The Twelve Hours

Seventh hour

The bad employer

Australia. The criminal colony of Botany Bay. Description of the country. Covetousness of the colonists.

[7.1] After we have sufficiently considered the ship - the meaning of which will certainly never be foreign to you - in it's atrocious conduct, we want to leave it and make a head start, and take a look at the forenamed country, which, according to your determination, lies between the 131st and 171st degree of eastern longitude as well as between the 10th and 30th degree of southern latitude, a little in advance.

[7.2] For this is necessary for you here, because you are still not in the least familiar with the composition, division, as well as with the climatic conditions there; and so look here at this table, which is well known to you!

[7.3] The country that presents itself to you - just look at it well - is Australia proper, South India, Oceania and Polynesia. See, the southern part of this country, how it still consists of immense puddles and morasses, in which, if you want to sharpen your eyes, you will discover an innumerable amount of poisonous monsters and all kinds of creatures.

[7.4] And see how further south there are a lot of coral ring islands extending almost to the south pole region; for which reason the southern coast of this country cannot be circumnavigated, as it is also an impossibility to reach this southern coast by land, which is actually no coast, and to explore it's nature.

[7.5] It is even more difficult to get acquainted with it, because this country consists mostly of vast plains, interrupted only here and there by small, insignificant hills; there are no significant mountains in this country, except for some corals and shales and rocks on the coasts.

[7.6] This country, known so far, has in it's continent an area of almost 200,000 square miles, on which area live about two million and some sixty thousand people.

[7.7] The most inhabitable lands are mostly on the east coast, which should be already more or less known to you, as for example the lands under the name of: Karpentaria, Arehmesland, Witsland, Edelsland, Eintrachtsland, Leuwiesland, Nuytsland, Flintersland, Baudingsland, Grantsland and some other less known names, in which, of course, there is nothing.

[7.8] On this eastern coast there is a landing place called Botany Bay, where already for a course of hardly ten years up to the present moment, about 170,000 criminals were disembarked by the English, and from there distributed in the different fields.

[7.9] Not only this eastern coast has such a destination, but also in the west, such deportees are now almost preferentially disembarked.

[7.10] There you see a river that pours into the sea; it is the Swan River, and on it's banks, you also see a considerable city built, from which colonization is now being done by criminals brought there; but with much worse success than on the east coast; for here only the very worst rascals of England are usually sold as a joint venture to the Nether- and Hollanders, to whom this coast belongs, in order to cultivate the highly inhospitable region.

[7.11] On the east coast, namely at Botany Bay, a city has already been built for some time; it is called Sidney, like the entire coast of New South Wales.

[7.12] For now, remember only the western point, because after we see our ship land in Botany Bay, we want to dispose of ourselves here, where the human suffering is much worse than on the east coast.

[7.13] But before we take a closer look at these main spectacles, I want to acquaint you with the country itself, so that it will be all the easier for you to get a real idea of what it means, and say, to be brought there either guilty or even innocent as a deportee.

[7.14] Now look how things are in the interior of the country! You think that these unpredictable regions are nothing but a forest of bushes to your eyes.

[7.15] Oh no, I say; it is the grass, and you must not be surprised when you see grass three to four men high in places.

[7.16] This grass resembles the so-called sea-ear, and is to be eradicated in no other way than when it has become dry, by fire. But the fire must be lit at a time when winds are blowing from the north; for winds from the south smother the fire.

[7.17] You certainly want to see a forest of trees; but there are very few such forests here, and the trees that grow there, especially toward the more southern regions, are often scarcely as tall and high as some grass, and yield very little edible fruit.

[7.18] In the northern part, as well as on the eastern coast, there are, of course, already often different plantations, which, however, do not progress well at all, and gradually noticeably change their nature.

[7.19] And so pears often become quite woody and broader at the stem than at the crown. The stone-kernel of the cherries often grow out of the skin, and the fruit itself becomes watery; and various other plantations suffer changes that may sound strange to you. The snake-nuts, which are still little known to you, are doing best, as are coconuts, Indian figs, the so-called carob and a kind of melon plum on the northern coast.

[7.20] But much care must be taken that the snake-nuts are not pierced by a certain red insect; if such a pierced nut then falls into the earth, it becomes an offshoot of a highly poisonous kind, which is ten times worse than the so-called Bohonupas; for as it has driven it's leaves only a shoe high above the earth, so these leaves have such a violent devastating poisonous exhalation that they not only kill all animals and people who come near them, but they also often wreak such havoc among the plants within a radius of an hour, that in a short time not even a stone moss plant gets away, but everything withers and becomes a kind of ash.

[7.21] The luck with this plant is that it does not vegetate more ½ a year, but with the winter soon spoils again, and thus becomes harmless.

[7.22] And now that we have looked a bit at the plant-world, we want to take a brief look at the animals.

[7.23] First of all, see how the air is teeming with great white eagles, which in strength and agility far surpass anything of their kind; their rapacity is so great, especially in winter, that more in the interior of the country, they attack people like flying wolves.

[7.24] Besides them, there is another species of vicious bird, which have almost the appearance of an ostrich; they have hair instead of feathers, and some have no wings at all, but others have wings like a bat.

[7.25] These birds often have fathom-long legs, and can run so fast with them that it is easy for them to cover ten miles in an hour. When they reach their prey, they knock it down with one leg, and then proceed with their prepared meal. Other armies of smaller and more harmless birds are not to be mentioned.

[7.26] Among others, there is a four-footed mammal with a strong beak; it's most correct name would be the wolfbird. This animal is in it's kind more cruel than any tiger.

[7.27] But as for the ground and the swamps, this is a veritable fatherland of snakes, all kinds of lizards, among which very many genera are winged, which, of course, are not all of a poisonous kind, but are more or less harmful.

[7.28] In the interior, a large species of very poisonous bats is common, and their gaze have a hypnotic effect even worse than a rattlesnake, so that someone who has caught the eye of such a bat, is soon as if drugged by a strong drink, falls to the ground, and if no one comes to his aid and kills the fluttering bat, it sucks the last drop of blood from him and then flies away sated and whistling sharply.

[7.29] As for the climate, it is a real chameleon, because, except for some eastern and northern regions, it is so variable that in some areas a person can taste all five zones in one day.

[7.30] Why all this is so peculiarly arranged, will be made known to you in it's time; but this much you can remember in advance, that I have quite other purposes associated with certain countries of the earth than that they should be prematurely plundered by the shameful covetousness of man.

[7.31] If people, in their madness, prematurely penetrate into lands that have not yet ripened, it serves them right if they are like neglected children, who eat unripe fruit and poisonous berries.

[7.32] However, as already said - at a next opportunity, more of it will be announced to you. And now look, during the time we have been romping around in this country, the ship already known to you, has dropped it's anchor in the harbor of Botany Bay, and now look, there it is already! Because, if you have everything in one picture in front of you, you don't need a long journey to be at the certain place.

[7.33] Now look quite carefully! I am speaking the Epheta again, and see, the ship has already become transparent to the bottom. Above all, take a good look at our fair consort! See how weak she is, that she can hardly rise from her seat. Now go a little into the captain's cabin.

[7.34] See how three colonists are already examining the lists with him, in the presence of the governor. Now see, twenty of them are crossed out, including their age, but our lady is not crossed out.

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