Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/136

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business. As soon as the conditions of sale were read a storm of dissent greeted them, and all sorts of suggestions were made for their amendment, but, finding it impossible to meet their various ideas, the auctioneer exclaimed, 'Well now, gentlemen, the conditions of sale just read hold good without any alteration, so take the land or leave it, or regulate your biddings by them.' This gave the opposition its quietus, and the bidding began at £7 an acre the first jump, which was rapidly increased to £8 7s. 6d., when the lot was knocked down. The purchaser stepped forward and marked his allotment on the map, after carefully comparing it with the one held in his hand. The next block was then offered, and so on continuously, till the whole area of 125 acres found purchasers at an average rental of £6 10s. per acre." After describing the conditions of payment—one-third of the purchase-money on the fall of the hammer, another third on the 1st of August, and the balance on the 1st of February—our observant friend concludes with a sort of left-handed compliment: "At the settling the purchasers put down the cash for their several instalments, amounting in some cases to upwards of £50, and eight o'clock saw the last of them. I was certainly surprised to find the whole assemblage disperse without a drunken man to be seen or a row. Surely Pat is degenerating from the traditions of his ancestors!"

If by "the traditions of his ancestors" are meant the many doubtful stories of the bacchanalian revels and the quarrelling propensities of Irishmen in a bygone age, then the sons of Hibernia to-day, all the world over, must be entitled to every commendation for refusing to recognise, as their national model, the reckless, rollicking, contentious, six-bottles-a-day Irishman of exaggerated tradition. The