Main content

Title: Agnes Shakespeare (Nesta), Alberta, to "My darling Mother"
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileShakespeare, Agnes/7
SenderShakespeare, Agnes
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginAlberta, Canada
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD3590/M/4/2: Deposited by Godfrey Higginson Skrine Esq.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9909225
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 21:09:99.
Word Count1154
TranscriptMy darling Mother,
Strange to say, I am writing for once with a
reasonable certainty of posting the letter tomorrow.
There has been a little snow, not much; & we mean to
drive over in the sleigh. (alias 'jumper') tomorrow
to Pekisko, post our letters & get them too. Probably
we shall stay the night at Pekisko with the Stimsons,
& next day we can drive a few miles on, call on Mrs.
[Bedingfeto?], & come home again. That lady, who is not
usually credited with a very amiable disposition, has
always been very nice to me; in fact, kind. (N.B. She
has only seen me three times!) The other day she sent
a book which she had heard I wanted to read. I am
going to take her a 'Spectator' with a review of the
"Fermingham Letters," by Lady Fermingham, & her daughter
Lady Bedingfeto. They are bound to be relations afar
back, so she is sure to be interested. John Skrine
sends the Spectator to us very regularly, & he also sent
us a Xmas box of a cheque for ÷2. Wasn't it nice of him?
He sent me a copy of his new book of verse, "Songs
of the Maid", which has been very well reviewed in the
'Times', & compared to Matthew Arnote, & I don't know what
all. I do wish I could agree with the serious, for I do
like John, but I do not like minor poetry, and it's hard
on me to have a brother-in-law who writes it in such
quantities, and sends it to me with kind words. Some
things in it are nice, of course; especially the two
effusions on his own home, "Home Revisited" & "Nostrum
in cunabula gentis" - meaning "The cradle of our race,"
dear. I can send you the little book, if you have any
curiosity to see it. As I said, some things are quite
nice. John is a highly educated man, you know. He sent
a little volume of school sermons to Walter, which we both
thought simply admirable; perfect English, perfectly simple,
& full of feeling. I must tell you, I was so glad that in
the week of Walter's birthday he had letters from ever so
many brothers, from Duncan, John, Sholto, Percie, & from
Ethel too. It was merely coincidence for only Percie
remembered that it was his birthday. But still it was
a happy coincidence.
Well, dear Florence has gone. I have not of course
heard from her yet, but I ought to get a letter tomorrow
with my others. I ought to be most grateful and glad to
think how long I have had her here, & of all the happy days
we spent together, and especially that it did do so much good,
for she went away much stronger than she came; and also
that she and Walter know & appreciate each other. She
will be able to tell you about him probably much better
than I should in various ways. I think Constance is
simply longing to have her back, but she wont be going
home for another month, you know, as she has all her
Canadian cousins to visit, in Toronto, & on Lake [Simpson?],
& one in New York. I wish you were going to see her
sooner, but I don't suppose it will be possible before
the summer. I was much disappointed
when I realised that it was impossible to send back the
boys boxes with her, of our dearest boy's things. With
the cross country journeys that she has to take, & then
in one case at least a long drive instead of the rail,
& other difficulties, we had to decide it was impossible.
But she offered to take back anything I would giver her.
So I very carefully packed up and sent the following
things. His watch, & [neck?] chain: the watch he
designed. Craig should have his gold grenade pin for
Uncle Harry, also another little round gold pin that
had a small dent in it; his gold sleeve-links for Uncle
Metcalfe, & in the same box are three gold collar studs
of different sizes. His silver match box, on a little
leather strap, and the tiny gold locket that you gave
him with it. His tobacco pouch, & that little pipe,
just as he left them. These things I packed in his
round leather collar box. I also sent his big
photograph book, as I knew you wont all like to have
that. I sent nothing else, except a blotter with some
letters in it; amongst them the one from dear Archie,
which he received in the hospital, & Nurse Tyers told
me he had read it - on the bag that he lost conciousness.
One thing I did not send with Florence, as I want to
bring you myself, some say, the locks of hair. Only
remember, if any of you would rather, I can send them
in a letter.
There were several questions you asked me, about
things of his. I have got the leather top of the spy
glass, quite safe on it. Walter does not use this, as
he always takes the glasses Gerald gave him, out riding.
They are easier to see through though the spy glass is
such a good one. He did not bring Green's English
History here & I did not either. I hope you have found
it. I have often asked Walter to wear dear Barkly's
"poshtein," & told him that you s...

Continued at Pekisko.
I was going to tell you that Walter never wears any furs,
and so I am just keeping them all safely for the boys, the
sealskin cap too and gloves. But some of dear Barkly's things,
Walter does use, and most useful they have been one of his
thick white knitted jerseys, when he went out camping, a pair
of boots, which I knew neither Archie nor Billie could wear,
& a pair of gaiters; also a pair of black pumps, when his
own were too completely gone. I can understand his feeling
that the things ought to be kept for the boys but still I
know you want Walter to have some of them too, for indeed
he was like a brother to our darling boy.
I have got your last letter here from [Cou..llmore?],
and will answer it properly next time. I was so very glad,
and greatly relieved to hear of your visit to Doctor A in
Dublin, and it was so good of you to tell me exactly what
it was he did say, for it is a great relief not to hear
vaguely. I am most thankful for his saying it was nothing
organically wrong. Please, Dear Mother, do tell me exactly
how you are going on & what relief his prescriptions give
you. This is in [....?]
Your loving daughter