“Our chief desire (for, as we love her, we may be directed by our instinct), in the attempt to restore her, is to make her understand that she is anything but worthless. She has recently followed my brother’s lead, and spoken of herself, but with a touch of scorn. This morning, while the clear frosty sky continues, we were to have started for an old castle lying toward Wales; and I think the idea of a castle must have struck her imagination, and forced some internal contrast on her mind. I am repeating my brother’s suggestion—she seemed more than usually impressed with an idea that she was of no value to anybody. She asked why she should go anywhere, and dropped into a chair, begging to be allowed to stay in a darkened room. My brother has some strange intuition of her state of mind. She has lost any power she may have had of grasping abstract ideas. In what I conceived to be play, he told her that many would buy her even now. She appeared to be speculating on this, and then wished to know how much those persons would consider her to be worth, and who they were. Nor did it raise a smile on her face to hear my brother mention Jews, and name an absolute sum of money; but, on the contrary, after evidently thinking over it, she rose up, and said that she was ready to go. I write fully to you, telling you these things, that you may see she is at any rate eager not to despair, and is learning, much as a child might learn it, that it need not be.
“Believe me, that I will in every way help to dispossess your mind of the remorse now weighing upon you, as far as it shall be within my power to do so.
“Mr. Runningbrook has been invited by my brother to come and be her companion. They have a strong affection for one another. He is a true poet, full of reverence for a true woman.”
[Wilfrid to Georgiana Ford:]
“I cannot thank you enough. When I think of her I am unmanned; and if I let my thoughts fall back upon myself, I am such as you saw me that night in Devon—helpless, and no very presentable figure. But you do not picture her to me. I cannot imagine whether her face has changed; and, pardon me, were I writing to you alone, I could have faith that the delicate insight and angelic nature of a woman would not condemn my desire to realize before my eyes the state she has fallen to. I see her now under a black shroud. Have her features changed? I cannot remember one—only at an interval her eyes. Does she look into the faces of people as she used? Or does she stare carelessly away? Softly between the eyes, is what I meant. I mean—but my reason for this particularity is very simple. I would state it to you, and to no other. I cannot have peace till she is restored; and my prayer is, that I may not haunt her to defeat your labour. Does her face appear to show that I am quite absent from her thoughts? Oh! you will understand me. You have seen me stand and betray no suffering when