Description Robert Purvis

Portsmouth, Feb 1, 1853

My dear James

Altho from the address you may imagine I am nearer to you than when I last wrote yet sad it is not the case.  When I last wrote I fully expected to have got across by the steamer which conveys this letter, but on my return from Edinburgh to Berwick to make our final arrangements as to the Wallace business you may imagine my surprise when I was told by W Carr that he wished me to go to London on business for him and that when there he also wished me to proceed to the Isle of Wight to see and examine some new mode of ship building. (I cannot go into particulars now as it would take up too much of my paper when I return I will tell you all)

I cannot say I was displeased to receive his orders particularly as he pays all expenses. Besides my wages still going on and alltho I had before been at London I was pleased to get a trip to the Isle of Wight. accordingly I returned to Edinburgh and on Saturday night at ½ past 8. I left Edinburgh and arrived in London at 12 in the forenoon of Sunday thus traveling 405 miles in less that 16 hours pretty good speed you will say, on Monday I attended to W Carrs business and left about 5 the same day and arrived here at 9 at night a distance of 95 miles.  This morning I crossed over by steam boat to Ryde in the Isle of Wight and steamed along shore a distance of 8 miles passing close to Osborne getting a full 

sight of the Palace and grounds till we got to the West Cowes and then landed, having about 4 hours before the Boat returned.  I first attended to my business and took a peep at all that was to be seen in so short time.  Since my arrival I have travelled a very great deal much more than I did when I was here before but I have not seen anything at all to compare to the beauties of the Isle of Wight.  This whole Island is dotted over with gentlemen’s residences indeed it is one large garden and the shores in all directions also dotted with Frigates of all sizes.  Besides one would suppose all the pleasure Yachts in the country were there.  The day being very fine and the county all looking as green as summer.   I shall never forget the pleasure of so much to please.  I returned here about dark and as I have no desire to go out to any of theatres or plays (without) a companion I decided upon spending the evening in writing fearing I might not have so good an opportunity when I get up to London where I will return tomorrow and remain till Saturday and then return to Berwick.  I would favor you -- a new description of Portsmouth but that I have not seen much of it suffice to say it is very nice town containing about 50,000 somewhat larger than Halifax, but much more of it made up of Government Property and works and contains a very large number of soldiers and men of war.  The Dock yard is a town of itself indeed the whole employed appear to be government men.  I will return tomorrow through Southhampton and their government depot and when I return I will tell you all I view of these places

I cannot say any more respecting the Wallace business that what I said in my last letter. As soon as I return to Berwick we are to decide what is to be done. I can plainly see there is some screw loose between Carr & Batters and in all probability there will be a dissolution of partnerships be this as it may I am proud to say both have full confidence in me and where may take the Wallace business it will be handed on to me to conduct. Indeed I have got good proof of W Carr.  Confidence in my ability and honesty to carry out any business.  What vanity you will say, never mind I am fully satisfied on this head and I am also very well pleased that Friars return home was decided upon before they saw me which he will be satisfied about so soon as he comes home.  As to Friar has not received any word of this from the concern of (doc tear and worn here) him to this in any way as they are desirous I should take out the --- myself. I will not attempt to give you any news I will send you a paper or two which will answer as well.                                                          Now let me again ask you why you have not written I have again to suspect what I said in my former letter that is that I have not received a scrap of a line from you or Elizabeth since I arrived if you have written I suppose you will some day have them returned to you through the dead letter office.  I have only room to say that surely I will get away the middle of the month but I fear not by the way of N York as usual I enclose a letter for Elizabeth which you could forward.  Now with (never-ending) love to Eliza and all down the street and trusting soon to see all well

I remain yours Robert Purvis

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