Fragments of a letter from Tom Fennell to his brother William, 7th September 1847
Tom Postmarked Sept. 7 1847
to endeavoured to take a few Albacore, as they, every few moments, rose to the surface of the water seeming like diamonds of the surface, then disappearing again beneath the blue waters. I commenced my sport about twelve, but not being able to take any, I turned in about half past two. I was scarcely on my back before I was surprised and a little alarmed by a most tremendous crash overhead. On enquiry, I found that it was the main top mast that had given way and now lay a complete wreck upon the deck, sails, ropes, and all one useless mess. It was a most providential thing that the accident took place during the night, for it would have been almost impossible for it to have fallen in the day time without some serious event, if not death being the accompanying event. But we little know what dangers we escape.
I am sorry to have to tell you that I have been very ill. One evening about six or seven days ago, I was taken very sick and was also seized with extreme purging of the stomach in the night; these sufferings increased and were also accompanied by cramping pains in the limbs but more particularly in my stomach which continued during the night. I was told that I had been greatly in danger of losing my life, but I thank God that I am now gradually regaining my health and
little things with this mode of procuring their safety from their enemies. Will he not still more take a delight in defending his people (man made after his likeness and intended for everlasting happiness) from all earthly harm, but more particularly from the power of that wicked one who seeketh whom he may devour. We like the little flying fish when sorely pressed by its enemy will rise up on the wings of faith and prayer to that succour who is able to secure us from our great enemy.
I must beg you to thank your Mary for a little book which I found, in looking into, was a gift from her. Tell her that I have only read a part of it, but I have derived great pleasure from what I have seen. Tell her of all my good wishes. Tell her what a happy change I have felt in my mind since I left Wakefield. Tell her how much I love and respect her, and how I will always think of her and that I shall address a few lines to her sometimes hoping that she will do the same to me. I hope that the summer air will agree better with her and with the pony carriage. I have no doubt that she will much enjoy this beautiful season "when all the lilies are in beauty clad" and when the lilies stand as thick with ours that they do laugh and sing.
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