Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Sir Edward Macarthur letters, 30 September 1808-18 December 1816
A 2912

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[Previous pages are covers and blank pages]

No 1

Castle Street 30th Sept 1808

My dear Mother,
At this moment that I am conveying to you the pleasing intelligence of my safe arrival, I feel inspired with a Hope that you are restored to your Health, and in the enjoyment of every happiness that can be expected from a Country in such a perturbed state, and of which the Society is so exceptionable. When this reaches you, my dear Mother, it my prayer that it may add to the other causes of your happiness, but if on the contrary, it will I know be no small gratification to learn that your son has not a greater source of uneasiness than springs from the distance which prevented him from flying to your embrace.

You will be rejoiced to learn how fine a Youth John is become. He is almost as tall as myself & at the same time remarkably stout. Much as he grows in stature yet it does not equal the degree to which his Mind daily expands, and such is his manner of reasoning that he is beheld with astonishment, mixt with ad-

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miration. John’s wishes incline him to embrace the profession of the Law and he is wonderfully delighted at the idea of becoming a Councillor. Dr. Lindsay imagines he will make a shining Character in that profession Since my arrival I have lived at Mr. Thompson’s and the manner in which I was received, together with the fresh marks of affection which are every day displayed towards me, can be compared to nothing but that which I experienced when I returned to New South Wales. Indeed my dear Mother, it seems as if the two families were disputing to which of them I belonged, and which could regard me with the most affection.

On my arrival I found that Mrs King was a Widow – Govr. King died about a week before. I have scarcely seen Mrs King. I was unable to call upon her till the other day, when in going to Mr House I met her on the road, and as she was on particular business she could not return. She resides some Miles from

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London. I promised her that if she would have the goodness to tell me when she would be at home that I would certainly wait upon her.

Mr. Marsden is in Town, but I have not seen him nor do I know how Mrs. Marsden & the Children are who are all in Yorkshire.
General and Mrs. Grose are in Town, they have been very particular in their enquiries about yourself & my dear father.
Captain and Mrs Kent are also in London, but I have not had an opportunity of seeing them.

Govr. & Mrs. King have been rather intimate with Mr. Thompson’s family, and Mr. T. has told me that our family was always mentioned in the most affectionate manner. Mrs. King seems to have some idea of returning to New South Wales, for her affairs poor Woman I understand are rather in a disunited state.

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Miss Thompson has promised to write, and she will I have no doubt give a long account of interesting circumstances.

Now, my dear Mother, my thoughts turn seriously towards your distant quarter. My dear Elizabeth- must I mention the name! I fear what I dare not write: poor dear Girl her last embraces made a strong impression on my mind. To my dearest Mary, my most affectionate love- & to James & little Billy the very same. Remember me particularly & affectionately to Miss Lucas, and give my regards to Mrs Abbot, Mr. Minchin & [mark for etc.] I must now my dear Mother conclude for it is past 12’0. Clock and I am much fatigued.
That God may stretch forth is protecting hand towards you is & has been the prayer of
My dear dear Mother
Your affect Son
E. Mc Arthur

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No.3/ No 2.

My dear Mother,
Pray excuse this hasty & ill written Epistle, I shall seal it up to Night, because I know if I were to read it to Morrow it would not go, and I fear shall be unable to write another.
Your most affectionate Son
Edwd Mc.Arthur

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Sept 30th 1808

[Paper folded as envelope]
Mrs. Mc. Arthur
New South Wales

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No. 2
Castle Street September the 30th 1808

My dear Hannibal
I have begun close up you will perceive, with the intention of writing a long letter, but whether that will be the case I can’t promise. Your letter by the Brothers I received at St. Helena, and I am little capable of expressing the pleasure which it afforded me. I should have thank’d you for your attention from that place had there been any direct conveyance. I wrote to my father by way of India & the Cape of Good Hope, & also dropt a few lines to Davidson, but I do not imagine they will reach N S. Wales before this vessel, should they however I trust my dear Coz, you will not imagine I was neglectful of my promise, or unmindful of the friendship we have formed.

I have been in Town about three weeks and do you know I have been so much in a battle that it does not appear three days. A most provoking circumstance- I landed only thirty Miles from Ply-

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mouth and was so situated that I was compelled to proceed to London with as much speed as possible. I gave my Uncle an Account of affairs at Port Jackson, in the Channel the day before I landed, and forwarded it to him when I went on shore. I heard from him a few days ago, and received a long letter from Mary. They are all well, Kate is married to a Lieut. in the Navy. James & John are still at Home. Charles is in a War in Spanish America. Mrs Nicolson is at Rochester & very well, Captain N. is at Lisbon, & will shortly be at Home. Poor Elizabeth has been very unfortunate with her Children, she has had two, both of whom are dead. I wrote both to her & Mary, and told them how unhappy you were at never hearing from them, and scolded them as well as you could have done yourself. What efficacy my lectures have had, you will be enabled to judge, when the vessel arrives, which will bring you a packet- I have received no letters from them for some time, and from that I

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conjecture they are very buzy in their endeavours to regain your good opinion.

Mary made me a little uneasy by the accounts she gave of the perpetual troubles of the Girls with my Aunt, she says that she is become ten times more violent and fretful than ever. Poor Kate as far as I can learn is quite in disgrace, and my poor uncle preserves an unruffled mind amidst the whole.

Mrs King has suffered a great loss in the death of Governor King: he died about a week before my arrival. Elizabeth is at School, and the rest of the family are at Home. I have not seen any part of the family yet excepting Mrs King.

The account of the transactions which we have Witnessed, so alarmed Mr. Marsden, that he came the other day post haste up from Yorkshire, I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting him. When I came home this Evening I found Captain Temple’s Card here; will you have the goodness

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to tell Miss Lucas that I shall return his visit as soon as I have a little leisure. I am really ashamed to say that I have not seen Miss Nun yet, but my time at present is not indeed my own. A few days more will bring things into a regular train, and then I will certainly do myself the pleasure to wait on Miss Lucas’s friend. Pray remember me very kindly to her.

There was a sad misfortune in this neighbourhood a day or two since. Covent Garden Theatre was burnt to the Ground, and in endeavouring to overcome the conflagration upwards of thirty men lost their lives, and many others are burnt so badly so much injured that death itself would be a blessing.

At St .Helena I found an old School fellow of ours at Chudleigh in the situation of a common sailor on board one of the South Sea men. His name is Hodges- from Dartmouth- he was so lucky to escape the impress and is now again with his friends.
My dear Coz.
Most truly Yrs.
E. Mc. Arthur

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30th Septr. 1808 No. 3
Castle Street, Leicester Square
30th September 1808

My dear Davidson,
I have the pleasure a second time to thank you for your letter, which I received at Sta Helena on the 10th July, from whence you will perhaps receive a letter from me dated on the day of my departure from that Island. The Dart and Brothers together with the China Fleet arrived in the Downs on the 12th Inst, but as I was anxious to get to Town lest the Duplicates of my letters should be delivered before the originals. I landed in a fishing Boat off the Start point in Devonshire from whence I proceeded to London, with whom do you imagine- Captain Alexander Ferguson late of the Lucy. And what the D---l brought you into his Company? you will say- a most extraordinary assemblage of Circumstances. Captain Ferguson came from Penang in the Camden, and Mr. Grimes about a week before we made the land, went on board that vessel. The place at which I landed was so remote that I had not the most

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distant idea of seeing anyone from the Fleet, and you may imagine I was not a little surprised to find four Gentlemen with whom I was acquainted in possession of the quarters and the only vehicle in the place excepting a Cart. They came from the Camden. Capt. F, Mr Grimes- the Purser of the vessel and a Parson from St. Helena. The Purser franked Mr G. up to Town, for he is franked himself. These two took the only Post Chaise in the place and were off. The Parson would not start- and Capt. F. & myself determined to take the Cart and go on to the next port Town. We did so & continued in company to Town- Since which time I have not seen the gentleman.

I found all our friends well, and in Mr. Thompson’s family an other Home- for I was received as a Son. Sir Walter’s family are mostly out of Town. I have dined with him once or twice, and he is always glad to see me. I have had no conversation with him yet respecting yourself, but I imagine he must have much to say, as well as many enquiries to make on the subject of the advancement of your pursuits. Mr. R. Farquhar is in Town

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and Mr. & Mrs. Halliday are arrived from India. Mrs Hamilton is in the Country, as are Dr. & Mrs. Hook.

On my calling at Quebec Street with your letter to Mrs Pringle, I was so unhappy as to find that that good Lady was no more , and that Mr. & Mrs. Overhind
were removed; & after tracing them from House to House, I learned that they were gone to reside at Chancellor Place, Park Gate, Cheshire to which place I forwarded your introduction. Your ring Money remains in hand, and by the next Ship I hope to transmit to you a valuable Speculation. At this time I am too much agitated to lay it out to advantage.

What a pretty tantalising fellow you are Master Walter on the cover of your letter you say, “your Mother encloses the promised copy of a letter," and you leave it out after all in your battle & hurry to send off to the Ship. I have half mind to punish you for this trick by not saying a Word more, but as you have heaviest side in your favour I proceed- with what after all affords you perhaps little

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Our late affairs make little impression on the public mind, and excite less attention at the offices, for Spain & Portugal attract all their attentions all their thoughts. The convention has caused a great ferment, and the nation loudly call for the punishment of those who were concerned in that disgraceful business. You will not comprehend me until you have consulted the news papers, and I have no time to explain myself.

In a few weeks the probability is that I shall be in one of our Armies either that on Service in Spain, or that in Portugal- a wide field is open for Honor and promotion, and I burn to be there. “The Spanish expedition" resound from all quarters, and the ladies themselves lament that their Sex prevents their joining in so glorious a cause.

Adieu my dear Davidson- the next time you hear from me expect to learn that I bear H.M. Commission- till then farewell and believe me most affectionately, most sincerely Yours
Edwd Mc Arthurs

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Oct 1st 1808 No 4
London October 1st 1808.
My dear Father,
I embrace the opportunity of the Sydney Cove’s return to Port Jackson, to inform you of my safe arrival, and to acquaint you with the little occurrences since, together with the impressions made by the accounts of which I was in part the bearer. I came to Town on the 12th, and immediately went to the Horse Guards with my public letters but it being Evening, and as there was no official person to whom I could deliver them, I returned, and called again the next Morning when I saw Colonel Gordon to whom I committed my charge. He received me with a great degree of kindness, asked me a few questions about the Colony, but none in the least applicable to the subject of the letters and having complimented me on the modesty with which he was pleased to say I conducted myself, wished me good morning, asked for my address, & said that he should send for me in a few days.

Mr Brogden and Mr Mc Arthur as well as Mr Plummer were out of Town, and before I had performed half of what was necessary for me, previously to do, the day was too far advanced for me to think of waiting on the Duke of Northumberland, till the next Morning. As I had not the assistance of Mr Brogden’s introduction I

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I found some difficulty from the Servants, in gaining admission to His Grace’s residence, but as I was determined to deliver Colonel Johnston’s letters to no other person than the Duke, my Card was at length taken up, and the obstructions vanished. His Grace immediately sent for me and addressing me by my name, thanked me for my attention in coming to Sion House, and instead of interrogating me on the subject of my the transactions in N. S. Wales, began to relate even the most particular parts of what had taken place, even to the business of the Stills, and was severe in his animadvictions on the conduct of Governor Bligh. This surprised me not a little but I discovered that he had received the Evening before by the Post the duplicates of the letters by the Brothers.
His Grace was greatly pleased at the accounts I gave him of the noble race of horses by Northumberland, and after I had been with him for two Hours, for it was impossible to leave him before, I retired. His Grace told me that he should be obliged by any communications I could make to him about the late Events, and that when he came to Town, he should be happy to see me. He greatly interest himself with in Colonel Johnstone’s welfare and from the family connexion between his Grace & Colonel Gordon, his influence will be very great. I understand also that under the

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existing state of affairs his opinions have great weight. Mr Watson was not at Home the first day, I called but I saw him the Morning of my interview with the Duke of Northumberland, and found him indeed a friend. He went to the Secretary of State’s Office to learn the impressions made on Mr. Cook’s mind by the accounts he had received and found them favourable to yourself, but Mr. Watson has since informed me that Mr. Cook does not now think you so much unconversed in the late transactions, as he did at first imagine. Mr. Watson superseded the necessity of my waiting on Mr. Cook by asking him if he was desirous to see me, and Mr Cook requested Mr. Watson to tell me that there was no occasion for my coming to him. Mr. Watson brought Captain Russell off with flying Colours.
The public mind is at present so much agitated by the affairs of Portugal that neither they nor the Ministry in the least regard the occurrences in New South Wales. So much have they to do at the Offices that I do not imagine they have read one half the papers necessary to elucidate the business, but they regard the whole of the transaction with a view to precedent in a jealous kind of way.
I understand that Bligh’s friends however who have

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had leisure to examine the affair, wear gloomy countenances. Mr. Watson desired me not to pay the least attention to the opinions I heard in common conversations. He intends to write to you by this vessel Your letters to Mr. Brogden, Mr. McArthur & Mr. Plummer, I enclosed to them. To Mr. Mc . A I sent a complete copy of the whole of the papers in my possession and another copy of the Tryal to Mr. Plummer, after Dr. Lindsay, had revised it. I have greatly to regret that I could make no more than two Copies on the voyage, for every one calls for your Trial, and with the concurrence of Mr. Watson, it will be printed in a few days, and I trust that I shall be enabled to send you one of the impressions. That I am now writing at Mr. Thompson’s House at Clapham, with that good Man & his family have I been since my arrival they are to me an other father, Mother, Brother and Sister. I dine to day with Mr. Henry Brogden, who has been very worm in his expressions for the handsome way in which you have advanced the Money to Blackman. I must now conclude and will address you again to Morrow, for I have so much to relate to you my dear Father, that my ideas rush upon me to rapidly for expression.
Most aff Yours
E.Mc. Arthur

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[Pencil marks No 5 7.10.08. 1808 19]

7th October Castle Street Leicester Sqre
My dear Father,
Since my last of the 1st Inst. I have been greatly agitated by the publication of a most virulent paper, prepared as I am informed by some of Mr. Bligh’s Partisans, of which I transmit a copy, together with a reply which appeared in the same paper as the attack.
You will readily perceive my dear Father, that I have been greatly indebted to some persons for this tart rejoinder. Dr. Lindsay wrote the first sketch which was afterwards mollified by Mr. Watson, who advised the however that no kind of notice should be taken of this outrageous attack. As soon as the answer was framed I had it down to Mr Mc Arthur, who after having made some addition & amendments returned it with an introduction of myself to the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, who inserted the paper as corrected by Mr. Mc Arthur.
A Revd. friend of yours who has lately come up from York is said to have had a hand in this vehement production- indeed he does not scruple to say that the business is at issue between himself and you, and that one or the other must direct the Country of New South Wales.
A day or two since I received a Note from the Duke of Northumberland acquainting me that his Gran had received intimation that Colonel Johnstone Mr. Mc Arthur and the rest of the Officers, were sent for Home immediately. I instantly showed it to Mr. Watson, who went down to Mr. Cook and asked him if any such measure had been taken. Mr. Cook said there has been nothing resolved on, with respect to the affairs in New South Wales. Mr. Watson is no professor – but an actor.
Mr. Plummer will be in Town in a few days and Mr. Mc Arthur will also be here, their advice will be of essential Service to me. Mr Henry Brogden greatly interests himself

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in your behalf, as well as does Mr. James Brogden- the latter can be of very great service to me from his intimacy with the Duke of Northumberland.
Sir Walter’s family are as usual very kind, and Sir Walter himself appears to be happy when he hears of things going on favourably to yourself, but he does not, at present take an active part, altho at first he talked a great deal. Mr. Jacobs is also very attentive, he offered to get a commission for me, but I fear it is out of his power. Mr. Watson and Colonel Mc. Donald both told me that there would be a very great difficulty indeed in obtaining a Commission at this time- they think that under the existing state of affairs His Royal Highness would on no consideration give me an [indecipherable]. They therefore imagine that it would be better for me to purchase and if possible to join some Regt of foot in Spain, for I am told that my age is to great for my admission at Marlow.
The next Military Academy is at Wickham, and before you can be admitted it is hearsay that you should have been doing duty with your Regt. for two years. Mr. Thompson is looking out for a good Regt. and I trust that by the time the next ships sail I shall be Gazetted.

From all I can learn I fear you will find yourself necessitated to return to England, for the Government will I fear till the very last support Bligh. But it is of no use for up he must be given at length. A Gentleman told me to day that altho’ Governor Bligh’s conduct was most flagrant, yet the Govt. would look with great jealousy on

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his supercession, on account of precedent. But Justice must be done, for Major Johnson has a friend who has the power in a certain degree to enforce it.

The two emuos arrived safe and were presented to Lady Castlereigh, and one Swan and a Goose lived, which were given to Lady Camden. Mr. Watson desired me to say that their Ladyships were desirous of having some Brons-wing Pidgeons- but he would not permit me to give the pair I had, because he thought that so many presents at one time would overdo the business. I was enabled to make Mr. Watson a very handsome present in the Bird way- I have made several to different people, and have not parted with all yet.

The Marquis of Buckingham was out of Town when I arrived, I therefore left his letters at his Lordship’s residence in Pall Mall, from whence I presume they have been forwarded. I have heard from none of Mr. Wentworth’s friends.
General Grose has been very attentive to me; he seems to be rather disappointed at not hearing from you. As he resides at Croydon I do not see him very often. Mrs. King, poor woman, is greatly distressed at the loss of the Governor, and the contrast of her present situation with that she lately possessed makes her very unhappy.

It will I am convinced, my dear father afford you great pleasure to learn that John is resolved to become a Councillor and Dr. Lindsay says if he only applies himself, he will make as Clever a fellow as any in England. John is aware that many difficulties will impede his progress, but he says that the temple

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of Fame is now within in his view, and that the strides he intends to make towards it will be so rapid and firm that every obstacle must give way. John is grown tall, and at the same time very stout. The energy of his mind is very great, and this displays almost on every occasion. He is greatly beloved by Mr. Thompson’s family as well as by Dr. Lindsay, and the greater part of his acquaintance.

I dined with Mr. Wilson a few days since, but as I am not much in the City I do not see him very often He endeavours to keep neutral, and hears the tales of all parties, but I think his situation is on that account very unpleasant.
Mr. Thompson has neither invited Grimes or Mr. Minchin to his House,- he says he does not wish to know whose right, but that it is quite sufficient for him that they are innimical to you. Mr Becket is constant in his enquiries after you, Mr. T intends sending him a copy of your Trial, that he may make his remarks upon it. Mr. Cook says that the Trial is so much waste paper, for that as Colonel Johnston had no authority to convene a Court, a mock Trial on the Stage would be equally as valid. This is the way in which Mr. C. talks, but it is his duty to support the Governor till all the charges have been proved against him-
I remain, My dear father,
Your affect Son
E. Mc. Arthur.

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No 6 Castle Street Leicester Square.
October 12th 1808.

My dear Father,
I can learn nothing respecting the intentions of Government about New South Wales, and notwithstanding the despatches that are forwarded to go out in the Sydney Cove, I still think that Ministers have come to no determination. Mr. Watson says they have not, and on the 5th of this Month he knew positively that nothing had been done.

I have not seen the Duke of Northumberland since my first interviews; I was to have dined at Leon House yesterday but His Grace was taken ill with a fit of the Gout, and I was disappointed. Mr. Brogden informed me this Morning that I should receive an other invitation in a day or two.
Mr. B. received your letter last week, and was very well satisfied when I explained to him the causes of

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its brevity. Mr. Brogden is very desirous of obtaining every information on the subject of the late transactions that he may be enabled to render every possible assistance. He was greatly pleased with some samples of Wool when I showed him from N. S. Wales.

The Wool I am sorry to say that came in the Dart, was almost spoiled, although I had taken the precaution to have it put into a light Cask- It is in the Hands of Mr. Swain, who says that it will however make very good Cloth. He will send your little Commission by the next Ship.

I intend to send out by the Sydney Cove your little order of two Coats & waist-coats, two pair of Boots, and two Hats- My Mother I understand had some things by the last Ships, or rather they were put on board them.

Every one of your friends here seems to imagine that you will be necessitated to come home; indeed Mr. Watson told me that he sincerely

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wished you would, for he imagined you would do much better here than where you are, and that he should intimate it to you in his letter. The pleasure, my dear father such an event would afford me, would be very great.
Mr. Plummer is now in Town, he intends to draw up a Statement of facts, which is to precede the Tryal. Mr. McArthur will very soon be here also, and his assistance will be of great Service.

Mr. Thompson is now about purchasing a Commission in one of the Battalions of the 60th Regt. which is in Spain; if I possibly can obtain permission to go to Marlow, I certainly will, but if not I intend immediately to join my Regiment. There is not the least chance of a Commission being given to me, and therefore the sooner I purchase the better.

No reply has yet been made to my answer to Mr. Wash-

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ington’s virulent attack. I enclose the whole of the papers in which these letters have appeared.

As far as I can learn the Dart’s Cargo will sell well, but it was rather unfortunate that the two Ships should have arrived together. The Skins are in very good order. However discontented the Hullets may have been, they are now much obliged to you for the concern you have taken on their account.

I am aware, my dear Father, how insipid my letters by this opportunity, will be to you, for the accounts they contain are unsatisfactory indeed, and therefore I write with little pleasure. Oh my father thou little knowest what concern it gives me in being unable to say afford you some little recompense for the cares and anxieties you have undergone for an ungrateful Colony.
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc.Arthur

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[Pencil note: No 7 Incomplete.]
Castle Street Leicester Square
October 25th 1808.

My dear Father,
Since my last, I have the pleasure to inform you, I have seen Mr. Hugh Elliott, who spoke in the highest terms imaginable of you, and who notwithstanding his appointment as Governor of Barbados, is so much enraptured with our Colony, that he appears greatly inclined to abandon the design of taking the command of the one, for the hopes of acquiring the Government of the other.
I have seen him but once and then for a short time, but it was

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sufficiently long for me to perceive how superior a man he is, and how very different from his I trust, predecessors in the Government of New South Wales.
After my interview with Mr. Elliott, he desired me his son to take me upstairs and introduce me to his Mother. She seems to be of exactly the same turn of mind as her husband; the idea of raising an infant Colony to a great and flourishing kingdom appears to have to them more charms than the bustle & intrigue of a large Town. Mr. Elliot desired most particularly to be remembered to you.

Nothing has transpired with respect to the determination of ministers on the sub-

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ject of Governor Bligh’s arrest. The Trial is printed, but with no narration prefixed to it, for Mr. Watson strenuously insisted that as no person was more capable of undertaking his own justification than yourself, it would be imprudent to make a publication in which some facts might be too much urged while others were not sufficiently prefered.
Mr. Plummer is however prepairing a statement of all the unjust and arbitrary things committed by Governor Bligh.

Colonel Tench is in Town; he is greatly interested in all that has passed. I put the Trial into his hands, and I feel assured that it will

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produce on his mind the same effect that it does on all those / and they are many / that have read it. A firm belief in the justness of your cause- a perfect conviction of your honor and integrity, and a lasting impression of the strength of your mind, and of the soundness of your judgment. Such being the case, I shall feel no hesitation in giving Mr. Elliott a perusal of that document.

As Mr. Watson particularly desired that I would keep as much as possible in the back ground, and as I see no probability of the events in which I feel so much concern being discussed for a long time, I am determined rather than live at a great expense here, to join my regiment in Spain, where I am inspired with the hopes of gain-

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No 8. Portsmouth, December 14th 1808

My dear Father,
Upon my arrival at Portsmouth, I heard very bad news, in so much that I had almost given up all ideas of going to Spain, but now affairs seem to be taking another turn, for I am ordered to embark on board one of the transports. But I think I shall be enabled to obtain a passage on board one of the Frigates by the influence of Captain Houston. I was surprised to find him here in the Command of a very fine Ship; and still more to see Mr. Minchin

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who has unexpectedly got leave to return to Port Jackson. He will depart so suddenly that I shall scarcely have time to say more by this opportunity than that I am

Your most affectionate Son
Edward Mc.Arthur
P.S. I fear Mr. Thompson’s letters will not be done in time I am my self rather in hurry as none of my baggage is embarked, and it is only now that I am directed to do so myself.

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Page folded as envelope showing wax seal broken.

Decr. 8th 1808
John Mc Arthur Esqre
[indecipherable] by Mr. Minchin

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No. 9 Plymouth Dock. Feby. 13th 1809.

My dear dear Mother
Could I but talk to you for one half hour, I have to relate what will afford you the most heartfelt delight, and while it remains fresh to my memory, I will write without having any regard to the time it may be before this letter is conveyed to you.
The Transport in which I came from Spain put me here, and after I had spent a few days at my Uncle’s took a horse, and in spite of the inclemency of the weather set out towards the North, knowing as I did how much pleasure you would derive from my so doing. On my arrival at Launceston I heard that a Captain Kingdon was in the Town with a recruiting party, the name caught my ear, and I instantly sat down and wrote a note in which I expressed a desire to know whether it were the same who many years ago was acquainted with you & my father, as in that case I should feel great pleasure in waiting on him. It was answered by his coming himself to the Inn to congratulate

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late me on my return. he made me send back the hired horse, and lent me one of his Brother Christopher’s to proceed with on the journey.
At Launceston I saw the eldest of the Miss J’Anses, who desired that I would call at Whitstone. when I came a little beyond the Public House which is about two Miles from Colonel J’Ans’s the Horse unfortunately fell with me, and in the fall I received a severe cut on the knee- [indecipherable] which entirely drove from my head the Castles I was there building. Lame and covered with dirt, I arrived at Whitstone, where I met with a reception which a son of yours may always expect. The Colonel was at Bride , where he chiefly resides, and no one was at home but Mrs. J’Ans, and a daughter. It will be needless to speak of the inquiries that were made after you, for if I were to mention the whole that came from every part of that hospitable neighbourhood, they would fill a volume. Mr. John Kingdon of Marham Church having heard of my arrival came the next
Morning with a steady old Horse, and took me off vi-

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et aimis, for his own House. Here then we will pause, fancy yourself my dear Mother, in the Parsonage, and recall to your mind the days that are past.
As soon as I came in Mrs. Kingdon laid me under an interdict, and would not permit me to move from the Sopha, so that I could not go to my Grand Mother’s tho’ but a short distance. Mrs. Kingdon told me how very well she was, but yet I was prepared to see the ravages which time I thought must have made on so old a frame. Consider my surprise, when instead of the decrepit old woman I expected, I beheld my Grand-Mother perfectly erect, and with a countenance bespeaking the happy contentment which dwelled within. Since you have seen her, dearest Mother, time must have materially changed her, but for a woman of sixty years of age she is a prodigy. She was very desirous that I should go home with her. I was myself passive- but Mrs. Kingdon would insist on her giving up her suit. Mr. King the Surgeon from Stratton was sent for, and after my knee was dressed the old Lady retired. I was obliged to confine myself for a few days, during which time I experienced an unre-

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mitted course of kindness and attention from my worthy hosts, and their interesting family. Mr. & Mrs. K. entertained me with many little anecdotes, in which you were generally concerned, and his young daughters were assiduous to anticipate my wishes. His family consist of four Girls, and four Boys. the eldest Miss Mary a fine rosy Girl of 16, possessing an ineffable sweetness and simplicity of manners, which steals on the heart, and has an effect widely different to that which is produced from Court manners and Court. etiquette. The next John- Then Judith- Robert & Jane the last both very like our John- and two more boys with a little Girl form as happy, comfortable, and as nice a family as the most sanguine parents could wish to enjoy. They live hospitably, but without splendour and are wise enough not to be at all corrupted by the prevailing taste of the day. I wish from my heart that you were settled near them, and in the same happy way. Surely when you come home- you can think of spending the remainder of your days in no other pact. Their ways are so consonant to your own.

[Page 42]

In about three days I was so far better in my knee that I was enabled to move out and Mrs. Kingdon her daughters, and myself took the opportunity of a fine Evening to go down to my Grand Mother’s and drink Tea. You know, my dear Mother, the method of Travelling in those parts. The old Mare was led out. I mounted before Mrs K. on the pillion behind and thus mounted the subject of our conversation was Mrs. McArthur. Could she but see us- and the like. We came to the Cottage- too large rather for that name, pleasantly situated on a rising ground, the front door towards the South- and the back of course to the North. It is neat- and such as you might conjeture Mrs. Bond would have- were she gratified The Parlour is small- it has but one window- into that the sun shines at Noon- the pretty little fire place is rather to the Eastward, the door to the west and the room, tho really not so, strikes the eye, as if it were Square every way. Half a dozen Green Chairs and two Mahogany tables form the furniture, of the little apartment which we very nearly filled.

[Page 43]

Mrs. B. wished very much that I should remain there, but as I could not very conveniently do so & Mrs. K. on the other hand was as desirous that I should return. I was compelled to comply with the wishes of the last. But not before I had promised to come down some other time, & remain with her altogether. Mrs. B. had a very good bed, and room for me, and she asked me if I did not think that you could be very comfortable there, a pleasure which she thinks is not far distant. The Farmer has taken a chill, which he works to very great advantage for there is not another in the neighbourhood, and is doing much better than he ever did.
Amongst those who came to see me was old Mrs Chapman, who was induced to come out from the desire of seeing your Son- tho for many years she hath not been to Church. Mrs Hacker was there as well- She has three Children- expects

[Page 44]

a forth- and both she, and her husband are well, and doing well. Mrs Bond speaks in the highest terms of Mr. Kingdon’s Family, and says they are very kind and attentive to her. In the summer, and when the weather is fine they go down, and spend their Evenings with her, which she does as often in return at the Parsonage.
I have been minute my dear Mother, because I imagined it would be enabled to form a more correct idea of the state in which my Grand Mother lives, than if I merely said she was happy. Which I again repeat, and assure you that she is not only so, but so situated that were it not the case, we should be induced to say that she possess’d an unfortunate disposition that embittered all her enjoyments. It must be an additional gratification to learn that she lives so near to so worthy a man as Mr. Kingdon; and through whose means you must have been before apprised of her situation.

[Page 45]

The Kingdons are now spread around that Country. You are acquainted, or it least you will be long before this arrives, of the death of old Mr. & Mrs Kingdon They died about twelve months since, and left a very ample provision for the whole of their Family. The Advowson of Marham Church will be the property of Mr. John, at the death of an old Clergyman, who has long possessed it, and for whom Mr John is Curate. What other property he possesses I know not, but it is sufficient to make him indifferent to the result of a law Suit which is now pending, and is of very considerable amount. Mr. Roger Kingdon lives at North Petherwin, the late residence of Mr. Kening, with a Wife, and six Children. He expects to remove to Oldsworthy, a living of considerable value, and at present occupied by Mr. Merick; which was bought for him by the old Mr. K. Mr. Frank resides at Gr. Torrington, where he is Batchelor Banker, Town Clerk and Lawyer. Mr. Richard has

[Page 46]

taken the concern from the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis with whom he lives at Exeter. Mr. Charles still lives at Bridge Rule Bridge in the same way as before a solitary Batchelor. Mr. Thomas resides in the vicarage, having succeeded to that living together with Pyworthy, at his Father’s death. He has a little Family of three Children- Samuel- Mary Jane, & Caroline. Captain Denis I have before said is at Launceston, where he will probably remain till his Regiment which is the eighteenth return from India. Mr. Christopher is in London; and will very shortly go out again to India, to follow the profession he has embraced, and in which I believe he holds the rank of Lieutenant. Miss Eliza is not yet settled- her Father left her well provided for- and to increase her property made her sole executrix. She went to London a few days since for the first time, with her Brother Christopher, & is expected shortly to return. I wrote to John & desired that he would call upon

[Page 47]

her. Mr. R. Kingdon having retired from business many years ago, has resided at Barnstaple, and since at Bude- at the House built by the late Mr. Ascott. He is now retired to Holsworthy, and has fitted up the White Hart for his residence, where he a[c]ts as Magistrate. Mr. John Cory succeeded him in his house and business. His son, John George Broughton Kingdon lives at Stratton, an Attorney, and Banker. Another Son Richard, Surgeon & Apothecary is settled at Launceston. Neither of the Gentlemen are Married- The other branches of his Family I do not know anything of, excepting only a daughter, Miss Judith, who is married to Mr. Braddon, the husband of your long lost friend. He lives at Newcott; which he talks of rebuilding. Dick Mill, and his Wife, still live at Longworthy. About which place a very misterious and suspicious conduct by the bye, is kept up by Mr. Palmer, who maintains that Mr. Veal is still alive in America. Which those who knew him

[Page 48]

think impossible, it would therefore seem that Mr. P. did not think the Claims which his Wife has to the estate sufficient to hold it on. I hope that at some future day, my Father may have an opportunity of investigating, and sifting the business to the bottom, for I think some hidden things lurk there, which his pinitration would soon discover. Lane End, another former residence of yours is set at £ 60 per Annum with twenty two acres, to a farmering man; the land in general however in the neighbourhood being about a pound an Acre, clear to the proprietor. [indecipherable] is the property of Mr John Vowler, who bought it at a survey after the death of his Brother, Mr. James. A Farmer rents the Farm and the worst part of the House, at £ 100 per Annum. Larence Thomas lives at Tackbear at the rent of a 110 £ a year, and pays all outs.
Mr. and Mrs. Carlisle still live at Piworthy- not

[Page 49]

not much the worse for wear. Tom Shapton of Bridge Rule to rents Piworthy Parsonage. Mrs. Greer is returned to Dux. The old Miss Jewel late of Church Town is still living. This is all I can recollect, and more probably than you can have sufficient memory to understand. I have mentioned the prices at which the different Farms let, that you may be enabled to form some idea of the advanced prices of every thing.
My knee being so far better as to admit of my travelling, I left the Parsonage, and Marham Church with an aching Heart, resolving to embrace the first favourable opportunity of revisiting a place, the scenes of which recall to my mind those objects on whom it dwells with such delight. Yes, my dear Mother, now that I am away, it seems that I have an affection to which when in N. S. Wales, I was in

[Page 50]

comparison a stranger. Such is the effect of absence.
On my return here from Cornwall, I availed myself of the opportunity to call upon Mrs. Knighton, who lives at Greenoven, about three Miles from Tavistock. She was very glad to see me indeed, and gave me an invitation to visit her at some other time, when I could make my stay there longer. Her residence is a beautifully sequestered spot, and so situated that the eye beholds nothing but the grounds which belong to the House. The view is consequently confined, but such is the taste, and elegance around on all sides, that the mind is filled with a kind of pleasing awe. Mrs K indeed has a very nice Green House, and Hot House, and as she expressed a wish to have some of the seeds of N. S. Wales, I promised to send her a few. Her daughters are three; fine Girls, with fine fortunes. They drew from

[Page 51]

her an observation: that but a few fleeting years since how little did you both, when merry Girls, “and it seems but the other day," calculate on having such a family. She desired when I wrote to you to make her very affectionate remembrances.
Colonel Tench having heard that Mrs. K had received a letter from you, requested most particularly that he might be favoured with a sight of it; for such is the pleasure he derives in hearing from us. I have dined with him once since I came- He has no family, but I heard from Mrs. K. that he keeps himself as poor as a Church-Mouse by gambling, to which I am told he is unfortunately addicted. This I think the more extraordinary because the Colonel possesses such

[Page 52]

good sense, and such a sound understanding.
Captain Ball of the Navy is here: he is known to the Colonel, and I understand that he is as sulky as a bear at the Government of New South Wales’ being taken out of the old-line. He was I make no doubt looking up to it himself; but his hopes fortunately, with the expectations of many others, have been blasted. A Lady who is connected hereabouts, and who hath been too in the Colony, writes very feelingly on the occasion, and says “we may thank the accurst Bligh for this."
On my return to Plymouth, I found my Regt. still here, and in consequence of my knee obtained permission to remain behind while they are gone to the Isle of Wight. I am under my Aunt’s care, and shall thro’ her good doctoring, and atten-

[Page 53]

Feby 15th 1809-

-tion be enabled to rejoin in the course of a few days. My Uncle is tolerably well, but the large family he has prey upon his mind, I fear. John and James, both of whom he did expect to get into the Marines are at Home, in fact doing nothing. One girl is married very well- Elizabeth- but the other to a Lieutenant in the Navy much I believe against his inclinations, for he is unable to make additions to his family, and this I believe he fears he must do from the circumstances of the young couple. Whether you will ever receive this or not I am unable to conjecture. I cannot particularize, but remember me to all, and I fervently pray that that all may be as I left it.
It is a misfortune that we are so far a part- but we are born to bear.
Adieu, My dear Mother, Yours ever
Edwd. Mc Arthur

[Page 54]

No 10. Plymouth Dock February 28th, 1809

Dear Davidson,
I am now far from Town and distant from your friends, and you must therefore put up with a letter which will contain nothing more interesting than an account of my adventures within these last three months. In my last by the Sydney Cove you will be apprised of my having commenced my Military Career, by purchasing a commission in a Regiment not I believe considered the most crack, for the purpose merely of joining our brave Countrymen, who were at that time contending for the freedom of an oppressed people It would have been unpardonable in so young a person as myself not to have been effected in some degree by the prevailing spirit of the times, when all were burning with zeal, and the aged cursing their advanced years, & lamenting that the days were gone in which they could have united in the general cause. The desire of assisting the Spanish Patriots spread like a contagion- Old Alderman Birch might have been seen expressing the fervour of his mind, by putting into confusion, & disorder the Host of patty dishes, he had

[Page 55]

previously arrainged, “thus, thus" exclaiming “would I exterminate those sacrilegious Gauls." Such were the ideas of the Cit, and almost as Chimerical were mine, for the acts of Homer’s Heroes were trivial, when compared to the feats that were performed in my distempered imagination. My maiden sword put whole Hosts to flight, and Legions retired with dismay. So desirous was I of being in Spain, that the old method of proceeding seemed too slow and I wrote to the Commander in Chief for permission to provide my own passage. However the frosty sages of the Horse Guards were not to be moved by the impetuosity of Youth, and after some interval, I was referred by Colonel Gordon to the Commandant of the Depot, and by him back again to His Royal Highness’ Secretary, and at length after having a fortnight to cool, I was directed to join at the Depot, without delay. On the third of December I left Town for Lymington, and from thence I proceeded to that School for temperance, and sobriety the Isle of Wight, but not liking the tenets, and doctrines of those Philosophers, I prevailed on General Taylor to allow me to depart for

[Page 56]

Portsmouth, from whence I might avail myself of the earliest opportunity of embarking for Spain. I crossed over to Portsmouth on the 9th. and a few days after my arrival there, I received a letter from Mr. Thompson, in which he desired me to give up all ideas of Spain, for that Government from the intelligence they had received were resolved to send no more troops, and that therefore he should defer sending my baggage, for which I had written. Before I left Town Mr Watson promised me letters of introduction to several persons of distinction with the Army, and desired me to write for them a few days before my departure from the Port from whence I might embark. During the time I was at Portsmouth I saw Captain Houston frequently, he had there the command of the Monmouth, and was very attentive to me. Mr. Minchin also came down from Town, and embarked for New South Wales, in a vessel of Mr Wilson’s. My despondence was now as great as my former sanguine views, for I imagined that I should not be permitted to follow my inclinations in joining

[Page 57]

joining my Regiment, being then under the control of General Barlow, and consequently no longer my own Master; when to my surprise I received a sudden order to embark, and before my baggage, or letters of introduction could arrive I was off. By the friendly exertions of Captain Houston a passage was procured for me on Board the Venus, Frigate and I left Spithead badly provided as I then thought for an expedition, on the 16th. of Decr. We had a large Fleet of Transports under convoy, and after a very tempestuous passage arrived at Vigo on the 24th. On my landing I made enquiries for the Military commandant, but there was no person at Vigo, in that capacity, and I learned that those who were desirous of joining the Army from thence, were compelled to provide Mules & a Guide for themselves, and to travel across the Mountains during the incessant rains that then prevailed. The scarcity of Mules, and other difficulties that intervened prevented me, luckily, from adopting this mode of proceeding, and I resolved to go to Corunna, from whence

[Page 58]

from whence I doubted not the communication was more direct and the intercourse with our Troops more frequent than from Vigo. The little insight I had here of a Campaign, gave me a very different idea on the subject to what I had formed in London, & I was now no longer sorry that I had left my baggage, being very happy at not having that encumbrance. The Diana Frigate being now about to sail for Corunna, I took leave of Captain Henderson of the Venus, and his Officers to whom I am much indebted for the attentions and civilities shown me during the time I was with them.
Captain Grant of the Diana of whom I asked a passage to Corunna, not only complied with my request in that respect, but insisted that during my stay with him, I should consider myself his Guest. This from a Man to whom I was utterly a stranger was certainly very polite. We sailed from Vigo on the Morning of the 27th and arrived at Corunna on the Evening of the 28th. There to my astonishment I found

[Page 59]

the Sixtieth, they had been left to protect the baggage, as they were too weak for effective service; it was too late to repine, and therefore I wore as good a countenance as I could, and determined to make the best of my time. As I was a young Officer, and as the Colonel was disposed to be very kind to me, I was put upon no duty, and I had therefore both leisure and opportunity to study the Spanish Language. This I did, and I used to practice in the delectable society of the Ladies, during the Evening what I had been acquiring by study in the day. I was making great proficiency, and had learned to say a number of soft things, when the brazen tramp of Bellona (?) & the adamantine lungs of Mars roused me from these tender occupations. The Spanish Ladies are pretty in general, but you neither see them neither so plane nor so handsome as here, the mediocrity being greater. They are, like the Ladies of other countries, fond of red coats.
On the 10th of January the troops began to arrive from the retreat for it had been commenced as early as the time I first came; and then my turn of duty commenced. I was put on piquet at Night &

[Page 60]

during the day was directed to superintend the shooting of Horses , and Mules. In one day I saw upwards of five hundred destroyed and rolled into the Sea a precaution very necessary, or otherwise we might have had to say, almost in the words of the Poets
“On Horse and Mule th’infection first began"
“And went the vengeful arrows fir’d in Man"
This kind of duty was certainly a little unpleasant, at the same time that it was fatiguing, but when compared with what had been undergone by others, it was pleasure. It is beyond the powers of conception to conceive what were the magnitude and duration of the miseries and disasters endured by our troops during this fatiguing and disastrous campaign. Three days and three Nights the troops took up their quarters in the furrows of the plowed fields, during incessant rains, without tents, & without provisions. Their marches were so long, and rapid that when they came to the Towns proposed for the Halt, often no more than a handful of man came in with the Colours. How they fought at

[Page 61]

all in the midst of such privations, and distressing circumstances is marvellous, but during the whole retreat whenever they faced about the French retired, or if they had, as was once or twice the case, the temerity to attack them, they were always repulsed.
Before the Main Bodies of the Armies were near each other, the horse had frequent scurmishes together, and the feats that were performed by our Dragoons savour too much of romance to find a place in a serious narration. Small bodies of our Men would attack a Squadron of the enemy and put them to the rout. The French were utterly confounded, and dared not at length to look our men in the face. When they were commanded to meet our men, they advanced it is true, but they were so dismayed that they hung down their heads, and became to our men an easy prey. Bonaparte thought his cavalry invincible, and as an instance of it, directed General Le Fevre to advance with a Troop of his Body Guard, and vauntingly said to him

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go over, and bring me two or three hundred of those & ours to draw my Artillery over the Mountains. The General in obedience to the Emperor’s commands went, but not to return. He was repulsed- his party cut up, and himself taken prisoner. This was part of the celebrated Emperial Guard, which General Le Fevre declared had never before encountered any Troops, which it did not overthrow. The French had now dissipated the whole of the Spanish Forces, and were advancing with about a hundred thousand Men, in various divisions for the purposes of overwhelming us. Our General thought it prudent to retreat, which they did, and after undergoing fatigues which ruined one third of the Army, arrived at Corunna with the remaining part of the Forces, about the 13th of January.There we remained till the 16th awaiting the arrival of the transports from Vigo, and

[Page 63]

during that time the Enemy came up, & occupied the Hills which overlooked our position before Corunna.
On the 15th there was some scurmishing between the piquets and a few discharges of Artillery to cover their deploiments, but on the 16th the Enemy made a determined attack, for the purpose of driving our exhausted Troops into the Sea, or in the confusion of the night of annihilating our little Force. I had been out that morning with two of my Brother Officers very near to the French Lines and returning about three o’Clock, we were surprised by a sudden, and tremendous discharge of Artillery, which commenced the action. The two Officers were compelled to return to the Regiment in the Town, but knowing that I could be of no use, I determined like David in the naughtiness of my heart to go down and view the battle. After wandering from Corps to Corps, I at length came to the Cameronian Highlanders, & being myself a Mc. I joined them. The Battle raged till Dark, by which time the French

[Page 64]

were driven from every point of attack. Few Regiments were engaged and those which suffered most were chiefly galled by the Enemy’s Artillery of which they then had the superiority both in number and position. The 42d were sharply engaged; Sir John Moor was killed and Sir D. Baird wounded at their Head, when directing them to charge, which they did with great effect.
As the Transports were now arrived and it was our business to get off as soon as possible, the Troops were withdrawn in the silence of the Night, and before the Enemy were apprized of the movement, the greater part were embarked, and the remaining Corps had retired within the Town and Fortifications of Corunna. About twelve o’Clock on Tuesday the 17th the French commenced a severe fire from the Heights, which commanded the Harbour, and forced those transports which were not previously underway to cut their Cables & run. In doing this many were driven upon the rocks, and the vessel in which I was, unfortunately was in the

[Page 65]

Feby 28th 1809
number. A scene of confusion ensued the most horrid you can imagine without you have been present when a crowded theatre was in flames, and in that case you may form some idea of it. The Soldiers thronged from below on the decks, and by running from side to side rendered all the efforts to save the vessel useless. Some jumped over board, others scrambled into the Ships that were passing by, and many were crushed to death between the Ships. Many were left on the rocks, and I know not how long we should have remained there had not another vessel, in taking our situation towed us out of this perilous place, and the reach of the Enemy’s Shot.

We were driven to Sea like a wreck, with all our rigging cut to pieces, and in this state we came into Plymouth, on Monday the 23d, where from having no Anchors we ran upon the Mud I soon forgot these disasters in the society from whence I shall soon depart & in which I subscribe myself

Your faithful friend
Edwd. Mc.Arthur.

Walter Davidson Esqre.

[Page 66]

Portsmouth May 19th 1809.

My dear Mother,
I am this moment come over from the Isle of Wight, where my Regiment is quartered, to see Govr. Mc Quarie before his departure to take the command in New South Wales and as Mrs Mc Quarie was so good some time since as to promise to convey a letter to you, I take this opportunity of writing you a few lines to assure you how well and happy I am.
I will confess to you my dear Mother, that I am not a little disturbed at the ideas of accounts from N. S. Wales having arrived by the [indecipherable], & that I should at this moment be so awkwardly situated that there is no chance of my receiving them before the departure of these vessels.
The letters will be forwarded to my quarters and

[Page 67]

I cannot now have sufficient time to obtain what I have been so long and so anxiously expecting. Since I left you my Mother, not a word have I heard – conceive then how acceptable the letters will prove. Mr Thompson informed me by yesterday’s post but I will send you his letter and that will answer the same purpose.
When I was at Plymouth some months since I gave you a full account of any proceedings in Devon & Cornwall after my arrival from Spain, which I suppose Mr. Thompson has entrusted to the care of some Gentleman in the Fleet. To Davidson I wrote my Spanish adventures, and to Hannibal his family concerns. All then will have letters accepting my Father to whom I have not yet written, in consequence

[Page 68]

of my having postponed so doing with an idea that I should have something interesting & of consequence to communicate to him. My expectations in that respect have been disappointing and therefore what I shall now write to him will be uninteresting, and hurried on account of the little time which is now alloted to me.
I received a letter a few weeks since from Mr Kingdon, which I enclose to you, as I know it will afford you some pleasure. I do not see any chance at present of my having it in my power to accept of Mr Kingdon’s kind invitation, altho I think it not unlikely that John will be enabled to go down in the ensuing vacation. This circumstance of the letters being so near at hand without my knowing their contents is so distressing, that I am continually harking upon it, and tho at any other time I should

[Page 69]

find no difficulty in writing to you a much longer letter, yet at this moment I am really puzzled to furnish materials for one of a length sufficiently decent to go so great a distance.
This new Referment will make a great many changes in the Colony, impossible I think for the worse. When the Troops were under the command of the same person as the Colony as in General Grose’s time, it was I understand far more happy than it has been since. That time will arrive again- I trust but I confess I wish all my family were seeking happiness here.
John is very well- and, like me anxious for intelligence from Home.
With love and most affectionate remembrance to all- I am, my dear Mother
Your very affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

[Page 70]

Portsmouth 19th May 1809.

My dear Father,
In consequence of a letter from Mr Thompson I came over this Morning from the Isle of Wight to see Colonel Mc Quarie who is appointed to the Government of New South Wales, and will sail to Morrow for the Colony, with the 73d. Reg. of which he has the command, and as I have postponed writing to you till the last, I intend to devote as much time as I can of the ensuing Evening to that object.
My former letters, my dear Father, must ‘ere this have apprized you of my having obtained a Commission in the 2nd Batt. of the 60th Regiment, for the purpose of going to Spain. In that country I joined the Regiment, and still remain with them, tho’ I have for a long time been expecting a Lieutenancy,

[Page 71]

in some more favourite Regiment. I have not been very urgent in my endeavours to get out of it, because I was aware that the rudiments of my profession might as well be acquired in one Corps, as in another, and indeed I must say that whenever I leave the 60th it will be with regret, for the Officers are all perfect gentlemen, and the Commanding Officer a man that I am sure you would admire were you acquainted with the many good qualities he possesses. He has been from my joining the Regiment uncommonly attentive to me, and I have the pleasure to say that I have never once incurred his displeasure. I know of no instance of his having failed to accomodate me whenever it was in his power. In short

[Page 72]

I believe that I have his good will as well as that of every Officer in the Regiment.
The only unpleasant thing is that the men are all foreigners, and therefore we have no chance of being employed on any other service than that of Garrisonning some of our Islands in the West Indies,- These are the reasons which make me desirous of quitting the Regt. and I hope very shortly to obtain a step in one of the Corps. which are employed in Portugal. My expenses for this first twelvemonth will be much greater than at any future time, both from the circumstance of my noviciate, as well as my inexperience in those things which conduce to a rigid economy.
The expedition to Spain, and my return from thence led me into expenses which in some degree ex

[Page 73]

ceeded the income you have so amply provided for me, and which sets me not only greatly beyond the subalterns of my own Regt. but also the most of other Corps. Indeed, my dear father, if my career continues to hold out, through its whole course so many inducements, and I never meet with greater hardships than I have at its commencement, I shall never regret having embraced the Military profession. But I am not so foolish as to suppose that the path will always be smooth, and tho I enjoy the present, I am not the less prepared to meet and march over the rugged ground which may present itself in future. I do not neglect my studies altogether, tho’ I am certainly not so diligent in that way, as I formerly was.
My pursuits are now more active, and therefore my books are my recreation. One day I plan out a way of life for myself

[Page 74]

myself, but I know not how it is, something always intervenes to prevent my putting it into execution, and the next I discover how soon the economy of an arraingment may be thrown into disorder. Indeed you must perceive how heedless I am become and it is a lucky circumstance that I was not let loose sooner, for I am sure I should have committed all manner of follies; as it is I believe I am not so extravigant in my sallies as the generality of my age are.
Since my arrival from New South Wales, I have not experienced the least ill health; for which I suppose I may thank the good efforts of that climate on my constitution.
With respect to the measures pursuing by Government in regard to the Colony, I know nothing, nor have I the means of becoming acquainted at this distance from Town, with what they think or what they mean

[Page 75]

to do. Every one is astonished at Bligh’s not having arrived, and till within a few weeks, when we had some accounts of the Colony from the Cape, it was confidently assured that he was reinstated in the command. The Captain of the Rose on his arrival at the Cape of Good Hope put Colonel Laveaux’s letters on board a King’s Ship coming home. This vessel brought an account of Govr. Bligh’s having written a letter to the Governor of the Cape stating that one of the two Gentlemen passengers in the Rose was a deserter (Mr Symons/ and the other a Mutineer/ Mr. Ino. Blaxland/ In consequence of which they were both it was reported here, put under an arrest. The truth of this statement I have not been enabled to ascertain, altho I perceive, by to day’s paper that the Rose - Albion, & another Whailer are arrived at Plymouth. The Governor informed me

[Page 76]

to day that the vessels would sail for N. S. Wales to morrow, in that case I shall certainly not receive my letters before their departure, which is a very vexacious circumstance; for Mr. Thompson not knowing where to address to me here, will send them to my quarters at Sandown in the Isle of Wight. As I imagined that you would be in want of some Glass Ware, I wrote to Mr. Thompson to send out a little, and he gave directions for it to be immediately sent down, and apprised Mr. Rouse of the circumstance, that no time might be lost on its arrival here, in shipping it.
By some unaccountable delay, it has not come so that unless the ships are detained by contrary winds, or some other cause, which I fervently hope will for a few days be the case, it will be too late for this opportunity.
I was in

[Page 77]

hopes to have sent you a piece of Cloth manufactured from the Wool I brought home with me, but I am disappointed tho Mr. Swaine informed me many months since that it was in a state of forwardness. The Seal Skins have found a very bad Market- not a single one is yet sold of the Dark’s Cargo, but I understood from Mr. Hullett, that some of the Brothers’s Cargo had been put up to Auction, and went off very badly. Sir Walter’s Family are as usual very kind- Mr. Watson has been attentive to me & when I went to Spain sent after me letters of introduction, among the rest, to Genl. Stewart, Lord Castlereagh’s Brother, but they did not reach me until my return. Mr. Brogden promises largely, but as yet done nothing.

I must now, my dear father, conclude, with love, and every thing that is affectionate, and kind to you, My Mother- my Brothers & Sisters
God bless you, My dear Father
Most affectionately Your’s
Edwd. Mc Arthur.

[Page 78]

Portsmouth. May 19th 1809.

My dear Father,
Major O’Connel of the 73d as well as Colonel Mc Quarie having obligingly offered to convey any thing I might have to send I feel in a manner compelled to address you a second time, tho’ indeed I know, at present of nothing to communicate in addition to what I have already written. Both the Governor & Lieut. Governor are very well acquainted with Mr. Mc Arthur of York Place, and as I know he intended to write I dare say, the Govr. or Major O. Connell have letters

[Page 79]

for you from that quarter. I did understand from Mr. M. that you once met Coln. Mc Quarie at their House.

It now occurs to me that I have omitted to mention a circumstance which concerns John. Dr. Lindsay is of opinion that it is high time he should go to College, and altho I believe Mr. Thompson is of a similar opinion, yet he is unwilling to take any measure of that kind without knowing your sentiments. John is a very fine lad, and improves wonderfully, and if the Doctor has written to you by this opportunity, I am sure he has not failed to bestow upon him, a very high eulogium-
He is frequently at Mr. Thompson’s, to whom and whose worthy family we are both greatly

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indebted. A stranger would imagine that we were of the same family. Mr. Thompson generally writes to me twice or three times in a week, & never sends me a letter that is not franked. And my letters to him, by his own desire are always put under cover to a Number- and thus the good man says “we will save the postage."

My Regiment are quartered at Sandown in the Isle of Wight, where I did for some time reside in a Cottage built many years ago by the celebrated Mr. Wilks; some of whose letters I recollect your once reading out of the Annual Register.
I understand from Coln. Mc Quarie that another vessel will very shortly sail for N. S. Wales. and that a part of the 73d. will remain to proceed

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in her. Mr. Marsden is to return in this ship. My letters will go by her, I trust, my dear father contain something more pleasing to you, than I have now the means of furnishing, and I shall be careful not to defer writing till the last, as I now find the inconvenience of having so done. I hope that these Whalers may have brought some living curiosities, for I am sure they are very acceptable presents. Mr. Watson desired me to mention the Bronz wing Pidgeon, as Lady Pender has taken a great fancy to those Birds.
Once more, Adieu, my dear Father, believe that I am now, as I ever shall be
Your most dutiful and affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc Arthur

John Mc Arthur Esqre

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Novr. 4 1809
Friday Evening.

My dear Father,
Anxious as I am to see you, it seems that I cannot take too many precautions in apprizing you that I am here, & therefore I add one more to the many letters which are now at the Post Office for you.
The Duke of Northumberland is at Clifton- I called upon him to day; but his Gran was so unwell that he could not see me; he wrote a very polite note to me in which he expressed his regret at not having it in his power to receive me and his hopes that I should meet you in good health. I am at the Kummer Tavern.

Your affectionate Son
Edward Mc Arthur.

[Page 83]

[Blank page]

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[Blank page with residue of postal marks and closure tab.]

[Page 85]

John Mc Arthur Esquire
Post Office

Edward’s [indecipherable] in with his Father & Brother.

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Newford, Novr. 15th. 1809.

My dear Father,
I arrived here a few hours since. The Boys are tolerably well. My acquaintance are quite delighted with them, and in particular the Blacker Family. All my search after the £10 Note proved ineffectual. It is a most disagreeable circumstance, and I know not how to account for it. Mr. Edw. Blacker lent me ten pounds to come on with. It being Sunday I could not get cash for a draft. The Pay Master of the District will I have no doubt advance me as much as I may want on a Bill on

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Mr Thompson or yourself.

There is a Captain Harrison here of the 39th lately come home from the 1st Bn. at Malta; who I understand has been making application to General Balfour for my station. It is of little consequence how soon I depart from hence but yet I do not exactly like the idea of being turned out, and as Captain Harrison might have had the politeness to consult me on the subject, I should like to show him that, tho a young Officer, I am not so important but that I can retain a situation to which I am equally as much entitled as himself. I have not yet seen Capt. Harrison

[Page 88]

and have therefore said nothing on the subject. I thought it right to mention the circumstance, as you may be enabled to counteract any measures which may have been taken by the above mentioned officer. I could not ascertain the No. of the Bill I expect however to learn something concerning it, by to morrow’s Post. The Boys are in Bed, a little fatigued from the journey. Your time will I am sure be too much occupied to allow you to devote any part of it to me- John will write any thing you may wish to communicate. I was in a writing vein but I must conclude less I should tire you, or cause you to reflect your more important concerns.

Your affectionate Son
Edward Mc Arthur

[Page 89]

To John Mc. Arthur Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

Postmark Nov 13 1809
My Compliments to Mr. Thompson & Family. I should have said kind remembrances.

[Page 90]

to Mrs Macarthur Nov. 15. 1809?
I remained at Guernsay about six Weeks, when I had the pleasure to leave the Island in consequence of my being permitted to purchase a Lieutenancy in the 39th Regiment. On arriving in England, I found that I was returned on the recruiting Station, and as I was at the same time apprized of my Father being at Rio de Janeiro, on his way to England I was very well pleased with an arrangement, which would leave me undisturbed, and give me an opportunity of seeing him. Which would not have been the case had I been ordered to join my Regiment. One Battallion was at Malta, and the other with Lord Wellington (Sir Arthur Wellesley) in Portugal.

[Page 91]

On my coming first to Hereford, I found it extremely dull, and indeed I should have found it much worse if Mr Thompson had not had the goodness to give me a letter of introduction to Colonel Wood the Inspecting Field Officer. In speaking of this circumstance it brings to my recollection, that Mr. T (who was then at Bath) wrote to me, & desired that I would take that in my way to Hereford. I did so, and passed a few very pleasant days in that place of my nativity. I slept also at the White Hart and surely if there is ever wanting

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a circumstance to bring a Mother to the mind of a Son, he could not have failed to have found one there. I mean to say I have no need of any one thing to remind me of you, my Mother, altho if I did stand in that need- the White Hart would surely no only assist me in that respect, but excite as it has done, the warmest sentiments of fratitude and filial piety. How sharp is it my Mother, when near to you, it did not seem, that you were half so dear to me as now that we are separated by so immeasurable a distance! I wish I could express what I feel- That I cannot, I perceive- since my warmth is hurrying me into absurdities.
I was saying something about Here-

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ford, and my finding it unpleasant at first. Now it is quite the contrary. I am become known to some of the first people in the place. They are civil, and remarkably attentive to me. I must mention in particular the Family of a Mr Blacker, an Irish Gentleman residing in this Town- and a Colonel Armstrong. The former has a very fine, interesting, and accomplished Family. They speak well the French language with much fluency- there is a French lady in the House. They are enraptured with the Boys, and they in turn, I believe, equally pleased with them. There are assemblies here now and then and at one the other Night, I was introduced to, and danced with the only Daughter of a Sir John Cotterel, the Member returned to Parliament by this City. Amidst this gaiety

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you may conceive I neglect those things which are more substantial- I attend believe me, my dear Mother, more to essentials- than non-essentials- or those lessons, which you and my Father, have so often inculcated, would have made but little impression.

We have all a habit of prating about the fleetness of time- but I do (now) more. As the days are now short, I rise every Morning by half past four or five o’ Clock. I have Coals & Wood placed in the Grate of my bedroom over night, ready for kindling; and a tinder Box with all the necessary apparatus- and a few minutes after I wake I have a light, and soon a roaring fire. I study till about half past one Clock, and the remaining part of the day I devote to exercise- to my Friends- and recreation. I have lately read the

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life of Frederick the Great.

Our Friends in Cornwall I am happy to say are well- I heard from my Grand Mother- no long time since, and from Mr. Kingdon of Marham Church as late as the Day before yesterday. I will send you his letter. Old Mrs. I’Anns died very suddenly not many months ago such a circumstance might have been expected from a person of her age, and enormous size.
When Mr. Kingdon says that his Brother Dennis is at Launceston, but without success- he means on the recruiting Service.

I hear from our Friends at Plymouth occasionally. The Family has been greatly divided amongst themselves, but now I believe

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they are again reconciled. We anxiously expect Hannibal. I was surprised to learn that Davidson was at Rio. We know nothing of the Porpoise- and where Bligh is keeping himself no one can tell. I wish much to see Oxley & Capt. Porteus. There are several of the unfortunate Captain Hill’s relations here. They seemed pleased when I mentioned my faintly recollecting him.

I trust the next Ships will bring me a letter from Mary; I shall scarcely have time to write to her now, as this Ship’s sailing is so sudden that I have only had a day’s notice to prepare my letters, and I must send them off this Evening.

The accounts I received of poor Elizabeth are much more flattering than I did expect, make my tenderest, & kindest love to the dear Girl

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3. James, and William desire their loves to Mamma and they hope that “she is well and that Elizabeth “is better" and that Mary “is well," & their little Sister. “Tell them, they say, “we say our prayers for them when we go to bed, and drink their health every day after dinner." They unite with me in kindest remembrances to Miss Lucas, and desire their remembrances to Lewis, & his family and all their old friends. They do not forget [indecipherable] & his Wife, nor any of our domestics.

Now then my dear dear Mother I must conclude, praying that the Almighty Father of the universe may bless and protect us all, and more particularly, because for the sake of all, that he may vouchsafe to bestow upon my Father & yourself, peace of mind, prosperity & happiness.
Adieu, my beloved Mother
Your very affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc Arthur.

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Nov 17th 1809.
Hereford, Wednesday Evening.
My dear Father,
Your affectionate letter is only an other instance of your goodness. Would I could as readily excuse myself, as you have done, but on a virtuous Son such a method ought to have all the effect of the most severe rebuke.

When the other day I asked for one pair of gloves and my request was granted, I presumed to intimate that two would be more acceptable. What I have been necessitated to do now will I fear have a similar appearance. Instead of twenty I have been obliged to draw for thirty pounds. In the last Month’s abstract I stood Dr. to the Pay-

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master £9. On my return to Hereford I received a notification that two recruits whom I had sent to Head Quarters had been finally approved. Eight pounds became due to the Party on that occasion- as I was Dr. with the Paymaster I did not like to require from him an advance of more money. On the 24th I shall have a credit with Colonel Innes, the Paymaster. I enlisted a fine young man of one and twenty to day. But I ought not to distract your attention with affairs of such a nature.

My old lodging I have changed for a far better one because the boys could not be provided with a bed, and because I thought if you came down you would not be much pleased with my residence.
Where we are now everything is pleasant except the expense- What that expense is I shall not now say but at the

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end of the week I shall transmit an account of weekly expenses, and you will be the better judge how we go on. When your more urgent business is in some measure transacted, you would be enabled to pass some pleasant days in this House, if you could resolve on such a measure. James desires his “love be to papa and hopes he is well, and likes Hereford very much. William says in part what James does, but only likes Hereford well enough. They have both been reading French to day- with as much fa[indecipherable] as English. To Morrow they will commence with their writing Mother, and if in the course of a few days I do not hear your disapprobation to the contrary of the measure, I shall take a French Master, as well on their account as my own.

I am quite a family man, and if you were to see us our mirth would please you I am sure not a little. The Blackers are very attentive we spent the day with them yesterday. The Boys send their love to John
Your affectionate Son
Edward Mc Arthur

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[Page folded as envelope addressed to]
John Mc Arthur Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

Kind remembrances to Mr. Thompson and Family
Thompson 1/5
Postmark Hereford Nov 15 1809

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19th 1809
Hereford, Saturday Evening Nov 19th 1809
My dear Father,
A Hint from you has never yet failed to set me right; but upon this occasion, however, I was very sensible of the impropriety of what I had, with respect to my removal from this Station written before even I had the pleasure to be acquainted with your sentiments on the subject. I must correct a habit I have of giving way to sudden impressions, and of acting from the first impulse, when more deliberation is requisite.
Much as I dislike the idea of quitting a station in which I am so agreeably situated yet when I consider the consequences which may result from an inactive, tho’ studious life, I become in some degree desirous for a change into a more active sphere.
To these considerations I might add those of Captain Harrison’s being a married Man, & with a young family. Surely under such circumstances I ought to be far from seeking to do any thing which might counteract the plans of his domestic arrangements; probably the happiness and comfort of his little

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Family. Where I may be ordered is comparatively of little consequence. I called upon Captain Harrison the other day, and he returned the call, but it happened that neither of us were within. I must defer writing any more till bye and bye, for Mr. Blacker has sent to request that I would drink tea with him.
Altho’ it is now past eleven and therefore too late for the Post, yet before I retire to rest, I must finish what I have so badly begun. Mr. Blacker desired me to ask whether you knew a person of the Name of Allcock in N. S. Wales. Not the Man that will most probably immediately recur to your recollection, for he was elderly. But the one Mr. B. wishes some information about is a young Man, lately returned from the Colony to Ireland, where he is likely in a short time, to succeed to a valuable property.
The Boys were both with me this Evening. The French Lady in Mr. Blackers Family is infinitely delighted with them, because they can converse with so much facility with her in her Native

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Tongue. The whole Family admire them both. The one for the gravity of his deportment, the other for the brilliancy of his manners. While they laugh at William’s vivacity, they are struck with the steady correct demeanor of James. When William relates any story James is all attention, and if he errs he strives by giving him a nudge to set his brother right without its being perceived.
They have both command with the writing Matter James writes a very fair hand- and William [does?] his first copy so clearly, and observed at the same time so much straightning & just proportion in the strokes, that the writing Master immediately, put him, (as they term it) into letters. I am very particular with William at Table, and I hope to present them to you both greatly improved. They have school for six hours every day, & I then exercise the powers of their minds. They are both now sound asleep & both well, excepting a little cough which William has. I met with some very large nuts the other

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day, which I have sent to Mr. Thompson by this Evenings Coach. If such cannot be procured in Town they will of course be acceptable. If they can- I trust they will be received as a proof that my Castle Street friends are at least some times in my thoughts.

[Page used as envelope showing address and postmark Hereford Nov 19 1809]
John Mc Arthur Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

That you may enjoy health and happiness with every other blessing which ought to befall so good a father.
I am Your dutiful & affectionate Son
Edward Mc Arthur.

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Nov 20th.
Sunday Morning

My dear Father,
The Linen which came home last Night will be sent to Morrow by Giles’s Wagon and will arrive in Town not till some days after that which went yesterday. Should you find a five pound Note more about you that can be accounted for, it happens in the following manner. The Waiter of the White Lion was here to day to say, that he does not recollect whether he took up a £5 Note from the Table for which he gave change. He says he has lost five pounds
A gentleman has been making enquiries for you

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this several days past at the Bath. He did not leave his Name. I gave in your address at the Bar in case he should again call. A violent rash broke out upon James last Night. Since he rose it has in a great measure disappeared. It did not inconvenience him at all. If it appears again I will on my arrival at Hereford consult the Surgeon of the District. We depart for Hereford in a few minutes by way of Gloucester. The Boys are very happy- and desire their love

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My dear Father
Your affecte. Son
Edwd Mc. Arthur.

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Lieut. French
Frank’n Hotel
Brooks Street

To John Mc Arthur Esqre.
By Favour of Lieut. French.

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Hereford, Wednesday Evening, Novr. 29
My dear Father,
That time which I did intend to have dedicated to you to day was broken in upon my business which I could not have calculated upon, but as I find I have half an hour to spare before the post goes out I shall make the best use of it in my power, particularly as my silence on an occasion like this might carry with it the appearance of my not receiving your paternal, and friendly admonitions with that humility and cheerfulness which is at all times becoming a Son.
With respect to my letter to John I must certainly in some degree plead guilty, tho’ at the same time, I should not be doing justice to myself if I did not declare that I wrote to my Brother as I should have spoken- and if I had spoken I know my words would not have car/ried

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-ried that asperity with them which it seems they did when written. My manner would have greatly softened the waspishness of their literal meaning. This encumbrance will teach me how necessary it is to be cautious in the choice of words in letters; where so much depends upon the mode & [indecipherable] with which the reader may deliver them. How much depends upon it. What a turn will the manner of reading give to a sentence? Consider these things, my dear father and I am sure you will no longer think that I wrote to John with any view of producing upon your mind, or his, the effects which I fear my hasty and inconsiderate letter did.
What you have said, in the first part of your letter I read with pleasure, but I should not be acting with sincerity if I did not tell you that there is a part which rankles in the bosom. What occasion was there to inform me that your [Go to page 112]
[Horizontal lines:]
I fear you will find more difficulty than you seem at present to calculate on, in removing me from the recruiting service. I dined to day at a Major [indecipherable] where I met Captain Harrison, and from him I learned that if I was permitted to join another Officer must leave the Battalion to take my place. A certain number of Officers are directed to be sent from each Regiment on the recruiting service. We must trye however, what can be done- The Boys are well and I am sure you would be particularly delighted if you knew how diligent and good our William is- He makes the most astonishing progress under the writing Master, and he a man who has been teaching for more than thirty years pronounces without his tuiton he will write a very excellent hand.
James has learned His Multiplication table

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admonition did not proceed from moroseness of temper, or that you were near blind to the faults of the one, and Eagle eyed on discovering those of the other? This makes the big tear swell into my eye. If you knew my Father, what my sentiments were on that head if you knew how often when reflecting within myself my heart has overflowed with filial piety & gratitude, you would not longer even hint things, which however delicately they may be expressed still touch the quick, in as much as they convey an idea of my doubting the motions which activate you, in your advice to me.
I heard from Mr. Brogden a few days since he wrote from Kidderwelly, and desired me to write, (as I did) to him at Swansea. His letter tho hasty was conceived in most flattering & friendly terms. From what he said I think it not improbable that he may pay me a visit here. I cannot write to him till I hear where he is because he is moving about from place to place.
[Horizontal lines read:]
his multiplication tables, and in my next, I shall send a specimen of his improvement in writing. I have got a book and pencil for him and all the leisure time he has he spends in drawing. I rise myself at an early hour, I must try also to withdraw myself. Compliments to all friends and with love to John I am, my dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. McArthur
I have only returned from a dinner party within the hour, and thus must plead an apology for I fear a worse scrawl than any that as yet come into your Hands.

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I confess I was not much surprised at Colonel D----‘s coolness, but I was at Colonel Mc D. not having called, because on my arrival in England he was remarkably civil, & at all times very ready to serve me.

John Mc. Arthur Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

Thompson 9/9. Postmark Dec 2 Hereford

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Decr. 6th 1809
Hereford Wednesday Decr. 5th 1809
My dear Sir,
John has just informed me of the application you have been making in my behalf to Genl. Balfour, and I am so pleased by this new evidence of the interest you take in my welfare that I shall endeavour to write what Mary Anne calls a putry letter.
But I have been so long in the habit of giving my friends letters of so contrary a Nature that I find I have undertaken a task to which I am not equal, and I must therefore by Grand papa, that you will take the will for the deed. Or have the goodness to wait till the result of your ap-

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plication shall have given me what I am very anxious to possess, namely an opportunity of thanking you in person, and of showing by my countenance that my words want not sincerity.
I am now quite a family man, and the care of my two dear little Brothers affords me very convincing proofs, of what a pretty thing a subaltern Officer would make with a family.
Shoe maker’s, Taylor’s Bills &c &c. I observe that I call the boys little, but in truth I ought not to do so, for James measures as much round the middle as myself. I took them to the play the other Night, where they were greatly entertained with the extraordinary appearance of Stephen Tremble, who has been down here for some time.

I am very comfortable here, and was it not for that restless roaming dis

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position of mine, I should be content to remain where I am. I was a hunting the other day with Mr. Blacker, & learned from him a laughable adventure from which a Barber in this Tour has acquired the general appellation of Lord Oxford. A Gentleman here of some humour dressed the Barber out in a scarlet Coat, mounted him on a good Horse and sent him forth with the Hounds under assumed name of Lord Oxford. So remarkable a personage did not fail to excite every body’s attention but the scarlet coat in particular drew forth the enquiries of a pompous Clergyman here very fond of boasting how well he was acquainted with every Nobleman in the land. When informed that the Gentleman in Scarlet was Lord Oxford, “bless me, he replied, how could I have been so stupid." I know his Lordship perfectly well- and riding up to the Barber, pulled off his hat, congratulated

by whom he has never since been heard to boast of his Circle of illustrious acquaintances. The Mortification of the Clergyman may be better conceived than described, when he found that a scarlet coat had so effectively disguised the village Barber.
My kindest remembrances to Mrs Thompson, Mary Anne & William, in what James & William beg to join. And with Compliments to all the branches of the Family, I beg to

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his supposed Lordship on his being in the field and expressed his satisfaction at perceiving that he enjoyed such good Health, and spirits.
The Barber sufficiently well instructed bowed with the grace of a Courtier & replied to the loquacious Clergyman, with that dignity & reserve which so well became the character he personated. The joke was kept up; nor was it till some time after that the Clergyman discovered how ridiculous he had made himself in the eyes of all his acquaintances

To Thomas Thompson Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

Postmarked Hereford Dec 7 1809

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Winchester Sunday Morning

My dear Father,
I find a detachment of our Regt. here consisting of about a hundred men with ten Officers, five of whom are to proceed with me to Malta. Nothing is known about our embarkation, but they conjecture we shall remain here at least two Months. Two of the Officers here are married men, and with the exception of them, the whole sleep together at 2/6 a day for each individual. Captain Grant is on leave of absence for a few days; there is no Officer of superior rank to him in this Town. His reports are made to the Earl of Cavan, commanding at South-

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-ampton; distance from hence about ten Miles. I think I danced with a Niece of his Lordship’s when I was at Lymington, thirteen months ago. I was introduced to the Lady by a Gentleman of whom Mr. Thompson then entertained a better opinion, than I am sure he does now.

The Bankers here are Mrssrs Nap & Co. Their bankers in London are at No. 56 Lombard Street. And the other firm is Wickham, Mort, Bailey and Jesset. Their Agents in Town I do not at present know.
A young Irish Officer observed to me just now

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now that he & his Brother Officers seldom saw any thing but the outside of the Houses of the good people in the Town.
I have a Room at the Barracks, but I cannot borrow a bed and its etceteras till to Morrow. I must buy myself a pair of sheets here and therefore I must be provided with one pair less in Town. My Trunks, Bedstead I should be happy to have as soon as possible. 39th Regt. Winchester is a sufficient address, so that I am acquainted with the Wagon by which the things come.
I should not find the Canteen prohibiting even here, if it be admitted that a breakfast is not so. You shall hear regularly from me, my dear Father, and

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I assure you there is no circumstance which concerns me, however minute, that I shall not communicate, and no thoughts that I shall hesitate to disclose or confide to you.
My love to John & the Boys, and remembrances to all friends, with which I subscribe myself.
Your dutiful affect.e Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur

To John Mc. Arthur Esqre
No. 40 Leicester Square

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Winchester, Tuesday Evening Jany. 12th 1810

My dear Father,
I should have written to you before, but my baggage only arrived this Morning.
I am very well pleased with every thing but particularly with the watch and seal, which far exceeds any thing I could have desired, or could have expected. Accept, my dear Father, my most grateful thanks for this testimony, of your affection, which I shall strive to continue to deserve.

The cases and every other thing have safely arrived with no other damage than that of two of the saucers being broke in the Canteen. My bed could not have come more seasonably for to Morrow would have commenced another week with the person of whom I had hired the bed in which I have hitherto slept.
I was particularly happy in per-ceiving

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ceiving you by your letter that you had at length been enabled to venture out. I hope you can still do so. Every Morning, by my directions, my Servant has enquired for letters at the Post Office, for I was in hopes that I should have received the long letter which on your return Home you could not find. Your labours are seldom directed to any point without the prospect of producing a good effect.

Two Officers have lately joined with whom I am greatly pleased, and from the little observation I have been enabled to make on their manners added to what is said by those who are better acquainted with them, I am induced to think I shall find them pleasing, if not instructive companions.
The one has been educated at Marlow and Woolwich and seems willing to assist me in the course of studies I am pursuing; and the [other] is an Irishman, but possessed of such remarkable swavity and goodness of disposition as to endear him to everyone.

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I take long walks before breakfast, as you desired- and now that I have a tinder box I shall rise early enough to prepare food for my mind while I am acquiring an appetite for the food for the body. My walks however have given me peak opportunities of exercising my mind, for around this Town are the remains of several encampments from one of which in particular Cromwell is said to have nearly destroyed the City. An old ruinous building here is called Woolsey Castle, from the famous Cardinal of that Name I suppose. The Soldiers Barracks here were built for Charles the 1st on the recommendation of the situation by one of his Physicians. All that now remains of the grandeur of a Royal Palace is in its exterior appearance.

My Watch indicates to me that I must hasten to wish you a good Night. Therefore

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I only say, I see, Watch and seal. I should have added Chain also.
God preserve you
My dear Father, Prays
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
40 Leicester Square

Winchester 68 10 Jan 1810

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Winchester January 16th 1810

My dear Father,
Concluding from my own anxiety that you are desirous of hearing from me, I am happy to employ a few minutes in a manner which may afford you some pleasure.

The Secretary at War has been pleased to allow me as a compensation for my expenses on the recruiting Service £5 17s. 9d. which with the four Guineas I had before received makes the regulated allowance of 9d. a Mile. From Pool to Hereford, and from thence to Winchester is about 241 Miles.

I learned the other day that Mr. Bayly’s Father and Sisters are residing here. I cannot have made a mistake for it is Colonel Bayly of the West Middlesex Militias. If you & Mr. Bayly had been on as good terms as you formally were I should have called upon the Colonel.
My cold

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fingers remind me of the sudden change in the Weather, it effects I hope will be of no ill consequences to you, or the Boys.
The two Officers who last joined, I am rather confirmed in my good opinion of than otherwise. The rest are very foolish young men.

It is not improbable that we shall be removed from these quarters. Of our being compelled to leave the Barracks we are certain- the only doubt is whether we shall be billeted here, or in some other Town. No allowances for Lodging money are made to the Officers whatever.

On Thursday next I am going with some of our Officers to dine with a Gentleman at Southampton, and afterwards we are to go to a Ball in Honor of Her Majesty.

I am going on with the Map drawing I perceive that it will give me some knowledge

[Page 128]

of land surveying. These last few Mornings have been so abominably cold that I have not been able to summon up resolution enough to show my nose from under my close bed curtains until ten o’Cl seven o’Clock.
We have reestablished a Mess by my [indecipherable] tions at a respectable House, five o’Clock is [our] dining hour; they wait for none so with remembrances to all,
I am my dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur

John Mc Arthur Esqre.

[Page 129]

Long division calculation Winchester 68 17 Jan 1810 stamp.

John Mc. Arthur Esqre
40 Leicester Square

[Page 130]

Winchester, Jany. 21st 1810.

My dear dear Father,
Your silence made me apprehensive that you had again suffered from a return of your illness; how happy I am to learn that you are better I need not attempt to express. I wish some one would tell me how you really are, for after all I cannot but suspect that you are much worse than you are willing I should know.
I called upon Mr. Richardson with the letter of introduction you were so good as to procure for me; he received me with very great civility, and has asked me to dine with him, but that I declined doing. He then

[Page 131]

said that he should expect to see me some other day when I was disengaged. Mr. R. told me that altho he had not the pleasure of personally knowing you, that he was however perfectly acquainted with all about you, and that he regretted exceedingly not having met you at Hinton, where he had been led to expect you would go previously to your departure for N. S. Wales.
The Inhabitants appear now to be desirous of making our acquaintance; for those amongst us who are dancers have been asked by a Lady to a Ball to Morrow Night.

I was at Southampton on Thursday last, by the invitation, as I think I have already told you, of a Young gentleman residing there from the West Indies. We were most hospitably received and most sumptuously entertained

[Page 132]

But ought I, my Father, to be sharing in so many gay amusements, and pleasures when so few fall to your lot? ought I not rather to become a partaker in that care and anxiety which, on our account I know you experience? The causes perhaps of those maladies to which of late have been the prey.
When after these melancholy considerations can I engage in the giddy and delusive maze of pleasure? To Morrow! Which circumstance demonstrates that either I am possessed of more apathy than is right, or that the desire of seeking pleasure operates too strongly on youthful imaginations.
A Sergeant with our detachment here has received a letter from another with the Batallion in Portugal informing him that five Captains and seventeen subalterns are on the sick list, this in-

[Page 133]

duces Capt. Grant to think that some of us will be ordered out to reinforce the Regt.
Captain Harrison says he only gave me a single letter for Malta, so that my mislaying one was a mistake of my own.
Adieu, My dear Father, God preserve you, Pray
Your affectionate Son Edwd. Mc. Arthur.

John Mc. Arthur Esqre
No. 40 Leicester Square

Stamped Winchester 68 postmark mostly illegible but says Jan 1810

[Page 134]

[Vertical lines:]
Winchester Sunday Feby 18th 1810
My dear Father
We yesterday received a Route for the detachment to proceed on Monday morning to Southampton, and from thence to the Army Depot in the Isle of Wight but as it did not specify whether only part, or the whole of the detachment were to be removed, an orderly has been despatched to Lord Cavan for his instructions. We suppose that those men who are intended for Malta only are to March, and this conjecture is confirmed by a letter Capt. Grant has received from London. We shall know most probably before the Post goes out what the intentions of Lord Cavan are.

[Horizontal lines:]
Regimental Coat from Monkhouse so that now, my Father I am most completely fitted out, and in such a manner as very few and perhaps as no Officers in our Regiment are- When I have procured for myself a Round Hat, which I can do at Newport, I shall not stand in need of one single article- I have written a letter to Mary and one to our dear Elizabeth, which I will forward to you when I send my Mother’s letter. You will I trust, my dear Father, acquaint me with the exact state of your Health, for I shall be miserable if I quit the Kingdom in any uncertainty, or that head- I received a letter from John yesterday, and you will be very pleased to hear that by his assiduousness/ for I should conclude it can be from no other circumstance/ he has acquired the Notice of the Greek Professor the most eminent man in the University who has asked him to a Party at his House

[Page 135]

[Vertical lines:]
Captain Grant has this moment received a letter from Major Forster the assistant Adjt. General at Southampton, which put it beyond any further doubt that all who are under orders for Malta are the detachment alluded to in the Route. And we march accordingly to Morrow.
We remain in Southampton to Morrow Evening, and on Tuesday go over to the Isle of Wight where I trust/ and from the conversation I had with General Balfour in Town almost devised/ that we shall not be detained. I should calculate however to be in the Island three or four days previous to our embarking. All letters addressed to me at the Post Office Newport will, I shall receive. In consequence of the march, I shall want a supply of money, tho’ not absolutely distressed for it. Ten Guineas will I hope be as much as I shall want

[Horizontal lines:]
John says he is the only able Man they have for other professors are quite old Women.
Major Forster wrote to Captain Grant a few days since, and begged him to write to invite any two Officers of the Detachment he chose to go with the Major to a Ball at Southampton. Mr Courtenay & myself went. The Major took us to Admiral B[indecipherable] where we spent a very pleasant Evening. Major Foster has also asked us to spend the Evening with him on Monday when we march into Southampton and if we choose to come from the Isle of Wight a Mrs Morgan has also requested our Company on Thursday. She is a Woman of the first Circle.
I have written to John and shall enclose his letter under cover to Mr. Brogden. Pray say every thing that is kind for me to the Family in Castle Street and its various branches.

[Page 136]

before I leave England, because on embarking I shall receive three Months Pay in advance which will defray as far as I can now see every necessary expense on the voyage. I should wish you to send the Money by return of Post so that on my arrival at Newport on Tuesday I may receive it, for by that time I shall be reduced to two Guineas. If [indecipherable] that in addition to the three Months pay in advance but we [indecipherable] to £ 12 10s for embarkation money, for that sum I received when I went to Spain from the Agents. I should be obliged if Mr Thompson would ascertain if we shall have that allowance. I must also thank you my dear Father to send me a letter of Credit on the Pay Master of the 1st Batt in Malta- I have received the Books- and also a Regi- [go to page 134]

[Horizontal lines:]
I shall hope to hear from you on Tuesday. Would it be advisable [indecipherable] my baggage to Malta? All the Officers who are going to Malta with the exception of my friend Mr. Courtenay are in a pretty predicament. They have not a farthing of Money in their Pockets and they are/ involved with the exception of one only/ beyond what they have the means of discharging. They expect to be assisted and happy would that ever be for them, since they will have no money to provide themselves with food till the 24th and to fast till then I believe is what they cannot do.

When I arrive in the Isle of Wight I shall endeavour to ascertain the time all are likely to remain there with every other particular which you may be desirous to know till then Adieu My dear Father, Believe me to remain
Your affectionate Son
Edward McArthur

[Page 137]

Winchester 68

John Mc Arthur Esqre
No. 40 Leicester Square
19 Fe 1810 stamp.

[Page 138]

Winchester, Feby 18th 1810

My dearest Elizabeth,
It will be unnecessary I know to express how infinitely rejoiced I was to hear that you were recovering, while your own feeling heart retains the power of representing how exquisite my sensations must have been in receiving the pleasing intelligence. It will be equally unnecessary to say why I did not write to you before – indeed my dear Girl if I did I must recall to my recollection the melancholy situation in which you were when I departed for it is too intimately connected with the cause of my silence. The last letters from our dear Mother speak of you in such encouraging terms that I should do great violence to my own feelings if I allowed the present opportunity to pass by

[Page 139]

without my writing a few lines to you.
A former letter of mine to my Mother will acquaint you with the joyful meeting I had with my Father, and the two dear boys. Since that time I have been much more with them than I could possibly have hoped, or expected. About a week ago I left London, where I was for ten days with our dear Father, the boys were then at Doctor Lindsay’s. I went out to see them and found the darling fellows much happier under so great a change of scene, than I could calculate on, or can even now persuade myself they were. But it is not in their little hearts to dissemble, & I know they would tell me exactly as they felt themselves.
John has been at Glasgow now several weeks, I received a letter from him this morning, in which he expresses himself much

[Page 140]

more pleased with the Town of Glasgow than he was when he first went there, but his sentiments remain the same with respect to the University, where it seems they do not urge him to so great exertions as he is prompted to make by his own inclinations.

Our friends on Castle Street are the same good people they ever were. Equally kind and attentive. Mr. & Mrs. Thompson have had very severe fits of illness but I am happy to say they are quite recovered. Mary Anne is I think as good as when you left her. What the good old people would do without her I do not know. Mr. and Mrs. Plummer are also very well- their three little Girls are grown quite interesting. The Lees are in as good health as you could wish- Your friend Mrs. T. Thompson was very ill last Winter, but she is now fully recovered, and looked quite beautiful the last time I saw her. I know not when

[Page 141]

the match is to take place between Edward and Mary Anne- he is very much improved and is I think in all respects a very good young man, and such as you would wish to be the Partner of your Mary Anne.
William and his Wife are very happy- he is become quite the domestic man. They have one little Girl, who partakes of the qualities seemingly of papa.
A few days will carry me again, my dear Girl, into a warm climate.
On Monday (this is Saturday) I proceed from hence to the Isle of Wight, & from thence to Malta. I have not yet written to my dear Mother, or to Mary, I must therefore, my dear Elizabeth, say no more to you at present than that I am, what you already know,
My dearest Elizabeth
Your ever affectionate Bro
Edward Mc. Arthur

[Page 142]

Newport, Isle of Wight
Feby. 20th 1810.

My dear dear Mother
Vessels I am informed are shortly to sail for New South Wales, I am therefore anxious not to allow such an opportunity of addressing you to escape particularly, as I am myself about to quit the Kingdom. I came over to this Depot only to day, and to Morrow the Detachment of which I have command is to embark on board a Transport now ready to receive them. We are under orders for Malta, where the

[Page 143]

1st Batn. of our Regt., the 39th is now quartered. I have now from the bustle occasioned in making preparations for the embarkation little time to assure you of any thing, my dear Mother, but that I am perfectly happy. A circumstance which I feel convinced will not add a little to the pleasure of your reflections about me. The Station I am going to is considered by the whole Army as one of the most desirable in His Majesty’s Dominions. From the success and good will which I have as yet invariable met in this my Military Career I have every reason to think that the same means and the same mode of

[Page 144]

of conduct will insure to me similar receptions with the new companions with whom I am shortly to associate.
I have now been under the command of three different Officers, the Colonel of my last Mess, Colonel Wood, the Inspecting Field Officer of the Hereford recruiting District; and an Officer of the 39th commanding the Regimental Depot at Winchester. The good Will of all these Officers I have had; and in acquiring it as well as in preserving it I never suffered in the opinion or lost the Esteem of those who were my associates and Brother Officers.
My success in the Army has

[Page 145]

certainly not been, hitherto, small since I have now attained to the rank of Lieutenant, and have at this moment four Officers and fifty three men under my own immediate command.
Such then, my dearest Mother being the case, banish I beseech you every anxiety from your breast, on account of my Welfare, for I repeat to you again that I am happy, and have every prospect of happiness before me.
God bless you
My dear dear Mother
Ever prays
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur.

[Page 146]

Portsmouth – 24th Feby. 1810.

My dear Mother,
No convoy is yet appointed and how long we may be detained here is very uncertain. Many Troops are going with us to the Mediterranean, but none proceed further than Gibraltar, for the transports as soon as the Troops have debarked will be wanted at Cadiz. We shall have to wait some time, probably, at the old rock, as they call it, before an opportunity will occur to send us on to Malta. There George Palmer was quartered and from thence he took his Wife- I think he was a faithful swain to cross so immense an ocean for the purpose only of espousing his beloved. Few such will be found I dare venture to affirm in these degenerate times-
On board

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the Transport in which we are embarked Nine Officers- Four only of my own Regiment- the rest belong to different Corps in the Mediterranean. The Senior Officer is a Lieut Paravicine, a pleasant good kind of a Man, under whose command I feel assured I shall be as happy as it is in his power to make me. In case of his death or absence the supreme command devolves upon your own dear Son, and that I shall exercise, as I have had occasion already to do with all imaginable gravity. We are

[Page 148]

forming a Mess, and I think we shall be enabled to live as comfortably as any nine people well can under the inconveniences ever attending a sea faring life. As far as regards society I will not complain because I have one pleasant companion, whose name you will find in the Army list below mine, if you look for Courtenay. When I am tired of chit chatting with him, I will have recourse to my Books, of which I have a very pretty little assortment. One amongst the number of things for which I am indebted to my Father’s goodness. By it I am fitted out in the completest style

[Page 149]

so that I may venture to assure you without danger of contradiction that no Officers of my rank, and not many of higher, are so comfortably circumstanced either in point of income or otherwise.
Let me my dear Mother be careful not to act in a manner which may in any way be considered as disrespectful of such kindness. If I do my duty as a Soldier, as a Man and as a Son, I know that all will be considered well bestowed [indecipherable] by you and my dear Father, upon
My dear dear Mother
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

[Page 150]

Portsmouth, 24th Feby. 1810.
My dear Mother,
I have addressed you from this Town, I think several times before, and from its situation the probable chances are that I shall have occasion often to do so. Here it is, that almost every description of persons rendezvous previous to their going abroad. The change of faces is beyond what can be easily imagined,
by those unacquainted with this disagreeable Town. I see many with whom I am myself acquainted, but the only person of your acquaintance whom I have yet met, is Captain Tetley who has been promoted to his present rank some months since. He

[Page 151]

had the command of a vessel called the Derwent, but in coming into Spithead some weeks since, the vessel was run on shore by the unskilfulness of the Pilot, and so much damaged that the Admiralty gave directions for her to be discharged. In consequence of this my old Ship Mate was for some time without a command, but he is now come to Portsmouth under a promise that he shall either have the Derwent a second time, or some other vessel of a similar description.

Captain Grant, who had the command of the Lady Nelson in New South Wales was yesterday brought to a Court Martial, under a variety of charges; they were almost all I understand substantiated, the result was that the Court found him Guilty & he

[Page 152]

[Some pencilled alterations have been made in this letter]

was dismissed the Service.
I know nothing so much talked about amongst the young Military Men than a late order of the Commander in chiefs which enjoins a small change in our uniforms- Subalterns are to have in future instead of Gold bullions to their epaulets, a fringe. This is a dear blow to some of my acquaintances, they would rather submit to the loss of a few fingers, than allow one single attom of the pretty looking gold bullion to be infringed on- I am sure that if Sir David Dundas were here, they would in total disregard to military discipline, toss his Excellency in a Blanket. The outcry against Sir David, is so

[Page 153]

universal and loud that no other subject his now discussed in the Coffee Houses, but that of the loss of the Bullions.
You will think My dear Mother, I am sure, that we subalterns are very feather headed, and that we also partake not a little of the property of the Goose to be affected by such trifles. This I assure you of, however, my dear Mother/ lest you should be apprehensive of any ill consequences arising to me from this said order/ that I shall not proceed to any violent measures nor lay any violent hands upon my own person, but tho I can say thus much for myself I will not be answerable for the conduct of all.
God bless you my dear dear Mother
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. McArthur.

[Page 154]

Feby 20th 1810
Amphitrite Transport
Spithead, Feby. 28th 1810.

My dear Mother,
Here do I sit now to write to you surrounded by seven or eight merry and noisy young men, who little think how happy I should be if they would allow me a few minutes to reflect on those who are dear to me. A convoy is appointed and we now only wait for a fair wind. Eight or ten days will take us to Gibraltar from which place I shall give you an account of the passage there, and such other things as I think will be most interesting. The vessel in which we now are is to

[Page 155]

take us no further than Gibraltar; we shall probably therefore remain on that Garrison some Weeks before any means will present themselves of our leaving it for Malta.
I hear from London every Morning the accounts of my Father’s Health are the most flattering and satisfactory.
I made enquiry yesterday at Portsmouth for Mr. Dawes, I learned that he was at Senegal, where it is said he is doing remarkably well. Colonel Tench is at Woolwhich I saw him some weeks since at my Father’s in Leicester Square, looking remarkably healthy and full of spirits.
Colonel Johnston seems to wish nothing so ardently as to leave England. Poor man he is quite lossed, and appears not to know

[Page 156]

in what way to pass his time.

Your society in the colony must have experienced by this time a very great increase. If it continued to receive such additions for a few years regularly how enviable a place it would become. Viewing it in the state in which I left it I feel no other desire to return than that which I must always feel while you, my dearest Mother, remain there.
But whether the uncertain course of events will doom us to meet again there, or in some other place it is impossible to foresee-
Wherever that happy event does take place you will always find me what I now subscribe myself,
My dearest Mother
Your dutiful & affectionate Son
Edward McArthur.

[Page 157]

Mrs. Mc. Arthur
28th Feby.

[Page 158]

Wednesday 28th. Feby. 1810

My dear Father,
You are wondering I am sure what can be the excuse of your not hearing from me.
I have been on board these two days making arrangements with the detachment; and more trouble I have had with it than you can possibly conceive.
Every Morning I have accounts that some Man or other has been robbed of his property, and these are such a disorganised set on board that the most narrow inspection has not succeeded in discovering the thief.
The most of the men I have are raw recruits, and tho they appeared smart young fellows when on shore, they are now listless and seemingly in perfect indifference aboard

[Page 159]

either what may befall either themselves or that of which they are possessed.
That I may land my detachment in as complete order as possible I intend securing in casks whatever the men do not stand in absolute need of; by which means I shall at least be enabled to land them in a uniform drop, altho they may not be complete in every article of their necessaries- To describe to you, my dear Father the confusion with which I am this moment surrounded would exceed the powers of such language as I can as yet command.
A convoy is appointed to Gibraltar, and La Von and I hope that I shall on the voyage or rather passage have a view of that city if I can possibly do it with any degree of safety I will certainly not fail to visit [indecipherable]

[Page 160]

I received only the Army List for Genl. Oaks, which luckily was put into a Boat for the Isle of Wight, in which one of the Officers on board was going over. Mr. William’s letter I have not yet received, but Mr. Rouse has written for it, at my desire. It was of very great satisfaction to me to learn from through such a variety of channels but particularly through Mr. Thompson that you were reestablished so much in your Health. I trust that in a few Weeks I shall hear you do not even appear to have at all suffered. I shall endeavour by every means of which I am possessed to diminish the expenses of our Mess; for I should not be a son of yours if I did not feel for the distresses of others. As I intend going on shore this Evening, if I can to obtain a boat, I may not be compelled to send this scrawl

[Page 161]

I preserve it however but I should not be on shore in time to write another letter
My affectionate Remembrances to Mr. & Mrs. Thompson and Family.

Feby. 28th 1810
John Mr. Arthur Esqre
40 Leicester Square

I answered Mr. Thompson’s letter from at T.
My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur.

[Page 162]

Portsmouth, March 1st 1810.
My dear Father
I wrote you a letter yesterday on board the Transport, which I was in hopes to have been enabled to send on shore in time for the post- I am obliged to return immediately, to the vessel to make out a return of the various detachments on board for Colonel Bains, who till the arrival of Genl. Graham will command all the Troops for Cadiz and the Mediterranean. Fearing that I may not be back in time for the Post, I enclose my yesterday’s letter. The Ship for N. S. Wales is expected round by the first change of Wind. I will send the letters to Morrow Night. The brig Amphitrite is 339 Tons - her

[Page 163]

Owner resides in Elm Row, Love Lane London. The Master’s Name is John Phillips.
God bless you My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd Mc Arthur

I hope to be on shore in time to write a longer letter. You shall hear from me to Morrow at all events.

[Page 164]

[Blank page]

[Page 165]

Envelope to:
John Mc Arthur Esqre
40 Leicester Sqr.

[Page 166]

Winton Lodge
Friday Morning
My dear Father,
I take advantage of the foul wind to pay my respects to the worthy family here but that I may run no risk I intend returning this Evening to Portsmouth. Mr. and Mrs. Mc Arthur were extremely glad to see me. They have made many enquiries after your Health, and were much gratified at the favourable accounts which I gave them concerning it.
You cannot imagine how very pleasing the order and regularity of this House is to my life which for some days past has had few other objects, than the confusion of the Transport. The library I now write in, is as such, perhaps the most complete room

[Horizontal view:]
let me return to passing affairs.
I wrote you a hasty letter last Night and sent by the Mail a packet of letters for New South Wales, which I hope you will safely receive in the course of this day. Mr. Rouse expects the Ship with convicts will sail with the East India Fleet now at the Mother Bank. I will beg him to acquaint either you or Mr. Thompson when he comes from the Downs. I saw a Missionary the other day, of the name of Bicknell, with an Otahiitian, who goes out in this Vessel. He will call at your House, and it will be pleasing to my dear Mother to hear of me from a person who has seen me. There seems no prospect at present of an Easterly wind; I think there will be time for me to receive from London some things which Monkhouse can furnish and which I cannot procure at Portsmouth. I mean a couple of sets of new facings, Cuffs, Collars, and skirt ornaments for my Regimentals. If I have the cloth of all the former it will do, but the skirt orna-

[Page 167]

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ments are embroidered on the cloth.
I should have written to Mr. Thompson to thank him for his very kind letters, but I have been mostly on board, and the noise in our Cabin created by nine or ten young men is so great that it is very difficult to write at all. I know they always hear from me through you which indeed in some degree super seeded the necessity, of my addressing myself to Mr. T. however that they may not conceive me in Castle Street, to be unmindful of them, I by my dear Father, that you will assure them that I often think of them, and of their kindness to me.
The night before I marched from Winchester I wrote to John, which was my second or third letter from thence, and before we sail, I will write to him again that he may not be ignorant of my proceedings, in which I am sure he feels an interest
I wrote to Mr. Brogden from the Isle of Wight, and did exactly as I afterwards learned by your letter, it was your wish I

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in the Kingdom. Above the shelves of Books are the original paintings from which the engraved plates in the life of Nelson have been taken. They are by Wett and the first Masters of the age. The farmers whom Mr. Mc sometimes admits into this room, are unable to find their way out of it, for when the Door closes, it is impossible to discover the way by which they come in, and there are so many curious things in every direction that they begin to conceive themselves in a place of enchantment.
When I raise my eyes from the papers the many glorious actions of Nelson present themselves to me in such force that I feel myself in some degree animated by the immortal Genius, which seems to have directed the Heroe’s progress through life.
Good Heavens, Father, if I Can by exertion raise myself to but in a

[Page 168]

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a small degree to His exalted station, how happy would you become in having such a Son- How blessed would that son be rendered by having made a father happy!
But what have I not to do? The labour seems immense, but you have told me what I know to be true, namely that the largest monuments of human labour have been
raised step by step
May God keep me in a determination to follow your advise, for I greatly fear I shall widely deviate from the Path you have pointed out to me. Why should I? Because I see that it is the practice of others- and can I flatter myself that it will be my constant habit to follow a road, in which, I shall during the greater part of my advancement, find myself a solitary Traveller? but shall I not often by the pressure of the crowd be
carried along with the throng? I am almost lost,

[Horizontal page -Follows page 167 horizontal:]
should. Mr Miller’s letter I can hear nothing of, but perhaps in the Morning I shall learn something concerning it from Mr. Rouse. Mr. Mc. Arthur is going to give me an introduction to Genl. Campbell’s Adjutant General to the forces in the Mediterranian. I yesterday received a letter from my Uncle- he wishes I may put into Plymouth. The Family are all well.
Since my departure from Winchester I have received several letters from Captain Grant expressive of great regard, I would have sent them for my Mother’s perusal, had it not been necessary for me to preserve them as they are partly on Service, and contain besides such strictures on the conduct of some under my Command, that I am unwilling to allow any comparisons to be made which, without vanity, would so greatly preponderate in my own favour,

God bless you, my dear father
Prays Your affectionate Son,
Edward Mc. Arthur

[Page 169]

John Mc Arthur Esqre,
No. 40
Leicester Square

[Page 170]

Amphitrite, Yarmouth Roads-
March 3 1810

My dear Father,
We left Spithead this Morning and should have gone immediately out through the Needles, without any delay, had not the Wind fallen so light that the Commodore was induced to bring up here.
We shall run out at Day light, if the Wind is then so brisk and favourable as it is at present.
By a little exertion I have been enabled to reduce the confusion we were in to a small degree of order. Our Mess stands us in £4 1s 1d each; so that I had to return the part of the £ 10 advanced that remained unexpended.
Shortly after my arrival at

[Page 171]

Gibraltar, I hope to hear from you- The Cyani Convoys us with two other of his Majesty’s Ships.
Remember me most particularly, and affectionately to the Family in Castle Street- do –do- In your letter to my dear Mother, you will I hope assure her of my most affectionate love- of my being well- and very happy. I wrote a letter to John yesterday, and enclosed it to Mr. Brogden. I was happy to learn from the Colonel that Mr. Elliot had been to see you. The Colonel’s Son seems to be a very fine youth. I am told that he is greatly beloved on board his

[Page 172]

I have never been fortunate enough to get Mr. Miller’s letter; however should it come to Mr. Rouse’s Hands he will forward it to me.
My love to James and William- I shall give this to the Pilot in the Morning, when he leaves the ship, and that will not be until the Morning it is out through the Needles.
God bless you, my dear dear Father, prays
Your affectionate Son
Edward Mc. Arthur
Has Mr. Brogden ever received the Narrative concerning Christian

[Page 173]

Tuesday Noon.
We have been compelled to bring up a second time in Yarmouth Roads- The Wind is no longer fair and until it becomes so we shall remain here- We may be delayed here some days. I know no other way of my receiving a letter from you than by sending it to Mr. Rouse, who may be enabled to send it on board. E. Mc. A

John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
40 Leicester Square

[Page 174]

Portsmouth, 11 March 1810.

My dear Father,
I am only now come on shore from Stoke’s Bay-
We ran up there on Friday, but it has blown so violently since that there was neither the possibility of landing myself or of sending a letter, until today.
I have received the Box with the facings & their etceteras & Mr. Miller’s letter; but two letters Mr. Rouse sent off to me to day, I have not yet.
Mr Paravicini went on shore last

[Page 175]

Monday. We sailed before he returned. He is now I understand in London. The advanced pay of the detachments is in his hands, and it is very uncertain whether he will or will not return- I am doubtful whether I should or not mention the circumstance to Colonel Bains. I should be sorry to do any thing to Mr. Paravicini’s prejudice, but I think at the same time that I should be cautious not to attach any censure to myself. I shall delay doing anything in the business for a day or two, but should the Wind become fair I shall

[Page 176]

certainly report his absence. I am fearful that I shall become responsible for the arrears due to the Men.
I can now only assure you, that I am
My dear father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd Mc. Arthur

[Page 177]

John Mc Arthur Esqre
40 Leicester Square

[Page 178]

Newport, Isle of Wight
March 12th 1810

My dear Mother,
Before I relate to you what I have been doing, for this last Week, I will say what has brought me again to the Army Depot.
Last Monday, the Officer who commanded the Detachments embarked on board the Amphitrite, went on Shore, and tho’ a week has elapsed since that period, we have heard nothing of him. He took with him the advanced pay of the Troops on board

[Page 179]

and left me in the command without any means of settling with the Men.
I delayed from day to day, making any report of the circumstance in hopes that the Officer would return, but this morning it became necessary that three or four of the men should have their balances, and I was compelled in my own justification to find some reason for its not being done.
I mentioned the whole affair to Genl. Whitham, the Lt. Governor of Portsmouth; and by him I have been sent with a letter on the subject

[Page 180]

to General Taylor, the Commandant of this Depot. To Morrow I return again to the Transport- she is in Stoke’s Bay, at no great distance from Portsmouth. We are to sail the first fair Wind. Once we have sail’d, but were driven back- This day Week we left Spithead with a fair Wind, but that soon dropping, we were not enabled to get any further than Yarmouth Roads. The next day we made an unsuccessful effort to put to sea- Two days after we succeeded in passing through the Needles, but no sooner were we fairly in the Channel than the Wind came foul; and after passing

[Page 181]

a boisterous Night at Sea, we were compelled to return to Yarmouth Roads. The Wind continuing unfavourable occasioned our being ordered up to the place where the vessel now is, that she might have an opportunity of replenishing her stack of Water.
Once more I desire my affectionate love to my dear sisters, and subscribe myself,
my dear Mother
Your affectionate Son
Edwd Mc. Arthur

I received a letter yesterday from Mrs. Bond. She was quite well, and all our friends in that neighbourhood.

[Page 182]

April 4th 1810.
Gibraltar, April 4th 1810

My dear Father,
I have this moment learned that a packet is to sail for England at three o’clock this day; and I am anxious therefore not to lose the few minutes, which during the whole of the day, I shall be enabled to devote to you. We arrived here the 1st of the Month, and landed yesterday- We are in the utmost confusion. The Officers have as yet no quarters provided for them, and the Messes are so crowded that we can scarcely

[Page 183]

procure a chair to lie down on.
We are attached to the 47th Regt. and are likely to remain here many Months. Genl. Campbell is the officer in Command. I am now going to wait on him to represent the situation of the Officers; and that I have not a farthing to provide the Detachment with such things as are necessary for them. Every thing as yet is left to my own management- One of my Sergeants received a desperate Wound from one of our Men last Night. I have

[Page 184]

enough to do I assure my dear Father.
My energies are constantly at the stretch, and from the situation in which I am placed, I perceive that I acquire a [indecipherable] manner of authority, that may seem unnatural to my age. I shall write very fully to Morrow, and shall give my letters to the Master of the Transport in which we came. My kindest reminiscences to our Castle St. Friends. Love to John & the boys, and believe me to be
My dearest Father
Your affectionate Son
E. Mc. Arthur

[Page 185]

John MC. Arthur Esq.
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

Postmarked “Ship letter Yarmouth"

[Page 186]

Gibraltar April 14th 1810.
My dear Father
I wrote a short letter some days ago to inform you merely of my safe arrival at this place on the 1st Instant.
Since that time my residence here has been rendered much more pleasant than I could have calculated on coming as I did to the Garrison without any letters of introduction.
For the unexpected pleasantness of my situation, I am indebted to a person who has more than once displayed by his attention towards me, a desire to repay the civilities shown to him at

[Page 187]

our House. Some days ago when I was waiting upon General Campbell to my infinite surprise I met Captain Houstown. He was very happy to see me, and introduced me without delay to the General’s Family, and his acquaintances, as his most particular friend. His introduction has been paid the greatest attention to I have breakfasted and dined twice at the Government House, and had I accepted every invitation should have been there oftener. They receive me in a very friendly way, and as Captain Houstown’s family are well known to the General

[Page 188]

an introduction from him is much better than any I could have procured in England from however powerful a Man.
The Detachments of which I have the command are attached to the 47th Regiment, but tho’ the Officers of that Corps were abundantly civil to us, they never invited us to become, for the time being, Members of their Mess, assigning as a reason, that they were themselves so crowded as to prevent the possibility of their receiving so many Officers in their Mess, as were in our

[Page 189]

Detachment. This circumstance I mentioned to Captain Houstown, who spoke of me in such terms to a friend of his in the 47th that I was immediately proposed as an honorary Member, and chosen one accordingly.
Amongst the acquaintances I have so strangely met with is Mr. Henry Maitland, with whom I dined a day or two since. He has been so obliging as to promise to take charge of my letters, as in few days he will be on his way to England. He can inform you how well I am.
A few days since

[Page 190]

I dined at the Mess of the 9th Regt. and was recognised by an old School fellow, at Doctor Lindsay’s.

But such real pleasure has been afforded by no one circumstance, so much as by my meeting young Robert Johnstone in the Norge, who arrived here a few days since. From him I had the latest intelligence concerning you, and happy, very happy, I assure you my dear Father, it made me, to learn from him, in how great a degree you had recovered your Health and strength. He told me also of John’s success at College, and that gave me great satisfaction, tinctured in no so small degree with pride, to find that a

[Page 191]

brother of mine was making, in literature, such rapid advances.
Young Johnstone has had a very lucky escape. The Norge in going in to Lisbon struck upon a rock, and being prevented by the vicinity of the Enemy from heaving the vessel down in that Port, they were compelled to steer for this, making as much Water the whole of the way as could be discharged by their pumps.
I understand that you are acquainted with the Captain of this Ship, but as Captain Houstown whom, I now find, also knows him, has

[Page 192]

left the place, I think it unlikely that I shall be introduced to him. Captain Houstown is over with his vessel the Miope, at Algeziras, and is to return the first fair Wind to his station in the West Indies. You will be happy to learn that he is making money.
The light infantry companies of the Regiments quartered in the Garrison have been detached to Terifa, a Town on the Spanish side of the Straits, from whence, if in the Enemy’s possession our ships would suffer great molestation.
These Troops landed yesterday at Al-

[Page 193]

geziras, and marched o/land to Terifa. We have a force on a small Island off Algeziras, and a Regiment at Cinta; which renders us perfectly secure from all attacks

I have seen many curious places on the Rock, but much remains for me to see, for tho’ I have been here a fortnight, great part of that time has been occupied by the detachments I have in charge, no interference being used by any superior Officer whatever. Much trouble has been given in consequence of Mr. Paravicini’s quitting the Transport with

[Page 194]

the Men’s Money. A court of enquiry was instituted the other day, to investigate the Men’s accounts, when no censure whatever was cast upon me, on the contrary they seemed to approve of what I had done, and were very sensible of the trouble I must have with so mixed a set of people.
The Dollars which I bought at Portsmouth I find I lose considerably by for I was compelled to give 4/10 per Dollar, whereas they only pass here for 4/6d Sterling. How long we may be detained here I can form no conjecture concerning. But I trust I shall have no occasion to draw for Money; for inde-

[Page 195]

pendant of other considerations I should lose greatly by the exchange.

I was so forgetful as not to procure in England some spare glasses for my watch. When I was walking the deck one day at sea, and returning my watch to the fob, my foot slipped and my person went in one direction and the watch in another. The latter received so great a jar as to break the glass, but it received fortunately no other injury. I cannot get another at Gibraltar, but should an opportunity offer of sending one or two, out to Malta, I should like to have by the same opportunity, a pair of boots

[Page 196]

from Mr. Hoby. I will send the size of the Glass, on the envelope of the letters.
Should the Wind continue foul I will write a letter to my dear Mother by this opportunity; but in the event of no letter coming from me in time to be forwarded by the first vessels sailing for N. S. Wales, I must beg you will, my dear Father, send her this.
I am anxiously expecting the Packet’s arrival when I hope to have pleasing intelligence of you.
I have commenced the practice which you recommended of washing my feet and head every Morning in cold water. My studies I have been compelled to neglect, I shall resume them again, and indeed have in some degree done so. A Spanish Master, I cannot

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yet procure. An Officer of the 47th has engaged to speak to a person who gave him lessons, and request that he will attend me.
My love to James and William and kindest compliments and remembrances to all my friends.
I subscribe myself
My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

[Page 198]

Gibraltar, April 17th 1810
My dear Father,
I have just written a long letter to you, which Mr. Maitland a Gentleman, with whom you are acquainted has promised to deliver to you. But as this will go by the Packet, a much more speedy conveyance, I shall again tell you that I arrived here on the 1st Inst. That the Detachment are attached to the 47th Regt. that I met Captain Houstown who introduced me to the General’s family, and pro-

[Page 199]

cured my being admitted a Member of the Mess of the 47th Regt. That I saw and indeed see every day Colonel Johnstone’s Son, whose ship the charge is repairing in this Port.
We cannot conjecture how long we may remain here. We know of no Transports going to Malta- The Packet came from thence yesterday and proceeds on to England to day.
The vessel in which Mr. Maitland in is, sailed yesterday with the other ships for Lisbon- Capt. Houstown has returned

[Page 200]

to his station in the West Indies.
Mr. Maitland has letters for Mr. T, John, Mr. Brogden, and my Uncle. He goes to Lisbon first, and immediately from thence to England.
My most affectionate love to my Brothers and kindest remembrances to all friends.
God bless you, My dear dear Father, fervently prays
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

[Page 201]

My particular remembrances, /and most kind,/ to Mr. & Mrs. T. Mary Anne and William.

Post mark Gibraltar
John Mc. Arthur Esqr.
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

[Page 202]

Gibraltar, April 24th 1810.
My dear Father,
Opportunities of writing to England present themselves much oftener than I did suppose. A Convoy lately come down from Malta, will sail to Morrow for England. In it are two Officers of the 39th, one I shall trouble with this letter, which (should you have previously received those I have written by Mr. Maitland, and other conveyances) will inform you of little news.
There are no prospects of our departing from Gibraltar; for which I am much concerned.
I have great trouble with the Detach-

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ments, having to pay and keep the accounts of nearly two hundred Men.
I am still not unoften at Government House. I have a Spanish Master whose terms are ten Dollars a Month. He will attend me every other Day. Whatever Bills are drawn on England, there will be a great loss on. I can find no other means of getting Money, so that rather than suffer a loss by the unfavourabliness of the exchange, I must do all I can

[Page 204]

to prevent my being constrained to draw Money from England. I must be content with what I receive from Government.
Should these vessels be delayed I shall write very fully by them. This is the 24th a day of bustle so that I can now say no more than that I am,
My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur
Lieut. 39th Foot

I am so much now in the habit of signing my name officially, that I have just done it by inadvertence.

[Page 205]

My affectionate love to John & the Boys & kindest remembrances to all our good friends in Castle Street.

John Mc. Arthur Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

[Page 206]

Gibraltar, April 25th 1810.
My dear Father,
As the Convoy do not sail till to Morrow, I am enabled to address you again; I can however add but little material information to that which I have already given.
Yesterday after I had finished my letter, I went, on business, down to the Convent, where the General resides, and was asked to dine there. I accepted the invitation, and met a large party there consisting of Lord Blaney & a Spanish Brigadier General, with several field Officers belonging to the Regiments in Garrison.

[Page 207]

I find myself very pleasant there, and much at my ease, because by their kindness , and civility, they have driven from me that restraint, which I should have otherwise felt. After the formal part of the Company were gone, we amused ourselves as we chose. The General has a Son, and two daughters; the one an accomplished young lady, the other much younger. There was no want of amusement therefore. I am asked to meet a party of Ladies there this Evening. being unwilling to depend too much on Captain Housetown’s in

[Page 208]

-troduction, I did not call much at Government House, but tho’ he is gone they notwithstanding pay me more attention that I could have expected, even from people, with whom I had lived in great intimacy.
I do not know how it is, but tho’ I am always pleasant and comfortable when at their House, I yet feel an awkwardness in accepting their invitations, the same as I should experience from receiving a continued repetition of benefits from an unknown or strange hand.
But of this I think, my dear Father, you have had enough, which I shall say, no more about because both from

[Page 209]

that consideration, and another, namely lest you should conceive that my attention is solely occupied by those things of which a certain a proportion is very beneficial; beyond that injurious.
I have already said that the duties of the Detachments take up great part of my time. Of that however I endeavour to make the most, by continuing to rise at an early hour. The Spanish Master attends me every other Morning from 7 till 8 o’clock. I read twelve or fourteen pages of French every day; and about an hour & half, sometimes more, I devote to English. When I open my great box of Books, I think I shall never get through with them, but I take

[Page 210]

courage on reflecting on what you have often repeated to me on similar occasions, that “Rome was not built in an hour."

I have not looked into a Mathematical Book since I have been here, but when I am now resolved to commence to Morrow, which is in consequence of my taking a review of what I have been about, in order to make a faithful report of my actions, of which perhaps you will wish for a more detailed account, than is here given.
You will be greatly pleased I know to hear, that I keep my hands full, and allow no time to pass without some occupations.

[Page 211]

The practice of washing my Head and feet I continue, tho’ at first I found great inconvenience from it. I was attacked with a violent pain in the left temple, so that I could with difficulty open the left eye. This continued for several days, I found no relief till one day driven out by the acuteness of the pain, I continued in the air for several hours, and in that time walked all over the Rock from the summit to its most extreme parts. The day was very warm, and with the violence of the exercise, I threw myself into so great perspiration that on my return to my room

[Page 212]

the pain was quite gone. I have not been troubled with it again.
There has been an action between our Troops at Tarifas, and the French. The particulars of which you will most probably see in the papers We had only one Man killed; the Spaniards exerted themselves very much, evincing by their conduct that they only want proper leaders, to make themselves soldiers of as good reputation as their Ancestors were in the time of Charles the 5th

The charge is still here, she will remain some time. I saw young Johnstone this Morning, he

[Page 213]

was quite well.
The Agent of Transports informed me to day that he did not conceive there would be an opportunity of sending us up to Malta for three Months
An English Packet is daily expected I am quite anxious for intelligence.
God bless you, My dear dear Father, Prays,
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

Mr. Maitland has letters for yourself Mr. Thompson, John, & Mr. Brogden do

[Page 214]

Gibraltar, May 6th 1810.
My dear Father,
I am told that a Mail is making up for England to go by a Man of War that will sail in the course of the day. Nothing material has occurred since my last letters; the prospect of proceeding on to the Regiment seems as remote as ever. I am making great progress in the Spanish- The pronunciation I am nearly master of. Where can this English Packet be? I am very anxious for her arrival. But how provoking a circumstance it will be if my letters are in the Malta Mail

[Page 215]

The charge I understand is going home in a few days: I shall prepare letters for all who will be glad to hear from me, and give them to young Johnstone Till then my friends in Castle Street must be content to know that I do not forget them; there in particular & to all my acquaintances I beg to be remembered.
My kindest love to John and the boys, and believe me to remain
My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edward Mc. Arthur

The terrible task of paying the Men, I got through very well with last Month, & every ones accounts so far are sign’d and settled.

[Page 216]

I read French, Mathematics, Spanish, Latin, History alternately every day, and strive to do, my dear Father, all you are so desirous I should do.
Once more Adieu, My dear dear Father-
Ever affectionately Yrs.
E. Mc. A.
I propose going over to see Cinta in a day or two.

[Page 217]

John Mc. Arthur Esqre
Thos. Thompson’s Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Sq.

Postmarked Portsmouth Ship Mail.

[Page 218]

Gibraltar May 19th 1810.
My dear dear Mother,
With what pleasure do I reflect upon the many little occurrences in which you have been concerned. The consideration of them gives birth to a variety of ideas, and creates in the mind a pleasing degree of tender melancholy, diffusing itself over the imagination, and rendering it susceptible of impressions lively and pure, and which would become the most affectionate of sons, towards the tenderest of Mothers. In this state of mind do I take up the Pen, to communicate to you, my dear Mother, my sentiments and to aprise you of my unabated love. Unnecessary it may seem, but yet I know such an assurance, may do away with and counteract the effects which doubt and apprehension may have ousted. Time and distance give new force to my affection When alone consider my dear Mother, that I am with you, for into your presence my imagination is often

[Horizontal lines:] I fear find elsewhere. Many of the Spanish Nobility are here but the greater part are in Cadiz, which is besieged by the French and defended by the united efforts of the British and Spanish Troops. How long their exertions may retard its ultimate fate is uncertain but it is thought it can be but for a little while when the Enemy have become Masters of all other parts of the Kingdom
I am studying the languages of the Country, and find that I get on totally well. I must pay the Spanish Duchesses frequent visits, and by practising the little I know I shall become shortly more proficient in speaking the Spanish. I manage, my dear Mother to keep off illness by one way or another. Every day I see instances of the worst effects of it in those who are grown old in the Army. They know not how to kill the time, every minute appears to them an age

[Page 219]
conducting me. There I am ideally at this Moment. Would to God that it were really the case. How many things should we mutually enquire of each other? But this idle speculation is useless for it is vain to indulge in ideas that are not to be realized. I ought to endeavour to entertain you by recounting what daily regales me- by acquainting you with all my transactions, and with whatever may seem interesting. There is no opportunity of sending letters to England at present but I shall write a little every day so that when one does present itself I shall have a packet ready to send off; and which while it is intended for your amusement, will afford my dear Father, who will have the first perusal of it, means of information as great, as if it were addressed immediately to himself-

[Horizontal lines:] A very curious circumstance occurred here some time since. An English Man of War took some quick-silver from a Spanish Ship, in distress, which when on board by some accident got loose about the decks. In a short time the whole Crew of the Man of War became sickly; they came in here the most miserable objects to be conceived; and the Ship has had every thing in her hold taken out to free it from the quicksilver. It had worked itself by the subtlety of its nature over every part of the Ship, and into the provisions, which is supposed to be the cause of the sickness which had seized the Crew.

An assembly is held here by the Officers and Ladies in the Garrison every Monday. It is very well conducted, and, tends to unbend the mind from the severity of military discipline, which were it not for the Ladies would soon render Soldiers very harsh and disagreeable in their manners.
In speaking of the assembly I am naturally

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May 24th. Very little indeed my dear Mother, in addition to what was written on the 19th have I added. My Packet will this time extend to a no greater size than this sheet for I learn that a vessel will sail for England the first fair Wind. I must in the first place mention that the Transport in which we came proceeded no further than this with us. We have been here since the first of last Month and are likely to remain at least a fortnight longer before we go on to Malta.
You will have heard how fortunate I was in finding Captain Houstown here when I came. His introductions have made my stay here pleasant enough I am often at the General’s. I was there in the Morning and went with the Ladies to visit a Spanish family which I

[Horizontal lines:]

led to the Garrison library, the House in which they are held/a very elegant building apropriated to the use of the Military, and abundantly stored with Books of every kind.
The Detachments which I have had are about 200 strong including Officers. On Sunday there is a Garrison parade at which prayers are read. There for the first time I was required by the General to form my Men in a particular position. I had never exalted my voice before in the presence of so many people. I felt what I believe most people do, when placed in an untried situation. My presence of mind however did not forsake me; and fortunately I did, right, and obtained the praise of the General, when some veteran Officers met his censure- I find, as I acquire experience, I gain composure and confidence; and I therefore that when I have been with my Regiment a few Months, I shall have rendered myself Master of every essential point in Military tactics.

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had an opportunity of reflecting on the wonderful vicissitudes of Fortune. The Dutchess of Albukerche and another Lady of the same Rank/ the persons to whom I was alluding/ have taken refuge in the Garrison. They who have been accustomed to live in elegance and splendour are cooped up here with their attendants in a wretched house devoid of any accomodation. Their present state sad- The prospect of their future worse, for the French will probably in a very short term cut off the sources from whence they draw their support- what then will they do? Look for the comfort in the Graces at least for peace- little will they

[Horizontal lines:] May 19th 1810
I dare say, Sister Mary thinks it would be very funny to see Brother Edward given the Word of Command, and Elizabeth would like much to quiz him to put on his red coat, and sword and strut about the room. What would the little sister do? What will she think of Edward, of whom she will probably, for many years only hear? You will all like to hear that I am well, and that I am happy because I think myself so. Miss Lucas, will rejoice to hear so well of me. Remember me to all our old domestics Condion and his wife- To Lewis- Now then my dearest Mother with love to my dear Sisters, and affectionate remembrances to all, I am be assured
Your affectionate and dutiful Son
Edward Mc. Arthur.

[Page 222]

24th Gibraltar May 24th 1810.
My dear Father,
You little imagine I am sure that I am still detained at Gibraltar. We do not expect to leave the Garrison this fortnight at least; it is very provoking, because my letters are all gone on to Malta I am very anxious to hear from you. I have only about five pounds left besides my Month’s pay so that on my arrival at Malta, I must draw for Money, if it be only to pay the Mess subscription. There seems to be some idea that all the Troops now in the Mediterranean will be relieved, by those regiments that were in Malehina.
The Vessel by which I wrote to you last is again here. She was detained by contrary Winds on the opposite side of the Bay, and came to this yesterday. She sails the first fair Wind. I enclose a letter for

[Horizontal lines:] my Mother; and shall hasten to put it in the Secretary’s office lest I should lose the opportunity of sending it.
I have had one violent attack of the sore throat; I found relieve from nothing but the application of a blister. The climate is unhealthy every one has had some illness of that kind. Young Johnston did not come near me for some Weeks before he sailed I was prevented by illness from going on board to him, but I wrote to request he would come on shore. I can only account for his not doing so by supposing he could not obtain leave.
I write to John by this conveyance. My love to the Boys, and kindest remembrances to the family in Castle Street, and the circle of their connections
God bless you
My dear Father, prays
Your affectionate Son
Edwd Mc Arthur

[Page 223]

Envelope to: John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
Thos. Thompson’s Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square
Ship letter postmark and date stamp 25 June 1810

[Page 224]

Gibraltar May 30th 1810
My dear Father,
I know not when we shall proceed on to Malta nor when the Wind will admit of my sending letters to England.
We can hear of no transport going aloft and a Man of War on board which I have several letters has been detained here a Month. A packet came in yesterday from Malta and as she may arrive in England before the Man of War, I shall write a few lines to send by her.
Nothing has caused me to lament my detention here so much as

[Horizontal lines:] repeatedly at General Campbell’s, Lord Blaney invited me spend the Evening with a Party at his House yesterday We were entertained something after the style of VauxHall The Ladies were principally Spanish; the entertainment having been given on their account To night there will be a musical concert in the Town, at which many Spanish Ladies will be present. On Mondays there is an assembly, where these Ladies are introduced together with the English. All these places I frequent, and mostly provide myself with a Spanish Lady for a partner in the dances.

I obtained leave to go over to Cinta a day or two since, but was compelled to defer going there till after the 4th of June having received a Card of invitation to dine with the General on that day. This (29th May) is the Birthday of Ferdinand the 7th. In honor of which a salute has been fired by the Garrison, and by the English and Spanish

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my not having received any account from you; from which I conceive that my letters are in the Malta Bags, and, I would flatter myself, now remaining in that Garrison till my arrival, but my ill stars may have ordained it, that they are all going back to England by this very Packet. This circumstance and my desire to join my Regiment/ because I know it is right that I should do so/ are the only things that make me anxious to be gone. For every pleasure that can captivate a youthful mind, is here in abundance for me. I am noticed by the first circles of society in the Garrison, and am on those terms with the Officers of the Regiment to which I am attached as sufficiently earnest that while I am raised in the opinions of the steady, I do not sink in the estimation of the giddy. I have leisure

[Horizontal lines:] men of War in the Bay. Each nation Ship wears the colours of her own nation at the Stern, and those of her Ally at the Fore. We know nothing of the operations of the French. Vague and uncertain reports are always flying about the Garrison.
The expenses I am at here are not very great, I have now five pounds besides a Months a pay in advance so that I am in hopes I shall have no occasion to draw for Money till I come to the Regiments. My detention will cause this difference. If we had not remained at Gibraltar I should have arrived at the Regiment with my pockets well filled, and now I fear they will on my arrival there be tolerably well emptied. What will call for money on my first joining is the Mess subscription, which will be I suppose, between five and ten pounds, Every other expense my pay & allowances will defray. I hope I shall find in Malta, a letter of credit for otherwise some dismay

[Page 226]

to pursue my studies, and as I advance find more inclination to proceed. The pleasure I find in fully occupying my time is my dear Father indiscribable I have no moments in which I say “what shall I do with myself would that the day were gone" on the contrary I am surprised often at the rapidity with which the day hour floats away. By these means I enjoy security of mind, and place it in such state, as to receive delight from amusement which by many are not considered as worthy seeking because the sensations which they create are not sufficiently strong. I take every opportunity of speaking what little Spanish I am as yet acquainted with. I have been introduced to several Spanish Ladies whom I often meet at the public places.
From having seen me repeatedly

[Horizontal lines:] may be made in taking my Bill.
The Detachments are left in a great measure to my own management, I have almost entirely overcome the timidity I had in exalting my voice, which I find improves in strength as I continue to exercise it.
I am compelled to speak rather loud to make the two hundred Men hear me.
I have written a letter as long as this to my Mother & have sent it on board The Hibernia/ the Man of War so long detained/ under cover to you. I have also written by the same conveyance a long letter to John.

The charge sailed some days ago, but young Johnston did not come on shore to wish me good bye, I suppose they would not give him leave, for he promised very faithfully to come the last time I saw him.
My most affectionate love to the Boys, and kindest remembrances to all friends
Believe me John My dearest Father
from Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc Arthur.

[Page 227]

Envelope postmarked Gibraltar to:
John Mc Arthur Esqre
Thomas Thompson’s Esqre.
24 Castle Street Leicester Square

[Page 228]

Gibraltar August 12- 1810

My dear Father,
I received a letter by the Packet a few days since from John dated the 1st of July. What sincere pleasure it afforded me I need not I am sure, write.
The day before yesterday we were ordered to embark but were countermanded. We however expect to leave the Garrison as soon as the Wind becomes fair.
The 39th have left Malta and are now quartered on Syracuse. On leaving the former place, / I was informed at General Campbell’s Table/ they were complimented in orders, & received publick thanks for their exemplary conduct while under the command

[Horizontal lines:]
The prospect of removing so soon renders me uneasy; my mind is like troubled water, in irregular motion- I feel a desire to do something without knowing what. In fact any thing, but that which I am employed about. I can think on nothing calmly my thoughts fly to another subject before I have expressed what they have already presented to me.
Now John’s letter runs into my head- Mary Ann’s marriage- John’s prize at College- that your living at Clapham Common- the state of your health; New South Wales, Elizabeths recovery, Governor Bligh- and now the Cannibles in the South Seas- so that like a Ship impelled by baffling Winds, I am carried in opposite directions and make no progress whatever. So my dearest Father

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of General Oakes. I was assured that there was no Regiment in the Service more unanimous or happy- and I was congratulated on my consequent good fortune.
We are to go in a large transport with detachments for several other Regiments and will I conclude be very much crowded. The Gentlemen of ours whom I described as being so much involved on leaving England are just in the same disagreeable dilemma, that they were then. Application has been made to me, but I have been enabled to steel my heart against every attack, and declared that I will not run the risk of involving myself at a future period. I have rather more than twenty pounds in my Packet and have besides laid in my Sea Stock; which will ena-

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it is useless for me to attempt writing a longer letter, and therefore I must only add that I remain,
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur
My kindest remembrances to Mr. John Thompson and the whole family Circle and particularly to the bride and bridegroom. Love to John, James & William.

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ble me to discharge the Mess Fees &- with convenience to myself & without having recourse to the Pay Master.
I shall be quite transported on arriving in Sicily, the scene of so many celebrated events. I propose doing many things there which perhaps I shall never execute, for I observe that the desire of accomplishing our wishes decreases in proportion as the means are facilitated. I will not give myself time to cool, and will endeavour to dispel apathy by proceeding to immediate action. My imagination has already conducted me to the summits of Etna. That I may enjoy these seems the more I shall on the voyage affix well in mind all the passages in the Ancient Authors relating to Sicily

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Envelope with Gibraltar postmark to:
John Mc. Arthur Esqre
Thomas Thompson Esqre.
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

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Sicily September 22nd 1810.
My dear Father,
I landed here yesterday, and at length, I have the satisfaction to say delivered over my detachment to the Regiment. On joining the Surgeon who was for a short time attached to the 60th immediately recognised me, and introduced me to the Commanding Officer. I am so pleased at being with the Regiment that all other considerations are quite secondary.
Such were the sentiments I expressed yesterday to General Campbell the Adjt. General, when he told me I must “ruffit". He had received the letters/ which I forwarded/ from his very “old and particular friend Mr. Mc. Arthur." That he should take every opportunity of advancing my interests, would be at all times happy to see me, that I knew where to find him as he knew where to find me. Our Regiment is

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encamped but a short distance from the Farropoint- immediately opposite to the Enemy. The wet Season has commenced, in consequence of which a temporary barrack is existing for us on the ground of the encampment. In front we have the Sea about twenty yards off, and in the rear a salt water lake of the at about the same distance. A chain of Troops is drawn along the Coast from the point of Farro to the Town of Messina a distance of nearly nine Miles. The troops on the point are within gunshot of the French, and when the weather confines our Boats theirs come across the Strait & throw shot into the camp, but altho a great number have been thrown, not a single casualty has taken place in our Corps.
I received a letter yesterday of yours dated so long back as March enclosing

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a letter from the Duke of N. It was unfortunate that I did not receive it at Malta, but I shall forward it, as I observe it is something more than a letter of introduction. The Packet sails to Night & as I am considerably removed from the Town I must avail myself of an opportunity of sending it immediately to the Office, with this letter to yourself. My having but only now arrived the unsual situation, and my present unsettled state will be a sufficient apology for my addressing you in so hasty & short a manner as it will be I trust to all my friends for my silence towards them. God bless you my dear Father, Events will soon call forth the exercise of those principles which you have so carefully instilled into my Mind.
Your affectionate Son
Edwd Mc Arthur

I am quite well

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Envelope addressed to:
John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

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Messina, October 23rd 1810
My dear Father,
I had the pleasure to receive by the last Packet your two very affectionate letters of the 1st and 3rd of August and in thanking you for them I should speak of the effects produced on my mind as I became acquainted with the variety of their contents, were it not that such a relation would be rendered unnecessary by your own conceptions on the subject.
They will render you no stranger to what I felt at your account of the disastrous results of the Sandal Wood adventure, and at your consequent increase of care and anxiety. But great as was my concern at that severe stroke of fortune, I was still unable to divest myself of the Idea that you thought your many and great kindnesses towards me had made an impression so slight, that new instances of your affection were necessary to confirm me in the persuasion that nothing was neglected for the promotion of my happiness or the advancement of my interests
The importunity which gave rise to such a consideration if it ever did exist, proceeded not from any apprehension of mine respecting my own interest and peace of mind, any

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Duke should receive my acknowledgements for his kindness by the earliest opportunity I wrote another letter to go by this Packet influenced not a little by the apprehension that my letters by the Leyden might share the same fate with those entrusted to Mr. Maitland. Should the Duke however receive the first letter, he will be informed of the Position occupied by our Troops, and of the hourly expectation we were at that time in of being attacked. In this last letter I have transmitted a Copy of Sir John Stewards address to the Army on the Enemy’s retiring I will now give you the purport of the letter. My Lord, I did myself the honor to address Your Grace some time back, but as the present is the only direct opportunity of so doing, of which since my arrival in Sicily I have been enabled to avail myself, I trust it will may not be deemed amiss that I am prompted to a second intrusion by my sense of Your Graces kindness displayed towards me in the letter of introduction to Mr. Wilkie. Most unfortunately my Lord I did not receive till last Month, and by the removal of my Regt. from Malta I was deprived of the Advantages which your Grace had intended I should derive but tho thus disappointed myself, I immediately forwarded the letter to be Mr. Wilkie, anxious that he should not be debarred from the satisfaction of hearing from Your Grace. The Enemy whom we

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father than they were blended with your own personal safety. The uncertain State of health in which I left you and the total ignorance in which I remained during so serious a length of time were circumstances of no small disquietude. And as there are few who do not seek to remove the Cause of uneasiness and still less who do not complain under sufferings it cannot be surprising or singular that I should be amidst the number who are dificient in Fortitude or rather passive resignation.
But I trust you will not allow the persuasion of my gratitude and affection to be shaken by the intemperate language of anxiety. I never yet have had an opportunity of establishing by deeds what at all times I have sought to express and therefore it is not surprising that the belief of my affection which was Created in your friend by Words, should at times be disturbed by the same power. But of this my dear Father be assured that what you demand of me I will perform, and that I will strive to place the belief of my gratitude, beyond the

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expected on my first arriving has since retired. I shall transcribe Sir I. Steward’s orders issued to the Forces on the occasion for your [indecipherable] information and have the honor to subscribe myself- My Lord- Your Graces obliged, humb. St. The letter and orders are neatly written, folded and sealed- I did not think it proper to enter into a full explanation of the Causes of my writing a second letter; but in case the former one should find its way Home first, I have begged Mr. Brogden to have the goodness to do so for me.
While there was a Shadow of danger we occupied the Port of Honour, but now that there is not the least, we are quartered in Monasteries about a Mile from Messina. We have all very good Rooms, but mine is a most enchanting one, as well as from what it really possesses, as from the comparison between it and the wet Tent on the Sands. The Superior of the Monastery pay me a daily visit. He speaks a little French; This Morning he brought a Rebecca Bible with him, and giving me one in English made me observe whether the English version agreed with what he was rendering into French- I shall not attempt the Italian but shall prosecute my studies in French & Spanish, choosing rather to improve myself in those languages than gain but an imperfect knowledge in another Tongue- We still expect to join Lord Wellington, but can ascertain Nothing- but all letters addressed Gibraltar will be forwarded by the same Packet up the

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power of sentiments its expressed, and words misconceived.
Immediately on joining my Regiment last Month I wrote you a short letter by the Packet which then sailed and a few days since I forwarded another to you of a similar description, but enclosing one of considerable length to my dear Mother, by His Majesty’s Ship Leyden. By the same opportunity I sent letters to the Duke of Northumberland, and Mr. Brogden. They were all written at our Camp near the Two Point, and [indecipherable] by me some time when Captain Woolton of the Marines gave me the first intelligence of the Leyden’s returning Home and at the same time acquainted me that she was then getting underway. I immediately went on board with him, and gave the letters to the Purser of the Ship, an acquaintance of his, with whom he assured me they would be perfectly safe; but I was sorry that I did so, for on returning to the shore I met a Capt Mitchell of the Marines, going Home in the Leyden, who was acquainted with you & my dear Mother. He was in N. S. Wales in the Grafton.
Having been since informed that the Leyden does not go direct to England, and being desirous that the

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Mediterranean if we have not passed the [Gut?]. My Room looks towards the Two Point, and the rising Sun. I am always up washing my head & feet in cold water before he rises, and therefore can always enjoy the beautiful prospect of his ascending from behind the Hills of Calabria.
My Finances are in a flourishing State I have about six pounds in hand, and have Twenty to receive, I shall want no money before and none for a long time after Christmas, and I therefore beg that whatever you have appropriated for my use may help to defray the expense James & Williams’ Education. Withdraw, my dear Father the hand which has been so bountiful to me, I will battle the way for myself. You have many other calls for your attention, withdraw that also from me; and if Fortune will only favour me I hope to be enabled to come up with a reinforcement to your assistance. I like the Regiment & I think they do not dislike me. The Colonel is an obliging good natured Man. We have an excellent Mess. The entrance Fees are five Guineas/- I have paid them/ and the Mess Man’s terms are 13 s [?] a week for our dinners, and the Wine bill is 8d per Day. In my next letter I shall give you an account of my Studies- I can get an abundance of French Works- In the Camp I nearly completed a Translation of the French Maxims, I will finish it. I am very well, and have no single uneasiness but what comes from the idea of your being

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recovering afforded me the sincerest pleasure. I hope that we are all yet to meet again; you happy my dear Father in seeing that those around you have pursued your Advice, and they so from having followed your counsels. My love to the dear boys, kindest remembrances to Mr & Mrs Thompson & the family circle- I remain My dear Father, Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur.

Letter addressed to
John Mc. Arthur Esqre
Thos. Thompson’s Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

[Lower half of page:]
embarassed. I have written a long letter to John & to Edward Lee. Since I commenced, a Mr. Wells of the 31st called upon me to day that he left you well at the Isle of Wight last Month. How rejoiced I am at the intelligence. We saw that you were down there seeing a vessel off to N. S. Wales.
Your account of my dear Mother’s Health and of Elizabeths

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...Captain Watson of his particular to make in compliments to you he is in Bligh’s old ship the Warrior. She is gone to Palermo I beg you will tell Mrs. Mc Arthur that I have endeavoured but in vain to get the Egyptian Peas, she spoke of. I can obtain no seeds at all. I shall soon make myself Master of all the minutes of a Regt. and dear Father upon my strict performance of my duty. There are several Officers in England coming to join the Battn. They could be heard of at the ... is related to our Pay Master. 25th Octo. The Packet will sail to night. In a paper of the 11th of Sept. I have just seen the proclamation of the 1st. of Jany in N.S.W. fr. my dear Mother have good accounts

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Sicily November 5 1810.
My dear Father,
I have this instant had the pleasure to receive your very affectionate letter of the 29th of August written at Portsmouth- and tho the Packet in which it came from Gibraltar will not sail again for some days, I sit down to acquaint you now that my imagination is in a glow how infinitely rejoiced I am to perceive that you were in such good spirits and to assure you how much my own are augmented by so pleasing a consideration.
Mr. Wells of the 31st Regiment informed me some days back that he had seen you in the Isle of Wight, and I was puzzling to find out what could have taken you down there, but however I did not remain long in a State of hesitation for it soon suggested itself to me that you were awaiting in the Island the departure of some vessel for N. S. Wales. You tell me my dear Father that Colonel Johnston hopes I may
soon have a Company, but make my remembrances to him

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have only is acquire their idioms, and familiar phrases to make myself Master of that language. For the present adieu I shall leave the conclusion of my letter for cooler moments.
Novr. 9th
We yesterday, my dear Father, had a Field day; the Regiment was reviewed by Lord Forbes, and some other General Officers. We have since heard that we are to be removed from this Quarter into the Town of Messina, and on Friday or Saturday we shall move.
I have only seen General Campbell once since I waited upon him, and then in the Streets; he was very polite to me, and said “now that my Regt. had removed from the Faro he hoped to have the pleasure of seeing me at his House. He asked me how I liked my Cell, in the Convent- I told him that I liked the life of a Military Monk very much. General Campbell is a very great, and powerful Man in the Army, and much obliged I am to the Hinton Family for their introduction. I am making a Collection of
Seeds, & if I am so fortunate as to obtain some which a Priest of my acquaintance promised me, I shall not forget Mr. Mc. Arthur.
We have lately heard that Lord Wellington has obtained a great victory in Portugal- The day before yesterday the French fired a Grand Salute, and sent us word it was the consequence of their having annihilated Ld. Wellington & his Army

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and say that my imagination is not so sanguine as to permit me to indulge myself with such an expectation. Indeed I cannot avoid contemplating affairs in their dark-point of review, and when I look back on my former happy life, and consider that which I still enjoy it seems to me to be, but just that I should meet with some reverse, and taste the bitters as well as my neighbours.
The eldest Lieutenant has been eleven years in the Batallion and a Company was given out of the Regiment only the other day. I shall not however allow myself to despond, or to become less strenuous in my endeavours to capacitate myself for the situations in which I may be placed. The advancement which I make in the knowledge of my profession is very gradual, indeed my opportunities are few. The Regiment is seldom under arms and this Colonel is not fond of the Quill. I have therefore so much

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By the Packet which sailed a few days since I wrote you a long letter, and I then seemed to think that we should not remain any time in Sicily; but it was all conjecture, and I can offer nothing more than surmise even now on the subject of our departure.
I am very much vexed that we did not come in for our share of the Laurels gained by the Army in Portugal. We have a beautiful Batallion, and a Corps of very gentlemanlike Officers; but if Colonel Wilson still retains the Command of the 2nd Battn. that/ as every other Regiment must be under the instruction of such a Man/ is the School for a Young Officer. I have not yet had the pleasure to receive Mr. Thompson’s letter, but I should write to him did I not know that he and the Family would hear from me through you, and that they want not to be assured how affectionately I bear in mind all their kindness. The last packet conveyed letters from me to the Duke of Northumberland & Mr. Brogden; and to Edward Lee & John.
I participate with you my dear Father in the satisfaction and pleasure you derive from his advancement.
Governor Bligh must have arrived I conceive before this in England, I am exceedingly anxious to hear how

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time at my disposal that I hope before the Spring, if we remain here till then, to make my self well acquainted both with the French & Spanish languages. I write French and Spanish exercises every day and having a Grammar of the Spanish Tongue written in French, I am enabled to acquire the one through the [indecipherable] of the other. I have now in hand the Maxims [of] Monsr. Bauyere, and a very elegant translation of Saint Pierre’s tale of Paul & Virginia in the true Castilian. If my progress will permit me to withdraw part of my attention from these two principal objects of my Studies I shall in the course of a Fortnight commence the Italian; I’d flatter myself that the obstacles to a study acquirement of this language will be few, particularly as their exists so great analogy between it and the Spanish I can read almost every kind of French Work; I

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affairs go on. I trust you have had favourable accounts from My dear Mother as well of poor Elizabeth, as Mary & little Emmaline.
James and William I am exceedingly happy to hear such good accounts of. I have not written to the Doctor since I left England, but I purpose doing so by the first Officer of ours going Home, and to send a few Seeds and some Italian, or rather Sicilian Landskips to Mr. Brogden by the same opportunity.
Upon my word my dear Father I am so bad a correspondent that I am at a loss for materials to furnish out this letter. I have nothing to add but that I am in the most perfect state of Health, and in the enjoyment of all the happiness, and elasticity of mind, which arise from having no idle moments. I am up before the Sun and seldom in bed till between 10 and 11 at Night. If I can but pressure my Health I hope to strengthen my frame, but at all events I shall I trust succeed in invigorating my mind, and in rendering it very superior to its present abode.
I beg my kindest remembrances to Mr & Mrs Thompson, William, Mary Anne, and the whole

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[Top section:]
Edwd Mc Arthur
poor, march to morrow; I have in consequence had one Room full of Priests, who have expressed their deep regret that our Regt. is to leave their Monastery. They say that the Men as well as Officers are the greatest they have ever had amongst them. They

Address: John Mc Arthur Esqre
Thos. Thompson’s Esqre.
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square
Foreign mail stamp Ja 14.

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family Circle. My love to John and to James & William. We shall probably have removed from this Convent and be in our new quarters before the Packet sails, I shall therefore leave Room for a Postscript, and subscribe myself, My dear Father
Your affectionate Son

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come and see all promised introducing me to their acquaintances.
The last stroke of theirs called to my mind the scenes between [indecipherable] and the Parasite.
God bless you Father, Your affectionate Son E. Mc. A.
The Packet will sail to Morrow.

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Messina December 24th 1810.
My dear Father
You are wondering perhaps what has become of me, or what can have been the cause that you have received no letter for these four or five last weeks. There have of late been no opportunities of writing to England; but the times are now so uneventful, that I believe I shall find no small difficulty in collecting such particulars, as may best serve for your amusement. And now it strikes me you will say pray let the times alone what have I to do with the barreness of its Events; I wish only to hear of you and of those things which ultimately concern you. But alas, my dear Father

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it acquires; and no doubt it is, when those societies are so circumstanced that they can intermix with the World, but in Sicily every Regiment, and our Regiment, must I believe to its happiness, is completely isolated. With little exception the same faces are seen every day at Table, and there of course, as in every private family, no embarrassment prevails. But take one of its Members to the house of a private gentleman, and he will suffer as much perplexity as the most bashful and disconcerted of Men. Since I left Gibraltar I have not once been in private company excepting the other day at General Campbell’s. The scene was so novel to me that I was unable to enjoy myself in that manner in which I might have done, had I been as much in the habit of intermixing with society as I once was- I know not one of our Officers who does not prefer dining at his own Mess, to that of going to a strange table.
But if what

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the Field for conversation is on that head equally as confined, for I can inform you of nothing that you do not either know, or cannot most readily suppose. But for the want of something more interesting to relate I may be permitted to say how often I wish for your presence , to communicate the thoughts that arise in my mind, some of which perhaps I should cherish, and others probably that I ought to banish; I often feel the disadvantages of my mind’s not being in some degree under a bitter guidance, and in [indecipherable] like the world in general I desire a good [indecipherable] ardently because I know it is not to be obtained. I wish for your consecration, I think it essential to my well being, and tho’ no doubt it would contribute infinitely to my happiness, the impossibility of being gratified still enhances the value of the desire.

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Lord Chesterfield recommends is not be acquired in a Regimental society, a great insight into the human heart is. Every day I see what I once would not have believed, but be assured my dear Father, I will preserve my own integrity of principles amidst the many instances I may yet be doomed to see to the contrary. I will now advert to my Studies. On the 18th of last Month I took an Italian Master, at four Dollars a month. I have already learned all that is most essential to be acquired of the Grammar, I can read prose tolerably well, and can compose in Italian with tolerable accuracy- I asked the Master some days since how many Scholars he has- he told me several, but that altho’ some he has attended four Months and others more, that none had made such advancement as I had. If the Regiment continues six Months in Sicily, I will be Master of the language.
I have improved myself wonderfully in French,

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I have heard it remarked, and every day I become more sensible of the truth of the observation, that the information of Military Men in general is very confined. For instance, the conversation at our Mess table, as indeed I believe it is found at that of every other regiment, is in general uninteresting in the extreme and so unfrequently such as would be very little [indecipherable] able to the common barrack Room. Uninteresting as the public conversation is, equally so is the private; for tho’ these are many of the Officers for whom I have the greatest esteem, and one in particular whom I consider most decidedly as my friend, yet from none do I devise any degree of improvement, or receive any information that I did not before know. A military Society is thought to be one in which the manners receive a polish, and gentlemanly ease

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and now translate it with very great facility. I have read Watts and have commenced with Lock, but I am sorry to say that I can make no hand of the Mathematical Books. You will lament it, so do I. When I can acquire this Mathematics through the medium of the Italian language I may perhaps be attracted more strongly towards them than at present. At all events whenever I do commence I must have a Master to smooth the way.
My dear Father, a happy Christmas to you, to my dear brothers James and William, whose holidays have now commenced. I beg the same to Mr. & Mrs. Thompson, & the whole family. I am sure they all think of me on this Festival as I do of them. This day I have more than once think amongst them. Our own Family are scattered over the Earth but in thought we are now united. I am anxious beyond measure to receive letters from you. Your last is dated the 29th of

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August. Mr Wells of the 31st is quartered about a quarter of a Mile from this. I often go down and chat with him. He fell from his horse some time back, and injured one of his legs very much. General Skirrat who is now in Malta, came from Gibraltar

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in the same fleet as we did. How unfortunate I did not know at that time of his being acquainted with you. My love to John. I do not intend writing to him by this opportunity, I should like very much to have my Mother’s letters. God bless you, My dear Father
Ever prays Your affectte. Son
Edwd. Mc Arthur.

Sideways on page: Decr. 24th 1810. Foreign mail stamp. Wax seal.
John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

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Messina, April 23rd 1811.
My dear, dear Elizabeth,
That I should not once have written to you will I know be thought unkind, but when you are told that I only waited to hear of your health’s being restored your own mind will immediately suggest the motives of my silence. Having explained myself on that head I must thank you for your affectionate letter of the 9th of last May, delivered to me by no other person than your old acquaintance and fellow traveller Major Williams. He came here a few days since in Company with some other Gentlemen to make the Tour of the Island. He will leave this City to Morrow and in about six weeks probably, the Island on his return to England. The same good natured lively laughing Man that you ever knew him, nothing seems to discommode him, and all places appear equally to please him. Who would have dreamed of seeing him in Sicily? Nothing could have been more pleasing, /I was going to write unexpected; however it may remain for both are equally true. He tells me he is quite displeased you will not wait for him and begs me to say as much. You perhaps my dear Elizabeth may comprehend him. I am quite in the dark, and therefore cannot enter into the spirit, which by his countenance his words are meant evidently to convey. The distance I am from England prevents

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[indecipherable] una lingua, cose dolce, cose facile ad apprendere Che so bene col vostro talento in poco tempo la saprete. Torella mia vi assicuro che serivo senza indugio, scusate dunque gli. More che [indecipherable] tro fatto, quando guignento al fine d’acquistur la lingua.
You must endeavour to make this out. Do you recollect the large Book you used for the purpose of entering your Sums in Arithmetic- which you gave me; that Book I have nearly filled with Italian Exercises- I mention this not to show how diligent I am but merely because it gives me occasion to say that whenever I write in it/ which is every day/ I always think of my dear Elizabeth-
God bless you, my dearest Sister.
Your affectionate Brother
Edwd Mc. Arthur.

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prevents my giving you any information concerning our dear Friend there, which you will not have received long before this possibly can reach you. But you will never be tired of hearing that our dear Father is restored to the most perfect state of health and of the assurances I have of it from every quarter. In his letter he himself says, “I am in better health and spirits than I can remember to have been since the second year of your birth" This spirit will diffuse itself throughout the Family. I am quite effected by it. I am so glad and so happy that even the Siroca Wind which is now overpowering every one else, blows its hot blasts in vain. I defy its effects. I easily picture to my imagination your joy at Parramatta on receiving such intelligence. Even the North Wind blowing in at the door is not heeded. All, before relaxed and ennervated, become on the sudden braced up, with minds elastic and countenances replete with joy.
My thoughts often amuse me in this manner, and thus it is that I am sometimes amongst you when I ought perhaps to be here. I have followed you to those well known scenes to which you conduct me so pathetically in your letter and recalled to mind many little incidents which one is surprised to find stored up in the memory
You must not tease those unfortunate officers so much in your conversations about me, depend on it that

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if they told you their real sentiments they would say I was not worth so many enquiries. You find them, I doubt not, very frothy" I mean not by this/ to use your own expression/" to say that the Officers of the --- are worse than those of any other Regiment, on the contrary & e. but believe me my dear Elizabeth Army acquaintances now a days are not the most entertaining- perhaps not the most safe- at all events they require to be scrutinized and kept at a most respectful distance.

I was interrupted very luckily or I know not how far I should have proceeded in what I had to say about red coats, but I will tell you by whom I was interrupted, which will at least prove to you that if I am at present as frothy as many of my Brother Officers I am desirous of rendering myself otherwise, and I believe the first step towards amendment is conviction of difficiency; but I have proceeded many steps farther, & have in a great measure accomplished one of the many things of which, with its exception, I am utterly ignorant. Tu interotto dal mio Maestro Italiano which being so much like French I shall not explain; ma prendero la liberta di informarvi che il detto Maestro mi ha atteso per quatro misi, e che po fatto tanto profresso sotto la sua istrauzione che posso serivere ed anche parlau un poco in questa delettissima lingua. Cara mia Sorella, si, non mi capete

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April 22nd 1811
Miss Mc. Arthur

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Messina April 25th 1811.
My dearest Mother,
A few days since I had the pleasure to receive your affectionate letters of the 11th of October 1809 and of the 17th of March and 6th of May of the following year. I have read them over and over with the most lively solicitude, and with sensations which you alone can conceive. The picture which you have drawn of yourself is most affecting, but the many smiling scenes of the surrounding beauties of the Farm, must surely greatly tend to divert your mind. Even at a distance I am I seem under their influence. But tho’ to run over those scenes is most amusing to me, yet of course you will be better pleased that I should leave them and speak of those only which are about myself.

I am now writing in the Guard Room alone- in a small House appropriated for the Guard on the Marina of this Town Which ever way I turn my head I am [indecipherable] with a beautiful prospect. From the Northern window is seen the Faro/ on which we were encamped/ and that once dreadful Monster Scylla. From the Eastern I behold the Harbour of Messina formed by a narrow neck of land which stretches round like a vast hook, and is so very low that one would conceive it in danger from the Sea. In the same direction rise the Mountains of Calabria, from the summits of which the Snow has but just disappeared. By a slight turn of my head towards the North I can just discern the edies of

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Packet which I suppose you see I am beginning to exhaust my subjects and therefore it is in vain for me to attempt what is impossible for an imagination so barren as mine. You desire my dear Mother, that I should give you detailed accounts of myself, but this to tell the Truth is unpleasant for I, I, I in a letter is quite disgusting however as it is a Mothers’ request the scruples of the Son must yield to so superior a power.
My Chief Companion, I may say my only one is a young Irishman of course a terrible blood thirsty fellow because an Hibernian. However this part of his Character I have not yet been enabled to discover, and we have consequently since our first acquaintance at Winchester been upon the best of terms. We have breakfast together for six Months, and are the best of friends esteeming each other as much as it is possible for Army people to do. He keeps our breakfast account, a kind
of minutia which I do not like the trouble of, as a Subalterns account generally runs thus 10th Salt- 11th borrowed a little Sugar- to mending the spout of the tea kettle- [indecipherable]- Do,Do, Do to Salt, but however our breakfast establishment is not so bad as the generality We have a uniform set of tea things, and a clean table Cloth- a circumstance very rare with an unfortunate Fringe. Besides we are so extravigant as to indulge ourselves with two eggs a piece, and a couple of White Roals, together with milk, honey and butter and sundry other expensive articles, and
upon the whole we are what Hannibal would call very comfortable

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Charybdas no longer dreaded and frightful only in the Poet’s Song. The South presents a busy but a mournful scene- Workmen and ruins- the effects of an Earthquake- I think in the year 1703.
This guard comes to us once in about three Weeks and our other duties are now so easy that the greater part of the Day is at our own disposal. This I contrive to fill up and I therefore know not what it is to have a languid moment.
The Enemy on the opposite Coast are in force so small that nothing is expected to be done this summer.
You will like perhaps to learn my dear Mother what Society that is in which we are placed. Altho in a great Army we seldom see but our own Regimental friends, our intercourse therefore rarely extends beyond our own little circle. We are considered by all other Regiments as extremely proud, because we are reserves- even in some degree to each other. ‘Tis the Fashion of the Regiment. Its characteristic is steadiness and if one young man displays any inclination for wildness the cold countinances of the others damp his ardour. We sit but a short time after dinner, and are so abstemious that I do not remember to have seen a single person tipsy at the Mess during the time I have been with it. It is rather extraordinary but we have not an Officer at all inclined that way. The Commanding Officer, Colonel Sturt, tho a whimsical Man never gives us any cause for Complaint. He will always be on good terms with one provided the duty is done that he is not troubled, and is spoken to whenever met. But this

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Irish early at five or six o’ Clock with an Italian exercise or some other thing and then walk to visit some Monks in a neighbouring Convent Monastery,/ for the Nuns will not permit us to converse with/ altho the Convent in which we are quartered is surrounded with Nunneries. I keep up the acquaintance of these old Friars because they are very civil, and I have thereby an opportunity of practising their language. At nine I return to breakfast and exercise myself for half an hour afterwards with a fencing Master. Having dismissed him I study till two o’ Clock and at that hour receive my Italian Master. He remains till 3 o’ Clock, I am occupied half an hour afterwards in making a correct copy of the Exercises which he has corrected. By the time this is finished the first drum beats for Parade. We are kept on the whole about an Hour. At five we dine, and at ½ past six I rise from table, and take with my friends an Evenings Walk. We are home about eight, and until bedtime, I amuse myself with reading. I have no regular hour of going to bed. Sometimes ‘tis early, sometimes late as I find myself inclined. This division of time is sometimes interrupted by Military duties, and other circumstances which cannot be calculated on. In a few weeks more I intend making a tour to Mount Atna with some of our Officers. I shall make a journal of it for your perusal. Do you recollect my ever mentioning in my letters a Mr Colonel Wood of Hereford who amongst the other families was very civil to me, and who used to speak in such high terms of me. His Son a

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last occurs seldom as he rarely comes out excepting only to Parades. He has as great an aversion to Society, and to ladies in particular as Colonel Faveaux.

I should have liked much to have seen the 102 when they came home. The course of events may perhaps throw us together. Your loss in Mr Abbott must be great. The proceedings in New South Wales astonish me. They must surely be infatuated who can act in so unaccountable a manner.
What became of the glass I cannot conceive. I saw it put into the boat myself, which followed the Vessels to St. Hellen’s and Mr. Rouse an Agent employed by Mr. Thompson at Portsmouth assured me some time after that the boat was on time and had followed overtaken the Ships. The Glass must have been disposed of by the villainy of the Boatmen.

The lace must have arrived at Portsmouth after the departure of Governor & Mrs Mc. Quarie. In a short conversation with Mrs Mc. Quarie I understood that she had something for you, and I immediately concluded that it was the lace from Mr Thompson. But here I am to blame for I ought to have ascertained what it was. You will ere this reaches you, hear probably from Mr Thompson on the subject. I am too remote to make the necessary enquiries, but however I will write to Mr Rouse.

If you did learn the ill state of my Father’s Health, dearest Mother, I feel most accutely for those sufferings which you must have endured, but as you have since been informed I trust, not only of his reestablishment, but of the complete change for the better in his constitution, those heart rending sensations will have long given way to far different feelings. A friend of my

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fine young Man came out here a few days since to join the 42nd [?] Regimt. recommended to my attentions and good advice with such a letter that I should blush to have it read. So many fine things so much about being regretted[?] and so forth. The Regiment in which his Son is, unfortunately is quite the reverse of ours. Their fashion being to drink and carouse. In the news Papers I read that a Captain Houston of the Navy had died in Portugal. I fear much that it is our unfortunate friend. I saw him last at Gibraltar where he introduced me to the Governor’s Family, he departed from thence to the West Indies, and I know that he returned to England. Poor fellow I fear I am not mistaken in my conjectures. How good hearted a young man he was!!
I must make some apology for this letter but it is written in a disturbing place. Every now and then, it is “Guard turn out." There being a number of Officers entitled to their Complimens. When I am I will seldom go near a Guard remembering how annoyed I used to be when a Subaltern at this turning out. The turn itself I think is very oppressive. However as this is one of my greatest inconveniences I have no great cause for complaint and my condition therefore must be very happy, or I should never think of recording such a trifling circumstance.

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Father’s Captain Williams long acquainted with him assures me that he never saw him looking so well. I must beg you my dearest Mother to remember me most kindly to our old friends the Bayly’s and if you have renewed your intimacy with the Marsden’s you may make my remembrances there. Mrs M. will think it very strange that after being such great friends as we were that I never wrote to her in England- but there considering myself my Father’s representative how could I?

My compliments to the Governor & Mrs. Mc. Q. and also to Colonel O’Connel, and / if you please/ to his Lady, for tho’ I detest the Father, I cannot bear any enmity to the daughter. The other Officers whom you are pleased to converse with because they speak of me, I really do not remember. I saw the 73rd just previous to its embarkation but had not time to form an acquaintance with individuals. From what I know of military men their conversation can be a source but of small entertainment, I was therefore the more pleased to find that you intend living at Parramatta then dear Mother I follow you- conceive that I am not absent, for in truth the spirit of one dwells among you- I can fancy you walking about our grounds- I can form to mind ideas of the conversations to which this letter will give rise. I could wish that it were more interesting, but as I write long letters to my father by every Packet

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I have just taken up your letter of my last it proves to me that I know not my own mind- for when you speak of my little letter, and of many other endearing things I feel that I am not perfectly happy. That I want to be amidst my friends, to enjoy their confidence and conversation for which no other, believe me dearest Mother can make amends. The prattling of my little dear Girl- how I envy you. Gracious God why cannot I fly to the arms of those whom I love so much!! I cannot calculate on seeing you for many years! I have to push my Fortune in the bustling World- The objects which I have in view are at a distance. If I am fortunate what a satisfaction will it be to me to have it in my power to yield a helping hand to three who consider me their elder Brother. Such really are my present sentiments, may they withstand the corruption of the World.

May this meet you in the fullest enjoyment of health, and the completest happiness that your present state is capable of affording. Continue to think of the dearest Mother. You are always present to the mind of
Your most affectionate Son
Edwd Mc. Arthur.
Could you continue to send a few seeds, or curiosities to my friend Mr. Brogden. His address is James Brogden Esqre M.P. Park St. Grosvenor Sq. London- if you were to write to him at the same time, and say that they were sent at my request. I am sure he would be pleased. Once again adieu dearest Mother. I intend not to read this letter over because I know it is full of blunders.
[Side on:] In this little space I send my remembrances to all our old Servts & to Condron & his Wife if with you.

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Messina, April 29th 1811.
My dear Father,
Your letter of the 29th of last November I received some days back, together with those from my dear Mother, and Sisters.
Never was I more surprised than to see Major Williams. The appearance which he gave me of your perfect health added to your own, afforded me the highest satisfaction. I am far from lamenting that in a Father I have a rival in youth and should never murmur at any deprivations which I might suffer from such a circumstance. Many thanks to you, my dear Father for your letter of Credit. If I have occasion to avail myself of it at all it will be very moderately and that not for some time. Altho I am in no want of money it is a pleasant thing to have by me. My plan is to pay all off before I receive my month’s subsistance from the Pay Master, by which means I have always forty or fifty Dollars in hand, but others who do not adopt this method wait for their pay to discharge their Bills, so that they are generally without a sixpence, and at the end of the month are compelled to borrow from their Neighbours

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tho addressed to me, were intended for your perusal.
We are anxiously looking out for our new Commander in Chief, is appointment will produce great changes in this Army.
Your letter by Major Williams is of a very old date. I hope that the Packet may bring me some late intelligence. Edward Lee wrote me a very kind letter for which my dear Father, I must beg you to thank him. My kindest remembrances to Mary Ann, to
Mr. & Mrs. Thompson; and every branch of that good family. I must be so idle as not to write poor John, who will perhaps be demanding a Role to show Cause.
In my last letter I mentioned a few things which I should soon want. Scarlet cloth, and blue worsted & white cotton Web for Pantaloons.
I am perfectly well, and desire nothing more ardently than to hear from you. Pray put a few lines into the Post Office, I should be quite contented even did every letter contain a lecture.
I remain, My dear Father, Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur.

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Major Williams will not speak much in praise of what I do in a Military point of view. The truth is, as I have expressed in former letters, our Regiment is more calculated to make a good young man than to form a perfect soldier. He has recommended me to attend the field excercises of other Corps. This advise as far as is practicable I shall follow. At present I have the command of a Company which will continue during the sickness of the Officer to whom it belongs. It is in vain to be looking on in the rear, nothing is to be done without practice. French and Italian I deligently cultivate, and shall soon by dint of study & frequent conversation acquire the latter. The Mathematics I am sorry to say I have neglected but I will resume them again, tho’ to confess the truth they are not at all to my taste. If you, my dear Father can make interest enough to obtain my admission into High Wickham I promise to be prepared to answer such questions as may be proposed to me on my examination.

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I have written to Mr. Brogden this Morning and against another opportunity will endeavour to find subject to frame a letter to General Est. & Mr. Watson.
God bless you my dear Father & all those who so kindly bear me in mind. E. Mc.A.
If it is practicable could you send me a Military Hat. That which I have has been turned, and will soon look shabby. An appearance I like not any of my things to have.

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I have never once written to Mr. Watson, tho’ frequently to Mr. Brogden, but from whom ever I never hear. I will address him again by this Packet, but my writing to Mr. Watson and General Est must be deferred until something or other occurs to afford me subject for a letter. At present every thing is too quiet- and to all appearances will continue so. I have written letters to my dear Sisters, and Mother, by a Mr. Hughes [indecipherable] surgeon of our Regiment, going to England. Should he deliver the letters himself will you shew him any little civility you may have in your power? Major Williams left this on the 24th with Lord Malpas, and an other Gentleman on a tour round Sicily. He is to be in Palermo in about three Weeks from whence he will write to me. During the few days he remained here I was continually with him. He is certainly a very pleasant Man.
I am sorry that you did not open my Mother’s letters because there are many parts which

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John Mc. Arthur Esqre
Thos. Thompson’s Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square
Stamped Foreign June 26 1811.

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Messina June 21st 1811.
My dear Father,
I was much disappointed at not receiving a single letter from England by the last Packet and could assign no cause for your silence, till on looking over the Papers I discovered that the Court Martial on Colonel Johnston was at length assembled. Its decision is, probably ‘ere this known and you are either rejoicing at the success, or lamenting the loss of a good cause. How anxiously do I await the arrival of the next mails. I hope- I fear, am confident and yet apprehensive.
I received a letter this Evening from Captn. Williams dated Gingenti the 11th Inst. he was then on the point of leaving Sicily, and will I trust before this arrives, have safely reached England. He begs me to write to him by every packet, which I shall certainly not neglect to do.
In my last letter you will have perceived that Captain Williams had introduced me to Lord Malpas, a young Nobleman with whom he came

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remains an hour with me, by the time he retires it is necessary to dress for dinner, as we dine at four, but whenever any space intervenes between that and dinner I fill it up by making a fair copy of my Italian Exercise. It consists of about thirty lines translated from the History of Charles the 12th. I have finished the first book and great part of the second. My Italian Master receives five dollars a Month which added to the Fencing Masters’ salary amounts to eight Dollars a Month, which now sound in my cais as much as eight pounds used to do. My pay serves, but I fear I must soon touch upon the letter of Credit, as I am very desirous of seeing a little of the interior of Sicily, and particularly Mount Atna. I have been so minute that a Father’s patience must be well nigh exhausted.

Captain Williams can give you every information respecting the wretched state of this Country; the people are so oppressed that were it not for the fear of our Troops they would certainly revolutionise the Government. Thus the Sicilian Court

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came into Sicily. They left this together for the purpose of making the tour of the Island, but Lord Malpas falling sick on the way was compelled to return to Messina, where on his recovering he called on me and from frequently seeing each other we have at length become quite intimate. He is a well educated young Man, very good natured, and without the smallest affectation. He spends much of his time at my quarters, where he is attracted by my books and a similarity of taste for polite litterature. I assure my dear Father, that, until I heard him read, I was unacquainted with the Force and harmony of Shakespears’ language. Nothing can be more fortunate than my acquaintance with him. From associating with none but my own Regiment I had become a little vain of my acquirements, but I am now humbled to the dust and see how much there is still for me to do
My time at present is occupied in the following man-

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make us in some measure the instruments of their tyranny, and by that means weaken the favourable sentiments which the Sicilians entertain of us.
By the Packet we received some News papers which I suppose Mr. Thompson has had the goodness to send, as I wrote to him for that purpose. I hope he will write by the next Packet. Pray make my affectionate and kindest remembrances to the whole family.
How are James and William getting on? I wish James would write to me- he could tell me all about himself & William, the Doctor & Mrs. Mathews, and so forth. Your last letter is dated the 29th of November, my dear Father- only consider what a time. I never hear from dear John nor from any other person. In fact this silence has given me quite a disgust to letter writing, and I do assure you that nothing but the pleasure I know you take in hearing from me could have prevailed on me to write this letter

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-ner. I rise every Morning between four and five o’ Clock and attend the Fencing Master till six, /not that I expect or am indeed desirous to become an expert fencer, but because the exercise is good, and I think it will tend to set me up, for this I pay three dollars a Month.
The remaining part of the Morning I employ in writing and reading Italian until eight o’ Clock when I am summonsed to breakfast by my Friend Mr. Courteney, with whom I have lived on terms of the greatest intimacy since we left England. At 9 o’ Clock my studies are resumed and the hour till ten is devoted to English reading. I then commence my Mathematics, and give two hours and sometimes more to them. When I have laid them aside I read French for an Hour. I then look over my lessons for my Italian Master, and when they are required read Italian till he comes. He re-

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You have I trust heard lately from my dear Mother and Sisters, and of their being well. Send them this letter and assure them in my name that time nor distance make no alteration in my affection.
My love to James and William, and to John. If you have occasion to write to my Uncle remember me most affectionately to them all. Should it have escaped you will you be so kind as to send me out some Scarlit Cloth, and a little white Cotton and blue worsted web for Pantaloons.
My dear Father I am just going to bed, and shall pray for your safety and happiness. It is the constant prayer of your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur
The Thermometer is now about 83 in the shade, how would Mr. Thompson like it?
My Compliments to Coln. Johnstone, I hope I may safely congratulate him on an honorable acquittal.

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Address page stamped Foreign 1811.
John Mc. Arthur
Thos. Thompson Esqre
24 Castle St
Leicester Square

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Messina, July 21st 1811
My dear Father,
The melancholy intelligence contained in my Mother’s affectionate letter of the 21st of last May reached me a few days since. Poor Mr. Thompson and Mary Ann. Him, good old gentleman I expected never to meet again but I was not prepared for the death of Mr. Lee. The shock therefore was as great as the sad account was unexpected. Indeed to hear at one time of the departure of two friends so dear and so much esteemed was too much for me who was so inexperienced in the School of Adversity.
My attention however was in some degree diverted from this mournful Event, by anxiety for the result of Colonel Johnstones affair. I learned from the Papers that the Court had closed its proceedings, and that they had submitted their sentence for the approval of the Prince, but what was said on the subject was so confined that I could form no opinion on the subject business except from what I knew of the atrocious conduct of one party. But however as a balance to the cheering hope which arose from this consideration, there being heavy on

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my mind the reflection that cases less intricate are at times unjustly decided on.
The Packet which we expect will arrive in a few days will I trust bring me the intelligence I so much desire.
I should have addressed this letter to John had I been certain where it would find him; but if he is still in London you must thank him for me, my dear Father, as an inducement to his writing again. It is necessary that you should see this letter without delay, as I have drawn a Bill on Mr. Thompson for £30.10s in favour of Mr. Mindham, the Gentleman to whom Edward Lee was so good as to send me a letter of Credit. It will probably make its appearance shortly after the receipt of this advice.
This large amount drawn at once will make you perhaps conceive that I have departed from my Economical Habits, but the sum however remains in my Trunck almost untouched, for indeed I had not occasion for so large a one, but Mr. Mindham did not seem to like cashing a draft for a smaller.

I wrote to Castle Street begging that they would have the kindness to order out some papers for the Regiment. They have punctually arrived, but the confusion the family must have been in, has prevented their writing to

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me on the subject, so that I know not who is to settle with the Editor. Whether I am to receive the Money in consequence of Mr. Thompsons having paid it, or the or whether the Regiment is to transmit it Home.

Since my last I have been at the Top of Mount Atna. I was a week away from the Regiment, and saw all that was curious to be seen at the Cities of Catania & Taormina after descending from the Mountain. The journey up is very fatiguing, and what few will be tempted to perform a second time. I made a small journal for your and my dear Mothers forth whith. I shall send by the first opportunity. The variety of climate experienced on the way up the Mountain may be conceived from this circumstance. At its Foot we found the Thermometer at 83° and at its summit it was 44. It is today at Messina 85 ½ .
Captain Williams who also performed this Journey is by this time I trust in England, and from him you can learn all the particulars. Before his departure he sent me from Palermo a handsome Saddle and bridle, with their several little appendages complete-

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I was quite pleased to hear of Johns litterary atchievements. He will acquire more bays than I laurels. There is nothing doing here, and until the arrival of Lord Hon Bentwick it is uncertain what arrangements are to take place.

I continue to apply myself to my studies and use every morning at ½ past 4 . My kindest remembrances to our much afflicted friends, love to my Brothers, and Compliments to Col. Johnston.
I remain,
My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur.

John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
William Thompson’s Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

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August 17- 1811. Messina

My dear Father,
I have the pleasure to announce to you our departure from this Island; we are to embark immediately either for Spain or Portugal/ Cadiz or Lisbon/ I am in perfect health, in good spirits and have plenty of money in my Pocket. By the last Packet I informed you that I had availed myself of the letter of credit on Mr. Mindham to draw a bill for £32.10 in favour of that gentleman.
In England I should presume our destination is no secret, I hope therefore that on arriving I shall find letters from you. How anxious I am, you are my dear Father sufficiently apprized of

It will now be necessary for me to brush up my Spanish. What a strange confusion of languages I shall be possessed of. It is almost a pity I had not applied myself entirely to French, a very little intercourse however with people of that Nation will bring into use the knowledge of it, which in a manner lies dormant. By having constantly

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constantly translated from French into Italian I have improved myself in the one, and acquired a sufficient acquaintance with the other to be enabled to express myself on all common subjects, and at any time hereafter to read with a facility which will at once be my delight and amusement, the many beautiful works that it contains.
On the head of idleness, my dear Father, you will have no occasion to lecture me, even in the open of plains of Portugal.

Sir John Steward has layed down his command it is supposed with reluctance, and that when he tendered the resignation of it to Government, he did not expect it would be so readily accepted. Lord William resides at Palermo, General Maitland the second in command remains here. The Paragraphs which have appeared in the News Papers about the Court of Palermo are here, and are read with the highest satisfaction by the oppressed people of this Country.
I was invited to Palermo by Lord Malpas some days since, but was prevented from going by the prospect of our leaving the Island.

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I have a few Lava Snuff Boxes for my friends in London, and four views of volcanoes for Mr Brogden which I shall send by the first opportunity.

My kindest remembrances to the Castle Street family, the Lees & -
My love to John and the boys, with which I hasten to subscribe myself.
My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

Pray do not call this a shabby letter. Nature has so strangely formed me, that on all emergencies I am so strangely agitated as to be in a manner almost incapable of writing.

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John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
William Thompson’s Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

Mssrs Hill & Parker -various stamps mostly illegible

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Dawn, transport off the Island of Ioila
September 13th 1811.
My dear Mother,
You will perceive by the date of this letter that we have left Sicily; our destination we do not exactly know and therefore being unable at this time to give you much information on that head, I determine to write you a short account of an excursion I made in June last to the summit of Mount Etna.

Having long talked of visiting this celebrated Mountain, two Officers of the Regiment and myself obtained leave of absence for ten days , and embarked on board a Country Vessel going to Catania, a City I believe about sixty Miles distant from Missina. We set sail on the last day of June, and found ourselves in a few minutes on the no longer formidable Charybdis, with minds properly suited to the Scene which laid before us. On our right was Sicily with its Hills undulating like the Waves, and Messina rising from ruins to its ancient magnificence, on the left lay the Mountains of Calabria, together with

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Philosopher Empedocles. But what it really was, must be left to the Virtuosi to determine, for nothing now remains but a few bricks.
We now set out again on our return. As the day advanced the clouds began to dispel, and we were amused in our way down by a variety of rich scenery. On arriving at Tricolosi our Host was surprised to see us so little fatigued- We remained there a few hours, and then pursued our Way to Catania. In the villages we passed through we saw the Children with Snow Balls in their Hands tho’ in the height of Summer. Mount Atna supplies the surrounding countries with the Luxury of Ice, and brings in an immense revenue. We took an other road to Catania and avoided that by which we came, and by so doing much of the rugged Lava we had before to ride over. This distructive lava becomes in a series of years a soil very congenial to the Vine. As soon as it begins to crumble into dust, the peasants pick out the larger stones, of which they form Walls, and thus in the highest cultivated grounds you have the lava presented to the View, as a memorial of its Course.

In the Evening we reached Catania heartily tired, and most happy to alight from our Mules, which we had never been enabled to get out of & Walk, during our whole Journey, a distance upon the whole of about sixty Miles. A journey which all who speak from experience will allow to be one of those things much better

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the City of Reggio all rendered famous by the many illustrious characters of former ages. The breeze was fresh and the Vessel glided through the Water with an animating rapidity; every moment some new object presented to the view equally beautiful and interesting, hills covered to their very summits with olives- Vales flourishing, to their furthest extent, with vineyards, Gardens and cultivated Grounds.

We were lossed in the contemplation of so many beauties when Etna broke upon the View, and reminded us of what we had to perform. Every thing looked mild about him, and he himself so benign that with difficulty we could persuades ourselves that at times he is so dreadful a scourge.

The Wind failing us we did not arrive at Catania till the next Morning. The Vessel anchored in a small cove formed by the Lava, the only Port which now remains to the City. We landed and walking a short distance entered the Town, which we found superb, and infinitely beyond what we were

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to have accomplished, than to have to perform.
The next Morning we sent for a Man whose business it is to show the Curiosities of the Town. We followed him to an ancient theatre which is one of the buildings that have been dug down to through the Lava which overwhelmed the ancient Catania. The Entrance the Galleries and some parts of the Pit are perfect. It is built of Lava, which ages ago had distroyed the same City. Thus Town has been built above Town. We next visited the public Baths The way was opened to them at an immense expense by the late Prince of Biscari, who made many curious discoveries. He formed a museum of those things which were redeemed from the Lava. This Collection was in his time as it is now, in that of his Son, deemed the most extensive in Sicily. We went to see it and on entering the Museum were struck with a noble Statue of the Prince, standing on a solid block of highly polished Lava. From hence branches off a suit of apartments each appropriated to its particular branch of natural History and antiquities. Whatever is curious either ancient or modern has here found a place, but to have examined each attentively would have required more time than we could bestow. From the Museum we were ushered into the Prince’s private dwelling- a noble mansion

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led to expect from our view of it from the Harbour.
We put up at an Inn situated in the principal Square, in which is the Cathedral, a showy well built Church, and the Senate House, a large building occupying one side of the Square. Immediately opposite the Inn there is a curious antique fragment consisting a Pillar of Egyptian Granite together with an Elephant of black Lava on the back of which it stands.

The heat was so excessive that we deferred going to see His antiquities in which this Town abounds untill the Evening our return from Mount Etna. In the Evening the streets were crowded with well dressed people, as well on foot as in carriges, and on Horseback. This Town is much more frequented by the Nobility & Sicilian Gentlemen than Messina, which seems abandoned to the English, and the Mercantile part of the nation.

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in which is displayed a beautiful collection of paintings, many of them by the first Masters.
The Benedictine Convent next attracted our attention. It is a superb residence that would be fit for any Monarch in Europe. We had heard much of the organ in the Church, said to be one of the finest in the World. We were fortunate enough to find the Monks at Mass, and were so pleased with the Organ, that we did not dispute the truth of its Excellency. The Church in itself is very handsome, and tho not ornamented in so rich a manner as many of the Chappels in Sicily is very grand. There are about twelve different altars decorated with indigenous marbles of great beauty and variety. Each altar has a large sculpture piece in Oil Colours executed in a most masterly style. It is impossible to enter a Place of Worship of this kind, without a becoming reverence & awe and so far it seems to me the Catholics have an advantage over us. But their mummery is too, too ridiculous. The Friars I mentioned we found at Mass. The service was chanted by a choir of Youths, who every now and then, bowed and bent the knee- And a certain signals retired to, and advanced from their seats, and formed in file behind a large Volume containing the Psalms in Hebrew resting upon a stand, which turned round upon a pivot and thus displayed to the congregation that they were reading Hebrew.

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The next Morning we hired four Mules for ourselves and the Muleteer, and proceeded on our Journey up the Mountain over an immense torrent of Lava, which some years since issuing from a small Mountain about twelve Miles from Catania, continued a direct course for the City threatning it with distruction until approaching its Walls it diverted its Course and flowed into the Sea. We continued our Journey over this one terrible Element till we came to Nicolosi, a small Hamlet at which we arrived about one o’ Clock.
We were taken by our Guide to the House of an old Gentleman, who on offering us an Assylum seemed to do it with the air of Man who confers a favour, but whom however we discovered to be very solicitous to become acquainted with the depth of our purses that he might thereby estimate what he might calculate on receiving for the accomodation he afforded.

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Which bye the bye I am inclined to discredit, tho they would fair have made us believe so. This Convent is the richest in Sicily. We went also to see their Museum, but the very fine is not to be compared to the prince of Biscari.

I must not leave Catania without speaking of the Veil of Sant’ Agatha, which is held in the greatest veneration and deemed the safe Guard of the City. In the year 264 at an Eruption of Mount Etna, the Catanese, who were in those days unbelievers were moved by an inscription on the Tomb of Sant’ Agatha, who had suffered Martyrdom for the Christian faith, to open the Sepulchre and take out the Veil or shroud in which the body was wrapped which having done they bore it against a river of fire, on the point of pouring in upon the City and thereby turned its course.
The Catanese, according to the tradition immediately embraced the Christian faith, and the veil of Sant’ Agatha has ever been resorted to on occasions of threatened distruction from the Mountain

At Messina they have also relics equally powerful. A lock of the Virgin Mary’s Hair has repeatedly preserved their City, and at the Earthquake which overwhelmed so many thousands, the preachers asserted that as many more would have been killed but for the timely assistance obtained from the efficacious Lock of Hair.

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London, Feby 24th 1812.

My dear, dear Mother,
I have this moment arrived in London on a short leave of absence from Portugal, and find Oxley and my Father preparing to go to Portsmouth to Morrow Morning to see Hannibal previous to his departure. It is my intention to see Hannibal; but should the vessel have sailed before I can reach Portsmouth, let this serve to assure you, my dearest Mother, and you my dear dear Sisters, that I am perfectly well happy, and most affectionately Yours
Edwd. Mc. Arthur.

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[Page 278]

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[Page 279]

Mrs. Mc. Arthur [and red seal]

[Page 280]
Portsmouth, March 1st 1812.

My dear dear Mother,
My letters will be put into your hands by our dear Maria, who will tell you all concerning me. Captain Kent is here talking with my Father, you would be much interested in the conversations which are passing between two such old friends. He desires to be most kindly remembered to you.

My Father looks as well as ever I remember to have seen him. His spirits are good and he is all alacrity, and alertness.
John is at Cambridge- I go to see him before my departure. James and William are at Dr. Lindsay’s, but them I have also to see.
My movements have

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been of late very rapid. On the 27th January 1812 I left the Regt. was at Lisbon on the 5th of Feby. Sailed from thence in H.M. Ship Romulus on the 8th. Was off Oporto on 12th and put into Vigo on the 13th in a Gale of Winds. We sailed from thence on the 19th and arrived at Portsmouth on the 23rd. Unapprized of Hannibal’s being so near me I set off for London and found my Father and Oxley about to leave it for this Town. They delayed their departure a few hours, and took me with them.
I must myself return to London this Evening, but my Father will remain here while the Vessel comes round from the Downs.
In about a fortnight I shall

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return into Portugal, not improbably with Captain Kent.
I must refer you and my dearest Sisters, to Maria for every particular concerning me.
Adieu, My dearest Mother, Adieu, and you my dear dear Sisters, believe all that
I am most affectionately and truly Yours
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

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Mrs. Mc. Arthur [and red seal]

[Page 284]
Portsmouth, March 25th 1812.

My dear Father,
My Dogs, myself and baggage are all well and safe at Portsmouth. Davidson is gone to London, and his Friend has sailed.
What chances there are of my doing so, you will be enabled to judge when you learn that no new convoy is yet appointed for the Lisbon Fleet.
I dine to day with the Williams’s they are particularly kind to me. I write from thence. Tell Miss Mary her Family are all well.
I have

[Page 285]

yet to call on Dr. Scott, and to wait on General Whitham- A long detention at Portsmouth will be provoking- indeed I much apprehend it.
I am at present at the blue posts [?] , and unless I can procure a cheap Lodging I shall not remove as the generallity of the Houses are let at an enormous price.
Make my kindest remembrances to Edward and Mr. Thompson
Adieu, My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur.

[Page 286]

I have this moment left Colonel Mainwaring who commands at Hilifia-he was exceedingly polite & has put me down on his List for a passage. He told me not to be apprehensive on account of the expiration of my leave, as I had taken full & sufficient time to prevent unpleasant consequences I may be here a Month. It is but a melancholy plan and I lament having left you. Would it not be as well that you write to Hinton to tell them I am here, as it probably would produce an invitation to spend a few days there - very desirable at this moment. Mrs Thompson will laugh about the breakfast at Clapham – but I told her true. When you go next to Town will you have the goodness to furnish me with something to present to the family at [indecipherable] bless my dearest Father

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Postmark Portsmouth
John Mc. Arthur Esqre
Edwd Lee Esqre No. 17 Belmont Place

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Portsmouth, April 6th 1812.
My dear Father,
I thought to have been off this Morning, the Wind was fair and every prospect of the Convoy’s sailing, but it soon became adverse.
The Ships may however depart to Morrow Morning. I have every thing on board.

I have drawn a Bill upon Willm. Thompson for 28 £ which includes £ 12 I received from Mr. Rouse on landing from Portugal and £ 16 to day.

I have just finished my letters for New South Wales, and have left them with Mr. Rouse to be delivered to Oxley.
I received the

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Box containing the seal and lace hankerchief, and have been to day expecting the papers you were to have despatched by the Coach. This delay is a little unpleasant but those who depend on the winds may calculate on being so served.
My Cousin James is embarked on board one of the East India Men- I learned from him that my Cousin Charles was included in the promotion which took place on the retiring of Mr. York. Price has charge of the East India Fleet. I was on board the Hotspur yesterday with him-

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she is fitted up in a superior way.

I received a letter from Mr. Brogden yesterday – he begs me only to write to him by private hands from Portugal, and says the less I write unless in that way, the better, unto whom ever it may be.
My kindest remembrances to Edward & Mrs. Thompson and as I write to safe Posts the hasty assurances of my being
My dear dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

[Page 291]

Postmark Portsmouth
John Mc. Arthur Esqre
Edwd. Lee’s Esqre
Belmont Place

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His Majesty’s Ship Romulus
April 18th 1812

My dear Father,
The Romulus arrived this Evening in the Tagus (?) I have not yet been on shore, but as the Packet will sail in the Morning I write to mention my safe arrival without waiting to collect more general, tho not such interesting intelligence.

Badajos has fallen, as you will have heard- the slaughter however has been dreadful.
I shall leave Lisbon the moment I can procure animals to proceed on to the Regiment.
My dogs are quite safe
Remember me most kindly to Edward Lee, Mrs Thompson and the families in Castle Street and Dover Place.
God bless you, My dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edward Mc. Arthur

Affectionate remembrances to John and the Boys.

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I have a melancholy story for the ladies

Just previous to our passing the Bar a Man was ordered to the Mast head to clear the vane, which when he had reached the Ship gave an unexpected and violent pitch and carrying away her three Top Gallant Masts, threw the him upon the Deck. In the fall he injured a Soldier nearly as much as himself. The poor fellows are both dangerously hurt, but is hoped they will survive live.

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Postmark: Ship letter Plymouth 10 o’ clock My 8 1812
John Mc Arthur Esqre
Belmont Place

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Villa Garda, July 11th 1812.
My dear Mother,
I have not addressed you now for some time, my last was written at Portsmouth, and left there for Oxley to take with him, when he should sail for New South Wales. Of my movements so far you will be apprized. I shall now succinctly relate what has befallen me since that period and I fear I must claim a Mother’s indulgence in an account that will be found not a little tiresome.
I embarked the 5th April on board H.M. Ship Romulus, and landed in Lejoon (?) on the 17th of the same Month. Having remained there some days to equip myself I did not march till the 28th, and then proceeded in the Command of a Detachment to join the 2nd Division of the Army. The establishment consisted of two Servants, /a Portugese Lad, and a Soldier/ two Mules, one of which conveyed my baggage and on the other I rode myself. We travelled the same road I had taken on first going up the Country, along the Tasies, as far as Abrantes,/ where we crossed the river,/ and as far as a Village called Gavio. We here branched off in an other direction. If you have a Map of Portugal in the House, you may trace me to Gafete through an open and uncultivated Country as far as Ciato, where my Regiment was quartered for a Month, and from whence I wrote you a long letter descriptive of its situation.
From Ciato I will take you to Alter de Chao amidst a more fruitful Country and from thence to Assumar, by an intricate road, and wild country, but having overcome the obstacles to a beautiful little village. The next halting place on the March is Santa Clara. The road through a spatious forest. The village dirty and miserable. From hence it is only a short march to Elvas. A large fortified Town and one of the most respectable in Portugal.
We marched the next day to Badejos. It had then been taken but a few days, and was in a ruinous condition. The Troops were employed in removing the dead and rubbish from the Trenches, and in repairing the Walls.
The next days march was to Talavera, a small village three leagues from Badejos. The following day we proceeded to Almandulejo, where I had the good fortune to join the Regiment. We were sixteen days upon the march. No accident befell me on the way. My Mules, travelled well, and that which carried the baggage, never once stopped on the road altho the poor animal had a load of three Hundred weight to carry every day.

I found my Brother Officers happy to see me, and wondering much that having once got out of the Country I should be silly enough to return to it. General Hill had marched some days previous with the Division/ having left the 39th to protect the rear/ to Almoraz, where he had the good fortune to destroy a considerable force of the Enemy’s

The Morning after I joined the Regiment marched to Merida, & to prevent surprise we slept every Night in an Olive Grove till Genl. Hill returned to us with the Division We then went into quarters at a small village near Merida, called Callimonte. We remained there about a Week, and marched again to Almandulys. From thence we advanced to Fuente del Mestre, and remained stationary there a week or ten days.

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not to be procured. If I had only been taught to live like the New Hollander how happy and independent I should be. I should have no cares about baggage, no apprehensions of my Mules being broken down on the road, and little concern about my own personal fate. The business of meeting the Enemy is a Farce, we all pray for the event, as the means of procuring a little repose After the hot broiling march. There is not a Man, but feels a total apathy, and unconcern about his personal existence. Upon my word, my dear Mother, if in these sad times I saw any Chance of bright prospects I would not hesitate to abandon a profession attended with so many privations Do not think me at all singular my dear Mother, in my manner of thinking, mine is the common sentiment with us all. It is only the field Officers and those in Staff situations who perhaps are not to be included amongst the common number. But amidst those grievances I have this great consolation, that there are few, very few of my own rank who are so well circumstanced
It is astonishing how great a few days rest causes in one way of thinking as we rest we shall become less & less gloomy till at length our wanted cheerfulness is restored.
All this vexatious marching and counter marching will probably at some future day afford trains of thought infinitely diverting, but however it must be confest that at the present time it often produces not much entertainment. So much for Spanish affairs.
About two Months since I received a letter from Mr. Kingdon of Markam Church. He speaks of his having lossed one of his sons, and of Mrs. K’s having brought an increase to the Family of a little Girl. He says that my Grand Mother was quite well, but that Mr. Bond had been ill and was much altered. Mr. K. was going to London where he hoped to meet my Father. He says also in his letter that Mrs. Chapman was living and well.
This long letter of mine, dearest Mother must serve all parties. Elizabeth, Mary, Maria and Oxley together with our good Coz. It is difficult to write amidst so much confusion. My tenderest love to you all my dearest friends. Kiss little Isabella for me. Remember me kindly to Miss Lucas- To Mr. & Mrs. Baily and to all friends. God preserve you, my dearest Mother, ever prays, Your affectionate Son,
Edw. Mc. Arthur.

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From Fuente del Mestre we advanced to Zapa, one of the principal Towns in Estramadura, and the very best in which we had been quartered, but even there the quarters which fell to my lot were in a miserable Hovel; however such a House I should now deem a Palace.
I had formed many acquaintances amongst the Spanish Families in the Towns through we passed & from all I experienced the greatest civilities. They all complained how distressing it was to part with those whose friendship they wished to cultivate and to be subject to such a continual influx of strangers. The same persons can rarely happen to be quartered a second time with the same Family, but the Troops are continually passing and repassing. Today they receive their friends, to Morrow they may expect there Enemies, and be exposed to every insult with the inability to resent the indignity.
A pleasant Family I am acquainted with in Merida related to me what there situation generally is when the French come to the Town. The best apartments in the House are given up, and the young ladies remain in a retired room from whence they never remove till the Enemy evacuate the Town. On these occasions they frequently plunder every thing within their reach. Their coming, their stay, and departure are equally dreaded. Many of their Officers cause a ruinous expense in their Quarters; they compell their Landlords to furnish them and their Servants with as much bread and wine as they can consume

The poor people on whom the Soldiery are quartered remain in the most wretched condition, scarcely a convenience of any one kind is left in there Houses; the little they do possess, on the approach of an Enemy they are compelled to secure.
You will be enabled to form from what I here relate some small idea of the severity of the scourge which is inflicted on this suffering People.
I will now continue the narration of our own movements. We had not been in Zapa many days, when the Division collected and retired by a rapid march in the Night on the road towards Badajos, a measure which was occasioned by the approach of the Enemy. We halted about five leagues from Badajos, near the village of Santa Martha and remained there the whole of the next day exposed to the broiling sun.
The following Morning we retired still further, and halted in an immense Wood in the neighbourhood of Albuera, a village celebrated only by its having been the scene of an action the preceding year between Marshall Berresfor and Soult. It is four leagues from Badajos. Here we were determined to make a stand. Every preparation was made for a battle. Redoubts were constructed and every precaution taken which could insure success. The French approached

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within six leagues of us. There was daily scurmishing between the Cavalry at the out Posts. We were encamped at Albuera about a Fortnight. The enemy not choosing to attack us at the end of this period began to retire, and we immediately to pursue and harrass his rear Guard.
Two days before we departed from Albuera I was attacked with a smart Fever, I had a choice but of two Evils, either to go to the rear or march with the Division. I thought it preferable not to quit the Regiment, as I was desirous of being present in the event of any thing taking place, and because if I had gone to the rear I should have been many days without medical aid. In the reduced state in which I was I suffered much. The Troops were generally under arms at 2 o Clock every Morning, and halted during the heat of the day in the open Country. The Heat at this season is intollerable. We marched from Albuera on the 2nd Inst. to Santa Martha. From thence we continued our rout after the Enemy and [indecipherable] the 5th Night at Albuera Del Santos. The Division marched the next day to Bienvenida, and Usagre, the Enemy’s Cavalry retiring as we [indecipherable]
The following Morning we came on to this Town and the remainder. The Division advanced to Herena a large Town about a league from hence.
We were not allowed to enter the Town, but incamped in an Olive Grove, which affords but an inadequate shelter against an intense sun. Four days ago the Division marched with the intention of surprising a Corps of the Enemy about three leagues from hence. It was under Arms from two in the Morning till Noon day, but did not succeed in the enterprise. The next Morning it was under Arms at the same Hour, and commenced to retire to the Village and Herena about five in the Morning. Before we could reach our cantonments the heat of the Day came on Several of the Portuguese soldiers died on the road and the whole Division came in quite exhausted.
We were allowed to enter the Town, five thousand Men crowded together, Officers and Men promiscuously. I have neither Chair nor Table to write on, and am surrounded by soldiers. Notwithstanding these inconveniences I have quite recovered my Health, and am now, thank God, as well as ever.
The annoyances we are subjected to are inconceivable. From the careless indifference of Servants, the harrassing and difficulty of finding the Mules, & the almost utter impossibility of replacing those things which are deficient arising either from the narrowness of our circumstances/ for better or no money do we receive from Government/ or from the articles required being

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The French have retired to Cordova We have never been so far in advance. The Spaniards seem to be exerting themselves in the North. Here they remain quiet. I fear that in about six Weeks hence I shall be badly off for Money. I have received my Pay to the 24th of May, the other Officers only to March, so that when they receive Money I shall get none. If I had a credit in Lisbon the Paymasters would cash my orders.
The Weather is dreadfully warm. My kindest remembrances to the Thompson’s and Lees, to Dr. Lindsay and my Brothers
God bless you, my dear Father
Ever prays, Your affectionate Son
E. Mc. A

Postmarked Foreign 1812, red wax sealed and addressed to
John Mc. Arthur Esqre
William Thompson Esqre
24 Castle Street Leic

Edward Lee Esqre
Single Street
South Lam [missing part]

July 12th Villa Garcia nr Herena.
My dear Father,
I send you a letter for my dear Mother- You will perceive I have been attacked with a smart Fever, but that I am now recovered. In a few days I shall have gained my wanted strength.
I have written to you twice since I came into the Country and to John once. I wish I could hear from you in return
What our further movements will be we cannot conjecture.

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La Hava Septr. 12th 1812.
My dear Father,
I have this moment received two affectionate letters, by yourself and John, only eighteen Days ago. I opened them with a tremulous Hand apprehensive of what they might contain. That you had again my dear Father, been attacked with your old complaint, I was in some degree prepared to leave, as well by your own silence, as by a letter of a very recent date from Plymouth. I am thankful that the intelligence was not more distressing tho’ it proved, indeed, sufficiently afflicting. The Scenes to which we are daily exposed, and the manner in which we are, without the smallest commiseration, knocked about, have an effect upon the mind with which those who live in civil society are little acquainted. Selfishness and indifference soon predominate; sensibility and a regard for others die away.
Affected with this disease, I had imagined that my feelings would be dead to whatever might occur, but how little I knew the state of my own mind was evident from the sensations I experienced both at the receipt & perusal of your letters.

Your illness, and the deplorable state of mind to which that illness reduces you related amidst the anguish of your complaint could not fail to move a Heart however callous.
But do not, my dear Father burthen your mind already too much depressed with any concern on my account. I have long been restored to Health and spirits. I am exposed it is true in common with my Neighbours to the unavoidable annoyances of a Campaign at at the same time I have many sources of amusement

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In the Towns we pass through immediately after the French the constant & quiet occupation of the inhabitants affords the idea of one Division of an Army following an other, rather than of being in pursuit of an Enemy. People in England are apt to imagine that the Peasantry of a Country, arming themselves with rusted weapons fly to the standard of their Friends when it is unfurled for their defence. perhaps such would be the case as long as the fervent created by the first inroad existed, but how soon this enthusiasm subsided may be seen by an attention to Spanish Affairs.
This Territory now freed from the French Yoke one would imagine ought to exert its every means towards the liberation of the adjoining provinces. Nothing however is doing; we neither see nor hear of the levying of Troops, nor of the adopting measures to oppose a second invasion.
The Towns are certainly cramped for means, but yet they seem capable of some exertion. If the apathy of the other Provincialists equals that of the Estramadurians I fear we shall yet have a hard struggle.

John also wishes information on the State of Spanish Education Perhaps never was a nation buried in such profound ignorance. Excepting a few of the higher Ranks they are little better versed in general knowledge than the New Hollander. The generality of their questions are to enquire about the number of your relations- They seem to be possessed of much natural sagacity, and of a politeness exceeding certainly that of our own People.

[Page 301]

and many enjoyments from which my neighbours are debarred. Distressed as the Army is for Money, I have never yet been entirely without; my concern for the most part has not been so much excited by present circumstances as by the dread of those which might occur. I will give you one instance my dear Father amongst many others that I could insinuate
Amply provided with forage for my Mules I have been too apt to tease myself with the idea of the supplies failing, of the animals dieing, and my baggage being left on the road. None of these circumstances have happened hitherto, therefore why should I concern myself about that which perhaps never will

Mrs Gould’s Brothers all have informed me of the credit you have been so kind as to place in their Hands; you will learn however by a letter I wrote from Zapa about a Month since that they had authorized me to draw upon them for one Hundred Spanish Dollars, and that I had in consequence sent them a Draft on Mr. Kettlewell for £ 27 .10

My Brother’s letter of May has never come to hand It is a singular circumstance, for letters are rarely known to miscarry. Under the persuasion that not one had been written to me I wrote him a short letter only a few days ago, rather I believe in the dolorous strain. I intend for the future to alter the Note, and as I am promised more frequent accounts, I shall begin to twitter in more joyful strains, in order that in my
[indecipherable] I may not appear an awkward [indecipherable]

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When we first come into a Town the surprize which they manifest at all our actions is wonderful. They remain silent fearful to salute, but yet anxious that you should give them an opportunity. For no sooner do you say Viva, or make use of any other common salutation than they return it in the most animated manner. Where we are at Table the whole family, and many of the neighbourhood assemble round to observe us. Every mouthful is noticed, every action the subject of a remark/ We shall move to morrow long before Daylight. I shall conclude this letter the first mail. Till then, God bless you, my dear Father; it ought as I am sure it does console you to reflect that you have not brought into being a race who are insensible to your indulgences- once again favored./ La Virtura- 14th. I have just had time to refresh myself after a six league March. We left Medillin this Morning at 3 O’ Clock & reached this at Eleven. We are certainly going to join Lord Wellington. It is uncertain whether we march from this Village to Morrow. It is very small & is four leagues from Truxillo. The weather is now rainy; we had a ducking both to Day & yesterday. In going to Medillin we passed by Don Bonito a large Country Town, we then crossed a large Plain, on which a great battle was fought between The French & Spaniards. The latter lost four thousand Men. The field is covered with bones- In arriving at Medillin we found it in a very ruinous State. The Enemy have committed great havoc in it. There is in this Town a most beautiful Bridge over the Guadiana- So fine a piece of Architecture is striking in a place where every thing is almost barbarous.

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My Brother’s letter will acquaint you with our having left Zafia; and that we continued to follow the Footsteps of the Enemy for some days when on a sudden we changed our Route to the left, and moved in a northerly direction/ an indication of a junction with Lord Wellington./ & passing through the mountainous part of the Country, in which the Enemy had maintained themselves, we came down to the neighbourhood of Medillin, a Town on the Guadiana. We have thus performed a little circuit of nine days March. We are nearly the same distance from Badagos that we were at Zafia. Head Quarters are a league from La Hava in a Town called Villa Nuova, the [indecipherable] is all in the vicinity. We have halted a week we [indecipherable] conjectures of our next operations. It is said [indecipherable]are collecting at Truxillo- that indicates a movement [indecipherable] the North. Our conjectures however so often prove erroneous that we ourselves think little of them. An order has this moment arrived to march in the Morning, to Medillin, the next day to Megades. How slow are the operations of War. How rarely do Armies contend! Strange as it may appear to John that the inhabitants of a Country should be peaceably employed in the cultivation of their Fields in the neighbourhood of contending Armies, such is really the case. The daily labourer is equally employed in earning his bread whether under the Dominion of his Friends or Foe. His interests are seldom concerned, and passion and prejudice cause him to prefer one side to the other, where his personal liberty is not interfered with. The Rich & Middle order suffer.

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Madame Fly/ if I may judge by her countenance/ wishes me to tell you that Mr. Sweet is but a bad help Mate. [indecipherable] yesterday caught a large Jack Hare single Handed, which to day we are to have for Dinner. We are to cross the Tagus at Almaraz- Pontoons are on their way thither to enable us to pass, as all the Bridges are destroyed. Till there is an opportunity of forwarding letters I shall not close this. It is now Evening. I am writing in the Porch of the House in which I am quartered. The old Farmer & is daughter seem to behold me with astonishment.
Santa Cruz- 15th- We were flattering ourselves with the prospect of a Halt this Day, and I was preparing to go a Coursing when a Boat arrived for us to move to Santa Cruz, a small Village about two leagues distant. The two other Regiments of our Brigade/ 28th & 34th / being all quartered in it, we found a little Room, that my Mess Mate/ the Pay Master/ & myself were glad to take possession of an empty House. There is in this Town a large Convent remarkably only as it is one of the few which the Enemy has not destroyed in Truxillo. We marched into this Town yesterday it is built on the ridge of a rugged Hill, the Country around it most barren, & presents a dreary aspect.
There are some fine buildings in it, among others the Palace of the celebrated Pizarro, built I am informed after his conquest of the unfortunate Peruvians.
The pontoons passed yesterday through Truxillo. We expect to move as soon as the bridge is constructed. Remember me kindly to Edwd. & Mr. Thompson and Families in Castle Street & Dover Place. Affectionate remembrances to John & [indecipherable] God bless you, my dear Father
E.Mc. Arthur.

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Madrid. When we advance if at all is unknown Affairs seem to be in a prosperous course.
I shall write in a few days. God bless you.

Sepr. 24. Calzada de Aropesa. I have had no opportunity of forwarding my letter tho commenced twelve days ago. We have been here in cantonments since yesterday. After a tedious march over the Mountains we crossed the Tagus at Mineraz. We are twenty eight leagues from

To John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
Mr Thompson Esqre E H Lees Esqre.
24 Castle Street Southlambeth
Leicester Square Surrey

Various postmarks.

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Calzada de Oropesa, September 23rd 1812.
My dear Mother,
The last accounts which have reached me being intelligence of poor Elizabeth being again attacked by indisposition. It afforded me however great consternation to perceive that you had every expectation that she would speedily recover, and I was equally happy to find that with her exception, you were all well. Hannibal, Maria, and Oxley must ere this have arrived, and are contributing by their presence to the Spirits and Health of your little circle. My last letter was written, I believe from Villa Garcia, in a strain, my dear Mother, little calculated to afford you satisfaction.
It will be evident that it was the production of a depressed mind, the result of an illness from which I had at that time scarcely recovered, but I soon after, thank God was entirely restored, and as I then foretold now laugh at the little difficulties I then experienced.
The Division soon returned to its old Quarters in and about Zafra, and met with little molestation for many weeks We were observing the movements of a Corps detached by Marshal Soult who was himself not far removed from us. It it was in this position we heard of the glorious success of our Arms in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, an account of the affair was sent to the French General but tho’ he could not disbelieve it, he pretended, amongst the Peasants to discredit the information. But the endeavours used to prevent the circulation of the News, and the threats, and denunciations against the propagators of the report were more efficacious in the cause of truth, than whatever could have been urged by its more zealous advocates. The assiduity with which the French labour to render accounts unfavourable to themselves disbelieve is wonderful- When Badajos was taken they for a length of time denied the fact, notorious as it was, and when at last their own movements were at variance with their words they observed that such an undertaking would never have succeeded if the English had not been animated to the attack by the abundant distribution of spiritous liquors. The Spaniards now poor people know them well, and have learned to judge more from Circumstances than barefaced assertions. The movements Subsequent to the Battle of Salamanca have been more convincing than all their sophistry, province after province has been abandoned and by the precipitatings of their retreat one would imagine they conceived there was no security on this side the Ebro. The movements of the Enemy of course produced corresponding ones on our parts we followed them

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passed to welcome our approach with thanks and acclamations. Our entrance into Toledo was one of the most affecting spectacles I have ever witnessed. The memory of what for four years past they had endured seemed to be fresh upon their minds of the Inhabitants, who came forth in a body to pour upon us their blessings. Many I thought would have thrown themselves at my feet. As I past up the streets lined with people I was caught at every moment by the Some indicated their joy by tears, others were dumb but in extacies, and others shouted in our applause. Viva los Eglises. viva, viva Espania. Every House was open to us even the common Soldiers were lodged in neat and elegant apartments, and all treated with an hospitality unbounded.
We only remained one Night. I was however permitted to remain a few hours after the Troops moved off. I took the opportunity of visiting the most magnificent Cathedral, perhaps in Europe. To give you an idea of its beauties would be impossible. Whatever Architecture, painting, or sculpture Can bestow are here united. You would be enraptured with it. Toledo is famous for its sword blades, it has also a Manufactory of silks. It is a walled Town but not fortified. When the French left it they locked the Gates and threw the Keys into the River, having previously let loose all the Criminals, and created a kind of Civil War in the City.
The Troops moved into an encampment the next Day to this Town, where we are likely to remain some Days. We are only nine Leagues from Madrid, everyone is anxious to go. General Hill has given permission to four Officers from Every Regiment- when they return four more may go. I shall strive my utmost not to let this opportunity escape.
In this Town they make nothing but wine- This is the Vintage. The new wine resembles both in taste and appearance new Cider. The operation of making it is much the same.
Assure, dearest Mother, every individual of your family circle that I do not forget them. I expect that they will all occasionaly write to me, as these long letters must serve all.
Adieu, my dearest Mother,
Your ever affectionate Son
Edw. Mc Arthur

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some days, but suddenly took a direction to the left. It is now five Days since we crossed the Tajus at Mineraz over a pontoon bridge, constructed for the occasion. We had a different march across the Mountains; we are now again in the plains, about seven leagues from Talevera / which Lord Wellington once acquired, a dear bought victory/ and twenty eight from Madrid. We are halted at present but we hope to move on in a few days, as we are all naturally anxious to see the Capital of this Kingdom now only a week’s march from us.
Nothing can exceed the popularity of Marquis Wellington, the Spaniards assert that the French would long ago have been driven out if their rash Chiefs would but have been advised by our skilful General. They tell us, “it is to you, that we owe our liberties it is you whom we had as our deliverers." Such is the language of this unfortunate Nation.
We are often quartered, as I am myself at this moment, in houses where opulence and ease have prevailed, but which are now the abodes of misery and famine. The Towns in the High roads have suffered more than any others, some of them are completely destroyed [indecipherable] roofless Houses, not the vestige of a living creature An old Man has been describing to me the Horror with which they have been scared, when the French have entered, at midnight, and come thundering at their Doors demanding entrance, amidst threats, and executions while the unfortunate inhabitants petrified with fear, have sat motionless in their innermost apartments expecting every moment to fall a sacrifice to a [indecipherable] soldiery.
How particularly uncertain is every moment with us. We had Conceived it probable that we should halt a few days- an order however has come to march, and in the Morning we move. As the march will be but short I shall have time to morrow to go on with my letter.

La Garatera, 28th
We are just settled in quarters but march was a pleasing one over an extensive plain, bounded on the one hand by a ridge of lofty Mountains and on the other by a range of Hills covered with olive trees and vineyards. At the extreme point of these Hills, is the Town of Oropiza, which with its Castle and lofty buildings, had an imposing effect, and added much to the beauty of the scenery We are quite contented with its view and are happy that we have been marched to Garatera, a neighbouring village. Every House is a Cottage, it is a delightful little place, such cleanliness, and contentment, Englishmen [indecipherable] in their own country. The ceilings are decorated with various fruits, and the

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October 7th. I went yesterday to Arranjirez, a hunting seat of the King of Spain, about eight Miles from hence, and about the same distance from Madrid, that Windsor is from London. Situated in a Valley on the Banks of the Tajus, it does not present itself to the anxious traveller till he begins to descend the Hill by which it is overlooked. It then breaks upon the view with all that beauty which the exactest regularity of building, added to the most tasty arrangement can be supposed capable of affording. At one glance are beheld the Palace, The Town, the Gardens and the Forests and as in a high finished picture, there is not to be found a single object displeasing to the eye.
On entering the Town and arriving at the Palace it seems that admiration cannot be raised higher, nor is it once suffered to diminish.
The ascent into the royal apartments is by a flight of marble Steps, you then pass from one apartment into another, each surpassing the other in appearance. Every room is decorated in the most superb and princely style, and hung around by paintings that vie with life. Here I am sure Hours of unceasing delight may be spent. From the Palace I passed through the Park and Gardens, formed by lofty avenues of Trees to survey other beauties. About a Half Mile from the Palace is a Cottage called “ *la Casa del Labrador", built by Charles the 4th in 1803. Its elegancies are such that if faithfully described it would be deemed rather place in the airy regions of fancy, or the fictions of fairy Tale than to have any real existance. The rooms are mostly small, and chiefly decorated with silk embroidery so exquisitely wrought than
unless closely viewed, it appears the work of the Pencil. If we admire that abode so much now, how much must we have done before those modern Goths, the French made their inroads.
Tues. October 16th. 1812.
My dear Mother,
I returned last Night from Madrid, highly delighted with the excursion. Our Paymaster a Lieutenant & myself formed a party for the purpose We passed through Nanirez and reached a Town called Valdemero, but as we did not commence our journey till late in the Day, we were unable to proceed till the next Morning. We past the Night at Valdemero, not the most agreeably, for we were wet to the skin, and could procure no other bed than a little chopped straw. Our inducements as may be imagined, being greater to rise than to rest we sallied from the Inn before the day dawned, and had the pleasure of viewing the celebrated Madrid as the light broke in upon us. At nine miles distant from the Capital we entered an avenue of trees, and continued to move through it till we reached the Bridge of Segovia, by which we crossed the river Manzinares, and made our entrance into Madrid. We alighted at a Tavern called the golden Fountain, & after breakfast went directly to the Palace, which Bonaparte has called the only Palace in Europe. After such an Eulogium, it would be unnecessary to say more. Having passed through a number of apartments, all furnished in a princely manner and ornamented with the finest paintings and the most superb [indecipherable] glasses, we came to the Audience Chamber. It has no other paintings than those on the ceiling, which represent the various people of the Spanish Monarchy, but their place is supplied by twelve
*The House of the Labourer.

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Walls bedecked around with pictures, porcelain, and flowers in the very closest array. We cannot say much for the skill of the painters, as their productions, all Saints, Virgin Mary’s and Crucifixes are the most wretched kind.
The dress of the Villagers looks not a little singular. The men with Hats, the brims of which stand out beyond the shoulders, and a kind of coat, laced before, like stays without sleeves, braced close about the hips and having a furbelow of no great depth- The Women appear all in their stays, these however are of divers colours, and great labour is displayed in the trimming and ornamenting of petticoats the number and size appears so great that I know not how they will manage when Winter obliges them to put on more. They wear red stockings with very tasty shoes. In some of the villages yellow are the fashion. We continue our March to Morrow toward Talavera but whether we are to proceed to Madrid or Toledo is uncertain. I hope my dear Mother this unconnected scrawl may amuse you under the impression that it will. I shall continue however whenever I shall find an opportunity. It often happens that for many days we cannot take a pen in hand- We are to march six leagues to Morrow so there is little probability of having any part of the day unoccupied. The first thing is to choose quarters, an employment of at least two Hours for the [indecipherable]- then to wash and get dinner- & then to sleep.

[indecipherable] Octo. 3rd 1812.
We have been so constantly on the move since we left Garatera that until now no opportunity has been afforded me of continuing my letter tho after each Day’s march I had plenty to relate.
After a six leagues’ march we reached Talavera, and when you learn that it is the finest Town we had at that time seen, it will be unnecessary to add how much it delighted us. Its entrance and situation are beautiful. Its public buildings, which we had only time to view in a cursoray way, are magnificent, and the whole toute ensemble delightful to a degree.
Early the following day we left the high road of Madrid, and took that of Toledo. It is three days March- each of four Leagues, the first through a Country of vineyards, overloaded with fruit to a Town where we were received with tears of gratitude- the 2nd over a Corn Country to a village not so beautiful where we were met by an equally rejoicing people . The third over a waste to Toledo. In this march the country people flocked from the Villages as we

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immense glasses The Throne is the only seat in the Room, at its foot are four golden Lions, each with a World in his Paw They mark the entrance to the Throne. On the Kings right & left, and all round the Chamber, are placed at equal distances, bronze statues denoting the different attributes of Sovereignty. I thought it at once the simplest and grandest Room I had ever beheld. We were shewn through many more apartments, and amongst others that in which Lord Wellington slept while in Madrid, considered by our Conductor as infinitely more remarkable on that account, than any other in the Palace. From the Palace we directed our steps to the Prado, the public walk of Madrid. It was Sunday, all the world was there. The Men dressed badly, but the Ladies with much taste. Much however as Spanish beauty has been talked of, it must be allowed that it reigns less in their persons than in their Romances.
The Prado is a Walk about two hundred Yards wide, and about half a mile long. It has two avenues of trees along the whole length and is ornamented by many fountains. The two most remarkable are a Heathen Goddess in a Cart drawn by two Lions, and Neptune emerging from the Sea, surrounded by his watery Court, and drawn in his Charriot by his fiery coursers.

The second day we spent in examining the curiosities and specimens of art which are in the Museum. The most Curious thing we saw was the Skeleton of an enormous animal much larger than any creature now in existence. From here we walked to an amphitheatre of immense size in which the combats, or Bull fights take place. I could have wished to have been present at one, tho I understand it is a most cruel spectacle At the last I was told eleven horses were killed. When the bull is exasperated by almost every torture, he is attacked by a Horseman, armed with a pole, contrived so as to defend himself but not wound the Bull mortally. Behind a strong palisade a number of men stand who display their dexterity by leaping over, and sticking into the Bull's neck an arrow, ornamented the whole length of the shaft with fringed paper something like that round candle which when lit infuriate the poor animal to a degree of Madness. Accidents so often happen at this dangerous pastime that a surgery is established for the wounded combatants. We afterwards went to the Retiro, which is only remarkable from having been made a fortress by the Enemy. Our third day we passed in viewing the Town in general. For the Capital of such a Monarchy it cannot be called large tho upon the whole it may be said to be beautiful. The Streets are wide and good and many of the Houses are Palaces. There are two Theatres now open. But neither the House nor the actors of the one or the other equal our own.
Before the War there were numerous carriages in Madrid- but they are now so scarce that I saw only one. They told us that Madrid was nothing now to [what it] formerly was.
Farewell, my dearest Mother
Ever your affectionate Son
E.Mc Arthur

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good, mine never was better. Remember me most kindly to Mr. Thompson & Edw. Lee and the families in Dover Place and Castle Street The Boys I hope are very well, tell them I often think of them. John I suppose is at Cambridge tell him to write to me.
The Weather has commenced to be very cold, tho I feel a little from it, I am not sorry it has set in as it puts an end to the sickly season. I brought a fine stack of Spanish Books with me from Madrid, they will serve to entertain me during the long winter Evenings.
Miss Fly & Mr. Spring are well, and believe me
Your affectionate Son,
Edw. Mc Arthur.

Envelope dated Sept. 25th 1812 addressed to John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
William Thompson’s Esqre
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

E.H. Lees Esqre
South Lambeth.

Various stamps and date No 17 1812 EV

[Bottom of page:]
My dear Father,
Your and John’s last letter bears date the 26th of August. I anxiously await another. My last was forwarded to you about the 24th of last Month, I had written previously to my Brother from La Hava. Both letters I hope have been received
You will be informed of all my recent movements by my account to my dear Mother.
We are anxiously awaiting the presence of our Chief, the reduction of the Castle at Burgos has cost him more men and time than was calculated on. It is expected that ere this it has fallen. Soult they tell us is off. We have a large force on this side of Madrid; but how it will be disposed of we know not.
I hope, my dear Father,
Your Health is

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Casas de Don Gomez. 24 Decr. 1812
My dear Father,
My letter from Saugo written some time last Month will I trust have long since removed from your breast all the anxieties on my account to which the rumours of the Day had given rise. Your very affectionate letter of November has long been in my possession, and I should do wrong if I did not mention how gratified I was to perceive the general interest you all take in whatever befalls me. Aware, my dear Father that you would be pleased by more minute details of our late retreat than were given you in my brief account of it, I sent a few days since by a Major Waddell of our Regiment going to England, an extract from my Journal which I should conceive will satisfy you in every particular.
I have transcribed it for Mr. Brogden’s perusal, however if you should not think it of sufficient importance pray send it to my poor Mother & sisters who will be pleased with it however trifling. I am very anxious to hear from that quarter of the Globe, for it is now quite an age since our last accounts were received. I hope those Americans have not intercepted any of the vessels from the South Seas, or at least if they have that they will have the courtese to forward the private letters. You speak of another journey to Bath- if that still continues to be necessary I sincerely wish the waters may be as

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beneficial to you as they proved last year.
We have been in this miserable little Hamlet since the 1st of the Month, and there is every probability of our remaining in it for the Winter. When Edward Lee gets his letter from me, which together with the packet to yourself is intrusted to the care of Major Waddell, you will laugh at the contrivances I have been compelled to have recourse to in order to render my Quarters habitable. The only movement of mine you will not be informed of by the receipt of those papers will be one I made from Sarego to Ciudad Rodrego on Detachment.
Having occasion to seek the Commissary General Sir Hugh Kenedy while in search for his quarters, I by mistake broke in upon a party who were about to sit down to dinner. Upon apologising & explaining for the intrusion an Officer conducted me to Sir Hugh’s House, & I was requested to return with him to dine with the party. I found them to be Sir Edw Paget’s Staff, not a little disconcerted as may well be imagined at the loss of their Head. Had it not been for this fortunate mistake on my part I should certainly have had nothing to eat that Day in Ciudad Rodrigo, while it so happened that I fell in with the very best dinner I have seen in the Peninsula, and that

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too served off plate.
The next day, having transacted the business on which I was sent, I returned to Sarego, from whence the Regiment shortly after marched. I had however to return for on my baggage coming into Penparda where the Brigade had halted I perceived that poor Fly had been lost by my Servant. I went back early the next Morning and was so fortunate as to find her on the road. You cannot conceive how rejoiced the poor Creature was to see me. This little adventure however very nearly ruined my Mule, fortunately as it terminated for I had to follow the Regiment to Gata where it was to halt for the night, which made my journey on the whole about thirty Miles.
From the manner I am endeavouring to amuse you, it will be evident to you how extremely dull every thing must be here. This is Christmas Eve. Where, and how, are you all on this & the other side the Globe my dearest friends is an anxious thought.
We shall drink each others Health to Morrow- when will it be round the same table?
God protect you, my dear

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dear father, is the constant prayer of Your affectionate Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur.
Kindest & best remembrances to my Brothers & to Mrs. T. & Edwd.
[Bottom of page:]
Pray write to me soon. I am quite well, in good spirits, and ready to march for the next onset whenever order may reach us. I employ myself as studiously as I can tho from the nature of things my readings are desultory

Addressed to: John Mc. Arthur Esqre
to the Care of Edw. Lee Esqre
No. 10 Broad Street

[Side of page:] Casas de don Gomez
24th Decr. 1812.
In a [red wax seal] ride to Ciudad Rodrigo on business to the Genl
Sir Hugh Kennedy Denis took Sir E. [indicipherable] Staff- Set off [indecipherable]

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Casas de Don Gomez, Decr Jany 6.1813.
My dear Father,
I last Night had the satisfaction to receive your long & friendly letter of the 7th last Month, and I should conceive that in this you will have been apprised of the receipt of your letters of the 30th of September & 9th of November, the two to which I suppose you allude in your last letter. Being aware that all uneasiness on my account would be removed by my letter to Mrs Thompson, I did not conceive it necessary at that time to address you, but postponed it till something new should occur; little imagining that we were about to enter upon a series of operations so vexatious as those which continued for the whole succeeding five weeks. On reaching Saugo about the 22nd November I wrote under the very apparent influence of the retreat, the smart of which I then felt. You do not appear to have received this letter altho to judge from the tenor of your discourse it would seem that you had in some measure Calculated upon the dissatisfaction which a reverse of fortune was likely to produce. Never were people so completely disgusted, and sick of marching and countermarching as we all were at the conclusion of the Campaign. On coming into Cantooments in this town I wrote to Mr Brogden to assure him how happy I was to hear of his appointment. Some few days after

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is I do not see the smallest chance I assure you, my dear Father, nay not the most remote prospect of any Advancement through the channel of the Staff. But do not for a moment conceive that this gives rise to any gloominess for I am no so deficient in observation as not to perceive that the great Mass of Officers are infinitely below in point of prospects as well as of present case. I continue to study the Spanish Language most assiduously – and take every opportunity of conversing with the peasantry about the management of their Flocks, but of those indeed poor people they have very few.
In some of my former letters you may have noted that the House in which I was quartered was so airy that I was compelled to wet my tent within its Walls- One of the Regiments of the Brigade has been moved to a neighbouring Village, and more room having consequently been made for those who remained I have been enabled to get into a comfortable quarter. The British public would certainly have had its sympathy excited by the accounts of the suffering of their Countrymen in Spain, had it not been for the obvious comparison of our situation with that of the Armies in the North of Europe. The Commander in Chief has not yet rejoined the Army. We have no idea when operations will commence. I am sorry to learn that poor John has been a sufferer from the intenseness of his application. James’s progress quite delights me, and I hope that Will will not continue long in the rear. My affectionate remembrances to them all.
I must beg you to present the Compliments of the Season to the ladies- I have not failed to drink their Healthes on Christmas and new years day, and perhaps they will be surprised to learn that I had so excellent a plum pudding, that had it not been for the woeful disparity in point of conversation

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I drew up an account of the proceedings of my Brigade from the period I left Zafra, till its return again into Estramadura and put it under cover to you at the same time I wrote to Edw Lee and the whole packet was sent to Lisbon to be taken charge of by an Officer of the Regiment going to England. Some days since I had the mortification to have it returned in consequence of the Officer having taken a passage to Cork. Not wishing to put so large a packet into the Post Office, but still desirous that you should receive it I sent it a second time to the Officer of our Depot at Balini to be forwarded by the first safe Hands, so that when it may come to you is impossible to say. On the 24th of last Month I wrote both to yourself & to John, and having up to that period given a full account of myself I have now little more to do than to reply to some passages in your letter.
Being on the subject of writing I must mention that as you seemed to wish it I have done so to Viscount M. from whom I have never once heard since I left Sicily, tho I had written to him twice. This silence on his part does not excite much astonishment because he has formed a connexion with a family who having occasion for every interest themselves must necessarily view with a jealous eye a friendship which they may deem detrimental to their advancement.
His lordship requested me to send

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I might have fancied myself in their Company een at South Lambert or at Dover Place. We have had a treat here of a nature which you must surely envy us in England. Since Christmas the weather has been so remarkably serene that the least noise may be heard for miles. The atmosphere to us is rather chill- but to you it would be Midsummer. When I look at the cloudless sky I say if my poor Father were here how he would enjoy himself.

I continue the practice you recommend of washing my head & feet every Morning. Finding myself greatly reduced in the summer, I was compelled to leave off my flannen Waistcoats- I have never been induced to put them on since. The Cold weather has braced us all up- our long faces are assuming a degree of rotundity.
My Grey Hounds are of little use to me here, as the country is not open enough for coursing, Lord Wellington has taken care that we shall not want exercise for when the weather permits we are either drilled or marched a league or two every day. I have received the shoes Mr. Hoby sent me they could not have arrived more opportunely. I know of nothing you can send me excepting two pair of duck overalls for the summer marches but if a convenient opportunity does not present itself it is of no consequence.
My Mules are tolerably well considering what they have undergone and the great scarcity of forage- to support them I am obliged to send them to graze every day.

You must well know my dear Father what all military men sigh after a Cottage- And connected with this idea I often think, tho you suppose to the contrary, of the pretty Girl of Clapham Common. Much could I expatiate on this subject, but it will serve only to increase your merriment. Indeed [indecipherable]

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his letters to Gibraltar. His last however I have sent to Cholmondeley House, concluding from what you say that he is in England but knowing what I do it is ten to one he never received it.
I shall next express my thanks to Mr Brogden for his kind offers but I am aware that tho possessing the greatest inclination to serve me, he will find it too difficult a task to promote my advancement in this Country. The Adjutant & quarter Master General’s departments are the great field for Young Men but an admission into them requires great interest with the Commander in Chief himself. The next staff situations are those the nomination of which proceeds from the Generals of Divisions, and Commandants of Brigades, and [the] last of these has his own particular friends to provide for it is is not probable that any letter will effect more than an invitation to disaster. Could I find admission into the A. G’s department I am sure they would soon find me very useful to them. But I know not how it is to be continued. Do you think it proper to ask Mr. B. if it would be advisable to renew my correspondence with the Duke. He perhaps can do something. Mr. B. is I believe acquainted with Sir Wm. Erskin, the Commandant of the Cavalry in this Division if intimately he might be prevail’d on at a favourable opportunity to assess me- but an invitation would be the sol risuls in all likelihood of the most pressing recommendation, or solicitation. The truth is

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is not for the fear of ridicule I should long since have done what to a dispassionate person would seem very silly.
It will be a little difficult for me now perhaps to think on another subject, but I must direct my enquiries and thoughts to those on the other side the Atlantic. And ere this I trust you have had direct advices from them. Hannibal & Oxley must have arrived, and a new face has probably been given to the little confined circle.
Both Hannibal and Oxley will think me remiss in not writing to them, but my poor Mother certainly claims the first consideration and having written a long letter to her it is not so easy to find subjects for another letter in the same family.
I am happy to hear that you gain strength, and your next will I trust tell me of your being quite restored. As to myself I am perfectly well, and have not had even a cold during the whole of the Campaign. It is improbable however to be worse in point of fact, that when wet & cold & dirty & I could say something else that ends in a y which is impossible to prevent circumstanced as we have been.

We have accounts here of another great victory over the French by the Russians. I hope it may be true. The soldiers take it into their Heads there is to be a Peace - the poor fellows quite rejoice at the idea of getting out of the Country. I am convinced they would volunteer to go to the unhealthiest of the West Indian Isles rather than remain here. Such is the Antipathy which the Soldiery bear [word torn out] to Spain & its people.

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Dr Lindsay will think I have quite forgotten him for I never once written to him- pray make peace for me when you meet.
God bless you, My dear Father
Your affectionate son
Edw. Mc Master
I have not heard from Plymouth I know not ...

Jany 6th 1813
To John Mc Arthur Esqre
To the care of Edw Lee Esqre
No. 10 Broad Street
Cheapside- London.

Red wax seal and stamp “Foreign" 4 Fe 1813.

I must now think of a conclusion- Mrs. Thompson & Edward Lee are entitled to my warmest regards, and not forgetting those I owe to our Castle Street, Dover Place, & one Lambs Conduit place friends I beg most kindly to be remembered to them all.

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Coria. January 21st 1813.

My dear dear Mother
Where it not that I was unwilling to lose any opportunity of writing to you, I do not think I should now trouble you with a letter. The sameness of a Winter Cantonment in Spain does not even afford the variety of a Cowpasture Life. Former letters will have given you ample details of all my movements from the time I left England down to the conclusion of the late Campaign and presented you with abundant materials to form some no very remote idea of a Soldiers Condition.

It is not many days since we were removed from a neighbouring Village into this Town, from whence two other British Regiments were marched to more comfortable quarters than we have generally falling to our share. This arrangement has taken place I believe on account of the very sickly state of our men, who since the retreat have suffered more than any other Corps in the Country. Change of air does not appear to have worked any amendment in the Health of the Battalion as the number of sick daily increase. It is not a little singular that tho so many of the soldiers have been ill, scarcely an Officer has

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has been attacked. Coria is a very ancient Town about the size of Launceston, and as far as regards the dirtiness of Streets, very much resembles it. There are a number of old Moorish Monuments in the Town, which has Gates and Walls, but I have never met with any one who could tell me their History. The River Alagon runs at the foot of the Hill on which Coria stands, and coming from the other side the traveller has a beautiful view of it as well as of a very fine Bridge apparently over the river, but on arriving on its banks who can depict his amazement at discovering the water between him & the Bridge, and the Bridge itself on terra firma. How this happened no one here can tell, some saying that the river was forced out of its ancient bed while others affirm that it has gradually worked itself over upon the other bank and thus deserted the Bridge. But there are some who declare that the architect built the bridge altogether upon dry land, intending afterwards to divert the stream. This idea however seems to originate from the very great facility of such an undertaking and nothing surely but the

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unenterprising spirit of the Spaniards would have ever suffered them to submit to the inconvenience of a Ferry when the accomodation of a direct passage could be effected in so simple a manner.
We are abundantly supplied here on market Days with bread and vegetables, but with the exception of Pork at 1/6 per pound no other meat is to be procured. I was witness to a scene in the Market Place the other day which will convince you my dear Mother how far the Spanish Nation are beneath their Neighbours in point of Civilization. It was in the simple process of Hair Cutting that I saw a man kneeling down in the open Square while another was shearing him, as he would a sheep with an enormous pair of shears- this excited much Curiosity & laughter on our parts, but the Spaniards being of course accustomed to this rough method, passed on heedless of the operator as well as of him who was shaved.

General Sir Rowland Hill’s Head Quarters in

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Jany 21st [pencil note says Edward to his Mother]

here- if there was any thing new we thought most probably hear it. But every thing is now quite tame and dull. When it does not rain the weather is delightful. (I amuse myself with my Books & my Grey Hounds, for as to society there can scarcely be said to be any.
When they consider all this dullness Elizabeth & Mary will I am sure not be surprised at my silence and Hannibal & Maria will forgive it from a like consideration.
I anxiously await intelligence from you, which my Father’s next letter will I hope convey.
Remember me most kindly and affectionately to all your little circle, and tell them that I often think of them all individually.
God bless you, Dearest Mother ever prays
Your affectionate Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur

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Coria. February 12th 1813.
My dear, dear Elizabeth,
It is now so long since I have been gratified by any intelligence from your side the Globe, that if I did not continue to write, on my part it would seem, that all intercourse had ceased between us, - and this I attribute to the want of the usual means of communicating with England or the other circumstances in which you have no power or control, because I need not now to be assured, that no opportunity is ever allowed to pass without some one of the family despatching a few lines to me.

I hope however when accounts do reach me that as a compensation for their tardiness I shall be recompensed by ample detail of every thing that can tend to convince me of the happiness which surround you.
I hope to be informed, dearest Elizabeth that you are perfectly recovered, and aiding by the attendant of Health your wanted cheerfulness, to enliven the family circle, and dispel from our dear Mother’s mind the many cares and anxieties, with which it must be overcast- that Mary has taken upon herself the superintendence and management of the Household concerns, and that each contributing a part, een little Isabella, by her infant wiles endeavours to solace, and assuage the smarts, which the business of the day occasions, at times to us all.
The arrival of Maria, Hannibal & Oxley must ere this have produced no small change amongst you. How anxious am I to be informed of these & a thousand other circumstances which must influence your feelings in a more remote or closer degree. But as it is of no avail to form to myself beforehand ideas of what to Morrow’s Post may bring the minutest intelligence, I shall cease to enquire into what time & patience will by & bye disclose,

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to be compelled to live altogether on my own, which not infrequently have not the means of providing me even with a table. You will think that strange, but the truth is the people in this Country have little use for a table, for the greater part of them eat their Meales, the whole family, out of one Dish. In the Winter this is placed before the fire on a low stool, and the family crouching round, each person dips his spoon into the Dish, for Knifes & forks are rarely found excepting in opulent Houses.
But tho’ this is now the general Custom, I am apt to believe that the greater part have been constrained to this mode of living, by the necessity of the times; for these people do produce table Cloths, Napkins, and plates for our use, and they certainly must some time or other have intended them for themselves. Indeed they tell us not to judge of Spain from what we now see for that they have had for other times.

I generally contrive to gain the good will of the people upon whom I am quartered, and some days since I was gratified by the sorrow which they testified on hearing I was going to another House. In consequence of a number of Officers having come into Coria to attend a General Court Martial, I was compelled, amongst others to leave a very good quarter to occupy a worse. The Master of the House came to enquire how it was I was about to leave it and when I explained that this House it was fixed on for a Senior Officer, he replied, but the House is mine and surely if I am compelled to give up a room, the least that can be granted me is to be allowed the choice of the person who is to be my Guest, and therefore do you I pray, remain with me. To all which I could only say that our Regulations required that I should leave him.
But he would not be persuaded of their justness, and thought himself hardly dealt with in not being allowed to give up the accomodations of his House to whom he thought proper-
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I beg my poor little Emmaline’s pardon I perceive I have been calling her Isabella.

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and lay before you such accounts of myself as will prevent all future solicitude for what befalls me at the present period whatever you may feel for me in times when I may not be so fortunate.
Long ere this can reach you, you will have heard that the Army had retired from the Field, and that your Brother had safely escaped the perils of at least one Campaign, without having suffered from any description of loss.

My letters will have conducted you, if I mistake not, even to this very own, since the substance if not the letters themselves are always communicated to you from England, so that there now remains nothing for me to write to you about, but what are my daily occupations; and they I know, interest you all, more than accounts of military operations.
We are at present as quiet and undisturbed as if we were in the peaceful solitudes of New South Wales and although this is that Season of the Year which is called the rainy, we have had an uninterupted series of fine weather for five Weeks, and we have therefore been enabled to avail ourselves of the opportunities that our leisure now grants, to enjoy ourselves, and make up for those hardships to which we were exposed previously to entering into Winter Cantonment. It is not necessary that I should tell you how the greater part of our young men occupy themselves for having had an opportunity of observing the conduct of one Corps of Officers, you can be at no loss to form an opinion of all others. I shall therefore my dear Elizabeth like a true egotist, talk chiefly about myself, a subject I have already said I know amuses you more than most others.
I pass the greater part of my vacant Hours in reading and writing, and the cultivation of the language of

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The Officers of our Brigade, with the assistance of some of Sir Rowland Hill’s Staff have been getting up a play. They have already converted a Bishop’s Hall into a Theatre, have painted scenes, and allotted to each his part. It is to be the Rivals, and they expect to be ready in a few Days. There was some little difficulty in finding proper subjects for the female characters they have however succeeded, and they do say that the Officer who plays the part of Julia is inimitable.
My Chum has taken a part, and will come off very well, for he is quite an amateur. Such my dear Elizabeth are the amusements of Winter Quarters, and after all this campaigning has its enjoyments.

It is now evening and the young Spanish damsels are dancing in the Street to the tune of their own voices, and a kind of tambourine. The songsters, dancers and musician are almost as rude as our New Hollanders. Some days since I observed one of them yawning and while the mouth was open, making the sign of the Cross over it, I asked why she did so, and was answered gue no entre el Demonio litterally that the Devil may not enter. I thought this was a quiz upon me- but I have put the same question since on like occasions and have invariably received the same reply, and therefore I have not the smallest doubt, but that they think the Devil will enter if they do not make the sign of the Cross over their mouths while open. But this will not so much surprise you when you learn their extreme credulity. In every House there are always a number of pictures of Saints, and in the room where I now write there is the image of our Lady of the Mountain/ the image of the virgin Mary adored in some Chapel of this Town/ and under it is written, The Bishop of Coria grants forty Days concession to every person who says an Ave Maria before this image. No more nor less, than remitting forty Days of the Torment which their Souls will suffer in purgatory. Every person who will not admit that the Bishop has this power is deemed a Heretic so enthusiastic are they that those with whom I have ingratiated myself have besought me to embrace their creed, and to be babtized anew

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this Country which I have now so fair an opportunity to acquire. I often amuse myself in the field with my Greyhounds and I find the sport very conducive to my cheerfulness and good health. I am certainly not so well mounted as when Mr. Oscar was mine, and when you learn I ride a heavy Mule, you will not enquire whether I am often in at the Death. But I manage as those Hounds do, who having lost in speed what they gain in experience, make for a given point, and thus I contrive to give some account of the course to my mess mate when I return Home. I observe however when I bring home a supply for the table he is inquisitive as when I come back unsuccessful. This Mess mate of mine I must introduce to you and when I tell you he is the Paymaster Mr. Grant, it is but fair that I should give him the praises he deserves and say that he is not only what the World calls a good fellow but that which does not always follow, a person of much good sense and I believe of profound integrity. He is a married man whose wife and family are resident in Lisbon, a circumstance I would not omit because you will the more readily be persuaded that he is a very regular & sedate personage from whom your Brother is not in danger of imbibing dangerous principles and you may therefore have no disquietude on that score. I find him always very obliging and as he ranks as a Captain and has therefore a prior choice in quarters it is a great convenience not

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We expect to take the field in a few weeks, and a general pursuasion that it will be the last campaign. The disasters which have befallen the French in Russia are much in our favour. I am quite prepared for a start, my animals are in good condition and capable of undergoing a great deal. We learn that Marshal Soult is at Toledo. It is said he gave a Ball some time since, and ordered that all those ladies should attend who were at the entertainment given to General Hill when he past through that Town.

How many things dearest Elizabeth I could ask you about. What are the alterations made in the House and Grounds. How flourish the Cypress Trees & The Olive and many other things which once called my attention. I hope you endeavour to propagate the Olive. When I learn that the tree bears fruit I will send you instructions how to make produce the oil. Pray write me long letters, even to learn how Iris does will please.
I hope our dearest Mother enjoys good health- that you are all well. My affectionate love to her and to Mary & Izabelle. Remember me most kindly to Hannibal, Maria & Oxley & to Miss Lucas. Make my remembrances to Mrs and Mr Bayly to Mr. Waddell, and to all who will be interested in hearing that I am well.

I have very favourable accounts of now no longer little James William, I suppose they write to you, and send long long accounts of themselves
God bless you my dear dear Sister
Your ever affectionate Brother
Edw. Mc. Arthur.

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My dear dear Father,
If you have had patience to wade through this long letter, and have viewed the many which have or ought to have been flowing in upon you for these last three months, you will be enabled to form an accurate idea of what papers about me

[Lower half of page:]
John’s letter of 26 Jany now come
Your last letter was that of the 9 of November 14th of December, (it reached me 3rd of January)- need I say I am anxious for further accounts from you?
Remember me most kindly to my Brothers to Edw. Lee, Mrs. Thompson & the families in Dover Place Castle Street &c.
Believe me, my dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur

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Edward to Elizabeth (pencil) Postmark Foreign 1813
Feby 12th 1813
To John Mc. Arthur Esqre.
To the care of William Thompson Esqre.
24 Castle Street
Leicester Square

at E.H. Lees Esqre
South Lambeth
Postmark 4 o’clock MR. 10 1813 and red seal.
There being so many Broad Streets I shall address this to Castle St. particularly as I have not yet heard of any of my letters directed to the former place having reached you.

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Coria, March 13th 1813
My dear dear Father,
Your affectionate letter of the 16th of February now put into my hands is written under so evident a depression of spirits and in a manner so widely different from the one I had last the pleasure to receive from you that it would be in vain to attempt concealing the disquietude it has occasioned.

I hope however, my dear Father, that your Health is not worse than you have declared it and that you will derive some satisfaction from the assurance that when I hear that you are well and at your ease I am perfectly happy, for I have no real cause within myself to be otherwise.
You enquire about my employ & how I am situated in poorest of quarters, and the manner in which I live, if my letter to Elizabeth has reached you every information on those heads, if I remember right will have been afforded you.

But lest however it should not have been so explicit as you could desire, I shall again repeat that most of my leisure Hours are employed in the perusal of foreign works, and the study of a language not my own- a defect which you have noted, and one which I shall set about to remedy in the manner you prescribe. It is a fault of mine to abandon for a favourite pursuit

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live at the Green. Admitting to what you say in respect to my style of writing, I must observe that I have few correspondents and that the epistolary is a style which case only be acquired by practice. By the method you have pointed out I certainly may attain a correct habit of composing but I fear I shall not thereby succeed in gaining a flowing easy manner of writing.
Just previous to the arrival of your letter I had dispatched a Draft upon Edw. Lee to Misses Gould in Lisbon for £ 27.10, I am not in immediate want of money but as it is now to be procured with much more facility than when the Campaign is open I thought it better to provide myself. We expect a month’s pay in a few days as far down as the 24th of January, and probably when we receive that we shall have little more for many months. The army is chiefly paid in Guineas, which are valued at 23/4d currency. The country people murmur very much at taking them.
I am neither surprised nor mortified at the neglect of my Court friends. Poor old Mr. Thompson used to tell me that it was preferable I could ever be disappointed in the result of any application, because when I had written a letter I always predicted the answer in the most unfavourable terms, and the good old man was often on that account, much annoyed with me / that unfortunate letter of Lord Wellingtons has created throughout this Army but too general a discontent. Many parts of it are true but men will not always bear the truth; and comparing the sufferings of this army with those of the

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pursuit other branches of study which ought equally to be the objects of my attention, and thus it happened on our coming into cantonments that I gave myself up to the study of Spanish to the almost entire neglect of every thing that was not instrumental to the attainment of the object I had proposed- never either reading more French or English during the day than what my Spanish exercises required. This attention to one pursuit has not been entirely without its fruit because I can both speak & write the language of this Country with as much accuracy as is expected from most foreigners.

In respect to quarters I am tolerably well circumstanced- those who are junior amongst us have much worse- while those who have a senior rank possess better.
It has been remarked and that too with much truth that if two individuals came into this Country the one as a Staff and the other as a Regimental Officer their accounts would present a very different picture tho perhaps the subject might be the same.
This I have found to be the case in two little excursions I have made within the last month. The last from which I have returned only a few days was to [indecipherable] I had good quarters, was introduced to people who were

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Continental troops, the whole perhaps is correct.
But he certainly should have been equally severe with higher powers as with the unfortunate subordinates, for I have myself seen excesses committed close to a General Officers quarter, and of which he must have been aware without the smallest interference. If Officers of such rank will thus lend their sanction to excesses outrages what will avail the interposition of a subaltern’s authority.
Since the 8th of January we have buried in Coria upwards of fifty privates and altho the malignity of the distemper is now exhausted it is probable we shall lose many more of those who are now in the Regimental Hospital. The complaint I believe is an intermittant fever attended with excessive debility, and in many cases with delerium. One of our men ran in that state from his Ward, and is supposed to have drowned himself in the River- and only a few days since Sir Wm Erskin being left only for a moment, took the opportunity of throwing himself out of the window and shortly after died. Only one or two of our Officers were attacked by this fever but it proved fatal to none. They attribute this malady solely to the retreat. Our Regiment suffered more than any other because it was badly clad, and the most of our men were already worn out from excesses in a warm climate.
We expect to commence our operations very shortly, the weather for these last six weeks has been most delightful, and so fine, that to people in England who are in the habit of calling weather not to be compared

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who were equally at their ease, and did, or seemed to view things quite in another light. You seem to complain that my letters are written in doleful strain but surely my dear Father it is better that you should know the worst than conceal from you any part. I speak of things as I find them, but it does not follow that my mind should be tinged with their dismal complexion Perhaps if you were unexpectedly to break in upon me, you would see me if not the gaiest at least the most cheerful of the circle & I know not one amongst them would be found more happy. It does sometimes happen to me as it must to all, that my mind is overcome with clouds and I confess that I oftener write to you in that state than in any other because in confiding to you my thoughts I disburthen my mind of the load which oppresses it. I am intimate, very intimate with every good & respectable Officer of my Regiment but a bosom friend I have not amongst them all.

In regard to my living I am most comfortably situated. I mess with the Paymaster, a married man, who often receives things from his Wife in Lisbon which we could not procure with the Army.
I amuse myself once or twice a Week in coursing, and mostly go out with the Paymaster General of the division, a Mr. Scovill, a young man, whose family are near neighbours of yours at South Lambeth. I think he says they

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with it, charming, it will be difficult to convey an idea of what it really is-

I hope my dear Father once this reaches you you will have received accounts from New South Wales as ample and satisfactory as they were long absent.
I do not like the idea of your returning to that Country, if however it be necessary I shall be ready to accompany you, and to turn my sword into plow share, or any other thing that may be conducive to our mutual interest. If a peace should take place there will be no alternative. I often think that to be united, tho in New Holland would better than to have a family scattered over the face of the Earth. I hope to hear from you soon and to receive more satisfactory accounts than these last.
God bless you, My dear dear Father, I need not assure you that I am always,
Your affectionate Son,
Edw Mc Arthur

Kindest remembrances to Mrs Thompson and Edw Lee and the Family at Dover Place, &c &c
Take me with all my blunders for tho’ my execution is bad, My judgement is better, and thus it happens if I read over a letter I generally commit it to the flames.

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Address page: stamped Foreign Ap 8 181?
March 13th

To John Mc Arthur Esqre
To the care of Edwd Lee Esqre
No. 10 Broad Street

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From my Tent below the pass of Maya
July 19th 1813.
My dear John,
A calm and tranquil Evening, each succeeding one having long been accompanied by incessant rain, induces me to take this early opportunity of replying to your letter of the 22nd of last Month. I received it only this Morning, while on the March with my Battalion to the neighbouring Heights, to which we were advancing in consequence of the alarm having been given that the Enemy were ascending on the other side of the pass.
I had long felt the greatest anxiety on account of the Izabella, but tho’ I was thus in some degree prepared to learn something disastrous respecting her I was notwithstanding greatly distressed at the melancholy accounts your letter conveys to me. It is some consolation that my Father’s loss has been of a less serious nature than under all the circumstances of the adventure it might have proved, tho I am at the same time sensible that the delay thus occasion’d in the transmission of the letters and other papers must be productive of much inconvenience.

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I have also been recommended for the situation of Dy. Judge Advocate, now appointed to preside at certain Courts Martial held at times in every Regmnt.
We expect to move our encampment in the Morning I must therefore not lose the present leisure moment. While I continue to lead this Gypsy life you must expect nothing correct or coherent from me- I now hasten to assure you of my Health and of the constant affection with which I am
My dear brother, ever Yours
Edward Mc. Arthur
Everything that is kind and affectionate to my Father and the Boys together with our friends in South Lambeth.&c &c &c
Do not address my letters to the care of a Major Gould, because by their going to Lisbon much delay is occasioned

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We ought all however, as you have justly remarked, to thank Providence that no dear relative of ours embarked on board the ill fated vessel.

I wrote to my Father from Pamplona, and an other letter I sent him last week, from a neighbouring pass, which we the next day quitted and occupied the ground on which we are at present encamped.

The live we have been leading together with the wretched unseasonable state of the weather has so completely scattered my thoughts, that both myself, as well Military companions neither, know the day of the Month, or week; nor of any one thing which people in quiet live would be acquainted with, can we give account.
Day after day have we said we surely have now some prospect of fine weather, since at this advanced season when the crops are nearly ripe it cannot always rain, but all our predictions served only to show how impossible it is from whatever circumstances, to draw certain conclusions respecting so uncertain a thing as the weather. The fact we all at length began to dispare and to imagine that these Mountains were condemned to the visitation of perpetual rains, till at length this afternoon a ray of hope broke in upon us, and we were once again blessed with the view of a cloudless sky.

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You my dear John, who have never been exposed to the inclemency of the skies, cannot imagine what delight this fine Evening brings with it. What Heroes you must think us in England. How we amuse ourselves with the remarks of the Newspaper writers. Lord Wellington entering Salamanca at full Gallop with a thousand other heroic paragraphs. We are [indecipherable] the accounts of the Battle of the 21st. Where will these fiery writers find terms to express themselves when they learn that one solitary Mortar was all the French were enabled to preserve. They no doubt imagine ere this we are at the Gates of Paris.
Our sober chief however I [feel] will be well content to hold his present gr[ound]. Soult is made Regent of Spain & is at Bayona. We have heard heavy firing in the direction of San Sebastian the whole of the Morning. It has ceased since two o’Clock, but we have not heard of our endeavours to expel the Enemy have been crowned with success.
Two of our Officers who were wounded have since died of their wounds. A Captain Hicks and a Lieut. Mead both much regretted, particularly the latter who was a patron of all that was excellent in a soldier or commendable in a Man.

In consequence of our loss in Officers I at present command a Company, and have been removed from the 2nd to this Battalion to which before I did not properly belong-

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Address page bearing Foreign stamp Se 6 1813.
To Mr John Mc. Arthur Esqre Junr
To the care of Edw. Lee Esqre
No 10 Old Broad Street

Pass of Maya July 19 1813

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Maia, August 3rd 1813.
My dear dear Father,
Since my last letter in reply to my Brother’s of the 22nd June, we have been engaged in a series of toilsome marches and sanguinary contests which long ere this can reach England you will have heard, have ended in the discomfiture of our self confident antagonists. Soult having determined to relieve Pamplona made an irruption into the Country with a force which I have not heard computed at less than 50,000 Men, and has returned with the loss of one third of his Army.

On Sunday the 25th of last Month I had scarcely returned from picquet, when I found the troops under orders to hold themselves in readiness to ascend the Heights, the Enemy having been seen, the whole of that Morning and preceding Evening, occupied in the movement of his force towards our left and there indeed he made an attack which afterwards proved to be merely a feigned assault the better to perplex us, and mask his real designs. Having remained in expectation some Hours, we were ordered to cook and each individual was lulled into a present security where on a sudden the alarm guns fired- the troops flew to their arms, and began to ascend the Heights, which are an Hours walk from our encampment. We had scarcely reached the summit when we beheld the few troops who had been enabled to reach the pass in time to oppose some check to the Enemy, retiring

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before tremendous columns pouring in from the Front. The light Companies and picquets had defended their posts till all their ammunition was expended, and indeed till they were all nearly sacrificed. The Officer who relieved me that Morning was shot, with many others, [indecipherable]. Our Battalion was the only one of the Brigade in a situation to afford relief made a stand till the retreat of our overpowered friends was effected we then retreated in our turn each line of troops alternately retiring. We continued this movement till a small reinforcement arrived when the tables were turned upon the Enemy, but Night put an end to the struggle, and before Morng. we were ordered to retire to a position at the entrance of the Valley. In the affair of the 25th we lost two Officers killed and six seven wounded, one of them so badly that he fell into the hands of the Enemy. The whole of the 26th we halted and remained till the Evening of the 27th, by which time the Valley was inundated with the Enemy’s troops. About two Hours before dark we retired and began our march over a Mountain on the road to Pamplona more than three Miles in ascent. Long before we could reach the summit it became so dark that neither the preceding nor succeeding files could be seen. In many parts of the road there are precipices, and in all it is so bad that it is difficult to travel during the day. The uncertainty of the road, the inclemency of the weather, and the obscurity of the Night caused the

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Men to halt by their own accord in groups along the road side. Unable to proceed we were at length halted, and each Battalion collected by torch light the few men who remained. At Day light having been joined by the strugglers we continued to retire, and having past Larez, occupied a wood we had before been encamped in.
In the Evening we took up a position about two Leagues from Pamplona. On the 29th we remained in our position. On the 30th we made various evolutions from front to rear, and were towards Evening compelled to occupy a less extensive position. On the 31st we marched in pursuit of the Enemy who had been well drubbed by the other part of the Army on the 28th, 29th & 30. We came up upon them about Noon, and our Brigade drove [indecipherable] from an Height on which he was [indecipherable]. 1st August we began our march towards the Valley a second time and having made a forced march arrived at Night within a short distance of this our old encampment. On the 2nd we reascended the Heights and at Noon I had my tent on the spot on which it stood a week before. I have never past a week of severer duty totally unprepared for so sudden a retreat I had neither great Coat nor blanket. Our Division has suffered severely General Stewart was wounded on the 25th & again on the 31st our loss cannot be less in killed & wounded than 2000 Men. We have not an Officer per Company. Many have been ordered out from the 2nd Battalion two of the Captains who have delicate health signified an intention to fall out, and as my name has never appeared in the returns regularly sent in of those who wish to purchase

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I am apprehensive that unless this should reach you in time to make the necessary application that either a junior Officer or one from an other Regiment will purchase over me. We understand that we shall march to be encamped on the Heights early to Morrow Morning and till Pamplona falls we can expect little rest for the Enemy will certainly strain every nerve to succour so important a fortress.
On the 25th a ball grazed the skin in passing my left cheek. May I escape without further harm, and return to recount the dangers that will be no more. I am now going to retire- for early rising, long marches and constant alarms require sleep. Kindest remembrances to my brothers and Edward Lee & Mrs T.
God bless you, my dearest father- prays
Your affectionate Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur

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Address my letters 39th Regt. Spain.
Masa August 3rd 1813.

To John Mc. Arthur Esqre
To the care of Edw. Lee Esqre
No. 10 Old Broad Street
London. P.S.

At this crisis there will be numbers selling out- this therefore is the time for every exertion to gain this difficult step- After having commanded a Company in so many glorious affairs it will be mortifying to play a secondary part E.
Red seal and Foreign stamp 7 Se 1813.

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Roncesvalles August 19th 1813
My dear dear Father
Your affectionate letter, No 1 of the 28th of last Month was this morning put into my hands and tho’ I wrote to you on my return to Maia about the 2nd Inst and to my Brother John no longer ago than the 13th immediately after reaching Roncesvalles and can therefore have very little to communicate yet I am prompted to address you by those feelings which the warm paternal expressions of that letter have excited.

I wanted not to be convinced of the lively sensibility with which you viewed the progress of my career in this eventful campaign, altho’ the assurances of your solicitude together with the commendations you have bestowed upon me are highly gratifying, and fan the martial flames which so many glorious atchievements have created in my bosom.
My two last letters will have informed you how Soult assailing us with all the forces that could possibly be collected in the hither provinces of France possessed himself of the passes, and like a devouring Mountain boar, precipatately followed up the impression caused by the first desperate assault; while our forces cautiously receding and checking him at every proper opportunity at length make a stand & having allowed him to exhaust his strength in several fruitless

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of the Enemy for those whose wounds render them incapable of personal exertion must be left. In the affair of the 25th several melancholy incidents of this nature occurred. Amongst many others a very excellent fellow an Officer of ours, being severely wounded rolled down the Hill upon the brink of which he stood, and was taken off by the French. But that which affected me the most was the case of a poor soldier who being unable to move from the severity of his wound, called out in a pitiable voice Surely Sir, you will not abandon me? Two or three soldiers were immediately ordered to bear him off by them he was given to one of the Pioneers who pressed by the Enemy was compelled to quit his Charge. On returning to the Passes we discovered this poor fellow’s body, and from its appearance there was no doubt that he had lingered out a painful existence several Days, and probably at length died for want of sustenance. Amongst the heaps of dead we afterwards buried we saw many who must have expired under the same dreadful circumstances but of this too melancholy subject enough.

My last letter from Maia was a very hasty one and was written upon my unexpectedly being informed that two of our Captains now in England were on the point of selling out. If they do it will be a grievous

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attacks at length assailed him in return, and compelled to return into France with the loss of two thirds of his Army discomfitted and abashed.
We understand that great praise is due to Sir Thomas Picton for his judicious arrangements. It is said a retreat had been ordered by one of the Generals previous to Lord Wellington’s joining that part of the Army, where Picton coming up was heard with a Stentors voice to exclaim “Shame on you, right about- The position was reoccupied and the Enemy severely checked. Lord Wellington, tho they are said not to be on the best of terms, was most liberal in his praises, and highly delighted with the positions taken up by Sir Thomas, whose decided [indecipherable]character/ with which you are well acquainted/ had gained him the confidence of the whole Army.
But the many lights in which the genius of our Field Marshal displays itself is extraordinary beyond measure. He seems prepared against every exigence however sudden. Thus when General Stewarts Aid de Camp went with the report of the Enemy having gained

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disappointment to find that a junior Officer will has taken from me the Command of a Company I have led in all the affairs in which the Regiment has been concerned. We have lately had a good riddance of the senior Lieutenant of the Regt. who has been in Country during the last twenty years. He joined us from the rear two days previous to the action of the 25th of last Month, and being rather short winded did not reach the summit of the Heights so soon as the rest, but no sooner did he arrive and behold the slaughter on all sides than he took/ as the Soldiers say/ to his [indecipherable] and never stopped till his heels had conveyed him far from the scene of his terrors. He of course has preferred a silent resignation to the infamy to which a public trial would expose him.

John will tell you how rejoiced we all were to leave the pass of Maia, where we were encamped amidst the loathsome stench arising from the half buried bodies. We came here on the 11th and were encamped on the Heights till the 17th as it fell during that week to our Brigade to give the [indecipherable]
The day before yesterday we changed our grounds, and occupied that of the Portuguese Brigade and we now furnish the parties at the redoubts and field works constructing in every assailable point. We now dwell amongst the shady groves &

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[A large piece of this page is missing]
the pass of Maia his Lordship anticipated all he had to say “You have been attacked, I suppose Sir by a very superior force, you have suffered some loss"- perhaps a part of your Cannon." All of which took place. The Guns were abandoned from the impossibility of removing th...
always be the fate of ordinance in this ...
Country under similar circumstances. I ...
myself and many others long after our Reg...
unwilling that the Enemy should have this ...
of collection ...stragglers we could and [indecipherable] ...
abandon [the] Guns exerted ourselves to bring them ...
was to no purpose, for it is impossible with the ordinary [indecipherable]
to drag cannon up a precipice, we were compelled therefore to leave them to their fate, as the Evening was pressing upon us very fast. Altho it be a Maxim in War that a
timely retreat is better than a hard earned victory, to the mind the latter is unquestionably preferable. When after an action an Army is compelled to retire nothing is so heartrending as the miserable spectacle of so many of your brave companions being left at the mercy

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Peaches bowers, impervious to day’s detested glare. All these Mountains are cloathed nearly to their summits with brush. We are about a mile and a half from Roncesvalles, that famed town ... but is merely a Village of which a large Convent is the principal ... Continuing along the Valley there is another small Town delightfully situated. The beautiful manner in which hill and dale are here found interspersed together with the rich garniture of woodland and Cultivated ground added to the majestic grandeur of the surrounding cloud cap’t Mountains, presents a tout ensemble beyond the powers of description. Even on the barren summits of the Hills, the mind is filled with admiration and divested from an attention to the chilling blasts by the wonderful prospect of the vapour tossed below in a thousand fancied forms. The beautiful effect of light and shade it produces upon the Vale, should be viewed by every artist. It must be seen to be conceived.

When I reflect that our Campaign last year had not commenced till the 20th of the Month, and that we ... peaceful quarters in Zafra and yet afterwards marchi ... it have much to relate. When I also reflect that within the ... we have lost in killed or wounded no fewer than ... the exposed to the same perils I cannot attribute ... a just confidence that the same power will still affor ... tell you that on the 26th a

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ball grazed my left Cheek. My kindest most affectionate remembrances to Mrs. T. I think I hear her say when she sees I have escaped, thank God, poor fellow, he is unhurt. Repay my brothers’ tender enquiries by a thousand similar remembrances. I hope your letters have arrived from N.S.W. & God grant we may all meet again. Adieu my dearest Father. I shall always be Your affectionate Son
Edward Mc. Arthur.
[Upside down:]
I correspond with my friends in Coria, who all seem to be [indecipherable] of my safety and I lose no opportunity of cultivating the Spanish language
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The subject you require my answer on I am too [indecipherable] interested in to be silent on. And too diffident of fortune to hope that one will ever grant me so invaluable a fortune and so amenable and long sighed for a partner. But on this subject John can inform you more particularly Adieu

You will be pleased to learn [indecipherable] continues, my faithful companion amid all my toils. When we are separated from our baggage, she generally accompanies it. If you could but [indecipherable]

Envelope with header Roncesvalles 19th August 1813
To John Mc Arthur Esqre
To the care of Edward Lee Esqre
No 10 Old Broad Street

Some figures of calculation.

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No 2 From the Camp of 2nd Brigade
near Roncesvalles, September 23rd 1813
My dear Father,
John’s kind letter of the 31st of last month together with [indecipherable] less affectionate part added to it by yourself reached me a few days since. I am concerned to find that no later accounts had been received from me than those I was almost [indecipherable] so public an exhibition to, and yet I wrote to my Brother on the 16th July and again to yourself about the commencement of last month on our return to the Valley of Bastan I have also addressed my brother from these passes, in answer to a letter of his just previous to his journey into Wales and from the spot I thanked you on in another letter for that you wrote me on the 27th July . And of so many one at least will surely find its way.

As the Enemy has never thought proper to renew his attack upon this part of our position since the drubbing he received in the neighbourhood of Pampluna I can consequently have little to communicate, altho I did calculate on having to tell you that he had compelled us to join in with him in the celebration of the Emperor’s birth Day, but this mark of respect was a measure from which he studiously abstained.
The fall of San Sebastian together with the defeat of the Enemy by the Gallinan Army on our left will likewise be known in England long before my letter can arrive. We have been told that the Spaniards were giving ground when Lord Wellington arrived at the scene of tension, and by his presence so rejuvenated them that they turned upon their opponents and drove them completely out of the field. As that assault on the part of the Enemy had been apprehended from the circumstance of his having moved the main body of his force towards his right, we made a show of falling upon his left, and for that purpose the whole of Sir Rowland Hills’ Corps advanced by the defiles towards his establishments in the neighbourhood of St. Jean Pied de Port. Having alarmed the whole Country by this demonstration we returned to our old positions before Night. A Night which turned out one of the bitterest and most inclement perhaps troops ever were exposed to.

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compelled the 20th Regt. to retire from the narrow ridge, where few men only can fight abreast, to more expanded ground, he was the better enabled to avail himself of his vastly superior numbers, and thus became possessed of a pass by which he could arrive at the rear of the troops on the Eastern Mountain. They therefore were obliged to avoid the danger by retiring during the Night. It was optional with Soult whether by marching about a mile and half he could come out into the Main road just above the Town of Roncesvalles, or enter upon it at a village about a Mile beyond that place. To do the one he had merely to turn to his left, and follow the along the barrier I have mentioned on the Northern Southern part of the ravine, and to effect the other he had to continue his southerly course straight on & passing under a commanding Hill, descend into the Valley by a bad road on the opposite side of a steep Mountain.
On the commanding Hill there now stands a formidable redoubt which if it had existed when Soult came in, would have prevented him from taking either the one road or the other. This fort also commands another pathway entering from on the left by the way of Los Alouions. Should the Enemy make his attack to day I should have to take post in the Fort as I am on the entering piquet. There are five days provisions in every one of the Forts, together with an abundance of amunition and live shells. On the Main pass there are no less than four different works which infilade the road for nearly three Miles. One may almost venture to conclude if the enemy were only after the utmost efforts scarcely enabled to force these eminences guarded only by a few troops, that they will never attempt now that there is treble the number of Men, and those men under cover of entrenchments. You will perceive my dear Father I have digressed a little from my promised description. But to resume – As the ridges of these Mountains are intersected by lesser Hills along the whole extent of the several chains, the traveller finds his course impeded by numberless obstacles, which can only be surmounted by a circuitous course. Hence arises the facility of defending this frontier. It is almost impossible for an individual even who has not the encumbrances of a Soldier to pass it excepting only by the few paths established from time immemorial. If he were to explore a new way, he would soon bewilder himself in the Ravines and underwoods. In viewing these Mountains they appear what the

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Rain, thunder and lightning, to a tremendous and astonishing degree continued to contend in violence till the dawn of day.
Early the next Morning, our Brigade marched to the Valley of Los Aldevides in the territory of France, a position we are necessitated to occupy in order to preserve a direct communication between that part of our [men] stationed in Bastan and those posted at Roncesvalles. One would imagine, from the afinity between Los Aldevides, and the Spanish word signifying doubtful that these people derived their name from the circumstance of their being undetermined in their allegiance, doubtful whether they should consider themselves the Vassals of the French or Spanish Monarchs. Through this valley there runs a mountain stream which tho small, occupies in most places the whole breadth of the Ravine and pursues so serpentine a course amidst the lofty Hills, that in no open part does the eye survey more than a few hundred yards before the prospect is intercepted by the projection of some enormous precipice round which the rivulet winds its progressive course and at length pours out its waters upon the fertile plains below. As the peasantry were armed it became incumbent to observe more than ordinary circumspection, and even cautious as we were, the Bat Mules, of one of the Regiments had well nigh fallen into an ambuscade
On the 4th we returned again to these positions. The march tho’ of no more than six Miles is extremely toilsome, the greater part of the way being one continuous ascent. At one of the most difficult parts a Soldier observed to his comrades that they were ascending the Hills like so many "Lions". “No, I’ll be d....d if we be" replied another, for we be like so many bears."
Shortly after we had reoccupied this ground General Steward, who had been compelled to relinquish his command from a repetition of his wounds on the 31st July, returned again to the Division to the entire satisfaction of the troops, by whom he was received, without any direction from their Officers, in the most flattering manner. On his approach the men spontaneously turned out from their tents and cheered him as he passed along the line, trailing him at the same time as the “Soldier and the Soldiers friend."

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Ocean does in miniature after a series of heavy Gales, and as if formed by some extraordinary and tremendous convulsion. Towards the North are beheld the fertile provinces of France, and the delighted spectator surveys the immense expanse of a diversified country till at length the whole becomes so intimately blended as to be no longer distinguishable, and the aching eye loses the whole prospect in the immensity of the distance. On his right he beholds the Pyranees towering to the skies, having their lofty summits covered with the winter’s Snow. On his left the Sun is seen declining towards the Ocean amidst the Majesty of departing day, and here and there between the lofty summits of the Hills the eye discerns the gilded Main illuminated by the last rays of the departing light. Turning Southward and a far different scene appears. War is beheld in formidable array Here the destructive battery is reared, and there the white canvass forms the long line of the extended Camp.
I expect in your reply special commands to send you no more descriptive pieces but you will have long letters, my dear Father, and therefore you must compound for a little nonsense.
The rains have assumed their wanted sway, and every thing is wretched and miserable about us. We have constructed stoves of turf in our tents and try by numberless expedients to make ourselves a little comfortable. Our poor Animals fare the worst as they have no shelter and but little to eat.

The troops continue healthy, they have now plenty of money but little inducement to lay it out, excepting in wine that never failing atractor of a Soldier’s purse.
A race course has been established in the Valley near Roncesvalles and much amusement and sport is derived from it by those who are well mounted-
Some days since I rode to the very right of our positions occupied by Murillos, Spanish Division. It is about two leagues from hence, through the wildest and most romantic country, where Sylvan deities dwell amidst bubling runnels, and extensive groves. The bracken fruits in these mountains interminable. There is a very fine foundery for Shells, called fabrica da bomba where Murillo is stationed. Such an establishment could surely only have existed in so remote a part from the facility with which the work is supplied with Iron. The hills thereabout, seem to abound in it. On our way to this place my Companions and I, fell in with a young Spanish Soldier with whom we entered into conversation. He told us that their General, Murillo had gratified them

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Pronouncing on him in those few but emphatic words as great and as discovered a panegyric as perhaps was ever bestowed.
On the 8th by an interchange of positions we became the advanced brigade of the left of the Division, and our Regiment the Corps most in advance. The ground we occupied was that which on the 2nd of July the 20th Regiment so bravely and obstinately contested with the Enemy, and there are now remaining terrible testimonies of the gallantry they evinced. Besides the dead, amongst whom from their bodies being on the only good ground I was obliged to pitch my tent the very trees show the incessant fire kept up, for in many, tho of small dimensions are to be seen upwards of fifty balls. This pass is uncommonly [indecipherable] been fortified since our return to it by a block House [indecipherable]
As I have never yet attempted to give you a [description] of these Heights, I will now do so tho I know I shall succeed indifferently in enabling you to form a correct idea of them. And as the most likely for that purpose I will send you a sketch made one Evening by me while on the advanced piquet.

The front of my Post is nearly due North, in which direction there runs a deep glen into France, that would seem the natural pass from one Kingdom to the other, if the Southern extremity were not bounded by an almost impracticable steep, formed by the junction of two lofty ridges uniting in a cemicircular barrier The Ravine takes its course between these Mountains. On the eastern chain is the grand pass from San Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles. On the western there leads to the same place a smaller road scarcely practicable for foot soldiers; it is on this path my piquet stands and the one by which Soult entered. When he found the Hill but weakly occupied by our troops he is said to have pushed on his Men, in order to secure its possession before a reinforcement could arrive. This he effected and having once established himself on its top, he had leisure to form his Columns from the Troops progressively filing up the pathway But no sooner did he attempt to defile he was vigorously opposed by the 20th Regt. & had any Corps been there to support them it is probable Soult in spite of his first advantage, would have been repulsed. But having once

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some few days before by taking them into France, where he had given them liberty to exercise a little of that licentiousness which the French soldiery had carried to such excess in their country. We returned , said the Youth laden with Spoil, driving the flocks and herds before us, and carrying off even their very Dogs. Having attentively viewed this little arsenal, if such it may be called, for from thence we have supplied all our batteries with shells, we returned home – but by a different road – we followed a pathway which took us to the grand pass over the Eastern Mountain. It is very high and we beheld the Country below us so enveloped in clouds that the sky appeared both above and beneath us. Like the Eastern ladies whom we find, in Rassilas to have diverted themselves while in captivity by the varying forms of the passing clouds, so at times do we, nor is it possible to withhold our admiration when we behold them, heavy and big, sailing in slow Majesty along the mountain side.
Instances of desertion in this Army to the Enemy have not been unfrequent, for however good and loyal the great body of the troops may be deemed, yet there does at all times exist amongst them a few miscreants, who lost to every sense of shame, are indifferent in what cause they bear arms. One of these misguided wretches was caught some time since in the act of passing over to the Enemy, and only a few days since ago , he paid the forfeit of his life. After the execution the troops, as on such occasions is the practice, marched by the Corpse, and I cannot abstain from mentioning the very feeling remark of one of our Soldiers as he passed it- Ah! exclaimed he with a sigh, if that I had never seen a better fellow than thee be. Alluding to the many brave comrades he had lost.

I am told a very affecting scene took place the other day at the out Post- A French Officer at the battle of Victoria lost both his Wife & Child, but the former, amongst the many who were all restored, returned to her Husband, but unfortunately without the little [indecipherable] for the infant in the bustle of the day was separated from its Mother. The distracted father amongst many other letters it seems wrote one to Sir Rowland Hill conceived in terms, that would have softened to compassion a [indecipherable] less humane than his- Excited by his wanted humanity the General made inquiring and found that a Dragoon had fallen in with a Child, whom he had given to his Wife to rear & nurture as his own. The father was inform[ed of the cir]cumstances, and visited to a conference at

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the out posts, that he might ascertain whether that was really his Child. He came and the infant proved his own. The extacies both of the father & the child are said to have been without bounds.
There is not the smallest probability of the 39th Regiment going to England, as you will perceive, by the accompanying state of its strength, but I should be happy very happy if I could decide any place for obtaining leave of absence at the conclusion of the Campaign till the opening of the next.

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I had almost forgotten to mention that in the returns sent quarterly to the Commander in Chiefs Officer of those Officers who wish to purchase. I have this last time had my name inserted and given Edw. Lee’s as the reference in the event of the purchase Money being called for. But of this Alas I fear there is no chance. But patience.

Roncesvalles Sept. 23rd 1813. [Red seal evident.]
To John Mc Arthur Esqre
to the care of Edw Lee Esqre.
No. 10 Old Broad Street

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I am extremely obliged to you, my dear Father, for your pecuniary offers but, I am happy to say it is not at present necessary for me to avail myself of them. I shall soon be badly off, for clothes, but I know not how you can send any to me. My most affectionate remembrances to my Brothers and to the family at South Lambeth in all its various branches.
God bless you my dear Father, I thank you a thousand & a thousand times for your many kindnesses. May you live to see that they are not ill-bestowed is the fervent prayers of your affectionate Son
Edward Mc. Arthur

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24th September.
When the Regiment was at its utmost strength it numbered 1244 R. & [indecipherable]. We have now in the Country 1000. At Headquarters
55O fit for duty
24 Sick present
271 Wounded & Sick [indecipherable]
49 On Command
98 Prisoners of War
1000 Total
We have received two Draft from the 2nd Bn.
The conversation of the day is that we shall speedily be removed from these Mountains, it being the intention of the Commander of the Forces to send Genl. Grant & Hills Corps into Catalonia. Pamplona still holds out Soult it is said has been sent for by Napoleon to assist him with his talents.
I hope accounts have reached you from our dear friends in New South Wales.

I very frequently hear from Plymouth - my Mail having many opportunities of writing by private conveyance
God bless you my dear Father
E. Mc. Arthur

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Petit Muguer 6th January 1814

My dear Father,
My letters under cover to Mr Brogden will have informed you of all our movements up to the 13th of last Month and of those some days subsequent to that period. With our Division nothing new has occurred, altho there has been some change in the position of other parts of the Army. However as the subject of the present letter is far from being connected with the operations of the Troops, I shall hasten to lay before you the occasion of my now addressing you.
Lieut. Colonel Scovell of the Cavalry Staff Corps, has offerred me its Adjutancy, and has very kindly promised to keep it open till I shall have had an opportunity of consulting my friend on the propriety of its acceptance. The pay is 15/- a day, and the service altogether very preferable to that of an Infantry Officer. The Corps has been lately formed – it consists of two Troops- and is employed in preventing marauding whenever the Army is in motion. The Head Quarters of the Corps are always with those of Lord Wellington, and a proportion of it generally accompanies him, when he reconnoitres./ The disadvantages of my accepting the situation are the following. In the event of Peace I might calculate on being reduced on half pay, if there were not some slight reason to suppose that the Regimental Staff would remain on the War establishment, without indeed the Corps itself, which as the youngest of the Cavalry Regiments, should be disembodied. In the 39th there are no apprehensions of that kind for an officer of my standing, and tho the chances of promotion are remote yet as I am the second for

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purchase would it be prudent to relinquish that advantage, by entering as the junior Lieutenant in another Regiment. But into one that has but two Troops, and will be augmented if the war continue.
By being transferred do I, or do I not relinquish the right I have of selling my two Commissions?
At the solicitation of Col. Scovell, I went the day before yesterday to St. Jean de Ley, for the purpose of an interview with him- but nothing could have been so ill timed as the journey, for no sooner had I arrived than a Signal was made that the Enemy was moving upon our Eighth, and Lord Wellington who was then Hunting, rode off, to our part of the Army, and was of course followed by the various departments of his Staff.

I was unable to obtain an answer, therefore to a proposal I made to Colonel Scovell and on which it was necessary to obtain the Adjutant General’s opinion. Whether I could be permitted to do the duty of Adjutant and at the same time retain my Lieutenancy in the 39th? I am to have an answer as soon as Colonel Scovell has an opportunity of speaking to General Packenham.
Should this arrangement be approved of, it will render my situation more comfortable, and may perhaps be the means of bringing me into notice, as I should always be under the eye of the people at Head Quarters. I shall be at the expense of a good Horse, and I imagine £60 would perfectly equip me. If therefore

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General Packenham will sanction my doing the Duty, I shall certainly embrace a measure which will certainly benifit my present circumstances, if not advance my future prospects.
I am very anxious to hear from you, for from the unaccountable delay of the Packet, we have no intelligence of a later date than the 10th of last Month.

I have sent Messrs. Gould at Lisbon an order on Edward Lee for 25th the exchange being much [more] favourable there than it is with us- and our Pay Master [has] always Money to remit for the Payment of a Detachment at Belem, he is always glad to receive an order for Money on any House in Lisbon.

We have fortunately had very fine weather to ease the burthen of a number of disagreeable duties. We rise an Hour before day, and move through infamous roads to our alarm posts. Our piquets are only a Stone throw removed from the Enemy’s, and we are employed in making batteries. We have four Officers in the same Room- these are Winter quarters. Affectionate and kindest remembrances to my Brothers & all friends.
God bless you, My dear Father
Ever prays your affectionate Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur

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I received on the 16th of last Month a very warm & friendly letter from Lord Malpas- but strange to tell it was dated in March last, and under a cover in a different hand writing with the Scomouth post Mark. I immediately replied to it, & addressed my Letter to

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Cholmondiley House- but I am doubtful whether it will ever reach his Hands. I wish you could learn where he now is?
If you are in London kindest remembrances to Mrs T. & the Lees.

South of France 6th Jan 1814.
To John Mc Arthur Esqre
To the care of Edward Lee Esqre
No. 10 Old Broad Street

Dated Ja 24 1814 Foreign with red seal.

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Bourdeaux, May 27th 1814.
My dear dear Father,
Your letter of the 18th of April and to which I replied from Toulouse is the last I have as yet had the pleasure to receive from you. We commenced our march from the vicinity of that city on the 11th Inst. and reached this on the 24th. When we were immediately brigaded; and as the 39th Regiment was one of those which composed the brigade commanded by Colonel O’Callaghan, I continued with him. Another arrangement has since taken place and of the four Brigades under orders for America, two only are at present to sail. Our Brigade and another are now waiting orders, but whether we are ultimately to proceed to America, seems not very generally to be known. This state of suspence is the more displeasing, as we are in want of a complete refit, and before we undertake a fresh series of campaigns we must be newly equipped.

The troops are encamped about ten Miles from hence on a spacious common, and as may be naturally immagined excite no small interest- amongst the people of this City. The road from the Town to the Camp is covered with the old, the young, the fair, and with all sorts of persons.
As the Colonel resides in Town I have generally to ride out every day, on some occasion or

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other. The Country is one continued garden, or rather highly cultivated vineyard on all sides of this Town, covered with villages and interspersed with Gentlemen’s seats. Under a good Government people must be very happy in this abundant country where 6000£ is almost equivalent to 40,000 in our own.
People of confined circumstances at home would with a knowledge of the language lead very easy and independent lives in this Country.

The Town of Bourdeaux is a more magnificent than any thing I ever beheld- well built, spacious, and clean it seems to unite all the advantages of a city, with the delights of the Country. There is a very elegant Theatre, there are public walks in various parts of the Town, and many of the Streets themselves, are so delightfully shaded, that during the most oppressive heats of summer the citizens can walk about, and transact their business without inconvenience.

The Officer who was immediately above me for purchase in the Regiment, has been promoted into the 40th Regiment, I now therefore stand the first, and as it is expected that two of our Captains, now in England will be compelled to retire, their commissions will be for sale. I know not whether under present circumstances it will be convenient for you to secure for me either of these steps, but if

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my dear Father, you cannot do so without involving your own interests, had I not better think of turning my attention to some other pursuit? Such a measure, I know requires much consideration, and you can scarcely conceive how anxious I am to talk to you on this as well as on a variety of other subjects.

My present situation is one of great respectability, but I find it beyond my present circumstances- three fourths of my time I am at no expense at all but the other fourth I am exposed to very great expenses, which I cannot furnish from my own purse.
It can only however last till we leave this Country, which will be in the course of a very few days- either for England or some place abroad. Before I leave Bourdeaux I shall be compelled to draw on you for a sum between 20 and 30 £ it will certainly be the last I shall have occasion for till you have determined, my dear Father, the place of my future live.
I have not written to John for some time- but as he sees all my letters to you it is unnecessary. My affectionate remembrances to him, and to James & William and believe me, My dear, dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur
Remember me kindly to the Families of Castle Street, Dover Place &c.

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Foreign stamp Ju 7 1814 stamped P. 32. P. Bordeaux
To John Mc Arthur Esqre
to the Care of Edw. Lee Esqre
No. 10 Old Broad Street
via Paris
Bourdeaux May 27th 1814

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Bourdeaux. June 6th 1814.
My dear dear Father,
I addressed you a few days since by the Post, but as that conveyance is not so certain as our packets, I avail myself of the one which is to be dispatched this day to communicate to you the final arrangements that have been made.
The Brigade commanded by Colonel O’Callaghan has been broken up, and the 39th Regiment is embarked with three others and with them forms a new Brigade, under the orders of M. Genl. Robinson. As Colonel O.C. is now considered a Colonel on the Staff of this Army, he has nothing more to do with the Regiment, and will proceed to England in the course of a few days. I would fain accompany him, but my Regiment being called on service, every private feeling must yield to the sense of duty. I leave Bourdeaux to Morrow Morning to joint the Regiment, at Poliae, about thirty Miles down the River. Our destination is supposed to be America but to what particular part of it every one seems ignorant. What is afterwards to become of us? When are we to return to England? and when am I once again to embrace my dear Father? are indeed questions but too interesting and to which alas! none of us can reply.

I have still a ray of hope that affairs will be accommodated between the Americans and ourselves, and that instead of being carried to a still greater distance from old England we shall, as being already embarked, be the

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first to arrive there. This is such an unfortunate period to be seperated separated from you. A time when I have so much to inform myself about, that nothing could have happened so mal appropos.
It is now the sixth of June, and I have no intelligence from you since the 10th of April- you were then unwel- your affairs were in a temporary confusion, and in fact it was evident to perceive how unhappy you had been rendered by this unexpected reverse. I know that vessels have lately arrived from New South Wales, and I am therefore particularly anxious to learn whether your recent advices are more satisfactory to you than the former. The idea of being tost about on the Ocean, and travelling from one shore to an other for the next six Months without knowing what are your determinations under this projected expedition ten times more irksome than it would otherwise have been to me.
In consequence of this threatened voyage and the want I was in of a complete refit, I have been obliged to draw for a Hundred Dollars, for which I am to give a bill, on England at thirty days sight, according to the rate of exchange, which is now low.

I am the first now for purchase in

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The Regiment and in no danger of being reduced upon half pay. It would therefore be imprudent under these Circumstances however convenient such a measure might be to you, to purchase me a Company before the reduction takes place.

Should I procure that step afterwards, I can either retire or remain on full pay as may be most convenient and with the rank of Captain, young in life, I may with the advantages of our family in N. S. Wales, be enabled to secure to you, at a distance from so hated a Theatre, all the benefit you could promise yourself from a personal superintendance of your affairs.
If however, my dear Father, you imagine [I had] better retire from the Army, pray let it be done at once. You can, as was done lately in the case of the Memorial, make an application in my name – and the Commissions will immediately be sold. But whether sell them or retire upon the half pay of a Lieutenant – or in the event of peace exchanging into the Regt. serving in N. S. Wales. But you will yourself my dear Father, be enabled at a glance to perceive where my interests will lay.
Affectionate remembrances to my Brothers, and the families in Dover Place, Castle Street &c &c.
[Fairwel], my dear dear Father, believe me
Ever your affectionate Son
E. Mc. Arthur

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In conversation the other with the A. A. Genl. of the Division/ Genl. Picton’s/ we were speaking of that General- “I have heard him mention a name sake of yours, as being a particular friend of his – is he any relation? – They say he will command in America, if he should be in London on the receipt of this would it not be well to
Call upon him.

Bourdeaux 6th June 1814 Foreign stamp Ju 16 1814
To John Mc. Arthur Esqre
To the care of Edwd. Lee Esqre
No. 10 Old Broad Street

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Quebec, September 10 1814.
When dearest Mary, are we to meet again? When I left you I beheld not the Ocean on which I was about to embark- for indeed the life of a Soldier is like a vast sea. He who embraces it is wafted about from shore to shore. In a few weeks he finds himself transported from the fertile plains of France to the wilds of America, and moved from one region to another like a machine that is incapable of directing its own movements.
This country excepting on

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the banks of the Rivers is like our New South Wales in its vast uncultivated tracts. But the climate is far from being so delightful. For several Months in the Winter the whole country is buried in snow. The carriages are taken from their wheels and placed on a kind of sledge, that glides over the surface of the snow with wonderful rapidity.

The cold weather is now commencing- in six weeks time the River Saint Lawrence which is ten times larger than Hawkesbury will be filled with

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enormous Islands of ice, and in many parts entirely frozen over. Sheep- Oxen, and poultry will be killed, and the flesh being frozen will preserve during the Winter. After being accustomed to such warm climates I fear I shall feel this first winter particularly severe.

I wish I could receive accounts from you- they would interest me very much. You must talk to little Emmaline about me- give her a kiss from her brother Edward-
If instead of coming

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to this Canada I had gone to N. S. Wales. I should ere this have almost arrived- and when I did arrive how you would all have received me.
I hope that we are yet to meet, and that I shall have it in my power to assure you once more that I am my dear dear Mary
Your affectionate Brother
Edw. Mc. Arthur.

To my dear Mary

[Note: Edward to Mary [indecipherable] Quebec

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Quebec September 11th 1814.
Does my poor dear Elizabeth still continue to be a sufferer? The six years that have passed since I left her I fear have been for my dear Sister a long and wretched period. They have fleeted over my head with a varied course, but over yours I fear they have observed the same slow and melancholy pace.

How much ought I have to relate to you- but so long have we been absent, and so uncertain am I with respect to everything that concerns you, that I know not what

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What to relate- but what can be more gratifying to you than to learn that I am well, and have hitherto escaped all the perils to which I have been exposed- and that I have no greater happiness in contemplation than to be restored to the bosom of my family and so receive from those dear dear persons who compose it the caresses, I know they will deem me entitled to.

I hope the next arrivals from England will bring me some account respecting you.
The Winter will soon extinguish this only remaining

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Spark of the War, and an accommodation between the Americans and our people will prevent its blazing forth again. My Regiment perhaps may then return to Europe and then----------- God knows what- such is the soldier’s life.

Remember me most kindly to Mr. and Mrs. Bayly- I was in hopes that I should have met her brother, and other Officers of our acquaintance in the 162nd, but they are not in Canada- The 102nd is in Nova Scotia-
God bless you my dear dear Elizabeth, I hope yet to see

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you, perfectly restored- I need not assure you how tenderly I love you and that I shall ever be.
Your affectionate Brother
Edw. Mc. Arthur

For my dear Elizabeth

[Note: Edward to Elizabeth from Quebec]

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Quebec, September 12th 1814.

My dear Father,
Captain Webber of the Rg. Artillery, an Officer who has long served in the same Division with myself, has promised to convey to you a packet of letters together with a small parcel of Gloves which I intend for my dear Mother.

I wrote to you, by the last convoy, about the middle of last Month. You will be informed of my having reached this Country on the 4th of August, and that I was left at Quebec in command of a detachment. I still continue here and perhaps may be detained throughout the

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Winter- however I shall make an effort to join my Regiment on the 24th of this Month. They have done nothing as yet, but how tho’ I feel in every other respect comfortable, I like not to be absent from them.

I hope soon to have the pleasure of hearing from you. My kindest remembrances to the families in Castle Street, Dover Place South Lambeth &c and every thing that is affectionate to John James and William.
Believe me my dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edw. Mc. Arthur

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Edward to his Father from Quebec

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Quebec January 18th 1815.
My dearest Mother, and my beloved Sisters,
Your affectionate letters down to the 19th of last May, I have at length had the happiness to receive, and have derived from their contents more satisfaction and delight than I have the power to express. The assurances they have conveyed of your health, the tender recollections they have awakened, and the moving expressions of affection with which they abound have proved the sources of infinite satisfaction.

That Sheet of paper laying extended before me, how little intrinsic value does it possess yet how precious how invaluable has it become by the consideration of its having passed through so many dear hands, so widely separated, and by the idea of the many recollections to which in its progress it has given birth. The inscription of how many persons does it bear. Of my Mother, of my Sisters, even that of my little Emmeline . And again too that of my Father and Brothers- How incontestably does it prove to me that time, distance and the intercourse of the World far from loosening the early ties which have bound me to my friends, have tended to confine me in my affections towards them. But assurances of this nature I know to be unnecessary and they have occupied a space which you would perhaps have been more pleased to see filled with the circumstantial details of my present situation.
You will have learnt through my Father that neither my Regiment nor myself have been engaged in any of the affairs in this Country that I had been left indisposed at Quebec, and that afterwards I was appointed to a command which prevented my proceeding up to Montreal, the second place of consideration in Canada and in the neighbourhood of which the 39th Regiment is quartered. I have been in this Town ever since, a circumstance so far fortunate as it has enabled me to fence out the rigours of the Winter much better than I could else where have done.
In this season we have the cold many degrees below that at which water freezes- the whole surface of the Country is covered with Snow, and not even a Sparrow is to be beheld in the unhospitable waste. The rivers are not covered with a smooth sheet of ice but such as resembles a sea frozen amidst its

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else the month of September last I sent by a Gentleman going to England a narrative of my Campaigns in the Peninsula, and letters for my dear Sisters, and for Hannibal & Maria. There was also a parcel of French Gloves, but I have not yet heard that they had reached my Father-
Residing in the same house with myself, and indeed my mess mate, and companion is a Mr Stirling of the 9th Regiment, a gentleman, who once entertained some ideas of accompanying Colonel Mole who was then of the same Regiment out to New South Wales, so that tho’ he failed in becoming acquainted with one part of our family in that Colony, he has succeeded in so doing with another part of it in Canada. Should you know Colonel Molle tell him that I was at Gibraltar at the same time with him, and remember having been on the Europa advanced Guard when he came to visit a Mr Indie an extraordinary character in the 47th Regiment whom he cannot fail to remember. In a former letter I spoke of Mr Grimes being in this Country. I understand he intended leaving his Regiment for a few days to pay a visit to Quebec and I must confess that I shall be in some degree pleased to see him. He will be not a little astonished to hear of this passage which has been effected over the blue Mountains, so contrary I know to what he used to deem practicable . I shall hasten now to tell you all that remains to say concerning myself, that I am at present in perfect health, having entirely recovered from a very severe fit of Rheumatism with which I was assailed in the Head and Shoulders for more than a Month- Most people after a rest from toil and fatigue suffer from these effects. I was in such a state at one time that I imagined I should have become as stiff as old Captain Townson Of whom by the bye I have not heard a syllable this age. Pray remember me very kindly to him. You must not forget to say all that is kind for me to Mr. Bayly, of whom I have often thought when engaged in much more turbulent scenes than he for many years has been engaged in
I have often said to myself if such a man find contentment in woods and solitudes why should not I? The accounts my dear Elizabeth has given me of my once so favoured garden have much entertained me- I little thought when I planted those gloomy Cypresses, they would ever so far have imparted their gravity to my Sister, and make her in such early life, talk of old age, and

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its very turbulance. In that state is whatever is brought to the markets, fish even are frozen and come so from Boston, which is some thousand miles distant. Travelling is on slays, and is by reason of the excellence of the roads very expeditious. On a beaten track the Snow soon becomes sufficiently hard and at the same time affords a sure and firm footing to the horse. In England it falls in fleaks, but here it descends like the finest sand, and preserving the same minuteness after its descent is borne along by every gust of wind.
Till June next no Vessel will make its appearance in the Saint Lawrence the navigation of that river will not till then be open, and all Communication with England must be in the first instance to Hallifax a journey of nearly a month overland, tho’ in the summer but of ten days. The difference arises from there being no regular road, and the difficulty of crossing the Country at this Season.
To Morrow Morning there will be a Mail dispatched and this letter is doomed to be frozen, to be buried in the Snows, and rest in them with the bearer, many succeeding Nights till he shall have arrived at some habitation.
When darkness or fatigue prevent his pursuing his journey he will open for himself a trench in the Snow, and then wrapped in his skins enjoy a sleep, a stranger perhaps to many a downy fellow.
From this picture it will be imagined, perhaps that cold is almost insupportable, yet is it not so, I wear no more clothing than I should do in England during the same Season, and the face and hands seem alone to require any additional protection-
The Houses are warmed by means of Stoves, for simple fires are not found to be sufficient.

A great part of the population of this Country retain the language of their founders, but how widely different from the polished language spoken now in France.
The opportunity might be deemed excellent of perfecting myself in French, yet from the difficulty of procuring a Master, and the impracticability of any very general

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odious wrinkles. So that ugly long word so inadvertantly introduced in one of my letters has quite astounded my dear Elizabeth, because she had then I presume already determined to adopt the Mob Cap, and enroll herself amongst the right worshipful Society of -shall I name the Word- Nay I must not. But you never Miss Elizabeth, say a word of Miss Lucas, I hope she continues well- pray present her with my kindest regards.
What then is there not a syllable for my arch Sister Mary? Yes there is one- its to tell her how much I love her. My dear little Emmeline I hope the day is not very remote when I may impress on her sweet lips as many kisses as she would have sent me. Many and kind remembrances to Hannibal and Maria. Salute for me the young Hannibal, who though he crosses not the Alps, may still be the no less greater Man. Tell Condron and Mrs Condron, old Brown, Price and all our domestics that I fail not to remember them. Even old Argos and June, and the Swift Iris are not forgotten by me.

My dearest Elizabeth you must not torment yourself with imagining ills- they are perhaps the worst of misfortunes. By one of your letters I perceive your mind had been agonized by an unwise foreboding that some accident had befallen me. The Evils my dear Sister which attend the separation of our family are sufficiently great without seeking any & less necessary auxiliary to be employed to our own annoyance.
My dearest Mother, I embrace you- My dear Sisters I wish you all farewell- Your happiness & prosperity are essential to that
Of your Affectionate
Edward Mc. Arthur

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aquaintance amongst the Canadian families, I am compelled to confine myself for instruction to my books, of which before I left Bordeux I provided myself with a choice and plentiful store. Anxious however to avail myself of every means of improvement I have not neglected an opportunity which has presented itself of renewing my acquaintance with the Italian authors with whom I commenced an intimacy while in Sicily.

There are some good libraries in Quebec and I have not been so remiss as altogether to forget the many very excellent writers in our own tongue.
Since little Emmeline is Elizabeth’s peculiar charge I wish my dear Sister could procure the Emile of Rousseau its perusal would afford her great delight, and at the same time many ingenious observations on the Education of Children- Tis in fact a treatise on that subject. If I remember right there is a work of Madam Genlis[?] at Parramatta, of the same nature entitled Adelaide and Theodore. Does not Elizabeth remember the gloomy story of the Duchess of C- of which we undertook the translation.
Coming to this Country an entire stranger it cannot be imagined that the circle of my acquaintance is very extended, I visit at the house of a few Military persons who have been attentive to me indeed this place possesses but few attractions for one who if he must be in a new country would surely give the preference to that where his family is of some consideration.
I hope therefore most ardently that a change of measures may be the means of recalling my Regiment to Europe. There are still expectations of an accomodation with the Americans before the close of the Winter, and in that event the Army will be withdrawn from Canada, with the exception of a few Regiments.

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Quebec January 18 1812.[1815?]
My dear dear Father,
I received three letters, forwarded by Mr Stewart of the Secretary of State’s Office, last week, which tho by different Mails all came to hand about the same time. They have made me comparatively very happy My last letter to you, was one written just after that which I forwarded by Captain Thorp of the 39th. I have continued ever since at Quebec, in the Command of a Company or Division of Detachments, for which I receive all the allowances of a Subaltern in a similar command with his Regiment. An advantage which if I were now with mine I should not enjoy, as the compliment of Captains is nearly in the Country.
When the Campaign opens I must renounce it, for it is my intention to share with my Regiment its dangers as I invariably did before.
In consequence of the little emoluments arising from my command I stand at present in no need of Money, tho’ from the price of almost all the necessaries of life together with the extravagant not to say exorbitant charges made for clothing, I am necessitated to be very circumspect. It would be of great assistance to me were you to send me out by the earliest vessels two Regimental coats with epaulets made by Hunon according to the same measure by which he made the last- perhaps it would be better to have the cloth, buttons &c sent unmade up. Cloth for Pantaloons and a few shirts will complete the equipment. I will give you the name on the other side of the Gentleman to whose care I wish them to be addressed.
A Mail will be closed at the Commencement of February, and by that I intend to thank John for his assiduity and attention-

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I was very happy to learn your intention of permitting James to return to New Holland. What is to become of Master pill garlic. I should be sorry to see him in the Army, yet if he should be intended for the profession, the Artillery or Engineers would be the Corps to which I should give a preference- Is he past the age at which Students are received in Woolwhich?
The Wings of my own ambition are wonderfully clipped, had I but my Company, I think I might retire to N. S. Wales, and with the assistance of the half pay do very well

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To John Mc Arthur Esqre
to the care of
Messrs. Coles, Boothers
No 86 Tower Street

Cains[?] College Cambridge

It was a sad business coming to this Canada. After the glorious affairs of the Peninsula. The business here appears so tame, so little inciting, that it is merely by the sentiment of what is right we are driven to the performance of our duties-

My affectionate remembrances to Mrs. Thompson, the families in Castle Street &c. My affectionate love to John, James and William- Believe me, My dear dear Father
Your affectionate Son
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

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Quebec February 1st 1815
My dear John
I sent my Father a very long letter on the 18th of last Month, just after the receipt of the three letters you were so kind as to write me in October last. I need not tell you how much I was obliged and gratified by the long extracts you gave me from Elizabeth’s letters, and it is a little vexatious that there is no prospect of my affording you any thing in return half so interesting.

You may easily imagine that there are few very few occurrences during a Winter in this Country that excite attention even from such as may be within the sphere of their attraction, much less can it be supposed that there [are] any which could interest you, who are so remote, and so completely withdrawn from every thing Canadian.

Without indeed you may choose to think that I now belong to that class and then I will admit that you take some little concern in Canadian transactions since you are interested in whatever may have a connection with me.
But that which is connected with me in this Country is so little, that to afford you a long

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letter, /and observe three sides of a sheet on this occasion I shall deem a very long one/ I must transport myself for a time, from these Snowy regions to a Country were there are so many happy people who have at least the satisfaction of breathing the same air with their friends.

You were on the point of leaving London for Cambridge when you concluded your last letter, and ere long I suppose you will commence the drudging of turning over old musty records, and dusty parchments- Your profession labours under many disadvantages in its early stages- but how far does it surpass mine in those periods of it, when industry and talent, however unfriended or unprotected, will at length reap the certain reward of their labour.
I am not much of a novel reader indeed the only one I have had even in my hands for the last two years, is a late publication of Miss Edgeworth entitled patronage - it has pleased me so much that if you have not already read it, I wish you would do so-
It would I am sure infinitely gratify my dear Mother and Sisters, therefore

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pretty fellow to send you a letter without reading it over- Should I do so I know it would be condemned and that sentence being passed on it, would deprive you of hearing from me by this Packet.

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persuade my father to send it out to them.

So James is to return to New South Wales in good faith I feel half inclined to entreat my Father to consent to my becoming a peaceable quiet settler there as well- nothing restrained me but the idea of abandoning a carreer in which I have made some advancement,/ and that too very little/ to commence a tract with which I am in utter unacquaintance- My Father will think of it he knows me perhaps better than [I do] myself I wrote to beg he would send me some clothes by the first Vessels to the care of Mr. John Cannon, Builder Quebec.

I know not John whether my Father will be proud of you- but I fear in this profession of mine the industrious and possessing all the inclination I shall never have it in my power to call forth from him in exclamation “That is my son"-

Affectionate remembrances to my dear Father & Brothers, to the former I will write by the next Mail- I embrace you, my dear Brother- Since in every sense I would be your affectionate Brother
E. Mc. Arthur.

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Do you recollect when at Glasgow to have ever heard of a Sir John Stirling -a son of his is my Mess Mate-
We have the cold this Morning twenty three Degrees below the Cipher, or Zero as the French term it, of Fernoughes Thermometer
Write to me often, and as much about your self as possible for I shall sympathize with you in all occurrences whether pleasurable or otherwise.

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Envelope marked Post paid to Halifax- Single 2 N 2
To John Mc. Arthur Esqre Junr.
To the Care of –
--Messrs. Coles, Boothers,
No. 86 Tower Street

[Side notes:] Kindest remembrances to Mr. T. Thompson, the [indecipherable] Plummers, Castle Street Family &c.
Your letter of May or June last has never made its appearance.

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Athloin- 18th March [pencil 1815]
My dear John,
I have received nothing direct from any of the Officers of the 40th by this days post, but a letter from Dr. Dillon tells me that he had remained at Home all the Morning in expectation of a visit from one of the Captains who, he understood, intended calling on him.
They gave hold out that far from giving they expect to receive some difficulty by which I presume they contemplate an exchange upon equal terms. It is evident they are not in haste. I should have otherwise have received an answer from Captain Maclean who, by the way is a Son of General Sir T. Maclean, to whom I was once introduced by my father, and who spoke to me of him, when I was last at the Horse Guards.
Colonel Milne knows him well. I think I shall hear nothing of the exchange till after the Regt. has reached its destination at Chatham when you

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will there probably be applied to for when the period of embarkation approaches- the Officers will be as hasty in seeking an exchange as they are now tardy.
If you are applied to I think you had better refer the parties to Mr. Downes, unless you ascertain that you are treating with the party himself.

[indecipherable] you see General Maclean you may say that if he can suggest any mode other than a defference by which I can ensure my return to a Regt. in Europe hereafter, I shall be most happy to accede to it.

When I have an answer from Captain M. I will communicate it to you.
Ever my dear John
Yr. aff. br.

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Edward- 10th March- enclosing a letter for my father.

John MacArthur Esqre
Inner Temple

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Paris, September 2nd 1815.
My dear Mother
I received a letter from John a day or two ago in which he says vessels are preparing for New South Wales, I am anxious therefore that they should convey to you assurances of my health from under my very own hand.

My Regiment has been in the neighbourhood of Paris almost a month, where it marched with all expectation, for we were allowed to remain at Spithead on our arrival from Canada, little more than twenty four hours. In that time however I had the gratification to see the family of Mr. Lee, who resides at Porchester, a short distance only from Portsmouth. From these worthy friends I learned many circumstances of which from the loss of two of the packets to Canada, I was in entire ignorance. That of my Father and the boys being in Switzerland was one of the last things that would have occurred to me. It was spoken of as a thing which I already knew, so that my surprise was

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Paris yet was there nothing to denote the vicinity of so celebrated a City, for tho’ the high roads, bordered on each side by majestic elm trees, were magnificent, yet are they the same nearly throughout France. The approach to London is marked in a thousand ways- the increased number of travellers- a certain taste in every thing that is presented to the eye, and in short the total absence of whatever does not correspond with the wealth of the metropolis. But here a thousand unseemly objects strike the stranger- a mouldering wall- a desolate house or an augean stable- such is the entrance from the north by way of St. Denis- This little town from the celebrity of its Abbey my imagination had represented to me as something superior- But it is a dirty ill built place, where as in most parts of Paris itself, the passengers nose is either assailed by the fumes of a cooks shop, or something infinitely more nauseous-
The Abbey was together with its monuments ruined during the revolution. The tombs of the French Kings were violated by order of Robesphiere, and the bodies thrown into a ditch, just without the church, and destroyed by quicklime. There is now a grove of trees on the spot, and it is intended to erect a monument on which will be inscribed the name of

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was extreme. I received no letter from John till I reached Paris, for we had sailed for Ostend before the return of Post from London. After a delay of one day arising from the violence of the Wind, we disembarked at this Port, which being little more than the outlet of a Canal scarcely deserves that name. The Town is very like one of our own, with this difference only that the houses appear to stand more compactly from their ends being presented to the streets/ I never beheld a Country, the first appearance of which was so unprepossessing, the steeples of the Churches from the extreme flatness of the Coast, are espied by the mariner some time before the shores themselves- And which when they are descried they present nothing but a sandy barren aspect.
In the Evening we were embarked onboard barges in which we proceeded by a canal to Ghent. We were set in motion at day light and the heavy barges, crowded with Soldiers, were made to glide with facility through the water by the power only of a single horse to each. I never beheld any thing more delightful a canal of great width, shaded on either side by rows of

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of all the illustrious personages there heaped together. The Church is now undergoing a thorough repair- such parts as were broken down, have been rebuilt and that which remained entire has been rechisselled, so that the whole presents an entire new surface. It was undertaken by that extraordinary man Buoneparte. Far from wishing to eradicate from the minds of his subjects the memory of their former Kings, he seems to have taken great pains to direct their thoughts to that ancient channel. In the nave of the Church there is chapel to each of the several dynasties of France, marked by the windows which are painted in vivid colours, representing the armorial bearings of each particular race. Charle magne- the Bounteous- and last of the imperial Arms of his own family- or rather of himself. The ancient vaults have been rebuilt- they are in a circular corridor below- and opposite to each tomb is a statue of the prince there supposed to be enterred, together with a small chapel. But that which above all strikes the imagination of the stranger is the spacious vault which he intended for himself and family. He had the curiosity to visit it twice. You enter it by two brazen portals exquisitely worked- To these doors there were three kees, each appertaining to a seperate lock the holes of which represent the numbers 1-2-3, and they

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of trees, and winding through a country in the very highest state of cultivation. At short intervals Villages and detached houses present themselves, and give a pleasing diversity to the Scene. In this manner we arrived at Bruges, where we remained only about half an hour before we again proceeded in our barges; too short a time to form any correct idea of so considerable a place.
At day light after having proceeded the whole night in our tranquil course we found ourselves arrived at Ghent, where but a few Months before that treaty was concluded which by putting an end to the War beyond the Atlantic, enabled our Governments happily to recall us from a Country, which served only to remind us of the superiority of every other. [see small sketch] The duration and severity of the Canadian Winters I found to be too great for me indeed I suffered exceedingly from the one it was my ill fortune to spend in Quebec. But I forget I am returning to the Saint Lawrence when I should be conducting you my dear Mother, over the Schild by one of the three hundred bridges which are at Ghent.
This is a beautiful Town, traversed in various path by Canals

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were always to have been in the custody of three of the principal Officers of State, so that the doors could be never opened without their concurrence-
But my dear Mother will imagine I intend to entomb her in the Abbey. We will hasten out of it, and imagine ourselves at a small village about a mile distant where on arriving we were directed to quarter ourselves. It consists chiefly of the country houses of some of the wealthy citizens of Paris- with grounds and gardens elegantly laid out, together with the houses themselves little inferior to palaces yet amidst all this magnificence we could not find an entire chair on which to sit, or of an infinity of fine glasses a fragment large enough to regard one self in. On the approach of the hostile forces the inhabitants for the most part retired into the City and the Prussian and other troops bearing too deeply in mind the devastation committed by the French in their victories were determined to advantage themselves by the destruction of everything that it was possible for them to destroy. I suppose my dear Mother a Company of uncontrolled and [indecipherable] Soldiers in our happy house at Parramatta- How soon would every object which either time, or some other cause

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and rivers as may be conceived from the number of its bridges.
We were in this Town several days quartered on the houses of the inhabitants, who treated us with an attention and hospitality beyond all comparison. The family with which I resided seemed to consider me as one of themselves, and I was under a species of compulsion of living altogether at their table.
On the 25th of July I took leave of that worthy family, and preceded my Regiment by one days march, which I was directed to do till we reached St. Denis, in order that quarters might be ready for it on arriving. This was one advantage arising from my small knowledge of the French language, for instead of a tiresome march with my Regiment I was permitted to start off every Evening by myself. In our march through Flanders we were much gratified to find that our Countrymen were invariably well spoken of, and stood very high in the estimation of the inhabitants; and that their conduct in the late operations had been even more exemplary than that of the native Troops. As it would be only tiring your patience I shall not detain you on the road to Paris but merely mention that we passed through Mons, entering the French territory at Bavay, and completed our March to St. Denis on the 9th of August, a distance from Ghent of about two Hundred Miles. We were now only a short walk from

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of endearment had rendered precious in your estimation, be laid waste, what wanton zeal would be displayed in the research, and how strangely the human mind directed to the commission of evil at once useless and unnecessary-
But let me not disturb my dearest, my tenderest mother, the tranquility which I hope you enjoy, by so sad and melancholy a supposition.

We were in this village only two days when an order came for us to encamp/ and the ground pointed out for the purpose was a plain between St. Deniss and Paris, where we were exposed to the Sun as well as numberless other inconveniences incident to Camps, within view of all the commodiousness and luxury of Paris- But the education of a Soldier teaches him to submit cheerfully to privations worse than these/

During the fortnight we remained in this encampment we saw hosts of the allied troops on their march. One day the King of France drove by and the soldiers attracted by the equipage ran in crowds as to a spectacle perceiving who it was, they spontaneously gave his Majesty three such cheers as I dare swear neither he nor his family will receive from the Parisians for the next generation. Five days before we broke up we were reviewed by the Duke of Wellington together with the other Regiments composing

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in a variety of directions. Here the great body of the british force is encamped .
You will hear much about the boulevards which are walks that surround Paris- The one is an outer enclosure with elm trees on either side, the other in within, and encircles the space which once perhaps contained the Town/ it is very wide and like the other has a row of elm trees on each side. If you lose your way in Paris you are sure, by continuing straight on, to arrive at length upon this walk, from whence by going in either direction you must again, as in pacing a circle, the place from whence you set out. It is a great convenience for dwell in what part of the Town you will, a commodious walk, is but a short distance removed from you. It is therefore as may be imagined crowded at all times, and therefore becomes the fashionable lounge. There are innumerable Coffee houses and places of entertainment and amusement along the whole extent of the boulevard, besides shops and stalls, where with money every thing may be had, thus presenting a continued appearance of a public fair. This Paris is certainly the centre of

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discovered at length that this was General Parecaux. I have enquired for him at Paris, but I imagine he must have delayed on the road as I can learn nothing more about him.

Mr Grimes came home in the same fleet with me from Canada- he is exactly the same looking kind of creature. I see no alteration in him.
I received a letter from John two days ago- he writes in good spirits and is looking out daily for arrivals from N. S. Wales I have not received a single line from Plymouth for many months. I wrote some days ago begging them to write to me.
You will I am sure my dear Mother be infinitely concerned to learn that Wm. Thompson has been so improvident as not only to run through the handsome independence left him by that excellent man, his father, but has even embarrassed himself very considerably.
We are every day expecting to move into our Winter Quarters- I should like much to spend a few weeks with my Father and the boys, what probability there is of my doing so you will perceive

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of every thing that is exquisite in the arts, and of all that is extreme in depravity and vice. To describe to you my dear Mother, its palaces, its galleries of statues and of pictures, its varied collections of all that is wonderful in nature, and the specimens of the ingenuity and skill of its architects, would exceed both my abilities and my limits.
I must therefore request John will send you out a description of Paris, and when you read of these extraordinary things imagine that I have seen them. But before I leave this subject I must pay a tribute of praise to their public institutions which are open alike to the poor and the rich, and on certain days they may both gratify their curiosity in beholding the wondrous productions of nature and of art without the most trivial expense. In London this is not the case- you must there pay dearly for seeing the Lions. Notwithstanding all this our own Metropolis considered as a place where people may live commodiously, is far beyond Paris. The streets of which in general are narrow and dirty, and as there is no cause way for the foot passengers, you are in danger every morning

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September 19th. My departure is no longer doubtful. I have obtained leave of absence and sit out in the diligence this day at three o’Clock for Vevey in Switzerland, where many of the members of an unfortunately scattered family will unite, nor amidst the satisfaction arising from this meeting will there fail to be experienced the alloy which the saddening remembrance of so many dear and absent friends will produce.
Captain Layne dined with me yesterday; he has subjoined his signature, and begs most kindly to be remembered to you all. The terms in which you have spoken of this Gentleman, have given the same place in my estimation, that a long acquaintance is want to create. Remember me most kindly to all our friends. I had a letter from Plymouth only a few days since my Uncle and Cousins were all well. Say every thing, for me that is affectionate to Hannibal and Maria. My dearest Sisters I embrace you and my dear Miss Lucas except from me a thousand regards. Tell all our old domestics that I often think of them, and that I hope some day to return with the power [indecipherable] my sense of the fidelity they have shown my dearest Mother.
Farewell my dear dear Mother, and you my dearest Sisters again farewell. God preserve to you tranquility and health, and all the blessings it is in his power to grant.
Edwd. Mc. Arthur

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the first division of the troops from Canada. His Grace on passing down the line recognised the 39th Regiment as one of his old Corps. Before the conclusion of the review we beheld our front clouded by a host of horsemen, proving to be the Emperor Alexander and suite who came to be spectators of the defilation of the troops.

Every day there is a review of some Corps or other and at one which took place not long since, Alexander ordered three Lieutenant Colonels to the Guard House because he was displeased with their regiments. An English guard generally mounts over his person and the Captain of it receiving an order to take into custody persons whose rank amongst us exempts them from such an exercise of discipline very courtiously requested them to occupy his room-

Two days after being seen by the Duke, we were removed about two miles to the extremity of the plain and put into quarters at Montmatre. From hence we have a commanding view of Paris standing on a plain immediately beneath us. Many English families truly John Bulls come to take a view of the City, from this commanding height and express great exultation at having the

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of being trampled under foot./ So much for a tiresome account too hurried and confused, for you to form, my dear Mother, any just conception of what I would describe to you/
On my first coming to Paris I went up to an Officer of the 73rd Regiment, whom I accidentally fell in with and enquired how long his Battalion had been home from N. S. Wales. I left it eighteen months ago. Then you must be acquainted with some of my friends. Their name- O very well I knew Mrs Mc. Arthur very well. This Gentlemen proved to be Mr. Mc Lean General Mc. Quarie’s Nephew- he pressed me to go out to their encampment which I took an early opportunity of doing, and introduced myself to a Gentleman whom Elizabeth has told me was on a very intimate footing at Parramatta- Your friend Captain Leyne. We soon became anything but strangers- the accounts he gave me of you all were interesting to me, in the highest degree. We have been a good deal together, and last Sunday we were to have made an excursion to Varsailles, but when I arrived in the Morning at the ground where they were en

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Parisians thus under the feet of a british Garrison. What a proud thing for an Englishman to say exclaimed a true son of roast beef, that he has mounted guard at Montmatre. We are here well secured against any sudden enterprise for independant of the natural strength of the place we are fenced around with stout garden walls and a palisade.
But the Prussians who came here before us have rendered almost every house uninhabitable so that we are little better off than the troops which remain encamped in the Champs Elisees, and the Bois de Bologne- But my dear Mother may require some account of these. They are both at the Southern entrance of Paris, which it must be confessed is very grand, and to be prepossessed in favour of the Town, the stranger should come in that way-
The Champs Elisees, or Elisian fields is a spacious walk fronting the Garden of the Tuilleries and within Paris, very closely set with elm trees. The Duke of Wellington resides in a house close by and immediately beneath it is the encampment of a british brigade.
Passing through this ground you enter the Wood of Bologne, called so from a little village at the end of it. This Wood is tastily laid out, with roads and walks traversing it

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-camped I found that the Regiment had marched; and not being able to make them out I was compelled to visit the Palaces of Varsailles & St. Cloud by myself. Captain L seems to wish himself again in N. S. Wales, he speaks of the time he passed there as the happiest of his days. He has represented everything in such lively and flattering colours, and told me of so many improvements made by my dear Mother, that I begin now to wish myself amongst you, my dearest friends once more however I should not like to return to the colony till I have attained the step I have so long and anxiously been looking up to- Captain L[indecipherable] was promoted to his Company a few days since, happily being a survivor after the late bloody and desperate conflict at Waterloo. He often exclaims could Mrs Mc. Arthur but be aware that we have met at Paris- How happy would such a thought render his.

I was informed some days ago by one of my brother Officers that an English General had enquired after me saying that he had had me often in his arms when a child- I

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Paris, December 9th 1815
My dear dear Mother,
The letter I did myself last the pleasure of addressing you was written just previous to my setting out for Switzerland where I had the happiness to find my dear Father, and our dear boys all, I may say, in perfect health- For tho’ my father had suffered much from his nervous gout, and during the two months I was with him, continued in a great measure to be a Martyr to it, yet during the absence of the disease, he preserved the appearance and activity of a Man, who far from having been afflicted with so painful a malady had ever enjoyed the most uninterrupted state of health.

When I arrived at Vevey I found my Father sitting at home by himself, and tho’ four years had nearly lapsed since our last meeting I found no other alteration in his person than that of having become a little more lusty. James and William were out on a visit to some one of their acquaintance, but on their return home in the Evening, they no longer recognised the brother in whom four Campaigns had wrought so great a change. They approached him with diffidence, half suspecting who it was, yet obliged to contain themselves from an idea of his being a stranger. This scene you will readily conceive, my dear Mother was of short duration, having soon been interrupted by my anxiety to embrace them. If they could no longer remember me I am sure I was equally at a loss to recall the two Kangaroos I had beheld on their first arrival from the Colony. So altered; James, in particular who tho still unformed is stouter and taller than myself, and William though a little fellow, is yet most astonishingly

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The day after I took leave of my Father I was at Geneva. It was such wretched weather, that I felt no kind of inducement to remain in this celebrated City, which however is one of the least prepossessing I have ever seen. The lake and the Scenery about the town are justly admired. The following Morning I set out in the diligence for Lyons with five french women fellow travellers and as they were very apprehensive of taking cold, I was compelled almost to submit to suffocation and was permitted to have a little fresh air when I was almost incapable of asking for it. I never intend to be so complaisant again. The only curious object I saw in this journey was the sudden disappearance of the Rhone, which flows some hundred yards underground and then issues from its subterranean channel.

We were a day and Night on the road. About eleven o’clock the following Morning we entered Lyons. It stands on the confluence of the Rhone and the Somme, is a very fine Town and contains about a hundred thousand inhabitants. I spent three days very agreeably in this City, and on the 18th commenced my journey to Paris. Having entered Switzerland by Lyon and Bezancon I determined to return by a different rout, and therefore took that of the Loire passing through Roanne, Moulins,
Nevers, Fontainbleu &c. As I travelled in the diligence and at the worst season of the year, I neither could, nor felt inclined to stop to make enquiries. Fortunately

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astonishingly changed. James whom I was once capable of instructing, has now the ability to repay ten fold what ever he acquired from me, and William though possessing not half the industry and application of his brother, is however far more advanced than are generally found, lads of the same age.
They both speak French with much fluency, an acquisition of which situated as they at present are, it is unnecessary to enumerate the advantages. They both draw also in a very pretty style, and as landscape is the branch they have studied it will be at once useful and agreeable to them, when they become settled in New South Wales.
James is completely my Fathers factotum, being house keeper interpreter and master of Ceremonies for he it is who receives all the Swiss who come to pay my Father their respects. The little society is increased by an other young Gentleman, whom Elizabeth can introduce to your acquaintance Frederic Thompson, a very good natured promising young lad. In the Morning my Father superintends the studies of the three, their Evenings they spend generally with the young people of their own age, of whom at Vevey, there are several. Perhaps no society was ever known to combine more information and simplicity of manner than that of the part of Switzerland, where they at present reside. Conversation is there almost always agreeable and instructive and when it becomes too grave for the young people, they have recourse to passtimes and games which if not altogether unknown, are now in our country fallen into disuse.
The eight Weeks I spent at Vevey, imperceptibly glided away amidst the tranquil and pleasing scenes that so strongly contrasted with the

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Fortunately we had a most agreeable party in the coach which compensated for the tediousness of the journey. We were four days and four Nights on the road and rarely met with any good accommodation at the Inns till we approached the capital. My expences from Vevey to Paris amounted to about ten Napoleons which is about eight pounds in our Money. They charged me about half a crown for my dinner and the same for supper and two shillings for a bed I was very happy to get back to my Regiment where I could enjoy my own.
Since my return to Paris I have been very gay. I brought with me a letter of introduction to a Gentleman here, who took me out with him one or two Evenings to the Houses of his acquaintance. I was well received and by this means having extended my circle of friends, I find I have now scarcely an Evening to myself. At these parties I often meet french Officers, who have served the same Campaigns with my self. We now laugh at our former struggles and are astonished at the course of events which has thrown us together as acquaintances who so lately were open enemies.
Since I commenced this letter we have removed our quarters to a greater distance from Paris. We are now at Bologne a small Village about five Miles from the Town. We are close to the Palace of Saint Cloud, and only six Miles from Versailles. I have seen all the celebrated places which have one thing in common to them all. Gold embroidery, hangings, pictures &c. Having beheld one palace there is very little to be derived from a general and cursory view of

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bustling unsettled life I had been habituated to.
I left my Father most anxious for arrivals from the Colony on the receipt of his next letters he will return to England to make arrangements for his departure to New South Wales from whence he will never again set out, or at least never allow himself again to be separated from his family.
Since circumstances, my dearest Mother do not admit of your being all established in this hemisphere it is needless to repine. We should rather perhaps rejoice that so comfortable an asylum is left for our numerous family in that part of the other so distantly situated. Whether we are all to meet again beneath the same roof Heaven alone knows! I am only prevented flying to you by the apprehension that I should be found unfit for a Colonial life, and an unwillingness to abandon my profession until I have acquired some benefit by so many years devotion to it. Had I [indecipherable] my Company I might think of returning in good earnest but till that is obtained such a measure would not certainly be advisable. Whether I am with you, or at a distance from you my dearest Mother, I shall never cease to love you and strange as it may appear my affection seems to increase with the distance and years that have separated us.
But neither you nor my dearest Sisters require any assurances on this head, as all your letters abundantly testify how sensible you are of the unabated warmth of my attachment/ Writing as I am in haste, I was led to the subject unwaryly, and having

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of any others. Our departure for the frontiers seems to be postponed. Everything is very tranquil in this part of France. Marshal Ney has been executed, and the Government are proceeding with the trial of the persons the most conspicuously engaged in the late Revolution. An old French Gentleman expressed to me this Morning his astonishment that we had not put Bonaparte to death- him who had sacrificed so many millions- He mentioned his recollecting him when without a second Coat to his back and running about Paris in search of a precarious subsistence. Yet this Man you are treating like a prince, and I understand are about to erect a palace for at St. Helena. Should this celebrated character visit it [indecipherable] ere his career have its termination. His being now where he is certainly twelve Months since would have been deemed a conjecture equally absurd.
Were we my dearest friends but united, it would concern us very little what became of him. I am very anxious for the next arrivals from the Colony and I am at a loss to account for the delay. I can now only my dearest Mother, and beloved Sisters, add that I am and ever shall be your affectionate Edward Mac Arthur.
Remember me most kindly to Hannibal, Maria, and Miss Lucas to Mr and Mrs Baily and to all my old friends. 14th of December.

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entered upon it, it was as well to write exactly what I felt.
You will wish to know perhaps how long I have been absent from Vevey I set out on my return to my Regiment on the 13th of last month and reached Paris on the 22nd where I found the 39th still in quarters. Something more agreeably than our last Winter in Canada, tho believe me the weather is not very warm even here. I have two very comfortable well furnished apartments provided by the French Government in the house of a good bourgeous, whose sentiments and mine are not quite the same perhaps on this occasion He will no doubt be very happy when his rooms are vacated and I shall regret the leaving them not a little. And that I certainly shall, in the course of a very few days for in a week the British army will quit the environs of Paris, and march to the frontier towns where we are to remain in Garrison for the next three years. When this period is expired we shall be complete Frenchmen, and be perfect connoisseurs in wine I shall be capable of giving a good opinion of that I hope to find the produce of the Vineyard James is bent upon establishing in New South Wales. I request that a cask of the very first vintage may be set aside against my arrival.
But whither have I wandered I set out purposing to give an account of my Journey from Switzerland, and behold me amidst the wines which are not yet planted in New Holland

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19th December,
My dearest Mother,
I shall send off this letter to Morrow from hence. Finding the quarters of my Regiment too far from Town to return after an Evening’s party I have been obliged to sleep in Paris these two last Nights having been engaged at two different houses. I am this moment returned from one afternoon where tho it be Sunday Evening we have been dancing and making as merry as the good people in England do on high days and holy days. I have not half vivacity enough for the French- but that will come when I shall have acquired a little more impudence. Where I was this Evening I met a
very charming Girl born of English parents in Paris. her conversation was very interesting as I considered her a countrywoman I could ask her many things about the French that I could not ask themselves. She gave the [indecipherable] of gallantry and politeness to our neighbours – to us propriety and sincerity. Where I only a little nearer Paris I might be out every Evening.
God bless you all again and again, my dearest friends, ever prays your affectionate Son E. Mc A.
In five days hence we shall all think of each other, tho we may not at this moment

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London April 11th 1816
My dear Elizabeth,
When I forwarded the accompanying letter to my brother I little thought I should so
speedily follow it, but it is the property[?] of our profession to be little stationary and to move when we least expect it. I was absent from my regiment at the neighbouring town of Arras when a runner came with my horse and [orders] for me to return to head quarters to proceed from thence immediately to England with a detachment of men. Having reached Dover I determined not to return till I had seen my brother, and as soon as I could obtain leave I came to London where we had the pleasure once again to embrace after an absence of some years. I have been staying with him in his chambers for the last ten days – He is

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the house I mentioned what had passed and he assured me he had no more chance of becoming the Governor of New South Wales than of being appointed Prime Minister of Great Britain.
You will have heard how respectably our little friend Grimes has connected himself. Our sex is certainly under the influence of yours- it appears to me you do well in what you choose.
I send you a piece of lace for my Mother – it is of great value and the ladies tell me beautifully wrought – a thousand embraces for her and my dear Sisters- I leave Town on Sunday Morning and expect to find my father and the boys on Tuesday on their return to England at Calais. I can do nothing in the way of promotion. Should there be in the 46th a Captain desirous of selling and what is not probable no Lieutenant in the regiment prepared for purchase.

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most comfortably situated, though not more so than he deserves, for though neither pains nor expence have been spared on his education he deserves no less credit for having allowed none of those advantages to escape him.
All agree in praising him but none more than our old friend General Foveaux who whenever he comes to Town pays John an occasional visit. He says he shall certainly see him Lord Chancellor ere he dies.
rejoiced and happy as I have been to see my brother I need scarcely mention how painful it has been for me to find so many of those we were want so much to esteem fallen into a situation I had almost said a state of degradation, quite distressing to contemplate. W. T. sunk in low debauchery, and obliged to find security for his person in a foreign Country. Mr. P. still worse

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On General Macquaries recommendation to General Torrens, with whom I am told he has great interest, I might perhaps be permitted to purchase the Company without some such arrangement I see little chance of embracing you for many years.

God bless you, dearest Elizabeth ever prays your affectionate brother-
Edw Mc. Arthur
Kindest remembrances to Mrs Lucas Hannibal and Maria.

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because he is so much older, and having too so amicable a wife and possessing such consistency in the world, it is still more unpardonable that he should have been so lost to every feeling, every consideration-
He has returned to his family with a broken mind and constitution, and a determination to reform.
Poor old Mrs. Thompson bears up against these repeated strokes of ill fortune with a surprising fortitude and force of mind. She has left her house in Castle Street and gone to live in Frith Street Soho Square.

Of our old acquaintances the only one who has behaved with any marked attention to me is Mr Watson now Mr. Watson Taylor. Mr Targulias (?) apologised to me for not having invited me to his house, stating as an

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excuse the indisposition of his Wife. A great many of John’s new acquaintances have been very kind to me and my fathers friend Mr Charles Coles has invited me to his house at Croydon to morrow. I paid Mrs King a visit yesterday with General Foveaux. She is looking very well, and has grown very stout. Elizabeth is a fine Girl, little Mary now no longer so/ was at School. While we were with Mrs. King, the conversation turned upon the person who was appointed to succeed Genl. Mc Quarie in the Government for there is a rumour here to that effect, though I have been enabled to learn nothing positive on the subject. Mrs King intimated to me by a sign unseen to the General that he was nominated to the command. When we left

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Trevillers, department du Pas De Calais,
December 18th 1816

My dearest Elizabeth,
Your affectionate letter, written on my last birth day, reached me only a few days since. Need I say how much I was touched by the instances, which appear in it of your unabated regard? be how sensible I was to the account it presented of your own melancholy state of health, and of the afflicting loss of persons you so highly esteemed? But most of all, it has concerned me to perceive that these events have preyed upon your spirits and given birth to a state of mind that must tend alike to render yourself and those around you equally unhappy.
At this distance what can I say, or if I were by your side what could I suggest that your own good sense does not point out to you. Endeavour, my dear Elizabeth, to overcome

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this feeling, and strive to think yourself happy, and perhaps there is no surer way to be so. The day may yet arrive when we shall again assemble under the same roof, and then perhaps Elizabeth, it may occur to you, that a family divided like ours, has this consolation: namely that while they are widely separated, its members more esteem and love each other, than if they were together, whence the foibles from which no individual is exempt by becoming the subject of mutual observation, would not fail to produce their effect. Were I living under your eye, I should perhaps not be deemed so deserving the commendation you at present bestow on me.
But these are all idle reflections, and rather than indulge in them, I should present you with some details concerning my present quarters, or something or other that will amuse you.

I feel that you will naturally expect a letter from this Country, should abound in such subjects, but tho’ it be from France it is still a letter from a

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miserable mud village, less fertile in events, at least in such as appear to me interesting, than our remotest establishment at the Cow Pastures.

It is now nearly two months since the Army broke up from its encampment in the neighbourhood of St Omer, and returned to occupy its former winter cantonments . Some of the Divisions are in the neighbourhood of, and doing duty in the Fortresses that were given up to us at the Peace, but the Division to which my Regiment belongs is altogether removed from them, and occupies the Villages, which lie between Arras, Aire, Bethune and Hesdin. This was the scene of the last of the Duke of Marlborough’s Campaigns when in the year 1710, he and Prince Eugene besieged and took two of the Places I have enumerated, Aire and Bethune. In this parish there is a farm House, where the Duke established his head Quarters, an event which will probably be recorded till the House ceases to exist.

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The people in my Quarter tell me, their Grand Father was stripped three times in one day by the followers of the Army: that this House was plundered of every thing and that an English General lived several Weeks in the barn which is opposite, and that a Window was made by piercing a hole through the Wall to throw light into the Chamber, and which now exists in the rude state it was then left in. The general is represented to have been a very humane man who made their Grand Mother dine with him every day.
Now that I have gone a Century back in search of incidents to fill up a letter you will indeed imagine that the dearth of events is quite as great as I represented them.

The people of this House are very kind and civil to me, and the quarter is in itself good, which in some degree counterbalanced the annoyance of being so isolated lonely. The nearest Officer quarters to mine are about two Miles distant. I have no other means of amusement, than what I derive

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derive in doors from books, and when the weather permits from such sports as a Country life affords. I have a very nice Horse which my father presented me with when I was in England, and a brace of grey Hounds that were given me by an acquaintance of John’s. We form coursing parties from the Officer’s of the neighbouring villages, and thus continue to keep ourselves in Health and exercise. Sometimes I make an excursion to Arras, or some one of the large Towns round about, and by diversifying endeavour to spend my time as merrily I can. Thus the present glides on without my forming any prospect of the future. Too of what avail is it to indulge in the speculation when so many silvery hopes have proved abortive?/ Who would have imagined Elizabeth that of the friends of our early days, I should one day find so many in a foreign

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clime? Old Mrs Thompson is with Mr. and Mrs. Plummer at Abbeville. William Thompson is at Dunkerque and Mr. Thomas Thompson with Frederick and Elizabeth is at Boulogne. I had engaged myself to spend the Christmas Week with the latter, but I fear it will not be in my power as I am the only Officer at present doing duty with my Company. I had a letter from her about ten days since. She seems to be much pleased with her present place of abode. She had heard from Mrs. Plummer who wrote in very good spirits, she and the Girls being in perfect health. Mr. Plummer‘s it would appear was very precarious, and for them perhaps haut mieux
I have not yet had the pleasure to receive the long letter you say my dear Mother had written to me. You will have heard of the protracted voyage of the Emu, and till her arrival I cannot expect the details I am so anxious to possess.
What shall I say to you about my poor little Emmaline, of whom I have heard so much, and with whom

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whom I am so desirous to be better acquainted, excepting that I love her, and pray you to embrace her for me a thousand times. Remember me most affectionately to Mary who I hope will by the next vessels, extend her postscript to a whole sheet of paper.

I am obliged by Colonel Molle’s proposal to my exchanging into his Regiment, and should indeed be happy if promotion should afford me an opportunity. I have no doubts but that many of their Captains would gladly exchange to form a part of this Army where not to mention the eclat of the service, it is an enviable situation in a pecuniary point of view. You may tell the Colonel that a Captain besides the contingent and non effective allowances is here, in the receipt of about six pounds a Month, a compensation given by the French Government in lieu of rations. But the Army has no Bat & Forage, and in those ranks where the emolument arising from the allowance by the

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French Government is less, than if they were in the receipt of Bat & Forage, the difference is made good by the English Government. Some information for your Military friends- You will therefore I hope exercise the place it occupies.

Remember me very kindly to Mr. and Mrs. Bayly, and to all my old acquaintances. In your next letter tell me the Height of the Cypress Trees, and of those in the orange Grove. Does old Brown continue his labours in the gardens What are the most striking improvements at Parramatta since I left it?
Where abouts do Hannibal and Maria reside? remember me affectionately to them.
Miss Lucas I suppose is sometimes at Sydney and sometimes at Parramatta; make my kindest remembrances to her.
By turns my dearest friends I remember you all.
My tenderest regards to my dear Mother, my affectionate Mary, and to my dear Emmaline.
And for yourself accept my dear dear Elizabeth, the assurances of the unalterable love of your affectionate Brother
Edw MacArthur

[Transcribed by Lynne Palmer for the State Library of New South Wales]