At other times
July 22, 1868
My dear Alexander,
Not a line from you since our dear Father's death tho' you have been better than Walter for you have written to our Mother, for which I thank you, but she would like to hear from both & so should I. We like to know that across the Atlantic you still remember the dear ones in old England & that our sorrow is yours. Our Father died full [of] years & laid his burden of life down without one regret, so we need not grieve on that account; still nature mourns that old ties are snapped asunder, & it is only the hope of reuniting the broken threads that reconciles us to the breakage. What a reunion that will be! no more parting! no more sea to separate - but all the members of one family rejoicing for ever in one common home. May all our beloved ones meet there!
I send you a photograph of my two youngest sons. I don't think you have had them before. If you have, Walter has not. In that case please hand them to him. Your American newspapers do not equal ours in any way. They are not so well written & they contain such nonsense & some things worse than that. We do not allow in our papers - that is respectable papers, such as come into a family - such advertisements as you allow in yours. I look the papers I get from you over, to see if either of your names is mentioned, or anything marked for me to read & if not I put them into the fire, that the young ones may not see them. If there is anything I wish them to read I cut it out & burn the rest. I should recomment those who have influence to try & purify the papers.
I dined with Fanny last March. Had not seen her for 12 years before. She looks quite the old woman - has lost her teeth & grown wonderfully like her Mother. She still has her nice brown hair without a grey one as far as I could see. Seems very cheerful & bright & lives in a nice little house with a garden, orchard, stables etc. but not too many comforts about her. Their peculiar mode of life does not commend itself to me but they seem contented. They eschew pictures, ornaments & all the superfluities of life, John having consciencious scruples about them, but they have [a] few comforts. Fanny is not a good manager, neither is he. I could not live with them but they seem happy enough. Very nice children. I believe they will do well. Children brought up in straits nearly always do. John's preaching, I hear, is very much valued. I was more pleased with him than ever I have been before. He is not a taking [talking?] man but I think he's a good husband & father as far as he knows how.
Mama is feeling the heat very much. It is an unusually hot summer - no rain for 3 months - everything scorching up - strange to say Mama can bear cold better than heat. She is in comfortable lodgings and I hope will remain there. I intend if all be well to see her in August. I look out over the sea and think - there they are, over that ocean - if I only had a glass strong enough, I could see them - but I can't except in fancy's eye. How I wish I could take a peep at you all & see what you are like!
Give my love to Andrea. I write to Walter by this post so must refer you to them for further news. I & the children are well. Only my husband is poorly from the effects of bronchitis. Indeed it is long since he was well.
With love from all to all,
Your affectionate sister
Thank Walter for the book he sent me.