The Bey to Mrs. Lincoln
[Literal translation from the Arabic]
Praises to the only God!
To the lady for whom we pray God that he would save her from trial and affliction and protect her from dangers and sorrows, both by day and by night—to her who is distinguished among ladies of distinction, the cream of elevated personages, and whose virtues are above all praise, to Madame Abraham Lincoln: may God shield her from every ill.
Acknowledging the honor due to your elevated character and position, we desire to express to you the pain inflicted on our heart by the sad death of your beloved husband. How cruel this fate, and how deep the wound inflicted by this terrible event. All hearts are put in mourning. The news of this catastrophe both plunged us into affliction and overwhelmed us with consternation. It turned our eyes upon the distressed of this earth, and our spirits were troubled.
Against death all effort is vain, and one’s sole remedy is to resign himself to the decrees of the Great God, and with him to seek consolation. May the Great God, then, grant you patience and resignation, increasing your worthiness in proportion to the keenness and depth of your affliction and pain. May He order that this be the last of your trials, and that your days become long years
Written by him who has for you the highest consideration, the slave of his God, the Moosher Mohammed Essadek, Bashaw Bey, possessor of the kingdom of Tunis.