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4-004 (Raw)

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addressee,female author,female,Wyly, Isabella,44
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Fitzpatrick, 1994
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4-004-raw.txt — 8 KB

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Victoria, Grey Street, St Kilda, October 2st 1877
My very very dear Sister,
I cannot tell you how delighted I was to get your very welcome letter. [136]
I must say I had long thought I was forgotton by all whom I loved in the dear old country, that is as far as letter writing. But dear old Uncle John Gratten sends me a Dublin Paper every month for which I am so thankful for Fanny used to write to me but I have not had a line now for 9 years. Just fancy that. I often wondered the cause of such silence between us and as for your dear self and Edward & Susan I could not think what had become of you all. I often and often thought of you and longed to hear of you all. Had I known where to write I would not have kept silence so long. 
And now dear Matilda as the ice is broken I hope and trust we shall corspound [correspond] regularlly. I promise you I will, and if any thing should prevent you doing so Susan or Edward could write. I did so feast of dear Edwards letters, the were such a treat. I do hope I shall have them to feast on once more. Poor fellow what changes he has passed through since then, and me not to hear one word of it. I was so delighted to hear he was again a happy man and had got such a good wife and one of your choise so thoughtful for you. 
What a woman of buisness you are. You would not be happy out of it and I must say I am thankfull you have your health and strength to work to be independent if it is ever so little. Time will pass much more plesently to have your time occupied, if not too laborious. It would not do to be that in your time of life. It should be all pleasure for you. I beleave I should be like you myself. I am so fond of buisness that is drapery. 
I was deeply greeved to hear dear Susan was not strong. I thought she would have had a large family by this time but poor Girl as she is not strong she has as many as she aught to have for it requires strength of body as well as mind to bring up a large family. The Great Being knows all things and will not put any thing more upon his Creatures than the can bear[?]. I trust she may be spared a long life to those little ones that are Given her. I sometimes look at their little faces and think how changed the are by this time. 
Now I must tell you a little of ourselvs which I know you are anxious to hear. I wrote and told you all of our change to Melbourne. 6 year next Aprill William left the drapery buisness and went into the Grocery. He spent nineteen year[s] in the drapery in South Australia the place I still call home. I shall always love it having spent 24 years in it and left so many dear dear friends behind. I have been over and spent eight happy weeks among my dear old friends. I think if I spent twelve month I would not want for a home. The time was only to[o] short that I had to stay but my little family call me home. 
I took my Baby that was then seven month old with me and my eldest Girl that is now sixteen years old. She is quite companionable now. She is taller than her Mother. She has been to School untill the last half year. We have her now finishing with a Good[?] Master. She is very studus [studious] and fond of teaching so we wish to finish her well and if she should ever have to get her living teaching will be her wish. [137] She is very clever[?] so I have very little help from her untill her Studies are ended. 
Now that is saying a little of my eldeldest [eldest] of nine six Girls and 3 Boys. What do you say to that. Our second is only 14 months yo[u]nger as tall as her sister but not studus. She is clever[?] at Music, but one of my best helps. She can work and help if she was home from school. I do not like to take her from school just yet. Her name is Fanny Elizabeth and the eldest is Alice Jane. Now the third is as big in her way as the two older Girls. She is fond of school and thinks she would like buisness. However time will tell what the will all be fit for. Nex[t] is a Boy William John 11 years. I did not tell you the third Girls name is Emma Maby. Did I send their likeness to you. I did I am sure but had no reply. The nex Girl is Edith Steel a bright Girl of nine years. Then come[?] two fine bright Boys Robert George and Arthur McKirdy Scott. Now that is the number going School. And the next two[?] are little Girls one Adelaide Maud three & a half[?] and Florence Isabel the flower of the flock. Now Alice will teach them when she is finished. The yongist is just two years. 
Now I am sure you will say with all your heart, A charge to keep I have. I am very thankfull for the number that providence has given me. I trust we may be spared to bring them up in the good way to be a blessing to world and to ourselfs. We ar endeavouring to do so with the help of Him who never yet refused those who sought his help. You know we need all the strength of mind and Grace daily to do our duty in a large little family like ours. We have much to be thankfull for such a family you would [?not] see any[?] where. 
And now a little about buisness. I do not like the Grocery as well as the drapery alth[ough] I nevr go into the shop. We live on the buisness premises. I would like that part very well but we now find our house is to[o] small, so our staying here is unsertain. However you direct your letter just the same untill you hear of a change. I like the buisness for Willi[a]m. He has got his health better since we came here. It is not such a close buisness. I would like the drapery for the sake of our Girls but that is a second[ary] consideration. We have no cause to regret our leaving Adelaide for we got a Good buisness and it was a change for Willi[a]m which did him Good in every way. 
Our expenesses are very heavy which you know must be to bring up such a family and keep the position we should like for the sake of the family. I will Give you an idea. We have four men to trade[?] pay them good wages one £3 per week the next £2, then 25 / - then 10 / -. Servant Girl £36 p. year nurse Girl 5 / -. I have paid 9 / - per week to a nurse Girl but I have no Baby to nurse now so I can be a little independant what I never could before. I hire to wash pay a woman 4 / - p. day and you will fancy what our house keeping would be with such a family. [138] We keep three horses one cow but[?] gives enough Milk for our use. You will say it would require a good buisness to keep up such an establishment and buisness is not so good as it was. Melbourne is over done. We all have to work. I have my share what with sewing for my six Girls and all the rest my hands is quite full. 
Now I think I must say no more about ourselv[e]s untill next time, and tell you a little of our Adelaider friends or reletives rather. Deer old Uncle Alaxander is still liveing but feeble. He holds his situation in the Govermt yet. I think he will till the end. His eldest daughter Fanny he heard[?] of been married to a lyer [lawyer]. She lost her husband about two yeers ago. He was drowned on his way from the Northern territory. He went on some law case and on his return was rect [wrecked] with all the Crew Judge also. He left her with five little ones. The Goverment gave her £1500 but what was that [?against] his loss. She keeps a School and doin it very well. Her Sister is teaching Music and drawing[?] not married yet. Her Brother William is married and has two Boys. He lost his last. Alexan is also married and has as nice a little wife as you would wish to see and two dear little Girls. She writes me such affectionate letters. John the other Brother is up the country I do not know what doing. Ruth Shadgett is still in the same place five Girls and two Boys. I seldom hear from her. Now I think I have told you all. 
Have you heard if Aunt Lucy is still alive. Do please Give my dear love to Fanny & Tom Grath also dear old Uncle & Aunt. Tell them to write if only a few living occasionally to let me know and thank Uncle for the Paper William reading them. 
I wish I could see you all. There be a great number of newery [Newry] people over here. There are more Irish in Melbourn than Adelaide. Now dear I must close this and will give you another as long by return of your next. I promise you fathefully yours will always be answered by return of mail. If you only new how I long to hear from you all if alive or ded you would not forget poor me. I sometimes wish you were all out here. You perhaps would do better but that is to be proud. I must now say good by and untill I know if you have recvd this I will be anxious. William unites with me in fond love to Edward & Susan[?] Uncle when you see him and a very large part for your dear self from your loveing Sister