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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 22: 1850-53
John Gibson Lockhart to Charlotte Lockhart Hope, 19 January 1853

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
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Sussex Place, Wednesday, January 19, 1853.

My dearest Charlotte,—I got home again late last night, after a very cold and stormy passage
from Boulogne. Mr. Holt went by the more rapid course of Calais, as he had to be in Wales this day early—and what a turbulent life his is! But he was most kind to me, and most useful; indeed without him I could never have got through the infinite diff1culties which the French law imposes in the case of a foreigner dying in that country. We had several days of most distressing work with officials at Versailles, and my head still swims with the recollection of those scenes.

“Your poor brother sleeps close by the entrance of the Versailles Cemetery, on the left hand at entering, and a modest stone will ere another week passes mark the spot. The very hour of his burial was also that of the Mayor’s wife, which all the town attended; and when we had just laid the coffin in the grave, all the sextons, &c, had to go and assist at this lady’s interment. I could not detain Holt, who had much to do elsewhere, and therefore was obliged to remain alone by the grave for two hours in the rain, until the people were at liberty to complete their work. . . .

“I thank Hope for his very kind notes to me, and also to William about me. Be assured that I am physically quite as well as I have been for a long time past, and that my mind is perfectly calm and composed. It is not at the moment that great afflictions tell most on me, and at present, so far from desiring either to go to Milton, or to have William or you here, it is, I feel, much better for
me that I am alone entirely now, and likely to be so for some weeks to come. I would not for the world have you leave Scotland on my account—by no means; our meeting is much better to be deferred till you come up in your usual course. Hope may be forced to come sooner by Holt’s business matters—but as to that I know nothing. I am not desirous to have it known that I am here, and shall keep it as secret as I can, except as to
Christie, Ferguson, and Murray. I have a world of letters from old friends, all meant in true affectionateness, but which I can’t answer now.

“It is a consolation that forgiveness and reconciliation preceded the abrupt close of that unhappy career. Even during his last delirium he never ceased to hold conversation with me as if present, and seemed to be constantly drawing comfort from the sense that we had exchanged estrangement for a renewal of natural feelings. The doctor did not suppose him to have suffered much pain. All the people of the hotel appeared to have taken a very warm interest in his case, and no doubt he returned to them as a sort of friends, when he found himself smitten at Fontainebleau.

“My dear and now only child, bear up and learn to endure evil, which is the staple of this mortal life. Kiss your babe and accept my blessing on her and you both.—Ever truly yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”