Gold Digging

Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer Saturday 23 June 1849 p.3

Gold Digging;
(From Bell's Life in London. )

"Who steals my purse steals trash."

Who'll tell us that America has nothing left to vex us,
Right well she counted up the charges when she took to Texas ;
Old Wilkes, the commodore, was a reg'lar old bamboozle,
When he could not see his nose before, like Tom Noddy or Lord Foozle,

For they're all digging, dig, dig, digging,
For they're all digging at Yankee's home abroad.

They only need a pickaxe, they only want a spade,
With a seive to let the dirt through, and the filthy lucre's made ;
The sack of a resurrectionist's the general receiver
Let sanitary Walker, walk —here's to the yellow fever !

For, &c., &c.

Lawyers can make brief work, doctors fill their pockets.
Clergy get rich preferments, and traders laugh at dockets ;
The prig may keep his hand in, or billiard sharp, and macer,
And sure there's not a place so snug as the Helvetian "placer."

For, &c., &c.

Mr. Bryant is too late with " what he saw in California,"
And ye lads upon the Gold Coast 'tis only in the morn ye are.
Dam your rivers, blast your mines, diamond hunting is a sin.
And as to the Duke of Cornwall—curse his stannaries and use.

For, &c., &c.

Get out thou copper Captain, " Othello's occupation's gone,"
The silver side of boiled beef will ne'er be thought upon,
Whilst the golden rays of Phoebus at a discount shall be sold,
The guineas of old Afric we shall never more behold.

For, &c, &c.

John Bull may cut his bullion, and the Bank may shut up shop,
And Peel around his currency complacently may hop,
He will " post the coal" in coal scuttles, and Folk who dealt in brass,
Shall see the Golden Age roll on like lightning greased, alas !

For, &c., &c.

Bugeaud who smoked at Algiers his pipe, as he did his rock,
Must feel in his waste of time and treasure, bar his fame, a shock.
The New World's smashed the old' un—brother Jonathan's done tall work,
Compared with which, civilisation's a tarnation small work.

For, &c., &c.

Then away, my gallant sea-boys—blow the trumpet round Cape Horn,
And leave our honest Industry, for El Dorado bourne.
Trismegistus was a humbug, and each alchemist e'er known.
Quiff, quaff, th' Elixir Vitae, grab the philosophic stone.

For, &c., &c.

But look sharp at San Francisco, when first you touch the strand,
As from Albany they import gilt brass farthings mixt with sand.
Though, perchance, as gold's so plentiful they'll find in the essay,
With Poyais, Peru, Chili Bonds, the piper you can pay.

For, &c., &c.

Come, hie thee up the country, should you have one, pitch your tent, O,
And open a running account with the bank of the Sacramento,
Though your wives, like Mistress Cuffey, made shift with washing duds,
You'll be clean as a smelt can make you, and never be in the suds.

For, &c., &c.

'Tis reported that the Mormon's claim the nine points of possession,
But we all, as Smiths, like Adamites, may clearly make confession,
lt's the land of perfect liberty, where everybody votes,
And carries out his franchise—equal right of cutting throats.

For, &c., &c.

Then, hurrah for California, where the clods make the best scholars,
And no one can be dolorous employed in raising dollars :
four stock in hand sufficient in a barrow, sieve and spade,
And no bankrupt's court with queries to check the axing trade !

For they're all digging, dig, dig, digging.
For they're all digging at Yankee's home abroad.



It's always surprising how often and where Cuffay's name appears in the newspapers of 1840s. In verse ten of this topical and political song it is his wife, Mary Ann Cuffay, in the line "Though your wives, like Mistress Cuffey, made shift with washing duds"