My Darling Eugénie,
It was so good and thoughtful of you to write to me by return of post for I confess I should have felt a little disappointment if I had not received your letter – the first since our engagement – when I did, as it was the postman was a little late so I walked out and met him and didn’t my heart beat with joy when I saw the looked for writing!
I have received such kind letters from several friends and relatives, my Mother who is still very weak, though I hope somewhat better, sent me a few lines, she says, “your letter gave me great satisfaction – Eugénie was always a favourite of mine”. George tells me, he is delighted to hear of my engagement, “I shall have another very charming sister in law” he says, and you know George never says more than he feels. Charlotte I know you have heard from and she wrote me such a kind sisterly letter “but you could not have knocked me down with a feather with your news for all that, you dear naughty old thing” she writes.
I must keep these letters for my darling to read some day, it was a source of the highest gratification to me to hear that dear old Grandmamma was actually delighted at the news, she sent me a kind message so I wrote to thank her and said how much I hoped she might feel an additional comfort in knowing that her dear Eugénie in the years to come would have the love of one whose only ambition would be to make her happy.
I have also received the warm congratulations of my friends in Chipping Norton.
Yesterday (Sunday) Alfred Hitchman was with me we went to church twice and in the evening had my favourite Easter hymn (114) how I wished my own Eugénie could have been by my side as on the Sunday previous.
I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the ball and that the flowers – of whose fate by the way I do not feel very uncertain – looked nice.
Poor Mitchell went home on Thursday and his return is uncertain I dare say he will be away most of this week, his father leaves a large family, fortunately I believe pretty well provided for, it is a sad loss for this Mother and Sisters of whom I believe there are two or three unmarried.
We continue to have very rainy weather and I have not been able to do any gardening since my return. I hope it may soon clear up.
Next Thursday I am going to have a few friends to dine with me in celebration of the “beginning of the end” of my bachelor life.
I hope soon to come to some arrangement about another house, there are a few difficulties in the way but I trust not insurmountable. I suppose you are in the midst of moving and knowing you to be so busy I must not be selfish in expecting a letter too soon but I think you know how glad I shall always be to hear.
Your first letter made me very very happy it was so sweet to hear my dearest girl was contented with my love.
O Eugénie! I like to feel, and I do feel, that you trust me how can I ever repay you sufficiently for making so much happier, yes, and I trust a better man than I could have been without a love like yours.
And now good bye my darling may you always feel enriched by the love of
Yours ever most affectionately
By posting this letter before noon I think you will receive it, as the other day, next morning.
Next time I must post to the new address.