The emigration-returns for the first four months of the current
year show a considerable increase in the aggregate number of emi- grants to Australia ; nothing, however, to palliate the entire de- rangement of the emigration-transport service that has been occa- sioned by the run upon the gold-fields. So little has been done by Government and the Legislature—and that little in such a desul- tory and unsystematic manner—to establish an effective police for the regulation of emigrant-ships, that the recent addition to the average Australian emigration has already produced an abundant crop of the most heartless swindling at the expense of emigrants. Au reste, the discomfort which the discovery of the gold-fields has sown broadcast over Australia can only be transient. Ulti- mately, it promises to accelerate the settlement of that country. Some extraordinary stimulus was required to move men to seek such remote regions ; and to this end, Providence would appear to have held out the glittering bait of gold to entice them. The gold- deposits of California and Australia do more in a few years to people the shores of the Pacific, than the ordinary attractions of commerce could have done in centuries. Nor is this the only in- dication of a predisposing and overruling Providence in these events. The discovery of new and abundant deposits of the great medium of exchange appears at all times to have been accom- panied or immediately preceded by a new and independent start in commercial enterprise or productive industry, that rendered ampler supplies of the precious metals necessary. The rapid growth of the trade and manufactures of North Italy, Germany, and the Nether- lands, had begun to make the existing stocks of gold and silver insufficient for the demands of commerce about the time when Peru and Mexico were discovered and conquered ; and the opening of the trade with China, the American settlements in the Sand- wich Islands, and those of England in Australia and New Zealand, together with the numerous fleets of whalers and traders that cover the Pacific, were beginning to drain the European stocks of bul- lion, before the diggings in California and Australia were found out.