“I fear you will scarcely be able to read this scrawl, but I feel hurried and agitated. Death is not welcome to me. I confess it is ever dreaded. You have made me too fond of life. Adieu, then, thou kind, thou tender husband. Adieu, friend of my heart. May Heaven prosper you, and may we meet hereafter. Adieu; perhaps we may never see each other again in this world. You are away, I wished to hold you fast, and prevented you from going this morning. But He who is wisdom itself ordains events; we must submit to them. Least of all should I murmur. I, on whom so many blessings have been showered,—whose days have been numbered by bounties,—who have had such a husband, such a child, and such a father. O pardon me, my God, if I regret leaving these. I resign myself. Adieu, once more, and for the last time, my beloved. Speak of me often to our son. Let him love the memory of his mother, and let him know how he was loved by her. Your wife, your fond wife,
“Let my father see my son sometimes. Do not be unkind toward him whom I have loved so much, I beseech you. Burn all my papers except my father’s letters, which I beg you to return him. Adieu, my sweet boy. Love your father; be grateful and affectionate to him while he lives; be the pride of his meridian, the support of his departing days. Be all that he wishes; for he made your mother happy. Oh! my heavenly Father, bless them both. If it is permitted, I will hover round you, and guard you, and intercede for you. I hope for happiness in the next world, for I have not been bad in this.
“I had nearly forgotten to say that I charge you not to allow me to be stripped and washed, as is usual. I am pure enough thus to return to dust. Why, then, expose my person? Pray see to this. If it does not appear contradictory or silly, I beg to be kept as long as possible before I am consigned to the earth.”
JOHN JACOB ASTOR.
We all feel some curiosity respecting men who have been eminent in anything,—even in crime; and as this curiosity is natural and universal, it seems proper that it should be gratified. JOHN JACOB ASTOR, surpassed all the men of his generation in the accumulation of wealth. He began life a poor, hungry German boy, and died worth twenty millions of dollars. These facts are so remarkable, that there is no one who does not feel a desire to know by which means the result was produced, and whether the game was played fairly. We all wish, if not to be rich, yet to have more money than we now possess. We have known many kinds of men, but never one who felt that he had quite money enough. The three richest men now living in the United States are known to be as much interested in the increase of their possessions, and try as hard to increase them, as ever they did.