My own dearest Eugénie,
The receipt of your good kind letter this morning was a great pleasure to me for I am afraid yesterday afternoon I felt a slight sense of disappointment when post time went by and nothing came to hand, however it was only momentary for I felt sure my darling girl would not fail to write soon and I think perhaps the letter ought to have turned up yesterday at the time I expected.
I have received such real kind letters from Polly & Fred Robinson, in writing back I took occasion to thank the former for a very pleasant day at the Westminster Aquarium! Polly is going to take the baby and the other children to Ramsgate on 5th proximo, to their old quarters, for Dr West advises a change for baby, but Polly wishes you to understand that he does not think badly of her but considers a change may be beneficial.
I am glad you like your new apartment so well and that you had so good a time for moving, the weather is very cold here, such a cutting wind. I can fancy Paris looks well now, should like to have a peep at it and a little time, were it ever so short, with “somebody” residing there! but I must make myself content for a little and put up with paper correspondence, I am so glad to know my letters make you happy, I am afraid sometimes you will think them dull, though I hope never cold, but indeed I wish them to convey all the love and affection that my heart longs to bestow upon its own Eugénie.
When next I write I hope to be able to tell you something definite about our future home, that home, my darling, so dear to me in prospect, interwoven as it is with one fair image, my own bright guardian angel! Yes, I think I can understand somewhat your feeling of the dream-like character of our engagement, I have felt it to a certain extent myself, but only in the sense that such a delicious fact was too good to be true. Oh! Eugénie, the knowledge that I have gained the full love and confidence of her whom I hold dearest of all on earth – is it not so my darling? – makes me a far happier man than I ever was before, aye, and I would fair hope a better man too; and I am sure that man must be cold and dead indeed who does not feel all his better and holier impulses stirred under the influence of a true woman’s affection.
It was nice of you to read over the two pieces from Longfellow again and to think of me while doing so, the other day I took up a book and read over some of my favourite passages, and I thought then how much I should like to read them out to you, and then I sat and pictured your face before me and could in fancy – and a real sort of fancy too – see you looking up and smiling as you agreed with me in the beauty of some fine passage!
Mr Mitchell returned yesterday, he has recovered from the first shock now, and I manage to keep him cheerful, to-night I am going to dine at the Rawlinsons and they asked him to come too, if he liked, so he is going, as I advised him, for it is only in a quiet way with one or two others and I thought the change would do him good.
I shall post this letter before noon to-morrow as you will then receive it on Friday morning but I shall generally manage to write over-night as I am busier in the morning.
I am afraid this is rather a disjointed sort of letter, with little or no real news, but I hope you will feel pleasure in reading it for all that. It seems a little hard sometimes that we should be so far apart, and sometimes I think I would give anything to take my own darling Eugénie to my heart, and steal, “A long, long, kiss, a kiss of youth and love”.
You will I am sure take the will for the deed, and ever confide in the true affection of yours for ever