Lady John Russell eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 369 pages of information about Lady John Russell.
Just a word with you, my own Lotty, before leaving home.  Oh the blessing of being still able to call it home, darkened for ever as it is, for the multiplying memories with which it is thronged make it dearer as well as sadder every day of my life!  Lotty, shall I ever believe that he has left me, quite left me, never to return?  Will the fearful silence ever cease to startle me?  Whenever I came in from a walk or a drive I used to know almost before I opened his door, by the sound of his voice, or of something, whether all was well with him, and now there is only that deadly silence.  And yet, I often feel if I had but courage to go in, surely I must find him, surely he must be waiting for me and wanting me.  But how foolish to talk of any one form of this unutterable blank, which meets me at every turn, intertwined with everything I say or do, and taking a new shape every moment, and the yearning and the aching which have been my portion for four years—­the yearning for my other lost loved ones, for my dear, dear boys, seems more terrible than ever now that this too has come upon me....  I pass my husband’s sitting-room window—­there are the roses he loved so well, hanging over them in all their summer beauty, but he does not call me to give him one.  I come in, and there on the walls of my room are pictures of the three, but not one of them answers me—­silence, nothing but deadly silence!  I know all is well, and I feel in my inmost heart that this last sorrow is a blessed one, saving us from far worse, and taking him to his rest, and I never for a moment forget what treasures beyond price are left to my old age still.

CHAPTER XIII

1878-98

Lady Russell survived her husband nearly twenty years.  From the time of Lord Russell’s death in May, 1878, till 1890, she kept no diary, but not long before her death she wrote for her children a few recollections of some of the events during those twelve years.

In May, 1880, Lady Victoria Villiers died, leaving a widowed husband and many children.  Her death was a great sorrow to Lady Russell, who wrote of her as “a perfect wife and mother.”

In the summer of 1883 her son Rollo bought a place—­Dunrozel—­near Haslemere, and from this time till 1891 Lady Russell spent a few months every year at Dunrozel.[96] In 1891 and 1892 she took a house on Hindhead—­some miles from Haslemere—­for a few months.  She enjoyed and loved the beautiful wild heather country, which reminded her of Scotland, but after 1892 she felt that home was best for her, and never again left Pembroke Lodge.

[96] They named it Dunrozel after Rozel in Normandy, supposed to be the original home of the Russells.

In 1885 the marriage of her son Rollo to Miss Alice Godfrey was a great happiness to her.  But in little more than a year, soon after the birth of a son, Mrs. Rollo Russell died, and again Lady Russell suffered deeply, for she always found the sorrows of her children harder to bear than her own.

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Lady John Russell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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