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COLONIAL NEWS

VICTORIA

(From our Correspondent.)

Bendigo, November 13. 1852.

Camar tha sidh ? Mr. Editor. How d'ye do ?  

I have been so long among Highlanders here that I have almost forgotten my mother tongue, and have taken to speaking Gaelic. The salu- tation with which I have opened my epistle is heard so frequently here that it has become more familiar to me than the synonomous one in English. You are too far distant for me to hear the reply- Ghle mhaith, camar tha sidh hein ? but I shall take it for gran ted that you have   made it, or one to the same purpose.

You will see by this that Bendigo still holds me in its golden fetters. In my last I informed you that it was our intention to start for the Ovens, and so we did ; but, whether for good luck or bad I know not, we turned back, after going about sixty miles of the way. We were induced to do this for several reasons ; but in order to give you a proper idea of them I had better relate to you our adventures from the time of our leaving Bendigo to our return thither. Well, then, here goes.

On the 1st November, then, we left Bendigo, there being about forty men and four horse- carts in the one party. On rising the hill near the Back Creek we took a last farewell, as we thought, of Bendigo and its golden glories ; and with light hearts commenced our pilgrimage to the new land of promise. Just after getting out of sight of the diggings Mr. Commissioner Gilbert overtook us, on his way to Melbourne. He asked us if we were bound for the Ovens, and on our replying in the affirmative, he very kindly wished us success. Could wishes have had any effect upon our fortunes this might have been of some avail to us ; but, alas, the fates, unwavering in their stern resolves, proved altogether unpropitious. Travelling, when with a merry band, is undoubtedly the most agreeable part of a gold digger's life ; that is, supposing he has not to " hump his swag," which entirely destroys all the romance of it. Nearly all of those in our party were from the " land of the mountain and the flood," and as merry a lot as ever shouldered pick or handled a shovel.

" Some love to roam where the dark seas foam,

And the shrill winds whistle free;

But a chosen band in a mountain land,

And life in the woods for me."

On we went the whole day, as jovial as could be, golden visions of future success at the Ovens keeping us in the best of spirits. The road was crowded with men and teams, all bound for the same place as ourselves, many of them carrying swags that would have been heavy enough for a donkey. Having heard previous to leaving Bendigo that provisions were enormously dear at the Ovens, flour being £60 per bag, we pro- vided ourselves with three months' provisions, which, as you shall hear hereafter, was alto- gether unnecessary. We camped this night at the Campaspie. We were obliged to keep watches all night, to prevent our horses from being Btolen, nine or ten being sometimes taken in a night by parties bound for the Ovens.

2nd-Up at day-break and on the road. The passage of the Campaspie would have afforded a fine scene for a painter. Here is the road winding round the base of a hill clothed with grass of the richest green, with large masses of rock protruding here and there. There are the carts with their snow white cover- ings, some crossing the river, and some coming down the hill. The river itself, with its ro- mantic windings, and the vast number of men crossing and re-crossing it up to their middle in the water, forming not the least interesting portion of the picture. We stopped at the crossing-place of the M'lvor at Campaspie Plains, and had dinner. The place had the appearance of an Arab carayanseran, from the great number of drays, horses, bullocks, and men, that were encamped on it. Nothing could surpass the verdure and picturesque appearance of the plains, bounded by a range of open hills, clothed with grass of the most luxuriant green ; the plains themselves beautifully undulating and oarpeted with flowers of every hue. Reclining under the shade of a tree, " on a soft downy bank damasked with flowers," I whiled away the hours until we were ready to start again. About three p.m. we met Mr. Hargraves and party, on their way to Bendigo from Kilmore.. Knotting that he had been at the Ovens we asked him for information about them, which he readily gaye. He told us that the diggers at the Oveus were not averaging more than 7s. 6d. each man per day; that there was too much water at present to allow of the diggings being properly worked ; that to the best of his opinion the diggings there would not prove very pro- ductive ; and lastly, that he was sure we would

not be satisfied wheu we went there ; and that, ' by turning back at once, we would save both time, trouble, and expense. He informed us also that at the Black Ranges, on the Sydney side of Albury, some parties were doing pretty well, and that that locality was the mot>t likely place for gold he had seen on his journey. The Macquarie he said would, in his opinion, turn out to be more productive than any of'the Sydney diggings, if the water was low enough to permit the river to be worked. On hearing this account of the Ovens, several of the party jrere inclined to return at once to Bendigo, but jhe majority determined on seeing it out, BO on toe Btart'ed again. We camped this night at i Happy Valley, on the M'lvor, a place which we

ourselves named when on our way to Bendigo ¿n.d.by.whiphjnamß it-,ÍB nqw known, toalmgst ¿very one who. travels jthforoad.. Every one was.

in raptures with this lovely spot, and declared that it was well worthy of the name. As I have given you a description of it before, I shall spare yon the infliction of another, although it could not receive too mnch praise. The grass was like a carpet of green velvet, and grew to the very edge of the stream, which murmured along iu graceful windings by sunny slopes, and through mimosa groves which, though they bad lost their bloom, were still beautiful. The maiden days of their existence were over, but their matronly grace was not less charming. Being in a poetic mood, as who that had a " spark of nature's fire" in him would not be when gazing on such a lovely scene, I made an attempt at some verses to celebrate it, regret- ting much that some more favored child of song had not witnessed it, that he might marry its beauties to "immortal verse." Enclosed I transmit yon the verses, leaving it to your own discretion to publish them or not as yon

think fit.

3rd.-"On we goes again," and "keep the pot a boiling" the order of the day, notwith- standing the discouraging accounts we had re- ceived. Turned off at the M'lvor Inn, and followed a rough boggy track that led through a ravine over the top of a big hill. There were now together ten teams and about a hundred men ; going up the mountain all hands were obliged to push behind, as it was very steep. One horse lost his footing and fell, but was got up again without receiving any injury. After crossing the hill we came into beautiful country, well grassed and watered, the grass being knee deep and almost like green barley in appearance and taste. Beautiful flowers, many. of them with a most fragrant scent, were thickly inter- spersed among the pasture, and afforded a pleasing contrast to the almost flowerless wilds of Australia. To-day we met hundreds return- ing from the Ovens, nearly every one of whom gave discouraging accounts. They said that there was nothing doing, and that there was too much water to allow of the likely places being 'tried. Provisions they told us were cheap, flour being only £8 per bag. We were not yet satisfied, however, but went ou our way, if not exactly rejoicing, at least in tolerably good spirits. After going about 15 miles from the M'lvor, we camped on a splendid mimosa flat, where the horses revelled in luxuriant feed. Soon after encamping, some parties with whom we were acquainted and who had been working at Bendigo, made their appearance on their return from the Ovens. The accounts they gave were very discouraging, and as they were experienced and successful diggers, and were moreover parties on whom we could rely, many who had been all along determined to see the Ovens at all hazards began to think of returning to Ben- digo. A grand consultation was accordingly held. Some of the more resolute spirits were still for seeing it out, but the majority being against us we were unwillingly obliged to give in. While in the act of arguing the poiDt, several horsemen rode by on their way to Ben- digo, to which place they pointed with whips, thereby hinting to us, that we should return thither. It would be difficult to describe the cheers, the laughter, and the uproar that ensued : you must ouly imagine it. Disappointment generally only affords an opportunity for fun to the digger, who cannot long suffer himself to be depressed in spirits. Nothing was definitely settled upon this night, so we went to bed, there to determine upon our proceedings on the

morrow.

4th.-After a good deal of irresolution, we at length decided on returning to Bendigo. We met great numbers of people bound for the Ovens, and in one party about 30 of the Hunter River people. After passing the M'lvor we came upon about forty Chinamen in one lot with horses and carts of their own. They asked us a great number of questions about the diggings, and some of them seemed to be very intelligent and spoke first rate English. We afterwards learned that they turned back next day. Camped at Happy Valley-many of the party got glorious, in order to drown their disappoint-

ment.

5th.-A beautiful summer morning thoroughly Australian-the sun shining brightly -the magpies whistling, and the bells of the grazing oxen fading at a distance. We met hundreds still going to the Ovens ; a great many also overtook us on their way back ; those re- turning pretending that they were coming from Melbourne-not wishing to give the Ovens a bad name, so that they might sell their horses well when they arrived at Bendigo where there was a great demand for them. While camping for dinner on the Campaspie Plains as many as 500 men crossed the M'lvor in little more than

an hour. It was one of the most lively scenes I ever witnessed. Men, horses, cattle, and sheep, covering the whole of the plains within view, and presenting a stirring, interesting picture. Encamped in the evening on the Campaspie, and had a bathe in the crystal waters. The Campaspie, a fine clear river, and in many places wide and deep, although possessing a poetical name, is rarely honored with its proper appella- tion;-the Campasape, Copaspe, Capacity, Com paeity, and 'Pasape, being the names, generally bestowed upon it.

6th.-Several Sydney drays passed us on their way from the Ovens. The meu who were with them told us that they had been there for some- time, and could get nothing. A species of manna, white and sweet, was lying like hail on the road for about a mile. The weather ex-

tremely hot and sultry ; snakes and lizards in abuudauce - several of which we killed. Leaving the drays some of us went ahead, and arrived, at Bendigo about twelve o'clock a.m. We have again pitched our tent in the old spot, and have now been here a week ; how much longer we shall remain in this locality ia proble- matical, as there is nothing whatsoever doing.

Bendigo lookB quite deserted and lonely ; so many persons having left for the Ovens. On the whole course of the Bendigo Creek there are not more than from two hundred to two hundred and fifty people at work. Long Gully seems to be the favorite spot at present ; but it is almost worked out. A nugget weighing 8 lbs. was found in Spring Gully a day or two ago, but

such fortunate hits as this are

" Like angel visits, few and far between."

After a calm and unbiased consideration of the subject I have come to this conclusion, that the Sydney diggings, on the average, are the most remunerative. Those who do hit upon it in Victoria, undoubtedly obtain far more than the most suceessful at the Sydney diggings ; but when the expenses of passage to and fro are taken into consideration, together with the high prices of rations, and numberless other expenses of which one has no idea until he arrives here, it cannot be doubted but that those who do bad here, or what is even called "pretty fair," would be far better off at the other diggings. For speculative men, Victoria opens up an almost boundless field, and it can safely be asserted that there is no place in the world, where there are greater opportunities of making money, for steady and enterprising men, leaving gold digging out of the question.

The Government officers are very strict in en- forcing payment of the license fees this month. Dozens are marched off to the Police Barracks daily, for neglecting to obtain this gold diggers' diploma.

The accounts from Bingera have been of so unsatisfactory a nature as to deter a great num- ber from going there who bad intended to do so. Nevertheless many are leaving daily for the Sydney diggings, there being no prospect of doing well here now, both gold and water getting scarcer every day.- The Melbourne Post .office authorities think fit, in their supreme ¡wisdom, to forward no newspapers whatever to the diggings, so that I have not had the grati- fication of seeing the Mercury. I must con- clude for the present, as " surgit amari aliquid" in the shape of a, sore wrist, which just now is

yery painful.

ROBERT WISDOM.

We haye Melbourne papers to the 9th December, being three, days later than our previous dates.,

! Tha AtffUt,. ajpaper ,noti usually, given to be desponding.respectingi the .material.prospects of the,,colony,, publishes an.article on the. 7th December, warning, the ¡Government and .Legis» lative .Council, (that ciroumstanoes had already ócour^édihrxuYingmuoh doubt ou the probability

of raising the estimated revenue of £1,790,000 in the year 1853. Of this sum £375,000, the anticipated amount of the gold export duty, was already gone, the Council having thrown out the bill authorising that duty. Two other sums, £505,000 from gold licenses and other gold re- ceipts, and the large suras calculated as the customs revenue for 1853, were now at least doubtful, from the report falling off in the Mount Alexander diggings ; the gold reven ife, the Argus points out, depended mainly on the continuance of those diggings, and the customs revenue largely depended on them, although indirectly, the calculation having been made on an anticipated increase of population during 1853 to the amount of 100,000 souls, while during the first week of December, although very many arrivals had taken place, the depar- tures had exceeded them in number. This warning article was referred to in the discussions in Council on the Estimates, nor did there ap- pear to be any authentic information on which to rebut the conclusions of the Argus. Yet in spite of the opposition of several of the repre- sentative members, the Council, urged on by the official members, proceeded to vote away the immense sums proposed in the Estimates for 1853. An endeavour was made by the repre- sentative members to get the supplementary Estimates for 1852 first considered, so as to fix the date from which the increased salaries should count, and to ascertain with what amount in hand the government would commence 1853 but this attempt was defeated by the official members. The Supplementary Estimates for 1852 are so large that if passed as proposed they will make the total expenditure for 1852 no less thnn £756,000. But the revenue for 1852 was estimated at £896,000, which with the balance in hand at commencement of 1852, would leave a balance in hand of £200,000 at

commencement of 1S53.

On the motion of Mr. Splatt the sum devoted to religious purposes during 1853, under Sir Richard Bourke's Church Act, was to be in- creased from £6,000 to £30,000. The (

ample of South Australia, as adopting the voluntary principle and refusing all state sup Eort to religion, was referred to with approval y a few of the members, but the great majority considered the experience of South Australia showed the failure of the voluntary system there, some even that opposed the increase join- ing in this expression of opinion.

A committee of Council had been appointed to enquire into the management of the gold

fields.

The Argus publishes a sanitary " report of the state of Bourke Ward," Melbourne, prepared by two surgeons, Mr. Qualtrough and Mr. Watkins, deputed for the purpose by the Medical Association of Melbourne. The report is too long to copy, but it gives a most disgust- ing picture of the reeking filthiness in which many of the small lanes and rights of way in that ward are allowed to remain, all of them being densely inhabited.

A Mr. John Myles had been elected member for the county of Grant, in lieu of Mr. Mercer, resigned. The election was a rather singular one. The returning officer, on the day of nomi- nation, in Geelong, having opened the proceed- ings in the usual form, sat down, and for some time no one came forward But Mr. Myles and other Geelong men being present, he was pressed into the service on the spur of the moment, consented, was duly nominated, and no other candidate appearing, was declared elected.

THE BEACH ENCAMPMENT -Nearly 100 tents are now pitched and inhabited close to the beach, and but a short distance from Liardet's Pier. For the population at this little settle- ment, a number of stores have already been opened. On the north side of the city there is also an encampment of no little extent. Taking the military camp into account, Melbourne is

now surrounded with these tented cities. Argus.

BALAARVT ESCORT.-This escort arrived last evening with about 8000 ounces of gold. We sball be able to give the exact amount in our next issue.-Argus, Dec. 9.

HOBSON'S BAY.-In order that the public may form an idea of the extent of the flee£ now riding at anchor in Hobson's Bay, Port Phillip, on Monday last we found there were 125 vessels, comprising 53 ships, 49 baiques, 3 steamers, 12 brigs, and 8 schooners ; this is indépendant of numerous small craft plying to Geelong, and between the river and Williams Town, which might swell tho number to above 20 more. In the river Yarra Yarra at the same time were 29 vessels, viz., 3 barques, 1 brig, and 25 schooners, making a grand total of vessels in the river and bay of 154. This fleet comprises some of the finest merchant vessels of England and America, and of a value beyond our calculation. The colours of many nations of the world now grace the waters of Port Phillip, and if this be the progress, made by a colony yet in her teens, what will she be even at so short a period as ten years hence ? Sydney with all her vaunting, we doubt, -has never reached such a pitch of maritime importance as Victoria can now boast of. These vessels at anchor in Hobson's Bay are not all necssarily detained by the deser- tion of their crews, as scarcely a day passes without two or three of them departing for Indian, European, and American ports.-Argus,

FATAL ACCIDENT.-We regret to record an accident by w hich the Rev. Mr. Wood, yesterday evening, lost his life. The reverend gentleman was being driven through Pentridge in a dog cart when by some accident the reins fell out of the hands of the driver, and the horse ran away. The other occupants of the vehicle lowered themselves from it and escaped with little injury. Mr. Wood, however, clung to it and on its passing over a large stone it overturned with such violence as to kill him on the spot, the neck being completely dislocated. Mr. Wood was well known both here and in the colony of Van DiemenN Land, and was very generally respected. He had lately succeeded Archdeacon Davies at St. Peter's Church, and had very favourably impressed his congregation as to his abilities and excellent Christian character. Argus, Dec. 8,

COMMERCIAL.-Martin and Co., sold yesterday V.D.L. hay, £16 and £17 per ton ; "bran, 2s. 3d. per busheL; oats, 14s. 9d. per bushel ; potatoes, £10 per ton : Sydney flour, £26 per ton. Stubbs and Son sold yesterday, at their rooms, Queen-street, 30,000 Sydney bricks, £10 10s. to £11 per thousand; first flour, £27 10B. per ton.-Argus, Dec. 8.

SINGAPORE.

The following extracts are from the Singa- pore popera received by the Chusan :

COMMERCE OF SINGAPORE.-The accompanying tabular statement, showing the result of the trade of Singapore for the official years 1851-52, has been kindly communicated to us by the hon. the Resident Councillor. It is gratifying to find that notwithstanding the large increase of upwards of three millions of rupees exhibited by the returns of 1850-51, those of 1851-52 show the trade is still progressive.-The whole trade

of 1851-52 was as follows :

Merchandize. Treasure. Total.

Imports.» 25,011,549 .. 3^70,754 .. 28,582,303 Do. to Pinong <fc

Malacca. 2,266,361 .. 400.248 .. 2,666,609 Exports.20,693,740 .. 4,347,503 .. 25,041,243 Do. to Pinang ii

Malacca. 1,379,646 .. 1,019,424 .. 2,399,070

Grand total rs... 49,351,296 .. 9,337,929 .. 58,639,225 Trade t)f 1850-51. - .. -..56,372,886

Increase in 1851-52, rupees. 2,316,339

The trade of 1851-52 is the largest which has ever been reported.-Singapore Free Press.

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE.-On the evening of Thurs- day, the 16tb instant, a fire broke out in 23 Arab-street, Campong Jawa, about 7 o'clock, which speedily spread among the attap and wooden houses in that quarter, rendering all attempts to check it in the outset unavailing. ¡The police and convict fire-engines were in atten- dance, and succeeded in saving the Sultan's !mosque and a number of houses behind it, which [were in mach danger at one time. The fire was cot under hy ten1 o'clock. A detachment of military were on ¡the spot .to preserve order. Al) ¡the houses destroyed were-, of wood or attap, (which wiii account for the rapidity with which ¡the fire did its work, ' The njambér oí houses,

pnrned amounted, to 135,, of which 101 ,were, inhabited hy Javanese, 21, hy Malays» 8 W Chinese, and 9 by Klings. The anmher of per

ona burnt out are reckoned at 1500. A good deal of pillaging took place, and several attempts were made to break into houses at a distance

from the fire.-S. Free Prtss.

CHINA.-By the P. & 0 Company'« steamer Ganges, Captain Purchase, we have Hongkong papers to the 28th September. The rebellion in China still continues without either party ap- parently gaining any advantage. - The United States squadron remained at Canton, and it ap- pears doubtful whether it will proceed to Japan.-H. M. S. Serpent is said to have re ceived orders to accompany the American vessels.-S. Free Press, Oct. 8.

THE CHOLERA.-By recent arrivals we have Pinang Gazettes to the 18th September. Cholera had been making considerable ravages, on the island and in Province Wellesley. We find 40 deaths recorded in the police reports as having occurred in Pinang, and a number of persons had been cured by the administration of pills prepared by Dr. Rose, civil surgeon.-S. Free Press, Oct. 1.-Cholera we regret to has made its appearance at Malacca. Four persons died from it on the 30th September. Ibid, Oct. 8.-Cholera is stated to be raging .at Bukit Batu, in the Siak territory, from ten to fifteen persons dying daily.-Hid, Oct. 22.

DESPERATE STRUGGLE IN A CHINESE PASSEN- GER BOAT.-We find the following daring out- rage recorded in the China Mail of the 14th October:-"The Macao passage boat No. 4, which left Hongkong on Monday evening (the 4th), was the scene of a desperate encounter more worthy of commemoration than some of the " brushes " between men-of-war and pirates, real or supposed, which we occasionally read of. Besides a crew of eight persons, and upwards of twenty passengers who were known or had paid before starting, there were fifteen who had neither money nor baggage, but promised to settle on arrival at Macao. As usual in such cases, they were shut into a particular part of the boat. Next morning, when the boat was opposite Tai-yu-shan four of the men were allowed to come on deck, and while the others were pretending to wash their faces, one quietly set his confederates below at liberty. There were amongst them four double swords, which had been concealed, and eight of the vil- lians being thus armed, they fell upon the crew and passengers, most of whom were asleep. The alarm was given by the captain, who with such of his crew as were at hand fought gal- lantly. After being desperately wounded, he continued to encourage both passengers and crew, and with such success that after four be- sides himself were, it is thought, mortally wounded, and four men severely hurt, the true men proved more than a match for the rogues, and drove twelve of them into the water, having wounded and made prisoners of the other three, who about eight o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, the 5tb, were brought to Macao and handed over to the authorities there. The

wounded men were all taken to the hospital, some of them-the gallant master of the boat being one-with little hope of recovery."- S.

Free Press.

JAVA.-Unusually heavy rains fell in the residency of Samarang from the 30th July to the 10th August, which caused the rivers to overflow their banks, and covered the greater part of the second crop of rice, so that little can be expected from the harvest. A great part of the sugar crop was also much damaged. In Japara a great deal of rain had also fallen, which it was feared would be very prejudicial to the prospects of the sugar planters. In the residency of Ba- gelan the fields of tobacco, cachang, and ketela were all under water, and it was feared that the crops of these articles would be spoiled. In Demak and Grobogan five to six thousand bouws of the second crop of rice had been destroyed by the heavy rains, and the tobacco crop would pro- bably be very much injured. From Buitenzorg it is reported that four rivers in the district Jassinga had overflowed their banks, in conse- quence of the unusually heavy rains, and done considerable damage in some kampongs, besides carrying away a bridge on the highway to Batam. Two men are stated to have been drowned.-S. Free Press.

MANILA.-By the Spanish war steamer Don Jorge Juan we have a file of the Boletín Oficial de Filipinas to the 15th September, from which we learn that the Governor of Zam boanga is still prosecuting his operations against the piratical inhabitants of the islands in that quarter. In the latter part of July another ex- pedition proceeded against the islands of Tun- quil and Dong-dong, where 553 men, women and children were made captive and conveyed to Zamboanga. On the 24th, 25th and 26th July, three chiefs of Balanguingui, Tunquil and Banao brought from 350 to 400 men, all pirates belonging te the islands of Balanguingui, Dong-dong, Bocotuan, Tunquil, Agan and Banao, for the purpose of making their submis- sion to the Spanish Government, under the con- dition of paying tribute and being located in

the island of Basilan. These conditions, were complied with, and the pirates have been settled, in different villages m Basilan, where they will be immediately under the eye of the Spanish authorities. Four rather strong shocks of an earthquake were experienced at Manila on the morning of the 28tb August, each lasting about 43 seconds.-Singapore Free Press, Oct. 1.- Recent advices from Manila state that on the 16th ultimo, a fearful shock of earthquake was experienced, which brought down some houses and did great damage to many others. Up to the 18th there had been many more shocks, but none so strong. It was feared at one time that the whole town would have been thrown down. Only two lives were lost up to the 18th.-Ibid,

Oct. 29.

SLAVERY IN JAVA.-The following is trans- lated from the Java Bode of Saturday, the 9th October, 1852 :-Yesterday morning, at a public auction, a circumstance occurred which appeared to us very remarkable and impressive. Three families of slaves belonging to the estate of the late Tan Eng Nio, a Chinese lady, were to be sold to the highest bidders. When the sale was about to commence, the twelve slaves stood up, and addressing the uncommonly large assem- blage, begging pardon for the liberty, displayed a few rupees they had scraped together, and besought the favor to be permitted to come forward to bid with the rest for the purchase of their liberty. Shame prevented their speaking, loud, so that very few of those in their imme- diate neighbourhood heard this request. The Government broker, E S. Voute, however, step- ped forward and made known in a loud voice their request, ending by beginning to bid on their behalf. Although almost the whole of the Chinese population were present, not a single voice was raised against him, so that one family purchased its liberty for f 20, the next for fl2, and the third f 2 ! ! The scene was indeed impressive.-Singapore Free Press.

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