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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

Atkins Diary 1792

Richard Atkins June 20th 1791. Cowes Road

arrived at Sydney 13th Feb. 1792

Pitt left Sydney 11 April 1792

12th May 1810 left Sydney

24th June rounded Cape Horn

26th July arrived at Rio Janeiro

16th August left Rio.

25th October arrived at Portsmouth

 

 

On the 6th April Left the Pitt.  This day the 9th attended a criminal Court, composed of the Judge Advocate and Six commissioned Officers of the Navy or Land forces.  It was for the Trial of a convict for robbing his Master; every thing was conducted with the greatest propriety, and except a jury (which is the great palladium of English Liberty) was conformable to the English Law and custom.  An Englishman would with reason spurn the Idea of giving up life unless sanctioned by the verdict of an English Jury, yet I cannot but conceive strict justice may be done him as well by 6 officers whom we must suppose men of some Education, attended by the Judge Advocate, as by a jury consisting of twelve Ignorant farmers or tradesmen who know nothing but what belongs to their own line of Trade.

10 Ap: Rainy weather, something better.  To silence the voice of deception, to shelter the weak and innocent from the detestable attacks of fraud and calumny; to protect the poor and defenseless from the fatal influence of the rich and the great.  In a word to render the Law, the certain, clear and disinterested safeguard of the honour, fortune and lives of mankind, is a glory, which a good citizen cannot purchase at too dear a rate.  But too often are Shakespears words verified

Thro' tattered weeds small vices do appear,

Robes and furr'd Gowns hide all. Set vice in gold

And the strong arm of justice shall not touch it.

Set it in rags, a pilgrims need shall break it.

11  A continual deluge of rain all night attended with violent gusts of wind from the SW and SE.  it has continued all this day without intermission and done a great deal of damage to the Gardens and Butts, it is unusual this time of year, but if failed in Feby. when it might have been expected.  There has been a violent battle between the Natives of Botany Bay and this place in which many were wounded on both sides; the subject of dispute was one of the Natives of Botany Bay having mentioned the name of a person deceased belonging to this Clan.  For so trifling a cause do men murder each other, but is it not the same in Europe,? read the history of civilized nations and we shall find it so.

12 The rain still continues, but with less violence than before; the Wind veering from the SE to SW.  The colony very sickley.  Eighty Eight died in the course of the last month, and in all probability this will exceed it.  It has pleased God Almighty to inflict on me these last three weeks, more sickness than I have experienced these last 30 Years.  I have received good, tho' unworthily, and shall I not receive evil also?  The ration for the week is 5 ld Flower and 4 ld Port or 7 ld Beef per man without distinction.  The woman's is 1 ld port less and 1 ld Flower a small allowance is made for children.

13. This day our usual good weather is returned and with it as it should seem returning health, I feel the principal of life strong.  How thankful ought I to be to God Almighty for supporting me under all my difficulties and afflictions?  he that will put his trust in him, will surely not be dissappointed, and tho' vice may to appearance triumph over virtue, yet in the end virtue must meet its reward.  This morning died at Paramatta in consequence of his being shot, by his Gun going off at half coxh Mr Burton aged about 23, a young man of very promising talents; he was sent out to this country by Sir Joseph Banks as Bottanist, in which line he would have made a conspicuous figure had it pleased God to spare him; But he decreed otherwise, and what he wills is fate.  What a field for reflection!

How lov'd how valued once avails thee not,

To whom related or by whom begot,

A heap of dust alone remains of thee,

`Tis all thou art and all the great shall be.

14.  This morning fine pleasant weather.  The ration served for this week, indiscriminately to every person in the colony, consists of 3 ld Flower, 2 ld Indian Corn in grain, and 4 ld Pork.  God help the poor wretches that work hard and have nothing but their allowance to feed on.  The time has been that I have murmured because I had not so handsome a carriage as Lord A.  I am now thankfull that I have some comforts which others have not. how time and place alter the state of things.  Let us allways estimate our happiness by a comparison from those below and not from those above us.  But after all are we not equal,? are we not from one common stock?  Yes, in a state of nature, but society requires subordination, consequently different situations in life, which ought all to depend on each other, and it should be the wish of each individual to give all the comfort and assistance in his power to the rest of his fellow creatures.

15.  The wind to the Northward appearance of rain, my health reestablishing fast. May God of his infinite mercy make me thankfull for it.

16. Mild sunshiney weather.  It is my intention to make as good a collection of Plants, seeds, Insects &c as I am able and send them home to George.  The custom of Judges upon the circuit assisting at divine Service is wisely established, For what human Judge is there, who then prostrated before the Eternal Judge in his holy Temple, where every thing traces out to his imagination the picture of virtue, will not experience a salutary emotion, and be fill'd with that ardent Zeal which ought to animate him in the exercise of his important functions.  But there are some hearts whom nothing can affect and who are insensible to the sublimest motives and the most powerful incitements.

17.  Mild and regular weather, the sea breeze sets in generally about 11 o'clock.  This Evening I walked by myself to the Brick fields, about a mile from the Camp, for so Sydney is call'd, from its having been the Spot they pitch'd their tends on their first landing; A very good road is made the whole way to it through the wood, where trees of an immence size border it on both sides, their lofty and wide spreading Branches look beautiful.  The timber is of no value but for burning, almost every tree is rotten at the heart, very hard and heavy and coarse grained, emitting great quantities of Gum like Dragons Blood, but without its properties, and is totally useless.  The underwood is mostly flowering shrubs, some of whom are now in blossom of the most vivid and beautifull Colours imaginable, and many of them most delicately formed.  An arm of the sea appears thro' the wood and beyond it another wood rising gradually to a moderate height which terminates the prospect.

18.  Some continuance of fine weather, The Convicts dying very fast, merly through want of nourishment.  The Indian Corn served out is of little use in point of nourishment, they have no Mills to grind it and many are so weak that they cannot pound it.  At present there is not more than Eight weeks ration of flower at 3 lf pr Man in the Store! Oh! Shame Shame!

19  Pleasant temperate weather.  A Ball of fire past from the East.wd to the West.d illumin'd the whole Horizon.

20.  This morning breakfasted with the Governor who received me with his usual politeness, People may exclaim against him as much as they please, but I much doubt wether those who find much fault, would not run into much greater errors themselves; His situation is by no means a desirable one in point of duty, for except the civil and military departments he has nothing but a set of rascals to deal with who require a watchful eye to make them do their duty. The Overseers are themselves convicts and not to be depended on.  At Paramatta some of them are rigid to a degree, which proceeds from a fear of being thought too indulgent, and probably from what will almost universally operate upon weak minds, a thirst for power and dominion over the rest of our fellow creatures.  The lash is in their hands at present, they ought to use it with lenity, least they themselves should fall under it, for power here hangs by a thread.

21.  This day at 6 o'clock set off for Paramatta in the Governors Gigg with the Judge Advocate.  The feelings of humanity is sorely wounded to see the Number of poor wretches, whose emaciated looks, denote poverty and misery in the extreme, brought as prisoners, for stealing a few cobbs of Indian corn.  Hunger is the general plea, but unfortunately in this country it cannot be admitted, for was it, no private property could be secure.  Indeed, to act as a magistrate here with efficacy, you must in a great degree lay aside that Philantrophy and good will towards men that adorns human nature.

22.  Delightful weather.  There are distinctions between the different kinds of Truth and the different kinds of Good.  There is logical Truth, and there is metaphysical Truth.  There is physical good, moral good, and political good, for men are not yet come to a general agreement that there is an invariable coincidence, especially in what concerns nations, between the utile and the honestum.  Were all tongues and kindreds to abjure the paths of pride, ambition and avarice, the concomitant of luxury, and to live in the patriarchal and primaeval simplicity of the Golden age, the moral and political good would run into one.  Then the universal exercise of justice, which in its full extent includes the exercise of every virtue, would form the universal good of all Nations.  But human affairs are so intermixed, the tares are so mixed with the wheat, the vices of rapacity, a love of pleasure, and a lust of power are so deeply interwoven in all political constitutions, both in their internal economy, that the question too often is, not what is morally good, but what is politically good, that is, what is good for us -- good for a political society in particular circumstances.  In vain, therefore, would philosophers attempt to regulate men and nations by the laws of immutable truth and justice.  The exigencies of mankind reduce the practical Legislator from the airy elevation of Theorists to the human horizon, and like Solon , they are glad to establish, not the very best laws, but the best that it is possible to establish, so that the utmost that the wisest and most virtuous Legislator can do, is to frame his institutions in a kind of compound ratio of their practicability and abstract perfection.  The general good of nations and men is the greater center to which they must all tend.  But between the innate Majesty of reason, truth, and righteousness on the one hand and the sacrifices to be made to existing situations and habits on the other, there is a kind of standing conflict, tho' this is hotter in certain times and circumstances than in others, and ingenious men in what may be termed disputes of Legislation, find it an easy matter to furnish plausible arguments in favor of any system, by an appeal from political good to metaphisical truth, or vice versa, by an appeal from Metaphisical truth, to political good, and the pressing exigences of a State.

23.  Continual fine weather, This morning went fishing and caught a sufficiency to last a day, If the poor convicts had but an opportunity to fish, it would be a great resource, but there is no trusting of them with a Boat.  Some lightening from the Westward.

24.  Continuance of fine weather.  The quantities of fish in the harbour is amazing, mostly Mullet, I should imagine the fishery under proper regulations might be of great advantage, indeed if any thing has happened to the Atlantic (the Ship sent to Bengal for provisions,) or should they neglect to send us a Store Ship from England, something must be thought of for the support of the Colony which is at present in a very tickilish situation.  About a month ago there were 4151 souls victual'd from the Stores including Norfolk Island, since which time they have been considerably diminished by Death.

25.  Fine weather.

26.  A continuance of Fine weather.  Went fishing, had no sport occasioned as I suppose by the Easterly wind.  About 12 a light shower of rain fell.  A number of sick Convicts came down from Paramatta, mere walking Shadows, human nature is indeed degraded in this country.  This life is a scene of vanity that soon passes away and affords no solid satisfaction, but in the consciousness of doing well and in the hopes of another life.  This is what I can say upon experience and what you will find to be true when you come to make up the account.  This is what Locke says, who surely was a judicious and acute reasoner.

27.  Fine weather.  28.  Continuance of fine weather.  This day went to Paramatta with Cap.n Collings a number of poor wretches brought before him for stealing Indian Corn.  `tis dreadful but they must be punished.

29.  Fair weather, few occurrences occur worth mentioning.  A person wishing to live retired, and exclude himself from Society, let him live where I do and his wishes may be fully accomplish'd.  For myself I prefer it to the Camp.

30.  Gloomy weather.  Circumstances give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing colour and discriminating effect.

1st May  Fine weather.  Many of our men of speculation instead of exploding general prejudices employ their capacity to discover the latent wisdom which prevails in them.  If they find what they seek, and they seldom face, they think it more wise to continue the prejudice with the reason involved, than to cast away the coat of prejudice, and to leave nothing but the naked person, because prejudice, with its reason, has a motive to give action to that reason and an affection which will give it permanence.  Perjudice is of ready application in the emergency, it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, sceptical, puzled and unresolved.  Prejudice renders a mans virtue his habit, and not a series of unconnected acts, Through just prejudice, his duty becomes a post of nature.

2  Continuance of fine weath. 3d D.o 4th D.o 5th D.o  These four days have been very ill.  It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the dauphiness at Versailles, and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch a more delightful vision.  I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in - glittering like the morning star, full of life and splendor and joy.  On what a revolution and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall!  Little did I dream when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic distance respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom, little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor and of cavaliers.  I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.-  But the age of chivalry is gone - That of Sophisters, Aconomists and Calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguish'd for ever.  Never, never more shall I behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom.  The unbought grace of life, the cheap defense of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprize is gone!  It is gone that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honor, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which enabled whatever it touched, and under which use itself lost half its evil, by loosing all its grosness.  This evening an extensive Hallo round the moon, which to me indicated rain and so it turned out. for

6.  This morning about 8 o'clock it began to rain from the NW. if the wind continues in that point the rain will be trivial, but should it fly round to the SE or SW we shall  have a great deal.  I have been reading, or rather looking over a work published in two Vol: intituled a His: of Greenland, its inhabitants &c but more particularly a relation of the Mission carried on for 30 years by the Unitas Fratrum for the conversion of them, by David Crantz.  This work taken all together is despicable, the chief object of the Author is to hold up to view the persevering labors of the missionaries, and indeed to do them justice, they seem to have been actuated by a true Apostolical favor, as far as fatigue, labor, a contempt of all wordly comfort can entitle them to that name.  These Brethren were Moravians and sent from Copenhagen about the year 1733.  Mr Hans Egede a Norvegian Clergyman was the first man sent out upon that dangerous and difficult buisiness.  It appears that in the year 1762 there were between 3 and 400 Comunicants strongly impress'd with the divine Mission of our Savior".  Among the Greenlanders, says the Preface, we are not to look for a numerous and rapid propagation of the Christian Religion, attended with many surprising and extraordinary incidents.  This nation in itself is not at all populous: and whoever reads this book with attention will find their stupidity so great, and their way of living so savage, that he will readily own it to be a wonder of God".

7.  Fine weather, very warm for the time of Year. About 10 the Wind shifted to the SE and in about 10 Minutes after suddenly veered round again to the NW and cleared up, as was expected, as it seldom or never continues long in that quarter.  Last night a small Phosphoric Meteor past from the E to W.  Last Month 80 Convicts died.

8  Continuance of fine weather.  I was yesterday about sun set walking, till the Night insensibly fell upon me.  I at first amused myself with all the richness and variety of Colors which appeared in the Wester most parts of heaven: In proportion as they faded away and went out, several stars and planets appeared one after another, `till the whole firmament was in glow.  The blueness of the Other was exceedingly heightened and enlightened by the season of the year, and by the rays of all those luminaries that passed through it.  The Galaxy appeared in its most beautiful white.  To compleat the scene, the full moon rose at length in that clouded Majesty, which Milton takes notice of and opened to the Eye a new picture of nature, which was more finely shaded, and disposed among softer lights, than that which the Sun had before discovered to us. 

As I was surveying the Moon walking in her brightness and taking her progress among the constellations, a thought rose in me, which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs men of serious and contemplative natures.  David himself fell into it in that reflexion.  When I consider the heavens and the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained: What is Man that thou art mindful of him, and the sun of man that thou regardest him?  In the same manner when I considered that infinite host of stars, or to speak most philosophycally, of suns, which were then shining upon me, with those innumerable sets of planets or worlds, which were moving round their respective suns; when I still enlarged the Idea and supposed another heaven of suns and worlds rising still above that which we discovered, and these still enlightened by a superior firmament of luminaries, which are planted at so great a distance that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former as the stars do to us, in short when I persued this thought I could not but reflect on that little insignificant figure which I myself lose amidst the immensity of Gods works.

9  This morning at 3 o'clock set off for Paramatta to reside there, got every thing safe; the morng very cold and cloudy.  The Govn came up. supt with him.

10 Morng Cloudy. The whole day with the Govn.

11  Cloudy in the Morning, the rest of the day sunshiney fine weather.  The Ration served to the publick in General without the least exception is 1½ ld Flower, 4 ld Indian Corn, and 4 ld Pork.

12  Fine weather. This day sworn in a Justice of the a Peace for the County of Cumberland N S Wales.  May God enable me to do justice in mercy.  Dined and Supt with the Governor.

15  Fine pleasant weather.  This day five Years Govr Phillip sailed from St Hellens, with 11 Sail to form a Settlement in N S Wales.  Went to Church, As I mean to make every person attend divine Service, I think it necessary to set the Example.  It is proper every where, but more particularly so here.  Dined with the Governor.

14  Fine weather.  This day the Govr went to Sydney.

15th  Fine Weather  16  Very high Wind.  17  Fine weather, high Wind in the Evening.

18  In the morning an excessive hard gale of Wind from the S W.  It came in the most violent gusts I ever remember.  In the present constitution of things, where the original dignity of man is in perpetual conflict with the introduced spirit of meaness, that affection of the heart which does it most credit, in reality becomes its greatest reproach in the eyes of many.  A Generous confidence in the virtues of others is the mark of a soul concious of the energy of virtue in itself, buoyed up by its own vigour within and not yet drawn by the attraction of earth below.

Yesterday Evng the Natives attacked the first settlement.  There were 7 Men and two Women, unfortunately there was but one man in the Hulk and he was without arms, consequently could not make any resistance they took every thing they could lay their hands on, but upon some people coming up they retreated.  Upon being persued they dropt most of the things, one man it is imagined was wounded.  The wind abated about 6 o'clock this Evng.

19th  Fine pleasant weather, a hoar frost in the Night.  20  Fine weather.

21t  Pleasant weather.  This morning at day light set off with the Governor to visit the settlers at what is call'd the Ponds.  The various accounts that have been given of this Country by Enthousiasts according to the different mediums in which they have seen it, some praising it as equal to any part of the world in point of goodness of soil &c while others say the very reverse are perhaps neither strictly true.  If I confined myself to the environs of Sydney Cove I should say that it will hardly ever answer the purposes of extensive cultivation arrising from the rocks and stumps of trees and a scarcity of mould which will certainly prevent it ever being of essential use to the colony in general but to individuals it turns to great advantage by giving great quantities of vegitables &c which grow very luxuriantly, but this place (Paramatta) is much preferable to the other with regard to soil and the extent of country cleared on which grows exceeding good Indian Corn, wheat, barley and in general every thing put into it gives a good return.  The lands here are Government lands that is, lands cultivated for the maintenance of the Colony.  There is likewise a very extensive piece of ground cleared for the same purpose at the distance of 3½ miles or thereabouts.  Besides these lands the Governor has granted to many convicts out of their time, some 30, 40 or 50 Acres according to the family they may have.  At the Ponds are about 10 Settlers, each distinct from the other.  Tho' they have not begun cultivating the Ground above 10 months, they are for the most part (and the whole might be with proper industry) very comfortably lodged, have plenty of vegitables, Indian Corn, for their families as well as to keep some two some tree Pigs, many have from one to two Acres of Ground under which wheat and from eight to ten Acres cleared which will be ready for a crop next year.  In short they are in every particular much better situated than they could possibly be in England.  Indeed too much praise cannot be given to the Governor for (I may say) the paternal care and encouragement he give to all and each of them who deserve it.  I have not but there are now some settlers who will in the course of three years make their lands fetch as many pounds, and that with the assistance at the first begging of a spade, saw and hoe.  The trees here are very large, but almost all of them rotten at the heart which makes them much easier to cut down and burn, by which means the land is sooner clear'd.

22  Hoar frost, fine weather, Was this day to have gone to prospect Hill with the Govr but found my foot so painfull with (as I suppose) the Gout as to prevent me.  Great quantities of Quailes are here, much the same as in England, but rather browner:  Supt with the Govr .

23  Fine weather, generally a hoar frost in the Nights, a fire very comfortable.

24 Tendency to rain.  The Govr gone to Sydney.  25  It clear'd up without rain; went Kangaroo Rat hunting but was not successful.  Some Thunder and Lightening from the N W.

26  Fine weather.  27 th Continuance of fine weather.  This Evng. a Convict was found murdered by the Natives about 3 miles from this place on the road to Prospect Hill; He has received 25 or 30 wounds by spears, besides his Head laid open in many places by a Stick which they generally carry with them for the purpose of Killing Kangarroo.  I mentioned about that on the 18th a man was fired at and supposed to have been wounded, it is probable the Man is since dead, and it is an invariable rule with them to Kill the first white man they can in revenge: Blood for Blood is justifiable provided it can be executed upon the proper Object, the person who actually committed the fact But to shed the Blood of an innocent man for the crimes of another shews a savageness of disposition not compatable with civilized state.  The people of this Country shew not the least disposition to profit by our example.  Industry even to procure those articles they seem so fond of, as Potatoes, Greens &c they have no idea of, their whole thoughts seem to be employ'd in fishing and hunting the Kangaroo, and as soon as their appetities are satisfied they lay down to sleep.  They are constantly at enmity with each other.  Yalloway a Native has been kill'd and burnt, and it is supposed on account of his attatchment to us: Jealously was the Cause.

28  Fine weather.  I am not of opinion with the minute phylosophers of the day that ``The poor and opressed must be taught their consolation in the final portions of eternal justice.

29th  Continuance of fine weather.  If we consider the quantity of water requisite for the purpose of the deluge, it will not appear so extraordinary as has been commonly represented.  The height of the highest hills is not thought to exceed three miles.  It will therefore be deemed a sufficient allowance when we suppose the waters of the Deluge to have been four miles deep on the surface of the ground.  Now, it is certain, that water, or any other matter, when spread out at large upon the ground, seems to occupy an immense space in comparaison of what it does when contained in a cubical vessel, or when packed together in a cubical form.  Suppose we wanted to overflow a room 16 feet every way or containing 256 square feet with water to the height of one foot, it may be nearly done by a cubical vessel of 6 feet fill'd with water.  A cube of 8 feet will cover it two feet deep, and a cube of 10 feet will very nearly cover it 4 feet deep.  It makes not the least difference wether we suppose feet or miles to be covered.  A cube of 10miles of water, would very nearly overflow 256 square miles of plain ground to the height of 4 miles.  But if we take into our account the vast number of eminences with which the surface of the earth abounds, the above mentioned quantity of water would do a great deal more.  If therefore, we attempt to calculate the quantity of water sufficient to deluge the earth we must make a very considerable allowance for the bulk of all the hills on its surface.  To consider this matter however in its utmost latitude The Surface of the Earth is supposed by the latest calculations to contain 199512595 sq miles.  To overflow this surface to the height of four miles it required a Parallelelopiped of water 16 miles deep and containing 49878178 sq miles of surface.  Now considering the immense thickness of the globe of the Earth, it can by no means be improbable that this whole quantity of water may be contained in its bowels, without the necessity of any remarkable abyss, or huge collection of water such as most of our Theorists suppose to exist in the center.  The earth is computed to be near 8000 miles in diameter.  The ocean is of an unfathomable depth, but there is no reason for supposing it more than a few miles.  To make all reasonable allowances however, we shall suppose the whole solid matter in the globe to be only equal to a cube of 5000 miles and even on this supposition we shall find that all the waters of the deluge would not be half sufficient to moisten it.  The above mentioned Paralleleltopipe of water would indeed contain 798,050,368 cubic miles of that fluid, but the cubic of earth containing no less than a hundred and twenty five thousand millions of cubic miles,it is evident that the quantity assigned for the deluge would scarcely be known to moisten it.  It could have indeed no more effect this way than a single pound of water could have upon 150 times its bulk of dry earth.  About 9 o'clock this day it blew exceeding hard from the S W.  It seldom is steady, but comes in sudden gusts very violent, at those times it is very dangerous to be in the woods, on account of the number of trees and large branches which are blown down.  In crossing Dutch river, about 3 miles from this a number of Cobs striped of the Corn were found, that had been taken by the Natives.

30  Fine frosty weather and cold.  31 Do With the Govr the whole day.

1st June  Continuance of fair weather, the Govr went to Sydney.

2d  Fine weather, walked to the New Settlement and shot some beautiful Parraquects &c. of which there are certainly greater variety in this country than in the whole known world besides, Plants, Insects &c are likewise here in the greatest variety of Non descript.

3  Fine weather, a hard frost in the Night.

4  Do  The Anniversary of his Majestys Birthday.  The Govr ordered half a pint of Rum to be served out of the Stores to the Civil and Military departments and to the Convicts: The Soldiers refused it as thinking themselves slighted by having an equal quantity with the Convict, but upon the Majors sending to them that it was his wish they might receive it, they consented to it.  I should have taken a different method with them, I should have taken every means in my power to have discovered the original movers of it, and have punished them most severely.  Every thing was quiet and orderly among the Convicts, which I flatter myself was in some degree owing to the precautions taken to effect that End.  The Soldiers paid no kind of honor to the day, nor did the Officers even dine together.

5  The Morning fine and sunshiny, about 2 it lowered and rained, but about 4 o'clock it clear'd up.

6  The Continuance of fine pleasant weather at a time of year (the beginning of Winter) shews the excellence of the climate, indeed every thing is in a continual state of vegetation, The Woods are in constant foliage for tho' they shed their leaves, yet they are only shoved off by the succeeding Leaves.

7  Temperate mild weather.  The Govr came up:

8  Continuance of fine Weather. 9  Do. It was mentioned above the Yalloway a native was murdered and burnt by another native.  It appears to be a general determination that the friends of the murdered person revenge his death by the murder of the Guilty person or upon any relation they may have an opportunity of doing it on.  The wife of Yalloway a few days after her Husbands death met a young girl, a relation of the Murdered, and immediately took a large stone and beat her over the head till her skull was fractured in many places and she died a few hours after.  Upon this being mentioned to some of the Natives they were not in the least surprised at it, but said it was a natural consequence.

10  Heavy rain for 4 hours. The remainder of the day fine.

11th  Fine weather.  12 Do  13 A tendency to rain.   14  But this morning the usual fine weather returned.  This day put a quantity of strawberries in the ground.  The whole Colony has been supplied from one plant brought by the Govr from the Cape of Good Hope.

15  Fine weather.  This day the Govr  and Judge Advocate came up, and on the

16  Set off together for the New Settlement.  It had been usual for the Govr on H M Birthday to shew some respect to it by giving a general amnesty to all those who wore Irons, except those whose crimes were of too deep a die, or those that from the frequency of crimes there was no reformation to be expected.  As he neglected it on that day, he appointed this for the purpose.  All the convicts were assembled and he told them that he was sorry the ration was so small, he desired them to be patient, orderly and to do their duty with chearfulness, that he expected ships in every day, that then they should receive the benefit of their good behavior.  He then extended his lenity to the poor objects in Irons, and the whole finished in the greatest order.  Afterwards we walked up the hill from when we saw distincty Mountains call'd the Blue ones at about 25 miles distance.  The whole face of the country appears one artistic wood.  It has twice been attempted the getting to them but from the natural difficulties of the country and the necessity of every man carrying his own provisions they have never proceeded much further than a river call'd the Hawkesbury about half way; the next time it is attempted if God spares my health I will be of the party.  The evening it appeared for rain which is much wanted. but on the

17 in the Morning it was the usual fine weather, the Govr went to Sydney.  There are now upwards of 300 Acres of as fine wheat as ever I saw in England, rain is much wanted; when it fails (as it sometimes does for no rain has fallen for 15 months together) the crops of wheat are precarious, but the Indian Corn never misses provided it is paid proper attention too:

18  Fine pleasant weather.  I find it requires a great deal of patience and perseverance to persist in doing what I think I am bound to do in my Judicial capacity, I mean to shew no distinction of characters, but to execute justice impartially, which by the blessing of God I will do, let the consequence be what it may:

19.  Fine moderate weather.  The difficulties, almost unsurmountable, of getting at truth among a sett of people used to every species of vice and Newgate chicanery is amazing; nothing but perseverance with a firm resolution of getting at it, if attainable can operate:

20  A hard frost;  21  Fine weather.  This day has a flying report that two vessels had arrived at Sydney; On the 22 in the Morning found that the Atlantick a ship sent from Sydney to Bengal for provisions had arrived loaded with that article.  We neer imagined that our Ration of 11th of May would be much augmented, but to our great disapointmt found that in Lieu of 2 ld of Pork which was taken from us, they gave us 1 ld of Indian Corn an 1 ld of Doll a species of Split pease.  So that our ration is at present 2 ld Port, 5 ld Indian Corn, 1½ ld Flower and 1 Qt of Doll; rather a better ration to those that have no gardens and a worse for those that have.

23 went to Sydney and 24 in the Evening return'd.

25  Rainy weather till 2 o'clock, when it cleared up, but begun again about 6 and contained about 1 hour.  The Convicts dissatisfied with their ration, not thinking it adequate to what they had before; `tis hard.

26 Morng fine weather.  It is now about twelve months since we left England and no Ship is yet arrived, our provisions of Pork (we have no Beef) and all kinds if Slops run very short.  The Governors wishes and expectations upon that head are too sanguine.  `Tis indeed distressing to a feeling heart to see so many of our fellow creatures pining in want of every kind. `tis so to me who am so situated that I am obliged to punish those whom hunger drove to steal a few cobs of corn or a turnip.  I most sincerely pray to God that this may soon end.

27  Fine weather   28 Do  29th Cloudy.  30  Rain with some sunshine.

1 July  Rainey, this day received an account from the Natives that some Ships had arrived at Botany Bay.  God send it may be true.

2  It rained all night, this will I hope secure us a good crop of wheat, tho' it is more likely to fail from the excessive heats, than from the want of rain except  bringing it up well above the ground.  The rain as usual comes from the S E.  This weeks ration is 2 ld Pork, 4 ld Indian Corn, 1 pint bad rice and 1½ ld of a species of flower call'd in Bengal Sogee, and 1 ld Dol or pea flour.  We had a report from the Natives that five ships were seen to the S.ward.

3  Rainy weather was sent for to Sydney to attend a civil Court and got very wet.

4  Deluge of rain the whole night and day from the S.W.

5  Fine weather came up from Sydney, lived with the Govr during my stay there.

6  Continuance of fine weather, the rain has been of infinite service to the lands, no account of the ships said to have been seen by the natives.

7  Very hard frost all night.   8  Hard rainey weather.  9  Fine weather.  10 Do.

 

For the Confederation 14 July 1791  By Peter Pindar

Come good fellows all - Confusion's the toast.

  And success to our excellent cause.

As we have nothing to lose, so naught can be lost

  So perdition to Monarchs & Laws.

 

France shews us the way - an example how great

  Then like France let us stir up a Riot

May our names be preserv'd by some damnable feat

  For what but a wretch would be quiet.

 

As we all are poor Rogues, `tis most certainly right

  At the doors of the rich ones to thunder

Like the thieves who set fire to a dwelling by night

  And Come in for a share of the Plunder.

 

Whoever for mischief invents the best plan

  Best murders, sets fire & knocks down

The votes of our Club shall be given to that Man

  And Hemloch shall form him a Crown

 

Our Empire has hover'd with a lustre too long

  Then blot out this wonderful Sun

Let us arm them at once & in confidence strong

  Compleat what dark Gordon begun.

 

But grant a defeat we are hang'd & that's all

  A Punishment light as a feather

Yet we triumph in death as we Catilines fall

  And go to the Devil together.

11  Continuance of fine weather, 12 Do  13  Rainy weather in the morning but towards evening it cleared up, was excessively ill but this day 14 much better the Pork served to us this day very bad from Bengal, only a few casks was brought by way of Sample, it is found from this specimen it will not keep, as it is putrid.  Indeed our ration is much too small for working men, and more especially as this is the busy time of the year, in getting the wheat in, and preparing the Ground for the Indian Corn &c.  The Govr very ill.

15  Fine weather.  Thank God recovered my health.

16  Continuation of fine weather.  The Dormouse lives six Years, the hare seven or eight, the Bear twenty or twenty five, the camel forty or fifty, the Reinoceros seventy or eighty, the Elephant two hundred, and some birds and fishes are supposed to exist during three or four centuries, the same progressive duration takes place among vegitables. - At the end of the Autumn if the coats of any bulbous root be carefully dissected the entire plant in minature will appear in the centre of the Root.

17  Fine pleasant weather, the mornings cold and frosty.

Superstition is the instinct of fear extended to imaginary objects of terror:

Devotion is an extention of the Instinct of love to the First-Clause or Author of the Universe

Reverence or respect for eminent characters is a species of devotion

Avarice is the instinct of love directed to an improper object

Hope is the instinct of Love directed to future good.

Envy is compounded of Love, avarice, ambition and fear.

Benevolence is the Instinct of love diffused over all animated beings

Sympathy is the instinct of fear transferred to another person and reflected back on ourselves.

18. Continuance of fine weather. -

The motion of Animals is proportioned to their weight and structure.  A flea can leap some hundred times its own length.  Here an elephant, a camel or a horse to leap in the same proportion, their weight would crush them to atoms.

Motion gives birth, perfection, death and reproduction to all animal and vegetable beings.  It is the cause of all that diversity and change which perpetually affect every object in the Universe.  The globe we inhabit, as well as the inumerable and stupendous heavenly bodies which present themselves, in forms apparently minute to our observation constantly exhibit motions of the most inconceivable rapidity.  The magnitude of this earth, when considered with relation to man and other animals, appears to be exceedingly great.  It is indeed sufficiently spacious and sufficiently prolific, for the conveniency and maintenance of its inhabitants.  The magnificent objects display'd on its surface excite the admiration of every beholder.  Its plains and mountains, its rivers and lakes, its islands and continents, its seas and oceans, continually solicit attention, gratify curiosity, and call forth the powers of reason and reflection.  But when compared to the other heavenly bodies, the number and magnitude of which exceed all the powers of human conception; the grandeur of our earth diminishes.  Instead of exciting wonder, it almost vanishes out of sight.  Instead of an immense Globe, it dwindles into a point seems to occupy no space, and looses itself in the boundless regions of the universe.  Considerations of this kind are apt to depress the dignity of man, and to lessen his importance in the great scale of being.  But they expand his mental faculties, and exalt his ideas concerning that inconceivable Power which first produced, and still supports these astonishing orbs.

Brutes like Men, learn to see objects in their proper position, to judge of distances and heights, and of hurtful, pleasurable, or indifferent bodies.  Without some portion of reason, therefore, they could never acquire the faculty of making a proper use of their senses.  A dog, though pressed with hunger, will not seize a piece of meat in presence of his master, unless it be given to him.  But with his eyes, his movements and his voice he makes the most humble and expressive petition.  If this balancing of motives be not reasoning, I know not by what other name it can be called.

All sounds wether acute or grave strong or weak move at the rate of 1142 feet in a second of time.  Hence whenever the lightening of thunder, or the fire of artillery are seen, their actual distances from the observer may be easily ascertained by the vibrations of a pendulum.  This velocity, it is true, may be a little augmented or diminished by favorable or contrary winds, and by the heat or cold.  But the difference, even in high winds, is so trifling, that, for any useful purpose, it scarcely merits attention.

``If mankind, says Dr Reid, had not a natural language, they could never have invented an artificial one by their reason or ingenuity. for all artificial language supposes some compact or agreement to affix a certain meaning to certain signs, therefore, there must be compacts or agreements before the use of artificial signs; but there can be no compact or agreement without signs, nor without language, and therefore there must be a natural language before any artificial language can be invented.-  The elements or constituent parts of the natural language of mankind, the Dr reduces to three kinds, modulations of the voice, gestures and features.  By means of these, says he, two savages, who have no common artificial language, can converse together, can communicate their thoughts in some tollerable manner; can ask and refuse, affirm or deny, threaten and supplicate; can traffic, enter into covenants and plight his faith.

19  Fine weather still continues.  20  Morng cloudy weather and in the Evng a tendency to rain.

Light consists of innumerable rays, which proceed in direct lines from every part of luminous bodies.  The motion of light, though not instantaneous, is inconceivable swift.  To give some comparative Idea of its great velocity, it has been discovered by Philosophers that rays of light coming from the Sun reach this earth in seven minutes.  Now the distance of the earth from the Sun is so imense, that supposing a cannon ball to move at the rate of 500 feet in a second, it could not come from the Sun to the earth in less than 25 Years at this rate the velocity of light will be above 10 Mill: of times grear than that of a cannon Ball.  The rays of light, though they proceed in direct lines from luminous bodies, are refracted or bent out of their course, in passing through different mediums, as the Air, glass and every transparent substances; but when they fall upon opaque bodies, they are reflected.  Rays proceeding from any object, and passing thro' a convex glass or lens, are refracted and collected into a point or small space at a certain distance from the glass which is call'd the focus of that lens.

The white light conveyed to us by the Sun is not homogeneous but consists of seven differently coloured rays or what are call'd the primary colours.  These differently coloured rays were discovered by Sir I. Newton to have different degrees of refrangibility.  When the white light of the Sun was made to pass through a glass prism, be found, that instead of retaining its original whiteness, it exhibited seven distinct colours, and that this phenomenon was produced by the several rays in the composition of white light being more or less refracted or turned from their direct course.  The simple primary colours are seven in number, namely, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.  Red is the least and violet the most, refrangible parts of white light.  A proper mixture of all the seven primary colours constitutes whiteness, and by various combinations of the primary colours, all the compound colours exhibited either in Nature or art are produced.  Any surface appears black when it reflects little or no light.

The different humours of the Eye, and the crystalline lens are all denser than air or water, of course, their power of refracting the rays of light is likewise greater.  The rays proceeding from every point of an object enter the pupil, and the refraction of the different parts of the eye, which act as a lens, necessarily makes them cross each other in their passage to the retina.  After crossing, they diverge till they are stopped by the retina where they form an inverted picture.  The upper part of the object is painted on the lower part of the retina, and the right side upon the left &c.  The celebrated Kepler first discovered, that distinct, but inverted pictures of every object we behold are painted on the retina by the rays of light proceeding from visible objects.  This discovery naturally led Kepler, as well as many other Philosophers since his time to enquire how we should see objects erect from inverted on the retina.

Many ingenious theories have been invented and many volumes have been written in order to explain this seemingly difficult question, and the several Authors uniformly assume it as a principle that, because the pictures are inverted on the retina, the mind ought also to perceive them in the same position.  It is certain that, unless distinct images are painted on the retina, an obscure or indistinct idea of the object is conveyed to the mind.  The picture on the retina, therefore, is so fare the cause of vision, that unless this picture be clear and well defined, our ideas of the picture figure, colour and other qualities of any object presented to the eye, will be obscure and imperfect.  The retina of the eye resembles a canvas on which objects are painted.  The colours of these pictures are bright or obscure in proportion to the distance of the objects represented.  When objects are very remote, their pictures on the retina are so faint, that they are entirely obliterated by the vigorous and lively impressions of nearer objects, with which we are every way surrounded.  On the other hand, when near objects emit a feeble light only compared with that which proceeds from a remote object, as, for example, when we view luminous bodies in the night, then very distant objects make distinct pictures on the retina and become perfectly visible.  Hence a man, by placing himself in a dark situation, and looking thro' a long tube, without the intervention of a glass may make a kind of telescope, which will have a considerable effect even during the day.  For the same reason a man at the bottom of a deep pit can see the stars at noon.

The first and greatest error in vision, in the opinion of many authors, arises from the inverted representation of objects upon the retina; and they maintain, that, till children learn the real position of bodies by the sense of feeling, they see every object inverted.  But new born animals, wether of the human or brute species, see objects, not inverted, but in their real positions, independently of all experience, or of any opportunity of rectifying the supposed illusion by the sense of touch.  Animals see objects in their real position by a law of nature, and by the instrumentality of the eye and optic nerve.  Were it not a law of Nature, or of the constitution of animals, to see objects erect, though their images be inverted on the retina, an inverted object could not possibly appear inverted, for, in this case, we should not be obliged to have recourse to experience or to the sense of feeling.  Besides it is an established fact, that blind men who have been restored to sight by chirurgical operations, instantly saw objects in their real position.  There is no relation to the principles of optics, in the sensation of feeling, to which an image, painted by rays of light on soft white nervous terminations, is conveyed thro' a most opaque body in a long course of perfect darkness to the brain.  Indeed, the sense by which the perceiving nerves of any kind are affected, is not an image or idea of the object.  The idea of redness has nothing in common with the least refrangible portions of light, seperated from the other six coloured rays of which white light is composed.  The pain of burning represents not to the mind any thing of that swift and subtle matter by which the nervous threads are broken and distroy'd.  There is nothing in the idea of a sharp sound, from a cord of a certain length, which can inform the mind that this cord vibrates 2000 times in a second.

Another question with regard to vision has been much agitated by Philosophers.  Because a separate image of every object is painted on the retina of each eye, it was concluded, that we naturally see all objects double; that we learn to correct this error of vision by the sense of touching, and that, if the sense of seeing were not constantly rectified by that of touching, we should be perpetually deceived as to the position, number and situation of objects.  The Count de Buffon mentions the real fact, though he ascribes it to a wrong cause.  ``When two images, says he, fall on corresponding parts of the retina, or those parts which are allways affected at the same time, objects appear single, because we are accustomed to judge of them in this manner.  But, when the images of objects fall upon parts of the retina which are not usually affected at the same time, they then appear double, because we have not acquired the habit of rectifying this unusual sensation.  Mr. Chellelden, in his anatomy, relates the case of a man who had been affected with a strabismus or squinting, in consequence of a blow on the head.  This man saw every object double for a long time.  But he gradually learned to correct this error of vision, with regard to objects which were familiar to him, and at last he saw every oblect single as formerly, though the squinting was never removed.  This is a proof still more direct, that we see all objects double, and that it is by habit alone we learn to conceive them to be single".

In this and other passages, the Count de Buffon has pointed out the genuine cause (or ultimate fact) why we see objects single with two eyes.  He tells us, that, though a distinct image is painted on each retina, whenever these images are painted on corresponding points of the retinas, and object is perceived to be single.  It is equally true, that, when one eye is distorted by the finger, or any other cause, in such a manner that the images are painted on points [of the retina] which do not correspond, the object is perceiv'd to [?].  Objects which are much nearer, or much more remote, than [?] to which both eyes are directed appear double.  If a candle is [held] at the distance of ten feet, and a man holds his finger at [arms] length, between his eyes and the candle, when he looks at the candle, he sees his finger double, and when he looks at his finger he sees the Candle double".  In this phenomenon, Dr Reid properly remarks, it is evident to those who understand optics, that the pictures of objects which are seen double, do not fall upon points of the retinae which are similarly situated, but that the pictures of objects seen single, do fall upon points similarly situated.  Whence to infer, that as the points of the two retinae which are similarly situated with regard to the centres do correspond, so those which are dissimularly situated do not sorrespond.  It is to be observed, that although, in such cases, as are mentioned in the last phenomenon, we have been accustomed from infancy to see objects double which we know to be single, yet custom and experience of the unity of the object, never take away this appearance of duplicity" / Dr Reids Inqr p28.

The sense of seeing, without the aid of experience, conveys no idea of distance.  If not assisted by the sense of touching, all objects would seem to be in contact with the eye itself.  Objects appear larger or smaller according as they approach or recede from the eye or according to the Angle they subtend.  A fly, when very near the eye, seems to be larger than a horse or an ox at a distance.  Children can have no idea of the relative magnitude of objects because they have no notion of the different distances at which they are seen.  It is only after measuring space by extending the hand, or by transporting their bodies from one place to another, that children acquire just ideas concerning the real distances and magnitudes of objects.  Their ideas of magnitude result entirely from the angle formed by the extreme rays reflected from the superior and inferior parts of the object.  Hence every near object must appear to be large and every distant one small.  But after by touch, having acquir'd ideas by distances, the judgement concerning magnitude begins to be rectified.  If we judge solely by the eye, and have not acquired the habit of considering the same objects to be equally large, though seen at different distances, the nearest of two men, tho' of equal size, would seem to be many times larger than the farthest.  But we know that the last man is equally large with the first, and therefore we judge him to be of the same dimensions.  Any distance ceases to be familiar to us, when the interval is vertical instead of being horizontal, because all the experiments by which we usually rectify the errors of vision with regard to distances are made horizontally.  We have not the habit of judging concerning the magnitudes of objects, solely by the largeness of the angle or image formed in the eye, which necessarily produces a variety of deceptions.  When travelling in the Night we are liable to mistake a bush that is near us for a tree at a distance, or a distant tree for a bush which is at hand.  When benighted in a part of the country with which we are unacquainted, and, of course unable to judge of the distance and figure of objects, we are every moment liable to all the deceptions of vision.  This is the origin of all that dread which some men feel to the dark and those ghosts and horrible figures which so many people possitively assert they have seen in the night.  Such figures are commonly said to exist in the imagination only, but they often have a real existence in the eye, for, when we have no other mode of recognising unknown objets but by the angle they form in the eye, their magnitude is uniformly augmented in proportion to their vicinity.  If an object, at the distance of 20 or 30 paces, appears to be only a few feet high, its height, when viewed within 2 or 3 feet of the Eye will seem to be many fathoms.  Objects in this situation, must excite terror and astonishment in the Spectator, till he approaches, and recognises them by actual feeling; for the moment a man examines an object properly, the gigantic figure it assumed in the eye instantly vanishes, and its apparent magnitude is reduced to its real dimensions.  But if, instead of approaching an object of this kind, the spectator flies from it, he retains the idea with the image of it formed in his eye, and he may affirm with truth, that he beheld an object terrible in its aspect and enormous in its size.  Hence the notion of spectres and of horrible figures, is founded on nature, and depends not solely on imagination.

When we have no idea of the distance of objects by a previous knowledge of the space between them and the eye, we try to judge of their magnitudes by recognising their figures.  But when their figures are not distinguishable, we perceive those which are most brilliant in colour to be nearest, and those which are most obscure to be at the greatest distance.  From this mode of judging many deceptions originate.  When a number of objects are placed in a right line, as lamps in a long street, we cannot judge of their proximity or remoteness but by different quantities of light they transmit to the eye: of course if the lamps nearest the eye happen to be more obscure than those which are more remote, the first will appear to be the last and the last first. ---

21  Pleasant weather.  22  Do   23  Do   24  D25th  Rainey Wind  West.

26  Fine weather.

The advantages of society are immense and valuable, but the inconveniences, hardships, injustice, oppressions and cruelties, which too often originate from it are great and lamentable.  Even under the mildest and best regulated governments, animosities, jealousies, avarice, fraud, and chicane are unfortunately never removed from our observation.  In absolute monarchies, and particularly in dispotic governments, the scenes of private and of general calamity and distress are often too dreadful to be described.  Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, however, and government is preferable to anarchy; and the comforts, pleasures and improvements, we receive in associating with each other, overbalance all the evils to which society gives rise.

Of all the animals capable of culture, man is the most ductile.  By instruction, imitation, and habit, his mind may be moulded into any form.  It may be exalted  by science and art to a degree of knowledge, of which the vulgar and uninformed have not the most distant conception. the averse is melancholy.  When the human mind is left to its own operations, and depriv'd of almost every opportunity of social information it sinks so low, that it is nearly revaled by the most sagacious brutes.  The natural superiority of man over the other animals is a necessary result of the great number of instincts with which his mind is endowed.  These instincts are gradually unfolded, and produce after a mature age, reason, abstraction, invention, science.  To confirm this truth, it would be fruitless to have recourse to metaphysical arguments which generally mislead and hinder human reason.  A diligent attention to the actual operations of nature is sufficient to convince any mind that is not warped and deceived by opoular prejudice, the fetters of authoritys, as they are called, whether ancient or modern; or by the vanity of supporting preconceived opinions and favourite theories.  Let any man reflect on the progress of children from birth to manhood.  At first, their instincts are limited to obscure sensations, and the performance of a few corporeal actions, to which they are promoted or rather compelled, by certain stimulating impulses unnecessary to be mentioned.  In a few months, their sensations are perceived to be more distinct, their bodily actions are better directed, new instincts are unfolded, and they assume a greater appearance of rationality and mental capacity.  When still farther advanced, and after they have acquired some use of language, and some knowledge of natural objects, they begin to reason, but their reasonings are feeble, and often preposterous.  In this manner they uniformly proceed in improvement till they are actuated by the last instinct, at or near the age of puberty.  After this period they reason with some degree of perspicuity and justness.  But though their whole instincts are now unfolded and in action, every power of their mind requires, previous to its utmost exertions, to be agitated and polished by an examination of a thousand natural and artificial objects, by the experience and observations of those with whom they associate, by public or private instruction, by studying the writings of their predecessors and cotemporaries, and by their own reflections, till they arrive at the age of thirty five.  Previous to that period, much learning may have been acquired, much genius may have been exerted; but, before that time of life, judgement, abstraction, and the reasoning faculty are not fully matured.  This progress is the genuine operation of nature, and the gradual source of human sagacity and mental powers.  The same progress is to be observed in the powers of the body.  It arrives, indeed, sooner at perfection than the mind.  But if the progress of the mind greatly preceded that of the body, what a miserable and awkward figure would human beings, at an early period of their existence, exhibit?  Active and vigorous minds, stimulated to command what the organs of their bodies were unable to obey, would produce, peevishness, anger, regret and every disturbing passion.

The bodies of men, though not so ductile as their minds are capable, when properly managed by early culture of wonderful exertions.  Men, accustomed to live in polished societies, have little or no ides of the activity, the courage, the patience and the persevering industry of savages, when simply occupied in hunting wild animals for food to themselves and families.  The hunger, the fatigue, the hardships, which they not only endure, but despise with fortitude, would amaze and terrify the imagination of any civilized European.

To men of observation and reflection, it is apparent, that all the beings on this earth, whether animals or vegetables, have a mutual connection and a mutual dependence on each other.  There is a graduated scale or chain of existence, not a link of which, however seemingly insignificant, could be broken without affecting the whole.  Superficial men, or, which is the same thing, men who avoid the trouble of serious thinking, wonder at the design of producing certain insects and reptiles.  But they do not consider that the annihilation of any one of these species, though some of them are inconvenient, and even noxious to man, would make a blank in Nature and prove distructive to other species who feed upon them.  These, in their turn, would be the cause of distroying other species, and the system of devastation would gradually proceed, till man himself would be extirpated, and leave this earth destitute of all animation.

In the chain of animals, man is unquestionably the chief or capital link, and from him all the other links decend by almost imperceptible gradations.  As a highly rational animal, improved with science and arts, he is, in some measure, related to beings of a superior order, wherever they exist.  By contemplating the works of Nature, he even rises to some faint ideas of her great Author.  Why, it has been asked, are not men endowed with the capacity and powers of Angels?  beings of whom we have not even a conception.  With the same propriety it may be asked, Why have not beasts the mental powers of men?  Questions of this kind are the results of ignorance, which is always petulant and presumtuous.  Every creature is perfect, according to its destination.  Raise or depress any order of beings, the whole system, of course, will be deranged, and a new world would be necessary to contain and support them.  Particular orders of beings should not be considered separately, but by the rank they hold in the general system.  from man to the minutest animalcule which can be discovered by the microscope, the chasm seems to be infinite: but that chasm is actually filled up with sensient beings, of which the lines of discrimination are almost imperceptible.  All of them possess degrees of perfection of excellence proportioned to their station in the universe.  Even among mankind, which is a particular species, the scale of intellect is very extensive.  What a difference between an enlightened philosopher and a brutal Hottentot?  Still, however, Nature observes, for the wisest purposes, her uniform plan of graduation.  In the human species, the degrees of intelligence are extremely varied.  Were all men philosophers, the buissiness of life could not be executed, and neither society, nor even the species, could long exist.  Industry, various degrees of knowledge, different dispositions, and different talents, are great bonds of society.  The Gentoos, from certain religious and political institutions have formed their people into different casts or ranks, out of which their posterity can never emerge.  To us, such institutions appear to be tyrannical and restraints in the natural liberty of Man.  In some respects they are so; But they seem to have been originally results of wisdom and observation, for independently of all political institutions, Nature herself has formed the human species in casts or ranks.  To some she gives superior genius and mental abilities, and even of these, the views the persuits and the tastes are wonderfully diversified.

In the talents and qualities of quadrapeds of the same species, there are often remarkable differences.  These differences are conspicuous in the various races of horses, dogs &c.  Even among the same races, some are bold, sprightly and sagacious.  Others are comparatively timid, phlegmatic and dull.

Our knowledge of the chain of intellectual and corporeal beings is very imperfect, but what we do know gives us exalted ideas of [the] variety and progression which reign in the universe.  A thick [?] prevents us from recognising the most beautiful and magnificent parts of this immense chain of being.  We shall endeavour, however, to point out a few of the more obvious links of that chain, which falls under our own limited observation.

Man, even by his external qualities, stands at the head of this world.  His relations are more extensive, and his form more advantageous than those of any other animal.  His intellectual powers, when improved by society and science, raise him so high, that, if no degrees of excellence existed among his own species, he would leave a great void in the chain of being.  Were we to consider the characters, the manners and the genius of different nations, of different provinces and towns, and even of the numbers of the same family, we should imagine that the species of men were as various as the number of individuals.  How many gradations may be traced, between a stupid Huron or a Hottentot and a profound Philosopher?  Here the distance is immense. but Nature has occupied the whole by almost infinite shades of discrimination.

In descending the scale of animation, the next step, it is humiliating to remark is very short.  Man in his lowest condition, is evidently linked, both in the form of his body and the capacity of his mind, to the large and small orang-outangs.  These again, by another slight gradation, are connected to the Apes, who, like the former have no tails.  It is wonderful that Linneus, and many other naturalists should have overlooked this gradation in the scale of animals, and maintained, that the Island of Nicobar, and some other parts of the East Indies, were inhabited by tailed men.  Before those animals whose external figure has the greatest resemblance to that of Man, are ornamented, or rather deformed, with tails, there are several shades of discrimination.  The larger and smaller orang-outangs, which are real brutes, have no tails.  Neither are the numerous tribes of apes furnished with this appendage.  But the believers in tailed men gravely tells us, that there is nothing surprizing in this phenomenon, because a tail is only a prolongation of the os coccygio, which is the termination of the back-bone.  They consider not, however, that instead of accounting for the existence of tailed men, they do nothing more than substitute a learned circumlocution for the single word tail.  It is here worthy of remark that a Philosopher, who has paid little attention to natural history is perpetually liable to be deceived, and that a Naturalist, I mean a nomenclator without philosophy, though he may be useful by mechanically making distinctions, is incapable of enriching our minds with general ideas.  A proper mixture of the two is best calculated to produce a real philosopher.  From the Ouran-Outangs and apes to the baboons, the interval is hardly perceptible.  The true apes have no tails, and those of the baboons are very short.  The Monkeys, who form the next link, have long tails and terminate this partial chain of imitative animals, which have such a detestable resemblance to the human frame and manners.

When examining the characters by which beings are distinguishable from each other, we perceive that some of them are more general, and include a greater variety than others.  From this circumstance all our distributions into classes, orders, genera, and species are derived.  Between two classes, or two genera, however, Nature always exhibits intermediate productions, so closely allied, that it is extremely difficult to ascertain to which of them they belong.  The Polypus, which multiplies by shoots, or by sections from its body, connects the animal to the vegetable kingdom.  Those worms, which lodge in tiles composed of sand, seem to link the insects to the shell and crustaceous animals.  Shell-Animals and crustaceous insects make also a near approach to each other.  Both of them have their muscles and instruments of motion attached to external instead of internal bones.  From reptiles, the degrees of perfection in animal life and powers move forward in a gradual but perceptible manner.  The number of their organs of sense, and the general conformation of their bodies, begin to have a greater analogy to the structure of those animals which we are accustomed to consider as belonging to the more perfect kinds.  The snake, by its form, its movements, and its mode of being, is evidently connected with the eel and the water serpent.  Like reptiles, most fishes are covered with scales, the colours and variety of which often enable us to distinguish one species from another.  The forms of fishes are exceedingly various.  Some are long and slendor, others are broad and contracted.  Some fishes are flat, others cylindrical, triangular, square, circular &c.  The fins of fishes, from the medium in which they live are analogous to the wings of birds.  Like those of reptiles, the heads of fishes are immediately connected to their bodies, without the intervention of necks.  The flying fishes, [?] fins resemble the wings of bats, form one link which unites the fishes to the feathered tribes.  Aquatic birds succeed, by a gentle gradation, the flying fishes.

In tracing the gradations from fishes to quadrupeds, the transition is almost imperceptible.  The sea Lion, the Horse and all the cetacious tribes, the crocodile, the turtle the seals, have such a resemblance both in their external and internal structure to terrestrial quadrupeds, that some Naturalists, in their methodical distributions, have ranked them under the same class of animals.  The bats and flying squirrels, who traverse the air by means of membranous instead of feathered wings, evidently [continued]

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University