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your health as it is to your peace of mind. Take this advice from the experience, My dear Sir, of your faithful Friend,
To JAMES PERRY, Esq. Tavistock House.
November 26, 1815. I am satisfied there is no affliction, however keen, which is not susceptible of mitigation when the tender balm of friendship is cordially applied. I will assume a philosophy, though I have it not.” I know, my dear sir, and I feel, that my situation bears no comparison to the sad calamity which bereft you of the dear partner of your happiness, and the amiable but premature angel, whose flight preceded her. O no! I cannot — will not complain. If I have been deficient in the great duty you so warmly urged, impute it to, and pity, my mental imbecility. I will be a brother to the dear sisters of my departed boy: I will continue to be a husband and a father also; and I will, when the last sad duty is performed, rush into the busy world, and seek among its cares for that alleviation which Heaven, in its goodness, will not withhold.
With the united love of all I hold dear, to yourself, your family, and dear Miss Bently, I remain your affectionate Friend,
To JOHN SOANE, Esq. LINCOLN's INN FIELDS.
MY DEAR SIR,
December 1, 1815.
AFFLICTION we know to be the lot of man: I have felt it in the extreme, and can sympathize with you upon your recent loss. As I have found great consolation in the solicitude of my friends, I am sure that I cannot offer my condolence to you, but in the satisfaction that it will be cordially received.
Our friend, Mr. Perry, gave me good advice. I will not withhold it from you. Rouse yourself then, my dear sir, and seek in business, among its anxious cares, for that relief which is denied to sedentary grief. I have done so, and I am better. “Go thou then, and do likewise.” It is the will of Heaven that we should feel distress; and it is our duty to submit. Yours very affectionately,
To B. OAKLEY, Esq. Tavistock Place.
Serjeant's Inn, December 2, 1815.
On my return to town just now, after a fortnight's absence, I found your kind but unwelcome summons to accompany the remains of your late interesting and increasingly useful son. Unwelcome have I said ? It is so, not because I should have hesitated to have complied with your wishes, but for the occasion itself. I read, with equal surprise as regret, the account of his departure from us all; the one feeling arising from the health and vivacity in which he appeared to me,
when we last and lately met by accident; and the other proceeding from the irreparable void which you (particularly,) and your united family must for ever experience. I little thought to have witnessed the observation of the great Burke exemplified in you, when he lost his
-(but it was his only child !)—“ I live in an inverted order: he who should have succeeded me is gone before me.” There is therefore this great difference between you: he had no one left to console him; you have every thing else remaining to comfort you! A tender and affectionate wife, your earliest attachment, and a rising family, nurtured, and educated, and living in, as well as knowing how to appreciate, the inestimable advantages of a happy family. In these possessions and prospects I hope that you will dwell serenely, and know, that to repine, however keenly you must feel your privation, cannot regain your once valued treasure, but will only tend unnecessarily and unavailingly to diminish the enjoyments in store for you. I am unable to speak adequately on this subject, not being exactly in your situation ; but I know well what it was to love a father. Think therefore only, if your wife and children were deprived of you, what a deep and irretrievable shock that would be! Identify these remarks with the sincerity and best wishes of
R. G. THOMAS.
To REES GORING THOMAS, Esq. Tooting Lodge.
December 4, 1815. I THANK you for your condolence upon the loss of my “ interesting and increasingly useful son.” He was a boy of such matchless worth, such unshaken constancy in his efforts to assist me — such boundless attachment to his mother, his sisters, and myself; and possessing the confidence and regard of every friend I have — that
that “ the irreparable void ” his death has occasioned, (and to me particularly), is beyond a father's power to describe. We “ live in an inverted order” indeed : he should have succeeded me; but he is gone before me. He has reached the haven where his anchor of immutability takes its hold, and where in the heaven of heavens I hope to meet him again. He was my friend, my companion the very helm that would have steered my now declining bark through the rugged waves of this stormy world. I know it is my duty not to repine ; but to submit. We are but tenants at the will of the great Architect of the universe; and when his summons comes, we must obey.
“ Alas! nor genius, innocence, nor truth,
Can in the bosom stay the fleeting breath ;
My wife, sweet soother of my cares," and our yet remaining offspring, (Heaven preserve them !) are consolatory blessings still in store; and the general sympathy of my kind friends ought to, and certainly does, excite an alleviation of my sufferings. Remember me, and all of us, affectionately, to dear Mrs. Thomas and the children ; and believe me to be
To B. OAKLEY, Esq. TAVISTOCK Place.
MY DEAR SIR,
Sun Office, 112, Strand, December 4, 1815. I TRUST, that though my condolements under the heavy loss which your family has sustained, are not early, they are not the less sincere. The truth is, that I think an early intrusion is rather officiousness than
sympathy. I cannot presume to offer common-place topics to you, as your own good sense and reflection will suggest all that can be said on so melancholy a subject. Mrs. Taylor, who is now in Scotland, expresses deep regret at so unexpected and so very mournful an event. Yours can be no common sorrow, because your loss is not a common one. The consideration that a most amiable object is released from all the vicissitudes of a bad world, moral and physical ; and the reflection that grief is utterly unavailing, and only disqualifies those who indulge it too much for the business and the duties of life; will, I hope, tend to calm your mind, and supply you with fortitude. I shall leave this letter myself, in the hope to hear that you and your family are, in some degree, reconciled to an irretrievable misfortune; and am, my dear sir, with sincere and heart-felt respects to your agreeable lady and family,
To JOHN TAYLOR, Esq. SUN OFFICE, STRAND.
December 4, 1815. SYMPATHY, the soul of friendship, is the best cordial to a wounded heart: but yours, my kind