18 Victoria Park Road
9th July 1869
My very dear Alexander
Your letter dated the 5th of June reached me on Saturday the 3rd of July. I was quite rejoiced to receive it as I was so longing to know about your state of health. Then after all homeopathy has been the means resorted to and the "Great Physician" the author of your restoration to health. Oh! dear Alex, He has graciously given you another lease on your life, do not abuse it by keeping at a distance from Him; receive Him into your heart with thanksgiving. In this event He says "My son or daughter give me thine Heart", will you refuse Him?
I think you do quite right to reduce your exertions a little in business, and thus get more country air and exercise, especially as your dear Andrea is willing to look to your interest in the business. In giving up your store you would not, I presume, be giving up but a small part of your business as becoming a land proprietor must be more lucrative and that you could leave to your brother's management were you disposed to visit England. Is this a right view of your position?
And now, my dear Alexander, permit me to thank you and dear Andrea for the two sovereigns so kindly sent. You will be pleased to hear that these presents of your have on several occasions been the means of assisting me in emergencies, for instance I keep the money as a sort of sinking fund to help me out of difficulties for I am unexpectedly sometimes called upon to do repairs to my houses which I always pay ready money for. Then again there are a multiplicity of other expenses. I pay all rates and taxes, notwithstanding all however upon calculation of the year 1868, I realised a profit of £35 - that you see although I have a deal of trouble, they secure to me a little independence and if you have any recollection of me you know it is what I value very highly. I think you possess the same spirit and so does Walter if I mistake not.
I am very glad to hear he has plenty of business and that he and his wife and children are all well. He has not yet favoured me with a letter; the reason why is quite an enigma to me. I hope he will succeed in being appointed as Judge if in accordance with his temporal and spiritual interests a high position is ['if'?] desirable, if [is?] attended with the blessing of God, for by it we may be enabled to do an immensity of good to ourselves and our fellow creatures. I much regret that in this Providence of God I have never yet been permitted to see any of you. I often sigh and think in my solitude, I wish your lot had been cast in this country but God's will be done. He is too wise to err.
Elijah visits me occasionally on a Sunday. Uncle & Aunt Hopwood drank tea with me a short time since. I returned the visit. He has been rebeautifying his house. When he does anything it is always without regard to expense, consequently well done. He has purchased the leases of his house [so] that of course it is to his interest to keep it in good order. None of his daughters seem likely to get married.
I received a letter from Emily Auston yesterday. She always enquires after you both. She too is still disengaged but her father being in the decline of life needs all her attention and she like a good daughter is willing to give it to him. The two sons are not married and seem by her account of them to be very unsettled at the death of their father. I think George will go to Australia. His sister Sus[annah] is married and settled there. She married a first cousin and has 5 sons and the last a daughter. The husband is in a store and I hear much valued by his employer. Why he is not in business for himself I cannot tell as he has had several hundred pounds sent out to him.
Uncle Walter is still living. He paid me a visit a short time since. His eldest son has recently lost his wife. You remember Mrs. Joyce. She died a few months since after a long illness. Mrs. Lesturgeon (Aunt Holt's daughter) and her two daughters called upon me a short time since. If I go to Bow I expect I shall be too far East for them to look after me.
The letters seem to come in much less time than usual, this is a great boon. I do hope you may meet with a good customer for your store that you and your dear wife may be able to visit England. Present to her my affectionate love and tell her it would rejoice my heart to see you both. She must be quite your darling having no children. My love to Walter, his wife and family, with many wishes for their happiness. I wish some clever optician would in these days of improvement invent a glass that would enable me to see you all across the great Atlantic. We are living in wonderful times but that I fear is beyond man's conception so I must be content to draw a picture from my own imagination.
My health, I am thankful to say, is as good as I can expect it to be at 75 years of age. I am very nimble and still I can walk (at times) miles without much fatigue. I sometimes think I try my strength too much but I was always fond of walking. Once more thanking you and dear Andrea for the two sovereigns. Believe me to remain
My dear Alexander
P S Do you receive newspapers? With this I send you "Public Opinion".
Your ever affectionate mother