In considering the question of publishing these letters, which are all
that ever passed between my father and mother, for after their
marriage they were never separated, it seemed to me that my only
alternatives were to allow them to be published or to destroy them. I
might, indeed, have left the matter to the decision of others after my
death, but that would be evading a responsibility which I feel that I
ought to accept.
Ever since my mother's death these letters were kept by my father in a
certain inlaid box, into which they exactly fitted, and where they
have always rested, letter beside letter, each in its consecutive
order and numbered on the envelope by his own hand.
My father destroyed all the rest of his correspondence, and not long
before his death he said, referring to these letters: 'There they are,
do with them as you please when I am dead and gone!'
A few of the letters are of little or no interest, but their omission
would have saved only a few pages, and I think it well that the
correspondence should be given in its entirety.
I wish to express my gratitude to my father's friend and mine, Mrs.
Miller Morison, for her unfailing sympathy and assistance in
deciphering some words which had become scarcely legible owing to