A letter from Albert Peter Severin Collett 1842-1896 (Ref. 24N15)
to his future wife Nanna Hoegh
To: Miss Nanna Hoegh
Since I did not, as intended, get a chance to talk with you in the course of my pleasant stay at Havnevig, I take the liberty of writing to you. You said, as it happened, that probably you would not be coming to the south until next fall, and for the matter I have at heart, to ask my good lady’s decision, I would find it difficult to wait.
Following this introduction I believe you will understand that the purpose of my letter is to ask you, if you might be willing to share with me the fate of my life, and that you will accept my hand and heart which hereby with innermost warmth, love and truthfulness, I offer you.
You may perhaps wonder at the seemingly head-over-heels nature of the stated declaration, wherefore I ask you kindly to read the following brief explanation, if you should not already have taken a dislike to my proposal.
At the time three years ago when I met you on the steamer at Namsos, and had the pleasure to converse with you at Faslandaasen you made an indelible impression on me, and I treasured long in my thoughts your dear picture. Certain difficulties however and hereunder the impression that your uncle, minister (pastor) Ellefsen had a less than good impression of me thanks to a process in which we were counterparts, etc.
I therefore was afraid that you also might have obtained of me an unflattering impression, wherefore I found it impossible to visit with your uncle, in order to see you again. Neither would fate have it that later I got a chance to see you.
I thought at the time that I would have to forget you, but later events proved that that was not possible.
It therefore became clear to me that my fate would have to be decided by you, my best Miss, and I already this winter decided, come summer, to look you up here up north, and to talk with you should conditions permit.
This opportunity I regretfully did not obtain, while my earlier feelings for you became renewed and strengthened.
It would have been simpler to talk than to write, but unfortunately, now I did not have a choice.
I decided on board to accompany the telegraph-director and Mr Lie to where we are (Harstad) and further to go with Michael Krohn (the ship) to Trano, in order from there to write you by first north-going steamer, thereby hoping for the possibility to receive from you at least a preliminary reply by steamship heading south.
That letter I would be able to pick up between Groto and Bodo, and thus soon learn my fate.
Should my fate happen to be a joyous one, I could return from Bodo and see again the person for whom I’m strongly pining and whom I would devote all my efforts to make happy.
I have openly and frankly declared to you, my dear Miss, my love, and I pray you may have a little bit left over for me, in that you will trust your future with me, in reliance that I will always do my utmost to make you happy.
Insofar as my position is concerned, it is generally considered as being well founded, and in that respect I believe you can look forward to a future free of sorrows.
I have informed your grandfather about the principal content of this letter; No – you yourself will determine with whom to share your thoughts, I just include herewith my letter to him.
I wish I may hereafter be given an opportunity to address your mother as Mother, and your sisters as Sisters and that it shall be granted me to become your protector and your best friend throughout life.
With that wish I ask you to accept my most sincere and friendly greetings and with innermost sympathy and reverence I permit myself to sign this letter
Your Albert Collett
My address is Salsbrugets Post
but I would equally well get it onboard ship,
should it be there.
Kindly mark the envelope Private.