Letter #64

This letter is addressed to ‘Mrs English, 24 New Millman St, London’ 

Frances Trollope was the mother of a large family including the novelist Anthony. Finding her husband, a lawyer, unable to support them, she embarked on a successful career of writing both fiction and non-fiction. The book English has been reading is Paris and the Parisians in 1835. See letter 107. 

St. Petersburgh, Constantinople and Napoli di Romania in 1833 and 1834: a characteristic picture, drawn during a residence there, by Friedrich Tietz was published in English in 1836. Napoli di Romania is the name given by medieval Venetians to the modern Nafplio in southern Greece. 

Demerara 15th Octr 1836

Preparations making again my dear Kate for one of those delights of yours, a sugar ship. I understand one will sail tomorrow. You will be surprised to observe my letter dated from hence, but there has been some unforseen circumstances stirring to prevent my return for the present to Barbados. I shall give you a copy of Sec L Smith’s note, however my progress to Hd Quarters has been very unexpectedly arrested. Victor has been sent to Trinidad, tant mieux pour lui, to relieve Capt Lewis, who, poor fellow, I understand has been a little troublesome & it is reported wrong about the head. He is ordered to Barbados and that is all I can state. It seems I am yet intended for that station, thus I am doubtful what to do for the best but think of unpacking de toto; it has unsettled me dreadfully. Still, some good has blown with the ill wind – a fire has raged at Barbados & many very agreeable persons have fallen victims & if I am to move I would prefer the voyage after the Hurricane months Sept & Oct. ‘Privt & Confidential 13 Sept 1836 (rcd 23rd) My D E, I am sorry to inform you that from circumstances arising out of errors in judgement and over zeal, Sir C has been compelled to remove Capt Lewis from Trinidad, which so far affects you that Victor, who was to have relieved you, is obliged to go to that place. Your removal therefore at present is I believe impossible, but I think I may venture to say that Sir C Smith will not forget your wishes on this head. You are well out of the scrape – Death is busy here, amongst others to the fever now raging. Poor Le Fevre has fallen, a sad blow to his family, Les Smith.’ So I may yet take Barbados on my way home. How have you managed to make up your mind that I am to be relieved after three years’ service? The period I have always understood was 4 and much fear they will take care to keep me the full time. Should such an order arrive & I find myself embarked, my delight would be overwhelming – nous verrons. I was exceedingly happy to receive letters from you again. It appeared so long between the periods from the Packets having bad passages but still I have recd yours up to 14 Augst, only they are sent to Sir F Mulcaster into the [word missing] & are one packet late always. He [word missing] on the back, ‘tell your friends to put the address on a separate piece of paper’. So Fred is off – he must have joined his Regt ere this & you heard of his having so done. He seems a nice fellow & to have kept you all alive. His visit will have unsettled Gusto I fear who ought, dear fellow, to be employed in some capacity now. I feel extremely anxious about him and wish, independent of all other object, that I could get home for his interest. The vessel, Sisters, expected to sail this morning does not depart until tomorrow. She has just gone out of the river, looking so inviting that, in spite of sharks, I think I could venture to swim to get on board, leave this vile climate &c &c to be one of her crew tomorrow. Ah me! I am very very tired of this stupid unprofitable kind of life. As the packet boat leaves Demerara on tuesday the 18th I shall write to one of the dear girls & let me know which letter you receive first. Our Govr has returned from his second tour of the Essequibo coast. At Berbice they patched up an address but on his last excursion he could not accomplish his object & returned very sulky. We do not get on, nor shall we ever – he is a vindictive low minded man, however he got the worst of it respecting the Grant of land. I have put a stop to that affair & nobly supported by Sir C & the Govr Genl. I wrote you word that I was at Ld Smyth ball, stupid affair, supper laid in the same room we danced in, consequently covered with dying Mosquitos and dust. As you will have a second edition, I shall make this a short affair and end it after my solitary dinner, if alive enough. The Sisters leaves at eight tomorrow. Tell my young maidens & Gusto that I have at last procured a superb blue & yellow Macaw, so tame and such a beauty. I shall not send him immediately, but by some favorable & cheap opportunity. A ride may enliven my ideas, so here goes: ‘Edward, Horse’, ‘Yes Massa’. Both the bands playing, 67 & 69, but only two carriages filled with rum people and a crowd of Black & Whity brown listening. After a gallop I returned to a very tough beef steak which is generally the case in this climate, and having got over the meal which I detest, am again enjoying a scribble to you dear Kate. It vexes me exceedingly to get your letters of such an old date, but as that of the 12th Augst now lays before me I will reply – the happy days in Scotland about this date never to return. I feel as young and as energetic as heretofore, but I suppose should break down if put to the test like the old hunter. In riding home today I joined a Capt Adair who proved to be a relation of the 38th man, a gentlemanly young fellow. I recollect the conversation with him brought about the locality of Weedon & the Osbaldistons’ hounds & the Duke of Grafton’s, & only an hour since I was relating my return home to Weedon finding the Foolscap letter & order for the W I. At this moment I can fancy I can see dear Katy’s countenance when I broke the disagreeable intelligence to her. Our conversation closed as we separated, each to his dull mess, that [word missing] our full period out here now on the spot was so great [word missing] object, both feeling that we had gained the best side of the period of servitude that the remainder of our transportation would be to be tolerated. In one of your recently received letters you state that you have recd an abstract & that I have drawn more here than at St Lucia. You must be in error for months after I joined here I did not draw on England. Time will not admit to my refering to dates now but I have them & astonished I am when I look back that I have mounted myself, dressed, fed, drank, & appeared as in comd, rather miserable I immagine, here & at St Lucia & that I have scrubbed on with so little. But draw I shall have to do no doubt in order to give my first Ball in return for all hospitality. To change the subject, I have just finished Mrs Trollope’s France – late to read it but better so than never, for the light & clever Mr Von TIETZ, Constantinople, Petersburgh & Napoli Di Romani now lays before me, some part looked over. It appears almost a too large Type & vol to turn out well but passes the hot evening at Ther 88. In future my dear Kate I intend to confine my letters to the No of lines in yours & then to the No of words, for instance – disappointment, which in your last takes charge of a whole line. You seem at the present, or rather the date of your letter, deserted in the village. How contented you should feel in old England to, in place of the experiencing the wretched lot of all your sex who are here. Adieu dear Kate, regards to my much esteemed Uncle H & regards to all others at Catisfield. Kiss my dear children & believe me

Your affect Fred

All well 6 oclock 17th Oct 36, Posthumous arrived, Col Goodman & lot of passengers, FE, T Naghten well.