I had not heard of Aunt Edward's decease, but being not unexpected, it shocked me less than the sudden information of Mr. Poole's.1 A great loss to Mankind is he. Uncle Edward, I suppose will not long survive. One by one, my old friends drop away, and though I want not well-wishers, nor active benefactors, I feel painfully how few are left of those who were bound to me by nature, or a parent's memory.
Happy new year to the children.
Your affectionate Son,
I will write to Mary to thank her for the shirts etc. Don't think I forget Derwent, but I must positively endue my greatcoat and be off.
To the REV. ISAAC GREEN, Sedbergh.
Grasmere, Good-Friday--or rather Saturday--A fine night.
[Endorsed April, 1838.]
I need not tell you that I was much affected by the sudden decease of poor Mr. Wilkinson. I had heard, indeed, of his illness, but never suspected any thing worse than a bad cold which would only require a little nursing and was absolutely staggered when Gilbanks stopped the Coach to inform me that he was no more. I suppose you did not yourself apprehend an unfavourable termination of his complaint till a short time before the last. I am not one who looks upon death as an infliction on those that die--but it is often a sore misfortune to those that survive. Mr. W. has left a large family, none of whom can yet help themselves; some arrived at the age when paternal control and protection is specially needful: but I hope his circumstances will prove such as to furnish a comfortable provision for the widow and her offspring. You do not probably yet know who will succeed him in the school, or what changes will take place under the new regime, but I think there can be little doubt that the new sovereign will gladly avail himself of your ministerial services, if you are disposed to continue them. Most likely there will [be] several removals among the upper boys. I think the time allow'd for the appointment of a Master rather scanty, but as the choice lies in one College--where there are probably expectants____________________