Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/399

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have got into a plan here of doing everything by committees and meetings. Such things were quite new to me until recently; now we have so many of them that one would require an almanack to keep them in mind. On Thursday last we had at noon a meeting of the Executive Council; at four a meeting of the Church Committee, which continued till half-past five; and at seven a meeting of the Temperance Society, in which I seem to be expected to take a conspicuous part. Whilst on my way to the meeting I was trying to think of something that I might say if I were called upon, but it was all confusion; I could think of nothing, so I determined to say nothing; but one of the labouring class having got up and spoken against the society, I was called on to answer him, and I had to do so. I began rather stiffly, but soon warmed to the work, and ran on for a good half hour, the ideas thronging upon me thicker than I could get quit of them, and pushing me on till I could hardly stop myself, when, to my no small amazement, I was greeted with a burst of applause, whereas I was more prepared for hisses, as it is a very unpopular subject. I was told I had made a considerable impression, and shook the opposition greatly. My object was principally to show that it was a mistake to suppose that spirits were necessary, especially in a warm climate, and to appeal to their own experience of the bad effects which its use had brought about here.

Such a long time elapses before we get a return that there is time to forget what we wrote, but I made sure that when a vessel came from Singapore, which seems to us to be the next thing to home, I would have had some Irish oatmeal, Irish pork, and Irish (or Scotch) herrings; but it appears that the season was very bad in Ireland. It is rather tantalising. The Will Watch came from Calcutta.

Wednesday.—After a long search one of Lieutenant Grey's party has been found, and brought in alive, but four others are out still, and there is great uneasiness on