Add Mss 412, Box 6 File 4-10
Dear Miss O’Reilly
Many thanks for your letter of 14th April via New York which I received on the 26th May, just 6 weeks, so, as you remark, the world is much too large when one is at the other side of it. I feel it very much so here, and also that it is a very benighted part of the world to come to. I joined the “Beagle” on the 8th May at Ensenada a place some 20 miles from Buenos Ayres where the ship had been sent to meet me. I could’nt have joined here as the mail steamer had touched at Rio, and we were in quarantine. As soon as I got on board the “Beagle” I left them to get my things unpacked & went up to Buenos Ayres for 4 days which was rather pleasant & it is quite a fine town and plenty English. Then I brought the ship here & met the other 3 ships and the Commodore of this magnificent station. The latter is shortly to be relieved, but we dont know yet who is his successor. There seem to be a very nice set of officers on board, but the ship herself is a wretched small thing, and my cabins the most awful dog’s hole you ever saw. I did’nt expect much, but did’nt contemplate anything so disgusting. I’ve got no ornaments, just stuck up 3 or 4 photographs and long for the moment when they will come down again. The “Warspite” passed throught the other day. I saw Admiral Beaumont and told him he was to make your acquaintence. I think you will find him a pleasant man, but I believe he has a way of wanting to do everyone else’s work They do not seem to intend arriving at Esquimalt until August. I should like to be going with them, or else be back for the summer in my little “Melita”. She has just gone to Constantinople again, & my cabin there was a pretty a drawing-room as there was at Therapia. I used to enjoy the life there as much as any time almost I can remember. I was so sorry to hear your mother had been so unwell but I hope your skilful nursing has brought her round to health by this time. I do not know the Bulkeley Johnson man at all. I met his wife at my cousins’ house at Putney where she was lunching. I only know the B.J. girls, on account of my cousin having married one last January, a very good sort she is, too. The hockey game I played on 11 March was not the Richmond Match only a boy-and-girl game but it is great fun and capital exercise, especially if you dont bother about rules. My eldest brother was at the other match, one of a select few who were asked to accompany the Duke of York. I had a long letter from my mother who has got the South African brother back again, the millionaire of the family. Did you meet or hear of my cousin Ilda Wolfe Murray now Mrs. Murray, wife of the Master of Elibank. She had such an escape, as they had a flat at the top of that huge building Hyde Park Court which was burnt the other day. She just had time to run through the smoke, & her maid had to jump down two balconies outside. She has lost all her old lace, & nearly all her clothes. This is a very poor place. There was a dance at the Barings[?], the English Minister here, on the Queen’s birthday, but there was hardly anyone’s acquaintance to make. I go to some golf links as often as possible, but the weather is against it. Now I must finish off and I hope your mother is really well again. With kindest rememberances to all.
Ever yrs sincerely
P.S. I see you want to know what I was invalided for. It is difficult to give it a name, but if you know what it is to suffer insomnia accompanied by what I a call a frightful nerve fever which shakes one to pieces, then you will be able to gather that there is nothing for it but immediate and complete change, and rest if you can get it. I call it also hereditary from my mother’s family. I have been bothered two or three other times with it, but all my life for some years past has been lived in dread of it. I hope to pull through this job. it was rather good of their Lordships I thought to give me another chance. Some people thought I ought’nt to go again because it is a terrible strain sometimes to force oneself on but I thought I ought to have another try. Now I’ve told you all there is, it is’nt of course a secret, but at the same time I dont life it being talked about more than necessary, & so more people getting to know. You must’nt be annoyed with me, but you can be sorry if you like.
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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.