September 09, 2007

9 September 1807, by Elizabeth Macarthur

Sydney as she is today, a jewel of a Town.

The night sky was lit by a great comet last night, the tail hanging over the mountains to our west and sufficient light streaming from it for the river to reflect the light. A sign?
Contention reigns in the Colony, while at home it has intruded into our evening meal times. Both Edward and Hannibal feel the weight that lies on John's shoulders, but I don't believe they know that often, to John, his contention is a game. Behaviour is the cause of the fracas, the contumacious Governor and his allies refusing to behave as Mr. Macarthur firmly believes gentlemen must behave, and so we reach that point where every action is examined and found wanting of some aspect of rightness, although perfectly fair if examined by itself. That is what has come to dinner, the examination of action. I told Mr. Macarthur that the table must be exempt from all conflict, and he agrees. Edward and Hannibal unfortunately were not present when I made my point, so now John must take them aside this very night and explain the position.
It is clear that the rights of Englishmen must be enjoyed here, as must their obligations. In the coming week we have invited the garrison, along with the Governor and Mr. and Mrs. Putland, if Mr. Putland is well, to a dinner dance at our Sydeny house, and I know that every effort to appear pleasant must be made now, for fear of betraying some inappropriate behaviour on the evening. That would gall me beyond belief.
Before John went to England, I cannot imagine myself making such a demand - how have I changed? I would hate to become a demanding spouse, for my heart is firmly in Mr. Macarthur's pocket.

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