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sir, although intended to heal, is of so affectionate a nature, as almost to excoriate the heart it was meant to cure. But I thank you — doubly thank you. Mine is, as you observe, not a common sorrow : yours is not a common commiseration. Again, I thank you; and pray thank dear Mrs. Taylor for me.
Heaven preserve to you your dear boy. God bless you.
To BENJAMIN OAKLEY, Esq. TAVISTOCK PLACE.
Tavistock Place, December 7, 1815.
If I have not, my good sir, before this, expressed my sense of your almost irreparable loss, in an epistolary way, it arose not from a want of understanding the extent of that loss; but from a too acute sense of your agonized feelings to know in what language to clothe my ideas, so as to give as little pain as possible, in my retrospection, to a heart so truly overcharged with grief. The interesting, richly endowed, and universally beloved object we all lament, your idolized boy, had too fast hold of your warmest affections not to have inflicted a wound which time alone can completely heal; but which, I trust, will be considerably assisted by your inoffensive and sympathising family.
To a heart such as yours, fraught with every generous and noble feeling, the tears of sorrowing innocence cannot flow without drawing from you an effort, at least, to alleviate their distress. To you alone, my kind sir, do they look for consolation : they watch your every look, sigh when you sigh, weep when you weep, smile when you smile : indeed, in your INDIVIDUAL self is locked up their every comfort, their every hope and happiness on earth. Discharge then this sacred, this precious trust committed to your care by the all-wise Disposer of events, and try to soften unavailing regrets for your almost matchless boy.
That the Almighty may enable you to do this, shall be the constant and fervent prayer of,
To MRS. BRITTON, TAvISTOCK Place.
December 7, 1815.
The kind, affectionate attention you have, my dear madam, shown to my family and myself, upon the late melancholy occasion, cannot be effaced from our minds. It carried with it the sincerity of true regard : it showed, at the same time, a heart of pity, and dealt out to hearts “ o'ercharged with grief” the softening balm of honest friendship. But, alas ! I feel, and indeed we all feel, “ that time alone can heal” the desperately inflicted wound which Heaven (perhaps in mercy,) has thought fit to visit us with.
Mine is a peculiarly agonizing pang: it has, in a measure, ripped from my side an identified part of me, which for seventeen years has grown, amalgamated, and become an integral part of my very self. Judge, then, how mighty must be the “ effort" to suppress the sigh — the tear and the still greater effort to excite the smile.
But the tears of sorrowing innocence have not been unavailing. They alleviate when they distress; and, like
the desperate incision of the knife, perforate to relieve. They have served to rouse
part of man,” to “ assume a virtue though I have it not.”
Your sympathetic condolences, your personal attentions, and the sacrifice of your own comforts, in participating in the united distresses of my family, we cannot but cherish with the warmest remembrance; and the generous attention of your worthy, virtuous husband, will ever have a seat nearest my heart. Of
my poor departed Benjamin, all I shall say is, Think what a boy should be, and he was that.
Your sincere Friend,
To B. OAKLEY, Esq. Tavistock Place.
MY DEAR SIR,
Austin Friars, December 9, 1815.
JUDGING from what my feelings would be from such a distressing event as you have lately experienced, I have been restrained from waiting on you in person, merely to offer you the compliments of sympathy and condolence usual on those melancholy occasions; because I know, that however sincerely tendered, they are, to susceptible minds, more likely to lacerate than heal such acute wounds; and because I know your own good sense will dictate to you, that from philosophy and the lenient hand of time alone an effectual cure is to be derived.
I am, my dear Sir,
Most sincerely yours,
To JOSEPH GARLAND, Esq. Austin FRIARS.
MY KIND SIR,
Royal Exchange, December 9, 1815. I am almost overpowered by your friendly condolence upon the loss of my ever to be lamented dear boy. Your knowledge of his worth, his acquirements and attentions, of which you have often been witness, have naturally excited a sympathy most natural in a breast like yours. Accept then, my dear sir, my best thanks for this fresh instance of your sincerity and friendship, and believe me to be
Your most grateful Friend and Servant,
To BENJAMIN OAKLEY, Esq. TavISTOCK PLACE.
MY DEAR SIR,
Fenchurch Street, December 9, 1815.
On my return from the country I received the melancholy intelligence of your recent domestic calamity, and should have waited upon you to express my condolence on this mournful occasion ; but felt, that for me to attempt to offer consolation to the wounded feelings of an affectionate father, would be as impertinent as useless. I assure you, however, my dear sir, that the friendship and politeness which I experienced (when a stranger) from you and your family, made such an impression upon my heart as calls for my liveliest sympathy under this heavy affliction; and as soon as the violence of your feelings may have a little abated, I shall have the pleasure of personally assuring you that I am, what I now have only the honour of subscribing myself,
Your obedient Servant and sincere Friend,
To CHARLES PEARSON, Esq. St. Helens.
MY GOOD SIR,
December 10, 1815.
Your very friendly sympathy and kind inquiry (not impertinent nor useless,) sits near my heart. If I have shown attention to a stranger, how am I now rewarded by your solicitude and condolence! and how grateful “ to the wounded feelings of an affectionate father” is the cordial draught of honest friendship, when seasonably applied !
Accept then, my dear sir, the assurance of regards; and permit me to hope, that friendship, such as yours, may ripen into closer intimacy with Your very obliged Servant,
To MR. TODD, HULL.
MY DEAR SIR,
Royal Exchange, December 12, 1815. The recollection of the happy day I passed with you and
your amiable lady, is not obliterated even by the dreadful calamity which has clouded my domestic circle. You have, no doubt, heard of the loss I have sustained in the death of my dear son- a boy just ripening into manhood, in whom I had cherished the