Letter from Grace Greenwood to James Fields, July 25, 1851
CreditHuntington Library, James Thomas Fields Papers and Addenda
Letter Item Type Metadata
[page 1] My dear friend.
When most I would, I hardly dare approach you. restrained, thrown back as I feel myself by that awe which the presence of a great grief ever imposes.— I never so miserably feel how unskilled am I in the pharmacy of sorrow as when I would apply some healing balsam of sympathy and consolation to "hurt minds". I never so feel the insufficiency of language as when I would stanch with words the bleeding of a wounded heart.— I never seem so far away from my most familiar friends from those for whom I have the truest affection as when they stand in the dread isolation rayed about by the holiness of sorrow. We are all too like those friends
[page 2] of Jesus, who in his hour of extremest agony "stood gazingly from afar off." I will no longer draw back from the fear that word of mine will come discordantly through your sad silence. that my hand when laid lightest will fall harshly on the beat strings yet vibrations from the touch of the angel of death I will come to you then [?], and say that I give you my most sorrowful sympathy in this your great affliction. that many are the thoughts I give to you and to her, called so suddenly away from all the happiness and hopes of her young life. Yet is it not well for her to know only the brightness and the sweetness of the morning. being spared the noon tide weariness and the chill and shadow of the night! Taking such rich unwasted affections with her, as she goes to possess the loves of heaven. what a double
[page 3] inheritance!— If you are of my spiritual philosophy, you will not think your Eliza dead. not even beyond the wide of your arms, but only unseen - and your utmost +++ will be not that her quitte [sic] sympathy, her love are [sic] lost to you. but that you will "see her face no more". I believe that for you, +++ could as well tried out her memory. under the grave. sod, as Heaven itself bury under its divinest joys the tender memory of her mortal love. Since she has gone, my dear friend, I have felt much regret that I did not know her better. It was seldom that I had the happiness of seeing her, and then only a few moments elation. I felt +++ than knew her to be a quitte [sic] and amiable being. a household spirit. not striking and captivating at first, by a brilliant manner, but quietly winning on
[page 4] one's regard by her soft and most reassuring ways. not demonstrative of affection but bearing about with her an atmosphere of love like a light perfume of home-flowers. It was that she impressed me by her half-timid, half-dignified manner. by the expression of her face, by all she said, and by her silence as well. I hope that your health has not entirely given way under the oppression of anxiety and grief. May God who has seen fit so heavily to afflict you. strengthen are bless you.
Ever truly your friend
Sara J. Clarke
James T. Fields Esq