The Dead Still With Us
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
CHIEF' JUSTICE JOHN MARSHALL was a very healthy man, but his wife had many years of invalidism. He was always devoted to her, and especially so during the long period of her illness. She was unable to attend church, and every Sunday morning, before going himself, he would read the service to her. After her death he continued the custom. He would draw the chair in which she used to sit close to his, and read the service as though she were there listening to him. On the first anniversary of her death he wrote :
From the hour of our union to that of our separation, I never ceased to thank heaven for this its best gift. I have lost her, and with her the solace of my life. Yet she still remains the companion of my retired hours, still occupies my inmost bosom." He was not greater as the eminent jurist than he was as the affectionate husband. Such an example of conjugal affection is an inspiration and safety to American homes. It may be that the spirit of his companion was not far away from the vacant chair.
" With a slow and noiseless footstep
" And she sits and gazes at me