William Walter Elliot to Sir Walter Elliot
Marlborough Buildings. Wednesday, December 14
My dear Sir,
It is with some trepidation that I take up my pen after the regrettable hiatus in Family relationships which seems to have subsisted since I last had the pleasure of meeting with you and Miss Elliot in London. Apologies for long silence are fruitless; I can only assure you that there have been many occasions during the last several years on which I have wished to approach you but was held back by hesitation and self-doubt. I suffered under the apprehension of having at some time unwittingly offended, and a delicacy and concern for the Elliot name both enforced and prolonged my silence.
The melancholy news will have reached Kellynch-hall of the untimely death of my wife, barely six months ago, an occasion which impressed on me forcibly the consolation and dignity of Family ties, duties and responsibilities, and which now emboldens me to take this opportunity of effecting a reconciliation. The intelligence of your being settled in Bath first reached me on passing through the city in November on my way to London, but the time was then too short for me to avail myself of the chance of presenting my card and compliments – which I do now, Sir Walter, in the sincere hope of being received once more as kinsman.
I am at present at the Marlborough apartments of Colonel Wallis, with whom I understand you are already acquainted, and who assures me of the likelihood of a magnanimous and gracious reception of