No. 430 Hackney Road, N.E.
16 October, 1863
My dear Alexander

I have for a few weeks been sending you "Public Opinion" which seems to be a fair digest of what its name imports, for the principal countries of the World, and I shall continue to do so till you desire it to be dropt; fond as you Yankees are of political, judicial & social topics. This appears to me to be a paper eminently calculated to set forth the various doings of the Political World - and without giving any opinion of its own - faithfully recording & transmitting the opinions of the most eminent of the political writers of England and somewhat of the world. I very much approve its plan of proceeding and the manner in which it is conducted. Therefore until I hear to the contrary I shall continue to send it weekly.

We do not hear from you so frequently as we used, and I suppose you say the same of us - well, we must both try to amend our ways in the matter of correspondence and scribble something even [if] it should be nonsense. For depend upon it where real attachment exists we like to see the handwriting even if unaccompanied by magical results - it is at least an evidence of existence - and with only a fair display of literary power, it is usually a pleasurable medium of happiness given and happiness received - the trivial affairs of life, when coupled with a child's or a parent's existence, have importance imparted to them by the feelings of the heart and convey pleasurable sensation even when occasionally being the medium of what is called "bad news". Of such I have none to import [?report].

Your dear Mother and I both continue to enjoy a general good state of health - the monotony thereof being somewhat relieved by certain evidences of the decay of Nature - such as losing something or other belonging to us which younger eyes are required to find or more painful indications of the same normal state by feeling certain twinges of rheumatism, "which feelingly persuades us that we are Men". I have been married to that dear girl of mine 45 years and only wish I had as long to live with her in the future, so little do I repent of that important step - "marriage", and so much happiness to receive from my living with her that I usually recommend my juvenile acquaintances to adopt or take on this agreeable form of life - but certainly not till they are first deeply in love with each other. That is, I think, the secret of happiness in marriage and such as I have experienced.

I like your delineations of domestic life, and your manliness in avowing that you love your wife - and I am sure she is deserving of your attachment. If I should never be fated to see her, please express my gratitude to her as your father for the happiness she has conferred upon you.

Your dear Mother now tells me she is hard pressed for time - that she will not be able to write by this post but although almost equally unprepared that is the very reason why I shall persevere. I am just returned from Brimscombe having spent 4 days in the bosom of that large family - all fearing God - all living to his honour and glory. Ten in family - 9 living at home, and Elijah apprenticed to a Surgeon Dentist in Gloucester where I saw him on the 6th of October. Well, and well pleased with his position.

We received 2 sovereigns by post about 3 months since and agreeably to your wish gave Elijah one wherewith he purchased books to promote his scientific education and Tuesday week last I gave him half a sovereign at Gloucester and your dear mother remitted one sovereign to Adela, the oldest daughter of John Kraushaar, now 15 years old. We are much obliged by these remissions as they enable [us] to show sympathy with the strugglers in our own immediate family.

At our time of life, it would be hoping against hope to expect to see you but whether or not God's will must be done and we desire you to present our love to dear Andrea, and I shall desire and, for myself, still expect to see you both. God bless you

Your affectionate Father
James Murray
Mr. Alexander Murray