From Nelson to his Fiancee
"Boreas," English Harbour, August 19th, 1786
My Dearest Fanny,
Having seen in this day's newspaper, that a vessel cleared out from St. John's to Nevis a few days ago, I feel vexed not to have had a letter in the office for you: however, if I can help it, I will not be behindhand again. To write letters to you is the next greatest pleasure I feel to receiving them from you. What I experience when I read such as I am sure are the pure sentiments of your hear, my poor pen cannot express, nor indeed would I give much for any pen or head that could describe feelings of that kind: they are worth but little when that can happen. My heart yearns to you - it is with you; my mind dwells upon nought else but you. Absent from you, I feel no pleasure: it is you, my dearest Fanny, who are everything to me. Without you, I care not for this world; for I have found lately nothing in it but vexation and trouble.
These, you are well convinced, are my present sentiments; God Almighty grant they may never change. Nor do I think they will: indeed there is, as far as human knowledge can judge, a moral certainty they cannot; for it must be real affection that brings together, not interest or compulsion, which make so many unhappy.
Your most affectionate