19, Blandford Square. Saturday.
[29 March 1890]
When I saw you at the New Gallery, I had not - so out of the world do I live! - heard of your engagement; how stupid you must have thought me talking as I did!
Alice told me of it only yesterday, when I came up again; and I can't help writing a few lines to offer you my sincere congratulations, and to say I do hope you will be as happy as you deserve, you nice, pretty thing! But I'm sure you will! Fate does behave sensibly now and then, and whispers to me she has in your case. But I think there is one very lucky man!
Please don't bother to answer this, and receive my apologies for not having said it all on Wednesday!
Alma G.C. Strettell
I don't know at all who the writer of this may have been. I have put it in partly because I rather liked it, and partly for the sake of the ironic effect, in the light of later circumstances, of the reference to fate; and partly because there were comparatively few letters to Sylvia in the dusty packet which contained all these engagement letters, and which I exhumed from some forgotten recess in JMB's flat, some nights after his death.
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