Love Story Letters
Love Letter 1863
Sunday night, Nov. 1 
My dear Mollie,
I received a letter today from a very handsome lady to
play cupid. Although not accompanied by her likeness yet
her image was so indelibly impressed upon my mind that
the likeness itself could not recall the features more
vividly than they are impressed. I first met her in a
village in Western Va when I was about 17 years old and
she 8. I afterwards saw her frequently and occasionally
was in her company, and nonwithstanding the disparity
of our ages, I became so favorably impressed with her
fair face and gentle manners that I frequently said to
myself that I wished she was older or I younger.
In 3 to 4 years she had grown so much that the disparity
in age seemed to grow less. Never did a lady witness the
budding of a flower with more requisite pleasure than
did I the budding of that pretty little girl into womanhood.
She made much of my thoughts while in Mexico and more
upon my return home. While at the University of Va., I
not infrequently found my thoughts wandering from the
dry textbook to contemplate by the aid of memory the features
and form of this little girl.
After I completed my studies, I traveled in the west
and expected to find a home in some western state, but
not finding a place to suit me, together with the persuasions
of that fair face, induced me to return.
I entered, as you know, actively into the pursuit of
my profession with the determination to make at least
a fair reputation and tried to withdraw my thought from
everything else, but I found this little fairy constantly
and pleasantly intruding into all my plans, whether of
pleasure or interest. At this period she met me politely
and respectfully but seemed to grow more distant, coy
& reserved, so that I frequently thought that even
the ordinary attentions of common politeness & courtesy
were no special source of pleasure to her.
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In a few instances when she has arrived at about the
age of 15 this shyness and reserve seemed to be forgotten,
and I would pass an hour or two in the enjoyment of her
company with great pleasure to myself and I imagined with
at least satisfaction, if not enjoyment, to her. I began
to think that my happiness was identified with hers. I
began to pay her special visits or at least seek opportunities
by which I might be in her company. I sought her society
on pleasure rides and thought it not a hardship to ride
65 miles in 24 hours if part of the time might be spent
with her. She always exhibited or observed the decorum
of modest reserve which might be construed into neither
encouragement nor discouragement.
After the delibertation & reflection which I thought
due to a matter which involved my happiness for life,
I felt that her destiny and mine were probably intended
to be united, and that all the adverse counsel which I
could give myself could bring no objections. I felt that
I ought both as a matter of duty and happiness give my
whole life to her, who for 9 years had my attention and
devotion, though concealed love.
After a few little billets and interviews, and with a
full declaration of the love I desired to bestow, I received
a measured and loving response and was made most happy
in the anticipation of the celebration of the nuptials
fixed at some 6 months hence. This time glided nicely
& happily, though not too rapidly, away from me. The
hours of leisure were spent with her and my visits were
always welcomed with that cordial welcome, that maiden
modesty, so much to be admired. Tis true that on one occasion
she did rest her elbow upon my knee and look with confidential
pleasure in my face and made me realize that indeed I
had her whole heart.
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Suffice it to say, the happy day of our marriage arrived
and since then, hours, days, and years of time, confidence
& happiness passed rapidly away, and only to make
us feel that happy as were the hours of youthful days,
they compare not with those of later years and perhaps
even these may not be equal to that which is in reserve
I dont know how much pleasure it affords you to go over
these days of the past, but to me they will ever be remembered
as days of felicity. And how happy the thought that years
increase the affection & esteem we have for each other
to love & be loved. May it ever be so, and may I ever
be a husband worthy of your warmest affections. May I
make you happy and in so doing be made happy in return.
A sweet kiss and embrace to your greeting.
But maybe you will say it looks ridiculous to see a man
getting grayhaired to be writing love letters, so I will
use the remnant of my paper otherwise...
Yours affectionately H Black
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