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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 45

Dated: 21st July 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

Our weather now, My dearest Mary, begins to grow so very warm that I hardly know what to do with myself but grumble – You will be glad to hear that I have hitherto felt no inconvenience from the heat, and indeed our men are recovering rapidly from their late sickly state. This I conceive is owing to the weather being much more settled than we have experienced it for some time. I begin to have a rather better opinion of my health than I used to have, I fancy it is more my present than God that humbles us all (difficult scrawl) – For this there is no remedy, at least none we here may reach – I shall henceforth put up with what I cannot get rid of – I hope you continue well – I am very anxious for accounts from Money Hill especially of yourself – Your party I hope will prove agreeable and not incommode your way of life. Oh! My good friend why will my destiny not allow me to share with you the comforts of domestick living – That damned Money (thickly underscored)! But I will not torment you with the old subject! I hope you hear something from our working (?) cousin of Inglewood, and I, as sincerely hope that she is well – I do not know more than half a dozen people in this world who deserve to be happy, She is certainly one of my Number.

I shall hardly know my poor little men when I return to England, they will be so much grown – could I but f-(word torn by seal) them a good education I should be (word torn out by seal ?less) anxious on their accounts – But God knows what is to be – I hope its for the best, but hopes

“Hope, like a gleaming taper’s light,
Adorns and cheers the way,
And still as darker grows the night
Emits a brighter ray” Goldsmith Hamm!!!

How happy are those whom fortune has placed in a state of independence – but how equally often is that state abused, disturbed and – blighted – It is but very expensive in life, and a knowledge of the most that one learns duly to appreciate the happiness of a calm and settled life - -

I believe therefore that a young man should be always employed in some active, busy life, so that he may as he’s “Yellow leaf know how to be satisfied with peace and friendship and a good wife I ask a one as I know.

I have not heard from Paterson, nor do I know how to write to him – I have some idea of going to Cadiz for a day or two & perhaps (?speak?) Gen Graham – I hear something of him. I hope Mrs Dacres and all the Dacres family are now quite well – Pray offer my kindest love to all

Now does my friend fancy a Bride Love to Mama & (kittens?)

Kiss our men for me and believe me your C.B.


i) Goldsmith – CB has the quotation from The Captivity Canto II more or less correct – the for a in line i and our for the further down
ii) Yellow Leaf – clearly another literary allusion which pleased CB – perhaps Byron who wrote ‘My days are in the Yellow Leaf’ in a poem ‘On the day I entered my 36th Year’
iii) CB’s philosophical ramblings present difficulties for the transcriber who is often forced to guess – which is easier with his military career.


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