12 MARCH 1864, Page 25

Ella Norman. By Elizabeth A. Murray. (Hurst and Blackett).—An indifferent

novel, but a book thoroughly well worth reading. The story is used by Mrs. Murray merely as a means for stating in the plainest manner the bad side of Melbourne life, and she has done it, if not well, at least completely. According to this story society in Australia is all upside down, the Irish rule everything, wealth is the only distinction, merchants are swindlers, squatters vulgarians, the people rowdies of a bad type. Every man drinks hard, and many of the women emulate their example, gentlemen starve, and the classes which prosper do not

know how to employ their wealth. Society being ruled by people With- out grammar is radically vicious, and respectable women who go out are pretty certain to be either seduced or starved, the class who, ac- cording to newspapers, hunt for wives finding "housekeepers " much more convenient. Much of all this is exaggerated, and society is not radically bad because gentlemen have to work and working men grow rich, but it is to be noticed that rich Australians are very apt to leave Australia, and any man who has brains but not sinews, knowledge but not the ability to dig, energy but no inclination to break the eighth commandment, will do well to read it before he goes to Melbourne.