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(from our own correspondent.) Sydney, April 9.

On Wednesday last, the sitting of the Legislative Council was the longest that has occurred in the House for the past 20 years, the adjournment not taking place till two o’clock the following morning. The greater part of the sitting of the Council was occupied in considering the Appropriation Act and Public Works Loan Bill. In the Appropriation Bill, Mr Paddington moved the reduction of the item of Li 7,000, compensation to the Milburn Creek Mining Co., to L 7.000. After a long debate the amendment was not pressed, and the Bill was passed through all its stages without an amendment. In the Loan Bill, the omission of the sums for the completion of the Albury railway, and the construction of the Jerilderie railway, was proposed, but the amendments were negatived, and the Bill passed through all its stages. In consequence of the count-out in the Council before the passing of the Liquor Licenses Suspensory Act on Wednesday morning, and the necessity to meet again the same day for the transaction of business, the arrangements that had been made for the prorogation fell through, and Parliament was prorogued by proclamation in a Government Gazette Extraordinary till the 17th May next.

"The Intercolonial boat race was decided about an hour ago, over the champion course, Paramatta river, and was one of the grandest struggles ever witnessed in Australia. The Sydney representatives were strong favorites at the start ; 5 to 4 was freely laid on them, they being much the heavier crew. The race was a sharp contest, and the Melbourne men came to the front in the last 100 yards, winning by a boat’s length. The Marquis de Ray’s expedition to New Ireland does not appear to have been a success. From news received by the City of Melbourne, which arrived last night, it appears that the colonists were not only short of provisions, but some 70 or 80 were down with ague and fever, and that the only course left for them was to finally abandon the settlement, which they did, taking all machinery and other matters on board the India.

The Tramway Department, with a laudable desire to adopt any improvement that can be shewn to be for the greater convenience of the public, have entered into arrangements with Colonel Beaumont, of England, to test a new moter for tramways, recently invented by that gentleman, which works by compressed air, and which is said to have the advantages of being bpth noiseless and vaporless. The agreement made by our Government with Colonel Beaumont is to the effect that the latter should send out, at his own expense, one of these moters, together with apparatus for compressing the air. The extension of the tramway to Waverly will be open about the commencement of next week, and within another week the cars will be running contitnously to and fro.

The continued influx of Chinese into our colony is causing general comment. On Monday the steamer Menmuir arrived from Hong Kong, having on board 500 Chinese for this colony, Victoria, and New Zealand ports; and again on Friday the steamer Hungarian came into the harber with 600 more. It is not yet ascertained for what special work they are destined, but it is probable they are being attracted by some of the new mineral discoveries.

Anyhow, for Sydney’s sake, it is to be be hoped so, because the Chinese inhabitants of our city arc quite numerous enough at present. The Orient S. S. Company’s steamer Lusitana arrived in port on Tnursday evening, with E. Laycock on board. 1 The reception committee, on board a ■ steam launch, proceeded down the harbor to meet the vessel, and having received him in a most complimentary way, landed our acquatic hero in the bosom of his family at Shark Island. Laycock could not find words to express his gratitude at the reception that he had met with. It was quite contrary to expectation. He said he stuck to Trickett, and when he had lost the race with Hanlan, he was ready to drop through the deck. On Friday afternoon the return of the well-known sculler was celebrated. The event assumed an almost national character, as the whole city turned out to join in giving the veteran oarsman a welcome, which was worthy of him and his deeds. The ships in the harbor, which were decked cut with bunting, dipped their ensigns as the procession passed up the harbor, and the crews lustily cheered. On the arrival of the launch at the Quay, the place was lined with a cheering multitude, thousands composing which were beyond accurate computation. On landing at the Prince’s stairs, two four-in-hand drags were ready to convey Laycock and the committee to the Town Hall, but so great was the enthusiasm of the spectators, that it was with difficulty a start was made. As the procession passed through George street, the windows of the houses, and even the roofs were crowded with people shouting and cheering the return of the rower. On arrival at the Town Hall, the Mayor came forward and presented Laycock with an address, to which he replied in suitable terms, admitting having met in Hanlan a better man. During the week a purse of sovereigns of Li,ooo is to | be presented him at one of the theatres. The long talked of fancy dress ball is now all over. The curtain has fallen on the pageant, and realism once more reigns. The ball was a success socially, anyhow, if not artistically, and the scene was brilliant if not impressive. The dresses, like the company, were very mixed. A great number were picturesque, and a very great many grotesque. Some, notably the costumes of the ladies, were in exquisite taste, and keeping, others, more particularly the gentlemen were marked by eccentricities of design and color that were positively amusing. About 500 couples engaged in dancing during the evening. The galleries at the Garden Palace being thrown open to the public at an admission of 5s each, nearly 2,000 availed themselves of the chance of “ going to criticise.” The Hawkesbury Autumn Meeting, as usual, drew a large concourse of people together. The weather being intensely hoi, the vendors of fluids must have driven a roaring trade. The racing was on the whole good, but the finishes were, with one exception, not exciting. There were about 6,000 spectators on the ground. The railway arrangements were on this occasion notably carried out, not the slightest hitch occurring. Mr Balfour, lately owner of the Red Gauntlet yacht, from Europe, was killed on Sunday by a fall from his horse, on Liverpool Plains. The deceased gentleman was a Director of E. and A. Steam Navigation Co. Terrible tales of sufferings, endured by parties who have left the settled districts of this colony for a fancied El Dorado, at Mount Poole, reach us from different sources. It has been stated that a party of five men, after their horses, had perished from thirst, were reduced to the necessity of lancing their own arms to moisten their parched lips with a few r drop' of blood. Nearly mad, they reached a wateringplace. No tongue can tell or pen describe the agonies they underwent. Three others of a party reached Bourke a few days ago, after living upon the blood of themselves and horses for days. On the Bourke track there is no water for 120 miles. Of gold obtained at the cost of first drinking the blood of horses, then drinking their owners’ blood and nearly becoming mad, if dear life be preserved, it may be said “ The game is not worth the candle.” The varied competitive attractions presented during the week in the shape of fancy dress balls, giant circuses, fashionable amateur performances, and grand concerts, seem to have very little effect upon the attendance at the Theatre Royal. The “Pirates of Penzance ” has been sung for three weeks, and is likely to run for a very long period, judging from the audiences’ appreciative applause. That the business keeps so good is probably owing to the fact that Dr Sullivan’s music is so pleasing that people can hardly help going again and again to hear it. Mr J. C. Williamson has spared no expense in making the opera a success. Miss Maggie Moore and Miss Elsa May take the two principal characters.

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 323, 20 April 1881

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 323, 20 April 1881

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