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Title: All the Days of My Life: An Autobiography - The Red Leaves of a Human Heart
Author: Barr, Amelia Edith Huddleston, 1831-1919
Language: English
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  All the Days of My Life: An Autobiography

  The Red Leaves of a Human Heart

  By Amelia E. Barr

  ILLUSTRATED


  NEW YORK AND LONDON
  D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
  MCMXIII

  COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY
  D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

  Printed in the United States of America


  TO MY FRIENDS
  DR. CARLOS H. STONE
      AND
  MRS. STONE
  I INSCRIBE
  WITH AFFECTIONATE ESTEEM
  THIS STORY OF MY LIFE

  Cherry Croft
    A.D. 1913


[Illustration: MRS. BARR AT 80]



CONFIDENCES


This is to be a book about myself but, even before I begin it, I am
painfully aware of the egotistical atmosphere which the unavoidable
use of the personal pronouns creates. I have hitherto declared that I
would not write an autobiography, but a consideration of circumstances
convinces me that an autobiography is the only form any personal
relation can now take. For the press has so widely and so frequently
exploited certain events of my life--impossible to omit--that disguise
is far out of the question. Fiction could not hide me, nor an assumed
name, nor even no name at all.

Why, then, write the book? First, because serious errors have
constantly been published, and these I wish to correct; second, there
has been a long-continued request for it, and third, there are
business considerations not to be neglected. Yet none, nor all of
these three reasons, would have been sufficient to induce me to truck
my most sacred memories through the market-place for a little money,
had I not been conscious of a motive that would amply justify the
book. The book itself must reveal that reason, or it will never be
known. I am sure, however, that many will find it out, and to these
souls I shall speak, and they will keep my memory green, and listen to
my words of strength and comfort long after the woman called Amelia
Huddleston Barr has disappeared forever.

Again, if I am to write of things so close and intimate as my feelings
and experiences, I must claim a large liberty. Many topics usually
dilated on, I shall pass by silently, or with slight notice; and, if I
write fully and truly, as I intend to do, I must show many changes of
opinion on a variety of subjects. This is only the natural growth of
the mental and spiritual faculties. For the woman within, if she be of
noble strain, is never content with what she has attained; she
unceasingly presses forward, in lively hope of some better way, or
some more tangible truth. If any woman at eighty years of age was the
same woman, spiritually and mentally, she was at twenty, or even
fifty, she would be little worthy of our respect.

Also, there are supreme tragedies and calamities in my life that it
would be impossible for me to write down. It would be treason against
both the living and the dead. But such calamities always came from the
hand of man. I never had a sorrow from the hand of God that I could
not tell to any good man or woman; for the end of God-sent sorrow is
some spiritual gain or happiness. We hurt each other terribly in this
world, but it is in ways that only the power which tormented the
perfect man of Uz would incite.

I write mainly for the kindly race of women. I am their sister, and in
no way exempt from their sorrowful lot. I have drank the cup of their
limitations to the dregs, and if my experience can help any sad or
doubtful woman to outleap her own shadow, and to stand bravely out in
the sunshine to meet her destiny, whatever it may be, I shall have
done well; I shall not have written this book in vain. It will be its
own excuse, and justify its appeal.

AMELIA BARR



CONTENTS


                                                                  PAGE
             I. The Border Land of Life                              1
            II. At Shipley, Yorkshire                               11
           III. Where Druids and Giants Dwelt                       25
            IV. At Ripon and the Isle of Man                        47
             V. Sorrow and Change                                   60
            VI. In Norfolk                                          69
           VII. Over the Border                                     81
          VIII. Love Is Destiny                                     91
            IX. The Home Made Desolate                             106
             X. Passengers for New York                            126
            XI. From Chicago to Texas                              146
           XII. A Pleasant Journey                                 177
          XIII. In Arcadia                                         195
           XIV. The Beginning of Strife                            214
            XV. The Break-up of the Confederacy                    235
           XVI. The Terror by Night and by Day                     259
          XVII. The Never-Coming-Back Called Death                 278
         XVIII. I Go to New York                                   300
           XIX. The Beginnings of a New Life                       319
            XX. The Family Life                                    335
           XXI. Thus Runs the World Away                           354
          XXII. The Latest Gospel: Know Thy Work and Do It         374
         XXIII. The Gods Sell Us All Good Things for Labor         405
          XXIV. Busy, Happy Days                                   426
           XXV. Dreaming and Working                               446
          XXVI. The Verdict of Life                                466
    Appendix I. Huddleston Lords of Millom                         481
   Appendix II. Books Published by Dodd, Mead and Company          488
  Appendix III. Books Published by Other Publishers                490
   Appendix IV. Poems                                              492
    Appendix V. Letters                                            499
                Index                                              513



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                  PAGE
  Mrs. Barr at 80                                         Frontispiece
  Mrs. Barr's Birthplace                                             8
  Rev. William Henry Huddleston                                     52
  Mrs. Barr at 18                                                   98
  Mr. Robert Barr                                                  204
  Miss Lilly Barr                                                  288
  Mrs. Barr November, 1880                                         364
  Miss Mary Barr (Mrs. Kirk Munroe)                                378
  "Cherry Croft," Cornwall-on-Hudson                               428
  Miss Alice Barr                                                  456



CHAPTER I

THE BORDER LAND OF LIFE

  "Date not God's mercy from thy nativity, look beyond to the Everlasting
  Love."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Ask me not, for I may not speak of it--I saw it."--TENNYSON.


I entered this incarnation on March the twenty-ninth, A.D. 1831, at
the ancient town of Ulverston, Lancashire, England. My soul came with
me. This is not always the case. Every observing mother of a large
family knows that the period of spiritual possession varies. For days,
even weeks, the child may be entirely of the flesh, and then suddenly,
in the twinkling of an eye, the mystery of the indwelling spirit is
accomplished. This miracle comes not by observation; no mother ever
saw it take place. She only knows that at one moment her child was
ignorant of her; that at the next moment it was consciously smiling
into her face, and that then, with an instinctive gladness, she called
to the whole household, "the baby has begun to notice."

I brought my soul with me--an eager soul, impatient for the loves and
joys, the struggles and triumphs of the dear, unforgotten world. No
doubt it had been aware of the earthly tabernacle which was being
prepared for its home, and its helper in the new onward effort; and
was waiting for the moment which would make them companions. The
beautifully fashioned little body was already dear, and the wise soul
would not suffer it to run the risks of a house left empty and
unguarded. Some accident might mar its beauty, or cripple its powers,
or still more baneful, some alien soul might usurp the tenement, and
therefore never be able effectually to control, or righteously use
it.

I was a very fortunate child, for I was "possessed by a good spirit,
yea rather being good, my spirit came into a body undefiled and
perfect" (Wisdom of Solomon, 8:20). Also, my environments were fair
and favorable; for my parents, though not rich, were in the possession
of an income sufficient for the modest comforts and refinements they
desired. My father was the son of Captain John Henry Huddleston, who
was lost on some unknown sea, with all who sailed in his company. His
brother, Captain Thomas Henry Huddleston, had a similar fate. His
ship, _The Great Harry_, carrying home troops from America, was dashed
to pieces on the Scarlet Rocks, just outside Castletown, the capital
of the Isle of Man. When the storm had subsided the bodies of the
Captain and his son Henry were found clasped in each other's arms, and
they were buried together in Kirk Malew churchyard. During the years
1843 and 1844 I was living in Castletown, and frequently visited the
large grave with its upright stone, on which was carved the story of
the tragedy. Fifteen years ago my sister Alethia went purposely to
Castletown to have the lettering on this stone cleared, and made
readable; and I suppose that it stands there today, near the wall of
the inclosure, on the left-hand side, not far from the main entrance.

When my grandmother, Amelia Huddleston, was left a widow she had two
sons, John Henry and William Henry, both under twelve years of age.
But she seems to have had sufficient money to care well for them, to
attend to their education, and to go with them during the summer
months to St. Ann's-by-the-Sea for a holiday; a luxury then by no
means common. She inspired her sons with a great affection; my father
always kept the anniversary of her death in solitude. Yet, he never
spoke of her to me but once. It was on my eleventh birthday. Then he
took my face between his hands, and said: "Amelia, you have the name
of a good woman, loved of God and man; see that you honor it."

After the death of their mother, I believe both boys went to their
uncle, Thomas Henry Huddleston, collector of the port of Dublin. He
had one son, the late Sir John Walter Huddleston, Q. C., a celebrated
jurist, who died in 1891 at London, England. I was living then at East
Orange, New Jersey. Yet, suddenly, the sunny room in which I was
standing was thrilled through and through by an indubitable boding
token, the presage of his death--a presage unquestionable, and not to
be misunderstood by any of his family.

Sir John Walter was the only Millom Huddleston I ever knew who had not
"Henry" included in his name. This fact was so fixed in my mind that,
when I was introduced to the _one_ Huddleston in the city of New York,
a well-known surgeon and physician, I was not the least astonished to
see on his card "Dr. John Henry Huddleston." Again, one day not two
years ago, I lifted a newspaper, and my eyes fell on the words "Henry
Huddleston." I saw that it was the baptismal name of a well-known New
Yorker, and that he was seriously ill. Every morning until his death I
watched anxiously for the report of his condition; for something in me
responded to that singular repetition, and, though I never heard any
tradition concerning it, undoubtedly there is one.

Millom Castle and lands passed from the Huddleston family to the Earls
of Lonsdale, who hold them with the promise that they are not to be
sold except to some one bearing the name of Huddleston. Not more than
ten years ago, the present Earl admitted and reiterated the old
agreement. One part of the castle is a ruin covered with ivy, the rest
is inhabited by a tenant of the Earl. My sister stayed with this
family a few days about twelve years ago. Soon afterwards Dr. John
Henry Huddleston, accompanied by his wife, visited Millom and brought
me back some interesting photos of the church and the Huddleston
monuments.

The Millom Huddlestons have always been great ecclesiastics. There
lies upon my table, as I write, a beautifully preserved Bible of the
date A.D. 1626. It has been used by their preachers constantly, and
bears many annotations on the margins of its pages. It is the most
precious relic of the family, and was given to me by my father on my
wedding-day. Their spiritual influence has been remarkable. One
tradition asserts that an Abbot Huddleston carried the Host before
King Edward the Confessor, and it is an historical fact that Priest
Huddleston, a Benedictine monk, found his way up the back stairs of
Windsor Castle to King Charles the Second's bedroom, and gave the
dying monarch the last comforting rites of his church.

When they were not priests they were daring seamen and explorers. In
the seventeenth century India was governed by its native princes, and
was a land of romance, a land of obscure peril and malignant spells.
An enchanted veil hung like a mist over its sacred towns on the upper
Ganges, and the whole country, with its barbaric splendors and amazing
wealth, had a luring charm, remote and unsubstantial as an ancient
fable. In that century, there was likely always to be some Captain
Huddleston rounding the Cape, in a big, unwieldy Indiaman. That the
voyage occupied a year or two was no deterrent. Their real home was
the sea, their Millom home only a resting-place. By such men the
empire of England was builded. They gave their lives cheerfully to
make wide her boundaries, and to strengthen her power.

My father and his brother both chose theology, and they were suitably
educated for the profession. John Henry, on receiving orders, sailed
for Sierra Leone as one of the first, if not the first missionary of
the English Church to the rescued slaves of that colony. My father
finally allied himself with the Methodist Church, a decision for which
I never heard any reason assigned. But the reason must have been
evident to any one who considered the character and movements of
William Henry Huddleston. In that day the English Church, whatever she
may do now, did not permit her service to be read, in any place not
sanctified by a bishop with the proper ceremonies. My father found in
half a dozen shepherds on the bare fells a congregation and a church
he willingly served. To a few fishers mending their nets on the
shingly seashore, he preached as fine a sermon as he would have
preached in a cathedral. It was his way to stroll down among the tired
sailormen, smoking and resting on the quiet pier in the gloaming, and,
standing among them, to tell again the irresistible story of Christ
and Him Crucified.

He was indeed a born Evangelist, and if he had been a contemporary of
General Booth would certainly have enrolled himself among the
earliest recruits of his evangelizing army. In the Methodist Church
this tendency was rather encouraged than hindered, and that
circumstance alone would be reason most sufficient and convincing to a
man, who believed himself in season and out of season in charge of
souls. In this decision I am sure there was no financial question; he
had money enough then to give his conscience all the elbow-room it
wanted.

Soon after this change my father married Mary Singleton--

  "A perfect woman, nobly planned,
  To trust, to comfort, and command."

Physically she was small and delicately formed, but she possessed a
great spirit, a heart tender and loving as a child's, and the most
joyous temper I ever met. Every fret of life was conquered by her
cheerfulness. Song was always in her heart, and very often on her
lips. She brooded over her children like a bird over its nest, and was
exceedingly proud of her clever husband, serving and obeying him, with
that touching patience and fidelity which was the distinguishing
quality of English wives of that period.

And it was to this happy couple, living in the little stone house by
the old chapel in Ulverston, I came that blessed morning in March,
A.D. 1831. Yes, I will positively let the adjective stand. It was a
"blessed" morning. Though I have drunk the dregs of every cup of
sorrow,

  "My days still keep the dew of morn,
    And what I have I give;
  Being right glad that I was born,
    And thankful that I live."

I came to them with hands full of gifts, and among them the faculty of
recollection. To this hour I wear the key of memory, and can open
every door in the house of my life, even to its first exquisite
beginnings. The thrills of joy and wonder, of pleasure and terror I
felt in those earliest years, I can still recapture; only that dim,
mysterious memory of some previous existence, where the sandy shores
were longer and the hills far higher, has become fainter, and less
frequent. I do not need it now. Faith has taken the place of memory,
and faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen."

Childhood is fed on dreams--dreams waking, and dreams sleeping. My
first sharp, clear, positive recollection is a dream--a sacred, secret
dream, which I have never been able to speak of. When it came to me, I
had not the words necessary to translate the vision into speech, and,
as the years went on, I found myself more and more reluctant to name
it. It was a vision dim and great, that could not be fitted into
clumsy words, but it was clearer and surer to me, than the ground on
which I trod. It is nearly seventy-eight years since I awoke that
morning, trembling and thrilling in every sense with the wonder and
majesty of what I had seen, but the vision is not dim, nor any part of
it forgotten. It is my first recollection. Beyond--is the abyss. That
it has eluded speech is no evidence of incompleteness, for God's
communion with man does not require the faculties of our mortal
nature. It rather dispenses with them.

When I was between three and four years old I went with my mother to
visit a friend, who I think was my godmother. I have forgotten her
name, but she gave me a silver cup, and my first doll--a finely gowned
wax effigy--that I never cared for. I had no interest at all in dolls.
I did not like them; their speechlessness irritated me, and I could
not make-believe they were real babies. I have often been aware of the
same perverse fretful kind of feeling at the baffling silence of
infants. Why do they not talk? They have the use of their eyes and
ears; they can feel and taste and touch, why can they not speak? Is
there something they must not tell? Will they not learn to talk, until
they have forgotten it? For I know

    "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting
      The soul that rises with us, our Life's Star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting;
      And cometh from afar.
    Not in entire forgetfulness,
      And not in utter darkness,
  But trailing clouds of glory do we come
      From God, who is our home."

At this house, overlooking the valley of the Duddon, I needed nothing
to play with. Every room in it was full of wonders, so also was the
garden, with its dark walls shaded by yews, and pines, and glistening
holly, the latter cut into all kinds of fantastic shapes. The house
had a large entrance hall, and, rising sheer from it, was the steep,
spiral stairway leading to the upper rooms. The stairs were highly
polished and slippery, but they were the Alps of my baby ambition.
Having surmounted them, there was in the corridor to which they led,
queer, dark closets to be passed swiftly and warily, and closed guest
rooms--obscure, indistinct, and shrouded in white linen. It gave me a
singular pleasure to brave these unknown terrors, and after such
adventures I returned to my mother with a proud sense of victory
achieved; though I neither understood the feeling, nor asked any
questions about it. Now I can accurately determine its why and its
wherefore, but I am no happier for the knowledge. The joy, of having
conquered a difficulty, and the elation of victory because of that
conquest had then a tang and a savor beyond the power of later
triumphs to give me. I know too much now. I calculate probabilities
and attempt nothing that lacks strong likelihoods of success.
Deservedly, then, I miss that exulting sense of accomplishment, which
is the reward of those who never calculate, but who, when an attempt
is to be made, dare and do, and most likely win.

There was also a closed room downstairs, and I spent much time there
when the weather was wet, and I could not get into the garden. It had
once been a handsome room, and the scene of much gaiety, but the
passage of the Reform Bill had compelled English farmers to adopt a
much more modest style of living; and the singing of lovers, and the
feet of dancing youths and maidens was heard no more in its splendid
space. But it was yet full of things strange and mysterious--things
that ministered both to the heaven and hell of my imagination;
beautiful images of girls carrying flowers and of children playing;
empty shells of resplendent colors that had voices in them, mournful,
despairing voices, that filled me with fear and pity; dreadful little
heathen gods, monstrous, frightful! with more arms and hands and feet
than they ought to have; a large white marble clock that was dead,
and could neither tick nor strike; butterflies and birds motionless,
silent, and shut up in glass cases; and what I believed to be a golden
harp, with strings slack or broken, yet crying out plaintively if I
touched them.

One afternoon I went to sleep in this room, and, as my mother was out,
I was not disturbed; indeed when I opened my eyes it was nearly dark.
Then the occult world, which we all carry about with us, was suddenly
wide awake, also; the place was full of whispers; I heard the passing
of unseen feet, and phantom-like men and women slipped softly about in
the mysterious light. My heart beat wildly to the visions I created,
but who can tell from what eternity of experiences, the mind-stuff
necessary for these visions floated to me? Who can tell?

It was, however, the long, long nights, far more than the wonderful
days, which impregnated my future--the dark, still nights full of
hints and fine transitions, shadowy terrors, fleeting visions and
marvelous dreams. I shall remember as long as I live, nights that I
would not wish to dream through again, neither would I wish to have
been spared the dreams that came to me in them. The impression they
made was perhaps only possible on the plastic nature of a child soul,
but, though long years lay between the dream and the event typified,
the dream was unforgotten, and the event dominated by its warning. All
education has this provisional quality. In school, as well as in
dreams, we learn in childhood a great deal that finds no immediate use
or expression. For many years we may scarcely remember the lesson,
then comes the occasion for it, and the information needed is suddenly
restored.

[Illustration: MRS. BARR'S BIRTHPLACE

Born in the parsonage next to the chapel]

There is then no wonder that, in the full ripeness of my mental
growth, I look back with wondering gratitude to these first apparently
uneventful years on the border land of being. In them I learned much
anteceding any reasoning whatever. There is nothing incredible in
this. Heaven yet lies around infancy, and we are eternally related to
heavenly intelligences "a little lower" that is all. Thus, in an
especial manner,

  "Our simple childhood sits,
  Our simple childhood sits upon a throne,
  That hath more power than all the elements."

For it is always the simple that produces the marvelous, and these
fleeting shadowy visions and intimations of our earliest years, are
far from being profitless; not only because they are kindred to our
purest mind and intellect, but much rather because the soul

  "Remembering how she felt, but what she felt
  Remembering not; retains an obscure sense
  Of possible sublimity."

I have a kind of religious reluctance to inquire too closely into
these almost sacred years. Yet when I consider the material education
of the children of this period, I feel that I have not said enough.
For a boy educated entirely on a material basis, is not prepared to
achieve success, even financial success. The work of understanding
must be enlightened by the emotions, or he will surely sink to the
level of the hewers of wood and drawers of water. The very best
material education will not save a child who has no imagination.
Therefore do not deprive childhood of fairy tales, of tales of
stirring adventure and courage, and of the wondrous stories of the old
Hebrew world. On such food the imagination produces grand ideals and
wide horizons. It is true we live in a very present and very real
world, and many are only too ready to believe that the spiritual world
is far-off and shadowy. On the contrary, the spiritual world is _here_
and _now_ and indisputably and preëminently real. It is the material
world that is the realm of shadows.

I doubt if any child is born without some measure of that vision and
faculty divine which apprehends the supernatural. This is "the light
within which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." If that
light be neglected, and left to smoulder and die out, how great is the
darkness it leaves behind! Precious beyond price are the shadowy
recollections of a God-haunted childhood,

  "Which be they what they may,
  Are yet the fountain light of all our day;
  Are yet the master light of all our seeing."

A child is a deep mystery. It has a life of its own, which it reveals
to no one unless it meets with sympathy. Snub its first halting
confidences concerning the inner life, or laugh at them, or be cross
or indifferent, and you close the door against yourself forever. Now
there is no faculty given us that the soul can spare. If we destroy in
childhood the faculty of apprehending the spiritual or supernatural,
as detrimental to this life, if there be left

  "... no Power Divine within us,
  How can God's divineness win us?"



CHAPTER II

AT SHIPLEY, YORKSHIRE

  "Sweet childish days that were as long
  As twenty days are now."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "A child to whom was given
  So much of earth, so much of heaven."


Before I was three years old my father removed to Yorkshire, to
Shipley, in the West Riding. I never can write or speak those two last
words, "West Riding," without a sensible rise of temperature, and an
intense longing to be in England. For the West Riding is the heart of
England, and, whatever is distinctively English, is also distinctively
West Riding. Its men and women are so full of life, so spontaneously
cheerful, so sure of themselves, so upright and downright in speech
and action, that no one can for a moment misunderstand either their
liking or disliking. Their opinions hold no element of change or
dissent. They are as hearty and sincere in their religion, as their
business, and if they form a friendship with a family, it will likely
be one to the third and fourth generation. I correspond today with
people whom I never saw, but whose friendship for my family dates back
to a mutual rejoicing over the victory of Waterloo.

Of course I was not able to make any such observations on West Riding
humanity when I first went there, but I _felt_ the goodness of the
people then, and in later years I both observed and experienced it.
And it was well for me in my early childhood to live a while among
such a strong, happy people. They impressed upon my plastic mind their
confidant cheerfulness, and their sureness that life was a very good
thing.

Shipley was then a pretty country town, though it is now a great
manufacturing city, not far behind Bradford and Leeds. I was three
years there and during those years gradually dropped all remains of
infancy, and became a child, a child eager for work and for play, and
half-afraid the world might not last until I found out all about it.
At first I went to a dame's school. She did not take children over
five years of age, and to these babies she taught only reading and
needlework and knitting. We sat on very low benches in a room opening
into a garden, and we spent a good deal of time in the garden. But she
taught me to hem, and to seam, to fell and to gather, to stroke and to
backstitch, and when I left her I could read any of the penny chap
books I could buy. Most of them contained an abbreviated adventure
from the "Arabian Nights" collection.

Soon after we removed to Shipley a woman came into our lives, called
Ann Oddy, and my sister and I were told to be respectful to her and to
obey her orders. She was a clever housekeeper, a superior cook, and
had many domestic virtues; but she was authoritative, tyrannical, and
quite determined to have things her own way. Fortunately I won her
favor early, and for two simple reasons: first, my hair was easy to
curl, and Sister Jane's had to be carefully put in papers, and then
did not "keep in." Second, because she thought Jane was always ready
to go "neighboring" with Mother, and then was so secret as to where
she had been, and so "know nothing" of what was said; but I was better
pleased to stay in the children's room with a book and herself for
company.

Indeed I liked Ann's society. She had a grewsome assortment of
stories, chiefly about bad fellows and their young women, but
sometimes concerning bad children who had come to grief for disobeying
their good parents, or for breaking the Sabbath Day. There was
generally, however, an enthralling climax, relating to a handsome
young man, whom she _saw_ hanged at York Castle for murdering his
sweetheart. At this narration I usually laid down my book, and
listened with trembling interest to the awful fate of this faithless
lover, and Ann's warnings against men of all kinds who wanted helpless
women to marry them. In those days I felt sure Ann Oddy had the true
wisdom, and was quite resolved to look upon all handsome young men as
probable murderers.

The three years I spent at Shipley were happy years. I enjoyed every
hour of them, though the days were twenty times as long as days are
now. There was a great deal of visiting, and visiting meant privileges
of all kinds. We were frequently asked out to tea with our parents,
especially if there were children in the house to which we were going,
and there were children's parties nearly every week at somebody's
house.

It was a good thing, then, that our usual fare was very plain, and not
even the quantity left to our own desire or discretion. Breakfast was
always a bowl of bread and milk boiled, and a rather thick slice of
bread and butter after it. Fresh meat was sparingly given us at
dinner, but we had plenty of broth, vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding.
Our evening meal was bread and milk, rice or tapioca pudding, and a
thick slice of sweet loaf--that is, bread made with currants, and
caraway seeds, and a little sugar. But when we went out for dinner or
tea, we had our share of the good things going; and, if the company
was at our house, Ann Oddy usually put a couple of Christ Church
tarts, or cheesecakes, among our plain bread. She always pretended to
wonder where they came from; and, if I said pleadingly, "Don't take
them away, Ann," she would answer in a kind of musing manner, "I'll be
bound the Missis put them there. Some people will meddle." Then Jane
would help herself, and I did the same, and we both knew that Ann had
put the tarts there, and that she intended us to eat them. Yet this
same little pretense of surprise was kept up for many years, and I
grew to enjoy the making of it more perfect, and the changing of the
words a little.

The house at which I liked best of all to visit was that of Jonathan
Greenwood. He had a pretty place--with a fine strawberry bed--at
Baildon Green. He was then a handsome bachelor of about forty years of
age, and I considered him quite an old man. I knew also that he was
Miss Crabtree's sweetheart, and Ann's look of disapproval, and the
suspicious shake of her head made me anxious about both of them. What
if Miss Crabtree should have another sweetheart! And what if Jonathan
killed her because she had deceived him! Then there might be the York
tragedy over again. These thoughts troubled me so much that I
ventured to suggest their probability to Ann. She laughed my fears to
scorn.

"Martha Crabtree have another sweetheart! Nay, never my little lass!
It will be the priest, not the hangman, that will tie Jonathan up."

"Tie Jonathan up, Ann!" I ejaculated.

"To be sure," she answered. "Stop talking."

"But, Ann----"

"Do as I bid you."

Then I resolved to ask Jonathan that afternoon. It was Thursday, and
he would be sure to call for a cup of tea as he came from Leeds
market. I did not do so, because he asked permission for me to go to
Baildon Green with him, and stay until after the fair, and during the
visit I knew I should find many better opportunities for the question.
To go to Baildon Green, was the best holiday that came to me, unless
it was to go to Mr. Samuel Wilson's, at the village of Baildon. He had
a much finer house, and a large shop in which there were raisins and
Jordan almonds, and he had also a handsome little son of my own age,
with whom I loved to play. But one visit generally included the other,
and both were very agreeable to all my desires.

At Baildon Green I had many pleasures. I liked to be petted and
praised and to hear the women say, "What a pretty child it is! God
bless it!" and I liked to hang around them, and listen to their
conversation as they made nice little dinners. I liked in the evening
to look at the _Penny Magazine_, and to have Mr. Greenwood explain the
pictures to me, and I certainly liked to go with him in his gig to
Leeds on Leeds market day. Sometimes he took me with him into the
Cloth Hall; sometimes also men would say, "Why, Jonathan, whose little
lass is that?" And he would answer, "It is Mr. Huddleston's little
lass." "_Never!_" would be the ejaculation, but I knew the word was
not intended for dissent, but somehow for approval.

When I was at Baildon Green Saturday was the great day. Very early in
the morning the weavers began to arrive with the web of cloth they had
woven during the week. In those days there were no mills--all the
cloth was made in the weavers' homes. Baildon Green was a weaving
village. In every cottage there was a loom and a big spinning wheel.
The men worked at the loom, the women and children at the wheel. At
daybreak I could hear the shuttles flying, and the rattle of the
unwieldy looms in every house. On Saturday they brought their webs to
Jonathan Greenwood. He examined each web carefully, measured its
length, and paid the weaver whatever was its value. Then, giving him
the woolen yarn necessary for next week's web, he was ready to call
another weaver. There were perhaps twenty to thirty men present, and,
during these examinations many little disputes arose. I enjoyed them.
The men called the master "Jonathan," and talked to him in language as
plain, or plainer, than he gave them. Sometimes, after a deal of
threaping, the master would lose his temper, then I noticed he always
got the best of the argument. In the room where this business took
place there was a big pair of scales, and I usually sat in them,
swinging gently to and fro, and listening.

These weavers were all big men, the master bigger than any of them;
and they all wore blue-checked linen pinafores covering them from neck
to feet. Underneath this pinafore the master wore fine broadcloth and
high shoes with silver latchets. I do not know what kind of cloth the
men wore, but it was very probably corduroy, as that was then the
usual material for workingmen's clothes, and on their feet were heavy
clogs clasped with brass, a footgear capable of giving a very ugly and
even dangerous kick.

I have never seen a prouder or more independent class of men than
these home weavers; and just at this time they had been made
anxious and irritable by the constant reports of coming mills and
weaving by machinery. But their religion kept them hopeful and
confident, for they were all Methodists, made for Methodists, and
Methodism made for them. And it was a great sight on a Sabbath
morning to see them gathering in their chapel, full of that
incompatible spiritual joy which no one understands but those who
have it, and which I at that time, took for simple good temper. But I
know now that if I was a preacher of the Word, I would not ask to be
sent to an analyzing, argumentative, cold Scotch kirk; nor to a
complacent, satisfied English church; nor even to a meditative,
tranquil Quaker meeting-house; I would say, "Send me to an inspiring,
joyful, West Riding Methodist chapel."

This visit to Baildon Green was the last of my Shipley experiences.
During it Mr. Greenwood told me that he would have "a handsome wife"
when I came again, and that she would take me about a bit. I was not
much pleased at the prospect. Men were always kinder to me than women,
and not so fussy about my hair being in curl, and my frock clean. So I
did not speak, and he asked, "Are you not pleased, Milly?"

"No," I answered bluntly.

"But why?" he continued.

"Because I like you--all to myself." Then he laughed and was much
pleased, and I learned that day that you may wisely speak the truth,
if it is complimentary.

The event of this visit was Baildon Feast, a great public rejoicing on
the anniversary of the summer solstice. It had been observed beyond
the memory of man, beyond historical notice, beyond even the
traditions of the locality. There was no particular reason for its
observance that I could ever learn; it was just Baildon Feast, and
that was all anybody knew about it.

I was awakened very early on the first day of the feast by the bands
"playing the sun up," and before we had finished breakfast the
procession was forming. Now Baildon Green is flat and grassy as a
meadow, and when I was six years old it had a pond in the center,
while from the northwest there rose high hills. Only a narrow winding
path led to the top of these hills, and about half way up, there was a
cave which tradition averred had been one of Robin Hood's retreats--a
very probable circumstance, as this whole country-side was doubtless
pretty well covered with oak forests.

A numerous deputation from the village of Baildon, situated on the top
of the hill, joined the procession which started from Baildon Green at
an early hour. The sun was shining brightly, and I had on a clean
white frock, pretty white sandals, a new blue sash, and a gypsy hat
trimmed with blue ribbons. When the music approached it put a spirit
into my feet and my heart kept time to the exciting melody. I had
never walked to music before, and it was an enchanting experience.

The procession appeared to my childish apprehension a very great one.
I think now it may have consisted of five hundred people, perhaps
less, but the great point of interest was two fine young heifers
garlanded with flowers, and ornamented with streaming ribbons of every
color. Up the winding path they went, the cattle lowing, the bands
playing, the people singing and shouting up to the high places on
which the village of Baildon stood. There at a particular spot,
hallowed by tradition, the cattle garlanded for sacrifice were slain.
I do not know whether any particular method or forms were used. I was
not permitted to see the ceremony attending their death, and I confess
I was much disappointed.

"It isn't fit for a little lass to see," said my friend Jonathan, "and
I promised thy father and mother I wouldn't let thee see it, so there
now! Nay, nay, I wouldn't whimper about such a thing as that. Never!"

I said I wasn't whimpering, and that I didn't care at all about seeing
the animals killed, but I did care, and Baildon Fair without its
tragedy no longer interested me, yet I stayed to see the flesh
distributed among all who asked for it. There was an understanding,
however, that those who received a festival roast should entertain any
stranger claiming their hospitality. This ancient rite over, the
people gave themselves up to sports of all kinds.

But their Methodism kept them within the bounds of decency, for there
were favorite preachers invited from all the towns around, and if the
men and boys were busy in the cricket fields all day, they were sure
to be in the chapel at night. There was also a chapel tea party the
last afternoon of the feast, and after it a great missionary meeting
at which Bishop Heber's hymn, "From Greenland's Icy Mountains," was
sung with such mighty fervor as made me thrill and tremble with an
emotion I can yet recall. That night I solemnly determined to be a
missionary. I would go to the darkest of all heathen lands, and be the
first to tell the story of Jesus. I went home in a state of beatific
surrender, and whenever I think of that night, I am aware of a
Presence, and the face I wore when I was a little child turns to me.
And I am troubled and silent before that little ghost with its eager
eyes and loving enthusiasms, for I have done none of the things I
promised to do, and an intangible clutch of memory gives me a spell of
sadness keen and regretful.

This Baildon experience was one of those instances of learning in
childhood things of no immediate use. I was hardly six years old then;
I was seventy-six when it struck me, that I had perhaps taken part in
a non-intentional sacrifice to the God Baal. For four years ago I was
much interested in discovering that the Shetlanders, even to the close
of the nineteenth century, kept the same feast at the summer solstice,
and also made their children in some of the lonely islands pass
through the Beltane fires, in fact paying the old God Bel or Baal the
same services as the Hebrew prophets so often reproached the
Israelites with performing. But I believe that wherever Druidical
remains are found, relics of this worship may be traced either in
names, superstitions, signs or traditions. In a letter I received from
a Bradford lady dated September twenty-seventh, A.D. 1911, she says,
"It was rather strange but we had a man at our house from Thornton the
other day, and he was telling us how they paraded the cattle they were
going to kill at the feast through the streets, and I thought of you,
and what you remembered of it in Baildon."

These details may seem to the reader trivial and futile; on the
contrary, they were the very material from which life was building
character. For all that surrounds a child, all that it sees, hears,
feels or touches, helps to create its moral and intellectual nature.
See then how fortunate were my first six years. My physical being was
well cared for by loving parents in a sweet orderly home, and my
mental life well fed by books stimulating the imagination. Through the
"Arabian Nights" tales I touched the domestic life of the wonderful
East, China, India, Persia and Arabia; and at the missionary meetings,
and at my home, I met men who had been to these far away places, and
brought back with them curious and beautiful things, even the very
gods they worshipped. There had been hitherto in other respects a
good deal of judicious neglect in my education. Books had never been
anything but a source of wonder and delight to me. I had never heard
of a grammar and an arithmetic, and had never been deprived of a visit
or a holiday because if I did not go to school, I would miss a mark,
or lose my place in a class.

Fortunately this desultory education was marbled all through with keen
spiritual incidents and issues. For the spiritual sight of children
turns more sharply upon the world within the breast, than they show,
or that anyone imagines. They hold in their memories imperishable days
which all others have forgotten, visions beautiful and fearful, dreams
without name or meaning, and they have an undefined impression of the
awful _oldness_ of things. They see the world through doors very
little ajar, and they know the walking of God through their dreaming
sleep.

The happy and prosperous children are those, who had before all else
the education that comes by reverence. This education is beyond all
doubt the highest, the deepest, the widest and the most perfect of all
the forms of education ever given to man. A child that has not been
taught to reverence God, and all that represents God to man--honor,
honesty, justice, mercy, truth, love, courage, self-sacrifice, is sent
into the world like a boat sent out to sea, without rudder, ballast,
compass or captain.

But the education by reverence must begin early. Children of very
tender years may be taught to wander through those early ages of
faith, when God took Enoch, and no one was astonished; when Abraham
talked with God as friend with friend; when the marvelous ladder was
let down by Jacob's pillow; when Hagar carrying her dying child in the
desert saw without surprise the angel of the Lord coming to help her.
Nor is there any danger in permitting them to enter that dimmer world
lying about childhood, to which _Robinson Crusoe_ and _Scheherazade_
hold the keys. The multiplication table can wait, until the child has
been taught to reverence all that is holy, wise and good, and the
imagination received its first impulse. So I do not call such events
as I have chronicled trifling; indeed, I know that in the formation
of my character, they had a wide and lasting influence.

A few days after the fair, Jonathan Greenwood was going to Bradford so
he left me at my home as he passed there, and as soon as I came in
sight of our house, I saw my sister running to the gate to meet me.

"I have a little brother!" she cried. "I have a little brother,
Amelia."

"Mine, too," I asserted; and she answered, "Yes, I dare say."

"Is he nice?" I asked.

"Middling nice. You should see how everyone goes on about him."

"My word!" cried Jonathan, "you girls will be nobodies now. But, I
shall stick by you, Milly."

"Yes," I answered dubiously, for I had learned already that little
girls were of much less importance than little boys. So I shook my
head, and gave Jonathan's promise a doubtful "yes."

"Tell Ann Oddy," he said, "that I will be in for a cup of tea at five
o'clock." Then he drove away, and Jane and I walked slowly up the
garden path together.

"Father called him John Henry, first thing," said Jane, "and Mother is
proud of him, as never was."

"I want to see him," I answered. "Let us go to the children's room."

"He is in Mother's room, and Mother is sick in bed, and Ann is so busy
with the boy, she forgot my breakfast, so I had breakfast with
Father."

"Breakfast with Father! Never!"

"Yes, indeed, and dinner, too, for three days now. Perhaps as you have
come home, Ann will remember that girls need something for breakfast.
Father wasn't pleased at her forgetting me."

"What did she say?"

She said, "Mr. Huddleston, I cannot remember everything, and the
Mistress and the little lad _do_ come first, I should say."

"Was Father angry?" I asked.

"He said something about Mrs. Peacock."

"What is Mrs. Peacock doing here?"

"She is hired to help, but I think she never leaves her chair. Ann
sniffed, and told Father, Mrs. Peacock had all she could do to take
care of Mrs. Peacock. Then Father walked away, and Ann talked to
herself, as she always does, when she is angry."

This conversation and much that followed I remember well, not all of
it, perhaps, but its spirit and the very words used. It occurred in
the garden which was in gorgeous August bloom, full of splendid
dahlias and holly-hocks, and August lilies. I have never seen such
holly-hocks since. We called them rose-mallows then which is I think a
prettier name. The house door stood open, and the rooms were all so
still and empty. There was a bee buzzing outside, and the girl Agnes
singing a Methodist hymn in the kitchen, but the sounds seemed far
away, and our little shoes sounded very noisy on the stairway.

I soon had my head on my mother's breast, and felt her kisses on my
cheek. She asked me if I had a happy visit, but she did not take as
much interest in my relations as I expected; she was so anxious to
show me the new baby, and to tell me it was a boy, and called after
his father's brother. I was jealous and unhappy, but Mother looked so
proud and pleased I did not like to say anything disagreeable, so I
kissed Mother and the boy again, and then went to the children's room
and had a good cry in Ann Oddy's arms.

"Ann," I said, "girls are of no account;" and she answered, "No,
honey, and women don't signify much either. It is a pity for us both.
I have been fit to drop with work ever since you went away, Amelia,
and who cares? If any man had done what I have done, there would be
two men holding him up by this time."

"Ann, why do men get so much more praise than women, and why are they
so much more thought of?"

"God only knows child," she answered. "Men have made out, that only
they can run the world. It's in about as bad a state as it well can
be, but they are proud of their work. What I say is, that a race of
good women would have done something with the old concern by this
time. Men are a poor lot. I should think thou would want something to
eat."

I told her I was "as hungry as could be," but that Jonathan was coming
to tea at five o'clock.

"Then he'll make it for himsel'," she said. "Mr. Huddleston has gone
to Windhill to some sort of meeting. Mrs. Huddleston can't get out of
bed. I have the baby on my hands, and Mrs. Peacock makes her own tea
at five o'clock--precisely."

"Then Ann let me make Jonathan's tea. I am sure I can do it, Ann. Will
you let me?"

"I'll warrant thee." Then she told me exactly what to do, and when
Jonathan Greenwood came, he found a good pot of tea and hot muffins
ready, and he had given Agnes some Bradford sausage, with their fine
flavoring of herbs, to fry, and Agnes remembered a couple of Kendal
wigs[1] that were in the house and she brought them in for a finishing
dish. I sat in my mother's chair, and poured out tea; but I sent for
Jane when all was ready, and she gave me a look, still unforgotten,
though she made no remark to disturb a meal so much to her liking.
Later, however, when we were undressing for bed, and had said our
prayers, she reminded me that she was the eldest, and that I had taken
her place in making tea for Mr. Greenwood. Many a time I had been
forced to receive this reproof silently, but now I was able to say:

"You are not the oldest any longer, Jane. John is the oldest now.
Girls don't count."

In my childhood this eldest business was a sore subject, and indeed to
this day the younger children in English families express themselves
very decidedly about the usurpation of primogenital privileges, and
the undue consideration given to boys.

A few weeks after the advent of my brother, John Henry, we removed to
Penrith in Cumberland, and the night before leaving, a circumstance
happened which made a great impression on me. There was a circle of
shrubs in the garden, and a chair among them on which I frequently
sat to read. This night I went to meet Mother at the garden gate, and
as we came up the flagged walk, I saw a man sitting on the chair. "Let
us go quickly to the house," said Mother; but a faint cry of "_Mary!_"
made her hesitate, and when the cry was repeated, and the man rose to
his feet, my mother walked rapidly towards him crying out, "O Will!
Will! O my brother! Have you come home at last?"

"I have come home to die, Mary," he said.

"Lean on me, Will," she replied. "Come into the house. We leave for
Penrith to-morrow, and you can travel with us. Then we shall see you
safely home."

"What will your husband say?" the man asked.

"Only kind words to a dying man. Are you really so ill, Will?" And the
man answered, "I may live three months. I may go much sooner. It
depends----"

Then my mother said, "This is your uncle, Dr. Singleton, Milly;" and I
was very sorry for a man so near death, and I went and took his hand,
but he did not seem to care about me. He only glanced in my face, and
then remarked to Mother, "She seems a nice child." I felt slighted,
but I could not be angry at a man so sick.

When I went upstairs I told Ann that my uncle had come, and that he
said he was going home to Kendal to die. "He will travel with us
to-morrow as far as Kendal; Mother asked him to do so," I added.

"I dare say. It was just like her."

"Don't you like my uncle, Ann? I thought he was a very fine
gentleman."

"Maybe he is. Be off to your bed now. You must be up by strike-of-day
to-morrow;" and there was something in Ann's look and voice, I did not
care to disobey.

Indeed Ann had every one up long before it was necessary. We had
breakfast an hour before the proper time; but after all, it was well,
for the house and garden was soon full of people come to bid us
"good-bye." Some had brought lunches, and some flowers and fruits, and
there was a wonderful hour of excitement, before the coach came
driving furiously up to the gate. It had four fine horses, and the
driver and the guard were in splendid livery, and the sound of the
horn, and the clatter of the horses' feet, and the cries of the crowd
stirred my heart and my imagination, and I believe I was the happiest
girl in the world that hour. I enjoyed also the drive through the
town, and the sight of the people waving their handkerchiefs to Father
and Mother from open doors and windows. I do not think I have ever
since had such a sense of elation and importance; for Father and I had
relinquished our seats inside the coach to Uncle Will Singleton, and I
was seated between the driver and Father, seeing well and also being
well seen.

Never since that morning have I been more keenly alive in every sense
and more ready for every event that might come; the first of which was
the meeting and passing of three great wains loaded high with wheat,
and going to a squire's manor, whose name I have forgotten. There were
some very piquant words passed between the drivers about the coach
going a bit to the wrong side. On the top of the three wagons about a
dozen men were lying at their ease singing the prettiest harvest song
I ever heard, but I only caught three lines of it. They went to a
joyful melody thus:

  "Blest be the day Christ was born!
  We've gotten in the Squire's corn,
  Well bound, and better shorn.
        Hip! Hip! Hurrah!"

But as they sang the dispute between the drivers was growing less and
less friendly, and the driver of the coach whipped up his horses, and
took all the road he wanted, and went onward at such a rattling pace
as soon left Shipley forever behind me.



CHAPTER III

WHERE DRUIDS AND GIANTS DWELT

  "... upon the silent shore
  Of memory, we find images and precious thoughts,
  That shall not die, and cannot be destroyed."


I was greatly delighted with Penrith. It was such a complete change
from Shipley, and youth is always sure that change must mean
something better. In the first place the town was beautiful, and
generally built of the new red sandstone on which it stands; but
our house was white, being I think of a rough stucco, and it stood on
one of the pleasantest streets in the town, the one leading up to the
Beacon. Its rooms appeared very large to me then; perhaps I might not
think so highly of them now. Its door opened directly into the
living-room, and it was always such a joy to open it, and step out
of the snow or rain into a room full of love and comfort. Since those
days I have liked well the old English houses where the front door
opens directly into the living-room. Ten or twelve years ago a lady
built in Cornwall-on-Hudson a handsome house having this peculiarity,
and I often went to see her, enjoying every time that one step from
all out doors, into the sweet home influence beyond it.

The sound of the loom and the shuttle were never heard in the broad
still streets of Penrith. Business was a thing rather pushed into a
corner, for Penrith was aristocratic, and always had been. The great
earls of Lonsdale lent it their prestige, and circling it were some of
the castles and seats of the most famous nobility. It had been often
sacked, and had many royal associations. Richard the Third had dwelt
in its castle when the Duke of Gloucester, and Henry the Eighth's last
wife, Catherine Parr, came from Kendal. The castle itself had been
built by Edward the Third, and destroyed by Cromwell. All these and
many more such incidents I heard the first day of my residence in the
town from a young girl we had hired for the kitchen, and she mingled
with these facts the Fairy Cup of Eden Hall, and the great Lord
Brougham, Long Meg and her daughters, and the giant's grave in Penrith
churchyard; and I felt as if I had stepped into some enchanted city.

Up to this time I had never been to what I called a proper school. The
dame's school at Shipley I had far outstepped, and I was so eager to
learn, that I wished to begin every study at once. There were two good
schools in Penrith, one kept by a Miss Pearson, and the other by a man
whose name I have forgotten. I wanted to go to Miss Pearson. She had
the most select and expensive school. The man's school was said to be
more strict and thorough, and much less expensive; but there was a
positive prejudice against boys and girls being taught together. I
could tell from the chatter of the girl in the kitchen, that it was
looked down upon, and considered vulgar by the best people. I was
anxious about the result. Jane and I whispered our fears to each
other, but we did not dare to express any opinion to our parents. At
last I talked feelingly to Ann Oddy about the situation, and was glad
to find her most decidedly on our side.

"I am for the woman," she said straight out, "and I shall tell the
Master so plainly. What does that man know about trembling shy little
girls?" she asked indignantly, "and I've heard," she continued, "that
he uses the leather strap on their little hands--even when they are
trying to do the best they know how. His own children look as if they
got plenty of 'strap.' I've told your mother what I think of him."

"What did Mother say, Ann?" we eagerly asked.

"She said such a man as that would never do. So I went on--'Mrs.
Huddleston, our society wouldn't like it. He teaches girls to write a
big, round man's hand. You may see it yourself, Mrs. Huddleston, if
you'll lift his letter to you--good enough for keeping count of what
money is owing you, but for young ladies, I say it isn't right--and
his manners! if he has any, won't be fit to be seen, and you know,
Mrs. Huddleston, how men talk, he won't be fit to be heard at times;
at any rate that is the case with most men--except Mr. Huddleston.'"

With such words Ann reasoned, and if I remembered the very words
used it would be only natural, for I heard them morning, noon and
night, until Mother went to see Miss Pearson, and came home charmed
with her fine manners and method of teaching. Then our dress had to
be prepared, and I shall never forget it; for girls did not get so
many dresses then as they do now, and I was delighted with the
blue Saxony cloth that was my first school dress. Dresses were all
of one piece then, and were made low with short baby sleeves, but
a pelerine was made with the dress, which was really an over-waist
with two little capes over the shoulders. My shoes were low and
black, and had very pretty steel buckles; my bonnet, a cottage one of
coarse Dunstable straw. It had a dark blue ribbon crossed over it,
and a blue silk curtain behind, and some blue silk ribbon plaited just
within the brim, a _Red Riding Hood_ cloak and French pattens for
wet weather completed my school costume, and I was very proud of it.
Yet it is a miracle to me at this day, how the children of that time
lived through the desperate weather, deep snows and bitter cold, in
such insufficient clothing. I suppose it was the survival of the
fittest.

My first school day was one of the greatest importance to me. I have
not forgotten one incident in all its happy hours. I fell in love with
Miss Pearson as soon as I saw her; yes, I really loved the woman, and
I love her yet. She was tall and handsome, and had her abundant black
hair dressed in a real bow knot on the top of her head; and falling in
thick soft curls on her temples, and partly down her cheeks. An
exceedingly large shell comb kept it in place. Her dress was dark, and
she wore a large falling collar finely embroidered and trimmed with
deep lace, and round her neck a long gold chain. She came smiling to
meet us, and as soon as the whole school was gathered in front of the
large table at which she sat, she rose and said,

"Young ladies, you have two new companions. I ask for them your
kindness--Jane and Amelia Huddleston. Rise."

Then the whole school rose and curtsied to us, and as well as we were
able, we returned the compliment. As soon as we were seated again,
Miss Pearson produced a large book, and as she unclasped it, said,

"Miss Huddleston will come here."

Every eye was turned on Jane, who, however, rose at once and went to
Miss Pearson's table. Then Miss Pearson read aloud something like the
following words, for I have forgotten the exact form, though the
promises contained in it have never been forgotten.

"I promise to be kind and helpful to all my schoolmates.

"I promise to speak the truth always.

"I promise to be honorable about the learning and repeating of my
lessons.

"I promise to tell no malicious tales of any one.

"I promise to be ladylike in my speech and manners.

"I promise to treat all my teachers with respect and obedience."

These obligations were read aloud to Jane and she was asked if she
agreed to keep them. Jane said she would keep them all, and she was
then required to sign her name to the formula in the book, which she
did very badly. When my turn came, I asked Miss Pearson to sign it for
me. She did so, and then called up two girls as witnesses. This
formality made a great impression on me, the more so, as Miss Pearson
in a steady positive voice said, as she emphatically closed the book,
"The first breaking of any of these promises may perhaps be forgiven,
for the second fault there is no excuse--the girl will be dismissed
from the school."

I was in this school three years and never saw one dismissed. The
promise with the little formalities attending it had a powerful effect
on my mind, and doubtless it influenced every girl in the same way.

After my examination it was decided that writing was the study to be
first attended to. I was glad of this decision, for I longed to write,
but I was a little dashed when I was taken to a long table running
across the whole width of the room. This table was covered with the
finest sea sand, there was a roller at one end, and the teacher ran
it down the whole length of the table. It left behind it beautifully
straight lines, between which were straight strokes, pothooks, and the
letter _o_. Then a brass stylus was given me, and I was told to copy
what I saw, and it was on this table of sand, with a pencil of brass,
I took my first lessons in writing. When I could make all my letters,
simple and capital, and knew how to join, dot, and cross them
properly, I was promoted to a slate and slate pencil. In about half a
year I was permitted to use paper and a wad pencil, but as wad, or
lead, was then scarce and dear, we were taught at once how to sharpen
and use them in the most economical manner. While I was using a wad
pencil I was practicing the art of making a pen out of a goose quill.
Some children learned the lesson easily. I found it difficult, and
spoiled many a bunch of quills in acquiring it.

I remember a clumsy pen in my father's desk almost as early as I
remember anything. It was a metal tube, fastened to an ivory handle,
and originated just before I was born. I never saw my father use it;
he wrote with a quill all his life. In 1832, the year after my birth,
thirty-three million, one hundred thousand quills were imported into
England, and I am sure that at the present date, not all the geese in
all the world would meet the demand for pens in the United States
alone. Penny postage produced the steel pen. It belonged to an age of
machinery, and could have belonged to no other age; for the great
problem to be solved in the steel pen, was to convert iron into a
substance as thin as the quill of a dove's wing, yet as strong as the
strongest quill of an eagle's wing. When I was a girl not much over
seven years old, children made their own pens; the steam engine now
makes them.

A short time before Christmas my mother received the letter from Uncle
Will Singleton she had been expecting. It came one Saturday morning
when the snow lay deep, and the cold was intense. Jane and I were in
the living-room with Mother. She had just cut a sheet down the middle,
where it was turning thin, and I had to seam the two selvedge edges
together, thus turning the strong parts of the sheet into the center.
This seam required to be very neatly made, and the sides were to be
hemmed just as neatly. I disliked this piece of work with all my
heart, but with the help of pins I divided it into different places,
for the pins represented the cities, and I made up the adventures to
them as I sewed. Jane, who was a better needlewoman than I, had some
cambric to hem for ruffling, but the hem was not laid, it had to be
rolled as it was sewn between the thumb and first finger of the left
hand. Jane was always conceited about her skill in this kind of
hemming, and as I write I can see her fair, still face with its smile
of self-satisfaction, as her small fingers deftly and rapidly made the
tiny roll, she was to sew with almost invisible needle and thread.
Mother was singing a song by Felicia Hemans, and Father was in the
little parlor across the hall reading a book called "Elijah, the
Tishbite;" for he had just been in the room to point out to Mother how
grandly it opened. "Now Elijah the Tishbite," without any weakening
explanations of who or what _Elijah_ was, and Mother had said in a
disconcerting voice, "Isn't that the way it opens in the Bible,
William?" There was a blazing fire above the snow-white hearth, and
shining brass fender, and a pleasant smell of turpentine and beeswax,
for Ann Oddy was giving the furniture a little rubbing. Suddenly there
was a knock at the door, and Ann rose from her knees and went to open
it. The next moment there was evident disputing, and Ann Oddy called
sharply, "Mr. Huddleston, please to come here, sir."

When Father appeared, Mother also went to the door, and Jane and I
stopped sewing in order to watch and to listen. It was the postman and
he had charged a shilling for a letter, that only ought to be eight
pence and while Ann was pointing out this mistake, my mother took the
letter from her hand and looked at it.

"William," she said, "it is a death message, do not dispute about that
toll." So Father gave the postman the shilling, and the door was shut,
and Mother went to the fireside and stood there. Father quickly joined
her. "Well, Mary," he said, "is it from your brother? What does he
say?"

"Only eight words, William," Mother answered; and she read them aloud,
"Come to me, Mary. The end is near."

Father was almost angry. He said she could not go over Shap Fells in
such weather, and that snow was lying deep all the way to Kendal. He
talked as though he was preaching. I thought Mother would not dare to
speak any more about going to Kendal. But when Father stopped talking,
Mother said in a strange, strong way,

"I shall certainly go to my brother. I shall try to get a seat in the
coach that passes through here at ten o'clock to-night." I had never
seen Mother look and talk as she did then, and I was astonished. So
was Father. He watched her leave the room in silence, and for a few
minutes seemed irresolute. Then Ann came in and lifted the beeswax,
and was going away when Father said,

"Where is your mistress, Ann?"

"In her room, Mr. Huddleston."

"What is she doing?"

"Packing her little trunk. She says she is going to Kendal."

"She ought not to go to Kendal. She must not go."

"She's right enough in going, Mr. Huddleston, and she is sure to go."

"I never heard anything like this!" cried Father. He really was
amazed. It was household rebellion. "Ann," he continued, "go upstairs
and remind your mistress that John Henry has been sickly for two
weeks. I have myself noticed the child looking far from well."

"Yes, sir, the child is sickly, but her brother is dying."

"Do you think the child should be left?"

"It would be worse if the brother died alone. I will look after John,
Mr. Huddleston."

Then Father went upstairs, and Mother went by the night mail, and we
did not see her again for nearly three weeks.

I do not apologize for relating a scene so common, for these simple
intimacies and daily events, these meetings and partings, these
sorrows and joys of the hearth and the family, are really the great
events of our life. They are our personal sacred history. When we have
forgotten all our labors, and even all our successes, we shall
remember them.

Mother was the heart and hinge of all our home and happiness, and
while she was away, I used to lie awake at nights in my dark, cold
room and think of death entering our family. In his strange language
he whispered many things to my soul that I have forgotten, but one
thing I am sure of--I had no fear of death. My earliest consciousness
had been a strong and sure persuasion of God's goodness to men. And I
had no enmity towards God; though a dozen catechisms told me so, I
would not admit the statement. I loved God with all my child heart. He
was truly to me "my Father who art in heaven." Well then, death whom
He sent to every one, even to little babies, must be something good
and not evil. Also, I thought, if the dead are unhappy, their faces
would show it, and I had never seen a dead face without being struck
by its strange quiet. The easiest way to my school lay through the
graveyard, and though it was in the midst of the town, I knew no quiet
like the quiet of the dead men in that churchyard. I have felt it like
an actual pressure on my ear drum.

In the day I talked to my sister of the changes Uncle's death would
make in our lives. When Christmas came, father would not permit us to
go to any parties, and Jane was sure we would have to wear mourning, a
kind of clothing I hated, I reminded her that the Pennants had not
worn black when Mary Pennant died, and Jane reminded me that the
Pennants were Quakers, and that when Frances and Eliza Pennant came
back to school wearing their brown dresses, it was all the girls could
manage, not to scorn them.

Of course we talked at school of our uncle, Dr. Singleton, and his
expected death, and I do not understand how this circumstance imparted
to us a kind of superiority, but it did. Jane put on airs, and was
always on the point of crying, and I heard Laura Patterson correct the
biggest pupil in the school for "speaking cross to a girl whose uncle
was dying." I dare say I had my own plan for collecting sympathy, for
some of my classmates asked to walk home with me, others offered to
help me with my grammer, and Adelaide Bond gave me the half of her
weekly allowance of Everton toffy.

At last Mother returned home and, oh, how glad we were to see her! She
came into the lighted room just as we were sitting down to supper,
and an angel from heaven would not have been as welcome. My father was
somewhere in the Patterdale country, where he went for a week or two
at regular intervals; and, oh, how good, how glorious a thing it was,
to have Mother home again!

The first thing Mother did the following day was to send for black
stuff and the dressmaker. I pleaded in vain, though Mother, being of
Quaker descent, was as averse to mourning dresses as I was, but she
was sure Father would insist on them, because of what the Society, and
people in general would say. Jane made no objections. She was very
fair, and had that soft pearly complexion which is rendered more
lovely by black. As for Ann, she could only look at the wastefulness
of putting new dresses away in camphor for a year. She said, "Girls
will grow long and lanky, and in a year the skirts will be short and
narrow, and the waists too small, and the armholes too tight, and the
whole business out of fashion and likelihood."

In a few days Father came home. The girl was pipeclaying the hearth
and building up the fire for the evening, and Ann laying the table for
Mother's tea as he entered. He was so delighted to find Mother at home
that he said to her, "Let the girls stay and have a cup of tea with us
tonight." Then when he had set down by the fire, Jane drew her stool
close to him, and I slipped on to his knee, and whispered something in
his ear I shall never tell to any one. Such a happy meal followed, but
little was said about Uncle Singleton. Father asked if all was well
with him? Mother answered almost joyfully, "All is well!"

"Poor fellow," continued Father. "His life was defeat from its
beginning to its end."

"No, William," cried Mother, "at the end it was victory!" and she
lifted her radiant face, and her eyes rained gladness, as she said the
word "victory" with that telling upward inflection on the last
syllable, common in the North Country. I can never forget either the
words or the look with which they were uttered. I thought to myself,
"How beautiful she is!"

I waited after tea, hoping that Mother would tell us more about
Uncle's death, but she talked of our black dresses and the bad
weather, and then some neighbors came in, and I went upstairs to Ann.
She had one of those high peaked sugar loaves before her, and was
removing the thick dark purple paper in which they were always
wrapped. The big sugar nippers were at her side, and I knew she was
going to nip sugar for the next day's use. It was, however, a kind of
work it was pleasant to loiter over, and after talking awhile Ann
said, "What did Mrs. Huddleston say about her brother?" Then I
repeated what Mother said, and involuntarily tried to imitate her look
and the tones of her voice. Ann asked if that was all, and I answered,
"Yes." Then I said, "Was he a bad man, Ann, or a good man, tell me;"
and she said, "He was bad and good, like the rest of men. Don't ask me
any questions. Your mother will tell you all about him when the right
time comes."

And the right time did not come until eleven years afterwards.

In a week our dresses were ready, and we went back to school. We met
with great sympathy. Jane looked beautiful, and received the
attentions shown her with graceful resignation. I looked unlike
myself, and felt as if I had somebody's else frock on. But I had a
happy heart, ready to make the best of any trouble, beside I knew I
was unreasonable, since Ann, who was generally on my side, told me
that I ought to be thankful I had any dress at all to wear, and so
many nicer little girls than myself without one to put on their backs.
And as for color, one color was just as good as another.

That was not true in my case, but I knew that it was no use telling
Ann that story. Yet it is a fact, that I am, and have always been
powerfully affected both by color and smell--the latter's influence
having a psychical or spiritual tendency. But how could I explain so
complex a feeling to Ann, when I could not even understand it myself?

Queen Victoria ascended the throne of England a few weeks before I
went to Penrith, but she was not crowned until a year afterwards. I
remember the very June day so bright and exquisite it was! The royal
and loyal town of Penrith was garlanded with roses, flags were waving
from every vantage point, and the musical bells of the ancient church
rang without ceasing from dawn until the long summer gloaming was
lost in the mid-summer night. Yet child as I was, I noticed and partly
understood, the gloom and care on the faces of so many who had no
heart to rejoice, and no reason to do so.

Without much explanation the story of ordinary English life at this
period would be incredible to us, and I shall only revert to it at
points where it touched my own life and character. Is it not all
written in Knight's and many other histories at every one's hand? But
I _saw_ the slough of despair, of poverty and ignorance, in which the
working class struggled for their morsel of bread. And the root of all
their trouble was ignorance. For instance, the wealthy town of Penrith
had not, when I first saw it, one National or Lancastrian school, nor
yet one free school of any kind, but the little Sunday school held in
the Methodist chapel two hours on Sunday afternoons. Fortunately it
was the kind of Sunday school Raikes intended. There were no daintily
dressed children, and fashionably attired teachers in it--not one. The
pupils were semi-starved, semi-clothed, hopeless, joyless little
creatures; their teachers were hard working men and women, who took
from their Sabbath rest a few hours for Christ's sake. For how could
such little ones come unto Him, if there were none to show the way?

There was even at this date, 1838, villages in England without either
church or school, though Methodism had swept through the land like a
Pentecostal fire half a century before; and at this same time, the big
cities of London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol had not
one ragged school in them. A parliamentary investigation two years
afterward found plenty of villages such as Dunkirk with one hundred
and thirteen children, of whom only ten could read and write; and
Boughton with one hundred and nineteen children, where only seven went
to a school that taught writing, and thirty-two to a Sunday school.
Learning and literature were not in fashion then, especially for
women. Yes, indeed, it is true that I knew in my youth, many women of
wealth, beautiful women who managed their large houses with splendid
hospitality and were keenly alive to public affairs, who looked on
books as something rather demoralizing, and likely to encroach in some
way upon works more in the way of their duty. I was very often
reproved for "wasting my time over a book" so that my reading had a
good deal of that charm which makes forbidden fruit "so good for food,
so pleasant to the eyes, so much to be desired to make one wise."

And in Penrith I began a new set of books which charmed me quite as
much as "Robinson Crusoe" and the "Arabian Nights" had done. On my
seventh birthday my father gave me Cook's "Voyages Round the World,"
and this volume was followed by Anson's "Voyage," by Mungo Park's
"Travels in Africa," and Bruce's "Travels in Abyssinia." Twenty-two
years ago I stood one afternoon at the grave of Bruce in a lonely kirk
yard a few miles outside Glasgow. It was a neglected mound with the
stone slanting down above it. I remembered then, as I do now, how
severely his book had been criticized and even discredited. But later
travellers substantiated all that Bruce had said and added to his
recital still more unlikely stories.

There was also another book which at this time thrilled and charmed me
beyond expression. I doubt if there is a single copy of it in America,
and not many in England, such as remain I dare say being hid away in
the old libraries of ancient farm or manor houses. It was called "News
From the Invisible World," by John Wesley. It was really a book of
ghostly visitations and wonderful visions. My father took it out of my
hands twice and then put it, as he supposed, out of my reach; but by
putting a stool upon a chair, and climbing upon the chair and then
upon the stool I managed to reach it. I can see myself today in a
little gingham frock, and a white pinafore performing this rather
dangerous feat. We were dressed very early in the morning, but never
so early as not to find a good fire in the study; and the coal used in
the north of England, is that blessed soft material, which gives in
its bright manifold blazes, the light of half a dozen candles. Lying
face downward upon the hearthrug, I could read with the greatest ease,
and often spent an hour in "the invisible world" very much to my
liking before the day really began.

One morning while thus engaged, Ann Oddy came in and I asked her to
put the book back in its place. She looked at me suspiciously, and
said, "Who put it up there?"

"My father," I answered.

"What for?" she continued.

"Because it is about ghosts, Ann, and such stories as you often tell
me. Put it up or Father will be cross with me."

"Well, Amelia," she said in a kind of dreamy way, "your father ought
to know, but he isn't a bit well lately, so I won't bother him at this
time."

Then I promised to tell her the stories, and added, "They are all
true, Ann, for John Wesley wrote them."

"True!" she ejaculated. "Well, well, I _am_ astonished at Mr.
Huddleston's putting anything John Wesley wrote out of the way. I am
that." About A.D. 1890 I asked a learned doctor connected with the
Methodist Book Concern, if they had a copy of it, and he answered very
sharply, "I never heard of the book." Yet I know it existed in my
childhood, and that during my seventh and eighth years, I read it
frequently.

The first year of my life in Penrith went happily onward in the
regularity of its duties and pleasures. At home I remember but few
changes. Soon after the Queen's coronation, I had another brother, who
was called William Henry, and when he was about two months old, my
father went to Manchester, and brought back with him the greatest of
household comforts of that day--a dozen boxes of Congreve or Lucifer
matches. Only those who have stood shivering over the old tinder box
on a bitter winter night, trying to get a spark while the baby
screamed in the darkness, can form any estimate of the pleasure which
these few boxes of matches made in our house. My father took us all
into a dark room, and then permitted each person to strike a light.
Laughter and exclamations of wonder and pleasure greeted every fresh
match as it burst into instantaneous flame, even Ann was enthusiastic.
"This time," she admitted, "Mr. Huddleston has brought home something
sensible and good for everybody"--a covert slur upon Father's gifts,
which usually took the form of books, or a bit of spar for the parlor
chimney piece, or perhaps a likeness of Mr. Wordsworth, or a view of
Derwentwater. We had both read and heard wonderful things of these
matches for nearly three years, but the first put upon the market were
intended only for the rich; for they were in more or less costly
caskets, the cheapest of which was sold for a guinea. In a short time
a phial full of matches were sold for five shillings, and when my
father bought our first "light boxes" they were a shilling each. Then
came the practical chemist and the factory system, and the penny box
of matches was in every home. Yet I have no doubt that in many a home
in England the empty five shilling box is affectionately preserved;
for during their vogue, they were sensible and highly prized wedding
gifts, among a large class of respectable people of limited means.

At the beginning of my second school year, I was promoted to a copy
book. I could write pretty well with wad, and did not very often spoil
a goose quill. That first copy book! Never shall I forget it. Its
cover was canary color, and on the front was a picture of a negro. He
was loaded with chains and hoeing cotton, while a white man stood over
him using an impossible whip, and there were four lines by Cowper
underneath the two figures:

  "I would not have a slave to till my ground,
  To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
  And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
  That sinews bought and sold, have ever earned."

At that time I had never seen a negro, and my sense of amazement,
fright and repugnance was so great, that I feel sure I had not even
seen the picture of one. The tremendous excitement attending the
enfranchisement of the slaves belonging to England was over before I
was two years old, and after it, I think the nation must have repented
their extravagant sympathy, for I am sure that at this time I had
never heard either my father or any one else allude to the event.

Miss Pearson laid the book on my desk with evident pleasure, and I
looked at the picture, covered my eyes with my hands, and burst into
tears. I was never a crying child, and my teacher was astonished, and
asked me rather sternly, "What is the matter with you, Amelia? Are you
sick?"

"No," I whispered. "I am afraid. Take it away."

"Afraid?"

"I have not been bad," I continued. "I do not like that picture.
Please take it away."

Then she sat down by my side and told me a story about the black man,
and what England had just done for him. I hardly heard or understood
her, until she said, "I shall leave the book with you. You must look
at the picture every day until you at least feel pity for the slave.
See, this is your copy for today. Let me see how cleanly, and well you
can do it."

I had ceased crying. I was ashamed of my own emotion, and I went
courageously to work with a quill pen of my own cutting; but as soon
as I returned home, I went to my mother and told her all. She soothed
and petted me, but advised me to make no remarks about the picture.
"There has been a deal of hard feeling about the negro, Milly, and we
find it best to let that subject alone. No one talks of it now. Lucy
Lowthian was here this morning. She is going to have a party on
Saturday afternoon."

"Are we going to it, Mother?"

"Yes," she answered cheerily. "Look at this lace and white satin
ribbon. I am going to trim your dresses with it."

I instantly turned to the more personal and interesting subject, but I
could not forget, nor yet have I ever forgotten that picture on my
first copy book. Undoubtedly it was an exaggeration of even the Congo
type, but why did I cry at the sight of it? I was neither a fearful
nor a crying child. Why did I cry? It puzzled me then, but I know now,
that there was undoubtedly some sudden soul shock, some prophetic
apprehension, which my inner woman trembled before, and which my
physical woman could only interpret by tears.

In my studies I was progressing well, even my musical efforts were
beginning to make a little show. I had distinctly told my teacher that
I wished to learn "tunes" and "songs" and without regarding my wishes,
she had compelled me to make an astonishing study of what she called
_the gamut_. To the study of the gamut was added an hour's practice of
the scales daily, and as the necessary noise would have been
distracting to my father, I went to my teacher's home to make it. This
practicing often stood in the way of pleasures, and Jane, who had
urgently entreated _not_ to learn music, had many self-complacent
little observations to make on her own prudence. For while I was
studying scales, major and minor, she went with Mother to shop, or to
make calls. And she had a nice ladylike way of comparing things, that
was very discouraging. Yet I had not the slightest intention of
stopping my music lessons, and indeed I feel sure Father would not
have permitted me to do so, except for some good reason. Once only I
made a remark tending in that direction, and he answered,

"I allowed you to learn music, Milly, at your own eager request. Are
you going to give it up because it is difficult? I should feel ashamed
of you!" and he spoke with such scorn that I hastened to assure him,
"I would not give up music for anything."

My third year in Penrith remains very clearly in my memory. It was an
anxious year to all, for Chartism was keeping the country in constant
rioting and turmoil. I can remember well, the terror and hatred which
the very name "Chartist" called forth; for the scenes of the French
Revolution were yet red and flaming in the memories of men and women.
The very day Victoria was crowned, the military were compelled to put
down the rebellion led by John Thom, who claimed to be the Messiah,
and if the numbers who followed him had been larger and better
educated, the worst scenes of the French Days of Terror might have
been repeated.[2]

For ten years after the coronation Chartism was a living, constant
anxiety to the government and the people. Yet in the midst of this
general fear, and the decay of business which it entailed, there
occurred a serious quarrel agitating the whole country, about the
Ladies of the Queen's Bedchamber. The Melbourne government having lost
the confidence of both Houses, a new Administration was to be formed,
and Sir Robert Peel was entrusted with the duty. In performing it, Sir
Robert removed the Ladies who had been long in attendance on Her
Majesty, and gave their high positions, with the large emoluments
accruing therefrom, to the wives of the nobles who had assisted him in
forming the new government. The Queen was indignant and refused to
part with her old friends. Sir Robert visited her, and declared a
government could not be formed unless the high offices in her
household were filled by ladies of the ruling party. Her Majesty in a
firm, but polite letter told Sir Robert she could not agree to a
course so repugnant to her feelings.

The discussions in and out of Parliament on this question, were long
and violent. Every man and woman, every boy and girl in England, took
part in them. The women were largely in favor of the Queen, and a
great number of men, remembering her youth, thought she ought to be
humored in a matter so personal. But in political and administrative
circles, she was severely blamed, and that very often in unkind and
even disrespectful and disloyal terms.

For some reason my father strongly disapproved her conduct. He said
she was a child, and ought to be obedient to the advice given her by
the active heads of the government; and over and over he declared
there were far more important things to be attended to than the Ladies
of her Bedchamber. I heard him telling my mother that the planters in
the West Indies were ruined and asking relief from Parliament, the
freed negroes having absolutely refused to work; and then in a voice
full of anger he demanded why twenty millions of pounds had been spent
to give the negro a complete life of laziness, while clever English
mechanics were working twelve hours every day for a mouthful of
bread--starving as they worked. And Mother would shake her head and
answer, "It does seem hard, William."

"Mary," he would continue, almost in a whisper, "Mary! Mary! only
think of what twenty millions of pounds could have done for our own
poor men, and their starving, ignorant children! We had no right to
give it. It was not our duty, until we had done our duty to the needy
and oppressed of our own people."

And I wonder today, if Father knew that he was talking Chartism. At
any rate, it was the only time, and only way, I ever heard him name
the Great Emancipation of 1833.

None of these arguments moved my mother's loyalty; she was a warm--my
father called her a most unreasonable--advocate for the Queen's
rights. Ann was equally loyal, and greatly elated when Mother ranged
herself on the Queen's side.

"It is more than I expected," she said, "for Missis do always say
'Amen' to whatever Mr. Huddleston says. But the Queen is right!" she
added. "That I will declare and maintain;" and Ann, who was rolling
pastry struck the table a mighty blow with the rolling pin, which if
it intimated her way of "maintaining" would certainly be effective.

In our school the quarrel was a very simple one. There were only three
girls in it who were for Sir Robert Peel, and the father of one was in
the post office, the father of the other a supervisor in the excise,
and the third girl was called "Peel," and was, or thought she was, a
connection of the Peel family. Miss Pearson expressed no opinion on
the subject, except, that it was not to be named in school hours; but
as we walked to-and-from school, we talked only of the Queen, and of
any fresh news that might have come to us. By "news" I mean solely the
effects of this quarrel in the schools of Penrith, for in the man's
school, it had full swing. The boys had constant fisticuff fights, and
the master enjoyed and encouraged them. He said they were making good
soldiers for Her Majesty and that they ought to be proud of their
swollen eyes, and bruises.

So the quarrel went on, making a grim sort of amusement in days of
great public anxiety and alarm; until finally a specially called
meeting of the Cabinet, decided in a kind of half-and-half way, in
favor of the Queen retaining the Ladies of her Bedchamber, there
being a precedent in the case of Queen Anne, who retained the Ladies
of her Bedchamber a year and a half after their husbands had been
dismissed from office. Father was then satisfied. _There was a
precedent._ It was then and there I learned the word "precedent,"
and its meaning. I wondered then, and I wonder yet at the power vested
in these three syllables. It seems to settle constantly and
satisfactorily difficult questions in law, and other departments
of social affairs. In some way probably, every generation has
associated it with,

  "A land of settled government,
  A land of just and old renown,
  Where freedom broadens slowly down
  From precedent to precedent."

After the Cabinet decided the Bedchamber question, a dull quiet
settled over Penrith, and I suppose also over the whole country; for
even a little domestic dispute has usually this convalescent period of
silence. And as the holidays were on, and we were leaving Penrith in
August, Jane and I were set free from school for a short time. There
was some talk of a visit to Ambleside and Ulverston, but my brother
William was ill and suddenly became alarmingly worse, and after an
interval of great suffering he went away from us forever.

The child had died at midnight, but when I awoke in the morning I was
quite sensible of the change that had taken place. The presence of
death was felt all through the house, and not only in that dim chamber
veiled in white, where the dead boy lay. As I went down stairs, I
opened very softly the door of this room. My father was kneeling by
the little crib praying. His words fell wet with tears at God's feet,
as in low agonizing tones, he poured out his love and his grief. I
stole noiselessly away, feeling shocked and unhappy, lest I had
unlawfully witnessed a soul pleading with God. A little later, I went
with Mother to look at my dead brother. In a simple little night gown
he lay in his usual crib but, oh, how grandly tranquil, how distant,
how far, far different, he was!

He was buried in Penrith churchyard, and his funeral was after the
manner then prevalent in the North Country. A little table covered
with a white cloth, and holding salt, and sprigs of boxwood was placed
just within the open door. This was to notify all passers-by of the
presence of death in the house, and also to assure them, of the faith
of the living in the resurrection, and in eternal life. On the third
day after his death, the funeral took place, the coffin being carried
by six boys of about ten years of age, by means of white linen scarfs
passed through brass rings on the sides of the coffin, which was
uncovered, but strewn with pansies. As they went through the town, the
child-bearers sang a hymn very sweetly. Father and Mother, Jane and I,
and a large company of friends walked behind. Willie's small grave was
not far from the famous Grant's grave, and I think I could find my way
there without hesitation. A little grave was all the child of ten
months old asked, a little grave that we could step across, but it
separated him from us, further than all the starry space.

After this event I knew that I had done with Penrith. School opened in
July, but I did not go back to it, and I had a childish feeling of
offence because Miss Pearson did not ask me to do so. I thought it was
because she had many new pupils, and I had a heartache about it. Yes,
there are plenty of school girls who will understand me. A child's
love for a teacher is a very strong and pure love, and even a fancied
slight can hurt like a wound. Only two months since, I had a letter
from a little girl whom I taught fifty-six years ago. She was then
about nine or ten years old, she is now a very handsome woman,
white-haired but full of hope and pleasure, and large social interests
in the beautiful city of Los Angeles. And she loves me still, and has
never forgotten me. I think such a love as that is well worth the
winning.

I spent the next few weeks in wandering about the adjacent country,
with Father. We went first to Eden Hall, and got a sight of its
wonderful fairy cup, which carries the luck of the Musgraves; for if
it

          "breek or fall,
  Farewell to the luck of Eden Hall."

One never to be forgotten day I spent at Lowther Castle. The
magnificence of its furnishings amazed me, but after all I was more
interested in the three large caves near the castle, cut out of the
red sandstone, and said to have been the residence of Owen Cæsarius,
the giant whose grave is in Penrith churchyard. He was according to
tradition a man of colossal size, who ruled Cumberland before Saxon
times, when "there were giants in the land," and no giant killer had
appeared.

I had seen Long Meg and her daughters twice, but I begged Father to
take me once more to Little Salkeld near which she keeps her long,
long vigil. I cannot tell why these old Druid temples fascinate me,
why I both fear and like them, nor yet say to what feeling their charm
finds response in me. Long Meg is, however, one of the most important
Druid temples in England. Meg is a square column of red sandstone
eighteen feet high and fifteen feet in circumference, with no sign of
a tool having been used on it. Her daughters are sixty-seven in
number, some of them ten feet high, and they stand in a circle three
hundred and fifty yards in circumference. Wordsworth wrote a poem
about these stones, and Father taught me a few lines of it, all of
which I have long forgotten, except his questioning,

  "At whose behest arose on British ground
  That sisterhood in hieroglyphic round;
  Forth-shadowing the infinite, the inviolable God?"

Long and earnestly I looked at these,

          "stones of power,
  By Druids raised in magic hour,"

for I knew I should never see them again. Will any one tell me what is
the influence they exert over many and widely different personalities?
No, it is a thing to be felt, and not explained.

Two days after the visit to Long Meg we left Penrith for Ripon, one of
the three great religious centres of Yorkshire, the other two being
York and Beverly. I was glad to leave Penrith, and yet no town in
which I have ever sojourned, has left on my memory such a clear and
beautiful picture. In its calm retirement all the charm of its storied
past, and its picturesque present were so appealing, for any day and
every day its streets were made notable by the people likely to be met
on them--the Earl of Lonsdale, the great Chancellor, Lord Brougham,
the fortunate Musgrave of Eden Hall, or the lordly Howards from their
Castle of Greystoke standing in a park of five thousand acres. Other
famous men of a different kind were also to be met there. Wordsworth
was frequently in Penrith, for he married his cousin a Miss Hutchinson
of Penrith. So were Coleridge, Southey, and other writers of that
period. Wordsworth in my time was a very old man, and I thought also a
very disagreeable one.

Young as I was, I noticed also the difference with which the two sets
of notables were regarded by the public. If the Earl, or Lord Brougham
appeared, every hat was lifted, every face was full of interest, and
many women curtsied if they had to pass them. For the men of the land
were easily recognized by their splendid equipages, and other insignia
of their rank. The men of the pen walked without notice, along the
streets until they settled in some book store.

And entirely apart from this living and present source of interest,
there was that sense of the occult world brooding over the town, which
I feel sure, few people staying long there, could escape. The old
Druid priests were not dead; unseen and afar, they could still
influence, and they who doubted this, had only to go and sit silent
and attent in one of their deserted temples. I know, that while I was
certainly impressed by Lonsdale and Brougham, I was far more so by the
"stones of power" in old sacrificial, holy places, and by the three
giant caves, close to Lowther Castle, wherein the giant Owen Cæsarius
had dwelt. He represented to me the mighty men of Old Britain, for
there _were_ "giants" in the land in his day. Mythical! No, he is no
more mythical than Julius Cæsarius. Have I not sat, and talked, and
played around his grave in Penrith churchyard?



CHAPTER IV

AT RIPON AND THE ISLE OF MAN

  "My Memory is the frame of a thousand pictures."

       *       *       *       *       *

      "The blithe April weather of a child's life."


As soon as I saw Ripon, I disliked the place. There were no hills to
which I could lift up my eyes, it was a little town squatting among
fat green meadows, and by the still waters of three rivers, the Laver,
the Ure, and the Skell. The houses were generally small, and roofed
with red tiles, and the atmosphere of the place self-satisfied, and
decently prosperous. The theological element was distinctly ascendent
and I, though a daughter of Levi, did not like it. There were also at
that time many ancient customs prevailing, and the queer little place
only wanted a few monks strolling about the quiet streets, to make one
wonder if they had stepped back into the twelfth century. The modern
spirit touching so vividly the West Riding and other parts of England,
had not reached Ripon. It retained a monastic air, though there was
neither a monastery nor a monk in it. Still the people looked as if
they were always going to church, and indeed they did go to church a
great deal. I found out later that the whole history of Ripon was
blended with churchism, though its one famous manufacture was spurs.
"As true steel as Ripon rowels," is a proverb still applied to men of
mettle, trusty and faithful. When I was there it appeared to me that
all the craftsmen were saddle-makers.

The dominant power in Ripon was not, however, the bishop; it was the
Earl of Grey and Ripon, a man of immense wealth and of great political
influence. I saw him frequently, but somehow he lacked the romance
that fixed Lonsdale in my memory. I forgot him for nearly fifty years,
and then this thing happened. In 1891 I wrote to London for a full
set of the _Saturday Review_, stipulating that it should be
second-hand and in good condition. When it arrived at Cherry Croft, I
opened the boxes that contained the books eagerly, and lifted one out
to examine it. The set was fine and perfect, and contained a most
elaborate and beautiful book plate of the Earl of Grey and Ripon.
Nearly the whole sixty volumes were ornamented with the Earl's plate,
though in some it was more ornate, than in others. But by what chance
these volumes had been cast out of the magnificent library of Studley
Royal, the grandest residence in England, and found their way to my
little cottage on Storm King, New York, I do not know. Their once
lordly owner I had forgotten for fifty years, but now I often remember
the handsome, aristocratic George, Frederick, Samuel, Earl of Grey and
Ripon.

But withal it was a comfortable well-to-do place and Mother put away
cheerfully all fault-finding. Yet our house was not well situated and
was much too small. My father looked around dubiously. Ann Oddy
wondered if Ripon chapel people knew that Mr. Huddleston had three
children, and Jane cast her eyes down on the tesselated brick floor of
the living-room, and remarked in a general manner, "The floor is made
of brick."

"This will never do, Mary," Father said.

"Oh, yes, William!" Mother answered. "I will carpet the floor, and the
woman who was here waiting to receive us, pointed out the brick floor
and called it 'beautiful.' She said they are favorite floors in Ripon.
I shall make all pretty and comfortable in a few days."

Mother kept her promise. In a few days the little house was a pretty
place, and even Ann could find nothing against it, but its small size.
"There are three children," she said, "and God willing there may be
four, and where are we to sleep them all?"

"Plenty of room, Ann," answered Mother. "Mr. Huddleston is going to
make the parlor his study. His books will furnish the four bare walls
handsomely."

"And what about company, ma'am?" asked Ann. "There will be lots of
trouble, if they are put in the parlor, and the Master writing his
sermon."

"When Mr. Huddleston is writing a sermon, we will bring them in here,
Ann."

"And suppose we are just ready for dinner or tea? What then, ma'am?"

"Then Ann, we will ask them to join us," and Mother laughed
pleasantly, and added, "Your cooking, Ann, would be a great treat to
them."

In a fortnight the house being settled, the question was schools.
There was no choice on this subject, there being only one ladies'
school. It was kept by the Misses Johnston, three very handsome women
who were daughters of one of the old hunting, racing, drinking
squires, called "fine old English gentlemen." At his death, there was
nothing left for his daughters, and they opened a school. Jane and I
were entered as pupils there, but I did not find in any of the three,
another Miss Pearson. They were unfitted for teachers and appeared to
dislike the office, and though I learned the lessons set me, I made no
particular progress in anything but music. In this study my teacher
was a French emigrant, and I learned rapidly under his tuition.

We had not been half a year in this school, when a momentous question
arose. A girl called Mary Levine came one day, and she was entered for
all the senior classes, as well as for music, dancing, drawing and
French. We all concluded that her father must be very rich, but Miss
Grey, the daughter of one of the Canons of the Cathedral, said she had
never heard of the Levines, and she did not believe they were anybody
at all. For a few days suppositions as to Miss Levine's social
standing were rife. Then it was discovered that she was the daughter
of Daniel Levine, a Jewish jeweler and money lender. Instantly every
one drew away from the girl, and she was shocked and amazed at the
scorn and animosity shown towards her. I saw her tearfully talking to
Miss Johnston one evening as the dismissed school was leaving the
room, and when I reached home I told Mother what I had heard and
seen.

Mother advised us not to name the subject in my father's presence,
but this advice was rendered nugatory by events which had to be met
and decided on; for Mr. Downes, the banker, the Reverend Mr. Eamont,
Canon Grey and several others removed their daughters the next day
from school, pending Miss Johnston's decision as to opening her school
to Jewish children. Every day there were more defections, and the
distracted ladies sent a messenger to each patron of the school,
asking them to answer by "yes" or "no" the following question:

  "Do you object to your daughters associating with the Jewess, Mary
  Levine, in the classes of our school?

  "The Misses Johnston."

The long roll of patron's names came to Father among the last, and
Mother noticed that the answer in every case had been a positive
"yes." Father took the roll, and without consulting any one, wrote
hurriedly but decidedly, "Yes, I object."

I do not believe there was one reply favorable to the Jewish girl, and
yet I could see no fault in her, nor any reason for her dismissal; and
the school was much thinned by the circumstances, and I disliked it
more than ever. Nor did her ejection from the school restore
confidence. Several of the older pupils went to a celebrated boarding
school at York, and others to Harrogate, and an air of dissatisfaction
pervaded the class rooms.

As the spring opened I was sick. Father said, "No wonder!" He himself
felt the change "from the clear, mountain air of Penrith, to the damp
heavy atmosphere of Ripon." The doctor said I had some kind of an
ague, and gave me Jesuit's bark. I had never been sick in all my life,
and the feeling of inertia, and the abominable Jesuit's bark, made me
miserable. I was taken from school, and told to "amuse myself." But
books had become uninteresting. I had a headache, and it hurt me to
read, and the Jesuit's bark made every day a sickening terror. We call
Jesuit's bark quinine now, and have it in little white capsules, and
are not conscious of its taste; but any one needing quinine in those
days had to take a decoction of the bark of the tree--a whole tumbler
full of the black, nauseous liquid three times a day. Jane had no
ague, and was quite happy at school; for she was fond of embroidery,
and was working a petticoat for Mother in a new kind of that art--the
same kind that has been fashionable for the last three or four years,
which is accomplished by cutting holes in the cloth and then seaming
them around.

One day in early June, I was lying on a sofa which stood in the
parlor-study, and Father was writing. I can listen now as I write, and
hear the scratching of his quill pen upon the paper. Suddenly a
gentleman came riding rapidly to our door, and asked for Mr.
Huddleston. My father lifted his head at the sound of the voice,
listened a moment, threw down his pen and rose to go out of the room,
but before he could do so the stranger entered, and then it was
"William!" "Thomas!" and they clasped hands and sat down together. I
had no mind to go away, unless sent, and I closed my eyes and lay
still as if asleep.

Their conversation soon became animated and argumentative, though it
was about people and places I had no knowledge of; but finally reached
a subject then interesting all clever and thoughtful minds--the
Tractarian or High Church Movement. As I had read to Father several
small pamphlets "Tracts for the Times" I was familiar with the names
they constantly quoted--Newman, Keble, Froude, et cetera, but it was
Newman they disputed over. The stranger seemed to dislike Newman. He
said he was no better than a Calvinist, and had been brought up by his
Calvinistic mother on Watts and Romaine and such teachers, that he was
pale and thin, had a poor presence, and was more like a Wesleyan
preacher than a pillar of the Church. Father spoke hotly, and said he
never thought of Newman's appearance, his influence was something like
magic, and that you could not be fifteen minutes in his company, and
not feel yourself invited to take an onward step. I liked the stranger
for not liking Newman, for Newman's writing was the hardest and least
interesting reading I did for Father.

I was enjoying the dispute, when Ann Oddy tapped at the door, and told
father he was wanted a few minutes. Then I stepped off the sofa, and
went to the stranger.

"Well now!" he cried, "who are you, my little maid?"

I said I was Mr. Huddleston's daughter, and my name was Amelia.

"And you were on the sofa all the time?" he continued.

"Yes," I replied, "I am sick."

"Nonsense!" he ejaculated, but I assured him the doctor said I had an
ague, and I had been obliged to take Jesuit's bark.

"Jesuit's bark! That is enough to make any one sick. Come with me to
Richmond farm, and I will give you new milk in place of it. You can
get up early, and go with the dawn maids and see the big Durhams
milked. I will have a pony saddled for you, and you can ride all over
the farm at my side. And the red Morella cherries are just ripe, and
the strawberries coming on, and the raspberries not a month behind.
And there are hundreds of hens, and you could go with Tabitha, the
hen-wife, and see her clear the nests, and feed the chickens--such a
lot of them! And I have the prettiest and kindest of house-keepers;
she is called Mary, and she will be good and kind to you. Will you
come to Richmond farm with me?"

I told him that I would like it better than anything else in the
world, and then I asked, "Would you like me to come?"

"That I would!" he answered heartily, and as he did so, my father
re-entered the room with Mother on his arm. Mother had put on her new
muslin gown; it was a white muslin, with a tiny pink rosebud in it,
and her black hair was beautifully dressed in that Madonna style
introduced by Queen Victoria. "I have the prettiest mother in all the
world," I thought, and I went to her side, and clasped her hand.

So the stranger, whom I heard introduced to my mother as Mr. Thomas
Richmond ate dinner with us, and this proposal to take me for a few
weeks to Richmond farm, was gladly accepted.

[Illustration: REV. WILLIAM HENRY HUDDLESTON]

I was to stay a few weeks, but I stayed most of my time at this farm
for two years and a half, and if to be innocently joyful and busy and
perfectly free from all care and anxiety is to be happy, then surely
these years were the happiest years of my life. A child in Paradise
may be as happy, but no earth child could have been more fortunate
than I was. Everything was so much better than I expected; yes, I can
see the widespreading house amid its trees and gardens as I write, and
when I go to Heaven, I would like my angel to pass it on the road, and
let me look once more into its sunny rooms.

I soon learned to manage my pony, and I usually rode into Ripon with
Mr. Richmond on market days, took my music lesson, and then went home
until I was called for. The housekeeper Mary taught me all about milk,
cream and butter. I pulled cherries, ate cherries, and made cherry
pies, and I knew every hen and chicken on the place. I was very
friendly with the gardener, and from him I learned all about
vegetables, fruits and flowers. If there was a superstition or story
about any flower, he knew it; and he told it to me, generally with the
flower in my hand. Thus a lady to whose house I often went to practice
my music, gave me one day a pot of myrtle, and I took it at once to
the old man. I said, "I want it planted."

"Well then, Missie, you must plant it yourself," he replied; "for when
myrtle is planted, you must spread out your skirt, and look as proud
as you can. I say put it in your window, for myrtle is the luckiest
plant for the window, and water it morning and night, looking as proud
as you can while doing so. Myrtle is a proud plant, and it loves proud
people." On another day, I was going into the house with a branch of
flowering white hawthorn.

"Nay! nay!" he cried to me, "you mustn't carry white hawthorn into the
house. You might go to sleep where it is, and then would come great
misfortune." He looked very differently on a handful of rosemary.
"That is all right, is all right," he said. "Rosemary stands for
success in everything." In the very centre of the garden he had a
little bed of grass, and he would not suffer tool of any kind to touch
it. He called it "good man's croft," and told me that in order "to
bring luck, we must always leave a bit of land unplanted for the
fairies."

After I had been about a month at the farm, Mr. Richmond said to me
one wet day, "Milly, I have had all my grandfather's books taken into
the library. I want you to sort and shelve them for me. Would you like
to do that?"

I knew of nothing I would like half as much, for, as soon as I was
well, the thought of books was again a joy to me. We went to the
library together, and men were unpacking large boxes of books, and
bringing a long table on which to sort them, and a set of library
steps, pens, ink, pencils, paper, and so forth. I promised only to
sort the books in the afternoon, or when too wet to take my usual
morning ride with him about the farm. Then he gave me the key of the
room, and left me among a thousand books.

I was so happy! I was so happy! So peacefully, innocently happy! I
read more than I sorted; I found so many wonderful books, that it was
impossible to pass over. I met _Ivanhoe_ first in that room, and
_Little Nell_, and _Pamela_, and the _Scottish Chiefs_, and in a pile
of unbound _Family Heralds_ I made acquaintance with the short love
story. Never shall I forget what thrilling hours I spent in that room
with the "Children of the Abbey." A year or two ago a lady to whom I
named this book, said she had a copy, and would send it to me. I sat
down, full of expectation, but alas! though the book was there, I
could not summon back the child heart to read it. The tale that stole
my heart away when I was eleven years old had nothing to say to me
when I was seventy-seven. Yet I touched it tenderly as I whispered,
"It charmed me once--I will not spoil that memory," and so closed it
forever.

I thank God that ere any change came over days so beautiful and
blessed, they ceased. The library was scarce finished, when I had to
leave it; the farm life was just as happy and desirable, when I
tearfully bade it good-bye forever. The pretty, clever Mary loved me
well, and I had become a real companion to my affectionate friend, who
liked me to call him "Uncle Thomas." It was well to part ere any
desire for parting came. Mr. Richmond said he would come for me the
following summer, but I knew he would not. I felt sure he would marry
Mary, and other interests would occupy him. I said good-bye to
Richmond Farm in a fortunate hour. Its memory has sweetened my long,
long life, and what I learned in its pleasant rooms, its hay fields,
and wheat fields, and cool, sweet dairy, has helped me in many a
stress of life, that I then never dreamed of.

The inevitable has always found me ready and hopeful, and I was glad
we were going to the Isle of Man. I had never consciously seen the
sea, but its tides were surely in my blood. I was much excited at the
prospect, and Father was as eager and restless as a boy. It called him
now, as it had called his fathers before him, and he was impatient of
delay. We went in a little steamer called _The King Orry_, sailing
from Liverpool. And, as I walked with him about the deck, we were both
silent with emotion. But I felt quite at home. The motion of the boat
was natural, and, when I walked to the wheel, I could scarcely keep my
hands off it. I knew I could manage it. The salt breeze, and the smell
of the sea, went to my head like wine.

"Oh, Father!" I cried. "I wish that I might live always on the
tide-top."

"The tide-top!" he echoed. "Who taught you those words, Milly?"

"Nobody," I answered. "They just came to me. Are they not right words,
Father?"

"Yes," he answered slowly. "Your grandfather used them frequently. The
last words he said to my mother were, 'Fear not, Milly! I shall try to
keep my ship on the tide-top.'"

"But he did not, Father."

"No--no! He found a sailor's grave. I will go and bring John here."

In a few minutes he returned with an armful of pillows, and then he
carried my brother in his arms to the deck. I have never seen since
such a transfiguration of Joy. The boy clapped his thin, white hands,
and cried out, "_The Sea! The Sea! The Sea!_" His face glowed and
shone, and he took deep breaths of the salt air. So he sat all day,
feeding his heart on the sight of the blue, tossing waves, and some
wild pageant of memories far far off, and hardly to be caught, as they
threw the accumulated past upon his consciousness, very much as that
last vision clangs and flashes for a drowning man.

A never-to-be-forgotten, quiet, thoughtful day, and in the autumn
gloaming we landed at Douglas, and the next morning took a carriage
for the ten-mile ride, which would take us to Castletown, then the
capital of Man, and the place of our destination. With a lavish hand
Nature has beautified this wonderful little island, thirty-three miles
long, by thirteen miles wide, with the most exquisite scenes of sylvan
loveliness, while the Gulf Stream laves all its rocky shores, giving
it a climate such as we may have in Paradise. In the hottest month of
the year the temperature is a little below sixty degrees, in the
coldest month it is a little above forty-one.

Our ride to Castletown was an enchanting one. It was on a day at the
end of August, sunny and pleasantly warm. Such wealth of flowers! such
multitudes of singing birds! I had never before seen or heard. And the
sea was on every side of us! As we approached the capital we saw first
the noble old fortress of the Lords of Man, lifting its huge bulk in
the very centre of the town. It was but a small place, built of gray
stone, in narrow winding streets, and so old that its very origin is
lost in the mists of antiquity. Certainly it is one of the oldest, if
not the oldest, town in Great Britain. It looked to me as if it had
_always_ existed.

As we passed through the square of which the castle forms one side, we
saw a fine regiment of Highlanders, in their picturesque costume,
drilling, and a few ladies and some old gentlemen were sauntering
along, stopping occasionally to watch some manoeuver that interested
them. An air of the utmost serenity pervaded the place, as we turned
into a long crooked street called Malew Street, and stopped finally at
a house whose door stood open to receive us. It was a large-roomed,
sunny house, of three stories, and had a fine garden at the back,
stretching almost to the river side. The rooms were comfortably
furnished, and full of peace, and I caught and answered my mother's
look of pleasure and satisfaction. In a few days all was in order, and
we settled down to what promised to be three years of delightful
life.

For two years all our hopes were amply satisfied. I was at a good
school: I was in the fishers' cottages. I was in a boat with John and
my father, or I was off with Father to the preachings at Ballasalla,
or Ballabeg. I had many friends, and among them was Chrisna, the
daughter of the master of Rushen Castle. With her I wandered about the
wonderful old palace, learning its history in the very rooms wherein
that history was made. The whole huge fabric was an historical romance
written in stone. Chrisna was a Manx girl, of long Manx descent, and
she knew all the traditions and superstitions of her people. She
believed in fairies as firmly as she believed in the Gospels, and
indeed I never met either a Manx man or a Manx woman who did not
believe in fairies. Chrisna told me with perfect honesty that she had
seen them often, and heard their music, and she quite convinced me
that she had.

Seventy years ago the Isle of Man was little more than a name to the
average Briton. It had its own government, its own laws, and its own
House of Parliament, which was called the "House of Keys." There were
no Custom Houses, and no duties. There were no Poor Laws. When I was
there those in need were empowered to knock at the door of every
householder, once a week, and receive what could be given. There was
no stipulated sum, but a penny and a few groceries, or a little
clothing, was cheerfully spared. The number of such callers were few,
and they were kindly treated.

The small sum it cost then to live in the Isle of Man was a great
temptation to retired army and naval officers, and Castletown was full
of these interesting gentry. They gave to the place an air of
refinement, which was still further increased by the professors and
students of King William's College. I saw this college burned to the
ground on the second of January, A.D. 1844, and I remember well that I
had no wrap on, and the night was so warm I did not miss it. Yet
January is the coldest month in the mild Manx winter.

We went to Castletown in the autumn, and the following spring two
events happened affecting our household. My mother had another
daughter, whom Father christened Alethia Mona. Alethia being, with
Jane or Joan, and Isabel, the three prominent names of the Huddleston
women, just as William, John, Thomas, and Henry are the family names
of the men. Mona was added, because it was the ancient name of the
island of her birth.

Soon after this event Ann Oddy left us. I am rather ashamed to say
that we were all privately very glad. She had become a kind of
household tyrant, whom we had to constantly conciliate, and we had
long ago discovered that the old family servant was just as serious a
problem as the modern monthly one. Our emancipation from Ann's rule
came very unexpectedly. She entered the parlor one afternoon, with a
letter in her hand, and, with great excitement, said: "Mrs.
Huddleston, I am sorry, but I must go back to England at once."

Mother told her she was not out of England, and asked why she must go
in such a hurry, and Ann answered:

"You see, ma'am, Adam Bradley wants me. We were to have been wed ten
years ago, but one night Adam he walked home from chapel with Sarah
Sykes, and I had words with him about Sarah, so he married Sarah to
spite me. But she's dead now, and Adam wants me. I think it is best to
go to him, Mrs. Huddleston."

So Ann went. We hardly said to each other how glad we were, and we all
pressed any gift we could spare on her. Mother even gave her one of
her silk gowns, which I am pretty sure she missed a little later. But,
until we knew Ann was safely away in the Douglas coach, we did not
talk about her; then I shall never forget Mother's smile, and sigh of
relief, and Jane's neatly expressed opinion, that "the Irish Sea was
always rough with the wind in the present direction." Jane had never
liked Ann; and she knew Ann was both sick and terrified, when at the
mercy of wind and waves. A middle-aged Manx woman was easily found to
take Ann's place, and Jane, who was now well grown and womanly, took
charge of many things relating to the household.

It was about this time I began to seriously try to write. I commenced
a tragedy which I called "Seneca." I do not remember anything about
the work, except that it was laid in ancient Rome, and that Seneca was
a philosopher and a senator. I showed the first act to Father, and he
gave it back to me with a smile, and the opinion that "it might have
been worse." I used to take pencil and paper and go out to Scarlet
Stack, and there alone, with the sun and the wind and the sea and the
sky, try to reconstruct the men and women and life of ancient Rome.
It was a presumptuous effort, but perhaps the gain to myself was in
the effort; for I had become very ambitious. I had abandoned the
missionary idea, and longed to write books, and to travel and to see
the great cities and the strange peoples I had read about.

We had fully expected to remain at Castletown for three years, but, at
the end of the second year, my Father was removed to the Whitehaven
Circuit. I shall never forget the morning the news came to us. Mother
was making sandwiches for Father, John and I were going to row as far
as Ballasalla, then land, and go to the Silverburn River for trout.
But Father was so shocked, he put off the trip. I wondered that he
should do so, and said:

"Whitehaven is your birthplace, Father; it will surely please you to
go there."

"I would rather go to the most desolate spot on the earth," he
answered with a passion that silenced me.

"It is a much larger circuit, William," said Mother, "and your income
will be larger, and you will have an assistant--a very popular young
man, your letter says."

"I have heard of him, Mary. Popular young men are not always nice
young men. He is a nephew of Sir William Morley, and his name is
William Morley Punshon."

Then I took an instant dislike to the popular young man called
Punshon. "Such a name!" I ejaculated.

That afternoon Father called Mother in a strange, thick voice of
alarm, and she found him looking ill and terrified. "I have had a
singular sensation all down my right side, Mary," he said. "It
frightens me." And my brave little mother said, "Nonsense, William! As
we grow old, we have such sensations. I have them myself now and then;
my father had them often. Come down and talk with me and the girls,"
and she laughed softly and took his arm. But I am sure she knew that
this "sensation" was the first touch of a hand that would finally
prevail.

As for me, I threw off the thought of trouble by a conscious effort,
just as I would throw off my clothes; for I was yet an easy-hearted
child, who could say to sorrow, "Let it go."



CHAPTER V

SORROW AND CHANGE

  "The Leaves of Memory seem to make a mournful rustling in the
  dark."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "We try in the darkness of Sorrow the wings that shall bear us out
  of it."


We took leave of the Isle of Man with heavy hearts, and sailed direct
from Douglas to Whitehaven, landing there in the evening of a wet
August day. The town was finely situated, and the wide haven filled
with ships of all kinds. There was even a man-of-war lying at the long
new pier. But the scene was not cheerful; how could it be, after a
steady, soft rain from morning to night? Two officers of the church
met us, and, in a few minutes, we were at the dwelling which was to be
our home for the next three years. It was a handsome-looking house,
and stood midway in a block of similar ones. There was a table laid
for supper in the living-room, but the room itself was a dreary one. I
do not know why, unless it was the want of fire on the hearth, and the
dark-green moreen curtaining. A gray-haired woman served tea, and said
she was ready to stay with us, if so be Mr. and Mrs. Huddleston were
agreeable.

So in a few days the house was in order, and Mother professed to be
much pleased with our new quarters. She pointed out the large size and
number of the rooms, and the quiet of the locality, and, with a
pleasant laugh, said she supposed we were among the aristocrats of
Whitehaven.

"My cousin's curate lives two doors below us," Father said, and then,
for the first time, he spoke of his cousin, Dr. Andrew Huddleston, who
was at that time rector of the parish of Whitehaven, and also had the
living of another parish a few miles distant, both being the
presentation of the Earl of Lonsdale. He said he was a bachelor, of
about fifty years of age, and was seldom in England; his curates
performed his duties for him. But he was in Whitehaven when we arrived
there, for I saw him walking up Duke Street with Father, two or three
days after our arrival. There was a singular resemblance between them,
though Dr. Andrew Huddleston was portly and robust, and dressed in
extreme clerical fashion, while my Father was tall and thin, and
ascetic in appearance, with the slight stoop forward of one used to
looking into things invisible. But the tie was felt and acknowledged;
I knew it by the way they stood with clasped hands a moment or two at
our open door.

There were many other Huddleston families in Whitehaven, all of them
sailors, excepting one fine young man whom the Earl was educating, and
who was painting a portrait of Lonsdale the first time I saw him. It
happened that my father and mother received an invitation to dine at
Captain Thomas Huddleston's. Father said the thing was impossible,
that the company and the conversation alike, would be antagonistic to
his office, and his personal feelings; and the kindness which was
intended, would be turned into offence. So I was sent with a note of
regrets, and orders to make myself as agreeable as possible.

The latter injunction was easy to obey. I found that Captain
Huddleston's family consisted of his mother, and sister, and the youth
I have mentioned, who was the grandson of Captain Huddleston. Their
house was a large one, in a queer court close to the waters of the
harbor, and the big low rooms looked like museums; for it seemed as if
every rare and lovely thing from strange lands and strange seas were
there; and the footstool of the old lady was a living tortoise of
great size, which had an inscription on its shell, showing it to be
nearly ninety years old.

The old lady was dressed in a gown of gay colors, open very low in
front, and filled in with clear-starched muslin. Her apron was of
black silk, trimmed with black Spanish lace, and she had a cap of
white Spanish lace on her plentiful white hair, and a very long gold
chain around her neck. Her knitting lay on the table beside her, but
she was adding up a bill as I entered the room, and though she looked
at me, she did not speak until the total was satisfactorily reached.

With this family I became familiar, and I wish I had space to say more
about them. I spent much time in their company, and liked nothing
better; especially when young Tom Huddleston, a midshipman on _The
Royal George_, came home. This handsome young sailor was my first
dream of a lover. I cried when he went away, and was not comforted by
his promise to bring me "lots of lace from Malta." Poor lad! He never
came home, but died in the West Indies of yellow fever.

There was really a little sailor settlement around Captain Tom's home,
and I was soon welcome in it, a strange, happy-go-lucky company, full
of sharp transitions; for in their lives they knew not what a day or
an hour might bring forth. However unexpectedly my visits were made, I
was sure to find some gathering rejoicing over the return of a husband
or son, or perhaps mourning over his detention or death. And among
people so affectionate and emotional it was easy for me to rejoice
with those who did rejoice, and to weep with those who wept. They did
not attract Jane; they were too extravagant and reckless, and Jane
liked everything done decently and in order.

Perhaps this sailor society prevented me from making as high an
estimate of the Reverend William Morley Punshon as I ought to have
done. He came a great deal to our home, and used to recite for our
entertainment fine examples of prose and poetry from the great
writers. As long as John was able to bear it, he frequently read
aloud, and I considered him an extraordinarily clever man. And, if one
looked only at his fine eyes and forehead, he was also a very handsome
man. I am sure all the religious young women in Whitehaven thought so,
and he was much praised and courted, the chapel being crowded whenever
he preached. Young ladies wore white veils then, and I used to watch
them from the organ loft coming into the chapel, and compare them to
an army with white banners; for I played the organ, which was
immediately behind the pulpit, so that everything was before my
vision.

During the Christmas holidays of this year, 1844, my brother Henry was
born. We welcomed him as a gift and a compensation, and the shadow of
suffering and death passed gradually away. After the holidays I went
to a fashionable school kept by Miss Penelope Flinders. I only
remained there three months, and, as far as study was concerned, they
were of little service to me; for Miss Flinders had a lawsuit in
progress at this time, and she made me her confidant, and discussed
endlessly the pros and cons with me. I was very sorry for her, and
feverishly anxious that she might succeed. She told me that her lover
had been prevented from marrying her by the bitter opposition of his
mother; that he had left England in consequence, and, when dying in
India had made a will, leaving every shilling of his wealth to her.
The mother was fighting the carrying out of this will, and Miss
Flinders could not sleep or eat, and how, then, could she teach
pending the court's verdict? One morning I went to school a little
late, and found the class rooms empty. The school had been dismissed
forever. She had won her case. I sat and talked with her a long time,
and she told me she would never teach another hour, for she had now
five thousand pounds a year to be happy with.

I went to no other school, but I read a great deal, and kept up the
practice of my music and drawing. There was a good public library, and
there was my father's library, and the public one suited me best now;
for I wanted Scott, Dickens and Thackeray, and I also read many novels
by Mrs. Gore, a writer nearly forgotten, but whose pictures of the
lives led by the highest society of that day were interesting and
instructive. One day Mr. Punshon was sitting in our parlor when I came
in with my hands full of books. He looked at them and asked, "Does
your father know, Amelia?" I answered, "No, but Mother does. She says
it is right. We do not trouble Father about little things. He is not
very well lately."

"Amelia," he continued, "I want some books out of the library, but I
do not like to go for them."

"Novels?" I asked.

"Yes," he answered.

"I will get them for you. I am sorry for people who want novels, and
do not feel able to ask for them."

He said something about his position, and my father not liking him to
go to a public library for novels, and I understood the situation. I
wonder now why I did not fall in love with him. He could be so
charming, and I certainly thought his recitations marvelous, and his
own poetry full of genius. But I liked Tom Huddleston in his open
collar, and sailor jacket, with a sailor's song on his lips, far
better. Once I wondered about it to Jane, and she looked at me
incredulously, if not scornfully, as she answered, "The idea of being
in love with Mr. Punshon!"

"Why not?" I demanded.

"For one thing, Milly, he does not wear straps." Gentlemen at that
time wore their trousers strapped down under their feet. "His trousers
are sloppy, and he looks quite common."

"He is handsome," I returned, "and he has fine eyes, and beautiful
brown hair; it is curly, too."

"I dare say he puts it in papers every night. Miss Annie Townley
thinks so. But if he was ten times as handsome, I would not marry him.
He is a Wesleyan preacher, and could never give his wife a home of her
own. I hate living in a Chapel House."

Under conditions and surroundings like these, our lives went on. John
was dying daily, and Mother was very anxious about Father, who seemed
possessed by a never ceasing passion for preaching. It appeared to
her, that he worked and preached as if he feared he would not have
time to say all he wanted to say. The "sensations" of which he had
complained at intervals, grew more frequent, and in the autumn of our
second year in Whitehaven, he partially lost the use of his right
hand. Then I wrote his letters and sermons as he dictated them to me.
But, oh, how it pained him! I could not bear to see the sorrow in his
eyes, and what was coming he knew not; for the doom that walks by our
side from the cradle to the grave, never warns us. At this time of my
life my thoughts turn to his memory with a great tenderness. His heart
was then given to all humanity, his soul was all God's, and his life
but a flesh and blood conductor of eternal spirit.

At the close of the second year, John died after great suffering, and
he was laid among his kindred in a small cemetery in Charles Street.
As a burial ground it was no longer used, except by the families who
had originated it more than one hundred years previously. It was a
neglected enclosure, over-grown with tall grasses and rank weeds, and
surrounded by the decaying untidy houses of poverty. A more dreary,
ghastly place I never saw, and my heart ached for the little lad laid
there. I was thankful my mother was too ill to go to the mournful
service, but Father was consoled by the fact, that he was among his
kindred; and it seemed to me, there was no one but Huddlestons buried
there. Every stone I read was in memoriam of a Huddleston, and always
that same persistence of the name "Henry."

Not more than a month afterwards, our baby Henry was laid beside his
brother in the desolate place. I have no heart to write of his death.
He was taken in the midst of health, and went laughing to seize the
bowl of boiling milk, from which he drank a cruel death. It is better
to be silent about such calamities; at the time we were all dumb with
grief. Yet it was an accident, and accident is always God's part in
any event; so to this knowledge we bowed our hearts in submission.
There is a difference, however, in silence. Mother's quiet was full of
heavenly hope and trust; Father's speechless, tearless grief, was
almost despair, and many times afterward, I heard Mother rejoice over
a trouble treading close upon Henry's death, because it roused the
physical man to wrath, and broke up the spiritual torpor into which
Father had fallen.

This trouble came in a letter, which was handed into the parlor where
we were together one afternoon three weeks after Henry's death. Mother
and Jane were sewing. I was copying music--a song of Balfe's, I
believe, and father was walking up and down--up and down the room. All
was so still I could hear the ashes dropping from the grate to the
hearth. Then came the postman's knock, and the delivery of the letter
to Father.

He read it without a word, growing every moment grayer and more angry.
As he finished, he slowly tore the paper into fragments, his passion
growing with every movement of his hands, and stamping on them, gave
way to an inconceivable rage, accompanied by words that shocked and
terrified us. It was not Father, it was some madman who had taken
possession of him. Mother went to him, put her hands on his
shoulders, and said softly, "William! William!"

"Mary! Forgive me!" he cried. "You see now, what I have to struggle
against. Every day I have this temper to fight; it will conquer me
some time, and then I shall be lost--but this trouble is my own fault.
You have warned me, and I would not listen to you. Yes, I have been
warned twice by dreams I understood, but would not obey. If I could
suffer alone! If I could suffer alone, I would not care. It is my
great punishment. You and the children must suffer with me."

"What punishment? What has happened, William?" asked Mother.

"I have lost every shilling. That scoundrel Philip Blackpool has gone
to Australia with my money, a month ago."

"My dear, we can live without it."

"We cannot live without it, Mary," he answered. "What is the good of
talking nonsense?"

Then Mother was silent. She sat down and lifted her work, Jane
followed her example, and I went on copying my song, while from the
next room came the faint sounds of Alethia and Mary playing. Before
our silence and assumed indifference his anger waned; he said again,
"Forgive me, Mary! I will go to my study now, and come down when I am
better. Disturb me for nothing."

Mother was wretched. She put down her work, and I went to her. "What
does Father mean?" I asked.

"He means that we shall now be poor, Milly. This money stolen from him
was the best part of our living. I do not know how much it was, for he
never told me the amount, and often I have advised him to put it in
some reputable bank. But Philip Blackpool was his friend, at least he
supposed so. I have always doubted it. We must send away one servant
to-morrow; we shall have to do with much less new clothing, and many
good things that we have thought necessary, we must learn to do
without. Great changes will have to be made; my dear girls, let us
make them cheerfully."

Then I spoke to Mother about turning my education into money, and she
was pleased with my readiness. "Father is ill," she said, "and I fear
he will not be able to preach much longer. I have thought of these
things often," she continued, "and wondered how we were to live, when
he had only his retiring income, and this idea has come to me--that if
we knew how to conduct a small ladies' boarding-school, it might
suffice. Jane and I could look after the house and children, and you,
Milly, could, with the help of teachers, conduct the school. Of course
you would have to be trained for such a task."

We were all pleased with this idea, and discussed it over our tea, in
which Father did not join us. Then it appeared that this school
project was an old thought with Mother. She asked us if we remembered
a certain Miss Sarah Berners who stayed a week with us when we were in
Penrith, adding, "She was my friend through all the years in which I
was at school, and we used to talk of starting a school together, and
being independent of our stepmothers; for we both had stepmothers, and
not very kind ones--but I married, you know."

"Yes," said Jane, "and what did Miss Berners do?"

"She opened a school at Downham Market, Norfolk, fifteen years ago,
and has done well. Suppose, Milly, you went to her for a year, and
learned how to manage a school."

I answered, "I would like to do so, Mother. I would like it very
much."

So Mother wrote to Miss Berners, and received a glad consent to her
wish. I was to go as second teacher, and assist in the music, drawing
and English classes; and she promised to give me twenty-five pounds a
year with my board and lodging, and the opportunity to study the
French language if I wished, as I would room with Miss Stromberg, a
Russian, who spoke it, and nearly every other European language,
perfectly.

When this news came, Father was told of our plans. There was some
opposition, but not much, and I began with a hopeful heart to prepare
for the change before me. This event appeared to break up the storm of
sorrow and ill fortune which had assailed us. We had feared Father's
next appointment lest it should be some large manufacturing city,
demanding more strength than he had to give, but when it came, it was
to Kendal. Nothing could have been better. It was my mother's
birthplace; she had many friends there, and my father was a great
favorite with Kendal Methodists; and there was a pleasant preacher's
house in a pretty garden, surrounded by poplar trees.

It was a joyful removal. We bid farewell to the little graves we
had to leave behind us, and then turned our faces, as it were,
homeward. And as I was not wanted in Norfolk, until early in
September, I went to Kendal with my family, and helped to settle them
in their new home. I was very happy in my own prospects. I had no
fears, and I had a great many hopes and pleasant expectations. My
life was yet to me like a book of uncut leaves. I had finished the
preface, and the first chapter was to open in Norfolk. I put
behind me all past sorrows, and was just an eager girl leaning
over the narrow rim of my small world, and gladly anticipating the
wide, wide world into which I was going. And I was made strangely
happy, because on the night before I left home, when I lifted the
little red Bible that lay upon my dressing-table, my eyes lighted
on this verse, "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called
thee by thy name; thou art mine." (Isaiah, 43:1.)



CHAPTER VI

IN NORFOLK

  "No one knows what capacities they have for doing and suffering
  till the occasion comes. When water is ice, we have no idea what
  latent heat is in it."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Life--all things here are but beginnings."


I was sixteen years and five months old, when I left home to go to
Downham Market, and take my place among the workers of the world. The
thought pleased me. I was tired of being a mere looker-on at life's
great game, and wanted my share in it. It was on the fourth of
September, A.D. 1847, and my father was to go as far as Hull with me.
There he would see me on board a little steamer sailing down the Wash
to Lynn Regis, from which place a carriage would carry me the few
miles inland to Downham Market.

I had put on long dresses that morning, and coiled my hair in a knot
under my bonnet, and looked quite eighteen; and I think Father was
proud of me. I certainly was very proud of Father's company; not
entirely because of his beautiful countenance, I valued far more, that
air of distinction which never left him, and to which every one
deferred. We had a pleasant journey to Hull, where we arrived soon
after noon. I had wondered why this way to Downham Market had been
chosen for me, but as soon as we reached Hull, I knew why. It was a
large seaport, excepting London and Liverpool, the largest in England;
and Father wanted me to see the ancient town, and its wonderful
docks.

We went to an hotel and had lunch, and then to the Queen's and Humber
docks, and I got my first glimpse of what a great commercial city must
be on its water side. I heard all the languages of Northern Europe on
those great walls. I saw woolpacks from Germany; hides, hemp and
tallow from Russia; corn from Dantzic, and other Baltic ports; and
strange _thin_ bars of iron from Sweden. Father told me this metal
would all go to Sheffield to be made into steel. On the Humber dock I
saw great bales of cotton and woolen cloth from Manchester and the
West Riding of Yorkshire; and other bales of lace and net, from
Nottingham. They were going to France and Germany, and all over
Northern Europe.

After the docks, we went to the famous Trinity House, a very rich and
powerful guild, that supports disabled seamen of the merchant service
and their widows, and has been doing this good work for nearly five
hundred years. For it is not only wealthy in bequeathed property, but
receives a shilling a month from the wages of all seamen leaving the
port. We went through the wonderful old place, and were told there
were nearly one hundred inmates, and nearly one thousand outside
pensioners. The whole place was as clean and neat as the decks of a
man-of-war and every apartment, even the council room, was strewn with
fresh green rushes, after the fashion of the days of its erection.

I noticed in the entrance hall a Greenland kayak hung from the
ceiling. It was picked up at sea with a man in it in A.D. 1613. The
man refused to eat, and died in a few days; but the figure in the
kayak wears his clothes, et cetera. I made some remark to Father
afterwards about Hull sailors being in such a latitude at that date,
and he said "they were commonly there then, and indeed were famous
whalers as early as A.D. 1590."

"Are they whalers now?" I asked.

"They are not extinct as whalers even now, though they are fast
passing away. Why, Milly," he added, "it was the whaler _Isabella_,
Captain Humphries, from the port of Hull, that found and saved Sir
John Ross and his company of Arctic explorers, after they had been
shut up in the ice for four years. He brought them home with him to
Hull, and Hull gave them a grand triumph, opened their hearts and
homes to them, and the whole nation went into rejoicing. You were only
two years old then, Milly, and do not remember, but I do. They had
won nothing; they had lost every thing, but they had _endured
cheerfully_ till their deliverance came; and _endurance_ is _victory_.
Don't forget that, Milly."

We visited the Charter House next, and saw many curious things, but I
have forgotten them. I saw too much, and Hull remains in my memory
like an amazing dream of masts a-rake, intertangled rigging, black
barges, ponderous black hulls floating silently past, as if they had
no weight. Influences from times long past, and places far off, found
their way unerringly to me. The streets and the gray afternoon seemed
unreal--like a dream all floated away.

I have a far clearer memory of the dinner we had on our return to the
hotel. In my long life, I am sure there are not a dozen dinners I
recollect as accurately as this one. Yet it was a very simple
meal--just hare soup, and roast duck, and green peas. My father also
had celery and cheese, and a glass of port wine, and I had two small
raspberry tartlets. But I have that dinner over again today as I
write, have it in the same little dingy parlor, with its two open
windows. I hear the noise of the streets; I see the picture of
Victoria above the chimney piece, and the colored, fancifully cut
tissue papers, screening the empty grate; I am sitting at the neatly
set table, with its daisy pattern damask cloth and napkins, its
old-fashioned knives and forks, and queer-shaped drinking-glasses,
and cruet stand. I have never happened to taste hare soup since
that day, but I can taste it now. It was a well-cooked meal, eaten
with smiles and pleasant conversation and little happy glances at each
other. It is dinner number one in my book of memory, though there
were neither flowers nor finger bowls on the table. Indeed I do not
remember having ever seen a finger bowl at this time and I am not
sure, but what I should have considered them as an unpleasant,
unmannerly introduction.

Presently we heard a church clock strike, and Father took out his
watch and looked at me. "It is time we were going, Milly," he said
cheerfully and I rose and put on my bonnet and gloves. At the wharf we
found all in confusion, and _The Queen of the Wash_ ready to sail.
There was only time for Father to see me safely on board; then with a
few cheerful words and a smiling face he put me in God's care, and
bid me good-bye. I watched him as long as I could see his tall,
straight figure among the moving crowd, but he never looked back. I
should have been astonished if he had. It was always onward and upward
and forward with Father; there was no looking back in his nature, and
his physical attitude generally illustrated the feelings and desires
of the inner man.

I went at once to my cabin, and being thoroughly weary with my day's
travel and sightseeing I fell asleep, and did not awaken until a woman
roused me with the information, that we were near Lynn Regis. It was
barely light when I stepped on to the pier, and the ancient place
seemed to be fast asleep. No one was in sight, and I asked the captain
to send a boy to bring me a carriage. He did so, and I was shortly at
The Cross Keys, a hotel standing in the Tuesday Market Place; but
feeling still tired and only half-awake I asked for a bedroom, and
slept until ten o'clock. This day I had a sense of the most absolute
freedom. I could do as I liked; there was no one to obey, and no one
to please but myself, and sleep appeared to me at that hour, the most
desirable of luxuries. But when I awoke at ten, I was satisfied and
fully refreshed, and I dressed myself prettily, and went down stairs
and ordered breakfast. After it, I made inquiries about reaching
Downham Market, and found there was a kind of stage running between
Lynn Regis and Downham Market. The next would leave at noon, which
would hurry me, and the last one at three o'clock, and this I resolved
to take. For it seemed a great waste of opportunity, not to see
something of the old town, when I had the day at my disposal.

I was tired of ships and of water, and wandered up the High Street
looking at the shops, and when I came upon a church in Black Goose
Street with the door standing open, I went inside. It contained
nothing attractive and I was about to leave the building, when an old
gentleman led me back to make me notice its three aisles, and the rich
and peculiar tracery of the windows and clerestory, and many other
things of that kind. But I was not much interested, until he showed me
a slab in the pavement, "In memoriam of Thomas Hollingsworth, an
eminent bookseller, a man of strictest integrity in his dealings, and
much esteemed by gentlemen of taste, for the neatness and elegance of
his bindings."

At this point I remember asking my guide if that inscription was good
grammar, adding it does not sound right to me, but then I do not
understand grammar.

"Do you know what it means?" he asked sharply.

"Oh, yes!" I answered.

"Then it's good grammar," he said decisively.

This remark about grammar, however, brought on me a little lecture
concerning a Dominican friar called Galfridus Grammaticus, who lived
in Lynn Regis, and compiled and printed the first English and Latin
dictionary; and this learned monk introduced another, who may have a
rather general interest at this date--Nicholas of Lynn, a Carmelite
monk, who in A.D. 1330 sailed to the most northern land in the
world--the first Polar expedition on record. Friar Nicholas says, that
at the Pole he discovered four indraughts of the ocean, from the four
opposite quarters of the world; and I have had good reason during the
last three years to retell this story of the first Polar visitor, and
to point out that he discovered more than the two latest visitors, and
that his narrative is better authenticated.

After leaving St. Nicholas' Church I sauntered up a street leading me
back to the hotel and in doing so passed a jeweler's shop. My eyes
fell upon a bracelet--an old-fashioned bracelet very wide and
illuminated by a large stone. I had never possessed a piece of jewelry
in all my life, but now I had some money, and I longed for this
bracelet. Many times I left the tempting window, but always returned,
and finally I went into the shop and asked its price. It was five
shillings, and I had twenty shillings. Why not buy it? I hesitated,
but at last paid the five shillings and went proudly out of the shop,
with the bauble in my pocket. When I reached the hotel, I put it on my
arm and felt just a little disappointed at the result. However, I
fancied myself wearing it with my silk dress, and thought it would
give me an air of great gentility. Then the stage was ready, and I and
my silly bracelet went together to Downham Market.

It was perhaps well, that I saw nothing but St. Nicholas' Church for
the mental notes I made there were so few, and so individual, that
they settled themselves persistently in my memory. Also, as I had
adopted the profession of a teacher, it was creditable to know who
made our first dictionary. The Polar expedition lay dormant in my
remembrance, until the disputing of the last three years made me
recall the information given me so many years ago. Then I came to the
conclusion, that any one of the three claims would be just as good as
the other, so that if England should stand by her monk's discovery, it
would be hard to disprove her claim; but--

  "The fault of the English is the fault of the Dutch,
  They never know when they are claiming too much."

It was about half-past four when I reached Downham Market. The ride
was interesting, for the country was quite different from any that I
had ever seen. Such green, such deep, living green of the pastures!
Such tall strong trees, garlanded at this time of the year with hop
vines, twining from branch to branch, and dropping down from their
tips, so that the hand could reach them. I saw two fine old manor
houses and many lovely cottages. A small, sweet, purple grape climbed
over the front, and over the thatched roofs of most of them, and this
astonished me, for I had never before known that grapes would grow in
the open air in any part of England.

When we approached Miss Berners', I knew the place. I had dreamed of
it when I was a child--a large double-Georgian house, standing amid
lawns and trees, and surrounded by a hedge higher than a man. As we
came closer I saw from my point of vantage on the top of the coach,
about twenty girls of varying ages, scattered about the grounds; some
were playing battledore and shuttlecock, others reading, others
walking about in pairs, and a couple of nearly grown girls, were
taking riding lessons in a paddock, at the side of the house. It was a
pretty scene, and the whole party struck me as freely and genuinely
happy. I felt a little nervous at the prospect of walking through
this bevy of scrutinizing girls, but I saw Miss Berners come to the
front door, and I went forward with as much confidence as I could
assume; and as soon as I clasped her hand, and looked into her smiling
face, I was quite at ease.

After a cup of tea I was taken to my room. My trunk was already there,
and Miss Stromberg, my room-mate, was sitting at the open window
darning her stockings. She was an odd-looking woman, small and very
thin, with slant black eyes, and a great quantity of very coarse black
hair. Her face had a flat look, but was full of fire; and her
complexion was bad and dark beyond belief.

But if one notices the circumstances, people of nearly the same age
readily fraternize with each other. Two old men will sit down in a car
and in a few minutes open a conversation, but an old man and young man
sitting together, have no courtesies or conversation for each other.
It is much the same with women; two mothers will talk of their
children, two girls of their lovers, two old women of their past, but
an old woman and a young girl sit far apart, no matter how close they
may be together.

So when Miss Berners left Miss Stromberg and I alone, we had plenty to
say to each other. I asked her if she liked the school and she
answered, "I have been here one week, but that is long enough for an
opinion. Yes, I like it."

"What is it that you teach?" I continued.

"I teach the elegant French language to these slow, stupid English
girls. It is incredible, but it is the truth, that they can not
understand that French is to be spoken with the eyes, the shoulders,
and the hands, as well as the tongue. One impertinent little girl as
fat as an ox, told me it was not decent to talk in such a way, and
that people would call her a mountebank, if she did so. I wish to
swear a little, when I think of such stupidity."

"French!" I ejaculated. "Is that all?"

"That is all. Many other things I could teach, but I keep quiet about
them. I have seen that it is wise _to do_, but a very great folly to
_overdo_. Maria Stromberg has learned many things since she began to
teach. Will you not dress a little for the evening? Put on a white
dress if you have one. White is your color."

"Will you not dress first?" I asked. "In this small room, two cannot
dress together."

"Dress, while I finish my stockings. I wish that the Strombergs of
Riga and Uleaborg could take notice that their daughter is compelled
to darn her stockings. Is there any more plebeian occupation? And my
feet abhor a darned stocking. They will pinch me all the time I wear
them."

As I dressed we chattered, yet when I had finished my toilet, I was
rather pleased with the result. But Miss Stromberg rose impetuously,
threw down her darning, and pushing me into a chair, uncoiled the hair
I had so carefully arranged.

"_Mon Dieu!_" she cried. "It is impossible. Look here!" and in a
few minutes she had it raised in puffs, and knots, that added two
inches or more to my height, and imparted to me an air of great
intellectuality.

"How can it be?" I cried. "I do not look like the same girl."

"No, but you look as you ought to look. You were masquerading in a
madonna front, and a Grecian knot at the nape of your neck. Do you not
know that throwing back the hair from the brow, reveals whatever is
good in you?"

Then I lifted my bracelet and asked her to fasten it. An expression of
pity, or contempt, flashed over her face, but she said kindly, "Ah!
but you can not wear it here. Jewelry is forbidden. Put it at the
bottom of your trunk; it will be safe there."

She did not resume her darning, but slipped into a silver gray dress
of lustrous silk. A pair of gray slippers stood on a table, and I was
sure no full grown human foot could get its toes into them, but she
stepped into them with the greatest ease. Then we went down stairs,
and Miss Berners introduced me to the girls, and after tea we had a
pleasant evening together.

I shall not detain my readers with any account of this school. It was
the usual boarding school of its date, under very delightful
surroundings and conditions. I remained until the following June in
Downham Market, working hard, but willingly, and forming many
agreeable acquaintances, but not one among them, that had any
influence or bearing upon my future life. I remember their names, and
their personalities, and can go all through their simple or splendid
homes, but that is all. Doubtless we were merely introduced to each
other for our next reincarnation. Then we may have a more fortunate
meeting.

I liked all the people I was brought into constant contact with, but
if I had not liked them, Miss Stromberg would have been sufficient. I
really loved the clever little woman. She spoke five languages; she
played with the magical tang and touch of a gypsy with a violin; she
danced like a fairy; and when she sang her North Russian songs, you
wept with pity for the lonely souls, on the great snow plains, who out
of their own deep sadness, caused their very music to weep. She made
all her dresses, and we envied their cut and style, and she knew
perfectly all the feminine arts of the toilet.

It was not her fault that I did not become a creditable French
scholar. She did her best with me but I had no aptitude for languages;
and like the other "stupid English girls" I found it silly to talk
with four of my members at once; my eyes at that time had not learned
speech, my shoulders I had been told from my childhood, to keep down
and well back, and my hands had a hundred duties of their own. But for
many, many other things, I thank her even to this day. I kissed her
good-bye in June. I was sure we would meet in September, but I never
saw her again--never, never, even heard from her. But I remember yet,
how patiently she rubbed off the crudities of my insular education,
and how day by day her kind tactful ways, led me to a far lower
estimate of my own attainments; for measuring myself by Maria
Stromberg, I could not but see how little I knew, how unpolished I
really was, and especially how far behind the mark in that control of
temper and sweetness of thought and intention, that made all Maria
Stromberg said and did, agreeable and welcome. I have never forgotten
her; I wonder if she still lives! Wherever in God's universe she now
dwells, I hope she is happy, and still remembers me.

On the last evening of my stay in Downham Market, Miss Berners asked
me to walk with her in the garden, and while doing so, she told me she
intended to remove her school to some London suburb. She thought
probably to Richmond. I was glad to hear this. The thought of London
was an enchantment, and I promised to come to her as soon as I could
in any way help the settlement of the new home. We parted mutually
pleased and hopeful, and the next morning I took a train for London,
and from thence one direct to Kendal.

I had twenty pounds in my pocket book, and I felt that my ten months'
faithful work had given me a right to turn homeward, and then as soon
as I did so, I was impatient of any delay. I found the whole family at
tea, and how happily I joined the party, any one can imagine. I had so
much to tell about the school, and was so proud that we were going to
remove it to London. Downham Market had become almost contemptible,
and I spoke of it as a dull, country village, where nothing ever
happened but a horse or a cattle fair. After tea, Father went to his
study, and I followed and laid the twenty sovereigns beside him.

"They are yours, dear Father," I said. "I do not need them, and they
will help Mary's and Alethia's school bills."

He looked at them, and at me, and his eyes filled. "Milly! Milly!" he
answered, "you are a good child, and I thank God for you, but you must
keep your money; Father does not need it. You know about your Uncle
Bell, do you not?"

"I know nothing of Uncle Bell, Father. I wrote to him once, but he
never answered my letter."

"Then I must tell you, that on the fifth of last February, your
mother's birthday, he called on Mother and gave her the row of
cottages standing on Tenter Fell. Now, Milly, the income from there,
just about balances the loss I made through that villain, Blackpool.
So, my dear, we have enough, and even a little to spare; what more
does a child of God want?" and as he spoke, he gently pushed the
sovereigns towards me.

"No one told me about Uncle Bell," I said. "I wish I had known."

"I remember, we thought it best not to name it. You would not have
saved twenty pounds if you had known of the gift, and you might have
missed some fine lessons, that only a sense of poverty teaches."

I soon went back to Mother. I found her sitting quiet in the gloaming.
I told her about the twenty pounds, and said, "Dear Mother, you and I
will divide it. Will you take half?"

"I will take it gladly," she answered. "There are so many little
things a woman wants, that I do not like to ask Father for."

"I know that, Mother," I answered. "Have I not seen you alter the
dressing of your hair, because you broke one of your side combs, and
did not wish to trouble Father about a new pair. I can recall twenty
things, that were a distress to you to want, and which you did without
rather than----"

"Milly, that ten pounds puts all right. I shall get what I want out of
it."

"Did not Uncle Bell leave you some money, Mother?"

"Did Father tell you so?"

"Yes, he said it covered the loss he made. Now you will have a small
income, Mother. Will it begin soon?"

"It began at once. The cottages were a gift. Father went the next
morning and drew February's rents."

"How much did they amount to, Mother?"

"I do not know, Milly. He never told me. He has drawn them now for
five months, but I have never seen a farthing of the money. I have
felt sometimes, as if it would be pleasant--just to see it, and have
it in my hands," and the tears welled slowly into her soft brown
eyes.

"But I do not understand," I continued. "Father would not touch my
money, yet he takes all of yours without leave or license. What does
it mean?"

"It means that I am a wife. All I had, or might have, became your
father's as soon as I was his wife. You are yet a spinster, and have
some rights in your own earnings."

"But suppose you have no legal rights, all the more Father ought to
give your every right. It is unkind, unjust, utterly contemptible!" I
cried in something of a passion. "I am ashamed of Father!"

"No! No! All men do as he does, and many do a great deal worse. Father
has never seen, or heard of wives treated any differently. If he
_knew_ better, he would do better."

"Then, Mother," I said, "he ought to know better for he will not
escape punishment on the plea of ignorance. I have often wondered why
John Bunyan makes _Ignorance_ go into hell by the back door. He is
right. Such ignorance as you make an excuse for Father is a sneaking
sin. It suits back doors. I would rather be a brazen thief, and go in
swearing by the main entrance. Father ought to be told the truth, and
you ought to ask for your money."

"It is too late, Milly. Say no more. I have got so far through life
without money. Until I was married, I had to go to my father for every
shilling--since then, I have gone to your father. But I have ten
pounds now. I never had as much money before, to spend as I liked. I
feel quite rich."

This conversation sunk into my soul. A great pity for this sweet,
patient, penniless mother, suffering so unnoticed and uncomplaining
the need of many womanly trifles, made me childishly angry. The next
day I went to Father with "Pilgrim's Progress" in my hand, and asked
him what Bunyan meant "by putting _Ignorance_ into hell in such an
ignominious manner?" I followed this question with others, which made
him look at me with a queer, thoughtful expression, and then relapse
into a silence so marked, as to be virtually a dismissal.

It is a joy to me this day to remember that on this visit, I was able
to do many little things for Mother which made life pleasanter to her;
for Father was certainly much worse, and it appeared almost wrong to
permit him to preach. Yet I could see that in the pulpit the spiritual
man had not lost control; for the same lucid, telling sentences
followed each other with a fiery eloquence, as in the past years. "Mr.
Huddleston isn't sick in the pulpit," people would say as they walked
thoughtfully home, from one of those last passionate exhortations.



CHAPTER VII

OVER THE BORDER

  "The latest Gospel is, know thy work, and do it."


Late in August I had a letter from Miss Berners saying, she was now at
home in Richmond, and wished me to come to her, as soon as I could.
This summons to duty was pleasant, although I left home with a heavy
heart. A presentiment of sorrow was on me, and I could not help
following my soul back and forward, in endless ways of reminiscence
and foreboding. About my father especially, I had a sort of sacred
terror. And if any of my readers think that I was too much bound to my
family, let me remind them that _our families are the chief thing_,
except in societies like Lacedæmon, which went in for "efficiency" and
righteously perished from the face of the earth. Father! Mother!
Child! Is there any holier Trinity than this?

I arrived in Richmond after a hard day's travel, late in the evening.
It was almost dark when my cabman found the house in a rather
out-of-the-way suburb. It did not jump to my eyes pleasantly, as did
the house in Downham Market. It was a lonely place, and there was no
sign of light or habitation about it. But Miss Berners welcomed me
gladly, and as I drank a cup of tea beside her, she spoke to me of her
prospects. They were far from hopeful, for only three of her old
pupils were coming to Richmond.

"Miss Stokes has opened a school in my old home," she said mournfully,
"and the girls have just gone back there."

"She was their principal teacher when you were there," I answered.

"I know. It was very clever of her to step into my shoes, but I fear
it will ruin me."

"It is a wonder you did not anticipate this move," I ventured. "It was
so natural."

"It was very unkind and dishonorable, if that is natural," she
answered, nor was she able to see the matter in any other light.

It was an uncomfortable settling to work. The furniture of the old
home did not look as if it belonged to this mournful relic of a once
splendid mansion, and there ought to have been many things bought,
which Miss Berners would not spend money for, while the result of her
speculation was uncertain. For the new scholars came in so slowly,
that I took on myself all the teaching there was to do, excepting
French. The busy school, the public recitals and receptions, we had
been promised, were very far off; and the days were set to notes of
constant disappointment. The work was hard, for I taught individually;
the school hours were lengthened, and music lessons were to be given
when their work was over.

I was not happy, but I had a letter to deliver, which I believed would
bring me a little change and pleasure; and on the second Sunday
afternoon after the service in the Wesleyan Chapel was over, I waited
for the preacher, who was the famous Dr. Farrar, and gave him the
following note from my father:

  DEAR BROTHER FARRAR,

  My daughter Amelia is likely to be teaching in Richmond this
  winter. I know you will give her counsel, and show her kindness,
  if needed. Your brother in Christ,

  WILLIAM HENRY HUDDLESTON.

Dr. Farrar read the note with a pleasant countenance, and then smiled
at me. "So you are Amelia?" he asked, and I answered, "Yes, sir." Then
he called three ladies who were standing a little apart, and said,
"Esther, this is Amelia Huddleston. You remember my correspondence
with her father, I am sure."

"Oh, yes, about that weary Tractarian Movement. I remember it very
well," she answered, and then turning to me continued, "I am glad to
see you, Amelia. Come home with us, and spend the evening with my
girls." This was the beginning of a friendship that enabled me to
endure cheerfully the weariness and monotony of my duties. For amid
many outside annoyances I built silently on my trust in God, and I did
my day's work loyally.

Richmond was then, and may be yet, the seat of a great Wesleyan
college for the preparation of young men for the ministry; and of this
college Dr. Farrar was the principal. His family consisted of his wife
and two lovely daughters, the eldest being just my own age. We were
friends at once, our mutual knowledge of Mr. Punshon, forming an
excellent basis for our intimacy. And after this introduction, I spent
all my spare hours at Dr. Farrar's, where I was always made freely
welcome.

Joyful or sorrowful the days go by, and at the end of October we had
eight pupils, but only three of these eight were boarders, and the
great empty house that should have been full of youth and happiness,
was a lonely anxious place. And it was at this time I heard that the
sorrow so long expected had arrived. My father after preaching to a
crowded chapel had hurried home, and fallen across the threshold in a
strong, and not to be disputed epileptic fit. Then with heart-breaking
reluctance, he had signed his resignation from the active ministry,
and had seen another take his place. In great anguish he had prayed
that this cup might pass from him; but, no, he had to drink it to the
very dregs. Yet Mother wrote me, that he had not missed the vision of
the comforting angel; for _vision_ is the cup of strength only given
in some great calamity.

I felt severely the grief that I knew filled every room in my home,
but God had sent it, and He knew what was best. This trust was not a
mere formula of words; it was a veritable and active faith with me. I
trusted God. I leaned my child heart upon the everlasting Love of "our
Father in heaven" and the days went on, and I did my work, and
believed that all would come right.

Miss Berners' affairs, however, grew every week worse and worse, and
just before Christmas, I went into her room one morning, and found her
lying on the bed weeping bitterly. She opened her eyes, and looked
sadly at me and I asked, "Is it worth while continuing the fight? You
are growing thin and gray, and you have not gained a step."

"O Amelia!" she answered, "I have made a great mistake."

"Every day is making it worse. Why not stop it?"

"My expenses are double my income."

"Then it is robbery to continue them."

"What would you do? Tell me truly, Amelia."

"I would close the school this very hour," I answered. "I would tell
those three Downham Market girls to pack their trunks, and send them
home by the noon train. At nine o'clock I would send those five
unhappy-looking day scholars home also. Give all you have to your
creditors, and go home yourself, and rest awhile. Then you can
doubtless retrieve this great mistake."

"And what will you do, Amelia?" she asked.

"I do not know yet," I answered. "I must think."

After the Downham Market girls had been sent home, I went to my room
and began to consider my own affairs. I remembered first, the loss in
my father's income. That was an irreparable loss. I thought of all the
expenses incident to constant sickness in a house, of the education of
Mary and Alethia, of the necessity of Jane's presence to assist Mother
and I said to myself, "You, Amelia, are the one person _not_ needful,
and you must in some way provide for yourself." I opened my purse, and
found I had fourteen shillings. How was I to provide for myself? I was
a stranger in Richmond. I knew no one but the Farrars. Perhaps Mr.
Farrar might--and then I tried to imagine what Mr. Farrar might do for
me. I thought until my head burned, but thank God! there was no fear
in my thoughts. That paltering, faltering element, was not among my
natural enemies. Far from it, I found something magnetic in
extremities. If I was ever indifferent to events, it was because they
were only moderate. To possess my soul in patience was a difficulty;
to possess it in _resistance_ and _struggle_ was more natural, and
more agreeable.

I bathed my hot head and face, and then did what I ought to have done
at first--I went to my Father in heaven, and told Him all my sorrow
and perplexity. And as I talked with Him, tears like a soft rain fell
upon my prayer, and I rose up full of strength and comfort, whispering
as I dressed myself for the street, "Why art thou cast down, O my
soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? The Lord is thy refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms."

I went quickly to Dr. Farrar, and I found him at home; then without
hesitation I told him all that troubled me. He answered, "You are
right, Amelia, and I can find work for you, if you are not too proud
to take it."

"Pride has nothing to do with my duty," I replied.

"Then listen," he continued. "You must have noticed that during the
last ten years there has been a tremendous output of national energy
and wealth for the education of the lower classes. National schools,
and Bell and Lancaster schools, are going up all over England; and we
Wesleyans, could not sit still when all other churches were working.
Indeed we are going to build a school in all towns where the chapel
membership is able to support one."

"I believe there is such a school in Kendal," I said.

"Our wisest men have decided, that a certain form of teaching called
the Stowe method, will be best for the class of children we wish to
reach; and this method is taught in the Normal School at Glasgow,
where we have now nearly forty young men and women studying it. Now,
Amelia, if you will go to Glasgow to learn this method, I will promise
you a good school, and a good salary, and you could bring your father
and mother to wherever you are located, and make your homes
together."

Then with the daring decision of young fresh faculties, I cried out,
"O Dr. Farrar! I should like that better than anything else."

"The children may be mostly poor children," he added.

"I used to long to be a missionary. I can call it a mission work. Oh,
I should enjoy it! But--" and I looked doubtfully at him--"but this
course of instruction, will it cost much money?" I asked.

"Our Board of Education will look after that," he answered. "They pay
the Normal School so much for every pupil, and they will also give you
one pound every week for your rooms and food. You can live on that, I
should say?"

"Very well indeed."

"The Board will also allow you five pounds for traveling expenses,
but----"

"Yes, Dr. Farrar, but what?"

"When you have won your diploma, and have been appointed to a school,
the Board will expect you to gradually pay back what it spends for
your education."

"That is right," I answered. "I should like to pay it back, but if I
should die, would my father have to pay it for me?"

"No, no, child! Death pays all debts. You are more likely to marry,
than to die."

"And what then, Doctor?"

"If you marry well, the Board will not count its loss in your gain."

We talked over this subject thoroughly, and I assured him of my
perfect satisfaction, and even pleasure, in the proposition. "If that
is so," he said, "go and pack your trunk, take it in the morning to
the Easton Square Railway Station, and leave it in the baggage room;
then come to me at this address," and he wrote a few lines for my
direction. "The Board meets there to-morrow at ten o'clock to examine
applicants, and you will be questioned a little, no doubt, but I think
they will not puzzle you."

"Not unless they are grammarians, and ask me to parse a sentence."

As I was leaving he asked, "Have you money enough to take you to
London?"

"I have fourteen shillings," I said. "Miss Berners can give me
nothing."

"Fourteen shillings is enough. The rest of your traveling expenses
will be provided."

So I went back to the defunct school, and packed my clothes, and
helped Miss Berners to pack all her personal belongings. We talked
very little. The past was done with, the future uncertain, but she
promised to send the money due me to my mother as soon as she saw her
friends in Reading.

"Will you remain in Reading?" I asked.

"No!" she answered. "I will take passage on a good ship, that intends
to be at sea for a year, or more. I wish to be where I can never get a
bill, or a dunning letter, or hear the postman's knock."

We rose early in the morning, and had a hurried cup of coffee and then
said good-bye. It was an uneasy and uncomfortable parting, and I was
astonished that I could not feel any regret in it. There was only a
sense of something finished and done with, and I believe Miss Berners
forgot me, as soon as my cab was out of sight. But within a week she
sent the money owing me, and said she was going to Louisiana. At that
time Louisiana was as little known to the average Englishman or woman,
as Timbuctoo. We asked a young man who had been shooting game in
Canada, "Where is Louisiana?" and he answered, "It is one of the West
Indian Islands, belonging to France." Then I reflected that Miss
Berners spoke French pretty well, and could probably take care of
herself.

I left my luggage as directed by Dr. Farrar, and went to the Wesleyan
Board of Education. It had begun to rain by this time, and the place
looked mean and unhappy. But there was a good fire in the small
waiting-room, and three young men, and one young woman already there.
For a moment I had a sickening terror of what I was doing, but I
quickly put my foot upon it. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" I
asked almost angrily, and my soul knew better than to shirk, or shrink
before that question.

All was more favorable than I expected. Dr. Farrar had evidently
spoken to the Board, which consisted of six or eight nice, clerical
old gentlemen. Probably all of them had daughters of their own, for
they were very kind, and before considering my case, spoke in the most
sympathetic manner of my father's affliction. Every one had some
pleasant memory of him, or some particular message to send. And they
were so cheerful, that I looked into the faces of my inquisitors with
confiding smiles. Upon the whole, the examination was an easy one,
and nobody named grammar. I came off with flying colors, and I really
think the Board believed themselves to have secured an unusually
bright and clever teacher. There was nothing more to do, except sign a
paper enrolling myself among the Wesleyan pupils at the Glasgow Normal
School, which paper also contained the Board's obligation to pay me
one pound weekly. My traveling expenses were given to me in hand, and
then I bid all good morning, feeling truly in my heart the sweetest
and strongest gratitude, for their kindness towards me.

I got a train for Kendal about one o'clock, but did not arrive there
until late. The door had been locked, and Mother unlocked it with such
a joyful cry of "Milly! Milly! Milly!" as brought every one to meet
me. I shall never forget that home-coming. Father came down stairs
again, the fire was rebuilt, and a nice little meal prepared, while
Jane, Mary and Alethia hung round me as if I had been lost and found
again.

The best part of that happy meeting was the pleasure it gave Father to
hear of the sympathy and praise, that had followed the mention of his
name to the Board of Education. I repeated every pleasant word twice
over. He did not ask me to do so, but I knew the friendly messages
were the sweetest music in his ears. And when I finally told them I
was going to Glasgow, Father said,

"It is a Providence, Milly! I had a letter not a month ago from my old
friend John Humphreys, who is now Collector of Excise for the port of
Glasgow. Either he, or Mrs. Humphreys, will look for proper rooms for
you. They will know just what you want."

The letter to the Humphreys asking this favor was written at once, and
in four days we received something like the following answer to it:

  DEAR WILLIAM,

  We have rented your daughter a parlor and bedroom with the sister
  of my grocer. His shop is in Sauchiehall Street, and they live
  above it. They are most respectable people, and have no other
  boarders. It is also near the school. She will be very comfortable
  there. Let us know exactly when she is coming, and either Mrs.
  Humphreys or I will meet her train, and see her safely housed.

  Your true friend,

  JOHN HUMPHREYS.

Then it was decided I should go to Glasgow on the third of January,
1849, by the ten o'clock morning train, which would allow me to reach
my destination before it was dark. Until that day I rested myself body
and soul in the sweetest influences of love and home, and when the
third of January came, I was full of new strength and new hope, and
ready for whatever had been appointed to happen unto me.

My dear mother went with me as far as Penrith. She intended to visit
my brother Willie's grave, and perhaps spend a night with her friend,
Mrs. Lowther. Fortunately we had the railway carriage to ourselves
and, oh, how sweet were the confidences that made that two hours'
drive ever memorable to me! At Penrith we parted. Penrith is a mile or
more from the Caledonian Line, but there were vehicles there to meet
the train, and I watched Mother pass from my sight with smiles, and
the pleasant flutter of her handkerchief.

Then by a real physical effort I cast off the influences I had
indulged for a week, and began to allow my nature to imbibe the
strength of the hills through which I was passing--hills beyond hills,
from blue to gray--hills sweeping round the horizon like a great host
at rest. Down their sides the living waters came dancing and glancing,
and, oh, but the lift of His hills, and the waft of His wings, filled
my heart with joy and strength. Now and then we passed a small stone
house, rude and simple, with a moorland air, and I felt that the
pretty English cottages with their thatched roofs and blooming
gardens, would have been out of place in the silent spaces of these
mountain solitudes.

It grew very cold as we neared Carlisle. Every one I saw was
buttoned-up and great-coated, and I was sensible of as great a change
in humanity as in nature. I had missed all the way from Kendal the
workingman's paper cap, the distinctive badge of labor in those days.
If there were workingmen around Carlisle they did not wear it. All
the men I saw wore large caps of heavy blue flannel, sometimes
bordered with red--an ugly head-gear, but apparently just the thing
wanted by the big, bony men who had adopted it. I saw a crowd of them
at Gretna Green, where a woman got into the train, and rode with me as
far as Ecclefechan. She was not a pleasant woman, but I asked her
about this big blue cap, and with a look of contempt for my ignorance,
she answered, "They are just the lad's bonnets. Every one wears them.
Where do _you_ come from?"

"London," I replied with an "air."

"Ay, I thought so. You're a queer one, not to know a blue bonnet, when
you see it."

Then I had the clue to a dashing, stirring song which had always
puzzled me a little, "All the Blue Bonnets are over the Border." It
meant, that these blue-bonneted giants, were over the English border,
raiding and harrying the shepherds and farmers of the northern
counties. And I smiled to myself, as I remembered the kind of welcome
always waiting for them, whenever the slogan passed from fell to
fell:

              "Cumberland hot,
              Westmoreland hot,
              Prod the Scot!
  For all the blue bonnets are over the Border!"



CHAPTER VIII

LOVE IS DESTINY

  "Love is the secret of life. Love redeemeth. Love lifts up. Love
  enlightens. Love advances the soul. Love hath everlasting
  remembrance. Love is a ransom, and the tears thereof are a prayer.
  Oh, little Soul, if rich in Love thou art mighty.

  "Love is Destiny. The heart is its own fate."


In the cold, hard light of the winter afternoon, we reached Glasgow;
entering the city by the Buchanan Street Station. I stepped quickly
out of the carriage, and saw Mr. Humphreys looking for me. He was
about fifty-six years old, tall, and rather stout, with a pleasant
face, and snow-white hair. I walked towards him, and the moment he saw
me, he smiled, and nodded his head.

"I was looking in the first-class carriages," he said.

"I was in the second-class," I answered. "I could not waste money on
the first, just for a short ride." Then he laughed, and, clasping my
hand, asked, "How many trunks have you?"

"One," I answered.

"Any parcels, valises, or bandboxes?"

"Nothing of the sort."

"I never heard the like. What kind of a girl are you? Stand right here
until I bring a carriage; then I will take both you, and your one
trunk, to Miss Pollock's."

In a few minutes he came with a carriage, and we were driven rapidly
up Sauchiehall Street, until we came to an Arcade. Here we stopped,
and, as there was a large grocer's shop there, I knew it was at the
end of my journey.

"Pollock," said Mr. Humphreys, "let a couple of your big lads carry
Miss Huddleston's trunk upstairs;" and then I was introduced, and told
Miss Pollock had been looking for me, and my rooms were ready and
comfortable.

I thought I would go through the shop, but no, Mr. Humphreys took me
to a stone stairway in the Arcade--a stairway pipe-clayed white as
snow--and, after climbing three flights, I saw an open front door and
a nice-looking woman, about forty years old, waiting to receive me.
Mr. Humphreys would not go into the house, but told me to be dressed
at five o'clock the next day. "Mrs. Humphreys wishes you to dine with
us," he said, "and we shall also have a few friends, so you must make
yourself smart. Five o'clock!"

Then I heard him going rapidly down the stairway, and I turned to Miss
Pollock with a smile. She took me into a little parlor, plainly
furnished, but clean and neat. There was a bright fire in the grate,
and a small, round table, set for one person, before it. She brought
me tea and lamb chops, and some orange marmalade, and delicious rolls,
and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The next morning I unpacked my trunk,
put my clothing in convenient places, and took my books into the
parlor. I had a silver lamp that Miss Berners gave me, and many pretty
little knick-knacks, and I was delighted with my sitting-room, when I
had arranged these ornaments.

At four o'clock I had a cup of tea, and then dressed myself in
readiness for Mr. Humphreys' call. I was a little at a loss to know
how to dress, but white could not be out of place on a girl, so I put
on a white lustrous alpaca, trimmed with narrow bands of white satin.
My hair was well and becomingly arranged, and I had my satin slippers,
and long, white, lace mitts, in a bag over my arm. I thought I looked
very pretty, and Mr. Humphreys said so, as he gave me a fresh camilla
to pin in front of my dress.

As I entered the Humphreys' house Mrs. Humphreys gave me a hearty
welcome, and, as soon as I was ready, introduced me to a number of
middle-aged ladies and gentlemen, who were sitting or walking about in
the large parlors. I wondered at seeing no young people, but every one
was so kind, I never thought of disappointment. I was particularly
attracted by a Mrs. Semple, a tall, dark woman, with unmistakable
signs of having been a great beauty. The moment I was introduced to
her, she said,

"You can leave the lassie wi' me, Mistress Humphreys. I'll make her as
wise as mysel' anent the notables in the room. I'm feared there's few
to brag about, but there's nae use in letting strangers ken we're just
common folk."

In pursuance of this intention, she said, as I was seated beside her,
"Look at Peter McIntosh. Do you see the man?"

"I do not know him," I answered.

"Then I'll make you acquaint. Peter is a good man to know, and his
wife is weel worthy o' him. Peter is a notable shoemaker. He makes
shoes by the thousands, and sends them to America for sale."

"Really?"

"Yes. His factory is in the Goose Dubs. He'll take you to see it
willingly. Ship loads o' his shoes go to the Yankees, but they are
getting on to his ways, and he had better make shoes while he can, for
they'll beat him at his own game soon. The little body in violet silk
is his wife; she is aye trotting after him. How long have you known
John Humphreys?"

"A few hours, but he is an old friend of my father's."

"Weel, that's a fine beginning. John is another Glasgow notable. He's
only an exciseman, if you come dawn to facts, but they ca' him a
Supervisor. It's a grand place for John, and he fills it wi' great
credit to himsel'. The big man he is talking to is called Sage. His
wife hasna' ta'en her e'en off you since you came into the room.
She'll be telling hersel' that you will make a braw wife for her son
Alick. Alick will be here anon. Tak' care, or you'll lose your heart
to him. Thanks be! there's the dinner bell at the last, but it is
three minutes past ordered time. Annie Humphreys ought to be
reprimanded--only her husband daurna do it," and she lifted her long
velvet train, and took Mr. Sage's arm as she expressed this opinion.

I never was at such a dinner before, and I never saw such dinners
outside of Scotland. I do not remember a thing we had to eat, except
ice cream, and, as it was the first time I ever saw, or tasted ice
cream, there is no wonder it has a place in my memory. It was a
lingering pleasure of food eaten with constant merriment that charmed
me. Then, when there was nothing on the shining mahogany but the nuts
and fruits and the big toddy bowl, then, indeed, if it was not the
feast of reason, it was the flow of soul. Song followed song, and
story followed story. At first the songs were comic, such as the
"Laird o' Cockpen," or "O Johnnie Cope, Are You Waking Yet?", but, as
the music opened their hearts, these easily passed into the most
passionate national songs; and, in an hour, there were only
sentimental Scotchmen present. Every one was then tearful about Prince
Charlie. Two generations previously, the dinner would have been broken
up as a Jacobite meeting. But, oh, how I enjoyed it! A little later I
said so to Mrs. Semple, and she answered,

"Dinna delude yoursel' anent thae men wiping their eyes, as they sing,
they are only specimens of the after-dinner Scot."

"They are full of patriotic feeling," I said.

"To be sure, after dark, and over the toddy, but they have been in
Union Street, and Buchanan Street, Virginia Street, and the Cowcaddens
all day long, doing what? Getting their shilling's worth for their
shilling, ay, their farthing's worth for their farthing. Where was
their patriotism then? Wait till the Sawbath Day, and I'll show you
the Scot who is a Son of the Covenant, and who wouldn't lose his
soul--on that occasion--for the whole world."

Just as she said these words, she rose hurriedly to her feet, crying
pleasantly, "There's my Willie! We'll hae the dancing now," and
immediately a bevy of girls and young men pushed aside the portières,
and curtsied to the company. Then the elder men and women went into
the out-of-the-way corners, and played "Catch the Ten" or "Bagatelle,"
though some men of fifty years old, or even more, danced with great
spirit in the national reels and strathspeys. I danced once with Mr.
Humphreys, and was stepping a pretty measure with Mrs. Semple's
Willie, when Mrs. Sage's son, Alick, entered. Immediately I caught his
look of pleasure and admiration, and something I knew not what, passed
between us, so that, when he was introduced to me, we both felt it to
be a supernumerary ceremony.

I have been a little diffuse concerning this dinner, because it
represented fairly the household hospitality of that time. I dare say
that they have a more stylish mode now, but I doubt if, with the
elegant restraint of later days, they have preserved the old
delightful flow of song and story, and that intense national spirit,
which made one involuntarily listen for the bagpipes, though the music
was all in the imagination. Many such entertainments I went to that
winter; always on Saturday nights to the McIntoshes', where there was
sure to be a boiled turkey stuffed with oysters and served with oyster
sauce. In another house, to which I went frequently, they had roast
turkey stuffed with plum pudding, and an old negro cook in Texas told
me his old master always had his turkeys stuffed in the latter way. If
any one thinks it could not be good, I advise them just to try the
recipe.

The two following days being Saturday and Sunday I rested, looked over
my clothing, and wrote long letters home. I also wrote Dr. Farrar, and
told him how comfortably all had been arranged for me. I was a little
nervous about my entry into the Normal School, but when Monday morning
came, I was ready for what it demanded, and more curious than
frightened. It was a foggy morning, and the big building amid the
small, poor buildings around it, loomed up gray and forbidding in its
bare black yard, where a lot of children were trying to be playful, in
the most discouraging surroundings. The janitor took me to the
recitation hall, opened the door, and left me. There were groups of
men and groups of women standing about, talking in an unconstrained
way; others sat alone on the benches of the great gallery, which rose,
bench above bench, nearly to the ceiling. No one spoke to me, and I
sat down and looked curiously at the women, who could be guilty of
such unkindness. I am sure many of them wished to speak, but did not
know how to take the initiative. If they would only have trusted their
hearts, and said a word of welcome, they need not have feared they
were breaking any social law. Kindness is always fashionable, and
always welcome.

In a few minutes an exceedingly tall, fair, thin man slowly entered,
and every one went instantly to their places. I presented to him Dr.
Farrar's letter of introduction, and he threw it on a small table,
and said irritably, "Third row, left corner." Somehow I walked
straight to the place indicated.

I am not going to describe this school, or the method of teaching
used there. I have but an imperfect remembrance of all concerning it,
and the system is likely superseded long ago by something better.
Yet, I was much interested in the hall recitations and exercises;
and the teaching of men and women together, on the basis of perfect
mental equality, was then a great novelty, and far from being
universally approved. My own impression was that in every department
the women excelled the male students. Certainly Professor Hyslop
appeared to think so, and to please himself hugely and frequently,
by illustrations of the fact.

During my first hour in that room, I saw him call a young man to the
blackboard, and give him an algebraic problem to solve. He failed
completely. Another young man was called, and also failed. Then the
Professor said, with an air of assurance, "Miss Grace Laing," and a
girl of about eighteen stepped lightly forward, made a few figures,
and, to me, cabalistic signs. The Professor's face brightened, and he
said decidedly, "correct," and Miss Grace Laing walked back to her
place. The men, however, were not ungenerous, for a half-audible
murmur of admiration followed the Professor's verdict of "correct."

The theological lessons were exceedingly interesting, for theology
touches the average Scot on both his weakest and strongest side, and a
barely veiled dispute was always lingering between the Calvinistic and
Arminian students. Every lesson, however, in that school turned to
argument; the system provoked it, and was intended to do so.

I liked the life at the school, but very early felt within myself that
it was only a stepping-stone to my real destiny; and the remembrance
we give to stepping-stones, is washed out by every other tide. But I
did all my duty and enjoyed doing it, so the days were full of
pleasant work, the evenings of pleasant company, and the time went
swiftly by, though it left none of those sharp, indelible etchings on
memory which direct personality gives. I was in a crowd there, and all
my recollections of the place are evasive and uncertain.

With the advent of June I began to look forward to home and home
influences; then I received an invitation to join an excursion party,
going with Captain Scott on his own steamer to "Fife and all the lands
about it," north as far as St. Andrews, and then further north, even
to the Orkneys and Shetland Islands. I could not bear to think of
missing such an opportunity, and I wrote Dr. Farrar and asked him to
obtain liberty for me to accept the invitation. He sent me a kind
permission to do so, saying he had no doubt many would afterward see
the places I visited through my eyes. And, as I have written "Jan
Vedder's Wife," "A Daughter of Fife," "Prisoners of Conscience," "Paul
and Christina," "Thyra Varrick," "Sheila Vedder," "The Heart of Jessie
Laurie," and so forth, from material and impressions gathered on this
voyage, Dr. Farrar's estimate has brought forth fruit a thousand-fold.
I need not enter into details here: the above books will amply reveal
to their readers the noble men and women of "the ancient kingdom," and
of the Ultima Thule of the Shetlands.

When the trip was over I did not return to Glasgow; we landed at
Leith, and from Edinburgh I got a train direct to Kendal, where I
arrived about tea time. I found all better than I expected. My father
had assumed the duty of visiting the poor and the sick in their
affliction, of comforting the broken in heart, and of going as far as
a mortal man may go with the dying. Mother thought he was happy in his
self-imposed charge, but he must have had terrible hours among the
books he no longer used; for he was only fifty-five years old at this
time, and still retained much physical strength and beauty.

I had two weeks of perfect peace and happiness, and then, just as I
was thinking of returning to Glasgow, I received a letter from Mrs.
Humphreys, telling me that the government had removed Mr. Humphreys to
Liverpool, and that they were on the point of leaving for that city.
She said further, that she had had a conversation with Mrs. Semple
about me, and that Mrs. Semple was anxious I should stay with her; she
pointed out the advantages of living in such respectable care and
surroundings, and urged me to accept Mrs. Semple's offer.

Here was another stepping-stone towards destiny: where would it lead
me? Mrs. Semple had a large circle of friends, and entertained and
went out frequently. I should meet at her house a different class of
people; traders, perhaps, but traders with gentry behind them;
ministers, lawyers, and men who had to do with books and literature,
and doubtless women who might be more stylish, and perhaps less kind,
than Mrs. Humphreys or Mrs. McIntosh. It looked pleasant enough in
prospect, and, I may as well say, it proved pleasant enough in
reality.

I found, on my return to Glasgow, that Miss Pollock and her brother
were on their way to Australia; then, my course being quite clear, I
went to Mrs. Semple. She received me joyfully, and at first would not
hear of my paying a farthing for my board; but I soon convinced her
that she would have to take the sum it had cost me to live with Miss
Pollock. Of course, even then, I had greatly the best of the
bargain--handsome rooms to dwell in, an excellent table, and ready
sympathy in all my perplexities, likes and dislikes. In a way I made
the balance more even by giving to my hostess those little helps and
personal attentions I would have given to my mother, if in her place,
and we were mutually pleased and satisfied.

When I returned to the school, Professor Hyslop looked glumly at me,
and hoped I had "enough of stravaging," and was ready to attend to my
duty. I assured him I was glad to do so, but I was not glad in my
heart. A kind of dissatisfaction lurked in all my plans. I wanted, I
knew not what. I worked steadily, but with a kind of eager looking
forward to something beyond the work.

One morning Mrs. Semple and I were eating a luxurious little
breakfast. The sunshine and the fresh air came in through the open
window, and some working men were going up West Regent Street,
whistling delightfully. I was happy, but thoughtful, and Mrs. Semple
said, "You're thinking lessons, and that isna in our bargain--lovers
would be mair wise-like. What did you dream last night?"

"Why," I answered, "I had a singular dream. I was thinking about it,
when you said lessons."

"Tell me, then."

[Illustration: MRS. BARR AT 18]

"I dreamed of going into a large warehouse, full to the roof of
bundles of gray and white wool. Many men were at desks writing, but no
one spoke, and I walked forward, until I came to a door covered with
green baize, and pushed it open. Then a young man, who sat writing at
a handsome desk, turned and looked at me, saying in a pleasant,
authoritative way, 'Come in, Milly. I have been waiting for you.' The
dream passed away as he spoke."

"What kind of a young man? Handsome?"

"Yes, very handsome. He was dressed in a suit of shepherd tartan."

"That is likely enough. Every other man you meet, is wearing shepherd
tartan. It is precious few that look decent in it."

"My dream-man looked well in it."

"A red or green necktie with it, of course."

"No, a black one."

"Wonderful! It is either red or green wi' most men. My Willie would
have naething but white. He thinks he looks ministerial in the black
and white, and he is trying to behave accordingly. You must have
noticed him?"

"Yes, I have. Perhaps Willie's dress gave me my queer dream."

"Reason the dream awa', of course. That's what fools do wi' a dream. I
think you dreamed of the man who will be your husband."

"Then," I said, "my husband is not among the men I know. I never saw
the young man of my dream before."

"There's few people in town yet," explained Mrs. Semple. "They are at
Arran, or Bute, or somewhere down the water. It will be September ere
they get back to Glasgow." At these words she lifted the morning
paper, but in a few moments threw it down in great excitement, crying,
"Milly! Milly! the Queen, and Prince Albert, and the Prince o' Wales
are coming to Glasgow; every blessed wife, and mother, and maid, will
be here to see the Royalties. We, also, we must see them! We must hae
a window; some one must get one for us!"

"Do you know any one who can?"

"Yes. When you come back from school, we will go and ask him."

"Need I go?"

"I'll not go a step wanting you."

So I came home without delay, put on a clean white frock, and went
with Mrs. Semple to a street called Virginia Street. The warehouse we
entered was so old that the stone steps at its entrance were nearly
worn away. A kind of porter stood at the door, and Mrs. Semple told
him she wished to see his master. He led us through a long room piled
to the ceiling with bundles of wool, and through a green baize door
into a handsome office, where the young man of my dream sat writing.

He turned as we entered, and Mrs. Semple said, "Weel, Robert, how's a'
with you?"

For a moment he did not answer. He was looking at me--perhaps
expecting an introduction, but his smiling face appeared to be saying,
just the words I heard in my sleep, "Come in, Milly! I have been
waiting for you."

Really what he said was an effusive welcome to Mrs. Semple, and a
polite offer of his chair to me. It was a large office chair, but I
took it; after a little while he asked me if I was comfortable, and
then laughing lowly added, "Now I shall forever dream dreams in that
chair."

"Weel," answered Mrs. Semple, "maybe the dreams will come true." Then
she explained the reason for our call, magnifying very much my desire
to see the Queen. And Mr. Barr assured her there would be tickets for
a good window at her house before nine o'clock that night, if it was
possible to get them. It was a pleasant call, a fateful call, for I
knew I had met the man whose fate--good or bad--I must share. A
feeling of deep sadness overcame me. I said I was sick, lay down on my
bed, and fell into a deep sleep.

Before nine o'clock Mr. Barr brought the tickets, and, on the day
appointed, went with us to see what there was to see. It was not much.
Her Majesty disappointed me. Prince Albert was not as handsome as his
pictures represented him to be, and the Prince of Wales was in a bad
temper, and showed it as plainly as a boy nine years old could do. The
Queen wore a royal Stuart tartan shawl; it was heavy and cumbersome,
and she looked ungraceful in it. But this bit of sightseeing was the
beginning of a new order of things. My life took a turn then and
there, and, as I look back, I could weep at the memory of that fateful
royal visit; but through the years that hour had been fixed, and the
dormant love in my soul needed but a look to awaken it.

Until the New Year Mr. Barr was all the most devoted lover could be,
then there was a pause in his attentions. It would be folly to say I
did not care. I did care. I went about my duties with a heavy heart.
"It is his mother," said Mrs. Semple. "She is a hard, old soul, and
she wouldna be willing for Robert to marry an angel from heaven, if
she hadna plenty o' siller. Forbye, you are English and an Arminian,
when you should be a Calvinist, and, worse than that, you are
over-educated."

"I thought the Scotch believed in education."

"They do--for men--not for women. They prefer them to watch cheese
parings and candle-ends. It doesna need an educated woman to sweep,
and darn, and cook, and save a farthing, wherever it can be saved."

One evening in February Mr. Barr called. He said he had been "on a
long business journey through the West Riding," and those two words
softened my heart, and we began to talk of some mutual acquaintance
there. Then, before he knew it, without his will or effort, love broke
into audible words. It was the healing love, the comforting love, and
one little word, and one long kiss, made all things fast and sure. But
that night I knew the old troubler and heartache of the world had me
in his power, and would have, until life with all its troubles and
heartaches was over.

       *       *       *       *       *

I had told Robert that the first thing was to get my father's and my
mother's consent to our marriage, and he went to Kendal the following
day for this purpose, arriving there about four in the afternoon.
Father was out visiting the sick, Mary and Alethia were at school, and
Jane had been recently married, and had gone to live in Manchester.
Mother was making some school pinafores for Alethia, and Robert's
knock did not interest her at all. Lots of people in those days came
after Mr. Huddleston, and she thought it was some case of sickness or
trouble. But when the girl opened the parlor door and Robert entered
she was astonished. However, my name and the letter he brought from me
put him at once in Mother's favor, and in a few minutes he was telling
her how dear I was to him, and that I had promised to be his wife in
July, if my father and mother approved it. He stayed to tea with my
parents, and had a long conversation with them, and they were
thoroughly satisfied that I had chosen well and wisely. As if I had
had any choice in the matter! The event had been destined, even when I
was born, and Robert Barr only a lad of seven years old.

In my mother's letter to me on the subject, she said, "I will tell you
something, Milly, that I suspect neither Mr. Barr nor your father will
tell you, yet you will be glad to know it, and you ought to know it.
It is this. Your father told Mr. Barr about your indebtedness to the
school board, and Mr. Barr asked how much it was. When Father said he
thought about seventy pounds, Mr. Barr laughed, and answered,
'Suppose, Father, we sent a donation of two hundred pounds to the
school board. Won't that be best?' Then Father laughed, and Mr. Barr
took from his valise a small book, and wrote a check for two hundred
pounds, asking Father to send it the next day, which Father did."

In this letter I was urged to come home at once, and so I went next
day to the school to remove my name from the list of Wesleyan
students. Professor Hyslop looked angrily at me.

"You will get no diploma," he said.

"I am going to be married, sir," I answered.

"I have heard--I have heard!" he continued, "and I think a marriage
certificate will be the best diploma for you--Reverend Dr. Barr's son,
is it not?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then, Miss, where will your Arminianism be? You will become a
Calvinist!" And, with this Parthian fling, he left the room so quickly
I had no opportunity for a denial.

After this event I returned home, and the days went by in a dream of
happiness. Robert came every Friday or Saturday to Kendal, and we rode
over to Windermere, if it was fine weather, and strolled about its
laurel woods, whispering to each other those words which lovers have
always said, and always will say, even till time shall be no
more--unless, the march of what is called "progress and efficiency"
put love out of the question altogether. It was a wooing that fitted
wonderfully into my happy girlhood, blending itself with my
childhood's memories, with the wind and the sun, and the mountains and
lakes I loved. And I took with a grateful heart the joy sent me--a joy
glorified by all the enchanting glamours and extravagant hopes of
youth and love. It was always the old antiphony of love:

  "I love you, sweet, how can you ever learn
  How much I love you?" "You I love even so,
  And so I learn it." "Sweet, you cannot know
  How fair you are." "If fair enough to earn
  Your love, so much is all my love's concern."
  "My love grows hourly sweet." "Mine, too, doth grow,
  Yet love seemed full so many hours ago."
  Thus lovers speak.--ROSSETTI.

If the weather was wet we discussed damasks and cretons and books
about furniture, which Robert brought with him every week--the colors
to be dominant in various rooms--and every trifle of housekeeping; and
were as happy as birds building their first nest. Or, I showed any new
addition to my wardrobe, about which I had been very fortunate. For it
happened that thirty years previously my mother's uncle had spent four
years in Glasgow, and had been very happy there; so he was pleased I
was going to marry a Glasgow man. When he met Robert he liked him, and
he liked me "for choosing so fine a fellow," and as a reward gave me a
hundred pounds to buy things for the wedding. I went to Bradford for a
couple of weeks, had my wedding frock made there, and brought home
with me alpacas and mozambiques, baréges and chantilly muslins, and
lots of other pretty things. But what pleased me more than anything
were the full sets of ready-made underclothing which Mrs. Humphreys
sent. I had never even heard of ready-made clothing, and I was
delighted with the beautifully trimmed slips and gowns, and so forth,
which far exceeded anything I had ever seen. Indeed they were talked
about so much that many Kendal ladies asked to look at them.

My sister Jane had married quietly, almost secretly, only my father
and sisters and a friend of the groom being present; but Robert would
hear of no such privacy. He wished the whole town to witness his
happiness, and I was not averse to his desire. So the dawn of our
wedding-day, the eleventh of July, 1850, was ushered in by the
beautiful chimes of Kendal church, and the ringers, being well paid,
marked, every hour of the day by a carillon until night covered the
earth. The ceremony was nine o'clock in the morning, but the church
was full, and the sidewalks full, and every one had a smile and a good
wish for us.

Robert looked exceedingly handsome, and his sister and brother-in-lave,
David Colville, the great iron and steel manufacturer of Glasgow,
were at his side. I had only one bridesmaid, a lovely Yorkshire girl,
who had been my playmate in childhood. Robert had one attendant also, a
young Scot, called James Sinclair. I wore the usual white satin dress
consecrated to brides, but it was not made as bridal dresses are made
now. It was of ordinary length, and had three deep ruffles of lace
on the skirt. A small polka jacket--they were just coming in
then--made of white lace, and trimmed with white satin, covered my
neck and arms, and a very small bonnet of white lace, trimmed with
orange flowers, was on my head. My sandals were of white satin, and
my gloves of white kid, but I had no veil. I walked to the altar on my
father's arm; I left it leaning on my husband's. That seems but a small
change, but it typified the wrench of life and destiny. For that hour
had broken the continuity of life. I could never! never! go back to
where I stood before it.

There was a pretty wedding breakfast at my father's house, where
everything was profusely adorned with large white pansies; for, in
Kendal there was, and likely yet is, a miraculous profusion and
perfection of this exquisite flower in July and August. My father
blessed the breakfast, which was happily and leisurely taken, then
Robert glanced at me, and I went upstairs to put on a pale blue dress,
a white silk India shawl, and a little bonnet trimmed with blue
flowers. The shawl was of wonderful beauty and of great value, but
what girl of nineteen would now wear a shawl? Yet, it was far from
unbecoming, and it shared my fortunes in a remarkable manner.

It was considered proper and elegant in those days for brides to show
great emotion, and even to weep as they left their home and father and
mother. I could not do so. I loved my home and my kindred with a deep
and strong attachment, but I knew from that moment when I first saw
the man who was now my husband that, among the souls allied to mine,
he was of

  "... nearer kindred than life hinted of;
  Born with me somewhere that men forget,
  And though in years of sight and sound unmet,
  Known for my soul's birth-partner well enough."



CHAPTER IX

THE HOME MADE DESOLATE

  "There is a warm impression, an instinctive sagacity, by which we
  anticipate future events."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Life is filled with issues."


With renunciation life begins. For nineteen years I had been a
receiver: I was now to learn the grace of surrender, and of giving up.
I was to drink the cup of pain, and to go through the valley of
humiliation. As far as my home and kindred were concerned, we had
counted the price together, and accepted the inevitable toll of
marriage, understanding well, that marriage, as well as death, makes
barren our lives. This fact was soon illustrated by the attitude
assumed by my old friends in Glasgow. I thought I should be treated
even with additional _éclat_, and they had apparently cut me out of
their lives. I met Mrs. Sage one morning, soon after my return from my
wedding journey, and greeted her with glad excitement. She was polite,
but restrained, and when I asked her to call on me, regretted she had
no time. The girls were going off to school, and her son Alick was
going to Australia as representative of the Western Bank of Scotland.
She gave me this information with a great deal of pride, and just a
tone of resentment, then said, "Good morning," and virtually passed
out of my life.

I was much troubled by her behavior for a week, then I went one
morning to Campbell's for some muslin, and there I saw Mrs. McIntosh.
She was such a good-hearted, sweet-tempered soul, I never doubted her
kindness; but she, also, was changed. Civil, of course, but she never
once spoke of their Saturday evenings, or asked, "When are you coming
to see us?" I told Robert of these meetings, and he smiled and said
that the behavior of my friends was quite natural. I was no longer
available for young parties. I was out of the race, as it were, and
my presence among the youths and girls was restraining and unpleasant
to them. "You will have to be contented with the married women, now,
Milly, and I think the girls are glad of your absence." That was all
his comment, and he did not seem to think it a matter of any
importance.

Now I had always held my own with the girls--with the married women it
was different. I thought them cold and critical, and, unfortunately, I
gave them plenty of opportunities for criticism. I was ignorant of
many things that were only to be learned by years of social
experience, unless one was to the manner born. My dress, though
handsome and becoming, was not like unto theirs, and I was innocently,
but constantly, offending some national feeling or tradition. Thus,
when I went to Campbleton to pay a week's visit to my sister-in-law, I
wore at a special entertainment a satin gown of the Royal Stuart
tartan. I thought I was paying Scotland a compliment, but I could
hardly have done anything more offensive to every Campbell in
Campbleton. They could not believe any one was so densely ignorant, as
not to know that the Campbells hated the Stuarts. To the local dominie
I was an ignoramus, because I was not familiar with the smallest fact
regarding the Great Disruption, and the founding of the Free Kirk. He
wondered where I had been born, "not to have heard of Chalmers and
Guthrie and the Highland Host they led to a great spiritual victory."
Yet, honestly, never even in Dr. Farrar's, where embryo clergy
congregated, had I heard of the Scottish Disruption. And this
ignorance was astounding to them, if it was real, and impertinence, if
it was only pretended.

I dislike to make the acknowledgment, but even Mrs. Semple was
changed. She was offended because she was not asked to be present at
our wedding. I explained to her the circumstances making her visit
impossible--the smallness of my father's house, and the likelihood of
sickness at any hour, and she appeared quite satisfied at the time;
but, when Robert brought his sister and brother-in-law to Kendal, she
thought she ought to have been included in his party. I think she
ought, and I would have been glad of her presence. There was somehow a
mistake, and the fault was said to be mine; and I saw that Robert
would be annoyed if I made a question about it, so I accepted the
wrong and the blame.

Three months after my marriage I should have been quite disheartened
but for the kindness of two admirable women, who had the intelligence
to divine the whole situation. They were Marion, the wife of Walter
Blackie, and her sister, Isabel Brodie. John Blackie, the father of
Walter Blackie, had been the guardian of my husband, and the
publishers of my husband's father's books, consequently there was an
old tie of friendship between the families. But, in spite of this,
Marion Blackie warmly and openly stood my friend. She advised me in
private, and defended me in public. Indeed, she told my critics that
they and herself, also, must appear as peculiar to me as I did to
them. "Of course," she continued, "the Barr women don't like her. She
has not a feeling in common with them, and how can she defend herself
against innuendoes? I only hope they will not sneer and shrug her
husband's love away." Only these two women remain in my memory to
sweeten the story of my three years' residence in Glasgow, as a wife
and mother.

These were the social conditions in which I found myself, and I did
not long struggle against them. Those who should have been kind to me
were irreconcilable enemies; and they were old leaders of public
opinion, and understood thoroughly the people with whom they lived. I
felt that my case was hopeless, because victory in it might bring
defeat in a nearer and dearer relation; for Robert would have
certainly stood by me, if my attitude demanded his support; but I was
sure I could not prevent a sense of anger and injury, if his
interference was called for. It was not worth while provoking such a
danger; I resolved to retire and make myself happy in other ways. I
had a very handsome home to care for, and in it there was a library of
about two hundred of the latest books in fiction, poetry, and travel.
I began to use my needle, and grew expert in embroidery. I ran down to
Kendal now and then for a day, and Father paid me one visit, and
Mother several. In two or three months I had forgotten society, and it
held its regular sessions without remembering me.

But the time passed happily--long sweet days in which I thought as I
sewed, or read, or sang, or sometimes took a walk up to the old
cathedral, or even through the busy thoroughfares of Argyle and
Buchanan Streets. In the evenings I read aloud to Robert, or he taught
me how to sing the Scotch songs he loved. We had a copy of Hamilton's
large edition of them, and I began with the initial lyric of "Braw
Braw Lads of Gala Water," and then went straight through the book,
which took us about a month. Then we began it over again, and I do not
remember wearying, at least not of the older songs, for they were
never written: they sprung from the heart and went direct to the
heart.

Sometimes we walked quietly to Glover's Theatre, especially if there
was a play like "Rob Roy," with the great Mackay in the title rôle. I
shall never forget the night I saw this play. The theatre was
decorated with Rob Roy tartan, and every woman wore conspicuously some
ornament of Rob Roy ribbon--a large bow, long streamers from her fan,
or a handsome satin scarf of the red and black checks, and I think
there was not a man present without a Rob Roy rosette on the lapel of
his coat. If there was, he must have been some benighted Englishman
who had no acquaintance with Walter Scott and his famous robber hero.
The human stir and enthusiasm was wonderful; the players moved and
spoke as if they were enchanted, and they carried every soul in the
theatre with them. It was good to feel, if only for a couple of hours,
something of the intense emotion of which the soul is capable. No
wonder the Scotch are so Scotch; they nurse their patriotism
continually, feed it with song and story, music and dancing, and the
drama, and they regard the Sabbath Day as peculiarly a Scottish
institution. Surely all this was better than exchanging suspicious
courtesies with critical acquaintances.

As the days lengthened and grew warmer, we went at the week ends to
Bute, or Arran, or Stirling, and very often to Edinburgh; for, at the
latter place, we always heard a fine sermon at the old Greyfriar's
Kirk. The first anniversary of our marriage we spent in Kendal and
Windermere, and somehow, after that event, there was a shadow I could
feel, but could not see or define. Things appeared to go on as usual,
but a singular sense of uncertainty troubled them; and, though I have
said, "things went on as usual," they did not quite do so. There was
one change--it was in Robert's movements. A few months previously he
had gone into partnership with a man in Huddersfield, who had large
woolen mills, and he left his business in Glasgow for two days every
two weeks to go to Huddersfield. At first he always returned buoyant,
and apparently well contented. I supposed, therefore, the woolen mill
was doing well; but, true to his Scotch instincts, natural and
educated, he had never explained anything about the transaction to me.
It was, of course, necessary to say _why_ he took this regular journey
to England, but, beyond that information, the subject was not named,
and I do not know unto this day, what kind of woolen goods were made
in the Huddersfield mills.

This reticence about their business, is, I think, a Scotch trait of
the most pronounced kind. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say, that
no Scotchman ever tells his wife the truth, and the whole truth, about
his affairs. Robert in this respect only followed out his strongest
inherited instincts, the example set before him on every hand, and the
precepts inculcated by parents and guardians. When we were first
married, I tried to win his confidence and share his hopes and plans,
and I was kindly but decisively made to understand that I was going
beyond my sphere. And, as I write, and remember the position occupied
by English and Scotch wives of sixty years ago, my heart burns with
indignation, and I wonder not at _any_ means they now take to
emancipate themselves. I knew women at this time who spent weeks and
months in fears and anxieties, that could have been dispelled by one
word plainly and honestly spoken. But, when a husband says only,
"Yesterday I was rich, today I am poor; you must do as well as you
can," his silence about his position has been not only cruel, but
humiliating. He might make just such a speech to an affectionate and
faithful dog. This is a digression, but it will not be lost, if it
makes one man reflect, or one woman resolve.

As for myself, I was not destitute of rebellious thoughts. Once Robert
had brought his Huddersfield partner home with him to dinner, and I
had carefully scrutinized the man, and his speech, and manner. After
he had left, Robert, in a kind of incidental way, as if it was a
matter of no consequence, asked me what I thought of Mr. P.

"Do you wish me to tell you the truth, Robert," I answered, "or shall
I only say pleasant words?"

"Tell the truth, Milly, by all means," he replied, "though I suppose
you are going to say unpleasant words."

"I am, but they are true words, be sure of that, Robert. I think Mr.
P. is a rascal, from his beard to his boots. Nature has set his eyes
crooked; she has put her mark on the man, and said plainly, 'Beware of
him!' His voice is false. I watched his feet, he turned them out too
much, and he had trod his shoes down at the sides. 'He could not tread
his shoes straight,' is a Yorkshire proverb for a rogue. I would not
trust him with a penny piece, further than I could see him."

"You saw all this, Milly, while he was here a short hour or two?" And
Robert laughed and drew me to his side. So the subject dropped, but I
could see that my suspicions had allied themselves to similar ones in
his own mind.

One incident of this year I must not forget--the meeting with Mrs.
Stowe and Mr. Beecher. I saw them first on the platform of the City
Hall, where I had a seat with some friends on the invitation
committee. I was not attracted by Mrs. Stowe, who was quiet, and
apparently bored or tired; but Mr. Beecher won every heart.
Afterwards, at a reception, I had a long talk with him about America.
Once more I saw him, and the conversation was renewed, and finally Mr.
Beecher said, "I think you will come to America. If you come to New
York, hunt me up; I shall not be hard to find. You will want help in
seeing New York, and I will do anything I can for you." Seventeen
years afterwards I reminded Mr. Beecher of this promise, and he
cheerfully and helpfully redeemed it.

So the time went on, and I was happy, for the pleasure of "use and
wont" of things tried and confidential was mine. I found myself
constantly singing, for I was busy about a very diminutive wardrobe. I
delighted in making some of the tiny articles with my own hands,
sewing into them prayers and hopes and blessings for the child who was
to wear them, and whose advent was expected about the New Year. In
these days I thought a great deal about my own infancy. I recalled its
first exquisite beginnings, its wonder and joy in the mere fact of
living. I thought of the dream I had, when I was too young to find
words to tell it, and blessed God I was not too young for Him to think
of me.

Even the dark November days, with their thick yellow fogs, and muffled
melancholy sounds, could not sadden me. Nor was I much depressed by
that haunting fear, which all women--however often they are
mothers--are subject to before the birth of a child. I might die; many
mothers did. What then? I answered my heart fearlessly, "I shall have
had a perfect life, a happy childhood, a true love, a blessed
marriage. The finite over, the infinite will begin. I shall be
satisfied." And I am sure I could then have trod the common road into
the great darkness, without fear and with much hope.

But one day in this November I awoke both fearful and sad. It was with
difficulty I preserved the cheerful morning face, that I had been
taught from early childhood was the first duty of every day and, as
soon as Robert left for his office, and I knew I should be alone until
evening, I lay down upon my bed and wept with an unreasonable passion.
I knew not why I wept, but my soul knew. She heard what was coming
from afar, and knew that I was now to leave the walled garden of my
happiness, and to take my share in those great sorrows, which are
needed to give life its true meaning.

I had noticed, when at breakfast, that Robert was unusually silent,
and I had not felt able to rise above the atmosphere of gloom and
worry; but in the afternoon it struck me, that perhaps I only was to
blame, and I resolved to dress prettily and be ready to carry the
evening through with songs and smiles. So I rose and put on a gown
that Robert liked to see me wearing, a handsomer garment than I
usually wore, but I told myself that if trouble should be coming, I
would meet it dressed like one who meant to conquer. And I remember
that all the time I was brushing out my hair, I was saying over and
over a few lines that came ready to my lips, though I knew not when,
or where, I had learned them:

  "Empire o'er the land and main,
  Heaven who gave, can take again;
  But a mind that's truly brave,
          Stands despising,
          Storms arising,
  And defies the wind and wave."

I had forgotten the last line, but my mind involuntarily supplied it.
And at that moment I felt able to defy sorrow, and to shut the door
against it. But alas! how poorly we love those whom we love most. Our
love sinks below our earthly cares, and we bruise ourselves against
the limitations of our own love, as well as against the limitations of
others.

I was sitting very still, thinking these things out, and talking
reproachfully to my soul--who has always been a talkative soul, fond
of giving me from the little chest wherein she dwells, reproofs and
admonitions more than I like--when I heard Robert put his latch-key in
the lock, and enter the house. He was an hour before his time, and I
wondered at the circumstance. Generally he came to me in the parlor
first, and then went to dress for dinner, but this night he went
straight to his room. I stood up and considered. Fear tormented me
with cruel expectations, and I would not give place to that enemy, so
I went quickly down the passage, singing as I went, and at the door
asked cheerfully,

"Are you there, Robert?"

"Yes," he answered; "come in, Milly."

Then I entered smiling, and he looked at me with all his soul in his
eyes, and, without speaking, covered his face with his hands.

"Robert!" I cried. "Dear Robert, are you sick?"

"No, no!" he answered. "Sit down here at my side, and I will tell you.
Milly, I have lost nearly all I possess. The Huddersfield mills have
failed."

"Never mind them," I said; "your business here is sufficient, and you
can pay it more attention."

"It has today been sequestered by the English creditors."

"What is 'sequestered'?" I asked. I had never heard the word before.

"It means that I cannot have any use of my business here, until the
court decides, whether it can be made to pay the debts of the
Huddersfield concern. O my dear, dear Milly, forgive me!"

"My love, you have done me no wrong."

"I have. I have taken risks that I ought not to have taken. You
thought you were marrying a rich man, Milly."

"I married you, yourself, Robert. Rich or poor, you are dearer than
all to me. I do not count money in the same breath with you."

"You love me, dear?"

"Better tonight, than ever before."

"I am sick with anxiety."

"Let me share it. That is all I ask. And you must be brave, Robert.
Things are never as bad as you think they are. You are only
twenty-seven years old; you have health and friends. We can half the
expenses. Let the English place go. You will get your business here
back soon, will you not?"

"I hope so. I cannot tell. I must leave you, and go to England
tomorrow and you ought not to be alone now."

"Nothing will harm me. Go, and find out the worst, then you know what
you have to fight. Dinner is ready. You need a good meal; you will
feel better after it."

"How can I? I fear that I am ruined."

"Now, Robert," I said, "that depends on _yourself_. No man was ever
ruined from _without_; the final ruin comes from _within_, when you
turn hopeless and lose courage. I have heard my father tell young men
that, many times."

I suppose that most American husbands and wives would have spent the
evening in talking over this trouble, and considering what steps were
wisest to take. Robert did not speak of it again. During the meal,
when the girl was coming in and out with the various dishes, he talked
of a big fire in the High Street, and the appearance of Harrison in
"The Bohemian Girl," saying he was sorry I could not hear him sing "I
Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls." When dinner was over, he asked me to
go on with the book I was reading to him. It was "The Newcomes," and I
lifted it, and he lay down on the sofa with his cigar. But I did not
know what I was reading. The lights seemed dim, my voice sounded far
away, there was a tumult in my senses that was prelusive of fainting.

"I am not well, Robert," I murmured, "I must stop," and I laid "The
Newcomes" down, and have never touched a book of Thackeray's since.

Robert rose immediately. "I must leave for England very early in the
morning," he said. "I will try and get some sleep first."

The next morning he went away before daylight, and I had to bear the
uncertainty and suspense as well as I could; and these journeys
continued until the twentieth of December, when all court business
stopped until after the twelfth day in January. I did not write home
about this trouble. Father had been ill, and Mother was coming to me,
on the second or third day of the New Year; and I hoped afresh every
morning, that some good news would come to brighten the sad story. But
all I heard was that professional accountants were going over the
books of both the Glasgow and the Huddersfield business, and that it
was tedious work, and required Robert's presence constantly to explain
transactions. This appeared sensible and necessary, and I made the
best of the week ends, when Robert usually hurried home, traveling all
night, so as to reach me early Saturday morning.

So Christmas came and went, the saddest Christmas I ever spent in all
my life; but Christmas was not Christmas in Scotland, at that date. It
had too strong a likeness to Episcopacy, yes, even to Popery, for the
Calvinistic Scot; and savored of monkish festivals, and idolatrous
symbols. I never saw a nativity pie in Glasgow, but those I made; and
I really think they caused Robert a twinge of conscience to have them
on the table. He certainly never tasted them. But the New Year was a
modest kind of saturnalia, kept very much as the Calvinistic Dutch
settlers of New York kept it in the days of the Dutch governors. It
was a quiet day with us, and I could not help contrasting it with the
previous New Year's when we had our minister, and the Blackies and
Brodies, and a few others to dinner, and all drank the New Year in,
standing with full glasses. At the moment we did so, my conscience
smote me. I was cold and trembled as the clock slowly struck twelve,
for I had always been used to solemnly keep the Watch Night, and, if
not on my knees in the chapel, I was certain to be praying in my own
room. "The ill year comes in swimming," says an old proverb, and I
have proved its truth.

On the third day of the New Year, Robert's mother called in the
afternoon. Robert had gone to Stirling, and I was alone and much
astonished to see her; but I said, as cheerfully as possible, "Good
afternoon, Mother, and a Happy New Year to you." Then, noticing that
she was much agitated, I grew frightened about Robert, and said
anxiously, "You look troubled, Mother; is anything wrong with
Robert?"

"Is there anything right with the man now? I got this letter from him
on New Year's Day--a nice-like greeting it was to send me."

I looked at her inquiringly, but did not speak, and she asked, "Do you
know what is in it?"

"No; Robert did not tell me he had written to you at all."

"Of course, he didn't! Mother may be heartbroken with shame and
sorrow, but you! You must not have your precious feelings hurt."

"Robert," I answered, "would not willingly hurt a hair of your head,
Mother. I know that. If he has told you of more trouble, I wish to
share it with you."

"You shall," she replied. "He writes me that he fears the
creditors--sorrow take them!--are trying to attach the furniture of
this house, and he asks me, if they do, to buy it for him, at their
valuation. That is a modest request to make, on the first of the
year!"

"Mother, no one can touch this furniture. It is mine. It was given to
me before my marriage, made legally over to me in my antenuptial
contract. The furniture, silver, napery, books, and every item in the
house is especially and carefully named, as the property of Amelia
Huddleston."

"Where is the contract?"

"With John Forbes, the writer. Go and see it."

"I am thinking that the English law makes all that was yours, on your
marriage day, become Robert's, and all that is Robert's belongs to his
creditors, until the creatures are satisfied. But I came on a kind
errand, if you will take it so. I came to tell you that, though you
have been the ruin of my son, I will not see you put on the street. I
will buy the furniture and rent it to you."

"I would not rent it from any one. It is mine. If I am robbed of it, I
will not countenance the robbery, by renting it."

"What will you do with yourself?"

"I shall come to no harm."

"You can maybe find a boarding-house?"

"I shall not need one."

"And there is your own home."

"I shall not go there."

"I think Robert might have told you of this sore strait."

Then, in a sudden passion of anger, I cried out, "I think so, too. He
treats me as if I was a doll or a dog. He tells me nothing. I have the
cruelest part of every sorrow to bear--the part not sure. It is a
shame! It is a great wrong! My heart is sick with anxiety that does no
good. At the last, he has to tell. I cannot bear it!"

"All the women have it to bear."

"Then shame to the men who lay on them such a useless burden."

"We have a saying that women's counsel is ill luck."

"It is the want of it that is ill luck. I never saw that Huddersfield
man but once, yet I told Robert to beware of him."

"People say that you have been a gey, extravagant wife, Amelia."

"People lie!" I answered hotly. "I have saved two hundred and eight
pounds in eighteen months, out of the money given me for housekeeping
expenses."

"Then Robert has been extravagant, and given you too much money."

"He gave me exactly what he gave you, for the same purpose. He told me
so."

"And you have saved two hundred and eight pounds! Well, well! Where is
it?"

"In my bank."

She looked at me not unkindly, and I said, "Mother! Mother! If you and
Jessy would have only directed me, I would gladly have obeyed your
desires. If you would have only stood by me, no one would have seen
any faults in my way of dressing, and doing things. Amelia Barr is no
different from Amelia Huddleston, and under that name every one loved
and praised me."

"Well, well, married women are little thought of--except by the one
man--and not always much thought of by him."

"Try to like me, Mother. I could so easily love you, and I will do all
as you wish it," and, as I spoke, I went to her side and lifted her
hand.

"Please God," she answered, "there is plenty of time to put wrong
right. Will you give me a cup of tea now?"

"Forgive me, I forgot."

"That is just it," she answered. "You forget. You should have offered
it to me, when I first came in."

Then I did all I could to redeem the forgetting, and she said, "Take a
cup yourself; it will do you good, and tomorrow send for John
Forbes."

"I do not trust John Forbes."

"Neither do I," she answered quickly, "it is little he knows of the
English law about any matter. What will you do then?"

"Go to a Councillor, who never yet deceived me."

"I understand, but I'm not sure if that is right, Amelia. Going to God
about chairs and tables, and the like of such things is not at all
respectful."

"We are told to pray about our bread and clothing, because 'God knows
we have need of such things.'"

"Your own way, be it. Tell Robert I am willing to help--if needs be."

"There will be no need, Mother."

"You're a queer woman." She rose as she spoke, and said it would soon
be dark, and she must hurry, for lots of drunken men and women would
be on the streets seeing it was the New Year. Then I fastened her
cloak and furs, and said,

"Kiss me, Mother."

A look of the uttermost discomfiture and confusion came into her face.
She hesitated, and fingered her bonnet strings, but finally bent her
head slightly, and allowed me to kiss her. Then suddenly I recollected
that the family kiss was a thing practically unknown in Scotch
households, and that Robert had more than once told me that he never
remembered his mother kissing him, in all his life. But the momentary
disconcertion passed, and I believed I had won a step in the old
lady's favor, and I was glad of it, for she had some excellencies, and
her faults were the faults of race, education, and life-long habit and
experiences.

Within an hour after her departure, my own dear mother came to me, and
two days later, my daughter Mary was born, "a bonnie wee lassie,
world-like, and wise-like," said the old nurse pleasantly. She kept
her sixtieth birthday a week ago, and may God spare her to keep her
eightieth as well, and as joyfully. After the birth of Mary, her
father's affairs began to settle, and it was not necessary for him to
travel so constantly between Glasgow and Huddersfield. And the
furniture question gave me neither trouble nor anxiety. I took it to
the Highest Court, and the Best Councillor known to man, and I never
heard of it again. Robert did not speak of it to me, and I asked him
no questions. There are times in life when it is wisest to let
sleeping dogs lie, and I thought this subject was one of such
occasions. About May Robert received his certificate of just and
lawful bankruptcy, and was free to reopen his warehouse and recommence
his business.

But I could see it was hard and discouraging work. An American can
hardly estimate how cruel an English bankruptcy is. On its business
side, I could only form opinions from Robert's depression and remarks;
but I could see, and feel, and hear on every hand, the social
ostracism it entails. The kindest heart quickly drops the friend who
has failed. The man is never forgiven by his family. Years cannot
efface the stain, nor future success give back his former social
position, or ever dispel the uncertainty of his business reputation.
Now bankruptcy is not the unpardonable sin in the United States that
it is--or was--in England and Scotland, and one of the things which
struck me most forcibly, when I came to America, was the indifference
with which men spoke of "being broke," or having failed here or there,
or in this, or that line of business, taking misfortune as cheerily as
good fortune, and beginning again and again until they at last
succeeded.

With small economies, small anxieties, and one man's ceaseless
struggle against misfortune, the next year passed away. Hitherto, I
had always felt a contempt for struggling men; I had told myself, that
their opportunities were so many, there was no excuse for the strife.
If one thing, or one place was unfavorable, they could go elsewhere;
the whole world was a market-place for their hands, or their brains.
But during this year I discovered my mistake. Robert was tied by
invisible bonds, and he had not the strength--perhaps not the will--to
burst them asunder.

As for myself, I was busy with my house, and my child, my music, and
books, my needle, and my correspondence with my home, and I could have
been quite content with these sources of pleasure, if Robert had been
in any measure satisfied and successful. But he could not hide from me
the anxiety which was making his life a burden hard to bear. It was
then the idea of exile, of a new country, new surroundings, and an
entirely new effort, unhampered by the débris of an old failure, took
possession of my mind; for this one year's dismaying results satisfied
me that nothing but the most radical changes would be of any use. But
I was daily expecting the birth of my second child, and I told myself
that nothing could be done for another month. I was, however,
mistaken. Robert came home one night in such evident distress, that I
was sure it arose from some social slight, and I asked, "Whatever has
vexed you so much today, Robert?"

"Why, Milly," he said, "three things: My old Sunday school teacher, to
whom I am much attached, passed me without a word, and then turned
back and said angrily, 'Man Robert! I'm disappointed in you. I'm sair
disappointed! I thought you were going to be a rich man, and a pillar
o' the Kirk.' I said, 'It is not my fault, Deacon.' 'It is your
fault,' he continued, 'whatna for, did you buy Alexander Hastie's
business, if you didna ken how to run it? Hastie is now our member to
Parliament, and you hae disgraced the whole city o' Glasgow, by
letting a business so weel kent in his name, go to the dogs. I wonder
me, what your good father would say to the disgrace you hae brought on
his name, and I am sorry, _Dod_! I'm heart sorry for your poor
mother.'"

"O Robert! How cruel! How unjust!"

"I cannot live down such prejudice, Milly. It is impossible. He had
scarcely left me, when I saw Mrs. Semple coming towards me. She
hesitated a moment, then went into a small jeweler's shop to avoid the
meeting. This afternoon Mother came to my office, and we had some very
hard words, about a piece of property that is solely and entirely my
own."

"Have you anything left, that is your own?"

"This piece of property is. Once, when I had plenty of money, I helped
Donald McLeod to save it, and when he died, three months ago, he left
it to me."

"Hold to it fast, Robert," I said. "I beg you not to touch it for
anything."

"Donald told me he had left it for an 'emergency,' and I am keeping it
till that time arrives."

"That time is now here, dear Robert. As soon as my trouble is past,
let us go far away from Scotland, and begin a new life. You are not
twenty-nine years old, and I am only twenty-two. Shall we give up our
lives to a ceaseless, contemptible struggle, that brings us neither
money nor respect? Somewhere in the world, there is peace and good
fortune for us. We will go and find it."

"Are you really willing to leave Scotland, Milly?"

"I will go to the end of the earth with you, Robert."

Then he leaped to his feet, and his face was shining, and he kissed me
tenderly, "Where shall we go?" he asked. "Canada? India? Australia?"

"What do you say to the United States?" I answered. "Tomorrow I will
send to the library for books on all these countries. We will read and
consider, and try to be ready to leave Scotland, about the middle of
August."

"At the middle of August? Why that date?"

"Because, about any new movement, it is good to have some one point
decided. That is a foundation. We are going to seek good fortune about
the middle of August. Let us regard that date as positive, Robert. It
is our first step."

He was by this time in an enthusiasm of fresh hope, and we sat talking
till nearly three in the morning, and, if any acquaintance met him
that day, they must have thought "Robert Barr has had some good luck.
He was like his old self today." Indeed the prospect of this new life
brought back again the old cheerful Robert. Every day he came home
with some fresh idea on the subject, or told me of something done to
forward our plans. Among other incidental arrangements, he insisted on
keeping our intention from the knowledge of his family. He feared his
mother's influence and interference. John Blackie had been urging his
release from any further care of the Barr estate, and Robert's name
would be necessary to many papers in connection with this change, and
unavoidable delays result. It also gave an air of romance to the
flitting, which took it out of the rôle of ordinary emigration. And I
will be truthful, and confess, that it pleased me to think of his
mother's and sister's futile dismay, when they discovered we had
escaped forever the shadows and petty humiliations of a conventional
Scotch life.

On the twenty-second of May, 1853, my daughter Eliza was born, a
bright, beautiful girl, who certainly brought her soul with her--a
girl who all her life has been the good genius of extremities--never
quailing before any calamity, but always sure there was a road over
the mountains of difficulty, which we could find, as soon as we
reached them. And, I may add, she always found the road.

I recovered rapidly, for I was fed daily on fresh hopes, and, in spite
of the uncertainty surrounding these hopes, I was happy, for I
believed in my dreams. Then there came a letter from Father, asking in
his modest, unselfish way, for the return of Mother. It was enough to
alarm us, for we knew well he had felt the necessity, though he
voiced it with so little urgency; and, as this letter is the only
scrap of my Father's writing that has survived the constant chances
and changes of nearly half a century, I will transcribe it:

  MY DEAR AMELIA,

  I can assure you the very sight of your letter afforded us
  unspeakable delight. Yes, we do feel grateful to that Divine and
  attentive Providence, which has been with you the last few weeks.
  We may, and do, attribute much to means, but what are all means
  without His sanction, and His blessing? To Him be all the praise!
  I hope, my dear, if spared, you will evince your gratitude by a
  devotion of all to Him. Give yourself, give your dear little ones
  to Him. You know well what is meant by that. God bless you! God
  bless the little stranger! She has come into a cold world; still
  she has friends who love and pray for her. Kiss her for me.

  As to Mother, I am sure she has done all in her power, and she
  would do it so differently to any one else. I can assure you, at
  the time she left me, it was no small trial; but it was _for
  Amelia_, and only on this ground could I have been induced to make
  the sacrifice. Now, that you are so far improved, do not detain
  her. I fear another painful visitation. Think of Father. He has
  thought of Amelia. Give my love to dear Mother. The little girls
  are going to school, and send their love to you, and to dear Mr.
  Barr.

  Amelia, I am what I ever was to you,

  FATHER.

O Father! Father! If, in the stress of my labors and sorrows, I have
forgotten your lovely, patient, helpful life, forgive me this day. Let
my tears wash away my fault, and be still to me, what you ever were,

Father!

       *       *       *       *       *

As soon as it was possible for me to do so, I faithfully read all I
could read about Australia, India, Canada, and the United States, and
very early came to the conclusion, that we must sail westward. I held
in reserve a possible Canadian settlement, but I was sure that we must
first go to New York. Australia, I had no hesitation in putting out
of consideration; its climate, its strange natural conditions, and its
doubtful early population, as well as its great distance from England,
were definitely against it. But India to me was a land of romance.
There were inconceivable possibilities in India. Anything wonderful
could happen in those rich cities of the upper Ganges. The Huddleston
ships had been early fond of Indian voyages, and Robert had several
friends in Calcutta and Benares, who were making fortunes rapidly. We
could not put India summarily out of our desires and calculations. My
notes about it lay side by side with those of the United States, and
for some time neither Robert nor I could honestly say "I prefer this
or that, before the other."

One night we had swiveled a great deal between New York and Calcutta
as points of landing, Robert having had that day a letter from Andrew
Blair, an old school friend, who was doing well in Delhi, and I went
to sleep thinking that the children would require nothing in the way
of an outfit but some white muslin. Then I dreamed a dream, and when I
awakened from it I said softly, "Are you sleeping, Robert?" And he
answered at once. "No. I heard you cry out in your sleep, and I was
going to speak to you, if you cried again. What frightened you?"

"I thought we were in Calcutta, and we stood alone on a silent street,
knowing not where to go. The sky was black as pitch, the air hot and
heavy, and red as blood, and a great cry, like a woman's cry, rang
through it, and seemed to be taken up by the whole earth. Then a voice
at my side said, 'Look!' and I saw that Calcutta was built entirely of
great blocks of coal, and that, in the center of each block, there was
a fierce fire burning. I must then have cried out, and awakened
myself."

For a few moments Robert did not speak, then he said in a hushed
voice, "We cannot go to India. Blair told me in his letter that the
whole country was restless, and the army mutinous, and that he felt a
little uneasy. But that is such an old complaint, I did not heed it,
and did not think it wise to trouble your decision by just a say-so."

"Well, then, Robert," I said, "you got the word, both for you and
yours, and, as you did not heed it, another messenger was sent. I
wonder if putting our own judgment first of all, and not delivering
the entire message, will be counted as answering 'No' to the heavenly
command."

"Don't say unpleasant things, Milly," was Robert's reply, and I was
silent until he added, "We cannot go to India now, I suppose?"

"I would not go, for the whole wide world."

"Then it must be America."

"Yes, somewhere in America."

In a very positive voice, Robert said, "It must be Canada. I am not
going to give up my English citizenship for anything."

"That is right," I answered. "You can keep it anywhere. It is fine in
you to guard your English citizenship. I have none to guard. It makes
no difference to me where I live."

"My citizenship is yours."

"Oh, no! I do not exercise any of your citizenship rights, and they do
not protect me."

"I exercise them for you."

"Well and good, but I am glad you do not eat, and drink, and sleep for
me, and I would not like you to dream for me. You would not likely
tell me the whole dream."

"Now you are cross, Milly, and I will go to sleep."

But I lay long awake, and felt anew, all through the silent hours, the
horror and terror of that prophetic dream. For I need hardly remind my
readers, that it was awfully verified in the unspeakable atrocities of
the Sepoy rebellion, barely two years afterwards. And I do not believe
Robert slept, but he could not endure allusions to the wrongs of
women--a subject then beginning to find a voice here and there, among
English women "who dared."



CHAPTER X

PASSENGERS FOR NEW YORK

  "The bud comes back to summer,
    And the blossom to the bee,
  But I'll win back--O never,
    To my ain countree!

  "But I am leal to heaven,
    Where soon I hope to be,
  And there I'll meet the loved,
    From my ain countree!"


Events that are predestined require but little management. They manage
themselves. They slip into place while we sleep, and suddenly we are
aware that the thing we fear to attempt, is already accomplished. It
was somewhat in this way, all our preparations for America were
finished. We did not speak of our intentions to any one, neither did
we try to conceal them, excepting in the case already mentioned. But
somehow they went forward, and that with all the certainty of
appointed things.

A month after Mother left us, Robert brought home one day the tickets
for our passage from Liverpool to New York, in the steamship
_Atlantic_, then the finest boat sailing between the two ports. "You
have now, Milly," he said, "nearly four weeks to prepare for our new
life. We shall sail on the twentieth of August"; and his face was
glad, and his voice full of pleasure.

"And what of your preparations, Robert?" I asked.

"They go well with me. I have today made an arrangement for the
closing up of my business on the twenty-second of August. And that day
Forbes takes possession. He will sell my stock, and pay all I owe,
which, thank God, is not much! Mother and Jessy will be in Arran; we
shall be on the Atlantic. I shall have all I love and all I possess
with me, and I will cast these last miserable two years out of my
memory forever."

"But, Robert," I asked timidly, "have you money enough for such a
change?"

"Quite sufficient. Donald's legacy has turned out much better than I
dared to hope. A syndicate has bought the land for building purposes.
I expected three thousand pounds for it; they have paid me five
thousand, and I have already transmitted it to the Bank of New York.
Next," he continued, "I will sell this furniture, and we will take the
proceeds with us."

"But we must get rid of Kitty first," I answered. "If Kitty saw an
article leave the house, she would write to your mother, and she, with
David and Jessy, would be here by the next boat."

"Listen!" he replied, with a confident smile. "On Monday, the
fifteenth, you will tell Kitty that you and the children are going to
Kendal. Let her help you pack your trunk, give her a sovereign, and
bid her take a month's holiday. She will be glad enough to get away.
On Tuesday morning let her go to the Kendal train with you, bid her
good-bye there, and advise her to take the next train for Greenock,
from which place she can easily get passage to Campbeltown. She will
not hurry out of Greenock, if she has money, and it may be two weeks
before she sees Mother."

"I shall reach Kendal on Tuesday afternoon, and you, Robert, when?"

"I will come for you on Thursday. On Friday we will go to Manchester,
stay all night there, as you wish to see your sister, and early on
Saturday morning take the train for Liverpool. The _Atlantic_ sails
about four in the afternoon; do you understand?"

"Yes, I understand what I am to do. What are your own plans?"

"As soon as you have left on Tuesday morning, I will bring home the
large packing cases already ordered. These I will fill with our
personal belongings, which you must quietly place in your own
wardrobe, and the drawers and presses in the spare room. The boxes are
very large, and you need not deny yourself anything that is
comfortable, or dear to you."

"I know the boxes; I have seen them."

"Impossible! They are not yet made."

"I saw them last night. They were of rough, unpainted wood, and very
large, and, as I looked, a man came in and soldered thin iron bands
around them."

"Upon my soul, Amelia, what do you mean!"

"What I say. They were standing in this room."

"You dreamed this?"

"Yes. Then I saw you, and the children, and we were on a ship sailing
up a wide river, and we passed an island with many drooping willow
trees close by the water side, and southward there were the outlines
of a great city before me, and I knew the city was New York."

"It is no wonder you dream of New York. You think and read and talk of
it so much. But the packing cases, and the man soldering on the thin
iron bands! That puzzles me. I never told you anything about them."

"No, you never told me, but Some One who knew all about them, showed
them to me. After you have packed the boxes on Tuesday, what then?"

"I shall go with them to Liverpool. A steamer leaving here on Tuesday
night is in Liverpool Wednesday morning. A dray will take them to the
_Atlantic's_ pier, and put them with her freight, after which duty
done, I will start at once for Kendal. I may be there on Wednesday
night, but allow something for detentions, and say some time
Thursday."

Robert's plans appeared to be well considered and not difficult to
carry out, and I began that day to go through my girlhood's treasures,
choosing some and leaving others. And, when Kitty was out marketing or
walking with Mary I placed them ready for the big packing cases, that
I knew were coming for them. Was I happy while thus busy? No. I knew
that I was on the road appointed me to travel, but it was a new road,
and a far distant one from the father and mother and sisters I loved
so sincerely. Nor was I a woman who liked change and adventure. My
strongest instincts were for home, and home pleasures, and the tearing
to pieces of the beautiful home given me with so much love was a great
trial. But to have shown this feeling might have saddened and
discouraged Robert. In those days I was learning some of the hardest
lessons wives have to become acquainted with, notably, to affect
pleasure and satisfaction, when they are not pleased and satisfied; to
hold up another's heart, while their own heart faints within them; to
give so lavishly of their vitality, hope, and confidence that they
themselves are left prostrate; and yet, to smilingly say, "It is only
a little headache," and to make no complaint of their individual loves
and losses, lest they should dash the courage or cool the enthusiasm
of the one who, at all costs, must be encouraged and supported.

For I did not forget that all Robert's energies at this time were
required for one end and object, and that the smaller asides of
individual feelings must not be allowed to interfere with that
purpose. So I made no remark about the sale of my furniture. It was my
contribution to our new life, and I resolved to give it cheerfully.
Robert had told me I had four weeks, but, in reality, I had only
three, for I was to leave on Tuesday, the sixteenth of August, for
Kendal, and the fifteenth was to be spent in packing. But the three
weeks felt too long. What I had to do, I did quickly; and then there
was the weary waiting on others. Life became agitated and exigent, and
the atmosphere of the house restless and expectant. Every room was
full of _Presence_, evidently the wraiths of the departed were
interested in what was going on; for,

  "All houses wherein men have lived and died
    Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
  The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
    With feet that make no sound upon the floor."

During the whole three weeks of preparation I was singularly prescient
both by day and night, but only once did I mention this condition to
Robert. I had lain down on my bed in the afternoon, weary with thought
and feeling, and had fallen fast asleep. Then I heard a commotion in
the house, the moving of furniture, the voices of men calling to each
other, and, above all, I heard one strident voice of command,
accompanied by a kind of stamp upon the floor. Presently my room door
was opened, and a remarkable man entered. He was tall and rather
stout, his face was large and white, his dress clerical, his whole
manner intensely authoritative. He walked round my room, and stood a
moment and looked at me. It was an inquisitive look, quite without
interest or kindness. Then he began to give orders, and I awoke.

To Robert I said that night, "I saw your father this afternoon," and I
described the man who was directing the moving of the furniture;
laying particular stress upon the stamp in his walk. Robert looked at
me with amazement, then told me that the peculiarity in the walk was
caused by his father having a false leg. "He received an injury to his
knee while playing golf," he said, "and his walk with the artificial
limb, was of the character you observed. But I never told you of it."

"No, you never told me, Robert, but there are tiding bringers whom we
do not summon. 'God also speaks to his children in dreams, and by the
oracles that dwell in darkness.' We do not realize it, yet there is no
doubt that our daily life is the care of angels, and the theme of
their conversation. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth
to minister to those who are the heirs of salvation?"

"Then what of those who are not heirs of salvation?"

"There are no such unfortunates. God is 'not willing that _any_ should
perish, but that _all_ should come to repentance.' Once I heard my
father quote that verse in the pulpit, and after a moment's pause he
cried out, 'a great _all_ that,' and a very old man spoke out loudly,
'Glory be to God! A great _all_. It covers every soul.' Then Father
quoted the words again, and there was a wonderful happiness, and the
dull old chapel seemed to glow, and the faces of the people were
lifted heavenward."

And Robert called me a dear little Methodist, and drew me close to his
side, and kissed me. "No wonder!" he continued, "my father felt no
interest in you--but that was a strange dream, Milly."

"Dreams are large possessions, Robert," I answered; "they are an
expansion of life, an enlightenment, and a discipline. I thank God for
my dream life; my daily life would be far poorer, if it wanted the
second sight of dreams. The dreams I have had during this movement of
ours have kept me serene and satisfied. They have shown me what is
appointed, and things appointed come to pass."

"In three weeks we shall see if your dreams come to pass."

"Yes, but three weeks is a long time."

Indeed I felt it to be almost a cruel lengthening of suspense; for I
did not understand at the time I was learning one of the most
difficult lessons the soul has to master--that of "waiting patiently
for the Lord." It is easy to ask, but to wait patiently for the
answer, is a far more difficult duty. However, when I had carefully
arranged in the places indicated our household treasures of napery,
clothing, silver, and so forth, I wished I could go to Kendal. But I
saw Robert's face change as soon as I mentioned Kendal.

"We made a plan for our movements, Milly," he said, "and I do not wish
a single point altered. It might disarrange all I have been working
for."

Then I declared I was quite content, but I was not always content. In
spite of my undoubted confidence in the wisdom of the change we were
making, I had days of utter weariness. My life, with all its orderly
habits and duties, seemed to be the same; but I knew that its
foundation was destroyed; reading had ceased to interest me; I had no
more sewing to do; my soul often sank back upon itself, and sometimes
even retired from sympathy and affection. All have had such hours, and
know what they mean. As for me, when this dark mental and spiritual
inertia attacked me, and I could not pray, I just told God so, and
waited until some blessed wind of Heaven unlocked the mood, which
bound me like a chain.

One afternoon, about a week before I was to go to Kendal, Robert's
mother called, and the moment she entered the room, a look of
amazement and anger came over her face.

"Amelia!" she cried, "Amelia, what are you doing? Do stop that
foolishness at once. It is fairly sinful, and nothing less."

What I was doing, was spinning some half-crowns on the polished table
for the amusement of Mary, who was sitting in her high chair and
laughing with delight. I looked up at Mother, and explained how I had
given Kitty a sovereign for some marketing, and she had brought the
change in silver pieces, so I was just showing Mary how prettily the
crowns and half-crowns could dance.

"Don't you see that you are teaching the child, before she is two
years old, that money is a _thing to play with_? And, what is more,
suppose she puts one of those shilling bits in her mouth, and it gets
into her throat; nothing could save her. And it would be your fault,
and not God's will, at all."

"Thank you, Mother," I said, as I rapidly gathered up the coins. "It
was very thoughtless of me; I will never do the like again. Will you
have a cup of tea, and will you stay all night?"

"No," she answered, "I just came to see if Robert was at home. It is
not possible to find him in his office lately, and I want a few words
with him."

"I have not seen him since early this morning," I said; and I ordered
her tea, and tried to introduce a more pleasant conversation. But the
incident of the coins mortified me, and I could see Mother anxiously
glancing at them, as they lay on the chimney-piece; so I carried them
to my desk, locked the desk, and put the key in my pocket. As I was
doing this, I was thinking that it might be the last time I should see
her, and was trying to find some homely, sympathetic subject, that
would bring us, at least for this hour, closer together.

But it was not a pleasant visit, and Robert was troubled and silent
for a long time, after I told him about it. Then I was troubled, for I
knew so little of Robert's family affairs, that I was like a woman
walking in the dark any step might be a false one; any moment I might
stumble. But often, I had heard my father say, "When you do not know
what to do, then stand still." So I was still, and appeared to be
puzzling over a new pattern of crochet work.

For I was determined that Robert should take the initiative, and after
a little while he did so. "Milly," he said, "I have been trying to
discover what makes Mother and you always at swords' points. If you do
not quarrel, you come so near it, that you might as well, perhaps
better, do so. You do not quarrel with any one else, why cannot you
two agree?"

"The disagreement is probably behind, and beyond us, Robert," I
answered. "We are not responsible for it. You have heard me speak of
Ann Oddy?"

"Yes."

"Well, then, Ann would say, that your mother's angel and my angel did
not agree. I think Mother's angel is probably a wise, stern spirit,
who has made Mother look well after her own interests, and despise
frivolities; and I am sure my angel is one easily entreated, and
anxious to give me everything I want--when she can--but she cannot
always manage it."

Robert laughed and said, "Then I suppose your angel and mine are good
friends."

"Yes," I answered; "they both approved our marriage, and did all they
could to forward it."

"Suppose they had not approved it?"

"Then your mother's angel would have had her way, and we should have
been separated."

"If you hold such opinions, Milly, you must also believe that angels
still retain human feelings?"

"Why not?" I answered. "They are not perfect. They are still going
forward, even as we are."

"Then they cannot be equal."

"Far from it. Some are in authority, some under authority. Some are
tidings bringers, others are invisible helpers of all kinds. Some
minister to little children, others to men fainting in the van of a
hard life, and many console the dying. I have heard it said that 'we
come into the world alone, and we die alone.' We do neither. No,
indeed!"

"You little preacher! Where do you get such ideas?" asked Robert.

"Ideas do not float about in the air, so then some intelligent being
sends them to me. They are the fruits of some soul. A good message
will always find a messenger."

  "Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth,
  Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep."

Every one knows that in times of great anxiety, conversation is sure
to turn either on some trivial occurrence, or else on some speculative
subject. It was so with Robert and myself. We did not talk more than
was necessary about our own affairs; as long as they were in
uncertainty and transition, they were at the mercy of contingencies,
which we could neither alter nor hurry. A few words every evening
informed me of any progress made and then I knew it was wise to turn
the conversation upon some irrelevant subject, that would provoke
argument.

But joyful or sorrowful time goes by, and at last it was the fifteenth
of August. I saw the dawn breaking, and I whispered to myself,
"_Awake, Amelia! There is a charge for your shield today!_" and with
this cheerful exhortation I rose. After breakfast, I called Kitty, and
she helped me to pack the trunk that was to go with me, wherever my
destiny led. Kitty thought Kendal was its limit, and she made a remark
about the quantity of the children's clothing, and the small number
and plainness of my own gowns. I made no explanation, but said,

"Now, Kitty, look after your own things. You must be ready to leave
the house with me by ten o'clock tomorrow morning. After my train has
left, you can then take the carriage direct to the Greenock Station
for your own journey."

There was very little more for me to do, and the day threatened to be
sixty hours long. So about noon I resolved to take a walk up Argyle
Street, go through the Arcade to Buchanan, and get my luncheon at
McLaren's. It was to be a kind of farewell walk over the well known
pavements and I thought if I saw a pretty brooch or bracelet made of
Scotch pebbles, I would buy it as a memorial of the happy days, I had
spent in Glasgow. The unhappy ones, I was determined to forget. I went
into a jeweler's on Buchanan Street, and turned over a lot of those
queer ornaments made of various colored agates set in silver. They
were all heavy and ungraceful, but I paid a pound for a pair of
bracelets, and I wonder even today what made me do it. I have no love
for what is called jewelry, it always looks barbaric to me, and this
Scotch jewelry is neither pretty nor rare, nor had I ever before
thought of buying it. We do queer things in those hours of anxious
suspense, that can find no natural outlet or relief.

As I came out of the jeweler's with my purchase in my hand, I met Mrs.
McIntosh face to face. She smiled, and put out her hand, and I could
have cried with pleasure:

"Oh, how glad, how glad I am to see you!" I exclaimed. "Let us go into
McLaren's, and have a hot pie and a cup of tea, and talk about old
times."

So we did, and I told her how I had fretted over their desertion, and
how pleasantly I remembered the dances with both old and young Peter,
and that I never, never, had such happy evenings in any other house in
Glasgow. We laughed, talked, recalled this and that, and ate our pies
and drank our tea to delightful memories, that neither of us had
forgotten. More than thirty-five years after this happy lunch, I was
in Glasgow again, and I had a call from Mrs. McIntosh's grandson, and
an invitation from his family to come down to their seaside home to
spend a few days with them. For an unavoidable reason I could not
accept the invitation, but I was glad to think they had remembered me
so long, because they were still young and fresh in my memory, and
never will be old.

My meeting with Mrs. McIntosh made me very happy, and the day got over
better than I expected, although Robert was half an hour later than
usual. Every wife knows what that unusual half-hour means. It is as
long as half a dozen hours; it is filled with fears and shadows of
fears, about accidents possible and impossible. For it is not the
troubles we are fighting, that weary and depress us; it is the ills we
fear, and that never come, that give us our worst hours--the ills that
have no message for us, that are passing by our dwelling even while we
wait for them. I doubt if there lives a man or a woman who cannot
say,

  "Oh, the anxious hours I've spent,
  For ills that never came!"

Indeed when Robert did come he was more cheerful than I expected, and
after dinner he told me that he had sold the furniture just as it
stood to the man who made it, adding, "he will not remove it until
Monday, the twenty-second."

I smiled faintly, but could not speak, and there was a little silence.
Then Robert said, "Sing us a song, Milly."

"I can not sing tonight, Robert."

"Try 'The Kail Brose of Old Scotland.'"

"No," I answered, "there is only one song that fits tonight--'Lochaber
No More.'"

"Sing it then."

I shook my head, saying, "It's overwhelming sadness, would be
intolerable. You must be happy, if you dare to sing 'Lochaber No
More.' If you are not, its broken-hearted melody will haunt you for
weeks."

Then we were silent again, until I suddenly looked up, and found
Robert regarding me with eyes so full of love and pity, that I dropped
my crochet and covered my face with my hands. I could not bear it. He
tenderly took my hands in his, and with kisses and affectionate words,
told me that he was not insensible to the generous manner with which I
had surrendered all his gifts to me.

"Let the gifts go," I answered; "I have you."

"My darling!" he said, "let us take a last walk through the rooms, and
bid them farewell. We will fix every item in our memories, and I
promise you an American home far more beautiful than this."

I believed him. Without doubt he would keep his word. So I was
comforted; and we went together into every room, recalling how we had
decided on the creton and papering for one room in the Windermere
woods, and for another, sitting on the grassy slope of Kendal Castle.
There was some incident of our love, or home, connected with every
picture, with every bronze, with every chair and table. We smiled and
wept together. Yes, we both wept, and I am not ashamed of the fact. Of
course it was intensely sentimental, but in that quality lay our
salvation. If we could have gone through those rooms at this farewell
hour, without tears and reminiscent smiles, ours would have been a
hopeless case; for it is the men and women who are steeped in
sentiment and religion, that _do_ things. They are the high-hearted
and hopeful, they can face every emergency, and conquer every
situation. It is the materialist and the atheist, who flinch and fail,
and who never succeed, because they have lost the Great Companion who
alone could give permanence and value to whatever they have done.

The next morning we were up with the dawn, and after a leisurely
breakfast reached the Caledonian Line in good time. Here we dismissed
Kitty, and Robert stayed with me, until the train was ready to start.

"You need not be anxious about your trunk, Milly," he said. "I will
speak to the guard about it, and also about your dinner at Carlisle."
Very soon I saw him talking to that official, as if they were old
friends, and the two men came to the carriage door together. Then
Robert bid me good-bye, and with a bright smile promised to see me in
Kendal Wednesday or Thursday. The next moment the door was locked, and
the comfortable English guard cry, "_All's Right!_" ran along the line
until it reached the engineer, who answered it at once by starting the
train.

The journey was an easy and pleasant one. I was well cared for, the
children were quiet and sleepy, and I found Mother and Alethia waiting
for me. About this my last visit to my home, I shall say little. A
multitude of words could not reach the heart of it, and indeed we were
all less disposed to talk than usual. I was exceedingly anxious. I had
a fear of Robert's mother, and while I was taking a walk the next day
with Father, I told him a good deal about her. I thought he did not
listen with his usual sympathy, and I asked "if he thought we had done
wrong to come away without her knowledge?"

"Was it your doing, Milly?" he asked.

"Partly," I answered. "Yes, Father, it was mainly my doing."

"I don't approve it, Milly," he said. "A mother is a sacred relation.
It is a kind of sacrilege to wound her feelings. You would need good
reasons to excuse it."

"We had good reasons, Father. Ask Robert when he comes tomorrow."

"Yes, I will." Then he gave me some personal advice, not necessary to
write here, but which I hold in everlasting remembrance.

That night when all the house was asleep, and I was sitting with
Mother, I told her Father's opinion about our deceiving Robert's
mother. She was quietly angry.

"Do not mind what he said on that subject, Milly," she said. "Your
father thinks a deal more of mothers than he does of wives. Ever since
we were married, he has gone into mourning about his mother on certain
days, and he wanted the whole house to mourn and fast with him. I
would not hear of such nonsense. We none of us knew the woman. Ann
Oddy flatly refused; she was well aware I would stand by her. As for
you children, I told your father plainly, you would, if you lived,
have plenty of live troubles to fret you without mourning for a dead
one, you knew nothing about. But all the same he never forgets certain
days--you remember?"

"Yes, Mother, I remember very well."

"I hope none of you will keep my birthday, or death day, in any such
sorrowful way. Try to make happiness out of it, and if you can not,
let it be forgotten."

As we sat talking very softly at the open window of the dark room
there was a knock at the door. I hoped it was Robert, and I waited
breathlessly for his voice and step. But it was not Robert.

"It is a man from The King's Arms. He has brought a letter. I think it
is for you, Milly," said Mother.

She was striking a light as she spoke, and I took the letter from her
hand.

"It is from Robert," I said. "He is at the King's Arms. He would not
disturb us so late tonight, but he will be with us after breakfast
tomorrow morning."

"That was thoughtful and kind all round," answered Mother, and she
continued, "we had better try to sleep, Milly. There are three hard
days before you." Then she suddenly turned to me, and said in a little
eager way, "O Milly, I do want to go to Liverpool with you! I do want
to go so much! Do you think Father will spare me?"

"Mother, dear Mother! He must spare you! I will ask him in the
morning."

In the morning Robert came in like sunshine, just as we were finishing
breakfast, and in the pleasant stir of his advent, I asked Father for
Mother's company to Liverpool. "We shall be off before noon,
Saturday," I said, "and she can return to Manchester, stay with Jane
over Sunday, and go to Kendal on Monday. Let her go with us, Father."

Father was easily entreated, and then Mother was as excited as a
little child. She wanted new strings to her best bonnet, fresh laces
for her gray bombazine dress, and there was a button off her best
gloves. So in these and kindred duties for the children, the day
passed. We smiled and made believe we were pleasantly occupied, but
Father knew, and I knew, it was the last day we should ever spend
together. The heart-breaking pathos of those three words--_the last
day_, lay underneath all our pleasant words and smiles. We were really
dying to each other every hour of that last day. In after years when
the fire of life has cooled down, we wonder why we felt so keenly, and
how we endured it!

Fortunately the strain was in a measure lifted early the next morning.
We were to leave at nine o'clock and every one was busy dressing or
breakfasting. When the carriage was at the door, and I had kissed my
sisters, I looked around for Father. "He is in his room," said
Alethia, and as she spoke, I heard him walking about. I went to him,
and when he saw me enter, he knew the parting moment had come. He
stood still and stretched out his arms, and I clung to him whispering
"Father! My Father! I must go!"

Tenderly he stooped and kissed me, saying, "Dear, my dear! My Milly! I
know not where you are going, and Robert could not tell me. But this I
know, wherever your lot may be cast, '_your bread shall be given, and
your water sure_.'"

Then Mother called us, and we went down together. Mother and the
children were in the carriage. Robert was waiting for me. Without a
word Father kissed us both, and the carriage went hurriedly away but I
watched as far as I could, the white lifted head, and eager eyes of
the dear soul I was never to see again in this world. He lived about
nine years after our parting, and died as he wished to die--"on a
Sabbath morning, when the bells are ringing for church." Perhaps he
had some primitive idea of the glory of the Church Celestial, and some
hope that he might serve in it. Only to be a doorkeeper in His House,
would be heaven to his adoring love.

  "O Strong Soul, by what shore
  Tarriest thou now? In some far shining sphere,
  Conscious or not of the past,
  Still thou performest the Word
  Of the Spirit, in whom thou didst live."

       *       *       *       *       *

We reached Manchester in the afternoon, and Robert went to see some
old business friends to bid them good-bye, while Mother, I, and the
children were thankful to lie down and sleep a little for we expected
Jane to dinner, and I was anxious to have a pleasant evening with her.
I had not seen her since her marriage, and I wondered what change it
had made.

She was the same quiet, authoritative woman I remembered so well, and
it being a warm evening she was dressed in a lilac muslin, which was
very becoming to her. Her plentiful pale brown hair was neatly
arranged; I am sure there was not one hair out of its proper place. I
was glad she was not changed; above all I relished the rather advisory
manner of "eldest sister" which she still retained. I would have been
disappointed if Jane had not found something to counsel, or censure,
or warn me about. She looked into my face with the kindest blue eyes,
and remarked,

"You are still very pretty, Amelia, and quite young in appearance,
too; almost too girlish for a married woman."

I laughed a little and asked, "Did you expect marriage to make me ugly
and old, Jane?"

"I have known it to do so."

"Not in your case, any more than in mine," I answered. "You are
handsomer than I ever saw you."

"Yes, I dare say that is so. I was worn out when I married. Poor
Father's affliction is most trying on those who have to witness it,
and assist him."

"Alas!" I said, "Mother feels it much. She will not live long, unless
she has some help."

"Father will have no one but Mother near him. Men are selfish always,
and particularly selfish when they are sick. Their wives have to be
Providence to them. I pity you, Amelia."

"What for, Jane?"

"Of course it is to please your husband you are going to America. You
never would have thought of such a piece of folly."

"When I was six years old, I thought of going to India and China and
many other places."

"As a missionary. That makes all the difference. If I understood
Mother, you and Mr. Barr are going to America, in order to make more
money; leaving a Christian land, to live among pagans for a little
money. I do not think that is a justifiable cause, Amelia."

"But Jane, we are not going among pagans. The United States is a
Christian country, and----"

"Oh, I have read the missionary reports! In the big cities, like New
York, I suppose the people are Christianized, but on what they call
the frontier, I am told there are few churches. Will you go to the
frontier?"

"I think so."

"Well, dear, do not lose your _assurance_. Among Indians, negroes,
cowboys, and atheists of all kinds, hold fast your _assurance_. Let
all see that you are a child of God."

"You need not fear for me, Jane. I will be good, or at least try to be
so."

Then Mother and Robert came into the parlor together, and a servant
followed them with dinner. Robert was in high spirits. He had spent
three or four happy hours among old business friends. Jane looked at
him with evident pleasure and he drew her out in her best vein, which
was a kind of humorous criticism; she gave him personally its first
clever shafts. We had a cheerful meal, and I wondered how Mother and I
could laugh, when these were probably--and as time proved--our last
hours together. Ah! I have learned since then, how often women laugh
when care or poverty or cruel pain, fiercer than the Spartan fox, is
gnawing their trembling, suffering hearts.

I do not remember whether Jane's husband or any of her three children
were with her. If they were, I have totally forgotten them, which
under the circumstances is very likely. When it was time for her to
go, I went with her to the dressing-room, and as she was tying her
bonnet, she said approvingly, "I like your husband, Amelia, but I fear
he is just a little 'gay.' Is he not?"

"Yes," I answered, "he is a little gay, but I like it. Jane are you
going to Liverpool to see us off. If so, you could bring Mother back
with you."

"I asked Mother about the time of sailing," she replied. "Mother said
it would be about noon. That renders it impossible. I have so many
duties at home, and I am a late riser. I think it is a great folly to
make a parting that is a grief to both of us, hours longer than it
need be."

"You are right, Jane," I answered. "We will say good-bye here," and I
kissed her fondly; for I loved her. We had a thousand memories in
common, and she was inextricably bound up with my happy early life. I
did not see her again for nearly forty years, and I have sometimes
wished I had not seen her then; for the long slow years had brought
her many sorrows, and had dealt hardly with the beautiful Jane of my
youthful memories. But it was evident to me that she lived among
things unseen, as well as things seen, and that the mystical appetite
for religious service, which she possessed in her youth, had grown
steadily. She valued things at their eternal, not their temporal
worth. I was then in the first flush of my literary success, but I
felt humbled before her. She was still my eldest sister.

After Jane had gone, we talked the midnight away but I was very weary
and fell fast asleep in my chair, Mother's low, soft monotone in my
ears. For the last time, she had charmed me to sleep. I slept that
night until the daylight woke me. Then there was a little hurry, and
we only reached the _Atlantic_ half an hour before she sailed. We
were all cheerful; Mother had set that tone for our last hours
together. "I shall not shed a tear," she said. "Robert has promised me
that you shall come to visit us in two years, and he always keeps his
word." Like a little child she accepted a promise; she never thought
of its being broken. She was delighted with our cabin, and delighted
with the ship, and was talking comfortably to me about the quickness
with which two years would pass, when there was the ringing of a bell
and an officer politely reminded her, that the call was for those
going on shore. She started to her feet with a little cry--a cry like
that of a wounded animal--I shall never forget it, and then sobbed,

"Milly! Milly! Two years, dear!"

I could not speak. I cannot write it. They led her away. In a few
moments we were parted forever in this world.

I stumbled down to my cabin, and found Robert with the children. There
were tears in his eyes, but none in mine. I bowed down heavily as one
that mourneth for his mother, but I did not find tears till I was
alone with God, and had my baby at my breast. For Fate or Force seemed
closing around me, and but one way stood before me--the way this man I
had chosen for my husband, should choose to go. He had already taken
me from my father, my mother, my sisters, and my home; the friends of
my youth, the land of my birth, what, and where next? Then I glanced
at the babe in my arms, and she smiled at me, and with that love and
hope counseled me, for in my soul I knew:

  "'Twould all be well, no need to care,
  Though how it would, and when, and where,
  I could not see, nor yet declare.
  In spite of dreams, in spite of thought,
  'Tis not in vain, and not for naught,
  The good wind blows, the good ship goes,
  Though where it takes me, no one knows."

Very soon Robert, who had carried Mary to the deck with him, returned
and I was able to meet him with a smile. "It will be lunch time in ten
minutes, Milly," he said.

"I will not go to lunch today," I answered. "They will bring me
something for Mary and myself, and after lunch we shall try to sleep.
So, Robert, do not disturb us till four o'clock." However, after lunch
I was far from sleep, though the children were good enough to let it
take care of them. Then I sent for the stewardess and asked her to
hire me a woman from among the steerage passengers, who could assist
me in nursing and caring for them. She said, "That can be quickly
done;" then she pointed out a siding for the sofa, which slipped
easily into places prepared for it, and so made a safe cot for Mary to
sleep in.

In two or three hours I had a proper nurse, had put the cabin into
comfortable order, and had made all other necessary arrangements for
as regular a life as was possible on shipboard. Then I was tired, too
tired to dress for dinner, but when the gloaming came I went to the
deck with Robert. The blessed sea breeze, full of the potent magic
savors of ozone and iodine, soon lifted up my weary body, and my soul
and my flesh caught hope and courage, and I talked bravely with Robert
of the new life before us.

An hour later I saw a little company gathering near us, and as they
turned their faces to the vanishing land, a clear vibrant voice full
of pathos started Thomas Haynes Bayly's unforgettable song, "Isle of
Beauty, Fare Thee Well." They sang it with wonderful feeling, and drew
a silent crowd of listeners around them. And as they sang my sorrow
seemed to escape on the sweet, sad melody, to vanish, to flutter away,
and I went back to our cabin, saying softly as I went:

  "Land where all my loved ones dwell,
  Isle of Beauty, fare thee well!"

I found Mary sleeping, but the baby was awake, and I thought it would
then be well to carry out an intention I had cherished for some time.
I sent away the nurse, and asked Robert to unfasten the small trunk
which we had with us. As soon as this was done I said, "I want some
night clothing out, Robert; will you hold _Lilly_ for a few minutes?"

He looked at me inquiringly, and said, "_Lilly!_ Is it to be that? She
was baptized Eliza."

"I know," I answered, "but think a moment, Robert. That name would
soon become a trial. It is too full of unhappy memories. The child
might suffer in more ways than one from being linked with it, and your
mother will never know."

"Perhaps you are right. We might love her too much, or go to the other
extreme. But why Lilly?"

"Because Lilly is the Scotch abbreviation for both Elizabeth and
Eliza. So she will retain her baptismal name."

"Very well," he replied, "that is a good reason for Lilly."

So from that hour to this, my second daughter has been called Lilly.



CHAPTER XI

FROM CHICAGO TO TEXAS

  "Our Happiness foundered by one evil Soul."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "God accomplishes that which is beyond expectation."

  "Whatever we gain through suffering is good; we have bought it; we
  have paid the price."


One voyage across the ocean is very much like another, and the
majority of my readers have doubtless taken several. Some may even
remember the old steamship _Atlantic_, for I think she was making her
regular trips when the war of 1860 began. The great difference between
voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on
them. We met good and evil fortune on the Atlantic, and Robert
perversely chose the latter. The good fortune came in a Mr. and Mrs.
Curtis of Boston. They had been to Geneva, Switzerland, to place their
sons in some famous school there, and were returning home. It is
fifty-nine years since we traveled together, but I have the clearest
and pleasantest remembrance of them. Mr. Curtis and Robert were much
together, and Mrs. Curtis sat a great deal with me and my children,
helping me to take care of them, and telling me about Boston
housekeeping and social life. I was charmed with her descriptions, and
longed to settle in Boston beside her.

Our evil fortune was represented by a man of about sixty years of age
whose name I will not write. He had a military title and reputation,
had been Governor of his state, was very rich, and had great political
influence. He sat opposite to us at the dining-table, and I noticed
him the first meal that I ate in the saloon. For he watched Robert
with eyes like those the evil angels may look out with, and Robert
appeared quite unconscious of the hatred in their glances. But I said
nothing about my observations, for within the past few days I had
discovered that there was one phase of life, in which my husband was a
stranger to me. I had known him hitherto in a very narrow domestic and
social circle. I saw him now among business men, lawyers, financiers,
and men of the world and fashion. I was astonished. I wondered how I
had dared to contradict and advise, and even snub a man whom every one
appeared to court and admire; for I can truly say, he held the crowd
in his open hand.

For several days his enemy watched him, then I saw them frequently
together and apparently on the most friendly terms. One afternoon when
I was on deck and watching them in eager conversation, Mrs. Curtis sat
down at my side. She looked at them, and then at me, and asked, "Do
you like that acquaintanceship?"

"No," I answered. "He is a bad man."

"The Governor?"

"Yes."

"Perhaps you should not say that--you may not be right."

"I am right," I replied. "I think he knows every sin that has a
name."

"I wish," she continued, "that Mr. Barr did not listen so eagerly to
him. We were in hopes of your coming to Boston, but now that he has
caught the Western fever, nothing will cure him but an experience of
the West. Mr. Curtis thinks you are both unfit for Chicago."

"I know we are."

"Poor child!" she exclaimed. "I intended to have taken such good care
of you."

Then tears sprang to my eyes. I leaned my head against her breast, and
if she had been an Englishwoman, she would have kissed me.

It was, alas, quite true that Robert had fallen completely under the
spell of his enemy. His lure had been the wonderful West, which Robert
was now determined to visit, before we definitely settled, "We will go
as far as Buffalo, Milly," he said to me, "see Niagara, and cross into
Canada. We may find just what we like in Canada. If so, we shall still
be under the British flag. If we do not like Canada, then we will go
westward to Chicago."

I pleaded for a trial of Boston, but Robert would not listen to me.
"Every one on the ship says, 'Go west,'" he replied. "Let us see with
our own eyes, and judge for ourselves."

I was grieved and offended at the time, but I can understand now the
influence primarily working against Boston. He longed for rest and
travel and change. All his life he had been kept strictly to his
lessons, and his business. He had never had a holiday, unless his
mother and sister and her children were with him, and this going where
he liked, seeing what he liked, doing what he liked, and resting
whenever he wished to rest, possessed irresistible charms. He could
not deny himself. He could not go to Boston and settle at once to
business of some kind. I do not blame him. He had had no youth. He was
naturally poetic and romantic, but

  "Even his childhood knew nothing better,
  Than bills of creditor and debtor----"

while the modern spirit of travel and recreation was just beginning to
make both age and youth restless and expectant.

Yet at that time I could not reason thus, and the refusal of the kind
offers made us by Mr. and Mrs. Curtis, appeared to me a wilful
flinging away of good fortune. Also, I apprehended nothing but danger
and sorrow from any step taken on the advice of a man, whom nothing
could make me trust. Alas! an apprehended danger can not always be a
defended one. I believed firmly that heaven chalked the line that
brought us to New York. I saw no white road leading us to Chicago. I
felt that in turning away from Boston we had lost opportunity's golden
tide.

On the fifth of September, A.D. 1853, we landed in New York. The
_Atlantic's_ dock was on the East River, and we went to a large hotel
some where in the lower part of the city. I think just below Trinity
Church. Robert was like a boy out on a holiday. Everything delighted
him. We rode about seeing what there was to see, and among other
things the Crystal Palace; but as we had spent three weeks at the
original in London in 1851, we were disappointed. However, I was
greatly pleased with the dry goods stores and astonished to find
dresses ready made, more so when I discovered I could slip comfortably
into them, and that they looked as if they had been expressly made for
me. It was always such a labor to have a dress made in England, that I
laughed with delight at this sensible convenience, and bought many
more than I needed. I was afraid I might never have such another
opportunity.

As I call to remembrance the events of those few days in New York of
1853, I smile and sigh over our ignorance and our happiness. For
instance when driving about the city one day, I saw exposed for sale
what appeared to me some wonderfully large plums. I asked Robert to
buy some, and he did so but when I tasted them, I was astonished and
disappointed. They did not taste like plums; they did not taste nice
at all. In fact they were tomatoes, and I was about to throw them away
when the Irishman who was driving us asked for them, saying, "They
would be fine with his supper's beefsteak." Then I laughed, for I
remembered _Mr. Pickwick_ and what came of his beefsteak and tomato
sauce. But I had really never before seen a tomato, for in the North
of England they could not ripen, and I think it is only under glass
they ripen in the southern counties. At this day they are plentiful in
all parts of England, but they are imported from the Channel Islands
and the Continent.

Such small blunders were common enough, and gave us much amusement;
for seeing that I could not alter Robert's arrangements, I entered
into all that interested him with that simplicity of heart, which
accepts the inevitable and enjoys it. Besides, I was then only
twenty-two years old, and twenty-two has hopeful eyes, and sees things
on their best side. But in less than a week, we had exhausted the New
York of 1853, and we went to Buffalo. I remember our ride up the banks
of the Hudson very well, but no kind angel whispered me then, that I
should, after thirty-five years had come and gone, make my home
there.

I was delighted with Buffalo, especially with the picturesque beauty
of its frame residences. A house made of wood was a wonder to me, and
their balconies and piazzas, their little towers and pinnacles, and
their green outside blinds, made me long for such a home. But we only
remained two days in Buffalo, and then went to Niagara, which
disappointed me at first, though the roar of its waters remained in my
ears for many days. The change into Canada was remarkable. I know that
in England the crossing of the Tweed, makes you immediately sensible
that you are in Scotland; but this sensation of passing rapidly from
one country to another, was much stronger in stepping from the United
States into Canada, and the Scottish atmosphere was intensified as
soon as you entered a house or spoke to any one.

"Well, Robert," I said, "we did not cross the Atlantic for this kind
of thing. Let us go back to New York."

"This kind of thing, seems very comfortable and respectable," answered
Robert, a little piqued, "but as you do not like it, we will go on to
Chicago. You know, Milly, we have come into an unknown world, and we
must take it as we find it."

It would be tedious to follow our wanderings from place to place for
the next six weeks, but at last I rebelled against any more travel. "I
am tired to death, Robert," I said. And he smiled and told me, that I
never looked better. "And the children are too tired to sleep; Mary is
crying to stop," I added. That was a thing to be looked after. For to
an English and Scotch husband--and for anything I know to the
contrary, to all kinds of husbands, the children are sacred objects,
and of far greater importance than the wife. The children are his;
they are flesh of his flesh, and blood of his blood. They represent
his family, and if they were lost, there is no positive certainty of
there being more. But wives are only relatives by marriage, and wives
are certain and plentiful. At least I never saw a man, however old and
ugly, that did not consider himself eligible for any woman he fancied.
So when Robert heard the children were weary, he blamed himself--and
me, at once.

"We have been very thoughtless," he said. "We ought to have considered
their youth. Of course they could not endure the travel we enjoyed.
What do you think? Shall we stay in Chicago? It appears to me as
likely a place as any I have seen."

"Very well," I answered. "Only, dear Robert, let us have a home, one
of those dear little wooden cottages. Four or five rooms to begin
with, will do."

He laughed at what he called my "primitive ideas" and went to look for
a cottage, while we stayed in the Sherman House. But for two days he
found nothing "fit to live in" and on the third day, said he was going
to the North Side. "They tell me," he added, "it is the aristocratic
part of the city, and I suppose rents will be high."

"Well," I replied, "we have a saying in England, that we should choose
a house beyond our means, dress up to our means, and live below our
means."

About noon he came home satisfied. He had found exactly what he
liked--"a new house, just finished, the only brick house on the North
Side."

"Brick!" I exclaimed.

"Yes. So comfortable. Mr. Wadsworth's big house is just a little
nearer the lake, General Butterfield's directly opposite, and the
Ogdens' not far away. You will like it, Milly."

"Have you decided to rent it, Robert?"

"I have rented it. After lunch, leave the children with Nora, and let
us go to buy the furniture."

In going through this house, I saw that it was large enough for a
family of fourteen, and I proposed that we only furnish at present
the rooms we were going to use. Reluctantly Robert agreed to this
proposal, and reluctantly also, he submitted to my "primitive
ideas" regarding the furnishing. But in two or three days, we had at
last a comfortable home, though the little wood cottage had not
materialized.

Then Robert rented a small office on Lake Street, and advertised
himself as an accountant, and soon appeared to be very busy and very
happy. Every night when we were sitting together, he told me wonderful
stories about the big fortunes made so rapidly in Chicago, and was so
excited over them, I could not help an anxious look at his shining
eyes and flushed face. Generally I discredited these reports, and
answered, "There is no easy way to wealth, Robert. Don't believe in
impossibilities."

"They happen every day in Chicago," he would reply. "I wish that I had
come here ten years ago. I should have been a rich man now."

It was in this exaggerated spirit he met his new life, and there was
no Mr. Curtis near to check his impetuosities. I wonder whether I was
happy at this time. I have no doubt I appeared so, but I must have
been very lonely. It was different with Robert. Every day he made
fresh friends and he began to join societies for this and that
purpose, and seemed to be in constant request. But it was Thanksgiving
Day when I received my first caller, a Miss Dagget, the sister of the
principal grocer in Chicago. She lived so close to me, that we could
stand at our doors and converse without raising our voices.

From her conversation, however, I learned that I had been thoroughly
discussed. Mrs. Nicholson had thought from our taking such a large
house, that I might be going to keep boarders, and Mrs. Ogden had said
she had heard, I was very well educated, and what a charity to the
North Side it would be, if I opened a school and saved the children,
the danger of crossing the dreadful draw-bridge. I said nothing at the
time about Mrs. Ogden's idea, but it took possession of me, and the
result was that I opened a ladies' school on the second of January,
1854. I limited the number of pupils to four boarders, and twelve day
scholars, and made the terms prohibitive to all but the class, whose
patronage I desired. They were indeed the cause of much conversation,
but those paying them were proud of the circumstance, and liked to
make it known by their complaints. It was their privilege, and did me
more good, than harm.

A week before school opened, my number was complete, the spare rooms
were furnished for the four boarders, and I had written to a New York
Agency to send me a resident teacher who could speak French and teach
music. My first pupil was one of the boarders, a Miss Sarah Morgan, a
lovely affectionate girl about fifteen years old. I have not thought
of her for many a year, but as soon as I began this sentence, she
came smiling into my memory, and I see her childish face with its
apple bloom complexion, and her fair brown hair, just as I saw her the
first day she came to me.

After the opening of my school there was no lack of callers and social
invitations, but as it was impossible to accept all, I declined all;
yet in many other ways, I received constant tokens of appreciation and
good will. I began to be really happy. My children, my house, and my
pupils kept every moment busy; and when the session closed early in
June, the school had proved itself a financial success, and there were
few women on the North Side more popular than myself. Of course I
enjoyed it. Work was always a necessity to me and it is my belief,
that when people work hard, they like to do it.

One afternoon during the vacation a brother of one of my pupils
passed, and asked me if I had "read today's paper;" I said, "I have
not;" and he replied, "Then I will leave you mine." After he had gone,
I opened it without interest, but instantly saw Robert's name in large
type. It was above an account of a Know Nothing meeting; he had been
speaking against the society, and the man I feared, in favor of it.

The speeches did not concern me, it was the fact that this man was
in Chicago, and associated with Robert, that filled my whole
consciousness. I looked backward a few weeks, put this and that
together, and was then sure he had been in Chicago a long time.
Robert's silence troubled my very soul. Confused intuitions,
obscure presentiments, took possession of me. My mind reached
backward and forward, and began to foresee and foretell, and I had a
cold shudder at my own thoughts.

Then I went into the house, for my anxiety usually runs into motion.
If I sit still and bear it, I have become stupefied, while motion
calls up whatever comfort or strength I can lay hold of. But during
the last busy half-year, I had lost something of my general spiritual
aptitude, at least the stream of that life ran deeper and darker, and
I could remember nothing that had any message for me. For I had not
then read, or I should not have forgotten John Milton's fine advice
against an unhappy looking forward to doubtful or questionable
misfortunes:

                    "Be not o'er exquisite
  To cast the fashion of uncertain evils,
  For grant they be so, while they rest unknown,
  Why need a man forestall his day of grief,
  And run to meet what he would most avoid?"

I said nothing to Robert until after supper, then when he was placidly
smoking, I told him what I had read. Was it true, I asked.

"Yes, Milly, it was true," he replied.

"Then that man is here? In Chicago?"

"Yes."

"Has he been here long, Robert?"

"About three months."

"And you never told me?"

"You hate him so bitterly. Why should I annoy you by speaking of
him?"

"But, Robert, if talking about him, was also talking about yourself?"

"I did not say it was."

"Have you anything to do with him? Tell me truly, Robert."

"Yes, I have unavoidably found myself compelled to have a great deal
to do with him."

"How?" I persisted.

"You have read 'how' in one way, Milly. He himself asked me to answer
his speech. He thought that I, being an alien, would make a proper
opponent. I am a fair speaker, and I think I have learned a little
about American politics."

"Robert!" I said, "you have no more knowledge of American politics,
than a Hindoo has of skating."

He did not contradict me; he never did that, but he changed the
conversation, and I had hard work to keep my temper under control.
Perhaps I did not succeed very well; for when he bid me good night he
said, "Milly, we will not be cross about nothing. I do not interfere
with your scholars, and you must give me the same freedom. I have to
transact business with men I do not personally like, and the man you
hate so unnecessarily, has never done me any harm."

"Robert!" I answered, "listen to me this once, and I will say no more.
Remember what Peter Grey told you. He said, 'I have escaped from him,
as a bird from the fowler'--furthermore, that he hated young men, and
found his pleasure in their destruction--that he stalked them as a
Highland Chief stalks stags for his amusement. Such a man must either
be insane, or have a fiendish disposition. Are you going to be his
next victim?"

"My dear Milly," he answered, "you let your imaginations and
superstitions rule you too much. I have often heard you say, that we
only meet the people in this world, we are meant to meet." Then he
kissed me, and I felt that I had done more harm than good. I had
promised not to speak on this subject again, so I had virtually
released him from any similar confidence. In the dark I went over and
over our conversation, and wrung my hands miserably at the mistake I
had made. Yet perhaps it was a fatality. Perhaps I was too imaginative
and superstitious. Well then, there was nothing to be had, and nothing
to be saved by interfering with destiny. I tried to dismiss the
subject, and to take my life day by day and be happy.

In September the school opened with a full roll, and the session was a
remarkably pleasant one. On the following Christmas Day I had a third
daughter whom we called Edith. After this event, all went well until
the extreme heat compelled the closing of the school a few days before
the usual time. Both I and my children felt it severely and Edith was
very ill. She never quite recovered, but slowly withered away like a
plucked flower. In August a terrible fear came into my heart, and on
August the twentieth, while my dear mother was watching every mail for
some word of my promised visit, I was watching my dying daughter.

But much as I suffered, Robert suffered more. He was devotedly
attached to this child, for she showed from her earliest consciousness
a singular love for him. She was never quite happy but in his arms.
She wept whenever he left her. How ever sick or sleepy she was if he
entered the room she entreated him with smiles and little happy cries
to take her in his arms; and when all was nearly over, at the last
moment, she opened her eyes, looked at him, and with a smile passed
away forever.

We were broken-hearted. I know not how I endured the next few days. It
was a new sorrow. I would hear of no comfort. Robert bore his grief
trustfully and manfully, but I would not listen to anything he could
say. I could not pray. I could only think of the little soul
struggling through the nameless woe with the angel of the river, and
of the multitude of little children at the same hour passing with
her,

  "... as a stream across the stream,
  Or as visions across a dream,
  For as clouds of doves to their windows fly,
  The clouds of souls unto God flit by."

She was such a tender little soul, if she stumbled in the river who
would care for her? Numberless mothers must have had such fears, and
the sweetest and tenderest of singers, answered them a few years ago:

  "Day and night Christ standeth,
  Scanning each soul as it landeth;
  Over the floods He bendeth,
  With a face that hath once been dead.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "And when the children come
  To pass through the dreary River,
  Christ stretcheth forth His hand,
  A gentle piercèd hand,
  And draws them safe to Land."

To those who know nothing of this loss, my grief may seem unreasonable;
but the fathers and mothers who have turned away from an open grave,
blind with tears, and with heart and flesh failing them, _they_ will
understand.

Yet I had not been left without intelligence of the coming sorrow.
Three nights before her death, at the midnight, as I lay thinking
with the child asleep in my arms, the warning notice came. I knew
then, that some of my family were called, and my thoughts went at once
to my father. I either did not, or would not associate it with my
child, until the symptoms of her dissolution were at hand. If it was
an inimical Presence that predicted such relentless, inexorable doom,
who would carry my little child safe through the river of death, and
up to the celestial city? And as I mused on these things, a sweet
Spanish tradition read years before came into my memory--that an angel
sat outside the gate of heaven with shoes for the barefooted babies,
who came there unshod--and I remembered that Edith had been laid to
rest unshod, and had a passionate fit of weeping.

But comfort was at hand. The thought of the _gate of heaven_ made me
remember that heaven had twelve gates, and that they were _always
open_. So then, when God took from us our beloved, He did not shut
them up in the heavenly city. Its twelve gates stand open, and the
angels ascend and descend; and go in and out on their heavenly
messages. Jacob saw them; weeping mothers and good and suffering souls
have seen them. No doubt, the child would be safely carried home. And
I blessed God for the smile with which she went. Surely

  "The Shepherd from His Fold,
  Had smiled and drawn her unto Him."

It was this thought which enabled me to dry my eyes, and to set my
hands to the duty they had to perform. For the school was to meet late
in September, and I had not done anything, as yet, towards the welfare
of the next session. Yet I knew that if it was to be successful, I
must set the key-note of enthusiasm and delight in the work, or all
would be done with the left hand only; knew that if I went into the
school room alert, and smiling, and with the air of a teacher
expecting great things, I would have cheerful, busy, ardent girls
around me; while if I showed depression and indifference, my attitude
would have the same effect upon their spirits and ardor, that the
putting down of the soft pedal has on the tones of a piano. For it is
not what a teacher does, it is what _she makes her scholars do_, that
is of lasting value.

Knowing these things well, because taught by experience, I tried to
give myself to my duties with all my heart, and

  "So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
    So near is God to man,
  When Duty whispers low, '_Thou must_,'
    The Soul replies, '_I can_.'"

The school opened well, so well, that the proprietor of the house we
rented, asked me if I would like him to build a larger house with
suitable school room attached. And this question revealed to me my
innermost and as yet unacknowledged feeling--_that we should not
remain much longer in Chicago_. I told myself that the climate was too
cruel, the summer heat and the winter cold were alike dangerous. Croup
lurked in the nursery all the time; I never went to bed without its
remedies at hand; and again the school had unavoidably out-stripped
its limits. At present it was too large; its demands exhausted even my
young, fresh faculties, and physical strength. If I increased it, I
should require more room and more assistance. I told myself these were
my reasons for desiring a change, but down in my soul I knew they were
only the reasons I should assign to the world at large--the deep,
underlying motive beyond all others, and above all others, was
Robert's evident and constant anxiety. He came home every night
mentally exhausted. It was not his grief for Edith's loss; no, he
sought me in that trouble, and we comforted each other. It was no
God-sent trouble of any kind, or he would have done the same thing and
I thought, and feared, but knew nothing certain.

One day about the middle of November, he returned home in such evident
distress, that I could no longer keep silence. "Are you ill, dear
Robert?" I asked.

"No, Milly," he replied. "I am as well as a man can be, who is worried
to death nearly."

He was lying on the sofa, and I went close to him, and with kisses and
sweet words begged to share his worry.

"Is it business?" I asked.

"Yes, and no. I could manage the business end, if it was not for that
man. You know who I mean?"

"Yes, I know. What is the matter now? Tell me, dear."

"I must. You will have to know, for in that quarter it is now kill, or
be killed. He has made life too intolerable--and I struck him today.
He promised me full payment, and he is able to keep his promise."

"Then you must go away. He provoked that blow, _because his revenge is
ready_. You must go at once--tonight--do not wait for the morning."

"I have no money. I cannot go. I will not be driven away by him."

"You do not want that creature to spill your life in the dust of
Chicago! You do not want to commit murder! That part of the subject is
settled. Where then will you go? You must have thought of this
necessity as certain."

"I have. I will say I am going to Kansas City, and go a little way in
that direction--then cross to a line by which I can reach Cairo, and
at Cairo take a boat down the Mississippi to some southern town. There
I will wait for you, and we will go forward to Texas."

"Wait at Memphis," I said.

"Why Memphis?"

"I do not know, Robert. The word came inadvertently to my lips. It is
therefore a word from Intelligence beyond mine. Say Memphis, Robert."

"Very well."

"Go tomorrow night," I urged, "at the latest."

"I will try. I must see Peter Grey in the morning, and leave my
affairs with him."

"Do you trust him?"

"Not much. As for money----"

"I have one thousand dollars saved, Robert. Take half of it. With the
rest I will close up the house and school affairs, and come to you. Be
ready for Texas when I come."

"God be thanked for you, Milly! You have given me a new life!" he said
lovingly. We talked the matter over in every light, found out the best
trains, and I promised to have a small valise packed for him. He was
to come home to get it and the five hundred dollars at six in the
evening.

All day I went about like a woman in a dream. When the clock struck
six, every stroke was on my heart. Then I waited for the turn of the
key in the lock, and the sound of footsteps. All was strangely silent.
I was sick with fear. Seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven o'clock struck,
but Robert did not come--did not even send any message. I could wait
no longer. Something must be done, but what? Whom must I go to now,
that it was near midnight? My own household was fast asleep. Peter
Grey was not now at his office. I did not know where he lived. There
were no telephones in those days. I watched and watched for a
policeman, but none came to this quiet corner of the North Side; and I
could not leave a house full of girls, and my own children alone. I
slept none all night. I was on the alert for any call that might come.
It was bitterly cold. I went down stairs and brought up coal, and
sitting down by the fire, suddenly found my dress, which was of silk,
burning. I put the fire out, and then saw it was six o'clock. The
servants began to move about; I went to my room. Oh, if the daylight
would come! And I had to go to the breakfast table, and give the
orders for the day's work. I do not know how I did it. I was dressing
to go to Peter Grey's office when he called.

The thing that I feared had come to me. Robert was in the power of his
enemy, and there followed an interval of ten days of supreme agony and
suspense; then Robert was triumphantly justified in the sight of all
men. But I will not, can not, enter into details. The men are both
dead--dying almost at the same moment, though Robert was in Texas, and
the other one in a far northwestern state; but I have no doubt
whatever, that Robert's soul in passing called his soul, for he told
him he would do so. I will go into no details of this tragedy, for
there is no good to be gained by compelling myself to live over again
those terrible ten days and nights. Time cancels, and I have forgiven.
But if anything could make me do this thing, it would be solely and
entirely, that I might glorify the wonderful way, in which the Great
and Holy One wrought out our salvation, and that by means so
insignificant, that even the hatred of hell had overlooked them. "We
were brought low, and He helped us." He raised up also a host of
unknown friends, and the way that had seemed impossible was made clear
and easy. I did things at that time that appear incredible to me now,
and all I did prospered.

In those days I did not think of tears, but it was then I learned to
pray, to take heaven by assault, to press forward and upward, bent on
prevailing. Such prayer is the gift of God, and when He gives it, He
gives all it asks with it. This was one of those chasms of life, for
which we must have wings--the wings of prayer.

The day after our victory was Thanksgiving Day. The scholars had all
gone home, and Robert and I were sitting still and almost speechless
in our parlor with the children playing quietly beside us. We were
both weary, and looked very much like two strong swimmers who had
just--and only just--escaped the treacherous under-current carrying
them to destruction. I was hardly able to open my eyes, and too tired
to lift the hands that hung by my side. Robert was more restless.
Finally he rose and walked about, saying softly, and in a kind of
rapture, "A wonderful Thanksgiving! We won a great victory, Milly--by
God's help!"

"Yes, God won it for us. A great victory, Robert, but after a victory,
the new situation will bring the new struggle. We must be ready for
it. What will you do now?"

"We must remain here for the present."

Just as he said these words, his assumed friend Peter Grey entered. He
had come to congratulate Robert in the first instance, but when he had
spoken of the enthusiastic partizanship of every one, he asked, "How
soon can you get away, Robert, for your life is not worth a cent
here."

"I have made up my mind to stay here, Grey."

"Let me tell you something--in fact, I came here specially to tell
you; better get away tonight. Tomorrow there will be an attempt to
arrest you for debt."

"Debt?"

"Yes, if that does not work, you will go out some day, and never come
back."

"I will go armed."

"A pistol will not help you. Some rough in the crush of the North
River Bridge, will push you into the black Illinois River, and you
will not be seen again till the ice breaks up. Then it will be an
accident. Such accidents happen too frequently to be all accidents,
and there are plenty of men--among our low aliens, who would give you
'the push' for a dollar. If you stay here, you must not leave the
house."

Grey only voiced my own fears, and I seconded his advice as urgently
as I could. Robert was unusually calm and answered, "It may be as you
say, Grey, and I will go tomorrow night."

"West, I suppose?"

"I think of Kansas City."

"That is a good place."

When he went away, I looked steadily at Robert and asked, "Will you
wait until tomorrow?"

"No, love, I will go tonight. There will be no crush on the bridge
tonight. It will be as empty as it is on Sunday."

"Why did you tell him tomorrow?"

"It is a case of life and death. I will trust no one."

"Oh!"

"He is a black Highland Celt. He would sell his brother for a bawbee.
I believe he is a spy for my enemies. Take care of him--talk as you do
_not_ mean before him."

Then we went upstairs together, and I repacked his valise, and showed
him the one thousand dollars I had saved. "I call it my emergency
fund," I said, and I counted out five hundred dollars. He quietly
pushed four hundred dollars back to me. "One hundred is sufficient for
me," he said. "It will take me to Memphis, and there I shall find work
and friends."

It was then five o'clock, and I had tea brought to the parlor
fireside, and saw that Robert had a good meal. There was no necessity
for hurrying it, and without tears, and with sad little efforts to be
hopeful and cheerful, we ate what might be our last meal together. As
we finished it, the children came in to say good night and I turned
away until that loving ceremony was over. Then I brought him his hat
and coat, and we were both silent as he put them on. Indeed there was
no room for words. All had been said. And equally it was no time for
tears. We looked at each other and parted. Until his strong, swift
steps were no longer audible on the wooden pavements, I stood at the
open door. When I could neither see nor hear him, I went in, called a
servant, and had the children's cots removed to my room and when the
fire had been rebuilt, and plenty of wood brought, I locked myself in.
That night I went to bed without prayer. I only told God, as I
undressed, that I was too tired and too sorrowful. And God knew, knew
all about it, and gave me the sweetest night's sleep I ever remember.

For while I had sunk even below the tide of dreams, some power removed
all the miserable débris of the late calamity, swept away seemingly
insurmountable obstacles, and made the way before me clear and
straight. When I opened my eyes, the old cheerful morning call of my
girlhood came pealing through my memory, "_Awake, Amelia! There is a
charge for thy shield today!_" And I knew instantly that all my old
fearlessness had come back to me. In that deep tide of unconscious
sleep I had renewed myself. I looked young and cheerful, and felt able
to manage all I had to do.

The first thing was to write to every pupil, thank them for their
sympathy and support, and bid them a final farewell. It was not likely
I should meet any of them again, and I never have; though from time to
time in later years, I have had many refreshing words from dear old
ladies, once my pupils. I wrote to each girl and enclosed a bill for
the sum due me for two months' teaching et cetera. I had small hopes
of these bills being honored in time for me to receive them, but I was
pleasantly surprised to find them, with but one exception, immediately
and generously answered. Five out of the number sent me the price of
the whole session. Three offered pecuniary assistance, if I needed it,
and every remittance was accompanied by affectionate wishes and
remembrances. The one letter of refusal, ran as nearly as I can
remember thus:

  MISSISS BARR,

  As you have not kept your bargains about your teaching, I shall
  not keep my bargains about paying for same.

The things to be taken, and the things to be left, was my next
consideration, and I went out and bought two large trunks for the
household and personal belongings, that were to go with us to Texas.
My great perplexity was to get something small enough for one person
to carry, and yet large enough to hold such clothing for myself and
children as would be necessary while traveling. The miraculous
contrivances for women's comfort in such circumstances, common enough
today, were then unknown; and I found myself left to a choice between
carpet bags, tin band boxes, and small trunks. Considering that I
would in any case be obliged to hire a man to carry either bag, box or
trunk, I chose the latter, buying also a small bag I could hang over
my arm, to carry medicines, comb and brush, and such trifles as it
might be necessary to reach quickly, or to use frequently.

Then I went through the house, room by room, selecting what was worth
while, leaving everything not likely to be of practical value in the
making of a new home. Many a heartache this task gave me; and after
the trunks had been packed, I pushed into odd corners all kinds of
pretty mementoes; one I specially remember--a tortoise shell box,
mounted and trimmed elaborately with silver. It had been given me by
my bridesmaid, and she was now dead. Somehow, I could not let her gift
go into the hands of strangers.

When the packing was finished, I began to look for a letter from
Robert. It came long before I expected it, for he had found when he
reached Cairo, that there was no boat going South for two days, and so
had taken a train for Memphis. We had not thought of this contingency,
but I was glad of it, for I immediately dispatched the two large
trunks to Memphis by train, notifying Robert to look out for their
arrival. In his letter, a very cheerful hopeful letter, he said that
he was delighted with Memphis, and was busy opening a new set of
books for the great cotton house of Calvin Fackler and Company.

I was now happy and busy, but there was much yet to be done; much that
was very difficult and hard for me to face. One thing was the little
chest of silver. It would be out of all place in our new home, and the
money it would bring more useful. I had also some jewelry I should
hardly care to wear on the frontier. It also could be turned into
money. I did not care to ask Peter Grey, or any one I knew to sell
these things for me. So I wrote to the best jeweler and silversmith in
Chicago, told him what I had for sale, and asked him to come and see
the goods. He answered my letter in person, looked at the silver and
made me an offer which I accepted. Then he asked for the jewelry, and
I showed him what I possessed. It was beautiful, but not very
valuable, the best pieces being a set of white cameos, necklace,
bracelets, and brooch. Robert gave them to me the day before our
marriage, and I had to bite my under lip as I laid them beside the
silver. I had not worn them a dozen times, and as jewelry I did not
care for them, yet--well, it was only sentiment, gold would be better.
All my pretty trifles of rings and brooches and bracelets went without
much regret. I reserved nothing but the diamond hoop guarding my
wedding ring, and those Scotch agate bracelets, which I considered
valueless and threw into a corner of my trunk. That was the end of
these things for me. I wonder who wears the white cameos today, and I
hope the silver brightens the family table of some happy and
prosperous home.

This was the hardest duty I had to do; after it, all went easily to
its appointed end. I was afraid I should have to tolerate a public
auction of my furniture, but the house was suddenly rented, and the
new comers were glad to buy all I wished to sell, and to settle at
once in a home unknowingly prepared for them. I was by this time
nearly ready to shake the dust of Chicago from my feet, and I gave
place to the new tenants cheerfully and went to the Richmond House for
a couple of days.

It was on Christmas Day, 1856, that I began my new exodus, a bitterly
cold gray day. The train left at two o'clock, and the streets were
quiet and almost deserted, save for a few pedestrians hurrying to
their homes or friends. My thoughts were full of the child I was
leaving behind me in that desolate, sandy place of graves, outside the
city, where I had suffered and lost so much.

Travel was travail then. There were no Pullman cars, and few
conveniences, and even something to eat was not always to be counted
on for long distances. But I was young and full of life and spirit,
and everybody was eager to help me. The first night I got the porter
to bring me pillows and I laid my children on the sofa at the end of
the car, and then sat down opposite to watch them. I could hardly
keep my eyes open; indeed I think I was dropping asleep, when a
kindly-looking man said, "Let me watch your children. I am used to
waking all night, and sleeping all day. I will take good care of
them."

So I left them in his care, and slept as soundly as the children did.
All the way to Cairo he looked after food, and fresh food, and fresh
milk, and anything needed for our comfort. I do not remember how long
we were in reaching Cairo. I think two days and two nights, but it
might be nearly three days, for it was dusk when we came to the place.
At that time it was not much of a place, and Dickens' description of
it, under the name of _Eden_ in "Martin Chuzzlewit" was not, I dare
say, much, if in any way, an exaggeration. It stood at the junction of
the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers down in the mud of their overflowing
waters.

My friend looked troubled as we approached the place. "You have a hard
bit to get over here," he said. "I will help you as far as possible,
but we must hire a couple of negroes to help us."

There were plenty of negroes loafing about the little station, and he
called a big black man and said, "Uncle, give this lady your arm, and
be sure to keep her on her feet." Another negro was called to carry
the trunk. Then I asked anxiously,

"The children?"

"I will take care of the children," he said; "now follow me."

It was the hardest feat I ever performed. The road was down a steep
hill, ankle deep in liquid mud of the stickiest description. The
steamer lay at the foot of this hill, and the flaming pine knot
lights, the shouts of the negro stevedores, and the swearing,
quarreling teamsters, the screams of men and women fast in the mud,
and the escaping steam and ominous ringing of a bell, were but items
in the hellish confusion. Almost fainting, and wanting one shoe, I
reached the boat at last, and sat down with a feeling of slipping
away. But the children were all right, and the trunk was there, too,
and the man who had helped me so bravely and kindly smiled, and said,
"Now you will be comfortable, and I must go, or I shall miss my
train."

I have always had a fear that I thanked him very badly, but so good a
man would forgive me for being frightened and unable to find the best
words. I never asked his name, and I do not remember that he asked
mine, but if we meet in any other life, I shall know him by the
kindness in his eyes, and the gentleness of his voice and manner.

In a few minutes the purser gave me a nice roomy cabin, and a kind
helpful old negro woman took me and the children to its comfortable
seclusion. She knew just what I needed, and just what to do for me;
and after I had put on clean clothing, she brought us a delicious
dinner in our cabin. It was one of the dinners I remember in my life.
I think I never tasted food so delicately and tastefully cooked, and
the children thought so with me. We ate and laughed and talked about
the journey, until we were satisfied and sleepy; then I just whispered
the last verse of the fourth Psalm, and lay down and slept until
bright sunshine was flooding every corner of our little chamber.

I was thoroughly refreshed and arose with all the vivid senses of a
new life. The children also rose full of excitement and expectation,
and after I had dressed them prettily, we went to the saloon and had a
wonderful breakfast, and then to the deck of the steamer. One of the
dreams of my childhood had come true. I was afloat on the Mississippi,
"The Father of Waters," as I was politely informed at least
half-a-dozen times within the first hour of my voyage. But what a
misnomer! Rolling on amid virgin forests, and young cities just
emerging from primeval mud, I silently wondered what such venerable
streams as the Euphrates and Scamander would say to this assumption of
paternity. Of the Mississippi River itself, I brought away no idea
except a dream of interminable woods, clothed in solemn gray moss,
scrambling cities perched on red or yellow bluffs, and miles of flat
dreary land baking in the blazing sunshine. I was, however, repeatedly
assured that the land was amazingly fertile, and my faith being
naturally strong, I believed it in spite of appearances.

But if nature was monotonous and uninteresting, I was surrounded by
humanity offering abundance of material for delightful speculation. I
never before saw such handsome, courtly men, such lovely, languorous,
beautifully dressed women. I never before saw women treated as if they
were angels and children as if they were cherubims, and what could I
think of men who appeared to serve every woman upon their knees. It
was not only the young and beautiful who were thus adored. There were
several aged women present, and they received the same attentions,
affectionately mingled with a respect that was almost veneration. It
bewildered me. I longed for all the Scotchmen and Englishmen I ever
knew to be on the Mississippi with me. I took great pains when I wrote
my next letter home to enlarge on this peculiarity of Southern
gentlemen, and to give it all the praise it merited. The journey
lasted more than a week I think, but in its pleasant monotony I have
forgotten the exact number of days.

We reached Memphis during the night and cast anchor in the river,
landing early in the morning. Robert was watching and waiting for us,
and looking younger and better than I had seen him for a long time; as
it was a charming morning, we walked with him to our new home, a
little cottage pretty and comfortable, which he had rented furnished
from a couple who were going to New York for four months. Memphis
seemed familiar to me. Surely I must have dreamed of that brick city,
and of those large white houses set in such roomy gardens, even then
beautiful with snowdrops and many colored crocus flowers. But the
thing that perplexed my memory was the great number of peacocks. They
seemed everywhere present--perching in every big tree, trailing their
resplendent feathers over the lawns, and spreading them out by the big
gates open to the highway, as if to arouse the envy and admiration of
the featherless creatures passing. Where had I seen this kind of
exhibition before? Never in England, never in Scotland, never in
Chicago. Well, then, I must have dreamed it.

We did not intend to remain in Memphis, and I was quite pleased with
the furnished cottage for a resting place. For I needed rest of body,
mind, and feeling, and it was a luxury to lie in the sweet warm air,
and be conscious of a daily renewing of flesh and spirit. I was happy
to see Robert so happy and free of care, so satisfied with the work he
was doing, so at one with Calvin Fackler, his employer. And as the
spring came, Memphis grew more and more lovely; it was a city of
flowers and blossoming shrubs, swaying willow trees, and gorgeous
peacocks. The inhabitants darkly handsome, gentle in manner, and never
in a hurry, seemed born for such a soft luxurious home.

Only one dark spot was in this charming city, and Robert strictly
charged me not to approach it. Of course I promised to obey him, and
of course as soon as I had done so, I began to look for some excuse to
enable me to break my promise. Every time I passed that forbidden
street the desire to go through it became stronger, and finally I
began to find pretexts for passing it, when I had no occasion to do
so. One day as I sauntered by the forbidden place, I saw two women go
down it; instantly I resolved to follow them, for they appeared to be
of the highest respectability.

I had not gone far, before I understood why the restriction had been
laid on me. The forbidden street led directly into a kind of dull,
open place, surrounded by small dark houses. There was a slight
elevation about the center made of wood, and on this sort of table a
negro woman was standing. I knew instinctively that I was in the slave
market. There was no need to go further. I stood still and looked
around. On the doorstep of most of the cabins, women were sitting
silent and apathetic. They were not talking or singing or even
sewing. Their hands lay idle or were clasped together. They paid no
attention to me, asked no favor, and appeared to be in most cases
stolidly indifferent. They were women who had lost all hope, and I
said fearfully to myself, "Just so, women will sit in hell when they
have lost their souls." And I was ashamed and repentant for the
curiosity that had led me into such a piteous place.

I resolved to confess my fault to Robert that night, but I did not do
so; something made the confession undesirable at the time, and the
longer I put it off, the less inclined I felt to be sorry about it;
the result being that I never found a convenient season for an
acknowledgment of my fault. A confession to God is so easy--you have
nothing to explain. He understands all. He accepts your contrition,
and forgives you freely. But, if we confess to man, we must be
questioned and make explanations, and very likely be led to
prevaricate, to make things better or worse, as suits the case, and so
the confession becomes as bad or worse than the fault.

In March, the dearest wish of my heart was granted me. We brought from
that desolate place of graves in Chicago, to the garden-like cemetery
in Memphis, the small coffin holding the remains of our dead child,
and laid them under a shadowy elm tree. Blue-birds were singing on its
branches as we planted the roses above her, and the sunshine fell with
a softened glory over this flowery city of the dead. After this event
the days came and went in an easy, happy way that has left few
memories; but in May, and the first days of June the heat became
unbearable, a damp, sunless heat prostrating beyond expression. I
noticed that dwelling-houses were closed rapidly, and heard every day
of some acquaintance going to the mountains, but the real cause of
this movement was not named to me until early in June. Then one
morning Robert came home an hour after leaving it, and his face was
white and grave, and he spoke too seriously to be doubted, or argued
with.

"Milly, we must leave here at sunset. Cholera has broken out in the
little town north of us, and is said to be already epidemic; here, in
Memphis, there are at least a dozen known cases of yellow fever. Last
summer there was a dreadful epidemic of it, and this summer its
recurrence seems certain."

"In Memphis, Robert?" I asked.

"Yes, here in Memphis. Mr. Fackler says we are not safe twenty-four
hours, and he told me to come home and prepare to leave by tonight's
boat. He has had the fever, and is, he thinks, immune, but he takes
his family to the mountains tomorrow. Is there much to pack, Milly?"

"Very little," I answered. "One trunk has never been opened, and from
the other I have only taken a little clothing."

Indeed, before one o'clock all we possessed, except what would go with
us, was on its way to the pier, where the goods for the _Natchez_ were
lying. Then I told Cinda, the negress who had served us ever since our
arrival, the state of the case, and gave her permission, after cooking
our dinner, to pack all the groceries left, for her own use, taking
her promise to go home the next morning. So, after our meal, there was
nothing to do but to put the house in order, turn the key in the door,
and give it to my neighbor. Before five o'clock we were ready to leave
Memphis forever, and I could not help turning my face towards the spot
where we had laid the dust of our dear Edith. In this silent farewell
I was inadvertently joined by Robert. Our eyes met, but for a few
moments we were silent. Then Robert said, "_She_ is not there!" and I
bent my head, and turned to the living. Cinda was carrying Lilly, and
Mary walked with us, holding her father's hand. In twenty minutes we
were on board the _Natchez_. I did not like her. She was not a nice
boat, and there was an atmosphere that I resented, though I knew not
_why_ I should do so. She seemed to have very few passengers, and I
only saw three women among them. There was a lack of the usual stir in
her leaving. I missed the negro songs and shouts and laughter. All was
too still. I missed the crowds usually on the bluff or pier, when a
boat was going to sail. Why were they not present? We had a large,
comfortable cabin, but it did not please me. I said to Robert the
sheets and pillow cases were not clean, but he would not let me ask
for different ones. And the heat was terrible.

We had a fairly good meal, just as the sun sunk, and, while eating
it, I heard great confusion, and the noise of many people coming on
board. They were not accompanied by any of the pleasant sounds usual
on such an event--no merry good-byes, no loving messages, no eager
calls for recognition. On the contrary, there was sobbing and crying,
and one long-drawn wail, inexpressibly mournful and savage, from a
number of voices together. I looked at the purser, who sat at the head
of the table; he seemed unconscious of the disturbance; none of the
passengers appeared to be astonished, and Robert kept his eyes on his
plate and would not look at me.

After supper I went on deck. A few men were scattered about; the
captain and officers appeared to be busy and watchful; there was an
air of constraint; and oh, the heat! The damp, foggy, suffocating
heat! There was no comfort outside, and I went in and undressed the
children. As I was doing so, Robert looked into the cabin, and said,
"I am going to the upper deck to smoke."

"Robert," I asked, "what kind of a ship is this? On the lower deck I
saw quite a crowd of people."

"What kind of people?"

"How could I tell? All was dark. I just saw that the crowd consisted
of men and women--mostly women."

"Well, dear, the boat is, I am sorry to say, a slaver; that is, it
carries the negroes collected in the states of Virginia, Tennessee,
and Kentucky down to the New Orleans slave market for sale."

"Why? There is a market in Memphis."

"It pays to send them to New Orleans. Mr. Fackler told me it was a
slaver, but advised us to take it, rather than to wait for the next
boat, which, under the circumstances, might be delayed. We are fleeing
for our lives, Milly, do not forget that, and we cannot be too
particular, lest we lose them."

I said only, "_Oh!_" but Robert understood my dissatisfaction, and
went to the deck unhappy.

I was too cross to care. Never in all my life, before or since, have I
been so long and so willingly ill-tempered. I asked myself for no
reason; I never tried to make an excuse for the mood. I just gave way
to the feeling, and rather enjoyed my wickedness. Mary looked at me
with strange questions in her gray eyes. Lilly crept into my arms, or
clung to my skirts. I petted them when Robert was not present; when he
was, it pleased me to speak sharply, or not answer their questions at
all. Evidently, then, it was Robert who had offended me. Poor fellow!
He tried being cheerful and bringing me little bits of ship gossip. I
perfectly scorned to see there was anything in life worth smiling at.
Then he tried being a little aloof, and only looked at me with hasty
glances, and I was troubled. I could not gaze into his sorrowful eyes,
and not see in them "Love's philtred euphrasy." But one day pitiful
love, nay loving pity, bid the tides of memory cast on my soul a
little spray of tears. It happened thus:

I had dressed the children, gone to the deck with them, and been
compelled to come back to the cabin immediately. The air quivered
with heat; the river, rolling rapidly onward, was like a river of
death; there was no whirr of bird's wings over it, no sound of a
bird's song on its banks, and vegetation there was apparently
withered. The blacks on the lower deck were absolutely silent and
motionless, except for a woman's long drawn wail, always quickly
stopped by a man's passionate command. The captain spoke to no one;
the officers passed constantly to and fro, always bent on some duty;
in fact, even my short observations convinced me, that every man on
the ship was watching the lower deck. I said to Mary, "Let us go to
our room, dear," and she answered, "Please, Mamma, and put on my
nightgown; these things"--pointing to her dress and shoes and
stockings--"they hurt Mary so much."

I was granting the child her request, when Robert looked into the
cabin. "I heard you and the children were on deck," he said. "I was
glad you were taking a little change. Why did you come in?"

"I could not endure the sight of the river."

"It is a grand river, Milly; you should not speak ill of it."

"It is like the river of sorrows--' Acheron sad and black and deep.' I
hate it with my whole soul," and I spoke with passionate force,
throwing down Mary's coral necklace to emphasize my words, and
scattering its scarlet and gold beads on the floor.

The child uttered a cry, and Robert said, "Hush, Mary! Papa will pick
them up for you."

"The Acheron, Milly?" he queried, as he gathered the scattered beads;
"I have heard of it, but I cannot place it. Where is it?"

"In hell," I answered.

I said no more, for Robert dropped the beads he had gathered into
Mary's pinafore, and then went to the door. As he stood with it open
in his hand, he said, "Forgive me, Milly. I have brought you much
sorrow, an Acheron of it! Poor child! I meant to make you happier than
all our dreams. God help us both!"

As he spoke I lifted my eyes to his face, and an instantaneous
penetrating sense of my sin made my soul tremble. For it was a
handsome, loving face, though it looked, after all, as one made for
suffering; half-pleading and half-defiant--the face of a man I could
hurt, but could not move.

"_Robert!_" I said, and I knew that my voice had its old loving
tones.

"Milly!" And he closed the door, opened his arms, and I buried my
contrition in his tender words and kisses. It was he, and not me, who
made excuses for my behavior; then he told me, that we should be in
New Orleans the next day, and would take as long a rest as possible at
the St. Charles Hotel.

At that time I wondered, and was ashamed and sorry for the temper I
had not been able to control, but I was far from understanding its
cause, and perhaps blamed myself a little more than I deserved. For I
am sure now, that my mind was infected by the anger, grief, and misery
with which I was traveling; that my soul had retired from her
surroundings, and so left me to the tyranny of physical emotions. The
mind, as well as the body, is subject to malignant diseases, and, in
some fretful moment, when I had surrendered myself to disaffection,
deposed will, and given all power to feeling, I had caught the mental
malady so rife a few yards away from me.

Mental, or spiritual crowding, is just as injurious as physical
crowding--perhaps more so; and, as people are made ill, or money-mad
in a great city by breathing sickly, cast-off commercial atoms, so I
was made angry, moody, sullen or passionate, by the cast-off thoughts
of the wrathful, miserable crowd of sufferers almost at my elbow. Had
I known then, what I know now, I would have called constantly for the
help of Him who was able to say to such spiritual invasions, "_Retro
me, Sathana_," "Get thee behind me, Satan," and drawn from the simple
exercise of this power, the love that is omnipotent against all evil.
And, if this excuse does not seem rational to my readers, let all who
have never been cross under the suffering caused by excessive heat or
cold, or the strain of things known and unknown, reprove me. The
number of such accusers will be few, and their words mildly
uncertain.

Two days after this explanation we were resting in the cool shadowy
rooms of the St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans. I saw nothing of this
city. Fever was present in many quarters, and Robert was anxiously
looking for some ship ready to leave the port. He found a fine bark
bound for New York, and also a small steamer going to Galveston, early
on our third day in New Orleans.

"Which shall it be, Milly?" he asked.

"Have you any doubt, Robert?" I replied.

"A little. It seems I made a great mistake in not going to Boston. Is
it too late now?"

"Yes, dear. Fortune does not stand twice on a man's threshold. New
York was our point of turning, and we turned to the West, instead of
the North."

"Mr. Curtis would not renew his offer, I suppose?"

"If he did, you would have to tell him all that has taken place."

"That would be foolish."

"It would be honorable."

"Milly, I have seen all my life, that it is very near as bad to be
accused as it is to be guilty. In a few words, a man is accused of
some cruel or dishonorable deed--four or five words will do that
wrong--but the accused, however innocent, cannot go about with the
proofs of his innocence in his pocket, and expect people to take an
interest in them. That unspeakable man knew this; he calculated on its
influence, even if his plot failed."

"Do not let us speak of him. His very name is malign on our lips.
Robert, we have been traveling thousands of miles towards Texas. Shall
we turn back now? Or shall we go on?"

"To go to New York, Milly----"

"Is to turn back."

"Then we had better go forward to Texas."

"It seems the only road open to us."

So Robert took passage for us on _The Lone Star_, bound for Galveston,
and I had a singular failure of heart and hope. I had longed so to go
to Boston, but that prayer had fallen from out my prayers and had come
to nothing. Chicago had been our first station on a wrong road; all it
promised had turned to failure, and it had taken the hand of God to
lift us out of the ruth and ruin we met in places to which we were not
sent. Yellow fever and cholera had driven us down that dreary,
steaming, terrible river. Would Texas indeed give a future to our
mistaken past? Then my eyes fell upon my children playing with such
careless sweet content in the cool, dusky room. They had no fear as to
where their father and I were going to take them. They believed in our
love and wisdom. Would God be less kind to us than we were to them?
Impossible! Then why not give Him the same child-like confidence and
affection? For, if I did not know where we were going, I did know

  "We could not drift,
  Beyond God's love and care."

That surely was sufficient.



CHAPTER XII

A PLEASANT JOURNEY

  "... all that is most beauteous imaged there
    In happier beauty; more pellucid streams
  In ampler ether, a diviner air,
    And fields invested with purpureal gleams."


We left New Orleans that evening, and, on the second morning
thereafter, we were far out on the Gulf of Mexico. The blessed north
wind was gently rocking _The Lone Star_. I could smell the sea, and
hear the beating of its great heart, as deep called unto deep. Then,
raising myself in my berth, I could see the white horses chasing each
other over the blue waters. The port hole being open, I had been
drinking oxygen all night, and I was a new woman, fit for anything,
and afraid of nothing that could come to me.

I dressed myself and the children as quickly as possible, and we went
to the saloon for breakfast. Then I sent for Robert to join us, but he
had breakfasted with the captain; so we ate the good meal leisurely,
and then went on deck. Oh, what a joy it was! How the children ran and
played in the cool, fresh breeze! How happy, and how well Robert
looked! And how heavenly it was, just to lie on the mattress the
captain had placed for me in a snug corner, and shut my eyes, and let
the wind, and the sea, and the sun revivify and remake me. I could
hear my soul laugh low within me, and, when I was a little more
rested, I knew it would break into song. In the meantime, I slept, and
slept, and the wind and the waves sung me some lullaby of my
fathers--some ancient song of love and courage, such as I used to hear
Tom Huddleston sing in the Huddleston quarter in Whitehaven. It seemed
years and years ago; though, when I tried to count them, I could only
make out that it might be six or seven, since I heard the gay sailor
lad singing to me,

  "Round the world and home again,
  That is the sailor's way."

_The Lone Star_ was a slow ship, and the wind was a little contrary,
but we were not troubled by delay. For a short space it was good to be
out of the world, and away from all its cares and obligations; we were
growing younger and stronger with every hour's respite. The passengers
were few in number, and consisted mainly of a respectable party of
German emigrants bound for the beautiful colony of New Braunfels. They
kept to themselves, but, in the still moonlit evenings, sung the folk
songs of their native land in the most delightful manner.

This pleasant journeying soon came to an end. One morning when I
awoke, the ship was as still as "a painted ship upon a painted ocean."
We were lying at anchor off Galveston bar, and, after breakfast, the
captain told us if we wished to land at Galveston we had better get
all our trunks ready. I was in favor of our landing at Galveston. From
the sea the city had a tropical and most attractive appearance. "It is
a city in a garden," I said to Robert, and he was equally pleased with
its pretty white houses, and flowery beauty, for the perfume of its
gardens was distinctly felt on the ship.

It was nearly noon ere our captain's signal received any attention,
then a small boat arrived, and every man in it was dressed in white
linen. They held a very serious conversation with our captain, and I
was sure, from his air of annoyance and perplexity, that there was
some trouble to be met; and, in a few minutes, we were made aware of
its nature.

"Gentlemen," he said, to a little group of passengers, of which Robert
and I were a part, "gentlemen, we are in an almighty fix. There is
yellow fever in Galveston--plenty of it, already--and likely to be
much more, and that's a fact. So none of us will be allowed to land
there, unless we have homes in the city, and have been made immune by
a previous attack."

The gentlemen in white then examined the passengers, and only four
were permitted to land. Our case was hopeless: we were Europeans, and
particularly liable to become infected, as were also the body of
emigrants on board. What were we to do? There were two alternatives.
We could return to New Orleans on _The Lone Star_ for the chance of
some ship going to New York, or we could continue our journey into the
interior of Texas.

"How can the journey be continued?" asked Robert.

"A small steamer will be sent this afternoon," was the answer. "It
will convey all wishing to go inland up the Buffalo Bayou to
Harrisburg. The leader of the German emigrants tells me they will be
met at Harrisburg with vehicles to carry them and their baggage to New
Braunfels."

"But we are traveling alone," continued Robert, "and how can we
proceed?"

"Where are you going to?"

"To Austin."

"Well, then, the railway goes some distance beyond Harrisburg--a few
miles--and it may yet be in service. If so, you will take it to its
terminus. There the mail coach for Austin and San Antonio will call
for mail, and no doubt it will have room for you. Travel is not very
lively at present."

"Do you know the days and hours when the mail coach is due at this
terminus?" Robert asked.

"No, indeed!" was the smiling reply. "Bud Terry makes his own hours.
But he's sure to come along sooner or later. I did hear that Bud was
down, but I don't take any stock in that report. There's a deal of
business just now between Washington and Austin, and Bud knows his
duty, and, gen'rally speaking, does it."

All this was very uncertain consolation, and Robert looked at me in
bewildered anxiety. I had a singular satisfaction in the affair. It
had been taken out of our hands. We were shut up to one road, and,
unless we were willing to go back, and gaze after our life and work
and will sailed by, we must take it. If we refused, I did not dare to
search through what hopeless, desultory ways our path might lie; for
so it happeneth to those who fear to follow the one road open to
them.

"You see, Robert," I said with a smile, "there is nothing left for us
to do, but to go to Harrisburg. Have we sufficient money to return to
New York?"

"No."

"Is it safe to return to New Orleans?"

"No; and the captain says he will not go back to New Orleans. He is
going to Pensacola."

"Where is that?"

"In Florida, I think."

I did not then know where Florida was, but knew that it was an
aggravating thing to question an anxious, undecided man about trifles,
not relevant, so I checked my desire for information and remarked
cheerfully, "Then, dear, it is Harrisburg. That far is certain. When
we reach Harrisburg, the way will open, that also is certain. One of
the German women emigrants told me, that there would be a number of
wagons waiting for them at Harrisburg. If we can do no better, they
will let us travel with them."

So we waited for the boat to take us to Harrisburg. It did not arrive
until late in the afternoon. Then, with a little effort to be merry
over our adventures, we were transferred to the small, very narrow
steamer, that was to take us up the Buffalo Bayou. And, as soon as I
was on her deck, I threw off all care and responsibility. I felt that
we were in charge of some power, who knew all about our affairs, and
who was quite able to manage them--especially as we were not.

That sail up the Buffalo Bayou was well worth while. No one taking it
in those early days can ever forget it. Certainly it is part of my
everlasting remembrances. We reached the Bayou shortly before dark, at
least it was light enough to see the famous plain of San Jacinto, on
which Houston and his eight hundred gentlemen, wiped out the Spanish
army under Santa Anna, and gave to the American settlers in Texas that
religious and civic liberty which was their right. I noticed that the
captain bared his head as he passed it, and, during the evening, he
told me the gallant, stirring story, which I have retold in my novel,
"Remember the Alamo." It made a wonderful impression on me, and I
thought how grand it would be to live among men who had at least once
in their lives scorned the mean god Mammon, and, for the faith of
their fathers, and the civil liberty without which life was of no
value, offered themselves willingly for their God and their country.

"We are going to live among heroes," I said; "and, O Robert, after a
life among weavers and traders, will not that be a great experience?"

Robert, who had been listening to the same story, answered, "I suppose
it may, Milly, but there are heroes at the loom and at the counter
both. I have known them."

Then we were actually in the dense shadows of the Buffalo Bayou, and
no one felt like talking. It was a narrow, very narrow, still, black
water. A thick growth of trees on both banks of it met above our
heads, and shut out all light, but that from the pine flambeaus,
burning not only on board, but at intervals along the shore, showing
us, with lurid, smoky lights, that we were forging our way through a
water full of alligators. Their ugly black eyes dotted it, and they
lay along the banks of the stream, barking at us, as we passed. It was
the most unearthly sail the imagination can picture, in no way made
more human by the half-clothed negroes managing the flaming torches,
and the hot, heavy atmosphere, sickly with the scent of magnolias.

Landing at Harrisburg, we found there was fever in every house. Under
the very roof which sheltered us from the poisonous night air, a man
was dying of the vomìto. Though he was at the other end of the long
building, we could only too distinctly hear the awful struggle of the
suffering soul to escape from its tortured body. I know not how it
was, but I had not then the slightest fear of the sickness. The
children slept soundly, and Robert and I sat by them, talking in
whispers, and praying silently for the poor soul crying out in its
piteous extremity. Soon after midnight a dreadful silence stole
through the house, and we fell asleep. For I knew, and was sure, that
the agony of the strong man was over; that

  "Pale from the Passion of Death,
  Cold from the cold, dark River,
  Staggering blind with Death,
  With trembling steps yet fleet,
  Over the stones of darkness,
  He had stumbled to _His feet_.
  For day and night Christ standeth,
  Scanning each soul as it landeth,
  With a face that hath once been dead,
  With a mouth which once did cry
  From that River in agony,--
  'The waters go over my head.'"

In the morning we were awakened by a pale, sorrowful woman,
barefooted, and in the simplest garment, bringing us fresh water, some
biscuits just out of the oven and a cup of tea. But she brought us
neither milk or butter. "They hev been in the way of it all night,"
she said; "they're full of death. Sure!"

She had wept till she had no tears left, and the worst was over. "He
is gone," she added. "Jim, he's gone! Eat a mouthful and get away. It
isn't safe here--and you be strangers, too."

We did as she advised, and found a queer little empty train ready to
start for a terminus some twenty miles further inland. Here there was
a rude shanty of unpainted wood, the last station of a line only just
being built; but, to our great delight, we found a large coach drawn
by four horses waiting for us. It was driven by a Mexican, beautifully
dressed in black velvet, adorned with silver lace and silver buttons.
Moreover, he had the manners of a Spanish grandee, and his way of
addressing us as _Señor_ and _Señorita_, and the nonchalant skill with
which he managed those four wild mustangs, were things to see and to
never forget. He asked me to take the box seat beside him, but Robert
insisted on my going inside with the children. He did not believe in
the safety of our charioteer.

But never again in this life, never, never again, shall I have such a
glorious ride. For to one coming from the old world at that time,
Texas was a new world. That afternoon, after mounting a steep hill,
and then thundering down it at lightning speed, the horses were
allowed to rest and draw breath for ten minutes. Then I got out of the
coach, and was transported by the wonderful beauty and majesty of the
scene before me. The flowery prairie rolled away magnificently to the
far-off horizon, here and there jumping into hills, over which
marched myriads of red cattle. Masses of wild honeysuckle scented the
air for miles and miles, and a fresh odor of earth and clover, mixed
with the perfume of wild flowers, was the joy we breathed. But, best
of all was the clear, sweet atmosphere. It went to the heart like
wine. It made us laugh, it made us sing, and I never heard on any
other spot of earth such melodious fluting as the winds of Texas made
all around us.

Surely it was the giants of the unflooded world, who cleared off and
leveled these boundless plains as a dwelling place for liberty.
Looking back to that charmed drive over them, I thank God, even as I
write, that I was then permitted to see earth as it may be, when He
shall make "His tabernacle with men." And I remember this hour that,
when I could find no words fit to express the delight with which my
heart was filled, that wonderful Old Book that is the interpreter of
all human feeling came to my help, and I touched Robert's arm, as we
stood together, and said, "How beautiful is this place! This is none
other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." I have no
doubt it is much changed now, settled and improved; but it lives in my
memory green and sweet as the fields of Paradise, with the fresh wild
winds gurgling melodiously through all its lovely spaces.

The moon was full that night, and we took advantage of the light and
the cool breezes to go as far as the horses were able. I think it must
have been eight o'clock, when we stopped at a planter's house standing
on the edge of a creek or bayou. The moonlight sifted down on its
white walls, its slender pillars, and flowering vines, and there was a
little company of men and women sitting on a broad piazza. Late as it
was, we were served with a good meal, and a large, cool bedroom. I
went to rest with the children, as soon as I had eaten, but Robert sat
till midnight with the men, smoking and talking on the moonlit
piazza.

The children were soon asleep; then I lifted the window shade and
looked out. I saw before me a long avenue of sweet gum and chinquâpin,
magnolia, and tulip trees, and all through them were the whitewashed
cabins of the negro slaves. Some of the women were sewing, though,
for the most part, men and women were huddled in little ebony squads,
around the doors of their quarters. They were talking softly in their
abbreviated patois, or humming their sad minor melodies, while the
moon far up in the zenith--calm, bright, worshipful--cast a softened
radiance which gave sufficient light for young eyes either to sew, or
to read. The living picture filled me with melancholy, and I went in
dreams to some lonely desolate place, where all was sand and silence.

We were off early in the morning, and our road lay through pine woods;
a very primitive road, as yet, and a very hard one on both travelers
and horses; however, horses are not expected to be particular about
roads in Texas. At one o'clock we stopped, and spread the lunch
brought with us on the ground; some negroes, who were cutting down
trees, brought us fresh water and attended to our horses. One of these
negroes, a young black Hercules, whose soul Nature had forgotten to
make bond, took me a few yards into the wood to show me the fairest
picture--a little natural clearing with a pretty piece of water in the
center, and, standing all round it, motionless as statues, a flock of
white cranes! Speaking of the circumstance afterwards, a passenger who
had joined us that morning, and who was also going to Austin, told me,
that the home of the crane is on the Texas prairies. He said nothing
could traverse the prairies without being challenged by their tocsin
shout of _Kewrrook! Kewrrook! Kewrrook!_ which he likened to a pistol
shot in the rare air. Furthermore, that the Comanche and Apache hated
the note, which gave both man and beast warning that they were on the
murder path. Strange sights and sounds these guardians of the prairies
must see and hear, as with slow and stately tread, they pace their
rounds, as much a part of the prairie as the ostrich is of the desert;
for when the deer have fled to the timber, and the buffalo gone west,
and the wolves are on their trail, the cranes still flock on the
prairies.

We were among the pines all afternoon, and in the gloaming came to a
much larger settlement than I had hitherto seen. If I remember
rightly, it was called Bastrop. With a great rush and clatter we drove
to a large house or hotel, and found good food and comfortable rooms,
and many signs of drawing near to civilization. One of these signs was
a release from the continuous meal of bacon. Throughout our journey
there had been myriads of cattle around us, but nothing except bacon
to eat--hundreds of thousands of milk cows, but rarely, indeed, either
milk, butter, or cheese on the table. Here we found a fine roast of
beef, and some venison steaks, both deliciously cooked; also young
corn ears and early squash. I returned thanks for these things with
all my heart, for a good meal and a good book deserve not only a
blessing, but a thanksgiving.

After we had eaten I went with the children to the room assigned us,
and was hearing their evening prayers when a woman softly entered. She
respected the duty that engaged me, and sat down almost noiselessly.

"I'm kind of lonesome," she said, when I turned to her. "Mollie is
away, and I wanted to see your little girls. They are mighty pretty,
well-behaved young ones, and they do mind what you say to them!
Sure!"

I was pleased with her remarks, and I put Lilly in her out-stretched
arms, and, though the child was very weary, she behaved beautifully,
and fell asleep in them.

"My children were sot on their own way from the jump," she continued,
"so contrary-minded that their hair grew upward, instead o' downward.
That's a fact! Look at my Jack's hair in the morning, and you'll see
it stands straight up. And babies are hard to raise in Texas; you
don't like to put them out o' their way, it might be the death o'
them, for you can never call your child your own in Texas, until it
has passed its second year."

"And by that time they have got used to having their own way," I
commented.

"So they have, and they will scream you blind and deaf, until they get
it. But you are feared to lose them. I've lost five outen my seven.
That is so. I've only Jack and Mollie left, but they keep me
considering day and night. They are not bad; they are real good, only
they are sot on havin' what is not good for them. And, nat'rally, I
know what is best, or else the Great Master above us has made a
mistake in sending them to me. That's how I look at it."

By the time this sentence was finished, Lilly was so fast asleep that
I lifted her from my visitor's arms, and laid her upon the bed beside
her sister. Then we continued the conversation about the natural
inclination of all children to have their own way, until I was quite
convinced the children of my companion had kept up a guerrilla fight
with her, from their birth until the present hour.

"There's Mollie," she continued, "smart and pert as a cricket, and
nothing would do her but a New York school. Her father was alive,
then, and I asked him to interfere; what he said was, 'Let her go to
New York. I don't see from the samples of New York women sent us, that
they are a picayune cleverer than ours are, but, if Mollie wants to
go, she's going. I can back her with all the gold she needs.' That's
the way her father interfered. He just let her go to aggravate and
contradict me. His hair stood straight up. I have told Mollie ever
since she put shoes on never to marry a man whose hair grows up, but
I'll just bet she does that same thing, even if she goes all the way
to New York to find him."

"Then she went to New York, I suppose?"

"Yes, she went, and she stayed more than two years, and got what they
call a diploma. Mollie is always drawing people's attention to it, but
it kind o' shames me. It looks like there was somebody better than
Mollie that thought they could give her a character, or a certif'cate
that she had done about right while at school. Now Mollie is as good a
girl as breathes, and as smart as girls can be made, and there's
nobody better than Mollie on this planet, and I just can't bear this
certif'cate business. How would you like it?"

I made this matter clearer to her, and she said, "I wish you had come
here 'fore Jake died. This same thing bothered him above a bit, and he
used to say if any man thought his Mollie needed a certif'cate of
doing well, he would tell him Mollie was the best woman God ever made,
and, if he contradicted, he'd bore a few holes into him. I reckon he
would have done it! Sure! But he took ill and died suddent one night,
just after Mollie came home. I miss Jake whiles, though he left me
well-to-do, and a full sorrow is easier borne than an empty one."

"What do you call well-to-do?" I asked.

"Jake had twelve thousand horned cattle, and a herd of eight hundred
horses, land enough for horses and cattle to get lost in, and a very
comfortable lump of spizerinctum in New Orleans Bank."

"_Spizerinctum!_" I ejaculated.

She nodded, and explained in one better known word, "specie."

"Then Mollie is rich?"

"Richer than rights be, for Jake left her half of all he had, and the
other half he left to me."

"And Jack?" I asked.

"He left Jack nothing. Jack and his father were not comfortable
together. They never had the same notion about anything. They had
contradicted each other for twenty years, and in course they could not
agree concerning money. I have heard them toss a dime between them for
an hour, and then fling it to the devil; that is, where no man could
find it. But Jack is real good. He is, sure! As I say, he will
contradict, but he's as straight a man as lives, between here and
anywhere; and he would not let a mortal touch a hair of my head, if it
was to wrong me. No, ma'am, he would make any man forever silent, who
said _no_ to his Mammy's _yes_. Come, and I will show you my parlor."

I did not like to refuse the invitation, and I did not like to leave
the children, but, after being assured of their perfect safety, I felt
some curiosity about a Texan parlor. So I went with her through an
adjoining room, where a number of men were sitting at a table playing
cards--very tall, wiry men, with prominent features, long hair, and a
fierce, determined expression on their thin, sallow faces. They did
not even glance at us as we walked past them, but I saw the gleam of
ornamented knife handles in their belts, and was pretty certain that
revolvers kept them company and that derringers lay handy, either in
breast or hip pockets. Yet they sat still and speechless, holding some
little bits of paper in their long, strong hands. There were two
candles on the table, but the rest of the room was in semi-darkness,
and the strange gathering in that patch of gloomy light made a picture
I have never forgotten. If it had been a painted picture, its gloom
and its suggestions of quarrel and bloodshed, might have labeled it,
"A Scene in Hades."

Out of this room we went into the parlor. The first object I saw was a
handsome grand square piano. "It is Mollie's!" said Mollie's mother,
"and she can make it talk, you may just bet on that." The walls were
adorned with pictures of Mollie's drawing, and the upholstered chairs
and sofa shielded by crochet lace of Mollie's handiwork. I was
expected to be astonished at this display of wealth and culture, and I
tried to make good this expectation. Indeed I really felt a great
respect for the girl who had lifted herself so far above her
surroundings. I asked where she was, and said I should like to see
her, and was told she was in New Orleans, and that her brother Jack
was going in a few days to bring her home.

"Jack's powerful fond of his sister," she continued; "he thinks all
creation of Mollie. I am feared he will never find a man good enough
to marry her. He has run two young fellows off the place, who he
thought were sneaking 'round after her. He is going to Orleans in a
few days. I wish she had been home. She would have fancied you."

I said I was sorry she was in New Orleans, but I did not mention
yellow fever's presence in that city. All nature and all humanity
hates the carrier of bad news. It is the feet of those that bring glad
tidings that are blessed and beautiful upon the mountains.

The next morning we were called early, but found quite a number of
people at the plentiful breakfast-table--some were going with us to
Austin, others were boarders belonging to the place. My kind hostess
had saved seats beside herself for us, and I noticed that Robert
nodded and spoke familiarly to a handsome youth assisting her to serve
the meal. Of course it was Jack. I knew instinctively it was Jack,
though he was amiable looking, and wore his pale yellow hair parted
down the middle of his head.

At first I thought his mother had been romancing about his "sot,
determined ways, and quarrelsome temper," but, towards the end of the
meal, I noticed him lift his steel-gray eyes, and look at a man who
was noisily relating one of his own adventures. Nothing more was
necessary, not only to confirm all his mother had said, but to rouse
the imagination concerning the likelihoods and probabilities a man
with such passionate eyes could summon. For, if the eyes are the
windows of the soul, I saw a soul of tremendous will and temper
looking through them. However, he was polite, and even kind to us, and
I left a message with him for his sister Mollie; then Mollie's mother
put into my hands something good for luncheon, because, she said,
there was no nooning place, and it would be four o'clock, as like as
not, before we reached Austin. "And I hope that is the end of your
journeying," she added, "for to go further is to fare worse. You keep
that fact in your mind. Maybe I'll be up to see you some day. I want
Jack in the legislature. He is the very man to get on there,
considering the way it is put up at present."

As we talked we were standing just within the store door, waiting for
the coach, and though it was so early a number of sallow, long-haired,
fiercely whiskered men were stalking up and down, the tinkle of their
great bell spurs, the ring of coins on the counter, and the kindly
tones of my companion's voice chiming softly together. Even at this
moment I seem to be trying to disentangle them, until the whole is
lost in the clatter of the coach, and the beating of the horses' feet
upon the hard road. So we left the hospitable lady with many kind
words and wishes. At last she kissed the children, and I, remembering
my own mother, kissed her; for about a good woman, who has taken the
sacrament of maternity, there is the odor and sense of sacrifice. We
may touch her lips, and do her honor, and be sure that we are honoring
ourselves in the homely rite.

At noon we stopped on the banks of a great river. There were large
troughs here, full of water, and a couple of negroes sitting on the
grass and playing cards. Evidently they were waiting for our arrival,
for, as the coach approached them, they stepped quickly to the heads
of the horses, unharnessed, fed, and watered them, while we had the
hour to eat our lunch and rest. I looked around, but saw no house;
yet there was a very large one, belonging to a sugar planter, hidden
away among the trees; and, just as we were preparing to go forward, I
saw a negro lad running with frantic speed towards a closed gate near
the troughs. I walked towards this gate and watched his approach. He
was spent of breath, and could hardly speak, but, after a mouthful of
water, he gasped out,

"How--long--'fore Chris'mas, Missis?"

I told him, and then asked, "Why do you want to know?"

"I'se gwine home at Chris'mas!" he cried. "I ain't 'long to dese
people--I'se only hired to them." These last remarks he uttered with
all the childish scorn and dislike imaginable, and then sobbed out
once more, "I'se gwine home at Chris'mas!"

"Where is your home?" I asked.

"In Austin," he answered. "There's people in Austin--there's Mammy and
Mass'r Tom, and Miss Mary, in Austin. I want to go home. I don't 'long
here!"

"Whom do you belong to?" I asked.

He told me, and then I had to hurry away, but I carried with me the
piteous face of that unhappy child, peering through the gate palings,
with no hope in his heart but Christmas, and Christmas five months
away.

The last twenty miles of our drive gave no indications that we were
approaching the capital of the state. On the banks of the creeks there
were sheep and cattle ranches, and here and there rough farm houses,
but the country was uncultivated, open prairie, or cedar covered
hills. People now going to Austin will reach the beautiful city by the
railway, and I have no doubt it has chosen the ugliest entrance it
could find. But we had almost an idyllic introduction to what was then
one of the loveliest dwelling-places of men in the whole world. It was
about four o'clock in the afternoon that we came to the Colorado
River, and our horses walked leisurely across its clear, limpid
waters. Then we mounted a hill, and a scene of unwritable beauty was
before us on every side. Other portions of Texas are lovely as
Paradise, but nowhere had I ever seen such exquisite and picturesque
arrangement of wood and mountains, grassy stretches, and silvery
waters, and crowned hills. From every mouth, there was an instant and
spontaneous cry of delight.

The city was built on hills, surrounded by a rampart of higher hills,
crowned with the evergreen cedar, and the shining waters of the
Colorado wound in and out among these hills, and then swept
grandly round the southern part of the city. For a minute or two
Señor Tomas--as if compelled by his own innate love of what was
picturesque--drew reins on the top of the hill on which there stood a
little church. It was painted a pale pink color, and did not look
inconsistent. It must have been full of the perfume of the China
berry trees, and it stood at the gate of the town like a visible
prayer. I have no doubt it has been replaced by a much grander
structure, but there must be many living yet, who remember, with me,
those happy Sabbaths when we went up together to the little pink
church on the hill, and served the Lord with gladness, and came before
His presence with a song.

For that short pause I must always thank Señor Tomas Sandobel, though
it may have been neither prayer nor a sense of beauty that was his
compelling motive. For I noticed, that as soon as the horses were full
breathed he gathered up the reins tightly, and, with a peculiarly
exciting cry, began his descent at the highest possible speed to the
main avenue. Fortunately it was but a transient trial. In a few
minutes we stopped at the Smith Hotel, a rather large wooden building
standing on Congress Avenue and Pecan Street, I think. Under the
wooden awning in front of the building there were a number of men
sitting in tilted-up chairs, and, as Señor Tomas stopped the coach, a
pleasant-looking gentleman was opening the door. He lifted Mary and
Lilly out in his arms, and then, removing his hat with his left hand,
offered me his right hand to assist in my descent. It was just such a
kind, respectful greeting as an English landlord of that time would
have given his coming guests, and it went straight to my heart. Robert
asked him if we could have rooms, and he said he would show us the
best he had in a few minutes.

He had a pleasant word for every passenger, and a few directions to
give, then he lifted Lilly in his arms, and we followed him to a
large, low room, directly above the entrance. It was spotlessly clean,
and, though the floors were bare, they were scrubbed until they looked
like ivory. The chairs were of unpainted wood, and their seats of
rawhide--not at all handsome--but very comfortable; and the large bed
looked so white and cool it made me drowsy.

"This room is delightful, Robert," I said. "I hope Mr. Smith can spare
it." Then a sudden thought came to me, and I continued, "The children!
We must have a room for them that opens into our room."

Mr. Smith smiled benignly. "We can do better for you than that,
Madame," he said; "there is a trundle bed, you know."

"A trundle bed!" I repeated. "What is that?"

Then he stooped and drew from under the bed a very low bedstead, and
showed me that it had a good spring and mattress, and clean, soft
linen; and I was astonished and delighted. I thought I had never seen
any contrivance equal to it for convenience and comfort, and I told
Robert that I must have trundle beds under all our large beds when we
furnished. And both men smiled broadly at my enthusiasm.

So we took the room, and my little trunk was brought to me, and I
began to bathe and dress and make ready for dinner, which I was told
would be at six promptly. A Chinese gong summoned us to the meal--a
gong in the hands of a negro boy, whose face shone with delight in the
noise he was making. But his grinning and gesticulating brought a
laughing company into the dining-room. There was nothing in this room
but what was absolutely necessary. The floor was bare but clean, the
chairs of a plain wooden variety, and the china, glass, and damask
very suitable to the room. The only extravagance about the service was
an arrangement like an East India _punka_ above the whole length of
the table--a movable wood frame, hung with clean towels, and kept in
motion by two negro boys. It certainly made the room cool, and
prevented the intrusion of a single fly.

The dinner itself was excellent, though the courses were left to every
one's taste and capacity. There was roast beef, and chicken pie, bear
meat, and antelope steaks, and I noticed that some old men who ate
bear meat ate honey with it, so I resolved to try the luxury some day
when I was quite alone. I did so, and found it very good, but an old
Texan told me, that the most aristocratic dainty of the Spanish Texan
was bear's paws preserved in Madeira wine, and a little brandy. The
paws then look like walnuts, but are said to excel any tidbit known to
epicures. I am sorry that I never had an opportunity of verifying this
statement by personal experience. The dessert to our dinner is not
worth naming; it was a pudding of some kind, but the majority left it
alone, and seemed very well contented with the bowl of delicious
clabber and fresh milk. There were no liquors of any kind on the
table, but plenty of tea and coffee, and I do not think any one ate
their dinner without drinking their tea at the same time. I took
kindly to the custom, and have never quite resigned it, except under
medical advice, which I follow with that desultory reluctance usually
given to ordinances with which we are not quite satisfied.

After dinner the children were eager to go to the trundle bed, and
their delight with it would have made any looker-on believe the little
ungrateful ones had never had a decent bed in all their lives before.
It was so "nice," so "soft," so "easy to get into," so "cool," so
"sleepy." I felt almost angry at their unreasonable pleasure in this
very ordinary convenience, and was quite "short" with the offenders
before they found the "sleepy" part of their new bed. Then I sat down
at the open window and began to think. Very quickly I discovered that
I had been guilty in the same kind. Had I not been lauding this bit of
Texas as an outskirt of Paradise all afternoon? No one could have
supposed I had lived in Kendal, and Penrith, wandered in the laurel
woods of Windermere, and walked the storied streets of Edinburgh. I
smiled contemptuously at my raw enthusiasm, and felt as if my native
land had been wronged by it.

       *       *       *       *       *

So I began to write a poem to Mother England, and had got the three
first lines to my satisfaction, when Robert entered the room. He was
smoking a huge cigar, and the odor of it was strange and unpleasant.
But he was as pleased about his cigar as the children about their
trundle bed, and I listened rather coolly to his praises of the men he
had been talking with. "A new kind of humanity, Milly," he said. "I
never saw men like them. I think I will go and talk to them an hour or
two longer."

And, when I looked into his buoyant, happy face, and remembered that
he would have to live and work with this new kind of humanity, I
understood at once the necessity of sympathy and agreement. I told him
that I felt inclined to write poetry, and would doubtless go to sleep
about the sixth line, "so go, and talk, and enjoy yourself, Robert,
dear," I added. "I am glad you have such good company."

"Better company there could not be, Milly," and, with these words, he
kissed me, and ran lightly down stairs. Did I write any more poetry?
No, I went to sleep. But I have not yet forgotten two lines of the
poem to Mother England I began that night, and have never yet
finished,

  My heart is like a weaning child,
  That never can be weaned:

I did not dream at that date of a time when Robert Bonner would pay me
ten dollars every week for a poem, and that for a period of nearly
fifteen years. When that time arrived, I had outgrown the longing and
the need--I had been adopted by New York.



CHAPTER XIII

IN ARCADIA

  "'Tis not for nothing that we Life pursue.
  It pays our hopes with something still that's new;
  Each day's a gift we ne'er enjoyed before,
  Like travelers, we're pleased with seeing more."


There are no little events in life, those we think of no consequence
may be full of fate, and it is at our own risk if we neglect the
acquaintances and opportunities that seem to be casually offered, and
of small importance. And, as for what we call "accidents," they are
God's part in every occurrence so called. I am led to this reflection
by a circumstance that happened just at this time. When the coach
which brought us to Austin was on the point of leaving Bastrop, a man
rode rapidly up to it, and, flinging his bridle to a bystander, made a
leap to the outside seats, and landed close to Robert. Robert
smilingly made room for him, saying as he did so, "That was a clever
jump. It is a jump you mustn't make a miss of--if you try it."

This introduction preceded a day of pleasant conversation together,
and, when the coach stopped at Smith's Hotel, the Honorable William
Bentley stopped there, and at the dinner table we found him again at
Robert's side. The big cigar Robert was smoking when he came to tell
me he was going to sit and talk an hour or two, was made from tobacco
grown on the Bentley plantation; and, in the course of that evening's
conversation, he told Robert he was the member for his county, and had
come to Austin to take his seat in the legislative hall.

"When I got religion," he continued, "the folks began to talk of
sending me to Austin. I was not onto the thing at first, but got sort
of dragged into it and at last I gave up, as any Christian might do,
specially one new to the business. Now I like it, and there's no one
more ready to devote himself to his country than William Bentley. I
want you to know that. So come to the Capitol with me in the morning,
and you will see and hear something worth while. If you don't you may
call me short stock, even if I am six feet three in my stockings."

Robert repeated this speech to me with certain Texan interjections I
need not insert, and I asked, "Will you go with him?"

"Certainly, Milly. I expect to enjoy it very much. He says he will
show me legislators who are alive, and not a lot of respectable graven
images, like they have in Washington. He told me, that young Terry was
going to speak for the Rangers, and that the men who did not like
plain truths would have to get up and squander, for they would be sure
to have the _bleeding frontier_ served up to them, in every
heartbreaking style, Terry could manage; and they say he can tell
Indian tales that make men shiver, and shout, '_Shut up, Terry!_'
Milly, I have had one of the pleasantest days that I have known in all
my life. Is it not strange, dear?"

"Not at all, Robert," I answered. "The land is so lovely, and the
people so friendly, that any good thing seems possible."

In the morning I watched him, as he dressed with more than usual
care, though he was always particular on this subject, more so than I
could patiently endure when "hurry" was the order, and I had the
children to dress as well as myself, and yet was always kept
waiting for some trifling adjustment that seemed to me unnecessary.
Comparing notes on this subject with numberless other women, I have
come to a fixed and solid conviction that vanity and love of dress
is a male, and not a female, foible, and I think, moreover, that
Nature in all her departments supports this theory. I am at least
quite sure that any woman still young and beautiful would have
prepared herself for a possible interview with a Texan legislator,
in much less time than my young and still handsome husband found
necessary. But the result was perhaps worth the labor, and I watched
the Honorable William Bentley and Robert walking up the avenue
together, with smiles of satisfaction.

Robert had the English air of reserve, and of entire complacency with
his apparel and appearance. His high silk hat typified the quality and
fashion of all the garments beneath it, and I have no doubt that he
was the only man in Austin wearing gloves that day. His honorable
companion was at least a picturesque contrast. He was tall, and thin,
and aquiline, loosely and carelessly dressed in a white flannel shirt,
dark tweed trousers, and a broad leather belt _without furnishings_.
Gentlemen then wore Wellington boots--no amount of vanity could have
made women put on such affairs--but the Honorable Bentley wore very
low-cut shoes, and I hardly think his hands had ever dreamed of
gloves. However, he wore on his head a handsome black sombrero, with a
silver cord and tassel round it.

Looking at the two figures, as they slowly trailed up the avenue, I
was forcibly impressed with the fitness of the Texan dress for the
Texan climate, and I decided that it would be proper for Robert to
adopt as much of it as was suitable to him. I thought he would be
pleased to do so. I was as much mistaken when I named the subject. I
found Robert wedded to his waistcoat, ashamed to go to the street
without a proper coat, and quite sure he would not feel respectable
without his suspenders. As for a belt taking their place, that idea
was out of the question.

Occupied with such thoughts, I sat sewing at the open window,
unconsciously inhaling the sweet air, and bathing myself in the warm,
brilliant sunshine. The children were playing with Mrs. Smith's little
daughter in a shady yard at the back of the hotel, and I was alone and
full of thought and speculation. The small white dress I was making, I
had begun on that morning when Robert returned home with the news that
drove us from Memphis so hastily. I had thrown it and my sewing
materials into the trunk that was going with me, thinking I should
certainly find many hours in which I could finish the garment. But on
that dreadful sail down the Mississippi I could not have touched a
needle, and ever since the travel had been so continuous, and so
unrestful, that sewing had been impossible.

But now! now, I should be at rest, and, as soon as the wagons with the
emigrants for New Braunfels reached Austin, we should receive our
trunks, for they had taken charge of them at Harrisburg, and could
then rent a house and make a new home. Of course, this idea at once
recalled our first home in Glasgow, then my mind went reluctantly to
Chicago and the pitiful home-breaking there, then to Memphis and the
"flee-for-your-lives" hurry with which we had abandoned the home made
there. But I was still hopeful. This place was so different. The
people were so different. Life itself was different. No one was in a
hurry, and I had already caught the spirit of the place, for my needle
was taking its time, and going leisurely down a seam it would have
once run rapidly over.

"I am going to be happy at last!" I whispered, and then I perversely
added, "_Perhaps_." Have we not all of us, at some time in our lives,
said ill-omened words, which we would gladly have recalled, if it had
been possible? The Greeks prayed Demeter not to permit them to use
such words, and I instantly prayed to be forgiven the doubting
syllables, while within me I heard distinctly the sorrowful spirit's
reproach, "O thou of little faith." So I dropped my work, and sat
silent as a chidden child, a little sorry, a little afraid, and
beneath all some hot anger at whatever influence prompted the
ill-boding expression.

As I sat I heard the gong announcing lunch, and I wondered why Robert
had not returned in time for the meal. He did not come at all, and I
went to my room cross and disappointed. I told myself, that however
much Robert had been interested, he ought to have remembered the
difficulty I had in attending to both children during a meal. He knew
how anxious I was, and also how lonely. There was always the little
company of men on the sidewalk for him to join, but there was no
similar provision for women in the house. Oh, I had a score of small
grievances to complain of, and, I am sorry to admit, that I took the
hour after lunch to interview every one of them.

Then Mrs. Smith came to my room, and she had a letter in her hand, "It
is for you," she said pleasantly, "and, what do you think? It was
brought by one of the House messengers."

"The House messengers!" I repeated.

"Yes; by one of the boys who wait upon the members. I hope Mr. Barr is
all right."

I had opened the letter, as she was speaking, and I answered
cheerfully, "All is well. He says he will be here before five
o'clock." Then we had a little conversation, and, when she was going,
I asked her to send the children to me, in order that I might dress
them for the afternoon.

Then I read my letter over and over again. It contained only two or
three lines, but Oh, how good they were!

  MILLY, DARLING,

  Do not expect me until near five o'clock. I have met the most
  extraordinary good fortune. Be happy, dear. All is well.

  ROBERT.

I stood with this blessed piece of paper in my hands a few minutes,
speechless, my heart brimming over. Then I spread it open on my bed,
and kneeling down beside it, I let my tears of contrition and
gratitude wet the happy message. The gift of prayer is not always in
our power, and at that hour it was far from me, but I thanked God with
repentant tears, and then rising with a glad spirit, I put under my
feet every doubtful complaining thought.

About five o'clock I heard Robert's footsteps on the pavement, and
also his voice answering those who spoke to him, and his steps were
light and firm, and his voice had those happy inflections that only
hope realized can utter--sweet and thrilling and full of promise. I
was at the door of our room to meet him, and he took me in his arms
and whispered, "Dearest, I am so happy to bring you good news."

"Tell me, Robert. Tell me all about it," I said, and we sat down
together, and he continued, "You know, Milly. I went away with Bentley
this morning soon after nine, and we had walked barely two blocks when
he said, 'We will shake up Lawyer Scot for half-an-hour. I want his
advice, and you might find his acquaintance a mighty good thing.' So
we entered a small building and were evidently in the lawyer's office,
though no one was visible. Bentley told me to 'have off my hat and
take a chair,' and he would hunt up Scot. There was a New York paper
lying on the table, and also a copy of the _Scotchman_. I lifted the
latter and Bentley went into another room, where I soon heard him
talking with great emphasis. In twenty minutes he came back to me
accompanied by a man about forty years of age, a man so visibly and
plainly Scotch that I could not help smiling when he looked at me."

"Did he return the smile?" I asked.

"He walked to the table, poured out a glass of water, and gave it to
me, then filling one for himself, he touched my glass and said,
'_Here's to the men o' Glasgo!_' Then I touched his glass and
answered, '_Fife and all the lands about it!_'"

"Was he Fife, Robert? What did he say?"

"He said, 'O man, you're right! You're right! I am Fife! Bone and
blood, nerve and brain, I am Fife!'"

"Then, Robert?"

"I offered my hand, and he clasped it between his two large brown
hands, and said, 'Sit a few minutes. I want a word with you.' So he
asked my name and what I was in Texas for. I told him that we had been
driven from Memphis by fever and the threat of cholera, and had not
escaped the terror either in New Orleans, Galveston or Harrisburg. He
readily understood the position, and inquired next if we intended to
return to Memphis, as soon as it was safe to do so? I told him we
intended to remain in Austin if I could find any way in which it would
be possible to make a living.

"'How did you make it in Memphis?' he asked and I answered, 'As a
professional accountant.'

"'Accountant!' he cried, leaping to his feet. 'Great Scot, you are the
very man now wanted! Come, Bentley. I must go to the House with this
news. And I must see Raymond before he goes to his office.'

"He was so impetuous, that it was impossible to question him, and in
such a hurry that I had hardly time to put my hat on properly; so in a
few minutes we were mounting the long flight of steps leading to the
Capitol entrance. Here we met Mr. Raymond, who is state treasurer, and
Mr. Scot almost shouted, 'Here's your accountant, Raymond! Here's a
leal Scot from the city o' Glasgo, and later from the city o'
Memphis! Here's the very man you and your legislators are wanting!'"

"And then what, Robert?"

"Then Bentley laughed heartily, and introduced me to Mr. Raymond, and
while Scot and Bentley sat down on the top step, and fanned themselves
with their Panama hats, I had a talk with Mr. Raymond, the result of
which was that he took me to a committee room, and showed me its long
table piled high and higher with bills and papers.

"'We have had three men here,' said Mr. Raymond, 'and all of them have
thrown up the job. Will you try it?' I told him I would gladly do so,
and then he hoped I would manage it; and I answered, I had never yet
seen the tangle of figures I could not manage.

"'I believe you will clear up this mess,' he said, 'and if you do the
House will be grateful. In the meantime we will pay you five dollars a
day--hours from ten to four including an hour for lunch. Will that be
satisfactory?' I said it would, and he replied, 'Then do get to work
at once.' I then asked permission to remove my coat while working, and
he laughed like a boy and said, 'Sure! I shall wonder if you don't
take off your waistcoat, and your necktie, also.' Then I was left to
study the laws governing my work and explaining what I had to do."

"Can you explain it to me, Robert?" I asked.

"I think perhaps you might understand it, if----"

"Of course I can understand it; that is not what I mean. Is it
interesting? Is it worth while? Or is it all dollars and cents?"

"It is all dollars and cents--commissions paid to certain men for
buying goods for the military board, advances made by different
houses, et cetera. You see, Milly," he continued, "the Republic of
Texas has just been bought by the United States. Some of her debts the
United States assumes, some she must pay, or has paid herself; and
there are agreements covering a score of points of this kind. It is a
very intricate piece of business, I assure you."

"But you can do it, Robert?" I asked.

"Quite easily, when I get the agreements clearly in my mind. I shall
do that in a few days, and I like such work. I like it, Milly, as
other men like sport, or scientific experiments. Now, Milly, you can
look for a house; the trunks will surely be here in a week or ten
days, and then we will make another home."

If I have made friends with my readers by this time they will not need
to be told how happy I was, how grateful in my heart of hearts to God,
the Giver of all good things, how sure I felt that this wonderful
stepping into a fine position was only His doing. I recalled Mr.
Bentley's jump to the roof of the coach, and the little scornful
feeling with which I regarded it as a bit of "show off." I recalled my
own shyness at all his kind advances during the "nooning" and my
petty, angry wonder that Robert should find him so entertaining. Yet
the Honorable Mr. Bentley had been the road to Lawyer Scot, Councillor
to the House, and Scot the road to State Treasurer Raymond; and quite
independent of my approval the way prepared had been strictly followed
to the end proposed, and with that rapidity of events which can only
spring from intelligence and power beyond human foresight. Nothing in
all my life has so irresistibly convinced me, that the steps of a good
man are ordered of the Lord, and that He delighteth in His ways, as
this wonderful preparation made ready for us, when we arrived at the
place appointed. No intimation of it had been given us, which was
fortunate, for if we had been expecting something of the kind, we
might have worried and interfered, and tied the hands, or delayed in
some way those beyond who were arranging our affairs. For this reason
the big events of life are rarely announced beforehand, but when least
looked for, the thing we have vainly sought, steals quietly into our
possession.

In ten days we heard that the trunks were at Bastrop, and I
immediately began to look for a small house. Empty houses, however,
were not plentiful, almost everybody owned their own home, and such as
were to rent, were few and far between. All of them were in the hands
of Lawyer Scot, and I called on him one morning to ask about a little
place that seemed suitable. Because he had taken so kindly to Robert,
I tried to look as pretty as possible. I put on a clean white frock,
with blue satin belt and bows, and a very pretty white sunbonnet. For
the white sunbonnets of the Texan girl were things of beauty, and as
they were removed on entering a room, I soon learned that the very act
of removal communicated a pleasant surprise and a revelation of
unsuspected charm. I was wishful to win the good will of one who had
been so readily a friend to us. I succeeded very well. He looked up a
little glumly as I entered, but when I lifted my sunbonnet, made him a
curtsey, and said with a smile, "I am Robert Barr's wife," he was
delighted. He offered me his chair, and his fan, he had fresh drinking
water drawn, he put up windows, he pulled down shades, he was all
smiles and graciousness. And I permitted his attentions. I knew that
every one made him like me better, and I wished that he might praise
me to Robert, for it does the best of husbands good to be reminded by
other men, that they have somehow managed to win a paragon.

Then I told him about the house and he said, "It was not good enough."
He told me to remember I would have many calls from the ladies
connected with the Administration; and I answered I did not want a
house that lady callers might approve, but one suitable for a home for
Robert and my children. This sentiment agreed with his natural,
primitive ideas of wifehood, and he heartily approved my views, but
still he would not hear of the cottage I had selected. Finally he
admitted that its water supply was poor, and that the house itself had
not a good name. "People who mind freets," he continued, "talk about
it being unlucky, and point out that every one that lives in it, comes
to grief of some kind." But he was willing to warrant that I was above
noticing things of that kind.

"Indeed, Mr. Scot," I answered, "you would lose your warranty. I
notice them very much. The atmosphere of a house tells me plainly,
what kind of people live in it."

"Of an empty house?" he asked.

"There are very few empty houses," I answered, "very few indeed. I
knew of one on the busiest corner of a busy street in Chicago. It
looked empty. It looked _dead_. You felt sure neither mortals, nor the
bodiless were in its vacant rooms."

We continued this conversation until the lawyer appeared to remember
with a shock, that we were talking of things startlingly foreign to a
lawyer's office, and he ended his next sentence with the information
that he had the McArthur place to rent--"a clean, nice house in good
company, and without an ugly past to reckon with. I will go with
Robert," he added, "and we will look it over together."

Robert subsequently took the house. He said I could make any shelter
look homelike, and though small, I also saw that it possessed some
possibilities. It was a wood building of two stories. There was one
large room into which we entered at once, a thing so English that it
won my instant approval. It was well lighted by four large windows,
and had a little stoop at the front door with a balcony above it. The
roof of this room was unplastered, but the want was partly hidden by a
ceiling of strong domestic. The walls were covered with the same
material, and then papered. On one side there was a wide fireplace,
and a door leading into a room beyond.

This room was smaller and no attempt had been made in it to hide the
boarding and shingling, except that they had been whitewashed, and of
course that decoration could be again applied. An unpainted stairway
in this room led to two large rooms above, and a door opened into a
yard containing the kitchen, and a small stable. Robert saw all the
inconveniences in their unvarnished literalness. I saw them as
picturesque irregularities to be accepted with the rest of their
environment. Indeed when our trunks arrived, and I stood once more on
my own hearth, I liked the idea of bringing a pretty home out of such
apparently incongruous materials. I knew that I could do it. With
great and repeated suffering I had bought this knowledge. I had paid
the price. Good! What we buy, and pay for, is part of ourselves.

[Illustration: MR. ROBERT BARR]

Chairs and tables and such things were to be purchased and I chose the
home made articles. Among them was a high four-poster bedstead, that
reminded me of the century-old bedsteads in English farmhouses. But I
liked it because it could be draped with white netting to exclude
flies and mosquitoes. But I did not get a trundle bed to roll under
it. My enthusiasm concerning trundle beds had cooled, and Mary and
Lilly had their individual cots in the room going out of mine.

I remember the three weeks in which I was making a pretty home out of
these four rooms of boarding and shingles as one of the happiest
periods of my life. I had plenty of fine bedding, and table damask,
china and plate, some favorite books, and bits of bric-a-brac, a few
pictures and rugs, and a good deal of Berlin wool work, and fancy
needlework. At night when we had had dinner, and talked over Robert's
experiences at the Capitol, Robert put up shelves here and there for
me, hung mosquito nets and shades, and with paint and brush beautified
many rough and soiled corners.

Never before had I been so proud of my handsome, clever husband, and I
am sure that with elbows bare, and an apron on, I was more charming to
him, than I had ever been before. On looking back I find one sure
evidence of our perfect love at this time--we hung a number of
pictures, and did not have one frown, or cross word about the work.
Now if anything will make two people certain of each other's want of
taste, or incorrect eyesight, it is hanging pictures; and if any two
doubt this, I advise them to spend an afternoon together in the
employment. Robert and I, in these perfect days, never had a doubtful
word about any picture, unless his request that a water color portrait
of himself, might be turned to the wall when he was in the house, may
be taken as coming from some dissatisfaction. It is only necessary to
say, I pretended not to hear his request, and that the cherubic boy in
a short jacket and square cap disappeared in a way beyond my finding
out.

Some weeks of pure happiness followed our settlement, calm-hearted
weeks, full of rich content. I made a great many acquaintances, and a
few intimate friends. In such a community as the Austin of that date,
this result was unavoidable. For _color_ not money was the dividing
line, and the consequence was a real democracy. Every good white man
was the social equal of every other good white man, but one drop of
negro blood put its owner far below social recognition.

And women are never democrats. There is always in their societies an
exclusive set. This set in Austin was not as I expected composed
mainly of the families connected with the Administration. It was a
much more mixed affair. Its leaders were Mrs. Tom Green, and Mrs.
George Durham. Mrs. Green was young, clever, and intimately and
decidedly Texan. She was witty and sarcastic, and many were afraid of
her criticisms. She dressed well, and entertained delightfully, in
Texan fashion, the ladies she chose to honor.

Mrs. Durham was the wife of George Durham, an Englishman from my own
North Country, and an attaché of the comptroller's office. Robert was
his associate, and they were excellent friends. I saw little of him,
but he frequently sent me birds, venison, and other spoils of his
rifle. For he was a fine sportsman, and spent his hours of recreation
hunting on the prairie, "shooting for glory" as Texans say of a man,
who hunts not for food, but for amusement. The Durhams lived in a
small log house on the road to the ferry. Every one coming into town,
and every one going out of town passed Mrs. Durham's. Her sitting-room
was as entertaining as the local news in the weekly paper. There was
no restraint in Mrs. Durham's company; people could be themselves
without fear of criticism. She was not pretty, not stylish, not
clever, not in the least fashionable, but she was the favorite of
women, who were all of these things. There were no carpets on her
floors, and there was a bed in the room wherein her friends
congregated. She did not go to entertainments, and I never saw a cup
of tea served in her house, yet she was the most popular woman in
Austin, and not to be free of Mrs. Durham's primitive log house, was
to be without the hall mark of the inner circle.

Taking all things together, the life lived by the women of Austin at
that date was a joyous, genial existence. All had plenty of servants,
and they could not then give notice, nor yet pack their little parcel
and go without notice so then houses once comfortably ordered,
remained so for lengthy periods. Their chief employment appeared to be
an endless tucking of fine muslin, and inserting lace in the same.
Very little but white swiss or mull was worn, and morning and evening
dresses were known by the amount of tucking and lace which adorned
them. Some of the women chewed snuff without cessation, and such
women, neither "tucked," nor "inserted." They simply rocked
to-and-fro, and put in a word occasionally. It must be remembered,
that the majority of women who "dipped" had likely formed the habit,
when it was their only physical tranquilizer, through days and nights
of terror, and pain, and watchfulness; and that the habit once formed
is difficult to break, even if they desired to break it, which was not
a common attitude.

In 1856, I knew of only two pianos in the city of Austin, one was in
the Governor's mansion, the other belonged to a rich Jewish family
called Henricks. I think there were certainly more scattered in the
large lonely planter's houses outside the city, but in the city
itself, I remember only these two. There was no book store in the
city, and books were not obvious in private houses; and if there had
been any literary want felt, there was wealth enough to have satisfied
it.

How did the women amuse themselves? I often asked myself this
question. There was no theatre, no hall for lectures or concerts, no
public library, no public entertainments of any kind, except an
occasional ball during the sitting of the legislature. Yet for all
this, and all this, I reiterate my statement that the women of Austin
fifty-six years ago lived a joyous and genial life. It was their
pleasant and constant custom to send word to some chosen lady, that
they, with Mrs. A. and Mrs. B. were coming to spend the following day
with her. If the day was hot, they arrived soon after nine o'clock,
got quickly into loose garments and slippers, took out their tucking,
and palm leaf fans, and subsided into rocking-chairs. They could all
talk well, and by noon were all ready for the delicious dinner sure to
be prepared. It consisted usually of young chicken fried in butter,
venison roasted with sweet herbs, or the broiled breasts of quails,
which cost them about ten cents a dozen, or, if later in the season, a
pot-pie of wild turkey. Strong coffee always accompanied the meal, and
if any lady could by good luck, or good management, secure milk or
cream for a tapioca pudding, or a dish of cup custard, the occasion
was memorable. About four o'clock they began to dress, and the
carryall arrived; because after half-past-four the invasion of the
male might be expected, and it was a point of honor to throw a little
mystery around these meetings. Robert once asked me how we had passed
the time.

"In different ways," I answered.

"You talk of course?" he continued.

"Yes, we talk."

"What about?"

"Many things."

"Can you not tell me some of them?"

"It is not worth while, Robert."

"You do not wish to tell me?"

"Perhaps."

"It might be, that you are afraid to tell."

"It might be."

"Tell me, Milly. Don't be provoking."

"You never tell me, Robert, what George Durham, and Mr. Simcox, and
Wash Hill, and the rest of your companions talk about. You always say,
if I ask you, 'It is not worth telling.'"

But when the evening shadows fell, and we sat outside under the great
planets shining above us--and apparently twice the size they appear in
more northern latitudes--the sweet influences of the Pleiades were too
powerful to resist, and I generally then confided to Robert any
touching or amusing incident, that had been talked over by us. But
sometimes Orion was in the ascendant, and his binding virtues helped
me to keep silence, and to be provoking. It must have been Orion at
these times, for there is naturally nothing secretive about me.

Our topics were nearly always strictly local, and men dearly love
local topics, for instance there was a very pretty old lady frequently
present, no matter where the meeting was held. She was a Mrs. R----,
aged about sixty-five, the wife of an old Texan Major who had been in
every scrimmage that had occurred between the Trinity and the Rio
Grande. He was a hale, handsome man far in his eighties, and had
virtually lived with his rifle in his hand--on the whole a rather
unmanageable human quantity, except in the hands of his pretty little
wife. Being near neighbors she was in my house nearly every day, and
perhaps the most welcome visitor we had. She was a Highland Scotch
woman, from the city of Perth, still beautiful, and always dressed
with piquant suggestion of her native land. Robert paid her great
attention, and she sent Robert, three or four days every week, a basin
of the Scotch broth he loved so naturally, and to which I had never
been able to impart the national flavor.

One day when there was a small gathering in my parlor she joined it.
Every one immediately noticed that the pretty pink color of her cheeks
had vanished, and that she looked jaded and half-angry. For a moment I
thought she was going to cry. Not at all! She flushed pinker than
ever, and in an hysterical voice, blended of anger and pity, and the
faintest suggestion of laughter, said,

"Ladies, I'm picking my steps over an unkent road. I will not believe
that anybody has traveled it afore me."

"It is the Major, of course!" sighed Mrs. Tannin, shaking her head
sadly.

"Yes, Mrs. Tannin, it's the Major. The man is in perfect agony. He has
been raving about his room for three days and nights, and Dr.
Alexander says the trouble is like to go on for weeks, or even
months."

"Whatever is the matter, Mrs. R----?" I asked.

"That Comanche arrow, I reckon," said Mrs. Smith.

"Perhaps it is the dengue fever," suggested Mrs. East.

The little woman shook her head. "It is neither one, nor the other,"
she answered. "It is nothing natural, or ordinary. I'm sorry for the
man. 'Deed am I, but I cannot for the life of me, help a quiet snicker
when not seen. Ladies, the Major is cutting a whole set of new
teeth."

"Impossible!"

"'Deed it is the very truth. The doctor lanced his gums this morning,
as if he was a baby, and I saw the teeth all ready to be born, as it
were. The Major was swearing and groaning, and the doctor, who is
very religious, telling him 'to be quiet,' and me trembling with fear,
and begging Ben for his pistol."

"Did he give it to you?"

"Finally he threw it down on the table, and told me to 'hobble the
thing,' which I did by locking it up in my own drawer, and putting the
key in my pocket," and she tapped her pocket significantly, to
intimate that it was still there.

"Was it Dr. Litten," I asked, "who operated?"

"No," she answered. "It was Dr. Alexander, and he was very irritating,
calling Ben an old baby, who made more fuss about cutting teeth than
the whole twenty-two babies in Austin, whom he knew, that day, were
sucking their mother's milk and cutting their teeth. I thought then
the Major would strike him--sure! And again when he was wiping his
lance, and said, very kind like, 'Major, I do pity you,' my man
answered furiously, 'Be off with your pity, and don't come here again
with it.'"

Some one remarked that it was a dreadful situation, and then the
little wife declared, "It wasn't like Ben to make a fuss about pain.
He had come home one day," she said, "with a Comanche feather sticking
out of his back, and had suffered everything but death, and been as
meek and mild as any Christian could be. And yet _now_!" she
continued, "he is raging around like a mad bull; he is smashing my
china vases, and flinging his broth out of the window, and swearing at
the new teeth till he hasn't another word left--forbye, he vows he
will have the first and the last of them pulled out, as sure and quick
as they come. O ladies, it is dreadful! Dreadful!" And then she looked
at us with such a comical, lugubrious expression, that further
restraint was out of the question. For Mrs. R---- was between laughing
and crying, and I am afraid we all laughed a little with her. But the
incident, though so unusual, was, however, a fact, though how it came
to pass, let the doctors tell. We could do nothing but sympathize and
offer to make all sorts of nice, soft, mushy dishes for the Major's
sore gums. When Robert came home I did not try to keep the Major's
condition from him, and I felt sure he was contemplating the effect
the news would make in his office the next morning; for undoubtedly
men love gossip, though they usually call it politics.

I do not know how far this pleasant, homely visiting was imitated by
the women living on the outlying ranches and plantations, but I think
it likely something of the same kind exists in all tropic countries,
where the dwellings of friends are far apart. It was, however, only a
superficial quality of the real Texan woman, who was, when I knew her,
more than half a century ago, brave and resourceful, especially when
her environment was anxious and dangerous. They were then nearly
without exception fine riders and crack shots, and quite able, when
the men of the household were away, to manage their ranches or
plantations, and keep such faithful guard over their families and
household, that I never once in ten years, heard of any Indian, or
other tragedy occurring.

I have dwelt a little on the character of the Texan woman, because she
was in superficial matters and in all her environments a new creation
to me. No one knows better than I do, that woman, in all essential
characteristics, is the same yesterday, today, and forever, yet the
readiness with which she lends herself to the variations of race,
climate, caste, creed, nationality, and conditions of every kind, is
the greatest charm of her feminality. Thus, in detailing the scene
with Mrs. R----, I was instinctively led to picture a group of
Scotchwomen, sitting socially together and listening to a similar
story. I could see them, not in comfortable lounging gowns, but
corseted, collared, cuffed, and belted to the last point of endurance
and sewing, of course, for a Ladies' Aid, or Dorcas Society. If, into
the midst of such a group was flung the news of a man near ninety
years old cutting a new set of teeth, I know it would be received with
looks of frigid disapproval. If assured that it was not an unseemly
joke, but an undoubted fact, they would still disapprove such a
departure from the decorum of old age.

Perhaps some one might suggest there was a mistake, "it being a
circumstance clean beyond the bounds of probability"; then, if told
the medical man had seen the new teeth, the question would be, what
medical man? And, if he was not one attending their family, his skill
would be as certainly doubted, as would be the orthodoxy of any
minister, they did not "sit under." If, finally, the incident got a
tardy, grudging admission, some one would "suppose the fact--if it was
a fact--ought to be reported to the Royal Society of Surgeons and
Physicians in London"; and some one else would be certain to answer,
"The Royal Society is already well acquainted with the like of such
cases. It has published accounts of them more often than you think. My
mother has read the same--whiles."

This assertion, not being deniable, would elicit the reflection that
there was then nothing beyond the ordinary in the circumstance, except
that such a thing should happen to the Major, "who had always been the
most proper of men, a member of St. Jude's Kirk, and of the very best
society"; and this reflection would probably end the matter. There
would be no sympathetic words, and no offers of nice, soft, mushy
things to eat for a man nearly ninety, who could so flagrantly violate
the ordinary Scotch traditions with regard to teething. How women of
other nationalities would receive such a piece of news, I leave my
readers to decide. One thing is certain, no two groups of different
race and environments, creed or education, would take even such a
simple household matter in quite the same spirit and manner. Let men
be thankful for the variableness of women. It provides them
continually with something to admire, or to wonder over.

Among such scenes and people as I have been describing I spent nearly
ten years; and the first three or four of these ten were, in some
respects, the happiest years of my life. Their very memory is a
blessing unto this day, for often, when I am heart and brain weary, it
steals upon me, swift and sweet and sure as a vision. I smell the
China trees and the pine. I hear the fluting of the wind, and the
tinkling of guitars. I see the white-robed girls waltzing in the
moonshine down the broad sidewalks of the avenue, and the men, some in
full evening dress, and others in all kinds of picturesque frontier
fashion, strolling leisurely down its royally wide highway. I am
sitting in the little wood house, with its whitewashed ceilings and
unpainted stairway and one sits at my side, who left me forty-five
years ago. Oh, believe me! He who raised the shade of Helen, had no
greater gift than mine!

About the middle of October Robert finished the work intrusted to him
by the Ways and Means Committee of the Session of 1856, and finished
it so well, and so completely, that Senator J. W. Throckmorton,
Chairman of the Senate Committee, and the Honorable C. W. Buckley,
Chairman of the House Committee, entered in their report to the House,
the following acknowledgment:

  The balance sheet will show the exact pecuniary condition of the
  affairs of the Board in every point, and it is unnecessary to say
  more upon the subject, than to invite an inspection of it. The
  Committee were extremely fortunate in procuring the services of a
  gentleman to act as their Secretary, so well qualified to perform
  the duties, and so thoroughly versed in book-keeping as Mr. Barr.
  His qualifications have lightened their labors, and an inspection
  of the exhibit prepared by him, is only necessary to prove how
  fortunate we have been in procuring his services.

I was exceedingly proud of this notice, and it was very fortunate for
Robert, for Mr. Shaw, the comptroller, immediately offered him the
second desk in his office, so that he had his friend, George Durham,
for his confrère. I had not even an hour's time to be anxious, for
Robert went at once from the committee room to the comptroller's
office, and in all probability the future was settled for many years.
That was what I thought, and I put out of my memory all the sorrowful
past, and counted the present as its compensation.



CHAPTER XIV

THE BEGINNING OF STRIFE

  "Pride in their port,
  Defiance in their eye,
  I see the lords of humankind pass by."


I had written home many times since we left Memphis, and had fully
described all that we had seen and heard, as well as all that had
happened to us, and I had received several letters in reply to mine.
But all had made me a little anxious about my mother's health, and I
knew that she was fretting about our being so far from England. "Death
cannot so completely separate us, Milly," she wrote; "indeed, when I
am dead, I shall often be close to you." She was right. Time and
distance are two sharp swords. Distance cuts apart, and time teaches
forgetfulness.

Now trouble of all kinds is voluble, and has plenty of words, but
happiness was never written down. Happiness is like religion; it is a
mystery, and should not be explained or reasoned about. I find it
difficult to put into words the pictures of the life full of all
things good, which God gave me for the next four years, and I am glad
that it had the little shadows necessary for its full flavor and
strength. For it is a poor, weak happiness that is devoid of small
worries and disagreeables; these things being the tonic bitters
without which we should weary even of our pleasures.

So I had differences of opinion with my hired slaves. I did not
understand the negro woman then, any better than I understand the
Finnish or Irish woman now. I thought right was always right, and that
all women, of whatever race, ought to do right; and Robert's advice
about "making allowances" was not agreeable. Robert himself did not
always deserve, or, at least obtain, my approval; and my friends did
and said things I thought they ought not to do and say. The children
would play down at the creek, soil and tear their dresses, and then be
sure to show themselves when they were not fit to be seen. Sometimes
the dinner was a failure, sometimes the weather was all wrong for my
purposes, sometimes I did not get the letter I was expecting.

For my twenty-sixth birthday Robert had bought me a piano, and it did
not arrive in Austin until two weeks after it was due. I had not
touched a piano for more than a year, and my fingers ached for the
ivory keys. Those two weeks were hard to bear. I forgot all my other
blessings. I knew that if hope brightened life, patience strengthened
it, but I did not want to exercise patience at this time, and I
worried all the pleasure out of the gift before I received it. I was
sorry enough afterwards, but I could not undo the wrong. I had spoiled
the gift by those self-inflicted wounds, which are always lost griefs.
The piano has gone, I know not where, but the memory of my fretful
unreasonableness is still with me, and can still cause me moments of
keen sorrow and chagrin.

On July the second, A.D. 1857, I had a son, and all other joys were
forgotten in the delight of this event. Early in the morning I had
sent Mary and Lilly to the hotel to spend the day with Jenny Smith,
and neither Robert nor I remembered them, till the negro woman, at
eight o'clock at night, reminded us of their absence. Then I laughed
and looked at the boy lying at my side, and Robert laughed and said
that he had "forgotten"; my thoughts flew back to the birth of my
eldest brother at Shipley, and to my jealousy of the attentions he
received. It was my mother then. Now it was I. I looked again at the
boy, but I resolved to be particularly affectionate to the two girls
when they reached home, which they did about nine o'clock, weary and
sleepy, and wondering why they had been neglected so long. Nor were
they any more impressed with their first brother, than my sister Jane
and I had been with ours. Mary asked what he was called; and when I
answered, "His name is to be Calvin," she said, "Oh!" and Lilly said,
"What a queer name!" Then I asked if they did not remember Calvin
Fackler, their father's friend in Memphis, and they went sleepily to
their bed, without any further notice of their new brother.

Soon after this event I received my first copy of _Harper's Weekly_.
It had no illustrations then, but I have never forgotten a story I
read in its pages, called "The White Cat." A few numbers later the
illustrations began--the clever but terrible ones relating to the
Sepoy rebellion. These illustrations were reproduced from a prominent
London paper, and I had no intimation then of a coming day when the
arrival of the regular pictures from London papers at Harper Brothers,
would mean to me a respectable part of my income. These first pictured
scenes of the mutiny had, however, to Robert and myself a powerful
personal interest. Often we recalled the dream which had prevented us
from going to Calcutta, and sent us westward to New York instead. For,
when we cannot be guided by the ordinary course of events, the bars of
the body are unlocked at dark, sleep falleth on the sensitive soul,
and it is warned, or taught by dreams, which are the walking of God
through sleep.

After Calvin's birth I began to be very uneasy about my mother's
health. She no longer spoke of our meeting again; she wrote shorter
and shorter letters, and her clear, fine writing was shaken and
changed. It had always had one marked peculiarity--a frequent
disconnection of letters that should have been united--a signal and
exclusive sign, occultists say, of a spiritual nature ever ready to
detach itself from the material, and endowed with high psychic powers.
This diagnosis would be very true in my mother's case: she lived in
the visible, but was always ready for the invisible. Such tendencies,
however, were in her day unrecognized, and those who possessed them
were shy of admitting the fact. The church universally considered all
phenomena it did not promulgate as a new kind of sin. Even John
Wesley's psychic intelligence was regarded as a lapse of his usual
wisdom, and his book embodying it carefully consigned to oblivion. So
Mother told me visions and warnings she never named to Father and
rarely to my sister Jane, who was not mystical in any form. If a
vision or dream was in the Bible, Father and Jane believed it firmly,
if it was not in the Bible, they had serious doubts. And I have always
felt that this want of spiritual confidence between my father and
mother was a great wrong to their love. It wounded it in its noblest
attributes; it denied it expansion in its purest aspirations; it
ignored too often the spiritual bond between them, which, if given its
due regard, is far, far stronger than any tie mere flesh and blood can
form. But we cannot cross a stile till we come to it, and the world is
even now only just beginning to seek after that sixth sense, lost in
the abyss of some great moral fall.

At this time Mother was not fifty-two years old, and an Englishwoman
of that age should be in the plentitude of her beauty and vigor. But
she had worn life away in an unbroken service of love, for which she
was physically most unfit; for, in those days there were no trained
nurses, no anodyne to ease severe pain, except laudanum; no
alleviations, either for the sick, or for those whose affection bound
them to help and comfort the sick. She was not fifty-two and dying,
and she knew it. But many afflictions and one Love had made strong her
faith, and she said in her last letter to me, "I am no longer anxious
about your dear father. The everlasting arms are his support and
refuge. My watch is nearly over, your little sisters must take my
place. They know _who_ will help them. We shall meet again, Milly, but
not in this world, darling, not in this world."

With the Holy Name on her lips, she went away simply and solemnly, as
if fulfilling some religious rite. I received the news of her
departure one day when the house was full of company. I put the letter
in my breast and said no word about it, for it was only to God I could
speak of this sorrow; the common words of sympathy the news would have
evoked, could not have comforted me. Even when Robert's tears mingled
with mine, for he loved her dearly, I was not consoled. For a long
time, daily life felt thin and haggard. I had no mother to write to,
and my heart was troubled because I knew that I might have written to
her oftener. I might have given her hopes that would have made death
easier. Oh, why had I not done these things? For it is not the flowers
on the coffin, but the flowers we strew on the daily life of our dear
ones that show the true affection. And it was too late! O daughters of
good mothers, give while God permits you, the kind words, the smiles
of understanding affection, the little attentions and gifts, that
will brighten your mother's last days. I do not know why I should have
written "daughters of _good_ mothers." God makes no exceptions in his
positive command to "Honor thy Father and thy Mother."

I might have done more! that was the bitter refrain that for a long
time made all my memories of the sweetest, tenderest mother sorrowful.
But she has forgiven me long ago, and the vast breadth and depth of
the river of death is now constantly bridged by our thoughts of each
other. We walk far apart, but when I think of her, I know that she is
thinking of me, and I wave my hand in greeting to her. Does she see
the lifted hand? I believe she does. Why do I believe it? Because the
soul is a diviner, and the things it knows best are the things it was
never told. Whatever it divines, is revealed truth. Whatever it is
told, may either be doubted or received.

For nearly a year after the birth of Calvin, there was not much change
in the domestic life of Austin. The days slipped into weeks and
months, and were, as the waves of the ocean, all alike, and yet all
different. But early in 1859 changes so great were present, that it
was impossible any longer to ignore them. There were bitter disputes
wherever men were congregated, and domestic quarrels on every
hearthstone, while feminine friendships melted away in the heat of
passionate arguments so well seasoned with personalities. There were
now three distinct parties: one for remaining in the Union; a second
which demanded a Southern Confederacy, and a third which wished Texas
to resume her independence and to fly the _Lone Star_ flag again. It
was a quarrel with three sides, and the women universally entered into
it, with so much temper, that I could not help thinking they had all
exercised too much long suffering in the past, and were now glad of a
lawful opportunity to be a little ill-natured.

It may be strange, but it is the truth, that I seldom heard slavery
named as a reason for secession. The average Texan had but a slight
security for his slaves. The journey to the Rio Grande was not long or
difficult for a man bent on freedom, who was sure to be succored and
helped by every party of Indians or Mexicans he met. Arriving at the
river, he had only to walk across some one of its shallow fords, and
touch land on the other side a free man. The number of slaves who
freed themselves by this way was considerable every year, and I heard
many slave owners say that they would be well satisfied to give their
slaves freedom on such terms as the English slave owners obtained.
What really excited them was the question of state rights. They were
furious with the United States Government's interference in their
state's social and domestic arrangements. They would not admit its
right to do so, and were mad as their own prairie bulls, when
compulsion was named. I heard arguments like these, both from men and
women constantly; they talked of nothing else, and the last social
gathering at my house was like a political arena.

So I was not sorry when on April the sixteenth, my daughter Alice was
born, and I could retire for a few weeks into comparative solitude,
and peace. Robert brought me the news from the Capitol every day, and
it was as uncertain and changeable as the wind. One day war was
inevitable, and Houston was coming from Washington to lead the
Unionist party; and perhaps the next day it was the pen, and not the
sword, that would settle the matter. I began to grow indifferent. "The
quarrel is all bluster," I said to Robert, "and their talk of war will
fizzle out, some way or other, into a question of dollars and cents."
And I was vexed because Robert shook his head at my opinion, and
replied, "Well, Milly, I heard George Durham say something like that
this morning, and an old Texan in the crowd told him he was all wrong.
'We are against seceding just now,' he said, 'but we shall be drug
into it, and then we'll be so all-fired mad, we'll fight like a lobos
wolf, who, the longer he fights, the better he fights.'"

"You always look at the dark side, Robert," I complained; and he
sighed and answered wearily, "It is generally the right side, Milly."

One night, after a long, anxious day, I was conscious of that peculiar
disturbance of heart and body, which warns of latent enmity or coming
danger. My flagging soul felt

  "As if it were a body in a body,
  And not a mounting essence of fire."

and though Robert was near me, I thought myself the most forlorn of
women. All the sorrow of the world seemed to surround me, unseen, yet
full of motion, and the terror of the dark grew, and my soul trembled
in all her senses. Then I fell asleep--the dreary sleep of an unhappy,
fearful woman. I was on a vast plain, dark and lonely, with the black
clouds low over it, and the rain falling in a heavy, sullen downpour;
and, as I stood with clasped hands, but without the power to pray, a
great white arch grew out of the darkness. It seemed high as heaven,
and wide as the horizon, and I wondered at its beauty and majesty.
But, as I looked, I saw a black line down the center of it grow to a
visible break, and this break grow wider and wider, until one-half of
the arch fell to the ground, amid groans and cries, far off, but
terrible. At the same moment I saw a _Presence_ of great height, dim
and shadowy, standing beside the ruined arch, and he cried for the
_birds of prey_ in a voice that filled all space. Turning north, and
south, and east, and west, he cried, "_Come! and I will give you flesh
to eat!_"

From this dream I awoke in a maze of awe and wonder. I rose and went
to the open door, and stood leaning against its lintel, carefully
thinking over every detail of what I had seen and heard. It was hardly
dawn, and that most pathetic of all objects, the waning moon, was
sinking low to the horizon, and the whole world was wrapped in a gray
mystery. For a few moments I saw Nature in those ineffable moments
when she was asleep--so still, so cool, so soft and vapory in all her
tints--her very face shrouded in a mist-like veil. I turned to Robert;
he also was asleep, but I felt that I must tell him the message given
me, while the spirit of it was still on me. I awakened him, and he
listened in silence to what I had to say; but when I ceased speaking,
he sighed and answered,

"It is war, then, Milly, and may God help us!"

"It is war, long and cruel war, Robert. What shall we do? Will you
return to England? You know Sister Mary told us in her last letter,
that your mother wished you to come home, and would do all she could
to help you."

"Nothing could induce me to go back to Scotland," he answered
positively.

"Then where shall we go?" I asked.

"Let us remain here, in Austin. I like the people, and I like the
country. I am willing to share its fortune, war or peace--if you will
share it with me."

"Robert!" I said fervently, "your country is my country, and your
friends are my friends."

"Well, then, dear, we have been warned, and we must not neglect the
warning. We must make all the preparation possible."

"You must have a good deal of money saved, Robert?" I asked.

"No, Milly, I have not. I have invested all the extra money I made in
land," he answered. "I was working for our own little plantation some
day."

Then I asked if, in the changes likely to occur, he would be in danger
of losing his position in the comptroller's office, and he said, "It
is possible. The United States Government has been kind and generous
to me," he added, "and I have no intention of taking any oath against
it."

"But if Texas should become a republic again?"

"She will not. Her enormous wealth is yet undeveloped. She has no
money to carry on a government. I know that positively."

We sat talking of probabilities until the dawn grew to sun-rising, and
then we rode out to Mr. Illingworth's place, and had our cup of coffee
with him and his wife. And one of the first things he said was, "I
tell you, Barr, there will be a turning up and out in the government
offices when Houston comes home."

"He is coming, then?" asked Robert.

"Yes. You will see him some morning soon, sitting in front of Tong's
grocery, looking like a lion, and wearing a Serape Saltillero[3] like
a royal mantle. I can't help admiring the man, though I do not like
him. In a far-off way he reminds me of Oliver Cromwell."

"Where is he now?"

"In some small room in a Washington hotel, faithfully attending every
session of the Senate, and every meeting of the Baptist church, and
unceasingly whittling hearts and anchors, and other such toys out of a
bit of pine wood."

"Whittling in church, and the Senate House?"

"In both places, in every place, and you will see him soon whittling
in front of Tong's grocery."

We did not see him until the fall, when he ran for the governorship of
Texas against his old enemy, Governor Runnels, whom he quickly talked
out of political existence, and then seated himself in the Governor's
chair. I do not intend to trouble my readers with the political events
of that date, excepting as they affected my own life; and, although
General Houston is the grandest and most picturesque figure in
American history, I shall refrain myself from magnifying either his
exploits, character, or personality. Are they not written in the books
of the historians, and in my own novel, "Remember the Alamo"? However,
for a short space it will be necessary to note the conditions of
affairs in Austin; for it was then the background of my story, but I
shall do this without prejudice, and without unnecessary length of
words.

An immense crowd came into Austin to witness Houston's inauguration,
and for long it did not altogether leave the city. The sweet, quiet,
flower-scented streets were no longer haunted on moonlight nights by
white-robed girls, and lovers singing "Juanita" to their tinkling
guitars. They were full of rangers and frontiersmen, of deserting
United States soldiers, waiting to join the Confederate army, and of
little squads of Lipan or Tonkaway Indians, who were the spies and
scouts of the United States army in their constant warfare against the
cruel and hostile Comanche and Apache tribes. Yet a very handsome
party of Apaches, under the watchful eyes of an Indian agent, visited
Houston; for, over all Indians, Houston had an extraordinary
influence. I do not remember being told that they had come with offers
of peace and alliance, but I think they would not have been permitted
to enter Austin under any other pretext. For there was speaking, and
often quarreling at every gathering point, and not unfrequently the
warning sound of a rifle or pistol shot. And, if a real scrimmage had
arisen among the white men of the three parties, it would have been an
enjoyable circumstance to either Apache or Comanche.

So I also kept quietly at home, teaching my two eldest girls and a few
others, for about three hours daily. I did not in any respect keep a
school as I did in Chicago, but I had always about four or five girls
whose education I looked a little after. I did this first, for the
sake of teaching, which was then, as it is to this day, a delight to
me, provided I have a bright, eager scholar. Secondly, I retained my
friends of all parties through their daughters. Thirdly, I loved then,
as I do yet, the company of girls. I was their confidant and friend,
as well as their teacher. They brought me intelligence from all
quarters, and they told me their sweet, little personal secrets. I
have never forgotten some of these girls, and they have never
forgotten me.

Thus I passed three or four hours every day in a manner I particularly
liked, and for the rest it went in looking after my dear children's
physical necessities, in humoring and pleasing Robert, and seeing that
his special comforts were attended to, and in bearing, as well as
human nature could do, the laziness, ignorance, and cunning diableries
of the negroes in the kitchen. There was little visiting, the proud,
retiring nature of the Southern woman showing itself as soon as
strangers and crowds became common in Austin. In these days the pretty
young girls in their white frocks and white sunbonnets vanished from
the streets; and the men who strutted about them, or loafed on chairs
a-tilt under the trees, moving round with the shadow all day, showed
plainly the daily deterioration of masculine humanity left to its own
devices and desires.

Houston's complete defeat of Runnels was considered a great triumph
for the Unionist party, and his influence undoubtedly put off
secession for another year. This was the year 1860, during the whole
of which there was the same restless looking forward to the war, every
one felt was inevitable, if Mr. Lincoln was elected President. I kept
quietly at home. Robert brought me the news and not infrequently a
visitor whom he thought would interest me. One afternoon he wrote,
saying, "The Indian agent and three of the chiefs in town will take
supper with us," and I was asked to set a plentiful table. In this
visit I took the greatest possible interest. I brought out my best
damask, and the richly gilded china that Robert's mother had given me
for a wedding present. She regarded it as almost too splendid to use,
and I could not help a little laugh, when I imagined her sensations,
if she could see these half-clothed savages drinking tea out of them.
Then I regretfully sighed, "Poor Mother!" For my heart had turned a
little towards her, since she had wished Robert to come home. I
adorned the table with flowers, and saw that chicken in every form was
prepared, and cakes, and pies in profusion. The party arrived
promptly, and I was introduced to the members who composed it. The
agent was a charming young man, full of all kinds of information, but
in the Indians I was much disappointed.

They were uncivil, self-centered, and could speak no English. And they
did not know how to eat the good things provided for them, for they
ate and drank every item of the meal _by itself_--vegetables alone,
meat alone, bread alone, and the only dish that appeared to please
them, was some cream and white of egg savored with vanilla and whipped
as stiff as possible. They laughed over this delicacy, exchanged
grunts of satisfaction, and handed me their glasses to be refilled.
After supper I played and sang for them. They watched me curiously,
but without pleasure, and were more interested in finding out where
the music came from than in the music itself. So Robert opened the
instrument, let them inspect the interior to see how the hammers
struck the wires, and they watched with fear and wonder, and exchanged
looks and interjections that expressed these emotions. To me there was
something pathetic, and yet obscene, in this shameless exhibition of
big, strong men clad like warriors, showing the fear and wonder of
little children. I told Robert to bring no more friendly savages to
see me, and that night I prayed with all my heart for any white woman
who might fall into their power.

During the summer of this year, 1860, there was a sudden lull in
events, but it was only the lull of warriors breathlessly watching. On
the election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency, they sprang as one man
to arms. Secession was now certain, and Houston found himself
compelled to summon a general convention, which met in Austin on the
twenty-seventh of January, 1861. It submitted secession to a popular
vote, and adjourned. I was present at this decision, and wondered at
the crowd of excited men submitting to the delay.

"We are _laggards_! _Laggards_ in duty!" cried an old frontiersman;
and Houston replied with calm dignity,

"Sir, we are acting as trustees for posterity. It becomes us to do all
things decently, and in order."

A loud, confused rattle of side arms was the only audible reply. It
might have been an assent to Houston's opinion, but it was more likely
to be a promise, that the duty would be fully redeemed.

I did not wonder at the old man calling Texans "laggards," for,
immediately after the election of Mr. Lincoln, South Carolina seceded;
Mississippi followed her in three weeks; Florida went out on January
the tenth, 1861; Alabama, on January the eleventh; Georgia, on January
the nineteenth; Louisiana, on January the twenty-fifth; so that, when
Houston called the Texas convention, six states had already made
preparations for meeting on February the fourth, at Montgomery,
Alabama, to organize a provisional Congress of Confederate States.
Robert told me that, in a conversation in the Governor's office, some
one spoke scornfully of this meeting, and Houston replied,

"Sir, it is an unlawful meeting, but it cannot be a contemptible one,
with such men as ex-President Tyler, Roger A. Pryor, and our own
Wigfall leading it."

"Is that all, Robert?" I asked, for I was always delighted to hear
anything about Houston.

"Very nearly. Some one added, 'There is Jefferson Davis, also.'"

"Oh! What did Houston say?"

"He said, 'I know Jefferson Davis, and I did not mention him, because
I know him. He is proud as Lucifer and cold as a lizard.'"

Then I had one of those unreasonable certainties, that are all-convincing
to the people who have them, and sheer foolishness to all ignorant of
their irresistible testimony; and I said, "Houston is right; my lips
shiver if they utter his name. He will bring ill-luck to any cause."

On the eighteenth of February, General Twiggs, the United States
commandant, surrendered to Houston all the national forces in
Texas--twenty-five hundred men, and national property valued at
$1,200,000. Five days afterwards, the vote on secession was taken.
There were forty thousand for secession and fourteen thousand against
it. These were anxious, eager days, and it was impossible to avoid
catching the popular fever. The convention met again on the second of
March, and on the fifth it at once adopted measures for entering the
Southern Confederacy, to which new government all state officers were
commanded to take the oath of allegiance on the fourteenth of March.

With two friends I went to the Capitol to witness the ceremony, and,
as we had seats in the front of the gallery, we looked down directly
upon a desk just below us, on which the Ordinance of Secession was
spread out. One of my companions was a most passionate Unionist, and
she pointed out the document with an unspeakable scorn and contempt.
The House was crowded; it was really electrified with the fiery
radiations of men tingling with passion, and glowing and burning with
the anticipation of revengeful battle. And the air was full of the
stirring clamor of a multitude of voices--angry, triumphant, scornful,
with an occasional oath or epithet of contempt.

But when Houston appeared there was a sudden silence. It was the
homage involuntarily paid to the man himself, not to his office.
Firmly and clearly, he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the
Confederate States; but the Lieutenant-Governor, a certain Edward
Clarke, was eager to do so. He was an insignificant creature, whose
airy conceit was a direct insult to Houston's sad countenance and
dignified manner; and I remember well how contemptible he appeared, as
spry and pert, he stepped up to the bar of the House to take the
oath. Just as he reached the desk, on which the Ordinance of Secession
lay, my Unionist friend, a bright, clever girl, of about sixteen years
old, leaned forward and spit directly on the centre of it. There was a
little soft laughter from the women sympathizers who saw the action,
and Clarke's handkerchief lay for a moment on the historical
parchment, but there was no remark, and the incident caused not the
slightest interruption.

"Why did you do that, Lucille?" I asked.

"To express my opinion. Did you see Clarke's handkerchief?"

"Yes."

"Then I suppose he got what I sent. And it is in Clarke's handkerchief!
In Clarke's pocket! Poor spittle! _What an ignominy!_"

Two days afterwards Clarke was made Governor in place of Houston.
Changes in all the government offices were likely to follow, and I
could not help feeling anxious concerning Robert's position. About
certain things he could be so stubborn. Men are made that way. They
have prejudices, and they call them principles, and then--sink or
swim, they stick to them.

Now an unreasonable detestation of slavery was one of Robert's
prejudices or principles. He would not allow that under any
circumstance it could be right, and all his sympathies were with the
slave. The majority of our small matrimonial frets were on this
subject. If he had been compelled to tew with, and to bear every hour
of the day the thieving, lying, and laziness of the three in our
kitchen, his pity for their condition would have been much modified. I
used to tell him this whenever the subject came up, but I could not
make him understand my position, because he lifted his argument out of
the personalities in our kitchen, and laid all their sins on the
condition of slavery. If he had been an unmarried man, I am sure he
would have gone to the Union army, but, being caught by circumstances
in a southern city, where he had been generously and kindly treated,
he felt, I think, much like Naaman, the Syrian, when he begged God's
pardon because circumstances compelled him to bow down in the house of
Rimmon.

But, if the question of slavery became a test question, there was no
telling what might happen, especially if it became a case of
conscience, for Scotchmen have an historical record for enjoying
"persecution for righteousness' sake." Then there was his English
citizenship. He had always refused to give it up, and how could he
expect a new government to pass by his allegiance, for the sake of his
financial knowledge. These questions troubled me much, as I sat sewing
through the long, sweet spring days.

One morning I walked to Henrick's store very early. They were just
opening it, and I sat down and waited. Suddenly through the clear,
cool air came the sound of military music, and the tramp of marching
men. It was the Second Texas, mustering for their march to the seat of
war. What a sight it was! Not one man in it weighed under one hundred
and eighty pounds, and the majority made the scale beam kick at two
hundred pounds. They were all very tall, wiry men, with not one ounce
of superfluous flesh on their big frames--straight as their own gun
barrels, with up-head carriage and full of that kind of spirit we call
"mettle" in a horse. My eyes filled with tears, and involuntarily I
prayed for the men as they passed. Alas, the Second Texas has a record
unsurpassed for bravery and misfortune! Its fine young captain was
killed at Corinth, and not a single man ever returned to Texas. Some
years after all of this splendid band of men had passed from life and
almost from memory, I had an opportunity of reading a letter which
contained the following passage,

  "On the second night of the fight at Gettysburg, I was roused from
  my sleep to help a friend look for his missing comrade. We went to
  the battlefield and stepping among the shattered wrecks of
  humanity, we turned up the dead faces to the moonlight. Suddenly
  we heard a broken voice muttering, '_Second Texas! Second Texas!_'
  It was the man we wanted. A cruel minie ball had ploughed out both
  his eyes, and he was otherwise fatally wounded. He was almost
  dead, and among the last of the gallant company, that I had
  watched march so proudly and joyfully to meet their fate."

I came home from Henrick's store much depressed. The brooding
calamities of the Second Texas had affected me. I felt the doom that
hung over them, though I would not entertain it. Near home I met two
girls whom I knew. Their brothers were in the company; they had driven
them into it, and they were now crying because they had succeeded in
doing so. "What unreasonable creatures women are!" I thought. However,
in a great many cases, it was the women of a family who compelled the
men to enlist as soldiers, by a course of moral suasion no man with
any feeling could endure. They would not eat with them, speak to them,
or listen if spoken to. They ignored all their personal necessities,
or met them with constant tears and voiceless reproaches, and what man
could bear his family weeping over him, as if he was already dead to
their love and respect? The middle-aged, and the old men needed no
such treatment; they were generally hot and ready to fight for their
ideas. The young fellows wanted a tangible fact, and the saving of
their slaves did not tempt them easily to risk their own lives.

On April the fifteenth, 1861, my daughter Ethel was born. She was the
loveliest babe I ever saw, and I was so proud of her beauty, I could
hardly bear her out of my sight. Before she was two months old, she
showed every sign of a loving and joyous disposition. If I came into
the room she stretched out her arms to me; if I took her to my breast
she reached up her hand to my mouth to be kissed. She smiled and loved
every hour away, and the whole household delighted in her. Robert
could refuse her nothing; no matter how busy he was, if she sought his
attention, he left all and took her in his arms. I forgot the war, I
forgot all my anxieties, I let the negroes take their own way, I was
content for many weeks to nurse my lovely child, and dream of the
grand future she was sure to have.

Yet during this apparently peaceful pause in my life, the changes I
feared were taking place. The new Governor was dismissing as far as he
could all Houston's friends, and Robert had been advised to resign
before his sentiments concerning slavery, state rights, and his own
citizenship came to question.

"As things stand," Mr. Durham said to him, "your good will is taken
for granted. You have been prudent, and no one has been curious
enough to make inquiries. Better retire for a while; you will be
wanted when things are more settled."

So Robert "retired," but he did not tell me so, until Ethel was two
months old and I was in more radiant health and spirits than I had
been for some months. Of course I was shocked at first, but easily
convinced all had been done for the best, especially as Robert had all
the private accounting business he could do, and he had never yet
failed me. In all the changes I had seen, I had never wanted anything
necessary for comfort. So I said cheerfully to myself, "God and Robert
are a multitude," and my bread will be given, and my water sure.

The summer came on hot and early, and was accompanied by a great
drought. Pitiful tales came into town of the suffering for water at
outlying farms, the creeks having dried up, and even the larger rivers
showing great depletion. Then the cattle and game began to die of
thirst, and of some awful disease called "black tongue." Thousands lay
dead upon the prairies, which were full of deep and wide fissures,
made by the cracking and parting of the hot, dry earth.

The suffering so close at hand made me indifferent to what was going
on at a distance, and also all through that long, terrible summer, I
was aware that Robert was practicing a very strict personal economy.
So I was sure that he was not making as much money as he expected to
make, and when he asked me, one day, if I could manage with two
servants, I was prepared to answer,

"Dear, I can do with one, if it is necessary." And I was troubled when
he thankfully accepted my offer.

To be poor! That was a condition I had never considered, so I thought
it over. We could never want food in Texas, unless the enemy should
drive his cannon wheels over our prairies, and make our old pine woods
wink with bayonets. Then, indeed, the corn and the wheat and the
cattle might be insufficient for us and for them, but this event
seemed far off, and unlikely. Our clothing was in far less plentiful
case. My own once abundant wardrobe was considerably worn and
lessened. Robert's had suffered the same change, and the children's
garments wanted a constant replacing. But then, every one was in the
same condition; we should be no poorer than others. A poverty that is
universal may be cheerfully borne; it is an individual poverty that is
painful and humiliating.

Slowly, so slowly, the hot blistering summer passed away. It was all I
could do, to look a little after my five children. I dressed myself
and them in the coolest manner, and the younger ones refused anything
like shoes and stockings; but that was a common fashion for Texan
children in hot weather. I have seen them step from handsome carriages
barefooted, and envied them. People must live day after day where the
thermometer basks anywhere between 105 degrees and 115 degrees, to
know what a luxury naked feet are--nay, what a necessity for a large
part of the time.

Not a drop of rain had fallen for many weeks, and, when the drought
was broken, it was by a violent storm. It came up unexpectedly one
clear, hot afternoon, when all the world seemed to stand still. The
children could not play. I had laid Ethel in her cot, and was sitting
motionless beside her. The negroes in the kitchen were sleeping
instead of quarreling, and, though Robert and I exchanged a weary
smile occasionally, it was far too hot to talk.

Suddenly, the sky changed from blue to red, to slate color, and
then to a dense blackness, even to the zenith. The heavens seemed
about to plunge down upon the earth, and the air became so tenuous,
that we sighed as men do, on the top of a high mountain. Then on the
horizon there appeared a narrow, brassy zone, and it widened and
widened, as it grew upward, and with it came the fierce rush and moan
of mighty winds, slinging hail-stones and great rain-drops, from far
heights--swaying, pelting, rushing masses of rain fell, seeming to
displace the very atmosphere. But, Oh, the joy we felt! I cried for
pure thankfulness, and Robert went to a shaded corner of the piazza,
and let the rain pour down upon him.

When the storm was over, there was a new world--a fresh, cool,
rejoicing world. It looked as happy as if just made, and the children
were eager to get out and play in the little ponds. Robert and I soon
rallied. The drop in the temperature was all Robert needed, and I had
in those days a wonderful power--not yet quite exhausted--of
recuperation. If a trouble was lifted ever so little, I threw it from
me; if a sickness took but a right turn, I went surely on to recovery.
So as soon as the breathless heat was broken, I began to think of my
house and my duties. The children's lessons had been long neglected,
and my work basket was full to overflowing with garments to make and
to mend.

Very quickly I was so busy that I had no time for public affairs, and
then the war dragged on so long, that my enthusiasm was a little
cooled. Also I was troubled somewhat by Robert's continued lack of
employment. Food and clothing was dearer, and money scarcer than I had
ever before known them, and Robert had become impatient and was
entertaining a quite impossible idea--he wanted to rent a farm and get
away from the fret and friction of the times. I pointed out the fact
that neither of us knew anything about farming, and that Texas farming
was _special_ in every department. But in those days it was generally
supposed that any man could naturally farm, just as it was expected
that every girl naturally knew how to cook and to keep house. At any
rate, the idea had taken possession of him, and not even the
probability of prowling savages was alarming.

"All that come near the settlements are friendly," he said, "or if not
they are too much afraid of the Rangers to misbehave themselves."

"But, Robert," I answered, "very few of them think killing white women
and children 'misbehavior.'"

There is however no use in talking to a Scotchman who has made up his
mind. God Almighty alone can change it, so I took to praying. Perhaps
it was not very loyal to pray against my husband's plans, but
circumstances alter cases, and this farming scheme was a case that had
to be altered.

Events which no one had foreseen put a stop to this discussion at
least for a time. In the soft, hazy days of a beautiful November, a
single word was whispered which sent terror to every heart. It was a
new word--the designation of what was then thought to be a new
disease, which had been ravaging portions of the Old World, and had
finally appeared in the New. I had seen it described in _Harper's
Weekly_, and other New York papers, and I was afraid as soon as I
heard of it. Robert came home one day and told me Mrs. Carron's eldest
daughter was dead, and her other daughter dying. Every hour its
victims seemed to increase, and by December all of my friends had lost
one or more of their families. I remained closely at home, and kept my
children near me. Though they did not know it, I watched them day and
night.

On the eighth of December near midnight, I noticed that Ethel had
difficulty in nursing and appeared in great distress, and I sent for
the doctor with fear and trembling.

"_Diphtheria!_" he said; and the awful word pierced my ears like a
dart, and my spirit quailed and trembled within me. For no cure and no
alleviations had then been found for the terrible malady, and indeed
many people in Austin contended that the epidemic from which we
suffered, was not diphtheria, but the same throat disease which had
slain the deer and cattle by thousands during the summer.

In the chill gray dawn of the ninth, as the suffering babe lay
apparently unconscious on my knees, the Angel of Death passed by, and
gave me the sign I feared but expected--a warning not unkind but
inexorable. The next twenty-four hours are indescribable by any words
in any language. A little before they ended, the doctor led me into
another room. Then I fell on my face at the feet of the Merciful One,
and with passionate tears and outcry pleaded for her release--only
that the cruel agony might cease--only that--dear, and lovely, and
loving as she was, I gave her freely back. I asked now only for her
death. I asked Christ to remember his own passion and pity her. I
asked all the holy angels who heard me praying to pray with me. If a
mortal can take the kingdom of heaven by storm, surely my will to do
so at that hour stood for the deed. Breathless, tearless, speechless,
I lay at last at His Mercy. And it faileth not! In a few minutes
Robert entered. He looked as men look who come out of the Valley of
the Shadow of Death. I thought he also was dying. I stood up and
looked anxiously into his face, and he drew me to his heart, and said
softly, "All is over, Milly. She has gone."

What I suffered for many weeks only God knows, but at last he took
pity on my grief, and comforted me. One night Robert had gone to some
public meeting, the children were asleep, and I was walking up and
down the parlor floor, whispering to my heart my dead baby's name.
There was a lamp on a small marble table which I had pushed aside, in
order to get the full length of the room for my restless feet. On this
table there were a few books, and one small one was lying open, face
down upon the marble. Without thought I lifted it, and finding a leaf
crumpled, I mechanically began to straighten it. In doing so, my eyes
fell on two lines; from the rest of the page they stood out as if
illumined, and this was the message they brought me,

  "Weep not for her, she is an angel now,
  And treads the sapphire floors of Paradise."

I saw nothing but these two lines. I wanted nothing more. They held a
strange and heavenly comfort for me. I kissed them reverently and put
the book in my bosom. Later I saw that they were part of a poem by a
prominent writer for _Blackwood's Magazine_, called Moir, a name well
known in the early part of the nineteenth century, and always dear to
my memory. I never learned the whole poem; I just took with a grateful
heart the two lines given me.



CHAPTER XV

THE BREAK-UP OF THE CONFEDERACY

  "The little feet that never trod
    Earth, never strayed in fields or street,
  What hand leads upward back to God
    The little feet?"


My readers must now be familiar with my surroundings, and after a lot
of consideration I have decided to relate much of my future experience
from the diaries I wrote in the very atmosphere of the times I am
depicting. Day by day the notes were made, short because I only wanted
them to stimulate memory and gratitude in the future. They have no
pretense whatever to being literature, even of the simplest kind, for
I never imagined that it could be possible, I should let any one but
God and myself see them. They are commonplace, but they are truth
itself. They are about household things, and the war is but
transiently mentioned, but they are human documents, and there are the
history books for those who want to know about the war.

I thought at first I would not copy the religious sentiments so
constantly interwoven, but when I tried to omit them, it felt like
putting God out of my life and book, and I could not do that, no, not
for the whole world. My first thought was that in this era of godless
youth, and material age, these spiritual aspirations and regrets
mingling with common daily life would provoke laughter. My second
thought refuted this opinion; there are plenty of good men and women
yet, I concluded, and to such a sincere religious sentiment, whether
expressed by mouth or pen, is respected. It may not always be
acceptable, but it is never ridiculous.


NOTES FROM MY DIARY OF 1862

_Jan. 1st._ Sat up to see the New Year in, and earnestly asked the
love and blessing of God on it. Mary poorly, and I sat by her making a
sacque for Lilly, and a little slip dress for Alice. Then I read an
hour to the children in "Nicholas Nickleby." Dr. and Jenny Alexander
called at night. Robert bought a hog, and had it cut up--must be
salted tomorrow.

_Jan. 10th._ A month ago today dear Ethel entered into rest. Robert
and I walked out to her grave, and strewed it with mignonette. When we
came back, Robert dug some potatoes out of the garden, and in the
evening I read "Nicholas Nickleby" to the children.

_Jan. 12th._ Sunday again. Ah, how little like Sundays that are past!
I feel no interest in church. I am afraid this is wrong. I went out to
Ethel's grave, and while there saw Mrs. Walker's baby buried. Died of
throat trouble. Lucy Goodrich walked home with me.

_Jan. 21st._ Robert had a conversation about changing this house for a
farm with a man I did not like. I have left this matter with God. I
was sewing and hearing children's lessons all day. In the evening I
read to them "Darius the Great."

_Jan. 27th._ Could not sleep, and got up soon after one o'clock and
sewed for two hours. Very high south wind, which always makes me
uncomfortable. All day long I was nervous and cross and alas! I may
say it was a lost day, for I neither made myself nor any one else
happy.

_Jan. 31st._ Teaching and sewing. Read "Cyrus" to Robert at night,
children at Mrs. Palm's for a candy pulling.

_Feb. 1st._ Teaching and sewing; Robert looking anxiously for a home
in the country. I do not say anything against it to him, but I have my
daily talks with God about it.

_Feb. 26th._ Bad political news. Fort Donelson and Nashville taken. It
has made us very low and anxious. Still, though much discouraged, I am
not hopeless. In some way or other, God always provides.

_Mar. 3rd._ Borrowed Mrs. Henrick's carriage, and drove out to see
the Bishop and Mrs. Gregg. Called on Mrs. Gillette coming back. Jenny
Alexander spent the evening with us.

_Mar. 13th._ Nashville and Columbus evacuated. Robert trying to sell
our house, and working for Palm balancing books. We went in the
evening to Ethel's grave, and planted jessamine and roses. Jenny
Alexander came out to us.

_Mar. 16th._ Sewing and hearing children's lessons, and at night
reading to them and Robert "Fortunes of Nigel." About eleven o'clock
we were awakened by the shouts of the Pony Post; Robert said they
meant good news, and he began to dress himself. Then all the bells in
town started ringing, and there was the greatest excitement. The
children were all awake, and I threw on my double gown and we went on
to the piazza to watch and listen until Robert came home. It was such
a lovely night, the mocking birds were singing rapturously, and I
think every dog in town was barking. When Robert came home, he said
Price and McCulloch had whipped the enemy in Missouri, and taken
thirty thousand prisoners, and Beauregard had taken fourteen regiments
in Tennessee. Texas may well rejoice, if it be so, but the Lord of
Hosts only knows.

_Mar. 29th._ I was doing some fine ironing all day; the negro in the
kitchen too sulky to trust. Jenny Alexander came in and helped me.
Bishop Gregg called in the afternoon, and I had a pleasant talk with
him. This is my thirty-first birthday. My birthday wish is, that I may
daily grow in grace. Robert was sad because he could give me no gift.
Poor fellow, I told him I would remember all the dear old ones, and I
asked God to bless me, and to direct all my way.

_Mar. 30th._ Thomas bought our house, and signed all the papers
relative to the sale.

_Mar. 31st._ A very unhappy day. I was in a bad temper, Robert was
miserable, and the children wondered at me. Dear God, forgive me!

_Apr. 9th._ Sewing and teaching; made a delicious beefsteak pie for
dinner. Went to see Mrs. Henrick's in the afternoon; in the evening to
Mrs. Durham's. Poor little Sally, whom I suckled for nearly two months
when her mother had fever, just dead of diphtheria!

_Apr. 10th._ Went to see Sally for the last time. It was Ben
McCulloch's funeral, also. The cemetery was crowded. When we got back
from Sally's funeral, her sister Leanore was dying. She breathed her
last at five o'clock.

_Apr. 19th._ A Mr. Stockton and his wife came to close with Robert for
their farm. I was glad the wife came. Women are so much harder to
please than men when they are buying. Everything went to pieces. I
knew it would from the woman's face. I wonder how it is that men like
women--at least, some women. Dear Robert tried to comfort me; he
thought I was disappointed, and I honestly tried to comfort him, for
he was very much disappointed. He smiled at my brave words, and said
of course all was for the best. I wonder if he really thought so--for
it has been a very hard, anxious week.

_Apr. 24th._ Made a shirt for Robert, and heard children's lessons.
Robert far from well, and hope sometimes dies within me. Dear God,
forget not that it is in Thee, in Thee only, I hope and trust.

_Apr. 28th._ Robert has gone with a Mr. Spenser to see his place on
the Brushy. I know it is all useless expense, but I dare not say so to
Robert. He seems to have no hope but in this direction, and I must not
take his last hope from him. Despondent men have bad temptations. He
must have his dream until he gets work. Make no tarrying, O my God!
David knew all about "waiting on God." He durst even ask God to hurry.
That is the way I feel this morning.

_May 3rd._ Gun boats at New Orleans; all gloom here in consequence.
Robert still looking for a farm. I asked him today what kind of farm
he wanted, and he said, a dairy farm, and then told me what Thaxton
made every week from his butter alone, and all gold. Butter! That
makes me still more set against farming. Who is to make the butter?

_May 4th._ Very, very anxious. I have hardly spirit left to attend to
the children. For many months I have been fighting this weary
bug-a-boo of a farm. I think a change of trouble would be a little
relief. This day I am "out" with life.

_May 5th._ I am so happy! God is so good! I knew He would be good.
Robert is to go back to his desk in the comptroller's office. Mr.
Durham called today and told him so. He has forgotten all about
farming. He went this afternoon and rented the Cook place, and
tomorrow we remove there. I have been singing all afternoon. God has
visited me with a blessing in both hands, for not only has Robert got
back his old desk, but I have been given the very desire of my heart.
Ever since I came to Austin, I have longed to live in the Cook place,
but never until now has it been to rent.

It was a big rambling log house on the top of a hill. The town, the
capitol and state offices were below it, and the river and the
mountains surround it. It stood in an enclosure full of forest trees
in front, and behind there was a yard shaded with mulberry trees,
ending in a meadow running down to a beautiful creek, and beside this
creek there was a stable. The main part of the house was built of
immense square cut logs in old Texan fashion, opposite doors to every
room, and no windows. It had cupboards and pantries to my heart's
content, and a little roofed passage way connected it with the kitchen
and servant's quarter. The parlor and one other room were of modern
construction, and I made the public welcome to them. I chose for
myself a large log room, with a fireplace one could burn a cord of
cedar in. It was always delightfully cool in the hottest weather; it
was always warm and cheerful in winter. If I had the money I would
build me a log house today. I would cover it with vines, and among the
leaves put gourds for the martins to build in, and I would say to the
swifts, "Sister swallows, you are welcome to my chimney."

For eighteen months I lived in this beautiful place, the life of a
completely happy woman. Time went back for me, and I grew young again
and joyous and hopeful as my own children. Robert made sufficient for
our necessities, and now that we had a stable he bought a couple of
mustang ponies. They were beautiful creatures, fine pacers, and cost
ten dollars in "specie" each. Robert and I rode out before breakfast
nearly every morning to Billingsley's garden, and bought cantaloupes
and tomatoes for the day, and Mary and Lilly soon became clever
horsewomen. Mary rode swiftly and gracefully; Lilly was very daring,
and took wood or water or anything that came in her way.

I followed my usual duties, attending first of all to my children's
lessons--then sewing, knitting, reading aloud to them, and to Robert,
cooking special dishes et cetera. My diary shows that I had an
extraordinary amount of company, and that, some way or other, I found
time to call upon a large number of friends, and moreover that for
days and weeks together, I helped Robert with the tax rolls of the
different counties. The following are a few illustrating notes:

_June 23rd._ Rode before breakfast with Robert to Billingsley's,
afterwards attended to the children. They went riding, and I was
checking rolls for Robert all day. Heard that Memphis had fallen.
Called on the Durhams in the evening.

_July 2nd._ Calvin's birthday. He is five years old. God bless the
boy. I thank God for him. Mary Gregg spent the day with us. I gave the
children a holiday, and was sewing, and tatting, and listening to Mrs.
Illingworth's troubles. After supper, Robert and I had a walk, and
then I played and sang an hour for him.

_July 11th._ This is my wedding anniversary. Twelve years ago Robert
and I were married. That was a happy day, this is twelve times
happier. Mr. Durham sent me a basket of grapes, and a pair of ducks
for dinner. Robert and I had a walk in the evening, and he said many
good and tender words to me. Oh, what a happy woman I am!

_July 18th._ Rode out to Illingworth's, and brought Mollie in to spend
the day. When I got home found Mollie Beadles, Mollie Peck, and Betty
Elgin were waiting. They brought the news of McClellan's defeat, and
surrender. The town seemed drunk with excitement. There was shouting
and bell ringing, and the continual cracking of firearms. I managed to
find dinner enough for everybody, and we had a merry meal. In the
evening Robert and I walked to Ethel's grave. Truly it is better to go
to the House of Mourning, than to the House of Mirth.

_Aug. 20th._ Have been working hard on the tax rolls every day for a
week, and a Mr. Bell worked till after midnight with Robert on his
roll. Robert has made a deal of money this month, but somehow it has
not been as happy as it should have been.

_Sept. 21st._ A pleasant day for Robert was at home, but I am not
happy. I have been drifting away from God, while I have been so busy.
I went to Ethel's grave in the afternoon, but felt no better. No swift
word of prayer or love leaped from my heart. There was no call for me,
and no word, or even thought for me. I was cold and lonely. The Great
Companion had left me. Well, I deserved it. I have neglected my
private reading and prayer for some weeks. I had no time. I made a few
dollars, and have lost what no money can buy. Dear Christ, forgive
me.

_Sept. 29th._ All day making over my hoop.

_Sept. 30th._ Heard lessons, and then went to Mrs. Millican's to learn
how to turn the heel of a stocking properly. Helping Robert at night
till very late.

_Nov. 3rd._ Sewing and knitting all day. Read to Robert at night from
Porte Crayon's work on Virginia.

_Nov. 7th._ Wrote long letters home, having an opportunity to send
them by a Mr. Ruthven.

_Nov. 15th._ My usual duties; baking cake, and went to sit with Mrs.
Durham an hour or two. Took Robert's sock I am knitting with me.

_Dec. 25th._ Christmas Day. My darling Edith would enter her ninth
year to-day if she had lived. The children were delighted with such
presents as we could get them. Most of their toys were of Robert's
making. We had a good breakfast all together. Plenty of chicken and
sausage and coffee for everybody, even for Crazy Billy,[4] who came as
usual to say "Merry Christmas!"

_Dec. 31st._ Had a severe cold but knit all day. We are all out of
stockings. Let Mary and Lilly sit up till ten o'clock, then they had
pecan nuts and home made wine; but Robert and I wanted to watch the
New Year in. I am going to be a better woman next year. I have
promised, and with God's help I will keep my promise. Amen.

For another year I was permitted to rest body and soul in this
pleasant home, and everything in the main events of life kept a very
even tenor. I taught my children, sewed, knit, read aloud to them, and
helped Robert with the tax rolls; went to see my friends, and
generally had one or more of them in my company. Yet no life is
without an almost daily variation; there was plenty of change to keep
me watchful, and sometimes a little anxiety, for the future had never
looked so dark and so uncertain.

On the thirteenth of March, I had another son, a fine boy whom we
called Alexander Gregg after the Bishop. We were very proud and happy
in his birth, and his brother Calvin took him to his child heart with
a passionate affection. From the first hour of his life he watched
over him. His care lasted a little over four years, and then in death,
they were not divided.

After Alexander's birth, any soul at all prescient might feel the end
of many things approaching. The stores of all kinds were nearly empty,
and I noticed that no stocks were renewed: I could not get an inch of
flannel for the new born child, and Mr. Illingworth sent me three of
his fine English undershirts to make barrow coats for him. With this
gentleman and his wife and children, we had been on the most familiar
terms for two years. He was the youngest son of an English family of
old and noble lineage, and had run away from college in his
twenty-second year. In some way he reached the Creek Indians, and
incorporated himself with the tribe, remaining seventeen years with
them. On his return to civilization he married a beautiful girl, and
had three children. His knowledge of Indian affairs made him of great
value to the government, and his desk in the Capitol was close to
Robert's.

Soon after Alexander's birth, an English lawyer came to Austin seeking
Mr. Illingworth. His father was dead, and there was a large fortune
waiting his identification. That night he and the lawyer took supper
with us, and we talked about England, until I went to bed with a pain
in my heart. At this time Mr. Illingworth was separated from his
wife, but in the morning I rode to her house, about two miles away,
and told her what had happened, advising her, for her children's sake,
to make up her quarrel with her husband. I was sorry that I had been
her confidant in the matter, for no one has any business to say a word
this way, or that way, between a man and his wife. The confidence
however had been forced on me, and I thought then, and I think yet,
that she was not much to blame. Given an Englishman inheriting all the
authoritative, stubborn qualities and prejudices of an aristocratic
family, the same carefully cultivated by the traditional education of
his class, and superinduced upon it the education of an American
Indian Chief, and you have a variety of the animal called man, any
woman might fail to please. I saw him on his return from England, and
he was, in spite of his quarter of a century in America, the most
English of all the Englishmen I had ever seen. What the cradle rocks,
the spade buries. But he was excellent company, and among other things
he related the following bit of conversation between himself and Lady
C---- at a dinner given to him by his mother's family, the high,
well-born Carews.

"Are you married yet, Mr. Illingworth?"

"I am, Lady C----.

"To an American?"

"Yes, to an American."

"Is she _very_ dark?"

This question illustrates well the amount of knowledge the noble
Englishwoman had of American woman, half a century ago.

Very soon I began to really feel the pinch of war. It seemed an
incredible thing not to be able to buy a little domestic or print,
when I had money to do so, but I could not. Many people were without
shoes, moccasins were commonly worn in the house. Pins and needles
were extraordinarily scarce, some were compelled to use mesquite
thorns for pins. I once gave a lady three needles number six, number
eight, and number ten, and she was so grateful she sent me a fine ham,
and two pounds of coffee; _real_ coffee that her husband had brought
from Mexico. Alas, there was no more real coffee in Austin, and a
majority of people were using the dried leaves of the beautiful Yupon
tree instead of real tea. Somehow or other, I cannot tell how, I never
wanted either tea or coffee; the Bishop sent me some, and also about
twenty pounds of rice. Mr. Durham sent me a little box of English
Breakfast tea, and I was just out of that, when Dr. Bacon of the
United States Sixth Cavalry sent me a fresh supply. And upon my honor,
I do not think there is anything that so firmly and pleasantly cements
friendship, as little courtesies of something good to eat. Though I am
in my eighty-first year now, I remember how delighted I was with these
things, and to go back no further than last Christmas, though I had
many gifts of many kinds, the one that gave me the most pleasure of
all, was a plum pudding and a dish of Nativity tarts, that an aged
Yorkshire lady visiting in Cornwall made for me with her own hands.

One of the symptoms speaking badly for the Confederate cause, was the
fact that the government was out of materials for the use of its
officers, which it could not manage to supply. Thus the printed and
ruled tax rolls were all used. There was paper of a kind, but it
needed a certain form of ruling, and Mr. Durham asked Robert if he
could rule it. Robert said he had not the time, but that I would do it
as well as anybody. So paper and rulers and pencils came to me, and
from henceforward until the break up, I ruled the sheets for the
assessors. Soon after the envelopes of three necessary sizes gave out,
and I made the envelopes. And Mr. Durham laughed when I sent in my
bill for "specie" payment.

"Barr," he said, "you would have taken Blue Williams,[5] but the
Confederacy can't fool women with them. I don't know a woman who has
done anything for it, that has not sent her modest little bill for
'specie.'"

These employments broke in upon my regular life very much, but the
"specie" was our domestic salvation. In the household also we were
obliged to help ourselves. No candles were to be bought, and we made
our own candles. We were as badly off for soap also, that is the soap
for washing clothes and kitchen use. I had yet a few boxes of Old
Brown Windsor which I had brought with me from England, and also
perhaps half a dozen of those semi-transparent balls made, I think, by
Pears. Among other utilities I painted a very respectable pack of
playing cards. I had bought, with my Newman's box of water colors, a
dozen large sheets of bristol board, which was just the proper
thickness. Robert with a sharp shoemaker's knife cut them even, and
exact, and then I painted them. I was quite pleased with this
achievement and sent word to Pat O'Gorman and Mr. Simcox, we could
have our game of whist once more. I have forgotten what became of this
pack, but I think one of these gentlemen took it as a memorial of the
evenings in the old log house.

Thus nearly every day there was a makeshift of some kind to devise,
and we found out, often with real happiness, that "necessity is the
mother of invention." Robert said it was like living in a Texas log
house the island life of the Swiss Family Robinson.

One day when the year was drawing close to Christmas, Robert came home
early. As soon as I saw him, I knew there was trouble, and I said,
"What is it, Robert?"

"Why, Milly, dear, this house has been sold, and we must leave it
before the first. Oh, my dear, I am so sorry!"

I was giving the Sally Lunns their second kneading, and I let the
dough fall to the floor. The tears sprang to my eyes, but I tried to
bear the loss as well as I could. Indeed I had been half afraid of
this very thing, for three nights previously I had dreamed of seeing
my furniture on a wagon. I sat down. Robert put his arm round me, and
whispered a few hopeful words, and I answered, "It is all right, dear.
We have had a fine rest here. We shall never forget it. Do you know
where we can rent anything as comfortable?"

"Not yet. Allen tells me, General Haney's place, just beyond the
Capitol will be for rent very soon, but there is nothing at present
but the Cartmel place, and if that will not do, we must store our
things, and go to the hotel."

"Then the Cartmel place must do. How can we go into two or three
rooms with five little children? Gracious Robert! It was not at all
pleasant with two. Where is the Cartmel place?"

"Just above Mrs. Green's."

"Not that little house with a Spanish dagger in the strip of ground
before it?"

"Yes."

"O Robert! It stands in a hole, down on the flat, too. I never could
bear living in a valley. I look unto the hills always. From the hills
cometh my strength, soul and body strength. And there is no stable to
it, and what about the ponies?"

"We must sell them, of course. There is a large corn field with the
house. It grew a famous crop this year."

"But what is the use of growing corn, when we cannot have horses?"

"No. Well, dear, I thought you had better know at once. Mr. Durham
advised me to come home and to help you pack. If we must go, the
sooner the better."

"You are right, we will begin this hour."

So we did, but there were delays about one thing or another that we
had not anticipated, and the twenty-ninth of December found us just
ready to move, in the very teeth of one of the most dreadful northers
I had ever experienced. But Robert had had negroes in the Cartmel
place for a week, cleaning and keeping the big fires night and day. So
with Alice and Alexander wrapped in blankets, we moved down there, the
people who had bought the log house, having invaded it with six
children, a dozen negroes, and all kinds of baggage, three days before
their legal tenure began.

Well, like all other troubles, the flitting came to an end, and things
were not as uncomfortable as I had expected. The ponies had to go, but
there was a shed close to the kitchen for a cow, and Robert said he
would try to get one as soon as he could. That put all right. To have
a cow and lots of milk and cream and butter! We could turn her into
the field and there was the shed to milk her in. I could hardly wait
for the creature.

Next day a man called Abner Blair called to see Robert about his
taxes, and I was repacking a trunk with trifles, I did not wish to use
in so small a house. He watched me, and lifted some of the books and
tartan things. His fingers clung to them, and I could see that he was
in a great mental tumult.

"Are you Scotch, Mr. Blair?" I asked.

"Scotch!" he cried. "I'm nothing else. Highland Scotch, from Aberdeen
way! Scotch for a thousand years! Scotch from the creation itself! My
wife is Scotch, and my children are Scotch, and there's nothing in
Blair house that isn't Scotch."

"Then," I said, "if you are from Aberdeen way, you will know what this
is;" and I held up the Scotch pebble bracelet I had bought on that
last walk I took up Buchanan Street, Glasgow.

He looked for a moment at the ornament, then he touched it, and asked,
"What will you take for it, I have a little lassie that would go crazy
to wear it. She will be twenty-one on Sunday next. Sell me the pretty
thing. My certie! I used to go gathering the stones--I did that--I
wanted them to pay my way through St. Andrews. What will you take for
it?"

"I will give it to you for your daughter's birthday," I answered.
"I'll give it to her with all kinds of good wishes."

"I take you at your word," he said in a perfect enthusiasm of
pleasure. "And I'll tell you what! I'll give you the best milch cow on
Abner Blair's ranch, and I'll bring her in to you on Saturday."

"Come back in half an hour," I said, "and I will clean the silver
settings and make them bright." He came back and went off with the
bawble proud and happy, and on Thursday brought me a milk cow which
justified all his promises. But as I rubbed bright the silver setting,
and very often since, I have wondered what power had prompted me in
1853, to buy a bracelet which I did not want, which I was rather
ashamed of buying, in order that it might get me and my children
plenty of milk and butter in 1863, when such things were scarce and
dear, and under ordinary circumstances beyond procuring.

My life in the Cartmel place was only a variation and accentuation of
what it had been in the Cook place. I did more and more work for the
government, and at the end of the year I confessed, that it had been
money in the purse, and not so well for me in other ways. The
children's lessons had been much neglected, and the half-hour I had
given daily to private prayer, ever since I was twelve years old, had
been put aside for ruling tax papers, or something else that seemed
more important. But this putting aside was neither happiness nor true
prosperity. It implied a trust in myself, rather than in God; and I do
believe at this day, as I did really then, that if I had gone on doing
my own duties, God would have sent the necessary money in some easier
and better way.

I notice in my diary, that soon after the New Year, Robert was often
on guard most of the night. There was at this time a great terror of
negro insurrections, and often I put the children to bed fully
dressed, in case there was a necessity to flee for life. We had all
our plans made for this emergency, the first and most surely safe one
being, a quick retreat to the grave yard, for no negro would venture
within its ghostly precinct. The nights Robert was on guard, I always
had company, very often a Miss Sophia Richardson, the daughter of the
editor of the _Austin Gazette_. She was a beautiful woman, well read,
witty and yet good-natured, and a singer of great power and sweetness.
She married after I left Austin the editor of the _New Orleans
Picayune_, and if this remembrance ever reaches her eyes, I want her
to think of me, as she knew me when we used to be happy together in
the old log house on the hill. It stood next to her own home. Here are
two notes on this life:

_Feb. 18th._ Sewing and hearing lessons, then ruling for Mr. Durham.
But I am weary and sleepy. Alexander is teething, and he does not let
me sleep an hour at a time. Sophy Richardson all day with me.

_Feb. 19th._ Had a bad night with Alexander, got up early and made hot
rolls for breakfast. Made sweet bread afterwards, also a chicken pie
for dinner. Heard lessons, sewing and knitting. Sophy Richardson came
in. Glad to see her. Betty Elgin called to borrow a book. Robert home
early, going on guard. There is a guard of well-armed citizens set
every night now. Robert told me it was necessary, for a devilish
negro plot had been discovered.

Plots and rumors of plots kept every one unhappy, and as we entered
the last year of the war, the air was full of miserable reports. It
was a brave heart that kept any hope now for the Confederate cause.
The weary ruling of paper, and making envelopes ceased. The Governor,
the Comptroller and George Durham all knew well, there would be no
need of them. On the eve of my thirty-fifth birthday I wrote:

_Mar. 28th, 1865._ None but the good God knows the history of the
coming year, but it is in His loving hands. I have had many cares and
sorrows, many pains and deprivations this past year, but not one too
many, because all is for the best. Every one is gloomy, for every one
is anticipating invasion. We have no money, and very little clothing
in the house--neither have I anything ready, either for myself or the
child I am expecting; but God is sufficient, and He will be sure to
provide.

_May 14th._ Robert went early up town. Heard of Lee and Johnson's
surrender. Jeff Davis said to be flying to the Trans-Mississippi. Many
say the Confederate cause is lost.

_May 25th._ The dream is over. No Southern independence now. Robert
thinks it will be Southern slavery. I have been ironing hard all day,
and sewing, but I heard no lessons. I was too troubled and anxious,
for Confederate soldiers, without officers or order, are coming in
every hour, and there is nothing but plunder and sack going on--and
the citizens are as bad as the soldiers.

_May 26th._ I had a very bad night, and feel headachey and sleepy. Had
to iron; the negro won't work; indeed Robert says both men and women
have deserted their homes, and are hanging about the streets, watching
the white men plundering, but too much afraid of the white man, to
take a hand in the work. I heard no lessons, but did a little sewing,
and all the housework that the negroes ought to do. In the evening
Robert went to a public meeting about protecting the town.

_May 27th._ Very anxious and unsettled. The town and all the adjacent
country is in a dreadful condition. From a man going north, Robert
bought seven bushels of meal, thirty-six pounds of salt, and fifty
pounds of sugar. Thankful to God for it, for in these days we know not
what may happen from hour to hour. Tried to sew in the afternoon, but
impossible; there is too much looting and quarreling going on. It
seems as if every one had a claim against the Confederacy, and were
paying themselves.

_June 2nd._ Everything in confusion. Everyone suspicious and watchful,
and there is no law. Governor Lubbock and the state officers have fled
to Mexico.

_June 11th._ The Rio Grande soldiers reached Austin today. I could not
help crying as they passed my door, and Robert lifted his hat to honor
them. These men were victors, though their cause was lost. Through
every deprivation and suffering, through hunger and thirst, through
heat and cold, weary, ragged, weather-beaten and battle-scarred, they
had carried aloft their flag with the single star. And they carried it
proudly that day through the streets of Austin. No one dared to forbid
it. Robert told me he saw many men weep as it passed them, and turn
away, but it floated fitly enough above the heads of those who had
given up everything for the ideals it typified. They went straight to
the Capitol, and demanded payment either in gold or government
property for their long service. And as no one had a right to pay
them, they paid themselves. The scene was indescribable, and Robert
slipped away and came home.

_June 14th._ Today the soldiers are looting the government stables.
They are dividing the mules and horses and saddlery among themselves.
The noise and tumult is indescribable. I was sewing, and ironing, and
cooking all day, and sewing again until midnight, for I must work hard
now, in order to have all comfortable for the children and Robert,
while I am sick. We keep quietly in doors, and are as happy as we can
be under the circumstances; but the poor country! My heart aches for
Texas, subjugated and all lost, even honor.

_June 15th._ Hot windy weather, but feel pressed to work, for I have
still much to do. But how thankful I ought to be for the health and
strength given me. God be near me for Christ's sake. My negro servant
comes home to eat, then she runs into the city again. I have all her
work to do, but she is waiting for her _freedom_. I cannot blame her.

_June 23rd._ The Emancipation Proclamation arrived. Robert said he was
glad of it, because the negroes knew they were free, and were
impatient for its public acknowledgment.

_June 24th._ The sheriff read the Emancipation Proclamation. He read
it with no more ceremony than if he was giving notice of a forced sale
of land, or a new city ordinance about negro passes, or any other
every day occurrence. He was surrounded by white men, who listened
without interest or remark, and the negroes were shocked and dismayed.
They had been sure that the news of their freedom would come with the
calling of trumpets, the firing of cannon, and the triumphant entry of
a victorious army. Robert said they were sick and silent with
disappointment, and vanished from the streets. I went into the kitchen
to tell Harriet. She was leaning against the open door, looking
intently eastward. Freedom was to come from the east, and she was
always listening and watching for its approach. Her child, a girl
about a year old, was sitting on the floor playing with some empty
spools. I had always thought her indifferent to it. "Harriet," I said,
and she turned her eyes upon me but did not speak, "you are free,
Harriet! From this hour as free as I am. You can stay here, or go; you
can work or sleep; you are your own mistress, now, and forever." She
stepped forward as I spoke, and was looking at me intently, "Say dem
words again, Miss Milly!" she cried, "say dem again." I repeated what
I had told her, making the fact still more emphatic; and as I did so,
her sullen black face brightened, she darted to her child, and
throwing it shoulder high, shrieked hysterically, "_Tamar, you'se
free! You'se free, Tamar!_" She did not at that supreme moment think
of herself. Freedom was for her child; she looked in its face, at its
hands, at its feet. It was a new baby to her--a free baby. Actually
the mother love in her face had humanized its dull, brutish
expression. I said again, "You are also free, Harriet. You are your
own mistress now. Will you hire yourself to me?" I asked.

"When dem Yankees coming, Miss Milly?"

"Nobody knows."

"How I free then?"

"They sent word."

"Mighty poor way to set folks free."

"Will you hire yourself to me, Harriet? I will give you six dollars a
month."

"Six dollars too little, Miss Milly."

"It is what I paid your master."

"Thank de Lord, I'se got no master now. I 'long to myself now. I want
eight dollars now. When a nigger free, they worth more."

So I agreed with the freed negro for eight dollars, but I noticed
three days later, I had a fresh free nigger at one dollar fifty cents
a day. Harriet had gone forever.

In this uncertain condition of affairs, it was perhaps astonishing
they worked at all. In fact it was only the women who made any
pretense of doing so, but they were generally mothers, and old master
was the only sure provider for the children until the Yankees came.
The men loafed about the streets, or made little camps in the corn
fields, for the young ears were then ripe and milky and good to eat.
But all were alike watching with weary impatience for the arrival of
the military.

_July 17th._ This was Robert's last day's work for the Confederacy. He
was working on his balance sheet. He has been three years, two months,
and twelve days in the employ of the late Confederate government--days
of goodness and mercy, every one of them. And I am not going to worry
about the future. God's arm is not shortened; it is as able to save
and to provide as it ever was. There was nearly two months due Robert,
which was of course paid in "specie." I shall use every cent
carefully, and more is sure to come, for God carries the purse for a
wise spender.

_July 20th._ Robert working for the Military Board. I suffer
constantly night and day trying to keep up my regular duties. Robert
helps all he can, but he is the best part of his day at the Military
Board. The weather is hot and very exhausting, even the children get
cross in it.

_July 25th._ About two hundred soldiers came into town. They hoisted
the Stars and Stripes on the Capitol, and went to work to prepare
tents, stabling, et cetera, for the troops to follow. They hardly
noticed the negroes, and showed no disposition whatever to affiliate
with them. On the contrary they were friendly with the white men, took
drinks with them, and passed around their tobacco bags, tobacco being
one thing our men were suffering for.

_July 27th._ About three thousand soldiers came in today. I was able
to iron a little, though I did not sleep an hour last night.

_July 28th._ Wagons and soldiers pouring into the town. Some of the
earliest troops raised the flag at the corner of Hancock's store. The
children went to see the ceremony. After it was raised, the troops
saluted it, and Judge Hancock called for cheers. The children said
there were a few weak little cheers, and the Judge was angry, and the
men walked away. Tried to iron and to bake; after Robert came home,
finished a pair of socks for him.

_Aug. 7th._ My dear Archibald was born at half past six this morning.
Robert stayed with me all day. Mrs. Carlton and Mrs. Green and Jenny
Alexander came and sat with me a little. I was very proud and happy
with my new son, and very grateful to God for all the love that
surrounded me. There is old Aunt Patsy in the kitchen; Mary, Lilly and
Calvin do all they can, and what they cannot do, Robert somehow
manages.

The daily record of my life at this time is chiefly remarkable for the
wonderful way in which it represents men of all ages, and all sorts
and conditions, taking hold of the heavy housework, thrown upon the
hands of the women by the refusal of negroes to work. They accepted it
with a kind of pride, and refused to feel any shame in relieving their
wives of labor beyond their strength. I went into a friend's house one
day and found her husband, with board and bathbrick, cleaning the
table knives. I knew men who "fired" all the food, for the cooking was
then done in skillets on the hearth, with hot coals underneath, and
upon the lid. I knew others who turned the mattresses and made the
beds, and though I was seldom quite without help, Robert found plenty
of housework to do, which he would not permit either Mary, or Lilly,
or myself to attempt. As illustrating the time, I insert here two
records, taken without option or choice, but reflecting the life of
the period so well, that I will not change them:

_Oct. 27th._ Been up and down all night with Archie, who is teething
and very restless. Robert had kindled the fire, and I made coffee and
muffins, and fried some bacon. After breakfast I attended to children,
then baked six loaves of light bread, cooked steak and mashed potatoes
for dinner. Mary and Lilly set the table very nicely. After dinner I
cleaned up, and when Robert came home about four o'clock, he parched
some coffee, and then helped me make candles. We had a pleasant
supper, and after the little ones were in bed, I read "Ivanhoe" to
Robert until bedtime.

_Nov. 1st._ Got up dull and tired, and made breakfast, then washed up,
and tidied the house. Robert gone up town to see what he can do about
a house. We must leave this place, and I would be glad to do so, if we
could find another. Robert hopes Major Pierce will pay him today, I
put no confidence in the man. I heard Mary and Calvin read, examined
them in other studies. Lilly is sick in bed yet. Robert came home
disappointed about both house and money. Well, God has both in store.
We must pay for them with faith and patience, and in the meantime, the
good Father sets my table, and provides for all my wants.

_Nov. 27th._ Robert rented the Morris place, just back of the Capitol.
I am delighted. I hated the house we are in, as soon as I heard of it;
and we have had nothing but trouble, while living under its roof.
Perhaps our moving may make a break in the long roll of anxious days
and nights, just as a nightmare is gone, the moment we stir under it.

The Morris place, to which I made all haste to remove, was almost in
the center of the camp of the Sixth Cavalry, and their tents were all
round our enclosure. A little behind them were the wigwams of the
Tonkaway and Lipan guides, but I had no fear of either white men or
Indians. And we soon found that we had come among the most courteous
and friendly people. A little offering of cream and new milk opened
the way for much mutual kindness; the officers came familiarly to our
house. Colonel Morris had the use of our stable, and the girls had the
use of horses when they wanted them.

I must notice here, that this kind treatment of "rebels" was not
specially for our case. Almost as soon as the Sixth Cavalry arrived in
Austin, its officers gave a Reconciliation Ball, and to their regular
afternoon promenade and concert, there was a hearty welcome for all
who chose to come. It was a great pleasure once more to feel myself
surrounded by happy, hopeful people; the atmosphere round the camp was
lighter and brighter than what I had been breathing for years, and my
nature responded gladly to its stimulus.

Nevertheless, the half year following this removal was full to the
brim of every sorrow that humanity can suffer. We were hardly settled
when Lilly fell very sick with camp measles, and one after the other
the whole family followed her. What we should have done without Dr.
Bacon of the Sixth Cavalry at this time, I cannot imagine. He watched
over every sick child with a care and tenderness that probably saved
their lives. There were but few ladies in the camp, but those present
were kind and sympathetic and Mrs. Madden, the wife of Captain Madden,
helped me nurse through many critical nights.

During these hard weeks of suffering and utter weariness, there was
always the haunting fear of poverty. At first, after the break-up
Robert was not anxious. The three richest men in Austin, Mr. Swenson,
Mr. Swisher and Mr. Raymond were intending to open a bank as soon as
affairs would warrant the project. They had engaged Robert as cashier,
and in the meantime he was putting the affairs of the Military Board
in order for Major Pierce. But the Military Board work was now
finished, and there was no prospect as yet for a bank in Austin.
Moreover, word had just come that Mr. Swenson had gone into the
banking business in New York. So we were anxious and uncertain, for
with six children it would not be as easy to move, as when we came to
Austin with two.

But money trials are not the hardest, and somehow or other, they are
always overcome. I have been constantly amazed in reading my diary for
this year, to see how wonderfully, and from what strange and
unlooked-for sources our purse was kept adequate to our wants. It was
my intention to burn this diary as soon as I had taken from its pages
the story it has so many years preserved, but after reading the record
of these sad weeks, I can never do it. As long as I live, it shall be
a witness between God and myself that in every trial and in every
sorrow He was sufficient. The stones of Bethel were not more sacred,
than this little book wet with my tears, and holding my prayers. For
over and over it acknowledges, "Thou drewest near in the day that I
called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not!" (Lamentations, 3:57.)

Robert had just made up his mind to go to San Antonio to see what
business opportunities were there, when Archie was taken sick. He was
only a child of ten months old, but he had crept close into all our
hearts. I sent for Dr. Bacon, and his attitude from the first was one
of anxiety. The next day he told Robert he had better not leave home.
"The child is very sick," he said, "and his illness has taken a turn
that is nearly always fatal."

Three nights after this advice, Robert lay down to sleep and rest a
little, for he had been holding the child all day. It was then near
midnight, and Archie appeared to be sleeping. I sat down beside his
cot, and was knitting a stocking, and watching his every movement.
Suddenly a large picture of Lake Windermere, heavily framed, which was
hanging over the chimney piece crashed to the floor. No one moved, no
one heard the crash, and I went and looked at the picture. Nothing
about it was in any way injured. Then I bowed my head, and clasped my
hands. There was One present, and I saluted him. The words I expected
came.

From that hour Archie grew steadily worse and when Dr. Bacon called
the following afternoon, I said,

"He is very ill, Doctor?"

"Very."

"Dying?"

"Yes. Look at his small hands. See how firmly he has clasped his four
fingers over his thumbs. That is a very sure sign of death. Why do
they do it? Who can tell?"

Soon after midnight Archie died. It was a glorious night, and after I
had washed and dressed the dear child for his grave, I went out and
cut handfuls of white altheas, and strewed them over the little form.
All that day he lay thus, and his brothers and sisters came and kissed
him, and he was yet one of the household. The next morning the little
coffin was ready, I laid him in it, and then Robert gathered the
children and read the burial service over it. Colonel Morris had
loaned us the officer's carryall, and there was plenty of room in it,
not only for the whole family, but also for the little coffin. It was
in this way, we went to the graveyard, and laid him beside his sister
Ethel.

God accomplishes that which is beyond expectation. The next morning
Robert got an offer from a large cotton house in Galveston, which he
accepted. Of course this meant, that he must leave me and the children
in Austin until October; before that, there might be some danger from
yellow fever. But we both knew, that in the United States camp, there
was every security, and that the kindness already given would not be
withdrawn.

After a few days' preparation Robert went away one morning. We watched
him until he mounted the last step, leading over the Capitol wall.
There he stood a moment, and waved his hat, and we turned quickly into
the house because it is not lucky to watch the traveler out of sight.
And as I entered the sitting-room, the pendulum of the clock fell to
the floor, and I picked it up and said, "It is ten minutes past
eleven. We shall see that something will happen at that time." I was
not worried about the circumstance. I merely thought it prefigured
some unusual event.

The three months that followed were very happy ones. Colonel Morris
sent the bandmaster to sleep in the house, and to watch the Indians,
and I threw off all care, and gave myself and the children a holiday.
All lessons were dropped, and the girls rode every day to their
heart's content. I wrote cheerful, loving letters to Robert, and had
cheerful, loving letters in return. And the weeks went quickly away,
until the last one came. Then having sold all our furniture, and also
the good cow bought with the Scotch pebble bracelet, I was ready to
depart. Ten years previously I had come to Austin, and thought it a
city in fairy land. I had seen every charm vanish away. It was a dead
city that I was leaving. The dead houses and dead streets might live
again, but nothing could restore unto them the glory of the past. I
was not sorry to leave them.

_Sept. 24th._ This is my last entry in Austin. Went with Mary to the
graveyard and planted some more shrubs on the two little graves. Then
I knelt down and bid them farewell forever. Came home and had some
ironing and packing to do; old Anna was doing the last cleaning. In
the afternoon had a house full of callers, the Reverend Mr. Rogers,
Mrs. Henricks, the Beadles, et cetera; in the evening Lieutenant
Kramer, and Major Starr, and Mr. Blackwell. It has been a restless,
heart-achey day, and Galveston does not call me pleasantly, but

  "Manifold are the changes,
  Which Providence may bring;
  Many unlooked-for things,
  God's power hath brought about.
  What seemeth likely happeneth not,
  And for unlikely things,
  God findeth out a way."

O little book, I shut up in you many sacred sorrows! But where on this
earth shall the mortal be found, who is free of all trouble? Even the
happy have secret griefs, they never utter:

  "But anywhere, or everywhere,
    If I fulfil God's will,
  And do my Life's work bravely,
    I shall be happy still."



CHAPTER XVI

THE TERROR BY NIGHT AND BY DAY

                                        "A place
  Before his eyes appeared, sick, noisome, dark,
  A Lazar house it seemed, wherein were laid
  Numbers of those diseased;
  Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, despair
  Tended the sick, busy from couch to couch;
  And over them triumphant Death, his dart
  Shook."--MILTON.


All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are
leaving behind is part of ourselves. The last night I spent in Austin
was full of fears and sorrowful memories. The Sixth Cavalry had left
the week previous, and I was in terror of the negroes who hungry and
angry were going to-and-fro in the darkness, seeking whom they could
injure or rob. I dared not sleep. But about two o'clock a severe
thunder storm came on and relieved me from any fear of negroes; for I
knew that they were terrified by thunder and lightning, and, moreover,
that they seriously objected to getting wet.

The storm troubled me, because I dreaded detention. If we were to
leave, then the sooner the better. I did not like plans to be delayed,
they always seemed to lose something in the interval, and to come to
the point at last but half-heartedly. So I wandered about the house,
or sat musing in spirit by the two little graves in that lonely suburb
of the dead, which I should never, in this life, see again. When the
dawn began to break I fell asleep, and on awakening found that it was
an exquisite morning, cool and bright, with a refreshing little wind
stirring the tree tops.

We had a pleasant breakfast, and then made our last preparations. I
had sold the furniture, but it was in some confusion, and had such a
hopeless look of hurry and dispersion, that I felt angry at the
senseless things. I did not expect the coach until eleven o'clock, but
I knew there would be many callers, and I wished to be able to give
them my whole time. And at this hour of parting all differences were
forgotten and forgiven; acquaintances I had not spoken to for five or
six years came to bid me farewell, girls I had helped and taught, men
and women of later acquaintance, all alike came with farewell gifts
and good wishes.

So the house was full until the coach was driven up to the door; then
I ran into the living-room to stop the clock. I did not wish to leave
"my time" for I knew not whom, and as I touched the pendulum, I
remembered its fall, and glanced at the dial plate. It was ten minutes
past eleven. So I smiled and said to Mary, "We are leaving exactly at
the hour your father left." And she answered, "You know, Mamma, every
one who goes by this coach will go about the same hour." I nodded my
head to this remark, and taking Alice by the hand, we made our final
adieus and started.

Somehow, I seemed to have suddenly lost a foothold, my spirits were
dashed, and I was relieved when the house was out of sight, and we
were driving down the avenue. And yet I was soon sorry, that we had
taken that way of exit from the city, for my heart ached when I
remembered the beautiful highway, as I saw it, the day I first entered
Austin--bathed in spring sunshine, redolent with the perfume of the
China trees, gay with white-robed women and picturesque men, with busy
stores, and little rambling hints of music from negroes picking their
banjos, while waiting for their masters or watching their horses. It
was so charming, so happy, so full of calm content and evident
prosperity.

Now! Ah! Now it was a desolate place. Only two or three stores were
open, the rest were closed, and had an air of desertion. I did not see
a dozen white men on the sidewalks, and just two white women were
visible, and they were robed in deepest black, and their faces closely
covered by long black veils. There was no sound or sight of business
of any kind, the doors of the hotel were shut, and not even an empty
chair stood under its shady verandah. All the signs of life present
were black signs--squads of ragged negro men, and with every squad
negro women equally ragged; while squatting near them, there was
usually some black hairless Mexican dogs--all else, despondency and
loneliness.

I was glad when we were beyond any sight or sound of Austin, and now I
confess that I remember only the Austin I saw and loved in 1856. I had
to call peremptorily on memory to restore me my last view of it, in
1866. The latter was but a passing condition. I know now that splendid
natural avenue is bright and busy, and wonderfully built up and
adorned with all that marks commercial prosperity. I do not want to
see it in its modern splendor. I prefer to keep my memory of it in
A.D. 1856. It was then, I think, the brightest, happiest, most
romantic street in the whole world.

We left Austin on the twenty-fifth of September, A.D. 1866, at ten
minutes past eleven A.M., and we arrived at Bastrop at ten o'clock
P.M., having stopped at a place called Nash's for supper. Then all
night we were in the stage, not reaching a village called La Grange
till near noon next day. At La Grange we had a good meal, and then
took a stage for Allington, where we arrived between seven and eight
o'clock that night. Here we stayed at a small hotel, and never before
in all my life had beds been so welcome. The children were worn out,
and I had a bad nervous headache but a long night's sleep put us all
right.

When I awoke, I found that Mary and Lilly had dressed the younger
children, and were dressing themselves, and by hurrying a little, I
was able to go with them when the gong called us to breakfast. Calvin
and Alexander were missing, but were soon found in speechless worship
and wonder before the railway engine. Calvin was a natural mechanic,
and the engine attracted him as nothing in all his short life had ever
done. He held his little brother by the hand, and was explaining it to
him in his childlike manner. After breakfast we took the train for
Galveston, but did not arrive there until it was nearly dark.

We had all left Allington in high spirits, but as the day went on a
great depression fell upon every one of us. The boys appeared to feel
its influence most, and they became silent and even sad. I thought it
was only physical weariness, for I was conscious also of a great
melancholy. A little while before we reached Galveston, we had to
cross a very long bridge or viaduct, connecting the main land with the
island of Galveston. Over this viaduct the train moved very slowly. I
looked at Alexander who was sitting on my knees, for I expected him to
be full of interest and chatter, and I saw that his eyes had the most
remarkable appearance. He seemed to be looking through his eyeballs,
as through a window, seeing something at an infinite, incalculable
distance. He was evidently unconscious, and _I_ could neither speak
nor move. Calvin was in the same trance. Mary and Lilly were gazing at
the boy, but neither of them moved nor spoke. Suddenly Alexander
shuddered, and with a deep sigh was conscious, but he made no remark.
At the same moment Calvin awoke to life, in the same manner, and none
of us uttered a word. The boys were exceedingly sad, but neither of
them asked a question, or made any allusion to their experience. The
strangest, most sorrowful atmosphere pervaded the car, and I could
scarcely move under the somber, silent inertia; but I expected the
train to stop at any moment, and Robert would be waiting. This
nameless, causeless, speechless dejection would be too cruel. It would
never do, it must be conquered.

I made a great effort, and got the children to answer me in an
absent-minded way, but when the train stopped, and Robert stepped
forward happy and smiling, and stretching out his arms for Alice, we
could hardly speak to him. For weeks and months we had all been
joyfully anticipating this very hour, and when it came, none of us
appeared to be even decently pleased. Robert was astonished but very
good-natured, and pitied us because we were too weary for anything but
sleep. But when I told him, a little later, about the kind of trance
into which both boys had fallen at the same time, he was much
troubled.

"Was it a trance, Robert?" I asked.

"It was _vision_," he answered sadly. "The same experience came to
Ethel, the day before her death."

"And what is _vision_?"

"The cup of strength, given only to those who will need its comfort."

Then we were both silent, and for some time both unhappy, though we
did not again name the circumstance.

We stayed in a boarding-house while furnishing our new home, and this
occupied over two weeks, for Robert could not spare much time to
assist me, though he had seen to it, that the house itself was
spotlessly clean and in good order. The rest had to be mainly my work.
Now, how is it, that the very same circumstances are not always
equally pleasant? I could not but remember our happy furnishing in
Austin ten years previously. What a joyous time it was! And there was
nothing to prevent, in some measure, a renewal of this experience;
there were even one or two things favorable towards making it a still
more delightful one; for instance, we had more money to spend, and
more certain prospects.

But it was quite different. Robert went about the matter generously
and helpfully, and the result was a pretty, comfortable home, with
which we were both pleased; but its making had not been the same
delightful event that our Austin home represented. There had been no
disagreement, no disappointment, not one untoward circumstance of any
kind, _but it was not the same_! Why? We loved each other better than
ever before; what had caused the change? _Ten years?_ When I was
alone, I could not help a few regretful tears, but alas!

  "No tears can make the grass to grow
  On the trampled meadows of long ago."

Ah, if we had known that it was our last home making! The very last
time we should talk together about chairs and tables, curtaining and
china, how almost sacred these common household things would have
become. I have not an article left of this furnishing, but a pretty
Queen Anne cream pitcher. On leaving Galveston forever, I gave this
pitcher to Mrs. Lee of that city, as a memorial of her great kindness
to me in the most terrible hours of my life. Twenty years afterwards,
she sent it with a loving message back to me, knowing that it would be
a relic beyond price. Surely the veil God draws between us and the
future is a veil of mercy. If Robert and I had known it, how
heart-breaking that furnishing would have been!

We took possession of our new home on the sixteenth of October. It was
then in perfect order, and we made a gala meal of our first supper, at
which all the children were present. Then there followed half-a-year
of days sweet as the droppings from the honeycomb. Lilly and Calvin
were at good schools, Mary was studying music, and learning how to
dance, and I was busy enough with my house, with the sewing for the
whole family, and with giving Alexander his first lessons. Alice
though near seven years old was yet too weak to be troubled. She had
been born during the excitement and terror of the beginning of the
war, and she brought with her--not the fervid spirit of the time--but
its exhaustion and weakness.

During the worry and trouble following the Emancipation, Robert had
received a letter from my sister Mary, telling him of my father's
death, but advising that I should not be informed of it, while I had
so many every day troubles and anxieties. Robert thought well of this
request, and so he did not tell me until we were happily settled in
our Galveston home. I could weep no sorrowful tears for my father's
release. For a long time earth had lain at his feet like a cast-off
sandal. He had longed to depart, and to be with Christ and the loved
ones waiting for him; and Mary said he went away smiling, like one who
goes on a pleasant journey.

During his last days he frequently expressed a wish that he might go
on a Sabbath morning, while the bells were ringing for service. Very
wise people will doubtless think that was a childish wish, but the
kindly angel of his release granted it. On a Sabbath morning, while
the bells of Baildon church were ringing a joyful peal, and filling
the air with the gladdest music that can ever be between heaven and
earth, he went away with the air and the smile of one,

  "To whom glad news is sent,
  From the far country of his home,
  After long banishment."

No I could not weep for my father's release. I could sit and recall
his fine face, his gracious manner, his blameless life, his wonderful
sermons and our long pleasant walks together, but though my tears were
dropping upon my sewing, they were not sorrowful tears. I could wipe
them away with thanksgiving.

For half a year everything went on in the happiest manner. We had very
pleasant neighbors; the markets were cheap and plentiful. A few old
Austin friends had gathered round us, and we had many new ones. Life
seemed to me in those days like a busy, happy story. True, every day
was much alike; yet every day was different--a fresh visitor, a new
book, the children's school gossip, the household and city happenings
made changes that were sufficient. And in the evenings, if we had no
company, I played and sang and read to Robert and the three eldest
children, or we took a walk to the beach, which was scarce a quarter
of a mile away.

Thus one day slipped into another, and I find no complaints in my
diary against anything, or anyone, but _myself_. To its pages I am
constantly lamenting my too vivid enjoyment of earthly happiness, and
my forgetfulness of past sorrows and trials. Yet if this small book
tells the truth, as I am sure it does, I must have loved God through
these happy days very sincerely. I wish with all my soul that I loved
him now, as I did then, with a conscience sensitive as a nerve, and a
heart that acknowledged no truer love, or dearer loyalty. Yes, in my
eighty-first year, I am ashamed before the memory of that woman in the
prime of her life, who could write such passionate longings for God's
love, and such sorrowful regrets for her small lapses of duty or
temper. Surely _He_ cannot have forgotten.

It was not until late in April that the first whisper of calamity
came. We lived in a cottage belonging to Judge Wheeler, and standing
next to his own house, and one evening he came over to smoke his pipe
with Robert on our verandah.

"Barr," he said, "I hear a good deal of talk about yellow fever, and I
dare say people will be advising you to leave this house, because
there is a meat market not far away, which will be sure to attract the
fever. Don't you believe them. Sit still. You are as safe here as
anywhere. We do not intend to move, nor do the Dalzells, who have the
next house to us."

During the following month the terror grew daily, and as the hot
weather came on, we were sensibly aware of our too close proximity to
the meat market, Robert was sure we ought to remove, and he came home
one day delighted with an empty house which he had found. It was near
the sea, and it had unusually large rooms, all of which had just been
renovated, papered and painted. It is not great things, but trivial
ones, which generally produce the most important and tragic
consequences; and it was the fresh papering and painting that made me
willing to go through another removal. Yet I did not inspect the house
before moving into it; if I had, I am sure I should have hesitated
about doing so, but the weather was hot and humid, and the road
between it and the Wheeler cottage deep with sand. My feeling about
the change was really one of assent, rather than desire.

The place, however, appeared to be all that had been represented--roomy
and clean, freshly papered and painted, and so near to the Gulf that
we could hear the waves breaking on the shore. But as I walked through
the rooms, an indefinable repugnance took possession of me, and I
asked Robert if he knew who had been living in it?

"I do not," he said a little tartly. "I never thought of asking such a
question. Does it matter, Milly?"

"Yes," I answered, "it does matter a great deal. In spite of the fresh
paper and paint, the air of these rooms is not clean. Wicked people
must have lived in them."

Then he laughed, and said, "You are too fanciful. No one has lived in
the house," he continued, "for a great many years. It was almost a
ruin, when old Durr bought it. We are its first tenants since its
restoration to a respectable dwelling."

I said nothing further at the time, but I noticed that when the two
large lamps were lit in the parlor, they did not light the room. It
remained dull and gloomy, and full of shadows, and an eerie feeling of
fear and unconquerable depression dashed all desire to talk over our
arrangement of the furniture; deny it as he would, Robert and the
children were affected in the same way.

But the change was made, and the wisest plan was to accept it
hopefully. I put up the white curtains, and white mosquito draperies
as soon as possible, not only because they were necessary to our
comfort, but because I hoped the profusion of white would relieve the
gloom. I filled the rooms with flowers, I hung no pictures but such as
were of light coloring and cheerful subjects, and when I had finished
my work, I felt more satisfied with the place.

Then life settled to its usual routine, yet hardly so, for I was
counseled against allowing the children to study during the hot months
in which they were acclimating; and I felt little inclination myself
for any duty that was not an imperative necessity. I sat drowsily
within the open door hardly thinking. Life gradually became inertia. I
laid down my book and needle, and the children played without spirit,
or lay sleeping in any cool place they could find. In Austin the
thermometer had often stood ten or twelve degrees higher, and not
affected our work or spirits, but as soon as it passed ninety degrees
in Galveston it became intolerable. And at this time the average heat,
if I remember rightly, was one hundred degrees and upward.

Still I am glad now to recall we kept up as far as possible all our
household ways and traditions. No matter how hot the morning or night,
we never missed the usual family worship, and only in case of
sickness, did I permit either myself or the children, to neglect
dressing to meet their father for supper. I did not read so much aloud
to them, for we were all too listless and anxious to care about
imaginary sorrows, with so much real danger and suffering around.
Sometimes, however, I took a little stroll with Robert to the beach,
and sometimes even I went downtown with him as far as our grocer's. He
was a Glasgow man called Shaw, and Robert had formed a warm friendship
with him.

As the days and weeks went on, we could not escape the certain
knowledge that the fever was steadily gaining ground. During the
latter part of June the corporation were keeping large fires of tar
burning all through the city, and the gutters had a horrible odor of
disinfectants. Far and wide the lurid smoke of these fires darkened
the hot humid atmosphere, and at night their dark fantastic shadows,
and the singular forms they took, seemed to prefigure and presage the
fate of the doomed city. Here and there stores were closed, and
frequently dwellings full of human beings were marked with the dreaded
yellow cross.

At this time I had no great fear of the fateful sickness. However,
towards the middle of July affairs were coming to a frightful crisis.
The fever had at last reached the military camp of the United States
soldiers, which was but a block or two behind our house. There were a
thousand men in it, and every morning I saw long lines of carts filled
with rude boxes and tarred canvas pass the house. They were carrying
the dead to the long trenches made for them. In August the colonel of
this regiment died of the fever, and not thirty of the men were alive
to bury him.

There was nothing for the custom's house and post office to do, their
doors were shut; the Strand, which was the principal business street
of the city, was rank with waving grass. Its large warehouses, shops,
wharves and public buildings were closed. There were half a dozen
little places scattered about, that were still open, mainly for the
sale of bread and drugs, but they had an air of hopeless silence and
abandonment. A dreadful haze hung over the city, and the sea--a haze
that appeared to be filled with the very odors of despair and death. I
was glad when the corporation gave up all efforts at prevention. The
fever was now far beyond it, and Galveston was strictly isolated from
the living world. It had become a city of dreadful death.

Day after day and week after week the weather was of the same
distressing character--an hour or two of pouring, beating, tropical
rain, and then an hour or two of such awful heat and baleful sunshine,
as the language happily has no words to describe. These two conditions
alternated continually, and the consequence was streets full of
grass--this grass being literally alive with tiny frogs, frogs not
bigger than a bean, but in such enormous quantities that pedestrians
crushed hundreds under their feet with every step they took. I do not
exaggerate this sickening plethora of life; it is impossible to do
so.

One evening towards the end of August I told Robert we were out of
certain household necessities, and asked if he knew how they could be
procured. He answered, "Yes, Shaw told me if we wanted anything to
knock at his house door, and he would give me what was required. I
will go and see him after supper."

Then I pleaded, "Let me go with you, Robert. I want a walk so much."
He entreated me not to go, but I was resolved to see with my own eyes
whether things were as bad as reported, and after some demur he
consented. So I walked down into the city with him. A walk through
hell could hardly have been more dreadful. The beds of the dying were
drawn to the open windows, and there was hardly a dwelling wanting a
dying bed. The faces of the sufferers were white and awful, their
heads covered with crushed ice. They were raving, moaning, shrieking,
or choking with the appalling vomito. I covered my eyes, and clung to
Robert, and finally asked him to turn back.

"We are nearly at Shaw's," he answered, "and you had better rest there
half an hour. It will then be darker."

So he knocked at the door for admission, and one of Mr. Shaw's clerks
opened to us. Robert asked for Mr. Shaw, and the young man replied,
"He is in bed, very ill with the fever."

I knew it the moment the door was opened. A strong sickly odor, like
nothing ever felt before, told me so. I said to myself on the instant,
"It is the smell of yellow fever." And no one, I think, would have
failed to give it its own dreadful name--that is, if they were in a
situation where the fever was probable. There is no odor on earth to
which it is comparable. The soul loathes, and sickens, and trembles in
its presence; for there is no straighter or surer avenue to the soul
than the sense of smell.

I went home thoroughly frightened, and Robert I think was not sorry.
He had often told me I was too indifferent--not to the discomfort of
the situation--but to its danger. We found on reaching home that
Calvin and Alexander had not gone to bed, and then both boys cried in
our arms and said they dared not go to their rooms upstairs.

"There are evil spirits there, Papa," sobbed Calvin, "and they walk
about and stand and look at us. They emptied my drawers last night.
They pulled the clothes off our bed. Oh, they are so wicked, and so
dreadful! Save us from them, Papa! We cannot go upstairs tonight."

We were astounded, the more so as Mary and Lilly had a similar story
to tell. The dear children had been consulting in our absence, whether
we must be told, or whether they should try to bear it a little
longer--_until Mamma felt better_. Those four words smote me like a
whip.

Of course we comforted them, and gave the boys a room downstairs
beside us. Then I went to the kitchen to make some inquiries of the
servant, who also slept upstairs. She was a sensible middle-aged Dutch
woman, as little likely to be psychic, or even imaginative, as was the
bed upon which she slept. I found that she had gone home to sleep, but
would be back early in the morning. When she came in the morning, I
said to her, "Why did you go home last night, Gertrude?"

"Because it is impossible to sleep here, Madame," she answered. "There
are such strange noises, and I see dreadful men going up and down
stairs all night. I am afraid of them."

I told Robert what she said, and he answered in a sad, slow voice, "I
hear such things wherever I turn Milly. It is astonishing what some
men have told me. I could almost fear we were all in hell and did not
know it. During the great cholera year in Glasgow, 1847-8, people told
the same things, but the spiritual terror is far, far greater here,
and now, than it was there, and then."

"Do you think such a calamity as this is the work of evil spirits,
Robert?"

"It may be. But if so, they are only the agents of a wise and merciful
God who permits them so far, and no further. There is the case of Job,
and when Daniel prayed for help, the help, though sent by the
Archangel Michael, was delayed twenty-one days; for Michael had to
fight the Evil Ones, who opposed him." Then we were silent and
thoughtful, and I had suddenly a childish fear, that it was not well
to talk of the Evil Ones. They could perhaps hear what we said.

I will try to write as little as possible about the spiritual terror
of this time, but ignoring a subject does not annihilate it, and this
subject was one of general concern and absorbing interest. There were
few people--men and women both--who had not some strange or terrible
experience to relate. Nor were these experiences confined to the
vulgar, the ignorant, the superstitious or the irreligious; they
affected every class, without any distinction of social standing, age
or culture.

We must remember that every one for three months dwelt at the mouth of
the grave. The terror by night, the pestilence that walked in
darkness, the destruction that wasted at noonday was their companion
and their conversation. The invisible world drew strangely near to the
visible; every one talked with bated breath of things supernatural. It
was an atmosphere in which the solemn and thoughtful grew spiritual,
but which offended and angered natures of clayey mold.

Those who have visited old churches and cathedrals where men have
prayed and poured out spiritual emotions for centuries know how
powerfully they are moved by this unseen force of righteousness; how
softly they tread! How lowly they speak! How readily their souls
respond to the reverent thoughts that spring voluntarily to their
consideration! Such places are really sacred. God has visited them,
angels have rested in their solemn aisles, mortals seeking heavenly
mercy have found it there.

Now the power of evil association with places is quite as great--perhaps
greater; for evil clings passionately to whatever is of the earth.
There are many places today filled with the strong vibrations of
tragedies long since enacted there. Go and stand, even at bright
noonday, amid the ruins of some old Druidical temple, and you will be
chilled by the supernal horror that yet lingers there. Every city has
its own mental atmosphere, and it affects persons moving to it. In a
lesser degree every tabernacle built by man, and used by man, becomes
imbued with his personality, physical and spiritual. I knew
dwellings in England where the same family had lived for centuries,
that had actually the aura of the family, and in their arrangement and
atmosphere, almost its personality. Indeed, every habitation reveals
in some degree the nature of the people who dwell in it. So I wondered
constantly as to who had built and lived in the old house we had
unfortunately taken possession of. I was sure that their wraiths were
still in it, and that our presence annoyed them. But we told ourselves
that their malignity could have no power over us. Whatever came,
though it were the fever, we were determined to take it as from God's
will.

One night in August, Robert brought home with him a Mr. Hall, an old
Austin friend. They had some business to talk over, and when I saw
their conversation was finished, I had supper brought in, and as we
sat down to the table, Mr. Hall glanced round the parlor and remarked,
"The old pirate's nest has quite a Barr-y look already."

"Pirate's nest!" I ejaculated. "What do you mean, Mr. Hall?"

"Well," he answered, "if devils haunt the places they made hells upon
earth, Lafitte and his men must be here. It is said that Durr's house
was standing in the days when Galveston was called Campeachy, and was
a haunt and home of the vilest men, pirates and murderers from the
scum of all nations, ruled by the infamous Lafitte. By the way, Barr,"
he continued, "Lafitte was a great slave trader, and he had a very
convenient way of selling negroes; a dollar a pound for them, old or
young. If this should have been Lafitte's house, as I have heard some
suppose, it was originally painted blood-red, and----"

"Mr. Hall," interrupted Robert, "I think you ought not to mention such
things in Madame's presence."

"I beg Madame's pardon," he answered, "but I felt sure she had already
heard many incomprehensible things. To me they are hardly so, for I
know what fiends once made Galveston Island their home. Do you think
they have forgotten the place of their sins and cruelties? No, Furies
of ancient crimes are here, revengeful souls full of unsatisfied
hatreds. Perhaps they have been given a strange enlargement for some
reason, and that reason must be within the permission and mercy of
God."

Robert made a motion of dissent. "I do not believe," he said, "that
God would select for the execution of any of his purposes, foul
spirits who gloat in cruelties."

"We know nothing more surely of God, than that he is love and mercy. I
am one of those who believe even in the repentance and forgiveness of
that great Archangel who fell, and drew after him a third part of
heaven."

"Now, Hall----"

"Yes, I believe in the full and final triumph of good. Why else should
Christ have descended into hell to preach to the spirits in prison
there? He had surely some hope or promise to give, or He would not
have gone. I hope I may at least have the same divine charity which is
expressed in one of the most ancient Persian hymns."

"Do you know the hymn, Mr. Hall?" I asked.

"I know the lines I refer to."

"Will you repeat them?"

"In the translation I possess, they read thus:

  'Ormuzd grant me the grace, the joy of seeing
  Him who makes the Evil, be brought to comprehend
  The purity of the Heart. Grant that I may see the
  Great Chief of the Evil Ones, loving nothing but holiness;
  And forever speaking the Word, among the
  Converted demons.'"

"Thank you," I answered, and Mr. Hall continued, "Take your Bible.
Between cover and cover, there is not any doctrine more constantly
taught and exemplified, than the one teaching angelic and demoniacal
agency. What says Madame?"

"I believe in it," I answered, "just as I believe in the resurrection
of the dead and the communion of saints. They are articles of the same
creed. I cannot doubt one, without doubting the other; and I hope I
have a share of that divine charity which inspired the Persian
worshipper. David believed that even if he made his bed in hell, God
would care for him, and Ezekiel tells us that Pharaoh shall be
comforted in hell." (Ezekiel, 32:31.)

"Do you remember in what chapter?" asked Mr. Hall.

"No," I answered, "but we will look for it after supper." Then I
changed the conversation for Robert looked as much like a Sadducee as
any dweller in ancient Jewry could have done.

That night we were both very sad and quiet, and after Mr. Hall had
left, Robert sat down by his two sons and talked softly to them for a
long time. I sat at the open door, listening to the great voice of the
sea lamenting and creeping up through the darkness. At that hour my
faith was weak, and I could not help remembering how, when I first
crossed this unhappy threshold, my heart sighed heavily, and my very
steps were reluctant and prelusive of sorrow. But in a little while
Robert came to comfort me, and he spoke so bravely of God's omnipotent
power, and of his goodness to us in every emergency, that I soon found
no difficulty in carrying my fearful heart from this unhappy house,
safe to the hidden house of God's abiding.

That night I had a dream. It is as clear to my inward vision this hour
as when I awoke from it. I was by the side of a river, a river black
and motionless. Great trees overshadowed it, and all its banks were
hidden in a lush growth of rushes and long grasses. It was a horror of
marshy earth and dead water. And among the long rushes and dead water,
a human figure lay, a man unnaturally thin and tall, with a yellowish,
deathlike face, surrounded by long straight black hair. He lay prone
as if asleep, but slowly raised himself, and looked at me. Then with a
languid air, but a voice of fate, he said, "_One shall be taken, and
the other left_."

I awoke, and my heart was sick, for I had seen the likeness of yellow
fever. And from that hour I knew, that either I must leave my dear
ones, or they would have to leave me. For come how it may, dreams _do_
read the future. Then why should we despise their teaching? How can we
tell what subtle lines run between spirit and spirit? Fifty years ago
we would have thought it a thing incredible, if told that a man in New
York could talk with a man in Chicago. Can it not be as easy for the
dear ones who have left us, to send a warning dream, as it is for our
scientists by means of spectrum analysis, to examine a ray of light
from Sirius, Capella or any distant star, and tell us what are the
elements of their composition. And from the dream there soon followed
reality. I went softly. I hung around my husband and children with a
wistful tenderness. I asked God to prepare me for whatever He sent,
and all my prayer was, "Let us fall into Thy Hands."

I can make no apology for being now compelled to refer to a life not
this life. It would indeed be a miserable one-sided biography of any
human being, that was only a biography of their physical life. We are
soul as well as body. It is not that we _have_ a soul, we _are_ a
soul; and this higher part is in no one quiescent. The men who think
of nothing outside their physical senses, have often souls of a far
more pronounced type than their physical man; the type may be evil,
but even while they ignore its agency, they are ruled by it.

I had been _in touch with myself_ all my life long; by night and
day the other Amelia was familiar to my apprehension, and an
incommunicable sense of another world never far away. Hitherto, I
had been astonished that while others saw and heard so much from
this other world, I had been singularly free from spiritual
influences. The dream I have just related, was the first intimation I
received of a personal share in the general calamity. I did not speak
of it to Robert, but as I have said, I went prayerfully about my
house, and all my pleasant work fell from my listless hands.

Sometime after midnight on the twentieth of August I rose from my bed.
I could not sleep; I was too restless and unhappy, but all whom I
loved appeared to be sleeping well. So I sat down in a rocking-chair
facing an open window which looked towards the sea. This open window
was however screened by the ordinary green blinds, made of thin slats
of wood. All was quiet but the dull roar of the sea, troubling the sad
heart of the night with a sound of vague anger and menace; and the
stillness of earth and sky was ghostly and melancholy. I heard a faint
stir among the leaves of the Japonica hedge that surrounded the place,
and I stopped rocking and sat motionless listening.

Then there fell upon the closed blinds--on which my eyes were fixed--a
blow so tremendous, that I was sure they must be shattered; but ere I
could rise, another blow of less intensity followed, and then a third
not quite as crashing as the second. I never for a moment thought the
blows were given by any instrument. I was sure they were made by hand.
I went to Robert's side. He was fast asleep. The children also were
sleeping. Then I understood. I prayed for God's mercy, but God seemed
far from me. Until the dim gray dawn I sat in troubled thought, but
when I heard Robert stir I told him what had happened, and begged him
to come to the window with me. I had been afraid to go near it; I had
turned my back upon it, but I was sure the blinds were shattered.

There was not a slat broken. But the thin strips of wood were indented
and showed plainly the full shape of a hand twice as large as any
human hand. Why were the blinds not broken to pieces by three blows
from a hand like that? And how could the thin strips of wood be made
to bend and to take that impression? This evidence of physical force,
made by some spiritual entity remained for every one to see, as long
as I lived in the house. As to what came after, I know not. I never
again went within sight of the place.

That day I noticed that the leaves of the Japonica hedge had turned
black, and were covered with a loathsome sweat or moisture, and Robert
told me he had been with Scotch Brown to the camp to do something for
a Scotchman ill there, and that they were shown the body of a calf
killed one hour previously, and it was as black as a piece of coal. "I
would not let the children go outside, Milly," he said, "the very
atmosphere has the fever."

That night Alexander was taken ill, and before midnight he was
delirious. The next day Lilly was sick, and the following day Mary.
There was then no institution like the present trained nurses, but the
Scotchmen of Galveston had formed themselves into a society for
nursing each other, if attacked by fever; and Robert and Scotch Brown
had been busily engaged in this work for some weeks. Now Scotch Brown
came to our assistance. He went into the kitchen, and could cook a
suitable meal if necessary. He kept the negro hired help at their
duties, and no woman could have been more tender, more watchful, more
ready to help and to comfort. Lilly had not a very bad attack, but
Mary came perilously near to the fatal end. But carefully watched and
nursed, they passed the crisis, and began to recover. The recovery
from yellow fever is very rapid, but if a relapse should take place,
the case is hopeless.

On Sunday, the sixth of September, Alexander, Lilly and Mary were
apparently getting well as satisfactorily as we could expect. Mary
looked white and frail; Alexander lay mostly on the sofa; Lilly, in
spite of yellow fever, had her usual bright smile and cheerful voice;
but, Oh, how happy we were to be able to gather at the dinner table!
Very sparing was the food of the invalids, but they enjoyed it, and we
had a pleasant meal. It was a very happy day, I remember every hour of
it. It was the last day I was to spend with my husband and sons, but I
knew it not. Surely, I thought, God has heard my prayers, and we shall
all be spared to thank Him. We did so together, as soon as supper was
over, and the children with kisses and loving words went early to
rest. Robert and I sat until late; Robert was very quiet, but I leaned
my head against his shoulder, and we spoke tenderly and hopefully to
each other of things past, and of things likely to come. And as I
brushed out my hair, and coiled it for the night, I said cheerfully to
him,

  "God doth not leave His Own.
  The night of weeping for a time may last,
  Then tears all past,
  His going forth shall as the morning shine.
  The sunrise of His favor shall be thine and mine,
  God doth not leave His Own."



CHAPTER XVII

THE NEVER-COMING-BACK CALLED DEATH

  "Calamity is a delicate goddess, and her feet are tender. Her feet
  are soft. She treads not on the ground. She takes her path upon
  the hearts of men."


The next day was the worst we had yet seen. It poured incessantly, and
when the rain ceased at nightfall, it was followed by a fog so dense
that it seemed palpable. Every room in the house was full of it,
lights would hardly burn, and breathing was not easy. Robert and the
children went early to bed, but I wandered about the different rooms,
watching the sleepers. I did not feel very well, and was nervous and
full of fears. When the clock struck twelve I was worse, and I
concluded it would be well for me to try to sleep. But before putting
down the lamp, I opened the Bible, for my father had often told me, to
take a verse to bed with me to meditate upon, if I happened to be
wakeful. It was a common, almost a nightly custom, and I followed it
at that hour more as a habit than a conscious intent. So opening the
Bible, as my fingers touched the screw of the lamp, my eyes fell upon
these words, "_Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them
alive; and let your widows trust in me_." (Jeremiah, 49:11.)

My first emotion was anger. I closed the Book hastily but did not put
out the light. I told myself, that I would not go to bed with that
strange verse pealing in my ears. And I wondered at my opening on the
Book of Jeremiah; it was one book that we never read, either
personally or in the family. Its pages indeed were fresh and white,
while the Psalms and Gospels were well worn and discolored. All that
splendid faith, which is exactly to the inner woman what courage is to
the physical woman, had slipped away from me. Why was God so hard to
me? I wanted so much a little verse of comfort, and I had been given
an evil prediction. I cried very much as a sensitive child would cry,
who thought its dearly loved father had been unkind, or indifferent to
its distress.

I had said, I would not go to bed with that verse pealing in my ears,
but the pain in every limb of my body grew constantly worse. I put my
fingers upon my wrist, and found there that peculiar "bound" that says
at every throb, _yellow fever_! I knew at last, that I was smitten
with the fever. Then I called Robert, and was quickly in such physical
anguish that I forgot all else; also a feeling of sheer despair took
possession of me, and during the ensuing week I was only conscious of
the agony of a thirst, which could not be satisfied but at the risk of
the vomito. Robert put bits of crushed ice between my lips frequently,
but they did not assuage the cruel longing for water. I was in an
unconscious state wandering in "a desolate land, where the pains of
hell get hold on me--a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and
of the shadow of death, that no man passed through, and where no man
dwelt;" and into which neither husband nor child could follow me;
tossing, muttering, slowly parching and burning up, I lived on from
day to day.

But He that "turneth man to destruction" says also, "Return ye
children of men;" and on Friday, the eleventh, I became conscious of
Robert at my side, and of the children passing through the room and
coming to me. I could feel their soft kisses on my hands and face, and
I finally found strength to ask Mary, "How are Calvin and Alice?"

"Calvin is sick, Mamma," she answered. "Papa put him in my room; he
wanted to be near you."

"Very sick?" I asked.

"Not as bad as I was."

"Alice?"

"She has the fever very slightly. She is nearly well. Alexander, also,
but you, dear Mamma?"

"All is right."

The next day I was much worse. I could not move, and was hardly able
to whisper a word or two, and towards midnight Alexander had a
relapse. Wringing his hands, and full of a strange reluctance, Robert
went out into the dreadful night to try to find a doctor. What
happened on that fateful walk, I may not write, but he brought back
the doctor, who looked at the child, and then turning to Robert said,

"You will be wanted soon, lie down and sleep. Oh, you must! You must!
I will stay here until you awake."

I know not how long Robert slept. He threw himself on a sofa within
sight of my bed, and appeared to fall into a deep sleep as soon as his
head touched the pillow. Alexander begged to come to me, and the
doctor laid him at my feet, and I felt with an indescribable thrill of
love and anguish, his little hand clasp my ankle.

The clock had just struck three, when I heard Robert start suddenly to
his feet and cry, "_Yes, sir!_" Then smiting his hands together as if
in distress, he cried out still loudly, "_Yes, sir! I am coming!_" The
doctor rose and went to him. "Barr," he asked, "what is the matter?"
for Robert was weeping as men seldom weep--long moaning sobs, that
were the very language of heart-breaking despair. "What is the
trouble, my friend?" the doctor asked again, and Robert answered,

"My father called me twice, and I--I answered him. He has been dead
thirty-two years."

"Well then, your father would only come for your relief and help."

"He came for _me_, Doctor; the summons was inexorable, and sure."

"Let us go to the child. He is very ill."

I heard these words, and I felt at the same moment a tighter clasp of
the small hand round my ankle, and Robert's kiss upon my cheek. Then
the hours went slowly and cruelly by, and in the afternoon the
beginning of the end commenced. But just before it, the child had
another attack similar to the one he and his brother had shared on the
train coming in to Galveston. He was quite unconscious, even of his
physical agony, his eyes firmly fixed their vision far, far beyond any
earthly horizon. His father sat like a stone gazing at him, and I
could not have moved a finger, or spoken a word, no, not to have saved
his life.

The trance lasted only a few minutes, but he came out of it sighing,
and then asked in a voice of awe and wonder, "_Who is that man waiting
for me, Papa?_" He was assured there was no one waiting, but he
replied, "_Yes, there is a man waiting for me. He is in the next
room_." Then his father noticed that his eyes had a new, deep look in
them, as if some veil had been rent, and he with open face had beheld
things wonderful and secret.

About seven o'clock they took him away from me into the next room. He
clung to my feet, and begged to stay with me, and I--Oh, I strove as
mortals strive with the impossible to speak, to plead, that he might
remain! But it could not be. His father lifted him in his arms, and
through the next five awful hours he held him there. No! no! It is not
writable, unless one could write with blood and tears. At midnight it
was over. But as his father laid down the little boy, Mrs. Lee went to
him, and said,

"Calvin is very ill. Go and speak to him, while you can."

He went at once and put his arm under the sweet child, and spoke to
him. And the first words the dying boy uttered were, "Papa, what is
the matter with my brother?"

"He is very ill, Calvin."

"Is he dying?"

"Yes."

"Tell him to wait for me. I am dying, too, Papa! I cannot see you! I
am blind! Kiss me, Papa."

These were his last words. He died two hours after his brother, and I
do not doubt they went together; and they had "a Man" with them, who
knew his way through the constellations. They would go straight to Him
whom their souls loved. I was not permitted to see either of them, and
on Tuesday afternoon they were buried. I heard them carry out the
coffins; I heard their father's bitter grief, and I was dumb and
tearless.

After they were buried, Robert came straight to me. "They are laid
side by side, Milly, darling," he said. "Now _I also_ must leave you.
Forgive Robert all that he has ever done to grieve you." I tried to
tell him I had nothing to forgive, that he was always good to me, but
he shook his head sadly, and continued, "O Milly, my love, my wife,
farewell! I must go, dearest! I must go! O my dear, dear wife,
farewell!" and I could only answer with low sharp cries. I had not a
word for this moment. At the open door our eyes met in a long parting
gaze, and then I remember nothing more, till it was dark and late, and
I heard the sounds of men busy in the next room.

I never saw my husband again. On Wednesday he died. Thank God, he died
as Calvin did, of general congestion. Death mounted from his dead feet
to his heart, and head, with a swift sure pace, but he was really
dying all the last three days that he was nursing his dying sons. He
fell on guard, and Death came as a friend to relieve him:

  "And so he passed to joy, through bitter woe,
  As some great galleon through dark may go,
  Where no star glimmers, and the storm wind wails
  Until the rose of Morning touch her sails."

Mrs. Lee stayed at his side until the last moment, and when all was
finished, she came to me. "He has gone!" she said.

"I know," I answered. "He passed me as he went. There was _One_ with
him. I thank God! What time did he go?"

"It was just ten minutes past eleven."

Then I remembered the pendulum of the clock falling at ten minutes
past eleven. And the memory gave me a sudden sense of comfort. Some
wiser Intelligence than ourselves, had known even then, what was
before us; had known when Robert left his home, that he was faring
into the shadows in which his grave was hid. His death was not a blind
hap-hazard calamity. It was a foreseen event, an end pre-determined by
Infinite Wisdom and Love. O mystery of life! From what unexpected
sources, spring thy lessons and thy comforts! Whatever life was left
in me was quickened by this blow. I felt it to the foundation of
being, and though I could not speak to those around me, I could to the
_Divine Other_ who was closer to me than breathing, and nearer than
hands or feet. Instantly I found myself urging that almighty help.

"I cannot die now," I pleaded. "Oh, I cannot die and leave those
three little girls alone--in a strange land, without money, without
relative or friend to care for them! Oh, help me to live! Help me to
live for their sakes! Not for thy sake, for thou can never see death!
not for my sake, I am but as a dead woman now; but for my children's
sake, help me to recover my strength! Help me, and I shall live."

In this manner I silently prayed, with all the fervor of which my soul
was capable. And in that central tract of emotion where life and death
meet, there are paths of spiritual experience remote and obscure,
until some great crisis finds them out--experiences not to be unfolded
save to that _one_ Soul, and for which words--however wise--are
impotent things. I feel this truth as I write, for I cannot find a way
to explain the sure and certain influx of life, that came to me, even
as I entreated for it. It came from no drug, no physician, no human
help of any kind, but direct from the _Thee in Me_ who works behind
the veil, the _More of Life_ in whom we live and move and have our
Being.

I do not say that my prayer changed God's will or purpose concerning
me. Oh, no! but God directed my prayer. He put my petition into my
heart. The prayer was granted ere I made it. For if we do right, it is
God which teaches us both to will and to do, so that every soul that
cries out to the Eternal, finds the Eternal; I care not when, or
where. God is not far from any one of us, and in every case he seeks
us, before we have the desire to seek Him.

I had a full and ready answer to my soul's petition. I recovered
rapidly, and in ten days was able to leave my room, and gather the
salvage of my wrecked home around me. No doubt most of my readers have
a keen and personal knowledge of that weight of grief, which hangs
like lead in the rooms, and on the stairs, where the footsteps of the
loved dead have sounded. They know what it is to come back from the
grave of their love, and see his hat lying where he threw it down
forever, and his slippers at the foot of the bed he died on. And, oh,
what a multitude of mothers that no man could number, know what it
means to put away the empty clothing that still keeps a heartbreaking
look of the little form that moulded it--or the small worn shoes and
stockings, the toys and books, that will never more be needed. Alas it
is too common an experience to require words! This grief has but to be
named, and at any hour thousands of heavy hearts can fill in all its
sad details.

After the month of September the fever, for the very want of victims,
began to decline, and about the middle of October there was a storm
which shook Galveston Island to its foundation. The waters of the Gulf
of Mexico and the Bay of Galveston met, and mingled, in the center of
the city. There was a hurtling, roaring tempest around it, and a
tremendous battle in the firmament above it. It was "a day of
desolation, a day of darkness, of clouds and of thick darkness;" and
throughout the hours the storm gathered strength. All night the
inhabitants sat still in terror, while the sea beat at their doors,
and their homes rocked in the terrific wind.

After midnight, when the roaring and crashing and fury of the elements
were at their height, it was easy to call to remembrance the
magnificent description of just such a storm in Habakkuk, 3:5-12, and
as the children drew closer and closer to me, I repeated what I could
of it:

"Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his
feet ... and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual
hills did bow.... I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction.... Was thy
wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy
chariots of salvation?... The overflowing of the water passed by: the
deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and
the moon stood still in their habitation.... Thou wentest forth for
the salvation of thy people."

At the dawning, the tempest lulled off with mighty, sobbing winds;
sullenly but surely it went, and with it departed entirely the
dreadful pestilence. There was not another case known. The Lord had
indeed arisen for the salvation of the city, and His angels had driven
away the powers of darkness that had been permitted there for a
season. Oh, then if our eyes had been opened! If we could have seen
the battle in the firmament above us! If we could have seen "the Man
Gabriel," or Michael "the great prince which standeth for the children
of God's people against the evil ones," then, no doubt, we should
have said with Elisha, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more
than they that be with them."

After the hurricane the inhabitants arose as one man, to build up and
to repair, and to put out of sight and memory all traces of their
great calamity. At this time, and for long after, my diary is a record
of the most extraordinary kindness shown me, both by acquaintances and
friends. Scotch Brown seemed to consider us under his special care,
and this self-imposed trust he filled with such delicacy and
generosity, that I feel angry at myself today, when I find such meagre
acknowledgment of it. I must have been truly selfish, or gratitude
would have caused me to write less concerning my own suffering, and
more about Scotch Brown's thoughtfulness in supplying the little
comforts of life, that no one else considered. Thus he saw that I had
my newspaper and my mail, or if the servant left, he found us another.
His help was always practical help. It had few words, and I do not
seem to have realized its wonderful faithfulness and unselfishness.
Many a time afterwards I longed for a friendship like his, but I have
never found it, and in the face of my own words, I say, "It serves me
right." Mrs. Lee visited me once a day, sometimes twice; Mayor
Williams looked after any business that came up, and took the children
nearly every day for a drive on the beach. He was Alice's godfather,
and he acted the part of a godfather to each of the three girls. A
great many people are named in this part of my diary, whom I have
quite forgotten, but they were distinctly Robert's friends--men whom
he had nursed through the fever, or had had business relations with,
mostly Glasgow men, or at least Scotchmen, but it did me good to talk
with them about him.

On the fifth of December my son Andrew was born at four o'clock A.M. I
was so happy that the child was a boy, that I cried with thankfulness
and delight. He appeared to be a fine strong infant, but he soon
showed signs of yellow fever, contracted before his birth, and died
when he was five days old at ten minutes to eleven P.M. The next
morning he was laid beside his father and two elder brothers. The
cycle of the birthplace and the grave fulfilled his doom of earth.

So far I had endured the will of God, but I was not resigned. It was
so hard to make my heart believe in its great loss. Often as I sat
sewing I would say, "Oh, I must be dreaming! I must wake up! I must go
to the gate! He may be coming now!" and I would rise to go to the
gate, and look and listen, and sometimes I heard the quick strong
steps for which I waited and listened. For the ear has its own memory,
and listens for an accustomed sound, and the imagination does not
always suffer it to be disappointed.

This delusion lasted for many months, and I have no doubt the majority
of widows have experienced it. Some one of them, I wish I knew her
name, has expressed it for all, in the following lines:

  "Half-unbelieving doth my heart remain of its great woe,
  I waken, and a dull, dead sense of pain, is all I know;
  Then dimly in the darkness, my mind I feel about,
  To know what 'tis that troubles me, and find my sorrow out.
  And hardly with long pains, my heart I bring its loss to own,
  It seemeth yet impossible, that thou art gone.
  That whatsoever else of good, for me in store remain.
  This lieth out of hope, my Love, to see thy face again."

As the year drew to a close, I had fully recovered my strength, indeed
I had not been in such fine general health for many years, and with
this feeling of physical well-being, there came an urgent sense of the
necessity of work. My money, though used with great economy, was
decreasing fast, and I had no source for supplying this loss, except
by an application to Robert's mother, which I did not wish to make. So
I was troubled and anxious and very unhappy. One Sabbath morning about
a week before Christmas I was alone in the house, the children had
gone to church, the girl in the kitchen to High Mass. I sat thinking
of my position, and wondering what I must do. Naturally, I thought
also of the One, who had hitherto taken from my shoulders all the
burden and the care of life.

Then a great illumination came to me. I saw events as I had never seen
them before. I had always considered myself as one of the most loving
and careful of wives and mothers. If any one had told me that I was
not, I should have been indignant. But the dead open the eyes of the
living. I saw myself that hour, as a character that amazed me and
almost broke my heart. Every unreasonable mood, every ungracious and
unkind look, every cross word came back to my memory to torture me!
Oh, how I had wounded and disappointed those whom I loved best! What a
selfish woman I had been!

I was so shocked at the accusations my conscience made against me,
that I was silent even from prayer. I had been unkind to the souls of
those nearest and dearest to me, and I had no way of redressing the
wrong. Why then think about it? Because we cannot say to the heart,
"Thou shalt not remember." And if we could forget, it would be a great
moral forfeiture, a treason against our own souls. So I let conscience
accuse me until I had remembered, and speechlessly acknowledged all my
failures. Then I laid my sorrowful heart, with all its love and
contrition at His feet. All my slighted duties, cold retirements, and
small returns for love unselfish even unto death, I cast into the
abyss of His mercy. There were some moments of terrible lucidity, but
when my grief subsided, it was followed by a wonderful peace. The
feeling of the Infinite around me grew solemnly sweet and distinct,
and my soul turned to it. "My God! My God!" I whispered; and though
there were only four words given me, I had a joy past utterance.
Trouble was lighter than a grasshopper and, oh, what words can
describe that felicity of repose which the ebbing of the spiritual
tide left behind it!

I am writing of nothing supernatural. My experience is not uncommon,
and it might be universal. I wish to God it was! I can only speak for
myself, but of myself I have a right to speak.

  "What I know, I know;
  And where I find place for my foot,
  I plant it firmly there."

So I bring my religious experiences to the common stock of religious
facts, because I believe it would be a good thing for the world if
more people spoke to it of their knowledge of unseen realities. What I
have heard in the silence is not for me alone. I must tell my message
in the open place for all I reach, to hear and consider.

I know everything that science and creeds and set forms can say
against such experiences. Science, which affects to dote on the
material, is everywhere brought up short by impalpable but adamantine
gates of which God alone holds the key. It is as inscrutable and
mysterious as any spiritual occurrence or event. What scientist can
yet disclose, how the green bud becomes the rose?

As to outward rites and ceremonies at set times, they are useful to
many, but we

  "... may not hope from outward forms to win,
  The glory of the Life whose fountains are within."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "... Councils, doctors, priests,
  Are but the signs that point us to the spring
  Whence flow thy living waters. From thyself, direct,
  The secret comes to all worthy to find it."

Very light was my soul that happy morning, and I might well be happy.
Such moments as I had spent alone with God are both sacrificial and
sacramental. They are strong with absolution, and the soul comes out
of them justified, and full of hope.

The following day I called Mary and Lilly to me, and told them that
our stock of money was getting low, and that as I was now quite well I
must find something to do which would make us a living.

"Have you thought of this necessity, my dears?" I asked. Both answered
they had thought a great deal about it. Then I said,

"Mary, what in your opinion is the best thing to try?"

[Illustration: MISS LILLY BARR]

"A first class school for girls," was her ready reply. "You like to
teach big girls, Mamma, and I can take charge of the little ones."

I saw dissent on Lilly's face, and I asked, "Is that your opinion
also, Lilly?"

"No, indeed!" she answered promptly. "I have often asked Mary, what
good there would be in opening a school, when there were no scholars.
The school I went to before the fever has not re-opened, nor has the
school Calvin went to. There are no scholars for either of them,
because there is no money to pay the teachers. And there is no money
either to buy school dresses, and shoes and books and such things. I
was talking to Lulu Jordan a few days since, and she told me, she
could not go to school because she had only one decent suit, and she
had to save that for church."

"Well, then, Lilly, have you any idea as to what we can do?"

"Yes, Mamma. I would rent a proper room, very near the great shops,
and fit it up to sell books, papers, fine stationery for girls' love
letters, pretty ribbons, tarlatans of all colors for dancing dresses,
cheap laces--oh, everything that girls and women want, and especially
embroidery silks and threads and patterns. I would buy the best tea
you can get, and give ladies a cup of tea, and an Albert biscuit, and
charge them fifteen cents for it. Don't laugh, Mamma; yes, _do_ laugh,
Mamma. It is so good to hear you laugh again. You know I could attend
to the tea department. I'd like to do it."

I can see her bright eager face as I write these words, and also
Mary's calm dissenting smile, which was both critical and disapproving.

"What do you say, Mary, to this plan?" I asked.

"A plan that you should keep a shop, Mamma? It is absurd. Grandmother
would never speak to us again."

"I don't think she fatigues herself with speaking to us now," said
Lilly; "and when she does send us a letter, it generally spoils two or
three whole days."

"No shop of any kind would make our living," continued Mary. "Mamma
could not make any shop pay. Mamma does not have the qualities that
make a shopkeeper."

I listened with interest to this conversation. Evidently my daughters
had not a high opinion of my commercial ability, and I may as well
admit here, that their estimate was a just one. I had no business
tact. I could calculate neither profit nor loss. I had no power to
judge of probabilities. Certainly I had intuitions, often singularly
wise ones, but I had no more experience than the two girls who were
discussing me. I was, however, a little piqued at Mary's assertion
that, "Mamma could not make any shop pay," and I asked her why she
made such a statement.

"Because, dear Mamma," she answered, "you would be cheated both in
your buying and your selling. I have heard Papa say often, that you
paid too much for all you bought, and you know when we were in Cook's
house and had such quantities of eggs and chickens, that you sold
some, and every one paid you less than market price, or mostly paid
you nothing at all."

This question with its asides and amendments kept us talking all day;
for a norther had sprung up, and it was too cold for any of us to
venture outside. Just as the dim came on, and Lilly rose to light the
candles, and I to throw some cedar logs on the fire, there was a knock
at the door, and Mayor Williams came in. Mary helped him off with his
coat, and he sat down before the blazing fire, and took Alice upon his
knee.

"Mrs. Barr," he said, "I want to have a little talk with you and the
girls, so if you will ask me to a cup of tea, we can discuss what I
have come to say over it."

"In ten minutes," I said, "supper will be ready;" and I went to the
dining-room to hurry forward its service. I knew whatever business he
wished to discuss must in his opinion be important, or he would not
have come to the house in a norther. As soon therefore as we were
seated at the table, I said, "We have been talking all day, Mr.
Williams, of work and business, and of how we are to make money."

"And I," he answered, "have been talking to General Waul about your
position, and I think he has shown me a way that you can follow."

"General Waul!" I ejaculated. "I do not know him at all. Who is
General Waul?"

"He would feel much hurt at your asking such a question. He was the
Commander of Waul's Legion, and a man of mark during the war."

"Is he a soldier now?"

"No. He is now the most prominent lawyer in Galveston. His estate is
on the main land, but he wishes to get board and lodging for himself
and Mrs. Waul in a family where there are no lodgers. I told him about
your position, and it came to this: He says he will pay you one
hundred dollars a month for their board and lodging. He says also,
that he can bring with him four or five other lawyers, and I think I
can assure you of two of my friends, and there is Scotch Brown,
Barton, East, Sutherland, Miller, Thomas, and others whom Mr. Barr
nursed through the fever, and who will be glad to return in this way
the kindness he showed them."

"O Mr. Williams!" I answered. "I am most grateful to you. I may not at
first manage as well as I should like, but I will do my best."

"And we will help you, all we can, Mamma," said Mary and Lilly. So
without having once thought of such a thing, I felt myself committed
to running a boarding-house for the Lawyer's Mess, and such other
gentlemen as seemed advisable. My first question regarded the house.

"Shall I have to move?" I asked. "Or will this dwelling be suitable?"

"You will have to move at once," was the answer. "This place is too
far from the business part of the town; it never had a pleasant name;
and its fatal record during the fever would terrify guests. I have
just the house proper for your purpose in my mind. It was empty during
the fever, and there is no one in it now, but there will be tenants,
if you do not take it, tomorrow."

"Where is it?"

"In the pleasantest part of Tremont Street, next door to your friend
Dr. Estabrook. If you do not mind the cold, meet me at the doctor's
tomorrow at twelve o'clock, and I will go with you to the owner, and
see that no advantage is taken of you."

I could not help a smile. My business incompetency must indeed be
flagrantly palpable, to make my business friend think it necessary to
leave his official duties to protect me. Then I told him what my
daughters' opinion of it was, and so gave myself up to their
management and advice. And there was a happy, hopeful feeling in every
heart at our simple table. The way, and the work shown me, was not the
way and the work I would have chosen; but we talked ourselves into a
kind of enthusiasm concerning it. I made little of the cold or the
labor of the removal, and was only anxious for the morning, that I
might begin to get away from the house in which I had suffered such
loss and sorrow.

I turned my thoughts persistently to the new house, to the new work,
and the new life; and my heart thrilled, as in years gone by, to the
warm, bright hope that had been given it. It was so naturally easy for
me to hope when things came to me unexpectedly, with all the sanguine
air of godsends. To this day, I have the same disposition, and find it
hard to consider my good hope baseless. _A seed must have been on the
spot where a flower blooms._

In a week we were settled in the house on Tremont Street, and soon
after General and Mrs. Waul took possession of its best room. I had
had some fears about Mrs. Waul, who I was told had been a great beauty
and a social leader in Washington and New Orleans. I found her in many
respects a delightful woman, thoroughly good-natured, freely frank, in
manner witty, clever in conversation, and still beautiful. She was
also easily pleased, and whatever she asked was generally as
advantageous to myself as to her. Thus a few days after she came to
live with us, she said to me, as we were sitting together in the
parlor,

"This is a very pleasant room." I assented, and she continued, "and it
would be much more pleasant if differently arranged."

"How would you arrange it?" I asked.

She stood up and looked carefully around. "Why, my dear," she answered
in her pretty, patronizing manner, "in arranging a room, you must
follow the same rule as in dressing a woman. A woman makes all she can
of her strong points, brings them into notice, puts them forward, and
so on. Don't you think so?"

"Yes," I answered, "but there is no harm in that."

"Just so, and a room ought to have its strong points considered in the
same way; that is, the handsomest or prettiest piece of furniture
should be opposite the door, so that it may be the first thing that
catches the visitor's notice. Suppose we try it?"

I said, "I should like to do so;" and calling the table boy, I told
him to get some one to help him move furniture, and come to the
parlor. Then Mrs. Waul took the management of affairs, and in fifteen
minutes the room had changed its character. It had been a quiet,
orderly parlor, not often visited by any one; she gave it that air of
ease and languor, so conducive to social intimacy. I do not know how
she managed it, but the result she anticipated quickly followed. That
evening after dinner, the piano was standing open opposite the parlor
door, and Doctor Burnet sauntered into the room, and sat down before
it. Moved perhaps by love's tender phantasy, he struck a few chords
and began to sing "Lorene." Mrs. Waul and Major Hume and several
others came in to listen, and then lingered there. By and by, some one
started "There's Life in the Old Land Yet," a young gentleman from
Baltimore thrilled the house with the magical strains of "My
Maryland," and was followed by a captain of a late Texas regiment,
declaring in melodious numbers, his everlasting devotion to "The
Bonnie Blue Flag that bears the Single Star."

Every one seemed to enjoy that hour of song and conversation after
dinner, and it had actually been induced by nothing more personal than
the movement of a few chairs and tables, and the cheerful face of an
open piano.

For a couple of months all appeared to be going well. I had twelve
boarders, and my income from them was about a hundred dollars a week.
That sum appeared to me a large amount for household expenses, and I
was sure I must be making money. But one day something happened which
caused me to make an investigation, and to my dismay, I found I had
been exceeding my income every week. Without going into details,
which would interest no one, I utterly failed to check this tendency
to excess in the wrong direction and I was seriously unhappy and
anxious.

Towards the end of May, Mrs. Waul and the General went to their own
home, the heat grew oppressive, there were whispers of fever, and the
rest of the boarders began to scatter. Some went north, some to Austin
or San Antonio; here and there they went, most of them leaving part or
whole of their bills "until their return." By the first of June we
were nearly alone, but I found it was an ordinary experience, and I
faced it as cheerfully as I could. In my heart I was glad. I was sick
for solitude. I had been living among people until I did not know
myself. I said to my soul, "Now we will have a few days of quiet and
peace, then I will look after money again." And I really did throw off
all care. I would not think of what I was owing, or of what people
owed me. I let the children do as they wished, and I reveled in long
hours of silence. And solitude is such a potential thing. We hear
voices in solitude, we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life; we
receive counsels and comforts, we get under no other condition,

  "For to be alone with Silence,
  Is to be alone with God."

So I let the world and all its cares "go" for three days, and at the
end of them, I was ready to look my perplexities in the face.

"Children," I said, "we shall have no boarders until October; very
well, we will clear the house of all servants but little Polly. We
will live as quietly as possible, and spend no money that can be
helped." But I could not easily carry out this intention. I had three
boarders, and they did not wish to change, and promised to bring me
enough transient guests to carry the house through the summer. In a
way, they kept this promise, and I managed to get through the next
four months not uncomfortably. For I was sure, that when my old
boarders returned to Galveston, they would return to my house and
table.

I was reckoning without my host. Late in September I had a letter
from Mrs. Waul, saying that the General was going to New Orleans to
conduct an important law case, and as he would be detained all winter
she intended to go with him. This was a great disappointment in many
respects. They had given a certain very respectable tone to the house,
they had been kind to my daughters, and the simple presence of the
General was a protection we should miss. Nearly all of my old boarders
owed me money, and I thought this fact alone would bring them back,
but it did not. One had married and gone to housekeeping. Others found
my rates too high, they were obliged to economize after their summer's
trip, et cetera; they had all a sufficient excuse for leaving, but
that did not help the situation, as far as I was concerned.

On the first of November I closed the house. My money was gone. I
could not collect what was owing me, but I was not a dollar in debt;
and I was determined to keep clear of that terror. Many tried to
persuade me to hold on, but on the threshold of hope I had already
lost many days; and I knew in my soul, that this phase of my life was
over. What was to come next, I knew not, but this at least was over. I
had learned the lessons it had to teach me, and though my future was
unknown and uncertain, I had seen that in life, we have constantly to
take some leap in the dark.

I gave myself a few days rest with my children, and waited. I was glad
that this serving of tables, and mingling with people to whom I was
quite indifferent was over. Both duties had been disagreeable, and it
was only my left hand I had given to the work. I had taken no pride or
pleasure in it, even when it was apparently very successful, and I
felt no special regret when compelled to give it up. Yet in the sum of
character it had been of great gain to me. I learned two lessons under
its discipline that have made all my life since easier than it would
have been. To what school was I to go next?

There seemed to be so few outlets to our life that I was troubled by
the way any movement appeared to be hedged in. We could return to
Austin, which Mary thought the best thing to do. "People mostly live
on the government in Austin," she said, "and so they have ready
money." Lilly opposed the return to Austin very warmly. "I think it
will be foolish to go back to Austin," she answered. "Without dear
Papa, we shall find everything very different. Let us go to a new
place, where we are not tied and hampered by the past. Even San
Antonio would be better than Austin."

I remember this discussion so well. It was on a dark, cold November
morning. There was a blazing fire of cedar logs on the hearth, but the
wind roared down the wide chimney, and the rain smote the window panes
in passionate gusts. Mary was braiding a flannel sacque, Lilly was
sitting beside Alice, who was lying on the sofa sick with a cold, and
I was walking slowly about the room, inwardly trembling at the sound
of doors opening into the future. I was glad of the storm. Often I had
felt the crushing sense of bright sunshine when in trouble; the wind
and the rain and the gloom were in sympathy with my mood; sunshine
would have given me a sense of mockery, or at least of indifference.
Suddenly Lilly said, "Mamma! What about Memphis? Papa had good friends
there. Mr. Fackler----"

I heard no more. A voice clear and imperative said, "GO TO NEW YORK!"
The command was peremptory, and from some deeper region there came
with it, an indisputable convincingness. Of some things I might be
uncertain, _but not of this_. Without a moment's hesitation I obeyed
the command given me. I turned with a cheerful smile, and an alert
manner to my children, and said, "My dears, we will go to New York."

"O Mamma, how glad I am!" cried Lilly. "We shall be half-way to
England, when we are in New York."

Then I told them of the order I had just received, and as I spoke I
felt my heart burn, and my face flush, and my voice set itself to its
old strong, happy tone, and the girls caught its cheerful influence,
and we were soon discussing what was to be done, with the greatest
interest and pleasure. For I knew the voice that had spoken--it was
one, that had never yet deceived me.

I had nothing except my furniture, and old furniture sold for very
little, but I knew God would not send me a journey, without providing
the means; so I began there and then to prepare for it. I sold my
piano to a friend at private sale, and I got a lawyer, who was in my
debt, to collect what money was still due me from old boarders. He was
quite successful and I hoped the proceeds of the auction added to
these would raise my fund to five hundred dollars.

"God and five hundred dollars will be sufficient," I said to my
children; and they smiled and nodded, and were as confident and
hopeful as myself.

On the night of the sixth of November, while I was talking to the
auctioneer about the sale, a letter was given me. I saw the postmark
was Austin, and I laid it carelessly down on the chimney piece, and
went on with the conversation. After the auctioneer had gone, we had a
cup of tea and some oysters, and I forgot all about the letter, until
I was closing the house for the night. Then I lifted it carelessly,
and took it upstairs with me. Lilly noticed it in my hand, and asked
where it was from?

"Austin," I answered.

"Read it, Mamma."

As I opened it, a slip of paper fluttered to the floor. It was a check
from the auctioneer, with whom I had left the furniture of my Austin
home for sale. When I reached Galveston, I told Robert the agreement
made with them, left the affairs in his hands, and had ever since
forgotten all about it. Indeed if I had remembered it, I would have
been sure Robert had collected the proceeds long ago. But here was a
check made out to myself, for one hundred and eighty dollars, being
the last payment due on the goods they had sold. They sent it with
sympathetic words, and nothing that ever came to me had so much the
air of a "godsend."

We were so happy and excited, that we sat talking until nearly three
o'clock, and it was at this time, Lilly made a proposition, which at
first appeared foolish and distressing. "Mamma," she said, "now that
you have got some more money, let me go to Glasgow. I will try to make
a friend of grandmother, and perhaps for Papa's sake she will send me
to school for two years. By that time you would be settled in some
way."

At first I would not listen to such a thing, but gradually the girls
persuaded me, that I ought to give up Lilly for Lilly's own sake. And
I comforted myself with the thought of her natural bravery and
self-sufficiency. Every one liked her, and surely her own kindred
would be won by her kind heart, and sunny cheerful disposition. I
finally acceded to the plan, and then all conversation afterward made
the Glasgow arrangement more firm and certain. But that morning I fell
asleep with a fresh, keen pain in my heart; for Lilly, ever since her
father's death, had been my great reliance in many ways.

On the ninth we were preparing for the sale, which was to take place
in the house, and on the tenth we ate breakfast and had prayers
together and then went to the Palmetto House to stay until the
_Ariadne_ sailed for New York, which was expected to be on the
twelfth; but owing to contrary winds, she did not get over the bar
until the following day. During these three days at the hotel, we made
our last arrangements and received unlimited kindness both from
friends I knew well, and also from many others who had no reason for
their attentions, excepting their loving remembrance of my husband.

Among the many who called on us for the latter reason, was a large dry
goods merchant called Willis, and he gave me a letter of introduction
to a gentleman in New York, who he thought might be able to help me to
find suitable employment. I speak of this letter, because it
influenced my life for nearly two years. As we could not get away on
the twelfth, I took Alice and went once more to those four graves I
should never see again. We covered them with flowers and sweet shrubs,
and the child wept passionately. I had no tears left. I was almost
stupefied with grief and anxiety. Four tines in seventeen years, I had
broken up my home, and gone to a place I knew not of, to make another;
but this removal was the hardest of all. Yet I am ungrateful to say
so. From friends known and unknown I received help and comfort.
Difficulties vanished as soon as I met them. Whatever was necessary
came to me. My way was cleared before me in the most remarkable
manner. Even Mr. Lidstone, the auctioneer, refused to take any payment
for selling the furniture, and I was so pleased and grateful at this
mark of kindness from a stranger, that I have kept his name green in
my memory ever since. It is true that at this time the hearts of all
were open to those who had suffered in the great calamity, but more
than a year had passed since Robert died, and he was yet unforgotten,
for much of the sympathy and attention we received was for his sake.



CHAPTER XVIII

I GO TO NEW YORK

  "We have not wings, we cannot soar,
    But we have feet to scale and climb;
  By slow degrees, by more and more,
    The cloudy Summits of our time."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "The intellectual aroma of the building, its subtle Library
  essence, and redolence of Morocco leather, printer's ink and
  paper, all blended and mellowed with the learned dust of
  Time."--ASTOR LIBRARY.


On the thirteenth of November, 1868, we went on board the _Ariadne_.
The ship lay at the bar, but there were hopes that a change of wind
would give us water sufficient to get over it; but the wind did not
change for four days, and it was on the seventeenth, just at sunset
that we took our last look at Galveston. Just at the same hour, twelve
years before, Robert and I stood together taking a last look at
Galveston, before going up the Buffalo Bayou. I gazed on the white
houses in their lonely setting of bare shrubs and sea water, until
they were only a gray blur on the surrounding gray. I do not speak of
what was going on in the heart, it cannot be told, neither can it ever
be forgotten.

When I turned my back on Galveston, I faced the future; and there and
then, I mentally put a blank into God's hand by faith, and begged Him
to fill it in, as He saw best for His children. For they were His. He
had told me to leave my fatherless children to Him, and I took Him on
His own word. This promise was guaranteed to me by the veracity of
God. I sat down between Mary and Lilly, and took Alice on my knee, and
said,

"Now, dear ones, we shall be yet ten days at sea. It is a holiday for
us. We will forget every care, and every sorrow, until we see New
York. Be as happy as you can be, for there is nothing we can _do_ on
the ship. So let us rest, in the rest given us."

"And you, Mamma?" asked Mary. "Will you rest?"

"I promise you, I will." I did not mean, that I would drift like a
dismantled ship without hope or purpose. No believer in God ever does
that. I meant, that I would cast all my cares and sorrows on Him, who
I was sure cared for me. This may seem like presumption to some, and
like foolishness to others. It was not presumption. I had been
invited, even urged by God's own word to do so. It was by no means
"foolishness" to me. I knew in whom I trusted. God was then, as He is
now, a personality to me. He was not "vortices of atoms," or "streams
of tendency," or "Force" or "Nature." Many years afterwards, when I
had carefully considered these, and other similarly false ideas, I
knelt and prayed with a still deeper conviction--"_Our Father!_"

On the twenty-first we stopped at Key West nearly the whole day. We
rambled about the quiet, lovely place and a lady, who saw us looking
curiously at her cocoanut trees, came out and talked with us, and sent
a dozen to the ship for our refreshment. We bought here a few lovely
pieces of snow-white coral for Lilly to take with her to Scotland, and
at nightfall left the pretty place with very agreeable memories. I
believe it is now entirely altered, is crowded and noisy, and full of
business relating to the navy, and the manufacture of tobacco. So I
keep my own memory of the beautiful Key. We had a five days pleasant
sail after leaving Key West, and on the twenty-sixth of November we
were almost in sight of New York. It was Thanksgiving Day, and was
observed with the usual ceremonious dinner. During my long stay in the
South I had forgotten the institution, for it was never kept, or even
alluded to; but on this twenty-sixth of November we observed the day
heartily, and have never omitted it since. On November twenty-sixth,
1884, being also Thanksgiving Day, I received from Dodd, Mead and
Company their first letter to me accepting "Jan Vedder's Wife," just
sixteen years after our Thanksgiving upon the ship _Ariadne_.

Early in the morning of the twenty-seventh of November, 1868, we
landed in New York. This was already a memorable date to me, being the
day on which God wrought so great a salvation for Robert, in Chicago.
I had it in my memory as I stepped on shore, and went with several of
the passengers on the _Ariadne_ to a hotel in Fulton Street near
Broadway. It was called the Belmont, but I think it was discontinued
many years ago. I took it for a good omen, that we should have landed
on this date, for I have always been an observer of times and seasons,
and in my life there are many days of remembrance--all good ones. "The
Scotch always count from an ill date," says the proverb; but my ill
dates, except for some special purpose of recollection, are but as
dead days taken out of my life and buried.

The next week was mostly spent in securing a good berth for Lilly, and
in getting her the proper clothing for the change of climate she was
going to make. And in these days I found out how much harder it is to
part from the living, than from the dead. Hard enough it is, to lift
the little dead child for the last time, and lay it in its coffin; but
it is harder to unloose the clinging arms of the living child, to kiss
away its parting tears, and mingle loving farewells, while hearts seem
breaking. Never had Lilly been so dear and so affectionate. I kept her
at my side and held her hand these last days, while I gave her the
advice I thought might help her in the difficult position to which she
was going. At that time a voyage across the Atlantic was a far more
serious undertaking than it is now, and I knew the climate of
Scotland, and feared it for a child reared in the semi-tropical heat
and sunshine of Texas. I knew also the people among whom her lot would
be cast, and I feared that the outspoken girl, so sensitive to
injustice of every kind, would not be able at all times to possess her
soul in patience.

On the fifth of December I left her on the _Iowa_. The captain
promised me to be very kind to her, and he amply fulfilled that
promise. It was snowing heavily, but I did not see, or feel it.
Blinded with tears, and faint with grief, I found my way back to the
hotel, I don't know how. Through the crowded wharf, and the crowded
streets I went; I remember some one stepping between me and some
horses, pulling me roughly to the sidewalk, and then saying not
unkindly, "You must be more careful. Do you know where you are going?"
Somehow or other I got back to the hotel, and being wet through and
exhausted, I went to bed. There I fell into that deep sleep which is
God's gift to those who have sorrow greater than they can bear.

The next day being the Sabbath I remained in the hotel, but on Monday
morning I was ready for duty. To obey necessity is the part of wisdom,
but I trusted in God and myself, and I had faith in humanity. On
Monday and Tuesday I saw the principals of three ladies' schools, and
from two received promise of employment "after the holidays." I had
not thought of this contingency, yet it was a very reasonable one, as
far as the schools were concerned; but I did not see, how I was to
wait with idle hands for a month, on a mere promise. On Tuesday night
I had exhausted hope in this direction and as I sat talking with Mary,
she said to me, "Dear Mamma, why do you not send a note to Mr.
Beecher? I am sure he could help you. He has a great deal of power."

"O Mary," I answered, "I know all about the promises of clergymen.
Your grandfather was a good man, but he saw so many people, and made
so many promises, he never could have remembered either. It is nearly
twenty years since I met Mr. Beecher. I dare say he has forgotten even
my name."

But I will be truthful in this matter. It was really a foolish pride,
perhaps even a little vanity, which made me put off seeing Mr.
Beecher. I was saving this opening as a last resort, for I shrank from
meeting a man whom I had only seen in all the flush and glory of my
bridal happiness. At that time I had a beautiful home, a loving and
wealthy husband, and I was clothed in white satin and lace. I had a
heart full of good hopes, and my countenance was radiant with the
light of their promise. All was now so different, and my plain, sombre
dress typified the change. Would he remember? Would he care? I thought
not, but I said,

"There is yet the letter given me by Mr. Willis. I will take it in
the morning. Perhaps it may bring us good fortune. If it does not
succeed, I will remind Mr. Beecher of his promise."

About ten o'clock next morning, being the ninth of December, I
called upon Mr. Libbey. I suppose I ought to have sent a letter asking
an interview, and waited for his reply, but I think the very
neglect of this ceremony induced Mr. Libbey to see me. He was a man
of marvelous powers of observation, and of drawing the truth out
of what he saw, and later when I mentioned this neglect of social
form, he smiled and said that he had at once suspected I was
childlike and inexperienced--or else extremely clever in disguising
my real character. His curiosity was aroused, and he gave me an
audience in five minutes after my request for it.

During that five minutes I was wondering what Mr. Willis could mean
by sending me to such a place. It was the A. T. Stewart building at
the corner of Broadway and Chambers Street, and when I saw the
immense floor, the numerous tables piled high with webs of cloth of
every kind, and the crowd of young men selling them to an equal
crowd of buyers, I was quite sure there could be no place for me
there. I suppose I ought to have felt nervous; on the contrary, I had
a serenity and self-sufficiency, of which at the time I was
unconscious.

In this mood I entered Mr. Libbey's presence. He bowed slightly, and
directed an office boy to place a chair for me. It was placed as
editors and publishers generally have a visitor's chair placed--that
is, the visitor sits with the light falling full on her face, but the
receiver has his back to the light, and his face is in shadow. I did
not know this at the time, it took me some years to find it out. But
the position must have a business value, for it is now an exceedingly
common arrangement. It gave me no concern. I had nothing to conceal. I
was going to tell the truth, and I did not suspect Mr. Libbey of
suspecting me.

He was a tall, fair, aristocratic looking man, but the aristocratic
element was not that which comes through centuries of noble
descent; it was the aristocracy of deserved success. It clothed his
tall, erect figure with a nobility quite different, and a great
deal more interesting. He had a large head full of cool, shrewd
brains, and his eyes, though small, were wonderful. They gave
strangers one quick, searching glance and _knew them_. Yet in
hours of pleasant conversation, they had that delightful twinkle of
the iris, which inspires such a confiding sense of comradeship. It
did not take me many days to discover, that he had a fine literary
taste, and an ear for religious discourse, as distinct as an ear for
music. He was a true friend to me. I honor his memory. And I believe,
that as the news of my success finds him, wherever in God's
universe he may be doing God's will, he is made glad by it, and is
pleased to remember that I asked his help on that ninth of December,
1868, and that he willingly gave it. For the rest he was free from
arrogance and familiarity, and like all superior men, courteous to
every one.

I took the chair placed for me, and he began the interview by tapping
Mr. Willis's letter slightly, and saying, "Mrs. Barr, my friend Mr.
Willis thinks I may be able to help you to some suitable employment.
What can you do?"

"I love music, and I can teach it."

"What else?"

"I can teach drawing in pencil, crayon, or water colors, well enough
for beginners. I have had a fine English education, and a good deal of
experience in teaching."

"Anything else?"

"I am expert with my needle."

"Very good," he answered. "My three sons desire some knowledge of
music and drawing, and Mrs. Libbey will be glad of your help with the
needle. I think also, you could get a school large enough in Ridgewood
to support you for a year or two; that would give you time to find
your feet, and learn something of life as it is in New York. For you
see," he added, "if we live in New York, we must live as New Yorkers
live. Mr. Willis says you have three daughters; how old are they?"

I told him that Mary was seventeen, Alice seven, and that Lilly, who
was fifteen, had gone to her grandmother in Glasgow. This statement
brought out mention of the Reverend John Barr, and of my own father,
and I could see that the ecclesiastic relationships pleased him. I
thought at the time, and I think so yet, that he felt glad to succor
the grandchildren of two good and great preachers.

"I will speak to Mrs. Libbey tonight," he continued, "and send you
some word early tomorrow. And if all is satisfactory, and you desire
to come to Ridgewood, you will bring your two daughters with you.
Until you decide about opening a school, they are my guests."

I was so amazed at his words, and his cordial manner, that I could
hardly answer, but my reply came from my heart, and he knew it. And I
told myself that God had spoken some secret word to him, and that he
was a good man whose soul knew the Divine Voice, and was ready and
eager to obey it.

The next morning a young man called soon after nine o'clock. He
brought me a note saying that Mr. and Mrs. Libbey would be glad to see
me on Friday afternoon at their home in Ridgewood. He was further
instructed to tell me, that he would call at two o'clock Friday, if
convenient, look after my trunks, and go with me to Ridgewood.

I shall not detain my readers long with my New Jersey experiences. I
was in Ridgewood nineteen weary months, but to the last Mr. Libbey's
kindness failed me not. I found his three sons nice boys; the eldest,
Will, was very like his father, courteous and kind-hearted, very
bright and clever, as all the world knows at this day. He has never
lost sight of me, nor have I of him. I was a few weeks in Mr. Libbey's
home, and if I transcribe two days from my diary, they may stand for
the whole:

_Dec. 14th._ Gave the boys music lessons early in the morning;
afterwards I was arranging and indexing Mr. Libbey's library. Mr.
Libbey does not come home except on Saturday evenings. I gave music
lessons again, when the boys had finished their studies with Mr. Wall.
In the evening I sat sewing with Mrs. Libbey until late. We were
talking of the South and the war. Mrs. Libbey is a southern woman.

_Dec. 20th._ We have family worship on Sundays, and I afterwards went
with Mr. Libbey to church. In the afternoon we had an interesting talk
on the second coming of Christ, then I played some sacred music which
all appeared to enjoy; indeed the hymn "Communion" made such an
impression that Mr. Libbey will send to Edinburgh for a Psalmody like
mine, which contains it. Alice was croupy, and I went upstairs to her
as early as I could. Dear God have pity on me!

This hymn "Communion" is used generally in Scotch kirks just before
the breaking of bread at the communion service:

  "'Twas on that night when doomed to know
  The eager rage of every foe,
  The night on which He was betrayed,
  The Savior of the world took bread."

The words are pathetic and this sentiment is greatly intensified by
their union with the most heart-breaking minor music in the psalm
called "St. Mary's." I do not know how any one can hear it sung by a
congregation on their knees with the minister holding out the broken
bread, and not weep. The Scotch are far from a demonstrative race, but
their love, pity and devotion at the sacramental hour need neither
words nor song to translate it. _It can be felt._

During my stay in Mr. Libbey's house I did some work I had never
before done. I patched three quilts. The circumstance came about thus:
Mrs. Libbey showed me one day an amazing quantity of satin and silk
samples. They were about the length and breadth of a brick, and of
every imaginable color and pattern; having been sent to the house of
A. T. Stewart as samples from the great silk factories of London,
Lyons, Venice, et cetera, I exclaimed with delight, and Mrs. Libbey
asked, "What would you do with them?"

"I would make each of the boys a handsome bed quilt! I would make
Afghans, cushions, tidies, oh, lots of beautiful things!" I replied.

She answered, "I have often thought of some such ways of using them.
How would you like to realize your idea?" And I said, "It would give
me great pleasure." So I received a large basket full, and immediately
went to patching a quilt for Will Libbey, my favorite pupil. On my
last visit to Professor William Libbey at Princeton, this quilt
covered the bed given me. I did not sleep much that night. I had
forgotten the quilt patching until this one wrapped me around, and
awakened a thousand recollections. I touched and smoothed its soft
satins, and thought of the long, sad hours in which my needle went
swiftly to memories of past days, or to my hopes and plans for future
ones. And this quilt talked to me, as my hands touched the sensitized
satin, and I breathed again the perfume of the courage and faith that
hallowed the work. For I thank God I had been able by that time to
take all my sorrow

  "As a plain fact, whose right or wrong
  I questioned not; confiding still,
  It would not last one hour too long."

In a few weeks I rented a cottage from Mr. Libbey, and opened a
school. I had only six scholars to begin with, but the number was
variable. Sometimes it rose to ten or twelve, and then fell to six or
eight. I think seven or eight would be a fair average. The income from
this school would hardly have supported life, but it was helped very
considerably by the tuition fees Mr. Libbey paid me for his three
sons. Perhaps it was a wise indulgence of heaven, that at this time
gave me with a sparing hand, just enough.

I had frequently letters from Lilly, and as she seemed at least
contented, I was glad that she was in a position where she could see
and learn many things, not possible if she was at my side. And Mary
continued her music and English, and looked after the house and her
little sister Alice. Truly the days were long and hard, but when they
were over, and I came home to my children, and my cup of tea, I had a
few hours of cheerful happiness, and could sometimes tell myself, that
perhaps things were not going as badly with me as I thought they
were.

It was a slow, monotonous, dreary life to which there seemed no
outlet. The house was in a very ugly lane, and I had no neighbors but
a Dutch family, who only knew me when I was paying them money; and a
negro family, who were useful in the way of washing and ironing and
cleaning. On the Sabbath, I generally went to Mr. Libbey's for
dinner, and that was my only mental recreation.

One Sunday after I had been in this condition for nearly a year and a
half, Mr. Libbey sent me word that a countryman of mine, a Mr. Fox of
Manchester, was with them and would like to see me. He was sitting
with Mr. Libbey when I opened the parlor door, and we just looked at
each other and smiled. Mr. Fox was so patently, so unmistakably
Lancashire, and I told him so, and he answered,

"To be sure I am! So are you, Mrs. Barr! I know you by your Lancashire
eyes, and your Lancashire color, and the up-head way you carry
yourself."

"No, sir," I answered, "the up-head way I learned in Texas. It is a
up-heart way, also. The up-head helps the heart, when the heart is
dashed and down."

I have seldom spent a more delightful evening. Mr. Fox wanted to know
all about the South, and cotton growing, for he was a great cotton
manufacturer; then we fell upon the war, and I told him a great deal
concerning it, and especially the incidents of the break-up, as I
witnessed them. As I bid him good-bye our hands clasped warmly, and I
said,

"Mr. Fox, as soon as your feet touch Lancashire soil, bless the dear
land for me." And he answered, "I will not forget. And you?" he added,
"remember to keep your up-head and your up-heart like a Lancashire
lass ought to do." This pleasant evening brought forth its fruit a
little later.

About April Lilly wrote me that she was coming home. She said the
Reverend Joseph Brown, the famous minister of the Kent Road
Church--which was attended by all the Colville family, had advised her
to do so; and that her uncle had bought her a passage, and would
himself see her safely on board. "It is all right for me to come home,
Mamma," she continued. "I know now, that I never ought to have left
you. Mary would have been better here, than I could ever be. She is
more Scotch, and I am so English, that the very word 'England' tastes
sweet on my lips, if I only speak it. Mary would have considered her
words and ways, and her P's and Q's, and I have no doubt, would have
won both the old lady, and the half-dozen or more young ones. The
four boys understood me better than any one, but after all, my visit
to grandmother is a broad failure. Uncle David is all right, and I
don't mind people not loving me, if they are only _just_. But I am
coming home to you, Mamma, and I know you will say, 'Lilly, dear, you
did right.'"

Three days after we received this letter, Mary went to New York, to
the office of the _New York Democrat_ to see Mr. Sykes, the publisher,
and Brick Pomeroy, its clever editor; for I had written, mainly during
sleepless nights, a novel, and I thought perhaps, from what I had read
and heard of these gentlemen, they would take it. She had a long talk
with Mr. Sykes, and the final result was a lunch with Mr. and Mrs.
Sykes, and her engagement as governess to their two children. Mary was
delighted; she longed for a more vivid and useful life, and she loved
the city, and hated the country.

"You see, Mamma," she said, "Mrs. Sykes wants me very much, and I like
her. She is so pretty, and so beautifully dressed, and so fond of
amusements. I shall see everything with her, and Mr. Sykes will pay my
board, and give me twenty dollars a month. And you know Lilly may be
here any day, and you do not need both of us."

So in April Mary went to Mrs. Sykes, and Lilly came home a few days
after she had left me, and when she had told me her pitiful little
story, I considered her determination to return to America quite
justifiable. That Dr. Joseph Brown and his family had been her warm
friends was sufficient for me; also she took particular pains to make
me understand that her uncle's attitude to her, from first to last,
had been supremely just. That of course, justice, was the rock on
which David Colville stood; he would not have been unjust to his worst
enemy.

The school closed in June, and I could see on Lilly's face an
invincible determination that it should not re-open. Whether she would
have succeeded in inducing me to give it up, I know not, but one
Sunday Mr. Libbey and his sons called, and in the course of
conversation Mr. Libbey said to me,

"Mrs. Barr, the boys are going in September to Princeton to continue
their education there. I do not think your school here will then
support you. What do you think of doing?"

"I do not know," I answered. "I must consider."

"I have heard you say that you knew Mr. Beecher."

"Yes, in a way, not very well. I met him in Glasgow many years ago. I
dare say he has quite forgotten me."

"I do not think so. Write him a letter. He may be able to assist
you."

"I know not. I cannot think yet."

"Write to him; and also, I want you to write out the story of the
break-up in Texas. Write it just as you told it to Mr. Fox. Send it to
me. I will see that it goes to some one, whose criticism will be
severe enough and fair enough, to prove whether you have the ability
to write. If you can write, you can live."

"O Mr. Libbey!" I cried gratefully, "you are so kind. I thank you! I
thank you! I do believe I can write. I will write the paper you ask me
for tonight. You will see."

I did so, and put it into his hand as he was getting into his carriage
in the morning. He smiled at my promptness and said, "It will be
attended to." And I was perfectly content, for I knew if Mr. Libbey
said so, it would be done.

In two weeks Mr. Libbey brought me a check from Daniel Appleton and
Company for thirty dollars. I was astonished and delighted, but after
a few moments I laughed joyously and cried, "Why I can write three or
four of those things every week! O Mr. Libbey, how happy you have made
me! Is my work really going to be printed? Can I write? Do you think I
can write?"

"It will appear very soon," he answered, "and Mr. Bunce, the editor of
the magazine, spoke very highly of your work; further, he said he
would like you to write them a story. Will you try one?"

"Indeed, I will! I have lots of stories in my mind. I will put them on
paper, at once."

There is a song which says,

          "Joy's the shyest bird,
          Mortal ever heard;
  Listen rapt and silent when he sings.
          Do not seek to see,
          Lest the vision be,
  But a flutter of departing wings."

I had no fear of such a fleeting joy. I _knew_ that my vocation was
found. I had received the call, and having done so, I was sure my work
would be assigned me. Of some things we feel quite certain. Inside
there is a click, a kind of bell that strikes, when the hands of our
destiny meet at the meridian hour. I cannot make it plainer, those who
have experienced it, will know. I only hope that every new writer may
enter the gates of the literary life, as happily and hopefully as I
did.

It was near midnight when we went to bed. Our little affairs were so
full of interest to us. This thirty dollars would remove us into the
city, but though we were both very anxious to go at once, we decided
that it would be better to remain in the country until September
brought cooler weather. Alice was exceedingly frail, and she was the
first consideration. Also, I would have to go to New York to find the
proper place to live in and rent unfurnished rooms there; and this
looked to me a rather formidable undertaking. I had never heard of
real estate offices, and whether they existed at this date, or not, I
do not know. But we read the advertisements in the _Herald_, and I
made a note of several locations. As to the healthiness, or
respectability of these locations, the rents and half a dozen other
important questions, we knew absolutely nothing. I smile to myself
yet, at the childlike confidence, with which I essayed this plunge
into the unknown.

And as we talked, full of gratitude and hope, I was able to give up
cheerfully my last fort of pride or vanity, and I promised myself to
write immediately to Mr. Beecher. It was my proper share of the
obligation attending this new move in life. In the midst of
conversation on this topic, the clock struck twelve, and Lilly said,

"Mamma, you ate no supper. You are hungry, or you ought to be. I am
going to bring something to eat upstairs."

"I will go downstairs with you, Lilly."

"No, no, Mamma! You will get cold, and Alice will wake up. Then Alice
will come down, and she will get cold. I will bring up a tray in five
minutes."

Until she came back with the tray, I walked up and down the small
room. My heart was singing within me. At that hour it had forgotten
all its sorrow and its deprivations; it knew that the bare poverty of
the last few months was over--the poverty that is without books,
without all the comfortable things, that make sufficient food and
clothing still poverty. For some long weary months, it had been
beating itself against gates for which it could find no keys. Now,
they had been set wide open. It would have been an unpardonable waste
of God-given happiness to sleep, as long as the physical woman could
keep awake.

We remained six weeks longer in the country, but they were weeks
brightened with hope and cheerful expectations. I began at once a
story for Appleton's called "Margaret Sinclair's Silent Money," and
among the simple Norse fishers of the Shetland Islands, forgot for
hours together that I was yet in New Jersey. In October I went to the
city to look for rooms, and as soon as I spoke to Mr. Sykes, he sent a
youth with me to a real estate office. He also advised me as to the
proper section of the city, and told me not to go far away from that
quarter, because it contained the city's three finest libraries, and
he was sure I would find them indispensable in literary work.

I was as happy as if I was on a holiday, and before noon had settled
on some unfurnished rooms in a large brick house on Amity Street. I
was told that Poe had once occupied them, but I did not know anything
about Poe in those days; and I was not influenced in my choice by this
association. What decided me was first, the fact that they were large,
lofty, old-fashioned apartments, with open grates, and a pleasant
look-out for Alice. Second, that I had the Astor and Mercantile
Libraries within five minutes walk, and the Historical Library on
Second Avenue, not much further away. Mr. Sykes said I had made an
excellent selection of rooms, and I went back to Ridgewood satisfied
with the home they promised.

The next day I wrote Mr. Beecher a long letter. I told him all that
had happened me, and asked if he could help me to find literary work.
Almost by return mail, I received his answer. In it he told me that he
had just become largely interested in the _Christian Union_, and was
sure if I could write something for that paper, as vivid or pathetic
as my letter to him, my services would be welcome to the _Christian
Union_. "Come into the city," he said, "and we shall be able to keep
your pen busy."

Three days after the receipt of this encouraging letter, I stood in
the rooms on Amity Street, with my daughters and my few household
goods. I had five dollars and eighteen cents in my purse. I had no
knowledge of the ways of life in a large city, and was quite as
ignorant of the business of buying and selling. I had no relatives in
America, no one I felt at liberty to ask assistance from. I stood
absolutely alone in the battle of life, but I was confident, that God
and Amelia Barr were a multitude.

In the old-fashioned grate of the room, I intended for our sitting-and
dining-room, there was soon a good fire, and in less than an hour, the
kettle was boiling, the lamb chops broiled, and the tea infusing. And
never since my dear husband died, had I sat down to a meal I enjoyed
so much. We were as happy as three children.

Before the evening of the next day, the rooms had quite a homey look.
I had still some beautiful bed clothing, and table damask, and a few
books; and books and an open fire are the best furniture any room can
have. They look at every one that enters them with a smile and a
welcome. And on that open fire, it was wonderful what excellent meals
Lilly cooked us--nice little lamb stews, and broiled meats, and always
the good cup of tea or of Java coffee. And we laughed at our small
discomforts, and said we were "only tenting, until everything right
and proper should arrive."

As soon as the house affairs were arranged, I went down to the
_Christian Union_ office. I took with me a paper called "The Epiphany
in the West Riding." There was a Mr. Kennedy then in the working
editor's chair, and he read it at once and was delighted with it. He
said such generous words of encouragement and praise, that I have yet
the kindest memory of him. He was the first editor of the _Christian
Union_, I believe, but he left the paper very soon, and I have never
heard his name since.

Mr. George Merriam followed him, and he was the kindest and wisest
editor I ever wrote for. He kept me rigorously up to my best work, but
did so with such consideration and valuable advice, that I always felt
it a great pleasure, to see how much better I could make everything I
wrote for him. He did me many favors, and among them he gave me my
first introduction to the dear old Astor Library. In this library I
worked from morning to night. Mr. Saunders the head librarian was an
Englishman, a most wonderful general scholar, particularly intimate
with English literature. We soon became good friends, and he gave me
the use of one of the largest and sunniest alcoves in the Hall I
frequented. For fifteen years I used this alcove with its comfortably
large table, its silence and sunshine, and delightful atmosphere of
books and scholars.

A plan of the Astor alcoves that Mr. Saunders made for me, hangs at my
right hand in my study. My alcove was the Fine Arts alcove in the
South Hall, and Mr. Saunders--when I went no more to the Astor--feared
I might forget it. As if I could! Though it exists no longer, I see it
as plainly, _as I saw it before it existed at all_.

For when I was living in Penrith, a child of seven or eight years old,
I began to dream of this city of books. I wandered about its pleasant
alcoves, and climbed its long spiral stairs of wrought iron, and stood
speechless and wondering before the white marble busts of ancient
gods, and godlike men, in its entrance hall. And the building did not
then exist. It is doubtful if it had ever taken form in Mr. Astor's
mind. How then could I see it in my dreams? And why did I see it? I
have asked myself these questions for more than forty years, for
always I saw the building full of light, though my dream came in the
dark midnight, when there was neither sun, nor moon, nor candlelight
for physical eyes to use. Where does the light of dreams come from?
And why was it shown to me when as yet it was not?

The only solution I can find is, that my angel not only foresaw the
grand old library, but also that she understood the necessity and
advantage of my future intimate association with it. Therefore she
made me familiar with the place in my dream life, so that when in my
physical life, I came to this special hostelry of mind and body, I
might know that I was in the path appointed for me, and be satisfied.
For I do not believe in chance. The life God guides, is not ruled by
accidental events; the future is constantly shaped out of the past and
all its happenings are but links in a chain.

To me it was a most astonishing experience. I walked up the white
marble stairway, and into the sunny South Hall with the strangest most
exulting feeling of proprietorship; and for all the purposes of study
and use, this splendid library was for fifteen years really my own.
Before presenting Mr. Merriam's letter to the chief librarian, Mr.
Saunders, I sat down and looked around me. Yes! It was my dream
library! There was no doubt of it. I was lost in wonder and joy, and I
said to my soul,

"We came not to this place by accident. It is the very place God meant
for us." And this decision was so comforting, that I at once fully
accepted it.

The Astor Library was at that date a very heaven on earth to the
student. I have never seen in all my life, a student's library
comparable with it. It wanted none of the great treasures of
literature, and yet it was not too large to become familiar with. In
the halls I frequented, I soon knew where every book dwelt, and if my
eyes saw a vacant place on a shelf, I knew instantly what book was
from home. Of the great reviews and magazines, I gradually made an
index of all their papers, likely to be of use to me; so that if an
up-to-date article on any subject, commodity, or event was needed, I
had, at my finger ends, a list of all the papers that had been written
concerning it.

Nor did I let the evident trade, or literary side of the subject
satisfy me. I hunted up in such queer repositories of knowledge as
_Southey's Doctor_, _Hones' Year Book_, _Table Book_, and _Every Day
Book_, et cetera, all the bits of folklore, historical, poetical, and
social traditions, proverbs and prophecies allied to it; and in such
research I found a never-ending delight. Many writers of that day
said with a variety of emphasis, "What luck Mrs. Barr has!"

Once a despondent young man sitting in my alcove made this very remark
to me, and as it was spoken in no unkind spirit, I answered it by
showing him the indexes and notes which I had made for this very work.
I pointed out that the illustration for which I was then preparing the
text, had been received an hour ago, and must be turned into the paper
for which it was intended early on the following morning; and I asked
him--if he could find the material necessary, and have it at the
office by nine o'clock? He looked gloomily at the picture. It
represented an old farmer examining the almanac for the New Year.

"Now what can a fellow know about almanacs?" he asked. "What is there
to know about them anyhow? I suppose I could find something in
Poole----"

"Look here!" I answered. "This is my list of informing articles on the
subject of almanacs:

  _British Quarterly Review_, vol. 28.
  _Saturday Review_, vol. 14.
  "Medieval Almanacs," _Quarterly Review_, vol. 71.
  _Southey's Doctor_, vol. 3.
  _Foreign Quarterly_, vol. 32.
  _London Magazine_, vol. 2.
  _Eclectic Magazine_, vol. 1, 1844.
  _Eclectic Magazine_, vol. 9.
  _Retrospective Review_, vol. 2.
  _Bow Bell's Magazine_, vol. 1.
  _All the Year Round Magazine_, vol. 6."

"Do you mean to go through all those articles?" he asked incredulously.

"It is now ten o'clock," I replied. "Before four, I shall have gleaned
all I want from every one of them. I shall perhaps also find time to
go through some poetical indexes, and find a few good verses on
almanacs, either to finish off--or to begin with. And this," I
continued, "this is the kind of luck Mrs. Barr has. You, or any other
writer, can have the same."

Any one can understand, how work of this kind pursued with loving and
ungrudging industry for over fifteen years, educated the mind and
formed the taste. It kept me in touch with the finest European
essayists, and I learned something from every book I opened. Perhaps
it was not just what I was looking for, but it was worth making a note
of--a note that often came into use for song or story years
afterwards; and it was all conducive to that preparation I was
unconsciously making for the sixty or more books it has been my
privilege and pleasure to write.



CHAPTER XIX

THE BEGINNINGS OF A NEW LIFE

  "I heard the letters talking, saw thought forming, felt the
  syllables writing as my hands wandered over the sensitized paper,
  smelling the perfume of dead men's thoughts."


I was nearly thirty-nine years old when I became a student at the
Astor and began a life so different from the lives I had lived in
Glasgow, Chicago, Austin and Galveston, that I might have been born
again for it. Virtually, I was reborn. In that great and terrible
alembic of pestilence and death through which I was passed in
Galveston, all the small delights and frivolities of my life vanished;
and I came out of its fires, holding firmly to one adequate virtue in
their place--henceforward to be through all the days of my life, an
all competent motive, and an all sufficient reward--the homely virtue
of duty. And I have never regretted this exchange though at first I
found, as all the servants of duty must do,

  "That they who follow her commands,
  Must on with heart, and knees, and hands,
  Through the long gorge, the upper light to win.
  But still the path is upward, and once
  The toppling crags of Duty scaled, the soul
  Stands clear upon the shining table lands,
  To which our God himself is moon and star."

For moral and spiritual gifts are bought, and not given. We pay for
them in some manner, or we go empty away. It is _every day duty_ that
tells on life. Spiritual favors are not always to be looked for, and
not always to be relied on. After the glory of Mt. Tabor, the
disciples were not willing to go to Calvary with Christ. They forsook
him and fled.

In my little home of three rooms, things were not uncomfortable; we
made the best of what we had, and we found out how few are the real
necessities of life, and how much we could do without, and yet be
happy enough. For if the heart is young, nothing is too hard; and when
these meagre days were over, we often talked of the good time we had
had in them. For if love be of your company, I declare poverty to be
an exquisite experience. We found out then the heart of love, and of
many other things; she taught us economy and self-denial, for we would
all have wanted rather than have let Alice miss any of her small
desires. She did her best to give us some knowledge of life, but with
myself she did not succeed very well. I was so hopeful, that I would
not foresee evil, and as yet I fully trusted humanity. Moreover, I had
so often been wonderfully helped in great anxieties, that I could not
believe the time would ever come when the hard eye of misfortune

  "... would not know it vain,
  To empty what heaven brimmed again."

Soon after we were fairly settled, just as we were sitting down to
supper one night, Mary opened the door. With a cry of pleasure I made
a place for her chair between myself and Alice, and as I did so, I got
a glimpse of my daughter, that I have never forgotten, nor ever shall
forget. She was then in her nineteenth year, a tall graceful girl in a
long dark costume, and a soft gray beaver hat. Her hands were
out-stretched, her face shining with love, and I had a sudden great
pride and pleasure in her beauty and affection. She is now sixty years
old, and of course changed in every way, but nothing can deprive me of
this soul photograph of her, while the dew of youth, and the glory of
family affection transfigured her. I know this, because I have been
thrice since to the very shoal of Time, and turning back to life
again, have brought that picture back with me. If I had not turned
back, it would have gone with me.

In a moment she was sitting at my side, and Lilly had brought her a
cup and plate, and was serving her with smiles and exclamations of
pleasure. But at that moment Mary cared little for food. She had Alice
within her arm, and was kissing her small lifted face with the
tenderest affection. Then she turned to me. "Mamma!" she cried, "let
me come home! I want to come home! While you were fifty miles away, I
could bear it; but now that you are almost in the next street, I
cannot endure to be away from you."

"I would like you to be at home, Mary," I answered. "It would be a
great joy to all of us. But the Sykes' have been very kind to you, and
you cannot treat them badly."

"Dear Mamma! I would not do so for any reason. But they are going on a
trip out West, and railway traveling makes me ill. Mrs. Sykes knows
this, and she says she hopes Lilly will go to help her with the
children."

"I would like to go!" Lilly cried with enthusiasm. "I would like
nothing better."

The discussion of this subject made the evening very interesting; and
it was finally decided that Lilly should go with the Sykes family, and
Mary remain at home. And I may add here, that the glamour of the Great
West so infatuated the child, that she has been haunted by its
vastness and its promises to this very day. To go West, far far West,
has been the dream of her life--a dream that has never come true. But
if it had come true, what then? Who can tell? I have always found that
the things I planned, desired, and worked for, if they came at all,
brought with them disappointment and regret; while those that came to
me unsought and unexpected proved to be the very things I needed most
of all.

Before Christmas Lilly was home again, but by this time I had made up
my mind that I could not be parted from my children any more. We must
stay together. God could care for us in one family, as well as in two.
How faithless I had been to doubt this! So after Lilly had partially
exhausted her delightful enthusiasm about her journey, and I saw that
the clock was traveling up-hill to midnight, I told them so.

"Dear ones!" I said, "we will not separate any more. I will work a
little harder, and there is plenty in the home here, for you both to
do. Lilly will keep house, and look after our meals, and Mary----"

"O Mamma!" Mary interrupted, "there is all the winter sewing yet to
do. Rent a sewing-machine, and Mary will make warm dresses for us
all."

"Can you, dear?" I asked.

"I could make a dress pretty well, when I went to Mrs. Sykes. I
learned a great deal while I was there. She frequently had a
dressmaker in the house, and then I helped her, and so learned a great
deal. I can make our dresses as well as any ordinary modiste."

"That will be a great help to us," I said, "and one, or the other of
you, will find time every fine day to give Alice a walk, and when she
is able, to hear her read."

Both girls eagerly accepted their duty to their sick sister, and Mary
said, with an excitement not very common with her, "I vote, Mamma,
that we stay together, and fight the battle of life out on that
line."

"And you, Lilly, what do you say?"

"Let us stay together, even if we live on bread and water."

I was the proudest and happiest mother in the world at that moment,
and I answered joyfully, "You are right, dears, we will fight the
battle out on this line."

"What a game it will be!" cried Lilly. "All of us for Mamma, and Mamma
for all of us! We shall win! No doubt of it!"

And that night as I lay silently happy and thoughtful, with the
children sleeping at my side, the grand old rallying cry of a famous
English school wherever gathered for honorable strife, suddenly rung
in my ears,

  "_Play up! play up! and play the game!_"

For more than twenty years I had not heard it, but at that moment it
pealed and pealed, and pealed through my consciousness, as if all the
bells of Kendal Church were ringing it. Over and over I heard it. My
heart beat to its shrill music, my fingers tattooed it on the bed
cover, I could hardly lie still. Why had it come to me at this hour? I
had forgotten it for so long--so long. Doubtless its memory had been
evoked by Lilly's cheerful resolute exclamation, "What a game it will
be!" For it was easy for me to unconsciously think of this brave
child, playing up any good or honorable game of life, to the last
moment of that great game, when

  "Death holds the odds,
  Of his unequal fray."

And "if a woman is game as she is mild, and mild as she is game," a
late great writer says, "that should satisfy any of us."

Many and many a time since that happy hour, in straits of all kinds, I
have been encouraged and strengthened by this plucky rallying cry of
English schoolboys, and I have said to my failing spirit, "Now,
Amelia, the game is hard, and the odds are against you, but you cannot
sneak out because of that. '_Play up! play up! and play the game!_'"

About six weeks ago, I felt as if I really must give up. I had been
writing for five years without even a day's rest, and my present task
of recalling, and _feeling_ the past all over, had thoroughly
exhausted me. "I can do no more," I said, and with old, tired eyes,
full of unshed tears--for old eyes dare not weep--and a sad heart,
scarcely beating, I fell upon my bed, and was at once in a deep sleep.
I was awakened by a crowd of schoolboys from Professor Stone's school
which is just above my house. They were singing or chanting all
together some school slogan. I know not what, but it awoke in my soul,
the old battle cry of the classes on their English playground,

  "_Play up! play up! and play the game!_"

And the cheerful, resolute noise was like old wine to my heart. I rose
confidently, and went to my study and wrote for nearly three hours
without any feeling of weariness. In that time, I got over the hard
bit of road, that had so discouraged me, and the next morning I could
sit down cheerfully at my desk, and repeat my usual grace before
writing:

  "_I say to my Maker,
  Thanks! for the day's work,
  That my Lord gives me._"[6]

Not a week after this event, one of those strange coincidences of
which life is full, if we only noticed them, occurred. Lilly sent me a
stirring little song on this very subject, written by Henry Newbolt, a
well known lawyer of London, and I will transcribe its two last
verses, because they so well illustrate what I have said about the
influence of this ancient school cry,

  "The sand of the desert is sodden red,
    Red with the wreck of a square that broke--
  The Gattling's jammed, and the Colonel dead,
    And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
  The River of Death has brimmed his banks,
    And England's far, and Honour's a name,
  But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks,
    '_Play up! play up! and play the game!_'

  "This is the word that year by year,
    While in her place the school is set,
  Every one of her sons must hear,
    And none that hears it, dare forget.
  This, they all with a joyful mind,
    Bear through life like a torch aflame,
  And falling fling to the host behind--
    '_Play up! play up! and play the game!_'"

The agreement made between my daughters and myself to play the game
together, and not apart, was faithfully kept through many changeful
years. It would seem that literature in the shape I followed it then,
might be a rather monotonous life. We found it full of interest and
variety. There was always something to tell, or some plan to talk
over, when we gathered for our evening meal. For one event leads to
another, and that often in the most unforeseen manner. Thus, in the
present agreement, Mary had decided to take care of the family sewing,
but she quickly pointed out to me, that material for winter garments
must be bought immediately, and I promised to try and go with her in
the afternoon. I had thought of this necessity during the night, and
had come then to a conclusion, I had once thought nothing would ever
make me accept.

I had a valuable ring, a diamond guard to my wedding ring. I had not
worn it since we left Galveston, and its disappearance had not been
named. I could not bear to speak of it, and I dare say the children
thought I had sold it for some necessity. But I felt that I must now
part with it, and I experienced real, palpable pain, when I came to
this conclusion; my heart ached just as my head might have ached, and
I hope none of my readers will ever have to thole such suffering. It
does not seem worth while for any of them to be sorry for a woman, who
had a heartache about the loss of a diamond ring. Well, it was not the
diamonds; it was the memories hidden in their shining depths.

One Sunday afternoon while I was strolling with my lover in the laurel
woods round the Salutation Inn at Lake Windermere, Robert gave it to
me. It was then just three months before our marriage, and ever after,
it had been associated with some of the sweetest episodes of our happy
life together. Three or four times since my widowhood, I had been in
such extremity, that I had resolved to turn it into gold, but every
time something happened which saved my amulet.

For I was superstitious about it. To me it was an amulet. I believed
that while I wore it in my breast, Robert would remember me, and in
times of perplexity and trouble, help and counsel. Every one has some
superstition. I say "every one" with consideration, and from a rather
extensive knowledge of personal superstitions. The richest, shrewdest,
most truly religious man I ever knew, had two or three apparently very
silly ones; yet they ruled his life, and in some measure his enormous
business, and he told me he had never defied them, but to his sorrow
or loss. So I must not be too much blamed for having a very tender
superstition about my ring, and a strong reluctance to part with it.

I waited all night for the premonition that something would happen
this time also to save the ring, but no whisper of comfort, no sign of
salvation came, and when I awoke in the morning, it was with the
conviction that I must now part with this very last memento of a life
forever gone from me. With tears I took it out of the little pocket,
which I had made for it in the bosom of my dress, and dropped it into
my purse. Then I went to the breakfast table, and found the children
so happy over their new plans, that I could not bear to dash their
hopes and enthusiasms by any mention of the sad duty before me.

We talked for an hour about the kind of dresses wanted, and neither
Mary nor Lilly were extravagant in their desires. Lilly only
stipulated that she would like a dark blue cloth, because that color
suited her, and Mary said, with a comical little laugh, "I don't care
so much about color, Mamma, but do not dress us alike. I don't want to
hear people say, 'They are the two Miss Barrs, illustrated by Black
Watch tartan dresses;' for you know, Mamma, dear, you have an
unquenchable taste for Black Watch tartan." I could not help laughing
at the accusation, for I acknowledge that to this day, the sombre,
handsome tints of the Black Watch regiment attract me.

"You see, Mamma," she added, "we are not going to live in Scotland,
and in New York I have noticed dark sage green with pale blue
trimmings is in favor. I should like to be in the fashion. I don't
care about color. Any color suits me."

So with laughter and happy voices in my ears, and a little tremor in
my heart, I turned into Broadway. My fear was now, that I should not
be able to sell my ring, and so bring disappointment and waiting to
those whose happiness was my first concern. I had no clear idea where
to go, but I thought on Broadway I would be likely to find the best
jewelry stores, and I considered myself very clever, when I cunningly
resolved, not to take the first offer made me, but to ask at least in
three different places.

About Fourteenth Street I met a policeman, a fat, rosy,
good-natured-looking man, and I asked where the best jewelry store
could be found. He walked a few steps with me, and then pointed out
Tiffany's in Union Square.

"They are clean gentlemen there," he said, "and they'll neither charge
you too much--nor give you too little."

So I went to Tiffany's, and a very pleasant gentleman asked me what I
wished. I took my ring out of my purse, and showing it to him, said,
"I have to sell this ring. Will you buy it?"

He looked at the ring, and then at me, and said, "It is a beautiful
ring. I am sorry you have to part with it."

"Will you buy it?" I asked again, and I was aware that my voice
trembled.

"We cannot," he answered. "Our house does nothing in that way of
business, but I can send you to a gentleman who will buy it, and who
will be certain to treat you fairly, and to give you its value."

And I could not help believing him, for his face and voice were full
of sympathy, as I answered, "Thank you, sir. That is all I want."

Then he took a card from his pocket book, wrote a few lines on it, and
enclosing it in an envelope, addressed the message, whatever it was,
to Mr. John Henry Johnston, Bowery and Grand Street.

I knew nothing of these localities, but when I reached the friendly
policeman at Fourteenth Street again, he told me exactly how to find
the place. And the unaffected kindness of these two men in some
strange way drew all the sorrow out of my heart, and I walked down the
Bowery full of interest in all the strange shops and sights I saw
there; for it appeared to be full of people, in every kind of dress
the continent of Europe could supply. In fact it was full of emigrants
in their national costumes, waiting for the evening emigrant train,
and in the meantime, seeing what they could of the city of New York.

At length I came to Grand Street, and saw the store I wanted. It was
a large handsome store, and I walked into it, and asked for Mr.
Johnston. His appearance rather astonished me. He looked to be
about thirty-seven years old, but his hair was snow white. He had
a pleasant, intelligent, kind face, and his manner was most
prepossessing. He read the card sent him, and said politely, "Come
into my office, Madame."

I told him my name, then he looked at my ring, and said, "The stones
are good, and it is of English make, I think. I may say, I am sure."

"It was bought in Glasgow, from the firm of Alexander McDonald--but
for all that, may be of English make," I answered.

He spent a little time in examining the ring, then sent for another
gentleman, and asked him to appraise its value; while this was being
done, he asked me if I was the Amelia Barr who wrote for the
_Christian Union_. In a short time, the second gentleman having
finished his examination, Mr. Johnston told me what he would give me
for the ring, and I was amazed. I had not expected half as much, and I
joyfully accepted his offer. Then and there, we finished the
transaction, and my ring was gone from me forever. But when he put it
in the safe, and the iron door shut heavily upon it, I could have
shrieked. It hurt me so! It hurt me so! If it had not been for the
three dear girls waiting for the money, I should even then have said,
"Give it back to me. I cannot, cannot part with it!"

As it was, I did not speak, but as I rose to go away, Mr. Johnston
asked me to sit awhile, and being excited and trembling, I thought it
well to do so. Thus began a very sincere friendship between Mr.
Johnston's family and my own. Mrs. Johnston was called Amelia, and
this simple circumstance made our first meeting a very pleasant one.
For several years the Johnstons were true friends, but Mrs. Johnston
died early, and in later years I have lost sight of Mr. Johnston. He
did me many favors, but there is one above all others, which I can
never forget. It was in connection with my ring, and it gives me yet a
warmth at my heart to remember it.

About three weeks after it had passed from my possession, a small
parcel came to me, and when I opened it I saw the little box in which
I had always kept my treasure. With trembling fingers I opened it, and
there lay my ring, changed indeed, but still my ring. The stones had
been removed, and over the vacancy caused by their removal, had been
placed a scroll of gold, inscribed in black enamel with the word
"_Faith_." Fortunately, I was alone in my home, and I went to my room
and falling on my knees, I laid the changed ring in my open palm
before God. What I said, He knows, and there are many of my readers
who will understand without my explanation. I thought God would see,
and be sorry for me.

Was I not happy? Yes, at first very happy, but gradually my feelings
changed. The beloved amulet, denuded of its splendor and value, was
such an evident symbol of myself, and my fortune, that I could not
help a kind of sorrowful astonishment, followed by a gush of
passionate weeping. "O Robert! Robert!" I cried, and then both words
and tears failed, and I laid my head on the bed, and was dumb; because
my loss was so irreparable, that even God could not restore

  "The weeping hopes, the memories beyond tears,
  The many, many, blessed, unforgotten years."

At that hour my heart was empty of all but grief.

Very soon, however, I heard my children's voices on the stairs. They
were talking softly but happily, and I rose and bathed my face, and to
their eager call of "Mamma! Mamma!" I went to meet them. Then I showed
them the changed ring, and I am sure that wherever Mr. Johnston was at
that hour, his heart must have glowed with the warmth of the good
wishes sent to him. I also tried to be pleased and happy, for I told
myself, that if there had been any real reason for the grief I had
just indulged, God would have spoken a word of comfort to me, yet when
I showed Him the changed ring, He did not. My tears had been useless,
for there is no deliverance through tears, unless God wipes them
away.

So I placed the ring on my finger, and wore it that night, and when
the mystery of sleep wrapped me like a garment, I found out that God
had not been indifferent to my tears, and that He had royal compassion
for the sorrowful and broken-hearted who had not dared to expect
anything.

For a little while, I wore it constantly, thinking I could accustom
myself to its company, but it had been too long a part of myself and
my life. A sudden glimpse of it could sometimes destroy a day's work,
and if I purposely looked at it, the heart overruled the head, and I
was not able to write at all. It depressed me, and put down the soft
pedal on all thought and mental expression. So I finally laid it away
among the sacred things of my affections, my father's, mother's, and
husband's last letters, the lock of Robert's dark hair just tinged
with gray, the golden curls from my children's brows, the flowers that
had bloomed on their graves. Among such treasures it found its
place--the last memento of a love and a life, dead, and gone forever.

Some of my readers will very likely say that I was foolishly
superstitious regarding this ring, and evidently considered it as an
amulet or charm. I will answer them in the words of a very learned
man, who wrote on this subject, and then leave them to argue the
question as it seems to appeal most powerfully to their experience, or
their prejudices.

  "As to Charms, a coin, a pebble, any trifle long carried on the
  person, becomes imbued with the personality. Sometimes they have
  such strange ways of remaining with one, that we cannot help
  suspecting they have a will of their own. Who has not been amazed
  at the persistency with which a coin, a key, a button, a pebble
  picked up and put in the pocket, stays there? Or how some card
  will lurk in our pocketbook, till it is plain it is there of its
  own intention. In a little time, we can't help feeling as if these
  things know a great deal that we do not know; and we treat them
  with liking and respect, and even care."

Let those who say they never do "such silly things," deny; the wise,
who dare affirm or acknowledge the foible, will be a large majority.

By whatever power or influence my ring held me, its putting away
was an advantageous thing. Since Robert's death my life had been, to
my own apprehension, two-fold: a sharply defined life above
consciousness, and a vague, haunting, dreamlike life below
consciousness. The latter had troubled most of my hours of rest and
solitude; and living in it, either waking or sleeping, I was sad
with regrets and self-accusations. A night spent in its gloom
robbed the next day of vitality and active mentality. I was
depressed, and work of any kind is not done as well as it could be,
if gone to with cheerfulness, yes, even with gladness. But with the
removal of the ring from my person, the last link between the past
and the present life was broken. I know not how it came about, but
gradually I was able to dismiss "Memory's rapturous pain."

  "For when I drank of that divinest anguish,
  How could I taste the empty world again?"

Yes, I began to forget. At first I could not believe it, and I
struggled against the fact. I told my heart to remember, but it was
only telling love to do what love had once done of itself. I found it
useless, as all have done, and will do to struggle against the deepest
nature of things. For God has appointed time to console affliction,
and living loves and inexorable wants and duties, compel us to accept
the present as compensation for all that has been taken away, and so
for a while,

  "... we do not quite forget,
  Nor quite remember, till the past days seem,
  The waving memory of a lovely dream."

Every event has two or three causes, and probably quite as many
issues, and Mr. Johnston's friendship carried Lilly back to mission
work. She went with him and a Mr. Swartout to the Five Points Mission
one Sunday afternoon, and at this time the Five Points Mission was the
pet philanthropy of New York. There was always a great number of
visitors there on the Sabbath, but it was the number of poor children
that attracted Lilly. She had a singular aptitude for interesting and
managing them, and this faculty had been trained and exercised by her
famous pastor, Dr. Joseph Brown of the Kent Road Church, Glasgow,
especially in the poor children's dinners supplied by the city and
private charity. So this Sunday afternoon decided her life for the
next two years or more, and also had a helpful influence on our own
home.

For the attention of the Reverend George Mingens, Superintendent of
New York's city missions, was soon drawn to her fine voluntary work,
and he asked her to join his missionary helpers. But I was extremely
averse to her even visiting the Five Points district, though I
acknowledged to myself the native and natural quality of her
evangelism. My father delighted in his home missions, and my Uncle
John died at Sierra Leone after seven years missionary labor there. A
picture of his lonely grave in the African desert hung in my father's
study, and was one of the first things I heard a story about. It was
only a poor woodcut taken from a _Churchman Magazine_, but as I grew
older my imagination easily supplied the lions on the horizon, and the
negro kneeling beside it.

Also I had a most disquieting memory of a little girl about eight
years old, after a missionary meeting in Penrith Chapel, declaring
that as soon as she was grown up, she was going to the heathen at the
ends of the earth. She was going to tell them about their good brother
Jesus, who stretched out his arms to them, even from the Cross. And I
was ashamed before this ghost of a child from the past, and then
remembered how Lilly had even neglected her school and her lessons to
go to serve at the poor children's dinners in Glasgow, finding in this
service a consolation for a life lonely and not happy. So there was no
reason at all to wonder at her enthusiasm for mission work. It was an
inherited tendency, strengthened by the experience of three
generations.

The next time Mr. Mingens called he made a proposal I had neither
heart, nor argument to oppose. He said he had taken dinner the
previous evening with Mr. and Mrs. William E. Dodge, and that during a
conversation about city missions, Mrs. Dodge had expressed a desire
that Miss Barr would act as her private missionary. He told us that
Mrs. Dodge was very rich and charitable, and had letters every day
asking her help in a variety of troubles, and that she thought Miss
Barr would be the very person to investigate the real condition of the
writers, and if their cases were worthy of help, to see that they
obtained it.

The offer greatly pleased Lilly, and after she had an interview with
Mrs. Dodge, she was taken captive by that lady's spiritual and
personal charms and was very happy in the work assigned her. The
salary she received for it brightened all our lives, for it enabled us
to rent and make the comfortable home we all longed to possess. For
there was but one purse in the family. I carried it, but it belonged
alike to all; and I never once remember Lilly asking for a dollar of
her salary, for her private use or pleasure.

In the meantime my reputation grew imperceptibly as a tree grows. In a
little more than a year after I began writing for the _Christian
Union_ I had a great deal to do for Dr. Stephen Tyng, a notable young
clergyman of that day. My first literary work for him was to write
twenty little stories about Olivet Chapel and its mission. They were
to be about seven or eight hundred words long, and though all on the
same subject, to be varied as much as possible. I found no difficulty
in doing what he wished. It was only to make men of different creeds
and nationalities, age and temperament, wealth and poverty, discuss
the mission. To me it proved a pleasant mental exercise, and Dr. Tyng
was more than satisfied, and paid me one hundred dollars. I thought
the cars would never get me home. I was in such a hurry to tell the
children, I must have taken two steps at once.

That day remains in my memory as a perfectly happy day, for Dr. Tyng
paid me with such cordiality and unstinted praise, that my pleasure
was doubled. Subsequently when Dr. Tyng and Dr. Hepworth began to
publish a weekly newspaper, called the _Working Church_, they
associated me with them in its preparation. This paper published the
first novel I ever wrote, as simple a story as "Jan Vedder's Wife,"
but laid among the Cumberland Fells and in the city of Glasgow. At
that time I knew nothing about book rights, and English rights, and I
suppose Dr. Tyng never imagined a writer could be ignorant about such
personal points, for he did not speak to me on the subject. So when
Dr. Tyng had paid me for its publication in the _Working Church_ I
believed I had no further right in it. It was put away and forgotten,
until about half a year ago, when I found it in a box full of old
diaries, papers, et cetera. Its name was "Eunice Leslie" and if any
one has early copies of the _Working Church_ they will find it there,
and I should be glad to hear of it.

Among my duties on this paper was the preparation of the columns of
church news, and general news, and Dr. Lyman Abbott in writing to Dr.
Tyng about the newspaper said, "They were well done," and asked, "Who
prepared them?" And as Dr. Abbott knew I was responsible for their
accuracy and brightness, it was very kind of him to make the inquiry.
It was a small kindness; it was done forty years ago, and Dr. Abbott
has doubtless forgotten it, but I still remember how much it pleased
me. As for Dr. Abbott, he may count it, as Wordsworth says, in

  "That best portion of a good man's life--
  His little, nameless, unremembered acts
  Of kindness, and of love."

Dr. Tyng showed me Dr. Abbott's question, and his compliment to the
general character of the _Working Church_ as a popular religious
weekly, and with a gay little laugh commented thus, "I am glad the
doctor did not spell 'Weekly' with an 'a.'" Then his countenance
beamed with pleasure, and I can see him this moment, as I saw him
then, standing with the note in his hand, as fine a type of a
highly-cultured good-hearted gentleman as I ever met.



CHAPTER XX

THE FAMILY LIFE

  "The Family Life is romantic because it is uncertain. Every member
  of it likes different work and different play. These differences
  make the household bracing. Those who want to get out of family
  life will go into a much narrower world."


Our home at this time was in the pretty row of flats opposite the
Dominican Church on Lexington Avenue. They were light, sunny
apartments and had a satisfactory share of what we call, modern
conveniences. Every one knows how New York looks now, between
Lexington Avenue and the old entrance to Central Park at the Arsenal.
Then, it was a clear, open space. I remember just one cottage standing
at the southeast corner opposite to the park entrance; and I remember
this cottage, because its garden was full of old-fashioned English
flowers--columbines, sops-in-wine, calamuth, kingspear, crown
imperials, Michaelmas daisies, and the only auriculas I have seen in
America, the aristocrat of the primrose family, dressed in royal
purple, and powdered as daintily as any court lady.


AURICULAS

  "Grave grandees from pageant olden,
  Purple, crimson, primrose, golden,
  Yellow-hearted, tawny-tuckered,
  Velvet-robed, and flounced and puckered,
  Golden-eyed and garnet-breasted,
  Cherry-rimmed and velvet-vested,
  Silver-powdered, golden-dusted,
  Damson-dyed or orange-rusted,
  Pencilled, painted, grained and graded,
  Frilled and broidered and brocaded,
  Ye should move in gilded coaches,
  While some gorgeous Prince approaches;
  Let the Polyanthi then,
  Run as dapper liverymen!
  Till your dames on polished floors,
  Sail like splendid Pompadours."

Our dining-room faced this pleasant outlook, and it was a favorite
family gathering place; for Mary had her sewing machine at one of its
windows, and there she sat sewing and singing nearly every morning.
The parlor looked on to Lexington Avenue, and was exactly opposite the
Dominican Church entrance, and on Sunday mornings I found at its
windows never-ceasing food for thought and observation. Early as six
o'clock, there was a reverent praying congregation there, and soon
after nine the congregation had overflowed its capacity, and men and
women were kneeling on its steps, and broad sidewalk. They were
indifferent to passers-by, and with their rosaries in their hands,
made publicly their confession of sin, and their prayer for pardon. I
never wearied of this Sabbath spectacle, and I never dreamed of
smiling at it. I could not imagine myself praying on the sidewalk, or
even on the church steps, but sincere religion always commands
respect. It is never ridiculous or contemptible.

The parlor, like the rest of the house, was plainly furnished. There
were white curtains at the windows, and white matting on the floor,
and a very good cottage piano, which we rented when we were in the
Amity Street rooms, and had to deny ourselves in other matters, in
order to pay the eight dollars a month it called for. But Mary had
acquired a certain proficiency in music that must not be lost, and at
this time she was taking singing lessons from Errani, and they needed
steady, regular practice, which was given while I was at the Astor
Library.

Through my reviewing for the _Christian Union_ and other papers, we
had collected a number of good books, but we had no pictures excepting
two fine crayon portraits of my eldest daughters, which had been
presented to me by a young artist, who came frequently to our house.
And there was always plenty of flowers, for New Yorkers then, as now,
delighted in them; and our visitors brought them freely. I suppose,
excluding the piano and the two portraits, the whole house was
furnished at the cost of three or four hundred dollars; but for all
that, it made a cheerful pleasant impression on all who entered it;
its atmosphere was so homelike, so comfortable, and happy.

Undoubtedly we were very happy there, though I worked ten hours or
more, daily, including the unpleasant ride to the Astor Library, and
often as far as Park Row or its vicinity; for I had to be a worker, as
well as a dreamer, and my thoughts needed hands and feet, as well as
wings in order to turn them into money. Generally I was far too busy,
or too tired, to join the pleasant company usually brightening the
parlor in the evenings; but everyone came into the dining-room, where
I did my daily overflow of copying, for there was no blessed
typewriter then, and had a few kind words with me--and I heard Mary
singing or playing, or the murmur of joyous conversation, or the echo
of light laughter, and I was as happy as the rest:

  "For this it was that made me move
  As light as carrier birds in air;
  I loved the weight I had to bear,
  Because it needed help of Love."

And also, I was often conscious of a strength, not physical, lying
under the tired sinews and muscles.

These evening meetings were of the most informal character. There
never was any special invitation to them, and the visitors wore their
ordinary street costumes, and were mostly literary men and women;
though not altogether so. Mr. Isaac Bloom of Galveston, who had been
my husband's friend, often came to New York, and when he did so,
always came to visit us; bringing with him, some young Jewish
gentleman of his acquaintance. Socially, I never met finer gentlemen.
They were well educated, and their reverence for religion, for their
parents and family, and for all that is lovely and of good report,
made their friendship most pleasant and desirable. This may not be a
popular opinion, but it is the truth concerning all the Jews I have
known socially, and their number is neither small nor unimportant. My
Galveston friend is dead, and I have gradually lost sight of the
Franks, and the two Blumenthals, the cultured Noemagen, Julius Sterne
and others; but I have not forgotten their good nature, and exquisite
courtesy, and I am sure if I met them at this day, they would give _my
age_ an even deeper respect, than they gave me forty years ago. Then
also, Mary had made many friends while with Mrs. Sykes, and they
drifted now and then into our circle; while not infrequently S. S.
Conant, the editor of _Harper's Weekly_, passed an hour in it before
going to his club; or Mr. Mengins called to talk to Lilly about her
mission work, readily falling into conversation, and changing opinions
with all present; or telling them Scotch stories, with all the rich
emphatic idioms, of the Land o' Cakes.

Always I was well content to sit copying my day's work in the
dining-room, within sound of the happiness, that I could share at any
moment; but I grew restless at once, if I heard the voice of a young
man called Cochran. He was one of the librarians of the Astor Library
when I first met him, but very soon went to where he naturally
belonged--the daily press. A man so vivid, so clever, so brimful of
intellect, I had never before met. He was like a flash of flame.

The first thing he always did, was to walk through the dining-room,
and ask me if he was welcome. Being assured of our pleasure in his
company he would answer, "Then I shall make my tea"; and immediately
proceeded to make himself a cup of tea. Having drank it, he poured out
a second cup, and with this in his hand went back to the parlor,
taking if possible his seat on the piano stool. Then he saluted the
company, and as he sipped his tea, began a conversation that no one
could describe. It was gay and grotesque, thoughtful, and often
serious, constantly witty and idiomatic. Oh, it was a dish of all
kinds! but all good. Thus he would sit drinking one cup of tea after
another, and clinching every discussion with a few trenchant words,
driven home as a nail is driven into a sure place, with a few strong
blows. It is impossible for words to give any adequate example of this
man's conversation; because it was so vividly illuminated by his
personality, the inflections of his voice, his expressive gestures,
and the large gray eyes, that beamed or flashed in sympathy with all
he said.

On one occasion a minister and his wife from Glasgow and a close
friend of my mother-in-law and of all my Scotch connections was
present. They had sent me a note from the Metropolitan Hotel saying
they would like to call, if it was convenient; and had been invited to
take tea, and spend the following evening with us. I confess that I
was pleased to have such credible witnesses assure my mother-in-law
that I had not done badly for the grandchildren she had neglected; and
moreover I did arrange everything as American as possible, and I did
pretend to have forgotten all about Glasgow, whereas there was not a
street of the murky city, or a day of my life in it, which was not
clear and fresh in my memory. And I did dress myself in the finest
gown of white mull and lace, with which Southern extravagance in that
direction before the war had provided me, and I did go to unnecessary
expense in cut flowers and jellies and confectionery, not from the
best of motives, not out of respect to the minister and his wife, but
just because I suspected them of coming as spies, and I did not wish
them to take back an evil report. Before they left New York I was
ashamed of my suspicions, but that night I enjoyed myself in them.

And all went exactly as I desired. My visitors were astonished and
much pleased with their reception, my daughters had never looked
better. Mary sang very well, and Lilly interested the minister with
her stories of the Five Points Mission so much, that he wished to go
there, and she agreed to go with him on the following day. About eight
o'clock Mr. Cochran and Albert Webster came in, and we had an
intellectual feast of good things until midnight.

During this evening there was a conversation concerning women which
may indicate how much their character has changed during the last
thirty years. Mr. Webster related a social anecdote about Mrs. Astor,
and her unanswerable way of snubbing rivals aspiring to social
prominence; and I asked Mr. Cochran what he thought of Mrs. Astor's
behavior.

"I think the things women bear from each other are amazing," he
answered. "Men would not stand them. Men would not attempt them."

"Then why do women attempt them?"

"First, because they don't respect each other; second, because they
have no fear of consequences."

"Consequences!" I exclaimed.

"Yes. They cannot knock each other down, and it is not ladylike to
call names."

"Well then, if a woman is insulted by a woman, what can she do?"

"Repay in kind, and to give women justice, they generally do so."

"How?"

"A stare, a shrug, a toss of the head, conveys their infinite disdain;
and answers the end perfectly."

Conversation then drifted to Susan B. Anthony, and Mr. Cochran said,
"I respect her, but she will not succeed."

"Why not?" asked Albert Webster.

"Because, though women are gregarious in fashions and follies, they
cannot combine. They will not support their weak sisters, and they
shrink from their strong ones. Generally speaking, they have a radical
contempt for each other's intellects, and have no class solidarity.
Because of the latter want, men have always had the upper hand, and
will always keep it."[7]

The minister approved these opinions, and also kindly looked over, or
forgave, any lapses from the strict formalities of a Glasgow evening,
by a kindly allowance for our grievous want of a Scotch education.
Twelve years afterwards, I paid my mother-in-law a visit at her summer
residence in the Isle of Arran. She had forgotten nothing the minister
and his wife had told her concerning their visit, but they had told
only the things I wished her to hear. Even Mr. Cochran making his own
tea, and drinking eight cups or more, had not been reported. I am
sensible that I have been smiling as I wrote the last two pages, and I
shall not try to justify myself. Sometimes we act naturally, and
sometimes we have a grace beyond nature, and that night I dispensed
with "the grace beyond," but I enjoyed the dispensation, and I hope it
was not very wrong, because I am not yet sorry for it.

The Albert Webster named here was a fiction writer of a very high
order. His work was done principally for _Appleton's Magazine_. He was
a grave, thoughtful young man, with a charming presence, a high
opinion of women, and a passionate love for one of Nathaniel
Hawthorne's daughters; but he was perilously delicate and unfit for
the struggle of life. In about two years the work, and the struggle
was over. They whom the gods love, die young. The brilliant Cochran
followed Webster in a short time, and the rest of the clever, kindly
group whom we called friends are scattered far and wide. Max
Freelander went to the African diamond mines. S. S. Conant's sudden
disappearance is still a mystery. The Reverend Mr. Mengins is dead. My
Jewish friends are immersed in business. They doubtless remember me,
as I do them, but I am on Storm King Mountain, and they are in New
York's busiest thoroughfare, sixty-five miles away. Death and distance
make barren our lives.

About this time the brilliant scholar Moses Coit Tyler was editor of
the _Christian Union_. He was a great man in every respect. If he only
entered a room, it appeared to become lighter; and in no other man
have I ever noticed the radiation of the body so pronounced. He made
me believe in the aureoles of the saints. Reverent to sacred things,
he was still very much of an every day man. He fearlessly spoke his
mind, fearlessly opposed what he disapproved; and was not, I
suspected, an admirer of Mr. Beecher. I remember thinking that if the
two men came to an active dispute, I should like to be present.
Professor Tyler soon left the newspaper world, and went to his place
in Michigan University. Many years afterwards he wrote me some hearty
letters, praising the work I had done, and telling me, he knew I would
do still better.

Not long after he left the _Christian Union_ Mary and I took a passage
on an Anchor Line steamer for Glasgow. I had various reasons for this
journey, partly relating to the family, and partly to business. Also,
I was exceedingly weary both physically and mentally, and my physician
is ever the sea and the air of my native land, if by any means I can
secure their help. Having fainted three times within a month, it was
not considered prudent for me to go alone, and we hoped Mary might
please her relatives better than Lilly had been able to do. So Mary
went with me.

In one or two respects the voyage was a success. Ten days on the
Atlantic perfectly restored me to health, and I landed at Glasgow fit
for anything I ought to do. We went to a private hotel, and I sent my
mother-in-law word of our arrival. Towards evening Mrs. Colville and
her daughter Jessy came to visit us, bringing me a letter from Mother,
desiring us to leave the hotel, and stay with them. So we went to
their residence in Bath Street, and were entertained there with great
kindness. And I was glad of it. I could not forget that I was with
Robert's mother, sister, and kindred, and I tried for his sake to
offend in nothing.

The morning after I arrived I was sitting in a parlor by myself,
writing letters, when a gentleman entered. I looked up and as I did
not recognize him rose. Then he came eagerly forward crying softly,
"_Amelia! O Amelia!_" The sound of my baptismal name went poignantly
to my consciousness; no man since Robert's death had ever called me by
it. As the speaker came closer to me, I saw that it was Alick Sage, my
old lover. He had just returned from Australia, a widower with one
daughter. I did not know whether I was pleased to see him, or not. He
had grown as far away from me, as I from him, and there was not one
plank of tenderness in my heart to bridge the chasm. I wanted no
lovers; my affections were well satisfied with my daughters, and my
work.

He was persistent, and his persistency annoyed me, and I left Mary
with her aunt, and went down to Yorkshire to see my sisters, who were
then living in Leeds. After spending two days with them, I went on to
London, where I collected money enough to pay the expenses of our
trip, and also made arrangements for three American stories. Returning
to Glasgow I sailed two days afterwards for New York, but Mary
remained in Scotland until near Christmas.

In the gloaming of the day before leaving I made two memorable visits,
the first was to the house in which I had lived and loved with such
passionate earnestness, as I could never know again. It looked as if I
had never left it, and a constable walking the broad pavement in front
of it, told me that "a real bein, nice couple" lived there, that the
wife was "gey bonnie," and her man had "a fine job in the custom
house." I asked if they had any children. "Aye," he answered, "a braw
lad o' five, or thereabouts, and a genty wee lassie, just toddling
around." I looked up at the windows, silently blessed the home, and
all within it, and giving the man a shilling took leave of it forever.
Another inquiry might not have been so happily answered. When a thing
is well enough, let it alone.

The other visit was to my husband's warehouse in Virginia Street. It
had been closed for the day, and being entirely a business street was
absolutely empty. I stood upon the stone door steps, worn away in the
center to a mere flag, and I looked at the row of windows covered with
dust and cobwebs, just as Robert and his predecessors had kept them,
as emblematical of a large, steady business, not requiring blazoning
of any kind. And though my heart was full, I could not help a faint
smile at the superstition--which still prevailed--and I made a
promise to myself to go down to the big offices in lower New York to
see whether New York merchants cleaned their windows, or let them
accumulate the dust in which the lucky cobwebs dwell. This promise to
myself, I have not yet fulfilled.

When I went to the steamer the next morning I found Mr. Sage there. It
troubled me, and made my last talk with Mary conventional, instead of
confidential; and yet when he turned away saying, "Farewell, Milly!" I
felt unhappy. Indeed for some days I was angry at myself. I had denied
and passed by a loving soul without caring. Alas! the pain of reunion
is often greater than the pain of parting. Some secret disappointment
enters into all meetings after long separation. We feel that it is
easier to accept the loss, than to adapt ourselves to this person not
expected.

Soon after my return home, I was engaged by Fords, Howard and Hulbert
to write a history of the condition and treatment of women in all
civilized and semi-civilized countries. Grace Greenwood was to assist
me in this work, but I never saw her but once, and that only for about
an hour. I have the impression that she lived near Boston, but she
took little interest in the book, and when she saw the list of volumes
laid out at the Astor Library for reference and information, she shook
her head in a kind of laughing despair, and said,

"Your plan is excellent, go on and complete it. The firm do not expect
me to do any writing. I am to advise with you." Then she laughed
pleasantly again, and our interview was practically over.

She was a pretty woman, bright and agreeable, and doubtless was paid
only for the use of her name on the title page, and having satisfied
herself that it was safe in my care and ability, she passed out of my
life with a pleasant smile and a compliment. Yet I could not help
thinking of what Mr. Cochran said, "Women have a radical contempt for
each other's intellects, and they can not combine." But she was kind
to me in one important respect; she advised me in a peculiarly marked
manner to "insist on some weekly payment" for my work.

I followed her advice, and was glad I did so, for Mr. Beecher's
church officials after a lengthy examination, found no wrong in their
pastor; and then Mr. Tilton took his quarrel to the civil courts. It
was a ruinous step to Fords, Howard and Hulbert, the publishers of the
_Christian Union_; but I did not dream of it affecting their
publishing business. So I had a shock one Saturday afternoon, when I
entered Mr. Ford's office with my week's Mss for the book about women.
The usually busy place was still and empty. I glanced at Mr. Jack
Howard's desk, and he was not in his place. The elder Ford had always
been a conspicuous figure but he, too, was absent. I saw no one I knew
but the cashier. He called me kindly to his office, and gave me my
check.

"It is the last I shall pay here," he said. "I was waiting for you.
Mr. Howard told me to do so."

He spoke so sympathetically, that I felt my eyes fill with tears.
"Thank Mr. Howard for me," I said, "and you?" He shook his head at my
question. I knew he was feeling the closing up, as much as I did, for
he had a clever, handsome wife and several little children. We shook
hands and parted silently. He was full of anxiety, so was I, for in
any worker's life, the loss of steady employment is often a greater
tragedy than any Sophocles or Shakespeare ever wrote.

I did not hurry home. I walked slowly for some distance full of
thought. But it was not long ere invincible hope began to say words of
reason and consolation. Then I made haste and told my children what
had happened, and we talked cheerfully over what we must do in order
to make our reduced income meet our output, until good days came
again.

"Everybody has ups and downs, Mamma," said Mary, "and I think a
thorough change would do us all good. Lilly has not quite recovered
from her illness. Alice is quieter than usual, and you look fagged
out, Mamma. Let us go to the country. We could at once save half the
rent. Let us go to Rutherford Park. When I was there with Mrs. Sykes,
I saw such pretty cottages for twenty dollars a month."

"O Mamma!" cried Lilly, "think of a cottage all to ourselves! Perhaps
a garden--and there might be a chicken house. I could raise chickens
and turkeys. I raised hundreds and hundreds in Austin, and we might
hire a cow--if we could not at first buy one. I could milk her. Old
Mammy Green taught me to milk, and I can make butter, too. What a good
time we should have! Say yes, Mamma. Do say yes."

Of course an hour's conversation in this mood, decided the question.
The next day Mary went to Rutherford Park and took a cottage, and
Lilly in high spirits spent the day in packing. "You see, Mamma," she
said, as she triumphantly turned the key in an overflowing trunk, "you
see, we ought to have made a change before this. When things begin to
go wrong, that is the time to make a change. Sam Houston said that,
and I reckon he knew all about things going wrong and changes." Then
after another tug with the straps she looked up, her face aglow and
asked,

"Things don't _stay_ wrong, do they? It is good and bad with them,
always good and bad, and good again. You know that, don't you,
Mamma?"

I smiled and answered promptly as she wished, for indeed no one knew
better than I did, that

  "The Sea of Fortune doth not ever flow,
  She draws her favors to the lowest ebb,
  Her tides have equal times to come and go,
  Her loom doth weave the finest and the coarsest web.
  No joy so great, but runneth to an end,
  No hap so hard, but will in time amend."

The ready acceptance of a simpler life by Mary and Lilly greatly
relieved me for the fear that it would be a trial to them to leave New
York had been the pinch of the trouble. Alice was happy anywhere if we
were with her, for her life and conversation was not of this world.
Born in the stress and terror of the war time, when I lived and moved
only in the mercy and care of God, she came into this world more
psychically than physically developed. She has never yet comprehended
the meaning of care or want. God is her Father, therefore she can
"lack nothing." Her wants are few and simple, and she asks God for
them, and I would sell the wedding ring from my finger, rather than
she should fear God had failed her. If she notices that I am anxious,
and I say, "I am a little troubled," she asks if I have "told God
about the trouble?" and when I answer, "Yes, darling, I have told Him
all about it," she adds with a confident air, "Then it is all right.
God will make it so."

Her mentality in some points is superior to my own, thus she is
naturally far more shrewd. I am deceived so easily; she is never
deceived. She is exquisitely neat and orderly, and as careful and
economical as any of her Scotch ancestry. The servants all obey her
cheerfully, and I wish they obeyed me half as well, and as cheerfully.
She dislikes extravagance in every shape, and yet money is useless to
her, for the sense of numbers is wanting. She cannot learn to count,
and though she may know the denomination of coins, she has no idea of
their relative worth. Nor can she understand space or distance. She
knows she must go a long way to reach England, for she has been there
several times, but if the distance is told her in miles, it would give
her no idea of it. Of course these wants totally unfit her for a world
in which numbers and space and distance are constantly present
factors. She speaks little, but she sees and knows more than she can
tell. Outward things are an hindrance to her.

Yet she is perfectly happy. Her days pass in sweet and innocent
regularity. Of her own accord she has assumed certain small household
duties, which would otherwise be mine; she spends her first hours of
the day in "talking with God," which is her definition of prayer; then
she embroiders or reads, or improvises on her organ, which at times is
done with a wonderful touch and sense of purest harmony. Her voice in
accompaniment is very sweet but quite childlike. At four o'clock every
day, we have a short service of psalms or collects, the Lord's Prayer,
and a hymn, and she is the innocent God-loving priest, who offers our
thanksgiving.

Oh, she is the most blessed child that ever a mother nursed! She has
never given me one moment's sorrow, except for her condition, and for
this she is in no way responsible. Indeed I feel it to be a great
honor to call such a lovely soul "my child." Yet her perfectly
helpless condition shadows all my days and nights for I know that
until the end she will remain one of those sweet souls who,

  "... 'mid the trampling throng,
  With their first beauty bloom at evensong;
  Hearts for whom God has judged it best to know
  Only by hearsay, sin and want and woe,
  Bright to come hither, and to travel hence,
  Bright as they came, and wise in innocence."

And the one prayer I make for her constantly, especially at
midnight--for the midnight prayer God loves best of all--is, that she
may "travel hence" before I do, or that He mercifully grant "we may
travel hence together." For it is her hand, that will open to me the
gate of the celestial city.

In a week we were settled in the Rutherford Park cottage. I had been
only half-hearted about the movement, for it appeared to put the Astor
Library too far from me. But the children were delighted with the
change, and the human heart is a loving thing, and has reasons that
reason does not understand. And I had not then learned that a little
misgiving in the beginning of things, means much regret in the end of
them.

The first change necessary in our lives was that Mary or Lilly should
do the office work. One of them went to the city with me nearly every
morning. On reaching New York I took the street cars direct to the
library, arriving there about nine o'clock and working until four. If
there was writing to be done, or writing to be altered, it was brought
to the library, and we usually made our arrangements to so fit each
other, that we returned home together. Then there was the happy supper
table, and the exchange of city and village news.

This was the year 1876--the great celebration of the Independence of
the Colonies at Philadelphia--and we had many visitors from the South.
Among them was a very interesting gentleman from Tennessee called
Thomas Barr. He stayed some weeks in Rutherford Park, and was very
popular; for he had a handsome person, a fine manner, and was
possessed of considerable wealth. There was an engagement between him
and my daughter Mary, but it died a very easy, natural death; and as
they were unsuited to each other, I congratulated both of them, for
correcting a mistake, before it was made. The last four words are a
contradiction, but they state the case plainly enough.

Rutherford Park was then a charming suburb of New York. There were a
great many New Yorkers living there, and the society of the place was
delightful. But society in Rutherford Park, meant exactly what it
meant in New York. There were the same extravagances of dressing and
entertaining and we soon found out that economy is an inherent virtue,
and not dependent on environment--a charmed word, however, at that
time; ethical and social teachers being quite confident, that every
one physically or morally sick, could be made healthy and good, by
giving them the _proper environment_. I myself had been advised by the
Reverend Mr. Ruston, as true a friend as we ever had, to go to the
country and to learn among simple villagers the happiness of a simple
life. There were not many simple villagers in Rutherford Park, and
they appeared to absolutely separate themselves from what they called
"the Yorkers." So we did not learn anything from our environment. We
spent as much living in a cottage, whose rent was twenty dollars a
month, as we spent in a New York apartment at fifty dollars a month,
for the small cottage did not alter our ideas about the superfluities,
that have become the necessities.

But blue glass and environment, which were at that time the great
cures for personal and moral ailments, did not in the least affect us.
We saw every one bringing home a square of blue glass to sit under and
be cured of their bodily sickness, and we heard everywhere the great
word "environment" as the true specific for original sin. Even yet,
"good environments and good associations," are the shibboleth of
philanthropists. I want to remind them, that Nature prevails
enormously over nurture; for instance the cuckoo has been laying her
eggs in the respectable nests of the dove and the titlark ever since
the creation, but never a cuckoo yet imbibed, or even imitated the
virtues of their foster parents. I know that poets sing beautifully of
the cuckoo bird,

  "Breaking the silence of the seas,
  Among the furthest Hebrides."

But Moses forbade the Jews to incorporate their vices by eating them,
and Milton centuries later classed them with "owls, apes and dogs."
Three centuries have passed since Milton, and the cuckoo is just as
bad as he was at the beginning. He has had, say six thousand years of
the respectable environment and excellent moral associations of doves
and titlarks, and he has not been cured of a single fault. So much for
environment and good associations! I find I have written a little
lecture but if it teaches one philanthropist, that all moral
improvement must be from the inside outward, it will not be in vain.
If the heart of even a bad child is not changed, all outside
moralities will be useless; he will become a bad man.

Our real life in Rutherford Park was just what it had been in New
York. I wrote constantly, but not as comfortably as in the city. The
train wearied me, and also there were always people in it, who talked
to me all the time. If they were women and going up town to shop, they
talked until I left them at Astor Place. Coming to my work from
Seventy-seventh Street in the horse cars was different. There I was
among strangers. I could sit still and think, and possess myself in
reflection. Socially things were different enough. We had been very
kindly received, and soon had numerous acquaintances and callers, and
we had found it quite possible to go to church, which had been a
serious query in New York.

This may seem a peculiar statement. I will explain it. One Sunday I
went to hear a minister whom I had read a good deal about. I liked his
sermon, and I liked the music, and I felt that I would be happy to
join its congregation. I wrote a few lines to this minister, telling
him with what churches I had been connected, referring him to Mr.
Beecher and Dr. Tyng, and asking what preliminaries were necessary.

Some time passed and then one day an officer of this church called on
me. I happened to be at home very busy copying. Mary was sewing beside
me; Alice was coloring a picture; Lilly opened the door for him, and
as he wished "to see Mrs. Barr" she brought him into the dining-room,
where I was at work. She thought he was a very respectable editor. I
thought the same, and I rose to greet him. I have no doubt he was a
millionaire, but he was courteous and gentlemanly, and after a few
minutes quite kindly. He said, he had come in response to my letter,
sent to Dr. C.

I smiled and he continued, "Dr. C---- would like to know the name of
your banker."

"My banker!" I replied in amazement. "I have no banker."

"You see," he continued, "ours is a very extravagant church--I mean in
good works--and our members must be looked to for large subscriptions.
Dr. C---- is acquainted with your name--and thinks highly of you--but
he is afraid you would not be able to give as--as liberally--as
liberally as our church expenses--demanded."

He spoke with difficulty, and as I continued to look at him, and
remained silent, he was confused and said hastily, "I am afraid you do
not understand the situation."

I said I did not, and he tried to explain, but he was much embarrassed
and I shook my head and said, "You had better make no more explanations,
sir. I understand that only the rich can be members of Dr. C----'s
church. The Lord Christ, also, is therefore ineligible. I will remain
outside with Him. I had an old-fashioned idea, that every Church was a
House of God, I have no desire to intrude on premises belonging to Dr.
C----."

The official sat a while, talked of other things, and went away I
think not very happy. If he is still in life, and this relation should
meet his eyes, he will remember. He did his best to make the refusal
as inoffensive as possible but he had to present a case utterly
destitute of every gracious element.

But even when we were living in the rooms in Amity Street, we found
out that the church in New York had a social side, that could not be
intruded upon. We went then regularly to a Methodist church in our
neighborhood, a large well-appointed building, with a very excellent
preacher. His manner even in his service was so really "brotherly" and
"sisterly," that I was in no way astonished when he made us a pastoral
call. We found him socially a delightful man, responding gladly to
intellectual and spiritual conversation. He remained talking with me
over my life, and especially over my work on the religious press for
at least two hours. When he rose to go he said, he would like to bring
Mrs. D---- to see us, and would surely do so, as soon as we moved
"_into a more fashionable street_."

He meant nothing unkind by this proviso, and in future years I did a
great deal of work for him, and he visited me at Cherry Croft. But the
remark made us think, and then laugh a little--perhaps, not a happy
laugh. Hitherto I had not troubled myself as to whether the street was
fashionable or not. Mr. Sykes had approved the locality, and it suited
my library wants perfectly, but now I asked Mary, if she thought we
ought to see about a change? "Not for the honor of Mrs. D----'s call,"
she answered. Then I looked at Lilly and she laughed and said, "You
ought to have told Mr. D----, Mamma, that we were not lonely nor
likely to be so. We are not fashionable people; why should we go to a
fashionable street?"

In direct opposition to this exclusiveness Dr. Tyng offered me a pew
for myself and family in the new church he had just built on Madison
Avenue and Forty-second Street, without money and without price. But
at that time I had worked a great deal with, and for ministers of more
than one denomination, and I confess my ideas of the sacred office
were turned topsy-turvey. The clergy I knew in England and Scotland
were so exclusively "Ministers of The Word." Their church and pastoral
work completely absorbed them. They were really "reverend" and
entitled to that respect mingled with fear and affection which they
received. I have gone out of my way many and many a time, so that I
might meet a minister, and have him smile at me, and say "God bless
you, child!" Much of this sentiment remained with me when I came to
New York, but it was soon killed--for a minister in the market place,
bargaining for stories and editorials, is not as "reverend" as the man
who goes up to the Holy Place and opens with prayer and praise a
solemn service to the Eternal One.

In Rutherford we had an excellent minister--a Mr. Walcott, a good man
full of the Evangel he loved to proclaim. He and Mrs. Walcott welcomed
us gladly, and the church welcomed us, and we had in Rutherford all
the spiritual privileges hungry souls could wish. I was conscious,
however, of a great change. I had acquired, I knew not how, a
self-sufficiency in spiritual things that needed nothing from human
sympathy or numbers. There are experiences in life, after which we
cannot go on in the old way; can never be what we were before. I had
gone through several such experiences.

I had lost many of the convictions and illusions of my youth. I
had gained much knowledge of men and of things, that I had not yet
either accepted or refused. But I clung with passionate fervor to
my trust in God's love and care, and in spite of the frequent
dropping of cold words of doubt in my presence, I still had an
almost awful prepossession in favor of the Bible. I read it alone
with my daughters, and we talked of its promises, and as we four
knelt together in earnest prayer, or holy silence, there was some
times the blessed consciousness of _Another_ with us. Christ had
promised to be with such worshippers. Christ will keep His promise
even to the end of the world. So we passed out of the splendid church,
into the little upper chamber, but we did not pass out of God's
love and presence.



CHAPTER XXI

THUS RUNS THE WORLD AWAY

  "I must tell all. I cannot be unfaithful to my past. If I cut it
  away, I am but half myself. I wish also faith in the years to
  come, and those lofty delights which defy the tomb."


In the meantime my work went steadily on, and I wrote a good deal for
a Mr. Marks, who very soon removed to London. But in the interval he
supplied the place of the _Christian Union_ which in the years 1876 to
1877 was at such a low ebb, that no one but Dr. Lyman Abbott, who then
took it in charge, could have guided it over the sea of its
difficulties, into the safe harbor of its present influence and
success.

In looking over my diaries for these years, I am astonished at the
amount of money I made from short stories, poems, and articles. We
lived comfortably on it, and wanted no good things. And I think my
readers must be so familiar now with my regular life, that I will only
specify the incidents which varied and changed it somewhat, until I
reach the period when I gave up newspaper and magazine work for the
purpose of writing books.

The first event of moment was our leaving Rutherford, and going to
Denver, Colorado. To this day, I wonder at the circumstance. I was
certainly ill, no, not ill, but completely tired out body and mind, so
that even my ever upspringing soul was inert and indifferent. A change
was imperative, but the sea, and a week or two of my native air, would
have put me all right. Let no one smile at my prescription. In cases
of lost vitality and extreme weariness, one's native air is the finest
tonic and builder up that can be taken. Drugs have nothing to compare
with it. I am very weary now, but I know that if I could sit on
Ulverston fells, and breathe the potent mixture of her sea and land
ozone, I would be in a week ten years younger. I do not say this on
my own experience or authority. English specialists insist on its
virtue, and I know one of the greatest surgeons of New York, who takes
this tonic every summer, if possible, and comes home a new man.

Well, I went to Denver. It was the most foolish thing I ever did, and
I can not tell why I did it. There was a vague idea in my mind, that
if I could not write any more, I might open in this new, growing town,
such a school, as I had had in Chicago; and then my children had been
talked into an enthusiasm about the West, and youth is always sure
that change _must_ be for the better. I gave way with a supineness
that astonishes me to remember. A letter to Mr. Abbott, the passenger
agent of the Erie line, settled the matter. He offered me a
compartment for four at half-price if I would write an article for a
pamphlet they would publish, and speak otherwise favorably of the line
as I had opportunity. The girls were delighted, and I tried to feel
some of their enthusiasm. The great trouble to me, was the breaking up
of the home and the sale of the furniture I had worked so hard to
obtain. But there was no alternative. If there were storage houses
then, we knew nothing about them, and Lilly, who always looked at the
bright side, said,

"It would be well to be rid of it. We didn't know how, or where to buy
furniture, Mamma, when we bought this heavy stuff. I know now where
far prettier and cheaper can be had. Just let this go, Mamma. We can't
drag it to Denver, and if we do come back, we will buy things far more
suitable."

I made no further dissent. I only reflected how many of my homes I had
seen torn to pieces, and scattered wide, and I wondered why this
experience seemed obligatory. Then it struck me, that there might be a
psychic side to the circumstance--that to break up my dwelling place,
and send me on some far off journey was perhaps the best, the only
thing my angel could do, in order to save me and my children from "Him
that followeth after." For I know well, that the breaking up of
existing conditions, is often the only salvation; that we are sent
long, unexpected, and often unpleasant journeys because it is the best
way to defeat disaster; that we are often prevented from taking
journeys we have planned and prepared for, because they would be
fatal; yea, that we are often stripped as Job was stripped, in order
to make possible the two-fold blessing of Job.

I felt the long, dirty, monotonous journey to Denver very much. But
the children were happy. They made friends with an United States
General and his charming wife and daughter, and were half sorry not to
accept their invitation to go on with them to the frontier station
which was their home.

We arrived in Denver on the twenty-first of July, 1878, after five
days' travel; and the next day we rented a small furnished house
belonging to Miss Sargent, a writer of that day whose stories were
much liked both in England and America. We made the place pretty and
comfortable, and then took time to consider what we had done. I felt
painfully the extreme rarity of the atmosphere. It affected my ears,
and gave me a peculiar headache; but it is not fair to describe the
Denver of that date, for it was the point to which all consumptives
past hope were then sent. It was full of the sick and the dying, yet
withal a busy town; but I saw at once that we should never like it,
and my heart turned to New York with a home-sickness impossible to
describe.

However, the great total eclipse of the sun was to be noted there in
perfection on the twenty-ninth of the month, and we were glad to have
an opportunity to witness what we should never see again in this
incarnation. The day was clear, unnaturally still, and tenuous; and
there was a sense of something supernatural about to occur. As the sun
was gradually darkened, and the earth lay passive in that unearthly
gloom, a dead silence prevailed, but the moment of totality, or the
moment after it, was saluted with the shouts and huzzas of the crowd
watching the marvelous event. It was no doubt the most sincere way in
which the unlearned thousands could express their feelings, but it was
not the awful wonder and worship that seemed fitting.

My old pupil, Mr. William Libbey, called afterwards. He with many
other young men and students from the different universities had come
purposely to observe the eclipse, and Mrs. Jackson, the beloved H. H.
of the literary world, quickly found us out. But no kindness could
reconcile us to a life full of strange conditions. Mary went back to
New York with some returning friends in a month; I, as soon as I could
bear the journey, and Lilly and Alice as quickly as the bitter cold of
winter was over, and it was safe for Alice to cross the plains.

Thankfully I close this chapter with our happy reunion in some
pleasant rooms in the St. Stephens, a very quiet respectable hotel on
Eleventh Street and University Place. Many of my Rutherford friends
stayed there when in town for a few days, and it was also the resort
of at least three ministers whom I knew well. We lived there a long
time, for among its many advantages was its proximity to the Astor and
the Mercantile Libraries.

The day after my return to New York I went back to my sunny quiet
alcove in the Astor, and found the paper and pencils I had left on its
table untouched. I lifted them with affection, and tears sprang to my
eyes as I looked around the hall, and from far and near received a
smile and a nod of welcome. For I was the familiar of most of the
alcove students, and always ready to give them the help of my own
index in finding the material they wanted. All day long, I had little
visits and pleasant words, and at the lunch hour Dr. Strasneky, the
superintendent, came and chatted with me about my journey. He said he
was glad to see me in my place again. "Every one missed you," he
continued, "we all liked to look up and see you sitting here, as happy
and busy as if writing was the most blessed work in the world."

"So it is, Doctor," I answered. "If we write good words, and write
them well, it is the work God gives to His beloved."

"You talk mystically," he said, "but you write plain enough. Don't go
away again."

As he left me, a tall, pale young man brought his lunch in his hand,
and sat down to eat it beside me. It was Wolcott Balestier, the
brother of the young lady whom Rudyard Kipling married, and no mean
writer of fiction. He was employed in the Patent Department, and he
never told me he was writing. He liked to eat his lunch beside me, and
discuss the people around, and what they were doing. Sometimes he gave
me some of his marshmallows, and I gave him half of my apple. We
always had a happy moment over these exchanges, and he used to banter
me for being so extravagant as to buy apples, when they were five
cents each. Well, when I first came to New York, I had sometimes
hesitated between the apple and the ride home. If I got my apple, I
had to walk up to Eighteenth Street, if I could do without my apple I
could afford the cars home. Always the apple won, for I told myself,
"I ought to walk home after sitting so long. It is really a question
of health, and not of apples." I wonder how it would have affected me,
if I had been then made sure, that the day was coming when I would
have apple trees of many kinds, that were all my own, and apples
without stint to eat, and to sell, and to give away. Would it have
been good for me to know this? No. It would not. Every one's
experience will teach them that much.

Above all other visitors in my alcove, I liked Frank Norton. He also
was in the Patent Department, but I never saw a man so far out of his
place. It was hard enough for young Balestier to be working over some
old mechanical patent, when he was dreaming of love and ladies and
great adventures; but the darkly handsome Professor N---- dwelt
constantly among the stars, and believed himself to be spiritually
related to them. He came into my alcove one day, and began talking
about our earth having once been part of the sun, and he declared that
her day and night, her tides and seasons, and simplest phenomena,
would be unintelligible without taking into account her heavenly
companions. He then attempted to prove to me how these extra-telluric
influences, have also dominion over the phenomena of mind, because
man, being a product not only of the earth but of the universe, is
influenced by the stars as well as the earth. I confess that his
wisdom was mostly beyond me, but I was greatly delighted with the word
"telluric" and when he talked of "extra-telluric influences" I was
eager and anxious to know what the word might mean. As soon therefore
as he left me, I went to a dictionary and found out. I might have
asked him, and saved some stair-climbing and research, but I knew if I
compelled myself to look for the meaning, I would never forget it.
Ever since the word has had a charm for my ear, and I have wanted to
use it in the books I have written; but this is the first opportunity
I have found. Professor N---- was then a young, handsome man,
enthusiastically full of dreams, and of an extra-telluric nature; yet
apparently under very good telluric influences, for he was always
happy, always well dressed, and always had the air of a man well
supplied with money. I wonder where he is today, and I hope sincerely
that the stars and all other extra-telluric powers, have been very
kind and generous to him.

And on the evening of the day on which this conversation with
Professor N---- occurred, after thinking it over, I said to
myself, "This earth, with its days and nights, its change of seasons,
its tides and earthquakes, and magnetic storms, may be under
extra-telluric influences; but the phenomena of the soul, is beyond
all such control. By some mysterious exercise of its own powers,
it moves on from phase to phase, from gloom to sunshine, from doubt
to faith, from repose to activity, and natural laws are of no
importance to it. What telluric, or extra-telluric influence, _can
govern thought_?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Lilly had always been the manager of our home affairs, and now that
this employment was taken away, her mind reverted to mission work; and
she went on a journey for the American Missionary Society that
promised her a great deal of the kind of adventure she liked. She was
to go to the southern states where schools and home missions had been
established to report on the work they were doing, and the success or
failure that had attended it. I do not remember how long she was thus
occupied, but it was not long, for she was soon busy in her own way
"among southern cabins;" for in Charleston she met Mr. Tourgee, and he
advised her to go to John's Island, which lay some miles off the coast
of South Carolina and was famous for its long staple cotton. Here, he
told her, she would find negroes far different from the usual type,
and natural surroundings of great beauty and interest.

On this island there was a fine old manor house called "Headquarters,"
then owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Peck, and she went there to see it. Every
brick in this house had been brought from England by Lord Fenwick its
builder, and its noble entrance hall, leaded library windows, and
magnificent cypress paneling were still in beautiful preservation. It
received its name from having been headquarters during the war of the
Revolution, the war of A.D. 1812, and twice during the war of A.D.
1860. A very sincere friendship grew up between its owners and Lilly,
and she stayed at "Headquarters" more than a year, writing charming
papers about its woods and lagoons, its birds and reptiles, and its
picturesque and exceedingly interesting negro life and character.
These papers were all bought by the _Independent_ and _Harper's
Weekly_.

Immediately after her settlement at "Headquarters," she began to dream
of, or to see in a kind of vision, an old lady and gentleman who
appeared to be much interested in her. Their dress was that prevalent
among the nobles and gentry during the reign of Queen Anne, or the
early Georges, and they impressed her with a strong persuasion of
their constant care and guardianship. She was sure that it was not
only interest, but love that prompted them. Phantoms, of course! Yes,
but phantoms of remarkable clearness and evidence, and all the time
she was at "Headquarters" she saw, or she dreamed of them.

Now the singular point in this experience, was not known until this
summer, when I received officially from the county clerk a list of all
the references to my family, the Huddlestons of Millom, to be found in
the county histories of the shires of Cumberland and Westmoreland. It
will be remembered that I have just stated, that this fine old mansion
was built by Lord Fenwick, and in the historical list just referred
to, I find the following record:

  "John Huddleston, son of the above-named Richard, who succeeded
  his father in 1337, married a daughter of Henry Fenwick, Lord of
  Fenwick, county of Northumberland."

These few lines gave me food for some very pleasant thoughts, which I
followed further than I can do here, but it was evident that these
early Fenwicks who built "Headquarters," still remembered that their
family and the Huddlestons were kindred. After more than five hundred
years had elapsed, as we count them, they remembered it, and knew that
the alliance still influenced the Huddleston strain. Well, then the
dead do not forget in the next life what happened in this life. Also,
the affections of the dead remain in the same channel as when they
were on earth. Far off from the original strain as Lilly was, they
knew her, and they felt an interest in her welfare and safety. My
readers can of themselves follow out these trains of thoughts; they
may find comfort and explanations in so doing. And I think those of
our families who are in another world like us to remember them.

Truly Lilly needed some protection, for she was surrounded by many
dangers; the climate was dangerous, the reptile life was dangerous,
and the negro element was tremendously in the ascendant; there being
only forty white families on the whole island, while the negroes
probably numbered four thousand, more or less. And Lilly knew not the
word fear; she stood an hour in the hot swamp one day, and watched the
long battle between a very large rattlesnake and an equally large
black snake, watched them at close quarters until the black snake tore
the skin off his antagonist, and left him flayed from head to tail in
the burning sun. It never struck her that there was any danger to
herself. "The snakes," she said, "paid no attention to me. They were
too busy with themselves. I was in no danger whatever."

And at that time, in that lonely island, the white man and woman had
no fear of the black man; nor did Lilly see while she was there any
ill will of the black man to the whites. They still regarded with
liking and respect the white families to which they had belonged, as
the following incident will exemplify. One woman had worked four years
after her freedom for her master, and he had never paid her any wage.
Lilly asked "Why do you not sue him, Mary? The law would give you your
wage, for he is able to pay it."

"O Miss Lill," was the answer, with a positive shake of the head, "we
couldn't hab a suit in the fambly."

So much trust was there then in the old servants, that Lilly
accompanied by Mrs. Peck, often went to Charleston in the long boat,
rowed by four black men. Their leader was a gigantic negro called
Binyard, and to his impromptu songs and recitatives the oars kept time
all the sixteen miles. Thus when Binyard saw a steamer approaching,
his stentorian voice hailed it thus:

  "Git out ob de way, you steamboat!
    Binyard's on de ribber!
  Binyard's on de ribber, steamboat,
    Git out ob Binyard's way!"

Then when the steamer swept across their bow and left them rocking in
its wash he continued,

  "Go on dis time, little steamer,
    I let you pass dis time,
  Dere's white ladies on Binyard's boat,
    So he let you pass dis time--

  "But keep out ob de way, steamboat,
    When no white ladies wid him;
  He sink you sure, little steamboat;
    He sink you wid his oar!"

As soon as they cleared Ashley River, and got fairly around the bend
and into Stono River, they met many boats coming from John, James, and
Edisto Islands, and then invariably the singing began, the leading
boat flinging out the challenge,

  "Gwine to hang up de sword in Zion?"

and the rest answering,

  "Yes, Lord! 'Tis a great camp meeting
          In de Promised Land!"

And this spiritual was followed by others, until they went singing
into "Headquarters" landing. It is all changed now. The negro has been
to the university and got "eddicated" and the white man no longer
trusts him, and the white woman fears him.

In the evening hours while Mary was out at various houses, or
entertainments I wrote a novel, one of the very best I ever wrote. It
was called "The Last of the McAllisters." I sent it to Henry Holt,
being moved to do so by a feeling I could not resist, and cannot
explain. He returned it with a letter saying, "If you will write me an
American novel as clever and interesting, I will gladly publish it."
This letter, so kind and wise, set me thinking of the possibilities of
American history for fiction, and was in fact the seed thought of "The
Bow of Orange Ribbon," and consequently of the series of American
historical tales which followed it. The origin of novels is often very
interesting, and far to seek.

Early in November, 1880, I had an almost fatal attack of inflammation
of the brain, followed before I recovered consciousness, by double
pneumonia. At the crisis of the sickness, I was for five days neither
_here_ nor _there_. Where was I? I was in a land where all was of fine
shifting sand, a land of such awful silence, that I could _feel_ the
deadly stillness. And I wanted to pray, and could not pray. I was
conscious of no pain, and no desire, but this terrible, urgent longing
to pray, and yet not being able to cry to God for help. To want God,
and to have no power to call Him, or to go to Him, was an agony there
are no words to express. At last, as I stood helpless and hopeless
among mountains of sand, there was a whisper, and the pang of
unpermitted prayer was taken away. Then I cried out, "Spare me, Lord,
that I may recover strength, before I go hence and be no more
forever." Instantly I was conscious. I knew that I was on earth, in my
own room, and I spoke one word, "_Mary!_"

Mary was kneeling beside me, kissing my almost clay hands and face,
and moistening my lips with drops of water. And I knew that I was
saved. I knew that God had really given me a new life--a new physical
and mental power. Physicians had said, I would never be mentally well
again. I was dictating poems and other work to Mary, before I was
permitted to have any light in my room--when I lay in my bed, while
Mary stood at the open door, writing down my words. My convalescence
was rapid and sure. I was in the Astor Library on the twenty-first of
March, making notes for an article on "Nollekins, the Sculptor," for
_Harper's Monthly_. The next week I went again for notes on "Beating
the Bounds" for Mr. Munroe, the editor of _Harper's Young People_.

I had been four months in my room. I felt now an urgent necessity to
be at work again. I have a list beside me of the work I did in this
month of March, and of the work done in the nine months following. It
may interest some of my friends to read the list for March, because I
was then scarcely out of the shadow of the grave. It includes twelve
poems, four for _Harper's Weekly_ and eight for the _Ledger_, as
follows:

  "An old Man's Valentine."
  "'Tis God's World After All."
  "Blue and Gray Together."
  "John's Wife."
  "The Fortune Teller."
  "The Best I Can."
  "The Lover that Comes in the Morning."
  "No Room for Me."
  "When To Drop the Bridle."
  "We've Always Been Provided For."
  "When Mother and I Were Married."

Beside these twelve poems, I went to the library and procured the
material for the Nollekins article, a lengthy one which depicted the
Georgian life and celebrities; wrote two articles for _Lippincott's_,
and the school paper called "Beating the Bounds," for the editor of
_Harper's Young People_. For the year following, I have a list which
shows one hundred and thirty-one poems, eight stories, two of which
were long enough to be called novelettes, and twenty-five articles
referring mostly to remarkable people, places or events.

[Illustration: MRS. BARR, November, 1880]

But when the home is broken up the family scatters. I felt this
painfully, for I missed Lilly constantly, and Mary was a great deal
with friends, or away, so that Alice and I were really much alone. I
had most of the office work to do, and was obliged to leave her when
about it, though I took her with me to the library, if the weather was
favorable.

Under these conditions it was as easy for me to go to England as to
remain in New York during the summer, and in May, 1882, having
just finished and sold to Appleton, my book on the "Children of
Shakespeare's Dramas," I took Alice and went first to Glasgow and
afterwards to Yorkshire; remaining away until Christmas was
approaching. During that summer vacation, so-called, I sent back to
New York eighty-one poems, stories, and descriptive articles, and
this number does not include poems and stories written for English
papers and magazines during the same period, but of which I have kept
no list. These eighty-one poems and stories were sent to Mary, who
managed their sale so well, that all were placed and mostly paid
for, when I returned home.

This voyage is memorable to me because of a great salvation. On May
the third, 1882, I dreamed that a Presence whose enmity I felt, stood
by my bedside and said, "You are going to be lost! You are going to be
lost! You are going to be ship-wrecked!" And I answered, even as I
slept, "I do not believe you. God is able and willing to keep me in
all my ways, and my soul trusteth in Him forever." Then I awoke, and I
said consciously over and over, the words I had said in my dream, and
so fell asleep again, fighting the fear in my heart with trust and
faith. And again I dreamed a Presence stood by my side, a holy loving
Presence, and it said confidently "Go, and the Lord be with thee" (1st
Samuel, 17:37). And I opened my eyes full of happiness, and there was
no shadow of fear in my heart, and three days afterwards Alice and I
sailed in the _Devonia_ for Glasgow. We were, as before said, in
Scotland and Yorkshire all summer; but took passage for New York again
on the eleventh of November. I held fast to the promise given me, and
in pleading it for our return voyage, I was suddenly affected in a
remarkable way, by the wording of the promise. For the first time I
noticed the word "_be_" in it. It seemed to stand out more plainly
than any other word. Then I understood. God had promised not only to
go with me, but to _be_ with me. That was sufficient. There were very
few saloon passengers. I remember only two ladies beside Alice and
myself, an actress, and a Mrs. Orr of Cornwall-on-Hudson. No one comes
into your life for nothing, and the next year being advised to go to
the mountains for a month or two, I remembered what this lady had said
about Cornwall, and I wrote and asked her if she knew of a house I
could rent. She advised me to come and see Cornwall. I did so, took a
house for six months, and have been here twenty-eight years.

Our first three days at sea were fine, and the wind favorable; the
next day the sea was rough, and I was thrown against the brass pipe of
the saloon stove, and my right hand painfully burned. On the
eighteenth of November, at eleven o'clock at night, we broke our
machinery, and in the morning, when I went on deck, I was appalled by
the sight of the deck covered with pieces of iron, and wreckage of
every kind; and my heart for a moment failed me. For nine days we
drifted helplessly about the Atlantic, but all the time, day and
night, men were working steadily to repair our engine. Captain Young,
a devout man and a fine sailor, was speechlessly anxious, but he clung
to Alice whenever he saw her, for she had told him the ship would
reach New York safely; and he believed her.

On the night of the twenty-seventh, after dinner, he asked Alice and
me to pray for the ship. "At eight bells," he said, "listen and pray!
We are then going to try the engine. If she works, we may, if God
wills, reach our harbor in safety----"

"And if not, Captain?"

"We shall still be in God's hands."

With these words he turned away, and Alice and I watched faithfully
with the anxious man. At eight bells we were on our knees, and as the
bells began to strike, _the thud of the engine began with them_.

"I told you all would be right," said Alice, and I kissed her, and
both our cheeks were wet.

A few days later in the afternoon, Alice sitting quite alone in the
saloon saw smoke coming from a place where smoke had no business. She
instantly found an officer, and he ran for the captain. For a few
hours there was an unusual commotion, but the subject was not named,
and I understood from the captain's reticence, that danger was over,
and that silence was wise, and even imperative. For our long detention
at sea, had made both water and provisions very scarce, and there was
actual mutiny among the emigrant passengers, whose number was
unusually large. It happened, however, that there was a big
consignment of nuts on board, and they were given to the angry crowd,
who were thus pacified. Two days afterwards we reached our pier in New
York harbor, so grateful and happy, that we hardly felt the blustering
wind, and snow and cold. We had been threatened with fire, and
shipwreck, and mutiny, but all had failed to really injure. Nothing of
us had suffered; for He had given His angels charge concerning us.

My readers, I hope, remember what I wrote about charms. They were not
my words, but I endorsed them from my experience. Well I confess that
this wonderful verse, 1st Samuel, 17:37, has assumed something of the
character of a sacred amulet. When I first read it, I wrote the words
of the covenant God had given me on a piece of paper, folded the paper
with a prayer, and put it into a little pocket of my purse. It
remained there for many, many years. Other documents placed beside it
became invalid, useless, or outworn, and were destroyed. But the
golden promise of God's constant care remained. On certain occasions,
I took it out and reminded God, that it read He would _be_ with me.
Finally the writing became so nearly illegible, and the paper so frail
I solemnly renewed both, putting this renewal in the same purse
pocket, where it remains unto this moment. It will go to the grave
with me, for I will never give up that promise. God made it. God will
keep it. Whether I deserve it, or not, He will keep it. Yea, if I did
not deserve one letter of it, all the more I would plead,

  "Because I seek Thee not, Oh, seek Thou me,
      Because my lips are dumb, oh, hear the cry
      I do not utter as Thou passest by!
  Because content I perish far from Thee,
      Oh, seize and snatch me from my fate; draw nigh,
  And let me blinded, Thy Salvation see.

  "If I were pouring at thy feet my tears,
  If I were clamoring to see Thy face,
      I should not need Thee, Lord, as _now_ I need,
  Because my dumb, dead soul knows neither hopes nor fears,
  Nor dreads the outer darkness of this place,
      Because I seek not, pray not, _give Thou heed_!"

For, alas! there have been times in the years gone by when I was even
in such case, when I went wandering after strange Gods, and New
Thought, and my dear, closed Bible reproached me. But of this
interlude I will write in its proper place. I name it here, only that
I may have the opportunity of thanking God as frequently as I possibly
can, for the blessed, eternal possibility of repentance. For well I
know, that God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous
in mercy, and that

  "... our place is kept, and it will wait
  Ready for us to fill, soon or late;
  No star is ever lost we once have seen,
  We always may be, what we might have been."

In March and April of 1883 I wrote one of the most interesting of all
my Scotch novels. I began it on March twenty-fifth, and finished it on
the thirtieth of April. I worked on it nine hours every day excepting
four days when I only wrote eight hours. During this same time I wrote
the following for Robert Bonner and _Harper's_:

_Mar. 25th._ Finished my long paper on famous Irish women and began my
novel, "Cluny MacPherson."

_Mar. 26th._ At home all day writing on "Cluny MacPherson."

_Mar. 27th._ Ditto.

_Mar. 28th._ Writing on "Cluny" all morning. Went down to several
offices in afternoon. Did nothing in the evening. Had a bad headache.

_Mar. 29th._ Very sick headache, but wrote "Cato's Song."

_Mar. 30th._ At the last hour wrote "Two Workers" for Bonner, and he
praised it very much, a great thing for him to do.

_Mar. 31st._ Very sick. Went to the dentist's but could not have
anything done.

_April 1st._ Wrote an "April Wedding" and worked on "Cluny."

_April 2nd._ Still sick but on "Cluny," and wrote "The Reconciliation."

_April 3rd._ All day on "Cluny;" in the evening wrote "Lending a
Hand."

_April 4th._ All day on "Cluny."

_April 5th._ All day on "Cluny."

_April 6th._ All day on "Cluny," but am feeling tired.

_April 7th._ On "Cluny," very tired. A wet day and Peter Cooper's
funeral.

_April 8th._ On "Cluny," and wrote a poem called "O Mollie, How I Love
You!"

_April 9th._ On my novel nine hours.

_April 10th._ On my novel eight hours.

_April 11th._ On my novel eight hours.

_April 12th._ On my novel eight hours, and wrote "Two Ships."

_April 13th._ On my novel nine hours.

_April 14th._ On my novel eight hours.

_April 15th, 16th, 17th._ Nine hours each.

_April 18th._ Very sick.

_April 19th._ Wrote "My Pretty Canary" and "The Little Evangel."

_April 20th._ Wrote nine hours on "Cluny."

_April 21st to 28th._ I wrote all day long on "Cluny," but managed to
write for _Harper's_ a poem called, "A Tap at the Door."

_April 29th._ On "Cluny," and wrote for Bonner a poem called, "Take
Care."

_April 30th._ Wrote "A Birthday," finished "Cluny" and took it to Mr.
Rand, of the Tract House.

Eleven days afterwards I saw Mr. Rand, and he told me they were
reading proof, and much pleased with the book, and on February
seventeenth, A.D. 1884, I received a letter from _the_ Cluny
MacPherson, chief of the clan MacPherson, thanking me for such a good
picture of the clan life. The letter was dated from Castle Cluny, but
the chief himself filled some important office in the Queen's
Household.

Just about the time that I finished "Cluny MacPherson," Lilly returned
home at my urgent request, and we went to housekeeping in some
furnished rooms at 128 East Tenth Street. Then I made a short visit to
England, leaving Alice at home with her sisters, as she was very
averse to taking another ocean voyage.

My visit to Glasgow this year contained one scene, which made a great
impression on me, and the recent death of General Booth brings it back
so vividly, that I think my readers will be interested in the picture
of this early salvation service.

At that time I had thought little of the movement. What I had seen of
its noisy, moblike parades, with their deafening clang of cymbals and
drums, and their shouting, jumping excitement, was not calculated to
enlist the sympathy of intelligent persons. But then it was not such
persons Mr. Booth wished to reach. "I have been sent into the world,
to do the Lord's gutter work," was his own definition of his mission;
and certainly at that day, his methods could only appeal to those on
the lowest plane of humanity.

Well, one Saturday night in June, I had been dining with an old friend
living beyond Rutherglen Bridge on the east side of the city, and in
returning to my hotel, I had to pass through that portion of the old
town, where Hamilton Street, High Street, the Saltmarket, and the
Trongate pour their night crowd into the open place around the old
Cross. The rain was falling in a black, steady downpour. The ragged
crowd was swaying to and fro to the sounds of drums and cornets, and
above all, I heard the shrill continuous scream of a woman's voice.

I put down the window of the carriage, and saw the woman. She was
marching, with an open Bible in her hands, at the head of a noisy
crowd, and reading, or rather reciting, verses from the Gospels. Her
face showed deathly white from under her black hood, her voice cut the
yellow dismal fog in sharp screaming octaves, her whole appearance was
that of one inspired or insane, and the rain poured down on the
barefooted women, with ragged kilted petticoats, and wretched little
babies hanging over their shoulders, who followed her. I shut the
window, and shut my eyes in a kind of horror. I had a feeling, that
somewhere, centuries ago, I had seen such a nightmare of black houses,
and black rain, and such a heaving and tossing flood of miserable
humanity, and somehow it comforted me to hope, that through the
tumult, the fierce sorrowful laughter, and drunken jibes, some poor
breaking heart must have heard, and understood, that woman's shrill
intensity as she called out, "_Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest_."

I had another experience of the Salvation Army, so perfectly Scotch
and so characteristic, that I think my friends will be pleased to hear
it. I was coming down the old Shorehead of Arbroath, and I met a band
of men and women carrying flags and singing hymns. In Glasgow I had
become familiar with these parades, and had been astonished at the
toleration with which they were regarded. But the men and women of
Arbroath, were of a different spirit and the tumult, and abusive storm
of language became so great, that I stepped inside a little shop for
shelter. The proprietor, a very dry rusk of a Scotchman, in a green
duffle apron, and a red Kilmarnock night cap, was standing at the open
door.

"The Salvation Army?" I said inquiringly.

"Ye arena far wrang."

"What do you think of them?"

"I'm thinking it is better for men to meddle wi' the things o' God,
which they canna change, than wi' those o' the government wi' which
they can wark a' kinds o' mischief and mischance. Thae Irish kirns
now!" Then his face flushed, angrily, and fixing his eyes on a lad who
was in the procession he cried,

"If there isna my Jock wi' thae loons! Certie, the words arena to
seek, that I'll gie him, when he wins home again!"

"Then you don't approve of the movement?" I asked.

"What way would I do that?"

"Have you read or heard anything of Mr. Booth?"

"Ow, ay, he is just a parfect Goliath o' conceit, but he isna the man
to hold the deil, for a' his talk."

"Is there a deil to hold? You know some ministers have given up the
idea of personal devil," I said; and I quite anticipated _the look_ I
got in reply,

"Have they? Ay weel, getting rid o' the Wicked One, hasna got us rid
o' the wicked. Good day to _you_, ma'am. I'll be requiring to go
ben."

These scenes were in the early days of the Salvation Army. A short
time afterward, I saw Glasgow ministers of the strictest sect of the
Calvinistic Pharisees, with their congregations at their heels,
following the music of the Moody and Sankey evangelical movement, and
I met their leaders as guests in the most exclusive religious
families. After my return home Dr. Talmage, then editor of the
_Christian At Work_, asked me to tell him frankly, which side the
paper ought to take.

"The popular side," I answered.

"Is that for, or against them?"

"For them, decidedly. Sankey's voice draws the crowd, and then they
listen to Moody's speaking, and so the singing may lead to prayer."

"You think it will be a success?"

"It _is_ a success," I answered, "and is going to a very great one."

Then Dr. Talmage turning to Mr. B---- the active editor said, "_The
Christian At Work_, will stand with Moody and Sankey, Mr. B----. It is
the proper thing to do, I suppose?"

"Yes," I answered, and he then asked if I had "seen anything of
General Booth."

"I have seen him several times," I replied.

"What kind of a man is Booth?" Dr. Talmage asked.

"A big man, every way. He is the Cromwell of Dissent." I heard that he
was a passionate little Chartist when he was thirteen years old. I
will tell you something, a good name is a good fortune, and the name
of the Salvation Army was a kind of inspiration. One day a secretary
drawing up a paper wrote, "We are a Volunteer Army," and Mr. Booth
took the pen from his hand, crossed out the word "Volunteer" and wrote
in its place "_Salvation_." He saw in a moment the splendid
capabilities of the word, it fitted itself to the work, as promptly
as the stuttering out of the word "tee-to-tal" inaugurated the grand
successes of the temperance cause.

They are burying William Booth today, and no one can deny that he has
fought a good fight; for he, and only he and his army, reach down to
that strata of humanity which has fallen below the churches; and
which are emphatically "ready to perish." And if the Salvation Army
only succeeds in facing a man around, or in making him take one
step upward, instead of downward, there is hope for his next
reincarnation.



CHAPTER XXII

THE LATEST GOSPEL: KNOW THY WORK AND DO IT

  "What is our Life? A strange mixture of good and evil; of
  ill-assorted fates and pathetic acquiescences; and of the
  overpowering certainty of daily needs, against the world of
  thoughts, and Shadows."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "The object of Life is to gain wisdom through experience, even one
  life forces us to this conclusion."


In this year, 1883, I went to England alone, staying most of the time
with Mr. Sam Wilson, who had been my friend and playmate when I was
six years old. He was then a very tall fine-looking man of fifty-two
years of age, with a beautiful and clever wife, and a son studying
medicine in Edinburgh University. His handsome residence, with its
wealth of flowers, was in the suburbs of Bradford, Yorkshire, and I
remained there for many happy weeks; paying a short visit to London in
the interval, and loitering some time around Glasgow, from which port
I sailed to New York.

But I had a heartache all the time I was away about Mary, who I feared
was going to marry, and I did not wish her to do so. I could not find
one objection to the young man she intended to espouse. They had been
friends for three years, and were truly attached to each other. He was
a clever writer, especially for boys, and the first editor of
_Harper's Young People_. He was fine-looking, gentlemanly, and quite
sufficiently good-hearted for the world he was living in, fond of
outdoor sports of all kinds, both on land and water, and a traveler
who loved ways unknown and adventurous. I believe he was the first
white man who penetrated the recesses of the Everglades. Incidentally
it may be noticed, that he was a great friend of the Seminole Indians,
who lived in the Everglades, and that to this day, he is regarded by
them as their true comrade.

So what chance had I against a lover of such manifold attractions? I
knew I must lose, and I thought I could bear it better at a distance.
In the middle of the Atlantic one night, I dreamed that Robert came to
me and said, "This morning, Mary was married to Kirk Munroe." He said
other things, but they were entirely personal, and may not be
repeated; but when I awoke I was consoled and reconciled. And it has
always been my way to accept the inevitable as cheerfully as possible,
so I told myself "I will now forget." If Mary was happier with a
stranger, than with the mother who had cherished and loved her, and
worked for her for thirty-three years, well I must be content to shave
my own pleasure to increase hers. Had I not done it all the years of
her life? It was no new sacrifice. But I said all such things with a
swelling heart, and eyes full of unshed tears. Yet the marriage has
been a singularly happy and sympathetic one, and though her home is in
southern Florida, she comes every year to spend a month with me. And I
am now content in her happiness.

With the main events of my business life, Mary's marriage made no
difference. I wrote constantly, and spent my days mostly in the Astor
Library and Lilly or I attended to the office work, as was most
convenient. The year 1884 found me writing a story called "Sandiland's
Siller" which I finished on the sixteenth of January, noting in my
diary, that I was tired, having composed the last six pages, and
copied the last thirty-five pages that day. On the following day I
took "Sandiland's" to Dr. Stevenson of the _Illustrated Christian
Weekly_. I mailed a poem called "He That Is Washed" to Mr. Mabie of
the _Christian Union_, "Three Wishes" to _The Advance_, two little
verses to _Puck_, and wrote "The Household Thrush" for Mr. Bonner. The
first three poems had been written at intervals, while I was working
on "Sandiland's Siller;" "The Household Thrush," only, was written on
the seventeenth. About this latter poem the following incident
occurred. It contained five verses, the length Mr. Bonner preferred,
and the first three verses referred to the thrush. Mr. Bonner read it,
and then turning to Lilly said,

"Too much bird, before you come to the girl."

"Take some of the bird away, Mr. Bonner," answered Lilly; and he
smiled, cut out one verse, and handed her ten dollars. There were
things about Mr. Bonner writers did not like, but all appreciated his
clever criticisms, and his prompt payment. When Lilly came home and
laughingly told me this story I was much amused. We had a merry little
lunch together, and then I made three pencil drawings to illustrate an
article called "The Fishers of Fife" which I intended to begin the
following day.

The list of work done by me from this time to the twenty-sixth of May
is hardly credible. On that day I fell from the library steps while
sitting on them reading, and hurt my foot and my neck very much. The
next day I had a high fever, and was suffering severely from nervous
shock. For nine days I was unable to do anything, and by that time the
swollen condition of my throat was alarming, and I sent for Dr.
Fleuhrer, a very clever surgeon. For fourteen more days I was under
his care, then I began to improve, so that on

_June 24th._ I began an article on the Scotch Highlands for Mr.
Mabie.

_June 25th._ I was writing on the same. Still in bed but mending
slowly.

_June 26th._ Finished and copied the Highland article.

_June 27th._ I began "Jan Vedder's Wife," and on this day also
received fifty-five pounds from London for work done for _The Leisure
Hour_ and the _Sunday Magazine_. Lilly was down at Bonner's when the
checks came, but as soon as I showed them to her, she said,

"Mamma, we have now plenty of money to furnish comfortably. Don't you
want your own home, Mamma?"

"O Lilly!" I cried, "there is nothing on earth I want so much. Dear,
dear child, go and look for what will suit us. Go tomorrow! Go this
afternoon!"

So that afternoon Lilly went home hunting, and I wrote happily on "Jan
Vedder's Wife" and Alice sat sewing beside me, touching my hand every
now and then and smiling. On the twenty-eighth the flat suitable was
found, and on the thirtieth I managed to get into a cab and go _home_.
All was in confusion, but such happy confusion, that we did not think
of sleeping until midnight.

In a week the new home was in perfect order, and I was able to be on
the sofa, and to write "Jan Vedder's Wife" more swiftly and
comfortably. So sweet was home! So good was home, that I now felt all
things possible, and really I had not been as happy, since Robert and
I went into the wood cottage with its domestic ceilings, in Austin,
and turned it into the prettiest and happiest of dwellings. Lilly and
Alice furnished the rooms as they desired, and I was quite pleased and
full of content.

And it was a great joy when the eleventh of July came round to find
that my wedding anniversary was not now to be forgotten. In hotels it
had seemed out of place to keep it. I do not know why, but it had
always slipped past with a kiss and a word or two. But on this happy
day, Lilly set a fine dinner, and Mary sent a wedding cake; we had a
bottle of sparkling Moselle, and drank silently but lovingly to the
memory of those of our household dwelling in the City Celestial; and
our tears of love and hope made the wine sacramental--a pledge and
token of our remembrance and our thanksgiving.

There does not seem much to write about in the life of a woman lame
and sick, and confined to a flat in an upper Park Avenue. But our
existence is always a story, for the fruit of life is experience, not
happiness. And every experience that helps us in our ultimate aim of
becoming a Spiritual Being, though it be as trite as suffering, is
worthy of being considered. Chesterton calls Christ's counsel to "take
no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or,
Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" an amazing command. To the majority
it is an amazing command, but writers who love their work understand
it. I was busy on "Jan Vedder's Wife," and so interested in the story
that I forgot I was sick, and the processes of convalescence went
right on without my regarding them. When the story was finished I read
it to Lilly. It was then complete in four chapters, and she listened
to them with critical interest, and when I laid down the manuscript
said,

"It is too good for a short story, Mamma; make it into a novel. You
have sufficient material and characters, and if the latter are more
fully drawn out, the material will be better."

"But," I asked, "can we afford it? I shall get one hundred and fifty
for it from the _Christian Union_ just as it is, and we need the
money."

"No, we do not," she replied, "and if we did, I would still say, write
it over, Mamma. It is a shame not to write it fully, just because we
might want five dollars;" and she pushed my paper and pencils towards
me with an encouraging smile. Then I began it all over, and added
nearly two hundred pages. When all were corrected and copied I sent it
by Lilly to Mr. Bonner. For once this reticent man broke his usual
custom, and commented on the work in "the straight-flung words and
few," which reflected him.

"It is a good story, a fine story," he said. "Take it to Dodd, Mead
and Company. It will suit them. It is too good for the _Ledger_."

And when Lilly came home, and told me what Mr. Bonner had said, there
flashed across my mind a dream I had had a week previously, in which
Robert had given me the same advice. Christ said, that if one rose
from the dead to inform, or direct us, we would not believe their
message, and evidently I had not believed the dead, until they spoke
through a mortal whose business capacities I trusted. I have often
reproached myself on this score, but--Oh, there is no "but." I have no
excuse for my want of faith.

[Illustration: MISS MARY BARR (Mrs. Kirk Munroe)]

I had finished the novel of "Jan Vedder's Wife" on the sixteenth of
September, 1884, the seventeenth anniversary of Robert's death, and on
October, the twelfth, I gave up the regular use of crutches, though my
foot was extremely weak and painful, and I had nearly constant
headaches. But on this date, I began a story called "Janet McFarlane,"
which I finished on the twenty-first and sent to the _Advance_. On the
twenty-sixth I began a story called "Paul and Christina," which was
published in the _Christian Union_ and afterwards enlarged to book
size and published by Dodd, Mead and Company. On the twenty-eighth, I
note that "Mary and Kirk Munroe took tea with us," so I had by that
time conquered my dislike to her marriage; for I do not ask people to
eat with me, if I have any ill will toward them. Those who do not
understand me, will perhaps live to do so, for

  "... soon or late the fact grows plain,
    To all through sorrow's test,
  The only folks who give us pain,
    Are those we love the best."

On the first of November I was at the Astor Library again, but did not
dare to go upstairs to my alcove. On the second of November I was
finishing "Paul and Christina" began on the twenty-sixth of October.
On the second, third and fourth of November I was at the library, and
on the fifth so ill, I had to summon Dr. Fleuhrer's help again. I was
sick for a week then reviewed and corrected "Paul and Christina" and
took it in the afternoon to the _Christian Union_. On the same day the
Sisters from a Religious Order, living near us, began to teach Alice.
I say "Sisters" because they were not allowed to go anywhere alone, so
one came to teach, and the other came, for what purpose I know not. On
the nineteenth I wrote "Going to Church Together," a poem for Bonner,
and a New Year's article for the _Illustrated Christian Weekly_; Kirk
came to tea. Mary was in Boston with his father and mother. The
following day I was at the library and wrote "Lacordaire Dying." On
the twenty-third I wrote "Mary," a Christmas poem, and Kirk came to
tea; we had a pleasant evening, and I wrote in my diary, "He is a nice
fellow, after all." On the twenty-fifth I arranged with the _Christian
Union_ for the first study of "Paul and Christina." They gave me one
hundred and twenty dollars, and on the twenty-seventh of November,
A.D. 1884, I _received a letter from Dodd, Mead and Company accepting
"Jan Vedder's Wife."_ It happened to be Thanksgiving Day, and this
letter made it a memorable one, for it altered the whole course of my
life. I had this letter framed, and it hangs now before me in my study
as I write. Time has faded the four lines it contained, but they are
graven on memory's tablet, and the yellow paper and nearly colorless
ink cannot hide from me the words of Promise it contained. On the
twenty-eighth I saw Mr. Frank Dodd, and arranged with him for the
publication of "Jan Vedder's Wife." He gave me three hundred dollars
for the book, promising to add to this sum if it sold well, and I may
mention here, that he subsequently sent me five hundred dollars more.
He sent it of his own free will. I made neither claim nor request for
it.

Lilly was very proud of this sale, because, as I have related, the
book was written at her request. I had not been so far as fortunate
with my publishers, as with my editors. Mr. B---- of Appleton's, with
whom I transacted the business relating to my volume on the "Children
of Shakespeare's Dramas," was an unhappy, unpleasant man to deal with;
but he is dead, and I think the Scotch reluctance to speak ill of the
dead is at least a wise observance. The publisher of "Cluny
MacPherson," and a volume of "Scottish Tales" was hard and dry as a
brush. He had some selfish ideas about the society he represented, but
he had no feelings. He had ceased to live with his heart. Mr. Jack
Howard was just unfortunate. He was the publisher of the _Christian
Union_ and my book, "Romances and Realities," came out just before the
house failed, so that I never received a dollar for it. But that was
not Mr. Howard's fault. He was always courteous and generous about any
work I did for him.

Lilly was very proud and happy because, as I have related, the book
was written by her advice. "And what do you think of Mr. Dodd, Mamma?"
she asked, as we eat drinking tea together. "Is he pleasant? Will you
like to write for him?"

"Yes," I answered. "He is pliant, yet resistant. I dare say he keeps
his heart within his head, and so makes an even balance between
business keenness and moral emotions."

"I do not see that, Mamma."

"It is plain enough, Lilly. The human brain is a machine for coming to
conclusions. So is the heart. We may often trust the latter most
safely. I do. Mr. Dodd would consult both."

"Is he a religious man?"

"How can I tell? I think so, but I am quite sure he is a straight,
clean-living man."

"Is he nice looking?"

"Quite as nice as there is any necessity to be. The spirit of his face
is attractive--that is enough."

"Is he anything like A----?"

"Walking majestically, and radiating awe and temper. No, Lilly, not in
the least."

"Or like B----?"

"Self-conscious to the finger tips. No, not in the least."

"Then like F----?"

"A Philistine, proud of his class, and cheerfully living in Ascalon.
No, you are far wrong yet."

"Then like Dr. D----?"

"When his conscience is taking its usual six days' sleep. No, you have
not guessed at any resemblance. Publishers are as distinct a type of
manhood as schoolmasters. They are even different from press men and
editors. The latter are often compelled by their duties to waste their
moral strength in politics, and their intellect in party journalism.
Publishers can mind their own business, and are in no way injured by
doing so."

Thus we talked, as we eat and drank, but without any ill-nature. With
the kindly race of editors I had, and have, the strongest sympathies.
All that I have known have been kind and helpful to me, and if at
times they showed a trifle of the petty unreasonableness of men
dressed in a little brief authority, it did not hurt me. I said to
myself--how true and striking that phrase is--I said to myself, "It is
not you that offends, Amelia. It is something at his home, or down in
the office--an unpleasant breakfast, or a disagreeable letter." So I
bore no rancor, and at the next interview all was right. God was very
kind and thoughtful for me, when he set me my work among such a
kindly, clever, gentlemanly class of workers as editors.

And I confess that I like people with tidal fluctuations of mood and
temper. They are full of surprises; you always feel an interest in
them. You think about them, and talk of them, and feel that they are
as human as yourself. They are far more pleasant than men always cold,
businesslike, reticent, polite. These latter are the men you desire to
see in bronze, or marble, or even in encyclopedias, rather than in
editorial chairs. Even if they are religiously perfect, they are
unpleasant in a newspaper sanctum. For it is a trial to our faith in
creeds, to find that in business matters, the justified are as selfish
and unlovely as the reprobate. So though it is quite correct, that two
and two make four, I have a liking for the man with whom the sum of
two and two is variable. It is often five and six with me, and it may
be ten or twenty, but when it is so, I trust humanity and love God
best of all.

If I now copy the closing entry in my diary for the year 1884, it most
truly describes my condition at that time.

  _Dec. 31st._ A day of great suffering. I am still very far from
  well. I have been seven months ill. How my heart would have
  quailed at the _prospect_ but God has been sufficient. My throat
  is very bad, my foot, also, and I am generally weary and worn
  out--and very feeble. Only, thank God, my mind never fails, nor my
  heart--often. I know in Whom I have trusted for fifty-three years,
  and I can trust Him for all the rest. I have been copying the
  "Preacher's Daughter," but twenty-four pages wearied me. Mary is
  in Florida. All the rest as usual. God of my Fathers, accept my
  gratitude for all Thy great mercies to me.

  AMELIA E. BARR.
  1507 PARK AVENUE, N.Y.

I open 1885 with the following lines:

  Commit Thy ways unto the Lord.
  Thy Bread shall be given, and thy water sure.
  Let thy widows trust in me.

The first and the last of these directions, were given to me in answer
to prayer; the center one was my father's promise to me, when I bid
him farewell forever in this life. I notice, nevertheless, that I am
anxious about money matters, that I have six hundred dollars owing me,
and cannot collect a dollar, and that I fear the _Ledger_ is not in
good circumstances; nothing has been said, I write, and all appears
the same, but I _feel_ a change of some kind. I was copying the
"Preacher's Daughter," but was weak, and it was hard work.

On the fifth of January I note that Dodd, Mead and Company paid me
three hundred dollars for "Jan Vedder's Wife," and that I had a letter
from London promising me money for my work soon, and that I also
received a small check from _The Advance_. So once more I found out
how good it is to commit my way unto the Lord, and that He brings
things to pass, I cannot move. On the eleventh I see that Lilly was
out all day among the shanties with Father B----, a Catholic priest
"in the world," a man of great mercy and piety, with an intellect keen
and well cultivated. There were many shanties on the rocks in our
vicinity, and Lilly's missionary spirit had led her to make friends in
all of them. She found them Roman Catholics in theory, but altogether
negligent in practice. So she took Father B---- to stir up their
faith, which he did with an authority they feared and obeyed.

I was ill and nervous at the time, and it did not please me. I asked
her what her Grandmother Barr would say, and I assured her she would
never leave her a shilling.

"I don't care either for her shillings or her pounds," Lilly answered.
"I don't want them. If I have helped one soul back to its faith in
God, or even to its faith in good angels to help it to God, that is
better than all the gold in Scotland."

"Angels!" I said. "Do you call Father B---- an angel? and what kind of
a way will he lead them?"

"A good way. The way of prayer. And also he will see that they take
it. Now that he has found these few sheep in the wilderness, they will
have to go back to the fold. That will be good for them everyway."

"Well, Lilly, I hope you will not take his way."

"Mamma, dear, we are all going to God, and some like the Roman
Catholic way. My own forefathers for eight hundred years did so. They
could not all be wrong--abbotts and priors and priests and nuns, all
of them. They could not all be wrong."

"Nor right."

"Well none of us can deny that while the Huddlestons were of the old
profession, they were famous and prosperous. They turned Protestant
when that little German body that couldn't speak a word of English,
came to govern us. The idea!"

"Are you going to turn Catholic after all?"

"I am going to be just what my Bible makes me."

For I may as well state here that Lilly, though born in the very
citadel of Calvinism, was a natural Catholic. She loved its ritual,
and frequently went to confession. At one time it took all my pleading
and influence, and all Dr. Tyng's eloquence to keep her out of a
convent, and I had a year or two of constant fear and watchfulness.
This was the year we lived on Lexington Avenue opposite the Dominican
Church. There was at that time a priest there called Father McKenna, a
holy man entirely separate from the world, night and day either before
the altar, or among the most miserable of the living and the dying;
and I think he was her inspiration.

For long centuries Lilly's ancestors had been priests in the old
profession, and Furness Abbey is full of their memorial stones as
Abbotts of that rich and powerful brotherhood. Catholicism was in her
heart and her blood, and she was animated by all the passionate
missionary spirit of the old faith. I had much suffering and long
months of miserable anxiety on this subject, and doubtless Lilly was
just as unhappy, but this is one of those domestic tragedies not for
the public ear, and I do not know how I came to write so much about
it.

I will, however, let it stand, for I would not be astonished if she
yet went back to the Roman Church. Her soul has evidently belonged to
it in all its incarnations, and I know that whenever she is in trouble
or perplexity she goes to a Catholic priest for advice. One day I
asked her, "Why?"

"Because," she answered, "they never snub or ask me 'whose daughter
art thou.' They know immediately that I am a Protestant, but they
never turn me away. Kindly, and without prejudice they give me the
best advice. It never comes out wrong."

"But why not go to God for advice?"

"Mamma, there are things, like love letters, for instance. Would you
go to God with them?"

"Yes," I replied. "Love letters may be very important things. At any
rate, your mother might be better than a priest."

"Mamma, dear, you know that you have a fixed conviction that love
affairs should only occur in books. Now Frank is not a 'character,' he
is a real, living, very delightful man."

Then I said no more, for Frank Morgan was then a very sore subject of
conversation, and I really was not sure in my own mind what I had
against the young man. His parents were wealthy, and he was their only
son. He was the captain of his company, handsome, gentlemanly, and
particularly respectful and attentive to myself. It was hard to think
wrong of him, and yet I did; and it was no use my deciding not to do
so, for I invariably went back to my first impressions. This feeling
made me patient, and perhaps less watchful and inquisitive than I
should have been.

But during the first half of 1885 I was very weak, and seldom out of
pain, and on the eighteenth of January I went to see Dr. Fleuhrer, who
made me very anxious. He said work and company were killing me, and I
must go to the mountains and live more in solitude. When I went home I
found Mrs. Van Duzen there, and after dinner Nat Urner and his wife
came to spend the evening. The next morning I went to the Methodist
Book Concern and wrote a preface for "The Hallam Succession," a novel
written at Dr. Vincent's request on purely Methodist lines. I wanted
to do my very best on this book; for I liked Dr. Vincent, and I liked
to write of Methodism, but I did not please myself at all. I was
really too sick to write well, and I ought not to have attempted it.

On the twenty-sixth Lilly was at Harper's and found Miss Van Dyne
removed from her place as editress of _Young People_, and Mr. Conant's
office empty. She said there was general silence and distress; no one
would talk, and she came away full of a sense of great trouble. Two
days afterwards I went to the _Illustrated Christian Weekly_, and was
shocked to see on the bulletin boards of all the newspapers "_S. S.
Conant Still Missing_."

I did not stop to read what followed. I was sick at heart, trembling,
and glad to get safely into an empty Third Avenue horse-car, and lean
for support against its upper-end corner. All the way uptown I was
like a woman in a dream, for I was indeed living over a dream I had
had a few days previously. This dream had troubled me much at the
time, and when I related it to Lilly she listened silently, and made
no remark but the following:

"It was an evil dream, and I hope S. S. C. is not going to be ill."

We seldom called Mr. Conant by his full name. When speaking of him we
used his initials, as indeed he generally did himself. S. S. C. stood
in every writer's mind for S. S. Conant. Well, I had dreamed three
nights previously of standing in Park Row and looking up to an angry
cloud-tossed sky. On this sky I saw the initials _S. S. C._ blazoned
in immense black letters, and, as I watched, great masses of vengeful
storm clouds came swiftly toward them, and drove them with a wild
passion over the firmament, and out of sight. The dream made a
profound impression on me, and when Lilly told me S. S. C. was lost, I
answered, "He will not be found."

"O Mamma, do not say that," she cried. "When he left the office, he
said he was going to the Grand Central Railway Station. How can a man
be lost between Harper's building and the Grand Central--unless he
killed himself."

"He did not do that," I answered, and then we were silent. Indeed, to
me the great wonder of the mysterious disappearance was the dislike of
any one to speak of it. The man passed away like a dream that is
told.

But I was anxious and unhappy. For years Mr. Conant had bought a large
part of my work, and I looked upon him as a sure reliance. Who would
take his place? I knew not, but I felt there had been one door closed
forever. Then, I bid myself remember, "that as one door shuts, another
opens; and that all the keys of the country did not hang from the
Harper's belt." Still the little poem I wrote for Bonner that night
shows the loneliness and longing I had for the love and protection
once mine, which I had taken as I had taken hitherto my wonderful
health and strength, and the daily bread that had never failed me:


LOVED TOO LATE

  Year after year with glad content
  In and out of our home he went,
          In and out;
  Ever for us the skies were clear,
  His heart carried the care and fear,
          The care and doubt.

  Our hands held with a careless hold,
  All that he won of honor and gold,
          In toil and pain;
  O dear hands, that our burdens bore!
  Hands that shall toil for us no more,
          Never again!

  Oh, it was hard to learn our loss,
  Bearing daily the heavy cross,
          The cross he bore;
  To say with an aching heart and head,
  Would to God that the Love now dead
          Were here once more!

  For when the Love we held too light,
  Was gone away from our speech and sight,
          No bitter tears,
  No passionate words of fond regret,
  No yearning grief could pay the debt,
          Of thankless years.

  Oh, now while the sweet Love lingers near,
  Grudge not the tender words of cheer,
          Leave none unsaid;
  For the heart can have no sadder fate,
  Than some day to awake--too late--
          And find Love dead.

Mr. Conant's disappearance precipitated events. I felt it so much
that I could not but understand how far below my usual health I
had fallen. I was sitting thinking of various places to which I
might retire, and yet keep in touch with my business, when Mrs.
Orr of Cornwall-on-Hudson called. When we were together on the
_Devonia_ she had often spoken of Cornwall, and the mountains and
river which made it such a beautiful and healthful resort; and when
I told her of my desire to come to the country, she offered me a
house called Overlook, near their own. The next day Lilly went to see
the place, found it roomy and comfortable, and standing on the top of
a hill, and she rented it for the following six months. It seemed on
the road to nowhere, but it would give me solitude and fine
mountain air, and these things, with less work, were all that was
required to restore my usual splendid health and spirits. Dr.
Fleuhrer stipulated with me to stay six months in Cornwall, and I
intended to do so; but I did not intend to stay the twenty-seven
years which I have done.

The clear, pure air and the quiet began its restorative work at once,
and it was at this time I commenced a custom which I have observed
ever since--that is, I went to my room at nine o'clock, no matter
who, or how many were present, and I am sure I owe much of my good
health and "staying power" to this custom. I do not sleep from nine
to six, but I lie at rest in loose garments, and in the rebuilding
darkness. Most of my mental work is prepared in this seclusion, my
plots are laid, my characters conceived, and my background and motif
determined.

We removed to Cornwall on the second of March, 1885, and on the
twenty-sixth I received my first copy of "Jan Vedder's Wife." It had
been on the market more than a week, but in my seclusion I had not
heard of it. It was Dr. Lyman Abbott who gave me the first news that
the book had brought me instant favor and recognition. Lilly was on
the train going to the _Ledger_ office one Friday, which was the only
day Mr. Bonner received contributions, and Dr. Abbott came to her and
said, "Tell your mother 'Jan Vedder' has made her famous. Everyone is
reading it, and everyone is praising it." Then Lilly had to pass Dodd,
Mead and Company's store, then on Broadway and Ninth Street, and she
saw their windows full of large placards bearing the words "Jan
Vedder's Wife" in large letters; at the _Ledger's_ office she met Mr.
Munkitterick, who gave her one of his delightful exaggerations about
the beauty of the tale, and its great success. I often wonder where
Munkitterick has gone to. No one could write such poems as he could.
Mr. Bonner bought all he could get, and they were the gems of the
_Ledger_. So clever, so witty, so good-hearted, what has become of
such a rare man? I hope that he has all his desires, wherever he may
be.

The record of March is a very happy one in regard to my work, and on
the twenty-ninth, my fifty-fourth birthday, I wrote, "All is white and
deep with snow, but I feel so much better. I thank God for the mercies
of the past year. Over and over He has saved my life, and He has
abundantly supplied my wants. My dear God, go forward with me, for I
cannot direct my own steps, but with Thee, I am always safe and
happy."

During April I was steadily and rapidly improving, and very content
and peaceful, so much so, that eight lines chronicles this month, and
these lines refer mainly to the letters from Mrs. Harriet Beecher
Stowe, and John Habberton, who was then on the staff of the _New York
Herald_, both of them in praise of "Jan." I said once, happiness is
not written down. That is the truth. It is the unhappy, anxious months
whose records cover pages; this happy April needed only eight lines.

Much the same conditions with regard to my work continued, and in
health and strength I gained steadily. On the sixteenth of May I had a
letter from Mr. Libbey, which I prized very highly. He told me that he
had watched with great pleasure my steady progress, that he had never
lost sight of my brave struggle, and was glad that he had been given
the opportunity of helping me when I needed help. If Queen Victoria
had written me the words of praise he did, I should not have been half
so proud and pleased. I had to put aside my work that day; I was too
happy to sit still and write. Mr. Libbey was my first friend in New
York. He took me at my own word, and I thank God I had been able to
more than make it good. I was purely and sincerely delighted. All the
world seemed beautiful that day, and I went to my room and, kneeling
down, not only thanked God, but told Robert all about the joy in my
heart. I thought God would permit him to share it, and I believe He
did.

Some time ago I had sent the novel called "The Last of the
McAllisters," which Mr. Henry Holt had praised but refused, to a
London magazine, and in June they published it. I ought, of course,
to have secured its sale in the United States, but I was yet
ignorant of my right to sell both in England and America, and when
Harper Brothers pirated it, and sent me what they called an
_honorarium_ of fifty dollars I thought it was very kind of them. I
had no suspicion that I had been politely robbed, though I did notice
a singular expression cross Mr. Mead's face when I told him of the
circumstance. Subsequently Dodd, Mead and Company paid me one hundred
dollars to make over to them the American rights in the book.

During all this time I kept up my regular contributions to the papers
for which I had so long written, for my books did not bring me enough
to warrant my giving up my time to novel writing. At the same time I
was writing another, and a better, story for the Methodist Book
Concern, called "The Lost Silver of Briffault," which I finished on
the nineteenth of July. I was able by this time to take in the
manuscript myself, and after leaving it with Dr. Hunt, I went to the
Astor Library and worked there, until the twenty-eighth, making notes
and reading for the New York story I had been so long contemplating.

The first morning I went to the library I found my alcove, table and
chair, had been taken possession of by a man who looked intelligent,
but who was common and ill-mannered. He did not speak to me, or even
look at me, when I entered with a boy carrying his arms full of books.
If he had done either, I know I should have said, "Sit still, sir, you
will not incommode me, and I hope I shall not annoy you." But he just
glared, and dropped his eyes, and so, with a slight apology for
displacing some paper--my paper, which he was freely using--I sat down
at the other end of the table, which was large, even for two writers.

I could have forgotten he was there, if he would have sat still, but
he fidgeted and sighed, and showed such signs of annoyance, that I was
not a bit sorry when Professor Valentine came in with a joyful
"welcome back" to me; and then launched into his usual enthusiasm,
concerning Central America and its buried cities. Mr. Saunders
followed, and, with his courtly English civilities about my health
and my work, easily passed ten minutes. Then a scholarly clergyman
connected with the _Churchman_, had something to ask me, and he was
quickly joined by Professor Norton--not my starry friend--but an old
editor of one department in the _Christian Union_; and we three found
something to talk about for nearly half an hour. Every now and then
some press writer came to ask help from my index, and though I myself
was vexed at the interruptions, I was mean enough to be consoled,
because the man at the other end of my table was as much disturbed as
a man could be.

The next day I was sorry, and I intended to make him welcome, but he
had gone as far from me as he could get, and all I could do was to
make an apology, which he received in an injured, sulky temper, that
astonished me; for I have always found real scholars, the best and
easiest tempered men in the world. Afterwards, I asked Mr. Saunders
who the man was, and he told me he was a teacher, writing a
mathematical text-book. Then I fully excused him. The work was
accountable for the temper. For though mathematics may teach a man how
to build a bridge, it is what the Scotch Universities call _the
humanities_, that teach him to be civil and sweet-tempered.

In August I wrote to Holland for some directions about the Dutch forms
of speech, for one of the Astor librarians who spoke the Dutch
language, told me always to remember that the Dutch of the period I
wish to write of, thought in Dutch, even if they spoke in English.
Thus, he instanced, an Englishman would say, "Spring will soon be
here," but a Dutchman would say, "We come near to the Spring." So then
a knowledge of Dutch forms was necessary, and he told me what books to
write for. When I had sent off this letter, I considered that my
preparations for writing "The Bow of Orange Ribbon" were complete.

They had extended over nearly two years. An historical novel was a new
venture, and as I had leisure I had been making myself familiar with
the history of the time, and the ways of colonial dressing and
housekeeping. Indeed, I had perhaps an exaggerated idea of the
necessity of a truthful background, and I have never got over that
impression. I am sure that I may fairly claim, that my historical
tales of New York are faithful pictures of whatever epoch I am using.

But, though I had done all I could do until the writing of the book
should gradually reveal whatever was yet lacking, I did not begin it.
I was waiting for the books from Amsterdam; and I commenced meanwhile,
on the first of September, a tale of the fishers of Fife, for that
particular humanity and locality was perfectly familiar to me. But by
my visit to the library I had brought on a return of the trouble in my
foot, and I was writing in bed all September, often twelve hours a
day, so that I had finished "A Daughter of Fife" on the third of
October. Then I went over it, corrected all errors, and sent it to
Dodd, Mead on the ninth. I will insert here an amusing letter from one
of Fife's daughters--one of a great many; for the story was a
favorite, especially among the Scotch.

  MRS. AMELIA BARR:

  I have just read "A Daughter of Fife" and I want to say to you,
  that however well you have portrayed the characteristics of the
  women of Fife, you have done remarkably well in representing some
  of the traits of a daughter of Fife; and that is myself. When I
  was the age of Maggie, I would have sent Aunt Janet back to her
  home, or thrashed her, or made my own exit in a great deal quicker
  time than Maggie did, I assure you.

  The trust and confidence in the Lord is much the same. The
  independence is somewhat more pronounced in my case--quoting a
  phrase--people tell me, if I should fall in the river, I would
  float up stream. My mother read the book first, and noted the
  resemblance.

  I just write this to tell you, how amusingly near to life, and
  near to home, your story is.

  I am respectfully,

  LYDEY FIFE.
  BASCOM, OHIO,
  February 22, 1904.

I then employed myself in writing a short story for the _Illustrated
Christian Weekly_ called "Bread Upon the Waters," and I also wrote a
number of poems to keep the columns of the _Ledger_ and other papers
open to me. On the fifteenth of October I had a letter from Mr.
Clark of the _Christian World_, London, asking me for another novel,
and I immediately began "Between Two Loves," which I finished on
Thanksgiving Day, the twenty-sixth of November, and, after reviewing
and correcting it, sent it to London, on the second of December. Then
there was Christmas and New Year's work to be done, and I did not
really begin "The Bow of Orange Ribbon" until the twenty-eighth of
December.

On the last day of this year I was working on "The Bow." It had been a
wonderful year full of great mercies and strange sorrows. During it
"Jan Vedder's Wife," "The Hallam Succession," and "The Lost Silver of
Briffault" had been published; and "The Last of the McAllisters,"
pirated. I had regained my health, and my foot only asked to be used
with some mercy and discretion. Though I had lived very simply, I had
been comfortable, and had had no care about money matters. As to what
went on in my soul, I shall say nothing here. I ought to have been a
happy woman, but I was unhappy in my domestic life. I was sure that
Lilly was resolved to marry Captain Morgan. He came to see her
constantly, and wrote to her once, frequently twice, a day. His
influence pervaded the house, darkened my life, and made my success of
no consequence.

Hitherto my desire or advice had been sufficient for Lilly, but now
they were nothing against a sheet of paper. Only a sheet of paper,
written over in a bold, much frescoed style, and there was nothing I
could say that could stand against it. The sunlight had gone from my
days, and life felt haggard and thin without Lilly's sympathy. I did
not blame her much. My position appeared to her unreasonable. I knew
nothing wrong of Captain Morgan, and I had been shown a letter which
proved him a favorite with his company.

"Why will you think wrong of Frank, Mamma?" she asked one day. "Nobody
says wrong of him."

"But I have an undeniable intuition that something is wrong," I said.

"Intuition!" she cried. "That is not fair, Mamma. I am willing to
listen to reason, but intuition, no."

"Yet, Lilly," I answered, "reason is only human perplexity. If we
know, and are sure of a thing, we don't reason about it. Intuition is
far above reason. It is absolute knowledge. It comes from the
spiritual region of our nature, and makes the mind knowing, and the
object known, one. It never deceives."

"Then I say, it ought to be more precise. It tells you to beware of
Frank, it ought also to tell you _why_."

"If there is a finger-post on the sea sands with the word 'danger' on
it, is it necessary to say what kind of danger? If you value your
life, you just give it a wide berth."

Such conversations were frequent, but I knew well that they were
useless. I only succeeded in delaying, what was sure to come. And
Lilly never succeeded in changing in the least my opinion of her
lover. Now,

  "Who forged that other influence?
  That heat of inward evidence,
  By which I doubted against sense."

The first part of 1886 I was busy on "The Bow of Orange Ribbon," and
various poems and articles for the _Ledger_, _Advance_, and
_Independent_. On February, the second, I note that I added four
verses to "The Beggars of the Sea," a poem in the early part of the
book. On the ninth I notice a great labor riot in London with the
comment "the beginning--plenty more to follow." I did not say this
from intuition, but from a dream I had recently had. In this dream, I
saw the flags of all nations strung across the firmament, and they
were blown hither and thither in the midst of flame and thunders and
lightnings, and great multitudes fighting below. And I thought the
date was set, but not yet.

On the twenty-fifth of February, I had written two hundred pages of
"The Bow." On the first of March I had two hundred and thirty pages
composed and had been copying all day. On the third I only wrote seven
pages, having a blinding headache. On this day I got "The Last of the
McAllisters" in Harper's Handy Series, and I was rather pleased, not
yet knowing how unfair and unjust was their possession of it. On March
thirteenth I had finished two hundred and ninety-three pages of "The
Bow."

_March 14th._ I was writing all day; had a sore throat.

_15th._ Writing all day. Throat very bad.

_16th._ Ditto. Mrs. Orr to tea.

_17th._ Writing all day on "The Bow."

_18th._ Ditto. Finished 325 pages.

_19th._ Very sick but wrote seventeen pages.

_20th._ Finished 343 pages. Still sick.

_21st._ Wrote all day.

_22nd._ Finished 373 pages.

_23rd._ Working on "The Bow" all day.

_24th._ Finished "The Bow of Orange Ribbon," 404 pages.

_29th._ My fifty-fifth birthday. I was sick and tired and uncertain. I
sat still all day, not realizing until the book was done, and out of
my hands, how weary I was. But I was not unhappy. Lilly still ordered
my home, and I caught her brave, happy look every time I asked it with
my smile. And I thought over all the work I had done the past year,
and stretched out my right hand to God, for He knew I had done it
faithfully, and could say with McAndrews,

  "I ha' lived an' I ha' worked,
  All thanks to Thee Most High,
  An' I ha' done, what I ha' done--judge
  Thou, if ill or well--
  Always Thy Grace preventin' me."

On the fourteenth of April, I went to Dodd, Mead's about "The Bow."
They had many doubts and disparagements. Such a Dutchman as _Joris_
was not natural, and was I sure that _Lady Godon_ and her set spoke
English as I had represented them? Now I had spent many weeks in
studying the court English of the time, and had collected all my forms
from Horace Walpole's and Lord Chesterfield's letters, et cetera,
because it was in correspondence and familiar writing I expected to
find the social forms most prevalent. I do not now remember the other
criticisms, because I tried to forget them, feeling sure that the
book, when published and reviewed, would justify me. I kept a stiff
upper lip until I got home, then I broke down. I suppose if I had been
a man, I should have said some bad words, being a woman I cried
bitterly.

I had expected praise, and had received only doubts and hesitations,
but it must be remembered, that it was an entirely new kind of novel,
and that Irving's caricatures of Dutchmen, had formed the popular idea
of the early settlers of New Amsterdam. But among these settlers,
there were many wealthy men, sons of old Leyden University, and many
women who had grown to their rosy grace and refinement in exquisitely
ordered homes, wherein the fear of God, and family affection was the
law of their lives.

I did not go again about "The Bow" until the fourteenth of May, when
Dodd, Mead offered me six hundred dollars for it, promising to pay me
more if the book sold well. I have never received any more.

In the meantime I had begun, on the twenty-sixth of April, a novel
called "The Squire of Sandalside," and I finished it in July. Then I
went to England very unexpectedly, being led to do so by the following
incident:

A prominent editor and literary man of New York, sent me a letter
asking me to call on him. I thought he wanted a novel, and I went to
see him. His object was very different. He asked me to tell him how
much money I had received from Mr. Clark of the _Christian World_ for
the English rights of my novels. I told him, of course, that Mr. Clark
had paid me nothing. Then he explained the subject fully to me, and
advised me to go to see Mr. Clark at once. Finally, he asked me to
promise, that in speaking of the subject I would never, never name him
as my informer. He was so particular about this, that I made the
promise, and have faithfully kept it.

He said he had told me, because he pitied my ignorance, and I felt no
gratitude to the man; for I distrusted him, and had a reason for
doing so, that he was far from suspecting. I found myself worried, and
even cross, when I got home, and Lilly said, "You ought to have gone
to Mr. Dodd with this story, Mamma." "No," I answered, "it might annoy
him without reason. He probably knows nothing about it." Then we spoke
of Dodd, Mead paying me five hundred dollars more on "Jan Vedder's
Wife," because the book sold well; five hundred that I never claimed,
or asked for.

Three days afterwards I went to England, but it was no pleasure trip.
I had a heartache about the business, and I did not like to leave
Lilly and Alice in such a lonely place without friends, or even
acquaintances. But the sea air made me strong, and though the business
was hateful to me, I got through it better than I expected.

Mr. Clark listened silently to my story, though I was quite aware of
his sympathy. In reply he said, the money unfortunately was lost to
me. He had paid others in good faith, supposing they were acting for
me, but that in future he would deal directly with myself. He then and
there made an arrangement with me for my next novel, which was called
"Paul and Christina," the study for which story had already appeared
in the _Christian Union_.

He asked me to his house to stay over Sunday, and I went; for I had a
curiosity to see how English publishers lived. And I was greatly
impressed with his home, its surroundings and furnishings. It was a
perfect example of the breadth, solidity, and the last-for-ever kind
of chairs, tables, et cetera, which are found in the best English
residences. There was a kind of sumptuousness about it, that was never
vulgar, nothing in any room screamed, and the effect was very
reposeful. I have tried to recall some examples, more particularly,
but I can remember nothing but the dinner knives, which were of the
finest Indian steel, wonderfully polished, and having exquisite onyx
handles. That is a little thing to have remembered, but it typifies
the whole.

Mr. Clark was a pleasant English gentleman, with just a trace of the
schoolmaster in his manner. And he was one of the finest scholars in
English literature I ever met. Indeed I think he was the finest.
Under my father's care I had become thoroughly acquainted with English
authors of an early date, especially those of Cromwell's and Anne's
time, and during the past fifteen years' study in the Astor Library, I
had read carefully those of later date; but I could not quote a line
from any writer, that he did not instantly place, and likely give also
the preceding and following lines. He was a good man, too, I am sure;
one that feared God, and dealt fairly with his fellows.

I did not remain long in England. Something always drew me northward
and, without staying in Edinburgh, I went to the pretty watering place
of Burntisland. They are "cannie Scots" that live in Burntisland, and
always have been. Even when besieged by Oliver Cromwell, they did not
lose sight of their own interests for Prince Charles' sake; for they
offered to open their gates to Cromwell, if he would pave their
streets, and improve their harbor. And Cromwell kept his part of the
obligation so well, that the harbor, with some modern additions, is
yet one of the best on the east of Scotland.

From there I went to Kirkcaldy, and once more walked up the High
Street to look at the house in which Adam Smith wrote his "Wealth of
Nations." I don't know why I did it. I never opened the "Wealth of
Nations," and I cared nothing about Adam Smith. In fact, I gave up
looking at his house with impatience, and went to the old Tower of
Balwearie, where Michael Scott, the famous wizard, lived. For I knew
if I sat still long enough in its eerie shadows, I should find the
wizard beside me.

But I suddenly wearied altogether of my solitary travel, and took the
first train back to Edinburgh. The idea of home and Lilly and Alice
haunted me. They ruled over me by attraction, as others often do by
their antipathy; for the moral atmosphere, like the physical, becomes
impregnated with certain feelings. And it so happened, that at my
hotel I got the very same parlor that Robert and I had occupied on our
wedding tour. What were all the royal palaces, and ancient castles,
and wizard towers to me? There was a little wood cottage in Cornwall
inexpressibly dearer. I resolved to turn homeward the next day.

From the windows of this parlor I had a fine view of the castle, and
the old town lying around it. I had sat in my bridal finery with
Robert on the same spot, at the same window thirty-six years ago, on
just such a lovely summer night; and though I did not wish it,
thoughts of the past came through memory, as the stars wore through
the dark. A light like dreamland was over everything, and the
fragrance of the summer roses in the gardens bordering Prince's
Street, filled the air. It was a melancholy fragrance, it made me sad,
for I thought of the lovely flowers pulsing their souls away, and
wondered where they went to. Was a fragrance so rich and rare wasted?
If not, for whom were these scented airs, in the glimmering of the
summer twilight? Men and women took little heed of them, surely then,
they were for the angels all around us, since

  "... Thousands at His bidding speed,
  And post o'er land and ocean without rest."

I sat dreaming until midnight, and then I knew that old doors in
palace and castle would be opened, and forth would come the ghosts of
ancient sorrows and splendors. So I slowly, very slowly, prepared
myself to lie down and sleep, remembering as I did so, Alexander
Smith's almost forgotten description of Edinburgh, left unfinished
because death took the pencil out of his fingers:

  "Towered, templed Metropolitan,
          Waited upon by hills,
  River, and wide-spread ocean; tinged
  By April's light, or draped and fringed
          As April's vapor wills,
  Thou hangest like a Cyclop's dream,
  High in the shifting weather gleam."

Next morning I took the Caledonian Line as far as Kendal. There was a
literary syndicate there, called the Northern Newspaper Syndicate;
they bought a good deal of writing from me, and were at the time owing
me a few pounds. I should not have called there on that account, but a
reminiscent spell was over me, and I was glad of an excuse to indulge
it. The money was as safe as if it was in my purse, for the syndicate
was directed by Quakers, who certainly made close bargains, but who
paid, without demur or delay, whatever they promised to pay. I went to
the ancient hostelry called The King's Arms. It has a long, strange
history, and I have been frequently told there are some apartments in
it, once occupied by King John, but closed up for centuries as unsafe.
I had no desire to look into them. I wanted to see my mother's house,
also the preacher's house and chapel, standing among its band of
whispering poplar trees. After a good supper of tea, fresh cockles,
and haver cake I felt in the proper Kendal humor. And if any of my
readers ever go to Kendal, and will sup on fresh cockles and haver
cake, they will remember me pleasantly as long as they live. The
cockles will be fresh from Morcambe Bay, or Sandside, and if one has
never eaten haver cake with the delicious butter that is plentiful
there, he has a gastronomical luxury to become acquainted with. Haver
cake is, however, so common in Kendal, that the hotels do not serve
it, unless asked for; but it is worth asking for, and even paying for.
It is made of oatmeal, as fine as the finest wheat flour, and the cake
itself is thin as a wafer, and delightfully crisp. And really one does
not know how good cheese is, until he has eaten it with Kendal haver
cake. As time goes by, I shall no doubt have many letters of thanks
for this information, and I shall be glad of them; for there are few
things in life, that awaken such kindly memories as something good to
eat.

The bedroom given me was the queerest, most old-fashioned place
imaginable. I am sure it had been furnished about A.D. 1650. And the
parlor I occupied had the same _past_ look. All was so strange, and
yet so familiar, and I could not help feeling, that in every old chair
there was either a ghost, or a dream.

The next day was Sunday, and I was awakened by the grandest caroling
of the church chimes. No other music between heaven and earth is so
touching and elevating, as the pealing chimes from church towers. At
intervals all day long, they reminded us that it was the Sabbath,
until

  "As evening shades descended,
  Low, and loud, they sweetly blended;
  Low at times, and loud at times,
  Rang the beautiful old chimes."

And as I sat listening to them, I could not help thinking how much,
and how constantly, bells intermeddled with all the feelings and
fortunes of humanity. In the dawn of time, they made a pleasant
tinkling among the sons of Asher and Baal. The war horses of Sesostris
jangled them on the first battlefields of the world; the priests of
Israel wore them upon the hems of their most sacred vestments. They
delivered oracles at Dodona, and shook a noisy challenge from the
shields of Greek heroes. They have tolled out warnings on lonely
coasts for the salvation of human life; they have given the signal for
such awful massacres as St. Bartholomew and the Sicilian Vespers. They
have rang in tyranny, and rang out tyrants; while on the wide ocean,
they are given a new dignity, and are made the interpreters of the
sun. No place has been so high and so holy, that there they have not
been heard; yet the fool has shaken them on his bauble, and the infant
on its rattle.

In America at the present day what a wonderful power has been the
bell. Inside our homes, from street-cars and railways, from banks and
offices, schools and factories, carts and counters, comes constantly
the well-known sound of bell metal; and there is nothing inanimate
that has so meddled with the joys and sorrows, and business of
mankind. Indeed, to write the history of small bells would be to write
the social history of nearly forty centuries. That was a labor to
think of, so I reminded myself of Tennyson's invocation to the bells
to ring out old shapes of all evil, and ring in the Christ that is to
be; and with this divine vision of the time when God "shall make his
tabernacle with men, and wipe all tears from their eyes," I fell
happily asleep, and dreamed a strange dream. I thought I was in a
beautiful garden, shady and sweet with many shelves of bee skeps,
under some large plane trees, and as I looked I saw a woman knocking
at the door of each skep, with the big key of the house door, and
telling the bees that the master had just died. That was a ceremony
always observed in the North of England, when the master died, but
what made me dream of it that night? And what strange link was there
between the room in which I slept, and the man who died? Had the
master died in that room? on that bed? and was I in the old garden,
when I heard the news of his death? I mean, was the dream a
reminiscence--a reminiscence possible because the room, and the
garden, and the master's death had been in some anterior life, a part
of my experience? I cannot tell. I only know I woke with a strange
feeling of pity or grief for the dead master; and the humming of the
bees in their hives, talking of the sad news was in my ears. Still if
I ever should go to Kendal again, I would ask for that ancient
bedroom, and bespeak another dream from the pillows that must be full
of them. I am stating only a wandering thought, believing that many
others must have had a like experience. For a few years ago, in a
large hotel in Atlantic City, I had for seven nights the same dream
upon the same pillow, but when I sent the pillow away, the dream went
with it.

Early in October I was at work again, this time on a Roman Catholic
story, called "The Beads of Tasmar." There is a most romantic corner
of Scotland on the shores of Ross, where the people have always been
Catholics. It is Catholic Kintail. Fifty years ago if you landed at
Bundalloch, where the great buttresses of Kintail come sheer down to
the beach, you were among a people who have lived unchanged by all the
revolts and revolutions of the world around them. Among these desolate
hills you found the ancient Christian life in all its beauty and
simplicity. To their thatched clachans they welcomed you with gentle,
mannerly ways, very unlike the glower and greed of the lowlander; and
handed you always a bowl of fresh milk, and an oaten cake. It appealed
to me strongly as the background for an unusual Scotch tale, and I
think "The Beads of Tasmar" is one of the prettiest romances I ever
wrote. Dodd, Mead paid me five hundred dollars for it, and I enjoyed
the work so much, that I felt well paid. Dodd, Mead were pleased with
it, and it was printed and ready to put on the market when one of the
members of the firm read it, and refused to give it to the public. He
was perfectly conscientious in this decision, and as I had been paid
for it, the loss was not mine. He really believed that its publication
would injure the reputation, both of the firm, and myself.

So "The Beads of Tasmar" was laid aside, and I began the well beloved
"Border Shepherdess," a tale as opposite to "The Beads of Tasmar" as
if it related to another planet. For the characters were all of them
of the strictest sect of Cameronian Calvinists, the sea was not
present, and the men and women were of the intense quality of Border
Scots. It was, however, a great favorite, and with few exceptions I
have had the most letters about it. The fall of the year after my
return home was very still and happy. Two personal events that
interested me broke the monotony--a lovely letter of congratulation
from Mr. Stedman, with an invitation to a literary reception at his
house, and a long letter from Martin F. Tupper. Just about the time I
was married, every one was reading and praising Martin F. Tupper. I
thought he was a wonderful writer. I learned whole pages of his
philosophy and I am a perfect Philistine with regard to my idols. Mr.
Tupper had been mutilated and slashed by later critics, till he was in
as bad a case as the god Dagon, but to me he was just as wonderful as
ever. I was so proud of his letter, full of praises and good wishes,
that I wrote no more that day. Yet I could not help noticing the sad
note of refrain, that comes with every joy, for I found myself saying
frequently, as I walked about the room with his letter in my hand,
"Oh, if my father had lived to see this letter, how happy he would
have been! How happy I should be!"

"Never quite satisfied, Mamma," said Lilly with a sigh; and I was
ashamed, and read aloud to her Mr. Stedman's letter, which had come
with the same mail as Mr. Tupper's, and then began to talk of the
dress I must wear. I feared "nothing I had was quite good enough."

"That is nonsense, Mamma," answered Lilly, I thought a little coldly.
"Literary people do not meet to show their dresses. It is supposed at
least, they meet to exchange great ideas. Your silk gown was bought
and made in London, and you have some lovely English lace, what can
you want more?" And then she salved the slight tone of reproof, by
adding, "I am sure you look beautiful in them."

Lilly's opinions always satisfied me, and I found she was right, at
least in one point. I was quite sufficiently dressed, but somehow I
did not find any exchange of great ideas. There was, however, a famous
Japanese noble, and his two servants, most picturesquely dressed, made
and handed around the tea. I never tasted tea before that night; I am
never never apt to taste it again. Once afterwards, Mr. Matthieson, a
neighbor, was in the Chinese tea fields, and he brought me home a
present of a small chest of tea bought on the field where it was
grown, and it came nearest to the tea I had at Mr. Stedman's, the
difference, I suppose, having been in the making of it. But no matter
how full of great ideas the conversation at Mr. Stedman's had been, I
should have let all other memories slip away, and recollected only the
ethereal delicacy, and far too fugitive aroma of that delicious tea.
Surely such tea plants will grow for all of us in Paradise.



CHAPTER XXIII

THE GODS SELL US ALL GOOD THINGS FOR LABOR

  "All that is bitter, all that is sweet comes from God. It is our
  daily bread."

  "The mysterious conditions of our everyday life give a gravity to
  all our work, and all our pleasure."


In this year 1887, I finished "The Border Shepherdess" and "The Master
of His Fate" with my usual accompaniment of poems and articles for the
papers. On April twenty-fourth I note that I copied "Cherry Ripe," a
poem for _Harper's Weekly_, "A Strawberry Idyl" for the _Illustrated
Weekly_, "The Romance of the Salad Bowl" for the _Christian Union_,
and "The Two Talifers" for _Leslie's_. These with Bonner's usual poem
were the papers on which I mainly relied and whose columns I felt must
be kept open, no matter how interesting the novel on hand might be.
But early in May my hands began to trouble me. I had the right thumb
in a splint, and no finger I possessed could lift a pin. The tips of
my fingers seemed to have lost feeling. I could not use pen and ink,
but if the pencil was placed in my hand, I could write as long as the
pencil would mark; but I could not pick it up, if I dropped it. I was
very unhappy about this condition, and then the relief came from a
source most unexpected.

I had met on my last voyage from England, a Professor McAfee and his
wife. Mr. McAfee was a professor in a college at a place called
Claverick I think. He was a most charming man, widely and well
cultivated, and I formed a pleasant friendship with him and Mrs.
McAfee. While my fingers were troubling me so much, they came to pay
me a short visit, and he induced me to get a typewriter. I do not know
how long they had been on the market, certainly not very long, for I
had never seen one in any of the newspaper offices I visited. Mine
came the day before he left, and he showed me all its peculiarities.
In less than a week I could use it very well; in a month I considered
myself an expert.

The typewriter was an instant and immense relief; for the copying of
all my work had doubled my labor, because it was not as interesting to
copy, as to compose; and as it was necessary to write the press copy
very clearly and particularly, the copying occupied more time than the
composing. The kindly, clever professor who came to me in the hour of
my need is dead. No. He could not die. What we call death was to him
only emigration, and I care not where he now tarries. He is doing
God's will, and more alive than ever he was on earth.

Mrs. McAfee, just before Christmas, sent me a lovely oil painting of
poppies and wheat, done for me by girls in the college. Then I wrote
the following poem in memory of it, which was published in _Harper's
Weekly_ and I hoped it pleased them.


POPPIES AND WHEAT

  Poppies have loved the golden wheat
    Many a thousand years,
  And still they lift a glowing face
    Up to the bending ears,
  Wherever the yellow wheat doth grow,
  Scarlet poppies will surely go.

  Bind the sheaves in the East or West,
    Take seed where man ne'er trod,
  And when the corn bends to the breeze,
    The poppy there will nod.
  No time, no distance, hath the power
  To change the love of grain and flower.

  See how the silky petals stir
    Like banners in still air;
  See how the rich ripe ears sway down
    To flowers so idly fair.
  O sweet wind of the harvest day!
  Tell me what do these lovers say.

  Do they remember Nilus yet?
    Ham's daughters dusky fair?
  Greek girls with mingled wreaths of wheat
    And poppies in their hair?
  Or fair Judean maids at morn
  Gleaning among the yellow corn?

  Does grain of wheat, or seed of flower,
    Hold still a memory
  Of happy English harvest homes
    On many a pleasant lea?
  And youths and maids amid the sheaves,
  Testing their love with poppy leaves.

  If so, then winds of harvest haste
    Carry a greeting sweet,
  No heed where corn and poppies grow,
    Kin are poppies and wheat,
  Grain and flower of every strand,
  Came from the fields of Edenland.

I had never permitted Alice to go to any school, but had always had a
governess for two or three hours daily, as she could bear it. During
the many years she was thus instructed, she had many teachers of all
kinds; but at this period a Mrs. Jones, the daughter of the Episcopal
minister, came to her. And she loved Mrs. Jones, who was a beautiful
and lovable woman, and I think of her often because I was always so
happy when anything happened that made Alice specially happy.

For the rest, the year went quietly on. I wrote a story for Mrs.
Dodge, editor of _St. Nicholas_, the only woman I ever liked to write
for. She put on no editorial airs, and if you brought her a good
story, she made you feel that you had conferred a favor on her, and
her magazine. Ah, Mrs. Dodge showed that her soul had been to fine
schools, before she came into this life! Her courtesy was native to
her--her fine manners the fruit of her good heart.

After I had finished Mrs. Dodge's story, called "Michael and
Theodora", I was obliged to give up using my hands until October,
then I began "Remember the Alamo" but had to stop early in November,
to help Mr. Freund who wished me to write with him a play from "The
Bow of Orange Ribbon." It was the first of at least twenty, I think I
may say fifty, attempts that have been made to dramatize this novel.
Mr. Charles Frohman got the famous August Thomas to try it with me,
but when I sent him the two first acts he said it was "a beautiful
piece of literary work, but not playable." After the elopement, the
original proposition is closed, and the play really ends there; but
ending there, it is only half long enough. Some day, however, the
difficulty will be conquered, and it will pay for all its previous
failures.

I was busy with Mr. J. C. Freund until the day before Christmas. Then
I began a Scotch story for Clarke called "The Household of McNeil,"
and at the end of the year had finished nearly two chapters; I make
the following entry which says all that is necessary:

_December 31st, 1887._ This last week has been full of work. Mary came
to see me before starting for Florida, and I am very unhappy about
Lilly and Captain Morgan. But I trust for the best. O God, my times
are in Thy Hands, and how glad I am to leave them there! Unto Thee I
look, for "Thy compassions fail not."

The first three months of 1888 were occupied with "The Household of
McNeil," and my regular fugitive newspaper work. Alice still had her
good teacher, and Lilly did not speak about her unfortunate love
affair. I knew she was very unhappy, but she tried to be cheerful, and
to share my pleasures and my anxieties, as she had always done; and I
thought her reticence wise, though I was ready at any moment she
wished to advise or to console her.

My right thumb was almost useless. I held the pencil mostly between
the first and second finger, and the outside of the little finger was
so sensitive, that I wrapped it in cotton wool to prevent it feeling
the movement on the paper. But on my birthday, March twenty-ninth, I
was finishing the fourteenth chapter of "Remember the Alamo" and
enjoying the writing of the book very much indeed. Sometimes General
Houston seemed actually visible to me, and we had some happy hours
together. General Sherman was positive that the men martyred at Goliad
and San Antonio fought with the eight hundred gentlemen, who led by
Houston captured the whole Spanish army, and gave the Empire State of
Texas to the United States. The dead can, and do help the living, and
I believe General Houston helped me to write the truth, and the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth concerning that glorious episode, far
too little valued and understood. If General Houston had been an
Englishman, and had given the English Crown such a magnificent
principality, he would have been ennobled and enriched. This great,
ungrateful nation let him die wanting the comforts, yes, the
necessaries of life. I have said more about this book than I intended,
but I love it and "The Lion's Whelp" better than I can express. Their
characters are living people to me. I have known them, either in this
life, or some other life.

This sense of companionship in many, indeed in most, of my books has
made them easy and delightful to write. Sometimes it has been so vital
that I have found it impossible to shut my study door. It seemed like
shutting them out of my life, and I really loved these invisible,
intangible friends, and often whispered their names, and bid them good
night before going to sleep. To say that I shall never see them, or
speak with them in another life, is an incredible thing. I expect
General Sam Houston, and the great protector of England, Oliver
Cromwell, to praise me, and thank me, for what I have done; and I
shall not be disappointed. As far as General Houston is concerned, I
have already the thanks of the son he loved so devotedly, in the
following letter:

  GALVESTON, TEXAS, Oct. 22, 1888.

  MY DEAR MADAM:

  Returning to this city a short time since, I found awaiting me
  your latest very interesting book, "Remember the Alamo." Please
  accept my thanks, and as well, my assurances of due appreciation
  of the honor conferred.

  The general reader I am sure cannot fail to find the style in
  which the work is written in the highest degree entertaining. To
  one bound by ties of birth and blood to Texan history and
  traditions, it naturally possesses a peculiar interest, an
  interest which throughout does not flag.

  Of the rather numerous productions based on the same theme, few,
  if any, read so much like actual history, and I think I can safely
  say, none show that intimate acquaintance with the peculiar social
  elements which composed the Texas of the days of the Republic,
  manifest in the valued work I now have the honor to acknowledge
  the receipt of.

  While I have derived much pleasure from a perusal of "Remember the
  Alamo," as a production of merit, I could not be insensible to the
  tribute paid my revered father's memory; that the wreath is from
  the hand of woman lends it a grateful perfume.

  I cannot but regret I am denied the honor of the personal
  acquaintance of one, who through her pen has made me so much her
  debtor for enjoyment of the most enduring kind.

  I am, dear madam, with abiding sentiments of esteem,

  Yours sincerely,

  WILLIAM R. HOUSTON.

Often I have believed that my heroine was a real personality, that she
had once lived in the very scenes I depicted. This was particularly
the case with the book "Bernicia." It is many years since I told the
story of that fascinating creature, but she is as real to me today, as
if she had spent the summer with me. Sometimes these phantom heroines
are very masterful. In "Friend Olivia," _Anastasia_ made me throw away
many pages, but I always discovered as the book progressed, that they
did not belong to it.

Until April of this year, I was more or less troubled with Mr. Freund
and the proposed play. I say "troubled" because I felt all the time
that the work I had to do, was useless, that the thing someway was not
right, and I know now, that neither Mr. Freund--clever actor and
manager as he was--nor I, could build a play, any more than we could
build a house.

On April tenth, 1888, we moved into a little cottage on Storm King
Mountain, for the house we were in was sold, and the buyer wished to
occupy it. I remember so well the afternoon I first drove up the
mountain. It was a lovely April day, Nature was making a new world,
and there was no sound of hammer, or axe, or smoke of furnace. Only an
inscrutable, irresistible force at work, a power so mighty, that the
hard trodden sod under our feet was moved aside by a slender
needle-like shaft of grass, or plant, which the faintest breeze could
blow and bend. A miracle! Yes, a miracle before which science is mute.
The birds were singing as if they never would grow old, and the winds
streamed out of the hills as cool as living waters. The grass was
climbing the mountains until it met the snow, and the mountains rose
like battlements, with piny slopes furrowed by one or two steep
paths.

The house I came to see was a mere cottage of five rooms, but it stood
in a pleasant croft, full of fruit trees, mingled with pines and a few
maples. My heart went into the place without opening gate or door, and
I said to myself, "I will buy this little house, and make it a home,
if God wills so; and as for it being small, there is only three of us,
and we can enlarge it, if it is necessary." The view from it was
enchanting--a long stretch of the Hudson River, with mountains and
valleys on every side of it. But I remembered the English dictum about
buying a house, namely, "to summer and winter it first;" so I
refrained the words on my lips, and instead of buying it, I offered to
rent it for a year, promising to buy it then, if I still liked the
place.

Lilly's brows knit ominously, when I told her what I had done. "You
will not like it, Mamma," she said.

"Why not? And you, Lilly, have always loved country solitudes."

"Yes, in books, Mamma. In real life, they are damp and rheumatic, and
most hated by those who live in them, and know them best."

"O Lilly!" I cried, "I do want to go up the mountain so much. I am
sure I can write well and easily there. I know I should be so happy,
and I believe my hands would get strong."

"Then, dearest, we will go at once. So let us talk over what is to be
done."

This was on April, the sixth, and on the tenth we moved into the
mountain cottage. We had barely got our household goods into its
shelter, when there commenced one of the heaviest rain storms I ever
remember, and we ate our first meal, a very good one of broiled
Virginia ham, poached eggs, coffee, and orange marmalade, to its
pattering and rattling on the roof and against the windows.

"Grandmother Barr said, it was the luckiest thing to move in a rain
storm," cried Lilly, with one of her old cheerful laughs; "she did not
know she was prophesying luck for us, but she was, Mamma. I hope she
knew how it was pouring as they carried in the last load."

"Is that a Scotch superstition?" I asked.

"Certainly, Scotch wisdom is the only kind of wisdom Grandmother
quotes, or believes in. She believed also in carrying the house cat
with you. Aunt Jessy once left her cat behind in moving, and left all
her luck to the people who came after her, and they happened to be
people Grandmother didn't like."

And I laughed, and talked about the Cumberland superstitions, sitting
by the kitchen fire in one of the best parlor chairs, while Lilly
deftly broiled the ham and poached the eggs, and Anne Hughes, our
small Irish servant, set the table in her own remarkable way, and
Alice wiped all the dishes after her with a clean napkin. I have eaten
few happier meals than that first one in Cherry Croft, and then we
made up the beds in the dining-room for that night; and I fancied my
bed had never been as soft and comfortable before. With happy wishes
for good dreams, we all slept soundly, and sweetly, until Annie Hughes
woke us with the information, that it was past seven, and a man was at
the door with milk, and a big handful of flowers.

It was Thomas Kirkpatrick, of course. Any one who knew Thomas would
suspect it. He worked for me on and off in some way for twenty years,
and there was always that fine streak in his nature, typified by his
love of flowers. In that twenty years, I had few birthdays that Thomas
Kirkpatrick did not honor with a bunch of wild flowers at the
dawning.

The house had been thoroughly cleaned, and was in good condition, for
it had been built for the well known artist Theyer, who with his wife
had occupied it one or two years; and he had been followed by a New
York family whose name was Appleton, who only lived in it for a short
time, so that it was nearly new, and quite free from all the wraiths
and influences of prior inhabitants.

I shall never feel again in this life as joyous as I felt for the
first few months in this house, though, thank God, I keep my child
heart yet, and I am pleased with little things. My right hand got well
rapidly; my headaches were much better. I slept like a baby; I woke up
singing, a thing I had not done since Robert died. I was so happy in
my little five-roomed cottage. I loved every foot of the pretty croft,
in which it stood, and one morning when its fourteen cherry trees were
all pink and white with blossom, I called it Cherry Croft. And now the
name of Cherry Croft is known all over the English speaking world, and
I not infrequently have letters directed to me "Cherry Croft, New
York, United States of America," and they come direct to me without
question or delay.

On the first of June, Dodd, Mead paid me a thousand dollars for
"Remember the Alamo," but Mr. Mead wished the name changed. It was
published in England under the name of "Woven of Love and Glory" but
Mr. Mead desired it to be called, "Remember the Alamo." I could not
have written it to that name, but the book being finished, it did not
make so much matter. I suppose it sold better under the latter name,
for I was told this year by a famous Texan, that few Texan families
are without a copy of it. "The Alamo" was a phrase full of tragedy to
every Texan, but not so distinctive to other people; it being a
Spanish word given to a number of places.

On this day I received a copy of "Jan Vedder's Wife" in French. I do
not know French, but was frequently told that it was an excellent
translation. It appeared first as a serial in the best of the French
reviews, but I never received a cent for its use, either as a serial
or in book form. Well, I had the pleasure of writing it. That could
not be taken from me.

On the third of June I began a Manx story called "Feet of Clay." The
Isle of Man I have described in an early chapter of my life, and it
was an easy background for me full of romantic possibilities, and
vivid and ready-made romance. This story had a foundation of truth,
and I remember that Mr. Gilder, while praising the literary
workmanship of the tale, objected to the reformation of the hero, who
had an inherited tendency towards forgery. With the tender pity
natural to his rare character, he said that forgery was in his opinion
and observation an unconquerable weakness; that a man who committed
the crime once, would do the same thing again, whenever the temptation
came to him. But I was still a Methodist, and I thought the love of
Christ in the heart sufficient to prevent, as well as to forgive sin.

Besides I have always found myself unable to make evil triumphant.
Truly in real life it is apparently so, but if fiction does not show
us a better life than reality, what is the good of it? _Aufidius_ was
successful in his villainy, but are we not all glad to know that
_Coriolanus_ had time to call him to his face "a measureless liar!" I
confess that I like to reward the virtuous, and punish the guilty, and
make those who would fain be loved, happy.

On the twenty-third of June I went to England on the _Circassia_. I
was a favorite with her captain, and I sat at his right hand; the
Reverend Mr. Meredith and Mrs. Meredith being opposite me. I have had
few pleasanter voyages than this one. Captain Campbell was a good
talker, so was the minister, and he gave us the following Sunday the
best sermon I ever heard on a steamer. This journey was a purely
business one, though after being in Kendal a day, I could not resist
the something that urged me to go on to Glasgow. I intended to remain
there a couple of days, and to do a little shopping, that could be
better and more economically done in Glasgow, than anywhere else. I
thought I was perfectly sure of my incognito, but the next morning my
arrival was in the newspapers, and I had several very early callers,
and many invitations to "go down the water" for the week end. One of
these invitations was in the shape of an exceedingly friendly letter
from Dr. Donald McLeod, at that time editing _Good Words Magazine_. I
had one from the McIntosh family by the same mail, and my heart went
out to the McIntoshes, though I had the highest respect for Dr.
McLeod, and knew that a Sabbath spent with him would be a wonderful
one in many respects. Yet there was in me a perverse spirit that
morning. I did not want to go anywhere. I did not want to dress, and
to take my food and sleep and pleasure, as other people gave it to me.
I wrote the proper apologies, and slipped back to Bradford that
afternoon. The following night I went to an intense Methodist service,
and heard a thousand Yorkshire men and women sing "There is a Land of
pure delight," and "Lo, He comes with clouds descending!" as I shall
never again hear them in this life. In fact I was singing myself as
heartily as any one, and if I did not quite agree with the sermon, I
felt sure it was the only kind of sermon likely to influence the
wonderfully vitalized flesh and blood by which I was surrounded. There
were no hesitations in it, no doubts, or even suppositions; it was an
emphatic positive declaration, that if they did right they would go to
heaven, and a still more emphatic one that if they did wrong they
would go to hell. And he had no doubts about the hell. He saw it
spiritually, and described it in black and lurid terms, that made
women sob, and the biggest men present have "a concern for their
souls."

I would not have missed that service for any company on earth. I know
Dr. McLeod would have talked like the Apostle John, and there would
have been a still peaceful Scotch Sabbath full of spiritual good
things; but I felt all alive, soul and body, from head to foot, in
that Methodist Chapel; so much so that I put a larger coin in the
collection box than I could well afford, and never once regretted
doing it. I would go to church every Sunday gladly, if I could hear a
minister talk in such dead earnest, and be moved by a spiritual
influence so vitally miraculous. The very building felt as if it was
on fire, and for an hour at least, everybody in it _knew they had a
soul_. They felt it longing and pleading for that enlargement, only
the Love and Actual Presence of God could give it. I do not believe I
should hear the same kind of a sermon in that chapel today. There is
doubtless an organ and a choir now, and the preacher will have been to
a Theological Institute, and perhaps be not only "Reverend" but have
some mystic letters after his name, and the congregation will be more
polished, and the precepts of gentility will now be a religious
obligation. And I am afraid it is not genteel now, to be anxious about
your soul--especially in public. But I thank God that I spent that
Sunday in Yorkshire instead of Scotland; for spiritually I have never
forgotten it, and physically, it was an actual influx of life from the
source of life. I was twenty years younger. And I believe that if it
were possible for men and women to live constantly so close to the
spirit in which they live, move, and have their being, they might live
forever.

The next day I went to Shipley Glen, to see Ben Preston, a poor man
yet, but a fine writer both in prose and verse, especially in his
native dialect. He had not much education, but there was a vigorous
native growth of intelligence. I spoke to him of the sermon I had
heard the previous night, and he answered, "Ay, you'll hear the truth
in a Methodist Chapel--here and there--even yet; but a Yorkshire man
nowadays reads his newspaper, instead of his Testament, so when a man
comes out with ideas gathered from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he's
sure to be considered an original writer, whose crazy notions would
turn the world upside down." There was a man from a Bradford newspaper
sitting with him, and he spoke of Dilke and Chamberlain, and Preston
answered, "They may be able to do something for us, but the biggest
reforms of all will have to begin and be carried out by wersens."

The press man spoke of some local grandee whom he called "a self-made
man" and Preston answered slowly, as he whittled a bit of stick,

"I admire self-made men, if I'm sure they're owt like 'John Halifax,
Gentleman;' but lots o' them owe their elevation, not to their
talents, but to a dead conscience and a kest-iron heart. Of such men,
if they're rich enough, the world is ready to say 'they hev risen from
the ranks.' It 'ud be nearer t' truth to say, 'they hev fallen from
the ranks.' Yes, sir, fallen from t' ranks of honest, hard-working
men, and taen to warse ways."

Of a certain marriage that he was told of, he said it was "a staid,
sowber, weel-considered affair, a marriage wi' all t' advantages of a
good bargain." I was much struck with his ready wit, his good sense,
and his clever way of putting any remark he made. He was greatly and
deservedly loved and respected, but his best work had a local flavor,
which I dare say narrowed both his fame, and his income.

On the twenty-second of July I was still in Bradford, for I went to
lunch with Mrs. Byles. She was a woman, whom if you once saw, you
could never forget. Her husband was the clever editor of the _Bradford
Observer_ and I think she had been made purposely for him--brains to
her finger tips, full of vivid life, a brilliant talker, a perfect
hostess, not beautiful but remarkably fascinating--so fascinating that
you thought her beautiful. I never saw her but on that one occasion,
but she made on me such an impression that if I met her on Broadway
today, I should have no hesitation in saying, "I am glad to see you,
Mrs. Byles." At this luncheon, I met also the daughter-in-law of Sir
Titus Salt, the discoverer and first maker of alpaca.

On the twenty-fifth of July, I sailed from Liverpool, on the _City of
Rome_, and on the second of August landed at New York. I love England
with all my soul, but when I saw the Stars and Stripes flying off
Sandy Hook, my eyes filled with happy, grateful tears, for "East or
West, Home is Best;" and the land where your home is built, is another
native land.

Mary met me at the pier, went out to Cornwall with me, and remained
with us until the eleventh of September, when she left for Florida.
The rest of the month I was busy on "Feet of Clay" which I finished on
the tenth of October. Then I had my apples gathered, got in some large
stoves, put up heavy curtains, and prepared the house for winter. On
the twenty-seventh, I had a letter from General Sam Houston's son, in
praise of what I had done for his father's memory, and on the
twenty-eighth of October I began making notes for my story of
Quakerism called "Friend Olivia." I was at the Astor Library every day
until the twenty-fifth of November when I felt my way clear enough to
begin "Friend Olivia." It was a bright lovely Sabbath, and I had a
pious enthusiasm about the work, for my mother's family were among the
earliest of George Fox's converts, and had suffered many things for
the faith that was in them. I worked slowly at first, and did not
finish my first chapter until the twelfth of December, nor my second
until Christmas Day, when I copied it. After this I became aware of
the character I called _Anastasia_, and every thing relating to her
came easily enough, and I had a fancy she was not a bit sorry for her
dislike of _Olivia_ and her efforts to injure her. But the year closed
with me happily at work on "Olivia," and seeing my way clearly from
the beginning to the end.

The first three months of 1889 I was nearly broken-hearted about
Lilly's affairs. I was writing "Friend Olivia" and found my only
relief in losing myself in it. Yet I had some pleasant events in my
work. Oscar Fay Adams wrote a fine criticism of my books in the
_Andover Review_. Mr. Clark sent me seven hundred six dollars for
"Feet of Clay." I wrote special articles for the _Book News_ and the
_Youth's Companion_ and the latter offered me five hundred dollars for
a story of one hundred pages. Their pages were large, and I could not
afford to accept their terms, which were burdened also with several
limitations and forbidden topics. It was very unlikely that I should
ever have touched these topics, unless forbidden to do so. That
temptation might have made me wish to show the censors how innocently,
and indeed profitably, they might be touched.

On my fifty-eighth birthday, I had finished thirteen chapters of
"Friend Olivia," but I received on April, the first, a letter from the
_North American Review_, asking me for an article, and I left my novel
to write it. While I was thus engaged, I was requested by a minister
with whom I had crossed the Atlantic once, to write for him on a
certain subject, which I have not noted, and am not quite certain
about. It was the request that astonished, and also pleased me, for I
feared that my plain criticism on a certain occasion had deeply
offended him. It happened that we had walked and talked together at
intervals during the week, and that on the following Sabbath morning
he preached in the saloon, and I was present. Leaning over the
taffrail, that evening he came to me and asked how I liked his
sermon?

"The sermon was a good sermon," I said, "but spoiled in the
delivery."

"Why! How? What do you mean, Mrs. Barr?" he asked.

"Your sermon," I answered, "was a series of solemn declarations and
avowals of faith and belief, and after stating each with remarkable
clearness, you invariably concluded with this reflection, 'It seems to
me that no logically sane mind can refuse this truth.'"

"Well," he said, "that was right."

"No," I answered, "it was wrong. Those four words, '_it seems to me_,'
destroyed the whole effect of your argument. You left us at liberty to
dispute it, and debate it. What seemed to you true, might not seem so
to any one else, if they began to look for reasons."

"What would you have said, if in my place?"

"If I believed, as you do, I would have said, 'Friends, I have told
you the truth. There is no other truth on this subject. If you believe
it, and live up to it, you will be saved. If you do not believe it,
and live up to it, there is no salvation for you.'"

"A minister can but give his opinion."

"He ought to give God's opinion, that is what he stands up to do, and
there is no 'seems to me' in that. Excuse me," I said, "I am a
daughter of Levi, and have been used to talking as I feel to ministers
all my life. I meant no harm. I was only sorry you took all the salt
and strength out of a really good sermon."

"I thank you!" he said, but he was quiet afterwards, and I soon went
away, fearing I had everlastingly offended him. But here was the
kindest of letters, with a request that I would write him a short
article for a paper in which he was interested. I did so cheerfully,
but I put my price on it; for I had discovered by this time, that
newspapers value articles according to what they have to pay for
them.

I may mention that among the trials of this spring, my big English
mastiff was so ill, that we had to send him away for treatment. It was
almost like sending one of the family away. He was a noble, loving
creature with far more intelligence than is credible.

On the twenty-second of May, I finished all the creative work on
"Friend Olivia," and on the twenty-fourth, having gone carefully over
it, I took it to Dodd, Mead and Company, and they sent it to the
Century Company, thinking it might suit Mr. Gilder for a serial. Until
the third of June I rested, for my eyes and right hand were weary and
aching, then I wrote an article for the _Book News_ for which I
received thirty dollars. Until the second of July, I wrote articles
for the _Advance_, _North American Review_, et cetera, and copied some
short stories for the Kendal Syndicate, and the _Christian World_. On
the second of July, I began a story of the Cheviot Hills but on the
ninth received a letter from Dodd, Mead saying Mr. Gilder liked
"Friend Olivia" very much, and wished to see me. The following day I
went to see Mr. Gilder, and agreed to rewrite the story suitably for a
serial for three thousand dollars; and from this time forward until
the sixteenth of September, I was going over "Friend Olivia," and
while arranging it suitably for a serial, was also trying how much
richer and better I could make it.

I was abundantly repaid by the following letter from Mr. Gilder, under
date of September, 1889.

  EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT,
  THE CENTURY MAGAZINE.

  MY DEAR MRS. BARR:

  I have finished the story. It closes like music, beautifully.
  There might be some points that I could wish different, but I do
  not press them, the whole story is so charming.

In this revisal of "Friend Olivia," I followed in all matters Mr.
Gilder's advice and suggestions, and so learned much of the best
technicalities of fiction. I could not have had a finer teacher. I
could not have had a more kind, just and generous one. He rejoiced in
good work, and gave it unstinted praise, no matter who was its author.
To a soul who had been hardly used by the world in general, it was a
kind of salvation to meet such a man.

I owed a great deal of my success with the _Century_, to Mrs. Grover
Cleveland's praise of "Friend Olivia." She read the story in
manuscript, and spoke so highly of it to Mr. Gilder, that he was
induced by her report to read it himself. So one of the first printed
copies of the novel was sent to Mrs. Cleveland, who wrote me the
following note:

  December 2nd.

  DEAR MRS. BARR:

  Pray do not think that my long delay in replying to your note
  indicates any lack of appreciation of its kind words, or your
  thoughtfulness in sending me "Friend Olivia." I feel a peculiar
  attachment to the book, because I knew the story when it was so
  very young. I liked it, and surely need not tell you that your
  sending it to me yourself, gives me very great pleasure.

  I have been away from home ever since your letter came to me, or I
  should have told you this before.

  Pray do not over estimate the effect my interest in "Friend
  Olivia" has had. The story itself brought you, as you say, "the
  recognition and success you had patiently worked and waited for
  during twenty years," and as I say, which you richly deserved.

  May I assure you that I never forget my young friend who loves my
  picture, and that her mother is often in my thoughts.

  Very sincerely,

  FRANCES F. CLEVELAND.

I will only give the letter received from Moses Coit Tyler, regarding
"Friend Olivia." Others of interest will be found in the Appendix if
any desire to read them.

  CORNELL UNIVERSITY,
    ITHACA, NEW YORK.
      Feb. 21, 1891.

  MY DEAR MRS. BARR:

  I was much touched by your kind remembrance of me in causing your
  novel, "Friend Olivia," to be sent to me; and as my days here are
  heavily burdened with work, and my reading is almost exclusively
  on certain professional lines, it was only lately that I have had
  the opportunity of reading the book as I wanted to do it. We read
  it aloud in the family evenings, as the leisure came to me, my
  wife, my daughter, and myself. We were charmed and held from the
  beginning, but it was not till we had gone through perhaps the
  first seventy-five pages, that the story grasped us with
  enthralling power. After that, it was a nightly trial to us all,
  that I had to cut short the reading, when we were all so absorbed
  in the story, and the development of the characters; and I want to
  give you my thanks for the great pleasure, nay for the good cheer,
  the strong spiritual refreshment and stimulation which the book
  gave us. I could say much of the power with which the several
  characters are delineated, of the vivid truth, of the historic
  elements of the story, and of the masterly handling of the plot.
  Better than any satisfaction in mere literary success, must be the
  privilege of portraying, in a fascinating form like that, the
  beauty, the mighty helpfulness, the calming and sweet power of
  faith in God, and in the spiritual life. That book of yours will
  go on helping and cheering people, long after you have passed from
  this world. If all your literary labors had resulted only in that
  piece of work, your life would have been lived not in vain.

  The reading of this book has given me a new desire to meet you
  again, and to talk over persons and things with you, and perhaps
  some day when I have a few hours or days in New York, I may be
  able to find you with half-an-hour to spare for a chat.

  With deep gratitude for your book, and a thousand good wishes for
  the continuance of your literary successes, I remain

  Faithfully yours,

  MOSES COIT TYLER.

For nearly a month after finishing my second copy of "Friend
Olivia" I was too tired to do much. Mr. Mead had urged on me the
Arcadian background and I saw at once its possibilities, if I might
make it historically true. But this would be in direct opposition to
what Longfellow and others had done. However as I had the fiction
in my own control, I thought it would be possible to make the
background, and general atmosphere inoffensive. I made great
preparations for this work. I was in New York at the library most
of October, and was in communication with the Officer's Club at
Halifax who sent me a great deal of material, also with a Miss
Caldwell of Louisiana, whose home was on the great Bayou, where the
Arcadians settled after leaving Canada; and she sent me the true
history of Longfellow's "Evangeline," and much interesting material
as to the country, and the descendants of the Arcadians. But not
all the work I did, nor yet all the help I received, could create in
me the slightest enthusiasm about the story. The people disgusted
me. They were so double-tongued and false-hearted, I could have
turned their bigotry into intense faith, as I had often done with
Calvinism; but their cowardice and unreliability I could not handle,
unless I was to show it rightfully punished. And to tell the last
truth, I did not see anything romantic in a girl, traipsing the
length of the United States seeking her lover. If I could have shown
the lover in all sorts of adventures seeking _Evangeline_, that would
have been all right; but the fact was he had speedily married, and was
comfortably bringing up a family in the Teche country. I could not
bear to think of making a beautiful and innocent girl die for so
unworthy a lover, and I did not really pity the woman who could and
did deliberately die for him. Her grave at the Poste des Attakapas
could not impress me. She ought to have thrown off her false unworthy
lover, and if she could love no good man, she could at least have
lived to comfort and help the old woman, who had taken her when a
friendless babe, and cherished her as her own daughter.

As late as the sixteenth of November, I note being in New York at the
library getting the proper patois for Arcadia, and add with an
emphasis of under-crossing, "I hate the story." Until the eleventh of
January, 1890, I was writing an article on divorce for the _North
American Review_, in favor of it under proper conditions. Bishop
Potter wrote the one on the absolute inviolability of the marriage
tie. I think they were in the same number but have forgotten surely. I
wrote also many other articles suitable for Christmas and New Year's.
During December, Clark paid me two hundred pounds for "Friend Olivia,"
and seventy-five pounds for the book rights of "The Last of the
McAllisters." I also wrote a short story for the McClure Syndicate,
being busy on it from the twenty-second to the twenty-eighth of
December. I liked to write for McClure's Syndicate; he always both
paid, and praised me well. I can say the same of the Bacheller
Syndicate, and though I never see either Mr. McClure, or Irving
Bacheller now, I remember them both with the utmost kindness.

On the eleventh of January, 1890, I notice that I threw all the
Arcadia matter into a drawer in my study, where it would be out of
sight and memory, adding, "I can't _feel_ that story, so I can't, and
won't write it!" This neglected, despised Arcadian matter is still
occupying the drawer, and I have not looked at it since I put it away,
until this morning, when I took from the pile "the true story of
_Evangeline_," to be sure of the name of the country, to which the
Arcadians went after leaving Canada. It was on the Teche Bayou they
settled, and _Evangeline's_ real name was Emmeline Labiche, and her
body rests, as I have already said, at the Poste des Attakapas.
Probably the Poste is now a town or city, though the Arcadians were by
no means an energetic or progressive people.

As soon as I put the Arcadian matter in that drawer, I began a New
York story called "She Loved a Sailor." It contained a vivid picture
of New York city life in General Jackson's time, and is probably the
last of the New York series of tales. I have had fewer letters about
it, than I usually have about a New York novel, and I wondered at
that, because it is within the memories and traditions of many living
families. So I have taken it for granted that its localities and data
are correct, for if I had made an error some one would have told me of
it.

While I was writing this book, on the eleventh of February, Mr. and
Mrs. Van Siclen gave me a "Bow of Orange Ribbon" dinner at the
Lawyer's Club. It was a very fine affair, and I kept its artistic
menu and bow of ribbon for many years. The guests were mostly
Dutch, but I had the great honor and pleasure of having Henry Van
Dyke at my right hand. Two things I remember about this dinner. I
tasted crabs à la Newburgh for the first time; and then while I was
as happy as I could be talking to Dr. Van Dyke, Mr. Van Siclen
shocked me by asserting, "Mrs. Barr will now make us a little
speech, and tell us how she came to write 'The Bow of Orange
Ribbon.'" I do not believe I had ever heard of a woman speaking at a
dinner table before. I had an idea it was absolutely a man's
function. It would then have been as easy to imagine myself doing
my athletics in public, as making a speech at a dinner table. I
turned to Dr. Van Dyke in a kind of stupefaction, and said only
one word "_Please!_" and he understood, and rose immediately, and
made a speech for me that charmed and delighted every one present.
Indeed I am inclined to think it was the best speech he ever made.
It was so spontaneous that it was not Henry Van Dyke's speech, it was
Henry Van Dyke his very self.

After I had finished "She Loved a Sailor" I took Alice and went to
England, leaving in the _Bothenia_ July the second, and returning
about September in the _Aurania_. And after I had finished my
business, I gave myself entirely to Alice. She learns best through her
eyes, and I took her to everything I thought would interest her. We
were fortunate enough to hear Handel's fine oratorio of "Samson" at
the Crystal Palace, with a thousand male and female voices in the
chorus; and Sims Reeves in the solos. Ada Rehan was playing "As You
Like It" and she went three times to see her, before she was tired.
But I think the service at St. Paul's Cathedral pleased her most of
all. Dr. Vaughan preached from "There remaineth a rest," an eloquent
sermon, and the music was heavenly. She was curiously pleased also
with the little rush chairs, she thought it seemed "more like sitting
with God, than if you were shut up in a pew." We had a happy happy
time. It is the only holiday I have had since Robert died. I gave it
to Alice, and she gave it back to me a hundred-fold. It seems like a
dream of heaven to remember it.



CHAPTER XXIV

BUSY, HAPPY DAYS

  "Days of happy work amid the silence of the everlasting hills,
  days like drops that fall from the honeycomb."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Slow, sweet busy hours that brought me all things good."


After my return we had to consider the winter. During the previous
winter we had suffered much from the severe cold, it being impossible
to warm the house, when the thermometer sank to twenty, or to even
thirty below zero. After some efforts to find suitable winter quarters
in the neighborhood we closed the house, and went for a week or two to
the Fifth Avenue Hotel. I had a business contract pending with Mr.
Edwin Bonner, and we knew that a suitable house somewhere near New
York would be the best for me. There was one great trouble connected
with this arrangement: we had to send our English mastiff to the
kennels, and Sultan was really a very much beloved member of the
family. He had been given to me by my friend Dr. Bermingham when we
first went up the mountain. "It is a lonely place," said the good
doctor, "and you ladies will need a protector." He was sent from the
kennels with a pedigree as long as an English duke's, and he was
positively described as a Saint Bernard. I knew he was an English
mastiff of pure breed, as soon as I saw him, and I loved him all the
better for it.

Everyone's dog does wonderfully, but Sultan excelled them all. He
could nearly speak, and in the last agonies of death, he did really
call "Lilly" as plainly as I could have done. He came to every meal
with us, and had his plate and napkin laid next to Lilly, for between
Lilly and himself there was the strongest affection. He permitted no
other dog on the place, but he talked to all the dogs from far and
near through the gate, and they brought him all the news of the
mountain. Sometimes he brought it to us, and we always listened and
answered, "Is that possible, Sultan?" and he would give a little bark
of assent, and lie down to consider it. He liked me to be prettily
dressed, and always showed his satisfaction in some unmistakable way.
He was most polite to company, met them at the gate, and conducted
them to the parlor, invariably lying down at the feet of the prettiest
and best dressed person in the company. If I was in England he watched
for the mail with Lilly, and listened attentively while she read my
letter to him. When she came to the words, "Mamma and Alice send their
love to Sultan," he always answered the message with a little bark of
pleasure. Oh, indeed, I could tell still more wonderful things of this
affectionate creature, but they would raise a doubt. No one could
believe them, unless they had lived with the splendid fellow, and
known him as we did. So it was hard to part with him, even for a week
or two, but he was large as a mastiff of pure blood can be, and the
proprietors of the Fifth Avenue Hotel would not hear of him as a
guest.

We went to the hotel on October, the seventeenth, and between that
date and the twenty-seventh I made a contract with Mr. Bonner for four
serials. I was to deliver two each year, and he was to pay me
twenty-five hundred dollars for each, in all, ten thousand dollars. In
the meantime Lilly had found a house in East Orange, which was
thoroughly warmed, and we moved into it on October the twenty-fifth,
and brought Sultan home with us.

We were soon comfortably settled, and on the first of January I had
finished the ninth chapter of my first serial for Mr. Edwin Bonner,
called "A Sister to Esau." On the eighth of February it was finished.
But the press of business, and the proposals of various publishers,
seems to have really made me very unhappy. In a note on the
twenty-third of February, when I had had a great deal of business to
attend to, I wrote at night, "I am sad and weary with the day, and
feel terribly unfit for the considerations I have to face. I have a
sense of being politely bullied, and of having suffered a loss of
some kind--spiritual, mental or financial--perhaps something in all
respects."

I was much interrupted by callers in East Orange, a great many of whom
brought manuscripts, which they were sure I would like to read, and
could easily place for them. I had a heartache for the peace and
solitude of the little cottage on the mountain. Now the dream of every
English man and woman is a home of their own, and I saw this to be a
possibility now; and I could think of no place but Cherry Croft. I
wanted it for my own. Then I could put in a proper furnace and make it
habitable all the year round.

I had finished Mr. Bonner's serial on the eighth of February; on the
fifteenth of February, I began for _Lippincott's_ "A Rose of A Hundred
Leaves." Its heroine, _Aspatria_, was one of my favorites. She dwelt
among the Fells in one of those large, comfortable farm or manor
houses, occupied for centuries by the Sheep Lords of the North
Country. I always knew what she was going to do. Sometimes I have
wondered, if Amelia had once been _Aspatria_. Her brothers seemed so
near and real to me, and she lived in just such a home, as I have had
glimpses of, whenever the Past comes back to me. I finished the book
on the fifteenth of March, and Mr. Mead praised the story, which
pleased me, because it was the first time he had ever expressed
satisfaction with my work.

On the twentieth I went to Cornwall, and bought Cherry Croft, paying
for it six thousand dollars in cash. Some told me I had paid too much,
others too little, but I was satisfied. The house was not worth much,
but there was nearly four acres of land full of fruit and forest
trees. And there were the mountains, and the river, and the wide
valley view, and that general peace and quiet, that has in it a kind
of sacramental efficacy.

[Illustration: "CHERRY CROFT," CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON]

I had at this time a great deal of trouble with English houses
printing my work, without either payment or permission, and a
laughable but provoking incident occurred with the proof-reading of "A
Sister to Esau." In this story, my chief character is a Scotch
gentleman, of the most perfervid Calvinism, and the period of the
story was the glorious ecclesiastical "departure" of the Free Kirk.
Now Mr. Bonner's proofreader happened to be a strict, strait
Methodist, and he altered all the Calvinism to Methodism, which was
sheer nonsense in the mouth of a Scotch Chief, and a seceding Free
Kirker. However as soon as I explained the circumstances to Mr. Bonner
he had the text restored as written, with many apologies for his
Methodist proofreader's conscience.

The whole summer was spent in writing Mr. Bonner's second serial,
"Love for an Hour Is Love Forever;" and in attending to the
alterations going on in my home. Every room that was papered and
painted afresh, was a new pleasure; and I had a fine garden, and
began to plant vines, and to make an asparagus bed. Also, I made
preparations for the winter's comfort by putting in a hot water
furnace, and then I began a novelette called "Femmetia's Experience"
for Mr. Bonner. It was a reincarnation story, and had a large sale,
though at the time, the doctrine was but looming up on my spiritual
horizon. The main facts of this story had been told me by an old
lady when I lived in Boroughbridge, and was only twelve years old. Dr.
Deems came to see us just as I had finished the story, and I spoke
of its tendency and he said he had a strong leaning to the old
heresy, that it had never died out of the heart and imaginations of
men, and was steadily gaining a new growth.

I ought to have had a very happy summer, for I had my own home, good
health, and all the work that I could do; but how often below this
calm idyllic surface of life, there is some fateful, domestic
sorrow! It is likely met with the heroism and devoted affection of the
old Greek tragedy, but there it is! and it has to be borne as best
it may. I found in love and work the strength and consolation, the
heavy-hearted of the Greek world never knew. It brings tears to my
eyes yet, to read the short, pitiful entries of that cruel November.
Yet I finished "Femmetia's Experience" and wrote also a novelette for
Bonner called "The Mate of the Easter Bell," and other short
articles. For in mental grief, mental work is a great salvation. I
worked hard, though I was often compelled to lay down my pencil to
seek the strength and comfort found only by "fleeing to the Rock that
is higher than I." At the last, all was well. The gay handsome Captain
M---- passed out of our lives, and Lilly bore the breaking of the
tie better than I expected.

I must not forget that in the midst of this trouble one of the dearest
friends I still possess came into my life. It was Rutger Bleecker
Jewett, the son of the learned Professor Jewett, of the General
Theological Seminary. Through the December cold and deep snow, he
climbed Storm King, one afternoon, and stepped into the light and
warmth of Cherry Croft, like an incarnation of splendid youth and
hope. He brought his welcome with him. With open hearts, and both
hands we all met him, and he was free of my home from that hour. His
father and mother were my friends, but I had never met Rutger before.
Yet in a recent letter he writes, "I have always felt that we were old
friends from the first--never strangers. It was as though we had met
again, after an absence, not as though we were meeting for the first
time. I also cherish vivid memories of you later in our old graystone
house in Chelsea Square. The old house with its deep windows, big
old-fashioned rooms, and vine-covered walls, has been replaced by a
modern building, no more comfortable, and nowhere so picturesque as
the house we knew. It is more than twenty years since I first came to
Cherry Croft--twenty years of unbroken trust and friendship--a very
rich possession to me."

And to me also. As opportunity offered, I have often sought his advice
or help, and he has never failed me.

On January tenth I began "A Singer from the Sea," Mr. Bonner's third
serial. On the twenty-second I was at the Astor Library all day, and
at Rossiter Johnson's at a reception in the evening; Mr. Jewett went
with me. On the twenty-third Mr. McClure and Mr. Ballistier took lunch
with me at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, and Mr. McClure would have been
very generous to me for some stories, but my engagement with Mr.
Bonner prevented any business. I was at Mrs. Dodge's in the afternoon,
and among the numerous visitors picked out Edith Thomas at once. I
took dinner at Dr. Jewett's and watched with delight Mrs. Jewett
dancing with her sons and daughters.

On March fifteenth I finished "A Singer from the Sea" and then began
"Michael and Theodora" for Mrs. Dodge, which I did not finish until
June; and in July I began "Girls of a Feather," Mr. Bonner's last
serial, which I finished in October. I was busy all summer in having a
fence put round Cherry Croft, and a hedge planted within the fence.
During October I wrote an article for the _North American Review_
called "Flirting Wives;" I had my little green house filled with bulbs
and flowers, and planted with my own hands, and many tender memories,
some laburnum trees. They were my mother's favorite, and I can see
them dropping golden flowers all around our pretty garden in the Isle
of Man.

On November sixth I began the "Flower of Gala Water" which Bonner
published after its serialization in the new _Godey's Magazine_, and
on the eleventh we were honored and delighted with a visit from Dr.
William Hayes Ward, who spent the week end with us. A little event of
this visit remains like a picture on my memory. There was some
question about a text in the Epistles, and Dr. Ward took from his vest
pocket a small Testament. He said he had carried it there for many
years. "Then it is not a revised Testament?" I asked. And he looked at
the little book affectionately, and answered, "No." Yet the doctor had
been on the committee of revision. But I understood. For me there is
no version but the King James Version, and nothing could make me give
it up. I have only one copy of the revised edition, and that Dr.
Talmage inscribed to me with such extravagant encomiums, that I leave
it lying on my parlor table, as a kind of certificate of moral
health.

During 1892 I had written "The Singer from the Sea" and "Girls of a
Feather," "The Flower of Gala Water" and "The Preacher's Daughter,"
"Michael and Theodora" and several articles. My eyes were very tired,
and I did not do so much during January, 1893. On the twenty-third, I
began an article for Mr. Bok called "Why Literary Women Do Not Marry"
and on the twenty-ninth, I began my novel called "Prisoners of
Conscience." It was then a short story, and was published in the
_Century Magazine_, but was later enlarged to book size, and published
by the Century Company. During the month I also wrote another article
for Mr. Bok called "Women's Weapons."

In March, I wrote "The Lone House." A study of this story had appeared
in the _Christian Union_. It was a good book, but Rutger told me the
young people said it was "too religious," and they wished I would go
back to my love stories. So I began "Bernicia," a love story among
people of the first condition. But on my sixty-fourth birthday I
became very ill with ulcerated sore throat, and on the fourth of April
was in such a dangerous condition, that I sent for a New York
specialist. I came near to death, but recovered slowly, and on June
sixth I took Alice and went to England.

It was not until the beginning of 1895, that I was able to take up
"Bernicia," but during the same interval, I had written a story and
several articles for the Bacheller Syndicate. From the eighteenth to
the twenty-first of January I was in New York paying a visit to Mrs.
Goldschmidt. The first afternoon we went together to a large studio
reception. There were all sorts of professional people there, but I
remember no one but Mrs. Frank Leslie. She was then Mrs. Wilde, I
believe. The next day Mrs. Goldschmidt gave a dinner, and I sat next
to General Collis, but liked Mr. John Wise and his beautiful wife best
of all. I believe they were Virginians. The day following there was a
crowded reception, and a supper party, and I sat next to Moncure
Conway and Mrs. Frank Leslie. For the next night there was a theatre
party, and a supper at the Waldorf. More weary than if I had written a
book, I went home in the morning. I was grateful for the kindness
shown me but very sorry indeed for the people who called it "life" and
lived it.

On my sixty-fifth birthday I was still on "Bernicia," but I had been
very sick, and had a great deal of trouble of a heartaching quality,
but though I complain a little to my diary, I add, "Truly I am old and
weary, but with Thy help, O God, I am young, and strong, and ready to
mount up as on eagles' wings. Thy loving kindness faileth not!"

I finished "Bernicia" on the twentieth of April, and found a couplet
from the Sufi poets, which pleased me so much, I will copy it here:

  "The Writer of our Destiny is a fair writer;
  Never wrote He that which would wrong us."

I was very ill with nervous dyspepsia during June, but on July second
accepted the proposal of the _New York Herald_, to run for one of the
three judges of the ten thousand dollars prize offered by that paper
for the best novel submitted to it. My vote was so large, that it was
at this time the _Herald_ said I must be "the best beloved woman in
the country." Mr. George Parsons Lathrop and Mr. Hazeltine were my
colleagues.

After this I wrote "The Knight of the Nets" for the _Herald_.
"Discontented Women" for the _North American Review_--for which
article Mr. Rideing the editor wrote me a letter of thanks, a story
for the _Home Queen_, and other small items.

On the twenty-sixth of September Lilly married Mr. Edward A. Munro, a
Canadian whose business was in Brooklyn. It was an overwhelming trial
to me, for Lilly had been my right hand in all affairs since her
father's death. It is true that ten words by telegraph never yet
failed to bring her to my side by the next possible train, but the
house was empty and forlorn without her; and both Alice and I were
desolate. However life is a constant learning "to do without" until
that wonderful, "never-coming-back," we call death, restores to us all
that we have lost.

On December twenty-second, our dear Sultan died. We buried him in
Cherry Croft, and were all heart-broken. Alas!

  "There's sorrow enough in the natural way,
  From men and women to fill our day:
  But when we are certain of sorrow in store,
  Why do we always arrange for more?
  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware,
  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear."--KIPLING.

January twelfth, 1896, Mrs. Goldschmidt had opened her house in
Cornwall and Mr. Wilcox, and Ella Wheeler Wilcox, the artist Arter and
Mrs. Arter and others were staying there. I took dinner with them,
and that evening made up my mind that large parties were a mistake. A
man's family is never too many, because perfect freedom and unanimity
of interest make them one. But with strangers there should be no more
guests than the host can personally entertain. The Ettrick Shepherd's
"Rule of Three" is a good one, both as regards the guests and the
courses. Every one has been to crowded and extravagant dinners, where
they played the hypocrite for three or four hours, and said a fervent
"Thank God!" when it was over.

Two days after this dinner I was in New York to attend Edward Bok's
reception--I think at the Waldorf Astoria. I should call it a mob, and
not a reception. I had with me Dr. Lysander Dickerman, but even his
splendid physical bulk, could not make a way for me through the crowd.
The next day he came to Cornwall with me, and with Dr. and Mrs. Stone,
who called to see him, we had a delightful evening. I wish I had space
to say more of Dr. Dickerman, but there must be many living yet who
remember his piety, his vast stores of learning, his attractive
personality and fine conversational powers. The next morning Mr. Paul,
a London editor, came in and brought me his last book.

On the twenty-seventh of this January, 1896, I made an arrangement
with Mr. Dodd to enlarge "The Knight of the Nets" for a book, for
which they agreed to pay eight hundred dollars on January, 1897. Then
I went out to spend the weekend with Irving Bacheller at his home in
Port Chester. He had a beautiful place there, and a lovely wife, and I
enjoyed my holiday very much. Mr. Bacheller was a good performer on
the organ, which astonished me, and yet it need not have done so, for
men seem to play with little or no effort. He was a fine driver also,
and I saw the villages of Greenwich and Belle Haven. Professor Gaines
dined one evening with us, and my visit to Mr. and Mrs. Bacheller is
full of pleasant memories.

I returned to New York on Monday morning, Mr. Bacheller coming with
me. I intended spending the day in the Astor Library, but when we
reached Astor Place, Mr. Bacheller said suddenly, "I am going to see
Louis Klopsch, and I want you to go with me."

"Who is Louis Klopsch?" I asked.

"The proprietor of the _Christian Herald_."

"Oh!" I replied. "Do you think he will care to see me?"

"He will be glad to see you, and I dare promise, that you will be the
better for seeing him."

So I went to see Louis Klopsch, and it was one of the happiest and the
most profitable things I ever did. We found him in his private office,
and the room was in itself remarkable. It had an ornate, Eastern look;
the windows were shaded with tinted glass, and there was an oil
painting of "The Descent from the Cross" covering a large space of the
western wall, while other Biblical pictures and models were everywhere
to be seen; giving it the Oriental look of which I have spoken. And I
had never seen such handsome furniture and appointments in any
editor's or even publisher's office. I thought of the rather large
closets, with their plain wooden chairs and simple desks, in which
Harper's editors sat; of the slips in which George Merriam, and Moses
Coit Tyler wrote and read; the poverty of all the editorial offices I
had ever seen flashed across my memory, as I sat amid the color,
beauty and luxury of the office of the _Christian Herald_.

Dr. Klopsch rose as we entered, and with smiles came to meet us. Mr.
Bacheller hastened away, I stayed nearly two hours, and they went like
ten minutes. At the end of our interview, I was astonished at my first
estimate of his countenance. I had then thought it remarkable, but not
handsome; but I soon understood that it was the only face, that could
have expressed his complex inner man, as well as properly manifest his
slight, graceful personality. He had charming manners, and walked with
a kind of alert grace. I have been particular about Dr. Klopsch's
appearance, for I came to know him well, both in a business and a
social way, and I suspect he could appear very different, to people
with whom he was not in sympathy.

I went home on the first of February, and found so many letters I
could do nothing on the second but answer them. Among the writers
were Mrs. Libbey, and Mr. Rideing; the latter sent me a check for
seventy-five dollars in payment for "Discontented Women." On the
eleventh, I went to Princeton, and remained with the Libbeys until the
fourteenth, when I returned to New York, and dined with the Rideings.
I liked to go to the Rideings; there was always such a sweet, old
English air and influence about their home and dinners. I think they
spent their summers in England, and never quite lost its atmosphere.

On the sixteenth I began to rewrite "The Knight of the Nets" for Mr.
Dodd; and on the twenty-first I signed a contract with Dr. Klopsch to
write him a serial for the _Christian Herald_ for twenty-five hundred
dollars. I also saw Mr. Booth King about a short story of four
chapters for his paper called _Fashion_ and promised to write it for
five hundred dollars. Then I worked on "The Knight of the Nets" all
the rest of February.

On the fourth of March I was again in New York attending a play and
supper at Colonel Robert Ingersoll's. Mr. Jewett went with me. I
remember nothing about the play, but I shall never forget Robert
Ingersoll. I know all that has been said against him. It does not
alter my fixed opinion that in practice he was one of the best
Christians I ever knew. He has gone to the Mercy of the Merciful One,
and I can only remember his wonderful intelligence, and personal
charm.

On March nineteenth the Sorosis Club gave me a breakfast at the
Waldorf, at which I met Mrs. Helmuth, Jennie June (Mrs. Croly) and
many other notable women. I returned home after the affair, and the
next day went to work on Mr. King's story called, "I Will Marry My Own
First Love." I did not finish it until the thirty-first, for though I
had contracted for twelve thousand words, I wrote twenty-one thousand,
because I could not properly develop the story with less work.

March, the twenty-ninth, was my sixty-fifth birthday. I was writing
all day on the story for Mr. King. "In the evening I sat with Lilly
and Alice in the firelight, and talked of God's wonderful care over
us. Alice said many comforting things. So sweet and good is the dear
One! We used the new blue dinner service for the first time." (Diary,
1896.)

I was on "The Knight of the Nets" again until the twentieth of April,
when I got a letter from Mr. Charles Frohman, about "The Bow of Orange
Ribbon." On the twenty-first I made a contract with him to dramatize
it, _if I could_, about which fact I was doubtful. I had already
realized that a play was not to write, but to build. Mr. Frohman gave
me a box for that night's performance of "The Prisoner of Zenda" and
Mr. Edward Dodd and Mr. Bacheller occupied it with me. Before trying
the play, I finished "The Knight of the Nets" so often delayed and put
aside. This was not until the eleventh of May.

I gave nearly two weeks to the play, but felt it was not technically
right, and Mr. Frohman in a kindly and gentlemanly manner told me so.
And I was sorry at my failure to do what he wished. It made me nervous
and sick, and I went to stay a few days at Elwyn, with Dr. Martin
Barr.

This clever, delightful physician is not, I regret to say, any
relative of mine, but we are the best of friends, and I always resort
to him for advice when sick, and other physicians fail me. Only three
months ago I did so with the usual success. He is the head of the
Elwyn State Institution for Insanity in many forms, and an exceedingly
clever physician and social scientist.

As the Elwyn Institution is very near to Swartmoor College I visited
Professor De Gama, its principal at that time, and was delighted with
him, and his large body of male and female students. He took me
through the building, until we came to a door leading into a separate
wing of the house. He told me he could not pass this door, as it led
to the quarter sacred to the women students. "But," he added, "go down
the corridor, and you will find plenty of friends."

I did so, and seeing a door open, and a room full of girls, I stood
and looked at them. There was an instant pause, and then a little
joyful cry of "_Amelia Barr! Amelia Barr!_" Afterwards I had as happy
an hour as any woman could have, and standing among that joyous,
handsome crowd of young, lovely girls, and hearing their sweet voices
call me, "Friend Amelia," I felt young again. And my thoughts flew
instantly to the fair streets of Kendal, on First Day morning, full
of beautiful, richly-gowned Quaker girls, going to meeting, while the
magical chimes of Kendal Church filled the still air above them with
heavenly melody. And every morning, as long as I remained at Elwyn, I
found on my breakfast table a bouquet from the girls of Elwyn College.
May God bless every one of them, wherever they now dwell!

On the first of June, I began a story for Dr. Klopsch called "The
King's Highway." It is a good story, but would have been better, if I
had not received so many instructions from the editors of the
_Christian Herald_. It had an unique acknowledgment from Mr. Thomas E.
Clarke of Minneapolis, who sent me a copy of a story called "The
King's Highway" in the Dakota language.

On the twenty-second of June, I was at a dinner party given to Julian
Hawthorne on his fiftieth birthday, and had the pleasure of sitting
between Mr. Hawthorne and Mr. Hazeltine. I know there was a very fine
dinner, but as to the feast of reason and the flow of soul, if it was
remarkable I have quite forgotten all about it. Yet with Hawthorne and
Hazeltine present, many clever things must have been said. The two
items that impressed me, was the beautiful gown of Mrs. Richard
Stoddard, and the wreath of laurel that crowned the chair in which
Julian Hawthorne sat.

On the ninth of July I was so tired, that I took my work to Nantasket
and stayed there two weeks. It was then a quiet seaside resort, I
believe it is now a kind of Coney Island. But I met pleasant people,
and saw the New Englander on his native soil, and liked him so much,
that I wrote the following poem to express my admiration of his
character:

  They intended to go to Virginia,
    But God at the wheel said, "No!
  The hundred that I have chosen,
    To the cold, white North shall go.
  I will temper them there as by fire,
    I will try them a hundred fold,
  I will shake them with all its tempests,
    I will steady them with its cold."

  So these men from the English meadows
    By the pitiless Plymouth Bay,
  Learned well the worth of their Freedom,
    By the price they had to pay.
  But out of the fires of affliction,
    The tumult and struggle of wars,
  They brought forth her glorious banner,
    Its azure all shining with stars.

  The Hundred has grown to a nation,
    The wilderness blooms like the rose,
  And all through the South and the West
    Go the men of the ice and the snows.
  But wherever they go, they carry
    The strength of their forefather's fight--
  The courage and moral uprightness,
    Of men who prefer to do right.

On July thirty-first, I had a letter from my sister Alethia who was
staying a few weeks at Castletown in the Isle of Man. In this letter
she told me she had been with a marble cutter to Kirk Malew churchyard
and had had Captain Thomas Huddleston's grave stone cleaned and all
the moss and lichen removed from the lettering. My readers may
remember that he was captain of the _Great Harry_ and was bringing
home troops from America, when his ship was wrecked on Scarlet Rocks,
every one on board perishing. And she told me, that when the stone was
cleaned, she noticed that this tragedy occurred on the twenty-ninth of
March, so that Captain Thomas Henry Huddleston and his son Henry died
on the day that I was born.

Early in August I finished "The King's Highway" and began to try to
dramatize "The Bow of Orange Ribbon." I did not stop for anything
except to visit Mr. Hearst's Children's Republic near Haverstraw, and
to write an article about it. I finished the play in September, and
Mr. Frohman was so far pleased with it that he promised to find a
playwright who understood stage business to work with me. On the
twenty-fourth, he introduced me to Mr. August Thomas, who agreed to
direct the work as soon as I came to the city for the winter.

October was a very busy month. I wrote half a dozen articles for Dr.
Klopsch, and on the twentieth I went to Princeton to attend a great
anniversary. I stayed with my old pupil, Professor William Libbey, and
Professor Wheeler of the California University, the author of a
fascinating "Life of Alexander the Great," was there with me.
Professor Jacobus and Mrs. Jacobus were also there, and at night I
went to a college concert with Mrs. Libbey. On the twenty-first I went
to Alexander Hall with Mrs. Libbey and heard Henry Van Dyke deliver a
splendid poem written by himself called "The Builders." After it, I
was unable to decide whether he was greater as an orator, or a poet.
On the twenty-second I saw the degrees given, heard Mr. Cleveland
speak, and then went to a reception at President Patton's. On the
third of the following March, I had a letter from Moses Coit Tyler in
which he says:

  MY DEAR MRS. BARR:

  I had from my colleague Wheeler a faithful account of his talk
  with you at Princeton last fall, and of your kind message to me.
  I'm sorry that I can't send you a portrait of the literary editor
  of the _Christian Union_ as he looked twenty-four years ago, when
  he was that great man. So I must ask you to accept this his latest
  portrait, which may tell you that these years which have crowned
  you with laurels, have crowned him with gray hairs. All the same
  he is

  Yours faithfully,

  MOSES COIT TYLER.
  March 30, 1897.

On the twenty-fourth I was at home and wrote an article for Dr.
Klopsch on the Armenian question, and on the twenty-sixth I went to a
great meeting in Carnegie Hall, called to sympathize with the
persecuted Armenian Christians. This meeting was chiefly memorable to
me, because I met there Dr. Burrell. He made the great speech of the
occasion, and as I sat beside him on the platform I heard and enjoyed
every word of it. As an orator, I do not think he has many equals, and
his voice is very fine and resonant, and his gestures expressive and
pleasing.

During all the month I had been working as I found opportunity on the
"Prisoners of Conscience" enlarging it for the Century Company, but I
also wrote an article for the _Advance_ on the "Four Champions of
Justification by Faith"--Paul, St. Augustine, Luther and John Wesley.
At the close of October I saw Mr. Frohman again, and he told me Mr.
Thomas wanted one thousand dollars to go over the play, and he would
not give it. He was most kind and gentlemanly, but I think this
disappointment wearied him. I knew how he felt, because I also was
weary of work that wouldn't be manageable, and I laid it aside without
any regret, and returned gladly to "Prisoners of Conscience."

On the twelfth of November I was in New York, and going into Mr.
Dodd's store then on Fifth Avenue about Twenty-second Street, I met
there Barrie and Mrs. Barrie, and Robertson Nicoll, a distinguished
editor and publisher of London. I thought Mrs. Barrie a lovely and
most attractive woman, and I was proud to take the hand of the famous
Scotch novelist.

On the twenty-third of November I went to New York for the winter. I
had not finished "Prisoners of Conscience," but Alice was so
exceedingly psychic, I thought it best to take her away from the
solitude of Cherry Croft to the material stir of the city. We went to
the Fifth Avenue Hotel, the proprietors of which house always made
such favorable terms for me, that it was a point of economy in the
winter to go there.

On the twenty-seventh, Mr. Frank Dodd asked me to a reception given to
Ian McLaren, and on the same day Mr. Sankey gave me a pass to the
Moody and Sankey meetings. I did not like Ian McLaren much, but I did
like the stir of human feeling in the other invitation, and Mr.
Sankey's singing pleased me, for my taste had not been either trained,
or spoiled, by too much classical music; and Sankey's singing had in
it, not only a fine lyrical cry, but also that "touch of Nature, which
makes all men kin."

On the twelfth of this December, Mrs. Klopsch called on me, and then
and there began the sweetest friendship that has come into my life. I
love beauty, and she was, and still is, very beautiful; and her kind,
cheerful disposition made her ten times more so. From that hour I
have loved her dearly, nay, but I think I must have loved her
somewhere long before that hour, for our attachment was always full
grown. And I count her love among the best blessings that God has
given me.

On the seventeenth, Mrs. Libbey called and brought me the Professor's
photo in cap and gown. He looked very grave and handsome, and I could
not help thinking of the days, in which I had given him music lessons,
and cut many a slice of bread and jelly for him, when he came into my
cottage, after a morning on the ice. Mr. Jewett took dinner with me
and I finished "Prisoners of Conscience." On Christmas morning Mr.
Jewett entered my parlor with armsful of laurel and mistletoe, and
dressed it beautifully; and Lilly and her husband came over from
Brooklyn to dine with me. I believe in good dinners. In some way or
other domestic happiness has a fundamental dependence on them, they
are conducive to amiable understandings. They are a festal sacrifice
to household love, and sacred friendship, and intellectual recreation;
and they are necessary to every kind of success. Only the Scotsman
"who is fit for anything when he is half-starved" may neglect his
dinner, and not injure his fortune.

The year 1897 has a record similar to the one just described. I spent
the first three months at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, and then returned
joyfully to Cherry Croft, and remained there until near the close of
the year. It will be sufficient, if I now note the days containing
distinctive events; for instance, on the seventh of January I
addressed the men at the Bowery Mission, and on the fifteenth began a
story for the Bacheller Syndicate, called "The Price She Paid." Lilly
was sick with grippe, and I missed her daily visit very much. On the
twenty-ninth Mr. Thomas called again about the play, and I returned to
it, but with little heart, though working under his direction. On the
seventeenth of February I wrote "still working hard, but hopelessly on
my play. I have finished the second act, and Mr. Thomas professes to
be satisfied, even pleased; but then he is a very courteous
gentleman." On the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh I was at the Astor
Library, and had a long comforting talk with Mr. Beauregard on
reincarnation and other spiritual subjects.

On the fourth of March, Mr. Thomas came and appeared well satisfied
with what I had done, and on the ninth Mr. Frank Dodd called and
contracted for my next two stories. On the eleventh Mr. Beauregard
dined with me, and afterwards lectured in my parlor on occultism. The
rooms were crowded, and every one much interested. On the thirteenth I
made tea at the Author's Club, having General Sickles at my left hand.
I took a dislike to him, perhaps unjustly, but the Southern gallantry
I had admired forty years ago, seemed out of place in a man so old,
and a company calm and intellectual. The following day I was at Mr.
Robert Underwood Johnson's to dinner. His now famous son was present,
a dark handsome youth, with the quiet thoughtful eyes of dreaming
genius.

I spent the evening of the twenty-first at Mr. Dana's, and saw all his
wonderful collection of pottery. Very carefully he unlocked for me the
box that held the famous Peach Blow jar, and I will tell the truth,
and acknowledge that I was insensible to its beauty. I thought I had
seen far lovelier vases. Rutger Jewett was with me, and on the
twenty-fifth I was at Dr. Jewett's to tea. On the twenty-sixth Dr.
Klopsch asked me to go to India with the ship load of corn and wheat
which American women had given to the famine sufferers. He wished me
to go as the representative of these American women. My children would
not allow me to accept the offer, which I regretted. The twenty-ninth
was my sixty-sixth birthday, and all my rooms were full of flowers,
but Lilly had gone to Cornwall, and could not come, so there was a
little shadow on it. I spent the afternoon of the thirty-first at
Colonel Ingersoll's and met there Andrew White, our Minister to
Berlin, a most interesting man. He was just publishing a book and
promised to send me a copy.

On the first of April I came back to Cherry Croft. Lilly had gone
there three days previously, and the house was warm, everything in
order, and a loving smiling welcome waiting me. I was very happy
to be home again. On the third, Mr. Frohman wrote me that he was
disappointed in the play. So was I. I had wasted a deal of time and
strength on it, and I felt I was doing so, all the time I was
working on it.

All the first week in May was spent in trying to see my way clear to
go with Dr. Klopsch to India, about which he was urgent. But Alice was
mentally very sick, and Mary and Lilly would not hear of the journey,
the cholera being at that time very bad there. On June the thirteenth,
the Reverend Mr. Boyd of Chicago preached a sermon against the
"Prisoners of Conscience" which the Century Company had just issued in
book form. On the twenty-second, the _Chicago Times Herald_ published
my defence; and Dr. Boyd's sermon was only a splendid advertisement
for the story. In July, I was busy finishing my new novel "I, Thou and
the Other" but in August, I left it a week to write a story for the
Bacheller Syndicate, called "Judith of Keyes Grif."

On the twenty-sixth of September I was writing a story for _Leslie's_
called "The Lost I. O. U." and on the twenty-eighth I had a letter
from Dodd, Mead and Company saying they liked "I, Thou and the Other"
very much. There was nothing out of the usual course of events in
October, but a dinner which I gave, and which, quite unintentionally
on my part, consisted only of three clergymen. One day the Reverend
Mr. Snedeker, the Methodist preacher at Newburgh, told me many
interesting things about Father McGlyn, his offence against the
Church, and his summons to appear before some spiritual court at Rome.
I said, "I should like to see any man, who had been brave enough to
offend the powerful prelates of Rome;" and Mr. Snedeker answered, "He
wishes to meet you." "Then come to-morrow," I replied, "come to
dinner, and there is a fine moon to light you home." He gladly
accepted the invitation, and the next morning I sent and asked Mr.
Page, our Episcopal minister, to dine with them.

It was a remarkable meeting. Father McGlyn told us all about his visit
to Rome, and his interview with the Pope; then he went to Alice's
room, and blessed her, and blessed her altar, and prayed with her. For
he had quickly discerned the spirit within her, and with a beautiful
humility said it was greater and purer than his own. I shall never
forget Father McGlyn. As a social man he was a failure, as a priest
of God he was worthy of all honor.

On October the fifteenth, Professor and Mrs. Libbey sent for me to
hear the Earl of Aberdeen and President Cleveland speak, but I did not
go. A month afterwards I went to the Fifth Avenue Hotel for the winter
at the same favorable terms. I noticed that there was a great crowd at
dinner but I had a long, pleasant talk in the green parlor after it
with Mr. and Mrs. Tom Platt. I liked both thoroughly. Mrs. Platt
worked me a most exquisite center piece, and Mr. Platt wrote his name
in the corner. This autograph I embroidered, and the beautiful square
lies to this day over the green velvet cover of my dining-room table.

The next day I took lunch with the Mount Holyoke Alumnæ, and made an
address on "The Neighbor at Our Gate," a most important person, for we
may choose our friends, but we cannot choose our neighbor. We have to
take him as he is, and make the best of him.

On December the second, Miss Jewett, Mrs. Platt, and Mrs. Lockhart of
Pittsburgh, and Mr. and Mrs. Saltus spent the evening with me, and I
received an invitation to address the Congregational Club on January
twenty-eighth, 1898; which I promised to do conditionally. On the
seventh, Edward Bok called and I promised to write some short things
for him. But I was really too tired to do anything, and was compelled
to stay away from Mr. Rideing's reception on that day, and even
Rutger's happy presence was almost more than I could respond to.



CHAPTER XXV

DREAMING AND WORKING

  "Came the whisper, came the vision,
  Came the Power with the need."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "This is the scene of combat, not of rest,
  Man's is laborious happiness at best;
  On this side death his labors never cease,
  His joys are joys of conquest, not of peace."


Following my physician's advice, I slipped away to Old Point Comfort
on December the twenty-third. I fell into a sound sleep as soon as I
was on the boat, and practically slept all the way there. I had a
letter of introduction to the proprietor of the hotel from Mr.
Hitchcock, the proprietor of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, and was given
rooms almost over the sea, and treated with unbounded kindness and
respect. Lilly went down with us, and made my rooms comfortable, and
ate Christmas dinner with us. We had a delightful surprise at this
meal, for we were at the same table with Dr. Peck, one of my neighbors
on Storm King Mountain, Cornwall, a most intelligent and delightful
companion.

I was not really sick; I was only tired, so tired, however, that I
could hardly lift my heavy, aching eyes, and my brain absolutely
refused to follow a thought out, and I suffered much from a relaxed,
nervous throat. I slept nearly night and day for a week, and the sea
winds breathed fresh life into me. Then Lilly felt that she might
leave me to their healing influence and the renewing power of sleep
and rest.

On January the twentieth, I note, "I am much better. I feel nearly
well." Dr. Frissel of the Hampton School called to see me. Reverend
Father Hall, Judge Parker's son-in-law, sent me violets, and I had a
strange but interesting letter from Lilly, who said she had been at a
crystal party in M----'s studio rooms, and had heard a lecture by a
Hindoo occultist. The guests were invited to ask him any question they
wished him to answer, and Lilly asked how her mother was. He said,
"She is at sea, or very near the sea. She will be quite well in
February, and some good thing will happen at the end of the month. Her
good fortune is at a standstill until then." And I add with emphatic
undercrossing, "How does he know anything about me? My times are in
God's hands." I will also add, that nothing he said was true.

In February I was able to see a few visitors, and I had a great deal
of attention from the officers of the regiment stationed there.
Colonel Morris and Mrs. Morris called several times, and Lieutenant
Allan and Mrs. Allan did all they could to make me happy. On the
eleventh, they gave me at their house a delightful reception, and on
the nineteenth I was entertained at the Officer's Club, and had all
the privileges of the club presented to me. This honor was the more
remarkable, as I was the only woman who had ever received it.

After this callers were so numerous, I thought it best to go home, for
I was still very weak and nervous, and I feared to lose what I had
gained. My eyes also were far from rested, and it was difficult for me
to write. I was sorry to go, because Alice had been so happy, but it
was "for Mamma's sake," and she went gladly.

No, I cannot write of the next few months. They were filled with
sorrow of the most heart-breaking kind, and for the first time in my
life, I could not go unto Him who promised to give rest to the
sorrowful and heavy laden. Grief, with me, runs into motion, and I
walked my room day and night, until exhaustion forced me to sit down.
I got the first help from a book Mr. Van Wagenen gave me. I had to go
to Dodd, Mead and Company and all of the firm happened to be out but
Mr. Van Wagenen, and he gave me a book, telling me to read it, and it
would do me good. I do not know _why_ he did so. I tried to smile and
look happy, but he may have seen the sorrow in my eyes, for its shadow
is still there. This was on April twenty-first and on April
twenty-fifth, I write, "I have taken courage, and am going on in
God's strength. I can do nothing without God. I can do everything with
God to help me. I will not fret, and I will not worry. I will cease
from being hurt and angry. I will go back to my work, and trust in God
to give me the sight and strength to do it."

It was during these months of such anguish as only mothers can know
that the great comforting truth of reincarnation was fully revealed to
me. And I count the sorrow, even if it had killed me, but a small
payment for it. Slowly, but surely it dawned upon my soul, that the
suffering which I had not deserved, by either thought, word or deed in
this life, must have been earned in some previous existence, and this
conviction enabled me not only to accept, but to forgive. Then I read
upon my knees the Fifth-first Psalm and prayed, "Forgive me, for it is
against Thee, and Thee only, I have sinned." I had paid my debt, and I
was comforted; for we must all go up our own Calvary. The just cannot
die for the unjust, the purehearted for the sinner, the merciful for
the cruel.

  "It matters not how strait the gate,
  How charged with punishment the scroll,
  I am the master of my fate
  I am the captain of my soul."

We all pay our just debts, we all reap then our just rewards. And my
soul rose up to God's expectation, yielded

  "... itself to the Power constraining,
    With a ready and full surrender;
  Trusting God in the roughest whirlwind,
    In a cloud of the thickest night,
  While I watched and hoped in silence,
    For the dawn of a richer splendor;
  Musing what new gifts await me--
    What of Knowledge, or Love, or Light!"

In July Professor Libbey and Mrs. Libbey spent two days at Cherry
Croft, and at the end of the month I had a visit from the Countess de
Brémont. She brought a letter from Mr. Paul of London, and I found
her an interesting woman. She had just come from Africa, where she had
lived for several months in Paul Kruger's home. Her descriptions of
it, and of the Boer President and his family, were of the most
unsavory even disgusting character; but I listened to them with a kind
of satisfaction. I had no respect for the Boers, and I was heart-sick
at their early successes; so much so, that my doctor had forbidden me
to read anything respecting the war until my daughter gave me
permission.

In August I managed to locate the story of "The Maid of Maiden Lane."
I had begun it half-a-dozen times, but always found myself running
across "The Bow of Orange Ribbon;" and I was about to give it up, when
I awoke one morning about four o'clock, with the whole story clear in
my mind. I made a note of the plot as given me, and then with a good
heart finished off "Trinity Bells" for Mrs. Dodge.

On the third of September I was at work again on "The Maid of Maiden
Lane," and on the eighth I took tea at Dr. Henry Van Dyke's, who was
then occupying the beautiful Club House on Storm King as a summer
home. The fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth of September, I kept as
I have always done in memory of my dear husband's and sons' deaths,
and I wrote, "It is thirty-two years ago, but I have forgotten nothing
of God's mercy, and of their love.

  'Faithful, indeed, the spirit that remembers,
  After such years of change and suffering.'

I am more alone than ever, but God is sufficient."

_Sept. 30th._ I made bread, tidied drawers and closets, filled all the
vases with fresh flowers, and walked for two hours and half.

_Oct. 1st._ Writing in the morning on "The Maid of Maiden Lane," and
in the afternoon watching the gathering of the apples, and the digging
of the potatoes.

In November I finished "The Maid of Maiden Lane" and made an
arrangement with Mr. Dodd to write "The Lion's Whelp." For these two
books, I was to receive three thousand dollars each.

In December I suffered a great loss. I had as cook a Mrs. Kirkpatrick,
the wife of that Thomas Kirkpatrick, whom I have named as my first
caller at Cherry Croft, and who was at this very time my gardener. She
had both my trust and my affection, for she was faithful and kind to
me, and had fine spiritual instincts, which I delighted to inform and
to direct. On Sunday, the eleventh of December, she appeared to be in
as perfect health as a woman in the prime of life could be, yet when I
awoke out of deep sleep, soon after midnight, I knew that something
was going to happen; for I could not move a finger, nor could I open
my eyes. I lay motionless waiting and listening. Then I heard steps
mounting the stairs--steps, no human foot could make--the strong swift
steps of a Messenger whom nothing could delay. At the head of the
stairs was a corridor on which my room, my study, a guest room and
Alice's two rooms opened. At the end of the corridor there was a door,
_always locked at night_, then two steps leading down to a small hall,
on which Mrs. Kirkpatrick's room, and another room opened.

Into which of these rooms was He going? I listened awestruck and
breathless. Past my door, my study, and the guest room He went; past
the open door leading into Alice's rooms, and then I heard the same
fateful tread going down the two steps into the outer hall, after
which there was dead silence. In a few minutes I was able to move, and
I sat up and considered. I was certain that I had locked the door
between the corridor and the small hall. Yet there had been no delay
at the door, nor any sound of a lock turning. I struck a light and
went to the door. _It was locked._ It had been no impediment unto Him
who passed through it, shut and locked. Alice was in a deep sleep;
Mrs. Kirkpatrick, also. I went back to my room and sat down. And that
night I slept no more.

In the morning Mrs. Kirkpatrick told me she was sick. "I will go
home," she said, "and send my daughter to do my work. I shall be well
in a day or two." I held her hand as she spoke, and looked into her
kind face, where I saw written what no mortal could either write, or
blot out. As she passed through the gate, I called Alice, to "come and
take a last look at Mrs. Kirkpatrick;" and we both watched her
hurrying up the hill, until she was out of sight. Seven days after she
died of pneumonia.

That night as I sat quite alone by the parlor fire, praying for the
passing soul, Lilly came to me. And I cried with joy, while together
we sought "Him that ... turneth the shadow of death into the morning"
(Amos, 5:8). She spent two days in packing and preparing the house for
the winter, and on the third day, I went with Alice to the Fifth
Avenue Hotel in New York, leaving Thomas Kirkpatrick, the sorrowful
husband, in charge of the house.

I do not like to write much about 1899. The first three months my
doctor forbid me to write, and I amused myself by reading everything I
could find on the new cults and "isms" then clamoring for recognition.
Theosophy for a few weeks fascinated me, but Christian Science, never
for one hour made any impression. I thought it, only a huge
misunderstanding of the Bible. Spiritualism I had examined many years
previously, and discarded its pretensions at once. Truly God speaks to
men, but when he so favors any soul, He asks no dollar fee, and needs
no darkened room, veiled cabinet, nor yet any hired medium to
interpret His message. He can make Himself heard in the stir and
traffic of Broadway, and in the sunshine of midday, as well as in the
darkness of midnight. And when I had satisfied my foolish curiosity, I
was sorry and ashamed, and with deep contrition asked only to be
permitted to say once more "_Our Father!_" Going back to my Bible, was
like going back home, after being lost in a land of darkness and
despair.

This three months' reading, often by electric light, made havoc with
my sight, and I was obliged to spend six weeks in a darkened room
after it. Lilly spent them with me, and I was greatly consoled by this
proof of her affection for me. I was very anxious about money matters,
for though I could not write, the expenses of the house went on. But
God did not forget His Promise to me. Towards the end of March Mr.
Stone of Chicago wrote to me for a novel, and I sold him "Was It Right
to Forgive?" for twelve hundred dollars; soon after Mr. Jewett came
up to Cherry Croft, told me he had gone into the publishing business
with his friend Taylor, and bought the book rights of "Trinity Bells,"
for two thousand dollars. These two events, both most unexpected, made
my mind easy; and I improved so rapidly, that in May I began to write
a little. Then Dr. Klopsch ordered twenty short articles, and these
gave me just the work I could do, because I could leave it, and take
it up, whenever it was prudent to do so.

I spent the winter of 1900 at Atlantic City, and on the sixth of
February, the novelist, Robert Barr of London, came to visit me. He
was delighted with Atlantic City, and stayed more than a week. At this
time I had a remarkable dream. I thought I stood on the piazza at
Cherry Croft, and was looking upward at an immense black African bull,
that rose and fell between the sky and the earth. Sometimes he was
very high, sometimes he came near to the ground, but as I watched he
fell to the earth, and his head came off, and rolled out of sight. And
the grass was high, and I called Kirkpatrick and said, "The grass is
ready, you will cut it to-morrow."

After that dream I read all the newspapers I wanted to read. I knew
the Boers would fail, and fall, and the English flag float over their
conquered states. On the twenty-eighth of February I read of Cronjes'
defeat, and on the fifteenth of March, a few days after my return
home, Mr. Henry Hunter of Cornwall, sent his son through a great
storm, late at night, up to Cherry Croft to tell me that the English
had possession of the capital of the Orange Free State. The next
morning I walked to the end of the piazza, and noticing the grass
high, I called to Kirkpatrick and said, "Kirk, the grass is too high,
cut it down tomorrow." Then my dream flashed across my mind, and I
thanked God and was happy.

The eleventh of July was the fiftieth anniversary of my wedding day.
Alice was with Lilly in Brooklyn, and I was quite alone, neither had I
any letters referring to it. All my world had forgotten it, so I made
it memorable to myself, by commencing my Cromwell novel, which I that
day named "The Lion's Whelp." In the afternoon I sat in the sunshine,
and thought over the incidents of my fifty wedding days. It was a
little story for my own pleasure and I shall never write it down. On
that day also, I resolved to give up all social visiting, and devote
myself entirely to my work.

I worked steadily afterwards on "The Lion's Whelp" but did not finish
it until April second, 1901. Then I note in my diary, "I finished my
dear Cromwell novel today, five hundred fifty pages. I leave it now
with God and Mr. Dodd." It was hard to leave it. For some days I could
not bring myself to finish the last few sentences, and my eyes were
full of tears when I wrote "_Vale Cromwell!_" I had the same
reluctance to close "Remember the Alamo." In both cases, I was bidding
farewell to characters with whom I had spent some of the happiest
hours of my life.

After finishing "The Lion's Whelp," I collected a volume of my
short stories for Dr. Klopsch, and on July fourth I began a novel
for Mr. Jewett called "Thyra Varrick." The scene was laid in the
Orkney Isles, and the wind of the great North Sea blew all through
it, while it had the brilliant blundering of Prince Charles Stuart
for a background. It was a great favorite, for it was the initial
story of the _Delineator_, and I received the following letter from
Charles Dwyer, the editor, after it was published:

  DEAR MRS. BARR:

  I take leave of "Thyra Varrick" in the May number, with the
  greatest regret. It seems like parting with an old friend, and one
  who has conferred many favors on you. It is the first serial that
  has appeared in the magazine, and I consider myself very fortunate
  in being able to present such a story. A copy of the book has come
  in from the publishers, and is now in the hands of the reviewer.
  When it comes back to me, I shall take the liberty of sending it
  to you for an autograph.

  With every good wish for a pleasant summer, and that we may be
  again in association, I am

  Very faithfully yours,

  CHARLES DWYER.

On May the third, my sister Alethia died of apoplexy, and I am now the
last of a family that had been more than a century _at home_ when
Edward the Confessor reigned. A very ancient prophecy regarding the
family said, "It will go out with a lass." So it will. I stand at the
end of a long, long roll of priests and heroes, but though I am only a
woman, I have fought a good fight, my hands are clean, my honor
unstained, and I have never written a line that I would wish to blot,
if I was dying. I am not afraid to meet any of my ancestors, and I
shall be glad to look my dear father in the face. He was a great
scholar, but he was too busy preaching to write a book. And when I
tell him I have written over sixty books, I shall add, "But that is
because I am your daughter."

On June the sixteenth, I had the following letter, and among the
hundreds I have received, not one has given me more soul pleasure:

  WAR DEPARTMENT.
  UNITED STATES ENGINEER'S OFFICE.
  MOBILE, ALA.

  MRS. AMELIA E. BARR.

  DEAR MADAM:

  Allow me to thank you for Chapter Seven, "Souls Of Passage." I am
  on a higher plane since reading it, and thoughts, heretofore
  merely in solution in my mind, have flashed into beautiful and
  permanent crystallization. I do not apologize for addressing you,
  for I feel that it must please you to know, that your soul in its
  passage, has helped another.

  Very respectfully,

  WILLIAM STODDARD MCNEILL.

From the middle of August unto the end of the year, Alice was very
ill, and I could not leave her night or day, unless Lilly was with
her. So I went early to the city this year. I finished "Thyra Varrick"
on December nineteenth, and then rested until the New Year.

On the second of January, 1902, I was in the Historical Library, then
on Second Avenue, where I worked all day, and then bought from the
library a large and very valuable book on the Loyalists of New York
City during its captivity to the English. It is written by one of the
De Lancey family, and is a monumental book that ought to be better
known. Alice was in a most unhappy condition all month, and I write
sorrowfully on February first: "I am heartbroken about Alice. I can
get no hopeful response spiritually from her. She is always conscious
of some inimical Presence, whom she cannot pray against, and she is
miserably depressed, and will not go out."

On the fifteenth I had a letter from a small town in Turkey-in-Asia,
asking permission to translate my articles in _Success_ into Greek,
and thus I discovered that _Success_ had been using my work without my
knowledge, or permission, for I never wrote for the paper except one
article for the opening number. The success founded on such methods
had in it no lasting elements, and the paper has disappeared.

On the twenty-eighth Alice begged me to take her home, and on the
third of March I did so. Kirkpatrick had the house beautifully warm,
and Lilly went up to Cherry Croft with us, and put all in order.

On March twenty-ninth, my seventy-second birthday, I had had a night
of prayer and watching, but I fell asleep at dawn, and woke up
wonderfully refreshed; and to my happy amazement, Alice gave me a kiss
and a blessing, when I went to her room. "Dear God!" I prayed, "add
Thy Blessing to it." The mail brought me a present of violet pins from
Lilly, and all my soiled lace done up with her own hands, and looking
like new. Her husband sent me a very handsome scrap-book for my
newspaper clippings. I had one hundred seventy-five dollars from
Rutger, royalty money, and Mary had made and sent me a pretty kimono.
I was very happy indeed; for, thank God, I still keep my child heart,
and "little things" make me happy.

On April second I began "The Song of a Single Note." It carried on the
story of "The Bow of Orange Ribbon," and a month later I wrote, "Alice
is well and happy; our days go on calm and sweetly, and I am enjoying
my work."

On May the twenty-first, Mrs. Harry Lee called to see me for the first
time. I liked her at once. She is now one of the two women I really
love. There is no set time for _her_ calls, she can come morning, noon
or night, and be welcome. She is loving and intellectual, and never
gets bored or has a train to meet, if our conversation slips into
grave, or even religious subjects. From a good tree, we expect good
fruit, and she is the eldest daughter of the late well-beloved E. P.
Roe. Her love for me also runs into physical and material grooves,
which are very enjoyable; many a time she has walked over the fields
to my house, with a basket of fine fruit, or a dish of whipped cream,
or some other delicacy. And as she is a fashionable woman in the
social world, I think such little attentions show a sweet and homely
affection, that I value highly.

On May thirty-first I made a note that causes me to smile as I read
it--"a kind of dictatorial letter, from a firm who want me to write a
novel for them--_they are both young!_" I also, rejoice, because I
have got the grip of the story I am writing, and now it will be easy
work.

On June the twelfth, I had a remarkable experience, one I shall never
forget. I heard the clock strike three, and thought I had a letter in
my hand from my mother. It was written on the old-fashioned large,
square letter paper, and contained two sheets, the last one not quite
full; folded as we folded letters before envelopes had been thought
of, and closed with a seal which I carefully broke. In this letter she
told me of all that she had suffered, and how she had prayed to God,
and I buried my face in the letter and wept bitterly. Yes, I felt the
tears, and I said, "O dear, dear Mother, you had to die, and I had to
grow old, to know how much I love you!" A strange thing was, I saw
plainly her address, and she had signed herself "Mary Singleton," _her
maiden name_, "Kingdom of Heaven." There were two other lines in the
address, which I have forgotten, but I knew they were the names of
city and street. I was wonderfully comforted by this letter, and its
enthralling, heavenly perfume lingered about me for many days.[8]

[Illustration: MISS ALICE BARR]

On June thirtieth Charles Francis Adams sent me a copy of his
oration about Cromwell's having a statue in the New England Colonies.
He deserved it. If England had not so urgently needed him, he would
have accompanied his friend, Long John Wentworth, to Massachusetts. If
Mr. Adams had only told the New Englanders, that Cromwell was the best
ball player in England, and that Wentworth was the only man who could
match him, they would doubtless have taken the statue into serious
consideration.

At the end of August I finished "A Song of a Single Note" and Mary and
Kirk fortunately came from Florida, to pay me a visit. My days of
remembrance, the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth of September, I
spent reading Professor James's "Varieties of Religious Experience," a
wonderful, wonderful book, which none who read thoughtfully can ever
forget. I have read it through many times; it always makes a good time
for me, spiritually.

On October, the twenty-sixth, Mr. Hearst gave me fifty dollars for
permission to copy my article on "Divorce" from the _North American
Review_ into his paper; and on the sixth of December I went to the
Marlborough House in Atlantic City. Alice and I spent Christmas alone;
she was very sweet and reflective, and talked to me long of the
Christmases gone forever. "So fair! So sad!" I said; and she answered
with a smile, "They are with God."

On February fifteenth, I was again settled at Cherry Croft, and began
"The Black Shilling," but on the twenty-sixth I tore up all I had
written, and began it over again. On the twenty-ninth of March, my
seventy-third year of travail through this life, I write gratefully,
"I have good health, a good home, good daughters, good servants, many
friends, and one hundred three pages of 'The Black Shilling' written
to my satisfaction. Lilly was here, and Alice is quite well, and
Rutger remembered my birthday and sent me one hundred thirty dollars
royalty." I finished "The Black Shilling" on the twenty-ninth of July;
and my eyes were so tired, I went into a darkened room for three
weeks, and on the thirtieth of October I went to New York in order to
be under the care of Dr. Hunter, a fine oculist, and no alarmist. He
told me there was not the slightest evidence of any disease, they
only wanted rest; and the relief his verdict gave me was unspeakable,
and in itself curative.

From the fourteenth to the nineteenth of December I went to Princeton
to stay with the Libbeys. I had sent out no cards this winter, and I
saw no one but Dr. and Mrs. Klopsch, and Rutger Jewett. On the whole
1903 was a hard year, and my eyes were so troublesome that I only
wrote "The Black Shilling," and a few little articles for the daily
press.

"_Jan. 1st, 1904._ When I opened my Bible this morning my eyes fell
upon this cheering verse, 'Having obtained help of God, I continue
unto this day.' (Acts, 26:22.)" Three days afterwards I went back to
Cornwall, and on the sixteenth I had a visit from Mr. Platt of the
_Smart Set_, about writing for him. He was an English gentleman of a
fine type, but I am sure he understood at once, that I could not write
for a set I knew nothing about. Nevertheless I enjoyed his visit. I
read all January for "The Belle of Bowling Green," which I began on
February, the eighth, and finished on June, the twenty-seventh. All
August, I was writing for Mr. Rideing and Dr. Klopsch; but on
September, the eighteenth, I began "Cecilia's Lovers," which I
finished on February eighth, 1905.

All April, May and June I was writing articles for the _Globe_ on
social subjects, such as slang, bored husbands, colossal fortunes, et
cetera. On November fifteenth, I had an invitation to a dinner given
to Mark Twain on his seventieth birthday. I did not go to the dinner,
but I sent Mr. Clemens the wish that Dr. Stone wrote to me on my
seventieth birthday. "The days of our life are three score years and
ten, and if by reason of strength it be four score years, yet is it
labor and sorrow. _May you have the labor without the sorrow._"

On November, the twenty-fourth, I made a contract with Mr. Lovell to
write him a novel for five thousand dollars. I wrote him one called
"The Man Between," and it was finished and paid for on March
thirty-first, 1906. In April of 1906, I began "The Heart of Jessy
Laurie," which was sold to Mr. Dodd on September the seventeenth. In
November I began a book that is a great favorite, and whose writing
gave me constant pleasure, "The Strawberry Handkerchief."

I began 1907 in the Fifth Avenue Hotel, and on the fifteenth had
finished the first chapter of "The Strawberry Handkerchief," but on
the thirtieth I took pneumonia, and was very near to death. With God's
blessing on the skill of Dr. Charles Nammack, and Lilly's faithful
care, my life was saved. Her husband gave me an equally loving
service. Every afternoon he came to the hotel, read and answered my
letters, and sat with Alice, while Lilly had a long, sound sleep. Then
he went for medicines, and if likely to be needed, remained all night.
My own son could have done no more for me, nor done it any more
lovingly.

On the twenty-third of February, I had one of the most wonderful
spiritual experiences of my life. Lilly had gone home, and taken Alice
with her, and I was quite alone. The room which they occupied, while
in the hotel, opened into my room; but it was now empty, and the
proprietors had promised to put no one into it, unless obliged by
stress of business; for it had been very convenient, for changing the
air in my room. I awoke from sleep about three A.M. and found my room
distressingly hot. I rose, put on wool slippers, stopped at the table,
ate a few grapes, and drank a glass of milk, and then thought I would
open the door between the two rooms. I was very weak, but I reached
the door, and had my hand on the key. Then Some One in the adjoining
room thrust quickly a heavy bolt across the other side of the door. I
concluded the room had become occupied while I was asleep, was a
little annoyed at not being informed, but thought no more of the
circumstance, until the chambermaid came to me in the morning.

"Do you know," she said, "I left both the windows in the next room
open, and it has been the coldest night of the winter. The room was
like an ice box this morning; for the heat was turned off and the wind
blowing, and freezing as it blew."

"But the room was occupied," I answered.

"No, indeed!" she continued. "I went in an hour ago, and shut the
windows and put on the heat, and I will take you there while I make
this room comfortable." She did so, and I was lying wrapped in a
blanket upon a sofa, when I remembered the almost angry drawing of the
bolt, and turned my head to look at the door. _There was no bolt
there._ There was nothing but a little brass screw in the lintel,
that a child's finger could turn noiselessly. Yet the bolt I heard was
one of the large iron bolts, used in the farm and manor houses of
Westmoreland, and the North Country. They crossed the whole door, and
fell into the socket provided, with a great noise--the noise I had
heard early that morning. _Who_ had been watching me through the long
night hours? One step into that freezing room would have chilled the
spark of life in me. _Who_ had prevented it, and that in such a manner
as should convince me that it was no mortal hand, and no mortal bolt
that saved me? That day, I could do nothing but pray and wonder, and
then pray again. I thought I was alone, and I was not alone. Some
angel had charge over me, and I remembered that there was just a touch
of impatience in the driving of the bolt, as if the watcher had the
feeling of a mother, vexed at her child's imprudence. I have had many
spiritual experiences but few that affected me more than this one.

About the eighteenth of March I resolved to go home, and Lilly's
husband went to Cornwall, had the water put on, and the fires lighted;
and on the twentieth Lilly and Alice followed, taking a servant with
them. I waited as patiently as I could for Lilly to send me word the
house was warm and comfortable; then Mr. Munro came and packed my
trunks, and on the twenty-sixth my captivity ended. God let me go
home, and I found Love and every comfort waiting for me.

On March, the twenty-ninth, I wrote: "I am getting well. This is a new
birthday. A happy day." I had written two chapters of "The Strawberry
Handkerchief" when I was taken ill, but I was not able to return to it
until May, the nineteenth, and I did not finish it until January, the
seventh, A.D. 1908, when we were staying at Bretton Hall Hotel, for
the three cold months.

On January, the thirty-first, Mr. and Mrs. Dodd gave me a "Bow of
Orange Ribbon" dinner. All decorations were in the dominant color, and
it was a very pretty affair. Mrs. Dodd is a charming hostess, and Mr.
Dodd knows the exact tone at which a company of happy, sensible people
should be kept. He sets it, and he keeps it, and every one follows his
lead, as naturally in pleasure, as they do in business.

On February, the twenty-ninth, I was guest of honor at the Press Club
Reception, held at the Waldorf Astoria. I enjoyed this occasion
thoroughly, for I like the men and women of the press. I sat beside
Mr. Pollock, a man of extraordinary genius. I had a very sore throat
that day, but his speech made me forget I had anything but a heart and
a brain. Bishop Potter sat near me. I had a pen and ink acquaintance
with him, but had never before met him personally. As a man, he was
delightful; as a bishop, he fell below my ideal. But then my ideal had
been formed on the English Spiritual Lords, and I thought of
Carpenter, and others, and wondered if they ever forgot their office
so far as to tell a great public assemblage funny stories. The stories
were excellent, and quite in keeping with what one of them called "his
job," but somehow they fell below the office he filled in the church.
Yet everyone enjoyed them, and my quibble may be laid to my English
superstitions about sacred things.

I had a little reception after the meeting, and never in all my life
had I been so petted and praised. The young women crowded round me and
kissed my hands, and my cheeks, and I wished they were all my
daughters. Mrs. Klopsch had sent me an immense bouquet of violets, and
I gave every flower away to them. If ever fame tasted sweet to me, it
was during that half hour among the lovely women of the New York
press.

On March, the first, I went back to Cornwall, and on the fifteenth I
began a novel called "The Hands of Compulsion," which I finished on
June, the twenty-seventh. It is one of the best of my Scotch stories.
All July I was reading for "The House on Cherry Street," which I began
on August, the second. I was busy on it all summer, for it was a very
difficult period to make interesting, the fight for freedom of the
press. The winter came on early, and I went to the city on the first
of November, as I needed the Historical Library for my work. On
November, the eighteenth, I took dinner at Mr. Dodd's and among the
guests were Mr. George McCutcheon, and Mr. Maurice of the _Bookman_, a
handsome, interesting young man, whom I should like to know better.

On November twenty-seventh, I went to Dr. Klopsch's to dine with the
Honorable Lyman Gage, one of the most widely cultivated men I ever
met. I supposed he would not talk of anything but finance or politics.
These subjects were never named. During dinner we were talking of
evolution and Orlando Smith's great book on eternalism; after dinner
Mr. Gage read aloud some passages from Plato with wonderful beauty and
expression; notably the death of Socrates. This began a conversation
lasting until midnight concerning death and reincarnation. I shall
never forget this evening, which was duplicated on December fourth,
with the addition to our company of the Reverend Dr. Chamberlin.

On December, the sixth, I dined with my friend and physician, Dr.
Charles Nammack, and his family. Mrs. Nammack and I had long been
friends, for they occupied the cottage next to my place on Storm King
for two summers. On December, the fifteenth, I went with Dr. and Mrs.
Klopsch to the theatre to see "The Servant in the House." After these
compliances for the sake of friendship, I went out no more, for I was
busy writing "The House on Cherry Street" until my return home on the
eleventh of February.

On the twentieth of February, A.D. 1909, the house was in most
comfortable order, and Lilly had gone home the previous day. I was
writing well all morning, and was called to dinner as the clock struck
twelve. I went into Alice's rooms to summon her, and we left them
hand-in-hand, happily telling each other, how glad we were to be home
again. We took one step of the long stairway together, and then in
some inscrutable way, I lost my footing, and fell headlong to the
bottom. I remember one thought as I fell, "So this is the end of all!"
I was insensible, when I reached the lower floor, and knew nothing
until I found myself in bed. Alice had run to our nearest neighbor and
brought help, and they had telephoned to Lilly to come at once.

Dr. Winter, my own physician, did not arrive for three hours, but I
was quite conscious by that time. I had not broken a bone, nor
received any internal injury, and he looked at me incredulously. It
appeared miraculous, but it was the truth. My right side, however, was
severely bruised, and my right shoulder, arm and hand, so much so, as
to be practically useless for many months. For neuritis took
possession of the bruised member, and I suffered with it, and the
nervous consequences of the shock, more than I can express.

And there was my work! How was I to finish it? And it must be
finished. I needed the money it would bring. As soon as the pain
subsided a little, I began to practice writing with my left
hand--tracing letters on the bedspread, and by the time I was able to
sit up a little, I was ready to take a pencil and pad. The result was,
that I finally wrote very plainly with the left hand, and through
sleepless, painful nights and days, I finished the manuscript of "The
House on Cherry Street," on July the twenty-fifth. And by that time, I
was able to superintend the typewriter, and to see that it was copied
faithfully.

On my seventy-ninth birthday I wrote, "I do not sleep two hours any
night. I am racked with pain in my right shoulder, arm and hand. Weak
and trembling and unfit to work, but trying to do as well as I can. My
left hand stands faithfully by me."

It was a hard summer in every way. Mr. Munro was in the hospital
for a dangerous operation, and Lilly broke down with care and
nursing. But through it all, Dr. Winter stood by me, full of hope
and encouragement, and promises of final recovery. Mrs. Klopsch
sent me constantly pretty hampers of fresh fruits, my friends in
Cornwall did all they could to evince their sympathy, and I had
almost a wicked joy in my success in training my left hand. Some
malign influence had found a moment in which to injure me, but I was
hourly getting the better of it. Every page I wrote was a triumph, and
Dr. Winter reminded me, also, that the enforced idleness was resting
my eyesight, which it sorely needed, and that as I would mind
neither physician nor oculist, there was nothing for it, but a fall
down stairs, to make me give my eyes a chance. He thought upon the
whole it had been a very merciful and necessary fall. So I made the
best of it.

On August, the twenty-third, I began "The Reconstructed Marriage,"
which I finished on the sixteenth of December. It was a very cold
winter, and Alice and I went to the Garden City Hotel, and I felt its
healthy influence at once, but I could not escape company, which in my
weakened condition was very fatiguing. So I bought a larger furnace,
and then my home was warm enough to return to. I only received one
thousand dollars for "The Reconstructed Marriage," but Mr. Dodd had
many reasons for cutting my price--the advance in wages, and the price
of paper, et cetera, all just reasons, no doubt, but they pressed hard
on me, for my long sickness asked for more, instead of less.

On March first, 1910, I heard of Dr. Klopsch's death. I put away all
work that day. He was my best friend! My truest friend! The friend on
whom I relied for advice or help in every emergency. I think there
were few that knew Dr. Klopsch. He was a man of the widest charity, if
you take that word in its noblest sense. And my heart ached for Mrs.
Klopsch, whom I love with a strong and true affection, for I knew the
lonely suffering she was passing through.

On March, the twelfth, I began "Sheila Vedder." It was really a
continuation of "Jan Vedder's Wife." I wrote it at the request of Mrs.
Frank Dodd, who said she wanted "to know something more about the
Vedders." The writing of this book was a great pleasure to me,
therefore I know that it has given pleasure to others; for if the
writer is not interested, the public will not be interested, that is
sure.

On April, the sixteenth, I make the short pitiful note, and it brings
tears to my eyes yet, "My sweet Alice's birthday. I could not afford
to give her any gift. I asked God to give it for me."

I finished "Sheila Vedder" on August twenty-fourth, and began making
notes for my Stuyvesant novel on August, the twenty-eighth. I was
three months in getting the material I wanted, and in fixing it
clearly in my mind, but I began this book on the fifteenth of
December.

This year, A.D. 1910, I was too poor to keep Christmas. I was not
without money, but taxes, insurance, servants' wages, and a ton of
coal every six days, with food, clothing, doctors and medicines, took
all the money I could make. And Christmas was not a necessity, though
I had always thought it one, and had never missed keeping it for
seventy-nine years.

While writing this Stuyvesant novel--which Dodd Mead called "A Maid of
Old New York"--a name I do not like, my own choice being "Peter
Stuyvesant's Ward," I became persistently aware of a familiarity, that
would not be dismissed; in fact I recognized in Theodore Roosevelt, a
reincarnation of Peter Stuyvesant, Roosevelt having all the fiery
radiations of Peter's character, modified in some cases by the spirit
of a more refined age, and intensified in others, by its wider
knowledge.

I sent this book to Colonel Roosevelt myself and received the
following reply to my letter:

  November 8, 1911.

  MY DEAR MRS. BARR:

  Any book of yours I am sure to read. I look forward to reading
  the volume just sent me, which of course has a peculiar
  interest to me, as a descendant of some of old Peter Stuyvesant's
  contemporaries. It would be a pleasure if I could see you some
  time.

  With warm regards, and all good wishes and thanks, I am

  Sincerely yours,

  THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

The thing that delights me in this pleasant note, is that all the kind
words, good wishes and thanks, are written by his own hand,
interpolated as it were. I prize it very highly. I would not part with
it for anything.

This March twenty-ninth was my eightieth birthday, and I had one
hundred and thirty letters and cards full of good wishes, from men and
women whom I have never seen, and who were scattered in many states
and far distant places.

I finished the Stuyvesant novel on August, the first, 1911, and on
September, the eighth, 1911, I began to write this story of my
life, which is now drawing rapidly to its conclusion on October
twenty-eighth, A.D. 1912.

It has been a grand lesson to me. I have recalled all God's goodness,
remembered all His mercies, lived over again the years in which I have
seen so much sorrow and labor, and I say gratefully, yes, joyfully,
they were all good days, for always God has been what He promised
me--"_Sufficient!_"



CHAPTER XXVI

THE VERDICT OF LIFE

  "Lord, mend, or make us--one creation
    Will not suffice our turn;
  Except Thou make us daily, we shall spurn
    Our own salvation."


Old age is the verdict of life. I am now an old woman. Many people
tell me so, and there is the indisputable evidence of my eighty-second
birthday, the twenty-ninth of next March. But truly I am unconscious
of being old. My life here is so simple, that I have never as yet met
either business or social demands I was not able to fulfil without any
sense of effort. My day's work is as long as it was twenty years ago,
and I have quite as much pleasure in it now, as I had then. I have
rarely a headache now. I was rarely without one then. I enjoy my food,
especially my breakfast, and the eminent physician Brudenel of London
told me that an enjoyment of breakfast was an excellent sign of
general well being. I sleep seven hours every night, neither more nor
less, except under some unusual circumstances; but I never fail to be
ten hours in the restful and recuperative freedom of the night's
silence and darkness. I have made my living for forty-two years in a
stooping posture, but I am yet perfectly erect, and I ascend the
stairs as rapidly as I ever did. I am more free from pain than I have
been for many years. A touch now and then of rheumatism reminds me
that I am a subject to mortality, and a gray hair here and there
foretells the hand that shall finally prevail. But life is still sweet
and busy, and my children talk of what I am going to do in the future,
as if I was immortal. Also my long true friends on the daily press do
the same thing. They tell of what I am writing or planning to write,
far more than of what I have done in the past. And I hope and pray,
when the Master comes, He will find me at my desk, writing such words
as it will please Him to see. For to literature, humanly speaking, I
am indebted not only for my living, but also for every blessing I
enjoy--health of body, activity of mind, cheerfulness, contentment,
and continual employment, therefore continual happiness.

Happiness? Yes, I will certainly let the word stand. My old age is
very like this fine October day; calm, restful and fair in its own
beauty. Indeed both in body and mind,

  "I have put on an Autumn glow,
    A richer red after the rainy weather,
  I mourn not for the Spring, for the lost long ago,
    But clothe my cliffs with purple-honeyed heather."

I feel strongly that these last years of life must not be a time of
repose, but rather a time of beginning again; of learning afresh how
best to make ready for the new world before me. I wish to master the
fine art of dying well, as great a lesson as the fine art of living,
about which every one is so busy; for I want to take into the Great
Unknown before me, a supple, joyous spirit ready for it.

Eighty-two years ago I was not. Then I was. I have had my day. I have
warmed both hands at the fire of life. I have drank every cup, joyful
or sorrowful, life could give me; but neither my soul nor my heart is
old. Time has laid his hand gently on me, just as a harper lays his
open palm upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations--that is all. The
sunrise has never yet melted for me into the light of common day. The
air, far from being emptied of wonder, is thrilled with its new
travelers for peace and war. Still I can listen to Greene and Putnam,
and Sam Houston, shouting in the trenches of freedom, and hear the
palaces of tyrants crumbling, and see the dungeons of cruelty flame to
heaven. Nobody has watched the daily papers of the last few months
with more eager and passionate interest than I have done. I have
followed the great colonel with all my youthful enthusiasms, and
listened at the street corners to the noble band of women pleading for
their just rights. Such a pitiful sight! How can the noble American
male bear to see it? Why does he not stand up in her place, and speak
for her. Any decent Christian will speak for a dumb man, and women
have been dumb for unknown centuries. They are only learning now to
talk, only learning to ask for what they want.

"Then I am for Women's Suffrage?" I am for the enfranchisement of
every slave. I am for justice, even to women. Any one who lived in
England during the early half of the nineteenth century would be a
suffragist; for then the most highly cultured wife was constantly
treated by her husband, as Tennyson says, "Something better than his
dog, a little dearer than his horse."

Men ought to remember that they have had a mother, as well as a
father, and that in most cases she has been, in every way, the better
parent of the two. All my life long I have been sensible of the
injustice constantly done to women. Since I have had to fight the
world single-handed, there has not been one day I have not smarted
under the wrongs I have had to bear, because I was not only a woman,
but a woman doing a man's work, without any man, husband, son, brother
or friend, to stand at my side, and to see some semblance of justice
done me. I cannot forget, for injustice is a sixth sense, and rouses
all the others. If it was not for the constant inflowing of God into
human affairs, the condition of women would today have been almost as
insufferable, as was the condition of the negro in 1860. However, the
movement for the enfranchisement of women will go forward, and not
backward, and I have not one fear as to the consequences it will bring
about.

I have lived, I have loved, I have worked, and at eighty-two I only
ask that the love and the work continue while I live. What I must do,
I will love to do. It is a noble chemistry, that turns necessity into
pleasure. About my daily life I have been as frank and truthful as it
was possible to be; but I have not found the opportunity of saying
anything about my dream life. Yet how poor my daily life would have
been without it. All day long we are in the world, and occupied with
its material things, but the night celebrates the resurrection of the
soul. Then, while the body lies dormant and incapable of motion, the
soul is free to wander far off, and to meddle with events that the
body is unconscious of. What is the lesson we learn night after night
from this condition? It proves to us the separate existence of the
soul. We are asleep one-third of our life. Is the soul as inert and
dead as the body appears to be?

No! No! Who has not suffered and rejoiced in dreams, with an intensity
impossible to their waking hours? Who has not then striven with things
impossible and accomplished them without any feeling of surprise? Ah,
dreams reveal to us powers of the soul, which we shall never realize
until this mortal puts on immortality!

The shadowy land of dreams rests upon the terra-firma of revelation,
for the dream literature of the Bible comprises some of its most
delightful and important passages. God did not the less fulfil all his
promises to Jacob, because they were made in a dream; nay but in a
second dream, he encourages Jacob, by reminding him of this first
dream. All through the historical part of the Bible its dream world
presses continually on its humanity; and the sublime beauty of the
prophecies is nowhere more remarkable than in the dreams of these
spiritual sentinels of the people. In all the realm of poetry, where
can there be found anything to equal that dream of the millennium
peace, which Zachariah saw--the angel standing among the myrtle trees,
and the angelic horsemen walking to-and-fro in the happy earth
reporting, "Behold all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest." There
is little need to speak of the dream life in the New Testament. Every
one is familiar with it.

"God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not; in a dream,
in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon man in
slumberings upon the bed." This was Job's testimony. Dare any one
declare that God has ceased to speak to man? Every man and woman has
exigencies and sorrows of which only God knows, and only God can
counsel and comfort. I solemnly declare, that I have known this truth
all my life long:

  "Whoso has felt the Spirit of the Highest,
    Cannot confound, nor doubt Him, nor deny;
  Yea, with one voice, O World, though thou deniest,
    Stand thou on that side, for on this, am I."

There has always been a distinction between dreams and visions.
Visions imply the agency of an angel. Christ did not dream of an angel
comforting him in Gethsemane; "there appeared an angel unto Him from
heaven strengthening him." Visions are much rarer than dreams. I have
had divine and prophesying dreams of many kinds, but never have had a
vision. My spiritual ear was pre-attuned to heavenly voices, when I
came into this reincarnation, but my sight has not yet been opened.
Yet I am intensely sensitive to Spiritual Presence, and though I
cannot discern it, it is as real to me as my own person. Never in all
eternity can I forget the Angel Presence who came to me when I was a
child twelve years old. I was praying with all my child heart, that
God would love me, and teach me how to please Him, and suddenly, even
as I prayed, there was _some one there_, and I heard a voice, clear
and sweet, say to me, "Arise and shine, for thy light has come." And I
was so happy, I thought I was in heaven. If all the events I have
written in this book should vanish from memory, this one would remain
bright and imperishable, though the waves of centuries washed over it.
Yet I did not see. I am not yet ready for vision. But it will come,
for we have a natural body, and we have a spiritual body--not we are
going to have--we already possess it, and as we develop our spiritual
faculties, they will be ours.

No doctrine is taught more authoritatively and constantly in the Bible
than that of Angel Ministry. Whenever we read of angels it is as
helpers and comforters. They rejoice over our repentance, they
minister continually to our sorrows. The broken in heart, the eyes
washed and cleared by consecrating tears, the feet that have been to
the border land, _they know_. However there never was in Christendom
an age when there were so many creeds and so little faith. People are
proud of being practical and material. They forget that our spiritual
life is beyond all scientific laws, and rests entirely on one
spiritual and miraculous book, and one spiritual and miraculous life.

On the twenty-third of September, that is about a month ago, a most
interesting thing happened. I received by mail a newspaper in English,
printed and published in the City of Jerusalem, Palestine; a large
sheet of four pages, and the lower half of every page was occupied by
the article I had written for the _American_ of New York, on the
subject of spiritual revelations, and the sublime destiny of man
through the means of reincarnations. It delighted me that this article
should appear in a paper named _The Truth_ and this especially,
because the subject of reincarnation was well known in ancient
Jerusalem; was indeed a recognized faith in all Judea in the time of
Christ. With the exception of the class called Sadducees, the Jew
believed in his own immortality. He knew that whatever had its
beginning in time, must end in time; but he looked backward, as well
as forward, to an eternity of God's love. Solomon says for all his
race, the indisputable words of faith found in Proverbs, 8:22-31.

What does reincarnation demand of us? Only that we should by a series
of human lives, attain to the condition of celestial beings, worthy to
be called the sons and daughters of The Most High. Some through love,
obedience and self denial--which last is the highest form of soul
culture--will reach this end sooner than others, but I believe _all_
will eventually do so; for it is not the will of God that _any_ should
perish, but that _all_ should come to repentance, and consequently to
an era of effort, which will finally prevail.

Every new existence is paid for by the old age and death of a body
worn out, which though it has perished, contained the indestructible
seed out of which the new life has arisen. And why should we not come
back as often as we are capable of acquiring fresh knowledge and
experience? Do we carry away so much from one life, that there is
nothing left to repay us for coming back?

A constant objection against reincarnation is the nearly universal
absence of any recollection of a previous life. _It is a great mercy
that we do not remember._ In some cases, memories might be so full of
sin, error, and even crime, that the details carried forward, would
fill the soul with despair at the outset.

Few indeed remember anything of the first two years of their present
life, at seventy most people have forgotten nine out of ten incidents
of their past days. They know that they are the result of all that
they have come through, that their identity is the same with that of
the infant, the schoolboy and girl, the over-confident young man or
woman, the wiser ones of middle life, and the tranquil saddened ones
of old age, but their memory has only linked results, not incidents.
They are the creation of their past, and the nature they have evolved,
is its memory.

And if we could remember our former lives it would seriously hinder
the present one. The soul knowing the significance of the trials
reserved for it, would become hardened and careless, and perhaps
paralyzed by the hopelessness of mastering them. The struggle must be
free, voluntary, and safe from past influences. The field of combat
must seem new. It would be bad for a soul to know it had failed
before, much harder for it to pluck up its courage, and to try again;
beside the backward-looking soul, would dwell in the past, instead of
the present, and so miss the best uses of life.

Others object to reincarnation because they assert it is unjust for
us to suffer in this life, for acts done in past ones and forgotten.
But does the forgetting of any sinful act, absolve us from its
consequences? Under this strange ethical law, a murderer might be
hypnotized into forgetfulness, become unconscious of his crime, and
absolved from all its moral and legal consequences. And there is
this great alleviation, that even while suffering the effects of
the sins of our past lives, the effect changes into a new cause,
according to our attitude towards it. For by a courageous, patient
fortitude in the bearing of our just punishment, we can "rise on the
stepping-stones of our dead selves to higher things."

It is objected also, that reincarnation will separate us forever from
those we loved in life. Nothing is further from the truth. Like every
phenomenon in Nature, reincarnation proceeds under the law of cause
and effect. We ourselves set up the causes which will affect our
re-birth. These causes originate in the acts and feelings, which
relate us to those with whom we have daily associations, and who are
the objects of our thoughts and acts, whether of love or of hatred. We
cannot set up causes which will bind our lives with people, whom we
have never met; we are bound to those only, with whom we have been
closely connected by bonds of love or of hatred.

Yes, hatred; for attraction and repulsion are but opposite poles of
the same force, and are of equal strength. This fact explains the
hatred that sometimes exists between parents and children, and other
ties of close relationship. It also explains "the black sheep" in the
family. It has been drawn thither by antecedent hatred, and has none
of the family's traditions, tastes or moralities. So powerful is this
attraction, that it can draw souls to, or from existence. How often do
husband and wife follow each other quickly to the grave! How often
does the newborn babe pine away after its mother's death, and the
nurses declare she is "drawing it to her." The association of a family
is likely to continue as long as there is any attraction or repulsion
between the souls that composed it, and is a far wiser provision for
human happiness, than the mere ties of fleshly relationship; for soul
attraction brings to each soul its own, and we daily see its superior
power evinced in this life. The youth leaves father and mother for the
wife of his choice; the girl leaves her family, and her home, and goes
happily far away, with some stranger whom her soul loves.

We may also claim for reincarnation, the great law which causes all
things in Nature, to take the path of least resistance. Every soul
will be actuated in a greater or less degree by this law, and the path
of least resistance would naturally be towards its own kindred. I have
my pedigree to five generations before the Conquest, and I feel as if
I had always incarnated among my kindred, scattered through the
beautiful Valley of the Duddon, and the mountains of the western part
of the Lake Country. This is the corner of England I love the best. I
feel it is my home country. I am a daughter of its soil, and may have
been so for a thousand years.

The doctrine of inherited sin and its consequences unto the third and
fourth generation, is a hard lesson to learn; but no one can complain
if the disposition and endowments which he has inherited from his
_former self_, are the source of his troubles and punishments. We reap
what we sow. The seeds of sin and sorrow spring from some old sowing
of our own. There is no use to blame Adam and Eve. We alone are
responsible, and the character with which we leave this life, is
inevitably the one with which we shall begin a new life. We can only
begin with what we have.

  "The tissue of the life to be,
    We weave with colors all our own;
  And in the field of Destiny,
    We reap as we have sown."

I have now named the principal objections to reincarnation, let me
speak of its great hope and blessing. It is this--_we can always
remedy the errors of the past_. We can say, this evil is of my making,
I can therefore unmake it. This hatred sprang from my injustice. It
shall not trouble my next life. I will put the wrong right while it is
called _to-day_. In this way, we can truly bury the evil past.

I have heard from believers in reincarnation some remarkable
reminiscences, but in all of the flashes of past existence that have
come to me, my chief interest appears to be in household matters,
except in one sharp vision, when I was a man, and the captain of a
great ship. This ship was quite familiar to me, and here I mark an
interesting thing. I have written in a number of romances, scenes
which were on ships, and on the sea. I never studied anything about
ships, or nautical terms. When I was writing the proper words came
without effort. Yet Captain Young of the _Devonia_ and the _City of
Rome_ told me, that there was not a nautical error in them. This can
only be accounted for, as a sub-conscious remembrance of what I
learned in this incarnation, when I sailed the sea. Socrates declared
that "all that we called learning, was recollection."

My last recollection of this life is a vivid and terrible one. It
comes always in a swift flash of consciousness, with every detail
clear as noonday. I find myself on the ship standing by the main mast.
We are in the midst of a mighty typhoon. The skies are riven with
lightning. Black clouds are tossed upon an horizon, where there is a
pale livid glow. The waves thunder, and there is a roaring howl of
wind in my ears. The sailors are lying face downward on the deck. I
alone stand upright. There is nothing more. I do not see the death of
the ship, but I know that she went to the bottom with every soul on
her.

With this exception any fleeting vision I have had from the past
refers to household matters, and ordinary events. The image of one man
is the most persistent. He always flings the door open violently,
looks steadily at me, and appears to be approaching my chair. Then I
tremble and turn sick, and the whole vanishes; but I know the man was
once my husband. I know it because I fear him so much. That was a
common attitude of English wives in the past centuries, and was far
from being extinct at the beginning of this century.

I will not here speak of the teachers of reincarnation. They comprise
the greatest men of every epoch. It will be enough to name some of our
own day whom all remember. Among the clergy Henry Ward Beecher and
Phillips Brooks dared to preach it. James Freeman Clarke warmly
espoused its justice and its hope. Professor William Knight, the
Scotch metaphysician of St. Andrew, and Professor Francis Brown of
Harvard University, clearly show their belief in our pre-existence.
Orlando Smith in his wonderful book called "Eternalism" advances
arguments impossible to answer, in favor of the soul's existence from
all eternity; and Dr. Edward Beecher in his works called "The Conflict
of Ages" and "The Concord of Ages" casts the seed of our pre-existence
through a large portion of the clergy, and of the thoughtful readers
of this country. I have two beautiful letters on this subject from the
Reverend Charles Beecher, one of which I transcribe.

  WYSOX, PA.
  February 6, 1891.

  MRS. AMELIA BARR:

  DEAR MADAM:

  I have been a diligent reader of your works, reading them aloud to
  my family, which is our custom.

  I have noticed in several of them intimations of a belief in a
  former life before this pilgrimage of earth life. Such ideas have
  ever possessed a peculiar charm for me, and I have wondered that
  they have not often been used in fiction.

  In some of the Erkmann-Chatrian novels there are indications of
  it; also in the writings of Lucy Larcom, and some others. In the
  hymns of the common people, such allusions are very frequent, and
  often very beautiful.

  It is not merely a poetical fancy, the idea that we have seen
  better days, and that heaven is fatherland and home--though it is
  poetical, the very heart and soul of all poetry--but it is more
  than a fancy or dream; it is a grand and glorious truth, and
  lights up the Valley of the Shadow, through which we are all
  passing.

  I thank God for the work he is enabling you to do. May it long
  continue.

  Sincerely your friend,

  CHARLES BEECHER.

Reincarnation is like the message of the stars, there is no speech or
language where its voice is not heard. There is indeed at the present
time an universal, though unsuspected, prevalence of this ancient
knowledge; shed by flower-like souls of all past ages, and blossoming
again firmly and finely in all our poetry, fiction, religious and
philosophical writings. It has taken possession of men's most secret
thoughts, for it has its own way of convincing them. It is a good
sign. For heaven no longer allures and hell no longer terrifies; but
if a man can be persuaded that he has a soul, and that he must save
his soul alive, because it is possible to lose it, he is brought face
to face with a reality he cannot ignore. I have talked with a very
large number of young men on this subject, and in every case, their
souls rose up courageously to meet its obligations.

"It will be a fight to your last day," I tell them, "but be men, and
fight for your soul's life. For Christ says it can be lost, even while
you go to church every Sunday morning, and are diligent in business
all the week. It can be lost. If you should lose your money, what a
lamentation there would be; but a _soul can be lost without noise,
without observation_." What reincarnation has to say on this subject,
I do not fully accept. My early Methodism clings to me, and I believe
firmly that God is not willing, that _any_ soul should be lost, but
that all should find the safety of his Great Father Love.

The future is not a torture chamber nor a condemned cell nor a
reformatory. Even if we do make our bed in hell, God is there, and
light, and truth, and love are there; and effort shall follow effort,
and goal succeed goal, until we reach the colossal wisdom and goodness
of spiritual beings. "Yet," and reincarnation has a yet, though many
like myself are loth to entertain it; but this "yet" is better
expressed in the following verses than I can frame it. No one can be
the worse for considering the possibility they infer:

  "If thou art base and earthly, then despair;
    Thou art but mortal, as the brute that falls.
  Birds weave their nests, the lion finds a lair,
                Man builds his halls,

  "These are but coverts from earth's war and storm;
    Homes where our lesser lives take shape and breath.
  _But if no heavenly man has grown, what form
                Clothes thee at death?_

  "And when thy meed of penalty is o'er
    And fire has burned the dross where gold is none,
  Shall separate life but wasted heretofore,
                Still linger on?

  "God fills all space--whatever doth offend
    From His unbounded Presence shall be spurned;
  Or deem'st thou, He should garner tares, whose end
                Is to be burned.

  "If thou wouldst see the Power that round thee sways,
    In whom all motion, thought, and life are cast,
  Know that the pure who travel heavenward ways,
                See God at last."

Further I press upon the young, not to be ashamed of their disposition
to be sentimental or religious. It is the sentimental young men who
conquer; it is the men steeped in religious thought and aspiration,
who _do_ things. Whatever the scientists may say, if we take the
supernatural out of life, we leave only the unnatural. But science is
the magical word of the day, and scientists too often profess to
doubt, whether we have a soul for one life, not to speak of a
multitude of lives. "There is no proof!" they cry. "No proof! No proof
of the soul's existence." Neither is there any proof of the existence
of the mind. But the mind bores tunnels, and builds bridges and
conceived aviation. And the soul can re-create a creature of clay, and
of the most animal instincts, until he reaches the colossal manhood of
a Son of God. Religion is life, not science.

It is now the twenty-seventh of October, 1912, and a calm, lovely
Sabbath. I have been quite alone for three weeks, and have finished
this record in unbroken solitude and peace. Mary is in Florida, and
Alice is in New York with her sister Lilly. Sitting still in the long
autumn evenings, I have drawn the past from the eternity into which it
had fallen, to look at it again, and to talk to myself very intimately
about it; and I confess, that though it is the nature of the soul to
adore what it has lost, that I prefer what I possess. Though youth and
beauty have departed, the well springs of love and imagination are, in
my nature, too deep to be touched by the frost of age. Nourished by
the dews of the heart and the intellect they will grow sweeter and
deeper and more refreshing to the end of my life; for the things of
the soul and the heart are eternal.

I have lived among "things unseen" as well as seen, always nursing in
my heart that sweet promise of the times of restitution. Neither is
the fire of youth dead, it glows within, rather than flames
without--that is all. And there is a freshness, all its own, reserved
for the aged who have _come uphill all the way_, and at last found the
clearer air, and serener solitudes of those heights, beyond the fret
and stir of the restless earth.

I have told my story just as I lived it; told it with the utmost
candor and truthfulness. I have exaggerated nothing, far from it. This
is especially true as regards all spiritual experiences. I hold them
far too sacred to be added to, or taken from. My life has been a drama
of sorrow and loss, of change and labor, but God wrote it, and I would
not change anything He ordained.

  "I would not miss one sigh or tear,
    Heart pang, or throbbing brow.
  Sweet was the chastisement severe,
    And sweet its memory now."

For as my day, so has my strength been; not once, but always. There
was an hour, forty-five years ago, when all the waves and billows of
the sea of sorrow went over my head. Then He said to me, "Am I not
sufficient?" And I answered, "Yes, Lord." Has He failed me ever since?
Not once. Always, the power, has come with the need.

Farewell, my friends! You that will follow me through the travail and
labor of eighty years, farewell! I shall see very few of you face to
face in this life, but somewhere--perhaps--somewhere, we may meet and
_know each other on sight_. And if you find in these red leaves of a
human heart, a word of strength, or hope, or comfort, that is my great
reward. Again farewell! Be of good cheer. Fear not. (2 Esdras, 6:33.)
There is hope and promise in the years to come.

I will now let the curtain fall over my past, with a grateful
acknowledgment that every sorrow has found its place in my life, and I
should have been a loser without it. Even chance acquaintances have
had their meaning, and done their work, and the web of life could not
have been better woven of love alone.

God has not spoken His last word to me, though I am nearly eighty-one
years old. When I have rested my eyes, I am ready for the work, ready
for me. And I do not feel it too late, to offer daily the great prayer
of Moses for consolation, "Comfort us again, for the years wherein we
have seen evil." As for the cares and exigencies of daily life, I
commit them to Him, who has never yet failed me, and

  "If I should let all other comfort go,
      And every other promise be forgot,
  My soul would sit and sing, because I know
                He faileth not!

  "He faileth not! What winds of God may blow,
      What safe or perilous ways may be my lot,
  Gives but little care; for this I know,
                He faileth not!"

Sustained by this confidence, I can face without fear the limitations
of age, and the transition we call death. I have love and friendship
around me; I give help and sympathy whenever I can, and I do my day's
work gladly. The rest is with God.



APPENDICES

APPENDIX I

HUDDLESTON LORDS OF MILLOM


If I followed my own desire, instead of the general custom, I should
place the genealogical history of the Huddlestons of Millom before my
own story and not after it. For to the noble men and women who passed
on the name to me, I owe everything that has made my life useful to
others, and happy to myself. They conserved for me, upon the wide seas
of the world and the mountains and fells of Cumberland, that splendid
vitality, which still at eighty-two years of age enables me to do
continuously eight and nine hours of steady mental work without sense
of fatigue, which keeps me young in heart and brain and body. They
transmitted to me their noble traditions of faith in God, and of
passionate love for their country. From them I received that eternal
hope which treads disaster under its feet, that courage which never
fails, because God never can fail, and that natural religious trust
which is the abiding foundation of a life that has continually turned
sorrow into joy and apparent failure into certain success.

I honor all my predecessors as I honor my father and my mother, and I
have had the promise added to that commandment. "My days have been
long in the land which the Lord, my God, has given me." These few
natal notes are all I now know of them, but I have a sure faith that
in some future the bare facts will grow into the living romances they
only now hint of. I shall know them all and all of them will know me;
and we shall talk together of the different experiences we met on our
widely different roads to the same continuing home--a home not made
with hands, eternal in the heavens.

A. E. B.


HUDDLESTON LORDS OF MILLOM

The pedigree of this very ancient family is traced back to five
generations before the Conquest. The first, however, of the name who
was lord of Millom was,

SIR JOHN HUDDLESTON, KNIGHT, who was the son of Adam, son of John, son
of Richard, son of Reginald, son of Nigel, son of Richard, son of
another Richard, son of John, son of Adam, son of Adam de Hodleston in
co. York. The five last named according to the York _MS_ were before
the Conquest.

SIR JOHN DE HODLESTON, KNIGHT, in the year 1270 was witness to a deed
in the Abbey of St. Mary in Furness. By his marriage with the Lady
Joan, Sir John became lord of Anneys in Millom. In the 20th Edward I,
1292, he proved before Hugh Cressingham, justice itinerant, that he
possessed JURA REGALIA within the lordship of Millom. In the 25th,
1297, he was appointed by the king warder or governor of Galloway in
Scotland. In the 27th, 1299, he was summoned as baron of the realm, to
do military service; in the next year, 1300, he was present at the
siege of Carlaverock. In the 29th, 1301, though we have no proof that
he was summoned, he attended the Parliament in Lincoln, and subscribed
as a baron the celebrated letter to the Pope, by the title of lord of
Anneys. He was still alive in the 4th of Edward IV, 1311. Sir John had
three sons--John who died early, and Richard and Adam.

The Hudlestons of Hutton--John--were descended from a younger branch
of the family at Millom, as were the Hudlestons of Swaston co.,
Cambridge, who settled there temp. Henry VIII, in consequence of a
marriage with one of the co-heiresses of the Marquis Montague.

RICHARD HUDLESTON, son and heir, succeeded his father. Both he and his
brother Adam are noticed in the later writs of Edward I. They were
both of the faction of the Earl of Lancaster, and obtained in the 7th
Edward II, 1313, a pardon for their participation with him in the
death of the king's favorite, Gaveston. Adam was taken prisoner with
the earl in the Battle of Boroughbridge in 1322, where he bore for
arms gules fretted with silver, with a label of azure. Richard was not
at that battle and in the 19th of the king, 1326, when Edward II
summoned the Knights of every county to the Parliament at Westminster,
was returned the first among the Knights of Cumberland. He married
Alice, daughter of Richard Troughton in the 13th, Edward II,
1319-1320, and had issue.

JOHN HUDLESTON, son of the above named Richard, who succeeded his
father in 1337, and married a daughter of Henry Fenwick, lord of
Fenwick, co. of Northumberland.

RICHARD HUDLESTON, son of John.

SIR RICHARD HUDLESTON, KNIGHT, served as a banneret at the Battle of
Agincourt, 1415. He married Anne, sister of Sir William Harrington K.
G., and served in the wars in France, in the retinue of that knight.

SIR JOHN HUDLESTON, KNIGHT, son of Richard, was appointed to treat
with the Scottish commissioners on border matters in the 4th Edward
IV, 1464; was knight of the shire in the 7th, 1467; appointed one of
the conservators of the peace on the borders in the 20th, 1480; and
again in the 2nd of Richard, 1484; and died on the 6th of November in
the 9th of Henry VII, 1494. He married Joan, one of the co-heirs of
Sir Miles Stapleton of Ingham in Yorkshire. He was made bailiff and
keeper of the king's woods and chases in Barnoldwick, in the county of
York; sheriff of the county of Cumberland, by the Duke of Gloucester
for his life steward of Penrith, and warden of the west marches. He
had three sons----

  1. Sir Richard K. B., who died in the lifetime of his father, 1st
  Richard III. He married Margaret, natural daughter of Richard
  Nevill, earl of Warwick, and had one son and two daughters, viz:

    Richard married Elizabeth, daughter of Lady Mabel Dacre, and
    died without issue, when the estates being entailed passed to
    the heir male, the descendant of his Uncle John.

    Johan married to Hugh Fleming, Esq., of Rydal.

    Margaret married to Launcelot Salkeld, Esq., of Whitehall.

  2. Sir John.

  3. Sir William.

SIR JOHN HUDLESTON, second son of Sir John and Joan his wife, married
Joan, daughter of Lord Fitz Hugh, and dying the 5th Henry VIII,
1513-1514, was succeeded by his son.

SIR JOHN HUDLESTON K. B., espoused firstly the Lady Jane Clifford,
youngest daughter of Henry, earl of Cumberland, by whom he had no
issue. He married secondly Joan, sister of Sir John Seymour, Kn't, and
aunt of Jane Seymour, queen consort of Henry VIII, and by her he had
issue----

  ANTHONY his heir.

  ANDREW, who married Mary, sister and co-heiress of Thomas Hutton,
  Esq., of Hutton--John, from whom descended the branch at that
  mansion.

  A daughter who married Sir Hugh Askew, Kn't, yeoman of the cellar
  to Henry VIII, and Ann, married to Ralph Latus, Esq., of the
  Beck.

  Sir John, died 38th, Henry VIII, 1546-7.

ANTHONY HUDLESTON, ESQ., son and heir, married Mary, daughter of Sir
William Barrington, Knight, and was succeeded by his son

WILLIAM HUDLESTON, ESQ., knight of the shire in the 43rd Elizabeth,
who married Mary, daughter of Bridges, Esq., of Gloucestershire.

FERDINANDO HUDLESTON, son and heir, was also knight of the shire in
the 21st James I. He married Jane, daughter of Sir Ralph Grey, knight
of Chillingham, and had issue nine sons--WILLIAM, JOHN, FERDINANDO,
RICHARD, RALPH, INGLEBY, EDWARD, ROBERT, and JOSEPH; all of whom were
officers in the service of Charles I. He was succeeded by his eldest
son.

SIR WILLIAM HUDLESTON, a zealous and devoted royalist, who raised a
regiment of horse for his sovereign, and also a regiment of foot; the
latter he maintained at his own expense during the whole of the war.
For his good services and his personal bravery at the battle of
Edgehill, where he retook the royal standard, he was made a knight
banneret by Charles I on the field. He married Bridget, daughter of
Joseph Pennington, Esq., of Muncaster. He had issue, besides his
successor, a daughter, Isabel, who married Richard Kirkby, Esq., of
Furness, and was succeeded by his son.

FERDINAND HUDLESTON, ESQ., who married Dorothy, daughter of Peter
Hunley, merchant of London, and left a sole daughter and heiress Mary,
who married Charles West, Lord Delawar, and died without issue. At his
decease the representation of his family reverted to

RICHARD HUDLESTON, ESQ., son of Colonel John Hudleston, Esq., second
son of Ferdinando Hudleston, and Jane Grey his wife. This gentleman
married Isabel, daughter of Thomas Hudleston, Esq., of Bainton, co.
York, and was succeeded by his son,

FERDINANDO HUDLESTON, ESQ., who married Elizabeth, daughter of Lyon
Falconer, Esq., co. Rutland, by whom he had issue,

WILLIAM HUDLESTON, ESQ. This gentleman married Gertrude, daughter of
Sir William Meredith, Bart., by whom he had issue, two daughters,
Elizabeth and Isabella. Elizabeth, the elder, married Sir Hedworth
Williamson, Bart., who in 1774 sold the estate for little more than
20,000 pounds to Sir James Lowther, Bart.--by whom it was devised to
his successor, the Earl of Lonsdale.

Millom Castle, considerable remains of which are still in existence,
is pleasantly situated in the township of Millom Below, near the mouth
of the Duddon. It was fortified and embattled in 1335 by Sir John
Hudleston, who obtained a license from the King for that purpose. In
ancient times it was surrounded by a fine park. Here for many
centuries the lords of Millom held their feudal pomp and state
undisturbed by war's tempestuous breath, from which the more northerly
parts of the country suffered so severely, and so often; and we do not
hear that the Castle was ever attacked previous to the wars of the
Parliament, when it appears to have been invested, though no
particulars respecting the occurrence have been recorded. It is at
this period that the old vicarage house, which was in the neighborhood
of the Castle, was pulled down, lest the rebels should take refuge
therein. Mr. Thomas Denton tells us, that in 1688 the castle was much
in want of repair. He also informs us that the gallows where the lords
of Millom exercised their power of punishing criminals with death
stood on a hill near the castle, and that felons had suffered there
shortly before the time at which he was writing. He describes the park
as having within twenty years abounded with oak, which to the value of
4,000 pounds had been cut down to serve as fuel at the iron forges.
When John Denton wrote the castle appears to have been in a partly
ruinous state, although the lords still continued to reside there
occasionally. In 1739 the old fortress appears to have been in much
the same condition as it is in our own times. In 1774 when Nicholson
and Burn published their history, the park was well stocked with deer,
and this state of things continued till the year 1802, when it was
disparked by the earl of Lonsdale. The old feudal stronghold of the
Boyvilles and Hudlestons now serves as a farmhouse, the principal part
remaining is a large square tower, formerly embattled, but at present
terminated by a plain parapet. The chief entrance appears to have been
in the east front by a lofty flight of steps. In a wall of the garden
are the arms of Hudleston, as also in the wall of an outhouse. On the
south and west sides traces of the moat are still visible. The
lordship of Millom still retains its own coroner.

After the sale of Millom to the Earl of Lonsdale, which occurred only
twenty-five years before the birth of my father, many of the
Huddleston family emigrated to Newfoundland and to the American
colonies. There were Huddlestons settled in Texas who had fought with
General Sam Houston. They were large land owners and had patriarchal
wealth in cattle and horses. I know this, for I wrote their
assessments during the last two years of the Civil War. A California
editor told me three years ago that there were Huddlestons among the
rich miners of that state; and there is a notable branch of the family
descended from Valentine Huddleston who came to the Plymouth colony in
A.D. 1622. This gentleman is among the list of the proprietors of
Dartmouth. He had two sons the eldest of whom bore the family name of
_Henry_. Nothing can be more clear and straight than the pedigree of
this branch; and its direct descendant is at the present day one of
New York's most esteemed and influential citizens.


THE LORDS OF MILLOM

  From Bulmer & Co.'s "History and Directory of Westmoreland,"
  Millom Parish, page 154.

The Boyvilles held the seigniory in heir male issue from the reign of
Henry I to the reign of Henry III, a space of one hundred years, when
the name and family ended in a daughter, Joan de Millom, by her
marriage with Sir John Huddleston (No. 5, FOOT-PRINTS), conveyed the
inheritance to that family, with whom it remained for about five
hundred years. The Huddlestons were an ancient and honorable family
who could trace their pedigree back five generations before the
Conquest. The lords of Millom frequently played important parts in the
civil and military history of the country. Richard and Adam (Nos. 6
and 7, FOOT-PRINTS), reign of Edward II, were implicated in the murder
of Gaveston, the king's favorite, and the latter was taken prisoner at
the battle of Borough Bridge in 1322. Sir Richard Huddleston (No. 12,
FOOT-PRINTS) served as a banneret at the battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Sir John Huddleston was appointed one of the conservators of the peace
on the borders in 1480, high sheriff of Yorkshire, steward of Neurith,
and warden of the West Marches.

Sir William Huddleston (No. 17, FOOT-PRINTS), a zealous and devoted
royalist, raised a regiment of horsemen for the service of the
sovereign, as also a regiment of footmen, and the latter he maintained
at his own expense. At the battle of Edge Hill he retook the standard
from the Cromwellians, and for this act of personal valor he was made
a knight banneret by the king on the field.

William Huddleston (not No. 17, FOOT-PRINTS), the twenty-first of his
family who held Millom, left two daughters, Elizabeth and Isabella.
The former of whom married Sir Hedworth Williamson, Bart., who in 1774
sold the estate for a little more than £20,000 to Sir James Lowther,
Bart., from whom it has descended to the present Earl of Lonsdale.

Millom Castle, of which considerable remains are still in existence,
is pleasantly situated near the church. It was for many centuries the
feudal residence of the lords of Millom, and though its venerable
ruins have been neglected, still they point out its former strength
and importance. It was fortified and embattled in 1335 by Sir John
Huddleston in pursuance of a license received from the king. It was
anciently surrounded by a park well stocked with deer, and adorned
with noble oaks, which were cut down in 1690 by Ferdinando Huddleston
to supply timber for the building of a ship and fuel for his smelting
furnace.

The principal part of the castle now remaining is a large square tower
formerly embattled but now terminated by a plain parapet.

Mr. John Denton tells us the Castle in his time (the middle of the
15th century) was partly in a ruined state though the lords continued
to reside there occasionally. Before the year 1774 the park was well
stocked with deer and continued so until 1802 when Lord Lonsdale
disparked it and 207 deer were killed and the venison sold from 2d. to
4d. per lb.

The feudal hall of the Boyvilles and the Huddlestons where the lords
of Millom lived in almost royal state is now the domicil of a farmer.
_Sic transit gloria mundi._

The moat is still visible in one or two places and in a wall and also
in the garden may be seen the arms of the Huddlestons.

The castle is now undergoing reparation; some new windows are being
inserted and additional buildings are being erected.

(We are indebted to Miss Alethia M. Huddleston, of Lancashire,
England, for the copy of the foregoing valuable account of Millom.)



APPENDIX II

BOOKS PUBLISHED BY DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY


  Jan Vedder's Wife,               1885
  A Daughter of Fife,              1886
  The Bow of Orange Ribbon,        1886
  The Squire of Sandal Side,       1886
  The Household of McNeil,         1886
  The Border Shepherdess,          1887
  Paul and Christina,              1887
  Christopher,                     1887
  Master of His Fate,              1888
  Remember the Alamo,              1888
  Between Two Loves,               1889
  Feet of Clay,                    1889
  The Last of McAllisters,         1889
  Friend Olivia,                   1889
  She Loved a Sailor,              1890
  Sister to Esau,                  1891
  The Beads of Tasmer,             1891
  Love for an Hour,                1891
  Rose of a Hundred Leaves,        1891
  The Singer from the Sea,         1893
  Bernicia,                        1895
  A Knight of the Nets,            1896
  The King's Highway,              1897
  Lone House,                      1897
  Maids, Wives and Bachelors,      1898
  I, Thou and the Other One,       1899
  The Maid of Maiden Lane,         1900
  Souls of Passage,                1901
  The Lion's Whelp,                1901
  Master of His Fate,              1901
  The Song of a Single Note,       1902
  The Black Shilling,              1903
  The Belle of Bowling Green,      1904
  Trinity Bells,                   1905
  Cecilia's Lovers,                1905
  The Heart of Jessy Laurie,       1907
  The Strawberry Handkerchief,     1908
  Hands of Compulsion,             1909
  The House on Cherry Street,      1909
  The Reconstructed Marriage,      1910
  Sheila Vedder,                   1911
  A Maid of Old New York,          1911



APPENDIX III

BOOKS PUBLISHED BY OTHER PUBLISHERS


  Romances and Realities,                FORD HOWARD & CO.
  Young People of Shakespeare's Dramas,  D. APPLETON & CO.
  Cluny McPherson,                       TRACT HOUSE
  Scottish Tales,                        TRACT HOUSE
  Prisoners of Conscience,               CENTURY COMPANY
  The Hallam Succession,                 METHODIST BOOK CONCERN
  Lost Silver of Briffault,              METHODIST BOOK CONCERN
  Flower of Gala Water,                  ROBERT BONNER'S SONS
  Femmetia,                              ROBERT BONNER'S SONS
  Three Volumes of Short Stories,        ROBERT BONNER'S SONS
  The Mate of the Easter Bell,           ROBERT BONNER'S SONS
  Reaping the Whirlwind,                 JAMES CLARK, LONDON
  The Preacher's Daughter,               JAMES CLARK, LONDON
  Thyra Varrick,                         TAYLOR & COMPANY
  Was it Right to Forgive?,              STONE, CHICAGO
  The Man Between,                       LOVELL
  Winter Evening Tales. Two Volumes,     _Christian Herald_
  Micheal and Theodora,                  BRADLEY AND WOODWARD
  Eunice Leslie,                         STEPHEN TYNG

This list includes none of the short stories written every week for
Robert Bonner's _Ledger_; none written very constantly in the early
years of my work for the _Christian Union_, the _Illustrated Christian
Weekly_, _Harper's Weekly_, _Harper's Bazaar_, _Frank Leslie's
Magazine_, the _Advance_ and various other papers. Nor yet does it
include any of the English papers or syndicates for which I wrote; nor
yet the poem written every week for fifteen years for the _Ledger_;
nor the poems written very frequently for the _Christian Union_, the
_Independent_, the _Advance_, daily papers, and so forth. Nor can I
even pretend to remember the very numerous essays, and social and
domestic papers which were almost constantly contributed; I have
forgotten the very names of this vast collection of work and I never
kept any record of it. Indeed, only some chance copy has escaped the
oblivion to which I gave up the rest. They kept money in my purse;
that was all I asked of them. I do not even possess a full set of the
sixty novels I have written. I may have twenty or thirty, not more
certainly.

From among the hundreds of poems I have written during forty years I
have saved enough to make a small volume which some day I may publish.
But I never considered myself a poetess in any true sense of the word.
"The vision and faculty divine" was not mine; but I had the most
extraordinary command of the English language and I could easily
versify a good thought, and tune it to the Common Chord--the C Major
of this life. Women sang my songs about their houses, and men at their
daily work and some of them went all around the world in the
newspapers. "The Tree God Plants, No Wind Can Hurt," I got in a Bombay
paper; and "Get the Spindle and Distaff Ready, and God Will Send the
Flax," came back to me in a little Australian weekly. And for fifteen
years I made an income of a thousand dollars, or more, every year from
them. So, if they were not poetry they evidently "_got there!_" From
among the few saved I will print half a dozen. They will show what
"the people" liked, and called poetry.

I must here notice, that I used two pen names as well as my own. I
never could have sold all the work I did under one name. But to my
editors, the secret was an open one; and until the necessity for it
was long past, not one of them ever named the subterfuge to me. That
was a very delicate kindness and it pleases me to acknowledge it. Some
of my very best work was done under fictitious names. Truly I got no
credit for it, but I got the money, and the money meant all kinds of
happiness.



APPENDIX IV

POEMS


THE OLD PIANO

  How still and dusky is the long closed room!
  What lingering shadows and what sweet perfume
  Of Eastern treasures; sandal-wood and scent,
  With nard and cassia, and with roses blent:
        Let in the sunshine.
  Quaint cabinets are here, boxes and fans,
  And hoarded letters full of hopes and plans:
  I pass them by--I come once more to see
  The old piano, dear to memory;
        In past days mine.

  Of all sad voices from forgotten years,
  It is the saddest. See what tender tears
  Drop on the yellow keys! as soft and slow
  I play some melody of long ago.
        How strange it seems!
  The thin, weak notes that once were rich and strong
  Give only now, the shadow of a song;
  The dying echo of the fuller strain,
  That I shall never, never hear again:
        Unless in dreams.

  What hands have touched it! fingers small and white,
  Since cold and weary with life's toil and strife
  Dear clinging hands, that long have been at rest
  Folded serenely on a quiet breast.
        Only to think
  O white sad notes, of all the pleasant days,
  The happy songs, the hymns of holy praise,
  The dreams of love and youth, that round you cling!
  Do they not make each sighing, trembling string
        A mighty link?

  All its musicians gone beyond recall!
  The beautiful, the loved, where are they all?
  Each told their secret, touched the keys and wires
  To thoughts of many colors and desires,
        With whispering fingers:
  All now are silent, their last farewells said,
  Their last songs sung, their last tears sadly shed;
  Yet Love has given it many dreams to keep
  In this lone room, where only shadows creep,
        And silence lingers.

  The old piano answers to my call,
  And from my fingers lets the last notes fall.
  O Soul that I have loved! With heavenly birth
  Wilt thou not keep the memory of earth,
        Its smiles and sighs,
  Shall wood, and metal, and white ivory,
  Answer the touch of love and melody,
  And Thou forget? Dear One, not so!
  I move thee yet, though how I may not know,
        Beyond the skies.


AT THE LAST

  Now, poor tired hands, be still,
    Toil-stained through Death's white hue;
  No need now for your skill,
    No further task to do.
  Folded across the breast,
    Take calmest rest:
  Dead hands no work shall soil--
  'Tis living hands that toil.

  Now, weary eyes, go sleep;
    You shall see no more wrong,
  Nor anxious watches keep
    For Love that tarries long;
  Shall shed no more sad tears
    Through all the years.
  Fold down your lids and sleep--
  'Tis living eyes that weep.

  Poor beating heart, now rest;
    Sorrow or pain no more
  Shall make thee sore distrest;
    Thy restless care is o'er.
  Go still sweet session keep
    Of blissful sleep,
  And no more throb and ache--
  'Tis living hearts that break.


HELP

  My hands have often been weary hands,
    Too tired to do their daily task;
  And just to fold them forevermore
    Has seemed the boon that was best to ask.

  My feet have often been weary feet,
    Too tired to walk another day;
  And I've thought, "To sit and calmly wait
    Is better far than the onward way."

  My eyes with tears have been so dim
    That I have said, "I can not mark
  The work I do or the way I take,
    For every where it is dark--so dark!"

  But, oh, thank God! There never has come
    That hour that makes the bravest quail:
  No matter how weary my feet and hands,
    God never has suffered my _heart_ to fail.

  So the folded hands take up their work,
    And the weary feet pursue their way;
  And all is clear when the good heart cries,
    "Be brave!--to-morrow's another day."


YELLOW JASMINE

  Do angels come as flowers, O golden stars!
    That I can hold within my small white palm?
  Or were you dropped from o'er the crystal bars,
    Filled with the perfume of celestial psalms?

  Why did you come? For fear I should forget?
    Nay, but sweet flowers, you would not judge me so.
  Are there not memories between us set,
    No later love, no future days can know?

  Cool bosky woodlands that were jasmine bowers,
    With misty haze of bluebells up the glade
  Then, had I met an angel pulling flowers,
    I had not been astonished or afraid.

  Beautiful children, innocent and bright,
    O Golden Jasmine! for Love kissing you
  I see them yet, with hair like braided light,
    And eyes like purple pansies, wet with dew.

  Could I have known, could I have but foreseen
    How near the pearly gates their feet had won,
  How had I clasped those hands my hands between--
    Those tiny hands, whose little work is done.

  Calm graves, lapped in sweet grasses, cool and deep,
    Where soft winds sing and whisper through all hours:
  O starry flowers, for me Love's vigil keep,
    With scent and shadow and sweet-dropping flowers.


MY LITTLE BROWN PIPE

  I have a little comforter
    I carry in my pocket;
  It is not any woman's face
    Set in a golden locket;
  It is not any kind of purse,
    It is not book or letter,
  But yet at times, I really think,
    That it is something better.

  Oh! my pipe! My little brown pipe!
    How oft at morning early,
  When vexed with thoughts of coming toil
    And just a little surly,
  I sit with thee till things get clear,
    And all my plans grow steady,
  And I can face the strife of life
    With all my senses ready.

  No matter if my temper stands
    At stormy, fair, or clearing,
  My pipe has not for any mood
    A word of angry sneering.
  I always find it just the same
    In care, or joy, or sorrow,
  And what it is to-day, I know
    It's sure to be to-morrow.

  It helps me through the stress of life,
    It balances my losses;
  It adds a charm to household joys,
    And lightens household crosses.
  For through its wreathing, misty veil
    Joy has a softer splendor,
  And life grows sweetly possible,
    And love more truly tender.

  Oh! I have many richer joys!
    I do not underrate them,
  And every man knows what I mean,
    I do not need to state them.
  But this I say: I'd rather miss
    A deal of what's called pleasure,
  Than lose my little comforter,
    My little smoky treasure!


THE FARMER

  The king may rule o'er land and sea,
  The lord may live right royally,
  The soldier ride in pomp and pride,
  The sailor roam o'er ocean wide;
      But this or that, whate'er befall,
      The farmer he must feed them all.

  The writer thinks, the poet sings,
  The craftsmen fashion wondrous things,
  The doctor heals, the lawyer pleads,
  The miner follows the precious leads;
      But this or that, whate'er befall,
      The farmer he must feed them all.

  The merchant he may buy and sell,
  The teacher do his duty well;
  But men may toil through busy days,
  Or men may stroll through pleasant ways;
      From king to beggar, whate'er befall,
      The farmer he must feed them all.

  The farmer's trade is one of worth;
  He's partner with the sky and earth,
  He's partner with the sun and rain,
  And no man loses for his gain;
      And men may rise, or men may fall,
      But the farmer he must feed them all.

  God bless the man who sows the wheat,
  Who finds us milk and fruit and meat;
  May his purse be heavy, his heart be light,
  His cattle and corn and all go right;
      God bless the seeds his hands let fall,
      For the farmer he must feed us all.


COMRADES

  There's a blacksmith works not far away,
    He is brawny and strong and tall;
  He's at his forge when the shadows lift,
    And he's there till the shadows fall.
  Just when I leave the land of dreams,
    I can hear his hammer bang,
  As he beats the red hot iron bar,
    With a cling, clang, clang; cling, clang.

  His smithy is dirty and dark enough,
    And he is dirty and glum;
  When a man is beating iron bars,
    What can he be but dumb?
  And there you may find him hard at work
    If the weather be hot or cold;
  He says, "There's some satisfaction, Ma'am,
    In beating iron to gold."

  Now, I am a mite of womankind,
    I am neither tall nor strong;
  I can only read, and dream, and think,
    And put my thought into song.
  But I smile at the mighty giant
    Beating his iron so bold;
  And think of a slender little pen
    Turning my thought into gold.

  I sit in my room so bright and warm,
    And my tiny tool I lift,
  "The battle is not unto the strong,
    Nor the race unto the swift."
  But the hammer shall never cease to beat,
    And the song shall never fail,
  Be busy, O pen! And blacksmith brave,
    Beat rivet, and shoe, and nail.

  The world has need of us both I trow:
    The giant so strong and tall
  And the woman who only has a thought
    They are comrades after all.
  So, brother, be busy, I would hear
    Thy hammering all day long;
  The world is glad for the anvil's ring,
    And glad for the Singer's song.



APPENDIX V

LETTERS


The following letters are a few taken from a great number as evidence
of the faithfulness with which my work has been done, but more
especially interesting as showing the marked individuality of the
different writers. It is in the latter respect I offer them to a
public already well acquainted with most of their names and work.

NEW HAVEN, December 24, 1889.

MRS. AMELIA E. BARR,

Dear Madam:

Many thanks for your kind note. My criticisms of "Friend Olivia"
addressed themselves only to minute points of historical accuracy, and
I fear that some of them may have seemed to you, what the Germans call
_spitz-findig_. This you will pardon, however, when you consider that
my duty was to pick all the small holes that I could. As regards
historical accuracy in a larger and far more important sense, I think
that you have succeeded admirably in catching the atmosphere of
feeling of the period, and especially the spirit of the Friends. It
must be hard to think back into a past century in this way.

In any case, I am sure that you have made a very charming story, and
one which I shall re-read with much greater pleasure, when I no longer
have to read it pencil in hand, in search of microscopic slips in the
chronology, etc.

Very respectfully,

HENRY S. BEERS.

       *       *       *       *       *

  KELP ROCK,
  NEW CASTLE, N.H.,
  Oct. 14th, 1887.

MY DEAR MRS. BARR:

Mrs. Stedman has written our appreciation of your charming remembrance
of us, but I must have a word of my own. My wife said to me, that
"she loved you at first sight," but she was too Saxon to write this to
you, and being Saxon, it was a most unusual thing for her to feel, or
say. As for me, I have not forgotten the evening you made so pleasant
for us, in which your instant suggestions for my Christmas poem,
explained to me the rapid and ceaseless inventiveness, displayed in
your succession of books. Another one is out, as I see by the papers,
so I have another pleasure