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'The gold again'

Gold was discovered under a tree on Mercer’s Hill.

5 August 1851
Published Source
Australian National Dictionary Centre, The Gold Rushes and Australian English: a resource for researchers, teachers and students, Australian National University, 2005, http://www.anu.edu.au/andc/res/aus_words/gold/index.php. Details
This material is provided by the Australian National Dictionary Centre, a joint project of the Australian National University and Oxford University Press Australia.


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THE GOLD AGAIN.—Close contiguity destroys romance, and when we state that gold has been found under a gum tree on Mercer’s Hill, we dare say it will not be thought so much of as it would have been had the site of its discovery been in the ‘You Yangs,’ or the precipitous ranges of the Anaki Forest. Be that as it may, the gold has been pronounced good, and sundry adventurers were yesterday busily employed with spade and hammer delving deep, and cracking all sorts of stones just as they came to hand, or as fancy dictated. ‘This is the exact spot,’ said one, scraping away some quartz pebbles; the tree is marked, and down went the spade spit deep, some half dozen awaiting the result with great anxiety, and making a sudden snatch at the spade’s upturnings. ‘Slate!’ said one, ‘granite,’ said another, ‘quartz,’ remarked a third, cracking a piece in twain with a tomahawk, and all crowded round to see the effect. ‘It strikes fire,’ said one[.] ‘I seed the sparks, it[’]s only flint with a hard name, hasn’t he cracked it, my word!’ ‘gold!’ [‘]where?’ ‘why there!’ ‘can’t see it!’ ‘hold it sideways, d’ye see it now,’ ‘what’s that bit; that isn’t gold!’ ‘how many of them would go to a pound, governor?’ ‘but it’s only mica, try again.’ ‘What’s that?’ [‘]a lump of slate,’ ‘well that’s a good sign, they found some tidy bits of gold in the slate up at Bathurst.’ ‘Yes, and it’s a sure sign of coal when it’s mixed up with ["]horses’ tails,["]’ remarks another. ‘Try again!—go a little deeper,’ and up turns a shovel full of earth. ‘Bravo! that’s the stuff! Esmonds found black earth at the Pyrenees!’ ‘Well, there’s some sand for you.’ ‘Good again! We knew we should find it.’ And so they delve, and talk, and crack stones and jokes, and find mica. Gold has undoubtedly been found here; but only detached pieces of quartz, so as not to repay the labour. In yonder dip are two human objects on hands and knees, quadrupedified—they are intent on gold finding. There are two ladies geologically stricken—they pick up the "pretty" stones until they get tired with stooping, and then go home to tea. But, after all, "prospecting" on a small scale is pleasurable work. There is an object in view which gives a zest to a journey; and if gold be not found, much sterling knowledge may be gained, and a thousand objects of enquiry opened up, which but for the excitement of gold-seeking would have remained uncared for and unheeded, and whilst we would not advise the neglect of other duties in the pursuit of this, we would at the same time deprecate the passing sneer, at unsuccessful explorations, in which every person in Australia ought to take a deep interest, and at the same time to cheer the unsuccessful. It may be remarked that if the search for gold were uniformly successful, the discovery would soon destroy its own value. Geelong Advertiser, 5 August 1851