January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


JWC TO F. D. MAURICE ; 29 March 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450329-JWC-FDM-01; CL 19: 46-47


Saturday [29 March or 5 April 1845]

My dearest Mr Maurice

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your few lines— We were very anxious to hear something of yourself—to be assured that you have not altogether broken down under this terrible stroke—knowing the sort of man you are, we hoped that even in the first days you would bear it nobly devoutly—but still it is such a loss!—the very best wife that I have ever seen in the world, and you the very most affectionate husband that I have ever known— I have said it to my husband over and over again that you were the only pair in my whole acquaintance who seemed to me to make of married life what it was originally intended to be a “holy estate of Matrimony” and so soon to be parted in this Life!—it is so sorrowful to think of for us who are but friends—onlookers—that one could not have wondered if your strength and faith had failed you in the first days of feeling yourself alone—alone— Oh I know so well what these first days of separation are—even with the hope of meeting again hereafter—indeed without that hope I know not how any bereaved mortal is enabled to survive them—God give you comfort—all human pity is utterly helpless and worthless at such a time—

My husband met Capt Sterling in the street the very day he had heard the sorrowful news, and I saw the minute he came into the room that he had something dreadful to tell me— Poor Annie Maurice he said at last—and there was no need of more words. Again and again he has exclaimed since, in the midst of his reading “poor good Annie Maurice!—what will her husband do without her!” Oh yes she was ‘good’ and has left a most pure sweet image in every heart that knew her ever so little

I had been thinking all thro my last illness, if I were only able to get to her again I should try to make her love me, and get more good of her than in all these past years— Till I knew her in danger I never knew how much I had loved and respected her all along and now!— God be with you my dear friend— Excuse me for troubling you perhaps with this note— I could not help writing

Ever your affectionate

Jane Carlyle