1944-10-01, English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Madame Rose de Freycinet’s Visit to Sydney. November 18 to December 26, 1819. (1 October 1944) Royal Australian Historical Society.

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Madame Rose de Freycinet’s Visit to Sydney. November 18 to December 26, 1819. (1 October 1944)
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/258766641
Physical Description
  • 1862 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Published
  • xna, The Society, 1944-10-01
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Madame Rose de Freycinet’s Visit to Sydney. November 18 to December 26, 1819. (1 October 1944)
Appears In
  • Journal and proceedings, no.Vol 30 Part 5, 1944-10-01, p.36 (ISSN: 1325-9261)
Author
  • Royal Australian Historical Society.
Published
  • xna, The Society, 1944-10-01
Physical Description
  • 1862 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Part Of
  • Journal and proceedings
  • Vol. 30 Part. 5 (1944)
Subjects
Summary
  • Madame Rose de Freycinet’s Visit to Sydney. November 18 to December 26, 1819. Extract from Journal de Madame Bose de Saulces de Freycinet d’apres le Manuscrit Original accompagne de Notes, by Charles Duplomb (Paris, Societe d’Editions Geographiques, Maritimes et Coloniales, 1927). Madame Rose de Freycinet sailed with her husband, Captain Louis de Freycinet, on his voyage round the world in VUranie* in 1817-1820. The official Journal of Captain de Freycinet’s voyage was written by Jacques Arago, and has been translated into English. Translated by Sir WILLIAM DIXSON. At Sydney we received several invitations which we had to refuse. On November 8 Captain Piper gave a party at his country seat, which is very picturesquely situated on a point overlooking the harbour. The house is not yet finished; but will be very pretty and is well designed. After the meal, there was dancing in the garden, and every one appeared to have enjoyed themselves. selves. Mr. Carling, a lawyer, also held a reception; and Messrs Piper and Wylde gave a dinner-party. As I was unwell, Louis went by himself. A few days later, Mr. Wylde gave a ball. I could not go, as I was still too unwell; well; so Louis had to go there alone. The ball was a very brilliant affair. Feeling a little better, I went to the lighthouse with Mr. and Mrs. Field. Mrs. Macquarie had promised to take me there, but the Governor being very unwell and confined to his bed, she was prevented from coming to Sydney. Mrs. Field let us have her cab, while she, her husband and young Macquarie went on horseback. To me the road appeared extraordinary by reason of the care with which it is maintained and the difficulties is has failed to overcome in order not to make it shorter. The lighthouse is on a fairly high hill. Two miles from town, the country is still in its native state, as this part is not so fertile as the land towards Parramatta. From the hill the view is wonderful. The *VUranie arrived at Sydney on November 18, 1819, and sailed on December 26 of the same year. lighthouse is built of stone and has several rooms. The light itself came from England. Mr. Field had brought a very substantial breakfast; and, while it was being prepared we went off to see one of the pretty views of the harbour. We went down one side of a gentle slope to a little fisherman’s bay. There we noticed a very large tree which was so shady and wide spread that there was room for a table to seat 20 people where they would be as well sheltered as under a roof. As we were feeling hungry and hot, we went back to the lighthouse. After a rest, we made our way back to town. Mr. Macquarie being still very unwell, Mrs. Macquarie asked me to go to breakfast at Government House so as to see the House and gardens comfortably. As she was still at Parramatta, her nephew came off to the ship where we had gone to hear Mass. Major Antill, his wife, and young Macquarie did the honours. We went through the gardens and over the house which is not pretty owing to the irregularity of its shape. It is better inside where there are two splendid reception rooms. The same day we went to the Botanical Gardens and the peculiar building erected for Government House Stables. It is just like an old castle, with its towers, crenelles etc. ... We were unable to find out whether it was the Governor’s own idea or not. I really think it is to form a picturesque view from the harbour from which it can be seen on a slope near the town. The hospital buildings are magnificent. The barracks, with the Officers’ quarters alongside, and the Convict barracks are very fine. Both of these would hold their own in our capital; as would some of the private houses. Disappointed that I had been unable to attend the first ball, and wishing to give another, Mr. Wylde invited us to one on December 16. The hall was pretty, being decorated with flowers and pictures. There were paintings ings of the French and English Arms, as well as those of my husband. At the back there were representations of Cook’s ship—the Adventure : King’s ship—the Mermaid : and of the TJranie. All the pictures in the hall were done for the occasion and referred, more or less, to France and to us. There was a very fine supper; but the toasts were a little too long, and each one was accompanied by a long speech. Though I do not know the English dances, I could not get out of them, and did not get on very well. But it seemed far too hot to dance. Short as we were of many necessaries after such a long voyage, we decided to invite all those who had entertained us to a dinner on the ship. It was a very modest affair; but we reckoned on the indulgence that must always be allowed for those in our position. The deck was cleared of everything as far as the main-mast. This area was divided into two sections and decorated with flags, festoons of leaves, and flowers. The regimental band played during dinner. A young man on the ship, who knows how to draw, made two transparencies, one of the King of England, and one of the King of France. They remained hidden until Louis proposed the health of King George, which was accompanied by a salute of 21 guns. The one of Louis XVIII was also uncovered when the Governor proposed his health. Just previously there had been a fearful uproar; and lam sure you would never guess the cause of it. Our cook got into a towering rage because, a quarter of an hour before he would have to send in the provisions, he sent to tell me that everything was spoiled. The space allotted to our galley was so narrow that he had used a cannon to support the end of a plank which he was using as a table on which to place the prepared dishes. When the order came to prepare to fire a salute when the toasts were proposed, the gunners removed all these works of art of the chef, and thus disarranged their symmetry. I leave you to imagine the wrath of this bumptious man who, only a few days before, had refused to learn how to make puddings from an English cook because, he said, a French cook has nothing to learn from an English one. On the 14th. we went to spend two days at Mr. Macarthur’s country home. His daughter is 26 or 27, very bright, clever and kind. I would like to have been able to have seen more of her; but her poor health, and the shortness of our stay, prevented it. She came for us in her father’s carriage. We arrived at Parramatta in time for dinner. Mr. Macarthur was waiting for us with another, younger, daughter. The house is quite plain outside; but it is very well supplied with everything that ease and simple elegance can suggest. They had just returned from a splendid farm near the Nepean (opposite Queenscliff) where Mr. Macarthur has a flock of 6636 merino sheep, more than half of which are pure bred. The gardens are very pretty and well cared for. They have many European pean plants and trees; among others the olive which does very well. During our stay at Parramatta, 1 wanted to say goodbye bye to Mr. Macquarie. However the Governor was too unwell for us to see him; but his wife received us very kindly. She told Louis that the Governor had instructed her to offer to replace the pieces of silver plate that had been stolen from us; or else give us their equivalent in money. This we absolutely refused to do, in spite of her urgent requests. Among other reasons, she alleged that it was the fault of the police, and that it was only right that the Government should replace them. However we stood out, and thanked her for the offer. We went to see Mrs. King, the wife of Governor Philip Gidley King, and Mrs. Hannibal Macarthur, with whom we had dined the previous evening. She assured Louis that her brother, Lieutenant King, who commanded the Mermaid now surveying on the coast of New Holland, would like to meet him very much and thank him for all the kind things he had said about him in the published account of his voyage with Baudin. I saw Mrs. Field very often. She is extremely kind to me. (She sent me the first ripe apricot she had fifteen days ago. I had not tasted one since we sailed.) My last days here were spent with her. We dined with her very often. She has a charming disposition, is very well read and knows French literature well. She is very pretty and, as Louis remarked, has a ravishing foot. I can assure you I spent a very pleasant time with her. The day I was to go on board, I had breakfast with her; and my heart was very sad when leaving her. She gave me a small cornelian, set in a ring, on which she had had engraved the word : Remember. I had no need of this word to recall all her kindness to me. We went on board on the 24th, but did not leave till after M. FAbbe had said Mass the following day— Christmas Day. None of the English sailors wanted ns to leave on a Friday, as they said it was an unlucky day. The sorrow I felt when leaving this place, where I had been so well received, was not diminished by the knowledge that this was really the starting point of our homeward journey. The breeze being fresh we stood away from the land, and, on the following day when well out, we found that ten convicts had stowed away. In order to save delay, as the season was well advanced, Louis decided to keep them and set them to work. I forgot to say that, on the 20th, Mr. Macarthur wrote to Louis asking him to send a boat to get the two merinos he had promised us; and an emu as well. We already had two young emus, eight black swans, and a cassican which sings very well. The latter was given to me by Captain Piper. Air. Macarthur sent me two goats on behalf of his young son. The Governor sent : one cow, one calf, and a dozen fine sheep. These animals crowded us a little; but were a good addition to our provisions. We were very grateful to the Governor for them. I was extremely sorry to leave Sydney. The idea of rounding Cape Horn frightened me; and it was only the knowledge that we were sailing home that helped to keep up my courage; for I was feeling very depressed owing to my long absence from it.
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