11 November 1775744

    Norwich November 11th 1775

    My dear Sister

    All I have to say in excuse for not writing to you before, is that no opportunity has offered of sending directly to Braintree since that by which I wrote to our Father, except when my parents went down. They did not determine to go till the night before, and as Dr. and Mrs. Gordon were then here, I was unwilling to lose their company.

    I cannot describe to you my dear the emotions of heart I feel when writing to the sister of my departed friend. They are inexpressible! If you could see, if you could witness, how often I am obliged to lay aside my pen, to give way to my tears, you would pity me. I can write upon no other subject but this. Therefore you must not expect that my letters can give you any pleasure. They must give you much pain, as they must recall to your remembrance a Brother who possessed every qualification to make him dear to all his relations. And I should not think that they could soon forget him. As to me, how can I ever cease to dwell in the remembrance of one, who loved me with such a constant, such an undeserved affection, one who was so peculiarly formed for friendship and domestic happiness? I see no command from Reason or Revelation that we should forget our friends as soon as they cease from doing kind offices for us—cease did I say; no, I believe with the poet that

    “Nor lands nor seas nor suns nor stars

    Can soul from soul divide

    They correspond from distant worlds

    Though vision is denied.”745

    Indeed my dear sister, were it possible for me ever to forget the many aggravating circumstances which attended his death, intended by providence for my notice and improvement, I should be without feeling or understanding. May my greatest concern be that the designs of an infinitely just and holy God, in so severely afflicting me, may be fully answered by my improvement. You knw that I was always fond of retirement. It is now more desirable to me than ever.

    “For him all thoughts of pleasure I forego

    For whom my tears can never cease to flow.”746

    But I shall always be happy to hear from or see any of the friends or relations of my dear husband, and you must unless you injure me, believe that your happiness must give me pleasure. As to my health I am as well as usual. The country air is very favorable to me. My dear little boy is well. I asked him what he had to say to his Aunt? he says, “tell her I go to school and stay all day, and that I send them all many kisses.”

    Give my duty to Father and Mother, and love to my sisters. Give also the love and compliments of our family to yours, out of which you are to take a share. Write when you can. Love me for your dear brother’s sake and accept of woe for his sake and your own. From

    A. Q.