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Catherine Cochrane to Thomas Macky

(Endorsed Received January 1851)
11th December, 1849

My dear Thomas
    I am sure you will be surprised at my again addressing you from Cootehill-- also that I have not been in Carnshanagh since I left in September, 1848, at the time you left Ireland, so you see what an affectionate sister I am, but I hope if we are spared to meet again in this life I'll be able to explain why I have done so. But one thing I must say, it is not want of affection for them nor they for me. However, enough of this.
    It is now time for me to thank you for your kind epistle which I received in Craigavad on the 27th of October. I was stopping with Ann Alexander who had an addition to her family of a fine son on the 13th of that month.
    I suppose you have heard of Dorcas and Donnell becoming one, also of brother John and I performing our duties which, of course, was very trying on me, but I have heard since I performed my part well. I am looking forward to the time I'll be able to give you a hearty laugh about that; and many things that have occurred since I saw you. If I profit by the half of the lessons I have learned since you left I might be a good girl, but alas, it is not the case.
    I went to Anne's the day after the wedding-- I was there for the last three months. I left all pretty well except for poor Man; you would scarcely know him, he is so much altered in his appearance for the worse. I may say he has not been able to attend to any kind of work this summer, so you see poor Anne's trials are not over. She is in very good spirits and still looks on the bright side of the picture; I think it is a blessing she can do so.
    Sarah, John and family are quite well. The girls are in Derry at present, at school with Mrs Glen. Mrs McArthur has got her new house splendidly furnished, I hear you would be afraid to put your foot on the drawingroom carpet, but it's all the family she has to attend to. I had a letter from her lately and she says she heard my brother, Joe, had taken my Aunt Cochrane to an asylum in Scotland which Jane will feel very much. I believe latterly she could not restrain herself before any person. I suppose you have heard of my father's marriage, also of his going to New York. I trust in God they will be happy, she seems very fond of him.
    The city house closes on the 4th January. Poor Jas Mills did not live long in his adopted country; how uncertain life is (true enough in the midst of life we are in death). I think it is likely that Joe will go to A as soon as he can get affairs brought to a close. Poor fellow, he is as old looking as if he had the cares of a family on his shoulders. I believe Sam is doing very well in Montreal and Jas in Quebec, but he has not heard from either for some time.
    I think business is improving and that there are good times in store for Ireland yet. I cannot think any other land would be so dear to me as this land of my birth, although we have not perpetual sunshine.
    I am very glad you feel so satisfied what your change but bear in mind you have a great many advantages that others have not, in having your brother and family there before you. I suppose the children are in good health and spirits and that is the reason they are so noisy. You know the old adage, we can't expect old heads on young shoulders.
    I am sure it is very pleasant for you that your pastor is after your own heart. I am sure he must have a good deal to try his patience in his congregation. I hope you will assist him as much as you can although you may feel annoyed at first. In the end it will be a source of pleasure to you. Many times I think, how will I answer to an all-seeing God for my mis-spent time as regards improving myself and others. I am glad you like the preacher that is out there as I must confess Methodism is nearer my heart than any other 'ism'.
    I believe your mother does not like the idea of going to Auckland but of course if they get the farms sold will go. I am very glad you did not go into debt on my account as you know the dread I have of anything of that kind. You did not say what arrangement you made with your brother, I hope it is satisfactory to both parties.
    I believe I have no more news to communicate. Wishing you, your brother and family a happy Christmas and New Year and many returns of the season, also kind love to you and them in which I am joined by John,

Yours etc,