October 03, 2007

3 October 1807, by Elizabeth Macarthur

Many of the native men have their front tooth removed, for reasons unknown.

The weather, business, the actions of government are the common topics of polite conversation, but the health of my family remains most important to me, especially with Elizabeth junior so poorly. We woke today to a blustery hot wind and soemthing like an oven has developed as the day has gone on: plants in the garden wilt, and Elizabeth wilts also. Her chest fills with mucus and her breathing becomes laboured, and John believes she must excersise at such times but I can see that is beyond her. Within me a new life stirs - boy or girl, sick or healthy? My luck in birthing has not been great, with Edward born so poorly, but I'll keep trying to make them better - and my fine bonny son Edward is a testament that the poorly child can become the strongest man. I have seen Edward easily carry one of the Dorset rams and he rides as well as John - if only Elizabeth improves!
Every day we see the natives, at our door or when moving around the farm: the men invariably have their front tooth missing and Mr. Macarthur has been to the ceremony when this takes place - nine days of

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