- ALARMING SPREAD OF THE YELLOW FEVER
The Geelong Advertiser wrote that ‘yellow fever’ had ‘smitten the entire community. From the old crone to the hoyden girl, from the grey-haired man to the beardless juvenile, nothing is talked about but “Gold”’.
- 4 October 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.
TranscriptALARMING SPREAD OF THE YELLOW FEVER.—We cannot quite say that we are heartily tired, or utterly sick of hearing nothing talked about except Gold, because it would be sheer affectation to pretend indifference to a matter which absorbs the thoughts of every one, and is unhinging all the relations of our social condition. But there is certainly something very curious, if not even alarming, in the extraordinary spread of the ‘Yellow Fever.’ It has smitten the entire community. From the old crone to the hoyden girl, from the grey-haired man to the beardless juvenile, nothing is talked about but ‘Gold.’ It absorbs all passion, all interest, all feeling. It is disorganizing our social relations. It is unhinging every one, it is deranging the functions of social life; it is literally unbalancing common sense, and upsetting the sturdiest understanding. The wildest fictions of German romance are becoming reality. And the most charming part of the matter is, that there is no diabolical compact to be enterred into, nor mysterious process to be gone through. You are not required to sign a deed with a pen dipped in the "ensanguined fluid" or "purple fountain" of the victim. No compact with the evil one is necessary. You have simply to throw up your situation, rig yourself out, and march out to the "Diggins." The torrent is too strong, and nothing will abate it, until it is seen and felt that all is not gold that glitters.
That much inconvenience, suffering, and loss will be endured by individuals, we admit. But the thing will right itself. Our mineral treasures are to us what the ‘bullion vaults’ are to the Bank of England; and though trade and labour may be temporarily convulsed, we cannot be otherwise than ultimately benefitted, by that increase of capital, that augmentation of our monetary power, which will be the result of our auriferous discoveries.
Geelong Advertiser, 4 October 1851
Created: 16 October 2006, Last modified: 13 February 2007