June 6th 1877
My Darling Eugénie,
I have been amusing myself this evening by copying out a little poetry for you which I hope you will like, though probably some of the pieces will be familiar, anyway it is a pleasure for me to do it, or anything else, for you, my dear girl.
Perhaps you may be interested to know that once upon a time I tried very hard to get a printed copy of the lines “Forget thee!” to send with your handkerchief, for I have seen them sold as a valentine, however I was unable, and could not write them out as you would have known my writing, and you know – don’t smile dearest – the valentine was sent anonymously! The lines by Byron “The parting of Conrad & Medora” are, I consider, magnificent but I expect you have read “the Corsair” in which they occur. I rather imagine you will like the “Holly Bough” it is certainly a very pretty little lyric.
The concluding lines (Byron) I inserted partly to fill up space and chiefly because in writing them out I felt a peculiar pleasure in dwelling upon them and thinking of my own darling Eugénie!
I am so sorry to hear that there has been some dis-agreement between Tom & Gus, can it not be mended? you may rely upon it that such unpleasant news will not go beyond me and I like you so much to confide all your troubles, great or small, to me, shall it not ever be thus my own? ours shall not be a companionship merely in name but a true union of loving hearts whom only desire is to share in each other's joys & sorrows alike, I often think, darling, when we are married, how sweet it will be for me to have a dear affectionate wife in whom I can confide everything, I know, Eugénie, you will be all that to me, and I always pray, dearest one, that I may be enabled to bestow all that loving care upon you that I now so desire to do, and indeed, darling, since you have given me your dear love and confidence your happiness ought to be, and shall be, my chiefest object to attain.
And now being late, and having to rise early to-morrow, I must desist and try to add a little to my letter in the morning before post time.
Thursday 10A.M. June 7th
I was very pleased to hear from George this morning that he had just been appointed chief officer of “the Somersetshire” she is about the finest vessel in Messrs Wigram’s fleet and leaves the docks for Melbourne on 26th inst, I hope in the course of a voyage or two he will get a command as I believe he is now senior to all and will in all probability get the first vacant appointment; “the Somersetshire” is due home again in November I think so perhaps, darling, George will be home for our wedding, I should so much like him to be there, fancy your having received your first present in anticipation of that event! I was so pleased to hear it for somehow it seemed to bring that happy time nearer when, Eugénie, you will be indeed for ever all my own!
When I come over I will bring the photo (it always travels with me) and compare it with one of the lighter ones to see which I like best.
I am so glad Papa has talked over his future plans with you for now I think your mind will be easier about him and I know you have thought a great deal about leaving him.
I am very busy just now with my garden, I have had a man at work all the week, my roses are now growing fast but they will be very late, certainly not in full bloom before the middle of July at the earliest, my gladioli are coming up well and I quite hope to have them better than ever; I expect I shall have considerable trouble in getting the garden belonging to our new home in order for it has been much neglected, but then it will be such a pleasure to me getting that home ready for I shall feel that I am doing it all to try and make my own darling Eugénie happy and comfortable.
So you think you spoil me rather? well, if little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness in doing what you know will make me happy, dearest, constitute spoiling, then, I hope you will always spoil me, and, believe me, I shall always appreciate all such little actions which after all constitute half the charm of life.
And now I must close, or perhaps I shall write too much and weary you! shall I darling?
Good-bye, God bless you, and together with you
Your own true loving