Dinner With the Peterborough Regiment - 1833

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To T.P.At B-LL-E

My Dear P.

In my last to you from Cobourg, under another signature, I gave you a broad hint that you should hear from me “Anon.” and I am now seated to fulfil my promise’s promising for your information than my letter upon that occasion was dignified as “stuff” – and “low trash” – “vulgar twaddle” - and all that as Bays has it, by the ----- but I won’ (sic) waste paper with them half a page of Radcliffe’s rodomontade,

“Full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.”

is dearer to the gentry than all the agreeable paragraphs that I could string together in twelve month. De gustibus non est disputandum. I will not write for them.

Having been invited to dine with the Mess of 4th Northumberland, I footed it to Peterborough on Monday last, to be in readiness for the business of the succeeding day; having partaken of Mr. Hall’s hospitality in conjunction with Captain Thompson and Mr. Middleton – a gentleman most recently from England – till a late hour; I laid myself down in a sung bed at M.Fadden’s to dreams of the morrow. – The visions of that night will be furnished to you in another shape.

The morning of the 4th of June was ushered by Phoebus decorated in a loose robe of crimson silk and silver tissue. He seemed to be in no hurry for his charriot (sic) was literally stuff’d (sic) with cushions, white, and to appearance, soft as the down of Cashmere, inviting to repose. The Otonabee at a pas de charge, ran glittering with excitement, rousing the sleepy echoes from their dormitories on his banks for active service. Flora had dress’d (sic) the fields as for a gala day, and the genie of the woods and graves, vied with each other in variety and sweetness,

“Warbling their woodnotes wield.”

Bless my soul! Where was I going?

The day was very fine, and the Regiment under Colonel Brown made an excellent appearance; Captain Thompson’s Troop of Horse elicited particular attention; and , indeed, when it is considered that the Corps has been mustered but four times, it is wonderful to note the progress it has made in discipline. This can be accounted for in no other way than by assuming that the men are really what they appear to be, and that the officers, from the enterprising Colonel to the Ensign are determined upon doing their duty. I always considered the Militia Laws of Upper Canada in an unfavourable light, but really there is no saying what can be done when people exert themselves to do well. The second Reginment also appeared to advantage on the ground, but where were their officers? A Sargeant brought them into the “Field.”

The King, God bless him, 4 times 4,

God save the King,

Queen Adelaide……4 times 4

Queen’s March

Sir John Colborne….3 times 3,

52d’s March

Lady Colborne….. 3 times 3,

Health to all good Lasses.

The Navy and Army, - 3 times 3,

Briton’s Strike Home,

Prosperity to the Town of )


Peterborough’s Waltz.

A number of volunteers followed among which was one that excited great interest, and was drunk in solemn silence: -

The memory of the late Capt. Whitlaw,

Roslin Castle.

After which and some desultory conversation relative to the transactions of the day, and the growing prosperity of the country, the hilarity of the evening evaporated in Song – Brown of Port Hope and Capt. Thompson taking the lead in this matter – We had some speeching (sic) too upon the occasion by Messrs. Brown and Tupper, both of whom seemed to be quite at home in that kind of business, and acquitted themselves accordingly.

The steady ones quietly “snoved awa” as their inclinations led them from time to time, but there were a few who remained to usher in the morning, among which was your humble servant.

I can truly assure you that all circumstances considered, I never was more agreeable entertained in my life.

Seven years ago, if a man had predicted the present beauty and bustle of Peterboro’, he would have been laugh’d at as a fool, or accused of insincerity, with a view to some private speculations; and yet it is evident to the nearest observer that the town is but in its infancy. In seven years more it will have a population that for talent and enterprize will be vainly looked for elsewhere in Upper Canada, and it must be a source of purest gratification to Messrs. Bethune, Hall, Tupper and the rest of the gentlemen who pioneer’d in that quarter, that their industry and perseverance are already reaping their reward.

If the Editor shall continue to publish these letters of mine, it will save me some postage and enable me to reiterate, as the Bee stings, with how much truth and sincerity. I am, Dr. P.

Yours, A.B.

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