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The extent of a claim is in proportion to the The gold diggers are most unsettled in their nnmber of persons who have taken it up. All ideas. They are generally working hard with very disputes were formerly settled by the camp officials unsatisfactory results. The paying claims are but and police. The latter were so unpopular how- few in comparison with the blanks. The most ever, that in some localities they durst not appear. extraordinary feature in the gold mining popula. The cry of “Joey"* would rise everywhere tion is the celerity with which they shift about against them, and they were driven away. The from one locality to another. A spot may be unlocal courts now take cognizance of all disputes inhabited, wild, and dreary to-day, but in a few about claims.
days after it may be transformed into a large city. In the early phase of digging, “surfacing" or The popular gold field, containing its thirty thouwashing the soil on the surface of the ground in a sand diggers, is just as often left a solitary wildercradle, and sinking pits, and washing the auriferous ness in as short a space of time. There are now soil, were the only means followed for obtaining great central depots on the gold fields, where large gold. At present machinery is used for puddling stocks of merchandize are stored, and ready to be the clay. Two or three persons usually unite and transferred to any spot at a moment's notice. The purchase horses, and erect the necessary works. digger can shoulder his pickaxe and shovel at any Those engaged in this branch of digging do mo- moment, and start for a new field. derately well, the returns being small, but tolerably “money in his purse,” as honest Iago said, he certain. The whole of the auriferous soil par- need fear nothing.
He will find storekeepers, tially wasted by the more primitive cradles is now brewers, spirit dealers, and, in fact, tradesmen of being thoroughly cleared of its precious ore by all kinds, eager to welcome him when be arrives the puddling machines.
on the ground. Bad roads, flooded rivers, and a But the most complicated, and by far the most hundred minor difficulties will not prevent cominteresting process of obtaining the precious me- mercial enterprise from following the rush wheretal on the diggings is from quartz, by aid of steam ever it may wander. The stranger who reaches power. The alluvial fields may wear out; but a plain in the far bush, which only a short time there are miles of quartz reefs, which may take before was destitute of any sign of civilization, centuries to exhaust. Like alluvial digging, the will find himself in a comfortable city, surrounded return is precarious and uncertain. Some have by stores, hotels, and theatres. That great civimade large sums, and many have been beggared by | Jiser, the newspaper press, is not long behind, and speculations in quartz-crushing. The art is yet often makes its appearance in a week or two after but very imperfectly understood, and there can be the great rush has set in for a new digging. It no doubt but that the machinery for crushing the thus happens, that in an incredibly short space of quartz will be improved, and that the process of time all the appliances of civilized life are gathered amalgamation will come to be more generally un. together. derstood.
In those congregations, the majority are honest There are
machines for crushing and industrious, but there are not a few who live quartz, but the most common are those termed the by the vices of their neighbours, and even some “stampers” and the “rollers.” The former is who live by highway robbery. It is dangerous to undoubtedly the most powerful, and is on the travel in the neighbourhood of the gold fields unprinciple of the Chilian mill. Berdan's patent armed. There are numbers of reckless vagabonds had a high character in California, but has not suc. who infest the purlieus of these busy scenes, and ceeded so well in Australia. The most popular, I live by plunder. In passing some of the roadside believe, on the whole, are the machines constructed inns, the traveller observes two or three horses on Dr. Otway's principle. The quartz is thrown tied to posts outside the doorway, the owners are into a large cast iron basin, in which two heavy on the watch inside. If alone, and likely to have rollers revolve on their edges, and pulverize the gold, it is far from unlikely that a mile or two quartz. Water is, from time to time, pumped into forwards, in some lonely spot, two or three horsethe basin, and when it is brought to about the men will dash out upon him from different sides consistency of soup, a plug is taken out, and the of the road, and plunder him of all he carries. mixture runs into an amalgamating cradle below. The majority of the diggers always carry loaded The quicksilver is now added, and the amalgam is revolvers, and when suspicious looking characters placed in a retort, and the gold separated. The approach, they draw them forth and have them in majority of the crushing machines are driven by hand. It no doubt occasionally happens that this steam engines of from six to twelve horse power. precaution prevents robberies, for the vagabonds The most effectual method of crushing that I have who skulk about the bush are as cowardly when met with is Otway's machine, combined with opposed, as they are cruel when they obtain the stampers; one engine being quite sufficient to victory over peaceful and unsuspecting travellers. work both. After the quartz has been reduced by In the event of a brush, it is better to be ready the stampers into small pieces, it is quickly pulve- and have the first fire. rised by the heavy rollers.
When the gold diggings were discovered, the To “ Joey” or “ Joe” a person on the diggings, or any- police force were disorganised and ineffective. Few where else in Australia, is to grossly insult and ridicule him. I persons of character could be induced to take
service under the Government, and such as did and many holding the opinion that they will be enter into the ranks of the police were loafers and productive for a century to come. It is rather idlers, who were willing to wear the livery, eat the singular that the three great gold fields of Victoria, rations, and draw the pay of the Government; but Ballarat, Forest Creek, and Bendigo, were diswho had no stomach for work. There was no covered almost, simultaneously, and that nothing general head, as now, and there were several kinds like them has been heard of since ; but gold of police-such as Mounted, Border, Native, and digging will be followed by thousands of eager City-all under different control; and the marau. adventurers for years to come, even if the allurial ders were not kept in any check by them. The diggings should fail. There are nearly inexhaustible lower portion of the Black Forest, through which reefs of auriferous quartz, which will afford em. the high road from Melbourne to the Mount ployment to any number of persons, and it is Alexandria diggings ran, was swept for months by probable that many great improvements in crashing an association of highwaymen, who stripped and and amalgamating will be made within the next plundered all who came in their way. Upon some few years. I am of opinion that it is fortunate occasions this gang stripped the victims of their for civilisation that the gold is not found in too cruelty of every article of clothing, and then fastened great quantities; if such were the case, it would them to trees and left them to await their deliver- not only disarrange the finance of the world, but, ance by the first person who passed. At the an immediate effect in Australia, it would period referred to law and order were in abeyance, absorb all the available labour in one pursuit, and the diggers were plundered in their tents, and internal improvement would be stopped. No working in their claims, without any protection persons of refined taste would remain in a country being afforded by the officials ; and it was not until where labour could not be obtained ; and the best the police were organised, and placed under one class of colonists would leave. There would be no general system of superintendence, that tranquillity other order than the will of a lawless mob, and the was restored.
fair and flourishing country would become a comThere are many persons very anxious about plete Pandemonium, tenfold worse than California. the extent of the gold fields of Australia, and the A wise Providence has so ordained, that, wbile the length of time which will elapse until they become gold has done much for the material progress of exhausted. A wide difference of opinion prevails, the country, it has not impeded, but accelerated, some thinking the gold fields are nearly exhausted, I civilisation.
IN MEMORIA M.
Heu! quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quam tui meminisse !– Shenstone.
Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
Than thus remember thee!--Byron.
Alone within this quiet room,
Watching this log-fire's ruddy glow,
I sadly sit and think of thee,
Low moans the wind the beams between,
Like shadows flitting o'er a glass,
Thou'rt lying dead !
Thou sat’st this gleaming hearth beside ;
I call to mind in bitter shame
But thou art dead !
I ne'er was loved by one save thee,
In life's first flush, its dearer noon,
I've met with want, and care, and pain,
And thou art dcad !
I wandered through this world of ours ;
With weary heart and o'erwrought brain,
For thou art dead !
That we should part so soon, too soon,
Yet oft, when sorrow would repine,
Yet thow art dead ! W. B. B. S.
THE CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LAW.
The civil and criminal law of Britain and Ireland Mr. Brown, her wealthy neighbour, was a sharepresent a remarkable contrast, although it has been holder; and it will not do now for Mr. Brown to gradually weakened during the past thirty years. deny his responsibility, if the rumour was correct, The civil law was wonderful for its delays—yet in because Mr. Cameron deceived him. Widow nothing are delays more dangerous than in prose- Adam must not suffer for Mr. Cameron's offence. cutions for debts, or quarrels regarding property. Mr. Brown may have a good action against Cameron, The criminal law is, on the contrary, inexorable as but he has no desence against Widow Adam in fate, and advances with solemn, steady pace upon equity; yet, in law, be, and all those who occupy its subject, to acquit or to crush. The trial of his position, may be allowed to allege, to appeal, William Palmer, of Rugeley, during the last year, to argue, and to reclaim for twelve months or
, afforded the longest delay of which our criminal more; and they may be divested ere tben of anylaw is capable — from one feature in the case thing that they ever possessed ; although, if he, or against which provisiou had to be made by Parlia- either of them, was charged with fire-raising, or ment; yet this trial came on, and judgment was murder, or the like, and liable even to be hanged executed, within a much shorter period than might by the neck, if guilty, the whole case would be Jave been occupied in preparations for the discus- ex amined, and Calcraft would have done his work, sion of a warranty respecting one of that person's if his work were to be done, before May-day.* We horses. By legal chicanery, and hard swearing are supposing what is commonly called an AB occasionally at an affidavit, Mr. William Palmer case; and we ask whether, to the deep prejudice of might easily have postponed a trial at civil law Widow Adam, the law does not consider Mr. against him for a sum of four or five hundred Brown's neck of far less value than bis property. pounds, longer than he was able to delay the trial In the matter of death or life it allows of no for his life.
appeal, while in that of gold, or houses, or lands, A few weeks since, a case that has lived for it permits a man to appeal, not indefinitely, but to twenty-two years in an English court, between the a very ruinous extent. Bishop of Carlisle (officially) and the tithe payers The law had a very sure gripe of Mr. Redpath. of a parish in his diocese, was decided against the He was within the four walls of a substantial ecclesiastical superior. It would be impossible, by prison. The law officers did not press his trial ang ingenuity, to postpone the decision upon a onwards with unbecoming baste ; but we do not charge of stealing ten hens, or ten thousand pounds, think that any reason existed for unusual speed in against any of the parishioners for twenty-two its nature. Very different was the case of the months, or perhaps weeks, although the courts Royal British bank shareholders. The law had no required twenty-two years to settle this tithing hold on them. The public have heard repeatedly case. Mr. Redpath, the late registrar of the Great that the proprietary were falling into bankruptcy, Northern Railway Company, was caught in fraud were divesting themselves of their property, were some time after the managers of the Royal British leaving the country, and generally wearing out of Bank were detected in their iniquities--or, to be a commercial existence; and that portion of the gentler, their irregularities. Mr. Redpath was public who are creditors of these people, being examined, tried, and sentenced, although a man depositors in their bank, became alarmed; and a with abundant means to stay proceedings if money number began to act for their own interests, who could have stayed them, before the law had wrested
were, censured by the lawyers for a contribution out of one in twenty of the share- proceeding against individuals. · The lawyers," holders of the Royal British. The law has not in the last sentence, means “those lawyers" who decided, even yet, whether a certain number of have the carriage of the case, of the mortuum persons who held shares in that bank are liable to corpus. They see no cause for impatience. Everypay calls, or are, as they claim to be, creditors. thing goes on in due course. Other lawyers who They deny their liability, upon the ground that have no business in the bankruptcy or the winding they were cheated into the acceptance of these up advise differently, because they look at the shares. Many persons are cheated in a similar matter from a different point of view. Divergens manner. They believed the representations of the ab initio, of course they reach a conclusion in one managers, and wanted to make ten per cent, for sense widely different, and in another the sametheir money. But no person can earn ten per cent. costs namely. We do not quarrel with this fact. for his capital by doing nothing. He must either Men must" live by their trade, and from the take an extra risk, or do much work. These par complicated and cumbrous mechanism of the civil ties preferred the extra liability, and now they law, and the care requisite to comprehend what repudiate that responsibility. Their case is de nobody understands, we do not think either plorable ; yet it cannot be doubted that the Widow Adam may bave deposited money with the Royal * We understand that a decision has been given in this British, deeming it secure, because she heard that case, and that an early settlement is expected.
attornies or barristers in England and Ireland, or Mr. Harding seeks only £50 per share, in the meantheir contemporaries in Scotland--an overpaid time.* The shareholders would prefer Mr. Harclass.
ding to Mr. Lea in this instance, if £50 would do, The time allowed to the shareholders of the but here again they are unable to tell; and Royal British Bank, for making arrangements not nobody can tell them what additional sums may to pay their debts, contrasts glaringly with the be requisite, nor to whom they should be paid. short interval between the discovery of the frauds The history of this case, if ever it be completed, in the case of Strahan, Paul, and Co., or of the rob- will astonish people of the twentieth century, beries in the Redpath and Robson cases, their trial nearly as much as some of the laws of the sevenand sentence. The responsibilities of the parties teenth or eighteenth century amuse the present are absolutely different. Few shareholders in the generation. bank are responsible for more than carelessness. After many appeals and arguments, and very They have been victimised. Still the business was long judgments, in which the judges excessively done upon their credit, and for their profit. There- blamed Parliament, as we all blame that stupid fore the civil law should have afforded to them an assemblage, the allocation of the assets in hand economical and rapid mode of being wound up. was given to Mr. Lea, who had nothing in his The uttermost farthing should not be extracted hands, and taken from Mr. Harding, who had the at once ; but means could have been adopted in all money. The collection of contributions from cases to prevent the alienation of property; and in the shareholders was left undecided ; and several, as in general cases of insolvency, to ap- no receiver was named. In the midst of this portion part of earnings to liquidate these respon- confusion large debtors are looked up, because the sibilities. This
more requisite in commission on recovery is a good thing; but justice to those shareholders who can and must small debtors are, we presume, in happy circumpay than for the protection of creditors.
stances, and have time to manage their little matThe shelter afforded by the law to clever per- ters in a way that will be equitable to all parties sons is deplorable. Strahan, Paul, and Bates have if they be perfectly honest men. by no means the moral guilt attached to the pub- The legislature, we believe, are to be asked for lication of deceptive accounts and false reports. a brief bill, an ex post facto law, in reference to The managers of this banking company were guilty this matter-a law to meet a case in commerce, of the major crime that yet cannot be punished. not very impossible or improbable-another law to Individual directors were deceived, but a de-extricate the lawyers from the bewilderment ceiver must have existed somewhere. A great caused by so many statutes; for banking comcrime was committed, and the law of England has panies have been frequently wound up ere now, no official charged with its discovery. That work and the difficulties in this case originate in a suris left to inspectors of police, who after they have plus of legislation. found out an offence must next search for and The lawyers deny the possibility, or the propriety, seize a prosecutor.
of assimilating civil to criminal law in the despatch The civil law is equally defective in all its ar- of business; and yet they are doing the work rangements for the distribution and the recovery slowly, while they generally assert that it cannot, of joint liabilities. Two gentlemen and their and should not, be done. The county courts in friends conducted an expensive war, chiefly at the England, although expensive, are rapid in their cost of the estate—that is of either the “poor” | proceedings. The cost of recovering debts under depositors or the "poor" shareholders—for the them is, we believe, twenty-five per cent. of the management of this company's business. One of amount sued for in the least expensive circumthem, Mr. Harding, was named official manager stances. They are the result of modern legislation, by the Vice-Chancellor. The other, Mr. Lea, was and although not so bad in detail as the former selected as official assignee by a Commissioner in means of procuring payments, yet they are not Bankruptcy. Each gentleman claimed credit for creditable to the country and its reformers. the celerity wherewith he could divide a crown per From the various discussions respecting them, pound. The claim on the part of either was quite we learn that the judges enjoy comfortable salaries, ridiculous ; since the amount necessary for that running from one hundred to one hundred and fifty purpose must have got into the hands of the ma- pounds per month. This income should ensure the nager
without an effort. The case of “ Harding attendance of any man who accepts it to business 0. Lea,” in which Lea vanquished Harding, is a day by day. The Scottish sheriffs have to perform satire on our law. Nobody understood whether numerous duties from which the judges in the the Court of Bankruptcy or the Chancellor's Court county courts of England are exempted. The was to bury the bank. Nobody would have known latter have neither criminal nor political business yet if the job had not been good for several to transact, and their cases are circumscribed by thousand pounds. Nobody knows even yet; for fifty pounds. They should, therefore, either sit while Mr. Lea divides the assets, and demands daily, or for four days in each week; and if they contributions, Mr. Harding, deprived of the initiatory profits, requires the shareholders to pay
* We observe that these gentlemen have compromised their responsibilities to him. Mr. Lea asks £75, and their differences, and are to act in harmony.
could dispose of all their public business in two or After a case has been decided, the pursuer must three hours, they could carry through their private pay some five per cent. of his money to the good readings and inquiries in the remaining portion of of the court before the amount be withdrawn from their day. At present, they sit one day in each its coffers. The county courts of England literweek, or in two or three weeks, as they find con- ally treat all their customers as troublesome venient. Upon each of these days, therefore, they fellows, who should be taught not to return. They have a mass of cases. All the parties concerned resemble gambling houses, where all must lose -creditor, debtor, and witnesses—are compelled something, and railway conveyances, where all trato lounge in the court, often for nearly an entire vellers must pay in advance according to the act. day, sometimes for two days, before a trial bc From the decision of the single gentleman who obtained. In some of those courts, fifty to one presides in the county courts, and is really the hundred persons often lose a day in waiting to court, no appeal can be taken. As he is, or was, give evidence or to obtain a judgment. Fifty a barrister of considerable attainments, when one crowns are lost in time, upon a low estimate, on of that class can be procured, the decisions may each court day, or £12 10s.--a heavy tax paid by be accurate generally ; but while three heads are the community merely because one class of their better than one, and the cases in these courts may servants do not keep good hours for business. involve interesting points, an appeal, as in our re
The staff of these courts require leisure days gistration courts, from one to three other judges, for their out-of-door business ; and this, we believe, might be advantageously introduced ; or, as in our is one of the excuses made for the present system; sheriff courts, a distinct and superior judge of but if fourteen hours work in one day weekly be county courts might be advantageously named to sufficient for the public business, three hours in review the decisions of less experienced and five days, or four hours in four, weekly, would do younger men. the work better, and the balance of each day, with, The superior courts afford abundant opportuniin the latter case, the two spare days, would be ties to litigants who wish to become appellants of quite sufficient for the external operations of each gratifying their propensities. Mr. Smith—it is court by the staff employed now.
impossible to select a name more nearly anonymous The expense to principals and their witnesses --courted and won a lady fair. A day was fixed is not, however, the only difficulty experienced to make them happy, and the ungallant wooer from buddling the work of a week into a day. postponed his marriage to please his mother. Cases are driven past like the carriages npon an Another day was fixed, and again Mrs. Smith express train, or like the wings of the wind, and positive beat Mrs. Smith prospective, and the as if the customers were the enemies of the courts. second breach was not healed. The lady went to The judges, apparently, assume that both parties her father's solicitor, and out of the courting sprung may, and one of them must, be wrong.
a law plea. At the trial, no shade was cast upon sense that is true, and in another it may be alto. the character of the deserted bride ; but Mr. Smith gether untrue. Poverty is not a crime ; yet it having represented himself as a very “braw wooer," looks very criminal in places of that nature. The and being, moreover, passably rich, the jury found object is, however, to shuffle through, at any cost damages to the extent of three thousand pounds of justice or injustice. Judges must dine, and heavy, we admit, but such as the defendant suitors cannot be heard patiently when dinner, or could pay for pleasing his mother instead of taking perhaps a pleasant and social evening party, waits a wife, without being wrecked, or sustaining pethe bores who are only there on business.
cuniary inconvenience. The first trial occurred The institution of proceedings in these courts last year; but again, this year, the circumstances requires an outlay of ten per cent., or thereby, have all been related to an admiring audience by upon the sums that a pursuer seeks to recover. clever barristers in court, upon an appeal, or a When that money has been paid to bring parties motion for a new trial - which, we suppose, is the together, the pursuer expects naturally that he will same thing-by the fickle Mr. Smith, who is obtain a hearing. He was
more grossly evidently more steadfast to law than to love, mistaken. After he has come to court he must although he has gained nothing by the proceeding. see the judges, we suppose indirectly, before any. Far be it from us to suggest crime to any Mr. thing can be done for him. He must pay five per Smith in a similar predicament between a fresh and cent. in cash upon his claim before he can say a an old bundle of hay, yet if this gentleman, instead word. The rule is not intolerable for tradesmen of jilting the lady whose heart he won, had drowned who may have money in hand, but a poor man who her in a hogshead of porter, or any such liquid, he seeks to recover a debt for wages or work may be would have been hanged much sooner than the law practically denied justice. The parties to this compels three thousand pounds to be chequed out exaction should read the first chapter of Isaiali, of his bank account. This pretty little story, in and consider if some of its verses be not applica. proof that the course of true love never does run ble to their conduct. “Seek judgment, relieve smooth, also shows how much more care the law the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the takes of a man's money than it would take of widow," but only, says our law, adding to the pro- his neck. It very clearly values Mr. Smith's three phet's injunction, " in forma pauperis."
thousand pounds more by much than it would value