8 Dec 1856
Richard Bevan Esq,
8 Dec 1856
My dear Mr Bevan
Your kind lines are most welcome to me. but I needed not one of them to assure me of your affectionate and Christian sympathy on this melancholy occasion. I was perhaps too proud at having accomplished that for my dear boy - which I had denied and intended for so many years. Could I have had my own choice at his age, it would have been the navy - but whosever the fault or desire on my part - I think I see much of envy mingled with the blow. If God did design to take my boy this early from me it was, I believe, better to do so at a distance. I could never have watched him for seven long weeks, each hour seeing his loved form attenuating without injury to my health and injury to the [-] [barely legible text] from which I gain my [-] [barely legible text] and again if I was to love him during my own days how much better now than later on in his life when the [-] [barely legible text] and temptations of the world had more surrounded him. I try to feel “Gods will be done” but oh! to my latest hour must I mourn this my darling child. He so truly knew my love for him. He never doubted it and he returned it fully and oh! I would on no account now have him back from the better world of which I firmly believe him to be a happy occupant. Again assuring you of my warm reception of your sympathy, believe me. Most truly & sincerely yours
I am longing for and yet dreading details, the last fortnight of my dear boys life must contain most interesting and most harrowing incidents.