Captain George Duff

Born 1764
Died in command of H M S Mars 21st October 1805


To his wife


November 8 [, 1804]

We have a cold blowing day, and it looks like a gale of wind.  However, we have a good comfortable ship under foot.  I should not have liked to have been sent here before she was docked, as, from her bad working and sailing, she was not safe oin a lee shore.         


November 9 [, 1804]

You cannot imagine how gay we are tonight.  About a week ago I received a petition from the gentlemen of the cockpit, requesting to be allowed to perform the tragedy of Douglas, with the pantomime of Harlequin and the Miller; and last night a ticket was sent to me, with a bill of the play.  The performance to commence at 5 o'clock.  What think you of these fine doings?  It is an innocent amusement, mucxh better than being idel and drinking..        


November 10 [, 1804]

This is a proper gloomy November day, but not much wind.  I went to the theatre last night, and I can assure you it was no bad performance.  Between the play and the farce we had a most excellent Irish song, from one of the sailors.  The music indeed was very good, and the entertainment for the night concluded with God save the King.   The whole was over a quarter before eight o'clock.  They had several scenes not badly painted.  The ladies' dresses were not very fine, but did credit to their invention.  Lady Randolph was all in black, made out of silk handkerchiefs; and I beleive Anne's dress was made of sheets: but upon the whole they looked remarkably well.           


November 11 [, 1804]

Just going to bed. We have had a very rolling day, and blowing a gale, but I think it is now going off.  As yet I have not benefitted much from my Parson; for every Sunday except one, since he joined, we have had a gale of wind, and could not have prayers.    


November 17 [, 1804]

We have had two very fine days.  Yesterday I went on board the Admiral, and met Gardner and Jervis.  The former pressed us to stay, and we all dined him.   Jervis, who is the last from the fleet off Brest, says we are to be relieved every six or seven weeks.  


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Updated at  19:10 on 12 March 2008