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1-175 (Original)

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addressee author,male,Wentworth, William Charles,29
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Ward, 1969
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All the bays and harbours, which have been just described, abound with right whale at a particular season of the year. These leviathans of the deep quit the boisterous ocean, and seek the more tranquil waters of these harbours, when they are on the point of calving. This happens in November, and they remain there with their young between two and three months. During this period there are generally every year a few of the colonial craft employed in the whale fishery; but the duties, which are levied in this country on all oils procured in vessels not having a British register, amount to a prohibition, and completely prevent the colonists from prosecuting this fishery further than is necessary for their own consumption, and for the supply of the East India market. Between two and three hundred tons annually suffice for both these purposes.
The whales frequently go up the river Derwent as far as the town; and it is no uncommon sight for its inhabitants to behold the whole method of taking them, from the moment they are harpooned, until they are finally killed by the frequent application of the lance. This sight indeed has been occasionally witnessed by the inhabitants of Sydney; since it has sometimes occurred, that a stray fish has entered the harbour of Port Jackson, while some of the South-sea whalers have been lying there, and that these have lowered their boats and killed it.
All the bays and harbours in Van Diemen's Land, and most of those likewise which are in Bass's Straits, and on the southern coast of New Holland, abound with these fish at the same season. [98] If the colonists, therefore, were not restricted from this fishery, it would soon become an immense source of wealth to them: and I have no doubt that they would be enabled to export many hundred tons of oil annually to this country. But it is vain that nature has been thus lavish of her bounties to them; in vain do their seas and harbours invite them to embark in these inexhaustible channels of wealth and enterprize. Their government - that government which ought to be the foremost in developing their nascent efforts, and fostering them to maturity - is itself the first to check their growth and impede their advancement. What a miserly system of legislation is it which thus locks up from its own subjects a fund of riches, that might administer to the wants, and contribute to the happiness of thousands! What barbarous tantalization to compel them to thirst in the midst of the waters of abundance!