Friday, May 11, 2012

The Day of Departure is Come


Scott’s Journal:

May 11 [1826] --

    "Der Abschiedstag ist da,
    Schwer liegt er auf den Herzen--schwer."

Charlotte was unable to take leave of me, being in a sound sleep, after
a very indifferent night. Perhaps it was as well. Emotion might have
hurt her; and nothing I could have expressed would have been worth the
risk. I have foreseen, for two years and more, that this menaced event
could not be far distant. I have seen plainly, within the last two
months, that recovery was hopeless. And yet to part with the companion
of twenty-nine years when so very ill--that I did not, could not
foresee. It withers my heart to think of it, and to recollect that
I can hardly hope again to seek confidence and counsel from that ear to
which all might be safely confided. But in her present lethargic state,
what would my attentions have availed? and Anne has promised close and
constant intelligence. I must dine with James Ballantyne to-day en
famille_. I cannot help it; but would rather be at home and alone.
However, I can go out too. I will not yield to the barren sense of
hopelessness which struggles to invade me. I passed a pleasant day with
honest J.B., which was a great relief from the black dog which would
have worried me at home. We were quite alone.

Scott was right.  The end was near.  Wife Charlotte had 4 days left.

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