“‘And must we never meet again?’ I murmured in the anguish of my soul.
‘We shall meet in Heaven. Let us think of that,’ said she in a tone of desperate calmness; but her eyes glittered wildly, and her face was deadly pale.
‘But not as we are now,’ I could not help replying. ‘It gives me little consolation to think I shall next behold you as a disembodied spirit, or an altered being, with a frame perfect and glorious, but not like this!—and a heart, perhaps, entirely estranged from me.’
‘No, Gilbert, there is perfect love in Heaven!’
’So perfect, I suppose, that it soars above distinctions, and you will have no closer sympathy with me than with any one of the ten thousand thousand angels and the innumerable multitude of happy spirits round us.’
‘Whatever I am, you will be the same, and therefore, cannot possibly regret it; and whatever that change may be, we know it must be for the better.’
‘But if I am to be so changed that I shall cease to adore you with my whole heart and soul, and love you beyond every other creature, I shall not be myself; and though, if ever I win Heaven at all, I must, I know, be infinitely better and happier than I am now, my earthly nature cannot rejoice in the anticipation of such beatitude, from which itself and its chiefly joy must be excluded.’
‘Is your love all earthly then?’
‘No, but I am supposing we shall have no more intimate communication with each other, than with the rest.’
‘If so, it will be because we love them more and not each other less. Increase of love brings increase of happiness, when it is mutual, and pure as it will be.’
‘But can you, Helen, contemplate with delight this prospect of losing me in a sea of glory?’
‘I own I cannot; but we know not that it will be so;—and I do know that to regret the exchange of earthly pleasures for the joys of Heaven, is as if the grovelling caterpillar should lament that it must one day quit the nibbled leaf to soar aloft and flutter through the air, roving at will from flower to flower, sipping sweet honey from their cups or basking in their sunny petals…’”
from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
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