29th Janry. 1895
My dear Mother,
Here I am – one step further on my journey. Just before leaving Pará I sent you a hasty line to say I had received your two welcome letters of 24th and 25th Dec. and very pleased I was to have them, and to hear you were all spending a merry Christmas to-gether. I am duly gratified to know that Mrs Moore enjoyed her pineapple.
I left Pará in great style on Saturday evg. The S.S. “Clement” was lying out in the river, and Mr Marrack, assistant-manager of the Amazons Steamship Company placed a steam-launch at my disposal to take me on board. He himself came with me and I was further accompanied by two Bank Managers and a leading Exchange Broker! – Messrs. Power, Oakes, and Duff, who kindly wished to have the melancholy pleasure of speeding me on my way. Very good fellows they are, all of them, and I am much indebted to them for making my stay in Pará as pleasant as possible. It is a pleasant boast that I think my special friends are among the nicest people all round of the English colony in the various places I visit in Brazil.
The “Clement” is a small steamer – took from Saturday night till Tuesday morning to come here. But they made me comfortable on board. The Chief-steward even giving his sofa-bunk to a “Brazzy” so as to let me have a cabin to myself. The food was excellent and I had a fine breakfast of haddock omelette and bacon before coming ashore this morning – “Gather ye roses while ye may”, which being interpreted means – “On the coast of Brazil take a good English feed when you can get one.”
My chief regret on leaving the steamer was that I was not able to finish the pretty story of “Judith Shakespeare” by Black. I borrowed it on board but had only time to read half of it.
Perhaps you do no remember my telling you last year that at Maranhão there is a good little hotel, clean, French cooking, an A1 bath, not many mosquitoes, and the rain it raineth not every day but only about five days out of seven, so there is much for which to cultivate a grateful spirit.
There are no English people here except some mechanics, and a Mr Airlie – and he’s a Scotchman and married into the country – . Therefore I shall not have many visits to pay in the evenings, and I look forward to getting a good many letters written. This is an earnest of my good intentions, and following as it does close on the heels of my last, and having come to the foot of the page, and contarning to boot, awl I have to say – all I mean, ‘twas a slipper the pen – this leather must now come to an end. Love to all.
1st Feby. ‘95
To-day I had quite a cheerful packet of letters via Pernambuco, – two from you, 31st Dec. and 7th Janry., besides letters from the Pater, Annie, Olga, Addie, and Julie, and a couple of others enclosed. A card from Dresden puzzles me; – “from a doubtless long-forgotten acquaintance” – in a lady’s handwriting; – haven’t the faintest idea who the (of course) fair one is. I wish people would not give one enigmas of this sort to solve. As the Pater sent it without envelope or remark I suppose it came addressed “J. Loewenthal”. Perhaps it was meant for him!
I must find out somehow.
I am glad to read all your praises for the pines. Since they were so acceptable I am sorry I did not send you two barrels so that you might have been able to distribute some more liberally among your friends.
You seem to have had some lively storms about Christmas-time. I hope the ill winds blew somebody good, but the collateral blessing does not seem to have come Belfast way.
I had a letter from Mr W. y’day regretting I was not able to go to Rio to settle some serious troubles there about which I wrote you already. As it is the matter will probably have to wait till I go there.
Quite interesting to read about all your “porties” – frivolous folks that you are.
I must trot out now and try not to let the day pass without making some money.
Best love. Jack
- Eliza Moore (1813-1895) – widow of James Moore, founding partner of Moore & Weinberg. See Index to People. ↵
- No information about Mr Marrack, but Messrs Power and Duff are longstanding friends (see Index to People) and Mr Oakes was previously mentioned as a manager at the London & Brazilian bank. ↵
- Judith Shakespeare: Her Love Affairs and Other Adventures by William Black, novelist (b 1841, d 1898). Originally published 1884: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/37788/37788-h/37788-h.htm ↵
- Mr Isaac Weinberg, the boss in Dundee. ↵