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Scotland and the Scots, 1707-2007

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Christian Auer

Prostitution

72. Letter Published in the Annual Report of the Glasgow Magdalene Institution, 1889

Texte intégral

1See introduction to text 70.

2The letters from former inmates that were published in the annual reports of the Glasgow Magdalene Institution were meant to demonstrate that the Institution had been successful in reforming the fallen women. They were also part of a strategy aimed at encouraging benefactors to contribute to the upkeep of the Institution.

3Annual Report of the Glasgow Magdalene Institution, 1889, p. 14 (by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow City Council).

Massachusetts, USA

MY DEAR Miss WEIR,—This is in answer to your very kind and encouraging letter; your letters are to me just like what a talk with you used to be when I was there. I felt so miserable the day I got your letter, and it quite cheered me up. I got a letter from my mother by the same mail, and I got one last-week from her too, and they are such nice letters. I do not think that she ever really realized that I would come to this country till she got a letter from me. How are you all getting on in Lochburn? I trust that God will spare your good and useful life for many years to come, for the sake of the girls who are rescued from a sinful life; theirs indeed is a sad one. I wrote to Mr. Sinclair; I hope he got my letter all right. I should like so much to hear from him, if he is not too busy.

I am awful busy just now. We have company; Mrs. M —— ‘s sister and another lady are staying with us. I am getting used to the work now, but at first I thought I should have to give it up. My feet were swollen every night, and so sore. Mrs M —— would not hear of me going away, and she was so kind that I could not bear to leave her; so I persevered, and now I am getting on nicely; although I have a lot of work, I can do it as I like. Mrs M —— got a young girl for the children, so she helps a good deal. The weather here is fearfully hot.

Yesterday was Sunday, and the whole lot of us went out to the woods in the afternoon. There are such bands of boys ramble away to the woods here, especially on Sundays. Well, we took our four little children. Just when we got to the middle of the wood, Mrs M —— ‘s sister thought it would be a good opportunity to start a Sunday-school class; so we struck up a hymn—“Jesus loves me.” In less than five minutes we had quite a crowd of boys; most of them belonged to the better class. All of them joined in, and asked for more hymns; then Miss J —— read some stories. They all stayed with us all afternoon. At night Miss J —— and I went to church. We heard a very good sermon from Proverbs, the subject being “Ideals”—meaning that we ought to take Jesus as our ideal.

How is Miss Iliff? Give her my kind love. I will be looking for a letter from her soon. I can’t tell you how sorry I am about K —— R ——. What is she going to come to? I hope that she is back with you; if not, I am I afraid she will not last long. I had a letter half written for her when I got your letter. How is L —— W ——? I hope she is getting on well. I wish you would ask her to answer my letter, and do what you can to keep her. I will try and get her out here; she would be much better away from every body she knows. Will you tell Miss Murray that I have not forgotten her, although I have not written yet. I am going to write her a long letter. I know she will forgive me, because I have so little time. I hope she is looking well after No. 7. Since I last wrote you I have had a beautiful letter from Mr. Sinclair. He told me there was a change in a good many of the girls. I pray it may continue. What encouragement it would be to all of you, especially to Mr Sinclair, who takes so much interest in them.

Mrs M —— wants me to take a class in the Sunday-school; but I think I would rather go to the minister’s bible-class for a time, at least. Our new church was organised last week, so we are going to join it.

There was a very sad affair happened quite close to our house on Monday morning early. Some burglars had broken into a house; the gentleman got up and took his gun. Just as he was going along the lobby, his brother-in-law came out of his room to see what the noise was about. The former thinking it was one of the thieves, shot and killed his brother-in-law on the spot. It has caused such a commotion in the place.

Dear Miss Weir, will you give Miss M’Millan my very best love? Tell her I read her book, and got a great deal of good out of it. Give all the ladies my kind love, and tell them I should like to write to them all, but I have so little time; it’s a fortnight since I began this one. I shall soon be three months here. Is J —— M —— still with you? if so, give her my best respects. I must draw this mixed epistle to a close: I hope you will he able to make it out. Remember me to all the girls, especially No. 7; tell them to have it nice for the Fair. I hope Miss Murray will buy some nice ribbons; I know you will look after the pictures. I hope Mr Orrock is well; remember me to him. I must now close with kind love.

M-M’D—

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