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3-084 (Original)

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author,male,Richardson, Walter Lindesay,29 addressee,female
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Niall, 1998
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3-084.txt — 9 KB

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I wrote to you and Mrs Bradshaw yesterday, and I hope you received all safely We have had very severe weather last night and today hail, rain, wind and snow, the last remaining on the ground some time, giving us the rare opportunity of a game of that hearty English pastime snow-balling! I hope you are all well I am making your room comfortable been at it all day, sewing, nailing &c My poor friend that I left doing so nicely has had a relapse and is I am grieved to say gone to that [?] whence no traveller returns, I called in another medical man to give me the benefit of his advice but medicine is of little avail in that disease; Think my darling how short and uncertain life is and come and give me the benefit and the pleasure of your company thro' life - Good night dearest kiss me. I dreamt of you all last night and did not like to let the day pass without penning a line or two.
Wednesday - I went to the Post Office today no letters from you no lock of hair as you promised; I was at the Police Court all day as witness in the case of a dog that had been once mine, and was claimed by somebody that wished to appropriate her. Have not yet been able to go to the White Horse Gully but hope to do so tomorrow. Am very cold so you must excuse my wretched scribble tonight, Good night, dearest love!
I went yesterday to the White Horse Hotel, White Horse Gully. Bradshaw was not at home, but tho' disappointed in not seeing him I had a very pleasant walk, thro' beautiful scenery which I long to shew you - it resembles a gentlemans park in England more than any-thing else. I have caught a cold or rather a cold caught me while standing in the Police Court all day on Thursday but colds and Influenza are now quite a la mode." How is William? Give him my compliments and ask him if he will be able to attend at our interesting ceremony? I suppose you have perused the service by this time! Ha! Ha! I cant write for laughing! [60]
But joking apart, seriously, it is an impressive service - "Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness, and in health, and forsaking all other keep thee only unto her as long as ye both shall live - Beautiful
And equally as follows "Then shall the priest say unto the woman."
I gathered some lovely heaths yesterday but tho' exquisite in appearance they want the perfume of English heaths, a great loss to the flowers of the Antipodes! - Goodbye Sweet one
Good morning dearest Mary many thanks for your kind letter and its enclosures which I received safely yesterday. I am confident your pleasure on receiving my letter was not equal to my joy as I had yours handed me and knowing by a squeeze what it contained hurried off to devour its contents in private. I suppose Mrs. B. dosent see my letters to you dearest love for altho' there is no harm in love, still one hardly likes to write sweet nonsense for other eyes than the one next the heart Well I was going to say that I hurried off to devour it in private I don't like "My dearest Dr. Richardson", its not kind of you to be afraid to say "Walter", is the name ugly?
And so you all went to the cave did you, pretty place that cave Eh? I prefer the scenery a little further on, the wooded water course with the gentle slopes and deep precipices, with the track along the face of the hill, where you gently murmured "Yes"! Of course had the ground been a little less rough and the season a little milder I should have thrown myself on my left knee and with one hand on my heart become pathetic but dearest I think we managed it very well, my feelings prevented me from saying all that I should have done but [crossed out] and I fancied I felt you tremble on my arm; I had told Brooke the day before in Melbourne that I had a serious duty to perform and I certainly never expected to see him on the Sunday With his usual exuberance of spirits he told me that altho' it undoubtedly was a serious matter he could not look upon any "popping the question" otherwise than a most ludicrous affair & we both laughed heartily.
You ask my opinion of his conduct to "dear little Polly." Now darling I do not see any thing so very unkind, considering dear that he has a great deal to do, always knocking about, doubtless he has written before this, and besides 12 months is a long time and I think he felt rather hurt himself (as I do) at being treated somewhat cavalierly! put off for so long. Besides he knows he is safe in the heart of his little betrothed and surely a ride with the hounds was too tempting and perhaps he expected to be home in time for the post. I know he loves her dearly and she is his first and only love, and I would as soon doubt my own constancy to you, as his to his second self. Give the little dear my kind love and sympathise between you, sighing after two fond hearts that look upon each of you as part of their existence.
I think Brooke has very much improved and rejoice that he encountered the family for I think the mutual affection has been productive of much benefit to him - When we love, and feel sure that we are beloved in return, it does and must have a beneficial influence on our conduct - for as I would not like to have my body disfigured say by the loss of my fingers or eyes, so I consider now that my mind should be purer and the moral standard of my actions higher, is it not so? [61] And is not this one of the good effects of love? is not the state of love one designed for man by an al-creator [sic] for his good! undoubtedly dearest! and altho' some are not so happy as to encounter a heart that can beat in unison with theirs every creature on earth loves something. I am not poetical on the contrary (you think rather prosy) plain matter of sense, I do not like poetry except perhaps on a quiet Sunday morning, or late of a Saturday night; and I'll tell you why because I love it too much, can you understand this apparent paradox, at one time of my life I was dosy living in a land of dreams, of spirits, letting the realities of life glide past almost unheeded, that was when at college (when all young men go thro' a little studying and a great deal of what they fancy is fun) Late hours &c impaired my health and it was not until I gave up poetry and nonsense and took to hard work that I found myself able to cope with the combination of angel and devil in my fellow mens composition I cannot read true poetry without feeling my heart beat stronger, I think you have poetry in your soul I do not mean love that you can scribble verses any ass can do that, but I think like myself you look beyond the hour, the day, don't you,? the faculty of looking up as it were, looking to the source of things I mean! Yes I think we shall be happy, Of course dearest, every man and woman have faults, blemishes, imperfections of body and mind, but we must remember that there is no perfect one, and remembering this we must forgive. Are not the following verses pretty?
The first dear thing that ever I loved
Was a mother's beaming eye
That smiled as I woke on my dreamy couch,
That cradled my infancy.
I never forget the joyous thrill
That smile in my spirit stirred,
Nor, how it could charm me against my will
Till I laughed like a joyous bird.
And the next dear Thing that ever I loved
Was a bunch of summer flowers,
With odours and hues, & loveliness
Fresh as from Eden's bowers.
I never can find such hues again
Nor smell such sweet perfume,
And if there be odours as sweet as them,
Tis I that have lost my bloom.
And so it goes on until it comes to
And the next dear Thing that ever I loved
Is tenderer far to tell, [62]
Twas a voice, and a hand, and a gentle eye 
That dazzled me with its spell.
And the loveliest things I had loved before
Were but as the landscape now
On the canvass bright where I pictured her
In the glow of my early Vow.
And so on finishing with old age - like me as Mrs. B. said! Ha Ha.
Well this is a curious letter, but it is amusing and delightful to me to talk to you and this sheet has occupied me as you see many days proving to you that my morning thoughts and my evening sigh has been dear Mary. I have got a little scheme when you come to me; you shall write to my mother and I to yours. I have a dear old mother, that I love dearly, if I were to say that she has been the finest & the cleverest woman of her day I might offend you, sweet one, but she sang as I never heard woman sing, played the piano, harp, flageolet, accordeon, danced in her day played whist and now poor old soul having become old is anxious for me to return home, oh! a letter from you will comfort her old age and shew her that her dear son is happy & does not forget the arms that nursed him.
I am delighted that your happiness is as you say coming fast, I send you what you ask my darling but I am not accustomed to make bows with ribbon so you must take it as it is a token of my love. You say "about three months", now love let it be the beginning of August do there's a dear, I think it wrong, very wrong, to postpone it as if you were afraid of me and as if Mr. B. was doubtful of my character. You will find a humble home and will have a poor man for your husband, but there's no queen will be more welcome if you can do without society for a year or two we will go to England & spend many a happy hour in the society of old friends. Kind love to Mrs. B. Tilly & dear Polly and a thousand kisses from your dear and attached