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Title: McMahon Glynn, Patrick to Glynn, James P., 1885
CollectionPatrick McMahon Glynn: Letters to his family (1874-1927) [Gerald Glynn O'Collins]
SenderMcMahon Glynn, Patrick
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationlawyer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginKapunda, South Australia, Australia
DestinationGort, Co. Galway, Ireland
RecipientGlynn, James P.
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1131
Genrejournalism, socialising, family
January 23rd 1885

My dear James
I find that seven or eight long letters are expected from me
from different quarters, but to yours I will reply first as it is the
only one in my pocket.
On Xmas Eve a box arrived at Port Adelaide, addressed to
me, from Melbourne. After some difficulty, not having had any
advice, I cleared it out, and found that it contained some of the
shirts that Clancy was entrusted with. He never wrote, however.
Probably he wore some, and pawned the rest which upon release
were forwarded.
Remember me to Charley Thorpe when you see him. I often
think of the jolly days that were when his seaside mansion was in Brunswick Street. As for M----I wrote in answer to the first
letter, and on receiving another replied enclosing photograph. The
letter & photo were recently returned to me by the Dublin G.P.O.
If you should come across M again, you might mention that.
As to Newman, Solicitor, London, I wrote to him on receipt
of letter about a year ago, & remitted the £.4 paid on my account.
Any fees that may have been subsequently applied for, may be for
removing my name from the books, which I wrote about to the
Treasurer of the Temple, but heard nothing of since. If such be
the case, on being apprised of amount it will be forwarded.
As to leaving the Bank, or rather I should say, getting changed
to London, on spec, in regard to Press work, you should be very
cautious. There are fifty men ready to contribute light matter for
one that is required; this I know from what I heard when in London,
observation of the market here, & information from Webster, who
knows most of the literary men & Press men in London, & was
himself a prominent writer on the Examiner, as well as Editor of
the Radical. Webster himself is a splendid critic, has a wide and
accurate knowledge of English and Continental literature, is a very
keen critic, & yet, withal, does not make a certain income — because
he cannot sit down to the dry details of politics which pay
best. To give you an idea of what is required by a working Editor
of a leading paper — he must master the duties of the Ministers of
the Crown almost as well as themselves, because he has to criticise
their policies. At present, for instance, the Railway Department
here is upside down. The conduct of the leading officials is being
enquired into. Well, to show that the view of affairs taken by the
Commissioner or Public works is wrong or right — three Reports
of many hundred pages each must be mastered, besides the straggling
details from elsewhere kept in the memory, & then an article written
hurriedly on the whole. So with Statistics, Bills, Estimates, Supply
etc. This is the dry work, for which a very retentive memory &
some clear headedness is required, but it pays best. I have often
heard men speak disparagingly of the Editor of the South Australian
Register, the leading paper here, because probably he is not flash,
or something after their ideas, but [I] have often been surprised at
the knowledge of the minutiae of politics which he displays at a
critical moment. Well, my motive in mentioning these matters is
this. You might be tempted to leave the Bank & try your hand
at journalism exclusively. The step would be [a] serious one; & it is as well to know that the pay, except in exceptional cases, is
not in these days of competition tempting, and the work fitful often,
& sometimes very uncongenial. I would not care to give up my
profession for the chances of journalism; and as you mentioned
that in London, when on the spot, you might get more regular
payment etc. I think it better to mention that you had better not
trust Editors' promises. At the same time when the connection is
incidental as yours with the Hotel Mail and mine with the Herald,
& a fellow can to some extent do as he likes, the business is altogether
different. While in the bank you have an Independence &
are your own master as far as your pen is concerned.
I was much pleased to find Eugene, Joseph & Robert were
going along well. It's a devillish good job that Eugene is under the
eye of a tutor while in Dublin, as it will keep him from "the fleeting
joys of Paradise Dear bought with lasting woes" that most medical,
and some, as witness myself, law, students go in for in Dublin.
You infer from my last letter that I meditate a change of life.
I don't. Perhaps I sometimes imagine a woman comes up to an
ideal of which she seems to have a trait or two, but a little intimacy
is enough to clear a fellow's eyes.
I was away from here for a week at Xmas, up among the Hills
behind Adelaide. There were about 16 fellows at the Same Hotel;
and as it is the custom to get up dances and picnics in conjunction
with families in the neighbourhood, we spent a pleasant time of it.
The Dishers, a pleasant, sweet-tempered & hospitable family 3 miles
on one side, the Johnsons, hospitable, with excellent gardens, tennis
grounds, & a billiard-table on the other. There was a public concert
in the Scots Church, at which I sang a song. The local Schoolmaster
was misinformed that I could do anything from pitch & toss
up to Land Nationalization, so he stuck me up at the Institute
door & insisted on a recitation or a song, as they were short of
performers, so I went thro' "Jack's Yarn", which I picked up at
the Hotel.
I find it hard to get the committee to attend the meetings of
the S.A.L.N.S.; fellows are so careless about matters that do not
appeal to their selfishness or selfinterest. The Public are similar.
I was asked to lecture in other places, but cannot find time. It has
lost me some business already, but that doesn't matter. However,
there will be opposition in the law line here shortly — an old resident
— & as business is bad, I must stick close to the office. Johnny Wallsh was burnt out of his billet lately. His employer
lost heavily by the fire. Elly Glynn's eldest son died of the typhoid
fever — a very sad thing, her husband being a drunkard & the boy
of sterling value & temper. But I must close, as business presses.
Hoping to hear from you soon

Your affect, brother
P. McM. Glynn

P.S. I must get some more photos as I am run out.