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Title: McMahon Glynn, Patrick to Glynn, Ellen, 1896
CollectionPatrick McMahon Glynn: Letters to his family (1874-1927) [Gerald Glynn O'Collins]
SenderMcMahon Glynn, Patrick
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationpolitician
Sender Religionunknown
OriginShip Ville de la Ciotat
DestinationGort, Co. Galway, Ireland
RecipientGlynn, Ellen
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1155
GenreXmas, family, travelling
TranscriptVille de la Ciotat
En Route de Sydney a Melbourne
December 30 1896

Ma Chere Mere
Cette une place peculiere delaquelle ecrire un lettre a vous.
Perhaps I had better stick to English, or probably the year will see me
out and this letter unfinished. Besides there will be less likelihood
of getting into a literary Bog hole. My French must be getting
rusty, which, as much as a certain bias towards the other sex, will
explain the mistakes, if any, I may have made in making all nouns
feminine. Mother Bernard told me a day or two ago that in your
school days you were proficient in French though you never (an
instance of, perhaps, retrogression in heredity) began to study your
lesson until walking up the avenue to school. You will suspect that I have been on a trip to Sydney. On 23 Dec, after a month of worry,
due principally to the dishonesty of clerks (this is a blessed country
for embezzlement) I took the train to Melbourne & thence to Sydney,
arriving there on Xmas day. You can think that I don't sleep when
in Adelaide, when I say that even in the train I had to pore over
legal papers.
In Melbourne I saw Aunt Lizzie and her family, or rather the
female contingent at home, and Cissey Denny (Glynn) and her
daughters Kitty Tyrrell & Lizzie Denny. They live two doors from
one another. Lizzie (Aunt) is as lively as ever. She is certainly an
evergreen. She has just returned from Sydney, with Grace, who had
been at School in one of Mother Bernard's convents. Grace is
growing up well; very much improved in music. I hope she will go
back to the Convent for a few years more. Bertie is still on the
Stage, and so is Lena. They are bright girls, with sense enough, if
they would always use it, which Bertie, I am afraid does not, as she
was stupid enough to allow the color of her hair to change, which I
need scarcely say, sometimes libels character. However, better let it
change than fall off, so I had better hold my tongue, especially as
Bertie is on the whole right enough. Lizzie Denny was 18 on the
22nd, and still flits before the footlights. She is a bit of a trump to
her Mother. Kitty was a governess for sometime, but found 6/-
a week somewhat low, tried barmaiding for a week in Adelaide, and
found that, except financially, lower still. As she lacks the persistency
of Micawber, she got tired of waiting for something to turn up, and
against her grain (or professions) took a place with Lizzie on the
Stage. So that now I have 4 cousins performing in Princess Theatre
I think the female, or contrary, stars must have been in conjunction
at the time I first saw the darkness of this world. My taste
is somewhat unorthodox. I half fell in love with a girl whom I met
in typhoid fever for the first time, about a month ago. She was one
of the company of which Bertie & the others are members; sickened
on her arrival in Adelaide, and had to be left behind in an Hospital.
I told the Manager (a friend of mine) and the girls that I would see
how she—very friendless there—got on, so called to keep her company
from time to time. She is an excellent girl, so it was rather
rough on her to have met me. She is sure now to develop insanity,
consumption, or some other pleasant legacy, in her ancestors. When
I get back possibly I will scarcely know her from the change worked
by convalescence. I don't know whether there is anything suggestive
or ominous in the fact, that during my stay in Sydney, I was often
seen with a child in my arms. In fact two children saw me off.
Cissey (Cecilia) de Mouncey, a quondam Glynn, has not been lucky
latterly in her husband. They married at about 20, and the life of
Government House, with which he was subsequently connected as a
sub-secretary, turned his head and heart away from his home. He is
instable at present in the West, and without any income. By the West,
I mean the goldfields of W.A. Cissey has two little girls, Edna 3 and
Enid, 5, beautiful little children; Enid being an exceptional little
beauty. It is a rum world in which a father, cares so little about such
kids etc., as to leave them close to destitution. Perhaps marital
infidelity is epidemic. At all events, Mrs. (is it not Mike?) Kelly
seems to have been deserted. Her husband left here about May last
and recently a benevolent lady or two started a fund to send her &
her children home. His ill luck must have taken away his grit.
Mother Bernard is as fresh and good natured as ever. I saw her
several times at North Shore Convent. What a lovely place Sydney
Harbor is. The climate is enervating—the masses both anaemic and
plain, but a man could afford to be dead there half his life the scenic
arrangements of the Sea are so compensating. I offered to buy
Cecilia's children, and start a model family, but Enid said she
"would not for the world leave Mother she was so good to me." So I
suppose I will have to start on my own account. Just now I am on
Board one of the Messagerie Maritime Steamers. A first Class return
is inter-changeable with the Ocean Steamers—and as I had some
business which defeated my intention of leaving by the Orizoba on
Monday, I took a Neuch Boat yesterday. What a splendidly
appointed vessel it is—6500 tons, cuisine Francaise (feminine again)
—accommodation perfection, & attendance first class. I have a cabin
with two Beds in it, and if only want writing materials in the Salon
de Lecture, never think of ringing up less than two garcons, a black
and a white one, one for the pen and the other for the paper. Were
it not for the fact that there is something in Dr. Johnson's saying, that
being at Sea is like being in gaol with a chance of being drowned, I
would enjoy a trip home in the Ville de la Ciotat.
But it is time for me to stop. Being in arrear, and knowing the
infinity of your patience, I thought I would make up for last time. By the way, Eugene's late inamorato got married recently to a
Doctor, and I was at the Wedding. Wishing you all a Happy New
Year, I am

Your affectionate Son
P. McM. Glynn

P.S. In rereading my introduction, I find my French is not quite
idiomatic. I cannot however repeat my first performance in letter
writing, by copying the epistle of an uncle.