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drivers, and the angry cries of horsemen
who had just escaped from riding over him,
he might rush away to the first place of
shelter, and there labour in vain to clean his
eyes out and allay their smarting. The new
arrivalor, in colonial language, the new
chumafter his first dusting, generally
wears a veil; and veiled men abound in
Melbourne streets on a dry windy day. This
year an excellent supply of water, from a
source high above the site of the city, enables
us to fight our enemy. By screwing a hose
to the pipes that pass along the street, a jet
of water can be made to play upon the road
and conquer him.

As to the effect of the hot wind on health,
it should be first observed, that none of the
Australian colonies have the contagious
epidemics commonly found to be fatal in hot
countries. Just after the gold discovery,
Melbourne became one of the dirtiest cities
in the world. Men, women, and children
landed from ships, and sought in every
nook and corner the protection of a roof.
No underground sewers carried off the drainage
of the city. Even surface drainage was
arrested by the broken state of the roads
and pathways cut up by incessant traffic.
The accumulated filth of city life, part filtering
through the soil and part collected in
unsightly stagnant pools, lay festering
beneath the glare of the sun and the blast of
the hot wind; yet no fatal epidemic came.
Nevertheless, health is the worse for the hot
wind. My private opinion is confirmed by
that of an eminent Melbourne physician, who
considers that the duration of life in Victoria
is from six to ten per cent. less than in the
mother country.

It is not on men in the enjoyment of good
health that our sirocco shows its power
openly. But the sick man, woman, or child,
catching, perhaps, eagerly at the first sensations
of returning health, pants in a hot air
bath suddenly and frequently administered
without the doctor's order, or, when first
tottering out of doors, finds, in the dusty and
scorched aspect of the country, no refreshment
to the languid eye, and breathes vain
longings for a sight of the green meadows
and copses of Old England. If our dry air is
good for the consumptive, is our changeable
thermometer good for them too? I fancy
not.

Women feel more than men, the test to
which the hot winds put their constitutions.
Often there are to be seen ladies
who came rosy out of England, showing in
Melbourne only pallid distressed faces; not as
of persons seriously ill, but suffering from
a weariness that ends, perhaps, in positive
disease.

According to the statistics of the register
general of Victoria, for the year ending the
first of July, eighteen hundred and fifty-
seven, the mortality among children under
five years of age was equal to one half the
deaths occurring among the entire population,
and the number of deaths of infants under
twelve months, exceeded one third of the
entire mortality. It is furthermore
ascertained by registration, that the number of
deaths among children in summer, is four
times greater than in winter.

The resident of Victoria, who wishes to
feel the extent of infant mortality, can go to
a graveyard. Last April, I walked through
the Melbourne Cemetery, and read on the
head-stones names of little children by the
hundred. The day was one of the few in the
month of April when the hot wind blows
with clouds of dust. Finding a grave with
reclining slab, conveniently placed under the
shelter of a tree, I shrank from the heat of
the sun, and rested there. Presently a woman
approached, whose sad face and dust-whitened
mourning dress told me that she came hither
not for curiosity, but for her great love to
some among the dead. Without observing
me she hastened to a grave not far from
where I sate: it was one of those which had
arrested my attention, because at the head,
upon a simple tombstone, the deaths of four
young children were recorded.

I have witnessed many forms of grief over
the dead, on land and far away upon the sea.
But never before or since, have I looked
upon such agonising grief and hopeless
sorrow as was in the face of this poor woman
beside the grave, which had four times
opened and closed over the objects of
her love. She bowed her head, and,
believing the solitude unbroken, poured forth
her soul in prayer over the tomb of her
children.

THREE CHRISTMAS READINGS,
BY

MR. CHARLES DICKENS,
Will take place at ST. MARTIN'S HALL, LONG ACRE.
On CHRISTMAS EVE, Friday, December 24th; on the
evening of BOXING-DAY, Monday, December 27th; and
on the evening of TWELFTH NIGHT, Thursday, January
6th. Each evening, THE CHRISTMAS CAROL, and THE
TRIAL FROM PICKWICK.

Number 458 of HOUSEHOLD WORDS will be
A
NEW YEAR'S NUMBER.

Now Ready, price 3d., stamped, 4d., THE CHRISTMAS
NUMBER of Household Words, entitled,
A HOUSE TO LET.
Contents:—1. Over the Way. 2. The Manchester
Marriage. 3. Going into Society. 4. Three Evenings in
the House. 5. Trottle's Report. 6. Let at Last.

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