Saturday, December 04, 2010

21Mar1875, Her Sister Mary Dies

HAGLEY, Palm Sunday, March 21st, 1875.
Edward Talbot (who with Lavinia was at the Rectory) [FN: Her sister May had been very ill for some weeks, at Hagley Rectory.] came down at 8, and came to our room. The night had been profoundly quiet: nothing swallowed; no pain. Except Newmany's name, which has all along been oftenest on her lips, I believe she did not speak. It was a bright, clear morning, with shining sun. F. and I walked up together about 9 o'clock, and he went upstairs with me. We knelt together by the bed; he saw her last at Chatsworth in her beauty and brightness. She lay a little propped up, breathing gently; her look was a little troubled. Auntie P. was on the bed at her right side, stroking the wavy hair; Newmany holding her left hand, close to me; poor Edward also near me, watching her earnestly. Auntie P. said, "It's all right, darling; God is taking such care of you," and she told me to say some verses. I repeated, as slowly and clearly as I could, only 2 or 4 lines at a time, parts of Keble's Evening Hymn. The morning must have been streaming in; but the words fitted the awful, still approach of death. The troubled expression passed from the darling's face, and she stretched her hand out to me. When I paused she would look at me, and then turn her pretty head and look up at Auntie P. as if appealing for more words of comfort. I kissed her hand, and we went away. Dr. Wade could not tell how long it might last, so we went down again to be with poor Papa and Sybella. They were setting off to go up the Hill and I was sitting in the Library, looking out other hymns which I thought I might repeat to our darling, and I had chosen "There is a green hill far away," which she so loved to hear Spencer sing — Alfred was playing soft, solemn music, and the pathos of it was bringing floods of tears — when Meriel came down and gently told us the end had come. Not a sound, not a pang: the breathing died away imperceptibly as Uncle B. read the last prayer.

No comments: