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Mitchell discusses Tench's motives behind his writings on the First Settlement, arguing that he attempted to produce entertaining works, carefully selecting events, language and literary conventions for that purpose. This is seen most clearly in his use of a tableau that dramatically presents the meeting of the "primitive" with the "civilised" as an ailing aborigine and his son are cared for by the European settlers. But despite the sentimentality and light-heartedness of much of his writing, Tench was pessimistic about the future of Australia, and gave a negative view of the colony in his books.