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2-362 (Raw)

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author,female,Selby, Penelope,un addressee,female
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Frost, 1984
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2-362-raw.txt — 4 KB

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1st November 1850 
My dear Mother, 
I promised Mary when I left her yesterday, I would write to you and tell you all about the down lying and your little Australian [granddaughter]. I went to Woodlands ten days before the event occurred as I was anxious to be on the spot and was becoming rather tired, but we managed very well. Poor thing, she had a long labour, very much like I was with Prid. She first complained on Monday afternoon, so I dispatched Mr Hood about four o'clock to Belfast. He returned with Dr Hume about twelve at night. She did not become very bad until about three the next day, and baby was born soon after twelve at night. The watch was where I could see it, and I was watching every minute that it should be over on the Tuesday but it was a quarter of an hour too late. [182] She was sorely tried towards the last and quite lost heart, but there was never the slightest danger, only she never thought 'it would be so bad'.
I laughed when baby was born and told her it was truly 'the mountain bringing forth the mouse,' such a little thing but very strong and healthy and growing so rapidly. The Dr said Mary was the strongest woman he had been with many a long year. Indeed she had not had a days ailment during her pregnancy, which is saying a great deal, though I was glad to see she was losing flesh. Indeed dear Mother when I consider her age and fat, I cannot tell you how thankful I feel to the Almighty that she is so well, and the baby spared to her. All the time she was ill it was the baby feared for, and she feels repaid for what she suffered. I don't know whether Father or Mother are most taken up with it. Surely never baby was so much admired before.
I have been going by the name Mrs Gamp. Mr Hood says that I don't look fat and comfortable enough. He thought I ought to be lying in bed and Mary going about, as she was much more the figure experience told him nurses should be. Mary has recovered very well. She will be an excellent nurse, but unfortunately her supplies are rather sore, cracked. I do not know that we could have avoided it, however in a few days I trust they will be all right as they were much better.
I must question if she would have found a man - could she have had her choice of all she ever knew - so thoroughly devoted to her as Henry is. She said 'he was not much of a lover' but he makes up for it now, and would certainly spoil her had she not too much good sense. Indeed she ought to be a happy woman and I am sure she is, though she does abuse the country. I of course take the opposite side and praise it and tell her when she has been here ten years she will do so too spite of all the petty annoyances, the difficulty of getting servants being still about the greatest.
I was vexed at having to leave Mary so soon, but my servant who had been with me eight months and was just married when she came, sent me word she was not able to do the work anymore, so I had no choice as she had only staid to oblige me an extra month that I might leave home comfortably. She is a good girl but I wish she was not going to be bothered with a piccaninny. The worst is I don't know where to look for another and I have my neighbors in the same predicament. Wages are as high as ever and very few men or women either are good for anything.
George and I got wedding favours in the shape of Gloves and cards the other day from Mr Osborne, so tell Kate it will be of no use her coming out for him. [183] I hope Kate won't break her heart. I don't know why she should, it is merely from what Mary says I express that hope. I do not know what she may have written to her of the gentleman and his abilities but this much - she intends to threaten him with an action, breach of promise of marriage - of course made through her. I hope she won't call rue as a witness, for I really cannot recollect much about it. I only know that he was certain in his own mind that Mrs LeMann would bring out a single sister and he was determined to have her for a wife if he could. However, I am almost as pleased as it is. I wish she were as well to do in the world as he is, but he has a queer temper.
I have not said a word of my own household. They are very well, going on much the same as ever, always striving with little good. However I hope the time for rest will come.
I remain,
Your affectionate daughter,
Penelope Selby