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to men that have ridden in from the

Lodging was equally extravagant. A
bedroom in an hotel, £50 per month, and a sleeping
berth or " bunk "—one of fifty in the same
apartment—£l. 4shillings. per week. Social intercourse
is almost unknown. There are no females,
and men have no better resource than
gambling, which is carried on to an extent,
and with a desperate energy, hardly
conceivable. " Gambling," says a private
correspondent, whose letter, dated April 20, 1850,
now lies before us, " is carried on here with
a bold and open front, so as to alarm and
astonish one. Thousands and thousands
change hands nightly. Go in, for instance, to
a place called ' Parker House,' which is a
splendid mansion, fitted up as well as any
hotel in England; step into the front room,
and you see five or six Monte, Roulette,
and other gaming-tables, each having a bank
of nearly half a bushel of gold and silver,
piled up in the centre. That the excitement
shall not be wholly devoid of diversion, the
Muses lend their aid, and a band plays
constantly to crowded rooms! Step into the
next building, called 'El Dorado,' and there a
similar scene is presented, and which is
repeated, on a smaller scale, all over the town.
The gamblers seem to control the town, but of
course their days must be numbered.
Fortunes are made or lost daily. People gamble
with a freedom arid recklessness which you
can never dream of. Young men who come
here must at all times resist gaming, or it
must eventually end in their ruin: the same
with drinking, as there is much of it here."

The variety of habits, manners, tastes,
and prejudices, occasioned by the confluence
in one spot of almost every variety of the
human species, is another bar to a speedy
deposit of all these floating and opposite
elements into a compact and well assimilated
community. "Here," writes the same gentleman,
"we see the character and habits of the
English, Irish, Scotch, German, Pole, French,
Spaniard, and almost every other nation of
Europe. Then you have the South American,
the Australian, the Chilian; and finally, the
force of this golden mania has dissolved the
chain that has hitherto bound China in
national solitude, and she has now come forth,
like an anchorite from his cell, to join this
varied mass of golden speculators. Here we
see in miniature just what is done in the large
cities of other countries; we have some of
our luxuries from the United States and the
tropics, butter from Oregon, and for the most
part California, Upper or Lower, furnishes us
with our beef, &c. The streets are all bustle,
as you may imagine, in a place now of nearly
thirty thousand inhabitants, independent of a
small world of floating population."

Not the smallest wonder, however,
presented in this region, is the rapid manner, in
which social order was shaped out of the
human chaos. When a new placer or "gulch"
was discovered, the first thing done was to
elect officers and extend the area of order.
The result was, that in a district five hundred
miles long, and inhabited by one hundred
thousand peoplewho had neither government,
regular laws, rules, military or civil
protection, nor even locks or bolts, and a
great part of whom possessed wealth enough
to tempt the vicious and depraved,—there was
as much security to life and property as in
any part of the Union, and as small a
proportion of crime. The capacity of a people
for self-government was never so triumphantly
illustrated. Never, perhaps, was there a
community formed of more unpropitious
elements; yet from all this seeming chaos
grew a harmony beyond what the most
sanguine apostle of Progress could have
expected. Indeed, there is nothing more
remarkable connected with the capital of
El Dorado, than the centre point it has become.

The story of Cadmus, who sowed dragons'
teeth, and harvested armed men, who
became the builders of cities; the confusion
of tongues at the Tower of Babel; and the
beautiful allegory of the lion lying down with
the lamb; are all types of San Francisco.
The first, of its sudden rise; the second, of
the varieties of the genus Man it has
congregated; and the third, of the extremes of
those varieties, which range from the
Polynesian savage to the most civilised individuals
that Europe can produce. It is a coincidence
well worthy of note, that, besides the intense
attraction possessed from its gold, Upper
or New California is of all other places
the best adapted, from its geographical
position, to become a rendezvous for all
nations of the earth, and that the Bay
of San Francisco is one of the best and most
convenient for shipping throughout the western
margin of the American continent. It is
precisely the locality required to make a constant
communication across the Pacific Ocean with
the coasts of China, Japan, and the Eastern
Archipelago commercially practicable. Its
situation is that which would have been
selected from choice for a concentration of
delegates from the uttermost ends of the
earth. If the Chinese, the Malay, the
Ladrone, or the Sandwich Islander had wished
to meet his Saxon or Celtic brother on a
matter of mutual business, he woulddeciding
geographicallyhave selected California as
the spot of assembly. The attractive powers
of gold could not, therefore, have struck forth
over the world from a better point than in
and around San Francisco, both for the
interests of commerce and for those of human

The practical question respecting the Golden
City remains yet to be touched. Does it
offer wholesome inducements for emigration?
On this subject we can do no more than
quote the opinions of the intelligent and
enterprising gentleman, to whose private letter
we have already referred:—" This, I should