The bond between them was close and tender; and when in October, 1840, he died of typhoid fever, the blow fell on her with crushing severity.
“When he closed his eyes,” she says, “I would gladly, oh, so gladly have died with him!”
And again, “I remember the time as one without light or comfort.”
She turned to seek consolation in religion, andnaturally — in that aspect of religion which had been presented to her childish mind as the true and only one.
At this time a great Calvinistic revival was going on in New York, and a zealous friend persuaded Julia
to attend some of the meetings.
In her anguish of grief, the gloomy doctrines of natural depravity, of an angry and vengeful Deity, of a salvation possible only through certain strictly defined channels, came home to her with terrible force.
Her deeply religious nature sought the Divine under however portentous an aspect it was presented; her poet's imagination clung to the uplifted Cross; these were days of emotion, of fervor, of exaltation alternating with abasement; thought
was to come later.
While under these influences, Julia
, now at the head of the household, enforced her Calvinistic principles with rigor.
The family were allowed only cold meat on Sunday, to their great discomfort; the rather uninviting midday dinner was named by Uncle John “Sentiment” ; but at six o'clock they were given hot tea, and this he called “Bliss
Pious exhortations, sisterly admonitions, were the order of the day. “The old Bird
” --this nom de tendresse
had now superseded “Jolie Julie
,” and was to be hers while her sisters and brothers