About Zeffie Moody
Letter from Mary S Moody to her Mother mentioning some of her (eventually 11) children
Camp. NWestminster 3rd April, 1862.
My dearest Mother,
I have always intended to mention, and always forgotten, to say that WE ought to pay postage of the newspapers. We are very much obliged to you for sending them, but you must put the 2 d. a day down on our account please. They come pretty regularly on the whole, as regularly as anybody elses's.
If you have an opportunity would you send me some Child's Pocket Handkerchifs (or "emeks" as Susan says) 6 d. each please. I mention from time to time any little thing I need, in case you have a chance of sending me a small parcel. I am so vexed to find you get my letters so irregularly. I am especially annoyed at your missing my letter about Box #1. I wrote such a long one mentioning almost everything, I flattered myself you would be quite pleased with me!! NOW, I really don't know what to say - I can tell you that "Little Mary" looks so nice in dear Em's Present. All admire her "toggery". Mr. Sheepshanks said today, "Did you ever see a baby who was not dressed like that, all in white, with a blue Veil". However "little Mary" must soon put on her new Pelisse (which I admire very much) for I have her short petticoats on, and the Cloak does not do so well now.
I am so pleased to have her out again. She improves wonderfully. She has just been vaccinated. It is taking nicely. Vaccination is the fashion just now, I had Charlie done again, he was done 4 times in Edinburgh but it never took, however it has taken very well. I am thinking of being done myself. All the Men are to be done. There is Small Pox in Victoria, I believe.
All the things in the box are very nice, all useful and good. What I liked least was my Spring Dress. It is too WHITE for a useful 'hack' dress, however I doubt not it will wear well. Zeffie and Susan's Blue Dresses have been much admired dear grandmama's present.
My head-dress was worn at "The Ball" the other night and came in very nicely. I wore my black net Dress (low) and wrapped myself up in my black lace shawl, so that I felt quite MATRONLY. You can fancy the preparing for a party out here is a serious affair, getting all one's things collected - Stockings in one box, Shoes in another, pockethandkerchief in a 3rd, no gloves, ttc. etc. No starched Petticoats etc. etc.
I do hope that letter has turned up. the Shoes and Boots are beautiful. Susan's rather big, but that is a good fault. If I find, from your next letter, that mine had not then reached you, I must try and notice some more of the contants of the box, box #2 was not acknowledged by me till after Baby's birth, so you would I hope get that letter. I am so CROSS about it.
I was very sorry to hear of dear Aunt Ann's death and of poor Mrs. Anderson's so soon afterwards. It was very sad for them all. I feel very much for dear Julia and the boys. She is certainly very young, but accustomed as I am now getting to Colonial young ladies, I can quite understand her being different to what WE were at the same age. I must try and write a short note to Uncle Edwards, I think...
Dearest Richard is still in Victoria. He and Captain Luard are both there, nor do they talk of returning. I am getting tired of being alone so long. The Doctor and Captain Parsons are very good, in doing all they can for us. They come in 3 or 4 times a day to see how we are getting on. You will laugh too when you hear that I have managed to get a "well" and a real ENGLISH PUMP out of Captain Grant, since Richards has been away. I have been promised one all Winter, but the Men have been at work. So I spoke to Captain Grant over into the absolute necessity of having one before Summer, and so he promised to have it done.
You will be sorry to hear that Zeffie's 2nd teeth are very ugly indeed, and that some of Dick's back teeth are decayed. He often has toothaches, poor Child.
We have just got a new School Mistress for the Children of the Camp, a Mrs. Moresby, some relation of Admiral Moresby's. She seems a nice, quiet person, and I feel very sorry for her.
Mr. Bushby is to be married to Agnes Douglas (Governor's Daughter) on the 8th of next Month, I fear Richard will have to go up to Victoria. It is to be a VERY grand affair. They will be our nearest neighbours townways. She is a REGULAR RATTLE, however I fancy she will tone down with a very quiet Husband, in this VERY quiet place.
We expect 3 additional ladies here this Spring, The Bushby's The Archdeacon's family and the Attorney general's, so we are becoming more civilized, you see. All are near US, however we are rather sorry to have so many near neighbours, I think we get on so well together (in the Camp) that we would rather prefer being alone altogether. We look upon ourselves as a large family. You would have been amused at the alarm we all felt when we heard a rumour, from Victoria, that the Doctor was going to be married! However it was a false report, and we are all comfortably assured that our dear little Friend is only a LITTLE inclined to "FLIRT". But I must stop for little mary's change of clothes brings me some unexpected work, for I must take her a weenie set of flannel waistcoats as all I have are too big. The weather continues cold and unsettled. We still wear our winter things. I hope we may not have to move from here this Summer, the expense and trouble are so great in going down to Victoria. Mrs. Grant MUST, I think, remain here, as she is to be confined again in August. This prevented her from going to the Ball, as she should not dance, and as she would not go, I was obliged to go. Fancy dancing till 4 O'clock in the morning. The Children often talk of you all.
With much affectionate love ever my dearest Mama, Your Loving Daughter, MaryS. Moody.