Much commiseration

“We regret to announce to our readers the unexpected demise of the
Duchess of Pentland at Firmingham, Essex. According to the Rev. Lionel
Kaimes, who dined with her Grace on the evening of her death, she was
in the very best of health and spirits. The unfortunate lady retired
at a comparatively early hour, and was found dead in the morning by
her maid. A brief examination proved that death was due to an overdose
of chloral, which her Grace was in the habit of taking when suffering
from sleeplessness. The Duke of Pentland, who was expected at
Firmingham, arrived shortly after the painful discovery, to be greeted
by the disastrous intelligence.

“The loss of this highly popular lady will be greatly felt in high
circles. Her beauty and wit were exceptional, and only to be surpassed
by her truly kind heart. It may be well said that she lived to make
others happy. To the unfortunate her purse was always open, and to the
afflicted her soothing presence was a welcome relief. Again and again
did she sacrifice herself in the cause of charity; and in many ways
unknown to the public did she do good by stealth. Her graceful
presence will be much missed at various great functions during the
coming winter season; but it is the poor and needy who will most
keenly feel the loss of one whose large heart was ever ready to aid
them in trouble.

“Much commiseration is expressed for the Duke of Pentland, who was
most tenderly attached to his beautiful consort. A brilliant star has
disappeared from the social firmament; but what is more lamentable, a
noble, religious, charitable lady has gone, leaving a place which can
never be filled. The funeral, which will take place at Firmingham next
Tuesday, will doubtless be largely attended by those who loved her and
knew her worth. The world can ill spare such a one, who illustrated in
her conduct and qualities the highest attributes of womanhood. She was
a great lady, a true, tender woman, a sincere friend, and a model
wife. What words could better befit her untimely grave than that
eulogy on Dorcas set forth in the Acts: ‘This woman was full of good
works and almsdeeds which she did’?”