June, 1837

I badly miss regularly writing on this blog – I started it as an outlet, to encourage myself to be intellectually creative, and now I find that I really miss having time to delve into a topic and logic out things for fun. So in the interest of re-connecting, despite something of a time crunch in my life lately, I’ve started digging up some history I have from various projects I did primary source research for. Bit by bit I will carve out more time to explore things in depth, but in the meantime I can amuse myself and others with primary sources and the occasional random science.

The below is an excerpt I found while developing curriculum materials several years back. I should probably save it for Valentine’s Day, but hey, the author didn’t wait for February to express these ideas. And surely we could all use a hopeless romantic sigh during this week of almost-Spring, non-stop rains.

June (no day given), 1837. Pg. 144 of James Bryce’s personal journal
(copied from Curator’s transcription)

“Two weeks ago last Thursday my wife left here on a visit to her parents in Ohio. the first time we have been parted for many days since I first called her my own. and though I was willing. and anxious. she should go from a principle of duty. and from love to her. and to them. still I miss her much. the time hangs so heavy on my hands. at work it is least irksome. for there is employment. and that always gives at least comparative peace. under any circumstances– but when idle I feel her absence most sensibly. then memory is busy and the longing desire to see her again. become almost a painful feeling.

Mysterious (tie??) that gives being and blessedness to married life. a few short years ago. we were nothing to each other. then gradually more and more interested in. and knit to each other by trusting love. until now after more than a year of the most intimate acquaintance with each others characters. I can realize the force of the truth of the Divine ordinance that twain shall become one flesh…other relations of life are near and dear.. but in this. the fountains of hope and happiness of life itself are intermingled. the very being. the views and feelings. the hopes and prospects. the whole character in short. are blended and merged in one–and so must be to enjoy happiness for there is no greater mistake. than to suppose the mere ceremonial of marriage sufficient. or even tolerable. without the union of the heart.”


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