430 Hackney Rd.
29th May 1863
The 10th anniversary of the death of poor Josephine

My dear Alexander

Your letter containing the account of your dear Andrea's confinement was received with feelings of pleasure and pain; the former that in the Providence of God she should have been brought through so critical a time and the latter that her suffering should have been so great and that you should have lost your first born child, but better so by far than that the wife should have been lost. I do from my heart rejoice for both your sakes at her recovery so far that instead of the doctors she was left to the cook. It seems to have indeed proved the strength of your attachment to your beloved wife but had you been called upon to suffer so great a deal [?] remember there is one above who I trust in his goodness and mercy would have supported you under it. He is sufficient for all and every circumstance. However harassing [distressing?] - it would have indeed been a bitter, bitter pill to you - then think how much you owe to Him for His goodness in sparing her to you, I trust for many years to come.

I am quite glad that dear Walter and Mercedes were so kind to you both - that they had hearts to feel and sympathize at such a time. I do fear that had your wife been confined in your domicile, the end would have been much worse, as from all I can learn you have but just room enough to carry on your business, which I rejoice to find is going on to your satisfaction.

You are very kind in thinking of us as you do. I have hitherto kept the sovereigns but as a sinking fund, but I shall this summer bring them out. In the first place I shall purchase a new suit of clothes for John Kraushaar who is still with us. He's been with us ever since Sept last. He reminds me of you a thousand times. I feel as if he really were one of my own. He is a studious and pious boy but not a useful one, which at times makes me angry with him. He has just commenced taking out your papa's notices but he is (unlike what you were) so unobservant that we have some difficulty in making him acquainted with his various sheets [= streets?] even in the Hackney Road. However he is improving and I hope will yet become an active fellow. Fanny is still situated the same. I hope she has left off humoring [= bearing?] children. I am sure it would be a great comfort to her as she has ever had her hands more than full. Poor thing she has had but little care[?] and plenty of anxiety. However she seems contented under it all. John is frequently travelling about preaching for which he gets a bare and uncertain subsistence. Indeed he has some extraordinary notions and some strange crotchets. I never did admire him. He is too gloomy for me and I would almost say too indolent.

Poor old Kennedy [who was the local shopkeeper in the Hackney Road] is just now very bad. He is reported to be a shade better today but, from what I hear, I fear he is not likely to survive. I am afraid he is not in a very encouraging state of mind but he has mental light [so] that if his mind be spared I hope he will seek consolation where alone it is to be found.

Your Uncle Hopwood was here the other day, when he enquired very kindly about you. They go on much the same as ever.

We have received no intelligence from Charles or Henry Manfred but we are continually receiving the New York Tribune which we fancy comes from them. Their sisters do not appear to take any great interest in them.

The fine weather is now commencing. I hope you and dear Andrea will enjoy it. Make our kind respects to your father-in-law. I hope the old gentleman is as well as usual. How did he manage during your wife's illness? Have you yet received a letter from us containing a collar and wristbands? I intend enclosing one in this for Mercedes. With love and best wishes for the happiness of you both, believe me

My dear Alexander

Your affectionate mother

S Murray