|McMahon Glynn, Patrick to Glynn, Ellen, 1880
|Patrick McMahon Glynn_Letters to his family (1874-1927) [Gerald Glynn O'Collins]
|McMahon Glynn, Patrick
|Gort, Co. Galway, Ireland
|account of passage
|Orient S.S. 21° N. Lat.
Friday 10th Sept. 1880.
My dear Mother
As we call at St. Vincent tomorrow, the saloons are full of
people writing to their friends. I would have written tonight, but I
have just remembered that we have a concert tonight in our Saloon,
to which we invited the Captain, officers and first Saloon passengers.
As it is a week since we started and a few things gave me an
opportunity I wrote a topical song for an Irishman to sing. It is
principally a description of odd fellows etc.
Of the latter we have plenty on board. My cabin contains some:
a melancholic Scotchman whom I expect to see jumping thro' the port hole some night, a silent dwarf who never opens his mouth except
to eat, a jolly old fellow of about 55, another silent man (but agreeable),
a lay preacher who is nevertheless a perfect gentleman and an
Irishman. I have introduced the jolly old fellow into the song, as
follows. 'Twas he and I first began dancing—
air Polly Perkins.
I have heard Mr. Toeser (Toe-Sir) led off the first dance
He can twist on his toe like a lady from France
With his winning smile he'd the girls beguile and the boys he'd
Why the name of Mr. Toe-Sir begins with a toe.
The amusements on board are of all sorts. Indeed there are so
many that a fellow is always distracted. One night for instance at the
bow [we] have a dance and a song, in the middle look at a lot of
fossilised old hags pretending they were sleeping, and at the stern
hear a teetotal fellow addressing a circle against drink and two yards
from him a tippler with a red nose expatiating on the merits of getting
drunk. You see this paper is very bad. I wrote the other side last
night, and now we are approaching St. Vincent where we stop 8 hours
for coal. I intend to go on shore in a boat. At table I am nicely
situated among a squad of diabolical old maids whom I have to carve
for, but have got a nice girl on my right, and a jolly fellow near. The
grub is very good. There are eight or nine jolly fellows who club
together, one of whom is myself. The boat is in fact like a world in
itself. We have Moody and Sankey fellows on board, but when they
began to occupy our saloon too often for preaching, glees etc., I put
a stop to it by giving expression to the feelings of many in a polite
letter to the Captain. The weather is very fine, and now we are
about 16° degrees N. Latitude, and while I write the perspiration is
dripping from my forehead. I don't mind the heat as I perspire a lot.
The night before last a few of us stayed on deck all night to see
Teneriffe when we were passing; however, all were asleep. The
officers told us the wrong hour. Chorus of kids on at present (8.30 a.m.).
I hope you will be able to read the other sheet. The fellow
opposite me has just asked me to have a bottle of stout which I don't
refuse. The teetotaller is beside him, grinning diabolically. By the
fellow opposite I mean a man of about my age from Cork—a solicitor
of 2 years standing, who is on his way to Melbourne to practice there, where [h]is uncle is a flourishing solicitor. He is a jolly fellow and
knew me well by repute. Well—here's luck as I have just got the
stout. Teetotaller floored! My topical song last night was loudly
applauded. I will have another next week. We are now going ahead
about 14 nots an hour—burning 70 & 90 tons of coal a day—making
340 miles from noon to noon. The vessel cuts clear thro' the waves,
but they have not been very high as yet. I don't think I said that
there is on board as purser a young fellow named Pembroke, a brother
of Herbert Pembroke, my old friend of 13 Wellington Street Islington.
He found me out after a long search, and we felt at home with each
other at once. He is too busy to see except occasionally. I never felt
a tendency to sea sickness, and eat plenty. I got out at Plymouth and
bought some things. Time is up now, so again for the present farewell.
(Kids again!) With love to all,
Your affectionate Son
Patrick McM. Glynn
We call at the Cape next.