|Transcript or Index
|Decr. 18 1824
My Dearest Love.
Lieut.t Allen called just after I had sent off my last despatch, and in consequence of the message which John brought up for you, I requested to see him. He told me that all which he had since seen and heard had increased his desire to accompany you in your expedition, and understanding your intention of taking another Officer besides Mr Back, it was his wish to volunteer. He said you had spoken of a Midshipman, whom you thought of taking and if you had any friend in view whom you preferred he certainly would not interfere, but that otherwise he should rejoice in being permitted to waive his rank & fill the place. He had got a letter of introduction to Sir George Clarke, recommending him for that purpose but he would not deliver it without first calling here, as if you had the slightest objection he would not take it. I told him that Mr Back had accepted the appointment, and as to your views or those of the Admiralty respecting a Midshipman, I knew nothing but was very certain you could have no wish to prevent his delivering the letter to Sir George Clarke. I regretted that Back was not arrived, as I thought it high time he should be making his own preparations, and besides, the being without any Assistance threw all the details of arrangement on you, which I felt ought to be partly borne by those who were to accompany you. He said certainly, and that whether he were so fortunate as to be one of those or not he hoped you would permit him to be useful to you if there were any thing in which you could employ him.
Yesterday Dr Richardson called, being in town for a few hours - principally to regret that he should hardly be able to quit Chatham before the second week in January; to endeavour to learn who was intended as his successor, and to mention a Captain Stokes, late of the Iphigenia who was desirous to go with you, and who called today with a letter from Captain Phillips. <He is also a friend of Captn Sabine who sailed in that vessel as you know> I said to him nearly as I had done to the other, that I believed it was a Midshipman who was wanted but he seemed to think the Admiralty would do any thing you pleased, and tried hard to persuade me that there ought to be another Officer. I wish you would come home and do your own business, for I feel it very ridiculous to have all these gentlemen coming to me to try the effect of petticoat influence. I suspect from what he said that he means to send Captn Sabine to back him. Captain Lyon has also been here with two men, but him I did not see, not being up.
I am far from well today, being annoyed with a pain in my side which prevented my sleeping, and which does not go. I have sent after the Doctor who says he will be here in the Evening. Mrs Babbage advised me to do so, or I felt very unwilling to summon him, but I was forced to ring them up in the night to get me some hot tea which made me a little easier. Do not take fright however, <for I> am very well otherwise and I think it is only some muscular pain which will probably go off as unaccountably as it has come on. I was exceedingly well yesterday, and went to bed without the remotest expectation of any thing going wrong. Baby js superlative.
Sister was with me yesterday, and gives but a bad [?report] of Mr Kay. She had at length obliged him to shew his leg to Dr Thomson, he has been letting it get gradually worse till there are now 5 large sores, and the Doctor was much surprized to see it, and now enforces her coming to town whenever he comes. What you say about the children is not new to my thoughts, and with regard to the management of the girls, you know I have often said that I wished to see their habits simplified; at the same time I know no children who are brought up with habits so little expensive in all that will hereafter depend upon themselves, since what I complain of, has merely to do with domestic arrangements. Mary Anne I hope will be likely to marry before any change occurs which can affect their prospects. Were Mr Kay in stronger health, I should wish for her own sake that such an event might be delayed for some years, but as matters now appear, I should consider it an advantage not only to herself but her sisters, and should a desirable opportunity offer, I would advise the not obstructing it more than her youth requires. If Mr Kay lives to bring Wm forward in his business, it would be the best thing he could do for him, but if not I could wish he were set going in something that did not depend on his father. However these are not matters to discuss at the tail of a letter, & I am not very equal to writing. My love to Betsey, and all whom you have not yet left. The Peacocks come & I have asked the Bedfords, ever your affectionate wife
Goosey is making believe to talk, & even gets out some sounds very like Mama. You cannot think what a favourite I become. The Harrington basket is not arrived, so I suppose will come tomorrow.
Captain Franklin, R.N.