Kathleen to Peter & Caroline, February 23, 1897


AlE Or3 Or32
File XI

23rd Feb. 97

My dear Father & Mother

I am beginning this today tho’ it may not be finished before Saturday’s mail. I sent a few hurried lines from Dublin enclosing bills of neckties & cardigan the latter was posted at Cappoquin yesterday. Tell me if it is any good. I had a letter from Uncle Joe asking if I would go out with Uncle John, if he goes.in a month’s time & saying the trip to Rome was still an uncertainty. I answered I should like to go abroad if he went & I would like to stay a little longer on this side of the world as you had both written to me not to hurry back & there     were some visits I should like to pay    especially to Etty Pain in Wales then I have not received your lists which will take a little time & altogether I did not like to bind myself to say I wd return with Uncle John tho’ Uncle Joe says it wd be a great pleasure to him to have me as he dreads the journey alone.      I am having such a nice time here & almost hope Uncle Joe will put off the trip abroad a little as I do not want to hurry away & Jessie asks me to stay as long as I can manage it. The going up to Dublin was quite an afterthought when I came over here.     I telegraphed to Scatter to send my white ball dress which is covered with sparkles & trimmed with lilies of the Valley & a train. She sent the latter white lined with delicate shade of green & trimmed with little lilies and white & green bows of ribbon. It was so very spring looking a girl of seventeen could have worn it.     I was rather nervous about the ordeal of being presented and had so many instructions about curtseying first & then presenting yr left cheek for the Ld. Lieutenant to kiss. I was told to do it all very slowly as some people get so rightened that they rush past the dias where all the Vice Regal party are standing. I gave my card to the Officer at the Throne Room door who said “Curtsey first, wo’nt you” in a sort of sympathising tone & then I heard my name simply shouted which was rather disconcerting in itself but when I got in front of Ld Cadogan, a man in the party said “The young lady from B. Columbia” & one of the aides performed a sort of war dance! I entirely forgot about the kissing, & His Eq [?]sized my hand & drew me towards him. they say he never really kisses anyone, wh is very wise of him I think. then I made my bow to Her Ex [?] and [?] on. She smiled most sweetly & when Sir Richard told her at the Ball how I had been half frightened & half amused at the conduct of the aides she was very much. annoyed & said she wished she knew who had done it. The Drawing Room was a very pretty sight the rooms and corridors of the Castle are simply beautiful & perfect for entertaining r daresay Father knows them Ld. Codogan is a dear little man a miniature capt Lambton every one notices the likeness & she is sweet looking but seemed tired they entertain constantly & all the county people come

to Dublin Lord [?] told me it was the pent up loyalty of three years as they simply boycotted poor Ld. Houghton because he was a Rad [? ]. Jessie had one of the most beautiful dresses & looked as well or better than most people there. the Dublin Court Journal said Lady M. & her beautiful Canadian sister were among the best dressed at the first drawing room. Jessie wore the same dress to the one she took me to but Effie had a new one all pink very beautiful, but she herself is not looking well. We had rather a rush all the time we were in Dublin – there was so much society going on the first day we went to two afternoon at homes. at one I met a Mr.Webber – uncle of Lionel – very pleasant & friendly & has two very pretty daughters who were at the dances & among the belles. On Thursday afternoon we went to the skating rink, which is the fashionable thing to do. I am not good on roller skates but was helped about the band plays we met Mr. Barney Segrue who talks of returning soon to B.C. After skating we went to tea at Lady Emily’s. She has been chaperoning Effie in Dublin. At tea at a Mrs. Granby Bourke ‘s, I met a Capt. Marshall who is on duty at the castle.    he said he had   two brothers on Neskettie Island near Naniamo & Lady Elizabeth Nugent was most excited when she heard I had      met her brother Ld. Westmeath      in Victoria & insisted    on introducing me to her Mother who was there. I enjoyed the small dance at the Castle on Thursday more than the Ball in St.Patrick’s Hall on Friday, tho’ the latter was a lovely sight one I am glad to have had an opportunity of seeing I danced more on Thursday, there was a Mr. Power, secretary of Mr. Balfour who seemed to feel bound to introduce partners to me & brought some very swagger ones. I enjoyed it very much but at the ball it was so immense one was rather lost in the crowd. I danced with a Captain Vane, brother of Ld. Barnard, who I was told was a great catch & who Mr Power told me I made a great mistake in not dancing with the night before & then there was a very nice tall Mr. Denny 13 Hussars & a little Mr James who I met at Carrys at Xmas time he is son of the great crammer for the army & is in the West Kent Regt. I had a good dance with him.     The other people who were introduced to me, I did not catch the names of, & I think now it was awfully stupid of me as it wd be much more interesting to know who one had been talking to tho’ at the time of the dance it did not seem to matter. I wore my sparkly white dress on Thursday, (the one I wore at the Drawing Room) & the white (I had for Lady Aderdeen’ s ball, & which now has blue ribbons on it) on Friday.

There were some magnificent dresses(& diamonds & some beautiful women but not so many of the latter some of them were hideous & some of them were dowdy & I did not see ) a prettier or better turned out girl than Maude Dunsmuir. Effie had a costly & elaborate gown of blue silver at the ball on Friday but I was sorry to see her looking so ill. do not repeat this she is as thin as a knife & has simply been on the go since she came to England.     the people here seem to think she is rather mad to hunt all day & dance all night any spare time being fill up by bicycling, at homes, dinners or skating!!! She says she has never had such a good time in her life but her appearance is to me quite sad & Jessie is worried about her. What ever you do, do’nt breathe this in Victoria.     On Friday afternoon we went for a drive in a very smart outside car in Phoenix Park. I was sorry I did not see St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I could not squeeze it in! I spent a long time in trying to get the cardigan for Frank. Dublin shops are very fascinating I think I wd rather shop there than in London, were the distances are so great and prices much higher. I found very    nice boot shop, where they filled me most comfortably & pretty. I had not found any really satisfactory place in England. So I left my address & size and they say I can write to them if I want shoes sent to B.C. I inquired about Father’s tailor Buckmaster and was told, he died, had no son and no one took the business which has not since been carried on. Would it not be a good thing to send out any clothes Father or the boys may want by Uncle John? I suppose great minds run in the same groove but I intended to write to Mother & suggest the two marten capes being put together to make a nice one for her. She says they are not a good colour & want dying I think they call it dipping the fur that is darkening it. I have not had anything done with the ermine yet. Dent you want some new door mats for the house at Pt Ellice & one for the carriage? if so please send size they ought to be. What about green linen blinds for the windows?     or do you get them better out there? & do you want new chintz for drawing room or bed room curtains? Since beginning this I have recd Fathers letter 5th Feb. & Mother’s of about the same date – many dear thanks for them. I was very much annoyed about the fuss at Fokestone with Uncle Joe. he      is very strange at times. the other day     at Baileys when Josephine was away, he opened a letter that came for her from Jack Benn, I did not think it strange of him to do it as he wanted to know when to expect Jack at the hotel, but I remonstrated with him for fastening it down again that she might not know it had been opened – very wrong of him, I think & a proceeding which destroys any confidence in him. He is quite unreliable in the tales he tells & repeats everything he hears so if you tell him anything in confidence you may rest assured it will be passed on. Do ‘nt think I am naughty about this it is only the truth & perhaps he does it now, poor man, because Aunt Julia is not there to tell everything to.     I am very disappointed not to have seen anything more of Mr. s. but fate seems to be against it.

He was in London when we arrived in October. so if I had written to him before going to Cornwall, he wd have recd it before going to Scotland. Jessie asked him to dine, that evening. She asked me when I was disappointed about not going. I only learnt this since I came to stay here. I dont understand about Mr.S. he seemed so friendly when I met him but I have not heard since he left more than a month ago. I suppose he really was not interested in me such a long time having elapsed since we met & he did not seem to be happy in himself but perhaps he never received the note I wrote & addressed to Constantinople. I am wondering if they are really going to fight about Crete. I do’nt think so. He thought he might get promotion if there was trouble & he was lucky enough to be in it. But I do’nt suppose I shall ever see him again – so no more on this subject which you must be tired of have said nothing about Jessie or the children. She is awfully nice & looking wonderfully well. They are most amusing little people – great dears – the baby I like very much but Joan is favourite with Father Mother & Aunt. Sir R. is always very nice & friendly to me. We have been once to the Gold Links at Lismore and over the Castle such a splendid place belonging to the Duke of Devonshire. on Sunday we went to tea with the Villiers Stuarts at Drumana [?] a great old place just across the Blackwater. I am so behind hand in telling you of my doings that I forget & I met a General & Mrs. Baker at Richmond at the house of some friends of Mrs. Jackson. they have a daughter living in Victoria cook Street, I think they said, she has been married for about two years to a Mr. Cowell, & lost a little baby a short time ago and is in very delicate health threatened with a operation

– her Mother is naturally most anxious about her – asked me if she could get good treatment & proper nurses in Victoria or if she ought to come to England. She is about twenty four her Mother asked me to beg you to call on her & look after her and help her if you can & I feel sorry I forgot to write about it at once. She said Col. & Mrs. James Baker were kind to her & I believe he has some appointment under Government they told me he was very clever & I think he must be the man Beauchamp Pinder is with. Have you heard of him – Cowell – by name? You ask about my teeth, I had rather a bad one & the man had to build it up with gold like one Mother has. Mine is quite at the back, & very useful – it was very extravagant £3.3.0 for one tooth but really if you had seen it I do’nt think you wd have said it was too much. I went three times he had to destroy the nerve wh. was exposed either Miss Edwards or Mr. Ward went with me he can tell you about it. There are two more to be done, _but the dentist said there was not much to do to them if I went soon. I did not mean to have a bouquet for the Drawing1 Room as it is not necessary if one has a fan (and I had the Annie Pooley one) but when I found Effie had ordered one for me with theirs. I did not like to say anything. I was sorry as it cost £2.2.0 it was very lovely quite bridal white & green 1ilies, orchids, roses, gardenias with maiden hair fern smilax etc & long trails. I do’nt know what you will say to all this extravagance. Write as soon as you can & fully about commissions and exporting. it takes time to shop in London & I am not often there for more than a few days at a time. I have been expecting a list from Frank. I did not see the Robert Wards as I thought it safe not to go there when I was last in town. You ask if I have seen Sir Michael – only the night I dined there – we have missed other times. Much dear love and loving thanks for your letters

Your loving


Love to Frank and Jack


(*1) — 2020 – This letter is also part of the O'Reilly Letters 1896-97 Collection.


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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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