I wish I didn’t have such neat handwriting. Half my time inspecting archival documents is spent squinting (in vain) trying to decipher what these long-gone personages have indecorously scrawled all over these official documents. I love the feel of old paper and the deliciously tactile sense of the past one gets from rifling through old correspondence, colonial record minutes etc. But I think part of my incompetence at paleography stems from the fact that my handwriting is really obsessively readable, and I quite misguidedly project (or impose) this inclination on the people and documents I study. I MUST STOP DOING THIS.
That said, I mean…I really cannot read this:
so I gravitate towards printed or typed sources, and in doing so, feel as though I impoverish my craft somewhat. Perhaps I should hang out with more doctors.
PS: if anyone is feeling in a particularly helpful mood, here is what I’ve deciphered so far:
I was speaking to _____ Grant of H.K. He is on board. He says that conditions are very bad in ______ – unfortunately worse than they were. Every other house is a brothel, and _______ _______ men on the ______ are powerless. He does not think that any girl can practice on her own – she must have a sort of Employer & Protector, for otherwise she ______ at the mercy of those she associates with voluntarily. Nor does he agree that the Traffic is less or will [he? be?], though he admits that most are now migrating to [South?] China & Macao & that ______ Point is ______ _______. He is good honest fellow but of course knows the problem in its [limited?] sense – he ______ not _______ the ______ ______. He is ______ 4 Chinese girls in Convents, a form of philanthropy with him, as he was until recently a bachelor….
feel free to step up to the plate if you can fill any one of those blanks 🙂