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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 83

Squatting Recollections

Squatting Recollections.

Geo. Robertson and Co. publish a new and popular edition of Mr. Curr's "Squatting Recollections, 1841-1851," and it covers a very interesting field.

We are never tired of quoting a remark by the veteran Russian Admiral Aslan beg off, at his reception, by leading Melbourne citizens in the Town Hall, after arriving by rail from Sydney, traveling New South Wales and Victoria. "But, entlemen, while I admire the magnificence of your resources, am also convinced that they could only have been developed, as I see them, by the unrivalled energy of the English people."

Mr. Wentworth refused a baronetcy, and is said to have been impressed with the idea that he ought to get a peerage. He urged that a territorial aristocracy should be founded in Australia, and there is no doubt that this was the ambition of the pioneer squatters, animating them throughout the hardships they underwent. It appeared at one time that they would be able to fix their grasp on the soil, converting their precarious leases into freeholds. Hence resulted the fiercest struggles of Australian, and especially Victorian, politics, with that earth hunger which was the basis, likewise, of the Patrician and Plebeian feuds in Ancient Rome.

We have long been gathering up the reins to write, with some authority, on the Merino. The study is fascinating of how these sheep were preserved in Spain for two thousand years to flower in perfection in Australia. The annual show of the Australian Sheep Breeders' Association at Goldsbrough's Wool Stores, Melbourne, in August or September, gives us an opportunity of clawing fleeces, examining yolk and staple, pile and density, and page 75 discussing all the questions of "combing," "hot-water washed," and "greasy."

When the show is over, the sales of stud sheep begin, under the hammers of Gibson, Peck, and other artists, in the warehouses of Goldsbrough, Cunningham, Synnot, and Clough, which are filled up with sheep pens. All Australasia is represented in the mass of bidders, and of the auction room it may fairly be said, "There's millions in it." The atmosphere is strongly charged with electricity, as the auctioneer calls out, "Fifteen hundred guineas bid for this glorious ram—going fifteen hundred!"

It will not be out of place to add here a notice of the little pamphlet, "Year Book of West Australia," compiled by the Hon. John Forrest, C.M.G., the distinguished explorer, who is now Commissioner of Lands and Surveyor-General. He points out that his colony is a third of Australia. Its area of 1,060,000 square miles only includes 3700 square miles which are alienated in fee simple. Come, now, who says we are getting exhausted? Come on, ye hungry millions of Europe! Mr. Forrest's little blue book is brimful and running over with interest. By the way, Lady Broome, the Governor's wife, has published some timely chat about West Australia in her "Letters to Guy." Rottnest is a delicious little island, whither Governor Broome and his family flee from the cares of State, like Sir George Grey to Kawau. We wish we had a Rottnest.

A monster company is floated to take up the territory of the Fishers in Northern South Australia. It is only about two-thirds the size of Great Britain. Only that and nothing more. A special object is the encouragement of young Jackeroos with capital, so that their Mammas will be easy. Oh, don't we know the Jackeroo! You have heard of the green hand at sea. Well, he's a Jackeroo, only he bestrides a yard-arm instead of an old stock-horse.