2 MAY 1891, Page 25


Vicissitudes of Bush-Life in Australia and .lfew Zealand. By Dugald Ferguson. (Swan Sonnenschein and Co.)—Mr. Ferguson went out to Melbourne in 1850 (the year a the discovery of gold) ; spent two years on the station of a relative; then took up a run of his own, where he was ruined by the extravagance of a partner ; then took charge of another station; and afterwards wont to New Zealand, where his kinsman helped him to another partnership. The author interweaves with his description of Colonial life a good deal of his personal history, especially his love-affairs. We have no hint whether or not this part of the volume is fictitious. Probably it is. In any case, it might have been spared. This kind of thing we get in abundance without going to the Antipodes ; but the genuine experiences of an "old Colonist" are of much greater rarity and value. Forty years make up more than half the life of the Colonies which Mr. Ferguson describes. —Another side of Colonial life is treated in Eight Years in Kaffraria, 1881- 1890, by Alan S. G. Gibson. (Wells Gardner, Darton, and Co.) —Mr. Gibson went out as a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and very wisely employs "a period of enforced leisure" in recording his experiences. He touches on various questions which we cannot here discuss, some of them questions that are hardly soluble. There is the difficulty, for instance, of rival missions. What Mr. Gibson says on this matter is eminently sensible ; but theologians who believe that a schismatic (as they would call any one not episcopally ordained) is no better than heathen, must, if they be logical, push rivalry to its extreme limits. Mr. Gibson's book may be recommended to the reader.