Solitude is fearsome & heavy hearted. I have never known a man who had so much good accumulated upon him as I have. Reason, health, wife, child, friends, competence, reputation, the power to inspire, & the power to please. You leave me alone a few days, & I creep about as if in expectation of a calamity. My mother, my brother are at New York. A little farther,—across the sea,—is my friend Thomas Carlyle. In the islands I have another friend, it seems. I will love you all & be happy in your love. My gentle wife has an angel’s heart; & for my boy, his grief is more beautiful than other people’s joy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks 5:454