H. Stanhope to Kathleen, September 14, [1899]

Add MSS 412, Box 6 File 4-10

H.M.S. “Beagle”
S.E. Coast of America
14 Sept.

Dear Miss O’Reilly

Your letter of the 19th of July, I received on our arrival at Rio on the 17 August. so the long post was’nt quite so long this time. Many thanks for the letter, such a nice one & you are a very kind girl to write & try to cheer me up in the way you do and to tell me to fight against the nerve worries, but I have been fighting & fighting really very hard for some years now, and twice I have been badly beaten, and i so do hope I shall not be again and that I shall be able to see this job through. I remember writing something about my not liking people to talk about it but I must have written badly as I did’nt mean to include you & if I did I apologise & you must forgive me. I have’nt heard of the Ralston cure and hope I shant want it. So I wont trouble you to find the book about it. Many thanks all the same. I’m so glad you can tell me your mother is really better. please congratulate her from me. & if she wants to feed me on raspberries & cream again I shall allow her to in spite of any attempt to make to stop it! They are so good, and the ones at Constantinople were delicious. I did’nt like that place in the winter, it was vile but in the summer when one [?] up the Bosphorus it is a lovely life and I never hardly enjoyed a summer more. But I should like to see Esquimalt again. it was so pretty there of an evening, and your description reminds me of it so.

[section missing?]

Santos we went to the Kha[?] Grande which is a deserted anchorage but useful for doing some of our drills. I had to send my steam boat away surveying, and she did’nt return, instead of going in to Rio with the other ship I went off in search, and found my Lieut. had got her swamped in a dangerous surf. It took us 3 days & nights hard work to get her up on the beach, repair her temporarily & launch her, working up to our necks in water all the time. I rejoined the fleet at Rio, and we had 10 days there, playing cricket & tennis but it was very hot. I went up & stayed a night at Petropolis, a cool place where people live about 2 1/2 hour out up the hills – & put up at our minister’s Mr. Phipps who knows some of my people. The gardens at Rio are lovely, huge bushes of azaleas and all the tropical plants in profusion Crotons, dracanas, calladiums &x besides orchids for which Brazil is famous. I hope to see some good collections when we get back there next month. as I have made the acquaintance of one or two people who collect but had’nt time to go out & visit their places. We went on to Cape Frio which is another deserted spot, but only stayed 2 days. There were the remains of a golf cours made by the Fleet last year I played 2 rounds such as they were. You could easily lose a box of balls a round. We are now on the way to Pernambuco, 1000 miles up the coast. it is galling to think I shall be 1/3rd of the way to England, & have to go all the way back to Monte Video, perhaps even to the Falkland Islands which I pray we may be spared but if the Commodore would arrange it we might be starting on seeing the new ship actually arrived out before he lets us start, which would make a vast difference as to time. I am doing all I can by writing to people I know at the Admiralty to hurry up our relief ship. This ship rolls, about terribly! & is very wet at sea. I dont think my writing is particularly good. Now I must finish. thanks again for your kindest of letters

Ever yours sincerely

Harry Stanhope

P.S. I’ve lost my birthday book & dont remember when yours is – please tell me.


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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.

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