While the eruptions of this disorder continued upon the children, a seaman belonging to the Supply, a native of North America, having been to see them, was seized with it, and soon after died; but its baneful effects were not experienced by any white person of the settlement, although there were several very young children in it at the time.
From the first hour of the introduction of the boy and girl into the settlement, it was feared that the native who had been so instrumental in bringing them in, and whose attention to them during their illness excited the admiration of every one that witnessed it, would be attacked by the same disorder; as on his person were found none of those traces of its ravages which are frequently left behind. It happened as the fears of every one predicted; he fell a victim to the disease in eight days after he was seized with it, to the great regret of every one who had witnessed how little of the savage was found in his manner, and how quickly he was substituting in its place a docile, affable, and truly amiable deportment.
6th.] After an absence of seven months and six days, to the great satisfaction of every one, about five in the evening his Majesty’s ship Sirius anchored in the cove from the Cape of Good Hope. Captain Hunter sailed from this port on the 2nd of October 1788, and, during the space which had elapsed between his departure and his return, had circumnavigated the globe. He made his passage by Cape Horn, arriving on the 2nd of last January at the Cape of Good Hope, from which place he sailed on the 20th of the following month. Off the southern extremity of this country the Sirius met with a gale of wind, when so close in with the land that it was for some time doubtful whether she would clear it. In this gale she received considerable damage; the head of the ship, the figure of the Duke of Berwick, was torn from the cutwater, and she was afterwards found to have been very much weakened.
The Sirius brought 127,000 weight of flour for the settlement, and a twelvemonth’s provisions for her ship’s company; but this supply was not very flattering, as the short space of four months, at a full ration, would exhaust it. It was, however, very welcome, and her return seemed to have gladdened every heart. Eager were our inquiries after intelligence from that country from which we had been now two years divided, and to whose transactions we were entire strangers. With joy, mingled with concern that we were not personal sharers in the triumph, did we hear of our country’s successful efforts in the cause of the Stadtholder, and of the noble armaments which our ministers had fitted out to support it. We trusted, however, that while differently employed, our views were still directed to the same object; for, though labouring at a distance, and in an humbler scene, yet the good, the glory, and the aggrandizement of our country were prime considerations with us. And why should the colonists of New South Wales be denied the merit of endeavouring to promote them, by establishing civilization in the savage world; by animating the children of idleness and vice to habits of laborious and honest industry; and by showing the world that to Englishmen no difficulties are insuperable?