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Title: McMahon Glynn, Patrick to Dynon, Abigail, 1897
CollectionPatrick McMahon Glynn: Letters to his family (1874-1927) [Gerald Glynn O'Collins]
SenderMcMahon Glynn, Patrick
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationpolitician
Sender Religionunknown
OriginAdelaide, South Australia, Australia
RecipientDynon, Abigail
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count862
Genremarriage proposal
Transcript7 September 1897

Dear Miss Dynon
I suppose it would do poor justice to -the reputation my countrymen
bear for courage—though in this case it may be called audacity
—if I did not risk, as so many others in other cases have, with better
or worse fortune done, the inevitable question. The world is made up
of incompatibles, or rather contradictions; without the Union of
opposites there would be no possibility of the average that makes
progress. I am, in most of the qualities that build a character, at one
pole, you at the other; but your sex is born to redeem, and Goodness
Knows there is a big field for redemption in my case. Well, you can
well think that I am, for once at all events in my life, in a bit of a
muddle. I have written pamphlets, leading articles, essays etc., by the
mile, but never before put in writing the impertinence of a proposal
of marriage. And this has to be done, at the table of the Legislative
Assembly of New South Wales, with the Federal Convention sitting,
and Mr. Lyne, within a yard of me, pouring on the too-thinly-protected
top of my head, a niagra of figures. However, I must
attempt it.
Well, Dear Miss Dynon, to be candid, which indeed is my
dearest desire. I heard of you six or seven years ago, and from what
a lady who knew you well said of you then, I know, if on meeting
you I did not feel it instinctively, that you are as deserving of the
reputation you bear as I am under the estimate many, or rather some
of my generous friends in Kindness form of me. I say this, because it
will tell you at once, that I cannot possibly misunderstand you. You
unfortunately—or rather, perhaps, fortunately for myself,—know
little of me; that is, outside my reputation as a public man. But as
far as I can say it, I feel I am a Bohemian in temperament, fond of
the softer—I don't like to say poetic—side of life; liable, like many of
my too romantic country men to extremes of spirit, by no means
correct as the world goes, but at all events capable of discerning, if not
following, the Right. The girl that takes me will deserve an indulgence—a dispensation from purgatory, so that I may have at least
a negative recommendation.
But I find, with my usual want of pluck in matters outside my
line, I am becoming all preface. The Sum of it all is this, if you
consent to marry me, Miss Dynon, you will, for the sacrifice, deserve
Heaven, and probably save me from somewhere else. May I ask you
to do so. I am by no means well off—but why should I say that to
you—but I can and do work, and though, if I may use the term for
the Sake of its expressiveness, devil-may-care in most matters, will try
under the great responsibility, to become financially orthodox, I
don't care the proverbial rap for the Ceremonial side of life.
If you consent to become my wife—a great word—why should
we not be married at once. It will have the advantage for me that the
matter will be inevitably settled before you know too much of me. It
is a great occasion here. I have plenty of friends here now, and,
though a bit of a reprobate in Religion, an aunt, Superioress of the
Sisters of St. Joseph, who would back me up if necessary. And she
reminds me of one, who gives a relative merit to her son. I have a
Mother that, apart from prejudice, I can from the bottom of my heart
say, is, as my aunt said on Sunday, a saint, if ever a woman, who is
no narrow puritan, can be one. I never yet met a man or woman that
did not respect her disposition; an able, self-sacrificing, as well as
thoroughly human and feminine woman.
If you have me, I can honestly promise you to give you no
divided heart, and to live no double life. You will know me, for
good or bad, as I am.
Well, if you will bless me, I will with your consent, go for you
on Friday, marry on Saturday, and return same day. If you will come
—anyhow I wish you would—over at once, so much the better. We
can be married on the arrival of the train. My friend Mr. O'Malley
will give me away; I hope he has not done so already. This is a lot to
ask, but the occasion is my great excuse. I am not my own master
now—we are the servants of the Nation and its destinies. Besides as
I said, I know you thoroughly—and after we can call one another
wife and husband; well what does the unorthodox way of settling the
bond matter.
In Hopes of a reply that will enable me to really begin to live,
I am, Dear Miss Dynon,

Your admirer and friend under any circumstances
P. McM. Glynn