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John Moodie to Susanna Moodie
Patrick Hamilton Ewing Collection of Moodie-Strickland-Vickers-Ewing Family Papers (National Library of Canada)

110 Seymour Street
Euston Square
Friday Mg 1832

My Dearest Hunchy

Don't expect a long letter for I am pressed for time. I was delighted to hear that you and little Dab-chick are getting on so swimmingly. You must not mind the squalls of your little kitten for it is the way with our family to make a noise when they do not get their own way – even after they grow up. We shall probably have some worse squalls in crossing the Atlantic which are much more dangerous than these domestic ones – for tho' baby may be often subject to these little storms of passion – be moreover somewhat leaky as nurse must know – they only afford her an opportunity to shew the strength of her little timbers. I have my M.S. to Elder to examine. Colburn1 from press of business could not attend to it. James Traill says that it is a very creditable performance this is a good deal from him. My friend Gemman Traill2 is afraid to come to London for fear of his boys getting Cholera. I have written to tell him how groundless his fears are, and to urge him to come to Southwold and talk the matter over with me etc. etc. etc. etc. Miss Talbent is getting on with Mrs. Stones business3 and I hope we shall get it settled very soon. Katy and I shall if possible start from here on Monday but do not be fancying that we are burked if we do not make our appearance on Tuesday. I delivered dear Goodings4 letter. I do not know what I should buy for her worthy her acceptance but she must take the will to please for the deed if I do not find something pretty. I wish to God you were here to choose yourself for a more stupid and worse person to attend to these matters you could not have found than myself. I shall try and find something for Thay. I am thinking of buying one of these shawl gown pieces for her which would make rather a show in Southwold – it will not cost above 30/ I am quite puzzled what to buy for little Dab-chick's Godmother Mary. Her hand you know is rather large and I might be liable to give offence by seeming to know it. Burn this letter without letting any body read it and I shall do my best. God bless you and Dab-chick Love to dear Thay – to dear Goody etc.

Yours affectionately
J.W. Dunbar Moodie

I have seen Joe Linder5 he is pretty well now. I shall see him again to day. I left a note for Marshall6 but have not heard from him yet. I have but small hopes of making him bleed.


1. John would have approached Henry Colburn because he was the publisher of the United Service Journal in which the John's 'Narrative of the Campaign in Holland...' had appeared in 1830.

2. The Oxford English Dictionary lists 'gemman' as a slang form of 'gentleman.'

3. In a letter of 1 June 1833 (PHEC, no. 112) Agnes Strickland refers to an Ethelinde Talbent as the residual legatee in a family will. It is unknown, though, exactly what 'Mrs. Stone's business' referred to here was.

4. Susanna had asked her close friend Mary Gooding to be baby Catherine's godmother. Flora Lyndsay is dedicated to Mary Gooding.

5. Joe Linder later became head of the firm of Linder and Kingsley in Brooklyn, New York, where Moodie sought him out in 1856. See LOL, 167; and Agnes's letters (nos. 112, 116, 129) in PHEC.

6. W. Marshall, the publisher of the Gem, which included Susanna's 'The Disappointed Politician' in 1832. See LOL, 59.


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