King Billy of Ballarat

King Billy of Ballarat

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King Billy was given to strolling up and down the streets of Ballarat when that eviscerated city was merely in process of disembowelment, before alluvial mining gave way to quartz-crushing, when the individual had a chance, if a very vague one, of sudden and delightful fortune. The Ballarat blacks were a scaly lot, to talk of them like ill-fed hogs, as men were wont to do. They dwined and dwindled, as natives will before the resources of civilisation: the bloodthirsty ones got killed out; the rumthirsty ones died out; the wild corroboree was reduced to a poverty-stricken imitation of its former glory. King Billy’s authority grew less with the increase of his clothes. The brass plate with his name on it was about the last relic of his precarious power, and was chiefly valued as a means of notifying the public generally that they might stand drinks to a monarch if they saw fit and were not too humble. He was not haughty, and never presumed on his plate, as parvenus will. He came of an ancient stock, and could afford to condescend, even if he could not afford to pay for drinks. He was very kind to children,—white children, of course,—and was hale-fellow-well-met with many of more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Pdm Classics
  • United States
  • English
  • 0740827367
  • 9780740827365