Letter from CHARLES ELIOT NORTON to CAROLINE CRANE MARSH, dated August 5, 1882.
My dear Mrs. Marsh
I feel for you deeply,--and I am thankful to know that you have the best,--the only--sources of support under a trial which must make all remaining life a burden, and under a sorrow which the mere passage of time can do nothing to alleviate.
For you, too, a past is secure. Nothing can take from you that unspeakable blessing of memory of long happiness.
And I trust you will receive some pleasure from the multitutde of private and public expressions of the love and respect felt for Mr. Marsh.
I esteem it among the great privileges of my life
to have known him, and to have been honored in a degree with his friendship. During late years, in which letters or other expression have been infrequent between us, there has been no lessening of my affection and respect. I have often wished that life brought more occasions for an intercourse which I specially prized. I feel the death of Mr. Marsh as a personal sorrow, & as a great loss to my own life.
It was not mere sympathy
of taste, or agreement of opinion that drew me to Mr. Marsh, nor mere desire to learn from him. His intellectual powers great & remarkable as they were always seemed to me less remarkable than his moral qualities. His modesty, his simplicity, his generosity, his patience,--his entire manliness of soul won and held my deepest admiration & respect.
I hope that his last days were tranquil & free from severe suffering. I trust
that you are not broken down, & that your health is not more
[The following appears vertically on the page beginning "Ashfield, Massachusetts."]
than usual. Please do not take the trouble to acknowledge this note.
I am, with sincerest regard & respect,Faithfully Yours