15 MAY 1852, Page 2

Midas, with hie ass's Vara, stalling amid the gold to

whit* be turned everything-he touched, was but a type of the Australian Colonies at this moment. The universal labouring population— and many of the better classes—have shouldered pickaxe and spade and are off to "the diggings," leaving the bewildered stockholders to see their fields remain unfilled, their cattle run wild, and their sheep die of the scab and rot. Heaps of gold are piled up by mad- men, who will soon have neither grain nor meat in their own land, nor wool, tallow, and hides, to purchase them from other countries. Like their ass-eared prototype, they will starve amid their darling gold. Even the Mother-country is menaced by their insanity : more than half the wool that now gives employment to our manufactures is the produce of Australia, and the withdrawal of this moiety will throw half our woollen-mills and their workmen idle. The evil might have been alleviated had a rational system of land-grants and efficient local self-government been timely introduced in Aus- tralia. Even in that case, however, the gold mania might have defeated all calculations and arrangements : at any rate, the time for making them has now passed. There is no adequate force in the colony to support the Governor Legislature, and Magistracy : when it is considered that the gold region appears to extend from the North of Sydney to the vicinity of Adelaide, any force would probably be unavailing.