Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/140

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tured into excellent cheese. 'I do not employ one additional hand,' he said, 'on this account. That girl who is playing Moore's Melodies milked a dozen cows this morning, and nearly every one in the house did as much. The result is a profit of £10 a week, the greater part of which would otherwise be lost.'"

Now that the Victorian Government is systematically opening up the wide and fertile expanse of Gipps Land with railways and roads, it has become the favourite field for land selection and scientific agriculture. Everywhere the axe of the woodman is heard resounding through the forest; cleared and cultivated spaces are beginning to be numerous; rivers are being bridged and brought under subjection, and the whole face of the country is losing its primeval wildness and gradually assuming an aspect of civilisation and advancement. Gipps Land is becoming, in short, what Henry Kingsley, the novelist, looking down from an Alpine height upon its untamed luxuriance more than thirty years ago, predicted it would one day be—"the garden of Australia." It is also one of the most popular resorts for excursionists during the summer season, its lake and mountain scenery being unsurpassed on the southern continent. Another great attraction to strangers are those gigantic gumtrees still to be seen in different parts of the province, some of them towering aloft to a height of 450 feet, and more than 80 feet round at their base. There is no unmixed good, it is said, on this mundane sphere, and the evil that has accompanied the extensive settlement of Gipps Land during recent years is to be found in the widespread destruction of the forests, resulting in a disturbance of the atmospheric conditions and the banishment of an ever-active agent in the preservation of health, for these eucalypts, or gum-trees,