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2-104 (Original)

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author,female,Bussell, Elizabeth Capel,un addressee,female
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Clarke, 1992
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2-104.txt — 6 KB

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April 12th 183413
My dear Capel,
The discontinuation of my journal for the last four months will perhaps make you expect a letter and I know you will be glad to hear from me altho' you may say why was not the journal continued for it must have been more minute and therefore I should prefer it, the real reason is that I have not had time. Vernon, John and Lenox are going to commence colonization anew on the banks of the Vasse which from all accounts must be far preferable to our beautiful Augusta it is not nearly so thickly wooded but the trees are very much larger (this I can hardly imagine) and of quite a different species denominated by the natives tuart, [NN] , yate, munyart and [NN] . The intermediate country is a beautiful undulating grassy lawn, the river is small in comparison to the Blackwood very steep and with very high banks & full of fish Kangaroos are seen in herds which accounts for the natives being so numerous I hope they may be as harmless as the "Manyungas & Yungaries" which is the name the tribes about here give themselves I am afraid however their eyes are getting open to the superiority of our food & they will soon find out means to get bread if they are denied it after their repeated exclamations of "bread bread yulibue yulibue" which means they are very hungry. [224] They broke into the store the other day & stole & wasted three hundredweight of flour the Serjeants wife was the first to descry their black forms whitened with "bumla" retreating into the woods to enjoy a delicious meal One of the soldiers was immediately dispatched from "the Spring" to Augusta to inform Charles & get leave from John as magistrate to fire upon them. They had only managed to detain a little girl which its father threw down to expedite his escape Before the news could arrive at Augusta the party at the Spring had been obliged to let their prisoner go; one tribe of natives who had taken some of the flour returned with it & put it at a short distance making signs to give up the child & he would leave the flour, they were obliged to consent to this agreement from want of numbers. John, Lenox & Charles armed themselves & went in pursuit of the other delinquents & came on a place where one party had been making a damper quite a l'Anglaise on the head of a cask. One of the soldiers mistaking some grass trees for them cried out "there they are" they heard I suppose white voice [sic] & took flight before John & the others could come up & catch them in the act leaving their dinner to the mercy of their invaders who destroyed it & returned here knowing it would be quite useless attempting to discover them in their wild haunts I was writing quite in the dark & I find I have degenerated into almost an illegible scrawl but if I do not write as quickly as I can the ship may be in tomorrow & then I shall not even have time to thank you for the other volume of the Landscape Annual it certainly is inferior to the others but still very beautiful you can hardly imagine how these elegancies of life are greeted among us & I think you would smile at the sort of incongruous collection of culinary, literary & drawingroom furniture but I do not find that any of us enjoy the elegancies of life at all the less from turning our hand to anything in the course of the day for when evening comes & all our duties are over I open the piano with I think much more pleasure than I ever did in England & all are ready to join in the chorus & then perhaps turn from the piano to admire & readmire [NN] the often looked at picture or poem.
Charles, Vernon & Alfred were delighted with their waistcoats, they are indeed the only things of the sort they have worn since they have been out here - Len would have been quite shoeless but for your timely present Fanny's basket is quite invaluable but when John found that he was the only person who had not a letter or anything he said "Well Bessie is there nothing sent for me!" my answer was "I suppose John they think you are on your way home" [225] I am very glad that that is not likely to happen indeed it is not possible I hope my dear Capel it will not be a great disappointment to you but other letters are gone home giving the reasons for & against this proceeding & I will not give you my opinion on the subject - I need not have been quite in such a hurry for the ship must be detained some time longer on account of the equinoxtial [sic] gales & they are certainly most tremendous united with the most awful thunder lightening & hail an English person can hardly imagine what it is - I daresay you would like to know what our employments have been lately but they are really almost always so much alike that I do not think I shall have much to [?] In the first place we have been very busy in converting your old plaid cloak you gave me into jackets for the boys John & Vernon have each got one all think them very pretty they are quite the admiration of the colony Then all their duck white shirts & canvass trowsers have wanted repair & that piece of shirting mamma sent has made them a shirt apiece & a neat dress for Emma. I wish we had much more of it to make frocks for ourselves I once said I did not wish any more mirrors but I have since learnt to appreciate them we drew lots for one sent the other day & the lot fell upon Fanny a pair of old boots of yours have likewise come in the very nick of time for the fire almost left me quite barefoot & the shoes I have obtained from Swan River are immensely dear & immensely larger.
I think I may say we have never [NN] safe our dispatches without being in the most desperate hurry but really I have said before I have not had a moments time to myself I suppose my dear Capel that if mamma has left England that you will undertake to be Fanny's & my agent if you remain all the little things we require the needful can be found out of some of the five hundreds so with this I hope useless explanation I shall begin to enumerate a few requisites; I have worn out all my thimbles - holes all the way up & too small - & am reduced to a pewter horror, stay binding, shoe string galleen [NN] coloured ferret, red 4d [NN] marking cotton, good [NN] reel cotton, darning cotton, straw coloured galleen, whity brown, black & green thread We have no [strong?] laces alas! buttons black & white bone small & large another of pearl plenty of worsted I have met with a most shocking misfortune & broken my glass my number is six & four for my spectacles Phoebe has broken her glasses too, another pair of good scissors not forgetting buttonhole scissors, a usual pair to fit my workbox they got very rusty on board & Vernon broke them for me indeed every day we miss something here that the terrible fire has deprived us of You have not an idea of the [mess] & confusion in which I am writing but you must excuse it. [...]