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3-275 (Raw)

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addressee,female author,female,Oliver, M.A.,un
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Frost, 1984
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3-275-raw.txt — 2 KB

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Neuarpur - Horsham
2nd October 1871
My dear Miss Lewin, I did not write immediately on arrival thinking it better to give myself time to form an opinion of Colonial or rather bush-life. I started for my 300 miles up the country. Such travelling, in a vehicle one can only call a covered cart, across miles of uncultivated flat country, diversified only by ugly dark pine trees, heath, & swamps; not a person to be seen; every 20 or 30 miles a station or small township. In my opinion it is very disagreeable for a lady alone, travelling in this style, especially in a country where society is so mixed, & it is impossible to say who may be your fellow-passengers. [198]
I have now had nearly six months experience & without hesitation I can say it is not a life I should like to try long, notwithstanding the nice kind people I am with. There are perhaps few families as intellectual & well educated as this, at all events not in Victoria. Still, had I known the very isolated life I was to lead. I do not think I should have been induced to come out. This is not the only drawback. One could cheerfully bear it two or three years if there were any advantage to be gained in the end, but I must candidly confess from what I have heard & seen, there is no better chance of getting on out here than at home. The expenses are far greater & the salaries not in proportion. Consequently, £100 is not more than £60 in England, that is taking travelling expenses into consideration.
The bush life is a perfect exile. There are about three visitable families near. If a Governess has friends in Melbourne it is something like £20 if she takes a holiday. The transportation of luggage is fearful. Only small portmanteaus are allowed & if there be anything extra, it is heavily charged.
I am perhaps putting things in their worst light but Home ideas of this Country are very false. The greatest amusement we have is riding, but even too much of that becomes monotonous, with no object in view. As to scenery, there is none. It is certainly the ugliest country I have ever seen, reminding one of the N. of France.
I only wonder the sheep thrive on such poor land. Of course mutton forms the principal dish. The living is simple enough. There are times when we cannot get butter. I have not yet experienced the hot weather. The winter is over now. Altho' not the cold of home, still I think I felt it quite as much. Perhaps this was owing to the house being only of one storey, and the rooms all leading into the garden, so that it is almost like living in the open air.
The garden is looking nice, but nothing to equal the flowers at home The soil is bad, & the heat with hot winds dry up every thing All I can say is that I do not like Australia & would rather be in England or on the Continent with £50 than here.
With kind regards,
Believe me
Sincerely yours,
M. A. Oliver