Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/101

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87
A BIRTHPLACE OF FREEDOM.

early days very considerable, and Irishmen fell in for their fair share of the gold. Melbourne and Geelong were nearly drained of their male population, agriculture was completely neglected, and flour, and hay and oats went up to fabulous prices. It was soon found that it was more profitable to keep to the ordinary occupations than to go gold seeking; so society soon began to find its level, and trade and commerce were again in a most flourishing condition."