July 1st 1877
My Darling Eugénie,
I have just come in from a stroll after church this lovely evening and will finish up a quiet day with writing to you – always a pleasurable task, dear girl.
It was so kind of you to answer my last letter by return of post for I seemed very anxious to hear, and your dear affectionate letter gave me great happiness.
Mr Mitchell is away so I have been pretty much alone and have had you almost continuously in my thoughts all day, indeed yesterday and to-day my mind has gone back very much a week ago when , my love, we were together and when, I like to think, we read our mutual love not less in our looks than in our words, oh, my darling, the remembrance of those hours is sweet indeed to me, did I indeed make you feel happy? not happier, Eugénie, than you made me, that were impossible.
I wrote to my mother & to Charlotte the other day telling them of my visit, I sent the latter one of your photos, the dark one, for upon second thoughts I liked the light one better, I suppose next time you write I may expect to have our new ones, I am looking forward to the pleasure of receiving yours, dear.
My roses are opening fast at length, I think I may send a few to the Grand National Show in London on Wednesday and also to Oxford on Friday I cannot say I expect to take a prize at either place for the competition, especially in London, will be very great and the time is rather early for me, I brought two lovely blooms in to-day and placed them in specimen glasses one each side of your portrait, I shall like this summer to place my choicest flowers there, it will seem something like offering them to you darling! how I wish that I could send, or rather bring – ah, me – a bouquet for you every day!
I have looked up all the photographs, ancient & modern, that I possess of myself and enclose them herewith, you will see the year marked on when taken, I like you to have them, darling, for they are surely yours by right.
This afternoon I called at the old Bliss’s and as Mr B was out had four ladies all to myself, viz Mrs Bliss, and her daughters, Mrs Burrows, & Mrs Scott, and Mrs William Bliss who was there for the day in her husband’s absence, Mrs Bliss, whom I seldom see, took the opportunity of congratulating me on my engagement, as did, also Mrs Scott who is there on a visit, it is pleasant to be congratulated on such an event by those who really mean what they say.
Yesterday I went down to the Rawlinsons about five o’clock had a game or two of croquet and stopped to dinner, of course I got a little joked about my Paris trip.
So you enjoyed reading Eugénie? she ought to have married Gaston I think, he was a cousin too! I thought you would like the chapter I pointed out in “Character” (though for the matter of that the whole book is worth reading) the sentiment is good & healthful, I can but re-echo your wish, dearest one, and indeed it is my earnest desire to be to you, darling Eugénie, all that a good husband should be to the wife of his bosom, I should be unworthy indeed were I not to cherish ever more and more all the sweet love and confidence you have so freely given me.
I felt the pleasure in writing the name of a new month at the top of my letter for it seemed one more step towards our wedding month, ah, my darling, I can never be quite happy till we enter upon that sweet companionship, for while our lot is to be apart there must always be a strong longing which nought but your dear presence can satisfy.
Your own true lover
Kind remembrances to all, not forgetting Martha who was thoughtful about our drive.