22 January 1805 – Tuesday – from Green Park Bldgs

[another letter to brother Frank]

My dearest Frank

I wrote to you yesterday; but your letter to Cassandra this morning, by which we learn the probability of your being by this time at Portsmouth, obliges me to write to you again, having unfortunately a communication as necessary as painful to make to you.– Your affectionate heart will be greatly wounded, & I wish the shock could have been lessen’d by a better preparation;–but the Event has been sudden, & so must be the information of it.  We have lost an Excellent Father. — An illness of only eight & forty hours carried him off yesterday morning between ten & eleven.  He was seized on saturday with a return of the feverish complaint, which he had been subject to for the three last years; evidently a more violent attack from the first, as the applications which had before produced almost immediate releif, seemed for some time to afford him scarcely any.– On Sunday however he was much better, so much so as to make Bowen quite easy, & give us every hope of his being well again in a few days.–  But these hopes gradually gave way as the day advanced, & when Bowen saw hima t ten that night he was greatly alarmed.– A Physician was called in yesterday morning, but he was at that time past all possibility of cure–& Dr Gibbs & Mr Bowen had scarcely left his roombefore he sunk into a Sleep from which he never woke.–

Everything I trust & beleive was done for him that was possible!– It has been very sudden! — within twenty four hours of his death he was walking with only the help of a stick, was even reading!– We had however some hours of preparation, & when we understood his recovery to be hopeless, most fervently did we pray for the speedy release which ensued.  To have seen him languishing long, struggling for Hours, would have been dreadful!– & thank God! we were all spared from it.  Except the restlessness & confusion of high Fever, he did not suffer– & he was mercifully spared from knowing that he was about to quit the Objects so beloved, so fondly cherished as his wife & Children ever were. — His tenderness as a Father, who can do justice to?– My Mother is tolerably well; she bears up with great fortitude, but I fear her health must suffer under such a shock.– An express was sent for James, & he arrived here this morning before eight o’clock.– The Funeral is to be on Saturday, at Walcot Church.–

The Serenity of the Corpse is most delightful!– It preserves the sweet, benevolent smile which always distinguished him.– They kindly press my Mother to remove to Steventon as soon as it is all over, but I do not beleive she will leave Bath at present.  We must have this house for three months longer, & here we shall probably stay till the end of that time.–

We all unite in Love, & I am affec:ly Yours


Capt. Austen
HMS Leopard

1 Response to 22 January 1805 – Tuesday – from Green Park Bldgs

  1. Pingback: “…I hope I have no reason to hang myself” | QuinnTessence

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