Chapter 37496527

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Chapter NumberBOOK I. I
Chapter Url
Full Date1899-01-07
Page Number3
Word Count1034
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLiverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)
Trove TitleMarian Gonisby
article text





Author of * Father and Sou4 The Daughters

of Eve," ' Mystery of Merveillieu," &o.

\ ' BOOK I.



. ;,. TqàroNE» HUNTING is one of the keen busi-

nesses in Australian life. Perhaps the term ' fortune* hunting may with more force be

applied to a generation that ie passing. There is oertainly a more settled order oi things coming over the people of Australia, ' There is eve1* a fascination in the business,

as there is alwayB moro or lesa fascination .about a man or woman upon whom fickle fortune has smiled. A man who has riser from the ruok, » 'self-made man*-how many are ihere in Australia ?-olaims the attention \ even of the passer-by, more especially if he

has been a pioneer,-the first of his name and family to have come across the seas to look for a new home and habitation.

His familiars called him * old Gonisby * not that he was reatly advanced in years, nor was tbe title meant to be offensive or slighting. ' Josiah" waa the name given to him in infanoy. He had a fashion of writ- ing it 'Jos/, so that it was natural mistakes should be made. It occasionally happened that he was addressed as Joseph Gonisby, .whioh he duolared didn't matter, for one name was as good as another, save and exoept when a oheque was in question, and his letters did not go wrong ; for he was the one, and only, Gonisby in those parts.

.And how did old Gonisby make his gold ?

Well, it was in this wise : Josiah Gonisby used not to boast. Bat he was known to admit that he oame to Viotoria with bat £100 in his pocket, and had ' turned it over' until it grew into thoa* ?Bands ; that he had never robbed a man of a farthing, and didn't allow any man to get at him for a penny.

.Turning it over* hud grown into a soienoe with Gonisby. ' Money was made round to go round,' was a very favorite saying of his ; and ho also said that his system of usury was tho * fairest thing in

the world.'

That first £100, ho usod to say, was made so nimbia that it waa in and out 20

times in the first year; and grew bigger and bigger every tim« he handled it.

A £10*note for a month to one, £15 to another, £20 to a third, aud so on; and his limit in those early days was for throe months. And in the earlior days, he would say, there wero better profits, because there were not so many in tho business. Thoro -was no trouble to get ls. in tho £ per month.

And ho looked well to the securities, too, !

though he never ran the orthodox * three- | ball business.' j

In later years it grew to hundreds, and. ! even thousands, in loans, and for longer j terms ; and the quiet old man just sat in his den, and smoked, and did business. He had no need to look for olients, for they came freely enough. Everybody knew ' old Gonisby*. and his willingness to 1 oblige a friend'-for a consideration.

So, in the oourse of business, he became one of the financiers of ' Marvellous'Mel-

bourne.* City and suburban properties, valuable estates, fell into his hands-and he knew how to use them. It was never one of his faults to hold on 'to ( a good thing,' but rather to turn everything to account, so long as it was at a profit.

, All this was before the » boom' came, before the eighties ; before Melbourne became intoxicated with the delirium of mad spec- ulations ; a little before the fever grew upon the people, which, made them believe that Melbourne waa destined within the century to become another London. Yet they were growing rapidly toward that epoch-it was while Berry ruled-and no one doubted his capacity to make Viotoria the working man's paradise, and realize the ideal of a true * Auetralia Felix.'

And it is here we meet him. In less than 20 years Josiah Gonisby was a ' made man,' ready to wash his hands of business, for he had set for himself a goal-that goal he had attained-and, unlike nine men out of ten, he was oontent to let well alone.

Ko one knew why Mr Gonisby was closing up accounts; they volunteered the opinion that he was a fool to refuse to go on making money when it oame to him so easily ; but he know his own business best ; and subsequent events showed how abso- lutely well and wisely the old man had acted. He lived to see many imposing per- sonages-many in the very front rank of the oolony's politicians, financial potentates, and enterprising business and oommeroial men-brought to bankruptcy and despair, while he, quaint old Gonisby, stood solid as a rook ; his gold secure, his name figuring in no bogus companies, his property (such as he had actual need of) unencumbered ; a free and a olean hand, while others, more honored in the day of prosperity, were brought to the very direst financial and actual degradation.

Such was the worldly-wise, , prudent, suc- cessful Josiah Gonisby.

Gonisby, however, was not alone, or the interest of this story-the burden' of it would not want to be told. In fact, there oould have been no story, save, perchance, such as might unfold an incidental tale of the wonderful ways of making fortunes in Australia. He was not alone, in any sense, with his gold. His wealth was a great gratification to him, truly ; but he had a greater. In his earlier years ho had candidly admitted that he was a selfish man, but not for the laßt 20 years ; or, if selfish, it had certainly taken another form. He was selfish for another,-for another's well- being,-for another's love.

He had a daughter-one only child and

her name was Marian.