Australian Access Federation

You are here: Home Corpora Corpus of Oz Early English 1-095 (Text)

1-095 (Text)

Item metadata
author,male,Broadside*,un addressee
Word Count :
Plaint Text :
Speech Based
Ingleton, 1988
Document metadata

1-095-plain.txt — 3 KB

File contents

Whimsical Narrative of a Thoughtless Theft.
The practise of borrowing boats upon French leave is by far too prevalent, and required to be checked the more especially, as the consequences to the labourer and his family are in most such cases very severely injurious.
Want of consideration is the most lenient and polite epithet than can be bestowed upon such conduct, and such worthless and thoughtless members of society merit complete condemnation and punishment.
To demonstrate how a whole family was reduced to the extreme of indigence by the caprice of an individual, the following whimsical narrative explains the dilemma of a poor man, whose whole livelihood depended upon his boat.
At 6 on Saturday morning found my boat lost, and no tidings, but went in search of some: paid 5£ to a man to help me, but all to no purpose.
At 12 o'clock hired a boat for 3 / -, and the man already engaged being absent, as I supposed beating about the Creeks, was forced to take another on, his demand five shillings also; came back at night as I went quite dejected.
Next day was informed by a Native, whom I rewarded with a loaf, that my boat was high and dry at Lane Cove; had high hopes; engaged the man and boat again for 8 / -, at noon reached Lane Cove, but found nothing that had the resemblance of a boat, except the stem of an old canoe:
curst the Native who had imposed on my credulity for a loaf, and had my only jacket stole perhaps by some of his own kindred.
Went on for Kissing Point, and called in to make enquiry and to bait, being sorely fatigued; made fast to another boat while we went on shore, the tide remarkably strong; meantime a brace of mischievous boys cast my boat loose, and away she went, clear out of sight before I knew she was adrift. Fresh grief, and no help for it!
Agreed to give 5 / - for another boat to give chase to her, a poor fellow with us gratis; and at 4 in the afternoon having lost much time in dodging about the Creeks, had the good fortune to find her at Pinchgut, the oars and rudder gone; overjoyed at first but soon after miserable as ever.
Got home with an aching heart, was forced to pay 30 / - down for damages, all gone, and my Family without a loaf; hard luck! what was to become of me? but still I knew that God was gracious, and "honesty the best policy".
I was now like a fish out of water; a new employment to seek, since my boat was inhumanly taken from me; unable to relinquish hope entirely, I sauntered about the Bays and Creeks five days successively; when Providence kindly directed a friendly Native towards me, who anticipating the subject of my wanderings, and led me to the spot on which my little fortune lay capsized, and much the worse for wear: Courage and strength returned, for half a loss was better than none at all: got every assistance from my friends, because there was a prospect of my paying for it; and altho' my additional expense was seven and thirty shillings, yet this was the best bestowed money I had expended, as it restored comfort to my family; and may their short-liv'd miseries 'light heavily on the miscreants that impiously caused them.