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fallen as low as three-quarters per cent. In
the colonies, howeverpartly through the
shifting nature of the population, partly
through the want of any good means of
delivery among the coloniststhe number of
returned letters is as great as twelve in every
hundred; and yet, of forty-two thousand
letters thus failing to reach their destination,
all but two thousand had been prepaid, and
nearly fifteen hundred of them had been
even registered.

The change in the stamp-tax has diminished
by one-fourth the number of newspapers
posted; the number of book packets
is increasing rapidly, as the use of the book-post
becomes familiarly known. To a considerable
extent, the book packets consist of
tradesmen's circulars and catalogues. The
money order system is also growing very
rapidly. In Liverpool there were nearly
twice as many orders issued and paid in the
one month of December last, in Birmingham
four times as many, as were issued and paid
in those towns during the whole of the year
eighteen hundred and forty. The removal of
some very trifling checks that had been found
superfluous precautions in the business of
granting and payingslight matter as it
seemedproduced an increase of money
orders issued in the last quarter of last year,
more rapid than had been known at any
previous time.

We are glad to find that the Post Office
department intends giving a full knowledge
of what may be done through its agency by
means of a cheap little Guide, renewed as
often as proves necessary. It may not be too
much to say that half the people in this
country who use the Post Office do not know
clearly all the benefit they can derive from
it, so rapid is the healthy growth of this
Black Swan among the offices.



As the great Dr. Swinburne could not
leave the Medical Hall, he set himself about
enclosing it with post and rail, and
ornamenting it by the importation of various
flowering shrubs from the neighbouring
forest. He had neither mortar nor scales,
nor any drugs to weigh and compound in
them; so he proposed to supply himself from a
druggist's not far off, should he be fortunate
to obtain any patients. And these were not
long wanting. Accidents were constantly
occurring on the field, and George, who was
prowling about for fresh claims, was sure to
cry out "To Dr. Swinburne's!" and helped
to carry the patient there. Adam's real
cleverness was soon perceived, and practice
followed rapidly. Not a word of advice was
given under a sovereign, and a few doses of
medicine were rewarded with an ounce
that is, an ounce of gold, value three pounds
seventeen shillings.

"Who would dig?" said Adam, triumphantly,
as he tossed the first real sovereign in
his hands. George, you shall be tent-keeper,
and cook, and we'll go halves till there's
enough for you to start as a lawyer with in
Melbourne; and then you shall give me
halves for the first year. There! That, I
know, is a good bargain for me."

George set to work in his new post. Soon,
they had a Medical Hall of really grand
dimensions for canvas, and not only a pestle and
mortar and medicines, but Adam had his
horse, and rode far and wide through the
diggings. George was groom; and, as they
had little to be robbed of in the tentfor
Adam every evening carried his cash to the
gold-office at the government campwhen
Adam was on his rounds, George amused
himself by felling poles in the woods just by,
and peeling stringy bark, with which he soon
built a stable near the Medical Hall. The
horse was fed on hay and oats at a shilling a
pound each; and they themselves on bread
at five shillings the quartern loaf, potatoes at
one shilling a pound, and fresh butter at five
shillings. But what then? The gold now
flowed in in a royal stream. Adam plucked
out a digger's tootha pound; clapped a
piece of sticking-plaster on a bruised arma
pound; gave a dose of salts in a bottle of
water and a little colouring mattera pound.
Nothing was done under a pound popped into
the hand at the moment. A particular case,
and down came "an ounce."

"Doctor," a digger would say, "just look
at my leg."

"Ha! I see," replies Adam. "You must
give over drinking."

"That's true," says the fellow. "But doctor,
I've no money, but there's an ounce."

There was a deal of dysentery. Adam
might have said with a certain doctor, "A
world of sickness! Providence has been
very kind to us lately!" but he was too
humane. Nevertheless, he could not but
exult in his unbounded success. "This is the
true gold mine, Geordy; you'll soon have to
be off to Melbourne, and commence
conveyancer. And yet, what am I to do without
you? Who is to watch my tent, and cook,
and keep all straight, and have my horse
ready, and in such condition? It is really a
shame, George, to make a groom and butler
of you; but there is nobody that can do like
you. Well, a few weeks." In fact, Adam's
practice was already at the rate of eight
thousand a-year.

One morning Adam started up, for he
had a hard day's ride before him. Typhus
fever was raging in a low flat, where
quantities of stagnant water had collected, and
heaps of offal and all kinds of impurities
were scattered over the ground, and rotted
and festered in the sun. He had been there
day after day for the last week, not only
attending to the numerous poor people who
were attacked by the fever, but in seeing

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