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".....the most magnificent vessel...."

Extracts from the Diary of Mary Caroline "Minnie" Mann

During the Visit of the Austrian Imperial Frigate Novara to Sydney

Mary Caroline "Minnie" Mann was the second daughter of Gother Kerr Mann, superintendent of the penal establishment on Cockatoo island and of the FitzRoy Dock where the Novara berthed during November 1858. Earlier that year the Manns had taken up residence as tenants in the spacious Greenwich House (also known as "Willoughby"), located on Greenwich Point to the north of Cockatoo Island. The family remained there until 1864 when they moved to "Biloela", the official superintendent's residence on Cockatoo Island. Upon the retirement of Captain Mann in 1870, they returned to Greenwich House, and subsequently purchased it. Minnie and her brothers and sisters, only one of whom - Alice Georgina - ever married, remained there until 1949 when the last of them died. G.K. Mann's brother Frederick had married Camilla Victoria Mitchell in 1857, thus cementing the connection between the two families.

The following extract is taken from Mary Caroline Mann's Diary (Journal) in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, as B995 (CY3170). This Diary, one of a number such extant items by Miss Mann, covers the period 18 may 1858 to 31 January 1859. It begins with the following title:

1858
May 18th
Mary Caroline Mann
Willoughby
North Shore

Also included at the front of this Dairy are relevant family birthdays, as follows:

* Birthdays of the Family

Frederick - January 30th 1839 | Alice Georgina - August 27th 1840 | Mary Caroline - January 13th 1842 | Fanny Maria - September 3rd 1843 | Theresa Elsie - December 27th 1845 | Leslie Gordon - June 30th 1846 | Kate Emily Ellen - November 12th 1850 | Reginald Fyas - December 13th 1852 | Gertrude Bessie - February 10th 1855 | Herbert William - September 17th 1857.

A brief index to the Diary is also located at the front, pointing out as it does to some of the more interesting entries - at least in the mind of its original author:

First night the Novara in - 191
Novara Ball - My Ball - 210
The night of the Kirchners - 240
Going to visit the Novara - 220
The night at Gertrude's - 229
The Docking of the Elk - 268
The Elk's Picnic - 275
Going on board the Elk
Anniversary day - 311
Trip to Manly Beach -290
The Grand Cricket Match - 300"

The following extract (from pages 190-252) covers the period Wednesday, 3 November to Tuesday, 7 December 1858, roughly coinciding with the Novara's visit to Sydney. Diary references to the Novara begin on 15 November. Miss Mann's account is in many ways similar to that of her friend Blanche Mitchell. Both girls, being good friends and recently related (Minnie's uncle Frederick Mann had married Blanche's sister during 1857), shared the festivities associated with the visit. Both accounts describe the mundanities of female adolescent life in Sydney at the time, and reveal to us the excitement of the visit of the Austrian warship. There was much to be written about! 

The Diary

November

Wednesday 3rd

Folled the example of yesterday.

Thursday 4th

After breakfast I put Kerly to sleep and I then sat down to work till dinner time. After dinner played, read and worked. After tea I wrote to Dudly. Freddy came home from Singleton yesterday.

Friday 5th

The house has been topsy turvy all the day getting a thorough cleaning. I gave Kate her music lesson and then mended my dress. After lunch I heard Katie read and then made Herbert dinner. After our own dinner I took Herbert, played and read.

Monday 15th

We are in a great state of preparations today for last Thursday the Austrian Man of War "Novara" went into Dock and this morning Papa invited some of the Officers over this evening. He asked the Deloctles yesterday. This morning we frantically sent off for the Mitchells so I hope they will come - and so they did. The Officers came at seven o'clock. They were "Count Kielmansegge", "Maurice Monfroni de Montfort", Count Alexy Carlomau", Prince "Kaiwde", The Pole (I do not know his name). We had coffee and tea brought in and handed round. About 8 o'clock the Deloctles came and we pushed aside the tables and danced till eleven o'clock after which we had supper and the Officers went away. It was a most delightful evening. I had the honour of dancing with the Prince. It was very late when he went. Asking Blanche about the Pole who she had been talking to all the evening.

Tuesday 16th

After breakfast Papa took us over to the Island to see the Novara in Dock. Really it is the most magnificent vessel. Some of the officers came and showed us over the ship. It is a splendid vessel and a ..... of Luscosites. In it among others thing we discovered a beautiful little Gondola and the Captain very kindly offered to take us out in the evening in it. So about one o'clock over came Captain Baron Pock with a strange officer who was introduced to us as Baron Walterskirchen. So when they came early then Mama invited them over again in the evening. They came about six o'clock and nearly all different officers to what there were last night, namely Captain von Pock, Monfroni de Montfort, Baron Walterskerchen, Macheschano a little Midshipman, but best of all they brought their beautiful Germanic band. I danced with them all and they dance extremely well especially Walterskirchen and he dances most beautifully. He is very nice looking indeed - in fact none of them look like foreigners. When they all left we agreed that they were the nicest officers we had ever seen, so gentlemanly and polite in everything.

Wednesday [17th]

The two Alices went to Craigend today as Alice and Blanche are going to Theresa Cope's wedding. I did nothing particular all day.

Thursday [18th]

After breakfast I set to work at a bead marker and did several other things before evening.

Friday [19th]

Wrote to Alice today to tell her where to be down at the boat when Papa came home. He had a note from her saying she would be down tomorrow at one o'clock.

Saturday [20th]

Papa invited the officers over here again for Monday evening so that he expected Alice and Blanche over here again.

Maria and I went into town to get a dress fitted on for me for we are daily expecting an invitation from the Novara officers to a ball, for they have been talking about it. Blanche also ordered her ball dress. I hope we shall not be disappointed. When we came to the office we found the girls visiting and then arrived home about 6 o'clock.

Sunday 21st

Only the two Alices went to Church. I staid at home with Blanche. After breakfast we had prayers. They came home about two o'clock and we had dinner after which we went out in the boat for a row. After tea we read prayers and went to bed.

Monday 22nd

I woke up this morning with a very severe headache and was dreadfully frightened that I should not be able to dance tonight but when evening was come I was much better. We were all dressed at 7 o'clock ready to receive our visitors. We were afraid that they would not come but we were agreeably disapointed for presently we saw the glimmer of a lantern up the road, so we immediately ran see and set ourselves down very soberly and presently in they walked, Count Keilmansegge first followed by a number of strange officers. At ..... we were very glad to see Baron Walterskerchen and I quite forgot to mention Blanches Pole. After they had been here for some few minutes Papa pushed aside the tables and struck up a dance. While Mama played we were sadly in want of Ladies. The officers said that if their best bandsmen had not been taken ill they would have brought them over with them.

All went on merrily when ..... was asked to sing. They said no, so one little man called out it is always "Och ya! Och neine!" He has gone by that name ever since. Alice and I sang "Hearts and Flowers". We then went on dancing. Every one wanted to dance with Baron Walterskerchen because he dances so very beautifully. In all my life I never danced with any one that that danced so well. He is also very good looking. Captain Baron Pock dances beautifully also. They left at 1/2 past eleven and we all declared that we had never spent a pleasanter evening. They were all so jealous because I danced often with Baron Walterskirchen. We went to bed about twelve o'clock.

Thursday 23rd

I had to go into town today to have my dress fitted on. Blanche came in with me. We did a great deal of shopping and came home about six o'clock.

Wednesday [24th]

We all got up very early this morning for we saw the Washington steamer come up to tow the "Novara" away. So we dressed ourselves very hurriedly and ran out to the point and we had a beautiful view of her. We saw Count Keilmansegge very plainly and a number of the officers were seen through the port holes. After seeing the Novara quite out of sight we returned and had breakfast. The Mitchells wanted to go home but we would not let them.

As it was so hot Mama, Mrs Finch and three of [the] Children all went to spend the day at Gertrude. The day turned out to be one of those scorching days that often occur in this Country. The heat was so great that we could not pass from one room to another. We passed the day as well as we could. Mama came home about seven o'clock. In the evening after tea a delightful southerly gale sprang up and we sat on the verandah to cool ourselves. Papa says he will invite the officers over here next Wednesday. The Mitchells will come and meet us at the band.

Thursday 25th

The Mitchells are going away today at eleven o'clock. In the meantime we employed ourselves dancing the Varsu....... and succeeded beautifully. The Mitchells left at 12 o'clock. We were very sorry that they went. I cut out a dress for Ina Drew and worked till 6 o'clock. After tea I sat down to write my journal.

Friday 26

Mama and I had to go into town today to get Mama's dress fitted on to go to Mrs Day's luncheon party tomorrow. We went in early with Papa and Alice to Mrs Kay's the dressmaker. After that we went into town intending to do some shopping where we met the Moriartys and they asked us if we were going to the "Novara" Ball. We said that we were and asked them if they knew when it was going to be. They said the invitations had been issued for Monday. As we did not go into the office we did not know anything about it so Mama thought she had better go out to the Mitchells at once and tell them so as to have Blanches dress done in time.

When we reached their house everyone was out but Mama found a letter from Alice to say that they had got their invitations and started off immediately for the dressmakers. When we prepared to depart we met Alice and Blanche coming up the street first as we were going down and they were in the highest spirits imaginable and so was I in fact I did not know what to do with myself. After saying good bye to the Mitchells Mama said she would go over to the North Shore to see Mrs Whitton.

We first called at Papas office and found our invitations there. We then got onto the Ferry and reached Mrs Whitton's by 4 o'clock. We were greatly disappointed to find that she was not at home. She came in about two hours after very vexed that she had not been at home. We went in and had some dinner. Whilst thus employed Papa and Uncle Drew came in. We left Mrs Whitton's soon after and arrived home by 7 o'clock. Alice was delighted to hear of the invitation. I went to bed soon after as I was very tired.

Sunday 28th

I did not go to Church today. After breakfast read prayers. They came home by two and we had dinner. Went out to walk in the afternoon.

Monday 29th

We were all in a great state of mind this morning when we found it pouring with rainfall - we were in great hopes that it would all clear up by evening but such hopes proved vain for it continued to pour all evening. We did not know what to do but were in great hopes that the Commander would postphone the ball for the following evening.

{Last Saturday Papa said that he had been on board the Novara and that the Commodore said he would come down to us on Monday morning and take up out in the "Gondola" but Mama did not like going out the morning off the ball so put it off till the following morning when it turned out that the Commodore could not come either as he was engaged, so we lost our trip}.

About four o'clock up came an officer of HMS "Victoria" to say that he had been on board the Novara in the morning and that he promised them to tell us that the ball was put off till tomorrow. This was a great ease to our minds. He described the scenes on board the Novara this morning. He said the flags were all up the deck full of water wreathes of flowers swimming down it and Herr Monfroni de Montfort laughing heartily at the ...... This officer left us in an hours time. I was in a great state of all the evening about the ball, when Papa came home he said that circulars had been issued putting it off.

Tuesday 30th

I do not know what to do with myself today. It has turned out such a beautiful day too. We received a note from Alice Mitchell to say that she and Blanche would be down at Papa's office by seven o'clock. We went into town exactly by six. Whilst in the middle of dressing in walked the two Mitchells. They helped us to lace up and other things. Blanche looked extremely nice. She wore white Tartalace with three skirts and a long blue sash thrown across one shoulder and fastened under the arm in a large bow. It had a very pretty effect. I wore white Tartalace with three skirts and 3 tucks in each skirt white pleated bertice with flowers down the front and flowers to match in my hair.

The Austrians had a large steamer to convey the guests backwards and forwards from the ship. So we went down to the steamer. The steamer waited a few moments and then moved off from shore. There was a band on board. This was Blanches and my first ball and we determined that we would not dance with a single civilian.

When we neared the ship it presented a very pretty sight. It looked like as if it had been illuminated. The ladder that the ladies had to get up was hung with lamps. When we reached the top Herr Kerluear took me and several other officers took the others and brought us to a large staircase covered with flags and lit up and guarded by two armed sentinels. Then we were conducted to the ladies dressing room. When we came out we found Papa and a number of officers waiting to take us upstairs. When we reached the top it looked more like fairy land than anything real for all down the centre of the Deck there were beautiful grottoes surrounded by ferns most beautifully arranged, then at one end was [a] beautiful playing fountain. There the chandeliers were most beautiful and original, formed of Bayonets with the points downwards and the tapers fixed on the handles. The blades glittered in the light and therefore provided a magnificent effect.

When directly we came on deck we engaged band 8 deep. They had two bands to relieve each other and certainly they played to perfection. Le Baron Richard Walterskirchen asked me to dance and I was so very sorry that my card was full. The names of all my partners that night were Le Prince Eugene de Wrede, Marquie Marearchy, Herr Kaluear, Count Keilmansegge, Le Baron Francis Cordon, Herr Monfroni de Montfort, Herr Natti, Herr Seuisey de Seuise, Le Baron August de Serbaneck. I did not miss one dance that night. The supper was most magnificent. We were very sorry to go away.

Mr Woods of HMS Victoria took us in his large boat. We landed Doctor Lawrence and Doctor Browny on board HMS Iris then Mr Cary on Dawes Point and then Herr Winward found when we came home the sun was up I did not go to bed. Some of the offices were coming tonight. The other girls lay down and I am commencing another day and putting it all in one.

December 1st

After breakfast we commenced preparing for the evening. We were in hopes that Baron Walterskirchen would come because he is such a nice person and dances so exquisitely. There is another very nice officer Herr Natti. He is a Midshipman Gertrude admires him very much because he has such a bright happy face. Gertrude calls him her bright eyed boy.

When it was evening we dressed ourselves when in came Mr Woods and the Deloctles. The Novara's had not yet come and it was getting late. We were afraid that they were not coming but presently we were delighted to see their boat coming up to the wharf. We were so disappointed to find that Baron Walterskirchen was not among the other officers. There was Count Keilmansegge, Herr Natti, Herr Kaleuar, Herr Meder, Herr Lund. The evening passed off merrily enough and they left here about one o'clock. They were very anxious that we should go on board the Novara tomorrow. When Mr Wood heard it he offered his large boat which was very gratefully accepted. Mr Drew had asked some of the officers to go to his house on Friday night so he said that if we went on board we were to write the ...... ourselves. We were delighted with the idea. I forgot to mention that Fanny and Lucy and Marlene Finch came down from Parramatta today and of course were at our party. This is the first time they have ever seen the officers and they liked them very much.

December 2nd Thursday

Alice and Blanche were obliged to go to town today so that we arranged to meet them at the Circular Quay. About 3 o'clock Mr Woods came over to say that as the Victoria was going out of Dock we could go down the harbour in her. We were delighted with the idea. Mr Woods had two gigs waiting for us when we reached the Island. We went on board the Victoria and went out of Dock in her. We steamed down the harbour. The decks were beautifully white and Mr Woods asked me if it would be a nice place to have a gallope. We all agree that it would be. When we were half way down we saw papa and the Mitchells sailing up. Mr Woods beckoned to them to come into the gig that was coming behind.

The Victoria anchored at Farm Cove and there waited for papa. When papa came on board we all went down stairs and drank champagne to the health of the "Victoria" after which Mr Woods had the large pinnace manned. We then went east and made for the "Novara". There was a very large party of us - the two Miss Mitchells the two Miss Finches, Alice, Fanny, and myself . When we reached the frigate the Finches faces were opposite the vessel and Herr Monfroni de Montfort, who was leaning over the side of the wier, saw the Miss Finches before, thought it was a whole party of strangers so he merely bowed but after looking some time he discovered who we were he immediately rushed down the ladder exclaiming, "Pardon, I do beg Pardon. I did not know it was you."

We then went up and were shown into the Captain's Cabin. Baron Walterskirchen took us out in the Verandah to show us the monkeys. After that we went down stairs and were shown all over the ship to the Commodores cabin and to the officers cabins; also when we [were] down stairs we all drank to the health of the "Novara" which I did with a hearty good smile for I do think it is the nicest vessel that ever came in to Sydney.

They showed us the portrait of their Emperor and Empress also of their Commander in Chief Arch duke Max. Whilst inspecting all the rooms they took us to the Midshipmen's mess room and there found Prince Wrede alone taking tea. He did not seem at all put out by such a number coming on him all of a sudden but he immediately skattered up a plate of biscuits and handed them round. Then seeing that some one wanted a light he took up both candles forgetting that he had a biscuit in his mouth but seeing us all laugh he turned his head and dropped the biscuit. He is an exceedingly nice little fellow. After we had seen everything that was to be seen down below we prepared to ascend to the next Deck. Baron Walterskirchen brought out two pets of his to show us (Native foxes) Whilst admiring these the band struck up a Polka and to my astonishment up came Herr Natti to ask me to dance it with him. I did not like to at first and Walterskirchen said "No No" to Herr Natti, but when I turned round and saw all the rest capering away I went also with Herr Natti. I soon saw that Baron Walterskirchen had followed my example and asked Alice to do likewise. All this time Mama did not know what was going on as she had gone up on Deck to go away, but when she came down to look for us and saw us all dancing in broad daylight her astonishment was worth witnessing, but as all pleasures must end our delightful polka did, leaving us dreadfully hot. We were all soon supplied with fans and lemonade to cool ourselves. The Officers were very anxious for another dance but as it was getting late Mama would not give her consent, so that we had to commence taking our Adieus, when Monfroni de Montfort was missed, but soon appeared bringing with him an immense umbrella which he presented to me for a remembrance.

When we were fairly in the boat and about a dozen yards from the vessel they made their band strike up "God save the Queen" so that Mr Woods ordered his men to toss oars. We all stood up in respect to her Majesty and thus was a most loyal sight. The officers all rushed to the Poop to see us depart. We talked a great deal of nonsense going home. Mr Woods did not say anything but he appeared very much amused. When we came to our Wharf Mama asked Mr Woods to come up and drink tea with us but he refused as he was obliged to be on board early. At all events we would see him the next night, for he is going to bring his large boat to take us down to Gertrude.

3rd Friday

We were all very busy in the morning preparing our dresses. After dinner Marcia Finch commenced plaiting Fanny's and my hair for she does it most beautifully. She commenced early as it takes some time doing. We were delighted when it was time to commence dressing. We were all dressed and down stairs at seven o'clock, when Mr Woods was to come for us, but he did not come for some time after, and papa had not come home, so that we were in a fix because and just decided setting off without him, when he came. We dressed in a very short time but it was perfectly dark when we were safely stowed in the boat. We sailed as far as the Barney Point. It was then eight o'clock and we were quite sure that Gertrude had given us up. We pictured her to ourselves in a dreadful state of mind. With half a dozen officers, and we young ladies, it was dreadfully dark. The only guide we had to Gertrude's was the very bright light from her drawing room.

When we reached the Wharf, two or three officers rushed down to meet us. They seemed so relieved by our coming. We had to pass through the room before we got to Gertrude dressing room. We did not stay there long but were soon seated in the drawing room. After taking a little coffee and cake Gertrude sat down and played and Herr Natti asked me for that dance. It was a very merry evening, made merrier by the presence of Herr Monfroni de Montfort who towards the end of the evening became very excited so as to raise his voice to a very high and rather hoarse pitch. When in dancing the Cattelie he took all the arrangements upon himself. It was very amusing to have him give his directions in something the same tone as he would to the men on board, calling to top of his voice "Promenade des dances", but he played us all a trick for he ordered all the Ladies to join hands and to form a circle for the Gentlemen to promenade in and out of ...... of which he very quietly walked into the supper room. When our time came we tried to play them the same trick but they were up to us and would not let us out. We succeeded at last and were safely seated in the supper room without any gentlemen. Some one commenced talking about Monfroni de Montfort when on turning round we saw him on all fours inside the door. This set us all off laughing, but put Gertrude in a very great fright for she took it into her head that he was mad, but when we asked him what he heard us say he would not tell us. If I had had another opportunity of seeing him again I would have asked him.

At all events he left the room soon after to ourselves. We were proposing healths when Alice Mitchell proposed the health of Herr Monfroni de Montfort, when to our surprise up he jumped. We could not make out how he came in for the window was shut and so was the door. He must have come in quietly and shut the window after him. He then stood up and made a speech thanking us all for our hospitality. After supper as the last dance they all called out for (Sir Koqu de Courly) I sat down to play it and presently up came Monfroni who kept putting his hands on the piano and prevented me from playing so that I gave it up to Alice but she soon shared the same fate for he sat down beside her [and] stretched his arms across the piano saying "That's wundeffle", then turning round to the dancers he said, "I did dat for the Ladies" not for de Gentlemen." It was then three o'clock so we determined upon taking our departure.

{We were each taken down the steps at Gertrude's by an officer. Prince Wrede took Alice. When he got half way down, he turned round and said, "I must take another look at these steps for I will never see them again." "Oh you will be able to see them from the ship", said Alice. "Perhaps I might", he said, "but I shall never see any of you or them again." Then during the night he went and told Alice that he knew how all of us Ladies got together and talked about them after they went away.}

The officers handed us into their boat, Monfroni telling us that he would come to dance with us on Sunday at one, two, three, 4 or 5 o'clock. Whether we were to wait for him or meet him I don't know. Our boat and the Novara boat pushed off from shore together. We sang all the way to the point and when we were saying good bye Monfroni made his men toss oars. Mr Woods made his men return the compliment, then after three good cheers from each boat we parted. All the way home Mr Woods was teasing us about the Austrians.

I have not yet mentioned the misfortune that befel him at Gertrude. While dancing a quadrelle on the verandah he looked round and found that all the Gentlemen in it were Austrians. He threw his hands up in the air, fell back right through the curtains that had been put up to close in the verandah, on to Gertrude flowerbeds. This of course raised a laugh at his expense. It was quite light when we reached home.

Saturday 4th

We persuaded Alice and Blanche to stay today to help to entertain Herr Monfroni de Montfort tomorrow.

Sunday 5th

They all went to Church except Lucy Finch and I. We did not read prayers till very late whilst in the midst of which in came the party from Church. When we had finished we were told that a Novara boat was at the Wharf with Herr Monfroni in it. On looking out we saw his sailors rolling a large cask up the hill. This excited our greatest curiosity to know what could be in it, so that when Monfroni was fairly seated in the drawing room we all went out to examine it. Monfroni afterwards told us that it was a keg of Tobacco for the men at Cockatoo Island. They also presented a handsown Gold Wallet to Mr Broderick. That was doing the thing handsomely. After dinner we went out to walk Mama then told Monfroni to invite all the officers he knew over tomorrow evening provided the "Novara was not out. He promised to do so. He left soon after tea.

Monday 6th

We were very busy all the morning preparing for our company. Every thing was in the greatest confusion. Alice on her knees with a hammer nailing up some rents in the carpet, I half laying down with Alice Mitchell on the top of me, the ground covered with books. Altogether it presented a tidy spectacle. When Lucy Finch exclaimed, "There is an officer coming up the steps." We did not believe her as we are a way pretending that there are some officers coming, but this time it was only too true for in came Herr Meder - of course there was a sudden rush out of the room for we had no wish to be caught in the very elegant positions we were then in, but presently we reappeared accompanied by Mama. Herr Meder gave us one of his stiffest bows and we all sat down while Herr Meder said that the Captain had sent him to say that he was very sorry indeed that none of the officers could come to us tonight as the Commodore had said that he had accepted an invitation for them to the Austrian Consul's for the evening. he said all the officers had sent their cards which he then gave us. He then said good bye, or rather gave us one of his stiff bows and departed. We thought for good, but such was not the case for while we were all mulling round Mama looking at the cards, in he came again, with a handkerchief of Papa's that had been left on board. We were all dreadfully disapointed to hear that they were not coming for we did not [know] when we should meet all again or say good bye [to] them. I know we were all in lowest spirits imaginable all the morning and at dinner we said we would walk round to Mrs Whitton's for consolation.

We set off at three. It is a very long walk. When we reached Mrs Whittons we found her very ill indeed so that we did not visit there long. It is well we did not for when we reached home it was quite dark and papa had brought an invitation for us [to] the Austrian Consuls that night. Papa said we could never get ready in time, but we said we would not miss it for anything so we rushed up stairs pressed, irons and trimmed dresses in the shortest time possible. While in the midst of dressing in came Herr Meder for he was to take us there in a large "Novara" boat. We were a very short time dressing, yet it was quite dark when we were on the water.

The boat went right up to the "Novara" and took off two officers who were waiting to see if we were going as they said that if we were not they would not also for they called out to know if the ladies were in boat before it came alongside. Then we made straight for Darling Point. The Kirchners house looked very pretty from the water. Just as we landed they were playing La Silloise Polka Kayurka. Herr Natti was waiting for us on wharf so delighted to see us.

When we reached the house we were shown upstairs into a very handsome bed room. When all ready we descended again to the hall where we found a whole group of officers waiting for us to take us in. Mama and papa going first and each of us following with an officer. The Drawing Room is splendidly furnished and very nice for dancing in. Mrs Kirchner is exceeding Lady like looking. I danced with every one of the officers except Herr Knonenwette (och ya och nein). I saw the Commodore for the first time. He is very handsome. Captain Baron Pock is also very handsome and dances most beautifully. I danced with him also with Baron Walterskirchen who looked so handsome - he has such beautiful eyes and such a sweet expression when he smiles. Herr Natti too has a very amiable expression but he is always smiling whether he understands a thing or no he always says "Oh yes?" in such a quick way. He is a very nice person.

When going away all the officers came to see us off and take us down to the boat. We said good bye [to] them before that in the ball room, and poor Baron Walterskirchen's face looked so I did not like to look at him. We told them that evening that they all ought run the ship on a coral reef. Monfroni de Montfort said, "He would do his best to run on a coral reef. If de coral reef did run away from him, he would run after de coral reef, den he would send to Sydney for de Washington, and den they would go puf puf puf up to de Dock." Baron Walterskirchen said he supposed we only wished for a small hole just to come back to Dock.

Baron Walterskirchen took me down to the boat. Herr Meder took Blanche, Herr Monfroni de Montfort took Mama, Herr Natti took Fanny, and some other officers took the rest. Herr Meder and Natti came in the boat with us after many hearty shakes of the hand and ...... given. We got in the boat. Just as it pushed off from shore, Baron Walterskirchen, Herr Monfroni de Montfort and Herr Kaluiar took of their caps, bowed, and said "Dieu vous becussh". We thought it so truly kind and good hearted of them we all felt very very sorry to be taking farewell of them, perhaps for ever.

It was rather a dark night and we had a lantern in the boat. Herr Natti was sitting at the bows of the boat when we first came in but we called him down to our part of the boat. Le Baron ..... came over in the boat with us. Poor Prince Wrede could not go to the ball because he was on duty. All the way he kept asking us for remembrances. He took my flowers that I had in my hair and something from all the others. Then Herr Meder said that Baron Walterskirchen had told him to ask for remembrances. We all sent something to him. When we came to our Wharf Herr Natti walked up with me and Herr Meder with Blanche, leaving all the others to fish for themselves. I was just commencing down when he came up. He walked about the garden picking flowers to give them all. I sent a bouquet of Heartsease's and Mignolette to Baron Walterskirchen. I wanted to send some to them all but Herr Natti could not wait. He then said good bye to us all three or four times then we all went up stairs feeling dreadfully lonely.

Tuesday 7th

Directly after breakfast Blanche and I went over to Mrs Wells to see if we could get some flowers. I worked a great part of the day and Blanche and Alice worked and read.


Index | Ship History | Scherzer Diary | Expedition Narrative | Sydney | Selleny | Bibliography | Novara Expedition
Hochstetter I | Blanche Mitchell Diary | Minnie Mann Diary | Hochstetter II | FitzRoy Dock | Scherzer in Sydney
Frauenfeld Diary | Incident at Sikyana | Sydney Chronology | Appendicies
| Lissa 1866 | Ferdinand Maximillian

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