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2-230 (Raw)

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author,female,Selby, Penelope,un addressee,family
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Frost, 1984
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2-230-raw.txt — 3 KB

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Station on the Yarra Yarra 26th December 1840
My dear Grandfather & Grandma, We are very comfortably settled about twenty five miles from Melbourne on a station, not in partnership with but on the same place with Mr & Mrs Dawson. George has now 45 head of cattle which he expects in ten years will have increased to 880 head which at the present worth will be - about £6000. Meanwhile we hope soon to pay all our expenses by our dairy; the expense of living here being very small, ten pounds a year for a licence being all the rent and taxes. We have as much firing as we like to cut, we have a garden with plenty of vegetables, and poultry and pigs. Persons in the country have been getting six shillings a dozen for their eggs, but I do not expect they will be so high when I have any to sell. Provisions are very fluctuating in price, when we arrived the 4. lb loaf was three shillings, now it is only one, so you may be sure we have laid in a good stock of flour.
This is generally called a very fine climate but give me home as yet. To be sure you have a great deal of bad weather that we are spared, but it is very hot here now, and very changeable, the thermometer at this time is 104 in the shade, I leave you to judge what it must be in the sun. As for insects they are more numerous than you can imagine, the flies bite terribly and being a new corner have feasted on me.
The children have not had a day's illness since their arrival, they do not mind the heat, you may be sure they are not- burdened with many clothes. Prid is becoming an expert judge of cattle and grows very fast, so like his father. As for Willie, if ever there was a brag he is one, and it would fill a volume to tell you what he is going to do when he grows up a man. Amongst other things they are both going to take me to London Bridge in a ship to see you all. -
Mary wrote me an account of your removal and robbery. I trust you have no more frights and that you now find your new abode more comforable than the old one; more airy I am sure it must be. I do not, think I could live in London now, the air is so fresh here, we have plenty of wind and when it rains it comes down in torrents. [156] I [will] tell you in a few words what I think of this place. Any one, like ourselves, willing to work (for I could not get a woman servant to come here for any wages) and put up with a few inconveniences and discomforts, let them come; but to the poor industrious mechanic or labourer and his wife and family the advantage is beyond description and I would not hesitate to say none would regret leaving England. Unfortunately there are too many here that will always be poor, for they will perhaps only work two or three days in the week and spend all they get in drink. A person in want of food is a thing not known. I saw no beggar while I was in Melbourne and Captain Howey who has lived there these nine months was only asked for alms once and that was a tipsy woman who wanted a shilling to get something to drink.
Now my dear Grandfather and Grandma that I have come to the end of my paper, I must wish you a happy new year and though so far separated from you be sure I do not think of you the less. It was ordained for the best that we came here. I have no doubt it [will] turn out so. We are sure of making a comfortable independence for ourselves and being able to put our children in the way of doing so too. How much better it is than staying at home with no prospect but that of Bankruptcy and poverty - staring us in the face.
Your affectionate Grandaughter,
P. Selby