Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/106

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1854 two well-known diggers, John Murphy and Garrett Brennan, were rounded up by the police on a part of the diggings called Jackass Flat, and taken before Mr. Dowling, the police magistrate, their offence being not having their licenses upon them. Although they had paid for their licenses. Murphy, who was a droll dog, a rough Irish diamond, requested to see 'his honour's riverince.' Mr. Dowling replied, 'Well, my man, I am the man you want.' Murphy then asked, 'Would your honour's riverince order that fellow (pointing to the policeman on guard) to fire on a man who had paid for his license and had left it in his tent, if he ran away after being rounded up by the police?' Mr. Dowling replied, 'Certainly not.' Murphy exclaimed, 'Thin, be jabers, I'm off,' saying which, he knocked over the police guard, jumped the picket fence, and ran like a greyhound into the bush. His companion, Brennan, having proved that he had paid for a license, was dismissed with a reprimand."

Neither was conviviality of the old-land type unknown at the close of the day's gathering-in of the golden harvest. A contemporary eye-witness has given a graphic description of an Irish tent, in which an old fiddler is reviving fond recollections of a dear isle far away by playing the beautiful melody of "Erin-go-Bragh." "Hold a moment! He is resining his bow. Now he begins, and as the charming strain falls upon the ears of his sensitive countrymen, they here and there chime in with a part of the song and dissolve in tears from the warmth of their emotions. Of what a complication of joys and sorrows is the human heart made up! Listen. He now plays 'Paddy Carey,' and see—every face that was this moment suffused with tears is radiant with joy, and the tent, as a matter of