Great complaints were now made of the profligacy of the women; who, probably from having met with more indulgence on account of their sex than their general conduct entitled them to, were grown so idle and insolent, that they were unwilling to do any thing but nurse their children; an excuse from labour which very few were without. Were their value to be estimated by the fine children with which they had increased and multiplied the numbers in the settlement, they certainly would have been found to deserve every care and attention as useful members of society; but their vices were too conspicuous and prominent to admit of much palliation.
The heavy rains which had fallen in part of this and the preceding month having very much damaged the public road between Sydney and Parramatta, two gangs were employed in repairing them. The weather was much colder than common at this season, and in the interior part of the country there was a sharp frost during the night.
August.] An order having been given in the beginning of the month for assembling the court of civil judicature, a recommendation to the inhabitants was added, that when any bargain, contract, or agreement, was made, between any party or parties, on any subject whatsoever, the same should be reduced to writing, specifying in direct and clear terms what the nature of such bargain or contract might be, and causing the same to be properly witnessed, and subscribed by the parties concerned. This measure was calculated to prevent disputes, litigation, and misunderstandings, among the inhabitants, as well as to do away the great inconvenience which the members of the court experienced every time they were convened, from the loose and careless manner in which business was brought before them.
On the 1st day of this month the regulation directed by government, relative to the number of public servants which the officers were allowed to retain, was put in force.
The abandoned and dissipated disposition of most of those who were or had been convicts, so much to be regretted and so often mentioned, was particularly manifest in a shameful abuse of the Sabbath, and a profane ridicule with which every thing sacred was treated. A conduct so derogatory to every Christian principle had from time to time been severely reprobated; but it had now arrived at a height that called for the exertion of every advocate for morality to subdue. Observing, that, instead of employing the Sunday in the performance of those duties for which that day was set apart, it was passed in the indulgence of every abominable act of dissipation, the overseers of the different gangs were strictly ordered to see their men mustered every Sunday morning, and to attend with them at church. The superintendants and constables were to see this order complied with, and that the women (who, to their disgrace, were far worse than the men) were strictly looked after and made to attend divine service regularly. And, as example might