August 27, 2007

9 February 1807, by Elizabeth Macarthur

The mannequin for Elizabeth's dress.

The ball was a rousing success - really, parting from dear friends is a sweet sorrow, it is only our own sadness and the lack of their society that makes us sad. And I know they will profit from leaving here - Mr. King has been dreadfully unwell and if he can survive the trip, will be the better for it. Elizabeth looked very lovely in her dress - it is not a true ball gown, but here in the Antipodes in February, one hardly need wear that. It was sufficient that she shone. As did the King's daughters, especially being danced by Mr. Hannibal Hawkins. Why even Mrs. Marsden, sweet tempered as she is but not known for her elegance, pulled off a fabulous deep blue gown that turned her hair radiant - if the Reverend had taken off his collar, he would have done well too! Governor King managed a turn before his leg became too much and he retired, but enough to know that to those that matter, he will be missed. The only blemish on the evening was the poor health of Mr. Putland, recently promoted to the Porpoise by his father-in-law and sent to Van Diemen's Land, he has returned a shadow of himself, even in full dress. John is still coming to terms with a formal event sans uniform, but dressed in a lovely outfit he brought from Home. How silly men are, about their swords and such; the swords get in the way when they dance!

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