Skip to Content

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

Atkins Diary 1792 part 2

connect quadrupeds with birds.  The Ostrich, the cassowary and the dodo who rather run than fly, form another link between the quadruped and the Bird.

All the substances we recognise on this earth, may be divided into organsised and animated, organised and inanimated, and unorganised and brute matter.  The whole of these possess degrees of perfection of excellence or of relative utility, proportioned to their ranks or stations in the Universe.  Change these stations or ranks and another world would be necessary to contain and support them.  Beings must not be contamplated individually, but, by their rank, and the relations they have to the constituent parts of the general system of nature.  Certain results of their natures we consider as evils.  Distroy these evils, and you annihilate the beings who complain of them.  The reciprocal action of the solids and fluids constitutes life, and the continuation of this action is the natural cause of death.  Immortality on this earth therefore, presupposes another system, for our planet has no relation to immortal beings.  Every animal, and every plant, rises by gentle gradations, from an embryo, or gelatinous state, to a certain degree of perfection exactly proportioned to their several orders.  An assemblage of all the orders of relative perfection constitutes the absolute perfection of the whole.  All the planets of this system gravitate toward the sun and toward each other.  Our system gravitates towards other systems and they to ours.  Thus the whole universe is linked by a gradual and almost imperceptible chain of existences both animated and inanimated.  Were there no other argument in favor of Unity of Diety, this uniformity of design, this graduated concontination of beings, which appears not only from this chapter, but from many other systems seems to be perfectly irrefragable.

In contemplating Man, as at the head of those animals with which we are acquainted, a thought occurred, that no sentient being, whose mental powers, were greatly superior, could possibly live and be happy in this world.  If such a being really existed, his misery would be extreme.  With senses more delicate and refined, with perceptions more acute and penetrating, with a taste so exquisite that the objects around him could by no means gratify it; obliged to feed upon nourishment too gross for his frame, he must be born only to be miserable, and the continuation only of his existence would be utterly impossible.  Even in our present condition, the sameness and insipidity of objects and persuits, the futility of pleasure, and the infinite sources of excruciating pain, are supported with great difficulty by cultivated and refined Minds.  Increase our sensibilities, continue the same objects and situation and no man could bear to live.  Let Man, therefore, be contented.  His station in the universal  scale of Nature is fixed by Wisdom.  Let him contemplate and admire the works of his Creator.  Let him fill up his rank with dignity and consider every partial evil as a cause or an effect of general good.-  This is the whole duty of Man. 

27.  Fine pleasant weather. and to add to our comforts a ship of 300 Tons that is come in loaden with provisions, in consequence our ration this day for a man 28 Is 4ld Pork.  4 ld Indian Corn, 3 ld sugar, ½ ld Rice.  3 pints of Dholl;  a womans, 2ld 10 oz Pork, 1Qt. Dholl, ½ pint Rice and 3 ld Indian Corn, a very good allowance.

29  Fine weather.  30  Went down to Sydney to sit as a Justice in a Civil Court.

31  The Cause that came before this Court this day was an action brought by a Mr. Probat Mate of the Atlantick against Major G. the Lieut Govr. for defamation he laid his damage at 740 £,  The Court upon hearing the cause found for the Plaintiff with 1s damages.

1 Augt.  Came up to Parramatta with the Govr.  The ship that came in was the Britania from London having on board 200 Tuns of Beef and Pork: with 37 Tuns of Bale goods for the Convicts.  She gave us information that a Ship was to sail in the course of a fortnight with a few convicts and 15 families of Quakers who are coming out to settle.  It will be of infinite use to the Colony that sober industrious families should have grants and meet with every encouragement that can be given them, and I have no doubt but that Govr. Phillip who sees every thing in the proper light, will do so.

2  Fine weather.  3  Rainy.  the wind to the S.ward of West. cleared up in the Evening.

Every man has a right to believe himself naturally equal to other men: but it does not follow that a Cardinals cook may order his eminence to dress his dinner: the cook indeed may say, I am as much a man as my master, like him I cried at my birth, and he will die in the same agonies, and amidst the same ceremonies as myself; the animal functions are the same in both; if the Turks make themselves masters of Rome, and I should then come to be a Cardinal, and my master reduced to turn Cook, I will take him into my service.  There is nothing in this soliloquy but what is rational and just; yet till the Grand Seignor makes himself master of Rome, the cook is to do his duty, else there's an end of human society.

As to him who is neither cook to a Cardinal nor holds any state employmt. and who has no connection or dependance, but who is chagrined at being every where received either with an air of protection or contempt; who plainly sees, that many Monseignieurs have neither more learning, more genius, nor more virtue than myself, and to whom it is a torment to be sometimes in their anti-chamber.  What would you have him do?  Take himself away.

That is Toleration?  it is a privilege to which human nature is entitled.  We are all made up of weakness and errors.  it therefore behoves us mutually to forgive another's follies.  This is the very first law of Nature.

4  Our usual good weather returned.

Written with a diamond on a window at the Swan Ely, Minster.

Three brilliants fair Belinda grac'd

There loves artillery lies

One on her snow white finger blaz'd

Two sparkled in her eyes.

 

The first wh. shone with fainter rays

Could here her name impart

The others drew her charming face

More deeply on my heart.

5  Continuance of fine weather.  6  Do7  Do. The Govr. went to Sydney.

8  Fine weather.  An epitaph in Llandiwi church yard.

Jerusalem's curse is not fulfill'd in me.

For here a stone upon a stone you see;

For stone I was, and stone I left my bride

By Stone I lived, and by the stone I died.

The mans name was Stone, he was by trade a Stone cutter and died of the Stone.

9  In the morning rain, but in the Evening it cleared up and on the

10 Our accustomed fine weather returned, It now begins to be warm in the middle of the day, tho' the Evening and morning are rather cold.

In a chain of reasoning concerning the operations of Nature, such is the constitution of our minds, that we are under the necessity of resorting to an ultimate cause.  What that cause is, it is the highest presumption in man to pretend to define.  But, though we must for ever remain ignorant of the cause, we are enabled to trace and even to understand, partially, some of its effects. and from these effects we perceive the most consummate wisdom, the most elegant and perfect contrivances to accomplish the multifarious and wonderful intentions of Nature.  In contemplating the operations of animals, from man down to the seemingly most contemptible insect, we are necessarily compelled to refer them to pure instincts or original qualities of mind; variegated by Nature according as the necessities, preservation and continuation of the different species require.  Let any man try to proceed a step farther, and however he may deceive himself and flatter his own vanity, we must find at last, that he is clouded in obscurity, and that men who have a more correct and unprejudiced mode of thinking will brand him with absurdity and of acting in direct opposition to the constitution and frame of the human mind.

War among mankind, in certain accidental situations of society, may be productive, to particular nations or communities of beneficial effects.  But every advantage derived by war to one nation is acquired at the expence, and either the partial or the total ruin of another.  If universal peace could be established, and if the earth were cultivated to the highest perfection, it is not probable that the multiplication of the human species would ever rise to such a degree as to exceed the quantity of provisions produced by agriculture and by the breeding of domestic animals, necessary for their existence and happiness.  But as long as men are actuated by ambition, by resentment, and many other hostile passions, war and animosity, with all their train of blood shed and calamity, will for ever continue to harrass and persecute the human kind.  Let us, however, be humble.  We cannot unfold the mysteries of nature, but we may admire her operations, and submit, with a becomming resignation to her irresistible decrees.  The man, if such a man there be, whose strength of mind enables him to observe steadfastly this conduct, is the only real Philosopher.-

11th  Fine weather.  We faire précisément que ce qu'on doit, quand rien ne s'y oppose en secret, n'est pas une vertu: mais vaincre un penchant presque toujours insurmontable dans le cœur humain, pour fáire son devoir, en est une des plus grandes.

Quels cœurs sont inaccessibles à l'amour?  Quelles situations dans [?] vie peuvent nous mettre à  l'abri d'une passion si involuntaire?  Plus on est malheureux, plus on a la cœur aisé à attendrir.  Ce n'est point un grand fond de vertu, qui nous garantit de l'amour; il nous empêche seulement d'y succomber.

12  Fine weather.  I was asked by the Govr. down to Sydney to celebrate the Prince of Wales birth day.  but was so ill, that I was obliged to decline.  Indeed my pain was so great that had it continued an hour longer I must have sunk under it.  But God Almighty relieved me and this day 13 find strong the principle of Life within me.  Fine weather.

14  Do. Much better, tho' still far from well.,  A very high wind from the SW, in sudden gusts.

15  Fine weather.  Rain is much wanted.

16  Do17. Dry weather, every body busy getting their ground in order to sow Melons, Pumkins &c.

18 No signs of rain, it is much wanted, the wind strong from the Westd. these three days last past.  The Atlantick is expected to sail for Norfolk tomorrow.

19.  Fine dry weather.  The Ration this week for a man 7ld Beef, 7ld Sougee ½ ld Rice 3 Pints Dholl, and for a Woman 5ld Beef, ½ ld Rice, 4ld 10 oz Sougee 1 Quart Dholl.  a child under 2 years ? and more ½ allowance.

20.  Warm weather. 21  Do22 Do.The Govr. came up from Sydney.

23.  Fine weather. 24  Do. 25  Do. but cloudy. . 26  Do.

27.  Govr. went to Sydney.  Fine weather very Hot.

28.  Fine seasonable rain.  The . Govr. with his usual goodness has given me 3½ Acres of ground fit for Indian Corn for Stock. S.W.

 

To the Jessamine.

Thee, Jessamine pale that lov'st to grade the shed

Of unrepining Poverty and breathe

In balmy whispers, as of peace from heaven,

``There still is happiness" to thee I come,

A sad frequenter of thy lonely shade.

Oh, could I bury `midst your tangled gloom,

All sense and thought! or might thy leaves contain

Some powerful opiate for the Soul; for now

They scent delights not, nor thy countless stars

Of silver white, that to the distant eye

Shew like a little galaxy, and view'd

With nice inspection, seem like maidens fair,

With Lucy's elegance and pallid charms.

Pleas'd have I reared thee, with the thorny Rose

High up the wood-bine bow'r, creating thus

A paradise of smells, nor seldom stopt,

Whenever I journey'd to inhale thy sweets

Sent from some cottage by the high way side.

One morning early, in my constant walk

To yonder village, where thy spreading tree

Scatters its flowers along the mud-built wall

Of many a patient husband man, I stay'd

To match thee, courted by the amorous gale;

There did'st thou sidelong from thy suitor bend

Regardless as it seem'd of all his vows,

For ever as in murmurs-soft he told

His ardent passion, Thou with snow white neck

Like a coy maiden, still did'st turn away

Nor heed his melancholy plaint: but when

Dispairing of his suit, be back retired

Thrown at a distance by the cold neglect

Back did's though also come. - His warm caress

Still flying, still returning to be woo'd. -

 

29  Continuance of Rain wind S.W.

 

Oh seek not to repress the sigh,

Nor check the Tear that drowns the eye!

Those love-fraught eyes seem more divine,

When the slow drops o'er Pity's shrine

From pearly sources graceful flow

To bathe the bruised heart of Woe!

And lovely is the bosoms swell

Whose quick, tumultous heavings tell

That softest sympathy is there

And Laura's good as she is fair.

While this as Fancy would translate, I gave

Sense to thy motion, and did call it Love.

And Summers bliss, then thought upon that Frost

Whose cold eternal's settled in my breast,

Thus did I oft upbraid the sighing wind.

``Ah! Wherefore is that moan? thou hadst thy hairs

``Of tenderest dalliance, and tho' she perhaps

``May sometimes prove unkind, thro' origin fears

``Or bashful modesty, yet still she loves

``And feeds thee with sweet hope, thou hadst no cause

``No subject for complaint: hadst thou the ground

``Which I have for distress, thou'dst cast aside

``These gentle murmurs, and assure the tone

``Of chiding Earus, or the howling North

``Whose loud laments call up the sable clouds

``And bid them hang their mourning o'er the Sky,

``Then drooping, deluge all the world with Tears."

But whence, fair flower, thy pale and sickly hue?

Hads't thou too tasted, of that bitter cup

Which mars the bloom of Youth? Hadst thou e'er known

The pangs of Love dispised, and pour'd in vain

Thy warm affections in an ear as cold

And Dull as Death's; like waves most idly dash'd

Against th' unfeeling shore? whate'ver the cause

That gives thee as a mourner to the world,

It could not rob thee of thy choise perfume,

Or that mild beauty, whose superior grace

Might with aught that roseate health could lend.

 

On Tranquillity

Nymph of the soft blue eye and gentle main

Thou lov'st to view upon the bending spray

The cawing rook her nests rude frabrick lay.

When curling smoke first climes the blue serene.

Or dost thou wooe the silence of the Night

What time in grand array the slow clouds sail

Across the moon, now spread a dusky veil,

Now fleece like whiten in her silver light

Sooth'd by thy smile the tempest of the mind

Is lull'd, Ambition lies in soft respose

Each thought in fairest form reflected glows.

Thus the broad Lake, unraffled by the wind,

Besides whose sedgy banks the Halcyon flies,

And her gay plumage in the Mirror eyes.

 

All animals as well as vegetables have stated periods of existence, and that their dissolution is uniformly accomplished by a gradual hardening and desiccation of their constituent parts.  No art, no medicine can retard the operations of Nature.  It is, therefore, the wisdom and the duty of every human being to nail down the irressistible current of Nature with all possible tranquility and resignation.  Life, whether short or long, whether fortunate or unfortunate, when the fatal period arrives is of little consequence to the individual.  Society, knowledge, virtue and benevolence, are our only rational enjoyments, and ought to be cultivated with diligence.

30  Our usual fine weather returned by the wind shifting to the N. ward.

31  Hard rain  Wind S E.

True politeness is the genuine offspring of true religion - A sullen severity of manners is no where inculcated in the gospel. - Meekness, humility and condescension are there mark'd out as fundamental graces - And where these reign in the heart, they will surely dictate such a sweet and amiable conduct, as is only mimicked by the common forms of what is call'd good-breeding.  I find as great want of this true politness among the rich as among the poor.  Wealth gives it not - neither does Poverty withold it.  Like its illustrious parent, it is confined to no religion, sect or denomination. -  We seek for it in vain in the meer bows and compliments of a churchman - We are surprised sometimes to find it in the simplicity of a quaker.

To deal out Justice with an impartial hand, to regard not the quality of the Offender, but the nature of the Offence, to administer comfort and relief to the poor and helpless, and protect the hard earnings of honest industry from the hands of rapine and oppression, to pull down corruption from the seat of honor, and to call forth modest merit and probity undisguised to fill its place; but above all to be themselves the bright examples as well as patrons of every virtue, and to support the true spirit and dignity of government without seeming to govern, these are some of the most important duties of the kingly office.

Qn . What is humility?

Ar. `Tis a fair and fragrant flower, in its appearance modest, in its situation low and hidden.  It does not flaunt its beauties to every vulgar eye, or throw its odours upon every passing gale.  `Tis unknown to the earthly botanist-it discovers itself only to the spiritual searcher.-  Neither does he find it among those gay and gaudy tribes of flowers, with which the generality are so easily captivated; but in some obscure and uncultivated spot, where the prints of human feet are rarely seen - But wherever he finds it, he is sure to behold its bosom opened to the Sun of Righteousness, receiving new sweets in perpetual succession from its exaustless source.

Couldst thou read aright the volume that is unfolded in thy heart, thou wouldst find there the same language, which thy Saviour speaks in his gospel viz: That the kingdom of God is within thee; that virtue, goodness, holiness are not empty names, but that they are a real nature, of heavenly extraction; that they depend not merely upon our animal sensations, but may be called forth and brought into exercise independent of and superior to them - that this heavenly nature will regulate controul and direct the several passions or appetites of thine earthly part - that wether thy temper be gentle, or violent, meek or wrathful, kind and tender or sower and morose, this blessed principle if attended to and obeyed, will make both its good and its evil turn to thine advantage.  It will overcome all that is harsh, peevish and discontented within thee; and will give a heavenly tincture, virtue and efficacy to thine earthly meekness, tenderness and love.  It will teach thee to look above nature, above instinct, above reason, for that which is to set nature, instinct, reason, right.  It will satisfy thee of the truth and authenticity of the Bible Revelation, and teach thee to consider thyself and all mankind, not only as the Sons of Adam but as Sons of God in Christ, only to be redeemed out of their present bondage, by means of that communication which the Redeemer himself hath opened betwixt earth and heaven, betwixt our fallen spirits, and his own spirit of Love. 

1 Septr . Fine weather.  2 Rain in the morning but fine towards the Evening

3  Rain Wind SW.  The ration this week for a man, 4ld Pork,, 2 ld Flower 1½ ld Sougee, 3 pints Dholl. 3 ld Rice.  A Womans 1 ld 5 oz Flower, 1 ld 5 oz Sougee.  3 pints Dholl. 2ld 10 oz Pork 2 ld 5 oz Rice.

4  Hot weather.

5  Rain the most part of the day  Wind S W. 6 Fine pleasant weather.  The people employ'd getting in the Indian Corn.  The Governor came up, he gave me 3½ Acres of cleared ground for Corn for my Stock, which at present consists of 3 Sows and 1 Barrow pig and 13 Fowls.

7  Rain in the Morning Wind S W about 12 the Wind shifted and it became very hot.

8  Hot weather. 9 Do.  The ration this week 4 ld Pork  5 ld Rice, ld Flower 3 pints Dholl.  and a Womans 8 ld 10 oz Pork, 1 ld 5 oz Flower, 3½ ld Rice, 1 Quart Dholl.

The Corporal - Tread lightly on his ashes, ye men of genius for he was yr. kinsman.  Weed his grave clean, ye men of goodness - For he was yr. Brother.  O corporal! Had I thee but now - now that I am able to give thee a dinner and protection - how would I cherish thee!  thou shoud wear thy Montero-cap every hour of the day, and every day of the week - and when it was worn out I would purchase thee a couple like it:-  But, alas! alas! now that I can do this, in spite of their reverences - the occasion is lost - for thou art gone, thy genius fled up to the stars from whence it came. - and that warm heart of thine, with all its generous and open vessels, compressed into a clod of the valley!

- But what - what is this to that future and dreaded page, where I look towards the velvet pall, decorated with the military ensigns of thy master - the first - the foremost of created beings;- where I shall see thee, faithful Servant! laying his sword and scabbard with a trembling hand across his coffin, and then returning, pale as ashes to the door, to take his mourning horse by the bridle, to follow his hearse, as he directed thee: - where - where all my fathers systems shall be baffled by his sorrows: and in spite of his philosophy, I shall behold him, as he inspects the lackered plate, twice taking his spectacles from off his nose, to wipe away the dew which nature has shed upon them.-  when I see him cast in the rosemary with an air of disconsolation, which cries thro' my ears - O Toby! in what corner of the world shall I seek the fellow?

- Gracious pavers, which earst have opened the lips of the dumb in his distress, and made the tongue of the stammerer speak plain - when I shall arrive at this dreaded page, deal not with me, then, with a stinted hand.

10  The morning fair but about 11 it rained Wind N W.  Some thunder and lightening from the Wd.

11  Warm pleasant weather, walked out to Toongabbe (the New Settlement) and look'd at the Wheat which is now in ear.  It is impossible to see finer, it is now more than five feet high and full ear'd.  I counted 34 Stalks from one single grain each stalk having a full ear of corn: there is about 160 Acres under Wheat: All hands buissily employed getting in the Indian Corn, and tho' the Ration is tolerable good, yet, tho' the seed is steep'd in urine some of the Convicts cannot refrain from stealing and eating it.  I am now making a good collection of Insects of which there are great variety, expecially of the Beetle kind.

12  Fine weather.  13  Do.  Smiles and Tears are the effects of two internal sensations, which both depend on the action of the mind.  The former is an agreable sensation, originating from the sight or remembrance of a known and desirable object.  The latter is a dissagreable agitation, compounded of sympathy and anxiety concerning our own welfare.  Both these passions presuppose a certain degree of knowledge, a power of reflecting and comparing ideas.  Smiles and Tears are indications of pleasure and pain peculiar to the human race; but the cries, the motions, and other marks of bodily pains and pleasures, are common to man and most other animated beings.-

14.  Fine weather.  Wind S W.  This day finished putting in the Indian Corn, it ought to yield 70 Bushels but if I reap 60 I shall think myself well off.

When the mind is at ease, all the features of the visage seem to be settled in a state of profound tranquility: their proportion, their harmony, and their union, display serenity of sentiment, and seem to accord with the calm that subsists within.  But, when the soul is agitated, the human visage becomes a living picture, where the passions are expressed with equal delicacy and energy; where every motion is represented by a correspondent feature; and where every expression anticipates the will and reveals by obvious and pathetic characters those hidden agitations we are often solicitous to conceal.

However, it is in the eyes that the passions are most strongly marked, and most readily discovered.  The eye belongs to the Soul more than any other corporeal organ, it participates of every mental emotion, in the softest and the most tender, as well as the most violent and tumultuous: it exhibits these emotions in all their energy and purity, and infuses into the soul of the Spectator the fire and agitation of that mind from which they originate.  In fine, the eye reflects the light of thought, and the glow of Sentiment, it is the sense of the understanding, and the language of intelligence.

Blushing proceeds from various passions, as shame, anger, pride, joy and modesty. Paleness is generally the effect of anger, and is invariably the attendant on fright and fear.  This change of colour is involuntary: it exhibits the transactions of the mind without its consent and is an effect of sentiment over which the will has no control.

The whole head, as well as the features of the face, takes peculiar attitudes from different passions: it bends forward to express humility, shame or sorrow; it reclines on one side in languor or in pity; it is elevated in pride, erect and fixed in obstinacy and self-conceit; it is thrown backwards in astonishment and surprize, and rolls from side to side in redicule, contempt and indignation.-

But besides the expression of the head and features which strongly mark every emotion of the soul, the arms, the bands and indeed the whole body, contribute to the expressions of the passions.  Gesture also concurs with the action of the features in expressing the different features of the soul: in joy, for instance, the eyes, the head, the arms and the whole body, are agitated with quick and various movements, in languor and grief, the eyes are sunk, the head reclines, the arms are suspended and the whole body remains fixed and immoveable; and in admiration, surprize and astonishment, every motion is stoped and the person remains in the same uniform attitude.  These expressions of the passions are not lodged within our power.  But there is another species of expression, which consists in an agitation of the eyes, head, arms and body, and these motions seem at the same time to be the effect of reflection, and to depend on the will; they appear to be the effects of the mind to defend the body, and may be esteemed secondary symtoms, by which particular passions may be traced.  In love, hope and ardent desire, we elevate the head and turn towards heaven, as if imploring assistance; we stretch forward the head, to make a nearer approach and we extend the arms and open the hands, in order to grasp and embrace the belov'd object.  On the other hand, in fear, hatred and sorrow, we push the arms forward with precipitation, to repel the object of aversion.  We turn the head and the eyes backward; we recoil and at last fly to escape from what we fear and detest.  These motions are so sudden, that they appear involuntary: But this deception is the effect of habit: for these motions are produced by reflection; and, by their alacrity, discover the perfection of those qualities of the body wh. enable it to obey, with such amazing promptitude, the volitions of the mind.

The passions being agitations or movements of the soul, for the most part connected with impressions of sensation, they may be expressed by motions of the body, and particularly by those of the countenance.  Some judgement may therefore be formed of the affections of the mind by they motions of the body: and the real situation of the soul may be discovered by examining the changes of the features: but as the mind has no figure which can bear any relation to that of matter, no reasonable conjecture can be formed of the general disposition of any mind by the lineaments of the countenance, or by the figure of the body with which it is connected.  A deformed person may contain an amiable mind, nor should we pronounce respecting the natural disposition, merely because the features happen to be dissagreable for there is no analogy between features and the nature of the soul which can justify any desision on this subject.

Nevertheless, men have started up, who were ambitious to support scientific divination (Lavater &c) derived from a pretended skill in physiognomy, but nothing is more evident, than that this species of divination can be extended no farther than to the affections of the mind, when expressed by the motion of the Eyes, visage and other parts of the body:  The form of the nose, of the mouth, and of the other features, has no more connection with the natural disposition, than the stature or size of the limbs, has with the faculty of thinking:  Hence the divination of physiologists is altogether chimerical, and void of any real foundation.

Be gracious Heaven! for now laborious man

Has done his part.  Ye fostering breezes blow!

Ye softening dews, ye tender shavers decend

And temper all thou world reviving Sun

Into the perfect year.

15  Fine weather, a thick fog in the morning.  Wind, South.  This day taken very ill with a violent pain in my stomach, I have of late been such subject to it.  Indeed I do not find my health so good as it was on board of Ship and before.  But I am entering into the vale of years and must not expect by the course of Nature to pass the remainder of life (wether short or long) without those evils naturally attendant on age.

16  Hot weather  Wind N W.  Thank God my pain is removed, but I feel a great lassitude.

A Youth perhaps sat listening in some nook -

Just in his School boys years, and as he drew

Into his soul the monsters of the Night

His labouring breast created images

Great and terrific, such as shake the soul

And to the bottom barrow up our nature.

Perchance in such a School great Avons son

First felt the sovereign impulse strike the soul

Which he degrees expanding, led the Bard

Of fanciful invention prodigal,

To all those wonders of his tragic muse

That please in wildness.

La douleur & le plaisir sont la source de tous les cultes, comme l'origin de tous les plaisirs.

O homme qui que tu sois, rentre en toi-même, apprens à consulter tu concience & tes facultes naturelles, tu seras justa bon, vertueux, tu t'inclineras devant ton maitre & tu participeras dans son ciel à un bonheur eternel.

17.  Cloudy weather Wind East.  Appearance of Rain but in the Evening it went off and this day

18  Our usual warm weather is returned, a fine azure blue sky without a cloud Wind East.

There often wanders one, whom better days

Saw better clad, in cloak of Sattin trim'd

With lace, and splendid ribband bound.

A servant maid was she and fell in love

With one who left her, went to sea and died.

Her fancy follow'd him thro' foaming waves

To distant shores, and she would sit and weep

At what a Sailor suffers; fancy too

Delusive most where warmest wishes are

Would oft anticipate his glad return

And dream of transports she was not to know.

She heard the mournful tidings of his death

And never smil'd again.  And now she roams

The dreary waste, there spends the live long day

And there, unless when charity forbids,

The live long night.  A tatter'd apron hides

Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides a gown

More tatter'd still, and both but ill conceal

A bosom heav'd with never-ceasing sighs.

She begs an idle pin of all she meets

And hoards them in her sleeve, but needful food,

Though press'd with hunger oft, or comlier cloaths

Tho' pinch'd with cold asks never - Kate is craz'd.

19th  The morning windy from the Eastward, cloudy with the appearance of rain, but it blew off.

20  Morning clear sunshiney weather wind N W.

21st  Morning fine weather, appearance of rain, but went off.  Wind N W.

22nd.  Morning hott weather wind West.  23.  Morning gloomy tendency to rain Wind S E. Rain.

24  Moderate weather Wind S E.  25 Hot weather.  Wind E.  26  Warm wind S E.  27  Cool weather Wind S W: 28  Warm weather Wind NW.  The Governor went to Sydney.  for these three weeks past there has been a great decrease of Crimes.  I should hope from a conviction that honesty is the best policy.  Indeed I must say that considering they are people that have most of them forfeited their lives to their country they behave wonderfully well.  The ration is tolerable but they are in great want of Kettles to dress their victuals.  Shoes are likewise much wanted, but there are none in the Colony as soon as they are the Govr. with his usual humanity will give it them.  29  Hot weather wind N W.  30.  Sultry.  Wind N.

1 Octr. Warm weather Wind S.E.  This day the Atlantick came in from Norfolk Isd.  The Crop has failed, owing to a Grub that in one night destroyed the hopes and expectations of many.  The consequence has been almost a famine.  Indian Corn sold from 40 to 50 Shills. a Bushell.  2 Sultry Hott, Wind E.  This day excessive ill.  3.  Sultry.  Wind East.  My Health something better.  4  Morning excessive Hott.  Wind West, my health mending.  This has been by far the Hottest day we have felt since have been up here.

5 All appearance of a very hot day, at 12 a very heavy squall of Wind from the Wt:ward in the Evening it had the appearance of rain, but this morning 6  It has entirely dissapeared, it is very much wanted, I am much afraid that the want of it, will be a bar to the future well being of this Colony.

7 Hot weather  Wind East.  about 12 heard distinctly 15 Guns, so that we may hourly expect an account of a Ships arrival; I imagine it to be the Kitty, who has been expected for some time past. 

8  Hot weather Wind East.  The Ship that saluted was the Royal Admiral an East Indiaman, with near 400 Convicts &c.  9 Hott weather Wind S W. 10 Do. Do11 Sultry the hot weather comes on very fast Wind West.  12 Excessive Hot.  Wind West.  13 Do. Do 14 Hot.  From 15th to 20 variable weather.  21 Rain wh came seasonable.  22 Fine weather.  Allmost the whole of this month have been employed in collecting plants, birds, insects &c so that I have paid very little attention my journal but tomorrow 31 Octr will begin again very regular.  Various has been the weather but for the most part dry and excessively hot, yet hot as it is they inform me that it is nothing to what it will be in a couple of Months.

On an Old Woman who sold Pots at Chester.

Beneath this Stone lies Cathrine Grey

Chang'd to a lifeless lump of clay

By earth and clay she got her pelf

Yet now she's turned to earth herself.

Ye weeping friends let me advise

Abate your grief and dry your eyes:

For what avails a flood of tears

Who knows but in a run of years

In some tall pitcher or tall pan

She in her shop may be again.

 

On a Parish Clerk

Here lies within his tomb, so calm

Old Giles; pray sound his knell;

Who thought no song was like a Psalm

No music like a bell.

A pang to sacred sorrow dear

A sigh an unavailing tear

Till time shall every grief remove

With life, with mem'ry and with Love.

 

To the Pye-house memory of Nell

Batchelour the Oxford Pye Woman.

 

 

Here, into the dust

The mouldering crust

Of Elenor Batchelours shoven,

Well vers'd in the arts

Of pies custards and tarts

And the lucrative skill of the Oven.

 

When she'd live long enough

She made her last puff -

A Puff by her husband much prais'd

Now here she doth lie

And makes a dirt pie

In hopes that her crust shall be rais'd.

 

Epitaph on Mrs. Clark.

 

Lo! where the silent marble weeps

A friend, a wife, a mother sleeps

A heart, within whose sacred cell

The peaceful virtues, loved to dwell.

Affection warm and faith sincere

And soft humanity was there

In agony in death resined

She felt the wound she left behind.

Her infant image here below

Her infant image here below

Sits smiling on a fathers woe

Whom wha awaits, while yet he strays

Along the lonely vale of days.

 

An Evening Contemplation in a College in Imitation of Grays

Elegy in a Country Church Yard.

 

The Curfew tolls the hour of closing gates

With jarring sound the porter turns the Key

Then in his dreary Mansion slumbering waits

And slowly, sternly quits, though for me.

 

Now shine the spires beneath the paly moon

And thro' the cloisters peace and silence reign

Save where some fidler scrapes a drowsy tune

Or copious bowls inspire a jovial strain.

 

Save that in yonder cobweb-mantled room

Where sleeps a student in profound repose

Oppress'd with ale, wide echoes thro' the gloom

The droning music of his vocal nose.

 

Within those walls, where thro' the glimmering shade

Appear the pamphlets in a mouldring heap

Each in his narrow bed till morning laid

The peaceful fellows of the college sleep

 

The tinkling bell proclaiming early pray'rs

The noisy servants rattling o'er their head

The calls of buissiness, and domestic cares

Ne'er rouse these sleepers from their dowry bed.

 

No chattering females crowd their social fire

No dread have they of discord and of strife

Unknown the Names of husband and of fire

Unfelt the plagues of matrimonial life

 

Oft have they bask'd beneath sunny walls

Oft have the benches bow'd beneath their weight

How paind are their looks when dinner calls!

How smoke the cutlets on their crowded plate!

 

 O! let not temperance, too disdainful, hear

How long their feasts, how long their dinners last

Let not the fair, with a contemptuous sneer

On these unmarried men reflections cast!

 

The splendid fortune and the beauteous face

(Themselves confess it and their sires bemoan)

Too soon are caught by scarlet and by lace

These sons of silence shine in black alone.

 

Forgive ye fair, th' involuntary fault

If these no feats of gaiety display

Where thro' proud Ranelagh's wide-echoing vault

Melodious Frasi trills the quivering lay.

 

Say is the sword well suited to the band?

Does broider'd coat agree with sable gown?

Can Mechlin laces shade a churchmans hand?

Or learning votaries ape the beaux of town?

 

Perhaps in these time-tottering walls reside

Some who were once the darling of the fair

Some who of old could tastes and fashions guide

Control the manager and awe the player.

 

But science now has fill'd their vacant mind

With Romes rich spoils, and truths exalted views

Fir'd them with transports of a nobler kind

And bade them slight all females - but the Huse.

 

Full many a lark, high towering to the Sky

Unheard, unheeded greets th' approach of light

Full many a star unseen by mortal eye

With twinkling lustre glimmers through the night.

 

Some future Herring, who, with dauntless breast

Rebellion's torrent shall like him oppose

Some mute unconscious Hardwicke here may rest

Some Pelham, dreadful to his countrys foes.

 

From Prince and people to command applause

`Midst ermin'd peers to guide the high debate

To shield Britannia's and Religion's laws

And steer with steady course the helm of state -

 

Fate yet forbids; nor circumscribes alone

Their growing virtues but their crimes confines

Forbids in Freedoms veil t' insult the throne

Beneath her masque to hide the worst designs.

 

To fill the madding crowd's perverted mind

With ``pensions, taxes, marriages and Jews"

Or shut the gates of heaven on lost mankind

And wrest their darling hopes, their future views.

 

Far from the giddy town's tumultuous strife

Their wishes yet have never learnt to stray

Content and happy in a single life

They keep the noisless tenor of their way.

 

E'en now their books from cobwebs to protect

Inclos'd by doors of glass in Dorio stile

Or polish'd pillars raised with bronzes deck't

They claim the passing tribute of a smile

 

Oft are the author's names, though richly bound

Mis-spelt by blundering binders' want of care:

And many a catalogue is stew'd around

To tell the admiring guest what books are these.

 

For who, to thoughtless ignorance and prey

Neglects to hold short dalliance with a book?

Who there but wishes to prolong his stay

And on those cases casts a ling'ring look.

 

Reports attract the lawyers parting eyes

Novels Lord Fobling and Sir Plume require

For Songs and Plays the voice of beauty cries

And sense and nature Grandison require.

 

For thee who mindful of thy lov'd compeers

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate

If chnace, with prying search in future years

Some Antiquarian should enquire thy fate:

 

Haply some friend may shake his hoary head

And say ``each morn unchilled by frosts he ran

With hose ungarter'd, o'er yon turfy bed

To reach the chapel ere the psalms began;

 

``There in the arms of that lethargic chair

Which rears its old moth eaten back so high

At noon he quaff'd three glasses to the fair

And por'd upon the news with curious eye.

 

``Now by the fire enjoy'd in serious talk

Or mirthful converse would he loitering stand

Then in the garden chose a sunny walk

Or launch'd the polish'd bowl with steady hand.

 

``One morn we mised him at the hour of pray'r

Nor in the hall; nor on his favourite green

Another came, nor yet within the chair

Nor yet at bowls or chapel was he seen

 

``The next we heard that in a neighbouring shire

That day to church he led a blushing bride

A nymph whose snowy vest and maiden fear

Improv'd her beauty while the knot was tied

 

``Newly his patrons bounteous care remov'd

He roves unraptured thro' the fields of Kent

Yet ever mindful of the place he lov'd

Read here the letter which he lately sent.

 

The Letter.

 

In rural innocence secure I dwell

Alike to fortune and fame unknown

Approving science cheers my humble cell

And social quiet marks me for her own.

 

Next to the blessings of religious truth

Two gifts my endless gratitude engage -

A wife, the joy and transport of my youth

Now with a Son, the comfort of my age.

 

Seek not to draw me from this kind retreat

In loftier spheres unfit, untaught to move,

Content with calm domestic life where meet

The sweets of friendship and the sailes of Love.

 

Novr. 1st  Excessively hot Wind.  N.W.  Ther: 91.  2 Cool Ther: 70. 3 Excessive hard rain and a tornado of wind as violent as ever I saw it, it lasted about 10 minutes.  4 High wind from the Westward, but it moderated in the evening, Ther. 73o5  Cool weather Wind N W Ther: 74.  6  Moderate Wind West Th: 73.  7 Sultry N W. Th.. 78.  8  Excessive hot Wind S.W. Th: 80.  9  Rain Wind S W.  Th: 71.  10  Fine weather Wind N W.  Ther: 74.  11  Excessive hot Wind West Ther: in the 112 in the shade 92.

12th  Very Hott Wind East Ther: 74.  13 Coll and temperate Th:  69 Winds S W.  14  This day about 4 o'clock in the Evening set off on an expedition to the Westward with Mr Irwin as an assistant Surgeon and 4 men armed, lay that night at a Settlers and the next morning at 5 o'clock took our departure in the direction of W N W, 46 minutes after 5 altered our courses to N.W.  25 minutes after 6 made a Pond which we followed for a few minutes then crossed it upon a Tree that lay across it.  saw two ducks 1 of which we killed, took a bit of Bread and a glass of weak Grog and continued our course N W.  The land in a general way very bad, with a great quantity of Iron Stone, but the risings and fallings of the country delightful.  Saw some Kangaroos and two Emues and some time after 1 Emue and 14 young ones but we were so fatigued that it impossible to pursue them.  we had walked full 9 hours part on a dry white sand and the Sun shinging in a full blaze, at last at a distance we perceived a large pond, which we immediately made for and on its bank we sett the Kettle boiling and made some excellent Soup of 1 Duck 1 Pidgeon 1 Crow and 3 Magpies and some salt port.  It was a dissapointment to us our not making the River as we had greatly exceeded the imputed distance but we missed it by going too much to the N.ward. about 4 o'clock in the Evening it had the appearance of rain and as we were rather in a Swamp we thought it prudent to shift our quarters about ½ a mile to the S.ward more upon the Hill, however it did not rain so that we slept very comfortably under a temporary Hutt made of the boughs of trees, we found rather cold and a blanket was very serviceable to us, we made a fire at the entrance which in some degree kept the Musquetoes from us, though not effectually.  The land we had come over this day was for the most part totally unfit for cultivation, the trees as well as the shrubs stunted, but some of them very beautiful in full blossom.  On Friday morning about 5 o'clock after having taken some Chocolate we sett of the Southward in order to get over the Swamp which is a continuation of the Ponds in a few minutes we crossed it and going due West which brought us to the Nepean river which is about 100 feet wide, we follow'd its banks to the Southward and it last joined what I suppose to be the main river the land all along the banks is to appearance very good and fit for cultivation.  The trees, ferns, nettles &c growing very luxuriantly, so much so that at times we had great difficulty to get through it, every step we took it sunk in with us owing as I imagine to the great quantity of Rat holes.  From the report of those who had before been with the Governor nothing worthy of observation could be expected by following this course we therefore proceeded Eastward for some time afterwards to the N.ward and got same to our last nights habitation, we dined on Ducks of which as many may be kill'd on the Ponds as may be wanted.  In the Cool of the Evening we ranged about the hills but saw nothing particular.  I am inclined to think that the Emues come often down to the Ponds to drink as we found a dead one which had probably got too far in the mud and was drowned.  The weather was excessively hott.  At 5 o'clock on Saturday morning we set off again almost due North following the course of the Ponds for about 2½ miles when it suddenly turned off to the Westward and formed a most beautiful sheet of water that might cover about 10 acres in which are great quantities of large fish, but as we did not catch any could not tell of what kind, the pond then lost itself in very high rushes but certainly is supplied with water from the river during the floods, we met with a native path which we followed for some time and came to some holes dug in the ground for the purpose of catching Ducks.  at about ¼ of a mile from the Pond we came to the river which we followed for about 3 miles North.  it is not more than 100 feet across and in many places fordable, but I am inclined to think that the land on the other side is only an Island and that the main channel of the River is to the W.ward.  Here the Banks of the river are low and from the appearance of the land and the weeds &c which we see at the tops of the Trees which are sometimes at least 20 feet high the floods must come down in immense torrents.  We examined the different stones and pebbles both from the Bed of the river and on its banks with Aquafortis but found none that it would act on, many had the appearance of the lime-stone.  We shott two birds never seen before, both of them fly-Catchers as it appeared by the contents of their Craws.  We likewise saw numbers of white Cocatores but did not shoot any, we likewise saw upon the sand the tread of some large animal, two prints before and one behind, It could not be an Emue as the steps were not above 9 inches from each other, and it is known that the Emues are at least 3 times that distance.  Indeed, the natural productions of this country are very little known.  The soil we passed through had all the appearance of fertility and would take but little trouble in clearing, as the timber is not very thick, nor are the trees large.  The Hill above the pond is delightfully situated, but I am not clear that the water is good, it has a yellowish cast owing I suppose to the trees that may have fallen into it, some of the men felt the effects of it.  Saw a number of Kangaroos, but they were so wild as to make it impossible to get at them,  Last night we thought we heard the report of a Gun, and this morning distinctly heard 2 more from the N.ward which we suppose was from Broher Bay.  The weather excessively Hott, we returned to our old habitation, slept well and the next morning Sunday at 4 o'clock after having set our Hutts in a Blaze we set off on our return home we steerd S E, next with nothing remarkable on the rout, shot a number of the Bronze winged pidgeon and after a journey of about 9 hours got safe to the Prospect where we dined and in the Evening got safe to Parramatta not so much fatuiged as I imagined I should considering I have not been accustomed to walk for some time past.-  19 Hott.  Wind West Th: 70.  20 Continuation of Heat Wind N W. Th:  76.  21 Do Wind N W Th:76.  Tendency to rain Wind S W. Th: 69. 23 Excessive Hott.  Wind S W.  Th: 86.  24 Sultry.  From this day to the 28th was employ'd with the Governor in getting his Insects &c ready.  we shall all feel a great loss except one description of people in his going away.  I am in hopes that every thing will go on well.  For myself I have lost a good friend in the Governor.  Wind West.  Th: 78.  Moderate weather.- 29 Wind S W Rain.  30th Went down to Sydney to take a farewell dinner with the Governor, and returned on the 2d Decr in the Evening.  3 Excessive hot Wind West Ther: 91 in the Shade. 4 Excessive hot, a hot Westerly wind, wether the heats proceed from the country being on fire or from traversing hot sandy deserts is yet to be discovered.  Ther: 92.

5 A turning Westerly wind, obliged to keep the windows shut, unless we have rain soon the late crops of Indian Corn will be totally burnt up.  10 o'clock a heavy gale of wind from the W.ward and as hot as the mouth of an oven.  at 12 o'clock the Ther: in the shade 94 and in the Air 114o.  It begins to Thunder.-  Light Showers. 

6  The Wind still to the W.ward but not so strong as yesterday; the rain gone off.  Th:86.  7  Light wind from the S.ward.  On the 5th the Ther: at Sydney at 7o'clock in the Morning was at 96, at 12 o'clock at 107½ in the Shade, the whole country was in a perfect blaze, but wether it proceeded from the intense heat of the Atmosphere or wether it was set fire to by the Natives is a doubt.  2 Hutts were burnt down at Sydney and it was with great difficulty that many more were prevented sharing the same fate..  1 Hutt was burnt at Paramatta. 

8 Went down to Sydney to take my last farewell of the Governor, dined with him and returned the 9th in him I have lost a valuable friend.

10 Very warm, Ther:86.  Wind South.  11.  A heavy gale of wind from the W. ward.  this day I suppose my good friend the Govr. sailed for Europe in the Atlantic.  Lieut Bowen. Comr.  Th:90. 

Commencement of a New Government.  Sultry Wind W.  Ther:88. [?] the Superintendents receiv'd orders to report every thing [?] F. and the convicts to work from 5 to 9 in the morn - and [?] to sun set in the afternoon.  I this day received an Order [?] the Judge Advocate acquainting me that I was to make the necessary reports to the Commanding Officer at Parramatta who is to [?] the management of the Colony during his absence.  The Settlers have begun selling their Stock.  3 Eyes that were given them by Government to breed from were yesterday disposed off to G.F.  No Soldier is to be interrupted:  Times are changed. 

13 A High Wind from the Westward, very Hot.  Ther:90.

14 Appearance of Rain, but unfortunately it went off again  Wind S E Ther:74.

15 Waited on Lieut Govr. who received me very kindly; he ordered a Convict 50 Lashes for striking a Soldier, who it seems is never to be interupted however wrong he may be, but at the same time the Lieut Govr declared that no Soldier should ill treat a Convict.  Wind East. Ther: 80.  This day for the first time since it has been a colony a distinction on the Ration.  The Civil and Military, Constables and Overseers have 3ld of Flour more than the Convicts.  Wind W. Ther:78

16 Hott weather.  Th:80.  17  Wind West. Th: 80.  18 Cloudy.  Wind S W. Ther:74.  19 Very warm.  Wind West.  Ther: 87.  20 Excessive hot.  The Ther. At 100 and a strong hot Westerly wind.  Dined with Lieut Govr.

21 Cloudy a tendency to rain, but unfortunately it went off again, so are all parched up for want of it.  Ther: 80  Wind S W.

22 The morning cloudy and sultry.  Wind West.  Ther. 80

23 Warm.  Wind, South, Ther: 84.  24 Very hot, wind N W.  Ther: 106 in the Shade.  25 Continuance of Hott weather: from this day to 28th have been very ill, oppress'd with heat, and otherwise very poorly.  this [sic] day find myself Better.  An American Ship, wh ship she put in here to wood and water and is bound to China, which I do not believe; she has a vast quantity of Spirits on board as well as provisions wh Lieut Govr. has purchased for use of Colony.

29 Another Ship going Whaling and Furrs, put in to wood and water.  Hott weather still continues, no signs of rain  Ther: 74.  Wind, S.

30 Cloudy.  Wind S E.  Ther: 80.  31 Hott weather  Ther: 86.  Wind North.

[continued 1793]

 

 

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University