Friday 9 December 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

This morning Mr Fisher & I had a characteristic
scene with the Governor. The latter has always impressed upon me that
it was his right to fix the site of the Capital, & till I saw Colonel Light’s
instructions I believed this to be the case. Undeceived, I was determined
not to be played upon with impunity & accordingly I told the Governor
in Mr Fisher’s presence that  he had misled me, and was himself al-
-together mistaken; that I had read the Commissioners Instructions to
the Surveyor General, & the fact was that it rested solely & exclusively
upon Col. Light’s responsibility to fix the site of Adelaide. The polite &
dignified remark in answer was that “he did not care a — for any
order of the Commissioners & he would fix the seat of Government
where he pleased. It was only his private confidence in Col. Light’s
discretion that would lead him to submit to his decision: he had
Lord Glenelg’s authority for all this, & for setting the Commissioners
at defiance”. I doubt this; & indeed have no further confidence
in the truth of any thing he says But for the consideration my family
& their interests demand I should not remain an hour in my present
position. It seems more & more desirable that the Governor’s powers
should be defined strictly, or some strange antics we shall have; –
but it is far more to be wished that in selecting an individual for
the high office he fills, care had been taken to find a gentleman of
common sense who had little occasion for other brains than his own
& who would despise to lay his own follies entirely upon the shoulders
of honorable men. On the poop watching the sun going down, the
Captain observing to Margaret “They that go down to the sea in ships”
she, unintentionally perhaps but not inappropriately continued the
quotation “they reel to & fro & stagger like a drunken man & are at
their wit’s end”. He replied “You may be at your wit’s end, Mrs S,
but it will not do for me to be at mine, I shall have employment
enough for them!” Margaret thought of Wordsworth I suppose for she
quoted half-aside, “Good help thee silly one!”.

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