[Portion of a letter from Sarah Murray to her son Alexander. References to Horace Browne's fire suggest January 1869.]

--very sorrowful. I shall hope to have a letter from you soon telling me how you and Andrea spent your Christmas. I hope both of you enjoyed yourselves and that all goes well with you. You find by the date of my letter that I am still where I was. Yes, I feel safe here and I should not do so every where that I was. I rather put up with a few inconveniences than leave until I meet with other apartments where I shall be equally so. I often think I should like to go and live in the neighbourhood of the Abney Cemetery. I have had a desire to do so ever since I lost poor Josephine.

My last letter, I believe, informed how very ill I had been during the summer -- [torn] Uncle Hopwood sends me the usual turkey. In addition this time he sent me an abundant supply of sausages, previously writing me two very brotherly letters. Uncle Walter and his son Sydney drank tea with me a few days after Christmas. Indeed all my relations have been very kind. Most of them have drunk tea with me. Emily Auston stopped 3 days. I believe in a former letter I told you all about it.

I have with much interest watched the events of the Elections, thinking in my own mind what your dear father would have desired and I find from my own observations as well as Sydney's (who is a good judge) that they turned out quite in accord with what would have been his wishes.

I have not part-- [torn] it seems his men were accustomed to go to sleep with pipes in their mouths. Upon two occasions he had to put out fire; consequently, he had "resolved and resolved" to insure his property but put it off. Dr. Young says man does this with regards his soul and I know it to be true in many instances. Horace insured his life in the Eagle. This he fears he shall not be able to keep up. He used to pay £10 every half year for 500 at his death. I hope he will be able to dispose of it rather than give it up. Poor fellow, I cannot but pity him although I think he was neglectful. His family have, I expect, been well educated and brought up as ladies riding out in their four wheeled carriage that -- [torn] should as fire happens? Be cautious - be safe - that is, insure if you can.

By the Newspaper you sent me you have been in the midst of much riot. After all I feel no country is like dear old England. Here we have as much liberty as is good for us. Great fortunes are made here occasionally as is the case elsewhere. Look for instance in the case of Mr. Peabody and hundreds of others.

Walter, I find, is again elected as District Attorney. He has not yet written to me, which I regret as it looks as though his affection was centred in but one parent. This I think about in my solitary hours. I always coveted the love of my children but at that time of day, circumstances were so uncongenial to our wishes that I had not the opportunity of showing it