Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/160

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

142

approach of another visitor by no means welcome, namely, a native dog. I have been watching for him, but fear to shoot some of my neighbour's dogs by mistake in the dark.

Referring to your letter of the 22nd December, 1831, inquiring about tobacco.—It grows well here, but requires too much labour to pay as a crop in our present state; at a future time it may do well.

As to coming here—I am still reluctant in giving advice to any one on the subject. It is a serious responsibility to hold out strong inducement, when success depends so much upon the taste, bodily fitness, and preparation for it. To come here costs much; a considerable sum also is further necessary to support you until you can maintain yourself. Land must be paid for, if from Government at the rate of 5s. an acre. If you bring servants the expense of keeping them is considerable, and without them what can a single individual effect? Indentured servants become masters, No matter what damage they do, how careless they are, sober or drunken, idle or industrious, impudent or respectful, well or ill, you must keep them and satisfy every demand on the instant or off they go to a magistrate and make a complaint. "Sir, I want a hat, a coat, waistcoat, a shirt, trowsers, stockings," and anything, or everything, they please, not to say shoes, of which they will wear a pair in two months. If the master replies, "I'll get you what you want when I go next time to town" (or whatever he thinks most conciliatory), the rejoinder is, "But I want it now, and I'll not work till I get it." I do not say that this has actually occurred with me; but I give it as a fair specimen of the habit of indentured servants here.

Two or three stout hard-working brothers, or a father with a grown family, able and willing to assist him, with some money to establish themselves in rough comfort and plenty, would be independent in a few years; but there must be no sqneamishness as to food, nor daintiness as to luxuries; it is