Newman to His Aunt

How strange it is, I wish I could describe it, to stand in a house which was so much to me, as that house was, and it so different, and I so different! Whatever good there is in me, I owe, under grace, to the time I spent in that house, and to you and my dear Grandmother, its inhabitants. I do not forget her Bible and the prints in it. Alas, my dear Aunt, I am but a sorry bargain, and perhaps if you knew all about me, you would hardly think me now worth claiming; still I cannot help it — I am what I am — and I have grown into what I am from that time at Fulham.

What a strange change forty years makes. How little did the little child whom you used to fondle, think of what he thinks now! He had no thoughts…. I know not now of course what is before me, before my end comes—still more strange may be the contrast—but it is very touching and subduing as it is.

(To Miss E. Newman, 25 July 1844; cited in Ker’s John Henry Newman, Oxford 1988, p. 288)

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