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Friends of the Launceston Mechanics' Institute
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|Museum Victoria Collections|
Fawkner's Circulating Library.The Public of Launceston, are respectfully informed that the above Library will in future be kept at the residence of G. L. Gooch, Charles-street, where the subscribers can be supplied with Books, as heretofore. Launceston, June 13th, 1831.Launceston Advertiser, Monday13 June 1831, p 188
ALL Persons who have borrowed Books from the Undersigned, are respectfully requested to return them within one week from this date, or they will be held responsible to pay at the rate charged for each book by the printed regulations, published in this journal some time back, and to be seen in the various books now in my Library, at Mr. G. L. Gooch's. There are also a number of my Books, some with, and some without my name written in them, which persons hold, who have not received them from me. Such Persons as with-hold them after this Public Notice, must expect to be prosecuted for such illegal detention. JOHN FAWKNER, jur.
If such institutions do not flourish in every community where the arts of life are practised, it must be the fault of the mechanics themselves. If they do not flourish in any spot, there the labouring classes are falling behind in the onward spirit of the age. The facilities of their formation and maintenance are so many and cheap, that nothing but idle indifference or sordid demoralisation can prevent their rise and progress. Let the will to improve be present, and the way is wide open.(p9)
A full third of the “ Secret Key ” is mere thundering rant, with no particular meaning, no sense of poetic style, only a delight in rapid movement, as though the writer were gotten upon a pegasus, and galloped full tilt, devil take the hindmost.
I have elsewhere called attention to the widely-exaggerated estimate of our local verse on the part of a Sydney coterie, and their fierce resentment of English criticism.
|NSW Bookstall Co. Ltd. (1920)|
|See Footnote (2)|
The city has a very commodious Mechanics' Institute, with a free reading-room and a library of over 20,000 volumes. In clubs, societies, associations, and in institutions of a religious, charitable, literary, social, and athletic character the reputation of Launceston is very high. There is a bewildering number of these set forth in the local directory, and this probably explains the decidedly favourable estimate which the citizens form of their own culture, commercial standing, and political importance as compared with the opinions they hold and express upon Hobart and its people.Launceston, in fact, holds its head very high when instructing a friendly stranger how to differentiate between a city with brains and capacity and an accidentally selected capital. You are soon reminded by Launcestians that Melbourne is the daughter of the little city by the turbulent South Esk, as Victoria's capital was founded by the adventurous Batman and other exploring Tasmanians. This historic fact causes your Launceston politician, pressman, lawyer, dock labourer, or newsboy to speak of Hobart, the capital of the colony, in the most patronizing manner, and to predict with the confidence of a prophet the advent of the day when the seat of government will be transferred from the banks of the delightful Derwent to those of the tranquil Tamar.(3)