No. 1

 Undated letter, 1886

Your letter today really surprised me as it came so unexpected. Therefore it hurt me worse than you can ever imagine. Now that I have really been giving it a serious thought, I want to give you a peaceful answer. I am not going to blame you but I cannot promise you that I will forget you. I am not that kind of person who can erase the feeling that I have had for you, although unconsciously in the beginning, at least for five years. Every time you have visited my home, I have also, more and more clearly, felt that I mean something to you. […]

I know very well that I have a lot of shortcomings and therefore not deserve your love; still my intention all the time has been to be good enough for you. I thank you for your attempts of loving me. I could not promise you a glorious future, but you can be sure that I would do everything in my power to make you happy.

When I have gotten to know you, I have realized that happiness in this world does not depend on money or property, and whatever happens I will never get married because of money. For what shall I now hope, for what shall I now strive? I guess you have realized that I need a lot of love, and now I have none at all.

Since, as you say, there is no one else between us, causing you to write the letter, I do not what to totally despair. I leave this issue in the hands of God, and if He wants us to be happy together, his wisdom will make everything right. But whatever happens in the future, you will always have a sincere friend in your


No. 2

Jönköping, October 7, 1887 [Three weeks before engagement] 

My dear Lydia!                          

This Thursday I was a little bit angry at the Royal Postal Service, when there was no letter from You. It came Friday morning  though and I thank you for that. I have very much hungered to be close to you, and I delight in every week that passes and reduces the time until we meet again.

One always appreciates one's home, but especially during the cold autumn nights. It is such a pleasure to think of a bright, happy and nice home, with your beloved always there when you are tired of everything, and where you can finish your daily work while getting the comfort and rest which only your own home will provide.

When I think of the future, and even if I don't want to believe it, I feel afraid of my too impulsive reaction to every little setback. You know this weakness of mine and I hope that you will forgive me, as I really want to try to control myself, so that I won't cause you a lot of sorrow [...].

Lately there have been performances at the theater by the Engelbrecht Society, I have attended them twice; the first time Lucky Peter's Travels and this Thursday Faust. The first-named I don't want to see more than once, it conveyed some valuable thruths but in that bitter way, wich is allways the case with Strindberg's writings. [...]. Faust I would like to see again, it was an excellent one, the adaptation for the stage was made from Viktor Rydberg's translation.

Otherwise I have been very busy all week, but still had to amuse myself. Assistant Judge mr Sjöstrand, Chairman of the city treasury, is going to leave for Stockholm, and since he is also chairman of the Liquor Company, he was treated to farewell party by the two managements yesterday night. Personally I an not sad about this, since I probably will be a part of the manegement of the Liquor Company and get a fee of 600 SEK per year. [...]

Today the weather has been fine but a little windy. This morning I did my usual walk of inspection of my farm, where the last rye for the year was seeded yesterday. Everything is now beautiful and if God gives his blessings, which we pray for, we have enough to make our living next year. [....]

Moreover, You are everything to me, my dearest and I would not want to lose you for the world. Goodbye my beloved, God bless you. Dad and Mom give their regards. I also ask you to give my regards to Gösta, Anna, Enoch and the rest of our friends.


Letter in original (no. 1): page 1-2 page 3-4 page 5 page 6