Second Letter to his Sister-in-Law
QUEBEC, July 10, 1810.
I cannot allow the frigate to depart without sending my affectionate love to you. A Guernsey vessel arrived a few days ago, which brought me a letter from Savery of 10th May, and nothing could be more gratifying than the contents. The May fleet, which sailed from Portsmouth the 24th, reached this in thirty days, but as it had not a scrape of a pen for me, its arrival did not interest me. We have been uncommonly gay the last fortnight: two frigates at anchor, and the arrival of Governor Gore from the upper province, have given a zest to society. Races, country and water parties, have occupied our time in a continued round of festivity. Such stimulus is highly necessary to keep our spirits afloat. I contributed my share to the general mirth in a grand dinner given to Mrs. Gore, at which Sir J. Craig was present, and a ball to a vast assemblage of all descriptions.
I mentioned in a former letter my apprehensions of being ordered to the upper province. I return this moment from waiting upon Sir James, who sent for me, to say he regretted he must part with me, as he found it absolutely necessary that I should proceed upwards without delay. I am placed in a very awkward predicament, as my stay in that country depends wholly upon contingencies. Should a brigadier arrive I am to be stationary, but otherwise return to Quebec. Nothing could be more provoking and inconvenient than this arrangement. Unless I take up every thing with me, I shall be miserably off, for nothing beyond eatables is to be had there; and in case I provide the requisites to make my abode in the winter in any way comfortable, and then be ordered back, the expense will be ruinous. But I must submit to all this without repining, and since I cannot get to Europe, I care little where I am placed. I have the most delightful garden imaginable, with abundance of melons and other good things, all which I must now desert.
What am I to tell you from this out-of-the-way place. Your old friends of the 49th are well, but scattered in small detachments all over the country. They are justly great favorites at head quarters. I mentioned in a former letter my wish that, provided you could make it perfectly convenient, you would call upon Mrs. Manners, the wife of a captain of the 49th. I am satisfied that you would, after a short acquaintance, approve of her much—she is all goodness. By the last accounts they resided at Barnet.
I have no doubt that Maria and Zelia (Potenger, his nieces) continue to conduct themselves in such a manner as to reward you amply for the unbounded kindness you have all along shewn them. If I am able in the fall to procure handsome skins for muffs worth their acceptance, I shall send some to the dear little girls: they ought, however, to write to me. There are few here brought up with the advantages they have received; indeed, the means for education are very limited for both sexes in this colony. Heaven preserve you. I shall probably begin my journey upwards in the course of a few days.