Fremantle Stuff > Moore 1884

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Diary of ten years eventful life of an early settler in western Australia

and also A Descriptive Vocabulary of the Language of the Aborigines

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GEORGE FLETCHER MOORE, B.L

Member of the Irish Bar. Advocate General. Sole Judge of the First Civil Court. Acting Colonial Secretary for a time. And ex officio an Honourable Member both of the Executive and Legislative Councils of the Colony.

LONDON :
M. WALBROOK, 180, BROMPTON ROAD, S.W.

1884.

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK TO FREDERICK GONNERMAN DALGETY, OF LOCKERLY HALL, ESQUIRE, IN KINDLY RECOGNITION OF BENEFITS CONFEREED BY HIM ON SOME OF MY NEAR RELATIONS.

GEORGE FLETCHER MOORE.

August, 1884.

THINK OF ME,

FAREWELL LINES ADDRESSED TO MY SISTERS ON LEAVING HOME TO EMIGRATE TO
WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

Think of me, when first the sun
Paints with gold the Eastern sky,
And when his daily course has run,
Remember me, and think me nigh.
Morn will bring to mind our meetings.
Cheerful looks and spirits light,
Eve, our late protracted greetings.
As we whispered a " Good night."
And when, in sacred hour of prayer.
Blessings are asked on bended knee,
Give, of that hour, sufficient share.
To ask a blessing too, on me.
Then, though to the world be given,
All that you may, of mirth and glee,
I shall be sure that next to Heaven,
And Heavenly things, you think of me.

G. F. MOORE.
May, 1830.

PREFACE:

INTRODUCTORY AND EXPLANATORY.

In the year 1828, the British Government being anxious, for political reasons, to establish a colony on the West side of Australia, issued public notices, offering large tracts of land, on certain conditions, to any who would proceed to, and settle on, that district before the end of the year 1830. Attracted by the hope of obtaining possession of a good estate, and feeling that the prospect of success at the Irish Bar was but remote and uncertain, I applied to the Government on the subject of some official appointment, if I should go to the Colony as an emigrant. The answer was to the effect, that any appointment made here now might clash with the proceedings of Governor Stirling; but if I chose to go out at my own risk and expense, they would give me a favourable letter of introduction to the Governor. On this encouragement, I made up my mind to go at once.

My friends were doubtful as to the prudence of such a hazardous step, but I reconciled them to it by a solemn promise that I would keep them fully informed, by each available opportunity in my power, of every incident and circumstance of my position and life there, whether good or bad, and leave them to judge of my success or failure. This was the cause of the "Diary or Journal" hereinafter contained. It was written solely for the information and satisfaction of my father, brothers, sisters, and immediate friends in this country. It was commenced soon after my embarcation from Dublin, and was a great source of relief and consolation to myself during the voyage, as well as through all the difficulties, dangers, labours, and eventful incidents, for the space of ten years in the colony, until my first return home on leave of absence. It was not continued after that time.

Having mentioned that the acquisition of substantial property in the shape of land was a great inducement to my emigration, it is right to mention the result. On giving a schedule, and satisfactory proof of the value of the property, and the number of servants taken out, an assignment of 12,000 acres, or rather a right to choose that quantity of rural land, was given to me, which was eventually obtained in various blocks and in different places according to my own choice. There was considerable delay in getting the blocks surveyed and the boundaries marked out, and registered in, the records of the office of the Surveyor-General. I purchased also from time to time several blocks of land from settlers, who either preferred the money, or were desirous of leaving the colony for various reasons. The result was that when I came home finally, some twenty years ago, I was, and still am, the possessor of twenty-four thousand acres of land in fee simple, as well as several allotments in towns. I became the first Judge in a Civil Court, was member of both the Executive and Legislative Councils, Advocate-General, and sole legal adviser of the Government, acted temporarily as Colonial Secretary, because of the illness and death of that officer, and the illness and death of Governor Clarke about the same time.

The history of the original letters may possess some little interest. They were from the first carefully preserved by those to whom they were sent in this country. But, after the lapse of many years, they were confided to the care of a near relative in the colony, who had expressed a great desire to see them. This lady was well acquainted with Sir Thomas Cockburn Campbell, the able Editor and owner of the paper called "The West Australian." The letters were shown to him, he begged to be permitted to publish extracts from them seriatim in his paper, according as space would admit of. He sent to me a copy of each paper which contained an extract. I cut out those extracts and gummed them into an album. This has enabled me to publish them all here afresh.

I have also added to them a "Descriptive Vocabulary" of the language of the Aborigines—their habits and manners, and the fauna of the country. The only restriction I put upon Sir Thomas as to the treatment of the journal was, that he should omit anything too trivial for publication, and also carefully avoid anything that could in the least degree be likely to annoy, or hurt the feelings of, any one, either in the colony or in this country—an injunction which he has most judiciously observed and most honourably carried out. I introduce here one of his letters to me as being appropriate to the subject.

 

Copy of a letter from Sir T. Cockburn Campbell.

"West Australian" Office,
Perth, 16—9—1881.

 

My Dear Sir,

Many thanks for your kind letter. I have had great pleasure in publishing your journal, and I can assure you it is read with very great interest indeed. There has been a break in its publication lately on account of my space in the "W. A." being so filled with Council reports, but I shall resume the journal again next week. What terrible times you early settlers had to pass through. It is difficult to imagine it now, in a conntry with railways, telegraphs, &c., and so many of the conveniencies of modern life.

Believe me, my dear Sir,

Faithfully yours,

T. COCKBURN CAMPBELL.

George Fletcher Moore, Esq.

So far as regards the winding up of the Journal, I could not desire a better than the gratifying commentary of the EDITOR of the West Australian, to whom I tender thanks for the interest he took in it, and the judicious care he bestowed on its publication in his paper. On my part, I have to render my humble thanks to the Heavenly Giver of all Good, that at the ripe period of an eighty-sixth year, I should be permitted to undertake, and enabled, as I hope, to complete the work of its publication, 54 years after its commencement.

With reference to the "Descriptive Vocabulary" which has been added to it, the appropriate Preface thereof speaks fully for itself. It was put into my hands in a very crude state by Governor Hutt, that I should get it published in England. I had been called home on serious family business. There was no direct conveyance; I had to go by Java, had a long voyage in a Dutch ship—the captain alone had a small smattering of English. To relieve the tediousness of such a voyage, I devoted my leisure to the manuscript, added to, enlarged, expanded, and made it what it is. So, though only one of the few parties connected with the former attempts, I might fairly and truly use the familiar expression, "Quorum pars magna fui."

I made all arrangements for the printing, corrected the press, made terms for the binding, advanced and paid all attendant expenses, had the books carefully packed in a well-tinned chest, which I took back to Governor Hutt, and divided them equally with him. This was in accordance with a previous understanding between us, that on my doing so he would pay half the expenses, which he cheerfully did. That work has been long out of print. It concerns a race which is gradually dwindling away, and may soon be entirely extinct—its language corrupted, disused, forgotten, lost. It is well to endeavour to make a small record of it whilst there is a possibility of doing so. Such is one chief object of the present attempt; may it have the desired effect. The Aborigines, when we first came in contact with them, had no knowledge of a God, no worship, no object of worship, no ideas on the subject. Many efforts were made to civilize and to Christianize them. The Wesleyans made some tolerable progress with them, but sedentary habits did not suit either their health or dispositions—a violent disorder of the mesenteric glands suddenly carried off thirteen of their most promising pupils, and the school was broken up at that time. Some 40 years ago a Mission of Spanish Benedictine Monks was established in the Colony for the avowed purpose of the conversion of the Aboriginal natives. They gathered the children, both boys and girls, into the schools together, and when they came to marriageable age, such children were joined in pairs according to their choice, by a form of matrimony.

All these young people, at suitable ages, were brought forward for confirmation. About ten years ago, a grand ceremony was that of an unusual number of these young natives, collected on such an occasion, a photograph of which, taken at the time, has been shown to me in London.

It is right to explain the singular concatenation of circumstances by which I found myself compelled to act for a time as Colonial Secretary. His Excellency the Governor Colonel Clarke) and the Honourable the Colonial Secretary (Peter Brown, Esq.), were simultaneously so prostrated by serious illness as to be incapable of transacting any business; the doctors denied all access except to their nearest friends. How the Government was to be carried on was a grave question. As I had married the Governor's stepdaughter, I was admitted as a friend. I found him greatly depressed and distressed. I offered to discharge the duties of the Colonial Secretary temporarily, getting another to do my duties for the time. The Governor was greatly relieved by the offer. By the permitted interviews at his bedside, I was enabled to use the usual formal heading of letters from the office, such as "I am directed by His Excellency," &c., &c. My first step, as soon as a mail served, was to inform the Government at home of the unprecedented position in which I found myself, and begging their instant attention to it. In due time another Colonial Secretary came out, and I gladly resumed my former positions. Both the Governor and Colonial Secretary died.

I have stepped beyond my strict limits in introducing this episode, but the step was almost unavoidable under the circumstances.

George Fletcher Moore.

 

(From the "West Australian").

Amongst the earliest settlers in Western Australia was a gentleman well known to old colonists Mr. George Fletcher Moore, late Advocate-General of the colony, who for many years past has been resident in England.

Mr. Moore, from his first arrival at Fremantle in 1830, kept a diary–recording the events of his daily life–which, as opportunity occurred, he sent home to his friends. This diary, full of details of the greatest interest to all West Australian colonists, most graphically illustrates the early life and progress of the Swan River settlement. Of Mr. Moore's letters, those written prior to 1834 were published in England, but have long been out of print, and, with the remainder, which carry on the record of events to a much later date, are now in the hands of his relatives in this colony. These letter-diaries seemed to us of so much interest that we asked, and were kindly granted, permission to publish them serially in the West Australian.

 

THE VOYAGE.

reflections on leaving land — duties of the sabbath-dat — meets a
vessel in distress — trade winds — madeira — flying fish des-
cried — pilot fish — portuguese man of war — memorials of home
epitaph on his spaniel — rain — a strange sail — crossing the
line — ^the southern cross — the cape — stanzas — termination of
the voyage.

Dear Brother,

Exhausted with sleeplessness and agitation, I threw myself
into my berth soon after you and my dear father left me, still
indulging a hope of seeing you on board once more before
sailing. On awaking from long and painful slumber, dis-
turbed by a confusion of all imaginable noises, I found that
a steamer had taken us out of the harbour in the course of
the night, and that we were at a considerable distance from
land. The reflection then crossed me, that I was for the first
time separated from my family and friends,

" Quaero alio patriam sub sole jacentem ;"
and placed as it were, alone on the ocean of life to steer my
own way, and depend on my single efforts, without the
friendly hand of the dear parent, who had hitherto been my
guide and companion — the " custos incorruptissimus " — with-
out the interchange of fraternal love, and with the heavy re-
sponsibility of having embarked four others in my service
and speculations, for whose welfare of mind and body I feel
myself accountable ; under all these anxious thoughts and
considerations, I prayed to God, the only source of calmness
and of comfort, to strengthen and support me.
To vary the usual monotony and dulness of the long and

 

painful voyage before me, I shall keep a journal, which, if it
ever reach you, will make me present to you all.*

SuThday, June Uh, 1830. — In pursuance of a determination,
which I had previously formed, never to omit, when practi-
cable, the duties of the Sabbath-day, either at sea or in
the land of my destination, I read prayers and a suitable ser-
vice to my own people ; great interruptions, from several
causes, occurred, but I persevered, and had the satisfaction of
finding that the captain would be pleased at having the ser-
vice on deck for the advantage of the crew. Wind moderate
and favourable, our lat. 46°, Ion. 10°, and yet the weather cool.
Thermometer only 64° — great talk of being in the latitude of
pirates, and consequent cleaning and preparing of all our fire-
arms — saw nothing, however, more terrible than some large
porpoises playing about the bows of the vessel. Experienced
the want of a filtering machine for our water, which already
smells offensively and tastes badly. This is a sad want. It
is inexcusable in the captains of vessels to be unprovided
with this valuable and unexpensive apparatus, which con-
duces so much to health and comfort.

July 8th. — Approaching the trade winds ; James killed a
pig in the evening — quite an event ! This same James makes
himself very useful in many ways ; he takes particular plea-
sure in feeding our sheep, but whether this taste proceeds
from a disinterested benevolence, or from the anticipated en-
joyment of good mutton chops, I cannot say.

9th. — A vessel in sight, making signals of distress. Hove
to. She sent a boat to us. Proves to be the Patriot, from
Benecarlo to Dublin ; had been six weeks at sea, sprung a
leak, and was kept afloat by incessant exertions at the pump.
Her provisions were running short, so that we were obliged
to give her a supply of water and biscuit, some coals also,
and leather for the pump. Many of us took the opportunity

* Many parts of tho Log-book are abbreviated, or omitted altogether, as
containing details too familiar to be generally interesting. — Editor,

 

of writing to our friends, as well as the limited time would
permit. I wrote a few lines (thought crowding upon thought
in the happiest confusion) to my dear father and brother. As
the captain of the Patriot did not seem quite sure of his .
reckoning, we gave it correctly to him ; he had two officers
on board who wished for newspapers, which unluckily for
them and the credit of our philanthropy, we did not share.
Being now 16° W. our time is one hour and four minutes
later than at Greenwich, each degree making a difference of
four minutes. The most perceptible difference in our latitude
is the short duration of twilight.

We expect to fall in with the regular S.E. trade wind a few
degrees on this (north) side of the line ; our course must then
be directed towards South Ameria, until this region be tra-
versed, after which we may calculate on variable winds until
we shall have reached a more southerly latitude, when west-
erly winds will prevail again. Remained late on deck in the
evening, watching the phosphoric brilliancy which every one
has witnessed at sea, and the deep blue of the ocean.

11th. — At four in the morning passed Madeira, lying about
twenty-five miles to the east. Most delightful day ; wind
moderate and steady from the N.E., supposed to be the regular
trade wind. Read morning service, and the psalms and les-
sons for the day, with a sermon ; the captain, passengers, and
crew, with the exception of two or three, attending in the
large cabin — a gratifying and impressive scene. No vessel,
no living thing in sight, except a solitary bird, one of Mother
Carey's chickens. Ship going at the rate of nine knots, and
rolling more than is quite comfortable. Peak of Teneriffe
not yet visible. Saw flying fish for the first time. They
seemed to spring up from the side of the vessel as if startled,
sometimes taking a considerable flight, at other times just
touching the waters and then rising again. Occasionally a
single one rises, at other times twenty or thirty spring up

together. I could not perceive any vibrations in their tins or

B— 2

 

wings, whichever naturalists please to call them. Most of
them are of a silver grey ; a few of yellow or gold colour.
We are supposed to be now about the tropic. Thermometer
80°. Water miserably bad ; even filtering fails to improve
it, as one of our passengers, who happens to have a good
filtering machine, assures me. The only way to swallow it
without disgust is in negus, with plenty of lemon juice.

Saw a pilot fish, which is about the size of a mackerel,
with stripes on his side like those of a zebra. I am told that
he generally accompanies the shark ; the latter, however, did
not appear, but towards evening a large shoal of porpoises
surrounded the vessel, apparently more for sport than prey,
their gambols being of the most comic kind. This night the
captain took an observation of the north star ; the sky too
cloudy to be very accurate. Thermometer 80°. This degree
of heat produces in me great languor by day and restlessness
by night. Lat. at noon, 18°, 16'. We hope to see Antonio,
one of the Cape Verd Islands, to-morrow. The anxiety with
which we look for the smallest island is inconceivable to those
who have not been exposed for many days to the monotony
of time passed on the ocean.

Sunday, l^th. — I officiated as usual for a congregation of
about thirty- six persons, apparently interested and attentive
to the services of the day. Thermometer 80°, at 2 p.m. This
day, for the first time, we saw a shark gliding slowly along,
with its fin just above the water's surface, and in his wake
followed a great train of what the sailors call Portuguese
men of war, and a long shoal of flying fish and bonetas, so
that we had something to look at. We are disappointed in
our hope of seeing the land of St. Antonio, the weather prov-
ing hazy, and there being every indication of our losing the
N.E. trade wind, and falling in with the S.W. wind, which
prevails about the Cape Verd Islands. The heat at night,
thermometer 82°, is very oppressive, so much so, that I can
hardly bear even a sheet over me.

 

19th. — This day has been marked by a fearful accident.
We had been all anxiously looking out for fish, and endea-
vouring to catch men of war by means of buckets, and had
just succeeded in capturing one (which I shall describe by
and by), when a boy, in the act of throwing out a bucket,
became entangled in the rope attached to it, and was dragged
overboard. A sailor looking on, instantly jumped into the
sea, and by assisting and encouraging the youngster, until a
boat was lowered, saved his life, Providentially the day was
calm, and the boy had great presence of mind, and swam
pretty well, though he had all his clothes on, except his shoes.
The brave fellow, who risked his life for the lad, is George
Southern, son of a respectable man living at Bray ; iiis ami-
able and obliging temper had rendered him a general favourite
previously to this occurrence, which of course has not lowered
him in the scale of estimation. I was in the cabin when the
alarm was given, and on reaching deck, George had made such
way towards the boy, who sustained himself boldly, that my
only apprehension was that the sharks would meet them. If
these monsters were in our track, the bustle and noise from
the ship, and the appearance of the boat, kept them at a dis-
tance ; — it was a scene of intense and awful anxiety. May
we all give praise where it is due, and may our praises be
accepted !

I threatened to describe the man of war : — It consists of a
bladder filled with air, from which depend roots or feelers,
nearly four feet long. One of the roots of this zoophyte I
have now examined with a microscope ; it is no thicker than
a thread, transparent, and hollow, with many knots or joints
from which other minuter fibres extend. After I had handled
these fibres, I experienced a prickly sensation like that of
needles in my face, on the application of my hand. This I
am unable to account for. I have lately acquired the habit
of taking a night bath, by having water pumped over me.
The time which I have chosen has been about an hour before

 

midnight, in order to obtain cool and refreshing sleep. Last
night, after my bath, I remained a long time on deck en
chemise, without any inconvenience whatever. Thermometer
yesterday, lat. 15° 4', in my sleeping cabin stood at 81° ; in
the afternoon 85°, and on deck 92° 22'. This day we have
had a great addition to our live stock. Poor Lass having pre-
sented me with nine puppies, five of which were committed
to the deep. I have been obliged to keep four, to gratify the
urgent solicitations of some of our passengers ; but I fear that
the mother has not strength or nutriment sufficient, and milk
is a scarce article now on board. The dozen bottles which I
had brought with me, boiled, corked, and hermetically sealed,
soon became sour ; even Poor Lass, for whose accouchement I
had kept it, since it proved unfit for her master, refuses to
drink it ; — tell this to all whom it may concern.

The effects of the heat have been proved on our mutton
(the sheep which James killed three days ago being quite
offensive, though washed with chloride of lime), and still more
lamentably on Poor Lass, who is staggering about, restless
and feverish, and half frantic ; at one time coming down to
my cabin, at another wandering about the deck, as if in search
of something, and paying little attention to her young ones ;
indeed her doing so would be of little service, her milk being
gone ; I have given her medicine, and whatever else I could
think of as possibly serviceable to her.

24:th. — Poor Lass is no more. I grieve at her death, for she
formed a link of associations with home and its inmates. Oh !
how bitter are the thoughts of the exile !

" Every tedious stride I make
Will but remember me what a deal of world
I wander from the jewels that I love."

How often, and with what intense anxiety, do I contemplate
successively the many little memorials of affection and friend-
ship, which are almost always before me ! Not only those

 

which you, and my father and sister have given, and which
are associated in some way or other with all my occupations,
whether praying, reading, writing, marking the progress of
time, or preparing for eternity ; but those tokens of regard
which I have received from comparative strangers. I con-
stantly wear a ring which gave me just before I came

away. Poor fellow I he could scarcely speak, I could not
articulate a syllable. I trust before this, his anxious and
affectionate heart has found rest and peace in wedded life !
I dress every day before a glass belonging to a case given me

by Miss T .

Instances of Mrs. R's kindness are constantly before me.
Poor John Maguire (Joseph's old servant), with tears in his
eyes, entreated my acceptance of a handsome dark lantern,
which he had had for one and twenty years. It is now sus-
pended in my cabin, and my reminiscences revert with as
much gratification to this keepsake of poor John's, as to any
other that I see around me. Furlong's kindness and attention
appear in several marks of his friendship. A cabin lamp,
fowling-piece, and pair of pistols, an apparatus for kindling
an instantaneous light, are suspended in my cabin ; and when
I look at these articles, as well as at the books, and many
other of his gifts, I am filled with gratitude at his disinter-
ested friendship ; but I shall not dwell more upon recollec-
tions. I cannot dare to indulge in the " solemn sorrows of
suffocating sensibility" as Bridgetina Botherum says, else I
should unnerve my mind when it has need of all its fortitude ;
and yet, my dear brother, I cannot avoid giving you the ryth-
mical produce of my waking thoughts last night, or rather at
peep of day this morning, soon after the death of Poor Lass-
My melancholy must have vent, aud though there is sad
wastry, as Eose Anne would say, as applies to paper, yet,
under existing circumstances, I may be allowed to play the
fool, if it were only for my beloved sister's sake. She knows
when the fit comes on, how hard I find it to resist. Was

 

ever an epitaph on spaniel composed in my present position ?
Lat. 11°, 12' Here goes :—

Aye ! give the body to the deep,

That universal grave ;
There let it sleep the dreamless sleep, —

Its mound — an ocean wave.

In losing thee, I've lost a friend,

Whose instinct worth, well tried,
Coiild service with aifection blend,

Though reason was denied.

If thou hadst reach'd the looked for land,

I hoped to see thee bound
With frolic gambols on the strand.

And hail the adopted ground.

I pictured oft thy mute surprise,

When (instinct still the same)
New climes had shown thy wond'ring eyes

Some unaccustomed game.

I thought to see thee at my side.

Watch the uplifted gun —
Or view thee in thy race of pride —

But now thy race is run.

Wakeful guard 'gainst nightly spoil.

Companion of the day ;
Cheerful partner of my toil,

Thou'rt call'd, and must obey.

What meant that last, that wistful gaze,

When at thy masters' tread,
Thy little strength was meant to raise

The drooping, dying head?

Was it in hope hia essayed skill

E'en yet might bring relief ?
His power accords not with his will,

He could but vent his grief.

 

Or was it meant as to commend

Thy new bom young bereft ?
Could substituted care befriend

A progeny thus left ?

Th' Equator's sun — weak ill-timed brood !

Has drain'd your fountain dry ;
And here no artificial food

Can nature's store supply.

Poor victim of a torrid clime,
Where e'en to breathe is pain,

Cut off in all thy vigour's prime,
Thou'rt gone ; — regret is vain.

The wise may think 'tis weak in me,

To grieve ; — so let it pass :
But yet I feel, in losing thee,

I've lost a friend — Poor Lass.

 

Sunday, 25th. — Read church service and a sermon as usual.
Robert has absented himself on this and the preceding
Sunday, without any good or apparent cause; I must
remonstrate ; — strongly impressed myself with the many
mercies of a kind Providence, and the dependence of His
creatures on Him for each moment of their existence, every
circumstance of their prosperity, and every hope of future
happiness, I consider myself involved in the fate of those who
have accompanied me, and bound to confirm them, as far as
I am able, in religious principles and observances.

Weather fine, but warm and close ; a numerous shoal of
porpoises have come rushing towards the ship with great
violence. "They are just like sheep sporting in a field,"
said Letty, and it was not a bad simile for their boundings
and gambols ; and although it was comical enough to see these
animals floundering about, I could not help feeling some
alarm on the recollection of an observation Captain Cook
makes somewhere in his voyages, " that the playing of

 

10

porpoises* round the ship was a certain indication of an ap-
proaching gale ;" this remark made by so experienced a sea-
man was calculated to excite apprehension in a landsman.

2^th. — This day has been delicious — one of heavy incessant
rain, welcomed by the crew, passengers, and every living
animal on board ; it is the first heavy rain of any consequence
we have had since we sailed, and as our allowance of water
has been very limited, we all eagerly prepared for a general
ablution of clothes. Letty's obliging temper has been taken
full advantage of, every one applying to her in difi&culties,
and she does everything in her power to accommodate. We
have saved much of the rain, and I have bottled a large sup-
ply for my own use.

2^th. — During the few preceding days, the air has been
cool — wind variable, and sometimes foul. A dolphin went
off with a line and hook in his stomach this day. I fear that
he will suffer from dyspepsia.

We had been complaining of the monotony of our time,
" one day telling another and one night certifying another,"
when a vessel was descried ; conjecture became immediately
busy, and her movements and appearance were watched with
intense interest.

I^th. — At length we communicated by signals with the
strange sail, which proved to be not a pirate, as we had
dreaded, but the brig Harriet, bound for Buenos Ayres.

* This prognostic (for I believe there is some such notion prevalent) may
have arisen merely from the superstition of seamen. Shakspeare, with hia
admirable accuracy of observation has alluded to this belief. — Editob.

" 3rrf Fisherman. — Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were
cast away before us, even now.

\st Fisherman. — Alas, poor souls ! it grieved my heart to hear what pitiful
cries they made to us to help them, when, well-a-day, we could scarce help
ourselves.

3rrf Fisherman. — Nay, master, said I not as much when I saw the porpus,
how ho bounced, and tumbled ? They say they are half-fish, half-flosh ; a
plague on them, they never come but I look to be washed."

 

11

SOth. — I slept uncommonly well last night, which I attri-
bute to my having taken a cold bath immediately before re-
tiring to bed ; breeze unfavourable, lat. 6° 42' at noon. It is
not recommended to come closer to the coast than 18 long.
We are now opposite Sierra Leone, and are entertained by the
sailors with agreeable tales of the corsairs, seven of whom, my
story tellers asserted, they have seen beheaded at Cadiz. Our
determination is to fight manfully, if we should be attacked
by an equal force ; if by an overwhelming one, to submit
quietly at once. Some of these pirates have eighty men and
ten or twelve guns ; we have but twenty men and two six
pound carronades, and small arms.

Aubgust 1st. — Fine morning. Breeze strong. Found that
we had made but nine miles southing since yesterday. Eead
prayers, and an excellent sermon of Burder's. This admirable
preacher of a pure religion must have done wonders with his
parishioners. I give him the credit of the manifest reform
which appears to have taken place in my congregation ; he
cannot be read or heard without interest and improvement.
He speaks to the heart more in the eloquence of feeling than
language ; but whatever he says, he strongly impresses. His
sermon on the text, " Christ is the way," is calculated to make
a man a Christian, and to keep him one. On these occasions
all on board regularly attend, with three or four exceptions.*

^Tid. — I have been occupied most of this day in writing

 

* I cannot too strongly applaud the conduct of Mr. Moore in this respect ;
nor too warmly recommend the imitation of it to others similarly circum-
stanced. Every person, however humble in ability, may be the instrument of
incalculable benefit. Let him take a few Bibles, Prayor-books, and well-
selected volumes of sermons ; let him produce and use them on the Sabbath,
and in his own little circle keep the day holy. Ho may at first meet with in-
difference or opposition, but let him persevere, as in the instances ot Buchanan
and Henry Martin, and he will at length be listened to with reverential atten-
tion. Sailors have strong impressions of religion ; and the ocean is a scene, of
all others, the most likely to excite the adoration of Him, " who weigheth the
watws by measure." — Ediiob.

 

12

out the foregoing part of my journal, in the hope of its being
conveyed to my sisters. It is inconceivable what a pleasure-
able interest I take in it. Since this notion has come into
my head, it is no longer to me a mere dry record of each day's
progress, and its passing events. It is my medium of com-
munication with my dear girls ; and though the voyage be
barren of incidents, it will, I know, be valued as a memorial,
from its writer — as a transcript of his thoughts. How often
and how intensely do I think of you all !

The north star is almost invisible, and only the tail of ursa
major can be seen. A breeze has split our fore-topsail, but
this is a trifie. We are now supposed to have caught the
first of the trade wind, which blows strong from S.E., and
must, in consequence, shape our course towards South
America, and we experience more motion than at any other
period of our voyage. The vessel lies more on her side,
which renders our position, either sitting or standing, an em-
barrassing one. Everything is kept on the table by means of
raised ledges, placed at equal distances. The sun is strong
but the breeze cooling. Thermometer 70° to 82°, lat. 4° 39'.

Several of Mother Carey's chickens were flying near the
vessel at dusk. Certes if they go home to sleep, it wiU be
late bed-time with them, for we are several hundred miles
from land.

I take a great deal of exercise on deck, swinging on the
ropes by the hands, legs, arms, and jumping over one of my
feet held in the opposite hand. These gymnasticising exer-
cises are of great benefit to me. You may tell this to
Huguenin when you see him. Several of the passengers, and
sailors also, amused themselves to a very late hour with dif-
ferent sorts of sports, hunt the slipper, and other playful
exercises, with which they were much delighted. I took a
pump bath at midnight and found the water rather cold.

hth. — Approaching the line ; certainly the line of heat is in
lat. 10° or 11°, for our weather here, lat. 2° 11', is quite cool.

 

13

6th. — We have crossed the line without witnessing any of
those wonderful sights which landsmen are taught to expect.
There was neither a well-stretched line in the air, nor a white
streak on the waters ; nor did the needle tremble, nor the ship
groan, nor the heavens give any peculiar indications. We
sailed along at the rate of four knots an hour, on a cool and
pleasant day, over an unruffled sea ; and it was only by ob-
servation at noon that we ascertained our having crossed the
mystic boundary. We are promised a visit at night from
Neptune, on passing his peculiar territory.

9th. — Last night I got a view, for the first time, of the
Southern Cross, a beautiful constellation, which corresponds
with the Plough or Bear of the northern hemisphere; its
shaft points to the south pole, and at midnight it is vertical.
All the stars here appear with greater splendour than in our
part of the northern hemisphere) the sky being cloudless, and
the atmosphere clear. After admiring the brilliancy of Venus
until eleven o'clock, I bathed, and retired to rest about mid-
night. I have not told you exactly how my day passes on
board : — We rise about six ; and breakfast on coffee, biscuit,
and cold meat, or fried pork and rice, about eight ; sometimes
on stirabout and molasses : after breakfast, I read and write
(occasionally going on deck to see any novelty which may
occur there), and at three sit down to a very fair dinner with
the captain, the first and second mates, and Messrs. Codd and
Nolan. We take tea at candle light (the sun setting at six),
and from seven until bed-time, I usually remain on deck,
star-gazing, gymnasticising on the ropes, or chatting with
some of the passengers.

Before leaving Europe I was cautioned against heavy night
dews, but I have not experienced any vapours, though re-
maining on deck until nearly twelve every night, and fre-
quently standing for a considerable time en chemise after a
cold bath. Time passes slowly with some persons on board,

 

14

but with me its course appears rapid ; and when I look back
I am surprised at the lapse of days since I left land.

18^^. — Last night the appearance of Jupiter, when rising
above the horizon, was so singular, that many persons (think-
ing of pirates) cried out in alarm, " a light, a light ;" his rapid
ascent in the heavens, however, soon put an end to conjec-
tures.

Our course is now S.E. direct for the Cape — many birds
have been flying about us.

20th. — What a busy day this is with you — preparing for
grouse shooting. Shall I ever shoot grouse with you again ?
As I have nothing else to do, I must scribble poetry on the
occasion.

FIRST DAY OF THE SHOOTING SEASON— AT SEA.

Oh, what a spirit-stirring day

For me would this have been,
Had I on land been doomed to stay ;

But here, how changed the scene !

I tread not now the heathy plains,

Nor climb the mountain's side,
Where undisturb'd the moor-cock reigns

In solitary pride.

My path is on the trackless wave,

And through the billowy foam ;
Where ocean birds together have

Their cradle and their tomb.

But memory dwells on that dear sound,

The cheerful, ivelcome home ;
When amidst friends those joys were found

Which ne'er again may come.

But, home and friends, where shall I find ? —

Henceforth 'twill be my part
To seek for friends within my mind ;

My home must be my heart.

 

15

Sept. \sL — While fishing with a piece of pork as bait, a
Cape pigeon caught the hook in his bill and was pulled up.
Porpoises, and an albatross about the ship. Weather cold,
like the month of March. Thermometer 52°. Drew the
qwUt over me for the first time for many weeks.

1 \th. — A heavenly day, like one of our autumn days ; but
rather too calm for our impatience — the Cape being within
less than a hundred miles. Great cleaning out of the ship
preparatory to our arrival.

IZth. — The breeze has, most provokingly, freshened to a
gale, and we are obliged to keep off land, for there is no shel-
ter from this wind in Table Bay. It is most tantalising to
be within view of the light-house and flag-staff on the moun-
tain, and then to recede from them.

lUli. — After a storm last night, which to my inexperienced
eye was sufficiently terrible, the wind has moderated, and we
are now standing in for the Bay ; straining our eyes to have
the first peep of African scenery, turning the glass towards
every flat-roofed villa as it appears on the shore, and gazing
as we near the quays, at the great teams of twelve or fourteen
oxen drawing waggons. » » ♦ *

If: Ik It It * If:

2Qth. — We are now under weigh for Australia. I have
brought some cuttings of vine and fig trees in earth, and
pumpkin and orange seeds.

2hth. — A week has now elapsed since we left Cape Town,
and we have made no progress, but have rather gone back-
wards ; so difficult is it sometimes to weather the Cape. We
may now have to run to the fortieth degree of south latitude
before we meet with a west wind.

I have stumbled upon a pamphlet written by Dr. Macart-
ney, 1810, on the luminous appearance of the sea. He de-
scribes one luminous animalcule like a shrimp — so far his
microscopic observations agree with mine; but he does not
conjecture (as I do) that the small globules are the spawn,

 

16

which afterwards assume the tadpole, and subsequently the
fish shape. I wish I had seen his pamphlet before, as I
should then have observed more closely.

28th. — What a night has passed ! Incessant thunder,
lightning, and wind, accompanied with torrents of rain and
hailstones of a very large size. Sleep was out of the question.
I was frequently on deck to observe the vivid flashes of elec-
tric matter, which illuminated the ocean around ; and on one
or two occa sions I saw a steady light, which sailors call
Jack-o'-the lanthern, continuing at least ten minutes on the
mast-head. During this storm we sailed ten knots an hour,
shipping a tremendous sea occasionally.

Do you ever think of me ? I hope you do, at least in your
morning and evening petitions to the Throne of Grace. I
think of you, and pray for you every time that I offer up my
prayers and thanksgivings for myself.

October 1st. — I have been in a poetical mood again; yet
dissatisfied with the labours of my brain. Last night (when
I wrote them) I thought my lines sublime,

" But in the morning cool reflection came."
To-day I think some of them bordering on the ridiculous.
Between the two, you know, there is but a step ; you shall
have them, however, but please to bear situation and circum-
stances in mind. I was alone on the deck on a beautiful
moon-shining night, when the poetical afflatus seized me.
Whatever the character of the poetry may be, these lines are
faithfully indicative of my feelings, and of the communion
which subsists between my head and heart :

I gaze on the moon — I gaze on the moon —

As at home I have gazed of yore ;
But the change of scene, and the space between,

Make me feel the same pleasure no more.

For it brings to mind the land of my biith,

And it painfully brings to mind
My soUtude here, and the friends so dear,

For ever perhaps left behind.

 

17

And it brings to naind, oh ! it brings to mind,

Happy hours that are now gone by ;
The blush and the smile, as I gazed the while

On the light of a soft blue eye.

And it makes me feel, oh ! it makes me feel,

The loss of those earlier years ;
When hearts are so light, and hope is so bright,

And nothing but pleasure appears.

Then the moon looks lone, and I feel as lone,

How could it otherwise be ?
There's nothing on high, but a starless sky.

And here there's nothing but sea.

And that passing cloud, and that passing cloud,
Whose gloom as it low'rs, 1 now mark.

Is the transient shade which sorrow has made,
When the prospect around looks dark.

It brightens again, it brightens again.

And how clear is the blue serene !
The cloud passes on, the shadow is gone,

Was ever so placid a scene ?

So is it with hope, — thus is it with hope,
For hope seems to me like the moon ;

Its look is so soft, it changes so oft,
And it darkens and brightens as soon.

Hope saves from despair, — hope conquers despair,
And enlivens the surrounding gloom :

Its abiding ray fadeth not away,
But shines — even on to the tomb.

Then rouse thee my heart, and cheer thee my heart.

And let all thy hopes still be green ;
For oh ! thou shalt not by friends be forgot.

Though distance and time intervene.

But prepare to meet, — be ready to meet

What good or what Ul may befall.
Whatever betide, be it still thy pride

To be_ calm and resign'd in all.

 

18

Are you as the dead ? has all pleasure fled ?

Are there no joys for those who roam ?
Can no place on earth but the place of our birth

Be called by the sweet name of hcnne ?

From its native clay, — from its native clay

We transplant to a genial soil
The vigorous shoot, lo ! it soon takes root.

And will amply repay our toU.

Though it pine at first — though it pine at first

With regret for its parent bed,
The bright sunny clime, and propitious time.

Will raise up its fallen head.

Friends hallow a spot — Love hallows a spot,

But bliss is to no spot confin'd ;
'Tis here, or 'tis there, 'tis everywhere.

Its dwelling place is in the mind.

Let us make a home, — let us make a home.

Wherever our lot may be cast ;
Let us new friends find, bear the old in mind,

And cherish the days that are past.

So shine on sweet hope, and shine bright sweet hope,

And if the sky darken, — why then,
We'U look for the ray of that promis'd day.

When friends may all meet once again.

5th. — Nothing worthy of note has occured of late ; we have
fine weather, a smooth sea, and a favourable wind.

13th. — I have my expectations excited, from hearing that
a great flaming cross is frequently seen in our present position,
lat. 38°, long. 67° 35' at midnight. I have seen it, but with
great disappointment.

It is composed of many stars, of no extraordinary brilliancy.
The sky has not been clear for some time ; and it was only
last night that I saw it in its erect position at midnight.

I also saw the Pleiades, a beautiful constellation, the sight
of which (so powerful is the association of ideas) led my

 

19

thoughts far, far from the present scene to our little study,
and boyish days, when we conned over Virgil and Ovid;
and, heartily sick of their Pleiades and " Aquosus Orion,"
wished them at the bottom of the sea. I little thought
then, that it would be my subsequent fate to gaze on these
beautiful constellations on the wide ocean.

I need not recall to you that exquisite expression of Job,
which may challenge comparison with any of the ancient
poets, " Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades or
loose the bands of Orion ?" — a passage which Milton has
borrowed and appropriated : —

" The Pleiades before him danced,
Shedding sweet influence."
You see I am not totally idle, but make some use of the
few books which I have packed up.

ISth. — I have had a dream of home, and here you have a
poetical version of my visions of the night : —
When gentle slumber seals my eyes,

And dreamy thoughts are free as air.
Back, back to home my fancy flies,
And fondly, fondly lingers there.

Methought, that when some years had pass'd,

I trod again my native shore,
And forward still my looks were cast,

Till 1 had reach'd my home once more.

But over all there seemed a change —

Save over my own mind alone ;
And there were many faces strange

Amidst a few I once had known.

1 miss'd the old sequester'd spot.

The fav'rite walk, the well-known tree ;

And, somehow, flowers and shrubs were not i

Where mem'ry said they ought to be.

And faithful unchanged mem'ry sought

Familiar looks — alas ! in vain —
Time had been there, and time had brought
New scenes, new faces, in his train.

c~-2

 

20

Can this, I said, can this be home—
: That home I've longed so much to see ?

In such brief space do changes come,
Or is the change alone in me ?

* Deep darkness o'er my spirit came.

My troubled soul was wrapp'd in shade.
Till one dear sound thrill'd through my frame
When music lent her soothing aid.

For there was one who struck a chord
And waked a well -remembered sound.

Which like a spell broke sorrows ward,
And then, and then my home was found.

20th. — We have been watching the land (which is about
thirty miles distant) since dinner time, and are now running
parallel with it ; we hope to anchor to-morrow.

I have been searching for my tents and iron bedsteads, and
getting my packages into order.

This voyage, which once appeared interminable, now draws
to a close ; and though fifteen weeks have elapsed since I left
Dublin, the time has passed more rapidly and agreeably than
I could have believed to be possible. I do not recollect to have
been so fat at any other period of my life, and am in perfect
health. Even my cheeks have plumped out, and I have no
longer the sallow visage of the student, but the ruddy hue of
the farmer. A freedom from anxiety of mind, and professional
occupation, may probably be the cause of my being so fat ;
however, an active life of rural industry will soon rid me of
superabundant flesh.

2^th. — There has been almost a dead calm since yesterday,
until within this last two hours. "We are now advancing
towards the coast, which has an undulating and very pleasing

 

* This reference is to my Bister Catherine playing a piece of music which
we had often practised together, she on the piano, I on the flute.

 

21

appearance, like gentlemen's parks. We can plainly distin-
guish clumps of trees on the low lands in front ; and in the
back grounds a range of hills, apparently twenty-five or thirty
miles distant. All our people are in high spirits but we are
obliged to put about, and stand off, as our charts are not per-
fect enough to assure us of our proper landing-place.

SOth. — We are now at anchor in Cockburn Sound, near
Garden Island; which, except for the greenness and the
foliage, does not deserve the appellation. Why it is so
called I cannot conjecture, unless it be according to the
accommodating rule, which so satisfactorily accounts for
every misnomer, best known by its example — lucus a Twn
lucendo. The soil on the beach is sandy ; the view around
is beautiful, the land having sufficient diversities.

The entrance to Cockburn Sound is attended with some
difficulty to strangers ; but new charts have been sent home,
laying down all the soundings, &c., &c. It is a fine harbour
when you reach it.

Nov. ^th. — More than a week has passed since I came here;
but such a week ! So many new scenes, new people, new
languages and manners, incidents and accidents !

I have waited on the governor ; been at the head of the
Swan Eiver, and in a conflict with a tribe of natives ; accom-
panied a party, which chased them for miles through the
woods, where they had been making merry with plunder ;
and after seeing one native shot, and three wounded, assisted
in bringing seven prisoners to Perth. To-morrow I shall set
off for the Canning Eiver, my object being to procure a grant
at once, if possible, as I do not wish to be at unnecessary
expense in keeping my people. Letty has come ashore with
a hen under each arm ; and James has brought the sow, sheep,
and goat. The weather is roastingly hot, but not oppressive.

And now safe on shore,

" Prima mei pars est exacta laboria."

 

THE COLONY.

APPEARANCJE OF THE COUNTRY — CONFLICT WITH THE NATIVES — ^THE
NATIVES DESCRIED — DIFFICULTIES OF SOME OF THE SETTLERS — PRO-
SPECTS OF THE COLONY — THE SCENERY ON CANNING RIVER — FRE-
MANTLE — HINTS TO SETTLF.RS — NKCESSAKIES AND SUPERFLUITIES —
OBTAIN A GRANT AT THE HEAD OF THE SWAN RIVER,

Nov. \2th, 1830.

T SEIZE the opportunity of almost the first leisure moment

which I have had here, to give you a hurried account of my
proceedings and prospects up to this time.

* We anchored in Cockburn Sound on this day fortnight, and
dii tlio evening of the same day landed on Garden Island,
where the first thing that struck us was the very unpromis-
ing appearance of the soil (which seemed to be little else than
white sand) and the singulaiity of tolerably good crops, or
rather patches, of peas, barley, turnips, radishes, &c,, which it
produced.

On Sunday we reached the mainland, where (on the beach)
the embryo town of Fremantle is situated.

; I was anxious to see tliegoxinioi- without loss of time, and
therefore proceeded to I'ertli, about twelve miles up the river,
in the boat of Mr. Brown, the Colonial Secretary, from whom
I have received the kindest and most hospitable attention.
In consequence of some depredations committed by the
natives on the upper part of Swan Eiver, Mr. Erown pro-
ceeded thither, accompanied by a few soldiers, and 1 took the
advantage of going with him to that part of the country, but
have not now time to give you a miimte detail of our proceed-
ings. Some natives were detected in the act of plundering a
house, and enjoying the spoil, and seven were taken and

 

23

brought prisoners to Perth, where they were kindly treated
and dismissed after a detention of a few days.

It is hoped that the lesson taught them on this occasion^
the superiority they must have perceived in our weapons,
strength, and co-operation, with their subsequent kind treat-
ment, may prevent any lurther annoyance from them. They
are rather active than strong, slender in the limbs, but broad
in the chest ; and though generally far from being well-look-
ing, yet not deserving the epithet of hideous, which has been
applied to them ; and they are quick of apprehension, and
capable of reflecting on the difference between our manners
and customs and their own, in a degree which you would
scarcely expect. At King George's Sound, they call their
wives by a name which sounds to us appropriate, " yoke,"
yokefellow. I have sketched for you Too-legat Wanty and
his " yoke," who was in rather an interesting state when we
Saw her, which she intimated to us with very little reserve.

At her back she carries the bag containing some roots
which they eat after roasting and pounding. At King
George's Sound, it is said that they never molest white peo-
ple, but they have deadly feuds with each other, tribe against
tribe ; if one person be killed, or even dies a nataral death, it
is an ordinance of their religion to sacrifice a victim from
another tribe, just to preserve the balance of power.

One of our natives slept with his head on my knee in the
boat, but not till he had asked permission, which I gave him;
first taking the precaution of spreading paper on my trowsers
to save them from the grease and red earth with which his
hair was dressed.

I next went up the Canning Eiver, my object being to
obtain a grant without loss of time, and to take my people to
it, but I find it difficult to get one. The only land available
for present purposes is on and near the banks of the rivers :
all this is now allotted on both sides of each river, almost to
their source ; but an offer is frequently made of giving one

 

24

half to a new settler, on condition of his perlorming the loca-
tion duties suflficient to secure the whole. I have an offer of
this kind on the banks of the Swan Eiver, and think of ac-
cepting it ; if I do not, I must explore beyond the mountains,
where a fine country is said to have been discovered twenty-
five miles to the south, where three rivers fall into a lake,
and thence into the sea, or still farther to the south to Port
Vasse, or Cape Leschenhault ; or it may be to Cape Lewin,
where the soil and climate are good and the harbour is excel-
lent. These, of course, are only my unarranged notions on
the subject, not grounded yet on any firm foundation ; for I
have not been long enough here to form any decided opinion
as to soil, situation, or probabilities. In general, the higher
you go up the Swan Eiver, which is an estuary, the better is
the adjacent land, which is overflowed in winter, and like all
alluvial soil productive for summer pasture. As to Mr.
Eraser's account, I have no doubt it is strictly true, respecting
every part which he describes ; but it would not be safe to
rely upon it, as a general description of the land.

Much disappointment has been felt by many over-sanguine
persons here, wlio thought they had nothing more to do than
scratch the ground and sow. I'ut there are many difficulties
to surmount ; the proper seasons for sowing are scarcely yet
ascertained ; from this circumstance many have failed alto-
gether in their crops, which tln'ows them on their capital for
another year, and but few have been able to raise as much as
is sufficient for their own consumption.

I have seen two or three good fields of wheat, maize, barley,
oats, and rye, and I have every reason to believe that crops
of all sorts will thrive here with moderate care ; melons,
cucumbers, pumpkins, cabbages, peas, and all the ordinary
garden vegetables, have been already pioduced.

Our vessel was the first that came during the season ; and
being just in time, everything sold enormously high. If this
colony be supported as it ouglit, during the trying period of

 

25

its infancy, I am convinced, from all I hear, that it will suc-
ceed. Cockburn Sound is an excellent harbour in winter ;
Gage's Eoads in summer. From the nature of the coast, the
climate, and the relative circumstances of the interior, it is
unlikely that another harbour so good will be found in this
quarter. All the rivers in this neighbourhood seem to be
small, and to have bar harbours. A river has lately been
discovered, beyond the range of hills running to the north-
west. Beyond those hills, the interior, for forty or fifty miles
back, has an undulating appearance, and is then succeeded by
plains good for pasture. On this side, the only good pasture
is on the alluvial flats, which are flooded every winter.
Those who speculate on keeping large flocks speak of going
next summer over the hills, which are of trifling elevation,
and present no serious obstacle to carriage, or the formation
of roads, when the colony is strong enough to make or require
them. The expense and labour of conveying goods up the
river, at present, is very great ; boats in summer must be un-
loaded, and dragged over the flats, but above these the water
is deep, and the navigation only occasionally impeded by
fallen trees, which may easily be removed. Every settler
should have a boat, and learn how to manage it.

Friday l^th. — I wrote the foregoing observations at the
house of Captain Irwin, from whom I have received the
greatest kindness. I have since been up the Canning h'iver,
about a mile above the navigable part, to look at some grants
which are undisposed of The country there is beautiful,
covered or rather studded with magnificent trees, but the sub-
stratum is ironstone, the clay strongly impregnated with it,
hard and unmanageable, and having very little grass on it,
which (for immediate use) is the chief requisite. Besides,
the river there is salt in summer, and fresh water it is diffi-
cult to find. The Canning (with this exception) is located
up to the mountains. It is intended to build a town near its
source, where there is some fine ground.

 

About Fremantle, where I am now sitting, in my tent, the
land is mere sand ; but we must not judge of this by similar-
looking places at home, for all vegetables flourish on it, and
cattle thrive on the herbage, scanty though it be.

Until you have gone above Perth, the ground is of the same
nature ; it changes to alluvial flats, and the higher grounds
consist of sandy loam of different qualities. Brick and pottery
clay is abundant, and they are making bricks in many places,
which will soon supersede wood as a material for building.
I saw a wooden house burned down some nights ago, and
have therefore a dread of one — a mud edifice for me. The
great mistake committed by settlers has been bringing too
many articles of machinery and implements, which are not
necessary, or suited to the soil. Some ploughs, cars, saws, and
mill machinery are lying even yet on the beach.

If I were coming again, I should content myself with grub-
bing hoes, felling axes (mine are too long and narrow), spades,
some kitchen utensils, plenty of provisions, and a hammock ;
these would do to begin with. Those who brought great ap-
paratus and stock were sadly burdened with the first, and did
not know what to do with the second. Many of their cattle ran
into the bush and were lost, and some of the more delicate died
from want of care and fodder on ship-board, or on landing.
The emigrant should not encumber himself with auy super-
fluous articles ; let him bring plenty of provisions and a few
common utensils for cooking them ; no cattle from England ;
very little furniture, and that of the strongest and most
portable kind ; no large packages ; every thing in stout
square boxes, not exceeding 2 cwt, each; and he should
keep as much of his property as possible in cash, which in
many cases clears 25 per cent.

- 2bth. — I have taken half of Mi-. Lamb's grant ; it is nearly
at the head of the navigable part of the Swan Eiver; how it
may look after enduring the heat of the summer I know not
but it had a fine appearance when I was there. It is singular

 

27

that it is just about the spot where we had the skirmish with
the natives. There are several very respectable persons settled
near it, and there is now a party of soldiers stationed there.
Since I wrote the first part of this, two vessels have arrived
from Van Diemen's Land, with provision, which has caused
a most beneficial effect on prices ; — other ships are expected
soon, so that we shall have plenty ; but it is evident that)
until the colony is able to produce something substantial for
its support, we must depend on contingencies and have a
fluctuating market. That it will succeed ultimately, I have
not the least doubt ; but we shaU have two or three years
of hard struggling to contend with. The servants I brought
with me are all happy, contented, and healthy, and it must
be my care to keep them so. As to myself, with the excep-
tion of several scrapes, cuts and bruises on my hands from
dragging, carrying, and other works (for I have not spared
myself), I never was in better health — thanks to the benefi-
cent Giver of it. I have not as yet suffered any difficulty or
privation, which I think worthy of mentioning. I hope to
get all ray luggage and articles to Perth on Monday ; paying
£5 for taking one boat-load so far, and I must then push them
over the flats.

I have endeavoured (without regard to the connexion of
my sentences, which I have not time to reduce into order) to
give you my first impressions, neither disguising nor over-
looking any thing, — so far as it goes, good and bad, you may
depend upon the accuracy of my report. When leisure and
and time may permit, I shall write more satisfactorily.

Yours ever,
&c. &c.

 

la.

 

THE COLONY.

CAPABIUTIES OF THE COLONY — SCARCITY OF CATTLE — KANGAROO HUNT —
LOSES HIMSELF IN THE BUSH — SITES OF NEW TOWNS — ASPECT OF THE
COUNTRY — MARKETS.

m December, 1830.

This letter goes by the Cruiser to India, whence there may
be an early opportunity for its transmission to England ; so
that, in all probability, it may reach you before my last of
the 23rd November, which was accompanied by the continu-
ation of my journal, and contained my first impressions of
this place. I should not be sorry if it were so, for I can
write now rather more satisfactorily with respect to several
matters. I have since agreed with Mr. Lamb to take the half
of his grant on the left bank of the Swan Eiver, on condition
of expending so much on my part as will secure the whole.
I walked all over the front ground near the river, some days
since, and it seems to be good. It is generally considered so,
and above the average of neighbouring land ; but I cannot
speak more particularly at present.

A vein of good soil has been discovered on the banks of
a river called the Avon, behind the hills, on which many of
the settlers are selecting their grants. I have got one upon
that river towards the south.

All the lands up the Swan and Canning have been long
since granted ; but some of the grantees have left the colony,
and their lands may be resumed by the Government, if not
occupied, at the expiration of the year. I have spoken to
some practical farmers, who have not the slightest doubt that
the colony posseses every capability, both for agriculture and

 

29

grazing, and though the pasture lands on this side of the
hills are not extensive, there is an unlimited tract behind
them, and at no great distance.

Two or three vessels have come in since I first wrote, and
the prices of provisions and clothing are now moderate.

Cattle are very dear, though we daily expect arrivals from
Hobart Town. Good cows are as high as £25, though some
have been purchased for £12. It is not advisable to bring
stock from England ; freight and casualties make them come
too expensive. A vessel is to sail for the Mauritius in about
three weeks, when I hope to write more fully.

At present I am unwilling to take the responsibility of
advising any one to come out ; but 1 have met with no diffi-
culties for which 1 was not prepared.

I went out some days ago, about four miles off, to hunt
kangaroos ; we huntsmen saw five, but the dogs never got
sight of them. 1 went astray returning, and no wonder, for
nothing is more perplexing than walking in the bush ; you
have no object to steer by, except your shadow or a compass;
the one is always changing with the day, and the other may
mislead, unless you keep your eye constantly upon it. The
country is most singular, but does not possess those features
of extreme interest which I expected ; there is (as far as I
have seen) great sameness in the scenery, and several parties
which have been beyond the mountains (perhaps to the dis-
tance of 100 miles) report the scenery to be of the same
character — undulating ground and extensive plains ; but no
very striking object, no large rivers, no lakes of any extent —
and the low lands are subject to floods in winter. The river
on which I have my grant from Government has been but
lately discovered, and is not, I believe, navigable ; it runs
strongly in winter, and forms a series of pools and shallows
in summer ; its course is to the north-west, the more northerly
part being nearest the Swan Kiver, but the better ground
along its banks lying more to the south ; on this has been

 

30-

laid out the site of three towns ; Northam — said to be about
twenty-eight miles from the head of the Swan; York — ten
miles farther, and Beverly — (close to which is my grant j, ten
miles more ; this I know only from an unfinished map.

We are to have a monthly conveyance by boat for our
goods, up to the head of the river. A store has been estab-
lished at Guildford, a few miles from this, where we are sure
of procuring a temporary supply of the necessaries of life,
when it may be inconvenient to obtain them from Perth.
Prices are now moderate. I have bought sugar at seven-
pence, rice at twopence-halfpenny, and coffee at eightpence
per pound, arrack at six shillings and sixpence per gallon ;
rum is a dearer article, generally twelve shillings and six-
pence per gallon; it is allowed as a daily ration to the
servants, who have got into the habit . of demanding it, and
grumbling if refused.

Ever yours,

&c., &c.

 

THE COLONY.

;SOIL OF THE COUNTRY — ALLUVIAL FLATS — VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS — THE
GRASS TREE — QUADRUPEDS — BIRDS AND FISH — CLIMATE — INSECTS —
RAPIDITY OF PRODUCTION AND DECAY — REPTILES — THE NATIVES —
THE SETTLERS — JURISDICTION OF THE GOVERNOR — CATTLE — THE
AUTHOR'S HOUSE DESCRIBED.

March bth, 1831.

It would be impossible to give you such a description of
this country as would apply to all parts of it. The general
character is that of an interesting landscape, rather than of
sublime or grand scenery. There is every variety of soil
from white sand, to the deep black vegetable alluvial mould,
each variety, generally speaking, having something of peculiar
production, either of tree, shrub, herb, or flower. On the
white sand, the Australian mahogany is found in great
abundance, and of excellent quality; on the clay grounds,
the red and blue gum trees appear ; and sandy soils produce
the Banksia and Protea.

For the first fifteen miles up the river, white sands present
themselves on either side with some mixture of vegetable
mould. In this district, white limestone is tolerably abun-
dant. About three miles above Perth, alluvial flats begin to
appear close to the river, and as you ascend, these become
more frequent and extensive; the rising grounds change to a
brown or red clay, and you lose sight of the sand, which, how-
ever, still continue to run parallel to the river, at some distance
back, and thus to accompany it almost to its source ; on the
left bank, ascending the river behind the alluvial flats, is a

 

32

border of rising ground, generally composed of a brown or
red sandy loam, upon which rests a plain or high table land
of stiff clay, stretching back to a considerable distance.

In many places, however, the high land rises boldly up
from the river, so as to alternate with the flat on the opposite
side. The alluvial flats are covered with a luxuriant crop of
grasses. But on the table lands the grass is not abundant.
There has now been a year's experience of the capability of
the soil, and there is no doubt that it can abundantly produce
any grain, fruit, vegetable, tree, or shrub, which belongs to its
parallel of latitude. The sandy loam is considered the best
for present purposes, the stiff clay lands being difficult to
break up, and requiring more time and labour than many are
willing to bestow. I have seen within two miles of this, a
fine crop of wheat grown without any manure, and with much
less preparatory culture than would be required in England.
This was produced on an alluvial flat, the grain being ploughed
in, just before the rains which flooded the ground ; and in
spring its vegetation was rapid and healthy. All sorts of
garden and field vegetables thrive well, when put down in
the proper season ; but nothing worthy of being called fruit
has as yet been discovered, if we except the zamia, which
produces a nut, which the natives eat after considerable pre-
paration by steeping in water. Tobacco, hemp, flax, eringo,
celery, parsley, are indigenous. To the distant eye, the country
has the appearance of being well wooded, but I should not
say it was thickly timbered. In some places there are open
plains that resemble well ordered parks, — no where do you
find impenetrable jungle, save in the mere swamps and the
lagoons. The seemingly conflicting accounts of two, ten, one
hundred, or a thousand trees to an acre, may be all true of
different places, if you reckon every shrub as a tree. Take,
for example, the ground where I have built : to avoid injur-
ing the appearance of the place, I have cut down but one
large tree, and not above a dozen shrubs and small trees,

 

33

preferring to fell the timber necessary for building, at the
distance of a quarter of a mile.

Just behind my house (on the high level land), is a plain
of perhaps two hundred acres, upon which large trees are not
numerous, or more than sufficient for ornament. There is
one spot looking like a cleared field, of eight or nine acres,
not encumbered with a single tree or shrub. In other places
a tree resembling a larch of four or five years' growth, is thinly
scattered. This large plain is skirted by a thick border of red
gum trees, intermixed with banksias, black wattles, and other
shrubs. The ground of this border is a rich red sandy loam,
very easily turned up ; and here my men are breaking ground
with the hoe, there being abundance of clear ground between
the large trees, when the light brush wood is removed. The
trees have not a very ample foliage, so that yoa may walk in
the forest, and yet not enjoy much shade. The red gum tree
resembles an old pear or cherry tree, but is of much greater
dimensions. There is one beside my house, which in winter
will protect it from the fierce north-west blast.

The Zanthorea Hostile, or grass tree, puts me in mind of a
tall black native, with a spear in his hand, ornamented with
a tuft of rushes. These vary in size from those peeping over
the surface to those in the swampy grounds, eight or ten feet
high, with a spear equally long growing out of the stem, and
bearing at the top a beautiful flower ; on the spear is found
an excellent, clear, transparent gum, and from the lower part
of the tree oozes a black gum, which makes a powerful cement
used by the natives for fastening stone heads on their hammers.
The country presents an endless variety or succession of flower-
ing trees and shrubs ; but I have not seen any having much
perfume.

The kangaroo has supplied food to many who were prudent
or fortunate enough to provide themselves with proper dogs,
such as strong greyhounds, which are here expensive and
difficult to be procured, a good one costing more than £15.

D

 

34

The only other animals you meet with usually, are, the
opossum, the kangaroo-rat, lizards, rats and mice, the rat
not much larger than the English mouse ; they are abundant
and mischievous.

I have heard of emus ; and have seen wild turkeys, cocka-
toos, parrots, pigeons, quails, pies, jays, hawks, black swans,
pelicans, and a number of other birds.

This day I shot a duck. There are two kinds of them ;
one of which, the wood duck, alights on trees. The white
cockatoos are very numerous, and now feed upon the flower
of the red gum tree, which lately came into blossom. There
are three or four species of the cockatoo, — white, black, grey,
and black with a red tail. The parrots are small and green,
the neck ornamented with a gold ring. The pigeons are
beautiful, with a bronze-coloured wing. Many birds have
singular calls or cries, and our crow makes a most dismal
noise, terminated by a long doleful cry. The white cockatoo
screams like a clucking hen disturbed from her nest, and
the black one whines like a discontented pug dog. There is
a bird called here the robin, like our own in its habits of
familiarity, but its plumage is much more beautiful ; a thrush
resembling the field fare ; a small bird the size of a wren,
but of splendid ultramarine colour. There are many other
varieties, but I have not time to enumerate them.

Fish abound in the river, but without a net of peculiar
construction (a trammel net) it is not easy to catch them — I
have taken a few perch, however, one small turtle, and shell
fish like the clam.

The climate in summer, in the middle of the day, is very
warm ; most agreeable in the morning and evening, cool and
pleasant at night, sometimes even cold as it approaches morn-
ing. In winter, notwithstanding what has been said of it, I
am told the weather is delightful — a modeiaLe warmth during
the day, and the night so cold as to make you enjoy a fire ;
the rains only occasional, and not of long duration.

 

36

Insects are now wonderfully numerous. Ants in great
quantities and of many varieties of size and colour, from
the lion ant, an inch long, to the small brown ant, which
can insinuate itself into the most minute crevice. These
seize upon whatever is eatable, and devour it in a short
time. The ground seems alive with white ants, and the
trees swarm with them inside and out; every thing here
teems with life.

The principles of increase and the agents of destruction
are so actively employed, that there seems to be a rapid
round of production and decay, unknown to your more
moderate climate. Of snakes I have seen only two, both
very small; but my men have killed five or six, some of
them three feet long : we have not heard of any injury being
done by them, and in fact they do not seem to be at all
dreaded.

The natives are not so despicable a race as was at first
supposed. They are active, bold, and shrewd, expert in
thieving, as many (and myself among the numberj have
experienced ; they are courageous when attacked ; however,
they are not very numerous, and we are on good terms with
them. I walk occasionally to and from Perth, through the
woods, alone and unarmed ; so you may perceive, from this
circumstance, we are not in much dread of them.*

Settlers are so scattered that I cannot form any correct
estimate as to their numbers; many more are expected before
the expiration of the year, for the purpose of obtaining the
promised grants of land ; but the good grounds in the vicinity

* Governor Stirling states, in his ofiBcial communications, that many of
the settlers had established themselves at once upon their lands, regardless
of any danger from the natives, who were found to be so harmless, that single
persons who had traversed the country never met with any interruption, or
sustained any insult or injury at their hands.

However, it will subsequently be seen that the governor gave them too much
credit for " sweet simplicity." — Editor.

D— 2

 

36

of the Swan and Canning Rivers were almost all occupied by
those who had previously arrived. Endless tracts of country
are now opened to new settlers, though at a greater distance.

The inhabitants at the Cape, at Sydney, and Hobart Town,
have done everything in their power to decry this settlement,
and deter the emigrants from proceeding hither ; yet of the
final success of the colony there can be no doubt.

The jurisdiction of King George's Sound has been trans-
ferred to our governor. This opens a new district for coloni-
sation ; but there is not much fertile land, it is said, in that
quarter, until you recede from the coast to the distance of
twenty or thirty miles. Captain Bannister, who walked to
it overland Crom Perth, mentions his liaving passed over, in
his journey, about ninety miles of luxuriant pasture ground,
in one continued tract, and he reports that water was procured
without difficulty.

Many of my friends will be still anxious to know wliether
I can recommend this place for emigiation. I have but as
yet five months' experience of the country ; but I have ob-
served that practical men, who have seen the ground over the
mountains, are writing to their friends in England to come
out.

If persons cannot remain comfortably at home, but are
obliged to emigrate somewhere, I would unhesitatingly re-
commend this place in preference to Sydney, or Van Diemen's
Land.

Our market is at present, and has been ever since the
arrival of the Cleopatra, very well supplied with all the
necessaries and many of the luxuries of life. We have
flour now, so low as threepence per pound, sugar from three-
pence to fivepence, coffee sevenpence, tea four shillings and
sixpence, rice 2d. per pound, rum six shillings per gallon,
salt beef and pork about sixpence to eightpence, and fresh
meat one shilling and sixpence per pound. Prices are not
likely to continue so moderate during the winter. I

 

37

purchased half a ton of flour some time ago at £27 per ton,
and must soon buy more. The difficulty of moving these
things over the flats in the river is considerable, but there
is a plan in progress for deepening the passage.

The natives stole two cwts. of my flour, as well as some
belonging to others, on its way over the flats ; they also took
a bag of biscuits and some pork from my house when I was
last absent.

Our greatest want at present is live stock ; we have pre-
pared a memorial to the Government at home, soliciting
assistance in this particular, and undertaking to guarantee
the payment of the advances.

Black cattle thrive here ; English or Cape cows are the
best ; the latter are excellent, and may be had at the Cape
very cheap ; those of Van Diemen's Land are so wild, that
they generally run to the bush and are lost.

It is not advisable to bring any stock from England, except
perhaps a few prime sheep for breed ; to a small extent sheep
may be purcliased here much cheaper than they could be
brought out.

The thermometer to-day did not rise above 80°, we have
had it often 110°, some days as high as 120°, but I have not
on any day found the heat insupportable, even in the open
air at noon. It is now (nine at night) only 66°. The seasons
here differ from those at Sydney, as far as I understand them.

Before our arrival here, I speculated upon two crops in the
year, which doubtless may be produced of many things ; but
it must be after the ground has been well prepared, and under
a more regular system of agriculture than we can practice for
some time. I dare say, many who were thinking of coming
out have been deterred by unfavourable accounts — some
written perhaps with sincerity and with a good deal of
correctness ; but very many the result of prejudice, total
ignorance of agriculture, and consequent disappointment.

In fact, many persons arrived here quite unqualified for a

 

settler's life. The first settlers have all the difficulties to
contend with. By the time other emigrants arrive, the way
will have been greatly smoothed, and prices will be much
lower.

I have built my house upon a rising ground which first
slopes rapidly, then gently down towards the river, which
here is about thirty yards wide ; smooth, clear, and without
any perceptible current, except as driven by the alternate
land or sea breezes. The ground is very picturesque ; on
both sides it is broken at intervals, into small rounded
eminences, rising a little way back from the river, with a
gradual ascent, reaching to an extensive level plain behind.
It reminds me of the Thames near Eichmond, and it sometimes
looks not unlike home, and might feel so too, if my friends
were with me. ******

When I came here there were only ten settlers on the
upper part of the river, — there are now ninety-seven ; but,
as I am a colonist of such recent standing, I shall not speak
decidedly of the eligibility of this district as a place of emi-
gration, but feel, from what I have seen, quite borne out in
my original impression of it as a place where (even with a
small capital) a settler may secure an independence, and
possess, at least, the substantial comforts, if not the refined
luxuries, of life.

Farewell,

Yours ever, &c.

 

THE COLONY.

THE author's occupations — FROGS — HIS GARDEN — ^WILD TURKEYS —
CATCHES A SNAKE AND CENTIPEDE — KANGAROO HUNT — DISAPPOINT-
MENT — THE BOTANIC GARDENS — FARMING OCCUPATIONS — A STORM —
PROVIDENTIAL ESCAPE — RECEIVES PACKET FROM HOME — VALUE OF
KANGAROO DOGS — THE ANIHU — SYMPTOMS OF WINTER — GREAT WANT OF
STONE — LOSES HIS COW — FLOWERS AND SONGSTERS OF SWAN RIVER.

May 12th.

My last letter was broken off abruptly from the necessity of
the mail being closed.

On the 4th, had the pleasure of meeting at Perth, one of
a most agreeable party, Captain Mangles, who published liis
Travels in Egypt.

Any man of sense, who has travelled far and observed
much, is invaluable as a companion, or as an author, parti-
cularly if he don't let the latter character absorb the agree-
able qualities of the former.

The author is often too retentive of materials which he is
collecting for his work, to communicate them freely, whilst
the companion, as such, overflows with interesting and useful
information.

As far as the 28th instant, my time has been occupied in
farming, gardening, &c., with a moderate attention to the
larder and the provant*

I caught a couple of turtles, one but small, the other larger ;

* " When a cavalier," says Dalgetty, " finds that provant is good and abun-
dant, he will in my estimation do wisely to victual himself for at least three
days, as there is no knowing when he may come by another," — Legend of
Montrote.

 

40

and shot a pair of ducks, all tending to our great desideratum
in luxury — a supply of fresh meat. We have had some re-
freshing rain, but the weather is now settled again, and most
charming ; thermometer 66°.

The spring of grass is amazing — everything green ; beauti-
ful little flowers, raising their heads like snow-drops, and
having very much the fragrance of the hawthorn blossom,
have sprung up in great profusion.

How often I wish that some of you were here ! for this wild
life although it has its inconveniences, has its pleasures too.
I am sure you would enjoy it, if once the roughing was a
little over, I have had great feasting upon fresh meat (fowls)
every day for some time for myself and people : to-day I had
at dinner a very large pigeon ; yesterday, a brace of wild
ducks ; and the day before a brace of parrots, and so on —
besides greens and radishes. I feel very happy just now in
every respect except my solitude. Great rumours of ship
arrivals ! — are they true ? — any from England ? — any letters ?

Oh ! the anxious throbbings of the emigrant's heart, with
those he loves, far — far away, but with perhaps long letters
of their affectionate remembrances on board that ship now
sailing into the harbour : — alas ! she is from another country.
But 1 must resume my diary.

Saturdxy, 28th. — The numerous frogs remind me that the
moist weather and approaching winter have brought into
active life an immense quantity of these creatures, some of
which make a hard co — ax, co — ax, sort of noise, and others a
most mournful and horrible bellowing, which might be mis-
taken for the high note of a bull ; perhaps this was what
frightened the French navigators.* Planted yesterday two
hundred cabbages and some lettuces in my garden : we did

* Alluding probably, to the alarm felt by M. Bailly, and hia party in explo-
ring the Swan River, on hearing a bellowing much louder than that of an ox,
among the reeds on the river-side, which they attrributed to some large qua-
druped. — Bailly, quoted by Feron, v. i. p. 173. — Editor.

 

41

not get them till late, and put them in by the light of a
beautiful moon. Do you take an interest in the daily labour
of my garden ? I hope you do, for to me it is a source of
great interest and amusement. This morning I sent for
my cows : the men could not succeed in bringing them, I
went myself and brought the older one, and afterwards re-
turned for the younger : I believe James and I never had so
hard a piece of work in our lives ; she was wild beyond belief;
actually knocked him down twice, and ran at me. We got
her home through the river, put her into a pen, and there she
shall stay till she is tamed.

'Slst. — Some officers of the Nimrod paid me a visit ; they
had not long gone when two others came ; and shortly after
they had left me, a boat full of company hailed us in passing.
I called on Mrs. Shaw when the family were at dinner, and
sat down and stayed till the moon rose ; — returned about nine
o'clock. Got from Mr. Breckman's gardener some onion and
carrot seeds, and sowed them in the garden, which is now
pretty well filled. My peas are above ground, and all the
seeds I brought with me have kept pretty well. Most lovely
weather ! when is this dreaded winter to come ? I feel like
one that holds in his breath, and collects his force to resist a
shock ; — making every preparation against the winter ; but
though this is the last day of May,* it has been as warm as
your May when you have sunshine. The mornings and even-
ings are cool ; yet here I am, sitting with doors and windows
open, feeling no cold, and not even once having a fire in my
room. The thermometer is now 63° (eight o'clock in the
evening). It is a delightful climate ; would to God we were
all settled together ! — but I always check myself from saying
much on this subject, until I shall have been here a full year.
Those who are fond of the gaieties of a town life would not
be reconciled to this place, but I greatly enjoy the quiet and
peace of mind with which 1 am favoured.

* The reader should remember that May ia a winter month in Australia.

 

42

June \st. — We have had a most delightful day : this morn-
ing, soon after breakfast, some friends came to remain an
hour or so with me, and two gentlemen came to dinner.

^th. — I am told that the Governor, Captain Irwin, Mr.
Brown, and several others, are coming up the river. This
morning I found my pigs and dog busily employed in devour-
ing a wild turkey, which had been wounded ; I had no notion
it was so large a bird ; it measured seven feet from tip to tip
of the extended wings ; the thighs like those of a lamb. My
men were occupied in the distant field, trenching the wheat
ground.

^th. — Got wheat-ground finished, and prepared ground in
the garden for peas. Some wheat coming up well.

^th. — A boat with visitors stopped here just before break-
fast, when I was out shooting. Got my chimney finished to-
day, and this night had a fire for the first time ; it burns well :
my room looks snug and cheerful.

^th. — Dined to-day with Mr. Tanner, and have got some
garden-seeds from him : he is to have half when they come
up. I have just been calculating that since Sunday morning
last I have had no fewer than twenty-one visitors. I ex-
pected the Governor, Mr. Brown, Captain Mangles, and
Captain Irwin to-day ; they did not come, but perhaps they
will to morrow. Put down peas in garden ; the wheat drills
up, and looking well ; sky threatening ; theimometer 5G°.

Yesterday, it rained the greater part of the day, but cleared
up in the evening : heard that the Governor and his party on
horseback had come up the river on the opposite side, and
returned shortly after by an intended new road, which is
marked out by notched trees, near half a mile beyond this
place.

^th. — Mr, B. called yesterday ; took tea, and slept here,
being unwilling to walk home, as the night was foggy. He
wants me to sketch a plan for employing prisoners, as a

 

42

working gang ; the Governor being anxious to occupy them
in this way, if settlers will pay a superintendent.

This day I sowed many seeds : onion, cauliflower, broccoli,
endive, French sorrel, brett (a Port Louis vegetable), spinach,
parsley, and three sorts of tobacco, for experiment. My
garden is nearly filled, and begins to look well. Caught in
the garden a beautiful snake, about eighteen inches long,
with a black head and yellow body ; put him into a bottle of
rum, along with many other such things ; he vibrated his
tongue most rapidly and wickedly. Caught a centipede,
nearly four inches in length, when moving my trunks to-day ;
it is in the bottle of preserves also.

Captain Mangles, E.N., Mr. Andrews, and Mr. Elliott
stopped at my landing-place for a few minutes on their way
up the river : they promised to call again, but, returning,
shouted out they had not time : — those whom we are most
anxious to see are generally the most expeditious in their
movements. This evening I took tea, sitting on my canteen
opposite a blazing tire placed on a brick hearth a little above
the level of the floor : no invidious fender* to keep my feet
from receiving the benefit of the fire : neither sashes nor
windows, thanks to the erratic disposition of my carpenter.

10th. — Delightful day ! I have been amusing myself in the
garden, making a new bed for pumpkin, water melon, orange,
lemon, and cucumber seeds ; and these I mean to cover dur-
ing the winter, from the heavy rain and frost (if there be
any). John busy to-night mending his shoes; I rummaged
out bristles, awls, thread, a ladle to make wax, and cut the
legs off a pair of boots for leather, which cracks " so rapidly
with the heat, that we wear out a pair of shoes in two or
three weeks.

* Perhaps for a reason similar to that which deprived the lady of curtain-
sleep —

" No curtained sleep had she, because

She had no curtains to her bed."

Colman's Broad Grins,

 

44

Captain Mangles told us yesterday that a ship had come
in ; it was not known with certainty, when he came off, what
ship it was.

11th.— Sat up last night sketching a plan for employing
prisoners as a working gang, I shot a duck before breakfast,
and had, very reluctantly, to swim across the river for it ;
found the water by no means so cold as I have often experi-
enced in bathing at home in summer ; on the surface it was
cold, but was quite agreeable at the depth of two feet. A
little rain this morning, but the middle of the day as warm
almost as your summer : — certainly this is a fine climate,
though rather on the warm side in summer. Shot two cocka-
toos, which are excellent eating. Eain commenced at one
P.M., and has continued pretty constant, and sometimes heavy.
Eiver swollen fourteen inches.

12th. — Eain all day. Continued building within doors.
Weather not cold, like your wet summer.

13th. — Eain has ceased. Every thing looking well in the
garden ; all my cabbages strong and healthy. Shot a brace
of ducks, one fell in the river, had to swim for him — any
thing for a fresh mess. In the evening shot a bird which
some call a squeaker. Tied my two cows for an hour to feed ;
they became tame, — thanks to the tethers.

16th. — Nothing worth noting has occurred for the last two
days. My men have been enclosing the distant field. Crows
are very persevering and destructive ; shot one, with its
stomach full of wheat — hope to have the field finished to-
morrow. Much thunder and rain on Monday night, but the
weather looks settled again ; we have had nothing like winter
yet. The Stirling has arrived ; I must go down to buy a boat
and other things.

17th. — Have been kangaroo hunting with young Shaw ;
we had three runs, but got only one brush kangaroo, about
fifteen pounds' weight ; I got half of it (the usual terms of
hunting in company) — dined on part of it — delicious eating.

 

45

20th. — Here am I at Fremantle, after having spent the
evening at the house of Mr. Leake, in company with Mr. and
Mrs. M'Dermot, who have lately arrived ; we had some airs
sweetly played ou the pianoforte by Mrs. M'Dermot, most of
the music from Don Giovanni, which was a treat here.
Dined yesterday with the Governor.

On looking over this, I found it an odd jumble de omnibus
rebus, part of it being intended for my father, part for my
sisters, and the rest for you. The vessel sails to-morrow for
Java. »****»*

22nd. — No words can express my disappointment in not
receiving the letter which you had sent by Mrs. M'Dermot.
They who are in the midst of society, with the constant facili-
ties of having letters and news from their friends, have no
just notion of the mortification on the non-arrival of a letter
from home. The receipt of a packet is a great and happy
event ; its arrival an epoch, anticipated with anxiety, hailed
with excitement, and referred to, as a period from which one
dates the lapse of time.

I shall now give you an outline of the occurrences during
my absence from Hermitage, which I left on Friday last.

Mr. Mackey and Mr. Madden (midshipmen of H.M.S.
Sulphur), drank tea and slept at my house on the night of
that day, and breakfasted there next morning, and afterwards
overtook me at Guildford, whence i accompanied them to
Perth, where we arrived in sufficient time to dine comfortably
at the mess-room. On the next day (Sunday) Captain Irwin
read the morning service of the church in the hospital, and in
the evening I went to the Eev. Mr. Wittenoonis church, and
afterwards had the honour of dining with his Excellency the
Governor, Mrs. Stirling, Captain Mangles, and some others.

Not being able to return to Fremantle on Monday, I spent
a few hours agreeably at Mr. Leake's, where Mrs. M'Dermot
again gratified us with some excellent music on the pianoforte,
with a llute accompaniment.

 

46

2^th — I arrived at Perth after a very tedious passage of six
hours, greatly fatigued, having rested the preceding night on
the bare ground — my blanket a greatcoat, my pillow a fishing
basket !

The four following days were passed in short and pleasant
excursions from Perth, and in quiet, and yet very social, din-
ner parties.

July 3rd. — The Sabbath passed nearly as before. The
clergyman goes on alternate Sundays to Guildford and Fre-
mantle, and attends a Sunday School.

A botanical garden has been lately laid out here, in which
I walked with the Governor and his lady, accompanied by
some of my kind friends. I left Perth mounted on a small
pony, which Mr. B. wishes me to take charge of ; indeed
change of air or of keeping seems desirable for him, as he is
miserably weak and quite unable to support me for any con-
siderable distance ; but for the honour of the thing, I might
just as well have walked. ' My friends bore me company for
a short time, and I reached my home and indulged in a sound
nap in my own bed, being the first night, except one at Capt.
Whitfield's, since my excursion commenced, that I had an
opportunity of stretching my limbs upon any thing more
luxurious than a clay floor or a chest.

This day I have been very busy sowing small parcels of
red and white wheat (in drills), peas, beans, cabbage seeds,
leeks, onions, turnips, cauliflower, mangel-wurzel, rape, radishes,
mustard and cress, and had the gratification for the first time
of eating an excellent salad, the produce of my own garden.
Henceforward I calculate on a regular supply of vegetables
for my solitary table.*

I had nearly omitted to state that on the 23rd, we had one
of those storms, with the accounts of which people have been
kindly endeavouring to alarm me. It certainly blew with

* Nee modic4 coenare times olns omue patellji. — Horace. Dotlb, Jcn.

 

violence, but I have been ridiculed for asserting that its force
was by no means equal to that of an equinoctial gale in Eng-
land. I am certain, however, that it was not. There was not
a single house thrown down, or any thatch stripped. The
wind undoubtedly made a fearful roaring among the trees,
and this led our Colonists to think it worse than it really
was. The only accidents in consequence, of which I have
heard, are the driving ashore of a small vessel of 35 tons
(which was afterwards got off without damage), and the loss
of a boat.*

4th. — The weather is most delightful, like that in April or
May at home — when is the winter to come ? our shortest day
is past. During my absence about half an acre was broken
up for Indian corn. My potatoes, — me miserum ! — have
failed in a great degree ; the seed was damaged, although
it cost me thirty-five shillings per cwt., and now there is
none to be had at any price in the colony ; but we hope to
have some from Van Diemen's Land before the close of the
season, and I have the satisfaction of calculating, that there
will be 200 acres of wheat grown this season, which will
supply 800 persons with flour for one year — vide Malthus
(or any other economist whom you may like better) on Food
and Population. This is a great struggle for a new colony,
is it not ?

5th. — ^We had a slight frost last night. This day I have
completed the sowing of all my seeds, except that of maize
(or Indian corn), and transplanted 300 cabbages, besides those
which I brought from Perth, tares, flax seed, rye, castor oil
seed, stones of the date tree, lucerne, red and white clover,
trefoil, hay seeds, and planted five young orange trees.

* How fully is Mr. Moore borne out in hia just opinions, when these un-
important casualties are compared with the melancholy destruction, by the
equinoctial gales and other storms of 1833, which have lined the coast of
Great Britain and Ireland v.'ith innumerable and fatal wrecks, exhibiting a
more extensive ruin of the seafaring interests than was over before recollected
in the memory of man.

 

48

9th. — After the interval of a week, I have heavy arrears to
pull up, and have been interrupted this day by an incessant
throng of visitors ; and now at eleven at night, I, for the first
time, during this interval, find myself alone and at leisure.
This day week I dined with Mr. Tanner, when a messenger
came to state that Captain Irwin had arrived at my house, —
of course I hurried thither, and gave him refreshment and a
bed. He had come for the purpose of making preparatory
arrangements for the public celebration of the church service,
which we mean to have regularly at a neighbouring barrack.
Twenty-eight persons, many of them of the higher class, at-
tended the next day; and warmly entered into Captain Irwin's
object. He is a truly amiable and religious man; and interests
himself most usefully for the colony, and the enjoyment of his
friendship is a valuable privilege to me. We have subsequently
measured the boundaries of a projected village, for which I
have offered a part of my land. Young Shaw and I have been
looking for kangaroos, but unsuccessfully. We have, how-
ever, obtained many varieties of beautiful plants and shrubs,
and some more seeds from Mr. Tanner, who is to have half
the produce.

Last Thursday was very wet, with high wind, and thunder
and lightning at night. I slept very little.

On the ensuing morning. Captain Irwin came for me to
accompany him to my back grounds to look for kangaroos ;
we were again unsuccessful. On the night of this day we
had a most providential escape ; my friend had put the cotton
match, which we use for lighting a cigar, into his pocket,
supposing it to be extinguished, but, as if purposely to con-
vince him of his mistake, it communicated with the bed quilt,
and before he awoke, set fire to it, — the blanket, sheets, and
part of the mattrass ; his pillow actually rested against an open
cask of gunpowder ! When I started up, the quilt was burn-
ing up to his head. I carried out every thing in my arms, and
stood in my shirt until I had extinguished the fire. The night

 

49

was very cold ; so much so, that even this unexpected excite-
ment gave me no renewal of warmth, and after a sleepless
night, having talked with gratitude over our most providential
escape, I arose to labour in the garden, in which I was occu-
pied with little cessation until three o'clock, and ended the
day with a most charming evening party, at Mr. Tanner's
house. But the greatest event of all is to be told : a soldier
has brought me from Dr. Millegan two packets of letters and
newspapers (with some of my father's handwriting too), from
you, dear brother. This, then, is the packet which I lamented
as lost — oh the joy of receiving it ! you were all well — may
God be praised ! Long before this time your affectionate and
anxious hearts must have received tidings from your poor
emigrd. But to go on with my details, in each and all of
which you are so intensely interested : —

On Sunday the 10th I filled, as I have so often done before,
the office of chaplain to about twenty persons. On returning,
still thinking of the lost packet, and home, and aU its endear-
ing associations, I found what I deemed a prize, in the present
condition of my larder, in the form of a floating fish — a mullet,
about two pounds weight ! What a dinner I shall have ! to
say nothing of some young cabbages from my own garden ;
but, alas ! without the orthodox accompaniment of bacon.

12th. — While I was reading a letter in a Derry paper,
Mackey came in, and on examiDation recognised it as his
own production, written in his boyish days to his father, or
some other relative in the North of Ireland : whimsical co-
incidence ! We remained awake almost all Thursday night
in retracing recollections of our friends and contemporaries j
and I read so eagerly the news in the Derry papers that I
put my eyes out of writing order, and idled away the ensuing
day in paying and receiving visits from a gentleman, and a
lady too, who afterwards sent me an invitation to dine about
two miles and a half from Hermitage, with Mr B. Think of
the dissipation of society on the Swan Kiver ! I walked to

 

and from his house without greater inconvenience than that
occasioned by the wet gi'ass. I wish the " walking " in Ire-
land may be as peaceable this day. When will the dreaded
winter come ?

I went yesterday to Mr. Brown for some carrot seeds ; the
weather was lovely, like one of your summer days ; towards
evening it becomes cool, and in the morning there is some
frost. Every day now my garden claims my labour : I have
transplanted my young carrots, rape, cabbages, and French
spinaph between my wheat drills, which are eighteen inches
apart ; and I expect that they will all thrive, especially where
manure has been supplied to them.

21st. — I breakfasted this day week with Mr. M'Dermot,
who lives, as a matter of temporary accommodation, at the
p-overnor's house at Guildford. The succeeding day proved
80 tempestuous as to prevent me from proceeding to Frp-
mantle. I gave Captain M. some specimens of flowering
shrubs, besides a bottle full of snakes, lizards, and scorpions.
On Saturday was held a meeting of our Agricultural Society,
of which the Governor is patron. I shall send you a printed
copy of its proceedings, and can assure you that, though ypt
quite so imposing an association as the Highland Society of
Scotland, or the late Farming Society of Ireland, it is of great
consequence and utility here, where agricult.ure is but in an
ijOkf^mt state, and whiere experiments are most important.

My cow has calved, but the " milky mother " does not yet
supply me and her ot?ier calf with much nutriment. The
calf is happily of the feminine gender : an important consider-
ation to me.

I have been engaged in enclosing a field of about five
acres, in which the garden is included: James and John
are hard at it. I regret to say that my wheat has an ijn-
healthy appearance, being of a reddish colour at the end of
the blade: whether this discolouration be the effect of the

 

51

frosts, or of the underground work of a wire- worm, 1 am not
yet agriculturist enough to determine.

22nd. — Some boatmen have just brought me five cwt. of
flour, a barrel of herrings, a bag of coffee, and another of rice,
all necessary for my winter comforts, though of winter there
is no appearance, neither floods nor rain : in fact the weather
is delightful, and the cow seems to feel the benefit of it, if I
am to judge of her increase of milk, which Letty has already
churned in a small box-churn, expressly borrowed for the pur-
pose : the result of her industry has been one pound of very
rich butter.

2Srd. — Laboured again at the garden, and sowed a bed of
carrots and two beds of turnips, cabbages, and radishes, each
bed about twelve yards in length, and one yard in breadth :
transplanted peas, which were too thin in their rows. My
garden is nearly full, and it affords me radishes every day for
myself and my friend, Mrs. Tanner.

25th. — Yesterday I walked through the river, which was a
a little cold, to church, where I read the service. The con-
gregation was respectable. I afterwards dined with Mr.
Brokman, and met an officer in the navy, who has left the
Canning Eiver to settle here; he knew our friends E. L. and his
wife, and Mr. Edward Scott, the barrister, and this acquaintance
with them at once formed a link of companionship with me.

30th. — My diary for some time past presents nothing more
than a detail of work in the garden, and the cooking of a dish
of greens, with observations on the weather, which has been
rather windy, (accompanied by some rain) but it has now
moderated. Ah, woe is me ! the calf became so weak and
ill, that I have been obliged to cut its throat, — poor innocent!
Some gentlemen came here, while my larder was so well sup-
plied with veal, and did me the favour of dining and sleeping
sub tegmine. Next day we all dined at Mr. Mackey's, across
the river, where we had a noble feast of vegetables from his

garden, which being on moist ground yields abundantly

E— 2

 

52

31s^. — I went to bed early last night, but was deprived of
my desired slumbers by the arrival of two gentlemen, who
had been benighted on the river, and requested a night's
lodging; they had come from the Surveyor's office on a
holiday excursion. On the next night again, after I had
composed myself to rest, with the expectation of taking a
double dose of sleep, I was aroused by a furious barking
of my dogs ; up I jumped, and hearing moans of distress,
commenced a search, which ended in the discovery of a
drunken fellow lying in the bottom of a deep ditch : he
proved to be one of Mr, Burgess's servants, who had gone
up the river, got drunk en chemin, lost his companion (who
was in a similar condition), and his way. I am in great want
of a good kangaroo dog, which, besides his proper office of
game-hunting, would be a watchful sentry at night : fifteen
guineas are demanded for one, which is a high price ; but the
dog, if good, enables his owner to have a constant supply of
fresh kangaroo meat, — a very material object. No winter yet,
— thermometer 62°, — fresh flowers springing up every day !

Aug. 1st. — The younger Mr. Burgess came this morning to
tell me that his dogs had killed an old and young emu ; I
hurried off with all the ardour of a young sportsman to see
them ; the old one, when erect, is nearly seven feet high, and
resembling the kangaroo, both being small and slender in the
fore parts and heavy and strong in the hind quarters. This
bird has a very gentle look, seems to feed entirely on grass,
has no wings, and scarcely the indication of a pinion, for it is
only six inches long, terminated by a small claw. The fea-
thers are singular, two of them springing from one stem ; the
only long ones are in the tail ; the colour is of a dark brown.
I hope to send you some in a box, with other Australian
curiosities. The young one is not unlike a gosling, with light
coloured longitudinal stripes.

27id. — An easterly wind prevails, and it has something of
the sharp penetrating and drying quality wliich it has with

 

53

you. Some complain of rheumatic tendency as a consequence
of it : unaffected by it I have been rambling about on my
back grounds without seeing any Kving thing except a soli-
tary quail, which I did not shoot ; — game frequents swampy
land, and I have none such on my back ground. This easterly
wind already causes a parched appearance in the soil. Ther-
mometer 62°, yet I have had a fire all day,

3rd. — This morning has been very warm. I shot a duck,
and without hesitation jumped into the water after him : I
have him, and shall eat him for supper ; but without peas,
which are only now coming into blossom. A moderate
shower has already revived our drooping plants, and caused
an agreeable change in the weather, I have found a new
plant like a single wall-flower, but without perfume; and
also a beautiful frog mottled with bright green — it is already
in my bottle of preserves for my dear sisters. Some of the day
was passed in garden operations, among which transplanting
cabbages, preparing for Indian corn, melons, and cucumbers,
were the principal, I have one almond and five orange trees,
growing very well,

4zth. — Last night there were strong symptoms of winter
vivid lightning and cannonading peals of thunder, followed
by heavy rain, which continued almost all the succeeding day ;
however, we had our in-door occupations, Johnny mended
his shoes ; James made a mud floor in the centre room, while
I was building up one of the compartments which had been
left unfinished until bad weather, such as we have just had,
should confine us to the house, and in-door occupations.

Our building operations would be more facilitated, if we
could procure stone ; but there is none on the land here — not
even a pebble to be flung at a bird ; a benevolent action, in
which from old habit, I frequently feel a desire to indulge.
My tools are suited to the nature and extent of my esta-
bhshment ; every thing in this way which I brought with
jne is useful ; and grubbing hoes, which I did not bring,

 

54

are indispensable. I have not used my cart or plough yet,
but they will, I trust, be soon in requisition. My hand-cart
is very useful ; spades, hatchets, saws, wedges, nails, metal
pots for cooking, my canteen and cooking oven, I find very
serviceable ; but the cooking apparatus I have not yet tried.

bth. — An unpleasant, windy, and rainy day, like some of
our xainy days at home ; and I think it worse than usual,
because I am very cross and fidgetty at having lost my rest
last night. You have heard of the man who, when roused
from his bed to attend his sick cow, exclaimed, " he's a happy
man that has no cow ;" I can sympathise with him, and fully
understand his feelings, for my cow is sick, and I have been
up with her half the night, and have brought her into the
next room to sleep.

Qth. — James is making a house for the cow ; the great diffi-
culty is to find thatch. Heavy showers are frequent, yet my
kind neighbour Mr. S. came to dine with me and inquire for
my cow, which has eaten nothing these two days but glauber
salts and aloes — I fear she will go.

^th. — Wlien I was going to rest last night, a traveller came
to beg a night's lodging — granted of course. I had just gone
into bed and was very snug, when two drunken men arrived ;
one of them could not and the other would not go any farther,
so I allowed the rascals to lie by the kitchen fire, and then
obtained some sleep myself, after having removed the cow to
the shed, which we had covered pro tempore with a tent.

11th. — A budget of news by Corporal Doherty (an Irish-
man to be sure) from Perth, where it appears the natives are
exceedingly troublesome, and that a settler has been killed.
The Governor and Captain Irwin are gone in pursuit. By
one of the letters which I have received, I learn that I have
been elected a member of the Institution here,* and that we
are to have a small detachment of mounted police or cavalry

* A kind of Literary Society. — Editor.

 

established near tliis. Grovemment speak of sending to the
Cape for horses — rather a long look out. A lovely day fol?
vegetation, warm and damp. No flood yet.

12th. — The cow is dead ! Dies atro notandus lapillo !

ISth. — Cut up and salted my poor deceased companion, and
made candles of the tallow. Query, shall I make a mourning
suit from the hide, which is jet black ? I dined sumptuously
on one of poor dear Cowsy's marrow-bones — and now she's
gone — " marrow-bones, and all."

The weather has been so very mild that I have seldoni ob-
served the thermometer, which was at 52° at sunrise this
morning, and 64° at noon in the shade ; really the winter of
this climate is delightful, like your charming June. The air
at this moment is perfumed by a shrub resembling jessamine,
bearing a yellow flower ; this is the fifth odoriferous plant
that I have met with ; the ground is almost covered with it.
I have had a disappointment in some more of my farming
stock — thirteen eggs which should have produced chickens
about this time, have every one failed. I have been favoured
with two new songs from birds like thrushes ; the notes are
not much varied, but seem rather a repetition of something
corresponding with these words, " come with me and let us
make a nest, ah ! do," to which the other seems to reply, " no
indeed I shan't, at least with you " — the last note accented.

15th. — I turn from the harmony of these charming birds to
the disrespectful tones of James, who swears that he will
leave me, even if I should send him to Botany Bay, and be-
cause I will not allow him to hunt the dogs after some strange
cows which have wandered on my land. I do not well know
what to do with him ; he looks very sulky, but has com-
menced his work again. I laughed him into good humour by
leading him to the ditch at which he had been working, and
putting a spade into his hand. And what do you think was
the reason which he assigned for not leaving me, after all ? —
his going away would vex you ! ! ! Poor Letty has a sore

 

56

throat; but a dose of glauber will set her all to rights
again.

After breakfast I walked to Perth, which is no trifling
effort — the distance being eighteen miles — and my load, a
fishing-basket crammed with a change of linen, and other
essentials for the comfort and ornament of the outward man :
five kangaroos together, of different gradations, met me on
the way ; how I longed to catch them ! Saw some native
asparagus in the course of my walk.

My letter now draws to a close. I feel as if I were again
parting from you : but I shall resume my diary, which gives
me pleasing occupation, at every interval of leisure.

 

THE COLONY.

SWAN RIVER FARE — SERVANTS' WAGES — PRICE OF CLOTHING, PROVISIONS,
ETC. — COSTUME — SINGULAR PHENOMENA — APPROACH OF SPRING —
CONSTANT SUCCESSION OF FLOWERS — PROJECTED JOURNEY WITH MR.
DALE — AGRICULTURAL MEETING — ^THE GOVERNOR'S BALL.

Hermitage, Western Australia,
August 19th, 1831.

My last letter was dated from Perth, where I then was. No-
thing remarkable has occurred within the last two days, except
the appearance of seven spermaceti-whales from Fremantle,
and that the people have been smitten with the mania for
whale fishing ; but, unfortunately, there is no suitable fishing-
tackle for an attack on these monsters of the deep, which
would otherwise (and will at a future time) have a successful
result. I have been in vain endeavouring to obtain a Perth
newspaper for you, containing an account of our last agricul-
tural meeting. I returned home, partly by boat and partly
on foot, and found all well : but my young cow has become
plaguy restless, and has broken away repeatedly into the bush :
we have her, however, in the cow-house now.

20th. — The weather is still very fine, the temperature de-
lightful. At this moment I am very much annoyed, and am
actually writing from my bed to tell you how uncomfortable
I am from an incursion of blow-flies, which have taken a
fancy to my new blankets, that have been so covered by
them as to require fumigation with brimstone to effect their
dislodgment, and I am now bewailing the absence of my com-
fortable clothing.

2i2nd, — Pined after church service yesterday on delicious

 

58

kangaroo soup, a fine haunch of ditto, lamb, a pair of fowls,
ham and sausages, turnips, lettuce, onions, fruit-pies, and plum
and custard puddings. Just think of such fare on tlie Swan
Elver, and confess whether your organs of taste can resist an
extra humidity " from bare Imagination of the feast," You
know, however, that I care little for these things, and detail
them merely to show that we have not always hard fare.

It falls frequently to my lot to settle disputes about boun-
daries : the Dii Termini are very troublesome divinities to
me ; this day I have been arbitrator in a case of this nature,
besides one on a disputed point concerning a sale of horses.

I have to finish a certain memorial to the Home Govern-
ment, to attend an agricultural meeting on the second of next
month, and to prepare for an exploring expedition over the
mountains on the fourth, and have just written for Mrs. Tan-
ner a song about this colony, of which she wishes to send her
friends a copy ; but I have not time now to transcribe it, but
must do so at some other time.

I have a song in my mind, suggested by that of a bird's
notes ; and if I can get my flute mended, shall set it for you.
I mean to try the system of robbing my own potatoes — vlz^,
taking away the large ones from the roots, which is practised
here with good effect.

2Zrd. — You will think me a most dissipated dog when I
tell you that I have dined with the same large party three
successive days !

Servants' wages are extremely high, and all work propor-
tionably so ; £2 10s. per month for inside servants ; from 5s.
to 7s. per day (without diet) for labour. At present the
cultivation of new ground will not pay where there is any
difficulty beyond mere ploughing, and that can only be per-
formed in cleared flat meadows. The quantity of stock is
still insufficient to support a shepherd. There are not yet
more than a dozen persons possessing large flocks, but we are
in daily expectation of arrivals of sheep from Van Diemen's

 

59

Land. I am within the limit when I tell you that for even a
small establishment like mine, where everything is to be pur-
chased, it is necessary to have between £200 and £300 a year.

Our means will be greater and our wants less as our gardens
and crops become productive. My stock of shoes for myself
and people is already exhausted, and the price is 18s. per pair.
Clothes and provisions, as in all infant societies, are of course
our chief wants, but in some things money goes a great way.

Wine, tea, and sugar are cheap. F talks of sending goods

here on commission — an excellent speculation ; in shoes alone
a profit of 150 per cent, might be effected.

As to clothing, black and blue clothes are the most saleable.
Our medical men, lawyers, clergymen, and those in mourning,
as among you, wear black ; and there are persons here of each
of the learned professions. The Government officers and
naval and military men wear blue cloth coats with gilt crown
buttons, and blue frocks and trousers — on great occasions,
white duck trousers ; but there is some hazard in this specu-
lation, unless on a small scale.

Substantial clothing seems to be the taste of our sensible
people, who are good judges of such matters. Blue striped
shirts, shoes, boots, buskins, and corduroy trousers, meet with
ready sale. We are in great want of light black beaver hats,
which every one who can get them wears ; but we can pro-
cure no male headpieces here, except some villanous-looking
silk ones of an old-fashioned shape. In the country, or in
undress, little attention is paid to mere ornament ; but in com-
pany, or on state occasions, we are a very well-dressed and
particular people.

As to the ladies — I suppose you have hitherto been in the
habit of mistaking them for Hottentot dames, and consider
them suitably appareled in linsey-wolsey, or " in druggets
drest of thirteen-pence a yard ;" but our fair ones of the upper
grades are of a very different class indeed : but, alas ! alas !
I cannot enumerate any of the thousand articles which they

 

60

may wish for, from the hustle (no allusion to the Hottentot
ladies, I assure you) to every other appendage of the person :
— pray interest yourself to have a well-selected cargo sent
especially to them. Among the common necessaries which
would sell well in this colony are starch, blue, candles of
every kind, glass, fiannel, and soap, which now brings (and
sold as a special favour) 2s. 6d. a pound.

Masters here are only so in name ; they are the slaves of
their indentured servants. In my absence, ♦ * ♦ (Joes
nothing, and if I speak to him — exit in a rage. I could send
him to gaol, but I do not like this extremity, and yet I can-
not afford to lose the advantage of his time, and pay £30,
besides diet, to another in his place. Letty, however, con-
tinues faithful.

Yesterday, after the adjustment of a boundary line between
neighbours at the base of the hills, a singular circumstance
occurred, when the last two trees were struck with an axe,
for the purpose of making a boundary mark — a jet d'eau
issued from out of a blue gum tree, and continued running
without intermission during the time of our stay — a quarter
of an hour. This water had a strong chalybeate taste. On
my return, we saw some native huts and graves ; I picked
up a man's under jaw, and looked for a skull, but in vain.
These are the remains of the native who speared James ; and
the grave was dug soon afterwards by Corporal Fea, who shot
him. I have despatched one of my people with a venture of
vegetables to the market — a hamper of cabbages, turnips, and
lettuces — may success attend this grand speculation I

2&th. — No intelligence of the venture yet. My pigs have
strayed away, old and young, without leave, for two days.
On this day se'night, our next Agricultural Meeting will take
place, on which occasion the Governor is to give an evening
party, and I believe there will be some dancing. I had no
notion there would be so much society here, so much gaiety,
so much dressing, I thought, in my simplicity, that I had

 

61

for ever laid aside my slight shoes, silk stockings, and kid
gloves ; but I have been most agreeably disappointed.

Spring is coming ; I heard its herald, a cuckoo, last night.
The weather has been very fine, with occasional showers, and
this is our winter ! It is really better than our summer in
Ireland. Thermometer, 64°

2*lth. — No tidings of my vegetable servant yet; the pigs,
however, have been found, after a long search. There is now
a great profusion of beautiful flowering shrubs and flowers in
full bloom. The succession of them is endless ; among them
I must particularly notice a flower called, I believe, Anigoz-
anthus, which is very beautiful — it is of a greenish colour,
issuing from a crimson stem; the green flowers at the top
protrude like fingers or expanded honeysuckles. We have
also abundance of the clematis, and another creeper of a
brilliant blue. One of our grasses, now in bloom, bears a
beautiful blue flower with yellow stamina, and reminds me
of the star of Bethlehem, or spider lily.

2Sth. — James arrived here at three this morning; the
venture produced 9s. lOd. ; he got 2s. 6d. for twelve turnips,
and a high price for cabbages ; but my lettuces and radishes
were not in demand, Captain Irwin's gardener having pre-
viously sent a boat-load of vegetables to the market. Potatoes
would have sold well, if I had them, — mine have been fourteen
weeks in the ground, and are now of good size, some of them
weighing a pound; I shall send a small supply on Friday
next to market, and hope to get one shilling per pound. They
are unfortunately of the kind called cups, — not good for eat-
ing, — better for selling.

A letter has this day reached me from Mr. Dale, the officer
who is to form the settlement at York. I intend to accompany
him, and shall take a fortnight's provisions, a change of rai-
ment, a hammock, and a cloak to sleep in. Our present
intention is to make the site of York our head-quarters, and
to proceed from that central point four day's march up the

 

62

river, the same in the opposite direction down, and the same
distance eastward to the interior.

From Gruildford to York is, I suppose, 50 miles ; from York
to Beverley 20 miles ; near the latter place is my grant ; so
that I shall have an opportunity of seeing it, as well as so
much of the interior. Expeditions, however, of this kind in
perspective arrangement, are often attended with serious diffi-
culties in actual execution. In the present case, thirty per-
sons must be supplied for eleven days with gunpowder, shot,
and clothes ; and we can only muster three horses for us all.
Thunder and rain — a good dramatic conclusion to one day's
diary.

29^^. — Worked hard in the garden, planting Indian corn
transplanting mangel-wurzel, and preparing beds for rock and
water melons, cucumbers and pumpkins, and sowing five dif-
ferent kinds of strawberry seeds, and as many sorts of goose-
berry, which latter seeds will not, probably, succeed in this
climate.

Letty has been preparing striped cotton shirts for my expe-
dition, these being more suited than linen ones to our climate.

30th. — The pigs, confound them ! are gone astray again.

This day I have been burning weed for ashes, and planting
maize, of which I shall have half an acre, in drills one yard
asunder ; and the intervals, which will be perfectly cleared,
are to be planted with turnips and cabbages.

Flax and asparagus are indigenous plants here. Of the
former I have seen very fine stalks, which before the general
VLSG of cotton would have been valuable ; the asparagus is not
good. I have been actively at work this day, and shall be
again to-morrow, in getting in the remainder of my maize,
previously to my departure. These two days have been very
warm, particularly so to James, who has been fruitlessly
hunting for the pigs. We shall be roasted to-morrow, if
this heat continues, and all the world here is going to the
ball.

 

Perth, Sept. Srd. — I must tell you all about the great dovngs
since the last entry in my logbook.

Yesterday I came down here for our market, and meeting
of the Agricultural Society, and for the Governor's ball.

The brig had just arrived, bringing the first Indian invalid
to our shores. Quartermaster-General Colonel Hanson, and
also Lord F. Beauclerk. All Perth was alive ; upwards of
fifty sat down to the Agricultural dinner, at which we had
(as honorary members) Lord F. Beauclerk, Col, Hanson, and
Capt. Parker, K.N". And at this dinner a memorial to the
Home Government was read and approved of. It is now in
course of signature, and will soon be sent home. In the
evening, at the Governor's house, we had 180 ladies and
gentlemen ! ! !

The ball was kept up with the greatest spirit until six in
the morning; and the dancing almost without interval —
contre-dances, quadrilles, Spanish dances, and gallopades. I
never before witnessed such gaiety at a ball, nor ever before
danced so much in one night ; four rooms and an arcade were
all filled, and connected with the verandah ; a superb tent
was fitted up, decorated and festooned with naval flags, and
in this we had supper — an elegant and abundant one. The
gentlemen from India were astonished, for they had heard
the most gloomy reports ; and the invalid confessed that
when coming ashore he had been considering with the
captain, the expediency of sending some provisions from
the ship, as a preventive against starvation ; his amaze-
ment at seeing ample supplies of butter, eggs, vegetables,
poultry and butcher's meat, may be guessed at ; he pur-
chased freely and paid liberally ; has rented a house for
some time, and is now recovering ; indeed he was actually
frolicksome all the evening.*

* The invalid recovered his health completely. A letter from him appeared
in the Ceylon paper, which may be interesting, as it will show the impression
made on Colonel Hanson and his party, by their visit to the Swan River.

 

64

That these gentlemen should have arrived here at this
critical period, when the climate is delicious, is considered a
fortunate circumstance for the colony.

^th. — The Cruizer goes on Wednesday to Trincomalee, and
I shall send my letter by her ; when you may get it, God
alone can tell ; but I shall go on as before, connecting as well
as I can my very rambling journal, in which I scribble down
every thing as it occurs — slapdash. Thinking of home gives
me strange sensations ; where is my home now ? * * ♦

I am living at Captain Irvine's new house (a large brick
one, with two stories and a tiled floor), which has been pretty
well filled of late ; its occupants being Lord F. Beauclerk,
Captain Pickering, Mr. Gilbert, Dr. Littleton, the Messrs.
Burgess, and myself. "We hear of two vessels coming to Eng-
land. I hope you have written, and perhaps sent me some
shoes : for I am almost barefooted.

Yours ever,

G. F. M.

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA FOR ME.

Sung by me at the first ball given by the Governor, Sir
James Stirling, in Perth.— G. F. M.

Air — " Ballinamona oro."

From the old Western world, we have come to explore
The wilds of this Western Australian shore ;
In search of a country, we've ventured to roam,
And now that we've found it, let's make it our home.

And what though the colony's new, Sirs,

And inhabitants yet may be few, Sirs,

We see them encreasing here too. Sirs,
So Western Atistralia for me.

With care and experience, I'm sure 'twill be found
Two crops in the year we may get from the ground ;
There's good wood and good water, good flesh and good fiah.
Good soil and good clime, and what more could you wish.

Then let every one earnestly strive. Sirs,

Do his best, be alert and alive, Sirs,

We'll soon see our colony thrive, Sirs,
So Western Australia for me.

No lions or tigers* we here dread to meet.

Our innocent quadrupeds hop on two feet ;

No tithes and no taxes we now have to pay.

And our geese are all swans, as some witty folks say.

'iTien we live without trouble or stealth. Sirs,

Our currency's! all sterling wealth. Sirs,

So here's to our Governor's health, Sirs,
And Western Australia for me.

 

* There are no ferocious beasts there. The timid kangaroo is the largest
indigenous animal. Swans were so abundant on the river when first dis-
covered as to give the name Swan River Settlement. I dare not say that I
christened the colony, but certainly after the above song the name of Western
Australia was adopted.

t There was much trouble then about a debased cunency at the Gape of
■Qood Hope and elsewhere.

 

THE JOURNEY.

NEW SETTLEMENT — FIKST DAT'S JOURNEY — CATCHES TWO LIZARDS — RES-
CUES A YOUNG KANGAROO — CONSTANT SUCCESSION OF HILLS — THE
RIVER AVON — ASPECT OF THE COUNTRY — HILLS — PLANTS — SINGULAR
CAVE — RIVER BECOMES SALT — SOIL MORE BARREN — COME TO A FRESH
WATER LAKE — CAPTURE AN ANT EATER — IMPROVEMENT IN THE
COUNTRY — THE RIVER BECOMES ABSORBED IN THE EARTH — RETURN
TO MOUNT BAKEWELL — RESUME THEIR JOURNAL — SURPRISE A NATIVE
FAMILY — CONTINUE THEIR JOURNEY — REACH PERTH — REFLECTIONS ON
THE JOURNEY — DEPREDATIONS OF THE NATIVES — INSOLENCE OF SER-
VANTS — SWAN RIVER — HARVEST-HOME.

October IbtJi, 1831.

You will hardly believe that I have only this night been able
to seat myself at home as a resting-place, since the thirtieth
of August, I shall now take up the narrative from the date
of the last letter.

The Governor having determined to commence a settlement
on the other side of Darling Range, and several settlers being
desirous to take the opportunity of going over to their respec-
tive grants, Mr. Dale, an officer in the 60th Regiment, the
first who had penetrated beyond the Range, was selected to
point out the most direct practicable route ; and it was deemed
a good opportunity to combine with the expedition an explo-
ratory excursion for some distance in a S.S.E. and N.N.W.
direction from Mount Bakewell, the centre of York district,
where it was intended to form the settlement ; the river Avon
was supposed to run direct in this line. As the country had
before been examined twenty miles up and ten miles down
its stream, it was now proposed to go fifty miles in a S.S.E.

 

and fifty miles in a N.N.W. line from Mount Bake well, then
to strike across the Darling Eange to the west, until the
Eange should be passed over, and to return home along the
base of the hills : such is the outline of the instrtictions given
by the Governor.

Many circumstances made me willingly accede to the pro-
posal of joining the expedition. I shall give you some details
of our ramble.

On Tuesday, 6th ult., we assembled at Guildford, and mus-
tered twenty-one persons, all interested and excited by the
novelty of the first expedition over the hills. Many spectators
came from curiosity and gave us a convoy, the Governor him-
self kindly riding with us a whole day's journey, and by his
presence infusing a spirit of animation into the whole party.
His Excellency led the van — then came the Governor's cart
drawn by five horses, followed by that of Messrs. Clarkson
and Hardy drawn by two horses and two cows, and by an-
other cart belonging to Mr. Hales drawn by two cows. The
three horses bearing our provisions and clothes in sacks, sad-
dle-bags, and other contrivances, and numerous men on foot
brought up the rear. We crossed some wet places by laying
down brushwood, and formed bridges of trees over the stream;
and after clearing away trees and all impediments, advanced
seven miles to the ascent of the hills. The Governor on his
departure was saluted with three hearty cheers, and we then
proceeded to bivouac under a large gum tree, near which
were two native huts ; and this was my first actual experience
of bushing.

I found the excitement delighful, as the evening was very
fine ; a kangaroo was killed, a roaring fire kindled, and we
enjoyed a delicious fry of steaks. Our hammocks were slung
in front, from trees called blackboys, and the scene altogether
was such as I thought I should never tire of ; however, when
going into my hammock it fairly capsized — a moral hint that
there are ups and downs in the happiest scenes ; and the cold,

 

67

which was intense towards morning, gave still further evi-
dence that perfect enjoyment is rarely to be found.

Next day, Mr. Dale and I walked forward to explore the
way, and found a native path leading up the hill : when re-
turning to breakfast a kangaroo came near us, very much to
his surprise as well as ours.

After breakfast, as we set out, the day became rainy, and
the pass was rocky and difficult ; so much so, that the carts
could proceed only three miles. Our order of march was as
follows : — Mr. Dale in advance, to ascertain the direct line
and mark trees in that direction, generally accompanied by
me ; next came Mr. B., who had charge of the waggons, at-
tended by a number of men having axes, &c., to clear a cart-
road as near the direct line as practicable ; and in this road
the rest followed ; — but I am going too much into details, and
must only give you the short notes of my tablets, or else my
story will extend to an unmerciful length.

Halted in the valley. Heavy rain. Found great difficulty
in lighting a fire under a tree. My hammock fell in the
night ; all my clothes were wet, and being in dread of the
falling of the tree (pleasant sensations altogether), I lay down
by the fire, my head on a soft log and my feet to the fire ; and
thus I composed myself to sleep.

8th. — Started at an early hour, on a good road, through an
open forest of mahogany and some blue gum trees : halted in
a picturesque vale, where we had loud thunder and heavy
rain — made great fires to dry the hammocks for the night.

Next morning, the party started at half-past seven; but
I remained prudently behind with several others to dry our
clothes.

Here I first took notice of Mr. Dale's servant, a soldier, who

was afterwards a source of great amusement to us. " Well,

Sheridan, how did you pass last night ?" — " Why, sir, I just

lay on that 'dentical spot there fornint you at the fire all

night, rain or no rain ; for I thought I might as well keep

F— 2

 

68

one side dry, auy way — the side that was under me." Morn-
ing or evening, wet or dry, busy or idle, Sheridan whistled or
sung incessantly : it was his duty to wheel a })erambulator
(an instrument for measuring distances), and off he started
with it this morning, singing with stentorian voice the old
drum beat, " Tither, row dow, dow, dow ; and tither, ither,
row, dow ; tither ither, row, dow.

Nothing remarkable on this day's journey. Changed our
course to wind up a steep hill ; and at the end of four miles
and a half reached a watered valley ; stopped here, and had a
pleasant bivouack, about a hundred yards from a swampy
stream of good water. One of the party slept in the hollowed
part of a tree, and made a tent of his blanket, tied by ropes
to two of the trees called blackboys.

10th. — We passed this day over a broken hilly country;
where large masses of granite appeared in several places of a
tabular shape. After crossing over one of those tables, along-
side which ran a strong rivulet, we came to deep and rapid
streams (branches of the river Helena), and were obliged to
halt until we .formed a bridge. The day had been rainy,
which rendered it difficult to light a fire, so that we were
exceedingly uncomfortable ; but the evening became mode-
rate, and the genial warmth of a blazing fire made us soon
feel comparatively happy. Here some of the party began to
make small huts, like the wigwams of the natives, which often
afterwards proved useful ; the process of forming which is
very simple. Blackboy poles are stuck in the ground, form-
ing three-fourths of a circle, and meeting in a common point
at top ; these are covered with grassy tops of the blackboy :
it is a good temporary shelter in rain. Next day, a sufficient
bridge having been formed by placing trees and spars over
the stream, we proceeded for some time over a rising ground ;
then descended into an extensive and rich valley, where there
was good feeding for the horses, which they had not regularly
had before for some days.

 

69

12th. — Crossed a more level and open country for seven
miles (whicli we considered great progress, having made only
tliree or four miles each preceding day) and had a more exten-
sive view from some of the hills. The only very attractive
object was a conical sloped hill which obtained the name of
Mount Dale, after our companion and leader. The appear-
ance of the country and timber began to undergo a change ;
the casuarina tree, which is somewhat like a fir, is common
on the east side of the range ; — halted at two, having passed
some native huts without seeing the natives themselves.

14:th. — Crossed good level ground, and saw fifteen kan-
garoos ; none killed.

15th. — Passed seven native huts, and ensconced ourselves
in them ; ascended a hill composed of what is here called
ironstone (a red sandstone) which we imagined affected our
compasses, so much so that we called this elevation Magnetic
Hill ; — cut some bark from a tree, which smelled like rasp-
berry jam, and caught two lizards — two iguanas, 14 inches
long, with a purple tongue, and without a tail. One of our
party killed what he called a puff adder, and a small snake ;
killed a kangaroo, and found its young one (a beautiful black-
eyed creature) in time to rescue it from the dogs. I carried
the poor thing in my pocket, and nursed it carefully ; it will
soon become familiar ; — surprised some natives, who went off
gesticulating and vociferating furiously ; ascended some rising
grounds, whence we had a fine view of an abrupt hill in the
distance, called Cut Down Hill, and where we observed for
the first time the appearance of white lime, and got sight of
Mount Bakewell, which we hailed with three cheers and a
volley ; crossed a stream running through a very fine country,
and ascended another picturesque hill, from which we had no
longer the cat-in-bag kind of prospect which had hitherto
almost invariably been the case with us. Like puss in a sack,
we had been endeavouring to poke out our heads, but in vain ;
each hill tempted us to push onwards and upwards in hopes

 

70

of liberation, but we only found another and another tempt-
ing us forward to incur a fresh disappointment.

16th. — Came to another rich valley, where we caught a
kangaroo ; arrived at Mount Bakewell, which is covered with
long grass, principally of the poa species ; searched for a
stream, and found the river Avon, which in some places is 40
yards in breadth, but is in this place broken into several
channels ; we ascended at a steep point of the mount, which
is about 1500 feet in elevation, and affords an extensive view
of what appeared a level country, wooded and rich. Mount
Bakewell is a combination of quartz, red sandstone, and
granite ; traced out the valley of the Avon for some distance,
and calculated that our view extended forty miles, in some
directions, without any very striking objects, excepting a few
hills of conical form rising here and there ; the soil in this
district seems rich loam of a brownish hue, producing patchas
of grass, wherever a tree had been burnt, and flowers in great
quantities, particularly everlasting pink ; and here we also
found trees like the crab apple, bearing round nuts of a wal-
nut taste in abundance, but not yet ripe.

17th. — Bathed in the Avon, and made this a day of rest, as
well as of ablution, of which the whole party were in need ;
our store of linen being necessarily very limited, almost like
Falstaff's — " one shirt for superfluity, and one for use," — it
became necessary to wash ; my stock was pretty large, con-
sisting of four shirts, four pair of stockings, two pair of
trousers, three pair of shoes, two coats, a large pair of worsted
stockings, with leather soles, which I found very comfortable
to sleep in ; a straw hat for the day, and a blue cap for the
night, with the hammock, blankets, and cloak already men-
tioned. In fine weather we preferred strewing the tops of
the grass tree, which resemble rushes, on the ground, and so
sleeping with our feet to the fire. I shall give you a short
account of the tract we have explored : it is a range of hilly
country, about fifty miles broad in one place, over which you

 

71

must pass in order to arrive at a more open, level, and grassy
country, which appears to continue in the interior, and to
preserve the same uniformity of character, as far as has been
examined in that direction. The hills on the range are prin-
cipally covered on the surface with the hard red sandstone, or
ironstone already mentioned, either in lumpy fragments, or
broken into coarse gravel ; in some places, granite appears in
large solid masses, or hillocks ; there is a good deal of coarse
herbage, but little grass, except in a few of the valleys.
Many prickly shrubs abound, differing exceedingly in general
appearance, yet bearing very similar flowers, of the pea blos-
som in shape, and of the colour of single wallflower. There
is also a profusion of what you and I would call heath ; but
the learned botanists assert that there is no heath in the colony
— far be it from me to dispute their judgment ! This is almost
a forest of great mahogany and blue gum trees, which have
not been seen beyond the range. The streams do not appear to
flow decidedly to the east, but rather to the north and south.
In the many valleys which we saw, I doubt if the streams
flow through the summer. Pools and springs may be frequent;
but there are no mountains, whose summits covered with
snow might furnish a regular supply of water, nor frequent
rains to saturate the earth and feed its springs. The thirsty
soil absorbs, and the unclouded sun of summer evaporates,
the moisture in its progress ; and this, I take it, is the solu-
tion of the apparent paradox, with respect to rivers — that
they are sometimes greater at their source than at their mouth.
Such is the state of the river in summer ; but what must it
be in winter, when every valley and ravine pours forth its
tributary streams into one common channel, the sole outlet of
the accumulated waters of an extensive district ? The Avon,
through which I walked (first tucking my trousers up to my
knee), seems the only artery for the collected waters of a line
of 150 miles which we traced; and yet we did not reach its

 

source.

 

#*****♦

 

72

Dampier, and subsequently King, observed the great fluc-
tuations of tides on this coast (I forget at what time of the
year) ; if it was in our winter months, their observations
woukl tend to corroborate the opinion, that a large river de-
bouches there. But this is a long and dull digression to you.

Deeming it expedient to give the horses another day's rest,
we went without them, on a little excursion of six or seven
miles, to look at Mr. Dale's grant, and on our way passed a
hut, in which five of the natives concealed themselves ; saw
some turkeys ; bathed in the Avon, in which we observed
something stirring, which we conjectured to be a platypus,
but naturalists have not yet ascertained that it exists here.

Eeturned by the river on the plain, and noticed a kind of
thorn — a species, I think, of the Mespilus ; and a shrubby
tree, bearing fruit like the sloe. Dined on kangaroo stew.
My young pet, poor " Hop," looks sickly, and will probably
die.

19th. — We have changed our station, to the place where it
was intended that the nucleus of the settlement should be
formed. I found many burrows, like badger earths ; and shot
two ducks, and as many cockatoos.

20ih. — Poor little kangaroo has died ; it was a pretty affec-
tionate creature, hopped after me wiierever I went, knew ray
voice, and slept in my bosom. T was sorry for it, and buried
it. Set out on our expedition southward, the party consist-
ing of Mr. Dale, Mr. Thompson, niy.self, and Sheridan, mounted
on horses in rather an odd way. Those which Sheridan and
I had were without saddles, which had been left behind ; we
had for substitutes our cloaks doubled under us, with rope
stirrups, and in this way we rode 300 miles ! Mr. Dale's
horse was the only one properly equipped. Mr. Thompson
rode his own horse, which had a pad on him : and each
of us carried his proportion of provisions as well as his
clothes, in saddle bags or other contrivances, with his gun
slung across his shoulder. We passed over a beautiful coun-

 

73

try for seven miles, and halted during the middle of the day
in a picturesque valley, in which we saw a singular cavern,
which had been discovered the preceding year ; it is a large
mass of granite, forming the abrupt side of a hill on one part
of the valley, and appearing as if the outer side wall of the
cave had fallen away, and had left its length exposed ; its
extreme end is a round figure, supposed to represent the sun,
with the impressions of open hands round it. It appeared to
us as if the rock had been covered with reddish pigment, and
that the impressions had been formed by the friction of a
stone on the rock. The roof is covered with what looks like
the remains of broken swallows' or hornets' nests. This cave
is supposed to have been a place of worship ; yet I know not
why, as the natives do not appear to have any object of vene-
ration, nor is there any indication of a path leading to it. —
Made by our estimation thirteen miles, and halted near a
small stream to make a stew of our cockatoos, but found a
grievous want of our plates, which had been left at York,
from a prudential desire to lighten our baggage ; we had to
make use in their stead of flat stones,

21st. — Breakfasted at daylight, and traversed some beautiful
pasture country to the site of Beverley (twenty milesj. Went
up a liill— fine view — and went down again. Former excur-
sions had terminated here ; and the country was supposed to
improve towards the south — here it is not good.

Touched upon the river again, and halted at noon to refresh.
Walked across the bed of the river, which was dry, and
ascended till we came to a deep pool, or reach, as it is called
here, which proved to be salt ; and no fresh water was to be
had for our horses or ourselves ; exceedingly puzzled, as the
river was running fresh and strong where we had crossed it
The land here is of poor quality ; coarse herbage — hard, bar-
ren-looking plains of whitish clay, covered with white gum
trees, having a rusty tinge on the bark. Saw a native skulk-
ing away ; and had many a fruitless search after kangaroos,

 

74

Saw a beautiful animal ; but, as it escaped into the hollow of
a tree, could not ascertain whether it was a species of squirrel,
weazel, or wild cat. Entertained great apprehensions of not
finding water at night ; but found a fresh pool at last. Soil
worse and worse : rather melancholy, remembering that my
grant is situated somewhere on this day's progress.

22nd. — Started at seven a.m. ; came to a long, deep, and
narrow lake of fresh water, four miles in length, and eighty
or a hundred yards in breadth, with an amazing number of
ducks on it. Sheridan's calculation was quite Irish — " a
thousand, sir, a hundred thousand, would'nt be missed out of
them." Dale shot a black swan, and I swam for it, and tried
the depth in several places, which I ascertained to be about
six feet. The soil about it is indifferent. On its margin are
samphire and the Hottentot fig (a species of sedum), which
gives no indication of fresh water running into the lake.
Met with a large native dog, and chased another little animal,
such as had escaped from us yesterday, into a hollow tree,
where we captured it ; from the length of its tongue, and
other circumstances, we conjecture that it is an ant-eater — its
colour yellowish, barred with black and white streaks across
the hinder part of the back ; its length about twelve inches.
Found some water in pools and streams running eastward and
the soil improving, but of sandy quality.

23rc?. — The country improves. We met seven natives, who
drew up in some surprise at the sight of four men on horse-
back — perhaps the first Europeans they had seen : we had
just before disturbed an emu, of which they seemed to be in
chase. At noon, having travelled twelve miles, we halted in
a fine valley, with plenty of grass for our horses ; and having
now made sixty miles in a S.S.E. line, we were, to our regret,
obliged to return. Turned N.N.W. ; ascended a hill, which
afforded an extensive view to the eastward of a level country;
but undulating to the south. Here were pools of water
courses and trees, which are supposed to be casuarinas and

 

75

acacias ; but neither mahogany nor gum trees. Saw two
emus, many kangaroos, and shot a brace of cockatoos, which
made no insignificant appearance at our evening meal ; and
we turned into our hammocks at nine o'clock,

2^th. — Up at day-break, and followed the course of a con-
siderable stream — probably the Avon : determined not to lose
sight of it, and passed a waterfall, which rolled six feet over
a granite rock, through a falling ground, with buttercups on
its surface, and the acacia, bearing flowers like the laburnum.
There are many bare downs visible from a hill near this, with
green patches here and there.

2^th. — Found that one of our horses had broken loose in
the night, and had some trouble and difficulty in catching
him. Passed rapidly over a bare tract, with here and there
a white gum tree creeping like a ghost through tlie vistas.
Found the running water in the river to be fresh ; but that
standing in the pools, brackish. Followed the river, looking
for its connexion with the fresh water lake ; but could not
find it : at length discovered the head of a salt water lake.
It appears that the stream which we had followed for forty
miles had ceased to flow, and become absorbed by the earth :
this is one of the puzzles of the country.

A river runs fresh to a certain point, where it terminates ;
and if you trace its bed for one hundred yards, you find it
occupied by a salt water lake, without any apparent outlet :
some miles further down we found a long and deep lake in
the reach of the river quite fresh again !

This day we had the last of our rice with a loin of pork,
washed down with a glass of spiced grog ; the only new deli-
cacy we could command.

2Qth. — Our provisions being almost gone, we breakfasted
on the diLst of biscuit, soaked in tea ; which was a slender
preparation for the ensuing fatigue of following the river's
course for eight or nine miles to the spot where it disappears
above the salt water lake. We contrived, however, to make

 

76

out a dinner of cockatoos and the remains of the pork, with
greens of the carduns or sow-thistle. Took a short march in
a westerly direction, to examine another stream, which proved
to be the Avon, flowing strongly and deeply in some places,
through tolerably verdant banks.

It now appears that all former observations as to the eligi-
bility of location here, were upon mistaken grounds ; and that
the line must be changed. We wished to trnce this line fur-
ther ; but neither time nor the state of our provisions per-
mitted us to do so : turning, therefore, towards Mount Bake-
well, we made a push to reach it by sunset, in which we
happily succeeded, and enjoyed our tea and a good night's
rest.

27th. — This day we recruited ; repaired and washed our
clothes and ourselves in the river, which had fallen fourteen
inches. Missed our dog " Fly," which has not returned.

28th. — Took out all the dogs in the settlement to look for
a kangaroo ; but without success.

29th. — Fly has come to us again. Mr. Johnston, who has
charge of the Government settlers, having furnished us with
twelve pounds of biscuit, to enable us to return and trace that
branch of the Avon which we had so recently left, we started
for the point of our former resting-place, and there surprised
a native family, consisting of a man, woman, girl, and infant,
who raised a sad outcry, although we used the most conciliat-
ing tones and gestures. As we rode away, the man set fire to
the top of the grass trees, either as a signal to other natives,
or for the purpose of terrifying our horses ; probably with the
first object, as we soon afterwards saw two responding fires.
Here we took our bearings, and saw, at a considerable dist-
ance. Cut Down Hill.

The stream at this spot is fresh, strong, and deep : the soil
of middling quality. We fired seven shots at game ; but dined
on salt pork. Came to a better tract, near or about which ray
grant may be supposed to lie — not far from a rising ground

 

77

called Mount Shole, from the likeness which it is supposed to
bear to the bald head of a gentleman of that name. The
plains are of stiff clay of different colours, Avith some varieties
of sandy loam. Here the river dividing into two branches,
we had to choose one which runs westerly : we followed until
we arrived at a wet valley, not unlike that near the " Echo,"*
and as full of springs.

Turned homewards by a tract more distant from the river,
in hopes of discovering better land ; but it proved to be miser-
ably bad — of white sand, bearing the mahogany tree — which
satisfied us that we had again arrived at the Darling Eange :
soon afterwards, however, we passed through a valley of better
quality behind Mount Shole, where we bivouacked, having
first shot two cockatoos for supper. This day we saw several
huts.

Oct. \st. — Proceeded farther in a N.N.E, course, through
very bad land, mere sand ; and at noon reached a rich valley,
but not well watered. We here saw many kangaroos, and
one native, skulking behind a tree ; and heard the screaming
of native women and boys. As we approached the settle-
ment, several of these people scampered off, uttering a word
which sounded like "hunnyan;" and we ascertained, sub-
sequently, that a great number of them had been at the
settlement the day before, with green boughs (we hope
emblematic of peace) in their hands.

Zrd. — At eight o'clock, a.m., we proceeded on an excursion
from Mount Bakewell, N.N.W. Very fine laud on Mr.
Thompson's grant. Beyond Mount Mackie, fell in with
some natives, who called to us frequently "coo — oo," and
as soon as we had acknowledged the invitation, two of
them (one of whom Dobair recognised to have seen several
times before) threw down their spears, and approached us
with a friendly manner, as if glad to see us ; we shook hands,

 

In the county of Wicklow, Ireland.

 

78

and then parted : but on halting for bivouac, we heard several
advancing, hallooing for some time, and then preserving
silence; we did not deem it prudent to encourage their
familiarities. On the ensuing day {Oct. UK), anticipating
an early visit from them and an attack on our provisions
(of which we had a very limited allowance), we hastened
our preparation ; but had scarcely commenced breakfast,
when they began to collect in considerable numbers ; so
that we packed up rather precipitately. Dale, having a
servant to arrange for him, had finished his breakfast — I
had swallowed half mine — Thompson had scarcely tasted
his — and poor Sheridan had got none. The manner of
these people (who advanced in little detachments, old men
and boys among them) was, however, friendly. Some of
them sat down beside us; some remained at different dis-
tances, according to the signals which we made them ; and
none of them appeared to have any arms. Curiosity seemed
to be their only motive in remaining with us : there were
thirty-one altogether; among whom we did not perceive
either of the two men who had been present on the pre-
vious evening. Having vainly endeavoured to support a
conve'SQttion with them, we shook hands and took leave, and
proceedcd'to a deep and broad reach of the river, through a
picturesque country, with high hills rising abruptly from each
side. Here I shot two ducks, and swam for them.

bth. — Anxious about water, but did not discover any ; and
at sunset halted to hold a council of war. My proposal to
look for water was rejected ; we were all somewhat in the
blues, our horses being knocked up, and ourselves excessively
thirsty ; but the indefatigable Sheridan seizing his gun, went
off to reconnoitre, and soon returned in great glee, with the
agreeable intelligence that at a short distance there was a
swamp, and water of course, not ten yards off. Made a
famous dinner of ducks, and slept on the ground all night —
and slept well.

 

7^

gf!^. — Conjecturing that this is probably identical with the
Swan Eiver, we advanced over a hilly and barren country,
and again heard the natives. After crossing a very rocky
district, the country changed its character, and we suddenly
found ourselves on a promontory, abruptly sinking into a
large and beautiful valley.

This view elevated our spirits again; "Worcestershire,"
cried one; " Shropshire," cried another ; " Kilkenny for ever,"
roared out Sheridan. Headlong we rushed into the valley,
through grass to the horses' knees, hoping to find the river ;
but this valley proved to be only an extensive swamp of soil
not so good as it appeared at a distance from the point of our
bivouack. We, however, had the satisfaction of observing
symptoms of cows, which appeared to have gone further into
the interior. We examined our charts, and felt confident that
the Avon and the Swan are identical.

After a march of five miles across the swamp, and over a
bare and sandy soil, and having reached our N.N.W. limit,
we turned east, and crossed a fiat sandy tract, surrounded by
hills ; pushed on for a valley, and on reaching it, found that
we had almost imperceptibly crossed the Darling Eange.
From a high hill we got an open view of the plain stu4ded
over (in one direction) with lakes, which we supposed- ta be
salt ; the plain seems barren and sandy, and the only attrac-
tive object towards the sea, was a double-topped hill, about
sixteen miles distant. Halted for the day, after a ride of five
hours and a half near a running stream, which we fortunately
found, having feared that we should not have met one nearer
than that which is called Lennard's, twelve miles distant:
must soon satisfy our conjectures about the Swan Eiver.
While we were at dinner, a native dog came up, and gnawed
some bones within ten yards of us ; Dale fired, but missed
the poor animal.

7th. — Arrived at land much dug by the natives, several of
whom we heard, but they in general kept out of view; reached

 

Lennard's brook, which at once struck us all as being the
Avon. This we had much difficulty in crossing, as it is deep
and strong in current, but we walked through it three or four
miles higher up the river. Rich grasses grow on the lands here.

Two natives, immediately succeeded by others, joined us in
a friendly way, but we did not think it wise to eat in their
presence, especially as they seemed very desirous that we
should waive all ceremony and do so ; we cannot well under-
stand them yet ; on seeing us prepare to depart, they called
to others, who came in groups, until they amounted to twenty-
eight merry looking fellows, who accompanied us in a friendly
manner for some miles ; one of them begged for a few hairs
of my horse's mane, which he seemed to prize exceedingly-
These people appeared to have painted themselves fresh for
the visit ; and if we could judge from their anxiously pointing
in a particular direction, they invited us to take a lunch at
their village ; however, we went in a line precisely opposite.
Soon afterwards, finding ourselves perplexed in the mazes of
a swamp, we began to think that we should have taken their
advice, and that the exclamation of " Bogh " was kindly meant
to indicate some bridge or ford higher up ; at last, however,
we got out of the swamp; crossed a sandy country ; saw many
tracts of natives ; halted at a good grassy stream ; drank tea,
and went to sleep.

8th. — Continued our progress at a rapid pace over a plain
of white clay, which produced white and red gum trees;
halted, and refreshed ourselves at Ellen's brook ; broiled our
slices of pork at the fire on the end of a long stick ; forward
again ; had a view of a limestone vein two miles broad, and
dined at Mr. Bull's, where I met Mr, Macleod of the 63rd,
and several other gentlemen ; at night Messrs. Dale and
Mackie accompanied me to my own habitation, where I once
more got into bed with my clothes off, for the first time
during six weeks ; and will you believe that I did not sleep
half as well this night, as when I had been stretched on

 

81

rushes in the open air ? I was occupied with the workings
of my own brain, and thinking "murders sleep." On the
ensuing morning we went to Guildford ; waited on the
Governor; presented our report, and then proceeded to
Perth under a drenching rain ; thus terminated our ex-
pedition. Just think, although it took place during what
is supposed to be part of our winter or beginning of spring ;
it never interrupted our sleeping in the bush and remaining
in the open air for so many weeks without suffering even
from a cold in the head ; the fact is, the weather, with the
exception of the two or three first days, was very pleasant,
like May or June in the old country. Several observations
occurred to me at different times, on the particular nature
and character of the country, the trees and shrubs, flowers,
grass, &c., which I intended to have thrown together in this
letter; but I shall refrain, and sum up the results of my
exploration in a few brief and general remarks. Of flowers
there is a great profusion in all directions ; the ground in
some places is covered with them, but the variety is not
great, at least so it occurred to me ; we had not leisure to
examine large quantities of chrysanthemum, daisies, geraniums,
a green tendril with a pink flower, and another splendid flower,
growing like bunches of violets close to the ground. There
are many flowering shrubs. Of birds we saw no great variety;
mocking birds, paroquets, larks, and warblers, but none very
beautiful. I have mentioned already all the other animals
which we obtained sight of, except some reptiles — viz., three
or four snakes. As to the nature of the soil, the salt district
may at some future period become valuable, but it is not use-
ful for present purpose ; there is a great deal of light sandy
land, and also of stiff clayey' soil, which requires, in the
language of holy writ, to be subdued, before it becomes in
a state to receive seed.

Upon a former occasion, Mr. Dale had been fifty miles
farther into the interior, which he describes to be similar

Q

 

82

to what we passed, undulating and grassy, in such a direction
as would seem to indicate a continuation of the saltish land,
which we observed in an E.S.E. direction. Some time hence
it may afford an interesting excursion to follow the river down
from whence we left it, and identify it with Lennard's brook
(if it be the same), and trace it to the sea ; this brook has
been on several occasions visited by persons looking for stray
cattle, and on one occasion by Messrs. Dale and Lennard, who
never dreamed of it being the Avon ; but thinking the land
good, Mr. Lennard applied for a grant in that district, and it
has been called by his name ever since. A singularity was
observed there, which is not yet accounted for ; namely, that
the river appeared to flow into a large lake on the plain, from
which no current in any direction was perceptible. However,
they were not then thinking much about the uiatter, and may
have overlooked some outlet near or through the doubled hill
adjacent. ♦*»*»«

It is only now that I have been able to finish these random
notes (brief and hasty as they are), having written a little
now and again, as opportunity permitted ; and on looking
over them, I have often to pick up, as my grandmother would
rSay, " my dropped stitches " ; a reference to them (keep all
my letters and journals for me) may one day or other amuse
and interest us at the fire side, if it shall please God that,
among the changes and chances of tliis mortal life, we shall
ever meet again.

On my arrival at home, I was treated with a number of
very dismal stories — the sow had devoured nine chickens and
several eggs ; the bell was lost from the goat's neck ; many
things were going to waste in the garden ; and many other
such drawbacks, lest I should feel myself too comfortable on
my return, ******

Oct. VI th. — Gardening.*

* I shall henceforward prune or out away altogether the details of horti-
cultural operations ; interesting as they might be to many readers. — Editor.

 

83

18th. — Had my potatoes dug this morning ; I have about
3 cwt., which is good produce; for although I purchased
1 cwt, for seed, price thirty-five shillings, but a small portion
of it was in a fit state for planting ; I believe that only one
tenth of the sets grew, so that from ten pounds I had 3 cwt. ;
where they did grow, they would bear comparison with any
of our crops at home, and this is saying much for vegetation
here ; our usual bargain is to give them and seeds of all kinds
on condition of getting half the produce. I have this day
given Mr. Tanner sixteen pounds for this con-sid-e-ra-ti-on,
and I intend to trade a good deal in this primitive kind of
way with some of my neighbours, who have soils different
in quality from mine, and we thus assist each other. For
twenty pounds of potatoes I received, as I was starting on
my late expedition, twenty shillings — a great price, you will
say.

There has been seasonable rain this day, which has been
of service to some turnips and cauliflowers, which I trans-
planted early in the morning on the potato ground. I have
found not a mare's nest — but a hen's nest, with fourteen eggs,
which I have removed with Dame Partlet herself to an ap-
propriate incubation lodge, snugly placed among the grass-
tree tops ; as a set off against this profitable discovery, I have
to state the loss of a full-grown chicken barbarously devoured
by my sow.

In my list of births I have to enter two kids, but both of
the wrong sort, and thiee kittens ; and though last, not least
in importance, six young pigs farrowed in the bush, and were
discovered with much trouble. I have now eleven pigs, but
it is difficult to procure food for them at present, and I am
in consequence of the difficulty, obliged to give them biscuit
and flour mixed with greens, viz., sow thistles and turnip
tops.

26th. — The beautiful picture of the hen sitting upon her

eggs has now vanished ; one of the dogs devoured them all

G— 2

 

84

this morning, — I hope they will make him very bilious, the
abominable brute ! I learn that during my absence the river
rose considerably, and flooded the low ground beside the well ;
the tremendous floods in winter have ended in this !

21th. — Broke up a considerable quantity of ground at the
well, and planted upwards of one hundred yards of potatoes
in drills. If these succeed, I shall have had two crops of the
same kind within one year. My other vegetable have multi-
plied so that I know not what to do with them. The walnuts,
however, have totally failed, and I have only eight out of fifty
almond trees, and but one healthy-looking orange tree ; straw-
berries, raspberries, gooseberries, all failures.

2%th. — Despatched James this day with potatoes, cauli-
flowers, turnips, and cabbages, to market. A servant of the
Governor passed to-day, and told a fine budget of news, about
an attack of the natives on the Government House. I do
not believe it ; but the natives have undoubtedly made sad
havoc among the flocks of sheep in the neighbourhood ; they
took eleven from Mr. Brown, nay worse, speared his cow, and
afterwards being fired at for this offence, came stealthily and
killed his shepherd ; and as a grand finale, drove away no
fewer than sixty-seven sheep, belonging to Mr. Bull, of
which, though hotly pursued, they slaughtered forty-seven,
en chemin faisant. These wholesale doings must be checked
by the presence of a body of yeoman cavalry, when horses
can be procured, which it is the intention of the Government
to supply to those persons who shall enrol themselves. I
intend to serve either as a private or an officer, I care not
which. Additional magistrates have been appointed since I
was here, in order to act with the military on any sudden
emergency ; and a party of soldiers has been stationed on the
hills at the head of the Swan — as the upper part of the navi-
gable river is called ; all these matters have occurred during
my absence.

A ship soon goes to Van Diemen's Land, and possibly this

 

S5

letter may go that way. We have not had any arrival from
England this long time. I am anxiously expecting news
from you, besides shoes, my last pair of which 1 have this
day put on.

The Governor and Mrs. Stirling have oome down to the
river and gone on board the Sulphur, which is going to King
George's Island. *****

ZQth. — Sixteen months have elapsed since I left Dublin,
and precisely a year from the day of my arrival here ; within
that little year what changes at home ! what a change in my-
self ! what a change in my own people ! * * *

I met Captain Ellis (the brother of the master in chancery)
the other day at a mess dinner in Perth. On my return
home, I began to cut hay in partnership with Mr. B. — This
mem should have come in before — hut it is all the same.

After dinner on this same anniversary day of my arrival,
I went to examine Captain Irwin's grounds and gardens, and
gave him fifteen pounds of potatoes ; took tea at Mr. Burgess,
and returned at night; on the opposite side of the river,
shouted for my boat, "A boat, a boat unto the ferry," but
all my people were asleep, so that I was obliged to swim for
it ; the water was then rather cool, though in the middle of
the day it is warm.

3lst. — I this day opened my last cask of Sherlock's pork;
it has kept perfectly sweet, and would now bring a very high
price here. Perhaps I am the only person in possession of
one cask. Ten guineas per barrel have been paid for Irish
pork, and Mr. Labertouche must have made a considerable
profit by sending his vessel here always at this time or a
little before it.

My outfield of wheat is almost a failure, but wherever
there were ashes a good patch appears. Half an acre of my
Indian corn looks only middling, but will probably improve ;
Swedish turnips, rape, and mangel-wurzel look well ; every
kitchen vegetable is promising.

 

86

In removing some barrels from the house, I found them
filled with white ants, which had reduced the bottom of the
vessel (an American flour cask) to a substance of extreme
tenuity, as thin as a card.

Have got a " whisper " that one of my servants means to
make battle to get another half year taken from his inden-
tures, but I shall kick most manfully against this.

Nov. 1st. — Killed a great number of white ants, which are
extraordinary creatures, the most impotent looking things,
and yet they perpetrate much mischief, carrying on their
depredations in secret, and making their imperceptible ap-
proaches under the screen of a covered way. Opened my
front window, which has a blackboy lattice, for the first time
this day since the natives threw the spear ; I am making a
linen blind for it — very grand, all this !

I am at a sad loss for furniture, having scarcely a table,
chair, press, or shelf, except what I brought with me, and I
have no doors — mere contrivances in place of them. More of
servants' whims ! I have just heard of one who demands
four glasses of rum per day ! Eeally, there is no enduring
the insolence of this class here ; they soon find out their
value, and act accordingly. Any one bringing out servants
should accurately enumerate in their indentures every article,
and how much of it each should get. Many, who on landing
would have been startled at the idea of taking four glasses of
spirits every day, soon reconcile themselves to this excess, if
they be indulged by their masters : in laborious and warm
work, however, such as mowing, a large allowance of grog is
not unreasonable.

I exchanged two pair of small linen trousers (which had
been made for the boy who came out with me) for a cock of
hay, and have a grand project in my head of bartering some
chickens (when hatched) for a kid which one of my neigh-
bours expects soon to have born to him. * » »

'Wi. — I am helping Mackie to cut an avenue from his place

 

87

to mine ; many settlers are doing the same kind of thing,
which makes our houses appear much closer than we before
supposed.

James brought me home a turtle yesterday, and to-day
another, which he found in the grass, where they had been
depositing their eggs ; their weight is four pounds each, and
and one had sixteen eggs with remarkably hard shells.
Found a pretty rail, shaped like ours, but handsomely freck-
led; and a young wagtail, which has as varied a style of
singing as it has various names, being called, besides the
name just stated, razor-grinder, and superb-warbler. Mr. B.
called to purchase the single Cape sheep (for which I had
twelve months ago given two sheep) for the sum of £3.

Qth. — Day cold, wet, and stormy — good for the garden, but
not for the hay. As we had so little rain during the winter,
it is possible that we may now have frequent showers. I
cannot go to church.

IQth. — James at work mowing. Made two covered sheds
and pig yards. Thermometer 50° at seven in the morning.
Fished for cobUers in the evening. The warbler sings its
night-song. Fine weather. Eumour that two ships have
arrived.

12th. — Hay-making — five cocks saved. Our Irish servants
are beginning to be just as saucy as the English ones, who
expect to live here as well as their masters did at home ;
they talk of having meat and beer three times a day ! The
vessels have arrived from Java, with pork, rice, and sugar.

14:th. — Gave a kitten to Mr. Brockman ; little as you may
think of such a donation, let me tell you that a guinea has
been given here for one. I have got some weighty mahogany
from a sawyer to make a box and bedstead. Ten other
chickens this day ; we have now twenty-four chickens and
seven hens. ******

19^/i. — Eeturned from Perth and Fremantle. Purchased
flour at 7d. per pound, and American pork at £8 per cask— ^

 

88

what a price your Irish pork and butter, leather, and shoes,
would produce here ! No shoes in the whole colony, except
a few made in India, not worth a farthing. Another sow has
farrowed in the bush ; only four youngsters alive — how pro-
voking !

23rd. — Purchased a cow for £2 10s. My stock of black
cattle now consists of ten, great and small, with a prospect
of increase. Heard that many settlers are expected, and,
consequently, that our land will rise in value. Busy all day
ricking my hay, which the men carried in a sort of hand-
barrow : there are four tons yet remaining in the field, and
the quantity in rick is ten tons. Transplanted celery early
in the morning.

25th. — This has been a very scorching day, hotter than
yesterday, when I was an hour in the water, cutting, sawing,
and raising stumps of trees. Thermometer 90° in my room.
Johnny has gone to Gruildford for 2 cwt. of wheat for the
pigs ; this with garden vegetables will keep them in condi-
tion. James (not in the sulks at present) has been mowing
in the distant field.

27th. — A great change in the weather ; it being now cloudy
and threatening rain, with high wind. Black servants, I
find, are very serviceable in this colony ; on them we must
eventually depend for labour, as we can never afford to pay
English servants the high wages they expect, besides feeding
them so well. The black fellows receive little more than rice
— their simple diet.

This is an excellent settlement for labourers, if they would
honestly preserve their engagements. Government seem
desirous to establish a colony on the most thrifty scale, and
every part of it should be uniform and consistent with the
general plan. If an officer holding a high office under Go-
vernment receives but £300 a-year, it is out of all proportion
to give from £24 to £36 a year, and diet, to a menial. We
are in great want of stock; and have been wofuUy disap-

 

89

pointed at not having an expected supply from Van Diemen's
Land. The plan of purchasing (at a dear rate too) from each
other is doing nothing.

'60th. — I took Mackie down the river in my boat this
morning at day-light, and returned before my people were
stirring, and then commenced hoeing my Indian corn with
a three-pronged hoe.

Dec. 1st. — For the first time during a long period my people
are employed in labour at the house, and thatching a shed for
the cow. Discovered numberless grubs at the root of the
Indian corn, to which they do infinite mischief, concealing
themselves by day in the ground, and marauding at night.
Thermometer 72° at two p.m.

2nd. — One of our agricultural meetings was held this day,
only fourteen members, out of forty-five, were present ; our
discussions were interesting, Another (special) meeting is to
be held after the Governor's return from King George's
Sound, to consider in what form our memorial, which has
not been yet forwarded, should be put.

I exhibited a sample of turnips in a garden at the York
settlement, was present at the admission of three new mem-
bers, and dined with the society at our head inn on a good
dinner with a pint of wine — bill five shillings.

4:th. — On the morning of this day I came to Mr. B., a new
settler, in time for family worship, and in the evening went
to Mr. W.'s, where we had a clergyman for the evening
service.

I have just heard of a tree which is at Fremantle, bearing
fruit which answers for preserves and pies ; it is said to re-
semble an apple, with a thick pulp and rough kernel. Hay-
rick completely finished. Our wheat was cut during my
absence ; it was a small patch, but yielded well, and would
have been admirable, but for the trespasses of cows and pigs ;
indeed, there was more on this patch in tlie garden than on
the two acres, to which the pigs unfortunately found their

 

90

way, and where they spent many of their leisure hours, while
we thought they were at home. There is, however, excellent
wheat this season in the colony. Would that I had some one
interested in my welfare to assist me here ! my men are care-
less of every thing not directly relating to their own advan-
tage. I cannot well attend to gardening, farming, fishing,
hunting, grazing, fencing, building, boating, exploring, and
marketing.

After the expiration of the time which my servants have
to remain with me, I should be glad to have others bound for
five years, and would advance their passage money, giving
them £5 a year with clothes and diet, or £10 a year without
clothing ; but retaining in my hands their wages until the
passage money be cleared, and with a contract that their
servitude should continue until this debt be fully discharged
— a bonus of two glasses of rum per day. Mr. B. is advanc-
ing the passage money to servants, and giving £10 for the
first year, and £40 for each of the two next ; repaying him-
self the money advanced. I want a carpenter sadly, but
must wait until I become (if ever) rich enough to employ
one; until then, I must make my own doors and window
shutters, be they ever so rude.

On the lower part of my meadow flat there is a hollow,
with water in it during winter ; it is now dry from evapora-
tion, and become a rich compost, which I have dug up and
planted with potatoes.

Qth. — The young sow has six young ones : I have now
twenty-two, old and young ; and all, except one, are the
offspring of the sow which I bought out of the Cleopatra,
besides six which I sold. » * * ♦ «

If you have not written by the mail which is at Sydney,
how I shall be disappointed ! Aiwa) s recollect that mails
are made up for this, periodically, and sent via Sydney, the
Cape, or India, far more frequently than by direct convey-
ance, If you wish lo send a package (shoes, for instance),

 

91

you must send it direct : post pay your letters to London,
whence they will be forwarded at a very cheap rate. I still
am of opinion that 0. would do well here ; the way is now
smoothed for him, and a well-managed dairy would yield him
ample means of livelihood. He should purchase cows at the
Cape. This day I got £3 for my Cape sheep ; at Van Die-
men's Land one could be purchased for 5s., and at the Cape
(fat) for 6s.

^th. — G-reat visitings among the neighbouring servants ;
seven or eight of them patrolling about ; and all this is sure
to end in drunkenness and mischief — they talk of forming a
dvh ! They have too much control over their masters
already ; and club-law would be a terrible exercise and
increase of their power.

The indefatigable little warbler, or razor-grinder, is singing
its sweet notes at nine o'clock p.m., by beautiful moonlight ;
it is a very fearless little bird, associating with all the farm
and domestic animals, watching attentively for flies, at which
it springs with unerring aim, twittering out every now and
then, by way of interlude or for the sake of good digestion,
some of its sweetest notes.

^th. — Had a harvest-home, or churn, as it is here termed,
this roasting day — I fear there is little butter in the churn
for me. I shall have nearly as much produce from about
twenty square yards in the garden, as from the tillage farm
of two acres. One of our most experienced farmers has
assured me, that it will not answer to cultivate on an ex-
tended scale, under the existing circumstances of the colony,
from the dearness of labour, &c. : three acres altogether, will
be the maximum of my tillage. Summer is our worst season,
as vegetation on the dry grounds is then at a stand, and
there are few facilities for irrigation. Nine months of our
year are like your best summers, and the remaining three are
very warm ; a land breeze, however, springs up every night
at about ten o'clock, and blows very fresh, making a grand

 

92

roaring in the trees. Thermometer now (nine o'clock P.M.)
84°— was 94° at two.

10th. — Pigs, pigs, pigs — an addition of six — total, twenty-
eight.

I wrote shortly after my arrival here, recommending a
speculation in slop clothes, Irish pork, and butter ; if a cargo
of it had arrived here about or before this time, it would have
been very profitable to the owners. There has been no but-
ter — any price could have been got for it. Pork, as I have
already stated, has been selling for ten guineas per barrel ;
porter would also sell well.

I ain sorry to state that two men were drowned in Melville
Water last Tuesday, in consequence of intoxication — the bane
of this country as of Ireland. I have been threshing to-day
with new (patent it ought to be) machinery, viz., the bars of
a ladder. The grain is good, but the head is small. More
pigs to-day — total 32. They are a very troublesome stock.

Killed two cockatoos at one shot, and caught a small turtle.
After these exploits, I tried to make a door, and with much
labour planed one side, and shall put it up in this state to-
morrow. Time is so precious that I cannot afford any portion
of it for planing the other side.

I find that a surprising number of persons on their way to
this settlement have been frightened out of their intentions
by the people at the Cape, who seem to act as if they thought
every injury wliich they inflict on us were a positive gain to
themselves. Some people (whom we are much better with-
out) have left this place without giving it a fair trial. We
want quiet, hard-working, practical people — not gentlemen,
nor adventurers : by gentlemen, here, I mean those who con-
sider themselves degraded by pursuing any useful occupation.
Let such stay away : better to liave their room than their
company.

I have finished my door, and actually ornamented the show
side with the aid of a bead-plane ; and ground some of my

 

93

own wheat in my steel mill, which grinds well and fast. T
had been apprehensive on finding my store of flour so low,
but now I have as much as relieves me from all danger of
want. Flour is at present 7d. per pound ; but the usual price,
when there is a supply from the Cape or Van Diemen's Land,
is 3d. per pound.

Towards this morning I was aroused by the sound of a

boat, in which E arrived, on his way to Mr. Tanner's to

parade the soldiers there, in order to recognise some who had
committed an outrage. He and Mr. Dale took beds with me.
This making of beds must surprise you, — I managed it easily
enough ; having three matrasses, we have only to stretch one
for each guest on the fioor, with sheets and blankets. The
colonising system (like "misery,") "makes us acquainted with
strange beds " as well as with " strange bed-fellows."

I could not hang my new door — ^reason why — the door-
posts are crooked. I shall have sad and warm work at them.
Ther. 90°.

How different my rural life from that which I had imagined
it would be ! Instead of being demi-savage and romantic, it
is civilised (often ceremonious) and uniform; with less of
privation and much more of occupation for mind and body
than I had anticipated. But where are all the flocks and
herds ? — Where ?

It cost me £32 to get a cow and a calf, and the cow is
dead. Sheep are £3 each ; so that it would take all my
capital to possess a flock — even less than the patriarch's —
such as would afford the keeping of a shepherd. From one
sow I have had thirty pigs — the only stock which has multi-
plied with me — and a much larger number I could not
support. It is easy for a person at home to say, " You can
keep pigs and poultry without limit as to numbers," but
they must be fed in summer at considerable expense ; and
as our fences are generally bad, the pigs eat down the wheat
and destroy the gardens, and the poultry soon devour their

 

94

own value in grain. These are among our checks ; however,
I am giving you the worst side of the picture — the features
of the reversed one you will trace through the sketching lines
of my whole journal.

The truth is, I hate high colouring in these cases, which
may mislead, and therefore strip the portraiture of all orna-
ment and exhibit the naked truth, " which when unadorned
is adorned the most." An awful responsibility would rest on
me were I to hold out inducements to any one, when success
depends so much on the taste, physical adaptation, amount
of capital, &c, It costs a considerable sum to bring out and
to support the emigrant until he can support himself. Land
must be purchased — if from government at 5s. an acre ; and
if servants be brought out, the expense of maintaining them
is considerable ; and what can a solitary individual do if
he do not bring them ? Two or three stout hard-working
brothers, or a father with a family able and willing to assist,
with some moTiey, are sure of establisliing themselves in rough
comfort and plenty in a very few years ; but there must be
no squeamishness as to fare. In short, it is a plodding, matter-
of-fact, and hard-working sort of life, until you become settled ;
with very little of the romance and adventure about it which
is so tempting and alluring to your minds. Yet it has its
pleasures too ; but people should prepare themselves for what
it really is, and therefore I show more of the unfavourable
side, and expose the truth in its most undisguised and un-
flattering state, leaving people to draw their own inferences.
There is one point which I recommend to every one coming
out ; namely, the purchase of cattle from the Cape. Good
ponies are very reasonable there also.

M'Dermott's stock has long since arrived. His wooden
houses were rather late, but some have been sold for £100.
He lives about three miles from this, and breakfasted with
me this morning.

The excellent crops that have been harvested this year

 

95

(equalling if not exceeding the best in England), have in-
spired us all with confidence ; but, from want of labourers
and cattle, few have cultivated extensively. Mr. Brockman
has had fifteen acres in culture — a great quantity, under
existing circumstances — and he as well as others have happily
experienced that the sandy soil, at first despised, produces as
well as stiff clay soil, and with infinitely less trouble. The
present prices of hay are £5 here ; £8 at Perth ; and £10 per
ton at Fremantle.

You will have had, before this reaches you, all the infor-
mation you sought as to the Avon Kiver. I fear that there
is no large navigable river on this coast, as far as it extends.
The Swan serves the purpose of a canal, but the frequent
flats are obstacles ; these, however, may be deepened or
avoided at some future day.* * * * *

Jan. Qth, 1832. — Tliis has been a busy day with me. I
have put up the posts and wall-plates of a house, 23 feet by
10 — 6 feet in height, and shall fit up an additional apartment
for servants. Nor is my domicile without ornament, as I
have made a portico of black-boy sticks, in a very neat yet
strong manner, arranged like wicker work, and then plaistered
over with stiff well-tempered clay.

I have been calculating the expense of my little establish-
ment since I occupied it. It is nearly as follows :

14 cwt. of meal - - - - - £50

1 ton of flour 30

Rum 10

Wine .--..-- 60

Rice 6

Sugar ---_--- 50

Coffee 4

Tea 1 10

Oil 3

Soap 2

Wages and clothes for servants - - 36

Clothes for myself 20

* I have here omitted a great part of the Journal as comparatively unin-
teresting, — Editok.

 

96

After adding wages and the value of garden vegetables, you
may see the present expenses of a colonist here.

8^^. — Dined with Mr. Mackie. His grant, with the new
house and garden, are t|je pride of the colony. The house is
prettily situated on a gently-rounded eminence, rising from
an extensive meadow flat, on the bank of the river. The
house, when completed, is to be flat-roofed with boards,
pitched and caulked like the deck of a ship. He has great
quantities of melons and cucumbers, which probably produce
as much money as pays his steward's salary — £52 a-year —
besides rations for a family of eleven persons. From the
front of my little crib I can see into his hall door.

10th. — Opened my chest of books, which has been at Fre-
mantle since my arrival ; they are in better condition than I
could have expected after so long and close a confinement,
and looked very like, and, by association of thoughts, reminded
me of old friends. The collection of English grasses which
Furlong gave me is a source of great amusement to me. The
botanists here say, that though our grasses resemble many of
the British sorts, there is some slight characteristic difference
in each ; but such is the similarity, that I am justified in
asserting that there are here several species of Poa, and we
have the Holcus, and Avena. Thirty species have been
enumerated on no very extensive space.

11th. — I have heard that a vessel was about to sail for Van
Diemen's Land and take a mail, as I sat down beside a party
who were talking despondingly about the want of flour, and
of cattle, neglect of servants, and many other d6sagremens of
this kind.

I have frequently spoken of the climate. I think it the
very heau iddal of one. We are now in the hottest month of
the year, enjoying a delicious breeze, with the thermometer
at 77°. It is true that when there is neither breeze nor cloud
to darken the sun's noontide rays, the heat is very great ; but
this is not often the case. Since March last, the imagination

 

97

could not conceive more delicious weather, the time of year
considered. The Egyptian has arrived, and brought tidings
of joy to many a family here, and many a beloved member
has joined the emigres who had preceded them ; but where,
oh where are my friends ? I often ask myself, am I ever to
see you again ? — Farewell !

G. F. M.

 

tt

 

PEETH.

COMPLAINTS OF THE COLONISTS — SCARCITY OF PUOVISIONS — SWAN KIVER
COMPARED WITH VAN DIEMEN'S LAND — THE AUTHOR'S APPOINTMENT
— WEATHER — DIFFICDLTIES OF THE COLONISTS — RESEMBLANCE BE-
TWEEN COCKATOOS AND CROWS-^LASCAR LAW-SUIT — HOME RECOL-
LECTIONS — A NEW SETTLER — MODE OF EMPLOYING TIME — ^THE
KANGAROO RAT — A MANUSCRIPT NEWSPAPER — PROJECTED BANK — A
SETTLER KILLED — KING GEORGE'S SOUND — SPECULATIONS ON THE
COUNTRY — EMIGRATION — ATTEMPT ON THE AUTHOR'S LIFE — LAW
AFFAIRS.

Jan. 12, 1832.

OUB colonists are complaining that their friends and con-
nexions at home have made so little exertion to assist them
through the first difficulties. It might have been obvious
that an infant settlement could not altogether support itself
independently of extrinsic aid. Vessels have not been en-
couraged to come here, and those that have arrived have
brought scarcely any provisions. We have at present no
more than a few weeks' supply of flour, and are totally with-
out rice, maize, peas, barley, or oats : we may have as much
wheat as may serve for six weeks, with great economy ; but
it is already selling at 25s. per bushel. Vessels have been
expected daily for the last three months, and we are now sick
of hope. We have reason, however, to calculate on the arri-
val of the Sulphur, from Hobart Town, with provisions, before
the end of the month : the David Owen and Swan River
packets are daily expected from Hobart Town. The state of
the colony at present is dispiriting ; but we hope it will not
long continue so, and that we shall rise above every difficulty

 

•99

and discouragement. A helping hand is now greatly needed;
and a little extra aid from the Government would enable us
to procure working cattle, milch cows, and sheep, and would
place us beyond the chance of poverty or privation. This is
a country where there are few natural productions that are
edible, but it produces crops inferior to none in England, and
with less trouble : indeed the soil is capable of producing any
crop, and its herbage is abundant for the support of cattle.
I should not, perhaps, have touched on this point, had it not
been the subject of conversation in a company which I
have just left ; and, indeed, this point is the general topic of
conversation in the colony at present. I fear my letter is
calculated to give you an unfavourable impression of our
situation; yet I am convinced, when the Government at
home shall have been fully informed of our circumstances,
that we shall receive such assistance as it will be consistent
with good policy to grant.

21st. — I have been about fourteen months in the colony,
and what a change everywhere here ! How much has been
effected by the unassisted, unencouraged industry of a few
individual settlers ! We are all eating the produce of our
own fields, and how sweet our bread ! This is made in the
simplest way — we grind the wheat in our own hand-mills,
troubling neither flour-dressers nor millers,/or a reason we have.

I had written thus far, and was going to bed, when a voice
hailed for a boat from the other side of the river ; it was that
of Captain Shaw, bringing the news from Perth that vessels
had arrived.

22mJJ.— Sat up a great portion of last night reading all
your letters, papers, &c. I regret that I did not keep a list
of those which I sent to you, so as to refer to them, in the
diplomatic way, by numbers, 1, 2, 3, &c. : I could then ascer-
tain whether any had miscarried in transitu : I have let no
opportunity pass without sending a letter of some sort, no

matter how hurried.

H— 2

 

100

A small vessel (the Eagle) has arrived from Hobart Town ;
others are daily expected. By this vessel I have received
your letters from the 16th to the 21st July, 1830. They are
inexpressible cheering to my feelings, as they show the deep
interest which all my friends take in my welfare. Before
this time you must have received many from me, descriptive
of myself, my feelings, and real situation, without the slightest
attempt at colour, ornament, concealment, or disguise. This
I promised, this I have performed hitherto, and every day
gives me bettei- hopes and prospects ; however, be the case as
it may, I shall continue as I have begun. If any of my
letters breathe a spirit of impatience, or betray any lurking
anxiety or feverish discontent, pray forgive me, and attribute
these expressions to the real cause — the natural anxiety of
one separated totally from his relatives, the irritability of
suspense, and the honest intention of showing myself to you
just as I am. It would be very easy for me to dress up a
tempting account : there are materials enough for the ground
work ; but as I have no object to obtain, and no purpose to
serve, but to inform you truly and minutely how I live and
what I see (so that you may almost live with me, as it were,
from day to day), I prefergiviiig you thisunerabellished journal.
Many of those things which came from England by the David
Owen have been left at Hobart Town. Mr. Tanner has been
greatly disappointed on this account. By the way, I men-
tioned in a former letter that his brother-in-law, Mr. Viveash,
had proceeded to Van Diemen's Land ; letters have been
received from him which tend to prove that that boasted
place is not a Paradise. Many people hurried away there
without giving our colony a fair trial, or perhaps desirous of
postponing the day of industrious labour as long as possible.
Mr. Viveash is not one of these ; he possesses energy and
capital ; yet, with these advantages, he writes that " if he
were not so shackled by the purchase of the farm which he
holds within ninety miles of Hobart Town, he would leave it

 

101

and come here." He is seven miles from the nearest visiting
neighbour, and he cannot send his flocks out without four
men to protect them ; — neither do they multiply as he ex-
pected, owing to mismanagement, casualties, or theft ; and
the climate he describes as very variable. The thermometer
is sometimes 125° in the day, and only 45° at night, and the
distance inland very inconvenient. It has quite reconciled
Mrs. Tanner to this place, where the society is good and the
climate delightful.

23?-d — Would you believe that I have a monkey in my
room constantly, and placed on my table at dinner time ! ! !
This name is given here to a sort of earthen jar for holding
water, and which from its porousness keeps the water cool
by evaporation. * * i was going to bed when a soldier
was sent to say that Captain Irwin, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Peel, and
his son, had arrived at Captain Irwin's, on the other side of
the river, and to know how many beds I could make up. I
was able to accommodate two of the party.

2bth. — The Messrs. Burgess were here this evening on their
way from Fremantle ; their friends have sent them pork, beef,
flour, rum, cheese, butter, and other things ; the pork they
are selling at eight or nine guineas a cask ; flour at lOd. per
lb. ; cheese, 2s. 6d. per lb. ; if a venture had been sent, as I
recommended, it would have arrived probably at this time.

A sensation of despondency sometimes comes over me
when I think of these high prices, the expense of clothing,
and the high wages for servants, who, however, give me to
understand, that if at the expiration of their stipulated period
of service, I give them as much as another master would do,
they will do me the honour of remaining with me ! How-
ever, perhaps, by that time you may lie able to supply me
with a fresh importation. I should willingly pay the ex-
penses of passage, &c. ; but it will be time enough at the end
of this year to arrange this matter.

2>lth. — What have I been doing all day ? Sowing seeds of

 

102;

garden vegetables, grinding wheat, and keeping up fires to
burn fallen trees.

It may appear a trifling job to burn a tree, but it is not so.
I have been ten days trying to burn one, and only a third
part is consumed yet.

On Monday evening I left my place with a fishing basket
on my back to go to Perth by Guildford, but lost my way,
but reached the latter place an hour after sunset. Next
day called on the Meareses, and helped to put up their grand
piano in its place, and was promised some music for my pains.
Stayed to dine. In the evening intelligence came of the:
Governor's arrival at Fremantle, whither I proceeded next
day. Made some purchases at Fremantle. Paid £7 10s. for
a cask of pork to Mr. Burgess.*

Feb. 17th. — I was on this day sworn in a commissioner of
the civil court in Western Australia, which will open early
next month. This court is almost without iiniit as to juris-
diction ; juries may be called for, if the parties will pay them ;
an appeal lies to the Governor and Council in cases beyond
a certain amount ; short forms to be used, with few techni-
calities. I have had rare work cutting down long declara-
tions into small compass, making forms of conveyance,
leases, and mortages, pruning of all redundancies, and re-
ducing all to an alarmingly small size. You remember I had
rather a taste for this, and 1 have entered on my occupation
con amove. ♦*♦*»♦

21th. — Busy, in Perth, making arrangements with respect
to the court ; and I have bought a town allotment in Perth,
with a house partly built on it. The situation (on the river)
is beautiful, and about £20 will be sufficient outlay for put-
ting the house into repair : it will be valuable. The allot-

 

* Another considerable gap (which is the English word for hiatus, as I
understand) occurs here. — Editor.

 

ment is thirty-three yards wide, and ninety-nine yards long.

It cost £11 5s. 6d. to fence the front, with the regulation-post
and rail fence made of mahogany ; the railing at the sides is
of split wood. Bricks are to be had at £2 4s. a thousand, not
far from the spot, and the charge for drawing them in bullock-
carts is seven shillings an hour.

I left Perth on Saturday, and went to Guildford : the heat
most oppressive. Kemained at Whitefield's all night, and
reached home this morning. For two days past the weather
has been very warm, thermometer about 125° — this is the
greatest heat we have felt this year ; yet the mornings are
already cool. I have before told you that our neighbour, Mr.
Brockman, has had the misfortune to have liis house burned
down by accident ; all his furniture, clothes, plate, linen, &c.,
are destroyed. The conflagration took place about ten days
ago, but he has a small house repaired again for his accom-
modation.

March 4tth. — Prices have risen to a very serious height just
now, and there is consequently a great outcry in the colony.
Some of our fiiends appear to think that we are so well off that
we cannot possibly want for any thing ; and others probably
imagine we are so far gone, that it is hopeless to send us any
thing ; so we fall between the two stools. Can you picture to
yourself a new colony ? You cannot. It is impossible for
one, in the midst of the luxurious refinements of the old
country, to conceive the actual state of a new one. Not that
there are intolerable hardships, nor even great privations ;
but people's fancy will play them the trick of supposing that
from throwing seed into the ground we can ensure a crop
without any other trouble ; whereas our culture, and all oun
operations, are most laborious : my two men have been now
nearly a month looking for thatch and putting it on two
houses, which are not near finished yet. As to breaking
ground, it is easy when you have cattle ; but, generally
speaking, we are not so provided. It occupies a man twenty

 

104

days to break up an acre with a hoe, from its wild state,
though this could be done easily with cattle. But, as I have
already observed, we have few of them, and the neighbouring
colonies will not send them, either from jealousy or fear ; and
individually we cannot afford to charter vessels and import
them, and we are not yet strong enough to form a company.
What can we then do ? — two or three hundred head of cattle,
and two or three thousand sheep, would be purchased by us,
if they were sent by Government at a fair rate ; and this
would establish the colony.

Last night the weather was so calm and warm that I left
the windows open on going to bed ; but, after some time
there sprang up such a cool and strong breeze that I was
obliged to close them ; one excellence of our climate is, that
there is none of that enervating heat at night which exhausts
the constitution in India.

9th. — I have had two court days : twenty cases for trial.

ISth. — I sent a few lines to you by Hobart Town, in a
small colonial vessel which left this about a fortnight since,
for the purpose of procuring a supply of wheat and flour, of
which we have been in gr^at need. An unfounded rumour*
originating from interested motives, has affected us seriously.
At Hobart Town, a report circulated that we had been abun-
dantly supplied by two vessels from Calcutta ; in consequence,
no supplies were shipped ; and the captain of the Sulphur,
which was sent there to procure provisions, seems to have
acted on the same report. The effect is, that we have been
in great want of flour and wheat, and are exceedingly im-
patient for the arrival of vessels, many an anxious eye strain-
ing its gaze over the ocean.

16th. — The Helen schooner has arrived from Hobart Town
on her way to the Mauritius : she can spare us twenty tons
of flour, some wheat, and a few potatoes. You see some of
the difficulties we labour under here at present ; yet we shall
shortly have means established to provide regular supplies j

 

105

but in the meantime our markets must be liable to great
fluctuations. "We daily look out for the Sulphur, Cornwallis,
Nimrod, and the Jolly Bamhler ; most of these may be here
in one or two months, and then we shall have abundance,

I have been so occupied for some time, that I have been
unable to keep up my journal, even irregularly. I shall try
to recal some of the events that have occurred. My sitting
days in the court have been Tuesdays and Fridays in each
week — there were many arrangements to be made. I gener-
ally come up here on Saturday, and return on Monday ; and
1 have to walk the distance, which is nearly sixteen miles :
the hours of sitting in the court are from ten to five. I have
already sat four times : the average number of cases has been
about fifteen each day ; some of them trifling, and some im-
portant and complicated ; the pleadings are oral ; the case is
heard in a week after its commencement ; judgment is given
immediately ; the costs of court in each case are very trifling ;
and a man may have his case tried, judgment given, and execu-
tion and sale within a fortnight. No jury is empannelled in
any case under £100, and then only if the parties choose to
pay for it.

I have been this day busy getting trees burned, and ground
prepared for a wheat crop. I shall have almost three acres
broken up and under crop ; but I have not yet procured
horses or oxen for my plough. We have been proposing to
the Governor to import cattle, and we would guarantee him ;
he is well inclined to assist us, but the means allowed him
are very limited.

2\st. — I was setting fire to some stumps of trees to-day, when
a spark communicating with the grass, in a i'ew minutes the
whole scene appeared one slieet of living fire. It was in the
heat of the day, and my exertions to extinguish it and to
prevent its progress to the dry grass near the house were quite
exhausting.

The vessel which has come from Van Diemen's Land has

 

106i

not delivered my letters yet : the impression is, that there
are some on board which are suppressed until her cargo of
flour is disposed of at high prices — to such tricks are we sub-
ject ; and every ejffort to keep us back seems to be resorted to
by the people of that colony.

You speak of nets and other things arriving by Van Die-
men's Land, or Sidney. I have not received them, and prob-
ably never shall. * * * * »

April 4:th. — I got home a thousand bricks to-day, made on
Mr. Bull's grant, near this, for there was not time to make
them on my own. I pay 30s. per thousand for them. Fished
a long time to-day without success ; yet I saw fish in plenty,
but they would not take the bait ; and I have no nets. Went
out with my gun to look for cockatoos, being particularly
anxious for fresh meat ; but the birds were most wary, and I
could not get near them. M o two birds can be more different
in outward appearance than crows and cockatoos, yet in their
habits they are similar ; they go in flocks, call and give the
alarm to one another, and fly ofi" with a noise equal to that
of a rookery.

5th. — The weather is now very delightful, thermometer 80°;
spring is already commencing — and remember that our winter
and spring are nearly the same. I heard the song of a sweet
bird to-day : it was neW to me. Will the season have ita
wonted influence on me ? It is but within a very few years
that I have been engaged in life as a man, and already I am
set down as an old one.

Apj'il 7th. — Nine cases yesterday : one was for £230.

I was much amused by two Lascars, who came into the
court for justice — I have not time to give you a full detail of
their case ; it ended by one calling upon the other to take his
oath, which he did by taking oft' his cap and speaking within
it : " Me speak truth, my cap — all same me speak truth, my
head — all same me speak truth; my body -me speak truth,
my cap — ^me have my head cut off me speak lie, my cap— me

 

go to ." Here he made a low salute, and pointed down

— I looked at the other : " Are you satisfied ? " — he made a
low obeisance, and both walked off together, having settled
their lawsuit t o their mutual satisfaction. » # »

11th. — I lose all spirit when writing to you, and feel that
my letters are lapsing into cold formality or peevish querulous-
ness; but my situation must excuse me, for where is the
overflowing of affection, the outpouring of unrestrained com-
munication ? where the wonted relation of domestic anecdotes,
identifying our feelings in mutual sympathy ? How my heart
yearns after home I

. " The sweet hours
Of social converse and instructive ease."

I am here an isolated man ! without parent, brother, sister,
or friends, except those of yesterday — and in them I am
most fortunate : how my heart pants at times for some old
friend or companion, and some dear familiar face ! how de-
votedly could I attach myself to such an one ! But you
in the midst of society, cannot understand this feeling of
nostalgia, and may smile at it. I used to smile too, most
incredulously, when I read of such a thing — of the poor
Swiss, for instance, dying from a fatal longing after his
beloved mountain home,

" Et moriens dulces reminiscitur Argos."

Who has not known and tasted the bitterness of this
sensation, the throbbing, the aching, the hopeless despon-
dency of the heart ? May you never experience this feeling !
for it is one which requires the indifference of a Stoic, or the
patient resignation of a Christian, to endure without repining.
I endeavour to obtain the latter quality, but fall lamentably
short of it, and therefore apply myself to laborious occupation,
as a diversion of the thoughts from painful contemplation.
Did I hear from you regularly — were I thus made sure of
your remembrance and your sympathies, my mind would be

 

108

more at ease, or at least sustained by hope ; but now nearly
a year* has gone by without any iutelligeuce from home. I
had hoped it would have been otherwise ; and I had reason
to hope ; and I will still cling to hope, " even against hope."

Crash ! crash ! a tree fallen ! — I have burned down three
to-day, and expect to have two more consumed to-night.

12th. — On referring to the date of my last letter, you will
find that we were uneasy about the scarcity of provisions;
but I have this day heard of the arrival of the Merope from
Van Diemen's Land, with flour and twenty barrels of pork ;
and with, what is still more cheering to me, a settler of some
importance — Major Nairn. The circumstance of his coming
here is powerfully in favour of the superiority of this colony
to that in Van Diemen's Land ; for he had been a long time
there, had come here, liked the place, and bought a lot of
land, and then gone back to Van Diemen's Land for stock —
and here he is to live among us.

It is now approaching to our winter ; yet the weather is
so mild that I am sitting without a coat, and in my undress ;
have been out all day burning the stumps of trees, so no
wonder for me to doff the outer garment ; the thermometer
standing at 80°. James and John have learned to use the
cross-cut saw, which enabled me to clear away, with the
subsequent aid of fire, the gum trees, which are extremely
hard and heavy, not unlike sycamore in colour, but much
more ponderous.

l^th. — My thermometer has fallen this mornmg to 52°. I
have been digging out potatoes — a miserable crop; but no
wonder, for the seed was very wretched, and planted in a
very dry spot, which will not answer in our dry summer.
Thermometer up again to 62° ; lovely moonlight niglit

Two pigs smothered by their mamma's awkwardness ; and
Letty came in like the Trojan of old, " so dull, so dead in

* Accidents had detained letters from his affectionate family.

 

109

look, so woe -begone, and would have told me — " all my pork
was out. But it is no joking matter, nor am I in a humour
for heroics now, for it is a sad truth that my last bit of pork
was boiled this day.

Oh, for some of that which you have in Dublin for twenty
shillings per cwt. ! You, master Joseph, would think salt
pork very sorry food, especially without cabbage, or any other
vegetable; but we colonists think it sumptuous at this present
moment. I am breakfasting on bread and coffee, without
butter, milk, or eggs — but next year I hope to fare better :
and as to the dinner of to-day, I shot three pigeons before
breakfast. Our usual hour for dinner is one, a very natural
time for eating. An additional blanket at night is now ac-
ceptable, although by day the thermometer is 72° ; and
woollen clothes in the morning and the evening are agree-
able.

23rd — Here has been an hiatus — valde defiendus — of a
week ; but I have had nothing to enter in the log, except
a walk to Guildford and Perth, where I had some trouble-
some cases to settle in court. On Wednesday I purchased
a cask of pork (price £10), and three bushels of wheat, and
saw Major Nairn, who is in love with the climate, and on
Saturday evening walked to Guildford, carrying not only my
fishing-basket, but two hundred cabbage plants, which I got
from the Governor's gardener : this morning I had them
planted, and have just made up my mind to cover the two
or three acres of wheat which I am about to sow by the
spade and shovel, as I have no cattle for the plough; —
apropos of cattle : for the first time, I have killed a young
pig for my own table ; and this, let me tell you, is an ex-
travagant dish here.

2%th. — Mr. Brockman has made an exchange with me : I
gave him three young pigs for eight bushels of wheat, worth
fifteen shillings a bushel, which will afford me an ample
supply of seed. A sad misfortune has occurred to me : my

 

110

thermometer has fallen, and is irreparably broken to pieces 1
It was a great comfort to me ; I looked at it every night since
I left Ireland, when I was noting my journal. I cannot get
one here at any price, and beg that you will send me one.

28th. — Nothing surprises me more than that we never
baked our own bread at home. Nothing is more simple.
The produce of an acre of wheat would supply your family
for a year. A hand-mill, sieve, and metal oven are the only
machinery required. There is no mystery in baking, where
fraudulent adulterations are not particularly desired.

29th. — Eead a sermon of Burder's this day ; and dined on
four crows and a quail. The latter flew across the river from
a fire which was spreading near it, and took refuge almost at
my door, reversing the adage, and coming out of the fire into

the frying-pan. It was a pity to shoot it, but . I drank

tea in the evening with Mrs. Tanner, and promised to dine
on Monday with Mr. and Mrs. Brown, who have informed
me that Captain B., of the Merope, who has a farm in Van
Diemen's Land, wishes to have a large grant on the Swan
River — does not this promise much in favour of our colony ?

SOth. — I have contrived to mend the broken stock of a gun,
and planted three hundred cabbage plants. Remarked at
night that the cat lay with her back to the fire — a sure
indication of storm; shut up my windows close, in the
anticipation of it, and went to bed early.

May 1st. — The cat was right — dark morning, and much
rain during the past night. Planted some potatoes in drills,
and wished for some good seed of the apple species. Com-
pelled by the rain to give up work, and fortunately shot a
crow for dinner ; this stewed in soup with a tomato, is an
excellent mess. Rain, rain, all day, which put me in mind
of Ireland ; were it not for its effects on the land, I should
never desire to see a drop of it, greatly preferring the driest
weather, however hot.

Young Burgess called on me in the evening, after a hunting

 

2II1

expedition, with an emu on his shoulder — a huge animal. He
gave me a foot, which I intend to send to you : the dimen-
sions of this foot are — from the heel to the nail of the middle
toe, eight inches ; from the knee joint to the toe, twenty-two
inches : it is a turkey's foot in shape, greatly magnified : the
bird stands, I am told, eight feet high. I intend to try my
own luck in emu hunting on Thursday, if the weather prove
fine.

2nd. — Another day of frequent but not continued rain,
accompanied with strong wind from the N.W. In the evening
I sauntered out with my gun towards the hills ; saw two
kangaroos at a distance, and was brought to a stand by a
low sound, which I conjectured to have been the voice of
natives, but happily discovered that it proceeded from large
frogs, which now issue from their hiding places and utter
their " dulcet sounds."

"Et veterem in limo Kanaa cecinere querelam."

3rd. — Went to the hills in rear of my place in search of
kangaroos with Mr. Burgess, jun. ; we had six dogs, and
traversed a very picturesque glen, through which Colonel
Latour's Brook, as it is called, winds its way.

This glen diverges into three distinct branches, apparently
of no great extent ; but in this we may be mistaken, for these
valleys frequently contract in some places and expand again
beyond expectation. The sides of those we have just seen
are very precipitous, and formed of granite, which in huge
masses covers the bottom ; pools are here and there, but no
continuous streams, I should suppose, in summer. The result
of our sport was, one kangaroo, weighing thirty pounds, and
an eagle. We hung the kangaroo on a tree until our return,
and carried it home on our backs in rather a droll way.
Fancy the legs round your neck, the thighs resting on your
shoulders, the head dangling at your heels, and the tail
bobbing over your head. We also caught a young kangaroo

 

112

rat, which I have still alive ; it is soon a tame thing, very
like a kangaroo in miniature; but with a head larger in
proportion, and with hair or fur of coarser texture. We
saw several old huts of natives; eleven in one place,
seven in another, with fur and feathers strewed upon the
ground.

4th. — The storm has entirely abated, and the day is mild.
One of the peculiarities of this climate is said to be, that
rainy weather never continues longer than three days in suc-
cession ; it was so within my own experience last year.

In the evening sowed a little wheat in the garden where
potatoes had been, and as a reward for my labour dined on
steaks of kangaroo, and excellent soup made of the fore-
quarter and tail, and afterwards enjoyed vocal music — I mean
a frog concert.

5th. — Mr. Burgess tells me that he has purchased two bul-
locks at £25 each, and advises me to buy one ; but as I have
only two acres more to plough, it is better to wait until the
next season. Mr. Tanner has purchased eighty-two sheep at
33s. each ; they are considered worth the money, though in
very poor condition after their voyage from Van Diemen's
Land. I myself offered in vain £50 the other day for seven-
teen merinos.

10^^, — Nothing very particular or new has occurred within
these few days past, excepting a third attempt at a newspaper
here in manuscript. It is a rare specimen, and somewhat costly,
price 3s. 6d. I ought to have before recorded the shooting of
bitterns, pigeons, and parrots, in a hunting excursion with
Mackie and Stone, on the margin of a lake which is ten miles
in circumference, where we saw swans and ducks in abund-
ance, but could not get near them. However, we had a din-
ner for six shillings each, of wild ducks, besides pudding and
cheese, with three bottles of wine, at a house of entertainment
near the lakes. This sounds grandly. But as a set-off, there
are but fifteen casks of pork in the whole colony, and they

 

113

ask £14 for one of them. You should send pork from Ire-
land ; it can never come at an unseasonable time.

We have had great discussions about the establishment of
a bank; a prospectus has been submitted to the Governor,
soliciting an advance of £5000 on security of twenty-five
solvent and responsible individuals ; but his Excellency has
not the power of meeting our wants and wishes, and suggests
the expediency of raising the required capital by subscription
among the colonists. There is a good opening here for the
application of capital by moneyed men, who would receive
very high discount. If the Governor could advance money
to settlers on discount of bills at 5 per cent., the colony would
be served in an inconceivable degree, settlers being now obliged
to borrow, sometimes at 25 per cent, interest !

12th. — Great excitement has prevailed among us this
morning, a loud report having been heard at a very early
hour, supposed to come from a ship hourly expected with
supplies. Pshaw ! it was only the accidental blowing up of
a flask of gunpowder.

Some of the offices which Government had built at Perth
are to be sold to settlers, and more commodious ones built at
Perth, with a church, forming nearly one side of a handsome
square. "We are getting on.

l^th. — The men have finished the wheat sowing, dibbling
it in with forks, and I have shot a whole brood of teal on the
river. The Cornwallis has arrived with wheat, flour, potatoes,
and eighty-five sheep ; the latter engaged by Mr. M'Dermot
at 25s. a head. I have offered to give two bullocks.

18th. — This has been a day of unintermitting rain, and the
swelling of the river indicates a storm from the N.W. Prob-
ably the wind impels the sea into the river before we perceive
its force ; and thus the rising of the water, which appears to
us as the prognostic of the N.W. wind, is in reality but the
effect. Being prevented by the badness of the weather from
going out, I have been engaged in building occupations

 

114

within, and amused at the gambol motions of a little kan-
garoo, which I took the other day out of its mother's pouch
as she was running from a hunting party. The poor little thing
attaches itself to my foot, and hops along with me wherever
I go ; " passibiis cequis ; " its bed is in my old cloth slipper.
Apropos, an arrival of shoes from Van Diemen's Land.

2.1st. — A passing traveller called out this morning that
there was a turkey in the plain above. Such a hint was
not to be despised; three of us accordingly sallied out, just
in time to see the bird flying away. We followed, and saw
some natives, who disappeared on our approach. We deemed
it prudent not to be too curious, being in such matters pretty
much of Falstaff's mind, that " the better part of valour is
discretion." After this unsuccessful sally, I worked in the
garden very busily, sowing turnips in drills, and planted
fifty-six pounds of potatoes. At times I feel very happy
here; and if it were not from the want of my own family
and old companions, I should be always so, as my occupa-
tions are of a healthy, happy, and innocent nature.

23rd. — What have been the events of this day ? Eobert
was making a window frame,

" Nunc has, nunc, illas mutat, reficitque fenestras."

Johnny whitewashing, and James burning weeds. I got an
acre of wheat harrowed in by a friend's bullocks, not like the
" Beatus ille " of Horace, who,

" Patema rura bobus exercet suis ; "

and then went kangaroo hunting, without success, and drank
tea with Mr. Burgess, who gave me a young snake, which is
now in the bottle of preserves.

2Ath. — Gardening. Bathed twice in the river to cool my-
self in the midst of the terrible winter. Eobert declares his
inability to finish the window sashes. I have now two acres
of wheat, — of oats, and nearly an acre in garden under turnips.

 

116

Cabbages, rape, potatoes, carrots, borecole, radishes, spinach,
peas, lettuces, mustard, onions, tomatos, and almonds, and
hope to have another acre of wheat and one of barley, besides
some portion under maize and millet, at an expense of £3 per
acre for breaking up the land with hired teams, but more pro-
bably I shall substitute my own young cattle. Mr. T, was
with me this day; he seems to think that we should send
home a strong memorial with respect to our state, and that
the charge of 5s. an acre on this colony, while in its infant
state, is too heavy a drag on its exertions. This settlement
is, however, rapidly rising in strength and comfort. Hotels
and lodgings are to be had — shelter and food for the stranger.
This was not the case at first with our settlers, who suffered
severe privations, and who in many cases expended their
strength and substance in preparation for others, who are
now reaping the benefit of the first sacrifices.

Some of our colonists, who have returned from Launceston,
report that town to be inferior to Fremantle, which has un-
doubtedly improved considerably, comfortable stone houses
rising in all directions. Water has been found in abundance,
and the sand is discovered to possess most fertilising pro-
perties. It seems to rest upon a stratum of limestone at no
great depth, and this substance, though until lately despised,
is now highly valued. An hotel has been built, and the
accommodations which it affords, as to bed and board, are
good, and moderate in charge.

If there were adequate capital to stock and till the soil
around it, the capabilities of improvement are considerable ;
and if we had the means of developing our own resources, we
should undoubtedly be a flourishing colony in a few years.
Even as it is, we have advanced exceedingly. Did ever a
colony make such a struggle as ours has done, without ex-
traneous assistance ? Sidney and Van Diemen's Land were
aided by forced labour, and stimulated by Government ex-
penditure ; but we have had no such support ; we have relied

1—2

 

116

solely on our own efforts ; and yet under the most ^s-
couraging circumstances are prospering.

" Sperat infestis metuit secundis
Alteram sortem bene praeparatum
Pectus."

2^th. — The ground crisped with frost in the morning ; but
the temperature of the air in the succeeding part of the day
delightful, like a day in September or October with you,
when the sun shines clearly. It is, indeed a lovely climate ;
and if we can struggle on through our first difficulties (and
friends and foes sometimes bear hard against us), we shall be
happy.

By the delay of the Sulphur during four months, our
pockets have been prettily picked in i)urchasing wheat at
35s. (nay, even 40s.) a bushel, when we ought to have it had
for 10s. ; and every other article dear in proportion. She was
orderedto be here on the 1st of February, but has not arrived
yet. Fresh meat brings Is. lOd. per pound ; and yet in Ire-
land you often want a market for your pork. If you had
taken my advice about shipping off a lot of it

Irish produce — pork, butter, cheese, and oatmeal — is
always sure of a market here.

I have to tell you thac my house in Perth is finished : it
cost me, including the grant, above £100 ; and would bring
£20 a year.

28^A. — While sitting after tea with Mr. Tanner, last night,
we heard firing from guns loaded with ball — for we have
learned to distinguish very accurately. — An officer was with
us ; and as we set out to learn the cause, a soldier came up
to inform him that the barrack was attacked by fifty natives :
we hurried onwards and heard much noise, but saw no
natives. They had retreated ; and it is doubtful whether
their advance had been with any hostile intention.

June 5th. — Worked in the garden transplanting turnips and
sowing seeds. I have lost two young pigs, and have now

 

117

only seventeen — one bull, three oxen, one heifer (soon to
calve), and a goat. What would Eobinson Crusoe have
been without the latter ?

I cut down several trees, and split rails for fencing-iu a
cattle-pen, twenty-eight feet square ; with a thatched house,
twenty-eight feet by ten feet, forming one side of it. This
house, experience has taught me, is essentially necessary, as
I lost my cow last winter by not having shelter for her
when she calved. There is great pleasure in viewing the
gradual improvement of a wilderness :

" Now 'midst the desert, fruitful fields arise,

That crown'd with tufted trees and springing com,

Like verdant isles the sable waste adorn ;

The forest wonders at the unusual grain,

And secret transports touch the conscious swain."

But we labour rather for posterity : however, so it is with
every one who is the artificer of his own fortune. I can look
forward to having, at no very distant period, orange groves
and vineyards — and really this grant of mine is a pretty
spot ; and I am quite fond of it.

Have I ever before enumerated my building and garden
appendages ? — They consist of a dwelling-house, kitchen, and
servants' room ; cattle-pens, sheds, pig-yards, and fowl-house ;
garden and field, fenced.

The river runs within seventy or eighty yards of the house,
and is yet salt ; but the frost will freshen it. We shall have
in thi3 settlement tliis year 435 acres under grain (last year
160), producing on an average fifteen bushels per acre ; and
probably shall be soon independent of imported corn. Some
lands yield abundantly ; a small patch on Captain Irwin's
flat produced last year (sown in October and reaped in
December) at the rate of 48s. a bushel per acre, an amazing
produce, without manure or fallowing ; it was merely dug up
and sown immediately after. Few lands, however, are so good:
perhaps twenty bushels would be a safe average to calculate on.

 

118

15th. — The Sulphur has arrived ; the cause of the delay
was the impossibility of procuring wheat — a right good
reason. On Friday last my court was crowded with persons
eager to hear the first cause tried before a jury in this
colony : it was an action of defamation, brought by one mer-
chant against another, and the damages were laid at £1000.
Eeady written speeches were delivered, and many points
were raised. The foreman was Mr. Andrews, a most
respectable and wealthy njerchant, and altogether the jury
was of a superior grade. The trial occupied two days, and,
after some deliberation, ended in a verdict for 39/. damages.

That and the succeeding day (9th) were very wet ; thunder
and lightningand some heavy liail-stones accompanied the rain
on Sunday, however, it cleared up again. In the evening I
enjoyed a delightful walk to Guildford ; and before I left it
on Monday, was the proud possessor of thirty-four Merino
sheep and ten lambs, originally from the stock of Mr.
Trimmer, near London, price £6o ; and I also bought a heifer
for £25, and bullock-yokes, chains, &c., &c., for £3, from a
gentleman who is about returning in the Sulphur. My
carpenter has been most busily idle in making a small pen
for cattle — this, with two tables and three stools, are all that
I have from him after a month's woi k ! A good, handy
rough kind of a carpenter, able and willing to work, is much
wanted here.

I have now brought up my arrears to the present date
(15th), and have to add that I was called this day to attend
an inquest on the body of a man who was shot last night.
It appeared that the natives had yesterday driven away
some cattle, and had been tracked up the river by a
party of ten colonists, who overtook them at night when
asleep.

Although our people shouted out when they approached,
none of the natives stirred, either from sleep or terror ; at
length, one of their dogs ran out of a hut, when guns were

 

119

levelled at him, three of which only went off — ^the contenta
of one unfortunately struck a man of our own party in the
head, and killed him.

Principles of humanity prevented the slaughter of all the
natives there ; of whom one, however, was shot in the con-
fusion. The spears, knives, and other weapons, with bags
and cloaks were taken as legitimate booty. Some of their
spears and knives are barbed or serrated with bits of glass,
which must wound severely. Robertson tells us, in his
History of America, that the natives of that country used
" lances," whose heads were armed with flint.

16th. — All my pigs are missing. I greatly fear that the
natives, who killed sixteen of them in my neighbourhood,
have taken away or killed mine also. To add to my probable
loss, one of my lambs has been so much torn by a native
dog, that I have been obliged to kill it.

ISth. — Yesterday, the Governor did me the honour of
calling at my place : he informed me that a settler was killed
by the natives on the Canning River, on the same day that
the row occurred here.

23rd. — I closed my last letter only yesterday morning in
Perth, to go by the Cornwallis, and have little to note in my
diary of this or the three or four preceding days, unless the
killing of a lamb (the first of my flock) for my dinner, be
deemed worthy of a place in it.

26th. — This day I have been at Guildford, attending a
meeting of settlers to take into consideration what is to be
done about the natives, whose depredations are truly alarming
and disheartening. The meeting was well attended, and
strong resolutions were entered into expressive of the opinion
that settlers must abandon the colony, if they be not pro-
tected in their property. I had the consolation of ascertain-
ing, whab before was only problematical, that my missing
pigs were wounded in the bush by the natives. This, of
course, made me sympathise with my fellow-sufferers, and

 

120-

assist in putting certain resolutions into shape, previously to
their being presented to the Governor.

2^th. — On coming home I find that six of my best pigs are
still missing, and that of those which have returned to me,
two are wounded ; whether severely or not, Johnny, who
handed me the bulletin, does not mention. Hermitage, so
lately in the most perfect tranquility, is now in high
excitement.

" Ardet inexcita Auson a atque immobilis ante."

My warlike propensities are so much excited that I have
arranged my affairs, as tlie phrase goes (thinking of you to
the last), and am preparing to watch and attack the natives,
and kill, burn, blow up, or otherwise destroy the enemy, as
may be most practicable.

28^/t. — Mr. Irwin and Mr. Shaw, and two soldiers accom-
panied me this night in a search after the natives. After a
search of two hours, we found, horresco re/erens, the bloody
HEAD — of one of the pigs — which [ had intended to kill in a
decent and peaceable manner myself, fur my own eating, if
these wicked natives had not saved me the trouble. The
wretches have destr<»\"ed £3 worth of my swine's-flesh
altogether ; but after all, perhaps these uninformed creatures
think that they have as good a right to our swine as we have to
their kangaroos ; and the reasoning, it' such there be, may be
plausible enough : however, if we liad caught them, Jlagrante
delicto— in the act of slauglitering them — I would not answer
for the force of it.

We have very few soldiers to protect us ; and if our men
be employed in watching natives, what is to become of the
colony ? Our labours must then be intermitted :

" Squalent abductis arva colonis,

Et curvse rigidum falees conflantur in ensem."

We are informed that the militaiy are not to be called out
except in the case of a systematic attack. But suppose tlji?

 

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to be made at the head of the Swan, and one of the soldiers
to be sent to Perth for orders; it is scarcely possible that the
soldiers could come out to the point of attack within twelve
hours — and what is to become in the meantime of the
family attacked ? When I speak of the necessity of soldiers
to protect us, I do not mean that we ourselves are in much
personal danger ; but our cattle are killed and taken away,
if our servants are not continually watching them I have
been congratulated on escaping from a spear thrown by the
natives through the window.* This was a second attack :
the first occurred twelve months ago, and I believe that I
mentioned it to you. This affair, you will say, has something
of personal danger in it.

July 1st. — This has been an unpleasant day (wet), and I
have felt lonely. There was a severe frost yesterday morning,
such as I did not expect to experience — the ice being half an
inch thick in a wooden dish which was outside the house.
I fear that it has injured my potatoes.

27id. — A very lovely day. Walked to Perth, where we
had a meeting of the settlers, and great speechifying and
discussion ; the result of which was, a resolution to request
that the Governor would proceed to England as our repre-
sentative, to state and explain to the home Government many
points which could best be represented in a vivd voce communi-
cation. His Excellency obligingly met the general wishes of
the assembled settlers.

Ath. — Sessions have been held and three persons sentenced
to transportation.

bth. — I have this day read part of Mr. Dale'sf journal of
an excursion in the neighbourhood of King George's Sound,
and will copy and send it to you if I have time ; but it fills
upwards of two hundred pages of a journal book. My

* The editor has seen this spear — a very rude implement, now in possession
of Mr. Joseph Moore,
t Subsequently published. — Editor.

 

122

opinion on reading it is, that the tract of country from this
to King George's Sound, may be advantageously located
when the time shall arrive (and anive it will) that this colony
becomes the fashion ; that is, when people shall have ceased
to abuse us, and when Government shall have rendered us
more effective aid. If ray land had not been taken in this
quarter, 1 should have chosen it there ; but here 1 have as
much as I can manage, perhaps more, as the location duties
are heavy, and require great exertions to discharge.

1th. — The Governor's pigs have been speared too ; there
have been nearly as many killed as would have supported
the whole colony during the winter ; and now we have no
meat.

^th — Divine service at Mr. Irwin's, where, as is usual with
me, I spent the evening.

%th. — The ground white from frost ; not so last year. I find
that we must not plant potatoes so early in future. I have
been trussing hay for the market at Fremantle, where the
consumer or rather the owner of the consumer, pays smartly
for it ! The hay itself brings £6 at my own door, and the
freight costs £8 per ton — £14 per ton ! Salt meat is not to
be had ; fresh meat costs Is. 8d., and fresh butter 7s. per
pound. These prices will soon drain the resources of some
of the settlers. Earthed up my potatoes, in hopes of saving
them from the frost, and then by way of pastime shot a brace
of ducks. Laid out a bank and ditch for an enclosure,
marked out some ground for ploughing, and sawed down a
few trees. This has been a lovely cool day, and the winter
is gliding away insensibly. You would consider it a de-
lightful summer.

\^th. — This is like a March day in Ireland, and I ex-
perience the novel sensation of cold feet.

The goat has had two kids ; a pig is nearly fit to kill ; a
cask of pork has arrived at my house, and I have wheat and
vegetables coming in, and the goat gives me a little milk, and

 

129^

the hens are beginning to lay, so that I am getting out of all
danger of starvation. My plough is at work for the first time,
and answers remarkably well. I paid two pounds for two
pair of shoes this day; one pair for James, the other for
myself. My Bltuchers were completely worn out, and I have
not had a dry foot for some time. J paid £17 12s. 6d. for
forty-seven gallons of rum, and £18 for a cask of wine,

A native has wounded a soldier on the Murray Eiver with
a spear, in a very treacherous way ; but the man is recovering.
It is said that the natives have had a severe retaliation, five
being killed and many wounded.

l^th. — The air is already fragrant with many flowers and
shrubs coming into bloom ; what will it not be when we have
(as unquestionably we shall have) groves of oranges, limes,
almonds, peaches, apples, &c. ! We only want the plants ;
but sailors are careless of them on their passage hither, and
a very small quantity of salt water kills them.

21th. — This has been a day of very active occupation with
me. I first brought home my two cows from Mr. Tanner's,
and my thirty-three sheep from another neighbour; then
ploughed, sowed, and harro wed-in two acres of wheat, and
sold a sow for £5, to be paid in hurdles, shoes and ploughing
— no money according to our system of barter. This sow
had been among the wounded pigs, but perfectly recovered.
Escorted my little flock of sheep to the flat, keeping a
sharp look-out for natives, with a good supply of balls in my
pocket, but saw none of them : nor was I fasting altogether
on this day, having had two eggs and some goat's butter at
breakfast. But my cow, like Mrs. Shandy's, " puts off
calving terribly." I shall soon have cauliflowers and turnips
for dinner ; in short, we shall all soon have an abundance of
everything; and as to wheat, it will be so plentiful that we
must see about mills of some kind or other. Steam ma-
chinery would be too expensive, and water power in most
places cannot be commanded, as there are few continuous

 

124

streams ; but mnd mills will yet be in general use. There,
has been but one experiment of the latter kind, and it haa
succeeded well.

ZOth. — Some of the settlers have met to take into con-
sideration Mr. Lyon's plan for civilising the natives. I wish
they were convinced of the evil of their pig- killing ways ; "but,"
as M'Leod says in " Ennui," " I doubt if it will be very easy."
On returning from the house at which the " grand palaver "
was held, I found great difficulty in crossing the river, which
was much swollen by the rains, particularly as the night was
very dark.

Slst. — Admired my little flock of sheep greatly, and
thought the tinkling of their bells most musical. Have I
ever before mentioned that our cows and sheep are furnished
with bells, not for the mere sake of the tinkling sound,
delightful as it is in the stillness of evening, but as in-
dispensable for guiding us through the woods to the places
where the cattle are grazing ? Without them we should be
sadly perplexed, from the difficulty of providing herdsmen
to watch their ramblings. Send me some bells, English
spades, and prongs, by the first opportunity. I want a flute
sadly, mine was broken on the passage ; and this day, when
I took up one which an itinerant schoolmaster lei't in my
kitchen, I found that my fingers had lost their wonted
familiarity with it. Cut a drain to convey water from a low
piece of ground, and planted some turnips on a piece of land
covered with wood ashes from some trees which had been
recently burned. Got a chest of tea, which came by the
Sulphur, and cost about 2s. a pound ; but it is execrable stuff,
smelling like musty hay, and of course unfit for use.

August 1st. — Cut cauliflowers for dinner, and killed a pig
weighing 112 lbs. Cut him up, salted, and packed him in a
cask : this is one which I saved from the natives. \

There is no domestic animal more useful here than the goat ;
if I were again coming out I should bring a score of goats from

 

125

the Cape ; they are cheap, have frequently two at a birth,
are more easily fed and managed than cows, and are not so
liable to accidents. My goat has had four kids in one year.

2nd. — A vernal feel in the air. There is something inex-
pressibly pleasing in the renovation of nature ; every budding
flower which this genial climate brings early to our view, I
look upon as a messenger to notify the approach of more
joyous days. Every thing perceptibly vegetates already, and
the pleasure of witnessing the growth of plants on my (mm
land awakens Mdthin me a spirit of energetic interest which
otherwise would fail. Not to be idle or too much in the
ruminating mood, I dropped turnip or rape seed wherever the
ashes of a burnt tree were scattered ; and I have no doubt
that a careful shepherd, having his employer's interest at
heart, might in this way, while tending his sheep, be most
profitably employed. Mine {when I get him) shall have an
axe to cut down brushwood and small trees, which he can
afterwards amuse himself by burning. Thus will he clear
patches for me, and bring them into fertility and productive-
ness for the flock under his care. A little here and there of
artificial green food in the midst of a wilderness of coarse
grass, will be a rich and beneficial treat to the sheep.

I hear that the Sulphur is ordered home ; if so, and I can
see one of her oflficers to take it, I shall send you a box of
curiosities, consisting of specimens of shrubs, flowers, and
grasses in a kind of hortus siccus; spears, cockatoos, and
feathers ; a variety of skins, snakes, centipedes, &c. ; but
the box is not made yet. I shall, however, make one in
a very rough way, and you can get it cleaned and planed
afterwards. All the odds and ends which I have in my
room at this moment form a very whimsical and incongruous
assemblage. Among many others there are four bags of
flour, two ditto of wheat, one ditto of oats, a chest of tea,
a box of sugar ; spears, guns, pistols ; the feet and feathers
of kangaroos and emus; clothes, books, and old shoes. I

 

126

am now quite reconciled to the irregularities of a settler's
life, and can sit as contentedly among these things as if
they were the handsomest paintings, or the most elegant
articles of furniture arranged in the most fashionable order.

'Srd. — The crows have been attacking my newly-sown
wheat. Their character for depredations of this kind is
just as bad as in England or Ireland. I must shoot some
of the rogues, pour encourager les autres.

I had an agreeable surprise to-day; Letty produced two
prints of butter made from the goat's milk; and, notwith-
standing this deterioration of the milk, or abstraction of
their allowance, the two kids are thriving. I shall write
for two more of them to the Cape ; there they will cost
about ten shillings each, and here they are worth from £3 to
£5 each. I shall have a mare also from the same place, which
will cost only £6 or £7, though her value here will be from
£50 to £70.

6th. — I was induced to leave my plough this day for the
sake of training my young dog at the kangaroo chase, and
caught one after a long run. Have I ever detailed this chase
to you ? I believe not. You advance silently, watching in
every direction, and when you see a kangaroo, you immedi-
ately run in the direction of him, hallooing on the dogs, which
follow the game by view as far as the ground is clear. The
sportsmen then wait patiently, half an hour or an hour, until
the return of the dogs, which is sooner or later according to
the length of the chase. The dogs are examined in the mouth
to see if they have fur or blood, or the smack of kangaroo,
which is something like that of bay leaf : if the indications
of murder be upon them, they are desired to "show" the
game, and in "showing" it the excellence of the dog is
exhibited. One of ours being desired to " show," set off at
a trot. We all followed at the same pace in a straight line
for a mile, at the termination of which he brought us to the
dead kangaroo. But I expect some lucky day to be at a

 

127

nobler hunt than this — a bull chase — as a wild bull was
caught and killed the other day. The meat, (sold at Is. 6d.
per lb.), produced nearly £50; and a great sensation has been
created by a rumour that thirty-six head of wild cattle has
been seen. I doubt the truth of the report. Eeally this
kaugaroo-huntiiig is very important to the settlers in their
present circumstances. Some of my friends have had fresh
meat of this animal for three months together, when it
would have required three casks of pork, at £10 each, to
have supplied their establishment during the same period.
Thus have their dogs saved them £30.

%th. — I have been preparing a statement of expenditure
upon my grant, for the purpose of getting the fee-simple of it
confirmed to me : the amount required is £675. The account
has been submitted to two magistrates for approval, and has
been drawn up according to a prescribed form. My expendi-
ture amounts to £1306 13s. ; the items are, buildings, £300 ;
tillage £96 ; enclosures, £59 3s. : drains, £10 ; garden, £20 ;
clearing, £206 ; and under the head of " miscellaneous," live
stock, £245 10s. ; crops, £210 ; machines, tools, implements,
and iron work, £100 ; tent used at first settling, £10 ; wells,
£10 ; improvement of pasture by manure, £30 ; wharf, £10
— total, £1306 13s. I cleared to-day, with a good American
axe, eleven hundred yards of a vista through the bush on my
lower boundary line, and had entertained great hopes that a
valley through which the Susannah Eiver (Latour's Brook)
issues from the hills, was on my share ; but on getting a view
through the vista, I fear that it is not. However, the brook
traverses my grant twice, and makes the back ground valu-
able.

A soldier coming up yesterday from Perth was attacked by
natives ; he says that he shot two of them. It will be pru-
dent on my part, when I set out to-morrow morning at day-
break, to arm myself with a double-barrelled gun and ball
cartridges.

 

128

August 21st. — Here is a sad hiatus ! partly from absence,
partly from occupation. All the foregoing had been written
in hopes of my sending it by the Sulphur, but I have been
disappointed ; it must remain for a future opportunity. I
resume my journal.

10th. — I reached Perth without an adventure, and found
that the Governor had gone on board the Sulphur, which was
standing out to sea ; so that I had no chance of delivering
my box on board.

14ith. — I have had a tremendous-looking list of law cases
to dispose of : one was for upwards of £2000 — the parties, a
Van Diemen's Land merchant and his agent. The town
(Perth) is improving greatly. Buildings are in progress, and
palings being put up in front of the allotments. £200 has
been offered for my house, which I have refused ; but have
let it, in preference, at the rate of £15 a year. I shall leave
home for two or three days, as I am pressed by Captain
Irwin to witness the ceremony of swearing him in, as Lieu-
tenant Governor, and also to attend a meeting about the esta-
blishment of a bank on Saturday.

22nd. — Here I am again quietly at home, after my rambles,
admiring a fine ewe lamb (a cross between the Merino and
Leicester), and cutting away shrubs (but leaving the trees)
to clear a space of ground between me and Mr. Tanner.
This will allow free circulation of air, prevent the natives
from lurking about me, and improve the growth and quality
of the grass. Nor were other matters neglected : I trans-
planted cauliflowers, Swedish turnips, strawberries, almonds,
and put down some peach-stones ; after which I dined on an
opposum (very like a rabbit, though not so tender) which I
shot in a gum tree during my morning's work in the wood ;
and washed it down with some excellent home-brewed beer.

24tth. — Finished opening an uninterrupted line, about a
mile in length, across my winter grant ; planted thyme, sowed
coriander and red pepper seed, and planted almond trees six

 

129

feet high (which I obtained from a gardener in Perth, at one
shilling a piece), twelve sets of sugar-cane, strawberry plants,
some Cape gooseberry and rose-tree cuttings, and a few slips
of the Cape or Hottentot fig. After all these useful opera-
tions, Letty brought me some butter, the first produce of my
young cow's milk.

2bth. — You will suppose that we are not addicted to the
indiscretion of very early marriages, when I state that this
day I met a grand corUge escorting a sexagenerian man and
woman on the high road to matrimony. The bridegroom
elect was mounted on his master's horse, and the bride rode
behind him.

"Their nuptial bed may smiling concord dress,
And Venus still the sober union bless ;
Mingled with age may mutual love and truth
To their dim eyes recal the bloom of yoiith."

I have been clearing brushwood away at such a rate that
the very natives will not know the place when they see it
again. May it be long until they do see it ! — The old plague
of servants again.

One of Mr. Tanner's has been sent to gaol for refusing to
work ; many are out of employment, yet demand as high
wages as ever : fifteen shillings a hundred for slitting paling,
and thirty shillings a month, besides diet, for a hoy-man, or
hobble-de-hoy. Some of the improvident mechanics at Perth
give at the rate of 4s. 6d. and 5s. a dozen for eggs sent there
by the settlers at the head of the river.

21th. — The weather now is of a delightful temperature ; I
bathed at sunset last night, after having previously warmed
myself well by cutting down trees — you know that bathing
when warm is an old and favourite practice of mine. "We
now say that winter is over.

" Frigora mitescunt Zephyris."

2%th. — Our discussions about the proposed bank have been
renewed. Numerous borrowers, but no lenders ! I have

 

130

decided against becoming a shareholder ; and am convinced
of the advantage which every one here would derive by leav-
ing £50 or £100 every year at home, to be expended in such
investments as he might direct. These would bring a return
of at least 100 per cent.

31s^. — James came to me this morning to know what is to
be done for his eye, which was a little sore the other day —
the blockhead got at my medicine chest, when I was at Perth,
and applied a blister to it.

Sept. 1st. — A wet and stormy day, such as it was on the
30th ult., and very like the weather which we experienced
a week after this time last year, when we commenced our
expedition over the hills. The river is now higher than I
have ever before seen it ; but far from the elevation which
those who were here in 1829 speak of ; yet everything is
growing rapidly, and this morning I heard the notes of at
least six different species of birds. It has been assumed and
believed that there are no singing birds in Australia : those
which I have heard do not fully deserve to be so classed ;
but some of their notes are very sweet, so much so that /
give them credit for being songsters.

Aih. — Busied all this day and yesterday in the garden
(which has been rather neglected for some time) planting
Caffre corn in rows a yard apart, maize and peas, breaking
up some fresh ground, and preparing beds for melons, vege-
table-marrow, pumpkins, and cucumbers. Our seasons differ
greatly from those of Sydney ; there is there a little rain
more or less in every month. Showers commence here in
April, and become more frequent and heavy until July ; and
decrease until October. We are always sure of dry weather
for our hay and grain harvest in the latter end of that month,
and the two succeeding ones. The spring this year is much
more backward than last year, on account of the frosts. Last
season, before this time, I had dug and sold potatoes ; but
now (though they were planted as early) I have not any ripe.

 

131

Sydney, in the sixth year of its establishment, cost the
Government £161,000 for that year. For this colony,
£18,000 per annum is the allowance ; but we hoj)e for more
encouragement.

8^^. — Crossing the river after breakfast, on my way to Mr.
Bull's, I had to walk across a tree, up to my middle in the
water — this was more wetting than I had calculated on. On
reaching the other side, I had to take off my trowsers and
wring the wet out of them, and then sit in the sun in High-
land costume, until they were dry : afterwards I dined at Mr.
Tanner's. To-morrow I shall visit Guildford, to attend an
agricultural meeting ; and it is probable that I shall not be
at home again for some days, as Tuesday next will be my
court day.

I have just heard that H.M.S. Challenger, Captain Free-
mantle, has arrived from India, on her way from thence to
Hobart's Town, Sydney, New Zealand, Otaheite, Pitcairn
Islands, and South America; and that she has landed a
seasonable supply of provisions.

Since Colonel Hanson left this, he has published in India
a pamphlet, which I hope soon to see.

^th. — This letter, or diary, or whatever else you may please
to caU it, I shall dispatch by the Challenger to Hobart's
Town, whence it will be forwarded, though it is difficult to
say precisely when it may reach you ; but in the hope that no
accident will attend its transmission, I continue my journal.

Our Lieutenant Governor (Captain Irwin), Mr. and Mrs.
Browne, and Captain Freemantle, made an excursion recently
to the head of the river, in order to give the latter gentle-
man an opportunity of seeing the country : he was greatly
delighted with it, and the weather was very favourable.
Captain Freemantle went on the same day to his ship, and
sailed the next morning, taking with him a select party of
three convicts, whom we have transported from this, and sent

to Van Diemen's Land.

K— 2

 

132

14:th. — The weather for some days has been extremely fine,
so that we feared the rain was all over ; but this day, towards
evening, the wind became very strong, which brought on
heavy rain. I have planted, since it dried up, melon,
cucumber, and pumpkin seeds : the melon seed is from one
which weighed fifteen pounds ; and the parent cucumber
weighed four pounds. Our turnips are running to seed this
year ; and this is a general complaint here : we must renew
our seed from home. Send me some seeds of early York and
sugar-loaf, flat Dutch or drum-head cabbages, Swedish and
white Norfolk turnip, cauliflower, and mangel-wurzel.

I do not know to which part of your letters to address
myself first. Surely I must have already answered or antici-
pated all your queries. You ask, " of what is the thatoh of
our houses composed :" every one uses whatever suitable
material is most easily procured in his neighbourhood. I
used long sedge and bulrushes, some straw, and the tops of
the grass-tree ; battens or wattles, like laths, are nailed at
regular distances across the rafters; tlie thatch is laid on
these, and tied or sewed down with a long needle and rope
yam. The bark of trees has been tried for thatch, and it
answers pretty well, if carefully applied. Mr. Brown has an
outside covering of it, about fourteen inches in thickness,
over a shingled roof, to keep out heat, but it is expensive
You inquire, " of what quality is my land on the Swan ?"
This is a very general and comprehensive question. 1 forget
how many thousand varieties of earth old Evelyn reckons :
I will not say there are so many varieties on my land, yet it
varies considerably. I can give you a section of it.* On the
alluvial land, the grass-wattle and the gum-trees flourish;
on another portion, the herbage is of inferior quality, and the
trees are consequently of a dwarfish and shrubby nature :
one of these looks and smells like white-thorn, and has a

* Mr. Moore frequently amused himself by sketuhing diagrams, plans, dfc.
These are here omitted. — Editob.

 

133

white flower, but not of the same shape — I believe it to be
of the Mespilus species. It is called here, generally, by the
English appellative, the May-thorn. The third division has
a shrubby covering, and produces the red-gum, white-gum,
broom, wattle, and grass trees.

I have acquired some knowledge of the indications of soil :
mahogany is indicative of sandy land ; red gum, of stiff cold
clay ; wattle, of moisture ; and the broom and dwarf grass
tree, of what we term shruhhy herbage.

The next question you ask is about " water," — I have only
found one spring good for any purpose, except washing —
this water is found two feet under the surface, on a level
with the river : plenty of water could be had by digging for
it, but none of my people understand this, and I was anxious
to avoid the expense of sinking a well. The river water is
brackish here only about two months in the year, in April
and May, as you may see by my journals. I have thought
it worth while to get some water from a fine gushing spring
on the other side, for washing.

Your next observations apply to my grant on the Avon,
and recommend King George's Sound, or Geograph Bay,
where you observe there are said to be " valleys of the
richest soil imaginable." T will not quarrel with this de-
scription, not having seen the place ; but from what I have
seen, and from all I can collect from those who have been
there, and read from those who have described it, I fear there
cannot be any great extent of good land on the coast. A
rich spot or two there may be ; but as far as observation has
gone, the general opinion seems to be that there is no exten-
sive tract of good land till you have receded some distance
from the coast. Mr. Peel's lot on the Murray is, I believe,
an exception to this rule, as it is reported to continue good
to the sea-side. Probably you will see published by Gover-
nor Stirling the journal of an expedition undertaken by Cap-
tain Bannister from this to King George's Sound, when he

 

134

and his party lost their reckoning and their way, and did not
arrive there till after seven weeks and three days. The place
at which they bivouacked (about the 25th December, 1831) is
deemed the best description of country which has been yet
discovered. Gal way, a man who is splitting timber here
now, was of the party : he says, " all the country looked like
a great field of oats before harvest ;" — (kangaroo grass has
very much that appearance). This was upon a river of pools,
nearly in the line of a contemplated road between this and
King George's Sound ; but it is also very far inland. I doubt
whether an extensive grazing tract may be found nearer to
water-carriage, or more convenient, that at York, where part
of my ground is. It seems likely that a settlement may be
established there shortly; for already the nucleus of it is
formed ; therefore, after having relinquished the grant which
I had further to the south of the Avon, I was glad to get
hold of any near York. That which I have, of 5000 acres,,
belonged to one who has abandoned the colony ; the remain-
ing part I took on a river, supposed to be the issuing of the
Avon from the hills on the western plain : I chose this lot
because the ground is good, which is more than I knew of
any other place at that time ; it is not above forty miles from
this, and may be reached without either crossing or touching
upon the mountains. Time pressed, and I was obliged to
make some selection, or lose my opportunity.

Land now is not to be given or exchanged by Government ;
it must be purchased, at not less than five shillings an acre —
a sad loss to us. It is very difiicult to save meat here in
spring and autumn, much more so than in the heat of sum-
mer ; the " blow-flies " are not so busy then, or perhaps they
are encouraged by the moisture generated at the other sea-
sons. When we have any considerable quantity of fresh
meat (which is not often the case) we put it in pickle.
Winter meat keeps very well. " Game ?" — We have ducks
— the wild turkey bird of the bustard kind — and quails;

 

135

and the gallinule, or water-hen ; and there may be many
other game birds unknown to us, as they have so many
places of conceahnent.

The cockatoos are gregarious and migratory : at some
periods of the year few are to be seen ; at other times, they
are seen in large and frequent flocks — I have heard of fifty
kangaroos together ; and have seen fifteen in company. We
have rats and mice too ; the largest of the former I have met
here was about the size of a " cub " rat with you, but not so
rough in the hair ; in every other respect apparently the
same ; where they came from I leave others to determine or
dispute about. Wild dogs are the next " game " you start in
your letter. Tliey are not numerous, and are seldom seen in
daylight. Since my flock has come home, however, I hear of
them more frequently.

James went to the landing-place, a few nights ago, on
hearing a noise in the boat, when a wild dog rushed out of it
and ran off. The natives sometimes domesticate them, and
there seems to be almost as great a variety of them here as
with you ; some are like little black and white collies ; many
of them yellow and large ; our dogs howl whenever one of
them comes near the house.

You wish to know the size and appearance of the trees here.
They are of all sizes. Sometimes you see one like an old
father, with his family of striplings around him. The colour
of the foliage is green, the appearance of the bark various.
To begin with our most valuable timber — the mahogany; —
its bark is of a reddish brown colour, and runs in continuous
slips from top to bottom. The red gum tree has a rough
scaly bark, of a dusky brown or reddish colour. The white
or blue gums (there seems to be a confusion about the names),
have a bark not unlike that of beach, of a light slate-colour,
and smooth ; some on the high ground have a tinge of a
rusty colour mixed with French white. And the banksia has
a hard, grey, gravelly-looking bark, formed of little rough

 

particles. Can you imagine a tree composed of coarse
granite ? — such is the banksia. The wattle — what shall I
compare it to ? the Portugal laurel is the nearest in resem-
blance that I can think of. We have also the swamp or the
oak (casuarina), and the cabbage or beef-wood tree, with a
splendid orange blossom. These are our principal trees and
large shrubs ; the three first bear seed-vessels like acorns.
The banksia is also called honeysuckle tree, from a sweet-
tasting substance which is contained in its flowering cone.
The wattle bears seed like a long pea-pod. There are vines
bearing grapes in the botanical garden. The casuarina is
excellent timber for the lathe, and our mahogany is beautiful
for furniture : specimens of it have been sent home. The
bark of the wattle, and of others, is good for tanning ; the
red gum tree produces gum in abundance ; the broom tree,
zamia, grass tree, wattle, haJcea, and others, also produce gum
like the Arabic. The large grass tree (zanthoria hastilis),
yields a powerful cement ; you will see it on the stone
hatchets which I send you. There may be many other
things of which we have not yet found out the peculiar
properties.

Many persons are tryhig to salt fish, which are very
numerous in the river about and below Perth, as you must
have seen by one of my letters, in which I mentioned our
having taken 10,000 at one draught of the seine; these are
of the kind called herrings, but do not look very like them ;
they make a noise when out of the water, and on that ac-
count are also called trumpeters. The rack, or king fish, is
as large as sahuon ; the snapper, or bream (a deep-sided fish,
not unlike the roach), the mullet, a thick-shouldered, blunt-
headed fish, the silver fish (perch), and the guard fish, some-
times come up the river. There is another species, somewhat
of the nature of an eel, with a sharp spine which it can erect
at pleasure ; this is caught only in the fresh water, and is
called a cobbler ; a kind resembling it in salt water is named

 

137

cat-fish. Perch will take no bait except the shrimps which
are found about stumps of trees and logs of timber in the
river. The snake-necked turtle sucks your bait off most
ingeniously. We have the cray-fish from two to six inches
long, and clams in abundance. These are all the productions
of our river as far as we are yet acquainted with them.
There are crabs in the salt water, different in shape from
yours, and so very daring, that they have seized me by the
foot frequently when pushing boats over the flats. Neither
lobsters nor oysters have been found, though the shells of the
latter are very numerous about the flats and Melville Water.
Of the natives I have not heard or seen any thing of late,
yet we do not trust our cattle in any distant place with less
than two herds, and the settlers over the hills have a few
soldiers allowed them for their protection. White ants are
troublesome ; these usually carry on their operations under
the cover of a hard clay mound, which can with difiiculty be
entered even by the force of a hatchet. You see nothing
outside to indicate their presence but a little brown streak of
clay — the covered way by which they make their approaches;
they never volunteer their appearance

24^7t. — I have hired two Irish men to split palings, at 10s.
a hundred (the paling is four feet six inches long, and from
four to six inches broad) ; they commenced this morning, and
have already cut a tree three feet six inches in diameter, cross
cut one length, split it into convenient sizes by wedges, and
are now splitting out the paling with a knife, as you may
have seen laths split. The tree is of the red gum species,
and splits well, each pale from half an inch to an inch thick.
Experienced men sometimes split from 200 to 300 a day, so
they can earn a good deal of money ; but on the other hand
they buy their provisions from their employers.

I have always considered my own countrymen peculiarly
happy in hitting off and applying a metaphor, though its
frequent confusion is, perhaps, the principal cause of the

 

138

bulls so liberally attributed to them: an instance of the
ready application of a very whimsical metaphor amused me
this morning.

" Hah, my joker," exclaimed Paddy Burn, as he drove a
wedge home with peculiar effect into a large block of the
tree," " Are you making him laugh, Paddy ? " said Jack
Galway. " Laugh, is it," rejoined Paddy, " by my troth I'm
making him split his sides laughing." This is gemtine humour.

Mr. M'Dermott has been here to-day, and wanted me to
buy Van Diemen's Land sheep at £3 a piece. I am putting
down about half a rood of maize (Indian corn) to try it once
more, and shall have about a rood of Caffre corn ; it will bring
in the ground if it does nothing else. It is surprising how
rapidly the ground here becomes baked on the top into a hard
crust, which young vegetable fibres can scarcely penetrate.
On raking and breaking it, we found several Indian corn
shoots quite doubled under it, without being able to force
their way through. Some of my strawberry plants are in
blossom. My neighbours are brewing beer from sugar ; less
than one pound to a gallon will do ; and have this article at
3d. to 4d. per lb. People talk of giving beer to servants in-
stead of spirits, as the Government has seen the impolicy of
forcing settlers to give regulated rations of spirits as well as
of provisions.

2^th. — The two Messrs. Burgess crossed the river here this
morning, " kangarooing ; " I accompanied them. We saw four
kangaroos and five wallabees, and got three chases ; but the
dogs killed only one wallabee, weighing sixteen pounds.

2^th. — ^The superstition which the ancients had about
trees gushing out blood when pointed at by the axe, may
have been originated from the observation, that gum trees
emit, when wounded, a stream of reddish fluid of a consist-
ence not unlike thick blood.* I got a considerable quantity

* Ater et alterius sequitur de cortice sanguis.

 

139

of it to-day from the veins of a tree which I rolled up in my
hands like pitch ; — I shall send it in the next box.

There are a hundred plants, flowers, shrubs, &c., that I
have not the names of, nor do I know how to describe them.
One very abundant plant is called wild carrot : we have
the dock, penny-royal, trefoil, sorrel, rib grass, fern, flax
(native), which is pretty abundant, burnet, yarrow, sow-
thistle, moss (the hygrocrocis), sedum, buttercup, eringo, wyay
or native yarn, davisia, and several blue, white, red, and yellow
climbers and creepers, anigozanthus, orobus solis, chrysanthe-
mum, primroses, daisies, rockets, orchis, cardinal, sweet pea,
and a beautiful purple flower, which looks as if it were
trimmed with lace, and called here the lace flower, and many
others.

I sometimes think of making a hortus siccus of all these
flowers ; but they are too transient, and I am so much occu-
pied, that I have not hitherto been able to accomplish it.
Many beautiful shrubs and flowers are now in bloom, of
which I must mention the black wattle, which bears a
yellow blossom resembling that of the laburnum at a dis-
tance, but much finer. The hills are generally of the granite
formation ; but they are frequently covered with vegetation
and trees up to their very summits. At this time of the year,
spring, you find very luxuriant grass on them. Mr. Drum-
mond says he counted fifty-four varieties of native grasses,
most of them perennial ; but the most abundant grass is
annual: he says there are many varieties of the British
genera, but that few, if any, of the species are similar.

This is a healthy climate ; the heat is well suited to me,
and 1 do not perceive it has enervating effects on any one.
The mornings, evenings, and nights, are always cool enough ;
and very often the land and sea breezes (the latter particularly)
make even the middle of the day in Midsummer quite cool.

Oct. 4:th. — I shot and skinned a bittern this day ; it is the
(/host of a bird, its body not so large as that of a pigeon, yet

 

140

it measures from the point of the bill to the tip of the toes,
as the skin now hangs, no less than two feet eight inches ; it
is, in fact, a great long tube of feathers. IMr, Browne made
me an offer of a mare for £50, which I accepted ; and I rode
from his house on the first horse (for every mare is a horse)
which has called me, master in this colony.

hth. — On my return home, after remaining at Mr. Brock-
man's last night, in consequence of flood in the river, I found
my men washing the sheep preparatory to shearing. As to
the weather in general, we have had much more rain and cold
this winter than we experienced last year. September and
October seem to be the months of flood, for although there
may be more rain in the earlier months, yet the thirsty soil
then absorbs it ; but now it is satisfied even to saturation, and
every drop tends to the swelling overflow of our river.

Viewed my wheat on the land where I had potatoes last
year : it is upwards of five feet high. Got a good specimen
of a red root, which must have singular properties, as both
pigs and cockatoos seem to be fond of it, — have planted
cucumber seed and melon to-day, and got potatoes dug.
The splitters finished one tree, and have commenced another,
which they managed to let fall upon a tent I had put up for
them — it has been woefully torn. In one of your letters you
speak of lining the boxes with tin ; it is useful on the voyage
to keep out cock-roaches and vermin ; and it is very useful
here to keep out mice and white ants, which are destructive
if not well watched. I should have lost considerably but for
the lining of tin ; the white ants entered at the bottom of a
chest, crept up the sides, and got under the tin at one corner
where it did not fit welL I bought a tinned chest to-day to
keep sugar in, and there issues from it a constant stream of
small black ants across the floor to a hole on the other side
of the room, each carrying a grain of the sugar : these are so
minute that you scarcely notice them ; but by treading, burn-
ing, and scalding, I have nearly banished them.

 

141

Dined to-day with Mr. Burgess on a " wallabee," the result
of our own chase ; it was roasted whole, and stuffed, and
tasted not unlike hare. We have some artichokes looking
strong and luxuriant, much more so than any I recollect to
have seen at home. Beans are podding well, though the
general opinion here is that they will not succeed with us
as a crop.

2'^th. — Yoked my team this morning and harrowed the
wheat in the flat ground, which had been rather roughly
broken up. I think it will answer, though it appears a rude
process to subject grown wheat to. I have two, or perhaps
three acres ready for the plough, that is, cleared from black
boys (dwarf grass trees), which are grubbed out of it; the
root of these is a knobb}? woody hemp, with roots very like
heather.

I have just finished dinner (one o'clock) — every thing at
table was the produce of the farm; corned mutton, green
peas, new potatoes, sugarloaf cabbage, radishes, and lettuce.
Afterwards I superintended the burning of trees on the
ground, which we shall commence to plough on Monday.
Our practice, after the trees have been consumed, is to
plough the ashes in, and let the ground lie fallow. I have
been greatly puzzled in laying out the boundary line between
Lamb and myself, my pocket compass being incorrect. We
are much in want of assistance from the Surveyor's Office ;
being left to mark out the lines ourselves, we may have laid
the foundation of much future litigation. The settlers could
lay the lines themselves if they had good instruments, but
even those in the Surveyor's Office are not to be depended on.

SuTiday, 30th. — 1 recollect we sometimes were annoyed at
home with a host of kitchen visitors on Sundays, but hardly
expected this nuisance here : there have been nineteen here
to-day with my servants ; the last only passed at nine at
night, and I have just heard a sound which indicates the

 

142

approach of another visitor by no means welcome, namely, a
native dog. I have been watching for him, but fear to shoot
some of my neighbour's dogs by mistake in the dark,

Eeferring to your letter of the 22nd December, 1831,
inquiring 2i\)0ut tobacco. — It grows well here, but requires too
much labour to pay as a crop in our present state ; at a
future time it may do well.

As to coming here — I am still reluctant in giving advice
to any one on the subject. It is a serious responsibility
to hold out strong inducement, when success depends so
much upon the taste, bodily fitness, and preparation for it.
To come here costs much ; a considerable sum also is further
necessary to support you until you can maintain yourself.
Land must be paid for, if from Government at the rate of 5s.
an acre. If you bring servants the expense of keeping them
is considerable, and without them what can a single
individual effect? Indentured servants become masters,
No matter what damage they do, how careless they are, sober
or drunken, idle or industrious, impudent or respectful, well
or ill, you must keep them and satisfy every demand on the
instant or off they go to a magistrate and make a complaint.
"Sir, I want a hat, a coat, waistcoat, a shirt, trowsers,
stockings," and anything, or everything, they please, not to
say shoes, of which they will wear a pair in two months.
If the master replies, "I'll get you what you want when
I go next time to town " (or whatever he thinks most
conciliatory), the rejoinder is, '' But I want it now, and I'll
not work till I get it." I do not say that this has actually
occurred with me ; but I give it as a fair specimen of the
habit of indentured servants here.

Two or three stout hard-working brothers, or a father with
a grown family, able and willing to assist him, with some
money to establish themselves in rough comfort and plenty,
would be independent in a few years ; but there must be no
squeamishness as to food, nor daintiness as to luxuries ; it is

 

143

a plodding matter-of-fact business-like and hard- working life,
until you get yourself established ; with very little of that
romance and adventure about it which is so tempting and
alluring to your minds. Yet it has its pleasures ; but it is
quite right that people should prepare themselves for what
it really is. I am still unwilling to recommend emigration
to any one ; for the sort of life is so different from that at
home, that many might be discontented with it, and blame
the adviser instead of themselves. I had made up my mind,
to endure every kind of hardship and privation for three
years at least. Yet here, at the end of two years, I live
almost as well as I could wish, and certainly lead a healthier
and happier and less anxious life, now that the first struggle
is over. As to the relative eligibility of this place and
America, pray consult the " Quarterly," especially that number
in which there is discussion about the relative advantages ;
I forget in which number it is ; and in the first number of
the Transactions of the Geographical Society, you will also
find something on the subject. If our Government succeeds
in getting the purchase-fee of five shillings an acre taken off
for a few years, then settlers will come here more readily.
This cannot for a long time be much of a commercial, or any
thing but an agricultural or pastoral settlement, as there are
no large navigable rivers traversing the country, and affording
an outlet from the interior by water.

Nov. 1st. — Leaving my little team at work to-day, I went
out with the youngest Mr. Burgess to look for a kangaroo
and had a fine chase after one ; the dogs killed it within 200
yards of us, in a stream of water ; my puppy barked and bit,
and pulled, and did what he could ; but it was the first he
had seen killed, and we could not expect more at his coup
ctessai. He promises well ; we carried the kangaroo on our
backs, turn about, for seven miles ; this was a matter of some
toil, for it weighed eighty pounds : however, I shall have
some days' fresh provisions. On our way home, I shot a

 

144

duck on the wing, and found that it had a nest with ten eggs.
As it was not mortally wounded, I brought duck and eggs
with me, and have her now sitting in a cage.

2nd. — A day of high wind, from N.E., with occasional
heavy showers of rain, faint thunder and lightning ; yet my
little team ploughed from breakfast till dinner-time one third
of an acre.

Do you recollect my having mentioned, some time ago,
the murder of an outsettler on the Canning Eiver by the
natives ? One of these, called Ya-gan, identified (on oath by
a boy who escaped) as the principal actor, who took the
spears from his companions and deliberately drove them one
by one into the deceased (who had become entangled in a hedge
while trying to escape), has been taken. The Government
offered a reward for the apprehension of this Ya-gan, and
some days ago he and two others, almost equally concerned,
were seized by two boatmen, and brought to Perth : they had
been fishing, and were enticed into the boat and there
secured ; they have been sent to Carnac, where they are to
suffer solitary confinement and be taught our language.
One of them escaped by swiraing and diving across the river,
where it is fully a mile in breadth.

4:th. — Walked to Perth, where I found Captain Irwin ;
went with him to survey the canal and intended plans for
deepening a passage, to avoid the flats in the river ; in the
shallows I caught two mullets with my hands.

About this day two years we came to the colony. — What
a change now ! It looks like a settled country : rural sights
and sounds every where ; houses, crops, flocks, herds, fences ;
cows lowing, dogs barking, cocks crowing, and geese cackling.

I have added to my stock, having just purchased nineteen
ewes, at 50s. per pair ; the breed is the compound produce of
Leicester and Merino and Van Diemen's Land ; and five
ewe lambs at 35s. I have now fifty-nine sheep, which cost
me £121.

 

145

bth. — My mare strayed away yesterday evening ; and I
got a thorough drenching while looking in vain for her.
This day I found her among a tract of black-wattle trees.
Without another servant, I cannot manage to keep all my
present stock. I already feel Us embarras des richesses.
Just as 1 found the mare, I missed the sheep this evening,
and had a hunt for them and my cows, which were quarrel-
ling afterwards all night, and breaking down their stalls and
plaister. Two cattle-keepers, one for cows and the other for
sheep, are expensive but unavoidable. This evening has be-
come very wet and cold, accompanied by thunder, lightning,
and gusts of wind roaring in the trees like the shouts of an
agitated multitude ; yet I walked through a hollow in search
of bitterns, water hens, or anything else to fire at. This pool
of water (in Lamb's and Wright's grants) is about 400 yards
broad: there is water in it, perhaps from June to January;
tall flags, bulrushes, and coarse grasses grew in it; some
almost so high as to conceal a person walking in it. I
shot a cockatoo !

6th. — The natives, who are confined on Carnac Island, have
given a rude sketch of some part of the country : they make
Lennard's brook identical with the Avon, and represent some
large river flowing to the N.W., which has different names in
different districts ; but they do not seem to know whence it
arises, nor where it debouches into the sea ; they also sketch
a large unexplored lake, or cul-de-sac, to the north, in the
interior, but are not able to give any idea of the distances or
relative situations of them. It is doubtful yet how far this
can be depended on, for the person who sought the informa-
tion may have given the clue ; and as they are expert mimics
perhaps they were but echoing back his suggestions.

8th. — Mr. Eevely's mill is in forwardness ; the water-wheel
upright with horizontal shaft. He is cutting most excellent
granite millstones in the hills behind this place.
, I have not mentioned the weather for the last week: —

 

Warm on the 12th and 13th. Cooler on the 14th. Clouds
and a breeze on the morning of the 16th, which ended in rain
that night. Cold, with occasional showers, on the 17th;
thunder in the evening. The 18th fine again: and I should
■have mentioned that on Thursday, the Lieutenant Governor
(Irvin), Messrs. Kowe, Morgan, E. Browne, Dale, and some
others, set out on an excursion over the hills to York. I had
intended to go with them, but business prevented me : they
are all mounted ; another party speaks of going to the Upper
Murray district, as they call that of which Captain Bannister
reported so favourably. Drawing logs in the early part of
the day ; got melon seeds sown, and several beds arranged in
the garden. Soon after dinner I received Captain Irvin here ;
he is greatly delighted with the lands over the hill, and says
there is a fine reach of the river, or deep reservoir; opposite
his grant. He tells me that the natives that were imprisoned
on Carnac Island have completely outwitted their guards ; a
boat was incautiously suffered to remain at the island before
night, when they managed to get into it, and were miles ofif
before their escape was discovered ; and as there was no boat
for pursuit, they reached the land. Their boat was found at
"Woodman's Point, with one oar ; but no natives have been seen
since. This occurrence is extremely provoking, as a know-
ledge of their language would soon have been acquired by
us ; and they were rapidly learning to make themselves in-
telligible. I understand they were very accurate in describing
the rivers which lie to the north. Mr. Lyon, who superin-
tended the native prisoners at Carnac, says they describe
several rivers to the north; one of them large, and abounding
with fish ; but they could not be understood in their descrip-
tion of distances. It seems that the land is all parcelled out
into districts among themselves, and that they rarely travel
far from their own homes. The chief of this district is
called " Worragonga " : Ya-gan is the son of Worragonga.
I write this from recoUectiou; but it is no great matter

 

if I should have made a false heraldry in blazoning his
pedigree.

20th. — After dinner, I took a cruise of observation round
the neighbouring farms. The crops look remarkably well
this year ; my wheat is the earliest here (nothing like early
sowing, especially on the uplands). Took tea at Mr. Bull's,
and afterwards called where a mill is at work. A messenger
brought me a great letter with an awful looking seal : it con-
tained a pamphlet from Colonel Hanson, which he published
in India, about this country and Van Diemen's Land. He seems
greatly delighted with the society of this place in comparison
with that of the other colony, and recommends it to his Indian
friends, as far superior in every respect : perhaps a copy may
find its way to England. I know not what delay this vessel
may make, and must get my journals ready.

27th. — I have got most of my potatoes dug and put into a pit,
with a good covering of clay ; sold some at 5d. a pound. Am
at a stand with my hay for want of a cart. All my pigs have
disappeared; spent this evening in an unsuccessful search
after them — my mare also cannot be found.

2Sth. — This day is the commencement of my harvest; got
some beautiful wheat cut down — it does one's heart good to
see the great sheaves set up in shocks. Only a small patch
has been cut (twenty-two yards by twelve) where it was most
ripe, and upon this small space there are five large shocks,
each containing twelve sheaves ; the ears are large and full :
it will probably yield at the rate of forty bushels an acre.

The Trimmers have laid the foundation of a fortune by
having a flock of prime Merinos brought from England ; they
have now about five hundred over the hills. A prime Merino
ram and half a dozen Merino ewes soon increase, and improve
other breeds. M'Dermot procured, at great expense, a few
prime Saxony sheep, which he says are far superior to any
other kind.

Saturday, Dec. 1st. — Prepared a threshing floor ; got some

L— 2

 

148

wheat threshed — very fine grain, and yielding well ; but many
ears are too green, which arises from the mixture of seed.
Planted some potatoes in low ground for experiment; also
transplanted some cabbages, mangel-wurzel, and red beet. I
fear the seed which you sent is not good ; Edward has tried
some of the cabbage-seed without success : it probably fer-
mented on the passage.

'dth. — I only closed my last despatches for you yesterday,
to go by Van Diemen's Land ; it is possible that this letter
may reach you first, as there may yet be a more direct con-
veyance. I have heard that a soldier's, wife has been wounded
by a spear from the natives in the Canning River — the first
time they have molested a woman (a bad trait), and this out-
rage is likely to bring on general hostility.

Bread from our new wheat is excellent ; my little mill
grinds well ; but hand-mills are tedious and laborious. I
examined the mill which Mr. R is putting up at Perth, and
am surprised that the same plan is not adopted at home ; he
says it is the common construction of mills in Italy, that its
machinery is less expensive, and that it requires less water
than those we have been accustomed to. The water passes
from the reservoir through a wooden trunk about a foot
square, sixty or seventy yards long, at the end of which is
a copper tube two and a half inches in diameter, through
which the water gushes. There is great pleasure in every
approach we make towards our own support.

IQth. — In sinking a well, we have found water at the depth
of twelve feet ; the strata are vegetable mould, blue and black
clays, white or dun-coloured clay, buff coloured or loamy clay,
yellowish sandy loam, and dun-coloured loamy sand, on which
they were working when the water first appeared.

I have been obliged to have another servant to attend the cows.

11^^. — A baker came this morning for some wheat, and
obviously wanted to make a large profit. I would not supply
him, except with a few bushels for his own use, at 4d. per

 

149

pound cleared. We are badly off for broad sharp hooks,
which are better than sickles ; send me some by the next
vessel. Few persons have had bread for some time past
here; so that I eat some new bread and fresh-churned
butter-milk with great goiXt to-day.

12th. — The dogs killed a long-tailed, yellow-spotted guana,
and a black one : the first had eggs. I shot a quail and a
white cockatoo, and after tliis sport went to dine with
Mackie, having to swim across the river as my boat was
not at my side of it. On my return, I looked out for my
boat, when lo, being at cross purposes, it had changed sides
again ; I had to swim the second time — how fortunate that
there are neither alligators nor sharks in the river !

IMh. — Captain Irwin dined with me this day, and while
we were at dinner several of my friends popped in. I under-
stand that a petition has been sent to council from Fremantle,
praying that the court should be held alternately there and
in Perth.

16^^. — A boat came up bringing news of the arrival of a
small schooner (the Governor Bourke), in which I returned,
but did not arrive at Perth till nine at night on Monday.
I took down witli me some new wheat, the first in the
market ; sold one laishel for £1 ; which some praised, and
others blamed me for selling so cheap. I sold at the same
time, eight pounds of butter, at 3s. per pound, and could not
help marvelling at the small size of the luxury which sold
for 24s., compared witli the bulk of the necessary, which only
brought 20s. Much money might be made of a dairy here.

18;;^-. — I went to tlie postmaster's, hardly expecting letters;
but imagine my deliglit and surprize at getting letters from
my dear father and you, of dates from the 1st of August to
the 29th of November, 1831, and half-a-dozen papers of
different dates — one so late as the 10th of March, 1832i
I have had letters irom you of later dates before, but these
explain many allusions and circumstances in the subsequent

 

150

letters which I was not clear about. I walked up to Guild-
ford, though the day was excessively warm, and intended to
have reached home by night to con over my letters in
undisturbed comfort ; but being wearied, I was forced to
accept a bed on the way ; but reached home for breakfast
the following morning with a good appetite for it.

One word about health. You seem to consider that we
must be very bilious here, and that we must consequently
use much medicine. I have not taken any medicine what-
ever since I left Ireland, nor have I required it ; so much
for this climate.

It is fortunate that some of my letters reached you before
Captain S. and his mate (who were never higher than Perth,
if so far) arrived in Dublin, else you would have been
unhappy about my situation here. What was Fremantle
then ? a bare, barren-looking district of sandy coast ; the
shrubs cut down for fire- wood, the herbage trodden bare, a.
few wooden houses, many ragged-looking tents and con-
trivances for habitations, — our hotel, a poor public house,
into which every one crowded, — our colony, a few cheerless
dissatisfied people with gloomy looks, plodding their way
through the sand from hut to hut to driuk grog, and grumble
out their discontents to each other ; a stranger (a sailor in
particular) could not admire tlie settlement. Now there is a
town laid out in regular streets of stone houses with low
walls, and in some places palisades in front ; two or three large
well kept inns or hotels, in which you can get clean beds and
good private rooms. The soil there is loam resting upon a
stratum of easily worked limestone, and possessing a fertility
almost exceeding belief, with abundant water near the
surface. You inquire, " if there be any fish in the rivers,"
I thought I had mentioned my having assisted in taking ten
thousand at one haul near Perth ; up here they are not
numerous, or rather I cannot take them without a net : you^
say, " winter will bring them ; " remember I have often called

 

151

this a topsy turvy country as compared with home ; the fish
are abundant in the river in summer when the salt water
makes its way up at Guildford ; the people on one occasion
were actually astonished at the noise of the fish leaping and
rushing up the river in multitudes, and this I must have
mentioned in my Journal, for I have, ever since my arrival
given you a pretty copious narrative of my own life, which,
though not dressed up and embellished to entertain others,
yet gives you a true and homely picture of a working settler
in his every day clothes. You may expect with certainty a
publication from Governor Stirling, or under his authority,
which will supersede the necessity of giving private com-
munications to the pu))lic. I have transmitted to you my
only journal in notes, rude, unfinished, and disjointed, as
transactions occurred. In your letters you inquire with
respect to the new colony in South Australia ; your argu-
ments about it are mere theory. You wonder at our difficulty
in crossing the hills, and attribute it to their height ; I have
explained that also : — suppose it not one hill, but a contin-
uation of hilly country for 45 or 50 miles ; and you will see
that it required great perseverance to penetrate beyond them ;
there appeared no end to them; Dale was the first who
succeeded ; after repeated excursions he got a glimpse of
Mount Bakewell at a distance — a remarkable mountain, and
higher than the rest ; he pressed for it as a land-mark, and
was rewarded by finding the Avon at its base ; this river was
then in its flooded state, which naturally led him to believe
it much more important than it is ; indeed all were dis-
appointed with respect to the river, but the country has stood
the test of examination, and fulfilled the expectations of the
most sanguine.

You write " of snows melting from a mountain ten
thousand feet high to the south ; there is no such elevation
here, you might strike a cipher off the number. However,
the hills are higher there than with us. At King George's

 

152

Sound they have very little frost ; but I am not certain about
snow. I do not think there is as much good soil there as
here ; but I must not decry it, not having been there, and of
course knowing nothing of it from personal observation.
We have received a French book " on the Penal Colonies of
Great Britain," written by M. Ernest de Blosseville, who sent
a copy " to the Hon. Secretary of the Literary Society at
Perth, Swan Eiver ; " — unfortunately there is no such person
to acknowledge his civilities. T have not yet had time to
read the book. He wishes some one here to write a critique,
but we have something else to do besides writing or scribbling
essays ; we are all waiting anxiously until the despatches
shall have arrived announcing the Governor's reception in
England, for upon this depends our speedy or remote success.

22nd. — I have sold two more bushels of wheat, twenty
shillings per bushel and I have just been looking at a
market note in an Irish paper ; some of the prices put in a
juxta-position with ours, remind us of our new state ; eggs
with you four-pence per dozen, with us four-pence each ;
butter eight-pence per pound of sixteen ounces, with us
one shilling a pound ; potatoes three-half-pence a stone,
with us five-pence per pound ; beef and mutton three-
pence per pound, with us one shilling and six-pence;
nails* are now selling at a shilling a pound; scales,
weights, and beams in great demand; ploughs and timber,
chains, metal pots, scythe blades, reaping hooks (strong broad
sharp ones). I lately paid three shillings each for very in-
different sickles; potato forks and riddles are extremely
scarce; a few sash planes, ploughshares, camp covers, fry-
ing pans, cow and sheep bells, knives, some Britannia metal
tea pots, zinc milk dishes and pails, buttons for windows are
wanted — these hints may be useful. Got my oats and wheat

* Were these in the market note ? if so, they were probably intended for
exportation to those colonies where ostriches brenkfast on them. — Editok,

 

153

put into ricks to-day, and shall turn the cattle on the stubble.
This day was very warm, but in the evening I was forced to
put on my coat ; that is my only thermometer — coat heat.

2Srd. — News ; the Cornwallis has arrived ; there is a mare
on board for me.

25th. — Christmas-day; this morning I received a letter
from Mr. * * * saying that another mail had been discovered
on board the vessel from Sydney, and I got no less than seven
other letters and twenty-seven newspapers. This is a
Christmas-box indeed, and a Christmas trick too, or rather a
frequent and inexcusable one, to keep back the mail until the
cargo is disposed of, lest something might appear to spoil
the market. I am quite bewildered to know which letter I
shall turn to first ; I have dipped into all — my ideas are in
confusion ; it will take some time to let my mind settle into
clear tranquility.

I thank God for the good health you all seem to enjoy,
and I thank you all from my heart for your affectionate re-
membrances.

After service to-day, I went to Mr. F's to eat my Christmas
dinner ; there were Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, Mr. E., Messrs.
Burgess, and your humble servant. I have heard that the
Jolly Bambler has also arrived from Sydney — there may be
more news for me, — what a glutton I am becoming !

26th. — Have been reading over all your last letters a
second time ; they appear to have come from Sydney to the
Cape, and thence here ; we have had few vessels from
Sydney ; some of my letters must have gone astray, as you
seem only to have heard incidentally about the spear thrown
at me by the natives, and some other affairs which have been
nearly forgotten by me. I must now tell you about the
spear. One day (as children's tales commence) I was
standing in the parlour between two windows, when I was
startled by a smart heavy blow on the window frame at my
left side ; thinking it was a practical joke of some passing

 

154

friend, I went out leisurely and was surprized to see two
natives running away. On looking at the window, I found
the point of a spear buried about two inches in the corner of
the window frame ; the spear lay under the window. I
was, as you may suppose, more satisfied to see it there
than sticking in my side, for which it seemed well aimed.
This occurred long ago, and I have never seen a native here
since ; it was the celebrated Ya-gan, who so complimented
me.

21th. — This has been one of the hottest days I have ex-
perienced in this climate ; yet T was out kangaroo hunting
from six in the morning till three with Mr. Burgess, and
walked nearly eighteen miles, carrying gunpowder flask and
shot belt. If we did not carry a kangaroo into the bargain
it was for a particular reason ; there was no shelter and little
shade, yet we never ceased walking except to rest the dogs a
little, and I have often found it as hot grouse shooting in
Ireland.^ The thermometer would not (there) have stood
within many degrees as high as here, but that is not a true
criterion of heat. In this climate the temperature at night
is always pleasant and cool, sometimes even cold : by pleasant,
I mean that degree of heat which is agreeable ; by cool, that
which obliges you to put on warmer clothing ; by cold, that
which requires a fire, or exercise to make you comfortable.
The nights here when the heat compels you to throw off all
covering except the sheet, are not of more frequent occur-
rence than in England.

The marked difference between this climate and that of
India is, that the nights there are as insupportable as the days,
without any bracing intermission from heat. I have just
stated what they are here.

Saw nine native huts to-day framed of the bark of a tree,
such as I sent you ; each hut had its fire ; there were the
organic remains of kangaroos and other animals, and two or
three broken spears and shavings, as if they had been

 

155

repairing them : we saw many of their footsteps, but were
well pleased to find those who had impressed them " not at
home."

2Wi, — Captain Irwin has come up to spend a day or two
at this place : he is very fond of rural life, and talks of
remaining here half the week. I bathed at nine o'clock at
night.

Late arrivals have again lowered the prices of provisions —
meat particularly. One of our merchants is selling salt beef
at 4^d. a pound at Fremautle, wine 5s. 6d. per gallon ; and
clothes and shoes have fallen in price, in consequence of
recent importations.

Jan. 1st, 1833. — One year seems to be distinct from
another ; yet where is the boundary ? — They touch each other
so nearly that we can hardly separate them. The last
moment of last year was remarkable for being unusually
cold, though the midst of our summer. I assure you I looked
at the kitchen-fire very longingly last night before bed-time*
Some of my oats, which have been cut, were seven feet high
well headed, and heavy : they were produced upon ground
merely ploughed over once, and harrowed without manure.
A ewe has lambed to-day; there are now sixty-two sheep
and lambs in all : two or three have gone blind, but from
what cause I know not. Somebody in Sydney threatens to
send a cargo of sheep and cows here — I hope he will — but
when ?

My men requested a bottle of rum for new year's night.
I sent it; and they are now enjoying themselves over it.
Some questions have already arisen here about executions.
No person can be got to act as sheriff. You could scarce
believe what legal intricacies are familiar here, in this early
stage of the settlement. Though it is a new country, settlers
retain all their old manners, habits, prejudices, and notions of
a sturdy, free, commercial, litigious people.
•^ 2nd. — Another cool cloudy day : we had no such weather

 

156

last summer. I walked this evening back to the Darling
ranges, looking for a kangaroo : found only one ; but the
dog did not get a fair start. 1 had, however, the satisfac-
tion of viewing an extensive prospect of interminable woods.
Mount Eliza, which at Perth looks high, was scarcely obser-
vable from the spot where I stood. Saw a fire on the great
plain of Quartania, to the south.

Ath. — Killed a kangaroo, a crow, and two pigeons yesterday.
I suppose you think a crow very despicable as food ; but I
think it excellent. This day, however, I feasted at Mr. Irwin's,
with a pretty large party ; at which we had geese, fowls, and
various vegetables, with a variety of wine — claret included.
This I mention merely to note the improvement in our
colonial comforts.

^th. — This has been a very warm day; the men were
obliged to lie by three hours in the middle of the day.

On reading the papers during this interval of rest, I per-
ceived an account of hurricanes in the West Indies killing
four thousand people; inundations in the East Indies destroy-
ing ten thousand ; and in Ireland several deatlis by lightning,
and murders by the peasantry. When I read of these horrors
(especially in Ireland), I congratulate myself:

" Non quia vexari quenquam est jucunda voluptas,
Sed quibus ipse malis careas, quia cernere suave est."

As yet we have been happily exempt, in this blessed climate,
from these visitations, physical or moral.

14:th. — Here is the interval of a week; the busiest and
most harassing which I have had since my arrival.

You are aware of my holding a court twice a week ; but
this week I have been obliged to sit from Tuesday to Saturday,
day after day, commencing at ten, and sitting some days until
seven ; for people are as fond of litigation here as in the parent
state. One jury case took up a whole day : it was an action
for a conspiracy and assault, and against eight defendants,
each of whom addressed the court ; damages laid at £500.

 

157

The suit was brought by a Sydney man, who had chartered
a vessel; verdict for defendants. Another action by the
same man against Henderson, (captain of the Cornwallis),
for running against his boat ; damages laid at £500 ; verdict
40s. There were several other serious and nice actions ; two
were by part owners of a ship, for £500 each, shares of profits
made in several voyages. I am tired of law, and in need of
rest. No wonder, as I have been sleeping for a week on a
brick floor, with a carpet bag for a pillow. Got the well dug
about two feet deeper, and sunk a barrel in it ; the water is
cool and delicious at the depth of about sixteen feet. Found
a diamond snake round a tree, it was almost five feet long ;
skinned it, and have the skin in a bottle.

VI th. — Went to some swampy ground full of springs to
look for ducks ; shot a brace, besides a water hen and a
cockatoo. I was actually driven out of the swamps by
leeches, several of them sticking to my legs. I cannot com-
pare these swamps to any marshes with which you are
familiar; perhaps a tract of ground covered with old wil-
lows and green weeds, with here and there open spaces of
deeper water, is the nearest resemblance I can supply. Fine
receptacles for wild ducks, of which the dogs sprung up a
dozen to-day ; but T was so hemmed in by the trees, that I
could not get a shot ; and not having room to look about me,
I slipped up to the neck in a hole ; wetted my powder-flask,
but kept my gun dry: so terminated the day's sport. My
new men going to turn out for higher wages, though one gets
£2 per month as shepherd, and the other £1 per month as
cowherd; the former may go, especially as the sheep which
I expected from Sydney have not arrived ; nor do the good
people either there or at Van Diemen's Land appear in a
hurry to send them, which is provoking, as a little exertion
in this way, by Government or individuals, would soon render
us an independent colony.

 

VOYAGE.

LITIGATION — VOYAGE TO KING GEORGE'S SOUND — NEW ZEALANDERS —
CARNAC ISLAND — CAPE LEWIN — OYSTER HARBOUR — INTERVIEW WITH
THE NATIVES.

Febrtiary 17th, 1833. — On board the Schooner Ellen, off Cape Naluraliste,
Western Australia.

When there is most to record, it frequently happens that
there are less means and fewer opportunities of doing it
I have led so busy a life since I last wrote, that I scarcely
know what lee way I have made, nor how to bring it up. On
Tuesday the 5th, I had no fewer than fifty cases in my list to
dispose of ; and these I got through on Wednesday evening.
On the Thursday I made a fruitless effort to get down to Fre-
mantle, but by delays and adverse winds was obliged to turn
back. We had a New Zealand er in the. boat, and I took much
interest in acquiring, information from him relative to his
country, which I obtained through .the instrumentality of
Captain Liddle of the Thistle, who speaks the New Zealand
language. It appears that this man had fled from his master,
and come off in a trading ship, — a common practice. His
manner, language, and appearance differed very much from
my preconceived notions of the ferocity and cannibalism qj
the New Zealanders ; and yet he acknowledges without
hesitation the latter horrifying propensity and practice in
proprid persond. The countenance of this man, however, is
pleasing and good-humoured; his manners obliging; his
language very soft, even to effeminacy ; his person large
and full ; and his limbs rounded and smooth : his name is
Ech-to-to.

 

On pointing out to him one of the plants of this country
resembling New Zealand flax, he called it Am-su-rah, and
said it was the same sort of plant, but smaller than that of
his country. I shall not bore you with my imperfect attempts
at his vocabulary further than to say, that his word expressive
of dissent (synonymous with our " no ") is ca-oo-ue (the oo
sounded like the French eu) ; and that the word " woman "

he expressed by " wyena " (mind — not " hyena ").

* ¥t It He ^l^ * *

The boxes of clothes have arrived; but those of a dress
description are not in demand : indeed it would be incon-
gruous to embark new settlers in the fopperies of dress, or
to divert them in any way (beyond moderate recreation and
the enjoyment of limited society) from the habits of their
industry, and the objects of their emigration. — Luxuries will
come too soon ; let them be preceded by comforts. When
industry shall have facilitated the means of procuring a
subsistence, the leisure thus obtained may be employed in
extending the circle of our pleasures.

On the 10th I rode to Guildford ; walked thence to Perth,
which I did not leave until the 12th ; at Mr. Leake's, and
enjoyed the grand piano which Mrs. Leake, who had recently
arrived, had brought with her.

The two natives of King George's Sound (who are on their
return) were greatly delighted with the music ; they danced
the kangaroo dance, and did everything in their power to show
that they were pleased and grateful — " tank you mem, very
pretty." * Their dance appeared to be in imitation of the

* Savages in every part of the globe have a strong passion for dancing.
Robertson the historian gives an interesting account of the love for this
pastime evinced by the native Americans ; and Raynal enters into a philo-
sophical detail of the subject in his work on the East and West Indies. It is
somewhat remarkable (observes the latter), that in the first ages of the world,
and among savage nations, dancing should be an imitative art ; and that it
should have lost that characteristic in civilised countries, where it seems to be
reduced to a set of uniform steps without meaning, &c. Raynal, vol. v.,
page 65. — Editob. •

 

160

chase of the kangaroo, the motions of the animal, and the
panting and gestures of the person in chase. This dance was
divided into different scenes or parts ; the movements
differing a little in each part: sometimes the dancers ap-
proached each other, then receded traversed and changed
sides, with a corresponding variation in gesture and exclama-
tion. At intervals they called out "get away, get away,"
and at each pause, " beraway, beraway," which latter word
one of them explained in this way: — white man say "hip,
hip, hurra," black man say, " beraway, beraway." During the
entire dance, they make a violent panting noise, hegh, hegh,
hegh, hogha, hogha, hogha; these sounds guttural. After-
wards they seated themselves in arm-chairs, with the greatest
self-complacency, and drank tea.

Their visit has been of great service, for many natives sub-
sequently came into Perth and Fremantle, and intimated
their desire to live on friendly terms, and to refrain from
offering injury to us or our cattle. Gallypert thus describes
his interview with them — me wonka (tell) black man pear
white man cow, white man yeep (sheep), white man kill black
man ; — black man no pear (spear) cow, no pear yeep, white
man give black man jacket, towlyer, yerk (shirt) and bikket
(biscuit) plenty ; black man wonka (say) no pear no more.

On the 15th, we came on board the schooner in which I
had undertaken to accompany the Lieutenant-Governor on a
tour of inspection to Port Augusta and King George's Sound ;
and sailed on the following morning with a fair wind.

We had reached Cape Naturaliste, when the wind headed
us, and obliged us to run back to Garden Island ; where we
went ashore on the evening of the 15th, and enjoyed a
bivouac, in preference to our quarters on shipboard.

I wish you had a peep at us as we lay in the bush, with a
canopy of trees over us — our supper, fish (speared for us by
the natives), with the accompaniment of crabs of our own
catching.

 

Ml

On the 16tli, we re-embarked; but the wind being still
unfavourable, we anchored under shelter of Carnac Island,
where we passed a most delightful day, rambling about the
rocks, catching crabs with pointed sticks. Our men took
some young mutton birds in the holes in which they burrow
like rabbits ; and the natives of our party begged hard to
remain all night, in order to catch the old ones in their holes,
which they do not euter before nightfall ; but, as we intended
to sail with the first of the land breeze, we made them sleep
with ourselves on board, much to their regret.

17th. — A fine breeze all day : we were running parallel to
the coast, but at a considerable distance, to clear Cape
Naturaliste.

ISth. — Abreast of the Cape ; which is neither high nor
bluff. The coast ten miles distant. We can perceive cattle
in the valleys, and the first ridge of bare-looking hills in the
back ground. Two fires are perceptible.

19^^. — We are now opposite the part of the coast to which
you seem to have turned your attention. It is bold and
rocky, reminding me greatly of the Irish coast — more to be
admired for the picturesque than trusted for its safety. It
is probable that there may be many nooks, sounds, or bays,
affording shelter, but they are not yet known.

It is a work of time, expense, and difficulty to explore the
windings of a coast ; more an object for Government to ac-
complish, than for an individual to undertake. You conjec-
ture that this is a desirable part of the continent to select for
a settlement, but it may be long before this place shall be
located, and a solitary settler would labour under many dis-
advantages in his isolation.

It would be very injudicious to choose an uninhabited dis-
trict, when there are so many places here in whicli we can
have the protection and comfort of society. A Ro'i s.
Crusoe kind of life may do very well in romance, but will
not be pleasant in reality.

M

 

162

This must be obvious for many reasons ; and as we are now
going with a nine-knot breeze and a heaving sea, I shall not
be at the trouble of scribbling any thing in proof of it.

Last night the wind became unfavourable as we were
rounding Cape Lewin, but on standing out a little we got a
fair breeze off land, and so held our course, purposing to call
at Fort Augusta on our return.

2&tTi. — We have been on shore for a week, and have now
set sail again, having seen much that is interesting, but with-
out an opportunity of recording it, until now ; and even now
you must be satisfied with a rapid sketch from recollection.

Early on the morning of the 20th, we rounded Bald Head,
the promontory which forms the western head-land of the
deep bay of King George's Sound, which appeared to me like
Lough Swilly, and I greatly enjoyed the scene. We then
proceeded N. and W. through the entrance into Prince's
Royal Harbour, and at nine o'clock anchored opposite the
settlement there, and on the succeeding morning wei-e wel-
comed on shore by the clamouring "allalo" (how d'ye do) of
a dozen natives, who expressed the greatest joy at seeing their
friends Maryate and Gallypert again. Tliis day was passed
by the Lieutenant-Governor in examining stores, and other
official duties. I called on Messrs. Morley, Cheyne, Littleton,
and some others, from whom we received the greatest kind-
ness during our stay.

On Friday we went by boat, from Prince's Royal Harbour,
across the Sound, up Oyster Harbour, to a farm lately occu-
pied by Mr. Henty, on the King River, and here enjoyed a
rich treat of some of the fine oysters, from the abundance of
which the harbour is so named ; then proceeded thence to the
Calgan River, which we ascended about six miles, but the
navigation becoming impeded by barriers of rocks, we halted
to bivouac round a cheerful fire, under a canopy of red gum
trees, and were composing ourselves for the night, when Eye-
nan (a native who had accompanied us) suddenly jumped up

 

163

exclaiming, " "Wigh (a snake*) no good, no good." By torch-
light, we killed a snake, which had been on the foot of this
native, who signified to us that the bite would not be of
serious injury, "men dik little," would make him a little
sick. Next morning we walked higher up the river, which
was here a running stream about twenty-five yards broad,
crossed in several places by ledges of rock, where the natives
had constructed ingenious weirs for taking fish, which ap-
peared to be abundant. The scenery here is romantic, the
soil on the banks tolerably good; but I understand that it
does not continue so to any great distance. We returned
down the river, and again indulged in an oyster feast, and
proceeded to a small island, which a solitary convict had
once attempted to cultivate. The effects of his toil appear in
the grapes, cabbages, &c., which have now grown wild.

At five we reached the settlement, where we dined with
Doctor Littleton, Next day I visited the farm before break-
fast with Captain Irwin, for the purpose of selecting a suburban
grant in the vicinity. The farm is a tract of ground partly of
clay, and partly of loamy quality, about a mile and a half from
the settlement, where there are some acres of ground under
cultivation, which have produced good wheat this year. I
went out a second time, accompanied by a surveyor, and
chose two lots of four acres each, one for Captain Irwin, the
other for myself; the soil is peaty, with a small portion of
sand. Can you imagine a sandy bog ? If so, you may have
a notion of this soil.

lUh. — On this day (Sunday) many of the natives f came
into the barrack during divine service, of whom some re-
mained all the time, and conducted themselves with great
decorum. On Monday they were drawn up in line, and

 

* Latet anguis in herb4.

DoTLE, Jun.
f Vide, Appendix.

M— 2

 

164

"addressed in the following speech by Mr. Morley, the store-
keeper, while we all looked most ludicrously grave.

Now now twonk, Gubbernor wonka me wonka black fellow,
Now attend, the Governor desires me to tell the black man

black fellow pear white man white men

if the the black man spear the white man the white men

poot. Black fellow queeple no good. Black

will shoot them. If a black man steal it is not good. If a black

fellow peer black fellow no good Black fellow

man spear a black man it is not good. If the black man

plenty shake hand black fellow, no black fellow no queeple,
be friendly with the black man, if the black man do not steal,

black fellow give him white man wallabees, wood come here,
if the black man give the white man wallabees, bring wood,

water come here, white man plenty shake hand black man,
and bring water, white man will befriend the black man,

plenty give it him bikket, plenty ehtah, plenty
and give him plenty of biscuits, plenty to eat, and give him

blanket, arrack, tomahawk. Now now Gubbernor wonka me
blankets, rice, tomahawk. Now the Governor desires me

give it him one guy black fellow one guy knaif.
to give each black man one knife.

A knife was then suspended by a riband round the neck
of each ; thus ended the ceremony, and they were dismissed,
a set of wealthy and happy mortals.

 

THE COLONY.

LEAVE KING GEORGE'S SOUND — FLINDEK'S BAY — ^THE BLACKWOOD RIVER —
INTERVIEW WITH THE NATIVES — ARRIVAL OF THE MEROPE — ADVANCE
OF THE COLONT.

Hermitage, Swan River, March 9.

Here is a wide chasm in my diary, which I fear I shall not
be able to close satisfactorily. Between hurry and bustle
on land, (not to speak of a little squeamishness at sea), my
various occupations since I have landed, and interruptions
at home, I have got most hopelessly into arrear; yet 1 liope to
bring it up.

On the 26th ult. we left George's Sound at sunrise, Doctor
Littleton, Mr. Cheyne, (with whom I had lived there), Mr.
Morley, and Mr. M'Cleod, of the G3rd, accompanying our
original party, until we got into the Sound. We anchored
in riinder's Bay, and on the 28th went to Mr. Morley's
house, which is prettily situated on the Blackwood, near
its mouth. Here, on the floor of an uninhabited house, we
spread our mat trasses and cloaks, and with the aid of a
good fire made ourselves very comfortable.

The weather, during the whole period of our excursion, was
about the temperature of an English spring ; indeed, it is said
that the thermometer at King George's Sound seldom rises
above 82°.

March 1st. — We advanced up the Blackwood, and got fast
on the fiats, which we had some trouble to push over ; there
is a passage, but we missed it. On these Hats we saw numbers
of ducks, and upwards of a hundred swans — a good classical

 

166

omen.* The river above is deep and wide, the banks on
either side rich and thickly covered with timber, principally
red gum and mahogany. We ascended about twenty- two
miles, returned to the same point next morning, and slept
at Mr. Russel's. From this we walked to the settlement,
about four miles, through thick forest, with a dense luxuri-
ance of underwood, through which a pathway leading to the
Vasse river has been recently cut. Most of the colonists
here speak of going to settle at the Vasse when they can
procure sheep, the land there being described as open and
grassy, on a substratum of limestone. If this be so, it must
be a fine tract of pasture land, continuing, in all probability,
of the same quality to the Murray River. Yet this was
thought at first a poor sandy district !

The river is inconsiderable, its mouth blocked up, and with-
out shelter on the bay ; but it has many advantages. We had
some intention of walking to it from the Blackwood, while the
vessel was going round, (she could have picked us up there) ;
but as that part was so recently explored, and so well laid
down in charts, it did not possess sufficiently the interest of
novelty to induce us to take a step which might have been
attended with many inconveniences, if the ship should have
been prevented from coming round in time. I did not mention
that we brought six natives, at their urgent request, from
King George's Sound, to visit Swan River ; but as we were
preparing to embark, one of them was missing. On search-
ing for him I suddenly found myself among a large body of
natives, who, seeing me hesitate, called out " abba," an ex-
pression of friendly salutation. I immediately joined them,
and found our runaway among the number: he declared his
intention of remaining some time on a visit with them, and
then going by land to King George's Sound : as they were

 

* Mr. Moore probably alludes to this passage : —
" Oycnus in auguriis nautis gratissimus ales." — Dotle, J an.

 

167

numerous, well armed and powerful, yet good-humoured-look-
ing men, we deemed it prudent to proceed without them. If
he should reach his tribe in safety, the circumstance may be
of great service to us, as he may be the means of opening a
friendly intercourse between us and the natives of this dis-
trict. Whales frequent King George's Sound. Mr. Lukin
who went with us to examine the Sound, in order to ascer-
tain whether it be adapted to the whale-fishing, considers it
highly eligible for that purpose, and intends to attempt it
immediately.

I hope he will succeed ; it would be a chief means of giv-
ing stability to the colony. I trust that we shall yet be en-
abled to avail ourselves of the advantages, quce larga profuTidit
fcecundo Natura sinu. As we were working out of Augusta
Bay, we saw many seals of the most valuable species upon
the rocky islands of Cape Lewin : in truth, this colony only
requires that its natural advantages should be turned to ac-
count, in order to vie with any other.

It was the intention of Captain Irwin to call at Vasse ;
and he also contemplated a visit to the Murray Eiver, for the
purpose of inspecting that outport, but a foul wind frustrated
these purposes.

A river called the Donnelly, fresh at the mouth, and hav-
ing ten feet of water at the bar, is said to have been seen by
Mr. Preston, falling into the sea, about thirty miles east of
Augusta. If this be the case (which I doubt) it differs very
much from every other known river in this climate ; to coun-
teract the force of the salt water at the mouth, it must have
a powerful stream. 1 was anxious to persuade Captain Irwin
to trace it; but as the captain of the Mien informed us that
his boats were not calculated for such service, we were ob-
liged to relinquish the attempt, and leave to others the fame
of exploring it.

It was not until the evening of the 3rd that we cleared
Fiinder's Bay, off Augusta; next day we arrived at Fremantle

 

168

about noon, and in the evening reached Perth, where I was
detained until Thursday (the 7th).

On my arrival at home I found everything right. The
servants informed me that they had never seen such heavy
torrents of flooding rain since their arrival in the colony : this
wetting has prepared the arid soil for crops ; and I shall im-
mediately plant potatoes. We have always had some rain in
March, but not so much as on the late occasion, Indeed, we
are only now acquiring knowledge of the seasons and the
method of managing our crops.

13th. — On this day I sat on the bench from ten until six,
in a crowded court. I had a list of forty-two cases for argu-
ment, questions of cost, &c.

14:th. — On the bench again all day.

15th. — Ditto. Our colonists are becoming fonder of law
every day. Besides the excitement of litigation, three houses
have been destroyed by fire. As they were constructed of
inflammable materials, every thing which they contained of
furniture and clothes was totally consumed.

During the progress of the conflagration, the Swan Eiver
natives had a row among themselves, and speared two of their
own women and one man very severely. Yet this occasion
afforded me strong indication of the good feeling of these
people ; for I never before witnessed more genuine sensibility
than was manifested by the husband of one of the women (a
very young and pretty one, however) ; though wounded him-
self, he bore her in his arms to the hospital, and sat beside
her all day, supporting her on his bosom. I hope that they
will all recover; though some of their wounds are 'deep.
The cause of the outrage has not been ascertained.

I was preparing to come away on Friday, when a messen-
ger arrived to inform me that the natives had set fire to Mr.
Shaw's hay, and driven away my sheep. The report I did
not f ally credit ; and on arriving at home, found that the
rumour regarding the abstraction of my sheep had originated

 

1j69

in their having stayed away during the night, while under the
care of a black man whom I now have with me ; they re-
turned like dutiful truants in the morning.

Captain Irwin, and Captain Ellis, superintendent of the
native tribes, have investigated the particulars of what had
occurred relative to the hay, to discover whether it had been
destroyed designedly by the natives, or by accident. I rode
with these gentlemen to the spot, about three miles distant ;
it appeared that the fire was not accidental, for three ricks, at
a distance from each other, were consumed by unconnected
fires. We have, in consequence, a post of soldiers overlook-
ing the plain on which the mischief was committed.

l^th. — At an early hour tliis morning 1 had a visit from
seven natives ; and seventeen more came in the course of the
day. I have hired a new shepherd at £2 per month, and
have had a litter of nine pigs ! These have been my last
domestic changes of great importance.

I'^th. — While wandering about to-day with a gun on my
shoulder, 1 met a gentleman who informed that the natives
killed a valuable mare belonging to Air. Tanner, at Wood-
bridge, yesterday, in revenge it is supposed, for some imagin-
ary cause of offence. The same people were perceived on
Friday behind my place (soon after the hay was destroyed)
on the look out, in all probability, for my flock ; but I keep
a steady watch, and shall take my gun with me every day,
and observe the precaution of putting a brace of pistols in
my belt. We have been on good terms with them every
where, so that 1 cannot imagine the occasion of this mis-
chievous outbreak.

'21st. — I have been trying to burst asunder the stump of a
tree in front of the house ; and I shall then be able to make
the ground slope gently from the verandah to the river ; but
1 sadly want some of you to assist me in my landscape gar-
dening ; I have been for two days burning brushwood and
grass ')uar the house, as a preventive against fire. This has

 

170

a paradoxical sound ; but the removal of the mflammable
material is a certain security from conflagration in the cleared
quarter, and the young grasses are benefited by this process.

After being occupied seven hours in this way, I had several
visitors in the evening — among them many ladies. In fact,
we see more of our friends here in a week, than you do in a
month at home.

Ilfid. — Sad chapter of accidents to be recorded ; knocked
my head against an angular beam, and cut it through my hat;
my dog Carlo jumped at my nose and bit it, by way of show-
ing his affection ; and I afterwards cut myself under the eye
by the recoil of a hammer ; then burned my tlinnib and
scraped my hand in moving a burning log ; and, by way of
grand finale, burned my great toe through my shoe.

2^rd. — A boat-load of visitors — male and female — enough
to terrify any bachelor out of his wits. Mr. Kingsford, an
experienced miller, lately come out, after searching in vain
for an eligible mill site with water power, now proposes to
cut a deep trench, and lay a pipe from some lagoons behind
Perth into the town, to afford him a supply of water. There
are some of these lagoons eight miles in circumference, and
at no great distance, which he thinks have a communication
with each other through the sandy soil, or which may be
made to communicate by unexpensive cuts. Mr. K. seems
prejudiced against a windmill ; nor does he think that Mr.
Kevely's horizontal one can succeed ; and insists that more
can be done by gravity than by impulse.

2Uh. — I have just hired a thresher, paying him Is. 6d. a
bushel : he threshes five or six bushels a day, so he earns high
wages. My wheat is good, and yields well. I wanted to
hire a boy also, but his former master would not give him a
certificate, because he had left him without previous warning :
this is a wholesome check, which was resolved on at an agri-
cultural meeting, greatly to the annoyance of some of the
servants of the colony. While I was at breakfast, the mes-

 

171

senger of tlie Civil Court at Perth came with affidavits, &c.,
to support an application for a writ against the captain of a
vessel, who is about to leave tlie colony, while there are some
unsettled questions of law affecting him. This is one of the
few cases in which there is an arrest in civil matters here ;
and the writ can only be issued by myself.

The same messenger also brought intelligence that a ship
had arrived from Hobart Town, but without a mail. This
appeared so strange that I determined to ride down and in-
quire for myself. True enough — not a single letter, parcel,
or package has she brought — nothing but her own freight of
cattle, flour, and pot;itoes. Tliere is some mystery which we
cannot as yet develope ; but the general opinion is, either
that another vessel had sailed before her, and had not yet
arrived, or that one was about to follow, which would inter-
fere with her market.

28^A. — Went to dine with Mr. Shaw, and had a drive home
with Mr. and Mrs. Brockman in a kind of dog-cart. I killed
a fine sheep this morning — the tirst which I have regularly
slaughtered for sale: it is small, 11 lbs. a quarter — but I
should not be ashamed to compare it with any mutton in
your market. The carpenter and thresher purchased a side
at Is. 6d. a pound. It was one of those for which I gave
£2 10s., but as I have been paying a shepherd ever since, my
profit is not very considerable.

Perth, March 2>Qth. — A man has arrived in breathless haste
to announce that the Mer&pe, chartered by Major Nairn, had
arrived. Soon afterwards the mail was brought in ; but I
cannot express my mortification at not receiving a letter ; but
in the envelope of one to Captain Irwin lay your letter, dated
Nov. 1831, and another from Mrs. Logan, who had forwarded
it. I shall start for Fremantle to-morrow, to ascertain if the
articles mentioned in your letter are on board, and if they
can be exchanged for sheep, of which the Merope has brought
358 ; but I know not if they be for sale. She ha^ also

 

172

imported eleven horses, fifteen head of black cattle, twenty
goats, fifty tons of potatoes, twenty-five tons of flour, and
200 bushels of seed- wheat ; and the other vessel is freighted
with forty tons of flour, and some potatoes ; and both have
beef and pork.

I shall now enumerate my own stock : —

Sheep (old and young) ... 66

Cows 8

Horses 2

Pigs 21

Goats 3

Fowls 24

Ducks 5

Dogs 3

Cats 6

It is rumoured that another vessel (the Georgina) is also
coming out with stock, and that one from Sydney is bringing
out 1,000 sheep. If these grand expectations be realised,
we shall soon have stock in abundance, and plenty of seed-
wheat and potatoes.

April 5th. — I went last Tuesday to Fremantie, to see about
the chest, pork, &c. ; but they have not been landed from the
vessel. This is provoking ; for, with most feminine curiosity,
I longed to open the chest and inspect its contents. By some
untoward chance it got into the commissary store at
Hobart Town, and Major Nairn had great trouble in effecting
its liberation.

***** * .

To-morrow I must go to Perth ; my judicial duties there
being important.

***««*

You know that I have never suffered myself to shut my
eyes to the difficulties and inconveniences of my situation ;
but rather forced myself to contemplate them in their
sternest aspect. The certainty may be painful ; but why

 

173

should I struggle to conceal from myself that all my former
scenes must henceforth be but as a dream of the days that
are gone ? Here is my lot cast, Between us there is a gulf
fixed (oh how wide !) which few have resolution to cross :
yet it is nothing when attempted. It is an excitement, a
novelty, a sensation worth the purchasing.

To a first settler, the uncertainty of the how, the when,
the where, the everything, connected with his prospects, is
distracting; but to those coming out to join their friends,
what is there but pleasure ? I really believe that most
persons would think it a change for the better. But it is, as
I have more than once observed, too great a responsibility
to advise the change.

There are now no difficulties in the way of emigration
compared with those which the original settlers encountered.
We have houses to shelter in, beds to sleep on, inns to quarter
at, — meat and bread. But as to any of yourselves emigrating
— how could you leave property, business, friends to lead the
life of a rustic ? Could you enjoy such a condition, so
widely differing from your present habits and occupations ?
It is kind in you to talk of coming out here, to keep me in
spirits ; but I know the impracticability of it. If any of
you have definite intentions on the subject, write, and
demand whatever specific information you desire.

I begin to fear that I am bound to this place for life, or for
a very long period ; but this is the first time I have dared
to express the conviction, even to myself, and I must not

dwell on it.

**♦**♦

The Merope is about to sail. If I should not be able to
write more in this packet, accept my concluding prayer, that
God may bless you all with health and happiness, and receive
the assurance of the health, contentment, and probable
prosperity of your affectionate brother,

Geoege Moobe.

 

THE COLONY.

ARRIVAL OF LETTERS, ETC. — COST OF WHEAT — HIGH CHARGES OF MECHANICS
— COST OF WHEAT — RECOLLECTIONS OF HOME — SCARCITY OF LABOUR
— GOVERNMENT SUPPLIES — BROILS WITH THE NATIVES — LITIGATION —
EXECUTION OF MIDGEGOROO — YAGAN — THE NATIVES.

April 15th, 1833. — I have received your letters and
devoured them ; have been buried in newspapers, busied in
unpacking, airing, &c., and altogether bewildered, with the
variety of occupations and amusements which have come
upon me all at once, in addition to my ordinary avocations.
I cannot bring my mind to a state of sober regularity
without going back a little, getting on my old track, and so
habituating myself, by degrees, to the novelties of the road.*

I had just opened the chest on Saturday, when Mr. Mackie
came for dinner ; and soon after arrived Captain Irwin, to
whom I handed his letters, which were packed up along with
mine, and we made a regular evening's feast, whilst Mackie,
in the meantime, picked fragments of old news out of the
papers.

My first feelings are those of humiliation and shame —
for having entertained even a passing doubt of the strength
and constancy of your affections, and deep regret at the
consciousness of being so undeserving of the affectionate
terms in which you all express yourselves, and of the kind

• The chest had been sent, via Van Diemen's Land, in the latter end of
1831, but did not reach . its destination by that rout till April, 1833. It
contained the letters of nearly twelve months ; and owing to his not having
received them before, our emigrant complained in some of his letters of
haying been neglected by his friends.

 

175

and considerate acts by which those expressions are con-
firmed and realised.

I sat down several times since to write, but could not
arrange my ideas ; T wanted to say something particular to
each of you ; I still wisli it ; but how to do justice to my
own feelings and your affections ! * * * *

*♦» * ***»

The chest was admirably packed and secured, but the
moths forced an entrance ; and I am sorry to say their taste
led them to some of the choisest morsels. It is remarkable
that they do not appear to have touched anything of blue
coloured cloth ; that of olive colour has suffered wofully :
a very handsome olive coat, which you sent me, has been
sadly riddled by them, and 1 am not chemist enough to
unriddle the cause of this preference. This, however, is all
the material damage ; but some of the light-coloured jackets
have been deprived of their colour by damp, wherever it
seems to have reached them.

I have already tried the fishing nets — without success —
the trammel net is the only killing one in this part of the
river.

19th. — I have sketched for you on paper a sort of section
view of what my house is intended to be. It appears almost
concealed by the verandah, like a man with a broad-brimmed
hat drawn down over his face ; but in this climate, shade in
summer, and shelter in winter, are equally desirable. When
the verandah shall have been made all round, I can enjoy a
walk of 164 feet under it.

I have been busy laying out my boundary lines, and
chaining my grant, which is more than half a mile in breadth
along the river, and running several miles back. Mr. Wells
came here in the evening, and I sold him six young pigs just
weaned, at 15s. apiece, to be paid in wheat, delivered on my
account, to the Government stores, at 13s. per bushel, to
repay the advances which were some time ago made to us, in

 

176

proportion to the quantity of ground in cultivation, and
which were to be paid in colonial wheat, at 15s. per bushel :
it costs nearly 10s. to grow it here, at the present price of
labour.

20th. — A fire appeared in progress towards Hermitage
to-day; and while I was busy watching it, three natives
came to me : however, they did no harm, but went quietly
away after I had given them some bread. All my men were
absent kangaroo hunting, but without success. I have,
however, myself caught a little turtle (about half the size of my
hand) in the net — this is the extent of my success in fishing.

I got a bill to-day from our blacksmith for odds and ends,
which I hardly knew of, amounting to nearly £3. Oh, for
our ould Irish UacJcsmith ! what would he say to 6s. for
sharpening the plough-share, and 5s. for pointing a crow-
bar ? I sent my praam to a carpenter for repairs, and when
it came back it was all split and rent with nails, and it sunk
in consequence the same day : for this job the said carpenter
had the modesty to ask 30s. He is the same man who wanted
from me £7 for mending the wheels of my cart, and putting a
bullock-pole to it, without the iron work, which would, perhaps,
cost me £3 more.

I have now two carpenters (including Eobert) making
gates, which will cost me £3 10s. ; twenty-four hurdles have
just cost me £7 4s. ; think of these prices !

2bth. — My people begin to grumble at not getting meat
more than once, and only two glasses of rum in the day ; but
I find it quite enough to give them that allowance, and tell
them that I shall not alter my system at present, and that in
October, when their time of service with me will have
concluded, they may better their condition if they can.

If hops were to be had here, I should try to brew some
beer, which would be wholesomer than rum.

I had flattered myself, that, with the help of time and
philosophy, the headlong current of my feelings would have

 

177

been moderated and lowered down even to sluggishness ; but
some passing* thought to-day opened a flood-gate which let
them rush in upon me like an overwhelming current. I re-
membered the scenes of home, and the hour of parting, with
a painful minuteness of detail, and a vividness of reality, which
fell little short of reality itself. Vain philosophy ! how easily
and readily poor human nature resumes its sway when she
finds you sleeping on your post ! I wish some of you were
here ; I wish all of you were here : — no ; 'tis a selfish wish ;
this life would not do for any of you. You would be obliged
to forget, or at least dispense with, many comforts and refine-
ments altogether ; you must endeavour to lose the recollection
of your former home, and if possible, of your former friends
and feelings. What a task ! how difficult ! how impossible !
yet otherwise no emigrant can be contented and happy here ;

* The following lines naturally suggest themselves here. — Editob.

" But ever and anon of griefs subdued

There comes a token like a scorpion's sting,
Scarce seen, but with fresh bitterness imbued ;

And slight withal may be the things which bring

Back on the heart the weight which it would fling
Aside for ever : it may be a sound —

A tone of music — summer's eve — or spring —
A flower — the wind — the ocean — which shall wound,
Striking the electric chain wherewith we are darkly bound.

" And how and why we know not, nor can trace

Home to its cloud this lightning of the mind ;
But feel the shock renew'd, nor can efface

The blight and blackening which it leaves behind,

Which out of things familiar, undesign'd
When least we deem of such, calls up to view

The spectres whom no exorcism can bind,
The cold — the changed — perchance the dead — anew
The moum'd, the loved, the lost — too many ! yet how few ! "

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

N

 

178

he must not look back after having put his hand to the plough.
Imagination paints this sunny clime as the land of fruits ;
so it is ! but time, labour, money, skill, and judgment, must
combine to raise them. The land of pastoral ease and sim-
plicity ; so it may be ! but the flocks and herds must first be
acquired ; here again money ! money ! The land of agricul-
ture and smiling harvests ; true, it may be ! but money is the
manure to set them growing.

" Oh cives, cives quaerenda est pecunia primum."

A little will do to set things going, if managed judiciously,
and persevering with skill and activity. Servants are so
scarce and consequential, that we must serve ourselves as
far as possible ; so that a fine gentleman has no business
here. I read your plan, last night, for supplying us with
workmen ; we have many projects among ourselves, but can
do Kttle in this respect, unless Government assist us. I should
like to make some arrangement about getting out some of your
labourers ; but we are, at present in suspense, every day ex-
pecting to hear from England the result of the personal appli-
cation of Governor Stirling* ; we scarce know on what ground
we stand, whether we shall be better or worse. However, in
a month or two we shall know our probable fate. 1 am pre-
pared for any vicissitudes of fortune.

I wished tliis morning for you, father, to aid me in keeping

the servants in working order ; for you, J , and W , to

advise and plan improvements, sowings, plantings, gardenings;

for you, S , to contrive machinery and woodwork ; and for

you, my dear sisters, to arrange the housekeeping department,
and snuggify things; but you could not make things snug here,
for I have as yet neither press nor table that you would call

* When this letter was written, the colonists were uncertain whether they
were to receive any further assistance from the British Government, or to be
left to themselves. It has been determined, however, to support the colony,
as appears from a letter of Sir James Stirling, written in England. See the
copy of this letter in Appendix.

 

179

such. " Why do you not get carpenters ? " you say. Answer
" They are idle or inactive in proportion to the exorbitance of
their charge, (10s. a day), and you can hardly notice a day's
work." This is a regular grumble ; so it is, and I must claim
the privilege of an Englishman to grumble. But I conclude
by saying that the weather at this season is the very 'perfection
of weather, warm days, cool nights, and dewy mornings.

To-day I got security for some money due to me, and have
the power of selling a grant if not paid within a given time.
There is a sliort-cut mode of mortgaging land here, which will
make it change hands with rapidity. However, as we have
nothing to do with the old feudal reasons for making laud
unalienable, I don't see why we should not render it as trans-
ferable as any other property. I dug up a few new potatoes,
which had remained deep sown in the ground since last season;
they are good.

Another ship from Van Diemen's Land, the Eagle, with
provisions and a general cargo ; only a few sheep, and these
for slaughter.

In the evening Mr. * * * came here on business. I do
not well know what to think of him : he was a man of war
(I don't mean a wooden one), his words are those of a man of
peace ; he speaks at times as if he were averse to litigation,
yet he is continually involved in it ; professing puerile sim-
plicity, yet arguing with the casuistry of a Jesuit; a linguist;
(he suddenly asked me the other day what I thought was the
force of the particle " Eth," in the first verse of the Hebrew
Bible ?) a great financier, who has proposed a desirable scheme
of a bank which was to enrich us all, — the only requisite being
that the Government should lend us £100,000 ! ! Yet with
his varied talents, he is a mere boatman plying on our river.

27j;A. — Ten at night. I have drawn my chair near the/rg,
and have thrown on an an additional log,* that I may write

 

" Lignum super foco larg^ reponens." — M. Doyle, Jun.

N — 2

 

180

toy journal luxuriously. A boat having come up the river
to-day from Perth, I got ready twenty bushels of wheat, and
sent it to the Government store, as the first instalment in
payment for advances.

My debt amounts to not much. About £60 for beef, wheat
oats, peas, oatmeal, tea and sugar. The advances were made
at a time when these articles were scarcely to be had through
any channel. We have had twelve months' credit, and it has
been of the greatest assistance to us ; indeed I know not what
many of us could have done without some such aid. By the
way, you wrote that " oatmeal would not keep," — the Govern-
ment meal is marked of the year 1829. I have a little of it
yet, and it is as good as on the day it was exported. I believe
there is some mode of packing it air-tight, and that this is the
secret of its keeping so well.

I have observed, on a former occasion, that our wheat costs
the grower 10s. per bushel; it has since been calculated at
15s. per bushel. Our neighbour, Mr. B., charges 4s. a bushel
for grinding it; other expenses, of lost time, &c., are Is. per
bushel more. If we send it to Perth, where it is ground for
2s. per bushel, the distance makes the expense equal to Mr.
B's. charge ; or, if we grind it by hand, the time occupied, the
first price of the mill, and its continued repairs, prevent any
reduction in the expense of its manufacture. It occupied a
very great part of the time of my two men, and they were
constantly breaking the mill, which had cost me £5 ; so that
you see our ground wheat (whole meal) costs about 28s. per
cwt. I cannot help thinking of the beautiful fine American
flour, some of which I bought at 13s. per cwt. As to oaten
meal, none has ever been ground here, nor is it likely ; so that
even for medical purposes it would be in demand with us,
setting aside the Irish and Scotch in its favour. I am sure
it would sell at from 25s. to 28s. per cwt.

I had sent James to borrow a seed riddle, and was on the
look out for some pigs that were trying to circumvent the garden^

 

181

when I heard a jabbering, and lo ! ten natives were in the act
of admiring them at the river-side. As I thought they might
carry their admiration to the inconvenient extent of carrying
them off, I slipped into the house and got my guns in readi-
ness, and in a convenient situation for instant use. I then
went out and engaged the unwelcome visitors in most edifying
conversation, walking them up through the gate, and past the
house, on to the high plain ahove ; and sending Johnny for
bread, which I cut and distributed amongst them in due pro-
portion, praying proper regard to old Yello-gonga, their chief.
and to two of the fair sex by whom he was accompanied. I
then shook hands with them, and bade them a most hearty
farewell. They were very civil ; but, to say the truth, I have
no great desire ever to see their amiable faces again. Amongst
them I recognised " Aloley," the native whom I had in charge,
on the day when we took seven prisoners, on my first coming
to the colony. He did not seem to recognise me, nor did I
recollect his face, until he told me his name, — one of the
young women then present is his wife.

The next event was the finding one of the young pigs at
the bottom of the well, rather past hope ; however, as it bled
freely under the operation of the butcher's knife, it may not
altogether be a dead loss. It was a nice pig, which I intended
to keep ; but being of an inquiring nature, he went searching
after truth (I suppose), which they say lies at the bottom of
a well. It is well it is no worse.

I have sent off the six young pigs that were bought some
time ago by Mr. Wells ; our family is therefore diminished,
but we have still fourteen of the hog species.

SOth. — After dinner yesterday I set out to Eedcliff, a de-
lightful ride, by an unaccustomed way, and saw several loca-
tions higher up the Helena than I had before. Heard of two
ships having been seen off the harbour — a matter of great
excitement. Eode to Perth this morning, where I ascertained
that the brig Dart had arrived from Sydney, bringing fifty

 

182

tons of floiir amongst other things. It is singular that,
owing to monopoly, everything keeps up a high price yet.
The enormous sum of £25 per ton is demanded for potatoes,
though they are rotting in the bags, people being unwilling
to submit to such taxation, and the sellers refusing to lower
, the price. Another vessel has touched here, and inquired of
the pilot if England was at war with the Dutch. On being
informed of our blissful state of ignorance, she proceeded on
her way to Batavia.

I left Perth about four o'clock, and rode the back way, and
arrived here with a glimmering of light (between twilight and
moonlight), distance about fourteen English miles. Both
horse and man (the nobler animal first) were very hungry,
neither having eaten from an early breakfast hour. No letter
in this vessel that I have heard of.

Four of my sheep have had lambs ;■ it is early yet, by six
weeks, for this is the most trying season : we must manage
better another time. My present shepherd is very attentive,
but must not be interfered with in any way : he dresses the
sheep frequently for the scab, which the new flock brought
with them — spirits of turpentine and tobacco-water are his
remedy.

After an early dinner, I rode back to the hills this day, to
my northern boundary ; got on a high hill, with a level top,
and had great difficulty in descending by another route : I
was quite surprised to find how much of my time it occupied
to reach the summit, and how much more rugged and higher
it is than I had fancied.

The soil to the very highest points is reddish loam. There
is very little mahogany on my grant ; and where there is any,
it is much intermixed with red gums, which indicate that the
sub-stratum is clay at no great depth. The trees are princi-
pally white and red gum. Towards the tops of the hills we
find grass (kangaroo and other sorts), lucerne (so called here),
chrysanthemum, &c., &c.

 

183

I saw two kangaroos ; but it was when we were among
the rocks, and they in the plains below. Juno stood on a
jutting precipitous rock, and pointed them, a little frightened,
yet half inclined to take a bound after them. Carlo had a
run after a wallabee ; but it requires a practised dog to kill
one, and he is yet inexperienced.

May 1st. — Some natives — seven men, one pretty young
woman, and two boys — have been here. I gave them some
wheat, but they wanted bread very much, and stayed with
me for it half an hour, then went to Mr. Shaw's, thence to
the barracks, where shots were fired to frighten them ; they
were unarmed ; — I hope we shall not suffer for the indiscre-
tion of the soldiers.

2nd. — Captain Irwin came here to-day, and instituted an
inquiry into this unprovoked and causeless firing at the un-
armed natives, and issued strict orders.

A murder was committed by the natives the day before
yesterday, on the road between Fremantle and the Canning,
in consequence of the following provocation. Some time ago,
a man who had come from Van Diemen's Land, when escort-
ing a cart to the house of Mr. Phillips, on the Canning, saw
some unoffending natives in the way, " D — n the rascals,"
said he, " I'll show you how we treat them in Van Diemen's
Land," and immediately fired on them. That very cart, with
two men who had been present at the transaction, was pass-
ing near the same spot the day before yesterday, when they
were met by about fifty natives, who had lain in ambush, and
the two men were deprived of life so suddenly, that Mr.
Phillips (who was accompanying other carts about two luin-
dred yards behind) was hardly in time to see Ya-gan thrust
a spear into one of them as he lay on the ground. A reward
has been offered for the head of this Ya-gan, whether dead
or alive ; and several others who were active in the affair, will
probably be proclaimed also. A native was shot a few days
since at Fremantle, in the act of breaking into a store at night.

 

184

In consequence of these horrible occurrences we have been
very uneasy.

A party of natives have been at Mr. Bull's to-day again,
and seem to impute blame to the soldiers alone.

Eain to-night — the first we have had for some time — it is
very seasonable and refreshing.

3rd. — After breakfast I rode with Captain Irwin to lay
out a line of road from the head of the river to Guildford.
Messrs. Tanner, Peyton, and Mears called in the evening, and
mentioned that the soldiers had shot a native, and taken
three prisoners.

4:th, — Two natives came here to-day ; one of them is learn-
ing to speak English, and is very intelligent. I discovered
the naines of more than a dozen who were concerned in the
recent murder ; among others, two sons of Ya-gan, Narah and
WilHm, the latter a young imp not more than ten or eleven
years of age : we are greatly in their power, and must keep
on good terms with them, if possible. One of them had a
number of frogs (which I think he called " dweep ") nicely
packed up in the bark of the tea-tree, and tied with grass ;
these he signified they roasted for food, with a long white root,
growing like a parsnip, which they dig up in wet weather.

I have this day dismissed the sawyers, because, in addition
to the stipulated price for sawing, they charged £3 for merely
making a saw-pit, and felling a few trees.

I have been obliged to pay £2 for the woodwork of a pair
of harrows ; so you see how mechanics may thrive here ;
they are the sort of people to get on well, or those who
have everything within themselves — a self-contained family,
as it were, who can do without servants ; — the father to plan,
the boys to execute, and the girls to cook, wash, and transact
all the household affairs - these are the persons calculated for
this place ; your gentleman will never do, unless he brings out
a cheap, steady establishment, a capital to support it, and is
willing to employ both himself and them in active labour.

 

185

A sad discovery — my rum cask is empty : I shall have to

pay £27 for refilling it ; and this will be only one year's sup-
ply, even for my small establishment.

With you " grog " means a mixture of spirits and water,
in the ratio of one to three, or one to four — no such thing
here — it means unmixed ardent spirits. The habits which
many of the English peasantry bring with them are ruinous ;
and every man's expenditure seems to be regulated by the
highest standard ; even men who but seldom taste meat at
home, demand it here three times a day ; and now talk of
beer in addition to their grog.

Killed a lamb to-day, about six months old, small, but
good ; it weighed only six pounds a quarter.

hth. — After breakfast, Francis Whitfield, and shortly after
ten natives, came here : among them were three women, such
unlovely specimens of feminity as I never wish to see again.
One of them carried a pretty chubby-faced boy on her back.
Would that these visits, like angelic ones, were " few and far
between," for they are a smart tax upon me, as I am obliged
to distribute bread among the visitors. I try to make them
understand that they should come only once a week, to levy
their " black mail," as I call it ; but they do not, or vjill not,
understand, my hints.

My shepherd (unconscionable dog) wants to get the head
and pluck as a perquisite for killing sheep, and a glass of
grog, besides one every wet day. I fear I must part with
him, though he is an excellent herdsman.

12th. — Oh, I have had such a week of it ! — Sat in court on
Tuesday from ten until it was dark, and so every successive
day until Friday evening. There were forty-nine actions for
trial, several motions for a new hearing, or for staying judg-
ment, &c., &c. One law argument. Many of the other cases
were of claims to a large amount ; one for £569, another for
£2000 damages. I had got a cold and swelling in my neck
just before I went to Perth, which was greatly increased by

 

186

sitting in court every day eight or nine hours, exposed to a
draught of wind blowing about my head. I suffered great
torture every evening, and passed sleepless nights, but fortu-
nately did not feel pain during the day, probably on account
of mental occupation. It was truly a relief to have the week
over. I reached Eed Cliff yesterday in time for dinner, when
I found a merry party : among them, Mr. and Mrs. Brown,
Mr. and Mrs. Tanner, Mr. Drake, and Miss Parkes, Messrs.
Yule, Erskine, and Dale.

I arrived at home this evening at nine o'clock ; so you
perceive I have lost no time in pulling up my arrear of
diary.

ISth. — Got another hundred of cabbages put down to-day,
and had my potatoes moulded.

I must subjoin a list of articles which are essential to my
little housekeeping, and which you can send out yearly, for
we require annual remittances to keep up our stock, as our
merchants do not themselves import, but buy up what arrives,
which they sell out at exorbitant prices.

Four casks of pork ; five barrels of American flour, 200 lbs.
each : one dress suit of black cloth, one pair of dress boots,
one pair of walking ditto, one pair of dancing-shoes ; a web
of coarse linen for ticking, ditto for sheets ; calico sheets,
blankets, and counterpanes ; corduroy trowsers, slop shoes,
jackets, and waistcoats ; and twelve coarse cotton check-
shirts ; a small crate of crockery — strong delf — breakfast and
dinner-services ; milk pans ; short worsted and cotton stock-
ings. The crockery ware might be packed in grass. A little
red clover seed will also be acceptable.

The articles named would not only enable me to keep out
of the market myself, but to pay those servants whom I must
employ and feed, at the rate of £60 per annum each, as cal-
culated by colonial prices. We have no flannel, blankets,
counterpanes, nor scarcely any woollen thing in the colony.
All our friends at home seem to act on the same persuasion,

 

18Y

that in this climate there is no need of such things ; yet in
our winter we require them as much as you do.

Some things are selUng for less money tlian at former
periods, not because they are become more abundant, but-
because money is more scarce.

14^/i. — The weather is now very pleasant, but the variance
of temperature is rather too much : in the middle of the day
it is warm, at night cold ; it is just the season for colds, on
account of these vicissitudes.

I found several mushrooms to-day. Some natives have
been here this evening — a family party — Yelloganga and his
two wives, with the boys Parabang and " Nghnoonig." The
latter word affords an instance of one of Lyon's " lost sounds;"
and it would be a pity if ever it should be found again.
Ngoonig, Nghnoonig — I cannot combine any form of letters
which gives the sound correctly ; it sounds as if you were
going to blow your nose — rather nasal, " I guess."

Got some Swedish turnip seed sown, and transplanted
almond trees, and one little apple tree, which I reared from a
pippin, Mr. Shaw came here this evening, took tea with me,
and stayed until nine o'clock — a dark and frosty-feeling
evening.

15^^. — There is very little specie here : and no private bill
on England or elsewhere will be taken now, no matter how
unexceptionable it may appear to be. Barter will do among
ourselves, as we have plenty of property ; but having no ex-
ports, we have but little specie to spare for the payment of
any thing we procure from other countries. Emigrants
should, therefore, bring out specie, which is now the best
investment. Hitherto they have been laying out their capi-
tal in goods and merchandise.

Ten able-bodied natives were here to-day, none of whom I
had ever seen before, with the exception of one. — Sturdy
beggars — they will not easily be refused.

Walked to Mr. Bull's this evening, and engaged two bushels

 

188

of seed barley, at 15s. per bushel, of 45 lbs. weight: this may
make you stare; but these high prices are tlie difficulties
first settlers have to contend with, until they can produce
enough for the supply of the colony.

19th. — Dale came here yesterday and dined, then came
Erskine, and afterwards Captain Irwin, who spent the even-
ing with me : we had great discussions de omnibus rebus.

One of the parties which have been sent after Ya-gan have
fallen in with some of the hostile tribe, and shot the brother
of Midgegoroo, who is Ya-gan's father. Twenty-four natives
made their appearance at the opposite side of the river, wish-
ing to get across. I made signs that the boat was out of
order, and that they must go round by the ford ; which gave
me time to get some wheat ground, and coarse cakes made,
which I distributed amongst them. I had previously taken
care that all my arms and ammunition should be in readi-
ness, but they were very quiet. Among them were two very
well-looking young women, one of whom suckled her child,
supporting its body under her arm, whilst its legs were in the
bag which hung at her back. Weeip gave me a very good
knife, with a wedge of quartz. I was almost alone when this
party came ; but by good fortune a number of neighbours and
runners happened to come immediately after.

20th. — Midgegoroo, one of the proclaimed natives, has been
taken, and there is great perplexity as to what should be done
with him : the populace cry loudly for his blood ; but the idea
of shooting him with the cool formalities of execution, is re-
volting: there is some intention of sending him into perpetual
banishment.

22nd. — Midgegoroo, after having been fully indentified as
a principal in three murders at least, has been sliot at the
gaol-door, by a party of the military. We are all anxious to
see how the others will conduct themselves after this execution,
if they discover it; tliere were none of them present at it. His
son had been sent on board the Ellen previously.

 

18^

2Srd. — I came to Guildford to attend a meeting of agricul-
turists, to take into consideration the state of the circulatincr
medium; went thence to Mr. Tanner's to luncheon, and
immediately afcer, suffered such pain in my head that I
was obliged to set out for home, and have had a succession
of hot poultices to my poor caput ever since. I am almost
afraid to go to bed, for there I suffer exquisite pain, without
obtaining even a little sleep.

24:th. — Oh ! what an interval ! I scarce know myself —
torture unceasing and no sleep. I have been brought through
so far ; but I fear this attack will be succeeded by others.
My public duties require me to visit Perth on Monday week,
and I fear my inability to leave home, for I am literally as
weak as a child, and have no appetite. I missed my dear
father's advice sadly, for never having been ill before, I do
not know how to treat myself.

I have got my old chimney snugged up for the winter. My
new room will be 18 feet by 15 feet, with two recesses on
either side of the fire-place for book-shelves, side-board, or
whatever you please: it will be lighted by two French
windows, opening into a verandah six feet wide, which
runs round the house ; and the lawn immediately in front
will be green, I hope, all the year round, with lucerne, which
I have sown in drills. The other seeds, which came in the
chest by Van Diemen's Land, are all dead.

25th. — My men have unanimously declared against cocoa,
which I lately bought for them during the present high price
of tea : there is still, however, room for negociation on the
disputed point. What a plague servants are !

My shepherd, as I have often said, is a queer fellow : only
think of his having given £3 for a set of sheep-bells ; they
are enchantingly musical, however, and the tinkling, as the
sheep come home at night, is one of the most cheerful sounds I
have ever heard. This man feels great pride in having his flock
look well, and is very jealous of my being inquisitive about

 

190

tlliem. If I succeed in getting any of Downing's flock, I shall
probably dispose of those among my old stock that are aged,
as many of mine are ; some having been brought from Mr.
Trimmer's flock in England at the commencement of the
colony. Those of Downing's are the only sheep to be pur-
chased now.

26^A. — A lovely day as to temperature. Mr. Yule and
Mr. A. Trimmer called to see me, and stayed till two. Mr.
Burgess came here in the evening, and took tea.

2^th. — Have had a long, angry, and wholly unexpected con-
ference to-day with the very spirit of evil himself, I mean the
notorious Ya-gan. On seeing several natives approach the
house, I went towards them as usual, thinking they were my
old friends. To my surprise, the first I met was Migo, whom
I had known well at Perth, as the servant of Captain Ellis,
and the friend of the chieftain Mundy. On looking round, I
then saw Munday himself (who is proclaimed, with a price on
his head) : this made me look still closer, and at last I saw
Ya-gan standing a little aloof, scrutinising my countenance
narrowly, and my manner of receiving them. I had been
taxing Migo with having been present at the murder, which
he energetically denied. When my eyes first fell upon Ya-
gan, I said immediately " What name ? " They all answered
" Boolgat." I said " No ; Ya-gan." At first he was inclined
to persist in the assumed character ; but seeing that I knew
him perfectly, he came forward, avowed himself, and entered
into a long argument and defence of his conduct, in a way
that I can hardly make intelligible to you ; and I confess he
had almost as much of the argument as I had. Both parties
seemed to consider us as respectively arguing the question.
Ya-gan listened with respectful anxiety, and used bold and
emphatic language and gi-aceful gesture, with abundant action;
he delivered himself boldly. I did not understand him, but
replied, " If white man queeple (steal), white man shoot white
man ; if black man queeple, white man shoot black man ; if

 

191

black man no gydyell (kill) cow, no gydyell sheep, no gydyell
pig, white man all same as brother to black man, shake hands
plenty, co-rdbhery* plenty." Here I advanced with open hands
to them, which all ran eagerly to grasp, save the moody chief
himself. They had grouped around, evidently attending to
the arguments on both sides with great interest, and glad of
anything like a friendly termination. Ya-gan again stepped
forward, and leaning familiarly with his left hand on my
shoulder, while he gesticulated with his right, delivered a
sort of recitative, looking earnestly at my face. I regret that
I could not understand him, but I conjectured, from the tone
and manner, that the purport was this : — " You came to our
country ; you have driven us from our haunts, and disturbed
us in our occupations : as we walk in our own country, we
are fired upon by the white men ; why should the white men
treat us so ? "

This reminded me of a chorus in a Greek tragedy ; and
the other natives seemed to act as subordinate characters to
Ya-gan. After a short interval, the chief approached again,
and fixing his eyes as if he read my countenance, said inquir-
ingly, " Midgegoroo shoot ? walk ?" (meaning was Midgegoroo
dead or alive ?) I felt that the question was full of personal
hazard to me, and gave no reply. Even Weeip came, and
anxiously asked the same question, putting his finger to my
ear, to know if I heard or understood him. I answered
slowly, " White man angry, — Governor angry." However
my men assured them that both Midgegoroo and his son
were gone on board a ship. Ya-gan still continued to read
my countenance, and when he could obtain no answer from
me, he said with extraordinary vehemence of manner, dis-
tinctness of utterance, and emphasis of tone, " White man
shoot Midgegoroo, Ya-gan kill three " (holding up three

 

* I suppose we are to understand by this word " associate in friendship," —
'• oo-robbery " to our ears conveys a somewhat discreditable meaning.

 

19^

lingers). I said, " Ya-gan kill all white man, soldier man
and every man kill Ya-gan." He scowled a look of daring
defiance, and turned on his heel with an air of ineffable
contempt. During the latter part of this conference, he held
a beautifully tapered and exquisitely pointed spear, grasped
like a stiletto, about fourteen inches from the point, while
the shaft lay over his shoulder, with a seeming carelessness.
He evidently suspected treachery, and was on his guard against
it, taking care not to let my men press on him too closely, and
keeping some of the natives between myself and them.

Nothing short of an overpowering force (which I did not
possess), or a cold-blooded deliberate treachery (of which I
was incapable), would have enabled me to have secured him
as he then stood : it was, perhaps, my duty to have attempted
his arrest, dead or alive ; however, consider the circumstances
of my situation, — I had gone among them unarmed, little
thinking that the " Wallace " of the tribe was there ; he did
not relinquish his spear till he was certain of my pacific
intentions ; and there were ten of them, and only three of
us, — myself rather invalided.

I despatched a letter instantly to Mr. Bull, as a magistrate,
apprising him of Ya-gan's vicinity. He went off for the
soldiers ; and in the meantime this proclaimed and dangerous
outlaw, with a price on his head, and threats (not idle) on
his tongue, in sight of the military quarters, and of a
magistrate's residence, hemmed in between three or four
settlements, and almost in presence of a large force of armed
men, was suffered to escape unmolested. The truth is, every
one wishes him taken, but no one likes to be the captor.
How could any person, unless a professed blood-hunter,
spring upon a man in cold blood, and lead him to the death ?
How could any one who has a heart fire upon him treacher-
ously from a secure ambush, though he be an unfeeling and
reckless savage ? There is something in his daring which
one is forced to admire.

 

193

In the evening I heard a trampling of horses, and Captains
Irwin and Dale arrived. I told the story; they both gal-
lopped off immediately for the soldiers.

2Uh. — A party was out last night after Ya-gan, but
without success.

The Government have sent a band of resolute men here to
do their utmost to take him. The man who commands this
party is called " Hunt," a most appropriate name. On one
occasion he followed a party of natives for thirteen days and
nights, thinking it was Ya-gan's tribe ; at last he got into
such a situation that the natives attacked his party. He shot
the most forward, who turned out to be Midgegoroo's brother.
Hunt was a constable in London ; he has just been here to
request I would send him word if Ya-gan appears again in
this quarter : his party is to lie " perdu " at Mr. Bull's for
some time.

2^th. — No appearance of the natives here to-day. I have
heard that Ya-gan has been seen at a house four miles down
the river, on the other side ; so that strong hopes are enter-
tained of his being shortly taken.

Z\st. — I have just returned from Mr. Brockman's, where I
have been all the morning, settling an arbitration affair which
had been referred to Mr. Brockman and myself I hope we
have finally settled it to the advantage and satisfaction of
both parties; but I fear I have not served my health by
exposure to the air.

While I was away the natives called at Hermitage, but
not accompanied by Ya-gan. One of Midgegoroo's widows
was among them, in great grief for the arrest of her son.

JwM 1st. — My shepherd has not ceased to tease me tiU
I have consented to let him go to Perth, with a venture of
ten sheep for sale. He is, I think, a trustworthy man ; but
I shall soon see how he has succeeded.

My head does not get on so quickly as I expected; it
ought to have been plaistered enough by this time ; my face

 

194

looks as if there had been not only jplaisteriTig, but white-
washing.

2nd. — My shepherd set out for Perth with his sheep early
this morning, and James reigns in his stead.

Old Yellogonga, with three women and children, came
here to-day. They begged hard for some sugar. I gave
them a little each. The old man asked me to allow him
to go down to the house. I led him down, showed him the
kitchen, and then my room, in which I had spread out my
guns, pistols, &c. " No, no, no," he said ; " no, no." He was
quite surprised and puzzled at the looking-glass, peeping over
and behind it. After he was gone, Weeip and four others
came, one of whom was Ya-gan's son, and it is probable that
Ya-gan himself was not far away ; but aware of the danger
of appearing. I am told they have since expressed their
satisfaction at my conduct, saying, that "Mitzer Moore be
very good man." Weeip has intimated that no injury shall
be done in this neighbourhood ; and altogether we hope for
peace from this friendly intercourse with them. Weeip to-day
received a blanket, which Captain Trwin sent to him, — the
women were very inquisitive about Midgegoroo and his son.
About the former I still shook my head, and said, he " kill
white man."

I told them that if they were quiet, and committed no
injury, the boy would soon come back to them. They seem
to have an idea of a spirit, " Goodjot," and another "Manjut ;"
for when Naral asked me to-day how I got the wound in my
head, I pointed upwards solemnly and said " Goodjot," inti-
mating that it was a visitation from God ; he seemed to
understand but said " Manjut," as if it came from an evil
power. I feel a great interest in them, and hope they will be
quiet, and continue friendly. It seems to gratify them greatly
when we use their words, as I do whenever I can recollect one.
They were trying to describe " sister," when I said " woora "
(their own term), with which they were greatly pleased.

 

195

We have hopes they will not continue to be troublesome :
increase of the white population would no doubt be the most
effectual remedy against them ; but in our present state, fear
of the evil may be the means of preventing the application of
the remedy.

I do not gain strength rapidly, and have been weaker than
before. I cannot bear exposure, and little exercise overcomes
me ; but I must go to Perth to-morrow, — would I were back
again!

Srd. — A second swelling in my head is coming on, above
the former ; and yet my public duty obliges me to go to
Perth. I must get through it as I can, and then come home
and lay myself up " in ordinary " again."

We are now in a state of great suspense respecting the
governor's mission, but a month or two must end it. You
are, perhaps, now apprised of what is to be our fate ; I mean
so far as the intention of the British Government is con-
cerned: lose no opportunity of writing to me on this and
other subjects, for hearing from you is my only consolation
in this distant solitude ; for solitude such a condition as mine
is, and must be.

The mail is just about to be made, via Mauritius. I can
only add — love, love, love to you all.

George F. Moore.

 

0—2

 

THE COLONY.

SERVANTS — FARMING — THE NATIVES — SHEEP — WHITE ANTS — DEPREDATIONS
OF THE NATIVES — WOOL — A EOT KILLED — DEATH OF TA-GAN.

Hermitage, Stvan River, Western Australia,
June the 6th, 1833.

I CLOSED my last letters to you this day at Perth, at one
o'clock, in a very hurried way, as I had known nothing of
the sailing of the vessel until I had gone down to attend my
duties at court ; it was fortunate that I had taken my journal
with me, and every day's experience convinces me the more
that this mode of writing a letter from day to day is the best
I can adopt, though it may not be the most satisfactory to
each of you individually ; the arrangement of separate letters
I never can accomplish, however much I may desire it ;
indeed they could be nothing but hurried pieces of unmean-
ing or unsatisfactory scribbling, and could never by that
mode convey to you the least notion of my own occupations
and the real condition of the colony.

My fears were not altogether groundless, for my shepherd
informs me that he misses one of the sheep which James had
in his charge, and he attributes the loss to the natives ; but
I have no clue to the truth : the native dogs prowl about like
wolves, and might easily carry off a straggler from such a
guardian as James. If the natives had been the delinquents,
they would have taken more than one, in my opinion.

It may strike you as singular, that my servants do not
send letters home. It arises partly from our knowing nothing
of the sailing of the ships until it is too late, and greatly (I

 

197

am soiry to say) from their being too fond of playing cards,
carousing, and singing, which makes them inattentive to any
of their duties. I often ask them to write, yet they forget to
do so ; I am obliged to say they seem to have very little care
or solicitude about my affairs, and I have proportionably lost
my interest for them : for the satisfaction of their friends, I
will tell you how they live ; and let them judge between us.
At early morning, they get a breakfast of bread and tea, with
sugar and milk ; at midday, bread and meat, with flour
pudding, and potatoes, or other vegetables, without restric-
tion ; at evening, bread and tea — without limitation of allow-
ance at this or any meal. They now get two glasses of wine,
and one of rum, in the day, and they have abundance of
clothing from head to foot. If this be not improvement in
their condition, I know not what their condition was ; and
yet they are dissatistied. * * * has grown a fine manly-
looking youth ; but he is self-willed and passionate to a great
degree, and fonder of his grog than any one of his age ought
to be. You may, if you please, tell my opinion to his father,
in a way least likely to distress his feelings. To the use of
" grog " I attribute all my troubles with my people : we were
compelled at first to give it, and immediately lost all control
over our servants. I have great reason to be dissatisfied with
mine ; for I feel that they are no longer my friends, as I
fondly hoped they would be ; they care no more for me than
for the merest stranger, and look upon me in no other light
than that of one who is hound to feed and clothe them, and give
them grog, and for whom they are not under obligation to do
anything willingly — whose wishes, interests, and hap])iiiess,
they need not regard, farther than as it suits their own conveni-
ence. I am sorry to make such an expos4. I approach the subject
with reluctance, dwell upon it with sorrow and pain, and shall
never touch upon it again, unless forced by some very pecu-
liar occurrence.

^th. — Mr. Bull has been here, on his return from the agri-

 

198

cultural meeting ; at which there was much discussion about
banks, and natives, and taxes, but nothing done.

8^^. — Sowed some wheat, mangel wurzel, and turnips
(broadcast), and got all harrowed in. Had the "honour" of
a visit from ten natives ; among whom were two well-looking
young women, with children at their backs. These were
brought here and introduced by " Beelycomera," Weeip's son.
On their going in the direction of our sheep, I was alarmed
(as the shepherds had come to dinner), and wished them to
cross the river ; but Beelycoomera took a piece of evyay* root
and put it in the ground, and began to dig; then pointed
where he wished to go. I told him my sheep were there, and
expressed my fears ; which he removed by assurances that he
would do no harm. They passed on. I put a pair of pistols
in my pockets, and walking leisurely after them, found them
busy digging. They were quite amused at my repeating the
words which I had heard them sing at a corrohbery * * *
I conveyed them to the ford over which I so often crossed
myself on my first coming here, and bade them each by name
" good bye," as well as I could : a youngster continued calling
frequently " good bye," and kissing his hand.

Doodyeep, the girl whose name I mentioned in my last
letter, has been married within these few days, and has been
the occasion of a great corrohbery, which I have heard them
speaking of. I suspect that Weeip is now on the Canning,
by invitation, to eat the remainder of the sheep and goats
they had stolen for the entertainment.

9 o'clock at night. — These plaguy natives have stolen one of
my pigs. They are sad hypocrites : those very four who
were here were, I suspect, privy to, if not active in, the theft.
I had some suspicion on this point in the morning, but they
assured me "No, no, Mitzer Moore; no, gyddyell;" — and
pretended to be so very angry with some whom they named,

• I doubt the correctness of this word, which imfortunately is blotted in
the original MS. — Ed.

 

19^

that I believed them sincere. It is difficult to ascertain the

real fact. I wish it was either peace or war between us ; but

now we must not touch them, for by proclamation they are

declared under the protection of the law, as British subjects.
******

The British lucerne which I sowed, is coming up well :
our native lucerne is like it in woody stem, but stronger ;
its leaves are more like those of the pea, and taste like them ;
it bears a pea-pod also, and has a red pea blossom. Ked
clover thrives here better than white. A person who has got
Col. Laton's grant, on the opposite side of the river (opposite
J. H. Wright's), is parcelling it out to labourers, and there
are already four different lots taken by persons of that class,
from twenty to one hundred acres. This has cut up all his
grant, for the whole frontage is given away ; but he is no
farmer ; and as he intends keeping a store, it will answer his
purpose. This subdivision of land will be very serviceable to
our neighbourhood, as it will afford a supply of labour, and
create a small demand for meat.

I have seen nothing of the natives since they killed the
pig ; perhaps they wish to give themselves time to digest it,
and me time to digest the loss of it. However, I feel
inclined to apply to this loss what the Spanish proverb says
to misfortune — " Ben vengas si vengas sola." I shall get off
cheaply, when compared with last year, if I lose no more.

14:th. — Mr. Bull came this evening to consider what was to
be done about the natives. He wishes still to exercise
hospitality towards them ; and I agree with him, that if we
do not make an effort to come to a friendly understanding
and arrangement with them they will annoy us, for we are
not able to drive them away so as to secure ourselves, with-
out their extermination. Each tribe has its distinct ground ;
and they will, of course, rather adhere to it, dispute its pos-
session, and take their revenge on the intruders, then fall
back on other tribes of their own countrymen, and fight their

 

200

way inch by inch with them. It is our interest to show
them, first, that we set such a vahie on our stock as will
make us resent and punish any aggression upon them ; and
next, that we are so united together, " so much brothers," that
any injury committed against one will be resisted by all. It
was agreed at last, that on their coming to any of our houses,
we should intimate our displeasure at what had been done —
our determination to be friends for one month, and then to
conti"nue so, if no mischief were done within this period of
probation. If we all act on the same principle, it will show
a combination and concert among us, which may make them
respect individual property. In short, to teach them that we
make common cause is our only safety, as it is our truest
policy.

This is an experiment worth trying, at all events. We
cannot be much surprised at their taking a pig or sheep
which they find in the bush; for we know that, even in
civilised life, the fear of well-understood laws, both human
and divine, does not secure property in tempting situations*
These savages consider a successful piece of theft as a
laudable act, and estimate it according to the skill displayed
in the accomplishment ; like the Spartans, who considered
that the dishonour lay nut in the act of robbery, but in the
discovery of it.

Hermitage, Swan Biver, 21st June, 1833. — It was but yes-
terday I sent off my last journal letter to you, by the brig
Dart, vid Mauritius. I perceive that the Saxony wool is now
coming into great repute. M'Dermott has a few sheep of the
finest breed, for which he expects a very high price. I look
now upon the flock of sheep as a mere matter of profit,
having lost that sort of domestic or family interest which I
felt in the first year, when I had only a pig and a goat; but
I still feel it with respect to my old pets. My ancient goat
had three female kids to-day — five within a year ; there have
been instances here of nine in one year. My pigs eat down

 

201

my cabbages and peas as fast as they recover, so that I find
myself' induced to exchange them for sheep ; but I am un-
willing to part altogether with the breed of my old Bessy,
whom I brought out of the Cleopatra on my first arrival.

The natives have had some row among themselves : one of
them has come to tell us that Ya-gan is the person who has
been doiug all the mischief; that he killed my pig, and
speared two of Mr. Burgess's ; and declares that he will kill
cows, sheep, and every living thing he can come at ; if the
white people will accompany my informant with a strong
party, well armed, he will lead them within a short distance
of Ya-gan, so as to take him. Now, whether they find
Ya-gan interfering with their assumed privileges of plunder-
ing us, or encroaching on their grounds, or are really in
earnest in their desire to prevent mischief to our flocks, it is
an opportunity that ought to be taken instant advantage of.

I have a piece of natural history for you, regarding the
white ants.

These make their aiiproaches so stealthily under their
covered ways, and, like the wise Dutch, at Antwerp, on a late
occasion, so keep within their strong casemates as to be
tolerably secure from observation, as well as annoyance. I
had an opportunity lately of seeing some of their domestic
arrangements, the description of which may interest you.

Upon the brow of a small rounded eminence there stood a
sort of a pillar of clay, about five feet high, which liad once
filled up the centre of a hollowed tree ; the shell of which
had been from time to time broken and burned away. This
pillar was the work of white ants. As it interfered with the
working of the plough, I commenced l)reaking and digging it
down ; not without some small curiosity. Numbers of centi-
pedes were found about the outside, where pieces of the wood
still remained. The clay, which was surprisingly stiff, hard,
and dry, broke off in large fragments. At length, near the
level of the sui'face of the ground, a rounded crust was un-

 

202

covered, looking like the crown of a dome. On breaking
through this, the whole city of the ants was laid bare — a
wonderful mass of cells, pillars, chambers, and passages. —
The spade sunk perhaps two feet among the crisp and crack-
ing ruins, which seemed formed either of the excavated rem-
nants of the tree, or a thin shell-like cement of clay. The
arrangement of the interior was singular: the central part
had the appearance of innumerable small branching pillars,
like the minutest stalactical formations, or like some of the
smaller coralline productions. Towards the outer part, the
materials assumed the appearance of thin laminae, about half
the substance of a wafer, but most ingeniously disposed in
the shape of a series of low elliptic arches, so placed that
the centre of the arch below formed the resting-place for the
abutment of the arch above. These abutments again formed
sloping platforms for ascent to the higher apartments. In
other places, I thought I could discern spiral ascents, not
unlike geometrical staircases. The whole formed such an
ingenious specimen of complicated architecture, and such an
endless labyrinth of intricate passages, as could bid defiance
alike to art and to Ariadne's clue : but even the affairs Of
ants are subject to mutation. This great city was deserted —
a few loiterers alone remained, to tell to what race it had
formerly belonged. Their great store-houses had been ex-
hausted — even the very roots had been laid under contribu-
tion; till at last its myriads of inhabitants had emigrated
en masse, to commence anew their operations in some other
soil.

We have had a long discussion about establishing a paper
currency among the agriculturists, in which was proposed,
that each of a certain number, in proportion to iheir actual
possessions, should be privileged to draw promissory notes
payable in colonial produce at market rates. I am opposed
to this, and see many objections to it ; but have not yet con-
sidered the matter so fully as to state them definitely. Where

 

203

are we to draw the limit ? and how are we to ascertain the
actual circumstances of any man ? How are we to avoid
jealousies, feuds and mortifications ? Wliat nice distinctions
will be necessary ? If the privilege be confined to men of
real property, they will be but a favoured few, and who will
take their notes but those of this particular class ? Will the
captains of ships ? No ! — The merchants ? I doubt it ! Of
what use Lo them would be " Three months after date, I
promise to pay six pigs, a gander and a goose, &c., &c. ? "

I treated Doolup, one of our natives, with a ride on the
mare to-day ; he sat well, and was martial looking ; his head
adorned with red cockatoo feathers, his face with white paint.

I^th. — Weeip and Doolup have come here. I brought Weeip
into ray room, and had a long conversation with him. He told
me that he had dismissed Ya-gan from his grounds. While
he was here, my dinner was brought in ; he paid the greatest
attention to my manner of eating ; tasted the salt, and said
" no good ; " was very inquisitive to know what the meat was.
Kangaroo ? No. — Beef (cow bullock) ? No. — Pig ? No. —
Sheep ? Yes, which he seemed hardly persuaded of. Doolup
took such a fancy to his quarters, that he would not go away.
I shot two wild ducks on the river, with which act of sports-
manship he was greatly delighted. He has just taken tea,
and is sitting quite at home with the men in the kitchen.
Weeip did not know what to make of the milk he saw me
drink. Was it moco (water) ? No. Grog (he had heard of
grog at Bull's, and said it was " no good ") ? No.— Wine ? —
No. Cow ? No. He was puzzled till I imitated sucking ;
he at once understood me, and said " piccaimy cow ? yes !
yes ! yes ! " and seemed quite satisfied. He looked at the
guns, pistuls, swords, bellows, tongs, &c., and now has much
to talk and think about ; in short, he has acquired new ideas.

This has been a very wet day, with thunder and lightning.
I fear we shall have a fiood this year like that in 1829 and
X830,

 

204

Sunday. — Rain, rain, rain ; but it looks a little better this
evening — river high. I have agreed to go to Perth with Weeip,
when the rain ceases. The weather became milder last night,
and continued so to-day, though there was some gentle rain.
I thought we were likely to have it fine again, but this evening
the wind is rising from the north-west (a bad sign).

Some natives have again been scraping up Edward's potatoes.
I suspected some of our white people ; but after examining
the footmarks, it is evident that they were not the rogues.
The footmarks are all in one line, one before the other ; while
a European's go in a double course the great toe of the natives
is always in a straight line with his foot. The great toe of
those wearing shoes turns in towards the others. A butcher
came from Perth, but would not give me fifty shillings for
one of my choicest sheep, though I know he makes four
pounds of them. This is not fair to the grazier or to the
public.

Ya-gan was seen to-day behind Dring's, on the other side
of the river, and Edward's wife saw some of the natives busy
at the potatoes in the middle of the day ; putting these things
together, they show he is the delinquent,

I have been thinking it would be an excellent speculation
to get out woollen weavers to make our coarse wool into
blankets, and none but the fine qualities will be sent home ;
none other would be much worth the expense. I have a
quantity of coarse wool at this moment, and I know not
what to make of it, I sold my merino-wool at one sliilling
per pound ; there were only sixty pounds of it last year. It
would require spinners and carders to carry my plan into
effect, but I think it would be a profitable way of disposing
of the wool.

^th. — Our pet natives have been playing their tricks to-day
at Edward's Ground. They waited till after the dinner bell
rang ; and when they thought all the people were at dinner,
they came into the garden and scraped up the potatoes with

 

205

wonderful dexterity, but were suspected, and narrowly escaped
injury by one man's firing too soon. I am sorry to say friend
Weeip, and my body guard Doolup, are said to be among the
number.

Qth. — My shepherd has given notice that he will leave me,
if I do not give him three pounds a month, and four glasses
of rum in the day. I refused to comply, so I suppose he
will go.

lUh. — Called this morning on Mr. Harris, and there heard
that Ya-gan had been shot at the head of the river ; and that
a settler had been speared, and an inquest held. You may
be sure I was uneasy, and rode home as fast as I could.

On Sunday, when Weeip came here, I charged him and
Doolup with stealing the potatoes at Edward's ; he indig-
nantly denied it, and ably proved an "alibi," in which he
was confirmed by Mr. Bull. He has told since that Ya-gan
was the person who was nearly shot then ; that the ball went
through the hair at the back of his head.

\hth, — This has been a day differing in its incident from
my usual routine. At breakfast time, two men of Mr. Bull's
came for my praam, to take the body of a boy (killed by Ya-
gan) across the river, to the burial ground near Mr. Shaw's, —
of course I gave it. Soon after I went up to see Mrs. Shaws,
and coming home I was witness to rather a ludicrous disaster;
James, desiring to cross the river, and having no boat, put his
clothes into a bucket and swam across, pushing it before him;
but on reaching the middle of the river, he upset the bucket
by awkwardness, and all his clothes, from his shirt to his
shoe, went to the bottom : I could enjoy the joke better if I
had not to pay for another suit.

After dinner I went to call on Mrs. Bull, and met the
funeral of the deceased boy, named Keates, which I accom-
panied to the grave. Mr. Shaw's eyes being delicate, I, for
the first time in my life, was called on to read the burial
service; the deceased was about eighteen years old; the

 

206

survivor, his companion, about thirteeen. The arrest of Ya-
gan was man's work ! Boys unfortunately undertook it, with-
out sufficient steadiness ; they were frightened at their own
act, discharged their guns injudiciously, and ran away, by
which the life of one of them was sacrificed.

l^th. — On Saturday I saw at Mr, Bull's the head of Ya-gan,
which one of the men had cut off for the purpose of preserving.
Possibly it may yet figure in some museum at home. I should
have been glad to get it myself, as the features were not in the
least changed. He must have died instantaneously. The other
native was not yet dead when the party went to look after
them ; the accidental passing of two soldiers frightened the
natives (it is supposed), or they would have carried off the
bodies,

Ya-gan had a very particular mark of tatooing extending
over his right shoulder and down his back, by which many of
the settlers recognised him. He wore a soldier's old coat
under his kangaroo clock, to hide this mark, as he had been
often warned of his danger. This peculiar cicatrice was flayed
from the body by the man who is preserving the head, I have
rudely sketched this " caput mortuum " of Ya-gan, which was
ornamented with a twisted cord round the forehead.

l^th. — After dinner went up to Mr. Bull's in a boat to get
seed wheat for two acres, which I shall still be able to ac-
complish. I shall thus have eight acres of wheat, one of
barley, one and a half of oats, and about the same quantity
of potatoes, turnips, cabbages, &c., besides an acre and a
quarter of lucerne. This will, I think, be ample for my
supply. We want seed potatoes in the colony very much ;
they grow at any season of the year, but succeed best if
planted in March and September. I tasted some excellent
beer which Bull is brewing.

2Uh. — The shepherd and James sat up all last night in
the sheepfold, watching the native dog, and determined to
ahoot it ; yet, with all their watching, when daylight came,

 

207

they found two lambs torn to pieces in the fold. What
exquisite watchmen ! I have now 22G full-grown sheep,
besides 9 blind ones, and 101 lambs.

29^A. — The shepherd has sent in word that if I buy a set
of bells for him, he will stay with me. I have bought 20
sweet musical regularly tuned bells, with straps and buckles,
at three shillings each. I have before mentioned the very
pleasing tone of these bells ; it is delightful to hear them on
a fine evening. Had a dish of turnips to-day ; — by the way,
the last seeds you sent me were too old; those of mangel
wurzel, parsnip, carrot, cabbage, and onion, failed altogether;
the lucerne alone is growing ; the flower seeds do not show
yet.

31st. — To my surprise, Mr. Whitfield brought me letters
and papers this day. You say " there are so many that they
will take me a month to digest !" you little know my powers
of digestion in that way. I am a most insatiable glutton in
such respects. It was dinner time to-day when I received
them. I have already gormandised every syllable of all your
letters, aye and washed them down with the whole contents
of four newspapers which came along with them ; " my great
revenge had stomach for them all." Thanks, thanks to
Almighty God for the measure of health and mercy vouch-
safed to you all, and may they be graciously continued ! My
people have been spelling hard at their letters, and at some
of the papers ; this part of the business devolves on Johnny,
but there is generally a complaint that he cannot " make it
out right," and an appeal to me.

By the way, my own letters are an odd medley ; I hope
that no stranger* sees them. *****

* How astonished Mr. Moore will be when ho sees them so unceremoniously
brought into print, and hears that they have been read, and, as I trust will be
the case, by hundreds, or perhaps thousands of strangers. — Editob.

 

TO THE KEADER

Occasional gaps or breaks in the continuity of dates may
be perceived, but here is an extensive hiatus, which I cannot
account for, and have no means of filling up. I have no
sufficiently distinct recollection of the incidents of that
period. The original letters are now in Australia ; some
may have been lost or misplaced, or destroyed by untoward
accident. Perhaps, even they may have possibly been omit-
ted purposely by the caution of Sir Thomas. But I cannot
at this distance of time imagine any sufficient reason for such
by anything written at length in my Journal.

G. F. M.

 

210

A NATIVE KAROBBEREE.

To the tune of " Bachelor's fare."

Come, I'll describe you a native Karobberee : —
Fancy some hundred or two group'd around,
All determin'd to kick up a bobbery,

See in the middle that space of clear ground ;
See the young men prepare — feathers stuck in their hair,
Breasts ornamented with iigures in chalk ;

Look how their heads are all plaster'd with red.
How they brandish their spears, and they strut in their walk.
Fol-de-rol, lol-de-rol, fol-de-rol, lol-de-rol,
Fol-de-rol, lol-de-rol, fol-de-rol, lay.

Thus, it may be said, they're a fine white and red.

As they stand painted like so many celts ;
Look how their bodies all glisten and shine with oil.

Their hammers all stuck in their fur-twisted belts ;
Look at those men about, keeping a sharp look out

After their wives, for some have two or three ;
Each wife has a bag on, but no other rag on

Except a short cloak, reaching scarce to her knee.
Fol-de-rol, &c.

Now they ply their heels, dancing in rounds and reels.

Fierce as if going to fight for their dear lives.
While the bye standers, more brave than highlanders,

Beat time on their throwing-boards with their quartz knives.
With their hegha and hegha, and hogha and hogha,

They grunt out and snort out their horrible tune ;
Oh, how they dance it and round about prance it.

And make the dust fly in the light of the moon.
Fol-de-rol, &c.

There are old men and young men, and short men and tall men,

And women and children, and liobble-de-hoys.
While all the young lasses, as each dancer passes.

Keep stealing a peep at their favourite boys ;
Then come sly glances, and little advances.

For dark though their skin is, their eye-beams are bright ;
But lest you should tell us the ladies grow jealous.

Their dance being done now, we'll wish them good night.
Fol-de-rol, &c.

 

THE COLONY.

Perth, February 1834.

Feb. 20th. — We have had rather an anxious week. The
natives have become troublesome again, having killed two
pigs of Mr. Shaw's, one sheep of Mr. Brockman's, also at-
tempted (and nearly succeeded) in spearing his shepherd, and
on one occasion my old acquaintance Moley, and, in addition,
stabbed Nat Shaw in the thigh with a spear. Some of us
have determined not to receive them in a friendly way again
till we have got some amends on the evil doers, either by
their own or by our endeavours. Meantime we are in doubt,
and, to crown our anxieties, the country has been fired by the
natives, and we have been obliged to use great efforts to save
our houses and property. The flames are quite terrific and
overwhelming when driven through rank vegetation by a
strong wind. The weather has been excessively hot. My
poor cattle are scarcely able to find a mouthful of food ; for-
tunately the grant which was purchased from Mr. Wright
was partially burned about two months ago, and has now
nearly recovered.

21st. — Numbers of natives here to-day. One has been in-
forming me of a large sheet of water, somewhere not far
away, where there is abundance of game, a fine country, and
several rivers to be seen. I rather doubt the latter, but think
strongly of going to see it.

Monday, 24:th. — I have this day received a letter from you
dated 2nd June (now eight months ago), which came by a
little vessel from Launceston, brought by one of the Hentys.
That you were all in good health, I feel truly thankful, for to
say the truth, I open every letter with fear and trembling at

 

212

this distance of time and space. I think , should he

come out, is well fitted for the life of a settler, but there are
many little inconveniences and annoyances here which it re-
quires a schooled mind to eudure patiently : his presence will
be a great comfort to me if he comes. I strongly suspect
that the accounts of other places are exaggerated or highly
coloured, that the advantages belonging to different places are
nearer on a par than we think at first, and that " non omnia
omnibus " holds good of place as well as person.

Monday, 3rd March. — Mackie came here on Saturday night
and left me yesterday evening. We had great consultations
about my holding the appointment (which had been offered to
me) or not. Mr. Shaw called ; Dr. and Mr. Harris with Miss
Harris, and Mr. Stone also.

I recollect in the calculations made for Van Diemen's
Land or Sydney, of the profit and loss of a flock of sheep,
that the shepherds were reckoned at £30, and I fancied it
must be exaggeration, but I have my shepherd just now on
easy terms (comparatively), and he costs me £71 8s. 6d. a
year. I am greatly dissatisfied about our giants on this side
the hills. They are not capable of supporting large flocks
without cultivation to a greater extent than we can afford or
manage at present ; this cuts short all our profits. At the
very utmost that part of my grant on this side of the hills
lying between the house and the hills would not support
more, now, than 200 or 300 sheep. I am obliged to reduce
my flock to nearly that number. Mr. Bland (who lies over
the hills) has always about 700 of his own and others, but
will not take a smaller number than about 100 into his
charge. I wanted to send about 30 over, but he would not
take them.

4:th. — Was passing one part of the river to-day and heard
a great splash. Was not a little amused to see my new boy
in the water with a lot of natives, boys and girls, having rare
fun. They are a merry race when they have their belly full.

 

213

oth. — Eode to Guildford to hire a servant — a man and his
son for 50s. a month.

6th. — Have been beset all day by natives. They pull the
blossoms of the red gum tree (now in flower), steep them in
water, and drink the water, which acquires a taste like sugar
and water by this process. Some came here, bringing a young
kangaroo dog of a fine breed. I had often (in my own mind)
contemplated poisoning him. To my surprise, the natives
called my attention suddenly to the dog, when I saw that
some one had been beforehand with me. I told them all
manner of stories about our dogs going mad, and that their
bite was then fatal. They were greatly alarmed. I put my
hand cautiously over his mouth, put him into the boat, and
carried him to the other side of the river, where he soon died.
They thought a snake had bit him. In the evening, there
was a crying of natives at a distance. I ran with Weeip and
some others to see. A number of strangers had arrived ; the
child of one had died, and they must have some spearing
match about it. I begged them not to throw spears, but it
appeared to be a very friendly or ceremonious transaction —
some spears having been thrown harmlessly. After a little,
it was mentioned to the owner of the dog that it had died —
that his dog was dead by the bite of a snake. He had not
been at my place before during the day, and had not heard of
it till then. Instantly, there was a change of scene — he and
his brother seized their spears, and seemed about to com-
mence in good earnest, when others threw their arms round
them and held them with difficulty. Angry feeling seemed
to spread among them : the vengeance of these two seemed
directed against a woman, whose husband was held also.
When I left them, one of the natives was walking round and
round this woman, while two had placed themselves on either
side of her, and walked round in a circle, so as to keep one
still between his spear and her. It was a strange sight. I
asked Weeip what it meant. He said the owner was a little

 

214

angry, and he would only spear her a little on the lower part
of the leg. I have heard their voices very loud ever since.
They will have troubled rest. All parties seemed to look
upon me as a friend — though I confess I felt a little afraid
at one time when they began to pronounce my name with
gi'eat vehemence ; it was in asserting that I had seen the dog
die of snake bite. I held Mauli for a while, when he first
snatched his spear, till another came to the rescue. One
part of the scene was singular — the mother of the child that
had died clung to the knees of one old man and uttered a
long weeping recitative, while he stood apparently unmoved ;
at other times she threw herself on the bosom of another and
wept out the same sort of droning song, which, from some
detached words 1 caught, reminds me of the Irish keen, as a
sort of address to the departed. It is ringing in my ears even
now, while I write, at the distance of half a mile from them.

^th. — ^A very warm day. Some natives have been here
before sunrise begging some grease to smear themselves for a
battle. One of them was afterwards slightly wounded in the
side by a spear. One young woman was speared through
the arm and in the leg, and that was the extent of all the
mighty business. I shot some birds for them and killed two
at one shot, which raised a shout from both armies — about
40 men.

9^A-. — Again troubled with natives all day. Mr. Whitfield
came here to breakfast. A Mr. Smith and his son called
afterwards for information about the land up the river.
There is a singular belief supposed to be general now among
the natives that we are the spirits of their deceased friends,
and they call many ))y the names of men long dead. Of one
old man who is fast declining, they say that he will soon
become a white man, and then he will have plenty of bread.
They hold opinion with Pythagoras as Gratiano says, of the
transmigration.

Fifty head of cattle have been seen at the Murray river, I

 

215

suppose that place will turn out to be our cow pasture plains
— a fine river running most if not all the year ; yet this was
not even known to exist at the settlement of this place.
* * * A whaling vessel has put in here on account of
some misunderstanding among the crew — some call it mutiny.
l^th. — Here I am, just arrived alter a whole week's work
and a walk to-night of 18 miles. I had twenty-three causes
and about a dozen motions, &c. Two of the causes were for

libel ; in one, our old friend Mr. S , laid his damages at

£500, and got one farthing and a good lecture into the
bargain. I got paid to-day for a pair of slippers by a piece
of iron — hard cash ! and another wishes me to take a pig for
some other things. Mr. B — — wants me to take a goose !
These are the modes of payment There is not any news ;
but the natives are becoming everywhere more bold, the

•colonists more uneasy, the Government more puzzled, and I
fear a rupture if the offending natives be not removed whole-
sale to some island — which might be done.

Tuesday, March l^th. — Yesterday being " St. Patrick's Day
in the morning," the Messrs. Burgess invited me to dine with
them. A pleasant day it was, marked by one appropriate
feature — they had tried and succeeded in distilling a small
quantity of " potheen," which was our beverage.

This day I have had a number of natives here. I went to-
night to their bivouac, which is close to this place. Some of
them were busy sucking the honey water which they extracted
from the flowers of the red gum tree; others baking their
flour into cakes. They had two large native dogs. I have

,the natives much more about me than usual. I was much
amused with the agility displayed by my pretty young friend
Doodyep, yesterday, in climbing trees to gather the red gum
blossoms. " By-and-bye, tumble down," she would cry, cling-
ing to a branch by one arm, and playing all manner of antics.
Her admiration of herself in the glass also was worthy of any
moie civilised coquette. There is one thing we are greatly at

 

216

a loss for here, and that is a copper, or a large vessel for
boiling, for brewing, for washing clothes, and many other
requisites. They are very dear here — £6 for a small one.

Sunday, 2-ith. — Yesterday I closed a long letter to you,
walked to Guildford in the evening, and slept at Mr. Tanner's,
not having arrived there till a late hour. At Perth a novelty
occurred, One of the natives, " Goodyak," was found in the
act of stealing at Guildford, taken prisoner and brought to
Perth, a solemn-looking investigation made, soldiers paraded,
and, in the presence of the Governor, he got a good round
dozen on the back, with a warning against worse. Just
before leaving, news arrived that a vessel, the Aurazan, had
arrived from Madras. Dreadful mortality there from cholera,
only 25 men left alive of one regiment. It sounds like
exaggeration, but such is the shape in which I heard it.

On Thursday last, I prepared myself to go into the bushi
and see this " gabbee yandit " (freshwater lake) so often men-
tioned, and, on Friday, after due preparation, Nat Shaw and
iiiyself, accompanied by the native Tommy as our guide, set
out, we thinking, in our simplicity, that it was about 14
miles or so distant, as the natives spoke of it as one day's
journey, and that we should see it early next morning. We
urged Tommy to his speed, and gave him a ride now and
then, and at sunset we reached our destination with difficulty
after ten hours riding, the distance being not less than 33
miles in a due IST. direction. It is a long winding valley of
bays, swamps, and lakes, numbers of deep but shrunk-up
pools of water, surrounded by tea-tree, spear-wattle, and bul-
rush. There was grass on the borders, but the country had
been recently burned. We slept alongside of a party of
natives, who were rather indiflerent than friendly, and had
not been much in communication with Europeans before.
Our native took sick, and we left him with his friend whilst
we made our way home by ourselves. On Saturday at 12 we
returned. I was resting myself towards evening when a letter

 

217

from Mackie was handed in, saying that the Quebec had
arrived with one of my brothers and his wife. Here was a
fuss. Letty comes running : " Sir, which of them is it ? what
will you do ? where will he stay ? where will you sleep ? "
.and other questions which I could not answer. However, on
Monday morning I posted down to Perth, found they had left
that the day before, on their way to me ; wheeled about and
rode home, and found that they had arrived a few minutes
after I had left.

Friday, 2nd May. — The day before yesterday some natives
were caught by the younger Burgess stealing wheat from his
store in Mr. Tanner's house (near this). They seemed greatly
inclined to come to a deadly rupture with him, but by great
courage and presence of mind he kept them at bay till assist-
ance came, when they made off. They came down to my
place to grind their wheat as usual at my mill. I challenged
some as stolen wheat (knowing nothing at the time of what
had occurred above), and took it from them, as I have fre-
quently done before. One of them, Yeedomira, raised his
spear at me, saying I was a bad man. I immediately took
down the mill and prevented any from grinding, and told
Yeedomira he was a bad man, and that white men would
shoot him. I little thought that his doom was so near him.
As one of the most active against Burgess, he was this day
taken prisoner by the soldiers, and in attempting to escape
was shot dead.

Some of the Murray river tribe committed a most daring
act near Perth a few days since — having gone to a mill lately
erected by Mr. Shenton on the opposite side of the river from
Perth. They seized Mr. Shenton and his servant, held them
down, with spears at their breast, intimating that they would
kill them if they made any alarm. Meantime they plundered
the mill of all the wheat and flour. One of these men also
has been shot. These are useful examples and requisite, for
they begin to be very daring in their depredations.

 

218

SaHrday, Srd May. — Mr. Norcott, lieutenant of mounted
police, came here to-day to say that he had seen the natives,
and that they had desired him to tell all the white men that
they were friendly and would take no revenge on us for what
had occurred. He had not long gone when Nat Shaw came
galloping to tell us to look out for ourselves and our stock,
for the natives had just speared one of the soldiers. He
galloped off for the Doctor. I have not heard since whether
the man is dead or not. The soldier was standing alone at
the Barracks, when a shower of spears was thrown in at the
door ; one entered his abdomen. I went to shoot a duck to-
day on the river ; and just as I had fired, while standing in
the boat, the boy gave a pull with his oars, I fell on my
back, and the gun fell overboard into the very middle of the
river. Here was a. predicament ! I immediately stripped
and dived, and, after a quarter of an hour's plunging and
groping, I fortunately touched it with my foot and got it up.

Wednesday. — The poor soldier died yesterday (May 6). It
appears that Weeip was the chief contriver of the murder,
which was perpetrated in the most treacherous manner, after
eating bread from the soldiers and shaking hands with them,
to throw them off their guard. There were three soldiers
there at the time, and a woman and child ; both of the latter
had a narrow escape for their lives, the spears having touched
the woman's arm and grazed the skin of the child's temple.
The natives disappeared immediately before a shot could be
fired. The spear which killed the man went right through
his body, struck the wall against which he was sitting, and in
some extraordinary way rebounded so as to fall out of his
body. It was an armed spear, serrated near the point with
pieces of quartz. We are all in indecision as to what is the
best course to pursue. Our Government seems so nervous as
not to know what to do, but I am sure no settler will now
feel any compunction in putting Weeip or his associates to
death if they could be found. They have all vanished now.

 

219

as if there were no such inhabitants in this part of the
country.

Thursday. — Rode down to Perth. . On my way kept a good
look out for natives. At one place seeing a dark object,
skulking (as it were) from bush to bush, I came to a " stand
still " of observation. My hand was on my pistol, and my
heart " was in my mouth," when out started a great emu, to
my great satisfaction.

The natives in summer set fire to the grass and dry herbage
for the purpose of their hunting, and after the fire has passed
over the ground, you could hardly find as much green food
as would feed a rabbit, till the herbage has time to grow again.
Over the hills the grants in that locality are less burned,
being less frequented by white or black people. The climate,
I should think, is rather moister there, for I hear of their
having green grass throughout the summer. Few sorts here
remain green, but it is surprising how soon all grass shoots
out again when a little moisture comes ; and some sorts
spring up in an incredibly short time even after the greatest
fires.

Wednesday, 2&th. — I have just returned from Perth. There
is little news by the Merope. We have a strange rumour
afloat, of which no one can trace the origin, namely, that our
Governor, Sir James Stirling, has been lost in a vessel which
was wrecked in the Channel. They ex'pected to find him
here.

Very bad harvests in Van Diemen's Land ; no assistance
to be expected from that quarter. It is thought that one
detachment of the 63rd will proceed to India by this vessel.

Friday, 28th. — Was obliged to send my sheep back again
to the Edwards, not being able to keep them on my own
grant, which has been so recently burnt. A native dog killed
six chickens last night and almost killed the mother. They
are a sad nuisance, like foxes. One of them in daylight to-
day killed four geese of Edwards. I must try to make away

 

220

with them before lambing time. The nux vomica must have
lost its strength ; it seems to have no effect on them.

Saturday, 2Mh. — Natives still quarrelling. Poor little
Jucobang (my former protegee) — her child has died, and, I
suppose to appease its manes, her husband speared in the
thigh a nice little girl called Wulatneen. They are now busy
digging the root of a broad sort of flag which grows in a
swamp near this ; some people say that this makes sago, or
rather arrowroot. I must examine. It is tasteless to me,
being fibrous and farinaceous.

Sunday, 30^A. — Easter. Time was when it was a matter of
religion (to say nothing of the pleasure) to eat numberless
eggs on this day at the Bond's Glen, where father lived and
my early life was spent. This morning I killed a lamb for
our entertainment. The natives have been feasting on a sort
of grub or worm which they find in numbers under the bark
of the red gum trees. Those that I have had cut down pre-
sent a fine store for them to have easy access to. The grub
is a sort of long four-sided white worm or maggot, with a
thick fiat square head and a small pair of strong brown
forceps set on the end of the head.

Monday, 31st. — Mr. Butler is here. He has been out ex-
ploring. Came to a lake not far from this in a N.N.W
direction, towards the sea, which he reckons is 15 miles
round, with good feeding about it and limestone soil.

Wednesday, April 2nd. — Got from the natives a piece of
bread made of the root of the flag which they called yand-
yett. It tastes like a cake of oatmeal. They peel the root,
roast and pound it, and bake it. The root is as thick as your
finger, and a foot long. Some say it is arrowroot, but I made
nothing out of it by pouring boiling water on it and simmering,

Wednesday, Wi. — The Merope is about to sail for Madras,
via Mauritius, and to take the detachment of the 63rd on to
head quarters at Madras. I fortunately brought this letter
down and now take the opportunity of a moment of repose.

 

221

June, 18<A. — To-day I have been busy preparing wheat for
sowing. I am getting the holes of the drake riddle made a
little larger, by pushing the alternate wires close together ;
the drake or darnel did not pass through before * * *
Acted as a shepherd for a little to-day ; there are now 84
lambs. What confusion of sounds and voices as the sheep
are driven out ! Such bleating of lambs, such searching of
the mothers for their young — such laughable mistakes — yet
how soon discovered. A lamb is not very scrupulous, but
will accommodate itself with almost any mother which will
stand quiet. Not so the mother. Smelling, she soon detects
and drives off the intruder, pushing it away unceremoniously
with her head. Yet sometimes they commit mistakes, and
take up with a wrong lamb, neglecting their own. I have no
less than four instances of this among mine now, and we
must rear them by hand.

Jum 19th. — To-day Mr. Shaw and I took a walk up to
Mr. Brown's grant to see the land. Everything looks beau-
tiful. There we met eight or nine natives ; among them were
two of those connected with the death of the soldier, already
referi'ed to. They had the daring to go to the soldiers and
get some wheat there. Their object I suppose is to lull
suspicion in order to catch Weeip. Coming back we saw
two turkeys, but could not get near them. My shepherd
came to me with gloomy looks this evening, and in that mood
he does not restrain his tongue. We have had a row, and I
think I shall discharge him * * * I have now in my
flock 240 sheep, independent of lambs, which it is too soon
to count yet. I rejoice that I did not send them to the Can-
ning Eiver to Mr. Phillips, for the natives have killed some
of his lately, and some also have died from a complaint which
has been in many places prevalent among sheep.

June 20th. — Bought a pitch kettle, chafing dish, and some
figure brands to-day * * * A number of natives were
here again this morning. I made them useful in shooting

 

222

crows on the wheat ground * * * The process of clean-
ing wheat for sowing is very tedious — perhaps not more than
three bushels per day is cleaned by means of the drake sieve.
I shall try to make a screen on a small scale. I have about
eight acres of wheat now sown, and about four acres of land
ready for being sown. I am busy making ready a piece of
ground for the mixed clover and grass seeds which you for-
warded ; what you sent heretofore is looking well — when it
grew on a suitable soil.

24:th. — Plagued all day with natives coming to get wheat
ground. Made two of them useful in shooting at crows, and
in the evening they brought me a duck which they had shot.
* * * Capt. Ellis, Superintendent of Natives, came here
this evening in search of some delinquents among them ; but
though three of them were actually here at the time, he did
not succeed in taking any. He intends to try and take Weeip
to-night ; perhaps this might keep them off us for a little.

June 25^A.— Capt. Ellis has taken the natives Beelyimerra
and Geear prisoners, and carried them to Perth to the great
discomfiture of the other natives. Two of them have been
with me all day, Tomghin and Winat. The former has made
himself useful in the kitchen cleaning knives, sawing wood,
etc. The latter went with me to shoot ducks and made him-
self very useful also. I got a brace, and my native friend
Bolatman shot one yesterday, so that we have a very accept-
able supply of fresh meat. Tomghin has begged to be allowed
to stay here to-night, and is amusing the party in the kitchen
by imitating " white men dance."

Thursday, 26th. — Had several men out all day searching
in vain for my bullocks. They have joined Mr. Bull's herd,
as I have now been informed * * * "V\re have been
much amused with Tomghin in the kitchen. After cleaning
some brass candlesticks, a very dirty iron one was given him.
He said it was "ugly old man." Lost a lamb last night, which
was carried off by native dogs. A ewe and lamb are out

 

223

to-night, and I fear we shall have a bad account of them also.
Planted seven vine cuttings to-day, and as many peaches,
which seem to grow by cuttings also.

Friday, Tlth. — One of my best ewes was found dead to-day,
torn by natives' dogs, I presume. I must count them all over,

to ascertain whether it is one of J 's or mine ; if it be one

of mine — which I suspect, from the relics of skin and bone —
it was one of the largest of Van Diemen's Land ewes, and had
a lamb yesterday, in which case they are much inclined to
secrete themselves in a quiet place till the lamb is able to
follow the mother ; and so the shepherd misses them * * *
Have tried transplanting potatoes to a considerable extent
this year. They are self-sown from what remains in the
ground — not sufficient to fill the ground properly yet too
valuable to be lost. In this way I shall have a good
number of potatoes self-sown and otherwise — ^perhaps half
an acre. If I could procure seed now I have manure to
plant an acre, but they are selling at 6d. a pound and very
few to be had at the price.

Saturday 2'^th. — The native Geear has been flogged; the
other is detained. Those in this neighbourhood have again
been stealing from a man called "Waller. I had upwards of
twenty natives here to-day * * * Had a great piece of
work branding sheep, but did not get the job finished.
Counting my lambs I find there are 110 now, and 231
sheep in the fold. Several are to lamb yet * * * ♦
Cabbage, onion, &c., seeds do not come. Apropos, I broke
a piece of virgin ground to-day, ground probably not stirred
since the Creation, or the last terrestial convulsion. It is a
common circumstance here, but what a singular train of ideas
it leads the mind into ! Meau\vhile, it looks rich black deep
vegetable mould. There is only about an acre of it together
at that spot ; it is in a gentle hollow between two of those
knolls of ground which I have so often described as forming
a characteristic feature of this locality. * * *

 

224

Saturday, July 5tk. — The Eagle schooner has arrived from
Sydney bringing some flour and some stock, but no meat,
which is very scarce now in the colony. The captain of the
ship (Pratt) has been often here before trading between this
and Sydney, and he has now brought his wife and family to
settle here. I think this fact speaks for itself. He gives a
gloomy account of the Sydney colony.

We have been trying to rig out a fishing net as a trammel
net, in hopes of catching some fish, but there is so much delay
in getting up some corks and leads which are still in Fremantle
that I fear the winter floods may prevent us. You possibly
do not understand what a " trammel net," — or " wall-net " as
others call it — is. I will describe it : a small meshed net, as
long as you please but about 6 feet deep, is suspended per-
pendicularly in the water by ropes and corks ; on either side
of this net another net of the same length and depth is at-
tached to the same ropes, but the mesh of these two outer
nets is about six inches square, so that a fish coming up or
down the river passes through the wide mesh of the nearest
net without obstruction, strikes against the middle small-
meshed net, and, pushing on a part of the middle net through
the wide meshed net on the further side, it then gets itself
entangled or detained in a purse or pocket which prevents

its return or escape * * * j^st fancy ! Mr. B ,

who lately got out some Irish beef to sell, asks now the
moderate sum of twelve guineas a tierce for it. My men
are all grumbling because I have ceased to give meat to
them at breakfast whilst it is so scarce. Mr. Eobert Brock-
man and Mr. N. Shaw have been here for tea this evening.
* * * I noticed that one of my lambs had its stomach
full of dry earth, I have often observed them eating clay ;
perhaps it is for the salt which it contains.

I left this on Monday after an early dinner, and rode to
Guildford, where I did not arrive till sunset. Had a cool
but dark walk thence to Perth, as I sent the mare back

 

225

from Guildford for several reasons, one of which is that
there is a ferry where you must pay a shilling; then, my
stay in Perth is always uncertain, and horses are very badly
taken care of there.

Friday, July 11. — To-day I find that a great sensation has
been created in the colony by rumours which have come to
us, only through the natives, of a vessel that was wrecked
nearly six months ago (30 days journey, as they described it)
to the North of this, — which is conjectured to be about
Sharks Bay. Further enquiries have been made from the
natives ; they say that " wayl-men " — men from a distance
to the North — have told them of it, and that there are men
and women and children still alive, inhabiting two larger
and smaller tents made of poles and canvas ; that the ship is
quite destroyed by the sea; and that a large quantity of
money, like dollars, is lying on the shore. Here is a matter
of most painful and absorbing interest. There have been
great discussions among the members of the Government
about what is the best course to pursue, in which discussions
I have been in some respects a participator. An expedition
by land with horses was first thought of, but, from the great
price of horses, &c., it was found that it would require nearly
£500 to equip such an expedition. It is now determined to
send off a vessel direct to Sharks Bay, and thence to com-
mence a search north and south along the coast — which is of
such a nature that it cannot be approached from sea except
at two or three points all the way up there. It is awful to
contemplate the sufferings of the wretched survivors. All
here have been anxious about them, and I myself have not
been idle so far as my thoughts and powers went; but I shall
explain this in due order.

In the midst of our discussions, I suggested the possibility
of forwarding a letter to the sufferers by means of the natives,
and to get the Government to authorise me to offer the libera-
tion of Billymera (Weeip's son) who is now in prison, as an

Q

 

2^6

inducement to any of them who would carry a letter there
and bring an answer back. Full of this project I set out for
home, but it was already night when I arrived at Guildford,
and it began to rain very heavily ; so I stopped at Mr. Tan-
ner's, having first made enquiries everywhere in that neigh-
bourhood for any natives, and greatly desiring to see my old
friend Tomgkin ; but the soldiers had unfortunately just be-
gun a system of patrolling, which alarmed all the natives, and
they had disappeared. This was rather a damper to my
ardour, but with the dawn of day I set out for home, and,
immediately after breakfast, mounted my mare and rode out
on the forlorn hope of " looking for natives," wishing that
Weeip could be seen for a moment, though I should com-
promise myself by holding intercourse with an outlawed
proscribed murderer — that is, in the eye of our law.

Kode first to Mr. Shaw's ; no sign there. Eode to Mr.
Bull's ; some natives had been there recently, and could not
be far away. Followed and overtook some, and began to talk
to them, but found they knew little of my language or man-
ner. Suddenly recollecting that one of them had formerly
called himself a son of Weeip's, I took him on one side and
told him I wanted some one who could understand me.
Sounded him about Weeip himself, when, at last, having
assured himself of my intentions, he offered to take me to
Weeip. I did not hesitate a moment, but went immediately
along with him into some thick bush, where he stopped,
whistled, and mentioned my name. Like a spectre, Weeip
appeared from behind a bush, and came smiling to meet me,
with his hand outstretched. I could not refuse it, and com-
ing at once to the point with him, I related to him, in his
own language and manner, that " black man " had told
" white man " that other white men, our friends, were sit-
ting on the ground at a distance, crying, and that the ship
which had walked with them over the sea from England was
broken upon the rocks, that the white men here were sorrow-

 

227

ful, and that I would give black fellow a " paper talk," that
black fellow should give that " paper talk " to the white fellow
at a distance ; that my " paper talk " should stop there, and
that the white man at a distance should give another " paper
talk to black fellow, who should come back soon and give it
to Mr. Moore, and that Billymerra, his son, would then be a
friend, and Governor would say, " walk away, friend."

I spent an hour trying to impress the urgency and import-
ance of the mission upon him. He seemed doubtful about
something, but I urged, explained, showed my earnestness by
look, word, and gesture, and by sketches on the sand told him
he could not deceive us ; that the paper would tell whether
he had seen white men, that Billymerra would be free if he
did it, and that I would speak to the Governor in his favour.
There seemed a discussion among the natives, who had now
all joined us, and at last he said he would go away now, that
if I brought him the letter when he walked a little space, and
come to a spot which he pointed out, he would speak. I rode
to Mr. Bull's, wrote a letter to the survivors, telling them of
the ship going to their relief, requested them to look out
make signals, hoist flags, raise beacons, make fires, &c., to
send the bearer instantly with instructions where they were,
&c. Wrote two or three placards to the same effect in large
writing ; folded or rolled the whole very tightly in a small
piece of oiled skin, and returned at appointed hour to the
spot we had agreed on. Looked round on all sides ; nothing
to my right, a valley to my left, an extensive plain in front.
No living thing in sight. Called out, and was instantly
answered from the opposite side of the valley — a vantage
ground, from which four natives were observing all my move-
ments, so that they could easily have avoided detection or
escaped pursuit had they seen anything suspicious about my
appearance. As it was, I dashed boldly down the side of the
valley, crossed the creek, and, ascending on the other side,

was quietly received by them, though I could not help ob-

Q— 2

 

228

serving that they were furnished with a formidahle quantity
of war spears with which they had equipped themselves since
my last visit.

I showed Weeip the small parcel — about as thick as a
man's finger, and four inches long; and asked him if he
would go ? He readily said, Yes. All his scruples and
demurs seemed to be at an end. He told me his plan. He
should take two others with him, avoid some tribes who were
not friendly, and keep near the coast ; would reach his desti-
nation in 1 5 days, and come back in the same time. I made
him calculate them over and over again ; it was the same.
I tied the parcel firmly to his belt, and he took his departure,
again shaking hands, and twice looking back to say " Good-
bye, Mr. Moore." I responded as often, " Good-bye, Weeip."
As I turned away I felt a glow of satisfaction. I had thus
been enabled to place a father in the way of earning liberty
for his son, and probable redemption of himself, as well as
relieving these poor fellow-creatures from the miseries of a
state of lingering and hopeless proscription. I have dwelt
long on this for it made a great impression upon me. It is
not often that such an adventure comes in our way. Perhaps
you will not grudge the space which I have devoted to it.

Conjecture is busy as to what vessel it can be. We have
long expected a ship called the Mercury which is said to have
sailed from Madras on 3rd of October. The time agrees, but
nautical men consider it impossible, as no vessel from India
should be near that part of the coast. On enquiry, I find the
" wayl-men " long since brought some crowns and half crowns
and other British coin here, but it was supposed that they
had either stolen them or that some foolishly liberal person
had given the money to them. The coin being all British,
confirms the opinion that the vessel must be an outward
bound Chinaman.

This evening I met Mr. B., who had been absent all day.
He seemed nettled at the idea that I should have seen the

 

229

native without his intervention, and I really am almost afraid
that lie may be interfering in some way, which will raise
jealousy and alarm in the minds of the natives. I told him
that the man's life and his son's liberty depended upon this
act, and their blood must be on his head if he frustrated it,

Saturday. — Have just ridden down to Perth, and find that
the Captain of the Eagle has suddenly declared his intention
of sailing to-morrow morning, and that letters must be sent
in within the hour. It is fortunate T brought my letters
down with me.

 

[Another gap here occurs in the diary, and the result of
Weeip's mission to Shark's Bay (already referred to) is not
given by Mr. Moore. It would appear however, that he
performed it satisfactorily, for in September he received a
formal pardon from Sir James Stirling, and Billymerra was
released from custody. The report of a wreck at Shark's
Bay appears to have been incorrect.]

 

THE COLONY.

Perth, Sq)tember, 1834.

September 28th. — Eather a fine day externally. Only two
visitors — Mr. Eobert Brockman and Mr. Mellersh. The latter
has only lately arrived here ; he is now apprenticed to Mr.
Brockman.

Monday 29th, — Busy sheep-shearing. Three men are em-
ployed at it, J , Dodd the shepherd, and a man called

Morley, who shears at 5s. a score. He has clipped 27, J

22, and Dodd 18. I have a man folding them up. The plan
for laying fleeces on top of one another would require at least
one extra hand, and I think is objectionable in some respects.
The wool is assorted according to the quality. I have coarse
wool, merino wool, and merino with a cross of pure Saxon,
which appears very tine; and I have a few pure Saxon
fleeces.

Wednesday, 1st Oct. — One man shore 30 sheep to-day.
Another such day will finish them, for I have about 233
grown sheep, and I do not intend to shear the lambs at
present, of which I have about 130. A man came here
yesterday looking for work ; he said he had had nothing to
eat on the previous day but a few sow thistles. I scarcely
believe him ; but it required some little starvation to bring
the servants to their senses again.

Tuesday, Oct. 7th. — I went to Perth on Friday last, and
stayed there till Saturday night. Two vessels had come in —
the Jolly Rambler from Java, and the Jessie from Mauritius.
The latter is loaded with rum and sugar, and some flour, but
the captain wiU not break bulk unless at £40 a ton for sugar
and flour, and 6s, a gallon for rum. So we are not much the

 

231

better for them yet. A vessel called the Monkey (Captain
Pace) has also arrived — the same which was sent to Sharks
Bay to look for the survivors of a wreck supposed to have
taken place there. No traces, however, were discovered of
such a thing having occurred. The natives there are de-
scribed as being very big men ; out of 30 of them who were
measured, live or six were 6ft. 5in., or 6ft. 6in., while twenty
of them were 6ft., and not a man under 5ft. 7in. or 5ft. Sin.
They were not very familiar, and not a word of their language
was understood, so that no information was gained. Dirk
Hartog's Island is described as a mere heap of rock, shells,
and sand, and the coast of the bay mere sand and salt swamp.
No fresh water is to be found ; neither tree nor land bird,
nor land animal to be seen, but fish in great numbers, and
plenty of little oysters and shell fish. Abundance of whales
also M^ere seen, and quantities of valuable shells got. That is
about the sum of the whole expedition.

Oct. 11th. — Natives about here in great numbers to-day. I
made the whole work at carrying and burning " blackboy,"
and gave them wheat in return. I have two men grubbing
" blackboy " at £2 10s. an acre. I put down an acre of Caffre
corn in drills at six feet asunder, and am sheepfolding the
ground.

Sunday, 12th. — A circumstance has occurred here lately
which has created quite a sensation. A Mr. James McDer-
mott loaded a little vessel of his own to go down to Port
Augusta, and a storm came on shortly after, and the vessel
has not since been heard of This was about six weeks ago.
It is almost certain the vessel is swamped. He was married
to a Miss Turner. During my absence to-day tlie dog
" Carlo " killed a kangaroo of 60 lbs. weight, without the
assistance of any other dog. This has been a relief in the
article of housekeeping. Many persons have supported their
establishments as far as meat is concerned upon kangaroo this
season. Some have killed several thousand pounds weight.

 

232

A most amusing scene of tragic romance was enacted the
other day at Mr. Brockman's between two of his servants —

J G , a redheaded cow boy of 18, and Sally Cook, a

nurse of 14. J got into a fit of jealous love, and she, in

a fit of despair, took poison. He, in his agony, was desirous
that another should shoot him, and, not succeeding in his
wishes, he took poison also. Things looked alarming, and the
doctor was sent for, who, after long examination, thought
there was too much acting to be natural. However, he ad-
ministered pretty strong emetics to both. This brought on
an opening and relieving of the mind as well as the stomach,
when the young lady very quaintly said to her dying swain
" D'ye think I'd be such a fool as take poison ? I'm sure I
never thought you'd be such a fool either." The swain soon
relieved himself from the stigma of such folly also ; so the
whole ended in their having a night's suffering under the
operation of unsparing emetic, and being discharged from
their services in the morning.

Oct. 15th. — Walked back to the hills to-day with the shep-
herd to look out for fresh pasture for the sheep. The natives
are the chief terror, but there is fine feed. Have got home
my iron plough, which lias been at the blacksmith's to be
mended ; it is far superior to what I used in its place, though
it wants some alteration. I shall have three or four acres
fallowing for crop next year. I have two men out grubbing
grass trees at £2 10s. an acre. These I burn and spread. I
feel every day more reluctant to leave the farm. There is
great talk just now of persons going over the hills to settle
down with flocks — ivhen they can get them. One man who
went over there with a small flock in a small way, is now an
independent man (all within three years). I drove down to
Mr. Yule's yesterday with 62 lambs to have them weaned.
He sends up as many to my place. This is the way we
manage it.

Oct, IGth. — There are about 30 natives here. They sleep near

 

233

this, and are about to have some spearing account to settle
among themselves to-morrow. They manage these matters
something like a duel. One man of his tribe having wounded
in the arm a woman of another tribe, her friends come and
demand satisfa"ction. Several shots are exchanged, generally
without execution, as they, by fair activity, avoid them, and
so the affair ends. A deadly feud is conducted in a different
way. The injured party devotes himself to revenge, steals on
his enemy at night, or unawares, and kills him.

Oct. IMh. — I was in Perth yesterday ; in the meantime
numbers of natives were here, and made a great " corrobery *
near the house at night, to which they came down to invite
my people. I do not hear of any mischief having been done
as yet either among themselves or towards us. * * * I
sold a two-year-old steer yesterday to a butcher at Perth for
£23. It weighed about 400 lbs. I had reared this one at
home myself. He was of a small breed and sluggish, so as
not to promise well for work. I think I must get rid of my
wether sheep and wether lambs, as I am short of pasture for
so large a flock. To send them away frustrates one main in-
tention of mine, which is to get up a flock of Saxon breed.

Oct. 2{)th. — ^Winat (one of the natives) came past this to-
day, with a double-barrelled gun on his shoulder and two
black cockatoos in his hand, which he had killed with one
shot. He was sent with a letter from Guildford to Mr. Bull
and he executed his office well, brought back an answer*
called here on his way back, and did not make any unneces-
sary delay. I sent a message to Mr. Turner by him. We
are advancing with them. I made an offer to-day to Mr.
Dring, near this, for his wool off about 40 sheep, but he
wants to send it home himself. His fiock of about forty
grown sheep and forty lambs is now offered for sale. He
asks £200, but may sell them cheaper.

Tuesday, 21st. — I sent my flock this morning back to the
hills in care of a man and a hoy, who are now encamped

 

234

there (as far as a bush hut can deserve the title). The situa-
tion is very picturesque, on the slope of small hills, with a
stream running at the foot. The pasture is excellent. I
trust they may thrive there, free from natives or disease.

Wednesday, 22nd. — It appears that the Messrs. Burgess
went to see a " corrobery " some nights ago, and some symp-
toms of hostility were exhibited, so that they felt alarmed.
Captain Ellis and four of the new police came up last night
in consequence. In the meantime Sam told me that two
natives had met him on his way to Perth, and they asked
'him for bread, and one of them threatened to spear white
man if he did not give it. This man was " Guerip " — one of
the most active in murdering the soldier at the Murray river.
An expedition was to have been made on Monday last to the
Murray, for the purpose of endeavouring to apprehend the
perpetrators of that murder, and it appears strange that on
that very day he should come here. It confirms me in an
opinion that some one betrays every movement of ours to
them. I mentioned to Captain Ellis that " Guerip " was
here. Numbers of strange natives have arrived at their
heed-quarters near here this evening, and we have heard
their voices very loud, as if they were fighting among them-
selves. Friend Tomghin has told me that he and several
others have concerted a plan to throw a certain native off
his guard and spear him to death. Amiable creatures !
^ Thursday, Oct. 23rd. — Rode down to Perth to-day, and told
the Governor all I knew about the natives. He wished me
to return again and take charge of a military party to hover
3,bout them so long as they should remain in force in the
neighbourhood. I returned and found that the Gueriss who
was here is not the Murray river native, but one of the same
name. * * * In the morning early, James heard the
dog Carlo barking at a distance. It turned out that he had
been with the shepherd all night and had brought a large
kangaroo to bay, and had a desperate battle with him. The

 

236

shepherd came to the rescue and shot the kangaroo, wlien the
dog was nearly exhausted, being cut and bruised severely.
The singularity is that the barking of the dog was heard dis-
tinctly here, the distance not being much less than four miles.
Friday (24^A). — The soldiers made their way here late last
night. I got straw shaken in the kitchen for them, and this
morning despatched them to patrol, with instructions to call
on the settlers and ascertain the movements of the natives.
All was quiet, they having proceeded below Guildford. This
little display of force and watchfulness on our part may have
a good effect upon them. * * * Mr. and Mrs. Tanner
called here to-day. They now talk of going to India, and
thence overland to England. * * ♦ j watch with great
interest every day the progress of two of my vines which have
some fruit in progress ; two fig trees also, none of them being
as yet more than 20 inches high, and this but the second
year of their growth.

Saturday {25th). — It is provoking that, after having sup-
ported my two workmen all through the time of scarcity of
provisions, and labour, and giving them high wages — 40s. a
month during all that time, — they both give me warning now
that they will leave me in a month, just at the commence-
ment of harvest, unless I raise their wages. This is gratitude
and honour. Fortunately I have just hired another at 40s. a
month for the two ensuing months, — a quiet-looking handy

man who has been living with our friend M for eighteen

months. * * * The natives have all dispersed to-day,
and gone off again, for what reason I know not, but suspect
they did not like the appearance of the police and soldiers
visiting them. Tomghin says they will go away for four
months, but this is too good news to be true. * * * j
have just finished roofing a frame of a house, 40 feet long by
12 wide, part of which will serve for a barn, the rest for cow-
house or other purposes.
Oct. 26th, — The Governor has gone to the Murray Eiver

 

236

District to see about establishing Mr. Peel in a new settlement
there. I suppose he will not return for eight or ten days ; he
is endeavouring to induce people to settle between this and
King George's Souud.

Tuesday, Oct. 28th. — H.M.S. the Hyacinth has arrived here
from Madras, having been sent first to look out for the wreck
of the Mercury, formerly bound for this place, filled with
passengers and lading, but now missing ; next, he (Captain
Blackwood) has orders to go on to Van Dieman's Land and
Sydney. The schooner Eagle having also arrived from Mau-
ritius, we may have sugar, rum and flour cheaper.

Wednesday. — Got a large mahogany tree cut down and put
on a pit for sawing into boards for flooring, &c. Tree is about
three feet through ; had great trouble in dragging it to the pit
on wood by oxen by means of " cant hooks," &c. A native
came from the hills to Dodd the shepherd, who appeared quite
timid and alarmed. It was "Moily Mayget," the prisoner
whom I had charge of at first. He seems to be in banishment
from his tribe for some reason.

Thursday.-— A strange rumour has reached us here that the
party who went to the Murray Kiver have fallen in with the
natives there, and killed 35 of them, Captain Ellis being
slightly wounded, and a soldier grazed by a spear. This is
important if true. * * * j went up to Mr. Bull's this
day and took tea, A party there had been out kangaroo-
hunting — Captain B., Dr. Johnston, Mr. Brown, Mr. Leonard,
and Nat Shaw.

Saturday, 1st Nov. — Went to Perth yesterday, and got from
the Governor an account of the battle of Pinjarra. They came
upon the offending tribe in a position which I dare say the
natives thought was most favourable for their manceuvres,
but which was turned into a complete trap for them. In the
first onset, three out of five of the small party which went to
reconnoitre them were unhorsed, two being wounded. The
Governor himself came up with a reinforcement just in time

 

237

to prevent the natives rushing in upon and slaughtering that
party. The natives then fled to cross at a ford, but were met
and driven back by a party which had been detached for that
purpose. They tried to cross at another ford, but were met
there also, when they took to the river, lying hid under the
overhanging banks, and seeking opportunities of casting their
spears, but they were soon placed between two fires and
punished severely. The women and children were protected,
and it is consolatory to know that none suffered but the daring
fighting men of the very tribe that had been most hostile.
The destruction of European lives and property committed
by that tribe was such that they considered themselves quite
our masters, and had become so emboldened that either that
part of the settlement must have been abandoned or a severe
example made of them. It was a painful but urgent necessity,
and likely to be the most humane policy in the end. The
Governor narrowly escaped a spear. Captain Ellis was struck
in the temple and unhorsed. Being stunned by the blow
he fell.

Monday, 3rd Nov. — ^A very warm day. John Mackie was
here. » * * i was back at the hills with the flock ; they
are improving now rapidly. The natives in this neighbour-
hood got a fright last night. Some women had been stealing
Mr. Shaw's potatoes, and he had applied to the soldiers, who
went to Mr. Bull ; the natives got information of this, and ran
from their fires, thinking the soldiers were in pursuit of them.
They called on me late last night to know what was to be
done, and this morning by sunrise they were with me again
on the subject. They are, T think, alarmed for themselves
from what has occurred at the Murray, though they seem glad
that that tribe has suffered. Mr. Tanner was here to-day.
There is to be a show of cattle, or any other thing worth
showing, on Friday, at our agricultural meeting. The Governor
will dine there. I thought of showing some wool, but will
defer it till next year.

 

23S

Tuesday, 4dh. — A busy morning with sheep, &c. The lambs
which had been with Mr. Yule's flock to be weaned, were
brought back this morning. Those of his which I had were
brought from the hills ; those which were with Edwards were
also removed, as he does not wish to keep them longer, so
that I sent back to the hills 112 lambs. All these changes
were effected by the middle of the day.

Saturday-night. — Went to Perth on Thursday to attend a
Council. . . . Friday was our agricultural meeting, and
first attempt at a cattle show. We had a very full meeting,
and a good deal of business done. There were several horses,
cattle and sheep exhibited. Great speechifying at the dinner.
Several strangers were there ; among others is Mr. Taylor,
who had gone as a settler to K. G. Sound, but does not seem
contented there, and wishes to see whether he would like this

place better, which I have no doubt he will do

There has been rain for two days past, occasional showers ;
these are perhaps the last we may have for some time. . . .
I had to wait to escort some others home last night, and

did not arrive here till near 12, cold and tired

Shepherd wants higher wages. I am now paying at the rate
of £103 a year for wages, besides feeding the people, and on
Ist January I must commence to give Letty wages also, £15
or perhaps £18 a year.

Sunday. — The flour I paid so dear for turns out to be sour,
and we take very badly to it, after our own good sweet wheat.
Burgess and Bull had to go back to the hills to-day again,
Flocks looking better every day. The Governor has gone over
to York with Captain Blackwood to see the country. The
natives have disappeared from this. I think they have dis-
covered we have not much to give them until after harvest.

Tw.sday. — A rainy morning, very favourable for our crops,
&c. Got my cart broken by carrying boards from the saw
pit, which is 1| miles away. Mean to have a barn floor
of mahogany boards two inches thick. Weather has been

 

239

very cool — almost cold; it rains now at eleven o'clock,
night.

Tuesday night. — Poor Captain Ellis has died in conse-
quence of the injury he received at the time of the conflict
with the natives ; but it is supposed that it was from the
concussion of the brain by the fall from his horse, rather
than by the wound from the spear (which was very trifling),
that he died. The natives here are uneasy, thinking that we
mean to take more lives in revenge. . . . You, perhaps,
are curious to know what business I do now in Perth. Give
legal advice, and draw leases and other documents for Govern-
ment and attend Councils Lady Stirling has

brought out some new novels and other works. I read
" Eugene Aram " the other day, and this day I walked from
Perth and read on the way two volumes of Arlington. Our
minds are in danger of becoming rusted for want of the polish
of the literature of the day. Met the native, " Mundy," on
the road to-day ; we stopped and chatted and told each other
all the news we could. His wife and a girl were with him
Sitting in my bachelor state after dinner, I had a visit from
Mr. and Mrs. Bull. "Walking to convoy them a little, I met
on my return a tribe of natives at their fires, and had a
friendly greeting.

Appended is a more detailed report of the encounter with
the natives in the Pinjarrah District, to which I briefly
referred the other day. I was not one of that party.

The party consisted of His Excellency Sir Jas. Stirling, Mr.
Eoe, Capt. Meares, and his son (Seymour), Mr. Peel, Capt.
Ellis, Mr. Norcott, with five of the mounted police (one sick),
Mr. Surveyor Smythe, a soldier to lead a pack horse, Mr.
Peel's servant, two corporals and eight privates of H.M.'s 21st
Regiment (to leave at Pinjarra) — in all, 25 persons. On the
night of the 27th of October, the party bivouacked at a place
called by the natives " Jimjam," about ten or eleven miles in
a direct line E.N.E. from the mouth of the Murray, where is

 

240

abundance of most luxurious feed for cattle, at a broad and
deep reach of the river flowing to the N.W., and at this time
perfectly fresh. After an early breakfast, the whole encamp-
ment was in motion at ten minutes before six the next morn-
ing. Steered South Eastward for Pinjarra — another placo of
resort for the natives of the district, and situated a little
below the first ford across the river, where it was intended to
establish a town on a site reserved for the purpose, and to
leave half of the party, including the military, for the protec-
tion of Mr. Peel and such other settlers as that gentleman
might induce to resort thither.

Crossing the ford, where the river had an average depth of
2| feet, and was running about 1^ miles an hour to the north,
an Easterly course was taken for the purpose of looking at
the adjoining country, but the party had not proceeded more
than a quarter of a mile over the undulating surface of the
richest description, covered with nutritious food for cattle,
when the voices of many natives were heard on the left.
This being a neighbourhood much frequented by the native
tribe of Kalyute, which had long been indulging in almost
unchecked commission of numerous outrages and atrocious
murders on the white people resident in the district, and
which had hitherto succeeded in eluding the pursuit of the
parties that had been searching for them since their treacherous
murder of Private Nesbitt of the 21st Eegiment, and the
spearing of Mr. Barron only a few weeks ago — the moment
was considered propitiously favorable for punishing the per-
petrators of such and other diabolical acts of a similar nature,
should this prove to be the offending tribe. For the purpose
of ascertaining that point, His Excellency rode forward 200
or 300 yards with Messrs. Peel and Norcott, who were
acquainted both with the persons of the natives and with
their language, and commenced calling out and talking
to them for the purpose of bringing on an interview.
Their own noise was, however, so loud and clamorous,

 

241

that all other sounds appeared lost on them, or as mere
echoes.

No answer being returned, Captain Ellis, in charge of the
mounted police, with Mr. Norcott, his assistant, and the
remaining available men of his party, amounting to three in
number were despatched across the ford again to the left
bank, where the natives were posted, to bring on the interview
required. The instant the police were observed approaching
at about 200 yards distance, the natives, to the number of
about 70, started on their feet, the men seized their numerous
and recently made spears, and showed a formidable front, but
finding their visitors still approached, they seemed unable to
stand a charge, and sullenly retreated, gradually quickening
their pace until the word " forward " from the leader of the
gallant little party brought the horsemen in about half a
minute dashing into the midst of them, the same moment
having discovered the well-known features of some of the
most atrocious offenders of the obnoxious tribe. One of these,
celebrated for his audacity and outrage, was the first to be
recognised at the distance of five or six yards from Mr.
Norcott, who knew him well, and immediately called out,
" These are the fellows we want, for here's that old rascal
Noonar," — on which, the savage turned round and cried with
peculiar ferocity and emphasis, " Yes, Noonar me," and was
in the act of hurling his spear at Norcott, in token of requital
for the recognition, when the latter shot him dead.

The identity of the tribe being now clearly established, and
the natives turning to assail their pursuers, the firing con-
tinued, and was returned by the former with spears as they
retreated to the river. The first shot, and the loud shouts and
yells of the natives, were sufficient signal to the party who
had halted a quarter of a mile above, who immediately followed
Sir James Stirhng, at full speed, and arrived opposite Captain
Ellis' party just as some of the natives had crossed and others
were in the river. It was just the critical moment for them.

 

242

Five or six rushed up the right bank, but were utterly con-
founded at meeting a second party of assailants, who imme-
diately drove back those who escaped the firing. Being thus
exposed to a cross fire, and having no time to rally their
forces, they adopted the alternative of taking to the river, and
secreting themselves amongst the roots and branches and
holes on the banks, or by immersing themselves with the face
only uncovered, and ready with a spear under water, to take
advantage of any one who approached within reach. Those
who were sufficiently hardy or desperate to expose themselves
on the offensive, or to attempt breaking through the assailants,
were soon cleared off, and the remainder were gradually picked
out of their concealment by the cross fire from both banks,
until between 25 and 30 were left dead on the field and in
the river. The others had either escaped up and down the
river, or had secreted themselves too closely to be discovered
except in the persons of eight women and some children, who
emerged from their hiding places (where, in fact, the creatures
were not concealed), on being assured of personal safety, and
were detained prisoneis until the determination of the fray.
It is, however, very probable that more men were killed in
the river, and floated down with the stream.

Notwithstanding the care which was taken not to injure
the women during the skirmish, it cannot appear surprising
that one and several children were killed, and one woman
amongst the prisoners had received a ball through the thigh.
On finding the women were spared, and understanding the
orders repeatedly issued to that effect, many of the men cried
out they were of the other sex ; but evidence to the contrary
was too strong to admit the plea. As it appeared by this time
that sufficient punishment had been inflicted on this warlike
and sanguinary tribe by the destruction of about half its male
population, and amongst whom were recognised, on personal
examination, fifteen very old and desperate offenders, the bugle
sounded to cease firing, and the divided party reassembled at

 

243

the ford, where the baggage had been left in. charge of four
soldiers, who were also to maintain the post. Here Captain
Ellis had arrived, badly wounded in the right temple, by a
spear at three or four yards distance, which knocked him off"
his horse, and P. Heffron, a constable of the police, had
received a bad spear wound above the right elbow. No sur-
gical aid being at hand, it was not without some little dif-
ficulty the spear was extracted, and it then proved to be
barbed at the distance of five inches from the point.

Having recrossed the river in good order with the baggage
on three horses, the whole party formed a junction on the left
bank, fuUy expecting the natives would return in stronger
force, but in this were disappointed. After a consultation
over the prisoners, it was resolved to set them free, for the
purpose of fully explaining to the remnant of the tribe the
cause of the chastisement which had been inflicted, and to
bear a message to the effect that, if they again offered to spear
white men or their cattle, or to revenge in any way the punish-
ment which had just been inflicted on these for their numerous
murders and outrages, four times the present number of men
would proceed amongst them and destroy every man, woman,
and child. This was perfectly understood by the captives,
and they were glad to depart even under such an assurance ;
nor did several of their number, who were the widows, mothers
and daughters of notorious off'enders shot that day, evince any
stronger feeling on the occasion than what arose out of their
anxiety to keep themselves warm.

[At this stage of Mr. Moore's Diary we find a copy of the

third annual report of the Directors of the first Agricultural

Society established in the colony, which we think may prove

interesting to many of our readers, indicating as it does the

condition which agriculture had attained in the colony at that

early period of its history. The report is addressed to Sir

James Stirling, the then Governor].

" In laying before your Excellency our third agricultural

R— 2

 

244

report of the colony we cannot but remark, that though the
total amount of live stock in the colony may appear small,
and though a great many farmers have as yet been able to
procure but a very limited supply, yet when we reflect, that
only the fifth year of our existence as a community has passed,
and look at the same period of any colony on record, it will
be found that we stand very fair before them in this respect,
as well as in the extent of land in cultivation. And when
we look at the same state of importance to which other
colonies have arrived (Sydney, for instance, almost even
within our own knowledge and experience), we think we have
reason to congratulate ourselves.

" From our own observations we can state that within the
last twelve months, the increase of stock has been very con-
siderable, the holders having acted more judiciously of late in
withholding the breeding stock from the butcher, however
tempting the price, whereas formerly they thought merely of
the present, by killing ewes, &c., whenever the condition of
the animal or great demand for meat gave present profit. We
believe the number of head of live stock has never before
been given, so as to enable us to state with precision what
the increase has been within any given time ; but, by as
careful a means as could be adopted, we find the present
numbers, and the quantity of land in cultivation, to be as
follows : — Horses, 84 ; mares, 78 ; cows, 307 ; working cattle,
96 ; bulls and steers, 97 ; sheep, 3,545 ; goats, 492 ; pigs, 374.
Number of acres of wheat, 564; barley, 100 ; oats, 116 ; Kaffre
corn and maize, 29; potatoes, 15; other crops, 94; fallow,
118. Vines, half an acre.

" Amongst the horses we must remark that, we have your
own thoroughbred stock, namely, ' Grey Leg ' and ' Chateau
Margaux,' and four mares, and your ' Napoleon ;' the two cart
horses of Mr. Bull and Mr. J. W. Hardey, and Mr. Peel's
' Punch.' Of cart mares, we have Mr. Brockman's two ; Mr.
Bull's one, Mr. Lennard's two ; Mr. Lewis's two ; Mr. Phillips's

 

245

one ; Major Nairn's two ; also Mr. Smith's fine half-bred mare.
Of cows and bulls we possess a good many of the fine English
breeds — Devon short-horned, Yorkshire, Durham, Alderney,
Ayrshire, &c. Of sheep we have the fine ewes and rams
imported from Saxony by Mr. McDermott at a great expense,
with their descendants, and the pure merinos from the flocks
of the late Mr. Trimmer and others. It is gratifying to know
that the good breeds of the stock above mentioned bear sucli
a proportion to the inferior that have been and may be im-
ported from the neighbouring colonies, that we have within
ourselves the foundation for an unlimited number of fivst-rate
horses, cattle, and sheep.

" Of wool, the small quantity hitherto exported has been,
of course, of a very mixetl description, and much of it very
dirty and badly packed, from obvious causes. It appears not
to have fetched in the London market more than 2s. 2d. per
lb. The present season may be rated at about 5,8841bs., and
we are happy to say that a large proportion of it is fine, and
that much more pains have been taken with it than formerly.

" Since making our last report, explorations that have been
made by individuals have not only confirmed our opinions of
the extent of the pastoral districts in the interior, but have
added some not before known. Added to which the increased
experience of those settlers on the only located district of tliis
description,, more than confirm the opinions formerly enter-
tained of it for the breeding of fine-woolled sheep. On this
subject, Mr. Bland, one of the largest flockmasters in the
colony, says : ' With regard to the land in this district, my

* opinion is, that it is as healthy a sheep run as can be found.
' We have resided here with a fiock of sheep for nearly three
' years, and have not had any disease amongst them, excepting
'the foot rot, which had been brought up from the Swan.
' Both sheep and lambs require clipping early in spring, to pre-

* vent a grass seed with a curled point from working into the
' skin. We find the grass certainly increase where it has been

 

246

* most fed off. As to the comparative expense of keeping a
' flock here and on the Swan, I am scarcely able to say, not
' having kept one at the latter place myself, but two men can
'keep from 700 to 1000, with an extra hand in lambing
' time, and two or three at clipping time. I think the country
' on the average will keep about one sheep to three acres. But

* as the feed increases by feeding, a larger proportion may be
' kept hereafter.'

" We are sorry to say that the disease mentioned in our
last report as having proved so serious a drawback to keep-
ing flocks on the Swan, has not yielded so entirely as we had
hoped it would, to the medicines employed ; nor, with all the
care of the owner and shepherd, has it been kept off so long
as the sheep have remained in those districts of the Swan in
which it had before prevailed. But this has hastened the
flockmasters here in sending them to the Avon, to which
river three individuals have lately removed their sheep, and
where there are now no less than eight flocks. It is the
intention of more of the principal settlers to send their
stock over the hills, when the Government shall have so
far improved the roads as to enable them to take over
supplies, which for the present, must be taken from their
farms on the Swan and the Canning. It is very gratifying
to be able to state, that of some of the merino lambs from
the Avon, only six months old, killed at Perth, the carcases
have weighed upwards of 10 lbs. a quarter, and this after
having been driven over in two days.

" As to the number of acres in wheat showing so small an
increase on that of last year, we would remark, that the great
scarcity of seed prevented more being got in ; had it not been
for this cause, we can venture to say that it would have been
very much greater. Nearly the whole of the land now fallow
would have been in wheat, besides a great deal of new land,
had seed been procurable. Kaffre-corn appears to be almost
entirely superseding maize, the former being found not only

 

247

productive, but answering well on inferior soils ; whereas the
latter does nob succeed well in this country, without a great
deal of manure, except on soils that are moist in summer.
During the present season oat hay has been made, for the
first time in the colony, and with complete success, the crop
being four or five times as great as that on the natural
pastures.

" From the great increase in the number of working bullocks
within the last year or two, we may reasonably calculate on a
very considerable increase in the extent of land under culti-
vation next year, if the periodical scarcity which has usually
visited us be averted so that we be not obliged to use for food
the wheat intended for seed. We deem it right to make one
observation on the wheat crop, to prevent an erroneous, opinion
being formed as to its produce, — that though the quantity sown
is considerable, and is generally looking well, there are many
acres that are sown on inferior land without sufficient tillage,
or sown too late, that cannot be counted on."

" Amongst the plants introduced since our last report, we
noticed one of some importance which is now established,
namely, the hop, The white mulberry, of which there are
a great number in the colony, grows most luxuriantly. "We
have now growing in the colony, plants of nearly every kind
of European fruit, tree, and shrub, all of which appear to
thrive well, as do such of the tropical fruits as have had a
fair trial, as the date and banana. Of the fig and the vine,
the fruit appear to be as good as that grown in any part of
the world. Of the vine one settler has half an acre planted.
Indeed this and other fruit trees and plants are becoming very
generally cultivated throughout the settlement, especially the
fig, vine and peach, which here grow to a certainty from cut-
tings. The olive, although regular plantations have not been
made, grows remarkably fast, and there is one plant in Perth
now in fruit. Although garden vegetables cannot be grown
in perfection during every month in the year on dry soils, yet

 

248

in moist grounds every description of vegetables can be grown
at any season, and our supply of them is certainly very superior
with common culture to what can be obtained in England, with-
out artificial heat and the greatest care. Of the various kinds
of timber trees, and shrubs from Europe, Africa, &c., that have
been tried here, all appear to grow remarkably well. Bees
have been landed at King George's Sound since our last
report.

" We are happy to state that four Hour mills are now in
operation, and two otlieis are now in the course of erection ;
also, that brewing is becoming more general ; and, notwith-
standing the scarcity of money that continues to be felt, we
have ascertained that upwards of two thousand pounds
(£2000) are ready to be laid out in the purchase of sheep
(including some already sent for), to be sent to the fine pas-
tures on the Avon and the Hotham. It has been ascertained
that on upland two, and on moist soils three, crops of potatoes
can lie produced in the year."

Perth, Dec. 12th. — I was obliged to close my last letter
yesterday very hastily and abruptly, having been occupied
by public business almost up to the moment of setting out
for this. * * * Two things I was disappointed alwut ;
the first is that from your letters I expected a bale of some
material for packing wool in, as I had omitted to l>uy some
when it \vas to be had, in expectation of your bale. That
which was here was very poor, and selling at Is. (ul. a \ai'd.
I know that it can be had with you at 3d. or 4d. a yard.
There is not a yard of any sort to be had now, and I have
nothing to pack my wool in, so that it must lie for some
other opportunity. Some sent their wool to Van Diemcn's
Land by this ship (the Adam) in casks, under a promise from
the captain that it would be packed in cloth. I did not much
like this plan. The next point in which I was disappointed
is, that your last letters gave me to understand that you were
sending out a crate of delf, and I was looking out for it

 

249

most anxiously. There was no letter with the packages which
came from England, except that containing the bill of lading.
We conjecture, however, that they came from you. They con-
sist of a box of soap and starch, a box of axes and wedges, and
a dozen of spades. The soap was most seasonable, as I was
just about buying some. The spades seem excellent. The
wedges also will be very serviceable, though to be most
effective they should be in progressive sizes. These re-
marks may be serviceable as hints to others. I am pretty
well supplied now, for we can now get them made here,
at a dear rate.

There is a plan now in progress for attempting to civilize
some of the natives by putting them umler the friendly
superintendence of Mr. Armstrong, who has gained their
entire confidence, and acquired a thorough knowledge of
their language. The principle is that they shall procure
their own subsistence — but of this more anon. The natives,
after a long absence from this neighbourhood, have returned.
They have been a long way to the North. Tomghin has been
giving me a great account of excursions which he and Wecip
made. He says the men are very big, that they eat each
Dther, that they wanted to come here to see the white people,
but he discouraged them, saying that they would steal niul
we would 1)6 angry. I give no guess how far he had gom; to
tlie North, but tliink he must have been 100 miles. He says
he asked about money or white men, but there is no such
thing, and that black fellows " tell a lie plenty." (This was
in reference to the rumours we had some time since of a ship-
wreck). He was describing to me his ideas of a future state.
Some, he said, when they died went down far into the earth
and walked " far away " ; others went up and walked above
where the snake and the emu stay (perhaps they are hunting
grounds hereafter). He also talked of something which I
take to be a spirit (good or bad) called " Boylya," but I do
not understand this, I know there is not much reliance to

 

250

be placed in some of their tales, but he says now that Calynte,
the leader of the Murray river tribe, has collected all his forces,
and the assistance of other distant tribes, and is coming to
make regular battle with us, and do whatever mischief he can.
This will satisfy the term " systematic attack " which some of
the despatches use as the only thing to justify any military
aid.

December 16. — Mr. Peel has now got the fee simple of his
250,000 acres, and is in treaty with some company for
100,000 acres at 2s. 6d. an acre. The company wants
1,000,000 acres. It strikes me as a great omission hitherto
on our part that we have not have made it generally known
that land may be had here from settlers at a low rate — per-
haps from 4d. an acre upwards, taking a large quantity. At
Southern Australia, I see they charge 12s. as a minimum
price. How can they expect to get that sum in a new
colony, when land may be had so much cheaper in one partly
established ? Depend on it, the place will not succeed.

December 2oth. — I wish you all a meriy Christmas and a
happy new year. The gap from the 16th to this day has oc-
curred by my being much in Perth since on business. I
hardly know how to fill it up, except with a report of meet-
ings of the Executive Council, examination of roads, bridges,
canals, &c., as commissioner of roads, and drawing up reports
thereon. In examining the " flats " one very warm day, we
(Mr. Eoe and I) walked about through the water with our
trousers tucked up and legs exposed to the sun for some
time, so that the skin was greatly burned and all but peeled
off. We saw a fight among the natives there. When I was
walking along with them, expecting to see the hostile party
advancing from an opposite quarter, and just as 1 was endea-
vouring to make one of them explain, 1 heard a sudden
«' thwack," and, turning round, beheld a great spear sticking
out of a certain very fleshy part of a man who was near me.
It seems the quarrel was among themselves, and this was the

 

251

way of settling it. Another got a spear through his leg about
the same time ; but they seem to think nothing of these
things. The wounded men got the spears pulled out, and
continued along with the rest, as if nothing were the matter.
In short, it looked more like a set of mischievous boys play-
ing at high romps, or having a row, than any deadly busi-
ness. "When one of them is angry, another holds him till the
passion is off, and some appear very willing to be held, and
only struggle a little " to save their honour."

Walked up here on Saturday morning last with John
Mackie, and rode down on Tuesday on my young filly called
" Kate." She carried me very well ; it is one of my own
rearing. Attended Executive Council on Tuesday, and Legis-
lative Council yesterday, when two Bills were read, which I
had previously prepared — one to " regulate the sale of spirits,
&c.," and one to establish and regulate a Post Office. Our
Legislative Council is now open to the public, and we are
directed to conform to the rules of the British Parliament iu
our proceedings, so that actually you may regard me as a
member of Parliament here. A deputation of inhabitants
had waited on the Governor, relative to some improvements
in the town, on the same day, so that it was quite a show
day. The room in which our Legislative Council sits is a
large sized room, with a space railed off for the public. We
are required to appear in full dress there, so that I have now
an opportunity of wearing the coat and waistcoat you sent,
but 1 confess 1 have not had the courage to put it on yet.
The Governor appears in full dress (naval uniform), Captain
Daniel in full military dress, Messrs. Broun and Eoe in blue
coats, with red collars and Crown buttons, i.e., buttons with a
Crown on them. (All civil officers wear these buttons.) To-
day I paid a duty of £6 6s. for forty-two gallons of rum, and
£14 14s. as the price of it. Think of this poured down the
throats of the servants ! Oh, for the establishment here of a
temperance society.

 

252

There is an expedition going off to explore the Hotham and
William rivers. It is an interesting but very toilsome expe-
dition in this very hot weather. I should like to have gone
myself, but cannot be permitted, as Mr. lioe is going by land.
The Governor and Mackie are going by sea to King George's
Sound. * * * Mr. Norcott and the police have just re-
turned from looking after natives at the Murray. They saw
nothing of them, but traced their fires for thirty or forty
miles on the Serpentine, which falls into the estuary of the
Murray. They also saw many cattle tracks. I got a letter
of yours yesterday, which was written more than a year ago
(7th Dec. 1834.) It came by the Cleopatra to Van Diemen's
Land, where it has lain ever since. I need not advert to it
now. I have pulled up arrears, and must now make up for
lost time, and hurry off to Mr. Tanner's to be in time for our
plum pudding.

December 26th. — Got some smart showers of rain soincr
down. There were present there Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, Dora
and Sam, the three Messrs. Burgess and myself. The day
was oppressively sultry, with a steaming damp heat, which
put me in mind of some of the hot wet summer days at home.
Got back at twelve at night. Found the men all looking
" seedy " after yesterday's doings, but all had passed off
(quietly for a wonder, liain came on so heavily to-day that
I was ol)liged to cease bringing oats to the stack, as they
were too wet. I have got one famous large rick of wheat,
one of barley, and one of green oats and hay. I have just
paid a servant to-night the sum of £16. He is going to
Perth in the morning. This to my indoor servants. * * *
Mr. and Mrs. Tanner talk of going home in a vessel that has
just arrived here from Van Diemen's Land. * * * j
think of packing my wool in some of the sheets which you
sent some time ago. i know not what else to do with it.
Next year my flock will be a fine young flock, as I parted
with the old ones when I could. 1 wish I had yours renewed,

 

THE COLONY.

Perth, February 1835.

Monday, Feb. 2nd. — I have had a regular series of visitors
here to-day since twelve o'clock, when Marshall McDermott
called, and took a drink of wine and passed on. Next came
a Mr. Anderson, to whose farm I think of sending my flock
for a little while. He dined and. drank tea, and sat a long
time, and whilst he sat in came Mr. McDermott on his return
and took a seat also. Shortly afterwards came Mr. Shaw,
and then John Mackie, who took tea, and has just now left,
at ten o'clock. Mr. Shaw mentioned an extraordinary circum-
stance which had just occurred at his house. A native called
Coroor, who had been out looking for some stray goats be-
longing to Mr. Shaw, had lain down, in proximity to the fire,
on Mr. Shaw's kitchen floor, and had fallen asleep. The
native Tomghin was in the kitchen also. Mr. Shaw hap-
pened to have his head down looking at Coroor as he slept,
when suddenly he saw a spear strike him about the collar
bone, and pierce right into his heart. The man was dead in
an instant. This spear was thrown by Tomghin, who said he
did it in revenge for the death of his brother, Yedemera, who
was shot long ago by the soldiers. Are they not an extra-
ordinary race ? Shortly afterwards another native, close to
Burgess's house, speared poor Toodyeep through the side, so
that it is thought she must die. The man seemed perfectly
unconcerned after having done it. No wonder they are not
very numerous.

Tuesday, Feb. 2>rd. — Eode down to Guildford to examine
the roads, bridges, &c. Called on Mr. Tanner, and dined
there. I wanted to buy some salt-cellars from them, but.

 

^54

they wanted 18s. for a pair, and 50s. for a worn pair of plated
candlesticks, and as much for some old spoons of date 1719 ;
but as you may buy new ones for less, I did not speculate.

Wednesday, Feb. Ath. — Tomgliin seems to be surprised that
we should be angry about his killing the man in Mr. Shaw's
kitchen. He says it is their law, at their fires, and when the
man is asleep ; that he had been urged to do it by the black
men ; that he must yet kill another ; that that man's friends
have certain opportunities for revenge which he must give,
and if they kill him it's all right, if not they must be friends.
Such is his account of the affair — given with perfect non-
chalance, as a matter of course.

Thursday, Feb. 5th. — Mr. and Mrs. Tanner called, and dined
here, quite unexpectedly. I was sitting at my bachelor's
dinner when they came. They had been making their fare-
well visits along the river. They soon remove from this
quarter. I regret their departure very much.

Friday, Feb. 6th. — This was the day of our agricultural
meeting, and I rode to Guildford to attend it. About 25 per-
sons were present.

The country at the Hotham river, in the interior, nearly 50
miles east from Leschenhault inlet, is spoken of as a fine
country. The air is cooler than here, the grass is yet green ;
kangaroos are so abundant and tame that they were shot as
often as required, and cockatoos so numerous as almost to
prevent conversation by their noise.

Sunday, Feb. 15th. — Have not made any observations for
some days, not having anything particular to say. One thing
interesting has occurred in the meantime. Johnny Eakins
has come hack to me, and I have hired him at 35s. a month.
His father and mother will be gratified to hear this ; he is
now a great strapping fellow, able for any work. Eumour
has it that the natives at the Murray have been troublesome
again, and that a misunderstanding has occurred over the
hills at York with some natives also. They are still friendly

 

255

here. I had some of them employed in cutting down over-
hanging branches of trees, which threatened my cow yard.

In considering your proceedings at home, nothing strikes
me as a more surprising, more useful, more ingenious con-
trivance than the hydrostatic bed which I read of in the
papers. "What a luxury it appears to us to lie rolling about,
as if in the water ! You have so many new ideas, new inven-
tions, and new words since we left, that I suppose we should
find it difficult to understand your conversation now. It would
not be as of yore. I have been greatly interested in reading
Babbage's " Economy of Manufactures," which the Southerns
sent to me. I wonder if it is usual with you to say, " Run to
the clock and tell me what is the square or cube root of such
a number." It would be droll to see school-boys, instead of
hammering away at their " twice two's four, twice three's six,"
all busied in striking chimes upon calculating clocks, and
working their sums upon machines.

Monday, Feb. 16th. — Went to Perth this morning. There
was a great public meeting, convened by the Sheriff, for the
purpose of considering the state of the colony and preparing
a memorial of grievances, &c.

Tuesday, Feb. 17th. — Finding no other means of getting a
constant supply of fresh water, I have commenced sinking a
well beside the kitchen. I fear I must go down very deep —
perhaps 40 or 50 feet, and must build it up with stone. Com-
menced ploughing, also, to-day ; it is hard work, the ground
is so hard.

Wednesday, Feb. 18th. — Got a reading of De L'Orme, from
Lady Stirling. I devour a novel now with great interest. —
A small vessel, the Eagle, has come from Van Diemen's Land,
bringing stock and a little provisions. My wool is all ready
to go with her to the Mauritius. — Our weather is very
changeable now ; sometimes hot and sometimes quite chilly,
so I have got a twinge of vile rheumatism in my back.
Thermometer, at noon, 82 deg. ; 10 p.m., 75.

 

256

Thursday, Feb. 19iJ7i. — The native " Gongul," who formerly
threw the spear at me, came here to-day. I put my hand to
the back of his neck, and turned him out. Capt. Meares also
called here.

Saturday, Feb. 21s^. — The well is sunk to the depth of 27
feet, and we have come upon water, but not much. Have
been busy quarrying stone for building it up — hard red sand-
stone (iron stone). Would you believe that I have had a
valentine sent to me ?

Sunday, Feb. 22nd. — John Mackie dined here to-day, and I
cannot write much, as lie sits beside me. — The Governor has
returned, and I must go to Perth to-morrow.

Monday, Feb. 2Zrd. — Eode down to congratulate the Gover-
nor on his return, and, behold, it was a false alarm. He had

not then arrived. S was there also to attend a meeting

to consider about the establishment of a Bank.

Tuesday, Feb. 2Aih. — Went to Guildford to examine a bridge,
and took the opportunity of visiting my flock, which is now
there. Some are affected with a blindness of the eyes. — A
person called Solomon has a small establishment now near
my grant, on the other side of the hills. I think of sending
a part of my flock there, He proposes to take them at the
rate of £25 per hundred for the year. He has just imported
some sheep, and a fine-wooled ram. — I have my men busied
in planting potatoes. It is an experiment to put them down
at this time of the year on dry ground. I have made use of
the natives in breaking the hard clods with mauls. Two boys,
rejoicing in the euphonious names of Tunagwirt and Manyu-
inerra, have been quartered here by their father, with a sort
of hint that his family was large enough without them. I
thinlf I shall try to keep the first of them. He tells me that
white men call him " Tommy," which is certainly more familiar
and easy than that long native name. — Just after I returned
from Perth, Letty came with a face of woe to tell me there were
but two pieces of beef in the barrel. Awkward announcement !

 

267

Thursday, Fd). 2Uh. — Sent J out with the dogs this

morning, and he returned at 10 a.m., bringing a kangaroo of
361bs. with him; a very seasonable supply, — A gentleman
thinking of going to the Hotham river has made me an offer
to take my sheep to keep for a fifth of the increase. This
sounds tempting, but it is far away to send them — perhaps
140 miles. The expense of getting them here for the butcher,
or carrying the wool, would make it almost as dear as the
third of the increase would at York. — Paid a man to-day 30s.
for thrashing thirty bushels of barley and winnowing it.

Saturday, Feb. 2Sth. — Observing the door of the meat safe
open this morning, at a very early hour, I examined it, and
found the native dogs had paid it a visit and carried off 281bs.
of fresh kangaroo and a roast fowl, thus leaving us without a

day's provisions, for my beef is just out. J had been out

in the morning with the dogs, but without success, so there is
nothing for it but to take the gun and go pot-hunting. I
killed three brace of pigeons and a cockatoo.

Sunday, March \st. — The Governor arrived on Thursday
last. I had not heard of it till to-day, when a mounted police-
man came up expressly to order me down to a Council meet-
ing to-morrow, at 10 a.m. I must rise early. I dare say I
shall have to stay during the week, for the discussion of our
ways and means will come on this week in our Legislative
Assembly. For some time past, we had been expecting here
an increase of military force from Van Diemen's Land, under
command of a Major Dease. To-day we have received the
enormous addition of eight men ! but no major. — There are
growing now in front of this house some specimens of what
are called here " Caffre melons " — something between a pump-
kin and melon. I weighed one yesterday ; it was 5|lbs., the
same one to-day weighed fully 71bs., thus increasing more
than one pound in weight in one day.

Tuesday, March 11th. — Was kept in town all last week, and
did not reach home till Sunday, and had to start next morning

 

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back again, and here I am in Perth still. Meanwhile we
have had several ships arriving from different quarters. By
one of them, the Eagle, I have this day shipped 9361bs. of
wool to Edward Fletcher, in six bales of different sizes, and
one box. Two of these bales are for you, containing lOGlbs.
There is quite a mania for sheep now in this colony. Four
hundred have arrived this day in a vessel, and 1000 more are
daily expected. Of these I have engaged 100, which will cost
me about £2 a piece ; but I understand that they are asking
as much as 55s. a head for those which have arrived now.
There are 30 calves also, at £11 a piece.

March 2^th. — There has been some distracting irregularity
about my movements and occupations lately, so that I have
lost the connexion of my journal. A most important measure
for the colony has been hanging over the Legislative Council for
some time, namely, the " opening of our budget," — that is, in
plain terms, laying before the public the plan for revising the
revenue and adjusting the expenditure of the colony for the
ensuing financial year, which commences with us on the 1st
April. This is the first time it has been done here, and the
public mind was very anxious about it, as there were some
items of expenditure proposed by the Government which were
not thought very useful or judicious by the colonists. I think
the Governor has some misgivings about it, as well as the
public, he fearing lest the Council should not concur in his
Estimates, and the public doubtful whether we should dare to
act with impartiality.

On Tuesday the Governor opened the Legislative Council
for this purpose with a long address, which he read to us, and
he then laid his Estimates before us, and moved to have us
all appointed a committee to examine them. I seconded his
motion, and made a stout speech on the occasion, which you
will see, I dare say, in our colonial paper of next week, which
I shall send to you, for I saw " a chiel amang us takin' notes,
and feth he'll print it." I think we have set the public mind

 

2S&

a little at ease on the subject, by asserting our independence
of any influence but the conscientious discharge of our duty.
In committee, we have dissented altogether from the Gover-
nor's Estimates, and proposed to substitute others, the effect
of which is nearly tantamount to " stopping the supplies," if
he rejects them. The principal difference is in the expense of
maintaining a body of mounted police, which he established.
We found that our means would not allow us to spend so
much upon them as he proposed, with justice to the other
more urgent wants of the colony ; so we reduced that item
and increased others.

I have hastened home to get a day or two of relaxation. I
lost my way last night on the road homewards. It was very
dark and rainy, and my horse was a young one, and, had it
not been that I got a glimpse of the constellation Orion, from
which I calculated the direction, I must have wandered till
daylight. Fortunately I got home at ten, wet and cold.

A ship has touched here, and brought a quantity of wine
called " Cette wine," — I think made in France near the borders
of Spain. It is a very nice light red wine, between a port
and claret body and flavour. For this we paid at the rate of
£15 a pipe. I bought a ^-cask (about 25 gallons) ; bought
also a l-barrel of pork (1 cwt.) for £3 ; and three cwt. of beef
for £5 12s. Od. The pork is delicious (Irish) ; beef indifferent
(from Sydney).

I was witness to a great row among a number of natives at
Perth yesterday morning. The occasion was this. It appears
that among themselves the ground is parcelled out to indi-
viduals, and passes by inheritance. The country formerly of
Midgegoroo, then of his son Yagein, belongs now of right to
two young lads (brothers), and a son of Yagein. Some tres-
passers went upon this ground, lighted their fires, and chased
the wallabees. This was resented by the young lads, and, as
it happened, there W£is a large meeting of natives at the time,

a general row commenced, and no less than fifteen were

s— 2

 

260

wounded with spears in different parts of the legs, — to which
they seem to confine themselves as if by some law among
themselves. Sometimes two picked men opposed one another,
and seemed to us as if they were about to engage in deadly
fight. The whole scene was interesting, even anmsing, for
they appear to think nothing of a thrust in the fleshy part of
the leg. One singular thing occurred. Tomghin was there,
and Migo, who is his intimate friend or brother. They fought
on different sides. Tomghin wounded the chief of Migo's
party, who called out to Migo peremptorily to spear Tomghin.
Migo ran up to Tomghin, who held out his thigh to receive
the thrust of the other without either flinching or returning
it» In our eyes, the worst part of it seems to be that their
chief object apparently is to spear the women. The men try
to frustrate these attempts with their spears until they are
separated. Such is their mode.

2Sth March. — My old native friend, Doorbup, has been
staying with me for some time. He has become an expert
shot, and has killed for me a number of cockatoos and pigeons.
He greatly gives the preference to the " cap gun,'' as he does
not like the flash from the pan of the flint gun. — It is a most
singular thing that a man in taking over a flock of goats to a
station beyond the hills, the other day, lost no less than 53,
from the sudden illness with which animals have been seized
here. It is a fearful thing, and we know not the cause nor
the remedy. Some say that bleeding is found useful.

April 3rd, Friday. — I must be down to Guildford on Mon-
day as Commissioner of Eoads, and to Perth to Council on
Tuesday. I go to Mr. McDermott's to-morrow to see the
sheep and make arrangements about their going away ; from
that, on Sunday, to start for York on Monday.

April 5th. — Eode to Mr. McDermott's yesterday to see the
sheep. They are just lambing, so I fear I cannot send them
now. A native boatman, Moly Dalebin, brought me a note
this evening, saying that Mr. Henty had just arrived, bringing

 

261

930 sheep. I have engaged 100 from him. This will exhaust
all my available finances. — I have to go to Guildford to-
morrow to examine bridges, and to the Flats to examine and
report upon their state.

April lltk, Saturday. — I only got home late last night. On
Monday, on reaching Gruildford, Mr. Eoe had not arrived, so,
after sendin<>[ back the horse and waiting in vain for him, I
had to walk to Perth. The weather was very hot. On
Tuesday I went down to Fremantle, where I had despatclied

J to make enquiries about the sheep, which 1 had veiy

bad accounts of. Three miles on this side of Fremantle, I

found my brave J with 99 sheep, which looked not very

bad under all circumstances. He had lost one on the way, so
far. Mackie had bought 50, and had lost no less than 5 (dead)
in the same space. Tlie sheep are very weak ; you can hardly
imagine the state of a flock coming from a ship. On the
second day, they reached Perth, rested there a day, and have
this day reached Edwards' on the other side of the river-
There are of course several casualties, and some sick left
behind, but I liope to have 95 for £192; of these 24 are only
lambs. You see what struggles and difficulties we experience
in getting a nucleus flock here. Mr. Henty, who bought them
by contract, declares that every sheep stands him here at 45s.,
and that his loss will be heavy by them. However, he is
selling his potatoes at £28 a ton, to make up for it.

In walking up yesterday, I called at S 's and found him

busied in erecting a verandah of sawed timber all round the
house. — Mr. Bull and Lennard are anxious to see Lennard's
brook about 40 miles north of this and they wish me to
accompany them. We propose to set out on Tuesday, accom-
panied by two natives. — A bullock of Mr. Ridley's died sud-
denly. The news has spread among the natives, and they
were hurrying off this morning to share the feast. — I have got
the frame work of a verandah put up round the back of my
house, and shall get it thatched as soon as I can get the 3tr9,w.

 

262

A^ril 21st. — I have been out on an expedition since this
day week, and only got home at 11 last night. Bull, Lennard,
and myself — the two former having servants also, set out for
Lennard's brook. My flock is to go on its way to York to-
morrow, — that is, as many as can travel. I wish I had sent
them long since, for the food here is so short and dry that the
ewes have not milk, and I have lost many lambs already and
several sheep of my old flock. I have also lost ten of those
last purchased, but shall think myself fortunate if I escape
with 10 per cent. loss. — I have had a letter from Mr. Dun-
nage, Hatchell's friend, who was here when I came, but is
now a clergyman in England. Do you ever see or hear of
Dale ? He will be interested in the result of our visit to
Lennard's brook, which we had passed before in company
together. Tell him the natives at Lennard's brook recollected
our former visit ; that the' word " roging " which they used on
that occasion means a stranger. They meant that they wished
to see the strangers, and the word " rogo " which they used,
when they wished us to go in a certain direction different
from that which we took means, " There, or that way." The
Perth natives now say that the Perth white men speak " Eng-
lish plenty," meaning broken English, but that I speak like a
Waylo man, — that is, a man from the North. Waylo is the
name of the district we visited.

Sunday, drd May. — Have been in Perth for most part of
last week, and only returned last night. I am in painful
suspense as to the result of sending the sheep over the hills,
for news reached Perth yesterday that Dr. Harris in taking
his over, at the same time with mine, lost ^0 sheep and two
bullocks by death. It is a most alarming circumstance. The
cause of this mortality is as yet unknown. Some attribute
it to a poisonous plant, some to overdriving, some to want of
water. All are at fault, and tlie sickness is so sudden that
there is scarcely time to apply a remedy, even if it were
known. The same rumour hath it that mine had passed Dr.

 

263

Harris's on the way, and were seen within twelve miles of
York with only a few deaths among them.

I am much amused with the patent for " grumbling" which
you have conferred upon me ; I think I have made the most
of it on some occasions, and manufactured largely of that
article. Nothing is more satisfactory than a good hearty
grumble ; it is like the safety-valve of a steam engine which
lets the superfluous power escape harmlessly, though noisily,
and which would be destruction if pent up unliberated. The
yard and kitchen look like a hospital with sick sheep and
lambs. The dogs and pigs fare all the better at this time, for
I boil the dead ones for them. It is an ill wind, &c., and I
suppose I have lost 30 or 40 lambs, and perhaps 15 sheep
between the old one and the new flock, — another grumble.
Planted half an acre of potatoes long since, but scarcely any
have come up — another grumble. Sowed a large quantity of
turnip seed, cabbage, &c., and not a single grain had come up
yet, though a month sown — another grumble. Cows seem to
be increasing in number here ; they are devouring some wheat
which I sowed early — still another grumble. See how readily
by practice I can manufacture that patent article !

May 5. — Have my flock in four different places now, some
over the hills and some at a grant next to this ; the ewes and
lambs at Coulston (Mr. Brown's place), and a few still remain-
ing in hospital here). Found a sheep dead in the river to-day.
They approach the edge of a steep bank to get at the grass,
and tumble in, and are too weak to get out if not assisted.

Wednesday, May 6th. — Another sheep dead to-day ; but it
had got its thigh broken some time ago. This is compensatt-d
by the birth of two lambs. " Child at the breast " is a phrase
among us which signifies a state of helpless infancy. Apropos,
there was a fine little native girl helping its father and mother
to-day to break clods of earth, and I was not a little surprised
to see it afford ocular demonstration that it still sought sup-
port from its mother. In short, they frequently appear to

 

2G4

rear one child until another is ready to take its place, even
though there be a long interval.

May 7th, 8th, and 9th. — Down in Perth. The Dublin
Packet has arrived. She has brought very few letters for the
colony. I have received a number of Manchester, Liverpool,

Dublin, Derry and other papers, and only one letter ! J

returned on Friday night from York, and tells me I have lost

but five sheep and six lambs on the way ; but poor Dr. H

has been sadly unfortunate, having lost 93 sheep, 14 goats and
3 bullocks, and, to complete the misfortune, two of his men
whom he had left behind on the way to look after a sick
bullock were attacked and severely wounded by some natives,
and had a most providential escape for their lives. The spear
struck one just beside the back bone, and glanced along the
ribs and into the fiesh towards his breast. The other was
struck on the breast bone, which turned the spear along his
ribs and under his arm. On reaching home on Saturday night
I was greeted with a bad piece of news, — a dog belonging to
one of the natives had destroyed four of my slieep, and a fifth
was in hospital. The same dog has been notorious here, but
seems to bear a charmed life, for many have fired at him, but
without effect. I was much inclined to bring the soldiers
upon the owner, and seize and detain him until he should
give up the dog, but, it being my own case, I did not like to
act as a magistrate, and so I sent notice to our police about
it. However, in the meantime I hear that one of Mr. Bull's
men fired at the dog yesterday, and struck him with a charge
of shot in the side, and perhaps he may die. The owner is a
daring fellow, the very image of Yagan. It was this man
who killed the soldier here about a year ago, and he has often
said if white man would shoot his dog, he would spear white
man. The dog destroyed seventeen fowls in Mr. Bull's yard
on the morning he was killed. — Yesterday morning I drowned
one of my cats for misbehaving, and the natives fished it out
of the river and eat it, saying it was " all same possum," and

 

265

from the look of it I should say it was better, for I think an
opossum as vile eating, but in the colony we are not very
squeamish. — I have had three men these two days branding

the sheep with a hot iron, dressing them for the scab. M

was here to-day, modestly requesting me to lend him 40 or 50
bushels of wheat, and he would repay me after next harvest.
We had several showers of rain to-day, — the first we have
had for a long time. All vegetation on my ground is at a
standstill for want of it. — I have been reading many Irish
newspapers, all very dull. I wonder if our little colonial
Gazette reaches you. I send it regularly ; it is very small for
the money — like most other things here.

Wednesday, May 6. — A native dog attacked the flock yes-
terday, and would not be driven away by all the shepherd's
exertions, but at last caught one by the tliroat and so worried
it that it died to-day. It was a fine ewe, forward in lamb.
This is not my only misfortune, for I have found one of my
best young ewes in the river to-night drowned ; it was weak,
having been bled and physicked yesterday. — The police are
here to-day. I had sent for them to endeavour to arrest some
of the owners of these dogs, but they (the natives) made off.
This may have a good effect in showing them how we look on
such matters. — One of the little native boys was busy eating
frogs to-day. They looked so tempting that I ate one also,
and it was delicious. The part I ate, however, was the eggs
of the female, which they seem to prize most, as they say,
" the men frogs arc no good," the taste was much like that of
an egg. It strikes nie that I have never seen here in the
pools the frog spawn, and these eggs, judging by their appear-
ance when the frog was roasted, looked like little white eggs,
distinctly formed, and not globular jellies with the embryo,
like a black speck, as they are at home. The natives dig
them out of the ground with their hands. There is no water
now, nor none since winter last, when these were got. How
do they live ? Do they sleep ?

 

266

I cannot think how the word " kangaroo " came into use.
It is not the name of this animal among the natives of any
part of this island, I believe, where they seem to have distinct
names for each species. Here " yowart " is the male, " yarho "
the female, "yangor" (or "yangori") the generic name, —
whence probably the word was corrupted.

Thursday. — The flock has been attacked with blindness to-
day in a most sudden manner. I got the flock home instantly,
and had them copiously bled, and gave them turpentine. It
is a most extraordinary illness. There is no visible sore nor
ailment about the eye, but that it looks green and glassy. I
had them grazing upon Mr. Brown's land. It is singular that
on some lands sheep are affected by blindness, on some by
fatal illness like apoplexy. The lowlands are blamed for the
former, — the highlands for the latter illness. I have never
known any illness incidental to my own ground, but the
pasture has not been sufficient to feed them lately. I think
it is the succulence of young grass, which springs rapidly
near the banks of the river after a shower, that occasions the
illness.

Saturday night, May "dQth. — I closed my last about a week
since. I forget whether I mentioned the arrival of a vessel
from Madras, which is soon to be followed by another, bring-
ing several fried Nabobs here to get their livers a little cooled.
It will be extremely advantageous if the Indian invalids
should take a fancy to come here to recruit, which I have no
doubt they M'ill do when we have a few more comforts to
offer them. — I sent off another small flock of 100 sheep and
about 70 lambs to York on Monday last under the charge of
James and another man, but in company with a caravan and
carts, &c., going at the same time. James has turned out a
capital hand among sheep — bleeding and doctoring them with
great readiness. He has had but too much practice lately in
these departments. I have just learned to-day that the party
had been met near York all safe, with the exception of two

 

267

lambs which had perished on the way. I went to Perth on
Wednesday, and to Fremantle with Mr. Roe on Tuesday, to
examine ferries, &c., as commissioner of roads, bridges, ferries,
&c. An unpleasant occurrence happened at Perth which may
lead to bad consequences. A townsman of Perth, finding
that his store had been plundered by some natives, took his
gun and went to where there were a number of them sleeping,
and got into a scuffle with one whom he supposed to be a
guilty person. His gun went off in the struggle, and all the
contents passed through the lad's thigh and into the calf of
his leg. They wanted to take summary vengeance, and were
with difficulty persuaded to let our law take its course. They
have been pacified in the meantime by seeing him sent hand-
cuffed to gaol to await the event, if the boy should die. They
wished to be allowed to spear him in the leg, and said if he
gave some bread they would only spear him a very little. If
the boy dies they say that they will kill the guilty man who
stole the flour, as he was the cause of it, but they expect that
the white man will be killed by us if Gogaly (the boy) should
die. — On my arrival here to-night I find three other sheep
dead in my absence, all (I believe) my own. One appears to
have bled to death in the fold, from the wound made in
branding it. One was a blind one, and the third was one
which the native dogs had mangled long ago.

Monday, June Is^.— This is the anniversary of the foun-
dation or establishment of this colony, and is to be celebrated
in Perth by rustic sports and gambols, as running after pigs
with soaped tails, jumping in sacks, &c. I was trepanned
into subscribing a pound for it, as the Government officers
were expected to contribute. The mortality among my sheep
seems to be dying out. 1 have not had any more deaths for
several days, but some are in a doubtful state, and I have
still eight blind. — The team is now occupied in breaking up
some high ground of a sandy loamy nature, some say it will
not give a crop without manure. I shall be very badly off

 

268

for wheat ground. This season is unusually dry ; the rains
have not come so early as heretofore, and the crops are later
in consequence. There has been frost every day for some
time ; we had not observed frost in other years before July.
Potatoes which have been in the ground nearly two months
are now only appearing.

Monday. — Caught a native woman to-day stealing wheat
from casks under the verandah. Gave her a rap with a stick,
intending to hit her over the head ; she raised her face up
suddenly, and I struck her on the nose and cut her. The
blow was nothing, but the stick was ragged. I chased her
off and kept her bags and all their contents. Some time
afterwards came a man demanding them and threatening
terrible things ; I turned him off instantly, taking the pre-
caution to keep my gun in mj hand, for they are not to be
trusted when in these moods. Whether anything will come
of this I know not, but it is a little awkward.

A most melancholy piece of intelligence has just reached
me. Poor Thompson, who accompanied Dale and myself
over the hills, was drowned yesterday evening in crossing the
river near Guildford in a leaky boat. Having spent the
evening at Mr. Kidley's he wished to cross the river to go
home ; the boat was nearly full of water, but he thought he
could manage it. Mr. Kidley stood on the bank with a
lantern in the meantime, and asked him if he was over yet.
" I'm half way at all events, and will soon be over," said he ;
so Mr" Eidley went home, but soon heard a shout that the
boat was going down. There was no other boat and no other
sound. An hour afterwards his body was found. I suppose
the swamping boat dragged him with ft in its vortex, and he
could not swim. He was from Brentford, an old school fel-
low of E. Fletcher. Sold a duck and a drake to-day for 8s.
which a native brought here from Mr. S. in a letter.

Wednesday. — Letty has gone to Perth to-day. I was re-
minded at dinner time how much the comfort and order of

 

269

the house depends upon her. Being called in to dinner I
found a piece of meat standing on the side table and that
was the whole preparation. There was neither cloth, plates,
knives, vegetables, nor anything else ; the men thought they
had enough to do in taking their own dinner. I sent to-day
for the native woman who had been stealing here, and gave
her back her bags and cloaks. She looked very penitent.
Several strangers appeared to-day who all took the precaution
of asking if I was angry now. Off to Perth to-morrow
morning.

Monday 22nd. — I only returned here yesterday and found
the house beset with natives. It is a most provoking thing
that in my absence they are encouraged by the men to come
about here, and liberally entertained at my expense. One
woman told me to-day that I was very bad, I only gave her

a little wheat though she carried wood, but that gave

plenty without asking them to do anything. That is a plea-
sant hearing. A ship, the Caledonia, has arrived from Van
Diemen's Land ; another soon expected thence also. There
has fallen a great quantity of rain during the last three days ;
the ground is only now sufficiently softened for all purposes.
The season is rather backward, but 1 think a great struggle
will be made this year to raise sufficient grain to support the
colony ; flour, however, will be dear here for a long time, for
it costs us as much nearly to get wheat ground as the price
of wheat in other places. The millers have got a trick here
of not grinding for any persons but themselves. They offer
to buy the wheat at a long credit, then grind and sell it out
at a great price. It has been 6d. a pound till the arrival of
this vessel, yet the millers were only offering 13s. a bushel
for the wheat, which is not nmch more than 2^d. a pound.
I bought a cwt. of potatoes to plant now, for I fear the frost
will cut off all the crops, which is only just above ground,
though planted more than two months ago. The flock which
I bought lately is just now beginning to lamb ; if they pro-

 

270

duce 40 or 50 lambs this season it will make up for the bad
bargain.

Tuesday. — Three lambs were found in the fold this morn-
ing, and only one ewe with the appearance of being a mother.
I have not known a sheep to have three lambs, yet this looks
like it ; one of them was dead in the morning. Took part of
a stack of wheat into the barn to-day. It had suffered sadly
from wet and mismanagement, in being badly thatched. It
appears that the natives do not consider every frog fit for
eating, for some of a greenish colour were under the stack,
but they would not eat them, and said they lived above the
waters, but the good ones lived in the ground. I had Weeip
and two boys carrying wheat almost all day. Shot a duck
upon the river to-day. White cockatoos are becoming very
troublesome upon the ^heat, as well as the crows. One is
obliged to keep a boy to drive them away, or to make some
contrivance to frighten them. We strike a long board
smartly with a stick, the sound of which frightens them a
little. It is singular to see a field spotted black and white
with these depredators " piebalded."

Wednesday, June 24:th. — The colony is now greatly in want
of a few good practical shepherds. They would be sure of
getting from 40s. to 60s. a month besides being fed. It is
surprising how much the condition of the flock depends upon
the goodness of the shepherd. Your part of the country not
being a sheep country, I knew nothing of them before I came
here, but have bought some experience since ; and one chief
lesson which I have learned is that in the summer time I can
keep but a very small flock (perhaps not much more than
100) on the unassisted pasture of my grant, on this side of
the hills ; but at York my grant would probably feed more
than 1000 — for, whereas the area of my grazing grounds here
is not much more than half a mile broad and a mile deep,
the breadth of my grant there is two miles, and I am told
the ground is good for an average of at least three miles back.

 

271

It is about 14 miles to the south of Mount Bakewell, on the
west side of the river.

Sunday, June 28th. — Went to Perth on Thursday, and only
returned to-day. We are in a dilemma about the trial of the
settler for the murder or manslaughter of the native boy
named Gogaly. The natives are desirous of seeing him
severely punished, and if he be acquitted they will take
revenge. It is a most extraordinary thing that we are not
furnished here with the Acts, or amendments in the laws,
which are taking place every day at home. How we are to
know anything about them is difficult to conjecture. Yet we
are bound to act according to the law of England. Another
of my sheep has had twins. I have now 32 lambs alive from
this new flock. I am getting some large trees grubbed at 5s.
a tree.

July 5th. — There is an interval here of a week which re-
quires and deserves to be noted particularly. You see the
last date is this day week. On Monday night came Weeip
here, who had been among the hills and had met with some
policemen returning from York with a native whom they had
taken prisoner, charged with spearing Morley (who has since
died), at the time that my sheep went over the hills. Weeip
told me that the man they had taken was not the man that
did it, though the same name, and asked me to "paper
wonga " the Governor about it. I went down next morning,
thinking my presence might be required in my official capa-
city, hoping to return here that evening again, but I only got
home late last night. I succeeded after a good deal of
trouble in persuading the Superintendent of Police that they
had taken the wrong man, and I got him liberated. This ac-
counts for the interval (as I seldom write my journal unless
when here at home), but I must now fill up the interval.
The Sir David Ogilby has arrived here, bringing letters from
the Cape. I have received two letters from you (dated 28th
Nov. and 17th Dec, 1834), and several copies of the Verry

 

272

Sentinel and Stewart's Dispatch, the latest being of the date of
30th January, 1835. I shall shortly advert to the different
topics contained in them.

I see has made himself active in getting up a West

Australian Company." It is a dangerous thing to meddle
with ; the blame of failure is sure to be visited on the pro-
jector of the scheme, and instances of ill success are certain
to occur, if not of general failure. If, by the slightest mis-
representation or exaggeration, any individual finds himself
misled, the consciousness of injury done to such person must
surely be accompanied with great remorse. It is for this
cause I have been so cautious in my journals to you. I thank
God I have not to charge myself with endeavouring to induce
any person to come out. It is this feeling I dare say which
makes Sir James Stirling now so cautious and silent. He
has already suffered severely in mind from the reproaches
and maledictions which have been heaped upon him by those
who had only themselves to blame. "How came you to
bring us to such a miserable place ?" was the general clamour.
That miserable place has already been established to a degree
which is surprising, when calmly considered as an isolated
colony in only the sixth year of its existence. Eecollect, it
is not to be compared with the instantaneous maturity of a
new town in America, which is but as the hiving off of a
vigorous and full-grown swarm. But here is an isolated
colony in an uninhabited wilderness, with an unknown cli-
mate, new soil unaccustomed to production, remote from
friends, and to which assistance is dealt with a niggardly
hand, where all provisions, stock, and necessaries have to be
procured from other, distant, jealous, and unfriendly people,
and procured by means of merchants who thrive in propor-
tion to their exactions.

If this scheme of the W. A. Company should still continue
when this reaches you, there is a block of land at Leschenault
Inlet, consisting of 100,000 acres, belonging to Colonel Latour

 

273

which possibly might be purchased at a cheaper rate from
his assignees, who live in London. I consider the land good,
as far as I have been able to ascertain anything about it.
The situation is good, for these reasons — it has a frontage on
the coast by which a communication by sea is secured for
transport of heavy goods, &c., and for receiving stock direct
from Van Diemen's Land, or elsewhere. Then fish may be
caught in abundance in the bay. The grassy lands, I believe
come near the coast. The climate is rather cooler there than
here. A large tract of grazing ground probably lies adjacent
to it, north, south, and east, where a continuation of it could
be purchased from Government at 5 s. an acre. Probably
Latour's might be purchased at less than Is. an acre, if the
business be directly gone about. There are some disadvant-
ages belonging to it which require such explanation as can
only be given now as the result of experience of climate and
situation and circumstances of the place. The term " port "
may mislead. The whole space of Geograph Bay does not
present a single port or sheltered harbour, with the probable
exception of a little neck behind a jutting headland about the
S.W. bight of the bay. The situation speaks for itself. Ves-
sels of a large size may approach the shore in summer and
calm weather, and discharge or take in cargo. " Military
post " there is none there now ; it has been given up. In
fact, there are no settlers there, and consequently no occasion
for a post. There is, I understand, a beautiful site for a
town, but the lakes and rivers must not be calculated upon,
for no river that we have discovered, as yet, runs in the sum-
mer ; they are mere pools and shallows, or chains of pools.
But if they have sufficient water for the stock they are valu-
able. This place is nearly on the same parallel with the best
part of Bannister's track, much of which is already pre-
engaged, and not an inch of which you could get from Go-
vernment under 5 s. an acre. Many opportunities have
occurred here of getting land from early settlers, which was

 

274

sold under execution or through distress, at a very low rate —
some at twopence an acre ; but few had money to purchase,
and there was a certainty that the money must lie dead for
some time. Mr. N wrote to me a long time ago to pur-
chase a grant for him, and go as far as £600. I should have
been ruined if I had done so, for he did not send the money,
and that is the very thing that is wanted here when people
sell. There is also a Mr. James Henty, who was formerly a
merchant here, and who is now in London. You could hear
of him at Cross's. I think he has a large grant at the Les-
chenhault Inlet, or somewhere thereabouts. Perhaps he
would sell. I am speaking almost at random about this
company and your plans, for I am in no way informed of its
existence save by an advertisement in Stewart's Dispatch.
So far as it goes Sir James is greatly pleased with it.

The subject of imigration is one which I approach with
great diffidence. It is so comprehensive and so various that
it is not possible to treat it methodically in the due bounds
of my compressed journal. Were I sitting beside you for an
hour, I could disabuse your mind of many false impressions
which seem to rest upon them. There is naturally in the
mind of every one who thinks of emigrating, so much that is
enthusiastic and visionary, so much of fancy and romance, so
much of theory and imagination, so little of practice and
business, so much contemplation of every probable advant-
age and so much oversight of all actual difficulty, that it is
hard to be prepared for the reality. Then, how many are but
badly qualified for settlers ! There must be enthusiasm and
there must be steadiness, energy, and patience, quickness,
and perseverance, courage, and forbearance, promptitude, and
pmdence, and many other opposite qualities ; and, at the
back of them all, there must be — money. I mean for one
who sets up for himself, and not as the servant or steward of
another. I think few situations could be much more trying
than that of a person arriving here now with but a small

 

2^5 :

capital, unless his ideas were proportionately adjusted. You
could not get a gi-ant ou the Swan under from £100 to £1000,
according to the size and quality. Supposing you purchase
from Government or from a settler, land at a distance ; if
from Government you pay 5s. an acre, settlers wish to get
4s. 6d. ; your grant may be from 30 to 50, or more miles
away. How are you to get at it ? You must in the first
place buy a team — that will cost you £100, and a cart at
least £20. In short, I am afraid to enumerate all the ex-
penses and difficulties, you would tliink them so dishearten-
ing. They can all be surmounted, but if a man be not pre-
pared for them he may sink under them. Good bargains,
lucky chances of spots may be met with, but they are few,
and becoming fewer every day. A squatter — that is a person
who would go beyond the locations and occupy any ground
that would answer his purpose — might do well here with a
large flock, but he must be contented with a rude house or a
tent, cultivate only such ground as would give him wheat and
vegetables ; live much upon the produce of his dogs and his
guns ; drive his surplus stock occasionally to market, with his
wool also; and take back little necessaries, comforts, and
luxuries. This might be done by a man who had a large
family, and all help within himself, for you could scarcely
tempt free English servants to go out of the pale of society
voluntarily, and in this respect the convict population at
Sydney is au advantage. The natives are the serious ob-
stacle to a small establishment in a distant situation.

Atigust 29. — James bought a young ram from me to-day
for 32s., and sold it almost immediately for £2. Had some
emu to-day for dinner ; it tastes very like young beef, sweet
and tender ; a roast thigh looked very like a roasted leg of
mutton. Have scarcely had a moment of the day to myself
people here on different sorts of business : Mr. Bull, Mr.
Mellersh, J. Mackie, and Nat. Shaw. — I have calculated that

there are 1131 acres of wheat sown in the colony this year

T— 2

 

276

which, at an average of 15 bushels to the acre, would give,
say, in round numbers, 15,000 bushels of wheat, wliich will
go a good way in supplying us with flour for this year, — per-
haps give nine months supply, after deducting 3000 bushels
for seed, and poultry, and waste.

August 31. — We have had much rain during all the last
week and strong winds. — Two blind sheep have been turned
out daily for some time on the plain to graze; one of them
was furnished with a bell, by the sound of which the other
became accustomed to guide, itself. Some days ago, the one
with the bell was killed, and the other poor thing wandered
about, went astray, and could not be found readily. James
armed himself with the bell of the dead one, and went rincfins
through the bush. The lost one answered the signal imme-
diately, and so we found a new way of catching sheep. —
Planted yesterday a number of cuttings of vine, peach, and
fig trees. It is rather late, but I got them from the Governor's
garden, and will give them a chance. — I have heard that the
packing in which I was obliged to put my wool last year,
went all to pieces at the Isle of France, in transhipping it.
There are Indian gunny bags to be got here now at 7s. 6d.
I am in doubt about buying, as I make sure of your sending
some by the first vessel. When is it to arrive ?

Wednesday. — There has been a long spell of rainy and
stormy weather, but this day it appears to have cleaved up a
little. You would have laughed to have seen the native
Tomghin this evening walking about with an umbrella over
his head, accompanying me to look for a stray sheep. He
could not manage the name of it. The nearest approach was
" hemphrella." — I have now the only pure Saxony ram in the
colony, and I have two pure ewes. I must give them every
chance, or else we shall lose the pure blood, as the ram is old.
The wool is very fine but very short. Sold another young
ram to James for 30s. By the way I recommend persons
coming here to bring out a number of iron hurdles ; they are

 

277

very serviceable even for a temporary fence until required to
fold sheep. The freight would be little, and they are much
cheaper than you could get even wooden ones made here.

Saturday night. — Went to Perth on Thursday. The Irene,
which sailed a week ago for the Isle of France, had been
driven back by contrary winds, and was off Eottnest Island
before they knew where they had been blown to. A young
gentleman called Pratt has been drowned, his boat having
capsized and swamped whilst he was engaged in a sailing
match. — I mentioned in a previous letter a speculation of a
steam mill for flour, &c. The more I think of it the more
feasible it appears. If it were placed in a large flat boat or
vessel, so as to move about on the river, up and down to the
different farms, it would be an excellent thing. — I waslied two
or three slieep to-day for the purpose of shearing. It is too
early for general shearing, but I want to get these dressed to
prevent scab. I intend this year to cull out samples of dif-
ferent qualities of wool, — pure Saxon from Saxony, pure
Saxon, bred in the colony, cross between pure Saxon and
pure merino, and between pure Saxon and mixed merino. I
have a young ram from a pure Saxon ram and pure merino
ewe ; his wool is very long and pure, — i. e., long compared
with Saxon, fine compared with merino wool.

Sept. 6th. — I must return to Perth to-morrow again ; mean-
time, I am getting more potatoes planted, and others dug at
the same time. There are at this moment some thoroughly
ripe, some ripening, some about two inches over the moulding,
some just appearing, and some being planted. This will give
us a succession. I had put down many cuttings of peaclies,
vines, &c., by the river side just before the flood came. It has
now subsided, and I find they are rather benefitted than
injured by it. Found something like broad-tongued cress,
growing wild, to-day.

Thursday. — On Tuesday I went to Perth and have just
returned, having been in Fremantle yesterday. The captaii^

 

278

and some officers of H.M.S. Zebra have gone up to Mr. Bull's
to see the country. They are greatly pleased with it so far.
I dare say they will call here to-morrow. — There was a special
meeting of magistrates to-day, at Perth, at which I presided
as chairman. The object was to revise an established scale of
poundage fees in cases of trespass of cattle. The fine has
been established at Is. a head for large cattle, and 3d. a head
for sheep, besides the damage done. In case of some of the
large flocks of sheep, there miglit have been £7 or £8 to pay,
merely for the impounding in a man's private fold. This is
altered now.

Saturday. — Took tea at Mr. Bull's last night. Capt. McCrea
of the Zebra is very fond of farming, and is greatly delighted
with the ground on the Swan. He says from the reports
about this place he had no idea of finding it what it is. He
had a farm near Devonport himself, and looks like a farmer.
He called here to-day on his way down. — Got the sheep
washed to-day preparatory to shearing, but the wool of this
flock will not be worth sending home. I shall have very little
to send this year, for Mr. Solomon, who keeps my flock, retains
a portion of it for his trouble. Got a few potatoes turned out
with my plough to-day ; a tolerable, but not like an Irish
crop.

Monday. — There came on a very severe storm on Saturday
night. Thunder, lightning, and heavy rain ; the day had been
unusually warm. I find on a calculation that the consump-
tion of flour for my establishment is just 1 cwt. a week. The
natives are a heavy tax upon us in that way. — A huge limb
of a tree fell down near the house on Friday night. The
weather was quite calm at the time. — I am just about to put
a crop of Cattre corn in the ground from which the potatoes
have been ploughed. I shall put it in drills three feet asunder,
so that I can put in another crop in the intervals, as soon as
the corn is ripe.

Wednesday. — Took tea last night at Mr. Bull's. The river

 

279

is still in a flooded state, so that I had some difficulty in
getting over by a tree which was partly under water. I have
now got the little flock here, shorn ; we finished to-day 96
sheep, principally of those which I bought from Henty,
brought from Van Dieman's land. Some of them have a
fleece more like goat's hair than wool, but tlieir lambs are
large and fine, and I expect that the wool from the cross of
the pure Saxon will be valuable, as the ewes are very large
but the fleece of this lot is hardly worth sending home this
year, as some of them had the scab when I got them, and it
was for the purpose of curing it thoroughly that I had chem
shorn soon. One of the cows had a very large bull calf this
morning. Bought a cask of beef which stands me about
Is. 4Jd. per lb. (American beef), but it is so vile and smells so
badly that the men are on the point of mutinying. Oh for
some of Sherlock's good sweet prime new pork ! The men
are making merry in the kitchen to-night ; they had an extra
allowance of rum, and have just sent in for more. There are
some strange men there who help to keep it up.

Sunday. — Returned late last night. Could not get the
horse across the river, the water was too high. We have had
much more rain this month, than in the same month in any
other year since we came here. An expedition which was to
have started to explore the district of the Hotham between
this and King George's Sound is delayed for some days longer
to let the ground dry sufiiciently before they start. The
Governor is going along with them, with the intention of
pushing on from that on horseback as far as " Doubtful Island
bay," about 100 miles further East than King George's Sound.
If there be a good tract of land there, and a harbour, it will
probably come into repute at once and supersede King George's
Sound. We shall wait the result of this expedition with
much anxiety.

Old Mr. Henty has " squatted " himself on an unlocated
district along the coast outside of this territory, at Portland

 

280

Bay. He has been very successful in whale fishing, but I
believe finds his situation hazardous, as being out of the pale
of civilization and protection, and he now thinks of taking
land within the territory at some place along the coast, where
it is generally supposed that he has seen a fine country,
though he has been prudent enough to keep his secret. — My
dog killed a kangaroo of 341bs. weight to-day. John Mackie
dined here. — I have offers from several persons to go and
settle on my farm over the hills and take care of my flock.
There is quite a mania now for " over the hills."

Oct. 10th. — I have been in Perth since Thursday morning,
having returned only late last night. The Governor and a
party have just returned from the York district ; they made
a considerable tour and are greatly pleased. The Governor
calculated that he passed over 300 square miles of prime
grazing ground. That is the district for any one to go to.
There has been much rain, and the river is considerably swol-
len in consequence. I had some trouble in riding through
it ; the mare was all but swimming. Perth was gay last
week. We had two dancing parties there, one at Mr.
Brown's and one at j\Ir. Roe's, though the weather is becom-
ing too hot now for waltzing, which we indulge in. Paid
30s. of charges on the wool which I sent long ago by the
Mauritius, where it was transhipped at this expense, and it
is to pay 2d. a lb. from that to London, which, with 2d. from
this to the Mauritius, makes a heavy drawback against our
wool.

Alonday, — Getting melons, pumpkins, and water melons
put down. Cut 32 head of cauliflower yesterday and to-day,
and gave them to the men, so many had come forward beg-
ging for one. Shot one of those gallinules across the river ;
dog Carlo swam for it, and was mouthing it when John
Mackie came running on that side to take it from him, but
the dog leapt into the river immediately, with the bird in his
mouth, and brought it over to me, The Murray river natives

 

281

seem to exercise some authority over the natives here. They
insisted on boring the noses of two young fellows, Doorbap
and Boodap ; it is a sort of initiation into manhood, as
knocking a front tooth out is at Sydney. One of them took
a fit of laughing, which seemed to have the same effect on
his nose as when a person laughs whose lips are chapped
with frost.

Tuesday. — Folding a few sheep upon the lucerne, which is
very luxuriant. There is a native boy here now who has
been brought up among the mountains. He speaks a very
different dialect from those about liere, just as you may have
seen a Lowlandman laugh at a "Ballymullen man." He
looks mild and just caught like.

Wednesday. — Getting Caffre corn put down in drills three
feet apart. One of the native boys, Junagwirt, made himself
very useful in putting the seeds into the drills by hand.

Friday. — A small vessel called the Sally Anne has come
from Van Diemen's Land, and a boat which had long since
sailed from this for Augusta, the Fanny, which was supposed
to have been lost, has returned back safe and sound.

Saturday. — Had to go to Perth on Wednesday and to Fre-
mantle on Thursday, as Commissioner of Koads and Bridges.
Council early on Friday, and then to Guildford, where all our
Colonial Council was present at a fair and ploughing match
which was lield there. I did not arrive here till 11 o'clock
last night. We Imd u large meeting; fifty persons sat down
to dinner, and there were two or three booths or tents where
ginger beer and ginger bread were sold. Dancing also took

place, and some fighting, in which I believe J bore his

part, but as I have heard no particulars I take care not to
enquire. The Goveraor mentioned to me that he has had
from King George's Sound an account of two boys who had
accompanied a set of sealers along the southern coast, and,
being disgusted with the depravity and barbarity of the men
of the party, had, after many efforts, at last made their escape

 

282

from them, about 400 miles to the east of King George's
Sound, which place with great difficulty they reached in
safety, principally by the friendly assistance of natives, who
brought them to the settlement. Many particiilars had not
been learned. They were in a very exhausted state when
the account was written. They did not speak of any rivers
of importance, nor any remarkable features, but we shall hear
more particulars bye and bye.

Tuesday. — The Governor is to set out to-morrow on his
expedition. I thought to have been able to use all the time
of absence as I chose, and to have made some little excur-
sions, but he wishes that the remaining members of Council
(now only three in number) should communicate frequently
during his absence, and be as much on the spot as possible,
for fear of emergencies. The thing principally to be dreaded,
is hostilities with the natives, and the most troublesome thing
to provide for is the employment of the labouring classes who
may be out of work, and (a practice which they learned from
the poor laws at home) come to the Government instantly for
relief. One of my boys went out to-day, accompanied by a
native, to look for a kangaroo, and brought home a doe weigh-
ing about 401bs., which Carlo killed single-handed.

Saturday. — Had the honour of a visit from two ladies this

evening, Mrs. H and Miss S . Have given the men

another job of putting up another building for a kitchen,
nearer the house than my present one, which will serve for
a store and a place for the men to sleep in. The building
they are about to put up will be shingled.

Sunday. — After dinner this evening rode back to the hills.
It is singular that there where the sheep were folded last
year, has grown up a rich crop of grass of a different sort to
that which clothes the adjacent ground ; docks also have
sprung up in abundance on that spot, and yet I cannot per-
ceive any in the neighbourhood. Enjoyed this ride very
much, but felt a great want of some companion to talk to^

 

283

A depressing sensation of loneliness came strongly over me
—a sort of " Oh ! dear, what can the matter be ?" feeling.

Tuesday. — The weather is only now beginning to become
warm. There has been much more rain and cold this season
than in any other since I came here. I remember that before
I came here the favourite theory respecting the shape of this
island was that it was edged round with a great border of
high mountains, which threw and detained all the waters on
the inner side, so that the whole was like a great basin or
reservoir, having a large inland sea. This theory is com-
pletely contradicted by our knowledge of the shape of this
side of the island at least. The interior, so far from being
lower, is higher than the level of the land outside of this
range. Several rivers — perhaps we might say all of any im-
portance that we are as yet acquainted with — take their rise
inside of the range, and force their way through it to the sea.
Where the waters which must in winter be collected over the
great surface of the interior, discharge themselves is yet to be
accounted for. It has been almost demonstrated that there
is no large river along tlie whole line uf south coast from the
Murrumbidgee to Cape Leeuin. The Blackwood, which is
supposed to be the largest, scarcely deserves the name of a
large river. The expedition which is now exploring will give
us more information on Lhat point. Coming northward from
Cape Leeuin, the fii-st, river of any importance is the Murray,
There are two estuaries to this river, one of which is 18 or 20
miles long. I dare say that the Hotham, which they are gone
to settle upon, will turn out to be identical with the Murray,
one of its tributaries, if not the main stream. The next river
is the Swan, and after this there is none for about 50 or 60
miles, when you come to the river Garban, the natives here-
abouts do not seem to l)e aware of any river, so there must
be a long interval without one. The coast as far as Shark's
Bay has been sailed along as near as consistent with safety,
and no river has been seen. No reliance can be placed on

 

284

what the natives say on the subject, hut I think it very likely
from what some of them have told me that there is a great
bay or creek running far inland, in a south and by east direc-
tion from Cambridge Gulf, and that into this the principal
waters of the western and north-western part of this island
discharge themselves. But this is only theory — not quite
unfounded though, for the end of Cambridge Gulf was not
seen, I believe, by Captain King, though he sailed up a con-
siderable distance. Again; that would account for what the
native Tomghin says about the sea in a direction north by
east or north north east from this, where -there are high
mountains, not seen, burning sand, and weak-eyed people
(according to his description).

Thursday. — Set out at eight this morning for Perth. Left
it again at five, without even having sat down in the mean-
time, and reached home tired and hungry. John Mackie
came and spent the evening with me. I learned through the
means of Mr. Armstrong, who acts as a native interpreter,
that the natives are all aware that this is an island, and that
the sea which Tomghin spoke of is the sea which bounds the
north coast. I had no idea that their knowledge cf geography
had been so extensive and accurate. It appears a singular
fact that, as far as we know of this part of our colony and of
its formation, the rocks are either of the oldest or the most
recent formation, without the appearance of the intermediate
classes, in other words, of the primary and tertiary without
the secondary, or, in still plainer terms (lest I should make a
mistake in the scientific names) of the granitic and of the
alluvial or clay formation. This promises badly for coals,
&c., but from the description given of the coast towards the
Australian Bight in some of the charts, that district is more
likely to be of the secondary formation. Being without the
assistance of books here, and having to speak merely from a
dim and distant recollection of a former slender- acquaintance
with these subjects, one is naturally diffident now. There is

 

285

no point on which we feel sensibly the disadvantages of our
situation as that we are almost totally cut off from any parti-
cipation in the progress of general literature and the advances
of science, and that, so far from being able to keep pace with
the march of civilisation we are worse than stationary, and
in danger of retrograding. After an interval perhaps of a year,
we get a great accumulation of newspapers, and must be
contented to endeavour to sift out a few grains of wheat from
this heap of chaff.

Saturday. — Ploughing in manure upon new ground, to pre-
pare for crops ngxt season. I shall have nearly three addi-
tional acres prepared in this way. Between sheep-folding,
manuring, and fallowing, I generally manage to bring in a
few acres every year. I have scarcely any of that low allu-
vial ground which gives rich crops without manure. I have
been offered 2000 acres next to my own grant at York, for
Is. an acre, i.e., £10.0. If the person will take part stock in
payment, I think I shall try it. — I hope you may have sent
material enough for a winnowing machine. I have a crop of
barley spoilt this year by the quantity of darnel in it, I have
to cut it green for fodder.

Oct. 11. — A pedlar boatman passed here to-day. Letty
managed to get from him in barter 3|lbs. of sugar for one
dozen eggs, and 61bs. of yellow soap for another dozen. It is
extremely difficult to preserve meat here from the flies now ;
even while at dinner they leave the meat in a disgusting state ;
I wonder if you have by any chance sent a dish cover. I
have frequently had occasion to mention them. I declare we
shall begin to think there is no hope of hearing from England
if we do not hear soon. What has become of you all ? — You
would wonder what our natives live upon ; yet they do live,
and a good many of them, and pretty well too, where any
merely civilized being, if left to himself, would starve. Grubs
and frogs, and snakes, and lizards, and mice, and two or three
small roots like " pignuts and briskins " are their staple food.

 

286

It seems to be quite au event to kill a kangaroo, or an emu.
Oposums (like cats), and bandicoots (like rats), and two or
three other little animals, with their chance of bird, seem all
their dependence. The Murray river men are much larger
and fatter men than any others we have seen ; perhaps from
the greater quantity of fish got there. How oddly I have
wandered from the subject commenced. But I followed the
path that seemed straight before me, without looking whether
I was straying or not. I had just returned last night from
Perth, when Mr. Bull called in on his return from the expe-
dition to Northam and the Williams river. They had a very
pleasant excursion, but no less than eight bullocks died sud-
denly in the morning, from some unknown cause or other —
apparently from apoplexy. The Governor, Mr. Eoe, Mr.
Norcott, with some police, pushed on for Doubtful Island
Bay, or King George's Sound, as the case might be, and the
rest of the party returned, some by York, some by Kelmscott,
as they went. Mr. Bull, on the whole, seems rather disap-
pointed in the general quality of the land, It is a sheep
country, but little alluvial land for wheat. The fact is, his
ground on the Swan River is so very good that every other
place falls short when compared with it. Marshall McDer-
mott has got a good grant there of 25,000 acres. The Hotham
and the Williams appear to come from the east and south-
east, and to unite their waters and form the principal part
of the Murray River. Some natives were seen, but they ran
off in great dismay, and some Swan River natives who ac-
companied them could not succeed in making themselves
intelligible, or at all events in allaying their fears. One
young woman appeared perfectly paralysed with fear, calling
out that the horses were great dogs, and endeavouring to
chide them back in the same manner as they speak to their
dogs. An undulating country ; the hills grassy ; soil, light
red sandy loam ; trees, casuarina ; rocks, whinstone, granite,
and ironstone. Kangaroos and emus in abundance. I start

 

287

to-morrow morning for York alone, and without much pre-
paration.

Tliursday. — Just returned from York, sleepy and tired.
Kode the whole way, nearly 63 miles, since six o'clock this
morning, on my young filly. Saw my sheep at Mr. Solomon's,
15 miles beyond York. Examined my grant also, which is
nearly opposite. The frontage on the river is not very good,
it being composed of clayey plains with gum trees ; the pas-
ture on the hills, however, is excellent. There are two pools
which contain water all the year, in the bed of the river
course, one in the upper part and one in the lower. There is
no continuing water in the middle of it, for, remember the
river in summer is nothing but a chain of ponds. My grant
there is 173 chains, or two miles 13 chains wide, and forms a
double square.

Friday. — In the middle of last night came John Mackie to
say that the Hero had arrived, and he brought me a letter
from Irwin, dated 8 th August, 1834, so I mount my steed
again. *******

Nov. lOtJi. — Got a reading of three letters from my father,
of different dates, which I do not remember, for I only got a
hurried glance at them ; also one from Captain Mangles, an-
nouncing a present of some plants and seeds and books, for
which I had sent and am to send ; also seed plants and other
curiosities from S. E. I had a letter from the house of Lod-
diges & Sons, the gardeners, near London, accompanying the
box of plants, which have been sent packed up on a new
principle, have arrived in a good state. I know not which to
address myself to first.

Tliursday. — Had a visit to-day from Mrs. Harris, Miss E.
Harris, Mrs. McFaul, Miss Shaw, Miss M. Shaw, Mr. Harris,
Mr. Burgess, John Mackie, and Nat Shaw. What do you
think of that for a wilderness ? They had been spending
this day at Mr Shaw's, called on their return, and I was
carried off to Mr. Shaw's for tea, and stayed late. Sleepy,

 

288

and no journal that night. The next day I had to go to
Guildford as Commissioner of Roads and Bridges. Called on
Sam, on my way back ; dined, came home, and said to myself
" I shall have a fine spell at my journal to-night." Just as I
was sitting down to it, in came Mr. B. to tell me about an
illness that had attacked all the horses at his places (three of
mine among the number). One of his had died, the others
recovered. The illness appeared very unaccountable, but I
got a little whisper that they had made their way into a
wheat field, and hence the illness. But Mr. B. stayed so late
there was no journal last night either. Well, I was deter-
mined to make amends this night, and had just snugged down
to it when a voice hailed from the other side of the river.
Mr. Mackie and a number of strange gentlemen have just
arrived — come for the loan of three or four bottles of wine.
Won't I go over and spend the evening, and could I make up
a spare bed for one of the party ?" The Fates conspire against
the journal.

Thursday. — A Mr. Livingstone, who had come here as sur-
geon of the Hero, slept here on Tuesday night. I set out for
Perth yesterday soon after breakfast, and I have only just
returned at eight o'clock very ready for dinner.

Friday. — Captain Mangles has sent me two cases contain-
ing rare and useful plants and flowers, such as tea, pome-
granate, cork, oak, &c., and wishes me to return the cases
filled in the same way. The plants are put into earth in
boxes having a glazed sloping roof, quite air tight. The earth
is watered when first put in, but not afterwards, nor are they
either opened or disturbed till they reach their destination.
I must employ our botanist to procure the plants the captain
wishes, for I should not like to run the risk of doing it inef-
fectually myself. Captain M. has also sent me a few books
as a present — the 4th volume of Martin's History of British
Colonies ; Burns' Travels into Bokhara ; Tour in the Prairie ;
and Life of Salt. He wishes me to send him also some live

 

280

cockatoos. It is singular they are so scarce in menageries^
I suppose they must be more delicate than the white sort,
but it is very difficult to obtain them here, for they do not
build their nests in this neighbourhood (as the natives inform
us), and an old one would not do. Two nights since my ser-
vants were roused by the screams of a kitten, which was
running about wildly, as if under the influence of terror and
pain. They feared to meddle with it, and heard the wailings
continued afterwards, but fainter and fainter till they died
away. In the morning the kitten was not to be found, nor
has any trace of it been seen. It is thought tliat a snake nmst
have bit it in the first instance, and afterwards swallowed it.
I have seen Dale's panorama of King George's Sound. It
looks well upon paper, and is a very good representation
of the Sound and harbour ; but the land there is very poor
near the coast, and for perhaps 20 or 30 miles. Of course
you must be aware that the smoke-dried face of Yagan can-
not have the slightest resemblance to his living face, which
was plump with a burly -headed look about it. I defy his
very mother to recognize the face of her own son now, and
I do not think she is oraniologist enough to recognize his
head. Dale has written to me, but I have not yet seen his

letter, for S has carried it off also.

Friday. — Save been in Perth for a few days. Bought a
Leghorn hat for 13s., and, having turned up part of the brim,
wear it as a capital screen from the sun. One of the settlers
who has come here in the Hero is a Mr. Murray, from Scot-
land, who is a relative of the Slacks, of Derry, and has been
there often. He dined here to-day. There has been experi-
enced in the York district a hail shower of extraordinary
severity, such as has not been seen nor dreamt of in this
colony before. The hailstones are described to have been as
large as pullet's eggs. Some sheep are said to have been
killed by the storm, and some of the crops beaten all to pieces.
It was very partial in its effects. I picked an ear of ripe

 

290,

wheat to-day. Harvest is at hand. I am getting a little hay-
made ; you might literally carry it from the scythe to the
rick here without fear of heating.

Sunday. — Several visitors here to-day ; went back to the hills
to see the sheep. A native boy who is living there with
Johnny helps to hide everything, so that other natives may
not find them, and appears very jealous of any other coming
there.

MoThday. — Much rain, thunder, and lightning, which are
unusual at this time of the year. Weeip was very inquisi-
tive yesterday, about L 's wheel, and begged to be allowed

to see her spin some thread, and was quite gratified to see her
card some wool and spin it. They (the natives) spin with a
sort of distaff, twirling it on their thighs, then winding it.

Dec. 1. — Eode to-day to Guildford to examine a bridge, as
Commissioner of Eoads and Bridges. Eode on to Mr. Drum-
mond's, the botanist, to make some enquiries about the plants
sent here by Captain Mangles. Mr. D. was out exploring.
I must send the box filled again.

Friday. — Had a long conversation with Mr. Peel. He has
been exploring a fine tract of ground on his grant — rich
grassy lands, having numbers of wild cattle upon them.
The natives speak of 70 in one herd. I sold a cow this

morning for £20. Had offered her to S for four casks

of pork, but he would not take her, and he regrets it now.

Sunday. — Among the books sent to me by Captain Mang-
les is " Keith on the Evidence of Prophecy." I had read it
before, but feel greatly interested in reading it again. Offered
£6 for an iron plough at an auction ; it was sold for £6 IDs.
My iron plough cannot be repaired properly, so I must have
a new one ; it was rather heavy, especially the mould board.
I bought a pair of iron harrows for £2 10s. ; a bag of sugar
at 3s. 2d. per lb., rice at Is. 2d., per lb., tea at 2s. lid. Ee-
member this was at an auction, where we expect to get things
at a cheap rate. There were some prices that would astonish

 

291

you. What do you think of Embden grits, or groats, which
are little better than coarse oatmeal, selling for 2s. 6d. a lb. ?
(Oh, dear ! to think of the oatmeal which you have at 9s. the
long cwt. It makes one's mouth water to think of these
things). They are useful for rearing young poultry, young
horses, young calves, and also — not to make an irreverent use
of the words of the Litany — " all women labouring of child,
all sick persons, and young children." But poor Ireland seems
to have its produce, not on the shores of a passable sea, that
highway of nations, but hemmed in by an impossible barrier,
obstructing all intercourse with the world. One would hardly
know that there is such a place within the pale of commerce,
but that you occasionally see " Tom Sherlock's " brand upon
a cask of pork.

Two hundred bushels of wheat were sold in advance yes-
terday, by two settlers, to a merchant at 8s. per bushel. I
suppose he is speculating upon sending some of it to Sydney,
where, in consequence of a drought, they are in a very bad
state. We could spare them a little now, for with the sup-
plies in hand and the produce of harvest we have one pound
for every mouth in the colony for 560 days. What would
the South Australian people say to that ? We hear that they
are abusing us sadly as a " total failure," — all ruined, starved,
&c. We are getting on our legs now, so we can afford to let
them abuse us a little, if it serves their purposes ; it will turn
out to our advantage in the end. It is impossible that their
colony can succeed upon the plans mentioned in the prospectus
which we see. They have their trials, sufferings, privations
and disappointments, losses and crosses, to suffer as we had,
and they will have spent more money in establishing them-
selves on their land. I could say a great deal on this subject,
but perhaps it would not be interesting.

Friday. — The heat has come so powerfully upon us these

few days that all our corn has ripened at once, so we are

badly off for- reapers. I have but five, and am consequently

u— 2

 

292

hardly able to keep pace with it. The advantages which you

mention that J possesses in Canada are certainly great

at present ; 1 mean the facility of getting meat and fish to
live on. But many other things are to be taken into con-
sideration by one who is comparing advantage as inducement
to emigration. I do not know what people are to turn their
attention to there ultimately ; agriculture or pasture ? I
should think that everything of agricultural produce is so
cheap that little could be made of it, and is a forest a grazing
country ? I do not know enough of it to speak on those
points, and therefore I say nothing, but the many circum-
stances which were disadvantageous to us first, here, are
rapidly disappearing or changing their character. Fresh meat
two years ago .was from Is. 6d. to Is. 8d. a lb. ; it is now
Is. 2d. to Is. 3d. Four years hence I dare say that 6d. will
be the price. Wheat has been 30s., and it may now be bought
for 8s. to 10s. If ^ve throw our view forward to ten years
this colony will have all the necessaries of life very cheap,
and many luxuries, such as wine and fruit. Our exports of
wool and oil will then be considerable. The climate is healthy
and pleasant, no uncomfortably cold weather, and the heat
very endurable in a good house, although oppressive in a low-
roofed, shingled wooden house.

Saturday. — Gave my own three men four glasses of rum
each to-day, and two bottles of wine put into water, among
them. I think that was pretty well for one day.

Sunday. — Men wished to reap to-day, but I would not
allow them. A number of strange natives came here and
would insist upon gleaning, or " pick up " as they call it, so I
made them carry some from the field as payment for the
permission to do so. John Mackie dined here and Francis
Whitfield came in the evening. I tried yesterday to make
some spruce beer, but I fear that it will fail for want of yeast.
Two other men have come to-night offering to work at the
harvest, — very seasonable. The sound of a clarionet is some-

 

293

thing new in this colony. One of these reapers has brought one
with him and is now delighting the kitchen audience with " Ye
banks and braes." It is a more innocent occupation than grog
drinking, which I have too much reason to dread instead of it.

Monday. — Have just heard that the Governor has returned
from his trip. A letter ordering me down with all haste.
Poor Doctor Collie, who was our Colonial Surgeon, and was
on his way home, died, at King George's Sound. He had
been in a decline.

Thursday. — Have just returned from Perth. Dined at the
Governor's yesterday, and got an account from him of his
expedition. They saw considerable tracts of fine grazing
ground, but no river of any size. You will see an account of
it in our newspaper, so I need not fill my paper with it. Two
daughters of Sir Eicbd. Spencer's dined there (pretty little
girls of 14 or 15). The captain of the American vessel dined
there also. He says he would have been here three years ago
but was deterred by the accounts given him at Sydney, most
of which he finds to be false. He is surprized at our advanced
state. He is looking for specimens of the gums and resins of
this country to take for experiment, and I am endeavouring
to get some. They seem a more stirring and inquisitive
people than the English.

Friday. — Walking to-day through the lucerne, which is
now in full flower, my ears were saluted with the familiar
sound of the humming of bees ; on watching narrowly I saw
a great number as busy as I ever saw them on a heathy hill.
They are not unlike the common garden bee, rather more
active and restless on the wing ; but this might have been
owing to the day, which was very sultry, with high wind,
thunder and lightning. Their thighs were laden with farina,
their honey-bag was filled, and they have a good sting, which
they know well how to use, as I can testify. I tried to trace
them to their nest, but the day was so murky 1 could not
distinguish them at any distance.

 

294

Sunday. — Killed a wether lamb last night, which weighed
361bs., clean meat and very fat. Sold some at Is. I think
it not improbable that fresh meat may be so low as 9d. a lb.
during some part of next year. Long ago I was to have
received a small crate of crockery and some material for wool
bags " in the next ship." Expecting it, I did not buy when
I could have got it, but had to send my wool in my sheets
last year, and to purchase this year where I might, for it is
not come. I trust I am not to say this of your letters. I
have lived a long time, in the few years since I left you. I
fancy myself getting old, but time has not been standing still
perhaps with you either, — though he could not be so ungallant
as to lay his hands upon you so rudely.

 

The following lines were specially addressed to my sisters
in the journal of 5th June, 1835. I cannot call to mind now
any particular reason for such an outburst upon myself; which
I called

" AN AWAKENING."

Spirit of better days

Am I forsaken ?
Muse of my former lays,

When wilt thou waken ?
Rouse up thy torpid sense,

Dally no longer,
Think that such indolence

Daily grows stronger.

Where hast thou fled to — thou

My guardian angel ?
Why dost thou leave me now.

Prey to this strange ill ?
Oft in the darker hour

Thy charmful numbers
Seemed to possess a power

Over these slumbers.

 

295

Spirit of better days,

Do thou recall me,
Let not these idle ways

Longer enthral me.
"Wake my soul, wake and see,

Foes are around thee.
Thou on thy guard must be.

Lest they confound thee.
Oh ! it is sad to see

Hours worse than wasted,
Dash down the cup from thee.

Sweet though it tasted.
Wake my soul, oh ! my soul.

What has come o'er thee ?
Quickly the moments roll,

Fading before thee.
Think how time hurries on.

How life is waning.
How many years are gone.

How few remaining !
Is it a noonday rest

Thou art enjoying ?
Life's dearest, freshest, best

Moments destroying.
What right canst thou obtain,

Time thus to squander.
Idly in pleasure's train

Listless to wander ?
Life is too brief for stay.

In thy pursuing
Loiter not on the way —

Stand not reviewing.
Plan not, from future hours.

Moments to borrow.
This day alone is ours —

Count not to-morrow.
Learn from time past and gone,

Use that now going,
Say not what has been done —

Up and bejioing.

 

2on

Think where thou hast to go —

Heed how thou goest
How much thou ny;ikfst to know —

How little kiimrei^t.
Watch well, lest on the way,

Passion suffice thee,
Ambition lead astray,

Pleasure entice thee.

Why should an ant^ry word.

Hastily spoken,
Be like a brandislied sword —

Strife's deadly token ?
Let it pass like the wind.

Lightly regarded,
Amply by peace of mind

Thou'lt be rewarded.

VVliy should we wish the right

Path to abandon?
Ambition makes the height

Too steep to stand on.
Keep the straiglitforward course,

Steadily, mildly,
Nor like a torrent's force

Hurry on wildly.

What from wealth can we gain
That is enduring V

Pleasure but leads to pain
By its alluring.

Now onward ai,d upward, thy
Motto should be,

Looking to Him on high

Who died for tiiee.

 

(1. F. M.

 

THE COLONY.

Perth, Fehruary 1836.

Feb. 22nd. — T did not return from Perth till yesterday
morning. In the meantime John Eakins and two other men

have taken Mr. S 's farm for three years ; they are to give

him half the produce of the land for rent, he supplying a team.
I daie say they will have at least 50 acres under wheat crop.
Johnny had a few sheep which I had my eye on to purchase,
and he had engaged to give me the offer of them when he
wanted to sell them. In the settlement of wages with him
there was a point in which he thought I was too strict with
him, namely, charging liim for any days on which he was
absent. So, to vex me, lie went out into the kitchen and sold
them to James, — 5 ewes, 3 ewe lambs, and two wether lambs,
£20. I paid Johnny £8 as balance of wages. Servants might
become very comfortable here in a little while, if they took
care of themselves. Those men with whom I formerly agreed
have set out for my grant this day, James accompanying them.
They have left a nian in his stead, i am getting the floor of
the sitting room boarded, and have retired for the occasion, or
withdrawn mysell into my bed-room.

March 2nd. — The former part of this letter must be dove-
tailed into one which I sent by Van Diemen's Land. The
ship has not yet sailed. — James has this day returned from
over the hills. All arrived safe there, and the men have taken
my sheep, and taken up a position on my grant there. I have
just been puzzling over the account of the flock which Mr.
Solomon has rendered. I sent 251 ewes there in May last,
and I have only returned to me 266 now, besides 32 ewe
lambs, 31 wether lambs, ond 47 wethers, 26 of which wethers

 

298

I sent over there. I have serious thoughts of sending all the
flock over there also, for I find it does not pay to keep a small
quantity here.

Saturday. — I went to Perth on Thursday and reached home
to-night. Our busy time is just now arrived (I mean in
Council). Our financial year commences 1st April, previous
to which time our " Budget " has to be opened, laws enacted,
ways and means devised, expenditure sanctioned, and revenue
appropriated, by an Act framed for that purpose. Our Gover-
nor has now ceased to fret about the control exercised over
him this time last year in Legislative Council, where we
carried a measure of reduction of the police in spite of him.
He thinks it was unauthorized usurpation of power on our
parts, and, strange to say, we have never heard from England
on the subject. Both he and we deprecate the same sort of
collision this year, and he seems contriving every means to
avoid it, and yet carry his purposes. The 11th of this month
is the day fixed for the first sitting, and we await it in sus-
pense. He has ordered me to be on the spot all next week,
and, in the meantime, 1 have prepared for him five bills to be
submitted to the Council : — Recovery of Small Debts Bill ; a
Bill to amend the Act for establishing the Court ; a Bill for
attaching Debts, Money, Goods, or Efiects, in the hands of
third parties ; a Bill for adopting several English Acts ; and
an ordinance for Appropriating the Eevenue. I hope he will
not want any more, for I am quite tired of them for one time.
He wanted a Bill for establishing some sort of municipal
authority in the town of Perth, but I persuaded him that it
was premature, as indeed it is,

Tuesday. — I went to Perth yesterday morning, when, behold,
there was a new arrangement ; our " Budget " had been put
off tUl the 22nd, our Governor going to York in the mean-
time. So I returned to spend some of the interval at home
and recruit, for I have been in a feverish heated state of body
for some time. Perhaps it is owing to the weather, which has

 

299

been very sultry for some days past. — The Eagle, schooner,
has arrived from Sydney after a 90 days' passage. She lost
all the sheep she was bringing here except 25, and the season
is now so late we have no hopes of getting any more until
after our winter. You see how difficult it is to get them
here. We have had no importation of sheep for a very long
time, yet there is perhaps a sum of £1500 ready to be invested
here in sheep. The Eagle touched at Port Lincoln, where the
new settlement of South Australia ought to be ; but there was
no such thing. I suppose the project has failed, and is aban-
doned for the present, which is fortunate for those who were
thinking of going to it. They would have been ruined by the
plans proposed to be adopted in order to avoid that which
they say caused the " failure " of Swan River. But Swan
River is an instance of surprizing success, considering what it
had to struggle with. Its stability and progressive prosperity
are now secured, especially within the last year ; and how ?
Why, by that very course which they seem so anxious to
avoid, namely, by driving the population out of towns and
concentrated places, and scattering them over the face of the
country as a pastoral people. Pasture is and must be, at first,
for a long time, the chief and almost the only resource of
colonies so situated as these are. There are no other natural
resources which the means of a young colony could make
available (always excepting whale and seal fishing, but even
they require large capital and heavy expenditure). There are
no natives or tribes in the interior to traffic with, as in South
Africa. There are no natural products which the settler can
collect. The curing of beef for exportation requires skill,
labour, and expense in managing it, in procuring salt, in
making casks or cooperage. Sheep grazing is, certainly, the
most suitable occupation for a new, extensive district, re-
quiring, as it does, a less proportion of annual expenditure,
for managing a large capital profitably invested tlian any
other occupation. Vineyards require time, &c. Then, you

 

300

see, that sheep grazing requires a large tract of land to run
over, and if a large price is demanded for land, there is an
end to that at once. If you will insist upon concentrating
population, there is also an end to that occupation. What

does Mr B say, after being six years here ? I shall settle

myself 15 miles from the nearest neighbour, that I may have
room to myself on all sides for my cattle, and not be plagued
with those eternal annoyances of mutual trespasses of cattle ;
for, bear in mind that, with labour dear, as it must be in a
new colony, fencing with post and rail costs near £100 per
mile. Agriculture, except for self-supply, is also out of the
question. You cannot compete for a long time with other
well-established competitors who have their ground already
brought into cultivation, their teams at work, their labour
lower, their markets established, their mode of traffic arranged,
and many other obvious things. But I have dwelt perhaps
too long upon this subject.

Saturday night, lAth June. — The period that has elapsed
since my last entry has been one of some novelty and interest
to me. When I went to Perth, the Governor renewed his
offer of giving me protection of police, if I should be inclined
to take a ten days trip anywhere. I took advantage of his
proposal. Came up here on Wednesday night, devoted
Thursday to preparations and planning what course I should
take.

Wednesday. — Have been plagued all day with natives

wanting to grind wheat. At last came a hue and cry that

they had stolen a quantity from some neighbours. The man

most guilty had gone off, and I made some here punish those

whom they said were guilty, by giving them a small blow or

two across the back with a switch. It was only women and

children, who had to stand as scapegoats for the rest; but

it will make them think of it more seriously.

******

I returned last night from a fortnight's exploration in the

 

301

bush, and have had an excursion of some interest and im-
portance to the colony in several respects. I shall probably
give some account of it in our local newspaper, and I shall
not occupy more space here than to give you the outlines of

what we, Mr. B , Mr. L , and myself have seen. We

came across a very large tract of beautiful country, and at no
great distance from this — perhaps from 28 to 40 miles away.
We saw several wild cattle in that valley (or a branch of it)
which Dale and I passed in 1831, on our N.N.W. progress
from York, where we saw cattle tracks then. I have obtained
some evidence of the existence of a large lake of salt water at
Molean, as I conjectured before. The distance is about ten
days' walk (of the natives) from the York district, with a fine
country and good land all the way. Though this excursion
has been made in our winter, we had delightful weather with
the exception of the last two days, and nothing unpleasant
throughout the trip. I think it a most interesting geographical
and geological feature, — what if this should be the inland sea
conjectured and expected to exist in the interior of this
singular island ? Some argue now that it is Spencer's Gulf,
or some inlet of the sea from the South, whilst others ridicule
the whole affair and fancy it a misapprehension, on my part,
of some idle tale of the natives. My own opinion is that it
will turn out to be an inlet of the sea from the North, —
perhaps Shark's Bay — or even from the N.W. Cape in latitude
22°. It is a long distance, but I have a strong impression on
the subject. I have discovered a bulbous root like a dark-
coloured potatoe, called by the natives konno, which I mean
to endeavour to cultivate, and which may be very useful if it
succeeds. The taste is something like the meat of a cocoanut,
or between that and a carrot taste. One specimen is as large
as your fist.

Wednesday. — Should have gone to Perth to-day, but rain
came on so heavy that I could not stir. This reminds me
that a small iudiarubber cloth cap, which you once sent out,

 

302

and which I immediately purchased for myself as a specific
against wet, does not keep out rain after all. I had placed
great dependence on it, and am quite disappointed. A large
long good indiarubber cloak is a thing which I am very much
in want of. Such an article would not only be very useful in
riding in winter, but would also in the bush be an excellent
preservative from the effects of damp, if one had to sleep on
the ground, as may be my case, either in exploring or going
to visit my sheep farm, which is near 70 miles from this.
Such a thing lined with green baize (if there be such a hete-
rogeneous mixture) would be bed, blanket, and all. "With a
Sou'-Wester' cap, a pilot's hood, a cloak of this sort, pilot's
boots, and indiarubber shoes, one would be armed cap-a-pied.
I have discovered a mousetrap ; one of the tinned boxes which
you sent out clothes in long ago is so deep that the mice
cannot jump out nor climb up the tin. I have a piece of
cheese in it, and have caught no less than seventeen during
the last two days.

July 2nd. — Only this evening returned from Perth. A
ship's gun was heard yesterday morning, just as I was coming
away, and I waited in hopes of the vessel's arrival, and of
hearing what news there might be ; but she could not make
Cockburn Sound last night, and stood off the shore again. I
waited again to-day till two o'clock, but there was no tidings
of her arrival, so I came off. — Heard some more particulars
about the two natives shot at York ; they were caught in the
very act of breaking open a house to rob it. They attempted
to spear the soldier who held one of them, and beat Mr.
Solomon who held the other. One was shot on the spot, the
other had broke away, and was brought down while running.
All the natives up there have vowed vengeance for this, and
even here some have declared they will be revenged. The
lesson has not been severe enough. I fear more lives will be
lost on both sides. They have attacked, or rather shown
symptoms of attacking my flock, but were driven off by the

 

303

boldness of the shepherd. They killed four or five sheep at
Solomon's, in despite of the shepherd, whom they drove otf.
They caught the young lambs and dashed their brains out
against the trees. They have killed and eaten a horse in that
neighbourhood also. It is high time these doings were checked.
The Governor has strengthened the positions in that quarter,
but it is impossible to say where the flame will break out ; so
we must all be on the watch.

July drd. — The vessel spoken of was the Addingham. By
her I have received three letters from you; also four from
Captain Mangles, and two from Captain Irwin. The Eevd.
Dr. Gustiniani (the missionary) and his wife have arrived.
He was at death's door just on his arrival, — a few minutes
more and we should have lost him ; but I trust there is yet
in store for him a rich harvest in that wide field to which
he has been thus munificently and beneficially sent, and in
which he has been thus mercifully spared to labour. He is
animated with zeal and full of hope regarding his success
among the natives. This will be a subject often recurred to
in my letters, so I shall not dwell now upon it.

July 5th. — Mr. Roe has lent me a hurried reading of Cap-
tain King's survey of the North and Nor' West Coast of this
country. Mr. Eoe was with him. He says it was to lat. 17°
that they looked with most hope for an opening in the inte-
rior. I have also got a reading of the Minutes of the Geo-
logical Society for 1834 — 5, in which I am greatly interested.
Some of the men from my grant at York have come here to-
night; they report casualties, two sheep and one growing
lamb dead. The weather has been severe there, being more
cold than here, I have only 84 here now, from which I
expect about 60 lambs, and about 300 lambs from my flock
over the hills.

Jidy IQth. — This has become nearly a hebdomadal rather
than a journal. I have only returned this night from Perth.
I went to Guildford on Wednesday to make enquiries about a

 

304

station for the mission, for Mackie and I have been requested
to act as assistants and corresponding members. It is not
possible to get a station on this side of the liills wihout pur-
chase, and poor Dr. G. is fretting sadly to get to work at
once ; but if he do not attend to his health I fear we shall
not long enjoy his services. On Thursday night he was seized
with a recurrence of his painful illness. He sent for me in
all haste, and informed me that he feared he was past hope or
in very great danger. He mentioned what he wished to be
done in case of his death, and commended his wife to my care
on behalf of the mission. I remained most of the night with
him, endeavouring to support and comfort him, and am glad
to think I was of some service when he was in a very trying
situation. Poor Mrs. Gustiniani was in grievous affliction.
I did not leave him till all danger was over.

 

THE COLONY.

 

Perth, April 1887.

 

April 22nd. — A gap of several months occurs in the diary
at the point where we last left ofi". We pick it up again on
the 22nd of April, 1887, when Mr. Moore writes : — I closed
my last rather abruptly to go by the Strathislie to Van
Diemen's Land or Sydney. The Indian gentlemen in her
were very much pleased with this place, as well the country
as the society. I beg to say that it is generally believed in
India that this colony is all but abandoned, and that only a
few are left here waiting an opportunity to leave it. I beg to
say also that, had it not been for the loss of the Mercury,
which is supposed to have foundered at sea on her voyage
hither, we should have had many persons from that quarter.
However, our time will come round again. One whaling
company is almost ready for operations. A whale was seen
close to the shore a few days since, and some of the boats had
a trial at it, but missed their aim. I expect to get into my
new house at Perth next week. It is in a sad state of dilapi-
dation. It will cost £13 to glaze and panel the windows and
outside door. I paid £2 10s. for getting a frame to a table
(6 feet by 4), and supplied all the wood myself. To procure
the necessary furniture and other requisites for the house will
strip my pocket, though it may replenish the house. It may
appear absurd to you, but I really cannot get any knives and
forks in the colony, nor a common three-legged iron pot. I
fear I shall have rather rude cooking. I have hired a black
fellow (a Lascar) at 30s. a month as a servant. Oh, if one
could get to London for one hour to equip one's self, what a

 

306

busy hour it would be ! I came up this morning from Perth,
and must return on Monday again. Mackie sets out on that
day for King George's Sound, on circuit. I shall feel lonely
in Perth until his return. I have hitherto lived with him
while in town.

Sunday. — A pair of wild ducks were feeding on the lucerne
in the front of the house to-day, and I wounded one. The
dog jumped into the river and tried to catch it, but it dived
so as to get out of reach. I also plunged in to help the dog,
and it was a rare chase of nearly half an hour. At last I
caught it under the water, but I had not bargained for such
a swim.

Saturday. — Went to Perth on Monday last and took pos-
session of my new house. Had dispatched J from this

at 11, with a bullock team and a cart loaded with divers
things, and, amongst others, with a leg of mutton, ready
roasted, for dinner. I expected him about five o'clock, but it
was near nine before he arrived, and so dinner was at a very
fashionable hour. It is a singular-looking house, — a wooden
one, no less than 60 feet long, divided into four rooms and a
hall. I think of getting it lath and plastered in the inside,
and painted on the outside. The verandah droops too much
and wants alteration. The purchase consists of two allot-
ments, one on each side of a street running parallel with the
river. That next the river has a fine site for a house, on the
top of a bank or terrace 20 or 30 feet high, commanding a
view of the river. The house is on the other side of the street
and rather buried in a hollow. — I am trying an experiment
here on potatoes. Some that were left in the ground last
season have come up so strong that I have thought it worth
while to transplant them into regular drills. If the frost does
not cut them off, I may expect an early crop. We have much
more rain this season than hitherto at the same period.

Sunday. — John Mackie spent the day with me. He says
he has had about 320 bushels of wheat off his ground (10

 

307

acres) this year. Average value 6s. a bushel — £90. This,
with a little dealing in cattle and sheep and pigs, gives him
a nice little occupation.

Monday. — The lucerne which you first of all sent out here,
I have been transplanting and extending from time to time,
both by thinning the rows and sowing the seed. The chicory
and yarrow are coming up this year in quantities, but not a
vestige of the trifolium incarnatum. It M'ill not answer us ;
but lucerne will be valuable, as it keeps in the ground, and
comes green at an early period, after the heats of summer,
even on dry ground. — These whaling companies are requiring
so many men that hands are very scarce ; no talk now but of
" lays " and " spouting," and other technical whaling terms.
I am preparing leases of parts of the coast for the two com-
panies, for stations, one at Carnac and one at Fremantle.

May 6th. — The Governor has returned in great spirits from
his excursion to the South East, comprising an examination
of the country from the Murray River to within 55 miles of
King George's Sound, having seen a large extent of fine
country, well watered. Some pools in the rivers which they
saw ever so far in the interior were very large, and must end
in considerable rivers. Two (called respectively the Arthur
and the Beaufort) are supposed to unite together and form the
Donnelly river, which falls into the sea near Flinders Bay.
The Murray river, at its issuing from the hills, was pouring
out a large body of water. He seems to think that that would
have been a better situation for the settlement had it been
known at the time. I have got at last into the large house in
Perth and feel most miserable in it. The cold is so great that
I find it by no means agreeable ; but T have lined one of the
rooms with canvas, which will improve it.

Saturday. — Left this place (Millendon) on Monday morning
last for Perth, and have only now returned. What between
carpenters, painters, landscape gardeners, and other workmen,
I have had a busy time in Perth, over and above my own

X 2

 

308

business. I have got the ground in front of the house laid
out regularly and skilfully ; the windows, doors, and verandah
painted, the gates fresh hung, and many little alterations, so
that already it looks well, whereas in its previous dilapidated
state, it looked like a gloomy deserted barrack. I have not
yet been able to get a table to put in my room (proper for it),
or a bedstead to put my mattrass on. My furniture, in the
way of tables, consist of two small card tables, one of which
is the same old one I had in college (I believe), or at all
events one 1 brought with me. My mattrass is spread on the
floor, and that is the whole preparation. Such furniture is
now rarely to be met with, and the carpenters are all so
occupied that there is no such a thing as getting anything
made in reasonable time. The gardener charged me 26s. for
about three days work ; the painter charges £7 12s. for

painting the outside of the doors and windows. — J has

been to York since I was here, and has brought over 27
wethers for the market. His principal business was to see
103 lambs drawn off, to be separated from their mothers and
divided and marked for me, after the proportion was deducted
for the men who kept them. There has been a very singular
disease among some flocks this year at York, something like
apoplexy. They die very suddenly. I think it arises from
eating too freely of the young grass, which springs as if by
magic after the first showers. Several sheep on the Swan
have been attacked by blindness, which appears to me to be
only a milder form of the same sort of illness, caused by the
rupture of a small blood vessel about the eye. I have had
one lamb and two goats affected, but by copious bleeding
they appear to have been reKeved.

Monday. — Have been occupied in writing a long opinion
upon the propriety of the Government charging a fine of 6d.
an acre on the lands of absentees who have not made the
requisite expenditure, according to the terms of the original
assignment, and also of resuming such lands, absolutely, if not

 

309

improved within the specified time. Settlers are now going
to the interior, to the extensive grazing tracts. These grants
on the Swan, from their long narrow shape, are quite incapable
of keeping a large flock. I paid 15s. for a day and a half hire
of a winnowing machine, and had to send two miles for it
besides. It is quite indispensable. I trust that you may have
sent me the sieves and iron work of one. Henceforward I
shall consider what articles I shall require from year to year,
and order them out, in return for wool, pork, oatmeal, her-
rings, soap, candles, wine, — we are tired of Cape wine, they
send it so doctored that it is unwholesome, — and a crate of
the better kind of crockery now and then. I cannot get a
cruet stand in the colony. I gave 15s. the other day for a
small cotton cover for a card table. Send me some carpeting,
and something to make curtains, some knives, carving knives,
and forks.

Saturday. — llcached home this evening. Our little Bank
has been brought into a state of forwardness during the week
by having directors appointed, &c. Two other companies (I
believe I mentioned) are forward also, for whaling operations.
I am preparing leases of certain fishing stations for them, and
I suppose they will require Acts of the Legislature also. There
is hardly a subject that one is not obliged to dabble in. All
these subjects are brought before Council, and there, of course,
questions are asked, and arguments raised, which one must be
prepared for. You see how necessary it is to have a good
supply of useful books here. The people here (especially the
would-be fashionable), have a vile trick of sitting late at
parties. I dined at a house on Thursday, and was obliged to
sit from six in the evening till four next morning, playing
cards as stupidly as might be. What occurred the next night
at the Governor's, whilst they were sitting at tea, was this :
some one proposed that they should get up a dance (there
were two lady visitors there), and the hint was improved
upon ; messengers were despatched to muster the neighbours,

 

^ 310

a fifer was pressed into the service, and we were dancing full
fling before nine o'clock, and had a very merry pleasant even-
ing without ceremony. We were snug in our beds by one
o'clock, without draining the cup to tlie dregs.

Monday. — Dr. Harris came here for breakfast this morning-
He was speaking on the subject of the rivers wliich have been
seen lately between this and King George's Sound by land.
Two rivers (the Hotham and the Williams) unite, and form
the Murray river. The Hotham, he says, at the highest point
it has been seen — namely, about 60 miles South, and about
the same meridian as York — appears to come from the North
of East, and is there a very considerable river, so that it
probably comes from a long distance, and may be the drain
of much of that country which we saw on our East course, —
although we never observed the slightest indication of a drain
to the Southward. — Have been trying an experiment this year
to some extent by transplanting potatoes into regular drills,
where they have come self-sown, or from those left undug in
the ground. They look very well now, and some have pota-
toes as large as walnuts by them, and, if the frost does not
destroy them, I hope to have a nice crop ; but, one night's
frost, and they are lost. — 9 o'clock : A great barking of dogs,
and in walked a gentleman (young Mr. Walcott), saying, " I'm
on my way home to John Mackie, and it is so cold I just
called to get a glass of grog." He took two and proceeded on
his way. Two native boys are with me now attending my
cattle and sheep. One has just been telling me that a large
hawk, when it discovers an emu's nest, takes a stone in its
talons, hovers over the nest, and lets it drop among the eggs
to break them. He laughed so slily whilst telling it that I
think he was " taking a rise " out of the white man.

Saturday. — For the first time since the barrel of herrings
was opened, I ate some this evening, having arrived in a very
hungry mood, and nothing else so readily presenting itself as
that and an egg. Got into the canvassed room and had a few

 

311

friends with me there last evening. Mackie has returned
from King George's Sound. People are all busy whaling
there also ; but they have connected themselves with some
Americans who have come there, and are likely to make a
good speculation of it. This subject of the Americans coming
in numbers to our coast has given rise already to a question
of some importance, namely, whether it is in our power to
prevent them whaling on our coasts, bays, &c. I am reading
some works in order to glean what information I can on the
subject. One cantankerous settler at King George's Sound
called upon the captain of a man of war, which touched there,
to interfere and drive the Americans off. The captain doubted
his authority, and said he would consult the Admiral, &c. In
the meantime this very man has formed a very advantageous
sort of whaliug connection with the Americans, and I dare say
would now be sorry if he were disturbed. When will our own
countrymen or our British Government open their eyes to our
importance ? This may be a good means of doing it. There
is to be a ball in commemoration of the establishment of the
colony on Thursday next, the 1st June ; and, in the day time,
rustic games, races, soaped tails, &c.

MoTiday. — It is not long since I killed and salted down a
pig of 1701bs., and already it is almost finished. It is well
there are so many sheep in the colony fit to be killed this
year, for there has not been a barrel of beef or pork in it for
a long time ; the supply will barely keep pace with the de-
mand, even with the importations ; but every year we im-
prove.

Tuesday. — Very heavy rain last night. I was roused by
the making of its way down into the room beside the chim-
ney, so I lighted a candle and read the law of fisheries, &c.,
for some hours, by way of a soporific.

JuTU 'ird. — Just returned from Perth. There have been
great doings there this week. A sort of fair, and games, and
races were held on the 1st of June, in commemoration of the

 

312

foundation of the colony. There was a good deal of amuse-
ment. The natives had their share also, running after pigs
with soaped tails, throwing spears at loaves, &c. They seemed
to enjoy it greatly. In the evening there was a subscription
ball, at which there were 80 people and upwards. You can-
not imagine the perplexity we are in here sometimes for books
on law subjects, especially where alterations have been made
by statute law recently. The Governor himself is not even
furnished with a copy of the Acts of Parliament. I felt the
want in a case I had to consider lately. Dr. Giustiniani ap-
plied to be naturalised, in order to secure land and houses,
&c., which he had purchased. Now, with regard to aliens,
many important regulations have been made in the 3rd Geo.
IV., and also in the year 5th Geo. IV., with respect to aliens,
and yet they are not in the colony. It is uncomfortable to
have to give an opinion witliout having any means of infor-
mation. I had to examine and consider and report upon the
whole state of tha law on the point for the information of the
Governor, but our Royal instructions prohibit the proposal of
any Act for naturalising aliens, so that puts an end to doubt
on tlie subject, and will be anything but gratifying to Dr. G.
As an alien he cannot hold lands either by grant, purchase,
or devise; he cannot inherit, transmit, or bequeath; and I
believe he is compellable to leave the realm if the King see
fit. But upon this latter point a residence of seven years
gives some immunity (according to the Acts above alluded
to), and he thinks he can claim naturalisation on that ground.
He is wrong, but you see how important the Acts are to us.
Chitty's Collection of Statutes which was sent to me I find
very useful, but does not come down to the period of these
Acts. Our Legislative Council sits on Monday, so I leave
this to-morrow again. An unpleasant affair near York; the
natives have speared a soldier (since died) and wounded
another (a settler). This was quite unprovoked on their part.
The act is supposed to be in revenge for some old affair,

 

313

None of the perpetrators could be found. Nothing but a
severe example has been found effectual, and yet this is con-
demned and called out about by all those who are in no dan-
ger themselves nor their property.

Saturday. — This day will be memorable in the annals of
this colony for the killing of the first whale. At Perth, great
firing was heard in the direction of Frernantle, and it was
supposed that a ship had arrived, but a messenger came in
breathless haste to say the boats had struck a whale and were
engaged with it. This was all that was known when I came
away, but everybody was running about, elated with the
news. I went to Fremantle on Thursday with the Governor
and some others, to examine a jetty and proposed tunnel
which has been projected to be cut through a hill there, giv-
ing an easy access from the sea beacli to the main street.
The plan is quite practicable, and not very expensive, for the
distance is only 80 yards, and the rock is soft limestone. It
is said that already a dispute has occurred between our two
whaling companies as to the whale, one having first struck it,
and the other killed it. I think the custom of the South
Sea Fishery is at variance with that of the Greenland Fishery
on this very point, there being some nice distinctions about
"fast" and "loosp" fish.

Monday. — The docility of some liorses is remarkable. I
have a young horse 2| years old ; lie was alongside his brother
of only 3|, and they both harrowed and ploughed as steadily
as old trained horses. From the mare which I bought origin-
ally from Mr. Brown, 1 have now a mare, two horses, and a
1| year-old filly. Got a small stock of wheat carried into
the barn to-day. There was an immense number of mice in
it. One of the natives was assisting, and he got as many as
made a full meal for himself and his wife. Have been pre-
paring this evening a sketch of a report of a committee of the
Legislative Council to present to the Governor. There is just
the same difference between him and us this year, as before,

 

314

but I hope we may be able to settle it amicably now. We
propose a greater expenditure for some services, and a less for
others than he does. We are anxiously looking for a vessel
from England. There is neither salt meat nor foreign flour,
nor candles nor soap, in the colony, but it is a comfort on the
other hand that there is plenty of fresh meat and colonial
wheat and flour, and whale oil, and plenty of clean pure
water. So we cannot be at any very great loss for want of
the above articles. I ate a dish of Neeld turnips yesterday,
the first this season, and almost the earliest in the colony —
certainly the earliest in the clay grounds in the country.
They are very sweet, and this is from the original seed sent
out, for not one went to seed last year with me.

June V&th. — On Tuesday last there were some very fierce
-gusts of wind, and during one of them a vessel called the
Abeona, which has touched here on her passage from the
Mauritius to Sydney, was driven from her moorings and
drifted towards the shore, but, by good management and the
strength of her anchor cables, she was let gradually upon the
sandy beach, so that when the weather was calm again, she
was got off without any damage. She has sugar, rice, a few
candles, &c., but for everything such a price is asked that if
they do not come down a little, they may take their goods to
another market. The whale has been mismanaged, for want
of proper tackle to turn it, so they have only got the blubber
off the upper part, and the rest is spoilt, and smells so
strongly that the inhabitants of Fremantle begin to find that
there are disagreeables attending whaling also. For the first
time in my life I was successful in a raffle. I had made my
throw at an early hour and came away, but it appears after-
wards there was a tie between me and another. Lady Stir-
ling threw for me, and her luck carried the day. i look upon
raffling as a sort of genteel way of begging, but we are ex-
pected to contribute, and so follow the crowd. I dare say
you think it a monstrous thing to charge 15 per cent, interest,

 

316

but there is hardly any way in which money can be employed
here that does not yield a much higher rate. That is an ordi-
nary rate. Even now when money has become rather more
easily to be obtained than heretofore, it was discussed for a time
whether the rate of discount in the bank should not be 15 per
cent.; but it has been settled down to 12i. Persons have money
lent out at 2r> per cent. You see where such enormous profit
can be made by the use of money ; those who once get hold of
any, either by loan or otherwise, are very loath to pay it back
again, and perhaps would not care ever to pay it, if it were
not for the interest charged. The vessel has not brought any
salt meat. Fresh meat has risen again to Is. 5d. a lb. My
people live entirely on fresh mutton. When one is done they
kill another, two lambs in the week being about the consump-
tion. We have only lambs of this year, or rather of nearly a
year old, to kill. They generally weigh about 331bs. each on
an average. Dr. G. is now blaming the Government for not
proceeding to try and execute a settler, who shot a native, in
the act of robbing his master's barn. The case is one of some
difficulty. The master placed the man in the barn to watch
the property. The settlers complain that they have not
sufficient protection allowed them by the Government, and
they are thus compelled to defend and secure their property
themselves. The Government here can not, and the Govern-
ment at home will nut, give more, except out of the pockets
of the settlers. So we are upon the horns of an inexorable
dilemma.

June 24:th. — I have just heard that the Abeona will sail
to-morrow, and though we have been long waiting in expec-
tation of the arrival of the Hero, and keeping all our letters
back till we should hear by her, yet I think it better to send
off" this letter, as we know not how long it may be before
another opportunity may off'er. We had another meeting of
the Legislative Council yesterday, and both the Governor and
(Jouncil still maiutaiu their own opinions about the amount

 

316

of expenditure for the police, so that no ordinance can be
passed for this year's expenditure. Whale fishing here is
very encouraging, and the prospects extremely promising.
Two whales have been killed within the last week, and a
whale calf also, besides the mother or cow whale, being
wounded so severely, that it is thought she will be taken also.
I have a gardener making a little plantation of flowers and
shrubs in front of the house, and for that and half a day's
work, planting potatoes, his charge is no less than £2. He
supplied about twenty geraniums and stocks, and other
things. Send me a light plough of wrought iron, with an
extra mould board, which could be fitted as a double mould
board plough (cast iron is worse then useless, for it snaps and
cannot be mended) ; also the sides and iron work of a win-
nowing machine. I pay 10s. a day for the hire of one. I
have a stack of wheat to be threshed out. Mr. Brockman
wants four guineas a day for the use of his threshing machine,
and you must pay eight men to attend to it.

July Sth. — I am not quite sure on what date I closed my
last letter to go by the Abeona, via Van Diemen's Land, but
it was about a week ago, I think. We have had a meeting
of the Legislative Council since, and have just the same dif-
ference of opinion as on former occasions with the Governor
about the expense of the police force. The weather has been
extremely stormy for some time past. Our colonial vessel,
the Champion, sailed for the Vasse and Port Augusta nearly
a fortnight ago, but, after being a week at sea, was obliged to
run back again to Cockburn Sound, with the loss of most of
her sails. Some of the boats belonging to the whaling com-
panies have also been injured. A rumour of a most melan-
choly nature is now current, to the effect that one boat with
six men in it has been lost, and no lives saved. I trust it is
only an unfounded report.

A King George's Sound native, who had been in the Cham-
pion went on shore one evening at Garden Island with two

 

317

other natives, and next morning he was not to be found, nor
had any trace of him been discovered when the last news
came. The other natives are quite at a loss to account for it.
They say that he became uneasy and frightened at night, got
up from the fire and went to the beach, and called out for the
ship (which was lying off the shore at some distance j, and
they know no more of him. He could not swim. A native
named Coordap, who was confined in gaol under sentence of
transportation for killing sheep, contrived to make his escape,
and has already stolen and killed a number of pigs, since his
escape, though only about a week ago. Sir Charles Burdett
came up here with Mackie yesterday. They dined and slept
here. I took Sir Charles for a walk about the adjacent farms
after breakfast this morning, and they then returned to Perth.
It was fortunate that yesterday and this morning were both
fine — the first fine weather we have had for some time ; but
the day changed as it wore on, and there has been heavy rain
again. I have been a loser to some extent by it. A stack of
wheat had been opened to get it threshed by Mr. Brockman's
threshing machine, but heavy rain came on the second day
and they were obliged to leave off. However, we got it all
finished yesterday, being about 200 bushels in two days. Mr.

Brockman and S dined here yesterday at one o'clock, but

my other guests did not come for dinner till five. Sir Charles
wanted me to go down to-day to Perth to dine with him, but
I had too much to do in settling accounts, &c., as I have to
go down to-morrow again.

July l%th. — The rumour of the six men being drowned is
too true. It is not known how it happened, as the boat came
on shore empty. They had gone to bring back a small vessel
which had gone adrift, owned by the whaling company to
which they belonged. The vessel is driven on shore also, and
is now a wreck. But a circumstance which threatens even
worse consequences has just been reported here. Two settlers
have been most inhumanly murdered by the natives near

 

^18

York, who, in fact, have arrived at such a pitch of daring that
that part of the colony is in great danger if prompt and deci-
sive measures be not taken. Such steps have been taken to
the extent of our power, and 1 trust they will prove effectual.
Four prisoners (natives) have been taken upon warrants, ac-
cording to the due course of the English law, and this is one
of the consequences of that legal absurdity which is enjoined
us by the mistaken humanity of those at home, I wish they
would give us credit for knowing as much of our own affairs,
and the necessities of our position, as they do.

July l^th. — The Governor has requested me to come up
here and examine the state of preparations at the house of
every settler hereabouts, for it is feared that if the York
natives receive any check or take the alarm, they may pos-
sibly come over here, and it is well to be ready for them. I
am also about to use my influence with some natives in this
quarter to act as spies upon them. I rewarded three abori-
gines on Sunday last with 361bs. of flour for being instru-
mental in capturing Coordap, who had escaped from prison.
A native in Perth to-day made a disclosure to me of a very
extraordinary nature — namely, that the native who disap-
peared so mysteriously from Garden Island was murdered by
the other two, with circumstances of great cruelty and dis-
gusting barbarity. One of them throttled the poor fellow,
whilst the other mutilated his members, hacked his throat
open with a quartz knife, and broke his arms — horrible, hor-
rible ! They have made their escape. Nine spears have been
found stuck in the body of one of the white men near York,
and seven spears in the other. As large a force as can be
mustered has been set in motion against them. I only hope
they may fall in with them. On my way here to-night I
overtook a gentleman within three miles of this place. He
had got upon the wrong road, and consequently nearly ar-
rived here, thinking he was on his way to Guildford, which
Jte had overshot by seven miles.

 

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Wednesday. — Made a tour of all the houses higher up the
river to-day, and especially the place where John Eakins is,
which is the nearest place to the hills and the most likely to
be first approached. I believe I mentioned that the natives
had killed several pigs up there lately. The men who did it
are known, by information from among themselves ; and, be-
cause one of Eakins' partners drove one of the delinquents
away from the house afterwards, this man said he would
spear some one there, and they are obliged to be very watch-
ful. In short, a very general impression prevails that if we
do not anticipate the natives, some mischief will be done here.
Some of them, however, are friendly, and appear desirous to
warn us of the danger. This is a most unpleasant state of
things, especially when our instructions are to proceed only
according to the forms of the English law, which is to say, in
short, we must do nothing.

July 2Qth. — Took another tour to-day, and found that we
could muster about 24 armed men hereabouts. This would do
pretty well if the natives would stand fight, but that is not
their system. They come by stealth ; the mischief is done ;
they are gone, and you see no more of them. A singular
scare occurred here to-day. On a sudden there came a rush
of natives down the hill and into my kitchen. There was no
one about the house but Letty and a little boy. I seized my
gun and ran out, when I found that some of them had taken
refuge in the kitchen, whilst others besieged the door, quiver-
ing their spears and shouting in anger. It was some time
before I could understand the matter. The party outside
consisted of Tomghin, Weeip, Beguin, and Daubain ; in the
house was Daubain's wife, wounded in the thigh, and her
child (also wounded), besides some other women. Both Dau-
bain and Weeip were wounded in the thighs. Daubain
pointed out to rae that the spear had gone nearly through his
thigh, and made me cut open the otlier side with a lance to
let the blood out, after which I bound up his wounds. The

 

320

others had now disappeared, so he ordered his wife to follow
him, and all went limping up the hill. I was still watching
him go off, when Tomghin sprung out from behind a tree, and
flung his spears at him, one after the other, which Daubain
avoided in some extraordinary manner. Then Tomghiu fled
and, before I was aware, dashed into my house, ran to a cor-
ner where I had a lot of spears, armed himself in a trice, and
went out again. After a time some of the others held Tom-
ghin till Daubain had gone to a distance, Tomghin in the
meantime shouting with passion. The only words I could
understand rightly were that he would "break his head."
Whilst all this was occuring, my people had gone to the
funeral of the father of two boys called Minchin, who have
lived with me for four or five years. I was waiting till the
funeral should pass my place on the way to the burying
ground, whence I accompanied it, and read tlie burial service.
The five next graves to the one opened this day were of men
murdered by the natives. The feelings of the settlers are
just now greatly exasperated against them, and this sight did
not tend to soothe them much. I want the Governor to
apply to the Home Governor for permission to make a law
to render legal the evidence of the natives against one
another. In ninety cases out of a hundred we know the
offenders only through themselves.

Friday. — "Went down the river to-day to the house of Mr.
Brockman, to make arrangements with him for co-operation.

Saturday. — As I have given you above a description of a
scene that occurred among the natives at my door, I will con-
tinue the story by way of illustrating the character of this
extraordinary race. I mentioned that a child was wounded
in the encounter; Weeip, intending to spear the woman,
struck the child by mistake. The spear entered the hip, and
passed in a slanting direction into the abdomen, and the child
died that niglit. In the meantime Tomghin carried the wife
away again, and she was accompanied by the young girl of

 

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about twelve years of age, who had taken refuge in my
kitchen along with her. This girl slept at the same fire with
him, and might be supposed to be under his care, but next
morning he deliberately transfixed her with three spears, and
left her lying dead on the spot. Their ways are to me wholly
unaccountable. This will bring on him the vengeance of all
that girl's relatives, who will probably take a life for it, and
so the wheel of massacre keeps perpetually revolving. Most
absurd rumours, it appears, had got afloat, and had reached
Perth about incursions of tribes of natives about this place,
and the Governor, hearing that there were at least 150
natives in this neighbourhood ready to slaughter and devour
us, came galloping up this evening, accompanied by his
nephew and Lieutenant Armstrong, and by Mr. Lewis, the
Commissary. What between quartering the horses, providing
for the company, and now getting ready five beds, all hands
are occupied.

Monday. — After an early breakfast we all, accompanied by
the Governor, went to visit the settlements above this. On
our way we fell in with some natives, who were burying the
body of the girl (above referred to), so we saw the manner of
it. The grave was about four feet deep, but not long enough
to receive the body at full length, so the legs were doubled up
from the knees. The earth was thrown out into the shape of
a crescentio mound at one side ; long pieces of wood were
laid over the body to prevent the dogs from disturbing it, and
the grave was filled up by earth scraped from the ground on
the side opposite the crescent. The appearance of the country
was very gratifying. The day was delightful, and, after a
walk of about eight or nine miles, the Governor returned
greatly pleased. He wishes me to remain on the spot for a
little time, and on the watch, ready to act if need be, or to
pursue whatever course of policy appears best under the cir-
cumstances as they arise.

Tuesday. — Went down to Mr. Brockman's to dine to-day.

Y

 

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Heard that one of the natives had been shot at York, but no
particulars have reached me. If this be all, it is worse than
doing nothing, for it will only exasperate without terrifying
them. On Sunday night a strange noise, something like
thunder, was heard by many. It sounded to me like the
sound from a huge rock thundering down a precipice. The
cause is not clearly ascertained yet, but some say that it pro-
ceeded from an immense meteor which gleamed across the
sky at the same time. I did not see the light, but, on my
return from Mr. Brockman's, near mid-night, I saw a very
bright meteor, the sky at the time being quite clear.

July 26th. — Took a ride round the settlers homesteads to-
day to warn them of the approach of a number of natives,
seeking to kill a child of Gear, for that which was killed by
Tomghin. There were perhaps 30 natives all congregated for
this humane and manly purpose. I believe they have not
succeeded in accomplishing their object. The Governor is
very anxious about the whole affair. He has sent Mr. Bull
up to remain in this neighbourhood for a time also, and he
wrote me a letter seeming to wish me to remain on the alert
here some time longer. I got home this evening more than a
ton of flour from the mill, ground and dressed (20 per cent.),
and the bran returned, at Is. 9d. a bushel. This will sell
now, I suppose, at £30 a ton.

Thursday. — Two other natives have been shot at York,
which will render it more necessary to keep a good look out
here. It is understood that the two white men were mur-
dered there merely because two natives were imprisoned, in
obedience to the directions of the Secretary of State to act in
all respects according to the English law. They speared a
man through the head — luckily only through the jaws and
tongue ; then broke open a settler's house and stole his pro-
visions. Well, a warrant is regularly issued, and, in process
of time, they are taken, and their relations murder two white
JUen immediately in consequence. We naturally defend our

 

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lives now, and thus vindicate the majesty of the law, but 10
to 1 we shall have an outcry in England that we should be
called to account for it. Let them come here and convert the
natives, and let us defend ourselves in the way which we find
to be the best.

August 1st. — Busy yesterday and to-day transplanting and
pruning vines : got about 50 rooted plants put down and a
great many cuttings. It was interesting to see some little
birds, like robins and wagtails, perching on the bushes and
watching to pick up the grubs as they were turned up. — An,
absurd rumour has reached this, that Capt. and Lieut. Arm-
strong have both been speared by the natives on their way to
York. Men's minds are full of fears.

Thursday. — Two whales have been caught within the last
week, after a considerable interval. There is an intention of
establishing a ship company here. Our Perth whale company
has not been so successful as the Fremantle, the managers of
which live upon the spot. The melancholy loss of a whole
boat's crew, and of a decked boat of considerable size, have
been rather a damper upon the Perth company. — Got some
more vines planted to-day. I have now a hundred, many of
which may bear fruit this year ; nine peach, and six fig trees
bearing ; then almonds ; also cherry trees, oranges, lemon,
guava, and banana. Such is my present stock.

August 7th. — Busy all day in the garden, planting and

transplanting. The two Messrs. B dined here to-day.

They have just come over from York, where they have been

settled for some time. They give an unpleasant account of

the state of things there, on account of the natives. I have

now got the names of 18 natives who were concerned in the

murder of the two settlers at York ; some of them, I am sorry

to say, are not far from this.

Wednesday. — Some hints having been communicated with

respect to mischief which was brewing by the natives at Perth,

the Governor being uneasv about it, despatched a person up

Y— 2

 

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to me to prevent my going down, as the hints ^11 had reference
to something to take place in this neighbourhood. I met his
messenger, but we passed in the dark last night without com-
munication, so I returned here to-day, and find (at least as far
as I see yet) that the matter is altogether among themselves
They have had a fight near this, but, as usual, it has ended in
nothing. Men were present from 40 miles distance, but the
whole thing looked more like schoolboys playing at prison bar
than any deadly battle. I expected that some of the men from
York who had been concerned in the murders there would
have been present, and had intended to follow them when
they had separated from the others, and endeavour to come
up with them ; but I think they have taken the alarm and
have kept aloof. My old friend Nejal was among them, and
very active as a peacemaker.

Thursday. — A little girl of G-ear's (a native) had been left
by him in the barrack for safety, and one of the natives came
to her and said her father had sent him for her, and she had
not gone far when three men rushed out from a thicket and
drove their spears into her. One spear went in at the collar-
bone, and out at her back, and this manly feat is the result of
the whole battle. In the midst of the fight yesterday old
Gear came running up to me where I stood looking, to say

that the man who killed J 's pigs was there, and why did

I not take him out of the way, as he was his particular
enemy ? A native was brought before me to :day, in custody,
on a charge of stealing a bag of flour from the mill. I sent
him off to Fremantle gaol, under the escort of the constable
and a soldier.

Friday. — You could hardly believe that the little girl above
alluded to is alive yet. I went to see her to-day and gave
her some castor oil. One spear went through the lungs, and
the air whistled in the wound (as they describe it), — for the
wound had closed when I saw it. But they say the barb of
the spear is still in the body ; if so, and that it is am ong the

 

325

lungs, it is a bad case. It is astonishing how tenacious of life
they are ; any of the wounds would have killed a European
child, yet this one speaks sensibly and moves itself. She got
up and took the physic readily. At 10 o'clock the dogs began
to bark, and I went out to see what was up. The soldier who
escorted the native yesterday was on his return, and, being
rather groggy, lost his way, so I escorted him a little. Here
is a sentence as expressed by one of the natives to-day, as I
was examining the wound of that child — " Walialak mangar
uky addio tonga." The sound is not harsh. " The barb is
still in the liver, I think."

Saturday. — Have been engaged for a great part of the day
in conversation with one of the natives who was, I think
concerned in the murder of the two men near York. He
denied any knowledge of it at first, but, with some little
(management, I got him to give me the names of no less than
42, who were present. Of course we must not use this against
him ; indeed, according to the laws, we cannot make any use
of it, for it is no evidence. He persists in saying that he was
not actually present at the time ; that he refused to go ; that
it was not his country, — he was only a visitor ; that he was
afraid to do it, or, as he expressed it in a singular manner*
" that his liver trembled." He says if we will give the women
to the young men that they will go with us to point them out.
It may not be a bad plan, for the parties out from York cannot
fall in with them.

August 12>th. — John Mackie spent the day here. The
weather is delightful, and I bathed in the river. Old Gear
came to show me the spears which he had prepared to go and
spear the man who stole his wife. They were so prepared
that the barb should break off short in the wound, — that
being the description of wound which he had received from
the other.

August I'dth. — Went to Perth on Monday last, and only
returned this evening. Two whaling companies, which were

 

326

injuring each other by rivalry, havo joined for the season, and
have caught two whales within tliD week. A few shares have
been sold in the Fremantle company at £50, being originally
only £20 shares. — On Tuesday intelligence was received by
the Government of a most daring attempt on the part of the
natives at the settlement of Mr. Waylen, in Toodyay valley.
Mr. "Waylen and two soldiers stationed there had been absent
from the place for a time, leaving it in charge of two men. In
the meantime some natives of the same party that had mur-
dered the two settlers, came to the hut and asked for wheat
and got it, and next day thinking (perhaps) that there were
only two men still in the hut, they came about in large num-
bers, and five of them forced their way into the hut, and, after
awhile, made a rush upon the soldiers, and Mr. Waylen, who
had only arrived shortly before, overpowered them, and had
them down on the ground. In this awkward predicament,
one of the soldiers managed to get hold of one of Mr. Waylen's
pistols and shot one of the natives through the head ; then a
second ; then Mr. Waylen got liold of an axe and cut another
down. The two others then made off, but the soldiers now
being able to get their muskets, shot one and wounded another ;
so here were four dead and one wounded in a trice. 1 have
no doubt all in the hut would have been murdered if Provi-
dence had not favoured them, as two of the white men (the
servants) were so paralysed that they did worse than nothing,
for they crept away. The hut was so low and small that the
natives could neither get their spears in, nor the soldiers use
their arms properly. The next night another party of soldiers,
under Lieut. Bunbury, shot one and wouuded another, near
the same place ; so they are beginning to feel our vengeance.
Mr. Bunbury and the soldiers were obliged to take off their
shoes and creep for nearly a mile up a hill, over sharp stones
and rocks, in order to come at these men, and, singular to say,
a native of that district was their guide. I have put into the
newspapers all the particulars of the murder of the two settlers

 

327

near York as given to me by Begooin. The more I know of
the transaction the more black it appears. There are other
natives even in this neighbourhood who were present (I sup-
pose the place is 40 miles from this) ; but I think it prudent
to temporise a little, for all our force is on the other side of
the hills now, and we are not strong enough to embroil our-
selves with the tribes round about us.

August 21st. — A day of rain, which is very seasonable.
Every year since I came here we have been predicting great
floods in the winter, yet each winter has passed off quietly.
This is the seventh since the great flood, and we made sure we
should have one this winter, because there is a cycle of seven
years observable at Sydney ; but the winter is well nigh over,
and the river has been very little above its summer level.

Tuesday. — Another day of rain. Saw two little native
children to-day stealing some potatoes which were among
growing barley, As they stooped and ran, hiding themselves,

they put me in mind of the fairies which J M saw

long ago in the " dark loamin " at Bond's Grleu. Poor little
things ! their mothers had instructed them to go and steal,
so I walked the mothers off, and they began to beat the
children, not for stealing, but, like the Spartans, for being
detected.

Wednesday. — I was going to Perth, when a constable and
others came with great fuss to say that some strange natives
had been observed in the neighbourhood who would not give
their names, and ergo they must be of the party who killed
the men over the hills. I hurried off and found some of my
old acquaintances of Jainabingup, where I caught so many
" cobblers " a year ago. They were glad to see me, and they
might well be, for I could hardly restrain the officious eager-
ness of the people wlio wanted to take them, right or wrong.
I find the benefit on many occasions of having seen so many
natives at different places, as it enables me to do justice the
more readily, either for or against them.

 

328

August 2Qth. — The Hero has at Last arrived, and, what
between letters and newspapers, and seeing old friends and
new friends, I have been so taken up as hardly to know how
to get on steadily on my old track, but I shall tell you all in
time. Mr. Logue and one of his sons spent yesterday with
me in Perth, and slept at my place. 1 dispatched them to
walk up here, intending myself to follow on horseback, but
when the servant went for the horse he had broken his rope
and gone off, so I had to walk, having the mortification to see
the horses' tracks before me all the way.

Friday. — Capt. Irwin rode up here with me yesterday, at
my invitation, to look at his house before he brings the ladies
up to it. The house is not at all in a fit state for their
reception. He is greatly gratified with the improved appear-
ance of the country, by the advance of cultivation, since
he left the colony. — A strange scene occurred here to-day
among the natives, which seemed to surprise and grieve Irwin
not a little, as a stranger, although we are pretty well accus-
tomed now to such occurrences. I was examining the knee
of Weenat, who is still suffering from the wound, and was
lying in a hut close to this, when suddenly I observed a body
of natives at some distance coming rushing towards us at full
speed. Weenat was greatly alarmed, and entreated me to run
for my gun and protect him. I did so, and on my return
found that they were in the act of communicating tidings of
the death of a friend to him. A man sat upon his thighs,
breast to breast, for some time, then whispered to him the
name. (Bogan had been killed that morning at Guildford, by
natives from Perth). Weenat hung liis head and cried. The
women covered their heads with their cloaks and made a
regular wail. These men were the relatives of Bogan, seeking
for revenge. The boy liellick, who had been attending my
sheep, also came up at this time, and was embraced ; but,
friendly as they appeared to be, I suspect that the gun in my
hand was the principal cause of their apparent friendship.

 

329

After a little, they proceeded in search of a victim, and Bel-
lick, unsuspectingly, followed them a little, through cariosity.
When they got out of sight of the house, some of the party
turned upon him, dragged him to the ground, and endeavoured
to kill him, but others interfered, and carried him off back to
my place, wounded in two places. The spears had been
turned by bis ribs. The party rushed on, and soon fell in
with old Barragim, or Yellagonga, and he fell dead under
nine spears. All this occurred in a very short space of time,
and the running, the shouting, the shrieking, the wounds of
the boy, the lamentations around him, and the consternation
and confusion of the natives when the death of Barragim was
known, altogether formed a scene which you in the regular
routine of civilised life could hardly picture to yourselves.
After dinner we went out to walk a little, when we happened
to come to the spot where old Gear was burying the body.
The grave was about three feet deep, the body placed on its
back, with the legs doubled up. He lighted a fire in the
grave, singed off part of the beard, stripped off the nails of
•the thumb and little Huger of the right hand, and tied the
finger and thumb together ; covered the body with sticks, then
trod on the earth ; made a hut over the head of the grave ;
tore the bag into fragments and strewed them on the grave,
and then burst into a cry of grief, whilst his wife sung and
scraped her nose biid rolled on the ground. And so the
ceremony ended. He said the finger and thumb were tied
that he might not throw any more spears, — rather an unneces-
sary precaution, one would think. The grave is close beside

Mr. Tanner's early residence, which is now a ruin.

* * * * It ^

Sept. 23rd. — A melancholy accident occurred here this week.
A young gentleman (Mr. Creagh), who came out in the Hero,
was drowned. He had gone out boating for pleasure; the
current drove the boat on the bar at Fremautle, and the boat
upset. There are soijie circumstances connected with his

 

330

history which make it more to be deplored that he was cut off
just now. He was a son of Colonel Creagli, of Limerick. —
Wheat has become very scarce again. The price is now 16s.
a bushel.

« » * . * « «

October 12th. — I am really ashamed and afraid of the length
of this letter. Our sessions were held at the beginning of this
month. The only cases for trial were those of three natives
for theft and housebreaking ; two were sentenced 1o seven
years' transportation, and one to six months' imprisonment.
The Governor wishes me to go to York and have a palaver
with the natives there, and I start to-morrow on that errand.

J is going also to get the sheep shorn. I have got about

two bales of wool from my sheep heie, and I expect about six
or seven from those over the hills. — I saved the life of a
native to-day. Having got intimation that it was intended
to kill a lad who was on his way from Perth to this place, I
saddled a horse and galloped after the boy, and just arrived
in time to prevent mischief. [N.B. — This was " Garbung," a
lad, the son of Derharp, who was sentenced to transportation.
No charge against the boy]. I took him to York, where he
had lived before. They are a singular race. A young woman
has been severely speared near this, but is still alive. — I came
up here to-night in two hours and five minutes. — Sold two
steers to-day at £15 each, and ten wethers at 31s. each,

October 22nd. — Eeturned this day from York, having ridden
from wliat we call the Half Way House (27 miles), in about
4| hours. Irwin and Lieut. Mortimer and Mr. Wells went
over at the same time. The news spread like wildfire among
the natives there, that Mr. Moore had come to make peace,
and many of them came to me at York, and I had a great
palaver, which my limits will not allow me to detail. " Gover-
nor wongay yahi keenyak " (the Governor says he is satisfied),
was the burthen of my glad tidings to them. You must be
satisfied with this brief outline. I took Garbung, the native

 

331

boy, back to York. He spread the news, and will be of ser-
vice. Not finding the natives at York, 1 went 26 miles to
the north to look for them ; but they would not show there,
where the murder was committed. On my way I passed
where Mr. Logue is now settled with his family. They are
very comfortable already, having taken the crops now growing
on a farm. They were then building their own house, about
1^ miles from where they now reside. I went to visit my
own grant there, and was greatly pleased. They have 16
acres of wheat, a fine dwelling-house in progress, a kitchen,
and a barn, and about 1000 sheep between mine and their
own. I have had nearly 400 lambs this year. I persisted in
my enquiries from the natives about the water to the East.
They still say there is a sea in that direction, but far away.
" Moons plenty dead " is all the information I can get. They
seem surprised to hear that I have been so far without seeing
it. My place near York is called Jilgayria.

Novonber 1st. — In the midst of some hot oppressive weather
there came to-day a shower of hail stones, such as T have
never witnessed befoie ; some of them were as large as pullet's
eggs. What a sound they made on our shingle roofs !

November 11th. — Tlie Hero sailed on Wednesday last, having
several passengers on board from tliis,— some to go to Eng-
land, and others to India, on a speculation to procure sheep
and probably camels, and to bring an investment of other
such things as may be suitable for us — What a provoking
circumstance that this exploring expedition, from which we
had hoped to derive such great advantage, is, 1 fear, altogether
frustrated by the course which has been pursued. Messrs.
Grey and Lushington, influenced, as we hear, by tlie evil rep-
resentations of some persons at the Cape as to our state and
resources, hired a vessel there, at £140 a month, and have
gone to Java, thenct; to land upon the N.W. coast, and
explore, whilst the vessel hovers and waits for their return.
I am reluctant to speak more of this now, not knowing more

 

332

of it yet than by rumour. Perhaps it is not so bad. — I have
just seen in Saunders' News Letter Professor McCullagh's

reading of J 's letter on the native kiley. My theory is

that the rapid rotation and progression has the effect of com-
pressing the air, so as to act like a spring, and, when the
strength of spring has overcome the impressing force, then
the weapon is impelled in a new direction compounded of
several forces. But this is too long a matter to dwell on here.
Its motions have always puzzled me, and, no wonder, when
the Professor seems quite at a loss also. Have you found the
direction uniform ? It seems to me to be very various ; but
I have not studied or examined this point accurately. Perhaps
its examination may be the means of ascertaining or dis-
covering some new law or property of motion.

November 15th. — We had our proclamation of the Accession,
and swearing of oaths, &c., all on Monday. — Had some con-
versation with the captain of the Beagle. He is to sail
immediately for our N.W. coast, and to explore all the most
promising parts of it. I suspect from what I hear that the
other gentlemen (Grey and Lushington) have stolen a march
upon him, and that their desire to anticipate him was the
reason of their sailing from the Cape as they did. Captain
Wickham makes this place his head quarters. Has left some
of his stores, and means to return here in about four or five
months for a fresh supply. — A long Council sitting yesterday.
— 1 want some bricks drawn in Perth to my house, and have
been asked 20s. a thousand for carrying them. — Irwin came
up with me to-day. The Governor is remaining now at
Fremantle, whilst his house is undergoing repair, so we have
more time. — Men are busy cutting barley here, part by reap-
ing-hook, part by scythe.

Friday. — Made my first attempt at brewing beer, from
bran, to-day. It promises well, but is not finished yet.

Saturday. — Been making a well. — I have been busy laying
out a line for a fence which will be more than a mile in

 

3.^3

length when finished, and will enclose a large piece of ground,
part of the line being on the boundary between me and Mr
Lamb on the South, and me and Mr. Tanner's ground (where
Captain Bryan formerly lived) on the North, and a connecting
line at the back, about half a mile from the river.

* 1^ * Mfc =$ *

December 4:th. — I know but little of the habits of vines at
home, but one thing appears to me singular. In order to
prevent them running too much to wood, I have nipped the
ends off the growing branches, and the consequence is that so
many of those tendrils which would otherwise be employed
in clinging to the trellis or other support, have cbanged their
nature and put out fruit. 1 had one pomegranate blossom,
but the fowls have picked it off. A spot in a field of barley
seemed greatly affected, the heads appeared to have been
broken short off, and were lying on the ground. It appears
to be the work of caterpillars, which are found on the ground
there in great numbers. There is a grass which is in seed
now ; the seed is something like that of a wild or animated
oat. It buries itself into the skin wherever it touches. You
would pity the poor sheep could you see how they suffer from
it. Frequently when they are skinned, the grass seed is found
to have penetrated or worked its way into the flesh of the
sheep.

December 9th. — A rumour has reached us that a vessel has
arrived. It is high time one did, for the colony was much
in want of those things with which it cannot supply itself.
I literally wear a hat which is half cut through by some acci-
dent or other, and completely bare of beaver, but there is not
another to be got. The same with shoes, and the same with
clothes. There is not a pound of soap in the colony, nor a
candle ! Had it not been that our sheep have multiplied so
fast we had been in a bad way, — not a pound of salt meat to
be had. Flour was 9d., but harvest has commenced.

December I'Uh. — One of the officers of the Beagle (Mr.

 

334

Dring) has been staying with me, and I took the opportunity
of taking him round all the farms in the neighbourhood. He
is greatly pleased, as he sees the harvest now in its most
interesting state. I have interested myself to get a botanist
from this part of the colony on board of the Beagle on this
expedition. I have spoken to the Governor and am writing
to the captain, and hope to succeed. It is a great mistake
that there is not one attached to such an expedition.

Monday. — The Beagle has not yet gone. The captain has
demurred about taking the botanist with him. I am quite
vexed about it, thinking it, entre nous, a pitiful narrow-minded
thing. Only think of such a glorious opportunity wasted, or
not appreciated ; but perhaps I wrong the man. I shall, how-
ever, persevere in the effort. One would think the conductor
of such an expedition would consider the services of a botanist
invaluable, and this man's assistance is offered without charge
to the expedition. Oh ! dear, how would Cook have acted ?
Oh ! Botany Bay, who named you, and why ? Oh ! Sir Joseph
Banks, what would you say ?

Do you know it has often been occurring to me to write
down several little stories, adventures, and traits illustrating
the manners, habits and customs of the natives. Do you
think they would be thought interesting ? What would Mr.

H think of it ? Let me know. But then, it may pass

off, or rather may not come on — so no matter about it.

December 2Srcl. — The Eleanor has arrived, bringing us back
several of our old settlers, who had gone to England on their
affairs. I have received an account sales of my wool. Bad
prices. However, we must share in the general depression. —
Another vessel, the Abercrombie, has arrived from Sydney,
having touched at South Australia. If you know of any
person going to that settlement in whom you are interested,
advise them to consider well what they are about to do. From
all the accounts we have, there will be, there must be, great
distress, and much ruin there before very long. The system

 

is wrong ; — the capital nearly exhausted before getting upon
the land ; and we know that even under favourable circum-
stances a long time must elapse before the land will give
much return. Then the seeds of dissension and discord are
already sowing, and flourish between the Government and the
companies and others. In short, they have a very severe
ordeal to go through.

 

THE COLONY.

 

February 1838.

 

Feb. 12th. — The Abercrombie, by which my last letters
should have gone, was only to sail yesterday. It is a long
time since we had so many vessels in our port at once. Four
of them intended to sail yesterday — the Alice, Eleanor, Aber-
crombie, and the Grailhardon. The last named ship is from
India ; she touched here on her passage to the neighbouring
colonies, and I hope she is the forerunner of a regular series
of ships communicating with us twice a year. Several pas-
sengers were landed here, who came to prepare the way
for an establishment for rearing horses, — a speculation
chiefly entertained by a Mr. Prinsep, of Calcutta. There were
many passengers on board, some going for health, on leave of
absence, and some for mercantile pursuits, and some as settlers
in Van Diemen's Land. The Governor had several of them
to dine with him ; I dined there also. They appeared pleased
with this place, and surprised that so much progress had been
made. — A few days ago I met with a fortuitous confirmation
of the idea of a sea to the North East of this. Seeing a large
shell among the natives I asked where it came from ? They
said from Djeering, — a place to the N.E. of this ; and, when I
enquired particularly, they still persisted that it came from
the sea, which was very far off in that direction. It had been
handed from one to the other till it came here. When I said
there was no sea in that direction, they said yes, you might
go round North to King George's Sound or South to King

 

337

George's Sound. The inference is that there is some branch
of the sea nearer us than the Gulf of Carpentaria, or else their
knowledge of the country and communication with one another
are far different from what we suppose, and much greater than
they display.

I fear I shall be ordered to King George's Sound on a most
unpleasant duty. Matters there seem to require some inves-
tigation, and the Governor thinks of going down and insti-
tuting an enquiry by a board of Council, and acting accord-
ingly. Irwin is going down on his own duties, so he and I
are likely to be the board. Mr. Eoe and I, some days ago, as
Commissioners of Koads and Bridges, were engaged all day in
visiting and examining the " flats, or shallows," about Perth,
for the purpose of reporting upon the practicability of making
a passage across by rampart and bridge. We were obliged to
walk about in our shirts through the water, under the burning
sun, so that the skin has come off my legs and face. — I have
had many grapes this year on my trees, so that I have been
able to eat of them as freely as in days of old off the goose-
berry bushes. I do not know how it is, but I do not eat the
grapes with the same zest as the gooseberries. They will soon
be very abundant here. Every one is rearing some. They
are now selling at 4d. a pound. — I had a curious case to settle
in Perth a few days since. A native came to complain of a
white man having stolen his wife. He was very angry and
threatened to spear the person. The Governor referred the
case to me, and I had no small trouble in settling it to the
satisfaction of all parties, which was done principally by
means of flour given by way of damages, and accepted, after
some demur, as a peace offering. — A most agreeable change
in the weather ; for two days past the thermometer had ranged
about 76°, whereas it was formerly 96°.

Feb. l&th. — A very hot ride from Perth in the very heat
of the day, and the country was on fire on each side of the
road.

 

338

Sunday. — I have had a visit to-day from Mr. B . He

intends to try whaling next season. He is quite in raptures
with Port Leschenhault, both as a port and agricultural settle-
ment, and as a whaling station. He says the land is superior
there to what it is here.

Feb. 23rd — We were to have had some long sittings of
Council this week, but Irwin wanted to transact some busi-
ness at his place (Henley Park), and wanted me to help him.
— The masons, after an interval, have begun with my house
again at Perth, and have the brickwork nearly finished. A
man who lives near me now (Galway), splits excellent laths
from the red gum trees, at 4s. a hundred.

Monday night. — Yesterday was anything but a day of rest
with me. I left this at 7.30 in the morning, got to Perth in
time for service, took an early dinner at Irwin's, and went to
afternoon service at church, when their baby was christened
Frederick Courthope Irwin. Started from Perth at 6, and
reached this at 8.30, not a little tired. — The natives are very
troublesome in stealing wheat and grapes, &c. I broke five
spears belonging to one man to-day, and took a bag of
wheat from him. It was old Gear, but he could not be
taken. Got some potatoes dug, which looked very well at
the tops, but there was nothing but misshapen withered -
looking roots on them. Without moisture they will not do in
summer.

Tuesday. — At the request of some neighbours, I killed a
wether to-day. It was nearly all engaged beforehand, as the
meat will not keep long enough in this weather to permit us
to kill for ourselves. The days are very warm, but the nights
begin to be cool. People expose themselves unthinkingly,
and colds are frequent. I am just shaking off one by perspi-
ration and exercise.

March Zrd. — The necessary repairs having been done to our
colonial schooner by the aid of H.M.S. Pelorus, I suppose we
shall soon set out on our trip to King George's Sound. Irwin

 

339

rode up with me this morning before breakfast, and he has
returned again.

March 5th. — The first rain of the approaching winter fell
to-day.

Tuesday. — The Governor and a party were to go yesterday
to dine on board of the Pelorus, and to return to-day. So I
also have played, and remained at home. Encouraged, how-
ever, by the slight raiu and cloudy sky, I got a few potatoes
planted. Thermometer is at 70°, at 9 p.m. Mr. Roe's house
and mine are next each other at Perth. Two very large trees
stood in the street just in front, in such a manner as to ob-
struct the view very much, but they leaned towards his house
particularly in such a manner, that it was rather an anxious
job to get them away. Many a time we have measured the
distance and calculated the length of the trees, and were
afraid to touch them ; but at last, by the aid of a number of
soldiers, who undermined the larger one, and, by means of
block and chains, they were safely uprooted, to our great
satisfaction and Mr. Roe's peace of mind.

Sunday. — A small vessel (colonial) has arrived from Java
with sugar, tea, rice, flour, matting, &c. She touched at Shark's
Bay for water, but saw nothing of Messrs. Grey and Lush-
ington, nor of the Beagle. We may look for her in a month.
The influenza has reached us here, and many are attacked by
it ; but it is slight. I have had something like it, but I
believe it has gone, or is going very fast. Some of the natives
have taken it also. I have been obliged to-day to pay some
attention to myself — in other words, to take a little medicine
and feel much better for it. I have a " hydrophobia " of
physic.

March 12th. — Making some preparations for my trip, as I
must leave this to-morrow to be present at a Council meeting.
Then to Fremantle on Wednesday, and sail on Thursday
morning.

* * * # ll! *

z— 2

 

340

April \^th. — I have only this night been able to return
here. We were longer on our trip to the Sound than we
expected, but as we touched at several settlements on the
coast which I had great desire to see, and, the weather being
fine, the delay has been rather agreeable than otherwise. A
vessel was lying at the Sound when we were there. "We
anchored on Sunday evening at Port Leschenhault. Where we
landed, we found Mr. Bull, Lieut. Armstrong, and a droll sort of
East India establishment, consisting of seven Indians of the
class called " hill coolies," under charge of a Scotchman called
Miller. They had with them, as the commencement of flocks
and herds, one young hunchbacked bull, and two hairy sheep.
There is an extensive estuary there, into which the river
Preston and the Collie discharge. The land on the estuary is
low and well watered (where we saw it), having shelly marl
underneath, and having the appearance, to a great extent, of
having been recently recovered from the sea. But on an
excursion of nine miles up the Collie, we were rather dis-
appointed in the land. There is, however, a tract of good
country higher up the river, but we had not time to reach it.
Sharks are very numerous in the estuary and river, so that
we dared not bathe. There are several low promontories of
columnar basalt near to this place, just south of PortCasuarina,
which form part of the port. After ten days delay, we sailed
to the Vasse inlet, which is in Geograph Bay. Here there
are great estuaries and much land, apparently recently re-
covered from the sea. The substratum is of recent limestone
with shells. The land is consequently fertile, though in
general very sandy. There is much grazing ground, and the
swamps are extensive. The sandy lands bear good grass also.
This place was named " Vasse " after a man belonging to the
French expedition in 1804 (or thereabouts), who was lost or
abandoned. Some natives of that neighbourhood recollect
him. They treated him kindly and fed him, but he lingered
Qn the sea coast, looking out for his vessel He gradually

 

341

became very thin from anxiety, exposure, and poor diet. At
last the natives were absent for a time on a hunting expedi-
tion, and on their return they found him dead on the beach,
his body much swollen (as they described it) — perhaps drop-
sical. They offered to conduct me to the spot and show me
his bones, but we had not time to go. At this part of the
settlement there are only two settlers with their establish-
ments, and some soldiers. Six miles farther down the coast
the Bussell family live. We stayed there two days, and spent
them very agreeably. About their place we saw more good
land in one continued tract than we saw elsewhere. Their
cattle thrive greatly ; and the climate is moderately cool.
Three days sail from that, with contrary and shifting wind,
took us to Augusta, just behind Cape Lewin. This bay is
well situated for whaling, and is a pretty spot, but the ground
is too heavily timbered. Most of the settlers have deserted it
and gone to the Vasse district. We were detained there four
days ; then, after three days' sailing, we reached the Sound,
where we lived with Mr. Drake.

Saturday night. — The Governor had reached the Sound a
few days before us, by the Pelorus, but he returned again two
days after our arrival, leaving us to settle the business on
which we had come down. The settlement has increased
considerably since we were there five years ago, although not
much has been done within the last two years. There is much
ground fitted for gardens, but no wheat lands, or rather no
land fitted for it without much trouble and manure. Many
whaling vessels are beginning to frequent the port, and an
excellent station for building ships, with great abundance of
timber admirably adapted for the purpose, has been discovered
in the neighbourhood at Torbay. These circumstances have
given a fillip to the place, and the people are beginning to
awaken up. One ship, of 150 tons, is nearly completed. A
French man-of-war and a whaling ship, with many American
whalers, have been there during the season. The natives there

 

342

have learned so much to use our language, even amongst them-
selves, that many young lads are scarcely able to speak their
own dialect purely. I found more difficulty in conversing
with the young than the old men, in their own language, on
that account. They act quite as servants there, and depend
very much on the settlers for food when not hunting.

There is a great natural curiosity in that neighbourhood.
A tract of sand blowing, like that at Eosgul, has overwhelmed
a forest, and many of the remnants of the wood may be found
turned into a soft sandstone. The sand, having insinuated
itself into every pore and crevice of the decomposing wood,
has substituted itself in the same shape, being cemented
together by calcareous matter. We dredged there one day for
oysters, but without success, as we had not time to go to the
proper bank. — Bought an accordion, of two octaves — the first
I had seen — for 30s., or rather for a ewe lamb. T am pleased
with its power of forming chords and agreeable harmony,
without much trouble in learning. Had a large corroboree
of natives in honour of the Governor. Blue lights and sky
rockets were lighted and fired by the men of the Pelorus.
The natives appeared very regardless of them. These were
our amusements. Our business was not so pleasant, but, by
a little dexterity of management and judicious handling, we
brought matters to a tolerably satisfactory conclusion. The
climate of King George's Sound is cool in summer, but I
should think too cold and blustery in winter for pleasure. It
would afford an excellent bathing retreat from Swan Kiver,
during the hot months of January and February.

Sunday. — I had concluded my story of travel last night.
We sailed on Thursday from King George's Sound, and
arrived at Fremantle on Sunday night, or Monday morning
ratlier. On my return to Perth, I found my house nailed up,
my quondam servant " Cassim " having been put in gaol in
the mean time, lor being concerned in a robbery. I have now
hired a licngal nian, who does not understand g, word I say.

 

343

He is, however, even with me, for I do not understand a word
he says, so how we shall get on time must tell.

May Ath. — I continue my journal from yesterday, and even
in that space of time something important has occurred. News
came this evening that a native had been shot last night at
Mr. Brockman's, while in the act of dragging off a sack of
flour out of the mill store, which he had broken open. I had
been just setting out for Perth, but went to the spot imme-
diately. The natives in the meantime had collected to bury
the body, and I found them just commencing their operations.
It was an excellent opportunity for impressing a lesson upon
them when their minds were in that state, so I harangued
them over the body. Anthony's oration over Cffisar was
nothing to it. I told them that they had stolen repeatedly,
that at last the Governor became angry and told me to go and
enquire why the natives stole so much ; that, as soon as the
Governor spoke, I had come up to enquire, and that already
one man was taken prisoner and one man was shot ; that if
they would steal no more and spear no more the Governor
would perhaps say " it was enough," but if they persisted he
would tell the soldiers and the white men to shoot them as
they did at Pinjarrah and at York. I apostrophised those who
had been in the habit of stealing, told them I saw many of
their faces around me, and that I knew their names, but, as
one lay dead before me, I would not speak more of it. I
addressed the brother of the deceased, and told him that he
and his brother assisted many others in killing two white men
over the hills, that many of those who did so were long since
dead, that his brother now lay dead, and that, if he either stole
from or injured white men any more, he would soon be dead
also. The whole scene appeared to have some effect upon
them, and at last they assured me that with respect to white
men they were now quiet and would not seek to retaliate, but
they would kill a black man for it, but not near our houses.
Having left matters in that state at the graves, I went down

 

344

to D 's, and whilst I was there a constable came and told

me that he had a warrant to apprehend three natives who
were about here, and he wanted assistance. They (the natives)
took the alarm, so I put spurs to my horse and followed the
principal one for some distance, but he got among bushy
swamps, and though I rode round about for a long time, I
could see no more of him. In the pursuit, I got a capsize off
my horse, from a difference of opinion as to which side of a
tree to go to. I split the difference by knocking against the
tree. The two cocks of the gun stuck into my clothes, and
one then rebounded on my reaching the ground, and the gun
went off harmlessly. I find that the hammer has bored a
hole in my side, which I did not discover till this evening,
when, after riding about all day to warn the different settlers
to be on their guard, I found my shirt bloody and torn, stick-
ing to my side. On dismounting I thought my troubles were
over, and was looking wistfully towards bed after tea, when a
shout from the other side informed me that Major and Mrs.
Irwin and Mackie had arrived at Henley Park and would
probably be here. In the meantime I have given you this
account, and this moment a second shout announces them.

May 7th. — Major Irwin slept here, but the rest of the party
remained in their own house, which is in progress of repair.
On the next morning (yesterday) I had to go to Perth to
confer with the Governor, but in the meantime he had sent up
soldiers and an interpreter, and a long letter to me, pointing
out what he thought most politic and advisable on the occa-
sion. Fortunately I had not only anticipated his wishes (by
my interview with the natives at the grave), but had advanced
far beyond his most sanguine hopes. However, as part of the
purport of the letter was to request me to remain here a little,
and I thought it best to return, I rode back here last night.
This day 1 have taken the round of all the houses, to see how
matters stand. Everything is satisfactory. I have directed
patrols of soldiers in different directions, merely as a matter

 

345

of precaution till affairs are more settled. A rumour was
forwarded to me that certain natives had threatened to kill a
white man in revenge. I endeavoured to trace the rumour to
its source, but found it groundless. I had a long conference
with several of the more influential natives. They say they
attach no blame to the white men for shooting this man, that
we had given them fair warning, that the man would persist
in thieving, and he deserved his death, that they had no
enmity against us for it, but that they would endeavour to
kill the native who was very active in encouraging the de-
ceased to steal, that a party had gone to gather strength for
that purpose, and that in the meantime they had driven away
out of their grounds several strangers who had been com-
mitting thefts and bringing them into trouble, and that they
had determined to keep them away, and even apply to us to
assist them if they could not do it themselves. They brought
to me a boy of whom I had complained to them for stealing
fowls ; they delivered him to me, and I made one of them flog
him soundly. This was all done readily at my orders, and
they seemed very desirous to be on good terms with us, and
glad to get out of the scrape so easily. The truth is, the
deceased is not very nearly connected with them, and his
relatives were thinned a little after the murder of Jones and
Chidlow.

Thus, you see, we are gradually gaining ground with the
natives, for they now seem to acknowledge our superiority
and rely upon our justice and good faith. Tribe by tribe we
shall be able to bring about in the same way, and so even-
tually give them by degrees as much of civilization as their
habits will permit them to endure. The interment of the
body the other day was conducted with a good deal of cere-
mony, and was not without interest. They selected a clear
spot in the neighbourhood of some tall mahogany trees ; the
grave was then dug in a direction due North and South, about
4 feet long, about 8 feet deep, and perhaps 18 inches wide.

 

346

The clay from the grave was carefully heaped up on the
western side into a slightly curved crescentic shape, not un-
like the outline of a body lying in a recumbent position on
the right side, — a form, I suspect, which it is intended rudely
to resemble, for at one extremity the earth was moulded into
a round form, connected with the rest of the mound by a
small junction, which they said was to represent the head and
neck. Their next care was to fold or double the legs so that
the heels should touch the back part of the thigh. This was
a matter of some difficulty, for the corpse had stiffened ; but
they succeeded. Then they cut off his hair and beard short,
and singed it smooth. Then, by the application of fire, they
stripped the nail from the little finger of his right hand, and
tied that finger and the thumb together. The woman rubbed
his forehead with a white earth, and bestowed a profusion of
kisses upon the face. In the meantime others lighted some
brushwood and burned it in the grave, a process which seemed
to interest them very much, as they crowded and peeped into
the grave with great curiosity, as if either looking for some
appearance, or drawing some omen from it, but all seemed
carefully to stand out of the way of the smoke from the
grave. A frog seemed disturbed from its rest by the fire, and
hopped about the grave. They mentioned it seriously to one
another, but I could not understand whether any importance
was attached to the circumstance. Then one took a bough,
and brushed out the ashes, and scattered them to the wind.
All that were in that direction appeai-ed to hurry away as if
afraid of the ashes and the smoke. Then they placed the body
carefully in the grave on its right side with the head to the
South, the face directed to the East, in which they seemed to be
particular. When I remarked this, they said tliat the people
to whom the deceased belonged always buried the bodies Xorth
and South, the face looking to the sunrise, but that others
buried the bodies East and West, with the face looking to the
midday sun. During the preparation of the body there arose a

 

347

great discussion as to whether the nail should be taken from the
thumb also. Some were of one opinion, some another ; at
length one old man, a stranger, was appealed to. He said one
was sufficient (the finger), and so it was done. The body
being placed as above was first covered with green boughs,
then with grass trees and pieces of wood firmly trodden down ;
then the earth was scraped from the Eastern side so as to fill
up the hollow. His cloak was buried with him, his spear
broken into pieces, his throwing board, his knives, stick, orna-
ments and feathers were then all stuck in the mould, his bag
torn, and the contents strewed about. A screen of boughs
was then made over the grave, the trees in the neighbourhood
were marked with rings and notches. A piece of fire was left
burning in front of the mound. The ceremony appeared then
completed, and they all retired, and so shall I now for the night.

May 24:th. — I know not how it has happened that I have
omitted to make the usual daily or even hebdomadal entries
for some time past ; a good deal of public business has been
on hand — meetings of Council, both Legislative and Execu-
tive, meetings of committees about roads, about churches,
about whaling companies, about a supply of labourers (which
is a very pressing subject), meetings of agricultural societies,
and many other such things. I have had several Acts to
prepare for the Council. One of them has been troublesome,
not so much from the length of it, as the finding out some
mode of adapting the machinery of old countries to our infant
state. I allude to an Act to regulate the management of
roads and streets and all other internal communications.

We are in a most absurd state for want of more population.
Not a sailor can be obtained to man our colonial schooner ;
she lies idle, and there are a number of persons sentenced to
transportation lying in gaol, a useless expensive dead weight
upon us. All the men are gone into the whale fishery. One
company was so prodigally conducted, that the shareholders
dissolved it yesterday, by general consent, and received the

 

348

large repayment of £1 for each share of £15, paid up a year
ago.

I went to Perth on Monday with the Acts of Council ready
drawn up, and thought to have had a busy week, with all the
Council, preparing for our great day for discussing our budget,
&c., which was fixed for Tuesday next, when, lo and behold,
I found the Governor had gone off somewhere into the coun-
try ; that Major Irwin liad gone to York, and Mr. Brown, the
Colonial Secretary, had gone to Fremantle, in delicate health.
So the " balance of us," as the Americans say (that is, Mr.
Roe and myself) put off the Council for another week, and I
came home here to-night.

A number of natives from King George's Sound have been
in Perth for some time past. Tliey set out this day on their
return, but first came to know if I had any commands, and I
sent a letter by them. They are almost civilised. My poor
old goat " Jenny," which I have so often spoken of, died on
Monday last, of a surfeit of wheat. She was a valuable and
affectionately familiar creature, and, as one of the original
stock brought here by me from the Cape, was quite one of
ourselves. I should be ashamed to confess how grieved I felt
at her loss. The rains are so long delayed this year that
sheep and lambs over the hills are suffering very much. The
weather is warm also, and vegetation very backward. These
phrases sound inconsistent to you, but everything is topsy-
turvy here, as well as the seasons.

May 2^th. — Finding that I had some spare time on hand, I
started on Saturday morning on a short trip into the bush
Certain land which I was entitled to occupy as a part of my
original grant is still to be definitely fixed. I had it at a
place called Lennard's Brook, 36 miles to the north of this.
Then, being the only person having land there, I was told
that it would be impossible to survey it for me or give me
protection, and I was allowed to cliange it. I chose again in
a place called Toodyay valley, wlien, behold, from the direC'

1^

 

349

tion of the boundaries of some earlier grants there, I find
myself elbowed out of the plaoe which I desired, and I now
think of looking out some other quarter, as that is not well
watered. To look for some place was the object of my late
visit to the bush. It is not easy to find any desirable place
unoccupied within any reasonable distance. I went from this
twelve miles north, then N.E. for thirteen miles, which
brought me to a place called Gogomen, in a valley parallel to
the Swan River ; then north ten miles, to a place where the
valley expands to a mile broad, with a swampy lake in the
centre of it. This is called Gabbi Yandirt. I have described
it on a former occasion. I then proceeded westward ten
miles, to Lennard's Brook, where we slept last night, and re-
turned this evening (about 32 miles in all). I was disap-
pointed in the land there, but water is abundant. The result
of my observation is that a man often goes far to look for
something very good which he cannot find, whilst he over-
looks that which is comparatively at his hands. I have seen
better ground within ten miles of this than anywhere else on
my expedition, but I shall not be allowed to take it so near.
In fact, just above Mr. Bull's grant, on Ellen's Brook, I saw
land which, considering its propinquity and the frequent pools
in the brook, would form a very fair location. I found
Mackie and Mr. Robert Brockman making themselves very
comfortable at my table and fireside when I came home.
They have just gone, at nine o'clock. The weather has been
delightful — too much so ; we are looking for rain and in want
of it. I hear that the Beagle has returned, but I have not
yet heard any news from her.

May 2'^th. — Native dogs during my absence have carried
away all my ducks but two ; but, strange to say, one duck
came back yesterday after having been missing for two days.
It had the mark of the dog's teeth on its back. They had also
killed a number of Irwin's and Mackie's sheep. I believe nine
have been lost within a week. It is thought that the scarcity

 

350

of water has compelled them to come nearer us in such num-
bers. Kain still holds off, and the weather is very warm in
the day and frosty at night or towards morning.

June 2nd. — Dined on Wednesday last in company with
Captain Wickham, of the Beagle, and this morning had one
of the officers to breakfast with me. I endeavoured to glean
what news I could. They will not be able to leave any maps
or charts here, or indeed to give any detailed account of their
operations, because their time here will be so limited. I will,
however, give you a rough outline of their expedition. In a
deep bay, called Eoebuck Bay, they saw a river running
strong to the sea, with fresh water six or seven fathoms deep
at its mouth. Still it has a bar and shoals in its course.
This is named the Fitzroy river. They went up a consider-
able distance (say 20 or 30 miles) from the mouth, but the
navigation for boats became impeded by fallen trees. The
land on both sides appeared fertile to as great a distance as
they could see, and covered with very long rich grass. The
river was apparently subject to very high floods at some dis-
tant intervals, for they observed old marks of floods upon the
trees. These floods, they supposed, happened eight or nine
years ago. The country, generally speaking, was of low ele-
vation; the temperature very high, but not unhealthy, for
there was not a case of sickness among them. They met
Messrs. Grey and Lushington, who ,have gone home, and you
will probably have heard of their failure before this reaches
you. All agree that it happened to be the most un^vour-
able part of the entire coast where they (Messrs. G-. and L.
landed. In endeavouring to ^o inland they were stopped
by a river (named the Glenelg). {P.S.—l fell asleep at these
words. I have been amused looking at the writing of the
last few lines — rather sleepy looking.)

June Srd. — There was a ball on Friday night in Perth. I
was up almost all night, so that accounts for the sleepiness.
I had been busy all day yesterday, and rode up here late at

 

351

night ; so, no wonder I nodded. This day I took a ride into
the hills, about seven or eight miles from this, to look at a
part of the river, but I was disappointed in the land. There
is to be a ball on Monday night given by the naval and mili-
tary men here — " a United Service ball." I shall have to go
down to it, for one has no option in these matters, for fear of
giving offence.

June 1th. — The United Service ball was a splendid one.
The rooms were decorated with the ship's flags, which had a
fine appearance. The company did not come away till near
six o'clock in the morning. I have seen the sketch of the
bay and river made by the Beagle. They were about 100
miles from the coast, inland, taking into account the depth of
the bay, but about 25 miles up the river. It is melancholy
to think that Messrs. Grey and Lushington should have suc-
ceeded so badly. They have had their sufferings and dangers,
and difficulties, but if they had not been so very impatient,
and had started inland from the spot where the Beagle's
nautical survey terminated, they might have had a different
tale to tell. There are still 300 miles of coast unexplored in
that quarter, i.e., from lat. 22° to 17°. It is in between 16° and
17° f I believe) that Eoebuck Bay and the Fitzroy river are
found. The Beagle sails next week to survey Bass Straits,
and returns here about eight or nine months hence, to try the
N.W. coast again. I have been declared entitled to have my
land, 6000 acres, on Ellen's Brook, in a succession of square
miles up the Brook, which I consider a favourable arrange-
ment for me. The grant will contain about 9| square miles.
I am bound to describe the boundaries to be fixed for me, so
I must employ my spare time about this immediately. I got
a thorough drenching coming home to-night, and the water
in the river was level with the horse's back when I crossed.
We have had heavy falls of rain.

June, ^th. — Irwin came home yesterday, and remained here
for the night. He is desirous to get the house at Henley

 

352

Park ready for Mrs. Irwin, but work proceeds slowly. Our
Governor now talks openly of being about to leave us soon.

I went this evening to look at the boundaries of Mr. B 's

grant, with reference to which my lower boundary on the
brook is to be fixed. There were some very heavy showers,
and I got drenched, but only in the lower limbs — thanks to
the indiarubber cape.

June 10th. — I took James with me to-day, and rode up
Ellen's Brook to the distance of about nine miles from this.
I am very well pleased with the place as a pasture farm.
For the first three miles there are pools of water, which con-
tinue all the year, at intervals of perhaps a mile apart ; after
that, there is a tract of several miles (perhaps five or six)
without any water, and the first pool met with is brackish or
salt. But there is a considerable extent of pasture ground
which will improve by being fed upon, and perhaps fresh
springs may be found. There is also limestone to be found
in that quarter.

June 28th. — There is a gap here which I can hardly account
for. I brought this to Perth some time since to send by the
Beagle, when, behold she had sailed that morning before I
had calculated upon the movement. We have been in daily,
nay, hourly, expectation of ships from India, from England,
from Van Diemen's Land, &c. ; but they come not. At length,
however, one vessel has come from Launceston with sheep,
principally belonging to Mr. Tal^bot, who was here at the
outset of the colony, but has been taking care of the property
of one of his uncles in Van Diemen's Land for some time.
A vessel which was coming here from Hobartown (the Dart)
has been wrecked in the harbour of South Australia, which
does not speak much in favour of that port. A very excel-
lent harbour has been lately ascertained to exist in the colony
at the mouth of the Murray River, on Mr. Peel's property,
only, seventeen miles south of Fremantle, with much very
good land in its neighbourhood. This colony has never since

 

353

its settlement been so long without arrivals of ships and sup-
plies, consequently the prices of such things as we cannot
grow here are exorbitant. There has not been for a long
time any supply of soap ; some few pounds have been sold at
10s. or even 12s. a pound. Salt meat is Is. 2d., and fresh
meat Is. 8d. It is well for those who have not to go into
the market largely. Having my own sheep and my own
flour, I feel these prices but little. This ship brought literally
nothing but the sheep for us. It is absurd to look into the
dealers' shops now ; there is not so much in them all as would
fill a cobbler's stall. The Governor and Mr. Koe are on a
little excursion to the south. We have got our Council busi-
ness over, and there is now a cessation.

July 3rd. — My last letter was closed on Friday, and
sent by the Tamar, which sailed on Monday for the Isle of
France. I went down to Perth on Sunday night, in order to
be there in time for the sessions, which commenced on Mon-
day morning. There were but five persons to be tried. One
white man, for larceny, received a sentence of six months'
imprisonment. A Lascar was also found guilty of larceny
and was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment, this
being his third offence of the same nature. Two of our own
aborigines were indicted for house breaking, and one of them
received a sentence of seven years' transportation, and the
other twelve months' imprisonment, the latter being but a
boy. Another native, for murdering a native woman in the
street, was condemned to be executed, but I suppose he will
be reprieved. This was all our business. It was all over by
one o'clock. The Governor, not having yet returned from the
south, and having nothing to detain me long in Perth, I came
away yesterday evening, fearing that this day would be very
unfavourable, as a storm appeared approaching. The storm
has come on ; there has been much rain to-day. Killed a
wether this morning, weighing 341bs. We consider that a

good weight at this time of year ; it was not a year old. I

2 A

 

354

have had some losses among my sheep over the hills, sup-
posed to be owing to the sudden spring of young grass. They
appear affected by internal inflammation. Dogs which eat the
flesh go mad. The lambing also has not been so successful
there this year as usual. A person has just been requesting
me to give him some information about the native language.
I find the little smattering I have of it very useful on many
occasions, as it enables me to know what they are saying to
the interpreter on their trial.

July 5th. — A native dog attacked the flock to-day in broad
daylight, singling out a fine lamb and hunting it down. The
boys were not with the flock at the moment, but I happened
to be in the neighbourhood and saw the dog gnawing at
the neck, having eaten the head off. A number of crows
were discussing the head at a little distance off. I have
put muc vomica into pieces of the lungs and spleen, and
laid them out very invitingly. I hope he will accept my
invitation. He carried off another duck the night before last.
J has now got a lot of wheat to dispose of; he is actu-
ally selling it at 20s. a bushel. I am paying Is. 6d. a bushel
for threshing wheat. I tried to-day the plan of ploughing
wheat into the ground. The crows will not get at it so
readily. They are very destructive. We hire natives, if we
can, to walk about and keep them off.

July 16th. — The Governor returned in the beginning of
last week from his expedition, greatly pleased with the
country he had seen at Leschenhault, especially on the upper
part of the Collie Eiver. An American whaler was in the
port when he was there. They have got a fine Yankee story
to tell about a shark 30 feet long, which got entangled in the
buoy rope attached to the anchor, and by its exertions actu-
ally weighed it and let the ship go adrift, to their no small
consternation, until they discovered the cause. Many people
saw the occurrence. The shark was eventually caught, and
37 gallons of oil procured from its liver. Mr. S. N. Talbot,

 

355

from Van Diemen's Land (a nephew of Lord Talbot) has been
staying with me for some days. He was in this colony at its
first settlement, but went to Van Diemen's Land to manage
his uncle's property, and has paid us a visit now, bringing
some sheep to place on his grant here. He says he is sur-
prised at the advance we have made, and how much we have
done with such little means — much more in proportion than
what they could do in Tasmania with so many convicts. He
has this day gone to see the Canning district. I rode with
him all about the neighbourhood. Great pruning of peach
trees, vines, and figs, &c. There has been very little rain this
winter so far, and the ground is scarcely damp enough. The
river hereabouts is salt yet, the fresh water only just begin-
ning to come into it.

July 2^th. — What a tantalizing thing! A vessel on her
route from India passed this port some time ago, and called
at King George's Sound, and there gave them abundant sup-
plies of many things which we are in great want of here.
She had intended to come in here, but it was blowing fresh
when she was off Eottnest, and she sheared off. Are we
never to have a vessel? It is ludicrous to hear the talk
about soap, especially amongst the ladies. Major Irwin and
the family (I believe) to-day came up to reside at Henley
Park (that is the name of the place opposite to this). I see
unusual lights in the windows, but the evening has been so
unfavourable that I could not stir out. A man was here to-
day looking for casks for oil for the Fremantle Whaling Com-
pany. I am afraid that will be a bad business. 1 have
actually paid £70 on one share and not received a penny yet.

I have made our interpreter give me a translation of the
Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments in the native
language. It is singular that they have no expression for
either a wish or a want, and yet one would think they had
enough of both. Some of the phrases cannot be rendered
accurately, nor be even properly paraphrased. It is strange

2 A— 2

 

356

also that they have no expression either for " trespass " or
" forgiveness." Heart-cooling, or becoming good, is the only
near equivalent, so I was obliged to make him paraphrase
that part thus, " Your heart be good to us as our heart is
good to others also." The whole prayer will thus stand liter-
ally : — " Our father of the sky being. Thy name we praise
" always. We then soon thy people shall be. What you tell
" us we shall perform on earth, like as in heaven. Food you
" us to-day give. Your heart to us good be (or is), if our
" heart so others to you. Us in evil put not. You us well
" lead ; then Thine is the people and power and praise, always
" always so." That is the nearest approach at present.

Sunday. — The Irwins only arrived late last night. The
river is so swollen, I cannot get over, and there is no boat.
The Governor has called upon us to give him our considered
opinions on the propriety of reprieving or otherwise the
native sentenced to execution, in order that they may
be entered on the minutes of Council to go home, to have
her Majesty's further pleasure known in the matter, as
there is no power in the Governor to pardon for treason or
murder.

Monday. — I had poison placed for several nights for native
dogs, our own dogs being tied up. This morning I found one
dead on the spot, where she must have taken it. How active
it {nux vomica) must be ! Arsenic does not kill them, they
reject it. I have only one poor solitary duck left out of 20,
and it was in the act of being carried off two nights ago when
I ran out and frightened the dog off, but could not see it in
the darkness. This has been a day of continued soaking rain,
the first of the kind there has been this winter.

Friday. — Went to Perth on Tuesday. The river was so
high I could not cross at the ford, so I went up to the ferry
at Guildford. I had much trouble in getting across some
brooks. On Wednesday a rumour reached the Governor that
some natives from King George's Sound had come overland,

 

357

bringing a mail thence. He despatched a messenger to look
for them, and the mail was brought in. Everyone hurried to
the opening of it — a large looking parcel — but, behold, when
" the pie was opened," out came a quantity of soap ! There
were some letters informing us that no fewer than eight
vessels had been at the Sound lately — two from India, laden
with all things of which we are in want, such as sugar, rice,
soap, tea, &c., &c. Prices very cheap. One of them was
coming here, but the weather was rough, and she was fright-
ened. How tantalizing ! But a vessel called the Emerald
Isle has sailed from Calcutta for this, and may be expected
hourly. No sailors could be got to man our colonial schooner.

Saturday, — Some native women had a dog with them here
to-day, and some one gave it a piece of poisoned meat ; after
a short time it fell aud rolled into a trench in the garden,
without any noise, and lay dead. None of the natives saw
it, and when they were going away they called for a long
time, but I had had it buried in the meantime by a man who
was planting cabbages. It was a European dog, which had
been given to them.

Thursday Night. — Started with Irwin on Tuesday at eight
o'clock for Perth. The Governor had summoned a Council
for ten. After Council there was a meeting of the trustees of
Church property, of which I am one, and, after that, a meet-
ing of the trustees of streets, and to which I was obliged to
explain the Act which has been lately passed. On Wednes-
day there was a meeting of the trustees of roads, bridges, &c.,
at which I had to act similar parts. I fear our plan will not
work well, for everybody wishes to have the roads made, but
nobody wishes to pay for them. This morning there was
another Council, at which the Governor called on me for an
opinion (written) on the subject of whether he should reprieve
the native who was sentenced to death for killing a native
woman. This opinion was entered on the minutes in order
to be transmitted to the Secretary of State in referring the

 

858

decision for Her Majesty's confirmation. We returned to-
night, and got very heavy showers by the way.

Friday Night. — This day there was a meeting of the Agri-
cultural Society at Guildford, which was well attended.
Some business was done, and more projected, and another
committee appointed, of which I was one, to draw up a
statistical memorial to the Secretary of State. The Governor
dined there with us, and we had a very pleasant party.
Broke up at dusk, and Mr. Talbot rode here with me, and we
took a cup of tea with D in passing.

Saturday. — Mr. Talbot went away this morning, and was
replaced by Mr. S. Burgess. The men are busy breaking up
three or four acres of new ground on the part which was
Wright's grant, but I hope is mine now.

Sunday. — I had just done breakfast to-day when Mr. Logue
arrived. He appears well pleased with his progress over the
hills. We went over to Major Irwin's, but were late for
service. I there heard of the arrival of the shepherd. I will
say no more now, but with trembling hope will await your
letter.

Monday, — S went to Perth and Fremantle and re-
turned yesterday. I had a messenger at his house all day
expecting his return. About an hour ago he brought me the
first batch of letters, and I have hastily run over them. I am
quite amused to see so much interest about the kyli. I can-
not satisfy myself about the spelling. The German " keile,"
if of two syllables, is just it. I am sorry that nasty word
" boomerang "has been suffered to supercede the proper name.
Boomerang is a corruption used at Sydney by the white
people, but not the native word, which is tur-ra-ma ; but
" kiley " is the name here, which I am glad to find, as it con-
firms a theory of mine that this country has been peopled
from the west or nor'-west probably, and that it may be pos-
sible to trace affinities of language, habits, and weapons with
some of the elder nations of (to you) the eastern countries.

 

359

Mr. Schoales and Mr. Nash are both with me this evening.
We dined at Irwin's.

August 26th. — I am becoming very irregular with the
journal. Mr. Schoales and Nash have been looking about for

a grant, and S has been shewing them several places and

tempting them to settle beside him. I had been obliged to
ride to the house of a constable about a native who had been
taken prisoner there. It appears that all the natives who
were imprisoned on Eottnest Island contrived to make their
escape about two days ago. The boat was upset in the surf,
and one of them drowned, A Perth man, his relative, blamed
the others for drowning him, and followed after and speared
one of the runaways to death. Another was taken prisoner
near this. The natives had each a chain on his leg, which
was fastened to one large bullock chain, which was locked
round a tree (not a very large one). They burned the tree
through at night, and so escaped, carrying off the only boat
on the island. They deserve credit for their ingenuity.

Sept. 2nd. — There was an occurrence to-day of rather a
novel nature. After service at Irwin's a number of natives
came there on their way to my place to look out for one
of those who had escaped from Eottnest, and who ' they
said was near this. They blame him (Daubain) for drown-
ing one of the Perth natives who were also trying to escape.
Near my place they fell in with a brother of his, and a
question arose as to whether they should kill him instead.
Some were for it, and some against it. The man broke
away, and ran down past my kitchen. I opened the gate
and told him to take to the river and swim across, whilst
I shut the gate and gained time for him. He hesitated on
the brink, but, as they approached he plunged in, and,
when they arrived, they threw at him in the water, but
between his diving and their hurry, he reached the other
side in safety. He then picked up some spears and defied
them all from the opposite bank. My boat was there, and

 

360

some jumped into it it and crossed, whilst others flung spears
at him. Then he fled, and took refuge in Major Irwin's.
After a time a friend of his came as a mediator, and arranged
a sort of truce, which I suspect, like many other truces, was
a mere matter of convenience on both sides. The mediator
embraced each of them, and took possession of their mero
(their board for throwing the spear — the amentum), and har-
angued them, as I understood. He agreed that the tribes of
Daubain should retire to the hills, and yield to the Perth men
the privilege of gleaning our fields at harvest time. Mean-
time the other party slipped out of the other side of the house,
and fled. The son of the man who had been drowned saw
him, and gave chase singly, but missed him in the bush. He
returned, was embraced, and consoled, but wept bitterly, and
made a most pathetic appeal to us, or rather against us, for
sheltering the brother of his father's murderer. I did what
I could to answer him. I reminded him that when they were
in the bush not near the house, I had not interfered, but that
when they took shelter in our houses we thought it right to
protect them. Then I said this was not the murderer, and
that we touched none but the murderer. " Well," he said,
" you know this- man to be bad ; he has killed men, he has
speared women, he has stolen sheep, he has eaten pigs, he will
do so again ; you will then be angry, and want us to go and
look for them. I will not go any more." His grief was un-
affected, and I felt for the poor fellow as I reasoned with him
— although his ideas of revenge were savage. It was alto-
gether an interesting scene.

Se'pt. 3rd. — I sent a long letter to Mr. Mitchell, the mis-
sionary, to-day, giving him some useful phrases of the native
language. He wants me to send him one as a servant. Mr,
G. Eliot spent Saturday here. He is soon going to Leschen-
hault, upon the Governor's grant. The boys have lost all my
cattle to-day at the hills, and I am rather uneasy, as a number
of natives were seen about the neighbourhood during the day.

 

361

8q>t. 6th. — I have just returned from Perth, having been
there since Tuesday morning. Schoales and Nash have not
yet settled themselves ; they dined with me yesterday and
breakfasted to-day. Miss Whitfield was married to-day to
Mr. G. Stone (our Sheriff). I was not a little amused with
my black servant (Motu) in Perth. The last black man I
had would not eat pork being a Mussulman, and, supposing
this man to be the same, I set him down to some beef, but he
was quite indignant at being asked to eat it, for he is a
Hindoo. " Me cow eat, me mother eat," said he with vehe-
mence. I knew what he meant, but being a little provoked
I said gravely, " What ! was your mother a cow, then ?"
" Yes !" says he, " all same ; me cow eat, me mother eat, my
church say it." My cows were found yesterday morning
grazing on the hills.

Saturday. — In an evil hour I was appointed chairman of a
committee to collect information to send to an English asso-
ciation. It is a great and altogether unsatisfactory job. People
keep back their communications to the last moment, so I shall
be hurried out of measure, just when I want time for my own
affairs. These things are more tedious than you could believe.
I would rather write half a dozen free and easy letters than
concoct one statistical table. In the report which we are
preparing to send to the association I write upon the intro-
duction of labour and the sale of Crown lands. The conclud-
ing sentence on the latter subject which I just this moment
finished is this : " A graduated scale rising in proportion to
the progress and resources of the colony would seem to be
more just as an equitable arrangement, more politic as a mea-
sure for encouraging immigration, and more effectual as a
means for raising a revenue from the sale of Crown lands."

Monday. — Having to go to Perth in the morning, when I
dare say we shall have councils and all sorts of business pre-
paratory to the Governor's departure, I have been getting
on with the report for the association. I have just finished

 

362

a new edition of mine upon " Sales of Lands." I find I have
to steer clear of Scylla and Charybdis, i.e., the desire of some
to get the Government price reduced or abolished, in order to
tempt fresh immigrants, and the desire of others (early strug-
gling settlers) to keep up the price of land that they may sell
theirs. So too with the introduction of labour — some are for
convicts, others against, as I am.

Friday. — " "Wonders will never cease." The Clarinda ar-
rived on Tuesday, bringing here Mr. Grey, the explorer. I
wish he had come here first, and so does he now. He is quite
surprised to find how far advanced we are, after the reports
he heard on all sides about us. He has greatly surprised us
by giving a most favourable account of the land he saw at
lat 16°. He says his reports to the Colonial Office have been
most favourable, and that he has no doubt that some settle-
ment will be made there, as his instructions were to look for
a spot suited to the growth of sugar and cotton, which that
place is suited for in a most remarkable degree. It was well
watered, and the land rich beyond anything which he had
ever seen before, with rivers running (sluggishly), though it
was at the end of summer.

Oct. 11th. — I have been so occupied with one thing or
another for some time past that I have not been able to write
anything in the shape of a journal. The Governor having
gone to York, I took the opportunity of getting my flock
washed at this place, there being no one to manage it but two
boys ; so I set about it myself, and, with a little contrivance,
managed to get the entire business over without any fuss,
and, what is more, without any drinking.

The Governor returned on Tuesday. I went down yester-
day, and returned this night. Mr. Grey (the explorer) is to
sleep here to-night. He has got so far as Irwin's, and I now
expect him. After much confusion, I have at last got out of
my hands the report of the committee of which I was chair-
naan. We intend to print it here, if possible, and if so, we

 

363

shall be able to send you copies, as well as to London. The
portions of the report relating to the introduction of labour,
the sale of Crown lands, and all the suppletive parts are mine.
I could not get the others to work ; every one seemed desir-
ous to shift the trouble off his own shoulders. Many were
ready at finding fault, but slow at every other thing.

The natives have been very unsettled amongst themselves
for some time. One of them, Naral by name, killed one
Nanderry in Perth, and fled. A number pursued him, and I
believe have killed him. Others have now gone out in turn
to look for revenge. Such is their savage life.

Saturday. — Mr. Grey having spent a day with me, went
away this morning. He is quite pleased with this country,
and confesses he came here full of prejudices against it, which
are daily wearing away. He also finds many of his South
Australian theories (for he was one of those people) com-
pletely contradicted here and overturned.

Sunday. — We have had Mr. Mitchell, the clergyman, here
for service, for the first time. We had service in the morn-
ing, as usual, at Irwin's, when I read Burder's admirable ser-
mon of " Looking unto Jesas ;" and, this evening, we had a
plain practical illustration of the first Psalm, from Mr. Mit-
chell ; we have also hymns and psalm singing.

Friday. — I was detained in Perth since Tuesday morning
until now, preparatory to the Governor's departure. He in-
sists upon taking law proceedings against several debtors to
the Government. I do not like it, but cannot help it.

Saturday. — I have written out two or three sketches illus-
trative of the manners and habits of the natives. I know not
whether anything will come of it ; perhaps if I think them
worth it on a second perusal, I may send them to you in some
shape or other. Mrs. Irwin has urged me to do it.

Sunday. — I have just come from Major Irwin's. Mr. Mit-
chell lectured there this evening. We read morning service
there as usual. Mr. Mitchell comes at five from Guildford,

 

364

Monday. — Arranging to-day about getting a sermon
preached in support of the mission, and in several aifairs of
that sort. Kept three natives picking caterpillars off the
potato tops, which are almost completely destroyed. I am
sorry to say that there are great complaints of the crops at
York this year. The season has been unusually dry — less
rain falls there than here.

Oct. 24:th. — There was not very much to detain me this
week, so I have been able to get home soon. Mr. Brown
(Colonial Secretary) is to sleep here to-night, and the Gover-
nor is coming up on Saturday. There was a meeting about
roads, &c., in Perth yesterday ; much talk, and nothing done.
People were not satisfied when the Government undertook
the management of such things, and Mr. Eoe and myself as
commissioners, had to hear all the brunt of the clamour.
Then an Act was passed, giving the management of it to the
general body of landholders, and, though six months have
elapsed, they have not been able to do anything but wonder
what is to be done, and how much trouble it is. In my offi-
cial character I had to file an information, in the nature of a
bill for foreclosure. You would have been horrified to see
the bill. As I had to do it all myself, and there was no
object in having it long, and a good saving of trouble in hav-
ing it short, I left out all the charging and confederating and
interrogating parts, and did not make use of one word that
was not absolutely necessary, so that the whole bill was con-
tained in part of a sheet of paper. A very nice question is

involved in it — whether a Mr. T holds an estate as the

survivor of two joint tenants (my former travelling companion

Mr. T being drowned j, or whether an interest goes to

the latter's heir, or to his executor if it was a commercial
partnership. Hay harvest has begun up here.

Friday. — The Governor came up to breakfast this morning
at Irwin's ; then went round all the farms in the neighbour-
hood, on his way to Guildford to an agricultural meeting, it

 

365

being understood as his farewell visit. There was a numerous
party, much speechifying, and some scenes.

Saturday. — Mr. Peel came here to-day. The first piece of
news he gave was that Mr. Brockman has returned from
India at last, after twelve months' absence, he only expecting
to have been away for three months. "We were beginning to
be uneasy about it. I go to Perth to-morrow to be present at
a sermon preached by Mr. Mitchell for the mission.

Sunday. — This has not been to me a day of rest. I rode
to Perth in the morning, when Mr. Mitchell preached, and a
collection was made in aid of the mission. Major Irwin and
myself held the plates at the door — rather a begging-looking
sort of business. The amount obtained was no great sum —
£11 ; but we are to have a meeting on Wednesday to form an
auxiliary society. The Governor is to take the chair. I dare
say we shall get other subscriptions then.

iVov. ^th. — On reaching Perth on Tuesday, I found that
another vessel had arrived from Sydney with a general cargo,
which will make our markets moderate again. "We have had
this morning very heavy and long-continued rain — a thing
rather unusual at this time of the year. I fear it is too late
to benefit the crops at York, which have suffered from drought.
Mr. Brockman had an auction to-day of some of the goods
from the ship ; the prices were not so low as we thought. I
bought £9 or £10 worth, and know not what I have got for
it. Tea, brought straight from India, was bought in by Mr.
Brockman at 5s. per lb. I bought a bag of sugar at od. a lb. ;
candles, floor matting, window blinds, rope, twine, castor oil,
and pepper are among the other things which I bought. The
charge made to me this year for washing and shearing my
flock near York is £13 15 s., besides expense of two men and
four bullocks and the cart for sixteen days.

Monday, — Mr. Mitchell was here yesterday. We had a
good congregation. I have this day made arrangements with
two men to let my farm at Jilgaring, near York ; to one of

 

366

them, 4000 acres with a house, barn, stockyard, and 30 or 40
acres under cultivation, all for £20 a year, and I give him
also 100 sheep to keep for three years on a fourth share of the
increase ; to the other man I let 4000 acres for five years, and
I give him 200 sheep on fourths. These are surely good
terms. I had the men busy in digging a drain to carry water
from a piece of ground in Wright's grant, and as I was fixing
some sods close to one of the men, he called out, " Look at the
snake." Sure enough there was one close- behind me, raising
its head, and looking intently at my operations. As he
described it, however, he " put an end to its speculations " by
chopping it in two*^ with the spade. The man mowing near
us killed another immediately after.

Friday. — Had two public meetings on "Wednesday — one to
consider about giving some token of respect to our Governor
on his intended leave. It was decided that a piece of plate
shall be given to him, and an address be presented. The other
meeting was to receive communications through Mr. Brockman
from the Agricultural Society of Calcutta. I was chairman
of the meeting. They sent us samples of wheat and barley ;
both seemed very poor, — nothing like so good as we have
ourselves ; and the wheat was all eaten with weavil.

Friday. — Just returned from Perth. The Governor, Irwin,
and some others have gone to Port Leschenhault again, in the
Champion. They wanted me to go, but I could not get away.

Saturday. — I have been expecting Schoales here to-day, but
he has not arrived. I wished the Britannia had arrived before
the Joshua Carroll sails. I surely expect now some return
•from former consignments of wool, and am anxious to know
what she may have brought in order to know what to send
for. My official duties are really beginning to be very serious.
Questions of great importance are occurring much more fre-
quently, and more onus is thrown upon me than formerly.

Sunday. — Schoales came here in the morning. Mr. Mitchell
also came to service, and he administered the sacrament. It

 

367

is the first time I have had an opportunity of taking it since
coming to the colony.

Monday. — Schoales went off this morning with Jemmy
Miller to look for a kangaroo. I gave him a horse and they
went up Ellen's Brook, but have returned unsuccessful, or —
as Schoales technically expresses it — they " took nothing by
their motion."

Nov. 1'^th. — The Joshua Carroll is said to be likely to sail on
Sunday, so I brought down this letter in order to get ready.
I have sent by this vessel seven bales of wool.

Dec. 17th. — Since I sent my letter by the Joshua Carroll I
have not found it convenient to renew my journal, but I shall
now pick up some dropped stitches, and the work will after-
wards proceed more regularly. For the last fortnight we have
been busied at the harvest. I have eleven persons cutting,
most of whom are working by the job, at 25s. an acre. I
expect to have all cut down to-morrow evening. On Wed-
nesday last I got 250 sheep over from York, with the loss of
only three. These are to be put on my farm at Ellensbrook.
We are all a little anxious about our fee simples.

Sir James Stirling is making arrangements for his depar-
ture. Last week H.M.S. Conway touched here on her way
from Sydney to India. She brought a great number of letters
and papers for this colony which had been lying at Hobart
Town and Sydney for more than a year. We had been ex-
pecting servants by the Britomart, but no — even those settlers
who have arrived have not brought any for themselves, at
least not enough. There are some who seem to wish to become
stewards or overseers, but are imbued with too high notions
to work. These will not do for us in any way. We are able
to be our own overseers ; we want workmen. I hope the in-
vestment of my wool money may soon come out. I am really
very badly off for many things. I had to go this day to Mr,
Brockman to beg of him to let me have two or three pair of
summer trousers, of which he brought a large stock from

 

368

India. I have literally only one pair of boots and one of
shoes ; and there are none to be got now. The ships seem to
bring nothing now. The Governor is to give a parting ball at
Government House on Thursday night, when I trust it will
be cooler weather than it is just now.

I must mention two or three incidents — domestic, viatory,
and otherwise. Going into my store-room at Perth the other
day, a mouse jumped out of the sugar bag, and I gave chase,
hunting it from post to pillar. At length it ran across me,
when I made a kick at it sufficient to annihilate a million of
mice. The blow took effect upon a tin canister, and sent it
flying among some bottles of claret, demolishing four of them
at one blow, and making the " claret flow " with a vengeance ;
but the mouse escaped. Coming up from Perth that day I
saw some emus near the road. Stooping on the horse, and
keeping some bushes between me and them, I rode up within
twenty yards before they took the alarm. It was a mother
and two young ones. The poor mother became anxious and
troubled, and fussed about like a hen with chicks, running
and turning and leading them off. My horse seemed to enjoy
the sport, and volunteered to follow in their wake, but, in a
short time, we had to stop at the edge of a soft swamp which
they passed with impunity. Sitting the other night at an
evening party in Perth, a little kitten came playing in the
room. I felt something thrown against my leg several times,
but did not pay much attention ; at last, on a repetition, I
looked more closely, and found it a large scorpion which the
kitten was tossing about so unconcernedly. I put an end to
the play by setting my foot on it. — Calamity ! Paid a tailor
for making a pair of trousers, which fit so badly that I cannot
wear them. N.B. — Rode to Perth in the same trousers, and
found that money was not all I lost by them.

On the 20th the Governor and Lady Stirling gave a fare-
well ball to almost everybody. Dancing was kept up literally
till breakfast time next day. I bathed and breakfasted and

 

369

set about my daily occupation rather sleepily. Contrary to
what is usual, the Governor has become more and more
popular every day, and we cling to him with the greater
tenacity in proportion as the time approaches for his depar-
ture. I came up here on the 22nd, and was congratulating
myself upon having some peace and quietness at home these
Christmas times, but " there's many a slip," &c., for on Sunday
I found that some of my men had sent for a 3-gallon keg of
rum, and had laid a plan to have merry times at my place,
inviting some of the neighbours. I spoiled their plans by
dismissing them all, and locking up their rum, and thereby
saved some broken heads I suspect. That was not all, for the
next evening (Christmas eve) came a hasty summons for Irwin
and myself to the Executive Council, and we sat that night
in Council till 12 o'clock. Came up next morning and spent

the day with S and D ; then one day's rest ; then

went to Perth to attend Council, and next day up to Henley
Park (Irwin's), to a wedding anniversary dinner ; then next
day to Perth again to prepare for the sessions, as we had
particular cases of perjury impending. Upon that day also
was the auction of the Governor's furniture. Eemained in
Perth on Sunday. On Monday a deputation waited upon the
Governor with an address from all the colony, — i.e., from all
classes of colonists. After that he sat in Council with us for
the last time, and read a written address to us, to which, being
unapprized of it, we had not prepared any answer, but I said
what I could think of at the moment. This closed his
administration, and also the year of grace, 1838.

 

2 B

 

k

 

i^ys^

 

M

 

THE COLONY.

January 1839.

Jan. 1st. — It appears a singular coincidence, that of all days
in the year our new Governor (Mr. Hutt) should arrive on
the first, as if it had been, by preconcerted arrangement, car-
ried out with the regularity of machinery. Yet it was wholly
fortuitous. One may suppose that Sir James might have
desired to wear out the year that he had proceeded so far
with, and have so fixed the last day of his administration ; but
that the new Governor should arrive so as to begin his ad-
ministration on the first day of the new year, and upon the
very day of Sir James's abdication, was an appropriate coin-
cidence, such as seldom occurs. I do not know why I took so
much note of it. I verily believe it was for this reason — that
having been a little hard worked, what with Bull's business
and the Council's, and law cases and sessions, and magisterial
enquiries, I had longed for a month's recess during the inter-
regnum. But we were cheated out of it by this speedy arrival,
and I had to remain in Perth of course.

On "Wednesday Sir James and Mr. Hutt met, and had so
much to say to one another that Mr. Hutt did not come to
head quarters before Thursday morning, when we were all
duly in waiting to receive him, and introduce him to the
Council (ourselves), and examine his commission, and have
the proper oath administered to him, when he did the same
to us in turn. Then his commission and divers proclamations
were read in public ; then we had a short Council. And so

2 B— 2

 

372 '

that day ended, after having held {pro formd) a Legislative
Council also, and having sworn in some four new members,
who have been admitted there. Well, next day (Friday), we
had to open despatches and look into documents and so on ;
and, between whiles, to steal a peep into our private letters
and newspapers. There were great doings in Freraantle on
Friday — a dejeuner and a ball in honour of Sir James and
Lady Stirling. I could not get down there before Saturday
morning, when I rode down with our new Governor. Almost
all the gentry of tliis part of the colony were there to take
leave of Sir James. He was to have sailed on Saturday, but
1 prevailed on him to wait for the newspapers of the week, as,
owing to the press being broken, none had been published the
week before. We took leave of him publicly on his embarka-
tion at 4 o'clock, and, as we raised our voices to cheer him for
the last time, he was very much affected. I returned with the
Governor that evening, and had much conversation with him.
I rather like liiin as yet. I took one good night's rest, and
yesterday (Sunday) T reached this quiet place once more. So
I have worked up my story to the present day, and now I can
go on pari -passu.

Jan. 12th. — Have been in Perth since Wednesday. I give
the natives up as wholly devoid of gratitude or good feeling.
Last week, when they knew I was absent, iiaving undertaken
at their urgent entreaty to go and intercede with the Governor
for the release of a prisoner (which I did and obtained it), the
whole body of them encamped for three days and nights close
to my wheat field, on Wright's grant, and carried off a great
portion of the field of wheat. I think they must have taken
near £20 worth. I came by chance on one of their encamp-
ments yesterday, wliere they had pounded the heads oft" the
corn, and I was amazed.

Jan. 20th. — Have been in Perth all the week till this
morning. What with Council and business of one sort or
another, we have been much occupied. There were no fewer

 

lo

than five meetings on different subjects yesterday, which I
attended — church and missionary meetings, and temperance
meetings, and road meetings, and so on. It is strange that
with all the ships that have come, prices are still as high as
ever — £8 for a cask of pork ; Is. for a pair of high-low shoes ;
wine at 52s. a dozen (sherry), &c. Irwin has got out some
wine from London ; best white Marsala at 3s. lOd. a gallon,
sherry at 4s. 3d., and port at 7s. We are obliged to have these
things here, although I use very little myself, and, as a tem-
perance man, I have not tasted spirit for more than a year
past.

Sunday. — Mr. Mitchell was at Henley Park this day, but
he was so tired that he begged me to read all the service for
him, and, having read the full service in the morning with a
long sermon, I found it quite enough for one day, and a very
warm day it was. My grapes are now ripe. I have abund-
ance, but they are soon over.

Monday. — Went up to see the flock on my new farm. They
are at a place called Menolup, They will put up this week a
stock yard, 20 yards square, made of mahogany post rails and
close paling. They (the sheep) appear to do well there as
yet ; if they continue to do so all the year I shall have made
a good selection, as, from the situation of the grant — having
the brook which gives a command of the only water in that
neighbourhood — I have command of a good range of pasture.
It is nine square miles long, and another long narrow piece at
the end of that again, nearly a mile long.

Jan. 2Qth. — Arrived here last night, but was so tired and
sleepy that I could not write. We have had a busy week.
When I went down I found all the people in arms about a
fresh notice which our Governor was about to issue, which
would have very materially affected many deserving settlers.
The notice was that in future no stock which was not the
actual property of the owner of the land would be suffered to
count as doing the location duties of any land. The general

 

OH- A
0/4

plan here has been to give to ponio person who had stock a
share of the land, if he would go and reside upon it for a suf-
ficient time. Many would have been sufferers. We had an
annual meeting of our temperance society on Thursday even-
ing. I spun a long and a tough yarn. The people were quite
amused with the mode in whicli I illustrated the manner of
ardent spirits being first taken out of the hands of the medical
men, and every man administered the medicine to himself,
till at length he seemed perpetiuilly to require a repetition of
the dose. When I represented the doctor measuring it out by
drops from his bottle to his p itient, who soon became im-
patient, and at last snatched the bottle out of his hand and
said : " Give us the bottle, we know how to help ourselves,"
&c. " Bravo," they cried, as if they had witnessed some dex-
terous feat. Then the description of the various ailments to-
which it was applied as a cure amused the meeting also.
When a man was hot, when he was cold, when he was wet or
dry, sleepy, or watchful, had eaten heartily or had no appetite
when he had company, when he was lonely, when he arose,
when he lay down ; his morning, his meridian altitude, his
splicing the mainbrace, his night cap ; when he had eaten
fresh pork, or salt pork, or fish, or goose, or pudding, and, when
there was no other reason, then because he liked it, and because
he could not do without it. And so on.

S has written to you to procure one or two servants

from Fallowlea school. I partly expect that labourers and
servants will come out in Nash's vessel — perhaps one for me.
If you have not sent any to me, and if labourers have not
come out by Nash's vessel, then I shall be bare enough, though
at present I am not in want ; but prices are very high. How-
ever, 50 in one year would make a great change, and be as

many as it would be safe to bring at first. IS has told

you, I suppose, of Mr. Louis Sanjson offering to take charge
of, and pay the passage of, as many as may be bespoke by
the master here, guaranteeing the repayment in instalments

 

375

within two years. It is a liberal offer. He is to get the land
to which the married labourers introduced are entitled. If
none has been sent by you, and you could get a good handy
man, I should be glad to have one also sent to me by Mr.
Samson's vessel. He is to be kept at the ship's expense from
the day appointed for sailing, which is a great advantage.

S has told you all the terms, which may save me writing.

I would take one on the same terms, if you thought it ad-
visable. I confess if others would bring them, it is pleasanter
to hire just when and whom you please, which saves much
trouble. Handy boys are extremely useful. We do not get
on well for want of labour.

Jan. 28tk. — Yesterday one of my boys succeeded in catching
a young emu alive. It is a wonderfully tame, even silly thing
— like a young turkey ; by tlie way, the same boy also suc-
ceeded in shooting a turkey, which I had to-day at dinner. It
was delicious. I intended to have devoted this day to writing
letters, as the mail is to be closed to-morrow, but here came
Mr. Shaw with complaints about natives and other things,
and I had to mount my horse, and I have been out all day.
Have been making an experiment in wine. Have made five
bottles just to try it. I have nearly written my eyes out in
answering 33 questions about natives, to which the Governor
has required replies. I think I may send them to you at
some time. Baptist N'oel would be glad to get the sketches
I sent, if you do not wish to make any use of them.

March 2Sth. — I have been so much occupied of late, and
so little at this place which I call my home, that I have got
out of the habit of writing a daily journal as heretofore. My
last was closed abruptly in Perth about a fortnight or three
weeks ago. Since that time we have had one meeting of the
Legislative Council, several Executive Councils, and a good
deal of other business. On Friday last I dined with the new
Governor. His private secretary, Mr. Cowan, came up here
with me on Saturday, and stayed till Monday. He was much

 

:^76

pleased with the country. Every morning, when I am in
Perth, I devote a couple of hours with the Governor and the
interpreter to the formation of a vocal) uhiry of the native
language. Our progress is slow, but deliberate. We have
discovered a tolerably regular conjugation of their verbs, con-
sisting of present and past tense and participle, — for instance,
booma, booma-ing, boomaga, respectively stand for beat, beat-
ing (or beat), beaten. "We are also trying to collect and an ange
all the minerals of the colony, and have made a tolerable show
already. Mr. Preiss, a German, has discovered, in the Toodyay
district, something of a fossil nature, which, I think, is an
" encrinite," and. is the first of tlie. transition or secondary for-
mation (if it be of one or the other), which has been found
here. This gives hope of coming to a coal formation. The
Governor has offered a grant of 2560 acres to any one who
may first discover a coal field.

The natives have been very troublesome and daring of late.
They have killed several pigs in this neighbourhood, and were
caught in the act of driving away 150 sheep from a flock next
to my grant at York. Six of them have been arrested. The
week now approaching — Easter week though it be — will be a
busy one with me. On Tuesday we had a very long and im-
portant Legislative Council to prepare our Budget. I have
also another Act to get ready in the meantime. Then on
Wednesday there is our criminal sessions, with some heavy
cases to be tried ; on Thursday our Legislative Council, with
all one's ordinary business besides. This is beginning to be
rather hard work.

Good Friday. — It ought to be a hallowed day, but is it so ?
We had service this morning at Henley Park, and sacrament
will be administered next. Sunday by Mr. Mitchell. There
has been much rain these two days past, and very high wind.
I have some trees burning near this, and the sparks are driven
by the wind at an alarming rate, considering that our roofs
are thatched.

 

377

April 1st. — Yesterday, Alfred, the boy who looks after the
sheep, managed to shoot two turkeys — the mother and the
poult — close to the house. The mother weighed 121bs. ; the
chick 6|lbs. It is a very good bird to eat, but " of all the birds
in the air," as we used to say in our play, commend me to the
barn door fowl, after all. There has been a cricket match played
in Perth between the country people and the town people.

Friday night. — I am very tired. Have just come from
Perth after a rather severe week's work. On Tuesday we
sat in Executive Council till five o'clock ; on Wednesday
our sessions commenced, and I was engaged till six in the
evening %vith a very heavy calendar, (^n Thursday I was
at work at six o'clock in the morning, preparing for Council,
as we had an adjourned meeting of our Executive Council at
10 o'clock, in order to prepare for Legislative Council at one
o'clock. Only think of sitting in Executive Council to dis-
cuss and settle the heads of a Bill at 10 o'clock, which was to
be read a first time in the Legislative Council at one o'clock
on the same day. We had barely time to change our dress,
and we sat then in Legislative Council till five o'clock. I
thought I had done a pretty good day's work,' and had gone
home with the intention of getting some dinner, when I was
sent for to conduct a heavy prosecution for burglary at the
sessions ; so I hurried to the court. The case had just com-
menced, and was not finished until after 10 o'clock at night.
Schoales was engaged also in the case. I brought him home
with me after the trial, and we got our dinner at 10.30 p.m. —
fashionable. On this day the sessions were still continued^
but finished about midday, being the heaviest sessions we
have had yet. There were twelve cases for trial.

Saturday. — ^Tlie Governor brought forward the finance
measures for the year on Thursday. His speech did not give
any bright picture of our finances. He stated there was a
decrease in the revenue, but did not mention the cause of it,
which was very simple, namely, the fact of our principal

 

Ol-Q

. ) / o

revenue being derived from the duty on spirits, and no ships
having arrived here for a long period of the year, that source
became dried up for a time. The discussion on the second
reading of the Bill is to take place on Monday fortnight.

We are busy ploughing here now, and preparing for seed
time, which is approaching. The native Bellick, who lived
here so long, has come back again quite tired of bush life, and
looking very thin and haggard. He says he will stay the
winter with me. There is a good deal of alarm among them
about our proceedings, as we have no fewer than eight of them
prisoners now, and warrants against seven besides. The
natives speak of several lakes and swamps dried up this year
that never were so before, in their recollection.

Sunday. — Mrs. Smithers died suddenly last night. It was
on her grant that a number of Colonel Laiour's cattle were at
the time of what is called the " great flood " here, in the year
1830. The stock yard was on the low meadow ground, near
the river. The flood came suddenly ; some one ran down and
threw open the gateway, and 26 head of cattle ran and went
into the bush, and have not been recovered since.

Monday. — Sent off 100 wethers to-day to Mangaga (as my
place on Ellen's Brook is mostly called). There is plenty of
feed there, but it is scarce here. Shortly after breakfast came
a man to request me to read the burial service over the
remains of Mrs. Smithers. They have chosen a picturesque
place, not far from the house, for her burial place. That is
the third time J have read the service in this colony. There
were about 30 persons present.

I was not a little surprised and amused this evening when
some hubbub occurred among the dogs, who ran off to a dis-
tance barking after something. An emu started off along
with them, and tried to keep pace with them, making a great
fuss, kicking with its feet, and doubling its neck and swaying
its body from side to side, as if enjoying the run most heartily.

Friday night. — On my way up here to-night my horse

 

379

stumbled. T pulled him up sharply with a severe bit, and he
came head foremost to the ground, pitching me right over, and
then, to mend the matter, he rolled over me. I thought I
was made into a pancake, but luckily got off with some knocks
and bruises. The poor horse seemed very much astonished,
and looked quite penitent, as if at a loss to account for it, so
I patted his neck, and he rubbed his head against me^ and we
made friends and went on again. I fear that we shall become
hot house plants here. This day the thermometer was 65,
and people were all complaining of cold, and looking quite
blue. We thought that degree of heat tolerably warm at
home. We still look out for vessels from England, but they
seem to be like " the watched pot which is slow to boil." Two
native boys have been brought prisoners from my place near
York for being concerned in stealing sheep from a neighbour-
ing farm — ^luckily not from mine. I suppose, like all other
thieves, they keep their own place clear. They knew me
immediately by name, as I am now generally recognised
among them as " wurdagaderak " — which, being interpreted,
means " one having authority." We have only finished the
letter A in our vocabulary, having got 218 words or forms of
expression in that letier.

. Saturday. — Another cool pleasant day. 1 put in no fewer
than fourteen panes of glass to-day, which were broken in the
kitchen and different places. I broke two, through unskilfui-
ness in the use of the glazier's diamond. I have now in this
neighbourhood 12,119 acres of land, of which I mean to sur-
render to the Crown about 9000 of the back land, for which I
will get an allowance of Is. 6d. an acre in a purchase of a
fresh selection of land. The land back here, after the first
three or four miles, is mere mahogany forest on the Darling
Range of hills, and not available either for pasture or agricul-
ture. I think of examining the ground above my grant on
the EUensbrook, and taking it in continuation of the farm, if
the ground be worth it.

 

:^80

April l^th. — Worked " double tides," and managed to get
up here last night. A vessel, called the Strathisla, has touched
here from Calcutta. By her we have a flaming paragraph
taken from an Indian paper about the Hindoo sailing from
Liverpool for this place. I suppose she is close at hand, and
that this is Nash's vessel.. Strange that we should hear of her
through India first.

April 20th. — I have been to visit my farm at Mangaga.
The sheep are thriving well. There are several sorts of bushes
there which they browse upon like goats. There were no less
than six people there ; two sawyers (Johnny Eakins being
one of them), two workmen, and the wife of one of them, and
the shepherd. The place begins to look more clear and
habitable. It is cheerful-looking also, having a view of the
Darling Eange of hills in front, and at no great distance.
Some nights ago the natives were very troublesome there.
One of the men enclosed a light in a paper lantern, with a
hideous face upon it, stuck it in a bush, and roused the
natives, who were greatly alarmed, declaring it was some
" boylya " or witchcraft coming upon them from the North,
and they left the place in dismay in the morning, looking for
the certain death of those who remained in the neighbourhood.
I have bought a winnowing machine from Mr. Wittenoom.
I could no longer do without it. I must pay upwards of £20
lor it,

April 26th. — The Hindoo, with Nash and his party, has
just come in,

April 29th. — I intend this as a continuation of my last,
which is still on hand. Whether this will form a separate
letter, or whether I shall enclose one leaf in the other letter,
will depend upon circumstances. I have not said a word yet
about Lieutenant Grey, who has just returned from an expedi-
tion to Sharks Bay, He has had a very interesting trip.
The newspaper will give you the outline, which I will fill up
a little, when I see what he has given in the paper. We

 

381

have got into a plan here of doing everything by committees
and meetings. Such things were quite new to me until re-
cently ; now we have so many of them that one would require
an ahnanack to keep them in mind. On Thursday last we
had at noon a meeting of the Executive Council ; at four a
meeting of the Church Committee, which continued till half-
past five ; and at seven a meeting of the Temperance Society,
in which I seem to be expected to take a conspicuous part.
Whilst on my way to the meeting I was trying to think of
something that I might say if I were called upon, but it was
all confusion ; I could think of nothing, so I determined to
say nothing ; but one of the labouring class having got up
and spoken against the society, I was called on to answer him,
and I had to do so. I began rather stiffly, but soon warmed
to the work, and ran on for a good half hour, the ideas throng-
ing upon me thicker than I could get quit of them, and push-
ing me on till I could hardly stop myself, when, to my no
small amazement, I was greeted with a burst of applause,
whereas 1 was more prepared for hisses, as it is a very un-
popular subject. I was told I had made a considerable im-
pression, and shook the opposition greatly. My object was
principally to show that it was a mistake to suppose that
spirits were necessary, especially in a warm climate, and to
appeal to their own experience of the bad effects which its
use had brought about here.

Such a long time elapses before we get a return that there
is time to forget what we wrote, but I made sure that when
a vessel came from Singapore, which seems to us to be the
next thing to home, I would have had some Irish oatmeal,
Irish pork, and Irish (or Scotch) herrings ; but it appears
that the season was very bad in Ireland. It is rather tanta-
lising. The Will Watch came from Calcutta.

Wednesday. — After a long search one of Lieutenant
Grey's party has been found, and brought in alive, but
four others are out still, and there is great uneasiness on

 

382

their account. Another party has started again to look for
them.

May 9th. — I • have just heard that Dr. Walker (one of
Lieutenant Grey's party) has made his way to Perth, in a
deplorable state. He was supported along the street by two
people. A party had gone out to bring in the rest. I was
out all this day endeavouring to get some natives to go out,
and had intended to set out myself to-morrow morning to
look for them.

May 12th. — I went out 40 miles to the north, looking par-
ticularly for a lake called Bambanup, about which there is
said to be a fine tract of ground, and also just now a great
congregation of ducks, swans, pelicans, &c. — so much so that
we did not take any meat with us, only a little flour and tea
and sugar. But we could not find the lake, and so had to
content ourselves with tea and " damper." One night we had
" damper " and a glass of wine, night having come upon us
before we could get water. We traced the Ellen's Brook for
near 40 miles, and found it to be the drain of extensive level
plains of land flooded in winter by some streams running
from the hills, and which run even now at the end of sum-
mer ; but the water subsides in the earth before reaching the
plains at this time of the year. I was rather disappointed
with the land on the Brook, but there is a good deal of lime-
stone, having rank vegetation. I only returned this evening
about four o'clock.

Monday. — Mr. Priess, the naturalist, has called a species of
the anigozanthus after me, and has sent me a droll letter with
it, written in his German-English. He has also called a new
genus after the Governor — " Huttia elegans." These are to be
figured in the work of Sir F. Hooker, of Glasgow.

May lAth. — I brought this down to-day, as it is said the
vessel will sail this week. I have seen Dr. Walker, of Grey's
expedition, who has just come in. You never saw such an
object, mere skin and bone, and covered with sores and

 

383

bruises. A ragged, haggard figure was seen hobbling to*
wards the town with a bit of blanket over his shoulders, and
it was with difficulty that the previously stout sturdy figure
of Walker's former self could be recognised, when reduced to
such a shape, guise, and size. He is in a weak and troubled
state, both of body and mind, like a person just recovering
from a fever. He fears greatly for one or two of the party
who are still out. Those who went in search of him are
expected back to-morrow.

Friday. — Mr. Singleton has purchased 10,000 acres from
Mr. Peel, of choice land, well situated, for £1,250. It is on a
river called the Dandalup, which falls into the Murray river.
He gets both sides of the river for six miles up from the
mouth. It is navigable up to his place, which is not far from
the sea. It is the cream of Peel's land, but it was well worth
Peel's while to make a sacrifice to get such a settler in his
district as an encouragement to others, for his immense tract
of land has been heretofore almost entirely vacant.

May I'^th. — Nash came up to-day to Henley Park. He has
nearly closed for the purchase of a grant called Golden Grove,
on the Swan, below Guildford — a pretty place yet unoccu-
pied. I hope he will get it. ■ The party gone in search of the
remainder of the exploring party have not yet returned, and
great fears are enterained for their lives. Mr. Grey has
again gone out to look for them, and he is not quite strong
yet.

May 227bd. — Those who went in search of the exploring
party have just arrived, bringing in the three survivors — one
young man having died two or three days before this party
found them. His name was Smith, a young man of large
expectations, who joined Grey's party more to while away
the time than for any other reason. The poor fellow was
found a mere skeleton, having died rather from exhaus-
tion than from actual starvation. The incomprehensible
thing is that the party never seemed to think of continuing

 

384

to walk southwards along the beach, which a moment's re-
flection must have told them led on to Fremantle. It was 32
days from the time that Mr. Glrey had left them. He got on
very well, and why the others did not come on can only be
answered by supposing that men under such circumstances

lose all presence of mind and power of reflection.

* * * * -x- * .

July ISth. — I have fallen out of my habit of regularity, and
find it difficult to recover it. We have advanced here to such
a pitch of civilization, as to have private theatricals. The
play of "Love, a la militaire." was performed on Tuesday
night to a fashionable audience, among whom not the least
delighted spectators were the young folks of the town and
vicinity of Perth. Most of them having never seen a play,
were wonderfully amused. On Thursday a rumour arose
that fifty sheep or upwards had been driven away from a
flock near Guildford by the natives, and there was great
excitement in consequence. A party is gone out in pursuit,
but what is the result I know not. It is singular that not
one of the murderers of the woman and child on my farm has
been taken or met with since the occurrence, and yet parties
have been out frequently. We are no match for them.
They can hide in a manner that baffles all our search. The
only way to match them is to make use of them against one
another. I did not get home from Perth before Friday night.
We are here still busy getting wheat into the ground, and
also some potatoes. Only think we have to give £2 a cwt.
for potatoes for seed.

July 14:th. — This was a \ery wet evening. I had all sorts
of " moving accidents by flood and field " coming home to-
night — pitch dark, raining heavily, ground swampy, river
flooded, boat cranky, ground slippery, slipped in the river, hat
fell off (new one too), but I picked it out of the water before
it sailed far. Oh ! what mud, and slop and splash.

July 15th. — Worse and worse again. It rained all day and

 

385

I got wet through twice. One of the partners on my farm on
Ellen's Brook has taken fright and given it up, so we had to
get another partner. He is to pay £29 for the share of the
retiring partner. Have you got from Sir James Stirling a
number of stories illustrative of the manners of the natives
I sent to you by him ?

Wednesday. — The natives upon the Canning Eiver have
committed another murder on a shepherd boy of Mr. Phillips,
and have driven off a number of sheep. The Governor seems
to be not a little astonished. His theory was that such
things could only occur at remote stations, and he seemed not
very sorry when they did occur, because his theory was sup-
ported thereby ; but seemed to have no idea that such a
thing conld possibly occur within reach of the capital (His
Excellency's residence), and where settlers are tolerably thick.
He sees now the necessity for action, not theory. His blood
seems to be up, and he has now endeavoured to raise and
equip five distinct parties, all to act in different places and
towards a given centre. In the meantime news has reached
him that a suspicious party of the natives is in the hills some-
where to the east of the head of the river (as it is called here-
abouts, and to the north of this). He has requested me to
try and get up a party, and scour the hills and reconnoitre.
I have just arrived now at eight o'clock, and must get my
gun in order, and make some ball cartridges.

Friday. — I was on horseback yesterday at daylight, and
took a ride round the settlements to gain information, and get
a native guide. With some difficulty I succeeded in getting
my old friends Weenat and Tomghin. I had many things
to do in collecting and arranging the party, so that it was the
middle of day before we could start. I had with me Mr.

Shaw, two soldiers, a constable, James D , and the two

natives. We were all on foot, as no horse could well go
where we proposed to do. Each had to take his own provi-
sions and entire equipment for himself. 1 took nothing but

2 c

 

386

some bread and meat in my pocket, a worsted shirt, another
pair of socks, and the pilot's hood, which, with the gun and
ammunition, I found to be quite enough. It was two o'clock
when we fairly started, and from that till tliis evening we had
walked 39 miles, having walked to-day not less than 24.
The ground was in some places very rough with rocks and
fallen timber, and many rather steep hills. It was pretty
hard work, aud reminded me something of our old times of
grouse shooting. We did not see a native all the time?
though we saw many fresh tracks, and perhaps twenty huts
in different places. Yesterday evening, not long before sun-
set, our guides saw a fire at several miles distance. We hur-
ried on to it over hills and dales at a breathless speed. It
was supposed to be the fire of Wilban, who escaped from
prison after conviction for murder. We approached the fire
with great caution and circumspection, as it was now dark,
when, to our ludicrous mortification, it turned out to be the
remains of a burning tree, from which the natives had turned
out an opossum. It served one good purpose, however, for
as we could go no further in the dark, we availed ourselves of
the ready-made tire, and halted there for the night. The early
part of the niglit was fine, but it commenced raining after-
wards, and continued so till morning, to our grievous discom-
fort. I got my head on a stone for a pillow, but it was rather
too high, and I could not bruise it down, so I experienced the
inconvenience of carrying too high a head at the expense of
my neck. The morning soon brightened us up, and though
walking through the wet bush was not comfortable, yet the
day was very favourable. We have all reason to be thankful
that in the very midst of winter we could spend a night out
with little covering, without experiencing any bad effects —
if it be not premature to say so.

July 26th. — Two other parties have also returned from pur-
suit of the natives, without having seen any. They must
tave gone to some out of the way place. I came home last

 

3«7

night. This morning Mr. Preiss, the German naturalist, came
here, and Mr. Irwin. We all set out on an excursion to the
hills to botanise. We visited a very picturesque glen about
five miles away, where there is a waterfall about 100 feet high,
but there was not much water in it. The locality was rich in
specimens of plants and flowers. At the very foot of the
waterfall were two huts, which, it appears, formed the resi-
dence of Wilban ; all the time we were looking for him at a
distance. We passed the head of the fall on our way out to
look for him, but had no suspicion of his being there at the
time. It is a singular thing that they have now so much
reliance on our good faith that Wilban has sent his young son
to a settler's house to remain and mind cattle during his
father's outlawry, and Coondebung (against whom there is a
warrant also), has sent his wife and child into the settlements,
whilst he escapes from justice in the bush. He desired her
to say that he could not feed her, as he was afraid to hunt,
whilst the white people were unfriendly. They now feel the
want of bread to be a privation.

July 21th. — Mr. Preiss, the botanist, was out to-day again
in the hills behind this, and he came here for dinner, laden
with specimens, and having a native woman also carrying
another load of specimens. The natives are quite surprised
at his collecting the jilbah (shrubs), and are very curious to
know what he does with them. I purchased two shells of
emu eggs yesterday for nine duck eggs.

1 have not told you tlie natives appear to have some fables

respecting the stars, as well as the more classical ancients

had. When I was last in the bush in search of the natives,

the stars were shining brightly at night. " What star is

that ? " I said to Deenat, pointing to Venus. " Oh, that is

Julagoling," was the answer, " What is it — a man, or a

woman, or what?" I enquired. "Oh, very pretty young

woman," was the reply. "Where is her husband?" I said.

"She has no husband; she has had some children, hut she

2 c— 2

 

38i

always kills them ; she is very powerful in magic. Ah, there
she goes off to the West, now to practice her enchantments
upon lis. Do you see that star in the East ? that's Diram,
and that in the North East ? that's Diram also — that in the
East is Diram the woman, that in the North East is Diram
the man. Do you see two little stars above the woman there ?
Those are her two children, she let them go astray ; you see
they are at some distance from her. Their uncle came and
asked where were the children, and when she could not find
them he was so angry that he drove a spear right through her
body. You see it there sticking through her sides. That star
on one side is the nose of the spear, and that on the other side
is the tail of the spear." What a strange fable, but not more
so than inany fables of the Romans.

July 29th. — Very busy getting the ground dug about the
garden, a little snugged. I suppose 1 shall have fifty vines
bearing fruit this year, and half a dozen peach trees, and as
many fig trees ; we are quite at a standstill for want of
potatoes for seed.

August 3rd. — Lieut. Grey has been with me for two days,
and we have had some very pleasant little excursions. Yes-
terday he and Mr. Leake and I went to visit the waterfalls,
to examine the geological curiosities as well. Mr. Preiss and
I had examined the botanical features principally. We found
that the little stream fell over a vein of basalt which inter-
sected the granite and liad protruded through it just at the
fall, but was overlain by the granite a little higher up. The
decomposition of the basalt makes a better soil than the
granite, being generally a rich dark red earth. We found also
a number of land shells a1)out the rocks near the face of the
cliff. These shells are rare in the colony. I do not know
that I have seen any before. I had much conversation with
Grey about his former discoveries. He speaks of one thing
which has strengthened my belief in the existence of the
inland sea. From a hill skirting the coast of Shark's Bay he

 

389

looked down upon what he conceived to he an inland sea
lying to the East. He and his party hurried down to it, but
to their surprise found that the appearance of water was the
effect of mirage. They walked 15 miles, in a South East
direction (I believe) on what was evidently the still moist bed
of a scarcely dried up sea. There was the ooze and slimy
mud, large blocks of coral, large shells of the conch species,
and islands with their South East side steep, and the other
sides gradually shelving. As far as they could discern with
their glasses the appearance was the same. East South East
and N.E. they saw no limit to it. Eecently some natives
brought large shells to York, which, they asserted, were
brought from the N.W. ,0n being questioned as to where
they were got they said it was a place like the sea, but a ship
could not go to the sea by it. My conjectural solution is this
— that tliere has been a great inlet or estuary connected with
the sea at Shark's Bay, and that some elevation of the coast
has taken place which has cut off the coninmnication with the
sea. There are many proofs of volcanic elevations in this
country. This inlet cannot well be supplied from the neigh-
bouring sea at Shark's Bay, for the hills between it and the
sea on which Grey stood were 300 feet high (apparently sand
hills). It is a most strange and puzzhng question, and my
solution may be very far from the true one. Do you lemember
that Daubain asked me if, wlien I was out to the East, I had
seen the " great estuary ? "

Monday night. — There was a christening yesterday at Major
Irwin's, and this day there was a ceremony of laying the
foundation of a small voluntary church for the Missionary
Society, erected on their grant near Guildford. The Governor
was there and a good many people.

August 16^/i. — Ten native prisoners contrived to make their
escape from Eottnest Island in a boat. It is quite incompre-
hensible how they managed to do so. The only remaining
inhabitant of the island has been brought out of it, and will

 

390

soon be ready to leave it, when the entiro establishment will
be put upon a different footing. I went down to Fremantle
with the Governor on Thursday to make, enquiries about it.
All the people there were engaged in looking out for two
whales that were said to have been made fast.

Sir Eichard Spencer, who was Government Resident at
King George's Sound, has died. I believe that Lieut. Grey
(the explorer) will fill his post temporarily. At the Sound
there is great want of supplies. They have not had a ship
there for ten months. The Champion is to be despatched
there immediately. I am busy in getting up a good deal of
fencing near the house here, in place of some very dilapidated-
looking ditch and bank. There has been some very heavy
rain in the course of the week, but the river is scarcely run-
ning even here. The pools are not near full yet at York. I
expect to fallow some 12 acres of ground tliis summer,
principally in tlie swamp, which 1 have nearly succeeded in
draining. The grass on it is of a very short and thin nature,
not M'orth the trouble of cutting. An annual crop of tall
flags, of which the root is manufactured by the natives into
bread, grows upon it ; but \ expect to make it produce a
better crop than that. 1 had a petition to-day from a man
living two miles away, that 1 would send my sheep to eat off
his young wheat, which was growing too rank.

August 2Qth. — We commenced sheep-shearing to-day ; they
had l)een washed in my absence. 1 have got one bale ready
packed. Another day would have finished the small flock
which is here, but heavy rain came on yesterday, and we
must wait to let the wool dry. The wool which sold for £100
in London has cost me just £51 to make it ready and sell it
— ie., all expenses. We are all in anxious expectation of a
ship f lom England, as two ship's guns were heard on Saturday
evening, and we have many conjectures. I have been making
little additions to the account of the natives, which I send
you. It may be amusing, liecollect, if you do not care for

 

391

it, send it to somebody — say Baptist Noel, from me. Grey is
about to publish a vocabulary, which will reach you iu time.
I am to undertake to see it through the press. The Governor
is threatening to impose a very lieavy tax to support a police
to quell the natives.

August SOth. — The ship was the Elizabeth from India, or
rather from China. She had silks and tea and sugar on board,
and touched here on her way to Sydney.

Sahirday. — Spent a busy day getting some fencing finished
near the house, and putting a trellis work on both sides of a
walk, with a pleasant shade amidst clustering grapes. The
growth of everything is surprising within the last week. My
potatoes, some of which I was almost despairing of, have
suddenly lifted up a trap door, as it were, and put their heads
up ; vines have started into leaf ; peach trees all loaded with
fruit ; almond trees covered with blossoms. The heat of the
sun operating on the moist ground has a wonderful effect.

Sept. 23ni — On Friday last the Shepherd arrived from
England. By her I have one letter only. It is said that she
forgot, or wilfully left behind, the mail and all her ship's
papers, and the consequence is that there is the greatest con-
fusion and anxiety, no one being certain whether he should
expect goods or not by it. You ask about some of the natives,
our old friends. Weenat is now married, and when that hap-
pens there is not nmch to be done with them — they are by
that step wedded also to savage life. He is still very friendly,
and I count him a staunch ally on any occasion of danger ;
but he has other cares now to occupy him. Tomghin, after
much fighting for her, has at last obtained a wife, and has
become a little settled in his ways. Weeip is growing old and
losing influence ; Geear the same. One native boy is regularly
domesticated with me, and I think will not relapse, as he
wears clothing, and is delicate. Bellick's beard has come ; in
other words, he is coming to man's estate, and will not much

 

392

longer submit to the regulaiity and restraint of civilised life.
He has gone off now on some froUc. If food be scarce, or the
weather very bad, he will come back. Speaking of weather,
we have had a most disastrous occurrence in the colony. On
Saturday there was a very severe gale, and, of all times in the
year, on the very night of the equinox. Three or four vessels
were lying in the most exposed situations ; one — the Eliza-
beth — has been wrecked. She had sailed long ago from this,
and put back again in consequence of unfavourable weather.
The mail from the colony was put on board of her, and I
suppose it is lost. This is very ]>rovoking. As far as regards
my own letters, I feel quite vexed ; for there was a long
interval comprised in the journal, and I have no way of re-
calling events. I have been suffering some losses of sheep
lately : two on their way from York, two by native dogs, four
after severe dressing for the scab, and two others missing to-
night — I do not know how ; I lost fourteen at York, and
many lambs. 1 have brought the flock to this place, so that
I have now 450 here — rather too many for this farm.

Sept. 26^A. — Came from Perth to-night. It appears tliat
both the Shepherd and the Caledonia had drifted and gone
ashore. The Caledonia has been got off safe, but the Shepherd
is in a very perilous position.

Sept. 2*Jth. — What has put it into your heads that I am on
my way home ? Have I said anything of tliis in my letters ?
I seem to be tied down here more fast than ever. Not con-
tented with Executive Councils every week, the Governor is
about to call another meeting of the Legislative Council, on
the 14th of next month, to lay on other taxes. This keeps
me still more busy. He was about to lay a tax upon land,
but I fought stoutly against this tax at present, as land is not
productive generally in the colony as yet. I proposed a duty
on goods sold by auction. All these taxes are to maintain a
police to quell the natives. Now, is it not too bad that the
burden of conquering the country should be thrown upon us ?

 

393

To keep twelve mounted men would cost £1700 the first year.
This will appear almost incredible to you, and I dare say you
will be cutting off an from the above and think it £170 ;
but, no, the horses would cost £70 each, and the keep and pay
and clothing of man and horse per year £80 each.

Sept. 2Qth. — There was a desperate affray amongst the
natives at Perth on Thursday. One of them has been
wounded in the back, and he says the spear has gone nearly
through his body, another through the shoulder into his arm-
pit. Another native had his leg cut through ; Maylup has
four wounds, and several others have slight wounds.

The ni.ulit before last I was awakened by loud screams. I
sat up in the bed for some time before I could recollect my-
self. The screams were reuewed, and seemed to proceed from
some part of my own premises. 1 could not find readily any
part of my garments in the dark, so 1 ran out as I was, and
found in the yard a native hut erected, in which a man had
been asserting his conjugal authority over his wife in a rather
severe manner. I pulled their hut down, quenched the fire,
and turned them out, not knowing how otherwise to interfere.
This woman had been partly the cause of quariel a few days
before. The old man accused her of a desire to abscond,
whilst she retaliated, and said he wiis " yetit-yetit " — a cross
old fellow. Next morning I found them back in the same
quarter, and I turi>ed them out again. I had hardly done so
when two young fellows started out from behind a bush
with their spears poised, and gave chase. One of them
pinned the husband right through the thigh with his spear,
almost into the door of my neighbour, whilst the other carried
off the woman. I'ut the cries of the man brought up his
friends, and the woman was recovered. It is wonderful how
little they seemed to think of the matter. The spear was an
unbarbed spear, and the act was done merely to prevent him
running after the abductor. The whole thing seemed only
as a joke among theni. Mago is recovering from his wound ;

 

:^94

he was struck in mistake by his own friend, and he has a
right to inflict a M^ound of exactly the same sort in the same
place upon the other, if he choses. I am anxious to know
whether he will do it. This is the lex talionis in perfection.

I wish there was some great railroad between this and you,
Oh ! that the tedious horrible gap of four or five months
voyage could be condensed, or compressed, or done away
with in some way ! Eight or ten months clipped out of a
man's life at any time of life is unendurable to think of.
You see how the leaven works, but I think it is in vain for
me to long to visit you.

# ♦ * 1»r # ♦

October 11th. — The Fox, by which I sent my last, only
sailed on Tuesday. On Monday (the day before) I had been
up at Ellen's Brook getting my flock there washed, and draw-
ing off and marking those belonging to me and to the tenants-
In washing them, they managed among them to let three fine
sheep of mine be smothered, having been forced into a small
fold and trodden under foot. There were several others also
trampled down, but they recovered. The plain fact of the
matter was — there was too much rum going, and, when men
stand in the water sheep-washing, it affects them more
readily.

I have advertised a second farm to be let there, and have
had an application already. No wonder, for no rent is de-
manded for some years, and they have their proportion of the
sheep which they keep besides. Think of having to give
4000 or 5000 acres for nothing, and to have to coax people
to take it on the terms. I was looking this evening also at a
snug little farm on my grant here, which I shall let to some-
body in the nature of a cottier tenant, who will agree to work
for me when 1 want him. There may be from six to ten
acres of arable ground on it — I mean rich alluvial meadow
ground. I have just had a fence put on between that and
the next neighbour, who has purchased a small piece from

 

395

Mr. Brockman. The fence is a quarter of a mile, running
back from the river, and cost £10, being of only posts and
two rails at present. A ditch and bank at the bottom is re-
quired to make it a complete fence against sheep ; it now is
sufficient against cattle, being about 4ft. 6in. high to the top
of the post. The natives have speared my poor friend Weenat
very badly at Guildford. I have sent him an invitation to
come here and I will support him till he recovers. H'j is to
come in a boat. I have got five bales of wool ready to send
off, and expect four more from Ellen's Brook.

Oct. 12th. — I rode up this morning to the farm on Ellen's
Brook to see the men shearing the sheep, but some rain hav-
ing come on they had to desist, and I got the flock driven
down here, so that I have now in the fold upwards of 700
sheep, and a rare bleating they keep up, as their lambs were
left behind to be weaned.

, ^'There came a rumour to Perth the other day that 150 sheep
were driven off from the grant next mine at York by the
natives. There was quite a consternation ; but it appears
that they were all found again about two miles off, and as no
natives were seen, it is supposed that a dog may have scat-
tered the flock, as 200 were missed at first, and 50 came back
of themselves at night.

There was another performance of private theatricals last
night, when " The Spectral Bridegroom " and the " Irish

Tutor " were sriven. W , in the latter distinguished

himself in the part of Dr. O'Toole.

Oct. 19th. — There was a very violent wind yesterday from
the south. It nearly unroofed my barn, and this day I hear
that the Shepherd was near being on shore again, and the
Elizabeth actually driven on shoie. I have finished packing
all the wool. I have eleven packages. I cannot call them
all bales, for one is only a bag, and another about three-
fourths full. Began hay harvest to-day ; have three scythes
at work,

 

A great number of Perth natives came to-day, about some
mischief, I suppose, as the women here seemed greatly fright-
ened. One of them took refuge in the house. I stopped
them at a distance, and would not let them approach without
giving up their spears. After a little they crossed to the
other side, but were driven off from that by Mackie.

This day we had another Executive Council, afier which I
managed to ride up here, and am quite tired of work for this
week, I pressed Singleton into the service at the public
meeting, and he turned out a trump card. We are to have
the third reading of the bills on Monday next, and in the
course of the week the Governor intends going for the first
time on some tour to see the country.

Friday. — Men busy mowing and haymaking, but, singular
to say, we have had a good deal of rain about this time, con-
trary to what is usual. There are a few ridges of potatoes
here that look as well as I have seen them do in Ireland.
The breach is concealed by the top, on either side, which was
always considered a good sign in my time. There is very
little natural hay to be found now — the grounds formerly
covered with it are now fed down by cattle or ploughed for
crops. It is all artificial, and the oat hay is the best we have,
it renews itself and remains in the ground like grass.

Friday. — Had our last Legislative Council on Monday ; an
Executive on Tuesday, and another also appointed for to-day,
so that I could not get away before this night. Dined with
the Governor.

I had a gentleman from Sydney breakfasting with me yes-
terday. He had driven over 800 cattle from tlie Sydney
settlement to South Australia. His party was attacked on
the Kiver Murray by an immense body of natives — he com-
putes them as 500 ; but by boldness and good management
they beat them off, and shot several of them. He says im-
migration to Sydney is overdone. The land is raised now to
12s. per acre; few or none buy at that; squatting is very

 

397

4

precarious and inconvenient, as you must go to such a dist-
ance for land that is vacant. South Australia he considers
an utter mistake, as to the principle of its establishment.
Kuin is staring many of the settlers in the face. People are
as yet buying and selling land as you would buy shares or
stock on the stock exchange, but no one doing anything on
their grants. Fine town liouses but no farms. One or two
Sydney people who have their eyes open and know what
they are about are making immense fortunes there. So are a
few storekeepers, but that is all. He and his partner are
going to settle here. He thinks matters are about to take a
favourable turn for this place, and wants to buy land on
speculation.

Nov. ^th. — The Governor went on an excursion on Monday
last, and probably will not return for another week. I pro-
pose in the meantime to take a little trip myself to look out
for some land which I am entitled to take. We had a meet-
ing of the temperance society on Tuesday last. I had a long
argument with several opponents. It is not a very popular
cause with the gentry, but it is intended for the people, and
is making some progress with them.

Nov. 11th. — Returned to-day from a very pleasant excur-
sion. The weather was favourable — not too warm. "Went
about 13 miles to the westward, and struck upon a lake
nearly five miles long ; then continued for nearly 20 miles
along a chain of locks and swamps, upon the margin of which
generally speaking, there is some very rich grass upon a light
limestone soil. I see in Irving's " Tour on the Prairies," he
mentions that each person had two blankets and a bear skin,
besides a tent for slielter. I carried a blanket strapped on
the front of tlie saddle, and we made some temporary shelter
of bushes or bark, and a fire in front of it. But the native
lad who was with me, was literally all but naked, and did not
complain much, even at niglit. Whilst we were at one of the
lakes a native joined us who had a suake 7 feet 4 inches long,

 

398

which he had killed. I bought the skin from him ; he eat
the body. The only bad effect from these^ excursions is that
from the exposure or from the change of diet, any cut or
wound festers, and does not lieal readily, but a little medicine
sets all right again. We went about 83 miles going and
coming.

The men are busied in clearing trees. They have found
in them many grubs which the natives eat. The grub is a
large maggot, which turns into something like a locust. Can
this have been the food of John the Baptist in the wilder-
ness ? Found some tine plants of native tobacco, and have
stripped some leaves to dry them as an experiment.

Having now come to the end of my paper, I shall com-
mence upon a new leaf on my return, so I need not make any
conclusive adieus. We are beginning to think that some
mischief must have befallen the Black Swan, or she would
have been here long since. What a long interval always
intervenes between the promise and the fulfilment of the
arrival of a vessel.

Nov. 16th. — You will see, I suppose, in the newspaper of
this week an account of a dreadful accident which happened
at King George's Sound, so I need not dwell upon it. There
was a storm and some thunder at Perth on Thursday night,
and a good deal of rain, which continued at intervals until
Friday, and even hail showers. On Friday night there was a
ball at Mr. Brown's, where dancing was kept up till near five
o'clock in the morning, and I came home to-day (Saturday)
very tired in consequence of it. Found the men busy clearing
ground and making a most loeneficial change in the appear-
ance of that part of the farm which I bought from Lamb.
Our newspaper editor wanted me to give him an account of
my last short excursion, but, as I had seen nothing and had
only gone over ground frequently traversed before, I declined.
The Messrs. Samson have built a very large fine house, which
is to serve as a dwelling-house, store, auction-room, &c. It

 

399

will cost above £3000 when finished. They gave a house-
warming ball and supper on Wednesday night, and invited
150 people. Almost everybody was there, and dancing kept
up till sunrise. The Governor returned from his trip that
Evening. He is greatly pleased with his excursion, and most
surprised both with the people and the progress of the settlers.
This is something from one who appeared to have great
prejudices against us at first. He is going out again to King
George's Sound in about ten days, so I hope to have another
little trip in his absence. I only got home to-night.

Monday night. — We had a large number of strangers at
Church yesterday. Mr. Mitchell preached here in the morn-
ing, as it was a sacrament Sunday. There were 15 comnm-
nicants. Among the strangers Messrs. Montgomery and
Creery were there. My barley will be all stacked to-day.
The men are charging 30s. an acre for reaping wheat this
year. I have nearly 50 acres. Only think of having to pay
any sum like £75 for cutting a crop of wheat. I am getting
my crop of potatoes dug now ; they are very good. I have
excavated a cellar, and am putting them into it.

Nov. 30^A. — This was an exceedingly hot day. I went to a
place called Galapgolup, about two miles north from where
the farm is on Ellen's Brook. My object was to see if a
certain piece of land, which had been intended as the site of
a house by some persons who were to have gone there next
month, was within my boundary or not. I believe it is mine,
as near as I can guess by measurement by pacing — the only
way we can do in the absence of surveyors and instruments.
I learned to-day the way to procure the crayfish as the natives
do. In a swamp you see a hole with earth thrown up, nmch
in the way that you see it with the large worms on the
sea shore. You must put in your arm and scrape with your
hand till you find it perhaps two feet down. It is like a
small, very small lobster, and can bite very smartly.

Dec. 2nd. — Oh, such me] ting overcoming weather these two

 

400

days past ; a very strong land breeze blowing from the S.E.,
but hot as if from a furnace. This heat has come upon us all
at once, for hitherto it has been singularly cool. The men
dug some ridges of potatoes to-day, which would have done
no discredit to Ireland. Six of them weighed four pounds;
indeed a great number of them would average three quarters
of a pound each. I think I drank more water to-day than I
ever did on any one day in my life before.

People speak of squatting now — that is, of grazing on any
unlocated ground, and, when that is purchased, going to some
other place. It would be an uncomfortable roving sort of life
without any fixed habitation, yet that is the way many have
made their fortune at Sydney. But we have not servants
here who would lead that sort of life. The Governor went off
yesterday on an expedition to King George's Sound by land ;
I dare say he will not return for six weeks.

Dec. 7th. — Intimation was sent to me last night that the
natives were gathering in great force at the head of the river,
and a request that I would go up there. I got three soldiers
this morning and went up, accompanied by Major Irwin.
Made a loud harangue to them, and told them it was the
Governor's order that all should remain in their own districts,
at harvest time particularly. After some time they all dis-
persed. They had been about to kill a child of a man called
Dunomeria, who has been very friendly, and has lived con-
stantly with some settler. Some one gave him a gun, and he
stood out and braved the whole of them, and when they
showered their spears upon him, he cocked the gun, and, in
his confusion, one barrel went off, and they all fled in a
moment. They complained to me of it, but I told them they
had no right to come about our houses to fight and kill one
another.

 

THE COLONY.

January 1840.

Jan. 2nd. — I have just arrived here from Perth, at nine
o'clock at night, and sit down to pick up some dropped stitches.
Our sessions were held yesterday ; one man was sentenced to
10 years' transportation for stealing from a wreck. He was
mate of the ship Elizabeth that was lost here some time ago,
on her voyage from India to Sydney. A few nights since I
was disturbed by the sheep rushing about in their yard, so I
went out. The night was rather dark, but, upon walking in
amongst them, T discovered a native dog, actually fastened on
the hip of one of them. I could hardly believe my imperfect
vision in the dark. At last I made a grasp at it, being lite-
rally only in my shirt and without any weapon, but it eluded
my grasp and disappeared in some way that I could not
account for. Several of the sheep were severely bitten. I had
a letter a few days since from Capt. Grey, who is at King
George's Sound. He is married to the youngest Miss Spencer,
daughter of the late Sir Eichard (a very fascinating girl). I
was quizzed the other day and congratulated on my intention
of being married this week, but I said, if it was to happen so
soon, it was time that I should know something of it, which
1 did not. Grey says there is a great change for the better
coming over the Sound, and expects large importations of
settlers and of sheep within this summer. By the way, the
colonial schooner is going to the northward to examine the
coast near Moresby's flat- topped range, about lat. 29°, and the
neighbourhood of Houtman's Abrolhos. A large river is

supposed to debouch on the coast thereabouts. T have serious

2 D

 

402

thoughts of going in her to examine that part of the world —
it will be something new ; but I have not yet made up my
mind finally. Busy getting in tlie harvest.

Friday night. — ^There was a meeting of the Agricultural
Society to-day at Guildford. Schoales made a proposition to
send for labourers to Ireland, and, if it goes on, I will either
request you to send me one or more by that ship, or will send
by him for some. I think J would pay the passage of any
one who would agree to serve me at least one year at the rate
of £18 a year (for a man), or for such a time in addition as
would repay me any expense I bad been put to on his account,
or any advance made to him in the meantime.

Jan. 6th. — Oh, what a melting day ! The thermometer has
been up to 100°, both yesterday and to-day, in the middle of
the day. I have been measuring the ground which was reaped
by the job — a troublesome business, for our iields are all sorts
of shapes. I measured eleven irregular pieces to-day for two
of the men, and paid them £25 for about three weeks work,
or less indeed ; they had done about 18 acres. We do want
labourers sadly. I hear to-day that the Beagle surveying
ship has returned. She was to have been here in three months
from her last departure ; it is now two years. Only think of
going three degrees nearer the line in this weatlier ; yet I
intend taking this trip, if not prevented by some business. It
is like going close to the fire in summer.

Feb. 1st. — After an absence of three weeks, I have once
more reached my own home, and been able to enjoy the com-
fort of a day's rest on teri^a firma. We did not succeed in
finding an entrance to a large estuary or lake which was seen
by Capt. Grey some distance from the coast, nor did we see
any river worth speaking of, but we saw a very extensive
tract of fine pasture land, about Moresby's fiat-topped range,
and also we twice visited some of the islands of the Abrolhos,
which is an exceedingly interesting group of coral islands and

 

403

islets in a state of rapid growth. I tiave written rough notes
of our little trip, and I shall probably send them for your
amusement, or perhaps the substance of them will be inserted
in our newspaper iu some shape or other, but not in so
familiar a style as written in the notes. On the whole the
trip was interesting, though we had some rough weather at
sea, and I had an interesting interview with a large body of
natives who probably then for the first time came iu contact
with white men. This was near the tlat-topped range already
referred to. Their language differed materially from that of
the people here, but many words were identical, or nearly so.
I managed to make myself partly understood by them. We
were also at Gantheaume Bay, and saw the whale boats lying,
where Capt. Grey was wrecked, from which place he walked

to Perth.

******

Feb. Srd.— I feel myself as yet rather confused, and forget
exactly how matters stood before I went away. I dare say I
shall recollect by degrees. My grapes have ripened since 1
went away. I attacked them to-day with all the eagerness of
appetite acquired by the exercise and salt fare of a sea trip,
and I wish I had not taken so many. By the way, we got
abundance of delicious rock oysters on the Abrolhos, and one
day we had very nice soup made from the haliotis or aures
• marines, which you must know as the ear-shaped shell you
have often seen. My former mention of the arrival of the
Beagle was premature. Like coming events, she had, I sup-
pose, " cast her shadow before." She arrived the day after we
did. She came round from Sydney by Torres Straits, and has
discovered on the main, in the neighbourhood of Port Essing-
ton, two rivers — one, the Victoria ; their boats went up for
perhaps 130 miles, and the ship itself went up the Adelaide
for 10 or 12 miles, and their boats went further; but the land
did not appear to be very available, and the climate was so

hot as to make it almost uuiuluibitable for Europeans — at

2 D— 2

 

404

least so think they of the Beagle. These rivers were out of
the limits of the colony — no great loss. There are still 300
miles of our North Western shore not examined. They are
about to go there, and also, on their way, to examine the
Abrolhos. It is astonishing how nmch persons may be de-
ceived as to the nature of the country, or rather how little
they may know about it, by a mere examination or view from
a ship. It happens very singularly that the very part of the
coast which I have returned from seeing — the flat-topped
range — which first Capt. Grey spoke of as an extensive grassy
or fertile country is marked in my old map thus : " The shore
here is steep and very barren ;" and, again, on the same map,
just about the place where the lakes are, that so many are
now looking after, there- is this observation — " The land here
is very high." It is true of what you would see from the deck
of a ship, certainly ; you see little else but sandy hills. I
have brought home new specimens of coral and other forma-
tions. The water in some places near the Abrolhos was
smooth and very clear. The view of the growing coral —
especially the groves, shrubberies, coppice — what shall I call
them- — of branch coral was very interesting and very beau-
tiful. I often thought of the mermaid's song, " Come with me
and we will go, where the rocks of coral grow." I was rather
disappointed at not finding turtle. We found plenty of seals,
and to my surprise a great number ot an animal called here
wallaby— about the size of a hare. How did they get there ?
It is 45 miles from land.

Feb. 7th. — lieturned from Perth. Dined with the Governor
yesterday, with Capt. Wickham and Lieut. Stokes, both of
H.M.S. Beagle. They speak of enormous bats, iu multitudes
among the bamboos lining Adelaide river. They described
the expanse of their wings as perhaps two feet. They saw
also indigenous fruits which we have not here. We are soon
to have another sitting of the Legislative Council, when I
shall be busied with laws and amendments and such like thin<is.

 

405

Feb. 8th. — Have I mentioned before that we have got out
two protectors of the aborigines ? One of them is the son of
Sir John Barrow. I fear it will be only an additional diffi-
culty in our way in obtaining redress or justice for wrongs
done to us. Mr. Barrow has been at Sierra Leone, engaged
in something of the same sort, but he seems quite despondent
about the natives here, as he finds them so very different
from what he had expected, and so much more difficult to
make any impression upoTi.

Monday. — Major Irwin is in Perth, and Mr. Mitchell did
not come, so I had to read two services yesterday.

Feb. 13th. — I was not able to send this by the Westmore-
land, but some other vessel has come in the meantime, and is
to go the same route in a week, so it cannot make much dif-
ference. We have news now from South Australia. People
are coming here from that place with stock, and we expect
soon to have great quantities poured in. There are strange
accounts from that colony — great numbers arriving there, and
some not even landing, but going off by shiploads to other

colonies. New Zealand seems to be all the rage. S has

had a letter from Thomas B , who is there. He says it

has been altogether too much cried up. So long as people can
be induced to come out there with plenty of money, and so
long as the money lasts, things will go on well ; but nothing
is done there, notliing is produced, and when the money is at
an end where will a renewal of it come from ? Water, in
South Australia, was selling at the port at 4d. — some say Is.
a glass. The Governor there and an exploring party were
nearly lost in the bush. One young gentleman, a Mr. Bryan,
was actually lost. This was in looking for some good land
near the Murray Eiver, above Lake Alexandrina. As to this
colony we are getting on better every day, but we want labour
sadly. Schoales is thinking of going for a shipload. He has
near 100 bespoken, and the Government mean to spend £600
in getting out labourers also this year.

 

4Q6

Fd). 14:th. — I am much more occupied now than I was
formerly. A vast number of questions are referred to me now
by the Governor, and legal points of much nicety and dif-
ficulty are arising, especially in regard to the lands which are
threatened to be resumed, the location duties not having been
fulfilled, and the term of ten years for which they were origi-
nally lent or assigned being now about to expire. I dare sajj.
upwards of 100,000 acres will be forfeited in a few months,
belonging to persons not resident in the colony, and no mercy
should be shown to them. This land is all situate in the very
best districts, having been taken in the first years of the
colony.

March 1st. — Several ships have disappointed us, for they
were from America. We thought one of them surely would
be the Black Swan. What can have become of her ?

Monday. — I had all my sheep washed to-day, as the weather
is very warm, and they are very dirty. I stayed three hours
in the water myself, taking only tlie precaution to wear a hat
to screen me from the sun. I have no recollection what is
the price of grinding wheat with you, nor what difference
there is between the price of the wheat and flour. I was not
a little surprised a few days ago to find that 2d. a lb. is higher
than the average price of wheat now ; yet the price of flour is
4^d. or even 5d. a lb. Surely there ought not to be such a
difference. It is nearly as bad with fresh meat ; the butcher
offers the grazier about 9d. a lb. and charges the public 16d.
a lb.

March 9th. — The servants are all speaking of striking for

higher wages. 1 hear that J expects to get £3 a month

for himself. This would have been a great part of a year's
wages for him at home. Until more servants are brought by

Schoales I know not what we shall do. All S 's men

have left him, as well as many others. The price of any work
now is absurd. A man asked me £5 for the iron tyres of two
C£^rt wheels, and the carpenter asked ^7 for the wood worlj;,

 

407

so that with the other expenses, a pair of wheels would
cost about £13 or £14. I think of sending to India for a
pair.

I met, at the Governor's, Col. Hazlewood, who has been in
India for 50 years without going home. He has been in Van
Diemen's Land, and is on his return now. He speaks of
white-woolled sheep being sold there in some districts for 2s.»
and horses and cows for a few pounds ; yet so little commu-
nication have we with them that we cannot get any of them.
I am looking out for Singleton every moment, and just
scribbling till his return. One of the Messrs. Burgess came
here to breakfast this morning ; he comes from near York,
where they are now settled. He tells me he killed 103 emus
since he went over there, about three years ago. I have had
an interview witli one of the natives, who escaped at the time
I went to take them for killing my sheep. He and a number
of his friends were brought to me at Perth by Weeip, after he
had first asked my permission. We renewed our friendship,
and ratified the treaty by giving them flour and rice. The
tribe about Perth is in much better subjection now than for-
merly. They are prevented from carrying spears in the town
and fighting. There was a grand encounter a week ago between
them and the Murray Kiver men, just outside of the town,
when a man was killed on each . side and many wounded. A
woman has been killed in consequence of it, and there is a
great mustering of forces by the Perth men, who are going to
seek the Murray men in their own country, and to carry war
into the enemy's camp.

Friday. — Arrived here late last night, having got off from
Perth a day earlier than usual, as I expect Mr. Stokes (Lieu-
tenant of the Beagle) here to-morrow. I saw yesterday a sort
of net for catching small animals, which was brought from a
tribe of natives to the N.E. There is no such thing known or
used hereabouts. It is as well made as any rabbit net, but
stronger,

 

408

Saturday. — Mr, Stokes, Mr. Yule, and Capt. Scully came
here yesterday, and went away in the evening again. Poor
Mr. Stokes has not recovered completely since he was wounded
by a native on the North Coast. I have been getting stacks
thatched and preparations made for winter. The Governor
and Mr. Symmons, one of the native protectors, are coming up
here to have an interview with the natives as soon as I can
gather them, as they are now gone to the Northward.

Sunday. — A sad piece of news has reached us to-day from
King George's Sound. A Mr. Spencer (the eldest son of the
late Sir Eichard), and a V.r. Morley (of whom I made mention
on my first visit to the Sound), have been drowned. Two
others narrowly escaped the same fate at the same time
Captain Grey had just sailed from that port with his wife,
who was in very delicate health. Two ships had come there,
bringing sheep and horses and cattle.

Monday. — Getting some potatoes planted. If they escape
the frost, I expect to have as man} as will last till they are
ripe. Mr. Eden came this evening, and we took a ride about
the country. He is a complete seaman. He was telling us
at Major Irwin's that one of the loops for fastening a valise to
the saddle had bioken as he was riding up, and the way he
expressed it was : " That he carried away the becket of the
starboard side of the saddle."

Thursday night. — The Governor M'ent to Tiottnest yesterday
in the Beaglo. I finished all my business in Perth to-day,
and have come home a day sooner than usual. The day has
been extremely hot. The country is all on fire between Perth
and this. It looks pretty at night, but the glare is very con-
fusing, and makes it difficult to distinguish the bush road. I
was so heated and dusty that I tumbled into the river to-night
as soon as I came home, and felt quite refresheil.

March 29/A.. — A painter and glazier who was doing some
of his work liere has charged me 2s. 6d. a-piece for common
8 X 10 panes. 1 have been up at Ellen's Brook farm tills

 

409

evening, looking at the sheep. Have sold 21 wether lambs
and wethers for £33, and a man has engaged to take 20 other
wethers at lid. a pound., weighed after the head and pluck
and feet, &c., are taken away.

April 2nd. — The Governor and Mr. Symmons, one of the
native protectors, have come up with me this evening to pay
a visit and see the country, and in order that' Mr. Symmons
may have a formal introduction to the natives of this dis-
trict. Yesterday our sessions were held. My old friend
Coondebung, the native, received seven years' transportation
for killing pigs ; another, Yoinap, seven years for house-
breaking and robbing at York ; and two native boys got two
years' transportation for killing sheep.

Friday. — A long interview with the natives. Had about
50 here. Afterwards we rode around all the settlements
about here, and returned at three o'clock. The Governor is
much pleased with this part of the country.

Monday. — For a novelty there was thunder and lightning
and rain last night, and a good deal of rain to-day. Found a
sheep lying torn to pieces by some dogs, natives, or other-
wise, so the tiux voinica is in requisition to-night. Three
ships are said to have arrived, one from Van Diemen's Land,
one from South Australia, and the Queen's ship, Britomart.
So I have had a requisition for 30 sheep for an innkeeper in
Fremantle, to supply the vessels.

Thursday. — The Britomart is to sail on Sunday, so, having
brought this letter down on speculation, I shall be able to
have it ready to put in the mail to-day. It appears that at
Port Essington there was a very severe hurricane, which drove
the Pelorus (ship of war) high and dry on land, and destroyed
her, and prostrated or carried away almost all the houses at
the settlement. Sir Gordon Bremer was not there, I believe,
he is at Sydney. The Britomart is just come from Port
Essington. Her people say that the climate there is too hot
for Europeans to du anything in. The natives are numerous

 

410

— a fine race of men, and have been friendly hitherto. The

place was in great want of provisions.

April 15th. — I have been a considerable sufferer through

natives and their dogs. In the course of these three days

past on Ellen's Brook, the natives have carried off three ewes,

a lamb, and a valuable ram, and at Millendon, their dogs have

killed four ewes, a ram, and a wether. The ewes were all

heavy in lamb. I consider the loss to amount at the present

value of sheep to not less than £40. I went out on Monday

evening with some of my own servants and two soldiers for a

long way into the hills, and up the valley of the Swan Eiver,

where I was informed the party who did it, were camped ;

but I could not see anything of them. Perhaps they may

have seen us, or our tracks. That may frighten them and

prevent a repetition. I was glad I did not meet with them,

for something unpleasant might have occurred. My flock

there is lambing very fast. There are now 160 lambs, but it

is a month too early for the grass.

******

May 22nd. — I have for so long a time intermitted my
journal entries as almost to have lost hope of recovering the
habit of it. This has arisen rather from my being very much
occupied than from want of incidents to make mention of.
This is the period for our Legislative Council meetings, and
Executive Councils are also very frequent and very import-
ant, so that I have been very little at home (i.e., in the
country). Our last Legislative Council was on Monday. I
left this at seven o,clock that morning, after an early break-
fast. Waited on the Governor at eleven ; went into Council
at twelve, where we remained till near six, having had several
long and rather dtiU speeches. Well, next day we were in
the Executive Council till we could not see to do any more
business. Then again on Wednesday another meeting of
the Legislative Council, and, after that, a presentation of a
remonstrance to the Governor from the agricultural body,

 

411

about his regulations relating to land, &c. — another very long
and unpleasant business, which lasted till six o'clock. On
Thursday I transacted what I could of my routine official
duties, and intended to have come off in the evening. Just
as I was coming away, Mr. Logue came, so I put otf my
journey, determining to come off by daylight this morning.

Some time during the night I was roused by dreadful
shrieks, and cries of natives sleeping near. I got up as fast
as I could and went out, when a number clustered about me,
saying that the natives of the Murray Eiver had made an
irruption on the unfortunate Perth natives at night, and had
speared six of them whilst they were sleeping. I ran to the
scene of action and found that none were killed, though two
of them were very dangerously wounded, but it is probable
they may survive — although one had four spears driven into
his body. This cowardly attack was in revenge for the death
of a Murray Eiver man from a wound which he received in a
fight with the Perth men some time ago. If they have
always been in the habit of thinning down their numbers as
we have seen since we came here, it is a wonder tliat there
are any of them left. I was so occupied with them that I
scarcely got to bed till it was daylight, and I had to rise again
and communicate with the Governor, and send a surgeon to
them and get them taken care of. After breakfast, business
again, as I had to get ready the heads of two other Acts to be
introduced into our Council, and I have brought them up
here to try and make some progress in framing the Bills. So
that, you see, in our kingdom of Lilliput, we have great
doings.

I arrived at three o'clock, and found a native waiting to get
a promised reward for arresting or apprehending another
native, who has long escaped from justice.

Sunday. — This has been a most lovely day. My Hindoo
servant (Motu) persuaded me to cut down the stem of a
banana tree which was not thriving well, saying it would soon

 

412

grow again. After some hesitation I cut it, when, to my utter
amazement, the centre began to sprout up again visibly, so
that in half an hour it had sprung up half an inch. Why,
Jack's bean-stalk was nothing to this ! He also pounded the
clay firmly round about it, instead of leaving it loose and
friable as I should have done.

Monday. — A blade of a pen-knife ran into my hand to-day
up to the handle. I bled like a stuck pig ; still I stopped
the cut with my thumb, and then bandaged it, without any-
thing further. It cannot be very bad, for I am writing with
it now, but holding the pen very gingerly. It is rather un-
seasonable, for I have been obliged to write out the greater
part of at] Act to-day, getting it ready for to-morrow.

May 29th. — Returned to-night from Perth. A most melan-
choly occurrence has just been made known at Perth. A
child of John Meay, a tenant of mine near York, has been
missing now for ten days, and no trace can be found of it.
The child was about three years old. There are suspicions
that it has been carried off and killed by the natives, but I do
not think it is so. At present all is uncertain. I have beeu
busied throughout the week about preparing different Acts.
One very long one has been postponed for the present, to my
great joy ; this will relieve me considerably.

Saturday. — The business here is ploughing, sowing, harrow-
ing, threshing, grubbing, and gardening — all at once. Two
men are ploughing with six bullocks to one plough — very
stiff land, never having been broke up before ; one man har-
rowing with a pair of horses ; two men thrashing, one grub-
bing bushes, one in the garden, one with the sheep, one with
the cattle, and one helping in the kitchen. They all make a
pretty good houseful. Three sheep a week are consumed
about the establishment. I bought a barrel of salt beef a
few days ago for eight guineas, and the men have become so
saucy tliey will not eat it. There is no pork to be had.
Persons who handle the wheat in which there has been any

 

413

moth have been subject to a similar affection, something like
stings of nettles, which turn to small itchy blisters ; some are
more subject to it than others. It was supposed to be from
bites of flies, but I think it proceeded from some hairy exuviae
of the moths, which produce irritation like cowage.

June 5th. — On Monday last was held or commemorated
the anniversary of the foundation of the colony. There were
races, a regatta, dinners, balls, &c., &c. The Governor also
had a party at dinner, and we went thence to the ball.

June 7th. — 1 have made an entry this evening in my books,
which, I should think, is the first of the kind in the colony.
It is this: "Hired Thomas Gear (a native boy) at 10s. a
month, 1st June." This is the boy Tunagwert, the son of
Gear of whom I have often spoken. He desires wages now
to clothe himself, as I have hitherto clothed him. Mr. Preiss,
the naturalist, has found over the hills a species of jerboa. I
had often heard the natives speak of it by the name of dad-
daar, as aboimding in the interior. It is abundant in the
steppes of Tartary. Its shape is like a kangaroo, but more
delicate and graceful, and scarcely so large as a squirrel. It
has cost me about £45 for threshing wheat this year. I have
been thinking very much about going home, and perhaps you
will be glad to hear that I have " sounded " the Governor, and
he is not averse to it if I can make arrangements with Nash
or any one else to fill my place. It is odd that though I did
this three or four days ago, 1 could not bring myself to tell
you of it till now, from iear that I should not accomplish it.
It is in suspense yet, you see ; but I have not disburthened
my mind so far.

* * * * IHr *

June 29th. — M}' last to you went off, 1 hope, on Thursday
last, by the Prima Donna, going, I believe, by Batavia. It is
probable that the next opportunity will be by the troop ship,
the Eunnymede, on her voyage to Calcutta, direct from
Sydney. 1 have not yet seen any of the officers, so I know

 

414

nothing of them, but they are to be entertained on Thursday
next at a dinner given by the officers of the 21st on their
departure. This will be a busy week with me. To-morrow
there will be an Executive Council ; Wednesday will be our
day of quarter sessions, when some natives will be tried for
murders committed ; Thursday will be our next meeting of the
Legislative Council, with the dinner afterwards ; and on
Friday is the meeting of the Agricultural Society at Guild-
ford, when I am anxious to be present, for several reasons —
one being to mention that I have received from Mr. Manning,
of London, two vols, or numbers of the transactions of the
English Agricultural Society, with a receipt for a year's sub-
scription, making me a member. This was done for the
purpose, I suppose, of bringing our little society into cor-
respondence with the English Agricultural Society. I do not
know how he came to write to me and pay me the compli-
ment. He thought me the chairman perhaps. Another reason
is that I have just received from Soutli Australia a letter
requesting Mr. Roe, Mr. Leake, and myself to form a com-
mittee, to co-operate with one formed there for the purpose of
exploring a route of overland communication between that
colony and this. They have subscribed pretty largely there
(on paper at least), and want us to do the same. Verily they
seem to have more money at command than we have. I have

received by the same conveyance a letter from W , dated

23rd June, 1839 — more than a year ago. The weather is
exceedingly pleasant and bracing now. There is a slight frost
every morning, but the middle of the day is like your good
summer. I ventured to bathe to-day, and enjoved it very
much ; yet this is the middle of our winter, past the shortest
day. July and August, however, are wet. I do not know
how I shall be able to endure ttie climate of home again,
should I arrive there in the winter. I almost dread it. Non
stem qualis eram. I'm not What I was in many respects ; to
say the truth you will see a great change in me. Time has

 

415

not let me stand still ; bald and old looking, T fear you will
hardly recognise nie. I often wondei if I shall perceive a
similar change in any of you. It is surprising how the
memory clings to the appearances which it last saw, and I
fear this is one of the disappointments necessarily attendant
upon a meeting after a long absence.

July oth. — Wlien I came to look for my horse to-night, at
Major Irwin's, it had gone off, so I had no ready way of
coming across the river without borrowing a horse, which I
did not care to do, and I quietly walked through the river up
to my neck, just opposite my own door, and slipped into the
house unperceived to get a towel to dry myself. In the mean-
time the servants were on the look out to hear the footsteps
of the horse, and when they heard me call out from the house
without hearing the horse I believe they thought it was my
ghost. As I came to the bank of the river I had some qualms
about going in, thinking it would be cruelly cold, but I was
very agreeably surprised to find it rather pleasant than other-
wise. Now this is the middle of our winter. I had a dis-
cussion to-night about the propriety of going home by India.
Irwin advised it, but Mr. Mitchell says the monsoons prevail
from July till October, at which time it is not practicable to
travel. I think the first ship might be an American one,
so there is no knowing from what quarter I might drop in
upon you.

MoTiday. — A native has unfortunately been wounded to-day
on Ellen's Brook, on my farm there. A boy was charging a
pistol when it went off, and shot the ramrod into a native who
was with him. They know it to be accidental, but I fear they
will not be easily reconciled if the man dies. It struck him
about the loin.

July 17th. — I have delayed closing this letter in the hope
that I may be able to give some more decisive information as
to my movements, but I have learned nothing more definite.
I think I may consider that I have obtained my leave,

 

416

although in point of fact it is to be made a matter of con-
sideration in Executive Council on Tuesday next, according to
instructions now issued to Governors. I suppose I would not
be allowed to go until the Legislative Councils are over, which
may be three weeks or a month yet. After that I hope to go
by the first opportunity which may offer.

July 18^/i.— I do not know how it is that one contracts a
kind of liking for a letter so as to be unwilling to part with
it, although written for that object. I feel myself lingering
over it with a fondness which makes me unwilling to finish
so long as there is the least space remaining to write upon,
and yet it has often been spun out with but mere words. It
is now eight o'clock ; the sun shining brightly, and not a cloud
in the sky ; but there was a sharp frost in the night, so that
I slept in the blanket, and my hands are this moment be-
numbed with cold. How shall I bear your winter ? Oh, that
I should ever say so of home ! Ten years ago would I have

believed it.

******

Oct. 23rd. — 1 have been waiting here for some time in the
most provoking state of suspense for an opportunity to leave
the colony, but any ship that has come here seems determined
not to go my way, and I cannot afford, out of my limited
leave, tlie time to go their way. Within these few days past
a ship called the Charlotte — belonging, I believe, to the
Mclntyres, of Derry — touched in here on her way to Calcutta,
open for I'reight, as it turned out, afterwards. But though
there are 170 tons of oil ready, our merchants could not agree
about the terms of chartering her,

H.M.S. Beagle has been here for a short time on her return
from exploring the coast a second time on the Nor' West. No
discoveries of any importance have been made, though the
coast was examined in the vicinity of Depuche Island, which
was always considered a promising place. There are still
about 200 miles left unexplored, which have never yet been

 

417

examined or seen. The Beagle was obliged to leave it for the
present unexplored, but it is supposed she must return again
to this coast for that purpose. In the meantime she goes to
Sydney, but has to stop at King George's Sound, and it is
probable will not reach Sydney for six weeks or two months,
before which time I confidently expect that there may be a
direct opportunity from this port. It is true she may touch
in at South Australia, which might present an earlier oppor-
tunity.

The Beagle is to sail on Sunday next, so, upon the chance
of this reaching you, to account for my delay, I send it by
her. The state of suspense is very unpleasant to me, for I
have vacated my house in town, and let it for two years to
Captain Fisher, and I am in doubt what to do with my crops
in the country, or how to get them managed. In the daily
hope of my departure I have omitted for some time to con-
tinue my journal which I now regret very much, and I do not
write this with much spirit, as I still hope that I may be
with you before it. We have always had a ship here before
this from England every year, and this is the first year
that we have had sufficient to fill a vessel. The wool is all
ready, and the oil also, so there will be no delay or waiting
for freight.

I am obliged to close this letter hastily, as the Governor
has called upon me to accompany him to visit the school for
native children, which has lately been established. I think
it likely that I shall take with me to England the materials
of a native and English dictionary, to get it published in
London, as we cannot manage it here without great delay and
expense.

Nov. 10th. — Although I may probably be the bearer of this

myself, yet I must write, as an unconquerable desire to do so

has just seized upon me. Would that that desire had been

equally unconquerable several months ago ; for, in the almost

daily expectation of my departure, I have omitted to continue

2 E

 

418

my journal, and have thereby broken the continuity of the
" thread of my story," and have lost the vivid recollection of
many little circumstances which I would gladly have retained.
I can do no more now than try to pick up some dropped
stitches, so as to fasten them, and prevent the whole work
from running irrecoverably, I suppose it is a stocking that
has furnished this illustrative metaphor ; and this goes to show
that Penelope's web must have been made by knitting, as she
could so easily undo by night the work which she did in the
day. I have forgotten the public events. I believe I men-
tioned the return of the Beagle, without any success in the
discovery of anything important, but leaving still 200 miles
of coast unexamined. By the bye, we have rumours here of
some large lake discovered to the North of Spencer's Gulf, in
such a direction and in such a country as to produce an im-
pression on the mind of Mr. Eyre, the explorer, that a connec-
tion between Spencer's Gulf and the Gulf of Carpentaria did
once exist. We shall know more of this presently, for he is
gone to explore that part of the country, having had a flag
presented to him which he was to erect on the central spot of
Australia. This news we received by the Lady Emma, from
Hobart Town, with stock. By her T have at last received a
few letters which were sent in the unfortunate Black Swan.
They are dated nearly two years ago, and are (some of them)
productive of a very melancholy pleasure.

1 have been twice over at Rottnest Island to examine and
report upon the prisoners there. Three died there lately ; one
was poisoned by eating a " blow hsh." I lost a fine young
cow lately from a hurt given by some other cows. I have
had a fine filly foal from a thoroughbred horse and a very
good mare. I sold one horse to Government for £68.

Nov. 19th. — The Shepherd at last has arrived. She seems
to have outrun the Heroine, which must have left London
before her, as my goods (I find by a duplicate letter from
Messrs. Luckie) are in the Heroine, and I suppose all letters

 

419

also. By the Shepherd I have one letter dated so long ago as

May, 1840 ; but no other letter. As the Heroine is looked

for hourly, I must have a little patience.

##»♦**

^ov. Tlth. — As it is most likely that 1 shall take this letter
home myself, I shall merely make entries to serve as memo-
randa I find myself much perplexed by having some of my
goods mixed up in the same packages with goods of j ours ;
for, as X must sell your things by auction, or dispose of them
at once to some storekeeper, the packages must first be opened
to take out my things. This gives the rest a ragged, tossed,
unpacked appearance and injures their sale. I have no means
of knowing the quality of your goods, as I have only seen the
invoice. The tap and screw appear to be excessively dear, or
they are not the thing we want here. It will cost me nearly
£40 when erected, and no profit that we get on our wool will
bear that.

Bee. bth. — I have been busied all the week. The captain
of the Shepherd will not take our wool except by measure-
ment, at the rate of £6 a ton. This would amount actually
to nearly £50 a ton weight ! A bale measures 33 feet, packed
without a screw. What can stand that ? Our wool, with the
enormous charges upon it, costs upwards of one shilling a
pound weight to sell it in the London market, and by the last
accounts we have got about Is. 3d. a pound. If the settlers
give this, the captain will load and sail early next month ; if
not he threatens to sail immediately. I asked the Governor
to allow me to " retire on half pay " just now, so that I might
make some preparation. He said there were so many im-
portant questions before the Council now that he would beg
of me to remain as long as I could. As we were about to sit
down to dinner the two Messrs. Lennard came here and dined
with us. They were on their way to York. One of them has
just arrived in the colony.

There is a French vessel here, the Ville de Bordeaux, which

2 E— 2

 

420

must be upon a smuggling expedition. Sometimes the captain
talks of going to the Cape, sometimes to China. I suspect he
was trying to smuggle tea, and was frightened by our ships of
war in those seas. Common labourers in Perth have struck
for 7s. a day, and mechanics of some sort are asking 15s. a
day. Snug fellows these.

Dec. 12th. — Had a very long swim after a raft that had
floated away. It is composed of two barrels, with poles
fastened to them. It is easily made, and answers for crossing
the river on an emergency. My flock of sheep scattered some
days ago, whilst under the cbarge of a native boy, and got
into a neighbour's corn. He wants to cbarge me £10 damages
for what they liave done — rather heavy that ; and, besides,
one sheep has died, and several are sick and one blind in
consequence of eating the wheat.

Saturday, 26th. — Have been up at Menolup to-day to see
the flock and cull some for sale. Hearing an unusual com-
motion amongst the natives this evening, I went out to them,
and found that they expected the " Waylemen " and Perth
men, and that there was great excitement among them, not
knowing whether they would be for peace or for war.

Monday, Dec. 28th. — Mr. Samuel Burgess was bere to-day.
This place is beginning to look deserted and neglected.

Saturday night, 2nd January, 1841. — Have been kept in
town all the week on business. I had arranged to withdraw
from business on the last day of the year, but Nash was not
ready, and our sessions came on tbe 1st of the month, so I did
business for him.

The foundation stone of the first church in Perth was laid
yesterday morning at eight o'clock by the Governor, and he
gave us a long speech on the occasion. I had to remain in
town to dine with him. I have been in great doubts which
ship to go by. The Elizabeth is a bad sailor, but goes direct,
while the Shepherd goes by the Isle of France, gets there first
in the hurriQane months, stays there three or four weeks (|th§

 

421

dearest place in the world). The passage to that is £35, and
perhaps £85 from thence home. The passage money by the
Elizabeth is £80 in all.

Monday night, Wth July. — I was busied all last week
putting Nash in harness. He was sworn into the Council on
Tuesday.

 

(From the " West Aiistralian," December 2&th, 1882.J

In a supplement to-day, we give a last instalment of Mr.
George Fletcher Moore's diary, written on the eve of his
departure for England.

A celebrated American journalist, when lately giving his
experience of the trade for the benefit of others, said that
people did not so much care for news as to see, reproduced
in print, what they already knew ; they liked above all things
to see accounts of occurrences which had taken place in their
midst, and would be far more eager, for instance, to read a
report of a meeting at which they had been present than of
one at which they had not assisted. In the same way, though
Mr. Moore's diary has no doubt liad much interest for every
one who belongs to the colony and cares to hear about its
early history, it lias, probably been appreciated most by those
who took part in the scenes which it depicts, or whose recol-
lection carries them back nearest to the period with which it
deals. There is, now, a strong and growing disposition to be
impatient of the " old settler " element in the colony. The
old settler is supposed to be a man who, by reason of his long
local residence, considers himself possessed of certain pre-
scriptive rights which the younger generation objects to re-
cognise. He is supposed to be ultra-conservative in his
views; to be imbued with all those instincts and prejudices
which grew up under old Crown colony government ; to be

 

422

opposed to progress, or at any rate, to the steps which lead
to progress, and, generally, to be a drag upon the youthful
energies of the present generation. Whether this idea is, or
is not, well founded we do not pretend to say, though it is
certain that some ground for it is occasionally given But in
their impatience of the attitude of the old settler of to-day,
people should not forget that when that old settler was a
young settler he was a particularly fine fellow, and that to
him we owe the accomplishment of an arduous task of which
we, who followed him, are now reaping the benefit. When
we read of the difficulties, the trials, and privations which
attended the settlement of New South Wales, South Australia,
New Zealand — colonies possessing rich natural resources to
assist the pioneers — it should be with a feeling of profoundest
admiration that we turn to the story of the settlement of the
Swan. The Pilgrim Fathers of Swan Eiver lighted upon a
corner of the continent more infertile probably than any
other, where they had to contend against sand and scrub and
poison, and nearly every drawback with which it was possible
to meet. They laid the foundations of the colony amid hard-
ships and harassment unknown elsewhere, deprived of those
resources of nature which helped others in their contests with
the wilds. It is a story of brave men, of indomitable pluck,
of a patient, long continuing resistance to difficulties, and of
steady determined effort to succeed. The old settlers, what-
ever new blood may think of them at present, were a body
of Englishmen of whom we have every reason to be proud, a
set of men, taking them all round, perhaps the l)est that has
ever formed a first group of colonists. Certain it is that, had
this not been so, the settlement of the southern part of the
colony would have been abandoned or long retarded.

Mr. Moore's diary, written in somewhat quaint but graphic
style, vividly brings the scenes of the early struggle before the
eye, with a striking realism of detail. There is one thing
about the pictures he paints which is particularly noticeable,

 

423

Notwithstanding the privation, the poverty, the isolation,
which those early colonists had to endure, their social life
seems to have been full of compensation for their troubles.
While they were digging and delving and toiling, on the one
hand, on their little patches of ground, and looking after their
small flocks of sheep, they were, on the other, dancing and
dining, visiting and being visited, extending to one another
a generous hospitality, and enjoying the pleasures of social
intercourse in a " society " which, at that time, comprised
nearly the whole of their number. The days of the early
struggle were evidently by no means days wholly of gloom.

This journal, the publication of which we have just brought
to a close, will be found of much value when the history of
the colony comes to be written. And it certainly would be
extremely desirable that there should be no delay in collect-
ing materials for that history, and that the complete story of
the early days of the colonization of Western Australia should
be recorded before those who took part in it, and can assist
by personal recollection, are departed. There is more than
one " old settler " well fitted to undertake the task.


Garry Gillard | New: 27 March, 2015 | Now: 22 October, 2015