you performed the public duties allotted to you, despite shipwreck, and its attendant losses at starting, which necessitated short allowance to your party from the first, and obliged it eventually to proceed on its land expedition with very inadequate supplies, I need not recapitulate in detail, since the proofs are on record. But I cannot forbear from pointing out that if, after being driven back for want of water from your first expedition to the south west - during which Mr. Walker had arrived at the Albert and off again to follow Burke's tracks to the southward - you had been content to return on board the Victoria to Moreton Bay as desired, on the score of prudence and economy, by Captain Norman, you would not merely have escaped blame, but have avoided the serious responsibility which your determination to undertake a hazardous journey across the continent, with the limited means at your command, involved. Your ardent mind, however, was not satisfied with such an inglorious termination to an expedition from which so much had been expected; your natural intrepidity led you to hold lightly any idea of personal risk, and backed by the zealous support of our second in command. Mr. Bourne, and the hearty co-operation of the rest of your party, including two faithful aborigines, you accomplished that wondrously successful transit from sea to sea, which has so widely extended our geographical knowledge of the interior, whilst, at the same time, by opening up an easy route for stick from southern colonies to the very shores of Carpentaria, it has accelerated by many years the colonization of Northern Australia. In comparison with services such as these, the intrinsic value of the testimonial we have now to offer is indeed small; but I feel sure, nevertheless, that you will prize it as the gift of your private friends and admirers in this colony, and that if, as I trust you are now, after all your wanderings, about to settle on some homestead of your own, to become the founder of an Australian family, you will hand it down as an heirloom to your children's children, - a momento alike of the exploit their ancestor performed, and of the honors [honours] this day paid him on account of it."
Mr Landsborough made a suitable
acknowledgment [acknowledgement] of the presentation and of His Excellency's speech on the occasion, and the proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to His Excellency. This was slightly referred to in our last, but without any particulars.
McKinlay, the South Australian explorer, who started from Adelaide in quest of Burke and Wills, has had a sum of money voted to him by the South Australian Legislature, and goes to settle in Queensland, in some of the newly discovered country, as a squatter. The sum voted was £1000, in acknowledgment [acknowledgement] of his arduous services.
Howitt, the Victorian explorer, sent from Melbourne with a relief party, after intelligence of the death of Burke and Wills, arrived in Adelaide on the 8th of December, all safe, on his return from Cooper's Creek, with a few of his party; the rest would follow in a few days with the remains of Burke and Wills. The 11th instant was given as the probable date of their arrival in Adelaide, and they can hardly, therefore, be looked for here before the next return trip of the Havilah, which will, according to her usual course, not be until the 26th or 27th. Mr. Howitt met with a hearty welcome in Adelaide, and attended a dinner to Mr. McKinlay on the evening of his arrival.
Designs for a monument to the memory of Burke and Wills have been sent in, and preparations for a public funeral are in progress. There were five designs altogether, and the committee to whoe these referred, consisted of Professor Wilson, Mr. Wilkinson, Dr. Gillbee, Mr. Smith, Mr. C. Griffiths, and Dr. Forbes. One by Mr. Summers has been decided upon, and is highly spoken of by those who have seen it, The two explorers are represented side by side; Burke in an erect position, gazing into the distance, and Wills sitting down, and noting his leader's observations, Both are good portraits, and the figure of Burke is said to be striking. The pedestal will be of polished granite, and the figures of bronze. Around the pedestal will be bronze reliefs, illustrative of the most remarkable events in connexion [connection] with expedition. The height of the figures will be ten feet. The monument will require two years for its completion, Its cost is not yet known.
The arrangements decided upon at a meeting of the Exploration Committee on the 27th of November, for the public funeral, were as follows:-"As Mr. Howitt and his party will come via Adelaide, the remains will be brought up from the steamer in the Bay, and conveyed at once to the Royal Society's hall, which will be draped in black and darkened, For about a week the bodies will lie in state. A catafalque about two feet from the floor is to be erected in the centre of the hall, and upon this will be placed a bier, about four feet high. The catafalque will be covered with crimson cloth draped with black. On either side of the coffins massive brass candlesticks, containing lighted tapers, will be placed. The public will be admitted to the hall during the days on which the remains will lie there."
It is said that sixty-three public bodies have already intimated their intention of being present at the funeral. The site of the tomb is a triangular piece of ground in the general cemetery, near Sir Charles Hotham's monument. Designs for the tomb have been sent in, one at an estimated cost of £2000, but something simple and much less elaborate will probably be chosen. The remains of the explorers are to be encased in a new kind of metallic coffin, constructed of cast iron, somewhat in the shape of the body, the outside case, or wooden shell, being of cedar or other colonial timber.
NEW SOUTH WALES. - The Parliamentary session is now drawing to a close. The abolition of state aid to religion may now be looked upon as decisive. Both houses have agreed to the Bill for that purpose. The Appropriation Bill, that sure sign of the close of a session, was to be introduced into the Assembly on the 10th inst. A commission for the trial of three bushrangers lately caught in the act, is about to be ordered. Mr. Watt, the missionary, has been sentenced to five years on the roads for perjury. There seems to have been no doubt whatever of his guilt. Bush fires have been very prevalent of late, and the weather extraordinary for the season; sometimes unbearably hot, and then foggy and squally, with the wind up from the south. November was the first month in the year in which may decline in the yield of gold was observable. Nuggets of considerable size have been found at Kiandra, one of fourteen, one of forty, and one of forty-seven ounces. Business is moderately brisk.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA. - The elections for a new Parliament are now over, and have gone pretty much in favour of Ministers. His Excellency Sir Dominic Daly has been suffering severely from an attack of English cholera, but is much better, and is now said to be out of danger. Harvest is on in the neighbourhood of Adelaide, and new wheat is coming in freely. The most exciting event of the month there, next to the parliamentary elections, has been the return of Mr. Howitt from Cooper's Creek, on his way to Melbourne with remains of Burke and Wills. Before Mr. Howitt leaves for Melbourne, there is to be a grand demonstration in Adelaide, under the direction of Mr. English, the Mayor, and the rest of the corporate authorities.
NEW ZEALAND. - Accounts from Auckland are far from satisfactory; although much is said of the Coromandel goldfields in the neighbourhood of that city, no great finds are reported. All is preliminary. His Excellency Sir George Grey has still a difficult card to play with the natives. The Kingites seem bent on war, and, as a means of provoking it, have prohibited the use of the roads through their territory. Any missionary opposing the King movement is to be tongue split and ear marked. But as a set-off against this, Wiremu Taylor has offered the Government a 50,000 acre block of land, which will command the country of the Kingites, and give ready access to their present position. It is moreover favourable for the purpose of settlement.
QUEENSLAND. - The disease, known as the Cumberland disease, has broken out in Queensland within the last few weeks, and has carried off hundreds of cattle and sheep, as also some horses. Many dogs, both native and domesticated, have died in consequence of partaking of the diseased flesh. It is giving Mr. Gregory, the Commissioner, and his subordinates enough to do provide means whereby its progress may be arrested.
JOURNAL OF AMUSEMENTS
"Les Huguenots" has had a fine run at the Theatre Royal during the month, and must have been a source of profit to the management. It has now been replaced by Verdi's chef d'oeuvre "Rigoletto," with which the opera season is to close.
At Coppin's Royal Haymarket Theatre, Mr. Charles Dillon has been drawing large houses by his masterly delineation of Macbeth. His version of the character differs so much from that of Mr. G.V. Brooke, to which our Melbourne audiences were accustomed, as to have attracted great notice, Mr. Dillon's acting having by many the preference assigned to it over that of Mr. Brooke. "Louis the Eleventh," and "The Lady of St. Tropez," have also been produced at this theatre, and Mr. Dillon has drawn large houses by the. He is not taking the part of George Maurice in the "Lady of St. Tropez."
The Grand German Gymnastic and Musical Festival was held at Cremorne on Monday, the 24th of November. About threee thousand persons attended. The competition for the prizes was great. His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly attended, and remained a considerable time. Wrestling and singing, music and dancing, illuminations and fireworks alternated, and the entertainment was altogether one of high festive glee. This was the first "Turaverein" ever celebrated in the Australian colonies.
M. Molique's oratorio, "Abraham," has been produced within the last few days at the Exhibition Building by the Philharmonic Society, under the direction of Mr. C.E. Horsley. It is new to the colony, but its performance is highly spoken of. This society's programmes exhibit marked improvement of late, and is more than ever patronised.