September 07, 2007

7 September 1807, by Elizabeth Macarthur

The river near my Home. Parramatta was first called Rose Hill.

Spring is a changeable season, with rain and winds followed by warm weather - today started with warmth and blue skies but is now raining steadily. It is so good to have Edward at home again. Schooling remains a challenge whatever we choose for the children - James is being tutored here and that is succeeding but he almost certainly will take that dangerous uncomfortable voyage across the oceans to England, as Elizabeth, Edward and John junior have already, but I don't expect Mary to travel there to school. And the child I feel stirring within me, what does the future hold for that child? Boy or girl? I have spun a needle over my stomach but I can't tell; I need a gypsy! They tell me Mr. Squires is a member of that ancient race - I wonder if any gypsy women have accompanied him - do they share wives in common? Honestly, from the countryside where I was raised, where it was exotic to have seen the sea and spoken to a traveller, to now where I mix with rude natives, help care for their children, give orders to the most depraved criminals of England and know they'll obey, or dine at the table of the Governor of NS Wales and share shoes with his daughter - how could I have or anyone have foreseen the future for me? When Mr. Macarthur and I were to marry, the naysayers from both sides spoke out against it and I shared my concerns too, but more happiness I could never have experienced, nor been held in such respect by a gentleman who has achieved so much. My children delight me and although death has touched us, it's touch has been so slight compared with those around me. God's goodness is awarded without concern for the value of the sinner it seems.
Speaking of which, it is rumoured that the already small number of weddings has diminished considerably, without Mr. Marsden to take the ceremony, and even Christenings have ceased under Mr. Fulton. I hope that such a rumour is unfounded, for it is not a lessening of our relationship with the Lord that will lift this place from the slough of despond and the quagmire of iniquity.

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