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Chrysomania; Or, The Gold-Frenzy In Its Present Stage
by [?]


[1] ‘Century of Men,’–It may be necessary to remind some readers that this expression, to which I resort for want of any better or briefer, is strictly correct. The original Latin word centuria is a collection of one hundred separate items, no matter what, whether men, horses, ideas, etc. ‘A Century of Sonnets’ was properly taken as the title of a book. ‘A Century of Inventions’ was adopted by Lord Worcester as the title of his book. And when we use the word century (as generally we do) to indicate a certain duration of time, it is allowable only on the understanding that it is an elliptical expression; the full expression is a century of years.

[2] ‘In that same proportion,’ but in reality the profits would fall in a much greater proportion. To illustrate this, suppose the existing price of gold in Australia to be sixty shillings an oz. I assume the price at random, as being a matter of no importance; but, in fact, I understand that at Melbourne, and other places in the province of Victoria, this really is the ruling price at present. For some little time the price was steady at fifty-seven shillings; that is, assuming the mint price in England to be seventy-seven shillings (neglecting the fraction of 10-1/2d.), and the Australian price sank by twenty shillings; which sinking, however, we are not to understand as any depreciation that had the character of permanence; it arose out of local circumstances. Subsequently the price fell as low even as forty-five shillings, where it halted, and soon ascended again to sixty shillings. Sixty shillings therefore let us postulate as the present price. Upon this sum descended the expenses of the miner. Let these, including tools, machinery, etc., be assumed at three half-crowns for each ounce of gold. Then, at a price of sixty shillings, this discount descends upon each sovereign to the amount of one half-crown, or one-eighth. But at a reduced price of thirty shillings, this discount of three half-crowns amounts to one-fourth. And, at a price of twelve shillings, it amounts to five-eighths. So that, as the gross profits descend, the nett profits descend in a still heavier proportion.