16 Dec 1856 - 2
130 Highcliff Lodge
2 Breeds Place, Hastings
Yours was the first letter I received of sympathy on a morning here. & so after writing to Mrs Campbell (whom we owe more of kind attention than we can ever repay) - I shall try to reply to your kind expressions of sorrow – But indeed I am sad at heart to no common degree - & I do mourn very very much, as if I could not get over it. But with two such very dear young ones as are still mine with so kind a husband & so many sympathising Brethren I must see that I grieve not too much. That I bend more submissively to the blow dealt me lest I had my God to deprive me of some other Treasure - But I did so love my boy. I had imagined him so strong – so firmly built in mind & body that even his being ill - was most trying & harassing information for me to receive - but to be forced to hear he was no more & that he had sunk under a [-] [barely legible text] & [-] [barely legible text] – it was indeed too much & sadly indeed do I take it to heart. I was so grieved and destroyed too for dearest James, for Rayd, for Mary E & your sisters. It is such a grievous loss to them all for life. So much did we build on that [-] [barely legible text] fellow being our delight & their joy in old age - dearest Sarah I must not murmur more. I must bear it but oh what a young joyous life is taken away! I do not think he had ever an unhappy hour. & what happiness did he give me during his 12 short years. You hear dear Sarah what a comfort you Bible was & its texts. Poor fellow! he wd leave the larger one he daily used with me, saying yours would fit his coat & that he would always read it by the light of the moon when he was on his night watch! -
Dear James has been down here & gone again - he was sadly low but it is only natural & what must be. God has not so touched us in the very apple of the eye that we should not feel it & take it as a message for our sanctification.
I know perfectly well you all feel for us - I do not doubt in the sympathy of dear Mr Bevan & your girls & I fancy when we return home later in Spring that we would prefer having a visit from one of yr three than anyone else - if you thought of coming over here for the day while we are here we should have much comfort in yr conversation - you cd share our midday dinner. Tell me one thing if you can dear Sarah - for it may be of consequence to the few remaining Dewars. Where can I find grounds for knowing our family to be that of Vognè? Mr Dewar dined with us & was most friendly & I gave him my papers & I said I believed we were from Vognè & I felt certain you had said so - but who else would test it? It seems [-] [barely legible text] to refer to this after our beloved Robin’s death but I have my reasons. My other question is. How do you sent to Miss Lamb ∧How do you address it? & what sort of thing do you send? For by this melancholy mourning there are many things of mine & Mary E’s I shall not keep. Does Miss Lamb write back? Yr very truly affectionate sister MA Dewar
I need not say that we receive your [-] [barely legible text] & sympathy from dearest Sibella & Elis & see them daily kind love to you & yours - hopes too for Mr Bevan & yourself being better in health than when we spent that happy day visit.