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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesJane Talbot - Letter 70 - To Henry Golden
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Jane Talbot - Letter 70 - To Henry Golden Post by :cjv01 Category :Long Stories Author :Charles Brockden Brown Date :May 2012 Read :2744

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Jane Talbot - Letter 70 - To Henry Golden

Letter LXX - To Henry Golden

To Henry Golden

New York, February 12.

And are you then alive? Are you then returned? Still do you remember, still love, the ungrateful and capricious Jane? Have you indeed come back to soothe her almost broken heart,--to rescue her from the grave,--to cheer her with the prospect of peaceful and bright days yet to come?

Oh, my full heart! Sorrow has not hitherto been able quite to burst this frail tenement. I almost fear that joy,--so strange to me is joy, and so far, so very far, beyond my notions of possibility was your return,--I almost fear that joy will do what sorrow was unable to do.

Can it be that Golden--that selfsame, dear, pensive face, those eyes, benignly and sweetly mild, and that heart-dissolving voice, have escaped so many storms, so many dangers? Was it love for me that led you from the extremity of the world? and have you, indeed, brought back with you a heart full of "ineffable tenderness" for _me_?

Unspeakably unworthy am I of your love. Time and grief, dear Hal, have bereft me of the glossy hues, the laughing graces, which your doting judgment once ascribed to me. But what will not the joy of your return effect? I already feel lightsome and buoyant as a bird. My head is giddy; but, alas, you are not well,--yet, you assure us, not dangerously sick. Nothing, did you not say, but time and repose necessary to heal you? Will not my presence, my nursing, hasten thy restoration? Tuesday evening--they say it can't possibly be sooner--I am with you. No supporters shall you have but my arms; no pillow but my breast. Every holy rite shall instantly be called in to make us one. And when once united, nothing but death shall ever part us again. What did I say? Death itself--at least _thy death--shall never dissever that bond.

Your brother will take this. Your sister--she is the most excellent of women, and worthy to be your sister--she and I will follow him to-morrow. He will tell you much which my hurried spirits will not allow me to tell you in this letter. He knows everything. He has been a brother since my mother's death. She is dead, Henry. She died in my arms; and will it not give you pleasure to know that her dying lips blessed me, and expressed the hope that you would one day return to find, in my authorized love, some recompense for all the evils to which her antipathies subjected you? She hoped, indeed, that observation and experience would detect the fallacy of your former tenets; that you would become wise, not in speculation only, but in practice, and be, in every respect, deserving of the happiness and honour which would attend the gift of her daughter's hand and heart.

My words cannot utter, but thy own heart perhaps can conceive, the rapture which thy confession of a change in thy opinions has afforded me. _All my prayers, Henry, have not been _merely for your return. Indeed, whatever might have been the dictates, however absolute the dominion, of passion, union with you would have been _very far from completing my felicity, unless our hopes and opinions, as well as our persons and hearts, were united. Now can I look up with confidence and exultation to the shade of my revered and beloved mother. Now can I safely invoke her presence and her blessing on a union which death will have no power to dissolve. Oh, what sweet peace, what serene transport, is there in the persuasion that the selected soul will continue forever to commune with _my soul, mingle with mine in its adoration of the same Divine Parent, and partake with me in every thought, in every emotion, both _here and _hereafter_!

Never, my friend, without _this persuasion, _never should I have known one moment of true happiness. Marriage, indeed, instead of losing its attractions in consequence of your errors, drew thence only new recommendations, since with a zeal, a tenderness, and a faith like mine, my efforts to restore such a heart and such a reason as yours could not fail of success; but _till that restoration were accomplished, never, I repeat, should I have tasted repose even in _your arms.

Poor Miss Jessup! She is dead, Henry,--yet not before she did thee and me poor justice. Her death-bed confession removed my mother's fatal suspicions. This confession and the perusal of all thy letters, and thy exile, which I afterwards discovered was known to her very early, though unsuspected by me till after her decease, brought her to regard thee with some compassion and some respect.

I can write no more; but must not conclude till I have offered thee the tenderest, most fervent vows of a heart that ever was and always will be _thine own_. Witness,


Charles Brockden Brown's fiction/novel: Jane Talbot

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