Page images



Chiswick, November 24, 1815.

With the most heart-felt sorrow do I take up the pen, to attempt, if possible, to alleviate the affliction which must, and indeed ought, at this moment to absorb your whole soul. Few knew better than myself the value of the dear boy we must all deplore; so much more, in every thing, than the fondest father could possibly expect : it is indeed a calamity of so heavy a nature, that I well know it is not in words to afford relief. Accept, however, my dear and valued friend, the tribute of a heart that feels for your misfortune, in every point of view; for


your amiable partner, for his sisters, and for himself, in common with every person who knew him. To that strength of mind and firm philosophy which I know you possess, and which you have so successfully cultivated, together with the lenient hand of time, I can alone refer you for any consolation : and may the Almighty Disposer of inscrutable events so nerve your mind, as to make you bear his dreadful dispensation with as much fortitude as the nature of so heavy a blow will admit of!

With kindest regards to Mrs. Oakley, and all the rest of your dear family, permit me to subscribe myself

[ocr errors]

Your afflicted and devoted Friend,



November 25, 1815. How can I sufficiently thank you, my dear friend, for your kind solicitude and sympathy! Friendship like this, is consolation indeed. What a calamity! what an affliction ! I cannot tell how much I loved : judge then how incapable I am to express the agony of my mind. Your sentiments are too tender - too powerful: you see what a philosopher I am."

Heaven bless and preserve dear Mrs. Horsley and yourself.

B. O,



Charmont Park, Herts, November 25, 1815. My feelings have been much overcome, by a paragraph in to-day's paper, which conveyed to me the melancholy account of the irreparable loss your much loved family has sustained ; and most sincerely do I sympathize with you all in your grief and affliction. Few loved the dear object of your concern more than myself; for memory, faithful to her charge, had treasured up his boyish fondness towards me during my long residence under your roof.

It was my intention to have addressed this letter to dear Mrs. Oakley; but knowing the weak state of her nerves, when agitated, I feared touching on the subject with her. But your family mourn, not as those who have no hope; you have now a child in glory : his

[ocr errors]

tender bark has weathered the rough ocean of life, and has safely reached the haven where no storms or tempests can assail; and could he view your tears over his mortal remains, his angelic spirit would exclaim,

Weep not for me, my beloved parents ! I have reached my heavenly Father's mansion, where there is neither pain nor sickness, sighing nor sorrow; and a few short fleeting years will re-unite us, never to part again."

I have lately followed to the grave a fondly attached pupil and her mother, and am now with Sir Gore Ousely's daughter: but my recent losses have left an aching void within, which nothing but time can heal.

That the Almighty may strengthen and support you all under this heavy dispensation, is the fervent prayer of

Your obliged




November 26, 1815. Accept my thanks for your kind sympathy. The recollection of the treasure I have lost cannot but awaken in the breast of sensibility the tenderest emotions. Miss Weales was ever alive to the keenest feelings ; and I lament they have so recently been roused in the loss of an amiable pupil and a much valued friend.

I trust my dear boy has arrived at the haven of supreme bliss, and I hope his re-animated spirit is possessed with the full satisfaction how tenderly I loved him — how agonizing has been the pang of separation from his mother, his sisters, and myself; but God's

will be done: I will be satisfied, and repose in the bosom of resignation. Your very obedient and thankful Servant,

B. 0.


[ocr errors]


Weobly, November 26, 1815. My spirits are so depressed by the melancholy intelligence George has communicated to me, that I scarcely know how to write to you. I do most sincerely sympathize and condole with you for the loss of so good and valuable a child : your loss is inexpressible, and irretrievable. I pray God give you strength and spirits to bear the shock it must naturally give you. I feel also for dear Mrs. Oakley, and all the children: their affliction must be very great, to be bereaved of so kind good a brother. He was likely to be an ornament to the whole family; but he is happier out of this troublesome world, where he enjoys everlasting felicity and happiness. I hope you will have fortitude to bear it, and not suffer it to injure your health ; because your life is a most valuable one to such a family, and it behoves you to take great care of it.

I wish I was near to you, to administer some comfort and consolation ; but you are not destitute of friends. By grieving overmuch you will do yourself a deal of harm: I know it by experience: those are best off who are not possessed of so feeling a heart. It was the will of the Almighty to take unto him the dear creature; and we must all submit, young as well as old, whenever he pleases to give the summons. It has hurt me very much in my old age, and I cannot reconcile it to myself: but time will wear it off.

I pray God to bless and preserve you to your family, and that you will bear this sudden and unexpected sorrow with all the firmness you are able to gather and collect.

Give my sincere love to Mrs. Oakley, and all the family.

I remain, my ever dear Ben,
Your most affectionate, but distressed and unhappy Father,



Tavistock House, November 26, 1815.

Your loss, my dear friend, is irreparable ; but, as I told you in the first moment of your affliction, you must rouse yourself to a just sense of the increased duties which it imposes on you. I have found in that thought, and in the exertion which it produced, my only relief from mental torture : and permit me to say, that my case was more grievous than yours, though I own that no real relief can be derived from comparison. But while I lost the inestimable mother of my infant family, you have not only the dear pledge of your faith preserved to you, but your lovely and amiable daughters, all of an age, and endowed with qualities and accomplishments, to soothe your sorrows, as well as to adorn every society into which they enter. Exert your faculties then, my dear sir, and be the brother to those dear and affectionate girls, as you have always been the kind and tender father. Be assured that it is only in occupation that you can find relief; and it is as necessary to

« PreviousContinue »