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[in pencil, up left: Lugano V. Scudder xx][postmark, largely illegible, ?ANZO D'INTELVI 9 06][postage stamp: Poste Italiane Cent 25, cancelled]
Miss Anne Whitney
[in different hand: Rocky Point Plymouth]
State Unite d'America.
[postmark: BOSTON MASS JUN 22 4-AM 19 06 Fenway Station]
[postmark, overlapping the first one: PLYMOUTH JUN 22 2-30P 1906 MASS]
[up left: Address:- "Care Brown Shipley & Co., London"]
June 9, 1906
My dear, dear friend:-
Lucy Smith has sent us the grievous, grievous word (from The Transcript) that our beloved Miss Manning has left us; and the news has darkened this lovely spot and taken brightness from the day. I think of you constantly; it seems as if I could not bear to face for you the sorrow, the desolation that you must know. Your beautiful, high friendship with her has been a comfort and inspiration to many of us younger women,-
severing of a life-long companionship must mean to you, I can only dimly divine. There is heroism in you, to meet all that life can inflict: your strong and deeply religious spirit will not fail. But oh! the pity of it!
The pure nobility and delightfulness of Miss Manning's character and mind were very, very dear to me. I love her tenderly, and you will let me, I know, reverently, in my little way, share your bereavement and sorrow. I know very little about immortality,-
what the breaking of the long union must be, I do not dare to think. Words are helplessly cold; but oh! I love you both so very dearly, and my heart aches.
I lost, myself - as men count loss,- before I was thirty, the friend to whom I had given a feeling which no one else has ever been able to awake in me. I have never since known joy of a certain kind; but I have become as the years went on, "aware that loss is not", and the love, and the consciousness of a noble spirit close to my own, have been an abiding possession. But what this
my faith, or insight, is dim. But I am sure that in the Heart of God all we have ever loved is held for us, and that if the best good is to find our dear ones again as they were on Earth, then they shall one day be found.
We know nothing except the "Transcript" notice, and of course are longing for details. I must not ask you to write, but would not Mrs. Pratt perhaps write us? I think of you both as you came to see us off on the steamer. I see her lovely, holy face--for it had the quality of holiness---
God comfort you, dear friend-
Scudder, Vida Dutton and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Vida Dutton Scudder, Italy, to Anne Whitney, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1906 June 9" (1906). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 900.