Hannah Webster Foster (17591840). The Coquette, or The History of Eliza Wharton. 1855.
TO MRS. M. WHARTON.
Dear madam: We have paid the last tribute of respect to your beloved daughter. The day after my arrival, Mrs. Sumner proposed that we should visit the sad spot which contains the remains of our once amiable friend. The grave of Eliza Wharton, said she, shall not be unbedewed by the tears of friendship.
Yesterday we went accordingly, and were much pleased with the apparent sincerity of the people in their assurances that every thing in their power had been done to render her situation comfortable. The minutest circumstances were faithfully related; and, from the state of her mind in her last hours, I think much comfort may be derived to her afflicted friends.
We spent a mournful hour in the place where she is interred, and then returned to the inn, while Mrs. Sumner gave orders for a decent stone to be erected over her grave, with the following inscription:
THIS HUMBLE STONE, IN MEMORY OF ELIZA WHARTON, IS INSCRIBED BY HER WEEPING FRIENDS, TO WHOM SHE ENDEARED HERSELF BY UNCOMMON TENDERNESS AND AFFECTION. ENDOWED WITH SUPERIOR ACQUIREMENTS, SHE WAS STILL MORE DISTINQUISHED BY HUMILITY AND BENEVOLENCE. LET CANDOR THROW A VEIL OVER HER FRAILTIES, FOR GREAT WAS HER CHARITY TO OTHERS. SHE SUSTAINED THE LAST PAINFUL SCENE FAR FROM EVERY FRIEND, AND EXHIBITED AN EXAMPLE OF CALM RESIGNATION. HER DEPARTURE WAS ON THE 25TH DAY OF JULY, A.D. , IN THE 37TH YEAR OF HER AGE; AND THE TEARS OF STRANGERS WATERED HER GRAVE.
I hope, madam, that you will derive satisfaction from these exertions of friendship, and that, united to the many other sources of consolation with which you are furnished, they may alleviate your grief, and, while they leave the pleasing remembrance of her virtues, add the supporting persuasion that your Eliza is happy.