Mr. W. H. Wills.
Lord Warden Hotel, Dover,
Sunday, 16th October, 1864.
My dear Wills,
I was unspeakably relieved, and most agreeably surprised to get your letter this morning. I had pictured you as lying there waiting full another week. Whereas, please God, you will now come up with a wet sheet and a flowing sail—as we say in these parts.
My expectations of “Mrs. Lirriper’s” sale are not so mighty as yours, but I am heartily glad and grateful to be honestly able to believe that she is nothing but a good ‘un. It is the condensation of a quantity of subjects and the very greatest pains.
George Russell knew nothing whatever of the slightest doubt of your being elected at the Garrick. Rely on my probing the matter to the bottom and ascertaining everything about it, and giving you the fullest information in ample time to decide what shall be done. Don’t bother yourself about it. I have spoken. On my eyes be it.
As next week will not be my working-time at “Our Mutual Friend,” I shall devote the day of Friday (not the evening) to making up news. Therefore I write to say that if you would rather stay where you are than come to London, don’t come. I shall throw my hat into the ring at eleven, and shall receive all the punishment that can be administered by two Nos. on end like a British Glutton.
Gad’s Hill, Wednesday, 30th November, 1864.
My dear Wills,
I found the beautiful and perfect Brougham awaiting me in triumph at the Station when I came down yesterday afternoon. Georgina and Marsh were both highly mortified that it had fallen dark, and the beauties of the carriage were obscured. But of course I had it out in the yard the first thing this morning, and got in and out at both the doors, and let down and pulled up the windows, and checked an imaginary coachman, and leaned back in a state of placid contemplation.
It is the lightest and prettiest and best carriage of the class ever made. But you know that I value it for higher reasons than these. It will always be dear to me—far dearer than anything on wheels could ever be for its own sake—as a proof of your ever generous friendship and appreciation, and a memorial of a happy intercourse and a perfect confidence that have never had a break, and that surely never can have any break now (after all these years) but one.
Ever your faithful.
Miss Mary Boyle.
Gad’s Hill Place, Higham by Rochester, Kent,
Saturday, 31st December, 1864.
My dear Mary,
Many happy years to you and those who are near and dear to you. These and a thousand unexpressed good wishes of his heart from the humble Jo.
And also an earnest word of commendation of the little Christmas book. Very gracefully and charmingly done. The right feeling, the right touch; a very neat hand, and a very true heart.
Ever your affectionate.