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Title: Beale, Joseph Sr to Beale, Margaret, 1853
CollectionThe Earth between them_Joseph Beale's letters home to Ireland from Victoria (1852-1853) [E.Beale]
SenderBeale, Joseph Sr
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationstore keeper
Sender Religionunknown
Originnear Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
DestinationMountmellick, Co. Laois, Ireland
RecipientBeale, Margaret
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count974
Genrethe shop, savings, prospects, news, dysentery, living costs
TranscriptSpring Gully
8 miles from Melbourne
1st mo: 26th 1853.

Well, four months have elapsed without a chance of hearing
from thee my ever loved Margaret, or of the dearly loved children
at the other side of the world. It is a painful anxiety, but
like every other trial it must be borne, patiently and trustfully,
that Perfect Wisdom may graciously be pleased to grant, we
may all meet again. Oh I cannot even picture to myself what
exquisite delight it will give me, to meet thee and my dear
nock here—and not only to meet you, but to have you without
care on your parts as regards outward requirements. And now
for ourselves. When I last wrote thee (12 mo. 25th) I mentioned
that we could save £600 a year—since then I bought
two horses and drays, which save Francis and Jas Kennedy from
hard labour, next week I intend purchasing a third for Joseph.
I keep a store myself by which I make ab't 15/- a day, besides
having bread, cheese, butter, ham, tea, coffee, rice etc etc at
wholesale prices, so that we are at present saving about £1200
a year (at least we shall when I get the 3rd horse). I shall buy
5 in all, which will cost about £320. We are doing very well,
but we work at everything that adds to the purse. We have
the greatest cause for thankfulness to the Almighty for his bounty, [or very few of our class succeed in this Colony, without
capital and unaccustomed to labour—but we were determined
that nothing should daunt us, we began with the pickaxe and
shovell and we got on thro' the blessing of Providence, to whom
I humbly ascribe all our success. We had £32 saved, I told my
friend Wm. Locke and that I intended buying a horse when
I had £60. He went to his desk and handed me £30. In a fortnight
I handed him what he lent me (earned in the interim)
but he said don't you intend buying more horses? I said I did,
five, well he said keep the £30 for a while longer and here is
a loan of another £30. So I bot a second horse on the same
day. My stock of provisions cost me about £40, and Gov't owe
me about £40, so thou seest we are doing well. We are all
fav'd with good health, except D. Kennedy, he had had the
dysentery, and I had to pay two doctors to attend him, so that
he cost me more that I rec'd for his wages. He is working as
a rough carpenter for Gov't at 12/- pr day, but I intend putting
him to follow a horse, which will pay me better, and
moreover / shall then receive his wages, whereas he now receives
them, and I think it is not so well for him to have the
handling of my money. I believe he would soon get well if he
would act as we do, but he is two miles from us and he treats
himself foolishly. The Dr. ordered him quinine. Oh! he [Daniel]
sd the Dr. meant to kill him, such bitter stuff that would murder
a bullock I Jos'h was greatly amused at his remarks but all
my reasoning was of no avail.—I have had, as well as the three
boys, slight attacks of the same colonial compl't, but am now
(as they are) quite well again. One of the Gov't engineers
asked me to go with him ab't 40 miles into the interior with
stores. I did so, and had to sleep in my wet clothes that night.
I suffer'd very much from cold, and next day's hot sun blistered
my face to such a degree that I dare not shave myself for ten
days. When I called on the Dr. with D. Kennedy the doctor
told me you have on your face, what this man has inwardly,
from his throat downwards. Yon are fortunate that it attacked
you outwardly on the skin. Many, almost everyone, suffers
from dysentery here, in my opinion from the change of diet and
manner of living. We live well, nay, thou will say extravagantly.
It costs me 1/- a day each for new milk (18d a quart),
cheese 2/6 pr lb, potatoes 5d, butter 2/6, but we think it better
to do so, than to run any risk of our health. When we get five horses we tan save £30 pr week, and all over that we purpose
spending on ourselves—or very nearly so. This colony is in
many respects, nearly the antipodes of Ireland. If a man calls
for (say) 1/10 worth, and hands thee 2/- if thou hast no copper,
he will say, Oh never mind 2d, it's not worth talking about.
They seem to care nothing about money here. I am well known
here, by parties who emigrated 10 to 15 years since and who
have acquired property to the ain't of 20 to 30 thousand Pounds,
tho' still living in a plain farmers style. I like many people
here, I know their manners, as well I believe as if I were here
for 10 years and I get on well among them. I shall conclude
this letter to go pr Sarah Sands on the 1st of next month. I
write sitting on my mattress, while a sack of rice does for a
cable, a green veil on my face to keep off the flies, which are
exceedingly impudent here, but they do not bite, nor have we
anything like the horsefly of the old country.
31st D. Kennedy is now nearly well. He earns now 15/- a day.
Farewell my dearest, Kiss my flock for me.
Thy fond and ever loving husband
J. Beale.