Mr. Lincoln is hesitant to give advice on a subject in which he lacks expertise, marriage.
Springfield, Ills. Feby. 13. 1842
Yours of the 1st. inst. came to hand three or four days ago. When this shall reach you, you will have been Fanny's husband several days. You know my desire to befriend you is everlasting - that I will never cease, while I know how to do anything.
But you will always hereafter, be on ground that I have never occupied, and consequently, if advice were needed, I might advise wrong.
I do fondly hope, however, that you will never again need any comfort from abroad. But should I be mistaken in this - should excessive pleasure still be accompanied with a painful counterpart at times, still let me urge you, as I have ever done, to remember in the depth and even the agony of despondency, that very shortly you are to feel well again. I am now fully convinced, that you love her as ardently as you are capable of loving. Your ever being happy in her presence, and your intense anxiety about her health, if there were nothing else, would place this beyond all dispute in my mind. I incline to think it probable, that your nerves will fail you occasionally for awhile; but once you get them fairly graded now, that trouble is over forever.
I think if I were you, in case my mind were not exactly right, I would avoid being idle; I would immediately engage in some business, or go to making preparations for it, which would be the same thing.
If you went through the ceremony calmly, or even with sufficient composure not to excite alarm in any present, you are safe, beyond question, and in two or three months, to say the most, will be the happiest of men.
I hope with tolerable confidence, that this letter is a plaster for a place that is no longer sore. God grant it may be so.
I would desire you to give my particular respects to Fanny, but perhaps you will not wish her to know you have received this, lest she should desire to see it. Make her write me an answer to my last letter to her at any rate. I would set great value upon another letter from her.
Write me whenever you have leisure. Yours forever.
P.S. I have been quite a man ever since you left.
This document is a copy of the unedited text of a written work by Abraham Lincoln. Some typographical errors which were present in the original text appear here as well. This document was copied in its entirety from The Living Lincoln, edited by Paul M. Angle and Earl Schenck Miers, published by Marboro Books Corp.