Mrs. Sinclair to Mr. Rollo Russell
I loved and honoured my dear
lady more than any one I ever served.
In my long life of service, where all had been good and kind to me,
she was the dearest and best.
The funeral service was held on the 21st of January in the village church at Chenies, where her husband had been buried among his ancestors. The Burial Service of the Church of England, the solemnity and beauty of which she had always deeply felt, was read in the presence of many friends and relations assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to her memory.
Not long before her death Lady Russell had written these lines:
O shadowy form majestic, nearer gliding,
And ever nearer! Thou whose silent tread
Not ocean, chasm, or mountain can delay,
Not even hands in agony outstretched,
Or bitterest tears of breaking hearts, that fain
Would stay thy dread approach to those most dear.
Vainly from thee we seek to hide; thou wield’st
A sceptred power that none below may challenge;
Yet no true monarch thou—but Messenger
Of Him, Monarch supreme and Love eternal,
Who holdeth of all mysteries the key;—
And in thy dark unfathomable eyes
A star of promise lieth.
Then O! despite all failure, guilt and error,
Crushing beneath their weight my faltering soul,
When my hour striketh, when with Time I part,
When face to face we stand, with naught between,
Come as a friend, O Death!
Lay gently thy cold hand upon my brow,
And still the fevered throb of this blind life,
This fragment, mournful yet so fair—this dream,
Aspiring, earth-bound, passionate—and waft me
Where broken harmonies will blend once more,
And severed hearts once more together beat;
Where, in our Father’s fold, all, all shall be fulfilled.
RECOLLECTIONS OF FRANCES, COUNTESS RUSSELL
BY JUSTIN McCARTHY
Some of the dearest and most treasured memories of my lifetime are those belonging to the years during which I had the honour of being received among her friends by the late Countess Russell.
That friendship lasted more than twenty years, and its close on this earth was only brought about by Lady Russell’s death.
There hangs now in my study, seeming to look down upon me while I write, a photograph of Lady Russell with her name written on it in her own handwriting. That photograph I received but a short time before her death, and it is to be with me so long as I live and look upon this earth.