My Darling Eugénie,
Although I am feeling rather sleepy after my travels I cannot let the evening pass without sitting down to write and thank you, a thousand times, for your dear, kind, affectionate letter, it arrived 3 or 4 hours after I returned, as I thought it would – sanguine you see – and it seemed to me, somehow, like a welcome home and made me think of the sweet time that is coming when my own Eugénie will, I know, always receive me with a loving welcome, I have often felt the utter vacancy of a home in which there dwelt no kindred spirit tinging all around with a calm womanly influence, and sometimes it seems to me almost too great a happiness, to be a reality, to feel that you are indeed content to trust me all in all as I know you did from the moment you bid me hope to call you “wife”.
And now without further digression let me try and tell you a little about my trip. I left here on Saturday about 1 o’clock but owing to the press of traffic missed my train (and George) by two or three minutes at Cannon Street, I felt very vexed for a few minutes for I had to wait an hour or more, and crawl down by the last train and thus reached Sandwich about 11 P.M. instead of 8. I took a fly home and found George waiting up, Charlotte had just gone upstairs not knowing when I might turn up but she soon re-appeared. On Sunday morning Mother (who is much better) went to Church with us all and, darling, if my thoughts wandered often to your side it was in a manner, I trust, prayerful and becoming.
After church we went for a little walk and then back to an early dinner, Frank I must tell you was up he was going “traping” next day and Edith had left with her little tribe for New Cross. Dinner over I went down to Aunt Susan’s wishing to find Grandmamma alone, and so she was, I had a nice long chat with the dear old lady she is really delighted at our engagement and I told her how I hoped it might be a comfort to her to feel that her dear Eugénie was going to marry one who would try always to be good and kind to her, and, do you know, I think she flattered me enough by intimating she hoped and thought that I should do all that; you will be glad to hear she is very well, I consider she fails gradually from old age, and she wished me particularly to send her kind love to you, and through you to all, each one by name, in Paris, she seems to long so for a letter from you so I know the hint will be sufficient.
I must not forget to tell you that Aunt Susan also asked me to give you her love.
Sunday afternoon I went down to the Hall with George and in the evening stayed at home with my Mother. I did not go to Ramsgate on Monday though I should have been pleased enough if I had had one more day but, as it would have taken the whole of one day I felt Mother would have been a little bit disappointed and so I would not entertain the idea, you see, darling, she rather imagined it was my last visit as a bachelor, which is somewhat probable, so I think you will agree I was right.
Polly and Fanny, and possibly Fred, were to come over to Ash to-day and would lunch at our house, however you will probably hear all about their visit from Charlotte who is going to write to you very shortly.
I am so glad you like your book, the marker was not placed in that particular page without design, you do but re-echo my feelings when you say that those lines “express exactly what our idea of love is”.
Will you remember me to the Whitneys before they leave and tell them that we hope to see them in the not very distant future at a certain new house in Oxfordshire.
Looking at the date of this letter reminds me that I have an idea that I shall start for Paris on 22nd proxima arriving in the early morning of Saturday 23rd then, if I stayed till Monday evening, I should have three whole delicious days and should also spend my birthday (25th) – inst not birthday! – with you.
You must please give my love to Papa, I am pleased to hear that he signified his approval of our engagement, to Polly.
And now good night my own darling Eugénie you are a dear good girl to have written me a letter full of such loving confidence, you are already, in every way, making a happier man of
Yours in all deepest affection
All from Ash send kindest love to you.