Australian Access Federation

You are here: Home Corpora Corpus of Oz Early English 2-065 (Raw)

2-065 (Raw)

Item metadata
author,female,Bourke, Anne,26 addressee
Narrative Discourse
Word Count :
Plaint Text :
Private Written
Clarke, 1992
Document metadata

2-065-raw.txt — 7 KB

File contents

6th December
Government House. . . Papa landed at twelve, with the usual ceremonies of guns and cheering and bands playing and soldiers marching, the commission was read in the veranda and then a levy. Last night the town was very handsomely illuminated with every manner of rockets, squibs, guns from the batteries and ships, the Margaret's were really quite fine, and an immense bonfire was lighted. . . which gave a beautiful effect to the shipping, the cheering was tremendous. The staff (wives and all) had a holiday and stayed at their hotel, only Mr. Innis and Dr. Stevenson dined with us, however after dinner as we were standing in the veranda, they all walked up together and we drank tea out of doors, the effect was very good, the evening was so sultry, and to add to the scene the lightning was beyond any thing I ever saw.. . We sat up till eleven the fireworks were kept up the greater part of the night. Today is hotter than I ever felt it at the Cape, it is like a fiery furnace out of doors. We went to church last Sunday, Mrs McLeay sent her carriage for me, it is a very large church and our pew is very large and comfortable, it held the whole staff, including Mr. Innis who is at present Papa's chaplain, he comes every morning to read prayers and breakfasts with us. Archdeacon Broughton preached us a tolerably good sermon - St. James' is the church, it has a good organ and very good singers.
8th [December]
I have been very busy unpacking these two days, tho' we have not got half the things from the ship yet. We experienced the day before yesterday the only disagreeable part of this climate which is the hot northwest wind, it blew with great force for about 5 hours, during which time the heat was insufferable, I never felt any thing like it at the Cape nor has Capt. W. at the Mauritius. . . My piano forte is very well thank you, the master of the 17th Band is now tuning it, I shall have all the evening to tune myself up, as Papa and staff including Mr. Innis and Dr. Stevenson, dine at the mess of the 39th Regt. commanded by Col. Lindsey. [76] Dick was gazetted today to be private secretary by command of his Excellency. A great number of ladies have left their cards, more than I thought were in the colony, I have not seen any of them. Mama does not yet come down stairs, she is I hope getting stronger but very slowly
Every place Mr. Innis goes to they ask him so many questions about me, whether I am fond of gaiety, and whether I dance, and all manner of questions, which he together with his answers tells me every morning .
10th [December]
I am today established in my room and have unpacked most of the things, fancy the wet getting thro' the tin cases to our dresses, however we have escaped tolerably well, my satin slip is quite dished and one of my gowns a little, we are fortunate it is no worse, we reckoned the Margaret a dry ship but we find that there is hardly a box that is not more or less touched by salt water, the only thing really injured is the chariot, the linen what with water and cockroaches is completely in tatters, there being no lining silk in the colony it is relined with cloth, which will be very hot.. . The town is, I hear, very bad, but only saw George Street which is wide and has some very good shops. Our two nearest neighbours are Mr. McLeay, the colonial secretary, and Mr. Chief Justice Forbes, they have houses just outside the entrance gate which formerly belonged to the Government. They are both very civil and send to know how Mama is every day, we have not seen the ladies of the family yet. The Westmacotts have got a cottage in the grounds which belonged to Col. Dumaresq and family.. . [The newspapers] give [Governor Bourke] a great number of hints in the papers, indeed I should say instructions as to his behaviour, pointing out the faults of Genl. Darling all good points of Governors Macquarie and Brisbane. They beg he will spend his income in the colony like a Prince and show himself about the town, and not shut himself up as his predecessor did and save money (as they elegantly express it) "to the tune of 20,000£" whilst he was here. I very much doubt any body's saving that sum in six years, out of five thousand a year - everything is very dear except just the bare necessaries of meat and bread and I believe they are cheap. You know how I hate the liberty of the press and it is most terribly free here.
14th [December]
A ship came in this morning, the Bussorah merchant from Dublin, she brings out our solicitor general, and a great many convicts, amongst others that horrible Mr. Luke Dillon, what a creature to have in the same colony as one. ... [77]
19th [December]
We had a little petit dinner party yesterday consisting of Colonel Lindsey and a Mr. Therry, who is Commissioner of the court of Enquiry, Watty of course and his wife. The two strangers are both agreeable people, Colonel Lindsey is very like old Hal in manner and face, he is an old bachelor, and the commandant here. Mrs. W. begins to stick out very much, but she behaved very well, I believe she is afraid of Dick and me, she sees we laugh at people so much. Of course I sung, and of course they said such singing was never heard in the colony before, there are very few if any singers here, but a good many ladies play the harp and pianoforte very well.. . I get up at six o'clock every morning they are so heavenly, at first I tried going out, but I found it had the usual effect of knocking me up for the remainder of the day, besides giving me such a weakness in my back as almost to prevent my walking across the room. I applied to Dr. Stevenson and he made me leave off walking and told me to drink a double allowance of port wine, which has restored me entirely to my usual vulgar health, and I have appropriated the hours to practising as I am not then interrupted till breakfast, after that you are as well to be in the streets as in the drawing room, the veranda is a complete thoroughfare to Papa's room, and they generally stray into the drawing room.
23rd [December]
We cannot drive out today, as it is blowing what they call here a brick fielder, a strong wind which blowing over some very large brick fields to the back of the town, brings such a terrible deal of brick dust with it as to darken every object in the town, it generally blows after a hot northwest wind, which we experienced a little last night. Much worse than a southeaster. That I have seen of the place I like very much, the people I cannot speak about not having seen any of them.
27th [December]
Yesterday some of the Sydney gentlemen came to present an address to the Governor to congratulate him on having assumed the government, in this address they had the bad taste to mix up a little abuse of Mr. McLeay the colonial secretary, who having been the adviser and friend of Genl. Darling is very unpopular. Papa plainly shewed them in his answer that he did not like it, and hoped there would be no party spirit shewn for the future. These people will certainly be very much harder to manage than the Dutch, they are not half so tractable, and there is a spirit of equality and independence amongst them which I should think will require a great deal of delicacy to manage. We had yesterday Chief Justice Forbes and Mr. McLeay, two or three more men to dinner, the former is a tremendous talker but very agreeable, Mr. McLeay is only famous for the immense size of his legs, which Capt. Hunter and I nearly died of yesterday, we laughed so much at them. [78]