In Gough Whitlam's recent My Italian Notebook, he quotes
from the autobiography of Guiseppe Garibaldi, the Italian revolutionary
who established the modern Italian state. While in exile, Garibaldi
traveled by boat between South America and Asia. On December 1852,
he landed on Three Hummock island, north-western tip of Tasmania.
Memory of this period lingered throughout his life and led to his
purchase of his eventual retreat on the island of Caprera, off the
coast of Sardinia.
"I returned in thought to that pleasant bay..."
We found a small farm lately deserted by an Englishman and his
wife, on the death of his partner. This information we obtained
from a board erected on the settler's grave, which set forth in
brief the history of the little colony. 'The husband and wife',
said the inscription, 'unable to bear the loneliness of the desert
island, left it, and returned to Van Dieman.'
The most important part of the settlement was a little one-storied
dwelling-house, rough, but comfortable, carefully built, and furnished
with tables, beds, and chairs -- not luxurious, indeed, but all
bearing the impress of that comfort which seems so natural to the
English. We also found a garden -- a most useful, discovery, as
it enabled us to take on board an abundant supply of fresh potatoes
and other vegetables.
How often has that lonely island in Bass Strait deliciously excited
by imagination, when, sick of this civilised society so well supplied
with priests and police-agents, I returned in thought to that pleasant
bay, where my first landing startled a fine covey of partridges,
and where, amid lofty trees of a century's growth, murmured the
clearest, the most poetical of brooks, where we quenched our thirst
with delight, and found an abundant supply of water for the voyage.