Colonial clubs--Melbourne--Political talk--Anxieties about England-- Federation--Carlyle's opinions--Democracy and national character-- Melbourne society--General aspects--Probable future of the Colony.
CLUBS in the Colonies answer the double purpose of the club proper and the private hotel, where members, and strangers for whom a member will become responsible, can not only have the use of the public rooms, but can reside altogether. The arrangement is convenient for the members themselves, many of whom live at a distance, and come occasionally to the city on business. It is particularly agreeable to visitors, who, if the club is a good one, are introduced at once to the best society in the place. We had already many friends there. At the Melbourne Club we made many more, and as we were soon relieved of our anxiety about Mount Macedon and its occupants, our time was usefully spent there. The fire had been most destructive. The excessive heat and the long drought had brought the undergrowth into the condition of tinder. The flames had spread as if the woods had been sprinkled with petroleum. Eight miles of forest, which we had left a week before in its summer beauty, were now a blackened waste. The mountains behind the cottage had been as a cone of dry fuel, and had been in a blaze to the very summit. Sir George Verdon's place had been saved by his own forethought; a large area had been cleared of bush between the house and the rest of the mountains, which the fire had been unable to cross. It had descended to within fifty yards of the cottage. It had then stopped--partly from