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Charles Boydell - journal, 1830-18351830 - 1835

by Charles Boydell
[Thoughts on a settler's life and colonial marriage] I do not know of any race of man with more leisure yet less inclination to think than that of single settlers in every transaction they engage in this feature is predominant: view the poor creature just exalted above the aboriginal coming home to a miserable hut without a soul to meet or welcome him after a hard days labour partaking of a rough & uncomfortable meal & eating merely because he must do so to support life this alone would be sufficient to [ ] him a most unthinking being: how easy to amend it just take a wife my boy & immediately turn a desert into a fruitful garden, a miserable abode into an Elysium. Surely the contrast is great yet not overdrawn. Let anybody visit two settlers with the same means let one be married and the other single & he will find the picture by no means so. The prejudiced beings imagine that because marriage is indisposable (sic) it must be difficult to endure - yet I fancy few who have once tasted the sweets of matrimony would wish to return to single blessedness. Marriage is of divine ordination, & one of the greatest blessings transmitted to mortals, by female society man is softened and harmonised dependent up[on] one another for happiness the same wants and desires unite the married couple most delightfully: How truly unnatural to look around and behold in this country so many to whom its blessings are unknown, so many who from habit & want of association with the softer sex become rough and unpolished & pass this life without that greatest of all enjoyment proceeding from this state [of] domestic felicity. All fully aware of it yet too indolent to take precautions against continuance of it: Almost all pleasures flow from woman she can bring comfort and order where the contraries reigned absolute before her coming: Men [ ] talking of going to England for a wife would that not be a libel upon the female of our adopted country: where so many...fitting for all societies are daily maturing: Besides on the other hand anyone who has known the happiness of a large family would prefer connecting himself here with a family of respectability whose society he might cultivate and would be the cause of making his spouse more content: I often think a person must make use of a little deceit before he can prevail upon a body to renounce all her family & friends for him alone & to give up the company and luxuries she has been accustomed to for the hardships & privations of a settler's life.