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HAPPINESS AND ITS OPPOSITE, – many hundreds of other equally silly boys
are preparing to follow suit.
The subjoined extracts from a letter, gives
so fair a statement of Life at the Diggings, And they are fools who roam.
that we feel sure our readers will enjoy a The world has nothing to bestow;
perusal of them. The letter was written by From our own selves our joys must flow, And that dear hut, OUR HOME.
à son to his mother. The names of the par
COTTON. ties, of course, we suppress :-
Melbourne, July 30, 1852.-I told yon of my hand; passed by, it is fragrance to thy spirit.
mine of the 28th of April. On my arrival our
company broke up, and I, joining with Dr. M'C., UESTIONABLE INDEED is worked there till the latter end of June (in the
That which mankind call most part of the time dreadful wet weather), when, HAPPINESS ! Much has been as we had done very little good in that time, written on the subject, by owing to the obstacles thrown in our way by the the best of men; but it continued wet, I sold off my stores at very good never had, never will have, reached again on the 8th of this month. I sold
prices, and returned to Melbourne, which I any lasting good effect. The flour, that I had given £3 per bag for, for £16; world have their own ideas about it, and all sugar, for which I had given 3d. per lb., at 1s 6d., argument is vain.
and so on. My two horses, cart, and harness, cost We took occasion, in our SECOND VOLUME, me close on £80 ; I sold them for 3lb 2} oz. of to call attention to the fatal folly exhibited gold, which at £2 17s. per ounce, was £110, the by those who, despite of all warning, would price agreed upon by the buyer; but brought give up good situations in England to seek the gold to Melbourne, and sold at £3 38. per ounce, their fortunes in foreign climes. This folly so that they brought me in £121, I making about has been already repented of by many thou- £40 by the transaction. But such a sum as £40 sands who have reached Australia, and are think nothing frequently of giving £50 or £60
is not thought much of here now, as gold diggers now starving there. Letters innumerable are for a couple of two-horse flys to drive a wedding daily arriving full of ill-news; yet is the party about the town for two or three hours. mania for gold, gold, gold,” still on the
There are one or two of those weddings here increase. There are more people waiting nearly every day. The party drive up one street to go out, than there are ships to receive and down another half the day; shewing themthem.
selves off, and getting gradually drunk as the day For us, or indeed for any body, to attempt advances. You would stare in London to see to argue with people mad for gold—the very such a wedding, the whole party, excepting pername of which makes them forsake friends haps, the bride and bridesmaids, smoking; and and country—would be folly. We say, let generally one, the drunkest of the party, leaning · such madmen go; and let them be well half over the back of the fly, black bottle in hand, punished for their folly. Perhaps they will One of these weddings frequently costs the “happy
inviting the public in general to have a 'nobbler. return, as many have already done, wiser bride-groom' £300 or £400.
Our heart has ached, whilst listening to the dismal tales of woe related by those We understand, that very little indeed can who have given up their all for a mere be said about “virtue" here. No females shadow. They went out full of glee, dream- whatever, of any respectability, can go about ing of gold and happiness. They have re- unprotected; even what they see on every turned home penniless, and truly miserable. hand, is enough to shake their principles to the Many of our well-salaried clerks, redolent of very foundation. Modesty is all but unknown kid gloves, pomatum, and macassar, whose This we can readily understand—but how “heavy" hours of " business" averaged daily deplorable the thought! Let us inquire fursome six or eight hours, are among the ven- ther, about the accommodation afforded to turers. These, we learn, are in a most de- new-comers :plorable condition. They find lavenderwater, cambric handkerchiefs, a well cut August 31.—People are flocking in from all coat, and figured shirts, little esteemed there. countries now, and there is not accommodation for Gold rings, too, on their fingers, and large who never knew anything but a feather-bed in
a tenth of them. Some have to sleep in sheds, &c., diamond pins in their shirt-fronts, stand England. them in little stead. They gaze upon the gold, exhibited in large lumps at the win- Let our scented young clerks, with their dows of the dealers, and wish themselves oiled and curled locks, and Spanish leather at home again! The accounts received of boots, think of this. There will be no Turthese silly boys are very laughable; but key carpets to receive them at night -no they really ought to have a voice, seeing that divans where they can loll away their time
and choke themselves with the fumes of ing the golden show; the window is generally set smoke. But we will proceed :
out with three or four glass vases filled with gold, We have had very heavy rains lately; several large pieces of the same metal being placed sepapeople have been drowned on their way to and from of the window is generally filled up with rolls of
rate when weighing above 1lb. or so. the diggings, in attempting to swim the creeks, as the government does not think of putting any flected by a looking-glass, forms a very attractive
bank-notes, and piles of sovereigns. All this rebridges where they are required; indeed, the peo- sight to newly arrived gold seekers. Some of these ple are beginning to murmur against the abomina. windows must contain from £9,000 to £10,000. ble way in which our government is at present carried on. The people can, and very soon will, A tempting sight this, for the dapper govern themselves, if the authorities are not very soon altered, or change their mode of action-f young clerks on landing. They must surely
• dream” of gold the first night! But now such a word as ' action 'may be used for their utter
for the gold-brokers. imbecility. You cannot walk the streets of the
Are they honest?
We shall see:city after dark, without being armed. I never go out at night without having an open knife in my The gold-broker has a happy facility in converthand,
ing into an office any space large enough to conThis, too, is a pleasant state of affairs. tain himself and a pair of scales. The passage or How very soundly a person must sleep in private entrance of a shop is frequently made into such a “happy land !"
an office by having a green-baize partition at
the back of the broker, who pays £5 per week for Robberies are committed also in the open day the accommodation. Some of these take in' with impunity, whilst the Legislative Council is diggers to a great extent. One of their tricks is debating whether they shall give policemen 7s.6d. as follows:-A digger goes into one of these offices or 78. 9d. per day, when no man will work under with his bag of dust and nuggets, which the bro10s. at even road-scraping. I cannot have lost ker requests him to empty on a large sheet of less than between £300 or £400 by the mis-man- whity-brown or other large paper. He then be agement of the post-office, letters being mis-laid, gins a vigorous 'rousing with his fingers, and a mis-sent, and lost altogether, day after day. We magnet to extract the iron-stone from among it; want a Vigilance Committee here as in California, and, a good deal of blowing and shaking having and I would be one of the first to join it. It saved been gone through in a careless off-hand manner, California, and we shall have no safety until it is he empties the lot into the scale. • Seven and adopted here. There are marriage parties driving four is eight, eight and three is eleven, eleven and about every day, as I described in my last. I was four is fourteen; fourteen ounces, four pennyat the Botanical gardens last Sunday ; and there weights and a half, at £3.78 an ounce, £43; there's were diggers' wives promenading, most splendidly a check, Sir. Now, all this shaking, &c., is to dressed in silks, satins, velvets, feathers, and jewel. make a portion of gold pass through two nicks lery who had been servants in situations a week each, in two sheets of paper. When he takes it before.
to put the gold into the scale, he shifts the two These frauds by the post-office people are; other. Consequently they cannot be seen, even
sheets, so that the nicks are no longer over each we know, very common. “Help yourself" seems quite the order of the day. It must be shaking and blowing the gold in the above man
if the seller has any suspicion.. Sometimes, after good fun to see the loutish servants, bowed
he offers 2s per ounce less than the digger down beneath the weight of their finery. can get anywhere else, who of course declines sellSilks, satins, velvets, feathers, and jewellery ing, and goes away with an ounce or so less than must'" set off” their vulgar persons nicely! he came with. Some never buy an ounce, but
September 2.—There are about one thousand have a pound or two to sell at the end of the week. five hundred people arriving here every week; that it takes a quarter of an ounce to turn the
Some scales have the beam divided unequally, so this number will soon be two thousand. Ilitherto, we have only had them from the surrounding colo scale. If one half of the beam is the 16th of an nies; the stream is now commencing in earnest inch longer than the other, it will take this. The from England, the mother country, as she is called, I way to beat them at this work is, to reverse the but she is a mother that does not know how to gold and weights from one scale to the other. The govern her children. Everybody now is doing known weight of gold that has been sent from well , that the weather will permit to do anything here up to this date is sixty-four tons ; but this
does not include that which parties take away of In nearly every shop, such as a tailor's, there is a bill up with ' 'Thirty good hands wanted." Car
their own. The number of persons that arrived penters are advertised as being wanted, wages £1 in Melbourne last week was 4,283; who left it, per day. Dressmakers and milliners in propor- 390; leaving an addition to our population in one tion; and more than they can do.
week of 3,803.
Pastrycooks are making small fortunes from mere wedding
So much for Melbourne, and its civilisation, cakes, one about six or eight inches diameter cost- No employment is there, of any kind, for the ing £4 or £5. If it is £4, the digger throws down a £5-note, and takes a handful of gingerbread- mind; no thought required beyond the prenuts as change. Melbourne is literally crowded sent moment. Eating, drinking, sleeping, with new chums,' who are at their wits'-end where and gold digging, are here reckoned the to lay their heads. They stand with open mouths summum bonum of human happiness, Let at the windows of the gold-brokers’ shops, admir- us hear what another writer says of Adelaide,
where a seven-and-sixpenny tin-dish realises jor Davidson. The terms were £500 at five years' 20s., and a fifteen-penny shovel produces credit, being eight per cent. interest. Last week 10s.-all in an instant !
this property, less twelve allotments (which the
proprietor has reserved to himself), was divided Never was the labor-market worse supplied than into building lots, and sold by Messrs. Stubbs and at present. Even during the panic in January Son for £5,000. And it is a fact that parties who and February last, labor was to be had at such a purchased at the sale are re-selling at 100 per rate as not materially to interfere with the prosecentprofit already. Geelong Land Sale - Not a cution of profitable industrial operations. Now, single lot was withdrawn, and many allotments however, it is either not to be had at all, or not realised very high prices. The Ballarat allotments, without such an advance in the wages as is per- of two roods each, ranged from £80 to £270. The fectly paralysing to the employer. Several causes total amount of the first day's sale was £5,276., have contributed to this.' first, the continued and of the second day's, £38,000. Value of town absence of a number of the less successful portion property :-A gentleman of our acquaintance, who of the laboring population at the Victoria gold about two years since erected premises near the diggings. Second, the indisposition of those who wharf, which, together with the land upon which have returned with the means of supporting them- they were built, cost £2,600, has, within the last selves without labor, to return to their former ac- few days, been offered £9,800 cash down for them, customed occupations. Third, the withdrawal of and has refused the offer, from a conviction that 80 many persons to the South Australian or town property has not yet attained its maximum Echunga diggings, at a time when the labor mar- value. ket of the colony was suffering under an excess of
From all this, we arrive at “a great fact." depletion. Fourthly, the rise in the price of pro Mechanics, laborers, and all who are adepts visions and most of the other necessaries of life, rendering it difficult
, if not next to impossible, for at the useful arts, may at once enter on the people to feed and clothe themselves at the former road to fortune. People too who have money rate of wages. And, fifthly, the feverish excite- at their command, can, by investment, readily ment which the expectation of becoming success- treble it. But for the rest, they had better ful gold-liggers constantly keeps up; and the ease tarry where they are.
Bad as they may with which parties, whatever their former employ- consider things here, they will find them inments, can transform themselves into this cha- finitely worse abroad. Sinecures there, are
unknown; kid-gloves are not recognised; No one, not on the spot, can adequately conceive and "six-hour men" are not allowed to have the effect produced in Adelaide by the reported it all their own way. People who will not discovery of gold in workable quantities in work, must starve; or come back and“ put was up to 8d.; and wood and water were at up, with” their paltry £150 and £200 a year double their former prices. For tin dishes, the -if they can get it. former price of which was 7s 60, £1 was asked and obtained. Shovels, invoiced at 18 3d to ls 9d, ROUGH NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS. readily sold at 8s to 10s, and picks and most other tools went off at a like advance. Of course, there
BY A SPORTSMAN AND NATURALIST. were great complaints against the vendors of these articles ; but they justified themselves in return, A FRIEND OF MINE, Mr. Editor, having by referring to the daily increasing price of wages. informed me of the immense quantity of This is mentioned with the view of showing the wild fowl frequenting the western shores of deep necessity there is for a constant stream of Connaught (Western Ireland), I thought emigration from the United Kingdom being kept I could not do better than wend my mp. Nothing else can save the colony from utter way thither, and spend a fortnight in that prostration. There is at this moment a million wild and desolate portion of Her Majesty's sterling lying idle in Adelaide for the want of dominions, so ably described by poor,
Maxevery description, no less than shepherds and agri- well in his “Wild Sports of the West." cultural laborers, would find instant employment
I left home about 8 A.M., one fine mornat remunerative wages, without troubling them- ing in the early part of August last (1852), selves about the gold fields.
arrived at Holyhead, viâ Chester, by express
train, at 5, P.m., and in half an hour afterA pretty picture of society is this ! But wards rounded the “South Stack,” in that who will cultivate the domestic arts," when superb little steamboat, the “ Anglia." We gold is to be had ? " Aye, there's the rub." arrived at Kingstown an hour after our -Poor Adelaide !
time (12 o'clock), in consequence of a headWe conclude this graphic sketch of men wind. Thence we proceeded per rail to and manners, with an extract from a recent Dublin, which occupied a quarter of an number of the Melbourne Herald. We shall hour. I put up at “ Egginton's Hotel" in glean from it some idea of the value of land College Green; and here let me advise any and house speculation in Australia : of the readers of “Kidd's Journal,” visiting
Two years ago, a solicitor bought one hundred Dublin, if they love comfort at an hotel, acres of land on the other side of the Yarra, ad- combined with attention and exceedingly joining the property of Colonel Anderson and Ma- moderate charges, to go to “Egginton's." I
can assure them they will not repent having fleas, and cock-roaches. The room I occutaken my advice. The next morning I made pied contained two beds, an old chest, a a tour of the city; and at 4 P.M., set off per table, and a broken chair or two; but with Midland Great Western for Mullingar. From these, and a jolly good peat fire, I felt far the latter place I departed per mail coach happier than if seated in the most splendid for Ballina, a distance of about seventy drawing-room. At night, as the wind Irish miles, equal to a hundred English. moaned through the shutters, and the rain The coach starts from Mullingar at 10 P.M., descended in torrents on the thatch, I and arrives at Ballina about 10 A.M., the heaped more turf on the fire; and as the next day. From thence I set off across the cheerful blaze rushed up the chimney, I country, and passing through Castlebar and filled my “dudheen," and mixing a glass of Westport, finally arrived at Newport, a small glorious “toddy," sat and amused myself village near the coast.
with the past numbers of “ Kidd's Own," I would here caution any young sports- Mudie, Col. Hawker, and others. man, or naturalist, who fancies that by My days were generally spent in sailing going to such a wild, out-of-the-way about the bay, or scrambling over the hills place," as Western Ireland, he can live and and moorlands, looking out for specimens ; cruize about at a cheaper rate there than in and the result of my observations may be any other part of the British Isles. This is combined in the following rough notes, all moonshine. Nearly all the inns are which I made during my short stay in that most exorbitant in their charges; and in wild yet beautiful country. the aforesaid little village of Newport, another gentleman and myself were charged found standing motionless, upon some small
The heron was common; and usually to be half-a-crown each for what they were rock close in shore, watching for prey. I pleased to call “ a dinner." This “ dinner"
saw one of these birds in a domestic state consisted of four mutton chops, served up in a poulterer's shop in Dublin; and the in a small public house bearing the name of
owner informed me that he had been in his “ Hotel.” The waiters at these places are the most voracious set of fellows I have possession for upwards of twenty years. His
food consisted solely of the windpipes of ever met with. They certainly do amuse ducks and geese, which I saw given to him, you at your meals by their odd tales ; but Cormorants, too, were very common.
I they take special care to make you pay well descried them in companies of seven or for your amusement, and higgle with you eight, sailing about the bay. They allowed ten times worse than a London cabman. I the boat to come within thirty yards, keepfound the best way to manage them was, to get back what they had refused, and then ing their heads and necks only above water
. politely inform them that they should have the instant the gun went off, so that it was
They kept very close together, and dived nothing. I mention these little matters by difficult to kill them. I shot four on the way of duty. Every travelling naturalist 11th of August One of them had the belly ought to communicate to his brethren such and underside dusky-white;
while the others facts as may be of use to them, if peradventure they should ever travel in his footsteps. I their families ate them for supper, and de
were clothed with green. The boatmen and A week after my arrival, I started for clared they were very good. the entrance of Clew Bay. I found it just
Of gulls there were hundreds. I noticed the place I had pictured to myself. Imagine four or five different kinds. Wherever the an immense bay, filled with islands, high poor people were to be seen collecting · niountains on either side, with Clare Island Cockles, sand eels, &c., there were the gulls stationed at its mouth. Here and there, sure to be in crowds, sailing over their close to the shore, were cabins or native cot- heads, and every now and then dipping tages; and one of them I made my home down' for some of the small fish thrown during my stay.
When the tide had receded in the There are many who talk largely about night time, and the moon had risen, it was how they have “roughed it" in small public delightful to sit and listen to the cries of houses on the English coast ; but I'll venture the gulls, and other sea birds. The hoarse to say, if they paid a visit to a cabin in the scream of the largest species of gull, might wilds of Connaught, they might use that be heard at the distance of a mile with the term more appropriately. But in my various greatest ease, Curlews were in great numperegrinations in search of specimens, I have bers. These birds are a great annoyance to been introduced to a few hardships both by the coast shooter, in consequence of their sea (when the vessel I was in was timid habits. They generally have a sentiwrecked, and nearly a hundred of my poor nel posted upon some rocky eminence; and fellow-mortals met with a watery grave), at the first appearance of danger, he immeand land. These have caused me to think diately gives the loud peculiar note of alarm. lightly of such minor matters as mud floors, This causes the whole body of curlews to
rise up, and with them the golden plover, sparrow-hawk were not uncommon on the redshanks, &c., leaving the weary sports- moors; a specimen of the former I brought man to toil over the sandbanks again and home with me alive. again without once getting a shot.
The bay was well supplied with the difThe golden plover I found in flocks of ferent kinds of fish; and I saw seals every thirty or forty. At full tide, these birds allow the boat to come near them, always
time I went out. They would not, however, leave the coast for the moors and uplands, and there await the turn of the tide. i popping their heads under water when we was frequently astonished at the regularity These animals must live famously in Clew
came within eighty or a hundred yards. with which they returned to the shore. At the very precise period of the tide Bay, for there is no want of food. I saw beginning to ebb, did they make their ap- ful to hear the roar the mackerel make, when
many porpoises rolling about. It is wonderpearance from the hills. Redshanks were common, frequenting the sandbanks, and tell the boatmen to keep silence, that I
they arrive in the bay. Many a time did I mixing with the curlews. Oyster catchers, (called there “sea-pies”) were also common, the bay during their annual migration, large
might listen to them. As they crowd into generally six or seven together. Ring plovers shoals keep together, and in close phalanx were in abundance, I saw from two to three hundred in a flock, one day; It is a pretty doing so they cause a sound similar to the
press swiftly along near the surface. In sight to see these little birds together upon breaking of the surf on a lee shore. the sand, running about in search of insects; now and then giving chase to each other,
The herring season commenced while I and opening out their wings as they run.
was there; and it was certainly a droll sight They are very tame, and will allow a person out to assist the fishermen.
to see the cargoes of human beings that set to come within fifteen yards of them. Puffins
Every boat were frequently to be met with, out in the
contained a family ; and Irish families are
not small. Such shouts and such laughter bay ; generally in pairs. They remain a considerable time under water, and go a
took place as the nets were hauled on board great distance at each dive.
these crazy vessels at starting! The native Purres were
on the sand
language, mingled with the harsh screams of banks; they fly very swiftly; indeed, I
the sea-birds, caused a chaos of noise, saw no sea bird equal to them.' Of divers, scarcely to be credited. Each boat had a there were two or three kinds, very difficult peat fire in it, made upon a foundation of a to kill, invariably ducking to the flash. I
few stones; and as the time passed on, boats procured two very pretty specimens. They different islands, all making for one point
might be seen pulling out from among the are almost always found in pairs. One day (the fishing
ground, a particular part of the I came upon an old one, and a brood of young ones, close in shore. I shot one of bay), till at last a miniature fleet was formed, the latter, which was of a brownish plumage,
and they at once prepared for the night's and had a deeply serrated beak. Wild
I did intend to mention the various ducks were common, frequenting the marshy methods of taking fish in Clew Bay, but I ground near the shore. Of ravens, I saw
am well aware that our “ OWN JOURNAL" but one in the mountains, above Ballycroy. Rooks were common enough. The hooded must not be unduly encroached upon. Sufcrow frequented the rocks about the shore, sent at the capture of some codtish (young),
fice it to say, that during my stay I was prepicking up small fish, &c. Snipes were very maiden ray, coal-fish, mullet, and gurnard. numerous in the marshes and bogs, but were difficult to get at, in consequence of the in- | All about the rocky shore, and sandy bays,
whole hosts of crabs, cockles, shrimps, secure state of the surface. One minute I was on hard soil, the next up to my middle prawns, rasor fish, mussels, &c., were to be in soft, pulpy matter. Magpies were com
and one day I was offered a splendid mon about the cultivated ground. The
John Dory for a mere trifle. pretty little wheat-ear I found in small this little sketch of my ramble to the land
Allow me, Mr. Editor, before I conclude Aocks, among the rocks on the mountain of the west," to inform you that in the sides; and the sky-lark might be heard every several “ Notes of a Sportsman and Naturaday. The little wren too was by no means scarce, and generally frequented the stone must never expect elegance of composition
list," I may hereafter trouble you with, you walls. The stone-chat s found in pairs. from one whose hand is more accustomed to One pair of these birds frequented our cabin. The male was very tame, and was to be seen
grasp trusty double" than his " each day perched upon the stone wall,
lasting gold pen. chattering and flirting his tale about. On
JOHN MATTHEW JONES, M.Z.S. the moor, the red grouse occurred in great Montgomery, North Wales, plenty; as also the tit-lark. The merlin and Feb. 10, 1853.