Page:Victoria, with a description of its principal cities, Melbourne and Geelong.djvu/161
CHARACTER AND DEATH
were in a state of fear and dismay. for, among other reports, it was circulated (more particularly through the retired, and, consequently, more credulous portion of the inhabitants), that the diggers (their numbers magnified a thousand-fold) having dispersed the military forces, were then on their way to sack the fair city of Melbourne. The arrival, therefore, of their old friends and favourites of the 99th quieted their fears, and restored a certain degree of confidence in the public mind.
As forming one of this expedition, we may, perchance, be accused of egotism, to do away with which, we take the liberty of quoting a paragraph from the leading journal of the city, three months after, when the regiment returned to Hobart Town, the day previous to which a public dinner was given to the officers by the leading men of Melbourne:—
"The perfect tranquillity which, we are happy to say, now prevails in the colony, has enabled the Government to relieve the community from the heavy charge of supporting an extra military force, and, accordingly, the detachment of the 99th regiment, which has for the last three months been quartered in Melbourne, is under orders for Hobart Town. They leave on Friday, and although it is with the greatest degree of gratification that we hail their departure as a sign of the altered state of our social condition from what was the case when they arrived, and also as indicating a reduction in our expenses at this critical time, we should not be doing justice to this