pain. Our pretty fellow passenger from Sydney (Miss Mallet) left the ship for good today, she is to remain in Adelaide till the arrival of the “Austral,” (Orient Line) from England, in which steamer she expects a young lady, who is coming out as her assistant, in the School or College at Ashfield, of which she is appointed Principal, and the Government of N.S. Wales. We met her in the tram from Glenelg to Adelaide where she got out with two other young lady friends, whom she did not introduce, but added as she left, in an offhand way, that she intended being at the Pier at 4 to bid adieu to the passengers, but we never saw her again! She is a perfect paradox, young, pretty, clever, sarcastic, seeking attention and getting it, and yet cold and heartless apparently. She says so herself, which at first I thought was merely ‘facon de parler’ on her part, but on further insight into her character, is, I fear, too painfully true. She does not look more than 24, and yet she has been chosen in England for the Head of College at Ashfield, at £300 a year. She had a similar offer to go to India at £600 a year but being consumptive her Doctors recommended her going to N.S. Wales instead. I should not be surprised at her turning Roman Catholic one of these days.
We sat down at the table at dinner about 50 people in all. One of the new comers, a lday, in the cabin next to our’s desperately ill, all night, from sea sickness.
The fare going to Glenelg in the Tug and back here 8/- for two
Left Glenelg about 5 o’clock pm.
Sunday 21st December 1884
Heavy sea on all last night. A head wind blowing, a good deal of rolling and some pitching. Neither of which seem to affect me, to my surprise! Number of passengers absent. Miss McConnell did not make her appearance all day, nor Mr McCutcheon.
At XI o’clock the Captain read the Morning Service in the cabin. About 20 people attending. The wind very cold and I went on deck for a short time. In consequence of the rolling of the Ship this morning, I was obliged to send for the Lascar Barber to shave me. The Captain at dinner amused Miss Boodle with a description of his wife’s “first attempt at making a task!” [tash?] And also with the examination he went through by the Medical Officer, preparatory to having his life assured, and who pronounced he had “too large a heart”!! The Captain of a facetious turn of mind, and in figure and face would not be a bad representative at a Faery Ball, of Henry VIII, or even “Blue Beard” at a Pantomime. He never the less read the Service uncommonly well, has a capital voice, admirable intonation, and properly emphasizes his words at the proper time and place. He is a sharp, clever man, has seen the World, good reader of character, and he knows a thing or two “as he could express himself, withal a kind hearted man I believe.
Monday 22nd December 1884
Very cold on deck, cold wind. Suffering much from pain in kidney, and pain in head and nape of neck. Too Dr Fischer’s medicine for kidney (No.2 Pulsatilea)
Tuesday 23rd December 1884
Very heavy sea, cold wind blowing, writing letters all day long.
I wrote to Fanny.
Wise (inclosing copy of letter to Plunkett)
Williams (Crown Solicitor, as to extension of Leave)
Plunkett (Under Secretary as to Leave.)
Grace wrote to Mrs O’Brien
Mrs James Manning
Mrs M.H. Stephen
So rough obliged to get Ship’s Barber (a Lascar) to shave me fro the third time.
Wednesday 24th December 1884
Reached King George Sound at about 9 o’clock a.m. and we applauded getting into smooth water after rolling about last night. After breakfast the Health Officer (Dr Rogers) came on board as a matter of form for our examination took place. And then the passengers, 3 young girls and their mother (Muir by name) left together with Fenwick who is going to Perth as Harbour Master there, and Woodcott who is going to inspect the Banks of Perth. We accompanied them on shore to Albany which is not more than a mile from where our ship “Ganges” lay. The names of the passengers were Mr Schwartz, Shaw, Miss Soloman, we landed at the Pier, and went straight to the Post Office and got stamps and posted our letters for Sydney, which will probably remain some time before an opportunity of a steamer coming in to forward them. I met on the way Mr Loftie who is Government Resident and P.M. at Albany. He introduced himself to me and to his wife and insisted on my lunching with him which I did, he is sending his son, Henry, a boy of 10 years old, to England for his education and under the immediate charge of Miss Brown (pronounced Brun) a lady who came out to Perth to look after some people [purpose?]. She lives in Western Australia, her brother is Chief Officer on board the P.O. vessel, [“Albany”?) is engaged to Miss Boodle in our ship. And Loftie told me her other brother, though he does not claim the title, is the present Baronet, Sir – Brown. Mr Loftie is worthy his name, a very tall man upwards of 6 foot 3 inches. And I like him much, a gentlemany, well mannered man, perfectly thrown away in such a little town as Albany is, with a population of only 1,000 inhabitants! His brother in England, a clergyman, was formerly lecturer at the Savoy Chapel, London and has written a great number of books of an Archeological character. One especially (in 2 volumes) on London. A great man on Heraldry, specimens of which while Government Resident, seeing I liked the sort of thing showed me, in which the Loftie family is traced from the times of one of the King Edwards. He bears the same arms, motto and crest as Lord [Acgurin?] Loftus, whose family (the Ely) is a younger branch, and when Lord Loftus, ancestor, was made Lord Chancellor and enobled, they changed their name of Loftie to Loftus. From being Government Resident, Mr Loftie keeps a sort of open house and entertains every one of any position, who calls is coming from or going to England in the different steamers. When the Flag Squadron went to Sydney some years ago, the young Princes spent a fortnight with him. And I believe in addition to his salary of £500 a year, he has lately been allowed an extra £100 a year for the expenses such [pricey?] entertainments as a cast upon him.
In addition to Miss Brown and young Loftie, two other passengers came on board from “Albany.” Miss Burley and Miss Sadler, the former connected with the Scholastic Institution at Perth (under the supervision of the Bishop) and a proficient in music and gold medalist besides. The latter, a Miss Sadler, has been a pupil Teacher in one of the schools Miss Burleigh has had the management of, and is going to Germany (being clever though only 17) to study and finish her education in Germany.
We did not leave the Roadstead at Albany which is a very land locked harbour till nearly 5 having had more cargo in the shape of wool and tin. The weather was fine but cold with a strong wind blowing, which together with the roughness of the sea, caused us to ship much water when going in the Tug boat from the ship to the Pier.
In the evening the ladies were practicing chants and hymns on the Harmonium in the Saloon, to prepare themselves for tomorrow’s Christmas services.
Miss Burley has only been 6 months from England, and is now unexpectedly returning there. She was engaged for 3 years to be at the head of a Government Educational Department, but on the voyage out from England, met a Doctor on board who is a resident of India, she became engaged to him, hence her contract with the Perth Authorities came to an end, though I understand, not without some considerable sum of money being given to absolve her from the agreement she had entered into. She appears clever, and is evidently one of the ‘advanced progress women” of the day. Has a Certificate of Merit from the Academy of Middlesex, London.
Posted all the letters Grace and I wrote yesterday at the Post Office, Albany, this morning.
Paid 2.4 postage
Thursday 25th December 1884
Christmas Day. We had a very disturbed night of it last night. Ship rolling much. Still cold and windy. I sat on deck however in the day time with two great coats on and rug wrapped round me. Had service at 11, read by the Captain, and the young ladies formed themselves with the aid of Mr and Mrs Bowen, into a capital choir.
The Saloon was decorated with evergreens and numbers of flags and “Union Jacks.”
The Captain gave us a capital dinner and a large cake covered with sugar, more like a wedding cake, surmounted with a good effigy of Father Christmas. As dessert was finished, I asked permission of the Captain to propose a Toast, he not knowing what to was coming. I therefore rose and said to the ladies and gentlemen, That on a festive occasion like the present where everyone was enjoying a happy Christmas, that I felt it incumbent on me to rise and propose the health of our Entertainer, who had provided us with so much comfort and [music?] throughout the voyage. And with much pleasure would ask one and all to drink to the health of Captain Andrews, whom I trusted would live long to command the good ship “Ganges.”
The Captain’s health was then drunk with music and honours “he is a jolly good fellow” &c. and then he returned thanks [amus—ly?] but adding that the Company and Purser were the chief persons to be thanked for whatever good arrangement had been carried out.
In the evening dancing on the Quarter deck, (Miss Brown and Miss [Mumans?] playing) Miss Sadler and Mr Schwartz, Mr Conlan and Miss McConnell, Miss Douglas and Frenchman, Mr Grunow and Miss Boodle dancing. The gentlemen subscribed 2/6 each to give the Stewards a Christmas Box, and Grace and Mrs McConnell went round and got 1/- each from the ladies for the 2 stewards (in all £1)
Spoke to Mrs Conlan for first time. Her husband (in a Bank) has some affliction of the eyes, and he is going home to consult some [dentis?] in London. She was a Miss McLachlan of Melbourne, who was a partner of Firebrace, Mrs James Manning’s brother. She knows the Manning family well, and used to go to Lady Manning’s tennis parties when she was last in Sydney.
Still taking Dr Fischer’s medicine for kidneys No.2
Friday 26th December 1884
A much quieter night. I slept better and had less pain in nape of neck and kidneys. Sat on deck from after breakfast till ¼ to 1, then lunched.
There is a Mr Cooper who comes from New Zealand, and is on his way to India. He is a bit of an artist, and has been sketching the different people on board, (in colour) he was so like in look, tone of voice, and person, dress &c that I thought he must be a brother of the man who married Miss [Moes?] and today I asked him the question, and he said that he was, I asked him if his brother had been in New Zealand and he said yes, and as a last question I put it to him direct, whether his brother has been divorced from his wife, which he said was the case. I asked him what was her maiden name, he said “Winter,” and her father he believed lived in Melbourne.
The Steward who attends our bedroom found my silver pencil case, which I lost some days ago.
Taking Dr Fischer’s medicine No.1. for kidneys.
Saturday 27th December 1884
Getting into a warmer latitude. All the portholes of Saloon open. Left off my overcoat. Mrs Bray (wife of the Chief Secretary of Adelaide) made her first appearance at dinner today.
In the evening music and singing in the Music Hall. A Miss King who has been very unwell lately played and sang excellently one of her [says?] Tennyson Brook. Mr and Mrs Bowen also sang a duet. And the Captain several songs, which as he has a good voice were much applauded.
Made the acquaintance of Mr Addington for the first time today. He is a son, I believe, of Lord Sidmouth, and is on his way to India to join his Regiment, the 61st.He is returning from New Zealand where he has been paying a visit to his brother who is settled there, and leaves the ship at “Colombo.” He tells me he is well acquainted with Admiral Sir Antony and Lady [Hawkins?] who are some connection of his, and that his younger brother went out in H.M.S. [Wanderer? Wantrereme?] as a Midshipman and used to stay at the Hoskin’s house in Musgrave St, Sydney.
Sunday 28th December 1884
Much warmer, thermometer 75º. Lovely day, and the sea much smoother, and its colour reflected from the blue skies above very beautiful. Flying fish make their appearance. Left off my warm coats and the other gentlemen passengers put on their white suits and white hats. All the ports in the ship wide open to admit of the air. At X.30 the crew were mustered Poop, and the Lascars in their colored habitiments and refined countenances and figures looked most picturesque. At XI the Captain read the morning service, much enhanced by the effective choir that had been so suddenly improvised. Miss McConnell at the Harmonium and Mr, Mrs Bowen, Miss King, Miss Burley, Miss Sadler, Mr Schwartz, Miss Brown, composed the singers. Some of the 2nd Class passengers attended and I dare say there were 40 or 50 persons composing the congregation. The scene would have made an interesting photograph.
Felt somewhat better today so far as the pain in my kidneys went. But my knees, ankles, and joints felt stiff and uncomfortable and a feeling of great fullness in the head. Taking No.3 medicine, prescribed by Dr Fischer (Banyglotis).
Grace not well either, complaining the last few days. And is taking alternatively [Nasc?] Vormica and Sulphur, in accordance with directions in the Book I got from Dr Fischer.
As I sit in the Cuddy or Saloon, now writing at 8.30pm I cannot help noting what a handsome room it is, large enough to seat at dinner 130 or 140 people, fitted up in the medieval style, and the effect of being lighted with 15 oil lamps is admirable.
Monday 29th December 1884
Very warm. Thermometer rising 77º degrees. Reading the “French King of the court of George 2nd”. Playe backgammon this evening with Mrs McConnell. The young people rehearsing the two plays they are to perform on Friday.
Music and singing in the evening in the Music Hall. Miss King the chief vocalist.
Taking Dr Fischer’s medicine No.3 for the kidneys. Decidedly better, but feel a numbness in back still. Great fullness about head on awaking.
“Punkahs” at dinner time introduced for the first time. The first time I ever saw them worked.
Tuesday 30th December 1884
Ship going 13 knots an hour. Thermometer 84.º Very warm and all the passengers nearly in summer attire.
We have our port holes open day and night since Sunday. Taking Dr Fischer’s medicine No.3. Feel better as far as pain in kidneys is concerned.
Had a game of chess with Grunow (the Captain[?]) neither he (he said) nor I had played the game for 30 years.
Young Loftie complaining of being unwell. Late dinner and Lobster cutlets are not the thing for small boys. Miss Burley and I had a long talk about books &c.
Wednesday 31st December 1884
Made 306 miles today, the best run yet make. Last night was insufferably warm. Could not sleep for the intensity of the heat. Grace and I “took tea” with Mrs Conran:- this “taking tea” is a peculiar kind of institution on board of ship. You ask, or your friend ask, half a dozen passengers to come to take tea at a separate table in Saloon at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. You possibly have a private supply of tea, a tea pot and a few cups and saucers. If not then Steward supplies them, and you then get a few of the passengers to gather round you, drink a couple of cups of tea and talk for half an hour or so, and then return on deck to read, lie down, or talk with the rest of passengers: it is a sort of “playing at giving a party” or perhaps, it may be better likened to a lot of little girls drinking tea out of baby cups and saucers. It is etiquette to invite the those that have invited you, to this – – “entertainment” at your table. So that the farce is carried on indefinitely, as ever [?] to the end of the voyage or till the private supply of tea is exhausted.
This evening being the end of the year 1884, was celebrations, by some of the passengers getting up which was called an “Exhibition of Mrs [Savoy’s?]” wax work figures.” And at 8.30 a sort of Theatre was marked off, by the suspension of various flags, forming the drop scene as it were and lamps put in front as “footlights.”
Mr Bowen acted as the showman, and did his part cleverly. Miss Pope represented the Sewing Madames, Mr Conran, being very tall, Chang the Chinese Giant, Mr [Wenz?] (the Frenchman) a Maori Chief. Mr McCutcheon a Gens D’arme. Miss Douglas Mother [Pigat’s?] Sortez [Syness?]. Miss MacConnell ‘Little Bo Peep.’
They were all supposed to be inanimate wax works figures but which moved by mechanism, it was supposed, and therefore had to be “wound up,” and this duty fellto the showman’s boy, young Arthur Douglas. After the Exhibition had been gone through, there were repeated calls for an “Encore,” and after a while the curtain was raised and the showman, appealed to our pity pointing out that all his valueable collection (owing to the heat) had melted away and that therefore he was sorry to say he was unable to give the audience “a repetition” of the scene.
The different actors in the “Exhibition” has slipped away in the mean time, and joined the rest of the passengers on deck and joined in the dances which followed. Polkas and Waltzs. I went to bed at XI. But the rest of the passengers kept up the old year until the new one was ushered in at 12pm overhead my cabin, I could hear the music of Sir Roger de Coverly, and the beats of the feet on deck. And a little time after I understand some of the Stewards and 2nd class passengers came aft, drawing behind them, (and addressing the Captain for some time)the figure of a man laid in a coffin, symbolical of the dead year, which they threw overboard. They then in procession marched back to the forward part of the ship, and a second time returned in similar procession, bringing with them a newborn baby, symbolical of the birth of a new year. I understand I was well and cleverly devised.