ABSTRACT

Then Mrs. Duff-Scott left Melbourne for a visit to some relations in Brisbane, and to join her husband on his homeward journey, and the girls fell back into their old quiet life for a while. It was an exceedingly simple and homely life. They rose early every morning—not much after the hour at which their neighbour on the other side of the wall was accustomed to go to bed—and aired, and swept, and scrubbed their little rooms, and made their beds, and polished their furniture, and generally set their dwelling in an exquisite order that is not at all uni- versal with housewives in these days, but must always be the instinct of really well-bred women. They breakfasted frugally after the moât of this was done, and took a corresponding meal in the evening, the staple of both being bread and butter; and at mid-day they saved “messing” and the smell of cooking about their rooms, and saved also the precious hours of the morning for their studies, by dining at a restaurant in the city, where they enjoyed a comfortable and abundant repast for a shilling apiece. Every day at about ten o’clock they walked through the leafy Fitzroy and Treasury Gardens, and the bright and busy streets that never lost their charm of novelty, to the Public Library, where with pencils and note-books on the table before them, they read and studied upon a systematic principle until the clock struck one; at which hour they closed their books and set off with never-failing appetites in search of dinner. After dinner, if it was Thursday, they stayed in town for the organ recital at the Town Hall; but on other days they generally sauntered quietly home, with a new novel from Mullen’s (they were very fond of novels), and made up their fire, and had a cup of tea, and sat down to. rest and chat over their needlework, while one read aloud or practised her music, until the time came to lay the cloth for the unfashionable tea- supper at night-fall. And these countrified young people in- variably began to yawn at eight o’clock, and might have been found in bed and asleep, five nights out of six, at half-past nine.