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Catharine Parr Traill to Ellen Dunlop
March 04 1872
Traill Family Collection (National Archives of Canada)
3-4 March 1872
My Dear and Much Valued Friend
I received your sad interesting letter on Thursday but was unable to acknowledge it before. Kate is quite crippled and suffering much pain from a swelling on one of the fingers of her right hand which make her unable for her household work and though I do but little it is enough to tire my poor old aching back and so it was that I could not write to you my dear friend as I would have done for my thoughts have been on you and the sorrowing family ever since I heard of the loss of that dear precious mother 1 -- but whose change from death unto eternal life we ought to rejoice in and take great comfort in. Yet this seems hard to write to those who have suffered a loss like yours dear Ellen -- still as a christian child you must be consoled for the loss of a christian Mother -- and joy even in the midst of tears that she is safe with her Saviour. Death hath no more dominion over her nor the fear of death which is torment --
Monday aft'n --
I am not quite satisfied with what I wrote; it was surely less than I might have said of your dear Mother, a friend so valued and sincerely loved, but I knew her retiring modest nature would have shrunk from even well deserved eulogy when living and I would not say all I had in my heart to say. She whose works of love were so often done in secret, will be rewarded openly by her Lord. Possibly dearest Ellen I have hardly carried out all your wishes but the time was short and I had no one to refer to on some points that I was uncertain about. 2
It was indeed a source of much satisfaction to me that my beloved friend spoke of me and bore me in remembrance even in her dying hours. I am much gratified, most happy that she named me -- Dear, dear ever to be remembered friend --
'Her children rise up and call her blessed.'
I wish I could pass a few hours with you dear friend -- but at present I cannot leave home -- and I fear it is useless to ask you to do so though indeed I think it would do you good the change and being able to unburden the sorrowing heart to one who dearly sympathizes with you and all your dear family -- Give my fond love to each one when you see any member of the family --
You will be glad I know to learn that I received a cheque for $60 from the Gov't at Toronto for my MS pamphlet and have the prospect of $50 from Ottawa shortly for the MS in Mr Lowe's hands there. This addition to my funds will relieve me from any want for this year. See dear friend how God does provide for me, and mine -- and that kind nephew Robt S. not only had sent me two cords of wood, but sent down a man to cut and pile it in the shed for me this very day. Truly I have much cause to be very grateful for I have many kind friends and many blessings are showered upon my unworthy head -- I must close this for I may not be able to send it to post if I delay longer.
With much affectionate love to your dear husband, and dear Mary I am ever your loving old friend