The Cotman Collection | 93

The Cotman Letters 1838-1864

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/3/1/5
Page: 93

  • Description

    Journal of John Joseph Cotman [December 1838?]


  • Transcription


    [of John Joseph Cotman, written, probably, in Dec / 1838]

    To commence I am rather desirous to think a little of what
    has passed. Yarmouth the place of my birth or rather Southtown
    on a road about one mile from Yarmouth. Parents having
    settled there after being married a year or two and giving birth
    to two children boy and girl. The earliest scenes of which I have
    any recollection are those of gardens and meadows then extensive now found to be small indeed. When quite young health
    and strength fell to me in abundance at the time of commencing
    school about five years old ones temper began to show itself
    passionate to a degree. Our governess gave me a good character
    although no great proficient but I well remember the effect of
    habit even at that early age our lessons which were long ones
    for such children (at least I judge so for the impression remained
    on going to another school when older was that the lessons
    were ridiculously short this impression remained through many
    changes of school._) We had to prepare in evening for next
    morning our plan was to shut ourselves up in our own room by
    ourselves and study then for about an hour, after repeating the
    verbally we read them over once. The books were then placed
    beneath our pillows and we enjoyed the evening either walking
    or reading and as sure as morning came so sure was our lesson
    perfectly know. - One of the circumstances which live with me
    most dearly was one day after much ill conduct on my part
    on receiving thereafter some correction from Mother I turned and
    applied some oath to her I felt this at the time to have been
    a most unheard of offence and was much grieved at it.
    Although nothing was said, directly afterwards at some wild
    play I dashed some toy through the window for this I feared
    punishment on my father's return. and never shall I forget
    the wonder astonishment and delight I felt when my Mother
    without punishing me sent with all a Mother's kindness to have
    the window replaced before my Father's return. The pain I