Man Proposes and God Disposes

07 Aug

New York, NY
Nov 30, 1898

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My own dearest Ruthy:

If I only knew the lingo I would commence with a nice Latin phrase which interpreted
would mean something like this: “With the permission of so noble and good a girl.”

However, I don’t know it and have no Standard Dictionary convenient to refer to. By the
way, I want to know Latin and Greek some day, also Hebrew, German, French, Italian and
Spanish. Can you teach me any of these? It will be necessary for us to know all these
languages, when we commence to go abroad among these different countries. I want
to study geometry, algebra and a whole lot of other things. Will you help me learn all
these? By way of diversion from the dryer work we’ll take up music. I want to know more
about the piano and expect to spend many a happy moment trying to get my fingers upon
the proper notes, in the case of our duets, with you at my right hand exercising (not upon
the piano) lots of patience, etc.

I wrote you an excuse for a letter this noon, and said therein that I would not work
tonight but go to Brooklyn and write you a nice letter; but as is always the case “man
proposes and God disposes.” I found it necessary to be here until after seven; too late to
get dinner at Brooklyn, so went to a restaurant here in the city, from which I have just
returned to write you a short letter and then away to bed which I want to reach by ten
o’clock, as I am sleepy and tired and must get up early tomorrow to shave, etc. 

Nothing of note has happened since kissing you good bye Monday morning. Got to
the train without further mishap and reached the office about 9:30, quite like the Vice
President instead of my humble self. This suggested to me that the second train will be
early enough for me on Monday, and will make it unnecessary for you to get up so early. I
will make up for arriving late before the week is over.

The snow has thrown the city into awful confusion and no attempts that amount to
anything are being made to remove it. The streets are just full of a substance about the
color of weak coffee and of the consistency of soft ice cream. This condition is specially
trying to horses and wherever you go would see teams and loads stuck so that they cannot
move themselves, or permit others behind them to move along. That part of Brooklyn
where I am stopping is not so bad. There is not much traffic there and the snow has
retained more or less of its natural brightness.

While out to lunch, looked up some handles for your (our) furniture. Did not meet
with a very large variety and took the best I could get. They are of brass and will look nice
while bright and when that wears off, perhaps we’ll want a whole new out fit? We’ll have
some fun putting them on next Saturday.

Have not spoken to Mr Kinney on the subject we were talking about. He has been
so rushed a suitable opportunity has not arisen.

Am glad you are so well and happy. How I should love to be near you tonight if but
to get one kiss and one look into those dear sweet eyes. Do not blush Ruthy at these
complimentary allusions. I cannot help making them. Half of our week of separation has
surely slipped by and soon will be together once more.

I anticipate some of the most happy moments of my life, so far, when next I am with
you, Ruthy, my own Dearest Love. Good bye and good night, Ruthy, until Saturday.

Your own


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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Family History


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