Lady John Russell eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 463 pages of information about Lady John Russell.

    What will 1898 bring of joy or sorrow, good or evil, life or death,
    to our home, our country, the world?  May we be ready for all,
    whatever it may be.

Six days later she was attacked by influenza, which turned to bronchitis, and very soon she became seriously ill.  There was for one day a slight hope that she might recover, but the rally was only temporary, and soon it was certain that death was near.

The last book that her daughter had been reading to her was the “Life of Tennyson,” by his son, which she very much enjoyed.  She begged her daughter to go on reading it to her in the last days of her life, and her keen interest in it was wonderful, even when she was too ill to listen to more than a few sentences at a time.

For some years Lady Russell had found great amusement and delight in the visits of a little wild squirrel—­squirrels abounded among the old trees at Pembroke Lodge—­which gradually became more and more tame and friendly.  It used to climb up to her windows by a lilac-bush or a climbing rose-tree and look brightly in at her while enjoying the nuts she gave it on the window-sill.  Before long it became very venturesome, and would enter the room daily and frisk about, or sit on her writing-table or on the tea-table in perfect content, taking food from her hand.  On the last day of her life the doctor [117] was sitting by her bedside when suddenly he noticed the beautiful little squirrel bounding in at her window.  It was only a few hours before she died, but her face lighted up at once, and she welcomed her faithful little friend, for the last time, with her brightest smile.

[117] Dr. Anderson, who had been for nearly thirty years a true and devoted friend.

During her illness she had spoken confidently of recovery, but the night before her death she realized quite clearly that the end was near.  Her son and daughter were with her; and just before she sank into a last sleep she spoke, in a firm clear voice, words of love and faith.  Her mind had remained unclouded, and her end was as calm and peaceful as those who loved her could have wished.  She died on January 17, 1898.


The immense number of letters received by Lady Russell’s son and daughter, from men and women of all classes and creeds, bore striking testimony to the widespread and reverent devotion felt for her memory.  Only very few selections will be given here.  The first letter—­written on the day of her death—­is from Mr. Farrington, the respected minister of the Richmond Free Church, who had known Lady Russell intimately for many years.

    Rev. Silas Farrington to Lady Agatha Russell

    January 17, 1898

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Lady John Russell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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