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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.
Less than 20 years ago there was not a house where now stands this wealthy mine and farm-girdled city, whose population is nearly equal to the united populations of Oxford and Cambridge, and exceeding by several thousands the united populations of the cities of Winchester, Canterbury, Salisbury, and Lichfield at the time of the gold discovery.
This is one of the truths which are magnificently stranger than fiction.
Time, less sudden than the midsummer freshet, but more sweeping, has cleared the ground of almost every vestige of the busy but fragile life of fifteen years ago.
But the eternal sense of the Infinite survives "our little lives" and all their fitful pulsations of varying passion.
Yuille, whom the coming of the first hosts of gold-hunters scared away from a place no longer fit, in their opinion, for pastoral occupation.
Like the trenches of an old battle-field, these works of the digging armies of the past are now grass-grown and spotted with wild flowers.
All around, the open lands of fifteen years ago are turned into streets and fields and gardens.
Noone in giving valuable assistance in connection with their reproduction by the photo-lithographic process.
The contributions of newspaper correspondents during the Eureka Stockade troubles have also assisted the compiler, and notably the letters of the correspondent of the Geelong Advertiser in 1854-5. John Noble Wilson, the commercial manager of the Ballarat Star, is due, on the part of all concerned, the recognition of his suggesting the narrative, of his constant cordial co-operation, and his untiring ingenuity in making suggestions and collecting materials both for the text and the illustrations.
Besides the pastoral settlers already mentioned, there are yet with us some of the first discoverers. Woodward and Turner, of the Golden Point discoverers, are still here in Ballarat, and Merrick and some others of that band remain in the district.