60 Rue des Drapiers, Brussels
21st Nov 1882
My dear Eugénie,
I was very glad to get your letter of the 19th & to find that you are all going on well. I am glad Julius has been fairly satisfied with business this year although hops have been against him. They do seem to have risen very much, here the crop has been bad. I suppose it has been much the same in England.
We are gradually getting settled, but it is a very long job & I dare say when we feel more at home in Brussels we shall like it. It is a nice place, but we have had wretched weather since we have been here & of course have no particular friends yet – although a good many people have called. Hubert is now quite well again & goes to a school kept by an English clergyman here. They are pleased with his progress. He is much younger than his school fellows, the youngest being nine & Hubert only just seven.
I have not been about much yet, only to Antwerp & to Lille. I had to go to Paris the other day again for few hours. I do not yet at all know how things will turn out there. Ned’s estate will produce practically nothing & the partner is trying naturally to get everything into his own hands. Owing to the impossibility of paying him out, it is very possible he may succeed in ousting Father, of course Gus and Joe too. The partner has a great deal to complain of, but he is not a very nice man & he and Joe are at daggers drawn. Both Fred Robinson & myself are doing for them, which so far does not amount to much, we shall both lose money by this business. Things have gone so far it is almost impossible to get things right again. It could be done by cordial cooperation, but that is just what is wanting. Father bears up wonderfully & I think is well looked after, but it is very sad for him at his age.
We do not know yet whether Walter’s children have any money, most likely not for Walter’s business had been going on very badly in Japan lately & probably worry about that helped to kill him. All together it is a somewhat melancholy prospect. We must hope that the New Year will bring a change for the better.
Our baby is very fat & well. Ethel has grown very much & improved wonderfully. She is quite a girl now. She will probably have a very nice voice. Hubert too can sing now very fairly.
I shall probably be more than once a year in England now & whenever I have time will try & run down & see you.
With much love from us both to you & Julius & kisses to the children.
Yr Affte Brother