THE NOBLEST PROFESSION
In the 1880s Melbourne easily surpassed Sydney as Australia’s largest city, a lively place undergoing a building boom that had begun in the 1860s and by 1890 would result in the completion of all its great public buildings. The State Parliament House was so grand and capacious that it would be the natural venue for the Federal Parliament from 1901 until a more permanent home was established in Canberra in 1926.
Melbourne University, into which Morrison had recently been accepted, opened in 1855. Big companies and most of the top medical practitioners had splendid offices in Collins Street, which boasted a ‘Paris end’ among its plane trees. The spires of Saint Patrick’s and Saint Paul’s Cathedrals dominated the skyline. It was the home of the National Art Gallery where Morrison and his