Note: Editor's note: The occasion of these verses will be fresh in the minds of many of our readers. A few weeks ago a poor man whose wife had recently died came to the Premier of New South Wales with an adopted child whom he was no longer able to support. Sir Henry Parkes heard the story, which was pathetic in the extreme, and being no less pleased with the gentleness of the boy than with the generous conduct of his foster parent, determined to see what could be done for the advantage of each. It struck him as a touching instance of how the poor help the poor. A man and his wife hear of a child whom somebody wants rid of. They have no children of their own, and without discovering its parents they offer it a home, and, what is almost as important, a name - for hitherto it had none. Time passes. The child grows into a boy four years old. Its foster mother dies, and in vain the husband tries to care for him. But that is impossible. 'I couldn't leave him, even to go and look for work,' he said. The Cabinet Council was stting at the Colonial Secretary's Office when the pair arrived. Sir Henry took the little fellow by the hand and introduced him to his colleagues, who immediately formed a subscription of £50 towards his future maintenance. Then he sent him downstairs to the head messenger's wife for a good 'square meal.' When the meal was over, his hostess enquired if he would like to stop with her altogether, 'No,' he replied, 'I should not. There are too many fathers here.' The expression was childlike in its very suggestiveness. He had known two fathers already, but the idea that there could be more that one mother never entered his mind. He had known but one, and she was a foster mother and - dead.
Note: Translator's note: The 'Rispetto' is the form in which the rustic lover of Tuscany sings of his mistress, or the maiden of her lover, and is seldom written, being improvised, as most of the volkslieder, and conveyed from mouth to mouth over the country in an incredibly short space of time.