A Mother’s Dying Love: 1840

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The plague broke out in a little Italian village. In one house the children were taken first. The parents watched over them, but only caught the disease they could not cure. The whole family died. On the opposite side of the way, lived the family of a poor laborer, who was absent the whole week; only coming home on Saturday night, to bring his scanty earnings. His wife felt herself attacked by the fever in the night. In the morning she was much worse, and before night the plague-spot showed itself. She thought of the terrible fate of her neighbors. She knew she must die, but, as she looked upon her dear boys, she resolved not to communicate death to them. She therefore locked the children into the room, and snatched her bed-clothes, lest they should keep the contagion behind her, and left the house. She even denied herself the sad pleasure of a last embrace. O think of the heroism which enabled her to conquer her feelings, and leave home and all she loved–to die. Her oldest child saw her from the window. “Good bye, mother ,” said he, with the tenderest tone, for he wondered why his mother left them so strangely. “Good bye, mother ,” repeated the youngest child, stretching his little hand out of the window. The mother paused. Her heart was drawn towards her children, and she was on the point of rushing back. She struggled hard, while the tears rolled down her cheeks, at the sight of her helpless babes. At length she turned from them. The children continued to cry, “Good bye, mother .” The sounds sent a thrill of anguish to her heart; but she pressed on to the house of those who were to bury her. In two days she died, recommending her husband and children to their care, with her dying breath.

The Jeffersonian [Stroudsburg PA] 23 June 1841: p. 1

Chris Woodyard is the author of The Victorian Book of the Dead, The Ghost Wore Black, The Headless Horror, The Face in the Window, and the 7-volume Haunted Ohio series. She is also the chronicler of the adventures of that amiable murderess Mrs Daffodil in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales. The books are available in paperback and for Kindle. Indexes and fact sheets for all of these books may be found by searching hauntedohiobooks.com. Join her on FB at Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard or The Victorian Book of the Dead. And visit her newest blog The Victorian Book of the Dead.