|Title:||McMahon Glynn, Patrick to Glynn, Ellen, 1886|
|Collection||Patrick McMahon Glynn_Letters to his family (1874-1927) [Gerald Glynn O'Collins]|
|Sender||McMahon Glynn, Patrick|
|Origin||Kapunda, South Australia, Australia|
|Destination||Gort, Co. Galway, Ireland|
|Genre||journalism, growing old, literature, family|
April 18th 1886.
My dear Mother
It seems to me an age since I wrote last, but you doubtless have
heard something of me from James. Indeed, if I do not write as often
as I should and desire, it is on account of the extent of private
correspondence that fills up a great portion of my leisure hours and
has latterly increased very much. Just now I have the organisation
etc. of petitions to Parliament on the land movement in hand, which
is no joke, though a committee is supposed to help. Mr. Liston, my
other self in this matter, has to keep in the background a good deal,
as his partners object to his ideas on the question of land tenure, and
in fact served him with notice to dissolve but withdrew on finding him too firm to principle to be coerced from his convictions. I am glad
you find some interest in the Herald articles, as, though often written
hurriedly and when further mental exertion, after law, is a drag, they
generally express earnest convictions. English and Victorian papers
sometimes extract them with complimentary references.
I believe it is going on for 6 years now since I saw you all, but
doubtless, except in the youngsters, there are no changes that I would
notice. As for myself, I sometimes think that I am at the age when a
man does really change—but "change" perhaps is incorrect. When a
fellow turns thirty, if he has a little of the contemplative turn of mind
in him, he begins to read the world a little differently from before.
It is not well, perhaps, to dwell much on the pathetic side of life, but
the sense of it must come in sometimes. I am at present reading
George Elliott's life—the first English woman of the century in point
of genius. She married a second time, as you may remember, at 60,
after the death of the man that had been the sunshine of her life for
over twenty years. How little the world can understand such a
union—yet without love or sympathy existence would have been
next to impossible to her.
As for news, there is little to tell you unless I make my eternal
self the subject. Johnny Wallsh, being out of situation, went to
Sydney a few weeks ago, but has written to me to say he will
probably return to S.A. with Sister Bernard this week. He says Aunt
is just as gay as ever after all she went through. You
might write a novel on her adventures. She has gone
through a lot poor beggar. I have not the pleasure of
seeing that beauty of a husband of her yet, if he does
make any money he boozes it up. Her son Tom is a
nice fellow (18) and a daughter named Bertie about
(14); and all the rest are away except 2 small ones.
Being pulled through the bush from one place to another
it is a surprise how she brought them up so well. I saw
Frank Marlborough the other day—he is looking rather
old and has a family nicely brought up etc.
Thus the invincible John Wallsh, who, with his dry humor, insists on
telling every girl he sets his eye on with the sense of matrimonial
possibilities, that I am his uncle. So Cecilia Glynn wrote to me the
other day—my nephew desired to be remembered to me, she says. Indeed the hand of time touches Johnny lightly, though fortune often
manages to give him a metaphorical black eye or two. But he always
rises immortal out of his troubles, and looks at the future with the
spirit of Micawber. He tells me Dennis O'Farrell is a thorough going
scamp—just coming out of gaol after 2 months for drunkenness etc.
I write often to Fanny & Cecilia, separate letters to each as they
are not now living together. Nature individualised that branch of the
Glynn family too much; they are neither sufficiently different nor like
to pull together well. Fanny is a mass of fiery goodnatured impulsiveness,
with a great yearning for love and sympathy which the
chances are she never will adequately find; Ciss is cold and calm—
with wasted cleverness—and thoroughly incapable of filling the void
in her aunt's heart. Each is good in herself, but not the compliment
of the other; not that "like-unlike" which is the basis of love. Fanny
has certainly done her duty to Ciss, but she, may be, expects too
much from her, as the poor girl has had very unhappy surroundings
from her infancy and is with her brother being treated wretchedly by
her trustee. Don't think, however, that she is not thoroughly goodit's
merely a case of incompatibility.
Well, I must now send my love and say good-bye for the present
to you all. The papers arrive safe; but if you could manage it, it
would be better to send one or two every mail, as I sometimes find it
hard to read too many at a time. But it does not matter much.
Hoping to hear from you soon, I am with love to you all!
Your affectionate son
P. McM. Glynn