1884 letters to Frances
Frances was known to all as Frank, and Robert's nickname during this time was Rien.
Saturday, Jan 19 (confirmed Jan 19th fell on a Saturday in 1884)
Scheme is working admirably. Called on the avenue yesterday about 1 P.G.(?) to see Jun and we two corpses had a love feast till six o'clock. After supper I inquired as to your health and was informed that you were no better, but not seriously ill. So Jun and I went to the theatre.
It is no use Frank. I can't feel at home with her. She seems to freeze me up. I have promised to go to Church with her Sunday. This is leap year with a vengeance(?). She actually insisted on this, probably she intends to console me for your supposed hard heartedness by her company. It seemed a great effort to ask me to the party, but she done it, though it hurt.
Have not been well myself. No work since a week ago yesterday. My face swelled up and with 5 teeth jumping, I had a real enjoyable time. Couldn't go to the wedding, sorry because I never went to one and want to see the performance. Rather a melancholy affair.
Well, I must see my good angel soon. Can I come Tuesday? Yes. Thanks, you may expect me about 7.
Chicago, March 10, 1884
Isn't this nice warm weather weather: am so happy about it that I have been singing very sweetly (as I thought) all morning until just now. I have been temporarily silenced by a protest in the shape of a wet sponge from an unappreciative hearer, but song "crushed to earth will rise again" with redoubled intensity, and won't they suffer.
But to the point, I have a favor to ask as usual and of the usual kind, your company. To the Grand Friday eve. Attraction for you The Rajah, to me a double one, The Rajah and your enjoyable society. I don't suppose there is any necessity of rigidly enforcing your sentences, and then the time should be shortened by good behavior. So don't refuse if you can conveniently go.
July 9, 1884
Am better this morning. Must apologize for calling when sick, but didn't want to give in that I was sick, and wanted to talk to you and hear your acct of 4th of July happenings and happiness, but I had to give in and go to the doctors. He says "take the best care of yourself." So I shall be a monotonous "early to bed and early to rise" machine for some time, and it hurts for I have been looking forward to some enjoyable little picnics with just we 2. I am going to try and stay home for 4 to 6 weeks, so when you are having a real splendid time please remember a lonesome cross Rien at home, and write him an acct of it, for your happiness is his.