The Abbess had been informed the Night before of all that had passed between her Noviciate and Father Francis: From whom she now delivered to her the following Letter.
’As the First-fruits of those Joys and Consolations which you may expect from the Life you are now engaged in, I must acquaint you that Theodosius, whose Death sits so heavy upon your Thoughts, is still alive; and that the Father, to whom you have confessed your self, was once that Theodosius whom you so much lament. The love which we have had for one another will make us more happy in its Disappointment than it could have done in its Success. Providence has disposed of us for our Advantage, tho’ not according to our Wishes. Consider your Theodosius still as dead, but assure your self of one who will not cease to pray for you in Father.’
Constantia saw that the Hand-writing agreed with the Contents of the Letter: and upon reflecting on the Voice of the Person, the Behaviour, and above all the extreme Sorrow of the Father during her Confession, she discovered Theodosius in every Particular. After having wept with Tears of Joy, It is enough, says she, Theodosius is still in Being: I shall live with Comfort and die in Peace.
The Letters which the Father sent her afterwards are yet extant in the Nunnery where she resided; and are often read to the young Religious, in order to inspire them with good Resolutions and Sentiments of Virtue. It so happened, that after Constantia had lived about ten Years in the Cloyster, a violent Feaver broke out in the Place, which swept away great Multitudes, and among others Theodosius. Upon his Deathbed he sent his Benediction in a very moving Manner to Constantia, who at that time was herself so far gone in the same fatal Distemper, that she lay delirious. Upon the Interval which generally precedes Death in Sicknesses of this Nature, the Abbess, finding that the Physicians had given her over, told her that Theodosius was just gone before her, and that he had sent her his Benediction in his last Moments. Constantia received it with Pleasure: And now, says she, If I do not ask anything improper, let me be buried by Theodosius. My Vow reaches no farther than the Grave. What I ask is, I hope, no Violation of it.—She died soon after, and was interred according to her Request.
Their Tombs are still to be seen, with a short Latin Inscription over them to the following Purpose.
Here lie the Bodies of Father Francis and Sister Constance. They were lovely in their Lives, and in their Deaths they were not divided.
[Footnote 1: deface]
[Footnote 2: her]
[Footnote 3: that]
[Footnote 4: himself up]
[Footnote 5: that]