In Australia, as elsewhere, Mammon carries his curse with him and his worshippers must partake of it. Drunkenness, crime and immorality, in every shape, are the characteristics of such a society as is now gathering in the gold districts. There are thousands of respectable families in England whose interest it will be to emigrate, but who would not encounter such a condition for all the gold Australia contains.
To the poorest of the aristocracy of England, Australia offers an enticing filed. But they must be careful to leave their aristocracy at home. Rank and title have no charms at the antipodes; and the most they could effect for the bearers, would be an occasional lionization at snob dinners in the town in which the aristocrat may be wasting his time, the remark that “he was like a potato: all that was good belonging to him was underground.”
The majority of colonists are essentially snobs, and they are justly proud of their distinction. “I landed in the colony without a shilling, and am worth a hundred thousand pounds,” has infinitely more charms for them, than “I am a descendant of a lord, and am “as poor as a rat.” Put the two men together, – the one will be worshipped, and the other cut; unless with his aristocracy he evince a decided aptitude for snobbish pursuits, and then he will receive a helping hand, which will be infinitely more use to him than his aristocratic reminiscences.
Australian squatters and gold hunters are well to do in the world, and have abundant means of creating desirable homes.
Industrious young women, even though with little pretensions to beauty, would not be long in finding such homes; but fine ladies, possessing nothing beyond the trashy accomplishments which in England are thought much of, would not only not succeed in forming favourable alliances, but would run the risk of the lowest social denigration.
The heights of Woolloomooloo, rising above the city, are crowned with the truly elegant villas of the elite of Sydney society – composed of men who have, for the most part, become so by their own efforts, aided, it is true, by the luck of circumstance, which, however, often casts them down, even from the Woolloomooloo heights, only to find themselves back in the course of a few years, – for there is nothing on earth as elastic as a Sydney merchant. You may cast him down, but it is impossible to keep him down.