Wednesday 14 December 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

Wednesday Decr 14. To make Cape Chatham we have come out of our
way nearly 300 miles; & all to find what every man in the ship
believed, that our watches were right. It has been calm yesterday &
to-day – rather annoying now when within 700 miles of our haven,
& when we consider that had ordinary advantage been taken of the
winds we have been favored with we should have been on shore three
weeks ago. Margaret had a conversation with a settler from Fife
on board; the same individual whose attention to the education of
his children has been so praiseworthy about Australia. “He had
just been devouring a’ the buiks he could get on the subject of
Australia; & he was vera happy to hear frae Maister Stevenson
that a gentleman was to be appointed to tak care o’ the natives.
Puir things! he was like rather to see gude done to them than harm,
& he thocht they might be brought to other & better things, especially as
their powers o’ mimicry were sae extraordinar – & then, ye ken, if they
can mimic fules, they can mimic better things”. Sound reasoning & delivered
with a feeling rarely indeed to be heard from an English peasant of the same
class.

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