Page from George Fletcher Moore diary


From the journal of George Fletcher Moore and reprinted in The Millendon Memoirs edited by JMR Cameron, pp. 88-89. 

Monday 23rd - Would you believe that I have a Monkey in my room constantly and placed on my table at dinner time!!! It is a name which people here give to a sort of earthenware jar to hold water. From its porousness it keeps the water very cool by evaporation.

Called to see Mrs Shaw & Mrs Tanner. The latter has just had bad news of the death of her brother in England. I was just going to bed when a soldier was sent to say that Captain Irwin, Mr Lewis, Mr Peel & his son had arrived at Irwin's on the other side of the river & to know how many beds I could make up. I made two & Irwin & Mr Lewis came soon after to sleep. By the way, I sometimes cannot help smiling to think how intimate I am with Mackie & Irwin whom you mention in your letters as those whom I might possibly meet. We are almost like relations or old friends.

Irwin brought me a letter which had arrived in his despatches. It was from Mrs Logan (Furlong's sister). It is a most kind, gratifying & friendly letter. Her account of the state of society at Hobart Town is any thing but tempting, though she speaks highly of the climate and productions of the cultivated lands. Her letter is dated 15th Sept 1831. She had before written to me in May (in answer to one of mine) but here had not been any opportunity to send the letter. In one part of her letter she says 'But for an officer either civil or military there is much to get through owing to the love of scandal and an aristocracy who consisting of three families choose to make laws for all the rest & cut & scandalise as they please.' She says again 'we have a delightful quarter, an excellent house, & many comforts, still I am quite impatient for a rout, even India is better than this place, where one dares not make a friend.' They seem to have a very bad opinion of this place for she says candidly 'How could I expect that you could go to such a place or having been there you should stay there?' Such is the force of prejudice.

Tuesday 24th - Early this morning we set out & walked past Mr Tanner's, Shaw's, Bull's, Burges' & on to Irwin's for breakfast. This walk was taken to shew Mr Lewis the country but he seems to have a taste for nothing except living in comfort in London &c. He calls our houses huts and pig sties, and pronounces a sweeping condemnation upon the land and its productions though he literally took a handful of hay from a stack & thought it was corn. Soon after breakfast they departed again. When I returned, Mr Shaw had been here wishing me to draw up a 'Power of Att[orn]ey' for him, and Mr Brockman with a letter from his brother. Joseph, I am sorry that I did not bring the new Ed'n of the 'AttEy's Pocket Book' or some other such book. The price is not very great. Would you send it to me and I shall send you the price of it willingly. It is not a great matter to you to be out of a small sum for a year as it is to me where my capital is so small and I get 10 per c[en]t on what I can keep in Mr Brown's hands. This book and Chitty's Commercial Law are, I think, the only books I shall get at present. In walking at a little distance from the house this evg saw a snake about 2 ½ feet long, the first that I have met in this way since I came here. I stept quietly aside for a stick & knocked it on the head whilst it was winding its way through the grass endeavouring to escape. I have put it in a bottle. This has been a warm day. Ther. now 10 o'c is 80°.

Wednesday 25th - Here I am just turned out of bed at sunrise. Ther. now 75°. A most heavenly morning. Found a dead mouse in my bed this morning which the young cat left there, I suppose to shew her usefulness. Mr Brockman's cows & my own get along with them, that might have known better, came within my enclosure yesterday & eat up a knot of cabbages - a loss not easily replaced now. Tried to catch my cow or drive her into the house but she was exceedingly wild; almost killed 'puppy'.

I think often seriously of marrying if I could get a wife but fear that I am too old to marry. Am I too old? Where has my youth gone to? So long as I was with my Father, I thought I was a boy, a poor dependent boy, not able or not permitted or not taught rather to rely on myself or act on my own judgement. Oh here was a rock to split on. There has been something wrong radically for I do not know my own powers of strength yet or whether I have any. What can be the reason: Is it the want of a mother? I must think of this sometime when I have nothing else to do!!!

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Page last updated: Tuesday 18 January 2011 by Illona Tobin Asset ID 39527
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