DURING his long engagement to my mother my father was away travelling a good deal, and, though he wrote to her constantly, I have only one letter, written on 2nd July, 1872.
" JENNY DEAREST," he wrote, "Many thanks for yours received this morning; it was something like a letter. I had been out travelling and it was there waiting for me when I got back at dinner time. . . . The majestic dome of St. Paul's is clearly cut against the evening sky; there are one or two stars. Those stars vibrate light to each other across the firmament, but I who am only distant from you a few score miles cannot reach you. Can I? Yes, for when I think of what we said to each other in the afternoon, I bring you to me. I clasp you again, I hold you close to me, I cover 'the face of my own wife dear' with kisses. Now I am at home (if I can call this home) and as I go upstairs I think of the verse,
The light of the Sabbath eve
Is fading fast away--
What record does it leave
To crows the closing day?
Oh Jenny, I have not spent my Sunday well! . . . I shall come down to Ramsgate on Saturday . . . four more days to wait!
"Fly! Fly! Fly! Days and hours haste! Haste! Minutes and seconds! Run! Run! Thou hobbling, laggard old Father Time. Rattle thy hour-glass till every