The Cotman Collection | 35

The Cotman Letters 1838-1864

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/3/1/5
Page: 35

  • Description

    Letter of John Sell Cotman to Walter F. Cotman, 7 April 1838


  • Transcription

    by a note to the effect, 'to the Commander of the Western Steamer, please to admit Mr.
    Cotman, & show him everything (but alone.) On my return I went up to the party &
    said my application had failed, to gain admission for my party. 'Of course',
    they said, & the laugh was against me, to [ ]. So up goes bold Jack to the officers
    on the gangway, then pestured to death & turning away hundreds. 'Come on board, Sir'.
    But where are your Ladies?' observed he. 'Sir', said I 'this is to admit me alone'.
    'Oh, never mind, by all means let them come up too with you'. And in we
    all went, us not the Gordons or Dixons, and the laugh was returned in our favour.
    So we kissed hands & parted. Had you seen the battle I know you would have
    laughed, for I can't tell half the fun & jokes that passed. About 800 to 1000 persons
    were refused that day. We were nearly the only persons admitted. On
    gaining admittance the ? , the deck & cabins, indeed every part,
    was crowded with workmen of every description. Coals, Shavings, Paint, Silk, Looking-Glasses & Sofas, etc. Strewned the deck & every path, & indep-
    [ ] of this strange jumble, would have been a fairy ship, with the
    rich carpet properly laid down, a perfect fairy ship. Round back to Green-
    wich just in time to take the last Steamer to London Bridge, at which we
    arrived at 7. o'clock and was home a 8 o'clock to Hot Sausages & tea, which I
    truly enjoyed, having a good appetite & very happy at our treat & adventure.
    I made a very accurate sketch, from which Miles has made a very accurate
    drawing, I putting in the sky & water. This drawing is almost finished,
    So that you see we have lately lost no time. I have turned the West Drawing
    into a Drawing room & Painting room in good earnest. At present the
    back drawing room a [ ] room, but which will be, too, cleared. So you see,
    I am determined on something at last, both in oil & watercolour. All
    this, you see, is good, wholesome health & vigour, or I am mistaken. My books are all around me, in excellent order for service. I should, and we all should, be happy if you could pop in upon us. I have the rest of the paper for the rest of the party to fill up. So, 'the top of the morning to you' for tis 4 o'clock, as Paddy wd. say. God bless you. J. S. Cotman. I have been so busy that even the Norwich papers
    have not been sent to you. I have, I believe, three in store. They shall be sent, & I hope
    you will forgive the omission, caused by sheer fatigue, and I further
    hope you will enjoy the news you will find therein. “Good night, all's well”,
    Priest is in Norwich, but is expected back on Sunday. He is a