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2-046 (Original)

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addressee,female author,female,Dumaresq, Sophy,un
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Clarke, 1992
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2-046.txt — 7 KB

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I begin the day by rising abt. five o'clock, not from choice, but downright compunction, being dragged neck & heels out of bed if I show the slightest resistance, of course I need not name the perpetrator of so tyrannical an act, none but a man & husband cd. be guilty of such cruelty. My next act is to prepare to accompany Cornelia Darling in His [NNHer] little Garden Chair to the bathing House abt. a miles distance, Col Dumaresq drives, & our party is increased by the addition of my little Son (How do you think it sounds? I fancy very oddly indeed) two Newfoundland dogs & a Spaniel. The three latter personages accompany me into the sea, where we all seem very much to enjoy ourselves. We return to breakfast at 1/2 past eight, immediately after which Col Dumaresq leaves me to my own concerns, & attends the duties of his office (alias Treadmill,) for the remainder of the day my time is almost entirely engrossed by my baby, in this odious country (for I must call it so) it is impossible to trust the most trivial thing out of ones sight & since the departure of the Servants we brought with us from England, I am never comfortable in leaving home for a minute without him. [107] My maid immediately commenced by following the terrible fashion of this part of the world of producing olive branches, & in consequence has set up for herself as Milliner & dress Maker, & I have no doubt will soon realize a fortune. She made a bonnet out of a piece of Gauze I gave her (wh. was literally the fag end of one of the famous East Riding Turbans) wh. she sold for 30s. On her departure poor baby & I were left to the mercy of a Convict Woman who had been with us four months previously & had as far as I cd. judge behaved perfectly well. I was prejudiced in her favor the more because she was Yorkshire, & spoke the dialect charmingly. When she was more immediately placed under my observation however, I began to suspect she was fonder of the Brandy bottle than I quite approved of & this idea was only too well confirmed soon after, by her coming upstairs to me so intoxicated that she scarcely knew what I said to her, & on attempting to undress the baby exposed herself so much that I took him from her & ever since have dressed & undressed him myself. Her conduct was altogether so abominable that Col Dumaresq sent her off to the Watch House from whence she was committed to the Penitentiary for 6 months.
It is one of the most serious objections to the Country & certainly a great evil, I mean the difficulty almost amounting to an impossibility of procuring servants with the requisites generally applied for, namely Honesty, Sobriety, & obliging disposition. If one qualification is met with, there is sure to be an absence of the others. In my own individual case however I probably care less, at least feel the inconvenience less than others who are more addicted to straying where "two or three are gathered together". I really never leave my own quiet home to go any where in search of Society, not one of the Gowns belonging to my Wedding paraphernalia have been put-together since their arrival in this Kangaroo Land; & till the parties at Governt House are resumed I think they are likely to remain a long time in their packing cases - I have rather digressed from the account I was giving you of the order of the day, the rest is soon told however; after breakfast I wash & dress baby, order dinner (wh. by the bye I absolutely detest, all the other cares of housekeeping included,) & to play with & amuse him till 4 or 5 o'clock when I trot over to invade Col Dumaresq's office & bring him back with me to an early dinner after which we ride out till 8 or 9, & by ten I am in bed, with my baby boy lying on the outside at my feet, where he now sleeps, being very hot weather, in general however he has his own little Cot wh. is placed by his papas side, who is the very best nurse you can imagine - [108] I will give you an instance of this assertion. Whenever his boy wakes during the night wh. he usually does two or three times for me to nurse him, Col Dumaresq takes him up & holds him out, wh the young man quite understands & immediately performs what is required of him. Where wd. you find another Papa to do as much? By the bye it is quite extraordinary how used I am become to these sort of things: I am really now downright impudent, almost improper, wh. you know was not the case once. I was obliged to get you & Louise to talk abt. Water closets for me to Col Dumaresq. Do you remember? At present however I cd. save you the trouble but it is all my husbands fault; Stories he used to tell & make me blush at, I now enjoy extremely & think very good fun. In short I realize the old Proverb "Evil Communication, &c." You know the rest - I am thinking if I have written to you since my confinement, & cannot recollect having done so, I must therefore now assure you, that Little Fitzroy is a very nice little fellow, (in his Nurses - ma & papas opinion at least) & is becoming more engaging & intelligent Every day. His eyes & complexion are the most clear & brilliant possible, but unluckily he has got my mouth instead of his papas wh. is a dire mistake, & a nose wh. makes one rather uncomfortable not knowing how it is to turn out, at present however, it turns up - I think I have employed more of the paper in writing abt. self than I ought to have done, but will not apologize because I am vain enough to imagine that the subject is not uninteresting to you my dearest Mrs Winn. . . What is there I wd. not give to see you all, & show you my little mannikin, but alas I see no prospect of such happiness being in store for me. This is not the Country for making fortunes; it is only calculated for living in, not out of it & unless Col Dumaresq gets some Govt. appointment wh. wd. pay tolerably, (wh. I now see no chance of, being disappointed of the Treasury ship,) I fear there is no reason against our passing the remainder of our lives here. Even if this place was the Paradise the Prejudiced & Enthusiastic represent in point of Climate, Scenery &c, such advantages wd. not compensate to me for the complete separation wh. exists between myself & those dearly loved friends I have left; I had rather be doomed to live in a perpetual yellow London fog & be within their reach, than in the finest situation & climate at 1600 miles [NN] distance. I am however greatly disappointed in New South Wales in every instance that I have heard it given credit for. The climate to me is detestable, The Lower orders of people more depraved than I cd. have conceived possible, & the Country is dull & heavy & gloomy in the extreme. Every succeeding day however only proves to me more forcibly that place has very little to do with happiness, for I decidedly do not like the climate or admire the Character of the Country in general, Sydney being excepted as beautiful yet I am very very happy. [109] If we were not forbidden to praise ones own, I shd. launch out in Col Dumaresqs, nothing can exceed his care, tenderness, cheerfulness & unremitting solicitude towards me in Every way. . By the bye I must particularly mention that he wants a few yards of Silk to cover his stocks with, he says that Mr Winn will know what sort it shd. be, I imagined, it shd. resemble the lining of a certain old coat of his, in fact of the tatters of wh. my first born sweet baby was wrapped in the night of my unexpected accouchement in the Salon at Nostel, however Col Dumaresq says he thinks it shd. be a kind of ribbed silk, whereas what I allude to, (& have now,) is a twill - I have a great deal more I might say, but so many letters are on my mind to write, that I can indulge myself no longer in lengthening this.