13 Feb 1879
My dear Eugénie,
We were very glad to get your letter & as you do not seem to have had many particulars, I will tell you how it all happened with dear Arthur.
He felt unwell on Tuesday afternoon the 21st Jan & on Wednesday morning early the Dr came and said it was scarlet fever. We sent the other two off with nurse to a friend’s house which was empty as they were away & altho’ we know the illness was dangerous, it appeared to us to be taking a favourable turn as he was so quiet and did not complain of his throat which often causes much trouble in this illness. The Dr came twice a day & I stayed in the house & came in as much as possible. Florence of course never left him. Thursday he got more and more unconscious & at about two at night his breathing alarmed us as he had a convulsion. I then went off for the Dr again but before I got back our darling boy was gone. He had died quite peacefully, indeed I do not consider that he suffered much in his illness. It was too much for him and he sank under it. He was buried on Saturday 25th Jan and all the English people & many foreigners came to his funeral. The cemetery here is a barren dreary place, but the spot for the English is quite at the end in a quiet part. As soon as the weather admits we shall have a stone put over his grave, that is all one can do here. Flowers or trees would not grow there.
We miss him so much, indeed it has quite changed our life. Nothing can ever make up for his love, though the dear child is now perfectly happy, and indeed we may say, will never have known what sorrow was, for his life on earth was very happy too. Hubert does not mind his being gone & of course Harold is far too young to think of anything.
I am glad your little boy is strong & that Julius feels more comfortable in his business now. It is much better he should have changed. I have my [sh…] too of […] him & would give much to be in something else, but I don’t see any probability of changing yet.
Florence worked very hard at getting the house disinfected & we all came back last Saturday. We are of course still anxiou0s about the children. The […] scarlet fever is very prevalent just now.
The Danube is nearly overflowing & we shall very likely have a bad inundation & it must come now when we live as we […] the high [L…].
I hope you will soon settle down comfortably in your new house & I trust this will find all the family well.
We had a letter from Polly. She does appear to have been very ill. I hope she will get change of air as soon as she is strong enough.
Florence joins me in much love to you both. Kisses to the baby.
Your very affectionate brother
We asked Selena to send you a Memorial card of our darling boy.