The Cotman Collection | 105

The Cotman Letters 1838-1864

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/3/1/5
Page: 105

  • Description

    Journal of John Joseph Cotman [December 1838]


  • Transcription


    get together many facts which I may one day turn to account.
    I think one should with regard to ones worldly affairs,
    look well at the circumstances directly influencing you,
    and make arrangements to meet them and do the best
    under them; for instance I am at this moment embarrassed
    to the amount of £200 or £300 and with an income of but
    80 my expenses I think are quite that per annum
    unavoidably I am bound by this to refuse nothing which
    will bring in money and also to economise as much as
    possible . This being done it is equally important that I
    should so enjoy my time that by increase of power,
    knowledge and experience I shall render myself so much
    more capable of being useful that I may reasonably expect
    to increase my income as years roll on. I have often thought
    that some inferior station in life would hold me best but
    this under the semblance of virtuous humility is no
    less than pride or laziness and folly for each station has
    its difficulties and by a mere descent I should gain
    nothing but might lose much. And again in life is
    a struggle, and must be, unless the mind has or can
    make to itself some object of desire it will be blank and
    miserable. we should often look forward and form or
    try to form some notion of what the result of our
    endeavours will be but it should be only occasionally,
    for to live actively and usefully at the time present is
    more important and they need not the one oppose the other.
    I have smoked and enjoy it but think to abandon it
    as {added – an} expensive habit I can do without; it will not do I
    take ones friends cigars not buying them oneself, it is
    jus Xmas time and I shall see soon how I stand with the
    world my creditors are most kind and liberal. I will
    pay those who have let me alone first and then
    those who have not been benefited by my dealings
    those who were the gainers by my custom when I had it