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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 744 pages of information about An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1.

The town of Laguna (a name which signifies Lake or Swamp) is situated upon a plain surrounded by high hills, and watered by the same means as Santa Cruz, from a great distance up the country.  We noticed, indeed, two stone-basins, and fountains playing in different streets of the place.  The buildings here had a manifest superiority over those of Santa Cruz, the streets were far more spacious, and the houses larger.  In some of the former we perceived a regular line of shops filled chiefly with articles from England.  The insalubrity of the air of this place, however, had driven, and was continuing to drive, such numbers almost daily from its influence, that it had more the appearance of a deserted than of an inhabited town, weeds and grass literally growing in the streets.  As this town decreased in its population, Santa Cruz, with some others on the island, received the benefit; and it must be acknowledged, that although in quitting Laguna they removed from fertile fields and a romantic pleasant country, to uncouth and almost barren rocks at Santa Cruz, they changed a noxious for a very healthy situation.

After viewing the town we remounted our beasts, and proceeded by the side of the aqueduct into a most delightful country, where we found the people cheerfully employed in gathering their harvest, and singing their rural roundelays.  The soil produced oats, barley, wheat, and Indian corn; but, though it bore always two, and sometimes three crops, it was nevertheless unequal in the whole of its produce to the consumption of the island, the deficiency being supplied from the Grand Canary.

The sides of the hills were clothed with woods, into one of which we rode, and arriving at a place named Il Plano de los Vieios, or the Plain of the Old People, we rested for some little time, and afterward, crossing through a cultivated valley, ascended the hill on the opposite side, where we visited the source of the stream that supplied the aqueduct.  Returning thence, we refreshed under the walls of a small chapel, where a friar occasionally performed mass for the neighbouring country people.  About five o’clock we again entered Laguna, with the intention of paying our compliments to the sisterhood of the convent which we had visited in the morning; but whether our party was too numerous, or from what other cause it proceeded we could not learn, we were only favoured with the company of four or five of the elder ladies of the house, who talked very loud and very fast.  After purchasing some few bunches of artificial fruit, we took our leave, and proceeded to Santa Cruz, cautiously indeed, down the hills and rocks which we had ascended in the morning, and arrived about sun-set.

An outward-bound Dutch East-Indiaman had anchored in the road since the morning.

In the evening of this day John Powers, a convict, made his escape from the Alexander transport, in a small boat which by some accident was suffered to lie unattended to alongside the ship, with a pair of oars in it; he was however retaken at day-break the next morning, by the activity of the master and a party of marines belonging to the transport, and brought on board the Sirius, whence he was removed to his own ship, with directions for his being heavily ironed.

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