Letter #53

Demerara 2d April 1836

My Dear Kate

Whenever I seat myself to write, some unforeseen interruptions occur. My desk has been open the whole morning and it’s now past 12 oclock before I could get rid of my troubles. Even now I fear a visitor or two will walk in just to perplex and take up the time I wish to occupy in writing home, for T Naghten informs me one of the vessels of their house sails this afternoon, the Underwood, at 4 oclock. My intention was to have written after the next packet came to hand, still, a letter however short, will I am aware be acceptable conveying the old account of myself, for thank God I am as well as I ever was in my life & if the torments of this would grant me a respite for two hours, I would allow them to attack right & left afterwards. It would be in my power to write you a merry letter, as it is, every limb and joint are in perpetual motion. Now to reply to yours of the 12 Feby which found its way to Barbados in 22 days and in 30 more to George Town Demerara. On reference however to my tablets, I observe that my letter of the 15 or 16th Ult forwarded by the Caesar answered the Feby dispatch, therefore I must return to a report of what has passed here and such as I have been a party to. On the whole we have been stupid in the extreme. On the 29th Ult I dined with Mr & Mrs Ferguson, store-keeper as they are now termed here. They are related to the family of that man at Belfast, consequently we have had much to say to each other respecting the families in that neighbourhood. Mr Colwell’s Houston’s or Euston’s &c – all the people dined there. I was the only military man as usual. All that was expensive and care was exhibited both eating for eat and drinking for drink. I think it was the day after I last wrote you that I attended Miss Wilday’s wedding. It took place on the 17th March, a miserable wet day, in truth of rain we have had abundance. All the society of this place, with Sir M Creagh, Capt Halliday, Mr McIntire & Lt Jenkins 69th met at 11 oclock. Soon afterwards proceeded to the Church about a mile distant. For my part I took a cross turn out of the train & galloped a back road to the gate & this saved my red cloth & was ready to hand the Lady & her 4 very pretty Brides Maids out of their carriages. So soon as the ceremony was over we returned to superb breakfast, and afterwards a few Quadrilles had been walked through, we all bid adieu. The Brides Maids and a part of the guard of honor, of which I was one, being invited to dine with Mr & Mrs Rose at ½ past 6. There we mustered 18 and a very merry party it was, terminating as usual with a dance. I am told that an invitation is about to be given to me to be present when the eldest Miss Manget whom I have introduced to you, is to be married about the 12th inst. It has not reached me yet. The lady is to be a Mrs Best, the Bridegroom has an estate here. Had the fair lady her will & the soldier would buckle to, Halliday, being extremely attached to him, but military men don’t pop the question nowadays. Thus her parents with becoming sense put her old flame in the way again. In vexation, poor girl, I have no doubt, she has said yes. It’s a better lot for her, notwithstanding Halliday is an exceedingly nice fellow. Excuse all this gossip – I trust it will entertain you & bring you as it were into the society, by name at all event, that I am now moving in. Orders have reached us for the relief of the 86 Regt. They go to Barbados on their way home & the 67th come here from St Kitts. So it goes on & we [word missing] new acquaintance, heartless as it is in this country. Col & Mrs Monins are an acquisition, both being pleasing persons – I think we shall get on together. My little friend Whyte & his wife are all attentions, the former a clever Medical officer. The Govr is now a vacuum or nearly so with all his Military, and no longer feeds us. I am happy to add I do Aid de Camp every sunday, to my horror & to the destruction of my best coat. All this originated in the Genl Court Martial on his friend Sir A Halliday, but Sir Com was always a cross grained sort of a buck. Where is this Brevet, my dear Kate? When am I to return to you? If you could witness how wretchedly sick I am of this country & the separation you would forget that I ever could be merry. However, I sometimes break out – I feel astonished when I return within myself again how I have succeeded in such exertion. T Naghten passed his day here yesterday, took his bath and appeared very happy. He is to take a part in the Amateur play next tuesday – not Capt Absolute but a Lawyer in the farce of the Lancers. They wish me to be the Admiral in the same but I don’t feel up to fun of this kind. Gusto’s affair has done me up for a time in the way of spirits. By the bye, I sat next to a young fellow, 69th, O’Reilly, who told me he was at Woolwich & got alarmed at the Pro examination after being there 9 or 10 months & left it – he says never to repent, but he is an idle, tho a fine young man. I have only now observed that I have written all sides of my sheet forgetting the order about enclosures thro the public offices. Does Wells object to sending letters on? This I shall put into the bag & you must pay I fear a double letter. The postage home is a trifle to what they pay here for letters from thence. I have been forced to draw 20£ dated the 19th March at 30 days after sight. You must not think me extravagant. I have been forced to find here new trowsers. The next will be table cloths or I must white wash my table. The Napkins are defunct. The rest of the Pomeron trip shall be sent. I will soon write to my Uncle – regards to him & all the Catisfield party. Love to the dear girls & Gusto whose writing has improved & Fred. God bless you my dear Kate, kind rem to Miss P. Your aff Fred E