December 1st 1887
I’ve never written of a subject that interests me deeply. The approaching marriage of my brother Will. I suppose it is natural for fond and appreciative sisters to choose perfection for their brothers. I have hoped so earnestly that Will would marry well, and my ideal sister in law was always a woman of ripe intellect, great-hearted, benevolent, capable of appreciating the best of my beloved brother, and what was of most importance, with the power of drawing out and developing the real mobility of his character, and inciting him to ever aspire for the higher, better life. Beauty, talent, accomplishments, all secondary. Well his lady love is certainly not my ideal. She is a very sweet winning young girl with little education, simply because she has never desired it. The youngest daughter of a wealthy country gentleman, who has led the life of some young bird, as sweet, attractive, and innocent as they, but with none of the capability and evidence of inherent strength, as would often be found in young girls similarly situated. I this have gained from a long talk I had with Will before coming to California, from his and her letters, But of course she may be capable of developing into all that is desirable and in that case it is well. Will is old enough to be her father as he is 43 and she not 20, but he is so youthful in his feelings, so entertaining and charming, that he will make a delightful husband, if she is the right woman.