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2-305 (Text)

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addressee,male author,female,Brown, Eliza,35
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Hasluck, 1977
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2-305-plain.txt — 5 KB

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Grass Dale
June 20 1845
My dear Papa
I am in possession of your letter of the 12th of Octr. 1844 but the letter to Mr. Brown by private hand that you speak of has not reached. We wonder who you could have sent it by. The Blands and Mr. Phillips arrived by the Prima Donna on the 5th of this month. The Blands brought me a parcel from Matilda. I was at Mrs. Viveash's when she opened the case from Wilts having gone below to be present at the christening of her little boy to whom Mr. Brown and myself are sponsors. I received the packet for us with joy. The contents of your letters are more than satisfactory, the kind feeling evinced for us will cheer our way and remove the anxiety as to what our fate will be when an answer to our requests in the letters of Octr. - Novr. & Decr. /44 is received.
What a world of events seem to have passed over my head these last eighteen months, first our release from Hardey's which I assure you was not effected without great determination and shall I call it diplomatic skill on Mr. Brown's part. Considering how the Colony has gone a-back since it was a wonderful disburthening for us, even more than we could foresee at the time. The terms exacted for our abandonment you are made aware of if my letters have reached, how I hope there has been no break in the correspondence.
How affectionately you speak of the dear departed Vernon, thinking him still amongst us. I sent you a full and particular account of our sudden bereavement. This calamity was very shortly followed by the birth of another boy who is more delicate than our other children but an extremely lively child and very much endeared to us. We have named him Vernon. I think he resembles our last boy and is more like me than any of the other children, at all events there is a great sympathy between us for I am particularly interested with this last born, and he takes particular notice of me. 
We entered upon our new (and no doubt permanent) dwelling on the 10th of April. It is in a promising way towards completion. We are highly satisfied with the spot on which we have located, preferring it to any other in the Colony. It is said we have the nicest residence over the Hills and I assure you we should not be ashamed to show it in comparison with any cottage in the neighbourhood of Oxford or elsewhere. I prefer it to Elm Cottage. Our garden is a boon that would be appreciated in any country. You have had it described so I will pass on now to tell you that those earthly gifts had well nigh ceased to be ours or rather mine and the little ones for Mr. Brown happened to be from home and out of the danger when a storm of thunder and lightning raged around us. Never was the power and mercy of God so sensibly brought home to me as in this visitation. It happened on the 17th of May, the lightning entered through the solid wall of one of the front rooms then struck the wall above the fireplace, entered the chimney and exploded there sending the bricks with great force onto my bed and the children's. In the back room the electric fluid also entered nearly every box in the room. The large English case was like a smoked chimney between the paper at the bottom and the tinning. Strange to say we had nothing spoilt worth mentioning though there were such visible marks of the lightning having been amongst every thing. Two of the children and myself received a severe electric shock, we screamed out at the same instant and felt something very powerful around us. Had it happened in the night we should have been crushed to death, that is Mr. Brown, myself and the infant for more than a ton of bricks fell on our bed. I shudder to think of the desolate state the poor children would have been in had the storm not providentially happened in the day time. The iron rods on the top of our bedstead were wrenched off by the lightning and scattered in all parts of the room, it also deeply indented a tin box underneith the bed in two places and perforated a small hole beneath which some flannel in the box was scorched.
How pleasing it is to me to hear of your journeying to the Village where was my married home a few years before bidding adieu to old England. I trust that Matilda may be spared to welcome you there a la me! What a loss it would be if her constitution should sink under the repeated trials of ill health from which she suffers. Would change of clime be likely to effect any good? is a question that often suggests itself to my mind, and of course my prescription and recommendation in that case is Western Australia, and I hope it would be the Doctor's also. I am about to write her and shall dwell particularly on this subject.
What a jade Mary is not to have acquainted me with her matrimonial intentions. You have no idea what a surprise it was to me to hear of so unexpected an event, my good wishes go with all settlers but most particularly do I wish that she and her husband may prosper.  It rather pleases me that she has married a Young. There is a great deal of good nature in that family, I have often heard you say.
Kenneth begs me to say that he recollects you and I fully believe that he does, his perceptions were very vivid at a very early age, and continue to be so, he remembers the sound of the railway train from behind the Wittenham Hills, which I found out quite by chance. On the 27th of April he drove me to Church and back in the spring cart and is often employed to go in pursuit of stray cattle and head them home if perchance they should be trespassing on a neighbour. On these expeditions he is always mounted either on one of the horses or his pony.
I suppose Mr. Brown will be writing you in answer to your very kind letter to him and about the papers relative to Summertown, so I need not ask if he has any thing for me to say.
Believe me
My dear Papa
Your affectionate Daughter
Eliza Brown