Grandpa Pencil's
Australian Colonial
Intelligence

14

Sydney: Uncivilised City

'Sydney: Uncivilized City' is drawn from an article in The Illustrated Sydney News, 29 October, 1853

In the afternoon of Thursday last, a cab, No. 86, drove at full speed through Lower George Street, with its roof thrown back a'la barouche.

Within were seated four drunken women of abandoned character, without bonnets, their hair flowing loose about their necks, and their dresses in disarray.

During the drive they shouted out verses of ribald song. The driver, a youth of eighteen, was almost as intoxicated as his fare; and a boy, who was on the box beside him, seemed the only sober one of the company.

Having driven into Cumberland street, at a furious pace, the cab was stopped opposite the watch-house, at the request of the drunken women, in order that they might enjoy the spectacle of a boxing match which was going on at the time between two drunken men.

They next repaired to a public house, to feed with additional fuel the flame of their intoxication.

Here a number of boys amused themselves with teasing the drunken wretches, and listening to their horrid language.

A contest took place between the women and some men in the street, which was terminated by the fall of one of the former, who seemed much hurt; two of the women then scrambled up on the driver's box, while he was drinking, and started off, nearly ran the pole against a post at the corner of Gaol-hill and Prince-street.

The driver now came out, reeling; and, after some more tipsy proceedings, in the course of which the man ran the risk of losing his life, the women got into the cab, which drove off with his drunken freight.

And all this occurred before three o'clock in the afternoon in the streets of a city professing to be civilized.

Not a policeman interfered from beginning to end.



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