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1-270 (Original)

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addressee,male author,female,Atkinson, Jane Penelope,20
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Irvine, 1992
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1-270.txt — 7 KB

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Sydney 9th Feby. 1825 Wednesday
I was much delighted My Dear Cousin at the receipt of your favour by the Portland which came rather unexpectedly as I had begun to fear you had not received my Letter by Minerva which was dated 7th Feby. 1823 and I did not believe your answer to be the middle of Decbr. 1824 but I suppose I must impute to the negligence and retention of Captain Bell.
You say you have often heard of me by the "Hearing of the Ear" but I am afraid my Dr. Cousin it will be a long time ere you see me by the "Seeing of the Eye" unless you take a ship to New Holland as my Husband (Mr Atkinson) has not the slightest wish either to visit England or Scotland for many years he shortly intends leasing off all his [?] and [?] speculations and Commission [?] and returning to a small estate in the country about 34 Miles from the Metropolis which we are now building on and improving therefore I think there is not much hope of our ever visiting Caledonias long Famed Lakes & Valleys nothing I can assure you would give me greater pleasure were we enabled to do it -
You will see by the above that I do not now write under the name of Reibey. The advice contained in your letter was most thankfully perused as it convinced me you took some interest in my happiness but & Alas!!! it came too late indeed you must not be offended when I say that if it came before hand my heart was gone too far to return. it was irrevocably lost but do not think I was too precipitate no it was a matter of longer consideration than you would imagine. you little thought my Hand and Heart were engaged long before you received my last Letter - I own I was married rather younger than the generality of my sex but in this Country they marry so much younger than in yours. my dear Friend it was not the whim of a moment but the result of a long meditated and mature deliberation. I made it the subject of Prayer and Meditation by night as well as by day and my Heart told me that I most sincerely loved and that our love was resciprocal. indeed I think there are not many who considered the marriage state as seriously as I did - I am far from opinion that our Happiest Days are spent in virginity or courtship but on the contrary I think where two Beings are united who have one heart one mind, one soul, the maried state is much more loveable. 12 o'clock P.M. I find I am getting so sleepy and writing so dreadfully bad that I must bid you good night and resume my Letter tomorrow morning - [87] 
Thursday Afternoon, 3 o'clock -
You say you tremble for what our letters may [?] but you of course have heard of our most dreadful breavements long ere this. Indeed my Dr. Prince I think trouble never was like ours The loss of two such invaluable and beloved relations was enough to wring our very souls but it was the will of the Lord - yes - "for affliction cometh not of the Dust neither doth trouble spring out of the Ground" "the Lord gave and the Lord taketh away Blessed be the name of the Lord" Therefore we I trust submitted to the divine will with all the fortitude and resignation our frail weak nature would afford but not with the Resignation of Job. I think I may truly say they were the Lords children they were such as would bring full grace to all Eternity - Their Tranquil Souls no longer dwell Within a tent of Clay Their flown to bliss in peaceful realms of everlasting Day!! Forgive this little heartfelt Effusion - but Oh! what is [?] that thou shouldest magnify "him" most Happy should I have been to have stopt here without pouring out to you any further troubles but it pleased the Divine Ruler who seeth not as Man will - to afflict us still further - our poor little Baby the dear little pledge of my Dear departed Celia did not survive her lamented Mother some 7 months - Yes my dear little "Celia Alice" has gone to join her sainted Parent in the regions of bliss where trouble and affliction cannot enter nor can the ungodly approach to disturb her repose - This little verse I would beg add and forgive my humble attempt at Poetry
Dear Celia she has wing'd her flight 
to the pure realms of endless light 
She sits adorned with every grace
And views her Saviour face to face
You wish to know what Public ammusements we have in Sydney - You will be surprised when I tell you we have not one not even so much as a Public Ball or Assembly - I assure you my Dr. Cousin our ears are not assailed by any of the Wanton or corrupting airs of the opera no nor the majestic and ennobling melody of the Oratorio but they are frequently assailed with the noise of intoxicated People and the disgusting language of the Aborigine - The Winter generally passes away with but one or two Balls and when sweltering [?] summer arrives there are very frequently 4 and 5 in succession sometimes the [?] Sheriff entertains a numerous asssemblage of fashionables when the "Interesting Mrs. Abel" makes her appearance. sometimes our gay Naval Officer entertains his friends / sometimes the "Atorney [?] General" or "the Chief Justice", "the Commissioner of the Court of Requests[?]" or the "Cashier of the Bank" - & & & I really cannot Imagine why they should give the prefrence to the summer unless it is for the sake of the fruits which grow so much more abundantly than in Winter / [88] but as to the Eligibility of it I think I should not presume to offer an opinion as I never enter into Society except a few friends who we sometimes dine with or spend the Evening - Our principal ammusement is that of spending a few hours in the Boat of an afternoon I sometimes take my Book and sit on a Rock by the Water side to read while the others employ themselves with eating Oysters which we gather from the Rocks ourselves my Mother, Elizabeth & cousin Eliza very frequently accompany us and Generally one or two of our real friends who might sans ceremonie step in and dine with us / I assure you My Dr. Cousin I feel much more pleasure in these little excursions than I should in any of their [?] assemblies. we generally take a little Bread and Butter in the Boat with us and when we go for all day we provide a cold Dinner / I sometimes collect Insects but I [?] I cannot (as was my intention) complete a Box for you. however should it be in my power I will as I have no doubt you would prize them on account of being collected by the hands of your "unknown friend and Cousin" most happy should I be could you at any time join our happy little group - I think I have been rather tardy in acknowledging the receipt of your pretty little present [?] which I assure you was very much admired and for which I have to. return you my most cordial thanks -
This letter I am ashamed to say is not fit to go out of my hands at any rate such a distance but as I am aware it will meet no other than Mr Hopes I am not so uneasy. it is not bad writing alone that it is famed for but diction and orthography I trust he will excuse it. this day Elizabeth and Eliza came over to see me and they were so full of life and gaiety that I really could not write they pleased me so with their jokes that I scarcely knew what I was about I was therefore obliged at last to leave my pen and have again about Ten Minutes ago resumed it - Tis now exactly 11 o'clock and I have to send this off to night as the Mangles sails early to morrow morning therefore I must bid you Adieu and believe me to be yours with the greatest affection
Jane Atkinson - should your Brothers Sister or any friend enquire after me pray present my kind regards to them Mr A - Miss A - join me in Kind remembrances to you though perfectly unknown. Good night my Dear Cousin May every blessing attend you is the sincere wish of