Page:The Condition and Resources of New South Wales.djvu/10

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the shade of his own vine and his own fig-tree. And at what cost was this taste satisfied?

Who does not remember that in those days skilled labour commanded from fifteen shillings to a guinea a day, and that the price of materials, of all kinds, wherewith to build up one of these palatial villas was enormously enhanced by the artificial plethora of the gold-times! And yet, forsooth, we are to be astonished when one of these places is forced into the market—that it does not realise more than one-half or one-third of its cost. Surely, a little reflection should satisfy us, that the hard-earned savings of the honest industry of these sober days, are not to be saddled with the cost of the prolific extravagance of years gone by; and that we are not to conclude that the country is going to ruin because Mr. Jones's very handsome residence, erected at a cost of £10,000 eight or ten years ago, passes into Mr. Brown's or Mr. Robinson's hands for one half of that sum. Mr. Brown or Mr. Robinson gets the advantage of the lavish expenditure of Mr. Jones. That's all. The community at large is not impoverished. I say then that let people account for this so-called depression in what way they will, you won't find evidences of it in the shops and warehouses which line your streets, nor in the palatial residences of your suburbs, nor in the equipages in which your wealthy citizens are wont to take their airing, nor yet in the public or private amusements got up for the recreation of the general class of citizens.