[As usual, for correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 6, 2094.]
To Charles Baxter
[Baxter Letters, 1956, pp. 228-9, at www.hathitrust.org]
[Manasquan, N.J., 26 May 1888]
My dear Charles,
I shall just have to ask you to write no more about this affair for a while; I can open no more letters that bear upon it. It has quite smashed me, and I am beginning to fear I may loose my cruise after all, which would be hard on Lloyd.
I cannot sleep; I can never get the thought out of my head. I had the most hideous revulsion after writing so sternly to Katharine, and it was three days before I could forgive myself.
But even now, when I am more sure that I did right, and the only thing right, my heart is wretched. I was not meant to punish sinners.
Of course I am sure you will make it right in time with Henley, but do not let me hear for awhile.
I could not bear another disappointment. Really, something would happen.
I wish you would be prepared to pay £10 per mensem to Young the San Francisco man.
It is an allowance to Belle, which I have been paying myself;
but if I go to the voyage, I shall have to pass on the duty to him, and tell him to draw on you. He will communicate with you when I have seen him. I am also about to give a little charge to Miss Boodle to look after our Mary Ann, and if she finds it necessary to help the family, pray give her what she may require.
I am, my dear fellow, the most purely unhappy card on ground
– or so my egotism thinks, when there are (I daresay) a thousand who might envy me.
Ever yours affectionately,
P.S. We leave Monday, if I shall be able – a dreadful doubt which I keep to myself, but I am doubtful.