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2-252 (Original)

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author,female,Chisholm, Caroline,34 addressee
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Teale, 1982
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I received a letter from a man who wanted a wife. I found he was well known to several persons as a man of integrity. It would be a serious thing to visit Sydney for a wife: first, a loss of time; second, money; and, after all, perhaps not be suited. His letter, too, interested me, and I determined on trying to serve him; I give his letter that the reader may judge: - 'Reverend madam, I heard you are the best to send to for a servant, and I heard our police magistrate say, it was best to leave all to you; and so I'll just do the same, as his honour says it's the best. I had a wife once, and so she was too good for me by the far, and it was God's will, ma'am [his wife had died] ; but I has a child, ma'am, that I wouldn't see a straw touch for the world; the boy's only four yeare old: and I has a snug fifty-acre farm and a town 'lotment, and I has no debts in the world, and one teem and four bullocks; and I'se ten head oh cattle, and a share on eight hundred sheep, so I as a rite to a desent servant, that can wash and cook and make the place decant.
I wouldn't, mam, on any account in the world, be bound to marry; but I don't wish it altogether to be left out. . - I sends you five pounds; she may get wages first, for I know some of the gals, and the best on um, to, are not heavy we boxes; and supposing anything should happen, I would not like it to be said she come here in rags. I wants, also, a man and his wife.... [whole passage sic]
There was something in the character of this honest bushman to admire; he had gained his freedom, sent home money to his parents, and, during a long and tedious illness of twenty months, he had tended his sick wife with patient care. Who would not get up an hour earlier to serve such a man? - I did, for I knew that early in the morning is the best time to choose a wife. I went first into the governess-room - all asleep; I unlocked the Home-door - some dressed, others half-dressed, some too very cross: I have often remarked, that early in the day is the best time to judge of a woman's temper; but I wish this to be kept a secret. I remained half-an-hour in the Home; I then went through the tents, could not suit myself, and returned. At the Home-door, I found a girl at the wash-tub; she was at work with spirit; she was rather good looking, very neat and tidy. I went into my office, and ascertained that, on board ship, her character was good. I desired the matron never to lose sight of her conduct, and report the same to me. Day after day passed, and I was at last fully determined to place her within reach, that is, in a respectable family, in his near neighbourhood; but I was able to arrange better, for I found that, amongst the families [in the Immigrants' Home], there was one related to her. I immediately engaged them as his servants; they were a respectable couple; the man was a very prudent person. I told them to take the girl with them, and get her service near them, and on no account allow her to live with a bachelor. I gave the girl three letters to respectable ladies, and she was engaged by one the fourth day after her arrival at - - - . About a fortnight after, the bush-man wrote to thank me, for sending him the married couple; and concluded by saying, 'With regard to that other matter, upon my word, you have suited me exactly; and, as soon as our month is up [for the publication of banns], we is to be married'. [60]
I received forty-one applications of this kind; but the above is the only girl I ever sent into the country with a direct matrimonial intention. That I take pleasure on hearing when a girl is married is a fact; and I also like to see girls placed where they will have a fair chance of being well married.