[* They cut each other on the cheek with their knives.]
The Britannia sailed on the 24th for the Cape of Good Hope, Mr. Raven taking with him Governor Phillip’s dispatches for England, in which was contained a specific demand for twelve months provisions for the colony, and the wishes as well of those whom he considered as his employers, as of those who were not, for the safe and speedy execution of his commission; as his return to the colony would introduce many articles of comfort which were not to be found in the public stores among the articles issued by government.
At Sydney and at Parramatta shops were opened for the sale of the articles of private trade brought out in the Royal Admiral. A licence was given for the sale of porter; but, under the cover of this, spirits found their way among the people, and much intoxication was the consequence. Several of the settlers, breaking out from the restraint to which they had been subject, conducted themselves with the greatest impropriety, beating their wives, destroying their stock, trampling on and injuring their crops in the ground, and destroying each other’s property. One woman, having claimed the protection of the magistrates, the party complained of, a settler, was bound over to the good behaviour for two years, himself in twenty pounds, and to find two sureties in ten pounds each. Another settler was at the same time set an hour in the stocks for drunkenness. The indulgence which was intended by the governor for their benefit was most shamefully abused; and what he suffered them to purchase with a view to their future comfort, was retailed among themselves at a scandalous profit; several of the settlers houses being at this time literally nothing else but porter-houses, where rioting and drunkenness prevailed as long as the means remained. It was much to be regretted that these people were so blind to their own advantage, most of them sacrificing to the dissipation of the moment what would have afforded them much comfort and convenience, if reserved for refreshment after the fatigue of the day.