[Manchester—Thursday, 7 July 1870]

July 7. A strange experience. A novel from Eugene Benson called “Broken by Love” was sent to us to be read for publication. What should it prove to be but the circumstantial story, with the real letters and journal, of Henriette Fletcher’s desertion of her home and following of this man. It was so sad, and so intensely passionate and above all so deeply wretched in every sense that I could not go to sleep for thinking of her and when I awoke this morning there were the thoughts of her in mourning spirit awaiting me. In the story she dies; Would to God she were indeed peacefully at rest as to this world.

To have known such a woman intimately, with her strange beauty and her passionate nature then to have separated, more from the separation time always brings to a friendship with little root than from any difficulty worth remembering, and then to have her story put just this way into our hands was something indeed dreadful. It was like the awful spiritual experiences which will await us in another sphere, but there, being more powerful to cope with them they will no longer appear awful but grand from the ease and perfectness with wh. we shall understand each other.

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