The Letters of Henry James - Vol. 2

By Henry James; Percy Lubbock | Go to book overview

To Mrs. Julian Sturgis.

Julian Sturgis. novelist and poet, a friend of H. J.'s by many ties, had died on the day this letter was written.

Reform Club, Pall Mall, S.W. April 13, 1904.

Dearest Mrs. Julian,

I ask myself how I can write to you and yet how I cannot, for my heart is full of the tenderest and most compassionate thought of you, and I can't but vainly say so. And I feel myself thinking as tenderly of him, and of the laceration of his consciousness of leaving you and his boys, of giving you up and ceasing to be for you what he so devotedly was. And that makes me pity him more than words can say -- with the wretchedness of one's not having been able to contribute to help or save him. But there he is in his sacrifice -- a beautiful, noble, stainless memory, without the shadow upon him, or the shadow of a shadow, of a single grossness or meanness or ugliness -- the world's dust on the nature of thousands of men. Everything that was high and charming in him comes out as one holds on to him, and when I think of my friendship of so many years with him I see it all as fairness and felicity. And then I think of your admirable years and I find no words for your loss. I only desire to keep near you and remain more than ever yours,

HENRY JAMES.

-14-

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The Letters of Henry James - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations *
  • VI - RYE (continued) (1904-1909) 1
  • VII - RYE AND CHELSEA (1910-1914) 151
  • VIII - THE WAR (1914-1916) 379
  • Index 503
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