Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/420

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402

thoughts of going in her to examine that part of the world—it will be something new; but I have not yet made up my mind finally. Busy getting in the harvest.

Friday night.—There was a meeting of the Agricultural Society to-day at Guildford. Schoales made a proposition to send for labourers to Ireland, and, if it goes on, I will either request you to send me one or more by that ship, or will send by him for some. I think I would pay the passage of any one who would agree to serve me at least one year at the rate of £18 a year (for a man), or for such a time in addition as would repay me any expense I had been put to on his account, or any advance made to him in the meantime.

Jan. 6th.—Oh, what a melting day! The thermometer has been up to 100, both yesterday and to-day, in the middle of the day. I have been measuring the ground which was reaped by the job—a troublesome business, for our fields are all sorts of shapes. I measured eleven irregular pieces to-day for two of the men, and paid them £25 for about three weeks work, or less indeed; they had done about 18 acres. We do want labourers sadly. I hear to-day that the Beagle surveying ship has returned. She was to have been here in three months from her last departure; it is now two years. Only think of going three degrees nearer the line in this weather; yet I intend taking this trip, if not prevented by some business. It is like going close to the fire in summer.

* * * * * *

Feb. 1st.—After an absence of three weeks, I have once more reached my own home, and been able to enjoy the comfort of a day's rest on terra firma. We did not succeed in finding an entrance to a large estuary or lake which was seen by Capt. Grey some distance from the coast, nor did we see any river worth speaking of, but we saw a very extensive tract of fine pasture land, about Moresby's flat-topped range, and also we twice visited some of the islands of the Abrolhos, which is an exceedingly interesting group of coral islands and