No. 430 Hackney Road, NE
My dear Alexander
10 May 1863
Your dear Mother & myself are exceedingly grieved & exceedingly pleased at your letter of the 26th March - grieved to hear of the unfortunate loss of your only son, and pleased at the safety of the Mother to whom we both desire to be affectionately remembered, as much, quite as much, as if we were her natural parents; pleased also at the development of the love you bear to your wife and also to your parents which this stirring domestic incident has occasioned. Community of danger, misfortune, or other deeply felt occurrence of life produces a community of love - I can sympathize with and understand your ardent, deep and holding attachment to your dear wife. For long - 45 years long - acquaintance as husband with my dear old girl has made me feel towards her a love deep, sincere, romantic - much stronger than anything of self can ever possibly be & without making her an idol. I feel deeply grateful to her for the happiness she has given me by accepting my hand & heart and all the more as she had strong temptations to the contrary, which she manfully resisted from the moment she had pledged herself to me. Oh! I can feel your agony at an anticipated loss of all your heart holds dear - and all the more because the course of nature warns me that one or the other must have to bear in reality the sad pang of parting, tho' not forever - for our keen relish of united vanes [?DB unsure = dreams?] and aspirations, hopes and desires has induced us to cast a look beyond the grave - and with the eye of faith - strong, clear, distinct, to see a union in that unknown region called Heaven, in which there is nothing resembling marriage, yet there is assuredly a decided perception of individual personality, joined in a community of tastes, passions, inclinations in the joint worship of God and the Lamb - our God in Christ who has reconciled the world unto himself.
Not having yet sent off a letter, I read the above with deep interest and assured that my feelings are not at all exaggerated. We shall at any time be glad to see you in England, but certainly not on such occasion as you anticipated. May God avert such a calamity as the premature death of your dear wife.
29 May 1863
Having given vent to my feelings, permit me to inform you that your dear Mother and myself - considering that she is 70 years old and I am 73 [respectively in their 70th and 73rd years, more likely] - are in very fair health - enjoying life as well as two people not over-burdened with prosperity can do. We enjoy our love to each other - the well being of our children, and a modest, comfortable sufficiency as well as can be expected. I am called evergreen though everwhite would come nearer the truth - however I am what the world calls a "jolly old fellow" - and mean to remain so as long as a gracious God will permit me. Intending to compress all the news stirring in domestic political circles in a letter to Walter,
Mr. Alexander Murray
Your affectionate Father