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Life on the diggins - some lighter moments

Argus 2 January 1852, 2/4:

GEELONG.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

....The theatre has been the great source of attraction during the last eight days; it is well filled every night, but not more so than the present spirited manager deserves. Mr. Deering has produced an expensive pantomine [sic] for the gratification of the diggers, &c., which reflects much credit on him; but the diorama introduced along with the pantomime is admitted on all hands to be not only good, but superior to anything of the kind yet presented to the Colonists. As the scenery passes, the first great object that attracts attention, and calls forth the approbation of the audience, is the view of the far famed Ballarat Diggings, and Golden Point; then there is a well executed representation of the Crystal Palace, but the last and best of all is the opening of the Great Exhibition, in which her Majesty forms the most conspicuous figure. This painting is admirably done, and the moment it appears, is greeted with thundering applause; as it passes off, the company sing the National Anthem. There is only one deficiency, that is the want of good music to give it more effect; but considering all things, Mr Deering deserves great credit for his exertion to afford amusement to the townspeople.

Argus 7 January 1852, 2/4:

GEELONG.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

Monday, 5th January, 1852.

The diggers have been spending their holidays, principally in horseracing and betting.

Argus 3 March 1852, 3/4:

SONGS FROM THE DIGGINGS!

Air—"Oh! what a row," &c.

Oh! what a row, what a rumpus, and a rioting
We all endure, you may be sure, who live up here—
For the "Diggings" is a place that you never can get quiet in,
From tipsy brawls, and pistol balls, both far and near.
Dogs biting—men fighting—hitting hard and walloping;
Then on Sunday, that for one day is the time for galloping—
Bullock teams go by in streams, ’mong carts and horses smashing,
As down they pour, in many a score, with golden earth for washing—
And they make such a row, such a rumpus and a rioting.
We must endure, you may be sure, who live up here.
With spade and pick, through thin and thick, they surface they uncover,
Unmindful of the labour, or the sun’s fierce rays;
Deeper diving, each is striving, nuggets to discover—
Until at last, in clay stuck fast, they meet their gaze!
Then the watching—shooting—catching ‘Fossickers’ so villainous,
Who drink and fight, and then at night by robbery live well on us—
Or, round our tent, with ill intent, at midnight they are sneaking,
But soon they beat a quick retreat, when they hear the pistols clicking.

So it’s always a row, &c.

Now and then a shift of scene disturbs our grave monotony—
When armed police come in a trice to seize sly grog;
What poking, turning, breaking, burning, swearing in words hot and high—
And every one must see the fun, and all is agog!
Men with kegs take to their legs, and shin away up gullies,
While staggering off, ’mid jeer and scoff, come forth the drunken bullies:
Then flames ascend, and there’s an end to tent, and grog, and crockery,
And so concludes the interlude, "Death of the sly grog rookery!"
And such are the rows, and the rumpuses, and riotings
We must endure, you may be sure, who live up here.

A.R.
Friar’s Creek Diggings,
February, 1852.

Argus 30 April 1852, 2/4-5:

EXTRACTS FROM UNPUBLISHED DRAMAS.

ACT 3—SCENE 1—THE BLACK FOREST.

BILL BOLTER and NED SLAUGHTER (Vandemonians) are discovered, sitting under a gum tree, in earnest conversation, their horses grazing quietly near them.

BILL Bolter—Well, Ned, what’s news?

NED —Trade’s dull—there’s little doing on the road my way. You Forest coves too, I suppose, find things a little slack?

BILL —Why only middling—that’s a fact—our party did a little shaking in the nugget line this week: but not to speak of. One fellow made me laugh, he called out "police," when I requested him to stand; and swore as how he would report me to the ’thorities. What police? says I—what ’thorities? and then I put my thumb up to my nose, and stretching out my fingers thus, made him a sign, which well conveyed my meaning—Walker. But who comes here?

NED —Business, I hope.

BILL —See to your poppers, Ned, and sneak with me behind this clump of trees.

NED (looking earnestly at the approaching horseman) —Why, strike me honest! if it isn’t Joe the Stifler.

BILL —Well, here’s a spree.

Enter JOE THE STIFLER.

JOE —What, Bolter! Slaughter! how goes it lads?

BILL —Well, queerish; how with you?

JOE —Bad’s the word with me. Luck’s gone against me altogether, and only last night I was sold completely; done browner than the brownest.

NED —You sold!

JOE —I’ll tell you how. I saw a beery chap flashing a lot of notes at Lyneton just after dark. In course I marked him for my own, and in due time managed the job, and took his roll of notes.

BILL —Well, so far, so good.

JOE —But here comes the bad—the cove, who acted very decent, handed his money over quite perlite, and begged me, in so piteous a tone, to give him back a portion of his tin, to clear his way upon the road, that I consented, and out of my own pocket—mark you—gave him five bob.

BILL —Not much!

JOE —Too much! for when I struck a light and came to overhaul the notes, they were all these — — ‘Don Havannas;’ but never mind, I’ve got an idea—

BILL —But stop; who’s here?

The gentlemen retire behind the trees. Two horsemen approach, followed at a short distance by a third. One of the travellers is tall and sallow, rides a good horse awkwardly, and appears to command considerable deference from his companion. The third gentleman, as far as can be discerned in the distance, appears a sort of mongrel between a soldier, artillery man, footman, and constable.

BILL , NED , and JOE (together): Stand! Your money or your lives!

A sound of hoofs is heard, and the hybrid soldier, artilleryman, footman, and constable, is seen evaporating at racing speed.

JOE , BILL and NED : Come, stump up!

DARK STRANGER (tremblingly): Why — you — don’t — mean — to — say — that —you — w-a-n-t — my—m-o-n-e-y?

BILL (Cocking his pistol): Or your life, if you’d rather part with that!

LIGHT STRANGER : Why — you — wouldn’t — hurt — the — Le-e-f-t-e-n-a-n-t Gov-e-r-n-o-r!

JOE (Knocking up the [Bill’s] pistol, which explodes and lodges three slugs in an adjacent wattle): Stop, BILL! Blessed if it aint the cove! You’re Sir Charley, aint you, Sir? It’s the werry man.

NED —Hunt our best friend, indeed! No, no. Honor amongst thieves. Off you go, your Excellency. Why don’t you wear your hat and feathers, and then these accidents would not happen?

(Strangers ride on.)

BILL —I’d nearly shot him, and what a blunder that would be! A fine day’s work indeed, to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs! Three cheers for Sir Charles, boys[,] may he live a thousand years, and leave another as good behind him. Three cheers for Sir Charles, the true friend of the bushranger, burglar, pick-pocket, and murderer! Hip—Hip—Hurrah! Three cheers for the toady magistrates! Three cheers for the crawling police! Three cheers for Billy Lonsdale and the five-and-ninepence a day.

(The horses are caught, the gentlemen adjourn, and in another five minutes are deep in the mysteries of a rifled mail cart.)

SCENE 2—HOSTELRIE AT LYNETON .

The two travellers in a private room. Sir C sitteth himself on chair No.1, stretcheth his legs on chair No.2, and smoketh a cigar. The shadow sitteth on chair No.3, stretcheth his legs on chair No.4, and also smoketh a cigar. A conversation ensueth, which rather bordering upon what the profane entitle Namby Pamby, is scarce worth being handed down to posterity.

SIR C(concluding): [...] well, at all events, it was a mercy that they were only robbers. If they had been those rascally diggers we might have been ill used. I was a little frightened at first, till I saw by their manner that they belonged to the fine enterprising spirits of which we hear so much. The man who of old "fell among thieves" had to wait for his Samaritan; it is not every one who has the skill to find his Samaritan and his thief in the same person! He, he, he!

SHADOW —He, he, he!

SIR C—And the courtesy they showed me! How gratifying to find even [in] men in that out-of-the-way place, so much fine true English sentiment, and to discover a stream of real British loyalty and love for the Authorities, even in the breasts of our bold and dashing foot-pads! Loyalty worthy of the mansion of your hospitable friend John Thomas; or only to be equalled in the office where our thick-witted toady-general blunders over the hints you gave him, and tries to give force to his paper thunderbolts! Noble fellows all! (Takes his chamber candlestick.) Heigho, I miss my evening overture! I wish I had my fiddle! Good night. (Exit.)

SHADOW —Good night your E—

SIR C (re-appearing): I heard one of those fellows say something about "killing the goose that lays the golden eggs," what the deuce did he mean by that? Don’t know, eh! Never mind! I’ll make a memo to talk it over with Billy.

(Exeunt Omnes.)

Geelong Advertiser 29 October 1852, 2/1:

SCRAPS FROM EUREKA.

"All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts." The truth of this assertion by the bard of all time is never disputed, even though a British act of parliament declares all players vagabonds; and to admit the truth of Shakspere is to reduce the whole human race to vagabondism. This is certainly humiliating but the truth must be admitted. We are players all—all mercenary players, appearing here and there in the shifting scenes of life, choosing our characters and party as they seem most likely to be profitable, and not considering whether we possess the necessary mental and physical qualifications to fit us for creditably sustaining the characters we adopt. One glance at the Eureka mines is sufficient to fix the truth of this statement on the mind of any observer, however{,} reluctantly he may receive it. Here are men attempting to play the miner who are as ridiculously out of place as a pigmy would be attempting to personify Jack Falstaff. Truly one man {]}n his time plays many parts{.} and never were sorry actors more awkwardly jumbled together than in the serio-comic drama now enacting about Eureka and Ballarat. A gentleman in the next tent, who has figured as an extensive wharfinger and road contractor, and who is a disciple of Robert Owen, digs and praises Socialism, hob nob[s] with his mate, a grave church catechist, who digs and moralises turn and turn about ... A son of Esculapius, sick of surgery, trys [sic] to play his part at the windlass—drawing up a bucket instead of drawing out teeth—eschewing the lancet for the more healthy exercise of the pickaxe: no more pouring drugs down the human throat to chase disorders from the stomach, descends himself down the dark throat of a forty feet shaft, to operate for yellow fever on bowels of mother earth. A limb of the law is here using his sinews instead of his brains, bringing up the body of the client by rope and winch, in lieu of writs of habeas corpus: poor Briefless talks of a suit in equity against the Chief Commissioner, for breach of contract, or obtaining money under false pretences: his thirty shillings license was for digging, searching for, and removing gold, but alas! alas! he has dug four holes and searched them too, but has found, as yet, no gold to remove. One-third of the contract is therefore unfulfilled. We have a rope-making storekeeper—a literary gold broker—a sentimental butcher, and an architectural six-penny postman. Such is life—a drama and a dream; such the world "a stage"—such the men and women merely players, conscience criticises and the idle world applauds us or condemns: blind fortune scatters her "favours" here and there till Death lets fall the curtain: we awake—life is a fiction—all realities come after death.

G.W.

Geelong Advertiser 29 October 1852, 2/1:

I say Master Samivell, why don’t the Commissioner go down a digger’s hole when there’s a rumpus about underminin next feller’s ground?

Why—aw—you see Joe—aw—the Commissionaw in a digger’s hole—aw—you see Joe it would be decidedly Infra Dig, you understand Joe the phrases—aw—Infra Dig ....

Argus 7 February 1853, 5/1-2:

MOUNT ALEXANDER.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

Forest Creek, 3rd Feb. 1853.

Daily we have an addition to our population of a very fair share of new arrivals, more particularly females—wives and families of diggers. It is amusing to stand at one’s door every day and take a glance at each dray, as it passes, with its loading of the fairer portion of the Creation, attended with their little ones. In some instances, as many as four adult females might be seen in one dray together, with a whole host of the rising generation of gold-diggers, the husbands and fathers walking at the sides of the dray. The passenger conveyances also are far superior this year to what they were last. In particular I shall mention Mr. R.S. Howard’s new conveyance, "Argus," which really does credit to that gentleman for his endeavours to suit the convenience of the diggers. It is a four-wheeled four-horse drag [sic], licensed to carry fourteen, combining with neatness and respectability, the comfort and accommodation of his passengers. The opening of the National School took place this afternoon with a procession of the children from the Post-Office Hill to the school tent, where they were regaled with buns and tea; the parents of the children also attended, and the little room appropriated for the children was crowded to excess. This, together with the numbers of children arriving every day, augurs well for the success of our National Schools. Several appropriate addresses were given by the Rev. Mr. Currey and several other gentlemen. The meeting was prolonged to a late hour.

Argus 26 April 1853, 4/4:

MOUNT ALEXANDER.

Forest Creek 21st April, 1853.

The public dinner which has been announced to take place, under the auspices of the National Education Board, was held on Monday night last, in the National School tent. The tent was lined with green baize, and tastefully decorated with branches of the green wattle and other indigenous shrubs; and as the light from the wax candles, with which the tent was illuminated, was reflected from a long array of knives and forks, and a very tasteful and creditable display of plate, and other requisites usual on such occasions, it formed a scene both pleasing to the sight, as well as creditable to the taste and exertions of the Sub-Committee and Stewards.

At half-past five the company began to assemble, and among the first we observed the Rev. Mr. Jackson, lady, and friends, Mr. Commissioner Doveton, and others of the elite of the Forest Creek community; and at six o’clock precisely a large and respectable assemblage, among which was a very agreeable sprinkling of the fairer portion of the creation, sat down to an excellent dinner, with the usual accompaniments of wines, and other agreeable and exhilarating liquids,—the Rev. Mr. Jackson having previously invoked a blessing on the meal. After the gross sense of appetite had been duly appeased, many national toasts were drunk, and loyally responded to, at the termination of each the musicians playing an appropriate air. The Rev. Mr. Jackson delivered a very able address on the advantages which may and must accrue to society by the assembling together of parties whose object, as on the present occasion, was simply the advancement of national education.

In the course of his address, the Rev. gentleman regretted that he should have been the only clergyman present, a sentiment in which I may safely affirm he was joined by every one present; and when we consider the wide and mighty importance [of] a general system of education, and the weight to be attached to the presence of the clergy, their absence on the present occasion was deeply to be deplored by every well-wisher to the cause for which the meeting was mainly called together. The tables having been removed, dancing commenced, and the "light fantastic" was continued with spirit till the "small hours," when the various ladies and gentlemen returned to their homes and beds—(and if I may be allowed to borrow a figure of speech from your "own correspondent," who was present, and who will furnish you with a full account of the speeches)—by way of a "shake down;" the whole proceedings were conducted with the utmost propriety, and cannot fail not only to show that the gold regions are inhabited by a race of men far different from that of cannibals; but will, I trust, form an important era in the records of gold-digging generally, and those of Victoria in particular.

D. BUNCE

Argus 26 April 1853, 4/5:

EUREKA AND BALAARAT

April 18th, 1853.

(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT )

The only event of any great importance that has occurred here since my last communication is the visit of His Excellency the Governor, who arrived at the camp at Balaarat on Saturday afternoon last, together with his escort. His Excellency, it appears, is going on a tour of inspection to the different diggings. He left Balaarat this morning (Monday) en route for Forest Creek, having expressed himself highly pleased with the diggings, and the general good order prevailing in this neighborhood. There is one thing, however, must, or rather ought, to have struck him very forcibly, which is the non-existence of any place of public worship in the midst of this populous district, there being none nearer than Buninyong (and I believe there is no regular one there), with the exception of a Roman Catholic chapel, which is on the Brownhill Flat, about two and a half miles from the camp. This fact was brought before him rather strongly on Sunday, when he attended divine worship, as the service was read by one of the "commissioners," who, by virtue of his office, it seems, administers prayers and punishment—comfort to the soul and castigation to the body, with an industry and versatility quite admirable in a Government officer. There is some chance, however, of an improvement in this matter, and that shortly, as the Bishop of Melbourne is expected here in a few days, and unless his Right Reverence considers that the Gospel administered by himself will have a " forty parson power," and consequently suffice for the spiritual wants of the diggers during the winter months, we may expect that a "regular" chaplain may be appointed, for we are only at present favored with the occasional visits of what is familiarly termed a "bush parson," with the exception of a few "new lights" as they call themselves, which to the credit of the diggers were no sooner kindled than extinguished.

Considerable amusement was caused here by the perusal, in the Morning Herald, of a letter headed, "From our own correspondent, Balaarat." The paragraph in question was to this effect: "That not only storekeepers, but doctors also, were in the habit of announcing fictitious discoveries of gold, for the sole purpose of enriching themselves at the expense of the deluded digger." This must either have a general or a particular application; if the former, it is too absurd to need a remark; but if the latter, it requires further substantiation. Now, we are not in possession of the information, though we have used our best endeavors to obtain it, which can possibly implicate any party or individual concerned in such a nefarious transaction, and the conclusion we cannot but come to is this: that the correspondent alluded to was either actuated by malice in his statement, or that the unfortunate individual has been the victim of some electro biological experiment, concerning which he discourseth so elowuently. True it is that "a reporter" is instanced by himself as having been subjected to the control of some expert manipulator in the above science, and that he must be the reporter in question is the only rational way of explaining the matter.

The price of gold, £3 13s, with a tendency downwards.

P.S. It seems that we are not to be devoid of amusement altogether, as there is a circus in the course of erection at Balaarat.

Argus 11 July 1853, 3/7:

AN AUSTRALIAN PARADISE

By the "diggers’ heaven" is simply meant,
Nuggets by tons, and the sly-grog tent!

Argus 25 July 1853, 5/7:

DIGGER EXTRAVAGANCE.—An American paper tells its readers that, "In Australia, if one of the diggers enters a baker’s shop to purchase a wedding-cake, which costs forty dollars, he throws down a fifty-dollar bill, and takes a handful of dough-nuts in change." That the digger is inclined to be extravagant, and especially when about to take the yoke of Hymen on him, is a fact but too notorious; but still, our American friend is not quite correct in his statement, seeing that diggers in Australia do not carry fifty-dollar bills about with them, and that dough-nuts are a commodity unknown to Australian confectionery.

Argus Argus 27 October 1853, 4/6:

BENDIGO
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

24th. October, 1853.

THE GOLD-DIGGERS’ LATE BALL.—As stated in my last, this affair came off on Wednesday evening, and with great eclat. De Grey’s splendid band made the diggers and their friends enjoy the festive dance. The floor of the Circus was boarded for the occasion, and the arrangements reflected great credit on the stewards, who were unceasing in their efforts to make the people happy. Although it was announced that full dress would not be exacted, yet a great many of the males were attired in garments that exhibited a gentlemanly taste. The ladies, about sixty in number (or about one to ten of the gentlemen), did credit to the digging classes. Unpleasant rumors were afloat on the Bendigo for some days previous to the ball night, that the officers of the Camp, of all grades, were forbidden by the Government authorities to attend the ball, and a deputation waited on the Resident Commissioner to ascertain the truth of the statement. Mr. Panton (the Resident Commissioner) assured the deputation that no orders were issued from the Camp on the subject, and that all in the employ of the Government could do as they liked in the matter. He further assured the deputation that far from refusing consent to any of the officers of the Camp visitng the ball, he wished the affair every success. The Resident Commissioner is very much respected, and it seems a pity that some of the busy, meddling creatures in the employ of the Government do not take their cue from the behaviour of this gentleman, who, while he is often called upon to do disagreeable duties, yet performs them in a manner that commands the esteem of the majority of the public.

The net amount of the diggers’ ball in aid of the funds of the hospital is £123. I understand that the managing committee of the hospital are about to conduct the institution on a far more liberal system than was expected. If they do so, then the success of the institution may be guaranteed.

Argus 18 July 1854, 3/2:

BENDIGO.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)

PARIS EXHIBITION .—A meeting of the local committee took place on Tuesday evening, at the Freemasons’ Hotel, Mr. Panton in the chair. The names of several gentlemen were added to the committee already formed. The secretary, Dr. Allison, read the copy of a circular which he had addressed to the members of the committee, including all the squatters in the district, requesting their active co-operation in procuring a collection of specimens of the productions of the country, and enumerating the articles it was desirable to furnish. Several resolutions were then passed, the most important of which was one authorising the executive committee to call for tenders for the erection of a suitable building for the local exhibition, and the construction of cases to contain the specimens, and to provide whatever other requisites might be deemed necessary. It was also determined that the president, treasurer, and secretary should take immediate steps for procuring a suitable and commodious tent, in which the articles furnished for exhibition might be placed until the proper building was ready, and that the tent should be properly guarded. The substance of another resolution was, that Dr. Allison, the secretary, in conjunction with some members of the committee, should visit Golden Square, Eagle Hawk, the White Hills, &c., to explain the objects of the exhibition, and to interest parties to come forward to assist in the movement. After some discussion as to the resolution being premature or not, it was at length unanimously resolved that Sir Charles Hotham and Lady Hotham be requested to honor the Local Exhibition by opening it. Also that the officers commanding the military force stationed here be requested to furnish a guard of honor during the opening of the Exhibition. A desultory conversation was carried on relative to the advisability of sending miners’ tools to the Exhibition, or simply of furnishing models of them. It was considered that the latter would be preferable, but a general opinion was expressed in favor of sending a cradle and washing-tub, with auriferous earth in it, to give the Parisians a lively idea of Australian gold-washing. The president notified that the next meeting should take place at half-past seven o’clock p.m. on Tuesday evening next, at the Black Swan.

THEATRICALS.—The Theatre Royal has reopened under the management of Mr. Shearcroft. It is not fair as yet to judge of the new management. Messrs Fawcett and Walsh are fitting up the long room of the Criterion into a theatre to be called the Princess’s, and a very handsome little place it will be, capable of containing some 350 persons, with a stage larger than that of the Royal. The Victoria is shut up, and there is to be a bal masque there to-morrow evening. "Ambrose Gwinett" was produced before its close, for the benefit of Mr. Rignold and was well played. Mr. Rignold’s Grayling was a very good performance, and the acting between Miss Herbert as Lucy Freelove and Shearcroft as Ambrose Gwinett was equal, if not superior, to anything we have seen on the Bendigo.

Argus 18 August 1854, 5/3:

BENDIGO DIGGINGS.

THEATRICALS.—Mr. John Gregg took a benefit on Tuesday last at the Victoria Theatre, when the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet was represented. The house was the fullest we ever saw on the Bendigo. Miss Herbert personated Romeo, and Miss Wernham, Juliet, in a very creditable manner.

To-day the Theatre Royal was submitted for public competition, including the Royal Exchange adjacent, and the allotment on which they stood. The reserve price was £3500. There was no offer at that extreme figure.

Geelong Advertiser 24 August 1854, 4/7: [from the Ballarat Times ]:

LUCUBRATIONS ON THE BALLARAT GOLD FIELDS.

The following humorous article appeared in a late number of the Ballarat Times:—

Wishing to present our readers with a more comprehensive view of the mines than has been generally given, and thinking the impressions of a gentleman recently arrived from home might throw some new life and interest into "Mining Reports," we engaged the services of a veritable New Chum to act as assistant to the very efficient gentleman whom we employ at present. The following is his first (perhaps his last) attempt. He commences with

BALLARAT FLAT.

(Query: does he mean himself?)

This place is now the scene of very extensive mining operations. A gigantic claim has been marked out from the Township across the Flat to Ballarat Point. The sinking stuff is about three feet, and the washing stuff is piled along the claim. Singular to say, the miners, instead of taking the metal out of their stuff, are daily employed in putting metal upon the top of it, and in order to keep up a supply of the precious metal a select committee of the miners are employed by their companions in the interesting occupation of diamond-cutting. Whether it is that these miners are glutted with their success, or are lazy, I cannot tell; yet I have observed the miners on this claim busily intent upon examining the quality of the pick, instead of using it. This model reporter continues:—

"Hearing some miners speaking about ‘Little Bendigo,’ I enquired of a very intelligent looking man with a very long beard, if it was of Bendigo’s son they were speaking? And he answered it was, and gave me the information that Little Bendigo had emigrated from his pugilistic father in England and settled near to Ballarat; I was exceedingly anxious to have an interview with the son of so illustrious a father, and enquired where he was likely to be found. The gentleman (for I really think he was a gentleman disguised as a miner), very kindly pointed out the direction I was to go,—but I soon lost my way and had to ask another person where Little Bendigo resided; but this man was not so intelligent as the last, so looking at my hat, which is of Parisian manufacture and very glossy, as you know, he whiffed his pipe, and said Joe. I asked where Joe resided, as I thought it possible ‘Little Bendigo’ might be boarding with him, [to] which the digger said in a surly voice, ‘Jam his tail!’ You will observe, Mr. Editor, what labor I have expended in giving you my experiences in these mines. Nothing could equal my research. I heard that it was a constant source of employment for the miner, in his leisure hours to tend sheep—hence the name of shepherd. In order to make myself thoroughly acquainted with the subject, I went to a ‘shepherd,’ a frugal swain, and politely asked to be informed whereabouts he kept his flock*. The reply was a sharp tap on ... [my] nose, accompanied with a request to know if I would have any more, which you may be sure I declined. I shall not, however, let this rebuff daunt my ardour in the least, for I am determined to show them all what a reporter of energy can accomplish.

I am going to start for a place called the Eureka, and there I expect to get some valuable information for your next.

I am, sir, yours obediently,
JULIUS CÆSAR HANNABAL WASHINGTON MUFF.["]

Mr. J.C.H.W. Muff adds, in a sort of postscript, marked "Confidential," Sir,—Your present Special Reporter is a fool. Don’t have anything more to do with him. I like the "Our Correspondent" far better, and he is acquainted with all the stores where they sell grog and won’t take any pay.

(*We beg to inform our Reporter, and the public generally, that the Shepherds of the Ballarat field are not at all "frugal swains," and whatever some of them might have done on the "Grampians," it certainly is not on the Red Hill they "feed their flocks." — ED. B.T.)

Argus 12 October 1854, 4/6:

BALLAARAT.
(FROM A CORRESPONDENT.)

BALLAARAT RACES.—Our races are advertised to come off on the 12th of December. Amongst a great variety of other stakes and prizes I see mentioned the Camp Purse of not less than 100 sovereigns, the Ladies’ Purse, ditto, and the Gold Diggers’ Plate, of "any amount" that may be subscribed on that behalf.

THEATRICAL.—After a too long recess the Theatre Royal was reopened under the most favorable auspices on Tuesday last. The house, which was crowded to excess, appeared highly delighted with the performances, and no one could help admiring the tasteful and elegant manner in which the theatre has been newly decorated.

Argus 12 October 1854, 4/7:

BENDIGO.

THE THEATRE .—On Wednesday last Mr. Coleman took his benefit at the Princess’s, when there was a very good house. He personated Claude Melnotte, and so far as the reading went he acquitted himself admirably. On Saturday Mr. Fawcett had a full house: the performance went off well. The theatre is closed for the present.

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