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2-102 (Original)

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author,female,Molloy, Georgiana,29 addressee,female
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Clarke, 1992
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2-102.txt — 6 KB

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When I last wrote to you my dear Helen - I believe I complained of multiplicity of business - but on 16 June this year - my third daughter was born and I have not only to nurse and carry her about but all my former occupations to attend to having only Mrs Dawson as female servant. I do not hesitate to say that I am overwhelmed with too much labour and indeed my frame bears testimony to it as I every day expect to see some bone poking through its epidermis. My beloved husband much assists me and more than many would do, except such treasures as yours and mine, dear Nelly. You will be able fully to believe me when I say I must either leave writing alone or some useful requisite needlework undone. The latter I would not attempt for Molloy myself and the children but there is not a person to be had here to do any - I never open a book - and if I can read a chapter on Sundays it is quite a treat to have so much leisure.
Baby will be six months old on the 16th of this month. She is a very large fat child and remarkably healthy With great thankfulness I avow she has never had even infantile illness. . . Everyone says she is a beautiful child and though it may appear very vain, I coincide with them. She is very fair. I call her French white and her flesh is so hard and plump that her arms and legs are like polished marble Her face is more like mine than dear Sabina's is. Her eyes are rather dark blue.
In November poor darling Sabina was seized with a remittent fever, which came on suddenly At last. At 2 o'clock in the day, I perceived her very drowsy, and she would scarcely leave my side - though at another time I cannot get her to remain with baby & me - we are too quiet - Well before ten she was in a warm bath - her head shaved and blistered. She was quite incoherent and at one time convulsed and before this she had never been half an hour ill from her birth. We were greatly distressed - Molloy and I prayed the Almighty to spare her our dearest hope - she was only 3 on the 7th of this month and on the 30th Death was certainly hovering about her. She sat on my knee to have her head shaved she said "Mama, you will bring Baby in," and kept continually talking about Baby, of whom she is very fond.
Molloy commanded me to go to bed as Baby, who lays all night in one of my arms was restless. I went but not to close my watchful eyes. Molloy dearest creature, sat up with Diddy who remained in the same state till about three when God be praised & glorified the medicine took effect. The instant this occurred she was better her pulse which beat at 130 and had never been lower than 120 fell, she began babbling in her usual gay manner. She had a relapse a few days after but thank God that was the last and though still very weak and ill looking - I trust will shortly regain her strength, though she is not the same looking child she was. [199] I felt peculiarly grieved for though the medicine man thought that it was a stroke of sun Molloy and I were persuaded that the symptoms were more those of remittent fever and I had for some time been lamenting my total inability to look after her who had always been my sole object of care - I know she ran about too much for her tender years - she was often so tired that, when the poor child sat down to dinner she would almost fall from her chair with fatigue & be quite asleep - her spirits which are very great are too much for her strength, and in the winter she would be running about without cap or bonnet from 6 o'clock to 5. Then having baby both to nurse & attend to, the darling child was neglected - I wish now I had a proper person to take care of her, and when I know there are so many that would be glad of such an asylum as my house would be to them, I bewail my smallness of means that I could not offer to pay their passage money. I of course would prefer an educated person, but would be grateful for one of good Christian principles and if you hear of anyone of sickly health wishing for such a situation I hope you will remember me; I would treat her with every kindness and she would only have to do a little needlework and be a companion to Sabina more to keep her from bad examples if she was not able to teach her. Sabina can say the Morning Hymn which Papa regularly hears at Prayers. He has taught her to say the Lord's Prayer and the Grace of our Lord etc. I never knew her to tell a direct untruth till last Saturday, when she was whipt for the first time, but still insensible to her fault - Tell me how you act when they are given to untruth. I have only one spelling book that your kind Father gave me and it is without pictures - for some object to engage her ever active mind I have already begun her letters but she manifests no predilection for them I wish we were nearer good instruction for I am persuaded many dear and precious minds will be lost for want of it. I am delighted you sent me your two year old letter - if you had not I should have been quite ignorant of the highly instructive circumstances it contained and which I had often much wished to be acquainted with. [...]
My dear & much loved Helen,
Last Friday the 5th Dec. the box containing your much valued letters & Mary's kind present were given to me through the medium of Mrs Bussell, to whose care Mrs Taylor entrusted it. [200] A strange fate awaited it. The vessel on which all Mrs Bussell's goods were placed has never been heard of, and it is presumed is lost, as it was only a small craft and a gale came on three hours after she left Fremantle, the Port of Swan River. However, this parcel has been put up with their [books] the only property they have saved from all they have brought out, amounting to upwards of £1,000.
None but herself would have ventured property of value in such a vessel, as it was only a boat built on. This is not the worst The poor man Captn. McDermott and three hands so sailors were on board. Captn. McDermott has left a young widow and child of about two years and is daily expecting to be confined without a penny to support themselves even now, owing to his inadvertent speculations. [...]
We are so unfortunately remote a distance - you remember my reluctance to come out to Australia and I wish I never had. We enjoy health and our children will perhaps have more than a competency, but Molloy and I have to work as hard, and harder than servants will. In March our servants' indentures are up, and we are literally expecting to be without, and we shall be, unless some vessel most unexpectedly brings people here. I know I cannot do without a woman servant, however bad she may be, especially when there is no one to be got to wash even, and I have to carry baby. So fat she is, she makes my back quite ache. As to Molloy, he is a perfect slave; up at daybreak and doing the most menial work sometimes, so that all the former part of our lives was all lost time, and even reading and writing there is not time for here.