W1391 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from Bessie Lataille
Aug 8 1873 Vendredi 8 d'aout
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten, 213 East 55th Street, New York, New York
My dear Sir,
Excuse me if I did not write to you as soon as I promised, but, I was very ill since I saw you and was not able to give a good way to my thoughts (although to day I cannot retain my [?]!). Nevertheless I will try to tell you a few words. At first I beg you pardon for a so badly writing.
I have been thoughtful a great deal about the following sentences: "Life is the greatest of blessings and Death the worst of all ills"; "to live is the first, to love is the happiest"; "to be forsaken is most undesirable!"; "Life is a beautiful dream, etc. etc."
Do you reflect on such problems sometimes? "Death is the worst;" to love is the happiest!" Do you? I suppose not.
No; Dear Doctor, that is a great mistake, indeed ... to love (I mean truly) is not the happiest of life; and life itself is not at all the greatest blessing; for how many creatures are passing in that way quite miserable and hopeless!? Nor, I will tell you, when I am thinking about the Death, I look at it, as the best rest given to us, to bless our last days, to finish a life which the remembrance is full with sorrow and despair; to make quiet our broken hearts and to know at last, the meaning of this great and terrible word: the Unknown!....... and yet, when my eyes are full with tears; when my soul is desolate, as I give a deep glance on for back, and many others deeper still on the future, do you suppose that I consider life as a beautiful dream! do you?
Oh now! I may assure you what is true only is this: to be foresaken, but above all, by ingratitude, is the most miserable; I am adding that to be lonely forever, to have with it, youth, and warming heart is almost, and anticipated Death!...
However, by another side we are not able to command our own feelings, and explain our hearts, are silent, it is not possible to us to make them ready to speak, according with our wishes?...
Dear Doctor, I think it is quite enough spoken in a such a sad manner, but it is a punishment for you, another time you will not ask me to write to you.
Your most sincere
B. [Bessie] Lataille1
[?] P.S. I hope to see you on tomorrow morning.
1 See also W1387 and W1375 from the same person.