November 8 1814: Better State of Existence

After our return Isabel was seized with a severe attack, and was brought to the very brink of the grave. I so verily expected to lose her, that I thought at one moment I had seen her for the last time. There are heavier afflictions than this, but none keener; and the joy and thankfulness which attend on recovery are proportionately intense. She has not yet regained her strength; but every day is restoring her, God be thanked.

I am glad you have seen these children. . . , If, by God’s blessing, my life should be prolonged till they are grown up, I have no doubt of providing for them; and if Herbert’s life be spared, he has every thing which can be required to make his name a good inheritance to him …

O dear Neville! how unendurable would life be if it were not for the belief that we shall meet again in a better state of existence. I do not know that person who is happier than myself, and who has more reason to be happy; and never was man more habitually cheerful; but this belief is the root which gives life to all, and holds all fast. God bless you!

— Robert Southey writes to Neville White, November 8 1814.

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