Volume 58: Sir George Macleay correspondence, 1848-1880: No. 041

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[Page 41]

Burlington Hotel, London
June 25, 1860

My dear Macarthur

Many thanks for your letter of Feby which otherwise very welcome, was peculiarly interesting to me as coming from one who has been an eye witness of those terrible floods which proved the staple of all my other correspondences of that month.  You take a very philosophic view of the results in your own case, tho I am afraid that your wine crop must have been thereby reduced 9/10th and all kinds of other inconveniences increased.  As for my own losses, they are far less it appears than I dreaded after reading the newspaper account, and are all the more lately borne where from not being actually witnessed.  This "mighty flow of water"  appears to have been altogether exceptional.  They talk in the papers of there having been nothing like it for 30 years.  Why I have been a resident in the District for 32 years and not only seen nothing like it but found no tradition in the neighbourhood among the oldest inhabitants of any flood approaching to it, I should like to have known to what height the water rose at Windsor.  I confes I never believed the stories of the 90 feet inundations than in the earliest days of that Settlement.  Here too we have nothing but rain.  We returned to England on the first of June, after 5 months of drought in Spain.  It was raining when we arrived, and it has continued to rain "successfully" as your friend had it up to the present time, every other day perhaps producing by way of variety a little sleet.  The climate is certainly detestable, but how wonderfully well everyone looks, how stout robust & ruddy, how far superior to the French & how much better they look again than my friends the Spanish, whose climate as nearly resembles that of our western interior, it is far drier at all times I should

Sir William Macarthur
&c &c &c

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