The Collected Letters, Volume 1


JBW TO ELIZA STODART; 26 September 1819; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18190926-JBW-EA-01; CL 1:199-200.


Sunday night [26? September 1819]

My Dear Bess

I am happy to say that my Mother is no worse than when you left us in her bodily health for her spirits I cannot say much— The dreadful loss1 which we have sustained is one which can never be less deeply felt— Indeed time seems only to show it in more distressing colours— We are all exceedingly obliged to you for your kindness in coming to us at such a time— But we still cannot help thinking that you had some other reason than the one you gave us for leaving us so soon[.] Both my Mother & self ar[e] perfectly unconscious of having offended you— Had we had the smallest idea that such was your intention it would have been the last thing we would have thought of to ask you to go to Edinr on our business—or at least to return for so very short a period— I do not think that we can possibly be in Dumfrie[s]shire for three of [or] four weeks from this date—nor do I expect to be in town before that time— Indeed it is astonishing how little desire I feel to leave this place even for a short time— The memory of what has been—And the melancholy pleasure in the reflection that I am still near the being that I loved more than all the world besides although he is no longer conscious of my affection are the feelings which constitute the little happiness I now can feel— When you was2 here I did not know that he was buried in the Ruin of the church— I cannot tell you how it pleased me—last night when the moon was shining so brightly I felt the most anxious wish to visit his grave—and I will not feel satisfied till I have done so— Those Ruins appear to me now to possess a sublimity with which my fancy never before vested them— I feel that I never can leave this place— May God bless you & preserve you from such a loss as mine is the prayer of Your Affectionate friend

Jane Welsh