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little History, in eight chapters, only touches a few of the more prominent incidents connected with pastoral settlement and the gold discovery in the Ballarat district.
The compiler has seen the growth of the town from a mere collection of canvas tents among the trees and on the grassy slopes and flats of the wild bush to its present condition.
Yonder, where, by the bush track side, the rounding slope swells upon the south, stands a church, sombre, lonely, and silent as the Roman sentinel at Pompeii when all around him had fled or fallen.
This is all, save here and there heaps of broken bottles and sardine tins half hidden by the grass, and a few faint trench and building lines, softened by the rains, and bright at this time with the young verdure of the turning season.
The reproduced proclamations by the Government, which the reader will find at intervals, as well as many of the original documents, are the fruit of that gentleman's assiduity in collecting materials of interest and pertinence.
It has been necessary to record the fact that the tragic issue of the license agitation was mainly due to the mistakes of the governing authorities, even as the unrighteous rigors of the digger-hunting processes were made more poignant by the haughty indiscretions and brutal excesses of commissioners and troopers.
This is one of the truths which are magnificently stranger than fiction.
The most curious eye could now discover no other traces of the rush if it were not for the broader and deeper marks left where the first miners fought their industrial way, and where, for years, their followers retraced the golden trail.
On going up the Yarrowee banks northward a space, as one looks up the valley he sees, beyond the city, the bare top, the white artificial chasms and banks and mounds, where Black Hill raised its dark dense head of forest trees before the digger rent the hill in twain, and half disembowelled the swelling headland.
Gold was found plentifully, and warehouse, hotel, and saloon crowded close with dwelling and church along the thoroughfare.
A summer flood surprised the dwellers on the lowland and carried off lives as well as property, mingling a tragic sorrow with the losses of the unsuccessful.