26 I hope she will live to benefit by . She now can talk pretty well & is an entertaining companion to a fond Mother , whose feelings you wiull readily excuse. I have also a little native boy who takes up part of my attention. He is about six years old & now begins to read English & wait at table, & hope at some future period he may be a useful member of society. He has no inclination to go among the natives, & quite forgot their manners. Present my best respects to Mr Stokes, MissStokes & Master Edward & tell him we often talk of him when we are eating melons. The seeds of whihc he was so kind as to give me with wwishing you every blessing on this dear life, I remain dear MAdam, Yrs ([Undecipherable]) Eliza Marsden Mr M. gives you a line , but two ships sail together..we divide the letters. Received May 12th 1799 To Mrs Stokes
27) From these alone the governor can expect honest assistance. After proper magistrates are appointed, the next object for the governor's attention, is agriculture. This above all things should be attended to; no country perhaps on earth is more favourable for agriculture than this. We are situated at a great distance from all other countries, and ought to maintain ourselves from the produce of the fields, but this cannot be done unless agriculture is attended to as it should be. At present I apprehend we shall have to depend much upon India for bread; which ought not to be the case in a country that is capable of producing in the greatest abundance. This colony in my opinion will never rise to a state of independence, unless a civil governor is sent out. A naval gentleman is partial to a ship; a military one; to a barrack parade; while neither have any relish for the labour and produce of the field; for this reason they are not proper for the government of a country which is to depend upon agriculture. I think the expenses of the colony will awaken his Majesty's ministers to think something about it. About three thousand five hundred persons are now victualled from His Majesty's stores; which cannotamount to a much less sum than 70,000 £ per annum. I never saw a greater prospect of expenses to the nation than at present. I am happy, however to inform you, that through kind interest in England, the rising generation are now likely to be taken care of; we have got three govt schools now established, one at each principle settlement for the education of the children, and I am now forming more. In a short time, I hope to see a school in every district, and most of the schools are taught by pious men. A very great change has already taken place in the minds of the inhabitants with respect to their children. All seem anxious now to have them instructed.
28) Roman Catholics, Jews, and persons of all persuasions send their children to the public schools where they are all instructed in the principles of our established religion. I think God will bless the poor children of the exiles to this country, and from them will raise up a seed to serve him. The governor is very ready to meet my wishes relative to the schools, and the instruction of the children. I feel much obliged to him for his kindness in this respect. I believe Lord Castlereagh had impressed this object very strongly upon the governor's mind, in consequence of the kind part you took on behalf of the poor children. The blessings that must necessarily follow to this infant country, from the instruction of the rising generation cannot be estimated. They are already very great. Many hundred children were running about the street growing up in idleness and vice, when I left the colony, who are now diligently employed in memtal and moral improvement. This is a great happiness to my mind. I view the children with great delight and am thankful to God that I came to England and accomplished the object of my voyage; my two colleagues also are men of sound piety, and I trust we shall always have ones object in view, and shall see the fruit of our labours. I feel happy that I have nothing to do with politics. Had the governor appointed men of character as majistrates, and wished me to have acted as one, I should have felt it my duty not to have refused; but as his excellengy thought proper to nominate men with whom I would in no consideration act in a public capacity, I had an opportunity of freeing myself from a very unpleasant duty and gained leisure to attend to what more immediately concerned me. All things are wisely ordered for our own good; there is not a single event in our own lives for which we can assign all the reasons which finite Wisdom may have in view.
[continued p 31]
Parramatta, December 3rd, /96
Although I wrote to you lately, I embrace the earliest opportunity to inform you I have received your letter by the Sylph and also
Mrs Mrs Marsden one. We feel ourselves greatly indebted to you for your kind remembrance of us in this distant part. News from Old England, come from whom it will may, is welcome, and much more if it comes from a love of Jesus. We have many things to struggle with here, which have a natural tendency to deaden our affections and stupify our hearts. Happy should I be to see God reviving his work of grace in New South Wales. Our Land brings forth plentifully, neither doth he suffer our cattle to decrease. The bounties of Providence are bestowed upon us with a liberal hand; no poverty or want is experienced by any: we have plenty of bread to spare; notwithstanding we are very ungrateful; we are unmindful of the God who gives us all things richly to enjoy. It is an unspeakable happiness to see the kind hand of Providence superintending all our ways. He both can and does make the barren wilderness to smile. His goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life, and I humbly hope, dear Madam, to dwell in His house forever. I am so greatly blessed, that were I to murmur or complain against any of His dispensations towards me, it would almost be an unpardonable sin. You mention in your letter, you would be glad if I would
collect you some seeds and plants from Norfolk Island. I was there better than a year ago, but I do not know when I shall go again. I will write to an acquaintance who lives there, and endeavour to obtain some for you. Any thing that this country affords, and I can obtain, I shall be very happy to send you. I think it probable I shall be able to collect you some seeds such as you have never yet received. I sometimes visit different (parts) of the Settlement at the distance of forty or fifty miles from Sydney. Such as I can obtain you shall have, thought I do not profess any great botanical knowledge myself.
I have much to occupy my time, a great variety of duties to perform. I am a gardener, a farmer, a magistrate, and a minister, so that when one duty does not call me, another always does. In this infant colony there is plenty of manual labour for every body. I conceive it a duty for all to take an active part. He who will not work must not eat.
Now is our harvest time. Yesterday I was in the Harvest field, assisting in getting in my wheat. To-day I have been sitting in the civil court, hearing the complaints of the people. To morrow, if well, must attend the pulpit, and preach to my people. In this manner I chiefly spend my time. It may appear strange, but it is necessary, situated as we are here. You can form no idea, Madam, of our state. I wish to be found faithful, to act like a christian and minister. I can say this, I do not eat the bread of idleness. It is my opinion God will ere long visit New South Wales with His heavenly grace. Out of these stones, He will raise up children unto Abraham. There has not been any shaking yet amongst the dry bones, but the son of man is commanded to prophesy, and I hope