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3-001 (Original)

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author,female,Cuninghame, Christina,un addressee,female
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Niall, 1998
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3-001.txt — 3 KB

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My dearest Nan,
As I wrote to you only six weeks ago, I should not so soon have taken up my pen, but I had since a nice letter from dear Janet, and I know not her address to reply so I must enclose my answer to your care; her accounts of her health and happiness are most pleasing, and she was just arrived in London to see the Great Exhibition! for which I certainly much envy her; I do hope you may also get a peep of the wonderful sight, and tell me the impression it makes on you; as to the wonders you would see there, I should never expect you to describe them, as I am sure a large volume would be needful, but I should like much to hear from some one what feelings so wonderful a scene excited; it appears to me that bewilderment would be the first thing. I have not much news since I wrote, except that the weather is now beautiful, and in consequence the gold frenzy has burst forth now in full force, and we are about to be left without either cook or nurse, as all the servants have got their heads perfectly turned, and even those who cannot go to dig for themselves, go off in the idea that they will make fortunes of wages elsewhere, rating their value so high, and getting so insolent that for my part I would rather cook than have them but I am told this state of things will not last long, and by and bye crowds are sure to come to the gold from home & elsewhere and they will find themselves disappointed, at least all who are not fit for very hard work. One man lately was smothered in the hole he was digging, and others narrowly escaped; they have each just 8 feet square, & in these little spaces dig perhaps twenty feet down so imagine the risk but they all get too much excited to mind; many gentlemen are there, others go just for a few days to see the strange scene, which they say at the principal diggings is very exciting, one person said he did not think the great Exhibition could be more extraordinary!! Then they have such difficulty in getting all the necessaries of life collected in the bush for such crowds; fancy one man pushing a wheelbarrow with a 200 lb bag of flour 70 miles! This really occurred; others carry their goods & chattels in little carts drawn by dogs and all [?], as they cannot get drays & Bullocks enough to furnish them and the roads have been shocking Baby has been very well since I wrote last but I am afraid Sarah will find it one great burden to take the entire charge of him his nurse leaves tomorrow, with her husband who has been cook; they are a Nasty ill tempered, Mischievous pair and he is every way a useless servant but she was very useful to the baby, and Sarah is much annoyed at losing her; for my part I think that if others may [be] got, they would be a good riddance. [53] I shall have to do all the kitchen work with the help of a Black woman the only useful one of her tribe who is fortunately here at present; we still have a washerwoman, but she and her husband also leave in three weeks for the diggings. I do hope we shall get another before that, as I can do nothing about washing. Sarah and her husband went to Kilmore, a township fifty miles off, last week, in search of servants, but without success, and Mr Wrey has had an illness in consequence of the ride; he is however well again. We have had such a houseful of gentlemen for eight days. We have sold 500 head of cattle to a Young Swiss, a Mr Castella [?] and he and others are here collecting them; I hope it will be over tomorrow morning for it causes a terrible bustle and stops all other work, it is fortunate it has been before any servants leave Now I must say goodbye as I cannot cross more on this thin paper. With kind regards to your gudeman, and many loves from us all to you and your little chicks